Saturday, February 28, 2015

That we know of.
It has been over 24 hours since Putin had anybody assassinated. Anybody prominent.

Politics & Justice.*

Hi. Putin says he is taking personal charge of the Nemtsov investigation...Which is the same way shootings by police officers are investigated in Miami, Florida, USA! So that's good. Putin's lieutenants are on it man, they are all over this one. Unturned stones? Nyet. Among stones they are turning are:

-"...the possibility that fellow members of the opposition had killed Mr. Nemtsov to create a martyr...a 'sacrificial victim' to rally support for opponents of the government, the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement." I like!

-"The committee also cited the possibility that Isllamic extremists had killed Mr. Nemtsov over his position on the Charlie Hedbo shootings in Paris..." This language gets a frowny face from the Obamas because the llama is an animal of peace, all animals are equally peaceful--or violent--there is no cause to single out llamas from doves and dolphins; true there have been recent reports of extremist llamas running amok but they were marginalized from society and Putin should investigate equally doves, dolphins, Ukrainians, and opponents of Putin. Which is what Putin is doing. So I think the Obamas like this.

-"The committee also said that 'radical personalities' on one or another side of the Ukrainian conflict might have been responsible." There you go! "On one or another side."  We don't know! Could be this side, could be that side! No stone shall be left unturned! Nice.

-"business disputes." The ruble is the source of all evil!

-"personal disputes." Cherchez la femme? You're darn tootin' they're gonna cherchez la femme, especially la Ukrainian femme who was with Boris, described as a "tall" "model," "much younger." Need we say more we think not. Do we sniff a confession coming from the "tall" "model," "much younger?"  

-"destabilizing the country." Which country?

*UPDATED February 28, 9:35 pm: I remembered! I thought that might come in handy again. The same motive offered by the Chief Prosecutor in Anna Politkovskaya's assassination.

-"...cruel murder...has every sign of being a contract killing, which has a solely provocative nature." Provoke whom?

*UPDATED, February 28, 9:38 pm: There you go, same description of Anna's assassination too!

That is Chief Inspector Putin's personal view of the case and must be given great weight. The undersigned is not much experienced in murder investigations and is unacquainted with the "sole provocative nature" of the contract killing genre. However, this theory, this "lead," does seem to suggest a commendable restraint will attend the investigation, that there will be no "jumping to conclusions," no "rush to judgment," no retaliation against the Ukrainian provocateur(s).

-"Mr. Nemtsov was murdered in revenge for having caused a woman to have an abortion." Very impressive.

-"Mr. Nemtsov was murdered in revenge for his opposition to Putin and Putin's war on Ukraine." NO, actually! That is not one of the "angles" being looked at. Huh.

Nonetheless, we see already that this is going to be a thorough and a long investigation--Rome wasn't built in a day! This murder will be investigated to death and with the same satisfying finality as to police shootings in Miami, Florida, USA. So that's good.
Anna Politkovskaya, award-winning journalist, Putin foe, author of, inter alia, Putin's Russia, critic of Putin's war on Chechnya,
shot dead, once point blank in the head, in the elevator of her apartment building on October 7, 2006, Vladimir Putin's birthday.

According to Wikipedia:

"Her murder was widely perceived as a contract killing..."--I'm going to try to remember that characterization --"Russia's Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika...met with Putin and FSB director Nikolai Patrushev, during which he made an official announcement:

"Our investigation has led us to conclude that only people living abroad could be interested in killing Politkovskaya...Forces interested in de-stabilising the country,--Same there--in stoking discrediting the national leadership, provoking external pressure on the country, could be interested in this crime. Anna Politkovskaya knew who ordered her killing. She met him more than once."

I do not know if Anna ever met Putin.

Alexander Litvinenko, ex-KGB agent and defector, Putin critic,

 assassinated by Putin loyalists by plutonium poisoning in London, England, November 23, 2006.

Stanislav Markelov, human rights lawyer who represented Anna Politkovskaya,

shot in the head outside the Kremlin, January 19, 2009 by a "Russian nationalist extremist." According to President Obama that should just be "extremist."

Natalya Estemirova, human rights activist, winner of numerous awards--including the Anna Politkovskaya award-- for her reporting on Putin's war on Chechnya,

 abducted and murdered as she left her home in Grozny July 15, 2009 by "unknown persons."

Alexei Devotchenko, actor, Putin critic--"I've had enough of all this tsar-state stuff, with its lies, its cover-ups, its legalised theft, its bribe-taking and its other triumphs."--
--the circumstances of Alexei's demise on November 5, 2014 are uncertain. ABC News:

"Russian investigators originally told reporters his death "was of a criminal nature," but they later said they found he cut his hand and hit his head after drinking too much, and bled out, according to The Telegraph."

The Independent:

"Some Russian news outlets said he was discovered in a pool of blood in his apartment, while others claimed he was found inside his home.

The online tabloid Lifenews reported that Mr Devotchenko hit a glass cabinet with his hands and died of blood loss after sustaining severe cuts in the incident. It said empty bottles of whiskey and packets of phenazepam, a legal Russian drug prescribed to treat epilepsy, were discovered near his body.

(You know: Wasn't alcohol poisoning the initial account given of Neil Heywood's death in China? Gotta stay away from the booze.)

Meanwhile, one law enforcement source reportedly told Russian news agencies: 'There is reason to suppose that the artist's death is of a criminal character.'"

This nettlesome ambiguity flummoxes Russian police to this day. No arrests.

Boris Nemtsov, ex-First Deputy Prime Minister, Putin opponent, "a bridge between Russia and Ukraine,"

shot in the back four times while walking with a Ukrainian woman on Moskvoretsky Bridge, February 27, 2015.

The Kremlin is very pretty, isn't it? So dramatic at night.
Infamous powers are at work.
CCC just called and told me that the dominant story on the internet yesterday was a dress that appeared white and gold colored to some and black and blue to others. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Nemtsov Contract Assassination.

“I love Russia and want the best for her, so for me criticizing Putin is a very patriotic activity because these people are leading Russia to ruin,” Mr. Nemtsov said in an interview in 2011, republished Saturday on the Meduza news site. “Everybody who supports them in fact supports a regime that is destroying the country, and so they are the ones who hate Russia. And those who criticize this regime, those who fight against it, they are the patriots.”

In recent years, Mr. Nemtsov’s star had been eclipsed by Aleksei A. Navalny, the anticorruption blogger who played a leading role in the 2011 protests. But Mr. Nemtsov remained active and was a leading organizer of this weekend’s planned rally.

Mr. Nemtsov was organizing the rally in part because Mr. Navalny is currently serving a two-week jail sentence for handing out leaflets on the subway. The rally was also noteworthy because it was the first political action inside Russia specifically endorsed by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the exiled former political prisoner, who had signed the petition for a parade permit.

...gunmen shot Mr. Nemtsov four times in the back as he walked over the bridge, and by accident or design theatrically placed his body on the wet asphalt with the Kremlin visible behind.

...contract street killings...had dwindled under Mr. Putin, making the killing of Mr. Nemtsov all the more shocking. He is by far the most prominent public figure to die in such a fashion, though just one in a string of murders of opponents of Mr. Putin, most notoriously the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the human rights researcher Natalia Estemirova and the security service defector Aleksandr V. Litvinenko. (emphasis added. From the New York Times.)

Nemtsov, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Opponent of Putin on Ukriane, Shot Dead Near Kremlin.

Boris Nemtsov, 55, was First Deputy Prime Minister under President Boris Yeltsin. In a calculated drive-by hit a gunman in a white car shot Mr. Nemtsov four times in the back as he was walking across a bridge in view of the Kremlin. He had just finished trying to rally support for a march against Russia's war on Ukraine to be held on Sunday. Nemtsov had said in a recent interview that he feared Russian president Vladimir Putin would have him assassinated. The Kremlin has issued a statement on Putin's behalf condemning the murder.

Good night.
"Here's looking-ed at you, kid." 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Infamous Powers At Work.

Isllama Terror in Arizona.

Perhaps I have not drunk enough green apple vodka.

Hoofs up, don't shoot!

"...At One Point 3 Were on the Run."

At which point?

"Llama Chase in Arizona Captivates Nation..."

Which nation?...Perhaps I have drunk enough green apple vodka.
I am drinking green apple vodka.
I am eating peanut butter out of the jar with a knife.
"Cato is in hospital. They nearly blew his little yellow skin off."

"The instant you assign me to a case I am set upon..."

"I tell you infamous powers are at work..."
I am tired, I am sober, and it is now Friday (UTC). Those are incommensurable states of being which I shall now render commensurable, thus making life better.


The intellectual flavor of the week is "What ISIS Really Wants," Graeme Wood, The Atlantic.
Wood answers: the caliphate recently established. There is a change, friends and enemies, a change in how "Adults" are writing about Islam--No change in how the president of the U.S.A. thinks about Islam, though! After 9/11/01 I read the Koran cover-to-cover, heavily excerpted it here. Read Sayyad Qutb's commentaries. The wonder to me was not that Islam was violent; the wonder was that all Muslims weren't violent for I did not see how any reasonable reading of the Koran could produce non-violent believers. Wood says, contrary to President Obama's dismissal of ISIS as an al Qaeda "jay-vee" team, Ice-heads are intelligent, thoughtful and studious of the Koran, where any reasonable reading would find support for ISIS practices slavery for women and children, crucifixions and beheadings. It's really all there, "The Answer is Islam."

Larry Siedentrop says the roots of Western secular liberalism can be traced to Christianity in his book Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism.

And Protestant Christianity created the modern novel.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

As Maine goes, so goes New Hampshire...
As Maine goes, so goes the nation...
Today is the first day of the end of your life...
If you can read this you're too close...

Hi. Pileup...Maine...75-vehicles. Everyday is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord...Where some see adversity, others see opportunity...

Greeting Card Wisdom.


CUTE! Very good.

GREAT!!! Clever. Love it. Redeems my faith in mankind. Will reconsider suicide.

Greeting Card Wisdom.

Like that one.

Don't like that one.

Don't. But if it makes your life better, here.

Susan Rice and Benjamin Netanyahu did not make life better today. Rice, national security adviser to President Obama said that Netanyahu's upcoming speech to the U.S. Congress is "destructive" of U.S.-Israeli relations. Destructive means done, over; she didn't mean that.

Netanyahu said that the nascent agreement with Iran on its nuclear program means "the world powers have given up" on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and have agreed, in effect, to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons in the next few years. “They might accept this but I am not willing to accept this.” Netanyahu does mean that and Netanyahu should do what he thinks the leader of an independent state should do and stop trying to get another country, the U.S., to do his fighting for him.
It's carpe diem time, it's carpe diem time,
It's carpe diem time, it's carpe diem time.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


"Making Life Better" is its Orwellian motto, "Happy Valley" its Orwellian locale. Penn State was the school that everyone admired and wished to emulate: the excellence, the integrity. It was all lies, "Pay no attention to that man behind the (shower) curtain!", it was all founded upon lies, and it collapsed. It broke the hearts of all who loved her and of those who merely admired her. A cancer grew within this modest, respectable, good institution the moment Joe Paterno stepped onto the campus and it matastasized year after year, decade after decade and it changed Penn State's soul. They imbibed the purple kool aid, got drunk on it and began chanting it; for years and years, they have chanted cult-like, WE ARE...PENN STATE!

The Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal presented the gravest crisis ever to hit an American university. It decapitated the university administration. For a while Penn State people did the soul of Penn State credit. They immediately cut ties with the corrupt heads to save the body. They accepted their punishment. That was the moment. In the super-heated crucible of that moment, Penn State could have achieved transcendence. Truly the scandal could have elevated Penn State to beatification.

But a body rots from the head down and the rest of the Penn State people fought and buried their heads. That was the new Penn State soul after a half century of Paternoism, the lying, denying, cover-upping, enabling Penn State. And they won! The sanctions have been lifted, Joe Paterno's wins have been restored, his statue will be replaced.

Penn State threw greatness away. It is the Pennsylvania Paradox, a big state, an important state, yet a state that has never produced greatness, has produced one president, the worst of all, James Buchanan. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. It is what it is, the State of Mediocrity, numbing, heartbreaking, mystifying mediocrity. A part of my heart is there and my heart is broken. Pennsylvania never fails to disappoint. Truly pitiful.

WE ARE...*

It all began innocuously enough when Penn State mechanical engineering graduate Lisa Aiello DeLeon tweeted at [ESPN guy Keith] Olbermann:

"We Are!"

This, should you be unaware, is something Penn State people do a lot to remind others that they are Penn State people. It's a touch unimaginative, but very East Coast.
She added a link to a dance marathon fundraiser that the school is involved in every year, one that raises money to fight pediatric cancer.
It may well be that Olbermann didn't open the link. For he simply replied: 


Excuse me for a moment, I need to have an orgasm...

*UPDATED, 2:50 am, February 25: I love you.
According to ABC News, the United States Department of Justice will not file charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

According to the Justice Department the Justice Department also will not be filing charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown. 
Will do, Wilfred. Thank you.

My turgid mind is developing unvirtuous thoughts. We shall conclude for now our popular series "Greeting Card Wisdom."
NSA ought to heed the words of Chief Seattle.
I love you. Question: Why "trust a few?" That means mistrust most. Isn't mistrust doing wrong? Maybe it's an inchoate wrong, Shakespeare thought? Why would you love those you mistrust? How can you love those you mistrust?

I don't know about Shakespeare.
Really? Did Aristotle conduct survey research on that matter?
"The true strength of virtue is a tranquil mind.”

Greeting card wisdom. Office secretary poster wisdom. Where do they come up with these? This one is from Immanuel Kant. So what? It's still dumb. I am unvirtuous to a marked extent, it's noticeable; And I have no tranquil mind. It is still dumb.

I love you, though.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Hi. I love you.

Rudy Giuliani really made me think with his original ("first"and "novel") comments that he doesn't believe President Obama loves America. Having thought about it for a few hours I thought Giuliani was probably correct! Wrote that. Wrote (again) that I did not love America either! I wrote, taking Giuliani's use of the word "love" in context, it was clear to me that he meant a misty-eyed, croaking-voiced, getcha right here, sentimental, affair of the heart. I thought (and wrote) that Giuliani had clearly given some thought to this, had expressed and explained himself well and had raised a very interesting, troubling point!

In succeeding days however Giuliani attempted to clarify that which didn't need clarification and muddled his point. He said that he had not been questioning Obama's patriotism, which is defined as love of country, a direct contradiction of his remark the night before in other words, but again he went on to explain: He, Giuliani, didn't feel Obama's love, didn't see the eyes mist, the voice break, the throat croak, so I let it go.

Then, Obama was influenced growing up by "communism." Okay, Giuliani is clearly just a right wing nut that wasn't worth paying attention to. So I didn't.

Today, the nut cracked again. He wrote an article that appeared opposite the editorial page in the Wall Street Journal. You cannot read the entire god-blessed article unless you have a subscription, which I don't and never will, the Journal gives you a burlesque version, a first paragraph that gradually fades out so this is all there is:

There has been no shortage of news coverage—and criticism—regarding comments I made about President Obama at a political gathering last week in New York. My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn’t love America notwithstanding, I didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart. My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how that effect may damage his performance. Let me explain.
The role of an American president is...
Well, Rudolph the Red-Faced Mayor, I thought you were questioning the "content of his heart" which is what made your remarks so novel, so interesting, so perceptive. We seek the soul here and Giuliani's speech comments went pretty darn close to that.

*UPDATED, Feb. 24, 1:44 am: "Notwithstanding." LmaOFF? What do you mean notwithstanding?!, you doofus...Wait, I want to look up the dictionary definition of "notwithstanding," be right back...UPDATED, 1:54 am: Hi. I love you. Wouldn't you know it? There are three seperate usages of "notwithstanding," as preposition, adverb and conjunction. Based on the following example I think Giuliani uses it as a preposition:

There were purges and there were trials, but compared with the 1940's [Could we have a longer example?] these were mild indeed, Germany was finally reunited, and, appalling wars in the Balkans notwithstanding, Europe survived the end of the Cold War.--Nicholas Frazer, Harper's, May 2006. 

Zzzzz, Zzzzz, Oh! Is that sentence over? If Giulani uses it as a preposition then it means "despite" which is how it reads, right? If you start the sentence with "despite" and just roll from there, omitting "notwithstanding" it reads the same to my ear. So: "Despite...president doesn't love...didn't...question...content of...heart." That is SOOOOO retarded!

"The role of an American president is...", that's what this has devolved to? Giuliani on the role of an American president? He's teaching a poli sci course now? Be gone. Anybody who wants to take Professor Giuliani's course sign up and pay at the Wall Street Journal.
Over the weekend I was going through my saved searches on the 'puter, looking for some to delete, I don't know why I still do that, everytime I do I never finish, I get distracted by one and open it to read. It happened again this weekend with a column whose catch phrase is still burned into my brain:

There are several reasons why I don’t object to a mosque being built near the World Trade Center site, but the key reason is my affection for Broadway show tunes.

AHHH! STOP! NO MORE! PLEASE! Don't you just want to strangle him?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

This morning my Angel Child daughter texted her daddy that she was at a cafe having breakfast with friends and "Heaven is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle was playing. She knows how much I like that MTV video. I'm told I wouldn't regognize Ms. Carlise if I saw a picture of her today; years of drinking and drugs will age an adorable, slightly chubby girl shockingly. So I have never googled her. I want to remember Belinda as she was then, beautiful and sexy and flirtatious, in love with her husband, and with more energy than an atomic bomb. I want to remember her passionate, throaty emphasis on a couple of the stanzas.

"Heaven" led me to think of other youthful, fun, optimistic songs like "I Will Wait" by the British band Mumford and Sons. I like "I Will Wait" a lot, I like its tempo, its energy, the instrumentation, its singability, and because the boys in the band on the video are obviously enjoying themselves and Marcus Mumford can be heard, and seen, to laugh over the music. Happy guy at that time, happy guys during that whole performance.

I'm not going to "pursue" happiness or success or a woman, that's too aggressive for me. I'm not going to be like Sting or Marc Leder or the Gilders but happiness is contagious and I'm alert to it in the world and when I "stumble upon" happiness it is worth, to me, capturing it and noting it. And so I did.

"I Will Wait" reminded me of certain other British songs, one hit wonders, "Come on Eileen" was one by Dexys Midnight Runners another "up" song, charming in its lower midddle class film location, similar instrumentation, similar tempo changes, very singable.

And of "I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)"  by the The Proclaimers. There's a little too much intensity there for me, too much of Sting's "Every Breath You Take" but high energy, great tempo and singability. It's a passionate song.

Finally, "I'm Walking on Shnshine" by Katrina and the Waves. In the 1980's I came home from work I recall, perhaps incorrectly, that it was a dismal February day; I plopped myself down on the sofa, lit my pipe and turned on MTV and I watched this girl, Katrina, sing this song with so much happiness and joy, so much energy that she was shaking her soul out of her body, and I took note. You couldn't help smile and be mezmerized by her energy and I sat up on my couch since I couldn't take that song lying down and I said to my then wife, "THAT is going to be a one-hit wonder." And it was. If it had been launched in the summer it would have dropped like a stone. But in dismal February it put a spring in your step and energized you, neither of which happens in February. It absolutely WORKED and struck a chord.

All British bands, except Belinda Carlisle. Mumps is, I believe Scottish. They are all passionate musicians and singable songs. I appreciate them. 

sarah larry

I think you can make a lot of difference if we talk , become good friends in our lord...
I harbor deep misgivings about the sender of this email. In my mind this new cynicism goes back to my doubts about that satanic orgy scene. It all began there. 

"Mornings on Horseback."

Duty, nothing else, requires us to make one final usage of this book before confining it to the dustbin of...just the dustbin. Before getting to the passage previously excerpted which proved to be the "straw that broke the horseback" and caused the undersigned to "toss the book aside" by "throwing the book across the room" the undersigned read a passage that he underlined for future reference but which he did not excerpt until now because the book hit an unlucky vase of water emptying its contents onto the book causing the pages to stick together which have now dried out which passage the undersigned briefly introduces for "context" viz:

Florida is the asshole of America. This notion was a matter of first impression with the undersigned when it was verbalized by a friend who is also a police officer. The notion "solidified" in the mind of the undersigned in the year 2000 when George Dubya Bush stole the presidential election from Al Gore who had earlier invented the internet. Hanging chads, Bush v Gore, etc. & etc., that did it. Oh, the undersigned had seen other "signs" of it, the assassination attempt on FDR, Gianni Versace's murder, Al Capone, Alpha 66, Gregory Hemingway's "coming out" as "Vanessa" upon his arrest, but it wasn't until that 2000 election that the notion, solidified, as I said. Electoral shenanigans have occurred since which have reinforced the solidification but the undersigned had no idea how far back Florida's "assholeness" went and it is here, and it is now, that we make final reference to "Mornings on Broken Horseback" before confining it to a damp, moldy grave, viz:

...Saltonstall, in particular, harbored bitter enmity toward almost all Republicans as a consequence of the 1876 election. Sent by the National Democratic Committee to witness the tally of disputed votes in Florida, he had seen the presidency being stolen before his eyes and refused ever to forget it. 

There is a prominent report today from the Independent that unnamed "Gulf Oil states" are liberally financing ISIS. The source is a prominent Iraqi official, named as I recall from the report, but a name that I have forgotten at this particular moment in the rent fabric of space-time. The Iraqi official said one of the motivations for funding was to prevent attacks on the funding states, i.e. to pay protection money as one does to the Mafia and this here correspondent immediately said to hisself, "Ah Hah! Saudi Arabia" because that is what the House of Saud does. They have long given the most violent of violent Islam's sects, Wahibbism, free reign of the kingdom's spiritual realm in return for a happy policy of "NO ASSASSINATIONS." A negligible amount of time was spent researching the matter when it was confirmed that the devil investors in the ISIS start-up were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. They are who "they" were identified as being when ISIS was a gleam in the Reaper's eye.

Of course all of us are not unfamiliar with Saudi Arabia, where First Lady Michelle Obama recently paid her respects at the late King's funeral, where America sends billions of dollars in payments for oil and billions more in annual "aid;" whom Michelle's husband praised for its "stability," whom the undersigned has called upon America to obliterate since 2002 and if some question the ardor of Barack's love for America, none will do so on this basis as he is not so "different" as to be different on this issue from two of his predecessors from another gulf oil state whose passion for America is doubted by none.

Nor are we unfamiliar with Kuwait and recall that thrilling day when the spokesman for the House of Bush announced breathlessly to an anxious world that "The Liberation of Kuwait has begun," Kuwait having been de-liberated by our late friend the late Saddam Hussein and temporarily made the "19th province" of the aforementioned Iraq which we have since done liberated its ownself to debatable effect; nor with Qatar are we unfamiliar as there was Headquarters for the afore-referenced Operation Desert Storm and we didn't know how to pronounce it, if it was to rhyme with "cutter" or sound like "Ka-TAR" and we still don't.

If ardent criticism of America for these actions is taken to evidence a lack of love for America the undersigned herewith freely and voluntarily, indeed flamboyantly, confesses his GUILT which he has just done and which he done did before.

I am Benjamin Harris.
The Reaper, looking grim.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

At this particular juncture in the rent fabric of space-time pageviewers from the following countries are imbibing the erudition liberally dispensed hereabouts.

Slovenia, 5.
Argentina, 2.
Australia, 2.
Brazil, 1.
Macau, 1.
Phillipines, 1
Sweden, 1.
United States, 1.

We are veritably sprinking the planet with our erudition. Marcus Mumford will wait for his sprinkling. At least one Seeker was brought here with the stimulating search query,

parade upskirt.

I bet nobody has ever landed here via search query "erudition liberally dispensed."

Sporting News.

Within the last hour: Chris Bosh, one of the nicest human beings in sports, who developed a blood clot in a lung, a potentially fatal condition, won't play the rest of this basketball season. Bosh was part of Miami's "Big Three" with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade from 2010-2014. Those are three superstar human beings.

Son: God Newcastle looks awful, 2-0 now
Son: As I was saying to dad, were averaging one goal about every 6-7 minutes. This has been an amazing start. It looks unfair, like a pro club vs a college club or something
Son: It's insane they look so sluggish
Me: Newcastle does look awful. We're just one pass away from scoring.
Me: Another chance! Dzeko just misconnected with Nasri. Terrible. NC's terrible.
Son: And look at their offense lol it's almost comical
Me: Yes, their O is pathetic. Like, "Is this how you do it, I'm not sure.?"
Son: Hahah that quote epitomizes exactly what their offense looked like in that sequence

Manchester City beat Newcastle United, 5-0.  It was absurd and even for City fans like my son, my daughter, myself, and the 48,000 at the Etihad--who didn't make a lot of noise--it was boring to watch. City's next match is home against Barcelona in the UCL. There is absolutely nothing predictive about today's match.

Leaders Chelsea drew at home against Burnley :o who are in the relegation zone. City therefore picked up two points. Chelsea still lead by five with twelve matches to play. City will be favored to win out even at Liverpool, Chevrolet United of Manchester and Spurs. Chelsea have a bit tougher road, they play Southampton, CUM, and the Vegetarians, but at home, and Arsenal at the Emirates; probably be underdogs against the Arse. If there's anything predictive about Chelsea's match today, Chelsea's in trouble.

And finally, they are playing hockey tonight outdoors--in San Jose, California. The "Sharks" and the L.A. "Kinks." 70,000 kinks expected to be in attendance.

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Mornings on Horseback."

Dismounting; can't read any more of it. It's like David McCullough was on opium or temporarily possessed. It's his writing style, it's him. It's a different him. 

What Alice was wearing when he first saw her, whether they were at the Saltonstalls' or the Lees' house, or somewhere along the path between, we do not know;

"Mornings on Horseback."

David McCullough lost his way on this one somehow. It's half a biography. Not even: seventeen years, TR from ages 10-27. Written in 1981. It's like McCullough got interrupted or lost interest, which is what I have done. It is not that interesting. I know more about TR's dad, the Roosevelt family. The Roosevelt family does not seem to me to be one that would appeal to McCullough: too wealthy, too privileged, insular, almost incestuous; "privileged" illnesses like asthma. I didn't think people like that, Gilders, appealed to McCullough. He wasn't interested in writing a biography of FDR; wrote one of Truman instead. The Roosevelt family doesn't appeal to me. I don't like this book. Don't get why McCullough wrote it.

I have the same feeling about this as I did when that guy was playing the synthesizer at the satanic orgy in Eyes Wide Shut: I don't think that really happened.
That hacked message is gone. A few minutes after that post I put the phone up and read a book for a little. Went back just now saw that, and also saw that there are 490 pageviews on this site "now," in a 21 minute span. There had been, maybe 60 after that last post for the whole day. Googs, you still got a situation here.
Google News.
This site may be hacked.

That's what I see and that is an alarming thing to see.

"Islam and the West at War."-Roger Cohen, New York Times.

After a Danish movie director at a seminar on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” and a Danish Jew guarding a synagogue were shot dead in Copenhagen, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of Denmark, uttered a familiar trope:
“We are not in the middle of a battle between Islam and the West. It’s not a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims. It’s a battle between values based on the freedom of the individual and a dark ideology.”

This statement — with its echoes of President Obama’s vague references to “violent extremists” uncoupled from the fundamentalist Islam to which said throat-cutting extremists pledge allegiance — scarcely stands up to scrutiny. It is empty talk.

Across a wide swath of territory, in Iraq, in Syria, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Yemen, the West has been or is at war, or near-war, with the Muslim world, in a failed bid to eradicate a metastasizing Islamist movement of murderous hatred toward Western civilization.

To call this movement, whose most potent recent manifestation is the Islamic State, a “dark ideology” is like calling Nazism a reaction to German humiliation in World War I: true but wholly inadequate. There is little point in Western politicians rehearsing lines about there being no battle between Islam and the West, when in all the above-mentioned countries tens of millions of Muslims, with much carnage as evidence, believe the contrary.
The Islamists’ war is against freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of the press, freedom of blasphemy, sexual freedom — in short, core characteristics of democracies seen by the would-be rebuilders of the Caliphate as signs of Western debasement.

Do not provoke them with cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, some say, show respect for Islam, the peaceful faith of some 1.6 billion people. But what, pray, was the “provocation” of Dan Uzan, the Jewish security guard outside the Copenhagen synagogue?

Islam is a religion that has spawned multifaceted political movements whose goal is power. Islam, as such, is fair game for commentators, caricaturists and cartoonists, whose inclination to mock the depredations of theocracy and political Islam’s cynical uses of the Prophet cannot be cowed by fear. 
Over the more than 13 years since Al Qaeda attacked America on 9/11, we have seen trains blown up in Madrid, the Tube and a bus bombed in London, Western journalists beheaded, the staff of Charlie Hebdo slaughtered, Jews killed in France and Belgium and now Denmark. This is not the work of a “dark ideology” but of jihadi terror.
To speak of a nonspecific “dark ideology,” to dismiss the reality of conflict between the West and Islam, is also to undermine the anti-Islamist struggle of brave Muslims like [Chokri] Belaid — and these Muslims are the only people, ultimately, who can defeat the black-flagged jihadi death merchants.

In my view Brother Cohen runs off the rails there after being on the right track so long. He writes of Islam as a singular, which is the right track. It is a war. Islam "as it is practiced and preached today" (my phrase since 9/11/01) is a political ideology no different than other ideologies, subject, as Cohen says, to the same political attacks, mockery and caricature, and a political ideology with similarities to the Nazi ideology that are hard to miss if you don't have your head buried in the sand.

We defeated the Nazis in war. Thereafter we prohibited Nazism. Cohen says the West has "failed" in its "war" with Islam. The West has failed sure enough, but it has not fought a "war" with Islam as it did the Nazis. The West could make all of Islam and all Muslims disappear in a mushroom cloud in a war. That is self-evident, non-debatable. The war the West has waged and lost as been "for the hearts and minds" of Muslims.

"War," that war,  having been waged and lost Cohen therefore says "Muslims are the only people" who can defeat political Islam, who can win the hearts and minds war. Perversely, he offers the example of Chokri Belaid. Perversely because Belaid was murdered by those Muslims he would have reformed. That is impotent, cowardly gibberish. Should we have fought a war for the hearts and minds of "reform" Nazis to save Nazism?

Cohen and the vast majority of people in the West don't have the stomach for nuclear attacks on
Islam. I have gone woolly in the knees there as well. My last iteration on this I believe was that we should constantly attack Islam, conventionally, and provoke Islam in every way so as to bring about
more war and more war and more war, constant war, ever expanding war, from individuals to groups to cities and then to states, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia foremost. That kind of continually escalating conventional war would "provoke," my word years ago, Islam into making the misstep, whatever it would be, that would then soothe the queasy stomachs and steady the quaking knees and bring the nuclear fireball to Mecca, Riyadh and Islamabad. That is war. What the West has been doing for thirteen years has not been war. Do not call it war.

Cohen wants an Islamic Reformation; I want an Islamic Reformation; President Sissi of Egypt wants an Islamic Reformation. That can happen; there is a schism within Islam between Shi'ites and Sunnis. If an Islamic Reformation is to happen it must come from within Islam but it cannot come "only" from within. Islam must be pressured, attacked, threatened with literal extinction from without. The Sunnis kill the moderate Shi'ites. Saudi Wahhabism even more violent. Pakistan is "the global center for political Islam" and inculcates Muslim children in hatred in the madrassas. Does Roger Cohen think Pakistan's Sunnis, Saudi Arabia's Wahhabis can be reformed from within? Reformed at all? They cannot be. They cannot be. They must be destroyed.

Besides, I have to take care of my Angel Child daughter. I shall have to do it from my bed however, under the covers, telepathically.
It's Friday. I have worked like it's Monday every day this week so I'm filing a complaint against my boss with OSHA. I am not going to work today, it's too cold out anyway, and I am putting myself on a tether that only permits me to go as far as the liquor store, no further! I'm also starting a petition. I want two Fridays each week, an additional one to replace odoius Wednesday, so-called "Hump Day." 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Above, Coach Borat Sagdiyev, and two star players after a grueling Fitness Training Week at Amchit Club, Lebanon. Happy time!

Hassan Whiteside.

The last time anything like this happened it was Jeremy Lin in New York. I have only watched video highlights so the following article, heavily-excerpted from provides perspective. I was astonished however when I first saw video, from his double-digit shot-block game. Where's the weakness? I was expecting a fluke, like maybe he blocked one with his head, another with his elbow, accidentally. Instead I saw exquisite timing, quick feet, great ball sense. With Jeremy Lin, quick, marvelous penetration, there was some flukiness, some "unconscious" nights shooting, and he didn't play like a classic point guard. He didn't penetrate to pass, he penetrated to score. Whiteside looks to me much like a quicker Dikembe Mutumbo, a classic center. HOW did this guy go unnoticed? Enough from me:

Miami's Hassan Whiteside Is Clearly the NBA's Most Surprising Player

Virtually unknown before the season, Whiteside has become a critical part of the Heat’s playoff aspirations.
Easily the most remarkable part of Whiteside’s ascent to relevance is the path he took to Miami.
After one year at Marshall University, Whiteside was a 2010 second-round draft pick of the Sacramento Kings. He spent the next two years bouncing between Sacramento and the D-League before leaving in 2012 to sign with Amchit Club [Amchit Club! Lol] a Lebanese [Lebanon! Lmao] team. A year later, Whiteside was playing in China, averaging a double-double for the Sichuan Blue Whales. [WE ARE...BLUE WHALES!]
In sum: Whiteside was drafted by Sacramento, spent two years in the D-League, moved to Lebanon, left for China, returned to Lebanon, moved back to China, signed with Memphis, went to the D-League and finally signed in Miami. [I love the "back to China." Some people do!]
Given his career arc, it would have been plenty surprising for Whiteside to put up even league-average numbers. But he has done far more than that. Consider the following (stats courtesy of [I cannot reproduce the Sports Illustrated chart.]

One of those names is not like the others. If someone quit watching the NBA in 2012, then looked at this chart today, their first question would be, “Who is Hassan Whiteside?"
In the rankings above, Whiteside is surrounded by the NBA’s top talent. He is the only name on the list who isn’t a perennial All-Star or MVP candidate. Furthermore...Whiteside ranks at or near the top of the league in blocks, field-goal percentage and rim protection.
Given that few fans had even heard of him six months ago, it would have been surprising for Whiteside to earn an NBA roster spot in the first place. In light of his star-caliber performance, however, his emergence is particularly startling.
It would be one thing for an unexpected star to emerge in Charlotte, Detroit or Utah. Small-market teams lacking realistic title hopes tend to receive less media scrutiny than high-profile contenders.

But Whiteside didn’t sign with the Jazz. He signed with Miami, a team coming off four straight years of title contention and scrambling to replace the world’s best player. The Heat were under plenty of scrutiny. And, still, nobody saw him coming.

All of this makes Whiteside’s emergence even more surprising. Not only did he take a comically circuitous route to the pros, not only has he played like an All-Star, but he did this in Miami, a big-market franchise with a huge fanbase and loads of media attention.
How is it possible that nobody predicted this? All 30 teams had a chance to sign him and passed.
Star players emerge unexpectedly every year, in every league. But not since Jeremy Lin have we seen a story like this in the NBA. [There you go. I swear--I will take another oath!--I did not read that before I wrote the introduction. Well-written, fun to read article by Robert Connor. I love his emphasis.]

Harris on Giuliani on Obama.

The first thing that I reacted to was:

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America...

Sometimes you have an instant feel for the accuracy or inaccuracy of a statement. My instant reaction to this was, "That sounds right. Huh. Never thought of this. That sounds right."

Giuliani did not, in my view, give a convincing itemization of why he believes that and neither am I able to. It sounds like, with Giuliani, it was a "feel," too. I have thought about why Giuliani's statement felt right to me and this is the best that I can do right now:

I first focused on "love." Strong emotion, love. Does Obama love generally? Yes, he loves his wife and daughters. So he isn't missing the love gene. He has that strong emotion for Michelle and the girls. I don't expect to feel Obama's or any president's love personally. Neither should Giuliani, the right-wingers he made his remarks to or the president's passionate supporters. That, to me, was a dumb comment by Giuliani. I didn't feel love from any president personally, not from Clinton, Reagan, et al. But Giuliani does have a point about Clinton and Reagan apparently wearing their love for America on the sleeves. Clinton really had big love genes. I think some people did feel love personally from Clinton, like when he said, "I feel your pain."

Does Obama have strong emotions generally? Not that I can feel! He is famously cool, detached, aloof, a loner. Remember Clinton's temper? Hoo-doggie. Remember Obama's temper? No.

Giuliani said Obama was "raised differently." Yes, he was, in Hawaii, by his single white American mother and his American grandmother. Son of a Muslim black man. That is different! Obama became a slightly different person from the vast majority of other Americans. He admits to battling "Hawaii laziness," for instance, something I, at least, didn't even know existed. He identifies more with black Americans, only 13% of the population, with young black men and their situation--"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."--and consequently how he feels about America is slightly different from how some others, like Giuliani, feel about America who don't self-identify as black men and who don't identify with black people as much as Obama does. Obama feels slightly more negatively about America, yes, I believe that.

Then I thought, "I don't love America either." I have written that. I never have loved America the way Giuliani does and thinks an American president should. I do not believe as much in American "exceptionalism," maybe not at all. Or as much, if at all, in American "indispensability," Madeline Albright's term. But Obama said that! "Exceptional," "indispensable" or some synonym was the term Obama used in a speech to the U.N.

In my opinion, Obama has not conducted foreign policy as would one who believes that America is exceptional or indespensible. He doesn't want America to act alone; he wants other countries to shoulder more responsibility, I feel the same way and, with the exception of Islam, agree with his foreign policy. Does he really feel Vilnius should be defended as would Washington? Aren't we pivoting toward Asia?  I do not understand how he reconciles both a belief in American exceptionalism and a belief that others should shoulder more responsibility. I believe America's mission abroad should be pivoted away from American "interests" and pivoted toward American "security." Obama does not feel the same way.

Islam: I feel about Islam much more closely to how Giuliani feels than to how Obama feels. I don't know if Obama's feelings are due to some extent to having had a Muslim father. I just don't get Obama on this and have similar questions about Obama as Giuliani has.

Then I thought, "Should America have a president who loves her as Giulani wants?" I don't know what I feel about that! You would want your daughter to marry a man who thinks she hung the moon, to love her warts and all, one who doesn't even see the warts, who sees only beauty marks. It is Giuliani who used the term, "love," and who mentioned America's warts, who wants a passionate love so I don't think this daughter analogy is one of the devil's. In Giuliani's sense then, yes, America should have such a president. Giuliani say he has sensed the love he's talking about in every American president, I guess who he has known as an adult, even those he has disagreed with, like Carter. I think there again Giuliani is right, Jimmy Carter loved America in the Giuliani sense. Reagan, who I disagreed with loved America in the Giuliani sense. And I agree that Obama does not seem to me to love America in the Giuliani/Carter/Reagan sense. If we take Giuliani's statement above on its own terms, just the love, not whether the daughter analogy is precise, not on the policy considerations, then I feel Giuliani here.

Giuliani on Obama.

I have not been able to find a transcript of Mayor Giuliani's remarks, at a Scott Walker fundraiser. The most extensive excerpts I could find come from two articles in Politico.

Politico I:

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America, He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” In an interview after the dinner...Giuliani...elaborated on his criticism of Obama by arguing the president “sees our weaknesses as footnotes to the great things we’ve done.”

“What country has left so many young men and women dead abroad to save other countries without taking land? This is not the colonial empire that somehow he has in his hand. I’ve never felt that from him. I felt that from [George] W. [Bush]. I felt that from [Bill] Clinton. I felt that from every American president, including ones I disagreed with, including [Jimmy] Carter. I don’t feel that from President Obama.”Giuliani then recalled his own comments condemning several major episodes from the early 1990s when Jews were targeted in Argentina and the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. That hard-line approach, Giuliani said, stands in contrast to the way Obama touched off a storm earlier this month during the National Prayer Breakfast by citing the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition as Christian examples of the way many religions have perpetrated horrible acts throughout history.

“I thought the Crown Heights riots were a pogrom because you’re going out trying to kill Jews,” Giuliani said. “Why is this man incapable of saying that? You’ve got to be able to criticize Islam for the parts of Islam that are wrong. You criticize Christianity for the part of Christianity that is wrong. I’m not sure how wrong the Crusades are. The Crusades were kind of an equal battle between two groups of barbarians. The Muslims and the crusading barbarians. What the hell? What’s wrong with this man that he can’t stand up and say there’s a part of Islam that’s sick?”

Politico II

“Well, first of all, I’m not questioning his patriotism. He’s a patriot, I’m sure,” the former mayor of New York said on “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning. “What I’m saying is, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear the things that I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things that I used to hear Bill Clinton say about how much he loves America.”He also joined in criticism of the president’s characterization of extremism, calling Obama’s op-ed this week for the Los Angeles Times “a very, very damaging statement.”
“You see, if you don’t call it something, you can’t connect the dots,” Giuliani said. “If you can’t connect the dots, you can’t really combat it militarily.”

Obama op-ed, Los Angeles Times.

The United States has made significant gains against terrorism. We've decimated the core al Qaeda leadership, strengthened homeland security and worked to prevent another large-scale attack like 9/11.

At the same time, the threat has evolved. The al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen actively plots against us. Since 9/11, terrorists have murdered U.S. citizens overseas, including in the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Here in the United States, Americans have been killed at Ft. Hood and during the Boston Marathon.

In Syria and Iraq, the terrorist group we call ISIL has slaughtered innocent civilians and murdered hostages, including Americans, and has spread its barbarism to Libya with the murder of Egyptian Christians. In recent months, we've seen deadly attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, Paris and Copenhagen.

Elsewhere, the Pakistan Taliban massacred more than 100 schoolchildren and their teachers. From Somalia, al-Shabaab has launched attacks across East Africa. In Nigeria and neighboring countries, Boko Haram kills and kidnaps men, women and children.

In the face of this challenge, we must stand united internationally and here at home. We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians. We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so.

This week, we'll take an important step forward as governments, civil society groups and community leaders from more than 60 nations gather in Washington for a global summit on countering violent extremism. Our focus will be on empowering local communities.

Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world's Muslims. The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam. We can echo the testimonies of former extremists who know how terrorists betray Islam. We can help Muslim entrepreneurs and youths work with the private sector to develop social media tools to counter extremist narratives on the Internet.

Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds.

We know from experience that the best way to protect people, especially young people, from falling into the grip of violent extremists is the support of their family, friends, teachers and faith leaders. At this week's summit, community leaders from Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Boston will highlight innovative partnerships in their cities that are helping empower communities to protect their loved ones from extremist ideologies.

More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today's youth something better.

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

Finally — with al Qaeda and ISIL peddling the lie that the United States is at war with Islam — all of us have a role to play by upholding the pluralistic values that define us as Americans. This week, we'll be joined by people of many faiths, including Muslim Americans who make extraordinary contributions to our country every day. It's a reminder that America is successful because we welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds.

That pluralism has at times been threatened by hateful ideologies and individuals from various religions. We've seen tragic killings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012 and at a Jewish community center in Kansas last year.

We do not yet know why three young people, who were Muslim Americans, were brutally killed in Chapel Hill, N.C. But we know that many Muslim Americans across our country are worried and afraid. Americans of all faiths and backgrounds must continue to stand united with a community in mourning and insist that no one should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.

Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds. With this week's summit, we'll show once more that — unlike terrorists who only offer misery and death — it is our free societies and diverse communities that offer the true path to opportunity, justice and dignity.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Defendant (In proper person)


COMES NOW THE DEFENDANT, BENJAMIN HARRIS, in proper person, and moves this Honorable Court for an Order permitting him to withdraw his Oath not to use the f-word during Lent and in support thereof avers as follows:

1. Defendant is unknowledgeable in the law and entered into said oath without benefit of counsel or intoxicating beverages.
2. Counsel for the Defendant was incompetent.
3. Said oath was not entered into freely and voluntarily by Defendant nor with the requisite forethought nor the requisite clarity of mind but rather "on the spur of the moment" when Defendant was without the spur of necessary mental stimulants.
4. At the time Defendant swore said oath he was under the influence of not being under the influence of intoxicating beverages, was almost asleep (see attached transcript: "snore") and ran his words together (see attached transcript "...iwillnotisethef-word...").
5. Defendant is not unmindful of the costs of the administration of justice in this matter and by way of apology for any inconvenience occasioned by the this cause offers to take any remunerative measures deemed not inappropriate directly to the Honorable Judge's Chambers in a discrete manilla envelope.
6. Defendant greatly regrets this oath.
7. Six weeks is a long time.
8. Defendant doesn't think he can make it.
9. What are the consequences anyway?

Respectfully submitted with fingers crossed,

Benjamin Harris, Defendant, in proper person.

Ok, I know. I, Benjamin Harris...

I Benjamin Harris (snore)... solemnly swear... solemnly sweah...

...that I will not use the f-word during Lent.

...that I will not use the f-word during Lent except in an emergency or unless it's a direct quote...

Okay fine! I, Benjamin Harris, do solemnly swear thatiwillnotusethef-word during Lent.
Six weeks?! Fuck that.
How long's Lent? I just heard a Jesuit Priest/magazine editor say he always gives up being negative and mean in his writing for Lent. He said it's hard. I don't know how he does it as an editor of a magazine. I gave up the news the other day which has lasted a few days. I was tempted to write about the news today but I got so pissed I decided to extend my boycott so I don't get more pissed writing about it. I'm going to check this Lent thing out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Move on.

The 4:51 a.m. Tuesday post was the most emotionally difficult thing I have ever written. It affected me all day and still, not quite 24 hours later. I think I have written all of the things contained in that post previously, separately perhaps. It affected me more.

Americans have this need it seems, sometimes almost a compulsion, to memorialize their darkest thoughts in the spoken or printed word. We are a confessional society. Maybe it is the effect of our religiosity where confessing is the first step to redemption and salvation. In our civic life it has long been considered therapeutic to "get it all out." That is the appeal that cops make during interrogations.

When I first met my girlfriend Carmen I followed this American practice as I have with every previous love and told Carmen everything about myself, including the bad and the ugly, particularly the bad and the ugly. These are long conversations for me; as a friend puts it "Harris reads every girl her Miranda rights before dating." Carmen reciprocated, much more briefly, but told me there was one thing she was not going to tell me. And to my surprise, I was okay with that! I never pressed her then or later.

Carmen is an American citizen now but was born and raised in Cuba. Came here married with a son and divorced her husband. She was not inculcated with the American civic confessional practice and, more importantly, disagreed with the notion that confessions are therapeutic. I have always listened closely to whatever Carmen has said, no matter what the subject, and when she told me that she disagreed with the thinking behind America's culture of confession, it was a fresh perspective. There are some things that do more harm than good to the confessor and do not impart significant information to your significant other to justify the pain that is cost of confessing.

I immediately looked upon things differently. I realized that the American practice is not a universal. Of course, I had the Chinese in mind. Dr. Mo began writing his remembrances of the Cultural Revolution but then told me that he had to stop, that he had been writing when his wife was sleeping because she did not want him to do it; it was just too painful for her to think about and to know that he was writing about that dark, preternaturally dark, period. It was also taking a toll on Weimin. Of course, I immediately advised him to stop, to not put himself and his wife through it.

One time a couple of years ago I called Carmencita as I do several times a day. She answered the phone crying. Sobbing. She never does that. I was deeply alarmed but she said she didn't want to talk about it. I was spending that weekend with her anyway and when we were together she continued to be upset and I put my foot down. She said it had nothing to do with me and I replied with warmth that it damn well did have something to do with me, it was affecting our relationship that weekend and I fairly demanded she tell me. She did, not all at once but in segments. I was in the bedroom and she told me one thing and my reaction was "What? Chill. You didn't do anything wrong." She retreated back to the living room, I went back to reading and 15-30 minutes later she came back adding more. We were going further back in time with each segment of information. "You're right;" "Okay, now I think she was right;" "Now you're right." Repeat, reengage. It was a pattern of infinite regression that took us back twenty years or more. When finally we got to Ground Zero I concluded that Carmen had been wrong and told her so but the thing had become so attenuated that it didn't matter. It was strictly an interpersonal family matter and the exercise to get to the root cause had been pointless. It did not change how she felt, I did not make her feel better by concluding that she had been wrong 20 years earlier and I concluded that in a family matter that was so personal, l was uniquely unequipped to voice any opinion and regretted ever demanding her tell me. I now hoped that the whole subject would be dropped. Which it was.

Chinese don't have this compulsion to confess and we remonstrate them with platitudes of needing to "confront their past." I concluded that Carmen was right to let sleeping dogs lie sometimes and I came to think that the Chinese are not wrong for wanting to not talk about the CR. So I stopped viewing their reticence as the reaction of an immature civilization. I mentioned Carmen's thinking to my shrink and said I found merit in it. He jumped on it and said she was absolutely right, that American psychology has gone so far as to now prescribe memory-erasing drugs for particularly traumatic memories.

Those dreams and memories in that Stanley Kubrick film I saw recently: My reaction to Nicole Kidman telling Tom Cruise her dreams of consummating her lust with that sailor, my reaction to all of that was "Shut the fuck up!" There is merit to shutting the fuck up. I regret not shutting the fuck up at 4:51 a.m. Tuesday. Sometimes silence is golden.

"Man is the sum of the things he has done" were the wise words of songwriter Joe Henry. Wise but incomplete. You have to add "things done to us by others" to get the proper sum for no man is an island. And when we complete our arithmetic, no matter how paltry or grand the result we have to go back to living. We have to live in the present and for the future and move on from the arithmetic of our past. We must move on.

Stupid Art OR Making Fun of Paintings.

We take up again our art history studies which we done begun a year or two ago. We recall the period known as "Mannerism" as being a particularly fecund era for our purposes and return to it. Our researches have informed us that Mannerism was a reaction to the Renaissance in that Mannerist painters realized they couldn't paint as good as Michelangelo, da Vinci and those guys, which we see immediately in the first image below:
                                       Madonna of the Long Neck. Parmigianino, 1535-1540.

In Madonna of the Long Neck, the artist, who shortly gave up painting for cheese-making, faithfully depicts a WNBA player in a team huddle holding--barely--the team's point guard who fainted. Painted over a five year period He of the Cheese was rushed completing the commission of his patron and we see certain evidences of this, viz:

-He didn't finish the sky, he left it a rust color.
-Unless those are not columns but pre-industrial smokestacks belching forth their effluence.
-If they are columns they don't, like, support anything.
-Madonna's teammates are all crammed in at left.
-The figure at bottom right had to be minituarized and crammed in at the last minute on the demand of the patron who bargained for a representation of Saint Jerome.

We draw parallels here to a contemporary painting Madonna of the Fat Ass:

Next up we have:
                                            Sanatorium Staff Admitting a Patient, Jan Sanders van Hemessen, 1540.

No, not really, we introduce a bit of levity now and then to our studies as aid to learning, the real title of that painting is The Tearful Bride and that's supposed to be a girl. Really.

        Christ Stopped for DUI Wearing a Shag Sweater with a Square Halo, OR Christ in Prayer,  Doménikos Theotokópulos OR El Greco, 1595-1597.

We conclude our studies for today with two works from Mannerism's Pornographic School:
Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, Simon Garfunkel OR Bronzino, 1540-1545, and
Diana the Archer Side Saddle Reverse Cowgirl Position Necrophilia with Voyeuristic Angel, Bartholomäus Spranger, 1582.