"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, July 19, 2024

When The Secret Service Pimped For LBJ - Now, That Was A Service Well Performed

Insider information has it that the tomcatting Lyndon Baines Johnson used his Secret Service detail to pimp for him.  A man of enormous appetites and a busy schedule couldn't be bothered with the niceties of sexual pursuit, so he had the handyman do it, and the men around him were only too happy to oblige.

 

Johnson was not the only one who espoused these sentiments and in fact was the role model for many politicians to come.  Eliot Spitzer, Governor of New York got himself involved in a prostitution scandal and had to resign his office, but insisted he had done nothing wrong, which of course he hadn't.  There was no law penalizing johns for their purchase of sex, and two consenting adults could do whatever they pleased in the bedroom. 

The public didn't see it that way.  No man in high office should consort with hookers, and should follow the example of John F Kennedy who bedded starlets, stars and the jewel in the crown, Marilyn Monroe.  Why couldn't Spitzer be more like Kennedy, a suave, sexy, persuasive young man enjoying his youth and the perks of office.

 

There was something smarmy and unsavory about this unattractive Jewish man rutting in the bridal suite of the Mayflower hotel when the dashing Kennedy squired his women in presidential style - on his yachts, at Camp David, and in the Presidential bed. 

So Johnson with the nation's business to do, the pillars of The Great Society to be erected, the war in Vietnam to be prosecuted, and the plight of the black man to be relieved once and for all, needed to have some pleasurable release at the end of the day or after breakfast for that matter.  The Secret Service men were with him at all times, sworn to a secrecy as inviolate as that of the confessional or the legal code of ethics, and quite willing to spice up their lives along with that of the President. 

Johnson had no particular preferences, according to the Secret Service reports unsealed after Johnson's death and the statue of limitations of the Freedom of Information Act, but liked variety and his annotated list was detailed and precise.  

'Get me a nice hot tamale for tonight', one agent remembers the President saying to him; or 'that sweet vanilla tart from South Carolina' or 'that Cajun cunt from New Orleans'.  He never went dark - that was too much for a Texan despite his commitment to the black man - and drew the line at olive skinned Latinos and the occasional Turk.

 

Readers of the Johnson chronicles were surprised at the diversity of the sex trade in Washington.  The Mexicans and Louisiana octoroons were expected, but a Turk?  Ceyda Demir was a half-Kazak half-Circassian line dancer from Istanbul who made her way to New York thanks to an international review.  She jumped ship, somehow got regularized with the INS, and moved to the profitable Washington market. 

She was a beauty, lovely Anatolian skin tone, slightly almond eyes, tall, full-bodied, and sensuous.  She immediately became the most sought-after girl in Madame Letelier's Foggy Bottom establishment; and one of LBJ's agents had heard of her through the grapevine.  She was too expensive for him, but would be a delectable, affordable snack for the President. 

'Speak Turkish for me', the President said to Ceyda, imagining her one of Sultan Ahmet's harem, the dancing girl of The Thousand and One Nights, a pasha's treasure; so she became one of his favorites, and the Secret Service Agent promoted in rank in thanks but kept on the Presidential detail - his  service  

The image of the Secret Service for so long heroic, selfless, and courageous (think Clint Eastwood in The Line of  Fire) has been recently tarnished after the failure to prevent the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump, again candidate for the office.  They bungled the show completely, Keystone cops, the worst kind of mismanagement, bad intelligence, and horrible positioning; and thee have been predictable calls for a thorough critical review after which heads will roll. 

'Those were the days', said a long-retired Secret Service agent who had been in Johnson's detail.  'Now there was a man', he said of his President, snickering at the likes of Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden - one who prayed, the other who had long ago forgotten what went where and how.  No, LBJ was a mensch, a prowler, a man to be admired.  Yes, the agents in his protective service were dutiful and careful, but remembered most the girls many of whom the President shared with them. 

'America is a violent country', the nonagenarian retired agent reflected, 'but there should always be room for pussy'. 

The old agent's eyes misted as he remembered the salad years, the halcyon years, the best years of his life.  'There was this one time', the agent began, and proceeded to tell of how the President got liquored up and wanted a harem the centerfold, the piece de resistance would be Ceyda Demir and as many of her Kazak-eyed, coffee-colored friends she could find. 

Lo and behold, the Turkish Ambassador at the time had assembled his own stable of young women - the Turks were still mindful of the glories of Ottoman sultans and never demurred when it came to sexual delights - and professional colleagues being what they are, an unofficial lend-lease arrangement was concluded, Kazakh and Uighur women were recruited, and the biggest unreported party ever seen at 1700 Pennsylvania got underway. 

 

The press of course knew about it, but had been jawboned and muscled by the President.  'I expect you to keep your mouths shut just like you did with Jack', he warned them, and the midnight revelry continued until he finished his term in office. 

Now, all this is not to take away from the important responsibilities of the Secret Service no matter how well or badly they perform.  Someone took a shot at Presidents Garfield, McKinley, Lincoln, Kennedy, Ford, Reagan, and now Trump, so the vigil must be maintained, and the dreamy-eyed agent reminiscing about the greatest tomcatter of all never denied it; but still, there were those gorgeous women in a share and share alike time, one never to be repeated.  

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Two Straight White Guys At The Top Of The Republican Presidential Ticket - What???

What? Two white guys running for President and Vice-President?? Must be a mistake, some pathetic joke.  In this day and age?  In this pluralistic diverse world?  Two white straight men, as white as can be with not a trace of shame or apology.  All white, they were white, white everywhere on the podium. It was First Communion all over again, the Mormon Tabernacle choir, white until it was coming out your ears, white silk, white organdy, white, white, white...

The stage was decked with white chrysanthemums, white roses, and white azaleas, a white sport coat and a pink carnation, going to the hop in a white Cadillac.... A fantasia of white, a child's garden book of white, a white proscenium, white scrim, white everything except for the red and blue of the flag. 

Donald Trump, despite lawfare and the smarmy attempts to put him behind bars, escaped Scot free as one judge after another and the Supreme Court itself dismissed the charges against him exposing the witch trials for exactly what they were.  Then if that were not enough, the man gets shot and in a moment of pure, outlandish luck, he is caught in an iconic, heroic, patriotic image - bloodied, defiant, fists in the air.  

 

Finally, to add insult to injury - this white supremacist misogynistic homophobe picks a clone for a running mate - a man even more far right than he, but one with impeccable credentials - military veteran, Senator, Yale Law School graduate, and populist icon in his home state of Ohio.  Spitting in the face of the millions of brown and black men and women, millions more gay, lesbian, and transgenders who have finally been able to come out of the closet.

These two white men will put them back in, shut them up, keep them in chains and harnesses, untether them only to pick cotton and till the fields.  The black man's day has almost come.  He had been just at the rise of the steeple, near the top of the pyramid and along come two white slave masters, plantation grandees, miscegenist outlaws. 

 

Whoa! shouted the Reverend Al Sharpton for whom the selection of two white men was an implicit insult to black people everywhere. He pointed to a video of a Black Lives Matter street demonstration on the jumbotron behind him. 

Look at this! Look again. These black brothers and sisters are the future of America, its new leaders, the avant garde of a racial revolution in the country which will erase all vestiges of whiteness, white privilege, and European oligarchy. 

These two white men on the podium and the legions of their white supporters saw only a hectic, lawless, wild, inchoate mob who marched and stopped just long enough to break into CVS and come out with shopping carts full of cheap makeup and lip gloss.  There was no greater meaning here, not in this parade, nothing like MLK's march which white people joined.  This was a mess, a clown show. 

Blackness was The Second Coming.  Accommodation with the white man was capitulation, a shuckin' and jivin' toadying to Jim Crow and the plantation South.  It was time for a change to a black country with Mandinka tribalism, voodoo and drums. No more white.  Shutters would be black, houses black, darkness at midnight and noon.  

 

Nothing could have done more for the Trump/Vance campaign than the Reverend Al Sharpton and the howls from Black Lives Matter. Progressives upped the ante, firing up their badgering, accusing, belittling whites as gun-toting, backwoods, bass boat, pickup truck trailer trash. 

White people had put up with this caricature for years, seething at these prejudicial notions but intimidated by the rush to judgment, the received wisdom of 'systemic racism', the accusations of privilege and elitism.  Trump was a politician who in his populist vision responded in kind.  Reverse racism, he leveled at the Left. A scurrilous zero-sum game, black up, white down.  Now it was white time, straight white time. 

So Trump hatred, the meme of the Left since his appearance on the national scene in 2015, is being ratcheted up, if that's even possible.  Now that the ticket is complete, and the bloody racism of one man, Donald Trump has been doubled, the stakes couldn't be higher.  A Republican victory will mean years of racial pogroms the return of Jim Crow, The ghettoes will be swept by SWAT teams.  Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, and Washington will be no different from San Salvador or the favelas of Rio where paramilitary forces clean house, round up, and execute at will.  

The meme of the Biden campaign has been 'Democracy', how Trump will destroy it, and how he will save it; but now that the Republican ticket is complete, and the bloodied former President is ascendant and even more popular, such platitudes are not enough; and since none of the Left's attempts to demonize Trump have stuck, a full frontal assault must be launched.  In the three months remaining before the election, the two of them - Trump and Vance - must be destroyed. 

Everything would be linked to race since that, unspoken or not, was what the Trump team was all about. Their pro-life stance was nothing more than a white natalist ploy, to increase white demographic representation. Homophobia was nothing less than a stymie of non-reproductive love, giving prominence to the rabbit warren heterosexual fertility. Lower taxation meant enriching the already rich and enabling their continuing manipulation and oppression of the poor.  

Fewer regulations meant a return to Robber Baron era laissez-faire where powerful white men made millions on the backs of the poor European immigrants who fueled their factories.  Now it is the black man trodden under the heel of white capitalists.  Energy independence meant choking the inner city with noxious, deadly chemicals while the wealthy, sitting on the verandas of their airy summer homes on the Vineyard watch the smoke rise and curl over poor black neighborhoods. 

At each and every turn, the diversity Left was appalled by Trump appointments and suggestions for his Cabinet - all white men!  So called geniuses of Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs, investors, and economic innovators - they all made their wealth off the backs of labor, the exploitable, the weak, and the marginalized.  The so-called experienced, savvy veterans of the economic wars with China and the EU, Silver Star battlefield strategists, and brilliant legal minds were nothing but racial capitalist lackeys out to craft foreign policy and American jurisprudence to a conservative edge.  

Worse than this white tide was Trump's stated goal of eliminating most government agencies, and each one - Education, Health and Human Services, Labor and more - were all thinly veiled moves to deprive the black man of resources and federal support.  Gone would be welfare, self-esteem, food stamps, and entitlement money.  A new age of black suffering would be inaugurated. 

Of course this racial hysteria found no home, not even in the liberals of the East Coast who never liked hyperbole in the first place.  Upper West Side Jews bridled at the new political Wild Bunch - the claque of racial demagogues from insignificant Congressional districts. Theirs was a rabbinical, Biblical progressivism, no less committed and potent than that of the shills on Capitol Hill but much more reasoned and temperate.  Once these alte kockers got wind of the new attacks on Trump and Vance, they demurred. They too had had enough of black this, black that, Bernal Heights jackboots and flannel, black faces everywhere in some kind of weird neo-Bosch nightmare. 

So the two white men at the top of the ticket were on a roll and on their way to the White House.  As always the progressive Left was dumbfounded, nonplussed, incredulous.  'How could they?' They sputtered and fumed at each convention speech, at each promise that would derail the Utopia-bound train just gaining momentum. 'This can't be happening.  It just can't. After all we've done, after all we've tried'. As each white man walked up to the podium to speak, they cringed. 

'It's the end of the line', one said to another, sobbing on each other's shoulder.  Meanwhile the trumpets blared, the drums rolled, and the two white men smiled with gleaming white teeth as the bright, white stage lights brightened everything around them. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Hillbilly Elegy - How A Tarpaper Shack Bernie Madoff Conned Millions Out Of Frog Hollow

Randall X Plummer was born in Frog Hollow, a nasty little place deep in the coal hills of West Virginia, a place where the sun angled in for an hour at 2pm, and which, depending on the time of year, lit up either the pig stie, the chicken coop, or the front porch.  Randy's father, Alfonse, had given him Xavier for a middle name because he had prayed to St. Francis Xavier as a young boy, hoping against hope that he would deliver him, and somehow transport him far from this awful, penitential place where God had put him. 

 

He knew that such prayers were ironically sinful - praying to a saint for deliverance from God's plan - but still hoped. As the years went on, nothing ever changed.  The tarpaper roof needed repair, the pigs were slaughtered and sold, the chickens plucked and fried, and the wood chopped to keep body and soul together. Alfonse never wavered from his belief in salvation through good works, and kept up the yard work and mining coal while praying for divine intercession. 

Unfortunately his son, Randy, was as dumb as a stone and was more trouble than he was worth, spilling the chicken feed before he got to the run, splashing the pig slop all over the rabbits, and hacking and chipping the firewood without managing one, straight, usable log for the stove.  Alfonse never bothered sending him to school until someone from the school served him with 'dereliction of parental duty' papers, enforced truancy, and neglect. 

Outfitted in a new pair of overalls, hair gummed with Dr. Ed's pomade, boots sewn and retread as best as possible, Randall walked the five miles to school.  The principal didn't know where to put him, so many years had he lost, but arbitrarily tried the fourth grade.  Some remedial work would be necessary, but this seemed a reasonable match. 

Although Randy gave it a go and tried his best, the numbers and letters always seemed to be skittish ants crawling all over the page; and no matter how much he tried to make sense out of them, they always skittered and scattered whenever he opened his book. 

After a few months of this and before the Thanksgiving break, the school knew that they could do nothing more for the boy, and it would be senseless to try to drive something into his head and unfair to his parents who were barely making ends meet and needed him on the farm.  This wasn't New York City, and there were no bright lights in Frog Hollow, so bending the rules to let a boy return to pig slop and chicken feed did no harm and some good, and it wouldn't be the first time or the last. 

So the boy returned to his tarpaper home and to his daily chores, curtailed as they were by his father who felt it was better to do things himself than give them to his stumbling, hopeless son.  Now the boy might have been a dimwit, but he was not retarded, so he was no candidate for St. Elmo's, the home for the 'mentally impaired' run by the Sisters of Mercy.  He presented himself well, said 'Yes, ma'am, and No, ma'am', knew what day of the week it was, could build things with blocks and keep himself clean, so it was back to Frog Hollow for him. 

One day when he was sixteen or so, his father sent him into town for nails, lip blush for his mother, and cough medicine.  There at Rogers' Drug Store, he saw the red, white, and blue signs for the West Virginia Lottery, now valued at $100 million since week after week there had been no winning numbers 'Want to try your luck, son?', asked old Mr. Rogers who knew the boy from childhood, knew how dumb he was, and thought this might pick up his spirits.  'You might win'. 

Of course Randy had no idea what $100 million was and could barely count the bills and change his father had given him for the hardware and notions; but the ticket was only a dollar, and his father would certainly not mind. 

The next Saturday a shiny new Buick Riviera came banging up the dirt road to Frog Hollow, and out stepped two men and a lady all dressed up in suits and city finery.  'Where is Randall X Plummer?' the asked, almost in unison; and with that the life of Randy, his father and mother, and all of Frog Hollow changed.  Television crews from Wheeling came to visit, an ABC newscaster wanted an interview, and every politician from the county and all counties around dropped by for a look.  

Randall, of course, couldn't figure out what the fuss was all about.  He had never seen anything bigger than a five-dollar bill, had no bank account, no checkbook, and the check made out to him with some indecipherable numbers written on it could have been the receipt for the de-worming medicine he had forgotten to keep after his last trip to town. 

Of course everyone was there to see how much they could get of the $100 million.  There were those asking for campaign contributions, donations to The Cripple Fund and Friends of Liberty, New York types who introduced themselves as investment bankers, and one sharpie from St. Louis, a young man who had himself grown up in a place like Frog Hollow, but unlike Randy was the sharpest knife in the drawer, knew how to make his way in the world, found that his silver tongue and winning manner worked wonders with the ladies and rubes, and he became wealthy - always one step ahead of the law and jealous husbands - and became as adept as the Enron Five or Bernie Madoff in conning, bamboozling, and fooling his crowd, cracker, holler, backwoods people like the Plummers. 

He knew them, knew how to finagle, maneuver, and dance around their Sunday School principles, and although he never made a killing, i.e. one fell swoop millions - the small cons added up; but when he heard of Randall X Plummer, he knew his ships had come in.  He was one of them, a local, a hillbilly, a Coalminer's Daughter's Doolittle, and he was immediately trusted, unlike those New York types, shysters, investment instrument hawkers everybody shied away from.  No, once he stepped into Frog Hollow and saw Randy sitting on the front porch, he sighted him in and knew he had an easy prey. 

Owens had learned all there was about Ponzi schemes, credit swaps, and creative investment assets only on small scale.  He bilked his marks out of thousands, but learned the trade.  A little widow's mite disappeared just as easily in one of his airy pyramids as Bernie Madoff's millions; so when he got wind of Randy Plummer, he was ready to apply his trade and finally show the world what he was really worth. 

Once William Owens, the sharpie, climbed the steps to the porch where Randy and a flock of well-wishers were seated, Alfonse shooed them away.  Like attracts like, and from the first howdy-do, he knew one of his own had finally come to the rescue.  Uninvited to be sure, but this being Frog Hollow, invites were never necessary.  One took care of one's own, just like Arabs or Tuaregs in the Sahara. 

From then on pork belly barbecues, cornpone and greens, hickory coffee and cheroots became his go-to meals, all taken with the Plummers as he explained his no risk, high return investment schemes.  Once the government took its cut, why, there'd hardly be enough to feed the chickens, he said, so better invest and invest well.   So he took Randy's money, 'invested' it in his own offshore bank accounts, and went from holler to holler, county to county Madoffing one tarpaper shack family to another conning, duping, and promising until he was wealthy beyond his dreams.  Who said that genius was urban? Or Jewish? Or Yankee?

 

The revenuers never caught up with him, and Randy never saw a cent of his $100 million, but as far as he was concerned, nothing much had changed.  First, he was too dumb to know what happened to him, and second life was no different before the check and after - chickens is chickens as his father used to say - so no harm, no foul.  Except for Mrs. Plummer who was counting on some finery.