August 2011

Wikileaks, Anonymous, LulzSec, the MSM and the Entropic Drift toward Crap

August 31, 2011

The problem with government is not government. It’s people. People make up government, so of course it represents all the flaws we find in people. But as Churchill remarked of democracy, that it “is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time,” the only form […]

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Poetic License

August 29, 2011

As I mentioned last week, I am now contributing poetry editor at West magazine. Among my contributions in each issue will be a regular column on poetry called Poetic License. This issue’s essay is entitled “Poetic Thinking.” It is a Hollywood axiom that the first step to being a producer is calling yourself a producer. […]

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CineFile: Irene, Meet The Beatles

August 28, 2011

  Related articles CineFile – Nobody’s Fool ( CineFile – Chinatown (

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Eating Poetry (XXVI) – No worst, there is none

August 27, 2011

“O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne’er hung there.” There are poets, and then there is Gerard Manley Hopkins.  No worst, there is none No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, […]

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Mainstreaming Bias

August 25, 2011

Among the most common complaints of those at the political edges – those on left or right who perceive themselves not to hold the reigns of institutional power – is that the mainstream media, along with other power centers, shapes our perceptions. It shapes and distorts our perception of reality in varied ways, including selection […]

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New Work

August 23, 2011

As of this Fall 2011 issue, I am (along with William Wallis) poetry and contributing editor for West magazine. West, housed at West Los Angeles College, is the online literary and arts magazine representing all of the nine Los Angeles Community Colleges, with a still expanding roster of contributing editors drawn from the talent at […]

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Mental Health Model of the Month

August 22, 2011

The following, over the transom, from a passionate fan of the blog, in response to one of my semi-comical offerings, “It’s Work Being a Jew.” It was delivered by the good offices of, which provides internet anonymisation services intended for those under authoritarian governments and in sensitive fields under threat. Also, thus, used by […]

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CineFile – Elmer Gantry

August 21, 2011

Something about yesterday’s post made me think of the great Burt Lancaster performance in the Richard Brooks film of Sinclair Lewis‘s “Elmer Gantry.” One way or another, they’re always selling salvation.   Related articles Does Perry Have an “Elmer Gantry” Problem? ( Elmer Gantry and the Cult of Personality ( CineFile – Nobody’s Fool ( […]

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How We Lived on It (38) – Amen, Brother

August 20, 2011

The riddle is “What’s the difference between Rick Perry and Osama bin Laden?” The answer is “Mohammed Atta.” The mainstream news media played carnival barker to this man’s entry into the GOP presidential primary race, then immediately turned on Perry’s implication of treason against Fed Chair Ben Bernanke as if such behavior from Perry – […]

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Jazz Is: 31 – Freedom Day

August 19, 2011

I’m in need of musical awe today. I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time, meant to for the not long departed Abbley Lincoln’s 88th birthday almost two weeks ago. Here she is singing “Freedom Day,” with the great Max Roach on drums, Eddie Kahn on bass, Coleridge Perkins on Piano, and Clifford […]

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The GOP’s Media-Manufactured Messiahs

August 18, 2011

  They might have learned something from the original breakfast flake of modern times Ross Perot. But the news media do not learn. They speculate, they trumpet, they pander, they shill – “It’s news! How can we not cover news?!” And who made it news? You’d think certainly they would have learned from Rudy and […]

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Michele Bachmann and Christian Taqiyya

August 16, 2011

Much has been made in recent years of the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya, which permits and even promotes, according to some, religious concealment and dissimulation in certain contexts and in confronting non-Muslims. What is it that Michele Bachmann did on Meet the Press this Sunday but engage in her own form of Taqiyya on behalf of her […]

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The Pernicious Anti-Israeli Propaganda of Global Policy Forum

August 11, 2011

  In Propaganda and Persuasion, Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell define the former as the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist. Elaborates Richard Alan Nelson in A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States, Propaganda is […]

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The French, Sex, Power – and Syria, Too

August 8, 2011

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn case has been one of those periodic cultural Rorschach’s we get to experience, in this case internationally. You learn things about people you might never have known or guessed. Some people’s reputations and I don’t mean DSK’s, are ruined in other people’s eyes. “Jack Lang, minister of culture under François Mitterrand,” we […]

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CineFile – Nobody’s Fool

August 7, 2011

In my previous post I offered a couple of links to video excerpts from Paul Newman films. Sometimes, though, people don’t click on links. (What’s that all about? Don’t they know how web surfing works? How else are they going to go down the rabbit hole?) So I thought I’d offer one of those excerpts […]

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The Privilege of Being Here

August 4, 2011

My last post, about my nephew Rob’s birthday, got me to thinking. (There are exits all around.) Over a pre-birthday, birthday dinner this past Saturday, Rob acknowledged to me that he actually doesn’t feel very celebratory on his birthday. Actually, neither do I, though birthdays in our family, as in most others, have for years […]

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Born on This Day

August 2, 2011

According to the calendar, today is the birthday of my nephew, Rob, my sister’s eldest, who cannot be the age he fears to be turning, as I am not that old, and I will be seeking a recount. Nonetheless, as you can see from the photo, Rob has been monomaniacally engaged from an early age, and is […]

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