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"Through desire a man, having separated  himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom."  Proverbs 18:1

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Truth and freedom - 28 November 2014

Trials in courts of the United States are between two sides.  A grand jury proceeding is a prosecutor arguing or not arguing effectively or ineffectively for or against his side.  What happened in Ferguson was like Saddam Hussein determining whether or not to try Uday and Qusay.  A constitutional lawyer would not say the concept of double jeopardy would apply to such.  Let’s ask why our mass media aren’t pointing that out.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos interviewed Wilson as congenially as the prosecutor did.  And a Fox News reporter, the morning after the second night of rioting in response to the grand jury decision, correctly said that people in Ferguson would regard that interview as they do the grand jury decision.  But that reporter also said that a Ferguson policeman grabbed a protester kneeling with her hands in the air “by the scruff of her neck as you would a kitten.”  Maybe he and Wilson would do that to a kitten.  I wouldn’t.

Maybe Stephanopoulos wouldn’t, and maybe his motive for cutting Wilson slack was from a wish to stop the violence in Ferguson, but the only way to stop the violence in Ferguson or anywhere else is to stop the bigotry.  And the only way to stop bigotry is to stop hypocrisy and look facts straight in the face and bring them to light plainly and simply.  Yet, weirdly, the “religious right” ignores the Bible saying Jesus told us that. 


Missouri burning - 27 November 2014

Media are reporting the resignation of Hagel and the rapes at the University of Virginia as they’re reporting the murder and riots in Ferguson.  They’re offering unreasonable arguments for and against all of it while ignoring the fundamental problem.  The fundamental problem is that yapping humans are more violent than are dumb beasts.

That 48-hour warning that prosecutor promised in Ferguson was strategic propaganda.  If he kept that promise, either no one told any protesters or the mass news media, or the media were in cahoots with the police to incite riots to try to use them as excuses for what Wilson did.  Either way, the grand jury declared hunting season open on African America, and media reporters are telling us burning a liquor store is worse than murder.

One piece of insanity in the reporting of Hagel’s resignation is the claim that he knows nothing about strategy because he wasn’t an officer.  On the ground, he saw results of orders of officers, and he saw in the United States Congress how tactics can undercut strategy.  Jessica Lynch knows more about war than does Leon Panetta.


Copout - 26 November 2014

I recognize that Bill Cosby is a degenerate scumbag, but I don’t understand why Roman Polanski didn’t similarly hit the fan, when he directed Tess of the Durbervilles.  I think the black female Fox News pundit who said Cosby was the most powerful man in Hollywood should change her name to Oprah.  And male black CNN pundits prove themselves to be Uncle Toms in regard to Ferguson and immigration and other bigotry.

CNN consistently proves itself untrustworthy on issues ranging from world politics to consumer protection.  The day the pundit said Cosby had been the most powerful man in Hollywood, CNN promoted a company charging $4.00 for deferring UPS and FedEx and USPS deliveries to it for delivery after ordinary business hours, as thought that promotion were news.  UPS and FedEx and USPS permit pickup at their locations after ordinary working hours.  That service costs the consumer considerably less than $4.00.

Moreover, CNN is now emulating MSNBC and Fox News emulation of the National Enquirer approach to news, airing sensationalist stories as though they’re historical documentaries.  That’s not new in broadcast television, with ABC making Diane Sawyer its evening news anchor, and moving its This Week anchor to Sawyer’s soapy morning slot.  But CNN’s promise at its founding was to deliver only important relevance.


Means unhappily necessary - 25 November 2014

In 1955, when Rosa Parks sat down on that bus in Montgomery and refused to give up her black seat to a white man, Nixon was the name of both the head of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Vice President of the United States.  Raymond Parks, Rosa’s Husband, was a member of an organization raising funds for the defense of the Scottsboro Boys and hosted meetings of the group in their home while Rosa was secretary to the NAACP chapter.  All of us, like Malcolm X, should wonder how one of those Nixons received his name.

Obama’s immigration order isn’t extraordinary.  The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order.  William Henry Harrison, whose Presidency was the shortest, issued the fewest executive orders.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose Presidency was the longest, issued the most.

Compare Obama’s immigration order to Netanyahu’s ordering demolition of homes and saying it deters suicide.


Hastily hawking hogwash - 24 November 2014

China doesn’t have many immigrants, and neither did I see any tourists from the United States in the 2 ˝ weeks I spent traveling across China a few years ago, but neither did I see any smog.

My main reason for going there was that the Tao Te Ching seems to me to be more consistent than any other religious scripture, but I found people in China to hurry as much as people in New York, making me wonder where were all the Taoists.

But I also wondered where all the Christians were while I sat alone on the Mount of Beatitudes.  Everywhere I go I find generalizations not fitting actuality.  Prejudice is nonsense. 


Faith in fraud - 23 November 2014

“A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits,” don’t say voters in Ferguson or New Orleans.  After the Long/Edwards legacy sent New Orleans’ last African Mayor to prison for participating in its corruption, the people of New Orleans voted a white skinhead to sit in his seat, although most of them are black.  The problem in New Orleans, like the problem in Ferguson, is that the black majority has quit believing in voting.

And the “liberal” media aren’t helping.  One of the many factors Ferguson and Sanford have in common is the media reporting of police propaganda.  Regarding both Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, police made no claims that they injured the patrolmen who murdered them until the court process began, and then they claimed severe injuries not evident in photographs they released to the media immediately following the murders.

In Ferguson, as the grand jury’s decision approached, firearm sales increased.  CNN reported that but didn’t report or raise the question of what race bought most of the weapons, and CNN hired as a legal pundit the attorney who orchestrated the acquittal of the murderer of Trayvon Martin, and aired his opinion on Michael Brown immediately after reporting the increase in firearm sales.  Yet we the people trust CNN.


Black and white - 22 November 2014

Chong, of Cheech and Chong, said on Fox News’ show Out# that what Jonathan Gruber said about Hillamneycare typifies politicians.  Whether or not Chong is correct, doing that is easy because neither politicians nor we the people they represent take the time to read bills as extensive as is Hillamneycare, and Gruber’s assertion says mainly that he’s seeking Republican employment.  None of it is particular to Obama.

Chong also said that, if we had no national borders, we wouldn’t have immigration problems. That’s obvious, as obvious as that sports are an example of the tendency of humanity toward violent discrimination for the fun of it, but Chong also said that marijuana has caused no death by motor vehicle.  We don’t know that, because we don’t test for tetrahydrocannabinol after motor vehicle accidents, as we do for alcohol.

We run our yaps.  We say we’re superior to dumb animals by being able to reason, and we use “dumb” as a synonym for “stupid,” but none of that is reasonable.  Dumb animals kill less than humans do and don’t kill for fun but only for food or defense.  Consider the phrase “pure as the driven snow” we use to praise what we desecrate. We humans kill each other for wealth and kill ourselves by wasting our wealth.


Sheep and shysters - 21 November 2014

Why is CNN saying that North Koreans worship Kim Jong -un?  Every person everywhere rules his own mind to the extent of being able to decide not to generalize as CNN pundits do!  Most people understand the concept of a silent majority and the hope anyone can have for rebellion.

English colonists rebelled against English colonization as Indian Hindus rebelled against English colonization as Indian Muslims rebelled against Hindu rule following Gandhi’s rebellion and created Pakistan and Bangladesh after Russians and Chinese rebelled against monarchies before people rebelled against the successors of those monarchies.

Someday shall we the people of the United States rebel against the propaganda the news network we most trust spews contrary to what’s obvious to us?  We might need to rebel against commercial drug companies first!  They have too many of us trying to be all Advil.


Literacy and lunacy - 20 November 2014

Peter Kassig’s parents thanked “one god of many names” for their son.  Israeli claims to worship the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob imply polytheism by suggesting that others have other gods.  And Judaism dissociates itself from descendants of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob who didn’t descend from Judah, whom Judaism says was but one of the twelve sons of Jacob, whom Judaic scripture says the god of Judaism called Israel.

Mossad is the “intelligence” arm of the nation that calls itself Israel while demanding that the descendants of Israel not descendant from his son Judah call it a Judaic State.  David started that by overthrowing the descendant of Israel’s son Benjamin whom Judaic scripture says God anointed as the first and only king of all of Israel.  Now Mossad has recruited ISIS, descendants of Abraham or anyone else, to terrorize anyone.

And Christians are sucking up to all that, perhaps because the notion of a Christ came from the Pharisees, a Judaic sect of which Saul of Tarsus, who called himself Paul, was one.  We can reasonably ask why the Gospels say Jesus descended from David because Joseph did while also saying that God and not Joseph was Jesus’ father.  The Gospels say that Mary was a cousin of a descendant of Jacob’s son Levi.


Sailing silent silver clouds below - 19 November 2014

Peter Kassig exhibited the most reasonably respectable response to post traumatic stress disorder.  After being an Army Ranger in Iraq, he converted to the religion of the people whom he may have killed who may have tried to kill him, and he returned to their neighborhood to try to help other victims of the war.  Whether or not he suffered from PTSD, he showed an appropriate response to guilt, which is its principal cause.

Freud, however unreasonable may be his theories in general, said that people repress memories of their acts they can’t reconcile with their ethics.  And anthropologist Gregory Bateson postulated that schizophrenia results from having nowhere to turn to reconcile one’s self with one’s notion of one’s world.  We all must understand both hypotheses.

We could also express the problem in Christian terms.  Repentance releases us from darkness to light, but we can’t repent if we don’t remember what we need to repent, and so our life is hell.  Weird though is that the word “hell” comes from a word for the sun. 


Cruising for bruising - 18 November 2014

The American Broadcasting System’s Martha Raddatz, ignoring that racism and the general bigotry of humanity causes all the violence of humanity, said Sunday on This Week that “bad relationships” between police and the citizens they ostensibly serve and protect are the cause of the situation in Ferguson.

ISIS videoed its beheading Syrian government soldiers and a former U.S. Army Ranger who had converted to Islam and become an aid worker for victims of the Syrian government, and the Columbia Broadcasting System continued to ignore the obvious fact that everything ISIS does is in the interest of Israel and accordingly probably a Mossad counterintelligence operation, to ask Yahoo Netanyahu for advice in fighting it.

Judaic scripture says that Judah destroyed Israel, and the cause of the war on terror that’s terrorizing the United States as much as did the potentiality of the Soviet Union waging nuclear war is the competitive complacence of couch potatoes, who cheer any bigotry that supports their ability to be complacent.


Couch potato gladiators - 17 November 2014

A CNN legal pundit said Darren Wilson had about one second to decide whether to shoot Michael Brown or to run.  Wilson spent many seconds shooting Brown, and he could have stepped out of Brown’s way if he was attacking him after he shot him while he was running away, as one of Wilson’s friends said was why he killed Brown.  And that pundit said that without objection to CNN’s Legal View anchor Ashley Banfield.

Racism is far from dead in the U.S.A.  New Orleans, a predominantly African American city with an African American heritage so rich that it has given to all of humanity every genre of music native to the United States, sent an African American mayor to prison for being no more corrupt than has been ordinary for white politicians there since Huey Long.  And, on the way to that travesty, it made the Pillsbury Doughboy chief of police.

The white Louisiana Governor who sold the city to Las Vegas, turning the city’s original French neighborhood into mostly a sports bar with poker machines, was governor after removal from governance for criminal corruption.  And, after his imprisonment for criminal corruption after his second term, he was Grand Marshal of New Orleans’ Saint Patrick’s Day parade.  The only part I don’t understand is why CNN hasn’t hired him.


Two cents' worth - 16 November 2014

NBC Thursday aired a story that Air Force aircraft transporting Obama and Kerry and other government officials recently have had maintenance flight delays and diversions far more frequently than do civilian airliners.  The reporter said the government tried to brush off the problem by saying that other flights don’t receive as much attention as do flights of Air Force One.  That ignores the question of the extraordinary frequency.

Beginning Thursday, CNN has been airing lists of details of an Iraq veteran’s jumping over the Whitehouse’s fence and running into its East Room a few weeks ago, and both that reporting and the Air Force maintenance reporting feed the efforts to lynch Obama.  Mass news media are trying to blame Obama for every government failure, as though Obama has personal control over every detail of government service or disservice, as though no one would sabotage his Presidency.  Yahoo Netanyahu is not on his side.

And neither the Jefferson Davis party that calls itself democratic nor the tea party that calls itself republican is on Obama’s side.  The Secret Service failures began before he replaced its director in response to Secret Service failures, and the same is true of the Department of Veterans Affairs failures, which are older.  Ask whom pundits will blame when a conscientious SEAL obviates the Leon Panetta Abbottabad bin Laden hoax.


Great white hope - 15 November 2014

How many people know that the phrase “scot free” refers to Dred Scott?

Turkish protestors attacked some U.S. Navy personnel in Istanbul.  We the people of the United States wonder why Turkey doesn’t readily support U.S. support for Israel.  And we wonder why neither do others of Earth support our official grandiosity.

How long O Lord!  None of the Scottsboro boys received acquittals, and some of them didn’t receive pardons for the rape they obviously didn’t commit until last year, in May 2013!  And people like George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson still get off Scot free!

And now we have Navy Seals bickering about which of them killed whomever the United States government says was Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.  Turkish officials aren’t silly enough to fall for Mossad’s ISIS operation.  But we the people are.

How many people know that Dred Scott was a slave his “owners” freed?


Jack ashes - 14 November 2014

CNN’s Jive Jake Turkey Tapper aired veterans in prison jiving that they didn’t know before committing crimes that they could tap the V.A. for help.  If those criminals didn’t watch much TV in Iraq or Afghanistan, they must have watched enough of it growing up in the U.S.A. to know the V.A.’s mission, and they must know veterans receiving V.A. help.  And CNN aired and sympathized with that criminal fraud on Veterans Day.

And, the same day, CNN’s Ashley Banfield browbeat Michael Brown’s parents.  They replied to her in a manner that showed both sincerity and humility that any sensitive person would understand, but Banfield rejected their answers and rephrased her questions, to elicit phony grandiosity.  That’s entertainment.

One question is why Tapper and Banfield try to trivialize everything, and a more important question is why CNN pays them to do it, but the most important question is why anyone trusts CNN.


Trying tapping a wonderful world - 13 November 2014

The United States’ new Secretary of Veterans Affairs called his recommendation that the Department of Veterans Affairs hire 28 thousand more employees a tabula rasa approach.  A tabula rasa approach would be to fire at least 28 thousand V.A. employees as a message to the other employees that they must do their jobs to keep them.  Were they to heed that message, they’d more than take up the slack, and save a pile of taxes.

McDonald should go to the Salvation Army and buy some clothing like what many veterans are in and go to any V.A. hospital and shuffle the hallways as many veterans do and see how rudely V.A. employees treat veterans when they’re not ignoring them.

And it’s not the doctors.  It’s the front line administrators.  Try telephoning the V.A.


Jibber jabbing jerks - 12 November 2014

Tea Party sillies are now saying that Obama’s nomination to replace Holder must say whether she thinks Obama’s approach to immigration reform is constitutional.  That she accepted the nomination says either that she thinks Obama’s approach to administration is constitutional or that she’s a criminal.  And the current return of Hillamneycare to the Supreme Court is undergoing similar silly mumbo jumbo.

We literally bury ourselves by ignoring semantics.  We call groups of sports players teams, and we call the people who join in reaction against acceptance into legitimate groups gangs, and we call larger and more lethal groups governments sanction armies.  Whatever we call any of it, the motive for all of it is bigotry, and it’s hateful.  

But that’s what humans do.  Other euphemisms are “competition” and “national defense” while “competition” literally means walking together as all people could were they not bigots.  Humanity, in general, is one big barroom brawl.


Ninety mile an hour down a dead end road - 11 November 2014

I watched TV news once on my trip.  The network was Euronews, and a reporter said that the Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola said she’ll “replace” her dog the terrorist Ebola reactionaries “put down.”  But the reporter neither sneered nor cheered as a CNN reporter would, and I also enjoyed not finding televisions showing sports in bars, even at the airport.  And at the Airport, the Charles de Gaul international airport, this piano was in an area for children.  In English, the sign says, “Play your most beautiful ballad to Paris.”  And both kids and adults stopped and made efforts.  Ceci est la joie de vivre.

But now I’m back in the U.S.A.  “The Cubs” was the name of the first bar I saw at O’Hare, and football was on TV’s in the waiting areas for the flights, as though anyone who travels likes it.  My hotel in Paris was in an immigrant area at the bottom of Montmartre, and an Orbitz.com reviewer said the neighborhood wasn’t safe at night, but surely it’s as safe as any neighborhood in central Chicago.

What I didn’t like about Paris was what I didn’t like about Beijing.  People in both cities hurry, and show little consideration for people with whom they share the streets, as they do in any large city!  C’est la vie?


Crackhouse - 10 November 2014

I’m back home.  Jehanne la pucelle, when the king whom she’d escorted to his coronation ordered her to stop trying to take Paris back from the English, said she wished to go back home and return to tending her father’s sheep.  I’ve never felt at home in my home town, and in my half century of absence from it I haven’t done anything anyone has told me is historically significant, but I’m considering posting this on the I Grew Up in Coldwater Facebook group, to start something, at least here.

To learn how Coldwater lost 14% of its population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, follow the pews from the demolition of the Baptist Church to the Lamplighter Lounge and followTerry Highland from there to Lefty’s and on to Dave Norton and ask Colbeck, and ask yourself why Coldwater’s City Council rejected an offer to develop and fund a homeless shelter with drug rehabilitation services near the Lamplighter!

How did this home’s owners escape its going on the auction block for not paying its property taxes for at least five years, with young people trafficking in and out of it any hour of day or night and neighbors complaining, to Coldwater’s Neighborhood Services?  Why are most of the postings here nostaligic?  Why did most of you leave?


Liberté, égalité, fraternité - 28 October 2014

This evening I’m flying to France.  My main purpose is to trace the steps of Jehanne la pucelle from her birthplace to where she led the Dauphin for coronation, but I’ll also visit some other sites significant to France and the rest of the world in the Middle Ages, and spend a couple of days in Paris with a day trip to Versailles.  It’ll be an eight day road trip by Renault Twingo from Charles de Gaulle Airport through Tours and Roncesvalles and Bayeux and Domremy and Vaucouleurs and Chinon and Poitiers and Reims before returning the car at the airport and spending two days in Paris and one at Versailles.

In college I majored in English and minored in French, but no professor told me that what Jehanne of Domremy did in France in three months in 1429 saved the English language from dying deader than Latin, or that the United States probably would be part of Canada or that Versailles, if anyone built it or anything like it, would be in London.

So, of course, no one told me that Charlemagne and his grandfather saved Christianity from Islam before the crusades.  


Nasty numbing nonsense - 27 October 2014

Far more Semitic people are Islamic than are Judaic, and “Islamist” and “jihadist” are not Islamic words but words media and government pundits coined, for anti-Semitic propaganda.  And another indication that ISIS is a Mossad operation is that it calls itself a state, as Israel calls itself a state while refusing to support the founding of a Palestinian state, although Palestinians aren’t all Islamic.  ISIS is defaming Palestinians by way of Israeli propaganda United States media and government pundits augment.

Consider the words “extremism” and “radicalization.”  The United States of America, the wealthiest and most powerful democracy on earth, has more of its children killing each other than has any other country while we the parents blame anyone not ourselves for “radicalizing” them.  The mother of the “radicalized Muslim extremist” who killed that guard in Ottawa, similarly refusing to take responsibility for “raising her child” she said she hadn’t seen in the last five years before the killing, said she’d wished him dead.

Oprah, David Muir, United States mass media in general, the bigotry of sports with parents attacking little league umpires, and Dr. Phil mental health professionals, are popular propaganda, U. S. institutions.  Neither Islam nor violent video games radicalize our children into the extremism competent mental health professionals call sociopathic.  What radicalizes them is the mass marketing of violence and drugs their parents pass on to the third and fourth generation.  We the people are “all Advil” on steroids. 


Losers - 26 October 2014

Through the twentieth century, New Orleans’ French Quarter was a place of creativity, and eccentricity.  Ruthie the Duck Lady was an example of both, whom the people of the Quarter loved through most of the twentieth century, for walking around the Quarter with ducks and for drinking beer in its most congenial bars.  But she died early in this century, and the last bar maid with whom I talked about her said there was something wrong with her, and offered as example that she sometimes didn’t have enough cash to pay for her beer.  Las Vegas and the Saints have turned the quarter to normal greed.

Ruthie died in Baton Rouge, because the nursing home where she was living in uptown New Orleans because of throat cancer evacuated there because of Hurricane Gustav, but neither Gustav nor Katrina did as much damage to the Quarter as did the corrupt politicians who sold it to Las Vegas interests that played money ball to buy the Saints Super Bowl rings to draw sports betting tourists back to New Orleans after Katrina.

The Quarter, which was all of New Orleans when Bienville moved the capital of the Louisiana Territory there in 1718, is now mostly one big sports bar with poker machines.  The best thing about Ruthie was that she wasn’t normal.  She was simply honest.


The collective conscience - 25 October 2014

I dreamed I was with Elvis Presley outside his house trailer as he sat in a lawn chair at an edge of the road drinking a bottle of beer as a dog sucked on one of his elbows as though it were a nipple.  In the dream, Presley’s father took me for a ride in a pickup truck, and as I awoke I decided to write a biography of Elvis because I knew him so well.  But soon I awoke enough to remember he’d been dead nearly four decades.

“You are but a thought—a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities.”  “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”  There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  “I think, therefore I am.”  “Self is God.”

In a bathroom of my 142-year-old house, after awakening early Thursday morning needing to go there, I said aloud to myself that not everything can be perfect.  But then I remembered that I’m a Hindu Buddhist Taoist believing in Jesus, and that Voltaire’s fictional philosopher Pangloss said that this is the best of all possible worlds, and that accordingly everything is perfect.  I complain only about how things seem to me.


The smell of death by any name - 24 October 2014

Media and government pundits use the word “radicalization” to refer to adults and adolescents becoming murderous in response to misrepresentation of Islam.  Anyone who tries to use that as an excuse to be murderous must have been already murderous.  One question is whether those pundits consult mental health professionals.  Another is from what religion those murderous people “converted.”  Humanity isn’t reasonable.

We train our children for bigotry, telling them that teaming for violent sports is essential to social responsibility, and that God told the Israelites to murder for land.  Christians routinely betray Jesus as did Judas but without Judas’ repentance.  They idealize little league along with Sunday school.   

Look at the battlefields in Hollywood movies and ask yourself what should entertain you more, the killing or the landscape, and which does.


Peer pressure programing - 23 October 2014

Ask ordinary college graduates whether they’ve read War and Peace, and they may reply that they haven’t because they read for entertainment, not knowing that they’re calling themselves suckers.  Entraining is what locomotives do to powerless cars, and entertaining is the process of pulling people into entrainment, as governments induct into war people who are ordinarily live in peace.  It’s all a question of responsibility.

The Director of the FBI said Apple’s security compromises security by being too secure.  He said the FBI should have a way to know what people are doing with their iPhones, and media reporters reporting that news are failing to point out that the FBI director is essentially saying that we should have microphones in our homes or chips in our brains.  The next step in his strain of logic is access to dinner table and bedroom conversation.

That FBI Director is trying to be the locomotive while the media entertain us into his train.  War and Peace entertains me, and I enlisted in the Army and volunteered to go to Vietnam, because I wish to understand both the engines and the freight.  It’s all like churches preaching peace while sponsoring sports teams, because we the people find violence entertaining and deny that sports are basically bigotry.  They train us for war.


Doctors without borders - 22 October 2014

CNN’s Jim Sciutto, talking to Frontier Airlines’ CEO while airing a video of a woman cleaning an aircraft on which an Ebola patient had flown, said certainly she was cleaning it more thoroughly than airlines ordinarily clean aircraft.  I wonder how clean Sciutto’s house is, and who cleans it if it’s any cleaner than passenger aircrafts ordinarily are, and why he took that moment for his slur.  CNN should fly him to Liberia.

And, while ninnies like Sciutto are using Ebola as a bandwagon to publicize other issues, the racism at Texas Health Presbyterian has faded into the hospital’s PR people’s calling the hospital Presby, while people pay more attention to the three U.S. citizens with Ebola than to the African American population of Ferguson and St. Louis.

The most significant aspect of the Ebola problem is the difference between prosperity of people like Sciutto and the prosperity of nearly everyone in the region of the Congo.  And that’s a foreign policy problem more important than ISIS.  It kills more people.


Cacophony - 21 October 2014

Now the bipartisan lynch mob is blaming Obama for Ebola.  He appropriately used the word “hysteria” to refer to how media and government pundits are terrorizing, and he appointed a manager he trusts to coordinate the many agencies and functions necessary for a response, but the terrorist pundit lynch mob is saying he should have appointed a medical specialist to deal with the panic they create.  Let’s be reasonable.

Other pundits are saying he’s become lazy.  What he has become is aware of the futility of expecting them to be reasonable.  And so he’s brushing them off, treating them as the blood-sucking mosquitoes they are, while he uses the big stick of the Presidency quietly but appropriately.

Those ranting racists should pay attention to the three monkeys who advise them and us to ignore them as effectively as Obama does.


Out of touch - 20 October 2014

Classic Rubik’s cubes have two more colors than Mondrian’s most abstract paintings and one more dimension and no more angles.  Since long before the age of reason, painters and sculptures have used literary art to sell their art, while art critics have used literary art either to defame it or to give it literary meaning.  Manipulating Rubik’s cubes requires less physical work than painting or sculpture but more than does writing.

Yet manipulating Rubik’s cubes may be as spiritual as what Hindus call hatha yoga or what Taoists call tai chi chuan.  Certainly it’s far more spiritual than the superstition of occidental religions using “spiritual” to refer to materialistic alternatives to materialistic actuality. “Hatha” is an Indian word for “persistence” while “chuan” is a Chinese word for “fist.”  Both disciplines distract from semantic abstraction.  Neither seeks anything.

But, in my effort to seek nothing, to find everything through accepting whatever enters my mind, I read scriptures of religions both occidental and oriental, and watch news on television.  And I find it all to sink into salesmanship by way of literary art far more abstract than Mondrian’s painting or any poetry I’ve found in literature courses.  I find most of it to be as abstract as what passes for art in Hallmark cards and soap operas.


Can we pluck out pundits? - 19 October 2014

A CNN pundit said two references to beheading are in the Qur’an.  Fact is that two references to striking necks in defensive battle and no references to beheading are in the Qur’an while the Bible says that Jews beheaded Goliath and Saul and John the Baptist.  Other media and government pundits have said ISIS behavior is medieval, but ISIS behaves as the Bible says Moses did a couple of millennia before the Middle Ages, and the Middle Ages were the peak of political power of the Roman Catholic Church.

During the Renaissance, in his play The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare has a Christian say of the play’s Jewish title character that the devil can quote Scripture for his own use.  The Bible’s many contradictions of itself leave its reasonable readers trying to determine their behavior by whatever sense God otherwise gives them.  And, in his play Hamlet, Shakespeare satirizes a pedant telling his son to be true to himself.

When an Israeli murdered Rachel Corrie by driving a bulldozer over her for standing between it and a Palestinian pharmacist’s home, pundits said she deserved to die for shrieking against Israelis, as though shrieking is a capital offense.


Our artificial hearts - 18 October 2014

Humans named the Ebola virus for the Ebola River.  The river is the headstream of a tributary of the Congo.  Tropical jungles are extraordinarily hospitable to life but not to human life.  That tends to belie Darwinian and general human anthropocentric claims that humanity is the most formidable advance of evolution.  The most formidable human characteristic is our survival despite our tradition of calling killing each other reasonable.

Fox News said that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, which killed African American Eric Duncan and shipped out African American Amber Vinson under outside pressure, said Nina Pham infected herself while “donning” the hospital’s protective gear.  So next a nurses’ union used the fact that Pham is a nurse to accuse everyone anywhere of blaming nurses everywhere for the hospital’s negligent homicide.  That union cares no more for nursing than the teachers’ union that forged sick slips to play hooky cared for teaching.  Maslow’s hierarchy of human “needs” is all egocentric.  Humanity is insanity.

What we call modern science counteracts modern medicine with modern weapons.  And modern mass media broadcast sports more than science because sports entertain humans more.  The word “sports” comes from Spartans using sports as training for war.  I prefer faith, Christian or otherwise, to what we call medical science.  The last I heard from Dr. Jarvik was in a TV commercial for Lipitor.  Beer is a byproduct of bread.


Afghanistan without kings or communists or theology:

Dust, a novel  
Ashes and Angels
works in regress and progress

Kim - a 1901 novel

Were all on Earth claiming or denying any sectarian religion to set aside their bigotry long enough to read this book carefully, they would lead the rest of us to understand and enjoy one another, and stop waging war.


The Red Tent - a 1997 novel

This is a beautiful book, a song from the spirit of bold-faced truth, selah.


Philomena - a 2013 film

A danger of this wonderfully accurate presentation is that other poor people might regard the heroine’s continuing loyalty to the Church as promoting such.  Saul of Tarsus suckered Jesus’ disciples into perverting Jesus’ ideals into the mammon mongering and power grubbing we now call Christianity.  And that perversion intimidated that poor woman and keeps intimidating countless others into paying to burn candles in fear for God’s eternal goodness to goodness.


Oranges and Sunshine - a 2011 film

This is a love story.  British and Australian government conspired to kidnap about 130,000 children and ship them from Britain to Australia for agricultural and sexual slavery.  This movie depicts the heroic efforts of one loving woman standing against all odds to return those children to whatever remained of what they’d loved.

What we the people of the United States call Jacksonian democracy was President Andrew Jackson’s telling the Governor of Georgia to ignore the United States Supreme Court’s support for the unalienable rights of the natives of the eastern side of this continent and kidnap many thousands of them and send them to the western side of this continent.

Decades after kidnapping the children, the British and Australian governments apologized to the children they’d kidnapped and enslaved and raped, but the United States government has never apologized to the thousands of men and women and children they kidnapped and killed by what reasonable people call the trail of tears.


Wrong is Right - a 1982 film

Every politician or soldier, every media executive or producer, every news media anchor or reporter, every sexist or racist or nationalist or Republican voter or Democrat voter, every Yankees fan or Red Socks fan and every other bigot picking one side against all other sides, for no reason other than putting his or her interests above all others’, without regard to history or common decency or other facts, should see this presentation and go back to school.


Modern Times a 1936 Film

Suddenly we live in a time long past the political issues of this film.  We have risen from all that to a complacency that has us calling communication tweeting and sexual companionship hooking up.  Such is how Greece and Rome fell.


Catch a Fire - a 2006 film

This film implies that white communists fronted Nelson Mandela and that he was sexually promiscuous, more than forty years after J. Edgar Hoover used the same approach against the junior Martin Luther King, and less than three years before Dirty Harry implied that a white soccer player saved South Africa.


Nixon - a 1995 film

This film begins with the correct caveat that it isn't the whole truth and may wholly misrepresent any truth, and the next screen quotes the evangel Matthew quoting Jesus, implying that Nixon sold his soul.  CNN calls Oliver Stone a controversial director, after his wife has turned the American Broadcasting Company's evening news into an all Advil Oprah drugh opera, like Stone's movies.

Whether or not Nixon told his mother to think of him as her faithful dog, a fact Stone tries to soap or drug is that Nixon ended Johnson's insane war.  History allows no excuse for either Nixon's hubris or stones.  Or Hirohito's or Truman's or Kennedy's or Hoover's.

History allows no excuse for Hitler or Netanyahu.  Democracy needs objective reporting from ABC to Hollywood.  Stone is at least as contra-factual as Nixon.


Avatar - a 2009 film

The weirdest thing about this film is that nearly every mass media critic said its point was commercial technological superiority.  The point fair watchers find from this film is that technology should serve democracy, not superiority or demagoguery, not alienation.  Families risk death to flee Mexico to pick fruit for the free and legally republican citizens of the United States.

And, instead of welcoming them, the people too lazy to do such work create laws to keep them out.  They say that those people who can't afford immigration lawyers should not be allowed to attend their tea party.  They call fruit pickers drug dealers to get them out of their faces.

America, the land illegal immigrants stole from its natives, allows a population that sucks up to advertizing that it should be all Advil, while calling people not on Face Book degenerate.


Network - a 1976 film

Netflix, a generation after this film appeared, bills it as a prediction.  What it is is a fact of human life, recognizing that Jewish gold and Arabic black gold are no different in their effect on the ecumenical economy, the power of abstraction to make humans value hubris more than their lives.  It sold Archie Bunker and Tide as it sells Oprah Winfrey and Tylenol.


The Devil's Arithmetic - a 1999 film

The Israelis should remember the holocaust when they do what they're doing to the Palestinians.  Arithmetic is that the Israelis keep building settlements while the United States tells them to stop building but never to dismantle.  The "com" in compassion means with, and so compassion is a two way street and not a path of vengeance, and the Palestinians are more Semitic than the Israelis and neither German nor Egyptian.  Nothing is more holy than home, and God made the land three religions call holy the homeland of  people of many religions, long before crusades or jihads or the unprovoked Jericho slaughter.  And the land of the free calls the Israeli theocracy, Irgun terrorizing Fatah, democracy.


The Celestine Prophecy - a 1993 novel and a 2006 film

The novel is one of the few books whose promise bore out so poorly from its beginning that I couldn’t finish reading it.  And the film was more inane, beginning with someone saying he was a history teacher responding to someone saying he was an archeologist saying that the early church had buried the title prophecy in the 6th century A.D., by suggesting that Franciscans might have done it.  Francis began his life in the 12th century A.D.

The title prophecy says that the present millennium shall begin with people’s recognizing the violence that has pervaded history and stopping it.  Instead, the new millennium has begun with the historical inaccuracy of the Da Vinci Code making it the most selling novel of the first decade of this millennium.  But maybe we can take hope from that.

The prosperity of the last decade of the second millennium after Christ caused the recession of the first decade of the third millennium after Christ.  We hope that that might force teachers and students and everyone else to work for all living for awhile.



The Ten Commandments a 1966 film

This film begins with its producer saying its basis is scripture and historical documents and that Moses’ accomplishment was to free people from slavery   Next, the film misquotes the Torah and says Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses because she drew him from water.  “Moses” is from Egyptian for “son”.

Dan Brown admits The Da Vinci Code to be fiction and still has nothing on Cecil B. DeMille for hogwash misrepresenting the Bible and history, and so we have to ask why this film raised no Roman Catholic outrage.  We’re thinking that maybe it’s sexism, since nearly no female character in it shows any purpose other than to fawn over men to give them sons or suck.  But the next question, after how the Motion Picture Association of America ignores its violence to rate it G, is why no Judaic outrage.  We’re thinking the Chosen might still be choosing the golden calf over the Ten Commandments, with help called Christian. 

The Bible says  the Israelites did to the Midianites, the people it says took Moses in and gave him their king’s daughter, worse than what Egypt did to them and worse than what the Nazis did to the Jews.  Maybe Israel let the film slide because it glosses over that and what Israel keeps trying to do to the Palestinians.


On the Trail of the Assassins - a 1978 book

The author, Jim Garrison, Orleans Parish District Attorney, the only person to prosecute anyone for the assassination of J. F. K., is as crazy as Ann Coulter and the persons he accuses, if he wrote the book.  The book falls apart in many ways incidental to Garrison's hubris or paranoia.

One way is by its inclusion of the terms “false sponsor” and “sheep-dipping”.  The people Garrison tracked must have been sheep-dipped false sponsors, as he must have been on the other side of the coin his book flips like dice.  The people he accuses range from the CIA to Johnny Carson, as though that huge body of people could have kept such complicity from the huge body of people with whom they associate, and so on to all of Earth.

Another way is in its assignment of motive, a factor essential to any prosecution in court.  Garrison would have us believe that hundreds of people in a dozen government agencies conspired against Kennedy on the basis of their belief that he was going to prevent the war in Vietnam.  Besides the question of why anyone wouldn’t like that, a fact is that Kennedy sent more troops to Vietnam than Eisenhower had.  We suspect a more obvious motive for that assassination, far beyond New Orleans.

Kennedy killed those people at the Bay of Pigs, by changing the original CIA plan and refusing to accept responsibility.  Kennedy changed United States relations with the Soviet Union from checkers to the verge of nuclear destruction of all life.  So, a few genuinely concerned persons at top levels of the Soviet and United States governments killed him to prevent that destruction.  The false sponsors must have been after the fact.   

I have no doubt that the assassination was a conspiracy, as we agree that Oswald couldn’t have done all the shooting.  But the human resources management of the deed must have been more constrained, leaving the smoke and mirrors the book sells to people as crazy as Garrison.


Idocracy - a 2005 film

This film predicts a future when people try to grow crops with Gatorade, where the hero saves the world by watering the crops.  In the present, people calling themselves environmentalist are trying to save the world by putting corn into gas tanks, while people around the world are starving.

That hero's name is Not Sure, while in this day and age people claiming to be smart say they're not sure, when truth they know is that they simply don't know.  Those people are the people who say we should do something for the people of Darfur while saying we shouldn't have done anything for the people of Iraq.  They are people like Mitt Romney and John Kerry, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Those people are the people who put criminals above persons, who haven't had a chance to choose life better than crime and say their choice is compassionate, liberal.  As this film indicates, those people are already taking their world into the dust this film predicts.



Across the Universe a 2006 Film

The Beatles are a microcosm.  Kids sing about holding hands until they acquire power, and then they let go of their friends’ hands and their own minds, for what Solomon called vanity.  Like Greece and Rome, the United States were a world power before they alienated their kids in Birmingham and Vietnam, and those children turned their nation into an escape from everything.

The Beatles said they named themselves for the Beatitudes, before they turned to drugs, or after they rode them, to compromise, for fame.  Now, Lennon is dead, and McCartney is white bread, and the First World is all Advil.  Now, Lenin is dead, while Liverpool and the Irish suffer.  Viva Las Vegas, the ways of the world.

Irish and Iraqi suffer for no reason beyond the I in their names, as Israel suffers for no reason more than that humans prefer bigotry and drugs to the Ten Commandments, from the diamond minors in South Africa to the diamond merchants in New York, to you inactivists.


The Cotton Club - a 1984 film

My favorite lines in that film are from a white couple entering the club.  The white man says, “At least they don’t let niggers in here!”  The white woman asks, “They don’t let them into their own club?”

So Richard Gere gets billing over Gregory Hynes, two decades after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and now two more decades have passed, making more than forty years.  Bootleggers like the Kennedy’s owned Harlem in the roaring twenties, and now the Clintons have moved in!  How long, O Lord?

Now we’re engaged in a great civil war, to see whether Obama can run the Clintons out of Harlem, and the Whitehouse.  Cotton is white, while pickers are black, and now black has another fight to pick.


The Order of the Phoenix - a 2007 film

Harry Potter answered a question most of us think impossible.  The way to world peace is through the understanding that is friendship.

Nearly everyone claiming a religion claims it as a superstition, although every founder of every remaining major religion argued mainly one point, the sharing essential to prosperity, loving one’s neighbor.

Terror isn’t Islamic, as it isn’t Mosaic or Christian.  Terror comes from such as Crusades and Jihads.  Terror is in what Joshua did and in what Osama Bin Laden is doing and in what Hitler did and in what Israel is doing.  It's in what every bigot does, and it won’t stop until all of us stop trying to blame it on Moses or Muhammad or Jesus, on everyone but ourselves. 

It won’t stop until we stop making excuses to covet our neighbors’ land, until we stop perverting the teachings of the founders of our religions from the Rishi’s to Muhammad, into ignorance of them.

Only then shall we have something worth fighting for, and stop fighting.  The essential weapon for peace is not secret.  It’s plain.


The Last Hangman a 2005 film

Tolstoi said, in War and Peace, that the cause of the Napoleonic Wars was the first French corporal.  This film says the same, that the cause of killing is rationalizing some excuse for it, be it vengeance or following orders, or supporting one’s country, or one’s family, or oneself.  This film also says that we’re all in that craziness together, but it does not loudly enough say that, were each of us to refuse, it would all stop.  Snail darters would die of their own accord, and they and all else could rest in peace.  That Pierrepoint fellow was not the last hangman.


Meditation XVII - a 1623 sermon

John Donne, not Jack Kennedy or Ernest Hemingway, said this:  "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."


The Wind that Shakes the Barley - a 2006 film

This film shows that Ireland and Iraq are similar far beyond the fact that the names of both countries begin with "Ir" when written in the Roman alphabet.  Ireland means anger land, and anger dominates both countries.  And so does greed.

When an Irishman told us that the strife between Catholics and Protestants in his country has nothing to do with religion, we didn't understand.  This film explains.

And neither is the strife between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq religious, and nor is Israel.


Eight Men Out a 1988 film

Consider the operant steps in this plot.  A team conspires to throw the World Series because its members think they’re underpaid.  Late in the series they decided not to throw the series because the bookies aren’t paying them.  None of them considers his family’s welfare until a thug for the bookies threatens to kill one’s wife.  A judge a salary offer before accepting responsibility for correcting all that.  A kid asks one of the players to say the mess ain’t so about baseball.  Joe, it was so in all professional sports then, and it’s so now.


Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid a 2006 book

Although Mr. Carter writes from the point of view and with the tone of his claim to Christianity, sometimes uses words and phrases particular to popular expression of persons calling themselves Christians, and occasionally points out facts particular to such persons, this book is nearly all factual.  That is, rather than expressing opinions, it mostly points out circumstances and events verifiable through public records.  Yet, it has a reputation for being controversial.

Of course the reason is that few people bother to differentiate between facts and opinions, because most people are as opinionated and biased as some say Jimmy Carter is, and few people bother to research public facts, much less see for themselves, as Mr. Carter has.  In fact, if the book has any shortcoming, it’s that Mr. Carter doesn’t succinctly point out the most significant facts defining the situation.

Those facts are: that Israelites or Israelis have been oppressing Philistines or Palestinians since the battle of Jericho, an onslaught with no provocation whatsoever; that Israelis have killed far more people and broken far more promises than Palestinians have; and that the 1967 Israeli state was not one nation until 1949.

Moreover, if that former head of government of the United States of America were to carry religious metaphors in defense of the United States of America, he might have pointed out how David defeated Goliath’s superior physical size.

Now, Israel has nuclear weapons and air superiority through military aid from first world nations, as European nations took superior weapon technology on the Crusades.

So, now, Islam is continuing Saladin's jihad, against the world whose trade center is now Wall Street.

All a president needs to do to stop the terror is be fair.

Smart is truth, beauty.


The Sound of Music - a 1965 film

This film, set at the beginning of World War II, screened at the beginning of the United States presidency's escalation of Truman's advisory mission in Vietnam into a full scale war Nixon would would end.

Three years earlier, West Side Story screened, asking the same questions.  One film is about nations, while the other is about gangs while the only difference is scale, while presidents have ignored the politics of both.

Both films, in retrospect, should cause us to ask why they didn't change humanity's prospects.  That is, we should ask why we care more now about American Idols than about the ordinary people of Iraq or Darfur.

Both films have iconic weaknesses.  In one, a poor nun saves a family of aristocrats, and the other's title suggests that west is better than east.  But the two share an eminently importantly iconic question.

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

The Time of Your Life - a 1948 film

This film set the theme for the best of Hollywood since.  We had a problem with its epitaph, when the bar owner took the sign out of the window inviting folks in to be themselves and tore it in two, saying that enough is enough.  But then we remembered that integrity is always exactly enough and shouldn't need a reminder!  What's your dream?


Shinea 1996 film

Nothing is more important than music.  Nothing is more important than the harmony of inspiration.  This film says that.

The horror of the holocaust lives on, from the horror of the captivity.  This film tries to deliver a lesson to the Germans and the Egyptians, and the Israelis, all of us.  The holy land is hardly holy, despite how the sun shines on Karn Hattin.  Why don't Christians visit the Mount of Beatitudes?

In the sixties, when the great society sent millions of Americans to kill Vietnamese doing nothing but trying to live their lives as best they could, a popular song borrowed a melody from Rachminov s second piano concerto and assigned it the lyrics “When I was young, I never needed anyone.  Making love was just for fun.  Those days are done.”

Rachmaninov’s third piano concert is more difficult to play than his second while his second, played more in the film, is more sweet.  And popular music is more sweet now, in the war on terror that has made Bethlehem a combat zone.  How is Christ's birthplace in the shadow of death?

Astrology, psychology, stars and butterflies, what life comes down to is common sense.  This film is quite lovely.


somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond - a 1931 poem

A Harvard poet wrote that poem between the two world wars, between his imprisonment in France for driving an ambulance and German imprisonment of France for nothing.

Films we find near to that poem are The Painted Veil and The Tiger and the Snow.  Both films show what love between two people should be, as they show what love is.

Imagine Nero walking the Great Wall, if you wish such as that.  We all must remember that our enormous room is a small roe's chest.  Otherwise we cannot love.



Paradise Road - a 1997 film

"Oh, my dear, that's one to tell your grand children. . . .  Don't worry:  I love God, even though I sometimes don't know what he's doing. . . .  Love is like a flame; it burns and is visible to all. . . .  None of us will ever leave Sumatra. . . . Amen."


Bound for Glorya 1943 autobiography

This book is exactly an autobiography.  Other works in that genre try to explain the effect of the life in question on others’ lives.  This book tells succinctly how Woody Guthrie grew to produce his effect.  Woody and his story are works of dynamic integrity.  We need to listen, closely.

Woody Guthrie was communist, in the sense that we all should share God's bounty.  He was not a Marxist or a Leninist or a Stalinist.  Nor was he a Washingtonist or a Jeffersonist.

Nor was he an Amerigo Vespugian or a Paulist or any other kind of excuse for a name.


Reflections of a Cold Warrior and From the Shadows 1996 memoires

Both authors were at the top level of the Central Intelligence Agency.  One planned the U2 project and the operation Kennedy turned into the debacle at Bay of Pigs.  The other, recruited into the agency from college during the Johnson administration, worked his way up to directing the agency during the first Bush administration.  But the first declines to blame Kennedy for the mess he made, and the second hardly mentions the former Director of Central Intelligence who appointed him to that position while President, making both books smoke screens for coversion.  But any competent CIA analyst could synthesize truth from the details.


Jude the Obscure - an 1895 novel

"Because we are too many."


Babel - a 2006 film

With great technical and aesthetic prowess, this film shows how cheap and cowardly and stupid humans have become, the abstraction of the word “humanitarian”.  Many of its details and time lines don’t work together, but neither do many humans attend much to what’s in their faces, rationalizing private greed against public concern.  Journalists and politicians and doctors and lawyers keep trying to take advantage of the weakness of humans trying to be as suicidal, self-destructive, as they are.  One of the twelve tasks of Hercules was to kill the Titan Antaeus, the difficulty being that Antaeus regained his strength whenever he was down to Earth.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences keeps proving itself Herculean.  But most important are our children.  Note the dedication.


The Milagro Beanfield War a 1988 film

This was a Sundance production.  It’s set in New Mexico, the state of the united ones whose flag represents the sun.  Its theme is the power of the people, and it shows how humans can unite for the best of their life and love, against the power of humans who unite for smaller selves.

But it waves a rabbit dead to excuse firing to frighten humans.  Beans contain as much protein as animal meat, leaving killing cattle less practical than killing trees for golfing.  Humans eat like pigs, but we work harder at it.

This film promotes considering the lilies of the field, while it promotes eating sparrows.   It does not pass through the eye of the needle.  But it helps.


Hollywood Ending a 2002 film

In this film, Woody Allen closes his career by admitting the cause of his success, that he has catered to hypochondriacs, people who seek only pity.  Aristotle pointed out the technical difficulties of the staging of his time, and the French called those limitations an ideal and adhered to that absurdity long after Shakespeare freed the rest of us, and long after Eisenstein offered us Shakespeare’s best wishes, and now their pride is in ennui.  Cinema, at its best, goes straight to our hearts by opening our eyes, not by giving us more weak excuses.  In this film, Allen admits he has nothing on Eastwood.  And cinema is still beginning.  To show, to move.  Just see.


The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter a 1940 novel

Richard Wright said that Ms. McCullers accepted blacks.  More recently, linguists have called the non-white grammar and diction of blacks the “negro non-standard dialect”.  African Americans no longer wish to be called Negroes, and Ms. McCullers did not accurately represent their dialect.  But she did faithfully represent the lonely hearts of the down and out!  Can Mick ever rediscover her music?


The Last Samurai - a 2003 film

What’s the difference between a protagonist and an antagonist?  This film is a story of redemption, a story of love for the best and worst of us.  If one can divorce oneself from merchandising and violence, this film is beautiful.   In its beginning, the protagonist is a soldier who failed to die in battle, a person dead of his past and living without future.  In the end, his horse’s head is above his, as he bows to “the peace all of us seek and few of us ever find.”


Sister of the Road - a 1937 novel

This is another beautiful book. The man who wrote it must have been in love. Maybe a little as Mark Twain must have been to write Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.


War and Peace an 1869 novel

Tolstoy, while fathering thirteen children with a woman he married when she was half his age, is mostly about his love for her.  The last hundred-some pages of the book he wrote while she bore most of them try to justify the book otherwise, as an essay on war regardless of peace.  And, maybe so, he died leaving his wife, the mother of his children, to justify his thinking.  Many of us live and die that way.  We ignore our life.


"Nothing on Earth is worse than bigotry,
and bigotry cannot survive without hypocrisy."


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