H.L. Mencken


Salient in the life of this journalist with a name is asking what type of American he was. Mencken came from Germany and during World War One and World War Two he was pro- German and pro-Hitler. He lost his newspaper job with the Baltimore papers in 1941. Apparent German actions again other peoples were dismissed because they were not Germans. Carrying on with that antiquated thinking (feudalism or before) into the Twentienth Century makes Mencken an unexplained throwback, and given the quality of writing in the book, a throw away.

The book presents an autobiography of part of Mencken’s life. I have no idea how much he drank, womanized, or contributed to established art and literary politics. The book describes some of this editorial activities, but does not set human beings in business except to say this happened that happened and the reasons for any disagreements – the other person was Jewish, or was a woman, or would not do what Mencken advised. Mencken dismissed film and California completely without realizing it dramatized American short stories many times better than the writer could put it on a page.

The book was Mencken’s final writing effort with time qualities reflected in the writing. It tells its story sloppily, if at all. It appears Mencken chained himself to a typewriter and merrily typed. There is no sense a wordsmith was at work, edited or believed the manuscript needed further work. The book’s editor, Jonathan Yardley did his best, but elementary flaws flow throughout the writing.

A few observations early in the book should be noted:

“…I am convinced that writing verse is the best of all preparations for writing prose.
I makes the neophyte look sharply to his words, and improves the sense of rhythm and tone-color – in brief, that she of music which is at the bottom of all sound prose…” Page 5-6)

“Under the influence of my father…I emerged into sentience with an almost instinctive distrust of all schemes of revolution and reform. They were…only signs and symptoms of a fundamental hallucinations…the hallucination that human nature could be changed by passing statutes, and preaching gospels – that natural law could be repealed by taking thought.” (page 34)

“…my interest in Roosevelt 1 was always born of delight in the mountebank, not of belief in the prophet.” (page 34)

Work at home: “We … wondered why none of our colleagues had hit on the device of staying way for their offices…we escaped the burden of listening to countless visitors who infest such places – mainly authors trying to sell their manuscripts, not on the merits

thereof but by selling talk. Virtually all our business was done by mail, and it was thus possible for us to do it at our own convenience, and with expedition. On my trips to and from New York I read more manuscripts than the average editor could get through in ten times the time in his office. It was not until long afterward that I discovered that a number of English magazine editors had practiced keeping clear of their offices before we thought of it.”(Page 50)

Paying writers: The Saturday Evening Post’s “…editor…not only paid much higher prices for manuscripts…but he also paid off once a week. As a result [he] got first whack at virtually all the better fiction of the time…” (page 51)

Personal responsibility/memory: “After [Zoe Atkin’s] removal to New York, she let it be known that [Reedy] had not only discovered her but also seduced her, and in the course of time she pushed back this catastrophe back in time until in the end he was depicted as her undoing when she was but sixteen years old. This, if true, put it in 1902, when Reedy himself was forty.”(Page 68)

1920’s Greenwich Village: “…the Village, like the Paris Left Bank, was much less literary artistic than sexual, and most of its male denizens lived on women. The typical menage consisted of a widow or spinster from some small-town in the Middle West, come east to spend her dead husband’s or father’s money and see life, and a bogus painter or pulp- magazine fictioneer who let her feed, clothe and love him.”(page 95)

Any sort of writer putting together an autobiography would have given thought to organization. Little does Mencken’s story at the typewriter evince such expansive thinking – just put together antedotes loosely. What lacks is the potential for an authoritative description of the literary artistic scene on the East Coast i.e. the market Mencken was involved with. Mencken should have stepped back to write the Big Picture. But he could not escape his profession, journalism and its need to advance facts (and Mencken’s opinions) in detail without describing the setting, or telling any reasons. Influences (other than getting drunk), the environment (Mencken did not believe important) and competition (society) – did not writers know one another? As an editor did he not know writers talked and exchanged ideas, concepts and reactions?

So this book falls short in its organization and in its writing.


Sammy Alito’s draft opinion to overrule Roe vs. Wade argues, “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision including the one on which defenders of Roe…now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

God help us! And God Bless the Founding Fathers! The 1788 Constitutional Conventions of the states reveal the legislative intent and legislative history about enumerated and unenumerated rights and freedoms, according to James Madison. Madison was a complete, recognizable authority of the Constitution in 1788. In 1789 Madison wrote what became the Bill of Rights.

The Virginia Constitutional Convention is the most complete record. A Bill of Rights came up in June 1788. Opponents of the Constitution used every argument to block the paper: Should there be a constitutional ratification conditioned on a Bill of Rights being adopted? Or should there be ratification plus recommended supplementary amendments? Madison did not like either proposal. He disengaged ratification from conditions, and he diminished the value of the subsequent amendments.

Enumerated and unenumerated rights were hot topics, cooled by the best judge/justice in America and in the English speaking world. Edmund Pendleton knew the American people were the sovereign and that every freedom and right could not be enumerated – too many situations, too many people living over a expanded land of liberty. Pendleton recommended the negative: “Declare the principle as more safe than the Enumeration.”

James Madison did so in the Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Rights and freedoms enumerated in the Constitution stay with Americans, the sovereign. No Congress and not the Executive, and no Supreme Court justice can “deny or disparage” unenumerated rights “retained by the people.”

So boys and girls, study the 1788 Constitutional Conventions. Americans have enumerated and unenumerated rights. References follow:

10 Doc His of the Rat of the Constitution, Virginia, vol. 3, St His Soc of Wisconsin, Madison, 1993, June 24, 1788, p. 1520, Madison at ratifying convention: “If an enumeration be made of our rights, will it not be implied that everything omitted,
is given to the General Government? Has not the Honorable Gentleman [Patrick Henry] himself, admitted, that an imperfect enumeration is dangerous?” David John Mays, Ed., The Letters and Papers of Edmund Pendleton, Uni. Press of Virginia, Char., 1967, vol. 2, p. 533, Pendleton to Richard Henry Lee; Oliver Ellsworth, Landholder VI, 3 Doc His of the Rat of the Const, Connecticut, St His Soc of Ws, Madison, 1978, December 10, 1787, p. 481; PJM, vol. 10, Uni. Chi, Chicago, 1977, p. 315, 317, George Lee Tuberville to JM, December 11, 1787, make sure enumerated rights not listed not “surrendered.” House Annals, August 17, 1789, p. 783-784.

Next write another draft opinion and submit it to the sovereign, the American people, for their ratification.



A draft memo was leaked. CALL THE COPS!

Who benefits from the leak? Pro-life conservatives. The memo changed THE LAW, because that is what every court decision becomes. Each decision from a trial court, of an appellate court or a Supreme Court is, a law just as though it were passed by a legislature and singed by a governor.

THE LAW about women’s health has been off-limits to legislature action for 49 years. Now the Supreme Court draft brings forward this bedroom issue into the legislature arena. What happened to a [wo]man’s home is a castle? What happened to the sanctity of marriage and marital privileges? What happened to victim’s rights? What happened to the Establishment Clause which says, “Congress [courts and executive] shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Religion also means favoring the tenants of one faith over another. Invading and deciding bedroom issues are a gross enlargement of the government’s policing powers. Under the Constitution, as it is interprets prohibitions of illegal searches and seizure, those protections are weakened. Changing THE LAW more or less eliminates the right to privacy.

Note also that most right to life advocates live in states that do not protect fetuses. Most of their local laws consider fetuses, expectancies.

Why would the right to life justices leak the draft of the proposed decision? It will not be nine-zero (9-0) opinion like Brown vs. Board of Education and refuting Nixon’s claims of Executive Privilege. Those Justices do not know where the American people stand about bedroom issues, marriage, abortion, women’s health, right to privacy, Fourth Amendment, etc. Some justices are so far off that they want to impose their version of thought, philosophy and faith on all Americans like Trump stooge Michael Flynn said at the beginning of 1922, and Ginny Thomas-Mark Meadows’ exchanges after the 2020 Election. What would Americans think about Big Brother (Don Trump or anyone else) telling them what to think? Yet, the those justices may believe they can write a Supreme Court decision and it becomes THE NEW LAW. It will settle social and political issues in America.

James Madison wrote the Establishment Clause (for Virginia in 1786) and next to the U.S. Constitution in 1789. Madison recognized Americans are human beings and imperfect. He set up the Establishment Clause so no faith, philosophy or thought could gain government support outside politics and the world of politics. For his efforts and success, Thomas Jefferson called Madison, “the greatest man in the world.”

Why are those Supreme Court justices concerned about changing THE LAW? It has happened before, in 1857.

DRED SCOTT is the worst decision ever from the United States Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roger Taney, slave owner from Maryland, wrote it. The Supreme Court entered the political arena. The opinion broadly stated that the federal government could not prohibit the spread of slavery – plus slaves were not citizens. By defining slaves as non-citizens, and perhaps extending non-citizenship to all African-Americans, including those who were always free or

1 Already the Court has shown wanton disregard with the Texas Bounty Law.


who were once enslaved and bought their freedom, African-Americans had no liberties, freedoms, rights and privileges enshrined in the United States Constitution. End of story, end of political disagreement.

DRED SCOTT did not end the debate over slavery. Its political effects helped bring on the Civil War in 1861. In 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment made involuntarily servitude a legislative (political) issue. By 1870 the Fourteenth Amendment changed fundamental structure of the Federal/State system and gave everyone in America constitutional rights.

Going forward and writing a decision, THE LAW, broadly, about women’s health, alone, will change all laws – state and federal, those justices wonder and have doubts. Americans have made decisions without interference from the policing powers of the government, yet a few know Americans will be startled and will not like new government powers invading their bedrooms and elsewhere. Those Supreme Court justices are concerned. They leaked the draft opinion and now realize women’s health all other issues are political questions and outside the court’s realm.


It has been a long road, a long path, a long way in America, but Americans today seem more sensitive about the Civil War and its outcome than in the recent past. Not many Southerners owned slaves, but most Southerners supported that system flowing from Antiquity and Medieval times. The victory of the North and the Civil War Amendments, 13, 14, 15, legally lifted the country from ancient ways, so it would move ahead.

FROM MANASSAS TO APPOMATTOX, General James Longstreet, written as a memoir of the Civil War, displays the evolution of attitudes that some Southerners displayed after that War, and they ought to have today. Nobody gained glory because of that War, but U.S. Grant came out as a terrific human being. Longstreet was from Mississippi, but did not return to live there after the War. He lived in New Orleans and in Georgia.

On the last page of the memoirs, Longstreet writes about visiting his home state and the people, including former slaves:

Of all the people alive I still know and meet, probably no one carries me farther back in recollections of my long life than does my “old nurse.” Most of the family servants were discharged after the war at Macon, Mississippi, where some of them
still reside, among them this old man, Daniel, who still claims the family name, but
at times uses another. He calls promptly when I visit Macon and looks for
“something to remember you by.” During my last visit he seemed more concerned for me than usual, and on one of his calls asked, —

“Marse Jim, do you belong to any church?”
“Oh, yes,” I said. “I try to be a good Christian.”
“He laughed loud and long, and said, —
“Something must have scared you mighty bad, to change you from what you was

when I had to care for you.”
In a recent letter he sent a message to say that he is getting to be a little feeble. Blessings on his brave heart!



This short, selective presentation of cultural phenomena of the Seventies America fails to meet the promise of the title: After Aquarius Dawned, meaning the Sixties, what was that influence? Not all started of that in the Sixties. The Chapter subjects are 1) Music, 2) Style and Manhood, 3) Feminism, 4) Race, 5) Gay/Family Values and 6) Jonestown. Two issues come to the fore: What was the situation in each area during the Sixties, and what was the situation of each during the Seventies?

To access the effects of the Sixties on the Seventies (carry-overs), (ideas) (hangers-on), is an ambitious, detailed project. The historian looks at words and actions backward and forward, and the historian must convey standards by which that process of looking is done.

Aquarius give no starting/ending point for any chapter. The end of the Sixties began with events in 1968: Tet; the Assassinations; Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix deaths; Woodstock; Altamont; Nixon election; the end of the Beatles and other groups; fractionalization of the Left – S.D.S./Weathermen – within African-American groups and leadership – discord among Women – leftists, Women’s Libbers/Feminists; Santa Barbara; Cambodia; Kent State; University of Wisconsin bombing; attack on academia (mostly by white leftists); cross-over attacks in the South – shooting African-American students by police maintaining law and order; men and women separated from families and friends go missing; advent of surplus people choosing to live on the street.

The chapters in Aquarius advance arguments using the improbable. Carole King and Joni Mitchell at the forefront of 1970s music: each may have represented small segments of music. James Taylor had an audience but wasn’t the missing link between the Sixties and Seventies. Policy fears generated by Sputnik are unaddressed, although men and women were hooked into that business math/science sub-culture. Did the Mary Tyler Moore Show represent feminism during the Seventies? Aquarius does not mention the Equal Rights Amendment of 1972. Stonewall happened in 1969 but its issues did not become a political movement for years; one episode of All in the Family hardly represents a grand advance. At the end of the decade, AIDS separated and next became a public health issue. Race in America during the Seventies was mostly black and white, and despite his unspeakable transgressions, Bill Cosby, by using cartoons, was a leader moving the goals of civil rights expressed by social/political groups to entertainment. Meanwhile, African-American communities were beset by government programs of benign neglect, a term coined by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

The commune – hippies with disaffected, alienated lives – finishes Aquarius with Jonestown. 900 dead is emblematic of the Sixties influences into the Seventies: The inability to learn and to establish one’s own identify: Become an individual, apart from social, political and cultural norms and expectations. That revolution preached accept, don’t judge other human beings, don’t

criticize. For example, dancing: Partner dancing in the early-mid Sixties; becoming chaotic (feel, reflect the vibrations) in the late Sixties and Seventies; disco awkwardly ebbed and easily flowed. The Eighties brought in raves – human beings jump up and down to pounding sound – in the end there are no couples.

The common thread of the Sixties and Seventies was the survival of a cultural revolution, an attack on individuality: Join the group, accept everyone; let people [not individuals] do their own things; Americans were easily swayed or led. Let people do victimless crimes involving drugs. During the Sixties to this day, individual Americans learned they have liberties, freedoms, rights and privileges, yet how many individual Americans learned that each of them has also duties, responsibilities and obligations to America, to fellow Americans and to the common weal? And Americans also learned government has responsibilities, duties and obligations: Tell no lies about Vietnam and the Vietnam War! Tell no lies about Watergate! Americans learned, don’t trust government.

Ronald Reagan returned some individuality to Americans, and some Americans complain he did it wrong and his efforts were incomplete. His policies reloaded and renewed greed and self- interest into the American psyche, laying those traits over the disorder and undefined social and cultural influences beginning in the Sixties.

Jonestown loaded the hallmarks of Aquarius into the Seventies: A commune, an appeal to communism as was shown by Jim Jones himself, a strong man telling followers how to live, taking their money and property, isolating commune members, using forced labor, always lying, making life and death decisions about commune members, on and on and on. On a sliding scale how many Americans in the Seventies were willing to sacrifice or let go of their status, as individual human beings, and submit to the whims of a goon? The Beatles had disciples but never this. How many Americans follow today? Jonestown should be the first chapter of the book – Americans lost and looking for anchorage. Jonestown manifested a time when little in life seemed certain and life itself was worthless.

Yet, Aquarius uses a subtitle to better tell what the book is about: How the Revolutions of the Sixties Became the Popular Culture of the Seventies. Was the Popular Culture of the Seventies reflected by run-of-the-mill television shows, a few of which have sequels made into movies e.g. Charlie’s Angels. Some of those shows will never go into syndication. Missing from the Seventies Popular Culture but certainly prominent are eye-candy fashion and sports magazine covers, and super-models rising from commonality to become the image of boomer womanhood, (and feminism?).

As a book and as an argument Aquarius is not convincing.



Russia has shown how inept, incompetent and feeble it is. Supposedly, it has an army, brave men and women who have always been the backbone of Russia’s forces. But the army is neither trained nor supplied. Its generals are old and decrepit. Look at the guys in military uniforms standing behind Putin. They are not faces of experience, but of the elderly. Those old guys have neither the gumption to tell Put the real state of the Russian Army, nor have the capability to say anything. They appear to have dementia.

America toyed with elderly generals. General Marshall fired many of them before World War Two. Winfield Scott admitted he was too old to command Union forces during the Civil War. But Doug MacArthur never admitted anything for his blunders. He lied to troops under him; he lied to politicians. In 1944 MacArthur insisted on invading and “liberating” the Philippines, accomplished by the end of World War Two. How far were MacArthur’s forces in the Philippines from Japan? Three to Six thousand miles.

So the Russians have the slows in Ukraine. Democracies are united against Russia. Rich Russians are persona non-grata, and targets for many methods of mischief – from governments, or more likely criminals. Russia has the loyalty of puppet states like Cuba. Its failure on the battlefield shows how incapable Russia is. Russia is now about ready to follow a policy considered by Americans in Vietnam: We had to destroy Ukraine to save it.


Before the Ukrainian invasion, Putin went to China to confer with the Bigs there. It is possible that the Chinese gave the Russians a blank check, meaning the Russians could do whatever they wanted in Ukraine. Putin is trying to do whatever he wants.

However, the Ukrainians have show the Russians are paper tigers. That’s the first take away the Chinese have learned. How difficult will it be and how long will it take for the Chinese to reverse the Nineteenth Century Treaties imposed by the Russian Tsars on the government of China. The Chinese were forced to give away millions of acres in Asia.

But a bigger blank check: In The Sleepwalkers, Christopher Clark, the story is told how the French gave the Russians a blank check before World War One. The Russians gave a blank check to the Serbians. The British were oblivious. How well did that War turn out for Europe – Russia, France and Britain?

With their blank check from the Chinese, the Russians are threatening Nuclear War. Did the Chinese give the Russians a blank check to do that, because Putin’s army has the slows in Ukraine? The Chinese must tell the Russians – no blank check. Stop the nuclear threats.

That is in the Chinese interests. It is said the Chinese think about problems, years and decades in advance. If there is a nuclear war, that planning is gone. The future might be four hours. Time to break out those 100 year old bottles of wine. Everything that the Chinese have accomplished toward their goals will be gone: Whether the Chinese want it or not, that nation will be part of a general nuclear exchange. However many bomb shelters the Chinese have, no human being wants to live through decades of nuclear winter.

So China, stop the Russians from cashing your blank check.


Comrade Josh Hawley
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Comrade Hawley,

I praise you for the super nice things you have said about Vladmir Putin and his aggression in Ukraine. Now that Hairless Vlad has been completely transparent, you’ve been completely apprised.

On behalf of hairless Vlad (too much caviar and vodka), I intercepted a message to be conveyed to you. You have been promoted from cadre to Comrade. And Hairless Vlad wants to award you the Leonid Brezhev Medal, for being the biggest dupe from the West who will cover for Asian despots. You have done stupendous work of undoing the statesman work of Winston Churchill and Harry Truman at Fulton, Missouri. You are a true traitor. Specifically, if you can remember anything, Jimmy Carter gave crusty Leonid a kiss (in Vienna, I believe). Jimmy Carter needed a kiss. I guess his trophy wife, Roswell, wasn’t up to kissing the president of the United States that morning.

As you might know, nothing is more personal than a kiss. Human beings cannot be more intimate, considering how Covid-19 passes these days. Hairless Vlad is always looking for younger men. I am instructed to say when you are next in Moscow, you visit the Kremlin to neck.

Comrade MichelOSH


Madison wrote a draft of the Second Amendment. It was accepted by the House of Representatives and was delivered to the Senate during the summer of 1789. Madison’s version of the Second Amendment passed by the House of Representatives reads,

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

The Senate revised the Second Amendment making a grammatical change by using an asyndeton, a linguistic/grammatical device which changes Madison’s clear announcement in the House draft. The Senate’s version, now the Second Amendment reads today:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Before us today are arguments about the meaning of the Second Amendment, and how to interpret it. Many Second Amendment rights advocates believe the amendment should be interpreted as James Madison wrote it in the version approved by the House of Representatives in 1789. However, it was changed in the Senate, and next adopted by both houses of Congress and ratified by the States.

The Second Amendment emphasizes “well-regulated militias” and “the security of a free State” become tools in the arsenal to provide such conditions. But in both Madison’s version and the actual Second Amendment, the right of the people remains a right, not a freedom. That right, like rights in the eighteenth century and today, are not absolute; they are not freedoms. In Anglo- American jurisdiction a right can be changed to reflect conditions faced by the free society in which if operates and is enforced.



Invaluable in this film is the original footage accompanying a mostly true telling of events, somewhat non-chronological. Like many presentations of youth during the Nixon years the participants-interviewees glom onto an event or a group to use as a stepping stone to go to another issue or time in one particular life.


The Weatherman did not usurp SDS. They split, as well as groups could in 1969. SDSers said of their departing members: “You don’t have to be a weatherman to know who the assholes are.” Next, significant structural changes affecting young American men happened. The first Draft-Lottery was in December 1969. About 40 percent of young men were excluded from being drafted at that time. For the remainder there were ways and means to avoid being drafted. Moreover, after the draft-lottery, Cambodia (six months later) and the bombing of the math building at the U of Wisconsin (eight months later), campus opposition to the Vietnam War was much reduced (save the bombing of Haiphong/Hanoi in the Spring 1972 – also omitted from the film).

The Women’s Movements preceded the 1969 split of the Weathermen from SDS. The Woman Movements gained steam in 1967 after the SDS convention; they gained notoriety (burning bras) in August 1968. The film indicates a later birth of the Women Movements. Likewise, the Black Panthers were not allies of the Weathermen, and Kathleen Cleaver was not a spokeswomen for either. She was the wife of Eldridge Cleaver, but Cleaver had a split with fellow Panther leaders. The Panther/Weatherman disconnection should have been made more apparent.

As people went underground, distancing themselves and losing communication with one another, the film implies tactics of the authorities (like COINTELPRO) were responsible. No one says the obvious, the Weathermen were a marginal group doomed to failure; their numbers were so few that no one knew who they were. Plus people on the Left, including the Weathermen, were not the most likable human beings to outsiders or to one another. From the film one conclusion is obvious: No one builds a political/social movement by being disagreeable.

This last point may be wrong. There are striking similarities between the Weather Underground and the far-right, gun totting forces today, including personal appearance: All men (if they have hair) is longish; they are decorated with jewelry and/or tattoos; many have beards; they appear dirty, or at least unwashed. Americans should be reminded of George Wallace’s four- letter words for such derelicts: Soap and work.



This book attempts to tell how various editions of the Bible influenced the evolution of English. It is incomplete; the text could be longer, much longer.

The text introduces the reader to the subject, succinctly refreshing readers/writers to the subject matter and its sensitizes writers to the contents. The book is organized by idioms, phrases and verses, like it is a guide explaining business or management practices. [Robert Townsend, Up the Organization was one of the first types of this book.] Hence Begat becomes a valuable quick resource for references to Biblical idioms, phrases and verses, sometimes from the original usage to the present.

There are omissions. Before 1559 the English Bible was in prose and paragraphs. Thereafter, the Bible was in verse. Its style was greatly influenced by poetry and the playwrights of Elizabethan England. Prose and poetry obviously differ. Modern prose stresses the verb; poetry has always been about using and associating nouns and sometimes using specific forms and linguistic devices. Prose seems much more accepting to change of grammar, use of words, shifting words and odd word order.

The original language of the Volgate Bible, in the fourth century from the Greek, was Latin, with its five declensions. Modern day English has three declensions – subjective, possessive and objective. Most modern English speakers nail the subjective declension but botch or ignore the other two. Miss declensions in Latin, German, Russian or languages stressing nouns and get the word order wrong, and the student fails!

In Begat there is nothing about the prose/poetry shifts in English, when the Bible was being translated and through time to today.