Sunday, December 21, 2008


Now, tequila may be the favored beverage of outlaws, but that doesn't mean it gives them preferential treatment. In fact, tequila probably has betrayed as many outlaws as has the central nervous system and dissatisfied wives. Tequila, scorpion honey, harsh dew of the doglands, essence of Aztec, crema de cacti; tequila, oily and thermal like the sun in solution; tequila, liquid geometry of passion; Tequila, the buzzard god who copulates in midair with the ascending souls of dying virgins; tequila, firebug in the house of good taste; O tequila, savage water of sorcery, what confusion and mischief your sly, rebellious drops do generate!

Friday, December 19, 2008

On one’s jealousy Over Another’s History --

Recipe for Jealousy
Using organic emotion only
3 pt Fear
2 pt Anger1
pt Sorrow

A NOTE: I wrote this as a response to a close friend's blog who was enduring a brief exchange between two lovers regarding one's transgression via telephone with an x-girlfriend. A far less rambling or prosaic attempt at an explanation of my thoughts on the matter will either appear in a postscript edit to this blog entry or a future blog post.

Why does one's past forever threaten another's future? How are two concepts which are both intangeable and arguably unreal altogther allowed to so frequently corrupt the most truthful aspect of our existence?

A deadly way to approach your present happiness with maximum collatoral damage.

Isn't the present built upon and therefore absolutely dependant upon even the most infinitesimal detail of it's history? Would the same present exist at all with even the smallest modification to any event which lead up to it?

Is your lover not but what all his past lovers created and what you now decide to behold? Would he be the same lover gazing at you now if you removed but one piece of that history which conspired so sweetly to craft him? And you? Would you be able to recognize his beauty if he were to pluck those you loved before him from your experience and memories?

Would you respect him if he allowed you to erase even a single piece of him? Would you trust him if he chose to remove a piece of you? Would you feel as honored by his touch if he could only love a bit of you? Could you expect him to feel as warm in your embrace knowing that you would not wrap your arms around all of him to keep him from the cold? Could you expect him to stay if you warmed only those parts of him useful to you and left the rest of him to lie still and dark and out of view?

If he is a project with things still unacceptable to you, with things left to change then don't claim to love him now. Claim only that you could one day love him. Don't claim to love him wholly, but rather that you love only that thing your mind has created for you.

Now. Do you love him? Even all that which is beyond you? Doesn't it follow then that if you love this person now, then you must love all of those things which contributed to him? Which made him that perfect thing which you wouldn't change for the world? Aren't those things more responsible for his perfection than you are?

Didn't they break him in? Didn't they let him loose his awkward teenage lust upon them? Didn't they let him rant and rave and run and hide and return and apologize only to run and rant and rage again? Didn't they strengthen him rather than diminish him? Didn't they cry for him and teach him he mattered? Didn't they open their legs for him to teach him the tender trust of a woman? Didn't they let him batter his unbaptized and frenzied hips against theirs and whisper more love in his ear so he learned to trust? Didn't they want to die when he moved on to show him he mattered to someone?

He will not wound you quite as deeply because of them. He will trust you more willingly and more eagerly seek your trust because of them. He will hold you more tightly because of them. He will caress you in the right places more quickly. He will read your soft breaths and notice the slightest change in your breath more readily because of them. He will know when to treat you gently and when to treat you savagely as a result of them.

He is perfect only because of them. You feel safer with him because of them. You feel loved and trusted and honored and special because of them. You are that much more correct in choosing him because of them.

And you love him now only because of them.

Because you love him you will be inclined to see the beauty he sees. To see your own beauty he reflects back upon you. To see others through his eyes. Perhaps he will show you beauty that you wouldn't otherwise have seen. And you might even love him more for this. For the way he speaks passionately about those things you didn't know you cared about until just then. Just then when he cared enough about you to share them with you.

And so he loved them once too. Can they be so ugly if he had loved them once? Can they be so vile if they too had recognized that deep and smokey quality of his soul that burns your nostrils when you wake against his flesh?

Do you fear that perhaps he once found them as beautiful as he now finds you?

Does the thought of him having shared his passions and visions with another somehow diminish the beauty of their ring in your ears? That he has seen beauty in others diminishes that which he sees in you?

Does it diminish the beauty you see in yourself?

Does not your beauty sit aloft the multitude of others he has cherished? Aren't his tastes more refined, his eyes more keen and his heart less likely to engage in trifling matters now? Aren't you by definition the greater for all of his past? Aren't you by definition the most perfect person he has ever laid eyes upon?

He has built a bed and stacked mattress upon mattress for each and every one he cared for. You lay now with him at the very topmost of this edifice.

But you yourself have placed that pea beneath your back and blame him when it gauges at your flesh.

Perhaps knowing that you sit at the top upon all those past tears and sighs and quiet moments and breakthroughs and experiences indicates that you may not be the topmost rung for eternity. Maybe you dread a day when you might lie beneath another in his life's history. You will perhaps fade to him among his many and lose sight of that unique luster only he is able to remind you of.

That luster. That spark, that explosive genesis. That thing about him that makes your stomach hurt and heart pound and face flush at once. That thing that the other boys don't have which makes them merely toys and distractions. The only thing on earth which can truly remind you that you may not matter at all. If not to him, then to what? A toy?

That luster will surely die regardless of you or him.

They say that the luster will evolve between two people into something much more deep and meaningful. Perhaps. But that deep and meaningful thing will remain consistant and dependable. It will remain. The luster die and never return no matter how 'healthy' or long your relationship lasts with this man.

You will always remember it if you were lucky and aware enough. If you were present. It will eventually become your past even though he remains your present and possibly your future. Eventually though both your future will cease to exist and your present will only become someone elses past. You will exist only to some survivor of you both and only for a while.

Your past will whither and die intact and honor you if you are lucky. It will contort and pervert in the hands of those who choose to remember you in all likelihood. You will not own your past. You will exist only as that which is convenient to another. This is the bargain. You are remembered but only at the whim and to the advantage of those who choose to.

The future is an illusion and you do not own this either. It does not exist, cannot be proven beyond exaggeration of the past and will never actually be. When it arrives at your door and steps through your threshold it disappears into the present as surely as the sun is drown by the sea in that brilliant winter fire as I gaze out of my window on this cold night.

The only thing that is real is that split second when he gazes only into your eyes. That seemingly infinite string of microseconds as you gaze back and recognize how in awe he is of your very existence. As thousands of muscles in his face shift together in the most subtle and uncontrollable way - a dance impossible to practice or perfect by design - a pure and honest orchestra of love reflecting back upon you. Love on motor reflex.

Be careful.

You might miss it

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bhutto's Assaination -- or Am I Being Cynical Again?

Assassination of prominent political leaders, presumably protected by the best security, is no easy thing. It requires agencies of professional intelligence training to insure that the job is done and that no person is caught alive who can lead to those behind. Typically, from the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo in July 1914 to JFK, the person pulling the trigger is just an instrument of a far deeper conspiracy. So too in the assassination on December 27th, of Pakistani former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. Cui bono?.
What was behind the murder of Bhutto at the moment her PPP party appeared about to win a resounding election victory in the planned January 8 elections, thereby posing a mass-based challenge to the dictatorial rule of President Musharraf?
Musharraf's government was indecently quick to blame "Al-Qaeda," the dubious entity allegedly the organization of Osama bin Laden, whom Washington accused for masterminding the September 11 2001 attacks. Musharraf just days after, declared he was "sure" Al Qaeda was the author, even though, on US pressure, he has asked Scotland Yard to come and investigate. "I want to say it with certainty, that these people (Al Qaeda) martyred ... Benazir Bhutto," Musharraf said in a Jan. 3 televised address. He named Baitullah Mehsud, a militant tribal chief fighting the Pakistani Army, who has alleged ties to al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taleban. Mehsud denied the charge. Had he been behind such a dramatic event, the desired propaganda impact among militant islamists would require taking open responsibility instead.
By linking the Bhutto killing to Al Qaeda, Musharraf conveniently gains several goals. First he reinforces the myth of Al Qaeda, something very useful to Washington at this time of growing global skepticism over the real intent of its War on Terrorism, making Musharraf more valuable to Washington. Second it gives Musharraf a plausible scapegoat to blame for the convenient elimination of a serious political rival to his consolidation of one-man rule.
Notable also is the fact that the Musharraf regime has rejected making a routine autoposy on Bhutto's body. Bhutto publicly charged that the Government had refused to make followup inquiry after the October bombing which nearly killed her and did 134 followers near her auto. Bhutto accused Pakistani authorities of not providing her with sufficient security, and hinted that they may have been complicit in the Karachi attack. She also made clear in a UK television interview shortly before her death that she would clean out the Pakistan military and security services of corrupt and islamist elements.
In the same David Frost interview, Bhutto also dropped the explosive news that Osama bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh Mohammad, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, an ISI Pakistani intelligence operative, who 'confessed' to the killing of Daniel Pearl. He was arrested in February 2002. If Benazir's claim is correct, Omar Sheikh must have killed Osama before he was arrested in February 2002, which makes at least all the Osama messages after that date periodically delivered to western media clear forgeries.
Days after the Bhutto killing, Pakistani authorities published a photo alleged to be of the severed head of the suicide bomber who killed Bhutto. Severed heads, like a dead Lee Harvey Oswald don't talk or say embarrassing things. Also curious is the fact that Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi, a garrison town, where every millimeter is controlled by the Army security complex. The murder weapon was a Steyr 9mm, issued only to Pakistani Army Special Forces. Hmmmm.
It has been known for months that the Bush-Cheney administration has been maneuvering to strengthen their political control of Pakistan, paving the way for the expansion and deepening of the "war on terrorism" across the region.
Who was Bhutto?
The Bhutto family was itself hardly democratic, drawing its core from feudal landowning families, but opposed to the commanding role of the army and ISI intelligence. Succeeding her father as head of the PPP, Benazir declared herself "chairperson for life" — a position she held until her death. Bhutto's husband, Ali Zardari, "Mr. 10%," is known in Pakistan for his demanding a 10% cut from letting major government contracts when Benazir was PM. In 2003, Benazir and her husband were convicted in Switzerland of money laundering and taking bribes from Swiss companies as PM. The family is allegedly worth several billions as a result. As prime minister from 1993 to 1996, she advocated a conciliatory policy toward Islamists, especially the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Harvard and Cambridge educated Benazir had close ties to US and UK intelligence as well. She used the offices of neo-conservative US Congressman Tom Lantos when she was in Washington according to informed reports, one reason Vice President Cheney backed her as a "safe" way to save his Pakistan strategic alliance in face of growing popular protest against Musharraf's declaring martial law last year. The ploy was to have Bhutto make a face-saving deal with Musharraf to put a democratic face on the dictatorship, while Washington maintained its strategic control. According to the Washington Post of 28 Dec., "For Benazir Bhutto, the decision to return to Pakistan was sealed during a telephone call from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice just a week before Bhutto flew home in October. The call culminated more than a year of secret diplomacy -- and came only when it became clear that the heir to Pakistan's most powerful political dynasty was the only one who could bail out Washington's key ally in the battle against terrorism. . . .As President Pervez Musharraf's political future began to unravel this year, Bhutto became the only politician who might help keep him in power."
In November, John Negroponte, former Bush Administration Intelligence Czar and now Deputy Secretary of State was deployed to Islamabad to pressure Musharraf to ease the situation by holding elections and forming a power-sharing with Bhutto. But once in Pakistan, where her supporters were mobilized, Bhutto made clear she would seek an election coalition to openly oppose Musharraf and military rule in the planned elections.
A cynical US-Musharraf deal?
Informed intelligence sources say there was a cynical deal cut behind the scenes between Washington and Musharraf. Musharraf is known to be Cheney's preferred partner and Cheney we are told is the sole person running US-Pakistan policy today.
Were Musharraf to agree to stationing of US Special Forces inside Pakistan, "Plan B", the democratic farce with Bhutto could be put aside, in favor of the continued Musharraf sole rule. Washington would "turn a blind eye."
On Dec. 28, one day after the Bhutto assassination, the Washington Post reported that in early 2008, "US Special Forces are expected to vastly expand their presence in Pakistan as part of an effort to train and support indigenous counter-insurgency forces and clandestine counterterrorism units," under the US Central Command and US Special Operations Command, a major shift in US Pakistani ties. Until now Musharraf and his military have refused such direct US control, aside from the agreement after September 11, extracted from Musharraf under extreme pressure of possible US bombing, to give the US military direct control of the Pakistan nuclear weapons.
The elimination of Bhutto leaves an opposition vacuum. The country lacks a credible political leader who can command national support, which leaves the military enhanced as an institution, with its willingness to defend Musharraf on the streets. This gives the Pentagon and Washington a chance to consolidate a military opposition to future Chinese economic hegemony—the real geopolitical goal of Washington.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Hello, I must be going. I came to say I cannot stay, I must be going."

"Please accept my resignation. I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member".

30 years ago yesterday (Aug. 19), Julius Henry Marx, better known as Groucho Marx, passed away. Overshadowed by Elvis' death just 3 days earlier, Groucho Marx died of pneumonia at the age of 86 Some of my favorite Groucho quotes:

"I married your mother because I wanted children. Imagine my disappointment when you arrived."

"If I hold you any closer, I'll be in back of you."

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know."

"Room service? Send up a larger room."

"We're fighting for this woman's honor, which is more than she ever did."

"You call this a party? The beer is warm, the women cold and I'm hot under the collar."

"A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running."

"A woman is an occasional pleasure, but a cigar is always a smoke."

"Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough."

"Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife."

"Here's to our girlfriends and wives; may they never meet!"

"Paying alimony is like feeding hay to a dead horse."

"How would you like to feel the way she looks?"

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Bukowski

Charles Bukowski, one of the so-called "beat" poets: 1920 - 1994, would have been yesterday, age 87. A couple of his poems:

"MAN IN THE SUN" by Charles Bukowski

She reads to me from the New Yorker
which I don't buy, don't know
how they get in here, but it's
something about the Mafia
One of the heads of the Mafia
who ate too much and had it too easy
too many fine women patting his
walnuts, and he got fat sucking at good
cigars and young breasts and he
has these heart attacks - and - so
one day somebody is driving him
in his big car along the road
and he doesn't feel so good
and he asks the boy to stop and let
him out and the boy lays him out
along the road in the fine sunshine
and before he dies he says:
how beautiful life can be, and
then he's gone.
Sometimes you've got to kill 4 or 5
thousand men before you somehow
get to believe that the sparrow
is immortal, money is piss and
that you have been wasting your time.

"THE TRASH CAN" by Charles Bukowski

This is great, I just wrote two
poems I didn't like.
There is a trash can on this
I just moved the poems over
and dropped them into
the trash can.
They're gone forever, no
paper, no sound, no
fury, no placenta
and then
just a clean screen awaits you.
It's always better,
to reject yourself before
the editors do.
Especially on a rainy
night like this with
bad music on the radio.
And now--
I know what you're
maybe he should have
trashed this
misbegotten one
Ha, ha, ha,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”

God Bless You, Mister Rosewater


Moral Panics

I'm thinking out loud here, which is no sin on the Internets, apparently, so bear with me. There are certain risks that most rational people evaluate rationally. The relative risk of driving versus flying, for example. It certainly seems more dangerous to travel aloft in a big aluminum tube that doesn't really seem like it should stay aloft than it does to drive to Costco to pick up a case of Diet Red Bull. But most of us know that it's less dangerous to fly to New York from D.C. So we don't worry much when we're told to turn off our electronic devices and put our seats in the upright position.
But the flying versus driving risk calculus has no political/ideological backdrop that would skew our risk analysis. Also, it's a known quantity in the aggregate and easily checkable.
There are other risks that are more speculative and uncertain. And for some of them, our ideological preconceptions seem to crowd out any sort of rational calculus. Why are some of us worried about school shootings, while others treat that risk like the risk of dying in a fiery plane crash or getting Lou Gehrig's disease? Why do some of us worry about terrorism, while others stress about the risks of global warming?
Isn't the determining factor here our respective ideologically-charged narratives about American society and what may be wrong with it? Why in the 1980s did one side of the political spectrum panic about Alar on apples, while others waxed dystopic about Soviet aggression? How does your average Blue-Teamer decide that global warming poses enormous threats to our way of life? Has he (masculine as universal, sorry) examined the various scenarios offered by the IPCC and arrived at his position through a sober reflection on the evidence? Or do the most dangerous scenarios fit in with a general notion that late capitalist America consumes too much and too blithely and cares too little about long-term consequences? Why are so many Red-Teamers convinced, on the basis of one horrific strike on American soil, that we face a threat of enormous proportions, even though the post-September 11th world looks much like the pre-September 11th world in terms of terrorism on the home front? Could it be that the narrative of impending doom fits in with what conservatives have long felt about American society, that liberal societies are weak and vacillating and unwilling to defend themselves? Anyone who's spent much time in the conservative movement must be familiar with the sort of character who fancies himself a poor man's Whitaker Chambers, and flatters himself that his fellow countrymen do not recognize the grave threats to our way of life and lack the moral fortitude he's blessed with, to do what is necessary to defeat the Other. The concept of the "moral panic" is instructive here, as is the old line by H.L. Mencken, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Stupidopedia on Jon von Neumann

While just about everyone on SciBlogs and elsewhere has been having fun at the expense of Conservapedia, the Wiki site set up by conservatives to further isolate their followers from reality, I thought I’d just do a quick search on what entries they had up on computer science. That’s where and when I found an article on John von Neumann.
Now, you might be thinking that any article on von Neumann should focus on his major contributions to quantum mechanics, pure mathematics, economics (game theory) and computer science (the now standard serial electronic computer model). But here is the only specific part in the article about von Neumann outside of the intro:

Not religious most of his life, von Neumann surprised friends by requesting to see a Catholic priest on his deathbed.
While other physicists such as Robert Oppenheimer were criticizing the atomic bomb they helped create, von Neumann was unapologetic. Oppenheimer remarked that physicists had “known sin” by developing the first atomic bombs. Von Neumann cleverly replied that “sometimes someone confesses a sin in order to take credit for it.”

So we have quote mining in the second paragraph (making it look as though von Neumann’s intent with the quip was theological, when in all likelihood is was no less metaphorical than Einstein’s “God does not play dice” motif) and a total irrelevancy in the first. In their mind it seems that a scientist’s most important work is done on his deathbed, when in failing health and heavily medicated (von Neumann was under military guard and surveillance at the time to make sure he never gave out military secrets while inebriated). This leads me to believe that Conservapedia articles on computer science (and everything else) will work hard to educate everyone on a shitload of nothing.

So You Know That Really Beautiful Girl You See and Want to Know?

When she laughs bells tinkle and angels gasp. Because you know that she's clever and lovely and passionate and doing something far more amazing than you. And you just hope that maybe if, a few moments after she's passed you, then you can touch your toe in some of the sparkle dust that she's left in the trail of her shadow. Because yes, she's so much person that even her shadow leaves a trail.
And she's intense. And you always feel a little bit of a fraud when she talks to you. Like surely you can't be cool enough for this amazing person to be talking to you. But she does. Because she's awesome and sincere and nice. Genuinely nice. And even if you do feel a little insecure enough to want to find some reason to dislike her, you just can't.

Nope. Nothing.