Mark Dash

At best this is a book of anecdotes involving tulips, where they came from, prized possessions in the early Ottoman Empire, becoming known in Western Europe, etc. The last 120 pages deal with Holland. Chapter 14, Goddess of Whores, tells about the cultural effects in Holland of the flower. Separating that chapter, the book reveals it is arranged as a subject history of the years 1620-1640, while the tulip boom and bust occurred. Yet there is no mention of the Thirty Years War raging in Middle Europe, a war involving the Dutch and ended with them getting their independence in 1648.

It is never fully explained why tulips only had the boom and bust in Holland – not in Germany, not in France, not in England, not in the regions we know as Luxembourg and Belgium. Found in the middle of the book is text stating that the rules of order and regulation, then existing in Dutch markets, did not govern; most of the tulip traders were amateurs. Yet many of the people were wealthy or well-off. How was trading? Many deals were barter. There is no description of the barter economy in seventeenth century Holland. Where there advantages of bartering rather than using cash? E.g. there were no notifications, no license fees, no property exchange fees, no taxes. No one knows because the text is thin and supercilious.

Also undeveloped is the idea that tulip trading was not done by persons educated and trained in markets. There are suggestions about how the ignorant set up markets, but there is no market analysis. In Holland what were the social effects of someone winning with tulips? Was he or his family accepted as rich. A reviewer noted the book tells about greed, but only in a societal sense: Everyone was greedy – not this person was greedy. The mere fact that an individual speculates does not mean he is greedy. Finally, there is no satisfactory, coherent telling of the effect of tulip mania in Holland.



When I watch real crime shows sometimes the stupidness of victims, cops, witnesses, friends and family, jump out, are truly incomprehensible, inexplicable mind-numbing and appalling. Herein I will attempt to give as many facts as I can remember, which are or seem connected to the incidences presented on the tube, to describe and define the utter failure of human behavior and investigation.

In April 2017 and in July 2017 I published CRIME I and CRIME 2. CRIME 3 is my latest summary of aberrant, decadent, deceptive behavior.

I. Fifty year old girlfriend has hot relationship with victim and plans to move to Florida with him. She leaves for the day. When she returns to his house, where she had been staying; boyfriend is not there. Girlfriend is crushed. She walks around the house. She sees boyfriend-victim inside. He does not move to her knocking. She believes he is ignoring her. She goes to a bar, has a few drinks and is disgusted he won’t answer the phone. She returns to her house, heartbroken. Three days later boyfriend’s daughter calls a friend who checks the house. The police get involved.
When girlfriend was knocking on the door and seeing boyfriend inside, murderers of
boyfriend were hiding inside. If girlfriend were aware and was not crushed, she was awake and engaged, she only had to call 9ll, wait and expect the crime to be stopped. NOPE.

II. Regarding Wills. A woman kills a second husband, also using anti-freeze. She goes to a
friend after the death; friend witnesses a new will of the second husband. Does perjury come to mind? How about forgery? How about conspiracy? How about civil actions of conversion and conspiracy? Would no one notice any of these acts in an investigation of the husband’s death?

III. Too dumb. Man marries a childhood sweetheart as soon as possible. A kid came. Financial hardship. Divorce. Other partners. Husband has no idea how to handle exes and his present women. His IQ descends to 61, but no one who knows or associated with him sees his decline. While visiting with his ex, he is shot in the chest with a shotgun, but the verdict is manslaughter – 12 year sentence. Nobody can believe the victim’s behaviors in life. The ex-wife serves only two years of the 12.
The apparent moral of the story: A murderer can kill as many stupid human beings as she wants.

IV. Two family murders, or relive your childhood. Mother-daughter, father-son forget all sense of family. They are comfortable because they are familiar with each other. And frequently it is the parents who succumbs to the child’s violent actions and ways of thinking. The murderous parents learn that telling lies as an adult is less convincing and less excused than lying as a teenager.

V. No one can understand unless they’ve gone through a horrible crime (rape, kidnapping, home invasion, etc.) themselves. This statement has nothing to do with solving a crime, and is irrelevant. It is also WRONG. People who say such things have no imaginations; they do not understand the significance and importance of books and intelligence. Law enforcement understands enough, or more, to capture such criminals. Novelists, non-fiction writer and journalists must understand to relay the stories.

VI. A woman can have a high IQ, be bright and engaging, have a promising imagination, be the star of her school, garner awards and achievements, and be in a lucrative profession. Next, the world learns this woman is a complete moron about love – dating bad boys, failing to use her intelligence to discriminate, differentiate and judge among men, and finding herself at great disadvantages physically, mentally and emotionally.
MORAL: A woman should use her strengths to investigate and decide before socially

VII. Female victim works at a donut shop. She’s likable. Cops patronize the shop. Victim is
found dead. During the investigation the same cops find the body but don’t or can’t
identify her.

VIII. Do not rely on any person to kill another. If captured, the killer always talks and you’re screwed. Do not try from jail or prison, to have someone on the outside killed. Fellow inmates are not reliable, and THEY are hearing everything.

IX. Older men/younger women. It is easy to deceive the woman. Inexperience. Guy is no
good if he has no money. He will be insecure and possessive. He will demand she love
him always. Don’t mother him.
The woman usually jumps at the chance for security, and perhaps a kid. But the old man
can’t do everything she wants. That blank in a women’s life, a huge area for mischief
and wrongful acts, usually is.

X. Do not have long term relationships, and not many short term encounters, currently
known as “friends with benefits.” That will become the first social connection the cops
will find and stick to as a motive for murder.

XI. The odors and smells in morgues and around corpses are why deodorants, air fresheners and strong cleaners are used. Those products also cover up animal smells for humans who keep pets. But if there are no pets and the cleaning smells are present, there is likely a dead human nearby.

XII. Parents, especially mothers, should not sleep with their children. The children will never learn independence, self-reliance or gain confidence -physically, psychologically and emotionally. These arrangements may open a road to crime: These children will not grow up to be complete, mature human beings.

XIII. Do not murder someone and a few days later go to the police station wearing the same clothes for an interview about the killing. The cops will notice and arrest you.

XIV. If you have a criminal business that provides you with a decent income, and the cops don’t seem interested in you, don’t commit other crimes like murder, rape, kidnapping or assaultive robbery. You’ll be arrested and the whole enterprise will shut down.

XV. Idiocy in California. Sister and drug-addicted brother live together in city. She is a
graduate student. He gets her started on drugs. With her remaining wits she finds a
boyfriend and plans to move to New York City to live with him. Brother does not like
that; sister goes missing. Thereafter, brother withdraws money from her account and forges her checks to support his drug habit.
Parents call cops. Sister/daughter is missing. Cops have found her car; they do not
process it. They go to daughter’s apartment; brother/son refuses their entry. They leave
and wait.
Family arrives. They cannot find daughter/sister.
They move from the apartment. Cops get a search warrant after brother/son and
family leave, and after new tenants have moved in. Cops find blood; they find blood in
the car. They never find a body.
Drug-addicted brother refuses to talk to cops; they get nothing. Family supports him; they are sure he did not kill his sister.
MORALE: Women are expendable. Having a drug-addicted son is better than a happy
daughter in New York City. Daughter may as well have been born dead.


Tom Steyer, billionaire speculator, made loads of money disregarding climate change by investing in coal and fossil fuels and ripping off Americans by using tax laws for the rich. Steyer believes he is all right and now purified! He’s moved to San Fran. He is running ads why Don Trump should be impeached. Steyer’s impressions of Trump are not grounds for impeachment. They may support arguments and inferences of Trump’s abysmal judgment, his everlasting proneness to gross distortion and proof of the large vacuity where his brain ought to be, but grounds for impeachment?

In the ads Steyer features himself as the good advocate. In 2009 Trump featured himself as a searcher for truth with the birther issue. Trump claims to have forced the state of Hawaii to produce Barrack Obama’s birth certificate. If it had been produced immediately, there would have been no Don Trump. But Trump took a sliver of notoriety, added a game show, ran for President and won.

Steyer features himself on the same path, except in the end he will have no document saying Trump was born in the USA. Trump is a Queenie. Thanks to Trump we have learned Obama was born in Hawaii, and always was. Steyer says Don Trump has conspired, colluded and combined with a foreign power, the Ruskies. Saying something does not prove it. Steyer’s ad campaign is no more effective than the RIGHT-WING AMERICANS erecting billboards during the 1960s: IMPEACH EARL WARREN.

Steyer should stop the ads and prove one impeachment charge. Try loans to Trump, his children, his businesses, his business associates, his son-in-law, his son-in-law’s family by Russians, Russian banks, the Russian government, or anyone in Cypress. This is a financial detective investigation. Although certain statutes and regulations may prevent an investigation within the United States of America, those laws and rules do not extend beyond our borders. Palms frequently get greased, overseas.

Steyer knows this. No one makes a billion dollars after taxes and does not know the ways of money in the world or how to use it. A proper investigation producing evidence (dates, documents, times, places, assets) may cost 10, 20 or $50,000,000. Come on, Tom. Break open the piggy bank! If Steyer does not want to do it himself, there are plenty of underemployed lawyers who would with hourly payments. Steyer knows this. He can do his best, but is too cheap. Will Steyer’s tax evasion schemes in which he is participating be exposed?

Perhaps Steyer is now distracted. He has lost interest in politics. Or he’s getting married, divorced, changing relationships or has to move because he lives in the sinking Millennium Tower embedded in a foundation of sand, set in a city of progressivism prone to earthquakes. Or, he might want to begin a start-up, a pot growing operation in the fire area of Sonoma County – help the tax base!


This movie about the world of women in the Australian outback is thoroughly enjoyable. Kate Winslett is excellent as always; Judy Davis is hard to recognize but deft.

It is fun to watch a movie where the primary participants – good, bad, indifferent – are female. The story differs because there is less direct action; violence must be planned.

The movie begins with Kate arriving at a small, dried out hamlet, her hometown, where her mother, Davis, lives. Kate is a clothing designer and a seamstress; she designs, and her dresses make a difference for the women of the village.

Kate belabors under a cloud. When young, she was accused of killing the son of the village’s wealthiest man. The son had been bullying her. As plots play out, viewers learn that Kate and the son are brother and sister, and she did not kill him. However, Kate and the village believe she is cursed.

The past digressions give another designer inroads into hamlet fashion. Kate is out except for Davis and her beau, who wants to marry and take Kate and Davis away. She is unsure. Beau dives into a silo of sorghum to prove that no curse plagues her. He dies; the curse lives.

Davis plots. At a future joint entertainment in the next town the designer of the best costumes wins. Davis offers her daughter’s services to a competing hamlet, who pays. Davis dies. Kate makes the best costumes, but her personal revenge on the village and its despicable people comes last. While everyone is at the performance/contest and no one is in the hamlet, Kate sets fire to her mother’s house. It burns hot and wide – the village burns.

As residents arrive home to the burned wreckage, Kate has boarded a train and is on her way to “Paris:” If need be she will get out in Melbourne and make further travel arrangements.


This morning’s report about Osama Bin Ladin visiting William Shakespeare’s birth place in and around Stratford on Avon seems typical: A 13 year old boy sees the village and makes notes in his diary. (I do not remember the birth house. I remember Anne Hathaway’s house where Shakespeare lived after he returned from London in 1607 and died in 1616.)

By sixteenth century standards the house is nice but not big; it is not a palace. It was likely not much changed from the time Shakespeare left Stratford and went to London. (Artists, writers and musicians did not make much money at that time, but each could use their talent.) Hathaway was older and the more prosperous of the two. I do not know how much Shakespeare, himself, contributed to the estate in Stratford. However, William Shakespeare was like many other men, marrying a richer older woman and living in her house. Men have married well like that for millennia – equally so women.

Could Bin Laden’s disgust and turning away form Shakespeare and the Western World for surfacey reasons be true? For a 13 year-old boy they could. Shakespeare had gained nothing from his work. He was living in a shack; he was the same peon as he was when he left Stratford; he died poor. But Bin Laden was simply ignorant and unknowledgeable. Arabs like Russians praise their languages for their poetic aspects. Shakespeare wrote poetry. Do Arabs dislike stories about human beings and issues each character has and must overcome or handle, as is seen in plays? (I would suspect that after 700 A.D. the Arabs were familiar with Greek plays and liked them.)

Bin Laden’s youthful rejection was directed to the mountain range of learning, the foundations and foothills supplied and supported by Islam, its rulers and societies from 700 to 1258, the fall of Baghdad – later in Spain. Islamic culture was destroyed by invaders from Central and East Asia. The Mamluk Turks of Egypt who stopped the Mongol invasion were foreign to Arabic culture. The Crusaders from Western Europe beginning in the Twelfth Century were mostly unsuccessful militarily, but greatly enhanced communication East and West and increased learning.

Bin Laden rejected this learning about men, societies and religion. Almost every Muslim today will say, Islam is a religion of peace, or Islam means peace. The Holy Koran is not a militant manifesto. Bin Ladin did not take this road, but one alluring to the righteousness of youth. For him Islam became a propaganda tool to use on his way to establish dominance and political power and material wealth over all human beings on earth.