And when thou hast blown thy nose, use not to open thy handkerchief, to glare upon thy snot, as if thou hadst pearls and rubies fallen from thy brains.

from Galateo ( book of etiquette - Courtier )


Tallulah Bankhead

Another aspect of her pathology was her unrestrained exhhibitionism. She was famous for throwing off her clothes a parties, for leaving her bathroon door open, for working without panties on. When she was performing Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth", so many people in the audiance complained that the Actors' Equity had to order her to wear underpants on stage. When she was making "Life Boat", Alfred Hitchcock, .........., fielded conplaints "with his much quoted deliberation about whether the matter needed to be referred to the makeup or hairdressing department"

from Robert Gottlieb - Lives And Letters, page 9


Perhaps the sediments contained in the following pages , are not YET sufficiently fashionable  to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking  a thing WRONG,  gives it the superficial  appearance or  being RIGHT, and raises a t first a formidable  outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason

Thomas Paine – Introduction to Common Sense


"Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not a all to his advantage"

William Burroughs


Life can only be understood backwards; but life must be lived forwards.

Soren Kiekegaard, 1883


One of Mr. Moto's top ten reasons to stick judicial review up a pig's ass.

Dred Scott - Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney 1856

No black man or woman decended from an American slave could claim national citizenship under the Constitution, which relagated blacks to a "subordinate and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race" and who had "no rights which the white man was bound to respect," including the right to seek redress in a federal court.

"The powers over person or property of which we speak are not granted to Congress, but are in express trems denied, and they are forbidden to excrsize them." ... The only power over slavery that the federal government could "constitutionally exersize" - indeed, was its "duty" - was "that of protecting the rights of the owner."

James Mac Gregegor Burns "Packing The Court", p. 60

Thank you Mr. Moto


War is a big and sprawling word that brings a lot of human suffering into the conversation, but combat is a dif­ferent matter. Combat is the smaller game that young men fall in love with, and any solution to the human problem of war will have to take into account the psyches of these young men. For some reason there is a profound and mys­terious gratification to the reciprocal agreement to protect another person with your life, and combat is virtually the only situation in which that happens regularly. These hillsides of loose shale and holly trees are where the men feel not most alive - that you can get skydiving - but the most utilized. The most necessary. The most clear and cer­tain and purposeful. If young men could get that feeling at home, no one would ever want to go to war again, but they can't. So here sits Sergeant Brendan O'Byrne, one month before the end of deployment, seriously contemplating signing back up.

"I prayed only once in Afghanistan," O'Byrne wrote me after it was all over. "It was when Restrepo got shot, and I prayed to god to let him live. But God, Allah, Jehovah, Zeus or whatever a person may call God wasn't in that valley. Combat is the devil's game. God wanted no part. That's why our prayers weren't answered: the only one listening was Satan."

Sabastian Junger "WAR" p.243-245



The doctrine was advanced by the celebrated monk and theologian Pelagius (c.355–c.425). Pelagius thought that St. Augustine was excessively pessimistic in his view that humanity is sinful by nature and must rely totally upon grace for salvation. Pelagius rejected the doctrine of original sin; he taught that children are born innocent of the sin of Adam. Baptism, accordingly, ceased to be interpreted as a regenerative sacrament. Pelagius challenged the very function of the church, claiming that the law as well as the gospel can lead one to heaven and that pagans had been able to enter heaven by virtue of their moral actions before the coming of Christ.

In his earlier writings St. Augustine himself agrees with the common tradition. Thus in De libero arbitrio III, written several years before the Pelagian controversy, discussing the fate of unbaptized infants after death, he writes: "It is superfluous to inquire about the merits of one who has not any merits. For one need not hesitate to hold that life may be neutral as between good conduct and sin, and that as between reward and punishment there may be a neutral sentence of the judge." But even before the outbreak of the Pelagian controversy St. Augustine had already abandoned the lenient traditional view, and in the course of the controversy he himself condemned, and persuaded the Council of Carthage (418) to condemn, the substantially identical Pelagian teaching affirming the existence of "an intermediate place (Limbo), or of any place anywhere at all (ullus alicubi locus), in which children who pass out of this life unbaptized live in happiness" (Denzinger 102). This means that St. Augustine and the African Fathers believed that unbaptized infants share in the common positive misery of the damned, and the very most that St. Augustine concedes is that their punishment is the mildest of all, so mild indeed that one may not say that for them non-existence would be preferable to existence in such a state (De peccat. meritis I, xxi; Contra Jul. V, 44; etc.)

In 415, Augustine warned St. Jerome in Palestine that Pelagius was propagating a dangerous heresy there, and Jerome acted to prevent its spread in the East. Pelagianism was condemned by East and West at the Council of Ephesus (431).



If in smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old lie: Dulce et decorum est

Pro Patria mori.*

*It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country. (Horace)

One week before the end of the war, whilst attempting to traverse a canal, he was shot in the head by an enemy rifle and was killed. The news of his death, on 4 November 1918, was to be given to his mother as church bells rang in celebration of the signing of the Armistice.

Dulce et decorum est


ee cummings

Me up at does

Out of the floor
quietly Stare

a poisoned mouse

still who alive

is asking What
have I done that

You wouldn’t have

73 poems #12


Beloved Son, We have heard that, four days ago, several ladies of Siena – women entirely given over to worldly frivolities – were assembled in the gardens of Giovanni di Bichis and that you, quite forgetful of the high office with which you are invested, were with them from the seventeenth to the twenty-second hour. With you was one of your colleagues whose age alone , if not the dignity of his office, ought to have recalled him to his duty. We have heard that the most licentious dances were indulged in, none of the allurements of love were lacking and that you conducted yourself in a wholly worldly manner. Shame forbids mention of all that took place - not only the acts themselves but their very names are unworthy of your position. In order that your lusts might be given free rein the husbands, fathers, brothers, and kinsmen of the young women were not admitted…. All Siena is talking about this orgy…. Our displeasure is beyond words…. A cardinal should be beyond reproach….

Excerpt from a letter written to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, the future Pope Alexander VI, by then Pope Pius II in June 1460, The Bad Popes by E. R. Chamberlin


I helped make Mexico safe for American Oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers…. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints.

General Smedly D. Butler USMC, quoted in the New York Times interview, 8/21/1931


"Dear Madam:

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln."

written to Mrs. Bixby in Boston - from the movie "Saving Private Ryan"


Suddenly there was an explosion. We continued our talk, assuming that Hitler's German Shepherd, which had the run of the place, had set off one of the landmines which surrounded FHQ for its security. It was exactly 1250 hours. A few minutes later an orderly came running to our room and cried in a trembling voice: 'Hauptsturmfuhrer Linge, go at once to the Fuhrer!' I sensed immediately that something terrible had occurred. As I was running to Hitler's bunker, Major von Freyend, Keitel's adjutant, came up at the trot. He was greatly distressed, blood running down his face. Horrified I asked what had happened. He gasped: 'The Fuhrer is alive and is in the small dining room of the bunker.' When I got there Hitler looked at me questioningly with great eyes and noticed my concerned expression. With a calm smile he said: 'Linge, somebody tried to kill me'.
His uniform was in ribbons. His hair was singed and hung down in strands. My knees were trembling, but he acted as though nothing had happened. He was sitting on the round table. From his bared legs Dr Hasselbach removed 200 wood splinters and dressed his wounds. Hitler's right arm hung down limply. His face and legs were still bleeding, but nothing else suggested the violence of the event. Hasselbach told me later that Hitler's pulse had been quite normal. This was something he could not understand. Hitler was preoccupied feverishly asking himself who had planted the bomb and where it had been made. He had noticed, he said, that as it exploded the tongue of flame had a different colour to German explosives. One must consider that this bomb was of British origin.


With Hitler to the End: The Memoir of Hitler's Valet Heinz Linge- p. 156

In Russian captivity under interrogation I was often asked if I had seen Hitler's genitals, and if so had they been normal. I had no idea why the Russians wanted to know this, but I told them what I knew. Naturally I had not seen Hitler fully naked even once. When the Russians interrogators alleged that Hitler 'had only had one ball' I had to laugh, and for doing so they gave me a whipping. However odd this interest of theirs might seem it was tied to the conviction of the Russians that I must have had sex with Eva Braun myself because they assumed 'Hitler had not been able to'. That he 'had been able to' I was sufficiently convinced. My observations led me to believe that the sexual relationship between Hitler and Eva Braun had been especially active on occasion.

With Hitler to the End: The Memoir of Hitler's Valet Heinz Linge - p. 59


Pope Paul III's master of ceremonies, Biagio da Cesena, strongly objected to the nudes in Michelangelo's the Last Judgment. Unperturbed, Michelangelo went ahead with the nudes, and added a portrait of Biagio as Minos, in the depths of hell, with ass's ears and a serpent round his loins. Despite Biagio's complaints to the Pope, Michelangelo decline to remove either the nudes or the portrait. His successor, Pope Paul the IV denounced The Last Judgment as a "stew of nudes". Pius IV asked Michelangelo's permission to have the nudes covered. He replied scornfully that it was a small matter to expurgate a picture, but a large one to straighten out the world, which was the proper business of his Holiness. The fact is, however, Michelangelo yielded and the nudes were given breeches or loin-clothes by Daniele da Volterra, who was known ever after as il braghettone - the breeches maker.

The Flowering of the Renaissance, , Vincent Cronin 1969


Religious painting should be seemly and contain no novelty at all. Paolo Veronese was summoned by the Inquisition to explain his Last Supper painted for the Dominicans. He was accused of painting the some apostles in German clothing. "Where you commissioned by any person to paint Germans and buffoons and such-like things in this picture?" "No, my lord..." Why had he represented St Peter cutting up a lamb and another apostle using a fork as a toothpick? “I intended no irreverence," replied Veronese. Does it seem fitting to you that at our Lord's last supper you should paint buffoons, drunkards, Germans, dwarfs, and similar indecencies?" “No my lord...," he explained, "We painters take liberties just like poets or people touched in the head."  The picture was censured, however, they ordered Veronese to alter the offending section at his own cost within a month.  Veronese believed altering the picture would spoil it.  He instead decided to leave it as it is and rename it Banquet in the House of Levi. The Inquisitors were satisfied and the picture has been known by its new title ever since.

The Flowering of the Renaissance, Vincent Cronin 1969


In Aristotle's physiology, the male seed is the formal cause of conception; it is active, with the noble elements prevailing (fire and air).  Woman is only the material cause of conception, passive, with the lower elements prevailing (water and earth).  When the formal cause succeeds, it produces a male that looks like the father.  When it flounders in the passive receiving muck (which Aristotle associates with menstrual blood), it produces (in descending order) either a male that looks like the mother, a female that looks like the father, or a female that looks like the mother." Since the female, when she is conceived, is actually a failed male, a deformity (anaperia), it takes longer for her to be formed in the womb, yet she emerges from this longer process smaller and weaker than the male, and she ages faster and declines when freed from the womb. Her very makeup makes her less capable of reason and virtue and discipline than the male in Aristotle's words, "more shameless, lying and deceptive” leaving her unstable and inconstant, a prey to the passions, less able to control herself or others." Saint John Chrysostom said women are just not smart enough to be priests.

Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven – Uta Ranke-Hieneman

Pope Paul IV - Gianpietro Carafa b.1476


Elected Pope in 1555. Described by the Florentine Ambassador as "a man of iron, and the very stones over which he walks emit sparks" Heresy, he told the Venetian Ambassador, must be rigorously crushed like the plague, because in fact it is the plague of the soul. If we burn infected houses and clothes, with the same severity we must extirpate (pull up by roots), annihilate and drive out heresy."  Reversing the liberal policy of the previous sixteenth century Popes, Paul the IV shut up the Jews of Rome in an overcrowded three acre ghetto, the doors of which were locked at night: the men had to wear a yellow hat, the women the yellow star of David. They were forbidden to own property outside the ghetto or to speak to Christians except on business.

The Flowering of the Renaissance, Vincent Cronin 1969


Albert the Great was a great despiser of women. He claimed that, "Woman is less qualified [than man] for moral behavior. For the woman contains more liquid than the man, and it is a prop­erty of liquid to take things up easily and to hold onto them poorly. Liquids are easily moved; hence women are inconstant and curious. When a woman has relations with a man, she would like, as much as possible, to be lying with another man at the same time. Woman knows nothing of fidelity. Believe me, if you give her your trust, you will be disappointed. Trust an experi­enced teacher. For this reason prudent men share their plans and actions least of all with their wives. Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison with his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she herself cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one's guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. If I could say what I know about women, the world would be as­tonished . . . Woman is strictly speaking not cleverer but slyer (more cunning) than man. Cleverness sounds like something good, slyness sounds like something evil. Thus in evil and per­verse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good" (Quaestiones super de animalibus XV q. 11).
..... Albert has more than theological arguments for directing and regulating marital sex, he also has a scientific case: Overly frequent intercourse leads to premature aging and death (de animal­ibus 1. 9 tr. I, 2 and 1. IS tr. 2,6). Too much sex thins out the brain, the eyes become sunken and weak. And Albert has proof for this: "A Master Clement from Bohemia told me that a certain monk, already graying, had gone to a beautiful woman, like a ravenously hungry man. Up until the ringing of matins he lusted for her sixty-six times. But in the morning he lay sick in bed, and he died on the same day. Because he was a nobleman, his body was opened up. And it was found that his brain had been quite drained out, so that what was left was only the size of a pome­granate, and the eyes were as good as destroyed" (Quaestionessuper de animalibus XV q. 14). Frequent intercourse makes one bald sooner, because sex dries you out and cools you off (ibid. XIX q. 7-9). Albert also noticed that people who have sex often are followed around by dogs. He explains this by saying that, "Dogs love strong smells and run after cadavers, and the body of a person who has a great deal of intercourse approaches the condition of a cadaver because of all the rotten semen" (ibid., V q. II-l4).

from Eunuchs from the Kingdom of Heaven, Uta Ranke-Heinemann


Joining his uncle, captain in a regiment of four battalions, he supposed to take up the first available post. He was very well received by his numerous comrades, and soon imitated all their follies, which in this profession are not always in the direction of prudence and sagacity. He had been very well raised, polite and agreeable.  These qualities, which should have guaranteed him female conquest, only served to draw him in all the more, because of his intimacy with his mates.  Remorse was not delayed. First, he experienced violent cramps when ever he excited himself to acts…. Which his whole mode of thinking should have made him detest, if he had not been swayed by the example of the multitude….I encouraged him to break completely with this detestable habit, and he assured me that he wished to so all the more because he felt not tempted by it. But he didn’t know how to avoid the occasions of sin.  Having as yet no functions to fulfill, he could scarcely sequester himself from his comrades without appearing unusual. Upon learning that this variety of orgy took place only in the evening, I counseled him to absent himself on the pretext of a migraine headache. The excuse worked for a time, but the damage was already done.  The cramps returned frequently….And sure enough, the lad’s health turned out to be permanently ruined, a nervous degenerate, deprived of  the sweetness of life and the charms of sociability - Dr. Gullaume Daignan 1786.

from Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven – Uta Ranke-Hieneman


Dr J.C. Debreyne who was both a Trapist monk and a doctor , described the consequences of onanism: “Palpitations, weaken vision, headaches, dizziness, tremors, painful cramps, convulsive epileptic movements, often genuine epilepsy, general pains in the limbs or in the back of the head, in the spine in the chest in the stomach, great weakness of the kidneys, general paralytical phenomena”  The monks advice for those who had contracted onanism was: sleep on your side, never on your back; drink and eat cold things, suck ice cubes, ….. In the case girls, Father Debreyne proposes clitordectomy, since the clitoris is not needed for the procreation and only serves lust.

Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven – Uta Ranke-Hieneman


A man must have real semen (i.e. from the testicles), other wise he could not marry….On June 28, 1587 Pope Sixtus wrote to the apostolic nuncio of Spain and Bishop of Novara about the capacity for marriage of those who lacked both testicles, yet could have an erection and ejaculate a semen-like fluid that, however, “is no good for procreation and for marriage.”  They could not secrete “real seed” (verum semen). According to Sixtus, these eunuchs or spadones, nonetheless, mingled with women “with filthy lasciviousness” and “impure embraces” and even had the arrogance to contract marriages, indeed to fight “stubbornly” for this right. The fact that women knew about the “defect” of these men made this offense even worse in the eyes of the Pope. The last castrato (pl. castrati) to sing in St Peter’s choir died in 1924

from Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven – Uta Ranke-Hieneman


As a little girl Orsola's (St Veronica) dolls were images of the Madonna and child. She would run wildly about the garden looking for her baby Jesus, and Veronica remembers her mother and sisters saying: "What is this? Are you crazy?" Before coming to the table to eat she would stand before an icon of Mary with child and beg, "give me your little son; my Jesus, come, I don't want to eat without you." Anything she received, a new dress or a necklace, she placed before Jesus and wanted to share with him. In order to nurse her baby she pulled down from the wall a small painting of him at Mary's breast, clutched the icon, unbuttoned her dress, and truly felt Jesus turn from his mother to her. The description in her third autobiography is especially vivid:
I began to undress. That done, I took off the little corset I had and said: "My Jesus, leave those breasts. Come take milk here from me." And I offered my breast. He detached from that of the Virgin and attached to mine. Oh God! I cannot find words to tell how I felt at that moment and I do not even recall its effects, what it caused in me. At that moment the Babe seemed not painted, but in flesh.
I went often to this image and said before it: "Remember, beautiful Babe, that I breastfed you, just like your Mother did." Now I remember that for a few days, here, in this breast I had a great burning, as if it were on fire. But I understood nothing


from Holy Anorexia, Rudolph M. Bell, pages 60, 61

Abbess Ceoli, who at that time had been assigned to the kitchen, recalls preparing food for all the sisters with her usual careful at­tention to cleanliness. But somehow when Veronica's plate reached her in the refectory it was covered with cat vomit, as was her place setting.  Veronica, seeing an opportunity for self-abasement and further triumph over bodily desires, suddenly regained her ap­petite and ate with gusto. Other times her minestra was contami­nated with "pieces of rodents, clumps of hair and similar refuse," and then too she ate willingly, as she did when a fat leech crawled around in her soup spurting out blood. To this list the testimonies of Sisters Maria Joanna Maggio, Maria Constans Spanaciari, and Maria Maddalena Boscaini added dead mice, bugs, and various worms.

from Holy Anorexia, Rudolph M. Bell,


Veronica may have been less than perfect in cleaning her room, or else the extraordinary confessor, Father Giovanni Maria Cri­velli, S.J., just may have been feeling mean or in the mood to ex­periment. The story of his orders is repeated in several depositions, but since he testified willingly to it himself, we shall let him speak first:
[Among "innumerable" obediences] one was that she should remove herself to a dark cell in the infirmary and stay there until I ordered her to leave, and on her knees to lick with her own tongue the entire pavement, and then also to lick, stand­ing on her feet, the walls of the cell [readers who have not tried this should consider the added difficulty, as Father Cri­velli did, of reaching the bottom of the wall while on one's feet], and to consider herself unworthy of staying in it. She followed my orders with such relish and contentment that she even swallowed the spiderwebs, and the spiders themselves, gathering them up with her tongue as she licked the walls. . . I told her this was too much, that my intention was not to make her swallow the spiders and their webs, that in fact it displeased me that she had done so because she could have harmed herself. And she answered that I had done well, done her a great favor, and she stayed two months or more in that cell without ever leaving except to come to prayer or other communal functions of the monastery, until I finally ordered her to return to her usual cel1.

from Holy Anorexia, Rudolph M. Bell, pages: 76, 77


John Pojul – French music hall performer whose particular talent was the ability to blow out a candle a foot away and produce music from an aperture never so employed before or after.

New Yorker Magazine – 7/2001


Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty if their hearts, the depths if their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core if their reality, the person that each one is in the eyes if the Divine. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more Cruelty, no more need. . … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.

Thomas Merton


Nine tenths of the news, as printed in the papers, is pseudo-news, manufactured events. Some days ten tenths. The ritual morning trance, in which one scans columns of newsprint, creates a peculiar form of generalized pseudo-attention to a pseudo-reality. This experience is taken seriously. It is one's daily immersion in "reality." One's orientation to the rest of the world. One's way of reassuring himself that he has not fallen behind. That he is still there. That he still counts! My own experience has been that renunciation of this self hypnosis, of this participation in the unquiet universal trance, is no sacrifice of reality at all. To "fall behind" in this sense is to get out of the big cloud of dust that everybody is kicking up, to breathe and to see a little more clearly.