Rockaway Park, NY 11694 * September 11, 2011 ** "I will take no bull from your house" Leviticus
Awesome David Lawrence:


Gene Sperling, Obama`s economic adviser, blames George Bush for the bad economy. And yet Obama ran on the premise that he would fix George Bush`s failures. Guess Obama didn`t do it. It makes no sense for Sperling to blame Bush now when blaming Bush was part of Obama`s original platform and indigenous to his presidency. Guess it`s time to shop around for a new president who might actually live up to his promises and fix the economy.


Boghos L. Artinian:

Bear with me
My words are hand-picked
red grapes,
my sentences, sparkling
grape juice,
my paragraphs, casks of fermented
red wine,
and my whole essay, well aged wine
to suit your taste!



There was a time when unions protected workers from abuses. Now the government protects us from workplace malfeasance. So tell me, what is the purpose of unions? Are unions there to end free enterprise? It`s a shame that they use the muscle of their numbers to coerce business into overpaying labor. Unions have become a form of extortion. It`s come to the point that they are bankrupting countries like Greece. It`s time we let the marketplace determine wages and put unions back into their prehistoric role of putting out fires in Third World buildings and countries. It`s time we stopped them from embarrassing us by standing on picket lines in their T-shirts, overhanging bellies and baggy jeans. It`s time we put our fingers in our ears so that we don`t have to listen to them mangling the English language.


Alan Britt:

When ordered to shoot the first Cheyenne,
he went viral, crawled behind a wagon wheel,
gazed between its grizzly spokes with a dollop
of orange mud caking right eyebrow.

The Cheyenne, as it turns out, were good practice
for the Mexicans, Cubans, Germans, Japanese
& Germans again. So, we`ve gone from Fort Robinson
to Iraq & back, Afghan brown eyes
staring the way Dull Knife looked
when he saw the Bluecoats oozing like ants from either side
of earthly aberrations called the Black Hills,
or rivers, Missouri & Red, buffalo migration highways
called What was the name of that valley, again?
or Don`t remember that canyon, either!

Damn Bluecoats.

Actually, I do believe The Long Knives fought the Mexicans before they conquered the Cheyenne. My recollection is that their successors The Rough Riders fought Spain, not Cuba. Not many Britts would have damned the Bluecoats` grandchildren The GIs who by the bye had switched to Olive when Goebbles was singing Bombs Begiften Anglaand in 1941! Then the Britts pled Onward Christian Soldier.



At a Labor Day speech Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. said "President Obama, this is your army." He is suggesting that his workers will lead a militaristic coup against innocent Republicans and that Obama (the hypocritical warrior in the Middle East) will gladly sanction their violence. I am sick of pseudo-pacifist Democrats who accuse tea partiers and Republicans of violence while they push ruthless revolution. Why doesn`t Obama denounce their war? That`s right, they contribute a fortune to his vainglorious presidency. The corrupt politics of Chicago is hiding with the unions in a bunker beneath the White House.


Who brought the teamsters down?

(a) The Kennedys
(b) The Democratic Party and their Liberal Friends
(c) The Evil Republicans
(d) "A" and "B" but not "C"

Correct answer "D." Too bad James Riddle Hoffa ain`t around to wise up Junior.



Air has the smell of a thunderstorm.
Along the horizon clouds begin to form.
Yonder, full Blood Moon just rising.
Odd to have a storm this late, not surprising.

Moon clears tops of hemlock trees.
Before storm a rather stiff breeze.
Something moves swiftly across bloody moon.
Stops: hovering in place about fifteen feet up: like a balloon.
A witch, probably, this one is very fair.

Moon gives no color; she sits astride her broom there.
She inspects the ground, moon, approaching storm.
Glides away to, who can say, she is a different form.



Chuck Schumer has a good heart but a small brain. He wants to rip off the government to the tune of $20 million dollars a year to pay for the museum at Ground Zero. That way the tourists wouldn`t have to fork out $20. Hey, Chuck, please keep your handouts to yourself. This country is bankrupt. We don`t need to go further into debt so that you can feel charitable and give the poor a museum experience. We don`t need to weaken national defense by wasting money on tourist attractions. I myself would love to visit the museum but I don`t have the twenty. So I can`t go. Boo hoo. I don`t need any museums. I see enough of 9/11 on television and my mind`s eye is seared with the images of the hijacked planes going into the towers. I love the victims of 9/11. I hate the radical Moslems who murdered them. I have no reason to shake the hands of big government that wants to subsidize their coopting of the death event and make me thankful to them for the free ticket to their museum.


Michael Lee Johnson:
Leaves in December

Leaves, a few stragglers in
December, just before Christmas,
some nailed down crabby
to ground frost,
some crackled by the bite
of nasty wind tones.

Some saved from the matchstick
that failed to light.
Some saved from the rake
by a forgetful gardener.

For these few freedom dancers
left to struggle with the bitterness:
wind dancers
wind dancers
move your frigid
bodies shaking like icicles
hovering but a jiffy in sky,
kind of sympathetic to the seasons,
reluctant to permanently go,
rustic, not much time more to play.



Obama has appointed Alan Krueger as his top economist. Krueger announces that minimum wage hikes don‘t depress unemployment. Well, he disagrees with just about every economist on that one. Not to mention that it is contrary to common sense to imagine that raising inexperienced workers` wages will encourage hiring overpriced neophytes. Where do our professors, the Krueger`s of the worlds, come up with such nonsense? It reminds me of when the Democrats said that torture doesn`t reveal vital information. And then after waterboarding Khalid Sheik Mohammed, our hirsute friend revealed the courier who led the navy seals to Osama. Obama doesn`t believe in torture. Then why does he takes credit for the information water boarded out of Khalid that led to Osama`s assassination. Torture has been proven time and time again to be workable. If it wasn`t used, we would no longer have a Brooklyn Bridge. And now Obama and his highbrow buddy Krueger are about to unemploy the lower classes by increasing their wages. If only Obama would stop hiring the Krueger`s and the Ivy League boys and hire pragmatic businessmen who have built companies. Krueger wants to overpay. The economy won`t sustain maximum wages for minimum workers.


Clinton Van Inman:

They said that you were dressed right
In your blues, your red and white,
The fresh cut flowers were neatly laid,
The flag was folded as the band had played.

We stood and watched with Sunday`s best
In places not for playing you would rest,
Momma fell sick, said it was the heat
When they lowered you under our feet.

They said that you were dressed right
With your blues, your red and white,
But none of those names engraved in stone
Or those flags waving for some proud cause
That gives the grownups much applause,
Or even your medals matter—because you are gone.



After watching a television show about 9-11 I can`t help but feel a responsibility to hate all Moslems. I am still shocked by the damage that they caused us for absolutely no valid reason.

The only way to discourage suicide bombings is to convince the world that jihadists are so disgusting that people that they should not imitate them. They are not romantic. They are not Humphrey Bogart smoking a cigarette in "Casablanca." They are pedantic lessons in ideological warfare.

Moslem feeble excuses for killing three thousand Americans are that Americans killed Arabs in the battlefield or that we have military bases on their Holy Roller soil in Saudi Arabia.

Every time I see someone jump from the fire in the World Trade Towers on television I want to kill a Moslem. Why shouldn`t I? They want to decapitate us and collect our heads like they are collecting bowling balls for their league. In Newark American Moslems jumped up and down cheering the fall of the Towers.

If I don`t want to kill a Moslem then I am a wimp and a traitor. I must stand up for innocent Americans or I justify that person`s free fall to the street.

Do the Moslems really feel that they have a right to kill American citizens just because we put a base on their Saudi Arabian sacred soil? What`s sacred soil? Undeveloped land populated by ignorant Moslems.

Moslems have the right to kill us first but we don`t have the right to avenge ourselves second? Are they kidding?

Actually, Moslems don`t deserve a fair break. They haven`t earned it. They broke the backs of our skyscrapers without warning and killed innocent people with no remorse, just hatred.

So what was I watching? The television show I saw was named "9-11." It wasn`t very good. It was done by two French brothers. But you don`t have to be good when the subject of the horror committed by the Moslems is so obvious.

The failure of liberal Americans to hate Moslems is what encourages atrocities to go on. If the whole world ganged up against 9-11 the blight of suicide bombings and the killings of innocents might at last be buried at Ground Zero.

When will the Moslems grow up and say that the Americans are too easy on us? When will they accept their guilt and fault us for not punishing them further?

The ACLU and other hallucinogenic liberal groups want to stop bigotry against Moslems. Surprisingly there is not enough. There is no such thing as prejudice against jihad. There should only be recognition of its evil and the desire to stop it at all costs.


Edwin Jacques:

flag full of white stars
field of blue, red and white stripes:
Independence Day!

let`s watch the parade
some of our people are home
for Fourth of July

the old veterans
lead the parade through town
they march a long way

jets scream down Main Street
with a rumble they are gone
everyone looks up



Mayor Bloomberg is jockeying for permission to build a mosque at Ground Zero. And now he is forbidding any religious ceremonies at the 9/11 ceremonies. Why? Maybe he wants to show the Moslems that we don`t favor Christians or Jews. Maybe he is afraid of the Moslems and feels that if he avoids religion, it won`t be apparent that he is bending over backwards for them. Perhaps he is afraid of seeming a bigot and he is worried that if he allows religious services he will have to give the Moslems their voice at the ceremonies. This may avoid confrontation, even if it means abandoning Judeo Christianity as he has done before. Now he is abandoning the dead who might find comfort in clerical prayers. When the dead reach out to us for memorials they will find a little man standing there rejecting them.




Buffett, like nouveau riche Obama, wants to share in the sacrifice. Does anyone really think that no matter how much Buffett or Obama contribute, their life styles or security will ever be diminished? They are top of the heap of sugar and returning a few spoonfuls to the middle class pile will not make their coffee bitter. What does Buffett`s offer of being taxed more really do to bring his life style down to our level? Will he have to worry about healthcare or nutritious dinners? Will he lose his 401K? His offer to share our poverty is a ruse and an insult. He doesn`t have to pretend that he is a saintly person by climbing on our backs. Get off. Go back to Oz with the rich and the horse of many colors. And Mr. Buffett, where, pray tell, will your increased taxes go but to a corrupt government which is in debt and will piss it away down the giant urinal of collective irresponsibility? Why don`t you hire more people with your money and open new firms that will be forced to spend money intelligently in order to be able to compete in the free enterprise marketplace. Twenty years ago I was in the insurance business. I tried to deal with Warren Buffett`s Berkshire Hathaway but he was so conservative that he would never expose his company to any risk. He is not a generous man. He is a shrewd corporate man with a saint complex, who likes to drive around in old cars, donate meaningless funds and imagine that he is the personification of heavenly goodness instead of a chiseler.


Mike Burch:
Summer Shock

It was early in the morning, in the forming of my soul,
in the dawning of desire, with passion at first bloom,
with lightning splitting heaven to thunder`s blasting roll
and a sense of welling fire and, perhaps, impending doom—

that I cried out through the tumult of the raging storm on high
for shelter from the chaos of the restless, driving rain . . .
and the voice I heard replying from a rift of bleeding sky
was mine, I`m sure, and, furthermore, was certainly insane.



When Obama was up for election, the media overvalued the menial job of a community organizer to make it seem that Obama was better than his credentials. They made him seem like an important leader rather than a social worker welfare functionary. Community organizer became so glorified that my friend, a community organizer, bragged about his lowly position as if he were a banker at Goldman Sachs. He confused bread crumbs with chains of bakeries. The media didn`t want to admit that Obama was a mere college instructor (not a professor) and a meager lawyer for discredited "Acorn." They were afraid that telling the truth about Obama would make them seem racist. They refused to outline his unglamorous jobs because they felt they diminished him. He was so slippery that truth belittled him and the media who was supposed to be the watchdog of society began biting itself on the ankles. Obama was a collage of lies. The media was so afraid of belittling a black that they couldn`t even see him for what he was. They were blinded by their pro black racism. They overcompensated by seeing Obama as a rock star messiah. The media ignored his college grades and in lieu of transcripts imagined that he was a straight A student. They further disregarded the loss of his and Michelle`s law licenses. The media wanted to elevate black activist, Obama, because they were afraid that they would be considered racist for regarding him as a mediocrity. They raised him up to president so that they would not have to see his averageness which they felt reflected on their view of Afro-Americans and made them look prejudiced. The media lied about Obama`s failures because it was afraid to admit them. When they voted for Obama they voted for the image of themselves as people who were above racism. Yet it was their racism against conceptual racism that ushered a failed president into office and moved a great entrepreneurial country towards European social welfare.


Erren Kelly:
Bicycle Days

it is the race that
never stops
nor do the participants care if
they win or lose
nor do they try
it is like a scene
out of a satre novel
he would be proud of it
as if nothingness
has a purpose
the waitress walks by my
table often
and i wish i could
order something every time
not to keep her busy
but because
she is
to look at



Why does communism always get a pass? Every cheap movie specializes in Nazi villains. The Nazis killed twenty-million people. The communists killed a hundred million people. Yet the communist-socialist-liberal-progressive axis is always portrayed as sympathetic and good intentioned. So what if they killed five times as many people as the fascists? The highway to hell is paved with good intentions. What fools forgive the communists their sins? What directors make movies about how we mistreated traitors -- Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs? Which ignorant citizens belittle Senator McCarthy for chasing real spies? Who? The Don Quixote of wishful thinking is leading the Democrats on his mule. Obama tightens his thighs on the flanks of his donkey.


Michael Burch:
Man with a Plan Tan

Boehner, Boehner,
he`s such a complainer!

His "package," like Weiner`s,
is grossly inflated.
His "compassion" and "ethics"
are weirdly conflated.

He strains hard to govern
like he`s constipated.

Boehner, Boehner,
he`s an orange strainer!



When Obama ran on hope and change I stuck my finger down my throat. I wanted to laugh at Obama but I really wanted to throw up on his voters. What vague thinkers could adopt the amorphous quality of hope and the indefinite conclusion of change? What does hope and change even mean? Hope is hopeless if it doesn`t result in your wishes. Change is negative if it is change to a hopeless position. Hope and change are poor excuses for not having definitive policies. They are putting the back foot forward. They are conclusions that haven`t been solidified by real groundwork.


Michael Lee Johnson:
Cold Gray

Below the clouds
forming in my eyes,
your soft eyes,
delicate as silk warm words,
used to support the love I held for you.

Cold, now gray, the sea tide
inside turns to poignant foam
upside down, separates-
only ghosts now live between us.

Yet, dream like, fortune-teller,
bearing no relation to reality-
my heart is beyond the sea now.
A relaxing breeze sweeps
across the flat surface of me.

I write this poem to you
neglectfully sacrificing our love.
I leave big impressions
with a terrible hush inside.

Gray bones now bleach with memories,
I`m a solitary figure standing
here, alone, along the shoreline.




LBJ had the courage not to run for a second term. What are Obama`s chances of such self-awareness and humble stepping down from a failed office? You`ve got to be kidding. This president treats the White House, parties, vacations, golf and pomp and circumstance like they are his rights of kingdom. Unlike LBJ, he does not care if he can serve his country well. He dances away the night of his fiftieth birthday at the White House and aims for reelection, oblivious to his own destruction of our economy, our national security and our cohesiveness as a nation. But why blame a child for playing with his toys? It`s his ignorant voters who present him with the toy chest.


Erren Kelly:

i looked out of the window
after making love to her
we said we wouldn't
fall for each other
but we became victims
of our own lie
she said next month
the leaves would be gone
but i will be coming back



Obama`s crew is belittling Standard & Poor`s downgrading of the American economy`s rating to AA+. His Ivy League stooges attack S & P rather than Obama`s failed economy. They point out that the S & P is a faulty outfit that failed to predict the subprime mortgage mess. But it is precisely S & P`s former failure that behooved them to catch our economy`s mistakes now. Obama owns our economy. Just ask Debbi Wasserman. S & P points out that part of the reason for the downgrading from AAA is because of the bad politics between the White House and the Congress. This is not Congress`s fault. Compromise is the responsibility of the leader. The buck stops at Obama. Yet Obama is divisive rather than cohesive.

Cooperation must rain down from the top. It does not rise up from the fractured legislative body.

Remember that Obama was hired to clean up the economy and the subprime mess. Everyone felt that he would be more clever and effective than McCain. He failed. He failed on one of the most important issues that we have ever faced and on one he was elected to resolve. If he had any dignity he would resign instead of rushing around to fund raising dinners at $36,000 a plate to try to guarantee his frightening reelection. Obama has become like subprime real estate. You wouldn`t want to invest a vote in someone who can`t back up his speeches with paying the mortgage. He is all talk and no action, no check.


Michael Lee Johnson:
Even as Evening

Even as evening
approaches night-
dandelions shake
dust loose from their yellow-
a robin pulls
the last red worm
from the moist,
but callous
shadows fade
into fresh fall night-
small creatures
with trumpet
sounds dominant
the adjacent

A virtuoso!




Even President Obama is entitled to a vacation. But out of respect for the people who are unemployed he should not make it so Martha`s Vineyard-lush. He should scale down his lifestyle like he has scaled down the wealth of the nation. He knows over three hundred million Americans are watching his choices. Why make such a bad one as hobnobbing with the rich on an upscale island while hypocritically engaging in class warfare against those same rich, his brothers?




Mr. Obama and his incestuous EPA is holding up the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline, limiting much needed oil and stopping the creation of new jobs. As Obama`s rating have trundled lower he has become more vocal about his support for job creation? Where? He is the man that pushed through the stimulus program which created virtually no jobs and threw us another trillion dollars in debt. He is the man who was supposed to revive the economy and put men back to work but instead chose to create a bankrupting, care rationing National Health Program. He has played Parcheesi with union bosses in the White House while sanctioning the support of scandalous union pensions and benefits. He has involved us in three Middle Eastern wars after crucifying Bush for only being involved in Iraq. He has delayed justice by trying to give foreign terrorists refuge in the American justice system. He has promised us shovel ready projects but has used the shovel to dig up his loquacious, rhetorical bull. Which brings us back to the EPA. The danger of an oil spill is secondary. The primary threat is joblessness. Obama`s ideology has already guaranteed us that.




There is a new feel to the United States ever since Obama has become president. Well, it`s not so much a new feel as a resurrection of the ambience of the sixties.

The hippies have come out of their closets and led the youth astray. Obama is Jim Morrison singing "People are Strange." A perennial oxymoron, he wants to be preppy while he wants to be a stoned hippy walking the beaches of Cape Cod looking for love. He wants the youth to "Light My Fire."

The hippies befoul themselves with the old clichés that the cops are pigs, the soldiers are murderers, and the only racists in the world are white men. Women have decided that all men are beasts and that females when liberated from the cruelty of men will be the significant achievers of the world.

Female libbers give no credit to the civilization developed by white males and applaud women and blacks who have accomplished little but win by default under the unproven excuse that their minimal achievements are the result of lack of opportunity.

Obama has a case of reverse vision. He places his goggles on the noses of his followers and they see the same chimeras he sees when he is denying the reality that he is afraid to face. He is our first hallucinogenic President.

He is influential, bigoted, and intelligently self-effacing. We believe what he says because of his smile. He is laughing at us. He can`t believe that we were simplistic enough to accept hope and change. That we actually believe that the new feel to America is not a repetition of the sixties and that we don`t recognize that we are once again worse off for it.




The Nobel Prize Committee was busy deciding that Obama should win the prize before he became President. Corruption has foresight. He was the result of predictable, prejudicial decisions. The committee didn`t wait to see if he would do anything to add to peace. They just listened to his junior intentions and credited him with results he never achieved. Now that they can see that he has involved us in three wars and done absolutely nothing in terms of contributing to peace, they should award themselves with a Nobel Prize for Misapprehension. They are prize idiots. They should be stripped of their powers to give awards to losers. Failed insight does have a negative influence on society`s future. If you can`t tell a booby prize from a real prize you should not be on a committee. A prize for incompetence ratifies the joys of doing badly. It leads to followers of false idols. The wise men of Norway cannot really pick a winner. I would never travel there because a country that mistakes bluffing for merit might not really exist. There might be no island in that sea. Norway might be an hallucination much like Obama`s peace powers.

By the Same criterion by which Barak Hussein-Obama was awarded the Nobel peace Prize, the gentlemen of the Society issued a MODEST PROPOSAL to confer on Barak Hussein-Obama the MVP award in baseball, admission to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and induction into Le Temple de la Renoméee du Hockey (Hockey Hall of Fame.)




President Obama complains that "The wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations pay their fair share." Wake up Obama? You are one of those "wealthiest Americans." You live in one of the most magnificent houses, the White House, and are driven around by fleets of limousines and incredible jets. Between books and your job you make millions a year. Furthermore, you have pensions up the ass and guaranteed ease for the rest of your life. Perhaps, we should strip you of your secret service and move you into a ranch house in Levittown? Why don`t we really make you part of the middle class you adore? Why don`t we take ninety-five per cent of your assets rather than the few points you so generously pretend to relinquish? Perhaps, we should take away your numerous chefs and send you to McDonald`s for dinner? Perhaps, we should send your daughters to public school? How do you have the nerve to complain about other rich people when none of them live in the splendor that you do? You are the king of America. How do you dare to speak about shared sacrifice? How can you look in the mirror and pretend that you are one of the disadvantaged? Wake up.




I am so sick of Obama saying that the Republicans are divisive. There has never been a President more polarizing than Obama. He is a high school bully with no muscles. He is a weakling backed by the mob of the liberal hysterics. The clichéd crowd might accuse me of not liking Obama because I am racist. My problem with Obama is that he is not black enough. He is half-white, preppy, Ivy League and arrogant. He is superior and smug. To Obama, the Republicans are niggahs. He is snide towards them. He slices their American pie and throws the crumbs on the floor. He keeps saying the Republicans won`t cooperate while he insults them publically and blames them for the bankruptcy, multiple wars and divisiveness of his administration. He delayed his health care legislation as he is now delaying his budget decisions. He wants to dangle us along until the end before he admits his positions. I suppose this is better than when he was in the State Senate and voted "present" on everything. He hides from openness. He is lost in his shadow. He is the opposite of his much vaulted transparency. He keeps pointing his finger at the opposition when he should be pointing it back at himself. He blames Americans for everything from wars to jihad but regards himself as pristinely and perennially innocent. He regards himself as our great white leader. I`d rather he were black. Moby Dick is the beast.




Michelle Bachmann says about gays, "It`s a very sad life. It`s part of Satan….It is anything but gay." It`s a shame that she makes reference to Satan. She uses him in his naïve iconic sense rather than a metaphor of inner turmoil or evil. Gayness is an homunculus of self-hatred, an inner failure to live up to your biology, a disturbing sense of gender confusion. To downplay this sense of alienation is to belittle the problems of gayness. To mythologize it as Satanic dissipates some of her audience.

At the same time there is no reason that a heterosexual should share combat and showers with gays. It makes a soldier question his sexuality and his ability to fight like a man. Just ask the Moslems who execute gays before they can reach the recruiting office. Why do the liberals who don`t have to rub elbows with homosexuals in the army have the nerve to tell soldiers what they should and shouldn`t do, should and shouldn`t feel? As Bobby Brown used to sing, "It`s not their prerogative." Let`s go back to "Don`t ask, don`t tell."
Geoff Jackson:

Henry Fitzroy 1519-1536

Henry Fitzroy (the name means"bastard son of the king") was the illegitimate son of Henry Vlll and Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount, his mistress, and the only illegitimate son, who Henry acknowledged, although there may have been a second one. Fitzroy was born long before the boy, who became Edward Vl (1537-1553) and it seems that Henry wished to designate him as his heir and successor. It appears that Henry Vlll did not feel that England could be ruled by a woman and had no faith that either Mary or Elizabeth could secure the rather shaky Tudor dynasty, which itself traced descent from Edward lll only through an illegitimate line. Although we now know Elizabeth l as one of the greatest monarchs of England, who easily surpassed her father, that could not have been obvious in her girlhood.

Henry seems to have nurtured an enormous affection for his illegitimate offspring and showered him with titles and offices. At the age of six on 7th June 1525, Henry Fitzroy became Knight of the Garter and shortly afterwards was created Earl of Nottingham and Duke of Richmond and Somerset. He was also appointed the king`s lieutenant-general north of the River Trent and Keeper of the City and castle of Carlisle on the borders of Scotland. On the 16th July 1525, he became Lord High Admiral of England, Wales, Normandy, Gascony and Aquitaine (these last three in France) and Warden General of the Marches (borders) of Scotland. Some thought that Henry Vlll intended to make him King of Ireland.

Since Henry Fitzroy was only born in 1519, the bearer of all these titles and offices was a mere child so we should not see him as a powerful personage at court because all his functions would have to be performed by his father or those, who his father designated. More honors yet were in store for the young "bastard son of the king". Who was he to marry? The short-list included a niece of Pope Clement Vll, a Danish princess, a French princess and a daughter of Eleanor, Dowager Queen of Portugal, sister to Emperor Charles V, the most powerful ruler of Europe. All these matches fell through and Henry may have been overreaching himself and overestimating the power of his little off-shore European island, not yet made rich by colonies. Henry Fitzroy eventually married Mary Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, Third Duke of Norfolk and sister of his friend Henry, Earl of Surrey. At the time, he was fourteen and the marriage seems not to have been consummated.

In 1527, the king sent an envoy to the Vatican, namely one Croke, Fitzroy`s tutor, in order to ask the Pope to legitimize Henry Fitzroy. Moreover, when Henry began the process of annulling his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, it was suggested that Fitzroy marry his half-sister, Mary, (this was prior to Mary Howard) and it seems the Pope was even prepared to grant a special dispensation to avoid the break with Rome.

When Henry Fitzroy died, an Act was going through Parliament, whereby he was designated Henry Vlll`s heir and future King of England. However, at that point, Henry Fitzroy died suddenly at age seventeen and we are not sure of what. Some contemporaries called it consumption and the strong suggestion is that it was T.B. but Fitzroy does not seem to have been an ailing child or sickly like his half brother, the later Edward Vl. Other suggestions are pneumonia or influenza or a combination of the two. At the time, there were widespread rumors of poison and this cannot be ruled out either. For whatever reason, his death changed the course of English history, at the time so much the story of her kings. He died in 1536. In the same year of 1536 died another Henry, who may have been a second illegitimate son by Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, but Henry never acknowledged paternity of this child.

There is a postscript to Henry Fitzroy`s death, namely one of the most serious rebellions against the Tudor dynasty in the sixteenth century (of which there were many). In connection with the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry Vlll sent commissioners to Lincolnshire to assess Church property there. The Church owned particularly broad lands in the shire, which is also noted for its good arable land that made it an important county in an agricultural society. Opposition to King Henry there also was becoming more organized and ‘Captain Cobbler` or Nicholas Melton put himself at the head of a mob. Gentlemen like Robert and Edward Dymoke joined them. The rebellion then spread to neighboring Yorkshire, a little to the north, where it was led by Robert Aske, also a commoner, and came to be called ‘The Pilgrimage of Grace`. Henry simply did not have the regular troops to disperse the rebels so he played for time and used deceit to get them to disperse. When he was sure of himself, he moved his armies north from London and took a terrible revenge. Hardly a town, village or hamlet in the north of England was without a gibbet on which the bodies of traitors were displayed. The old king was now a very unpopular and feared tyrant.

The rebels, however, had been unable to unite right from the start or really to agree upon their demands or how to petition the king. If Henry Fitzroy had been alive, they might have had a leader to unite them and present an alternative to Henry Vlll.

~ Geoff Jackson


Clinton Van Inman:

The couple at the courthouse
Standing tall in khakis
A soldier back from Iraq
His bride flowerless in dress
She bought at Ross for less
Yet their wedding

The Army discontinued the Khaki uniform in the 1980s.


Henry VIII and His Last Three Wives

Henry VIII was what we call a Renaissance prince. Up to the time of the series of English civil wars or Wars of the Roses and on in to the time of his father Henry VII, the king had been dependant on his nobles to furnish retinues for his armies.

By his son`s time, warfare was changing radically and the balance had definitely shifted from the heavy mounted horsemen to the lightly armed infantry. Footmen, pike men, archers, cross-bow men, soldiers firing a harquebus (primitive musket) and cannon were now the order of the battlefield. The new problem was, how to pay them. One of Henry VIII`s solutions was to revive the almost moribund medieval council called Parliament. It suddenly sprang back to life in his reign and moves on during that of his long-lived daughter, Elizabeth I, to refuse even to go away under the early Stewarts, who badly wanted it to.

A rational government based on the king, Henry VIII, was free to exercise power through appointments chosen at the top, and the power – even the life – of an official, depended on the king`s will. Central government organs were reformed and besides Parliament, bodies like the Court of Star Chamber were set up. Of course, Henry`s new Church was set up by the King and run by him. Henry was free to turn into one of the most remarkable tyrants in English history.

By the 1540`s, Henry was looking for a new queen and she should be pretty and represent a political and dynastic alliance. Henry`s eye fell upon the teenage Anne of Cleves from a small north German Protestant state, close to what we would call Düsseldorf and the Dutch border. It actually consisted of a number of small states but most importantly the Duke of Cleves was leading a coalition of North German Lutheran statelets in one of the wealthiest and most commercially developed parts of Europe against the Emperor and on the side of the King of France. It was simply a new political force to be reckoned with and about the right size for the small and rather unimportant state of England.

Henry could not wait to clap eyes on his new bride-to-be and journeyed quickly to meet her boat. How disappointed he was! He called her his ‘fat Flanders mare` (probably a reference to the fact that some of her territories lay in present-day Holland, at the time often confused with Flanders) and flatly refused to marry her. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer pointed out that the marriage contracts were signed and sealed and insisted upon it. (It cost him his head.) Henry finally got married to Anne but claimed the marriage was not consummated. Parliament was called and they dutifully annulled the marriage.

Anne wisely also accepted this and received £4,000 per year and a number of houses, including Hever Castle. She and Henry seem to have become good friends and she was welcome at Court also during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. However, she was never to return to Cleves again and was kept as a well-to-do hostage for her brother`s (by now Duke of Cleves) activities.

Henry VIII`s amorous dalliances were turning in another direction namely to Kathryn Howard. Now, she was no Flanders mare but an English filly from the minor aristocracy – exactly Henry`s type. They were soon wedded and bedded and all seemed to be going well. Except that the young queen like Henry`s other English wives was entirely dependent on her husband.

Thomas Culpepper probably came to the English Court in 1535. By 1537, he was already catching the King`s attention. It seemed he often slept in the king`s bedchamber, which we would be uncomfortable with today. However, the sixteenth century had a different attitude toward privacy and the ailing king was one, who needed care and company. Culpepper`s startling rise in the world was due to the fact that he had the King`s confidence. A Renaissance prince simply took advice from whoever he chose and often now it was this young man – Sir Thomas Culpepper to give him his new title.

Culpepper was distantly related to Queen Kathryn and it seems he decided to influence her. He may have been begging favors of her (she was his distant kinswoman) or even blackmailing her and probably he wanted to be in her favor just as he was in the King`s and particularly in the hope that she would bear the king an heir or male heir, but it is hard to know the facts after so many years.

What is clear is that there were a number of secret assignations between Culpepper and the Queen arranged by the Queen`s lady or ladies-in-waiting. We know of four or five meetings. We do not know what took place or if the partners slept together. There were also letters from the Queen to Culpepper, many of which we still have and which, at the time, were interpreted as love letters. Historians are still in disagreement as to what they were really about and are trying to unscramble them.

The evidence left Henry in no doubt that Culpepper should go on trial and that meant torture to extract a confession. Culpepper confessed to everything and seems to have given up all hope from the start. He was no doubt relieved that the original sentence namely to be hung, drawn and quartered – or dismembered living into four parts – was commuted to beheading at Tyburn Dock, the place for traitors. Queen Kathryn Howard also confessed to everything under torture and was even more enthusiastic than her ‘lover` to confess. She was also beheaded.

Both Kathryn and Thomas had made enormously naïve plans and plotted to deceive the king. He may have hoped that she would become the most important woman in the kingdom, if she could become pregnant with Henry`s heir, who, if it was a boy, would follow the sickly Edward I. it was naïve of Culpepper, however, to think that so many more experienced courtiers would allow him to steal a rise on them in this way. It was extremely naïve of Kathryn to write the letters in question. It showed she had no head for politics or court life. Kathryn Howard and Thomas Culpepper met their deaths in their late twenties. It was due to inexperience with life at Court. It was due to the ineptness and inexperience of their plotting. They met their deaths due to the displeasure of the King. Like many minor nobility, they were drawn by the flame of the Court, which burned their wings.

Katherine Parr was the sixth and last wife of Henry Vlll and the only one – besides Anne of Cleves – to outlive him. She was very different from Kathryn Howard being astute and highly intellectual. She came from north-west England close to the Scottish border and had already been married twice before Henry fell for her. The first marriage had been to a young man her own age, who unexpectedly died, and the second marriage was to a man twice her age, who again died shortly after the marriage leaving her a very rich widow with the title of Lady Latimer. As Lady Latimer, she attended Henry`s court in London and fell in love with Thomas Seymour, who belonged to the royal family and was uncle to Prince Edward, who would succeed his father Henry Vlll. Katherine`s hopes for a love match with Seymour were dashed, however, when the king began to take an interest in her and Seymour wisely stepped back.

Katherine and Henry married on 12th July, 1543 at Hampton Court Palace, Henry`s main residence, and the marriage lasted until Henry`s death on 28th January, 1547. At the time, Henry was fifty-one, obese, often bedridden and in great pain with his leg. This was probably due to a fall from his horse, which had fractured a bone so that a splinter lodged in a muscle and resulted in a severe leg ulcer which filled with puss. At this point, the doctors would be called in to lance the ulcer, which would allay the problem for a little while until the infection returned. From time to time now, Henry was impotent but probably at the best of times it was difficult for him to perform sexual intercourse due to his leg, his illness and the excess weight he was carrying. That is not to say, however, that there was no sexual side to his marriage with Katherine or that intercourse was completely impossible.

The relationship seemed to be working. Probably this had much to do with Katherine`s extremely kindly temperament and the fact that she could play nursemaid to the much older king. After all, she had many admirable qualities. She was a doting stepmother and devoted scholar. She was tall, vivacious and sensible as well as twenty years younger than the king. Otherwise, she was devoted to fine clothes, jewels (of which Henry gave her many) and amusements.

About a year after the marriage, she was declared Henry`s representative in charge of England from July – September, 1544, when Henry led his last campaign to France. When he returned in October, he was pleased with how she had run the kingdom without him there.

What was most dangerous for Katherine Parr, however, was that she took a keen interest in theology and was strongly evangelical Protestant. She published, for instance, Lamentacions of a synner. On one occasion, she was nursing the king with his leg on her lap and proceeded to set out her views on religion. Henry was furious at being lectured to and dismissed her.

Katherine`s enemies at court, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Windsor, and Baron Thomas Wriothesley, who had become Lord Chancellor in 1546, persuaded Henry that she was a heretic and should die. Henry sent her her arrest warrant. In great alarm, she rushed to plead with him. She pleaded her woman`s weakness and her desire to learn from his superior knowledge. She begged his pardon for her forwardness. The trick worked. The following day, Henry and she were sitting in the garden, when forty soldiers led by the Lord Chancellor came to arrest her. Henry berated them in no uncertain terms and sent them away with a hail of blows.

Henry was in failing health from the spring of 1546 and died late in January the following year. Katherine was now free to marry Thomas Seymour with what many thought was indecent haste. In late November 1547 she became pregnant and gave birth on August 30th the following year to a girl. However, she died on the 5th September of puerperal sepsis or septic infection of the reproductive organs at the time called ‘childbed fever`. Her intellect and political insight had availed nothing against the bad hygiene of the day. But it had helped her to survive in the hotbed of intrigue at Henry`s court, which destroyed others like Kathryn Howard and the foolish Thomas Culpepper.

~ Geoff Jackson



Lady Jane Grey: "The Nine-Day Queen"

It was as if Henry Vlll was in possession of a devil, so great was his desire to beget male heirs, and yet, in spite of going through six wives, he was singularly unsuccessful. He managed to produce a bastard offspring, Henry Fitzroy, who he seems to have set his hopes on, until the young man in 1536 fell suddenly ill and died at age sixteen. He also was overjoyed with Edward but this young man`s reign from age nine to fifteen was a disaster as competing noble factions at court sought to control the country. Henry does not seem to have set much store by his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, (although both of them inherited their father`s will of iron – the one for bad, the other for good) as he felt that women were unsuited to rule. The sixteenth century saw turbulent times – wars, rebellions and intrigues – and only the strong survived. Henry definitely had the notion that woman was the weaker vessel and would not hold in the man`s world of the time.

Edward Vl reigned from his father`s death in 1547 to his own untimely death in 1553. It is unlikely he ruled for even a day. Running the kingdom was taken over by Thomas Seymour, married to Henry Vlll`s widow Katherine Parr and Edward`s uncle, and then by Edward Seymour, his brother, who declared himself Lord Protector. Other noble factions overthrew them. The ‘ruler` became John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who was recognized as the chief advisor to Edward and President of the Privy Council. He was not of the blood royal, however, and as the puppet prince declined in health, Northumberland realized he would have to be replaced by someone else he could control.

Lady Jane Grey had eminent qualifications for the job of Queen of England. First and foremost, she was of the Tudor blood royal. She was a great grand-daughter of Henry Vll and cousin once removed from Edward Vl. Her father was the first Duke of Suffolk and her mother Lady Frances Brandon, was the daughter of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and younger sister to Henry Vlll. It was, in fact, the mother and not the daughter who was next in line of succession as Henry Vlll`s niece but she waived her rights in favor of her daughter, Henry`s grand-niece. Perhaps she realized that Tudor politics was a risky business. Jane also had the advantage of being a committed Protestant and at sixteen she was a ready pawn in a man`s game. A marriage for her was proposed with Lord Hertford, eldest son of the Lord Protector, Edward Seymour, but in 1553, in spite of some objections on her part, she married Guilford Dudley, the only unmarried son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Northumberland was the most important man in the country and aimed to keep it that way. Jane was part of the master-plan and should it go wrong, which it did, it would cost Northumberland his head, which it did. Meanwhile, at fifteen, Edward was on his death-bed coughing and spitting blood. Historians usually write that Northumberland ‘persuaded` Edward to make a will declaring Lady Jane Grey his heir and cutting out his sisters as illegitimate. Edward presumably was used to doing as he was told all his boyhood life and signed the papers as he was dying.

Upon his death, Lady Jane Grey was brought by barge along the River Thames to Sion House. To her great surprise, she was seated on a throne on a dais and the whole court filed in to make obeisance to her on bended knee. She is recorded as being “stupefied and troubled". She burst into tears at the news of Edward`s death and could not been consoled but had to be held up and supported. Then she was transferred to the royal apartments of the Tower of London and had to be cajoled into putting on her royal crown. Jane has come down to us as virginal and pure but many of her statements were made by herself during her trial for treason. As a Tudor, even at age sixteen, she may have been of sterner stuff. At any rate, when Guilford told her he would be king, she promptly told him he would not. She was to be the Queen and being Duke of Clarence was the best he could hope for. They had a long and blazing row and the young man of eighteen rushed off to his mother in tears. The Duchess of Northumberland came to Jane and the row continued but the latter was adamant that she would have the throne for herself alone.

It was important for Northumberland that Mary be kept isolated and ideally taken prisoner. He had suppressed the news of Edward`s death and summoned Mary to London. She was on her way, when she learned that her half-brother had died. She wrote to the Privy Council expecting them to recognize her but they, having been totally cowed by Northumberland, wrote back to say she was a bastard and not in line to the throne.

Mary diverted to East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk) really only a few miles north-east of London but in those days a remote, swampy region. (It is still sometimes called the Fen country or ‘marsh lands`.) There she set about raising an army. On 14th August, Northumberland set out to arrest her with six hundred soldiers and what he could find in firearms. Awaiting supplies at Cambridge (Cambridgeshire borders East Anglia), he was arrested on 20th August and executed in London on 23rd. meanwhile, Mary entered London on the 19th August in a triumphal procession greeted enthusiastically by the populace and ‘Queen` Jane Grey ended her reign.

Lady Jane Grey, of course, was put on trial for treason with three other noblemen and they were all condemned to death. It seems Mary intended to spare her life. However, a popular Protestant rebellion led by Thomas Wyattt broke out in Kent, just south of London, and was put down with great severity. Such rebellions were frequent in Tudor England and also on the Continent but were mostly crushed by regular trained troops. Charles V pressed her to execute Jane and since she wanted to marry his son, the future Philip ll of Spain, she executed Lady Jane, who might serve as a focus for popular revolt.

Lady Jane Grey was executed because she became a pawn in Tudor power politics. She was probably not as helpless as popular history would have us believe but possessed of sharp wit and many accomplishments. She may have had that Tudor strength of character that so characterized the dynasty. However, at age sixteen, it is difficult to tell. Her ‘reign`, if it was that, followed the turbulent period of Edward Vl during which there was effectively no king and the country was torn by divided factions. The Duke of Northumberland wished to consolidate his position as the power behind the throne with her as queen and his own son as king. He overreached himself, he was not of the blood royal, and his downfall brought about Jane`s. It was a wonder that Elizabeth survived. And a boon to England that she did.

~ Geoff Jackson

Michael Lee Johnson:
Carl Sandburg, Idols in the Sand, and Galesburg Shacks

Idols are what idols appear to be.
Idols are men that idols are.
They`re the sleep walkers,
the self-styled hobo`s,
saints in small villages
people living alone.

Birthright of saviors, railroad men, famous poets.
Birthright of little places, big hearts,
speakers of cold skillets and dainty bedrooms.
Folk songs fall, black and white,
divided cracks celebrated brick streets.

They form modest communities,
quiet spaces, momentous churches
named my denominations and breed-
rail tracks divide their ideologies, brands
of beer, run down shacks divide their lives.

Property vultures, ex Maytag mongrels`
Maytag treason, traders of trade, traitors to Mexico,
walk simple steps away.
Jobbers walk and jobs move away.

Streets quiet lights, slate deserted
house shacks of many races abandoned, colors
form rows PMS color charts leading to his birth place;
folk songs, Swedish heritage, Remembrance Rock,
savior of a poetic dream born in a slum.

Just a roadside museum,
mile and a half walk from downtown,
summer sweat, drenching summer heat,
Galesburg railroad days June 2010, ending-
beginning humidity, snippets of beer bottles
tossed around, Saturday night drunks
lie in flush untailored grass.

A three room shack, half-pint bedroom,
curtains merge the window with sun rays,
more summer heat.
Idols grow as children, their ambitions-
toss them away.
Idols are what idols appear to be.
Idols are men that idols are.



(PALM BEACH) (September 14, 2011) Lately the word "treason" has been getting a workout in the Republican presidential primaries.

First Texas Governor Rick Perry suggested the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board would be guilty of treason if he manipulated the economy for political motives. The implication was obvious despite Perry`s subsequent denials.

Monday night former Governor John Huntsman returned the favor by suggesting Perry`s claim the Mexico-United states border could not be fenced off was "borderline" treason.

And then there is Ron Paul.

Let`s start with the positive. I like Ron Paul. And I probably agree with Ron Paul on 80% of the issues, 80% of the way he views an issue. But Paul usually loses me when he goes the last 20% and comes up with a solution to a problem that is irrational or impractical.

Paul complains he is not getting enough media attention. On the contrary, I would say he is getting too much. It is time to drop Paul from national debates and to substitute someone who has a more nuanced view of the world (how about me?).

Paul`s remarks Monday night bordered on treasonous. Paul suggested that because the Saudi Arabian government invited the United States to station troops there as part of the operation to remove the Iraqi Army from Iraq in 1990-1991, Al-Qaeda was justified in attacking the United States on 9/11. In other words, because the Saudi government made a governmental decision, a group of private individuals were licensed by their religious beliefs to question the Saudi decision by declaring war on the United States. Paul`s argument is a crackpot claim.

Likewise, Paul ignores the reality that Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were enemies (President George W. Bush and V.P. Dick Cheney also ignored that reality). Paul claims that because of the quarantine imposed on Iraq by the United Nations, Osama bin Laden was authorized to attack the United States. This is also a crackpot claim.

Paul claimed Monday night the United States had killed "hundreds of thousands of Iraqis." Prior to 9/11. Another crackpot claim. Large numbers of Iraqis suffered because of Saddam Hussein`s defiance of the United Nations, but the United States was very restrained in its military action. At a time when many in his administration wanted to take Baghdad and remove Saddam, President George H. W. Bush refrained from doing so in 1991 and allowed Saddam to remain in power.

Where does Paul get his facts?

It would seem to me that mischaracterizing United States military and political history, on a national platform, and conveying these false claims to a world audience where Al-Qaeda can then repeat them, is a classic version of treason, certainly more treasonous that Rick Perry`s claim we can`t build a border fence in Texas.

Monday night Ron Paul was giving aid and comfort to Al-Qaeda and every jihadi who lives in a delusional world where his religion gives him the right to wage war on behalf of his God. The eccentric poet Ezra Pound was indicted for treason after World War II for Ron Paul-style remarks. Comparing Paul to Ezra Pound is a stretch, but not that much of a stretch. Paul`s comments at the CNN debate were toxic. Ron Paul is morphing into the Tokyo Rose of the Republican Party.

As I said at the start of these comments, Ron Paul and I are usually on the same side of an issue. To start, I was agitating against our policies in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 (and long before then) when administration apologists blindly wanted more war instead of an imperfect peace. (I also supported President Bush`s "surge.") I certainly understand that there is frustration and resentment around the world concerning many of our military and diplomatic policies. Many Americans are also unhappy. But the fact that foreigners disagree with U. S. policy does not entitle them to commit mass murder in the United States because of their misguided religious beliefs.

Paul`s reasoning is so malignant and so delusional as to call into question his basic judgment or whether he has any judgment left at all.

I am well-known as a critic of many of our Middle East policies (wait for an upcoming column on Palestinian statehood, another Paul "issue"). But I want to put as much distance as I can between my views and those of Ron Paul.

If there is a "hawk" among the presidential candidates when it comes to the global war on terror, it`s me. I would conduct the war somewhat differently. But at the end of the day there is no doubt I would relentlessly pursue our enemies to the ends of the earth, hunt them down, and kill them all. I may belong to a church that preaches "reconciliation" with our enemies; but if I were in the White House the Good Lord would have to wait for reconciliation to take place until after anyone who wants to do harm to the United States was dead. That`s the only kind of reconciliation terrorists understand.

Ron Paul owes the American people and the Republican Party an apology for his performance Monday night. If he is going to become a mouthpiece for Al-Qaeda he is free to do so, but he should not be given a perch at Republican presidential debates to spout his anti-American rhetoric and his treasonous and delusional claims.


Andy Lad,

Oh, now you`re for the war. You`ve switched sides so many times you`ve become a latter day Alciabates, the Greek orator who was first for Athens, then Sparta, then Athens again before defecting to Persia.

You mustn`t have taken Constitutional Law in college or law school. Doesn`t UI teach it? Treason is defined in the US Constitution as taking up arms against the US or rendering aid and comfort to its enemies in time of war. War, under the constitution, can only be declared by Congress. Without declaration of war, there can be no treason as that term is defined.

Read the document or don`t they teach reading at UI.

By the bye, do take up a little reading in your spare time. Ron Paul does not intimate that you received a well-earned blowback on 9-11. He expressly says it in his book THE REVOLUTION pp 16 -17.

9-11 will be a time for touchy feely US people to emote and ask why, why, Lord, why. Politicians like Mr Bush will run with diarrhea of the mouth; on the historic date he ran leaving a pile on the floor of a Florida classroom. And US people faithfully parrot that President Bush was the Voice of Courage. But few are willing to admit that the Arabs just had enough of you.

Unfortunately US people don`t think in terms of consequences. You used them as a punching bag; they get you back. It`s that simple. Arabs rarely forgive, never forget, and always get even. They are to be admired for their courage, refusal to submit, and tenacity in facing superior arms and equipment.

Have you figured out yet why there is no such thing as an Arab-American?

9-11-01 at 9 is 1991 spelt backwards, lad. Also 9-11 marks the burning of the capital in the War of 1812 as wells as the attack on NYC by the British in 1776. The Arabs knew your history better than you do especially when they got you good.



Alan Britt:

I`ve sold my soul
to a band of dead poets.
Overflowing my bookshelves,
they invade everything!
Philosophy, History, the Fine Arts!

These dead poets sail the dusty seas
in their dragon ships,
flying a flag of irreverence
and amnesia.

They plunder exotic ports,
enslaving young adverbs
and naïve red-haired adjectives
with alabaster thighs.

Ahh, make no mistake,
their infinite journey
is the goal!

Awesome David Lawrence:

I used to live in Forrest Hills. There was a big White liberal community. Few were educated or broad minded enough to be conservatives.

I see that the Forest Hills Congressional seat went to the GOP in a by-election. I don`t think the District earned the right to rebuff Obama. After having so misread Obama, the Forrest Hills constituents do not deserve to rescind their votes. They are fickle fair weather friends. Forrest Hills constituents should apologize ad infinitum before being accepted as part of the conservative vote. The Forrest Hills constituents are mice who are now bragging that they are eating our cheese. The Forrest Hills constituents don`t deserve to sit at thet able with us.



Dr Charles Frerickson:
Free Palestine!

The U.N. charter states: "We the peoples of the United Nations stand determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small." I wholeheartedly endorse the long overdue Palestinian statehood bid, asking for international recognition to establish an independent sovereign state in the West Bank based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem its capital.

Populism has taken root throughout the Middle East, a troubled region where ordinary citizens have long been denied fair and equal representation, instead forced to endure bullyrag oppression and brutal crackdowns. Arab leaders – the recently elevated, those clinging to power and those facing an uncertain future – need to attentively listen to common sense globally supportive suggestions in order to implement change, in which imposed double-standards must yield to righting tyrannical uncivil wrongs and challenging mindless abusive violence. So, too, must intransigent Israeli extremists and their intimidated lobbyist-influenced allies choose negotiated compromise rather than hostile confrontation to avoid lonely isolation and settle for peaceful coexistence guarantees.

Spontaneous expressions of public outrage that governments are morally corrupt, that average citizens remain powerless to do anything about it, that living standards aren`t rising and that nothing ever changes demand progressive regional and global reform in a fast-forward lunge toward self-determination that leads to legitimate status for Palestine and secures neighborly safe borders, ensuring timely free and fair elections. Pax vobiscum!

Dr. Charles Frederickson



Greetings Dean, Greetings:

I hope all is well. I thank you for your clarification on the phrase TIME GENTLEMEN, though it has passed out of use in the Home Island, along with the regulation Pint Glass. I hear the Brits have adopted the Australian schooner, a 400 ML glass and abandoned the traditional pint.

I do take note of the Supreme Court`s decision on the Bush Era Treaty with Mexico requiring notification to foreign embassies of their nationals under arrest. The uh-Republic of Texas nonetheless gave the juice to some Mexicans, notwithstanding. In the opinion of the High Court, the Treaty was not self-executing. Congressional action would have been required to implement it. Justice Breyer in dissent would have held treaties part of organic law.

Speaking of organics, the People`s Republic of China is once again in the news, this time with exploding watermelons. It seems their growth enhancing chemicals affect the expansion of the meat of the melon, but not the rind. I have also heard that what doesn`t explode is insufferably tasteless. Not all scientists agree with the Lord Dean`s analysis that the growth enhancing chemicals probably cause greater water retention than the rind will allow. In the Dean`s view, the super-saturated watermelons will lose taste, because of the excessive water. Experts may disagree with the Dean, but of course, the Dean at this time grown succulents such as pumpkins and cucumbers; the experts specialize in pontificating. The solution under Chairman Mao might have been rustification of the experts. Indeed.

I take note of various bombastic comments of the Dean that may be some good in the TURBANIZATION of America: women would have to be silent and walk three feet behind. We will have the opportunity to pillory white liberals, bending them over to face Mecca, kicking them in the rear and rubbing their noses in dog dirt. This must fit in with the Dean`s modest proposal to weave United We Stand T-Shirts into prayer rugs at the appropriate juncture. I am by no means so bleak in outlook. I am encouraged by the Arab spring spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. We are at the dawn of a new age in which the Little Brown Man will join hands in moderation with the democratic ideal, don business suits and resolve differences through Parliamentary Action. Indeed, I see in the recent news concerning the person described by the Dean as Sahib Malkik Hassan, purportedly a Major in the US Army Medical Cortps, a new ray of hope. His cousin is setting up an Islamic Charity to discourage use of violence in support of Islamic causes. Indeed there is such a thing as a Muslim moderate, a concept the Dean rejects out of hand and denounces as schizophrenic thinking.

You may have heard the latest tiff from San Francisco where BART has closed down the WiFi connections on its underground lines resulting in mass demonstrations. Watching people plug these apparatuses into their ears, incessantly prating on the phone reminds me of the Star Trek episodes on The Borg. Instead of resisting absorption into the Borg collective, the ultra Californos are jumping up and down to be let in.

Crossing over into a different transit system in NYC, I take note that the Mayor of NYC shut down the subways during the recent hurricane. I am glad to hear the report of the Dean that accounts of destruction on the US media were greatly exaggerated. I take note that in an era of Global Warming these sort of storms will become more frequent as the water`s warmth feeds the storms further north. The Dean`s exception that tropical storms come about every four years, the most destructive of which every twenty five years, is not well taken in light of scientific findings, all of which the Dean rejects.

Well on that note, I must move on and take care of pressing matters.

Cheerio Dean, Cheerio!

James Davies, Lord Woodburry



Raud Kennedy:

"You`re not supposed to tell your friends the truth," Ray, a boy of ten, said to Lucy, his golden retriever, who was the best listener in his entire world. She`d stare back at him and pant in agreement at anything he said. "At least not when it`s the real truth of why you think they do the things they do. You`re supposed to keep it secret because they`re not gonna want to hear that part." The two of them were sitting on the grass in the backyard, and Ray talked to her as he brushed her. Lucy was blowing her winter coat, and they were surrounded with so much loose fur he`d brushed from her that it looked as if they were seated on a picnic blanket made of yellow blond mohair. Every now and then the breeze would lift a tuft of fur into the air and carry it up and over the fence into the neighbor`s yard. He hoped the neighbor liked dogs. Ray pulled the fur from the brush and added it to the rest. "Boy, Lucy, we could make a wig for dad out of all this." He put a handful on her head. "Or one for Mom in case she goes bald like Grandma. She`d like being a blonde. You like it." Ray`s mom and dad thought he and his sisters were too young to notice or understand the things they didn`t want them to see, like the hard looks they gave each other when Ray or one of his sisters came into the room when they were speaking in hushed voices that somehow were louder than any shout. But Ray noticed and he understood. His mom and dad liked to drink, wine from the box, light beer that defeated its purpose when they drank twice as much of it, and sometimes hard stuff on weekends, but Ray`s dad had gone away on a trip and since getting back a few days ago he hadn`t been drinking. But his mom had. She kept at it like she hadn`t noticed, and when his dad made a point to say he wasn`t going to have anything when she was opening the tap on a new box of Riesling, she gave him a look as if he`d betrayed and abandoned her to raise three kids she didn`t want to have much to do with. She hated their constant need, their constant questions. She was hiding from too much pain of her own for their questions to simply be questions. Each one was a potential opener to a lid she was trying desperately to keep on.

Once Ray had asked, "Do you love Dad?"
"Of course I do. That`s why we got married."

But Ray`s older sister had told him otherwise. "Cynthia says you got married because you got pregnant with her."

His mom`s voice quickly snapped from patronizing to angry. "Cynthia doesn`t know what she`s talking about. She needs to mind her own business and keep her mouth shut."
"She said she did the math."

She called Cynthia a little bitch under her breath. She said it quietly so Ray wouldn`t hear, but he did, and if she`d been honest with herself, she`d wanted him to hear. She`d never liked her eldest child and felt huge amounts of guilt over it. She thought a mother was supposed to love her children and she thought she was a bad person for feeling so little when her daughter was born. She hated feeling that way, like something was wrong with her, so she hid it from herself and grew cold toward Cynthia even as she gave birth to her son and youngest daughter. As Cynthia grew older she sought the approval that her mother wouldn`t give her, and the hurt and frustration at not getting it grew into anger and defiance until the two of them openly undermined each other. Once when the fighting got bad, Ray asked his mother if she loved his sister, and she felt so exposed and guilty that her only safe recourse was to fly into a rage of indignation and send him to his room. How could he ask such a question? she`d called after the cowed boy, but he knew why he would and so did she. Everyone did except maybe the youngest. A mother didn`t have to love her children just because they were her children, but she couldn`t accept that and hated herself for it and took her hate out on her daughter until the hate was mutual. She`d seen a program on television about dogs and at one point they talked about a mother eating her young and it struck such a chord with her that just for a brief moment it cut through all the lies she`d told herself, all the glasses of wine she`d drank to keep a lid on her feelings, and she admitted to herself that she`d never wanted to have kids and had never wanted to marry the man she married and she hated everything about her life. But it was a short lived admission. She drowned it in wine and by morning it was again deeply buried among the lies that propped up her self-image. What had gotten Ray in trouble this time and sent out to the yard to groom Lucy had been another question about love. Like his older sister he had uncovered another uncomfortable truth. His mom had been picking at her morning grapefruit, feeling more hung over than usual and pretending it didn`t show like she`d learned to do from her own mother, when Ray had asked, "Have you stopped loving Dad because he doesn`t drink with you anymore?" If her husband gave up drinking it put her own drinking in far too bright of a light. She resented always being made out to be the bad guy. Now she was being bad for drinking, but she couldn`t imagine her life without it. The idea filled her with such panic she literally could not even think of giving it up. Ray cleared the brush of more fur again. Lucy was shedding so much he could pull little tufts free from her flanks and hind legs. "But I can tell you the truth, can`t I girl?"

Lucy panted contentedly.

Ray`s mother appeared at the back door. "Come one, Ray. It`s time to take Lucy to the vet."
"The vet? What for?"
"She`s gonna get fixed."
"What do you mean?"

Instead of explaining, she just got short. "That dog is not having puppies. Ever. You hear me?"
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