Rockaway Park, NY 11694 * July 4, 2012 ** "I will take no bull from your house" Leviticus
Geoff Jackson: DYSTOPIAS
Dystopias: An Overview
Dystopias (cacaphonies or anti-utopias) are examinations into a world in which social and moral values have taken on the character of a nightmare. They are often futuristic and science-fiction has been the burgeoning branch of literature to play off these strange scenarios.
William Goulding in his "Lord of the Flies" shows a group of schoolboys descending from civilization into barbarity, when left to their own devices on a desert island. Ray Bradbury in "Fahrenheit 451" (the temperature at which paper burns) is showing an attempt by a group of intellectuals to preserve books by committing them to memory.
One of the earliest dystopias are the six out of seven worlds depicted in "Gulliver`s Travels". Not only is Swift picking off the politics of his age in a very witty way but he is also engaged in studies of disenchantment. In the same way, the earliest studies of "Utopias" also emerged, starting with that of Thomas Moore in 1516, who gave the word "Utopia" (after the name of his book) to the English language. However, the genre was probably as old as Plato`s "The Republic", written about how virtue was to influence men in their going about their daily lives as citizens. However, the number of dystopias has continued to grow. According to Wikipedia, it was four hundred by the time of the nineteenth century and a thousand by the end of the twentieth. We do not, of course, have figures for the twenty-first century but it is likely that the growth curve will be exponential. Simply, dystopias are coming into fashion and novels are being written about them as well as film scripts like "Robo Cop". Some, of course, are more subtly drawn than others.
"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley is still a masterpiece of modern dystopias. In it, work gangs are decanted and raised from multiple-embryos into groups, each capable of functioning in a certain way in society. There is strict segregation according to caste. Certain groups are Alpha + and other groups are Epsilon -. They are divided according to intellect and they do not meet. They occasionally use a drug called soma to induce a kind of dreamy ecstacy.
"Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell is probably the most famouse example of a dystopia or utopia gone wrong. The world is divided into three hostile camps, constantly at war so as to use up all scarce resources. The Inner Party controls everything including first and foremost the Outer Party and the proles, whom no one really is intent on controlling because they are so far from the decision-making process. Our protagonist, Winston Smith, limps his way through a romantic interlude with his girlfriend in a prole ghetto, only to be caught and made to confess his `crimes against the state`, relinquishing and betraying the girl, whom he loves dearest. The whole novel is tawdry and seedy, reflecting the realities of post-war Britain in 1948 and also reflecting the personal tragedies of George Orwell`s life. He never really found fame as a writer until after his death and that death came very quickly as he was rushed to hospitals from the Scottish Highlands (noted for their cold and damp) to die of pulmonary problems. It`s all in the novel between the lines!
There have, of course, been many other attempts at dystopias/utopias including "Star-Trek", the "Jedi", novels by Isaac Asimov, the doyen of science-fiction writers, who, amongst all others, preserves some semblance of literary writing in an otherwise almost "comic-book" genre. And the history would not be complete without mentioning John Windham, who in "The Midwich Cuckoos" and other stories reveals a frightening fate facing the world.
So, that was it for dystopias. Essentially, a frightening and nightmarish vision of a world somehow gone wrong. In social and moral decay, a new world order arises, which lures humanity along paths, which are far from righteous. It tends to be fear of the overwhelming State but can also be fear of the overmighty Corporation. There is usually some centrally organized authority to rebel against. And that is that. Authors tend to be rebellious beasts and in dystopias they kick over the traces of what it is to live in a free society and create a tirade against oppression.
~ Geoff Jackson
Robert L. Martin
The Perfect Game
The spirit of the Gods was
Pitching with me
It gave me strength
I just let it be
I was scheduled to pitch
On this day of our game
If we lost I was the
One to take all the blame
My fastball was moving
It went in and out
Hitting the corners
It went up and about
It set up my change up
It did its trick
They just waived at it
With their mighty big stick
There was nothing there
To hit at all so
Back to the dugout with
Their heads to the wall
Everyone has his big
Game to remember
Mine came to me on this
Day in September
~ Robert L. Martin
1985 by Anthony Burgess
1985 is, in fact, an example of a dystopia or anti-utopia. In the first part of his work, Anthony Burgess is interested in working out a critique of George Orwell`s book "Nineteen Eighty-Four", which he greatly admires. At some length is gone into the penury years of post-war Britain, which Burgess can well recollect and, in painstaking detail, he draws a portrait of George Orwell as far as the great man can be characterized. There is even a comparison between the BBC canteen and the canteen in "Nineteen Eighty-Four". The two do, indeed, resemble one another and that resemblance is not coincidental but the two are drawn as likenesses of each other.
But, in spite of this minutiae, this tremendous going into detail surrounding various points of the book, there is no real attempt to see it as the depiction of a twentieth century totalitarian state. That has escaped Burgess. He has lost sight of something very fundamental in his drawing on the themes and the details of the great panorama. The panorama itself is lost. It is as if totalitarianism did not exist.
Notwithstanding which, the novella, "1985" is an attempt to draw its own dystopia. Written in 1978, at a time of great trade union unrest in Britain, it projects forward to the year 1985, where the unions control everything. Other than that, England is being overrun by Moslems and Islamists, who are corrupting the moral values of the nation.
The novel starts with Bev, the protagonist (aptly named after the great twentieth century Labour leader), losing his wife in a fire. The Fire Brigade are on strike and refuse to turn out to answer a call to rescue (something, which actually happened as the book was being written). As a result of this, Bev loses his wife and takes up a kind of footlose way of life.
He also loses his job as a university teacher of history. The subject has no use and hence no value, no subjective worth on the syllabus. Hence, it is axed from the curriculum. Instead, he finds other work of higher social value but which is rather demeaning. Moreover, in order to do it, he has to be unioized and this Bev refuses to be. He is, therefore, fired from his job for refusing to be a good card-carrying unionite.
He drifts together with the London poor and they turn to petty-thieving, small-time robbery etc. He is, in the end, picked up for this and discharged to an institution - half-prison and half-mental asylum - where he is "re-educated".
Once released, he begins writing for the Free Briton Movement, which turns out to be a subterfuge group of Islamists. It is dominated by a mysterious Colonel Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia?), who edits all the papers turned in. Meantime, at the Isle of Man (just off the British west coast, north of Liverpool), beer turns out to be very low in alcohol but very high in drug content, again in keeping with Islamic teaching.
However, Bev at this point decides to marry off his sexually precocious and otherwise rather backward daughter to an Arab sheikh and this he does despite what this will mean for her future. In fact, he is forced into it.
Once again, however, Bev is faced with the prospects of what to do about a job. He is not unionized so he is unemployable. Picked up once again, he is once again sent to an institution that both resembles a psychiatric institution and a prison and detained there until further notice. He teaches fellow-inmates history, commencing with the Middle Ages, going on through the Renaissance to finish up eventually at the Industrial Revolution. His ultimate escape, of course, is that of suicide. He makes it to the perimeter fence of the prison and electrocutes himself on it.
It is a strange and savage world that Bev pits himself against. He as protagonist has all the values, which society really needs. Especially, the love of freedom and the pursuit of intellectual values in an anti-intellectual world are telling. but, as an individual, he is destined to fail. The age of individualism is over and we are in the age of trade unions. the age of Islam, also, with its dogmas and fanaticisms is with us. Somehow, the two strands, trade unionism and Islam, become harmonised to a fascist whole and this is Anthony Burgess`s most potent contribution to his hero, George Orwell.
~ Geoff Jackson
Sir Harry Commented on behalf of the Society:
HARRISON ALFRED ANDREWS:
Geoff Jackson once again makes a wonderous presentation of an oft over-looked piece of futurism, Anthony Burgess` 1985. Certainly, Professor Jackson correctly identifies the strong correlation between Burgess` vision of chaos and the prevailing social collapse in Britain in the 1970s. However Burgess` principal accomplishment was identifing an extremely conservative domestic element which might flirt with Islamism. Burgess postulates a Free Briton movement which would like to restore traditional values. This exceedingly conservative group aligns with Islam in an attempted putsch. The FB sees in Islam the core values necessary to sustain a viable country. Ultimately, the FB movement falls apart primarily because its followers are so undisciplined they join the looters, but also in their failure to understand the nature of Islam which does not incorporate the western concept of a nation-state. Islam survives; FB-er`s principal leaders end up in the insane assylum.
No Holds Barred
Freedom is a universal value;
Tolerance is a moral responsibility;
Dignity is a humanitarian civil right.
No Holds Bard
Cozy veneer of
Bare naked truths
No Holds Bard
Credibility is like virginity; once
Lost, it`s irretrievable forevermore.
No Holds Bard
The future belongs to those
Who prepare for it today;
When you fail to plan,
You`re unconsciously planning to fail.
No Holds Bard
On the verge of becoming
Almost but not quite there
Getting lost somewhere you`ve never
Been only dreamt of happenstance
Being anything other than sentient
You are what you aren`t
Probably never were restless abandon
Taking leave to anywhere else
No Holds Bard
Sand infinitely solid speckled grains
Absorbing secretion abusive breaking waves
Frothy impatient drone pounding surf
Lost glisten overtaken by dusk
Wincing sunlight`s final rays outstretched
Clinging to ominous detached shadows
Luminosity afterglow sluggish retreating ebb-tide
Laid back driftwood worn out
No Holds Bard
Ray Bradbury "Fahrenheit 451"
Battered out on a 10 cent per half-hour rental typewriter in UCLA`s Powell Library in 1947, Ray Bradbury wrote a short story entitled "Bright Phoenix". Expanded into a novella came "The Fireman", published in February 1951 in Galaxy Science Fiction. By 1953, published by Ballantine Books, "Fahrenheit 451" was about twice as long as "The Fireman" and took up and explored many of the themes of the initial two drafts. It became undeniably Ray Bradbury`s claim to literary success, a success he never surpassed in any of his other writings. Bradbury has several times gone on record to state that his book is not about censorship, burning dissident ideas etc., but is instead about how TV destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a partial kind of knowledge composed of "factoids", particles of information devoid of context. The name "Fahrenheit 451" probably derives from the auto-ignition point for burning paper, which is about 424 F to 474 F.
The plot may be summarized as follows. On a rainy night, upon returning from his job as fireman (or burner of books), Guy Montag (note the blocked vowels of the surname) meets his new neighbor, a seventeen-year old girl called Clarissa Mclellan (and now note the soft sibillants making up both her names), whose free-thinking ideals and liberating spirit help force Guy (this time a long open vowel, very different from the `Montag` of his surname) to question his life, ideals and own perceived happiness. Meanwhile, there is a domestic crisis. Montag returns to find his wife, Mildred, o.d.`d on sleeping pills. Since prescription drug overdoses are commonplace, the hospital sends two impersonal technicians out to pump her stomach and replace her blood. Mildred is wide awake next morning and Montag tries to tell her how she`d overdosed but she refuses to recognize this. She is meanwhile watching an interactive TV program on the three walls of their house. Now the plot becomes hopelessly complicated. In the following days at work with other firemen, ransacking a house full of books before the inevitable burning, Montag accidentally reads a line in a book, "Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine." The woman refuses to leave her house and her books and destroys herself with a match. Fire chief Beatty then visits Montag and makes light of Montag`s desire to read books - after all, the Fire Chief had suffered from that desire once himself and all Fire Men went through that kind of phase. But with Montag it is more than a phase and soon he is storing books in the ventilator of his home. Imagine Guy Montag`s horror, when he is summoned out to torch his own home. In so doing, he also torches Fire Chief Beatty and the mechanical hound that attacks him.
Guy goes on the run and teams up with Faber, a former English professor, who at first is too afraid to help him. Faber (the name of the book company must also be significant) eventually helps Montag (also the name of a paper firm, apparantly) by means of a green, bullet-shaped earpiece, whereby Faber can offer Montag guidance. Montag is forced to flee from the City streets out to the countryside and to meet the exiled book-users, who live there. There, Montag meets a group of men and women, who have memorized books and he begins to memorize his own, namely a part of the book of Ecclesiastes.
A nuclear war begins and the breakdown of the social structure enables the group to return to the City to rebuild it along with society, and start on building a more humane, thinking society.
That, in short, is Ray Bradbury`s own dystopia. His protagonist is part of that society, a very important part as one of the oppressors of the society. Guy`s revolt against the system turns the whole world upside down but the recovery after the nuclear holocaust, which wipes out that `evil` civilization is to be ascribed to the intellectuals, the meek of the Earth, if you will, arising at a time of opportunity and moving in. The time is now ripe for a move to return the world to the decent place it was before the rise of the "television culture".
~ Geoff Jackson
So, these ghosts, these dumb-ass
aberrations from dimension #4,
frillying, flittering, sashaying.
These bandaged, helpless, ill-advised holdovers
from the Battle of Gettysburg,
Starship Trooper: Novel versus Film
"Starship Trooper" was originally a novel written by Robert A. Heineman. It came out as a serial in "The Magazine of Science Fiction" October-November, 1959, as "Starship Soldier" and was published hardback in December 1959 as "Starship Trooper". This was the novel that Paul Verhoeven, director of the film, "Starship Trooper" read the first few chapters of and trashed as making him both "bored and depressed". It seems few of the writing team also knew little of the novel. The Director, Paul Verhoeven, the Producer, Davison and the screen-writer Neuemeier and others all came over from their work on "Robo-cop".
In comparison with the novel, a number of points may be made. The novel features an all-male mobile infantry unit (this was long before women could enroll in the Army), whereas the film features the love-triangle between Carmen, Dizzy (a man in the book) and Johnny. The novel is told exclusively from Johnny`s point of view, whereas the film jumps about between the points of view of Johnny and Carmen (who, in the novel, is a friend but not a girlfriend). While the original novel has been accused of espousing fascism, militarism and military rule, the film goes out of its way to satirize these things. In fact, the costuming is very much based on the Nazi Leni Reifenstahl`s "Triumph of the Will" and other references included the Gestapo-like uniforms of the Federation troopers. According to Verhoeven, "War makes fascists of us all." Generally, Verhoeven says his irony and use of hyperbole is "playing with fascism and fascist imagery to point out certain aspects of American society...of course, the movie is about "Let`s all go to war and let`s all die...." In all honesty to Heineman, he wanted to create support for the US policy of nuclear testing in the late 1950s. His novel was an attempt to clarify his views on this subject. His background was as a graduate from the US Naval Academy in 1929, after which he served on board ship for five years until pulmonary tuburculosis ended his career. The novel seems to have been meant to be as much of a political testimony as a novel. Rico and other characters engage in debates with their History and Moral Philosophy Teachers, where it seems to be Heineman, who is speaking. In fact, we learn very little of Johnny Rico and other characters during this lengthy philosophising but we do learn that Heineman is avidly anti-Communist. He characterizes Karl Marx as a "pompous fraud" and even side-swipes Plato`s "Republic". It is in fact tempting to see the Americans as the "good guys" of the Federation and the Arachnids, the spider-Men or "the Bugs" as the "bad guys", the Soviets in the real world of Cold War 1960s politics.
And so we come to the plot. By the time of the twenty-third century, human-kind is organized in a gigantic Federation crossing the bounds of the universe. It is locked in a life-and-death struggle with the Arachnids, "the Bugs", who, from their home planet of Klandethu, are also looking to take over the universe.
Johnny Rico (the guy with the original name) is ready to take over. He - raised in Buenos Aires in the film and as a Filipino in the book - is ready to deploy into the fray together with childhood friend, Carl Jenkins, and Carmen Ibanez and Dizzy Flores, both in love with Johnny. Johnny is wounded and Dizzy fatally so, so that she dies in Johnny`s arms. That leaves the way clear for Carmen to take over as "The Girlfriend". However, prior to all this, Johnny has undergone basic training in boot-camp both as an enlisted man and later as an officer. He nearly resigns but the destruction of his native Buenos Aires along with his parents (in the film) persuades him to go on. They attack first Planet P and then Klandethu, capturing a Spider Brain, capable of directing his people.
It is still on the reading list of the US military in 2012. Many criticize it, though, as simply the vehicle of Robert Heineman`s own views. Be that as it may, "Starship Trooper 2" was released in 2004 and "starship Trooper 3:The Marauder" was released in 2008. Meanwhile, there is a re-make being planned for 2012 of the original movie. Not bad for a sci-fi book of 1959, basically about the Cold War! It won the Hugo book Award in 1960 also.
However, although the allegation of `utopia` (dystopia) has been levelled against it, it is hard to see the book in quite that light. War is seen as the way to cut through the Gordian Knot of politics; both capital and corporal punishment are put forward as being perfectly normal. the suffrage or right to vote is made dependant on military service and so also is the right to teach History and Moral Philosophy but there is nothing substantially different in this Rambo society. There are not enough elements to characterize it as a dystopia. Rather, it is the start of the important branch of Sci-fi called military science fiction. It is simply the adventures of Johnny Rico and his course from Enlisted Man up through NCO and afterwards 2nd Lieutenant. Nothing more and nothing less. In spite of Heineman`s moral philosophy and the movie`s concealed anti-fascism. It is a love story and the story of military exploits - at least in the movie, it is.
~ Geoff Jackson
My mind has a mind of its own;
it no longer takes orders from me.
It goes where it will while I watch
helplessly. My mind no longer
minds me; it drifts here and there
in a haphazard manner, digressing,
resisting direction. Time
has eroded the ties in my brain,
my sanity soon will be crumbled
the same. As thought piles
on thought and comes tumbling down
turning all into naught, neither fear
nor despair nor threat of doom
can steady my attention.
Transcension by Damien Broderick (2002): A Peek into the Future
Damien Broderick is an Australian writer living in New South Wales. He has written this novel, which is a strange dystopia (anti-utopia), set at some point in the twenty-third century. It interweaves various strands and depends on a number of sub-plots. To start with, the person of Mohammed Kasim Abdel-Malik. He is murdered by a street gang very early on. However, his body is put into the "deep-freeze" from which it is subsequently revived. He becomes "the Magistrate" in the book and has the onerous job of sentencing wrong-doers. Amanda and Vikram are mere `adolescents` (coming up to thirty in a world, where no one ages) and they conceive the plan of going to the Valley of the God of Your Choice. They land there on bat-wings and are befriended by two brothers, Mathewmark and Lukenjohn.
The Valley is the complete opposite to the world "Outside", that of van Gogh Metropolis. Whereas the "Outsiders" like Amanda and Vik live lives without aging and pass their time in relatively luxurious surroundings served by machines, those in the Valley live natural lives (after marrying at age fifteen or sixteen), hard and laborious, dying in due course. There is a complete opposition with the life of a `hay-seed` like Mathewmark, going about his business with his mule, Ebeneezer, and the likes of Amanda, a young girl from the twenty-third century. The climax of the novel is where the three of them, Vikram, Amanda and Mathewmark, climb down a ventilation shaft to get out to the "Outside" again. A freight train catches and kills Vikram and Mathewmark is severely brain-damaged. Only a trip to the Neurological Hospital, where his brain is reconstructed and eventually a silicon chip is set in, helps him.
The novel is remarkably humorless. The style of writing is at times deliberately cryptic, a kind of shorthand - which I didn`t like - to express the thoughts of Amanda and Vikram, who live in a different world. Abdel-Malik, however, often gets very poetical, lyrical English as proof that the author can write if he wants to. Mathewmark gets a more sensible English to reflect the sedate pace of Valley life. Although the idea of allowing each character his own style of speech is a good one, I thought it failed (rather) in practice. In fact, there are several dystopias here going hand-in-hand. First, there is the dystopia of Abdel-Malik looking back to the twentieth-century in which he originates (and badly missing his wife, Alice). This contrasts with the dystopia of the Aleph, a kind of ruling spirit, which sees all and acts as a kind of super-processing computer. Next, and most importantly, there is the dystopia of Amanda and Vikram, growing up in the van Gogh Metropolis. Everything there is very modern and hi-tech. Finally, the Valley of the God of Your Choice, is also a kind of dystopia (witness Legrande, a bitter and religious old man, who is grandpa to Sweetcharity). The Valley is flawed by religiosity but the people show themselves to be living in something of an earthly paradise. The two worlds are finally united when Mathewmark, on the day of his wedding is jilted by his childhood sweetheart, Sweetcharity, and realizes he is in love with Amanda. The book finishes with the two of them lying arm-in-arm and ready to face a new world - a world after the cataclysmic extinguishing of the moon, a somewhat Shakespearian device to show the importance of their love and the union of the two worlds. As I have indicated, the book is not bad for sci-fi and sci-fi fans will love reading this mixture of hi-tech van Gogh Metropolis and low-tech Amish-like Valley of the God of Your Choice, but for those of us, who want something more mature than an mere `good read`, this book is not to be recommended. It took me a long time to get used to being back in the sci-fi genre again after not having revisited it since kid`s days at school.
~ Geoff Jackson
I scream like Cassandra or Chicken so Little
When see Cow O`Leary or Nero with Fiddle
Lest Rome or Chicago get burned to a cinder
While ruling nabob deigns to lift not a finger.
Don`t open our gates to that horse from the Greeks.
I fear you`ve mistaken as token of peace.
Again I`m ignored `cause` the future is bright.
Though wolf`s at the door, let`s just dance through the night.
When crap hits the fan or what goes `round comes `round,
Can bet to a man none of those will be found
Who danced until dawn or turned key to unlock.
It`s only we pawns left `tween hard place and rock.
The Matrix directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski
"The Matrix" is about a period of time in the future, when the Earth is a dystopia dominated by sentient machines. These machines, first created in the early twenty-first century, have rebelled against humans to create a different world. They have devised a way to extract humans` bio-electricity by growing people in pods, while their minds are kept under control by cybernetic implants, connecting them to simulated energy called the `Matrix`. The Matrix also shows a virtual world or world of virtual reality to those humans, whom it has enslaved. The film is really all about a computer hacker called Neo, actually Thomas Anderson (played by Keanu Reeves), who is leading humanity in its rebellion against the sentient machines in an effort to break out of the Matrix, the series of pods in which everyone is cocooned. Neo (of course!) is joined by a female hacker called Trinity. He also falls in with a man called Morpheus, who informs Neo that the year is 2199 and the planet is being run by sentient machines. At one point Neo takes a red pill (rather like Alice in `Alice in Wonderland`) and awakes to find himself in an enveloping fluid from which Morpheus rescues him. The series of Matrix-es basically depicts a cyberpunk story incorporating numerous references to philosophical and religious ideas. Other influences include mythology, anime and Hong Kong action films (especially "heroic bloodshed" and martial arts). The Matrix makes many references to recent films, literature and historical myths, including also references to Buddhism, Vedenta, Advaita Hinduism, Christianity, Messianism, Gnosticism, Existentialism and Nihilism (to mention but a few!).
Japanese anime, however, was a strong influence and particularly the Japanese director, Mamoru Oshie`s "Ghost in the Shell" comes across strongly. Similarities between "The Matrix" and other late 1990s movies such as "Strange Days", "Dark City" and "The Trueman Show" abound and have given rise to accusations of plagiarism. The two brothers may also have plagiarised from the long-running BBC series "Dr. Who" due to similarities there. The first Matrix movie also draws on The White Rabbit of Lewis Caroll`s in both "Alice in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass", although it is hard to see this as a form of plagiarism. Be that as it may, the movie, "The Matrix", certainly became extremely popular grossing $460m. in world wide sales and topping the DVD charts with over 3m. sales. It also had on the whole very favourable reviews. It was quickly followed by "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolution", which did less well and were also reviewed less favourably, particularly the latter. It also spawned "The Animatrix" in 2003. These were a series of nine animated, short films, four directed by the Wachowski brothers and the rest independently. It also generated a number of video games and formed the basis for a number of comic strips. It even became a religious movement, "the Rule of the One" with about 300 devotees (more or less serious) of `Matrixism`.
~ Geoff Jackson
The Wizard of the Crow: A dystopia of modern Africa
"Wizard of the Crow" is a novel by Ngugi wa Thiong`o. Ngugi wa Thiong`o is an African exile, a Distinguished Professor of English and Contemporary Literature at the University of California and director of the university`s International Center for Writing and Translation. He has written this book in Gikuyu and translated it into English himself. It comes across as if directly written into English.
The book is about the state, the "Free Republic of Aburiria", which is plainly a dystopia. It exists somewhere in sub-equatorial Africa, possibly in East Africa (Kenya?), but it doesn`t really exist anywhere. Although the capital, Eldares, with its rubbish dumps (stinking garbage lines the streets) and lousy poor slum quarters seems realistic, it could be anywhere on the Continent. Aburiria is ruled by the Ruler, a sort of King carrying a club and fly-whisk (Jomo Kenyatta?) as symbols of authority. The Ruler has a penchant for groping young schoolgirls and when his wife objects, he packs her off to a mansion under house-arrest, where all the clocks show the time of their separation. The only callers to ring in are her sons, all four leading generals (except the one a captain) in the Abuririam Armed Forces - the Army, Navy and Air Force. Each of them is interested in alcohol, drugs and bribes, so not a very promising bunch to follow Dad up.
The two most notable ministers from Aburiria are Machokali, Minister of Foreign Affairs (the system is Parliamentary after the British model but a one-party state), who has had his eyes enlarged, the better to see all in the service of the Ruler and Silver Sikiokuu, who has had his ears enlarged, the better to hear all in the service of the Ruler and Minister of State in charge of spying on the citizenry (M5 rather like the British MI5).Otherwise, a minor politician is Benjamin Mambo, who chose to have his tongue enlarged so that he could repeat the orders of the Ruler in whatever part of the country of Aburiria. Unfortunately, the operation in Paris went wrong, when the tongue tended to loll out a bit like a dog`s and so Machokali came to his aid with an extra operation in Berlin to pull out the lips. The Ruler, however, gave him the Ministry of Information and he called himself Big Ben after the clock at Westminster and so was known henceforth as Big Ben Mambo. In the struggle between Machokali and Sikiokuu, he mostly chooses sides for Machokali. But unfortunately, Machokali disappears mysteriously - into the Ruler`s trophy room where hang the remains of his dead enemies, or into the Red River, where opponents of the regime are thrown to the crocodiles - we do not know; his arch-rival, Sikiokuu, is left with a sinking feeling that his turn may be next. The question arose as to what the country of Aburiria would give the Ruler on his Birthday.The answer was an enormously tall skyskraper, `Marching to Heaven`, which would have a star-port for a Mars-mobile at the top in case the Ruler wanted to venture out to explore other planets. Of course, this whole project would take quite a bit of financing. And that is where the Global Bank (World Bank?) comes in. They were invited to Aburiria to be wined and dined in Paradise, a local hotel. Tajirika was appointed as Chairman of the Building Committee and on his first day, he gets three sacks of Buris (the local banknotes) in return for alloting sub-contracts.
His secretary is a young woman called Nyawira. She has to organize the long queues of people waiting to see Tajirika (and they are miles and miles long and soon to be outlawed by the Ruler) and in addition belongs to the Movement for the Voice of the People. This is a group opposed to the Ruler and his plans for Marching to Heaven. Consequently it pamphleteers every house in the land and Sokiokuu is left in charge of M5 to look for it. Moreover, the women led by Nyawira perform a rude dance for the Ruler baring their buttocks etc., which the Ruler never forgives. Nyawira goes on the most wanted terrorist list. She is forced underground from her position as Secretary of the Eldares Modern Construction and Real Estate, the job she has had under Tajirika. Nyawira meantime has taken in Kamiti, a young man with no job. He is a BA and MBA (India) but singularly unforunate in finding a job. His last big opportunity is with Tajirika, who mocks him and kicks him out. Nonetheless, he fares much better as the `Wizard of the Crow`. Bit-by-bit, he sets up as a medicine man and soon there are long queues for his services outside the house, where he now lives with Nyawira. He can get rid of your enemies, guarantee you promotion in your job, get you sales contracts etc. He becomes exceedingly good at this and the people pay him magnificently. At least, he is bringing in enough money to pay the rent to live with Nyawira.
The main brunt of the story is borne by Nyawira and the Wizard of the Crow, who live out their lives in the State of Aburiria. There is Vinjinia (and her two youngest children), the wife of Tajiririka and friend to Nyawira and Kaniuru, her ex-husband. He rises to something high-up in the Aburirian Youth Movement (although he is not himself exactly a youth) and later becomes vice-chairman to the Marching to Heaven project and chief enquirer into the Regulation of Queues. Tajirika becomes eventually chief banker in the state of Aburiria but not before he has been cruelly tortured. That brings in the three characters of the Security Forces, chief among whom is A.G., who is also our story-teller from time to time. The story is told, of course, with an enormous amount of humor. Nothing in this story could possibly be true and yet such is "the suspension of disbelief" that we believe all of it at the moment it is happening. It is very definitely a dystopia or anti-utopia. Aburiria under the Ruler is not a wonderful place to be (think only of the Red River and the croc`s). There is high unemployment, garbage rotting in the streets, corruption, many driving round in Mercedes-Benzes while others have no more than carts to push etc. But the whole pulsates with life and drama and the rich melange of an African state. Ngugi brings his world to life and sketches it in, in a masterly fashion. Not for nothing has he obtained a Chair at one of America`s most prestigious universities.
~ Geoff Jackson
They buried them in our little Southern town
Nothing much here for miles around
Why, I guess, they figured they`d never be found
Those toxic drums they buried in the ground.
Our little Southern town was much like all those around
Where towers and church steeples stood tall,
Where most folks never heard of a shopping mall,
Yet here kids grow up quick
And here kids grow up strong
Yet we knew something was wrong
When kids were dying or getting sick.
It was those drums rusting and rotting with time
As their poisons seeped out into the water line.
We always thought war was something
Over there and given a foreign name
Not something within buried in our backyard,
And something most of us would never understand
Those drums of Agent Orange came from Viet-Nam
And were buried on our rich mayor`s land.
Seems our mayor had made a deal with strategic command,
As the drums were buried on his promised land.
The mayor refused to comment and moved away,
While we with our dead children were here to stay.
The Book of Eli (2010) starring Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington in "The Book of Eli" comes to function in a dystopia that might be mistaken for a version of `The American Dream` a la John Wayne. Denzel Washington is traveling West and has repeated gun-fights along the way from which he emerges victorious (naturally!). The tumble-weed scenery is helped by filming in New Mexico, where the harsh, torrid landscape lends itself to the notion of a post-holocaust land. We are in a post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust world with Eli (Denzel Washington), who is told by a mysterious voice to deliver a book to a safe location on the West coast of the USA. The history of this post-war world is told along the way as is the importance of Eli`s task. Along the way, Eli demonstrates many survival and fighting skills, hunting wild life and swiftly defeating a group of highway bandits, who try to ambush him. He eventually arrives in a ramshackle town run by Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman). Carnegie asks his daughter, Solera, to seduce Eli and, although he turns her down, she discovers he has a book in his possession. Carnegie realizes that Eli has a copy of the Bible, which is the book he has been seeking. Carnegie attempts to stop Eli by having all his henchmen shoot at him but Eli wins the gun-battle. Then Eli continues on with Solera and he explains that he is carrying with him the last remaining copy of the Bible (as all other copies were deliberately destroyed by the nuclear war). He explains that a voice inside his head has directed him to the Book and also to go West, a path he has been following for the last thirty years. In spite of the cliches, so for instance why should the last copy of the Bible be the James l version and not the Vulgate, the earliest translation of the Bible into Latin, or the Bible in Swahili or Chinese for that matter, or why does he have to go West, the traditional path that Americans have always followed to their Destiny, the story limps along. There is another assault by Carnegie and his gunmen that Eli beats off before he and Solera continue West to the Golden Gate Bridge. From there, they row to Alcatraz, where they find another group of survivors. These men manage to publish many copies of the Bible (at least, the King James l), which is then put on show along with the Torah, the Tanakh and the Koran.
The complex fight scenes in the film were choreographed by Jeff Imodu. Denzel Washington apparently had to train for several months under the direction of Dan Inosanto to learn the Filipino martial art of Kali. The film received a good reception in the box-office, grossing more than $11m. on its release in North America in January 2010, rated second behind only "Avatar". It has come to gross over $94m. in the US and Canada and over $62m. in other markets world wide.
~ Geoff Jackson
YOU ARE WHAT YOU AREN`T
Holier than Thou Shalt Not
Take absurd ego too seriously
Religion missing sense of humor
Incapable of ridiculing humanure foibles
Praying to whatever deity receptor
Percussive eardrums listening without hearing
Deadpan façade deafening echo chamber
Tuning form vibrating dissonant harmony
Seeing through things not really
Ignoring virtual truths elsewhere revealed
Forced serious laughter saintly masquerade
Endless revelatory beginnings turned outside-in
Princely paupers reborn one-eyed regality
Trumped Jacks seemingly deceived beggars
Lowly knowing highnesses` feigned ignorance
Searching for something already there
Pilgrimage to what was never
Lost in the first place
Divinity innocent guilt pleasure mockery
Regressive thinking shadowy bottomless reflections
Always guessing what`ll happen next
Hereafter timelessness contrary to expectations
Profound secret meanings deeply entrapped
Released for good bad misbehavior
No Holds Bard
~ Dr. Charles Frederickson
Avatar directed by James Cameron
"Avatar" was the box-busting success of all times in December 2009, when it premiered in London and was released shortly afterwards in North America. In fact, sales even topped the box-office sales of "Titanic" (also a James Cameron movie) and that had been the biggest box-office success upto then. It took in over $26m. on its opening day, $77m. on its opening weekend, crossed the 1 bn. mark on the nineteenth day of its release and by January 1st, it became the first movie to gross over $2 bn. Costs of making it were a staggering $280-310m. plus $150m. for marketing. The Coca Cola company officially helped with marketing. On the whole, the movie got good reviews from film critics. Like "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings", "Avatar" employs a formidable, new range of special effects. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won three namely those for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Act Direction. Only Ty Burr of the `Boston Globe` pointed out wryly that it was a re-hash of "Dances with Wolves". It has indeed the same theme of an injured marine going native and siding with the foreign native culture against his own people - but enough, let us turn to the plot.
We are in the mid-twenty second century and humans are engaged in mining the rare mineral unobtanium from the soils of Pandora, a moon rotating about Polyphemus, a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri nebula. The planet - or moon - is inhabited by the Na`vi, a peaceful tribe, who live harmoniously with nature in this otherwise lush planet, that resembles a gorgeous jungle. The humans on this moon are rapacious and greedy to exploit its natural resources, being held back only by the fact that the moon`s atmosphere is poisonous to human beings. In as far as "Avatar" has elements of dystopia then they must lie in this clash of values: human versus Na`vi. On the one hand, the greed of the humans and on the other the peacefulness of the Na`vi and their love of their homeland. The whole comes to a crux in the war between the two. Although the Sacred Tree - the Hometree - is burned down and the chief of the tribe is killed, the Na`vi, under the leadership of Jake and Neytiri (about whom later) go on to score a victory and drive the humans out back to planet Earth.
An `avatar` is a genetically engineered Na`vi body with the mind of a remotely located human and is used to interact with the natives of Pandura. Such an `avatar` is Jake, for instance, a paraplegic marine soldier, who gets a new body as a Na`vi or Avatar. In the rain forest, he is out of his depths but he meets Neyteri, who quickly instructs him in all he needs to know about the forest, the strange flowers and beasts (remember the powers of this exceedingly powerful cinematography and the fact that half of it is shot onto the computer) that Jake meets etc. Naturally, Jake and Neytiri fall in love. She takes him to the tribe, where he is enrolled as a warrior (and this is where the plot resembles "Dances with Wolves"). Later in the final great fight, it is Jake fighting against his own people, who leads the way to victory. Incidentally, a very West-ocentric idea that it should be a young American marine, who leads the `natives` in revolt. Otherwise James Cameron in a 2007 `Time` interview had this to say about an `avatar`. "It`s an incarnation of one of the Hindu gods taking a flesh form. In this film what that means is that the human technology in the future is capable of injecting a human`s intelligence into a remotely located body, a biological body." And that is how come Jake, lying unconscious in a kind of coffin, is able to take on the form of a Na`vi. The Na`vi, by the way, are humanoid but do not look exactly like you or I. Their noses are pushed back, their ears are very prominent, they have cat-like tails, are blue and very, very tall (about nine feet). However, trick camera work puts all this onto celluloid and as Cameron had to admit, it took many years for the refinements in filming to have reached the stage, where everything was possible. And it helps to see the film in 3-D or even 4-D (if you`re in Korea), since audiences are treated to a fantastic feast of color and form in the Na`vi world, the jungles of Pandora.
The film has its origins in 1994 in an eighty-page script that James Cameron wrote for "Avatar". It drew on every sci-fi book imaginable. In February 2006, Cameron revealed that his movie "Project 880" was a "retooled version of Avatar". Really, in my view, what the film is, is a fantastic romp through a non-existant world with lots to interest the average sci-fi reader or viewer. It`s all there in the hi-tech world of the humans and the low-tech world of the Na`vi. It is a clarion call to go Green, to stop the rape of the Earth and her scarce resources, as well as being anti-war - only witness the brutality of Queritch, who, leading the human forces, unleashes a barrage of heavy fire upon the poor Na`vi, who are forced to retaliate, galloping into the sky on their winged steeds to deflect the humans` missiles. What it not really is, is a dystopia. In spite of the two conflicting value systems, I would not like to talk of a human `dystopia` versus a Na`vi `utopia`. It is that way because it makes for a darned, good yarn. It tends in fact to share its roots with "Dances with Wolves" i.e. in a late colonial sense of disappointment that many Americans have that `direct Destiny` has somehow let them down and led them astray.
"Avatar" fans will be pleased to hear that two sequels of the film are planned. One will be oceanographic. Shot in the Mariana Trench, it will profile the oceans of "our blue planet" and what we are doing to them. Jake and Neytiri will be back (but underwater this time) and so also will be some of the nasty humans, who got expelled the first time round. The film was released on DVD in the US on April 22nd 2010, and in the UK on April 26th for those who like their cinema at home. Rush out and buy your copy for a three-hour long good laugh! Don`t take it too seriously, though.
~ Geoff Jackson
Michael R. Burch:
I Pray Tonight
I pray tonight
the starry light
that, come what may,
no demon confound you.
I pray for tomorrow
an end to your sorrow.
May angels` white chorales
sing, and astound you.
Love Has a Southern Flavor
Love has a Southern flavor: honeydew,
ripe cantaloupe, the honeysuckle`s spout
we tilt to basking faces to breathe out
the ordinary, and inhale perfume ...
Love`s Dixieland-rambunctious: tangled vines,
wild clematis, the gold-brocaded leaves
that will not keep their order in the trees,
unmentionables that peek from dancing lines ...
Love cannot be contained, like Southern nights:
the constellations` dying mysteries,
the fireflies that hum to light, each tree`s
resplendent autumn cape, a genteel sight ...
Love also is as wild, as sprawling-sweet,
as decadent as the wet leaves at our feet.
Andy Martin, J.D.:
SCOTT WALKER OF WISCONSIN
Factually Correct, Not Politically Correct (CHICAGO, June 4, 2012) Internet Powerhouse and Conservative Blogger Andy Martin helped defeat efforts to recall Governor Scott Walker. Andy speaks out on the recall election.
I`ve been acting as a ‘truth squad` for Bill Clinton since 1993 when I opposed the nomination of Janet Reno for attorney general. Bubba talks a sweet line, but it`s all cotton candy.--------------------------
AWESOME David Lawrence:
OUR HUCKSTER PRESIDENT
No one liked the depiction of Willy Loman. He was a loser. A president is a salesman who runs around selling himself. He is a huckster. He is a used car salesman. There is something cheap about him. He is the Pied Piper leading children with his earmarks, his flute and his fundraisers.
That`s why I have no great respect for elected officials. I hate to say it a king might be better than a huckster president. He has the dignity of lineage and descends from grace and manners. People say that birth is not a qualification for office. Neither is running around the country making deals, holding fund raisers and selling yourself to the public.
People make fun of Queen Elizabeth. She is better than a used car salesman. We should quit patting ourselves on the backs for being a democracy. The world is cheapened by our salesmanship. Maybe we would be better off with a benevolent despot with a congress and a judiciary for checks and balances. "Death of a Salesman" is about the failure of a junior, would-be president. We are being run by a junior account exec. And before that he was a lawyer for ACORN. Class? No. Blind ambition.
Cristina del Canto:
The Green Trails Days
On the night of your death
I eat alone, stomach clenched as tight
as the adductor muscles in my scallops,
I prod, and prod, chopsticks in my right
hand, ring on my left.
I go back to the Green Trails days,
when we rode in your Jeep
your dark, curly hair blowing in the wind.
And the nights-
over us like storm clouds.
Our hands were not wrinkled then,
they were baby smooth as our faces
when we dressed in blue and walked the
stage that May, waving goodbye to our youth,
waving goodbye to each other.
I walked the bayou that summer,
the blue bonnets near your house
were unusually dull. And when it rained,
your West Point letters came pouring down,
and I thought of you.
We called them the Green Trails Days.
the days before Sam Houston ordered
the bridge across the bayou, if you
were still here, that bridge
would lead me straight to you.
OBAMA IS A RICH CRONY
Thomas M. DeFrank and Ian Bishop in the Daily News, 1-3-2012, claim that Obama in his campaign for reelection plans to depict "Republicans as elitists more interested in protecting their rich cronies than the 99%."
Obama is one of his own rich cronies. The taxpayers support his multi-million dollar life style. And instead of Obama supporting the 99% he has cost many of them their jobs and lowered their standards of living. He defends the have not`s but doesn`t admit that he has turned many of them into have nots. He pretends he is the great savoir of the middle class when instead of buoying them up he has chased them onto the unemployment lines and made many of them lower class.
He identifies with the poor yet has raised a colossal billion dollars for his reelection. If he was really interested in helping the sinking middle class he would take his billion dollar reelection chest and spread it out among the poor. He`d be helping them instead of helping himself to buy another election and putting our nation further in debt.
Michael Levy. Professional Optimist
AROUND THE SEASONS
Under the ice
orchids in winter
spring in a winter homeland
built on a summer`s whim
Countryside in early spring
greeting and meeting
millions of new buddies
In Love & Joy
Michael Levy. Professional Optimist
THE SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court seems to be honoring the federal government`s right to preside over immigration. This would not be a problem if we didn`t have a lunatic, left wing president. It would be reasonable if our president didn`t favor illegal aliens over American citizens and our enemies over our friends.
At least the Supreme Court gave the states like Arizona the right to check a person`s immigration status while enforcing other laws. That`s a plus for establishing borders which are automatic in almost every other country.
While we let Mexicans in willy-nilly, Mexico doesn`t easily allow Americans to become citizens. Obama is a sucker. All day he mouths girlish opinions. He is frightened by profiling as a result of "checking a person`s immigration status" but forgets that profiling is less prejudice than it is a demarcation of historical wrongdoing. He is so simpleminded that he puts silly putty in my complexity and makes my keen intellect soft. If only Obama would quit using race and profiling as bait for votes.
Poetry for 4th July
At different tables they sit
Lullabies of star-winds
Whispering through the universe
Casting coracle craft
In circles of light
Torching them with hard-hand
Only committed to memory
Some books live on
In your mind`s eye
Where clouds of billowing pink
Meet star-dust nebulae
There will I alight
Far in the distant future
Hot after Denmark
People browning in the parks
Birdsong in gardens
Empty chairs grouped around
To await the thronging
Glowering summer skies
Heavy with rain
Cold northerly winds
Where did summer go?
Whop! Goes the ball
Up and away
The crowds clap
The crowds jeer
The crestfallen dawn
Drags rosy fingers
Over the playing fields
Players on the field
White cottons, peaked baseball caps
The ball flies
Under the apple trees
The zap of the bat
The thud of a ball
Just a friendly game
Poised, the year teetering
The longest day
Past...Light returning to normal
Put A Maple Syrup Bucket on Patrick Leahy`s Head
This was written before the decision by Roberts.
Leftist, anti-Israelite, Senator Patrick Leahy is warning Chief Justice John Roberts in the Obama care case that he will be seen as a partisan if the Court strikes down its individual mandate. Imagine, an extreme leftist warning a Justice that he will be seen as a partisan. What part of Leahy`s own being partisan doesn`t he understand? What after all is a leftwing Democrat but a fanatic who doesn`t recognize the failure of leftist policies throughout history?
Leahy is so convinced of his leftist philosophy that he actually worries that Roberts will be considered conservative and that that is a terrible thing. He forgets that liberals are less popular than conservatives. He thinks a socialist ethos is better. He doesn`t look at the millions of murders by European socialism`s sister –communism—from Russia, to China, to Cuba, to Cambodia, to Venezuela, to Vietnam, etc.
Sure, Leahy is worried about Roberts. He wants to protect his reputation from being considered a self-reliant American and push him towards being an inane, nanny state donor. He wants to replace small business and free enterprise by big government. Big of him. He is a doddering farmland of misconceptions. He should buy a comb. He should stay in Vermont and put a maple syrup bucket on his head while he beats it with drum sticks.
I spent most of my youth skiing in Vermont. It was pristine, beautiful and white. Leahy doesn`t know what he`s doing. He wants to paint it red. Perhaps he borrowed the color from Obama`s portrait. When is he going to realize that bloating government or socialism is a failed ideology not a pragmatic program for growth? When is he going to realize that progressive is a regression to a time when ideals misread realities?
Michael Lee Johnson:
roll out my palm.
I offer a plank,
a trail for you.
Follow out into the water
and the salty stars.
When you stretch out
and give your heart
to the final moment
of the glass night sky,
draw me in-
sketch my face
on the edge
of our moon-
sad and lonely
over ages of celestial
moon sleep and dust.
Warren Buffet Wants to Buy Sainthood
Warren Buffett offers to pay more in taxes. Big deal. He is a gnome like old man who could care less about spending money. Why should he? He has so much of it that even paying 99 per cent of his income in taxes would leave him a multi-millionaire. He is not being generous in offering to pay more taxes. He is telling us that he is so much richer than we are that he doesn`t even care about overpaying. He has spent his life shoveling in the mines of money to amass a fortune. Once he`s acquired it he doesn`t care what happens with it. He is a hoarder who loves to amass. Once amassed, he can give it away in taxes. What for? To buy sainthood. To be loved. He is a disheveled figure who wants to be admired. He has found a voice—taxes, taxes, taxes.
The man doesn`t even appreciate the things that money buys. He drives a modest Caddy, doesn`t carry a cellphone and dresses in what look like hand-me-down clothes. But what if the angry curmudgeon could be the world`s biggest philanthropist? That`s something, as Hamlet would say, "Devoutly to be wished." Buffett wants to buy a tax ticket to heaven. But he will never get there. His soul is dried up and ambitious while his meaningless wallet is boastfully generous.
It is all just greed, greed, greed.
The man loves money but doesn`t want to admit it. How else did he amass so much of it? But he loves ascendency more than bank accounts. He is willing to spend fortunes to buy the image of a philanthropist. Unlike the Moslems who want 72 virgins in Paradise, he wants to own 72 heavily taxed banks with angels as tellers. Vanity, thy name is Buffet. Greed, thy name is the populace who wants the rich to pay more taxes even though it will choke their ability to develop more jobs. He wants to covet his ascendency. He wants to boast about his generosity. He is an idiot savant when it comes to earning money but a nursing home inmate when it comes to understanding his own braggadocio and pretentiousness. Furthermore, he is pressuring other borderline rich people to give up their earnings to a tax gobbling government which will surely waste it on meaningless projects. They no doubt can`t afford this as easily as Buffet. What does he care? He just wants to shoot himself out of a cannon into saintliness and the clouds of heaven.
OBAMA IS NOT HITLER
I am surrounded by Jews who love Obama. Well, you know, there were concentration camp Jews who supported Hitler for concessions like pieces of bread.
The Democrats and Code Pink said that George Bush was Hitler. But he wasn`t Hitler. Nor is Obama.
Obama is simply a man born of a Kenyan Moslem father and nurtured by a Indonesian stepfather who hints at attacking Jews while doing nothing except jockeying for position which will throw Jews off their race horses. Stuck to Obama`s magnetic liberal philosophy Jews can`t find their way back onto the race course. They are in love with his silly digressions while they gallop through his progressive bushes. They are like Magritte`s "Lost Jockey."
Hi ho Silver. The Lone Ranger, the Kenyan cowboy, is gathering the wagons to protect his defunct socialist ideology from the onslaught on the Republican Indians. He is shooting at the arrival of pragmatism and the Republicans attempt at fiscal sanity. He has formed a circle to protect political tripe and populism. He will say anything and everything to get the vote and protect his super nouveau riche, White House style of life.
If even one tenth of the anti-Semitic attitudes Obama is accused of are true, any Jew who votes for him is insane. Why take a chance encouraging inchoate Jewish hatred? We are not in concentration camps. We are not getting free bread for leading our brothers to the crematorium? Would the Jack Rosen`s of New York please quit throwing fund raisers for him.
Obama came to office hoping to get closer with the Moslems in the Middle East. They like him less than George Bush who regularly bombed them. All Mid-eastern governments have been moving towards Islamic Fascism. Obama wants to reduce Israel so that its borders are indefensible.
Great friend of the Jews. Obama rides his rhetoric with no legs. His horse is shot full of false promises. This man is either our intentional enemy or our naïve subterranean combatant.
Someone, please rid the Jews of Obama. Jews, please rid yourselves of supporting this subtle enemy. Take back your votes. Better off using them to pick horses at the race track. At least they try to win. At least they don`t turn around out of the starting gate and hurt their own people.
STRIP TO SKIN
Strip to skin & bones;
strip ‘til top of the brain
shifts like Saint Andrews` buzzards
circling the aneurism called
cosmic divinity & us;
strip, shift & nudge your hipbones
against the priest of time,
against his or her billowing black gown or veil,
against his or her nicotine promise,
against his or her encouragement,
ecstatic but otherwise
against his or her remorse,
against the sailfish in the mirror
with electric scales
slumped across power lines
that a tightrope cult
cultivates instead of truth,
a nasty love that stalks
in all their bathing beauty guises,
subatomic blue smoke
exploding from tailpipes
as we traverse Alligator Alley,
as we skip along
skin to skin,
bones to dust.
Pascal`s Wager says "If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing--but if you don`t believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to hell. Therefore it is foolish to be an atheist."
Obama`s Wager says that if you vote for me despite the way I have diminished America during my term, you will make a fool out of yourself. But if you don`t vote for me you will have to give up your food stamps and dedicate yourself to digging our country out of a sixteen trillion dollar hole.
As Maynard G. Krebs said, "Me work?" If you don`t like to work, vote for Obama. Unemployment checks are the rock on which his church is built.
Rituals, that`s how they keep the dumbfounded in line.
Crisscrossing this or that imaginary line?
Reciting the same old hymns
while herding exhausted symbols
into myth corrals with a sentimental beat.
Innocent men & women, naked,
fur billowing, skin glistening,
igniting each other.
Rituals like hypnotic frond fingers
crossing zebra foreheads bound for glory,
foreheads` chrome teeth
like bumpers on `56 Buicks
welded chrome incisors,
not gas station issue
or absconded dinner rolls from Brooklyn deli`s,
but abstract tissue al la Kerouac.
Rituals set the stakes
for common tents, coral-veined
staircases leading to altars with pseudo angels
& semi-forgotten gods,
along with wealthy worshippers,
albino python marble-veined
staircases large enough to house the homeless,
large enough to see it all washed away,
large enough to disappear
down a black hole in estrous.
So Here it is. Obama The Good Guy
Obama always wants to play the good guy. He humanly stops deportations for younger illegal immigrants. What an empathetic soul? He`s looking out for the unwashed humanity of the globe. Bypassing the rights of our own citizens who will be losing jobs so that illegal aliens can take them. Smart, right, we`re in a recession and he wants to give our remaining jobs to alien Hispanics.
I smell a rat. Obama is obviously playing to the Spanish vote. He is anticipating Rubio as a potential vice president for Romney and he is cutting him off at the pass. He could give two damns about Hispanics. All he wants is to keep his job at the White House and to have his chef cook him tacos.
Dr Charles Fredrickson:
NOBODY NEEDS ANOTHER UNNECESSARY WAR
AS FIRST NOT LAST RESORT
IRAQ AFGHANISTAN 6,300 AMERICAN TROOPS
KILLED 50,000 WOUNDED MISCALCULATED CASUALTIES
NOBODY`S KEEPING TABS $3 TRILLION+
TAXPAYER GREENBACKS DEVASTATING HUMAN MISERY
SUFI<->SUNNI WARFARE DISCOUNTING WELFARE
DIATRIBE NOT DIALOG MANIPULATING MEDIATION
NOBODY ABSOLVES OUTLANDISH OILY MOTIVES
TIT-4-TAT REVENGE RETRIBUTION RETALIATION UNDERMINING
HORMUZ STRAIT GAS GUZZLER OVERFLOW
GLOBAL EKE-CONOMY QUICKSAND BLACK-GOLD SINKHOLES
NOBODY CAN JUSTIFY TERRORIST ACTS
ENDGAME BLAME WORKS BOTH WAYS
COVERT PROXY COLD CYBER-WAR MELTDOWN
COOPERATIVE BARGAINING DOESN`T COMPROMISE APPEASEMENT
NOBODY ACKNOWLEDGES UNTRUTHFUL FALSEHOOD CONSEQUENCES
MILITARY POLITICAL BOMBASTIC NUCLEAR REACTIONS
CYBER-ESPIONAGE STUXNET COMPUTER WORM VIRUS
HOMESPUN DERVISHES SWIRLING REMOTELY OUT-OF-CONTROL
NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU KNOW
UNTIL THEY KNOW YOU CARE
BRINGING OUTER WORLD INNER PEACE
PREMATURE JUDGMENTS TIPPING POWERLESS IMBALANCE
NO HOLD BARD
~ CHARLES FREDERICKSON
Obama, Quit Shifting the Blame to the Republicans
As Mubarak lost his power Obama said that we wouldn`t have to worry about the Moslem Brotherhood. He lied. The Brotherhood is now a force in Egypt.
Members of the Brotherhood are terrorists posing as politicians much as Obama is a radical posing as a moderate.
Obama accuses the Republicans of declaring a war on women just because they agree with the church`s position that the church shouldn`t supply contraceptives. Republicans feel that it is not religion`s obligation to provide contraception to its flock.
Yet Obama is acting like a brother to the Moslem Brotherhood, an anti-female group who follows Sharia Law, buries women in black veils, honor kills wives for cheating, won`t let women drive in Saudi Arabia and treats women like second class, third world people.
Who is treating women badly? Republicans or Obama and his Moslem Brotherhood brothers? How dare Obama call the pot black when he is boiling with prejudice like Macbeth`s witches boil potions?
The fact that Obama is black is irrelevant. It is his one redeeming feature. It is the reason we still find sympathy for him while he lets others stomp on our women.
From hero to goat? --
About you they wrote
What you did before
Means naught anymore.
Though hero you were,
We still won`t endure
Just one little stumble?
Then you`re a bum
Your Jekyll to Hyde
Reverse we`ll abide
You basked in the glow,
Now crawl down below
Ole Yellow Stain- Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, like Obama, is only interested in thesound of his own pontificating voice. You don`t make a speech on fighting for freedom while disarming a fighting-for-freedom base. Obama and Panatta lie with straight faces and spit out convenience rather than truth. Obama, particularly, is a dove who keeps getting roped into warlike positions. Because he is a coward rather than a fighter he is quick to strike back out of fear. He hides behind drones. He would never give you a straight fight because he is afraid of competition, afraid of losing, afraid of being listened to as a voice with no substance.
WE`RE HERE TO HELP!
We`re from the government here to help!
A Reaganism known very well
To frighten anyone who receives
This fateful offering. Woe is he!
If complicated you thought before,
Your Cretan labyrinth`s grown some more.
If hoped the Minotaur you`d escape,
You`re now more likely to fill its plate.
Both apparatchiks and bureaucrats
Will make you feel as if herding cats.
Once they`ve departed, you`ll be in luck
If only neutral in which you`re stuck.
Moslem surveillance is a necessity. They are responsible for most of the atrocities in the world. Not following them would be like not following Charles Manson after Sharon Tate`s slaughter. Having to apologize to Arabs for their brothers monstrosities is ridiculous. Why do our own people step over to the enemies` side as if they need protection whenever they kill us? The irresponsibility of not bushwacking evil leads to our own demise. Allowing our people to be murdered is an embarassment and treason. And yet liberals want to congratulate themselves for not following our enemies? Since when is treason a cause for applause?
The Moslems nebver had a legitimate life. They are a mishmosh of combined religious myths. They are brutal and use their own children for Suicide bombs. They have never accomplished anything and sympathy for them shows identification with failures or love of failures because it engrandizes one self. The Moslems in Israel enjoythe best standard of life in the Middle East. Why doesn`t Charles complain about the refugee camps in the Middle East or the abominable treatment of women? Why doesn`t he complaina bout a prehistoric people who beat their own women and children?
They tussled and she laughed;
then pushing hard, pulled free
and sat up on the edge of the bed..
She fussed a moment with her hair.
"I`m leaving," she said.
He raised his head and looked at her.
"I`m leaving you."
He sat up, leaned to see her face.
"You`re leaving? Why?"
"I don`t want to tell you."
He smiled and settled back.
"I give up. Why are you leaving?"
"For no reason, and for many."
Would he understand? Did it matter?
"It`s you. Just you. The way you walk
and wear your clothes. The way you eat
and brush your teeth and comb your hair.
It`s the books you read, the programs
you watch. It`s the way you scratch and blow
your nose. A hundred things and nothing."
He was at first amused, then angry.
"What do you mean it`s me? What kind
of stupid talk is that? I haven`t changed.
I`m the same person I`ve always been."
"Yes, it`s true.You are the same.
You haven`t changed; I have."
Selling Gay Rights:
Eric Holder Retreats from DOMA
A man and a woman stand on the corner asking me to sign a petition for gay rights. What rights don`t they have? Why are rights right and limitations wrong? Maybe homosexuality grosses the normal hetero out?
Is it a right for them to marry? Same sex marriage is a contradiction in terms. Marriage has traditionally and logically been (in terms of structure and children), between opposite sexes.
Gays are becoming annoying. They think because they love each other they should be allowed to marry. Their insistence on hypothetical rights is boring. Why don`t they get on with their lives and leave the heterosexuals alone? If gays feel restricted by me, I feel harassed by the imposition of their insistences. What they really want from us is acceptance for their perversions.
They will never be liked for whom they are. The Liberals are misleading them by letting them think we will like their sexuality. We don`t, we won`t and we don`t have to. We may like them as individuals but not what they stand for.
Why can`t gays accept themselves for whom they are without expecting us to praise their weird lifestyles? I want to tell the woman on the corner, "You have the right to be gay. But don`t expect my applause. Don`t think you can blind my eyes so that I see what you want me to see. Don`t be a dictator who wants to dominate my reality."
But I don`t speak up. Political correctness inhibits a fair discussion of interpretations of perversion. The gays might do better in a dialogue. But the heterosexuals are too afraid to speak up and the gays don`t understand our discomfort with them. I`d rather be honest with gays than to mislead them. I`d rather be honest with myself than pretend that I accept what I dislike.
Eric Holder considers love the basis of marriage rather than marriage as an institution that supports its own foundation. Marriage is a corporation that pragmatically benefits itself. But love has little relevance to marriage. Marriage is basically a corporation where a man and a woman join together to have children and protect each other from their inherent proclivities—the man`s tendency to recklessness and the woman`s need for physical protection.
Eric Holder disagrees with DOMA which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allows spouses medical, dental and other benefits. He doesn`t recognize that same sex marriage destroys the historical fabric of society. That it contradicts the natural family structure.
Marriage is not an affair. It is a business arrangement. Marriage is between a man and a woman because they have negative and positive polarities that attract. Their unification is a societal building block.
Marriage is stipulated as a compromise between opposites. Thinking that it is a same sex proposition doesn`t make it different. Licentious redefinition does not make same sex marriage permissible or sensible. Why should we offend the thinking of ninety-nine percent of the population just to satisfy the homosexual leanings of a tiny minority?
To give benefits to gay spouses is ridiculous and celebrates the logical contradiction of same sex marriages. Why do the gays want us to rename their proclivities as norms? Giving gays benefits de-benefits society and bankrupts the functioning corporation of marriage.
Often gay rights are wrong. There can be no rightness in misconstruing a woman as a man or a man as a woman. It would be like eating a bone rather than the lamb chop. It`s time we stopped feeling guilty about someone else`s differences. Let them be but let them be other than me. It`s time we solidified the country with the structure of opposite sex marriages.
Love should not Justify Gay Marriage. Gay marriage is being pushed in every state. Gays don`t understand that marriage is institutional and societal rather than just love. They say that gays can love each other as much as straights but who cares? We are talking about the building blocks of society.
Married straight people are more successful and lead to a greater society. Married straight people also procreate. This is different than same sex adoption. It is accretive rather than diminutive.
In other countries such as India marriages are arranged. In Europe royal marriages were picked. Love has nothing to do with it as gays divulging of their love should have nothing to do with forcing society to accept their marriages. It is all about structure and the backbone of civilization.
Eric Holder`s abandonment of DOMA is short-sighted. The military`s whole identity depends on their sexual and physical confidence. Soldiers are automatically discomforted by homosexuality`s effeminacy and should not have to confront it when they are putting their lives on the line for us. If I were them, I wouldn`t want to die for a gay society. Many soldiers will bow out of service. Soldiers go into the service to feel cool. Rightly or wrongly they won`t feel so cool when they are sharing dorms with gays. Is Holder more interested in appeasing the liberal left or generating an army that can defend us?
Of course, Holder and Obama don`t really want to defend us. In addition to confusing our sexuality and ratifying its redefinition, they are giving up most of our nuclear weapons, scaling down the military and the navy and ruining our economy so that we can`t afford to fight. Is there a method to their madness or is there just self-destructive madness to their method?
Battle of the Bulge.
These hopeless apparitions who never embraced
their interdimensional code of silence,
mostly caught by surprise,
pushing cracked, red & black checkers
across a warped pine board,
& weeding the squash plants
while pruning government necrophilia,
in other words the neurotic ones
rattling mirrors & waltzing rivers
like illusionists in their prime,
dancing Nijinski across Monet lily pads
muffled into oblivion by the expectations
of the Church long before St. Augustine
received his first spiritual bruise, a spear tip
of sorts, albeit two or three thousand holocausts
past twelve noon.
But who, these days, gives a rat`s @ $ $ about ghosts?
Last night the Number 6 train in New York snailed along. I had to switch to the F train and then walk 10 blocks.
Why? There was announcement that there was an incident at 77th street.
What is an incident in the subways? It usually means that some punk mugged someone or caused a fight on the train. In most cases this is not the punk`s first crime.
I think when the punk is caught he should have as witnesses against him the thousands of people who were inconvenienced by his criminal act. His evil spreads out far beyond the person he pick pocketed or beat up. His crime is like a stone in a pond that causes a widening ripple. It spreads and affects all of us.
His criminal sentence should be compounded by the widening circumference of his undulation. He should be sentenced for his felony and get added time for the waves. He should be punished for ancillaries as well as the initial crime.
Instead of judges looking for mitigating circumstances to reduce his sentence they should look for aggravating instances to compound his punishment.
Recidivism, thine root is lenient judges. I am tired of being punished by peripheral crimes and not being part of the criminal`s sentence.
BLOOMY AND THE WAIST LINE
Michael Bloomberg is worried sick about obesity. From his obsessive concern you`d think that he was a beauty boy model. You`d imagine that he was six inches taller and twenty pounds lighter. You`d think that he was handsomer. That he was Gary Grant not a weasel version of Toni Blair.
Standing tall on his fortune, Bloomberg has decided that he doesn`t want over sixteen ounce sugary drinks served in the city`s movie theaters, delis, street vendors, stadiums, arenas and restaurants.
He told Andrea Mitchell, "If you want to order two cups at the same time, that`s fine. It`s your choice. We`re not taking away anybody`s right to do things. We`re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup."
Does Bloomberg know anything about compulsion or the drive to eat? Does he think that anyone will avoid that second cup because it seems gluttonous? Self-control comes from portion control. It comes from throwing away the cup when it is half-finished. It does not come from being dictated to by a short, sanctimonious, self-congratulating, bland man.
I myself throw away one fourth of my sodas. I also throw away a section of my French fries or my pie. My self-control is part of my daily consciousness. It is effortless. It is automatic. I am one hundred and sixty pounds at five foot ten and sixty-five years old.
Thirty five years ago I bought two thousand dollars` worth of cocaine. I took one snort and threw the rest down the toilet. I have never touched cocaine again. If my dealer had only sold me half of that amount, like a bottle under sixteen ounces, I would have been dying to get more. I wouldn`t have quit.
Self-control implies our controlling the intake, not a nanny controlling our intake and feeling that we want to get more. An intrusive nanny makes us rebellious and uncooperative. Bloomberg, go home, get out of office already. And take big government Obama with you along with his diet conscious broad hipped wife.
Michael Lee Johnson:
Dancer of the Shoe Poem
Dancer of the shoe poem,
I trip over your shoe string
dress or gown
and keep walking with a beat
but you`re missing a step,
let me take you there,
or did the ghost of the night
take your slippers away-
move right, slightly left,
back one half-step.
Dancer of the shoe poem,
it`s my duty
to take you away
in a love feast.
Thank you for this dance.
Schools Encouraging Early Sex Fail
Permissive encouragement of young sex is disgusting. Bodily fluids and parts are frightening to young people. There is nothing beautiful about intercourse to a kid. It is funny or ugly, not communicative and deep.
Liberal pushing of youthful sex could lead to psychological damage and potential homosexuality. Parents should promote chastity until their children grow up. They must be ready before they roll in the hay.
Parents who push premature sex are not open minded. They are closed minded, trapping thei
Keys To A Kingdom
I close my eyes and I`m there. There`s that old rocking chair.
And an old faded picture fills my mind.
I`m back home once more. Children playing on the floor
A lifetime of memories I find.
Memories that linger, I find I`m heaven bound
Asking do you know our Mom and Dad who spread their love around?
And do you know their children, sixteen had made a flock
And about our little house that had a door without a lock.
So softly he answered, many things I do recall.
An old rocking chair, a faded picture on the wall.
A dented little bucket that held water from a well
And warn out overhauls that hung upon a rusty nail.
I know she rocked the cradle through many sleepless nights
And I`ve seen their tiny lamp that was their only light
Like the little shepherd watching over his flock
Memories of a little house that had a door without a lock.
They found the keys to a kingdom, a mansion on a hill.
There`s that old rocking chair, she rocks the cradle still.
The door is always open, a mirror for them to see
The image that reflects the love that`s all a part of me.
Their image that reflects the love that`s all a part of me.
Geoff Jackson The American War of Independence against Britain: A Civil War?
In the immortal words of President George W. addressing Her Majesty Queen Lizzy ll, it was you Brits, who were supportive of us during the American War of Independence. He couldn`t have been more right! Although the War of Independence was fought against the British (a fact our good President seems to have overlooked - but then, Texas did not join the Union until after 1836), there was at the time a considerable undertow of British opinion in favor of the Americans. Many of these Brits wanted to see a more equitable basis for the relations of Great Britain with the Thirteen Colonies. There were some, who favored a two legislature system i.e. a system whereby both England and the US would each have their own elected Parliament but one in which the King would continue to be ruler in both countries. Perhaps a modern "Commonwealth" solution but also a very eighteenth century solution, wherewith a monarch could be ruler in more than one country (as indeed was George in his Electorate of Hannover).
George lll himself was the most adamant of the Brits opposed to any measure of American self-rule. As far as he was concerned, they were colonists and, at worse, rebels. George leaned heavily on his Prime Minister, Lord North, to direct and pursue the war, but, although North was an astute politician quite capable of packing a Parliament and determining a vote, he quite honestly lacked the vision and steadfastness of personality to be a great war leader. After the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, North was uncertain as to the eventual outcome of the war and how far he was capable of directing it. He pressed the King to release him from his duties as Prime Minister, but, at the same time, was grateful that George did not do that. The Battle of Yorktown, however, in 1781, was the final straw and shortly afterwards, the North government resigned. That left George lll with recourse only to that faction of Parliament led by Rockingham and Fox. The Rockingham-ites were firmly for finding peace with the American colonists and the King was forced to accept this. Although the war dragged on in a desultory fashion after Yorktown (there were still two entire British armies in North America), it was a foregone conclusion that the British would have to sue for terms and the Treaty of Paris became inevitable. Meanwhile, King George lll drafted his letter of abdication in favor of the Prince of Wales (the later Prince Regent and George lV) but, in fact, he never did abdicate - it merely seemed like he would have to, at the time. Perhaps also defeat was inevitable because the Brits had just bitten off more than they could chew. They had a war on their hands with the Empire of France (the next largest European empire after that of Britain), with the Empire of Spain (the oldest of the European empires and still a strong force in politics) and the Empire of Holland, with which England had to go to war to stop the Dutch aligning with the non-aligned powers of Catherine the Great of Russia. It was all too much and the towel had to be thrown in, especially after too many military defeats on the American continent. Essentially, the war was a re-run of the Seven Years` War (the French and Indian Wars) with Britain on the one side and France, Spain and Holland on the other.
But not all the sympathy was from England to America: there was plenty of sympathy on the other side from America to England. In 1774, the Thirteen Colonies set up their systems of government so that each one would have its own `home rule` under the British Crown. By 1775, the Second Continental Congress had united to set up a common system of government and to discuss mutual defense against the incursions of the British. Only in 1776 was the Declaration of Independence published. Even then, from 1776 onwards, the nature of the war had the aspect of being a civil war in the sense that so many Americans turned out to be `loyalists` fighting on the side of the British. At the end of the war, some hundred thousand or so of these men would find their way north over the border to Canada in order to live out their lives in peace there under the British Crown. Certain very prominent Brits have gone down in history as being sympathetic to the cause of the Americans. In eighteenth century Britain, Parliament was supposed to curb the excesses of absolute monarchy and also safeguard against excessive taxation (the two complaints of the Americans). Edmund Burke wrote that "our English brethren in the colonies" were fighting to uphold Anglo-Saxon values against the brutish imperialism of a German-descended king enforced by "the hireling sword of German boors and vassals".
Even William Howe (5th Viscount Howe), the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in North America, was disposed to be friendly to the colonists and their aims. He took over from Thomas Gage in September of 1775. Previously in the English Parliament, he had shown himself to be very sympathetic to the American colonists and had, for example, publicly opposed the legislation known in America as the Intolerable Acts, which were passed ostensibly to punish the colonists. His brother, Sir Richard Howe, First Earl Howe, was admiral in charge of the British navy and similarly shared his brother`s sympathy for the American cause. It may be the case that logistical difficulties lay behind the only partial blockade of ships trading with the North American colonies, but it has been suggested by some historians that the blockade was left incomplete in part due to Richard Howe`s wealth of feeling toward the Americans. Furthermore, the two brothers tried to negotiate with the continental Armies opposing them particularly during the early campaigns. Notwithstanding, they also trounced George Washington in the Battle of New York and followed this up with strenuous attempts to capture Philadelphia. The two were professional military men and despite their sympathies for the other side did what they had to do to win battles and fight campaigns. It is worth at this stage also considering the role of John Wilkes, at the time Lord Mayor of London, in all this. He had been a foe of George lll and his Prime Minister, the Earl of Bute, since 1762, when he founded a magazine with which to attack the King. In April 1763, an article so angered King George lll, that he had John Wilkes charged with seditious libel from which the Lord Chief Justice declared him a free man on account of his enjoying Parliamentary privilege. Nonetheless, opposed to the King on most matters, John Wilkes also praised the aims of the American colonists in spite of George`s opposition to them. Generally, though, "British public opinion had also turned against the war. "Whereas the Americans had finite war aims, the British could see no end to their endeavours." (From a Book Review by John Bruton of "A Few Bloody Noses" by Robert Harvey.) George lll could be as much in favor of the war as he wanted. He was forced to accept the Rockingham-ites, who had been opposed to the war from before its inception and even his proposed letter of abdication did not save him. What had triumphed in the end were the ideas of what is generally called the American Enlightenment, which forged a common nation out of colonies, and the bankruptcy and lack of enlightenment on the part of Britain.
~ Geoff Jackson
WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?
Did you when you were California
Dreaming when the answer was a
Blowing in the wind when times were a
Changing before the dust in the wind
Had covered all your peace signs
When all the leaves the brown
And the sky was grey
Along the watchtowers where
You found yourself quite alone
And now that all the flowers have gone
Did you really give peace a chance?
Dr Charles Fredrickson:
10 UNCOMMON SENSE TIPS
In our endangered universe, the following Can Do, Will Do helpful hints are intended to nudge each and every struggling survivor, indifferent lonesome planet share-holder, to be better prepared scouts, challenged to consciously become more aware, more curious and more actively involved.
No Holds Bard
Dr. Charles Frederickson
SECRET SERVICE SCANDAL
Open letter to President Hussein-Obama
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington , DC 20500
Re: Secret Service scandal
Dear President Obama:
I am writing you to ask you to reconsider how you have handled the so-called "Secret Service" scandal. I believe you should offer an amnesty/no retaliation pledge to all employees, offer to reemploy anyone who has been dismissed, and impose administrative punishment short of dismissal on anyone who acted poorly. I start with one of the great quotes of the late Speaker Sam Rayburn, who famously stated he wished someone on the White House staff "had run for sheriff." Rayburn`s meaning was that abstract intellectuals and professional "staff" people often lacked the streetwise attitude of people who had lived and worked in the real—and very imperfect—world.
1. How can I give advice to a political opponent?
You might ask: how or why would I give advice to a political opponent? You have known of me for eight years, and there is no doubt in your mind where I stand on the political and public policy issues which divide us. I am a conservative Republican. On the other hand, I am concerned that the Secret Service scandal you have created may damage the agency, may endanger the White House and could jeopardize your presidency. Where issues involving the presidency are concerned we should be able to work together.
2. The "warrior culture"
Most of the people on your staff, and you personally, lack any familiarity with the military culture or what I call the "warrior culture." The Secret Service is a paramilitary agency with a warrior culture. They are not paid to be strategists (except when they are planning presidential security). They are people—whether in the uniformed service or the presidential detail—who must unquestioningly "take a bullet" for the president without regard to their own lives. That`s a pretty tough assignment. That`s an exemplar of the warrior culture.
3. The original mess
I have never patronized a prostitute and find the concept repellent. Had I been in charge, I would have cautioned the men (and any women on the detail) to be cautious and avoid anything risky while "in country." That`s a standard briefing. People who risk their lives for a living think don`t think like lawyers sitting in their offices. They are prone to rambunctious behavior. Did anyone say "wheels up, rings off?"
4. Why you mishandled the incident
We need warriors in our society. We need them in our military and intelligence establishments. We can never repay them for risking their lives and losing their lives, which is why we honor them publicly with medals and uniforms and ribbons, and also offer generous benefits. But supervising warriors, whether in the field or in the home office, is never and should never be an easy or rote task. Warriors are trained to be aggressive. If people are placid in the office they will not take risks in the field. The kind of person who is prepared to risk his or her life is by definition and nature a little edgy and rambunctious. If you had simply used the "No Drama Obama" approach for which you were once noted, and stated, "Some people got out of hand. I wish that hadn`t happened. We will deal with any problems quietly and internally," the matter would be long gone. "Spankings maybe administered but no heads will roll" should have been the punitive promise. If you had handled the issue coolly no one would now remember the Secret Service embarrassment last week. Your statement of potential "anger" created a firestorm, and that firestorm is endangering the agency, risking White House Security and undermining your own role. The issue would have simply dissolved; instead it has become a corrosive media circus. Politically, I suspect we will see books and exposés that may present your tenure in an unflattering light. The potential personal and political damage could be substantial, all for what should have been treated as a "spanking" incident and not a "heads will role" crisis. Your instincts failed you and no one on your staff gave you the cool advice you needed to deal with a few missteps by your warriors.
5. What you should do now
A confession of error is the best approach. I would urge you to consider quietly reinstating the men that have been dismissed, with an admonishment or some other administrative warning in their file but no dismissal or retaliation; I would extend an amnesty to anyone who was involved, either Secret Service or military; I would tell the media you may have inadvertently overreacted and that the Secret Service brouhaha is over; I would ask congressional committees to either close their inquiries or conduct them under national security standards. I would suggest to the Director that perhaps the manual of standards should be amended to include recommendations on what to do when you are not on the clock but on assignment in the field. There was undoubtedly a management and supervision failure, and I would encourage conversation and openness, instead of a reign of terror in which careers are destroyed and families are endangered. But as the matter stands today your failure compounded what was an initially limited incident. And, finally, I would hire someone for your staff who has run for sheriff.
SINK, SANK, SUNK – THINK, THANK, THUNK
ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT
HOW? GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM
MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY WHY?
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM
FROM WHICH I HAVEN`T AWAKENED
NEVER WORRYING ABOUT LETTING THINGS
HAPPEN MAKING THEM RESOLVE THEMSELVES
EYELIDS WIDE SHUT ON-THE-BLINK
ENIGMATIC CRACKED MIRROR SURFACE REFLECTIONS:
WHICH IS THE OTHER SIDE?
BOTH BANKS SLIPPERY WHEN WET
EVER GREENER MOSS CRABGRASS SWITCHBLADES
SOULFUL CAPTAIN MASTERING OWN FATE
FREELY FLOWING ALONG SYNCHOPATED CURRENT
ENJOYING UNANCHORED DRIFT MOORING DOCK
TAKING TIME SIMPLY ENJOYING FUN
SEEKING HAPPINESS SUFFERING LESS PAIN
HOPE LYING BEYOND NEXT BEND
TWISTED JOURNEY WITHOUT MAP REQUIRING
EVER-ONWARD PERSISTENCE OMNIPOTENT DETERMINATION
FRANTICALLY ROWING UPSTREAM BATTLING CLOUDBURST
BUCKING TEMPESTS OMINOUS BLUSTERY FORECAST
THROW CAUTION TO WINDSWEPT DELUGE
FOLLOW YOUR OWN PREDESTINED COURSE
NO HOLDS BARD
~ CHARLES FREDERICKSON
Dr. Charles Frederickson:
A MORAL IMPERATIVE
Israel`s Declaration of Statehood in 1948 promised "complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or sex." Recently, a disheartened (name withheld) Israel Defense Force soldier of misfortune reportedly lamented - Beyond love of country, the core values of the IDF should stress human dignity, but don`t. Foreign correspondents often complain that censured cover-ups and consciously controlled heavy-fisted manipulation of the news are commonplace throughout the region. The miscalculated unofficial bullyrag campaign to discredit anyone who dares speak out against the powers that be who control government policy, silencing debate, discussion and dissent, should cease and desist, but won`t.
Disgraced White House correspondent Helen Thomas has been severely criticized and demonized for her controversial forthright viewpoint, suggesting "Tell the Jews to get out of Palestine. Remember that these people are occupied. And it`s their land… Peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon." Many of the U.S. president`s progressive reforms have been undermined by the Obama-bashing vengeance of the ultra-powerful, lavishly funded Israel lobbyists holding American liberty hostage. In addition, influential, wealthy neo-conservative media moguls cavalierly exert undue political interference and censorship of press freedoms otherwise guaranteed by Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The International Press Institute (IPI) has strongly condemned the IDF`s relentless strong-armed demolition of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation`s headquarters, studios and offices in Ramalah along with the intimidating refusal of the Government Press Office to renew press card credentials to 450 highly qualified professional Palestinian journalist and photographers.
Close friend of his mentor Noam Chomsky, author Norman Finklestein describes mainstream U.S. pro-Israel organization blackmailers` at any and all costs unwavering support for an unjust cause as ‘hucksters`, ‘gangsters` and ‘crooks`. A former editor of the New Republic Peter Beinart writes, in "The Crisis of Zionism" that "it is depleting, degrading and dangerous for Israel to oversee the lives of millions of stateless Palestinians, robbed of any role in their own destiny." Both sides claim to be vulnerable victims, but concerned global citizens have a moral conscience obligation to continue asking questions, demanding answers in order to foster a more open, frank and unafraid conversation about the Unholy Land and troubled Middle East, while providing verifiable safeguards for free-thinkers who cherish pragmatic democratic ideals to respectfully argue with those who disagree and to fair-mindedly explore options which can ensure morally justifiable dignity and ethically sound lasting 2-state solution peace. Pax vobiscum!
Dr. Charles Frederickson
Dr Charles Fredrickson:
AMERICAN XS PLASTIC
US versus THEM bombastic confrontations
Absolutely good versus relatively evil
double standard contradictions
More farcical tragedy than strategy
Globe neatly divided into categories
Perceived adversaries or feckless friends
No neutral ground sinking quicksand
Humpbacked dunes dromedaries buried alive
Violence begetting more senseless violence
Dichotomy between enlightenment and darkness
Eclipsed lunarocity half-illuminated flipped disk
Counterfeit promises passing the buck
Memory`s fixative loosening firm grip
Opaque fabrications slipping into oblivion
Trust growing impatient misled astray
Credibility gap teetering on edge
Praying to whatever deity listens
Avenging angel creating worldly hell
Haloes versus horns derisive
Moral clarity or sheer madness?!
Why do THEY hate US?
Warped false truths destruction bent
Intimidation humiliation desperation uprooted causes
Poverty versus greed erectile impotence
~ Dr Charles Fredrickson
Dr Fredrickson`s position has given rise to considerable debate:
Awesome David Lawrence replies:
The Good Doctor has a love of failed, brutal, Neanderthal people. The Palestinians have accomplished nothing but the suicide bombings of their own children for booty. The Doctor is a Doctor but would like to think of himself as one of the honor killing crew. The Jews who treat the Arabs better than the Lebanese who put them in camps are insulted by the same Arabs who treat their own people worse. How dare the Doctor insult the Jewish treatment of Arabs when the Saudi Arabians won`t even let the Jews in Mecca? And why does he refer to Chomsky and Finkelstein? He might as well refer to Hitler and Goebbels.
The Road to Dystopia: Are We There Yet?
"Are we there yet?" Chet said to his hunting buddy Earl.
"Where would that be," the latter replied.
"The road to dystopia," the former grimly answered.
"A little too heavy for the guy who chased the goose who got loose at the county fair. You`ve been readin? those high brow books again by Hux Lee and Oar Well. Maybe The Hunger Games set you off. Chet smiled declining to correct his old friend. "Obama`s going too far," Chet asserted. "He`s a denizen of the dark side. Left of JFK. Left of LBJ. Left of "
"Don`t say it Chet."
"FDR," Chet whispered
"look what you`ve gone and done."? "We`re in a recession. He`s done nothing about unemployment, reducing the national debt or working on economic reform. So he proposes the biggest entitlement program since ?"
"Not again," Earl stifled him.
"Mighty cagey though. With 50% of America not paying taxes folks aren`t going to vote for a party seeking welfare reform."
"Negatory. Negatory son," Earl exclaimed. "Say it ain`t so."
"He`s pursuing his legacy by forcing this humongous program on us."
"Okay Obama`s gifted us with a health care plan we`re forced to purchase and will be fined if we don`t."
"Sounds vaguely familiar old sod."
"Borrowed it from The Donald," Earl broadly grinned. The latter continued. "How in blazes can the government order us to do this? If so. When will it stop? Runs against the constitution and my check book." "You may well ask grasshopper," Chet postured. "Supreme Court`s going to decide whether Obamacare is constitutional. If they hold for the bill, then it?s going to be forced down our throats like castor oil."
"Don`t forget milk of magnesia," Earl grimaced. "Maybe the light side won`t fund it."
"We can only hope so Earl."
"Sue-preem Court`s supposed to be above political interests."
Doesn`t always work that way. Other presidents have suspended constitutional rights. Lincoln revoked habeas corpus during the not so Civil War.? "Hay-bee-us who?" Earl questioned.
"Not a person. It`s a process. Right to a fair trial. Hear the charges brought against you. Defend yourself with your own lawyer. Judges. Juries. Talk about an all world suspension of civil rights. During WWII FDR relocated ~ 120,000 Japanese-Americans into10 internment camps with Manzanar CA being a major one. Many of those folks lost their homes and businesses. Sold their homes at bargain basement prices to vultures 1 anticipating and feeding on the president`s injustice."
"Wasn`t FDR`s finest hour,?" Earl affirmed. "Still war time may`ve been the prod to suspend citizens` rights." "FDR had other flat tires on his watch. Champion Court packer. Ignored the on-going Holocaust.Give away program at Tehran. Anyway. What does health care have to do with national security? In FDR?s face the Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment serving in Europe became one of the most highly decorated military units in the war.? "So you think Obamacare is way out of order. Too much government intrusion," Earl opined.
Another president imposing his will with an unpopular bill forcing acceptance without our approval. Big brother knows what?s best for us. We all know how effective the government is conducting the nation?s business and providing services. Little things like multi-million dollar cost over runs for NASA and military bidding and lack of over sight on agencies (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) dealing with our money.?
Chet continued. "To show how intrusive it was the bill required Catholic hospitals and clinics to provide services for abortions. The ensuing uproar forced Obama to compromise passing payment onto to insurance companies which really didn?t satisfy Catholic probity on the issue.? "Bad stuff Chet messing with the First Amendment. Shur hope he steps in some more buffalo chips before the election."
"We may not be at dystopia where some pigs are more equal than others, but if things continue as above we can anticipate seeing it in our high beams some where down the road.? Both men were silent for a moment."
"Chet. We need something to cheer us up. Let`s go huntin` for the goose who got loose at the county fair."
With that both men picked up their pieces and headed for the marsh.
I once wrote a document,
Then I did not.
Of words of my origin
Nary a jot
Or tittle remained
In the final report
That now just contained
Words politically wrought.
Expunged were my writings
That could have cast doubt
Upon corporate wisdom
Of why we put out
A product less useful
Than it was portrayed.
Resistance seemed futile, Lest hell would be paid.
So I was cashiered Out of sight and of sound
Until it appeared
What goes `round would come `round.
Then it was remembered
That I once had been
So blame on me pinned.
Dr. Charles Frederickson:
Failure of the paralyzed peace process and the continued moribund negotiation stalemate, reflect a lack of forward-thinking progressive willingness to achieve a genuine settlement expansion freeze. The standoff can be directly attributed to the misguided Israeli leadership`s intransigence and the inability of the Quartet to force both parties to abide by just international law. Since the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, Israel has seized thousands of square acres belonging to Palestinian farmers, building more and more illegal settlement colonies in occupied territories at the expense of the hapless Palestinian populace. Now, right wing extremists have asked the Israeli justice system to "legitimize" the thefts, accompanied by granting approval of new plans to construct thousands of settler units throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the proposed Palestinian capital. The latest plan to construct 2,610 settler units is calculated to create an irreversible dem ographic barrier between occupied East Jerusalem and the Bethlehem region and to derail the 2-state peaceful coexistence solution. Despite the Arab Spring breakthroughs demanding regional democratic reform, the Palestinian people continue to be denied the possibility to become masters of their own destiny, which smacks of superiority complex imperial arrogance. The reality of the heavily tilted imbalance, is that it is highly unlikely that any Israeli government, now or in the future, would be willing or politically able to dismantle the entrenched colonies in the West Bank and remove thousands of stalwart illegal settlers. Furthermore, increasingly hostile U.S. survival politics relies on the inability of intimidated officials seeking re-election, held hostage by the tight-fisted grip of well-funded vested interest lobbyists, who feel obligated to stand beside Israeli on ever issue, whether it makes sense or not. Unless the general membership of the United Nations comes to a morally justifiable conscience reckoning, human decency and fair play will be once again denied to the Palestinian struggle for full member statehood, which would serve to everyone`s mutual benefit. Why not?
Savvy folk wisdom warns: "Never get into a pissin` contest between 2 skunks." With both intransigent adversaries in this black & white smelly standoff obsessed with pursuing suicidal missions, trading barbs and demonic accusations, there are no winners, only losers in this calamitous worst scenario endgame, featuring no better, only worse, options. Hard-line extremists portray strident opponents as dangerous menaces, refusing to look at their own bent face-off warped images. Open-minded peace advocates and conscientious objectors to biased unfairness should ask themselves whose stance is the riskier threat to global security – Israel, which has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to submit to inspections, or Iran, which has been (reluctantly) playing by the rules by signing the NPT and allowing inspection of all nuclear sites? American right-wing politicos, fearful of offending a well-financed, powerful lobby that is bent on forcing its intimidated allies into yet another un-winnable war, have consistently resisted efforts under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to promote extension of safeguards to exceptional Israel`s undeclared nuclear monopoly arsenal, which reportedly has at least 400 "top secret" nuclear warheads. Fear-mongers have pre-judged nuclear buildup, supposedly for domestic use as posing an ominous threat to Israel`s existence, but don`t 400-to-1 odds represent a disproportionate imbalance. Retired Mossad chief Meir Dagan has called a possible Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities "the stupidest thing I ever heard." The major doubt focuses on "Then what?" Israel`s emboldened Chutzpah and "Attack Iran" rhetoric should be reined in, along with bullyrag attempts to suck unquestioning loyal allies into the bottomless apocalyptic black hole. Diplomacy alone represents the only viable long-term solution to negotiate a genuinely verifiable weapons-free zone, and to actualize the Arab Spring`s democratic ideals by granting long-oppressed Palestinians their well-deserved sovereignty.
Nobody needs another devastatingly unnecessary war as a first rather than a last resort. With 6,300 American troops killed and 50,000 wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, at a price tag of more than 3 trillion taxpayer greenbacks plus immeasurable human costs, sane logical minds should focus on needy human Welfare rather than greedy humiliating Warfare, on Dialog not Diatribe, on Mediation not Manipulation – understanding that honest bargaining is not tantamount to appeasement. Compromise not Confrontation must replace the tit-for-tat threatening climate dominated by Revenge, Retaliation and Retribution. Aggressive anti-Iran terrorism poopaganda has featured a calculated attempt by Israel`s Mossad, in alliance with the cult-like Iranian opposition MEK to undermine nationalist credibility, to carry out bombings and covert sabotage operations inside Iran, and to slay 5 prominent atomic energy scientists in order to pressure President Obama on foreign policy. U.S. intelligence agencies remain convinced that Iran has activated nuclear ambitions to convert enrichment into a bomb. In order to redress the unjust balance of power-monger tipped scales in the Middle East, U.S.-Iran cooperation regarding conflict resolution is positively vital in addressing security concerns as well as legitimate rights to enrich uranium and build an infrastructure and to reassess the fair-mindedness of imposed arbitrary harsh sanctions. In the frightening event bullyrag rhetoric triggers battlefield tragedy, we all face the unpredictable military, political and economic consequences. Iran would most likely retaliate by mining the Strait of Hormuz and disrupt gas guzzler oil supplies and control mineral wealth worldwide. While Iran may not possess conventional military superiority, it is located in a strategic position to boast asymmetric warfare capabilities that can adversely lay siege to the already recessed global economy and cause oil prices to rise. It`s time to rein in the emboldened Chutzpah showdown of the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), neo-conservative commentators and right-wing politicians playing high-stakes Russian roulette to influence the 2012 elections and to tell the wealthy 1% Fat Cat pampered lobbyists… Chill Out!
The U.N. Human Rights Council has called for an independent fact-finding inquiry to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people. Most of the world agrees that the invasive Jewish settlements violate International Law, including the Fourth Geneva Conventions to which Israel is a signatory. The probe was welcomed by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. The belligerent Israeli contrarian leadership has declared its vehement refusal to cooperate. The locked in denial never-never mindset hawks are becoming more hawkish, the doves more dovish. Israel is hiding behind shameless American shell-shocked naïve complacency, seeking to avoid serious misgiving consequences without truth. Successful uneven odds crapshoot negotiations would require both sides to realize they have more to gain from reasonable compromise than from recalcitrant confrontation. Spit-polished Israeli propaganda techniques have been nearly perfected to cover-up atrocities, displacements, massacres, land seizures, the theft of water resources, due process and demeaning collective punishment inflicted upon the long-suffering Palestinian populace. During the defiant social and economic struggle, the wrongly accused have been forced to cope with detention without trial, destruction of dwellings, deportations and restrictions on movement. From the Palestinian perspective, the bullyrag occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has been nothing less than an unwelcome hostile imperialist takeover, festering tension, fearful distrust and resentful hatred. Local inhabitants continue to face biased discrimination regarding health, education, infrastructure, socio-economic affairs, property rights, political participation, free access and due process. The most viable solution should start with stopping illegal settlement expansion, accepting the 1967 borders and preserving the diminished options of a 2-state solution. The U.S. could re-energize the stalemate negotiations by formally recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state and establishing full diplomatic relations with it. The question now is not IF but WHEN?!
The locked in mindset denial hawks are becoming more hawkish, the doves more dovish. Israel is hiding behind American shell-shocked naïve complacency, seeking to avoid serious misgiving consequences without truth. Successful uneven odds crapshoot negotiations would require both sides to realize they have more to gain from reasonable compromise than from recalcitrant confrontation. Netanyahu`s untelling showmanship and unconvincing anti-Iran nuclear justifications smack of calculated procrastination delay of endgame tactics to divert attention while more and more illegal settlements are constructed and land confiscated, shifting the powerful right wing media`s focus away from the waylaid, overdue Palestinian homeland peace process. Spit-polished Israeli propaganda techniques have been nearly perfected to cover-up atrocities, displacements, massacres, land seizures, the theft of water resources, due process and demeaning collective punishment inflicted upon the long-suffering Palestinian populace. During the defiant social and economic struggle, the wrongly accused have been forced to cope with detention without trial, destruction of dwellings, deportations and restrictions on movement. From the Palestinian perspective, the bullyrag occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has been nothing less than an unwelcome hostile imperialist takeover, festering tension, fearful distrust and resentful hatred. Local inhabitants continue to face biased discrimination regarding health, education, infrastructure, socio-economic affairs, property rights, political participation, free access and due process. The question now is not IF but WHEN?!
Carbon neutral sources are being developed by progressive visionaries as key alternative energy sources of the future which feature low cost efficiency that is clean and green. 5 of the most promising innovative energy sources are:
President Obama dismissed oil as "the fuel of the past", instead hyping renewable alternative energy industry policies, stressing the need to develop every possible source of energy, not just oil and gas, which combine to help eliminate the use and abuse of fossil fuel pollution. Lessons to be learned from the flood debacle include the importance for providing investment in new infrastructure planning, emphasizing cooperation and coordination between government, community, agencies, industry and consumers. Increasing public awareness to protect the endangered planet`s surviving energy resources requires competent use of soil, farms, forests and water management in an eco-friendly effort to bring back the old world charm of natural order harmony. Water covers 70% of the Earth`s surface, yet somehow this simple element is vital to the continuation and growth of plants, animals and humans alike. As a source of energy, water can be harnessed to generate hydro-electric alternative energy for an entire community. It is caused by the hydroelectric cycle of water, generated through gravitational force. The flow or fall of water will determine the quantity of available energy. Since the process produces no direct waste, it is one of the cleanest and greenest ways to generate electricity, and small hydro-power plants can generate up to 10 megawatts. Popular in China, hydro-power is worthy of consideration by open-minded strategy planners to develop effective flood control and irrigation systems while decreasing the effects of pollution in the atmosphere.
According to the FBI, cyberterrorism is any "premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems¸ computer programs and data bases which result in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents. As Israel has methodologically and aggressively built up its nuclear weapons capacity, it has also been assembling a multibillion dollar array of latest and greatest high-tech weapons that would allow it to jam, blind and deafen Tehran`s radar defenses in the event of a pre-emptive aerial strike, including electronic warfare measures against Iran`s vulnerable electric grid, Internet, cell phone network and emergency measures frequencies for firemen and police officers. A fleet of unmanned drones has been reportedly specifically fitted with advanced counter-surveillance, designed to evade radar, able to disrupt and neutralize the enemy`s anti-aircraft systems. Many believe that Israel`s Sept. 6, 2007 "Operation Orchard" raid of Syria`s covert partially constructed al-Kibar nuclear was executed by the Israel Air Force (IAF) as a precursor template for a "dry run" attack on Iran, proving its electronic warfare superiority. Moving from speed-of-sound to sophisticated speed-of-light offensive weaponry, emerging psychological operations include use of non-kinetic electromagnetic pulse (EMP) digital cyber domain databases and a fusion of Prowlers, Growlers and UAVs. In the scary case of virtual reality electronic cyber-warfare, signals are generated that jam or confuse electronic systems operating on similar frequencies. Attackers use malicious computer codes to penetrate information systems or adjust their modus operandi accordingly. Cyber warfare specialists actually get inside the enemy`s failsafe network and use its own software to hijack, confuse or deceive it. Most troubling is lack of authoritative control over misguided stealth bombings, drone misfires, spreading computer virus Stuxnet worms and who and when obsessive up-tight mindsets bent on destruction will decide that secret kill switches can be activated. If Israel`s jeer, smear and fear tactics remind you of the 1950`s duck & cover demeaning red China and anti-Soviet "commie" propaganda, they should! The distrustful, misguided oily motives of tit for tat revengeful retribution, instilling worrisome dread and wary hateful speculation will only drive a wedge between Jews and Arabs and further complicate efforts to achieve some semblance of peaceful coexistence in the muddled Middle East. Concerns about the ethical, moral and legal ramifications of a pre-emptive bullyrag strike in the absence of an urgent threat must seriously consider the potential retaliatory fallout of radioactive contamination, civilian casualties and global confidence meltdown.
Currently, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) along with the United States, the European Union and the Arab League have affirmed their vision of a State of Palestine which includes all or part of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, living in peaceful coexistence with Israel under a democratically elected and transparent government with the right to self-determination. Polls in France, UK and Germany show the majority of people back recognition of a Palestinian state. The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has stated "I support … the statehood of Palestinians, an independent sovereign state of Palestine. It has long been overdue." Brazil and Argentina recently announced that they recognize Palestine as a free and independent state within its 1967 borders, a step reflecting deep frustration that the goals of the 1991 peace talks in Madrid and the Oslo Accords of 1993 still have not been reached. It is expected that Uruguay and Paraguay will recognize Palestinian statehood within the next few days, followed by Bolivia and Ecuador. Latin America`s recognition adds to that of more than a hundred UN member states, and reflects a growing consensus in the global community regarding the status of Palestine and general interest in achieving decisive advances in the stalled peace process. The PNA feels frozen in a "peace process" that does not seek a credible end goal and abandoned by the US as a biased broker, unwilling to nudge Israel to curtail settlement expansion and to cease its occupier violations of the UN charter, the Geneva Conventions and numerous international agreements. What worries Israel most is that if Palestine becomes a UN member state, it would be able to legally challenge Israel in the International Court of Justice. The real problem is that the US blocks international law`s jurisdiction through its veto power to shield the recalcitrant pariah state war criminals from being brought to justice. Proudly, Thailand has officially joined more than 100 countries in recognizing "Palestine" along pre-`67 borders and has initiated the process to establish and formalize diplomatic relations in the near future. The US must legitimately assume the role of a fair-minded negotiator, stressing that legitimizing human rights is a moral obligation. Regressive mindsets move to keep the disillusioned Palestinian populace colonized, discriminated against, oppressed and exiled. Progressive thinkers will act now to recognize the long overdue need to right uncivil wrongs and conscientiously do the right thing sooner rather than later. Dr. Charles Frederickson Bangkok, Thailand Dr. Charles Frederickson
DR James Davies responded favourably to Dr Charles Fredrickson:
The summit of enlightenment is "Eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, sleep when tired."
As to Dr Charles Fredrickson`s exposition, the only viable solution of the Israeli Palestine question is the one state solution, with a parliament and no internal borders, so that they will all learn to wear business suits and sit around and talk, much as we taught the Japanese and Germans to do after 1945.
Need I point out that only recently, Her Majesty kissed hands with a former IRA chieftain? You may clearly see that this concept indeed works.
A most Cheery Cherio
Dr James Davies, Lord-Mentor
Sir Harry replied to Dr Davies and Charles Fredrickson on behalf of the Society:
Unfortunately in a world run by the harsh laws of nature, the road to peace is the road to pieces. This may have occurred to the people leaping from the towers aflame as they plummeted 90 stories on their way down. The three Rs of International Law are revenge, reprisal and retaliation.
I`m sure that those caught up in the flaming wreck of The Twin Towers after the Arabs ram-A-damned the Twin Towers or the 35 people killed in Sahib Malik Hussein`s one man jidah at Killeen Texas would not have minded greater restrictions on so-called Arab Americans and their sympathy for the Palestinians and their cause might have been somewhat muted.
What runs the world is the survival of the fittest. Those who do not measure up lose. When one group comes along with superior weapons, organization and strategies, that which is in its path succumbs. The US liberal might like to exempt themselves from the path of destruction by freeezing the world as it is. Nature doesn`t work like that. When one group gets too lazy and fat or in the US case too absorbed in its own self-pity or self-recrimination, the next group pushes them aside. The Chinese call this the change of the Mandate of Heaven.
That`s a hard doctrine to accept after being reared on the US` good-guy myth of World War II but which is more realistic?
We can go over the errors which led to 9-11, the failure to stomp on the Arabs in `56 at Suez, the failure to deal harshly with OPEC and Air Piracy in the 70s, knuckling under to Iran in `80, and failure to take reprisals against the Lebanon bombing in `83. All are failures of strength which is what international order is about. You can pretend away the laws of nature, you might even be able to manipulate them in the short term, but the rules of nature eventually catch up with you.
While there is much to be respected in Islam, we ought to respect those of their virtues which the US press cannot recognize. Islam is no religion of peace for peace`s sake and no place for a pacifist as the US press seems to believe. What the Islamics deserve respect for is just the opposite their fearlessness in battle, their unconquerability, powerful resilience and steadfast courage against overwhelming odds. They remain unbowed in the face of a foe which has the technological edge, even if a great deal of the wonder weapons are pure fantasy. Islamic morality puts God and family at the center, something I cannot say for the social agenda of the US. NPR, a US government outlet created to provide jobs for unemployable US liberals, frequently observes that if the soldiers fighting in Afghanistan understood what Islam stands for by comparison to the social agenda of the US liberal they`d defect.
At the center of the problem is that as a legacy of several millenea of rivalry and of the results of World War II, the arabs and the Israelis are locked in a war. In the current era, the creation of Israel and its absorption of territory formerly within the range of the Arab is no different than than the changes in the map which occurred elsewhere as a consequence of World War II. Before shedding tears for the Palestinians, one should recall 1940 when the Arabs backed Germany. The wartime WWII Mufti of Jerusalem, regarded as a hero by his nephew Yassar Arafat, late PLO Chief, encouraged Bosnian Mouslems to join the SS. Thus that Israel obtained lands formerly occupied by Arabs is the same division of the spoils as handing over East Prussia including Koeningsberg to Russia and three German laanden (states) to Poland.
It might be correct to say that Jerusalem correctly understands this; Washington lost in its own Good Guy Myth does not.
~ Harrison Alfred Andrews,
Former Captain USAJAGC
The Irish Soldiers During the Second World War
During the Second World War, Ireland, under de Valera, was neutral in spite of pressure from London and Washington. Notwithstanding, 12,000 Irishmen (and women!) or 10% of the Irish Armed Forces, joined the Allied war effort. These youngsters were largely motivated by ideological factors, the need to combat fascism and to halt the evil empire of Nazism, and perhaps also by a spirit of adventurism, the devil-may-care of youth to which danger is as nothing for nothing can ever harm them.
Nowadays, some of these men have been making emotional visits to the places, where they fought. George Lemon, eighty-eight, of Newtownbreda near Belfast, has been making trips to the battlefields of France, Germany, Holland and Belgium, where he fought. He was just eighteen and in his final year of `Grammar School`, when he joined up. Similarly, George Hopley from North Down was also taking a trip to Nassau in the Bahamas, where he trained as a member of an air ground crew. Also Ted Jones from Dublin was taking a trip to Pensacola, Florida, where he trained. All these visits were sponsored to help veterans see the places, where they had seen combat.
Ireland was ambivalent during World War ll.There was a two-track neutrality: on the one hand, they were externally scrupulous in maintaining diplomatic immunity toward Germany, on the other, there was de facto co-operation with the Allies. They adopted a distinctive pro-Allied stance that materially aided and safeguarded the British war interest. In particular, the Irish passed a law, whereby Irish citizens were allowed to serve in the Allied armed forces and therefore were being encouraged to join in the Allied war effort, and another law, which provided passes to Irish men and women wanting to work in Britain, often for the war effort. Notwithstanding which, the returning Irish soldiers were greeted with a barrage of laws that discriminated against them and in favor of those Irishmen, who had stayed behind in the armed forces of their own country. In fact, the Pentagon wanted to decorate three high-ranking Irish officers fror their services to the war effort but were stopped from doing so by the State Department, which pointed out the embarassment this would involve to the Irish government.
Those Irishmen, who fought on the side of the allies, however, did not return to a hero`s welcome. Far from it! The returning soldiers came back to a country that was scornful of, ignorant of and indifferent to, what they had been doing during the War. Many saw their period of service with the British as anti-national and almost traitorous. They quickly learned to keep their mouths shut about their experiences fighting for no one would listen. And no one cared. Most were so parochial that they were uninterested in things going on outside of Ireland, in Europe or in the wider world. Many of them put down the news of the concentration camps and the holocaust as British propoganda - at first, and then later, what did it matter anyway?
However, the worst that befell five out of the twelve thousand, those who had deserted from the Irish Armed Forces to fight for the British, was to be "blacklisted". De Valera`s government simply made up a book of all the names, addresses etc. of those, whom they saw as deserters, and circulated it to town-halls and other public buildings. Soldiers presenting themselves there could not be considered for a job. (However, they would have just gotten jobs privately from smaller firms, which did not use the blacklisting scheme.) Moreover, such soldiers were not entitled to pensions, war-widows were not entitled to widows` pensions, and there were no unemployment benefits, social security payments etc. They were simply citizens in limbo without entitlements to anything and blacklisted as to any kind of government job.
Bernard Kelley, a young Galway historian, in his book "Returning Home" (whose title I have borrowed) has tried to put into chart the feelings and predicament of many of the returning Irish soldiers. He has interviewed around a hundred survivors of this period, mostly men now in their high eighties and early nineties. They are still shy of giving their surnames, addresses etc. for fear of reprisals from their fellow countrymen. the stigma of being traitors, of having fought on the side of the Allies against Nazism (!), still sticks to them.
Fortunately, there are moves afoot to exonerate this largely forgotten generation of heroes. The original de Valera "blacklist" pursuant to the Emergency Powers (No. 362) Order 1945 encompasses various classes of soldiers - regulars, reservists, others that had enlisted from the Emergency/Volunteers Service etc. The original 5,000 enlisted men, who in 1945 had allegedly deserted and gone over to join the Allied war effort, had been en masse and in absentia sentenced by an Irish government decree in August. This is now on the verge of being quashed. In 2012, Minister Mr. Allan Shutter has been petitioned for a pardon for all those condemned servicemen. The Bill is presently in the process of being passed in the Dail, the Irish Parliament, and at long last well over sixty years on, it seems as if the actions of those Irish volunteers will have been vindicated. It is good news for those still alive today and a footnote in history for all those, who suffered the derision and insults of their fellow countrymen upon their return from the War.
~ Geoff Jackson
Peat in Old Ireland
Peaty smells of cooking
Boiled in the cauldron above the fire
As the ‘taties` cooked
The toothsome grins of ten small children
Looked on, hungry after the family`s supper
The peat bogs of old Ireland
Cut by casual laborers
Using long curving peat knives
Cut peat in the old days
Cared out to cottages
To cook and heat
Blue peat smoke
Rising in the air over Dublin
Choking the lungs in its wafting billows
Ireland at Play
Curling sticks under arms
The boys trooped
Irish Gaelic football
A real winner with the
Heated soccer fans
Cheering on their clubs
The serene clunk
Of ball against bat
In time-old cricket
The playing fields of old Ireland Where men were made
To chase the colors of the Irish flag
Irish Animal Menagerie
A lone gull
Pinioned the sky
On the way along Ireland`s coast
The fox sniffs around the Irish henhouse
With murderous intentions
For the fowl within
The warble of a thrush on St. Patrick`s Day
Rising like the peat smoke
Into a fading sky
An Irish weasel through high grass
Its coat a burnished spring gold
Pounces on its small prey
The solitary eagle
In his Highlands glen
Master of all he surveys
Sir Harry commented on behalf of the Society
Harrison Alfred Andrews:
It was good work, Geoff, with your usual flare. I do have some comments
The entire story isn`t mentioned in any World War II histories. The great historian John Toland took note of Churchill`s shock when DeVelera refused a place at the table as an equal with the PMs of Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Northern Ireland and declined to join Britain at war, but never mentioned that a 10th of Ireland`s Army disagred with DeVelera`s public pronouncement of neutrality.
The Irish Guardia during WW II had 45,000 soldiers. There were 7000 recorded desertions, 4500 of which went into the British army. Now of the 2500 other desertions, most were probably short term AWOLS for the usual reasons, problems at home, visits to girl friends and/or wives, homesickness, failure to return from an authorised leave sometimes due to illness usually due to drunkenness occasionally due to transportation interruptions.
To see 10% of your armed force desert into your enemy`s armed force is an astounding figure. The information I have found suggests the desertion included officers. Indeed Develara`s edict only punished enlisted men. This suggests that an entire regiment defected into the British Army.
Develara was the master of the double game. He made The IRA Commandant Michael Collins the fall guy of The Anglo-irish treaty of 1922 and eventually had Collins whacked. It would not have been beneath develara to have appeased Churchill by encouraging a very large defection, to have assuaged Hitler and the pro-German Irish public by calling it treasonous and to have mollified the Guardia`s leadership which despised Develara by exempting officers from his edict. Regardless of ideological orientation or political leanings or personal prejudices, the Army`s leadership would have wanted to keep the British trained or re-trained officers for their combat experience and knowledge of modern weaponry.
Develara`s comment on the Holocast came as a reply to Churchill`s end of war broadcast: England did not start the War to prevent the Holocast.
I don`t know whether it was you Brits or US Homeland Security which did not this said during our attempt to chat on the telephone. Hopefully, this will reach you and find you in good health,
A Cheery Cherio
Harrison Alfred Andrews
former Captain USAJAGC
The Front National in France
The National Front in France is identified with Jean-Marie le Pen (eighty-three years old) and veteran campaigner and his daughter, attractive forty-two years old Marine le Pen. Both of them have supported the setting up of a far right-wing organization within French politics. In fact, though, Jean-Marie characterizes his own policies as neither right, nor left, but French. The same may be said of his daughter`s.
Jean-Marie began his career as a student activist, selling Action francaise, a right-wing intellectual magazine. He was repeatedly convicted of assault. He enlisted in the Army in the French Foreign Legion and fought in Indo-China (Vietnam) just after the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Later he was sent to Suez again just after the Crisis. He was sent to Algeria in 1957 as an intelligence operator. He has been accused of being associated with torture, which he has denied, though admitting he knew of its use. He then went on to study political science and law at Paris.
Le Pen started his political career as head of the student union in Toulouse and organized first a flood relief project to the Netherlands and afterwards earthquake relief to Italy. In 1958, he was elected to the French National Assembly as part of the movement of Punjade.
In 1972, le Pen founded the Front National along with neo-Nazis from the old Vichy government, traditionalist Catholics and others. Criticizing immigration and attacking government policies that had led to high unemployment and trade deficits. In particular, in the French presidential elections of 2002, he won a sizeable majority in the run-up elections before finally losing by a massive margin to Jacques Chirac. He continued to head the National Front until it was taken over by his daughter earlier in 2011.
She continued her anti-immigration, anti-Moslem stance and said that Moslems and Islamization were a big threat to France. In particular, at one point, Moslems spilled out onto the streets in front of their mosques to pray and she claimed it was like being occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War. She also made a point of visiting Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island midway between Italy and North Africa, which was full of Tunisian refugees, fleeing from their government in Tunis and pronounced that there was no place for all those Arabs in Europe.
However, there are many other aspects to her policies than just anti-immigration. She is protectionist over a wide range of economic issues and opposed to globalization. She is a particular adherent of Maurice Allais, the French Nobel Prize Winner for Economics in 1988 (died in October, 2011). She favors the repeal of the Pompidou-Giscard law, which makes it illegal for the State to borrow from the Bank of France and forces it to borrow at much higher levels on international markets. She claims to be attached to public utilities and organizations like the Civil Service. During a press conference in June 2011, she said that her aim was to support the Treaty of Havana, a trade agreement that would have established an international currency known as the banco. During her speech at the National Press Club in Washington DC in November, 2011, she proposed three essential solutions to stop the current world systemic crisis: introduction of polymetallic standards in international monetary systems; the ratification of the modernized Havana Charter by the 1948 signatory nations and incoming emerging countries in order to favor a reasonable protectionism that encourages cooperation in trade among the nations through the end of ‘unbridled free trade`; and the application of the 1933 Glass-Stengal Act, which legally separated the activities of investment banking and commercial banking.
Naturally, Marine le Pen also has her views on the euro. In her view, the euro should be dropped as soon as possible and replaced by the franc at a ratio of 1 franc : 1 euro. This would mean the end of all bail-outs for the weaker members of the euro-community. It also implies a rejection of German economic power within the EU (European Union). The EU would simply become one of a series of economic alliances entered into by France and a major one would be the Havana Agreement. She advocated a Europe of the nations like a loose confederation of nation states, and the opposition of supra-nationalism, the euro and the euro-zone and the technocracy of Brussels and the EU`s federalism.
Moreover, she looks to be a favorite above the French President, Nicholas Sarkozy. Her opinion in the opinion polls has risen steadily since she came to power at the head of the Front in January 2011. However, her big rival could be Dominique Strauss-Khan, who has not decided if he will run for his party`s nomination. Nonetheless, Marine le Pen is credited with giving her party a more modern and inclusive image. Particularly, the steps made by Marine le Pen have given the far-right a considerable measure of acceptance within French politics. She is personable and a good media speaker. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that she is strong in terms of the anti-Moslem platform. Protectionist France, if she were President, would be a very different country than it is today with tariff boundaries and laws regulating Moslems. By the way, all other things being equal, it would be French people, who would get a job, if that position was applied for by a Frenchman and a foreigner. Their system of internal security would stretch above that of foreigners in the French State services.
~ Geoff Jackson