Saturday, January 30, 2021



COCKBURN- what Glen Wild needs

      I got more done in the last couple of days dealing with Deb el Foods and the DEC directly than I had in the past year of dancing around the issue. It was more than a little surprising to get a corporation and a state agency to respond to a complaint immediately. I'll take it. Looping GNJohn in, as the temperatures dropped, I sat on my computer wrapped up in T-shirts and sweaters emailing both Travis S. at Deb el and DEC engineer Susan Cockburn. Where had I heard that name Cockburn before? 

Hello Mike and John,

   Writing to reassure you that the Department of Environmental Conservation welcomes all comments and issues of complaints. 

Any photographs submitted that are both date and time stamped are most helpful. 

The Department just finished a meeting pertaining to your complaint called in yesterday. 


Deb El Foods holds a DEC issued Industrial SPDES Permit NY0272779 for wastewater discharge, it is an “egg washing facility”. 

SPDES[State Pollutant Elimination Discharge System] permits are created to protect water quality standards with Effluent Permit Limits.  

The Effluent Permit limits for the receiving water stream in question, the Neversink River, are based on its receiving water classification B(T). 

B(T) specifies: no drinking, but swimming and fishing are safe.


The Deb El Facility is currently under enforcement with the DEC, no specifics are available for release at this time.

There have been several inspections at the facility over the past year and there are potential violations.


  • For a look at the Deb El SPDES NY 0272779 Permit and its effluent limits, you can go to:   or   GOOGLE:  “DEC Info Locator” and look up the permit ID# for Deb El Foods.
  • For specific health concerns, you must contact the NYS Dept of Health which has its district office in Monticello, NY.  Or go to:
  • For a records pertaining to DEC Enforcement issues that have been completed and signed with Deb El Foods, you can file a Freedom of Information Law request (FOIL): and give the SPDES #, Facility Name, Location and the specific information you seek.


Sullivan County is my jurisdiction for Water Issues and Concerns.

Thank you again for your calls and follow up information, please know that it is appreciated.


With Kindest Regards,



Susan L. Cockburn

Assistant Engineer, Division of Water


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


    Thank you for addressing this so quickly. I do have some questions. Are there any plans for the DEC to test what comes out of that pipe in the spring to see if Deb el is in compliance or should I get someone to test it? All this sounds great as to the harmless nature of the discharge. The obvious and ugly visual of a pipe spewing liquid directly into the river remains. I grew up in Montgomery along the Wallkill River, a notoriously polluted body of water. That pipe reminds me of the 1950’s when raw sewage was regularly piped into the “kill” by businesses in town. If the discharge is in fact benign to swimmers and fish, can you explain why a set back onto a leech field or a more natural above ground “run off” stream would not be a possible option? How would a more natural short run of above ground effluent be a danger to the water table? If this pipe could be set back a short ways in the woods, hidden by foliage, it would at least solve the visual problem. Thanks so much for your (and the DEC’s) interest, action and cooperation in this matter. The community appreciates it. 


Hello Mike,


The DEC requires submission of DMR’s or Discharge Monitoring Reports from facilities.  Samples for all SPDES permit effluent limits are taken with regularity, submitted to licensed laboratories ,recorded and then verified for compliance.  By looking up the facility’s SPDES permit you will get a very good look at all the parameters in place for this waterway’s protection. 


When facilities first apply for a permit, the permit goes to public comment for review, etc. Questions much like yours below are often brought up. I believe those public and municipal responses and or comments, if any, are subject to a FOIL request as well.


Kindest Regards,


PS  I live in Montgomery, on the Wallkill River…I know what you speak of.

Then I realized where I knew the name from. I was wearing a T-shirt that had it emblazoned on the back.


    Did you run for mayor? I still have a T-shirt. I thought I recognized your name. I grew up on river road. My brother still lives in Montgomery. Deep family roots here and there. I think you live in the old Seligman house with the pillars? Too weird. So is there any reason from a DEC standpoint that they would not be allowed to set that pipe back? You understand our issue here. Even if it is totally harmless it is an ugly intrusion in an otherwise idyllic spot. If I proposed a set back and Deb el agreed, would it be a problem with DEC? Thanks for helping with this. I have the Church of the Little Green Man just above this spot on the river and we have a helluva nice community up here that swims in that spot. Stop by any time.



Town Supervisor 4 years.  Friends with Linda Osterhout.  I thought that name was connected ! 

I honestly don’t’ know the answer to your question but I will ask and relay back to you.  The whole waste distribution at Deb El is pretty involved and the distance from the plant to the river quite far.  I will let you know.


Nice acquainting with you I this manner.

I respect your concerns and ideas.


Kindest Regards,


 One of the T-shirts I was wearing while emailing the DEC says: "COCKBURN- what Montgomery needs." Linda Osterhout is my cousin. Susan L.Cockburn lives on the same road I grew up on along the Kill. All's well in the Matrix.  

Friday, January 29, 2021


 Photo: Marianna Rothen


    Like many, I grew up being told to "Always tell the truth." Putting myself in the position of any parent, a lying child must be a handful. Invisible friends and fantastical stories aside, pathological lying, when allowed to bloom unchecked, is not healthy. I've had a few girlfriends who suffered from the malady.  Liars and thieves used to be looked down upon in society. No more.

   I have no problem being honest. I can readily admit I haven't always told the truth. I can also admit that every time I told a lie I was well aware of speaking the untruth. We artists try to access "truth" in our work.....even when we are lying. After four years of Trump's thousands of lies (big and little) half of America is now convinced that a liar in office is not only acceptable, it is preferred. The lies have become a source of comfort for Republicans. 

   The only thing that comes close to this mass hysteria is religion. Virgin birth and zombie sightings after the afternoon crucifixion became the basis for Christianity. Set your critical thought aside and suspend disbelief. Have faith. We've been here before. The power of a lie can be very difficult to combat. Trump started his rise to power with the "birther" lie that Obama was not born in the U. S. He showed how easy it was to implant doubt in every corner of the zeitgeist. In 2017 some bored douche on 4chan came up with the lie of "Q." Flat earthers, erstwhile pedophile-fighters and Trumpies rejoiced! It was a lie whose time had come.  

    Disproving a lie takes a lot of time and energy. Debunking so-called "Fake News" and "fact checking" became an industry in corporate media; while the unregulated recesses of social media spread lies like runny fertilizer. Global capitalism realized how well product, political thought and services flourished and sold when lovingly nestled in a bed of stinky lies. This was nothing new for Big Tech or their advertisers. The entire advertising industry is based on the lies of softer hair, sweeter smelling arm pits and well oiled bowels. What havoc could Edward Bernays have wreaked given the internet? (google it!)

   How hard would it be to put a little truth serum in that Astra-Zeneca vaccine? What would a shot of sodium pentothal do to the patient if injected into the arm of America? What could it hurt? The fact that 70 million Republicans voted for Trump, after being fed a steady diet of lies year after year, reveals just how deeply the infection rate is. Old, fat, white people with bad skin seem to be the most susceptible. Sadly it's not lethal, but the side effects of the disease are extreme. Patients develop an extreme sense of victimization, an unnatural desire to purchase Trump swag and scream "USA, USA...." at the top of their lungs. They are easy to spot. If I was into conspiracy theories I would say it's happening as we speak. The more vaccines we get into the arms of the infected, delusional,  Republican Trump apologists and conspiracy crackpots the closer we will get to herd immunity. And just maybe they will be open to seeing the lies and the damage they are doing. THAT'S the truth!                


Thursday, January 28, 2021




    I spent Climate Day dealing with the little green pipe. After a lot of inaction from NGOs and politicians I decided to go directly to the source- Del El Foods. It was as easy as going on the website. Here's the exchange: 

To whom it may concern,

    I am writing in regard to a waste pipe (see attached) coming directly from your egg breaking facility in Town of Fallsburg. This pipe is across from a spot that the community uses to swim, fish and recreate. I own the Church of the Little Green Man on Old Glen Wild Rd. about a mile as the crow flies to the east of the Gibber/Deb el property. Can you tell me what is coming out of this pipe? Kids are swimming downstream while this pipe belches liquid. At the very least it is an unsightly intrusion in an otherwise idyllic and pristine spot. It may be harmful to the river eco system or humans. That’s a mystery. I grew up near here and have lived at the church for 26 years. I cherish that spot and this unique Neversink River area. Would you kindly tell me what is coming out of that pipe? I would hope a better solution could be found to address whatever waste material is being dumped into the river. Thank you for your time.

Mike Osterhout

Hi Mike,

My name is Travis Steimle I am the chief operator of Deb El Foods and represent JCO their contract operations company.

I understand you have some concerns about what may be the sewer discharge piping. I would love to take this opportunity to have you show me the concerns that you may have. 

Perhaps you and I can make a time to meet at the site to show you how seriously Deb El takes its waste treatment. I would also like for you to show me the location of the photo provided to see if in fact this is the outfall location of the facility. Deb El Foods staffs their wastewater facility 24/7 by licensed water professionals. Mr. Gibber has gone to great lengths to limit his organizations impacts on the local community. We are proud to reduce ecological impacts by adhering to strict regularly guidelines set forth by not only New York State, but Deb El Foods itself. 

I will be on-site tomorrow morning around 9AM if you'd like to meet sometime around then.

As far as the line being relocated that is not something that could be done if this is in-fact the outfall of the facility. This outfall was specified by the State of New York because of its proximity to the River. Leach field or overland discharge wastewater facilities are being phased out in New York. Overland discharge facilities are a more harmful alternative when there is a receiving body of water nearby because of the overland facilities contribution to the water table.

I hope this helps and I hope to hear from you soon,

I wish you and your family all the best in this troubled times and look forward to the opportunity to meet with you.


    I think we can agree that this pipe comes from the Deb el facility. Still happy to show it to you, but don’t see the need for us to freeze our feet. As I understand your email the discharge must go directly in river and not into a leech field or flow down hill because of possible water table contamination. So again, my question would be what exactly is being discharged and is there any danger swimming in proximity (upstream or downstream) from this “outfall” pipe? I appreciate your willingness to be completely transparent. Kids spend a lot of time in that water during the summer months.

All the best,


The last email from Travis: 


The outfall photographed is:

Outfall #001
NYS SPDES #NY0272779
Held by: Deb El Foods

Regulated by:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 3
21 South Putt Corners Rd, New Paltz, NY, 12561
New York State DEC Regional Contact: 845-256-3000

Shall you have any additional questions or concerns please direct them to the contact number provided above.

I appreciate your inquiry and hope you have a wonderful day,

    At that I contacted the DEC. Susan Cockburn assures me she's on it. The ball is in their court. The question before Deb el and now the DEC is what is coming out of that pipe? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021




 A year into the pandemic. We've all got idle hands and itchy trigger fingers. As for me you can add frozen feet. When the temps remain in the 20's day after day my house, and therefore my legs below the knee never warm up. Today it's also snowing. The woodstove is roaring and a Dutch oven brimming over with venison stew is just beginning to boil. My quest to complete 1000 drawings during the pandemic, titled the Virus Suite is actually closing in on being realized- 799 and counting..... Which will come first the vaccine or the completion of 201 more drawings? It's a race to immunity. Until now I've been busy. But Spring seems a long way off. In the mean time I'm cold......and bored as fuck. I need a purpose in life. What kind of trouble can I get into?

     Last summer at a crucial point in the pandemic, just after the George Floyd murder and subsequent social and racial justice uprisings, I spotted a belching green pipe coming out of the river bank, across from GNJohn's Sugar Shack Swimming Hole on the Neversink River. I was aghast. Then a day or so later I spotted a girl flying the Confederate flag from the back of her Jeep. In a manic state I took on both issues simultaneously with direct actions. I hit the cracker girl with a Love Parade. The pipe I attacked through the proper channels, contacting various agencies, NGOs and elected political leaders. When faced with the parade the "Lost Cause" cheerleader changed the Stars and Bars to the Blue Lives Matter banner. Baby steps. The pipe remained belching into the river..... unresolved. It's less than three months before we gather again by the river. How we doing on that pipe?

   So, as I sit here watching the snow gently blow from the tree branches, I want to refocus a little energy on that nasty, green pipe. Today's first email went to Wes Gillingham of the Catskill Mountain Keeper. Wes showed up last Spring and saw the pipe for himself. At the very least, he had to admit that it was an unsightly intrusion into the bucolic beauty of this stretch of Neversink River. This pipe periodically belches mysterious liquid all afternoon long, as children frolic and the we adults fume over the obscenity. The liquid comes directly from a Deb El Egg Processing plant straight up the ridge. Is it benign, organic material of no danger to anyone or anything, plant, man or beast? I still haven't received a satisfactory answer to that question. 

  As I waited for Wes to return my email, I sent off a flurry of other inquiries-  NY Assembly woman Aileen Gunther, filmmakers Josh Fox and Aaron Weisblatt, among them. I can feel the outrage percolating again. My shins are beginning to finally warm up. The idea is to form the Neversink Preservation Society, a community effort to address this pipe. For the time being I'm resisting a recruitment group email. I know it will bring the usually calls for Zoom meetings, sub-committees and elbows thrown in the air over receiving a group email. If you are reading this consider yourself a member. The goal of the NPS is to preserve this particular stretch of the Neversink River (and the river as a whole) in a pristine state for the benefit of the community and future generations. The fight is on. Ahhhhhhh........I can feel my toes.               

Friday, January 22, 2021




 The privilege of symmetry. Do the beautiful realize how good they have it? To be extremely talented as well as beautiful seems like something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. What must it take just to maintain that kind of power plant? 

   A week ago I saw a PBS News piece on the young, brilliant, black and beautiful Amanda Gorman. The 22 year old poet was introduced to America as the "first National Young Poet Laureate" who would perform her poetry at Biden's inaugural. Who the fuck has ever heard of a "22 year old poet." Poetry takes time--a life lived. The PBS segment showed how long this young woman had been a force to be reckoned with, had overcome a stutter, volunteered her time with younger students, written from the heart, ruled her world... As I watched I swallowed my words. Poetry obviously does not take a long life experience-- only empathic embrace of how far you've come. The young poet had that in spades. I couldn't take my eyes off her.

    I told my friends to watch for this girl at the inaugural. It's no surprise that she was a massive hit! Americans are hard wired to respond to this kind of beauty-- classical, graceful, optimistic--European. I'm not taking anything away from Amanda Gorman. She is amazing; so much so that I'm searching for the flaws. Would her line about "a skinny black girl..." read better as a "fat black girl"? One less syllable and the implication would be that she overcame her struggle with obesity to become the skinny beauty before your eyes. Plus it rhymes better. Does Amanda recognize her place in history as a symmetrical elitist? Probably. 

   Cluelessness or deprecation to one's good looks (purposeful or not) is also appealing. Narcissism makes the little frown lines more pronounced and stretches those flaps around the neck. I can't get inside the poet Gorman's head. I would think that she is way more self-aware and a much nicer person than I could ever imagine.  From what little I know of her (one inauguration poem and a PBS segment) at 22 she seems an old soul. I know she's the entire package a walking talking propaganda poem for young boys and girls to think in open verse, rhyme and optimism. Even a cynic like me is impressed. We could do way worse than using Amanda Gorman as an example for the youth. It's not her fault she's perfect. Just remember that ugly and misshapen children of any race, whose visual appeal is somewhat lacking, can also write beautiful poetry. Language is there for all of us. Beauty is only bestowed on a few. This girl's beauty is not wasted.          

Thursday, January 21, 2021




 What just happened? Oh yeah, we endured four years of Donald J. Trump at the helm of a racist, xenophobic, mean spirited, greedy, delusional, conspiracy propelled, Republican administration, that pushed American democracy to the very edge of its elasticity. Look at the Trump regime as a TV show. Four seasons of the Trump shit show unfolded before our eyes; four seasons of children in cages, religion based travel bans, wall building, Klan marches, MAGA hats, Trump swag and cameras shoved in the face of some of the saddest most pitiful examples of humanity, in order to understand "the forgotten" white people. Remember? Huh?

    The greatest "attribute" of the American "patriot" is their ability to forget. Two weeks into the Trump administration in 2017 and everybody was falling all over themselves to point out how "statesmen" like the lying war-monger George W. Bush was.  A month later and "Crime Bill" Clinton was being portrayed as the savior of the black underclass. It took a little longer to forget that Obama ordered the assassination of American citizens (murder by drone) and was known by his own aides as the "deporter in chief." But we all got there. Trump made all his predecessors look really good. It was easy to forget their sins and flaws. Now we have "Uncle Joe." Does anybody remember Anita Hill?

    Just posing the question--asking citizens to reach back a little in their noggins--and pull out some historical knowledge of their leaders is met with a scowl. Traditionally Americans have no appetite to dwell in the past. As a people we are akin to the victims of spousal abuse. After a dark, violent night of being smacked around-- trying to see through the slits of our swollen eyes in the light of dawn-- we accept the bouquet of flowers. Forgive and forget. Smile. Ouch. I think I lost a tooth.

    The last season of the Trump Show was the best (worst) of the series. Even with all of corporate announcing that the show had been canceled due to too many unnecessary Covid deaths, true fans would not allow it to be so. Some of the writing and sets of the final episode went a bit far. Nobody believed the noose. And what's with a football team mascot sporting face paint and a buffalo hat leading the charge? Come on people, did you let Jon Voigt write the closer? This ain't Fear Factor. Even with all the outlandish disconnects to reality I think we would do well to remember it all. History may not repeat itself but it will definitely regurgitate. Never forget.              

Tuesday, January 19, 2021




 A little over 24 hours left in the Trump Presidency. Can we relax? Ha! Have you learned nothing? Like hunting on a rainy day, my head is on a swivel. Promised crooked pardons are coming. Executive orders are being signed at a frantic pace. MORE SHARPIES! And I think there is one more individual on Federal Death Row awaiting his lethal shot. Don't mix it up with that Covid vaccine. Which one comes first? All these details and fears are difficult to keep track of. So, on Trump's last full day in office I want to look back at something that happened close to home this past summer. It was a harbinger of what was to come; a taste of the insurrection of idiocy.

   The little town of Mountain Dale sits just off the beaten path, about five miles from my house. My neighbor RNButch basically owns most of the main street and surrounding rental properties. A few years back Butch realized he didn't have the vision required to promote the town as a mercantile oasis, similar to a few other thriving Catskill villages like Livingston Manor or Narrowsburg. So he hired magazine publisher and restaurateur Nhi Mundy and mined the CLGM congregation for bodies in order to promote hipster retail outlets. It worked......for a time.

   Nhi was a good choice. She opened a little Vietnamese restaurant and promoted the town on social media, as well as in her magazine DV8. Butch offered a year's free rent to prime the pump. I had no interest in retail, but secured an empty lot for my Social Sculpture Park. From day one my combine sculptures and billboards exclaiming messages like God Loves Dykes were met with mixed reviews. Some people liked them. Other people couldn't wait to spray paint or dump piles of snow on them. This was not unusual. Unlike showing within art institutions, working in public is not always a welcoming context. I hung in there and continued to curate my grassy knoll.

    Then one day a young woman in a loud Jeep roared by the Social Sculpture Park flying the Confederate flag. In the midst of BLM protest and a raging pandemic, this racist display seemed a bit much. So I went about conducting an informal poll of the town merchants regarding the flag. To my surprise nobody seemed to care. "They [the racists] were here before I got here. They'll still be here after I'm gone." was the immigrant Ms. Mundy's tepid response. Others shrugged and dismissed the flag as "just kids looking for attention." or excused the girl, hoping to shower her with understanding. My old white man's outrage seemed as out of place and dismissed as the flag.

   In those long ago languid days of summer I was still on social media. Through a way too large, group email and social media posts I drummed up enough support for a Love Parade that would offer a counter protest to this cracker enabling. We went on the attack. The day before the parade Butch sent me an email with a photo of the Jeep in question. This woman had finally relented and replaced the stars and bars with the thin blue line of a "Blue Lives Matter" banner on her Jeep. Victory.... sort of. 

    In my new role as a "parade organizer" I learned many things. One of the saddest was the apathetic disinterest in confrontation that a community held when racist imagery was paraded before their eyes. Even the Jeep girl was surprised at my outrage. "What's the big fucking deal?" this Trump supporter asked me when I confronted her, "I've been flying this flag for over a year." That said it all. 

   My interest in Mountain Dale has steadily diminished. Nhi, and some of the people she brought on board like Morgan Puitt, have now closed shop and are gone. Nhi's words were prophetic. You were right Nhi. You are gone. The crackers remain. Late in the summer my Social Sculpture Park was overrun (without permission) by vendors hawking feathered ear rings and bad pottery. This flea market of cheesy consumerism was invited, charged and promoted by the very merchants who had excused the flying of the Confederate flag simply as "misdirected energy." When I confronted these merchants with their trespasses  they apologized to Butch, never acknowledging that the park was in fact MY space. I was fighting a losing battle. My park remains. For how long? I fear my days are numbered. 

   Will the world change tomorrow? In some ways yes. In many more ways, no. How many tiny Northern towns are sitting silently by as Confederate, Blue Lives, or Trump flags fly off the back of pick up trucks? This racist, delusional mind set, that in other eras was more contained by region has now metastasized across the entire country. The "Lost Cause"  is now a battle cry for half the U.S. It is not limited by sex, education or class. It permeates the body politic and all our institutions- police, municipal and fire departments included. We are in a precarious state that requires constant vigilance. Keep your head on a swivel. You won't hear them coming.                         


Wednesday, January 13, 2021




    All week long we've heard politicians cry "THIS is not who we are! These actions are more akin to those undertaken in a Banana Republic." As others have pointed out this is exactly who we are. To use the term "Banana Republic" comes out of a purposeful historical amnesia, ignoring exactly how the term came about. When both politicians and pundits invoke the south of the border pejorative, they unknowingly indict themselves. Dictatorial violence surrounding elections, denying the peaceful transfer of power in the southern hemisphere has almost always been fomented and financed by the United States. WE invented both the practice and term. To condemn the Banana Republic is to condemn ourselves.

    We have exported coups, sedition, insurrection and assassination across the globe since the birth of the Republic. But we controlled the body politic within our borders through democracy and capitalism. Within the homeland the peaceful transfer of power was a source of political and economic pride. It worked, even in the lead up to the Civil War. Only within the last week have we seen blood in the streets directly associated with the election process. As Malcolm X adroitly pointed out after JFK's assassination, "The chickens have come home to roost."

    Republicans now call for a united front, a healing, "a time to come together." I agree. They could all agree to remove Trump. That would be a great indication of the collective resolve to clean the wound, before stitching it up. The BLM movement of the Spring brought so much into focus. Trump's insurrectionist movement of denial and ignorance has sharpened that focus. Hand in hand, singing Kum buy ya, we should come together. We should all admit our culpability in a violent, murderous, sadistic history of genocide and slavery. Let's do it together, UNITED IN GUILT.   


Tuesday, January 12, 2021




    If you travel north on the NYS Thruway and head west on Rt. 17 (Future 86), within 2 1/2 hours of downtown Manhattan you will reach Agloe, NY. Look at your map. Just north of Roscoe, at the intersection of Rt. 206 and Morton Hill Road, stop and look around. What do you see? Nothing. You are in Agloe.

    Agloe is what is known as a "fictitious entry," a spot on the map, purposefully drawn in and notated in order to maintain copyright for the mapmakers. I live about 30 miles from Agloe. As the country wrestles with an insurrection that is unfolding ideologically, not geographically, I would nominate Agloe as the capitol of Trump Nation. It is fitting that the first truly "Real Estate" President be granted a fictitious entry as the seat of their homeland. Because of his functional illiteracy the idea of a brick and mortar Presidential Library seems unnecessary. Nonetheless one could be built with steel salvaged from THE WALL where the Agloe General Store once stood. The Panic Room could replace the Reading Room.

    Fighting an enemy that is embedded amongst us, one that lives and breathes lies perpetuated by "news" outlets like FOX, OAN, and NewsMax, and conspiracy theories by the likes of QAnon is difficult....but not impossible. The next eight days are crucial, but it will not end there. Thinking this will all go away with the swearing in of the Biden administration would be a dangerous move. Pompeo, Cruz, Hawley, Jordan, and even Trump will not relinquish power voluntarily. The echo chambers of falsity will continue, fueled by the ugly and the ignorant's willingness to consume "fictitious entries" all across the global map.

   Trump's call to violence has been embraced by his faithful base. His after the fact, disingenuous, calls for "no violence" will fall on deaf ears. It's a "wink-wink" last ditch effort to paint (once again) his second impeachment as another "witch hunt." The faithful hang on this despot's every word. It's too easy to paint Republican Trump supporters as all wing nuts. Would that this were true. For every heavily tattooed failed actor in face paint, sporting a buffalo hat, there's ten angry Methodist ministers in the basement or 100 insurance salesmen fiddling just purchased AR-15s in the garage to worry about. I'm having a little trouble signing up for Parler. If any Republican is reading this please spread the word- GATHER IN AGLOE on the 20th. Trump will pardon you ALL! All you need is a cell phone and a home address. The state troopers will get back to you. Remember. We love you all.     

Saturday, January 9, 2021

PAUL JENNINGS- slave, author



    A mere four days after slack-jawed, swag waving Trump supporters barking "USA! USA!" were ushered into the Capitol by police who thought they were on their side, the event captured by mostly citizen journalists, will be presented on CNN as "The Trump Insurrection." As the 25th Amendment and a second impeachment looms, Trump is said to be (between rants) concerned with his "legacy." I'd say there is nothing to worry about there. Donald J. Trump's spot in history is secured.  The only other time in history the Capitol was breached was 1814. This event was captured in a slim (19 pages) volume written by Paul B. Jennings, a man who was there, in A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison. Said to be the first memoir to come out of the White House, Jennings' story sets the record straight as to what  exactly happened at the White House, not the Capitol, as the Brits closed in. It's not CNN, but the history is accurately captured by the President's slave Paul Jennings.

    Paul Jennings' father was said to be a white English trader, Benjamin Jennings. His mother was one of President James Madison's slaves, "the granddaughter of an Indian." My mother's father was Raymond Jennings, a white railroad man. The Jennings, like the Osterhouts, owned slaves. I don't know if Benjamin or Paul is any relation. Published in 1865, Jennings' "Reminiscences" also notes that Daniel Webster "paid $120 for the freedom of Paul Jennings; he agrees to work out the same at $8 per month...", March 18, 1847. Paul had to work off the price of his freedom.

James and Dolly Madison moved into the White House with their slaves in 1809. They had over 100 African Americans in bondage at the time. 

From Paul Jennings' book: 

"After the war [1812] had been going on for a couple of years, the people of Washington began to be alarmed for the safety of their city, as the British held Chesapeake Bay with a powerful fleet and army. Everything seemed to be left to General Armstrong, then Secretary of war, who ridiculed the idea that there was any danger. But in August 1814, the enemy had got so near, there could be no doubt of their intentions. Great alarm existed, and some feeble preparations for defence were made....A large part of his men were tall, strapping negroes, mixed with white sailors and marines. Mr. Madison reviewed them just before the fight, and asked Com. Barney if his "negroes would not run on the approach of the British?" "No sir," said Barney, "they don't know how to run; they will die by their guns first." They fought till a large part of them were killed or wounded and taken prisoner....Even that very morning General Armstrong assured Mrs. Madison there was no danger. " 

   At 3pm on the afternoon of August 14, 1814 Paul Jennings had just set the dinner table for Dolly Madison, when a rider galloped up to the White House and cried out "Clear out, Clear out! General Armstrong has ordered a retreat. "I will here mention," Jennings wrote, "that although the British were expected every minute, they did not arrive for some hours; in the mean time, a rabble taking advantage of the confusion, ran all over the White House, and stole lots of silver and whatever they could lay their hands on. " And in one last instance of setting the record straight, Paul Jennings adds this, "It has often been stated in print that when Mrs. Madison escaped from the White House, she cut out from the frame the large portrait of Washington [by Gilbert Stewart]...and carried it off. This is totally false. She had no time for doing it. It would have required a ladder to get it down. All she carried off was the silver in her reticule, as the British were thought to be but a few squares off, and were expected every moment. John Suse (a Frenchman, then doorkeeper, and still living) and Magraw, the President's gardener, took it down and sent it off on a wagon, with some large silver urns...When the British did arrive, they ate up the very dinner, and drank the wines, &c., that I had prepared for the President's party."

    Plenty of memoirs have come out of the Trump White House in his four year reign. Only since Wed. have we seen any display of regret from his enablers and sycophants as the rats jump the sinking ship. Babies being ripped from parents' arms, walls erected across fragile desert, crackpot conspiracy theories, hundreds of thousands of people dying from Covid, an attack on all democratic institutions.....the list goes on. None of these things had any effect on Trump's Republican brown nosers. Only the real fear of bodily injury they felt as the Capitol was breached by unmasked, armed, racist Trumpies, woke these greedy, power craved, politicians up. A little late. As the Capitol Police held the door for the exiting marauders, making no arrests, you have to wonder how deep this all goes.  This beast will not go back into the bottle willingly. Prepare for the worst. The insurrection will be trademarked- a Trump Family Production. 1814 was nothing compared to this despicable attack from within.        

Thursday, January 7, 2021




     Around 4am this morning Pence brought the gavel down on the Congressional proceedings that certified the electoral college results, electing Joe Biden President. Democracy prevailed. Lawmakers had a "come to Jesus" moment as they had a taste of what students have been dealing with for years- an active shooter at the door. Words like "insurrection," "sedition" and "coup" are being bandied about as Trump FINALLY had his Twitter account frozen for a short 12 hours. With the danger of Trump's last 13 days brought into sharp focus by the breaching of the Capitol, I have one question. What was law enforcement told by the Trump administration in the case of Trump supporters rioting? One need only compare the response of U.S. law enforcement to the BLM protests of the Spring to the free pass given red faced, cheese-eating, mouth breathers waving Trump flags, during the deadliest day of the Corona Virus pandemic, to recognize the "blue lives" hypocrisy. An investigation into communication between Trump functionaries and law enforcement may reveal just how insidious and criminal yesterday's lack of police response at the Capitol was. 

     For his entire term Trump has cajoled and pandered to both the military and law enforcement, realizing like all authoritarians, that power lys in the clips and gun barrels of society's armed and uniformed "protectors." White nationalists like the Proud Boys have hijacked the flag and the language of "patriotism," perverting both, as members of Congress were ushered out of their chambers by these same police that were sworn to protect ALL U.S. citizens. These white insurrectionists, goosed into action by an unhinged executive branch were given a free pass to conduct their rampage. Few arrests were made as cops posed for selfies with the mob. Where do we go from here?

    If in fact the police were told to stand down, this disgraceful display by the ugly and the ignorant is much more than another Trump stunt. This is the very real attempt at a coup; and attack on the state. One need only look at Chili and Argentina in the '70's, Germany in the '30's or the Middle East in recent years to see historical parallels. Did the police know this was coming? As they posed for selfies with these assholes where do their loyalties lie? To all who, as a matter of course, support the police, screaming "Blue Lives Matter!" I would say open your eyes. The blue hypocrisy is blinding.                  

Wednesday, January 6, 2021




As Trumpies take over the Capitol I was reminded of Carlo's take on the Lost Cause back in the summer.

Take it away Carlo:

 "I must warn you that there is no winning when it comes to losers. and losers are what these people are, not only in our understanding of history but in their own construction of it. the confederate flag, all those monuments, popular movies like gone with the wind or birth of a nation, and the ongoing white grievance that our president magnifies are all part of a deliberate rewriting of history called the "lost cause narrative." perpetrated by the southern states in the immediate aftermath of the war and fully enabled by the north (where a vast majority of confederate monuments were manufactured) as a way to bring the union back together during reconstruction, this revisionist history maintains a great nobility in their failure. they were not traitors to a nation but defenders of states rights, they were not brutal slave holders but benevolent guardians of happy savages who could not survive on their own, they were chivalrous champions of white christian virtue, and great, heroic soldiers who were simply overwhelmed by the far greater numbers and industrial might of the union forces. this narrative, even if now denuded of its overt klan trappings, still continues for somewhere between 30-40% of white america today. I mention all this because we not only need to understand the ahistorical roots of this false narrative but the pathological psychology around it. this is a mindset that is only reified by being in the unpopular minority and that finds victory in its lost cause. unlike most of you I've never set eyes on lindsay, and I've always had more black friends than white racists in my life, but putting your call for tolerance aside let me assure you I know her type. with the arrogance of ignorance, they are proud of their false heritage."

    All this by Prof. Carlo referred to some cracker in Mountain Dale flying the Confederate flag off the back of her Jeep. Six months later we see the Lost Cause 2020 of Trump rise again and bleed onto the Capitol steps, and lounge in Nancy Pelosi's chair. The Republicans are truly losers. Even Georgia tipped the Senate blue. GEORGIA! The new Lost Cause is not limited to geographic location. It is a mob ideology spawned and spurred on by an amoral thug with no sense of ideology. The lizard brain that Trump somehow titillates in the squishy noggins of half the country has bullets flying inside the People's House.  The peaceful transfer of power is being sorely tested by Trump's minions and the President's egging on. Even his short Twitter video asking his faithful , all "great folks," to stand down and go home was little help. He moaned "You've been screwed..... We've been screwed, fucked royally, but......" Thanks a lot Mr. President.  No help. It's 5pm January 6th. Rudy the Christmas Rabbit may have been a sign. Bad things to come.