Surreal but Unsurprising: Freddie Gray Van Driver Acquitted Of All Charges

… and three days this week in Police State news this week according to @KeeganNYC


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Officer Caesar Goodson, who was driving the police van inside which Freddie Gray incurred his fatal neck injury, has been found not guilty of second-degree “depraved heart” murder by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams.

Goodson, 46, has also been found not guilty on charges of manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

After the verdict was read, protesters began chanting “Murderer!” over and over again outside the courthouse.

“The judge said that the evidence simply was not there, that there was no way that Officer Goodson would have known that Freddie Gray was injured until that final stop at the Western district, and that’s when a medic was called. He chided the state for using the term ‘rough ride,’ he said that it’s a highly-charged term, they failed to define it.”

Hellgren says “the prosecution’s theory of the case did not fit the facts that they had presented to the judge and he was clearly troubled by this, and I find it hard to believe that he would convict any of the officers in any of the four remaining trials to come.”

WJZ’s Ron Matz reports that Officer Edward Nero, who was found not guilty of all his charges by the same judge last month, was in court and was one of the first to embrace Goodson after the verdict came down.”

From the Baltimore Sun on July 20:

“Goodson is the third officer to stand trial in the case. The first trial, of Officer William Porter, ended in a hung jury and a mistrial. The second, of Officer Edward Nero, ended in Williams’ acquitting Nero of all charges.

“Prosecutors say Goodson gave Freddie Gray a rough ride. The judge has expressed skepticism about their theory.

“You can’t just charge people at the scene of an accident to appease a mob,” said Peter Moskos, former Baltimore City police officer and associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.”

Well, no; but the Goodson neglected to put a seat belt on Freddie, whose hands and feet were in shackles.  But when they collectively had thought about belting him in during the rough ride, they were of the opinion that he might become too combative to allow them to buckle him without danger to themselves.  Freddie’s cervical spine was severed to the point that he died in a hospital before a week was up. Goodson was guilty, you Kop Kretin!  And Judge Barry Williams is a tool for the Po-Po.

The National Guard was ordered to be on stand-by ahead of today’s verdict.

If you’re interested: Live blog of Caesar Goodson’s trial at the Baltimore Sun (ten pages or soO

A few of KeeganNYC Tweet over the past three days:

  ‘NYPD Commish Bill Bratton Refuses To Call Dirty Cops On Their Sh*t’, @HipHopWired: …

New trove of documents shows plan for massive military operation in Cleveland for RNC: 

Protesters want SLC DA to resign for not releasing body cam video of fatal police shooting: …

Rikers Island jail has entrenched problems responding to sexual abuse complaints: …

Federal trial finds cops who kicked in #VeronicaCanter‘s door & killed her “justified” …

#JanishaFonville, a black queer woman, was 3rd black person shot, 2nd killed, by same cop. Still on the force.

Bratton secretly reinstates cops tied to corruption probe so they can retire (with pensions) …

Three arrested, four in crosshairs, & now eighth NYPD commander in federal corruption probe …

SF cops fatally shot #LuisGóngora from above as he was sitting “execution style” family says …

Sheriff says fatal police shooting of man at his home was justified (before investigation is over) …

Also, in Oaktown, from ‘Three Oakland Police Chiefs Resign Within Nine Days; the long-corrupt department is reeling from scandals involving teen prostitution and racist text messages’, Jun. 20, 2016

“Mayor Schaaf chose not to appoint yet another acting police chief, instead placing the department under civilian oversight. Staff will henceforth report directly to the City Administrator until a new police chief is hired. “The tactical and operational decisions will remain with the OPD commanders as they always have,” said Schaaf’s office in a statement. “Administrative and personnel decisions will come directly to the City Administrator.” [snip]

“I am cleaning house, bringing in outside agencies to ensure the integrity of our investigations and will be merciless in punishing those who are found guilty,” she added. 

Long plagued by corruption, the OPD has been under federal oversight since 2003.”

No comment, Miz Libby Gentrification.


60 responses to “Surreal but Unsurprising: Freddie Gray Van Driver Acquitted Of All Charges

  1. not counting accidents, suicides, and the like, what’s the total ratio of gun death by cop vs. not cop?

    at this point, expecting any DA’s office to indict & faithfully & honestly try to prosecute killer cops is probably asking too much. some kudos to sotomayer. though someone in her position stating the obvious can’t exactly be called courageous. unlike, perhaps, some or maybe most local judges who may be terrified, or bribed, into looking away. (“hey your honor, we can make that cocaine possession by your fav nephew go away,”)

    “he’s enemy number one,” says Tarrou of the Judge Othon in “The Plague.” why? b/c he gives the cover of law to the state’s efficient machinery of death.

    everyone must become a criminal.

    • dunno about the ratio. ‘killed by police’ on facebook now requires joining facebook for the count. pffffft. as w/ the 2013 ‘operation ghetto storm’ report, one might want to consider ‘extrajudicial killings’ of minorities, with impunity, as well. cop killings are down, and yet they natter on about “the ferguson effect”. ptui.

      dunno if i think sotomayor’s dissent weren’t a bit courageous, myownself. now i didn’t read elena kagan’s thing in the pdf, but remember: she helped gut Miranda, the tool of the state.

      great quote, once again, and right on target, so to speak. now i can’t say how hard the prosecuting attorneys tried, as i only checked in with the live blog here and there. but someone sure misrepresented some crap interviews with witnesses, and the defense asked for, didn’t receive, dropping of all charges. so yeah, likely incompetent. on purpose? but i’ll get cops choose bench trials when they’re allowed.

      explain this? “f omar mateen had pointed his guns in a different direction, he could a been a hero.”

      but i reckon you know exactly how fucking courageous the sit in was:

      “WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri brought a pillow. Norma Torres of California brought a blanket. Jerrold Nadler of New York brought a magazine. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland brought snacks. Several members brought iPads.

      And they all brought their frustration to the House floor Wednesday.
 Democrats appeared prepared for a long stay on the floor, where at noon Wednesday they began a hostile takeover, stalling all floor action for hours so they could get a vote onlegislation that would block the sale of guns to suspected terrorists on the government’s no-fly list.

      About 200 Democrats participated, including several members of the Senate. Overnight, House Speaker Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, and his fellow Republicans reclaimed control long enough to force through a major spending bill. They then abruptly adjourned around 3:15 a.m. until after the Fourth of July and left the Capitol.”

      on the no-fly list? do you know what crap that list is? of course you do. it’s like a Roach Motel, for one thing: they check you in (even in error) and you never check out.

      guess they’ll do a sit-in soon for the freddie gray killer kops verdict/s, and the 4th amendment destruction of the scotus decision, eh?

      • ah, if mateen had pointed his guns at iraqis or afghanis, that’s what i meant. coulda been another chris kyle.

        is the national guard gonna show up in the senate floor? no? then the protest is a stunt.

        how is it a handcuffed (& manacled?) kid gets into a van w/a bunch of cops, winds up dead, & no one is to blame? smells like nothing but the stench of corruption to me.

        scratch a liberal & you’ll find a fascist. libs are all over this no-fly/gun list thing. makes it look like the gov’t is doing something, and if the gov’t isn’t doing something, cranking out rules & laws, what’s it there for? it’s like a factory that has been shuttered. not doing anything is never, ever an option. funny how banning the FBI is not on the table as they were indisputably causative in the orlando incident, in my mind.

        • ach; i should have divined your meaning was such. i have seen a few headlines indicating that the fibbies had tried to ‘invite’ mateen into another mass shooting, but i didn’t click in as there are so many other things to discover, then highlight. emptywheel did an analysis of the fbi’s redacted communications from his cell, and called bullshit on all the isis/tsarnaev florida claims, iirc.

          heh; now it’s: bipartisan compromises on half the no-fly lists!!! or some such rubbish, but the librul website are weeping at the brave fighters staging their sit-in. oh, my.

          dunno all of the ingredients as to why caesar goodson was acquitted past the judge being in the police and police unions (very powerful forces), but the prosecution fukked up by withholding potentially exculpatory evidence, yada yada, as well. this tweet on the #freddiegray account really bugged me, talk about willfully creating strawmen:

          but lots of the killer kop trial i watched rather carefully would feature ‘expert testimony’ as to the ‘split second timing a cop had to make to save himself/herself!!! even, swear to gawd, tick-tock reenactments in the court room. the ones in the assassination of homeless, mentally ill james boys in abq were among the most disgusting.

          but ‘expert witnessing’ is big bidness now, of course; you might be interested in one of the kings: dave grossman of Killology fame. he trains loads of ‘serve and protects’, too. ABQ pd comes to mind. well his website may brag about the many…

          gray was snatched illegally and unconstitutionally from the start. he was injured on the sidewalk, then stuffed into the van. well, it’s a long, ugly story of shared culpability and depraved heart, but six or seven of the van team were charged, but with this ruling, my guess is they’ll drop the remaining cases. another subsequent arrestee they put in the van was said to have claimed gray killed himself by bashing his own head into the wall of the van.

          but with the recent scotus decision: his search, manhandling beat-down, all would have been retroactively legal, not that it mattered shit to a tree in the end. he had a record!!! meaning: good, he deserved to die.

          i’d seen it stated that of all the prosecutions of killer kops in the last X years, only six have been convicted.

          • bashing one’s head into the side of a paddy wagon (in cuffs, natch) is a common method of suicide, is it? what would a life insurer say to that? “actuarially speaking, it’s somewhat uncommon. statistically, it’s, uh, slightly more likely the cops just killed him.” ugh. some of this shit…nausea & tears.

            the libs are also howling about the failure to achieve one of obama’s signature goals: immigration reform. how disgustingly propagandized the american public is: obama is an immigration reformer! no, no, he’s letting muslim mexican hordes in to take our taco bell jobs & impose sharia law on mcdonalds! if his awful immigration law had passed, how would the utah v strieff decision affect enforcement of immigration law? imagine being an undocumented worker after this decision. how much authority will the boss, cops, school administrators, etc., etc., have to screw over the undocumented?

            • yes, as sotomayor said this travesty of a decision will disproportionately be used against black and brown people, even citing alexander’s ‘the new jim crow’, coates on ‘the talk we give our children’,

              stop and frisk will explode in neighborhoods where the underclass live, esp. in PoC neighborhoods, or in areas like sheriff joe arpaio’s area. his head mus be exploding with glee! the DoJ has failed to make him pay for his ugly racist deeds for years and years, including mass deportations, lock ups in sweltering tents, and leaving behind some family members.

              wow; i’ll bet there’s a utah v. strieff hashtag out there; i’ll look. i never really checked out O’s evolving immigration reform plan, but i did see that scoutus has blocked in a 4-4 tie.

              yep, suicide by head-bashing: what are the odds?

              which reminds me: i spent a few hours reading opinions of why #brexit leave won, and ‘what will the future be?’ contentions. dunno if it’s worth putting up an open thread on it or not.

              yeah: meh to amy mek dog-whistler. but right-wing nationalism is being touted mightily as what drove Leave. i know it was a big part of it via the msm, for certain, but i still don’t think that’s close to all of it. but i did love that O, the king of the neoliberal US got the finger raised to him after weighing in. and stoltenberg’s: ‘isis will be coming for you, and Putin!!!’

          • and that tweet from that twat of twit. who looks at the plight of a city & says, well, it’s not my political party’s fault or problem? who looks at the world this way? just vile.

  2. if omar mateen had pointed his guns in a different direction, he could a been a hero. i know i’ve said that here before. this little mostly idiotic “peacenik” blurb i get on FB had a pic of Tammy frickin Duckworth praising her for “service to freedom” in iraq as she poses w/the rest of her bloody droog Dem criminal colleagues in this fake gun protest in the senate. i couldn’t believe it. they propped up this amputee who, it goes w/o saying, the iraqis had every right to kill as the imperialist stooge she is. certain uses of guns are bad.

  3. yes to both. but more later; things are going weird again with mr. wd’s pop, and i need to address his sibs via email w/ some of my questions/observations/befuddlements. and a few grrrrrs to the medical establishment as well. aside: why is death so abhorrent to those USians who claim to have faith? why should pain and anguish need to accompany death? yah, rhetorical questions.

    • i’m sorry. we are really afraid of letting go, aren’t we? and force that onto others, perhaps in a futile but painful attempt to magically ward the grim reaper off ourselves? and the father issues…

      • bless your heart, jason. all i do know is that i hope i’ll meet death well, and never want to put our chirren through any of this. i smoke him and a dozen or so others every night with sweetgrass smoke, my apatheist prayer is always: ‘let go old man; it’s okay…’

        i did my research, and included it in a very long group email, although the sibs usually do their best to ignore me. politely, though, as one might ignore a fart. ;-)

  4. back at keegan’s, a few from today; it’s so out of control.

    Long Beach to pay nearly $3 million for fatally shooting unarmed #TylerWoods 19X in 2013:

    zounds, a conviction. will he serve time?
    Cop convicted of murder for fatally shooting #JackJacquez in the back, in his home, on duty.

    Cop fires 7X into car passing him, hitting 17-year-old, immediately lies: He tried to hit me

    but this, words fail:

    wot, cops lie to protect each other? thank goodness one filmed it.

    15 years: of 179 cases where NYC cops killed NYorkers, one was convicted, none served time.

    • local newz just announced in fairfax county, va (part of DC metro area), a cop who killed an unarmed man while responding to a domestic dispute was sentenced to ONE YEAR, of which he’s already served 10 months. probably won’t be able to be a cop again. will G4S or the like come calling? or overseas “security” w/CACI or Diehard or Xe/Blackwater? (i made diehard up.) i’m sure his cop buds will help him out.

      • yeah, but torres swore he thought the man was reachin’ for a gun! not to mention he got another three years (suspended)! ‘i made Diehard up’, lol. he’ll make out just fine; maybe dave grossman’ll hire him as a teacher….

        keegan has an NYPD mile-high prostitutes story, too. sooner or later ya can get a bit cynical about the po-po, yanno?

  5. Apologies if you have already mentioned this on the Orlando piece you did, wendye, but this comment appeared this morning on nakedcapitalism links:

    fresno dan
    June 24, 2016 at 8:35 am
    Orlando police chief blames Mateen for any Pulse victims killed by police McClatchy (resilc)
    Any deaths caused by police fire as they battled Omar Mateen inside the Pulse nightclub in the wee hours of June 12 should be blamed on Mateen and not on the responding officers, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Monday.

    I would say that is a premature view, considering we don’t know how many (if any) were killed by police. But it looks like a peremptory justification if there are any victims killed by the police – and it strikes me that the statement would not have been made unless there was some evidence that some innocent people were shot by police. The very statement seems prejudicial to an objective investigation of whether the police shot too much or in an undisciplined a manner.

    Undoubtedly, it was chaotic in the club. But if the police shot anyone who was not armed, then they are too quick to fire – the police have a right to protect themselves, but not a right to face no threat whatsoever by shooting anyone they see.
    I had reservations about that ‘greatest massacre’ as it sounded so phony first up. Oh, and on the Brexit, looking at the map of who voted for it – it was indeed the downtrodden against the well off, with Scotland in the ‘stay’ column mostly because they feared to be without EU representation against those same wellheeled Brits. Boy, I said yay team and meant it. (But then I don’t own any stocks, feeling a wee bit downtrodden myself.)

    • no, i hadn’t seen it, and thanks, although i did ask on the thread how many pulse patrons might have been shot by (cough) ‘friendly fire’, and figured only a future foia request for the autopsies might show the number. so…the pre-emptive justification/blame may just mean the cops fear a leak, yes?

      i mean they blast thru a wall, bring in a tank, and…can’t avoid shooting the innocent? i don’t buy it. did any cell phone video of the travesty ever surface? if not, that seems highly suspect, doesn’t it?

      ‘greatest massacre’ didn’t include native american genocides, either, or mining striker murders.

      yeah, i’m elated by #brexit, but the Remainers are protesting and demanding do-overs galore, and some are demanding that london become a state, then join the EU. all that’s about london being the second largest banking center in the world, iirc. click into the guardian uk to get a few laughs. great scott. pretty fluid situation, isn’t it? wall street did a great sell off, and that made me laugh. gold and silver stocks are spiking, lol.

      • Following the conversation on Brexit I saw a good Consortium analysis yesterday, plus Ian Welsh. And today reading counterpunch, this is right up my alley – good on you Michael Hudson!

        I’m skedaddling down to the library today – saw yesterday they have the “Debt” book in – hopefully I can grab that. Only thing, Michael, strictly speaking it isn’t Socrates but Plato who is making that connection in Book 1 of The Republic. And the elderly chap to whom he is speaking is named Cephalus, meaning head – and as we later find out, this is the head of a corpse. Oh, and by the way, the conversation takes place down at the Piraeus, the port of Athens. Hmm, gives philosophy a whole new meaning, ay? No wonder they killed him.

        Socrates, I mean.

        • Tariq Ali: “It was a revolt against the political establishment (Ed Miliband acknowledged this fact) and had Jeremy Corbyn come out for LEAVE his party would have been in a very strong position. ”

          This is so true. When he didn’t, I saw him as another Bernie, a pseudo-populist meant to deflect and confuse. Didn’t work.

          • ha, yes. and corbyn’s Remain was even milquetoast, wasn’t it? as though he could straddle the fence while he covered his ass. the one who killed me most was varoufakis and the goofy (if slightly dangerous) DieM or whatever. he was Remain, but then he’s an elite and srsly into the bottom line, isn’t he?

            but the ‘political establishment’ covers a lot of issues, territories, and socia politics. can’t wait to read pepe escobar’s #brexit polemic.

        • thank for the tips, ww; i’ll peek into robert parry’s place when i have time. heh, i thought you might have been drawn to hudson’s piece, and thank you for the corrections. ‘the head of a corpse’: brilliant.

          i read the first of ian’s two brexit pieces from yesterday, and as ever, found hugh’s comments the best overview/analysis. yves’ was too long to read; b’s…was probably correct in the case he made for ‘it won’t happen despite the vote’, but the comments got so inter-personally ugly i quit reading them.

          just as an aside, the port of piraeus was sold to the highest bidder: china, iirc. ignominious defeats for syriza abound. post-brexit, the right wingers are apparently going after podemos, as well, and they never even ramped up their coalition, as far as i know.

 now has a number of brexit pieces, and by the titles, i can’t even say which i’ve read. check that; i went to look: this prescription is key, imo:

          “The crisis facing the bourgeoisie drives it to launch ever more brutal attacks on jobs, wages and social conditions, to move towards authoritarian forms of rule, and to engage in wars of colonial conquest that are opposed by millions. As is being proved in the eruption of opposition in Greece, Belgium and France, this creates the objective conditions for the emergence of a continent-wide social and political struggle against capitalism.

          The task placed before workers and young people is not to build new borders, but to tear them down; to replace the bosses’ EU with the rule of the working class in a United Socialist States of Europe. For this reason, the stand taken by the SEP is of historic significance. It points a way forward not only for workers in the UK, but throughout Europe.”

          • Wow. I’ve thought Yves was a naked capitalist in a bikini, but she’s just donned her lamé robe with respect to Brexit – her posts at links to day – 24 carrot gold lamé to boot!

            I now realize that my wonderful liberal arts education obfuscated Plato in the same way that empire builders obfuscate religion. The obfuscation began naturally enough with the early elites who founded our program – it was simply their way of thinking, so they slanted their approach to avoid the condemnation of usury endemic in his works. And with the co-option of formerly ‘working class’ professors and the denial of tenure to those who didn’t fit the mold, it has proceeded in spades.

            Forms, abstract ideas, the ‘logic’ of the arguments within the dialogues were discussed endlessly. And endlessly were the complications of the original message. There was no comprehension that Socrates was pointing out the corruption already existing in his state, and that Plato, an elite himself, wonderfully went against the grain and tellingly enshrined Socrates’ views (because as a youth he loved and admired him) – in a way that left him free to keep writing and teaching, because they couldn’t figure out how to impeach him, or perhaps by then the state had deteriorated sufficiently to render the ptb of that time impotent.

            Any great writer, Shakespeare, Dostoievski, Cervqntes, Danté – has to so compose his great work that it enfolds the harsh truth within countless layers of literary beauty. I had become sad that our own era was no longer producing the vibrant articles that had begun it – but here they come! It’s like Plato after Socrates – the rebirth of truth. Fresh air; it’s intoxicating!

            • Yes to your analyses of b’s defense – the comments dared to disagree, so my take is that first someone deliberately disrupted the first page, and then they trolled it. Speaking of heads, the head of a snake is still dangerous after decapitation. And this one’s a spitting viper.

            • ha! to yanis as the vicar of bray (the lyrics).

              now yves in lamé on the links: hints? i still have so much do read, and RL chores to boot. now as to your librul mis-education on plato: did you diving that from some of the comments under michael’s ‘socrates on debt’ at NC, or just reading it yourself? but i can easily imagine what the good former working class instructors at that thar high falutin’ school might have wanted folks to miss.

              is it in your mind then, hudson as the new plato, then? and/or others? dunno who i’d choose. a number of truth-tellers of so many varied styles, no?

              ah, shucks; i won’t even bring any of his braying walls of words on his twit account. travel at your own risk…

              • First up, but it goes with my comment about Yves, I had been reluctant to watch the Crosstalk on Brexit because most of the articles at rt were negative, and that is what I noticed for Yves’ selection of links – all presenting the fear factor, though she did have the Ian Welsh link the previous day.

                I’d awarded her the bikini after her negativity about Greece, and this was more of the same. Here is the ‘Brexit – Goal!’ show from the saker’s capture of it – my computer stalls every time I try to access it at rt. Saker does something to the video that makes it run smoothly, slows it down maybe.


  6. Jason, somewhere up yonder you’d said “doing something is never an option” or close. now look at the Tweet above “Video shows corrections officer shooting inmate through cell door”.

    absolutely no reason to blast him with the 12-guage w/ nova rounds, save that he’d ‘failed to obey their orders’. yeah, he pissed them off showing them his junk thru the food slot, but so what? he was in the middle of a schizophrenic episode, and under the pigs’ (sorry, it works for me this time) stupid command pressure.

    how odd bodkins that one of the cops was recording it. we may never know the why of that, i won’t even speculate on the dark possibilities.

    how many times are the cops (especially swat teams as at the Pulse club) so ramboed and ‘roided up that doing less, nor nothing, ever even considered? how many cases did the po-po decide someone inside was suicidal, only to blow the doors down to…assassinate them?

    officer serve-and-protect torres you mentioned had ‘just had a fight with his wife’, shouldn’t have been on duty… and so it goes.

    • i meant “doing nothing.” doing nothing is not an option. guy’s in a cage, why not do nothing? cuz then the cop couldn’t be tough, that’s why.

      anyway, slightly OT, but maybe not: i just watched “confessions of a dangerous mind.” chuck barris of the gong show/etc. fame & his claim to have been a hitman for The Company. very well done but also quite disturbing, the mix of low brow “culture” and “spook culture,” of the worst kind: assassinations. the movie, the way it’s spliced together, compels the viewer to laugh at barris killing people. the gong show esp. encourages entertainment as both egging on people’s desire for a few of moments of fame & then humiliating them for the stupid ways they go about to achieve some kind of “meaning.” and that to be really successful, not to be one of the pathetic schlubs humiliating him/herself, you must be CRUEL. cruelty & humiliating others are celebrated, a state of psychopathy is encouraged in the populace at large. so of course cops are cruel. of course we have to “walk the dark side” and set up concentration camps to torture people and terrorize the “illegals” in our midst. warfare, etc. a “successful” society is run by cruel people, people who explicity reject love (as the movie makes clear by Barris starting his career as CIA hitman while overseas chaperoning the “winners” of his “The Dating Game.” and his inability to love. he’s a serial philanderer who can’t commit to his main love interest, drew barrymore, and who, when he kills “the mole” in their little circle of killers, he has her, [julia roberts], scrawl out as her suicide note, NO LOVE.)

      the movie itself is more than a bit of a psyop. Clooney plays barris’ handler and at one point suggests that barris “fits the psychological profile” b/c barris’ mother, longing for a daughter, made infant barris act as a girl for the 1st 3 years of his life.

      Gender/sexual confusion leads to mass murder.

      just like the bullshit we are being fed about O. Mateen’s “confused sexual identity.” people in Omar’s state typically commit suicide…until Somebody gets a hold of them, tries to entrap them, suggests things to them, like the fibbies did to Omar. fucking slanderous hatchet job on LGBTQ’s.

      (muchos kudos to the latest post on the cia & hollywood reviewing this movie, which is why i pulled it from the library, at btw, “repressed fag as serial killer” is found in a lot of movies. silence of the lambs, american psycho, son of sam…gender dysmorphia also leads to revealing state secrets, a la C. Manning. boy society really needs to be more “tolerant” or gays will kill us all and/or won’t be tough enough to keep a secret.)

      sorry for the rant. hope this makes sense.

      • yes, i thought i’d been providing further illustrations of that; i must have communicated poorly. nothing was required, well, at least if he didn’t need medical attention, but he wouldn’t have received it in any event.

        no apology needed, jason; it’s all fascinating. not only showing what naif i was assuming that the *point* of going on the gong show was to get gonged or get the hook. the film sounds fascinating; i’ll see if we can get it thr inter-liberry loan.

        but your take on the hatchet jobs on the lgbtqi in these cases was again something i hadn’t even considered: fibbies trolling to see which identity-confused people can be subverted for mass murder. “repressed fag as serial killer”; i must not have seen many of those movies.

        i sincerely appreciate your having taken the time to teach me/us all of this.

        • i should put my tho’ts together more coherently 1st ;) the gang at spyculture are agnostic about barris as assassin; probably barris’ giant ego working overtime in the fantasy factory. who knows? but barris as cultural polluter/assassin: while vietnam is going on, operation phoenix, all the stuff south of the US border, etc., etc., we get….The Newlywed Game. reaction to the more culturally charged & relevant hippy stuff of the 60’s? there’s no doubt the PTB’s determined they must control pop-culture. and make college unaffordable.

          and then there’s recent CFR-initiate G. Clooney’s interest in this story, his directorial debut, released in 2002 (how did i miss this movie?) i won’t retread the great stuff from the spyculture podcast on this subject, but they have a fascinating discussion on “spycraft” as “stagecraft”, black ops and the black arts.

          per wsws today, John Cornyn: “if they are too dangerous to own a gun, they are too dangerous to be on our streets.” i’m not suggesting someone like Mateen’s sexual issues had zero role to play but that there are more important factors. “We need more mental health services!!!”, ie, more Big Phrma pills down our gullets. probably nothing will be done on “gun control,” b/c it’s so useful as a divisive issue, like abortion & gays, but that won’t stop the state from ramping up other forms of intervention and surveillance. (no doubt utah v strieff will be used to punish people for their personal financial debts.)

          surely no one is going to suggest that someone like omar mateen needed first of all what everyone needs: to be left the hell alone by Big Bro’s goons in the FBI & other police state agents.

          “queer negativity”: think brokeback mountain, boys don’t cry, etc., etc. sexual alterity ends in tragedy. and throw in some other issues, repression, childhood abuse, etc., and voila, Norman Bates. or the two killers from Rope. Javier Bardem’s bad guy in the bond flick Skyfall (yes, fucked up fag w/mommy issues.) many others, i’m sure.

          • i hadn’t known barris created the cretinous ‘dating game’. that he wrote ‘palisades park’, yes. and i liked it! was it a similar sort of psy-op i missed as well? ;-)

            oy, i had to check out clooney as a member of CFR. is that why he’s all over darfur, or because of that? i saw a headline about his saying something about some candidate’s fundraising, and some hypocrisy about it though again…i hadn’t cared enough to click in. i checked w/ imbd on the film, and lo and behold, celebrity quiz panelist jaye p. morgan was in it, too. she was born here in mancos, oh my. the library used to be the town museum, as well, and a rack of her formal gowns was on feature. (they were so proud.)

            missed all those films in your final paragraph save for the norman bates one. i must have been equally clueless about his gender confusion, even though he was also… his mum.

            i’ve lost track of the widespread armchair psychoanalyzing of mateen, but i believe ‘it was reported™ that one of his wives claimed he was physically abusive, iirc. and that he’d tried to become a cop, according to some tweets i’d seen, but passed by. but it seems to have been that he was acculturated in the US of A, where as you’d said earlier: violence against the right ‘other’ is heroic.

            guess cornyn wasn’t referring to killer kops with that idiotic quote, was he? i dunno about ‘effective’ gun control, especially given how many guns per citizen are already out there. yeah, chris rock: ‘ban the bullets instead’.
            but other issues, as well, too long a conversation to think thru in a short space, but for one thing i’m remembering the black panther defense force.

  7. Meanwhile the rolling epidemic of affluenza becomes inflamed:
    Wired: After Orlando, the Homemade AR-15 Industry Surges

    What does it cost to make an AR-15 as a D-I-Y project? Not typically an ordinary home workshop project, is it?

    Kind of pretty stupid move to cut the income out from under the manufacturing workers of America it seems. And to treat them like they had no skills at all.

    This story is related to this post. I’m not clear how exactly it works out but the folks wanting to make their own AR-15s are not exactly those who would have defended the Pulse nightclub from Mateen’s attack. Nor would they likely defend Freddie Gray from his arrest.

    Yes, the House sit-in was pathetic even before you got into the particulars of the bill. By far the most instructive photo was of Elizabeth Warren bringing pizzas from the Senate. The Democratic Senators in the Wisconsin legislature in 2011 had more sense of how to run and inside-outside protest movement, but still botched it by cutting the movemental action to focus on the recall election. The House bunch (John Lewis shows how old he is) had no clue of how to play over against the presence of the American Federation of Teachers outside the Capitol building nor could they figure out how to prevent Paul Ryan from outflanking them within through exercise of House rules and delivering a vote that fuzzed the issue.

    A bunch of Tinkerbells demanding that progressives clap to keep the plot alive.

    Looking like fewer and fewer Sanders folks might be crossing over to defeat Trump. Sanders was kind of coy in how he responded to the endorsement question. He is going to vote for the Democratic nominee even if it is Clinton. End of statement. Subtext. My supporters are free to vote their consciences. Sorta the old Nancy Pelosi position with Blue Dog sabotage votes. Something of a sweet irony in it that the media did not grasp.

    I do believe that it is time to tax ammunition, even that purchased by governments. I can see that having a helpful effect on the situation if it passes and a helpful effect on the debate if it doesn’t. Progressive by the mass of the projectile and the quantity ordered. Get police departments creating Barney Fife details – one bullet apiece.

    • ha! while i can’t read past the pay for view, it’s a great trip. not 3-d printing, but remember when to skirt laws, ya could buy a semi-automatic, and at the same site buy a $3 kit to convert it to fully automatic? good times!

      coy as hell of the bern, yes. dunno about polling, myownself. but some of the pre-philly folks in chi-town are convinced, yada yada, that this will be the birth a new party!!!™ (including glen ford,which i may write up w/ question marks… but modi and gmo’s, so many other things to post.

      but for tonight, and more tomorrow, thanks for all this, but it’s date night for me w/ 3, count ’em 3!: pbs mysteries. may i say that after a long hard FiL/sibs-in-law day, i am deserving of the li’l vacation. my best to you and miz thd in the meantime.

      dream of a better world. (a bear came thru here in my dream this a.m.) ;-)

    • oh, gads; i’d missed tinkerbell warren w/ pizzas. no latteés? yeah, WI collective bargaining activists blew it, so sadly.

      we’ll see about what comes next for the sandernistas because: oranutan hair.

  8. i can’t seem to find where this should go, but pepe’s brexit piece was mainly about china. this is my fave so far: ‘¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate’, by Mike Whitney , a snippet:

    “Brexit is also a rejection of incoherent immigration policies whose objective is to accommodate the millions of victims of US war-making in the Middle East. EU leaders should make every effort, including economic sanctions, to stop Washington from arming and training extremist proxies that are currently fighting in Syria and who have forced roughly 4 million refugees to flee to Europe for safety. Europe shouldn’t be blamed for the blowback from America’s bloodthirsty foreign policy. Even so, Brussel’s unwillingness to stand up to Washington on this matter has allowed radical elements to emerge whose xenophobia is fueling widespread anti-immigrant hysteria. In the US, GOP hopeful, Donald Trump has capitalized off anti-immigrant sentiment making a wall along the Mexico border a central tenet of his platform.”

    • yeah, maybe mike w. but it’s not that europe didn’t “stand up” to the US; mostly they actively participated in the MENA invasions, esp. Britain. and far-right elements are being empowered by the entirely manufactured refugee crisis. This is all entirely predictable. Europe is far more willing participant than deer caught in head lights of american vicious stupidity.

      re Brexit: trying not to overhype the unity of Europe, but europe has also been active participant in the demonization & aggression against Russia. and hyper-trade deals like TTP (TATP?) are in the works. even if the dubious prospect of brexit being enforced, what would it mean in light of other unifying forces?

      all this makes me think brexit is kind of a pas de dunce b/n british nationalist forces & the EU, a little democratic smoke & mirrors. who is backing out of NATO? who is refusing to acquiesce in the assault on Russia?
      re John Cornyn: “if they are too dangerous to own a gun, they are too dangerous to be on our streets.” what about children? what about blind people? what about quakers? what about those mentally or physically unfit through age, illness, etc.? what if you are don knots in “shakiest gun in the west”? There will be two kinds of people: cops and the incarcerated. that’s it. guards & prisoners.

      • cool; you might want to read more than my snippet. he’d also quoted the trotskyites:

        “The EU is second of all an instrument of military aggression. It is a vital ally of NATO in its escalating conflict with Russia and China as the US and European powers seek to control all of the world’s markets and resources—including vital oil and gas riches commanded by the Putin regime in Moscow and the giant production platform manned by billions of super-exploited workers led by President Xi Jinping in Beijing.” (“The Brexit referendum and the struggle for socialism“, World Socialist Web Site)”

        • markets plunging is not w/o significance. other than that…ok, they are planning to break up/modify trade/currency alliances. reflecting popular will. maybe heralding similiar things to come in.

          maybe in other nations. all w/a big Trump Stamp on it. not that the weathercock in his mouth means much.

          behind these economic/financia/legal forces lie the military. aka the police on the finer level, the level of votes.

          am i being too cynical? part of EU membership is “2%” of national budget to military. that’s why i ask about russia/nato/MENA.

          • i’m sorry to be a thickwit again, jason, but again today things have gone south to Hysteriaville w/ the old man and the sibs. i seem to be a frayed knot on both ends.

            could i ask you to explain your comment?

          • maybe i’m being too sceptical? change has gotta start w/something.

            • it’s not at all clear that #brexit will become fact, for one. it was indeed a right-wing national vote according to the msm (farage and his ilk). do-overs may happen, and folks like b say they will until the powers get the vote they wanted in the first place. yeah, cameron miscalculated, boo hoo.

              now there are so questions afoot: when will article 50 be invoked and formal negotiations begin (two to ten years’ worth?), who will the tories choose to replace him, will the queen (ha ha) ask him.her to form a government, will corbyn be ousted (he says he won’t resign).

              it’s gonna be ugly for the rabble for quite some time whatever happens in the future, but i think and hope they knew it would be, but chose to go.
              now corbyn had come out ‘out of nato’ in 2015, kinda/sorta took it back, mebbe to get elected, as he kinda/sorta took back his initial Leave position

              but i dunno any of the key leftish players well enough to begin to predict how they see war or nato. or neoliberalism, for that matter. but i do love it that so many oligarchs and plutocrats lost so many billions on paper. will we expect they’ll be bailed out soon, and that their funny money extend and pretends will be attributed to…the vote?

              am i getting your drift at all now, jason?

              • yes! even the loss of $$ is somewhat fictional. and will be paid back in spades from the same source if came from: Q.E.-style flooding the markets w/cheap credit. it is funny though how “the markets,” pearls-clutched, ran for the fainting couch and demanded smelling salts & a swig of brandy over this vote. if people become disabused of the notion that voting changes things, that can’t be all bad either.

  9. I will try to answer your questions above down here, wendye, as the nested comments are going gaga. No, I didn’t have Michael Hudson in mind as a Shakespearean writer, but I’m grateful to him for pointing out Plato’s cogent words early on in The Politea (I refuse to call it “The Republic” any longer – Plato didn’t, so why should we?)

    What I really meant in general was that the community of writers at our internet fingertips have been given new life now, with Brexit, and that has consequences the negativity will slow but not stop, it seems to me. (One of the comments on the Crosstalk likened this to the fall of the Berlin Wall – I keep thinking of ‘Oxi!’ Yves kept insisting, as did Yanis, that was not a Grexit vote. I wonder.)

    And yes, exactly, that focus on Socrates comment that you don’t return a weapon you ‘owe’ to a madman was beautiful – I can’t remember any of our tutors in college homing in on that. I did grab “Debt – The First 5,000 Years” from the library, and probably it will take nearly that long to read it – it is pretty dense, though I see a lot of the back part is notes. David Graeber is credited with coining “we are the 99%” (I have the ‘updated and expanded’ edition.)

  10. I will further add an excellent return of Costas Lapavitsas at the real news:

    I really love that man.

    • fixed it for you. ;-) eeep, the lavelle video is 25 mins. long; can’t do it. now i really wish i knew what he means by his brand of nationalism and sovereignty (he seems to explain it a bit below), but i’m glad he’s no longer syriza, and called that party out, albeit more mildly than many on the true left do. i wish he’d spoken about NATO, as i’d thought there were murmuring in syriza (or left of syriza?) of giving nato the finger. stoltenberg was issuing hideous predictions about #brexit fallout.

      i just watched quite a kerfuffle on Twitterover zizek’s creepy ‘braying’ on why he was staunchly Remain, although for different purported reasons than varoufakis, and now is trying to say enough words to ‘redeem’ himself. he even got an op-ed spot in Time magazine to do it!

      but my, my, lapavitsas is quite the socialist:

      “This, I repeat, is impossible without some element of national sovereignty. The left has for too long been highly apprehensive of any idea of national sovereignty. This is impossible to do today. We must reestablish the meaning of national sovereignty from a left-wing perspective.

      That must also go with a radical economic program that allows greater democracy, more sovereignty to have content. This means nationalizing banks. It means nationalizing steel industry, nationalizing the railways. Public services and so on must be boosted. All these progressive things that we want to see must be put coherently on the table, but together–I repeat–with a broader program of democracy and sovereignty for people and for nation.”

      john pilger doesn’t mince words in his ‘Why the British said no to Europe‘, and indicts Labour’s cynical racist ploys, then later the comfortable elites of syriza. he also makes a case for a leftist version of sovereignty as compared to globalization.

      Immigration was exploited in the campaign with consummate cynicism, not only by populist politicians from the lunar right, but by Labour politicians drawing on their own venerable tradition of promoting and nurturing racism, a symptom of corruption not at the bottom but at the top. The reason millions of refugees have fled the Middle East – irst Iraq, now Syria – are the invasions and imperial mayhem of Britain, the United States, France, the European Union and Nato. Before that, there was the wilful destruction of Yugoslavia. Before that, there was the theft of Palestine and the imposition of Israel.

      The pith helmets may have long gone, but the blood has never dried. A nineteenth century contempt for countries and peoples, depending on their degree of colonial usefulness, remains a centrepiece of modern “globalisation”, with its perverse socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor: its freedom for capital and denial of freedom to labour; its perfidious politicians and politicised civil servants.”

      oh, and yes: i remember that at some point Yves disabled commenting for her posts on greece, esp. the ones in which she maintained that going back to the drachma was an absurd idea. i don’t remember what she’d said about a possible #grexit.

      • That one didn’t work either, wendye – I don’t want to try it again, but the transcript is easy to flip through – I guess he’s a socialist if that means democratic the way the New Deal is. Anyway it’s up top at Real News, and that’s not Lapavitsas in the video photo but I guess it’s Jeremy Corbyn, not sure why he’s there – at least Lapavitsas’ name is in the headline. Mostly he is talking about why Brexit happened, being based in London for his professorial duties. Thanks for the quote, though. I’d just remind people that Paine’s Common Sense is about national sovereignty also. Plus of course the Declaration of independence. Quite the socialists, these people.

        This from Robin Hahnel at, top article:

        “. . .It is comical to watch the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic panic over short-run economic damage due to market “over reaction,” because any danger of this is due to their own negligence. Only because the establishment has hitched our economic destinies to the whims of financial markets is there any need to worry that Brexit might trigger yet another global meltdown. Only because the establishment failed to implement prudent, financial regulation in the seven years since the last financial crisis crashed the global economy is there any danger today. Only because the Cameron government and the European Commission responded to the Great Recession with counterproductive fiscal austerity is a return to deeper recession in Europe quite probable. But we can be sure of one thing: All negative economic trends will now be blamed on Brexit and the populist “mob” who brought it on, rather than on the establishment’s neoliberal policies which are actually responsible. . .”
        [“Brexit: Establishment Freak Out]

  11. fuck it; i should shut this café down until life allows me to get my shit together (will it ever is the larger question, of course, given life and my ever-leaking memory.) the commentariat here is what? five people on a good day? ian welsh bullshit? ‘subscribe! they do; pffft.

    meanwhile, the house is full of magnificent flowers, even though this year’s gardening is the most perverse i’ve known in thirty years. small blessings sometimes have to be enough.

    good night moon, good night buffy; thanks for everything.

    • don’t kill our little epistolary community! vacay is ok.

      • Yes, hokey-dokey with me.

      • thank you both, jason and juliania, and sorry for the drama queen shiT. but with SibHysteriaVille being so in my face, chip and dale and the magpies eatin’ all my basil crop (yes, my main veggie crop, how silly) and so many of my flowers, (meeces as well), unanswered emails 50-deep, all of it added up to incomprehension of comments, even, and from whence they’d come.

        whooosh, yes, i need to meditate more, and simmer down a hella lot. at least the nightly keening high winds didn’t come last night, which helped.

        mr. wd and i talked it over, and given we have no legal say-so over his papa’s care, i think i’ll try to drop out of the group emails. i was just tryin’ so hard to advocate for less suffering for the old man and make any sense of the illogical path the sibs seem to be on.

        i went out to take pix of swallowtails on the milkweed flowers thrice this morning in between many RL chores as a ‘help’; i won’t tell you what comedy ensued… ;-)

        bless yer hearts, and more later.

  12. I’ll join you in misery for the garden, wendye. After the late night freezes clobbered my orchard-on-a-postage stamp except for the apples, an obliging rat decided blossom-end twigs were haute cuisine, and then the few surving precious globes are dropping with l’il codling blobs on every one, even though I’ve been hosing them down night and morning to wash off the eggs (I suppose the mums use velcro or something.)

    Not to mention the fluctuating temperatures have done a horrible job on my seedling greens; they are practically non-existent. But as you say, my joy is in flowers this year, seems to be the one for geraniums, which haven’t done great before but are a solace this year – they’re related to cacti so conditions suit them. Nice thing is I can just plunk them in the dark garage for the winter and forget – so long as it doesn’t freeze in there they’ll survive.

    I thought this might be a cheery off-topic bit – I shouldn’t badmouth NC too much – they search out enjoyable bits and pieces I wouldn’t see otherwise (as do you.)

    “[A] recent tasting reveals that the soufflé is still a work in progress. First, the cognac flavor can overwhelm the caviar. And in an effort to preserve the texture of the roe, Farnabe bakes the soufflé for just two and a half minutes—enough to muddle the caviar and not enough to yield an appropriately airy soufflé texture throughout. Setting the whole thing aflame only exacerbates texture issues, leaving the soufflé exterior firmer than the rest of it. All together, the soufflé isn’t better than the sum of its (very refined) parts” [Bloomberg]. Of a soufflé, but true for much else in the moment, no?

    That was a Lambert offering at his watercooler. And don’t you bet that soufflé is the size of a pinhead. I love that ‘appropriately airy’ bit. I always seek to achieve that in my scrambled eggs.(Putting a lid on it while it cooks in a small pot top of the stove – not in the oven which doesn’t work anyway – is the secret, Farnabe. Try that with your caviar and cognac.)

    • wot? no truffles in his soufflé? bad form, i say. but er…is the comedy that lambert put it as instructional, not as evidence of the great class divide? i had issues w/ him in the past over his having become an expert gardener in one season. besides which, his rule is: “nothing for sale at a garden supply store is anything but useless shite.” beg to differ.

      sorry your gardening’s been as hard as ours here. i think of more than fifty dahlia tubers i planted, four or five might have come up. i’d been soooo careful about digging them in the fall, tending them before tucking them into their little bags of peat moss, and storing them until spring again. chip and dale have been pissing me off, too. they now seem to be chewing my long snapdragons off to make tents of em or some such.

      gardeners, like farmers need to learn to live w/ loss. dammit.

      hahnel’s exactly right: But we can be sure of one thing: All negative economic trends will now be blamed on Brexit and the populist “mob” who brought it on, rather than on the establishment’s neoliberal policies which are actually responsible. . .” but so will the already insolvent banks get bailed out because #brexit, even if it never comes to pass.

      • Thanks, wendye. I loved your exchange with Jason down below, also. We may be few but we range pretty far and wide.

        I may have been too quick to condemn Corbyn to Berniedom – some qualifying comments on his ‘hidden’ support for Brexit may redeem him, I don’t know. Ten thousand Brits rallying to his support this morning is very commendable – I think he needs to form a new party, though. Labour seems as bad as the Dems.

        Best of warm wishes to your father-in-law as the surrounding mystery enfolds him. My century old aunt reached her 101st last month and has departed. There’s a rocky cliff over the northern most tip of New Zealand. The maori consider souls depart from that place into the unknown ocean beyond. I often think of selling up and heading as close to that as I can.

        Bon voyage to all departing souls.

        • yes, juliania; we are small, but we are mighty! ;-) i was just in freakout/grumpulous mode, and when i thought about that linked macho ‘badass’ piece of welsh’s, it made me wonder again at the size of his commentariat. i only go there for ‘teh hugh’. he was banned from lambert strether’s posts at NC, by the by. a mark of distinction, i reckon.

          when some time ago realitychecker had thought that i was calling him a racist by saying some opinion of his was rather bigoted, he flipped his zoris. by email, the one thing i’d forgotten to suggest was that we discuss it on the boards. now i don’t want to be e-friends with him, but do you or anyone else have an opinion as to whether i should offer that to him? or just let it all go…

          thank you for the good wishes, and i love the maori sea cliff belief. and yes, bon voyage to then all. (i watched ‘the whale rider’ again recently; oh, do i love that film.)

          yep, corbyn used to be Leave, and Outta nato. grabbed a few tweets when i had two short breaks this a.m. somehow the ‘reports’ that were too come in re: papa bear seem to have stalled somewhere along the line, so…

          • file under: i hadn’t meant to be my own thread-killer. please disregard my query about rc. it was sincerely impolitic as i’d forgotten that he may be reading, and any of you may suspect as much. i apologize; i’d just thought we might be able to heal his harshed-mellow..

            re corbyn: he was trounced mightily as per a no confidence vote today, but there are peeps still fighting for him. there are several hashtags on twitter, of course. One:

  13. Also, I would ditch the flame-thrower. Just a suggestion.

  14. what was it john lennon said? ‘life is what happens while you’re…’ and tra la la? once i’d hung up the phone here, a friend we hadn’t seen in 13 years (he said) and his newish wife blew in from indiana. luckily i had enough leftovers to stretch lunch a couple plates. after they left, as great joss would have it, i clicked my realPlayer on, and my stars, the song below was up. i listened once, then the phone rang….

    in a ‘paging doctor zigmund’ moment, it was mr. wd’s sister on the land line (they always communicate via cell). we had a long and very frank conversation about papa bear and his prospects for life, death, comfort and all, and i was able to make my concerns right out loud. it’s another crisis crunch of course, but…there went my plan to stfu and leave it alone.

    i played it another ten times, and had a yuuuuge meltdown cry myownself, and i hope it may help me be better able to read, comprehend, and all that jazz. no promises, but i will try to meditate a bit as well. i’m of the apatheist stripe, but the indigo girls, especially amy ray, are the kind of christians i can hear.

    hey, old man; this is for you, and all those where you are; i tried so hard to love you even though you made it tough as hell:

    In the ink of an eye I saw you bleed,
    Through the thunder I could hear you scream,
    Solid to the air I breathe,
    Open-eyed and fast asleep.
    Falling softly as the rain,
    No footsteps ringing in your ears.
    Ragged down worn to the skin
    Warrior raging, have no fear.

    Secure yourself to heaven.
    Hold on tight, the night has come
    Fasten up your earthly burdens,
    You have just begun.

    Kneeling down with broken prayers,
    Hearts and bones from days of youth,
    Restless with an angel’s wing,
    I dig a grave to bury you.
    No feet to fall,
    You need no ground,
    Allowed to glide right through the sun,
    Released from circles guarded tight,
    Now we all are chosen ones.

    (see ya’ll tomorrow, prolly.)

    • haven’t heard that song in ages! roaming around the library looking for free stuff, all i can afford at the moment, i grabbed at random a “best of” volume of poetry by one among many i know almost nothing about, emily d.

      Courage to let go.

      Nature IX
      The hearts asks pleasure first,
      And then, excuse from pain;
      And then, those little anodynes
      that deaden suffering;

      And then, to go to sleep;
      And then, if it should be
      The will of its Inquisitor,
      The liberty to die.
      Nature XIX
      Pain has an element of blank,
      It cannot recollect
      When it began, or if there were
      A day when it was not.

      It has no future but itself,
      Its infinite realms contain
      Its past, enlightened to perceive
      New periods of pain.

      • thank you, jason; they’re just right. i know i shouldn’t take the time to say what emily d. pinged for me, as it seems this is crunch day for a decision on which of two care facilities to move papa bear; both have beds now, and may not in the future.

        briefly, if i’m able: as a kid i grew up on catawba island on lake erie. those were the days that kid got to roam free, but ‘be back by dinner time’. oh, did i, often alone. one side of the island featured great stone houses atop the rock cliffs, and had rock walls topped with smooth mortar alongside the road. they were easy to climb, then skip along until an entrance opening, which required a bit of a leap thru the air to land on t’other side.

        a woman whose name i’ve forgotten knew me through my mum’s circle of friends, and would once in awhile invite me in for a cuppa tea in her glorious sunroom overlooking the waves crashing on the rocks. her eyes were the color of those splashes, and full of the sort of pain that may have been too deep to bring her tears. she loved emily d above any other, and i fancy she’d read me bits here and there.

        i discovered later that her pain was due to having numerous miscarriages. one pregnancy she carried to term; she named that dear babby emily, of course. i’d always wished i could babby-sit her, as even at that tender age parents trusted me to care for their broods of even three or four (the idiots).

        one such family i discovered years later that their youngest child was…fathered by my own father. ah, adrienne; i would love to know you.

        i kept the indigo girls youtube stream going, loved again ‘prince of darkness’ and blood and fire’. wish i couldda grown up to be amy ray. well, i did try, but once when my partner and i were performing ‘secure yourself’, on that final line, didn’t i strongly sing out ‘now we all are frozen ones…’ ;-)

        see y’all as i can.

        • (those poem are from the “life” section, not nature.) ah yes, running around the ‘hood. the rural, pre-fracking, lots of fallow farmland hood out in the sticks of east tejas. what do bored kids do on a lazy summer day? let’s go exploring! outside of the occasional poisonous snake, and the more occasional somebody running out yelling w/a gun in hand (were we close to his still?), lots of long hours wandering around. “aunt polly tried to sivilize me, so i lit out for the territories. any american boy in his right mind would do the same.” or something of that flavor, in huck finn.

          lake erie sounds funner, more exotic. fields of hay bales & moo cows can only be so exciting.

          • yeah, cow-tipping fun doesn’t excite for long.

            yes, catawba was magical for me. fossils to find under the roots of yuuuuge fallen trees. ice fishing and skating (yeah, we fell thru the ice at times), sometimes my mum remembered to insist on boots against snake bites. with a used bike a kid could travel the whole island in half a day with some graham crackers ‘n butter tied in a hankie. shoot, maybe an apple could be found in a wee orchard at the crossroads, ripe or not.

            paradise was paved over of course, and when i peek into the island now, my heart weeps, but not much is sacrosanct. i doubt even the few first american ruins were saved unless someone put some neon lights on, with a burger stand alongside. there’s a state park, mebbe that..

            but if it makes ya feel any better (kidding) my pop got a job in cleveland, we moved to the hell hole north royalton, a suburb. 250 kids in the 7th grade, some of whom challenged me to can-opener fights. a terrified fish out of water i was, and stayed home sick a lot, lots of the teachers were ex-military, to boot.

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