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Published in Arizona, USA

6th of September 2017


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Hate? In a Universe this Beautiful?

GL Hill, Publisher

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



Man is the matter of the cosmos, contemplating itself.

Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe





Cassini took and transmitted this image back to us of Saturn some few years prior to ending its existence just this past weekend. (Cassini, not Saturn.) We are the little dot to the right, just a little more than half-way down the image. That’s us. That’s earth. Wave Hello.


It’s you and me and everyone in Europe and Asia and South America and Africa and…all sitting on this little glob of dirt.


An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no God.

Carl Sagan, Washington Post interview


I tend to agree more with Einstein who described God as an infinite and pervasive intelligence in the universe, although I am paraphrasing somewhat. And, when I look at the image of Saturn, courtesy of NASA, I am humbled. I am also disappointed in us for so many reasons, and to a nearly incalculable extent.


Look at the image:


Why do you envy that which others, through their own insipid behavior, covet? How can we hate people of a different skin color and, why do they hate us? Why do you reminisce of those negative events that happened in your past when there is an infinite level of tomorrows?


Why do any of us subscribe to a religion that would teach us to hate when this is an image of a very very small part of God’s universe?


Do we need to kill others? Sometimes, unfortunately, when others first believe they must kill us.


Cassini is dead: let’s hope we are not far behind.


Still Motion

David Rathbun


Flowers place stilled earth./ Swells of morning moments time./ Light filling open rise./ Take, above, stirred mine.


All us in broken moved replies./ Roses placed in every sky we make./ Sound we speak, attend, arrived./ Gifted, ours, all in sight.


Ah, a last, waiting sun and touch/ taken as blooms left hands./ We are here, as spread in eyes/ and sound. Ours to pass take.


Leave me and take your lived in yes./ Past we say, luminesce our opened lifts/ in gathered grace. Mouths healing/ all beloved in gently risen tests.


Voice left, stilled motion turned in spill./ Time touched in mornings dreamed/ in dreams in taken openings. Spilled/ blooms, learned of moments timed.


Wake, sun broken lived, past in/ given holds. Color, sounds/ belief we take in mind our faith./ Hands held, hold close, leaned will.


All we hold, lived loved in life of time./ All passed, all homed in arms belief./ Open then, held hearts, timed fined./ Given then our eyes, all stilled, willed.




The Model T, VW Bug, Tesla, and The Wall

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



The one-eyed man said softly, “Think – somebody’d like – me?”

“Why, sure,” said Tom. “Tell ‘em ya dong’s growed sence you los’ your eye.”

(Tom Joad finds a replacement connecting rod and piston for the disabled Dodge truck at a junkyard. -editor)

Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath


Here on Route 66 we’re very big on Steinbeck’s wonderful tale of destitution, commitment, resolve, defeat, familial bonds, prejudice, fear, xenophobia, adversity, and, from my perspective, practical mechanics. I re-read the book maybe once every-other-year to center my perspective and to better appreciate what modest financial stability I have compared to many of our bothers and sisters (who even today are in need), to that when I was young, during the darker periods of our family’s history, thanking my “lucky stars” as it were (and God) for the relative bounty I now enjoy.


Our little Model T sits out in front of the Historic Cohenour House in which our offices are located. Tourists frequently stop and take selfies in front of the car with house in the background. From inside, we take pictures of people taking pictures.


In 1926 you could buy a Model T in any color you wanted, as long as it was black, for a little less than four hundred dollars.


Four cylinders. Throttle and spark advance on the column. Go forward in first with a foot pedal to the left. Stop with the foot pedal to the right that constricts a band around one of the drums in the transmission. To go backwards, press the center pedal. And to make things more interesting, to go to the highest gear (second gear), push the emergency brake/neutral lever all the way forward. Easy, yes? Henry Ford sold more than 15,000,000 of these things and they remain abundant in America today in varying states of decay. Many, like ours, are nearly as new as new.


This fifteen million record stood unchallenged for decades until Volkswagen, fronted initially by Adolf Hitler with the assistance of Ferdinand Porsche, outsold the Model T with the little Bug’s number exceeding fifteen million in 1972.


Our Model T wasn’t in very good shape when we bought it: it was a derelict vehicle. But after a few weeks and a few dollars and a few busted knuckles, she had returned to a state of grace…until one of the connecting rods started knocking.


The preacher knelt beside the wheels. “What can I do?”

“Nothin’, not right now. Soon’s the oil’s out an’ I get these here bolts loose, you can he’p me drop the pan off.” (Tom) squirmed away under the car…

Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath


Nearly everyone to the West of Oklahoma feared the “Okies”. They threatened the economic and social stasis of America’s growing Western ideologies. They were visually different and spoke with a strange accent. They would work for a lower wage. Their young were “criminals and rapists”. They increased the burden on local and state government by sending their children to school and seeking medical help for which they frequently could not pay.


As I shimmied under the Model T I thought of the Joad family and their long trek West through all forms of hardship, including sickness, death, childbirth, starvation, and yet with a determination few if any of us possess today. So many passed through Kingman on their way west to their inexorable destiny. I dropped the access panel and examined the connecting rods: Number One was loose as a goose and had been replaced somewhere along the line with the wrong rod: babbitted for a standard crankshaft rather than one that had been taken down. I removed the con-rod cap and filed it to fit: it took a few different fittings but it snugged up nicely.


To try to stop this burdensome and threatening influx, California built a veritable Wall from their State Police reinforced by local authorities. There was only one problem: California Agri-Business needed cheap labor – the cheaper, the better, to keep vegetables and fresh fruits supplied to California’s canneries, housewives, and restaurants. Sound familiar?


I had an email conversation with the CEO of Arcimoto last year. His company has been working for quite some time to develop an electric vehicle of small dimensions at a cheap price that meets the needs of a Seattle-type consumer. In other words, like no one else in America. I had, in my own subtle way, suggested that he change the approach to that of a more conventional car with a reasonable range in which people could put things they bought, and sell it at a cost that nearly everyone could afford: Kind of a Ford-Hitler approach.


Still struggling, Arcimoto will probably remain in Prototype mode until they deplete the kindness of the many strangers who have contributed to this mis-guided startup.


I didn’t have a suitable pan gasket for the access panel so I made one out of cork and Permatex. It took a little while but it sealed up nicely. After it setup I poured the oil I had collected in a bucket back into the engine. I thought of Tom Joad.


Tesla’s blinded by the kitsch of today just as is Faraday Future, the EV division of Chevrolet, Nissan, and the many others who seek dominance in the struggling Electric Vehicle industry. Everybody wants to build a car that every middle- to high-end consumer will eagerly consume. Apparently, nobody in that industry has the slightest understanding of history.


They crawled out and poured the bucket of oil back in the crank case. Tom inspected the gasket for leaks. “O.K., Al. Turn her over,” (Tom) said. Al got into the car and stepped on the starter. The motor caught with a roar.

Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath


So did my Model T. The rod knock was gone.


We’re not moving (back) to California. For us it’s a “God Forbid” scenario. Nor are we planning on selling our Honda Insight that achieves about 55 miles to a gallon to buy an over-priced, short-range Electric Vehicle that does not do what it must do to achieve market dominance, for the sake of buying something with an ostentatious marque. I’ll wait until someone gets it right.


Read John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. And when passing through Kingman Arizona, stop at the Powerhouse and Route 66 Museum: The Steinbeck exhibit is essential to understanding an important time in our country’s life. And for God’s sake, learn a little History so you’ll stop doing the same wrong things over and over.


I remember when we were a country of Dreamers...



¡Let the Revolution Begin!

Ché Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted.

Ernesto Ché Guevara, Guerilla Warfare (1960 edition)


In a recent LA Times article the reporter Jesse Walker posed the question, “Are we headed for a second civil war?”


In an earlier article, below, I had reviewed Daniel James’ biography of Cuba’s infamous revolutionary, otherwise ne’er-do-well commander to Fidel Castro, ex-Argentine, and voted by history as Most Likely to Not Take His Own Advice, Ernesto Ché Guevara. At the conclusion of our article I mentioned that I had finally decided to order and read Ché’s not-so-epic work on Guerrilla Warfare entitled, simply, Guerrilla Warfare.


But first: The Motorcycle Diaries by Ché was exceedingly entertaining and I’ve probably read the slim account of his journey through (mostly) South America with his long-time acquaintance, Alberto Granado, many times over for the whimsical insight and innocent observations of the very young Guevara.


In the …Diaries, laden with testosterone Ché and Granado set out to explore South America and learn first hand about the people and places comprising their America, not unlike many of us did (and do today) to sate our intellectual thirst and better comprehend the depth and splendor of our America’s diversity, foundation, and hopefully get drunk and laid in the process. It’s somewhat satisfying to know that Capitalism’s archenemy for many decades now, long post-mortem, was primarily driven by the same fundamental Maslowian impetus. It’s a sometimes funny and always entertaining book. Read it for the adolescent debauchery and troubled-tour on Granado’s 1939 Norton motorcycle ironically bearing the moniker, El Poderoso (essentially, the Powerful One). But, on to the more serious issue of our coming Revolution…


Guerilla Warfare is basically a very uninteresting look at Guevara’s collected thoughts and strategies, not unique or novel in their approach to what one might conjure as important in field warfare if one had never lifted anything more than a rubber band gun as a kid playing Cowboys and Indians in the backyard.


There are two illustrations of interest: The first identifies a method of firing a Molotov Cocktail by use of a rifle and looks especially suicidal, and the second, my favorite, illustrates Target Practice whereby a compañero holds a target to his side while his fellow revolutionary takes aim…




The manual contains what Guevara saw as significant strategies and logistical requirements in order to wage a successful insurgency, which he failed at many times over following the Cuban revolution, a revolution that in all fairness wasn’t much of a war given that (the very despicable) Batista bailed on his country, having (further) raided the treasury and removed himself from danger and reprisal.


The book isn’t worth reading. I’m not the first to say that and apparently, like Ché, I paid no attention to what others had said and what I probably already had guessed.


So, is America on her way to a second civil war? Of course not: The one truism of Guevara’s concise manual that leads this article sums it up well: Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted…


And, while there may be many of us who object to our current situation, the reality is that a semblance of Democracy remains. As well, we’re all too invested, tied to, constrained, and dependent on our government for too much of our support for the majority of us – America’s corporations especially - to risk such a fundamental change in how we live. But I want you to know that, if things go south, I’m ready to lead the way (if you don’t mind being the one to hold the target).


Read, The Motorcycle Diaries. It’s entertaining and will give you much insight into the real Ché: the Ché who preceded Ché, El Segundo a Fidel: colorful, well-humored, normal...



Sometimes (it seems like) a Great Notion

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



I’m just as concerned as the next guy, just as loyal.  If we was to get into it with Russia I’d fight for us right down to the wire.  And if Oregon was to get into it with California I’d fight for Oregon.  But if somebody—Biggy Newton or the Woodworkers Union or anybody—gets into it with me, then I’m for me!  When the chips are down, I’m my own patriot.


Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion


One of my favorites from a time in America when many of our writers had embarked on a trek of creation that followed no preconceived literary laws and, like Ireland’s Joyce before them, struck out to cut trails to destinations wholly their own: a literary nirvana, a place in history of the written word distinctly their own with a style and allusions that convey a great story and yet move serendipitously or intentionally to a much deeper level.


Kesey’s epic has been termed difficult to read by some who may be prone to stagger through complex references and split-time sequences. I understand. It’s not the most difficult book to read, but it is complex and yet at the same time, remarkably simple. That’s the beauty of Sometimes a Great Notion.


Like many of you, too, I tend to see the analogies in everything I read (or perhaps they are constructs that help me to better appreciate the story) reading more into it than the author had intended, and Sometimes… is no exception.


It’s a story describing in sometimes painful detail the evolvement of the Stamper family to its (then) present-day keystone position in the Oregon Lumber industry, and through their actions at a critical time owing to a union dispute and under-handed negotiations have quite literally brought the balance of the county, the majority of whom depend on the same industry to feed and clothe their families, to their economic knees.


‘Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls,’ he tolled sonorously through his dirty handkerchief; ‘it tolls for thee


It tolls for horseshit, contradicted a thinner voice from a grey beard at the back of the bar…


Sometimes a Great Notion


They are all rough and tumble Lumber people imbued with characteristic behaviors not unlike Americans today. And then there is Leland, a psychotic, deluded, revenge driven, “repatriated” sibling torn early from the Stamper family by his very problematic mother and lifted to the East Coast to be immersed in a life of privilege and academia.


Who’d of thought that Kesey would have written such a poignant book about the United States today?


If you’ve read the book, then it isn’t difficult to adopt the allusion that the Stamper family is strongly analogous to the economically privileged of our society today, especially so if we allow our minds to draw an analogy to the story’s patriarch, Henry Stamper – a grumbling, bull-headed, ignorant, backward, deluded man of advancing years, to someone in a position of supreme power and influence right now.


Through Henry’s actions, the balance of Wakonda, the fictitious community in which the story is set, suffer hardships and deprivations owing to the abysmal imbalance of Stamper interests. Notwithstanding heartfelt pleas of reason, the community’s basic needs are set aside again and again to the financial benefit of the few. And of course, the rain continues to fall: it is Oregon, after all.


Henry’s chief desire, really, is to Make Wakonda Great Again, at any expense, and by uplifting his family’s fortunes. All the while, though the Wakonda river continues to erode the foundations of the long-standing Stamper home, perched precariously on the edge. (Get it? Of course you do...)


Who is the psychotic Leland in today’s America driven by the lust of revenge? Well there are so many from which to choose…take your pick.


Read, Sometimes a Great Notion, and here’s a tip: it’s several books in one. If you need to, read the primary narrative without parenthetical storyline; read the parenthetical all the way through; then read the whole damned thing again. It’s worth it. Kesey didn’t write it without re-reading it himself several times over. Why expect to walk away ingesting the full beauty of the novel with one sitting?


Oregon and her ubiquitous rain reminds me of William Machaelian, Salem’s resident poet:


The day they find


And then the day they find

letters on bone,


and wonder

at this race now gone,


whose very ink

was blood.


Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


Just what do you mean by a dope doctor, Mr. Grayson?


I mean a doctor whose practice is largely with people who are living on the raw edge of nervous collapse, from drink and dissipation. People who have to be given sedatives and narcotics all the time. The stage comes when an ethical physician refuses to treat them any more, outside a sanatorium. But not the Dr. Almores. They will keep on as long as the money comes in, as long as the patient remains alive and reasonably sane, even if he or she becomes a hopeless addict in the process. A lucrative practice…


Raymond Chandler, The Lady in the Lake


Chandler wrote this epic Phillip Marlowe novel in the mid 1940s. As in all his writing, it was clear, distinct, riveting and as poignant today as it was then about 70 years ago: we’re still killing one another through conventional means like guns and knives and hatchets and pipes and all of the other little weapons in my Clue set when I was a kid, and today we’ve added new and interesting variations like brutally attacking the weak of spirit and mind on Social Media to willfully drag these fellow humans below the surface of despair to trigger a suicidal reaction. Compassion today has clearly been shackled by links of chain and thrown into the dark sea ten miles off shore.


When Chandler wrote this book there was addiction in America: we were addicted to the same drugs derived from the same root chemicals we are today and for the same reasons. We seek escape from our lives and look to the easiest conveyances to lift us out of the gritty angst many of us feel day-to-day as we become mired in the tediousness of life waiting for the final exit call, disillusioned by the presumption of failure in one form or another.


Today, just as then and before then, we consume alcohol, opioids, marijuana, and other drugs procured through those who advantage from our addictions: the Pushers who wear suits and run the world’s Pharmaceutical companies, the physicians and other professionals who feed America’s Health Care industry, the people who oversee the Health Care Insurance companies like Stephen Hemsley of United Health Group whose personal income ranges upward from $60 million per year (a figure many Cartel Jeffes would envy), the “illegal drug” Cartels themselves, the street pusher, the saloon owner, and others. 


And, just as in Chandler’s The Lady in the Lake, murder and mayhem truly does follow. More than 90 Americans die everyday from opioid overdose, prescription and heroin, according to the CDC.


We’ve written extensively on the subject of addiction before. Read, Selling Addiction, below. As our Hebrew brothers might say, En kol chadásh táchat hashámesh: There is nothing new under the sun.


Read, Chandler’s Lady in the Lake for the intrigue, and its hard-punching and pistol whipping narrative. And while you’re reading it, if you’re not a smoker, you likely will be by the book’s conclusion. And we’re not talking a pack-a-day habit here…I’m surprised Marlowe could stand upright.


Here’s another piece from one of my favorite poets, David Rathbun, New York, to remind you that life is not something to be avoided by salving the mind with chemicals, but embraced for the beauty and wonder it holds.


Touched


Tenderness, time we hold.

Touching, time tenderness.

Spread in all we take,

still open, found in touch.


Bound as given gift.

Kindness taking found.

Opened eyes in broken kind,

all taken timed, alive.


Lined known, we know,

those filled lined last

in days awake we make.

Spilled touch in telling wake.


Loved, aligned we told,

caressed, signed loved.

Those closed our touched

in all touch, time, life lived.


Lived in stand we still,

our kind in living lined.

In children, touching trust,

days granted open yesterdays.


Our broken rests in touch

ask of our touching stands.

Asked, our human sensed,

in all our final opened finds.


Kind, a child’s yes last live,

loved kindness time aligned.

Frail all in people’s open find.

Ours all, timed mine, touch last.



The United States of Alzheimer’s

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


“We are living in the United States of Alzheimer’s. A whole country has lost its memory. When it can’t remember yesterday, a country forgets what it once wanted to be.”

Studs Turkel



A number of years ago I began reading Turkel as a component of my undergraduate education in a subfield of Sociology. Over the years I’ve amassed an extensive collection of (I think) everything he wrote, or better, encapsulated into coherent beginnings and endings of stories told to him about everything from the Great Depression to Death to Working to...all voices of Americans the way we were.


Through his conversational chronicles he brought to me an America I understood, since although my Father was of generations of Americans past, my Mother was only once removed from Italy. She was just like many Americans today. Her Mother and Father were just like many Americans today. They spoke little English to the very end. She grew up bilingual - Italian and English.


They came here to have a better life, and they had thus given me and my siblings better childhoods. (I’ll confess to being not so convinced as of late that a better life doesn’t exist somewhere far removed from the USA today.)


Today under our current leadership my mother would not have been allowed to stay in this country unless she possessed some skills critical to American Industry and spoke English. Your parents or grand-parents or great... would have been turned away too. In fact, had the American Indian imposed similar requirements on the pasty white people landing at Plymouth Rock, and enforced the law as savagely as we do today, it would still be a country of aboriginal peoples.


Be that as it may, this is more a story about two Salvadoran boys who have been deported for following the law after reporting to their local ICE office to inform them of an impending change of address owing to a scholarship one brother had received for his talent in the field of soccer and for his to-date academic achievement.


The two young men, Lizandro and Diego Saravia were ripped away from their mother and siblings and sent to El Salvador having lived here fearlessly, hopefully for many years.


Although the story is quite popular as of this writing, here’s a link to the BBC video so that you may have a keener insight into the harmful nature of the ignorance too pervasive in our country today.


Me personally? I’ve just about had it with stupid white people, and I’m white. I can only imagine what some of our brothers and sisters of color are thinking about us today. I can only imagine what Studs would have said. In fact, I think I know what Studs would have said to your president: read the quote from Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, below.


Read Studs Turkel - any of his pieces. My personal favorite is the collection called, Will the Circle be Unbroken?


My! How things have changed

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


“Go ____ yourself!”

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep



It’s amazing how things have changed in the last several years from 1939 to today where the verb missing from the quote above has become so commonplace that even our president and his spokespeople feel free to use it in a myriad of its conjugations, without hesitation or retraint.


It’s not that I don’t use/think the word myself having spent a good number of years at sea where it is interjected into any polysyllabic to add two very useful additional syllables to a word for emphasis, it’s just that I expect something more or different from our leadership. (I don’t know why the ___ I should, though.)


Perhaps that is why this summer I have fallen off my developmental reading and resumed re-reading American classics. Earlier this summer I set aside Bruno’s The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast after having “enough already” from his De Umbis Idearum (Shadow of Ideas), and re-read Daniel James’ biography of Ché Guevara, as a reminder of how mankind can uplift an otherwise dismal failure to the status of hero, thinking of Thomas Carlyle’s epic writing (and how it reminds me of someone in a position of power today whose name I do not utter):


The Poet who could merely sit on a chair, and compose stanzas, would never make a stanza worth much. He could not sing the Heroic warrior, unless he himself were at least a Heroic warrior too.

Carlyle, On Heros, Hero Worship…


In Guevara’s case, he was to many a hero who had lived a hero’s life, although his successes were few and his failures too numerous to recount. (In reality, Cuba marked the zenith of his accomplishments while all after fell into the category of disastrous, as did much of what came before.) But, like everything else I’ve read on the man, it is entertaining and instructing. So much so, in fact, that I am awaiting a copy of his book, Guerrilla Warfare, which has nothing to do with primates flinging poop at one another.


And no, there is nothing instructional about Chandler, but like Dashiell Hammett it does give us a glimpse into a simpler time in America when everyone was pretty sure the world was going to hell…too, about 100 years ago. So I went after a few of Chandler’s more well known works having in the past only read, The Big Sleep. They are very high on entertainment value still and written far beyond today’s (for the most part) miserable mass-market fiction of poor literary quality.


Come to think of it, the Chandler quote above reminds me of Henry Miller’s comment on Dick Cavett, I think it was, many years ago, when he commented on our increasing sexual promiscuity during the 1960s when he said, “We did just as much ___ing back then, don’t you know; we just didn’t talk about it as much.” Perhaps that’s why I have always enjoyed his writing. What could be more refreshing than Tropic of Cancer, other than Black Spring or Tropic of Capricorn? Or as I might have said years ago, “...more re ____ing-freshing?”


Read Chandler’s, Big Sleep for a break in politics.

Read James’ great and intensely detailed biography on Ché Guevara.

Read Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History.

And if you think you’re not being challenged enough on the subject of Heresy, read Giordano Bruno’s The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast.


Better yet, read this wonderful poetic contribution from David Rathbun, New York (and see Ash Homes, following):


Touch Blessed


Definitions come alive. Lived

we all have lost, aligned left,

those long last. Hands we hold,

here, as gived, last loved alive.


Touch me, dear, our time, our still
left held. Here, the memories of sense,

eyes alive, arms touched high held here.

Stained last of head, born us, turned.


What would we give in voice and time?

Touch blessed, pieced part asked, known?

Stained stringed, strained as cost. Lost, time.


Ah this gift of timed in tests, guest lived

in loved alive. All emptiness revealed

stills far, endures held all. Home staid.


Lost shared our hands, our lives endured,
held purpose lived. You, all, begun in cast.

Time we need, timed out assigned to last lived.

Cost we know, just gived where all lives rest.


Dark take me, yes broken darkened real.

Stand here, and all where given gives its all,

all here, in all received in now and ends.

Wear moments sing, left love, dense cast.




Ash Homes

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

Hemingway


I began the day thinking about these words from Hemingway when I was reminded of a poem I had received from someone else. I thought the poem was worthy of this journal, as it now has become having loosed ourselves from the burdens of Politics, focusing more on the realities of life. It is a recent poem by David Rathbun.


Ash Homes


Ash homes deeply filled in skill.

Light, yes sun, moved gently aired

spilled new. Timed gifts, time.

Here, windows live, tilled all.


Loved, yessed always, past gifted
here in shed to all. All lived in days
held still, and long, and here loss known.

Time gained, spilled learned, long loved.


Dears, divines, all test, blessed, giving

moments gifts. Doors opened real,
all movement ours, sons lived,
mind, family, all born, mine yours.


Life willows here touch last lawns,

streams open laugh and trust.

Trees filled draws of lawn touched

memories filled streams and swells.


Skies we share, grass learned all years

passed always, here now lived our last.

Tendered breadth perhaps, each open

eyes and thoughts blessed law aware.


How much gift we take each morning

branched in granted time. Brush dreams,

here held our home, touched promises
of last. Call us, our small shared days.


Tilled mornings touch all memories.

Timed lived alive now loved. Signed slips

we know, stand taken, full filled. Picked

then, we say, paled, prayed, past taken.



The Souls of White Folk

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



The papers were very bad reading. Everything was going very badly everywhere. I sat back in the corner with a heavy mug of dark beer and an opened glazed-paper package of pretzels and ate the pretzels for the salty flavor and the good way they made the beer taste and read about disaster.

Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms


A friend of mine, and occasional contributor to this journal, Jack Shepherd, recently wrote to tell me that he has stopped watching the News on television. I had told him years ago to shut off the television for good – to violently jerk the cable from the wall and save the expense and exposure to the profluvium of madness carted over the airways into his household. (We stopped 14 years ago. It was as though we had unplugged from the Matrix, to liken it to something more contemporary than Hemingway.)


Today I get my News from the Internet picking and choosing which to read based on my preferences, less of which each day is concerning Politics. My Ad Blocker takes care of most of the silliness programmed into sites and I tend to stay with the BBC, NPR, and the Arizona Republic anyway, all of which tend not to be too insulting.


I also try to focus my time on reading referrals from others, and am especially enthusiastic about lesser known poets and writers who by virtue of style or the very genre in which they write, are excluded from popular publications: not fitting a marketable mold, you see. It’s the primary force of Capitalism on writing, and some part of me finds it understandable. Some part of me loathes this influence.


Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor - all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked - who is good? not that men are ignorant - what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.

W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk


My slim little volume of Du Bois’ Souls… is short on pages and very long on commentary, particularly so when looking at America today. Consider Du Bois’ comment:


Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.


A pithy summary reflective of the way many of us feel today. We feel and we think that we may be on the edge. Perhaps we are.


I began with Hemingway because this summer just seemed like a good time to revisit my youth: sometimes I can remember precisely where I was when I read that chapter and what my Mother and Father – long dead – were doing while I took a voyage in time to another place and learned what adults did in their spare time. (If this was a text or an email (and I was an idiot) I’d put a little smiley face back there at the end of the sentence.)


Sometimes too when revisiting literature of the past one gleans more from the content: as an example, being inherently lazy back then I didn’t really care who the characters Bill Gorton and Robert Cohn in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises were. Turns out, both were very interesting people – associates of Hemingway and well known to the world of literature then, although perhaps a bit déclassé today: David Ogden Stewart served as his model for Gorton (he was involved, or chiefly wrote the screenplays for Prisoner of Zenda, Philadelphia Story (not that one), and many, many more).


Cohn was in reality based on Harold Loeb whose real life role was much like Sylvia Beach’s at Shakespeare and Company – the original Paris bookstore by that name: a hangout for Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and everybody else you’d like to have dinner with today. (Someday I’ll have to review Alice Toklas’ wonderful autobiography…)


The reason I raised Du Bois to a topic of discussion is because of events in Minnesota the other day when a young woman – Justine Damond – was shot and killed by a local cop, Mohamed Noor, a fairly recent immigrant from Somalia, if I recall correctly.


I have read every account since learning of this tragedy, from every side possible, and have yet to make any sense out of it. I’m sure you have wrestled with the unreality of it all, too.


Ms. Damond was strongly reminiscent of my wife (our publisher, GL Hill), and I was drawn to try to understand how a pretty, blonde woman can report a probable incident near her home to the police, then meet the officer to assist in identifying the potential criminal, while wearing her pajamas, and then be shot dead by a second officer in the same car in the passenger seat. Reality has left me disconnected.


Last night it occurred to me that I cannot dismiss the event as lightly as others, I am ashamed to admit, because she was a pretty, blonde woman whose soul was apparently devoid of evil, just as many of the souls of Black men, women, and children have been who have been shot and killed by our police this year and last, in a never-ending escalation of fear-violence.


The many, many Black Americans who have been killed did not remind me of GL Hill to the strength and depth Ms. Damond does. I didn’t say, “That could have been Greta…” because I could not make the connection in my mind, notwithstanding how enlightened I may perceive myself to be. I have promised myself to never intellectually dismiss the death of an innocent, regardless of the presence of pigment and the coarseness of hair. I know better, but I did not know better.


Dream at the Asylum


Have you ever wondered how, no matter where you are, your dreams are able to find you? They’re not always in your head. Dreams can enter through bolted doors. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve heard them roaming the corridor. They cling to a person’s clothes, like dust, or fingerprints, or mold. Many are shared, like germs passed from host to host — even this one, which finds me holding up my poor dead father, who has returned, and is too weak to stand. Sit down, my friend. Sit down. Tell me, why have you come back again?

William Michaelian, The Asylum Poems


Thank God I found a respite from my contemplative angst owing to the writer, Bruce Janigian whose recent mail pointed to a lesser-known and very talented poet, William Michaelian, who resides in Salem, Oregon, a town I like very much for its coffee shops and the Book Bin – a vast repository of esoterica, antiquarian, hard-to-find, and modern literature.


Mr. Michaelian has several published works, but I spent a few hours reading through his site here at Recently Banned Literature. It has been drizzling on and off all day, finally giving us in the north of Arizona a reprieve from the never-before-seen sweltering temperatures of the last three weeks or so. The sky and the view is reminiscent today of Salem to me. It was a perfect day to read Mr. Michaelian’s poetry and to put the insanity of the world into another room and lock the door tightly.


Foolish as it seems, our loved ones

will pretend to understand —

and for that, we will always pity them.

Michaelian


If you haven’t lately, revisit Hemingway, Du Bois, and avail yourself of Mr. Michaelian’s very accessible poetry.


There is no Global Warming: It’s just hotter than Hell

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



Who shot him? I asked.
The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said: Somebody with a gun.

Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest


It’s hot everywhere in the Southwest. It’s hot here in our hometown. We’ve set days of record temperatures along with parts of California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Texas and elsewhere, while we languidly await the coming monsoon season in Arizona that typically brings anywhere from Some to a Great Deal of relief depending on the nature of the meteorology for that year.


Every morning I half expect Virgil to guide me through the circles of Hell eventually leading me to the core of the abyss – beyond Malebolge – while I tread delicately around the rim of the final inferno casting my gaze across the sea of humanity lost in flames of eternal damnation, or are those just my neighbors waiting for a bus?


Staying cool and hydrated is the trick, and a difficult trick for me as I enjoy working out-of-doors, than in. GL Hill’s studio is inside. Mine is a space consisting of indoor and an outdoor area where I weld metal sculpture. I welded a bit yesterday when the mercury hit 104. That was an experience.


So to stay cool and confined I’ve taken to reading a collection of Dashiell Hammett’s classic mysteries: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man. That’s five of the most entertaining books, requiring no intellectual effort, yet packed with great writing, wonderful plots, and an assortment of characters the likes of which have not been seen publicly for decades, in a fashion. In reality, The Glass Key is a very entertaining look at Politics then - circa 1920s - and easily analogized to today. Some things never change, including those who rise to power in Government, whether they may or may not be “Whack Jobs” per John Podesta.


I haven't laughed so much over anything since the hogs ate my kid brother.

Red Harvest


Like many of you, when I was a kid I was completely taken with Bogart’s rendition of Sam Spade: hardboiled, arrogant, tough, dismissive of adversity, incorruptible, independent, unobliging, unassuming…


Hammett wrote him well, and the movie, Maltese Falcon, follows the book to the letter. That’s why it’s so much fun to re-read (or read) and makes it possible to hear Bogart’s voice in every line Spade delivers, along with Cairo (Peter Lorre), Gutman (Greenstreet), Brigid (Mary Astor) – what a dish – and the rest of the extraordinary cast.


Some years ago I latched onto Hammett’s “You’re a good man, sister,” a line Spade delivers to his never-tiring secretary, Effie, of the same caliber of old school consort as Della Street. I used the line when I remark about something GL Hill has said or done that I thought was remarkable. From any other woman I get a strange look, so I reserve that highest of accolades only for GL.


Where have all the Sam Spades gone? I don’t know. I think society has caused most of those who might have been inclined to that personality to adopt a different persona, believing that Spade-esque behaviors are inappropriate in our changing world of neutered males, and women, the beneficiaries of said previously removed testicles.


While we no longer talk politics in this journal, I will mention that John Boehner, our former Speaker of the House, seemed to me to be a remnant of the same era and influences as I. No great mystery since he’s the same age, yet his attitude and perceptions are remarkably kindred. As an example, on being asked if he had an interest in returning to politics some few weeks ago, he remarked that he was too happy with his current life of mowing the lawn, smoking cigarettes, and playing golf. (For me Golf is a daily visit to the gym and the aforementioned working outdoors. I still love tobacco.)


Boehner even looks like what I would conjure as Sam Spade had Bogart not played the role so well.


I haven't lived a good life. I've been bad, worse than you could know.

(Brigid O’Shaghnessy) Maltese Falcon


Now, what man wouldn’t like a good-looking dame like Mary Astor to utter those words as an entry soliciting your help?


Look: It’s hot. Read something light and refreshing. Read all five of Hammett’s wonderful books written long before the minimum a publisher required was a crap-load of filler. (All five won’t take more than a few days.)


The heat can’t last forever.


She stared at him dully and said: “I don’t like crooks, and even if I did, I wouldn’t like crooks that are stool-pigeons, and if I liked crooks that are stool-pigeons, I still wouldn’t like you.” She turned to the outer door.

The Thin Man



On Oppression and Chavez Ravine:

Learning from Quixote

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



“The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.”


La verdad puede ser estirado al máximo, pero nunca se rompe, y siempre por encima de las superficies de la mentira, como el aceite flota en el agua.

Cervantes, …Quijote (…Quixote)


During 1959 when I was nine years of age, un niño muy joven, we lived at the corner of Outlook and Garrison Drives in the little part of Los Angeles called Highland Park. Highland Park was then a working class enclave of inexpensive homes and predominantly white people who tended to keep a peaceful neighborhood, as most Americans of any race did back then. Fue un barrio de fontaneros, maquinistas (como mi padre), panaderos, y trabajos similares. It was a neighborhood of Tradesmen, mostly.


Every mother watched every other mother’s child. It was a wonderful place to live and to spend one’s early childhood. And although there was a sense of cross-town competitive relationship, there remained a one-in-the-sameness with the communities of Eagle Rock, Echo Park, and all points in between. (Glendale was far too uppity for our socioeconomic position.) And, although culturally miles away but only six miles down the road (or a good bicycle ride) was Chavez Ravine, un barrio de Mexicano-Americanos, and people with whom we would talk, socialize, and share laughs while making our routine visit to Olvera Street for food, stuff-I-could-not-do-without, and fun: a cheap Saturday on the town. ¡Qué maravilloso lugar que era! Los colores, los sonidos, los olores…so much to see and do: an endless stream of music, talk and sensations: all authentic. The only talk of Walls were those to be built around vegetable gardens.


Home from school at Yorkdale Elementary one afternoon, and before starting my nocturnal job, I sat down to watch television – because it was there. (Sometimes kids from my socioeconomic group had to work to help out the family: The 1950s were not light years away from the 1930s.)


The television was tuned to KTLA because that was one of the handful of stations available, and they aired my favorite program, Skipper Frank. (I watched the show and did the Squiggles along with him, as I was supposed to do.) To Millennials, having less than an infinite number of TV channels probably sounds demonstrably like child abuse, but it was the norm.


That day KTLA carried a continuation of the special news item it had been following over a few days by then on the evacuation, and the confiscation and destruction of homes and families, of those living in Chavez Ravine, clearing the land to make way for Dodger Stadium.


(In many cases Chavez Ravine’s inhabitants had occupied and owned the land beneath their small homes for decades, back to the 1800s, while some could trace the path of the land back to the time of the original Spanish occupation and founding of what would become Los Angeles in 1781, pero fue nombrado, El pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciuncula, en ese tiempo. “Los Angeles” is much easier.)


As I was tuned fiercely into the newscast my father came home from looking for work: at the moment in his industry southern California was mired in an Aerospace recession that would last through 1961 and leave him desperate for income. With years of his Machinist trade bolstering him and an I.A. of M. Journeyman’s card, he eventually took a job as a helper in a local donut shop on York to supplement his scant earnings as a photographer, until the union called him elsewhere (which it eventually did to the San Francisco area - Lockheed).


Years later I would learn to honor him for that extraordinary gulp of pride, but not so much as that afternoon as we all watched, transfixed, the blurry screen of gray images showing Manuel Arechiga standing alone on his porch in the lulling solitude of Chavez Ravine before a backdrop of the destruction and mayhem wrought by a mechanized army of the City of Los Angeles in the days prior. El señor Arechiga protegió su casa con escopeta en mano. Solo. Valientemente. Resuelto. The image is burned forever in my mind: shotgun across his arms standing on the porch; guarding his family and the sum of his life. A valiant man.


“Look at him. Look at that man!” my father ordered. I was. I had been. I was mesmerized. “They have no goddamn right to throw that man and his family out! For what? So they can build a ballpark?” He was intoxicated with anger. Ergo, so would I become. I was proud of his outrage. I was proud of Mr. Arechiga.


Like nearly every child by the age of nine or 10 I had read some version (interpretation) of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha, por Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. And while I don’t recall the exact title of the version I was first exposed to, I faintly remember it as simply, The Story of Don Quixote: a simplified and condensed version of Cervantes’ first book of the tale (the one to this day I much prefer to the second installment, notwithstanding what various scholars may say).


From my reading back then I learned that Don Quixote fought against those people who were evil, and sometimes against great odds and at personal peril. Pretty simple, yes? ¿Quién podría pedir más en una historia? Who could ask for more in a story? Bueno contra Malo. Good against Evil. Justicia superando la adversidad. Righteousness overcoming Adversity.


The other aspects – the more ethereal and suggestive of the true extent of the great novel came to me later in life as I’ve read and re-read countless times the tale of the knight errant’s adventures by various translators, along with the whimsical Sancho Panzo, who of course proved ultimately to be the more stable of the two.


Later that night while selling the LA Times (10 cents a copy) from my makeshift newsstand at York and Figueroa in front of Van de Kamp’s Bakery (now a burger joint), across the street from Farmer Dick’s Market (now a bank), struggling to bring together a buck so I could buy milk and bread for the family (my job), I mulled over what I had seen on the small black-and-white television we ceremoniously sat about earlier that day.


I considered the image of Manuel Arechiga, a man maybe about my father’s age, poised with shotgun in hand at his doorstep fending off a bulldozer the maw of which was poised to take down the family home – the last of the small houses that remained, as I remember – some few feet away. I thought about the implications of this vile act toward his family: What it would do to them personally; how they would feel being cast out into the darkness.


Did I have to go far into my imagination? Unfortunately not. Out of nine years in Highland Park we lived in at least four rental homes during the height of the recession, being asked to leave from each for non-payment of rent, sometimes under the purview of the local law enforcement. My father more-than-tried, but he could not. (Life would stabilize later in the Bay Area, but at the moment our family’s travails seemed open-ended.)


So, being in several ways heavily vested in the tale of Chavez Ravine, I was enthralled, and it filled my nights with anxious thoughts and adolescent contemplations: Fear amongst them. I was not alone, though, because many Angelinos found themselves on the same side as we: On the side of anger. Por el lado de la ira, el odio, el sentimiento de pérdida.


I imagined that Mr. Arechiga needed his own Don Quixote at that moment as I watched the cars pass by and the night grew dim outside of Van de Kamp’s and the air acquired a slight chill. For a while, so lost in thought, I forgot to shout out the headlines to those streaking by in their brand new $2,200 Fords and Chevrolets: Gleaming, fast, probably immensely more comfortable than my own bed. (Our Plymouth had been repossessed a few days earlier and Dad was now hobbling about in a very old Ford. I became more mired in thought and self-pity.)


Then I realized something: it occurred to me that Mr. Arechiga did not need a Don Quixote, because he was Don Quixote, more authentic than any personified Quixote before. The little man with a shotgun – his lance made from a tree branch – against the might of bulldozers, high-powered rifles, and the inescapable multitude of those who were there to impress the Word of Law on him without or with his cooperation.


It was at that moment that I saw the true meaning of Cervantes’ brilliance.


I saw it too in my Dad who always strived to overcome the adversities placed before him that to him must have looked like Giants flailing the air with waiting swords. Mr. Arechiga was a brave man back then. So was Mr. Warren.


Today our house abounds in memorabilia and ephemera on the subject of Quixote, Quijote, or Quichotte, depending on just a few of the languages of publication. My favorite artwork happily is the original portrait of the clearly deranged Quixote by the Mexican artist out of Rosarito, David Silvah, which hangs next to my wife’s magnificent interpretation of Dulcinea.


Along the various shelves in our old home are Lladro pieces and woodcarvings of Quixote in various poses, distributed among a few different translations of the epic work. He is ubiquitous in my life and always has been, and it wasn’t until I began to recount the story of Manuel Arechiga to an actor friend just one week ago – mark that as 58 years after – that I realized why, dredging the memory from my youth, bringing it forward three score years to better savor and more fully understand, today.


There is no single Don Quixote who astride Rocinante sallies forth to close in on your beam and guard you through the treacherous enemy who awaits just beyond the turn in the road. There is only you. ¡Eres Don Quijote! You are the Knight-errant.


That’s the way it has always been for the meager of wallet. It was that way a millennium ago; it will be that way one thousand years from now.


Read, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Watch the PBS documentary on Chavez Ravine for the full experience.


Joseph Warren attended both Garvanza and Yorkdale elementary schools. He was graduated from Yorkdale but won recognition in 1960 (in the form of a certificate which he still possesses) from Garvanza for his skills in Carroms. (He is also a graduate of the University of San Francisco.)


One-Half of America, by Mathematical Necessity, is Below Average

(And it shows. I just didn’t think they’d ever be running the country)

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



“The nicest veterans...the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought.” 

–Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five


As reported by NPR News:


"We are not winning in Afghanistan right now," Mattis told Congress on Tuesday, "and we will correct this as soon as possible."


Mattis (James Mattis, our new Secretary of Defense and Chief of the Department of Head Up Arse) made this comment after responding to a question regarding increased US troop deployment to Afghanistan, as approved by our President. More people who do not read or think: History, Literature, and a lack of rational thought - vapid.


According to his biographical information, he was considered an intellectual during his early years in the Marine Corps Reserves owing to his shlepping about a copy of Aurelius’ Meditations.


I too have read Aurelius, and when I think of his contemplative works I recall that he was far more cynical regarding governments, overall, id est, “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.” Evocative and prophetic words Mattis has chosen to ignore.


Mattis ought to call Putin, “Say Vladimir? How did that Afghanistan thingy work out for you, anyway?” I’m sure that President Putin recalls the grisly daily details of his – he was very much around then – failure in Afghanistan and shortly thereafter the demise of the Soviet Union. Look: Various clans, people, nations, and social clubs, even, have tried to take control of Afghanistan and/or Iraq for Millenia without success. We don’t even live in the neighborhood...


And yet, many of you believe that winning a war in Afghanistan is possible, notwithstanding that we have supposedly repeatedly won the war in Afghanistan and Iraq many, many times already beginning with the simple words of the very simple GW Bush, “Mission Accomplished.”


“Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue.”

–Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five


For fourteen years, in various articles and publications, including this organ, and in our film, The Abduction and Trial of George Bush, we have argued that this was an insipid, stupid, destabilizing, mindless act by those best relegated to their chthonic roots, including the idiot now in charge.


Yes, I had vowed to abandon politics herein…


C’mon: just one for the road.


Read, Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five. Short of Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun – by far the most engrossing of books examining the reality of war – an epic, in fact, Vonnegut’s insight as a Dresden survivor is enthralling.



Another Father’s Day

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


“Children are basically a pain in the ass.”

- Warren, Herein


“They are not sorrows, so much as terrible things.”

– Ernest Hemingway, Islands in the Stream



It’s Father’s Day again which gives us an opportunity to feign caring one way or another that our progeny exist, unlike the many who may have, could have, and perhaps do dwell unrecognized on this planet with my (or your) DNA streaming through their cellular material and driving the continued concatenation of who I am (or you are), thanks to many previous iterations, farther into the future for as long as we continue as a species to exist.


To be clear, I was not a good father by the formula prescribed by society from the 1970s onward in which it was manifest that fathers are to be involved in the child’s day-to-day life: experiences, learning, maintenance, emotional maturation, achievements, recognition. My view of fatherhood was more parallel to that of an ibex.


To be sure, I always maintained my financial support, albeit begrudgingly so periodically, long after the legal duty to do so ceased, extending to this day as they approach retirement themselves, or perhaps it just seems as though they ought to be…


My view of fatherhood was, as I learned from experience as one being fathered, one of remoteness and periodic chumminess interspersed with severe reprimands for behavior that was found by the supreme council to be less-than-desired (mother). As it was on television back then in the 1950s, so it was in my house, Wait ‘til your father gets home.


Prophetic words, given that he was periodically absent for one or two weeks at a time drinking and whoring: OK, I can wait…


One of the few Fiction-Lite writers I’ve always enjoyed reading is Nelson DeMille. From, The General’s Daughter came the line, “My father was a drunk, a gambler and a womanizer. I worshipped him.” He was, and I did, for the better part of my younger life.


Is it any wonder that as an adult my goal was to do what I needed to do to make this very short linear experience fulfilling, notwithstanding what Kurt Gödel had conjectured in his various calculations, best described in the wonderful book by Palle Yourgrau, A World Without Time?


It’s probably helpful to understand that throughout my life I have done many things, as many of you have too. One of the most rewarding (and yet unsettling aspects to my life for those around me) was several years at sea, moving to the level of Merchant Captain – US Merchant Marine Ship’s Master. It took me away for prolonged periods of time, and it changed my personality from someone who had some potential for being a relatively acceptable father to one whose expectations could not be met by anyone. So it goes.


I lived sometimes remotely shipboard. Sometimes with companionship. Never with children in mind, unless that included 18 year-old women.


Before and after, my life was filled, as it was for my father, with a variety of experiences and education, added to my academic achievement that left little room for much else, including (and most especially) trying to adapt to being the evolving model of what fatherhood has, for the most part, become today: androgynous.


Nowhere else in the Animal Kingdom is there a comparable example to that of the human experience today in the United States. Society’s expectations of those who father children have become counterintuitive and violate basic premises of evolution. Yet, it’s the supposition: silly and unrealistic and it violates the very path of time and evolution.


No one to my mind personified fatherhood better than Hemingway in his ultimately posthumous, Islands in the Stream. Here was an example of a man, Thomas Hudson, who could not seem to achieve reconciliation with his children…either. Hudson was busy with life. I understand that. He was not enamored with what his children were on the road to becoming…either. Disappointment seemingly abounds on both sides of the fence of fatherhood. I’m sure it was what my father must have felt from time-to-time, just as it was for every father who ever fathered.


If you are or were a father like me, recall the axiom: One can’t choose to whom one is related. But one can choose with whom one associates.


Yes, there are terrible things that sometimes happen in life: but they are not sorrows, as Hemingway said. To better understand the ultimate meaning of life, from my perspective, I would add a quote from Shakespeare, To thine own self be true. Besides, if Gödel and Einstein were right, we are, each of us, doing all this again, many times over, at this moment (now) in possibly an infinite numbers of universes. Well that’s depressing...or, maybe not.


Read, Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway. It is an epic and a legacy lending insight into his life and his relationships to friends and family. Much in the way of drinking and womanizing: a cornucopia of fatherhood role modeling.


Read, The General’s Daughter by Nelson Demille. It’s just good trashy fiction, witty and involving for an escape after you read:


A World Without Time, by Palle Yourgrau who takes you through the Gödel-Einstein long-time relationship at the Princeton Institute exploring Gödel’s mathematical models of Multiple Universes (infinite episodes of “Now”) and his growing (and ultimately destructive) psychosis. You do not have to be a physicist or logician to enjoy this well-written biography; you only need be inquisitive.


One more thing: Happy Father’s Day fellow normative failures (unless you’re one of the new indeterminate types).



Aberrance, Social Media, and Gustave Le Bon

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


Crowds are influenced mainly by images produced by the judicious employment of words and formulas.

- Le Bon


Nothing is more dysfunctional than the will of the group when bent against acceptable normative standards suggestive of an evolving species, and no one did more to help us understand the direction, impetus, motion and force of the group – for better or for worse – than Gustave Le Bon. I’d like to say that I’ve read everything he wrote, but I haven’t, settling for his most engrossing work, Psychologie des Foules, more popularly known in English as, The Crowd, Study of the Popular Mind, published in 1895 and now under various public domain publishing houses such as my copy from Aristeus Books: a clean, easy to read font on good stock.


In The Crowd, Le Bon lays bare the group-think mentality that pervades America today, and America in 2003 as we set about to invade Iraq; America in 1941 after Pearl Harbor; Germany in the 1930s following the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor; Russia in 1917 as the revolution sparked executions and a complete palingenesis; and an array of other events throughout history where, always in hindsight, we (or they) ask, What were we thinking?


Simply put, we weren’t, and neither were those immersed in the events of the time that drove sanity from their midst and allowed people to do the wrong things: sometimes evil things at the behest of a master, a cause, a dictator, a deluded leader, a tyrant, a chimerical ideal founded on a truncation of logic, false belief, or harbored hate.


Le Bon’s epic work is (and was) an inspiration to those who through Le Bon’s words become skilled in the manipulation of crowds and crowd mentality. People like Hitler and Mussolini lingered on his treatise measuring its proven effectiveness by the varied and many examples history has to offer, incorporating into their diatribes (Mein Kampf, as an example) the smoldering fire of irrationality that secretly simmers within each individual of us, waiting only for the gathering of a crowd, around us in reality or virtually. (Although he garnered the momentum for the Iraq invasion masterfully, I doubt that GW Bush ever read Le Bon, but I feel certain that Mr. Cheney or Mr. Wolfowitz has.)


Why am I writing about Le Bon? I’ll get to that in a minute, but for now, let me assure you that few books have helped me to understand why we do what we do more than The Crowd.


My habit when reading is to use the “little colored sticky arrows” that escrow companies use (“sign here”), to make a brief note and stick it to the page on the paragraph worthy of note. Kind of an “NB” margin note on a document (Latin, Nota Bene for “note well” a habit I developed when working in legislative analysis far more than 30 years ago).


After reading an LA Times article today the connection between Le Bon and today’s Social Media manifested itself: one of those moments of clarity when a nexus seems so apparent that I’m disappointed that I hadn’t thought of it earlier. The article concerns a neo-Nazi Crowd Funding website that raises money for Hate. You can grab the details of it at the link. It’s a well-written article looking at the events surrounding this particular hatemonger’s rise to prominence through…Crowds. I think that’s what finally triggered the avalanche in my mind – the literal connection between Social Media crowd behavior and Le Bon’s epic work.


It’s obvious, I know, and we talk around it a great deal in the media remarking on how Twitter, Facebook, and the rest all have the very important mechanism that allows people of shared interests – from pedophiles to coulrophobics to “the lonely” to the networker to those staying in touch with family to the criminal to the businesswoman – to “Link Up” with others. Some of those on Social Media sites expand their networks to include those who share the same vile, racist, ignorant interests further gathering rationale and fomenting greater and deeper hate, just as those who use Social Media to advocate on behalf of radical Islamic thought – Daesh (ISIS) – as an example, inculcating the simple minded, lonely, intellectually frustrated with their now shared belief.


It lends “synergy” to the otherwise obstructed of thought, a word co-opted by Management Consultants and others to explain the alleged benefits of team-based problem solving, as an example. (I have never seen an advantage to team or group derived problem solving either in private sector, and certainly not in government. It is however an effective means of sharing blame when the unavoidable likely happens.) The word is used in both the real and social sciences regularly. From a Crowd perspective, it explains a lot.


Le Bon’s The Crowd  (and the word “synergy”) explains why in a movie a group of cowboys drinking in a bar can suddenly decide to lynch the ne’er-do-well cattle thief; it explains why a gathering of white men in the south in our not-too-distant-past, all of whom are wearing sheets, can surmise that hanging a black man is a righteous act completely consistent with the doctrine of Jesus Christ; it is a testament to the power of Adolf Hitler who could arouse anti-Jewish sentiment to such a degree that millions of people were executed in full-view of a country’s population without substantial revolt; it belies our professed sense of humanity by allowing the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman failing and impotent empire, the Turks today; it is the fundamental impetus to our continued and substantial involvement in two wars in the Middle East, and our emerging immersion in many more.


Tantamount, The Crowd describes why, today, Hate in America is on the rise as the crowd of like-minded intellectual neophytes gather around their computer monitors in the evening on Facebook and share their stories of, Why we must hate the blacks, the Jews, the Muslims… and from this the synergy builds to what Le Bon termed a Group Mind prepared to take whatever action, no matter how depraved and counterintuitive, at the suggestion of the Crowd’s leadership. And in America today the Crowd’s leader is a very emotionally precarious and not very bright individual.


When I pulled my copy of Le Bon’s work off the shelf I was amazed at the number of “Sign Here” arrows I had used when reading it. Each has a single word written on it as a mnemonic cue to direct me to a point I thought was very salient a few years ago. I was looking for the perfect quote – something I had read that was very memorable and fed into my syllogistic string of thoughts. Here is what I think sums it up quite well:


A crowd is not merely impulsive and mobile. Like a savage, it is not prepared to admit that anything can come between its desire and the realization of its desire. -Gustave Le Bon


That crowd today is virtually everywhere. Read, The Crowd: Study of the Popular Mind by Gustave Le Bon.



The Theory of Everything

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


He who desires to philosophize must first of all doubt all things… he must proceed according to the persuasion of an organic doctrine which adheres to real things, and to a truth that can be understood by the light of reason.

- Giordano Bruno


Theory of Everything? I don’t have one. But I have given it much thought in a protoscientific sort of way. Protoscience? Yes. That’s the word that defines what people like you and I do (if you too are a non-Scientist) when we think about some aspect of Science – allow our minds to wander about, visualizing the possibilities – but largely ignorant of the mechanics: the Math, the Quantum or Cosmological Physics associated with the area about which we are thinking.


It would seem, then, easy to dismiss any conclusions associated with protoscientific speculations; but that would be wrong.


Let’s take Albert Einstein, as an example: a protoscientist of the highest renown, remembering that he labored very long and hard, facing failure after failure, shunning after rejection after sometimes ignoble response, to A) eventually gain his Doctorate, and B) get a job, being relegated to tutoring and other menial positions,  relative to his eventual status. He also had a very difficult time with Mathematics – Algebra and beyond was virtually foreign to him. That’s why he recruited Marcel Grossmann as his tutor and Math Wizard.


All the way through his development of Special then General Relativity Einstein struggled desperately with the calculations. Marcel Grossmann was not deficient in this area, and through him Einstein achieved his revelationary visions.


Read, Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson. You will absolutely love it.


After reading Isaacson’s biography four times over a couple of years, sometime after the second reading I mentioned to GL Hill, our Publisher, that, like many of you, when I was a child I had some of the same thoughts as Einstein regarding the quirky, seemingly inconsistent nature of the Cosmos, and really, had I of known “a” Marcel Grossmann instead of “a” Stuart DeShera, with whom I grew marijuana, I might have taken a much different path in my youth. (Although I haven’t spoken with Stuart for decades, I’m pretty sure he feels the same way.) As Vonnegut said, So it goes.


Protoscience has shaken the world many times imprinting itself on the Sciences, and bringing about a shift in thought that has led to new and astounding applications, (sometimes very profoundly, thinking of Giordano Bruno, for which he forfeited his life in the most miserable way possible after years of torture in the Inquisitor’s prison in Rome, following what must have seemed like a vacation in retrospect in Venice’s Inquisitorial detention center).


Bruno’s writing was vast at a time when it was not appropriate for an ordained Dominican to ponder and then articulate thoughts that extended far beyond the apotheosis of heresy, notwithstanding his earlier separation from the Church.


Bruno seized on Copernicus’ ideas (himself a Heretic-in-waiting) at a time when Aristotle’s various treatises, badly flawed, and Ptolemy’s (absurd) model of the Universe were the norm. Bruno visualized a different universe: one filled with other inhabited planets - an infinity of possibilities each perhaps worshipping their own gods by whatever means - a polytheistic melange completely contradictory to the canon of Catholicism painfully and carefully accumulated since the Church’s legitimate inception in 325 AD. Who was Bruno to meddle with this machinery and the manufactured magnificence of the Church?


Read, Michael White’s, The Pope and the Heretic. Few books capture the essence of Bruno as well as Mr. White’s thoroughly immersing look at Bruno’s life throughout the most important, last, documented ten years of his existence prior to being Burned at the behest of the Pope, Clement VIII.


So what is my Theory of Everything? Well I don’t really have one, exactly, but I have some thoughts that I believe will come to pass. Paramount among them is that there aren’t separate laws governing movement and behavior on a quantum level from those on a cosmological level. There can’t be: God would not do that. It is, after all, only a scale difference of very small to very big. In an earlier article in this journal, we had opined:


In retrospect, it seems to me that Einstein was caught in the elevator of a 60-story building, somewhere between the 26th and 34th stories presuming that the 26th was the lobby and the 34th, the Penthouse. It’s the same analogy Abbott had (unintentionally and) successfully made in describing the two-dimensional nature of life for the Flatlanders in his epic work, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. And I think that Einstein, too, failed to look beyond the immediacy of his 26-to-34 floor existence and apply his very considerable intellect to the possibilities that may exist beyond the immediate.


Reluctant to embrace the seemingly erratic nature of the Quantum world whose workings didn’t follow the simplistic nature of the cosmos at the 26th floor as they did on the 34th, he chose to not hypothesize further into the depths of matter - into its “lower” levels – into the very fabric of Quantum composition. And why would he? Beyond and below what could be understood at that point would be nothing more than philosophy, or today what we call, Science Fiction. (Most of what we see around us today would have been science fiction 50 or 100 years ago. Today, reality.)


Likewise, his mathematical conjectures were confined to this Universe as being, in sum, the extent of our celestial reality, with only the passing nod to existences beyond and even within that level, dimensionally and otherwise. He was a victim of his early Positivist “upbringing” and was, therefore, trapped in the realm of what could be touched or observed in the world of Physics – too Machian for his own good and to his detriment.


Had he of looked below and above, he would have seen what physicists are seeing today – arguably philosophically, but also mathematically and experientially: dimensions and universes within and without all perhaps linked by a unified system of motion and behavior of such awe and magnitude and mystery, it leaves some/most/all traditional religions in its wake. 


How big is big, and how small is small? Will we ever devise a Theory of Everything? To do so may require thinking on a scale that is inherently beyond the capability of the finite human mind. Perhaps when we become one again with the universe, following what we call death, we’ll know: I believe we do.



Je peux compter jusqu'à 10!

(I can count to 10!)

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



“The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues…”

Erich Fromm, The Sane Society


Actually, in French I can count until I don’t want to count anymore. Many of you can too, I’m certain. In French. In Spanish. In German. In any language other than your primary.


Surprisingly, I can still sing the chorus of Sur le Pont d’Avignon. At 67 years of age, given that it was a song I learned more than 55 years ago, that’s impressive…but not really. It’s the way the young mind works. It’s a vault, a trove, an inescapable confine in which what we learn is locked up (I believe) forever. It’s a wonderful thing.


No, it’s not: it’s now a horrible thing. Today what many of our children pack away into their fortress of knowing is much different than that which we – the older among us – did.


Seemingly, every day there is a news report regarding some horrific video, online game, posting on the Internet that is so crude, base, obscene, violent, it is the very opposite of what our normative standards dictate (and common sense mandates) for advancing a healthy, nurturing, evolving species into a more developed human state capable of meeting the challenges we face environmentally, societally, spiritually. That is the problem.


We are not going forward. We are devolving. Our laws and expectations are changing asking us to be more progressive, less vile, kinder, more tolerant, holistically advanced in our perspectives, as though we have been around for a few thousand years and have learned from our mistakes. Mistakes like Hate, War, Theft, Greed, Avarice, Sloth, but we have not.


The word, Atavistic came to prominence a few hundred years ago to describe what our perspective ought to be regarding primitive behaviors, but how can that be when acts characterized as Atavistic are merely the common descriptor for what we do on a day-to-day basis?


On television or in the movies during the 1950s and 1960s when someone was shot they fell down. There was no brain matter blasted against the wall; no graphic portrayal of intestines draping across the floor; no palpitating heart in the hand of the murderer; no shower of blood splashed against the body of the assailant; no disemboweled corpse suspended from shackles. It was understood that the person shot was dead: we figured that out by ourselves without the graphic visual aids. Movies and television then were more akin to Doré’s illustrations of Dante’s vision of Purgatory and Hell, being led arm-in-arm by Virgil to witness the tortured souls adrift in the Styx.


Read, The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri with illustrations by Gustav Doré. Many reprints are available at a reasonable price. A First Edition, aside from being published in archaic Italian, is a bit pricey.


In today’s visual media, our children rarely get a glimpse of Heaven, either as a reality, or as a concept, or as an ideal, or as a state of living in significant harmony buttressed by love. Rather, our children are taken on a peripatetic jaunt through a chamber of horrors that is held forth as what life is.


Is it any wonder that aberrance is on the rise?


Violence against women. On the screen – Big and Little, including YouTube and other purveyors of unregulated content – Violence is not a component of entertainment; it very often is the primary element of the plot introduced to meet today’s approach to screenwriting. Rape is commonplace. Beating is typical. Murder is assured. Animated shorts and features abound on YouTube rolling along under the guise of Children’s tales espousing these acts, and not subject to parental restrictions (as if that were an effective tool for controlling a child’s sensory and memory input) are routine.


In our colleges, the CDC reports that 19% of our female children – young women – experience attempted or completed sexual assault: reported


Videos of these assaults sometimes find their way onto the Internet. For our children to see. Facebook. Other “Social” Media, defying the definition of the word. Prurient material is everywhere and trafficked to your child’s e-door without restriction.


In a published report last year by http://growingwireless.com, on average children are 12.2 years of age when they receive their first mobile device – smart phone, including any of those available – capable of accessing the Internet anytime, anywhere.


91% of teenagers (13 – 17 years of age) access the Internet on their cellphones, tablets (iPad) and other mobile devices. Something very near to 100% have access at home, mostly unfettered by parental influences since it’s apparently so bothersome to regulate what our young people are watching.


YouTube says:


YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.


YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.


More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.


Of course, they also say, “As of July 2016, YouTube has paid out $2 billion to rightsholders who have chosen to monetize claims since Content ID first launched in 2007.”


In other words, content publishers on YouTube make a great deal of money by driving traffic through to their “channel”. It behooves them to push as much traffic through as possible without regard to restrictions on age and content.


YouTube is only one site. Many others exist. Some are not as regulated as YouTube and provide no parental controls. Time-after-time YouTube’s controls, though, have failed when content is manipulated to circumvent the parameters safeguarding our children.


Beyond all of this, of course, is Facebook, a haven for murderers, thieves, spies, counterfeiters, pedophiles, rapists, perverts, and grandma and grandpa.


I used to think that I was a terrible father so many years ago now. Perhaps I was: sitting them down in front of Sesame Street to occupy their time to some extent so that I might think about other things or do other things in close proximity to them while they vegged out on Ernie and Bert. How many times may a daughter be required to watch a beta-format tape of Pippi Longstocking before it becomes tantamount to waterboarding? To this day I don’t know: but I do know that if the world were such as it is today, there would be no unguarded technology in my house and online activities would be restricted to academic searches and no social media.


Why? Isn’t it obvious?


Many years ago as a matter of academic requirements I read much in the way of Sociology and Behavior. One of the most enlightening, right along with Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew, was Fromm’s The Sane Society exploring the normative relativism of behaviors. I still have a paperback copy on my shelf: it is ever-awakening. I led with part of a quote worthy of repeating in full:


“The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane.” – Erich Fromm


Read, The Sane Society and make certain your child remembers traditional songs in other languages when he or she is older, rather than eviscerated and mutilated corpses, and forced sex acts. Maybe we can find a way out of this labyrinth of ignorance.



Selling Addiction

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



It’s what we do, and because of it, we don’t have a chance for survival. We sell addiction to those who feel pain, prescribing marijuana and opioids. We sell addiction to the weak of spirit, to the tired, the lame, the forgotten, the oblivious, the unclean, the unsaved, the obese, the neurotic, the destitute, the black man, the white woman, the young child, the spiritually void, the man who cannot walk upright, to the woman with cramps, to the old woman who is nearing death as we all are, and someone is making a lot of God damn money from it.


And so are those who have assigned themselves to mitigate addiction through medical intervention. Those who “rehabilitate” the addict. Those who arrest, prosecute, judge, defend, sentence, incarcerate, evaluate, counsel, formally discharge and likely accept back some short time later given the better than 80% recidivism. Statistically, 95% go back to drugs after release. Many go back to crime.


Heroin, pot, crack, speed, cocaine, Prozac, Zoloft, Lamictal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Symbyax, Celexa, Lexapro, bourbon, vodka, (just two little glasses of) wine, codeine, ketamine, methadone, you name it.


We sell addiction both in the most forthright way and under-the-table, depending on the drug and how clever the user and pusher may be, or if he wears a suit or a Doctor’s Smock. Wrack and ruin is always the end for the user, the father, the mother, the child: all of us.


100 years ago addicts died. End of story. Period. Gone from our lives one way or another and just a sad bitter memory and a lesson to those who remained, “Your Great Uncle Ed – we don’t like to talk about it, you know, because it was just so unlike our family – died from a heroin overdose.”


Not any more. Today we hard sell you on the idea of addiction, mostly for the sake of our GDP, and leave you to wander through America’s Magical Mystery Tour of hospital intake, rehabilitation centers, courthouses, jails, alleyways, whorehouses or street corners, psychologists’ offices, court-mandated counseling rooms, back-alley pushers and, maybe eventually, for the good of the rest of us, morgues.


Anything prescribed by either a physician or a bartender is acceptable. Now, today, the process of instilling addiction has become even easier as companies bring alcohol to the workplace, when the place of work has nothing to do with alcohol. Here’s an excerpt from a BBC article exploring this fairly recent phenomenon:


A growing number of companies are offering happy hour in the office. Twitter, for example, stocks complimentary beer and wine in fridges at its San Francisco inner city office. Yelp has craft beer on tap from kegs for staff and guests, while DropBox offers its workers free spirits on its “Whiskey Fridays”.


PR firm Hill and Knowlton has a bar and terrace at its new London officesSaatchi and Saatchi boasts an in-office pub for its staff, while advertising agency J. Walter Thompson’s office in New York has a 50-foot-long bar. Other workplaces like London-based marketing firm BSC Agency and Yahoo’s Chicago office have drinks trolleys and beer carts that trundle around the office at the end of the week. The demand has also given rise to companies like DeskBeers, which delivers beer to offices.


(Note that if you light a cigarette while consuming alcohol on the job you’ll probably face termination. Drugs that distort reality are acceptable: those that do not, are prohibited. How long will it be before a civil action is filed against one of these employers for conspiring to promote a life-threatening addiction?)


Every year in America more than 42,000 people kill themselves directly getting it over with as quickly as possible, while thousands-upon-thousands choose a slow and costly death through some form of addiction that was sold to them by someone at sometime, somewhere for some reason.


And you know why: Money, profit, “bottom line” and to thus perpetuate the machinery that keeps many hundreds of thousands (millions, in fact) employed in industries and professions fabricated to give career addiction people a reason for waking up in the morning and a sense of fulfillment by relegating others to a lesser position, compared to them. Sartre made this pretty clear decades ago.


Read, Being and Nothingness.


I am responsible for everything…except for my very responsibility. - Sartre


We are not born thinking “I need to get high.” We decide it after talking to someone who says what we need to hear, what we decide thereafter is right, by television shows, by films, by family, by friends, by medical doctors and psychologists, by pushers, by Big Pharma. We come to addiction by a thousand different roads – some masked and subtle, some overt and beguiling - and someone is making a lot of God damn money from it.


Who are they? You know.


Who ultimately carries the financial burden? You know.


Here’s a billboard that appeared on our main thoroughfare some short time ago. It says everything there is to say about our affinity for drugs.




Ketamine came to my attention years ago as a horse tranquilizer: It’ll knock a thousand-pound pissed-off stallion off his hooves for whatever reason the injecter may deem appropriate. Subsequently I understood that it had become a recreational drug for some at raves and events. Subsequently, again, I’ve learned that it is being used to treat Depression…given the faces of the smiling family embracing whomever the Ketamine drug user is in this image, it must be effective.


It isn’t. Ketamine, like any other drugs designed to address the nausea of life, the existential despair of being, is a useless attempt to bring the façade of meaningfulness to a life otherwise devoid of significance.


A caution from a Ketamine abuse source: The biggest concern (are the) so-called psychotic effects of ketamine, which include lethargy, euphoria, illusions, hallucinations, delirium, a sense of separation from the body, and bright dreams intimidating or sexual in nature.


As painful to those who remain it may be, let them go if suicide is their desire: We are at more than seven billion in this world of (to some extent, the) crippled, lame, fat, lazy, retarded, and stupid who are being spoon-fed life to sustain the machinery of commerce. If they want out – and many of us can understand that from time-to-time - let them go.


But, if the urge to embrace life remains, teach them to think, to act, to exercise, to read books, to become involved, to turn off the television, to dump Facebook, to become something more than a marker in this vastness of humanity and to do – something, anything, anywhere, anytime, now, today, next week, but, ultimately, live by learning and doing, whatever it may be. In some way, by some accounting, they will make the world a better place, at the very least by not being who they are right now.


One of my favorite writers of the Beat period was Jack Kerouac. His writing style, although it is not widely known I think, blossomed to a large extent on the inventiveness of William Saroyan whom he admired greatly for poetic technique and flow – the flow of his words and thoughts and sense of reality and the way he embraced America unlike no other writer when we were sunk in the depths of financial ruin in the 1930s and faced insurrection and complete collapse. Really, Saroyan’s poetry in the guise of prose.


A close friend to Kerouac was William S. Burroughs who occasionally dug Kerouac out of one of his many difficult moments, while Burroughs slithered simmering and spitting in his own pit of blackness.


Burroughs wrote much that, like many others, I’ve read. Naked Lunch, Junkie and a host of other “depraved” Beat what-passes-for Literature, today. But Kerouac was a true writer. A master of the genre. Read, Desolation Angels.


Still, nobody summed up the subject of this brief article better than Burroughs:


“Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.” 

– William S. Burroughs



Erdogan Directs Attack on US Citizens

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



In a first the President of Turkey, Recep Tyyip Erdogan, from the comfort of his limousine, save for a few moments exposed while surrounded by bodyguards, directed an attack by Turkish Security Forces along with counter-demonstrators on the streets of Washington DC against US citizens. Certainly an interesting historic development at a time when Erdogan is under fire in his own country by those seeking to overthrow his authoritarian regime.


An attempt to oust Erdogan late last year resulted in the arrest and conviction, and probably summary execution, of several of those involved. At present, other trials are ongoing and are being met with demonstrated approval by Erdogan supporters. For an in-depth look at the events that day in Washington, read the Daily Caller’s report here.


Yet, when I think of Turkey I don’t think of Erdogan (or try not to, anyway). Rather, I think of Orhan Pamuk’s very memorable and enlightening, Istanbul; Memories and the City. Pamuk’s prose reveals an epic history of an empire fallen and society resurrected through a tumult of political upheaval and cultural Westernization.


Walking with Pamuk through the book he leads you to the past and present of Istanbul, the remnant Ottoman, along the Bosphorus, through the lascivious and sacred quarters of the city, and makes you a guest in his house when he was a child and through his formidable years. You will come away feeling as though you understand Istanbul at its most interesting times. It’s a delight to read. It’s an immersion, and at times such as these, it helps...


“The first thing I learned at school was that some people are idiots; the second thing I learned was that some are even worse. ” -Orhan Pamuk



The Future of Europe Project

Bruce Janigian

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com


I participated recently in a “Future of Europe” project for the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and thought some reflection might be suitable for readers of this journal, especially because their focus extends globally.

An appropriate starting point is where humankind appears to be heading at a furious pace through the interventions of science and technologies which are about to overwhelm traditional human identities, including cultures and religions, with all the turmoil this entails. The starting point is much broader than Europe, and we must grasp it before we can address the particularities we seek to address.  Ultimately, the question becomes one of how Europe might adapt to retain some key qualities through the coming upheavals.

Humans will be changing into life forms closer to what might be viewed today as science fiction characters.  Bioengineering is starting with treating major diseases, but will soon be adapting all the major benefits other species enjoy ahead of humans, before advancing further. This will include increased sensory perception, brain function, and physical strength and agility, and longevity to include relative immortality. Who will gain these characteristics and benefits and who will be left behind?  These are questions that transcend regional or national interests.

I used to opine to graduate students and business executives that Islam has replaced Communism as the faith of the downtrodden and excluded. Just as Communism sought to share wealth and end exclusion, the tenets of Islam are similar.  When I was counsel for the US Agency for International Development in the 1980s, we anticipated the coming North-South wars and the invasion of Europe from North Africa.  We sought to delay it as long as possible.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the catastrophic decision made in the West was failing to seize the historic opportunity to shift Cold War military spending in favor of massive assistance to the developing world to create jobs through inward investment.  I recommended assistance to Russia to make it a partner with the West in this historic endeavor.  Instead, the West reduced foreign assistance budgets and actually increased intelligence and military spending. In my opinion, it also reverted to the old Great Game of shunning accommodation with Russia in favor of resource exploitation in the newly independent states.  I have written a factually based novel on the subject: Persona Non Grata: End of the Great Game by Avery Mann, my pen name.

So the immediate questions that face the planet deal with inclusion and exclusion.  If we seek maximum inclusion, it comes at the price of job creation and education and providing incentives that can only come at a considerable cost to the West.  Is there any option? In my opinion, failure to increase foreign assistance has resulted in the neglected recipients arriving in the center of Europe. The excluded will seek to destroy or make excessively costly technological or medical progress that bypasses them.  Thus, exclusion comes at the price now felt in Germany, Sweden and elsewhere, and leads to a rethinking of the social welfare net and cultural liberality that has sustained the modern European ethic following the Second World War.

Does Europe feel a greater cultural threat from Islamic migrants or from a closer relationship with Christian Russia, which shares many of the same concerns?  Does focusing spending on military resistance to a non-threatening Russia make more sense than stabilizing North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia? This is another aspect of my book.  Looking to the larger historical context, does the division of the Church and the traditional East-West division make sense in a world challenged by a North-South dynamic and Western moral relativism squared off against a violently rigorous interpretation of Islamic fundamentalism?

The world is changing quickly and Europe must adapt. The recent election of Emmanuel Macron may have saved Europe’s ability to deal intelligently with its future. I would like to see it anticipate what is coming and choose suitable partners to help it face what lies ahead. Blindly reacting to instability it has itself engendered by intelligence and military adventurism in the developing world would be continuing to react with a flimsy bandage instead of facing up to a costly, but perhaps culturally life-saving, prescription.

Mr. Janigian is a Writer, Lawyer, Professor, Reader, and International Business Leader. You may learn more about him by visiting http://Janigian.com.


Reading Marquez and Saroyan

Joseph Warren, Editor

Editor@TheIndependentDaily.com



Earlier this month my copy of Saroyan’s The Gay and Melancholy Flux (on the recommendation of a writer-friend, Bruce Janigian, read, Persona Non Grata: End of the Great Game) arrived post from the United Kingdom. I was able to read through about the first two-thirds of it before becoming miserably mired in the profundity of Saroyan’s many commentaries on humanity then (circa 1930s), as now. I see it all around us everyday; I see the reflections of Saroyan’s words in our society as we lope along unforgiving and lost in the madness of what has become a parody of itself in a world stampeded by souls unable to inhale and yet always hoping for a continued life among the living.


“…you can’t be born again until you die, and you are afraid to die, you are afraid to live…to look and talk and speak and move…who are you anyway?” (From the story, The Drunkard.)


It made me think of the solemnity of Marquez in Love in the Time of Cholera, a book I had read twice before, but hadn’t in a number of years, so I withdrew it from the shelf and took a Saroyan break. I have it in Spanish as well and have stumbled through a third of the book laboring over definitions and trying to grasp the complexity and depth of the word Marquez chose for that one word and why he chose it, but I admit defeat. It must be what it’s like for the partially literate to try to read a “Literary” novel, in English, in our country: like a stuttering of the mind and frustrating as hell.


So, for the third time I read again, during my Saroyan-inspired hegira to escape the certain nausea associated with mortality, Edith Grossman’s translation of Marquez’s epic work on love, death, life, failure, success and the significance of none. (Why do I mention the translator Grossman? There are many translators of Marquez’s work: none evoke the essence of what I believe Marquez intended, to the level of Grossman: she is a great writer unto herself. Comparing all other translators to her is to compare the act of telling to that of describing with images, song, and poetry.)


The concluding pages of Marquez’s book happen on the Magdalena River at a time in Columbia’s history when the country remained plagued by cholera and the aftermath of revolution in a mired confluence of unblending cultures and conflicted society. Yet above it all Love persevered.


Although wonderfully described – beautifully told – I felt a yearning to better understand the river from the point of its original telling during the earliest passages of the book through to its conclusion. I found what I wanted in a collection of early photographs that, from my perspective, capture the Magdalena as it must have been to Marquez’s Florentino Ariza from his youth.


So rather than immersing yourself in “…things you cannot change…” as the addicts admonish, read Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera (El Amor en los Tiempos de Cólera, if you’re a better man than I) and keep the images below for reference while reading the various passages taking place on the River Magdalena. Then, find a copy of The Gay and Melancholy Flux by Saroyan and come to understand that none of what is happening today is important in the least, and that is why we have changed the format of this journal.


Images of the Magdalena and associated with the river:



The town of Honda and the rapids on approach



Perico Station: Terminus of the route



A wayside wood fueling station for the riverboats



A Magdalena wharf-side image


Our “Old Index” page (Home Page) is here if you’re thinking about changing the things you can’t.




Residual Quantum Field Effect

Joseph Warren

(with GL Hill)



For some of you, what you are about to read and consider could be life changing giving you a much different perspective on Life and Afterlife. For others, perhaps not. Ironically, we believe that the truth - the historic foundation of religions - lies herein. I know: That’s a pretty grand statement, but read on.


Most often people require some form of commitment to validate the legitimacy of a way of thinking: To suffer somehow, or give of one’s self to a cause, to pay tithing, and plainly here that’s not the case. All that’s required is that you consider, to the best of your experience, what you’ll read below. If it’s valid from your perspective – if you can understand what we’re saying and see its application to you – that’s wonderful. If not, that’s fine too.


People don’t read and think as much as they once did. We’ve become too accustomed to being told what is true, what is real, by our religious leaders, by our governments, by those around us who “know better” and who coincidentally subscribe to a specific way of thinking for the benefit of some organization or entity, government or private, and by television. We have no organization or television series to promote.


We believe that the Residual Quantum Field hypothesis belongs to everyone because through it we may better appreciate that we are all born from the same quantum fabric and share that common basis with all of humanity.


Through this thinking we may experience less existential angst, regret, sense of failure, hate, controversy; and through it we may live a more peaceful life, less fearful of death and what may have been for you, the unknown, or simply nothingness. Read article...



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Submission Guidelines


Your submissions ought to be thought-provoking, controversial, unique or reflective of an Independent view and may touch on any subject. No judgment regarding the article’s political slant will be made.

 

J Warren, Publisher and Editor; GL Hill, Publisher and Contributing Writer; J Shepherd, Contributing Writer; R de la Luna, Contributing Writer; Sister Justine, SJ, Contributing Writer. Warren-Hill Productions. WarrenHillProductions@gmail.com


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