Rockaway Park NY 11694 * July 4 2010 * * in the 39nd year of the Society "For God Republic and Society"
AWESOME David Lawrence, PHd:


It`s Sunday, May 16th, 2010 at four pm. My wife and I walk down to the St. Regis Hotel for our weekly tea sandwiches. Our favorite maitre`d, Steve, takes our order. Well, he doesn`t actually take it. He knows what we want and delivers us two plates of tea sandwiches each, Vanilla Roibos tea for my wife and Darjeeling for me. After we have dug into our sandwiches he brings a new bottle of Pommard champagne. I am in diner`s heaven. I feel like I am rich again. But lunch prices are scaled down and I don`t have to be rich to dine like the upper classes.

"Obama was here this week," Steve says.
"Did you meet him?" I ask.

Steve tells me that hardly anybody saw Obama; that they sneaked him in through the basement and hid him away upstairs. It sounded like Bobby Kennedy being led through the hotel kitchen.

"What did he eat?" I ask.
"He only had hors-oeuvres," he says.
"Did the St. Regis chefs prepare them?" my wife asks.
"He brought four chefs along with him," Steve says.
"And this is the man who is lecturing Wall Street about their expenditures," I say. "Does he bring four wipers to the toilet bowl?" They do have nice bathrooms downstairs. Wooden doors on the stalls.

Steve told us that half of the Wall Street brokers were smart enough not to show up. They spent enough on him to get him elected. Now that he`s turned against them, they regret it. But the other fools who showed up paid fifty thousand dollars each to watch a windbag spill pontifications from a jib. Obama espouses thrift but he pisses away our money like a beer-swilling Frenchman in a pissoir.

"It`s a joke. The guy pretends he`s from Main Street but he earned five million last year and travels with the largest staff in the history of the presidency," I say.
"His wife has twenty-two personal assistants," my wife says.
"He lives in the one hundred and thirty-two room White House. When is he going to stop playing the street guy and embrace his own upper class. He`s using the poor for votes and power," I say. "He throws out stale utopian crumbs while he eats cake in the castle."
"He has spent more on Welfare to steal the underclass votes than Bush spent on Iraq," my wife says.

Steve disappears into the kitchen. He comes back with a tray of chocolates.

I bite into a circular piece. It`s delicious. Life is good. You don`t have to be president to enjoy. You don`t have to lie and betray your friends. You don`t have to promote a socialist philosophy beneath the ruse that you want to help the disadvantaged. You don`t have to rob the rich to purchase the votes of the poor.

"I wish you two a beautiful day," Steve says.
"Let`s shake on that," I say.

I palm a twenty dollar tip from my hand to his. I`m poor but I respect elegance. I don`t badmouth the rich like Obama. I believe in manners not betrayal. I feel bad for the few foolish Wall Street Brokers who showed up walking backwards towards Obama, ready to be stabbed.


We live our lives
For freedom and rights Do you take yours for granted?
Like a good night`s sleep
Or a walk down the street
Or a tree that`s just been planted?
For the Stars and Stripes
We should fight for what`s right
It`s time to stand and be counted!
Many more could die
For a madman`s lie
And now the trumpets are sounding
Senseless acts of violence
Random hearts of hate
Fester in the silence
Near the shadows,by the gate
So,know the one you follow
By the things that he has done
Do his promises sound hollow
Or involve playing with guns?

Copyright 2001 Dale Craven

AWESOME David Lawrence, Ph.D.:

The other day Shahzad Faisal tried to blow up thousands of people at Times Square. How could this be? Didn`t Obama promise us that by scraping and bowing to the Arabs we would develop a rapport, a sense of brotherly love and compromise? Didn`t he imply that Moslems don`t respect power but kindness.

Although Obama is a modern, Darwinian type, he doesn`t seem to respect survival of the fittest. He prefers appeasement and compromise with the weakest. He likes surrender more than the domination of the good. He takes his guns out of his holsters and hands them to his evil enemies. He sees gray rather than black and white. Black and white implies the responsibility of defending a position and he would rather let all the colors run. Didn`t Dick Cheney and even Joe Biden warn us about terrorists attacks under Obama? How much longer are we going to blind ourselves like Oedipus, afraid to look into the motherly light as we fail to admit that Obama was a colossal mistake for President. In fact, I would almost say, depending on how things play out, that those who voted for him invited us to play a part in our country`s suicide.

Obama claimed that Bush`s rough interrogation of prisoners caused the Moslems to terrorize us? Huh? We had no terrorist attacks on our land while Bush was our rough and tumble President. Since, turn-the-other-cheek, Obama has come into office there have been numerous Islamic attacks. The glib, dimwitted President doesn`t even recognize the words, "Islamic terrorists." The liberals called Bush a cowboy. Not a bad idea to have one around when all the horses are running wild. A footnote to Harvard—quit passing your straw men through just because you don`t want to admit that you accepted students that are not that bright. Ideology does not pass for intellectuality.

Look at Obama`s shoddy record for defusing Moslem hostility towards us: a shooting massacre in Binghampton, a Bronx bust of four men plotting to bomb synagogues, a shooting at a military recruiting center in Little Rock, a plot by Zazi spoiled by the FBI before he had a chance to blow up the New York subways, a plot by Smadi to blow up the Fountain Place office tower in Dallas, the Fort Hood massacre, the Northwest airplane attack by the underwear bomber, and our latest, Faisal at Times Square. Obama did not stop these attacks. Our policemen and citizens did. But Obama certainly set the stage for radical Moslems to be fearless in their attacks of our people. We have him to thank for the boldness of our adversaries. He is the invitation card to the explosive party of our demise. It`s interesting that the latest attempt was at Times Square. That`s where a million people line up to celebrate New Year`s Eve. How many New Years will we see when the ball that drops is in the hands of careless, mousey, self-destructive and self-hating, Obama? Obama is not a Commander In Chief. He is a sensitive man. A delusional narcissist. He is the poet of the decline and fall of the American Empire.


McCrystal`s insults towards Obama were just too much for him to bear. Out the window with the General. You can insult the country but don`t demean his eminence. He takes that personal. Yet Obama sees fit to bow down to Arab dictators, Korean warlords and theocratic- holocaust-denying Iranian idiots. Obama finds way to negotiate and cooperate with totalitarian fiends. His whole presidential demeanor is one of compromise. He bends over backwards for evil. He buddies up to dictators. Yet he can`t find a way to forgive or negotiate with his good, straight, intelligent General.

Why is that? Because the other leaders insulted America. Obama himself does that, apologizing for us from Cairo to Germany. Obama can forgive that. But he can`t forgive anyone insulting him personally like McCrystal did. Obama can`t take insults. He is an egomaniac. He is a narcissist of the first order.

You can insult America all you want. But don`t you dare insult its exalted leader. Get out of Obama`s face until it`s mounted on Mt. Rushmore with the other anointed presidents. Let him hang there with the other previous presidential rock stars.
Charles Fredrickson:

Rosebuds have thorns only for
Those who would gather them
Reluctant blossoms prematurely forced open
Attar fragrant essence corolla drained

Tickled pink giggles dewy gurgles
Perfume diluted with fake-believe vows
Droopy curled edges fade away
Shades deepening as petals wilt

~ No Holds Bard Charles Frederickson
Awesome David Lawrence:

Obama is the most boring man on the planet. Every time I press the remote control on my television set and see his Howdy Doody face, I yawn. I am so tired of his bombastic speeches where he promises the moon and gives you a fractured piece of space junk. I can no longer listen to his hyper-sensitivity and his sincere, punctuated syllables. He ends every sentence like he is biting his tongue.

At the beginning when there was a chance that he might live up to his promises, I was outraged by his Marxist goulash but I was not drugged into a soporific state of unconsciousness. Now that he has nationalized health care against the people`s wishes, reduced our abilities to defend ourselves with nuclear weapons, stripped our national security of the tools to interrogate our terrorist killers, coined new idiotic words for Islamic Terrorists, trundled us into massive debt, attempted to move us towards Cap and Trade-- so that we have to pay more for energy and set the foundation for massive tax increases, including, perhaps a VAT, which will cripple his vaunted middle class, I am tired of him. Obama is boring. He is redundant. He is a college sophomore spouting out tired ideas; he is a hippy paving the highway to hell with his happy-weed intentions; he is a liberal who allows a war in Afghanistan just so that he can prove that it is a more worthy war than Bush`s fight in Iraq. He thinks that he is so above criticism that he attacks Goldman Sachs even though they were humongous contributors to his campaign. Loyalty, thy name is not Obama. He bows to our Arab enemies and snubs our Israeli allies. He is a traitor to our constitution and our Judeo-Christian traditions.

He pretends to like our veterans so that he isn`t caught hating them like the left wing during the Vietnam War. He doesn`t want to seem like a hater of the military. They got a bad name in Nam. So he pretends he likes them while he tries to cut their budget and tie their hands against necessary strong interrogation. Obama is turning us into a nanny state and he is so duplicitous and phony that I can`t even get up a good head of steam to fight him. He is a straw man. I can`t set him on fire because he is all wet. All his programs are aimed at robbing the majority and helping the minorities. He was supposed to be post-racial but he has turned out to be a pro black racist. He should wake up and see that he is no longer part of his underprivileged class. He earned over five million dollars last year.

I am sick of his pretending that he is a homeboy. He never was. He never will be. He is an Ivy League multi-millionaire who is followed around by a bevy of servants in one of the largest mansions in the world—the White House. His name is not Barack. It is Mr. President. He should grow up and be himself. Not that I really care; he is too clichéd, dishonest and boring to interest me.

Geoff Jackson:
Dum 1
Section 1

1. Pax, Americana

I have a dream…I have a dream
Athenian Empire
Under the Shield of the Silver Shilling
Of the goddess of wisdom
Gathering island states
Dodecanese and Ionian
Mainland Peloponnese to Hellespont

In a flotilla of ships
Trailing after the skirts of Democracy
In the blue Mediterranean
Nostre Mare

Nostre Munde now
One Nation under God Indivisible
E pluribus unibus
From Sea to Shining Sea
And beyond and beyond and beyond

To the freedom of the skies
Old Glory waving in the wind

But Forget Not Caesar that You are Mortal
In your Triumph
But bow your head before God
Let righteousness rule
Not you

Law shall prevail
Let Demos, the People, decide
Oyez, oyez
Pragmatism enthralled in Checks and Balances
And yet the wisdom of the Founding Fathers
Dreams still of Freedom
For the world

The Silver Shining Shilling of Athena`s Shield
The two bits of everyman
And the two mites of the widow, too.


Michael R. Burch:
The Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative

Is peace through justice possible in the Middle East? Can the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict be settled without cycles of ever-escalating violence? Michael Burch, a Holocaust poetry editor, and Zainab Elberry, an Egyptian-American peace activist, believe the answer to both questions is "yes." They have created what may be called "the simple path to peace in the Middle East" ("simple" does not mean "easy"). This simple path to peace can be outlined in a single sentence:

There should be a new UN resolution calling for Israel to unconditionally grant both Israelis and Palestinians equal rights and access to fair (nonracist) laws and courts; the courts should be subject to peer review by judges appointed by the UN and must be able to set legal precedents. The remainder of this document explains why this Peace Initiative is necessary, and how and why it will work. Again, "simple" does not mean easy. Creating fair laws and courts is obviously easier to say than do. But the civilized world has been doing a progressively better job in this regard for a considerable time now, and it seems safe to say that racial violence has only been greatly reduced in nations that have taken this all-important step. It also seems safe to say that taking this all-important step has greatly reduced racial violence even in the most troublesome areas (for instance, in Germany immediately after the end of World War II, and in the Deep South of the United States after nearly one hundred years of racial violence following the Civil War). While during the Holocaust it may have seemed "impossible" for Jews and Germans to live in peace, and while during the Civil War it may have seemed "impossible" for slaves and slaveholders to live in peace, once fair laws and courts were actually established, within a relatively short period of time peace through justice became a reality.

Therefore, the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative is based on a simple, proven historical fact: peace without justice is impossible, while establishing justice will lead to peace. By "peace" we do not mean "perfect peace," but peace in general. Why will establishing peace through justice work? The reason is simple. Take, for instance, the situation of the Ku Klux Klan during the days of Jim Crow laws and public lynchings in the Deep South. When fair laws and courts were finally established in the Deep South, the worst forms of racial violence became too expensive to practice. As long as the penalties for acts of racism were light to non-existent, blacks were treated abysmally by white racists. But soon after fair laws and courts were established, most white racists came to the conclusion that they did not hate blacks enough to risk losing their own freedom, so to some large degree the worst forms of racism ended. While the results were not perfect, they were (and remain) encouraging. The same is true for Germany after World War II. It seems that no matter how horrendous the practice of racism may have been, establishing fair laws and courts will lead to tremendous improvement within a relatively short period of time. This is the "foundation" of the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative. Why will the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative work, when all past peace initiatives in the region have failed? Again, the answer is simple:

Past peace initiatives have failed because the government of the United States has vetoed one UN resolution after another that might have led to peace. But the government of the United States cannot veto this new UN resolution because it is based on the American Creed of equal rights, justice, fair laws and fair courts for all human beings.

Can the government of the United States veto the American Creed? In a word, no. This makes the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative different than anything attempted to date in the region. If the government of the United States were to veto the American Creed before the UN, it would become a laughingstock on the world stage, in the court of human opinion. So let us assume that this new UN resolution would not be vetoed by the government of the United States, and would therefore be adopted by the UN. What would happen then?

Either Israel would comply with the resolution, or Israel would not comply.

If Israel complied with the resolution, then the evidence of history is that racial violence would quickly lessen, and that Israeli Jews and Palestinians would find (perhaps to their surprise) that they were capable of living together in relative harmony, just as Germans and Jews now live together in relative harmony in Germany, and just as whites and blacks now live together in relative harmony in the Deep South. If Israel does not comply with the resolution (which seems unfortunate, but quite possible), then the UN can impose economic sanctions against Israel. While Israel is not currently a true democracy because it has racist laws and courts, it is "enough of a democracy" for its voters to elect new leaders once UN-imposed sanctions have inflicted sufficient economic pain. It is a modern democratic phenomenon that voters will invariably "vote their pocketbooks." So one way or another, Israel will "come to see the light" and decide to establish peace through justice, once the new UN resolution has passed. The Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative has the advantage of not requiring sitting American or Israeli politicians to "do the right thing" initially. American politicians will not have to risk their political necks at all. Sitting Israeli politicians may initially oppose the initiative, but if they do, the sanctions imposed by the UN will urge Israeli voters to elect new leaders more amenable to peace through justice. In closing, it is incontestable that racial peace requires justice. This is the clear verdict of history. The Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative takes this into account, and also takes into the account the current reluctance of American and Israeli politicians to "do the right thing." The key is to have a new UN resolution which the government of the United States cannot veto. This resolution will — one way or the other — lead to Israel establishing fair (nonracist) laws and courts. Once fair laws and courts have been established, they can help Israelis and Palestinians solve their differences "organically." This can be done via one of the following methods:

(1) A single state in which all Jews and Palestinians have equal rights.
(2) A two-state solution.
(3) A EEU-style solution in which all Jews are citizens of Israel and all Palestinians are citizens of a Palestinian state, and all citizens have freedom of movement.
(4) Some other system to be established, which does not discriminate against anyone based on race or creed.

It is vital that we do not assume that because the government of the United States has vetoed UN resolutions in the past, it will continue to do so. Past UN resolutions have been about things that are hard to agree to, such as eternal borders and national security. But if the issue raised is equal rights and justice, then there can be no dissension, because all civilized nations agree that all human beings are entitled to equal rights and the protections of fair laws and fair courts. This is why the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative will work, and lead to peace in the Middle East.

Michael R. Burch
Zainab Elberry

David Lawrence:

Obama in typical hippy fashion has called Jan Brewer`s new law in Arizona "misguided." Is it misguided to want to reduce the kidnappings, murders and robberies in your state? Is it misguided to want to protect the tax paying legal citizens from the illegal, criminal immigrants? Brewer wants all citizens to carry proof of legal status and she is authorizing law enforcement officers to ask about a person`s immigration status if they have doubts. Big deal. These acts are no brainers.

Do we want to stop crime or do we want to water it with a liberal watering can so that it can flourish? Should I give a damn if an illegal immigrant or a citizen is insulted because a cop asks him "what`s up?" When I was a teenager in East Meadow Long Island, the cops would pull me over every few months for possible loitering. Did I cry that I was being profiled for being a teenager? I figured they were doing their job. I got a kick out of it. I didn`t call the ACLU and demand representation for my student rights. I am so sick of the prejudice against profiling. Profiling is good. Not allowing profiling would be like telling a detective he is not allowed to gather any clues because it might offend the criminal.

If an alien refuses to carry an ID and won`t answer questions than there is obviously something wrong with him. If it smells like a fish it is a fish. Throw him back into the Mexican sea. Don`t shovel more of Obama`s crap onto the shore of stinkin litigation. Obama sermonizes from the mount that Brewer`s law "threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."

Oh right, sure, letting Mexican drug dealers kidnap people near the Arizona border really keeps "us safe." Give me a break. Obama spits out lies into the spittoon of his political palaver like there`s a drop of faux sincerity there. I can`t look at him making a speech without feeling like someone has his hand in my back pocket. If Obama were living in Arizona with his family and he wasn`t surrounded in the White House by the secret service and the army, we`d see how long he`d complain about "notions of fairness" when it came to ID`ing people. He`d be sending drones over the desert to spy on and destroy illegal immigrants. He`d be dropping bundles of poisoned water and tacos on them.

some haiku out of season?

i`ll cry at least once, old boy, when i find your last tennis ball

New Jersey turnpike-- Alan Ginsberg reading Howl on the radio

memory of green silver tracks blackened subway`s dim tunnel

Mixed priorities– medicaid covers viagra but not hearing aids.

old man pimp fixing a little pink bike for a babygirl

Outside my clinic office— sirens and a mockingbird

patients sitting waiting flipping old magazines too bored to read too scared to see heartache

shortage of flu vaccine– now everybody wants a needle!

snow falling on a Sunday-ah!—but oh the Monday drive

Superbowl Sunday What`s a girl to do all alone?

Surreal: the world convention of Hell`s Angels held in my home town.

Wintry mix: Magnolia Street slick with black ice.

Kelley J. White

AWESOME David Lawrence:

Is Obama the devil? That`s a pretty ridiculous thought considering that I don`t believe in the devil. But what if his weakening our military, our economy and our protective Regan-like image, inspires other countries like Russia, China and Venezuela to nuke us? Then America will be finished. And who will be responsible?

That nice, friendly, smiley guy, Obama. The devil?

It`s ironic that the liberals thought that Bush was the devil. Now, the real devil, Obama, is before them and all they can do is look backward and blame our hellish economy and wars on Bush again. But for us, the people of America, the people who were protected by Bush, Bush was an angel, he was Clarence from "It`s A Beautiful Life." Most of us were too stupid to realize what a protective gift we had in Bush. Even as the terrorist attacks mount up in our homeland, the liberals are too blind to see that the Obama-devil`s weakness is behind it. His failure to face up to evil, is the evil that enables our antagonists. His Alfred E. Newman smile hovers over Hasan`s Ft. Hood shootings, Abdulmutallab`s underwear bombing and Shahzan`s Times Square car bomb.

Dress Obama in red; give him a pitchfork. And a toy finger to point wherever he wants to indicate blame for his own weaknesses. Let him sit on a raspberry.

Contentment Haiku

Who needs shine of gold
When eternity of stars
Lights up the heavens?

I got air to breathe,
Memory, earth to walk on
They`re more than enough

Things not in my hands
Turn me to prayer, not slave
They`re mere shell, not core

Today, be content
Otherwise, I`ll never be
Quench the quenchless thirst


I was once a radical too. Like David Horowitz when he edited "Ramparts." We have grown together. There is nothing that sickens me more than bearded revolutionaries from the sixties who can`t get out of their own footsteps and escape their being dragged down into a passé generation. I see them marching everywhere—the Democrats who favor their intentions while they pave the highway to hell with failed insight. Stalin and Mau slaughtered millions more innocents than Nazis. I bury myself in the footnotes of liberal converts so that my death will be annotated. Life is the exegesis of one`s religious convictions. I am a spiritual plum.

If I could dress in purple I would get down to the pit of my own metaphysics. Sometimes I am afraid of the yellow fruit beneath my skin. I do not want to be appeased by liberals. All of Europe wants to follow communism`s offshoot—socialism. Isn`t that a kick in the ass? The Democrat is a donkey. And Obama, the Ivy League fool, thinks medicine is a communal experience.

Spare us from our President. He would rather coddle his intentions than to face the reality of his results. The celebration of his means contrast with the dog of his ends. He bites his tail and gets a mouth full of poop.
Michael Levy Quote of the Day

Once we can let go of a problem the solution will seek us out - Michael Levy.

In Love & Joy
Michael Levy.
Professional Optimist

Geoff Jackson:
The Special Relationship: US and U(K)

The `special relationship` is a term Churchill coined at the end of the Second World War to describe the relationship between Britain and America. They were really the only two Western democracies left standing at the end of the war so it was only natural for them to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to combat Communism. The alternative would have been for America to withdraw into isolation as it had at the end of the First World War and leave Europe under the hammer-and-sickle. The close cooperation of Britain and America dated back to the nineteenth century. The Bahamas lie just off the east coast of the US and used to be a naval base and the West Indies are to the south-east; the land border with Canada was an important peaceful border between England and America. In the First World War, American intervention was called upon to turn the balance of power. However, between the Wars, American presidents neglected Europe and allowed the League of Nations to become a laughing stock. Nonetheless, when Britain became involved in a war against the Nazi`s, Roosevelt was prepared to offer Lend-Lease in order to provision the little island kingdom that otherwise might have gone under. During the war, the military and Intelligence cooperation of the Allies – Britain and America – was unparalleled. After the war, there were close political and economic ties as well. Churchill first alluded to the special relation in a speech in 1945 that he reiterated in a speech made shortly afterwards in the US. “Neither sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization, will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of English-speaking peoples. This means a `special relationship` between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States.”

In particular, Churchill was convinced, “We should not abandon our special relationship with the United States and Canada about the atomic bomb.” The two countries worked closely on developing weapons together. The UK was allowed to know the results of the Nevada nuclear tests and purchased first Polaris nuclear missiles and then Trident from America. Moreover, Britain became part of the US Early Warning System based at Filingdale. It rose from the Yorkshire Moors like three giant golf balls impressing local people including my parents, who lived only a few miles from there in the same county. There were also many US bases in England.

The most recent US conflict Britain involved herself in was the Iraq War. Partly this was due to the close relationship between George Bush and Tony Blair, which led to accusations of Blair and Britain being America`s poodle but partly there were solid oil interests behind it. When I worked in the Arabian Gulf, it was noticeable how many British and American ex-pat`s there were and how closely the countries worked with the native rulers. Originally, Iraq was supposed to have the world`s second largest oil reserves and there would be contracts to all the coalition partners. Unfortunately, due to terrorism and the failure of contra-insurgency, the oil could not be pumped out. Moreover, Blair probably lost his job as British Prime Minister due to the Iraq War. The fight of course goes on in Afghanistan. Recent reports suggest unexpected wealth in terms of mineral resources in Afghanistan but like Iraqi oil, it may turn out to be a desert mirage. Britain, meanwhile, has its own version of the Patriot Act, has suspended habeas corpus in terrorist cases and is frequently at the receiving end of terrorist threats e.g. to airports. Not even the IRA have been able to do what the Arabs have been capable of. The two countries, Britain and America, go in for considerable Intelligence sharing. This originated during the Second World War with the sharing of code-breaking knowledge. However, the Head of the CIA in London attends weekly meetings with the British Joint Intelligence Committee. Moreover, Americans take British Islamists (mainly from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) seriously and this has led to wide scale appointments of CIA agents to Britain to keep `a finger on the pulse` there. There is also a joint operation of a military facility on Diego Garcia and Ascension Island.

In the economic policy of the US and Britain, each is the other`s biggest investor. British exports to the States are aviation, aerospace, commercial property, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and heavy machinery. Britain has more trade with the States than with France and Germany put together. Moreover, even after many years in the EU, Britain`s economy is more convergent with the States than with its European neighbors. Much in the `special relationship` has depended on the personality of the various leaders. Churchill`s mother was American and he got on well with Roosevelt as far as we can tell from history. MacMillan and John F. Kennedy also enjoyed a good relationship. Heath and Nixon were cooler and Heath preferred to speak of a `natural relationship` rather than a `special relationship`. Heath was very pro-European and took Britain into the EU.

The top point of the special relationship, however, was the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. `Maggy` spoke of an “extraordinary alliance”. They shared a philosophy of free markets, low taxes, limited government and strong defense. Thatcher proclaimed, “Your problems will be our problems and when you look for friends we shall be there.” However, the relationship went through a bumpy period due to the Falklands War that America was not for, which it nonetheless survived. Another war – this time between Bosnia and Serbia – was another crisis in the special relationship and US-European relations. It made difficult the relationship between John Major and Bill Clinton, although Clinton acknowledged of Major, “He was a truly decent guy, who never let me down.” It sounds like Bill and mutt. Clinton and Blair were closer. New Labour`s Third Way also was partly influenced by the New Democratic policies being put forward by Clinton. However, it was George Bush and Tony Blair, who had a close personal relationship, which underpinned their mutual alliance vis-à-vis Iraq. Indeed, even now the two leaders take their holidays together.

President Obama and David Cameron are new players on the political scene. Obama has only two years service as a Senator and Cameron is the youngest Prime Minister since 1812. However, Obama has proclaimed himself the first Pacific President and will soon visit Indonesia. He has made little effort to form friendships with European leaders. At the G20 Conference, he took walks instead with the leaders of India and China and it seems these new economic giants are countries he wishes to focus on. Obama, however, has made six diplomatic trips to Europe (one to collect his Nobel Peace Prize). Obama is said to be aloof and not a fun-guy but a cerebral guy to be with. David Cameron has only just become the Prime Minister of GB. He seems to have got on well with Obama, when they met in London. However, Cameron`s Liberal-Democratic allies will pull him in the direction of Europe. Moreover, usually Conservatives get on better with Republicans. However, that may not be a problem in modern politics given Obama`s bi-partisan commitment and David Cameron`s coalition government. So, what can we say of the `special relationship`? is it a footnote in history or does it linger on today. Times have changed since the Cold War, where Britain and the US had no other partners and when the world was very Eurocentric. Britain is not a Pacific power but a North Atlantic power and a foothold in Europe, which America can use. Probably much of the nature of the special relationship will depend on the relationship of Cameron and Obama, two young and very inexperienced men. Oh, and one blot on the special relationship: there are 60,000 barrels of crude leaking into the Gulf of Mexico per day and BP is having no success in stopping it or cleaning it up. They just keep saying that compensation will be paid but we all know what that means. Obama is in a quandary: should he jettison his nearest ally? Under which laws has BP been drilling? Whose safety regulations? What will be the effect of dire measures toward BP have on the UK economy? It would certainly help Anglo-American relations if an end could be put to the oil leak and the partners be gotten out of a sticky situation. However, no sight of that at the present time and Anglo-American relations seem to be seeping out to sea along with the oil.

~ Geoff Jackson
POET`s Corner

Michael Ceraolo:
From The Bull Pen

Shakespearean Baseball Sonnet #27

Toil-weary, I haste to the trainer`s room,
And there I soak my pitching limb in ice
And try to delay the damage that looms,
A dark cloud over the ballplayer`s life.

The throwing motion a most stressful act
No matter which of my pitches are thrown,
I take the mound cognizant of the fact
One pitch can result in an elbow blown
Or shoulder muscles being torn to shreds,
And my career thus placed in the rear view
Unless I go to a surgical bed
And make that part of my pitching arm new.

Lo, thus by day my limbs, by night my mind
Are used up by the pitcher`s daily grind.

Shakespearean Baseball Sonnet #28

How can I then return in happy plight
To face the danger from a batted ball;
The same danger is there both day and night
Even after I`ve returned from my fall.
A line drive off me, no permanent mark:
Just the collective held-breath of the park
As I lay until the doctors came out,
Treating me like the loser of a bout,
By technical knockout out of the game.

Other hurlers of even greater fame
Have likewise been hit and hurt much much worse,
Small consolation at the time of course.

And when I return to the mound, my fate,
My memory of this must be a clean slate.

Shakespearean Baseball Soliloquy #3

Now is the winter of our discontent,
The glorious summer of baseball spent;
And the Hot Stove League is a poor substitute
For our daily dosage of play-by-play.

If our team`s brows are bound with victor`s wreaths
And their fingers adorned with championship rings,
A fate more likely for the House of New York,
Then our discontent is greatly diminished.

But we fans of the twenty-nine other teams
Hope those changes from the winter meetings
Will frighten the fearful adversary
Whose free-agent signings have deformed our time,
And who so lamely and unfashionable
Insists otherwise despite all evidence.

We have not delight passing away the time
By watching competition`s deformity,
And hate the idle owners of these pleasures,
Allegedly each one against all the others.

Ideas true, equitable, and just
Are called subtle, false, and treacherous;
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Your time`s not come.

-Michael Ceraolo

Geoff Jackson:
Summer Days


Pastel eve
With pastel colors
Prepares for night’s sleep
Which the watchful waves
Will observe
With the gulls to remind them

John Grey:

Beware the pomegranate.
It offers up its skin
to your teeth
just so its seeds
can go forth and procreate.

It`s so excited
when you first bite into it
that it bursts red and juicy.
It gives up its nectar,
then its pulp.

It doesn`t mind that
its rind is tossed
in the garbage.
For the seeds are free.

Beware the pomegranate.
It gets you in the mood
for a man.

RAUD KENNEDY In Love With Love

When she started talking about visions
she`d had of us together in the future
I knew I`d break up with her.

We spent our time together
making plans for tomorrow,
not living today
because that would entail
being in separate places.

Two people eager to be in a relationship
but without enough connection
to carry the conversation
through dinner.

Alan Britt:
A Simple Poem

A simple poet with a spoon
once approached the aging moon,
gouged the eyes of crocodiles,
slapped the bottoms of baboons…
if only wool, alpaca, Icelandic
or otherwise, sulfur as it dissolves
between the hips of primordial lovers,
if only * * * if only,
if only * * * if only,
if only.

Beautyholic Anonymous

She made a secret library, a private chapel,
With pillars of Vogue magazines as the bible,
With scrolls of gospels according to Glamour;
And evidently, it is true in her case -
That friends who practise the same religion,
Gather together; mostly, to discuss
How their therapy for an empty life
Goes useless to destructive,
As excessive passion for details devours them

The surgeon can alter the surface,
But can not do anything about the obsession
Give ourselves credit for taking the first step:
Admitting to it, admitting ourselves for rehab -
Here, where they show you how vanity kills,
And how disasters happen in the human body
This is a sanctuary to purge, to forget fashion
No mask, no lipstick, no foundation is required

We are all lights and sounds here
Leave luxury behind, only basic necessities
The less we put on,
The more strength we build within
There will be days and nights
When we will sorely miss the mirror;
But we are all in this together, as good influence
To each other, that we may all graduate -
Beautyholic Anonymous

Dr Kelley Jean White, MD:
On The Sidelines

Superbowl Sunday

What`s a girl to do
all alone?

Geoff Jackson:
End of Day


A sunset is always moving
But a summer sunset is most moving
A death is always moving
But a young death is most moving
David Sowards:
Team Sports

Basketball Jokes

One player could really shoot hoops, but he used a .45!

One team could really win on the road, they just couldn`t win on a court.

I know a pro who had twelve college degrees. It`s easy when you make enough money to buy a university!

This one guy could play like Michael Jordan. He could play like Michael Jordan played baseball.

This guy was a real team leader...in turnovers, fouls, and arrests.

How many teams in the Big Ten? Eleven. And you wonder why some athletes can`t count!

Of course, no one expects an "offensive player" to have any manners.

This one player could make any shot...as long as you gave him twenty tries!

This one player was so bad, the only baskets he could make were made out of twigs.

This one team was so bad, they had a lot of road games, but the most traveling they ever did was on the court.

One player led the league in steals...until he was arrested for burglary!

There was a team so bad, they called them the squirrels because they`d be running scared at home and get killed on the road.

There was this prospect who was a seven-footer. The only problem was he had seven left feet!

This one player could sure dribble. He could dribble so much that most of his beer ended up on the floor.

Kareem may have beaten Wilt Chamberlain`s point record, but with over 5,000 women served, the Stilt was probably the all-time off court scoring champion!


Hockey is like politics. You`ve got the left wing, the right wing, the center, and they`re always beating the hell out of each other!

A guy got mugged. He said the mugger had bad teeth, so he was either a hockey player or British.

One arena organist had a sense of humor. Whenever a visiting player would get slammed between the legs, he`d play "The Nutcracker!"

Once, I was clobbered by a hockey player who disagreed with my suggestions that the athletes were violent.

St. Louis should be a better team. After all, their opponents are always playing the Blues!

Obviously, no one expects an "offensive player" to have manners!

Teams often have to play short-handed. Especially, if their opponents have chopped off a few of their fingers!

The New Jersey Devils may have an "evil" mascot, but the Bruins have Satan playing for them!

It`s called a face-off because of all of the times they try to scrape off their opponent`s noses with their sticks!

Sometime the biggest goal of hockey seems to be waiting until the ref`s back is turned away so that you can whack your opponent!

Hockey is like soccer on ice, so maybe it should be called Sockem!

Hockey can be funny. After all, it`s the ultimate slapstick sport!

Hockey...the hitting, the slapping, the shooting, the pushing, the shoving, ...and that`s just in the locker room!

Alan Britt:

You see those civil servants
in their reject green and khaki,
and sometimes three-piece woolen imaginations
prepared to lead us to the gallows?

You tear your number among them
from the infinite row of numbers
above the finger-smeared glass counter
at Santoni’s deli.

Abby LeCavalier :
Forget About Me

Electronic buzzing,
cell phone bleeding tones,
the radio hissing
some song by Blink 182.

I saw them once
in a dive bar downtown,
they were not famous yet,
not even close.

And I’m cracking
like old glass,
yellowed by the sun.

Fear puddles like water
and I have no old friends to blame,
no old friends at all;
I’ve been erased
from Milton’s Paradise.

I would love to shake hands
with John
before I go,
soaked back into the pen
and the ink well.

As my photos disappear
in the blue light
of a fire.

an isolated end
to an unpopular life.

Erica Rosi:
Two Weeks

Already we stand nearer to each other
in the airport lines
that direct us, through many small byways,
to India.

The endless humanity,
the great silence of generations,
already breathes
a fire inside us.

We see the faces of my husband’s family,
the angles of those moments
that mattered most.

Attendants push us to stay
inside the flow of their lines
while we keep our hands or knees
close enough so that
we almost have merged.

All of this has happened
even while the hostess seats us
in a corner booth
at the restaurant
that opened near our house.

We talk about my husband’s hair
and how his mother
would have preferred it
a quarter inch shorter
than it will be in two weeks.

The lines of travelers,
taxis and India herself
have happened,
as moments inside us, already.
Only the potential remains.

We wonder
how we ever married
and how this
return trip to India
has changed us.

American Jackals

I heard them howling
Somewhere in the valley floor,
Or possibly, in the crest
Of the steep mountain behind me
Prairie wolves are claiming their area,
Exclaiming their presence
I feel the tremble of a sheep, a goat,
Fear inflicted by these cattle predators
That are primarily nocturnal,
But are on the hunt day and night,
Traveling in large troops,
Hunting in pairs some of the time
Hide! Run away from the burrows
They are capable of digging their own,
Coyotes within the vicinity,
In their grayish brown pelt,
Sometimes, yellowish gray
Apparently, this is the American life

David Lawrence:

In 1976 I received a Ph.D. from CUNY Graduate Center in Literature. I was proud of this. I loved my degree. I would have pinned it on my forehead if I could. Last week the Graduate Center sent me its latest brochure with a quote by the President, William P. Kelly, that “exceptionalism…has been given new life and meaning by the world view of President Obama.”

Under what rock has Professor Kelly been viewing the downfall of this country?

I am no longer proud to have graduated from the Graduate Center. The only exceptionalism we have achieved by Obama is massive debt, a weakening of America’s defenses, a satiric sneer from our enemies who think we are a paper tiger, an emphasis on union handouts rather than small business competitiveness, a recentering of economic growth within the federal government, an obvious movement from capitalism to socialism and a penchant for rhetoric rather than content, speech rather than deeds. There is nothing exceptional about Obama except that he is so bad and goes so against the grain of our historical self-reliance. He has totally reversed Bill Clinton’s movement away from the nanny state and rushed us headlong into financial reapportionment welfare redistribution.

I once owned a rather large company. If I still did, I wouldn’t hire any college graduates. If this “exceptionalism” is what the faculty is teaching them, then I wouldn’t want them on my staff, jealously looking at each other’s corporate emoluments. The days of college superiority are over. The lowest weaklings from my days, the sixties, have taken over the philosophy of the schools and inculcated ridiculous programs like gender identification and Kenyan Literature. The University System has become the puppet of the left wing. The professors teach because they know nothing else but their own prejudices and their own fears of entering the real work force. CUNY, I once loved you. I am sad to see you cheating on me with another lover—the angry, syphilitic God of ideology. And your students are idiots who celebrate their infections. Obama is an intellectual-biological weapon of mass destruction.

In Fullosia,
David Lawrence

Dr. Charles Frederickson:
On Education

In too many schools, the 3 R’s have become Rote, Regurgitation and Repulsion, requiring 3 additional R’s: Reinforcement, Remediation and Relearning. Trendy ex-spurt evil-uators are unduly obsessed with teaching for standardized exams and meeting unrealistic prescribed targets based on test results that have little to do with actual intelligence, innate talent or capability to achieve. Standardized mindsets are, in fact, antithetical to the spirit and purpose of education.

Test scores as the dominant measure of educational success undermine the need to incorporate standards or goals that allow for freedom of expression, know-how readiness, logical problem-solving savvy, everyday coping skills, as well as abstract and creative thinking.

The most durable way to improve schools is to improve basic skills mastery, progressive methodology and IT-focused materials within a stimulating self-access, discovery learning environment. Emphasis should be on solid and secure well-run community schools offering a coherent set of clear options and achievable expectations of what children need to know to become contributing, responsible citizens making sound moral and ethical choices.

The challenge is how to design fairer and more effective testing procedures that can demonstrate student knowledge and understanding without the exam process becoming a dehumanizing experience. The role of teachers, as facilitators, should be to guide, enable and empower motivated students to respect multiversity, appreciate the unique autonomy of others and to treat everyone with compassionate dignity.

~ Dr. Charles Frederickson

Michael Levy: Fools Gold ...
The next Bubble to Pop

You cannot eat it, it pays no interest, however, you can gamble with it to try and make your fortune. The reality is, most people who speculate in gold will lose their shirt, while a few people, who feed intellectual propaganda to the media, will be laughing all the way to the bank with a fortune in the currency they are telling people is going out of fashion.

Gold does have some industrial uses, it is also used for jewelry and cosmetic teeth fillings. In my humble opinion, if it only traded on supply and demand basis, the price would be somewhere around $300 an ounce, given the state of world economies. As I write these words, gold is trading at $1230 an ounce 300% more than the supply/demand may be worth.

It has taken a few years for the mania to take hold from the lows of $255 an ounce a few years ago. It fell from $800 an ounce in 1982 and it has taken 28 years to get to today’s levels. The obsession for speculating in gold may go on for some time, but the higher it goes, the more the risk/reward ratio increases and the steeper the drop.

At some point the bubble will burst as it did with oil when it traded at $147 a barrel. I warned people then and very few in the mainstream media took any notice. So, if you think you are missing out by not trading gold I suggest you go back to bed until the feeling wears off. Then go out into the fresh clean air, find a park and feed the ducks.

Michael Levy is a professional optimist at Point of Life

Andy Martin:
Obama - McChrystal

(NEW YORK)(June 23, 2010) I was Obama's first critic, way back in 2004. And, of course, I literally "wrote the book" on Obama. My book, "Obama: The Man Behind The Mask," begins with a psychological profile of then-Senator Obama. Looking back at something written in 2007 surprises me at how current and how correctly we analyzed the future president. It's still a book worth reading. Buy it before they sell out. So, yes, I am a strong critic of Barack Obama. It is not often I give Obama advice on how to "man up" as a leader, but this is one of those rare times. The prevailing wisdom is that General Stanley McChrystal will be fired Wednesday. One TV bobblehead said Obama has to "look strong" and firing McChrystal give Obama a chance to look presidential. Allusions to President Truman's firing of General Douglas Macarthur are also being raised. This is all typical cable TV nonsense.

First, some practical advice for the president. You don't know soldiers. It's about time you learned something about our men and women in uniform. To Obama, our military has been a set of chess pieces, to be moved around on a "policy" board. Has Obama ever had a beer with McChrystal? Doubtful. Other soldiers? Also doubtful. Obama was more of a fugitive than a commander when he recently visited Afghanistan, in and out in a few hours. That kind of slam "bam" visit to a war zone does nothing to encourage the troops despite the artificial photo ops that are always generated by the media. So, advice number one to BHO: to use your own phrase, use the McChrystal controversy as a teaching and learning moment, and learn what you don't know about our men and women in uniform.

Second, who loves his boss? So McChrystal & Co. bitched about the senior management of Obama's team. In my opinion, too much has already been made of this incident. Obama has been poorly advised. Yes, Stanley was stupid. But he will be harder on himself than anyone else can be. Soldiers are like that. He let his men down. That's a heavy burden for a real commander to bear.

Third, there was no "insubordination" by McChrystal. Stupidity and bad manners in not necessarily insubordination. "Crazy Keith" Olbermann was reading from the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What "order" did McChrystal disobey? The UCMJ clearly has overbroad restrictions on free speech by military personnel. It is one thing to disobey an order. It is quite another to bitch, bitch, bitch. Soldiers have been bitching since the dawn of organized forces. Willie and Joe would have landed Bill Mauldin in jail during World War II if we applied the McChrystal test being applied by cable TV's "warriors."

Fourth, Barack Obama has never been a man's man. Yes, he played poker with the boys down in Springfield, but that was politics and play acting by the then-state senator. When McChrystal said Obama looked intimidated when the two met at the Pentagon, he was probably telling the truth. Barry Obama is not a man who feels at ease around soldiers. He has to admit that to himself. To take a line from the old song, "President Obama, you're in the Army now."

Fifth, McChrystal has spent his life in special ops. The "snake eaters" are even more macho and occasionally goofy than ordinary troops. And, yes, the men bitch. Bitching is part of Army life. There is no law that says you have to love your commander-in-chief. The law only requires you to obey and follow orders. I have no doubt that if Obama was in danger on Wednesday (today) McChrystal would risk his liFe to protect the president. He is that loyal. Loyalty is not the issue in this Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

McChrystal has faithfully obeyed Obama's orders and, moreover, he has interpreted them in a way that has given Obama "cover" for politically incorrect decisions, such as the policy of restraining air strikes and artillery to avoid civilian casualties. The Obama/McChrystal policy is costing American lives while it saves Afghan lives. That's a tough call. That's real leadership. Where is Obama going to find a generally so totally devoted to following Obama's directives? McChrystal has been a loyal soldier. Firing McChrystal will devastate Obama's strategy in Afghanistan. Firing McChrystal might make the anti-military pasty-faced weenies in the White House feel good for a few hours. But in doing so Obama would have shot down his best hope of a deal in Afghanistan. Truth be told, Obama needs McChrystal more than McChrystal needs Obama.

So how does a boss deal with unruly employees that pick up a few brewskis and start bitching? Fire them? I don't think so.

Basic management would tell you that when middle management (the general in the field and his combat team) are unhappy, something is wrong. There was a management failure in allowing the Afghan operation to become alienated from the policy wonks in Washington. The management failure is Obama's, not McChrystal's. When did Obama ever sit down with all of his feuding barons and get them to work things out? That's what Obama's "pay grade" is supposed to do. He failed. There is dissension in the ranks.

Much as I disliked George Bush's Iraq invasion, Bush had the good sense and management skill to sit down with Paul Bremer. Alone. Turns out Bush may have been a better manager than Obama.

If the team doesn't assemble and meet informally from time to time, the team is going to grouse, bitch, and engage in sniping and cattiness. Jesus' disciples used to argue about who was the greatest among them. So what's new? Has Obama ever played football? Baseball? What does he think players do off the field or the mound? Sing love songs to management?

con't col 2
Geoff Jackson:
Our American Cousin by Tom Taylor

Asa said, “Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out – ya sockdologizing old man trap.” The audience laughed merrily. A single shot rang out. “Sic semper tyrannis.” “So, to all tyrants.” And John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor, was on his way via the stage to a horse tethered in an alley to make his getaway.

The play was, “Our American Cousin” by Tom Taylor. It became the most famous play in history because in Act ll, Scene ll, the American President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

The scene was set as follows:

“Park in 4. Rural cottage L I. E adjoining which, and projected on stage, an inside view of a dairy with sloping roof, painting backing to look like milk pans. The whole scene should have a picturesque appearance. Garden fence runs across back, ornamental gate or archway. R. 8 B. Pigeons house on pole near dairy LC Spinning wheel inside cottage door, one or rustic benches R and L.”

It was the last thing Abraham Lincoln ever saw. One shot killed the man, who had transformed American history. It removed the helmsman, when the boat was in troubled waters. The Lincolns arrived twenty minutes late. Why did they ever go at all? Well, I remember seeing President Obama organizing egg-and-spoon races and sack races for kids on the White House lawn. Visiting the theater to take in a farce was popular with Washington high society. “Our American Cousin” was a popular play with a successful New York run behind it. It was in fact a hackneyed play with a predictable punch-line and outcome not even ingeniously put together. It’s all about the Trenchards. Asa Trenchard is the American branch, and rightful heir of the English estate, he goes to England to claim. Mrs. Mountchessington will stop at nothing to marry off her daughters. Coyle, the wicked snake and scoundrel, is out to fool Sir Edward and purloin the estate. Lord Dundreary is probably a Dun (eighteenth century word for someone, who is fooled out of money) and is certainly dreary. His jokes are painful. Mary from the dairy is the heroine, whom Asa marries.

“I milk the cows, set up the milk, superintend churning and make the cheese,” explains Mary.
“Well, darn me if you ain’t the first raal right down useful gal I’ve seen on this side of the pond,” says Asa.

For those readers, who find farm life and cow-houses romantic, I can assure you from my vantage point of having worked at my first job at an Agricultural College in Holland that a cow-house stinks. Mainly it stinks of rotting grass, which is what silage is, but the whole is something the nose has to get used to. Plainly Asa and Mary are happier with it than the drawing room artificiality found elsewhere in the play. Asa doesn’t understand that a valet is there to help him dress, unpack his valise etc and makes the mistake of taking a cold shower in the bath fully clothed. Presumably, he is used to pouring kettles of hot water into a tin bath without pipes.

The play has a lot to say about values and that is why it has little to say about our modern lives. In the eighteenth century, it would be unthinkable not to marry without property. “Emma Woodhouse, clever, handsome and rich…” (Jane Austen) nets Mr. Knightly because the two share a common background. But the book has a lot to do with the fact that Emma’s fortune is a lot below Mr. Knightly’s. We are now fifty years further on and the notion of romantic love has arisen. Asa is ready to sacrifice all for love so he burns his deeds to the estate, lighting a cigar with a paper worth £80,000 (just over a hundred grand). Mary thereby becomes heiress to that fortune. Unquestioningly, she takes Asa. He will not take her if it is only out of gratitude that she takes him but she assures him of her love. S/he are united. And so is everyone else in one way or another because this is a comedy and, since at least Shakespeare’s time, comedies finish with weddings. They are a ‘comedy of errors’ resolved by marriage. Otherwise there are transparent names; Mar(r)y, Asa (Acer), Mrs. Mountchessington – chest, Coyle, the serpent, Murcoat (murder-coat), his servant, Dundreary etc. Some of the characters show influences from Sheraton, the great eighteenth century comic genius. Dundreary in some dreary jokes puts us in mind of Mrs. Malaprop, who scintillates with wit, and gives us the word ‘malapropism’. De Boots (Dutch ‘boot' pronounced boat and meaning boat) and his relationship remind us a little of Becky Sharp. In fact, there is quite a lot of Vanity Fair in the book. The author almost acknowledges this by calling one girl ‘Sharp’.

Asa, the American, is put forward as a figure of fun. Particularly, when he dowses himself in cold water, he is a pure clown figure. And we can forgive a clown much. Asa proposes thus to Mary. “Give me yourself. I know what a rude, ill-mannered block I am, but there’s a heart inside of me worth something.” Mary replies, “Asa Trenchard, there is my hand, and my heart is in it…” Asa paints a good positive picture of himself and a picture of Americans that they can laugh at and find themselves in. Not so, the Brit’s. The play is a little late for a “comedy of manners”, which probably describe Thackeray and Sheraton and possibly for Jane Austen, too, but satirizes English manners. With the exception of Mary, the British are two-faced and false. “Perfidious Albion” is writ large. Here is what Augusta has to say, “Oh, I will take care not to give up my hold on poor De Boots ‘till I am quite sure of the American.” After Asa has burned his deeds to the property he applies to Mrs. Mountchessington.

Asa: “I’m offering my heart and my hand just as she [Augusta] wants them, with nothing in them.”
Mrs. M: “Augusta, dear, to your room.”
Augusta “Yes, ma, the nasty beast…”

There is a false chase after money and a frivolous life style. The emptiness of this ‘comedy of manners’ is shown for what it is. Interestingly, Asa is the only moving force. He persuades Dundreary to get De Boots a posting so De Boots can get married. And he ensures that everybody else gets married, too. Essentially, he, like them, is a Trenchard (“entrenched”) and even Americans in the nineteenth century were conscious of family connections and the advancement of family and will not let them fall. Essentially in the nineteenth century their social structure and outlook are still very European.

That one shot stopped “Our American Cousin” in its tracks. It was never put on again. It’s not worth reading. The reader interested in finding out is just as well off reading a synopsis or a critique. I hope my own contribution will be of interest and the play is well-documented on the Web. It is the background to one of the most significant events in American history namely the murder of a President. Geoff Jackson
Andy Martin:
Obama - McChrystal

My management prescription: It's time for a beer. The real solution to Obama's "shattered McChrystal" is the counterintuitive one. Obama needs to do something he is usually accused of doing too much of already, he needs to apologize. (In private.) Only this time he really has to mean it.

Obama needs to clear out the room, and bring in some beer and chips. Then he needs to be a man, among men, and have a heart-to-heart with Stanley. Obama's "apology" is not an apologetic act. Rather, it is an affirmation of the fact that he remains estranged from another man on whose shoulders so much of the Obama foreign policy rests. If I had a man who was carrying the burden of making me a success, I would come close to that person and create loyalty, not enmity. That's basic leadership. The White House, moreover, is a bad place to fire a general. McChrystal would start to leave the grounds, stiff upper lip, and say he was fired or relieved or whatever. Not good for anyone, and not good for the United States. As much as I want to see Obama out of office, I still love my flag and my men and women in uniform more. I do not want to see the office of president crushed by a lack of familiarity with the military ethos. Or with basic Management 101.

Think of the difference in perception if Obama and McChrystal meet alone, without aides, and they have a genuine, honest and open discussion of why McChrystal's team feels alienated from so many of the Obama team.

Think of the real victory Obama could win if he and McChrystal come out smiling, and Obama says "General McChrystal and I understand each other. We share the same values and are committed to the same policy. And I told the general, the next time he wants to complain, he should pick up the phone. While I was disappointed in the statements attributed to the general and his leadership team, I also realize that blowing off steam is not a basis to end a military career." End of story. Obviously I could write at greater length, but you get the picture. TV loves smiling pictures, not scowling faces and stiff upper lips. Americans want to see a positive message, not retaliation against some officers for getting drunk and blowing off steam with ridiculous remarks to a writer. The irony is, of course, that I was an early opponent of the Afghan surge, and I do not support Obama's policy. But the decision was made to surge. As a recent book by Jonathan Alter makes clear, Obama erred. He brokered harmony over his Afghanistan policy by appeasing Joe Biden with a rigid timetable for withdrawal.

General McChrystal and anyone who has ever been in a combat zone (excluding Field Marshal Mark Kirk) knows a pre-announced, rigid withdrawal schedule is impractical and unrealistic. We have a strange situation when we have Hamid Karzai backing McChrystal, and Senator John Kerry sounding like a serious statesman. As for me, I favor Joe Biden's policy approach, but Obama rejected that pathway. I love and respect McChrystal as a warrior and patriot, and I believe he should continue in Afghanistan. But on the policy merits I think Joe Biden was right. The bottom line: we have a very complex situation, with honorable people taking different views of how to solve the same problem. That's precisely the kind of situation in which managers blow off steam by bitching. For me, Barack Obama will show me that he's more of a man if he has a beer with McChrystal, instead of beating him with a baseball bat. As for our policy in Afghanistan, that's a topic for another column. For General Stanley McChrystal and President Barack Obama my recommendation is "bottoms up," not a baseball bat beating. America will be the better for it.

~ © Copyright by Andy Martin 2010
Geoff Jackson:
Red White and Blue


Angry clouds Boil across the sky Jack punishes his top


The flag Whips in the wind Of sullen scowling skies Proud in all seasons


Never more glorious Than in mid-summer A riot of colors Under the bluest of skies
Bob Djurdjevic:
A Declaration of Independence 2000

PHOENIX, July 2, 2000 - It is that time of the year again - the American Independence Day No. 224. Or is it? Are we still an independent nation as declared and conceived by our Founding Fathers 224 years ago? Perhaps it is time once again for us take a good look at ourselves on this Fourth of July and ask: Do the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence of 1776 still apply today? And if not, how might an American Declaration of Independence 2000 read? To help you in this difficult deliberation, we submit the following draft:

"In virtual CONGRESS on the Internet, July 4, 2000

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to their leaders disloyal to the common good of the nation, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to renounce their unlawful Government.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these United States of America; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present President, William Jefferson Clinton, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny of the New World Order globalist elite over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good, such as the people's Constitutional right to bear arms.

He has pressured Congress to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, such as the "fast track" legislation in 1997, or China trade bill of 2000, which are contrary to the interests of the American people, and only benefit the New World Order globalist elite.

He has misused the public funds set aside to defend the American Dollar to bail out his New World Order globalist elite backer's failed investments in corrupt foreign states (e.g., Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil).

He has called together international globalist legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the American public, such as the WTO meeting in Seattle, WA, or the IMF conference in Washington, DC, for the sole purpose of fatiguing the people into compliance with his measures.

He has threatened to dismiss Representatives repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people, such as the gun control legislation, or the Echelon spying system.

He has endeavored to change the demographic population of these States by opening the floodgates to alien immigration, legal or illegal, from all corners of the Earth but the traditional source of American immigrants - Europe.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by having his Attorney General refuse her Assent to Special Counsels establishing Judiciary powers to control the illegal fund-raising activities of his party and of his closest associates.

He has disgraced the highest office in the land; lied under oath; and obstructed the Administration of Justice. He and his New World Order globalist backers have then intimidated a sufficient number of Senators to prevent him from being impeached.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, such as Judge Paul Friedman, whom he appointed in 1994, and who supported him against 26 legally duly House Representatives claims against his illegal, undeclared and unconstitutional war on a countries which have done us no harm (Yugoslavia, Iraq).

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. Including the audits by the IRS of the two women who have accused him of sexual harassment.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, which he had dispatched to over 33 countries around the world without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power, by appointing his loyal political friends and generals, such as William Cohen or Wesley Kanne Clark, to positions of supreme military power.

He has combined with others in the New World Order globalist elite to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation, such as the United Nations Charter.

He has usurped our Government and is waging War against us, the American People. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people, killing innocent citizens, including women and children, such as at Waco or Ruby Ridge.

He has abdicated Sovereign Governments worldwide by declaring them out of his Protection and is waging War against them.

He has plundered the Sovereign seas, ravaged the Sovereign Coasts, burnt the Sovereign towns, and destroyed the lives of the Sovereign people, including those with friendly dispositions to the United States of America.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of American and foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands - the eternal disgrace of these United States of America.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

We, therefore, the People of the United States of America, in General Virtual Congress, assembled on the Internet, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare.

That these United States are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the treasonous New World Order Government in Washington, including all Congressional representatives who have betrayed the People who sent them to Washington, in favor of serving the New World Order Princes: That as Free and Independent United States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce; And to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do; And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor;

The Signers of the Declaration and the States they represent."


Charles Fredrickson:
No Holds Barred

Why do foreigners have sexy accents, but when Americans speak in a foreign language, they just sound like blithering idiots?

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts, so, to reduce guilt, eat dessert first, preferably smothered in hot fudge. A balanced chocoholic diet features: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate truffles and chocolate mousse. I’d give up chocolate, but I’m no quitter.

Happiness is an artful frame of mind. Enjoying life moment-to-moment is all about attitude and making your heart smile. Our positive attitude toward life determines life’s rather indifferent attitude toward us. It isn’t our position but our disposition that enables little things to make a big difference. Dismal cloudy day negativism is no match for radiant sunny day optimism. {*<^>*}

Ideas are like rabbits... You get a couple and raise them - pretty soon you have a dozen bushy-tailed notions and hare-brained schemes ^*^

Mindful hearts are like gossamer skydiver parachutes – functioning best when open by awesome wonder rather than closed by worrisome fears. Love is a passionate freefall jump – releasing each other’s ripcords, no strings attached. <^>

To try is to risk failure, but the greatest hazard in life is not trying and succeeding, falling and staying down, not getting back up. Attempt every imaginable problematic right try-angle; resolve again and again to be better than yourself; always keep on trying until.


The garden, as a contemplative study of nature, is the grandest educator. It teaches gardeners humble patience, spiritual tranquility, close observation, careful watchfulness and curious wonderment. Above all, it nurtures common sense trust, learning by actually doing, soiled green thumb hands-on experience, daring to make mistakes and flexibly adapting to corrections. Knowledge can neither be cultivated nor harvested. As the buds unfold, so, too, the open blossoms - their loveliness bursting forth and emanating from within.

Maryann Spikes:
Straightway Swept Away
To: my King

I came to You broken with fear and trembling
You stretched out Your hand and mastered my ascending
Plucked from the fire, chosen before the beginning
Resurrected by the finger of God, dancing
Done with spineless speculating, with pretending
Everything else in my life all foreshadowing
Found understanding in the shadow of Your wing
The mire Your incorruptible love transcending
In indelible ink, in Your own blood writing
To suffer death for friends, Son of God descending
The narrow path Your Word ever enlightening
Spongy mirror of my heart Your will reflecting
By You my soul walking, for Your return waiting

Geoff Jackson:


In clearing early morning skies
The flag flaps
And the flagpole rings true


Given from birth
Love of country
Fellowship and love


A tea-party
To consign taxes to the sea
And raise the banner


Redcoat and homespun
Regal v. local aristocracy
A struggle of brothers
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