Being Volume IV of a multi-volume set of tomes assembled by apologists for American imperial ambitions in the latter decades of the 19th Century. I obtained this 415 page apology for US foreign relatios at a local discard sale for the price of $0.50. Hope you enjoy this book report.
I enjoy how the authors get branded at the subtitle level:
“BY THE MASTER HISTORIANS.”
Volume IV starts with the fictional sinking of the Maine, a plan to turn Havana into an American Naval station, it takes on the geopolitically significant islands of the Philipines, and ends with a justification for invading Hawaii and removing happy-go-lucky Hawaiians for their own good. Hawaii is described as being inhabited by lazy residents. They need to be rescued by means of well-armed American gunboats. Hawaii was to become a State in the same year that Alaska became State 49. Essentially, it is a tale of ambition that covers for the William McKinley administration that ended with McKinley’s assassination in 1901.
The United Fruit Company was actively promoting their brand in Central America, while simultaneously protected by US gunboats. Such extra-corporate activity gets viewed historically as “business as usual.”
To the question “have the natives been consulted?” Mr. James (one of the MASTER HISTORIANS) replies:
“No, but were the American Indians consulted inthe early days here, or the natives of Alaska in later times?”
The truth was available at the time, but only figures with the stature and popularity of Mark Twain could write about the activity of US gun boats protecting “national security interests” around the globe. The Monroe Doctrine is now interpreted as an honorable way to keep the American spirit alive, blast the interests of those governments we are so courteously protecting, and the doctrine of Pax Americana continues to be applied in the interest of national security and world peace. Our history books take the lead from “enlightened” authors who parrot the lies that keep the gun boats afloat.
Patriotic behavior is expected of every citizen of the US Empire, it has become the measure that seeks to equate critical thinking with a lack of appreciation for American values. Demonstrations are characterized as threats. BLM is viewed as a loose collection of radicals who threaten to disrupt peaceful adherence to the wishes of a law and order hegemony. Protest abroad get infiltrated by American goons, just to make certain that they know where the gunboats need to identify targets.
Full disclosure first — I am the green sheep in the family: one of “those vegans” who have the temerity to speak up for “others” — more similar to us than not — who have no voice in determining their own destiny. Today I focus on the multiple billions living in camps
By this time next year 70 billion will have lived from birth to death in one of those facilities. Factory friendly farms.
Well there must be a good reason then.
Many reasons, but each is specious, spurious and tawdry. We deny inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to “the others.” Is that ethical behavior? Do animals volunteer their own destruction?
Bill, they outnumber us 10 to 1. So it looks like we are the ones endangered here. Do you call that fair? Let us tell you something. life isn’t fair and freedom…
Musicians of a certain kind find their way into your heart, the most relatable head for your soul. Recently, I learned a bit more than the tune and accompanying lyrics. It feels like getting a tad too close to a flame that you didn’t know existed.
These are souls who created extraordinary art in the 1970s, a personally formative time for this author. So I shall recount to my dear readers what happened behind the scenes.
Perhaps I should mention that two of the muscians considered here were brought to an end at their own hand, and both by hanging.
The bands are Badfinger and Jefferson Starship. Allow me to inform you that I am a member of a certain kinship: survivors of suicide. We often don’t know that we belong to a rather large segment of the population, we also do not ordinarily carry membership notices on our sleeves. Please know as well that membership does not expire. However, growth is possible and personal insight can become keen over time, but grief must take its course before the gift of deeper insight may be redeemed.
Stan Polley, the criminal who destroyed the enormously talented musicians of Badfinger. Two found an end via suicide by hanging. Polley lived onto the fulsome age of 87. Fate involves a personal discord that time cures slowly over many years. Survivors of Suicide may also succumb to suicide. Fate does not issue get-out-of-suicide cards. You must forge that on your own.
Celebrities do not need to declare an association with our kinship, they don’t have the luxury of remaining anonymous.
After Apple Records folded in 1973, Badfinger struggled with a host of legal, managerial and financial issues, leading Ham to commit suicide in 1975. Over the next three years, the surviving members struggled to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits, which tied up the songwriters’ royalty payments for years. Their subsequent albums floundered, as Molland and Evans alternated between cooperation and conflict in their attempts to revive and capitalise on the Badfinger legacy. In 1983, Evans also committed suicide.
Addendum on March 30, 2022:
Through a bitter and raw coincidence, my wife also chose death at her own hand in that very year of 1983, she was 33, an age in life that finds kind souls in the darkest caverns of despair. Suicide appears as an angelic savior to rescue you from the dark pit that has become your living hell. Another age that finds brilliant minds losing their brilliant minds in abject horror is the decade earlier age 23. Kurt Cobain is one of many. A strange clockwork black.
With their current album suddenly withdrawn and their follow-up rejected, Badfinger spent the early months of 1975 trying to figure out how to proceed under the unclear legal situation. Their March 1975 salary cheques did not clear, and the April cheques never arrived. Panic set in, especially for Ham, who had recently bought a £30,000 house in Woking, Surrey, and whose girlfriend was expecting a child.
According to Jackson, the band tried to continue without Polley’s involvement by contacting booking agents and prospective managers throughout London, but they were routinely declined because of their restrictive contracts with Polley and impending legal actions. Ham reportedly tried on many occasions to contact Polley by telephone during the early months of 1975, but was never able to reach him.
Recently, I discovered that a rock group that abrubtly disappeard owned a backstory that I found among the comments on YouTube: the comprehensive chronicler of our days and ways. The commenters were nearly of one in regard to the disdain they felt for the manager who more than skimmed the group’s bank account, he drained nearly every penny into his private coffer and went on to live off the blood money until he quietly expired at age 81.
Desperate and overwhelmed, Pete Ham hung himself in April 1975, after a night of drinking with his long-time bandmate Tom Evans. He cited Badfinger’s manager by name in the suicide note: “I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better.” Then, “P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me.”
The next artist I consider here, Marty Balin, was brutalized (to be kind) by a US teams of medical criminals. I know of these kind of people because the serial criminals found brutish ways to mistreat someone who is likely familiar with readers of this blog: Lisa. You don’t know just how badly a medical professional can “treat” a patient until you witness their dark deeds first hand. There are multiple volumes that could be written on Lisa alone. I proceed.
Marty Balin was attacked at the very source of his genius, his voice. Marty walked into a hospital in basically good health, he left wounded at the dark hands of medical professionals as well. We live in a society that does not believe in stopping medical maltreatment whenever the criminals who make their way into the system wreak havoc and walk away clean. These serial killers go on to destroy lives as an occupational perk that comes with the job. I note this clearly and forcefully because I am a serial witness to the carnage left in their wake.
The 2018 legal complaint accused the hospital and one of its specialists of negligently performing a tracheotomy on Balin following the heart surgery. That procedure caused him to lose half his tongue and suffer a paralysed vocal chord, the lawsuit claimed. Further negligence, it then said, resulted in a hand injury and the musician’s left thumb being amputated. More tragically significant, that additional amputation of half a tongue destroyed this incomparable signature organ. Watch Jefferson Starship videos on YouTube and see the unique quality it offered the range of his voice. These are not unavoidable slips of a scalpel. When you mutilate a God-given gift of this order, you become a Dr. Mengele in my estimation of your evil talent.
Please consider watching this very poignant review of “Hearts”, particularly if you are unfamiliar with Marty Balin.
The lawsuit stated: “Mr Balin walked into the hospital able to speak and with a fully functional left hand. By the time Mr Balin was finally released from the hospital, he had lost half his tongue, so that he cannot speak or eat properly; he also has a paralysed vocal cord; he [has] a necrotic left hand and has lost his left thumb; he had become totally disabled and has never recovered properly.” Keeping this vivid image in mind, please view this video of Count on Me. Consider the impact of Balin’s lost tongue function. This is wrenching stuff, I can no longer view it in the same way.
I simply ask you to listen to fellow members of humanity who have become victims of high crimes and misdemeanors. Knowing something of what they met at the prime of their lives is the burden, the price and responsibility of tragically witnessing a dismemberment, knowing that these guys are protected by laws that always seek to exonerate systemic malpractice.
Please exercise caution when reading YouTube comments. They are often the lairs of ignorant loud trolls who take turns in demeaning talent: here the sentiments largely damn Marty Balin for finding success, but not passing on some cash to the trolls who find comfort in eviscerating Balin for the crime of earning wide and sincere audiences rather than giving to the Troll Welfare Fund.
Again, consider the impact that an intact tongue brings to the unique gift possessed by this artist. Then consider the impact of mutilating that organ’s depth of vocal range. How can one not be devastated at the abject brutality inflicted in a sequestered surgical facility within that hospital?
This did not make the news of course
Fame is fraught with stars who believe that instant success is easy to obtain and hard to lose. Focus solely on the thousands of players who succeed, ignore the vast majority who fail miserably. But failure is not for you, is it? In San Jose, the stars that never were are not parking cars and pumping gas.
One of the most rewarding benefits of free-form sketching is creating fanciful characters who inhabit an alternate world inhabited by creatures of great diversity and lively behavior. Individual agents in an imagined society.
Sketching style is as individual as handwriting, I think that it is quite unique to the individual creator. Here are a few more depictions of my beings, curious sort of characters that no one has drawn before, yet they are all recognizable as the kind of folks and friends that might be found in a dreamscape. Hoping you enjoy the panoply of participants!