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Caroline Leavitt interviews Harriet Levin Millan...

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING NOVELIST, SCREENWRITER, EDITOR, NAMER, CRITIC, MOVIE ADDICT AND CHOCOHOLIC, Caroline Leavitt, blogs… 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2016

Harriet Levin Millan talks about her profound novel-based-on-a-true-story, How Fast Can You Run, about a South Sudan refuge searching for the mother he was separated from when he was five.

“The best war novel told from a young boy’s perspective since Jerzy Kozinski’s The Painted Bird.”

—Nyoul Lueth Tong, author of There is a Country: New Writing from the New Country of South Sudan

Prepare to be amazed. When One Book, One Philadelphia asked author and Drexel University professor Harriet Levin Millan to choose ten of her undergraduate creative writing students to interview ten South Sudanese refugees for a special One Book writing project, she met Michael Majok Kuch, who became the subject of her novel. . Kuch survived the torching of his village in South Sudan, and was separated from his mother when he was only five. His quest to be reunited with her, and the plight of the refuge is both profound and moving. Thank you so much Harriet, for being here.

I always say every book starts with a yearning. What was yours?

My yearning was for Michael Majok Kuch, the S. Sudanese national, I based my novel on, to see his mother. They had been separated since Michael was five-years-old and their village was attacked in the middle of the night and they got separated. So by the time I met him, when he was a senior in college, he hadn’t seen her for nearly 22 years. [more…]

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Publishing

  • Atta Market, India

  • Atta Market
    Sector 18
    The sweat drips
    Down my back
    The shoe wallah
    Hits the sandals
    In the street
    Clapping
    To the mahem
    Of clothes, bags,
    Bangles, childish
    Windmills
    Watches, pajamas,
    Momos
    I enter into
    A shop
    The AC stings
    The droplets
    Running my back
    To catch up:
    300, 400, 800
    For this specially
    Designed pair
    They can double
    Up to be used in
    The shower
    Ergonomic
    I swear
    I get something
    Sparkly for 300
    He says they’re
    Fancy
    They’ll suit the purpose
    I cannot linger
    Any longer
    Pace is picking up again
    I have to brave the street
    And bargain
    Nail polish, lipstick
    Lashed on my hand
    Don’t give me that
    On how many thousands
    Have you tested it
    I’ll take this nicely wrapped
    Stick
    Peach; just perfect
    Give me a discount
    Please
    The kurti I want but I can’t show
    I do…
    How can I fake
    I’ll walk away
    Back and forth the
    Prices sway
    I get a little Less
    Off
    He perhaps gains more
    But each party is happy
    Since it’s a done deal
    And all
    Back in the throng
    Of the streets
    So many colours
    Protesting to me
    You should have
    Bought this or that
    Shined in turquoise
    Delighted
    In pink
    Perused in purple
    Yearned in yellow
    Danced like a
    Raucous rainbow
    I’m alright
    With what I’ve got
    It was a quieter
    Corner where I
    Stopped
    Cramming in with the
    Crowd
    Hugging
    Belongings
    Tight
    Wondering
    Where the metro
    Entry is
    How can it be out
    Of sight
    I’ve gone past
    Oh look there’s a rat
    Scurrying into
    Rubbled ground
    Plants popping
    Out of nowhere
    Don’t look down
    Keep your eyes
    Up
    Back to the metro
    Entry
    I can’t entertain
    This circle
    Endlessly
    Earrings, bindis
    Hot and relentless:
    Weddings
    Hopes ‘n’ dreams
    Survival
    Sings its
    Own song
    No need for
    Music
    With
    The traffic;
    The tips of
    Tambourines
    Plus
    Each hopeful
    Human
    Who
    Bravely
    Beats
    the time
    Along.
    Lydia Poems (Facebook)
    #Atta market #Adventureshoping #indiapoetry

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  • The Vale of Cashmere

  • by Sean Elder

    green forest

    This story first appeared in Voice from the Planet, FREE from March 30 – April 3, 2017 at Amazon Kindle US, and Kindle UK among others.

     

    Truth was, she used to be able to organize her thoughts, until Floyd retired. Now he was always hanging around talking to her, asking what she was doing. Every time he went out, which wasn’t often enough for her taste, he would ask her if she needed anything and then look angry if she did. Sometimes he’d look angry if she didn’t. Now she looked for errands for him, just to get a moment’s peace. When she sent him off for milk this morning she could have lived without it. But she couldn’t have stood listening to him complain about the bus ride to Atlantic City before it happened, not non-stop for the next two hours.

    “You’re creating your future,” she told him. “Whatever you’re thinking and feeling, that becomes your reality.”

    “Don’t give me that shit,” he’d said, putting on his coat and hat. He had been wearing that same damned hat with the stingy brim so long it had come back in style.

    “It’s the law of attraction,” she’d continued. “You can deny it all you want but that don’t mean it’s not true. “Everything coming into your life you are attracting into your life. You’re like a magnet.”

    “Well, this magnet’s going to attract some milk,” he’d said before going out the door.

    He had made fun of her ever since she first heard Oprah talking about The Secret but deep down she thought that maybe he believed her. Or would, if he would just give it a try. He would come home so angry about something that happened out there – the security guy asleep in the chair, or someone who wouldn’t give his seat up on the subway – and she would tell him, “Every bad thing that comes into your life, you make happen.”

    Sometimes that really made Floyd angry. “Is that right? Every bad thing? I made happen every bad thing that came into my life, Marcy?” He would tower over her, breathing heavily, staring at the top of her lacquered hair until she was silent.

    She looked closely at the big digits on the clock by the bed. It was almost 8:30 and she still had not done her makeup. From the drawer in the nightstand on her side of the bed she looked for her own pill organizer and then realized she had already taken it out. She put it under the light, right beside that picture of her two boys, smiling in the lap of a black Santa, and looked at Wednesday. There were still pills in the morning box but the evening box was empty. Maybe she took the evening pills by mistake. Not that it mattered ‘cause they were basically the same. Or maybe she hadn’t filled the PM part.

    Looking at the rainbow colored compartments (Wednesday was green, Thursday red) she thought of Wilson, who had the hardest time with his R’s when he was little – “Weeding Wainbow,” he would say about his favorite show, and his brother would laugh at him. She felt overcome for a moment and then heard her husband’s keys in the door.

    She took the morning pills, four altogether, as Floyd shouted at her from the kitchen.

    “Do you know how much they wanted for a half-gallon of milk?” She imagined his face as he said the price and the way he would look at her afterwards. He might be looking that way right now, even though she wasn’t there.

    “Cost of everything is going up,” she yelled back. Then she stood and headed for the bathroom. “I got to get a move on.”

    “Ain’t you even going to drink your milk?” She heard him swear as she closed the bathroom door.

    The bus driver turned out to be some white guy who’d been sleeping in the back while people waited outside. The whole bus was talking about it, even after they got out of the Holland Tunnel and were getting on the turnpike, people tisking and hmm-hmming until Floyd wanted to yell, “Who told you to stand out there in the first place? It’s not even cold.” But he kept quiet and sat by a window, alone thank you very much, though Tommy insisted on sitting right in front of him, while Marcy huddled on the other side with a bunch of ladies. They outnumbered the men five to one anyway; he let Tommy represent, going back and forth across the aisle like some congressman making a deal. Each time he went over to the ladies he would say something so low that Floyd couldn’t hear and they would all laugh and holler.

    “I think it’s about time for some music,” Tommy said after one of his sorties. He had a gym bag with him that also said Mets on it, and from it he pulled a boom box that he tried to balance on the seatback in front of him. He pushed play and Johnnie Taylor started in on “Who’s Making Love” and the ladies all laughed, even though the sound was kind of wobbly. From the front of the bus the driver said something, they could see him looking at them in the rear view mirror, but no one tried to hear him. In fact Tommy stood up, with the boom box on his shoulder, and started to shake it in the aisle, which made the driver get on the mike.

    “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to sit down.” He had some kind of accent, Russian or something, but no one really paid him any mind.

    The hits kept coming; it must have been some kind of collection since Floyd never heard a deejay. Tommy jammed the boom box between the headrest and the window so it wouldn’t fall down and turned around to look at Floyd, but not before looking at the driver, who had his eyes on the road again.

    “How ‘bout a little taste?” Tommy said, taking a half-pint in a brown bag from the pocket of his jacket.

    “Too early for me,” Floyd said, looking out the window. To him it always looked like New Jersey was halfway through being torn down.

    Across the aisle Marcy was in the middle of a conversation with the other ladies but she didn’t feel quite right. It started as soon as she left the building; she had picked out a brooch to go with her blue blouse, a little gold tree with red apples on it, but she had left it sitting in front of the mirror. Now she felt naked, all that blue stretching out below her chin like an empty ocean almost and she felt like she was being pulled back from drowning each time one of them stopped talking. That meant somebody was supposed to say something, you were supposed to jump in like it was a game of double-Dutch.

    “What I value most is the privacy,” Marcy said, but no one answered. She had a feeling she had said that before. The topic was assisted living and how to know when you needed it.

    “Until you wake up privately dead,” said the lady in the Kente cloth. Marcy didn’t remember meeting her before, a friend of Helen’s was how she was introduced, but she didn’t like her now. She had these gray and white streaks in her hair, extensions by the look of it, but it reminded Marcy of mud. Besides she was probably the youngest woman of the bunch, what was she talking about dying for?

    “My boy checks in on us every night,” said Marcy and immediately wondered why she had. It wasn’t true. Most times she had to call Eric and he never sounded too happy to hear from her. He did come to visit though, once a month at least. They saw less of him after his divorce, though you’d think it would be the other way around.

    “Where are we?” she said suddenly, looking out the window. Everything looked the same.

    “You keep asking that,” the lady in the Kente cloth said, or maybe she said. Marcy wasn’t looking at her and the music Tommy was playing made her feel lost.

    “Sending this one out for all you ladies,” said Tommy, like he was some deejay, and they all laughed but Marcy didn’t think it was funny. It was that song about sitting on a park bench that always made her sad. “I see her face everywhere I go/on the street and even at the picture show/have you seen her?”

    There was a hospital up there high on a hill and for a second she felt that the bus was going to take off and fly straight up to its doors. She closed her eyes and felt herself rise.

    They parked in the lot of the Showboat casino. Though they could have gone anywhere they wanted, the thirty odd passengers that disembarked made for the Showboat as if summoned, shuffling and limping toward the entrance in a broken conga line.

    “No one says we got to go to this casino,” Floyd said to the crowd of ladies leading the way.

    “The Showboat has a Mardi Gras theme,” said the lady in the Kente cloth. She turned around to give Floyd the fisheye, pulling down her glasses as she did. “Besides, we got coupons for the Showboat.”

    He fell in line sullenly beside Tommy who offered him another drink. Floyd took a swallow this time without pulling down the brown paper to see what it was. It tasted like mouthwash.

    “Jesus, what the hell you drinking?”

    “Little peppermint schnapps.” Tommy tried to slap Floyd on the back but the big man danced away, handing the bottle back as he moved.

    “What she mean by a ‘Mardi Gras theme,’ anyway?” Floyd said.

    Tommy shrugged. “As long as they got free drinks and blackjack I don’t much care.”

    Seagulls screamed overhead. Floyd saw his reflection scowling in the window of a parked Humvee. He went to New Orleans during Mardi Gras when he was in the Navy, how many years ago? He got lost and someone stole his wallet. A man dressed as a woman tried to put beads around his neck, he remembered. You could have your Mardi Gras.

    Marcy was among the first of the women to enter the casino and the air conditioning hit her like a cold wave. “Good thing I remembered my shawl!” she said but no one answered. The music and the sound of the slot machines, dinging and ringing with sirens going off every five minutes as if some crime was being committed, swallowed her voice.

    Marcy had thought to bring rolls of quarters and silver dollars. While the other ladies were getting change she was already pouring her silver into a red plastic cup provided to her by a girl in the shortest skirt she had ever seen.

    “You must be freezing!” Marcy said but the girl didn’t seem to hear her. Maybe she just got tired of people trying to talk to her.

    The slots area had thousands of machines and at noon it was already half filled, mostly old timers like her and Floyd. He and Tommy had set off in the other direction like there was a sign saying ‘Men, That Way.’ The carpets were in a pattern of red and orange and gold that reminded her of a kaleidoscope and the ceiling was made up to look like stained glass, though she knew real stained glass when she saw it and this wasn’t it. She felt like if she didn’t sit down she might just fall into the colors. She sat down at a quarter machine and began feeding it. She didn’t know where the other ladies had gone and looking over her shoulder left her none the wiser.

    “Y’all gonna have to find me,” she said and as if summoned a different lady in a short skirt appeared.

    “How you doing today?” she said. She had a tray filled with drinks and a notepad tucked into her belt. “Can I get you something to drink?”

    “Well I suppose you can!” Marcy turned in her chair to show her appreciation. “My name’s Marcy by the way, I come here from Brooklyn with a bunch of folks from my church group.”

    “Now isn’t that nice? My name’s Kim Sue. What can I get you?”

    Marcy smiled and opened her mouth. But she could not think of the names of any drinks, not just the fancy ones but any drink. She felt a trickle of sweat run down her back underneath her blouse.

    “It’s funny,” she said, embarrassed. “My mind’s just a blank today.”

    “Sure, no problem!” Kim Sue smiled back at her like one of those Chinese dolls, her name right there on her badge. “We have beer and wine and soda and mixed drinks.” She kept smiling at Marcy and continued. “I could make you a nice white wine spritzer, if you like.”

    “Oh, that sounds nice,” said Marcy, and it did sound nice, like a sprinkler in the summer time, the kind the boys used to play in. Kim Sue left and Marcy returned to the machine. Cherries and plums rolled past, never stopping at the same time.

    Eric used to chase Wilson through the sprinklers in the park and sometimes when Marcy wasn’t looking he would hold his little brother down and try to pull off his shorts in front of all the other children. She would get so mad at him, always teasing like that, knowing it would make Wilson cry and come looking for her, but she had a job then, looking after a little white boy named Oskar whose parents lived in Park Slope and worked all the time. Oskar’a parents didn’t mind too much when she brought her boys with her when she took him to the park. “As long as you remember,” the father said, “that Oskar is your first priority.”

    Well of course he is, mister doctor man! Why would my own flesh and blood come before your little prince? Good gracious, the things that man would say. If the wife heard him she would weigh in and try to soften the blow. “What my husband means is that we don’t want you to get too distracted. Three children is a handful.”

    Now that was the kind of thing only a white person would say. Where she came from three children was just getting started, even if she was done after Wilson, something her own mother could never understand.

    “Oh, don’t worry, ma’am,” Marcy would say. “I won’t ever let Oskar out of my sight.”

    All these people thinking someone was going to steal their child then, like the whole country had gone crazy. Soon they’d be putting their pictures on milk cartons and billboards and on TV during the news – “Have you seen Brandon?” Usually white kids. If a black kid went missing generally people know who took him.

    “Here you go, ma’am.”

    Kim Sue was back with her drink. It was in a big plastic cup with a straw that went in curlicues, like a roller coaster, like this was for a child. She started fishing in her coin cup.

    “Drinks are complimentary, ma’am.”

    Like I didn’t know that. She pulled out a Susan B. Anthony and put it on her tray. “That’s for you,” she said.

    “Very nice of you, ma’am. And if you need anything else you just let me know.”

    She turned to leave and Marcy was afraid to see her go. “Kim Sue, it’s like your momma gave you two names.”

    “Kim is my family name. Family name comes first in Korean.”

    “Is that right?” said Marcy. “Well I think family should come first, don’t you?”

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    Marcy thought that was something else she should write in her book but realized that she hadn’t brought it with her, and then forgot what she had said. “But they probably don’t spell it like that in Korea, do they? The Sue, I mean.”

    “No, ma’am, we have a different alphabet.”

    “Now isn’t that something?”

    She was balancing a tray full of drinks while she talked to Marcy so she let her go, disappearing into the big Tiffany lamp around them. A band was playing Dixieland and Marcy strained her eyes to see them. The music seemed to be coming from everywhere at once, “When the Saints Come Marching In.”

    “Let me tell you another,” she said, sipping on her drink. The lady at the machine next to her looked at Marcy and then moved away, taking her quarters with her. She watched as the drink spun up the straw when she sucked. Here we go loop de loop.

    Sometimes Eric would help her push the stroller as they went around the park, and Wilson would run so far ahead she would shout after him. “Don’t go where I can’t see you!” she’d holler, and Oskar, too big to be pushed around in a stroller, would try and stand up and yell after her. “Go where I can’t see you!”

    Wilson would hide like that at home as well; hide so good she couldn’t find him sometimes. They were living in Prospect-Lefferts, more house than they needed but you could afford those big limestone buildings then even on a Con Ed salary and Wilson would go into different rooms and be so quiet that she would get hysterical, be practically beside herself by the time her husband got home. Then they would hear him laughing. “Got you!” he would say and emerge from the cupboard or from behind the sideboard and Floyd would get so mad. That one time he came out of her closet wearing her bra and Floyd just about went crazy; took off his belt and chased him.

    She put in a coin and pulled the lever: a watermelon; a bell; the number seven in gold.

    “What numbers are you playing today?”

    She turned her head but nobody was there. Who had spoken? Just turning her head made the colors around her move and when she looked at the floor she saw the pattern there was moving too. It was like a flying carpet, the Vale of Cashmere –

    The Vale of Cashmere! That was the name of that strange corner of the park where she took the boys now and then. They were getting older; other boys took the place of Oskar, and Eric got too big to want to be with them. But Wilson kept her company as she made the rounds, bought them ice cream and wiped their sticky hands. People used to call it The Swamp and there was a muddy pond okay and some hanging trees.

    “How come you don’t play with boys your own age?” one of the kids had asked him once.

    “I just like to help my momma,” he’d said.

    He was the one who found out the real name of The Swamp, checked an old book out of the library and showed her on the map. There was a poem that went with it and Wilson stood up by the pond and put one finger in the air as he read: “Who has not heard of the Vale of Cashmere/With its roses the brightest the earth ever gave?”

    Another babysitter saw them by the pond once and came over to warn them. “You shouldn’t be down in there,” she said, afraid to come too close with her stroller in front of her. “They say men get together down there.”

    And after that Marcy noticed them, lurking about, standing in the trees. Once when she came down with Wilson and a stroller two men ran out, going in different directions.

    She didn’t think about it again for years, until Wilson was grown and still living at home, and he came back one night that first time with his face all bloody, drunk or high on something and smiled at her, blood on his teeth.

    “Hey, Momma, I been to the Vale of Cashmere!”

    That’s when Floyd said no more.

    “What numbers are you playing today?”

    She turned and the colors whooshed like a scarf being wrapped around her head. She saw her this time, a little woman, no bigger than a dragonfly like the ones the boys chased in the park, Wilson would put them in a jar with holes punched in the top, while Eric tried to cover it up with his hand so they would smother.

    “I’m looking for three sevens,” Marcy said to the dragonfly woman. “Are there some other numbers to play?”

    “That is the question, isn’t it?” said the faerie. “Are there other numbers to play?”

    And then she flew away, just like a little hummingbird, and Marcy got up to follow her, passing into the pattern of colors and leaving her cup of coins behind.

    Floyd went through all his money the first hour. Not all his money but all the money he’d meant to spend, the money he put in his shirt pocket, seemed to fly off the table. Dealer beat him every time: if Floyd had 18, the dealer had 19; if Floyd sat on a 19, the dealer hit him with two bricks.

    “I guess this lady feels like she has to show us what a blackjack looks like,” said Tommy, when the dealer drew her third in ten minutes. She apologized to them both, even though they didn’t tip her, and Tommy’s luck was better than hers: He doubled down twice and made a hundred bucks in the blink of an eye. All Floyd could do, once he had spent the money he had earmarked for this outing, was sit there and simmer in his resentment while Tommy’s chip pile grew.

    That was when Helen, the lady in the purple pantsuit, came and asked if he knew where Marcy was.

    “I thought she was with you,” said Floyd. It came out like an accusation.

    “Well, we agreed to meet for lunch at three,” she said, “but then nobody could find Marcy. We figured maybe you two went off together.”

    And that’s how well you know us, Floyd thought. “Maybe she just went off to another casino by herself,” he said. Even though he was losing, and wasn’t even playing at the time, he didn’t want to have to leave his spot and go look for his wife. “There’s no law says we got to stay here.”

    “Blackjack,” said the dealer, flipping another ace.

    But after a minute he did get up to look, as he knew he would, leaving Tommy, who still had a hot hand and no doubt wondered what all the fuss was about.

    “Did you try the ladies room?” he asked Helen.

    “That was one of the first places we looked. They have sofas in there, you know.” She paused. “Do you think we should call security?”

    The suggestion made his blood pressure rise. “No, I don’t think we should call security. Christ sake, grown woman goes off for a few minutes and you want to call the cavalry?”

    “Does she have a cell phone?”

    “Our son gave her one but she couldn’t figure out how to use it.” This was literally half true: Eric had given them each one last Christmas, and neither of them could figure out how to use it. By the time Floyd got the hang of it he realized that the only person he would call was his wife, which was kind of stupid since he saw her all the time anyway.

    They looked all the places that they had already looked and the lady in the Kente cloth joined them, acting more concerned that Floyd felt. “We need a system,” she said, as they circled the room for the second time. The place was more crowded than ever and Floyd could hardly hear what she was saying. “How about I go stake out the buffet and you stay here?” she suggested to Helen.

    “How ‘bout I go stake out the buffet?” Helen said. “I haven’t had lunch yet.”

    Floyd said they could both go feed themselves and take their time doing it; Marcy would turn up. He stood like a sentinel beneath the bells and sirens of the Mardi Gras slots, scowling most of the time. He hated slot machines; there was no sport in it, as he often told his wife. Blackjack at least you were playing the odds. Slots to him was just dumb luck, like a rabbit betting it wouldn’t get run over when it ran across the road. Twice he thought he saw his wife, and each time he took pleasure in anticipating just how much grief he was going to give her. But each time he was wrong.

    By four o’clock they were back together, Tommy too, and they began to set out in search parties. They were a small group: most of the travelers didn’t want to leave their stations, since the bus was scheduled to leave at six and this whole business had already cut into their time as it was. The lady in the Kente cloth, who finally introduced herself as Niobe, took charge. She contacted the hotel security, who seemed to have some experience with old folks wandering off, and as the witching hour neared, and the day-trippers started heading back toward the bus, she went out and argued with the bus driver, who was pretty adamant about leaving on time.

    “You can’t just go off and leave an old lady alone,” she scolded him. The engine was already running, gently shaking the bus, while the AC gusted out the door in heavy welcoming breaths.

    “I won’t be leaving her alone,” the driver said. “I will be leaving you to find her.”

    He agreed to wait as they made one last search. A handful of them fanned out, going to neighboring casinos and restaurants, off the boardwalk and into the side streets. Floyd couldn’t help but think that Marcy was messing with him the whole time, and when he saw the impatient faces of the other folks on the bus – they’d lost their money and had their fill, they just wanted to go home – he couldn’t help but side with them.

    Most of the people he saw as he wandered were wearing shorts and T-shirts. Used to be people would get dressed up to go someplace. And when did everybody get so fat? Walking down the boardwalk, bag of French fries in your hand, what did you expect? The new motto for the city was “Always Turned On,” which he found kind of creepy. There was nothing that he saw that turned him on.

    Doors were open, air conditioning blasting out, cooling nothing. Floyd took to popping into places and doing a quick look around, not even asking half the time if they’d seen anyone who looked like his wife. One, they couldn’t hear you with all that noise and two, half of them couldn’t speak English.

    “You seen an old black lady?” he shouted at one girl scooping ice cream. Her nails were so long he figured they might end up in somebody’s cone. “Blue shirt, about this high?” She stared at him like he was the one with the language problem.

    He kept walking. Going in and out of the summer sun was making him dizzy, to say nothing of thirsty. He wished for the first time that Tommy was with him. That man would always stop for a drink. He saw people in those rolling chairs, being pushed by young people, girls sometimes. And you wonder why you so fat?

    Down at one end of the boardwalk he found what looked like a real bar. The crowd had trickled off as the sun sank lower in the sky. Go on, get out of here. A lot of good you been. Floyd ducked inside and felt the rivers of sweat roll out from under his hat and chill on his face and neck. His glasses steamed as he took a seat at the bar and ordered a gin and tonic. He perched on the stool and looked up at the game on TV. The waitress brought him his drink and man did that taste good. No skimping on the gin, either. He forgot to ask her about Marcy. His wallet was bothering him, he felt like he was balancing on it. When she asked him if he wanted to start a tab he simply nodded.

    “You got a phone?” She pointed to an old-fashioned booth in the back, kind Superman used to change in. The place was filling up, young couples waiting for dinner. Went back to the hotel to put your dress shorts on? Once inside the paneled wood booth he forgot who he was going to call. Eric, right. He searched the scraps of paper in his wallet for the number he never had cause to memorize and let it ring, go to voicemail, and then dialed again.

    “Hello?”

    “This ain’t no telemarketer.”

    “Hey, Pop.” He did not sound happy to hear from him and Floyd had already put enough change in the machine so he cut straight to the point.

    “We in Atlantic City and your mother’s gone missing.” He backtracked from there, explaining the whole afternoon in greater detail than Eric needed, but never did his son sound any more excited than Floyd felt. He asked the obvious questions – had they called the police? Who else was looking?

    “Did she have her cell phone?” he asked, pointedly.

    “That’s why I was calling,” Floyd said. “I figured maybe she’d called you.”

    Eric was silent, and Floyd knew that he knew he was lying. He imagined him at home, still in his work clothes, the sound on the TV muted, his eyes on the game. From his perch in the booth Floyd could see the TV over the bar. Jeter was trying to steal.

    “I’m sure she’ll turn up, Pop. I mean, where’s she gonna go?”

    “I know that.”

    “You got your cell phone with you? So I can call you if she does?”

    Floyd muttered something and got off the phone. That boy would go to his grave asking about those damn phones. He should just wrap them up and give them back to him for Christmas. Turn ‘em into salt-and-pepper shakers.

    When he got back to his seat at the bar Jeter got picked off and he ordered another drink. Now they could send the search party out for him. The tumblers were tall and when he turned in his seat he found he had company. Big old white dude with long hair and a pointed beard. He was sipping a Budweiser longneck and looking at the screen. His arms were covered in tattoos; dragons, snakes and skulls disappeared into his shirtsleeves.

    “Fuckin’ Yankees,” he said and turned to look at Floyd. “Nice hat.”

    Floyd turned to face his own reflection in the mirror behind the bar. “You wouldn’t believe how long I had this hat,” he said.

    “There isn’t much I wouldn’t believe,” the man said.

    They got to talking. Turned out he worked in a tattoo parlor on the boardwalk, which explained all the ink. Half way through his second drink and Floyd was feeling generous in his opinions.

    “Back in the day,” he said, “man had a tattoo it meant he’d been someplace. In the service, in the joint, you know.”

    “I hear you,” the man said. “These days it just means you been to the mall.” He drained his beer and held up the empty. “Buy you a drink?”

    “Let me buy you a drink,” said Floyd, and pulled out the fat wallet that had been giving him such a pain and laid it on the counter. Soon he had the pictures out and was showing him snaps of Eric, bragging on his job even if he wasn’t exactly sure what he did. Then one of the whole family, when everyone was young.

    “Where’s your other boy?” the stranger asked.

    Floyd made a face like he was sucking on a lime. “Wilson got killed in a hold-up ten years ago,” he said.

    “Oh, man, I am sorry. They catch the guy who did it?”

    “No, it was in Prospect Park one night. Lot of crime in there.”

    “That’s why I could never live in the city,” the man said, which struck Tommy as funny. Most people would be scared of him, even in Brooklyn.

    “So what happens when folks get old?” said Floyd, changing the subject. “Maybe they don’t want all those tattoos any more.”

    “Shit, you don’t have to wait ‘til your old to regret something stupid you did.” The man laughed and Floyd got a glimmer of a gold tooth in his head. “People come in all the time wanting to have tattoos taken off, usually the name of some girl that don’t love them anymore.”

    “Can you do it?”

    “Sure,” the man said. “Hurts like hell and costs twice as much. But we can do it. Easier just to change it, though.”

    “How do you mean?”

    “Well, there was this one girl who loved a guy named Chris and had it tattooed on her ass. Until she found Jesus and then we just added a ‘T’.”

    He didn’t smile at first and it took Floyd a minute to figure it was a joke. He smiled first. “Hey, I got one,” he said. The stranger’s eyes gleamed in anticipation. “There was this guy who loved this old girl so much he had her name tattooed on his Johnson.”

    “Now that’s gotta hurt!”

    “Hell, yeah.” Floyd wiped his mouth. “Then they broke up, you know, and soon he started missing her real bad. So he went all over looking for her, from Wisconsin all the way down to Jamaica. Then he’s in the bathroom one day and he looks over and he sees this other guy’s dick.” He stopped for a minute. The stranger kept staring at him. “Now I can’t remember that girl’s name.”

    “Is it important?”

    “Yeah, it’s the whole punch line.”

    “Uh, oh. Better have another drink.”

    He felt flushed and excused himself to go to the bathroom. There he stared straight ahead at the wall and read all the graffiti as if looking for a message. And by the time he got back to the bar he was not surprised to see the stranger was gone and with him his wallet though all Floyd could feel was a keen sense of disappointment: He remembered the end of the joke now. He had remembered that old girl’s name.

    ______________________

    voice from the planet

    ‘Vale of Cashmere’ was first published by Harvard Square Editions in Voice from the Planet, FREE from March 30 – April 3, 2017 at Amazon Kindle US, and Kindle UK among others. Sean Elder’s writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, New York Magazine, Salon, Slate, Vogue, Elle, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, O: The Oprah Magazine, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Details and many other publications. The essay he contributed to the collection of men’s writings The Bastard On the Couch (Morrow, 2004) was reprinted on three continents; his essay on ecstasy, included in the collection of drug writings entitled White Rabbit (Chronicle Books, 1995) was called “seminal” by Granta; and a piece he wrote about being a stay-at-home dad for Oprah was included in her best of O collection, Live Your Best Life (Oxmoor, 2005). He has co-authored several books, including Websites That Work with designer Roger Black (Adobe Press, 1997) and Mission Al Jazeera with former Marine captain Josh Rushing (Palgrave, 2007). He also works as a book doctor and helped edit the forthcoming Making Rounds with Oscar by Dr. David Dosa (Hyperion, 2010). He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.

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  • All at Once: Excerpt of the Novel

  • I step onto a wide stone platform surrounded by water and lie on my stomach to peer down over the edge. At my approach, tiny fish scatter like drops of colored light; crabs pause, wary, then scuttle along the sides of the basin, stuffing their mouths as fast as they can with alternate pincers. After a while, a kind of brown finger wriggles out from the shadows. Another one emerges, then two more, and finally the bulbous body of an octopus comes into view. It skims along until the water is too shallow then starts to walk, using its tentacles as legs. When the water gets deeper it pushes off against the sandy bottom to glide, once more, just beneath the surface. It circles round and round my platform.

    aao cover

    My back begins to prickle, and I realize I’ll be burnt to a crisp if I don’t find shelter pretty soonthe ocean breeze masks the sun’s virulence.

    Standing up makes me momentarily dizzy. The tide has gone out, uncovering rocks studded with barnacles or slick with thick green hair. I head back toward the flat sand and continue walking, looking for a place to rest. I’ve just about resigned myself to the idea of a plastic chair, when I spot a barraca that’s not open for business. The beach in front of it is empty, the small structure shuttered; its thatched roof casts a nice, wide stripe of shade onto the sand. Gratefully, I set up camp, taking out the water and crackers I brought, spreading out my towel to sit on, and leaning against the barraca wall with the empty backpack in between for cushioning. A sigh of relief.

    The ocean is now more white than blue. At the horizon, a wavering smudge might be a cruise ship or an oil rig. The great mass of water is barely disturbed by shifting waves, fretful and sluggish like a dog settling down to sleep. There’s an occasional bloom of white spray when a wave breaks against rock; wisps of cloud trail across the sky. I yawn, lie down on the towel, and close my eyes.

    Now the landscape is reduced to the rustle of wind in the palm thatch, the faint piping of a distant bird, and the dull roar of the ocean. I stretch my arms and let them flop back down. Rolling my head slowly from side to side to loosen the tension in my neck, I notice that this movement causes the pitch of the ocean to vary ever so slightly. Intrigued, I try it a few more times, just to make sure.

    There’s a lesson in that, I reflect: reality changes according to your viewpoint. I roll my head once more from side to side then lie still again, listening to the tiny, ceaseless fluctuations within the monotone.

    An insect lands on my footwithout opening my eyes I flex my toe to chase it away, and realize that the gesture produced an infinitesimal shift in the ocean sound. Bizarre! I can understand the position of my head influencing what I hear, but the position of my toe? (more…)

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The Baffler – Fiction Books

International Publisher Articles:



Recent Articles:

L’esprit

 
 

I am the
song
the spirit
sings
 
I am the
path
the skylark
wings
 
I am the
seer
of many things
 
*
 
in deep
clairvoyant
awakenings
 
plim with joy
awareness
brings
 
above diurnal
barbs
and stings
 
in
profitless
meanderings
 
in
profitless
meanderings

 
*
 
Like some
profligate
northern
star
 
scatt’ring
its lumens
near
and far

 
scattering
lumens –
near and far

 

© R.Kanth 2023

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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The Big Picture?

 

Time to read the tea leaves?
 
*
 
IF WW3 does not lay the human world waste.
 
IF a Nuclear Exchange doe not devastate all life.
 
IF Climate Catastrophe does not achieve the same.

 
THEN, this is what we might expect.
 
*
 
The West will turn Neo-Fascist, or more simply darkly Authoritarian.
 
Rights will , increasingly, morph into privileges.
 
The ‘liberal democracy’ modus will , over time, melt away.
 
The East will embrace the China Model of a market economy, managed under the auspices of a benevolent despotism.
 
Rights will be subject to communal norms and cultural values.

In the former, private power will over-ride public power: in the latter, vice versa.
 
The Rest of the World will, on and off, ally with one or other of the two modes.
 
*
 
Without any question, the latter model will be far more successful,
in simple material terms.
 
NATO will shrink, radically, as will the EU.
 
The UN, IMF, WTO, and The World Bank will be truncated, similarly, with parallel, and competing, Alternates arising.
 
And the US, Australia, UK, Canada, and New Zealand will form a loose, de facto, alliance, to formalise the ‘gentlewoman’s’ agreement that always existed, implicitly.
 
They are, after all, birds of a feather.
 
*
 
It will be a multipolar world, with an end to any Unilateral Hegemony.
 
*
 
Its significance cannot be over-rated.
 
For 400 plus years, the West has ruled the world, the last 2 centuries under Anglo-Norman Hegemony.
 
For better, or for worse, the current global situation is of their provenance, be it wilful or unintended.
 
Typically, they are trying to ‘solve’ the crisis – a Crisis of Hegemony – using the same means/methods that gifted us WW1 and WW2.
 
Violence was how they forged their rule – being the Undisputed Masters of War – , and Violence is how they hope to salvage (what remains of) it.
 
This is to be expected.
 
They are, like us all, creatures of habit, except their habits happen to be inordinately lethal.
 
*
 
Living by the sword has its perks, but its ultimate trajectory is an ineluctable declension.
 
As Napoleon had it, you can do anything with bayonets – except sit on them.
 
*
 
That’s the Big Picture.
 
I will leave others to print out the myriad local snapshots it is composed of?
 


© R.Kanth 2023

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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The Final Cause?

 
 
I know it now
as I knew
It then
 
The Force behind
the Will
of Men

 
now that I
know the
Errant Cause*
 
grieves me so
to give
due pause
 
as it did
when just
a boy
 
to know
with even
lesser joy
 
why women
build
and men
destroy

 
*
 
It is the Bane
of History
and why
we’re neither
safe nor free

 
* I have detailed this issue in many writings: most recently in, https://litvote.com/the-human-prospect/
 

© R.Kanth 2023

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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The Mirage

 

So , do we, in this 13th hr of human history, still believe in the hoary litany of liberte, egalite, fraternite?
 
Are we still drinking the EM (European Modernism) Kool Aid that has had us besotted for centuries?
 
Is there no learning curve to our credulity?
 
*
 
It is said that hope springs eternal in the human breast?.
 
But so does ignorance and stupidity.
 
Especially the latter.
 
*
 
As the Masters of the Universe rush to wipe all planetary life off the planet in a WW3, as their last act of desperation, what are we, the people, thinking?
 
Vote for the good guys, come next election (before, or after WW3)?
 
You might as well lie in wait for Godot.
 
That tomorrow never comes.
 
*
 
It is all a monstrous hoax.
 
We’re still a gaggle of turkeys voting for Xmas.
 
*
 
As I have often said, humans are, above all traits, myth making animals.
 
Religious, political, whatever.
 
The Great Myths of EM we all learn in grade school.
 
And, apparently, most of us never forget them!
 
*
 
Time we did?
 
Time we woke up.
 
*
 
Here is Reality.
 
Bad guys , of various shades, rule everywhere.
 
As they always have.
 
The transition from medieval to modernist polities only altered their uniforms , slogans, and ID cards – not their intent.
 
The ruling elite is the ruling elite is the ruling elite.
 
And, also, remains the ruling elite.
 
*
 
Good guys do not seek power, for starters.
 
And rarely make it to the top of that grim structure.
 
They are usually suborned/subverted very quickly by the other kind we know so well.
 
Beware the(wo)man who would be king (or president).
 
*
 
I have referred to who we are, and what we might do , as the hoi polloi, outside that domain to protect ourselves.
 
The context is horizontal, kindred, relations, bound by affective ties.
 
I will again give the cites here: though this is only the tip of the iceberg of alternate societal thinking challenging EuroModernism.

A Transvaluation of Values?


 
*
 
Here’s what lies ahead, IF WW3 is, somehow , staved off.
 
The West will turn , in various shades, neo-Fascist (or, more simply, authoritarian).
 
The East will follow the China Model (a market economy governed by benevolent despotism).
 
Others will take their chances.
 
Most likely, the Chinese Way?
 
Possibly.
 
*
 
Just don’t expect CNN or the BBC to explain all of the above to you.
 
Their job is to perpetrate and propagate the Myths.
 
If it came to announcing WW3,it might go something like this.
 
World ends tonight at 9: details at 11.
 
And now for a word from our sponsors.
 
? !
 

© R.Kanth 2023

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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On Exceptionalism?

 
 

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever…
 
Thomas Jefferson
 
*
 
They oft claim to be ‘exceptional’.
Agreed.
I go even one step further.
They are super exceptional.
Or, exceptionally exceptional!
What do I mean?
 
*
 

I will let the data speak.
Here are their ‘regime change operations’ overseas – just since WW2, and only through 2014.
 
Source:https://williamblum.org/essays/read/overthrowing-other-peoples-governments-the-master-list
 
China 1949 to early 1960s Albania 1949-53
East Germany 1950s Iran 1953 * Guatemala 1954 *
Costa Rica mid-1950s Syria 1956-7 Egypt 1957
Indonesia 1957-8 British Guiana 1953-64 *
Iraq 1963 * North Vietnam 1945-73 Cambodia 1955-70 *
Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 * Ecuador 1960-63 *
Congo 1960 * France 1965 Brazil 1962-64 *
Dominican Republic 1963 * Cuba 1959 to present
Bolivia 1964 *Indonesia 1965 * Ghana 1966 *
Chile 1964-73 * Greece 1967 * Costa Rica 1970-71
Bolivia 1971 * Australia 1973-75 *
Angola 1975, 1980s Zaire 1975 Portugal 1974-76 * Jamaica 1976-80 *
Seychelles 1979-81 Chad 1981-82 *Grenada 1983 *
South Yemen 1982-84 Suriname 1982-84 Fiji 1987 *
Libya 1980s Nicaragua 1981-90 * Panama 1989 *Bulgaria 1990 *
Albania 1991 * Iraq 1991 Afghanistan 1980s *
Somalia 1993 Yugoslavia 1999-2000 * Ecuador 2000 *
Afghanistan 2001 * Venezuela 2002 * Iraq 2003 *
Haiti 2004 * Somalia 2007 to present Honduras 2009
Libya 2011 * Syria 2012 Ukraine 2014 *
 
*
 
Here is the Calendar of Wars since the inception of the Republic.
They have been at war 93% of the time.
 
Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)
 
THE DATA: *Source: https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-has-been-at-war-93%-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/5565946
 
1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War
1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1795 – Northwest Indian War
1796 – No major war
1797 – No major war
1798 – Quasi-War
1799 – Quasi-War
1800 – Quasi-War
1801 – First Barbary War
1802 – First Barbary War
1803 – First Barbary War
1804 – First Barbary War
1805 – First Barbary War
1806 – Sabine Expedition
1807 – No major war
1808 – No major war
1809 – No major war
1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida
1811 – Tecumseh’s War
1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida
1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida
1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war
1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war
1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War
1824 – Anti-piracy war
1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1826 – No major war
1827 – Winnebago War
1828 – No major war
1829 – No major war
1830 – No major war
1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War
1832 – Black Hawk War
1833 – Cherokee Indian War
1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign
1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War
1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War
1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War
1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War
1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars
1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands
1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa
1842 – Seminole Wars
1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast
1844 – Texas-Indian Wars
1845 – Texas-Indian Wars
1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War
1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition
1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars
1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War
1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua
1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War
1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign
1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,
1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War
1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War
1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War
1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China
1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan
1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War
1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea
1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War
1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1880 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1881 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1882 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1883 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1884 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1885 – Apache Wars, Eastern Nevada Expedition, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii
1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances
1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1897 – No major war
1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances
1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War
1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War
1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico
1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico
1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1920 – Banana Wars
1921 – Banana Wars
1922 – Banana Wars
1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War
1924 – Banana Wars
1925 – Banana Wars
1926 – Banana Wars
1927 – Banana Wars
1928 – Banana Wars
1930 – Banana Wars
1931 – Banana Wars
1932 – Banana Wars
1933 – Banana Wars
1934 – Banana Wars
1935 – No major war
1936 – No major war
1937 – No major war
1938 – No major war
1939 – No major war
1940 – No major war
1941 – World War II
1942 – World War II
1943 – Wold War II
1944 – World War II
1945 – World War II
1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)
1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)
1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising
1951 – Korean War
1952 – Korean War
1953 – Korean War
1954 – Covert War in Guatemala
1955 – Vietnam War
1956 – Vietnam War
1957 – Vietnam War
1958 – Vietnam War
1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti
1960 – Vietam War
1961 – Vietnam War
1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)
1963 – Vietnam War
1964 – Vietnam War
1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1967 – Vietnam War
1968 – Vietnam War
1969 – Vietnam War
1970 – Vietnam War
1971 – Vietnam War
1972 – Vietnam War
1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War
1974 – Vietnam War
1975 – Vietnam War
1976 – No major war
1977 – No major war
1978 – No major war
1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident
1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf
1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf
1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama
1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines
1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama
1991 – First Gulf War
1992 – Conflict in Iraq
1993 – Conflict in Iraq
1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti
1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1996 – Conflict in Iraq
1997 – No major war
1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan
1999 – Kosovo War
2000 – No major war
2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan
2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen
2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq
2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen
2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)
In most of these wars, the U.S. was on the offense. Danios admits that some of the wars were defensive. However, Danios also leaves out covert CIA operations and other acts which could be considered war.
Let’s update what’s happened since 2011:
2012 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2013 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2014 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine
2015 – War on Terror in Somalia, Somalia, Syria and Civil War in Ukraine
We can update this through 2023: the pattern holds.
Exceptional?
 
*
 
Source:https://www.thesoldiersproject.org/how-many-us-military-bases-are-there-in-the-world/
 
They have officially 750 bases around the world which is three times as many bases as the rest of the world combined.
 
Is that exceptional?
 
*
 
Deaths caused by Military operations overseas?
The U.S. Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II
Source:
Copyright © James A. Lucas, Popular Resistance and Global Research, 2023

 
Decidedly exceptional.
 
*
 
In Their Own Words.
 
A former Secretary of State (Republican)

 
Another former Secretary of State (Democrat).

 
*
 
So the Thesis is amply confirmed.
Exceptional is right.
Only a minor qualm: but is such exceptionalism desirable?
 
I know: it’s only a quibble.
Unworthy?
Right.

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Our Usual Suspects

 

There are only two tribes of humans: they that make the wounds, and they who must heal them. Which kind are you?

 

*
 
How did They get

To be so Big

And We so

Very Small?

 

From Travancore

To Timbuktu

they roamed

the southerly

climes

 
O they were such

heady times !
 
*

 

Torched this way

blazed that pass
 

won whatever

they fought, alas!

 

subject peoples

captive prey

 

A World Indulging,

had Their Way

 
*
 
After a bit

they had it all
 

from Capetown

to Donegal

 
O the Masters

standing tall
 

how jocund

did they seize it

all !

 

Robbed good

Peter
 

slew brother

Paul

 

Whence the

fretful

Rise and Fall
 
*
 

Stole from the

rich
 

then again

from the poor

 

None that

they could

ever abjure
 
*
 

New wars came

old wars went
 

nothing they could

not circumvent

 

Theirs not to repine

nor to repent
 

In such
gorgings
 
no sign of
lament

 
*

 

Mills of Numen

grind too slow
 

Nemesis waiting

they didn’t know

 
The sturm and drang

afoot below
 
*
 

Of course the gods

did long retire

 
left a planet

still on fire

 
That’d bring down

both serf and squire
 
*

 

And so the Tables

half-way turned
 

even as planet

slowly burned

 

And Chaos hither

and thither churned

 

And now it must

all implode

 
They Crossed

The Line And Broke

The Code

 

Split the atom

diced its shell
 

headlong rode

this hearse to hell

 

Hubris heeds naught

very well?
 
*

 

Who won who lost?

I do not know
 

but together

we go
 

at frightful

cost
 

To Niflheims

below

 
*

 
Levelled to one

the big and small

 

for they had

no space
 

to take it

all

 

So, 2, 4 , 6,

and 8
 

when are we

all to radiate?

 
is that

our mordant

mortal fate?
 
*
 

For Justice

like a chary date
 

ever alas

comes too late
 

© R.Kanth 2018

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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Modernism and War?

 
 
What is the most outstanding feature of the
EuroModern(ist) World?

 
Many plausible answers are possible, and from many vantage points.
The most over-arching might well be this.
That, in this era , European Elites revealed that they could
not accept any other peoples of this planet on terms of equality.
 
They had to be the dominators.
 
This remains true to this day.
 
*
 

Even more clear is that neither could they stomach each other too well.
As it is also the period of near incessant wars between European
Governors.
Which , ultimately, gave us the 2 Great Global Conflagrations that sent millions to untimely deaths.
With a 3rd in the making, right now.
All this is undeniable.
 
Especially, this obvious penchant for War.
 
*
 

So why is this curiosum not universally discussed?
 
Because we live in a European world.
 
And They, apparently, do not see it as unusual or striking?
 
Bellum omnium contra omnes?
 
It was a major European scholar who articulated that telling phrase.
Makes sense.
It fits?
 
*
 
Certainly, they did not invent war.
 
But they did make it permanent?.
 
Case in point: only for about 21 years has the US NOT been
at war, since its inception.

 
*
 
THE DATA: *Source: https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-has-been-at-war-93%-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/5565946

* The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.
* The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

 
*
 
Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)

1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War
1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1795 – Northwest Indian War
1796 – No major war
1797 – No major war
1798 – Quasi-War
1799 – Quasi-War
1800 – Quasi-War
1801 – First Barbary War
1802 – First Barbary War
1803 – First Barbary War
1804 – First Barbary War
1805 – First Barbary War
1806 – Sabine Expedition
1807 – No major war
1808 – No major war
1809 – No major war
1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida
1811 – Tecumseh’s War
1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida
1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida
1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war
1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war
1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War
1824 – Anti-piracy war
1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1826 – No major war
1827 – Winnebago War
1828 – No major war
1829 – No major war
1830 – No major war
1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War
1832 – Black Hawk War
1833 – Cherokee Indian War
1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign
1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War
1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War
1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War
1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War
1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars
1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands
1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa
1842 – Seminole Wars
1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast
1844 – Texas-Indian Wars
1845 – Texas-Indian Wars
1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War
1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition
1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars
1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War
1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua
1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War
1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign
1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,
1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War
1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War
1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War
1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China
1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan
1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War
1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea
1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War
1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1880 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1881 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1882 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1883 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1884 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1885 – Apache Wars, Eastern Nevada Expedition, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii
1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances
1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1897 – No major war
1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances
1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War
1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War
1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico
1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico
1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1920 – Banana Wars
1921 – Banana Wars
1922 – Banana Wars
1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War
1924 – Banana Wars
1925 – Banana Wars
1926 – Banana Wars
1927 – Banana Wars
1928 – Banana Wars
1930 – Banana Wars
1931 – Banana Wars
1932 – Banana Wars
1933 – Banana Wars
1934 – Banana Wars
1935 – No major war
1936 – No major war
1937 – No major war
1938 – No major war
1939 – No major war
1940 – No major war
1941 – World War II
1942 – World War II
1943 – Wold War II
1944 – World War II
1945 – World War II
1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)
1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)
1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising
1951 – Korean War
1952 – Korean War
1953 – Korean War
1954 – Covert War in Guatemala
1955 – Vietnam War
1956 – Vietnam War
1957 – Vietnam War
1958 – Vietnam War
1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti
1960 – Vietam War
1961 – Vietnam War
1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)
1963 – Vietnam War
1964 – Vietnam War
1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1967 – Vietnam War
1968 – Vietnam War
1969 – Vietnam War
1970 – Vietnam War
1971 – Vietnam War
1972 – Vietnam War
1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War
1974 – Vietnam War
1975 – Vietnam War
1976 – No major war
1977 – No major war
1978 – No major war
1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident
1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf
1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf
1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama
1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines
1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama
1991 – First Gulf War
1992 – Conflict in Iraq
1993 – Conflict in Iraq
1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti
1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1996 – Conflict in Iraq
1997 – No major war
1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan
1999 – Kosovo War
2000 – No major war
2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan
2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen
2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq
2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen
2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)
In most of these wars, the U.S. was on the offense. Danios admits that some of the wars were defensive. However, Danios also leaves out covert CIA operations and other acts which could be considered war.
Let’s update what’s happened since 2011:
2012 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2013 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2014 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine
2015 – War on Terror in Somalia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine
 
*
 
We can, easily, complete the above data-set through 2023.
 
*
 
Now that the point has been made, consider.
 
Weigh this endless saga of inveterate war and violence against the sacred idylls of liberte, egalite, etc, of EuroModernism.
 
Is there some mild incongruity, possibly – a certain slight dissonance?
 
Which is myth, and which is reality?
 
I will let you ponder that conundrum.
 
But ponder it well.
 
It may hold a vital clue to our collective future – and whether we even have one?

© R.Kanth 2023

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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Aphasia?

 
 
We are stricken with it.
A societal aphasia, and a societal anomie.
Its all been too much to absorb.
 
9/11
Iraq.
The Pandemic.
And now, Ukraine.
 
Society (not all societies, but all social forms rent with stark economic and political divisions like ours) is built on a shared mythology, so we all soak in a comforting vat of banana oil.
 
You know.
 
The usual affronts to intelligence and common sense provided by religion and politics.
 
But when the(se) veils are shredded, the vista becomes too unsightly to behold.
 
*
 
And now that’s really what has happened.
The myths are (near)exploded.
Nothing appears to be as it should be.
And we falter.
Who can blame us?
 
Religion sells us the respite of heaven, and the comfort of a divine judge.
 
And politics purveys the idylls of egalite and democrace(!) (and any other idyll that can be usefully tacked on).
 
*
 

Religion has it easy, in this game.
It , cannily, plays it safe.
By offering deferred gratification.
The promised land is (ever) in the hereafter.
 
But politics pledges it either now , or at the very next election.
So , it’s far more easily seen through.
 
It is not that we have been suddenly deceived by our latter-day governors.
Let’s not accord them the pride of originality.
 
Our recent ancestors were also similarly deceived.
It is that we hoi polloi have now acquired a certain sophistication in the matter.
 
Why is that?
 
*
 
Partly, it is the fault of the governors.
To perpetrate a fraud every now and then is passable.
But too many, in a row, raises suspicion.
So ,the rulers have gotten a bit reckless.
 
And partly the easy , even effortless, means of communications, across continents , have connected peoples – allowing for mutual learning.
In prior times , only the rulers had such means.
Now we have them, too.
Oops.
 
*
 
This creates a strange malaise.
A sort of confusion.
Its akin to when words suddenly get shorn of meaning, especially when repeated too often.
 
Aphasia.
 
Except this is societal.
The social game loses some of its conviction.
 
So , millions simply opt out, in apathy, and/or in disgust.
Whilst millions of others search for new icons, and the consecration of new myths.
 
The latter is fit soil for a Great Charismatic Interruption.
A (dubious) Hero might arise, religious or political.
To lead us , again, into a new, improved blight.
 
And so it goes.
 
*
 
To repeat a trite truth.
The world is as it is less owing to the ineluctable power of Evil, as it is to the willing acquiescence of the ignorant and the gullible.
 
As Einstein said it: “There are only 2 real Infinities, I know of. The Size of the Universe, and Human Stupidity. Of the first, I retain some doubts, but of the second, I am certain”.
 
So. we must now (anxiously) wait for the next snake-oil magician to show.
 
I know s/he is out there, someplace , putting make-up on.
 
It may not bode well, but in a curious, if ominous, way it is exciting.
 
Breaks the dreary monotony of social existence , now slipped far outside our control.
 
What can we do , except fasten our seat belts?
 
Yet another magical mystery tour!
 
Bread and Circuses, anyone?

 

© R.Kanth 2023

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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The Human Prospect?

 
 

Human?
 
The ‘enlightened’ West* reneged on that idyll centuries ago.
 
They were busy engineering us all to suit their new-fangled yen for illimitable wealth and irresistible dominance.
 
Under the EuroModernist (EM) manifesto, they even redefined us as anthropic beings, within a canny, Hobbesian-Smithian, cleft .
 
Assuming , in one part, a warrior: and, as was suggested by many, ‘a Scotsman within us all’ (I do not subscribe to any community bias, as implied in that phrase) in the other.
 
Abjuring the plain fact that we are Affective Beings first, before all else.
 
And thus schooling us all, in a phony economics and politics, stripped of our species-being, tailor-made for the aims of the Conquistadors.
 
*
 
A real(ist) anthropology of humans was never allowed to develop, even though they encountered rich(er) cultures and high(er) civilizations, in their torrid sweep.
 
And they built their EM ideological castles in the air upon that error, to the point where to be tribalist is a term of opprobrium in their lexicon.
 
But that is exactly who we are, at our best.
 
Their fantasy of world of spurious universalism(s) had a solid, if sordid, basis: a flat, homogeneous, world is easier to conquer and assimilate into empire.
 
As they did.
 
*
 
So, at least for the Collective West, the human exists only in the past tense.
 
Trans-human is what they are after.
 
And , every day, we are moved closer to a cyborg dystopia.
 
Their avant garde today is the WEF, the shadow ruling elite of the Transatlantic Globalists, with mighty plans for a Great Reset , no less, of the human race.
 
*
 
The best laid plans…
Will they succeed?
No.
 
Because western hegemony is now passe.
 
So, only in the transatlantic world will they pull this off.
 
The East , outside of Japan and S.Korea, is beyond their grasp.
China and Russia are mighty nations that will go their own way.
And The BRICS, as a whole, will now assert their growing import, in simply deviating from the Master Plan.
 
It is the Other that now , finally!, has a speaking, and acting, role in the human drama.
 
*
 
There is breathing room once again.
 
But will our Hegemons tolerate this?
 
That is the question of our times.
 
*
 
The only way they can stop it is by destroying us all, in a nuclear holocaust.
This is not at all beyond their scope.
Anglo-Norman hubris has a long, infamous, history.
Will they go that far?
 
*
 
Consider this.
 
The Western power elites ,not so very long ago, could , in cold blood, murder over a million in Iraq, before us all, under false pretenses.
 
Several more million in the Far East, in the Post-WW II era, wantonly slaughtering the hapless peasantry of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, et. al, , who had done them no harm.
 
And hundreds of millions across the world – Americas, Africa, and Asia – in their genocidal fever of the preceding two centuries.
 
Do such have a conscience?
 
Do they?
 
I’ll let you ponder that.
 
*
 
So the ‘human prospect’ lies now within the patience, forbearance, and maturity, of the Emergent World in fielding/fending the wanton provocations and predations of the west.
 
It is the(ir) ultimate test.
 
They are, and have to be, the adults on this planet.
 
One can only wish them well.
 
*
 
As I have previously written, the Last Global Struggle is, in metaphor, between the Mammals and the Reptiles.
 
And it is anyone’s guess which side will prevail.
 
*
 
The Human Prospect?
 
Let me evaluate it thus.
 
In a prior post ((https://litvote.com/the-open-secret/), I had suggested that anthropic males appear to act like male Chimps, and anthropic females, like Bonobos .
 
In sum, men – instinctually speaking -are prone to be destructive, women conservationist.
 
But, in so referencing instincts as critical, I overlooked one other instinct.
 
The instinct of self-preservation.
 
If it exists, then we might stop short of universal annihilation, if owing to no virtue that we can truly own.
 
Time, as the saying goes, will tell.
 
Caveat
It must NOT be supposed I am saying Biology is Destiny.
 
I am saying we need to be aware of biological drives, so as to overcome them.

 
Because, if we don’t….
 
You know the rest.
 
* As ever, I refer only to the governing elites of the West: not the toilers who fare alike , the world over.
 

© R.Kanth 2023

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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Open Secret?

 

We are, as humans, above all things, myth-making animals.
 
 
Preface
 
In a law
governed
universe
 
Instincts
are our
Inner Law(s)
 

*
 
 
To kill is
Primal
Instinct
 
it is our
Man-ifest
Destiny

 
there is
no
contramanding
 
this
Darwinian
Entropy
 
*
 
Animals
affecting
airs
 
how
deluded
can we be?
 
*
 
Civilisation
mongering
apes?
 
what
mordant
irony!
 
*
 
Instincts
drive our
species
 
like dogs
cats
and swine
 
though
in high
pretension
 
we think
ourselves
divine

 
*
 
Whence the
Blight
continues
 
despite
remorse
and repine
 
*
 
That’s
the Alpha
and
Omega
 
of our
Dismal Human
Fate

 
It is time
facts
were bespoken?
 
I swear
it’s not
too late!
 
Postface
 
I can take a horse
to water
but can’t make
it water-ski
 
I can proffer
Argument
but can I make
you see?

 
I entreat you
yet
again:
 
Can I
make
you see?

 
N.B. In plain prose , as a species, we are (leaving at least half the human race aside this judgment) no better than Chimps.
Indeed far, far worse – armed with lasers, computers, and nuclear weapons.
Nature dealt our species a rough hand: we might wish we were Bonobos, instead.
Now ,consider: given where we’re at right now – do we really have a bright, benign, future?
Do we?
Go on: make up another myth.
Political, religious , it doesn’t matter.
I’m ready.
 
[© R.Kanth 2023]

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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Yan Huang, Author of LIVING TREASURES:

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