Saturday, March 31, 2012

Existing in New York City: Getting Naked With Harry Crews

Foto by tgw, New York City, March 2012
Say goodbye to: Giorgio Chinaglia,
he along with Pele and Franz Beckenbauer were the heart and soul of the old New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, a US hall of famer and said to have been the greatest Lazio player ever--one of the great soccer players of all time. Giorgio Chinaglia, 65, Italian footballer (Lazio, New York Cosmos), heart attack.
Tough Guys Always Get Their Books Published
Nope, I'm not going to Obama bash today. Politics is suddenly beneath me. Instead, I focus my attention on Harry Crews. Harry Crews just died. Before he died, I knew absolutely nothing about this man. This writer. This man who believed that there was no such thing as a perfect person, except in the Sears & Roebuck catalog. And what kid hasn't spent a lot of time in the Sears & Roebuck catalog? Except Harry Crews and I by making such a statement ID ourselves in terms of generational warp since as far as I know there hasn't been a Sears & Roebuck catalog like the one Harry Crews and I are talking about in many a Florida moon.

Harry Crews, you see, was born in Georgia but spent his most productive years in Florida teaching writing at the U of Florida.

I spent some of my early time in Florida. First going to Florida when I lived and worked in New Orleans. First going to Pensacola, Florida, then Destin, Florida. Then after living in Mexico City, Mexico, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, going back to Florida intending to live there. Intending to live and write in Key West, Florida. I loved Key West but I hated it, too. My wife and I lived in the Santa Maria Hotel at the end of Simonton Street in Key West. My wife went out every day looking for us a house to live in while I stayed back in the Santa Maria and drank beer and watched Havana teevee and drank more beer and looked out of the room window out across the Atlantic Ocean fiddling around while trying to get up the nerve to write a novel I'd been writing in my mind since I was 11 years old and my grandmother taught me how to type.

I was living in the Santa Maria Hotel because Ernest Hemingway, I called him Papa though I had no right to, had once lived in the Santa Maria Hotel. And I tried to reenact Papa's tough-guy life by drinking in the hotel bar as often as possible and one afternoon I mentioned the fact that Papa Hemingway had lived briefly in the Santa Maria to the bartender and I'll be god-damned if this young ex-Navy brat didn't act like he hardly knew who the hell Ernest Hemingway was. Papa had been dead several years then but not dead in terms of his relationship to Key West. I mean, come on, his mug was all over Sloppy Joe's Bar and his home there was a tourist attraction.

My wife and I the minute we hit town and checked into the Santa Maria, settled into our room, took showers, and then zoomed in our Jaguar over to Whitehead Street and the Hemingway house. We had been the only "tourists" there that day and after bullshitting with the man who gave you a guided tour of the house--from him we found out the place was for sale--$80,000, he thought, ought to get it--from Miss Mary, Mary Welsh, Hemingway's last wife--who ironically had the same name as my wife, my Mary, not my first or last wife. And after we got the standard gab about the objects in the house--I was amused by a pair of Papa's old hunting boots sitting under the dining room table--we were given the run of the place. Like hanging up in Papa's second-story writing room--over the pool house--the small house at the end of the Olympic-size swimming pool that Papa had spent many a day and night swimming in after he'd written all day in that second-story writing room--I told my Mary Welsh that I thought I would bring my portable typewriter--an Underwood just like the one Papa was sitting at in a photograph of him on the back of one of the Scribner's paperback editions I had read as a fascinated admirer of his when young and dumb and impressionable--and a bottle of Fundador, which I drank also because of Papa--over to this second-story writing room and write my novel at the table/desk he sat at--or with the machine on my lap in the big overstuffed chair in that room--or writing standing at the shelf atop the bookcase in the room--write my novel in that room just like Papa wrote in that room--Hemingway admirers feel closer to him by referring to him as Papa--and he was my writing Papa, like Gertrude Stein was my writing Mama, a woman Papa himself was strongly and erotically attracted to in those early years in Paris--and who after she rejected him as a lover he tried to destroy in his final book, A Movable Feast, when he wrote about going over to her Paris flat one day and going in the front door without knocking and hearing Gertrude up in her boudoir moaning and singing out, "Oh, Pussy...Oh, Pussy," and Papa immediately realizing she was getting serviced by her true lover, Alice B. Toklas.

And then my Mary Welsh and I had snooped around to the front of the pool house and I blundered in through the sliding glass door into that house and was scared shitless when a voice told me to get the hell out of there and back at the big house we were told that we had intruded on Papa's Mary Welsh--the tour man had forgotten to tell us Miss Mary was staying there at the moment. Lucky, too, because I was thinking about having my Mary Welsh take her clothes off and going swimming in that pool while I took an 8-mm movie of her porpoise-like sliding through that pool's light-blue-chlorined water.

My writing intentions in Key West proved so much bullshit. And they proved so much bullshit to my Mary Welsh and our money was running out and I stayed drunk most of the time while she was out looking for us a house and finally she said that if I didn't start writing on something and if I didn't approve of us living in a quaint Captain's house she had found, then she was packing up and leaving me and to hell with me and Key West. The Captain's house though charming made me sick at my stomach so one sad sunny day we left Key West and headed up Highway 1 looking for a home. We tried to live on the beach in Boca Raton, a place I truly hated--and then we back-tracked back to Miami only for me to get in an altercation with a Miami driver--a cussing-out fight-threatening match in the middle of Kennedy Boulevard--from which we fled by racing across the Everglades on the Tamiami Trail. On the Florida West Coast we tried to live in Fort Meyers, St. Petersburg (ironically, after my Mary Welsh did fianlly divorce my tough-guy ass, she moved to St. Petersburg), Tarpon Springs, and Appalachicola before biding adieu to the whole damn state once and for all and racing back almost 3,000 miles straight across the lower 48 to San Francisco--where began a whole other writing intention bullshit span of time in my totally bullshit life.

All of my time in Florida, I had no idea who the hell Harry Crews was. Well, I've already admitted, haven't I, that prior to today on reading of Harry Crews's death, I had no idea who the guy was?

Tough Guy Talk
“There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.”

That's Harry Crews talking. The statement is not really that true. I've had scars that continued to hurt, get infected, to itch. But then, I'm not a tough guy like Crews.

“If you love something/Set it free/If it loves you/It will come back to you/ If it doesn't--hunt it down and kill it.”

Wow, now that's really tough-guy talk. Sounds like Ted Nugent. If I'd'a followed Harry's advice, I'd'a gone after two of my wives and killed them. I'm just not that tough. No wonder my books don't sell.

“Alcohol whipped me. Alcohol and I had many, many marvelous times together. We laughed, we talked, we danced at the party together; then one day I woke up and the band had gone home and I was lying in the broken glass with a shirt full of puke and I said, 'Hey, man, the ball game's up'.”

OK, I'll give Harry that one, though it is tough-guy talk. But it's no bullshit. I can empathize with Harry on that one. I woke up one morning in a ditch off the side of a highway. In a ditch covered in puke and sleeping underneath a big cardboard box. Way out in the middle of a nowhere part of Irving, Texas. Waking up and not only wondering where the hell I was but where my car was, too. Like, holy shit, how the hell did I get here, I don't remember a damn thing, and, holy shit, where the fuck is my car? Now that's pretty good tough-man talk coming from me, isn't it?

“Writers spend all their time preoccupied with just the things that their fellow men and women spend their time trying to avoid thinking about. ... It takes great courage to look where you have to look, which is in yourself, in your experience, in your relationship with fellow beings, your relationship to the earth, to the spirit or to the first cause—to look at them and make something of them.”

Score another one for Harry. I agree with this tough-writer statement. I mean, like I could never write a Harry Potter book because I don't believe in anything Harry Potter does; I mean Harry Potter's not a tough guy, he's a woman's fantasy man. I can only write about myself and what's deep inside me, and what comes out when I go back and dig out incidents from my own life. My fantasy man is myself.

“I am not perfect." It came out in a rush of breath. "See I thought I was. Thank God I ain't. See a perfect thing ain't got a chance. The world kills it, everything perfect. (Listen to him!) Now see a thing that ain't perfect, it grows like a weed. Yeah, like a weed! A thing that ain't perfect gets hand clapping, smiles, takes the wire an easy winner. But the world ain't set up right if you perfect. You lible to run right into a brick wall. Looks like suicide. All the weeds say, looka there, it suicide!”

OK, Harry gets another tip of my hat on this one. I agree with him that nothing is perfect and certainly not any real man--oh, lots of fictional men and women are perfect--but very few real men and women are. Oh, I'm in love with a woman who I think of as perfect, but her perfection is in the eye of me the imperfect beholder. Compared to me, yes, she's perfect, but there's probably someone in this world who doesn't see her as perfect at all. On the other hand, I might argue with Harry that if a weed is as tough as he describes it, a weed may be as close to perfection as Nature has gotten.

Sorry, I Didn't Know You, Harry
So, I say goodbye to Harry Crews.
Harry Crews, 76, American author, neuropathy. Wish I'd'a known him. He reflects my most favorites: Ernest Hemingway; Charles Bukowski; and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. All committing suicide in one way or another--Hemingway when he burnt out as a writer and started having hallucinations--Charles Bukowski just through living on the brink--Dr. Hunter S. Thompson when he saw no hope for anybody especially himself in the world--and Harry Crews from all the damn weeds that invaded his life.

Me, I'm on the tough-guy road now since I recently wrestled with the Grim Reaper who was trying to shoot weed killer into my weedy heart. All my fault, too; me thinking I was in perfect health when in actuality I was trying to kill myself--breaking the hearts of too many good women; drinking too much Irish whiskey; eating too many thick, juicy, fatty steaks; eating pints of Hagen-Daas ice cream and rich gooey chocolate chip cookies; playing the piano too hard; singing with rough abandonment; and writing and writing and trying to distill the tough-guy incidents out of my writing when I should have known like Harry Crews that tough guys sell books.

for The Saturday Evening Daily Growler Post

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Existing in New York City: Stirring Up a Cauldron of Trouble

Foto by tgw, New York City, March 2012
Say goodbye to: Earl Scruggs
, a bluegrass master who along with Lester Flatt brought bluegrass music into national prominence back in the sixties when they did the theme song for the Beverly Hillbillies teevee show. Earl Scruggs, 88, American bluegrass musician, natural causes.
Say goodbye to: Jerry McCain, blues harpist extraordinaire, at 82. Hear Jerry play "Steady":
Why is suddenly Obamacare being held up to liberals and progressives as "affordable health care" with no alternatives offered us to counter it? If I remember correctly, Obamacare was composed by the pay-or-die health insurance giants, the pharmaceutical industry, and the for-profit hospital industry, and the committee to come to an agreement on it was under the chairmanship of a Power-Elite-asskissing Senator from the backward-thinking state of Montana, Max Baucus, head of the Senate Finance Committee, who right-off-the-bat said he would NOT put single-payer health insurance anywhere near that table where these health industry lobbyists were busy trying to figure out how to drill into the Medicare and Social Security vaults and steal as much of that money as they could with the blessing of President Obama, who stood firm in his opposition to single-payer health insurance and firmly opposed to a National Healthcare System where everybody would be fully covered under Medicaid and Medicare no matter their plight in life.

The fact that this Obamacare forces everyone to buy some kind of health insurance or face a penalty on their taxes during this time of economic depression hit me as sort of draconian from the get-go, though now that the rightwinger nutjobs have brought it before the Supreme(ly dumb) Court (5 of whom are Ayn-Rand-follower nutjobs who worship the pay-or-die health insurance (remember, Ron Paul said he'd let his best friend die in an emergency health situation should that friend come to him without insurance and ask for his help)), yes, I'm concerned because these creeps want to destroy whatever "fair" healthcare system we have left, though these mixed-bag creeps in Congress get the finest healthcare known to man from We the People of the USA, we who just financed a new heart for one of the most evil-minded bastards to ever grace the halls of the District of Corruption, the old pig who had his hand up Little Georgie Porgie Bush's asshole for two stolen terms as president, and who shot his hunting partner in the face and wasn't even questioned about it by the local police.

Now, however, so-called Liberals and Dumbocrats are lining up behind Obamacare and selling it to us as THE greatest healthcare plan ever devised by a civilized nation, a plan that if the scumbag rightwingers destroy it, will leave this nation helpless in the greedy arms of the pay-or-die health insurance industry and the for-profit hospital industry.

This is the same president who will not stand up behind Medicare and Social Security now, agreeing with the Neo-Con nutjobs and the Teabagger nutjobs that these endowments have to be viciously cut or privatized. I get so pissed off seeing this two-faced president being lauded as the lesser evil in a pack of evil sleazebags, which to me makes no sense. President Obama, ironically a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has extended our involvement in wars and has never blamed or held accountable Georgie Porgie Bush for lying us into two economy-wrecking wars; has gone gung-ho for drone flights now buzzing these little killer robots even over the USA; has given himself executive privileges that include assassinating his own citizens (he's already killed 3 Americans in Yemen--where just today (March 29) it was revealed that Obama is going hogwild with his drone attacks, killing any person wearing a towel on his head or a woman wearing a burka or child who just happens to be playing or praying in a wrong spot); who has increased all his "national defense" agencies spying on all Americans even to allowing the CIA and the US military to spy and enemy hunt inside US borders; who has allowed our crooked banks to go on with their derivative schemes and to go on foreclosing on peoples' homes and lands with gleeful impunity; who has in spite of the Fukushima disaster (and we don't know yet how bad this really is) continued authorizing the building of new nuclear plants in the US and continues to push nuclear energy as clean and safe energy; who in spite of the Gulf Coast oil spill has gone on reopening the drill, drill, drill policies and allowing British Petroleum (a very crooked company) to continue deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and also opening up our Alaskan Wilderness to them to drill, drill, drill up there; who has flip-flopped on this Keystone pipeline controversy, first saying he was blocking it and now suddenly giving his go-ahead blessing to its construction at the southern end of it; who has continued building that worthless boondoggle fence between the US and Mexico at a cost in some places to We the People of the US of millions of dollars per mile to build; who has continued and promoted these free-market schemes, the most recent one with South Korea that costs the US 150,000 jobs --and he is the lesser evil among this pack of evil sons of bitches? I mean how much worse could a fat slob like Newtie Gingrich be as president? (No, I don't want Newtie as my president.) I mean when you analyze the difference between Obama's and Georgie Porgie Bush's administration and you see G.W. Bush was a kinder gentler president than Obama, what does that tell you?

Am I crazy? I guess I am.

Yet, there are pundits out there who agree with me. Like Glen Ford over at the Black Agenda Report Website. He recently said the following at the Left Forum:

No matter how much evil Barack Obama actually accomplishes during his presidency, people that call themselves leftists insist on dubbing him the Lesser Evil. Not only is Obama not given proper credit for out-evil-ing George Bush, domestically and internationally, but the First Black President is awarded positive grades for his intentions versus the presumed intentions of Republicans. As the author says, this “is psycho-babble, not analysis. No real Left would engage in it.”

Read the whole thing at

Yes, in 2008, I saw Obama with a chance to become our greatest-ever President; a true president of the people as a whole. People all over the world, including the Muslim nations, were wearing his tee shirts and championing his cause and hoping alas this first Black US president could put an end to this War on Terror, this phony War on Terror designed and devised by the biggest bunch of lying bastards ever to steal two presidential elections and lie us into two wars that have now lasted longer than any of the wars we've ever been lied into by presidents (most wars the US has been involved in since World War I, the war to end all wars). Yet, what does Obama do the minute he gets into office? The American lefties and progressives and New Dealers know what he did; they're just ashamed to admit it. Progressives like Russ Feingold who is now helping with Obama's campaign. [I posted a blog before the 2008 election saying I had read in Obama's book, which nobody else seemed to read, that Obama admitted his two presidential heroes were Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan (for his economic policies) and that Wall Street financiers were his present-day heroes--he said that in his book.]

I should give up my tirades on politics, but I can't. I go to Bellevue Hospital here in New York City several days a week and I sit for hours among people with serious health problems and I sit there one of a very few White people in that group of mostly Blacks (including Caribbean and Central and South American Blacks) and Latinos (from the Caribbean, Central, and South America) and I watch as most of the doctors are White--I have not seen, I swear, one Black doctor since I've now been going to this blessed hospital (and it did save my life and its cardiovascular unit has a sterling record among NYC hospitals) for going on two months. And what I'm emphasizing is the inequality among people in this country. When I say Bellevue is a great hospital among my White friends, they tell me Beth Israel would be their preference--and, yes, I spent some time years ago in Beth Israel and, yes, the majority of the patients in that hospital were White people. And now I see this country as racially divided--Blacks and Latinos separated from Whites by boundary lines in the neighborhoods, the workplaces, in the sales forces, in the advertising world, in the executive board rooms, etc.

I have said all along that White men would never let this Black president actually lead this country away from the White agenda that is the basis for the country existing. Sure, the White Power Elite, men like David Axelrod and Emanuel Rahm, took Senator Obama and realized how through him they could replay their White Democratic heyday under Slick Willie Clinton, a president who liberal Whites still consider a great president in spite of all the ruin he brought us through repealing the Glass-Speagall Act; in spite of his giving us the Patriot Act; in spite of NAFTA and GATT and GAPP and the World Trade Organization--don't get me started. You know I do not like Slick Willie "I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman" Clinton.

Whew. I haven't growled so damn viciously in I can't remember when. But then that's my role in this continuing drama we've dubbed The Daily Growler, a blog that started off a whimsical satirical comedy of errors (ironies) and has now been blown by the winds of change into a cauldron of bubbling witches brew:

from Macbeth

A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.

Enter the three Witches.

1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches' mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

for The Daily Growler

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Existing in New York City: Deep in Debt But Still Alive

Foto by tgw, New York City, March 2012
Say goodbye to: Bert Sugar,
the boxing writer and historian who I first met while slugging down Jameson Golds and puffing on a La Rosa Rothschild cigar at the bar at my favorite Irish pub and Bert was there, wearing his copyrighted fedora and smoking his own copyrighted cigar and drinking his whiskey and talking his boxing and his boxing history and Bert became a fixture in my favorite Irish pub--and I spent many a good afternoon into the evening sitting at that bar listening to Bert talk glowingly about his true love, boxing--and I managed to tell him my boxing stories, how my step-grandfather had been a referee at the old St. Nicholas Arena in Uptown Manhattan and how he kept a diary of all the fights he saw or refereed and how he became pals with Kid Gavillan and Rocky Graziano. And now I'm sorry to read that Bert left the mortal coil for a trip up to the big boxing arena in the sky. Age 74. And from a heart attack. Bert Sugar, 74, American boxing writer and historian, cardiac arrest.
How to Have a Heart Attack and Not Know It
You are walking down the street one day, lollygagging along, picking up some chow, when all of a sudden your chest starts burning like a building on fire. You try to walk forward but you can't. Nor can you breathe easy. You stop. You think: What the hell is this? this a heart attack? What the hell should I do? Suddenly you belch. A gaseous belch. A belch that rumbles up from somewhere just below your ribcage and blasts out foghorn like. As it explodes outward it leaves a greenish-gas taste in your mouth. You feel better. You feel relieved. You feel good enough to start moving again. You walk forward. No problem. You walk on and on and you get to your building and you're OK and you're feeling like "Hot damn, whew, glad that's over...BUT what the hell was that?"

In your apartment you quickly go on the Internet. You Google "chest pains belched gone away" and the Internet gives you back just the thing you want to see..."If you can belch it off, it's not a heart attack."

That was over a year and a half ago. Since then nearly every time you had to walk some distances or climb say a 10% grade of subway steps, you start getting heavy in the chest and gulping for air though the minute you get to a destination and relax and you start belching soon everything's A-OK (a cliche from the space age) and you're back to being merry and bright and jovially supping on steaks covered in bleu cheese and rice with mushroom gravy or a red wine sauce; or you're eating beef enchiladas with mole chocolata and devouring chips and chili salsas and eating huge molcajetes of guacamole and you're drinking bottle after bottle of cervaza Superior or Dos Equis; or you're eating tenderloins of pork covered in a mushroom gravy or you're eating a Pub Burger with bacon and cheese and the works at your favorite Irish pub and afterwards you're sidling up to the bar and drinking tumblers full of Jameson's Gold and washing 'em down with pints of Bass Ale. Life is good and life is in the fast lane and you don't mind the occasional heaviness in your chest or the struggling to climb the multi-stairs in the NYC subways or having to stop and catch your breath while walking over to pick up your laundry. Life is good. And there's this friend who brings you over several cold Heinekens and a black and white cookie or a bag of gooey chocolate chip cookies which you devour and then suffer all night from the sugar Jones they leave rhumba-ing in your stomach. Or say you gulp-like-a-d0g-down a pint of Hagen Daas chocolate ice cream along with those cookies and sure enough in the middle of the night you have to get up and throw it all up.

Hey, and while all this is going on, you're taking fish oil and CoQ10s and milk thistle and Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12s and you're drinking a bottle of cranberry juice every morning with a large coffee with half and half and you're chowing down on a French cruller along with the coffee, and you are telling yourself as you go out and order that second large coffee with half and half, "I've got to be one of the healthiest men in New York City. Heart attack? No, it's more like GERD...or at least excess gas."

Sure it is. You're right, pardner...BUT oh how wrong you were. That incident that happened a year and a half ago? What was it? You were having the beginnings of a major blood clot forming in one of your main arteries. You, idiot, were having a heart attack...and you continued having heart attacks for the next year and one half until that Friday night when you ran out of breath singing and playing the harmonica with your friend's band down in SOHO. And that next morning when you threw up your supper (does anyone call it supper anymore?) and you didn't sleep all night and the when the tall beautiful woman brought you breakfast that Sunday morning and you tried to get into it but suddenly you couldn't; suddenly you felt that tiny pressure lurking behind your breastbone--that tiny pressure that you couldn't belch off--that you still foolishly denied was anything, telling the tall beautiful woman that you'd be alright, all you needed was a little sleep and while you were asleep that tall beautiful woman who truly cared for your stubborn ass saved your macho life by calling EMS and them coming and picking your dumb-ass up and in the ambulance after running the EKG on you telling you, "You're having a major heart attack, bro...we're ambulancing your stubborn goofy ass immediately to Bellevue" and at Bellevue in the Cardiovascular Care Unit a young doctor tells you after you woke up from them knocking you out to do the angioplasty on you and implanting a bare metal stent in your worst-clogged artery, "Hey, pal, if you'd a been an hour later, you'd'a probably been dead on arrival." And there stood the tall beautiful woman whose concern and love for your stupid stubborn ass saved your life. Humbled you.

And now you sit on a very cold March morning, freezing, and holding two enormous bills in your hand which you've got to pay or arrange to pay or they may just foreclose on your, they won't do that, but you sit procrastinating over this bill instead of again getting off your ass and calling the hospital and admitting you can't pay the bill in full...blah, blah, blah.

for The Daily Growler

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Foggy Day in New York Town

Foto by tgw, "Fog Over Manhattan," New York City, March 2012


by: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

      HE fog comes
      on little cat feet.

      It sits looking
      over harbor and city
      on silent haunches
      and then moves on.
A Foggy Day
New York City looks so funny when it's fogged in. We've had thick fog for two mornings this week. Seems we've had more fog of late than I remember ever seeing in the immediate or forgotten past. For one thing, it's so funny and strange to walk up Broadway and look up on both sides of you and see no skyscrapers. Yet you know they're up there. Like the Empire State Building totally disappears. You look up where it once was and it's not there. Just that grey specter on silent haunches, which in looking out my window now across southern Manhattan, I see has already moved on.

I once owned a Jaguar that had Lucas fog lamps (we call 'em lights, they call them lamps) on it. Yellowish, orangy lights that rather than reflecting off the fog back onto themselves like standard sealed-beam car lights glow through the fog like eerie cat's eyes. Certainly you needed fog lamps in England where my Jag came from in those days (Jaguar is today owned by Tata of India). I recall in my past when London fogs were so thick and smoggy and hanging around for days that Londoners were dropping dead by the hundreds during them. Fogs loaded with smog. Los Angeles, too, had those kind of human-killer smog-laced fogs.

When I lived briefly high on a hill in San Francisco, I remember the first morning I woke up and looked out across San Francisco Bay and saw the fog coming in on little cat feet and curling up on its haunches snugly around the Golden Gate Bridge how weirdly ethereal it was seeing that great bridge sort of floating like a bouy between Fort Point Historic Site and Point Bonita way over on the Marin Headlands as I lay in my bed still foggy from the rather chilly night's sleep looking down at the bay out my floor-to-ceiling window. Ethereal to the point of being a dream view--the bridge still buoyed in my dream space--until the lovely sight of my naked wife drinking her morning coffee interrupted that view by imposing her Venus-rising-from-the-foggy-sea presence between my eyes and my filmy dream. Her own presence entering that view on her little cat feet to pose cocked on one of her exquisite haunches while the sun came sweeping up over the city from the south and began to vacuum clean that fog away and put that bridge back into its utilitarian reality. The ethereal replaced by the real of the traffic on the bridge and the gasoline fumes and the bridge's swaying softly to and fro and the thousands of human beings shuttling to and fro from San Francisco to Marin County and from Marin County into San Francisco. Then my wife would light up one of her Salems and another kind of fog creeped in on smelly human hands and filled our bedroom's air with nicotine fog, the fog that would later take the life of that oh-so beautiful creature.

The Fog in My Heart
One of the stupidest teevee shows I've ever tried to watch, and believe me, there are hundreds of such shows to pick among, is the long-running and very popular CBS "Survivor" series. I mean, you call these bartender-work-out-looking dudes and always bikini-clad casting couch babes survivors? It's such a stupid show I can't watch very much of it. But when I watch it, and I see all these phony stretchings of a survival imagination, I am reminded of coming from Bellevue Hospital's outpatient clinics where I sit for hours and hours among true survivors. I mean I watch these trendy young people on teevee getting so serious over a scripted three-camera-shooting and directed and brightly lit staged stupid teevee show--no matter if they are set in Borneo or Papua New Guinea--while these actor-types play these phony kids's games making us feel like they are so suffering and having to eat worms and grubs and bats and shit for survival. I'm screaming at these Hollywood fools, bring your three cameras into one of these Bellevue clinics and show us some real survivors. Like these little dried up old ladies in wheelchairs who look like death warmed over coming to these outpatient clinics, blowing thousands of dollars, maybe they are covered by some kind of insurance or not, totally dependent on this hospital and its staff for their continuance in life. Hundreds of people on walkers; hundreds of people sitting in depressed slumps waiting to see a doctor or a nurse, waiting for a blood work up or waiting to get the scripts they need to survive, the drugs, all of them staying faithful to these young mostly White or Indian doctors and these Caribbean and Philippine nurses. And I sit listening to a cancer patient talking about what her therapy is costing her, admitting finally that maybe it's better that she go ahead and die and get it all over with. Show me those survivors and not these cheesy young bartenders and physical fitness trainers and bikini-wearing casting couch whores who when they survive this stupid show will go on to a fame and fortune based on their being on show number 25 or this episode or that one or getting kicked off show number 40 or because they were so cute, so precious. It disgusts me.

I sat in the coumadin clinic the other day right across from a Black man who was being accompanied by his daughter (I assumed). This Black man who was all pretzeled up in a wheelchair, his legs twisted up under his shriveling body, and when he tried to talk all he could do was grunt and moan and loll words out around his frozen tongue.

Or you talk about a survivor, my good friend of thirty years, a Black woman insurance executive who has a sister who was diagnosed with MS ten or fifteen years ago--a once gorgeous woman who had a successful business out in California--and now she lays like a vegetable back in the family home in Illinois cared for by one of her sisters--she lays on this hospital bed, like I said, a vegetable, now blind, unable to eat except via a glucose drip, unable to shit so her sister has to dig it out of her ass, and yet she survives--she's still alive--living on. Now that's a true survivor to me.

And now I'm a survivor myself with a corrupted heart, a heart only half working, a heart being kept working by my taking seven different drugs daily and constantly going back and forth to the hospital to check my blood and to prescribe me new drugs and to see cardiologists who listen to my heart, who sit and hem-and-awe and look concerned and when you asked them, hey, doc, why you lookin' that way, they say, oh, nothing, I'm just concerned about this or that.

for The Daily Growler

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Existing in New York City: In Florida, It's Open Season on Coons

Foto by tgw, New York City, March 2012
Say goodbye to: Irving Horowitz,
one of the great American sociological thinkers and champion of the works of C. Wright Mills. Horowitz's last concerns were with the decomposition of Sociology into too deeply a theoretical turmoil. Irving Louis Horowitz, 82, American sociologist (Rutgers University, Washington University), surgical complications
In Florida, It's OK to Shoot Human Beings As Long As You're White and See Black Humans as Coons

In Florida, a White gun nut, George Zimmerman, a self-assigned neighborhood patroller packing an automatic weapon shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a high school junior. During one call to the Sanford, Florida, police (on the tapes they all sound like White guys), Captain of the Watch George, told the police he was following a blankity-blank coon. I mean this kid looked suspicious to the alert George. The kid was wearing a hoody, a sure sign to a White goon it's a Black kid up to no good. At one time, George said Trayvon "looked Black," though it was hard to tell because of that hoody. A Black teenager in this neighborhood looked suspicious. I mean it was the way he was holding his Skittles and can of ice tea. Gung-ho George followed this suspicious-looking Black kid. George knew something was wrong. A Black kid in his neighborhood. Something wasn't right. Later George called the police and admitted he had shot this suspicious high school junior who was visiting his father in a gated community. George's excuse for shooting the unarmed kid? Why, help, this kid was threatening Cap'n George's life. He was attacking George with that deadly pack of Skittles.

When I lived in New Orleans, way back when, the foul-mouthed racist up in Plaquemines Parish, Leander Perez, was constantly telling us on his infamous phone messages that Blacks weren't human beings. Hell no, Blacks were coons...lowlife animals...gators, gorillas, but certainly not humans. Therefore it was perfectly alright to kill a kill a kill a gorilla.

The South is still living on the old plantation...down where the darkies beat their feet on that Mississippi mud. The New South is pure-dee bullshit. This country is still fighting the Civil War. Mississippi White hicks, dumber than dumb White trash, call Obama a half-breed--which to them is lower than a mongrel. Obviously Cap'n George Zimmerman believes that Blacks are not human beings--and in Florida, it's always open season on coons.

And, oh yes, by the way, this dude will be exonerated by Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which gives gun-toting Floridians the right to shoot to kill should they feel threatened by a hoody-wearing coon.
How about my city's billionaire mayor supping with the White massahs of the Goldman-Sachs plantation while his gunsel cops were beating the shit out of those White kid enemy combatants trying to celebrate the year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Boy, I'll bet that conversation was a kind and caring one--I mean Mayor Billionaire Bloomberg toots his on horn on his charitable givings--this little man prick who We the People of New York City seem to be so fascinated by his wealth to the point we're maybe allowing him to appoint himself mayor for life.
President Obama turns on We the People of the USA; now our President is back to promoting the Keystone Pipeline--that piece-of-shit pipeline that's going to rip right through the heart of our nation and run all the way down to the now miraculously oil-free-clean Gulf of Mexico. Exxon-Mobil is spending millions of bucks on ads saying this stupid pipeline is not only going to solve our dependence on foreign (Arab) oil (where does Exxon-Mobil get its crude from?) but it's also going to bring, first they said 150,000 new jobs on line--now they're saying 500,000 new jobs on line; thereby bringing economic recovery to this great White man's nation. Of course, they don't say where these jobs will be. Five hundred thousand jobs building the pipeline? or five hundred thousand jobs maintaining it? or five hundred thousand new executive positions created to manage it? But good ole backwards-thinking corrupt-corporate lawyer Obama is trickbagging us on this piece of shit pipe line--talk about flip-flopping. Plus he's still trumpeting nuclear energy as clean energy. We the citizens of New York City have a Sword of Damocles hanging over our stupid heads in the form of this ancient Indian Point nuclear facility only 25 miles from Midtown Manhattan--and downwind to boot--but I've read government statistics that say, "Hey, even if Indian Point blows higher than Fukushima, why only maybe 200,000 New Yorkers would die immediately."

Fuck all these bastards--We the People must get smart and revolutionary and take this country back from these Power Elite why in God's own hell would anybody vote for these Republican Jack Offs? Why? Yet Elizabeth Warren, the liberal darling, is only leading the Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts by 5 points. So somebody in Massachusetts loves this guy--same as they loved old Mormon Mitt enough to elect him governor.

Of course I'm evil enough to not be caught dead voting for any these backwards-thinking Old Plantation Massuhs, and that includes President Obama, the Democrats Great White Hope. I'd at least like to see some progressive debate our President on his backwards-thinking and corporate ass-kissing politics--"Yes, we can!" Yes, we can, what?, President Obama. Like how the hell given the catastrophe in Japan can you keep on promoting nuclear energy in this country?
The Brit-Fop Promoter of American Imperialism, Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden" published in McClure's Magazine, Feb. 1899

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another's profit
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
(The end for others sought)
Watch sloth and heathen folly
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No iron rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go, make them with your living
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden,
And reap his old reward--
The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your God and you.

Take up the White Man's burden!
Have done with childish days--
The lightly-proffered laurel,
The easy ungrudged praise:
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

Get ready for our attempting to invade and occupy IRAN--the NYPD is peddling the rumor that Iran has agents right here in the middle of New York City spying on us. Does that mean Israel and us do not have spies in Iran?

Our smug idiot Long Island Congressman Peter "I'm'a Scared of All Muslims' King
today is reprimanding New Jersey's Big Fat Idiot Governor Chris Christy for knocking the NYPD for spying on Muslims in New Jersey. Remember, Chris Christy gained his fame and fortune by prosecuting those 5 stupid Philadelphis-New Jersey nutty Muslim pizza-parlor kids for planning to blow up Fort Dix, New Jersey. The nerve of those bastards!

for The Daily Growler

Monday, March 19, 2012

Existing in New York City: Oppressed Under the Corporate Bootheel

Foto by tgw, New York City, March 2012
Say goodbye to: Mel Parnell,
one of the great all-time Boston Red Sox pitchers from the forties and early fifties--the days of Ted Williams: Mel Parnell, 89, American baseball player (Boston Red Sox). Wow, the old time baseball players are dropping like flies these days. Yet, Ralph Kiner lives on in the Mets's announcing booth, going on 90 now.
Karl Marx said: In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.
Marx My Word
Seems like old Karl hits the Capitalist nail on the head with the above statement, and yet like Richard Wolff, the American Marxian Economist, says, Marx is ignored by most college Economics departments or if mentioned he's mentioned in terms of the failed Soviet Union or the brutality of Maoist Chinese Communism (We the People tend to overlook that aspect of Communist China these days). Very few Americans have ever read The Communist Manifesto much less even glanced at Das Kapital. As a graduate assistant while working on my Master's in Sociological and Economic Theory I taught Marx as a Sociologist, an empirical scientist, and not as a communist. Marx himself said he wasn't a Marxist.
Karl Marx said:
Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.
As I've often written in these posts, Capitalism (profits) depends on CHEAP LABOR. It's biggest enemy is high wages. It's next biggest enemy is labor unions. Labor unions are supposed to protect workers. Union power is in their ability to strike. Labor unions (historically) in the USA are responsible for yearly wage hikes, safe workplace conditions, the 5-day work week, overtime pay, vacation days, sick days, guaranteed health insurance (why wouldn't an employer want to have a healthy workforce?), guaranteed other job-incentive benefits. Labor unions created the Middle Class in this country. As our labor unions lose their power, so do our workers lose their jobs. So do employers move their factories lock, stock, and barrel out of the USA and haul them off to countries where workers are treated like slaves. Where child labor is sanctioned. Where workers work for as little as US$3.00 a day. Where workers in the Apple factory in China can't ever afford the iPads they are working 16-hours-a-day at $3.00-a-day (they get no overtime in China) to make; getting so frustrated that a bunch of them go up on the roof of the plant and jump off, committing suicide rather than continuing to build Apple products. As a result of Apple using the cheap labor of the Communist Chinese workforce, they currently have in excess of 69 billion dollars in profits that they don't know what to do with. They have a surplus while We the People of the USA are going deeper into debt daily. I was reading where ironically We the People of the US are borrowing money from Communist China in order to give financial aid to the Republic of China (Taiwan) (Check out what happened to the Formosans, speaking of Taiwan).
Karl Marx said: Landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed.
Rents here in New York City have spiraled upward to where now the base rent for a studio (a room with a bath) apartment throughout the five boroughs is $2000-a-month. This is the doings of our Billionaire Mayor and his rezoning New York City, doing away with old neighborhoods, like ruining (rich White men call it "gentrifying") Harlem, throwing people out of apartments they've maybe lived in for 40 years, rezoning Harlem and opening it up to filthy rich White developers or White private equity funders, who drive out the Blacks (rich White people (i.e., Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg) hate Blacks and poor Whites and Latinos and Muslims) to replace them with upper-income Whites, Whites making over $100,000-a-year.
Karl Marx said: Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.
Now, come on, how true is that statement? To check out the impotence of the human mind, simply listen to the idiotic babblings of Christians...or the idiotic babblings of the true believing Mormons...or the idiotic babblings of the Islamic fanatics...or the idiotic babblings of the religious Jews (and Judaism is a religion). And watch as most of the world's current conflicts are based on the impotence of the human mind.
Karl Marx said:
The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.
Let's see you argue with that statement...especially during these insane political campaigns currently going on in this country. No matter which one of this passel of fools you vote for, you are voting for an oppressing class that will continue to repress you. Doesn't matter which one of these idiotic fools you vote for, Little Rickie Santorum, Mitt "The Mormon" Romney, Ron "Ayn Rand" Paul, Newtie "Fat Boy" Gingrich, OR Barack Obama. Whichever one of these backwards-thinking MEN you elect, you're gonna get more of your rights taken away; you're going to more than likely lose your job, your house, your land...We the People are going to get further repressed (from whence comes REPRESSION)...driven further down into further oppression (from whence comes DEPRESSION). Besides, our elections are so trumped up and phony anyway. BEWARE: The Bush Family Empire is preparing Little Lord Jeb (for John Ellis Bush) Bush for a convention coup. As a Bush, this little vote-stealing former governor of Florida will be presented as spotless, though he is a Catholic (converted); he is married to a Messkin gal, which means his spotless children (except for his daughter Noelle who served some time for cocaine possession (hey, we all make mistakes)) are half Messkins (in Mississippi, that would mean Jeb's kids are half-breeds--mongrels (didn't old Mammy Bush called them "little brown things" (read that as "monkeys")?)), plus Jeb has a Bush Family Empire background in BANKING and REAL ESTATE (check out his Miami real estate connections).
Karl Marx said: We should not say that one man's hour is worth another man's hour, but rather that one man during an hour is worth just as much as another man during an hour. Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most time's carcass.
How brilliant a thinking is that! Think about that. Go back to Elton Mayo and his invention of "Time and motion studies."

I remain humble...but watch out, I'm still growling...

for The Daily Growler

Our Spectacular GOD, the Sun--and look at the beautiful skies it gives us:
thanks to

For the third day in a row, a high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. The jostling is not enough to cause a full-fledged geomagnetic storm, but some nice intermittent auroras are flickering around the Arctic Circle. In the northern village of Ivujivik, Quebec, Sylvain Serre photographed an outburst on March 18th:

"What an incredible night," says Serre. "The Northern Lights weren't there when I first went outside, but after 5 minutes they were so strong that I had to try new settings for my camera."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Existing in New York City: Growling My Brains Out So Damn Futilely

Foto by tgw, New York City, March 2012
Say Goodbye to: Dave Philley
, a native of Paris (actually Garrett's Bluff), Texas, and a journeyman ballplayer, starting with the Chicago White Sox and with several other teams, especially the Philadelphia Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles, and I remember him playing with the Detroit Tigers. I've still got a Dave Philley 1950 Bowman's baseball card where he's in a White Sox uniform. Dave was a good hitter, lifetime .270, known in his later years as a pinch hitter--still holds the record of 9 pinch-hit doubles in a row. Dave also successfully managed the Durham Bulls. Dave Philley, 91, American baseball player (Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Athletics).
President Obama's Administration Is Allowing Wolf Killings to Go On In Spite of Wolves Being an Endangered Species
Thanks to our friend, the womantrumpetplayer, and her comment below, we have been brought to our feet in protest against man the vicious killer; this weak-minded scaredy-cat who is being allowed to hunt at will and kill at will the wolves of North America--gassing pups in dens, outright slaughter of wolves from helicopters, and free-for-all hunting of wolves from the Rocky Mountains all the way up into Canada and Alaska (where they are allowing hunters with big-game rifles to blow wolves away so that the caribou population can grow so that these wild-killer-instinctually-backwards-human-being hunters can then slaughter the caribou for sport). Shame on our government for allowing this. The mighty wolf that was near extinction a few decades back having made a miraculous comeback is once again the victim of the brutality of the human being, the most deadly and vicious animal ever to evolve out of the jungle--thought to be clever because it has invented rifles so powerful and accurate and traps and poisons--its intention to kill anything it considers wild and a threat to its own security--especially the clever and amazing wolves, so much more important to the world than human beings. We humans are killers. Why we even kill each other--look at the killing sprees our military is going on all over the world. Look at this Sgt. Bales character who killed 16 Afghanistan women and children, blew them away, and then set them on fire to add a little flavor to his brutal killing spree. Our military breeds killers with their kill-or-be-killed attitudes; our culture breeds killers with its macho hunter attitudes. And don't worry, this military animal, Bales, will be given the Medal of Honor by President Obama, a killer himself who kills his own citizens. In Canada, wolves are being slaughtered in the tar sands area where we are fixing to have that worthless piece of shit pipeline shooting down through our heartland whether we want it or not.
Hey, Check Out This Great White Hunter With His Proud Trophy--what will he do with his kill, dress it out and eat it? make a wolf-skin jacket for his proud obedient stupid wife? Of course, without that high-powered rifle complete with that laser-beam scope on it, this fool wouldn't have had a chance against that wolf.
Trying to Lose Myself in Music
Sitting here with a backache. God-dammit, I hate backaches. I never had them ever before I started using this Toshiba laptop to write these posts. I'm listening to the wonderful Nat "King" Cole Trio from the 1940s--Oscar Moore, guitar; Johnny Miller, bass. Nat was such an exquisite pianist, though most people if they remember him at all remember him as a pop singer. The story goes the trio was playing in a club and the club owner came to Nat and said he wanted some singing with the group--instrumental stuff just wasn't making it--so Nat started singing. But I remember Nat as a piano player. I heard the trio during its heyday when I was a kid--like "Straighten Up and Fly Right" or "Route 66," but what woke me up to Nat as an accomplished piano player was during his stay in the Jazz at the Philharmonic piano chair. One of the greatest moments is from Jazz at the Philharmonic Volume 1 on a tune simply called "Blues." It's a jam featuring J. J. Johnson, Illinois Jacquet, Jack "McVouty" McVeigh, Johnny Miller, Lester's brother Lee Young on drums, and Les Paul on guitar--and it's the interplay between Nat and Les Paul that is the most exciting feature of this ten-and-a-half-minute jam. The genius of these two cats--with Les laying down a riff and Nat repeating it in his way only for Les to lay another more complicated riff down and Nat simply sliding into the same riff--this riffin' goes on for several minutes to the great delight of the wild audience. And those JATP audiences used to be wild, shouting at the musicians to "Go, Man, Go" and yelling and screaming, especially when Illinois went into one of his wild chile high screeching jive solos--and with that audience whipped up already, here come Les and Nat to do this interplaying--one of the solidest sending musical occurrences I've ever heard. Actually Nat starts the riffing off by interjecting shave-and-a-haircut hits on the high notes, which Les then picks up to swing into with Nat, then it gets serious when Les gets into his solo--and releases into this interplay--I mean it's one of the great moments in jazz music. ...and damn, wouldn't you know, somebody has put it up on YouTube: here ya go--enjoy one of the great moments in jazz--purely spontaneous, I might add, too:
Still Concerned
I'm still concerned over the fact that there's no challenge--debatewise--to President Obama, a man, I swear, who has simply put on G.W. Bush's shoes and continued to walk in his path of disaster. When Obama talks about recovery, no one challenges him on it. Today, the government babblers are claiming Osama bin Ladin was out to kill Obama. Come on, doesn't that sound like Bush cry-babying about how Saddam Hussein tried to murder his old worthless Pappy! Why would bin Ladin want to kill Obama? I mean this dude was running for his life most of the time after Little Georgie Porgie Bush let him escape into Pakistan where he was hiding out all those years. Is Obama now wanting to be a martyr?

Here's a guy who now has taken over executive power privileges old G.W. never thought of using. Here's a president who has assassinated three US citizens, one a teenager, in Yemen for what? He says they were al-Queda big shots; yet he gives no proof of their having any thing to do with al-Queda, this amazing army of wild Islamics that no matter how many of them we kill still seem to grow larger and larger and stay in existence, able to get evidently weapons and monies at will. And certainly in President Obama's mind they are still a huge threat against our "national security." The dictator of Yemen recently was going to release the Yemen journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, but Obama personally called our Yemen lackey and ordered him to not release the guy. Why? Because Obama says he's a threat to our national security because he is able to get inside the al-Quedan network and interview them, not necessarily favorably, but by journalistic association that makes him a terrorist.

You can't challenge President Obama on any of his "secret" ploys. He simply throws your questions back in your face. Like the obvious intentions of Obama and Israel to invade and try and occupy Iran. Why? Because they have Weapons of Mass Destruction. But, most experts say they are a long way from developing what nuclear materials they have into anything close to a nuclear weapon. Why are the two most loaded-with-nuclear-weapons in the world afraid of Iran? Pakistan has Weapons of Mass Destruction. They were hiding and giving comfort to Osama bin Ladin, too. So why aren't we threatening to nuke Pakistan? I've always said our government's intentions were all along to go in an secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Go in through India from the Indian Ocean. Of course, if I spout such wild forecasts out there, no one agrees with me. "Farfetched," they holler back in my face.

Obama goes on being cheered by the very people he screwed in terms of single-payer healthcare; refusing to even discuss this form of health insurance and instead letting the pay-or-die insurance giants, the pharmaceutical giants, and the pay-or-die hospitals-for-profit corporations write Obamacare. And now with these Republican idiots still trying to ruin our Medicare system that works in spite of the many doctors ripping it off and ruin our Social Security system in spite of it being soluble for many years to come, does Obama slam 'em down for it? No. Instead he agrees both systems have to be cut. He's still compromising with these anti-American rightwing nutjobs. And when a citizen does stand up to him and tries to argue with him, he simply blows them off with one of his charming retorts. And now unions are kissing Obama's ass. And what has Obama done for unions? Well, in order to bail General Motors out of bankruptcy--another company too big to fail--he forced the unions to take cuts in their pensions and allowed GM to hire new workers at $15-an-hour rather than the union gained $24-an-hour. Obama also gave our Chrysler Motors away to Fiat of Italy--and now watch teevee and see how many Fiat ads come into your face 24/7--and trust me, folks, Fiats are some of the worst cars ever made.

I'm sorry. My friends tell me, "Who'd you rather have as president, Rick Santorum?" And I say, "No, I don't want Rick Santorum to be the president, nor do I want Mitt "the Mormon" Romney or Newtie "Fat Fart" Gingrich--but neither do I want four more years of a George W. Bush clone either. At least why isn't someone challenging Obama to debates?--some progressive Democrat like Russ Feingold--yet, Russ Feingold is working in Obama's campaign now. And Dennis Kocinich got his ass clobbered by another so-called progressive due to a Republican redistricting scheme. And Bernie Sanders has no clout. And just yesterday, Obama announced through Nancy Pelosi (what the hell's she doing in Egypt?) that we are MAKING AN ARMS DEAL WITH THE EGYPTIAN MILITARY! What happened to the Arab Spring? What happened to the NEW democratic regime in Egypt? And why are we making an arms deal with these military goons?

"Yes, we can." Yes, we can what? Keep spying on Americans? Keep taking away We the People's rights? Now sending drones over our own country? Keeping on building that overcostly fence along our border with Mexico? That fence that I was reading was costing us something like hundreds of millions of dollars a mile in some areas. A stupid fence that Mexicans wanting to get into this country simply tunnel under. And if these people are so desperate to get into this country, why the hell can't we negotiate a work agreement with them or their government?--why can't we register these people at border stations and give them seasonal work permits? And if they want to become American citizens, why not give them a chance at it.

And now President Obama has brought his infatuation with unmanned drones to US soil. And, too, for the first time in history, we have a unit of the US Army's combat forces working within our borders; not to protect us from an invasion--oh no--but to spy on us, to seek terrorists from among us, to be able to now pick up ordinary Americans up off the street and declare them enemy combatants and send them off to SYRIA to be tortured--or Morocco--or EGYPT--to be tortured and placed in dungeons--or to be sent off to Guantanamo--a place of evil Obama promised he would close down but which is still running full force.

Yet, Obama is still the darling of the Democrats. He's a shoo in for their candidate with no challenges. There is no debate within his ranks--his corporate goons that he's surrounded himself with are loading him down with millions upon millions of campaign bucks--and he has the nerve to pick the crooked CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt, a CEO who has been a king of outsourcing American jobs to countries like India and China and Indonesia--hundreds of thousands of jobs--recently GE transferring its medical imaging division to Communist China--and Obama picks this fool as his jobs-creation adviser.

And starting yesterday, our free trade agreement with South Korea went into effect--costing us 150,000 jobs. You bet, Obama and Jeff Immelt are creating jobs--in foreign countries.

And, in spite of the disaster of Fukushima in Japan, a disaster we still don't know the full truth about, President Obama is approving new nuclear plants all over the country, recently two in Georgia, already a nuclear-contaminated state, nuclear plants that We the People of the USA pay most of the costs to build these dangerous monsters because no Wall Street firm will invest in them they are so expensive to build. What's up with Obama and his declaring nuclear energy clean energy?

And don't worry, that Keystone pipeline will be built. Check out the current Exxon-Mobil ads on teevee declaring the oil from the sands of Canada our salvation from depending on foreign oil--declaring it good clean oil and the pipeline a good thing--and, listen to this bullshit, "creating hundreds of thousands of jobs." What jobs? Where are these jobs? How will this pipeline bring jobs to the states it will be running through and perhaps corrupting their water supplies? Like if you live in Keokuk, Iowa, how will this pipeline bring jobs to your town?

Whoooooo, such diatribe has left my head spinning.... I'm going looney (George Clooney) with growling--growling at a distant moon--a moon that shines phony light on poor ole doomed human dumbass beings. And We the People of the US are the dumbest, stupidest, most-lemming-like creatures in the world. We are still "A Nation of Sheep."

And, hey, let's stay in Afghanistan another 10 years!

Orwell, I'm going back and listening to the tons of music I have at my disposal. Not today's pop crap. God how it sucks. And I watched Kid Rock last night on P(Public) B (British) S(System) and every son sounded the same, like "Rolling on the River"--every song; and what happened to Kid Rock's Em'nem impersonations? I'm listening to the wonderful old original musics from the USA's unique cultural past when we were uniting, when we were "reasoning together," when we had a true oppositional movement in this country. Like Sly and the Family Stone. Like the Ike and Tina Turner Review. Like Aretha riding down the Detroit freeways in her pink Cadillac. Like Charles Mingus's revolutionary music. Like Charles Ives's very uniquely original transcendental music. Like Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Buddy Rich, and Buddy De Franco playing together.

But, don't worry, folks. I give up. Obama should easily have another four years to act worst than G.W. Bush.

In futile humbleness,

for The Daily Growler

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Existing in New York City: With Alabama on My Mind

Foto tgw, New York City, March 2012
Note: The dumbass Hollywood actor, George Clooney, got to have a meeting today with President Obama--where they discussed the Sudan problem--Let's see one of us get a meeting with the President--why do our actors have so much power?--could it be because they are multimillionaires? Wonder how much taxes George Clooney pays compared to the average dumbass US citizen? I also see where New York States dumbass (ex-Gov's son his only qualification for being governor), Andrew Cuomo says cutting government employees pension funds is the only way to save the state from bankruptcy--oh how nice it would be if we were all millionaires--why, we could have been if we'd gotten the 14 trillion dollar bailout the absolutely crooked banks got--check out the ex-Goldman-Sachs big-buck VP's revelation this week on just what Goldman-Sachs pirates think about their customers. What a jive ass bunch of turkeys--we should whack 'em all and have a real Thanksgiving Feast.
Hot Damn, Rick Santorum for President
Yahoo! Rick Santorum just scored big in the backward states of Mississippi and Alabama. Little Rickie whacked his main rivals, Mitt "The Mormon" Romney and Newtie "Fat Ass" Gingrich, all three men fools; yet those Yahoos down South love Little Rickie. He's their favorite fool. I assume all Repugnican votes Down South are White votes. I can't imagine a Black person in Mississippi or Alabama being a Republican. And anyway, aren't the majority of folks in those states Black? And, too, doesn't Karl Rove live in Alabama?

All those little White southern belle gals must love Little Rickie. "He's so darn handsome. Why, I dream at night of a man that handsome sweepin' me off my little dainty feet. And, you know, by golly, I bet he'd make a charmin', anything to git that knee-grow out of the White Man's House."

Yes, folks, you be assured that any Republican in Mississippi or Alabama is a racist. Rick Santorum is certainly a full-blown racist. I don't think he'd argue with you about that. I mean, come on, how many Black friends does Little Rickie have?--oh, I forgot, he may have a Black house boy in his Pennsylvania mansion.

So Mitt "The Mormon" Romney got his old northern ass trounced. Both Little Rickie and Newtie Boy beat him. "That thar Moore-man dude, ain't he a Yankee?" "You damn right he is. He's from that thar state of Messychoosits and that thar's way up there in the north. Furthest north I ever been is North Birmingham. That's fer enough north for me, boy."

My Alabama Connection
I settled in New Orleans back in the middle of the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. I had loved New Orleans since as a kid I visited there with my family several times. My folks had both relatives and good friends in New Orleans. From my first time there I knew I loved New Orleans. I mean it was such a swinging city even to a little West Texas kid. So when I got the chance, after marrying in Dallas and leaving my job that was not related to my education, my new wife and I easily decided we wanted to live in New Orleans. Right after our marriage, we packed our belongings in rented Chevrolet and headed off for the Crescent City [I lived there two years and NEVER heard New Orleans called the Big Easy.]

My first job in New Orleans was with the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. This was right before the Civil Rights Act passed. New Orleans had trouble integrating, but it was minor compared to the horrible White racism going on all around it, like over on the other side of Mississippi where Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were brutally murdered and buried in a damn on the Pearl River; or the brutality of Bull Connor and the Birmingham racist police department firehosing and sicking dogs on Blacks simply seeking the right to vote--their right to equality; or the racist babbling coming out of Leander Perez in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. In New Orleans, a bunch of Catholic Whites had protested against a Federal judge's orders to integrate the New Orleans school system, and there had been sit-ins at the Woolworth's lunch counter and some other places in Center City New Orleans. But for the most part, New Orleans integrated peacefully. As a result, when I joined the Juvenile Court I found myself working with an integrated staff, though still the staff was divided in the sense the Black workers didn't handle White cases; yet the White workers did handle Black cases. My wife and I soon had made several friends from among that Black staff and most of my White co-workers were very liberal and we had many an integrated party in our apartment in the French Quarter, which was integrated in those days--my neighborhood cleaners being owned by a Black family and several of the tenants in my neighborhood were Blacks--though, yes, I'll admit there was still plenty of prejudice among the old-line established Whites in and around where I lived--especially the old Italian family restaurant I frequented a lot and loved around on Decatur.

My wife and I became members of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, in New Orleans. At that time CORE was an integrated movement. Our field reps were Huey Newton and Julius Lester. I went to my first CORE meeting and it was dominated by White folks, especially a White woman from the Washington, D.C., chapter who was there to instruct us on holding sit ins and preparing for a big march happening over in Laurel, Mississippi and thinking in the future about the bigger march that was planned for Selma, Alabama, later that year.

One of my first times in court representing a Black kid, I came before a judge who had been put on the bench by Huey Long himself. He was a wicked old judge with an evil streak all over his craggy face. When I presented my case before him, he suddenly asked me, "Where you from, boy?" I told him I'd just moved to Louisiana from Texas. He said, "Texas, my ass, boy, I hear Alabama in your voice--you from Alabama, I guarantee you." I set stunned before him. "In fact, boy, I say you from Dothan, Alabama...damn right, I can tell an Alabama accent no matter how you try to hide it. "No sir," I lied, "I'm from Texas; never been to Alabama." That last part was the truth, I had never been to Alabama, but the lie was, my father's family was from Alabama--not Dothan, but Decatur. I was ashamed of my Alabama past--and I've rejected all my life (subconciously) the fact my grandparents on my father's side were from Decatur, Alabama. I've always said my original family came from North Carolina, which a part of them did, though not my immediate relations.

My first trip to Alabama came my first spring in New Orleans. One of my coworkers told me all about this marvelous place that she and her friend summered at. She said, "You and your wife must come visit us in a month when we're planning to spend a long weekend on this island...Dauphin Island...this wonderful place far out in Mobile Bay." "Mobile, Alabama?" I asked. "No, no, my wife and I have sworn we'll avoid Alabama--I mean the meanest racists in the world are over there." She replied, "Oh, no, Mobile is not like Birmingham and, and Dauphin Island is far out away from Mobile anyway...and there are Blacks on the island as well as Whites." For some reason, my wife and I decided to check this place out. It was presented to us by others of our friends as a paradise...most assuring us that Mobile was more like New Orleans in its sophisticated approach to integration.

The serene beaches on Dauphin Island
My wife and I took that first trip over to Dauphin Island and we loved it so much we immediately rented a cabin for that whole summer and we spent many a peaceful weekend and vacation on this wonderful paradise. I mean, out on this island you didn't feel like you were in Alabama at all. Though eventually, hanging out around Mobile, I began to check the city out in terms of its Civil Rights history while basking in the sun on Dauphin Island, reading up on it racial history, and much to my surprise, I found that Mobile was in the same class as New Orleans when it came to the Civil Rights Movement. I mean, compared to other Alabama cities, Mobile was an exception to the rule of racism and Klannish attitudes thanks to a White power base that was determined to keep Mobile a fair city when it came to racial equality due to two men, Joseph Langan, a White veteran committed to racial equality who became the Mayor of Mobile from the late 50s into the late 1960s, and John LeFlore, a Black civil rights organizer who eventually was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. Of course, Mobile had its problems, especially after a Black group called NOW (Stokely Carmichael had something to do with it) turned on LeFlore and withheld Black votes from that years elections and Joseph Langan lost his bid for reelection. Also that year, LeFlore's house was bombed, though no one was hurt. The bombers were never caught though ironically a lot of Black Mobileans believed Blacks who were against LeFlore and the NAACP did the bombing.

At the time I spent my summers on Dauphin Island, I never went into Mobile nor did I read any Mobile newspapers, and though we frequently went back to Dauphin Island occasionally by then my wife and I had discovered Destin, Florida, up the road from Pensacola, where we rented a room for a whole summer in the Destin Holiday Inn, a room with a kitchen and sitting room, right on the beach.

I never however got any further north in Alabama than Mobile Bay and never ever have been to Decatur, Alabama, where, yes, I now admit, my father's family originated.

Today I think of Alabama as a backward state, a stupid state, and I've seen no evidence showing me it isn't. Alabama went Dixiecrat when old racist hypocrite (turned out he had a Black daughter) Strom Thurmond left the Democratic Party in 1948 after Harry S. Truman integrated the US Army.
Obama Our Corporate President
So it does look like President Obama will have smooth sailing into his second term in spite of his acting like a G.W. Bush clone for his first term in office. He's a warmonger, now rattling our swords at Iran based on Iran developing nuclear weapon capabilities of which there is no more proof than there was that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which it turned out he didn't. I think this sword rattling by Obama is all about OIL. Remember, the largest user of fossil fuels in the world is the US military. They are also one of the largest users of nuclear power in the world, too. Obama, in spite of the Gulf Coast oil spill, is going on with drill, drill, drill, allowing BP to go back to deepwater drilling in our Gulf and also opening up our Alaskan Wilderness to them also. [I've notice there's no longer any mention of the Exxon-Mobil Yellowstone River oil leak--what's that all about?]

So here we go again. No choice for president, just the same ole same oles, to which I agree with Ralph Nadir, there is still no difference in our political parties; they are all corporatized now; playgrounds for millionaires, of which now President Obama is one.

for The Daily Growler

Thanks to our computer ace, he wants to remain anonymous, we did get to load a photo with today's post. It still ain't perfect, though.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Daily Growler Computer Problems

We have switched to having to use a PC and unfortunately it does not allow us to post photos nor does the tool bar give us any indication of where the hell any of our tools are. Our Mac G4 is no longer usable due to the Firefox version we were using now not browsing or when it does open a site the site is in rough draft form. We have a Mac iBook that has the correct operating system in it but when we plug in the Ethernet cable it says "Ethernet cable is not plugged in." We just clicked on Check Spelling and nothing happened. We are pissed to say the least. These sons of bitches change their operating systems so fastly and furiously now it is hard for the ordinary person to keep up with them. Apple is already up to past Snow Leopard now--and Microsoft is already putting out an new version of Windows. We are stuck with Windows XP, which to us is a wonderful operating system--but progress is progress and progress means change, rapid change, because we now exist in a nanosecond world--The Daily Growler has been passed, until we can afford to buy a new operating system--which means we've got to buy a new Mac with Intel processors, we'll be publishing these Mickey Mouse posts--text only posts--crap, is all we can say.

for The Daily Growler

Stay tuned in though, we will start publishing hopefully tomorrow, with Orphan Annie singing our theme song.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Existing in New York City Among the Insane Power Elites

Foto by tgw, "A Photographic Look Into Our God's Eye," New York City, March 2012
I mean a crazy MF American soldier killed 16 innocent Afghans including little kids--what an insane war this is--the Afghan people had nothing to do with 9/11--all they did was give shelter to bin Laden who our military and CIA put in Afghanistan in the first place to fight the Mujaheddin--the Afghan people didn't ask for him--and then this CIA agent bin Laden ended up in Pakistan anyway--so why didn't we invade and occupy Pakistan? And once bin Laden was assassinated, why are we still turning Afghanistan into a killing field? AMAZING! I think the American people should demand Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning Warmonger Obama get us the hell out of there! Our military is insane--a bunch of high-ranking idiots running that show over there. First some idiot ordered the burning of the Koran in public. Now this poor insane soldier--taught by our military to kill or be killed--goes on a killing rampage! Will he get a slap on the wrist--or maybe a Medal of Honor? I mean, come on, he wiped out 16 enemy combatants--what a hero! Obama is a fool to continue this G.W. Bush (that lying son of a bitch) War on Terror--in revenge for some Saudi Arabians making what to me was a miraculous military attack on the USA being they were drunk the night before, never learned how to land one of those big planes, and took over planes full of hundreds of passengers with only boxcutters--I mean come on, doesn't this all sound suspicious? We are idiots. Certified idiots. We are doomed. Our military is commanded by a bunch of dipsticks. Obama is a fool to continue this warmongering. Except our economy is now solidly a war economy! We are still the biggest arms dealers in the world. Why isn't Obama being challenged in debates?
NYC's Billionaire Mayor Blames Pension Funds for This City's Economy on the Downward Slide
From the NYTimes:
“We really are up against it,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said during a recent trip to Albany, urging the state to reduce pension benefits for future public employees. In a radio interview on Friday, Mr. Bloomberg noted the spreading financial woes of local governments, saying, “Towns and counties across the state are starting to have to make the real choices — fewer cops, fewer firefighters, slower ambulance response, less teachers in front of the classroom.”
Cutting services to the Citizens of NYC is our Billionaire Mayor's solution to our economic woes. So much for economic recovery, President Obama.
Contemplating Suicide
My last post got many interesting replies from Growler readers and my own roster of good friends. I tried to explain that I'm a fictional character in an ongoing fictional effort at reality. I know that doesn't make sense, but to me it does. As a writer, I find myself forced to write about all aspects of the reality of my life. Yes, I had a heart attack. Yes, I almost died. Yes, in my current condition, I was forced to at least delve into the subject of my own suicide. Suicide is in my relative blood. My nephew who committed suicide, though a bit on the edge all his life, called me many times before he did it trying to talk rationally to me. Trying to get answers to his quandaries from me. Answers I couldn't give him. Answers that he started demanding with phone calls in the dead of some of my nights. And when he didn't get those answers he desperately wanted from me he turned to accusing me. Accusations that soon turned into off-the-wall insults. Me his favorite uncle now devilized as a hater of him. The last insulting phone call I got from him, and I remember it so well, so pissed me off, I turned on him and forbade him from calling me anymore. It was in thinking back on that moment that compelled me to consider if anything, a rejection or a crashed love affair or the fact that I may be ruined by this pay-or-die healthcare system, would cause me to contemplate if not actually do it my own suicide.

The continuing present in my life has a way of leveling things out. Back at Bellevue for another coumadin clinic this time I was waved on through without having to go through a finance person. So I wasn't charged another $220. In fact, I saw that finance woman and I grinned at her and told her I hoped she was having a nice day.

Tonight I feel much better, lighter on my feet, and feeling capable of navigating my way through these narrows I suddenly find my life's ship channeled into. I've been thinking of the Larry Graham song from his Graham Central Station album "Release Yourself"--"You've got to go through it to get to it"--and that sing-song rather chant-able line keeps rocking through my head. I do have to go through this to get to that other side where I can start living reality again. [This album, by the way, is one of the greatest r&b-rock-drive albums ever recorded. I was absolutely pissed off to see two White fools reviewing it putting it down by saying it was supercilious--ignorant White people who wouldn't know great music if they heard it, these two White fools listing that god-damn copycat White Eric Clapton...forgive me, but these Brit fop bastards so turn me off when I hear them ripping off my USA original musics--I hate Eric Clapton the same way I hate the god-damn overrated copycatting Beatles--you know how nauseating seeing Sir Fucking Paul at our Grammy Awards was to me? Sorry, I'm getting irrational.]

One of my Sociology heroes, Charles Horton Cooley, wrote:
"One should never criticize his own work except in a fresh and hopeful mood. The self-criticism of a tired mind is suicide."

Ladies and Gentleman, I do not have a tired mind even after my ordeal; therefore I cease contemplating my own finalization of self criticism. Hemingway and Hunter Thompson felt they had lost their ability to write--in that form of self criticism, they took the only way out for a tired mind.
The Backwards-Thinking Fools Persist
I see the idiots of Repugnican Kansas have chosen Rick Santorum as their choice to be President of the idiotic USA. President Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, is continuing to beat his loudest war drums--now suddenly against Syria (a rebellion some say was instigated by our CIA infiltrating that country) and surely now at Israel's insistence (are you as amazed as I am of the power Israel has over our Presidents and Congresses?) we are going to invade and try to occupy Iran. The Iranians are a great people; great minds; rational thinkers; yet, they are subject to a nutjob Islamic rule that keeps them suppressed. Now we are threatening along with the nutjob Israelis to annihilate them--why? Because of what? How about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Again the same ole G.W. Bush insane lies are leading us into yet another War on Terror. In order to get revenge for the 3,000 who were killed in the insane attack on the World Trade Center (and not all of those victims were US citizens)--an incident by the way that could have been prevented had our Air Force that was alerted by American Airlines done its job and immediately scrambled fighter jets into the skies that day--we are now killing innocent people by the hundreds of thousands, some say by the millions--and look at the messes we have created in Iraq and Afghanistan. And look at the continuing fucked up mess we caused in Libya--and the killing we are still doing with our unmanned drones in Pakistan--because they are unmanned drones we tend to think we are not really involved in those killings. Our President stupidly says these drones are so accurate, they're incapable of killing innocent people, only al-Queda terrorists. I'm puzzled. How is al-Queda still such a force against us when I read constantly that there are only a handful of these Islamic nutjobs still around? We the People of the USA are killers. Our Nobel-Peace-Prize-Winning President is a killer. Did you hear the totally dumbass explanation of why our President is allowed to assassinate his own people by our truly dumbass Justice Department head, Eric "Hat in Hand, Lips to the White Man's Ass" Holder? I mean these fucking power-mad fools are jeopardizing not only our economy but our very lives. And now you better believe these mad killers are going to do something absurd and rash to Iran--an innocent people who there's no proof positive that they have Weapons of Mass Destruction. Except every day you hear a new horn-blowing alert coming from Israel or our military on how Iran now is capable not only of flinging nukes over into Israel but also flinging them over and into our glorious country--and why would the Iranians be so insane to do anything like that?--and why would they want to nuke countries like Israel and the US that have huge nuclear weapon arsenals, Israel's arsenal provided to them by the country with the largest number of nuclear weapons on earth, the good ole USA.

And fuck these "improving economy" figures the government is throwing out at us every day--more jobs created--the economy is recovering--BUT, slowly now, folks; always watch for those "BUTS" in everything our government says, which, according to H.L. Mencken and me are all LIES adjusted to seem as though truths.

I leave you today as I have in many past posts with a excerpt from C. Wright Mills's The Power Elite. You decide after reading this if this country is on a suicidal course, one sliding us off into Hell because we never challenge or debate any of these militarists's calls for wars and rumors of more wars.

The military pursuit of status, in itself, is no threat of military dominance. In fact, well enclosed in the standing army, such status is a sort of pay-off for the military relinquishment of adventures in political power. So long as this pursuit of status is confined to the military hierarchy itself, it is an important feature of military discipline, and no doubt a major source of much military gratification. It becomes a threat, and it is an indication of the growing power of the military elite today, when it is claimed outside the military hierarchy and when it tends to become a basis of military policy.

The key to an understanding of status is power. The military cannot successfully claim status among civilians if they do not have, or are not thought to have power. Now power, as well as images of it, are always relative: one man's powers are another man's weaknesses. And the powers that have weakened the status of the military in America have been the powers of money and of money-makers, and the powers of the civilian politicians over the military establishment.

American 'militarism,' accordingly, involves the attempt of military men to increase their powers, and hence their status, in comparison with businessmen and politicians. To gain such powers they must not be considered a mere means to be used by politicians and money-makers. They must not be considered parasites on the economy and under the supervision of those who are often called in military circles 'the dirty politicians.' On the contrary their ends must be identified with the ends as well as the honor of the nation; the economy must be their servant; politics an instrument by which, in the name of the state, the family, and God, they manage the nation in modern war.' What does it mean to go to war?' Woodrow Wilson was asked in 1917. 'It means,' he replied, 'an attempt to reconstruct a peacetime civilization with war standards, and at the end of the war there will be no bystanders with sufficient peace standards left to work with. There will be only war standards ... ' American militarism, in fully developed form, would mean the triumph in all areas of life of the military metaphysic, and hence the subordination to it of all other ways of life.

There can be little doubt but that, over the last decade [1946-1956], the warlords of Washington, with their friends in the political directorate and the corporate elite, have definitely revealed militaristic tendencies. Is there, then, in the higher circles of America 'a military clique'? Those who argue about such a notion-as Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and General of the Army Omar Bradley have recently done - are usually arguing only about the increased influence of the professional military. That is why their arguments, in so far as they bear upon the structure of the elite, are not very definitive and are usually at cross-purposes. For when it is fully understood, the idea of a military clique involves more than the military ascendancy. It involves a coincidence of interests and a co-ordination of aims among economic and political as well as military actors.

Our answer to the question, 'Is there now a military clique?' is: Yes, there is a military clique, but it is more accurately termed the power elite, for it is composed of economic, political, as well as military, men whose interests have increasingly coincided.

for The Daily Growler