Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How would you imagine a screaming barefoot man dressed in all black with a veil covering his face carrying two bulging backpacks could get to the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon?

Crime in America.

Hey, lawyer amigo-friends and enemies, query moi this:

A guy. Okay. A guy wearing all black. Okay? With a veil covering his face. Screaming. Barefoot. On the street. Leaves two (dos) backpacks at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Today. Like just now. A little bit ago. Okay?

Now: consensual police-citizen encounter only? Mere suspicion? Terry stop? P.C., peut-etre? Proof beyond a reasonable doubt?  Or do-not-pass-go-proceed-directly-to-execution? Huh? 

Pennsylvania has been losing population for decades although it leveled off some when Stella Williamson died but, I say but, the state is still trying to attract live residents to relocate there which is the motivation behind this sign being prominently posted in jails throughout the other 49. I presume.
Boy oh boy oh boy...Wanna get away with murder? Dump the body in Pennsylvania. Good grief.
Boy oh boy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

That horrible story of the Utah serial infanticide mother immediately called to mind the similar case in Pennsylvania years ago. After publishing that crime post I researched the Pennsylvania case. How do we research anything these days? We google it! There is next to nothing. That was a sensational case, how could that be? Google does a magnificent job of collecting information on public occurrences that have been written about since Google was founded. Before then, not so much. In other words, if a public occurrence flashed like a supernova, intensely but briefly, pre-1998 and nobody has written much about it since, you ain't gonna get jack googling it. I first encountered this "gap" when I researched the Millman Perry death. That case could have been a novel or movie and there was next to nothing on it, too. Because Millman died in 1935. There hasn't been anything written on that in decades. So Google doesn't have anything.

Anyway, the Pennsylvania serial infanticide wasn't mere "years ago," as I had thought. It was discovered in 1980. Sergey Brin and Larry Page don't date women that old. Sergey Brin and Larry Page were seven years old in 1980. Okay, okay, but it was still 1980, it wasn't 1935 for godssake. I guess the Stella Elizabeth Williamson case flashed like that supernova and just disappeared. I googled "babies in attic pennsylvania" and got the name. There's a "murderpedia," or something like that, site that has about as much about it as there is. There were five babies found in a chest in Williamson's attic. The babies were wrapped in newspapers dated between 1923 and 1933. I spent hours on this: there is no photograph of Williamson, no crime scene photos, no autopsy reports;  I google-mapped the address, couldn't even find a current image of that! The only photograph of the house I could find was in one of those snap-shot photos taken of the front page of a newspaper.

It may be, it may be, that Pennsylvania plays a part in this. Pennsylvania's "government in the sunshine" laws, there isn't much sunshine there. Journalists had to go to court to learn what Joe Paterno's salary was! Penn State wouldn't tell 'em. The autopsy reports would surely be a public record, especially by this time, but back in the day, the Coroner refused to release any information except that the babies had been strangled. That I have been able to uncover online, it was not even revealed who the mother was, who the father was, who the murderer, or murderess, was; who, if anybody, knew of Williamson's pregnancies, who, if anybody, knew of the murders at the time or afterwards. There was newspaper speculation at the time that Williamson's mother had been a mid-wife, had been an abortionist. The most damning evidence, and it is quite damning, is a letter written by Williamson in February 1960, and discovered by her male companion Guy K. Schrack at the time of her death in 1980. On the envelope was written "To be opened after my burial." Williamson died on August 25, 1980. Schrack opened the letter on September 2 after Williamson's burial:

"Today I started to bleed and I want to make things right if anything should happen to me. In the attic in an old trunk you will find babies I had to Howard Drass thirty years or more. How I got away with I don't know but I did so I don't want anyone else to be blamed for something they know nothing about.  This is one reason I could never marry anyone else. I have lived a good life since so as God is my judge this is the truth. Please forgive me if you can....


He never wanted me. Only something to play with and I was a fool in his hands." 

"Started to bleed?" Williamson was 56 years old when she wrote the letter, awfully late in life for a pregnancy scare.

The name Howard Drass was omitted from contemporary reports and never officially disclosed. He was senile when investigators went to interview him.

Official Pennsylvania closed the Stella Williamson case on October 10, 1980 and buried the babies on October 29. Nice.
Yesterday the Guardian U.S. and the Washington Post (also U.S.) won the big enchilada of Pulitzer Prizes, that for "public service," for their publication of the Edward Snowden documents. Snowden faces indictment, by the way, for his public service.

Farewell to Russia.

Russia is at increasing risk of a full-blown financial crisis as the West tightens sanctions and Russian meddling in Ukraine pushes the region towards conflagration.
The country’s private companies have been shut out of global capital markets almost entirely since the crisis erupted, causing a serious credit crunch and raising concerns that firms may not be able to refinace debt without Russian state support.
Lars Christensen from Danske Bank said Russia’s economy is already in recession and may contract by as much as 4pc if there are fresh sanctions, risking a repeat of events in 2008 when capital flight set off serial defaults and a banking crisis. “There is a credit squeeze under way and a significant shock to the cost of capital. This could prove to be as bad as the Lehman crisis for Russia. Capital outflows have already been $65bn so far this year, compared to $135bn in late 2008,” he said.

“Markets seem to be betting that the Kremlin can’t let things get worse in Ukraine because it would be insane, yet it is happening it anyway. We think there will be a much more serious correction in the Russian markets,” he said.

Hey sheet-head. Little synagogue on the prairie.
Happy Passover.
The bizarreness of Sunday continued into Monday. The shootings at the Jewish centers in Kansas: sure enough hate crimes. The murderer was a "grand dragon" of the Ku Klux Klan and was shouting "Heil Hitler" during and after the murders. But his victim's weren't Jewish!  One was Catholic and the other two were members of the "Church of the Resurrection," which is about the least Jewish-sounding name for a house of worship you can get. That ought to teach him not to stereotype! He goes to Jewish community centers to kill Jews and there are Christians there! This is fucking AMERICA you inbred, brain dead, cockroach! There's no fucking "we" and "us" between Jews and Christians in America, you fucking half-man king of the punk-asses! We hang out together, go to school together; they go to Christian schools--Ooh, Grand Dragoon, they go to Christian schools. EECK!--we go to Jewish schools and community centers! My daughter works out at a Jewish Community Center, you fucking brimstone barker!

Fortunately for justice, hate is a "transferred intent" enhancement to crime. The killer's intent controls, mistake of fact is not a frigging defense, Einstein! Oooh, Grand Dragoon, Einstein was Jewish! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rooski! It true you try launch satellite last year and it go kaput? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. That vodka power satellite, Rooski? Ha-ha-ha-ha. You no can launch peepy satellite, Rooski, how you to make us dust?

You have use Western pencil guy cell phone in Georgia '08?  Yours not work, Rooski? "Dee-dee-dee. Your call no complete as dialed. You please try again with Western cell phone." Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Rooski, why you no invade Lithuania? You scared, Rooski? Rooski is a pussy riot! Rooski is a pussy riot! Peepy Lithuania take you with one arm, Rooski. Comrade Cohen kick your asski. Rooski is a pussy riot, Rooski is a pussy riot. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Ukraine has not yet died.

Official Ukraine had given the unofficial Russians invading the east a deadline to withdraw or face the full military might of Ukraine. The deadline came and went with the Rooskis still where they were and Ukraine's mailed fist...gloved. No explanation for this.  So the Rooskis seized some more buildings.

Obama called Putin today, reiterated his congratulations on the paralympics, said the West was not behind the "unrest" in Ukraine, Putin said, oh yes you are, Obama said oh no we're not, you're behind the "unrest," Putin said oh no we're not, Obama said oh yes you are and reiterated his congratulations for the paralympics. As I understand it.

The EU agreed to more sanctions.


"Popular posts" gone.


Hi Ben,

I was wondering if you had anything on your mind about Google. I know we would all be interested.
 -Message not received.

I do! As a matter of fact, I do! Thank you for not asking!

Google stats can be so much fun and I occasionally post something on them. Sometime in the last year or so, I marked the 100,000th pageview since July, 2009. I enjoyed that. However, gradually, Google stats have become less fun because they are not accurate; e.g. there were not 21 Finns here all at one time last week. I have noticed other things over the years that have made me suspicious and suspicious is not fun. For example, the "all-time" graph start date has changed repeatedly, from July, 2009 to sometime, I don't remember, in 2008, and now it's June, 2007! The graph skips entire months, it skips the entire year from May 2010-April 2011. How hard can it be simply to count? Exasperation really does not equal fun. Then, a year or so ago, I began noticing under "referring urls" and "referring sites," names I'd never heard of before. is the numero uno referring site but numero dos is something called "vampirestat." Wtf? In doing some research I learned wtf: vampirestat is not really referring anybody. All vampirestat does is send "bots" to a site. The bots artificially inflate the number of visitors. I learned this from a Google site. (I did not learn what is in it for vampirestats.) So, why does Google report those as real "visitors?" I don't know. It messes up other stats, like "pageviews by country." Google reports that Malaysia is sixth in pageviews by country, but I know, and Google knows, that that's b.s., the vast majority of those are not real pageviews, that's vampirestats. Vampirestats and like sites just disappeared a few months ago. I had planned on marking the 200,000th visitor and Google reports that the total--since when?--is 208,800 but I haven't because not all of that total are "real." I have added up all of the referrals from vampirestats and their ilk and it's something like 16,000 so I decided not to post that we had reached 200,000 until subtracting all the fake hits.

Then yesterday...Yesterday, someone clicked on one of the "stat" posts: I clicked on the post (I have a function that does not count my own clicks.). I thought that 1,066 pageviews of the "Jasmine Revolution" post was higher than it was now! I checked the current stats. At this moment Google reports that there have been 1,008 clicks on "Jasmine Revolution," fifty-eight less than fifteen months ago. How hard can it be simply to count? So, I am considering deleting the "widget" that reports out the ten most "popular posts," because something is not right. I have just lost faith in Google stats. 

Farewell to Russia.

"More generally, a slow divorce between Russia and the West is quietly underway.

Sanctions apart, individuals, companies and governments are already taking steps to disengage: repatriating profits, cancelling orders, suspending bilateral co-operation and readjusting plans for the future."
-BBC News.

Good. Let both the West and Russia disengage from these entanglements. Putin does not want American or Western-style pursuit of happiness. He wants Russia to be distinctively Russian. I'm all for that. He wants Russians elsewhere, like in Ukraine, perhaps in my condo, to be part of Greater Rus. Not down with that. If he insists on the Russians in eastern Europe--Ukraine, Transnistria, non-NATO countries, the U.S. and West are already going to give him that if he's willing to put up with sanctions. He's not going to get anything without sanctions. You can't invade another country, just can't do it.  I'd tell him he can have Lithuania too, just to piss off Roger Cohen, accompanied by the necessary sanctions, of course.

Might we similarly disengage from China? China does not invade, passively or actively so it would be simpler. As with Russia, we do not share the same "values" with China. Just phase out that "partnership," too. We should end our military alliances with Taiwan and Japan. If China invades Taiwan, we are obligated to go to war with China. Nice, huh? America will not disengage from China because of $$...Unless China invades someone. China, go take those islands from Japan or do what Putin's doing in Ukraine. I'm half-serious about the last, dead serious about the rest. We should say Farewell to China, too. 
It is! It's Monday already (GMT). Good riddance.
Get out of here, day. Be gone.
This has not been a good day. 

Pope Takes Selfies.

Crime in America.

That is Edmond Aviv, 62 years old, carrying, more or less literally, his sentence for disorderly conduct. The judge made him carry that sign in public for five hours today, dictating to him the words he was to write on the sign. The disorderly conduct stemmed out of a running--15 year--dispute with a neighbor. No. The judge's sentence is wrong. That public humiliation is wrong. I do not know any of the facts of the case. Disorderly conduct is not a "hate crime," however; nor is bullying an element of disorderly conduct.  The legal definition of disorderly conduct includes nothing about intolerance or picking on people.

This is just bizarre.

The sentence does not fit the crime. "Fuck you, Russia! Putin's a pig!" If I scream that on a street corner, that's disorderly conduct. If that's what I am charged with, I cannot, legally, be made to wear a sign admitting to "intolerance" toward Russians. If "Fuck you, Russia! Putin's a pig!" also constitute some "intolerance" crime then to make such a sign-carrying sentence arguably legal, I'd have to be so charged. I assume whatever state this was in allows a sign-carrying sentence in the first place. I don't think such a sentence is even permitted in some states.

I am outraged.

The language on that sign is so "politically correct"...This is going to come back to haunt this judge. This is hard to believe. Appalling, embarrassing.
Three people at two different Jewish community centers in Kansas were murdered today by a gunman, apparently alone, who was in his 70's! Police haven't determined if the murders were hate crimes yet. Rosh Hashanah begins Tuesday according to Wikipedia.
Today in Utah: the bodies of six babies were found in a woman's house. The woman was the mother. She gave birth to them over a ten-year period. Her ex-husband called police to say there was a, one, baby's body in the house. Police found six.

Years ago, there was a similar case in rural Pennsylvania. A woman died and her long-time male friend told the police. There were, three I believe, babies bodies found in the attic of the house that the woman and man had lived in. They had been born and killed decades earlier. I remember
newspaper had been stuffed into one of the babies mouths, suffocating it. They were murdered. That is the implication in Utah. I remember in the Pennsylvania case, investigators wondering how nobody knew. Like, "She's pregnant, where's the child?" Three times. The Pennsylvania investigators thought maybe because she was obese. How the heck does nobody notice six pregnancies, six babies born. And six babies disappearing. At least the Utah woman is alive, the case not so remote, people who would have known, like the ex-husband, are alive. There will be some answers. Horrible, awful. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Rape of Ukraine.

Just as in Crimea the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine is proceeding with professional troops with professional weaponry and wearing professional uniforms--without insignia. Official Ukraine has issued an order that Sloviansk and the buildings in other Ukrainian cities occupied by the Russians be retaken. Official Russia meanwhile has said that such is  a "criminal order." In short all is in place. The Rape of Ukraine proceeds.

Should Ukraine resist it's rape? What a question! "Give it to a Russian?!" A rape victim need not fight her rapist. She need not risk maiming or death. If a rapist has a gun and  points it to her head she need not resist; she should not resist. It is no less a rape to "give it" to a rapist with a gun.

That is the position, as were are to understand it, of Ukraine. Russia has 30,000-40,000 troops--with guns--on the border. The "window of opportunity" for invasion is now and it refers to Ukraine unpreparedness as well as Russian preparedness. If Ukraine fights, as Ukraine has said it will, it will lose with frightful loss of life. The annexation of Crimea was accomplished in precisely the manner in which this is proceeding. It was bloodless. No one thinks the Ukrainian people unmanly or unwomanly or cowardly in not fighting in Crimea. No one will think of them so in the present case. When rape is inevitable, not resisting is not "enjoying" rape as sex, it is living to fight another day by other means.

Nor is the rapist viewed more favorably if his victim saves her life by capitulation to overwhelming force. Putin is not viewed more favorably for Ukrainian non-resistance in Crimea. The American Ambassador to the United Nations said today that the sanctions over Crimea have driven the ruble to its lowest level in history and the Russian stock market is off 20%. A fine is paltry punishment for a crime and has not deterred Putin. We have rather a marginally less well-off serial rapist now. Did Ukrainian non-resistance in Crimea lead to or cause or some such verb Putin's current invasion of Ukraine. No. This was his intent all along, as far back as 1994(?) when he told Condoleezza Rice "Ukraine is ours."

Might Ukrainian non-resistance now encourage Putin elsewhere? Yes. Yes, indeed. The world expects "Transnistria" next immediately and may expect states now on the periphery of Russia foreseeably, as part of Putin's "Greater Russia" conceit. The West did not draw a "red line" on Georgia in 2008, did not draw a red line on Crimea, has not on Ukraine, will not on whatever Transnistria is. Putin knows he can have Ukraine without fighting a war with NATO, the West, with America. Rightly so! did the West not draw those red lines. Putin will (merely) be fined more heavily for his Rape of Ukraine. If there is to be war between the United States and Russia, the red lines have been drawn around the NATO countries. NATO is far bigger than it should be, far more eastern; there will be resistance in America--Here!--to a Russo-American war over Vilnius and trade, but that is where America and the West have drawn the red line.

That is where we have drawn the line. Outside Kiev. What about the Ukrainians? Will they fight? I think they will. I would! Whoo-doggie, if I know myself and myself was Ukrainian, my trigger finger would be numb now! It would be numb because I'd be dead too, in addition to overuse. I cannot recommend my course to others.

This is Anfield.

City tied it at 2, then some Lilliputian put them ahead again. Now in the 88th minute. 

This is Anfield Home of the Cannibal of Ajax.

Cannibals 2, God's Team of Angels in Blue, 0. Second half has begun.

"This is Anfield."

Manchester City at Liverpool. The match of the year begins now. This is Public Occurrences.
There: A sword. Large. Hard. Unsheathed. Ominous effluence.
Can't do that. Too embarrassed.
Coming back to our task, we have F-bombed two countries today, Malaysia and Pakistan, and shoulda, woulda, coulda, F-bombed a third, Rus, which we have done before. In this context, that is the context of those earlier posts, what would be the appropriate image, le mot juste as it were, to express the "attitude" which we have adopted today toward these cockroaches?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

And in Nelson Rockefeller's case.
...The oxygen mask goes in the closet. Thank you. Water. Water. Thank you. Thank you.

So, dissipation of bodily essence especially when occasioned by physical exercise, no matter how fleeting, does, of course, alleviate stress. But it's temporary! And that was my point, incompletely expressed previously. With time, in my case perhaps a week, it comes back and unless one is prepared to..."do" this frequently, the stress reduction is most temporary, header images do not get posted and there is some risk of cardiac arrest. In my case.
...Really? Sex? Sure! Now, I must say, I have seen that before, have used it before. I disagree with the proposition as a whole, although I hasten to add that in general and in this specific instance! I am not now, nor have I ever been, anti-sex. I agree with and throw my whole-hearted support behind, the second clause in your proposition...Okay, okay, okay, second clause first...
Didn't help figure out what to put on the header. But that was lovely, truly. Fun. Wonderful. Thank you.
We can give that a try.
'Preciate the sentiment. No.
Bye! Next time, be kinky and sleep on top of the mattress. Huh? Gets you all worked up just thinking about it, don't it?
Time to change the header. Cognitive dissonance. We want cognitive consonance. 

"Pakistan Baby Won't Face Prison Time."-New York Times.

Pakistan, see Malaysia.

MH370 Update.

And now for an MH370 update: Malaysia, FUCK YOU! Tune into CNN for more details.

Ukraine Has Not Yet Died.

Pro-Putin gunmen have taken control of an entire Ukrainian city, Slaviansk. Kiev has said it will forcibly retake the city. Moscow had said if there is "civil war" in Ukraine, it would have to intervene--Not that it wants to, mind you--to protect the rights of Russian-speakers.  Yeah. Those 30,000-40,000 Russian troops that have been on the Ukraine border for a month are "training," not invading. Yeah.
Hope you slept well. Between the mattress and the box spring. How is your respiration?

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's Friday.


Something has happened with Putin. One reads now, "Oh, we should have expected this," after Georgia, his statement to Condaleeza Rice that "Ukraine is ours," his poor relationship with Obama. No. It wasn't too long ago that Putin called Bush43 when the latter was in the hospital. Putin is throwing that relationship AWAY. He is throwing all of his relationships with Western leaders away. Merkel, kicked out of the G8, kicked away from NATO. Hell, even people in his own government. Wouldn't take Lavrov's call; didn't involve the Foreign Ministry in the decision to invade Crimea. He and his circle of Rasputins made the call on Crimea. Merkel said "He's not in touch with reality." He's not. No, this is an abrupt change in Putin. Something happened to him. Divorce? Snowden? A psychic blow? Something physical? Something has gone on that has caused him to throw away all of his relationships with the West. And it is something that has been sudden. He has isolated himself and the world has isolated him. When a person isolates  himself, especially suddenly, that is a bad sign. It is not psychologically healthy. "It's like he's in another world," Merkel also said.

This is just an idiot blogger free-associating. I have no evidence for any of this. No one does that has been made public. This is not brilliant strategy by Putin as Kissinger said early on. This is transparent, ham-handed Soviet-style, Alice-in-Wonderland madness.  These bits of disjointed information point, in my mind, to some acute psychic event. When the history of this is written I believe we will learn what it is and it's not going to be pent-up grievances; it's going to be something acute and personal to Vladimir Putin.

There is no going back. With or without a Russian re-invasion of Ukraine, there is no going back for Putin. And if he invades Ukraine again he will be a world pariah. Sanctions can be devastating. We are much more sophisticated with sanctions now. We can maximize pain on Russia and minimize pain to us and the West. We have crippled North Korea and Iran. Even if he doesn't invade, there will be no going back. The West will never trust him again. He has thrown it all away and I do not believe it is rational. I don't think Putin is all there.

Russia is ready.

NATO says the Russian forces along the Ukraine border are capable of attacking within hours of receiving the order. And we're right within the "window of opportunity" explained by Foreign Policy, the first few weeks of April to mid-May. "Ukraine has not yet died," but could at any day now. God keep the people of Ukraine.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"It was not a mistake, as some have argued, to expand NATO and the EU into Eastern Europe. It was a significant strategic advance for democracy and free market capitalism."
-Nicholas Burns, Boston Globe.

Mr. Burns puts it more directly than others have. Thomas L. Friedman wrote that "we" should get all that we can out of the genocide that was then just beginning in Egypt. "It" is the pursuit of happiness. That is the soul of America, that is Nicholas Burns' and Thomas L. Friedman's soul.

It is apodictic that democracy and free market capitalism are synergistic. The "human right" that Official America most consistently advances is democracy. Democracy is good. In promoting democracy in other countries Official America promotes the human rights of other peoples. One level deeper, American support for democracy abroad supports government by popular consent. Government of, by and for is good.

America, official and unofficial, has had chance to think about the applicability of "democracy is good." Sometimes the bird hits the air pump with democracy. Democracy produced Hitler; Democracy produced Mohammad Morsi. Democracy resulted in genocide in the first; it resulted, by one degree of separation, in genocide in the second. Democracy produced Robert Mugabe, Salvador Allende, Vladimir Putin. Democracy is not always good, not even for the human rights of the voting democrats.

In all of the instances above, maybe with the exception of Putin, America thinks "real" democracy was "high-jacked." And it was. More or less. Maybe with the exception of Putin, again. There was the form of democracy, i.e. there were elections, but then the victors hollowed the content, protection of minority rights for instance, being "inclusive." Protection of minority rights and having an inclusive government do seem to be part of the content of democracy, of government of, by and for. Those and more, are how Official America defines the content of democracy in any event, whether they are included in any "official" definition of democracy.

In all those instances, however, America does not go the one level deeper, does not go the one level deeper as it is reflected in American policy, that is. That is, however short of "real" democracy America thinks the governments are in those instances, still those governments are (or were) of, by and for the people. To take the most extreme example, Hitler was a terrible, terrible dictator, of course. However, no one can argue that he was not supported by at least a plurality of the German people. And the same with Morsi, Mugabe, Allende and Putin.

America has thought of all this and has concluded that those instances are forgettable exceptions to the rule "democracy is good," which American foreign policy most consistently pursues. In other instances, for example China, where there was never the hint of democracy under Mao Zedong, but where also there was no doubt that Mao's dictatorship was supported by the Chinese people, that's another exception, America thinks. Policy's the same: democracy is good. Official America thinks democracy is a human right but there are these exceptional humans, not that democracy is not a human right, not that democracy isn't for all humans.

As a human right, democracy is emphasized by Official America because democracy is the hand maiden to free market capitalism. And here we come back again to Nicholas Burns. Mr. Burns is exceptional in making this link explicit. Official America likes it to be implicit, we like to emphasize the human right, democracy. But, Official America really does believe, knows, that democracy and fee market capitalism are joined at the hip. (The Chinese, man, they are really exceptional.) Mr. Burns joins them at the hip. But, Official America cannot even make the argument that free market capitalism is a human right. First, because it's not, like, human, right? Capitalism is a tool, a machine, it is not a human anything, it is a tool to make money. Second because, my God, how many different economic systems have their been that the peoples of the world have tried? That they still try. Third, and we'll leave it at third, the capitalist machine is pretty inhumane sometimes, right? It has not eradicated poverty, you have these immense asymmetric distributions of wealth, America itself has had to "tweak" the machine several times to: avoid depressions, provide a social "safety net," there's "free trade" and then there's "fair trade," etc. And etc. Capitalism is like the legend of the shark: So primitive, inhuman, so perfectly predatory that it must always advance in order to aerate its gills, gobbling up more and more as the only thing it knows how to do, or it will die. In capitalism, if a company is not growing it dies. Official America does not mention the shark, it does not mention capitalism if it can avoid it; when it can't avoid it Official America shows prospective buyers Big Macs and Four Wheel Drives and big houses and toys. Official America's argument, when it includes free market capitalism at all, is a sort of capitalistic "buy one, get one free."  Buy democracy, get capitalism. A lot of people are down with all that. Nicholas Burns is down with all that.

Some people are not down with all that.

Some people are not down with democracy and free market capitalism. Hitler was not down with capitalism. The German people were not. Nor the Japanese. Both of those peoples emphasized race or ethnicity over making money. Nor, of course, were the Soviet Russians. (But they're all gone now. We won.). The Chinese are down with capitalism, they're not down with democracy. Putin's Russia is pretty much down with capitalism, is down, more or less, with democracy but puts, at least recently, more emphasis on ethnicity through language. None of them are, or were, down with inclusiveness (Or maybe Putin wants to be too inclusive.), which is one of the components of democracy. America thinks. Putin's "intellectuals" reject inclusiveness, they reject "North Atlantic liberalism," they reject America. Putin's intellectuals see America and its form of democracy and its free market capitalism, and they see a shark. They see the expansion of NATO and the EU just as Nicholas Burns does, as a "significant strategic advance." By a shark. The expansion of NATO and the EU into eastern Europe was not a mistake. That's what Nicholas Burns thinks. 

President Obama and the First Lady were in Houston, Texas Wednesday. They were paid a surprise visit by former President George H.W. Bush.  “I just wanted to say hello to the President and the first lady. When the President comes to your hometown, you show up and welcome him." No, there is a real connection there. Obama wheeled Bush around when he paid a visit to the White House several months ago. You can see that the warmth is reciprocated by Barack and Michelle. 

This is typical of 41, such a good man. Typical of Obama's empathy and his ability to connect with Americans. Barack Obama is, for many Americans, for this one, and I believe for 41, America's First Son. Obama is so American; everyday we see people we know in him. He is a "product" of America--we produced him! Bush41 and his generation actually produced the America that produced Barack Obama. We are so proud of Barack Obama, proud of his goodness, so proud that he "made good," and we are protective of him. So, I think President Bush "just wanted to say hello" today, "to show up and welcome," America's First Son. Just as a proud papa would. 

Hey, someone has put out a "slick" video depicting Ukraine invading Rus! Roo-ski?