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Archive for August, 2010

August 30th, 2010

A-Bomb Baby

At The Daily Dish, Conor Friedersdorf links to an Atlantic article about World War II…The Real War

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE SECOND WORLD War that moved the troops to constant verbal subversion and contempt? What was it that made the Americans, especially, so fertile with insult and cynicism, calling women Marines BAMS (broad-assed Marines) and devising SNAFU, with its offspring TARFU (“Things are really fucked up”), FUBAR (“Fucked up beyond all recognition”), and the perhaps less satisfying FUBB (“Fucked up beyond belief”)? It was not just the danger and fear, the boredom and uncertainty and loneliness and deprivation. It was the conviction that optimistic publicity and euphemism had rendered their experience so falsely that it would never be readily communicable. They knew that in its representation to the laity, what was happening to them was systematically sanitized and Norman Rockwellized, not to mention Disneyfied.

Neither man, Disney or Rockwell, was, of course, a journalist.  Nor did either one make any such claim to be one.  They were artists.  I tire Very easily now, of the use of Rockwell and Disney’s names as synonymous with Phony.  These men were many things but phony was not one of them.  Neither one ever put anything before the public, I am absolutely certain, that they themselves did not believe.  Art, said Picasso, is a lie that makes us see the truth.  All artists are liars in one sense, but in that other sense, that soul speaking to soul sense, relentlessly truthful.  Both men spoke to us from their hearts, honestly and sincerely, and you can argue that life isn’t like that if you wish, but my reply to that is Yes, you’re right, it isn’t, but it ought to be.

It’s a different matter though with journalism.  Journalists need to tell the public the facts, or else we simply cannot function as a democracy.  And that is especially true in times of war.

That war, morally justified as it was, was also very heavily sanitized on the home front.  With the last of its soldiers passing away now, we are only beginning to see how nightmarishly savage it was.  The bloody slaughter of the American Civil War it seems, was merely prelude to the 20th century…

You would expect frontline soldiers to be struck and hurt by bullets and shell fragments, but such is the popular insulation from the facts that you would not expect them to be hurt, sometimes killed, by being struck by parts of their friends’ bodies violently detached. If you asked a wounded soldier or Marine what hit him, you’d hardly be ready for the answer “My buddy’s head,” or his sergeant’s heel or his hand, or a Japanese leg, complete with shoe and puttees, or the West Point ring on his captain’s severed hand. What drove the troops to fury was the complacent, unimaginative innocence of their home fronts and rear echelons about such an experience…

After one artillery exchange, two soldiers, Neil McCallum and his friend “S.” came upon the body of a man after a shell had landed at his feet…

“Good God,” said S., shocked, “here’s one of his fingers.” S. stubbed with his toe at the ground some feet from the corpse. There is more horror in a severed digit than in a man dying: it savors of mutilation. “Christ,” went on S. in a very low voice, “look, it’s not his finger.”

I got part way though the Atlantic article, when this passage struck me…

In the great war Wilfred Owen was driven very near to madness by having to remain for some time next to the scattered body pieces of one of his friends. He had numerous counterparts in the Second World War. At the botched assault on Tarawa Atoll, one coxswain at the helm of a landing vessel went quite mad, perhaps at the shock of steering through all the severed heads and limbs near the shore. One Marine battalion commander, badly wounded, climbed above the rising tide onto a pile of American bodies. Next afternoon he was found there, mad.

There’s a reason my generation are called the baby boomers. We are the generation born to the ones who fought that war, came home, and all at once returned to what would have been normal lives were it not for the war…which for heterosexuals (and homosexuals, because the closet was not an option but a necessary means of survival in those days…) meant getting married and having kids.  All at once.  It was literally a baby boom.  Housing was scarce for the new families for years.  Suburban Levittowns sprang up all over America.  Schools had to be built, many schools, many, Many schools, to handle the load…only to later be decommissioned as my old high school eventually was, after the last of the boom had graduated. We are a massive bulge in the population, and that is because there was a war.  A very big, catastrophic, savage and bloody war…that changed so much…so very very much…

Mom told me often about the sailor she dated during WWII. When she got started, I could see that look of remembrance of first love in her eyes, hear it in her voice, still, so many years later.  So many little things about him she remembered vividly.  So many stories about the times they had together…about waiting patiently for his letters from overseas during the war…about how her father disliked Jews, but came to see them as fellow neighbors in life by coming to know the Jewish man she loved.  She loved him, probably to her dying day.

When I asked her once why she married Dad instead, she said her sailor was on a ship that was ordered into Nagasaki harbor after the war ended, and that his ship became trapped in the harbor briefly due to all the bodies floating in it.  She said the sight of it had driven him mad.

…and all these years I wondered, never doubting that he’d gone mad as mom had said, if that bodies trapping a big U.S. navy ship part of the story could possibly be true.  Really?  Perhaps he’d seen lots of bodies certainly…but so many they trapped a huge Navy ship?  Madness if it will strike, strikes young men around the age he was, so perhaps it would have happened to him anyway.


At the botched assault on Tarawa Atoll, one coxswain at the helm of a landing vessel went quite mad, perhaps at the shock of steering through all the severed heads and limbs near the shore…

It wasn’t an a-bomb that did that either.  So just imagine the aftermath of the first plutonium bomb, small as they say that one was, compared to what nuclear weapons can do nowadays.  Reading this Atlantic article I see now it probably was exactly as mom had said.  So her sailor boyfriend became lost in madness. So some years later on the pier at Avalon she met my dad and they married.  So now here I am, writing this.

So many people died in that war…many from the two atomic bomb blasts alone.  Every year they toll the bells in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the a-bomb dead.  And every year it’s been in the back of my thoughts always to wonder if I was born because of one of those atomic bombs.  But that war violently changed a great many lives, and I am certainly not the only war baby ever born, who but for war would not be.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

August 29th, 2010

I’m Just A Live And Let Live Kinda Guy Who Wants To Cut Off Your Ring Finger…

Le Dance Pathetique…as choreographed by Florida Governor Charlie Crist


I’m a live and let live kind of guy…


I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don’t have a problem with that…


And I think that’s where most of America is.


So I think that you know, you have to speak from the heart about these issues.


They are very personal.


They have a significant impact on an awful lot of people…


…and the less the government is telling people what to do, the better off we’re all going to be.


….partners living together, I don’t have a problem with.


Question: Now that you’re trying to occupy the political center, are you still in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?
Governor Crist: I feel the same way, yes, because I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will.


But I do believe in tolerance.


Le Curtian…Applaus a vous…

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

August 26th, 2010

Kindly Disregard Our Previous Behavior…

Ken Mehlman, former republican party chair, is out and proud.  Well…out anyway

Ex-GOP national chairman Ken Mehlman says he’s gay

Mehlman, manager of the 2004 Bush/Cheney re-election campaign, came out to Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic. “It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life,” Mehlman said in the interview. “Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey and for me over the past few months, I’ve told my family, friends, former colleagues and current colleagues and they’ve been wonderful and supportive.”

The article goes on to say Mehlman wants to work for same-sex marriage.  That would be helpful.  Mehlman worked for years to get anti-gay bigots elected. He ran the reelection campaign of Bush The Junior, waving the gay scarecrow at voters despite the fact that he himself was one…

But he was, and probably still is, a party loyalist, and as Garrison Keillor said after Norm Coleman won in the almost-as-ugly 2002 election (which also saw Max Cleland, a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran loose to slimeball Saxby Chambliss), they are Republicans first and Americans second. If the party tells you it wants to put a knife in your back, you offer to do it yourself as a show of loyalty.

But let it be said they are not completely incapable of regret. In 2005 Mehlman apologized for decades of GOP race baiting

“Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization,” Mehlman said at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.”

This was happening back when some pundits were thinking republicans could peel some of the black vote away from the democratic party on social (read: anti-gay) issues, which makes Mehlman’s offering this apology more then a little grotesque. But if all you’re noticing about this is its tang of political opportunism, you’re missing that he’s offering this apology for deliberately polarizing the nation to win elections, just a year after they’d waged the most homophobic campaign in American history. Here’s a cartoon I did at the time…

That was the summer I stood in a protest line outside an ex-gay ministry in Memphis Tennessee, where a gay teen had been committed against his will by his own parents. There I heard the stories of other gay kids and young adults either forced into ex-gay therapy or on their own because they were terrified of being homosexual, in a climate of anti-gay fear, loathing and hate ginned up over the years by among others, Ken Mehlman. He had an election to win you see, and never mind the damage done to this country in the process. Neighbor had to hate neighbor. Parents had to loath their own flesh and blood, children had to see that loathing in the faces of their own fathers and mothers, and remember having seen it for the rest of their lives, so George Bush could be president. To the party loyalist the ends justify the means. You must be willing to destroy some families, to win an election on Family Values.

I’m glad Mehlman is finally at some sort of inner peace with the person he is. For one thing, people who are disgusted with their sexual nature, gay or straight, tend to take that disgust out on others. But no one, not even Republican’s first and Americans second, should feel forced to live their lives in the closet. But it isn’t unreasonable to expect those republicans to work a little harder now to make this an America where nobody else has to either. There’s a lot of damage out there, with their names on it.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

August 18th, 2010

Clearly You Have Taken My Statement That Death Is What You Deserve The Wrong Way

Le Dance Pathetique…as choreographed by Iowa GOP candidate Jeremy Walters…


homosexual ‘GAY’ is not of God!!!!


The Holy Bible says if your ‘GAY’ homosexual they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.


This tells me a lot so should we kill them NO. They Need to ask God to forgive them of their sins and mean it turn away from it.


They also need to know that when it says that their blood shall be upon them that tells me it is AIDS.


That how I feel.


It’s offensive to them because they know it’s the truth.


Truth does hurt.


I am not against people having a gay lifestyle, and the statements made on Facebook have been taken the wrong way.

Le Curtian…Applaus a vous…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Clearly You Have Taken My Statement That Death Is What You Deserve The Wrong Way

August 16th, 2010

Images From A Sideshow Running Away With The Circus…(continued)

Here’s some shots of the counter-demonstrators…

As I said previously, the main contingent of the counter-demonstrators came in two waves shortly after the NOM rally began.  But even as NOM was setting up there were a handful of individuals there on the sidewalk near them, quietly speaking their truths.  And among these was Mel White and his companions from Soulforce.  I saw Mel occasionally walk over to some of the NOM folks and chat with them for a while.  What was said between them I have no idea: much as I would have like to have snapped some photos of those conversations, I kept my distance.  At 56 going on 57, I have a very negative opinion of the possibility of changing minds, let alone hearts of any of these True Believers.  But I deeply respect anyone who still believes in their heart that it can be done.  So I stay out of it.  This is why I am not a professional news photographer.  The spirit of Weegee laughs at my deference to the better angels.

More and more I am seeing at these demonstrations, young heterosexual couples who see this struggle as their own too.  And it is.  Only on its face is this a fight about homosexuality.  Look closer.  It’s a fight over the right to love and be loved, waged by the power hungry war mongering human gutter, that throughout history has viewed the power of love as the essential enemy to be smashed wherever it exists.  The gay rights struggle is the lover’s struggle.

There were also lots of individual folks bearing simple statements in support of the right to love.   Sometimes you  thought you saw another lonely heart, determined to stand up for what in their own lives is yet to be…

As I said, the main force of counter-demonstrators came in two waves.  The first was peaceful and positive.  The second wave were a tad angrier.  And…louder.   They were quickly asked/ordered to move further down the plaza, away from the NOM event.

I understand this anger perfectly well.  And I am not going to sit here and pontificate that this sort of demonstration is counter-productive.  The other side turns us into scarecrows they can safely fear at a distance, and defeat with bar stool valor and junk food religion.  They need to see that we are as human as they; and there is nothing less surprising on this earth then the sight of humans who have been attacked getting angry, and fighting back.  When people are denied the dream of love, when that ability to love another, and accept their love in return is gutted out of them, what is left?

I have have said often, that the one who fights this fight and doesn’t put their head down on the pillow every night, just a little bit angrier then the night before, just a little more angry then they thought it was humanly possible to be angry, isn’t really paying attention.  But it is oh-so easy for anger to become hate.  And hate will kill your soul.

This is the lover’s struggle.  When all you have left in it is anger, you are done for.  It is for love that we fight.  Every moment you can put anger aside and remember that, you defeat hate.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

Images From A Sideshow Running Away With The Circus…

Here’s some of the shots I took at the NOM rally in front of the Capital yesterday…

They held the rally in front of the Capital south wing, which is right across from the Supreme Court building, but you really couldn’t see the court all that clearly for all the trees.  The rally was mostly tucked away in one corner of the grassy park there in front of the south wing.  This is what the crowd looked like, just a few moments literally, before Bishop Coles brought his cavalry in.  It was almost exclusively white, and very nearly half media and NOM organizers.

Brian Brown getting a tad heated in front of a media lady just before the rally started.  I don’t know what she may have asked him but he’d been really nice and polite to the media there, even the gay media, before this.

A couple NOM supporters brought their kids along.  Most of the early arrivals were older folks.  You didn’t start seeing many young people there until Bishop Coles’ cavalry came along.

That LET THE PEOPLE VOTE chant was an early hit with the crowd.  Here they are while Brian Brown gives it a few turns.

Sometime into Bishop Coles’ speech a larger group of counter protesters arrived.  (There had already been a few individual counter protesters there, including Mel White and Soulforce companions, as NOM was setting up.)  The first wave of them just made themselves quietly known with signs around the perimeter of the event.  NOM tried to have them removed, but the Capital Police told them basically that as long as they were quiet and didn’t interfere with the event they had a right to be where they were.

Some gay folk wandered around the NOM crowd during the event.  I don’t know if this couple were with the larger group of counter protesters or not.  The man’s t-shirt reads: Together 14 years, Married 1 year, 2nd class citizens every day.

Walter Fauntroy, with some other clergyman whose name I thankfully don’t know, waiting to speak.  The white clergyman was there when NOM was setting up so I assume he was one of their local organizers.  And unlike Bishops Jackson and Coles, he actually paid attention to all the other clergymen as they spoke.  He didn’t talk much with the crowd though.  Coles worked the crowd a little bit.  Jackson was working the media.

Bishop Coles right after his speech, walked off the sump and whipped up the crowd with that LET THE PEOPLE VOTE chant.  Black people were denied voting rights in this country for generations after then end of slavery.  But those same rights were not won back by the ballot, but in the courts.  The lesson that the courts have an important role to play in protecting the rights of all Americans, and that the basic human rights of minorities are not a popularity contest, seems to have escaped a lot of folks there.  Prejudice does that to a person.  Oh…YOUR rights don’t count…

More later…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Images From A Sideshow Running Away With The Circus…

August 9th, 2010

Gays Have Made Significant Contributions To Society And The End Of Civilization

Le Dance Pathetique…as choreographed by Larry Klayman at World Net Daily…


I am not a homophobe.


gay and lesbian people have made significant contributions to our society…


…and should be respected as fellow citizens and children of God.


…but I also believe firmly in my heart, as do the majority of Americans, that they should not have any role in raising children.


Nor do I believe that they should be married.


…what they do among themselves in the privacy of their homes is also their business.


But when a society loses its ethical and moral underpinnings and renounces traditional Judeo-Christian or, for that matter, common-sense universal values, it is the beginning of the end of that culture and its civilization.

Le Curtian…Applaus a vous…

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

August 2nd, 2010

Today In The Phisherman’s Digest…

Oh look…a message from the Social Security Administration asking me to review my annual statement which they have helpfully enclosed as a ZIP attachment.   Three messages actually.  Addressed to three different mail accounts of mine.  One comes from…

inetnum: -
netname:        DIGCOMM-PPPOE
descr:          PPPoE Pool
remarks:        INFRA-AW
country:        RU
admin-c:        SDV452-RIPE
tech-c:         SDV452-RIPE
status:         ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by:         MNT-DIGCOMM
source:         RIPE # Filtered

person:         Denis Shatskikh
address:        per. Kupyansky 7, Voronezh, Russia
mnt-by:         MNT-DIGCOMM
phone:          +7-473-265-4114
nic-hdl:        SDV452-RIPE
source:         RIPE # Filtered

% Information related to ''

descr:          Digital communications, LTD
origin:         AS13178
mnt-by:         MNT-DIGCOMM
source:         RIPE # Filtered

One from and one from…

inetnum: -
netname:        SKYBB8-PH
descr:          SkyBroadband
country:        PH
admin-c:        VMDB1-AP
tech-c:         VMDB1-AP
status:         ALLOCATED PORTABLE
remarks:        Used for broadband
mnt-by:         APNIC-HM
mnt-lower:      MAINT-SKYBB8-PH
mnt-routes:     MAINT-SKYBB8-PH
remarks:        -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
remarks:        This object can only be updated by APNIC hostmasters.
remarks:        To update this object, please contact APNIC
remarks:        hostmasters and include your organisation's account
remarks:        name in the subject line.
remarks:        -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
changed: 20080521
changed: 20100507
source:         APNIC

descr:        SKYBroadband-Resi
origin:       AS23944
mnt-by:       MAINT-PH-SKYBB8
changed: 20080718
source:       APNIC

descr:          SKYBroadband
origin:         AS23944
mnt-by:         MAINT-PH-SKYBB8
changed: 20100226
source:         APNIC

role:         Vanessa Maria Dolores Bueno
address:      409 P.Guevarra Street cor Ibanez San Juan City
country:      PH
phone:        +63-2-6369276
admin-c:      VMDB1-AP
tech-c:       VMDB1-AP
nic-hdl:      VMDB1-AP
mnt-by:       MAINT-SKYBB8-PH
changed: 20080521
source:       APNIC
changed: 20080521

I had no idea the Social Security Administration used the services of so many different companies to stay in touch with its account holders.  The enclosed ZIPs didn’t set off my anti-virus software either.  No I didn’t open them.

Also, a notice from DHL about the package I must have forgotten that I ordered…

The courier company was not able deliver your parcel by your address.

You may pickup the parcel at our post office personality,

The shipping label is attached to this e-mail.

Please print this label to get this package at our post office.

This one comes from the DHL offices at…

inetnum: -
netname:        SAN
descr:          Network of Saratov branch of OJSC "Volgatelecom"
country:        RU
admin-c:        AVB35-RIPE
tech-c:         AVB35-RIPE
status:         ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by:         MNT-SAN
source:         RIPE # Filtered

person:         Alexey V Bogdanov
address:        JSC "VolgaTelecom", Saratov Branch Office
address:        Mirny pereulok 11/13 410000 Saratov Russia
phone:          +7 8452 757575
nic-hdl:        AVB35-RIPE
source:         RIPE # Filtered

% Information related to ''

descr:          SAN route object
origin:         AS39229
mnt-by:         mnt-san
source:         RIPE # Filtered

Another ZIP attachment that didn’t set off my anti-virus.   Also…I got an email greeting card! From my dearest anonymous friend at…

inetnum: -
netname:      BSNLNET
descr:        NIB (National Internet Backbone)
descr:        Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
descr:        8th Floor,148-B,Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, descr: New Delhi-110001
country:      IN
admin-c:      NC83-AP
tech-c:       CDN1-AP
remarks:      IP Addresses for Multiplay network
remarks:      -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
remarks:      This object can only be updated by APNIC hostmasters.
remarks:      To update this object, please contact APNIC
remarks:      hostmasters and include your organisation's account
remarks:      name in the subject line.
remarks:      -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
changed: 20070801
mnt-by:       APNIC-HM
mnt-lower:    MAINT-IN-DOT
source:       APNIC

role:           NS Cell
address:        Internet Cell
address:        Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
address:        8th Floor,148-B Statesman House
address:        Barakhamba Road, New Delhi - 110 001
country:        IN
phone:          +91-11-23734057
phone:          +91-11-23710183
fax-no:         +91-11-23734052
admin-c:        CGMD1-AP
tech-c:         DT197-AP
nic-hdl:        NC83-AP
mnt-by:         MAINT-IN-DOT
changed: 20030120
changed: 20071227
source:         APNIC

role:         CGM Data Networks
address:      CTS Compound
address:      Netaji Nagar
address:      New Delhi- 110 023
country:      IN
phone:        +91-11-24106782
phone:        +91-11-24102119
fax-no:       +91-11-26116783
fax-no:       +91-11-26887888
admin-c:      CGMD1-AP
tech-c:       DT197-AP
tech-c:       BH155-AP
nic-hdl:      CDN1-AP
mnt-by:       MAINT-IN-DOT
changed: 20030120
changed: 20071227
source:       APNIC

This one did set off the anti-virus.  Project managers take note: this is what happens when you outsource your software development projects to India.  Outsource to the Russians instead, they’re Much Better.  And you can trust them now that they’re not communists anymore!

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Today In The Phisherman’s Digest…

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