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Monday, March 30, 2015

The War Lords: after reading Du Fu: 'Advent of Spring' (poetry, art, and commentary by David H. Roche)

The world has been at war almost my entire life. Even though no war has been declared by congress my countrymen and those of other nations have been dying in combat virtually all that time.  There has been Korea, there has been Vietnam, one longer than the other.  Both of them bloody messes with a catastrophic effect on the participants. 

And now there are what I call the Bush / Cheney wars but whose planners also included Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. These back to back wars are the longest in the history of the United States and truly appear to have no ending possible given the gluttony of the American economy and the insatiable appetite of the U.S. defense industry.  The architects of these wars have indicated there will be no end to this war in the foreseeable future. 

"These defense plans that embody the Cheney-Powell-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz (CPRW) strategy would lead to the U.S. war policies of the twenty-first century. They would lead to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya among others. They would lead to the effort to oust Syria’s government, to sanctions on Iran and Russia, and to drone warfare in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. They would lead to the blowback of 9/11 and to the Islamic State. They would lead to the Department of Homeland Security, to the growth of the national security state, and to the TSA. They would lead to confrontation with Russia over Ukraine and to a Pacific “pivot” that confronts China. They would lead to AFRICOM."  This quote is found at "World News Daily Information Clearing House website in an article by By Michael S. Rozeff published October 30, 2014.

The poem below was published in the spring 2011 issue of aaduna.  I wrote the poem several years earlier while the Bush / Cheney / Powell / Rumsfeld / Wolfowitz wars were in their infancy. I was not able to imagine the horror their planning would bring to the American People. Today the horror is palpable and the 'blowback' from those wars has hurt all but the planners of the wars.

You can read 'Advent of Spring' by clicking the link under the title.  It is a poem by Tang dynasty poet Du Fu and it too is about the effects of endless war on a civilian population.

The War Lords

The warriors have ruled
from time immemorial.
They have come and gone and come again
time after time:
nations, princes and kings one after another
building on the pile of corpses
stacked beneath their feet. 
None have served the people honestly.

Who has given them control?
Where have they come from?
Will they ever leave us alone
to raise our families
and die in our own beds
with our children by our side?

Their grip is on our neck
and they force us
to our grave
in their search for
others to plunder.

They cannot live without war;
it is their meat and drink
as ours is the hearth
and the embrace of our lovers.

They declare those who call for
peace and complain of war
enemies of the state
and seek to silence them

while we the people are victims
of their lust
and made to pay for their
desires to be satisfied.

© 6/03/06 David H. Roche

Each of the highlighted hyperlinks contains additional information.  be sure to read it.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Bozo and the Bimbo: thoughts on a possible Republican Presidential Ticket in 2016

The Bozo and the Bimbo:

thoughts on a possible Republican Presidential Ticket in 2016

I had some thoughts about the upcoming Presidential campaign season.  I titled them "THE BOZO AND THE BIMBO" after I got to thinking what a season of laughs a Carson / Palin ticket would bring.

I began smiling as I thought about some of the stupid things Ben Carson has said. Things like prison makes you gay.  Being gay is a choice and a lot like having sex with animals.  Or how the U.S. is like Nazi Germany and everyone agreed with him. Those who made that observation during the Vietnam war were met with hostility instead of flag waving cheers and belching accolades at the local VFW watering hole. I'm sure there must be more Carson witticisms to come which will bring a laugh to a nation that needs something to laugh about.

When thinking about that I wondered who would make a good running mate for him.  Who would complement his style and grasp of information and the complexities of national and foreign affairs?  Sara Palin of course!  She's is his most obvious equal. 

Can you imagine the hilarity attending the campaign of such a pair of aspirants to the White House? It would resemble a Smothers Brothers comedy sketch!

Suppose Carson is asked if Australia should be allowed in NATO and he answers.  "If they are not already in NATO they should be.  You know NATO is not my strong suit, but golly gee they're our friends if they want in I'm all for it."  Guess where he picked up the phrase "golly gee".

At this point Palin pipes up and says "I can't see Australia from my back porch but I know where it is." After saying that she points down to the ground on which she is standing in her lizard skin stiletto heels. "I believe in Australia even if I can't see it."

There is an endless possible range of malapropisms that these two political geniuses can come up with which will keep the nation in paroxysms of laughter.

A sobering thought occurred while writing this.  We may laugh but suppose the Carson / Palin ticket is just a diversion to make Hillary look better and we end up with her as President? This is not out of the realm of possibility if you remember the Mccain / Palin campaign which gave us Barack Obama who now requires everyone to have health insurance and lets the insurance companies double their rates at will. While we may laugh at a Carson / Palin ticket let's not forget this is a life and death matter for 99% of the American public.

What are the American people to do? Perhaps we should all just write in our own names on Election Day and fix things up ourselves.

Power to the People

Of Course (poetry photography and art by David H. Roche)

Of Course

Will the earth be destroyed and come to an end?
Of course!

Will there always be war?
Of course!

Will men ever regret what they have done?
Of course!

But not until all is lost.

Of course!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Scavengers At The End Of Civilization (poetry and art by David H. Roche)

I was walking down the street
without a dime and nothing to eat
just then I saw a sign that said
"financial adviser straight ahead",
I went in to see what he could do.

My wallet was bare when I sat down
"You need money", is what he said.
"Get out of here you bum
or I'll call the cops
and they'll knock you on your head."
I said, "Wait a minute,"

and took off my shoe
and then looked up
sad as sad can be,
My wallet was empty, and now
my sock had a hole in it too.

So he kicked me out onto the street
without a dime and nothing to eat,
I learned a lesson on that day
if you need money 
don't go to a financial adviser,
it doesn't work that way.

Poetry and art by David H. Roche (C) 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ye Have Done It Unto Me

Ye Have Done It Unto Me

A short bus trip to the supermarket turned out to include a spiritual experience. 

No sooner did I get on the bus than someone directly behind me began coughing and hacking and it seemed as if he would never stop.  This irritated me to no end.  Last month the same thing happened and as a result I was bedridden and unable to even think of eating for almost a week. Not being Jesus, Peter or Kenneth Copeland I knew I could not cast the disease demons out and heal him. I felt like smacking him in the mouth and telling him to put on a surgical mask and move to the back of the bus.  It remains to be seen if he has made me ill.

Upon getting to the supermarket and completing my purchases I went out to the bus stop and sat down.  I had 20 minutes to wait.  It was a chilly grey Saint Patrick ’s Day and the first thing I noticed was the absence of ravens.  Ravens are usually omnipresent and not to see a single one was unusual.

As I sat there a fellow rode up on his bike.  He asked me about the arrival of the bus.  As it turned out we were waiting for the same bus.  He sat down and pulled out of his pack a reduced price prepared sandwich the type you find in the deli sections of large supermarkets in the morning and which, if are not sold by noon, are thrown in the dumpster in the afternoon and written off at tax time.

He ate it ravenously as if he could not get it into his stomach soon enough.  As he ate I noticed his blue jeans were unwashed and stained, his coat worn and faded and his shoes coated with mud. 

Living far below the poverty level myself I felt compassion and solidarity, yes empathy, for him. He was, in a sense, my brother.  But it was also clear to me I was better off than he was.  I was going home to a very humble abode, but it was a home and the refrigerator had food in it. I would be making soup for supper. From the earth stained clothing he wore it appeared to me that he had slept in the bushes and would be doing the same tonight.

As I watched him eat I wondered if I still had the dollar bill in my wallet that I had discovered yesterday.  I did.  I got up and asked him if he would be offended if I offered it to him.  He wanted to know why I wished to give it to him.  I explained I was also poor and understood what it was like to have very little. He took it.  I remembered I had some change and also gave it to him.

We didn’t speak anymore until the bus came.  He finished his sandwich and I waited and my thoughts began to wander.  I remembered the poor people’s campaign in 1968 and wondered why the poor do not organize and petition the government as they once did. There are many more poor than there are rich. As long as the pretense of a democratic society exists there is a smidgen of hope that the majority can achieve justice.  Having seen the Republican attitude in the last decade toward poverty and the poor themselves I understand it was this activity to aid the poor and disadvantaged that sealed Martin Luther King Jrs fate even more than his opposition to the Vietnam War. 

When the bus pulled up and I was getting ready to get on he spoke to me.  “I was a dollar short for the bus fare, thank you.” I almost cried and was so glad I had listened to my heart. I slapped him on the shoulder and said “God works in mysterious ways” and when I said it I felt it was a trite and meaningless comment on my part, but it came from my heart.

Poverty has been a function of capitalism from the beginning in this nation.  While the huddled masses from Europe were invited to come to our shores when they got here the only work was as underpaid laborers in the capitalist mills that were the fortune generating apparatus of the corporate elite of the day.

Not only that, the Jews, the Catholics, the Irish and most others who came here were treated like animals or worse.  A man who owned an animal at least felt the obligation to see it was fed and housed and given medical care so it had the strength to work.  No such obligation was recognized with regard to the foreign laborer by the American capitalist.  There’s an old mining story of an Irish miner about to go down into the mine with a mule which was used to haul up the coal.  His supervisor tells him to take care of the mule.  The Irishman asks his supervisor “What about me boss.”  The supervisor replied.  “We can always hire another Irishman but we have to buy the mule.” (This is a paraphrase.)

I offer two links to videos here.  One is a short feature of the 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign.  The second link is a lecture on the same topic by Gordon K. Mantler a sociologist and historian of the civil rights era of post-WWII USA.  It is titled “Power to the Poor-- 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign” This video is longer but worth the time in order to review the history of the poor in America.


On the bus trip home I began to think how Bill O’reilly would comment on a poor people’s crusade such as was seen in 1968.  Let’s try and put it together. 

We can imagine O’reilley’s perennially red and wrinkled face as he points his finger.  We can imagine him extolling the virtues of American capitalism while commenting: “Why don’t these poor people just find a job and make something for themselves like Ben Carson? In America there is opportunity for all.” 

We can imagine him digress.  “But most of these so called poor are drug addicts and could not pass an employment screening and most are unreliable having no place to live and not showing up for work which makes me wonder if they want to work at all.  The poor have no one but themselves to blame for their poverty.  They lack the initiative to get up and achieve success and just want it handed to them. If they need to use drugs and can’t show up for work they need to be eliminated or at least incarcerated.”

This brings me back to the title which comes from the bible.  It comes from the 25th chapter of the gospel of Matthew.  Jesus, the compassionate and just one, says this beginning with verse 31.

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Now is the time to use your civil rights.  Tomorrow they may be gone.  Are you a sheep or a goat?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mr. CIA Man And The Terrorist Occupation Of The American Mind

Mr. CIA Man

Fear of terrorism and terrorists is the natural response to the events unfolding in the world at the present time.  However you may be surprised how and why the terrorists got their training, their encouragement, their protection and their funding.  When you learn who supported and encouraged the rise of Muslim extremist terrorism your world will no longer be the same.  This is not the time to stick your head in a red white and blue pile of sand. But many will. This is a truth which is hard to bear. Perhaps many will decide it is better to wrap oneself up in the flag and repeat the official version of events as a means of coming to grips with the siege of terror which has encompassed the land of the free.

An all too familiar meme is infiltrating the consciousness of the Western World.  A child, sometimes a mere teenager, sometimes even younger, performs a horrific act such as entering a crowded market place and blowing up him or herself along with dozens in the surrounding area.  Just a few days ago the report of a boy not yet in his teens executing a spy with a pistol mortified the Western world.  A report in the 11, 2015 provides the numbing evidence. This is surely a hallmark of the end of innocence.  One is left to wonder at the baseness and evil which encourages such behavior.

Earlier I came across a simple news story in the New York Times dated March 14 2015 about how the CIA had paid terrorists money to release a politician from capture. That article got me to asking myself some pointed questions. I immediately thought of Ronald Reagan and his arms for hostages debacle in the 1980's.  At the link provided by  is a timeline of how that misadventure went down. The New York Times article is a toned down report which tries but doesn't succeed in whitewashing the U.S. government’s complicity with and support of extreme Muslim terrorism. 

This next report is far more damning and far more in
depth revealing the nature of the terrorist threat along with the aiders and abettors of militant Muslim extremists. An essay titled "Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11" published by WashingtonsBlog will knock your socks off. This is not a conspiracy piece it is hard core investigative journalism.  What is an American to think? What is the rest of the world to think?

According to the WashingtonsBlog essay a 2002 Washington post report  reveals Afghan school children have been supplied “…with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings ….

The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. ”

You might be curious as to who could provide information like this to impressionable children as part of their childhood education.  The answer is found in an essay in the WashingtonsBlog September 5 2012 titled “Sleeping With The Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11”.  The paragraph below is from the essay.

“American universities produced books for Afghan children that extolled the virtues of jihad and of killing communists. Readers browsing through book bazaars in Rawalpindi and Peshawar can, even today, sometimes find textbooks produced as part of the series underwritten by a USAID $50 million grant to the University of Nebraska in the 1980’s . 

These textbooks sought to counterbalance Marxism through creating enthusiasm in Islamic militancy.  (emphasis added)They exhorted Afghan children to “pluck out the eyes of the Soviet enemy and cut off his legs”. (emphasis added) Years after the books were first printed they were approved by the Taliban for use in madrassas – a stamp of their ideological correctness and they are still widely available in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.” 

Are we to be appalled at beheadings and burnings and executions in the news today and are we supposed to applaud the plucking out of eyes and severing of legs by grade school children who received their mission years ago and are now thoroughly desensitized and radicalized adults?

From the same essay: "The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom – noted:

Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.

Odom also said:
By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation."

The reality becomes even murkier.

Jimmy Carters Nation Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski makes a stunning revelation in an interview reported in Global Research, December 17, 2013 .

"Brzezinski: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, [on] 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.

Question: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea.  (emphasis added) It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?

Question: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War? (emphasis added)

Consistent with Brzezinski’s account, a “Militant Islamic Network” was created by the CIA."  This report is found in a January 20 2008 post in the Global Research website at this link.

Do Americans have a good reason to be afraid of terrorist extremists?  They certainly do and these articles explain why. The terrorists were trained, funded and supported by the world’s richest and most effective war machine to play its role out on the planet. Those who made it happen have no regrets. They believe with all their hearts it was the right thing to do. They consider their actions to be the U.S. contribution to world peace.

The articles I've included links to produce some perplexing and disturbing revelations about the source and rise of Muslim extremism and terrorism around the world today.  Read them, read every word even if it takes an hour of your time and then go outside and compose yourself. Tonight before you go to bed kiss your wife and children.  Look in their faces and eyes and try not to tremble.  When you lay down you may not be able to sleep.  You may lay there wondering how you can go on.  Your thoughts may drift to your little ones who are asleep and your spouse next to you and wonder in terror what their future will become as a result of the activities of these men.

The revelations in these articles are not what American leaders have told the American people when they speak about Muslim extremism and terrorism. But most Americans have dutifully repeated the government’s explanation to their children.  The articles expose an entirely different story and the conclusion one reaches is almost beyond comprehension for someone who believes America had always been the good guy, the helper and the preserver of world peace and stability.


This song CIA Man from the 1960's avant-garde folk / rock band the Fugs needs to be included. Their pacifist political savvy knew in the 1960’s what the deal was.  Another song by the same band titled “Kill For Peace” could very well be called “The Foreign Policy Song.”  

The poster above was made by myself and appeared in the winter/spring 2014 issue of aaduna.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Art And Photography From The North Coast Of Oregon

I got up this morning and after signing a petition to have 47 congressmen charged with violation of the Logan Act I decided to make a 'business card'.  

Not that I really have a business but I do make this crap you see from time to time and try to sell it at Zazzle, an online outlet.  You can reach Zazzle and look over the stuff I have at the following link. (click here) 

You will find local photography from the North Coast of Oregon and artifacts from the "Gray Room" which originate in my imagination. Feel free to shop.

I made two versions of the business card. And it all may change.  I'm not sure if the black on white or the white on black is best.

At the link (click here) is a coffee mug featuring Jack and Qkjea.  Jack and 'Q' are 'Fire People' I created from photographs of flames.  I like'em a lot and use'em in many different pictures. 

The North Coast owes it's livelihood to water.  The Great River of the West, the Columbia and the great Pacific ocean define what it means to live here. It is a great place to live and a wonderful place to visit.

The picture taken in Astoria along the Columbia River at nightfall in the following link (click here) will give you a sense of the importance of water to this area. It is a common scene.  The water has enabled the area to be a marketplace serving the entire world.  It will also give you a peek at the beauty of this area. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Allen Ginsberg and the Prudes of Connecticut

Your comment cannot be accepted due to the presence of profanity. Please remove any objectionable content from your comment and try again.  

I read several articles on the suspension of a teacher for his use of a poem by Allen Ginsberg.  I chose one which seemed favorable to the teacher and attempted to make a comment.  My comment was disallowed on the basis that it contained “profanity”.  The entire comment is found below.  Do you find any profanity in it?

“This is an interesting development in our society. I am a huge fan of Allen Ginsberg.  I had to take a second look at the news when I saw the poem in question. 

Yes this is an erotic poem.  It is a poem about sexual desire.  It is a poem about homosexual sex.  Allen was Gay, Allen was celebrating his love and his desire in this poem.

His poetry beginning with Howl for Carl Solomon has always challenged conventional values and from the beginning has been upheld in the courts against local provincial moral / political watchdogs.

I have been a fan of Ginsberg's poetry since the 1960's and have watched his career develop.  I think it is appropriate that his poetry is still causing a disturbance.  Apparently there is still something to disturb.

The suspension of this teacher comes to us in the social context of a renewed opposition to people who are homosexuals. Gay marriage is seen as a portent of the end of civilization whereas increased militarization and increased warfare are seen as preserving our way of life.  Allen Ginsberg was also anti-war and pro peace and love. 

I would suggest that the make love not war slogan is much more beneficial to world peace than the make war for peace propaganda affecting the minds of the impressionable populace today.

This teacher should get his job back and an apology.”

The above comment was rejected by the Journal on the grounds that there was profanity in it.  Do you see any profanity?  What is the objectionable content in my comment?  

Historically Connecticut has had a hard time with sexual attitudes even heterosexual attitudes. Up until the mid-1960’s Connecticut would not allow women married to men to use birth control. I took out the part below not because I thought it was objectionable, but because I figured there were some prudes that might find it objectionable and call it profanity.  “Yes this is an erotic poem.  It is a poem about sexual desire.  It is a poem about homosexual sex.  Allen was Gay, Allen was celebrating his love and his desire in this poem.” It’s all I could think of that might be regarded as profane by the prudes in Connecticut! 

The comment was still rejected.  Where is the profanity?  So much for a free press and free expression and the ability to discuss social issues wouldn't you say? 

Connecticut was the last state in the union to deny women the liberty to decide whether or not to get pregnant.  (Is pregnancy really something the state has a right to decide on for a sexually active woman?) Historically and currently speaking the political operatives in Connecticut just didn’t and don’t seem to like sex of any kind unless it places a burden on women.  I see this reflected in the outrageous suspension of this teacher for using a sexually explicit poem in his classroom.

Poetry at its socially relevant best exposes the inclination of society.  Songs like “Over There”  and “Ohio” are examples.  Both works of art provoked the national spirit to take action.  One was created to send kids to die in a war designed to benefit the arms manufactures of the world.  The Nye committee investigated that.  One was written to stop an illegal war inVietnam,the Pentagon Papers exposed that.

Poetry opens our eyes allowing us to see.  By censoring art and ideas society has taken a stick and poked out its own eyes but still wants to be the leader. Do you want to be a citizen following a blind leader?   If you do, just keep silent and don’t complain about where you end up. 

"Please Master" can be read here. You may not like it, you may be disgusted. I love the freedom Allen felt in being Gay and being able to write such a revealing poem. 

The Taliban of American society hates that freedom. Are you one of them?

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Magic Brew: art and photography from the first part of March

My neighbor had an attractive set of decorative dishes hanging on his wall, Basque wood cuttings he called them. I have no idea, but the woodcut  images were distinctive.   

There was a peasant woman profile, 

a peasant man profile, 

and a peasant man drinking from a wine-skin. 

I began doodling with the pictures and the results I put into a video titled "Magic Brew" which is below. 

Art and video (C) 2015 by David H. Roche

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.