Tag Archives: Detroit

Where do we belong?—Meditations on the Feast of Saints Peter & Paul—where DO we belong?

Always hoped that I’d be an Apostle, knew that I could make it if I tried;….. then when we retire we can write the Gospels so they’ll still talk about us when we die….

Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Weber (Broadway 1971, Movie 1973)

2 Timothy 4:1-8.   As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Saint Peter’s self-chosen mission was as Apostle to the Jews, Saint Paul’s to the Greeks, though they both died in Rome.  Originally they belonged to the same Jewish Community as Joseph & Mary, John-the-Baptist, and Jesus himself.  We might imagine that Peter and Paul belonged, presumably as devout members of the Temple of Jerusalem, but possibly not even close, but they belonged to that race and religion and linguistic and ethnic group, in Roman Occupied Judea, aka Palestine, aka Syria, presumably being very close in age and community to Jesus Christ himself.  

In the service of the Anointed “Son of God”, heir of the Royal House of David, the tree that grew from Jesse’s loins, Peter and Paul became the most famous and visible to history of all Jesus’ Apostles. They belonged as apostlesPaul’s letters and writings were generally deemed to “belong” in the Bible by the Council of Nicea.  But the “Gospel of Peter” was deemed by that same body NOT to belong, although it scholars of early Christianity still discuss it extensively, see e.g.: 

http://earliestchristianity.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/the-walking-talking-cross-in-the-gospel-of-peter-goodacre-vs-foster/

My “Forward Day-by-Day Booklet” suggests that this is a day when we should all consider, like Peter and Paul, where we belong, whether we are Christians or Jews or Pagans, to begin with, and then what we should do next.  Without our community, what should we do and how?  Should we accept the world as it is or try to change it?  Where do we belong in history?

We are free, endowed by God and/or Natural Selection with Free Will, but that is perhaps the greatest of our burdens.  “Our world recognizes the subversive nature of the Christian faith and subverts us either by ignoring us or by giving us the freedom  to be religious—as long as we keep religion a matter of personal choice.”   (From “Resident Aliens” by Stanley Hauerwas.

Has the South “Run the Good Race?” Is it time for the South (and California and Texas and the Union as a whole) to choose a different Path?   If we cannot “keep the faith”—do we really belong here?

Pat Buchanan has always been one of my favorite political writers.  He now asks whether the South still belongs in the Union, and I think it is a valid question.  Frankly, I believe that the Union does not belong anymore.  As my long-time (but currently “vacationing” personal assistant Peyton Freiman said sagely some years ago, “The United States needs to Secede from itself.  I think this has only become truer with time.  The South should Secede; California and Hawaii and Texas and Alaska should Secede. New England and New York should secede.  The Federal Union should be dissolved.  Obama can have the District of Columbia all to himself and the Supreme Court and Congress.  Illinois and Michigan might want to secede but then let Chicago and Detroit Secede and form an Isolated trio of City States with D.C., Detroit and Chicago exist under Obama.  The states should not recall their congressmen, because they are only worthy to be forgotten, not recalled…. In fact, all the States should simply revoke their Congressmen’s citizenship and order them to remain in D.C. or emigrate to Afghanistan, Israel, or Saudi Arabia or Yemen, depending on their political preferences.

Does the South Belong in the Union?

Friday – June 28, 2013 at 12:27 am

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Is the Second Reconstruction over?

The first ended with the withdrawal of Union troops from the Southern states as part of a deal that gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency after the disputed election of 1876.

The second began with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a century after Appomattox. Under the VRA, Southern states seeking to make even minor changes in voting laws had to come to Washington to plead their case before the Justice Department and such lions of the law as Eric Holder.

Southern states were required to get this pre-clearance for any alterations in voting laws because of systematic violations of the 14th and 15th amendment constitutional rights of black Americans to equal access to polling places and voting booths.

The South had discriminated by using poll taxes, gerrymandering and literacy tests, among other tactics. Dixie was in the penalty box because it had earned a place there.

What the Supreme Court did Tuesday, in letting the South out of the box, is to declare that, as this is not 1965, you cannot use abuses that date to 1965, but have long since disappeared, to justify indefinite federal discrimination against the American South.

You cannot impose burdens on Southern states, five of which recorded higher voting percentages among their black populations in 2012 than among their white populations, based on practices of 50 years ago that were repudiated and abandoned in another era.

You cannot punish Southern leaders in 2013 for the sins of their grandfathers. As Chief Justice John Roberts noted, black turnout in 2012 was higher in Mississippi than in Massachusetts.

Does this mean the South is now free to discriminate again?

By no means. State action that discriminates against minority voters can still be brought before the Department of Justice.

Even the “pre-clearance” provision of the VRA remains. All the court has said is that if Congress wishes to impose a pre-clearance provision on a state or group of states, Congress must have more evidence to justify unequal treatment than what “Bull” Connor did in Birmingham back in 1965.

Congress could pass a bill today authorizing Justice Department intervention in any state where the registration of blacks, Hispanics or Asians fell below 60 percent of that electorate.

What Congress can no longer do is impose conditions on Southern states from which Northern states are exempt. Washington can no longer treat the states unequally — for that, too, is a violation of the Constitution.

The Roberts court just took a giant stride to restoring the Union.

Yet the hysterical reaction to the decision reveals a great deal.

What do critics say they are afraid of?

While conceding that immense progress has been made with the huge turnout of black voters in the South and the re-election of a black president, they say they fear that without the pre-clearance provision this would never have happened. And now that the provision no longer applies to the South, the evil old ways will return.

On several counts this is disheartening.

For what the critics of the court decision are saying is that, no matter the progress made over half a century, they do not trust the South to deal fairly and decently with its black citizens, without a club over its head. They do not believe the South has changed in its heart from the days of segregation.

They think the South is lying in wait for a new opportunity to disfranchise its black voters. And they think black Southerners are unable to defend their own interests — without Northern liberal help.

In this belief there are elements of paranoia, condescension and bigotry.

Many liberals not only do not trust the South, some detest it. And many seem to think it deserves to be treated differently than the more progressive precincts of the nation.

Consider Wednesday’s offering by Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson. The South, he writes, is the home of “so-called right-to-work laws” and hostility to the union shop, undergirded by “the virulent racism of the white Southern establishment,” a place where a “right-wing antipathy toward workers’ rights” is pandemic.

The South is the “the heartland of cheap-labor America. … When it wants to slum, business still goes to the South.” Then there are those “reactionary white Republican state governments.”

Were a conservative to use the term “black” as a slur the way Meyerson spits out the word “white,” he would be finished at the Post. Meyerson’s summation:

“If the federal government wants to build a fence that keeps the United States safe from the danger of lower wages and poverty and their attendant ills — and the all-round fruitcakery of the right-wing white South — it should build that fence from Norfolk to Dallas. There is nothing wrong with a fence as long as you put it in the right place.”

Harold looks forward to the day that a surging Latino population forces “epochal political change” on a detestable white South.

THE COST OF THE GENERAL MOTORS BAILOUT: Is Racism or Race the Cause for the Failure of Black Run Cities like Detroit & Gary? Paul Kersey, SBPDL, August 15, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012, Paul Kersey, SBPDL, August 15, 2012

The General Motors Bailout: When Corporate Fiscal Responsibility Collides with Black-Run America

PK Note: This had to be published, in light of the revelation that the General Motors (GM) bailout is going to cost the US Treasury even more money — $25 billion. Why no one in the mainstream media (MSM) will point out what Steve Rattner exposed in his book on the auto industry bailouts is beyond me, but it must be stated. Also, send in an e-mail to sbpdl1@gmail.com and let me know which city should be next for the Detroit/Atlanta treatment; I’m thinking Chicago or Birmingham. 

GM wanted to move its headquarters from Detroit to its Tech Center location in Warren to save money and potentially avoid receiving TARP funds. Government said “no” — Detroit is 90% Black; Warren is 78% white

Reading Steve Rattner’s Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry  brought about a politically explosive revelation that has been completely ignored in the whole TARP narrative. With the bailout of General Motors by the US tax payer continuing to grow in costs (the Detroit News reports the costs will now put the bailout of GM in the red to the tune of $25 billion), Rattner’s revelation regarding a plan that would have potentially kept GM from receiving TARP money – that was shot down because of a devotion to political correctness – must enter the discussion.
But first, a quick history lesson.
GM, the company that was bailed out with your tax-dollars through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), is headquartered in the GM Renaissance Center (RenCen), which at 73 stories is the tallest building in Detroit. Built in 1977 as part of the effort to revitalize the downtown area amid growing urban decay after the disastrous Black Riots of 1967 led to the abandonment of the city by white people (white flight had rebuilt Detroit in the suburbs, with the remaining Black population under Mayor Coleman Young busy bringing ruination to what was left behind), the Renaissance Center complex never lived up to its name. Built for $350 million, but sold for a mere $76 million to GM in 1996 – The New York Times reported there were absolutely no takers at $125 million – was an abysmal failure from the start.
With the white abandonment of Detroit to the suburbs (which thrived, while Black-run Detroit slipped into a coma – kept alive by generous infusions of cash by the white tax-payers) the RenCen was built as a “fortress of solitude” for whites commuting to the city, where they could be safe from ‘scary Black people’. Francis Desiderio, writing in the Michigan Historical Review noted (“A Catalyst for Downtown”: Detroit’s Renaissance Center):

The Renaissance Center’s development was the result of private interests working to create a built environment in downtown Detroit that was comparable to the malls and office parks offered by the suburbs. Businesses that supported the development wanted to create a private space that could easily be controlled and monitored to fashion a safe, crime-free place for shopping, work, and nightlife. People could park, work, eat, shop, and see a movie all at one site, and the result was the creation of a minicity within Detroit. It was not only physically separated from the rest of the city–making pedestrian access difficult-but also the stores inside catered to a middle- to upper-class clientele. Some critics came to see the center as a “fortress” for the middle- and upper-class whites who still wanted a downtown experience. Symbolically, the center brought the suburbs to downtown Detroit. It was not only physically separated from the rest of the city–making pedestrian access difficult-but also the stores inside catered to a middle- to upper-class clientele. Some critics came to see the center as a “fortress” for the middle- and upper-class whites who still wanted a downtown experience. Symbolically, the center brought the suburbs to downtown Detroit.

Even this minacity within the dying Black-run city of Detroit wasn’t enough of a “Fortress of Solitude” – quickly, the building depreciated in value but still remained a viable tax-revenue producer for the terminally ill city.
Before the TARP was passed, a conversation took place where the COO of GM, Fredrick Henderson, discussed moving out of the GM RenCen and having all operations be based out of the Tech Center in suburban Warren. It should be pointed out that Warren was one of the first Whitopia’s where the fleeing white population from Detroit set up shop:

In 1970, whites made up 99.5% of the city’s total population of 179,270; only 838 non-whites lived within the city limits. Racial integration came slowly to Warren in the ensuing two decades, with the white portion of the city dropping only gradually to 98.2% in 1980 and 97.3% as of 1990. At that point integration started to accelerate, with the white population declining to 91.3% in 2000 and reaching 78.4% as of the 2010 census.

The Black population of Warren is now 13 percent; in time, as that percentage grows, the city will come to resemble Detroit.
The move would have saved billions for GM and helped restructure the company, potentially keeping GM from receiving TARP money and becoming known as “Government Motors.”
But this couldn’t happen in Black-Run America (BRA); though terminally ill, 90 percent Black Detroit can’t be allowed to die.
As stated, Overhaul reported this conversation initiated Fredrick “Fritz” Henderson, then COO, about the possibility of moving from the GM Renaissance Center to a suburban location. On p. 237-238:

The politics around GM, with its great size and complexity, not to mention its iconic status, promised to be even more intense. Our loving to-do list was full of pitfalls. One day Fritz called me to propose moving GM headquarters from the Renaissance Center to GM’s Tech Center in suburban Warren, where we had driven the Volt back in March.

The move would cuts costs, he said, as well as symbolize the leadership’s determination to become more to down-to-earth and hands-on. I thought the idea was great, just the kind of action I was hoping to see from Fritz. But when I described it to [Brian] Deese (who served on President Obama’s Economic Policy Working Group), he went nuts. “Are you out of your mind?” he said. “Think what it would do to Detroit!”

Though small in financial implications for the company – the headquarters was worth perhaps $165 million – compared to the $626 million that GM had paid for it just a year earlier (Sic … GM would spend only $76 million to buy the building in 1996, but spend $500 million renovating the complex) – GM’s departure would be a major blow to Detroit. In a one-year period, the once proud city was already suffering with one of the worst unemployment rates in the country, and among the worst murder rates, would see two of its biggest employers go bankrupt, its flamboyant ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick convicted of perjury, and its NFL franchise, the Detroit Lions, become the first in football history to go 0-16.

Deese had some people analyze what a mostly vacant RenCen would mean to Detroit real estate. The estimate: a double-digit hit on already deflated real estate prices. Fritz proposed donating the RenCen to the city- though who actually would use it was unknown.
 Leaving the RenCen made strategic sense, however, and was supported by Harry and David. The Tech Center had lots of empty space and much larger floors, so more departments and people could sit near each other, improving teamwork and communication in a culture that desperately needed more of both.
 The debate, not surprisingly, soon moved beyond Team Auto. Gene Sperling was one of the many to fight the move. “It’s over for Detroit if you do this,” he yelled in a meeting at [The United States] Treasury. “Don’t do this to Dave Bing” – the city’s new mayor, a former NBA star and successful auto-supplier entrepreneur. “He’s a good man trying to do a good thing.” The city relied on GM for $20 million a year in tax revenue, Gene pointed out, and the blowback would be fierce. Deese checked with Larry, who in turn spoke to Rahm [Emmanuel], and word came down that the move would be a bridge too far.

Fortunately, this unique intervention into a specific GM matter was never leaked to the press, saving us from having to explain how it comported with our policy of letting GM and Chrysler manage their own affairs. 

Rahm Emmanuel is now the mayor of Chicago, who pleads with the middle class to stay in what many believe to be the most violent city in the world. For those wondering, Chicago is on pace to be Detroit-ed as well.
Why does any of this matter? Because Investors Business Daily reported this on August 14, 2012 (Obama’s $25 Billion Government Motors Lemon):

As the Obama campaign continues to tout the GM bailout as an industrial policy success, the Treasury Department continues to revise upward the staggering losses inflicted on U.S. taxpayers.

On the day Government Motors, aka GM, announced it was recalling at least 38,000 of its vehicles — Impalas used by police nationwide and in Canada — due to a crash risk, a new Treasury report said it now expects to lose $25 billion on the bailout, $3.3 billion more than forecast earlier.

As the Detroit News reported, this loss was based on GM’s stock price at the time of the report, which was 15% higher than the previous report. Because the stock price has fallen since then, the latest report likely understates taxpayers’ real losses. 

“A bridge to far.” That’s how Rahm described the move from the RenCen Tower to the Tech Center. Though it would have saved the US Treasury – ahem, the tax payer – billions, it would have killed 90 percent Black Detroit (which, ahem, requires billions in federal and state aid each year to fester in a deep coma).
So yes, a “racist” site must be the only outlet for broadcasting this important news, which clearly shows that the government was more than willing to lose billions of tax-payer money to keep alive a terminally ill city that loses billions in tax-payer yearly (remember, they must bribe students with Nike shoes so state and federal money can remain flowing to the city) to merely be kept running as it is.
This is the awesome power of Black-Run America (BRA).
Posted by Stuff Black People Don’t Like at 8:05 AM

23 comments:

countenance said…
This is a point that must not be missed: The auto “bailout” wasn’t as much of a bailout as it was a special Congressionally-created bankruptcy path for GM and Chrysler alone, because standard Ch 11 bankruptcy procedure would have put the pensions and health benefits of retired union employees at the bottom of the pecking order. The UAW knew it, so they called Obama who called Pelosi and Reid to create this special bankruptcy path.

Even if GM and Chrysler would have declared Ch 11, they would not have been allowed to go out of business. No judge in the country would have permitted it.

Even if GM would have gotten TARP money instead of the special bankruptcy path, they still would have had to declare Chapter 11, and back to square one with the UAW.

August 15, 2012 9:37 AM
Anonymous said…
BURN DOWN THE SUBURBS!!

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/312807/burn-down-suburbs-stanley-kurtz

Just connecting the dots-Know what I’m saying?

August 15, 2012 9:39 AM
Anonymous said…
GM will probably go backrupt in a few years at a cost of only a few hundred billion dollars of taxpayer’s money.

Then Detroit will be finished and blacks can rejoice that Detroit is an all black ghetto

August 15, 2012 9:47 AM
Discard said…
Do Chicago, not Birmingham. Chicago is BHO’s turf, and reflects on him more directly.

August 15, 2012 11:15 AM
Zenster said…
The politics around GM, with its great size and complexity, not to mention its iconic status, promised to be even more intense.

It is precisely GM’s “iconic status” which should have obviated the need for any TARP bailout.

Capitalism has a wonderful self-correcting feature which addresses mismanagement and poor product quality. It’s called bankruptcy.

This entire “too big to fail” mentality is so anti-Capitalist as to defy description. Does anyone honestly believe that the brand names of GM, like Chevrolet and Pontiac, would be allowed to slide into obscurity? Hell, that’s like thinking Xerox or Kleenex would go quietly into the night.

No, some other more responsibly run automotive manufacturer, or a group of them, would intervene if only for the established buyer loyalty enjoyed by these products.

Instead, by bailing out these mismanaged corporations, we have rewarded incompetence. No sounder defeat of Capitalism’s wholesome self-correcting features could be accomplished than by these bailouts.

Why has this incompetence been rewarded? Consider Wall Street. Why haven’t any of those financial geniuses who orchestrated this nation’s economic meltdown been frog-marched into open court and charged with collusion or malfeasance?

Guess who signs the reelection campaign checks?

We are in a one party system of the almighty dollar. Period.

Crony Capitalism (something that should be a total oxymoron) has, through political manipulation, morphed America’s industries and its financial institutions into a form of Consumerist Corporatism whose Globalist, Transnational PCMC (Politically Correct Multi-Cultural) goals dovetail at so many levels whereby they are rapidly becoming indistinguishable from Socialist bodies like the UN and EU.

It is also of interest to note what countenance observed about how:

This is a point that must not be missed: The auto “bailout” wasn’t as much of a bailout as it was a special Congressionally-created bankruptcy path for GM and Chrysler alone, because standard Ch 11 bankruptcy procedure would have put the pensions and health benefits of retired union employees at the bottom of the pecking order. The UAW knew it, so they called Obama who called Pelosi and Reid to create this special bankruptcy path.

Clearly, this is an election year nod by 0bama and his minions to blue collar unions and their traditional support for the Democratic Party. Too bad most of the Whites in those unions do not understand how any wealth that they are frantically trying to preserve will be leached out of them through hyper-inflation of the money supply and continuing trans-generational theft of our grandchildrens’ earnings by these Corporatist Bernie Madoff wannabes.

August 15, 2012 11:46 AM
SomeGuy said…
Civil stability hangs by a thread in this country. I can only assume that the MSM purposely mask the grand story in an attempt to keep the patch on this busted tire. I cannot wait for the day when being respectable means being truthful and logical, because until then my very livelihood is at stake.

I’m just SomeGuy, desperately wishing we didn’t have to have this conversation…

August 15, 2012 12:10 PM
Anonymous said…
I originally found your website via a link on a “ruin porn” website that featured some of Detroit’s landmarks. It was sad to see so many beautiful old brick buildings in such a state of decay. Some of them weren’t even that old (less that 10-20 years) but they were already past the point of saving either through neglect or through outright destruction (arson, etc.). The trees and plantlife are coming back and in some of the pictures, you can’t even tell that there had ever been a building there. All of the rubble is slowly disappearing under a sea of green.

August 15, 2012 12:18 PM
Whisky Tango Foxtrot said…
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120815/NEWS0107/308150032

August 15, 2012 12:23 PM
countenance said…
Zenster:

Your point can’t be understood well enough, either. The debate about Social Security is a bit of a red herring. People will still get their checks, but the whole check won’t buy a loaf of bread.

August 15, 2012 12:32 PM
Anonymous said…
Paul,

You should really do a story on Gary, Indiana. It collapsed under BRA before the fall of Detroit or Chicago.

Mayor Hatcher, elected in 1968 was the first black mayor of Gary, and is still hailed as an icon.

Gary, Indiana is a total and complete failure. The media and academia still blame whitey for its demise.

August 15, 2012 12:34 PM
Anonymous said…
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/guinea-ivory-coast-athletes-missing-london-151217689–spt.html

apparently, white privilege and racism is so awful that blacks must sneak into our countries to avoid going back to their own, indepedent black nations.

now if you’re thinking that doesn’t make any sense, congratulations: you’re not a libtard.

August 15, 2012 1:19 PM
Anonymous said…
“But when I described it to [Brian] Deese (who served on President Obama’s Economic Policy Working Group), he went nuts. “Are you out of your mind?” he said. “Think what it would do to Detroit!”” – Then the name should be changed to General Detroit. Whats worse, this is why the workers there have to commute. the jobs can’t be allowed to follow them away from the rotted edifice.

August 15, 2012 1:20 PM
Zenster said…
countenanceYour point can’t be understood well enough, either.

Thank you. I agree completely that Big Government™ will maintain the pretense of both Social Security and welfare but will quietly gut Social Security in order to finance all the EBT, TANF and Section 8.

August 15, 2012 1:46 PM
Sam said…
I have not seen nor heard any information to confirm my suspicion, but I highly suspect GM shut down Saturn as a condition of the bailout from the feds. Saturn, a non-union operation, was THE moneymaker for GM, and I have suspected the reason GM started up Saturn, in Tennessee if I remember correctly, was to get out from under, and away from, the UAW. Saturn was producing some good cars, with many satisfied customers, so it would make no sense to shut it down, unless due to pressure from the feds, and we know how pro-union the feds are. A continuing successful Saturn operation would have been a huge black eye (no pun intended, well, maybe)for the socialist/communist/leftist element in the federal government. And now that the truth has been raised regarding GM’s intention to move its headquarters to Warren (gasp!, a predominately WHITE location), and the feds saying “no” to that move, it shows even more how corrupt this whole mess is.

August 15, 2012 2:14 PM
Dissident said…
Have you ever noticed that all the Japanese and Korean automotive companies that have located in the US; have located as far away from the urban centers as possible. They have built in places such as Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Texas, Ohio, etc.

There’s a reason for that you know.

August 15, 2012 2:18 PM
R Neville said…
Penske tried to buy Saturn, but the feds shut that deal down.

August 15, 2012 2:29 PM
So CAL Snowman said…
The best part about all of this is that 70% of GM’s automobiles are MADE IN CHINA! That’s right we didn’t save “American jobs” we didn’t save any manufacturing jobs whatsoever. Listen to the CEO of GM talking about all of GM’s partnerships with China.

GM Is Becoming China Motors

“GM in 2010 said that it had repaid the 2009 loans. It did, too, and then borrowed money back at 5%. It had been paying 7%, which was a subsidy at that low rate to a busted company. Such a deal!

Over half of the bailout money went to buy GM shares, not make loans. That $26 billion in shares will be repaid (bought back by GM), we are assured, when GM’s shares hit $50. GM’s shares are under $25 today.

You say you didn’t know all this. You say it smells like crony capitalism to you. Me, too. But our sense of smell doesn’t count.”

*I vote for Chicago to be the next city tackled by SBPDL. Chicago has a nice demographic balance (if you like Brazil) which makes the black crime stats all the more eye popping.

August 15, 2012 2:54 PM
MuayTyson said…
Give me Chi-town. My second choice would be St. Louis.

I have an ex who fancied herself a model which consisted of going to races and hustling cigarettes. At a race in St. Louis it started to rain so everyone ducked under a bridge. Now I’ve never been there but according to her these bridges are huge and hundreds of people can fit under them. Well as can be expected there were blacks there and of course a full scale riot between rival gangs broke out.

I didn’t hear anything from MSM about this but she said there were injuries and multiple ambulances and police cars responded. This was the late nineties St. Louis has been going down for a long time.

August 15, 2012 4:35 PM
Big Bear said…
Police were more struck at how cocky the boys were for being so young. 

Simple enough answer to that. Strip the little thugs naked and beat them with rubber hoses, then throw them in a hole with no toilet. The next day, drag them out, and a variation of the rubber hoses (say, waterboarding) then back in the hole.

By day three, those cocky, arrogant looks will be gone from their faces, perhaps forever.

August 15, 2012 4:50 PM
rjp said…
Dissident said…

Have you ever noticed that all the Japanese and Korean automotive companies that have located in the US; have located as far away from the urban centers as possible. They have built in places such as Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Texas, Ohio, etc.

There’s a reason for that you know.

Where they built in Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Ohio were all areasformerly dominated by unions. Places where people might have been out of real jobs 5 or 10 years or more. The union back has to be broken before the jobs will return.

Give the area where I am from another 10 years and the United Steelworkers will no longer have a stronghold on those people and the jobs will come back there too. It takes a long time to break that union mentality.

Henry Ford thought he had a good idea, hiring negroes to keep the unions out. Turned out to be the worst idea ever. Once the unions broke on allowing negroes to join, Detroit was done. Unions accomplished some great things a long ago, now they are just protection for bad workers and extortionists.

August 15, 2012 5:07 PM
rex freeway said…
When will we stop running from this parasitic race and say no? I’m half a century old. I sold my house two years ago as the second to the last white on the block. I’m in an area now where the black pop. is 3 percent. I’ve finally grown accustomed to not hearing sirens and helicopters 24/7. people go outside and enjoy themselves. neighbors talk to neighbors. The only break in was a racoon getting in the trash. Speaking of trash, there is none. yards are mowed, trash picked up. People caring about their property. I guess the parasites will never evolve into civilized productive citizens. But the government will always be there to coddle them and to try and force them upon everyone else.

August 16, 2012 8:12 AM
Concerned Citizen said…
My vote is for Chicago. Let’s continue the assault of Northern liberal cities falling apart.

August 16, 2012 8:38 PM
Anonymous said…
As an individual I can only speak for myself. Stuff that I don’t like is simply random, not because I am black. Do you understand? Are you so defeated that you have no self pride of individual opinion? I admit I did not bother to even read this blog, but decided to rant about the silly title “stuff black people don’t like.”
Just one more thing…I HATE GOD…THAT INCLUDES EVERYTHING!!!

August 23, 2012 10:57 AM

Death Came, as it must to all men, to Georges Kourembanas, my brother-in-law, age 51

I will say it again:

I have been an unworthy hypocrite to judge you; you and I were so much alike; you were always my brother; I shall miss you.

CEL III: Georges Kourembanas was a big man

He was a great body builder!

Georges in competition sometime in the mid-1980s

who loved his women, loved his dogs, loved his liquor and cigars, and was loved by all in turn.  He was strong and seemingly indestructible, but he just died at age 51.  How I resented him!  How I envied him!  How I hated him for his life of leisure and luxury living the last ten years of his life on Greek Islands in the Aegean and Cancun!  How I envied the fact that certain people loved and cared for him who could not love and would never care a fig for me!   How I wished that I were as physically strong as he was!   How I wished I had his life, and so, could any two males of the human species be less alike than me and my brother-in-law Georges, who died one week ago on Friday, January 22, 2010, at about 8-8:30 PM in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, at his home with his mistress Lena who called him “Daddy”, even though knowing that he was beloved by his wife Lisa?

Last Saturday January 30, 2010, Georges Kourembanas was laid to rest beside his father, Panagiotis Kourembanas, a Greek Orthodox Priest, who also died young (at 54, in 1984) in Detroit, Michigan, though both father and son were born in Athens, Greece.  His family all surrounded and mourned him during this past week, although he had literally been an exile, shunned or ignored by all but his Anglo-American wife Lisa, who collapsed at the graveside, his mother, who after 37 years in the United States speaks less English than most foreign secondary school pupils immediately after flunking their first year exams in English, and his sisters, one of whom is my wife from whom I have been estranged for 8 continuous years now and my son, whom she and the system hid from me until he broke through the barricades and found me.

Not having any memory of the heartaches associated with Georges during 1990-1999, my 17 year old son Charlie was very sad about his uncle Georges, who died at age 51, just about two weeks after his birthday in fact, which was January 9—he was born in 1959, one year, three months and one day older than I am now.  He was healthy, at least considering everything, he was a body-builder (contestant representing Greece in the Mr. Universe pageant in 1983), who later became addicted to steroids and then to crack cocaine, which caused his family (including me) no end of trouble and grief.  But he was a good natured and happy guy. “I have come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”, said Shakespeares’ Mark Anthony, “the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones, so let it be with Caesar.”  In Georges’ case, it seems almost exactly the opposite (his family cried and forgave him all his sins), except that I plan here to write the good, the bad, the ugly, and try to put it all in the context of the world that I think made him who and what he was, and how he and I, as unlike as any two people could be, in so many ways have travelled along similar and parallel paths…rather lonely, difficult paths in fact….

You see, Georges and I both became, in very distinctive ways, victims of American injustice and oppression and the corruption of the American government in the “land of the free.”  We were both deprived of our rights.  We were both made to seem less that ordinary worthy citizens, and we suffered from these unconstitutional offenses against us, as did our country which inflicted these offenses…

First I should quote what my son Charlie, born August 23, 1992 under windows taped with St. Andrews Crosses at St. Mary’s Hospital “Birth Place” in Palm Beach, Florida, during the early landfall of Hurricane Andrews, wrote about his Uncle—(The Following Paragraphs are Charlie’s epitaph for his uncle):

CEL IV: To me, to my mother, to his own mother, and to his wife and friends, Georges Kourembanas was a Great Man, he lived a life that in some ways was extraordinary, eccentric, perhaps unenviable, but many, including some who never met him, would agree that there was something Great about his heart and soul as well as his body—his physical strength.  His mother was my maternal grandmother, Neonina (aka “Nina”) Kourembanas.

One of the dearest of all God’s Saints to me is Saint George.   I grew up reading my Father’s English stories of St. George and the Dragon under the white and red flag of England, but St. George was also the Patron Saint of my mother’s native Greece with its universally recognized blue and white flag, but also of Aragon, thus triangulating Europe (and my parents’ lives—my mother from Greece, my father of Anglo-American heritage, but they met in Mexico, speaking Spanish).   One of the few things my parents ever agreed on was to celebrate St. George’s Day on April 23, and we used to go to Saint George’s Church on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, where there were dragonslayer windows made and set by George Comfort Tiffany (damaged but not destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, 2005).

My Uncle Georges, had a traditional Orthodox Greek icon of Saint George in his room above his bed.  One of my earliest memories with Georges was in the 90s when I went to a Karate Tournament.  I won by tapping my opponents head, Georges remembered that very well and reminded it to me many times; I imagine he was proud as he himself was a boxer who won “golden gloves” in several tournaments (he told me this when I was in Cancun during the summer of 2007).

If I were to describe my uncle Georges in one word it would be that which he told me ran in our blood, Spartan.

Beside mere physical ability strength Georges was one of the kindest men I have ever met, he would often tell me that he loved me with all his heart, and “Charlie I have a big heart.”

Together while spending the summer with Georges in Cancun during July and August of 2007 he decided to train me in body building for he was one of best bodybuilders in the world. During the 80s he was awarded Mr. Michigan three times consequently he went to Greece and became Mr. Greece then in the Mr Universe competition which he won 8th place at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Georges Kourembanas was born in the Kingdom of Greece, son of an Orthodox Priest who married a model, so an unlikely start for a champion body builder. His Mother and Father immigrated to the United States in 1970 foreseeing the downfall of the Dictatorship of Papadoupoulous, and meeting up with George’s maternal Uncle John Samohin and George’s maternal Grandmother in Detroit, bringing both of Georges’ young sister, my mother Elena, with them (my aunt Alex was born in Detroit in 1973).

In the summer of 1974, after Georges had already started working out at the original PowerHouse Gym on Woodward St. in Detroit,  Georges went to Greece to visit with his parents and little sister Elena; there he witnessed the commotion in the streets of Athens during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

By 1980 Georges won “golden gloves” in boxing, having already won 1977 Teen Mr. Highlands 4th Place, and several other teen bodybuilding awards.  After graduating from High School George went to Wayne State University in Detroit. In 1981 Georges won Mr. Michigan, then in 1982 he was awarded Mr. Michigan Most Muscular, and then in 1983 he won 1st place Tall Mr. Michigan.

Since Georges was born in Greece, and could was not eligible to compete for the American title Mr. USA, so he went back to Greece to become Mr. Greece and to represent Greece in the 1984 Mr. Universe tournament in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, where he took eighth place.

In 1984 Georges and his family suffered the loss of his Father, Panagiotis (aka “Peter”) Kourembanas; who was a Greek Orthodox Priest and fell of a heart attack while delivering the Good Friday Sermon in Toronto, Canada (Detroit and Toronto form part of the same Orthodox Diocese, or at least they did back then).

Georges by this time had already come to be known as ‘The Greek’ in many parts of Detroit. He met his future wife Lisa Ann Cook in 1983/4.  She was a beauty queen and a body builder herself—they were quite a striking couple.

Like so many athletes, I’m afraid that my uncle succumbed to the temptation of “enhancement” drugs, i.e., steroids, and unfortunately for him this led to other kinds of “substance abuse” with consequences I think my father will write more about below.  Drugs are apparently sold on credit—but since repossession of collateral to users is rarely an option, collection techniques tend to be significantly more than dunning letters followed by notices of default and acceleration.

In connection with one deal gone bad, Georges was shot on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1990, in the head through the ear, a bullet that he would carry with him to his death, and while still conscious he protected himself, left the area in his 1987 Camaro, and instead of going to the hospital right away he drove, with blood squirting out of head, to Lisa under the impression that he was going to die. When Lisa saw him she convinced him to go to the hospital where he spent about a week not knowing wheather he would survive or not. By the Grace/Protection of God Georges said he survived.

Georges was shot again in Austin on Christmas morning 1990—he carried some of the bullets he got on those two occasions to his grave, but God had other plans for him than to die a victim of crime.  Instead, Georges died a victim of injustice, American injustice, and that’s where my father is going to take over and write the rest of this.  I can say very little more, except that my whole family have cried every night since he died, and I have lost one of my best friends, one of the few people who remained loyal both to my Father and Mother (along with his wife Lisa) during their long divorce and fighting.

CEL III: I confess that there was a time when I felt my brother in law was a terrible burden, an imposition, a weight sinking my life which I could not bear.  I blamed my wife and mother-in-law for what I called their “Co-Dependence” on Georges during his steroid abuse and crack-cocaine addiction years.  Today as we all remember him, I will try to forget the bitterness that I once felt—the unjust accusations I once made that he was the breaking factor in my marriage to Elena—because it was obviously our fault and no one else’s—oh well, perhaps some fault can be laid at the doors of “the system”, some of its judicial officers and agents, and particularly one false and treacherous Hungarian archaeologist ex-friend of mine, perhaps they were to blame also, but not Georges—Georges was true blue—flawed but stained if by anything then only with his own blood, and his own human frailty—yes, frailty, for all that he was strong enough to tear phonebooks apart.

Most of the substances which constitute modern illegal drugs have been known to man since the dawn of time….at least since the beginning of civilization. Some modern drugs, like “LSD” the favorite of so many young people in the 1960s-70s, and “Crack”–the synthetic form of Cocaine which became popular in the 1980s, and to which Georges eventually became addicted, are artificial, but clearly the need for mind-numbing intoxicants and poisons is one of the “discontents” of civilization to which Sigmund Freud so often referred.

In Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, a substance called “Soma” was rationed out to all people liberally—without any of the side effects of alcohol or other drugs.  The importance of drugs to the 19th century British Empire is epitomized by the “Opium Wars” which forced drugs on an isolationist China.  The importance of drugs to the 20th century American Empire is punctuated by the events of 1919, during which year the United States acquired the patent for Heroin and Bayer Aspirin from Germany as part of the Treaty of Versailles, at the same time that the United States passed the 18th Amendment imposing the Prohibition so definitive of the 1920s, and the origins of both organized crime and the earliest formation of a Federal Police State in the United States of America.  There are those who say that William Randolph Hearst was responsible for making George Washington’s favorite crop—Cannabis Sativa illegal in the 1930s to protect his own interest in synthetic fiber ropes, but the true beneficiaries of the suppression of marijuana were each and every police department and above all the FBI, DEA, and ATF organs of the Federal government, which grew and maximized their power with every new “commercial” regulation of drugs in violation of the constitutional liberties of the people.

Psychoactive or narcotic drugs have been used throughout history, and alcohol is still used without prescription to this day.  So I have asked myself, since I was a small child, how is it that opium aristocratically inspired so many poets and other historical figures from Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius to Cardinal Richlieu, as well as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Allen Poe only to become an abomination forbidden by law in modern times….all over the Americas and Europe….

The reason to me is obvious: government cannot thrive except by forbidding and monopolizing that which people crave.  The earliest example of this in the history of the United States is the play of righteous emotions similar to those I confessed, at the start of this post, to feel about my brother-in-law Georges: envy and resentment of what others have.  The War Between the States in the years 1861-1865 was about many things, but one of them was the envy and resentment of the Northern Whites who prided themselves on hard work and self-sacrifice against the more indulgent, hedonistic, and languid slave-owners of the Southern white world.

The 13th Amendment forbade slavery or involuntary servitude, “except as a punishment for crime”—and from the day of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox until the present day, the prison population of the United States of America has grown until it is the largest in the world (relative to the population of the country as a whole) and the absolute number of incarcerated, paroled and otherwise judicially restrained black people now exceeds the number of African-American slaves in 1860 (and the number of white prisoners, parolees, and probationers exceeds the entire population of the American Colonies in 1776).

Three years before the secession of South Carolina on December 20 1860 through the secession of Texas on February 1, 1861, the United States Supreme Court, per Chief Justice Taney, handed down a significant decision in a case called Scott v. Sanford (1857) which decided, among many other things, that one state could not declare to be illegal a form of property which was legal in others, as a matter of comity, due process of law, and many other reasons.  The “due process” reasoning of Chief Justice Taney’s opinion in “the Dred Scott” case is still worth reading, although the memory of the 19th century’s most deadly and devastating war, three constitutional amendments, and many generations of civil rights litigation have otherwised tarnished the memory of the only U.S. Supreme Court case which can ever be said to have had an effect more disastrous than the Judgment of Paris….

So the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery or involuntary servitude EXCEPT AS A PUNISHMENT FOR CRIME, and all of a sudden, the U.S. Criminal Codes started to expand exponentially—because civilized society will apparently not exist without slaves.  Having abolished one species of private property by war and constitutional amendment, the United States Government in the 20th Century started to regulate all manner of commerce and private property, which caused much unhappy spinning in the graves of the Founding Fathers.  Worst of all, the 1920s saw the triumph of the First Prohibition, in which the constitution was amended to forbid the sale of alcohol.  Having proved to be the worst experiment in the moralistic legislative history of the human race, Prohibition of Alcoholic Liquors was repealed in December  of 1933, but it was almost immediately replaced by utterly unconstitutional restraints on drugs such as cannabis sativa, cocaine, opium, and all their derivatives.  The “commerce clause” justification for the federal regulation of drugs is a farce, one of the cruelest hoaxes ever played on a free people, but to explain why no American Patriot would ever suggest that George Washington should have ploughed under his profitable “rope” crop would just be to go too far astray from this story, which is still about my brother-in-law, Georges Kourembanas.

The bottom line, to my mind, is that Government wanted to expand its power, and Government DID expand its power, by controlling what people have always naturally desired and craved: narcotic and psychoactive drugs.  The “War on Drugs”, since the phrase was coined by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in an attempt to fill the prisons of his state and build more, but especially since this “War” was adopted by Richard Nixon whose advisors told him not merely to make “detente” with Communist China, but also to start emulating its policies of mass incarceration, has operated as one of the largest slavery-cum-corporate welfare programs in the history of the world.  Vast numbers of unemployed youths, skillful middle-aged businessmen, and entrepreneurs of every kind have, since about 1966, been swept into prison through coerced plea agreements engineered by a cabal of licensed attorneys and the judges who love and control them together with the corporate franchises which fund all of them, and between 1-2% of the American population is now locked into slavery from which escape is much less likely, and emancipation much more stringently regulated, than Antebellum slavery ever was in the South.

Computers mean that tracking of “escaped slaves” is much more certain and recapture much more likely than it ever was in the days of the “underground railroad”—and of course, all middle class whites, Northern and Southern, Eastern and Western, rejoice in the burgeoning population of the prisons until they or their relatives end up in the trap—at which time it’s just “too bad, so sad” that the privileged middle class population never learned that “none can be free until all are free.”

White America loves the “war on drugs” and the explosion of prison population which has accompanied it.  African and Hispanic Americans can be disproportionately incarcerated for the most trivial crimes, and the most uppity and enterprising white people are likewise incarcerated or threatened with incarceration whenever they get to “uppity” and/or “big for their britches”—unless of course, they are part of the truly immunized elite inner circle.  Entrepreneurial spirit and individual initiative rot in prisons—but corporate values flourished and corporate subservience is instilled in prison, in case you missed the lessons or ignored them in U.S. Elementary-High School (or for that matter in British schools whether portrayed by Dickens or in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”).  Every indication is that President Barack Hussein Obama fully intends to crush every relic of American freedom that exists, and enforce a rigid conformity to his plans by ever expanding the powers of government through Homeland Security and more and more prisons, private and/or public. Guantanamo will eventually be closed, of course, and replaced by prisons inside the U.S. where indefinite detention without trial will be permitted and the Writ of Habeas Corpus lost forever.

But this is the unjust world reality which trapped and destroyed Georges Kourembanas during the years 1990-2000 and, more than any other single factor, caused his death in exile, however luxurious, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico on January 22, 2010.

You see, Georges, as noted above, was not born in the United States.  He was accepted and respected as an American in Michigan for years, as so many immigrants have been.  But Georges never gave up his Greek passport—he was content with a “Green Card” (as was his sister, my wife, throughout our marriage—although since our separation she has apparently gotten a Blue American Passport and given up her Democratia Hellinika-E.C. Diabaterio which I always thought was so neat….).  Well, at the very least, she’s voting now…..I’m not quite sure about all that….but I digress…

Georges Kourembanas was (unsurprisingly) arrested several times during his years “under the influence.”  In this he differed little from another fellow named George who just happened to be governor of Texas in 1999.  Aside from the natural class-based consequences of having an Orthodox Priest rather than a U.N. Ambassador and CIA Director for a Father, Georges Kourembanas’ life was little less accomplished than George W. Bush’s.  But as George W. Bush was riding on the modern American prison-based slave-ocracy and its attendant envies and corruptions, Georges Kourembanas was arrested and the government of his adopted land sought his deportation.   There is no “exile” for American citizens who misbehave, but there is deportation for legal residents who do the same or less.  Literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS bordering on MILLIONS of Hispanics are imprisoned throughout the United States for nothing much more than job hunting and maybe then getting drunk (and stopped) on a Saturday night.

I have often said that if Mexico were to imprison rowdy Americans in Cancun, Acapulco, and Mazatlan at the same rate that Mexicans are rounded up in the United States, that the United States would invade Mexico and bring about the North American Union immediately, without further delay or debate.  I also think to myself that there is no real contradiction between building a big prison-like unescapable/uncrossable fence along the Mexican border and proposed a North American Union, because the corporate powers of the United States would like nothing better than to convert Mexico into one gigantic prison-labor camp from which workers could be employed or removed as market conditions should necessitate.  If the politicians of Mexico had any pride….things would be different, but they are mostly former employees of American Corporations such as Coca-Cola, so it hardly matters.

“Moral Turpitude” is what makes people like Georges Kourembanas deportable.  “Moral Turpitude” is a concept as amorphous as “original sin” which Immigration Courts use to send “undesirables” back from whence they came.  Was Georges Kourembanas less desirable than George W. Bush?  In my opinion, and probably in the opinion of hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans around the world at least from Iraq-to Afghanistan, there is really no comparison or competition at all.  Georges Kourembanas as a man who loves his women, loves, his dogs, and loved his liquor, and never hurt anyone.  “No one died when Clinton lied” was one of my favorite Bush-era bumper-stickers.

Georges family—my in-laws—took good care of him at the same time that they shunned me as my marriage to his sister resolved itself into a dew.  Care packages and love and visits flowed from Austin to Athens during the early 2000s after Georges took “voluntary departure” instead of deportation—he could have contested deportation but he would have stayed in jail for God knows how long while he did, and he was never convicted of anything which the Greek authorities thought worthy of note.  After a year or so in Athens Georges eventually settled in a Lemon grove amid olive and fig trees on a little island in the Aegean.  He lived there with Lena his mistress while his wife Lisa and his mother and sister and even my son visited him de temps en temps.

I am sure he was lonely and bored living there in a fruit orchard, but his family took care of him, so he never had to work, and I did envy him his existence no end.  I lived along during the years 2002-2007, but I talked to Georges’ American wife Lisa—sometimes almost daily, sometimes only once a week, recently (especially since I left Texas in 2007) not quite so often.  But Georges and Lisa talked to me and helped me keep up with news about my son when the truly criminal state domestic relations courts of Williamson County, Texas, took my son away from me.  So I got to know Georges better and talked to him more often by telephone during those years than I ever had when he lived in the United States.  And yes, Georges was a very kind, good, and big-hearted man, and he always assured me that my son loved me and missed me—and he was obviously telling me the truth.

His wife Lisa?  Well, I have often written that Georges and Lisa were like Tristan and Isolde—always separated, always longing for each other.  Lisa was the ideal loyal and patient wife, in every way tolerant of Georges and his needs (including his need for a permanent female companion on the other side of the Atlantic).  In spite of the situational peculiarities, I think that they really did love each other on an epic, Wagnerian level which few can understand.  Lisa supported Georges, assisted occasionally by my wife Elena and her mother Nina, not so much by any of the other Greek relatives on this side of the Atlantic, except possibly for Tia Maria whom I only met a few times at her home in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City.  Lisa, like Georges, had a huge heart, great compassion and almost boundless love, at the same time that she became physically weak due to breast-implant poisoning caused by Dow Pharmaceauticals.  She was as much a victim of the American Corporate love-hate affair with drugs, in that sense, as Georges himself.  But Lisa was my true and steadfast friend and through her love for Georges I came to care for my brother-in-law more than I ever dreamed I could have.  My wife Elena always resents the fact that Lisa (alone among my in-laws) supported me in my quest for custody of my son, and she sometimes quotes hatefully and sarcastically how I called Lisa my “Rock of Gibraltar”, but I stand by my evaluation.  I know of no one truer and more loyal and steadfast than Lisa Ann Cook, and Georges was the luckiest man alive to have the love and generous acceptance and tolerance and support of such a wonderful woman, who never judged others but always tried to understand why those who inflicted harm on her might have done so.   In this, she was the truest of true Christians.

So Georges was strong, likable if not downright lovable, and yet he was caught up in currents of history which rendered his life difficult, a struggle, almost impossible.  He was “a man without a country”—never quite American enough to give up his Greek passport while he was living here throughout the nearly thirty years from 1970-1999.  Georges Kourembanas was a three-time “Mr. Michigan” (different awards) who represented Greece in the “Mr. Universe” competition in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He was determined to be a morally turpitudinous undesirable by the same government which created first the demand for drugs and then the war against drugs as a means of maximizing governmental power and control over the population at large.

Was America made any safer or more morally upstanding by deporting my brother-in-law?  No, definitely not—America became poorer and probably more dangerous—indeed, almost certainly more dangerous, because every person removed against his will is another person whose destroyed life is a feather-in-the cap of brutal authoritarianism in America.

Several members of my family-in-law feel so very sad and guilty that they did not do more for Georges during his lifetime.  My main suggestion that may have improved his life was that he relocated from Greece to Cancun, and was closer to his family during the last several years of his life as a consequence.  I made this suggestion because almost as completely as the United States as George’s adopted homeland, Mexico era durante muchos anos mi segunda Patria, aun mas que Inglaterra—Mexico was the land of more of my young adulthood life, dreams and ambitions than any other, and I figured that George could benefit from the amazing Caribbean winds and waters of Northern Quintana Roo.   I had intended to spend at least half of time with Georges in Cancun (en mi Mexico lindo y querido), but for several reasons that never happened.  I am happy to say that my son Charlie, whose first trips outside the U.S. were to Yucatan and Quintana Roo Mexico as a baby, toddler, and elementary schoolboy, was able to spend one summer with George in 2007—even though the purpose at that time was to make sure that Charlie spent as little time in contact with me as humanly possible….

One of the reasons, of course, that I was lacking in funds to spend half of my time in Mexico during the first decade of the Third Millenium Anno Domini was the troubles I had during these same years with the same American government which oppressed my brother—yes, in that he was not just my brother in law, but my brother.   I too had to struggle with charges of ridiculously trivial criminality (I never did drugs—at least I have never done them as a mature adult—that wasn’t my problem—I had plenty of others—when I was indicted (coincidentally in December 1999, shortly after Georges took his involuntary departure) my pre-trial release officer finally stopped giving me the degrading urine tests because they were just pointless).

I too had to struggle with questions of moral turpitude and the significance of such charges for my professional life.  I had had such a fine education and opportunities unparalleled in most people’s lives.  I was very lucky.  But in 1997 I had stood up to the system and sued my local police department for not one but 7-9 instances of police brutality, corruption, and civil rights violations.  And at that point, all-of-a-sudden, my previously essentially dull and blameless life became “morally turpitudinous” and I became in the eyes of many critics an “incompetent attorney.”

So if Georges Kourembanas can hear me—if he had a coin for the Ferryman Charon and has thus crossed the River Styx—or if he is standing somewhere in the upper levels of limbo or purgatory, I hope he will hear my apology for my hypocrisy in criticizing him, in thinking myself superior to him, in believing that my education was in any way superior to his physical strength and good heart (even though his physical heart finally gave out on him, much too soon).  I apologize to him that I could introduce him to the Quintana Roo and Yucatan and Mexico and Belize that I know and love, because I think it would have made his last few years so much better than just hanging around the beach and hotel zone of Cancun.  He and I were both victims of some of the very same authoritarian and repressive forces in the United States in Texas which reached their political apogee in the years after 1993-6.  He and I were both victims of the streamlining and mass production of criminal prosecutions in the United States which all have, as Ayn Rand predicted so many years ago, the sole purpose of rendering us all “criminals” just waiting to be arrested here “in the land of the free” or any of the formerly freedom-loving countries of Europe or the Americas.

Georges and I are also victims of some of the same personal and familial situations.  Now in his epitaph I will not speculate here on what any members of his family could have done for him that they did not, because all I know for sure is that they loved him more than me, so very much more, in spite of all his flaws, and since he was blood, I suppose I can forgive them that.   But in the midst of all that I think he was ten times blessed to have Lisa as his wife and lifetime companion and supporter.   The bottom line is that our two lives, so different, as that of my late brother-in-law and my own, were actually parallel in terms of the circumstances of our “exile” from society.  I still envy him for all the love he enjoyed, and up to a point, I even envy him his early death in Mexico.  Sometimes I wish that I had died, when I had the chance, ten years ago in Egypt.  But I apparently had a purpose to live, and for that reason I do continue to live, and breath, and fight, and remember the pointless injuries done to Georges, my brother-in-law, my brother-in-suffering, and my brother-in-the sometimes loneliness of exile.