he who is known as sefton

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Location: Susquehanna Depot, Pennsylvania, United States

Well, if you got here via the bi-chromatic Universe and "Dez", thanks. Their being available means they can be rented out, so to say, to vendors. For example, they'd be great in promoting pastries. Kids love cookies, so do adults. As for that ascending numeral three, it came about by way of ignorance. More than once, I'd see that same numeral with wings or a halo or both even on this or that pickup truck. And, dumb me, I'd think they were like golden horse shoes or four-leaf clovers ... good luck charms. It wasn't until later, I found out those threes are meant to commemorate one posthumously charismatic NASCAR driver. To inspire all those signs of grief, that guy might've had the makings for ... well, that's likely better left to the intuition of NASCAR votaries.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"impeach bush" and more

At the moment, "impeach bush" is far more valuable as a rallying cry than as a goal. When we take it just one step further, it becomes obvious. Rally enough troops, and "impeach bush" becomes a goal. Stopping with impeachment, or even removal from office, would be tantamount to folly, and eventually even pernicious. I'm cynical enough to know that even removal would matter little less than a first step.

The transfiguration of our political possibilities requires far more. Quite candidly, if this nation is to continue as a last best hope for humanity, transfiguration must occur.

Here's where the "and more" comes in. In another article in my blog, I advocate my political party hierarchy's setting up their own Internal Affairs Department. This institution would function in a way, very similar to that of an internal affairs department for, say, New York city's.

Here in this space, I'm describing two more goals I'd like to see achieved.

The next goal, I describe as "the Scalito Amendment". Lately, the left wing has been screaming that the administration of "dum'ass botch" has been violating the Constitution by making "Silly Putty" (r) of the concept of inherent checks and balances. Through the Scalito Amendment, the concept of inherent checks and balances gets re enforced. Here it is in rudimentary and indispensable terms.

After a Supreme Court justice has served, say, FIFTEEN (15) years, that justice shall come under review by the House of Representatives, who shall then either allow or disallow FIVE (5) more years of service.

Okay, dear Reader, you've just perused the proposed amendment in "rudimentary and indispensable terms". Now, here's my thinking behind that amendment.

Currently, after a justice, nominated by the president for the Supreme Court, receives the appointment by the Senate, that justice is in there for life. In point of fact, there is no check on that justice. After all, the appointment is for life. I believe it matters greatly that Supreme Court justices should keep, in mind, that they serve, ultimately, at the pleasure of the people. In as much as the House of Representatives is the "people's house", then it is only fitting that the people through their duly elected representatives have the duty of the ultimate check on any justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

As for my other proposal, the basic idea, which at the moment is admittedly half-baked, comes from Hollywood, the world's dream factory ... some people might consider that a tad ironical. Specifically, I have in mind the movie A BEAUTIFUL MIND. Like the nerd, for which I'm quite often mistaken, I was impressed by the first fifteen minutes of the movie, and by the last fifteen minutes.

In the first fifteen minutes, the actor portraying John Forbes Nash jr, prior to the latter's doctorate, does rather rough justice to Nash's intellectual travaux. Mr Crowe gives the audience a convenient, albeit fictitious, clue to how Nash gained the insight that led to the latter's doctoral thesis. And in the last fifteen minutes, the movie presents the audience with a pretty decent notion of the magnitude of Dr Nash's intellectual contribution.

Just before the ending credits roll, the screen is filled with gilt script that implicitly directs the audience to marvel at the power of that contribution.

I say let's harness that power to help our legislators, at whatever level of governance (municipal, state, federal) make far more efficacious decisions with regard to both allocation of resources and pertinent taxation.

oh, alright (!) already, so, I'm omitting certain details ... aaay, c'mon, gimme a break ... in fact, give my numerous devoted fans a break ... even for them, the preceding text is quite a mouthful. And how about for first-time visitors? Surely, they deserve a break, do (?) they not.


.he who is known as sefton


promised punchline - HIS LIPS ARE MOVING


here's a note of confutation that was well thought out:

Maximus Clarke wrote:

Some problems that I see with your amendment:

The House is the more "emotional" half of Congress. Its members are
elected every two years instead of every six. They tend to react to
changes in public opinion. The Senate is slower and more deliberative
cautious. This is why the Senate is charge of reviewing presidential
appointees and judicial nominees, not the House.

If your amendment had been in place when Newt Gingrich controlled the
House, some of the more liberal justices could have been removed by
radical Republican compatriots. In fact, since the GOP has controlled
House since 1994, ALL of the liberal justices might have been removed

Your amendment would reduce the independence of the judicial branch,
is exactly what the Republicans have been trying to do for a long
(For example, some of them want judicial decisions to be reviewable

For all of those reasons, I don't think I can support it.


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Friday, January 20, 2006

Osama and our president "dum'ass botch"

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, weeping and veiled ...

The above squib was lifted from a news piece in a website I occasionally visit for a free chance in a raffle. With the exception of those brain-dead or those, who've just returned from the moon after a two-month stint spelunking in a communications blackout, none may plead ignorance about her plight.

With regard to the overarching situation, none may resort to ignorance for excusing either her captors or their ultimate and ( charitably granted) unwittingly so ==> accomplice.

Here's a "dum'ass botch" joke I'm serving up for the visitor's entertainment.

Question: how do you know when President Bush is lying?

Answer: his LIPS are moving.

The captive reporter in Iraq is connected, in the maelstrom of history, with the current president of the United States.

And that office holder is in turn connected, again in the maelstrom of history, with the "bedbugs", who diminished the cityscape of New York.

Here's another squib, lifted from that website:

Al-Zawahri Mocks Bush Over Terrorism War

Funny thing, as I watching the newscast that featured some camel jockey with a white towel wrapped around his head, I chuckled. That bedbug looked like a card-carrying member of the Screen Extras Guild in period custome. Eventually, that impression led to my recalling a poster for a movie starring Paul Newman ...


ah, the all caps text is that movie's best known line ...

According to the relevant news presenters, the bedbug was ridiculing dum'ass botch as a failure.

Well, here's the punchline:


+ the graphic on
+ the other side
+ of the vertical line
+ of plus signs shows
+ a clipping of a
+ political ad that
+ appeared in
+ the "only 'real'
+ newspaper for
+ Susquehanna
+ County ...
+ oh, well, I guess I'm
+ fated to live and die
+ as the human
+ counterpart for
+ MARVEL (r) comix
+ ... ta-da ...

+ oh, well, it must be that, nine out of ten times, transfigurations of human possibility are spearheaded by such riff raff as Picasso, Cortez, Galileo, Villon, Isaiah, Croce, Bahnhoffer et cetera ... by now, my numerous devoted fans are well aware of my most illustrious virtue, specifically
==> my awe-inspiring humility.

The following text appeared previous to the insertion of the above graphic and text appertaining thereto.

When it comes to talk radio personality, Randi Rhodes, there's no middle ground. Either she yammers raucously about alleged right-wing disrepute, or she wittily informs her listeners about pernicious political quackery. Whatever the case, I try to listen to her as I'm cruising along I-81 towards Binghamton in upstate New York. The Citadel outlet there has her broadcasting over WYOS.

Sometime after three in the afternoon, Thursday, the 19th of January, 2006, I heard Randi claim she had been informed about the latest and by-now notorious Osama bin Ladin audiotape before our President did. Her evidence for that comes from the speech the President delivered, shortly after she had gotten the news about that audio tape. Not once during that entire speech, did our President George Walker Bush mention that audiotape.

Truth be told, I most certainly allow that she has a point. But then, I'll have to allow that it might be easy to accuse me of bias. My ambition to bring about the impeachment of President "dum'ass botch" certainly inclines me towards the negative in my view of the man.

At this point, I hope those reading this article could concede that I feel an obligation to my numerous devoted fans. And so, I'm about to adduce some evidence for my most illustrious virtue, specifically, my awe-inspiring humility. By this evidence, I'm sure I'll rise far above the reach of any accusation of bias. In this instance, I'll delve into the notion that both Osama and our president have, at one time or other, both vouchsafed.

Both claim that the situation in Iraq, sometimes referred to humorously as "Mess O'Potamia, is a "magnet for jihadis". The last is a quote that can be directly attributed to both men. Here's the thing about both men. In my considered opinion, both are emotionally purblind.

My clues for this comes from a couple sources. One of which is rather recent American history. According to our historians, the "Roaring 20s" of the last century was inspired, in large part, by the disenchantment of troops, returning from their stint in the First World War. Vaguely, I can recall a story about one very noteworthy poet, becoming disabused of jingoism as he saw for himself the venality of those in charge of his nation's military ... something about "pilgrims" of some sort.

No, I do not speak of Arabic. No, I do not have friends, who do. What's more, I do not have friends, who are Muslim. In fact, my type of guy does not have friends ... admirers, maybe. And yet, I can tell you what will the disposition of those jihadis, who survive their combat stint for Islam in Iraq. Are they ever going to be disenchanted!

The list of their complaints will be long and, for their coreligionists back home, both disheartening and enlightening. Here are a few samples:

"We had more to fear from Iraqi Muslims than American infidels."

"The Iraqis thought they were doing us a favor by letting us blow ourselves up, and kill other Iraqis."

"The Iraqis called us 'infidels', if we refused to wear suicide vests."

"We came to fight American Marines, and if need be, die as martyrs for the sake of Islam. Instead, we were expected to slaughter innocent Muslims."

By the way, this is in addition to the complaints. There's a story that purports to be going around about what could happen to jihadis, who get captured by Kurdish militia. Those jihadis get sold to the American military for a hundred bucks, or so, a head.

Here's what's alleged to have happened to one bunch of just such jihadis. During any war, from time to time, somebody who shouldn't bungle does ... snafu ... gastro-intestinal eliminate chancefires. During one week, the American military did not have the money to buy the captured jihadis. What's more, so far as American military intelligence could tell, the captured jihadis had absolutely nothing to tell that was of any military value. And the average American gee'eye could hardly be expected to donate any of their combat pay for such a purchase.

The upshot being, the Kurds thought that the American program of buying the formers' captured jihadis had come to an end. Shortly thereafter, the captured jihadis died, while "trying to escape". Funny thing, each corpse had a bullet in the back of its head.

The Kurds are supposed to be like the Russians, "friendship is friendship, and business is business".

Well, before I lay out my plan for flushing Osama bin Ladin out his hiding place, somewhere in Central Asia, I'm going to mention my suspicion about what our President "dum'ass botch" thinks about himself.

During one teevee appearance during his first campaign for the presidency, he professed his devotion to his Christian faith. He claimed he had Jesus in his heart. Well, from "Jesus in my heart", it's not that big a leap to believing one is the Saviour. In one of my other articles in this bog, I have lots of fun with that notion.

Okay, now onto serious business.

My idea comes from the 1957 movie SOMETHING OF VALUE, in which Rock Hudson played a supporting role, with the major role given over to Sidney Poitier. In the movie, white settlers in the African country of Kenya before its independence, are being beset by Mau Mau "uprising". Nowadays, politically correct is "insurgency".

One of the Mau Mau leaders, with the title of "Oath Giver", gets captured by the white man's military. He's an elderly man, and the actor, Juan Hernandez who portrays him, gives a marvelous performance. A reasonable person can comprehend why the oath giver was a person, entitled to humongous respect from both white settlers and Kenyan common folk.

During a crackling thunder storm, one of the white authorities considers aloud what the oath giver must believe. Thunder is the voice of God, so the oath giver believes. Lightning is God's spear, so the oath giver believes.

White authorities escort the oath giver to a fire that is somehow raging in the downpour. For the oath giver, that's comparable to the biblical burning bush. Then the oath giver is given a toroidal stone, shaped like a doughnut, that he believes he must honor by telling the truth.

Funny thing about the oath giver, he never took the oath himself. Had he done so, so he believes, he would've banished himself from God's presence forever. And that is why he never gave the oath to his daughter.

One of the white men, questioning the oath giver, the latter's name being Njogu, reminds him of those, to whom the oath been given. By giving them the oath, Njogu became responsible for their being forever banished from God. As the oath giver feels the weight of his remorse, the white inquisitor compels him to peer into a future those oaths are creating. Kenya will be a house, wherein dwell those, forever banished from the presence of the Lord.

Okay, my dear why.ache.err, ya'gotta admit that's pretty heavy stuff.

Okay, here's my idea. Whatever the language being spoken wherever Osama is being cached, SOMETHING OF VALUE is to be dubbed in that language. And then, that movie is to be shown to the warlords, who rule over that Central Asian region.

aaaay, c'mon, for a change, let's rely on one of the few activities, in which Americans do better than any other nationality, music and pizza delivery included in that few.

Besides, it's a pretty bet that our spooks have tried everything else. Oh, well, maybe good ol'Winnie Churchill said it best, "Trust the Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else".

No, I'm no expert in Islam. But I'm told that Muslims are expected to respect the honest and deep-seated beliefs of honorable non-Muslims. And so, those warlords would be expected to respect the deep-seated beliefs of Njogu, the oath giver. In the end, he proves himself through his remorse to be an honorable man.

After they've seen the movie, the warlords will be reminded that, like the oath giver, they are responsible for the welfare of those, over whom they rule. Again, I'm no expert in Islam. But I'm sure their Faith disapproves of those, who are careless in their governance.

Just as Njogu is expected to care for the future of his fellow Kenyans, so are the warlords expected to care for the future of their subjects.

What follows could be considered a dilettante's attempt at prosody:

Forty years ago, the future was tapping on your door.

Thirty years ago, the future was rapping on your door.

Twenty years ago, the future was knocking on your door.

Ten years ago, the future was banging on your door.

Today, the future is kicking your door in.

Maybe, you love Osama for his devotion to Islam. Maybe, your customs obligate you to shelter him from the wrath of infidels. But consider this. The man belongs far more in the past than in the future. The hard truth be told, though he lives in the present, he's a relic from out of the past. Is (?) not your Faith, a Faith with a future.

Surely, it is a wise man, who prepares for the future. According to the dictates of your own Faith, you are expected to care for the future of those, over whom you rule. Surely, you feel obligated to ensure their future will be one, in which you would rightfully take pride in helping shaped.

To that end, it behooves you to surrender Osama.

.he who is known as sefton

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

danger, Senator Specter, danger

eYep, wha'cher seein' appeared in my hometown weekly.
In case, you're interested in the quality of its reception, please let me inform you "great". Now then, let's employ some retrospective speculation. Had this ad appeared the day after our president, "dum'ya botch", had vouchsafed . . . . . "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED",
it would've taken a minor miracle to get me through that day, unscathed.

Anyway, my dear Senator, you may as well know that I have a reputation as a wild-eyed iconoclast cum "this laptop for hire". At the moment, I'm wearing my "wild-eyed" cap, and I'm prognosticating what's bound to happen after your president's choice for Supreme Court justice wins bitterly contested approval.

Much of what I'm now prognosticating is already, so to speak, in the cards. Nonetheless, elevating Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court will do much to exacerbate the situation.

For the moment, let's animadvert to the gin of scandals that now ensnare your Republican Party, as voiced by somebody like me, as I begin campaign for your buddy Don's seat in the House of Representatives ...

.... treason suborned -- ah, that's one
... culture of corruption -- ah, that's another
... governance proven incompetent -- ah, still another
... unlawful eavesdropping -- talk about piling on!
... neither liberty nor security -- that's going to take a little explanation

Just for your benefit, Senator Specter, here's what else I plan to pile on. Yes and yes again, I know it's horrible of me. Besides being so juicy, this first one was contributed by your good buddy, George "fancy pants" Will ... ah, ya'know that "F" for his middle initial should mean that. Anyway, I'm going to pigeonhole "conservative virtue" as lack of opportunity for vice.

For the clincher, which by way of reasonable speculation will be the "last straw", I'll rail against the robbery, being perpetrated by credit cards.

Ah, come a little closer to the monitor screen, dear Senator, ever so discretely look around, make sure nobody's looking over your shoulder. This will be just among you and me and the monitor screen. I suspect this robbery happened because ever so many of your colleague legislators presuppose the constituency, solely to whom they must answer, inhabits that lair of lobbyists and former legislator lobbyists, namely , "K" street.

As your political party tries to get ready for this year's congressional elections, my dear Senator, ya'gotta allow that's one hell'uva lot of ignominy to try to get the American public to overlook.

And then, there's the very likely elevation of your president's nominee to the Supreme Court. Maybe, Roe v Wade will be allowed to stand, at least temporarily. No matter, the situation for your party will only get worse.

Here's the thing that gets me about the pro-lifers, who began their thirty-year campaign to get Roe v Wade. They forgot to take into consideration that the sensibilities of the American public can change drastically, given enough time. Well, thirty (30) years is about a generation and a half, by biblical reckoning. And public sensibilities can change drastically.

Again, you're well advised to look around discretely, et cetera. Again, this is just among you and me and the monitor screen. In this rather elongated paragraph, I'm proffering something you can take to the bank. This concerns certain historians, who dive, like cormorants, into the public's psychological cess pool ... aaaay, I'm only trying to be candid, albeit excruciatingly so.

Anyway, as those historians write about the "dum'ya botch" administration, they'll be disgorging one very startling insight. Here goes ... again, look over your shoulder et cetera ... . Nobody's looking over your shoulder? You're sure? Good. If you live long enough, here's you're bound to read: "The man appealed to those G.O.P self-destructive drives, so inevasibly inherent as to approach genetic. The greater his appeal grew, the more those drives intensified.

Towards the end of the 'precocious' termination of his second administration, the appeal had intensified to the point of white hot." ... eYep, dear Senator Specter, that you can take to the bank ... ah, if you do, you'd be well advised to do so, so discreetly as to approach clandestinely. ... eYep, I do like those buck-ninety-eight terms of expression. Oh, alright (!) already, so some of my deathless prose is a tad over the top. Well, as the late world's most talented fop once remarked, "nothing succeeds like excess."

Here's how I see things unfolding. After Alito's elevation, membership in the National Organization of Women (N.O.W) triples. The number of femisymps quintuples. In the years between Alito's elevation and the abrogation of Roe v Wade, a slew of so-called "pro-life" legislators get voted out of office.

After the abrogation of Roe v Wade, membership in N.O.W triples again. The number of femisymps, this time, only triples. The Republican Party gets reduced to a shadow of its former self.

Suddenly, the truth of "better a smart enemy than a stupid friend" dawns on your party's hierarchy. In a twinkling, the steams of money that water the pastorages of Reverends Falwell and Robertson dry up. The Independent Women's Forum goes out of existence for lack of funds. And there are other changes. In their campaigns for election, "pro-life" Republican candidates receive barely a pittance from your national committee. This happens even to ones, running in safe Republican districts.

Oh, alright (!) already, I'll admit it. In this segment, I'm living up to my reputation as a wild-eyed iconoclast. Anyway, I believe it's reasonable to SURMISE that the good senator is hearing from state legislators, who owe their election to support by "pro-life" voters. These legislators would overlook the failure of Judge Alito to get elevated to the Supreme Court.

For years, those aforementioned legislators have been earning their brownie points from their home-state pro-life voters by tinkering along the edges of Roe v Wade, under the guise of protecting the interests of under-age pregnant girls, who by the bye are denied the right to vote. It's one thing to futz around with the fate of under-age girls, it's quite another to do so with that of women, who can vote.

And now, I will conclude with this story. There was a certain MS "pro-choice", who was involved in overt opposition to "pro-life" demonstrations. For a year there, during the height of such demonstrations, she noticed something within herself.

On the way towards countering a pro-life demonstration at an abortion clinic, MS "pro-choice" would have a rather, well, insipid premonition. Each and every time she had that premonition, she would see, upon her arrival at the scene of the pro-life demonstration, a certain divorcee ... oh, let's call her Madame "pro-life" and a young girl, who couldn't have been more than fourteen.

The one time MS "pro-choice" did not have that premonition, Madame "pro-life" was absent from the demonstration.

Well, one fine day, MS "pro-choice" got the call to rally support against a pro-life demonstration outside an abortion clinic in an adjoining state. On her way, she felt that same insipid premonition. But there was a difference.

Madame "pro-life" was nowhere to be seen in the ranks of her colleagues. Nope, she was inside the clinic. And sitting beside her, was the young girl. Well, MS "pro-choice" took one look at the girl, and she knew that child's story.

And then, MS "pro-choice" looked at the woman. All Madame "pro-life" could do was bleat, "This is different."


.he who is known as sefton


Here's some help for those visitors, who'd like to let others read this piece. Just underneath this piece, there's an envelope icon. Clicking on it brings up a page that facilitates e.mailing the hyperlink to this article.

One colleague blogger expressed an interest in linking to my blog. It's a nice thought. Unless the blog, to which one wishes to link, is BOTH extremely popular and elaborate, neither of which adjectives describes mine, such a link would be a waste of code.

Nonetheless, bloggers can help their readers link to this piece easily enough. One needs only copy the U.R.L in the address field that's specific to this article on its own page, and then paste it in an article that mentions this article.

Incidentally, I welcome bookmarking my blog.


In this case, my dear Senator, there's no need to look about discreetly. Here's what I'm hoping for, in my heart of hearts. I would love to hear one of your Senate colleagues ... supposedly, you're one of the senators, who is free of the Abramoff taint ... or even you (!) deliver the following speech.

"Judge Alito, I will vote to disapprove of your nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. Truth be told, my dear Judge, my disapproval emerges not so much out of my consideration of your personal character, or even professional qualifications. Rather, it emerges from my distaste for your sponsorship.

"According to certain mainstays of your sponsorship, you are the culmination of some thirty (30) years of effort. Supposedly, yours will be the deciding vote on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade. Undoubtedly, that would be momentous.

In private with my thoughts and after ruthless deliberation, I've arrived at the inferences that can be drawn from the phrase "thirty (30) years". By biblical reckoning, that amounts to a generation and a half. If the Old Testament should be considered as a guide for decision making, then we should remember certain passages from EXODUS.

"Therein, we read that the generation that came out of Egypt was not allowed by the Lord God to enter Egypt because of impurity. It took some forty (40) years to purify the Lord God's Chosen People that they may enter their Promised Land.

"In thirty (30) years, much can change. When your sponsors embarked on their project, this United States of America harbored one set of sensibilities with regard to reproductive rights and presidential powers. Since then, much has changed.

"In as much as your sponsorship is thirty years behind the times, my dear Judge Alito, so too are you. This leads to other inferences.

"The fact that this United States of America has gradually transmuted the sensibilities, harbored within, leads to another inference ... in fact, a startling inference. Ours is a living country, which is governed by human beings in reverential compliance with our Constitution. Only a living Constitution is compatible with a living country. On the other hand, a 'dead' Constitution is manifestly incompatible with a living United States of America.

"It may well be that your sponsors are completely oblivious to the foregoing. That would be unfortunate. The reason being, that makes them far more pernicious, as they strive to achieve their goals. Were they to ultimately succeed ... and this goes beyond your mere ascension to the Supreme Court ... this living country would come under the sovereignty of a 'dead' Constitution.

"One of our Founding Fathers once remarked about the Huns and Vandals, who could destroy their nation, along with its destiny. Those Huns and Vandals will not invade from without. No, instead, they will attain seats of power and glory and honor. Thus ensconced, those Huns and Vandals will demolish the very foundation of our beloved country, and thus bring about its utter collapse.

"If I may, I should like to refer to Holy Writ again. The Saviour once remarked that "by their fruits, ye shall know them". Through the acquiescence in, if not outright complicity in these scandals, by your sponsorship, our nation's legislature is immersed in scandal. The ferocity ,with which your sponsorship, seeks your ascension to our Supreme Court gives me pause. That leads me to infer that your sponsorship has convincing reason to put their hopes in you.

"And that is another cause for my voting against your ascension to the Supreme Court of this United States of America. For our country's sake, those hopes must be dashed.

"It may well be, my dear Judge Alito, that you as an individual are an honorable man, that you as a professional jurist among other professional jurists are qualified to sit on that court. Nonetheless, your sponsorship makes your nomination to the Supreme Court tantamount to

"And that is not all, I have to say. As I vote to deny your nomination the consent of this Senate, I believe I shall be doing so in the spirit of our Founding Fathers. When they embarked on the birth of their new nation, they pledged their life, their fortune, and their sacred honor. To the end that the hopes of your sponsorship shall be dashed, I pledge my life, my fortune, though a meagre legacy, and my sacred honor."

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

CRYSTAL STAR - segment 02

In this segment, I'm publishing pages 11 through 13 in Scene 1, and pages 14 through 20 in Scene 2. As readers encounter the following segments, they shall be reminded about how the text is being published. In the following segment, a few succeeding pages in the original are published. And in the segment after that, a few pages that succeed those are published, and so forth for the rest.

Copyright (c) 1978 by Albert A.M. Stella

Scene 1: page 11

Rabbi: For you, it’s an expense that I’m happy to bear.

Volumna: I am told the price of coffee is easier for you to bear than most people would expect.

Rabbi: What are you coming to?

Volumna: Well, you cross the border into Poland twice a week.

Rabbi: I see what you mean. I earn a few extra marks when I teach Latin and Greek at a small Polish Center of higher learning.

Volumna: “A few”. Hmmm. That squares with my impression that you don’t seem to get paid all that much.

Rabbi: Ach, my students don’t seem to get educated all that much.

Volumna: Let’s stick to the price of coffee. It’s cheaper in Poland. Right?

Rabbi: Ja, it is very much so cheaper.

Volumna: Now, if somebody could buy coffee in Poland and somehow get it into East Germany without paying duty.

Rabbi: That somebody would be a smuggler.

Volumna: True. And supposing this somebody could do it twice a week, couldn’t this somebody make a nice sum of money?

Rabbi: Not necessarily. Very likely, this somebody would have to be very clever or have the authorities turn a blind eye. Either of which involves a good deal of money.

Scene 1: page 12

Volumna: You are right. Still, … isn’t it true that you carry a valise with you when you commute to and from that Polish school?

Rabbi: That valise is for my Latin and Greek books and papers.

Volumna: I see. The authorities go along with that.

Rabbi: Why should they not?

Volumna: Funny, though.

Rabbi: Funny what?

Volumna: The authorities, I’m told, never bother to check your valise. Tell me, Rabbi Gottesmann, if they did, what would they find? Latin and Greek books and papers…-- … or…

Rabbi: ***(Swallows hard on his coffee.)*** Wahr, sehr, wahr, Fraulein. I carry Polish coffee in my valise across the East German frontier. ***(Tone of voice is what else do you want ---blood-? )***

Volumna: You didn’t know Elsa was such a blabber-mouth, did you?

Rabbi: Sehr richtig. Our local, friendly Communist municipal secretary is such a miser. She pays me less than the Polis provincial educationsl authority.

Volumna: So, you are a smuggler. You deal in the black market.

Rabbi: Why not just say that I am engaged in non-regulated commerce?

Volumna: Then, why are you engaged in “non-regulated commerce”?

Scene 1: page 13

Rabbi: For the money. ***(Are you ever dumb.)***

Volumna: And with this money, you buy bricks and mortar.

Rabbi: Ja, I buy bricks and mortar.

Volumna: Bricks and mortar. I’ve asked you about them before. And all I get from you is something about a fountain. ***(Pauses a bit.)*** Please understand, Rabbi, I’ll never write down a word of this, but I’m just dying to know for sure. Do you---

Rabbi: Ja, Fraulein Cliothal, I also carry German pork sausage across the Polish frontier.

Volumna:: ***(She’s just giggling.)***

Rabbi: Are you laughing at a poor, aged rabbi and sinner?

Volumna: You’re no sinner. I just think the part about your smuggling German pork sausage into Poland is deliciously funny.

Rabbi: ***(Catches pun and snorts.)***

***(Now, the old rabbi and the girl are startled by three loud knocks on the door. Off-stage, a flute softly plays a strain from A THOUSAND YEARS.)***

*Scene Two: Same location and time with another principal.* page 14

Rabbi Gottesmann: Sit there, Miss Cliothal. I had better answer the door.

***(The good rabbi goes over and opens the door to a middle-aged man, tall, powerfully built and dressed in an evening suit. His suit must be elegant---evidence he’s a man used to champagne and chemin de fer. A handcuff dangles off his left wrist, its mate closed and speckled red. Because of the positions of the door and the table, Volumna is hidden from the man, who remains in the door-way.)********

Rabbi Gottesmann: Guten Abend, mein Herr, how may I help you at this time of night?

Middle-aged Man: Guten Abend, I would like to contract you for a certain service.

Rabbi: A certain service? What do you need me for?

Man: I need you for a guide.

Rabbi: I hope you did not mistake my little house for a tourist bureau.

Man: At this time of night, I should be a strange tourist. Still, I need you for a guide.

Rabbi: And to where would you like me to guide you?

Man: Where the Volkspolizei cannot find me.

Volumna:: ***(This is something out of the ordinary.)*** The police???

Scene 2: page 15

Man: ***(Just about springs through the door-way shoving aside the rabbi, slams the door shut and ends up staring down on Volumna.)*** Was haben wir hier? ***(After a few seconds of sizing her up.)*** Ach, mein Alter, you are not only an old fox, you may even be an old stallion.

Rabbi: Mein Herrr, that girl is an American reporter. She is my guest, and she is here to write a story about me.

Man: ***(Exhaling in contempt.)*** A story on a pork-sausage smuggling Jew!

Rabbi: I will tolerate no insults from--- ***(The rabbi falls silent and stares intently at the man for a moment.)***

Volumna: ***(Just taking this all in.)***

Rabbi: Doch, this is wirkliech a special night.

Man: Wahr, it will also be a profitable night for you, when I am safely hidden.

Volumna: How come you’ve got to hide?

Rabbi: That, Fraulein Cliothal, is something you need not know.

Man: That pleased me to hear you say that. There is not much time for you to go aabout the business of hiding me.

Rabbi: What makes you believe that I can hide you?

Man: You, old Jew, survived war-time Germany. There gives no life for the fox that can be sniffed out by the hounds.

Rabbi: How close are the hounds to you?

Scene 2: page 16

Man: In a few moments, you will hear how melodically the Volkspolizei can bay.

Rabbi: I would rather like to hear what you have to offer me as your guide.

Man: How does five hundred West German marks sound to you?

Rabbi: Like music.

Man: We have a deal. But what about this American piece of fluff? ***(Indicating Volumna>0***

Volumna: I resent that!

Man: ***(Ignoring her.)***Does she have enough sense to stay out of this affair?

Rabbi: Keine Sorgen, mein Herr, keine Sorgen. ***(With a re-assuring gesture.)***

Man: Gut.

Rabbi: Volumna, leave swiftly, there gives not too much time.

Volumna:: ***(With some sarcasm.)*** And this was supposed to be such a special night that you wanted me to stay a while.

Rabbi: This night is much more special than I thought.

Man: There is not much time left to me. ***(Command.)*** Bitte!

Rabbi:: Our “guest” is correct. Leave now.

Volumna: You don’t think you can trust me?

Scene 2: page 17

Rabbi: In this matter, trust is not involved. Much risk is.

Volumna: I’m used to taking risks.

Man: And the Volkspolizei are used to taking people like you. Mein Herr, there has for us little time ***(Showing the dangling hand-cuff.)***

Man: ***(Continuing.)*** Once tonight I have evaded the teeth of the Volkspolizei. They do not intend to have me do that again.

Rabbi: ***(To the man.)*** Ja, Ja ***(To Volumna.)*** I beg you for your own good.

Volumna: ***(Somehow a nerve got touched.)*** Own good this. Own good that. I’m sick and tired of hearing “for your own good.”

Man: Gott im Himmel! A typical dumb girl! ***(Why me?)***

Rabbi: Schweigen! Fraulein Volumna Cliothal, get lost. I shall have tough enough time to explain why I am with this man.

Man: ***(A new hardness to his eye and a bite to his voice.)*** To explain why you are with me TO WHOM?

Rabbi: ACH ***(Time for some quick thinking.)*** To my friends who will help me hide you. ***(Will he buy it?)***

Man: Filthy liar, you have no friends. You want to betray me to the Volkspolizei – after you have taken my money, naturliech. I shall gladly slit your throat. ***(Starts towards the rabbi.)***

Scene 2: page 18

Volumna: Kill him and who’s going to hide you? ***(She ain’t too dumb after all.)***

Man: ***(That stopped him in his tracks.)*** ***(Looks first at the rabbi and then the girl; makes quick assessment of the situation.)*** Little, old Jew fox, you shall hide me and fluff.

Rabbi: You are mad, Joachim, I will not let another innocent girl die because of you.

Joachim: ***(Astonishment.)*** Nobody has called me Joachim for so many years.

Volumna: Rabbi Gottesmann, what do you mean another innocent girl die? ***(The gravity of it all has brought her down to earth with a thud. Special emphasis on the word “die”.)***

Rabbi: ***(Quick to make use of Joachim’s indecision.)***Joachim, Joachim, bitte, let her go out of here.

Joachim:: ***(Must have over-done it.)***So she can bring the Volkspolizei onto my trail. Do you take me for a fool?

Rabbi: I take you for the soulless monster automaten that murdered Helushka.

Joachim: I did not kill that girl.

Rabbi: You tore a star out of the heaven. You shed her blood. You destroyed a celestial soul.

Joachim: ***(With icy contempt.)*** What would you know about celestial souls, you pork- sausage smuggling Jew?

Scene 2: page 19

Volumna: A lot more than you ever could.

Rabbi: For your ears, Volumna, I will speak my truth.

Volumna: Now?! ***(Has he gone crackers?)***

Joachim: I demand a hiding place right now, old Jew, or I will kill that -- ***(Some desperation here.)***

Rabbi: Joachim, you will kill no more.

Volumna: What makes you so sure?

Rabbi: Unearthly evil has entered here. It must and shall be dealt with by a strong man with truth in his eye. ***(Matter- of – fact- tone.)***

Volumna: ***(Doesn’t he know this guy is a maniac killer?)*** A gun in his hand just might help somewhat more. ***(American black humor.)***

Rabbi: I shall catch Joachim in a snare. As tomorrow’s sun dispels this night’s dark, it will shed its light for the day of Helushka’s death on justice achieved.

Volumna: That’s why this night is so special. Tomorrow is the anniversary of that girl’s death. How special was that girl?

Rabbi: She was such that everything about her was special. Because of her, this little village is special. She grew up her and loved it so much.

Volumna: This is Helushka’s home town and so you remain here.

Scene 2: page 20

Rabbi: For far greater reason than that.

Joachim: Then it’s not true that you are afraid to fly over water. ***(Maybe with a little humoring.)***

Rabbi: ***(Touching Volumna on the shoulder a bit.)*** I feel her presence here. Her presence sustains me in my purposes.

Volumna: ***(Be discreet.)*** Ah, how did you feel toward each other.

Rabbi: I loved her in a special way, and with my heart I knew she responded in a special way.

Joachim: ”From Afar”, nicht wahr? How else can a senile letcher love?

Volumna: ***(Shoots Joachim a dirty look.)*** It all did happen after your wife died?

Rabbi: Much happened after my wife had departed and left me with my daughter. In the evening of the day I had buried my wife and brought home my infant daughter. I began seeking the medicine for my grief in the Holy Literature of Our Faith.

Volumna: Did you find a reason why? Did you want to find a reason why?

Rabbi: What man can presume to call God into account?

Joachim: So, you can endure to suffer bravely for reasons known but to God? ***(Hectoring the old fellow.)***

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