Original materials -
Copyright © 2019 by Gary Bachlund All international rights
"We know through painful
experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must
be demanded by the oppressed." In "Letter From Birmingham City Jail," Martin
Luther King Jr., 16 April 1963.
Who just says what?
|Who just says what? And who just defines
Amorphous notions of hateful whines?
One man hates another man's speech,
And to silence one extends the reach
Of who can say what and who shall define
Uniformed speech, the tyrant's sign.
|Uniform thought is thought controlled;
An incorrect thought receives a scold.
Who just says what? And who just defines
When a thuggish tyrant speech maligns?
The fists of power rise up to crush
Whomever they deem it right to shush.
|Hate means what? In what legal sense?
What should it cost? What recompense
Must be paid by cash, limb, or life,
As each tyrant seeks to silence strife?
Who just says what? And who just defines
When tyranny freedom's speech maligns?
Envoi: "If we don't believe in freedom
of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
Addendum of an Inquisition: "...the
Inquisition, guided by its founding in 1233 by the steely intellects
of the Dominican order, had developed the techniques that would
torment Catholic Europe and Latin America for centuries to come and,
in the process, provide the model for latter- day totalitarian
control of the individual conscience." In "The Perfect Heresy,"
by Stephen O'Shea, Profile Books, 2001.
Addendum of a Modern Inquisition:
"Large groups of citizens, loyal to the party and serving as informers
and enforcers at the grassroots level, can be seen almost everywhere in
China today. They are easily recognizable by the red armband they wear
prominently. The so-called “red armbands,” mobilized masses and cadres
for patrolling and inspecting, have become the instrument that the CCP
uses to monitor the community, especially dissenters and religious
believers. The appearance of these zealous citizens enforcing a
moral and disciplinary code on their fellow citizens reminds many of
past Chinese social movements, like the Fengqiao Experience or the Boxer
Rebellion." by Lin Yijiang, Bitter Winter, 30 December 2018.
Addendum of Another Modern Inquisition:
"The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice
enforces traditional Islamic morality by arresting or helping to secure
the arrest of people who engage in conduct that violates Islamic
principles and values. They are tasked with enforcing Sharia as
defined in Saudi Arabia. In addition to having the power to arrest
anyone engaged in homosexual acts, prostitution or fornication, they can
also arrest unrelated males and females caught socializing and enforce
Islamic dress-codes, eating habits (such as the prohibition from eating
pork) and store closures during the prayer time. They prohibit the
consumption or sale of alcoholic beverages and seize banned consumer
products and media regarded contrary to Islamic morals. They also
actively prevent the religious practices of other religions within Saudi
Arabia." In "Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of
Vice (Saudi Arabia)," Wikipedia article, n. d.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of a Choking Inquisition:
"The Justice Department has committed to ending a controversial
Obama-era program that discourages banks from doing business with a
range of companies, from payday lenders to gun retailers." In "Justice
Department to end Obama-era 'Operation Choke Point'," by Victoria
Guida, Politico, 17 August 2017.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of an Artistic Inquisition:
" 'Every artist whose work appears on Netflix should be
outraged that the company has agreed to censor a comedy show because the
thin-skinned royals in Saudi complained about it,' a spokesperson said.
'Netflix’s claim to support artistic freedom means nothing if it bows
to demands of government officials who believe in no freedom for their
citizens – not artistic, not political, not comedic'." In "Outrage
after Netflix pulls comedy show criticising Saudi Arabia," by Mattha
Busby, Guardian UK, 1 January 2019.
[ 4 ]
Addendum of an Inquisition by Regulation:
"In short, Patreon is choosing to monitor the speech of any creators
funded by its site and will apply its own standards to regulate that
speech even though the speech isn’t being published or hosted at Patreon.
It should go without saying that Patreon, as a private company, is free
to do so. But in the video below, Peterson suggests the move to oust
libertarian and right-leaning speakers is being driven by a left-wing
group called Change the Terms." In "Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson
leave Patreon over free speech concerns," by John Sexton, HotAir, 2
[ 5 ]
Addendum of Dulling Inquisitions:
"...without a vibrant commitment to free and open inquiry, a
university ceases to be a university." In "Report of the Committee
Freedom of Expression," University of Chicago, n. d.
[ 6 ]
1 ] From the article: "Another
historical precedent was the turn-of-the-century Boxer
Rebellion. The Boxers (literally the 'Fists of Harmony
and Justice') were a Chinese secret society that led the
rebellion against colonialism and Christianity. Political
commentator Wen Zhao sees a common thread: 'What the
Boxers and the Fengqiao Experience have in common is that
both are forms of mass violence manipulated by those in
power to commit outrageous acts in the name of truth and
That violence and the threat of violence would be
"manipulated by those in power" is that common thread which
binds inquisition to inquisition throughout history and
across all cultures.
In this specific Chinese Communist example: "The
social credit system is based on the government’s phrase
'once untrustworthy, always restricted', and is set to be
tested further on the country’s train system from May 1, it
was announced last week." In "China's 'social credit'
system bans millions from travelling," by Jamie
Fullerton, Telegraph UK, 24 March 2018.
One may survey modern trends in the West in this regard:
2 ] Similarly, as organized by such
thought, one reads: "In the book Taliban by
Ahmed Rashid, the ministry is referred to as the Department
of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Maulvi Qalamuddin, the head of the ministry during the
Taliban era, preferred the English translation Department of
Religious Observances. The Ministry for the Propagation of
Virtue and the Prevention of Vice of Afghanistan was in
charge of implementing Islamic rules (Hanafi principles) as
defined by the Taliban. Its religious police raided the
streets arresting women not fully covered and people
listening to music." In "Ministry for the Propagation of
Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Afghanistan)." Wikipedia
article, n. d.
With regard to music
3 ] More on this "choke point":
"For those unfamiliar, Choke Point consisted of bureaucrats
in several independent federal agencies taking it upon
themselves to shut legal businesses – such as payday lenders
and firearms dealers – out of the banking system. Given the
nature of the U.S. regulatory framework, this operation was
easy to pull off." In "Newly Unsealed Documents Show Top
FDIC Officials Running Operation Choke Point," by
Norbert Michel, Forbes, 6 November 2018.
4 ] One could consider the
accusation, a relatively recent term, of
That the Saudi government may exercise its political
influence in another nation to push back at being ridiculed
is evidence of a government and its being very
5 ] From the Change the Terms
website, one reads: "While a free and open
internet creates immense social value, it can also be used
to engage in hateful activities and to do so at a large
scale. For example, white supremacist and other
organizations inciting hate are using online platforms to
organize, fund, recruit supporters for, and normalize
racism, sexism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, homophobia
and transphobia, among others. This chills the online speech
of the targeted groups, curbs democratic participation, and
threatens people’s safety and freedom in real life." In
"Adopt the Terms," Change the Terms, accessed January 2019.
Thus one becomes enmeshed in the discussion, what
constitutes hate. An opposing view politically can easily be
defined as hate, and thus this tactic becomes thuggish in
short order. Who shall "adopt" whose "terms?" Depending on
the severity of the inquisition, it becomes simply a matter
of exercising raw power.
Some People Don't Believe
From the article above, a seemingly compliant official at
the company stated: "We understand some people
don’t believe in the concept of hate speech and don’t
agree with Patreon removing creators on the grounds of
violating our Community Guidelines for using hate speech. We
have a different view. Patreon does not and will not condone
hate speech in any of its forms." Yet it has not
defined what hate speech is.
The article notes that this is mere and sheer politics:
"...the bottom line is that very well-funded left-wing
groups are pushing to 'no-platform' hate. In practice,
that looks a lot like going after anyone on the right who
has a different opinion. Put another way, if the
Southern Poverty Law Center is now in charge of defining
hate speech online, you can bet a lot of people who aren’t
remotely white supremacists are going to be swept up in the
dragnet as well. In June the SPLC made a $3.3 million
settlement with Maajid Nawaz over his inclusion in its
'Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.' Other groups
targeted by the SPLC have said they are considering lawsuits
Such circles back to the above mentioned capitulation by
Netflix to the Saudi government, as one of many contemporary
examples of the application of power, even national borders.
As to Patreon and their censoring of users, one reads:
" Podcast host Sam Harris objected to Patreon's approach
and announced that he would be leaving the platform because
of it. Shortly thereafter Patreon deleted the account
of It's Going Down, a hardline left-wing news website, for
doxing. Patreon CEO Jack Conte subsequently announced
that he would be expanding the company's appeal process,
regretting the initial wording of the letter which said
'[we] will not consider an appeal'." In "Patreon," Wikipedia
article, n. d.
6 ] The similarities to the
various topics above cluster. In the University of Chicago
protocol, one pledges with this: "...the University is
committed to the principle that it may not restrict
debate or deliberation because the ideas put forth are
thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.
It is for the members of the University community to make
those judgments for themselves. As a corollary to this
commitment, members of the University community must also
act in conformity with this principle. Although faculty,
students and staff are free to criticize, contest and
condemn the views expressed on campus, they may not
obstruct, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with the freedom
of others to express views they reject or even loathe." In
"Statement on Principles of Free Expression," University of
Chicago, July 2012.
Consider the truths being revealed within the same old
strife appearing in this time as the dissonance between
Free speech, hate speech
and the rage of the hopefully fading
Addressing and Blunting
The observation as above of "totalitarian
control of the individual conscience" functions well as a sketch
of many entities across history, and in this modern era.
Such Committees for the Promotion of Virtue and the
Prevention of Vice" as one finds in Islamic lands are akin
to "Fists of Harmony
and Justice" and "social credit systems and choke points
strategies and de-platforming attempts as "Change the Terms"
cited above espouses, all similar attempts towards the
"totalitarian control of the individual conscience."
Not restricting "debate or deliberation because the ideas
put forth are thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or
wrong-headed" allows ideas, theories, narratives, debates,
research and clarity to sort themselves out in a free
society not dedicated to "totalitarian control." This is the
Thus, Chomsky's assertion is pointed and clear: "If
we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we
despise, we don't believe in it at all."
Who just says what? And who just defines / When tyranny
freedom's speech maligns?
I'll make reply quite readily.
A shrug's part of my medley.
I don't know much, that's for sure,
So I prefer to oft demure.
I'll confess, huh? not just guess.
Some might not, but I profess...
Pronouns at play - so some people say
Smarter than you.
Game over. I've won.
Thanks for the contest;
Thanks for the fun.
Dumber than me.
Game over. You've lost.
I judge as jury
You must be bossed.
Greater than you.
You will believe
By hook or by crook,
Or must we deceive?
Sure to have peace
As long as you heed
The rules as we rule.
You simply will heed.
Bound to submit
To our perfect views
And if you will not
We'll tighten your screws.
Surely the best;
And you will obey
Or righteously they
Will flay you this day.
- no doubt about it
I'd like to
fill the void that God once occupied - a reflection on secular
"Nietzsche’s works express a fear that the decline of religion, the rise
of atheism, and the abscense of a higher moral authority would plunge
the world into chaos. The western world had depended on the rule of God
for thousands of years -- it gave order to society and meaning to life.
Without it, Nietzsche writes, society will move into an age of
nihilism. Although Nietzsche may have been considered a nihilist by
definition, he was critical of it and warned that accepting nihilism
would be dangerous." In "God is Dead," Philosophy Index, n. d.
like to fill the void that God once occupied,
And so I seek for other gods and many have applied.
The god of genitalia is hard on opening wide,
While the god
of ego preens with all it finds inside.
The godly state salutes itself with flag and proper pomp,
While the god
of money counts its riches' ripened romp.
The god of ideology is well suited to its task,
While the god
of lordly pleasures oft must wear its mask.
I'd like to fill the void that is unsatisfied,
And so many
little gods line up, all to be glorified.
Addendum of Choosing the Accuser to Fill the
Void: "When tensions arise in a group (as they
inevitably do), people commence to cast about for a scapegoat, for
someone or some group to blame. Deeply attractive, even addictive,
the scapegoating move rapidly attracts a crowd, which in short order
becomes a mob. In their common hatred of the victim, the blamers feel an
ersatz sense of togetherness. Filled with the excitement born of
self-righteousness, the mob then endeavors to isolate and finally
eliminate the scapegoat, convinced that this will restore order to their
roiled society. At the risk of succumbing to the reductio ad
Hitlerum fallacy, nowhere is the Girardian more evident than in the
Germany of the 1930s. Hitler ingeniously exploited the scapegoating
mechanism to bring his country together—obviously in a profoundly wicked
way." In "The Internet and Satan’s Game," by Bishop Robert Barron, Words
on Fire, 22 January 2019.
alternative view to the Nihilist:
I prefer a vital God
Wonder Boy looks small and
relève d'une recherche quasi mystique, à l'image de la recherche du
nombre d'or ou de la divine proportion dans la Grèce antique."
In "Emmanuel Macron ou Jupiter 2.0 ?" by Harold Hauzy, 31 May 2017.
looks small and pale
In the lashing light of day;
Great he was on the glistening screens;
That slogan-slick image fades away.
Reality is that glaring light
Which strips pretense's play.
After 'The End' life goes on;
Tomorrow still has its say.
Wonder Boy was a role with lines
But behind the script's scrawled fray
Hid the ordinary and average
Which spotlights don't display.
Reality's not a fine fan of tales
Which repeat, rerun, replay.
Wonder Boy looks small and frail
In the slashing light of day.
Envoi: " 'C'est le roi. Il ne voit rien
rien rien rien', enrage Philippe, 74 ans et chef de file d'un groupe
de 'gilets jaunes' qui filtre régulièrement la circulation dans la
région du Mans." In " 'Gilets jaunes': la 'haine' contre le 'roi'
Macron, moteur de la colère," Agence France Presse/ Le Point, 5
Addendum of the Same Old Same Old:
"Research published last week by the Cevipof political institute at
Sciences Po university found more than two thirds of the French
people still had overwhelmingly negative views of politicians. When
asked to sum up their feelings towards them, 37 percent said they
felt 'distrust', 32 percent 'disgust', eight percent 'boredom' and
four percent 'fear'." In "Same old elite? Macron's 'revolution'
fails with fed up French," France 24/Agence France Presse, 18
Addendum with a Sting from the Left: "Macron
is a skinny little-trained seal in a circus where we cannot even see
the ringmaster." In "Dear France: I Told You Le Pen Really
Mattered," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 31 January 2019.
Run around in circles
are stirrings of discussion these days in philosophical circles
about the prospect of human extinction." In "Would Human
Extinction Be a Tragedy?" by Todd May, New York Times, 17 December
And mull the
end of days.
Man is sure to go extinct
In oh so many
Prospecting for an ending
On which one
Run around in circles,
And mull the
Which extinguishes the circle
Until there comes some tragedy
prospectors might defend.
If philosophy in the forest falls,
And none will
hear its fall,
nothing much at all.
Run around in circles
And word the
Before the end is truly nigh
Addendum of So Many Options: "In futures
studies, human extinction is the hypothetical end of the human
species. This may result from natural causes or it may be the result
of human action. The likelihood of human extinction in future by
wholly natural scenarios, such as a meteorite impact or large-scale
volcanism, is generally considered to be extremely low. For
anthropogenic extinction, many possible scenarios have been
proposed: human global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare
or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, dysgenics,
overpopulation, ecological collapse, and climate change; in
addition, emerging technologies could bring about new extinction
scenarios, such as advanced artificial intelligence, biotechnology
or self-replicating nanobots. The probability of anthropogenic
human extinction within the next hundred years is the topic of an
active debate." In "Human extinction," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Addendum of Choosing Nihilism: "We’re
the only species evolved enough to consciously go extinct for the
good of all life, or which needs to. Success would be humanity’s
crowning achievement. May we live long and die out." In
"Success," The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, n. d. From their
website, "When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth’s
biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all
remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they
believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of
Nature’s 'experiments' have done throughout the eons. It’s going to
take all of us going."
Addendum of 'It Could Be': "Likening it to
a dangerous weapon in the hands of a child, he [ Nick Bostrom ] says
the advance of technology has overtaken our capacity to control the
possible consequences. ...change is coming whether or not we're
ready for it. 'There is a bottleneck in human history. The human
condition is going to change. It could be that we end in a
catastrophe or that we are transformed by taking much greater
control over our biology. It's not science fiction, religious
doctrine or a late-night conversation in the pub. There is no
plausible moral case not to take it seriously'." In "How are humans
going to become extinct?" by Sean Coughlan, BBC, 24 April 2013.
[ 1 ] One learns from the New York Times
byline that "Todd May is a professor of philosophy at
Clemson University and the author of, most recently, 'A
Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability.' He is a
philosophical adviser for the television show, 'The Good
As to the verbiage of "a fragile life" and
"vulnerability," an anonymous student opines:
"Todd is a very bright philosopher but he thinks very
highly of himself and doesn't really want to see you
stretch your boundaries and contradict him." In the
ULoop of Clemson University, n. d.
May opines in the NYT article, "It is humanity that
is committing a wrong, a wrong whose elimination
would likely require the elimination of the species...."
It is an interesting notion to blame "humanity," but it
is not an unusual notion, as one finds for those who see
The Scourge of the Planet
And so continues the larger tale of predicting an
[ 2 ] "We" is such a
fine pronoun, as an individual purports to speak for a
group, a movement, an entire nation or group of nations,
race, or the greatest of all, mankind. One may take a
lesson from those who so easily speak of "we," and to
opine that "we" might well be demonstrably wrong. As an
- wrong for more than forty years. Oddly, "we" seem not to be
choosing nihilism as readily as some would like.
[ 3 ] "It could be"
is such a fine phrase for scientists, as is the longer
sentence, "it could be we will get more funding."
One could and one may consider the use of such wiggle
words as used so frequently in the public handwringing
of various sorts on parade now as in the past:
Could and May
- an up-to-date play.
An editor's pick among the comments allowed by the BBC:
Scott0962 on 24 Apr 2013: "Whether humanity may go
extinct or whether it even deserves to survive are
questions for scientists, philosophers, theologians, and
perhaps science fiction writers to debate--the rest
of us are busy living."
Before the end is truly nigh / There's time
for parody. And there is time to be "busy living."
The Easy Button
"...they were men with well-defined and sound ideas on everything
concerning exports, banking, the fruit or wine trade; men of proved
ability in handling problems relating to insurance, the
interpretation of ill-drawn contracts, and the like; of high
qualifications and evident good intentions. That, in fact, was what
struck one most, the excellence of their intentions. But as regards
plague their competence was practically nil." "The Plague,"
Albert Camus, 1947 (Gallimard, French) trans. by Stuart Gilbert,
1948 (Hamish Hamilton, English).
[ 1 ]
That's the way.
Easy is but
One push away.
Flick that switch,
Come what may;
It's short and sweet,
But hell to pay.
Envoi: "Sir, Hell is paved with good
intentions." Samuel Johnson, 1775
[ 2 ]
[ 1 ] Camus' novella
ends, observing "...he knew that the tale he had to tell
could not be one of a final victory. It could be only
the record of what had had to be done, and what
assuredly would have to be done again in the never
ending fight against terror and its relentless
onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all
who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down
to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers."
[ 2 ] A generation of
politicians passes, as one reads "...communities
experienced massive upheaval, and just as here in the
U.S., there were race riots and community tensions. One
man predicted it all, but was widely panned by the media
and the political class for doing so. Enoch Powell was
sure to be a Conservative Party leader if he had just
kept his mouth shut, but as he said on April 20, 1968,
to a small room of supporters in Birmingham, UK, 'All I
know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the
great betrayal'." In " 'Enoch Was Right,' Raheem
Kassam writes in his new book on a forgotten hero of our
times," review by Ned Ryun, American Spectator, 27 April
Try to cite the sources,
As 'experts say' speaks dumb.
Name and clearly reference
obvious rule of thumb.
Assertions without sourcing,
Citations to be checked,
Is that old three card monte
Believe, an anonymous source says,
Because of -- well, you know --,
Is a shill game played by many
Who dance their dazzling show.
tells nothing really,
When 'they' have no named names,
And without the names and faces
There's are cynical unsourced games.
"Three people have appeared in court in Zimbabwe, accused of
stealing a suitcase containing $150,000 (£117,600) of cash
from the country's ousted president, Robert Mugabe." In "Mugabe:
Suitcase of cash stolen from ex-Zimbabwe leader," BBC, 10 January
[ 1 ]
Wouldn't you like a suitcase
Like the one a trio stole?
Politicians in most every place
Seem on quite a roll.
Wouldn't you like a stash
Like that which prime folk cache?
Politicians in most every land
Labor for their cash.
Wouldn't you like a packet
To lavishly lug about?
Politicians in most every age
Are rarely found without.
that pay quite well,
Addendum of Suitcases Full of Cash:
"...'it was a huge surprise when we found the empty
apartment and just the suitcases and boxes covered by a sheet,'
Daniel Madruga, who coordinated the operation, told local television
station Globo. Corruption has been an endemic problem in Brazil for
centuries, but a massive investigation has unexplained piles of cash
popping up around the country like never before. Believed to be the
largest corruption case in modern history, the probe uncovered a
complex scheme in which top business executives traded bribes for
lucrative government contracts." In "Brazil’s top politicians are
getting busted with literal suitcases full of cash," by Marina
Lopes, Washington Post, 7 September 2017.
Addendum of a Money-Stuffed Suitcase:
"Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, the star witness of the
money-stuffed suitcase scandal which involves Argentine and
Venezuelan officials, declared in a federal court in Miami that the
plane in which he flew August 2007 to Buenos Aires was carrying a
second suitcase with 4.2 million US dollars besides the 800.000
which were seized by Buenos Aires Customs." In "Suitcase
scandal: where's the rest of the money?" Merco Press, 24 September
Addendum of Money-Bag Politics:
"The history of Nigerian politics is replete with
money-bag politics. Although, there is hardly any country in the
world where instances of bribery or political corruption are not
present in their national politics, researches on Africa’s
postcolonial history, have however shown that, in Africa,
corruption is an institutionalized and a systemic practice affecting
not only the postcolonial state itself, but also the majority of the
citizenry. Using Nigeria, as a case study, this paper argues
that since the 1964/1965 Western Region elections to the 2007
general elections, there has hardly been any election conducted in
Nigeria without associated cases of corrupt practices such as vote
buying, ballot snatching, election rigging, election violence,
political and legislative lobbying etc." In "Money-Bag Politics,
2 ] And Flawed Elections In Nigeria: A
Theoretical Statement," Derin Ologbenla, Waziri Babatunde Adisa,
Journal of Public Administration and Governance, Vol. 2, No. 1
Addendum of Mexican Millions:
"Until Monday, the most prominent Mexican official accused of taking
bribes was Genaro García Luna, the country’s former public security
director. When Jesus Zambada testified in November, he told jurors
that he had met twice with Mr. García Luna in a restaurant and both
times gave him a briefcase stuffed with at least $3 million in
cash." In " El Chapo Trial: Former Mexican President Peña Nieto
Took $100 Million Bribe, Witness Says," by Alan Feuer, New York
Times, 15 January 2019.
[ 1 ] Some details: "Mr
Mugabe, now 94, was forced out of office by Zimbabwe's
military in 2017. Up to that point, he had been in power
for 37 years, first as prime minister and later as
president. Once famously claiming that a country
could never go bankrupt, he was accused of enjoying a
lavish lifestyle while presiding over Zimbabwe's
[ 2 ] It should become obvious to
all observers that the notion of rent-seeking by
political avenues is endemic throughout government at
every level around the world. By legal as well as
illegal means, governors -- those who govern -- and
legislators -- those who legislate -- feather their own
nests first and foremost.
One only need a cursory survey of
in the United States, and, in the parlance of this
little world of rhyme,
Corruption has a middle name
to see that
itself is the mechanism which so easily corrupts, as the
feeding frenzy on the part of "leaders" in the public
arena has defrauded citizens in every land and every
Double down on failure
|Double down on failure;
Why not fail twice?
Triple down! Why not?
Heed the worst advice.
|Wager on a losing scheme;
Roll those pesky dice.
Dream that you cannot lose;
Then pay the loser's price.
|Double down yet again,
For dreams smell oh so nice.
Fail and then fail again;
So goes it in a trice.
Addendum of Recent Support for a Failed
State: "...while many on the left
are now keen to disavow any connection to the Venezuelan
disaster, their earlier enthusiasm is on the record. Greg
Grandin, writing in The Nation in 2013, offered a laudatory take
on Chavez and suggested that Venezuela 'might be the most
democratic country in the Western hemisphere.' (He also
argued, oddly enough, that Chavez 'wasn’t authoritarian
enough.') Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party,
has also been a big Chavez fan, while Nobel laureate economist
Joseph Stiglitz praised Venezuela’s economic policies in 2007
and declared that the risks of higher inflation were overrated."
In "Venezuela Isn’t Just a Failed State. It’s a Failure of the
Left," by Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg Quint, 20 February 2019.
Addendum of Not Wanting to Look like
Failure: " 'He didn’t like the things we were
asking him about the lack of democracy in Venezuela, about
torture, political prisoners, the humanitarian crisis that they
were living,' he said. But the breaking point came, Ramos said,
after he showed Maduro a video of people eating from a garbage
truck. 'Immediately after, one of his ministers, Jorge Rodríguez,
came to tell us that the interview was not authorized,' Ramos
said." In "Maduro detained journalists after they showed him
video of people eating garbage, Univision says," by Reis
Thebault, Michael Brice-Saddler and Eli Rosenberg, Washington
Post, 26 February, 2019.
Consider when, in
the New York Times parlance, what happens the the Left is
Left to their own devices
paraphrase of Joachim Ringelnatz
effervescent, festive evenings seek
Knows quite well, where off to sneak.
Blow nose and
M a r t i n i
B a r.
There party the fine folk with drink all around;
Right and left toasts bright resound.
dress and drink,
As one might
The guests, oft well known, oft maybe not,
Are always an interesting lot.
Who then at
does time fly by!
How great was
I used to read the New York Times
And do their crossword puzzles,
With Entemann's and Sundays' chimes
And coffee enough to guzzle.
I used to
read, front page to back,
away some morning hours.
I mused, and
The corner vendor scratched a life
In that Amsterdam neighborhood;
Back then the Times was cheaper than
Today, and I understood...
That time's a
respecter of no man
As tick tocks
the ages by.
I no longer
read the New York Times
And am quite
Subway tokens are keepsakes now,
And it's time for other folks.
Old memories are fleeting and
My errors age as jokes,
My own, for
I've learned to chuckle
At how silly
was I once,
changed by time's meandering,
I still can
play the dunce.
No longer finding profits
socialist governments have been in power since 1999, taking over the
country at a time when Venezuela had huge inequality. But the
socialist polices brought in which aimed to help the poor backfired.
Take price controls, for example. They were introduced by President
Chávez to make basic goods more affordable to the poor by capping
the price of flour, cooking oil and toiletries. But this meant
that the few Venezuelan businesses producing these items no longer
found it profitable to make them." In "Venezuela crisis: How the
political situation escalated," BBC, 24 January 2019.
No longer finding profits
testifies to what's been found.
Socialist policies predictably
ran the ship aground.
More goods for the poor
means now the poor have less,
And that's the situation
with socialism's economic guess.
No longer finding profits
testifies that something's found.
again, socialism proves unsound.
Heading down the same dark
the world watches Venezuela's slow, cancerous death, Nicaragua is in
full cardiac arrest. Since protests began on April 18, the
government of President Daniel Ortega has been accused of using
'lethal force' and at least 146 people have died. Hundreds more are
wounded or missing and the body of a U.S. citizen was found shot
dead on June 2. Without international intervention, the collapse of
my country could create a new cycle of war and destruction in this
precarious region." In "Nicaragua Is Heading Down the Same Dark
Path as Venezuela," by Margarita Herdocia, Time, 13 June 2018.
[ 1 ]
the same dark path,
Seeing near the coming wrath,
Those headstrong who lead that way
Are the same of whom advocates say
They're visionary seers of a coming world,
Of fealty's oaths and flags unfurled
Which lead again down that old dark path
Which leads to the same old aftermath.
Addendum of the Same Dark Path: "In Nicaragua,
armed supporters of President Daniel Ortega opened fire on a
crowd of tens of thousands of anti-government protesters
Wednesday, killing at least 11 people and wounding almost 80 others.
Elsewhere in Nicaragua, another four were killed and scores more
injured at demonstrations around the country—bringing the death toll
in recent anti-Ortega protests to nearly 100." In "Nicaragua: 15
Killed as Tens of Thousands Demand President’s Ouster," Democracy
Now, 1 June 2018.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Socialist State Repression: "
'Heavily armed pro-government groups remain at large, accompanied by
police forces, committing joint attacks against the civilian
population,' said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty
International. 'The message sent by the highest ranking
Nicaraguan authorities is that they are willing to do anything to
silence the voices of those who demonstrate against this violent
repression. This situation is extremely serious and deserves
strong condemnation from the international community'." In "Nicaragua:
State repression has reached deplorable levels," Amnesty
International, 9 July 2018.
Addendum of El Presidente on the Same Dark Path:
"...Ortega has demonstrated one skill, it is that of survival. He
and his wife have dominated Nicaraguan political life for so long
and amassed so much power that his departure is not a foregone
conclusion. It is up to the United States and other regional
democracies to hold Ortega to account and to support the Nicaraguan
people in their effort to hasten a return to democratic order in
Nicaragua. Given Ortega’s long history of authoritarianism and
lust for power, we should make sure that he truly seeks a negotiated
solution to the country’s current crisis and is not simply looking
for a respite. We are seeing what the hemisphere’s failure to
confront oppressors has brought in Venezuela." In "Daniel
Ortega’s familiar path of repression in Nicaragua," by Otto J.
Reich, Washington Post, 24 May 2018.
Addendum of an Opposing View: "Once inside
Congress, Bolsonaro and his vice president, retired Gen. Hamilton
Mourao, took the oath of office. Bolsonaro then read a short speech
that included many of the far-right positions he staked out during
the campaign. He promised to combat the 'ideology of gender'
teaching in schools, 'respect our Judeo-Christian tradition' and
'prepare children for the job market, not political militancy'. 'I
call on all congressmen to help me rescue Brazil from corruption,
criminality and ideological submission,' he said, earning a
congratulatory message from Trump." In "Bolsonaro says Brazil
'liberated from Socialism' at inaugural ceremony," France 24, 1
[ 3 ]
[ 1 ] Herdocia writes
further: "Nicaragua has been quietly heading
down this path for over a decade. Relative economic
stability masked the slow accumulation of power by
President Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario
Murillo. As democratic institutions were dismantled
by El Comandante’s regime, their cronies grew in wealth
and the stage was set for an enduring Ortega
The Democrat Socialists
The descriptive -- dictatorship -- tells much, as she
reports: "Nicaragua's Catholic bishops
called the bloodshed an 'organized and systemic
aggression'—but it has since worsened. The Mothers'
Day massacre has been nationalized, and systematic
kidnapping and torture has been added to the mix.
Several employees and acquaintances have been brutally
beaten by government thugs, while others have been
abducted and tortured for refusing to pay fealty to the
Sandinista party leadership."
It should be clarified that the Sandinista Party is yet
another socialist party, as have been the Cuban and
Venezuelan "revolutions," with each adopting a different
path to the same violence and economic collapse.
[ 2 ] Verbiage is
important, for from 1985 until now, Ortega has ruled
Nicaragua as president, currently 34 years in power for
a single individual. Democratic elections as run by the
Sandinista Party notwithstanding, Democracy Now as an
organization speaking to issues of democracy reports on
the brutality of "armed supporters." Thus
"democracy" does not seem to accurately describe the
behavior of the Ortega regime, while it is the term used
to portray the hoped-for optics of the same.
One learns more of the verbiage: "The
Sandinista National Liberation Front (Spanish: Frente
Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) is a
democratic socialist political party in Nicaragua.
... Following the resignation of centrist members from
this Junta, the FSLN took exclusive power in March 1981.
They instituted a policy of mass literacy, devoted
significant resources to health care, and promoted
gender equality but came under international criticism
for human rights abuses, mass execution and oppression
of indigenous peoples."In "Sandinista National
Liberation Front," Wikipedia, n. d.
The promise of mass
literacy was similar to Fidel Castro's, and yet one sees
the end of a "same dark path" in
Socialism's Last Hurrah
- not democracy in any town. Looking
behind the public optics at the outset of these various socialist
revolutions, one reads of grand promises, and yet at the end game in such
revolutions the outcome is corruption, violence and death enforced by fealty
to a single party.
Of course the next
incarnations of democratic socialists will disavow the proven outcomes of
previous democratic socialist parties. Yet one may look to the
similarities between past democratic socialist parties, and especially how
difficult to say
I Shall Believe the Socialist
[ 3 ]
A path may be followed in opposite directions. For those traveling in one,
the traveler in the opposing direction is "opposing."
Thus, as one reads
news and opinion from around the world, one often sees the editorial bias in
reporting. But when one would "rescue Brazil from corruption, criminality
and ideological submission" is deemed to be far right, then one must make
reference to the failed
Left and Right
model, and choose a direction on a path.
The path of the
far-Left may be seen in the above reporting about Nicaragua's "democratic
socialist political party," and as such traveling in an opposing direction
can be described as "far-right" in political positions, but when compared to
criminality and ideological submission" as reported by France 24 as
"far-right" political stances, one must then ask is being for a Left being
also for such corruption, criminality and ideological submission?" It is a
question worth consideration, when the Nicaraguan Left is reported to be of
"authoritarianism and lust for power."
How old fashioned yet
widespread is that today? Should governments' growing authoritarianism
and lust for power over defenseless citizens be
Left to their own devices
A father of
Asked you to kill a gecko
With one swift stroke, or more,
Earning points to echo
Far beyond the squashing of that gecko.
A father to some felines
Taught you to squash a lizard
With all dispatch, most speedily;
Be a lizard-killing wizard
Who'd crush a fiery little lizard.
One swift stoke is better
Than two or more, go-getter.
That's now ancient law
According to lore and letter
Of a kitty-cats' tough task setter.
Envoi: "Abu Huraira: He who kills a gecko
with the first stroke..." The Book of Salutations and Greetings.
Book 026, Number 5564.
Addendum from a Beginning: "...the salamander, a mischief-doer." In "Beginning of
Creation," Sahih al-Bukhari.
Addendum after an Addendum: "...the
salamander should be killed and said, 'It (i. e. the salamander)
blew (the fire) on Abraham'." In "Prophets," Sahih al-Bukhari.
[ 1 ] The pseudonym foe the
"narrator" refers to this: "He was known by the
kunyah [ honorific] Abu Hurayrah 'Father of a Kitten',
in reference to his documented attachment to cats." In
"Abu Hurairah," Wikipedia, n. d.
One can know when one has
breed bad outcomes,
As engineering tells.
Fresh follies fail foolishly;
While science plain excels.
Asserting there is nothing bad
Is to make the fatal choice.
Avowing that there are no sins
Is to mute each still, small voice.
Tales begun tell outcomes
And trajectories foretell their ends;
One can know when one has learned,
When in learning then one bends.
Addendum of Foreboding: "The best lack all
conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
From "The Second Coming" William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
See: Settings of
William Butler Yeats'
Three Magical Songs
Schisms - they're about isms
"It's I am
Right, and you're so Wrong,"
Said Bishop Sheikh in a rant quite long.
"It's I've the Truth, while you've but Lies,"
Said the Rabbi Lama in a Rightful guise.
"It's I know Best, while you know Worst,"
Said each Politician who would be First
Above those Lesser who nothing know,
Who are deemed Wrong, and Rightly so,
For Betters who know Worse, we see,
Live each under some sworn Decree,
And even the Atheists' glowering glares
Play joyously in the Game of Snares
Which sings with self-exalted Song,
"It's I am Right, while you're so Wrong."
Rights declare other Rights as Wrong,
Schismatically, and then erelong
The many Rights cannot agree
As to which is Right in which Holy See,
While the Lesser, gentler, quiet Folks
Chuckle at the jolly jokes - when
"It's I am Right," with aggressive Song,
Proves other Rights must be truly Wrong.
This applies to
both You and Me,
For We're sure to disagree.
I have a little -ism
- sung to the tune of "I Have a Little
Dreidel," original lyrics by Samuel S. Grossman and music by S. E. Goldfarb.
"Six-year-old Antonella was diagnosed with throat cancer four years ago,
and her mother brings her to Domingo Luciani Hospital in Caracas as
often as she can for chemotherapy. Today, however, it´s Antonella´s mom
who is being treated -- for malnutrition, a state-inflicted malady
that is sweeping across oil-rich Venezuela. Struggling to feed
herself and her child, she fainted when she walked into the hospital
where Antonella is slowly dying." In "No gloves or dressings: Inside the
last pediatric surgical ward in Venezuela´s capital," by Vasco Cotovio
and Luis Graham-Yoolli, CNN, 13 February 2019.
Someone stated something,
Stated it in a phrase;
A state-inflicted malady
Is a fiery phrase, set ablaze.
Someone stated clearly -
A malady from the state,
Of the state and by the state -
And stated it quite straight.
Someone stated outright
The state-bred malady,
And that is without question
The age-old tragedy.
Addendum of Venezuelan State-inflicted Malady:
"In many countries, extreme malnutrition 'can be caused when there is
war, a drought, some sort of catastrophe or an earthquake,' said Dr.
Ingrid Soto de Sanabria, the chief of the hospital’s nutrition, growth
and development department. 'But in our country it is directly related
to the shortages and inflation.' The Venezuelan government has tried
to cover up the extent of the crisis by enforcing a near-total blackout
of health statistics, and by creating a culture in which doctors are
often afraid to register cases and deaths that may be associated with
the government’s failures." In "As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are
Dying of Hunger," by Meridith Kohut and Isayen Herrera, New York Times,
17 December 2017.
Addendum of the USSR's State-inflicted Malady:
"In June of 1933, at the height of the Holodomor,
28,000 men, women and children in Ukraine were dying of starvation each
day. The land that was known worldwide as the breadbasket of Europe was
being ravaged by a man-made famine of unprecedented scale. Stalin
and his followers were determined to teach Ukraine’s farmers “a lesson
they would not forget” for resisting collectivization, which meant
giving up their own land to work on government controlled farms.
Moreover, the famine was meant to deal 'a crushing blow' to any
aspirations for independence from the Soviet Union by the Ukrainians, 80
percent of whom worked the land." In "Holomodor: The famine-genocide of
Ukraine, 1932-1933," holomodor.org.
Addendum of Communist China's State-inflicted
Malady: "In late 1959, Chinese officials in the
provinces began to investigate wild rumors that people were eating one
another. Most of the officials must have already known that Mao Zedong’s
call for a 'Great Leap Forward,' a planned modernization meant to
catapult the country into global economic leadership, had gone
horribly wrong. In the vast countryside regions of China, and with
an eye to pleasing their bureaucratic masters, Communist Party
functionaries had been inflating estimates of the amounts of food that
peasants were producing for transfer to the industrial zones or for
export sales. They also concealed that these transfers left hungry—and
often for dead—the very peasants who had done all the farming, from
cultivation to harvest." In "Totalitarianism, Famine and Us, by
Samuel Moyn, Nation, 7 November 2012.
Addendum of North Korea's State-inflicted
Malady: "The economic and political system itself
was a major problem during the famine in North Korea. By relying too
much on central power (Pyongyang) to make choices, the decision-making
process was way too slow for the crisis. The soviet-style state farms
too proved to be a huge obstacle as they weren't adapted to each local
crisis and the tailored response that was needed. Allowing people to
grow their own food in a reasonably sized back-garden would have been a
lot more helpful. In reality, they did allow small scale agriculture in
private gardens but tons of contradicting policies (expansion of state
farms, intensive agriculture) were plenty enough to thwart this little
but crucial change." In "Famine in North Korea: The Impact of Poor
Decisions," Poverties, 2 December 2012.
Addendum of Bengal's State-inflicted Malady:
"The provincial government's policy failures began with
denial that a famine existed. Humanitarian aid was ineffective
through the worst months of the food crisis, and the government never
formally declared a state of famine. It first attempted to influence the
price of rice paddy (unmilled rice) through price controls. These
measures created a black market and encouraged sellers to withhold
stocks. Hyperinflation resulted from speculation and hoarding after
controls were abandoned. Aid increased significantly when the Indian
Army took control of aid in October 1943, but effective relief arrived
only after a record rice harvest that December." In "Bengal famine of
1943," Wikipedia, n. d.
Addendum of Somalia's State-inflicted Malady:
"The crisis was caused by a severe drought, worsened
by conflict between rival groups fighting for power. The number of
deaths was higher than the estimated 220,000 people who died during the
1992 famine." In "Somalia famine 'killed 260,000 people'," BBC, 2 May
Addendum of South Sudan's State-inflicted
Malady: "The maxim is true that famine does not
result from purely natural causes but is usually 'man-made.' Such a
description, however, avoids any real accountability for those who have
caused the crisis. South Sudan’s famine would be more accurately
described as 'government-made'." In "South Sudan’s government-made
famine," by George Clooney and John Prendergast, Washington Post, 9
Addendum of Governments Failing Their Own
People: "... political scientist Alex de Waal calls
famine a political scandal, a 'catastrophic breakdown in government
capacity or willingness to do what [is] known to be necessary to prevent
famine.' When governments fail to prevent or end conflict, or help
families prevent food shortages brought on by any reason, they fail
their own people." In "What is famine, and how can we stop it?" by
Chris Hufstader, Oxfam, 20 November 2018.
Manhattan dance party
Come on in,
and go away.
We're all alike, but not today.
Welcome, friend, now get lost.
Progress backwards, while crisscrossed.
Try to tax in absentia;
Evidence a party's dementia.
Get the hell out, but wait, cry whoa!
You're a fine ally as enemies go.
Welcome, comrade, to the fight,
You against me, an unwelcoming sight.
Let's pry open a wallet which
Is somewhere else? Now that is rich!
Alienate friends, for that's the dance.
I'm just like you, except my stance.
Welcome, loser, mistaken fool,
For we've become the opposition's tool.
Try to balance unbalanced books
With dancing feet on tenterhooks.
Addendum of Progressive Mistakes:
"In an interview on 'The Brian Lehrer Show,' the mayor, in response to
Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to the Amazon pullout, called her gloating a
mistake. 'I came up watching the mistakes of progressives of the past,
unfortunately what happened in this city when it almost went to
bankruptcy in the 1970s,' de Blasio said. 'I saw all the times
progressives did not show people effective governance and all the times
progressives made the kinds of mistakes that alienated working people'."
In "Progressives de Blasio and Ocasio-Cortez at war of words over Amazon
pullout," by Leonard Greene, NY Daily News, 15 February 2019.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Showing Off for the Cameras:
"No one was as vocal in trying to make the corporate giant go away as
socialist superstar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. She lambasted
the company's 'creeping overreach.' And in a way, she was taking the
same side we had. But we had been arguing on behalf of taxpayers all
over New York state, who were being held hostage so that Gov. Andrew
Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, could show off for
the cameras. Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, was arguing against
the economic development of a region of Queens that abuts her
congressional district. Along with fellow naysayers such as state Sen.
Mike Gianaris, D-Queens, she attacked Amazon for bringing in too many
jobs, potentially creating higher standards of living in the area and
perhaps also inflating housing costs. It is odd indeed for the direct
beneficiaries of corporate welfare to complain." In "Amazon calls
the socialists' bluff," Staff, Washington Examiner, 15 February 2019.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of NY Democrats Against NY Democrats:
"...after Amazon walked away in an anti-Valentine to
the city on Feb. 14, AOC bragged on Twitter that 'everyday New Yorkers &
their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker
exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.' Huh? A
Siena poll this week showed that New York City residents approved of the
deal by 56 to 33 percent. Fellow Democrats Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor
Bill de Blasio were pushing hard for the deal. Oh, and it need hardly be
stated that Amazon is a company staffed by Democrats. Some 87 percent of
its employee donations went to the Dems in the latest elections. As
for 'richest man in the world,' Bezos started Amazon in his garage. He
got rich building one of the most beloved companies on earth." In
"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is destroying opportunity for fellow
Democrats," by Kyle Smith, New York post, 16 February 2019.
Consider New York's Dancing Tine:
Hymn for Today
] The term, progressive, is a slippery one.
Of it and of himself, the mayor of New York writes: "I
am a lifelong progressive who sees the problem of growing
income and wealth inequality." In "Bill de Blasio: The
Path Amazon Rejected," Bill de Blasio, New York Times, 17
Growing income, as a word phrase, may be seen in Di Blasio's
salary. One reads: "Mayor de Blasio will get a
fat 15 percent raise when his second term begins Monday –
bumping his salary from $225,000 to $258,750 a year.
The $33,750 boost is more than the annual salary of a
full-time worker making the city’s roughly $13 minimum wage."
In "De Blasio will get a pay raise when second term begins,"
by Anna Sanders, NY Post, 30 December 2017.
One may well consider issues of
in which many liberals and progressives preach concerns of
"the problem of growing income and wealth inequality" while
participating in it. While de Blasio's "modest" $258,750 a
year income is tiny compared to Bezos as head of Amazon, the
New York Post correctly notices that de Blasio's salary is
"more than the annual salary of a full-time worker" at the
bottom end of New York's working class. So which is it? One
sees that a politician usually enjoys "growing income and
wealth inequality" through the practice of
and often in a most progressive, even "lifelong" way.
] Ah, complaints. One reads: "...Amazon
appeared unprepared for the level of vocal opposition in
Queens, where the company's plans were slated near the
district that elected Amazon critic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
to Congress. The deal with Amazon was largely negotiated by
Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who famously joked
about changing his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to win the second
headquarters." In "Amazon Drops Plans For New York
Headquarters," by Alina Selyukh, NPR, 14 February 2019.
As complaints about Amazon's decision fly in parallel with
complaints from progressives about progressives, one voice
observed: " 'I think everybody miscalculated here,'
said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of
Michigan's Ross School of Business. Amazon 'believed that
they were doing New York such a big favor by bringing tech
jobs and then all the ancillary jobs that they thought that
the protests would not be as strong as they were,' Gordon
said. And, instead of working out a deal, the opposition
'basically punched Amazon in the face in public,' he
And everyone says "ouch." "We're all alike, but not today."
Because: "Democrats are fighting mad -- at each
other. For once, President Trump is not the prime target
of their rage. Amazon’s decision to scrap plans for an HQ2
campus in New York sent the circular firing squad into
action." In "Democrats are tearing themselves apart over
Amazon," by Michael Goodwin, NY Post, 17 February 2019.
You'll tell me who you are
Tell me who
it is you name
to be your dearest friend;
Knowing this, you'll tell who you are.
That's your tale. The end.
To create and animate - rhymed
paraphrase of a text by Goethe
was but a lump of clay
God molded into a man,
As if dropped out of a mother's womb
To be finished by His plan.
So Elohim puffed into his nose
With a spiritual sort of blast,
But there remained more to do
Once the sneezing was fully past.
Bones and limbs and head and yet
Hans Adam was not done;
It took until Noah and a rain of drops
To fill a tankard for such fun.
Breathing clay turned drinking man
Is God's gift of alcohol,
The same as ferments with lively yeast
Man's daily bread and all.
So, Hafiz, sing a noble song
That a drunkard might make merry,
And lead us into temptation's shrine
With much of our Creator's sherry!
If one traffics in rumors
traffics in rumors,
One is likely to get run down.
If one peddles a slew of lies,
Truth still will come to town.
If one relies on gossiping wags,
In innuendos one will drown.
If one would be a king of fools,
We're sure to see that crown.
When words are overused
are overused, -used, -used,
We come to see they're abused,
Words which have accused, -cused, -cused,
When overused become bruised,
Such words when so infused, -fusd, -fused,
With overuse are defused, -fused,
if boozed, boozed, boozed,
And lose their punch, as refused,