Thursday, December 27, 2012

Existing in Billionaire Heaven as a Poor Person: A Life in New York City

Foto by tgw, New York City, December 2012
Continuing on in the Footsteps of Baby George W. Bush, President Barry Obama is appointing the extremely evil John Brennan, called the "Assassin" by his detractors to become the new head of the extremely evil and wasteful CIA.  John Brennan is a stone-cold lying son of a bitch who is currently Barry's Terrorism advisor, the man who is the champion of drone warfare and the killing of American citizens on Barry's Terrorist Watch List.  A truly sorry bastard.  Way to go, George W. Obama...way to go.
Say Goodbye to: Patti Page...Gawd how I hated "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window"---yet, it made Patti rich...that and "The Tennessee Waltz," which wasn't that bad a song. Patti Page, 85, American singer ("Tennessee Waltz", "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?"
The Best Explanation of the US's Current Fiscal Crisis as I've Read: by Paul Craig Roberts on Counterpunch:
President Obama Insults the American People
From Truth Dig:
Looking for a job where being unproductive and ineffective won’t hurt your chances of getting a raise? Try being a member of Congress!
Despite getting less done than any previous Congress since the 1940s, President Obama issued an executive order Thursday that would give pay raises to every member of the House and Senate, as well as federal workers, beginning March 27, 2013. This marks the first pay increase for Congress in more than three years. 
Great Scary Article by Mark Ames on the NRA and the Hick Pro-Fascists Who Have Run It Since the Ronnie "Grade B Actor" Reagan Era:
Say Goodbye to: Fontella Bass--who started as a blues singer in Little Milton's Blues Revue with bandleader Oliver Sain, who had the second million seller after Chuck Berry had the first on the Chess label with "Rescue Me" and then married jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie and in Paris recorded one of the weirdest tunes ever, "Theme de YoYo," a tune I can say I myself have covered and can prove it with a DVD of my performance. Fontella Bass, 72, American singer ("Rescue Me"), complications from a heart attack.

Here's Fontella w/Art Ensemble of Chicago doing "Theme de Yo-Yo" on Youtube 
After Mafficking, Now Seriousness 
Living in New York City can be both gregarious and isolating.  It's gregarious when your pockets are bulging with cash and you are out on the town.  On every block are places in which to spend your cash.  And when your cash is all gone or you've spent what you've budgeted to spend, then you withdraw to your living space where you are then forced to create...WHAT?  WORTH, that's what.  Your creative worth is your wealth.

Inspiration is an easy source of potential wealth in so widespread a cultural dump as New York City.  Like on this cold and rainy (turning to snow) day for me.  The inspiration encircled me.  First, over at the Musicians Union Hall on West 48th.  I was over there rehearsing with a trio of musician friends, one thedailygrowlerhousepianist, one a drummer friend of many moons, and one a bass playing friend (more casual than the other two) of the same many moons as the drummer, who introduced me to this Illinois-born bassist back in the late 70s when we were all young, a little naive, but extremely hopeful.  These musician friends exude a brilliance that not only amuses me but inspires me, too.  These are extremely smart men both in terms of music and everyday life.  Their ability to compose and read music truly amazes me, an autodidactic musician who arose unlike them not from an academic base but from an improvisational base, meaning my composing and reading music is baby-like compared to their mature abilities.  This doesn't mean I can't once on stage not show a brilliance.  I have what musicians refer to as "a good ear."  By my limited sight reading but exact memorization, I can learn the most complicated tunes or compositions--I have been performing with these guys for 25 or more years--a lot of those times doing tunes or compositions they wrote, in a lot of instances tunes or compositions they wrote especially for me.

This morning during this rehearsal I watched these friends working out to "gettin' 'em down" intricate jazz compositions especially a Chick Corea tune, "Litha."  I marvel watching them discussing the notational aspects of a tune, with the bass player saying, "I think that B-flat seventh is just doesn't fit...."  And the drummer going over and seeing right off the bat what he's talking about.  "It should be an A-flat seventh, man, I think."  "Yeah, that works...yeah," says the bass player.

Then they call me up to do my thing and my thing is so simple, "Boys, you know 'I Can't Get Started'?"  Yes, comes a trio of agreements.  Then I work with thedailygrowlerhousepianist on the right key for me ending up agreeing on F.  And we do Ira Gershwin's and Vernon Duke's old tune from the 1930s, a tune I never liked until I heard it sung by tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims off an LP he made with Bob Brookmeyer, Hank Jones, Bill Crow, and Papa Jo Jones called Morning Fun on George Wein's old Storyville label out of Boston--way back when I was a freshman in college.  After that, they all wanted me to do a blues, my specialty, and we did a sterling version of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday," which brought a bunch of other musicians into the room to dig us.  I'm in very impressive voice these days and like I say I'm very impressive once I nail a tune down.

After an hour and a half rehearsal, three of us, the bass player had to go get his iPhone repaired (yes, the warranty had just run out), busted a move down to Hurley's Bar where we had a bull session over pints of ale and beer, a bull session full of our life observations on the meaning of Plato, women, our college degrees, and reminiscing about "the good ole days" when we were working musicians, bon vivants, lovers, and still naively hopeful.

From there we headed to the different subways to make our ways back to our residences where in isolation we would mull over what we'd amused each other with during the rehearsal.

I, out of hunger, stopped off at my favorite Irish pub and had a humongous dinner, steak smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms with a side of veggies all washed down with a pint of Bass ale and topped off with a dish of vanilla ice cream.

I'm now back in isolation and listening to an iTunes slew of my own musical compositions and thinking how I've got to---it's an itch within me---get back to work on this damn novel I'm writing---I'm currently proudly pecking at the 60,000-word mark.  After writing, I will then read the rest of the day, reading Gore Vidal's Lincoln, a book on a psychoanalytic study of Charles Ives by Stuart Feder, a book of the essays of Gunther Schuller, all inspiring me, keeping the fires of endeavor alive in me, stirring me up since isolation can sometimes push you to the brink of boredom and there is nothing more depressing than being bored in New York City.
Say Goodbye to: Dennis O'Driscoll
someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt or tie
eating a final feast of buttered sliced pan, tea
scarcely having noticed the erection that was his last
shaving his face to marble for the icy laying out
spraying with deodorant her coarse armpit grass
someone today is leaving home on business
saluting, terminally, the neighbours who will join in the cortege
someone is paring his nails for the last time, a precious moment
someone’s waist will not be marked with elastic in the future
someone is putting out milkbottles for a day that will not come
someone’s fresh breath is about to be taken clean away
someone is writing a cheque that will be rejected as ‘drawer deceased’
someone is circling posthumous dates on a calendar
someone is listening to an irrelevant weather forecast
someone is making rash promises to friends
someone’s coffin is being sanded, laminated, shined
who feels this morning quite as well as ever
someone if asked would find nothing remarkable in today’s date
perfume and goodbyes her final will and testament
someone today is seeing the world for the last time
as innocently as he had seen it first
This poem: thanks to John Baker's blog

Well, here we go over what some D.C. PR dude made up "the fiscal cliff."  But, I say, don't worry, folks, it's all bullshit.  Remember my theory that everything coming out of the District of Corruption is backward thinking and what you do is simply reverse their statements and you'll be pretty much close to the truth, whatever the hell that is.  We're not going over any fiscal cliff.  I mean come on, folks, if we can come up with 14 trillion dollars to bail out those damn crooked financial institutions these lyin' bastards will come up with something (new taxes on the poor, for instance) to save their high-priced salaries and guaranteed health care (our financial institutions are still openly being crooks, by the way)(it amazes me how here in New York City, two of our big sporting venues, CitiField where the worthless Mets play and the Barclays Center where the worthless Russian-owned Brooklyn Nets play, are named after two of the biggest crooks in the banking scam business).  There are easy solutions to our problems---a stock transfer tax, for instance; or cutting drastically the Defense Department, Homeland Security, the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex budgets.  But remember, these guys are backwards makes me want to puke to write about these millionaire jackals we keep electing, which means when it's all boiled down it's We the People of the US's fault.  When you keep electing a bunch of skunks you get a bad smell in the chicken coop, plus a bunch of dead chickens.

From the Wisdom of C. Wright Mills:

Their private decisions, responsibly made in the interests of the feudal-like world of private property and income, determine the size and shape of the national economy, the level of employment, the purchasing power of the consumer, the prices that are advertised, the investments that are channeled. Not 'Wall Street financiers' or bankers, but large owners and executives in their self-financing corporations hold the keys of economic power. Not the politicians of the visible government, but the chief executives who sit in the political directorate ... hold the power and the means of defending the privileges of their corporate world. If they do not reign, they do govern at many of the vital points of everyday life in America, and no powers effectively and consistently countervail against them, nor have they as corporate-made men developed any effectively restraining conscience .


for The Daily Growler


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Existing in New York City: Little Johnny Get Your Gun

Foto by tgw, "Roof Shot #2," New York City, December 2012
Say Goodbye to: Jimmy McCracklin...Jimmy was born in St. Louis, but after a stretch in the U.S. Navy, he settled in the Bay Area in Richmond, California.  McCracklin became a big factor in the West Coast Blues genre along with T-Bone Walker, Mercy Dee Walton, and Lowell Fulson.  His first big hit was "The Walk."  Jimmy recorded up until 1990 with his band the Blues Blasters.  Jimmy McCracklin, 91, American blues musician.

Obama (Republican posing as a Democrat) Throws Seniors Under the Bus by Compromising With John Bonehead by Cutting Social Security Payments: Barry Obama breaks yet another campaign promise by compromising with the Republican idiot John Bonehead and agreeing to cut Social Security payments in a backwards-thinking move that means the older one gets, the lower his or her Social Security payments will get.  Only an idiot would agree to such a cruel deal; therefore, Obama and Bonehead both are idiots.  How much you bet Obama does nothing about any gun law reforms either?  How phony was his Newtown crying jag and his phony speeches about that society-gone-wild matter?  The lesser of two evils is proving to be more evil than the other evil.  What a two-faced corporate puppet jerk Obama is proving to be.
The Right to Bear Arms
Just stop and consider how many killers there are loosed on our streets at any one time.  I grew up in a culture where it was a symbol of your masculine individualism to have a rack of high-powered rifles displayed in the back window of your pick up.  As a young man I grew up in Dallas, Texas, and was there when in 1964 somebody or somebodies blew JFK's head to pieces in some say a deadly crossfire--only the late Arlen Specter (an ex-DA (same as stupid John Kerry, by the way)) came up with the single-shooter theory--no one who was in Dallas that fateful day believed that there was a single shooter.  Ex-CIA stooge, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested as and assassinated as THE single shooter who made a rather miraculous shot that took JFK's life...ex-nutjob-Marine Oswald's shot was so miraculous, JFK's head went backwards on being hit; yet if Lee Harvey made that miraculous shot, he was behind JFK five stories up in the Texas Schoolbook Depository; therefore JFK's head should have fallen forward.

As a kid growing up in West Texas and Dallas, I had a Red Ryder cap pistol and played "cowboys and Indians" and "bad guys/good guys" with the neighborhood kids.  Imaginarily shooting them to kill them.  One year my friend Sonny got a BB gun for X-mas and I ended up shooting Sonny in the ass with it.  Then one year at X-mas my brother who was in the Navy brought me home a wooden mock Navy Springfield training rifle, which I treasured for years, using it often in mock killings. 

During my high school years in West Texas, all of my friends and their families had houses full of guns, both six shooters and hunting rifles of all kinds.  In my family, however, guns weren't allowed.  My dad always taught me that if you own a gun, you are going to have to use it at some time or another, either to kill an animal or to kill a fellow human animal.

My best friend in high school was a gun enthusiast and he and his younger brother and I used to go out into the wilds around my hometown and shoot at jackrabbits, coyotes, foxes, mule deer, and if we were lucky, wildcats.  I learned to shoot a rifle with this guy.  We would go out at night deep into the wild hills and lay out on the fenders of his dad's pick-up truck and one of us would drive and use the military spotlite attached to the driver's side of the truck to spot jackrabbits, pin them in that light's hard beam, while the shooters would be out on the front fenders in the prone position where we'd shoot at these scared animals as we sped along behind them.  I don't ever remember any of us hitting a jackrabbit.  One night while I was on one of the fenders the jackrabbit I was shooting at jumped the spot's beam and headed off into a field.  I followed him with the rifle into the field pot shooting at him, when suddenly a farmhouse's outside spotlites came on...I had been hitting the farmhouse while missing that jackrabbit.

Then when I went in the U.S. Army a part of my training involved learning how to respect an M-14 (and later the M-16) rifle as my constant companion in combat.  I learned how to tear that rifle down, clean it, put it back together, and then out on the firing ranges, I learned how to fire it at various targets from 25 yards on up to 200 yards.  I got pretty good at hitting these targets, which were in the shape of a human being by the way, earning a sharpshooter's medal in the process.  Also in the military, I learned how to fire a submachine gun, a Browning Automatic Rifle, and as a 2nd Lieutenant, I learned how to fire an issued .44 caliber pistol.

The Army especially taught us troopers to be killers.  The first motto you learned in basic training was "Kill or be killed."  I now think of how many killers our military has trained over the existence of this stolen-from-the-Native-Americans nation, a nation stolen due to firearms from muskets down to repeating rifles and now automatic assault rifles and automatic handguns (like the Glocks).  Just think, there are millions of ex-military men still roaming our streets who were trained to kill or be killed and that their weapons were their friends and protectors.

We are a nation of killers.  We love killing.  We love blazing weapons and shoot outs and drive bys and assassinations and massacres.  Also, there are hundreds of thousands of us who are hunters, which after all is the killing of living animals.  We kill deer, we kill raccoons, we kill squirrels, we kill rabbits, we kill bears, we kill wolves we kill birds (ducks, geese, pheasants, quail), etc.  Hunters (killers) usually have more than one high-powered rifle among their arsenals.  Hunters (mostly males) proudly teach their children (including some daughters, like Adam Lanza's mother) how to use firearms and hunt at a very early age.

Also, in terms of us being killers, just think of how many beeves, chickens, porkers, and lambs we kill every day of the week in order to fulfill our carnivorous desires. 

We are currently mourning the deaths of those 27 kids and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, while our military's drone fleet is killing men, women, and children (including babies) almost every day of the year in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Sudan.  [Isn't it ironic that Connecticut is home for the Colt folks (Hartford) (And Smith and Wesson is just across the Connecticut border in Springfield, Massachusetts).  Newtown, ironically, is home of one of the largest handgun and rifle associations.]

Even after Newtown, our stupid and greedy politicians are trying to justify continuing to allow automatic military weapons to be sold to whomever.  These fools are still justifying the 2nd Amendment as guaranteeing even the mentally ill and meanly psychotic the right to buy arms for self-protection (like the Stand-Your-Ground killer down in Florida).  Some of the more Yahoo fools in Congress are suggesting we should arm out nutjob even suggesting we arm our kids.  Can you imagine the wild shooting sprees that would happen in these schools if a bunch of paranoid teachers and smart-ass kids were packing heat?

New York City's little asshole mayor is now jumping on the gun-control bandwagon.  When asked by Charlie "the Bore" Rose why he was so fervent for gun-control, this hypocrite mayor replied because he had been to so many NYPD cops's funerals, not revealing that the NYPD cops (possessors of assault rifles) had shot more innocent citizens than any gun-toting citizens had shot them.  Besides, I defy Hiz Horrible Honor to show me any NYPD cop who was shot by a citizen packing an automatic assault rifle like the one used by poor ole crazed Adam Lanza in the Newtown massacre.  But, hey, it's getting our little billionaire mayor publicity and taking attention away from his egalitarian ways when it comes to turning New York City and especially Manhattan into a billionaires' playground and real estate boondoggle and his backing charter schools, etc.      

Hidden from our view is the fact that nearly everyone of our most successful gun-toting shooters were on antipsychotic drugs.  Adam Lanza, for instance, was on the controversial drug Fanapt.

Check out this list:
1.  Huntsville, Alabama – February 5, 2010: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student Todd Brown.  Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression.  He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.” He had been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist.
2. Kauhajoki, Finland – September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself.  Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine. He was also seeing a psychologist.
3. Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system. He had been seeing a psychiatrist.
4. Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
5. Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
6. Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.
7. Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”. He had previously seen a psychiatrist.
8. Wahluke, Washington – April 10, 2001: Sixteen-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. He had been taking the antidepressant Effexor.
9. El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
10. Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
11. Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with the stimulant Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
12. Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox.  Klebold’s medical records remain sealed. Both shooters had been in anger-management classes and had undergone counseling.  Harris had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
13. Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
14. Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac. Kinkel had been attending “anger control classes” and was under the care of a psychologist.
10 additional recent murders and murder-suicides, resulting in 47 dead and 21 wounded:
  1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – March 8, 2012: 30-year-old John Shick, former patient of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and former student at nearby Duquesne University, shot and killed one and injured six inside UPMC’s Western Psychiatrist Institute. Nine antidepressants were identified among the drugs police found in Shick’s apartment.
  2. Seal Beach, California – October 12, 2011: Scott DeKraai, a harbor tugboat worker, entered the hair salon where his ex-wife worked, killing her and seven others and injuring one. At DeKraai’s initial hearing, his attorney indicated to the judge that DeKraai was prescribed the antidepressant Trazodone and the “mood stabilizer” Topamax.
  3. Lakeland, Florida – May 3, 2009: Toxicology test results showed that 34-year-old Troy Bellar was on Tegretol, a drug prescribed for “bi-polar disorder,” when he shot and killed his wife and two of his three children in their home before killing himself.
  4. Granberry Crossing, Alabama – April 26, 2009: 53-year-old Fred B. Davis shot and killed a police officer and wounded a sheriff’s deputy who had responded to a call that Davis had threatened a neighbor with a gun. Prescription drug bottles found at the scene showed that Davis was prescribed the antipsychotic drug Geodon.
  5. Middletown, Maryland – April 17, 2009: Christopher Wood shot and killed his wife, three small children and himself inside their home. Toxicology test results verified that Wood had been taking the antidepressants Cymbalta and Paxil and the anti-anxiety drugs BuSpar and Xanax.
  6. Concord, California – January 11, 2009: Jason Montes, 33, shot and killed his wife and then himself at home. Montes had earlier begun taking the antidepressant Prozac for depression related to his impending divorce and a recent bankruptcy.
  7. Little Rock, Arkansas – August 14, 2008: Less than 48 hours after Timothy Johnson shot and killed Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney, the Little Rock Police declared they were investigating shooter’s use of the antidepressant Effexor, which was found in Johnson’s house.  A Little Rock city police report later stated that Johnson “was on an anti-depressant and that the drug may have played a part in his ‘irrational and violent behavior.’”
  8. Omaha, Nebraska – December 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert Hawkins killed eight people and wounded five before committing suicide in an Omaha mall. Autopsy results confirmed he was under the influence of the “anti-anxiety” drug Valium.
  9. North Meridian, Florida – July 8, 2003: Doug Williams killed five and wounded nine of his fellow Lockheed Martin employees before killing himself. Williams was reported as having been taking two antidepressants, Zoloft and Celexa, for depression after a failed marriage.
  10. Wakefield, Massachusetts – December 26, 2000: 42-year-old computer technician Michael McDermott had been taking three antidepressants when he hunted down employees in the accounting and human resources offices where he worked, killing seven.

Of course, big Pharmas make billions of dollars off these antipsychotic drugs every year and since most of our politicians and our president are trapped inside the wallets of these big Pharmas they're not about to go against the side of their bread on which these mad scientists are applying the thick butters.

What do you bet no gun-control measures are going to be passed by this Yahoo Congress?

for The Daily Growler

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Existing in New York City: Attempting to Overcome the Human Death Wish

Foto by tgw, "Roof Shot," New York City, November 2012
Obama (Republican posing as a Democrat) Throws Seniors Under the Bus by Compromising With John Bonehead by Cutting Social Security Payments: Barry Obama breaks yet another campaign promise by compromising with the Republican idiot John Bonehead and agreeing to cut Social Security payments in a backwards-thinking move that means the older one gets, the lower his or her Social Security payments will get.  Only an idiot would agree to such a cruel deal; therefore, Obama and Bonehead both are idiots.  How much you bet Obama does nothing about any gun law reforms either?  How phony was his Newtown crying jag and his phony speeches about that society-gone-wild matter?  The lesser of two evils is proving to be more evil than the other evil.  What a two-faced corporate puppet jerk Obama is proving to be.
Say Goodbye to: Jake Adam York:

Night's air tightens slowly, afternoon's
heat thinning with honeysuckle --
millions of trumpets of sun
dimmed and cool, quieting down.
The console hums through signoff,
through anthem. Then its silence gathers
elsewheres from the dark, voices
bent off blackbird chill
as city glow on approaching storm:
Buenosnoches -- so fast to travel so far
with its syllable freight, electric
as new constellations on moonless nights --
so strange and difficult to find
once the disc has risen, its face
a wide, unfinished vowel
that casts its drawl on everything.
Today's Top Irony (from the Hypocrites) 
The HSBC...weren't they originally a Hongkong bank?... was caught laundering Colombian and Mexican drug cartel money (cartels that have murdered upwards of 50,000 in Mexico alone) and also handling monies for terrorist organizations--obviously bankers who are as crooked and ruthless as the most despicable Mafia bosses--and yet they were simply fined a pocketful of chicken feed for wrongdoings, wrongdoings worse than the petty "terrorist" associations that have gotten individual citizens sent to Guantanamo for a life of constant torture and military abuse, most of whom are really not guilty of anything except being Muslim and under suspect by our many spy agencies, especially the despicable CIA.  Obama's Justice (Hah!) Dept. says HSBC is too big to prosecute.  This reminds me of the BCCI scandal of several years back.  We are such hypocrites!  Two-faced monkeys.  Why would anyone not immediately take their money and savings out an HSBC bank?  We the People of the USA are some of the stupidest and most ignorant puppets in the world.  You don't read this on any of the pundit blogs, do you?
If the Mayans Were Right
According to the doomsayers, the Mayans believed the end of the world would happen when the earth would be sucked out of the sun, or somesuch heathen bullshit like that.  The Mayans were correct in one aspect of their superstitious beliefs, the Sun is our true God.  Without the Sun we are doomed; human salvation is in the Sun and not in fossil fuels.

What scares me about my fellow humans is this innate death wish they have as a society.  I suppose in the Jungian sense, we want the whole planet to die when we die.  I recall as a young skeptic during the Reagan red-telephone years, I was hoping that idiot second-rate actor president would go ahead and start a nuclear holocaust---maybe under the influence of his second-rate actress wife and the soothsayer Jeanne Dixon, all of 'em phonies.   At the time, I had had a premonition that I was soon to of all places, Cuba...and I felt if I was due to die, why not take the whole human race with me?  The big red glow on the horizon.  Of course, Reagan being a phony and the heads of the Soviet Union being phonies, too, didn't pick up the red phone and push the red button to start that nuclear holocaust and I and my fellow human beings survived---except for millions upon millions of us who died naturally or in catastrophes along the way--to live another giant-size fistful of decades.

It's sometimes fun for me to go back and consider how many times I've ducked death.  I've lived through several bad car wrecks.  I've lived through an apartment building fire.  I've been hit twice by a Cadillac and a pick-up truck on the streets of New York City.  I just missed getting hit with a butcher knife thrown at me by a piss-off girlfriend.  And just 10 months ago, I just barely survived a heart attack (the ER folks at Bellevue Hospital told me that if I'd'a been one more hour getting there I'd'a probably been DOA).  "Hey, Reaper," I cried, "Ya missed me!"

I can remember as a dumbass college student going out into lightning storms and defying the Christian God!  "Here I am, Yahweh, strike me down if you're real!"  Of course, I wasn't that dumb that I believed there actually was a Christian God who was going to strike me down with a bolt of lightning.  Besides, I knew enough Greek mythology to know it was Zeus who struck people down with lightning bolts and in spite of Edith Hamilton's intriguing writing, I knew Zeus was a figment of the ancient Greek imagination.

Humans are so hung up on death.  Philip Wylie said we die in order to have sex.  If we didn't die, there'd be no need to procreate.  So we have all kinds of sex one way or another--even nuns and priests have sex--even eunuchs probably have some kind of abnormal sex--even the Pope probably masturbates, don't you think?  Can you imagine the Queen of England masturbating?  Certainly all her offspring are sex maniacs---remember Prince Philip doing the double-backed beast with Camilla Parker Bowles out in that muddy field?  Can you imagine Prince Harry having sex in his authentic Nazi uniform?  So we have sex up until it's our time, when the Reaper's blade starts hacking at us, oops, slicing off our sexuality in a near miss at sending us to the hereafter.

Sex gives us life.  And life eventually gives us death.  In between all sorts of snake-oil salesmen (pharmaceutical company sales reps and Yahoo preachers, priests, rabbis, shamen, ayatollahs) are peddling eternal life to us, for a price.  Have you noticed how you can't get eternal life free of charge? This has brought me to the conclusion that though the Sun is our actual God, MONEY is our earthly or real God.

So, folks, get ready.  Doomsday is coming...December 21st, which is not the original Mayan "end of the world" date...the original one was back in a May of some long-ago year.  Such bullshit, but there are those Yahoos who truly believe that on December 21st the earth will be sucked out of the sun.

We're all heathens, you see.  Superstitious heathens.  Our gods are heathen.  Brutal bastards, too, who strike people dead for a lot of stupid reasons, like men shooting their seeds on the ground rather than into the wombs of original-sinning women.  I mean, without a flock of scare-dy-cat sheep-like humans, wherefore art thou Jesus? Buddha? Yahweh? Zoroaster? Moloch? Saturn? Zeus? Hera? Medusa?

I love art like the above: Peter Bruegel's "Tower of Babel."  And all is babbling to me, a writer of words, a babbler deluxe.  Doomsday art.

Or Bosch's "Last Judgment."  What brilliant conceptualizing in an old world full of superstitions.

From Jacob Boehme: “What kind of spiritual triumph it was I can neither write nor speak; it can only be compared with that where life is born in the midst of death, and is like the resurrection of the dead.”

Sister Rosetta Thorpe: I once, when I was a child and could believe anything, heard Sister Rosetta Thorpe preach at a South Dallas Church of God that while she was in East Texas, she had seen a woman over there who had had her head cut clean off her body and then in a miracle service,  God had set that severed head back on that woman's body and lo and behold that woman came back to life to praise the glory of God.

I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, Not Day

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.

With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.

Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see 
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves, but worse. 

How I would love to be a writer of dead letters...though in retrospect, perhaps that's just what I am.
My brother who faced death several times before the Reaper finally nailed him to his final cross, loved Gerard Manley Hopkins and I've heard him quote the above poem many a dark night while his "Selfyeast of spirit" soured the dough of the natural, his quivering voice seeking out the lost as he experienced their scourge..."their sweating selves, but worse."

As I sit in the early morning darkness in the artificial light of my 60-watt-bulb lamp and type on my biography of my brother, I wonder what it's like to suffer from being both deaf and blind like he ended up.  Blindness is the ultimate darkness.

Another One for My Brother: 

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;  
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:  
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run  
Or bring more or more blazon man's distress.  
And I not help. Nor word now of success:       
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—  
Work which to see scarce so much as begun  
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.  
Or what is else? There is your world within.  
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.   
Your will is law in that small commonweal...

There's a beauty to that droll verse that so reminds me of my blind and deaf brother.  Strange how my brother never admitted he was blind or deaf when he was around you in his final days.

It is very difficult to write about your brother...especially now that he has gone.

From the Moravian Hymnal: 

With the singing of that hymn, I loll abed with Hilda Doolittle who was brought up in the Moravian church.


The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint—
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots—
black creeps from root to root,
each leaf
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Existing in New York City: thegrowlingwolf on the Prowl

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2012
Is Obama Fixing to Insult Us Again?
Please don’t tell me that these reports in the business press touting Sallie Krawcheck as a front-runner for chairman of the SEC or even a possible candidate to be the next Treasury secretary are true. Who is she? Oh, just another former Citigroup CFO, and therefore a prime participant in the great banking hustle that has savaged the world’s economy. Krawcheck was paid $11 million in 2005 while her bank contributed to the toxic mortgage crisis that would cost millions their jobs and homes.  
On the Prowl With thegrowlingwolf 
Had lunch at my favorite Persian restaurant yesterday.  The room was packed with Persians who all seemed to know each other.  Everyone looked so successful.  Didn't look like a foreclosure victim in the bunch,  One old graying rocker type was talking about writing songs and how saintly his mother was.  One very pretty Persian woman had a voice like a tiny child.  She kept playing with her iPhone, even while eating.  I'm amazed at the success of cell phones.  I remember a time when one despised the phone ringing or having to talk to someone on a telephone.  Now there seems to be one continuous conversation via cell phones going on: either with oneself or one's relatives or one's friends or, as in the case with thedailygrowlerhousepianist, doing business 24/7 and also looking up info on the Internet.  Screw trivial pursuits anymore.  Even the most obscure knowledge can be found on the Internet.  Last Saturday night I was keeping score while a gaggle of classy babes were playing Scrabble and when one of them challenged a word they didn't run get the Webster's Collegiate down off the shelf...why, my relative in the game had a Scrabble dictionary on her Nook.

I, being the contrarian I am, have no iPhone or iPad or Nook.  I'm still using a land-line phone that I've had for nearly 25 years, a Southwestern Bell phone.  It's battered and dirty and squeaky and static-laden but still it manages to capture the phone calls I care anything about.  I'm still reading my books in the published flesh.  I can't imagine reading a book on a Nook.  I mean, how do you pencil in marginalia while you're reading on a Nook?  How do you underline certain passages whose content you wish to make a note of for future reference or usage?  

I'm not really into small things.  iPhones and such remind me too much of toys.  Toys are for babies.  I was amazed how my niece's 7-year-old son can use an iPhone.  He can also handle himself well on a computer.  He certainly knows the right keys to push to navigate the Internet or to do a task.

Me, I'm still in the dark ages, though I am crazy about my computers; still to me they're just typewriters in the modern age.  Typewriters and typesetters and page designers, etc.

I'm currently full of writing projects, a novel which is halfway finished; a biography of my brother (oh what a vain project it is); a book of confessions with me as both the confessor and confession taker; a potboiler I started several years back; and finally a stage drama on the last day of the life of jazz saxophonist Lester Young.  Do I ever hope to see any of these works in progress in print?  No.  In this age of electronic books, no way I can get my writings published the old-fashioned way.  No.  My only hope of seeing them in print is, of course, if I publish them myself on the Internet as electronic books.  There are still "book publishers" in this age of electronics but I'm not banking my writing future on any of them publishing me...except my brother was famous enough I might could get a hardcopy publisher for my biography of him.

Are We Readying for a War With Syria?
It certainly looks like we are ready to put boots on the ground in Syria.  Right now NATO boots.  I believe we already have CIA operatives there; hell, I think our CIA operatives started the Civil War going on there now in the first place.  Now our warhawks are spouting this bullshit about Assad using chemical warfare weapons (read: Weapons of Mass Destruction) and all our purveyors of war are talking tough, like Hillbilly Hillary, "We won't tolerate Assad using chemical warfare" and some Pentagon yes man talking tough about how we're ready to take drastic actions if Assad turns to chemical warfare.  NATO is already gathering their klans in Turkey.  And remember, we are NATO; we supply NATO with money and weapons and also the majority of forces.  In the meantime, our global chemical corporations like Monsanto and DuPont are poisoning our food supply and our air and our water, but, hey, that's fine and dandy with us.  And yesterday, Japan suffered a 7.3 earthquake in the area of the Fukushima nuclear power catastrophe, but Tokyo Power is saying, "Everything is perfectly problem, the earthquake didn't kill anyone and the resulting tsunami was of no consequences."  You know they're lying like dogs and we'll read the truth any day now.  If I were Japanese, I would get the hell out of Japan immediately.  It's doomed, folks!  Remember, I'm a soothsayer.

Getting Out of Debt
1) Cut back on the trillions of dollars it takes to support the U.S. military around the world.  Even if you cut the Defense budget in half, we would still have the most viciously cruel military in the world, though even with spending these trillions of dollars (a waste) on this hi-tech military, they still can't win any wars.  2) Certainly, too, raise taxes on rich people and overrich corporations (highest profits this year in the history of Capitalism). I mean, why should a money-wasting rich fool like Mitt "the Mormon" Romney only pay 13% taxes?  3) Put a stock transfer tax on all stock market transactions.  That seems pretty damn simple to me.  4) Cut back seriously on funding for Homeland Security, the CIA, the FBI, and the NIS.  5) Rescind NAFTA and GATT and all free-trade agreements based on corporate gains (the Global Marketplace enriches the Capitalist and not the creators of Capital, the laborers).  Before he died, Milton Friedman admitted his free-trade economics was voodoo economics.  David Stockton, Reagan's Milton Friedman economist joy boy admitted that his economics were, as Pappy Bush said, voodoo economics. 6) Why can't the government spend money and create civil service jobs?  To hell with this austerity crap.  We spend money liberally on wars...why is that form of government spending OK; yet, spending money on creating jobs not OK? 7) Do away with the Federal Reserve.

Oh well, wistful suggestions on my part.  Mark me off as a Georgist/Marxist nutjob.

Henry George said:
"What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power."

"Capital is a result of labor, and is used by labor to assist it in further production.  Labor is the active and initial force, and labor is therefore the employer of capital."

Karl Marx said: 
"History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy."

Did you know Marx was for Free Trade?  Not a free trade based on corporate needs but on laborers' needs.  Can you see the difference?

for The Daily Growler

From Counterpunch:

The moment when the New Deal as we knew it became history by bi-partisan consensus was a long time coming. A trans-generational core of inherited wealth and right-wing cranks has been trying to undo the New Deal since Social Security became fact in 1935. Ronald Reagan echoed anti-New Deal cries of ‘socialism,’ first as a paid spokesperson of the AMA (American Medical Association) against the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid, and later through his racist caricature of the ‘welfare queen’ living fat on public largesse. Despite the fact that Social Security is an insurance program paid for by its participants, much the same as private insurance but without the executive looting, the charge has always been of an undeserving public sucking on “a milk cow with 310 million tits.”
Democrats first joined the effort in earnest with Bill Clinton’s plan to partially privatize Social Security. The idea was to let our good friends on Wall Street manage a bit of the money for us, for a fee of course. That proposal faltered when Mr. Clinton was impeached. As was the fashion in European Central Bank circles in 2009, Mr. Obama took up the torch of fiscal austerity of his own initiative by creating his very own deficit commission. This should have come as no surprise to anyone paying attention—Mr. Obama publicly stated his intention to ‘fix’ Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid when he allied himself with the Wall Street friendly ‘Hamilton Project’ in 2006.
(In Between Democrats Clinton and Obama came Republican George W. Bush who also tried to partially privatize Social Security. Mr. Bush quickly retreated when he saw the depth of political opposition to the effort. As the saying goes, it takes a Democrat to gut the New Deal).
For the uninitiated, the Hamilton Project is the demon spawn of the Clintonite contingent of the Democratic Party led by former Treasury Secretary and disgraced Citicorp Board member Robert Rubin.

To read the rest of this article go to:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Existing in New York City: Our Stupid President and Congress

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2012
Say Goodbye to: Dave Brubeck, who goes way back in my musical life; he was one of the first successful jazzmen in the biz, a success that got him branded as "commercial," a bad stamp back in the early days of progressive jazz.  But Dave was an original.  Dave Brubeck, 91, American jazz pianist ("Take Five", "Blue Rondo à la Turk", "Unsquare Dance"), heart failure.

One Weird-ass Story by Mark Ames at Salon: What the CIA does with We the People's money:
A Simple Explanation of Coronal Mass Ejections, Those Which May Bring on the End of Mankind:
Our Stupid President and Congress 
I just don't read or listen to the news anymore.  What a bunch of dumbasses we have handed over our lives to.  And especially this president.  What is wrong with this guy?  This election he just won didn't change his mind one damn bit.  He's still acting more like a Reaganite Republican than he is a true Democrat, the party of Roosevelt and the New Deal.  He's still letting this god-damn idiot John Bonehead call the god-damn shots.  He's still kowtowing to the Wall Street crooks, still kissing their asses, this after the American people tried to show him they are sick and tired of these clowns trying to buy our votes; by reelecting Obama, We the People tried to let Obama understand that we think Mitt "the Mormon" Romney and the Ayn Rand crowd are full of shit and we don't want their brand of Paul "the Catholic" Ryan's austerity methods, clown methods, the rich buying elections, these jokers continuing to cut the taxes of rich assholes who don't pay any taxes anyway; to continue to cut corporate taxes on corporations that don't pay any taxes anyway.  FOOLS!

We're in an economic crisis not because the richest assholes and the richest corporations in the world don't pay taxes and not because of Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare and not because of public education and not because of these religious institutions not paying any taxes at all and not because...We're in an economic crisis because of WAR and warmongers and hawks and the Military Industrial Complex and all the military aid in the billions of dollars we are giving to Israel and Egypt and Saudi-Arabia and now Libya and the money we are wasting on drones and the money we are wasting on the CIA, Homeland Security, the NIS, the money we are wasting on this stupid and insane WAR on TERROR and this stupid and insane WAR on DRUGS and the money we are wasting on our dependency on OIL and this stupid hydrofracting and this stupid TransCanada Keystone pipeline, and the money this god-damn stupid Federal Reserve is printing up and secretly still handing over to the most crooked banks and financial institutions in the world, and money we are wasting on all this free trade bullshit that doesn't benefit We the People of the USA; in fact, all the free trade stupid Milton Friedman economic deals benefit only the Global Market Place and the greedy gluttonous corporations who are continuing to be left unregulated and left to jeopardize We the People of the USA's manufacturing and our jobs, our futures, sending our jobs and manufacturing over to countries like China (a Communist country that is now ironically the world's most successful Capitalist country), Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam (also a Communist country), Taiwan (the country that the loser Chinese stole from the Formosans after Mao ran Chiang Kai-Shek, that despot, out of China), Thailand...God-damn, I could go on and on.

In the meantime, the little worthless dumbass who got us into all of this is still highly respected and living like a prince down in Dallas while the other asshole who before Georgie Porgie started all this mess, Slick Willie "I  Did Not Have Sex With That Woman" Clinton becomes richer and richer and more idolized, this the dumbass who deregulated the banks and the insurance companies and the financial scumbags, this the dumbass who gave us NAFTA and GATT and who gave us Osama bin Ladin (via the CIA) and who gave us wars in Somalia and Kosovo and Serbia.  And these millionaire pricks we keep electing continue to force this austerity on us...continue to jive ass us with this stupid "over the cliff" crap and kiss the asses of true dumbasses like John Bonehead and Mitch McConnell and John "Failed Mission" McCain and the seemingly dumbest of them all, President Obama, who is still compromising with these neanderthal-thinking clowns, these idiots who even the American electorate just showed Obama by reelecting him that We don't want Paul Ryan's austerity measures forced on us; We don't want to keep giving free rides to idiot men who have so much god-damn money they don't know what to do with it, jerks like Warren Buffett, Little Billy and Melinda Gates, and New York City's Billionaire Mayor, Mike "Mall Mad" Bloomberg.  And in order to solve our economic crisis President Obama keeps going back to the assholes who got us into it in the first place, holding on to jerks like Little Timmy Geithner and Ben "Bailout" Bernanke and Obama keeps gathering all these crooked CEOs like Little Jamie Dimond (and some superrich are suggesting that that crooked little job outsourcing jerk replace Little Timmy as Treasury Secretary) into secret meetings in the White Man's House and he keeps on promoting that old crank Alan Simpson (from the backward low-populated state of Wyoming) and that prissy Clinton asshole Erskine Bowles (from the backward state of North Carolina) wanting to gut Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare, old geezers who have made their livings at the public slop trough...I'm exhausted from this.  You see why I no longer read any news, all lies, all bullshit?

My critics awash me in finger pointing because I have no faith in President Obama pulling progressive rabbits out of his hat.  I refer them to Ex-first lady Hillbilly Hilary's rebuke of the UN recognizing in a sort of way Palestine's legitimacy as a sovereign nation and the truck-driver-voiced Susan Rice's blatant Israeli-ass-kissing as she, too, condemned the UN vote as blocking the two-state head-on negotiations between the continuously Palestian-land-stealing Israelis and the unelected leaders of the Palestinian subjects.  Remember, a true Israeli like Old Ben Net'nyahoo! considers the Palestinians less than human beings...dogs being the designation the true Zionist gives these former Chaldeans...these brothers under the same God of Water for desert survival.

Pundits are now promoting Hillbilly Hilary as the next Dumbocratic candidate for the presidency after Obama runs out of rabbits from his top hat.  I'm still amazed at this former wife of a president having so much clout now as a politician.  You know how I feel about her Ozark-hillbilly husband, this sleazebag philanderer who kissed the asses of the Milton Friedman free trade hustlers and deregulated the insurance industry, the banks, and the financial industry crooks...this pretty boy who took the advice of Wall Street princes like Robert Rubin and second-rate economists like Larry Summers, this schemer who at the end of his disastrous presidency pulled the wool over the eyes of We the Dumb People of the USA into believing he left us with a surplus economy, a surplus based on futures and a robbing of the Social Security pool that little Georgie Porgie Bush, that little freak, stole...  God-almighty-damn, here I go again, getting my dander up over these openly crooked politicians....  I've just finished reading Gore Vidal's great revisionist history novel, Burr.  As Gore points out, though his novel is fiction, since Day 1 in this Republic, our politicians have been asshole aristocrats whose Constitution never intended for We the Common People in the USA to have any say in what these privileged assholes do in terms of taxing us, getting us into wars, and trick bagging us in favor of their aristocratic pals.  Remember under the original Constitution, the Constitution we still chop to bits via amendments, only landholders could vote, women were reduced to babymakers and silent crybabies, several of our early presidents being bachelors, and Blacks were not even considered human beings...oh, yeah, 1/5 humans and the rest monkeys, jungle bunnies.  Our early forefathers being floorflushers, many of them with mistresses, and all of them with slaves and servants and all of them living high-lives surrounded by gaudy extravagances that left most of them stone broke by the time of their deaths.  The joke is still on We the People of the USA.

I await to see just how many rabbits President Obama magic like pulls out of his top hat.

By the bye, I highly recommend you all read Burr.  To me, Gore Vidal is one of the more brilliant thinkers to come out of the aristocratic class...and yes he was out of that class, too...born at West Point and raised in the District of Corruption, with Burr as an ancestor and the old Senator Gore as his grandfather.  I'm now reading his revisionist novel 1876 about politics after the Civil War during the Grant administration.  Next I'm tackling Gore's tome, Lincoln, my intentions to go on through this series of revisionist history novels that ends with Hollywood and the connection with our politicians and the film industry.  Great reading for a dyed-in-the-wool contrarian like myself.

for The Daily Growler

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Existing in New York City: Poor as Job's Turkey

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2012
Say Goodbye to: Mickey Baker of Mickey & Sylvia (Robinson) fame. "Oh, Sylvia, how do you call your lover boy?"  And, yes, Love Is Strange...and so is Life. Mickey Baker, 87, American guitarist (Mickey & Sylvia) and songwriter ("Love Is Strange")

Thanksgiving With the Pilgrims
I really was poor as Job's turkey come the approach of this year's Thanksgiving Day.  I was so poor, I was planning on perhaps experimenting with some cat food on Turkey Day, like maybe what some of the reservation-bound Native Americans up north were feasting on this fine great U.S.A. White Man's Holy Day.  Business had been lousy for the past month.  My income was suddenly pushing me off a cliff into a subbasement of what President Obama insists on calling the Middle Class when in fact it's the Lower Class, the on-the-brink-of-poverty class.  I think to President Obama, now a rich man, the Middle Class consists of anybody making less than $250,000 a year; otherwise, "Hey, Prez, there ain't no Middle Class no more."

I was so damn broke this Thanksgiving, that I went in my closet and started going through all my coats and trousers looking for perhaps money I stashed away in those myriad pockets and forgot about...with luck, maybe I had cached a twenty in some long ago unworn-in-a-while summer pants after stumbling home a little inebriated from a night out on the town.  No such luck.  I did find thirty-five cents in an old coat that was pushed way back in that corner of my closet where I keep my out-of-style or worn-out apparels just before I toss them out or Hefty bag them up and leave 'em on the street for the bums to find.

I was on the verge of getting out the coin wrappers and wrapping up some pennies out of the Pacifico beer bucket I bought on my last trip to Mazatlan, Mexico, yeah now decades ago, a six-pack-size bucket into which I now toss these worthless pennies I collect from change on a daily basis.  There are an estimated thousand pennies in that beer bucket, which comes to, what?  Ten dollars?  Even wrapping that many pennies besides being time consuming also involves putting my bank account number on each roll of 50 and then trucking them down to my bank on 14th, which means I'd need to scrounge up $5.00 for a round trip on the N Train.  Was it worth spending $5.00 to cash in $10.00 worth of pennies?  Even broke, I thought not.

As I was at my lowest, building up the courage to call an ex-lover and trying to borrow some money off her, up pops a "You've Got Mail" and I open it to find an email from an old drummer friend of mine.  "What the hell does he want?" I thought.  I hadn't heard from him since we did a gig together back in August.  So I clicked on his email and opened it up not expecting anything but perhaps a brag mail inviting me to come hear him play somewhere. And, sure 'nuff, it started off with the normal perfunctory greeting, "Hey, what the hell are you up to?  If you're not doing anything...."  I was writing it off to blah-blah-blah and was on the verge of closing it and keeping it to read later when I noticed in the next line the phrase "Thanksgiving dinner."  I read the whole damn email and lo and behold, this old friend was inviting me to join him at a woman's apartment on the Upper West Side where she would be feasting us to a Thanksgiving turkey dinner complete with all the proper trimmings.  All I had to bring was myself, everything else was being provided by this woman whose name I didn't recognize.   Turns out I knew this woman very well from back in the days when the drummer and I were in the annual New Year's Eve band at a restaurant in downtown Manhattan.

So it turned out I got a splendid Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, kasha, and desserts galore: a chocolate hazelnut cake, some pumpkin walnut chocolate chip bread, a sweet potato pie, an apple crumb pie, and several pints of various good ice creams, all washed down with Stella beers and a fine red wine.

And the company was right up my alley, too: the hostess a literary agent originally from Detroit; a native New York City Ukrainian lady and her retired Detroit fireman boyfriend (we discovered we had similar army experiences); a Frenchman bon vivant; a medical technician; my friend the drummer; and a successful writer who happened to be a transplanted Texan like myself (he's the author of a biography of Thomas Paine).  The drummer brought along a CD I made with his band 9 years ago on which I sing several tunes and he played me very loudly as he commented on my being the best vocalist he ever recorded with.  Bullshit, but the good kind of bullshit an old bullshitter like myself thoroughly enjoys.

After it was all over, the hostess packed me up three containers of leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce and the Ukrainian lady slipped me a paper sack containing one of her pumpkin-walnut-chocolate-chip breads.  And as I was going to bum $2.50 for the subway from my drummer friend, he said, "Hey, since I have a bum knee and don't feel like trudging down into the subway, let's take a cab...I'll pay for it."

After I got home, I didn't know which brace of gods to praise for bailing my poor ass out with such a splendid result.

So on Thanksgiving I was poor as Job's turkey but rich with the best friends a man can have...or should I say blessed with the best friends a man can have.

The wonderful thing about being a New Yorker...everybody you know has a bit of salvation of some kind in them.

for The Daily (Gobbler) Growler

Monday, November 19, 2012

Existing in New York City: Israel Uber Alles!

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2012
Say Goodbye to: Pete LaRoca (Sims): I first heard Pete on one of my very fav of all time albums: Little Johnny C, a Blue Note album featuring trumpeter Little Johnny Coles. Pete La Roca, 74, American jazz drummer, cancer.

"All Palestinians Are Dogs!" 
Way back when I was young and dumber I fell in love with this Jewish woman.  I mean it was good mutual love except in one area and that was the justification of Israelis hating and mistreating Palestinians with the same barbaric bitterness Jews had been subjected to by the Europeans before and during World War II.  One evening when I referred to all Israelis as fatalistic, she went off on me ending her defense of Israel's rather Gestapo-like tactics used to take land from the Palestinians by saying, "All Palestinians are dogs and don't deserve to even be servitude to Israelis."

Palestine when I was a kid, according to the Christians that surrounded me, was the Holy Land.  This remained the case even after the 1947 UN resolution that created Israel.  Israel wasn't considered the Holy Land until much later.

In reviewing Palestinian history, it reveals that this area of the world has been fought over, conquered, lost, reconquered, ruled over, and dictated over by seldom its own people, whether Palestinians (originally the Canaanites) or the Jews (originally the Judeans, but who some modernist historians are now saying were actually Canaanites).  In terms of Palestine, it has seldom been allowed to exist as a sovereign independent nation, except after World War I when it came under British and Jordanian domination when as a colony it was referred to as Palestine.

The Israelis (Zionists) claim they are the rightful possessors of all of Palestine under the right to the area given them by their God, Yahweh, the same God the Christians, who once ruled the area for 200 years or so as Crusaders (and by the way, the Crusaders kicked the Jews out of Jerusalem), call Jehovah and whom the Arabs call Allah, all of God's names derivatives of the same God, the God of the Levant, the God of the desert lands, the God of Water.

The underlying problem in all of this Israeli belittling Palestinians to me is not really religious bullshit but rather simply a part of the Power Elite and Corporate world takeover--the Global Marketplace forces using privileged Elitists to CONTROL those deemed unprofitable.  Both Arabs and Jews are full of too much God shit, yes, but that is secondary to what's really going on.  There are too many god-damn gods in the world to keep track of.  The Jewish sacred texts give 17 different versions of Yahweh.  The ancient Sumerian gods from which all these Levant gods come had so many gods you needed a scorecard to keep track of them.  Too many gods is simply a way to keep large masses of the underprivileged confused.  What's going on in the Middle East even today you can trace back to the British Empire, like you can trace back most problems in the world (after all, Capitalism is a product of the British Empire, an imperialist device taken up by all the European colonialists as they went about the world stealing the uncivilized (savage) nations' natural resources that they did not possess--Great Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy--natural resources that these countries had little if any of yet needed to keep their own Capitalist schemes going).

According to Oliver Stone's latest revisionist history, old Winnie Churchill, that pompous privileged elitist ass, was trying to hold the British Empire together in World War II.  Stone also gives a large chunk of credit in the Allies winning World War II to the Soviet forces who gave Hitler his truly greatest defeats and who also in threatening to invade Japan actually forced Japan to surrender and therefore the stupid atomic bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were totally unnecessary--Japan had already surrendered, but that little pompous prick, Harry S. Truman, thought of himself as a great warrior president (Harry had been a horse captain in World War I) and was talked into trying out those cruel and criminal weapons on what Harry called the Japs by his elitist military advisers.  One could say dropping those atomic bombs on Japan was payback for embarrassing us at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese Air Force almost completely decimated our South Pacific fleet.

So as I write this post, the Israeli Army is making mincemeat of hundreds of filthy dirty Palestinian pariah dogs (men, women, and children) in the Gaza Strip, really an Israeli-controlled concentration camp, in retaliation for Palestine sending 200 missiles into certain areas of Israel, missiles most of which were shot down by Israel's missile defense system (given them by We the Christian People of the Imperialist USA) though some did get through and killed 3 Israelis.  Palestine's firing these missiles into Israel is in crude retaliation for an Israeli Air Force guided missile hitting and killing the Hamas military leader, Ahmad Jabari (and also, Israeli forces had shot and killed a 13-year-old Gaza boy a few weeks back).

The Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, and it's a million and a half of them, are war refugees, left over from the 1967 War in which Israel conquered from what was termed the United Arab Republic (an Arab union formed by Gamil Nasar, the former President of Egypt) armies the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan.  These Palestinians were penned in this former Egyptian land by that war, which Israel won thanks to the massive military supplies and air force provided to them by We the Christian White People of the Imperial USA.  Israel could not continue to exist without our giving them both economic and military aid.

And our jiveass President, Barry Obama, the Indonesian and Kenyan royalist, before he left on his trip to Thailand and Burma (what the hell is that all about?), proudly boasted that We the People of the USA stand behind the Israelis as they begin their planned massacre of Palestinians by saying foolishly that what country who is experiencing missiles being lobbed into their state and killing their people (3 so far) wouldn't retaliate against these Palestinian TERRORISTS?

The Corporate-Elitist USA Imperial forces now cover the world going about killing some of the most impoverished people in the world in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, the Sudan, not really wanting to WIN any of these so-called wars on TERRORISM.  Don't you get it?  Look at the messes out-of-control Capitalism is causing in Europe right now where the most powerful and richest of the Capital-Global-Marketplace countries (mainly Germany) are coming down hard on the poorest of the European Union countries, like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Italy.  The Corporate Elites hate poor people, unproductive people, people who do nothing to add to what they call economic growth, which is nothing more than these Corporate Elitists confiscating all the wealth of nations same as the European colonialists did when they needed the natural resources of the impoverished countries in order to fuel their extravagant lifestyles...put in these insufferable situations, of course there eventually will be rebellions just as there always have been when these imperialist civilizations get TOO BIG to FAIL.  The Egyptian (Pharaoh) Empire failed; the Greek Empire failed; the Roman Empire failed; the French Imperialist effort (under Napoleon) failed; the Japanese Empire failed; the Empires of China all failed...and, yes, this US Empire is bound to fail as our Power Elitists rob We the People of our monies, our land, our means of employment, our means of transportation, our homes, our public school system, our Social Security--not by the way as our lying sons of bitches politicians are saying an entitlement program---now calling Social Security payments Federal Benefit payments---God-dammit, We the People of the USA worked our asses off paying into Social Security and the companies we worked for paid into it, too, with EARNED INCOME.  According to anyone's grade-school math, if the Feds hadn't of stole the Social Security surpluses to use to pay off foolish boondoggle schemes and those Social Security monies had have been invested in interest-bearing actuaries, all of us should retire on incomes of over $3,000 a month; instead, these crooked bastards have stolen so much money from this EARNED INCOME system the average return now is $1200-a-month, which leaves folks on Social Security under the poverty level.

One hundred million Americans are currently living below the poverty level ($26,000-a-year for a family of 4!).  Forty million Americans would starve to death were it not for food stamps, which, if you notice, our Power Elites (the 1%) are trying to take away from us.  These Corporate Global Economy Elitists want us all in poverty.  If you read Paul Wolfowitz's Neo-Con Manifesto, what that old phony fop G.W.H. "Pappy" Bush called the New World Order, its whole intention is to sink our standard of living, to drive the dollar down to worthless paper, to force us all into poverty and that way we will work for slave wages---the whole idea behind this scheme is CHEAP LABOR, the cheapest of which is SLAVERY.

What's going on in Palestine is simply what went on in South Africa when the minority Whites ruled that country's indigenous majority with an iron fist.  This method of getting CHEAP LABOR is called Apartheid.  I mean under these corporate-elite schemes if you are too poor and weak to work, FUCK YOU, you're better dead than receiving welfare---just like the Nazis did in World War II---only those who were strong enough to work survived---that is until they were worked to almost death and then they were slaughtered.

Rebellion is the poor of the world's only hope whether in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Greece, Spain, or right here in the good ole USA where I reside in New York City where affordable housing is not being built but hi-rise luxury apartment buildings are literally on the rise, to the point where BILLIONAIRES are flocking into Manhattan to turn it into a Billionaires' Playground where they eat meals costing thousands of dollars a whack and then pay another $1000 on desserts with real gold-flake toppings (it was called by Thorstein Veblin "Conspicuous Consumption"), while the underdogs of the city are dining on rancid cheeses, cinch bug flour, and cat and dog food.

for The Daily (Worker) Growler

Chris Hedges Saying About the Same Thing The Daily Growler Is Saying:

Check This Out, From the Washington Post (thanks, L Hat): 

Of the many facts that have come to light in the scandal involving former CIA director David H. Petraeus, among the most curious was that during his days as a four-star general, he was once escorted by 28 police motorcycles as he traveled from his Central Command headquarters in Tampa to socialite Jill Kelley’s mansion. Although most of his trips did not involve a presidential-size convoy, the scandal has prompted new scrutiny of the imperial trappings that come with a senior general’s lifestyle.
The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.
The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet don’t have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737, some of which are configured with beds.

From C. Wright Mills' The Power Elite (Oxford Press, 1956):

The fact that they have succeeded in climbing the military hierarchy, which they honor more than any other, lends self-assurance to the successful warlords. The protections that surround their top positions make them even more assured and confident. If they should lose confidence in themselves what else would there be for them to lose? Within a limited area of life, they are often quite competent, but to them, in their disciplined loyalty, this area is often the only area of life that is truly worthwhile. They are inside an apparatus of prerogative and graded privilege in which they have been economically secure and unworried. Although not usually rich, they have never faced the perils of earning a living in the same way that lower and middle-class persons have. The orderly ranks of their chain of command, as we have seen, are carried over into their social life: such striving for status as they have known has been within an unambiguous and well-organized hierarchy of status, in which each knows his place and remains within it.

In this military world, debate is no more at a premium than persuasion: one obeys and one commands, and matters, even unimportant matters, are not to be decided by voting. Life in the military world accordingly influences the military mind's outlook on other institutions as well as on its own. The warlord often sees economic institutions as means for military production and the huge corporation as a sort of ill-run military establishment. In his world, wages are fixed, unions impossible to conceive. He sees political institutions as often corrupt and usually inefficient obstacles, full of undisciplined and cantankerous creatures. And is he very unhappy to hear of civilians and politicians making fools of themselves?

It is men with minds and outlooks formed by such conditions who in postwar America have come to occupy positions of great decision. It cannot be said that they have necessarily sought these new positions; much of their increased stature has come to them by virtue of a default on the part of civilian political men. But perhaps it can be said, as C. S. Forester has remarked in a similar connection, that men without lively imagination are needed to execute policies without imagination devised by an elite without imagination.

From Mark Ames's Article "When Congress Busted Milton Friedman" in eXileD:

Like everything involving modern economics and libertarianism, it was a kind of giant meta-sham, shams celebrating a sham [the Milton Friedman Celebration held at U of Chicago recently]. Even the Nobel Prizes in economics awarded to people like Milton Friedman, George Stigler, or Friedman’s contemporary fans Heckman and Lucas, are fake Nobel Prizes — in fact, there is no such thing as a Nobel Prize in economics; its real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” and it was first launched in 1969 by the Swedish Central Bank and has since been denounced by Alfred Nobel’s heirs.
And yet — in the words of Larry Summers, "Any honest Democrat will admit we are all Friedmanites now." Of course, there are no honest Democrats. And there are no honest economists. And these are the people who are framing our politics, the people who have told Greece and Spain they have no choice, and the people who today are making sure that the number one item on Obama’s and Congress’s agenda is cutting Social Security and cutting Medicare and cutting "entitlements" — and the only thing that divides the elites in charge of this mess is “how much of these moochers’ lifelines can we cut?”


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Existing in New York City: Ah, the Hypocrisy Hooplah

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2012
Say Goodbye to: Will Barnet,  whether you liked Will's paintings or not, you had to like old Will.  He was quite a colorful character. Will Barnet, 101, American painter.
  Animals & Art, Will Barnet
Waving the Bloody Shirt 
The hypocrisy spewed out on Veteran's Day here in New York City was enough to make a true hero puke.  But not just here in NYC but all across the nation, the trumpets blared and the cowards (meaning newscasters and pundits and politicians who've never served one lousy day in the military or who've never taken a stand against this nation's leaders who get us involved in these unwinable and in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan unnecessary wars) filled the air with blowhard B.S. as We the People of the BS US honored our heroes, our poor stupid desperate poor boys and girls who coming out of high schools without a chance in hell of going on with their education or getting a good job are hoaxed by a bunch of recruiting dudes suckering them into the military with lies about how they're going to BE PREPARED for their futures with travel and pay and training and these poor boobs are sent off to basic training bases to be taught to KILL or BE KILLED, to be taught that these towelheads, sand N-worders, al Queda terrorists, Muslim creeps are enemies of the glorious and totally innocent USA and have to be KILLED or they're gonna come KILL US like is shown in the Hollywood hypocrisy remake of a propaganda film like Red Dawn, this time the enemy is not the Soviet Union but rather a bunch slant-eyed gooks from North Korea.  And these poor young boobs, these 18, 19, and 20-year olds, are sent to fight in these illegal wars started by true cowards like Unka Dick Cheney and that little privileged prick G.W. Bush, one a big scared turkey who got 5 deferments from the Vietnam fiasco and the other a little spoiled brat prick who went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard to hide behind the skirts of his wimpy old father, Pappy Bush, whose WWII war record was marred by his plane crashing on his final mission and him bailing his ass out before all his men were out of the plane, and kept in war by new-to-power cowards like President Barry Obama...I mean even writing about this shivers me timbers and ruffles the hairs on the back of my neck and makes me want to duck into the nearest alley and puke my brains out.  Hypocrisy.  "The greatest nation on earth!"  "These heroic men and women who are sacrificing their lives to keep this country great!" "USA, USA, USA!"

And all the PR clowns around the country trotted out these smiling perfect little angel soldier boys and girls though they didn't go into the Veterans hospitals and show all the invalid soldiers in there, soldiers with their limbs blown off, soldiers ruined for the rest of their lives, soldiers with the shakes, soldiers with heavy-duty mental problems, soldiers having to constantly be watched so they don't take their own lives, or ex-soldiers like Lyndie Englund or Jessica Lynch, or the soldiers who went on a killing rampage in Afghanistan and then pissed on the bodies of the trophy kills, or good ole Charlie Bates who in the name of Old Glory, the bald eagle, and his mother murdered in cold blood 16 some-odd men, women, and, they didn't trot them out.  Did you know there are 18 suicides a day in the US military?  Also, did you know there are 60,000 homeless veterans living in our streets?  You see, after these poor boobs have served their country and are discharged, we throw them on the old soldiers garbage pile.

And the praise heaped on this stupid war-minded general, this man I call General Betrayus.  What the hell so great did he come up with?  The surge?  Hey, we lost the illegal war in Iraq.  We didn't win a god-damn thing over there in spite of General Betrayus, a G.W. Bush pick, and his stupid surge.  Under the Neo-Con rule-the-world policy (an imperial scheme that old Pappy Bush called the New World Order), G.W. Bush was informed by the clowns surrounding him, that hellfire, now that the Soviet Union was out of business, the US was the toughest god-damn nation of military killers in the world and as such, why we could just fly in helter-skelter into any god-damn little wimpy country in the world we wanted to conquer for their natural resources (read: OIL) and batter the bastards down in a matter of 3 or 4 days (Mission Accompished!).  Now, remember, our Commander in Chief, that little coward prick, was reading My Pet Goat to 5th graders in Florida (his intellectual equals) when the most fabulous military unit in war history (20-plus Saudi-Arabians whose weapons were box cutters) attacked this country...and remember, when Georgie Porgie was informed about the US being under attack, when he finally got it in his 5th-grade head that it was serious, he ran like a coward dog out to Omaha, Nebraska, to hide his AWOL ass under the protection of that Strategic Air Command (the creation of General Curtis "Bomb 'em back to the stone age" LeMay) fortress base while that sissy coward Unka Dick Cheney fled to his private bunker in a mountain somewhere in Virginia.  Where was General Betrayus then?  Banging his biographer on his Pentagon desk?  You see how god-damn silly and stupid this whole scenario is?

General Betrayus's surge didn't work in Iraq.  We were there for 8 years.  Little did we know that the Iraqis would fight back against us.  Rather than cheering and throwing rose petals at our know, letting us make them a part of our new British-type empire (a Neo-Con idea), they fought against us tooth and nail with suicide bombers and car bombs and roadside bombs.

And then, after another G.W. Bush general, that McCrystal fool, fucked up by drinking too much beer while he was partying it up in Europe while his troops in Afghanistan were getting their asses kicked and making N-word comments about Barry Obama and President Obama fired his ass, what did Obama do?  He put good ole General Betrayus and his surge tactics into Afghanistan, the longest war in our war-mongering history.  Did the surge work over there?  Hell no.  Betrayus's idea was to pick out certain villages and go in and massacre the Taliban elements in them and then bring in his boxed leaders from Kabul to take over these villages and rehabilitate them to respect US invasion and occupation forces as the good guys and their Taliban cousins and brothers as the bad guys.  That was soon brushed under the carpet because it was a total failure.  So much for the strategic brilliance of good ole General Betrayus.  Then President Obama saves the good general's ass by bringing him home and putting him atop the CIA!  And what does Betrayus do at the CIA?  Why he turns it into a military outfit and talks President Obama into giving it a drone force and before he got caught banging his biographer, he had asked President Obama for more drones and it was this same asshole general who infiltrated Libya with his CIA special forces and one day we'll learn that he did the same thing in Syria, all a part of the Neo-Con idea for world dominance.

Again, I quote my Sociology guru and mentor, C. Wright Mills from his book The Power Elite:

In the twentieth century, among the industrialized nations of the world, the great, brief, precarious fact of civilian dominance began to falter and now - after the long peace from the Napoleonic era to World War I - the old march of world history once more asserts itself. All over the world, the warlord is returning. All over the world, reality is defined in his terms. And in America, too, into the political vacuum the warlords have marched. Alongside the corporate executives and the politicians, the generals and admirals-those uneasy cousins within the American elite- have gained and have been given increased power to make and to influence decisions of the gravest consequence.

I feel sorry for kids who have to join the military to make ends meet.  I feel sorry even for poor dopes or traditional military sons and daughters like John "Failed Mission" McCain who make careers out of the military.

President Obama is tackling this week what the pundits and moron politicians are calling "falling over the brink," which means we've got to solve our economic dilemma or else we're going over the brink of disaster like's happening in Europe right now.  One way to solve it would be to bring home all our troops from the 150+ bases we have on foreign soils and to end that worthless war in Afghanistan, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11; a country we've been infiltrating for many decades now; our CIA responsible for Osama bin Laden being in Afghanistan in the first place.  Also, what the hell, we could do away with the CIA, Homeland Security, the NIS, and all the billions of dollars we waste on supporting security forces and supporting the Military Industrial Complex.  Another way to save the economy would be to reinstate tariffs on imported goods--this free-market Reaganomics-Milton Friedman-Austrian Economics doesn't work, folks.  By taxing imports we would force US-chartered companies like Apple and Nike to come back to the USA to manufacture their products.  Another way to solve our economic crisis would be to stick a stock transfer tax on Wall Street and put the Federal Reserve out of business and turn its business over to the Treasury.

But, of course, that ain't gonna happen, folks.  Instead, yours and my taxes are going up and big corporations' taxes and Warren Buffett's taxes and Little Billy Gates' taxes and Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg's taxes are coming down and the pirate banks and crooked financial businesses will continue to speculate with our tax money and foreclose on us with impunity...I mean can you imagine if you were declared too big to fail?

for The Patriotic Daily Growler