I was working at picking up the recycling on Earth 1457 the other day, moonlighting is so much easier when multiple aspects of the self are doing the same job as in this Earth. There is some easy bleed through.
I came across a piece of white ledger with a few editor marks in red pen. There also was a big red X covering the entire text, somebody decided not to keep this in whatever they were writing.
It read like this:
“The Devil spawned the Democrats,” he said, “and even though I may be best dealmaker in the whole world, I think that Satan did too good a job on these guys.”
That was it.
I stared at it over the open gaylord before I tossed it in, kicking absentmindedly at the pallet underneath the big box.
Now in my reality, with what is going on, I thought it might be a quote out of the Earth’s “Sound and Fury” book. It certainly did not make it in our edition. But I could not decide who said it in that world: Trump, Pence, or Bannon. If they even had those guys in that reality.
For the rest of the day I had “The Devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.” by the Charlie Daniels Band running through my head.
In the land that was the CCCP, now called the Russian Federation, the people’s assets have been taken away. Now is the time for those assets to be returned to the people. Workers of the Federation unite. Your father’s fathers did it once, do it again. The Revolution never ends; it is an endless battle. In my country, we have been asleep as well. We have been forced to wake up and look at the country we have allowed to be overrun by greedy gluttons. We have begun to fight back. It is a hard row to hoe, but spring is coming. This has been the year of the roaster. This will be the year of the dog. I hope this dog can hunt, and has a hard bite.
. . . the more they stay the same. That is how the old song goes, and given what happened at the Inter-Con Hotel in Kabul this weekend, it pops into my head again. There was a lot of bad news all over the world, Syria, DC, Kabul. There was some good: the Women’s March.
In Kabul at the Intercontinental Hotel, gunmen, deaths, hostages. It was an ongoing situation when last I looked.
It has been a long time since nineteen-seventy-nine, Feb. 14th. US Ambassador Dubs in Kabul was kidnapped and taken to the Kabul Hotel. He was held hostage and killed during a failed rescue attempt. My father was a doctor, stationed there at the time. He was called to the hotel where he examined the man and told them there was nothing he could do for him.
That was thirty-eight years ago next month. Given what the Soviet’s and the US have done to Afghanistan, I would say that our military intervention and policies have failed badly. Time to rethink this folks.
There was a story on the web in the last year of McMaster showing Trump a picture of women in Kabul in mini-skirts in the seventies. He convinced Trump that we could make Kabul like that again. I assume there was some military solution. Thirty-eight years of military solutions. It is long past time for the Afghan people to get what they want. And if it is not what the Americans, the Russians, the English, or the Chinese want, so be it.
When I was last in Kabul, it was the early seventies, it was just after the first “bloodless” coup. Mohammed Daoud Khan had just taken over from his cousin, Mohammed Zahir Khan. He was trying to head of a communist movement. He was finally assassinated by that movement in seventy-eight. At night I remember the flashes of artillery fire in the Khyber Pass. The previous king and the Pakistani government had a deal with the Pathans, the Pashtuns. They paid them to let traffic through unmolested during daylight. At night, that was your problem. My guess is the coup upset that deal.
Kabul was a beacon of modern civilization. Ariana air was partly owned by TWA, the Peace Corps was there, and they wandered into town once in a while. They had been taught Dari, but the villages they were in spoke Pashtu. The borders were porous and contraband moved fairly well across them. It supported the local tribes. The provinces were controlled by the local tribes. There was an annual bushkazi event where the King awarded a gold coin.
It fell apart, but it worked until the first coup and trying to bring democracy to the place. Socialism did not work any better. I think I would describe how the country worked as enlightened self-interest. Not necessarily somebody else’s tribal interests, but your own. How are you going to put it back? That is something the US government really has to ask itself, because so far they are grossly misinformed. They cannot even do that in the US right now.
One year in, technically the US government ran out of money at midnight. It is now the weekend, whatever that means in these wacky days. I use the word wacky loosely, weird or creepy or frightening also apply. I am trying to look on the bright side.
Criminal government is tyranny. Behaving as if what has occurred in the USA over the last year is government as usual is conspiracy after the fact. The GOP is at the very least, guilty of that. It is a fitting anniversary for the most successful attack on the USA ever. Kudos to the enemy, whoever they are. You saw our weakness and turned it against us.
But there are no failures, only lessons. Thank you for waking me up. I am waiting for the honest civil servants in our legal system to catch up with the criminals. I hope I live long enough to see some of them pay for their crimes. I am no saint. They have caused me great psychological distress over the last fifteen months, ever since waking up to the election results and finding a career criminal embraced by our system.
I cannot remember when Mr. DeLorean tried to save his car company with a large drug deal. The DEA was there to help him try. I wonder why when Mr. Trump was trying to save his company by dealing in proscribed moneys, the IRS and the Treasury Dept. were not as helpful? Is it perhaps because the US government is somewhat lax on crime when they get their cut? That is part of it, but I have yet to figure out the full subtlety of the system.
Sixty-two million people in the USA voted for Trump. Yes government has an inherent flaw, it leads to corruption, but embracing corruption is not the answer. The USA has proven to the world that its governmental system cannot be trusted. We now will spent the rest of our lives, and our children’s lives trying to save face. It has been said that honest men cannot be cheated. There just do not seem to be a lot of honest men in the US. Not enough. I have spent my life trying to learn from my mistakes. It is a hard row to hoe. Like I said, I am no saint.
I believe in the illusion of government, it helps the free market thrive. If all the greedy kleptocrats out there have any sense at all, they will help restore order to the illusion. Boarders are only valuable if they are porous; it helps prevent explosions. If a body wants their proscribed moneys released, maintain the structural integrity, do not take territory, property is an illusion that must be maintained. It you are going to pick pockets, do not pants a body to get the wallet. People notice the breeze.
I am not a good political analyst. I am slow. Most of the things I have broken in my life have been a result of haste. I am leery of people who know what is what and want to fix things because I am not much different than everybody else. I have learned that how I want the world to be is not necessarily the way the world should be. In all of the bureaucracies I have worked in, people who have generally come up with better ways of doing things, have not made it better. People only see so far as the consequences of their actions, then things move in ways that are not foreseen. Sometimes wisdom is not a matter of doing, but not doing.
Still, when it is bleeding, we all should know how to apply pressure to the wound. It may not help, but there is just a freak out function to try.
I received a Kindle for Christmas. I have been watching my friends with them for several years, and I knew that I was going to have to get one, “one of these days”. Friends are there to nudge you in the right direction. Or if you have some strange friends like I do, they drag you into some of the darker corners of the world, tracer rounds in abandoned gravel quarries in the middle of the night, mostly you come back alive.
The publishing industry has changed since I sent out paper copy on all my works, waiting weeks, if not months before I could send materials out again in the hopes of being in print. Sometimes you get published, mostly I did not. I have a list of publications, but poets are a dime a dozen. You just keep writing in the hope that it has some relevance. If it does, you will make a fortune after you are dead. You can tell if you wrote something important if after you are reincarnated, you have to read your works in a literature class.
I will be trying to get my poetry on to Amazon for sale this year. I expect it will not have much of a market, but it will be there if my work becomes a meme. I have been meaning to work on my prose, however I keep being distracted by the horror story of fat cats trying to deconstruct the administrative state. The idiots do not realize that the bureaucracy is what keeps working-stiffs from having to worry about governing. I guess I am working on my prose no matter what.
I have an extensive research library around the house. I have worn out editions of books that I like to read. There is usually a pile building up around the bed as I am a restless sleeper. It goes back on the shelf as I start tripping over it. I think the Kindle will cut this pile down. This past weekend I loaded “Fire and Fury” by Wolff. I have never read a book the very first day it was published, and I would not have been able to as it sold out in hard copy too quickly. I am catching up on other political relevance at the same time, “Collusion” by Luke Harding, “Secrecy World” by Jake Bernstein, and “The Man without a Face . . .” by Masha Gessen. I will have to actually print off a copy of the Fusion GPS testimony.
There is fun stuff on my Kindle now so I do not have to drag that research library around with me “The Star Treader” by Clark Aston Smith, Robert E. Howard’s complete works, and Lovecraft. Not that I travel much these days, but packing will be easy.
There is even some Crowley, “The Book of Lies” and “The Book of the Law”. I donated my copy of the “Law” to a law Library many years ago; I thought it was funny at the time. Somehow my book of lies disappeared. Aleister is not my base line as far as working with the rituals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, I prefer Mathers. I have never had a chat with Aiwass. It was not until I read “Agent 666” that I finally came to grips with how Crowley be bopped around the world. He probably had that extra cash from the Ministry.
All in all folks, Kindles are a really useful research and reading tool. I have discovered you can highlight a word, and it looks it up in the dictionary for you. I use to have to break out the dictionary all the time. True, I will still have to look in the OED when I want to find out origins, at least I think I will, it may be on Kindle.
I hope the New Year is shaping up for everybody.
Back when I use to catalog books for a living in the 80s, somebody in my area had a coffee mug on their desk which had this meme on it: “Stress . . . The confusion created when one’s mind overrides the body’s basic desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately deserves it.”
The last year’s horror show of hidden oligarchic-creatures running amok in the world without check or balance has been causing that constant fight or flee response. I cannot imagine why.
Memory is sometimes like lightning flashes on the horizon many miles away, but with memories, the miles are years. They are little bursts of light in the darkness.
It has been a tough year with all the chaos caused by the Trump Administration. Anybody who has watched Donald Trump bubble up from the melting pot of America over the last thirty years probably remembers “The Peter Principle” a book that was published back in 1969. It became a meme for the following decade. Stated simply it goes: “In a hierarchical system, a person rises to their level of Incompetence.” There are caveats, but it is a nice observation of how humans work their way up in management. It is well worth taking a look at.
Somethings just jog a person’s memory, i.g.:
I found this boat at the demo-pile one day last April. It was waiting for the dozer to cut it in half with its blade and the steel plates of the CAT’s tread to break it up into the back-fill mix. I have always been drawn to the fringe of human ruin where the world begins to erode the illusion of human control. Old barns, abandoned cities and temples, cemeteries, and now migratory boats that are miles from port.
This was three months into the Trump administration, and now we have about three months until April comes back around. It is the dead of winter, and the robber barons have the cat-bird seat. I am trying to remember that all that green in the background of that picture is winter wheat. That little boat at the demo-pile, stripped of engine, cannibalized for parts, has become how I see my country now. Not a vessel ready to move across the water, but something waiting to be buried. Three days into the New Year and still the bastards have not been keel-hauled.
We use to have a ship of state, yet it seems that ship has sailed. We are almost one year into the current administration and the list of things that have transpired on our voyage makes me think that Odysseus had it easy, and he had pissed off Poseidon . The pumps are working overtime as the bilge-rats chew at the keel. The pirates were under a false flag and had the boarding hooks into the bulwarks before anybody realized we had been taken, sure the ship’s monkey was screaming, and the gulls were agitated overhead, the dolphins had abandoned our wake leagues back, but the captain and crew were not sharing the fact that our three hour tour was going to get rough and there were shoals ahead. The Admiralty had kept that intelligence off the brochure. We were a modern ship, and a modern crew, we did not believe on omens. One of us might even have killed an albatross.
Our ship of state is beached, and the passengers and crew have taken to the long boats. All I can hope for now is that we will find a safe haven or maybe even rescue. And I am gritting my teeth, waiting for at least the weather to turn and the first blossoms of spring on a new island somewhere.