Wednesday, 10/26/2016

Life's Been Good

Until the musket balls fly.


October 26, 11:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Kollwitz? She's too black-and-white."

Käthe Kollwitz:

Woman as gates, saying:
"The process is after all like music,
like the development of a piece of music.
The fugues come back and
                                               again and again
A theme may seem to have been put aside,
but it keeps returning—
the same thing modulated,
somewhat changed in form.
Usually richer.
And it is very good that this is so."
A woman pouring her opposites.
"After all there are happy things in life too.
Why do you show only the dark side?"
"I could not answer this. But I know—
in the beginning my impulse to know
the working life
                              had little to do with
pity or sympathy.
                               I simply felt
that the life of the workers was beautiful."
She said, "I am groping in the dark."

Muriel Rukeyser.


October 26, 10:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Original AUMF

King George III, 1775:

Those who have long too successfully laboured to inflame my people in America by gross misrepresentations, and to infuse into their minds a system of opinions, repugnant to the true constitution of the colonies, and to their subordinate relation to Great-Britain, now openly avow their revolt, hostility and rebellion.

They have raised troops, and are collecting a naval force; they have seized the public revenue, and assumed to themselves legislative, executive and judicial powers, which they already exercise in the most arbitrary manner, over the persons and property of their fellow-subjects: And altho' many of these unhappy people may still retain their loyalty, and may be too wise not to see the fatal consequence of this usurpation, and wish to resist it, yet the torrent of violence has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence, till a sufficient force shall appear to support them.
The rebellious war now levied is become more general, and is manifestly carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent empire. I need not dwell upon the fatal effects of the success of such a plan. The object is too important, the spirit of the British nation too high, the resources with which God hath blessed her too numerous, to give up so many colonies which she has planted with great industry, nursed with great tenderness, encouraged with many commercial advantages, and protected and defended at much expence of blood and treasure. 

Within a few months, Washington's soldiers were in New York after driving the British from Boston.  Isaac Bangs describes a scene in April, not long after the Continental Army arrived:

[N]ear the Fort, is the Equestrian Statue of King George 3rd, a Present from himself to this City. The design was in imitation of one of the Roman Emperors on Horseback. The Man George is represented about 1/3 larger than a Natural Man ; the Horse, in proportion, both neatly constructed of Lead guilt with Gold, raised on a Pedestral of white Marble, about 15 Feet high, enclosed with a very elegant Fence about 10 feet high, the 2 lower feet Stone, the remainder of open worked Iron ; the inclosure was oval, containing about 1/4 of an acre of beautifull green.

And then after the Declaration is read to the troops:

Last Night the Statue on the Bowling Green representing George Ghwelph alias George Rex...was pulled down by the Populace. In it were 4,000 Pounds of Lead, & a Man undertook to take of 10 oz of Gold from the Superficies, as both Man & Horse were covered with Gold Leaf.

The Lead, we hear, is to be run up into Musquet Balls for the use of the Yankies, when it is hoped that the Emanations of the Leaden George will make as deep impressions in the Bodies of some of his red Coated & Torie Subjects, & that they will do the same execution in poisoning & destroying them, as the superabundant Emanations of the Folly & pretended Goodness of the real George have made upon their Minds, which have effectually poisoned & destroyed their Souls, that they are not worthy to be ranked with any Beings who have any Pretensions to the Principles of Virtue & Justice ; but would to God that the unhappy contest might be ended without puting us to the disagreeable Necessity of sending them to dwell with those beings for the Company of whom alone their Tempers & dispositions are now suitable.

Indeed, part of it was made into precisely 42,088 balls (perhaps half of what could've been).  As Ebenezer Howard wrote to General Gates: [The king's] troops will probably have melted Majesty fired at them.


Wonder where Joe Walsh is gonna get his balls?  I'm betting he and the other Trumpsters will submit after a smart blow...


October 26, 8:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 10/25/2016

Hold Trump's Manhood Cheap

Henry V should've sued all the French ladies after the battle.


October 25, 11:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Eleven Addresses to the Lord


Holy, as I suppose I dare to call you
without pretending to know anything about you
but infinite capacity everywhere & always
& in particular certain goodness to me.
Yours is the crumpling, to my sister-in-law terrifying thunder,
yours the candelabra buds sticky in Spring,
Christ’s mercy,
the gloomy wisdom of godless Freud:
yours the lost souls in ill-attended wards,
those agonized thro’ the world
It this instant of time, all evil men,
Belsen, Omaha Beach,—
incomprehensible to man your ways.
May be the Devil after all exists.
‘I don’t try to reconcile anything’ said the poet at eighty,
‘This is a damned strange world.’

John Berryman.


October 25, 11:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Clever Set Of Fellows

 Twenty-six historic ships:

On October 8, 1812, the United States sailed for a second cruise in the squadron of Commodore Rodgers. On October 12th, Captain Decatur fortunately separated from the fleet and stood to the eastward. On the 25th, in latitude 29° N., longitude 29° 30' W., while close-hauled on the port tack, with the wind fresh S.S.E., a sail was sighted about twelve miles to windward. This vessel afterward proved to be the British frigate Macedonian, 38, Captain John S. Garden, a noted martinet, and an officer who prided himself on having his ship in the highest state of efficiency.

The Macedonian, having sighted the American ship, made all sail in chase and bore down with topmast and topgallant-studdingsails set until almost within range, when she hauled by the wind to keep the weather-gage. Decatur kept his luff and began the action with a broadside, which fell short; but the next time his long 245 reached home, while the fire of the Macedonian did little or no damage.

At 10.10 Captain Carden, determining to close, bore up and came down on the American ship with the wind on his port quarter. Captain Decatur, meanwhile, laid his maintopsail to the mast and kept up a terrific fire as the Macedonian approached, and she, hauling up, replied with her starboard battery, but the United States fired twice to the Englishman's once, dismounting the guns of her starboard battery and cutting her crew down with grape and canister like sheep.

At 10.45 a shot carried away the mizzenmast, and the men on it were lost. Captain Carden now called away his boarders, and, putting his helm hard aport, prepared to board, but a shot carried away the fore-brace, and the yard swung round, throwing the ship up in the wind and exposing her to a raking fire from the United States.

By eleven, the Macedonian's fore- and maintopmast and main-yard had been shot away all of her boats were smashed, two guns of the main battery and all but two of the forecastle and quarter-deck guns were disabled, and she had received over one hundred shot in her hull, while the carnage among the crew was frightful. In short, the ship was a dismasted wreck, rolling her maindeck battery under water in the long swell of the Atlantic Ocean. Decatur, observing her disabled condition, hauled off to reeve new rigging and secure his masts, and at twelve o'clock the United States bore down under easy sail across the stern of the English frigate, prepared to renew the action, when her colors were hauled down and she surrendered.

Lieutenant John B. Nicholson, who was sent to receive the surrender of the Macedonian, found her decks littered with dead and the ship little better than a wreck. Captain Carden went back to the United States in her boat and tendered his sword to Decatur, who declined to receive it, saying. "Sir, I cannot receive the sword of a man who has so bravely defended his ship."

A few months before this meeting, the United States and the Macedonian had been together at Norfolk, and Captain Carden had dined with Decatur on board his ship. In conversation the English captain remarked, "Decatur, though your ships may be good enough and you are a clever set of fellows, what practice have you had in war? There is the rub!"

Decatur had a bit of previous experience facing the Limey bastards before, not just at dinner...


October 25, 11:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, 10/24/2016

Dead Not Alive

Some days I don't even know.


October 24, 10:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, 10/23/2016

Life's A Vale Of Trumples

I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew:

I'd have no more troubles...that's what the man said. So I started to go. But I didn't. Instead...I did some quick thinking inside of my head.

Then I started back home to the Valley of Vung. I know I'll have troubles. I'll, maybe, get stung. I'll always have troubles. I'll maybe get bit by that Green-Headed Quail on the place where I sit.

But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

Theodor Seuss Geisel.


October 23, 10:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Speaking Of Hamilton

I snarked on a thread about DC's potential name when it gains statehood that it should be called 'Hamilton'.  I was soon told that was ridiculous because he had nothing to do with the place.  Naturally, I noted that was a bit innaccurate.


October 23, 9:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dewey Defeats Truman

RMJ calls Texas for Hillary.  Sure, I'll put a Hamilton down on that action.


October 23, 9:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, 10/22/2016

Some are quick to take the bait

But Trump never did pay nothing to the Tin Man, for choppin', choppin' down all those trees...


October 22, 11:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Богов творил я сам

The Archipelago:

The hills in smoke-like rings of cloud were caught.
The cape looked like a loaf of bread. In fancies
And dreams I lived. The gods myself I wrought.

Ivan Bunin.


October 22, 11:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sued By The Better Lawyers Of My Checkbook

Before Gettysburg, there was this gem:

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Somehow I can't see President Trump delivering an Inaugural like that.


October 22, 10:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

With the thoughts that Trump'll be thinkin', he could be another Lincoln

Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?


October 22, 9:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"There is no Pope in Wall Street."

Happy Panic of 1907 Day!  Leading to demands for government to protect the People from bankers, which upsets Libertarian poseurs.  And thus I drink their tears every holiday season.


October 22, 8:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, 10/21/2016

the trees are stripped bare of all they wear

What do I care?  It's our front yard.


October 21, 11:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Rime of the Grand Old Party

Part the Second:

About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.

And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so:
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


October 21, 10:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


So "the Internet is down" must have been a common refrain today.  Was Bruce Scheier on to something earlier this year?  Your humble blogger earlier this century?


October 21, 7:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 10/20/2016

"Hey, Trump, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort?"

Trump at the Al Smith Dinner: "Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga."


October 20, 11:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I see you, O my daughters and queens!


When the world is reduced to a single dark wood for our two pairs of dazzled eyes—to a beach for two faithful children—to a musical house for our clear understanding—then I shall find you.

      When there is only one old man on earth, lonely, peaceful, handsome, living in unsurpassed luxury, then I am at your feet.

      When I have realized all your memories, —when I am the girl who can tie your hands,—then I will stifle you.

Arthur Rimbaud.


October 20, 10:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Original Corrupt Bargain

If only Andy Jackson had been able to tweetstorm about rigged elections at 3am:

[T]he Judas of the West has closed the contract and will receive the thirty pieces of silver. his end will be the same. Was there ever witnessed such a bare faced corruption in any country before?

But hey, how can you compete with a Founding Father like John Quincy Adams?


PS--Don't get me started on how Alexander Hamilton rigged the 1800 election against JQA's dad...

October 20, 10:13 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

With the wisdom of Congress...

On this date, 1803:

The Senate resumed the consideration of the treaty and conventions, made with the First Consul of France; and, on the question, Will the Senate agree to the ratification of the same?

  • It passed in the affirmative,
  • Yeas, ... 24,
  • Nays, ... 7.

Those Who voted in the affirmative, are--Messrs. Anderson, Bailey, Baldwin, Bradley, Breckinridge, Brown, Butler, Clinton, Cocke, Condit, Dayton, Ellery, Franklin, Jackson, Logan, Maclay, Nicholas, Potter, Israel Smith, Samuel Smith, Stone, Taylor, Worthington, and Wright.

Those who voted in the negative, are‐Messrs. Hillhouse, Olcott Pickering, Plumer, Tracy, Wells, and White.

So it was,

"Resolved, (two-thirds of the Senators present concurring therein,) That the Senate do advise and consent to the ratification of the treaty, as well as to the ratification of the two conventions connected therewith, made and concluded at Paris, on the 10th day of Floreal, in the 11th year of the French Republic, (30th April, 1803,) between the United States and the said French Republic, by Robert R. Livingston and James Monroe, Ministers Plenipotentiary on the part of the United States, and Barbi Marbois, Minister of the Public Treasury of the French Republic, on the part of the said Republic."

Ordered, That the Secretary lay this resolution before the President of the United States.

The next day, Senator Breckinridge indicated he would bring in a bill that enabled President Jefferson to actually take possession of the Louisiana Purchase.  Interestingly enough, it's the same day that one John Quincy Adams was admitted as a member of the Senate, and what ultimately would become the 12th Amendment, fixing some serious defects in the Electoral College with the rise of our first party system post-Washington, was proposed.

Then Jefferson's opposition promised they'd never confirm any of his SCOTUS nominees, just like we've always done in America...


October 20, 9:05 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 10/19/2016

No man could understand

Hillary: My power is in my own hand.


October 19, 11:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)