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Reply with quote  #16 
Mike, I truly admire your energy and persistence in quest of intellectual integrity. I hope you never become so wholly serious as to lose all sense of humor. I'm sure you feel my jocularity in opening remarks are kidding. Calling you two "dogs" even indirectly or "terrorists" self-inclusively could not be put or taken seriously. Psycho-physical as well as intellectual integrity require we keep "standing tall enough" to smile and return repartee in suit. After all, we are in effect playing here in our adult surrogate for a sandbox. I'd agree, we should keep sand out of each other's teeth.

I also appreciate your offering me some mental resistance. I don't get much, anymore. People won't even say what they feel from my poems when I read in public, they just applaud, but then, they applaud everyone almost equally, even the novices and old duffers. I hope you felt my sonnet was also decent verse and good therapy. . .

Regarding: "When I hear you unlimber about the injustice at founding the state of Israel, I have to agree t'was badly done, but seemed a solution at the time. Europe could have sent their Jews to Australia, but the Aussies would likely have objected without huge indemnification." You object correctly. This was too glib an effort to close off part of the subject. (a.) "solution at the time" indicates there is seldom enough time to craft solutions. For a number of "statesmen" involved, part of the "solution" was to satisfy uproar and get the Zionists off their backs. The Zionist were not intent on establishing a permanent injustice burdening the future of Palestinian arabs but on making a safe haven for Jews. Alas, the unforeseen, unintended consequence of lacking sufficient competence. Like the Bushites in thrall to neocons. (b.) Ridiculously glib is the "sending" of Jews to Australia. I chose an outlandish scenario, I suppose, to highlight the outlandishness of any destination contrary to the long-engineered & established wish of the Jews themselves (a romantic dream of return to the womb) to live in their ancient capital of lost glory, perhaps, but also a seemingly-attainable escape from their recently-experienced Hell in Europe. (We both remember from our Gen. Sem. that the matter referred to may be more complex & many-faceted than we can readily verbalize.

By the way, I well know that our friendship is not to be shaken by mere written sounds.
I also know well that you have the ability, Mike, to deconstruct or controvert about any argument of series of statements you care to take on. (But, you are not alone in that. Which is why, regarding criticism in poetry, I tell people that the attitudes of critical analysis and appreciative understanding must go "hand-in-hand," with effort of appreciation proceeding a little ahead of analysis so that critique does not happen prior to one's textual understanding.)

I'm sorry to see you seeming to limit yourself to a concept of dialectics as mere skill at argument, a rhetorical power-play or exercise in sophistry. I usually think of dialectics as an honest revolving of subject through different viewpoints or frames with the aim of "seeing fully" and finding at last the truth of a matter; the philosophically Socratic method which we all value more than ingenious "spin." The two, of course, can, perhaps must, also
go hand-in-hand.

That's all I can respond to, tonight. It's quarter after one a.m. and tomorrow's a busy day.
Cheers to you both.

Reply with quote  #17 
Sorry, I've fumble the system. Didn't intend to double post.
Reply with quote  #18 

I enjoyed your poem. I am afraid that I can not give the technical criticism that Mike affords not knowing too well the construct of poems, which does not the least bit detract from my enjoyment of them. I guess that comes from having spent my waking lifetime in search of the riddle of L' Hospitals rule, 1/0 = what, or the pursuit of Schwarz-Christofel transformations as they mathematically apply to current flow in a silicon strip. Oh, the wasted youth of an engineer and not just the youth either.

The lowly dandelion which takes its name from the teeth of the brave lion dan de leon, is a pleasant metaphor for the trampling or eating of virtue. I love the last line, I would not know again my woes. lo que sea as they say here or so be it.

I grew up in a small town north of New York City. It was the days of social, religous, racial and intellectual segregation, the fifties. Down the hill from my house was a golf course and next to it an Italian community. In those days Italians were as feared and loathed by the wasp community of which my family was a part, as muslims of today are feared and loathed. My mother always warned me about staying away from them since they were foreigners in her eyes. Naturally I became close friends with the Italian kids inn my scholl and spent many a pleasant afternoon surepticiously sipping some of the wine made by their fathers. Oh how I loved defying the norms of my backward parents who were the cream of upper middle class waspdom. Fortunately I have never escaped that rebellion but I digress from dandelions. The Italian women feared and loather by the up-the-hill mob, used to dig up the dandelions for salads and wine making. I remember well seeing them on the way to school bending over with their pointed trowels to dig up the entire plant and pop them into their sacks.

Nothing beats a sip of dandelion wine on an afternoon spent with forbidden friends. Thanks for the poem and the memories Bob.

Reply with quote  #19 
Thanks, Stan, both for appreciation and a bit of biography. Don't knock yourself for spending so much life energy on practical, technical matters. It made you well off enough to fly south with the ducks. Maybe if things improve in 3 or 4 years you two can fly back. That is, if you get tired of paradise.

As for dandelions, its hard to beat a few big leaves added to salad, or a bunch par-boiled/steamed and served hot with a few drops of vinegar.
Michael Murry
Reply with quote  #20 

What a fitting, farewell tribute from the Apartheid Zionist Entity (A.Z.E.) to its departing dupe President of the United States: now such a lame, ruptured duck that humilitating him and his token-black Secretary of State goes almost unnoticed by the kept corporate camp followers who call themselves America's "watchdog" media.


A commenter on Juan Cole's  "Informed Comment" blog noticed it though.



At 5:12 PM, JeffGuy said ...


Juan, there is a truly extraordinary article about Bush being interrupted during a speech so he can take orders from PM of Israel Olmert (and the pay off is that of course Bush comes off the podium, takes his orders and does what Olmert demands). Surely this deserves an article if you have the time.

An article, indeed. What an ironic, contemptuous send-off for the hapless Dubya who began his miserable misrule eight years ago by unleashing Ariel Sharon (the butcher of Palestinian Arabs in Lebanese refugee camps) against the Palestinians -- yet again -- in the West Bank and Gaza, babbling: "Sometimes a show of force by one side can really clarify things." Oh, yeah. Sure. definitely. Deputy Dubya: going out the way he came in -- a complete stooge for whatever barbarisms the Apartheid Zionist Entity demands that America subsidize, arm, and mindlessly celebrate.


I've got some more material from Seymour Hersh and Tony Karon to post as background information for those Americans who don't undrestand how stupid the apartheid zionists consider them, but that will come in a subsequent post. For now: No one respects a kiss ass, most especially apartheid zionists who don't even have to break a sweat terrorizing American officials into abject compliance. Or, as Charles Sanders Peirce put it back in the late nineteenth century: 


"Where two faiths flourish side by side, renegades are looked upon with contempt, even by the party whose beliefs they have adopted."


So explains the Republicans' loathing for Bill Clinton after he shamelessly capitulated to every extortionate demand they could throw at him. So explains the undisguised disdain that apartheid zionists have for all Americans who will give the A.Z.E. everything it demands without even the barest of a whimper of protest. Apartheid zionists will greedily take the uncritical largesse, of course. They just won't for a moment respect anyone dumb enough to supply it. 


Oh, well. The broke and deadbeat Lunatic Leviathan can always ask the communist Chinese for more loans to help finance the A.Z.E.'s "ethnic cleansing" of those Palestinian Arabs who will never forget or accept what the A.Z.E. and America have mercilessly done to them for the last sixty years as conscious, deliberate "state" policy.


More on this predatory, pariah partnership -- with special reference to the U.S./A.Z.E. policy called "Plan B" (otherwise known as the "failed neighborhood") later. For, as Atilla the Hun famously said: "It is not enough that I succeed. Everyone else must fail." I think that about sums up this installment of the barely audible "Mew and Sigh."



Reply with quote  #21 
CS Peirce's remark - "Where two faiths flourish side by side, renegades are looked upon with contempt, even by the party whose beliefs they have adopted." reminds me of a similar comment by George Orwell - "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.". Aren't they really saying the same thing in a different context with different words? Both are brilliant in their veracity.

The first remark by Peirce deserves a little analysis. When any two parties with strongly differing opinions exist, if one party abdicates in favor of the other then they are condemned by the first. It applies so perfectly to the case in point, the Israeli/US relationship. Israel is nothing but a vassal state, without US aid they would have been long gone. As a vassal state though they should owe some allegiance, like children to parents, to the source of their welfare. Of course any relationship of this type is rife with resentment and contradiction. Children are supported under the theory that they will act in accordance with the wishes of their parents but we know that that is always a tricky proposition, especially in the teen years. Thus giving aid to Israel should not force them to abdicate totally their independence. Like children though, when they tear up the neighborhood, the parents are held responsible. The US is complicit in the Israeli war crimes.

The remark by Orwell is painfully apt in these times. No one in power seems able to say anything close to the truth. When US politicians speak of Israel and the US relationship with it they glaze over into a script provided by the Israeli lobby. When Jimmy Carter on the other hand writes a book giving the facts, he is ostracised and his truths become a revolutionary act per Orwell. Whenever differing opinions are presented by the media they are immediately given the cache of rebellion in that they don't agree with THEIR common wisdom whatever that is.
Michael Murry
Reply with quote  #22 

Thanks, Stan, for taking up the Peirce quote in association with Orwell's statement about the revolutionary nature of telling the truth in an environment of official lies (what I prefer to call Manufactured Mendacity and Managed Mystification). While possibly connected, I think the two citations have somewhat different origins and references. For example:

When I first recited Peirce's dictum on inbred tribal fidelity to my Taiwanese wife, she immediately got it and replied with the Chinese equivalent: "Our enemies we just kill right away, but traitors we torture." This put me in mind of the old Arkansas joke about the hillbilly bridegroom who angrily returned to the family homestead the moring after his wedding night -- without his new bride. When his perplexed pappy demanded to know: "Wher'z yore wyfe?" the belligerent boy answered: "I shot her, paw!" When daddy inquired: "Why'd jew dew that?" the boy cried out in humiliated embarassment: "She were a virgin, Paw!" Agreed the proud and understanding papa: "Well, then I don't blame ya, sun. If she weren't good enuf fer her own fambly, then she sure as hell ain't good enuf fer ours."

The Republicans loathed Bill Clinton most of all because he would betray his own party in a heartbeat if he thought he could "triangulate" away from the despised "liberals" and towards his swell, new friends in the reactionary, Republican-dominated Congress who would help him "get something [the Republicans wanted] done." What kind of person could ever trust or respect a traitor to his own tribe who would do a spineless thing like that? Naturally, the Republicans impeached Bill Clinton in an instant over a blow job, just to "stain" his record; just because they could. The Republicans respect a kick in the groin, but never a kiss on the ass. They'll take the tush-smooching, of course, and even demand more. But they'll never hold the ass-kisser in anything but contempt. I think Peirce had this sort of attitude in mind. I know I certainly feel that way about Zell Miller and Holy Joe Lieberman.

Somewhere in the vast, always-unfolding epic of Fernando Po, U.S.A., I've got a "Boobie" stanza describing how the Republicans felt abot the soft, mushy Bill Clinton:

A white Tar Baby in a patch
Of briars sharp and thick;
A spineless puff of marsmallow
At which they'd flail and kick;
A cross between the Doughboy and
The sperm whale Moby Dick 

George Orwell, for his part, had no use for Party Fascists OR Party Communists. He hated PARTY TOTALITARIANS, of whatever political persuasion. He didn't like ENFORCED ORTHODOXY, of any kind. He especially hated the deliberate destruction of language that orthodox totalitarians relentlessly pursue as their chief defense of power and privilege. Without clear and precise language, he wrote, we cannot effectively propose a critique of the prevailing political/economic orthodoxy -- and the orthodox totalitarians know it. I think that you and I probably find this intellectually rebellious yet rigorous quality in Orwell the most appealing of his many virtues. I especially respect his uncompromising attacks on propaganda and his defense of clear, articulate language as the best means of combatting unadulterated government spin -- or "disassembling," as Deputy Dubya might babble.

The writer as artist, Orwell wrote, "is one who refuses to outrage his own conscience." Orwell didn't champion slavish loyalty to even his own party (i.e., Socialism) so much as he insisted on the difficult freedom of the lone individual mind to articulate and argue one's own understanding of the prevailing political, economic, and social situation. 

As for another angle on the U.S./A.Z.E. parasitic symbiosis, I recommend you get a copy of Frances Fitzerald's Fire in the Lake: the Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. Among her many fine chapters, F. Scott's Fitzgerald's grandaughter has one on "Bad Puppets" who cannot escape their vassalage to a more powerful patron, yet who manage in spite of their relatively powerless status to "make dependence pay." Ms Fitzgerald's overarching literary analogies of the Chinese I-Ching and Shakespeare's "The Tempest" make her book not only historically resonant in terms of the cultural clash of East and West, but elegantly factual and metaphorically stimulating, as well.
I agree completely with your take on the A.Z.E., but we both know how "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" in American politics; and those of us who feel badly for the plight of the dispossesed Palestinian Arabs simply can't sqeak loud enough to make even a dent in the roar of money and owned media that the various A.Z.E. lobbies deploy against anyone who would even dare question what Barack Obama likes to call "our stalwart ally" (with whom we have no ratified treaty of alliance.) But the mutual obligations that actual treaties impose on all signatory partners would put a crimp in the A.Z.E.'s self-interested freedom of action -- no matter how harmful to America's interests -- and so the A.Z.E. simply enjoys all the fruits of an "alliance" with the U.S. without having to contribute any money or troops to Iraq and Afghanistan -- like, for example, even the tiny empire of Georgia could manage to supply. Sweet deal, if one can arrange it.

Thanks again for the succinct post on matters of real and lasting importance.

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