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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Home Of The Torturers

Official Washington has always been kind to mankind's most ardent oppressors. The USA sheltered the killers and torturers of the Batista regime when they fled Cuba on January 1, 1959. It gave them a home for the rest of their lives. Ideology once again trumped humanity. Official Washington. Bureaucratic Washington. Taker of our money, dispenser of largess to our oppressors.

Torture Again; History; Seeing The Future Etc.

(apologies for the way the pasted text came out. I worked with it, but it was impossible to align it properly.)
GRAHAM GREENE AND CUBA: OUR MAN IN HAVANA? by PETER HULME New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 82 no. 3 & 4 (2008):185-209
In November 1964 Graham Greene wrote a deeply sarcastic letter to The Daily Telegraph contrasting the U.S.-supported Vietnamese army’s triumphalist photographs of their torture of Vietcong prisoners with the good old days in which “hypocrisy paid a tribute to virtue by hushing up the torture inflicted by its own soldiers and condemning the torture inflicted by the other side” (Greene 1989:114-15). Then in November 1971 he berated the British Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, for his defense of what he called the “deep interrogation” of IRA suspects – long hours of enforced standing, hooding, permanent noise, sleep deprivation. Nobody has ever suffered permanent injury from these techniques, Maudling said, foreshadowing Donald Rumsfeld’s breezy dismissal of exactly the same techniques at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. When applied by communists or fascists, Greene noted, we call it “torture,” but when applied by the British we downgrade it to ill treatment (Greene 1989:154-56). The CIA calls it “enhanced interrogation.”38 That, fifty years on from Our Man in Havana, torture is still at the forefront of debates about how to combat terrorism, and that those debates should still focus on Cuba, but now on a U.S. base situated within the island – one suspects that none of this would have come as much of a surprise to Graham Greene.
Of course, it has all been done before, and - of course - we shall all fall asleep and forget it all again. I think that if we really did remember history - and thus be able to learn from it - we would be seriously encumbered: we would lurch around like historical zombies, bumping into walls and automobiles, we would blink blindly like historical cave fish unaccustomed to the sun. Our whole zest, our brio, our love of life comes from our ability to forget our crimes, and the eternal forgiveness of God. Hence, we sleep and forget. Now another point that is very interesting in Our Man in Havana is the plot element of having unknown military installations in Oriente Province in Cuba, which was the geographical focus of the 26th July Movement of Castro. The eventual installations of nuclear weapons came 4 years later in the west at Pinar del Rio. Once again, satire and irony lead the way. We should not be so concerned with learning from history, as we should be to learn the satires of circumstances and ironies of history, and from them we polish our skills at forecasting the future messes we shall create: the future satires and ironies - tragic, cruel, and bloody. note: The question is: what is at work here, in the writings of the satirist? Is he merely picking one of a possible number of future combinations of events? Or is he somehow divining the optimal path - not optimal in the sense it is best for us - that events will take. Of the infinite number of possible futures, there must be a way to pare them down to a number that can be dealt with. Of all the paths, there are the paths of least resistance: the most optimal paths to pursue. Somehow, the brilliant satirist picks on a path very close to the most probable!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Speed Of News

Newspapers are falling by the wayside. The internet delivers news more quickly, at a greater speed and volume, more than the old news can. When the ancients sought to build a tower to heaven, they were scattered over the earth, mutually incomprehensible to each other, speaking different tongues. When we seek knowledge at the speed of light, what will happen? Knowledge is not a sound-bite. Knowledge is enduring. If a sound-bite is the taste of candy, knowledge is the extra weight that come from the calories and carbs. Once again, we cannot control our cravings. We seek monumental portions, we seek sugar spikes in our blood. We are gaining informational mass, while living in knowledge-anorexia. Nothing endures. Nothing may endure, because it may cause us to remember, and if we remember - having learned some eternal truth - we may then not need the constant flow of data. We cannot confront wrongdoing at high levels, because we might remember...we might have a narrative constantly before us on what is right and what is wrong. This cannot exist. We could not have gone to war in Iraq so easily, had people had the knowledge that war is uncertain, tragic, and destructive of everything. This knowledge had to be hidden under the speed of incoming disinformation and incorrect intelligence. Newspaper themselves participated, and marched like an inmate band at Auschwitz, playing themselves to their own fate: the allergies of news, the irrepressible itching, the constant cough, the burning in the stomach, the ups and downs as you are being peppered with selected bits of information, programmed by a corporate entity. We stand about watching, helpless. We stood about helpless as Senator Phil Gramm destroyed the banking system. We stood about helpless as Iraq was invaded. What good is any news or knowledge to people who will not help themselves?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Armageddon's Addicts

Baysage has a post on how we are addicted to war. You may use the link on the right: What Powderfinger said... to view it. Madea would say we are the war-mongeringest fools she ever saw, I think. I shall repeat myself once more: World War II did not end in 1945. It morphed into the Cold War. The Cold War between the USA and the USSR contined until 1991 when the USSR fell apart. After 1991, after a brief hiatus, the USA continued the war unilaterally, extending bases and its presence wider and wider. At present, there is war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We still have bases in Okinawa from 1945, and new ones are planned in other areas.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


The vote to refuse to close Gitmo clearly shows that Mr. Obama is - as I have long suspected - truly one of a kind. He may not have anyone else like him to follow in his footsteps...or to walk along with him, for that matter. Obama is more like an idealization of a politician that jumped down from the screen during the Movietone News, playing at the theater where The Purple Rose Of Cairo was showing.

There Was A Country From Nantucket...

Consider this: POEMS & POETICS In addition to our fond visions of "the city on the hill", we see America as a sailing vessel, the Pequod, to be exact: ...the grotesque of the democracy similar to the description of the Pequod... “A cannibal craft, tricking herself forth in the chased bones of her enemies…” where "chased" mean - I think without looking it up - worked and cleaned and set within a setting, as well as "chased after". "Tricking" could also have more than one meaning.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blue Scarves For Peace

While the usual American ritual is to send more and more troops to kill more and more of troublemakers and civilians, there are other peace movements. From FOREVER UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Excerpt from “Sending More Troops Will Not Solve the Problem”–Grassroots Afghan Activist Rangina Hamidi – Democracy Now Rangina Hamidi: “[...] In Kandahar, we got together about—well, we got together last year and decided that as the government agencies have been celebrating International Day for Women, which falls on March 8th every year, we did not want to be necessarily celebrating the day when so many women were in mourning because they were losing a lot of their male relatives or male members of their families almost on a daily basis. So, in 2008, on March 8th, the women in our network gathered together, more than 1,500 of them, to commemorate the day by praying for peace, because they’ve been in war for literally more than thirty years. And women are sick and tired of it, and they don’t know—you know, on a local level, they don’t know any political figure, locally or nationally and/or even internationally, that they can go to to have their voices and have their plea be heard. So, because this is a religious and a conservative society, the women said, “Who better to pray to about peace than God?” These are all believing women. And so, they gathered for the first time publicly to pray for peace.

What It Is

Guantanamo, Afghanistan, photo-gate... I guess that Obama has been learning what America is all about: it is a war machine; what's good for war is good for the USA. We can never let the people we torture and imprison go free. They will come back to kill us. And there will be more and more every year...until the rotten hulk falls apart.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Obama At Notre Dame

It must come as a terrible shock that a confrontation that has been built up with so much time and effort suddenly is used by your opponent to his own advantage. Sorry, FOX and Republicans. You're really going to have to change yourselves and your crumby little souls, and remake yourselves into human beings. You can't just rely on money and b.s. anymore.

Wall Street & Drugs

I want to know which drugs was Wall Street on. This is not a metaphor. When President Bush said Wall Street had gotten drunk, even he did not know how close he was to the truth. In the 90's, the drug of choice on Wall Street was cocaine. This has been well documented. For example, Mr. Kudlow on CNBC was fired from Bear Stearns for drug use: Less Than Kudlow: Is CNBC Host Suffering Another Cocaine Relapse? By Mark Ames In 1994, Mr. Kudlow make a public confession of his addiction to drugs and alcohol. In 1995: The New York Times checked in on their drugs-are-bad poster boy 15 months later, in July, 1995, and the what they found... Fifteen months ago, Mr. Kudlow made a highly public confession of his drug problem shortly after he was forced to resign as chief economist at Bear Stearns. He also made a fresh career start as a conservative political commentator for television and magazines and said he believed that he had overcome his addiction. …But over the weekend, Mrs. Kudlow petitioned for a divorce and an order to prevent Mr. Kudlow from tapping their Bear Stearn’s retirement account to pay for a weeks-long cocaine binge. “The defendant will use such money to buy cocaine,” she stated in an affidavit, “and in so doing will likely suffer a fatal overdose and will dissipate the only remaining liquid marital assets.” So now to the present. Do you think it was all the thrill of risk taking that drove them on? And the bonuses! How much of those bonuses used to go to, and still go to drugs? Unless sometime between the 90s and now, all of Wall Street went temperance and got on the wagon, a lot is used for drugs and booze. How much of the Crisis is due to drugs? Why has it not been mentioned? It hasn't been mentioned because everyone on the East Coast knows about it, and they know the rest of the country will go ballistic if they find out: a real atom-bomb tea party for Mr. Santelli...whose parent company, GE, accepted government money even as he railed against helping home owners. These things are known by those near to what's going on. Consider Mr. Kudlow: now that you think about it, you know that every bloody Republican and conservative back then knew he was skiing cocaine at every chance. They did not care. Consider George Roche III: while he was the top Republican fund raiser and pushing conservative thought, he was having a 19 year affair with his son's wife; you know that by year 5, everybody nearby knew what the deal was. But, the more outrageous it is, the quieter they are. What sudden change of moral fiber caused the present day people on Wall Street not to do drugs? What religion was it? The rest of the country might want some of that stuff. There was no change. There were drugs, and there were plenty of them. If we start talking about them now, it would blow the country apart. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Obama Nix Pix

President Obama did a U-turn of release of prisoner abuse pictures. Just how many pictures are there? How wide spread waas this? How out of control was the army, or was it policy to be depraved? A policy of depraved violence was typical in past wars to instill fear. A policy of meticulously recording every monstrous act was also typical in the past. I, personally, do not care to see any more photos. When we were clamoring for war, I remembered that General Sherman said "War is Hell." What part of that did you not understand? War is death and destruction, killing and rapine, theft and brigandage, torture and suffering. Everyone knows that. So why were we so stupid that we believed it was a picnic? The critical question is why were we so stupid. Answer that question.

Star Trek

Why did no one tell me Tyler Perry was gonna be in Star Trek? Cool. (I know the answer. I went to see it with a friend. I am white, he is very white. I said, Damn! Is that Tyler Perry? I think it is! He said, Who's Tyler Perry?)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ragheads Vs. Baseball Cap Heads

I was eating lunch with my mates, the TYBALTs: "trim young bucks at lunch together", when an obstreperous group of ROMEOs: : "retired old men eating out", came into Hanaan's Diner. Briefly, they were loud, crude, and annoying, like most retirees. They were talking about the Sikhs that lived nearby, calling them "Ragheads". We jeered at them, calling them "Capheads", short for "Baseball Cap Heads". We had to stick up for our friend, Singh. Now that term, "caphead", isn't all that funny in itself. "Raghead" has a sort of lilt and rhythm to it - unfortunately. "Caphead" does not. However, each and every one of those old buffoons was indeed wearing the emblem of their order: a baseball cap! Some had baseball team logos, some had Florida vacation spots, some had John 3:18; each and every one a bloody felt or mesh cap.

I Wish I Had Said That!

What are truths without loves and laughs? They are like quarks without spin, without charm, without strange! Actually I did say it. I popped out of the quantum foam and appended itself to the end of a comment I was writing to Baysage in "What Powderfinger said..." ( see links at right ). I said to myself, "Blast! Why is my good writing always in someone else's blog?!"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Krieg Und Die Endwaffe: The End Of Voluntary War

 Cthullu Wakes

The enemy is War itself.
Yet we are fighting its battles.

The enemy in the nuclear age is War itself.
Nuclear weapons are not merely a greater weapon; they are the End Weapon - die Endwaffe - a weapon that will not remain in the hand of the one that thinks to wield it, but leaps free and does its damage without humanity able to intervene.

Atomic devices are not weapons, they are idols, they are kings, they are rulers. They will not subordinate themselves to mankind.
They are the Terminators.
In our popular fairy tales, we have told the story of the machines taking over occurring sometime in the future. It has already happened.

We stumble about in fear that Taliban will seize the atomic devices of is the bombs themselves which are conniving to be set free.

They are calling us, like the unsleeping Cthullu in his city of nightmares.


Health Care

I am opposed to a health care system based on private insurers. They have been tested and have been found wanting. The more the distortions they tell us, the more I fear them: they are Present Day American (PDAs!!!) businessmen, and therefore by their very nature unable to function in any way remotely resembling the public interest. This generation cannot serve the public interest, only their own; it is what they know, it is what they learned, it is what they believe. Only a fool would think otherwise.

Republican Renaissance

People keep chattering about re-inventing the Republican Party. That will be an impossible task, until such time as they recognize that the Republican Party is now and has been for 100 years the Lobbyist for the wealthy. The reason that Reagan drew so much support into the Republican Party is due to the sometimes great notion that we were all part of the potentially wealthy class: we all owned stocks and bonds, we all saw our investments rocket with the markets. We were all of the business class, we were all near-rich, we were Republicans - hard core ones. Now we see that it was a darn good story, but it was a sham. The future holds nothing good for us old believers - the ones who believe in unlimited growth and wealth for the USA. Future generations will not feel our pain, for they will have grown up in a different world. But we shall spend the rest of our lives wailing at the West Wall of our once near wealth. And the Republican Party has lost its fairy tale. It will not be re-invented until it discovers a new fairy tale, and a new group of dumb believers. The Democrats already have theirs...for the time being.

My New Job

Things are looking up. There are openings in publishing for graffiti editors.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Pop-Up Books

What if our lives be seen as rather large Victorian pop-up books? What shall the next page, whose edge we are turning, look like?

Pop-Up Books 2

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Remind me again why we are fighting the Taliban? Was it because they sent airplanes into the World Trade Center? No? Something else? What is it, again? Are they bad guys, like Saddam was? Are they nasty, medieval type who oppress women? I know there's a good reason; I just can't remember what it is.

American Manufacturing

Every day we use a Oster kitchen blender that is 50 years old. The one we had that was about 5 years old broke some time ago. My mother uses an Electrolux vacuum cleaner that is at least 55 years old, the same design as the one that is in the Museum of Modern Art is the Design Area. We have a Waring mixer that is almost 40 years old, a Braun coffee grinder that is 30 years old. When I bake, I use wooden spoons that are 60 years old, and perhaps I should not use. We use my mother-in-law's heavy black skillet that is more than 60 years old. They don't make things like they used to. Black & Decker - an icon to Americans - has declined mightily in their quality. The chase for profits at the expense of everything else leads to the dumper.

Senator Phil Gramm

Reprint from The Angry Bear: Wednesday, May 06, 2009

James Galbraith remarks Texas Observer carries commentary that is revealing. Editor’s note: These remarks were delivered to a meeting of the Texas Lyceum in Austin on April 3, at a debate between University of Texas professor
James Galbraith, an Observer contributing writer, and former Majority Leader Richard Armey, chief instigator of the recent Astroturf “tea party" protests. Armey had begun his remarks by noting that his rule in life was “never trust anyone from Austin or Boston,” and proceeded to declare his allegiance to the “Austrian School” of economics, a libertarian view that regards public intervention in private markets as socialism.
Galbraith: It is of course a pleasure to be with you today. I was born in Boston, and I am proud of it. And I have lived 24 years in Austin—and I’m proud of that.Leader Armey spoke to you of his admiration for Austrian economics. I can’t resist telling you that when the Vienna Economics Institute celebrated its centennial, many years ago, they invited, as their keynote speaker, my father [John Kenneth Galbraith]. The leading economists of the Austrian school—including von Hayek and von Haberler—returned for the occasion. And so my father took a moment to reflect on the economic triumphs of the Austrian Republic since the war, which, he said, “would not have been possible without the contribution of these men.” They nodded—briefly—until it dawned on them what he meant. They’d all left the country in the 1930s. My own economics is American: genus Institutionalist; species: Galbraithian.This is a panel on the crisis. Mr. Moderator, you ask what is the root cause?

My reply is in three parts.
First, an idea. The idea that capitalism, for all its considerable virtues, is inherently self-stabilizing, that government and private business are adversaries rather than partners; the idea that freedom without responsibility is a viable business principle; the idea that regulation, in financial matters especially, can be dispensed with. We tried it, and we see the result.

Second, a person. It would not be right to blame any single person for these events, but if I had to choose one to name it would be a Texan, our own distinguished former Senator Phil Gramm. I’d cite specifically the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act—the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act—in 1999, after which it took less than a decade to reproduce all the pathologies that Glass-Steagall had been enacted to deal with in 1933.
I’d also cite the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, slipped into an 11,000-page appropriations bill in December 2000 as Congress was adjourning following Bush v. Gore. This measure deregulated energy futures trading, enabling Enron and legitimating credit-default swaps, and creating a massive vector for the transmission of financial risk throughout the global system. When the Washington Post caught up with me at an airport in Parkersburg, West Virginia, a year ago to ask for a comment on Gramm’s role, I said very quickly that he was “the sorcerer’s apprentice of financial instability and disaster.” They put that on the front page. I do have to give Gramm some credit: When the Post called him up and read that to him, he said, “I deny it.”

Third, a policy. This was the abandonment of state responsibility for financial regulation: the regulation of mortgage originations, of underwriting, and of securitization. This abandonment was not subtle: The first head of the Office of Thrift Supervision in the George W. Bush administration came to a press conference on one occasion with a stack of copies of the Federal Register and a chainsaw. A chainsaw. The message was clear. And it led to the explosion of liars’ loans, neutron loans (which destroy people but leave buildings intact), and toxic waste. That these were terms of art in finance tells you what you need to know. +++++++++++++ There is plenty of accountability. Obama or not, these thieves and scoundrels must be brought to justice.

Blog Of Note

I went to a Blog Of Note and was stalked by a floating advertisement for a survey. Some others had ads, too. So, I left.

Wicked Witch Of The West

I saw a video of Condoleeza Rice talking with a Stanford student. Not pretty. She says "Abu Ghraib was wrong! That's right. Abu Ghraib was wrong." Wow! Cool insight! She also says there's a lot of "second guessing" going on now. I prefer "Monday morning quarterbacking", or possibly "Hindsight is always 20/20". What profound people these are! She goes on to say that if "you" were there on September 11 watching people jumping from the upper stories of those buildings, you would have done everything legal to prevent anymore Americans being killed. First, I was watching and I saw them jump. Second, I probably would have ok'd enhanced interrogation that afternoon. Third, I would not have continued my support of torture after I had come to my senses. That is where we differ: I never state that whatever evil I do is a good, past, present, and future. I admit my mistakes. She is like Bush, preening before the opinion of History. History will spit them out.

Banks, Not Tyra

Columbia Journalism Review Economic Crisis, The Audit — May 07, 2009 04:02 PM Center for Public Integrity Puts the Subprime Puzzle Together By Ryan Chittum ...There is something of a myth surrounding the current economic crisis, how it unfolded, and the precise role of the world’s largest financial institutions in the global meltdown. That myth suggests these banks and investment houses were somehow surprised “victims” of unscrupulous subprime mortgage lenders, and that they could not have anticipated the damaging toxic assets that have so infected their balance sheets. What’s missing from this story is the fact that this was a self-inflicted wound for which the rest of us are picking up a massive tab. The largest American and European banks and investment houses were not the unwitting “victims” of an unforeseen financial collapse, as they have so often been portrayed. The mega-banks not only invested in subprime lending institutions — they were the enablers, bankrollers, and instigators driving high-interest lending, and they did so because it was so lucrative and unregulated. Worse, in many instances these are the same financial institutions the government is now bailing out with tax revenues. Our oppressors and destroyers are being paid by our government; the same people who created this nightmare are being rewarded, and will remain in power. The outcome is obvious. As brilliant as Obama is, he does not understand that it is not history as usual: a great dividing line has been crossed, and we cannot go back.

Torture Investigations

This country may not want investigations in torture, but it will not escape the burden of responsibility. We are taking our usual chicken-hearted approach to our problems, but nothing goes away: the suffering of the least of God's creatures will be paid for. We shall pay full measure for what we have done. And we cannot control ourselves now anymore than we could jumping into Iraq. We are totally out of control.

Event Horizon: Life Mimics Art

Reuters reports: Pirates fire at U.S. Navy ship off Somalia Thu May 7, 2009 9:22am EDT MANAMA (Reuters) - Pirates have fired small arms weapons at a U.S. Navy supply ship off the coast of Eastern Somalia, the first attack of this kind since last year's surge in pirate attacks, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday. The USNS Lewis and Clark was chased for about an hour on Wednesday morning by two pirates skiffs, but neither came closer than about one nautical mile to the U.S. vessel, the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet said in a statement. Cool. Just like the rescue vessel in the film Event Horizon. USNS Lewis and Clark: 2005 Rescue Ship Lewis and Clark: 1997

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hillsdale Day 2

I heard from some people who were impressed by Hillsdale Day, April 30, as a day to remember what crimes were committed and what ills were visited upon us by Modern American Conservatives. Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hillsdale Day.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Modern Conservatives May 3 2009

John Adams writes, “The passions are all unlimited. If the citizens of this republic surrender the guidance for any course of time to any one passion, they may depend upon finding it, in the end, a usurping, domineering, cruel tyrant.”

We have witnessed this during the Bush Presidency after 9/11, when all matters were ruled by politics and vengeance. We went to war in Iraq, because the thirst for vengeance was so great, it literally overcame reality. We have witnessed this also as the desire for vengeance drove the administration to the insane course of instituting a regime of torture, flouting all international norms established by this very nation and its allies at the end of the Second World War.
The passions are unlimited.

Conservatism used to stand for the control of Passion by Reason. Now Reason is the whore of Passion, as we are forced to watch so-called Conservatives speak out in defense of torture. The decade of the 60's urged Passion and its gratification upon us. It destroyed some by drugs, some by war, but it led this entire nation into the era of unrestrained gratification of even the most base passions.
Both liberal and conservative minds surrendered themselves to the gratifications of their passions, and the resulting political debate between the two sides is a result of the one side infringing upon the debased gratifications of the other.

What is the current economic turmoil a result of if not the Conservative uncontrolled passion for unlimited returns on wealth by dumb, brutal markets they call "free"? Dumb beasts tending not to equilibrium - as they are so fond of saying - but to bubbles and panics. What Reason restrained the fools who voted for no regulation to be applied to derivatives? And they did so not even ten years after a great deal of damage had been done by those financial instruments.

Even God is a pawn in their battles: Terry Schiavo comes to mind. Old time Conservatives worshipped God and used money; the modern day conservatives worship money and make use of God.

Faerie Streams And Enchanted Bournes

I had told my friend, "Reading the Signs", that when I feel depressed, I go to the Master Story-Teller to get fixed. She asked whether the Master Story-Teller was God, and I responded that since she herself was a story-teller, she should tell me the answer to that question. I suppose this is all very paradoxical and elitist sounding, vaguely redolent of a number of poorly recalled religious tracts and stories. When I speak of Genesis, when I say that God created the universe, I mean that He created the things which exist and the substance upon which their being stands - the basis for things to happen - and the infinite space that contains the information for every possible combination of events to be described. When God created man and woman, He created the potential for every detailed story. The mere, brute fact of creation of a material object: mankind's ancestor spilling forth from Time and struggling to capture his wits as he stands naked and wet before his creator is a one time event. This is the creation of the possibility of Narrative: naked narrative, unadorned, boy-meets-girl type of narrative. When God told living things to be fruitful and multiply, He meant physically and spiritually; He meant create children and create the forms of understanding and sew the infinite wardrobe of narrative vestments, with which you will hide your nakedness. This is the creation of the detailed story: adorned narrative, Romeo and Juliet type narrative, filled with metallic threads laid on crewel yarns of many colors. In the infinite space of all possible stories, we spend our early years looking for an optimal solution: a small area wherein we may dwell - because we cannot possibly look at an infinite number of narratives: we must limit them. It's like eating an endless ice cream cone, or merely one that satisfies our craving: surely the second alternative is best. Most people stay within this "espy" ( a more or less stable area of the quantum universe - pronounce it like "s.p." , or "Stable Place") and go no further, finding everything they need there. Others deliberately leave behind their little "stable place", and they jump back into the infinite. It makes sense to ask a question in an espy; people share the conventions and can come up with an answer after searching for a limited time. Outside the espy, however, there are an unlimited number of solutions, so there can be no answer within the lifetime on one person, nor two, not even perhaps within the life of the human race. Now the topic of our conversation where story-tellers entered was such as to indicate that neither of us was in our respective espy - whether we were aware of it or not -and were adrift on streams of enchantment...I, for one, saw no familiar landfalls. That's why I have no answer to Sign's question; I, the artful dodger of responsibility or stranger in a strange universe of stories...

I Remember Pesach In Paris

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Roots Of Modern Conservatism: Gingrich, Shelby, Rove, Bush, Et. Al.

Modern Conservatism betrayed its true nature to view at the incident at Hillsdale College, Michigan, where in 1999, Lissa Roche killed herself. She had been carrying on a 19 year affair with her father-in-law, George Roche III, the president of Hillsdale College.

...As one of his first acts as president, Roche brought in conservative author and icon Russell Kirk to teach at Hillsdale, but more importantly to give the world notice that Hillsdale was serious about being conservative. If Roche had been as serious about thinking as he was about fund-raising and public relations, he might have noticed that Kirk’s book The Conservative Mind, specifically the chapters on Edmund Burke and John Adams, had some significant things to say about the relationship between reason and appetite, lessons that would have increasing relevance to Hillsdale College under George III’s increasingly autocratic leadership. That meant that Kirk also had something to say about the two strains within conservatism—the libertarian and the traditional—which appetite and reason represented...  
George Roche III was great, because he was a great fund raiser for the Conservative causes. He was lionized by Conservatives. However, you cannot keep up a 19 year affair without people becoming aware. In particular, you cannot commit so heinous an offense as George Roche did, year after year, without people becoming aware of it, yet to frightened to mention it.

Money was God, and the Republican Party had only One God. They looked the other way. Lissa Roche went out to the gazebo, a central place at Hillsdale, and killed herself.

The entire story is Death at the Gazebo:Conservatism In Extremis at Hillsdale College by E. Michael Jones.

I am not aware where it is available at the present time. However, its importance is inversely proportional to the oblivion which modern society and media have banished it.


Ritual And Reality


Mythic Landscapes: Temple Of Aesclepius, Saviour May 1 2009

In the beginning of May, 2009, I once again dreamt of my father's boats:

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day

I copied this from the poetry blog:
May Day It's Lady Day again! Come Spring! Come all ye patience handsel blooms! Bring forcing gardens' flow'ring quince! Bring hot house bulb and lilies, too! Bring Holy Mary's crown again, a flow'ring diadem - come Spring! The cold and rains of April past; come unnamed flowers all! together with your namèd kin: the rose, the daffodil, and pink, and sweet those fragrant dandies in the lawns so newly green; this crown of May will last! May God Almighty bless us all! Conserve us safe from harm! And all the Saints step forth! Attest! conjoined in joyful choirs and lit- anies assembling, breaking forth in song! Pray save us from our Fall! Mom Mary strides forth like Orpheus and takes hell's subway ride to stand beside her faithful folk in Time's still darkling fields of War, to nurse the bleeding, wounded souls to health; restore the World to peace renown! notes: handsel a gift or reward; here a reward for enduring winter; a Scots word, I believe.
Sometimes I use it as mitzvah, a blessing or divine reward.
Orpheus descended even into Hades to rescue his beloved Eurydice.
So does Mary hazard all for her children.
The meter is odd and seems to change, the 5th lines lengthening in the last two stanzes. I'm not sure why I did this. It's pretty much still hot from the oven, though. Today I was helping my father with his gardening, a chore which he makes exhausting because the plan is in his head, but it comes out piece by piece, and there is a lot of walking about and talking about the ravages of winter, the harm the snow plows have done, the water level of the river, and so on. So I have to pray for patience and humility, being by nature impatient and demanding. While walking under the cherry tree, it dawned on me today was May Day. I stopped walking and he looked at me. He asked me what I was doing. I said I was praying to Our Lady, because it was May Day, and I had forgotten. I forget what the prayer was. I just stopped and prayed something or somehow - I don't really analyze it - then started back walking. He is a church goer, but I don't think he's used to people suddenly stopping and praying. When we had finished, I started to think about the poem for this week, and this came flying by - a handsel or reward for being a nice guy.