Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Birthday JFK

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29.

We shared the same birthday.

Along with the comedian Bob Hope.

And Sherpa Tenzing, the Nepali Sherpa mountaineer, who climbed Everest with illary.

In 1453 the Ottoman Turks stormed the walls of Constantinople.

I had nothing to do with that blow to Christendom.

Peace and Love.

Oh my Lucky Day

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Mail

Regards Dr.Raymond Chien Kuo Fung

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Firm Handshake

When I was a young boy, my father instructed my older brother and me of the value of a firm handshake.

"It's a sign of a man."

My brother and I were only 8 and 7, but we heeded out father's instructions.

Most of our peers were told the same by their fathers, but that didn't stop bullies from trying to crush your knuckles.

The worst was Father Gavin, the local parish priest, who tested our grips.

He almost made my friend Chuckie Lally cry from the pain.

He attempted to break my knuckles.

I stamped on his foot with my boots.

Hard.

He released me and I warned him, "Don't you ever touch Chuckie."

All the boys in our parish knew Father Gavin to be one of those men who hurt boys.

We hated him.

But none of us were ever touched by him.

I still give a firm handshake, but spare Asians and Arabs the iron grip of West.

Not so the 45th President of the USA.

Donald Trump has dragged US politicians and foreign leaders closer to him as a sign of domination.

At the most recent G-8 he aggressed the newly elected President of France and Emmanuel Macron crushed the doughty pitt of # 45 until Trump signaled 'uncle'.

What a wanker.

Trump that is.

He has no idea of etiquette, but what else can you expect from the KKK.

To see the exchange between Macron and Trump, please go to the following URL

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/28/the-trump-handshake-how-world-leaders-are-fighting-back

Friday, May 26, 2017

Defeat Of Humanity In Montana

I like Montana.

Evel Knievel came from Anaconda. The speed limit was once 'whatever is reasonable and proper. Bars give drinkers 'take-away' cups.

Chico Springs is one of my favorite places in the world.

Ms. Carolina liked drinking there.

She sat well on a horse.

Unlike me.

But I extensively searched the Internet for a Greg Ginaforte on a horse.

Not one.

And not one of him manhandling a member of the Press for asking the eventual winner of the 2017 Congressional Special Election his thoughts on the GOP anti-health bill.

Rob Quist received 44% without any support from the DNC, who should be banned from the polls for ineptitude.

The Democratic candidate preferred a banjo to a horse.

At least he was born from Montana.

Just like Evel Kneivel.

He rode everything.

One Seat At A Time - Rob Quist

Rob Quist, a cowboy banjo player, has the lead in a run for a vacant congressional seat representing Montana. The DNC ignored his campaign, preferring to back special interest politicians. They lost in the primary and still they refused to support a man from a Cut Bank ranching family... to until he beat their flunkies. He is on the good side of many issues; gay rights, education, social security, health et al. The DNC hate him.

But not Bernie.

He stands strong for Rob against his GOP alternative.

Fucking Greg Gianforte.

Today this San Diego native was arrested for assaulting a reporter.

The cretin body-slammed the reporter, who asked about health care.

I know he doesn't deserve the noose.

But no one has swung with dancing heels at Deer Lodge for a long time.

Montana deserves better as do the people of the USA.

To hear Rob Quist's version of SHADY GROVE, please go the the following URL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzPaI5bTP48

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

FREE THE WORLD

In 2011 gold soared to record prices and every day a steady flow of customers entered our diamond exchange on West 47th Street to sell their precious jewelry and family heirlooms. They were of all ages, nationalities, and races. Most of them were honest, but buying stolen merchandise or swag was a crime. Richie Boy, his father Manny, and I didn't care who they are as long as they possess a valid ID for our police records. None of us were young men and we had too little to gain from doing the wrong thing, when we could churn out a 5% profit.

Our first question to these sellers was, “Who much do you want?”

Most of them said that they don’t know, but they all had a final price.

"Let me check it out." I ignored their feigned ignorance and tested the gold for karat and weight.

We calculated everything in pennyweights or 1/20th of an ounce. The Middle Age measurement confused the buyer, but we always handed them a slip of paper from a adding machine. Everything was in black and white.

The final price was determined by the market value of an ounce of gold, which fluctuated day to day.

In 2011 the price soared toward $2000/oz.

Weight and carat determined the scrap worth of gold.

We paid nothing for sentimental value.

Our firm had a good reputation for paying the most on the street.

"We only make 5% on this."

It was the truth, but some pieces could be flipped for more, especially diamond rings.

Late in the summer a young man of Semitic descent approached my counter. He had a few diamond ring in a bag. They were relics of a ruined romance.

After settling on a price of $1500, I advised the young man to buy something for himself.

“Paying off bills does not soothe a broken heart.”

“Yes, but for $1500 you can buy a good used motorcycle. Let me see your ID.” I took his driver’s license.

His name was Arab andI entered it in the police book.

“Are you from Iraq?”

“No, Palestine.” Mohammed spoke flawless English. His father had grocery stores in Queens. He was running three of them.

“Palestine is a forbidden name on this street.” 47th Street was predominantly Jewish.

They backed Israel right or wrong and Israel could do no wrong in their eyes. I was a goy. I had my own beliefs.

"It's my country"

"I'm half-Irish. My people lived under the British for four hundred years. “I can only say one thing.”

“Which is?” He was used to America’s prejudice against Palestine.

The movie EXODUS had blue-eyed Paul Newman as a member of the Zionist terrorist gang and a young blonde Jill Haworth as a kibbutz farmer. There were no Hassidim in the film.

Only tough white-skinned fighters.

“Free Palestine.” I had a tee-shirt in my closet stating the same slogan.

I raised my fist, the accepted sign of world revolution.

“Good, but it is better to free the world.” Mohammed smiled and accepted his money.

“I’ll think about that bike and you think about the world.”

“I’ll do that.” I leaned away from the counter slightly stunned.

I had been taught an important lesson by this young man.

A simple lesson.

All politics that are local are also global.

They effect everyone.

Everywhere.

Free Palestine.

Free the World.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hypocrisy Of The Endless War

A bomber struck a Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Over twenty young people were killed by the explosion.

The destruction was horrific.

Young innocents.

Dead.

Why?

Israel attacking a Palestine beach.

Yemeni children killed by a drone missile strike ordered by Obama.

Bloody Sunday by the Brits.

When will there be peace.

28-3 / Go Celtics

I am a die-hard Boston Celtics fan.

I listened on the radio to their games in the late 1950s.

I watched the Green on TV in the 1960s.

I still consider Bill Russell the greatest player ever in the NBA.

I was lucky enough to see their battles at Boston Garden in the 70s.

Hondo, Cowens, Silas, Jo-Jo, Don Nelson.

I loved that team and they beat the Bucks to win a 12th Championship for the Celtics.

The Bird years.

The Big Three.

And now the new team.

Blown out twice by the Cavs.

Isiah Thomas out for game 3.

Then they fuck Cleveland at home.

An LA friend asked for my prediction.

"Celts in 6."

"How?"

"28-3."

"28-3?"

I can't even remember who the Patriots beat in the Superbowl other than they blew out their lungs and had nothing left for the 4th quarter.

28-3.

Go Green.

Monday, May 22, 2017

NIGHT ON THE TOWN


Back in 2012 I was in Thailand. I no longer resided in Pattaya. Too many Russians, retirees, and I preferred Sriracha up the coast, where I lived with my son Fenway and his beautiful Mom. Sriracha was a totally Thai town and I was comfortable drinking beer with Mam and playing with my son, but Mam understood my need to see old friends and one night I received a phone call from Ed. The Hollywood real estate broker had just divorced his wife in LA and needed a guide to the go-go bars of Pattaya.

"Go see your friend. But not see any women." Mam kissed me good-night at the bus stop on Sukhumvit. Fenway eyed his father with suspicion. The two year-old had no reason to worry. My body and soul belonged to his mother.

"I'll be back early." The sun was setting in the Gulf of Siam. I would be at the Buffalo Bar by 7. Ed couldn't be fussy after 25 years with the same woman. "Before midnight."

"Ha." Mam knew men better than me. "Come home when you want."

"Pai." Fenway waved me onto the bus. I blew him a kiss and he wiped his cheek with a smile. He was a good jokester.

The ride to Pattaya Klang took 30 minutes. The motorsai taxi was another five minutes to the Buffalo Bar. Ed sat with the owner, Eddy. She was my age and looked older. Jamie Parker was by his side. We all knew each other from New York in the 80s.

“Ed thought I was dead.”

“I heard more than one version of your death.” Ed and Jamie had been bad boys at Max's Kansas City.

“None close to true.” Jamie had been a good boy in Pattaya. Most of the time. He excused himself to speak with the owner. We ordered beer. The first was good the second cold. Used to Manhattan prices, Ed laughed at the bill. “The girls in here seem friendly.”

“Friendly as Fereghinis.” Thais bore no physical resemblance to most venal of Star Trek races. They were more beautiful than any woman on Melrose and twice as thin.

“I thought we were farangs.” Ed ordered two drinks for the bar girls who had appeared to massage our necks.

“It’s what they call all of us.” The word’s meaning depended on how it was said.

“Not me. I’m a farang lao.” Jamie returned to the bar.

"Only because you eat insects.” The CIA called his kind 'snake-eaters'.

“And speak a little Lao.” Jamie paid the bill and asked, “Are we taking Ed on a Black Diamond run?”

Jamie’s no-hold’s barred pilgrimage to Pattaya’s night spots included most hellholes not of the regular visitor’s radar screen.

“Let’s stay with intermediate slopes.” Ed was no stranger to Jamie’s taste for danger.

We got on motorsai taxis and headed down to Walking Street. 8pm was early and Jamie suggested the Tiger Lounge. “It has great AC, they’ll play anything we want, and the two early girls are the best-looking on the street. If we're lucky neither has been barfined yet.”

Ed was a happy man. Both girls were in the bar. Their combined age didn't add up to that of his ex-wife.

Beer, AC, The Ramones, plus Wan and Fah stereo-massaging his back.

No man could ask for more and Ed recounted the damages of the divorce from his wife. “Malibu house gone. My firm considered me a pussy for not fighting the divorce and axed me from the board.”

“And that was bad?” Jamie’s history was nightlife and prison. He only worried about parole boards and that was a long time ago.

"From where I sit now it was a good thing.”

“And it’s only going to get better.” Jamie dragged us to Living Doll 2, where he harangued the manager about an erotic hot dog eating contest coupled with the most hot dogs you can eat contest. The manager deemed the idea a little too 'lo-so' for his clientele. Ed disagreed. “A bunch of fat guys sucking down dogs followed by go-go girls eating hot dog. Nothing could be sexier.”

“Really?” I asked, since Ed was seated with twin sisters. The skimpy bikinis revealed that some farang had their silken skin tattooed with the same craven images front to back. Thankfully none showed his name.

“Maybe I’m wrong.” Ed had supported the arts. None more than exotic dance.

“I show you wrong.” Jamie signaled for the chek-bin and we were off to Heaven Above. The white interior reminded Ed of Clockwork Orange and my old club off 7th Avenue. 1986. “The Milk Bar.”

“Except these girls are real.” Jamie had been saving the best for last. Ed rang the bell. The 49 year-old was avalanched by beauties and for the first time in a long time he was happy. An hour later he disappeared. No one had seen his departure. Jamie and I wandered off Walking Street and he dropped me at a taxi stand. The fee to Sriracha was 1000 baht or $30.

I made it home at midnight.

Mam and Fenway sat on the couch watching Ultraman.

My son sniffed at me.

"No perfume." I was ever faithful to my wife. We fought over that fact and made love once little Fenway was asleep. We held each other as if neither of us wanted to let go.

In the morning Ed called me and explained the rest of his night.

“I went back to the Tiger and barfined Wan for the week. I'm taking them to some island not so far away. I’ll call you when I get back.”

“Sure.” Koh Samet was an hour down the coast. I didn't warn him about not falling in love. He had been alone with a woman that didn't love him too long. His holiday might stretch to a week, because time goes fast when you’re having fun. I know, because I've been there too.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mishistory of STAR TREK


Hollywood has no respect for history. Writers redraft the flow of time according to filmgoers' demographics. I don't really mind these idiots placing the discovery of America at the same year as Mel Gibson's APOCALYSO or the non-existence of emperors in GLADIATOR, however the heresy of the most recent STAR TREKs should be considered heresy by Trekkies everywhere.

Firstly they have James T. Kirk born in space rather than Riverside Iowa.

Secondly they destroy the planet Vulcan and kill off Spock's mother because she falls to her death just out of reach of her son.

Spock also has a relationship with Uhuru.

Lastly the Romulan war criminal more resembled a speedfreak skateboarder than an alien from another planet.

But what can you expect from Hollywood?

Of course I watched the movie online.

I hate sitting with fat soda-slurping popcorn eaters.

Back To Star Trek

According to the intro to the original STAR TREK TV series 'Space is the final frontier'.

Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise voyaged through the Cosmos from 1966 to 1969

Several Star Trek series followed the original, but in 2005 ENTERPRISE was not renewed, despite fans raising $32 million to finance another season, and for the last twelve years there hasn't been a Star Trek series ion TV.

Only movies.

This year CBS will broadcast a new Star Trek series; STAR TREK: DISCOVERY set ten years before the original STAR TREK.

Trekkies rejoice.

Live long and prosper.

To see the CBS trailer please go to this URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRVD32rnzOw

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Leonard Nimoy hailed from Boston’s West End shtel. His Russian father cut hair in Mattapan Square. Tired of giving us a buzz-cut my father drove my older brother and me to the Terminal Barber Shop next to the terminus of the trolley line. I can’t recall any other barber along Blue Hill Avenue.

A native of Maine m father believed in high and tight.

His instructions to the barber were the same.

Once my old man left the establishment on River Street the barber asked, “How you want it?”

“Like Bob Dylan.”

The singer had ended the 1950s with his hit BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND.

“Gotcha.”

The year was 1963.

The barber knew his clientele.

He never mentioned having a son in the theater.

In 1966 he starred in STAR TREK as the Vulcan science officer to James T Kirk.

Leonard Nimoy never had a Boston accent.

His Vulcan gesture for ‘live long and prosper’ was based on how the kohanim or Jewish priests holding their hand when giving blessings.

Dif Tor Heh Smusma

Spock was our hero.

Logic over emotion.

When he died, I broke into tears.

Like my mossaich had passed into the other world.

Trekkies loved Spock.

He transcended TV and made us believe in Space.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Closing The Go Go Bars

I liked old go-go bars.

My first was the 2 O'Clock Lounge in Boston's Combat Zone.

1971.

Drums, bass organ, sax, stripper.

Paradise.

I hate gentlemen clubs.

They have no class. Not like the old school.

YELLOW BIRD - WINSTON GROOVY

According to wikipedia Choucoune is a 19th-century Haitian song composed by Michel Mauléart Monton with lyrics from a poem by Oswald Durand. It was rewritten with English lyrics in the 20th century as Yellow Bird.

One of Oswald Durand's most famous works, the 1883 Choucoune is a lyrical poem that praises the beauty of a Haitian woman of that nickname. Michel Mauléart Monton, an American-born pianist with a Haitian father and American mother composed music for the poem in 1893, appropriating some French and Caribbean fragments to create his tune.

The song Choucoune was first performed in Port-au-Prince on 14 May 14, 1893. It became a popular méringue lente (slow méringue) in Haiti, and was played prominently during the bicentennial celebrations in Port-au-Prince in 1949. Choucoune was recorded by "Katherine Dunham and her Ensemble" for the Decca album "Afro-Caribbean Songs and Rhythms" released in 1946 (with the title spelled as Choucounne), and was first recorded in Haiti by Emerante (Emy) de Pradines for her "Voodoo - Authentic Music of Haiti" album (Remington R-199-151) released in the USA in 1953.

The song also appeared in the 1957 Calypso-exploitation film Calypso Heat Wave, performed by The Tarriers, sung by the group's lead singer, Alan Arkin.

My mother loved this song and sang it often to the delight of my loving father.

To hear YELLOW BIRD - WINSTON GROOVY please go to the following URL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfJXxZ1JBDU

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Paris In The Springtime

In 1982 I spent my first spring in Paris.

I fell in love that season.

Not with a woman, but a city.

The Seine at dawn.

Le Louvre.

Pigalle.

Croissants and crepes.

My friends.

And I still love Paris

Pour toujours.

You Can Get There From Here

I love the Maine.

It's the largest state in New England.

The northern border is the Allagash River. South the Piscataway separates the Pine State from the New Hampshire Grants along with thick forests, lakes, and mountains to the west. I've driven from Kittery to Fort Kent in the dead of winter.

Mostly on the back roads guided by a map, but this road sign in South China is all the directions a driver needs to get around the world fast.

But not North China, but there isn't one in Maine.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Kent State 1970


Forty-seven years ago John Filo snapped an iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio, a fourteen-year-old runaway, kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller after he was shot dead by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970.

I was 17.

Richard Nixon had been elected President in 1968 by promising to end the Vietnam War.

Two years later the war showed no signs of going away as the Pentagon instituted a draft lottery and American troops massacred My Lai. In Late-April of 1970 President Nixon gave to go-ahead to an invasion of Cambodia after staging a coup in that neutral country with the blessing of Henry Kissinger.

Thousands of protesters hit the streets across America and then it was hundreds of thousands.

My all-boys Catholic high school shut down, so that its students could demonstrate in Boston Commons.

Washington was under siege and protests spread to campuses across the nation.

At Kent State hundreds of students gathered to witness one student burn his draft card.

That evening after a bar shut for the night, bikers, students, and transient people broke the glass windows of a bank. Police confronted the mob, but were driven off by the protestors. The town mayor ordered the closure of all the bars leading to an escalation of violence, but tear gas drove the mob to into the campus.

The next day after hearing of threats to destroy the college and town Governor Jim Rhodes ordered in the National Guard. The protesters responded to the escalation by burning down the ROTC office and preventing firemen from saving the building.

Governor Rhodes was furious.

""We've seen here at the city of Kent especially, probably the most vicious form of campus oriented violence yet perpetrated by dissident groups. They make definite plans of burning, destroying, and throwing rocks at police, and at the National Guard and the Highway Patrol. This is when we're going to use every part of the law enforcement agency of Ohio to drive them out of Kent. We are going to eradicate the problem. We're not going to treat the symptoms. And these people just move from one campus to the other and terrorize the community. They're worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes. They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over the campus. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America."

On May 4 the bloody carnage of Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos came home to America.

Companies A and C, 1/145th Infantry and Troop G of the 2/107th Armored Cavalry, Ohio National Guard lowered their M-1 rifles and shot into the rock-throwing crowd. Only 29 of the 79 discharged their weapons, but four students lay dead and nine were wounded.

The war continued another five years.

Even with four dead in Ohio.

Fuck Henry Kissinger.

Bring the war criminal to justice.

To hear FOUR DEAD IN OHIO, please go to the following URL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnOoNM0U6oc

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day

May Day 2015 I was sitting at my desk in the Fort Greene observatory. I knew today was an important labor holiday, but I wish that I was working and said so yesterday to my old boss from the Diamond District.

"I wish I could give you a job, but there's no business," apologized the 82 year-old diamond dealer and he was right. No one had walked into the exchange. Without customers there are no sales and without sales there was no money for wages.

"The rich have taken all the money and don't know how to spend it." I had been a economic major in college and believed money was better spent by many than saved for a few.

"I guess you have to blame it on someone." Manny was an old curmudgeon, but I had counted on him for a job since 1989.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"That you worked all your life and never prepared for a moment like this."

"Who could prepare for the the Greater Recession?" People my age were out of work in the millions.

"You were was lucky to have had a job all those years."

"And now I'm not lucky." I had worked for Manny as a salesman on and off since 1990. There had been some good years. None of those were recent.

"And you can't find another job."

"I only know diamonds and writing."

"And you have never made any money on your books."

"You have that right and now everyone around the world are grinding out a subsistent living. Workers have no rights."

"And neither do I."

"It wasn't always that way. Once there was a marriage between labor and capital. Years ago unions protected the workers. Union instituted the 40-hour week, the end to child labor, and other workers’s rights, but since Reagan broke up the Air Controllers Union the GOP has tried to destroy every advance in workers' rights."

"The Democrats aren't much better."

"We're on our own." I shrugged and made to leave.

"Where are you going?"

"To the 169 Bar in Chinatown. They have $2 beers."

"Have a good May Day."

I showed him the clenched fist and headed to the subway, thinking that I had belonged to three unions; IBEW for the telephone company, IBT driving taxi in Boston, and the union of drifters.

I believe in the power of labor and every May 1 the workers of the world march to show their solidarity.

Originally the day was a pagan holiday for the first day of spring, although in a different month than the present Julian calendar. Peasants adherents to the old religions danced around the Maypole and the Catholic Church suppressed the practice by naming May the month of Mary.

As a child at parochial school the nuns paraded us around the church with the girls wearing white dresses and flowers in their hair. The boys were dressed in white jackets and slacks. Parents snap snapshots of their angelic children with Kodak Brownie cameras.

Years later we abandoned this pious procession to march in the May Day protests against the Cambodian Bombings.

1969-1970.

Washington, Kent State, and Nixon talking to the protesters.

To combat the rising anger of the workers, the government supported an eight-hour day in 1886.

Big business wasn’t happy with this new law and workers across the country staged a series of protests. Anarchists congregated in Chicago's Haymarket Square. The gathering was peaceful until someone threw a bomb into the police ranks, killing one officer. In the ensuing violence more died on both sides.

The subsequent trial of eight anarchists was a farce, but evidence revealing the involvement of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in the bombing didn’t prevent the death sentence for seven of the accused.

Public pressure for leniency forced the governor of Illinois to commute the capital charges against two ‘conspirators’.

On the eve of the execution Louis Lingg supposedly offed himself by exploding a dynamite cap in his mouth.

The remaining four, Spies, Parsons, Fischer, and Engel were publicly hung, but not before they sang the Marseillaise, the anthem of the international revolutionary movement.

All eight were exonerated in 1893 and May 1 became a rally day for labor throughout the world, although the USA government called it Loyalty Day.

Thailand gives the day off to workers, 70% who have decent jobs say they are happy with their present situation. Others are less so.

In honor of the Haymarket martyrs I’m taking the day off too.

Sadly it's not by choice.

Power to the people.