Hey! Randy

Archive for August, 2017

A Go-Along, at Best

Posted by heyrandy on August 12, 2017

LBJ: the Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination, Philip Nelson, 2010

Who did it? According to the author the answer is obvious: the one who benefited. This is not a new theory. Nor does the author prove it. In 729 pages the author tells us a lot about Lyndon (a crude, lying, murdering thief), fails to make the case that LBJ was behind it all.

There is much about the assassination that we do not know. The Warren  Commission is criticized in this book. That much Nelson get right, but this is nothing new. What government investigation is not just a public-deceiving fraud? the Warren Commission is part of long tradition of reports that do not do what they say they do. The official 9-11 report is the latest piece of junk.

The major thesis is the CIA was behind the killing to keep the agency from suffering the wrath of Kennedy over the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Allegedly the agency feared it demise once Kennedy won re-election. So naturally they took the only reasonable course by killing the president in public. What other plan could they have?

The Warren Report is weak. But the alternative offered by Nelson is weaker. Multiple assassins with much better rifles shooting from much better locations is a difficult case to prove. It is also absurd. If you are going to blame a patsy with an inaccurate gun, why would you equip your assassins with different guns? Why would you equip your patsy with a junk gun? The crime would be investigated. The ballistics tests would prove there were at least two rifles since the bullets would be different even it the bullets were so damaged as to not allow testing to see if they were from different guns.

Why would the CIA worry about what Kennedy did? Yes, it would take a hit, but it would survive and regrow. Bureaucracies simply out wait politicians. Kennedy would have to go through congress to get the budget cut, the only thing that ends a bureaucracy. The CIA had many friends in congress. It had the goods on the others.

The book needs an editor. The book is repetitive, meandering, and full of irrelevant material.


Posted in Book reviews | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Vocabulary, vol. 5

Posted by heyrandy on August 7, 2017


Here is the latest volume in Hey Randy’s vocabulary discovery. As always, when evaluating this post score double points to any word you find here that I listed in previous posts.


abaft. nautical. adv., toward the stern

adipose, adj., of or relating to fat, fatty

ad loc., at or to the place

adytum, n., the sanctum in an ancient temple

affray, n., a noisy quarrel or brawl

agnate, adj. relate or descended from the father’s side

aliquot adj., of or relating to an exact divisor of factor of a quanitity, especially of an integer; n., an aliquot part

anker, n., a liquid measure in various countries of Europe.

arras, n., a wall hanging; a tapestry; a curtain or wall hanging, especially of Flemish origin

asper n., a former Turkish monetary unit

auctorial adj., of or relating to an author


baldric, n., a belt worn across the chest to support a sword or bugle

banns, n. an announcement of an intended marriage.

barracoon, n., a barracks in which slaves or convicts were formerly held in temporary confinement

batman, n. a British military officer’s orderly

besom n., a bundle of twigs attached to a handle and used as a broom

bouma , typography the shape of a cluster of letters

brio n. vigor, vivacity

burgh, n., a chartered town or borough in Scotland

Buridan’s ass, n. in philosophy an example intended to show the deficiency of reason. An ass standing equidistant from two identical heaps of oats starves to death because reason provides no ground for choosing to eat one rather than the other


cabtharides, n., plural of if cantharis, a diuretic and urogenital stimulant of irritant prepared form the dried bodies of Spanish fly. once thought to be an aphrodisiac.

cacique n., an Indian chief, especially of the Spanish West Indies and other parts of Latin America during colonial times. A local political boss in Spain or Latin America

camarilla, n., a group of confidential, often scheming advisers; a cabal

ce-devant adj., former

celadon, n. a pale to very pale green, 2 a type of pottery having a pale green glaze

charabanc n. an open top bus used for sightseeing

chignon, n., a roll or knot of hair worn at the back of the head

chicote, n., a whip made of twisted rhinoceros hide see sjambok

clamant, adj. clamorous, loud 2 demanding attention, pressing

clew, n., a ball of yarn or thread; clews, the cords by which a hammock is suspended; clewed, vt., to roll into a coil or ball.

clitic, n., an unstressed word that is incapable of standing on its own and attaches its pronunciation to a stressed word, e.g., ’em (I see ’em.)

coffle n. a group of animal, slaves, or prisoners chained together in a line

comitia, n. & n. pl., a popular assembly in ancient Rome having legislative or electoral duties.

constative, adj. relating to or being an utterance that asserts or states something that can be judged as true of false. n. an utterance such as an assertion.

cordillera, n., a extensive chain of mountains or mountain ranges, especially the principal mountain system of a continent.

cortege, n. a train of attendants, a retinue

coup de main, n., a sudden action undertaken to surprise an enemy.

culverin, n., an early crudely made musket

cuirass, n., a piece of armor for protecting the breast and back; the breastplate

cynosure, n., an object that serves as a focal point of attention and admiration 2 something that serves to guide


deaccession v.tr., to remove an object from a collection, especially in order to sell it and purchase other objects

delandra est Carthago,  Carthage must be destroyed

demarche n., a course of action; a diplomatic representation or protest; a statement of protest addressed by citizens to public authorities

de minimus, of trifling consequence or importance; too insignificant to be worthy of concern; a reference to the phrase deminimis non curat lex (the law does not concern itself with trifles)

dingle, n., a small wooded valley; a dell

dirk, n. a dagger

dispositive, adj., relating to or having an effect on disposition or settlement, especially of a legal case or will.

donjon. n., the fortied main tower of a castle


ecesis n. the successful establishment of a plant or animal species in a habitat

eclaircissement, n., French, clarification; explanation; enlightenment

egestion n., a bodily excretion tr.v., egest

eldrich adj., strange, weird, unearthly

enclitic, n. a clitic that is attached to the end of another word

ephor, one of a body of five elected magistrates exercising a supervisory power over the kings of Sparta

epopt n., one enlightened in secrets ways

eucarya n., quondong trees

eupatrid, n. a member of the hereditary aristocracy of ancient Athens


factitious, adj., produced artificially, sham

fane n,. a temple

fanfaronade, n., gragging or blustering manner or behavior. a fanfare

flamen n., a priest of ancient Rome

Fashoda, a small town is SE Sudan the scene of a diplomatic incident (1898) in which French occupation of the fort caused a crisis between France Great Britain

firman, n., an edict of an Oriental sovereign 2 any authoritative grant of permission

fisc. n., the treasury of a kingdom or state

flinders, n., bits, fragments, or splinters

fontanel, n. the soft spot in a baby’s head

fustian, n., a coarse cloth; pretentious speech; pompous language. adj., pompous, bombastic, and ranting


gabble, v. intr. to speak rapidly or incoherently; jabber2 to make rapid low muttering or quacking sounds v. tr. to utter rapidly n., rapid, incoherent or meaningless speech

galere n., a group of people having a common interest, esp. a coterie of undesirable people; an unpleasant situation

gallimaufry, n., a jumble; a hodgepodge

gallipot, n., a small glazed earthenware jar formerly used by druggists of medicaments

gawp, intr. v. to gawk

gesellschaft n., a group of people held together by practical concerns

gemeinschaft n., a group of people held together by common beliefs or family ties.

gens, n. gentes, n.pl., a patrilineal clan of ancient Rome composed of several families of the same name claiming a common ancestor and belonging to a common religious cult

gotch n. an undergarment


haruspex, n. haruspices, n.pl., a priest in ancient Rome who practiced divination by the inspection of the entrails of animals

Hautgout, n., high relish or flavor; high seasoning

heterosis n., the increase in growth or othre characters in hybrids over those of the parents adj. heterotic

hummock, n. a low mound or ridge of earth; a knoll, also hammock, a tract of forested land that rises above an adjacent marsh in the southern US

hyperborean, adj., of the far north; Artic 2. very cold; frigid


impone v.tr., to wager

indaba n. south African tribal council

ingressive adj. involving an ingress; inchoative; ling., a word sound made by intake of air

inter alia, adv., among other things

intromission, n., the act of putting one thing into another; cannulation


jobbery n., corruption among public officials


kelson, n., variant of keelson. a timber or girder fastened above and parallel to the keel of a ship


Lacedaemon, the ancient city-state of Sparta

Laocoon n., A Trojan priest of Apollo who who was killed by two sea serpents for having warned his people of the Trojan horse

levee n., an embankment to contain a river; a reception held, as at a royal court

limgam, n., (Hinduism) a stylized phallus worshiped as a symbol of the god Shiva

lixiviate, tv., to wash or percolate the soluble matter from

luff, n., the act of sailing closer into the wind


mairie,  a city hall

manes or Manes, n. pl. the spirits of the dead, regarded as minor supernatural powers in ancient Rome

mantuamaker, n., one who makes dresses, cloaks, etc. for women; a dressmaker.

mare clausum, n., a navigable body of water that is under the jurisdiction of one nation and closed to all others

masque n., a dramatic entertainment performed by masked players

medina, n. the old section of an Arab city

medullary, n. the inner core of certain organs, 2, the pith of stems or roots of certain plants

melliferous, adj., forming or bearing honey

metapsychosis, n. reincarnation

meum and tuum, n., Lit. to fail to distinguish one’s own property from another’s; to be dishonest

mirk adj., dark, gloomy also murk

missish adj., like a miss, prim, affected

monstrance, n. in Roman Catholic Church the receptacle holding the consecrated Host is exposed for adoration. 2, proof by process of argument or a proposition proving an asserted conclusion

mudsill n,. the lowest point of a building upon which the foundation rests

muzhik, n. a Russian peasant

mutatis mutandis, adv., the necessary changes having been made

myrmidon, n. an ancient nation of Greek mythology. A dining club a Merton College, University of Oxford


nubbin n. a small or undeveloped part, a stunted part


offing, n., the part of the sea visible from the shore that is very distant or beyond anchoring ground

opisthography, n., a writing wpon the back of anything already written upon; the practice of writing on both sides of the object used as a surface

orthhogonal adj., relating to or composed of right angles; very different or unrelated, sharply divergent


palfrey n., a light saddle horse, esp. ridden by women

pantile, n., a roof tile with an S-shaped profile

parti pris, n., an inclination for or against something that affects judgment; a bias or prejudice

pasquinade n., a satire or lampoon; v.tr., to ridicule with a pasquinade

Penates, pl. n, the Roman gods of the household.

perturbative adj.,tending to cause perturbation; disturbing

peruke n., a wig

physiatrist n., a physician who specializes in physical medicine; a health care professional who administers physical therapy

physiognomy n., facial features; the art of judging human character from facial features; aspect and character of an inanimate entity

polemarch, n., a civilian official in ancient Greece

prepotent, adj., greater in power, influence, or force than another

phalanstery, n. a self-sustaining coperative community of followers of Fourierism

phratry, n. a grouping of clans or other social units within a tribe

pinchbeck, n., an alloy of zinc and copper used as imitation gold; a cheap imitation; adj., imitation

plangent, adj., loud and resound as in plangent bells; 2 plantive

point d’appui, n., a support or prop; the base or rallying point for a military unit

pontifex, n. a man on the highest council of priests in ancient Rome

primus inter pares, n., first among equals

proscenium, n., the area of a theater that is located between the curtain and the orchestra

puggaree n. cloth wrapped around the crown of a hat

purblind, adj., having poor vision; nearly blind

privative, adj., causing deprivation or loss

puttee, n., a strip of cloth wound spirally around the leg from ankle to knee 2 a gaiter covering the lower leg


quadrille n. a type of dance

qui vive, n., a sentinel’s challenge. Who goes there? (French)


Rabelaisian, adj. of Rabelais or his works; 2, characterized by coarse humor or bold caricature

refractory, adj., obstinately resistant to authority 2 difficult to melt 3 resistant to treatment

risorgimento, n., the period or movement for the liberation and political unification of Italy.

rodomontade, n., pretentious boasting; bluster; adj., pretentiously boasting or bragging; intr. v., to boast or brag.

ruction, n. a disturbance, quarrel, or row


sanative, adj., having the power to cure; a sanative environment

sangar, n., military: a breastwork of stone or sods

sannyasi, n., a wandering mendicant and ascetic

Sauterne n. a semisweet white wine

sauve qui peut, n., a state of panic or disorder; a rout

scud, intr. v., to run or skim along swiftly and easily; n., the act of scudding

sjambok, n., a whip made of animal hide see chicote

shrive, v., to hear the confession of and give absolution to a penitent. to make or go to confession.

souterrain, n., an underground chamber or passage

spermaceti n. a wax-like substance from the head of the sperm whale

spinney, n., a small grove; copse


taboret, n., a low stool without a back or arms; a low stand or cabinet; an embroidery frame

tarn, n., a small mountain lake, especially one formed by glaciers

taurobolium a part of an ancient religious rite involving baptism in the blood of a sacrificed bull. Also tauroboly

termagant, n,. a shrew

terpsichorean, adj., of or relating to dancing; n., a dancer

timocracy n. 1. a political unit of system of gov’t. in which possession of property  serves as the first requirement for participation in gov’t. 2 a political unit or system in which love or honor is deemed the guiding principle of gov’t.

tutelary, adj., being or serving as a guardian or protector


ulema, or ulama, pl. n. Muslim scholars trained in Islam and Islamic law.

ultra vires, adj, adv. beyond the legal power or authority of a person, corporation, agent, etc.


veridical, adj., truthful; veracious 2. coinciding with future events or apparently unknowable present realities

vesica piscis, n., a pointed oval shape used in medieval Christian art as an aureole to surrond a sacred figure


wimple. n., a cloth draped around the head  to frame the face




Posted in vocabulary | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Land of Hope and Thorns

Posted by heyrandy on August 5, 2017

Land of PromiseJames Wesley Rawles, 2015 Kindle Edition.

The world now has what it fears or needs, depending upon your presuppositions. An Islamic Caliphate has been established. Don’t worry, we have hope in a libertarian/Christian country established in the middle of a desert. The land is ceded by the countries of Sudan and Kenya.

Rawles has stated that he is finished with the previous series and has started a new series concerning the nation of Ilemi. The plot is the same as Rawles’ earlier novels: the crash has occurred, but there is a plucky band of… (readers of my reviews of Rawles’s other novels will be able to fill in the rest.) While there is the usual technical details about guns (guns, guys, guns!), the real issue raised is how does one start a country? The most recent attempt to do so without violence has been the Republic of Minerva. Bad location. But is the new location in the African desert any better?

The major presupposition of the novel is that such a thing can occur. Can land be acquired from countries without using guns or funds? What country gives away land? It is unusual, but not impossible. If we can have a Caliphate, why not? The Berlin wall did fall.

Rawles has asked the readers of his blog (www.survivalblog.com) for help in drafting the new republic’s constitution. Give him some ideas. We have a lot of experience with one that did not work. While you are there, thank him for the technical information on the US-built 4.2-inch mortar. Apparently the Israelis have a lot of these that they will sell on the cheap. Just the thing to practice with until he finishes the sequel.



Posted in Book reviews | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Dark Side of the Story

Posted by heyrandy on August 4, 2017

Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery

Anne Farrow, Joel Long, and Jenifer Frank, 2005

We all have heard the story of how the South was so barbaric, backward, and benighted that it maintain slavery. The North, we know, was the civilized, progressive, and enlightened area of America. We know this is true because the schools teach it.

This book demonstrates that the north was not the morally righteousness one that is it is thought to be. Their hands are as dirty as any slave master’s .

While slavery was first abolished in (some of) the northern states, the northerners figure out ways to profit from the fruits of the southerner’s slaves. This story has been forgotten. The authors give it new life.

The genesis of the story was the authors’ employer, The Hartford Courant, publishing a story about the Aetna Insurance Company’s regretting its insuring slaves. The author began wondering about the Courant. The Courant was guilty.

So how did the north enrich itself via the slaves it did not own? Slavery was a giant industry. Such industries need the same services as any other industry. The north was the source of financing, insuring, and transporting slaves.

The northern banks, mostly in New York City, handled the loans that the southern plantation owners need to operate. The northern-based insurance companies wrote the insurance, and the northern shipyards built the ships to transport the slaves and the goods they produced.

The northern mill owners profited from the purchase of southern, i.e., slave-grown, cotton. This would lead to the Civil War because the northern manufacturers wanted high import tariffs to protect them from European competitors.

The real hypocrisy is revealed in the ending of slavery in the northern states–except for Maryland and Delaware.  The slave owners sold their slaves to the southerners. Why take a loss?

Even after slavery was abolished in the United States, the northerners still profited. Slavery was still legal in the West Indies. Here the product was not cotton, but sugar. Sugar was slave grown from the beginning. The sugar was shipped to New England to be convert into rum. The rum was traded in Africa for slaves. The slaves were sold in the West Indies and Cuba. Profits everywhere.

Many of those who profited from this trade were abolitionists. The authors give us no hint as to how these seemingly righteous ones could think this was right.

One area that was new to me was the force labor in the ivory trade. Native Africans were conscripted to transport ivory from the interior of Africa to the coast. This part of the book contains the only mention of the Arab Muslim slave traders. The eastern trade is otherwise ignored. This story is more horrible the what we know of the western slave trade. We have the descendants of the western trade with us, but where are the descendants of the eastern trade? The word ugly begins to describe the horror.

The book is worth the time to read. It tells of an ignored aspect of slavery that we all need to know.



Posted in Book reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »