Saturday, April 02, 2016

Fraud, My Sweet-The Case Of Internet Love-A Detective Phillip Larkin Tale

Fraud, My Sweet-The Case Of Internet Love-A Detective Phillip Larkin Tale

For this story it was hard to find a Wikipedia entry or YouTube film clip to accompany the piece, to do it justice but the more I thought about Tom Clary's situation the more I thought about schoolboy stuff. Hence Frankie and the boys
By Zack James

You know I, I Phil Larkin, Private Investigator (not that silly detective business that Zack James put in the title of this piece) have done plenty of work for lawyers, private lawyers not those public prosecutors who couldn’t defend a case if they had the gun handed to them two seconds after some sicko killed his wife because she decided she would rather play with some hard dick than his stub, over my twenty plus years in the profession. Early on it was mostly divorce work, what unkind people call key-hole peeping, to get the goods on some adulterer, male or female what did I care as long as somebody paid the freight, when the divorce laws were a lot tougher on people trying to get out from under a bad marriage anyway they could. Lately though mainly missing persons cases for a whole lot of reasons, a whole lot of reasons why they went missing. An occasional looking for an heir not trying to go missing. Maybe some investigative work in a criminal case where a defense attorney has a client with enough dough to buy an alibi. Stuff like that. Stuff that sounds good, sounds good enough to write about to inform the public about what is what is real investigative until you realize to the average reader it would be their hum-drum lives which they have had their fill of.  

In the Internet Love caper though the lawyer, Tom Clary, working out of Lowell, Jack Kerouac’s old town, Jack the self-proclaimed “king of the beats” from what I heard, they have a little memorial park near the old mills near the Merrimack that says that, an old mill town that still has seen better days no matter what hyp they put on the publicity charts needed my help to get out from under some silly fraud thing he had gotten himself into when his member (okay, we are all adults, his cock, his woody, whatever) did his thinking and not his brain.   

This caper was just another example of how whatever you read in the detective pulp magazines, in the high gloss hardcover novels that you can barely read through once, can barely follow they are so full of silly scientific stuff that defies logic and good sense, at twenty plus bucks a copy, or watch on television or the movies real life private investigator is absolutely nothing like that-even when sex is involved, or the dream of sex as here. Usually I lay out the story that I get from my client (naturally discounted about fifty percent for lies even from lawyers, maybe especially for lawyers since they go to school for that kind of stuff) and then tell the good reader how I used my skill and experience to work out the case, sometimes successfully, sometimes no good just like in real life.

On Tom Clary’s case though I want to start out with the last e-mail he sent the bimbo to let you know how he let it get all out of hand in a short time, how he almost lost his ticket, his license to practice, for that silly cock instead of brain reason. Let you too wonder whether the days of snail mail were so bad after all when dealing with sex, or anything important. Here goes:    

Katerina sweetie I will have to pass on helping you financially with your insurance premium problem since I am, no, we are in some trouble around the previous help I tried to give you which I will describe below.

As you may know, or maybe you don’t know since you seem kind of na├»ve or not knowledgeable about a lot of things, lawyers when they are in trouble or need legal advice will not depend on their own understandings of the law but seek opinions from other lawyers. You might have heard the expression about “any lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a lawyer.” That is what I am talking about. So lawyers use another lawyer as their lawyer. So what I am about to tell you is done under advice from my lawyer who has told me that I have had to do the following based on my situation.

Since you have not been able to provide me with receipts and a copy of your mother’s death certificate for her funeral expenses and for which I loaned you one thousand dollars in United States currency via Western Union money transfer to the Philippines I have had to protect my law practice and myself by swearing out a warrant for your arrest when, and if, you come back inside the jurisdiction of the United States. I did this Monday March 14, 2016 with Assistant United States Attorney Emma Wright for the Federal District Court of New Hampshire in Concord as your home town and last known address was in Manchester which falls under that court’s jurisdiction charging you with Internet fraud (18 U.S. Code, section 1030 fraud using a computer) and telecommunications fraud (using Western Union for the money transfers which is regulated under the Federal Communications Commission and a violation of 18 U.S. Code, section 1343). You can do what you want when you come back to the United States but you should probably get in touch with Assistant United Attorney Wright who is handling the case. If you have trouble at U.S. Customs upon trying to re-enter the country and are detained then please call meet at 781-249-8326 and I will contact Attorney Wright and we will come to where you are being detained and can settle the matter there. 

All of this is not as terrible as it sounds and we, you and I, will be able to get out from under this problem if you are more forthcoming than you have been in the past about the fate of those funeral expenses. What triggered all of this legal necessity was when I put the money that I borrowed for you (the one thousand dollars for the funeral expenses) back into the office funds without explaining how or why it had been taken out and why it had been returned without explanation. My accountant informed that what I had done was both legally wrong and a violation of my legal responsibilities as a professional lawyer which would trigger an investigation from the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, the organization that regulates lawyers in this state. My accountant said I would at least be no question in some kind of legal trouble from them.   

Since I acted in good faith with you and I need to keep my professional standing as a lawyer to earn a living for some time longer I have had to do the above action to show that I acted in good faith and that you did not. I have had to “throw you under the wheels of a bus” to use a current expression. That signing a warrant for your arrest will clear me, hopefully. I am sorry that I had to do this action but since I don’t really know you and whatever has motivated you through all of this I have had to think of myself.

Sweetie rest assured that if there is any way I can help you or you can help me to get this rock off our backs then I will do so but this is where the situation stands right now. Su amigo [Tom Clary].    

Jesus, you can imagine my snicker when I saw this little tidbit. What Attorney Clary, who I had worked for before on a couple of missing persons cases that went nowhere (that nowhere the result of the clients running out of dough, interest, or reason to pursue the person further) needed as much background information on the bimbo as I could find since he, as we shall see, in his love bug state neglected to find out much about her except a few saucy and raw nude photographs (like I said cock over brains). He knew my work, knew I could help him out-on the quiet. But I needed the story-the whole story minus the fifty percent bullshit I expected from lawyers and everybody else if I was to help get him out from under his rock in one piece. Needed to find out why a guy who was just horny which a lot of guys are, me included, had to send an e-mail telling some honey she could wind up in the federal slammer as some bull-dyke’s girlfriend for cooking up some two bit scheme to defraud a love-addled attorney. To make him look less stupid over some young sweet fluff than he really was if you wanted to know the truth.

So he gave me this run-down before giving me my marching orders and what little information he knew about Katerina.              

Tom Clary like a lot of fifty something guys, me too, had been unlucky in love, had had three marriages ending in three divorces and plenty of alimony and child support checks (me, two marriages, two divorces and ditto on the checks), had given up on love as a no-win investment. Had girlfriends and live-ins for various periods once he figured out that it was cheaper that way than marrying them like some Podunk Catholic schoolboy. However of late, the last couple of live-ins according to what Tom told me that night at Jimmy’s Tavern on Merrimac Street where we sipped a couple while he was telling his story had been “no-go” on the sex issue. Nice to be with but had had it with sex and its discomforts (and pleasures he added). So he started as he had done periodically in the past looking at the sex sites to see if he could find a sex partner. And not any old sex partner but, as he said if was going to go to the time and expense of joining one of those sites, a younger woman to make him feel young again. Not a bad idea if you can keep it up.      

Now this sex site thing with its million fake “come hither” come ons and women ready to jump into bed with you at the click of an icon is tricky, is mainly stuff to lure guys with some kind of unspoken loneliness and sadness into buying all kinds of stuff but mostly dreams and cash drain for no action. I had looked them at one point myself after my last divorce and kind of joined one site for “free” which meant nothing since any “action” required a buy-in to some credit card plan for X amount of months. I was saved knowing more about this racket by a thirty-something blonde gal who came into my office looking for help to find her missing teenage daughter who had run off with some carny grifter and she didn’t mind spending a little money trying to find the daughter. When the little money she really had ran out she persuaded me to continue for a little while longer with a barter offer I couldn’t refuse. Eventually while she was a wild one and worth the barter that trade-off  didn’t get the daughter back, and I never did find her, but that solved my immediate sex problem and so I never had to get deeper into the sex site racket.         

Tom did, did get onto one of those well-known sites where everybody is married (at least they say they are as Tom did and I suppose you could say with three marriages he was married, if not currently) and just on site to have a fling or short affair. No foul, no harm. He didn’t have much luck to begin with until he scrolled onto a profile (this site stuff is all about profiles and half a million lies) without a photograph (a sure sign that whoever is not up to showing herself in a photograph is some kind of Methuselah at best). But her “come on,” Katerina’s come on was that you could contact her directly by figuring out her email address which was in her greeting (it wasn’t hard and as Tom found out and I could have told him that ruse is used by rival sex sites or “independent” sex workers to either lure business to their sites or connect with guys for paid sex-all this stuff where I say guys goes for gals too if they are looking for sex okay).

So he did and Katerina responded quickly. They did the usual asking this and that question including her telling him she was a cam model ( a sex work on video who does whatever the viewer asks for sexually-for a price is the best way I can put it-one of the wonders of the Internet). This is when she asked him to go to another sex site and this is how he learned first-hand about the raiding of sex sites by rivals. Except that the front of this sex site was so amateurish that even horny Tom could see it was a scam (most sex sites even if they don’t deliver sex or sex dreams at least are legitimate sites and not total credit card or identity theft rip-offs whatever their shortcomings or ethics). That should have tipped him off-and it did for a while. Did until a few days later (after he had blown Katerina off as a stooge for some nefarious sex fraud bandits) she asked where he had been. That started another “conversation” which was actually progressing, Tom said, to the stage of meeting. (Meeting at hotel somewhere outside of Nashua, New Hampshire since he was from Lowell and she from Nashua.) Then the axe fell.  

Katerina from that point to the point of that e-mail I showed you that Tom showed me which got his wise finally (I think, you never know with guys who have the “rut” on) ran her “script” pretty straightforwardly and intensely. This is the play. She had received word from a cousin that her mother in the Philippines was sick and because she was poor (although naturally good-hearted whore Katerina was sending dough along to help out) the mother couldn’t afford the medicines necessary to save her. (This gag as smart as Tom is as a lawyer has been pulled a million times-although not always with the mother dying in the Philippines.) She pretty please asked Tom to “lend” her five hundred dollars U.S. to help out until next pay-day when Katerina would pay him back (that one has been played billion times including in the Philippines). This of course while they were making “arrangements” for their assignation. So Tom bit. Sent the dough to the cousin via Western Union (a money transfer that he had never done before which was interesting-the first time). Done, and he figured that he was on the way to great blow-jobs and whatever she had in her bag of sexual tricks.      

The day before the big assignation (remember that five hundred smackers was already sent along) Katerina e-mailed that the cousin had informed her that her mother had died. RIP. The next thing he knew, the next time he heard from her Katerina was on an airplane heading for the Philippines to give her mother a final send-off (and Tom was holding his sore cock, sore since he had taken some sex aid medication as a prelude to that big “date”). Told Tom not to worry she would grease his skids when she got back after the funeral.

End of story-right. Wrong. A few days later Katerina send an e-mail about how she could not claim her mother’s body until the hospital where she had been treated and had expired was paid for its services. The bill-eight hundred dollars. Could Tom pretty please sent the dough to get her mother out of the deep freeze and into the ground. I am just giving you the highlights here there was more to it but the reader can get the drift. The drift here being another Western Union money transfer to her in her name for eight big ones. (That money transfer process not so interesting this time.)   

Now end of story-right. No, still wrong. Of course the mother needed a funeral and there was no money to do so. Again a lot of back and forth and promises that this was the last hit (and promises by her about all she would do for him when she got back to America) but in the end he did the Western Union money transfer (a total bummer as to process this time but he was horny, he was love-bugged even though he had never actually talked to her on the phone or seen more than some nice, and some raw, photographs of her sent via e-mail) for, ouch, twelve hundred  smackeroos. Hell if it was that easy I would have liked to have gotten on Tom’s gravy train myself.    

Now finished. Well not quite because she put the bite on him for a thousand bucks to pay some insurance premiums that the mother had not paid and were overdue on a fifty-thousand dollar life insurance policy that all of a sudden after the funeral had surfaced and which would have left Katerina and her brother on “easy street” for a while anyway. Except Tom as a lawyer who knew about life insurance policies and the fact that those cold-hearted bastard insurance companies don’t like to pay out penny one if they don’t have to knew something was wrong about this set-up if not exactly what (to speak nothing of how all of a sudden a daughter who was living in the mother’s old apartment “found” the policy which would have taken care of everything Tom already paid for if it had been “discovered” earlier). Hence the stinging e-mail and hence my employment.

Hence too after checking out that the address Katerina had given him in Nashua and found it was bogus and few other facts that surfaced as I looked into matters that I was not able to produce much about her. In any case she has not surfaced in America or if she has she has not come forward to clear her name-and probably never will. So like I said forget about those smart lawyers on television and in the bookstores and remember Tom Clary’s saga-that’s your average lawyer, very average.   

*****Yes, You Had Better Shake, Rattle And Roll That Thing-With Big Joe Turner In

*****Yes, You Had Better Shake, Rattle And Roll That Thing-With Big Joe Turner In

From The Pen Of Bart Webber
In the old days, the old days when the songs were just starting to be weaned off of the old time religion gospel high heaven savior thing you know to testify, to consider yourself "saved" and had come down in the mud of speaking of hard, hard drinking, hard lovin’ maybe with your best gal's friend if it came right down to the core, maybe flipping the bird on you and running around all flouncy with your best friend, maybe some hard-hearted "do this do that" woman on your mind, yeah, the old birth of  the blues days, the blue being nothing but a good woman or man on your mind anyway, around the turn of the 20th century and you can check this out if you want to and not take my word for it a black guy, a rascally black guy of no known home, a drifter, maybe a hobo for all I know, and who knows what else named Joe Turner held forth among the folk. Old Joe would come around the share-cropper down South neighborhoods and steal whatever was not nailed down, including your woman, which depending on how you were feeling might be a blessing and if you in a spooning mod might be a curse on that bastard's head. Then Joe Turner would leave and move on to the next settlement and go about his plundering ways. Oh sure like lots of blues and old country music as it got passed on in the oral traditions there were as many versions of the saga as there were singers everybody adding their own touch. But it was always old Joe Turner doing the sinning and scratching for whatever he could scratch for. 

But for the most part the story line about old ne’er-do-well Joe Turner rang very similar over time. So Joe Turner got his grizzly self put into song out in the Saturday juke joints out in places like the Mississippi Delta where more legends were formed than you could shake a stick, got sanctified once old  Willie’s liquor, white lightning home-made liquor got to working, and some guy, maybe not the best singer if you asked around but a guy who could put words together to tell a story, a blues story, and that guy with a scratch guitar would put some verses together and the crowd would egg him on. Make the tale taller as the night went until everybody petered out and that song was left for the next guy to embellish.

By most accounts old Joe was bad man, a very bad man, bad mojo man, bad medicine as the folk call what ails but can't be fixed just short of as bad as Mister’s plantation foremen where those juke joint listeners worked sunup to sundown six days a week or just short as bad as the enforcers of Mister James Crow’s go here, not there, do this not that, move here not there laws seven days a week. Yeah, Joe was bad alright once he got his wanting habits on, although I have heard at least one recording from the Lomaxes who went all over the South in the 1930s and 1940s trying to record everything they could out in the back country where Joe Turner was something like a combination Santa Claus and Robin Hood. Hell, maybe he was and some guy who lost his woman to wily Joe just got sore and bad mouthed him. Passed that bad mouth on and the next guy who lost his woman to somebody pinned on Joe, Joe Turner, yeah it was that old rascal that did her in. Stranger things have happened.

In any case the Joe Turner, make that Big Joe, Turner I want to mention here as far as I know only stole the show when he got up on the bandstand and played the role of “godfather” of rock and roll. Yeah, that is what I want to talk about, about how one song, and specifically the place of Big Joe and one song, Shake Rattle and Roll in the rock pantheon. No question Big Joe and his snapping beat has a place in the history of rhythm and blues which is one of the musical forbear strands of rock and roll. The question is whether Shake is also the first serious effort to define rock and roll. If you look at the YouTube version of Big Joe be-bopping away with his guitar player doing some flinty stuff and that sax player searching for that high white note and Big Joe snapping away being  very suggestive about who should shake and what she should shake you can make a very strong case for that place. Add in that Bill Haley, Jerry Lee, and Elvis among others in the rock pantheon covered the song successfully and that would seem to clinch the matter.      

In 2004, the fiftieth anniversary of the debut of Shake by Big Joe, there had been considerable talk and writing again as there is on such occasions by some knowledgeable rock critics about whether Shake was the foundational song of rock. That controversy brought back to my mind the arguments that me and my corner boys who hung out in front of Jimmy Jack’s Diner in Carver, a town about thirty miles south of Boston, had on some nothing better to do Friday nights during high school (meaning girl-less, dough-less or both nights). I was the primary guy who argued for Big Joe and Shake giving that be-bop guitar and that wailing sexy sax work as my reasoning while Jimmy Jenkins swore that Ike Turner’s frantic piano-driven and screeching sax Rocket 88 (done under an alias of the Delta Cats apparently for contract reasons a not uncommon practice when something good came up but you would not have been able to do it under the label you were contracted to) was the be-bop beginning and Sam Lowell, odd-ball Sam Lowell dug deep into his record collection, really his parents' record collection which was filled mainly with folk music and the blues edge played off that to find Elmore James’ Look On Yonder Wall. And the other corner boys like our leader Frankie Riley lined up accordingly (nobody else came up with any others so it was those three).

Funny thing Frankie and most everybody else except I think Fritz Taylor who sided with Jimmy Jenkins sided with me and Big Joe. The funny part being that several years ago with the advent of YouTube I started to listen to the old stuff as it became available on-line and now I firmly believe that Ike’s Rocket 88 beats out Shake for the honor of the be-bop daddy of rock and roll. As for the old time Joe Turner, done come and gone, well, he will have to wait in line like the rest of us. What do you think of that?

As The 150th Anniversary Commemoration Of The American Civil War Passes–In Honor Of The Abraham Lincoln-Led Union Side-The First International's Salute To Abraham Lincoln On His Re-Election In 1864

As The 150th Anniversary Commemoration Of The American Civil War Passes–In Honor Of The Abraham Lincoln-Led Union Side-The First International's Salute To Abraham Lincoln On His Re-Election In 1864 

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address 

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman

I would not expect any average American citizen today to be familiar with the positions of the communist intellectuals and international working-class party organizers (First International) Karl Mark and Friedrich Engels on the events of the American Civil War. There is only so much one can expect of people to know off the top of their heads about what for several generations now has been ancient history.  I am, however, always amazed when I run into some younger leftists and socialists, or even older radicals who may have not read much Marx and Engels, and find that they are surprised, very surprised to see that Marx and Engels were avid partisans of the Abraham Lincoln-led Union side in the American Civil War. I, in the past, have placed a number of the Marx-Engels newspaper articles from the period in this space to show the avidity of their interest and partisanship in order to refresh some memories and enlighten others. As is my wont I like to supplement such efforts with little fictional sketches to illustrate points that I try to make and do so below with my take on a Union soldier from Boston, a rank and file soldier, Wilhelm Sorge.  


Since Marx and Engels have always been identified with a strong anti-capitalist bias for the unknowing it may seem counter-intuitive that the two men would have such a positive position on events that had as one of its outcomes an expanding unified American capitalist state. A unified capitalist state which ultimately led the vanguard political and military actions against the followers of Marx and Engels in the 20th century in such places as Russia, China, Cuba and Vietnam. The pair were however driven in their views on revolutionary politics by a theory of historical materialism which placed support of any particular actions in the context of whether they drove the class struggle toward human emancipation forward. So while the task of a unified capitalist state was supportable alone on historical grounds in the United States of the 1860s (as was their qualified support for German unification later in the decade) the key to their support was the overthrow of the more backward slave labor system in one part of the country (aided by those who thrived on the results of that system like the Cotton Whigs in the North) in order to allow the new then progressive capitalist system to thrive.       


In the age of advanced imperialist society today, of which the United States is currently the prime example, and villain, we find that we are, unlike Marx and Engels, almost always negative about capitalism’s role in world politics. And we are always harping on the need to overthrow the system in order to bring forth a new socialist reconstruction of society. Thus one could be excused for forgetting that at earlier points in history capitalism played a progressive role. A role that Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and other leading Marxists, if not applauded, then at least understood represented human progress. Of course, one does not expect everyone to be a historical materialist and therefore know that in the Marxist scheme of things both the struggle to bring America under a unitary state that would create a national capitalist market by virtue of a Union victory and the historically more important struggle to abolish slavery that turned out to be a necessary outcome of that Union struggle were progressive in the eyes of our forebears, and our eyes too.


Furthermore few know about the fact that the small number of Marxist supporters in the United States during that Civil period, and the greater German immigrant communities here that where spawned when radicals were force to flee Europe with the failure of the German revolutions of 1848 were mostly fervent supporters of the Union side in the conflict. Some of them called the “Red Republicans” and “Red 48ers” formed an early experienced military cadre in the then fledgling Union armies. Below is a short sketch drawn on the effect that these hardened foreign –born abolitionists had on some of the raw recruits who showed up in their regiments and brigades during those hard four years of fighting, the third year of which we are commemorating this month.


Below is the First International's Address to Abraham Lincoln on the occasion of his re-election in 1864


The International Workingmen's Association 1864

Address of the International Working Men's Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America

Presented to U.S. Ambassador Charles Francis Adams January 28, 1865 [A]

Written: by Marx between November 22 & 29, 1864
First Published: The Bee-Hive Newspaper, No. 169, November 7, 1865;
Transcription/Markup: Zodiac/Brian Baggins;
Online Version: Marx & Engels Internet Archive ( 2000.



We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.


From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?


When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, "slavery" on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding "the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution", and maintained slavery to be "a beneficent institution", indeed, the old solution of the great problem of "the relation of capital to labor", and cynically proclaimed property in man "the cornerstone of the new edifice" — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders' rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.


While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.


The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world. [B]


Signed on behalf of the International Workingmen's Association, the Central Council:

Longmaid, Worley, Whitlock, Fox, Blackmore, Hartwell, Pidgeon, Lucraft, Weston, Dell, Nieass, Shaw, Lake, Buckley, Osbourne, Howell, Carter, Wheeler, Stainsby, Morgan, Grossmith, Dick, Denoual, Jourdain, Morrissot, Leroux, Bordage, Bocquet, Talandier, Dupont, L.Wolff, Aldovrandi, Lama, Solustri, Nusperli, Eccarius, Wolff, Lessner, Pfander, Lochner, Kaub, Bolleter, Rybczinski, Hansen, Schantzenbach, Smales, Cornelius, Petersen, Otto, Bagnagatti, Setacci;

George Odger, President of the Council; P.V. Lubez, Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx, Corresponding Secretary for Germany; G.P. Fontana, Corresponding Secretary for Italy; J.E. Holtorp, Corresponding Secretary for Poland; H.F. Jung, Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland; William R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary.

18 Greek Street, Soho.

[A] From the minutes of the Central (General) Council of the International — November 19, 1864:

"Dr. Marx then brought up the report of the subcommittee, also a draft of the address which had been drawn up for presentation to the people of America congratulating them on their having re-elected Abraham Lincoln as President. The address is as follows and was unanimously agreed to."

[B] The minutes of the meeting continue:

"A long discussion then took place as to the mode of presenting the address and the propriety of having a M.P. with the deputation; this was strongly opposed by many members, who said workingmen should rely on themselves and not seek for extraneous aid.... It was then proposed... and carried unanimously. The secretary correspond with the United States Minister asking to appoint a time for receiving the deputation, such deputation to consist of the members of the Central Council."

Ambassador Adams Replies

Legation of the United States
London, 28th January, 1865



I am directed to inform you that the address of the Central Council of your Association, which was duly transmitted through this Legation to the President of the United [States], has been received by him.


So far as the sentiments expressed by it are personal, they are accepted by him with a sincere and anxious desire that he may be able to prove himself not unworthy of the confidence which has been recently extended to him by his fellow citizens and by so many of the friends of humanity and progress throughout the world.


The Government of the United States has a clear consciousness that its policy neither is nor could be reactionary, but at the same time it adheres to the course which it adopted at the beginning, of abstaining everywhere from propagandism and unlawful intervention. It strives to do equal and exact justice to all states and to all men and it relies upon the beneficial results of that effort for support at home and for respect and good will throughout the world.


Nations do not exist for themselves alone, but to promote the welfare and happiness of mankind by benevolent intercourse and example. It is in this relation that the United States regard their cause in the present conflict with slavery, maintaining insurgence as the cause of human nature, and they derive new encouragements to persevere from the testimony of the workingmen of Europe that the national attitude is favored with their enlightened approval and earnest sympathies.


I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Charles Francis Adams

Once I Was A Good Boy-With Guitarist T-Bone Walker In Mind

Once I Was A Good Boy-With Guitarist T-Bone Walker In Mind 

By Lester Lannon 

No question Frank Jackman started out once as a good boy. Even his mother, Delores, brought up a pious Catholic and a “no tolerance” for evil type of mother admitted that up to the age of about eight he was a model child, went to school every day, got as good marks in school as he could with his limited abilities, went to church, that Roman Catholic Church thing his mother lived for, and was a star in Sunday school class. Then at about eight, maybe nine he fell in with the wrong crowd, fell in with some wrong gees as the saying went in the old neighborhood. Three of those young cronies spent many years in prison for armed something, one just finishing up a dime’s worth for armed robbery of a liquor store. Frank’s fate will be discussed further below after we figure out how he went from a good boy to bad.

A lot of people, you know, professional sociologists, criminologists and psychologists, blamed it on the neighborhood, “the projects,” where Frank and the others came of age. No question they had a point for the statistics bear out the facts of all kinds of strange pathologies among people at the bottom of the feeding chain, the hungry ones, “los olvidados” as one Spanish guy, one hip Spanish sociologist who came out of the place, called those “forgotten” hermanos (not hermanas so much) in the barrio when liberals were actually interested in trying to figure out how to make all boats rise. No question “from hunger” drove a lot of stuff back then when Frank was coming of age in the 1970s, now too although nobody is looking to closely at the subject (except to construct more jails or in the international case drop more bombs). And no question if Frank had been brought up in say leafy Forest Lawn or Glen Ellen he might not have run into those wrong gees, Ronnie, Ducky, Pistol, and Whiplash. Would maybe have found some Alfred, Harry and Bradley let us say and planned mayhem on the basketball court or something and not the local gas station which first got Frank into  trouble (unarmed robbery in the daytime). Actually that first troubled covered up in the courts so not counted was the ‘five-finger clip” at Kay’s Jewelry up in Riverdale Square. Like I said that didn’t count.        

But to Delores’ mind, to Paul his father’s too, Frank was strictly “bad seed,” although not put in such a graphic pseudo-sexual way. Bore the mark of Cain, the mark of the early banishment from Eden unto as the 1930s writer titled one of his novels –East of Eden. And they, their other three boys, Frank’s grandparents and the rest of the extended family bore down on him with those thoughts until he actually began to believe he was marked by the original sin we are all born with under high hell Catholic doctrine. Started almost the day that Frank (and Whiplash not known as Whiplash then, that came later at about age fourteen when he took a chain and nearly beat a guy to death for being on the “wrong” corner and needed to teach the guy a lesson about turf) got caught at Kay’s trying to “five-finger” a bunch of onyx with diamond chips rings to give to some girl Pistol was trying to get a blow job from. (That part, the head reason, never came out and would have freaked out the whole neighborhood, the adults anyway. To keep the record straight despite the lack of jewelry to entice the girl Pistol got his blow job anyway. She was that kind of guy-crazy girl.)       

So Frank (never Frankie, just Frank) went from bad to worse. Got sly as he grew older, got to thinking about what he didn’t have in the world, saw what his father had to grovel for to keep his family, to keep Frank, feed and clothed. The sight of the poor bedraggled man coming home always with his damn head down even when he had steady work and a reason to pull his head up for a moment made Frank swear to himself one night an oath to never be like his father, never grovel to anybody period if he could help it. As far as anybody ever knew Frank never did, but never did grow up to be half the man his father had been as he began to recognize long and too late afterward while serving an armed robbery rap for single-handedly robbing the First National Bank of Gloversville of a hundred thou (unfortunately he set off an alarm in the bank on his way out and the cops found him a few days later in New York. Lesson learned: always have another guy at your back).

But that was later, a half- dozen armed robberies and assaults later. The key one, the one that gave him that first record, on the way to a near permanent home in some state correctional institution including now at the “max” security Hammerhead joint. The first was the night he along with Fast Eddy Jones robbed at gunpoint the Cities Service gas station on Thorndike Street in Riverdale. Got away with it for a while, even got a free blow job from that girlfriend of Pistol’s she was so juiced up by what he had done, so yeah, she was that kind of girl but don’t tell Pistol that because he thinks she is still chastely waiting for him to finish up his dime at Shawshank up in Maine for robbing a grocery store when he was high as a kite on cousin cocaine. Pistol would kill her and every guy who even looked at her so please keep this to yourself.

Naturally kids of fourteen are going to brag about such an event if for no other reason than to prove their manhood out on the dangerous streets. At least naturally for Fast Eddy (Frank never bragged about nothing- his motto just do the thing-from robbery to boffing some frail who looked his way ever so slightly). So Frank and Fast Eddy took the fall, did the youth detention center, reform school, for a couple of years and that was that. (Fast Eddy would open his mouth once too often usually to some frail and wound up face down in the Merrimack River up in New Hampshire for his efforts.)

No need to list all the other felonies that Frank committed from that time to his thirty-fifth birthday because Frank was strictly an armed something guy and the only distinction between the crimes was the time served. Except that last one-that three strikes and you are out last one. The one where a bank sneeze, a bank cop at the Portland (Georgia) Trust Bank got hit between the eyes when he believed that the money he was guarding was his and got rum brave, but also got  very dead. Felony murder, murder one  and in death penalty crazy Georgia that meant the big step-off, the big kiss-off of the face of the earth. He is still waiting for the “hangman” as this written. Every once in a while his ancient mother is able to get down to Georgia to see her boy, her bad boy. And every time she says to Frank-“up to the age of about eight you were  a model child, went to school every day, got as good marks in school as you could with your limited abilities, went to church, that Roman Catholic Church thing that I lived for, and were a star in Sunday school class.” Frank just took that never-ending line in and sat in stony silence.      

From The Chelsea Manning Archives-Free Chelsea Now-Right Now!

Man And Superman-Woody Allen’s Irrational Man

Man And Superman-Woody Allen’s Irrational Man

DVD Review

By Sam Lowell

Irrational Man, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emily Stone, written and  directed by Woody Allen, 2015

Well Woody Allen is up to his old existential man tricks again, (and again and again) with his latest well what will we call it-philosophical drama, mystery drama, semi-romantic, semi-black comedy under review here, Irrational Man. Once again the madman actor/director/writer goes down into the mud to try to figure out what makes modern humankind tick. What is the meaning of life in a world beyond our control that has dogged old Woody since he started making films. They could be as high art as Annie Hall or Manhattan or somewhere in the middle like this one but Woody is always trying to pose some great question of existence when he puts his mind to a script. A lot of this film is rehash of earlier material but all lot is a different not quite serio-comic take on one modern man’s attempts to live in the modern world- and fail.      

So take one Abe Lucas (played by Joaquin Phoenix last seen in this space as a drug-strung out Johnny Cash hounding Reese Witherspoon as June Carter for her hand in marriage), well-travelled, well-worn and well world-wearied college professor, a philosophy professor of course, a rock star in his profession and not some lowly adjunct being paid per course (although off of his teaching technique and style in the film maybe he should have been in that latter category) who as part of his never-ending mid-life existential crisis number 27 is slumming teaching at a small elite college in Rhode Island for the summer(Brown one would guess although the locale given was Newport so go figure except the occasional ocean scenes are spectacular). He carries his existential angst baggage with him of course.

That baggage entails a weariness with life, that middle age life problem everybody faces dressed up as angst, alienation, ennui and, hell, why not throw in hubris (or the film’s background music all instrumental to set the tone). Along the way we get a tour of the various currents in 19th and 20th century philosophy especially the Sartre-de Beauvoir-driven existentialism popular in Europe in the post-World War II period. Old Abe is bored, frustrated, blocked and temporally sexually impotent (with emphasis on the temporary). So naturally a good-looking philosophy professor with rock star quality is irresistibly attractive first to a fellow female professor and the big prize of every male college professor’s sexual fantasy dream, that budding co-ed who is ready willing and able to jump into bed with him, Jill, played by fetching Emma Stone.

That part is straight up college romance stuff and not enough these days to get anything but a yawn (or a review before the faculty board for corrupting the morals of the youth, the female youth and therefore a violation against the unwritten law of intergenerational sex). What jumps this one up after the long sexual foreplay before Abe and Jill hit the sheets is that Abe has an epiphany- gets religion at the local diner after overhearing some poor bedraggled woman speaking about how she is getting screwed over by the justice system in her divorce by a corrupt judge friendly to her husband’s case. That overheard conversation gets Abe’s juices flowing (literally as he jumps in the hay with that smitten fellow professor who had been trying to jump his bones during his temporary impotency). He decides to be not merely man but superman, decides to play God and change that woman’s fate-for the better of course. Kill the judge and end the misery.        

 And old Abe does so with poison after stalking the judge. Of course Jill who overheard that same diner conversation was shocked when she heard that the judge had died unexpectedly of what at first was called a heart attack then murder, murder most foul, murder by poison. Then as always the pieces started falling together. As always as well crime doesn’t pay, the criminal must pay the cinematic price for his foul deed, and Jill finally figures that Abe did that misbegotten judge in. She, middle class and conventional at heart, had no truck with some Nietzsche-crazed idea and tells Abe to turn himself in, or else. The “or else” is what Abe opted for trying to kill dear Jill in an elevator mishap. But rough justice will out in the end in this wicked old world sometimes and in the scuffle to throw Jill down the waiting elevator shaft Abe took the fall from Eden. And Jill, well, Jill is wiser for the experience. Enough of irrational supermen for her. Yeah, Woody was up to his old tricks- again.            

*****Once Again The Life Of The Dharma-Jack Kerouac-A Biography By Tom Clark

*****Once Again The Life Of The Dharma-Jack Kerouac-A Biography By Tom Clark

From The Pen Of Bart Webber  

Sam Lowell has of later liked to review books, movies, musical CDs for various citizen journalist blogs and other such cyberspace outlets as relaxation writing from the drear of his professional writing, writing legal briefs, memoranda and motions for himself and other lawyers. Usually he does such avocational writing as a wisp-of-willow affair depending on some prompt that would get him going like happened recently after hearing a song on YouTube by Bob Dylan from his prime days, Like a Rolling Stone. While listening to that song he noticed on the sidebar which gives other performances that one might wish to look at a segment from the D.A. Pennebaker documentary, Don’t Look Back, where Dylan, his then shortly to be abandoned flame and great folksinger in her own right, Joan Baez, and his then road manager and folksinger Bob Neuwirth were sitting in some English hotel singing bits of Hank Williams’ Lost Highway. That got him interested in seeing the whole documentary which had just been rereleased in the Criterion films series and which he ordered on Netflix and later reviewed. Such helter-skelter choices are the norm for his selection process.           

Not so on the subject of the “beats,” those cool cats and kittens (I guess that is the way it would have been put by hipsters in North Beach and the Village when beat was pure before the movement became just another commodity to be sold on television like cars or soap) who came shortly before our coming of age time down in working-class Carver where we grew up and were slightly singed by the beat flame. That “working-class” before Carver was not accidental, not for Sam anyway since his “max daddy,” “be-bop daddy,” or any way you want to say it literary hero from that period was the hipster mad monk novelist Jack Kerouac who had grown up about sixty miles north of Carver in working-class mill town getting ready to move south for cheaper labor Lowell. So in Sam’s eyes that designation was important then although maybe not quite as deeply thought through as recently when he had been on a tear re-reading most of Jack’s work.

Here again chance plays a part in what he would review. After having read a few of the more important novels, the iconic classic (we must use the word “iconic” these days to keep up with the professional users of that word which is now something of a flavor of the month term for any event or person who had had at least fifteen minutes of fame along the way) On The Road, Desolation Angels, and Big Sur he had picked up the Ann Charter-edited Portable Jack Kerouac which led him to her early informative biography. But Sam was looking for something more than a literary appraisal of Kerouac’s work, important as that is, than the Charter biography provided. He was looking for tidbits, pieces of information about Kerouac’s time in Lowell, the effect that growing up working poor had on him growing up in that city by the Merrimac. In short Sam wanted to expand on that idea of why Kerouac had, even if at a remove, on him, us as kids growing up in working poor Carver, then the cranberry capital of the world. So he went through some other later biographies which blossomed especially around the time in 2007 of the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Road.

One of the books that satisfied his desire for biographical information was Tom Clark’s Jack Kerouac: A Biography (Paragon House, 1990) which he told us about one night, us being Frankie Riley, Jack Callahan, Sam Eaton, Ralph Morris and me, when we gathered together for our periodic night out at the Rusty Nail in downtown Boston and which he wrote a review of later.  Here’s what Sam had to say about Jack Kerouac, warts and all:

“I have been on a Jack Kerouac tear of late (if you do not know who he is at this point either think On The Road, the famous alternate hitchhike road to life from the white picket fence norm book he wrote putting flesh and blood to the “beat” movement of the 1950s, think of the guy who the media proclaimed as the “king of the beats” after writing that novel which he wore kicking and screaming or if those suggestions fail ask your parents, or ouch, grandparents for they will know of him, probably headed out on the road themselves if only for a minute after reading the book). I have been reading not so much his works, although I have been doing some of that too but reading biographies, essays, and other sketches to get a better grasp on my fascination about this working class guy from Lowell not so far from where I grew up, about a guy who grew up from hunger as I did, and a guy who for a minute anyway gave the literary set a run for its money with a new way of writing novels.

He called it, maybe disingenuously “spontaneous writing” since he was an incredible re-writer and reviser of everything he wrote as well as a meticulously organized keeper of his own archives but probably better is a take from a Norman Mailer title-“advertisements for myself” since the vast majority of his work was an on-going saga of his life and times spread out from the 1930s with Maggy Cassidy to just before his death in 1969 Vanities of Duclouz. (Allen Ginsberg, the poet, his early friend and road companion, and no mean hand as a rememberer himself called Jack “the great rememberer” of their generation and that is probably right.)

That said, I have gained a lot of information not previously known by looking into the life of the man who probably with the exceptions of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ernest Hemingway (yeah, Hemingway is always in the mix somewhere when you talk guys, guy writers in the 20th century, guys who influenced “modern” writing) has influenced me more than all others in a lifetime of reading. This is a little bit ironic since I was a shade bit too young to appreciate as a child of the generation of ’68 (you know those of us who raised hell with the government, with society, hell, with Jack who disowned us when the deal went down although we, I, did not disown him, or his influence in the 1960s).       

Now there are several ways to approach doing a biography about a writer. The two ways that come to mind most readily in the case of Jack Kerouac are, one, to do a close analysis of his writings like his first real biographer, Ann Charters did (the one whom almost all those have written something about Jack afterward own a debt to, acknowledged or not), who had the advantage of actually working with the man on his bibliography before he passed (and the disadvantage of knowing him too well so that on the personal stuff she did a great deal of sliding over as later biographers have felt no need to do). The other is to do like the writer/poet Tom Clark did in the book under review, Jack Kerouac: A Biography, and give us the more nitty-gritty details of Jack’s life, his terrible struggles to get published and his awful time with success when he became the “once and future king of the “beats”         

In a recent review of the Ann Charters biography which I think bears repeating here I noted the following:

“It is probably hard for today’s youthful generation (the so-called millennials) to grasp how important the jail break-out of the 1960s, of breaking free from old time Cold War red scare golden age dream, of creating our own sense of space was to my generation, my generation of ’68 (so-called). That “generation of ’68” designation picked up from the hard fact that that seminal year of 1968, a year when the Tet offensive by the Viet Cong and their allies put in shambles the lie that we (meaning the United States government) was winning that vicious bloodstained honor-less war, to the results in New Hampshire which caused Lyndon Baines Johnson, the sitting President to run for cover down in Texas somewhere after being beaten like a gong by a quirky Irish poet from the Midwest and a band of wayward troubadours from all over, mainly the seething college campuses, to the death of the post-racial society dream as advertised by the slain Doctor Martin Luther King, to the barricade days in Paris where for once and all the limits of what wayward students could do without substantial allies in bringing down a reactionary government, to the death of the search for a “newer world” as advertised by the slain Robert F. Kennedy, to the war-circus of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago which put paid to any notion that any newer world would come without the spilling of rivers of blood, to the election of Richard Milhous Nixon which meant that we had seen the high side go under, that the promise of the flamboyant 1960s was veering toward an ebb tide.

But we did not “invent” the era whole, especially in the cultural, personal ethos part, the part about skipping for a while anyway the nine to five work routine, the white house and picket fence family routine, the hold your breath nose to the grindstone routine and discovering the lure of the road and of discovering ourselves, of our capacity to wonder. No question that elements of the generation before us, the sullen West Coast hot-rodders, the perfect wave surfers, the teen-alienated rebel James Dean and wild one Marlon Brando and above all the “beats” helped push the can down the road, especially the “beats” who wrote to the high heavens about what they did, how they did it and what the hell it was they were running from.

Now the truth of the matter is that most generation of ‘68ers like myself only caught the tail-end of the “beat” scene, the end where mainstream culture and commerce made it into just another “bummer” like they have done with any movement that threatened to get out of hand. So most of us who were affected by the be-bop sound and feel of the “beats” got what we knew from reading about them. And above all, above even Allen Ginsberg’s seminal poem, Howl which was a clarion call for rebellion, was Jack Kerouac’s On The Road which thrilled even those who did not go out in the search the great blue-pink American West night.”              

Here the odd thing, as Tom Clark’s biography insightfully brings out better than Ann Charters who as I said perhaps was too close to the scene , Kerouac except for that short burst in the late 1940s was almost the antithesis of what we of the generation of ’68 were striving to accomplish. He spent after some modest success with the semi-autobiographical Town And City writing about six versions of Road, other unpublished material and lots of frustration although not much self-doubt trying to break through the arcane New York publishing scene. He said when fame did come he was no longer physically, mentally or philosophically the same man who sought out the mid-20th century version of the great American West dream of his youth even though his admirers thought he still had those inclinations. As is fairly well known, and if not you can google YouTube for the famous debate Kerouac was part of in 1968 on William Buckley’s PBS show Firing Line where he lays it, by those who lived through the 1960s, Kerouac would eventually disown his “step-children.” Be that as it may his role, earned or not, wanted or not, as media-anointed “king of the beats” is worthy of investigation along with his obvious literary merits as a member in good standing of the American literary pantheon.           

On the face of it a poor working-class kid from the textile mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, from a staunch Roman Catholic French-Canadian heritage of those who came south to “see if the streets of America really were paved with gold” would seem an unlikely person to be involved in a movement that in many ways was the opposite of what his generation, the parents of the generation of ’68 to put the matter in perspective, born in the 1920s, coming of age in the Great Depression and slogging through World War II was searching for in the post-World War II “golden age of America.” Add to those factors his being a “jock,” a corner boy (at least that is the feel from a read his antics with his boys and his forlorn love in Maggie Cassidy), and a guy who liked to goof off and that only adds to the confusion about who and what Jack Kerouac was about.

But here is the secret, the secret thread that runs through the Clark biography (and Charters too as well as Jack’s friend and rival John Holmes in his remembrances of Jack), he was a mad man to write, to write and to write about himself and his times. And had enough of an ego to think that his writing would carry out his task of making a legend of his own life. Yeah, a million word guy (probably much more than that and without a word processor to keep count, to make editing easier, despite his theory of spontaneous writing to the contrary, and to easily store his output).

So the value of this biography is the material presented about his rough-hewn upbringing in down and out Lowell, the dramatic effect that the death of his older brother at a young age had on his psyche, his football prowess and disappointments, his coming of age problems with girls, his going off to New York to prep school and college, his eventual decision to “dig” the scene in the Village, his checkered military record during the war, the shock of the death of his father, his inability to deal with women, and marriage, his extreme sense of male bonding, his early and often drinking problems and other personal anecdotes offered by a host of people who knew, loved and hated him do not play second fiddle to this literary strand here.       

Mister Clark does his best work when he goes by the numbers and discusses Kerouac’s various troubles trying to be a published paid serious writer, and to be taken seriously by the literary establishment. The fate of On The Road which after all is about his and Neal Cassady’s various cross-country trips, drug and alcohol highs, partying, women grabbed in the late 1940s and not published until 1957 is indicative of the gap between what Kerouac thought was his due and what the finicky publishing world thought about him. Of course after he became a best-seller, had his “fifteen minutes of fame plus fifty plus years” getting his work published was the least of his problems.

While he was to write some more things after he became famous there is a real sense that he ran out of steam. And as Clark’s last chapters summarily detailed beginning with the 1960 events which made up the short novel Big Sur about his increasing alcohol and drug problems and breakdowns highlight those problems and how the problem of fame itself got the better of him. Although no way can you consider Jack Kerouac a one-note literary Johnny. However if he had only written On The Road his niche in the pantheon would be assured.          

At the end of my review of the Charters biography I made a suggestion to the millennials who need to read Kerouac -after you read On The Road - read Charter’s something of an early definitive biography (with lots of good notes at the end about her sources for various opinions and questions of fact) to get a feel for what it was like to be there at the creation of the big jail-break “beat” minute which spawned your parents, or ouch, grandparents “hippie” minute. I can now make another addition. Read this one too. While other later biographies have been produced, especially around the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of On The Road in 2007, this is the one to check out next.