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31 March 2009

Shylock's speech from the First Folio / Bob = (probably) Wrong / patfromch = (probably) right / Klaus & Max's Hamlet / robots fling poop at Max

Click images, good things happen.

Anonymous patfromch said...

Bob wrote:
he never intended any of his plays to be read as literature, these were exclusively plays to be performed. Two of his actors smuggled scripts out and published them as the First Folio without his permission

Nah, not to my knowledge. Longer versions of Hamlet and King Lear (and others) suggest that the plays were indeed intended for private reading, presumably at a later point. Since the first folio was printed 7 years after Shakepeares death and since Condell and Hemmings have left no working drafts it is not clear wether Shakespeare was involved. Scholars nowdays believe that he may have been involved to a certain extent but if how and where is not clear. (BTW Merchants is based on a good quarto, meaning that it is close to what Shakespeare had in mind and what the elisabethan audiences actually saw).

I dunno much, but I certainly know about my Willie....

As for the smuggling, from where to where do you mean ? That would be new to me, can you be a bit more prcise

Sorry about not making a comment on the actual subject, but I reckon thats what the comment section is for !


jesucristu go ahead, roll over my ignorance with your big truck. now back up and roll over me again.

i have no defense to make. you're (almost certainly) right and i'm (almost certainly) wrong.

Remember I was pushing you toward "Mephisto" with Klaus Maria Brandauer, from the novel by Klaus Mann (Thomas' son)?

One of the most remarkable sequences in the film is when Brandauer's character, the most popular stage actor in Germany, becomes director of one of the great theater companies, and as his first play, directs and stars in "Hamlet."

Just hurry up and rent it and watch it. They'll be speaking a lingo I think you're pretty familiar with.

Did I tell you about Max's "Hamlet" on MST3K (Mystery Science Theater 3000)? Mike Nelson and the robots beg the Evil Scientists on Earth to let them watch ANYTHING except another crappy cheap horrible sci-fi movie. ANYTHING! PLEASE!

So here's the movie the Evil Scientists force them to watch. Mike and the Robots really rip poor jung Maximilian a new one. (I wonder if he's ever watched his starring episode of MST3K ...)


Hamlet, Prinz von Dänemark (1961) (TV)
User Rating: 2.3/10 312 votes
Director: Franz Peter Wirth
Writers: William Shakespeare (play)
A.W. von Schlegel (translation)
Release Date: 1962 (USA)
Genre: Drama | Mystery

Plot: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle.

Plot Keywords: Hamlet | Poison | Play | Ghost | Knife

User Comments:
Murder, most foul.

Maximilian Schell ... Hamlet
Hans Caninenberg ... Claudius
Wanda Rotha ... Gertrude
Dunja Movar ... Ophelia
Franz Schafheitlin ... Polonius
Dieter Kirchlechner ... Laertes
Karl Michael Vogler ... Horatio
Eckart Dux ... Rosencrantz (as Eckard Dux)
Herbert Bötticher ... Guildenstern

la Vie des Juifs / Florida pretties up its Shylock Law / Shakespeare's knee-slappin' comedy / If you tickle us, do we not laugh?

Click image, nose gets a little bigger.

The advertising logo for the new production of "Oliver!", the musical comedy based on Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist." Rowan Atkinson was Fagin, the hook-nosed Jew running a gang of orphan child pickpockets, but has been replaced by Omid Djalili in the West End production.

e-mail to pal in Taiwan who sent me news article (below) about removing the word "Shylock" from Florida's anti-usury law:


Hsieh hsieh Dan!

Forgive delays, besides the usual problems with my disorganized brain, I've been having trouble with my e-mail client. I think a nice fellow from Mumbai or Bangalore named Oscar just fixed it for me. (Then he tried to sell me some Magic Software Elixir.)

Goodness, I lived in Miami for 2 years working on the daily morning tabloid (now gone the Way Of All Dead Tree Media), and never knew about the Shylock Law. What a quaint blast from the Octoroon Past.

Whenever we can, we love to go to the theater festivals in Ontario, either the Stratford or the Shaw. About 5 years ago I finally got to see a traditional "straight" performance of "Merchant" at Stratford. I'd spent a Jewish life waist-deep in the ferocious controversy, but had never actually encountered the Beast face-to-face.

It was [also very recently] that I discovered "Merchant" wasn't one of the Tragedies, but was one of the Comedies! Just like "All's Well That Ends Well" and "Midsummer."

What a Laff Riot "Merchant" turned out to be, a real Knee-Slapper.

(Oh well, you should have seen the wild controversy when the Amherst MA high school decided to cancel "West Side Story" when a Puerto-Rican-American student complained it was antiPuertoRican. I think they substituted "Little Mary Sunshine," the musical with a money-back guarantee to offend no one.)

I'm authentically grateful that I finally got to see a superb performance of "Merchant." One shouldn't let oneself be abducted or seduced into a controversy about antisemitism without actually experiencing what the controversy's over.

So was the dude an antisemite?

I won't make scholarly historical excuses for him -- "Shakespeare was a man of his times and his views reflected the common views of England in his era yadda yadda ..."

Rather, the thing I can never see beyond is Shylock's speech.


Why, I am sure, if he forfeit thou wilt not take his flesh: what's that good for?


To bait fish withal: if it feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge! If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

It's magnificent, among the finest, most powerful, most insightful dialogue Shakespeare ever wrote. If I were ever attacked by my non-Jewish neighbors, and had just one opportunity to defend myself, I would speak it word for word, and not mind a bit that many Jews consider its author an antisemite, and the play an attack on Jews.

No one could have written that speech without a deep understanding of the caustic effects of anti-semitism, or all bigotry, on the human soul. Shylock's speech convinces me Shakespeare was not stuck and mired in the antisemitic past, but was a prophet -- like Melville -- of a finer and more thoughtful human and humanist future.

I wonder what would happen if the most vociferous anti-Shakespeare Jews were forced to tell the truth: Had they actually seen "Merchant"? (Better than reading in college if you're trying to analyze Shakespeare's intent -- he never intended any of his plays to be read as literature, these were exclusively plays to be performed. Two of his actors smuggled scripts out and published them as the First Folio without his permission.)

This -- and "Oliver Twist" -- make one wonder about these never-ending controversies. How truly well-read and well-viewed in the source of the controversy are most members of the lynch mob? Or are most who perpetuate the controversy just passing on what Uncle Marvin told them thirty years ago?

Hope all's well with you, and a belated Gong hee phat choi!



Jewish Telegraphic Agency / JTA
(New York City / founded 1919)
Jewish-oriented newswire
Wednesday 25 March 2009

‘Shylock’ hath seen
final days in Florida law

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Florida Senate unanimously passed legislation eliminating the term "shylock" from state law.

The words "shylock" and "shylocking" are in the text of Florida statutes dealing with loan sharks. Shylock was the Jewish moneylender in William Shakespeare's 16th-century play "The Merchant of Venice" who demanded a pound of flesh as repayment from a debtor.

State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Jewish Democrat who represents a district that includes Fort Lauderdale [north of Miami], said she proposed the bill to fix "the mistake that has been left by history," according to media reports. A similar bill is working its way through the Florida House of Representatives.

- 30 -


St. Petersburg Times
(daily broadsheet / Florida USA)
Tuesday 24 March 2009

Curtain falls on 'shylock'

The Florida Senate unanimously approved Hollywood Sen. Eleanor Sobel's bill to strike the words "shylock" and "shylocking" from the state's criminal usury statutes. The word derives from Shakespeare's Shylock, the villain in The Merchant of Venice who tried to draw a "pound of flesh" for a loan.

The bill "fixes a mistake that has been left by history," Sobel said. The bill should reach the House floor soon.

- 30 -


Might as well just cancel the USURY laws since credit card companies etc. have killed all effective regulations to prevent them doing it.

It is now "Citibankery", made all legal and brought to you by Busheconomist voodoo trickle down economic royalism.

Posted by: Double Bu$hed | March 24, 2009 at 02:49 PM

another important bill by one of Broward's finest Jewish liberal politicians.

these people are horrible. how do they ever get elected?

these are the same people who want to pick your pocket for more taxes and cry about how much more money government needs!

what's the old saying "you get what you pay for"?

Posted by: terminator | March 24, 2009 at 02:02 PM

She wants it updated to "madoff," and "madoffing." She wants "Ponzi" stricken because it defames the Italian race.

Posted by: Professor | March 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Is there a point to this action, or just more wasted time and tax dollars?

Does our economic recovery depend on this?
Does our historic foreclosure rate have anything to do with this?
Does our nation-leading jobless rate have anything to do with this?
Is there a photo op in this for Chuck?
Does our property insurance problem have anything to do with this?
Does our failing education system have anything to do with this?
Does our failing social programs have anything to do with this?


Posted by: The "Forgotten" People | March 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Was it because he was a Jew?

Posted by: Lenny | March 24, 2009 at 11:25 AM


Florida Senate:


Prepared By: The Professional Staff of the Banking and Insurance Committee
BILL: SB 318
INTRODUCER: Senator Sobel
SUBJECT: Shylocking/Loan Sharking
DATE: January 23, 2009

I. Summary:

This bill removes the terms “shylock” and “shylocking” from Florida’s criminal usury/loan sharking statute under ss. 687.071 and 772.102 F.S. Additionally, this bill removes from s. 687.071 F.S., the phrase “shall be guilty of” and replaces it with the term “commits” in order to conform to language used in other areas of Florida’s criminal statutes. The removal of this language will have no substantive impact on Florida law, nor will it have a fiscal impact to the state.

This bill amends the following sections of the Florida Statutes: 687.071 and 772.102.

II. Present Situation:

Section 687.071, F.S., is entitled “Criminal usury, loan sharking; shylocking.” This provision defines the terms “shylock” and “shylocking” to be synonymous with the terms “loan shark” and “loan sharking” respectively. Section 687.071, F.S., includes four mentions of either “shylock” or “shylocking.” In each case, the terms are used in conjunction with either the term “loan shark” or “loan sharking.”
Because the terms “shylock” and “loan shark” are defined as synonyms in the definitions section, the use of both terms is repetitious and unnecessary.

The history of the term “shylock” dates back to the late 1500’s when William Shakespeare wrote one of his most renowned plays, The Merchant of Venice. In this play, Shakespeare introduced a character named Shylock, a relentless loan shark who’s widely remembered for demanding that his debtor pay him with a pound of flesh taken from the debtor’s body. In addition to portraying the character as a usurer, Shakespeare’s Shylock was also Jewish. Use of this term may reinforce longstanding anti-Semitic stereotypes.

27 March 2009

New York State eases Nelson Rockefeller's 70s racist psycho drug laws

Reuters (newswire UK)
Friday 27 March 2009

New York State
eases 1970s-era
Rockefeller drug laws

by Joan Gralla

ALBANY, NEW YORK USA (Reuters) -- New York state officials agreed on Friday to relax harsh 1970s drug laws that required prison sentences for nonviolent drug crimes in favor of laws that will let judges send addicts to treatment programs.

The new regulations will save the state about "a quarter of a billion dollars" [U$250,000,000] a year in costs for housing prisoners, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said at a news conference in Albany, the state capital.

The existing laws -- known as the Rockefeller drug laws for Republican Governor Nelson Rockefeller who in 1973 said they were needed to fight a heroin epidemic -- were considered among the nation's stiffest because they required prison terms for offenders and gave judges no discretion in sentencing.

They had been the target of Democrats for years but previous legislative efforts had produced only limited softening.

A joint release from Paterson, the state Senate and Assembly said the agreement eliminates mandatory prison sentences for many first- and second-time offenders and makes them eligible for probation that could include drug treatment.

"This will probably be part of the budget because it does involve some funding," [NY Governor David A.] Paterson told reporters.

The Drug Policy Alliance, which has long campaigned against the state's tough drug laws, said New York's prisons hold approximately 12,000 drug offenders, representing nearly 21 percent of the prison population and costing New Yorkers hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

The new laws would create a drug "kingpin" offense for "organized drug traffickers who profit from and prey on drug users." They also would create new crimes for adults who sell drugs to children.

Paterson, saying that as a state legislator from New York City's Harlem neighborhood he saw "first-hand the devastating effects" of drugs, defended spending tens of millions of dollars of federal economic stimulus money to pay for new treatment programs.

He cited the example of a female drug addict who was arrested 60 times over 25 years. After being successfully treated for her addiction, she became a drug counselor.

"Rather than using public dollars while she was in prison, she is spending public dollars to conduct her life," he said.

Judges who preside over specialized drug courts will be able to decide whether to send first and second time offenders to these programs -- even if prosecutors object.

Judge Jonathan Lippman, chief judge of the Court of Appeals, called drug courts "a tough-love regime."

Drug courts "not only produce dramatic reductions in recidivism and great savings in social services costs but also serve to reunite families, and most critically (increase) public safety," he said.

Each prisoner costs the state about $45,000 a year, and the recession has given the state ever-widening budget deficits.

Drug court judges, who will run the treatment programs, also will be able to dismiss all charges or seal all records if addicts successfully finish treatment. They also can order extra monitoring and tests or penalties for those who fail. So-called "shock" incarcerations are another option.

In addition to fights over whether judges should have to heed prosecutors' objections, there have been clashes over whether people serving sentences handed down under the old laws should now be offered the new treatment options.

Paterson estimated about 1,500 prisoners can apply, adding few would qualify because they either sold drugs for profit or have been violent.

The Board of Parole will now have to consider the new law's reduced sentences in deciding whether to grant parole.

- 30 -

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

25 March 2009

difficulty distinguishing between the Good Guys & the Bad Guys

The Associated Press (US newswire)
Tuesday 24 March 2009

Michigan Attorney General:
Drug trial was
filled with perjury

by Ed White

DETROIT (AP) -- Michigan's attorney general filed charges Tuesday against a judge and a prosecutor he said worked together to allow two police officers to lie on the witness stand in a drug trial, allegations that he said "undermine the credibility of our justice system."

The police officers were charged along with retired Wayne County judge Mary Waterstone and Karen Plants, who last year left her job as an assistant prosecutor handling drug cases in Wayne County.

At the 2005 drug trial of Alexander Aceval, Plants is accused of allowing the officers, from the Detroit suburb of Inkster, to lie about their relationship with a paid informant and the informant's role in the seizure of 47 kilograms of cocaine.

Transcripts of the private talks between the judge and prosecutor helped Attorney General Mike Cox bring charges.

Plants told Waterstone that lies were necessary to protect the identity of the informant, who was a trial witness, according to a report by state investigator Michael Ondejko. Waterstone also signed an order forbidding companies from releasing the informant's cell-phone records to defense lawyers, further concealing his relationship with police, Ondejko wrote.

"It is a sad day because law enforcement professionals are involved as defendants," Cox said. "Nonetheless, this case is important because the allegations here undermine the credibility of our justice system."

Aceval's trial ended in a mistrial. He later pleaded guilty to possessing 1,000 grams or more of cocaine and won't be eligible for release from prison until 2015.

Waterstone, 69, of Detroit, is charged with four felonies, including improper communications with Plants and concealing perjured testimony. Plants, 46, of Ferndale, is charged with six crimes, including conspiracy. The police officers, Robert McArthur and Scott Rechtzigel, are charged with conspiracy and perjury.

The four defendants were released on $25,000 bond each after not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf in 36th District Court.

"These charges are obscene," Plants' attorney, Ben Gonek, said outside court. "... The defendant in the criminal case was a piece of garbage who was dealing poison in our community."

Waterstone and her three lawyers and the officers' lawyers had no comment after the arraignment. The next court date is April 28.

Plants' former boss, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, declined interview requests and issued a brief statement: "Our system of justice is based upon the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial. I sincerely hope that these defendants will be afforded the same rights as others."

Aceval's lawyer, David Moffitt, has tried to get his client's 2006 guilty plea thrown out, arguing that perjury at the 2005 trial should have erased the case forever.

On Feb. 5, the Michigan Court of Appeals said the conduct of Waterstone and Plants was "disgraceful," but it ruled against Aceval, noting that his trial had ended in a mistrial. Aceval is appealing to the state Supreme Court.

Moffitt was in court Tuesday for the arraignment of the former judge and ex-prosecutor.

"No one can be pleased about public corruption. On the other hand, a strong message needs to be sent that no one is above the law," he said.

The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission last year filed a complaint against Plants. It is pending at the state Attorney Discipline Board. No complaint is pending against Waterstone.

- 30 -

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

24 March 2009

Wealth Opportunities From Abroad! / Bob doesn't use his Spam Filter


It's Just my urgent need for foreign partner that led to my contacting you about this transaction. I am a banker by profession and currently holding the post of a chief auditor in our Bank.

I have the opportunity of transfering an unclaimed funds ($30,000,000) belonging to one of my clients who died in an automobile accident in 2003 having no one coming up to claim his funds and if left unclaimed will be transfered to the government treasury by the bank.

Hence, I am inviting you for a business deal where we can facilitate the transfer of this fund and have promised 40 as your percentage once we are through, if you agree to my business proposal.

Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your mail.

Good day!


Warm greetings to you,

Hello, my name is Mr. J Mac from UK.I have a 20,000,000 Pounds Legitimate Business I want to offer you, 40% is your share when we finish this project. Do contact me if you are interested for details.


Mr.J Mac.


My Dear,

I want to inform you that the fee for your Cheque Draft has been Paid on the 18/2/2009 2:30 Pm afternoon because the manager of Eco Bank Benin told me that, before the check will get to you it will expire. So i told him to cash the money $900,000.00. {Nine houndred thausand United State Dollas.

All the necessary arrangement of delivering of the $900,000.00 in cash to your home was made with DHL WORLD WIDE EXPRESS COMPANY BENIN.

Here is the contact of the DHL Express Company World Wide bellow.

ADDRESS: 12 CARR14 COTONOU BENIN REPUBLID 124 10BP 697.............

Please send your contacts information that will enable them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX. This the information they need from in order to delivery your box to your postal address.


Please make sure you send all this needed informations to the Director general DHL COURRIER EXPRESS COMPANY BENIN ,REV FRANCO BEN. with the address given to you.

Note. The DHL EXPRESS COMPANY here don't know the contents of the Box. I registered it as a dameges of jeans returning to the retailer.

They don't know it contains money, is to avoid them from delaying with the Box.Please don't let them to know that the contents of the Box is money, to avoid any delay with the box. I am waiting for your urgent response. Mean while the only fee you have to pay them is $195 USD they will use to obtain insurance certificate and claims of affidavite that will prove that the box belongs to you. Be rest assure that all other fees have been paid by me.

I am waiting for your urgent response.


Mr Wattson Peter


From: Paul Coleman

Dear Friend.

My name is Dr. Paul Coleman, A banker by Profession and Currently A Director of Finance Auditing and Accounting Unit in my Bank, Which the name will giving to you as soon as you respond for security reason.

I got your name and address in my search for a reputable and reliable person to help me claim the sum of USD$15,600,000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS, Deposited in our bank by one of our customer who died with his wife and two children on the 21Th day of April 2001 in car clash along Tema express road.

Since his death no one has come up as his next of kin and all our efforts to locate any member of his immediate family has proved Abortive that was why I decided to see if I can get anybody who has the same surname or last name with him via Internet preferably some one of the same nationality with him which I believe you have all the qualities we need.

Why i am contacting you is to present you to our bank as the next of Kin to the deceased customer. He was Drilling contractor with some Oil Companies here in west Africa,also because you have the same surname/last name with him. So it will be more acceptable and wiser to present you through paper work to the Bank for claim of the total fund.

I will give you all the necessary requirements that the bank may request from you and follow up the transfer of the fund into your account as an Insider. It will interest you to know that I and my partners has been keeping the account dormant to enable our plans for the funds to come through and this is the time and we are happy to locate you for the perfection of the transfer of the Fund into your nominated Bank Account to be given.

As soon as I get your positive response on Email ( ) I will update you about the mode of disbursement and we will also need to know about investing in your Country as a way of helping your people who suppose are the original owners of this Fund

Looking forward to your urgent response by updating me with direct Telephone and Fax number for easy communication.

Yours Specially

Dr. Paul Coleman


Foreign Operations Unit
Processing & Payment Department
File Ref No: CCHS/97531/HSBC-OX1/09


Reference to the letter of nomination forwarded to us by the Debt Recovery Committee regarding your part payment sum of US$3,600,000.00 dollars deposited into our account with the HSBC Bank in London UK, our foreign payment operations have reviewed the allocation for further credit to your new changed nominated account as stated below.

ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428
BANK ADDRESS: 515 East 15th Street NJ (USA)

However, your information as provided above have been posted to our operational paying bank, the HSBC Bank in form of transfer instructions for transfer of your allocation into your nominated account. Please call the customer service of the HSBC Bnak on +44 870 9749495 Ext. 1, for any further change, quoting the above file reference number and within 48hrs as no change of information will be effected after transfer of funds.

For any further inquiry please contact the undersigned officer immediately as funds will be retrieved to treasury after ten (10) business days of this notice.


Mr. James B Borrow
Head of Customer Service
Foreign Operations Unit
Phone:+44 70359 73541 (8am-6pm London Time)


Good Day,

I am Mr. Aaron Mahlangu of Standard Bank,South Africa.I need you to assist me in executing a Business in South Africa to your country. It involves transfer of a large sum of money (US$32,300,000.00) I shall perfect all legal documents in your names to make you the beneficiary to the funds.

Once this funds is transferred to you then we will share the proceeds in a ratio of 65% for me, 30% for you and 5% to pay back expenses incurred during the course of this transaction.

Please it is a secret deal. Should you be interested please send me your:

1,Full names,
2,Private phone number and address

I shall provide you with more details as soon as you reply

Kind Regards

Mr. Aaron Mahlangu.


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22 March 2009

PIZZAQ: What's Wrong With This First Day [of] Issue?

Click image for larger.

Unlike most of the stamps on Vleeptron, these are REAL postage stamps from a REAL country. This is the First Day Issue package just as it was issued.

Well, from a REAL postal issuing authority; Montserrat's actually a colony of the UK.

This is a Sherlock Holmes / Judge Dee / Kommissar Berlach / Miss Jane Marple / C. Auguste Dupin / Phillip Marlowe / Sam Spade / Nero Wolfe sort of PizzaQ.

5 Slices of Pepperoni Pizza:

What's Wrong With This Image?

The US war in Iraq celebrates its 6th anniversary / our neighbors' children come home in boxes / Congress declares National Sofa Week

Click, coffins get bigger.
Numbers keep getting bigger.

of the
United States

Article I

Section 8: The Congress shall have power

* To declare war,
grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

adopted 17 September 1787
law of the land since 4 March 1789


a comment to Chicago Sun-Times opinion e-column

"Iraq, Year Six"

(reprinted below):

Posted by: Bob Merkin | March 22, 2009 12:59 pm

When the political sphere gets whipped into a froth, it often screams for a Constitutional amendment -- e.g. flag-burning.

The pathetic thing about Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam is that we already have, in the original Constitution, the clearest, simplest language stating whose responsibility declaring war is: Congress.

The last American war that commenced and was waged with a Congressional declaration was World War Two.

Since Korea, Congress has simply ducked, dodged and weaseled out of its Constitutional responsibility to declare and authorize war.

It has become Congress' new culture and habit to let the president bear all the political heat for war, and when the war goes south and inflames and outrages the electorate, Congress can say: Don't blame us, this is the president's doing, he started it, his signature is on the paperwork, not ours.

So we get these never-ending Blunder Wars, and the corpses of our neighbors' sons and daughters flown back to Dover Air Force Base.

The only modern president to take responsibility for ending one of these disasters was Gerald Ford. Johnson and Nixon did not have the guts to end Vietnam. They understood clearly that ordering an end to an American war would be political suicide.

Obama doesn't have the clarity or political nerve to end these two Asian wars, and is ratcheting up our military commitment in Afghanistan.

The last foreign army to conquer and control all of Afghanistan was Alexander the Great. The British couldn't, the Soviet Union couldn't.

Declaring or avoiding Blunder Wars that kill and cripple our neighbors' children is Congress' clear responsibility. When Congress shirks it, and won't face it, Congress is begging to become The Irrelevant, Symbolic, Useless branch of the federal government -- exactly like the Roman Senate under the emperors: a great temple of florid, patriotic, televised speeches, of waving flags, of declations of National Sofa Week.

Until Congress grabs back its Constitutional duty for declaring war, it's just a silly bunch of useless cowards, accumulating benefits and pensions, flying to sun and ski junkets on free rides on corporate jets.

While our neighbors' daughters and sons keep getting maimed, committing suicide, and dying in (as Congressman Lincoln called Polk's Mexican War) Liars' and Scoundrels' Wars.


The Swamp (political blog)
The Chicago Sun-Times (Chicago, Illinois USA)
Sunday 22 March 2009

Iraq, year six

by Frank James

[photo:] A soldier mans his 50 caliber machine gun as his scout unit heads to Nasiriyah, Iraq, March 22, 2003. (Chicago Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo).

This weekend marked the sixth anniversary of the Iraq War.
At six years, it isn't America's longest war -- Vietnam still holds that honor with some scholars calculating U.S. involvement there as lasting 25 years since they count back to 1950 as the start of U.S. efforts there.

It's also not the bloodiest or most divisive. The Civil War holds both those records. It also wasn't the only war the U.S. entered based on less than accurate information. The Spanish-American War can also lay claim to that.

But it may be the first war in U.S. history in which there was so much suspicion at the war's start that personal reasons conflated with national security concerns to cause an American president to launch the war in the first place.

Before the war started, there were questions about why President George Bush decided to take the nation to war. Yes, there was the "intelligence" that suggested that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

But there was also the suspicion that there was something of a president's personal vendetta against another head of state, concerns that were only raised when Bush, speaking at a Houston event, reminded the audience that Hussein was "the guy who tried to kill my dad," referring to a bomb plot attributed to Hussein against the first President Bush.

Looking back on the beginning of the war, we see that the nation's founders had prepared the nation for such concerns about the motives of the head of state by giving only Congress the ability to authorize war.

The founders had seen first hand the disastrous consequences that arise when a head of state can plunge his nation into ill-considered wars. The actions of King George III who waged a costly war against the American colonies and lost was an object lesson to them, which is why they made Congress a check on the commander-in-chief's power.

For a number of reasons, Congress decided to defer to the president although if ever there were a situation in which it shouldn't have, it was during the months leading to the Iraq War when a president with an obvious conflict of interest was pressing for military action.

It was a conflict so self-evident that in any other scenario, the president would have had to recuse himself.

For instance, could one imagine a prosecutor in an American court being allowed to try a case against a defendant who had targeted the prosecutor's father in a bomb plot? That never would have been allowed to happen in a court of law.

Yet, that was the situation the country found itself in a matter no less grave than war and peace, with a president-prosecutor who had a conflict.

As the founders intended, only Congress was left to act as a counterweight. But for several reasons, it was unable to do so.

Obviously, there was the 9/11 factor which, if it didn't change everything, changed much. It reduced Congress's desire to act as a check on the president since few lawmakers wanted to appear unpatriotic in the wake of the dreadful attacks.

Of course, members of the Bush Administration did their best to link Hussein to 9/11 in voters' minds which made it harder for Congress to say no to the war.

It's beyond dispute that the administration also used the attacks and war on terror, and Americans' desire to be protected and tendency to rally around the president in a time of existential peril to the president's and Republican Party's political advantage.

So with congressional elections in 2002 and 2004 on their minds, many Democrats found it difficult to oppose the Iraq War in the 2002 run up. They didn't want to have that vote used against them in congressional and presidential races.

There were also the memories of 1991 when many congressional Democrats and even some Republicans, (then-Republican Jim Webb, now a Democratic senator, comes to mind) had doubts about the Persian Gulf War, a conflict which turned out to be a huge victory for the U.S.

So the pressures were enormous on some lawmakers like Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) who had voted against the 1991 war but voted in 2002 to authorize the second Iraq War.

And so the war happened. And we all know how that went. The initial "mission accomplished" phase turned into the insurgency, terrorism and sectarian violence phase which after much reluctance by one-time Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the White House turned into the surge phase with reduced violence.

Nearly 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war, according to the Iraq Body Count website. Meanwhile, the death toll of U.S. servicemembers has surpassed 4,200 according to the website. And Americans continue to die in Iraq, although in fewer numbers than before the surge.

But there were other events often ignored by the war's opponents. One of the worst tyrants of modern times was toppled and later captured and executed. Iraq is now a democracy with broad-based free and fair voting in a region of the world where that can't be said for many other countries.

Those were the invasion's intended consequences that came along with all the unintended ones.

Now President Barack Obama has vowed to remove U.S. combat troops from Iraq by 2011 as a new administration's attention shifts to Afghanistan.

In important ways, Afghanistan is a much tougher war than Iraq even though the U.S. has allies there in a way it never did in Iraq. Iraq had a governmental, commercial, physical and societal infrastructure that Afghanistan lacks. Afghanistan's tribal and ethnic differences make Iraq's Sunni-Shia-Kurdish cleavages seem simple.

Afghanistan is so daunting, that six years from now, we may look back on Iraq and think of it as, if not the good war, certainly the easier one, when compared with Afghanistan.

- 30 -

more comments:


What a crock of rubbish. I was drawn to this article by the headline "Iraq,year six." This article had nothing to say about Iraq year six. It had little to say about Iraq period. Instead, a person with press credentials uses this article as a soapbox for his own personal agenda. This is yellow journalism at it's finest. The author, Frank James needs a change in venue. He would do well with Pravda.

Posted by: John Ward | March 22, 2009 12:32 PM


John Ward,
I guess you have never read a Frank James article before?
If Frank had bothered to do a little research he would have seen the joint resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq had backing by the major democratic senators.
If as he states that the Senators were also afraid to vote against this because of upcoming 2002 & 2004 election, then this says a lot about democratic leadership.
One other not about this vote - for all of you flatliners that said President Bush rushed into war with Saddam - US troops didn't go into Iraq until 6 months after this vote.
As far the WMDs, the democratic leadership from the Clinton administration and also the Senate leaderhship during the Bush administration sur thought those WMDs existed.

Posted by: Terry | March 22, 2009 2:36 PM


[RE: Post by: Bob Merkin | March 22, 2009 12:59 PM]
I have no reason to disagree with the points you make about irresponsibility and blame shifting in Washington. However, I must disagree with you on some of the things you’ve said, and with particular regard to your statement that we haven’t had a constitutionally declared war since World War II.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution grants to Congress the power “[t]o declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water . . .” Beyond this provision, the Constitution prescribes no particular form of words regarding the content of a declaration of war. In contrast, the Constitution mentions other forms of belligerency, such as invasion and insurrection, and requires no particular declaration of war to authorize the President to repel an invasion or suppress an insurrection. Rather than declaring a state of invasion or insurrection, the duty of Congress is limited to providing “for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions . . .” (U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, Cl. 15.) The President requires no congressional authorization to repel an invasion from a foreign nation. (See The Prize Cases, 67 U.S. 635, 668 (1862).) The constitutional distinction is drawn at the point that the President seeks authority to “set on foot a military expedition against a nation with whom the United States are at peace.” (United States v. Smith, 27 Fed. Cas. p. 1192, 1229-30 (C.C.D.N.Y. 1806), cited in Holmes v. United States, 391 U.S. 936, fn. 10 (1968) (Douglas, J. Dissenting.).) It takes an act of Congress to authorize the latter because “it is the exclusive province of congress to change a state of peace into a state of war.” (Smith, at pp. 1230-31.)
But if a declaration of war doesn’t require any particular form, then why isn’t it the case that a congressional act authorizing the use of military force against another nation constitutes a declaration of war? If an act of Congress does everything to authorize war against another nation with which the United States are at peace, is it any less of a declaration of war simply because it isn’t captioned or entitled “declaration of war”? I don’t think so. If a bill appropriates money, it is an appropriation bill regardless of whether it is denominated one. If it authorizes war, it is a declaration of war even if not called such. Laws are reckoned by their substance rather than their form or title.
This being the case, I must part company with your suggestion that we haven’t had a declared war since the World War II. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution clearly authorized the President to employ the Armed Forces of the United States in hostile activities in Vietnam. The fact that it was a congressional authorization for a hostile military expedition against a nation with whom we were at peace made it a declaration of war even though it wasn’t called one. No one appears to be able to explain what was missing from it to deprive it of its character as a declaration of war. Congress has likewise authorized the use of force in Iraq (twice) and in Afghanistan. Nobody in Congress has suggested that they haven’t authorized these incursions. Their excuse has been to say they were duped into granting such authorization. That, again, doesn’t change the nature of what they have authorized.
So yes, I must agree with you that politicians have engaged in the deplorable practice of blaming the executive for wars of their causing. However, it is even more deplorable because those expeditions were produced by constitutional authorization, making their denials a pack of lies.
I must also part company with your statement that it was Gerald Ford rather than Nixon who “had the guts” to end the Vietnam War. Our ground forces, with the exception of a few advisors and embassy guards, had already been withdrawn pursuant to the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 before Gerald Ford ever took office. In fact, when North Vietnam reneged on the Paris Accords in 1974, Ford sought authorization from Congress to resume military support for South Vietnam. He was rebuffed by Congress, and North Vietnam went on to successfully complete its invasion.

Posted by: John W. | March 22, 2009 5:30 PM


If as he states that the Senators were also afraid to vote against this because of upcoming 2002 & 2004 election, then this says a lot about democratic leadership.

Posted by: Terry | March 22, 2009 2:36 PM

So what do you say about the quality of Republic Party leadership that has gone on record saying that they won't vote for the stimulus bill because, if it works, it can be used against them in the 2010 elections?


Hey John W --
Stop confusing me with Legal and Historical Citations and Thoughtful Insights! I hate that!
You're systematically on point, but I think you're slightly missing The Big Overview:

How can Americans insulate and protect themselves from a rogue president's tsunami of jingoism, and how can Congress -- with its near-universal terror of not being re-elected every 2 years -- be willing to stand up and analyze fraudulent intelligence and downright lies pushing us into war.

Your citation of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution hits the nail on the head: Legal, Constitutional -- and triggered by an enemy attack which never actually happened. The Tonkin Gulf attacks spookily mimic the motorized Zodiac boat incidents Bush & Co. were pointing to to rattle jingo sabers against Iran.

But I still blame the 2-Asian-War mess on the systemic cowardice of Congress. There were members clearly calling for the wars to end: the most marginalized and villified "loonies" Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

And Special Mention to Senator Byrd of WV and his amazing speech "Sleepwalking Through History" -- delivered to an empty Senate chamber.

If a war's worth fighting, for bona fide national security reasons, let Congress step up to the plate and declare it. What we have now is idiots like Hillary Clinton and her "If I knew then what I know now ..."

The moment to vote, to approve or oppose, is always Then, dummy.

Thanks, muy sincerely, for your very thoughtful and informed reply.


Posted by: Bob Merkin | March 23, 2009 1:15 PM

20 March 2009

PizzaQ HINTS! 2 HINTS! Now decipher the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph just like the Stargate nerd!

Click, gets bigger.

Amazingly -- and I truly consider this amazing -- one of our Vleeptroidz has come up with the correct answer for this PizzaQ. We got a reader who can translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, just like the Egyptologist nerd in Stargate!


But meanwhile, I want to see if we can pull another right answer out of anybody else in the Blogosphere, maybe Vargo in Kafe Internet Sofia, or maybe Klaas in Rotterdam. So here are 2 Hints! (patfromch did it with 0 Hints.)

The creature is Not A Bunny. (patfromch thought it was a Bunny.)

The Vleeptron Zoological Society informs us that the thing with the big ears is a critter of the Sahara, the Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda).

Turn your speakers ON and click HERE and you could get lucky (works for me in WinAmp) and listen to a Fennec singing. In the moonlight. Standing on the apex of the Great Pyramid of Khufu/Cheops.

(Actually in a cage at the Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart DE, photo by Kathrin Gaisser. And it sang in the morning.)

Vleeptron is happy to provide you this Hint, because it will not help you at all.

The wiggly horizontal line refers to the River Nile. This Hint actually WILL help you figure out which Place this hieroglyph is the name of.

19 March 2009

PizzaQ: What flag is this?

Hmmmm okay uhhhh 3 Slices, Endives & Shallots.

This is the flag of which sovereign nation?

15 March 2009

more blasphemy

Carib Beer Prayer

(from Trinidad & Tobago)

Our lager,
Which art in Barrels,
Hallowed be thy Drink.
Thy cases come,
Drunk will be done,
At home as it is in Pelican (and Pier 1 and Anchorage and Base ... )
Give us this day our Foamy head,
And forgive us our Spillage,
As we forgive those who Spill us and upon us.
And lead us not into Incarceration,
But deliver us from Hangovers.
For thine is the Beer,
the froth, and the lager.
And may Carib be available for ever and ever,


Click for larger, I think it's pretty

What If God Smoked Cannabis

lyrics by Weird Al Yankovic

(parody of "One of Us" by Eric Bazilian)

If God had long hair and a goatee
And if his eyes were pretty glazed
If he looked spaced out
Would you buy his story?
Would you believe he had an eye infection?

And yeah yeah God looks baked
Yeah yeah God smells good
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
What if God smoked cannabis?
Hit the bong like some of us
Drove a tie-dyed microbus
And he subscribes to Rolling Stone

If God made this place, in the beginning
Did he plant any seeds?
Or did he put them there for Adam and Eve
So they'd be hungry for the apple
That the snake was always offering

And yeah yeah God rolls great
Yeah yeah God smells good
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
What if God smoked cannabis?
Do you s'pose he had a buzz
When he made the platypus
When he created Earth our home
Does he like Pearl Jam or The Stones?

And do you think he rolls his own
Up there in heaven on the throne
And when the saints go marching home
Maybe he sits and smokes a bone

PizzaQ! Where's this? / Budge / Sint Maarten / blocked beach view / rioting, stabbing / Polka Fever / faux dreds

Click on images, good things could happen.

1 Whole Pizza Pie,
because yesterday (3/14 at precisely 15 hours 9.26 minutes, or somesuch) was Pi Day. And because I think this is a hard one.

HINT: It's a Place. Or the way they assembled this hieroglyph to express the name of this Place.

In the original "Stargate" movie, the nerd Egyptologist (James Spader) finds his colleagues translating the glyphs on the Stargate using the standard English-language reference, and mutters

"Oh for Christ's sake, this is all wrong, I can't believe they're still reprinting Budge."

He's muttering about the English giant of Egyptology Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge (1857 – 1934), and referring specifically to

1920. An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, With an Index of English Words, King List and Geographical List with Index, List of Hieroglyphic Characters, Coptic and Semitic Alphabets, etc.. London: John Murry. (Reprinted New York: Dover Publications., 1978)

Budge fucked up the Stargate translation -- with Budge, You Can't Get There From Here -- but you could get lucky with Budge on this PizzaQ.


My Caribbean Island was (and still is) the Dutch-French hybrid Sint Maarten / St. Martin. We stayed on the Dutch Side, at an absolutely swell and delicious and terribly friendly beachfront hotel, Holland House, in the jumpin hot hot hot capital Philipsburg, where S.W.M.B.O. bought some bling and I purchased a lurid sleeveless Bob Marley t-shirt (but I did not buy the Rasta Hat with faux dredlocks, there are limits to what kind of Tourist Clown Outfit I will wear in public).

I do wish to complain about the beach view at Holland House. As I relaxed in the Very Bright Sun, I was trying to gaze on the sailing ships and catamarans and yachts anchored in the harbor, and the beautiful tropical mountain vistas, but hundreds of young tourist women wearing practically no clothing at all kept riding down the Boardwalk on their rented Segways and blocking my view.

A petite outbreak of violent crime had erupted on The French Side, and 20 Gendarmes had been flown in from France to neutralize this whomp-ass threat to the Tourist Trade. English tourist got stabbed in the stomach in a botched robbery at the end of our Boardwalk, but he lived. Philipsburg accomodates sometimes as many as 4 giant cruise liners and their thousands of driveby tourists each day.

Elsewhere down the Antilles, RIOTS against high food prices and a variety of Paris' broken promises and ignored petitions were breaking out in the capitals of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Our Island was just getting over an epidemic (the newspaper's word, not mine) of Dengue, which patfromch says is sometimes also called Polka Fever. (That doesn't sound good.) I drank Carib beer, pretty damn tasty. I think I also had a rum drink with a parasol in it.

In private correspondence, patfromch guessed Sint Maarten
by a process of ratiocination he has explained to me, but which I can only ascribe to Magical or Jungian principles.

Our other correspondent from CH, twolegsnotail, also amazingly guessed correctly. Your Pizza Account will be Credited; and pat's Tourist Postcard from Sint Maarten is wending its way to CH.

14 March 2009


I don't know, click on the wiggle.gif, see what happens.

March is month 3

Today is 14

so it's ...........


the day all Sentients throughout the Milky Way and the Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy celebrate the ratio of


of the circle, which works out roughly to

pi = 3.
1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989 3809525720 1065485863 2788659361 5338182796 8230301952 0353018529 6899577362 2599413891 2497217752 8347913151 5574857242 4541506959 5082953311 6861727855 8890750983 8175463746 4939319255 0604009277 0167113900 9848824012 8583616035 6370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6782354781 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 2861829745 5570674983 8505494588 5869269956 9092721079 7509302955 3211653449 8720275596 0236480665 4991198818 3479775356 6369807426 5425278625 5181841757 4672890977 7727938000 8164706001 6145249192 1732172147 7235014144 1973568548 1613611573 5255213347 5741849468 4385233239 0739414333 4547762416 8625189835 6948556209 9219222184 2725502542 5688767179 0494601653 4668049886 2723279178 6085784383 8279679766 8145410095 3883786360 9506800642 2512520511 7392984896 0841284886 2694560424 1965285022 2106611863 0674427862 2039194945 0471237137 8696095636 4371917287 4677646575 7396241389 0865832645 9958133904 7802759009 9465764078 9512694683 9835259570 9825822620 5224894077 2671947826 8482601476 9909026401 3639443745 5305068203 4962524517 4939965143 1429809190 6592509372 2169646151 5709858387 4105978859 5977297549 8930161753 9284681382 6868386894 2774155991 8559252459 5395943104 9972524680 8459872736 4469584865 3836736222 6260991246 0805124388 4390451244 1365497627 8079771569 1435997700 1296160894 4169486855 5848406353 4220722258 2848864815 8456028506 0168427394 5226746767 8895252138 5225499546 6672782398 6456596116 3548862305 7745649803 5593634568 1743241125 1507606947 9451096596 0940252288 7971089314 5669136867 2287489405 6010150330 8617928680 9208747609 1782493858 9009714909 6759852613 6554978189 3129784821 6829989487 2265880485 7564014270 4775551323 7964145152 3746234364 5428584447 9526586782 1051141354 7357395231 1342716610 2135969536 2314429524 8493718711 0145765403 5902799344 0374200731 0578539062 1983874478 0847848968 3321445713 8687519435 0643021845 3191048481 0053706146 8067491927 8191197939 9520614196 6342875444 0643745123 7181921799 9839101591 9561814675 1426912397 4894090718 6494231961
5679452080 9514655022 5231603881 9301420937 6213785595 6638937787 0830390697 9207734672 2182562599 6615014215 0306803844 7734549202 6054146659 2520149744 2850732518 6660021324 3408819071 0486331734 6496514539 0579626856 1005508106 6587969981 6357473638 4052571459 1028970641 4011097120 6280439039 7595156771 5770042033 7869936007 2305587631 7635942187 3125147120 5329281918 2618612586 7321579198 4148488291 6447060957 5270695722 0917567116 7229109816 9091528017 3506712748 5832228718 3520935396 5725121083 5791513698 8209144421 0067510334 6711031412 6711136990 8658516398 3150197016 5151168517 1437657618 3515565088 4909989859 9823873455 2833163550 7647918535 8932261854 8963213293 3089857064 2046752590 7091548141 6549859461 6371802709 8199430992 4488957571 2828905923 2332609729 9712084433 5732654893 8239119325 9746366730 5836041428 1388303203 8249037589 8524374417 0291327656 1809377344 4030707469 2112019130 2033038019 7621101100 4492932151 6084244485 9637669838 9522868478 3123552658 2131449576 8572624334 4189303968 6426243410 7732269780 2807318915 4411010446 8232527162 0105265227 2111660396 6655730925 4711055785 3763466820 6531098965 2691862056 4769312570 5863566201 8558100729 3606598764 8611791045 3348850346 1136576867 5324944166 8039626579 7877185560 8455296541 2665408530 6143444318 5867697514 5661406800 7002378776 5913440171 2749470420 5622305389 9456131407 1127000407 8547332699 3908145466 4645880797 2708266830 6343285878 5698305235 8089330657 5740679545 7163775254 2021149557 6158140025 0126228594 1302164715 5097925923 0990796547 3761255176 5675135751 7829666454 7791745011 2996148903 0463994713 2962107340 4375189573 5961458901 9389713111 7904297828 5647503203 1986915140 2870808599 0480109412 1472213179 4764777262 2414254854 5403321571 8530614228 8137585043 0633217518 2979866223 7172159160 7716692547 4873898665 4949450114 6540628433 6639379003 9769265672 1463853067 3609657120 9180763832 7166416274 8888007869 2560290228 4721040317 2118608204 1900042296 6171196377 9213375751 1495950156 6049631862 9472654736 4252308177 0367515906 7350235072 8354056704 0386743513 6222247715 8915049530 9844489333 0963408780 7693259939 7805419341 4473774418 4263129860 8099888687 4132604721 5695162396 5864573021 6315981931 9516735381 2974167729 4786724229 2465436680 0980676928 2382806899 6400482435 4037014163 1496589794 0924323789 6907069779 4223625082 2168895738 3798623001 5937764716 5122893578 6015881617 5578297352 3344604281 5126272037 3431465319 7777416031 9906655418 7639792933 4419521541 3418994854 4473456738 3162499341 9131814809 2777710386 3877343177 2075456545 3220777092 1201905166 0962804909 2636019759 8828161332 3166636528 6193266863 3606273567 6303544776 2803504507 7723554710 5859548702 7908143562 4014517180 6246436267 9456127531 8134078330 3362542327 8394497538 2437205835 3114771199 2606381334 6776879695 9703098339 1307710987 0408591337 4641442822 7726346594 7047458784 7787201927 7152807317 6790770715 7213444730 6057007334 9243693113 8350493163 1284042512 1925651798 0694113528 0131470130 4781643788 5185290928 5452011658 3934196562 1349143415 9562586586 5570552690 4965209858 0338507224 2648293972 8584783163 0577775606 8887644624 8246857926 0395352773 4803048029 0058760758 2510474709 1643961362 6760449256 2742042083 2085661190 6254543372 1315359584 5068772460
2901618766 7952406163 4252257719 5429162991 9306455377 9914037340 4328752628 8896399587 9475729174 6426357455 2540790914 5135711136 9410911939 3251910760 2082520261 8798531887 7058429725 9167781314 9699009019 2116971737 2784768472 6860849003 3770242429 1651300500 5168323364 3503895170 2989392233 4517220138 1280696501 1784408745 1960121228 5993716231 3017114448 4640903890 6449544400 6198690754 8516026327 5052983491 8740786680 8818338510 2283345085 0486082503 9302133219 7155184306 3545500766 8282949304 1377655279 3975175461 3953984683 3936383047 4611996653 8581538420 5685338621 8672523340 2830871123 2827892125 0771262946 3229563989 8989358211 6745627010 2183564622 0134967151 8819097303 8119800497 3407239610 3685406643 1939509790 1906996395 5245300545 0580685501 9567302292 1913933918 5680344903 9820595510 0226353536 1920419947 4553859381 0234395544 9597783779 0237421617 2711172364 3435439478 2218185286 2408514006 6604433258 8856986705 4315470696 5747458550 3323233421 0730154594 0516553790 6866273337 9958511562

(There's more.)

(It never stops.)

(Never. We're talking about Infinity here. The Real Stuff.)

Peter Borwein, David Bailey and Simon Plouffe seem to have cooked up a Formula for finding the nth digit of the expansion of Pi (in the Hexadecimal = base 16 number system) which doesn't first require calculating all the earlier (n-1) digits.

I just have to assume they rely on Magical Principles or Religious Miracles to accomplish this. Anyway, I'm told you can't use it to translate to a comparable digit in the Decimal expansion. Hex digits only.

Traditionally, those celebrating П Day all over the Universe drink enormous quantities of Absinthe and dance the Samba nearly nude by the tens of thousands in the streets. There have been unfortunate riots and incidents of violence requiring police and army reinforcements, Sentients getting really excited about this remarkable number.

'Cause it ain't chopped liver. Pi kicks big butt.

e is also quite the number, and also never endeth. It's named for Leonhard Euler, it's Euler's Constant.

Both pi and e are irrational and transcendental. That's true and accurate, even if I'm a little fuzzy about the precise details of what that means. Wikipedia:

Johann Heinrich Lambert conjectured that e and π were both transcendental numbers in his 1761 paper proving the number π is irrational. The first number to be proven transcendental without having been specifically constructed for the purpose was e, by Charles Hermite in 1873. In 1874, Georg Cantor found the countability argument mentioned above establishing the ubiquity of transcendental numbers.

In 1882, Ferdinand von Lindemann published a proof that the number π is transcendental. He first showed that e to any nonzero algebraic power is transcendental, and since eiπ = −1 is algebraic (see Euler's identity), iπ and therefore π must be transcendental. This approach was generalized by Karl Weierstrass to the Lindemann–Weierstrass theorem.

The transcendence of π allowed the proof of the impossibility of several ancient [Greek] geometric constructions involving compass and straightedge, including the most famous one, squaring the circle.

Please feel free to Leave A Comment about irrationality and transcendentalism or transcendence or whatever.

I wish you all, wherever you may be, carbon-based or silicon-based, decimal or hexidecimal or binary, real or imaginary, the very happiest Pi Day.

Let us dream of a day when those who truly love and worship Pi will Rule Planet Earth and make everybody Straighten Up and Fly Right. Or hit the road, Jack, and dontcha come back no more no more no more no more, hit the road, Jack, and dontcha come back no more.