Sunday, May 14, 2017

All the President's women

I think it is worth pointing out that regarding the few women in Trump's cabinet: one is the wife of senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: another is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, Mercenary Par Excellence and one of the key links between the Trump Campaign and the Russians. And lest we forget, Linda McMahon--the head of the WWF.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The War on....

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
-John Erlichman, Nixon Administration Domestic Policy Advisor and Watergate co-conspirator

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is trying to revive the War on Drugs as a tool for oppression.  This is a vehicle of repression; it is a mechanism for suppression.  This has been done before, by Nixon and his corrupt gang.

Meanwhile, the war on truth and sanity continues to unfold with President Trump.  If I were pitching this to Hollywood as a script, it would be rejected as being too far fetched.  This is bad authoritarian comedy.  We have a gold-plated con man in the Oval Office, and just for even more chuckles, he is a Russian Manchurian candidate.  Here is a crazy listicle of why Comey's firing is an absolute shit-show.

Do the Republicans have any integrity left?  Did they ever?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Alea iacta est

Can you begin to imagine what those sniveling Congressional Republicans would be doing if President Clinton fired FBI Director Comey?  They would be calling for a special prosecutor faster than you can say "Ken Starr."

This can end either two ways.  In impeachment.  Or in something far scarier.

Alea iacta est. We have crossed the rubicon; we are past the point of no return.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Moroccan Wednesday

I am sitting on the roof, under the pearl full moon-listening to gnawi music. Their claps and rhythmic chants fill the air as the sinir taps out the bass.

The music is a weekly thing. Every Wednesday night they play.  All night and into the morning when I wake up Thursday. They play all night long. Morocco is magical.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Easy Rider, Moroccan-style

On the back of a chopper, I spent the evening cruising the California of Casablanca into the city centre.

The sun's fading golden light filled the expansive horizon as we cruised through a North African Southern California.

Not even if my words did glow could I describe the beauty, the swirling rush of the winds around my head and the coursing adrenaline as we roared through traffic.

Zen and the art of motorcycle memories, as my dreams drifted back to Hanoi, Kampala and Delhi.

"Life loves those who love life"
-Walt Disney

Saturday, May 06, 2017

#HarryCare

So proud of my brother Harry Rockower for his work on Medicaid expansion in South Carolina for the South Carolina Medical Society.

 Unlike those dumbfucks in Congress, he actually knows what he is talking about in terms of healthcare coverage, and getting people access to care.

#HarryCare 2018.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

No Health. No Care.

Oh look, a healthcare bill from the spineless, heartless Republicans.

I'll Fly Away

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; in the morning
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Our daily bread


Prof. Rockower has found the best student ever: a young fellow who works at the bakery on the corner. I teach him English in exchange for fresh-baked bread.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Monday, May 01, 2017

Only the finest..


Abu Hurayrah feeds brie to his stray cats. Being typical cats, they turned up their noses at chèvre.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ave Imperatrix

Set in this stormy Northern sea,
Queen of these restless fields of tide,
England! what shall men say of thee,
Before whose feet the worlds divide?

The earth, a brittle globe of glass,
Lies in the hollow of thy hand,
And through its heart of crystal pass,
Like shadows through a twilight land,

The spears of crimson-suited war,
The long white-crested waves of fight,
And all the deadly fires which are
The torches of the lords of Night.

The yellow leopards, strained and lean,
The treacherous Russian knows so well,
With gaping blackened jaws are seen
Leap through the hail of screaming shell.

The strong sea-lion of England’s wars
Hath left his sapphire cave of sea,
To battle with the storm that mars
The stars of England’s chivalry.

The brazen-throated clarion blows
Across the Pathan’s reedy fen,
And the high steeps of Indian snows
Shake to the tread of armèd men.

And many an Afghan chief, who lies
Beneath his cool pomegranate-trees,
Clutches his sword in fierce surmise
When on the mountain-side he sees

The fleet-foot Marri scout, who comes
To tell how he hath heard afar
The measured roll of English drums
Beat at the gates of Kandahar.

For southern wind and east wind meet
Where, girt and crowned by sword and fire,
England with bare and bloody feet
Climbs the steep road of wide empire.

O lonely Himalayan height,
Grey pillar of the Indian sky,
Where saw’st thou last in clanging flight
Our wingèd dogs of Victory?

The almond-groves of Samarcand,
Bokhara, where red lilies blow,
And Oxus, by whose yellow sand
The grave white-turbaned merchants go:

And on from thence to Ispahan,
The gilded garden of the sun,
Whence the long dusty caravan
Brings cedar wood and vermilion;

And that dread city of Cabool
Set at the mountain’s scarpèd feet,
Whose marble tanks are ever full
With water for the noonday heat:

Where through the narrow straight Bazaar
A little maid Circassian
Is led, a present from the Czar
Unto some old and bearded khan,—

Here have our wild war-eagles flown,
And flapped wide wings in fiery fight;
But the sad dove, that sits alone
In England—she hath no delight.

In vain the laughing girl will lean
To greet her love with love-lit eyes:
Down in some treacherous black ravine,
Clutching his flag, the dead boy lies.

And many a moon and sun will see
The lingering wistful children wait
To climb upon their father’s knee;
And in each house made desolate

Pale women who have lost their lord
Will kiss the relics of the slain—
Some tarnished epaulette—some sword—
Poor toys to soothe such anguished pain.

For not in quiet English fields
Are these, our brothers, lain to rest,
Where we might deck their broken shields
With all the flowers the dead love best.

For some are by the Delhi walls,
And many in the Afghan land,
And many where the Ganges falls
Through seven mouths of shifting sand.

And some in Russian waters lie,
And others in the seas which are
The portals to the East, or by
The wind-swept heights of Trafalgar.

O wandering graves!  O restless sleep!
O silence of the sunless day!
O still ravine!  O stormy deep!
Give up your prey!  Give up your prey!

And thou whose wounds are never healed,
Whose weary race is never won,
O Cromwell’s England! must thou yield
For every inch of ground a son?

Go! crown with thorns thy gold-crowned head,
Change thy glad song to song of pain;
Wind and wild wave have got thy dead,
And will not yield them back again.

Wave and wild wind and foreign shore
Possess the flower of English land—
Lips that thy lips shall kiss no more,
Hands that shall never clasp thy hand.

What profit now that we have bound
The whole round world with nets of gold,
If hidden in our heart is found
The care that groweth never old?

What profit that our galleys ride,
Pine-forest-like, on every main?
Ruin and wreck are at our side,
Grim warders of the House of Pain.

Where are the brave, the strong, the fleet?
Where is our English chivalry?
Wild grasses are their burial-sheet,
And sobbing waves their threnody.

O loved ones lying far away,
What word of love can dead lips send!
O wasted dust!  O senseless clay!
Is this the end! is this the end!

Peace, peace! we wrong the noble dead
To vex their solemn slumber so;
Though childless, and with thorn-crowned head,
Up the steep road must England go,

Yet when this fiery web is spun,
Her watchmen shall descry from far
The young Republic like a sun
Rise from these crimson seas of war.
-Oscar Wilde, "Ave Imperatrix"

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Journey

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.

I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my
voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.

It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.

The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!'

The question and the cry `Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand
streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!'

by Rabindranath Tagore

ht/ La Princesse.

Sunset

Image may contain: ocean, sky, twilight, outdoor, water and nature
Olive eyes in an orange sky
Of almond clouds that are pierced by
The pomegranate rays of
A sinking crimson sun

Image may contain: sky, cloud, mountain, nature and outdoor

His light plucks the horizon
like guitarists' fingers strum
Hills like beds where so it's said
The moon descends to dance the dead

Image may contain: sky, ocean, twilight, outdoor, nature and water

Streams flow so red around my head
you can't tell the blood from roses
In this house, songs are shared like bread
they open as the day closes
The sky's a pool with fires
Burning all around her sides

Image may contain: 1 person, ocean, sky, outdoor, water and nature


My heart's a flame inspired
By the breath's of a wind's cry
Where it blows inside, I live
Where it pours outside, I die
-Ibn Zamrak, "Sunset"
h/t La Princesse


Friday, April 28, 2017

The King's Word

"This is a testimony to the richness and diversity of the Kingdom of Morocco's spiritual heritage. Blending harmoniously with the other components of our identity, the Jewish legacy, with its rituals and specific features, has been an intrinsic part of our country’s heritage for more than three thousand years.

As is enshrined in the kingdom’s new Constitution, the Hebrew heritage is indeed one of the time-honored components of our national identity. For this reason, I wish to call for the restoration of all the synagogues in the other Moroccan cities so that they may serve not only as places of worship but also as forums for cultural dialogue and the promotion of our cultural values.

The Moroccan people's cultural traditions, which are steeped in history, are rooted in our citizens' abiding commitments to the principles of coexistence, tolerance and concord among the various components of the nation, under the wise leadership of the kings of the glorious Alaouite dynasty and in keeping with the sacred mission which the Almighty has entrusted me.

As Commander of the Faithful, I am committed to defending the community of believers, and to fulfilling my mission with respect to upholding freedom of religion for all believers in the revealed religions, including Judaism, whose followers are loyal citizens for whom I have deep affection."
-His Majesty King Mohammed VI,
King of Morocco

Royal message read February 2013 at the unveiling of a restored synagogue in Fes.

These are the words of a real leader.

Below are some pictures from a synagogue in Casablanca, which the King of Morocco restored.






With sincere gratitude, I thank KCT&CO for being Muse to this post--by taking me to visit both the resplendent restored synagogue and Jewish Museum of Casablanca, where I found the King's Words. Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Obscene

In the span of two minutes, I managed to inadvertently make two obscene local Moroccan gestures at my poor, innocent Moroccan Arabic teacher. She was mortified, as was I.

 Hshuma-ali. Astaghfirallah. #culturaldiplomacy

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Blind

I saw the blind leading the blind. In Morocco, everything is possible.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

On Questions and Answers

"In the eternal battle between those who answer questions and those who question answers, it is generally best to side with the questioners."
H/t Abba

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Smart

A smart person doesn't need a smartphone ;)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Polyglottal Living

This morning, as I was walking to class I got chatting with a fellow selling kleenex who spoke to me in Spanish.  Where in Spain are you from?  By way of La Mancha, but actually de Estados Unidos. In Castilian, we chatted about Madrid and the Plaza del Sol, and before I bade him hasta luego and headed on to my French class.

In French class, I made compromises on the class schedule in 3 languages to our plans moving forward

I went to get some peanuts at a nearby kiosk.  It's a place I often stop at, the fellow who runs it is kind.  He is a dark-skinned Moroccan fellow, I think from Rachidia in the southeast.  We got to talking in Arabic and French about languages.  When I told him I spoke some Czech, he surprised me by speaking Russian.  We compared linguistic similarities of the numbers, and he told me he had studied in Russia and Ukraine.  We spoke of food--of borscht and Central Asia, of Samarkand.  We chatted about linguistic similarities, and I spoke of the closeness of Hebrew.  Through the course of the dialogue, we probably hit 6 or so languages of discussion.

This is why I love Morocco, and it works so well for me.  I have chatted in various forms of probably 7 or so languages today, and the day is still young and long. 

Call me Abu Hurayrah....

My babies! The kittens live in the medina alley next to mine. There are 8 of the precious ones, and I stop by to see them everyday. They are too cute. I have to work hard to refrain from going full on Elvira.