There he is -- peeking out from behind the shredded glamour...

It's about the "teflon" thing Donald Trump seemed to have, in which he can say no wrong, nor can anyone say about him. Turns out it's not teflon.

We've been waiting for that moment with Trump, that  moment from the Army-McCarthy hearings when Judge Welch said "At long last, sir, have you no decency?" And McCarthy's facade disintegrated like a paper mask left out in the rain.

Well, it came, but not like that.

It's the glamour -- the false image projected by mythological creatures to prevent the locals from seeing what they are -- in Trump's case, a touch armored fighter with an image that does not bend or dent or break. An orangutan, or such -- humanoid, but feral and powerful...

And this morning he said that one thing that hits it, aimed at Hillary, over 20 years old, completely discredited, and as outdated as Erich Von Danniken's intractable Teutonic racism -- "Well those little brown people in the forests couldn't have possibly built/ figured out/ understood anything that complex -- had to have been creatures from outer space." (What if they were creatures from outer space who were actually little brown people? Would that have mde it ok?")

But this one -- this time Trump finding a particularly stinking, slimy, retch-inducing piece of poop to fling at  about there being "something fishy about Vince Foster's death." Foster was a brilliant member of the election team, and loved by most, funny, witty.. and his suicide was a heart-breaker for them, one which, like any sudden loss of a friend, never quite stops hurting.

And there was Donnie Trump throwing that stinking ball of pain at Hillary.

And it wasn't despicable or "at long last..indecent --- it was pathetic...

Just fucking pathetic.

Instead of showing up as an unfeeling giant monster, what it did was drop the glamour, and show the creature behind it, not some terrible terrible monster, but a tiny orange crustacean, something like a shrimp -- or to be generous -- a prawn -- waving its many arms and antennae in a frenzy to keep the ones it feared away, using the glamour and constant motion to keep them from seeing him as he is:

A tiny pathetic creature holding up a giant mask, but one which fell apart when he dropped it from the strain of its weight. And peeking out from behind, tiny little Donnie Trump.

"He thought he was a big old T. Rex, 
but it turned out he was only a tiny little T. Rump."
Ente Grillenhaft



Someone explained Roe v Wade to me the other day -- simply and clearly

1. The basic female urogenital system consists of, among other useful items, standard equipment including labia, vulva, clitoris, vaginal canal, uterus headed by a cervix, and fallopian tubes and ovaries. 

2. If you don't have some or all of those and you're not the spouse or lover or chosen doctor of that female person, then you have no business meddling with those.

3. That means, unless you are being specifically asked by her, you have no right to have any opinion on what, if anything, that -- or any -- female person should do with that equipment, whether for procreation or recreation, theoretically or in actuality, such as in the event of pregnancy.

4. In other words, as Barry Goldwater, the Godfather of the Conservative Movement in the USA, said when asked about his views on abortion: "Unless a woman is having it done on the highway and disrupting interstate commerce, it's none of our goddamn business." (Our, in this case meaning the government.)

This is a major element of respect for a woman, not the only one, but without it, anything else you might say about how you respect women or a woman is total crap. 




It's definitely a crapshoot now, so to cover all bases, I asked my guardian angel to give me my Election Year Cassandra epiphany to allow for any possibility.
Here's what she showed me happening on January 20th, 2017, at the inauguration:

He announces he will be planting Narcissus on all edges around the Reflecting Pool to celebrate his "Age of Self Reflection." (Spp: Large Cup Daffodil), and pulls out his penis and waggles it at the crowd.
When people boo and laugh and point, he looks down and shouts "It's much bigger than that! It's  cold out here! Really. It's the way the founding losers set this whole thing up to embarrass the winner -- If we did this in August you'd see, it's huge."  (John Heilemann, announcing for Bloomberg TV points out the propriety of Trump's floral choice to symbolize his administration, the name of the plant -- narcissus -- being the Greek word for "numbness.")

TED CRUZ -- WAR against the people he calls "Ragheads." When the crowd gasps, he says  " I use that terms out of respect to acknowledge their cultural traditions."
And he announces he will populate his entire administration with the religious theocrats known as Dominionists, headed by his own father as "Secretary of Everything."

MARCO RUBIO -- WAR against "all those bad people." And announces that the hallmark of his administration will be longer recesses and strictly enforced laws against pushing, shoving, hair-pulling, name-calling or lying in the schoolyard or the playground. And that HIS theocracy will be better and "more religious and everything" than anything liar liar Cruz might have come up with. (When a journalists asks is that fair to refer to Ted Cruz in that way, Rubio asks him: "Why? Are YOU the president? No."

HILLARY CLINTON -- WAR to show she's really ready to be Commander in Chief and "smash that glass ceiling with some Stinger missiles." She announces her administration will work ceaselessly to find ways to control financial industry excesses by "at least 10%."

JOHN KASICH -- never gets to the podium. The Republican National Committee has him taken into custody and put into the "George Bernard Shaw Asylum for the Sane" as a danger to the nation, since his refusal to threaten war "emboldens our enemies to a critical degree." Bob Beckel, announcing for Al Jazeera America which hired him after Fox news dumped him for "being too liberal," said it was just as well, since Kasich's insistence on peaceful means had so emboldened Vladimir Putin, he had it on good authority that Putin was planning a missile attack on Washington D.C. as soon as Kasich got to the White House. (Al Jazeera announced immediately that Beckel had resigned to spend more time with his family or to pursue other opportunities, they didn;t know which.)

BERNIE SANDERS -- two men wearing full formal Rich Uncle attire -- morning coat tails, striped trousers, white tie, spats, tall silk top hats -- shoot him as members of the Bernie Madoff Liberation Army. "FREE WALL STREET" they shout as he falls from behind the podium.

JEB BUSH, DR. BEN CARSON -- are you kidding?
In what fantasy do either of them win an election?



Four little stories all about the same thing

Four little stories all about the same thing

1. When I was in college, I was a fencer
Most days I worked with a partner who was an ex-Marine, just
back from a couple years on the line at the DMZ in Korea.

He told me about men who got bored.
The setup was there was a deadline -- no one was allowed to cross it.
The Marines in the towers were under orders to shoot to kill.
And what they would do is call to some local man, smile, wave a carton of cigarettes at him,
gesture for him to come on over, it's ok, come on, you want these?
And when he took one step across the line the guard in the tower would kill him.

2. I was sitting on my front steps in  the Mission District in San Francisco -- 
Harrison Street, just about 24th.
I was waiting for the mailman, expecting a package with 2 pieces of jewelry, 
both made by a friend specifically for me and my wife -- 
unique pieces and therefore irreplaceable.

At one point, a car pulled up to the stoplight at the corner of 24th. 
Another car came up behind him, and the driver must have spaced out a bit
because he stopped a bit late -- just tapped the other fellow's rear bumper, but still...

The driver of the first car got out to see the damage, 
while the driver of the second car was making hands up "oops, my fault, sorry" gestures, 
the first car driver nodding, smiling.
The driver of the first car got almost to his  back bumper 
to see if there was damage and I could see something happen -- it was obvious:

He DECIDED -- right there -- decided it was ok to get angry
in this situation, and oh boy did he, total psycho act-out meltdown 
jumping up and down shouting, waving arms, face turning red, the whole deal.

3. Donald Trump talks about the jihadists, the terrorists, 
about danger danger danger, people who feel they have the right 
to attack whenever and wherever they choose. 
And he regularly illustrates the point he's trying to make
 ("Be Afraid - Vote For Me") 
illustrates with talk about rapists sneaking across the border, 
bringing death dealing drugs, and murderers,
 and points to entire nationalities he says are guilty of that 
("Well I'm sure there are some good ones..") 

And yet, when people attend his rallies and then 
attack young girls wearing head scarves, or Sikhs in turbans (not Muslims), 
or people they think might be Mexican, his hands go up in surprise -- 
why would they think it's ok to do that? 
Why would anyone think it was HIS fault?

4. A lot of drugs are illegal in Mexico and the US 
either completely or without a prescription or a government license 
to allow use and possession -- heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, etc. 

People who buy and sell those things are at risk of serious penalties. 

In recent stories about "El Chapo" he has been vilified 
for the harm he's caused -- the number of people he's hurt, 
killed with the drugs he sells, 
with the guns he uses to protect his drug business. 
He even acknowledged that in his interview with Sean Penn. 

"But," he said, "when and where he grew up it was the only way to make money."  

The USA is licking its chops to get him extradited 
and into custody so they can punish him here.

And yet, in an article I translated as part of my job 
some years ago, an article in a San Jose Spanish language newspaper,
 the journalist answered the question people kept asking:
"Why doesn't the Mexican government stop them, the drug cartels?"

Because each of the 6 cartels that existed at the time 
- -EACH ONE -- 
made more money each year than the entire government of Mexico. 
Meaning bigger guns, planes, submarines, etc.

And, he went on -- most of that money came from 
the United States, where people waved it at the cartels, calling out:
"Money money money -- Please please come over here 
and sell us some of your stuff. You can do it. 
You can step over the line and get away." 

These little stories are about people who 
feel they have permission to let the monster beast out of its box 
if there was a rule someone had  broken, 
a line someone had crossed,
 a color or religion or nationality some person 
had the misfortune to be.
And they're also about the people who know 
damn well they're giving them permission.

Doesn't matter if it was a black youth in the 1930's South 
who some Klansman thought had smiled at a white woman.

Doesn't matter is it's  a black woman in 2015 driving a car, 
and her tags showed who she was -- a political activist 
who had worked against police violence and for Black Lives Matter.

The cop decided to follow her until he got permission to pull her over -- 
she gave it to him by not using a turn signal to change lanes. 
That gave him permission to provoke her until he could lay hands on her, 
drag her out of her car, punish her, and take her into custody into a system that 
-- if it was working the way it was supposed -- might manage to kill her, 
which it did, in a cell where she only survived a couple of days
 -- supposedly hanging herself.

In every situation the principle involved was that someone
had a beast that was rattling the cage, was longing to get loose,
asking the nice normal person to please please please 
give me permission to go violently, seriously insane 
go completely insane just long enough to do something hideous
and then stop --  and pretend it was ok. 

I happens. It's happened for thousands of years. 
Total momentary (a minute, a month, maybe even some years...)
total descent into hideous rampage  -- because maybe THAT
will make the person feel better. 
Pay back his mommy or whoever else had hurt him so bad.

But let's not pretend it is and/or was EVER anything more noble than that.



OK, and yet another one... a modest proposal

 Enough is enough, and I agree with all the people who say we use the term "terrorist" too easily.

Because -- terms like "Terrorist" and "Murderer" and such are sort of glamorous to powerless teenagers.. so I propose two things:

1) People with guns who shoot up schools, shopping centers, religious centers, women's health centers, etc  should be referred to as: "Assholes with guns." as in "Well one more asshole with a gun wandered in to the Richard Nixon Elementary School today..." (Alternatively:"An asshole with a bomb...") Not glamorous.

2) When someone like this current fellow comes out, hands up and surrenders, the assembled police services need to say: "No. You don't just go in and kill people and then say 'I give up' and get to live and spend years in court and making appeals and..." 
And all present open fire and shred the asshole to bits. End it right there.

(See below for why that's appropriate.)

And if liberal folk like me say "But we want to know WHY he did it."
The answer is simple:
 "No mystery there -- because he's an asshole. That's all we need to know."

I AM opposed to capital punishment, because once the person is in custody, in a cage, well there's no sport involved in killing them then. But the idea of someone having 20, 30 50 years (like the young Boston Marathon bomb asshole) to spend sitting in max security and thinking about it IS cruel and unusual punishment  (and I know it and like it) which is exactly what that sort of asshole deserves.

---And why do I like the idea of such a someone getting a 47-year uninterrupted Time Out?
 The reason the crime deserves seriously extreme punishment is the part we always gloss over, but consider -- our news stories and police dramas, and such are filed with sudden death --  car crashes, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, gas main explosions, home invasions, tornadoes, hurricanes, e Coli fast food deaths, Ebola, and etc and more etc and still more etc... as the say in the gossip business called Journalism: "If it bleeds, it leads."

And the part glossed over, aside from, in police procedurals: "We're sorry for your loss," is this:

In almost every case, there is at least one and often more, sometimes many more, people who never got a chance to say goodbye, and who will live their lives dealing with that.
Regretting things never said.
Regretting things put off for later.

So, let the asshole in the cage spend the rest of what life is to be wondering what his or her life might have been if he or she hadn't been such an asshole and caused so much pain. 



Just a thought about decreasing the number of mass shootings

The govt defines Mass Shooting as "more than 4 people."

I think there may be way, at least partial or temporary, to cut down the number of the   interminable series of school, church, synagogue, etc shootings:

If Network TV news reports were allowed to used the word "asshole" to describe the perpetrator -- instead of "suspect," "gunman," "terrorist" et al, that might take the desirability and the number of incidents down a notch.

"This just in -- some asshole with automatic weapons just shot up a middle school in Bumfuck, Nebraska. He gave up when the police came, but they said "Are you kidding? You're not walking away from this"
And killed him on the spot. 37 hits dead center body mass. High fives all around.
No one was interested in "WHY" he did it. We already know -- he's an asshole!"

------ok, for journalistic integrity -- ALLEGED ASSHOLE

Don't think as many young volunteers would be lining up to fill the role.

It's worth a try. Pass it along.

(And while we're on the subject - same attention to youngsters attracted to joining up with some sort of "terrorist" group.)

"ASSHOLE ALERT: We have a report of yet another asshole, this time from Dallas, Texas, who converted to Islam, and that could be ok, except he obviously didn't understand a word of it, so he went to join ISIS. 
(Why, you ask do I, so totally opposed* to death penalty say shoot on sight? Oh, because assholes who kill are not only NOT an endangered species, they're like toxic weeds.) 

Advice to such assholes: you want to kill someone -- join the Marines, even if you never stop being an asshole, you'll have benefits, people will know you're actually tough, and you'll get to wear a snappy uniform that might help you get laid.

* Why am I against the Death penalty? You already got the guy in a cage, where's the sport in killing him?



OK, it's not an actual conspiracy theory...

It's not a conspiracy theory --

This is more a possible scenario about the bombing of the Medecins sans Frontieres  (Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Kunduz aka "if it was an accident, we will acknowledge it..."  (IF?!?) 

Just putting a few facts together.

First of all, what the MSF spokesman said the day after -- "Now Kunduz, a city of 300,000  has no hospital."  (And of course, MSF hospitals are totally non-partisan -- you're sick, you're wounded, you're fucked up -- you're going to get medical care.)

Then, there has been a back-and-forth with the Taliban there. Including some being treated, and some visiting their own wounded, but they respected the neutrality of the hospital, none of the Taliban even confronting any Afghan security forces taken to the hospital.

And then, remember, the Air Force Academy has been notorious in the past few years for throwing down with absolutist Jihad Christianity, demanding obedience to the particular muscular Christianity interpretation of God that was being taught along with button-pushing and handling flight suit zippers and practicing how to speak in "Right Stuff" even tones.

And so ... 

what if, some super-religious AC-130U gunship Death-from-Above pilot figured it out -- "If there's no hospital there, the Taliban can't get medical care. And the rest of them are fucking Muslims, anyway, so... and even if they rebuild the hospitals, they're not gonna have any raghead-loving doctors to run it." (Yeah I know -- super-religious and raining death on people on the ground -- seems a bit incongruous, but wottehell boss, it happens).

Paranoid conspiracy theory?
Or, as they say in Law and Order: "an alternate theory of the crime?"  

It's just that when General Campbell keeps weasel-wording one story after another, it seems like, as my Azerbaijan grandfather used to translate the only Russian language phrase he knew: "If it smelled any more like shit, even the flies won't touch it."

They have to come up with Something -- something new.   (Former Defense Secty MacNamara already burned down the "Fog of War" defense to cover up the crimes in Vietnam.)

Intentional or not, this monstrosity is a horrifying as if a bunch of Marines raped Mother Teresa in Beirut in years gone by when she drove a van into the city to evacuate the children left behind in an orphanage when the people in charge fled in panic at the shelling going on. 
And as if they said: "Well look at how she was dressed. She was asking for it, all covered up like that. Can't blame us --how could we know she was a nun? We thought she was just another raghead babe."

MSF has asked for an independent investigation, and as difficult as it may be for us, it would be good for our country, both domestically and internationally, to allow the
International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to do an investigation for Geneva Convention violations, e.g. crimes against humanity.

President Obama personally promised Dr. Liu, President of MSF, a Pentagon investigation as well as NATO and Afghan investigations.

Dr. Liu thanked him and repeated her request for an independent investigation by the
International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.

My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military.
Major General Smedley Butler, USMC in War is a Racket

"Wars, politics, causes -- for thousands of years
we've ended up with a sack of shit. It's time we learned to think."
Charles Bukowski



The only Hitler analogy in today's politics that's actually useful and worth making

And it's not about who Hitler was or what he did --
it's about the way people perceived him as he rose to power on the shoulder of the Junkers (e.g. big donors)   It applies to Trump and Putin and Hitler and some others

And the point is that people didn't take Hitler seriously,
"Oh him? That man with the Charlie Chaplin mustache who yells a lot?"

It is almost by definition that the established, structurally powerful, moneyed classes become complacent, why else want all that money and power? 
-- so you DON'T have to be struggling all the time
-- they prefer to think ISIS is the big threat to their position.
(Robert Anton Wilson once said that the reason we see so many paranoid 
"they're coming up the hill to get us" movies is that the very rich movie producers all live up the hill and have Mexican gardeners and Costa Rican nannies and on some level perceive the disapproval of the people they employ, and in dark moments, wonder what would happen if...)

So they look at Trump and snicker in the clubs that he's crude and rude and crass and ... couldn't POSSIBLY  be serious.

They look at Putin and imagine that the stability, such as it is supposed to be,
 since WWII is "the way things should be" and therefore unchangeable.

They laugh at the idea that he'd take back Crimea despite installing an armored battalion for "security" at the no-snow winter Olympics --- (yeah, "take back" -- the Crimean war was about England and Germany and Sardinia wanting it, when the dynamics of Russia --  having access to only ONE year round unfreezing deep water port, said it was inevitable.)

We're not the only country run by megalomaniacs, not today with neocons, not in history with royalty.

And then... THEN! -- after Crimea -- to try to take back the Ukraine which seemed independent only since Kruschev gave them some rights, and which has had the fertile grain-growing land, and a milder climate --- in Europe, to get to really cold weather, the meteorologists know, "you go East, not North.)

The Ukraine was a wonderful buffer against ANOTHER possible invasion from Europe, 
(they had two in 150 years, the whole reason for grabbing the buffer countries -- Poland, Hungary, et al, to have more warning for the next time)

Ukraine, which we tried so hard to make them rise up and break away (when Nixon's people talked about not letting the "horror stories" get out, part of that was what the USA was doing in the Ukraine to agitate for separation) 

PUTIN!?! It's impossible! He would never do that! 
What about us? What about NATO?

But Putin, after all, a KGB East German chief for quite a few years and who therefore knows the difference between bluff and true monstrosity, Putin saw that Bush and Cheney had exhausted and destroyed our military on their personal projects in Iraq.
A man who tortures dissidents in secret knows -- as does a martial arts master, but without needing to torture) -- how ready someone is to actually fight. 

Putin is a man whose domestic system has to account for Chechen terrorists, and more... compared to an American comfort class which regards the war on Christmas as  apocalyptic disaster, or the lack of religious propaganda in schools a setup for god's wrath, and a government which is rife with the monstrous commies who would dare make sure every person (or as close to that as possible) has access to medical care.

Compared to Putin and Russia and the Chechens? --
think 10, 20, 50 Boston Marathon bombings a year.

And so, here's this short fellow (already a danger sign of possible hyper aggressiveness,
 and when his resume includes assassination and torture, we can pretty much assume he's one of THOSE short guys -- not all are overcompensating) a man who takes photos of himself that-- to us -- look like he's  the missing "Village People" act -- the cop, the construction guy, the Indian chief, etc ... and the buff bare-chested KGB assassin on a white horse...

And we laugh -- "But we have NATO! 
And we have nuclear weapons! 
And we have..."
 a military that has fallen apart from overuse without adequate R&R or equipment.
An infrastructure collapsing from pinchpenny politics...

So suddenly he's IN Eastern Ukraine and we're fiddling with his country's money,
but the people love him, because they've been crapped on internationally so long.

And he knows history -- knows it's been fewer than 100 years since a band of discontents took the royal family into a basement in Ekaterinaberg  and murdered them all.
Fewer than 100 years since, after WWI, the USA and England gathered together the rest of the allies and tried to invade Russia by sea at Archangel -- and the exhausted, depleted, Russians pushed them all back into the Baltic. 
A military venture only slightly less successful than the Invasion at the bay of Pigs.

But OUR Junkers laugh because he's such a little Clown

Same with Trump -- oh really, he's not serious... 
he has no ideas, just over and over and over again how great I am how important I am how rich I am...and all the gold and the women and how smart I am to have so much...

But he's new and shiny and they can't quite figure him out... and all the rest are treading the water in the pool of how it useta be...

Henry VIII said it to Sir Thomas Moore in the movie Man For All Seasons ---
"Look at them, they're following me. Some want wealth., Some want power.  Some want property. But most of them follow me because I'm moving and they'll follow anything that moves."

Hello Donald Trump.

The Germans laughed at Hitler -- the Berliners despised him as a sort of Donald Trump -- lower class, crude, socially embarrassing, no more than an enlisted man in WWI 
(so what if he was one of the only ones who ever won an Iron Cross) they despised him.
"Ich bin ein Berliner"
he may have said it wrong but they knew what JFK meant, that they''d been eating shit on an international level since 1945, after the war. 
And he knew the Berliners never kissed up to him.
And was telling them he knew it.

As for Dr. Carson -- he's a liberal's nightmare -- a Jewish liberal's nightmare 
-- an African American neurosurgeon (Yaay!)
with the social policies of a redneck with a 3rd grade education (Boo!) 
Cognitive dissonance.
Kind of like when Sarah Silverman joked about being raped, and as a Jewish woman, how difficult it was to deal with, her rapist being a doctor.

And now they're all coming down the road and we're all watching tv shows about Zombie Apocalypse. And yammering about how Hillary Clinton isn't good-timey enough. 

In 2008, my wife asked me, enamored of Obama and Michelle as I was
("If a woman like THAT loves a man like him, he must be even better than I think.") 
And she asked me: "What if Hillary wins?" 
And she was surprised when I said: "She'd be a very good president." 
And when I noticed her surprise I said: "I just like him more. Doesn't mean she wouldn't be great."

Still feel the same about her -- extraordinarily intelligent, experienced, capable.

When last she went up before one of the interminable Republican Slut-shaming Benghazi committees -- the one being run by America's favorite home-grown Arab terrorist and car thief, Darrell Issa -- and got his Mommy-Hate voice asking her why there were so few Marines protecting the Embassy.  I was impressed by the complexity of her mind in which she explained host country rules, treaties, job description of the Marines,et al.

Of course Mr Issa didn't seem able to follow her explanation point by point. 

Compared to the Republican offerings, she's the Queen of Heaven:

A TV reality show host? 
A black neurosurgeon to replace the serial-rapist Dr. Huxtable who betrayed our fantasies?  
A businesswoman whose viciousness required a gender change from old Joe Kennedy's "All businessmen are sonsofbitches" to similar sounding, with proper syllables for meter, "They're all spawnsofbitches."  
A pair of Cubanos -- Rubio and Cruz -- because Republicans think all Latinos are the same, they don't realize that many many Chicanos (Mexican-Americans), maybe even most -- DESPISE Cubanos because of the disparaging way the Cubanos have always treated them (those in the USA having money, education, and all the other benefits Batista and his band of torturing murderers could provide). 
And JEB (Jerkoff Extra Brother) who seems destined to prove that big money actually can not buy an election, at least when the last one with that name screwed the pooch beyond belief. 
And some other guys.

An historical point -- 
Neither George Washington, John Adams, nor Thomas Jefferson,et al were "the kind of guys you'd have a beer with." 
They were serious people.
That's the reason we remember them, as compared to some more recent presidents we'd really like to forget



In the event it ever comes down to this...

One of those philosophical games people used to play --
stuff like time machines -- who would you visit, who would you shoot, etc...
SO --
In the event of needing to decide what gets trophy shot --
a lion, tiger, elephant, giraffe, moose, wolf, et al  ...
or a hunter, either bow or bullet

To me it's simple, and I'll repeat what I said 20 years ago to three teenagers
at the San Francisco Zoo who were beginning to climb over the fence
to go down into the pit enclosure holding what we all called "The Boys,"
i.e., three half-grown Kodiak Bears.

And I said, "Excuse me, I need to tell you that I hate to see animals killed,
so if you go down there, you need to know, I'm not calling the keeper until after you're dead."

And they said "Whuuut?"

And I said "Look down there."

The bears were bored, enrichment and stimulation consisted of an empty aluminum quarter keg,
and one of The Boys played handball with it almost continually in the moat. Neurotic behavior.

"He does that because he's bored, so what do you think he'll do to you if you go down there --just for fun?  Look at those claws! So I'm not calling the keeper."

And they whined and said: "That's not fair!"

And I said what I will say today if the question arises about the macho dentist or any others:




Setrting the right sentence for the Boston Marathon Bomber, Zen Quaker style.

 I was raised in Philadelphia, the Quaker City, where the Friends established the first "penitentiary" to place people not for punishment but to do penance. 

I have spent most of the rest of my life guided by them, the simplicity of Zen Buddhism and also Tibetan Buddhism, which I always regarded as Baroque Zen.

So when it comes time (as it is today) for a jury to decide what to do with the sole surviving bomb-brother,
and thinking about Suzuki Roshi and Chogyam Trungpa, I offer this idealized sentence, if a sentence were designed to be something that will make our world better.


We start sentencing
young Joker Snarlyface to Life Without Parole in a max security solitary facility, one pleasantly named, like Florence. (I grew up knowing a librarian at the Main Branch in Philadelphia named Florence. She was a sweet and kind lady.)

Knowing that solitary confinement without purpose can make a person crazy (crazier) we put him in the hands of a Zen Master (ZM) who ushers him into a cell, telling him there's something for him to figure out, and if he does, he may be released.

He tells him "If you can understand the meaning of what you did, you will be a free man, perhaps even released from this place. So I'll ask you:
"What good could that bomb have accomplished? 

Think about it and I'll see you after a while."

The Zen master returns 2 years later, asks Joker: "What are you?" 
Joker says: "A Chechen Freedom Fighter."
The ZM turns and walks out.

2 years later, he returns: "What are you?"
Joker says: "A Muslim."
ZM turns and leaves.

3 years later he returns, asks: "What are you?"  
Joker says: "An avenging sword in the name of Allah."
ZM says, "Hmphh." And leaves.

2-1/2 years later, ZM returns, asks the same question.
Joker says: "A murderer."
Zm looks a long look at him, grunts and leaves.

5 years later, ZM returns.
Joker is ready and says: "A monster."
ZM laughs and leaves.

10 years later, ZM comes back.
Asks the question.
Joker says: "A fool."
ZM gives him a long look and smiles and leaves.

10 more years, ZM comes back.
Joker is quiet, ZM asks the question.
Joker sighs and says: "An asshole."
ZM smiles and asks: "Are you certain?"
Joker says: "Yes."
ZM turns and leaves.

7 years later he returns, asks again.
This time Joker repeats: "I'm just an asshole."
ZM asks again: "Are you certain?"
Joker sighs and says: "I don't know."
ZM says: "That's very good."

"Wars, politics, causes -- for thousands of years
we've ended up with a sack of shit. It's time we learned to think."
Charles Bukowski

"Where in the waste is the wisdom?"
James Joyce Finnegans Wake


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