by Eshu Bumpus
Illustrations edited by JB-
jb signing off 05.12.2016 9;01 a.m.
THE BATTLE OF SLUSSEN
By K. Dana Maxey
It creates the foundation, for futuristic reminiscing.
Well, why…what’s your name? Victor. Because, he isn’t driving this taxi in the middle of a very bad storm. Detours might be required in Stockholm. Where is it you want to go?
Skeppsholmen? Yah, Skeppsholmen, Victor.
The traveler’s tone sounds so strongly familiar. Are you from America?
What? The United States? Of course I am.
What is the address of the hotel?
The driver turns on the light inside the taxi, casting shadows throughout its interior.
Victor speaks with a tone of diplomatic discretion, The address? I don’t know the address. It’s The Hotel Skeppsholmen on the island of Skeppsholmen. The museum island. Why don’t you look it up on your GPS?
The traveler bundles himself as well as he can, and stares out the side window. The headlights of the vehicles on the highway light the surrounding area as if one is seated in the center of a cyclorama.
The man from Dallas, has gently fallen asleep. And Victor thinks about his wife and kids, and how they had died in Iraqi.
The traveler sits bolt-upright. Why have we stopped? We’re lost. I can’t believe what you just said! Is the meter running? Of course not. I bet. What about the GPS? The GPS doesn’t work, and neither does the radio?
Just like in the movies?
Yah, Tex, too bad John Wayne’s not here.
Do you mind? Victor stands next to him.
Where are we right now? Slussen. How do you know that it’s Slussen? I see the Katarinahissen. Exactly. And the Kararinahissen is? Near Slussen. And Slussen is on the island of? Sodermalm. That’s why I stopped the taxi. I’m sure it is. Now, watch where I’m pointing. Are you watching? Yes. See that white ship? I see it. That ship is named the af Chapman. Behind the ship are trees and buildings. Correct? Correct. Those trees and buildings are on the museum island, the island of Skeppsholmen.
Victor takes out the luggage, and places it at the Texan’s feet.
He slowly tears up the currency, and sprinkles it on the man’s shoes. I’m calling up your company in the morning. You’re going to regret this, Victor. Victor Amad Marrish.
You know nothing. What? Except the arrogance, self-delusional conceit, and xenophobia of your peers. Now, just hold on here. . .. I was a translator for your army of conquest. Seeking in vain for weapons of mass destruction, in my home land of Iraq.
Don’t you think that you better take me to the hotel? No! God natt.
Just where the hell are you going?
jb…signing off 10.13.2015/10:57 a.m.
- The typical lead pencil can draw a line that is thirty five miles long
- A chicken with red earlobes will produce brown eggs, and a chicken with white earlobes will produce white eggsThirty percent of all bingo players are under the age of 35
- In the late 1800’s, washing machines and butter churners were sometimes powered by dogs walking on treadmills.
The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for Blacks and for whites.
- During World War II, condoms were used to cover rifle barrels from being damaged by salt water as the soldiers swam to shore
- On November 29, 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an “Honorary Harlem Globetrotter.”
- A deadline is an absolute limit, usually a time limit, and was popularized by the newspaper business, in which getting stories written and printed on time is of ultimate importance.
But the expression comes from American Civil War prisoners, who were kept within crude makeshift boundaries, often just a line scratched in the dirt or an easily breached rail fence.
They were told, “If you cross this line, you are dead,” and soon the guards and prisoners simply called it what it was: a deadline.
These days, a restricted limit or time limit is often called a “deadline”.
jb…signing off 8:17 p.m. 07.18.2015
What’s being swept under America’s dirty-secret carpet is that Robert A. McDonald, his Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), has refused to approve and support emergency humanitarian housing and care at the Los Angeles National Veterans Home for thousands of war-injured and dispossessed Vietnam War Veterans.
Six months ago, Dick Southern, Region 9 Director of Vietnam Veterans of America (California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines), filed a formal request to host a crisis housing and care facility on VA property because nearly half (47%) of all homeless American Military Veterans today are from the Vietnam War.
John Rowan, National President and CEO of Vietnam Veterans of America revealed an even more sobering fact: “Today, there are more homeless Veterans from the Vietnam War era than were killed during the war. These Veterans are elderly, frail and in declining health and are being forced to live in deplorable circumstances. Make no mistake; VVA is fully committed to ending these inhumane living conditions by ensuring that our fellow Veterans get the quality housing and care they need and deserve.”
So why does VA Secretary McDonald refuse to approve and support a crucial humanitarian housing and care Reception Center on the Grand Lawn of the Los Angeles VA for not only Vietnam War Veterans, but all war-injured and homeless Veterans?
It’s common knowledge that Los Angeles is our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans and the Los Angeles VA is the largest in the nation while nearly half the property is sitting idle — and the other half is illegally leased to wealthy and powerful non-Veteran entities.
It’s also become common knowledge that Secretary McDonald is beholden to the wealth and power that control this land illegally, which is what forced Los Angeles to become our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans.
A Bitter End That Doesn’t End
Even before the fall of Saigon ended the Vietnam War forty years ago, America’s active duty Troops returned home to a hostile greeting from America’s citizenry while the U.S. government built more than 1,000 tents and Quonset huts in less than a week at Camp Pendleton in 1975 to provide emergency humanitarian relief and warmly welcomed more than 50,000 Vietnamese Refugees.
Today, there are an estimated 60,000 homeless Vietnam War Veterans nationwide, which is more than were killed during the War.
The supposed same U.S. government that provided humanitarian relief for Vietnamese Refugees has refused to provide the same kind of basic housing and care for disabled Vietnam War Veterans who fought the purported Communist enemy in their behalf.
What’s More Important?
If this convention’s main topic isn’t about the U.S. government’s abuse, neglect and human rights violations against homeless Vietnam War Veterans, then what could possibly be the most important item on their agenda?
In just a couple of weeks we will learn what the organization’s number one priority really is.
VA Secretary’s Loyalty to His Wealthy and Powerful Friends
On August 29, 2013, disabled homeless Veterans won a Federal Judgment against VA bureaucrats that reinforced the very reason why we hung the American Flag in distress six years ago on the front gates of the VA, sending forth a public message that “life and property are in extreme danger,” i.e., disabled homeless Veterans lives and their deeded property.
On January 29th, VA Secretary McDonald came to Los Angeles and manipulated a secret “settlement agreement” behind closed doors with two of his wealthy and powerful friends – attorneys Bobby Shriver and Ron Olson, and neither are Veterans.
This threesome secretly finagled a reprehensible agreement that vacated Veterans long-sought and hard fought Judgment victory and then gave aid and comfort to the illegal occupiers of this sacred land.
More Lies, Corruption and Cronyism
As predicted by the Old Veterans Guard, Secretary McDonald’s secret scam settlement is a “Trojan Horse” as he lied about his promised mandatory “exit strategy” that would evict the nine illegal occupants from VA property.
To the contrary and shortly after the settlement announcement, Secretary McDonald secretly orchestrated a brazen “entry strategy” with additional backroom wheeling-and-dealing that benefits even more of his fat-cat non-Veteran friends with real estate deals that swindle five historic Veteran properties they will control and operate outside the Secretary’s illusory “master plan.”
Another hoax is that the VA is paying a major architect and contractor $1.5 million over the next three months to conceive Secretary McDonald’s deceptive “master plan” that will include even more violations of the Deed of 1888 with long-term, low-rent “enhanced use leases” consummated with independent sources to build a 150-unit supportive housing project that won’t be completed in years.
Every time Secretary McDonald is in Los Angeles, he has engaged in private meetings with rich and powerful non-Veteran entities and has personally approved shyster deals in their behalf, followed up with private gatherings while he and his top Washington D.C. aides continue to lie about this blatant corruption and cronyism.
When Friends Become the Enemy
Secretary McDonald has proven to be untrustworthy and those who have agreed to meet with him are a friend of the enemy as well as an enemy of disabled homeless Veterans.
In the ACLU lawsuit that generated the Federal Judgment, Vietnam Veterans of America was one of the entrusted plaintiffs and Secretary McDonald became a mistrusted defendant. As might be expected considering the history of this self-serving imposter, he conveniently vacated both the Judgment and lawsuit to remove his own name by manipulating a mockery settlement that protects him and his wealthy friends at the expense of disabled and destitute homeless Veterans.
Even worse, Steve Mackey the entrusted representative and spokesperson for plaintiff Vietnam Veterans of America sided with Secretary McDonald’s settlement charade and incredulously called it a “good deal.”
We now know what Mr. Mackey meant because it is indeed a very good deal for Secretary McDonald’s wealthy and powerful friends and a very bad deal for disabled and homeless Vietnam War Veterans
In a manifest act of reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s greater good, Steve Mackey didn’t even request to read Secretary McDonald’s secret deal but simply approved it over the phone. And we wonder how illegal land-heists happen and Los Angeles is our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans when feckless Veteran representatives like Mr. Mackey are on the side of the enemy.
With friends like this, who needs enemies? In fact, it was Mr. Mackey’s alliance with the enemy that compelled me to cancel my membership with Vietnam Veterans of America, even though I have the utmost respect for the vast majority of members and many of the leaders.
For the record, the nine illegal occupants remain on VA property that was deeded exclusively in 1888 as a National Home for war-injured and impoverished Veterans, while thousands upon thousands of disabled homeless Veterans have been exiled, dispossessed and are living in deplorable and inhumane conditions on skid row and back-alley squalor.
Also for the record, we’re talking about all this happening in the United States of America and not some ruthless iron-fisted Communist country.
A Winning Team
Enter genuine American leadership.
Dick Southern has shown exemplary guidance for Vietnam Veterans of America by refusing to back down from his written request for emergency housing and care on the Los Angeles VA property, and the Old Veterans Guard has been a staunch ally offering to coordinate a “Search and Rescue” crusade going into the neighborhoods to find our homeless Veterans and bring them “Home.”
Nearly a month before Secretary McDonald came into town and conspired to give aid and comfort to the biggest land-fraud scandal in American history while offering no immediate housing for homeless Veterans, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) had already done the true American thing and passed a Motion with a unanimous 96-council member vote declaring Los Angeles to be in a “state of emergency” for homeless Veterans, and further calling for the City of Los Angeles to unify with the Los Angeles VA to provide crisis housing and care on the VA grounds.
This Motion was preceded with an eloquent speech delivered by Rafer Johnson, America’s legendary Olympic Champion and Civil / Human Rights icon who declared: “Why aren’t we using the nearly 400 acres of land at the West LA Veterans property to immediately provide temporary and or permanent housing for our homeless veterans? There is a state of emergency here in Los Angles and the time to act is now!”
Los Angeles community leaders Terrence Gomes and Jay Handal continue to offer the unparalleled service and volunteerism of LA’s neighborhood community councils at-large to assist in providing emergency housing and care at the Los Angeles VA.
Los Angeles homeless expert Ted Hayes has repeatedly offered to help with his successful “Dome Village” concept of establishing immediate temporary and transitional housing with pre-fab geodesic dome structures.
Jeff Hall, publisher / editor of the local Brentwood News has offered to unify and work with the aforementioned to help organize emergency housing and care on the Grand Lawn of the Los Angeles VA.
The overwhelming consensus of common sense and compassion toward providing crisis housing and care for our homeless Veterans continues to grow with the same fervor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement when he emphasized the “fierce urgency of now” by underscoring it with “tomorrow is today!”
A Losing Team
Unfortunately, tomorrow is the enemy’s ally as Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, VA Secretary McDonald and his “homeless expert” Vince Kane, refuse to agree with an overwhelming consensus that Los Angeles is in a state of emergency for homeless Veterans.
Instead, these imposters shamefully declare that crisis shelter like tents and pre-fab geodesic domes are unfit for homeless Veteran habitation, while preferring they continue living homeless and hungry behind a dumpster in filth and danger until they eventually find them with no responsible solution except to offer a welfare rent voucher to live in tenement slum housing.
This is not only immoral, it is criminal!
The foregoing notwithstanding, you can bet the family farm that the VA will send its “homeless experts” to Vietnam Veterans of America’s upcoming national convention hyping its one-size-fits-all “vouchers first” program to warehouse homeless Veterans in ramshackle apartments in seedy neighborhoods far away from the VA and run by sleazy slumlords to supposedly “end Veteran homelessness” — not at the end of 2014 as originally promised by former VA Secretary Shinseki – or the end of 2015 as promised by Garcetti, McDonald and Kane — but in 2016 as now promised by this haphazard trio.
How can these public civil servants of American government possibly face “We the People,” never mind disabled homeless Veterans?
We Have Found the Enemy
In sum, Vietnam’s Communism now appears to be a better solution than whatever kind of government America has today, so maybe President Obama’s upcoming meeting with Nguyen Phu Trong will at least inspire human rights at their level, because even the worst-of-worst governments would never treat their military veterans the way America’s government treats our war-injured and homeless Veterans.
article written by Bob Rosebrock and originally posted @ http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/07/06/vietnam-war-veterans-have-found-the-enemy/
protect his country from its government.”
By the Book:
- The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
a. When they’re ready.
b. When you’re not.
jb signing off 07.07.2015 8:40 p.m.
“My business, if I have any here to-day, is with the present. The accepted time with God and His cause is the ever-living now.” F. Douglass
Source: From ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOUTHERN CULTURE edited by Charles Reagan Wilson and William Ferris Copyright (c) 1989 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. www.uncpress.unc.edu
Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895
Douglass, Frederick (1808 (?) -1895) Black Leader.
Frederick Douglass was the most important Black American leader of the 19th Century. Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, in Talbot County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1808, the son of a slave woman, and in all likelihood, her white master. Upon his escape from slavery at age 20, Douglass adopted a new surname from the hero of Sir Walter Scott’s “The Lady of the Lake”.
Douglass immortalized his formative years as a slave in the first of three autobiographies, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, published in 1845; My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881). Written both as antislavery propaganda and as personal revelation, they are universally regarded as the finest examples of the slave narrative tradition and as classics of American autobiography.
Douglass’s public life ranged from his work as an abolitionist in the early 1840s to his attacks on Jim Crow segregation in the 1890s. Douglass lived the bulk of his career in Rochester, N.Y., where for 16 years he edited the most influential Black newspaper of the mid-19th century, called The North Star. Douglass achieved international fame as an orator and as a writer of persuasive power. In thousands of speeches and editorials Douglass levied an irresistible indictment against slavery and racism, provided an indomitable voice of hope for his people, embraced antislavery politics, and preached his own brand of American ideals.
Douglass welcomed the Civil War in 1861 as a moral crusade to eradicate the evil of slavery. Douglass made a major contribution to the intellectual tradition of millennial nationalism, the outlook from which many Americans, North and South, interpreted the Civil War. As a stalwart Republican (the political party of Abraham Lincoln), he was appointed marshall (1877-81) and recorder of deeds (1881-86) for the District of Columbia, and chargé d’affaires for Santo Domingo and minister to Haiti (1889-91).
Douglass had five children by his first wife Anna Murray, a free black woman from Baltimore who followed him out of slavery in 1838. Less than two years after Anna died in 1882, the 63-year-old Douglass married Helen Pitts, his white former secretary, an event of considerable controversy. Thus by birth and by his two marriages, Douglass is one of the South’s most famous examples of the region’s mixed racial heritage.
Douglass never lost a sense of attachment to the South. “Nothing but an intense love of personal freedom keeps us [fugitive slaves] from the South,” Douglass wrote in 1848. Brilliant, heroic, and complex, Douglass became a symbol of his age and a unique American voice for humanism and social justice.
His life and thought will always speak profoundly to the dilemma of being Black in America. Douglass died of heart failure in 1895, the year Booker T. Washington rose to national prominence with his Atlanta Exposition speech suggesting black accommodation to racial segregation.
David W. Blight
North Central College
see also: John Blassingame, et al., The Frederick Douglass Papers, 2 vols. (1979-1982); Philip S. Foner, Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, 4 vols. (1955); August Meier, Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915 (1963); Benjamin Quarles, Frederick Douglass (1948).
jb signing off 8:35 a.m. July 4, 2015
►The Drama Queen
“Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there’s enough time.”
►The Drama Queen
“Egotism” : the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity
►The Drama Queen
►The Drama Queen
“Nihilism is best done by professionals.” –Iggy Pop
►The Drama Queen
►The Drama Queen
jb…signing off 07.02.2015 — 11:56 a.m.
“Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in 2 small steps.” —David lloyd George (1863 -1945)
David Lloyd George as Chancellor
In 1908 he was promoted to Chancellor of the Exchequer. This gave him an opportunity to extend the welfare state – adding Unemployment Benefits and sickness benefits. … These benefits became colloquially known as a ‘Lloyd George’. In his budget speech of 29 April 1909, Lloyd George passionately spoke of his hope to reduce poverty.
This, Mr. Emmot, is a War Budget. It is for raising money to wage implacable warfare against poverty and squalidness. I cannot help hoping and believing that before this generation has passed away, we shall have advanced a great step towards that good time, when poverty, and the wretchedness and human degradation which always follows in its camp, will be as remote to the people of this country as the wolves which once infested its forests.
|The Ice Cream cone was invented in the summer of 1904 by Charles Menches. It made its debut one year later at the St. Louis World Fair.|
|Approximately 60% of the water used by households during the summer is used for watering flowers and lawns.|
For 47 days in 1961, the painting “Matisse’s Le Bateau (The Boat)” was hanging upside down in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Apparently none of the over 116,000 visitors seem to have noticed.
- American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class.
- The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.
- You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
- Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
- Apples are more efficient than caffeine in waking you up in the morning
- 47.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
- Elephants are the only land mammals that can’t jump.
- Your foot is nearly the same length as your forearm as measured from the inside of the elbow to the wrist
- Spiral staircases in medieval castles turn right as they ascend. This was so that (right-handed) knights defending the castle could more easily combat invading foes who were climbing the stairs.
The day after October 4, 1582 was October 15, 1582.
- The term “dodger” (from the Brooklyn Dodgers, now known as the Los Angeles Dodgers) was a shortened form of “trolley dodgers,” which described Brooklynites for their ability to avoid being hit by trolley cars.
jb signing off….06.29.2015 —12:47 p.m.