Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Saint Augustine's Day MMVII

Today is Saint Augustine's Day. I have read that there is a spanish statement that every sermon can use a quotation from St. Augustine. Today, I will defer and instead post these quotations worth considering, perhaps meditating upon:

"At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done." --- Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ, I.iii. 1418

"The difficulty of explaining 'why I am a Catholic' is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true."
--- G.K. Chesterton, "Why I am a Catholic," 1926

"For if the movement of the world were irrational, and the world rolled on in random fashion, one would be justified in disbelieving what we say. But if the world is founded on reason, wisdom, and science, and is filled with orderly beauty, then it must owe its origin and order to none other than the Word of God." --- St. Athanasius

"With a Mass I not only secure for myself innumerable blessings, but I confer the most important benefits on my kingdom. Many more than I could possibly do in any other way." --- Saint Louis King of France

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday, 27 August MMVII

It seems to-day's big news is the resignation of Gonzales. I should comment later on this, but remember his crimes include:
  • torture advocate
  • illegal wiretapping
  • voter suppression
  • lying to Congress
  • turning the department of justice into a part of the republican party
Another story that might embarrass, is the announcement of the arrest of a senator from Idaho, Larry Craig (R-certainly), for public perversion in the anonymous sodomite manner. His seat is up for grabs next year, but the last senate democratic victory in that state was a full generation ago, Frank Church 1974. People in Idaho knew Craig's predilections and there is no summit to republican hypocrisy. The mormon west will hold for the republicans, if it doesn't, there will be great befuddlement.

Also, on the other side, the Louisiana Democratic Party is using a campaign of bigotry against the catholic republican candidate for governor, Bobby Jindal. I tried to send this post to the ldp and its chairman, Chris Whittington:

As a catholic democrat, I am very upset with my party attacking my faith. I have always seen this as a republican dirty trick. You are using foul bigotry. Do not attack Jindal in this false and disgusting manner.

Today is Saint Monica's day, she the mother of Saint Augustine. She questioned Saint Ambrose on a different religious practice in Milan than she knew in Africa. Ambrose answered:

“When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday, but I fast when I am in Rome; do the same and always follow the custom and discipline of the Church as it is observed in the particular locality in which you find yourself.”

This comes down to us as, "when in Rome do as the Romans do". When in politics, do not do what the republicans do. The end does not not justify the means, is this not what the Good Shepherd taught?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Turdblossom Retreats

Monday, the 13th, it was announced that Rove would leave the white house voluntarily. Some envisioned that he would be led in handcuffs or frog marched, but no he is merely trying to escape congressional scrutiny. He is to leave the District, will he need to go to a place that has no extradition treaty?

"Earlier this month, Karl Rove failed to comply with the Judiciary Committee's subpoena to testify about the mass firings of United States Attorneys. Despite evidence that he played a central role in these firings, just as he did in the Libby case involving the outing of an undercover CIA agent and improper political briefings at over 20 government agencies, Mr. Rove acted as if he was above the law. That is wrong. Now that he is leaving the White House while under subpoena, I continue to ask what Mr. Rove and others at the White House are so desperate to hide. Mr. Rove's apparent attempts to manipulate elections and push out prosecutors citing bogus claims of voter fraud shows corruption of federal law enforcement for partisan political purposes, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into this serious issue." -- Patrick Leahy

"Rove leaves unindicted."-- Bill "gambler" Bennett

Bush junior praised him as the architect of his presidency. Rove first met the mudbrick, that he would later fashion, when as chairman of the College Republicans, a post given to him by the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Bush the first, he was assigned the task to give george junior car keys when junior came from Harvard to DC.

How did this doughy pudge ball of slimy evil become manifest? Was it of a bad family life? The man he thought was his father left home when Karl was nineteen. Now Karl would find out that he truly was a bastard and his presumed father was a sodomite. Some years later his mother was a suicide.

Was it of bad acquaintances? He dropped out of college to become executive director of the College Republican National Committee, later its head. The Nixon years finds him in the dirty trick ethos of watergate. The '72 College Republicans played rovian tricks for Dick Nixon. Later, the Washington Post runs an article "Republican Party Probes Official as Teacher of [Dirty] Tricks" and Dan Rather interviews him for 60 Minutes.

  • 1970 His first success was infiltrating an Illinois democrat's campaign, Alan Dixon's, to steal stationery to advertise "free beer, free food, girls, and a good time" to street bums
  • the first aide hired for GHW Bush '80 run, later fired for leaking
  • hired for GHW Bush '92 run, later fired for leaking to Bob Novak
  • 1994 used phone campaign to suggest that governor Anne Richards was a lesbian dominated by lesbians -- Bush junior benefits bigtime
  • 2000 ran a more involved campaign against John McCain in South Carolina where allegations that he adopted his own negro child, questioned his sanity and sexuality; helped Bush get "the christian vote" -- Bush junior benefits bigtime
  • 2000 involved in sending appartchniks and toadies to disrupt vote count in Florida
  • 2002 scurrilous attacks on Max Cleland and others who were against Bush's false war
  • 2004 Swift Boat smears against John Kerry -- Bush junior benefits bigtime
  • avoided being caught in the following white house scandals:

  • Jack Abramoff influence peddling
  • CIA spy leak to Novak to punish and smear war critic Joe Wilson, where he escaped indictment after 5 grand jury interviews where he finally admitted, after publicly denying leaking Valerie Plame's status
  • firing of federal prosecutors
  • politicising over a score of federal agencies

I remember in Dostoevskij's Bratija Karamazovi, Ivan Fëdorovič having a vision of the devil as a gentleman, of a certain age, seated on a sofa, dressed in a suit, of a certain age, physically unimpressive and the devil noticed, that he, himself, was not a dashing or fearsome presence, rather he was quite banal. I see Rove on that couch. Evil does not need a fanfare, it can just sit there. In how many photos of Bush, off to the side, sits or stands Rove? He is just there looking, watching and seemingly doing nothing.

Today, Michael Deaver, who was a deputy chief of staff, also, but to Reagan, died. He also mastered his man's image, but the image, though very controlled, was not vicious, arrogant and strutting while demonizing and belittling all others. True, Deaver was convicted of perjury concerning influence peddling, but he was a Republican after all. The difference between Rove and Deaver in, say, garden cultivation was that of between shelled armament and its shrapnel and that of rakes and hoes: destruction versus contouring.

Rove the non-believer in democracy and christianity foisted a mean drunken frat boy on this world. He gave this spoiled scion of wealth a persona as a christian defender of this country. They preyed on ignorant fools. This for the advancement of their wretched party. Every means thinkable, short of, perhaps, bloodletting (and this they had in a false war to do that), they employed. They needed something on the order of 50% to achieve their ends and the rest was of no consideration.

bush's texicans are diminishing: Gonzales, Hughes and Cheney. Rice, though no texican, will still be there to lie on. Perhaps some rodents prefer the shore.

"What we are seeing is the tip of a whole effort to make the federal government a subsidiary of the Republican Party. It was all politics, all the time." -- Henry Waxman

"Goodbye, good riddance."--John Edwards

Saturday, August 11, 2007

fundamental principles of the republican party

1. Mammon
The republican party is the party of money, unrepentant greed, unalloyed capitalism and the pure worship of Mammon. Any rich man who is not a Republican is especially despised. Franklin Roosevelt was called "a traitor to his class" and, in a slightly more civil age, he was, with disgust and disregard, "that man". Louis Mayer, the head of MGM would not allow a picture or mention of Roosevelt in his studio films.

The venom spewed on the Kennedys or George Soros should prove the case. The Kennedys do not use the government to make themselves richer, look into the Bushes and you have another story. Remember the Colorado Savings and Loan scandal, for instance. That is just one example of one Bush being a miserable, greedy failure and, in which, the government had to throw a lot of money to fix. They want financial successes, fail and the government holds the checkbook. They are disasters, which are fully supported by us. The american people benefit in none of their adventures. Is that republican small government at work? George Soros has been vilified on republican radio for his political contributions. Has Rick Perry or Richard Mellon Scaife? The double standard, the republicans could not survive without it.

Being pro-business they are conversely anti everything that hinders the exercise thereof : anti-labor, anti-social justice, anti-environment and so on. As Christ logically taught we have only one master: it is God or Mammon.*

2. False patriotism
False patriotism has been a pillar of support since 1861. In the election of 1860 the south went democratic and left the union soon thereafter. The democrats were the party of rebellion and the republicans ran civil war officers for the rest of the century. After 1932 democrats were called communists and anti-american. Did not Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush junior and their supporters suggest all those against them were "the blame america crowd".†

The first Bush wanted to ban flag burning. Flags we all know, are meant to be waved and wagged. Flag burning has been considered the proper manner of disposal. Boy scouts have collected them, annually, for that purpose. Yes, I know, that was not Shrub senior's contention. When did you, personally, last see an american flag burned in america?

3. Bigotry
One of the predecessors to the party, was the american party (know nothings). They were anti-immigrant and anti-catholic. The nativists prided themselves and their ancestors in wresting the land from the original natives. The newcomers were no more welcome than the indians. Burning and blowing up catholic churches was a successful tactic.

The combination of 1&2 we get the military-industrial complex. Mars and Mammon worship. Listen to Dylan's Masters of War.
The combination of 2&3 with the blend of xenophobia, chauvinism and bigotry, along with the heavy calvinist influence of being irreducibly elect we get notions of manifest destiny or, as it is called now, american exceptionalism.

4. Hypocrisy
And the one overall unifying principle is an unending hypocrisy. We can see an example today over immigration. The nativists hate illegal immigrants. Mexicans and other latinos are heavily proselytized by protestants here, and missionaries are sent to their countries of origin to woo them from catholicism. Business interests want them for economic exploitation and to depress the cause of labor. Well, money will allow them to stay and they will be abused.

Another glaring hypocrisy is that practically everyone who lied this country to war were never warriors themselves, e.g. five deferment Gunner Cheney. How many young republicans or college republicans went to Iraq?

The elephant is too noble a symbol. The symbols à propos are vipers and scorpions.
*No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. -- Matthew vi. 23.
†Patriotism is the last refuge for a scoundrel.-- Samuel Johnson (April 7, 1775)
‡As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except Negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics." Abraham Lincoln in a letter to Joshua F. Speed" (August 24, 1855)

The Republican party since Lincoln

It is doubtful, in the extreme, that if Abraham Lincoln was alive today that he would be accepted, or would want to be a Republican. He certainly could not be their candidate.

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." -- Lincoln's First Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861.

"We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end.
It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. . . .
It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes
me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war,
corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places
will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth
is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety
of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.
God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

-- letter from Lincoln to (Col.) William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864.

Lincoln saw the danger of the moneyed interests controlling government. The contractors for the war became rich and so began the era of robber barons that lasted to the twentieth century. To secure (steal) a presidential victory in 1876, the Republicans ended Reconstruction in exchange for Florida's electoral votes and turned their backs on the negro. At the turn of the century the McKinley - Theodore Roosevelt government made the country an internationalist and imperialistic empire through wars with Spain and the Philippines. The bearer of the Democracy*, William Jennings Bryan, lost three presidential elections, the first probably stolen. The progressive era lasted for only a few years before the Great War†. The 1920s were a return to robber republican hegemony. Calvin "Silent Cal" Coolidge uttered the essential fascistic statement, "The business of government is business.". The Republican party has shown a remarkable consistency since the death of Lincoln. Not a new thought in a century.
*at the time, many Democrats called the party -- the Democracy
†World War I

Friday, August 10, 2007

Preserving our faith patrimony in stone, glass and wood

Trial of Saint Stephen before the Sanhedrin.Saint Stephen Church, Cleveland, O.

Many dioceses have been consolidating and closing parishes. One can almost hear the Libera me of the requiem sounding. Churches, such as St. Stephen, St.Stanislaus, St. Michael, Our Lady of Lourdes and ... in this city and others, represented the faith of nineteenth century peasants, no matter what nation of origin, who wanted to hold something of the old country to secure a foundation in an often unfriendly new world. They created urban villages and the church was their standard and monument. These parishioners were the church militant and now they are the church triumphant. These churches and parishes are part of their patrimony to us. Their grandeur is witness to the underlying unity of the faith, and that witness should not be dismissed. Sacred space respecting the divine presence is properly procured and established. Come and see. Beauty has its place. Truth, beauty and goodness correspond with each other, let them correspond with you.

In the two decades before the civil war, the beginnings of significant catholic immigration caused a reaction amongst nativist protestants of ugly aggression and provocation. Riots and vandalism were not unusual. Catholic churches were targets. Moving closer to the first world war, the immigration continued and communities coalesced. In this period the nationality churches and neo-gothic architectural revival came to fruition. Territorial parishes were planned by the ordinary, but these nationality churches were the product of these communities and the ordinary has less authentic authority over them. Those who did not build, should be less keen for their demise. These units represented the spirit of the faith and the pride of culture that intertwined with that faith. They marked our arrival and our continuing presence and they surpassed those who did not want us here.

Now they are in danger of marketing decisions as if they were gasoline stations and locations are to be determined by traffic volume and gross receipts. A good shepherd worries and tends all his sheep.

These churches were built before motorized transport or when cars were a novelty and a luxury for the rich alone. Now many of the poor have cars as necessities. Commute from any place in the county and beyond is equivalent, in minutes, to the foot conveyance of people a century ago. People took the time necessary to come to mass and church before, and now current thought is to place the churches to maintain urban sprawl and to have them built in horrendous modern drabness.

The faithful and their administrators would do more service to lead the flocks back to the old folds and pastures. Preservation is sensible, prudent and worthy. Continuity is a mark of catholicism.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

the events of August Ninth

Every day is an anniversary of some great event. The cyclical progress of each year suggests an occurrence or, more properly, a revisiting. History records. In the christian calendar each day commemorates events and people that can edify us. During that collection of events, that we assign the name of the second world war, there are three I will take note herein, they were among the myriad of martyrs, confessors and the innocents of World War II

August 9, 1942, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was martyred at Auschwitz. She was born Edith Stein. As a teenager she forsook judaism for unbelief. Reading Teresa of Avila she began a spiritual journey that had her becoming a Carmelite nun.

The nazi regime forced her out of academics and she eventually took residence in a dutch monastery. After the dutch bishops, in June of 1942, denounced the nazis at every mass in the country, the nazis arrested all catholic jews in the land. Along with others, Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa were put on trains to be executed. For bureaucratic purposes, being a religious was of no importance. The aryan death machine would kill christianized jews in retaliation for official christian protest.

A year later, Franz Jägerstätter would be martyred for harming the war effort and committing treason. He would not take a loyalty oath to Hitler, nor serve in his military. He was considered a religious fanatic by his austrian neighbors.

His story became known to the greater world through a book by Gordon Zahn, In Solitary Witness: The Life and Death of Franz Jägerstätter. The 1964 book was the impetus for Daniel Ellsberg releasing the Pentagon Papers.

Servant of God is the title Jägerstätter is currently recognized with, there are many now praying that he will eventually be canonized. He died for the love of God and for peace. He specifically saw, that a catholic could not participate in such an unjust matter. He said, "No", to the nazis and to their war. Such personal defiance was quickly and brutally countered.

Two years later a B-29 dropped the second atomic bomb. The secondary target, that day, was the only christian city in Japan, Nagasaki. Saint Mary's Cathedral, in the Urakami district, was the bombardier's cross hairs, as was Hiroshima three days prior, some seventy thousands died on that day, with more to succumb from wounds, radiation sickness and cancers to come. One day, consensus american historical reasoning will acknowledge this as, an exercise in, needless revenge and the use of novel ordnance. The japanese war effort was collapsing very rapidly. The japanese would surrender very soon. The bombings may have ended the war by minutes or may have extended the war longer for their inclusion.

postscriptum: Franz Jägerstätter was beatifed 26 October 2007 in Linz, Austria. We still await his canonisation.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Huckabee and bigotry

"I regard prejudice against your Church as the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people." -- Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. to John Tracy Ellis

"John Calvin was the virtual founder of America." -- Leopold von Ranke

Tim Rude [sic], a preacher at a church in Windsor Heights, Iowa, used electronic mail to contact protestant clerical supporters of Sam Brownback writing, "Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002. Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor's", and that Huckabee is "one of us."

Brownback's people correctly identified this as a "prejudiced whisper campaign" and wanted a complete disavowal from Huckabee. They this did not receive, and they were told, they were whiners.

After this came to light, Rude had this to say, "But I do apologize for my statements because it could be taken as anti-Catholic which isn't the case at all". "All I was trying to say is that Protestants should vote for Protestants".
Whispering campaigns are what the Republicans do best. Their 19th late century standard of "rum, romanism and rebellion", the klan campaigns against Smith in the twenties, an attempted coup against Franklin Roosevelt, rumors that Roosevelt was a jew and Eleanor way too friendly with the coloreds ... Roosevelt, Truman, Stevenson and Kennedy being communists...really it is hard to fully complete this sentence, and all this before Rove.

The term "recovering Catholic" is often used by those with no religion, and here, we see, by protestant converts. The often irrational hatred shared by atheists and "evangelicals" apparently has a common hysterical basis. Common repudiation for a common enemy can build alliances.

Baptist minister Huckabee will not chastise and recognize this sort of bigotry. The origin of protestantism has to be justified by recriminations of catholicism for their own justification of being, while catholicism needs not comment on protestantism at all. In catholic churches it is extremely rare for a mention of protestants and their myriad of other beliefs (heresies). I doubt the same is true of those communities stemming from calvinism and the american frontier would have a similar benign treatment for catholicism in their houses of worship.

Huckabee will win those "religious" voters. Brownback converted to what he believes to be the one true faith. This may be excellent for his soul, but detrimental and foolhardy to his candidacy.

A higher polling Giuliani, with a greater name recognition, will also be a target of this sort of off camera campaigning. A practicing catholic will not be welcomed by the "republican base", only ex-catholics need apply. The Republican party is no place for catholics and perhaps for any christians at all.

The first democrats to leave the party for the republicans were the klansmen supporters of senator Cotton Tom Heflin of Alabama. Those southerners who stayed were yellow dog democrats, for even though the catholic Al Smith would be the candidate, they would vote for him none-the-less. This was twenty years before Strom Thurmond ran an insurgency other party candidacy and before the remainder of the bigoted South left after Johnson's civil rights commitments twenty years beyond that. "I'd vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democratic ticket", was the cry of loyal southerners in the 20s. I certainly would have.

And where do the republicans have their electoral strength?, without electoral fraud and chicanery? The white bigoted south and the mormon west. Rove and Bush showed themselves in 2000 with their act at Bob Jones. There will be more of the same. Is Sam Brownback Don Quijote in some chimerical manner? Rude is right: protestant republicans will not knowingly vote catholic.

Being a baptist, mason and klansman was a successful triumvirate formula in the 1920s for political success. Hugo Black, for one, rode it to the Senate and the Supreme Court. For those who come from the southern states and many other places, there is no penalty for anti-catholicism. The press does not care. American mythology says the issue was resolved with John Kennedy, and how many catholics have been president since his landslide?

Here is an exercise in logic to show how reasonably plausible and truthful the claim is: substitute catholic with some other term, such as black, female or jewish and have the statements continue with grammatical and lexical agreement. E.g. "But I do apologize for my statements because it could be taken as anti-black which isn't the case at all. All I was trying to say is that whites should vote for whites", or "Frankly, as a recovering Jew myself ". See, no possible bigotry there.

The US Constitution says there will be no test for religion. Now England had a Toleration Act of 1689 which allowed non-conforming protestants rights. Their also was a Test Act of 1672 ( "An act for preventing dangers which may happen from popish recusants" ). The oath for the Test Act of 1672 was:

"I,________ , do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantion in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsovever."

In 1829 the Catholic Relief Act ended penal laws against non-irish catholics. Tony Blair flirts with the old faith but cannot yet commit to it. This is a foundation and background of english america. There remains a lingering and malignant animus, and it refuses to be called out. This is not recognized in american society, instead we have the propagation of the black legend of the inquisition and spanish catholicism. Catholicism remains suspect. Rude and the republicans know when they hold a winning card. They have anteed and will call and raise.

Friday, August 3, 2007

bush's view on the roles of the Constitution and himself

In a November 2005 meeting in the oval office while discussing the "patriot act" with congressional republicans this exchange occurred:

  • bush: "I don't give a goddam, I'm the president and the commander-in-chief. Do it my way."
  • Other: "Mr. President, there is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."
  • bush: "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it's just a goddammed piece of paper!"

This is the sort of passage that is quoted in textbooks to define historical personages and events. It really is indicative of treasonous hypocrisy. The oath of the president and all federal government personnel is to defend the Constitution. Is there any outrage outrageous enough for impeachment? and after that condition is achieved, will the question still be moot?

On one of the terribly flawed political chat shows, a discussion about bush's tenure occurred where the thesis was to compare his position vis-a-vis with Truman's --- utter nonsense floated by busheviks for media consumption. An honest discussion would have him falling behind Harding and the worst moments of Grant, Buchanan, McKinley and Nixon. Truman who knew exactly what republicans were would have been furious at the insult.

The man likes to self define himself as a war president; one does not get that distinction by being the creator of a war. In colonial America the colonists were dragged into England's wars and they referred to them as King William's War or Queen Anne's War. This Iraqui war IS bush junior's War. Instead of leadership and judgment we get the chauvinistic, bellicose, braying from a short-tempered, small-minded man, who when he had a chance to go to war transferred to the Alabama national guard and promptly deserted to drink in saloons and chase skirts.

Having poor facility with language one can see when he has been taught a new word or phrase by his ostentatious, yet, clumsy repetition. One remarkable one happened, in a rare rose garden "news conference", on 26 October 2003, when the word of the day was, "causus belli". It truly was embarrassing. This man has a Yale history degree?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Of Jesters and Fools – Stańczyk

1 August 2007

Truth and comedy are closely related. A joke is funny if it is truthful, for it must make sense. Nonsense may be absurd, but unfunny. Lies are not funny, for they lack a correspondence to reality. Some people enjoy and wish to believe these lies and approve of them, but their humor is hate and propaganda and does not register as funny to those outside their circle.

At one time rulers often had fools and jesters as entertainers, and at times, only they could speak the truth, for their sting could be dismissed as the murmurings of a fool. Sharp wit was a troublesome gift. The rich and powerful do not like to be mocked, neither does the Devil. Voltaire's tongue had a wrathful nobleman arrange a bastinado as revenge/punishment for the affront.

In "Hamlet", Hamlet, in feigned madness, has a troupe of actors perform a recreation of the murder that gave the kingship to Claudius. He had this performed for Claudius. This sort of bravado does not happen here often, but it did on the night of Saturday, April 29, 2006 at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Stephen Colbert played Hamlet for george junior.

"When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday -- no matter what happened Tuesday."

"Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president mak
es decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type."

The scene did not play well for the crowd, for they were complicit in admiring the emperor's clothes and having the nakedness exposed was not comfortable.

Late night television has other comics who enlighten us. David Letterman does the republic a service by presenting, Great Moments in Presidential Speeches. When the camera lingers on bush junior, it displays his naked vapidity. And on occasion Letterman says dangerous truths in impolite and impolitic terms:

"But everything's fine. The procedure went well. After the operation on Bush's colon, the doctors put his head back up his a**." ― 23 July

The fool or jester has an important office to perform. Every age and time needs him.

There is a grand painting, that in my understanding, has recently visited Milwaukee and Houston, Jan Matejko's 1862 portrait of Stańczyk, Stanisław Gąska, philosopher fool to three kings. Matejko gave his face to the painting in identification with the spirit of the fool; fellow patriots grieving their great, neglected and defeated land. Matejko painted him recurringly.
One title is: Stańczyk during a Ball at the Court of Queen Bona after the Loss of Smolensk*. Smolensk fell many times, to amongst others, Napoleon and the nazis, whom virtually obliterated it. Zygmunt I Stary [Sigismund I the Old] had been warring with Vasily III of Muscovy and, in July 1514, Smolensk fell to the Russians. There in an anteroom sits, dejected and despairing, wearing a deep, brilliant, red costume with matching fool's cap and bells: Stańczyk the fool having read the news. In the next room the aristocracy, gentry and the magnates dance and party enjoying their self interest, while the nation staggers and begins its long fall.

The fool knowingly comprehends the moment and foresees Poland's decline and Russia's rise. Poland was the greatest state, in land mass, in Europe. There was a union [1569] with Lithuania and continual war and intrigue with Turks, Teutons, Swedes and the Eastern Slavs. Poland was no backwater, it was integrated with the rest of Europe, Matejko and Stańczyk saw Poland twittered away by a self absorbed and mindless class that led to the absence of Poland as a state from 1795 to 1919. Many contemporaries and historians noted and quoted Stańczyk as the voice of cynical, loyal reason versus hypocrisy and stupidity. In Polish literature and culture he has an iconic stature as patriot and a voice of truth.

*The title refers to Bona Sforza of Milan, the second wife of Sigismund as of 1518. Perhaps the title is wrong or is there a disregard or animus towards her?
postscriptum: Upon seeing a different print of the painting, the falling star star seen through the window, is far more identifiable. The picture, supra, has it mostly cropped out. Here it is in isolation: