Archive for Catholicism

26 Sep 2013: Paint It Black (1)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 26, 2013 by spinoza1111

Worked out 23..26 Sep with 20 minutes including 150..200 step aerobics first thing every morning.

But having increasing health issues including: standard hip pain and now, headache that spreads and increases to migraine levels.

Have 570.00 HKD in wallet and more in bank. Not too concerned about effect of USD government shutdown on social security payments on October payment of “my” social security since these checks have been coming and I have been able to save.

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8 Sep 2013: Causeway Bay is well worth a Mass

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 8, 2013 by spinoza1111

Short note today! I have extensively updated 7 Sep with notes as to my studies and a Sharpe’s Rifles dream.

30 minute workout, then, this Sunday morning at 6:05 AM: 300 lowrise steps, walk, 150 dance steps (the old soft shoe), and supine motion: 150 without weights, 150 with.

Next Sunday I shall go into Causeway Bay, probably alone, to go to Mass at Saint Paul’s. The highly visible school for girls, many of whose students would come to me in my salad days for lessons at my nearby learning center, is affiliated with a church with the Mass in English whereas the church nearest me has only Mass in Chinese.

I would certainly understand the Chinese mass. Catholic services have enough sound and visual cues so that Catholics worldwide can attend and profit from services in foreign languages.

Altho the parish priest, who visits me faithfully, assures me that I do not have to go to Mass because of my condition, I’d like to try to start.

“And that he will not get him to Mass, liliburlero bullen a la
Shall make him turn out and look like an Ass!”

4 Sep 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 4, 2013 by spinoza1111

30 minute workout first thing at 6:00 AM: warmup (100 motions), 250 lowrise steps, walk and 150 very-low-impact dance movements (the old soft shoe) which are getting aerobic but without impact, (note to self, increase the count and recharge the iPod for further advances on the dancing front), 50 supine weight movements. Will probably do 20 minutes physio later today, so that’s two workouts and a total of 50 minutes (five mile equivalent by my old metric in which 10 minutes of most exercises = one mile of running).

A Note on Stupid Errors!

On Facebook, WordPress, and other facilities I am very careful about proofreading for two reasons.

One is that the sheer volume of my postings mathematically increases the probability of stupid, foolish errors in spelling, grammar and even logic. These errors as made by an unknown person like me cause my credibility to drop to a negative range. Computers only seem to make many errors; the rate is low but perceived to be high because computers execute so many operations (for example, in a modern spreadsheet such as used by Harvard researchers to call for austerity in the infamous Rogoff/Reinhardt brouhaha).


Example: I wrote “One is that the sheer volume of my postings mathematically increase” which only sounds right. Logically and syntactically it’s very wrong: do you know why?

It’s an example of thinking that the closest noun to the left of the verb controls the “number” of the verb, and that because the closest noun is “postings” I must use “increase”.

But in fact the controlling noun is “volume” which is not in the scope of the preposition “of” as is “postings”, and “volume” is singular!

Explaining grammar is so much fun and I miss teaching ESL. I could do so on Skype or in my jammies from my Grantham hospital bed. I could be “bound in a nutshell, and count myself king of infinite space”.

But I miss work per se. I love watching the nurses do things right, and I love helping the sweepers sweep up the crap from under my bed. I miss The Great Chinese Fire Drill in which we all hustle to get to work on time and work hard once we get there.

These digressions are pretty obvious as italicized interjections but I also miss the ability one has in Word: to create light grey sidebars with marginalia, for marginalia usually contain your best work, such as “I have discovered a marvelous proof that for n>2, there’s no solution to x**n+y**n = z**n”. This ability may exist in WordPress and I will research WordPress to see if that is so.

One woman complained about my “frequent” spelling errors. She’d found one or two. They stick out, I believe, because of their rarity, as Homeric Nods. At the same time, despite having taught “its” versus “it’s” (neuter possessive versus a contraction of subject and the head of its predicate) I can make, in the heat of writing, that very confusion. When other strangers on the Internet make that error I think of them as rubes, Yahoos, and worse, for I have some really choice things to say when I get in a rage about the general degringolade. When I make it, it’s a case of “even good Homer nods”. Yeah, right.

The problem is, as I learned when I had the services of one of the most notable authors of computer books internationally (Dan Appleman) and subsequently of a less well known but brilliant man at Fawcette Technical Publications, nothing replaces a separate set of eyeballs connected to a giant brain and good heart. Dan is the reason why I had few errata in my computer book and the Fawcette guy helped me with a number of articles when I was living at the YMCA and desperate for cash, mostly to buy donuts and coffee and Bennison’s and Italian Beef at Gigio’s to be sure. I was willing to work all night to get away from Korean noodles in a styrofoam cup, fueled only by the remnants of that morning’s coffee, nursed until four AM.

Well, “name” celebrity bloggers like Paul Krugman (Princeton prof, courageous Keynesian) and Stanley Fish (slowly reforming neo-con, retired English professor, writer on language aspects of the law) have nameless editors such that, when unknown people with good qualifications (formerly tenured professors et al.) make stupid errors in the Comments zone, it makes them look bad…whereas Fish and Krugman (outside of Krugman’s personal blog as far as I can tell) sail on, looking good, lookin’ “fly”, because one doesn’t find stupid spelling, grammar and logic errors (“I have read Socrates’ and Homer’s writings” eewwwww you pompous SOB) in Fish or Krugman at all…their interns eradicate any similar howlers from Fish and Krugman’s own posts. People who recently went to college retain more, such as the use of the apostrophe in the neuter personal pronoun and who was Socrates, dammit. People including college professors retired or not forget what they learned in school. So an intern is nice to have as a proof-reader.

“Fly” – outdated African-American slang as in “you look so FLY in that suit” to mean you look good, eg., like SuperFly or John Shaft. Canya dig it. Not really because it’s really OLD slang.

I will find stupid errors months, even years after posting an entry in my blog, so I often reread old postings and make corrections, documenting them (as I learned to do when correcting software code) in a “Change Record” at the end of the posting.

Dan Appleman repeatedly encouraged me to “read your work aloud” because he didn’t have much spare time as it was yet he was up all hours finding stupid errors in my drafts: likewise some PhD types who tried to clean my essays on computer science up for an ACM conference in 2005 (they never were published because I could not financially attend the conference). It is especially important in writing poetry because poetry, even “free verse” (is there any such thing?) has to sound good, period, no exceptions, because as the brilliant editors of the Norton Anthology of English poetry assure us, poetry is writing meant to be read aloud. Very few exceptions exist to this.

Finally…that “red squiggle” you now see ubiquitously should be taken seriously. Correct red squiggles (sometimes they are a different color). What’s happening? An Open Source code has been developed to do really thorough spelling checks in all cases where you’re entering text. It even highlights unfamiliar given names (as opposed to surnames) which takes some non-trivial syntax analysis. Might as well pay attention to it although it does NOT avoid all errors (spelling checks never do, and never will).

Notes On Having an English Professor in the Family

My sister, an English professor, constantly beats me up, figuratively to be sure, over my careless writing. Makes her look bad once people make the connection.

On Nipping “Budding Writers” in the Bud

People who use the phrase “budding writer” as in “I yam a medical billing specialist and budding writer” are probably great medical billing specialists in a world that needs such specialists, especially when they can advocate for patients, tell us what we have coming under ObamaCare, and teach classes in their profession at community colleges. As a retired computer programmer I think that the sort of skills that are taught in community college build employability and hence self-esteem…not being an unpublished writer, or a writer like me, with a rather disappointing record of sales. That lowers self-esteem.

People who can drive trucks with 17 separate gearshift settings, program in object-oriented C++, and advise sick people about their rights under ObamaCare don’t live with their Mom and Dad after graduation. Their salaries pay the rent. They do not max out their credit. They make extra money by teaching and consulting on the side, becoming later on full-time consultants owning their own business. They get jobs that pay into their Social Security for their retirement.

Their salaries pay the rent and support Mom and Dad.

The people living with Mom would be Princeton PhDs who know why Saul Kripke crashed and burned. This group needs to go to South Korea’s DMZ (that part that will get nuked if a war with North Korea breaks out) and use that Master’s degree that comes with the PhD to teach South Korean kids ESL. They are great kids, much less formal than China’s equally great-in-their-own-way kids, for PJ O’Rorke (the conservative humorist) was right: South Koreans are the Irish of Asia, and Pyongyang is its Belfast. Don’t worry, North Korea probably won’t nuke you, and if it does, it will all be over in a flash.

But the former group, of honest hard working skilled people, should not be writers, both because of the hackneyism “budding writer” which occurs too often in the corpus to be anything but lame (6 million hits on Google) and because “writer” is too abstract: the reader wants to know, about what?

Heck, I am a published writer of one book…a nerd book which is sad and lame when you think about it, and the smallness of my royalties: I try not to, it makes me weep.

30% international tax withholding and 13.00 USD charged by HSBC merely to credit 100.00 USD net to my account. Boo most assuredly hoo.

As a startup, not a budding, writer, you need to decide on your genre: if you love mysteries, crime and noir you need to decide what type you shall write about (Downton Abbey, Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett ). Before you set pen to paper or switch electrons on in your computer, be prepared to write about whatchoo wanna write about. Eliminate mention of any other writer. If you write “I want to make millions and be a writer like that woman who wrote Harry Potter, whatsername CK Rowling”…boom, there’s the door, both because you are engaging in “me-too marketing” (“I sell the same product at a discount!”) and because no one will read it.

I mean: I love writing. It should be obvious, one never has seen such a flood of words since Edward Gibbon as one finds here. But I also love proof-reading. I love proofing my own work, it looks so nice (which means I don’t do a very good job on my own work). I also love editing and proofreading others’ work, it’s remarkably easy and avoids the commitments of writing. This love of the nitty gritty of writing helped me get published three years after starting to write (in 1976).

“Nitty gritty”…hackneyed phrase or Nod Homerique? You decide! My rule: if it’s something that would be said in a boring and vicious office, don’t use it. “Nitty gritty.” “We’re going to have to let you go.” “ring a bell?” “Productivity.” Don’t use these words and phrases.

Dream

…wandering around my home town (Evanston, Illinois) on the southern side near the lake, a neighborhood of big homes and flat blocks built in a false mediaeval style (with turrets and gargoyles) in the 1920s which have retained their value and are used as investments. I go to the Orthodox church there (in the dream: there is no such actual church), the one with very steep and missing stairs to its main entrance that must be negotiated by worshippers and wedding parties.

I am in my flat next to the library and hotel (Orrington) but the electricity is failing. Some things work, others do not. I had this experience in the waking world in China but never in America. You get confused: what is the ON setting on this thing? How long should I wait after turning the device on or off, that is, how long does this complex computer take to execute power down instructions in firmware?

At the end of the dream I had a whole room of Northwestern students trying to help me, switching various devices on and off.

In darkness, then, I seek the light. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light”. I know more Scripture from good old Handel than actually reading the Bible. It is well known that just as Tea Baggers never read the Constitution (its reading level is pitched way above grade school) they cannot name the four Gospels whereas their Protestant ancestors could. But I seldom read the Bible, just listen to works including the Messiah and Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

But here I go spreading religious hatred. I need to stay away from that stick of shitfire with a wick on it, it’s ruined Belfast and Glasgow. I shall leave it here as an example of how religion so often becomes hate, and if I find myself becoming overly compulsively Catholic I will leave the Church again. I just find prayer calming given my situation.

Study

Grand High Re-read of Kant’s Critique: did a long review of PF Strawson’s Bounds of Sense (a reading of the Critique) with academic footnotes “and all”. It’s been bounced, I now realized by an automated scoring tool that measured its size and…the automated tool “was like, WTF”. In addition, an automated tool can detect one or more external Web addresses which might indicate spam and/or promotion. Finally, there may also be “bad language”. Good people, I feel, use bad language in a bad world.

Not really up to revising it, replied (like a silly man) to the automated tool saying back off: need instead to contact a Human Being at Amazon. May say heck with it. It’s published here on my blog. It’s really just part of my Kant study. I’m not even happy with its contents as opposed to its outside references. I never deeply read Strawson who is a great analytic philosopher. Perhaps I need to do a quick re-read and then rewrite the Strawson review.

“ESF Shocker??”

ESF stands for the English Schools Foundation whose charter seems to be “reserve places in good English medium-of-instruction schools for wealthy parents”.

The “shocker” is that the fee merely for applying for your child to an ESF school has gone from 150.00 to two thousand Hong Kong dollars. The fee doesn’t guarantee admission and is not refunded if your kid doesn’t get in. Whereas the parents of the kids that I teach balk at paying much more than one hundred fifty per hour of my teaching.

This unconscionable charge, together with the facts found by the BBC about millionaire “super star” English and test prep tutors, primarily young and sexy Chinese with English names who dress fashionably, alarm me.

See the BBC documentary here.

I have these questions.

Why is such an important social task, the preparation of children for life, such a sordid, almost gangsta affair and what sort of message does it send kids when they and their future are bought and sold…on dat ole cross of gold?

Why does the millionaire star tutor of the BBC documentary get away with merely feeding kids, whose parents pay him thousands, lists of words he thinks will appear on the exam merely because they appear on past papers available on the Internet to his students?

Why does he use Cantonese as his medium of instruction when we know that learning a new language demands that that unfamiliar language, in this case English, be the medium of instruction from day one?

Why does he fail to teach grammar, for all I can tell, and then smirk when the student tracked by the BBC fails the trial examination because he doesn’t know grammar???.

And finally, why is it that I am retiring on US Social Security and an MPF balance where MPF is Hong Komg’s limited retirement savings scheme, also known as Mandatory Provident Fund, whereas this clown Lam, the so-called “tiger tutor” is a millionaire? I hammered the Oxford Reference Grammar cover to cover, I created charts for verb phrase analysis using my knowledge of formal grammars in computing …

I used YouTube movies to get the students’ attention: at several schools I reversed deep alienation by taking the risk of showing kids bored to tears by the pap they were being fed, the film I Not Stupid about the system in Singapore, which is very similar in intensity and cruelty to Hong Kong’s system …

… and, as I have said, I am on Queer Street financially …

… Why? Am I just a wanker, or does the system manufacture wankerdom when you don’t choose to be a shark? When you’re not an American Psycho of any nationality? Just askin’. …

… BTW, “Queer Street” doesn’t have anything to do with homosexuality: it is a British English phrase that means “the poor house” …

The rest is silence …

Change Record

7 Sep 2013 Correct “nuked if a war with North Korea”

11 July 2013: Got Over-Scintillated

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 11, 2013 by spinoza1111

Despite not enough sleep, rose automatically at 5:30 AM and decided to work out, get it done, and not nap…just hit the hay this evening at a reasonable hour…8:00.

200 low-rise steps *without much pain* and no need for yesterday’s march-or-die-mes-enfants efforts working through both pain and exhaustion. Instead, polished them off in ten minutes and then did nowt but “conductus” (air conducting of classical music) for ten minutes more.

Stayed up late last night to 10:30 because I always get over-scintillated by these trips to chemo and meetings with remarkable Chemo-Sabes such as Ciaran Love – turned out to know this Dude of Dudes from Lamma, and he’s an actor like so many good folk are. Doing Shakespeare, so having geeked out I can help.

My morning Chemo-Sabe (The Lone Ranger’s Indian Companion was his Kemo-sabe) was a Chinese friend who studied Kant for a social theory degree in Paris. I always irritate her by jumping around, straining the comprehension perhaps especially of smart people who unlike dumb people expect coherence from me of all people. Dumb people somehow have a Sixth Sense that I am off the wall whereas smart people tend to think that just because I am brilliant, focused and on-topic for ten, thirty minutes, I won’t get bored and spin off the turntable after thirty minutes. They feel they’ve been had, as when they read James Joyce the first time. Which they have been. Had, that is, but in a good cause.

Still underweight at 153 and getting sick of chocolate but not enough to quit. Found a Nestle’s Crunch but no Lindt bars at the 7-11 in Queen Mary. Therefore Lindt chocs will be welcome and if you’re skint I will pay for them and share them with you. 75%+ cacao solids added or more are my favorites…even the 99% bar, an almost unsweetened bar, has deep mysteries to reveal. Like Ancient Pistol, who says i’th’old play (Henry IV part 2), “I sing of Africa, and golden joys”; the 99% reveals sweetness in a heart of darkness.

A chocolate bar was deliberately designed by Mars for the United States during the War. It needed to solve a problem: designed for deep survival, it couldn’t be tasty since then the GI, a kid really, would eat it up prematurely. As I would: Snarf.

So they made a nearly unsweetened (90% cacao solids added) bar of chalky taste and texture, and provided Mars Bars in the PX world wide for actual eating … along with cigarettes to reduce appetite in those cancer-innocent days. Those things (Mars Bars) can be eaten anywhere, frozen in Germany, melted in the Solomons. Likewise the survival bar would itself survive a range of climates.

Kant Studies

In his copy of the Grundlegung for a Metaphysic of Morals, my late dear son underlines the key point: all we can know to be good is a good will. Now, GE Moore demurs. He philosophized at OxCam during the turn of the twentieth century and he thought that language doesn’t deceive.

To Moore, the philosopher must defer to common sense. The twentieth century had two or more major “turns” where previously neglected forms of analysis were brought back when things seemed at an impasse.

The most famous “turn” was linguistic and for many mathematically so. It started with Russell, and his Principia and its attempt, doomed on the face of it, to derive all math from logic and thereby disproving what to Russell and his American companion (Alfred North Whitehead) was to these guys, Kant’s absurd claim that 7+5=12 is “synthetic aPriori”, encapsulating real knowledge about the world.

They failed because their German correspondent Frege’s work was found, by Bertie Russell, to be destroyed by paradoxes all of the form “the set of sets that do not include themselves”, from that (paradoxical) set to the “Barber” paradox in which all true Proletarians in a village (presumably a Chinese village during the Great Cultural Revolution) who do not shave themselves must be shaved by the Hero Struggle Comrade Barber, for no revolutionary goes abroad with a beard if we are to believe pictures of Mao.

Silly bastards soon went mad.

Therefore Russell and his student Wittgenstein had to take a look at language including the mathematics of language. But Moore took a different path.

He simply declared, by fiat if you will, that we must check results with common sense. In ontology, we know we have two hands and five fingers on each hand when we visually see that we have the “normal” equipment. Our knowledge is “true belief, justified”:

1. Its content is something that is true
2. We believe it
3. We can check our hands and fingers from time to time

Now, take a look at the third criterion, the “justification”. Shortly after Moore developed his philosophy in the calm Edwardian era before WWI, common sense received a blow in the unexpected course of World War I. Here, the soldier in battle might not have a hand or a couple of fingers and would have to justify more often.

The problem being that “justification” in “justified true belief” just rests on more justified true beliefs all the way down with “justification” required all the time. Kant would seek in vain for an ultimate stopping point because we can always question any one natural-language justification. In wartime especially, a global uncertainty throws one back to Cartesian fantasies of an “evil genius” and never any ultimate justification, whether the transcendental (often taking the folkish form: if it were not so we wouldn’t be able to discuss whether it were so, bozo) or the cogito (“I think therefore I am”).

In wartime we have more problems of the “fantasy” limb where the wounded soldier really believes that he still has a leg as long as he does not look.

But let’s proceed with Moore.. In ethics, we know simpliciter that health, friends, family and food are just good, dammit. It derives from tautology: at the zenith, it’s a tautology or analytic aPriori that The Good is good. Then it descends in gradients.

Friends are good unless they are partners in crime.

Family is good unless family gatherings end in gun play.

Food is good save for road kill and most of the crap I’ve cooked for myself over time such as “pizza melt on Japanese cake bread”.

Now, Kant starts at a different place than I do, with my trivial and analytic “the Good is good”. He claims more boldly and more synthetically (if it’s at all permissible to think of the synthetic in gradients) that the tip top good is the good intention almost as if to cock a snook at the (British) common sense of the “road to Hell”, damme your eyes sir, “being metal’d, if not paved”, blast it, “with your Liberal good intentions and Genius of Universal Emancipation of blackamoors”, hey hey what what.

In less purple prose, Kant’s statement is profoundly Continental, from a Continent of good intentions and constitutions and Fifth Republics and a Prussian Academy now by American fiat during the occupation a German academy.

But: our lack of purity of intention (our damned covenant with slavery in our original Constitution that took a generation of Killer Angels to redeem) is still plaguing us with redneck and billionaire rule so there’s something to be said for the lack of “good intentions”. Kant gave Europe their current Constitution in part because his “things in themselves” lead to religious tolerance because we can no longer claim to know the truth about theological and metaphysical matters apart from negatives.

Whereas my country and that of my grandchildren may return to what some historians call the “American Dark Age of the 17th Century” with its witch-burning of the 1690s and its genocidal “King Phillip’s War” owing to the enserfment and immiseration of 99% thru debt and a new indentured service for whites paying off college loans, and, slavery to welfare cutbacks for blacks. Environmental degradation, which will cause, is already causing, the movement of peoples, constitutes our barbarian invasion.

A grim spectacle but Kant is a comfort and a source of thought that leads to solutions.

Hopeful Bit of Family History

My brother told me that Grandfather was diagnosed in 1960 with prostate cancer but survived, in the primitive by comparison medical care of the 1960s, for six years.

During that time, Grandfather took me and only me to the Holy Saturday service of unveiling the shrouded statues in the church marking the end of Lent. A proud and brutal man, a successful entrepreneur in the fearful time of the Depression, he was given six years to relink to the Church and now undoubtedly ist in Himmel.

The Missouri Breaks: I Part the Ways Completely with Tea Partiers at Missouri Tenth

Missouri Tenth is Tea Party in spirit but would dearly like to disavow that, desiring instead to be a bunch of cutting edge young dudes but in such a cultural wasteland as to not be able to do any serious political analysis or discussion.

I was more than tolerated, however, as their house liberal; they treated me, with occasional blowups, real well and as real Southron gentlemen. But when I predicted last week that they were going to get their fool heads blown to kingdom come in a new race and Civil War if they continued to advance what sure look like White Supremacy politics, the moderator chose to interpret this as a “veiled threat” on my part and has booted me off the site…thank God in light of the time I’ve wasted on these boys.

I pointed them to Orwell, for neocons and libertarians who read PDFs and watch Fox are aliterate and never get “a round tuit” and actually read the Constitution, Scripture, or the writings of their iconic Orwell when there’s something good on TeeVee and now there always is. For they accuse me of making “veiled threats” one of those unanalyzed chunked phrases we see in the media that Orwell thinks we ought not use since they are used thoughtlessly. I don’t make veiled threats. I make threats to go to civil law and then follow up. I don’t go around whacking people upside the head, I prophesy someone may do the job for me if they make absurd accusations against fantasy “liberals” and engage in veiled indeed racism by advocating “smaller government” against their own interests and their class equivalents, African Americans.

So here’s my screed to them in response to a ban.

Great, won’t waste mah tahm throwin’ Pearls before swine. That’s in the bible, you know, and I often wonder at how little “Christians” know Scripture or the Constitution. And I am just as much Missouri as you, as most of my extended family went there after immigrating to Amerika in the 1850s, and they fought Secesh and wastrel slaveowners. Learn the history of the St Louis Hegelians and the IWW.

You know, Orwell, in “Politics and the English Language” writes “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” You said I send “veiled threats”, and this was an excellent example. I didn’t make threats, it was clear that if you continue to sow dragon’s teeth you will reap the whirlwind in a race war in which you and your family will be easily identified as white and killed by blacks who you try to set back with white-first causes such as the tea party.

“Veiled threats” sort of masks your intended meaning of charging me with making threats but I don’t threaten. I prophesy.

And as to name calling, PUNK, it just started with that word, PUNK. You are name calling when you call your best friends, “liberal” college professors who try to get you passed by struggling, as I struggled at DeVry and Roosevelt and even Princeton, to teach clear writing as part of computer science and critical thinking, and doing so, as I did, without any office space outside my car, “genocidal murderers” if they support reproductive CHOICE. When you call doctors who are just more educated and smarter than any of you boys “genocidal murderers” if they abort, if they support the right to choose, or even just use drugs that have been falsely called abortifacients…when their non-use kills far more zygotes (persons in your messed up logic and slop language) than their use!

When you use “person” to refer to a fetus when a person, in John Locke, is an equal who can stand up to you armed or unarmed and discourse with you as a man or woman and brother or sister…thereby conveniently ignoring all of our struggles, from black male and black female struggle as well as mine, to be credited with our struggle to get an education, to cure personal faults and addictions through 12 step and other means, to heal our relationships. Naw, were just all like l’il ole fetuses, ain’t we.

You boys go secede and form your little Hell Republic of back-alley abortions, tittie bars, and minimum wage jobs at the Suck and Sip. I predict you’ll just start warring amongst yourselves when the shale oil runs out or you destroy your water table.

Do I make myself clear?

You need “us”, more than we need you. You need real American books and not vanity press effluvia. Your wealthy make damn sure to send their brats to Harvard, Princeton or Stanford and not Ole Miss or State. And if you don’t think Missouri Secesh wouldn’t so cock up the right of way of the Union Pacific … that the railroad bosses would go to war with Obama as they did with Lincoln, and now also the airline and trucker bosses … you need a clue bad. [This paragraph added to this edition of the essay.]

This shall also be posted on my blog.

A Spot of Chemo Nausea for the First Time?

Oops, I normally look forward to my meals here, Chicken ala Stanley Prison, Fish ala Stanley Prison, with wild and unfounded enthusiasm: but alas for the first time I have that famous chemo nausea creeping up, perhaps. I am wearily sampling the “tomato” soup whose only virtue is that it is thin and therefore only hints at the type of tomatoes tossed of the truck from which it was made. Then to address the fish and rice normally my favorite. As to the Special Dark Chocs…don’t think I will make it.

Damn this means maybe another weight drop to Sexy as Hell if You Like That Sort of Thing.

Change Record

12 July 2013 More notes added concerning justified true belief
12 July 2013 Various corrections

24 May 2013: Notes of a Serial Dreamer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 24, 2013 by spinoza1111

Up at 6:30 AM, 20 minute workout: five mn supine, five mn doing supine pull-ups (read: not real man’s pull-up which I cannot do at this time) on my bed’s monkey bar, ten minutes walk on a beautiful May morning.

Eggy white fluffy congee, my favorite, with a real Egg. I celebrate the Chick, the Poussin, that died that I might live.

As part of my Grand High ReRead of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, completed one half of the translators’ introduction which thoroughly covers the Matrix from which Kant’s Critique emerged. Familiar enough but I need to know it better so as to formalize Kant in this log using modern logic as opposed to Kant’s Logic, a somewhat idiosyncratic thing.

But the goal overall of studying Kant is to render my return to Catholic worship visibly compatible with Science in a Jesuitical form. Given Las Casas and the Berrigans, Catholicism grounds my yearning for social justice and a connection with my younger Father, and his concerns.

“I have a MASTER’S degree. In Science!” – Ask Mister Science, in Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater

[NB – I am serious, just flippant on occasion.]

Since my sentence of Stage IV cancer, my dreams have taken the form of a serial, and in each I am struggling to be born, but stuck in a bookstore or pro shop of some sort.

Quite vivid dream about a voyage to a slave island sponsored by a radical bookstore in which I lost most of my luggage. The sponsors of the voyage not helpful because, they said, they could give only a limited amount of help to a white male and representative of the enslaving class, even though I demonstrated excellent swimming skills (swimming from our boat, which was laid out like a crowded bus). Then, on the final leg of the journey home (by actual bus on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive in a heavy rainstorm) I lost the rest of my belongings transferring buses.

The dream ended at the ninety degree turn that LSD takes at the DePaul campus (Loyola? Can’t remember in the slightest, but I know it’s a “major Catholic university in Chicago”, therefore either DePaul or Loyola).

The “radical bookstore” similar to dream-bookstores in recent dreams, which I’ve been having nightly, about a bookstore which represents the starting point of an anabasis or adventure; this was the first such dream in which I actually embarked upon the anabasis.

Interpretation: the overcrowded bus-boat may have been a memory of the Lamma Island ferry. Had dreams about Lamma Island when living there but not, as I’d expected, since.

The moral panic of liberals

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 11, 2010 by spinoza1111

This is in poor taste, and it is offensive to people who are or were Catholics to interpret the photograph in the filthy way of the Huffington Post.

A ceremony of innocence (the laying on of hands) is sniggered at by anti-Catholic creeps with dirty minds.

Yes, the Church has long covered up abuse: sexual abuse by some priests, more emotional abuse over time by ignorant nuns teaching grade school, and the needless deaths of 92 boys and girls in the Our Lady of the Angels school fire of Dec 1 1958, in Chicago who were told by nuns, not priests, to sit still while the school burned.

However: unprincipled lawyers, and anti-Catholic fundamentalists who don’t want worker priests helping immigrants and workers in the USA or Latin America, have created a moral panic which long term will deprive boys of male role models from whom they learn compassion and decency. That is what nearly all Catholic priests have been, including priests who support labor unions, priests who give water to immigrants dying in the desert, and a priest, Archbishop Oscar Romero, shot in 1980 for speaking out on behalf of the wretched of the earth.

Moral panics are usually a right-wing specialty, such as McCarthyism. But the liberals are guilty here of spreading the lie that a majority of priests are guilty of sexual abuse.

The Puritan goes to Vegas and fills his mind with images, and the ceremony of innocence is drowned when he returns.

Thinking of my father on the Gothic Line,
Drinking another glass of this stinking wine,
I double down again at the roulette table
My hotel room smells like a stable.

They were pinned down, but he stood up
I wonder whether I’ll get thrown out if I throw up.

And thus my liquid siftings stain
Coriolanus’ stiff dishonored shroud
Oh come see the boiling cloud.

DON’T caricature Mohammed, and DON’T print this crap. It is an adolescent exercise of freedom of speech which destroys freedom of religion, and those two freedoms are inextricably linked. Just as Moslems deserve not to see the Prophet as a bomb-throwing terrorist, Catholics, especially kids, need to be protected from “speech” like this.

If your freedom of speech harms the freedom of speech or religion of another, then you’ve crossed the same line you cross when you make threats (the crime of assault).

Our Lady of the Angels, December 1, 1958

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by spinoza1111

In memory of the children who died in the fire at Our Lady of the Angels school on 1 December 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

I. Incipit Lamentationem Jeremiah Prophetae

Holy Mother, earth goddess of Europe,
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

The children sat in neat rows in alphabetic order
The nuns were among them with things that made a clack
What was known, was known,
America had never lost,
God made me to love and serve him,
Do not eat meat on Friday,
One and holy and Roman and Apostolic.

II. Smoke

But then the smoke began to pour
Under the door
Like Satan
In the imagination.

III. The Boys with Hair and Checkered Shirts

The boys being boys, in checkered shirts
Three for a dollar at Woolworth’s at State
Got restless, wanting to do something.
“Hey, Sister Augustinia, I can go
And get the firemen to bring the ladder,
I ain’t scared.”
But they were told to stay and pray.


IV. The Men Come

The fathers and the firemen came, filled with rage
And they found the children in rows,
Black snot leaking from each nose.

“What in the name of Goad were they thinkin’
Keepin’ those kids in those classrooms?
Hell if I go to church again
God died today, I saw his body it was black.
I saw Japs looked like that on Iwo Jima,
But for Christ’s sweet sake, these were kids.”

V. To Catch Him Should He Fall

Many parents called out to their children to jump, I will catch you.

VI. The Curse Pronounced on Betty

“Our son is dead Betty our son is dead
You listened to what Father Reilly said
And he told ya it was a mortal sin
For us to send him to a modern public school.”

“I give you those children to raise
While I work sellin’ cars.
I come home they’re asleep…
And now they are charcoal.”

“I curse you for this, Betty, oh yes I do
Lay not your withered hand upon me.”

VII. WGN TV Was There

My friend Kenny Mihailovic
Actually appeared on WGN TV his face was black.
“You look like a Negro” the Nuns would say to the dirty boy.

VIII. St. Mary’s School, Evanston, Illinois, 1963

A few years later a younger nun
With bad teeth, told us that segregation was wrong
In a sort of morning…a sort of dawn.
But every Tuesday on the dot
The air raid siren would sound at ten o’clock.