Searching for the Real South Beach

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Clay Hotel

SEARCHING FOR THE REAL SOUTH BEACH

December 7, 2011

By David Arthur Walters

MIAMI BEACH—I landed in Ft. Lauderdale in 2004 and was intent on finding an apartment there when my plans were rudely interrupted by Hurricane Jeanne. The hotel I had booked cancelled my reservation because it had overbooked. I found myself huddling in a hot and dark room of a seedy motel on West Broward Boulevard while Jeanne blew over.

The motel was interesting to say the least.  The property been purchased by Russians, who conveniently neglected to take the motel franchise signage down. The Russian “exchange students,” were exceedingly cute in their maid outfits, were the main attraction. I first saw them swimming nude in the scum-laden pool one night as the storm moved in. They were virtual prisoners at the motel, not allowed to go to the beach or anywhere else for that matter.

The motel was packed with refugees from the storm. Everyone had gotten illegally gouged at different rates, the maximum that could be haggled from each of them, despite the Florida law against gouging in emergencies.

Panhandlers were going from door to door asking for money and food. One woman from the hood, “Big Mama,” would barge into rooms unannounced and ask for a cigarette while casing the rooms for stuff.

I had nothing worth stealing: one suitcase of shabby clothes. I did have one donut left, and some water in the bathtub. Stores were closed due to the hurricane, and the promised free breakfast was not there.

My old friend Hanley ‘Doc’ Harding managed to get through the motel phone system to me; he insisted he was coming to bail me out of the dump whether I liked it or not. Doc, a former Navy SEAL and a perfect pal to have, always did what he said he was going to do. He had lost a leg in a motorcycle accident after coming home from a covert operation, He also had the cancer that would do him in, but he made the most of it, teaching at police department’s traffic school, transporting prisoners, selling chemical and nuclear warfare protective tents, and designing a new kind of anti-terrorism training facility.

I stayed overnight at his condo in Sunny Isles, where he lived with his mother. She had also lost a leg, and would soon lose the other and her life after her cat bit it and the wound got infected. Doc said she had been in the beauty business, and had been married to one of Meyer Lansky’s sons for awhile. And then took me down the hall and introduced me to a lady who had inherited some of Houdini’s stuff.

The next morning, Doc’s girlfriend came over. She told me I would be a fool to stay in Ft. Lauderdale, that Miami would be a better place for me to find work, the only drawback being that I did not speak Spanish. I had lived on the southern end of Miami Beach before it was branded South Beach. It was really run down but relaxing back then. I asked Doc to take me on down so I could find temporary quarters and see what was going on. I wound up at the Clay Hotel on Espanola Way and Washington Avenue, where I stayed nearly a month.

I shall always have fond memories of the Clay Hotel, which offers private rooms, rooms with shared baths, and hostel lodging. That hotel on Espanola and Washington was once Al Capone’s favorite hideout on the beach. The experience was quite exotic for me, what with all the world travelers around. My first little room was right on Washington Avenue, where there was a virtual rush hour when the clubs closed in the morning. I would hate that racket now, but I loved it when it was new to me.

When I am asked what it is like to live on South Beach in the thick of things, I am wont to say, “It’s great until you find out where you’re at, but that’s true of everywhere, and you may never find out if you’re not interested in the truth.”

Many of the employees at the shops around the hotel told me they would never live on South Beach, and it is frightening to work on Washington Avenue, but it was all right for me at the time, mainly because I love to be near a beach. Besides, people from out of town say they would give their right arm to live in South Beach.

No one bothered me at Clay Hotel except the stranger who kept calling: “Hello, honey, do you want to talk?”  The desk clerk could do nothing about it, so I got another room, this one in the back building. The mosquitoes in the room were a hassle when I opened the only window; it was right over the garbage bins of a restaurant. I learned what “no abra la ventana” meant from the maid I when complained about the mosquitoes. She said she wanted to move back to Cuba now that her son was grown and out of college, because, she said, her back hurt like hell and American was only about money.

The walls were paper thin, so the screams from orgasms next door and heads banging on the wall woke me up for about a week. No problem, really, the whole affair was rather intriguing when fresh.

$50 a night was dirt cheap for a tourist, but not for me. I managed to rent a room for $550 month from David Muhlrad at the Plaza South Hotel. Muhlrad controls many apartment buildings on South Beach; most of them are occupied by Hispanic immigrants. He was not interested in knowing who I was when I signed the “Contract for Accommodations” on October 22, 2004, under the heading “The Plaza South, A Fully Licensed Adult Living Facility.” The contract would be returned to me signed by someone whose signature I could not make out. He gave me a calling card that read, “Ari Schuster, Managing Director, The Plaza South, The Only Deco A.L.F.”

The hotel (now the Gale-Regent Hotel) was in a sort of limbo, with only the ground floor currently devoted to assisted living. I was later informed by a member of the staff, who said she was the only one with practical nurse training and hence was resented by the Haitian caretakers in charge, whom she said were robbing their charges blind, that Mr. Schuster never came to the property, that the license on the wall was just borrowed. At no time during my tenancy ending December 2005 did I see anyone except Muhlrad in the little A.L.F. office.

As for the claim of stolen valuables, I would notice that the underpaid staff wore fine clothes and jewelry, and owned homes here and in Haiti. Yet appearances can be deceiving. I did not know if the practical nurse was credible inasmuch as she seemed disturbed, always paranoid about a tenant on the second floor, a cab driver whom everyone called “Sling Chain” because he had a long key chain that jangled when he walked: she said he was a crack addict, was stalking her, and was in the habit of picking up women and assaulted them in his cab. He was decrepit for his age, perhaps from crack abuse, which he admitted, and had a bizarre sense of humor.

I offered Mr. Muhlrad my references when I met him to rent a room, but he said to never mind, he knew people, and I “looked good.” He refused to take my check, stating that he only took “cash money, for obvious reasons.” Indeed, the low-income hotel aspect of the property was conducted on a cash basis only, no questions as to identity asked. If a regular Plaza South resident did not cough up the currency, their doors were “booted” i.e. they were locked out, in violation of state law, but what did they know of the law?

Mr. Muhlrad seemed nice enough as we chatted. I asked him how he liked the hotel business, mentioning I had managed several big discount tourist hotels in my day. He responded that one had to be crazy to manage the Plaza South. And he did behave crazily at times, screaming like a madman at elderly tenants who had complaints or who had not paid the rent, which I hear approached $2,000 a month including powdered eggs, macaroni, peanut butter or tuna sandwiches, and the like.

Although the elderly tenants were yelled at by Mr. Muhlrad, and perhaps had valuables stolen by the caretakers, I saw no evidence of physical abuse. Eventually the kitchen was shut down, and, some time before the hotel closed the old folks were hauled away, without adequate notice, to the related Hebrew Home, where I heard they were doubled up two to a room. One old man called the police, complaining he was being kidnapped or taken away illegally against his wishes, but he was written off as senile.

I still see one old lady around. I asked her how things were going at the Hebrew Home, and whether she had any regrets. “At my age it is not good to have regrets. I just keep going.”

Poor people cannot be choosy, and I was glad to land a cheap room in paradise, reasoning that a tourist would be glad to pay $100 night for it. Mr. Muhlrad was doing some painting at the time, and it looked like he was making a serious effort to spruce up the interior of the decrepit building. After that initial period, he was seldom around; he arrived in his vintage Cadillac from time to time, went in and picked up envelopes stuffed with cash, issued a few orders to staff, screamed at some little old lady who complained about something or the other, and took off.

So there I was, in room 211, directly under the room where two whores and their pimp plied their trade. And down one hall a Mexican drug dealer resided, as well as the black guy who wore suits and raged against white people i.e. “crackers.” An alcoholic-nosed photographer, who said he worked for the police department, also lived down that hall. He liked to go around and tell people there were warrants out for them. Down another hall was the formerly homeless, foul-breathed packrat with the goiter; his room was always filled with flies. Oh, there was a beautiful, charming woman who had a successful acting career until she got hooked on crack by her boyfriend, and turned to prostitution, with him as her pimp, serving only black guys—I liked her a lot but had learned my lesson after falling in love with a heroin addict out west.

And I must not forget the mentally ill guy who set fires in his room and in the stairwell by my room. The outside door to that stairwell was unsecured, by the way, so vagrants used the stairwell for a toilet, and sometimes vagrants got into the halls and slept.

Independent male and female prostitutes who could not afford rent were working inside the side entrances of the building, between the Plaza South and the adjacent hotel, or simply having sex in the unlocked path between the buildings. Muhlrad was asked to secure the area, which was also used for drug trafficking, but whatever locks he had placed were broken the same day. Two elderly tenants said they enjoyed watching the sexual encounters through their windows at night.

There were a few rather decent tenants: some young workers, and some people driven out of other buildings, conveniently condemned by the city and taken over by developers. These tenants did not know what was really going on with the property until everyone gathered in the lobby for a hurricane and exchanged notes; they were appalled, especially when a crack addict came into the lobby and said he was going to kill some “crackers” that night. Several of them moved out the next month.

Eventually we would all be kicked out of Plaza South with inadequate notice when it was sold to the Morgan Hotel Group in late 2005; off-duty cops kicked down the doors of the holdouts. The guy with the goiter threatened to set fire to the building. The carpenter who lived on the third floor and liked to talk tough all the time called the cops on the cops after his door was kicked in and his cat got loose.

As for me, I was a damn fool for moving out early: I ran into Sling Chain months later and he told me cash money was paid to some tenants to get lost. I could have pretended I was still in the room and collected the cash. One of the Haitian managers sold me the television in my room when I paid the balance of my rent, and delivered it to me with her car. She offered to sell me other furniture, but I had no way of moving it.

Mr. Muhlrad was merely managing the Plaza South for Russell Galbut, his relative by marriage, who owned the property until he sold it to the Morgan Hotel Group. Since then Plaza South was left vacant, a blight on the development around it, a terrible eyesore despite the fact that Morgan Hotel Group is spending large sums on renovating the Delano Hotel just across Collins Avenue. (It is now the upscale Gale-Regent Hotel managed by Menin Hospitality, in which Mr. Galbut has relatives and a major interest).

Mr. Galbut is powerful real estate developer with considerable influence on city officials to this day although he received some rotten press back in the good old days over his relationship with Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud, who was imprisoned for corruption in 1993. The Galbut law firm reportedly handled some of the dirty money. Daoud has alleged some of the dirty details in Sins of South Beach, a book wildly popular in Miami Beach.

The Galbut interests reportedly own a vast amount of real estate in Miami Beach via a web of companies, including considerable property in the now forgotten “CANDO” art district promoted by former Miami Beach mayor David Dermer, purportedly to curb gentrification. The promotion was actually intended to accelerate gentrification and cure the blighted nature of the area hence hundreds of “vulgar” people were evicted from their humble abodes to make way for the noble “gentry.”

Mr. Galbut has in the past refused to disclose just how much property his syndicate holds in the area. In April of 2005, his nephew, Keith Menin, at the grand opening of the Sanctuary, a former nursing home converted into a posh condotel a half-block from the Plaza South, bragged that an entire neighborhood would eventually go on the block.

I met Mr. Galbut once, at the Plaza South. The prostitutes working two beds in the room above me created a problem I could not ignore. I had gotten used to the sounds: the frequent slams of the door, the floor-creaking walks to the beds, the beds banging against the wall, and the groans. But the water from their bathroom was destroying the ceiling and walls in my bathroom, so I went upstairs and complained to the pimp, who was in the room with two of his girls. He did not care, he said, because his girls needed to wash themselves after doing their tricks, so he would not turn off the water, even though he knew a defective pipe was flooding everything below. The water eventually reached the first floor, soaking the ceiling and a wall of the old folk’s dining room. I was worried the ceiling would collapse on the aged people while they were eating their scrambled eggs or tuna sandwiches.

Mr. Muhlrad never responded to emergency calls on the Sabbath, so I went out of my way to find Mr. Galbut’s phone number and called him on a pay phone – I could not afford a cell phone, and there was no one on duty downstairs at night despite the fact that some of the elderly tenants might need help. I warned him that if the water continued to flow, the building would be damaged so badly it would have to be evacuated. He knocked at my door that evening with his boy Friday in tow. I advised him to survey the damage downstairs, and showed him the damage to my room—he was interested in the photos of high rises I had pasted on a wall to serve as self-suggestions to move up to better living conditions. Plumbers and carpenters were brought in the next day and they fixed the pipes and walls.

I did not receive nor did I expect any thanks from a kingpin like Russell Galbut, but since I had considerable experience as right hand man for real estate wheeler dealers and as a major tourist hotel manager, I went over to his building on the mainland with my resume, but he would not see me. That concluded the last dream I had of being brought in from the cold. “To hell with The Establishment,” I said.

I had several encounters with members of the Miami Beach Fire Department while at Plaza South because of the defective fire alarms. They went off frequently; tenants evacuated the building although we suspected we were hearing another false alarm.

Coincidentally, the alarms sometimes sounded on the Sabbath, when Muhlrad would refuse to answer even emergency calls from the Fire Department. I learned that he was once in charge of the city agency that enforces compliance with city codes. I learned that requests had been made but ignored by city officials due to his pull, to place security in the building at night to protect people from fire; that seemed to be a great idea to the old folks, not only for fire safety, but for any emergency—the room phones did not work.

I admired the fire fighters whom I met. For example, one night, during a downpour, anguished cries were coming from the area outside, waking everyone up. The cries resembled what a trapped cat might make. I got someone with a cell phone to call 911. The firemen came over and found a homeless man huddled under the air-conditioning duct, crying desperately in the rain. They spoke with him very kindly, and found shelter for him.

I also had my first encounter with the Miami Beach Police Department, which is getting a lot of bad flack in the press lately. Too many of us including myself tend to remember how bad things were, and ignore how much better things are at present. I recall that the Mexican drug dealer at Plaza South was dealing drugs openly on Collins Avenue in front of the South Plaza, and was also dealing up and down Washington Avenue, hustling his drugs to passersby. He was not the only one doing that, by the way; there were petty drug dealers everywhere. I warned him that everyone knew he was dealing, that he had been seen for months on the street handing off drugs for cash, and, one day the coppers were going to nail him.

“I’m protected. If anyone tells on me, they’re dead. I’ll have them killed or kill them myself.”

Well, I was right. A month later some officers came in ready for combat, taking not only him out but two others as well. He was back on the street a few months later, and then he disappeared, maybe transferred out by the cartel or busted again. Nowadays I am never approached by dealers on Washington Avenue, but I am never around that avenue after ten at night anymore if I can help it, because I know where I am. After all, this is South Beach.

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The Real ISIS Unveiled

ISIS PIC

 

ISIS

From The Black Virgin

by

David Arthur Walters

 

Everyone who enjoys the river of life loves a parade in its honor. Wherefore let us tear down our ramshackle houses of discrimination and build a fleet of floats to launch on the flowing floods of time, keeping in mind, as we proceed with our crafts, the mother ship of liberty, the Ark. We shall remember fondly the Argo while at our drafting boards: she was endowed with a reasoning soul; she was devoted to freedom; she permitted no slaves to board her. Aeschylus said of her, “And tell me where’s the sacred beam/That dared the dangerous Euxine stream?”

May we sincerely enjoy our procession on our way to embarkation, as did the Egyptians proceeding to the banks of the Nile to launch their sacred barque, or proceeding to the temple wherein flowed the sacred Other-World stream whereupon they placed their ark. Yes, let us proceed accordingly by the while, fearing not The End receding in impenetrable mystery, nor fearing that we may wind up knowing too much of the Arcanum for our own good. True, we may, like After Thought (Epimetheus, brother to Prometheus, Forethought) realize too late that all-gifted Pandora’s vase bears goods that turn evil once born into the world; nevertheless, Hope remains in her treasured chest. As Apuleius said of the “Procession of the Savior Goddess” whose “true name” is Isis: “Another carried a box holding secret things and concealing within it the hidden attributes of the sublime faith.” Well, the Cornucopia is ideally inexhaustible but, of course, beside the goods are found necessary evils.

In Black Land (Egypt), the Queen of Night was invoked as Isis. The goddess was compassionate there, at least in comparison to Kali in India, where conditions warranted more ruthlessness. Naturally Kali, Black Mama, Magic Mother of Maya, merely received what was given to her as destructive thanks for her great creative gift of the Universe to men. Kali wore a necklace of skulls representing the letters of the alphabet; even a moron could become a great poet if he recounted them. By virtue of her maya, The Great Mother, Mahamaya, also appeared in India, in an apparently kinder form as Vak, Goddess of Speech, and as Sarasvati, the River Goddess of Eloquence and hence the source of all knowledge and wisdom. But let us return to the goddess of the Nile.

The Black Virgin in her black hidden-Moon form, was the secret inspiration of Light. The pure, nude Isis is black, but she appears in many colors such as blue-green, red, white, and yellow-gold. As Mother Earth she was the black virginal soil of the Nile, periodically clothed in green garb. She originated in the deepest recesses of Africa, traveling from there far and wide. She eventually took the form of a Nubian woman: Nubian women were famous for their beauty, especially in Egypt where Isis staged a stellar performance (her constellation is Virgo), as we can see from her Ten Thousand Names, capitalized to emphasize their archaic propriety:

The Only One, Great Virgin, Mother Egypt, God Mother, Original Mother, Female Ra, Eye of Ra, Green Goddess, Lady of the House of Life, House of Horus, Queen of the Nile, Lady of Tears, Purifier with Water, Creatrix of the Nile Flood, Wife of Inundation, Mother of Stars, Parent of Seasons, Savior of Rich and Poor, Lady of Love, Eternal Throne of Pharaoh, Hidden Goddess of the Underworld, Queen of the Dead, Magician, Healer, Lady of Words of Power, Lady of Breath, Queen of Heaven, Lady of Ten Thousand Names, and so on to infinity beyond the ten thousand heretofore mentionable.

Isis is associated with Mary, Lady of Sorrows, or, in Hebrew, Miriam; that is, Sea of Sorrow. In Chaldaic, Miriam is Mistress of the Sea: sailors have called Isis the Virgin of the Sea, Stiller of Storms, Pacifier of Gales. Miriam was the sister of Moses (Egyptian: “born” or “son”) who was “pulled from the water” (Hebrew: play on the word “Mose”). Moses, like Isis’s son Horus, was hidden in a papyrus ark, or nest, near the water. Miriam was also associated with water when she led the singing of praises after the parting of the sea, and also when she died: the life-giving water in the desert dried up.

Isis in her Marianist form is the Ark of the Covenant of the Living Lord; she is the House of the Lord; she is the Immaculate Lady who cannot be spotted in her archetype: but to intentionally defame her is an exposition of misogyny worse than cursing one’s own mother.

The original Ark in which the Covenant was deposited contained the secret, perfectly bisexual Name of the Ineffable Creator known only to Mary – in Isis’ case, Isis managed to extort the Name of Ra by means of poison, saving him when it was revealed within her. In response to the evocation of the Original Mother, the Name was divided into Two Hands impressed on volcanic tablets – one, female, the community, or Bride; the other, male, the executor of the laws, or Groom. Upon the tablets were Ten Words of the Fingers of Fire, the Seeds of Life, the Perfect Ten who is One – as witnessed in the decimal system when 9 is perfected by adding 1 (=10).

Thus the Ark of Isis/Mary was built to carry the Seeds over the waters of Chaos, that the Living Law be planted in the Promised Land as her Son, the Decalogue Incarnate. The Ark, cleansed of memory by the baptismal flood waters, served as the Natural Womb of the Son of Man during the perilous voyage from the Other World. Replicas of the fateful, miraculous landing occasionally surface; some of them are made of black basalt; some have been painted with black resin. In other words, black madonnas upholding black sons have been unearthed. Heretics were even murdered for declaring that the black marianic madonnas recovered were images of Isis suckling Horus, the son and avenger of his father Osiris. They were also been burned at the stake for claiming Egyptian magic and religion to be superior to its Christian consequences. Nevertheless, when the old temples and their sites were being whitewashed or demolished, some of the devils to be cast out were overlooked – one idol of the Black Virgin even miraculously appeared in a Pope’s inner chambers.

Now then, the river or way of Isis is the retinue of living beings proceeding by means of her Ark, the Vessel of Light and Life. Men replicate the Ark name their various vessels. Arks are appropriately of feminine gender. For example, the Boat of Ra, the Sun-disc Boat of Millions of Years or the Boat to the Other World, are all feminine. Speaking of the Other World; from whence comes Life and whither does it go to return again? From the Other World, personified and directed by Isis, albeit presided over by Osiris (just as Kali the Energy is presided over by the dead Form of her spouse Siva), whom Isis resurrected with her power of breath in order to conceive Horus to avenge the Father who presides over the Other World.

The Secret Chamber, the holy of holies cradling the mystery of human life, is the ark, or womb. From birth to death to birth: what links life to life? The marriage of life and death (the Fates are three, presiding over birth, and death, and the wedding of life and death) the womb is the ark of over the sea of death.

“Ark” is a marvelous and magical word; ‘tis a clue to the meaning of arcane, coerce, and exercise: an ark “contains and maintains, prevents and wards off, pursues and drives out, keeps moving and practices.” When we exercise understanding, we coerce chaos: we build containers, categories and concepts, boats of knowledge, ships over seas of distress. Hence an ark is not merely a nest, a basket, a box, or a chest; nor is it merely a cave, a coffin, a tomb, or a pyramid. An ark is always a conveyance as well, a chariot through and over and under all the elements to the Beyond. Furthermore, the ark is a space ship, a time capsule bearing time. And a book is an ark, and so are archives and libraries: the banks of the rivers of memory carved out of the elements for future generations are arks of civilization.

Moreover, the soul is the boat of the self on the ocean of spirit. The mind is the ark of light. So is the heart an ark, the ark of love and truth and justice. The house is an ark if it is a home, as is the church housing its infinitesimal portion of the infinite.

But let us not wander too far astray with the Patroness of Navigation, too far to remark that the Island-in-Papyrus-Swamps where Isis conceived Horus and hid him in a nest lest he be murdered, is an ark closer to our instant subject.

During the foregoing parade of terms, several furrowed brows were observed in the crowd. Not everyone was amused or enlightened by the festivities and glowing floats. In fact, certain countenances were waved as flags of contempt, disgust, consternation, and anger. Some remarks were overheard concerning cow-headed freaks and the worship of the Moon, dogs, and crocodiles. Why, one man shouted obscenities as if his own mother had just been vehemently cursed and his father transformed into an impotent cuckold. Let the parade continue nonetheless.

Speaking of dogs and crocodiles, a crocodile rising and setting with the Sun was an ark known to the ancient Egyptians as “the fish and seat of Horus, son of Isis.” Quite naturally, another animal, the sacred cow, never to be eaten, is an ark. As for Isis’ Moon, it is the month, the ark or measure of time. Speaking again of dogs, curious dogs helped Isis find a buried child: hence dog-headed Anubis keeps watch over gods just as dogs watch over men. And let us not forget the ancient ship of the sea, the camel, the mosque of the imaginative Muslim.

Nonetheless, judging from the epithets (expletives deleted) shouted by the irate man from the crowd gathered for festivities, Isis’ personal character remains in grave doubt; a doubt that must be addressed.

It is true that Isis, like many of our most prominent forebears, has been the subject of malignant rumors concerning sex and death. The charges were brought long after the facts alleged; if true, the deeds were not considered to be immoral at the time of commission. Furthermore, as civilization supposedly advanced, so went Isis: her stories were brushed up and revised according to current taste, and, when she fell out of favor altogether, she was whitewashed, renamed, put aside in an alcove lit by candles.

In any event, we are not about to tear up our constitution because of the violence that secured it. Leaving aside the grisly details of her righteous violent moods when exasperated, the acts recounted in the ancient texts assure us that Isis was the very epitome of a chaste and devoted wife and mother. She did not cheat on her husband, nor did she remarry after her death; in fact, she went to the four corners of the earth, risking life and limb, to find him and raise him from the dead. And when, after finding him, he was stolen away by his brother and cut into pieces, she found all the pieces (save the erect vital one) and bound him together again; then she forgave the perpetrator.

Nowhere in the wide world could be found another such a persevering, courageous, compassionate, and merciful woman! No son of man, having heard of her sorrows over her sick child and how she saved him could want a better mother. Her ancient promise to her son was inscribed on a stele found Alexandria:

“I will protect thee, O my son. Fear thou not, O son, my glorious one. No evil thing whatsoever shall happen unto thee, for in thee is the seed whereof things which are to be shall be created.” And furthermore, “No reptile that stingeth shall have the mastery over thee, and no lion shall crush thee or gain mastery over thee. Thou art the son of the holy god.”

Apuleius said of Isis, many years later, “Thou art in truth the eternal and holy savior of the human race, beneficent in helping mortal men, and thou bringest the sweet love of a mother to the trials of the unfortunate.”

Isis was not, as a rude Byzantine iconoclast said disparagingly of her Western form, a purse to be used for deposits and then cast aside once the investment matured. Isis bore the gift of the healing power of wisdom because of her undying love. Indeed, she was called the Daughter of Wisdom; her mentor Thoth was father of Wisdom. Observing her love and sorrow for her poisoned child, Thoth gave Isis the healing power with the guarantee it would work in all like cases.

An ancient stele mentions a noble woman whose child was stung by a deadly scorpion because she refused to help Isis, who said:

“Mine own heart was sad for the child’s sake, and I wished to restore to life him that had committed no fault. O poison of Tefen, come forth, and appear on the ground; come not in, approach not, for I am Isis the goddess, and I am the Lady of Words of Power, and I know how to work with the words of power, and most mighty are my words! O all ye reptiles which sting, hearken unto me, and fall ye down on the ground!”

Isis applied her hands to the stricken child–mention was also made of the use of barley and an herb–and the child was saved from certain death. So by the exercise of her powerful method, the saving ark of words and technique, she coerced evil and staved off death.

Moreover, Isis was called the Lady of Immaculate Conception because of the resurrecting power of her breath. She raised the father from the Other World to conceive the son in this one. And, as mother’s milk saves the child from death once resurrected, so do her words save him from death due to ignorance while living in this world. Therefore, Isis’ civilizing inventions were legion: for example, the arts of writing, healing, spinning, brewing, bread making, sailing, and irrigation. Her agricultural achievements, by the way, allowed Osiris to abolish cannibalism; that is to say, the eating of animals including man, the most divine animal as far as her shaven-headed intimates were concerned.

Our résumé parading Isis’ virtues would be inadequate if we failed to respond to the serious allegations questioning her conceptual virginity. Indeed, we have heard from the crowd a rebuttal against the virginity proposition, indicating a contradiction that, once made obvious, would supposedly wreck even the faith of a devout fool if only he were mentally competent enough to entertain it: to wit, that the mother of all living beings cannot be, at the same time, a virgin. It is said that such a woman would be a dissolute slovenly slut rather than an absolutely virtuous woman. Our response to the defamation could be as rambling as the Nile or as convoluted as the magic serpent of Isis. Nonetheless, we must respond confidently and at some length; after all, logical contradictions are not necessarily fatal, agonizing as they may be: we see their synthesis in marriage persisting everywhere despite all arguments to the contrary.

Yes, we have heard the ancient rumor that nary a virgin could be found in all of ancient Egypt. But that aspersion is as profane and vulgar as the rumors of orgies associated with Isis’ festivities. The wiser perspective must be employed here; and, as we know, wisdom is little known, especially the esoteric wisdom that defies common sense. The initiates of the occult cult of Isis knew well the fecund secret of carnal knowledge: more expressly, that what is forbidden and kept secret excites the passions enormously. That is to say, the virginity of Isis is occluded precisely for productive reasons, causes, and becauses. Her illusory veils conceal the prized purity of her grail; her seemingly impossible perfection is the original motive of the desire always falling short of her underskirts.

Eternal Isis came before all men and women born of her; thus she, Universal Mother, is unspotted by vulgar precedent and is, therefore, unimpeachable except by those who hate life and love death; even so, Isis would comfort those who regret the day they were born, forgiving their ignorant contumely. Therefore all impeachments fail to convict the Lady of Mercy who takes precedent over everything within her ark and thus presides over the fairest trial of all.

Our abstract grammatical intercourse should be more concretely embellished by reference to the intercourse of the Nile with its Ground on the river bed. Wherefore witness the black virgin soil embracing the Nile, a strip of fertile earth broadening as it approaches the delta. The river depositing its alluvium is sometimes alluded to as Osiris, black god of the Other World and father of this green one, who periodically appears as the dragon flood subdued by Isis. The dragon rises and falls in cadence with her joys and sorrows. Her tears flood the canal of life with the fertile silt of love lost upriver. After the waters break, fall and recede into the earth, Isis rejoices in her offspring Horus, inspiring him with her power of breath. Horus comes to “avenge” Osiris, his father who is back at work in the Other World. Therefore is Earth given renewed life, and mankind given insight.

Pray note that the ancient Egyptian theologians, in their trinitarian efforts to reconcile unity with diversity in order to explain how there can be two yet only one, or how two can come from one or become one, sometimes resorted to speculative hermaphroditism. Nevertheless, their highest god, being therefore omnipotent, had no difficulty conceiving without the benefit of opposite sexes and logical proofs. In any event, the self-fertilizing Nile matrix was their primary guide, male or female or both, their self-ruling or autarkical archetype, wherein was concealed the unity of the cosmic trinity: cause-force-effect, or mother-father-child, who are one because no one is conceivable without the other two. But the Universal Mother, when the unity is divided, has virginal priority and is actually the unifying principle between the father and the child.

Furthermore, the extrapolation of the holy nuclear family, the familial triangle, is accomplished by means of royal incest: another explanation for the original production of population is implausible. We are still, loosely speaking, engaged in incest; for the virtues of human progression, incest was technically limited to the Royal Circle, where the centralizing force was conserved as life branched out from the Big Bang like rays from the sun disc. In the Royal Circle, the Virgin Universal Mother is the mother of her father who is her brother and her husband as well as her son. She is the perfect circle of family relations. She is the Virgin of Immaculate Conception because she alone gave birth to the first man. The Universal Mother, when unity is divided, still has priority.

Speaking abstractly on behalf the iconoclasts who adore Isis untouched, no physical image or metaphysical concept of Isis does her purity absolute justice: any factual or ideal representation is therefore blasphemous, even the most pleasing portrait of Madonna.

Metaphorically speaking, the mystical Isis is analogous to the absolute, continuous space that goes on forever and ever uninterrupted, a void pregnant with every possibility. That space has a real meaning although nobody knows just what it is. It is the absolute space of “common” sense, analogous to divine presence, the “empty” space metaphysicians and physicists regard as existentially untenable and conceptually impossible after imbibing great draughts of befuddling formulae from her breast. Isis, in that non-sense, is absolute liberty at the root of matter, mother of mass by virtue of her inertial matrix.

‘Twer as if something comes from nothing, that nothing being therefore the “container” or ark of the All. As boundless as continuous “empty” space may be, we still imagine space as feminine: she is the most voluptuous of females because of her infinite virginity. In her each man has his virgin to cultivate, his virgin plot of soil by the Nile, and she is as good as any and as good as all: she is a model of perfection, for no two objects can occupy the same portion of her at the same time, yet she occupies or contains them wherever and whenever they may be in the wherever/whenever continuum.

Now then, as we have been making the virginity of Isis perfectly clear, the Sun of her Maya is about to set upon our parade. Nevertheless, we shall proceed gaily into the festivities of the Night, for only there may the black virginal beauty of Isis be truly intuited.

XYX

ISIS EYE

On The Color Line

COLOR header

Bosjesman Family from Ratzel’s History of Mankind

 

ON THE COLOR LINE
by David Arthur Walters
KANSAS CITY—I have been writing about racial issues lately because when reading the local papers I discovered it was Black History Month, and then I noticed the Color Line drawn by a prominent “African-American” Kansas Citian, Lewis W. Diuguid, member of the Editorial Board of The Kansas City Star, in the form of several opinion articles celebrating Black History Month. In one of those columns he complained about the Color Line, and in another he prophesied that scientific progress and miscegenation would cause the Color Line to vanish.

COLOR MANKIND
Lewis wondered why he received so much negative email from his readers, many of whom happen to be morons like myself. I use the term ‘moron’ in the loose sense, of ‘fool.’ I am a fool for being attracted to an absurd discourse about something modern science proves does not really exist, or, if it does, is really not noticeable although almost everyone thinks it is obvious; to wit, race, the spurious basis for racism; that is, the idea that there are several human races instead of one animal subspecies, human so-called.

COLOR Chief

One might as well argue about nothing at all than to argue about something that does not exist, to say, “There is no such thing as race, but African-Americans are being discriminated against by racists.” But when one fool draws a line, other fools are bound to toe it. And Lewis did draw the Color Line when he wrote about Black History Month, implying that the rest of the months are white or are at least up for grabs by whites, reds, yellows and greens, all of whom had better watch out and not step on black toes or use the Latin term for ‘black’ during Black History Month. Of course all the months were hogged by whites until a black month was carved out, but never mind.

I am not a racist nor am I a Negrophile. I am a colorist with an aesthetic preference for blacks and browns. Unlike Moses’ sister, I am fond of that Kush woman, whom I believe was actually a priestess of Isis. Yes, my Isis is Nubian, the dazzling black virgin beauty who was, in the form of black basalt, much admired along the Nile up north in fertile Black Land, where Nubians ruled as pharaohs for a century or so— Nubians are credited with forming the first political state known to humankind. Space, as we know, is the form of Isis, just as Space is the Robe of her Time-destroying sister in Bharata, Siva’s wife Sakti when in her darker mood; I mean the one and only Black Mama, Kali Ma. That is just for beginners. In any event, I am for the underdog wherever applicable, although I admit that I was slightly embarrassed when the lights came on after the Black Panther movie; several members of the audience pointed at me and laughed: I was the only white man in the theater, and I had been cheering the revolutionaries throughout the movie.

During Black History Month, black Americans or Negro Americans are respectfully referred to as hyphenated-Americans: African-Americans. An “unidentified” Negro man was found dead this winter, frozen stiff in a Kansas City back yard. The media referred to him as an ‘African-American.’ Whereupon I wondered, if the deceased is “unidentified,” how do they know he is an African-American? Did they mean he is black? There are several nations and tribes in Africa, and not all Africans are black. If he is an African, how can he be an American at the same time? Slavery was abolished some time ago. Did he immigrate to America from Africa, or vice versa?

Well, all Americans are African if the human race originated in Africa, but we do not call ourselves African-American. In fact immigrants do not like to be hyphenated in America, so why denigrate people who have actually emigrated from Africa? Or is it that ‘African-Americans’ want to return to Africa as did the Liberians? Or maybe they do not like America at all; but then why be chained to it with a hyphen? Why not be one’s own nation, a Nation of Islam? But why have a nation limited by religion? And why, when the television stations report on crime, do they refer to Negro criminals as “black”, yet others are “African-Americans?”

Of course enlightened people know the various answers to all of these questions, for the questions have been asked and answered time and time again. Most Americans do respect the “African-American” culture whatever it may be called. We sincerely appreciate Africa’s “gifts” stolen by America. Without those gifts, WASPs would be honking hogs, or, as the Chinese used to ambiguously say during the Boxer Rebellion, grunting (preaching) pigs (lords).

But never mind. We know very well what the collective name, African-American, is supposed to mean, whether it is hyphenated or not. We know that Africans of various tribes and nations were abducted and enslaved in America and elsewhere. Slaves were separated from their mates, children, tribes and clans, and all were mixed up here and there. English replaced their several languages, yet most slaves were not allowed to read hence were kept and called ‘ignorant.’ Other elements of the English culture were forced upon them. But something generally African endured in the American mix up, wherefore “we” have African-Americans, if “they” so wish, and we appreciate the merits of Black History Month even though it draws a Color Line, confused and gray as it may be by miscegenation and science.

Our indigenous Indians were not so confused by the white barbarians, wherefore they managed to retain much of their oral history. Despite the Native American and American Indian political difference over whether they should be called American Indians or Native Americans, they still have their tribes and nations even though many languages have been lost. We do not hear anything of Apache-Americans, Sioux-Americans, and the like, for they were natives to America long before the white barbarians invaded; we think some of them are from China, perhaps arriving in North America via the Bering Straits and Polynesia while Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon people were living across the Atlantic; fast forward: we now know that a Chinese captain re-discovered “America” before Columbus arrived on the Eastern seaboard. Be that as it may, my Native American and American Indian friends do not like the compromise I came up with to resolve their dispute over their political nomenclature: Original American. And certain black Africans have also objected to the name: they lay claim to being the original South Americans, insisting that Portuguese sailors were not the first to be swept off course, from Africa to America.

But what the hell, why cannot we all just be Americans? After all, all the distinctions are being blurred by miscegenation, science, mass production and consumption. The world is next: thanks to the Blob, we shall soon all become gray and earn one dollar an hour; we shall all be Blurs!

I do not mean to make light of my subject or further blur the Color Line now that a prominent Kansas Citian, a member of The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, has clearly drawn it and complained of its existence. I realize white history left little room for black history; for instance, I have before me a book written by Dick Fowler of The Kansas City Star around 1950, entitled Leaders in Our Town, published in Kansas City by Burd & Fletcher. Fowler presents flattering biographies of 116 persons, said to be the foundation of modern Kansas City, including members of the Kemper dynasty, James M. Kemper and R. Crosby Kemper. All 116 persons are white males, of which around 90 are businessmen and 12 are professionals, mostly lawyers. When thinking of erasing the Color Line or breaking through the Glass Ceiling in the name of Equal Opportunity, it might behoove black and female leaders to harken to the words of one of the 116 leaders of Kansas City, Barney L. Allis, who managed my favorite hotel, the Muehlebach:

“Opportunity is the things that seem too difficult for the other fellow.”

I am from Hawaii; I am not used to hearing about the black Color Line – I have heard a lot about the Yellow Scare. Hawaii is one of those old so-called “melting pots of the races.” Its racism is relatively quiet and tranquil. Ethnic groups used to poke fun at each other, but uptight political correctness from the Mainland put an end to it. Blacks are popolos, whites are haoles – haole originally designated any alien or foreigner, but now it is more or less pejorative, the H-word for any white man. Hawaii has its locals, its Chinese, Japanese, Samoans, Filipinos, Portuguese, and so on. “Hawaiian” is reserved for native Hawaiians, so residents of Hawaii do not normally call themselves Hawaiians, in the sense that Texas residents call themselves Texans. American citizens are Americans (as if United States citizens owned all of America) but the Hawaiian Islands are of course not part of the American continent, Many patriotic American citizens who reside in Hawaii sympathize with those who resent Hawaii’s annexation and its aftermath, but they would never secede from the union or Costco or Wal-Mart and the like.

COLOR GAY

Gay Hawaiians

So the Mainland jabbering about “African-Americans” and the Color Line rings rather strange on my ears. If my talk about it has stepped on a few black toes during Black History Month, I beg to be pardoned for being so clumsy. In any case, token editorials do little for people who are being persecuted because of their color and other superficial characteristics, especially if those editorials are not followed up by independent investigations and the exposure of public representatives and corporate executives who perpetuate and exploit prejudice for fun, power and profit.

2004 Kansas City, Missouri

International Anarchy

INTERNATIONAL PIC

Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix

INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY

BY

DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

Kansas City 2004

When livelihoods are threatened, men organize themselves into hierarchical command structures to confront the perceived enemy. For instance, the terroristic organization called the Ku Klux Klan attracted poor whites who envisioned a White Utopia without competition from blacks.

Throughout history we observe the eventual consolidation, usually by conquest, of such local antagonists into a universal structure where there is a direct relation between a central power and its subjects, thereby overruling local antagonisms which would threaten the superstructure. One such great organization, built on the crumbling foundation lain by the Hellenic Civilization, was the Roman Empire.

Edward Gibbon, however, attributed the decline and fall of the Roman Empire to its centralization. He then praised his own civilization as the End of History, i.e., the end of war, because of its decentralization. He held the view that international anarchy tends to dissipate local troubles among fractional national conflicts, leaving the whole civilization, in the absence of central despotism, to progress in good behavior. He wrote his optimistic interpretation of former decline and fall during a brief interlude between general wars. The brief self-satisfied, complacency of his period was projected onto the future, in denial of thousands of years of history. When the French Revolution broke out, Gibbon made a run for it, returning to England and his pen fell silent: he never recovered his former optimism.

The same gross error was made before the Great War. While pleasant tracts were being penned about International Peace and how Free Trade or International Exchange precluded the possibility of war, German generals were polishing their old invasion plan and teaching it in military schools.

The Great War caused most people to lose faith in peace through Free Trade, Liberal Capitalism, International Anarchy, and like mental Idols: witness World War II and its drives to centralization of power.

More recently the fat cats were pleased again: their hired apologists, the intelligentsia, were rewriting the book yet again (The End of History), thinking their statistically insignificant period of peace and prosperity was the end all, the precedent to Utopia instead of yet another luxurious forewarning of international terrorism.

Today’s self-styled anarchists also extol “anarchy,” the pure form of which is chaos or incomprehensible nothingness, with its decentralization of authority, as conducive to peace; yet all the evidence speaks to the contrary. Pseudo- and quasi- hyphenated-anarchists speak about the utopian Good and how it would somehow magically preside over the Earth if only people were left to their own devices. They would purportedly be as one in their differences and enjoy a gigantic orgasm.

But war occurs because people cannot agree on the particulars of Good. Values people swear by are plural; and when a particular value is presupposed as a Universal Good and someone acts on it in a certain way, the presupposition is bound to find opposition in the world. Thus Confucius said he would be satisfied if only he could meet a wise man, for a wise man is he who knows the difference between good and evil.

Today we see the anarchical non-principle at work in disparate terrorist “cells,” which, despite their different and often contradictory views (even mobsters show up for ill-gotten gains), cooperate loosely to wreak havoc and panic on the world. We hear anarcho-philosophers (another oxymoronic term, for where philosophy begins anarchy ends) waxing eloquent on utopias while authentic anarchists engage in propaganda by terror. Left to his own devices, and unrestrained by terror, the genuine anarchist terrifies others by murder and mayhem. Bomb-laden anarchists seem to have various aims in mind and have incoherent manifestoes in their greasy pockets and in the drawers of untidy rented apartments, but when we try to generalize those aims the result is destruction in general. The true anarchist’s heaven on Earth is hellish in fact, for it precludes the existence of any authority except his own.

Genuine anarchists have naturally been useful to political organizations, for, regardless of the size of an organization, whether the organization is an individual person or a nation or a world, it is both a terrifying and a terrified organization. Its organization is graced under “fear of the rod”, a fact much resented by juveniles who, even when physically mature, deny the relation between fear and love. Fortunately mother-love does assuage the painful fact of life, but never deletes it until the bitter end. But once the anarchist has served the cause, he will be betrayed; that is, if he has not already been blown to bits, perhaps counted as a convenient martyr for the cause at hand.

Now we witness the United States, the most powerful terrorist nation the world has ever known, attempt to bomb the world into pacific submission after its attempt to impose neo-liberal capitalism and its money-god on the globe failed. Once again the trend is towards the colossal centralization which Gibbon saw as the very cause for the decline of a universal empire, a cause bound to attract the ire of under dogs against top dogs. And those under dogs will sympathize with and spawn authentic anarchists who will, for the sake of a Paradise that does not exist and an indefinite god, be orgasmically delighted to bring down the twin towers of Babylon.

Horror of horrors! Ironically, we all have good cause to fear the Frankensteinian globalization effort even more than we fear the monstrous terrorists who demand, for example, that the U.S. get its military bases off Muslim land and stop funding a terrorist state in the Middle East.

“Who elected terrorists to speak for Islam?”

“Why does the U.S. support non-democratic regimes in other lands?”

If the U.S. were to conduct a War For Democracy instead of a War Against Terrorism, one might think it would overthrow the despotic governments it now supports; the people themselves would rule; U.S. citizens would know what was really wanted of them and would, if they truly had faith in democracy, get out of other people’s homes if not welcome.

Neither centralization nor decentralization is the solution to terrorism nor is either dystopian structure the form of Utopia. Like it or not, not matter what the form may be, the end of history is death. The most we can hope for is a natural death, a notion that flies in the face of militants who believe that a man who does not die for his cause is not a man at all.

Yes, some say human violence is natural and necessary in order for there to be progress from evil to good; every moral advance is from evil, else why bother to move? Fortunately, we have evidence in the real world of a natural harmony of universal and particular interests; it may have its discordant periods, yet the marriage can enjoy them for what they are and revel in its happier moments too while life goes on.

Appearances can be deceiving and reason is cunning not wise in itself. Beware lest your leadership be extremely unwise. It appears to be just that: be left to your own devices not theirs.

XYX

 

From: THE TERRIBLE TIMES by David Arthur Walters

 

SOHO Bay Restaurant Reopens With Gun to Head

SOHO header

 

SOHO BAY RESTAURANT REOPENS WITH GUN TO HEAD

Management is “Not exactly thrilled by the circumstances”

27 November 2015

By David Arthur Walters

THE SOUTH BEACH HERALD

SOHO Restaurant at Bentley Bay, forced to close for nearly three months by unanticipated road construction, has finally reopened. The event was celebrated with the community in a two-hour, exceedingly generous Grand Reopening, well attended despite the fact that ingress from West Avenue was still blocked and access was otherwise tricky.

SOHO Crowded Sushi Area

The closing in August was not so grand. Max Heindl, its general manager, complained to the New Times that the road construction that completely boxed in the upscale sushi restaurant on the north end of West Avenue had not been planned overnight although it caught him by surprise. He said he could have kept the place open with no customers or shut it down to save on expenses, likening the option to having a gun put to his head.

The closure naturally resulted in a significant loss of impetus, diminishing the expectations of potential customers, to mention the loss of employees, and the current loss of least $2 million of revenue, putting quite a drag on an estimated $3.5 million capital investment not counting extraordinary startup costs.

SOHO Mermaid Chef Macabre

The gun is still to the head, figuratively speaking. Martin Marsh, SOHO’s assistant general manager, declined to discuss the numbers and other proprietary information except to say that the owners were “not exactly thrilled” by the circumstances; the gun-to-the-head metaphor was “a little excessive”; the restaurant was “working with the city” including a commissioner, in “an ongoing process to resolve issues”; and it would be “inappropriate” to complain about city officials.

He said he did not know if the landlord, prominent realtor and developer Scott Robins, a close friend and partner of developer Mayor Philip Levine, was aware of the upcoming road construction when he leased the space. He said that, to the best of his knowledge, Mr. Robins was not involved in working anything out with the city.

Government agencies are occasionally sued for interrupting businesses with construction. For example, Michael Jordon’s Steakhouse, which opened in 1998 and spearheaded the revival of Grand Center Station, has sued a state agency, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, for literally destroying its business with construction activities.

Holding cities liable for damages even for grossly negligent conduct is problematic in Florida given the sovereign immunity bestowed on agencies by the state’s highest court despite a statute supposedly waiving it. Sovereign immunity is said to have only added to the negligence and arrogance of public officials.

A sympathetic general manager for a Lincoln Road establishment, commenting anonymously to protect his business from retaliation, said that SOHO never should have tried to open when it did. It should have waited for construction to end, if it had known it was coming, and that would include the promised installation of a dock at its entrance where yachts could land.

“May God help them,” he said.

He recalled that Lincoln Road retailers and restaurants had recently approached City Manager Jimmy Morales about the scheduling of the upcoming re-landscaping of Lincoln Road. He said Mr. Morales promised there would be plenty of time before approval to work things out with the businesses. Two weeks later, the plan was approved without their input. He characterized the city manager as a liar in vulgar terms, saying businesses should never trust him.

He also said that the city would pay SOHO’s rent to Scott Robins for the period it was closed. Commissioner Michael Grieco denied that has yet occurred because it would have to be approved by the commission.

Brazilian Restaurateur Karine Queiroz opened her first restaurant in 1998, in Bahia. She had eight restaurants in Brazil when she opened in South Beach. She has nearly doubled her restaurant count since 2013.

She has not responded by deadline to several questions forwarded to her; for example, whether she believes the City of Miami Beach is easier to deal with than so-called Third World governments, and what is the secret of her success. We shall have to guess.

Location is important, but is not the all. SOHO is located at the Miami Beach end of MacArthur Causeway, which is becoming a sort of traffic center given recent developments. It is remote from other restaurants except for a successful one at the yacht harbor nearby, yet that is no problem if it can attract the sort of upscale clientele that live  the beside water in that neighborhood, in addition to people who yacht and drive in. Parking and easy pedestrian access are key.

SOHO View Macarthur
View from Dining Room

Of course employing the right wait staff, the foot soldiers, is crucial to success. They will be personable, intelligent servers committed to providing excellent service, and will want to stay around, on the average, for several years. That means they will need good tips. So the restaurant must be busy, and that means it must have, besides good service, good food hence good chefs and cooks.

SOHO RICKY SAURI

SOHO is fusion sushi, and fusion is in now. When an area is flooded with the fusion of this and that with Asian or whatever, the fusion must be something special. Ricky Sauri, executive chef, is taking care of that at SOHO. He has top-notch experience. Besides, we know that many of the best chefs in the country are Puerto Ricans.

SOHO Chef MAX

Ricky has Max Kamakura, an amazing Japanese sushi chef from Brazil, on his team. Fabian Failla, the service manager, had Max prepare a spectacular assortment of sushi for me. I asked Max if the delightful combination or all the items on the plate was on the menu. He said he would probably not duplicate the plate or some of the items in the future as he preferred to be creative once he knew the general preferences of customers.

SOHO Sushi Dish

Of course a good restaurant must have excellent management to facilitate the performance of everyone they manage instead of getting in their way and alienating them, and they must please customers and owners, and do a myriad of things including working things out constructively with city officials.

SOHO Road Block

SOHO business is still impeded by construction besides West Avenue construction blockade. At present the large parking lot beside 520 West Avenue is helpful, but it will be soon replaced by a garage, so more construction. The intersection at Fifth and Alton is lacking two crosswalks that would allow pedestrians to safely approach the front entrance from the shopping center and the South of Fifth neighborhood. Again, access by car is tricky.

Notwithstanding the current impediments, the Grand Reopening was packed with people who managed to arrive to consume what must have been $20,000 in food, not to mention staffing costs.

SOHO Sushi MermaidHealthy Photo Credit- Michael Trainer

Mr. Marsh is a smart young man with good public relations skills. When I commented that it is taking way too long to get the restaurant up and running, he said that SOHO’s objective is “not to be the restaurant of the year,” but to “grow organically.”

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View of from portico – Brazilian American Chamber event

SOHO portico view ICON

Silver Sneakers Snubs South Beach Seniors

 

CRUNCH Moi

 

SILVER SNEAKERS SNUBS SOUTH BEACH SENIORS

Crunch Fitness Members Left in Lurch

Thanksgiving Day 2015

By David Arthur Walters

THE SOUTH BEACH HERALD

Shareholders can thank Healthways Silver Sneakers for dropping Crunch Fitness, the only affordable, full-service health club on South Beach, from its list of gyms available to Medicare Advantage insureds, and for attempting to deceive the hapless seniors into believing a comparable benefit would be conveniently provided.

Crunch Fitness South Beach participants were notified of the change by an undated propaganda letter shortly before Thanksgiving Day, less than two weeks before the end of the annual Medicare Advantage enrollment period.

The propaganda implied that Crunch is at fault for “no longer participating in the program,” and invited dumped seniors to enroll somewhere else “as we seek another location that will be convenient to you.” Crunch Fitness did not respond by deadline to requests for an explanation.

For seniors, many of whom are economically challenged, and who may not have a car, “somewhere else” means transportation expenses of about $5 a day, more than an hour’s drive or two hours a day on the county’s pathetic bus system.

And there will be no comparable, convenient location in South Beach as long as the tradition of pushing seniors and the working poor off the beach continues, to make way for luxury developments in accord with the political-economic program that Mayor Philip Levine, a wealthy developer, rightly called “relentless for progress” when soliciting funds from developers for a political action committee lauding him.

Crunch Fitness South Beach is the low-priced gym in South Miami Beach, at $87 per month after raising its fee this year by $3. A confidential source within the organization said it would probably gladly accept $40 from Silver Sneakers for seniors as a public service.

The only alternative full service gym on South Beach, Equinox Fitness, charges more than double Crunch’s monthly fee. Given the nature of its business, it is high improbable that Equinox would reach out with affordable fees to economically challenged persons.

David Barton’s upscale club folded on the second bankruptcy. Gold’s became South Beach Active, then folded. The problem is exorbitant real estate values fueled by surplus capital relentlessly seeking profits, cheap and often laundered money, and morally if not criminally corrupt politicians. The result has been to push working class people and retired seniors on low fixed incomes off the beach.

A Healthways propagandist refused to disclose the nature of the disagreement with Crunch because that sort of information is “proprietary.”

The proprietors certainly are not its Silver Sneakers members, who have no rights whatsoever, and must accept whatever intermediary their insurance company selects for them.

Indeed, Healthways, calling itself a “well being” management company, serves the interest of insurance companies, employers, and governments, an interest obviously superior to the well being of the ultimate consumers: the insureds, employees, and taxpayers who are not even referred to as customers in the corporate literature posted on the Internet.

And the main interest of the organization appears to be superior even to the interests of shareholders; that is, the interests of its highly paid executives. The firm, with $742 million in revenue in fiscal 2014, laid out $4.4 million dollars in the third quarter this year to get rid of its former president and CEO, and then laid 68,531 shares, today valued at $872,000, of restricted stock (HWAY) on its new president and CEO as a supposed incentive. Hedrick Smith’s national bestseller (Who Stole the American Dream?) contradicts the notion that stock incentives actually produce stellar results, except to executives. It is more than likely that public relations propaganda about expectations for the company under new management as well as the general market hype will at one time or another elevate the successor’s stock holdings regardless of his personal performance.

This badly managed health care management company has lost tens of millions of dollars, and expects twenty-five more millions to be lost in the fourth quarter for restructuring charges intended to align the interests of management with the shareholders’ interests in profits. Operations will be “decentralized” despite its current blindness to local consumer needs. Costs will be “rationalized” in order to “lower health related costs,” which probably explains why Silver Sneaker “members” with Crunch Fitness are getting the shaft on South Beach.

The total loss will exceed its retained earnings, as it gives away shares to officers pursuant to the fallacy that, by tying their interest to that of shareholders, they will have an incentive to improve performance. Will they ever learn? Well, executives have learned to line their pockets at shareholder expense despite earnings performance. Share values rise and fall with expectations. The herd has a short memory.

By the way, the third quarter loss did not include a $20 million investment loss in a joint venture with Gallup, with which Healthways partnered for 25 years in an endeavor to track and manipulate human behavior. They created the so-called Well-Being Index in 2012. The public is randomly polled with 10 questions appertaining to 5 elements, physical health being the last element on the list published on the Internet.

Physical health is the main reason people join fitness centers. Regular exercise in full-service fitness clubs reduces health care expenses. Badly managed health care management is bound to add to the cost of health care. It very well may be that private health care management intermediaries like Healthways, whose interests are aligned more with executives and shareholders than with the health of the ultimate beneficiaries, actually cost more than they are expected to save.

The choice of a convenient fitness center should be left to the consumer. The consumer should be issued the insurance company’s electronic voucher for a flat amount, determined by the average rate charged in the locality for that type of facility, to be applied to the chosen club’s monthly charge. The difference, if any, would be paid by the fitness center member. Fitness centers would be certified by an independent nonprofit entity.

In the interim, Crunch Fitness, a brand that harkens back to the good old days, would profit in several ways by offering a special senior rate to locals. The potential local market for that service is about $160,000 per month in additional revenue at $40 per senior. Seniors generally attend during off hours.

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Drug Free Society Politics

DRUG FREE PIC

DRUG FREE SOCIETY

BY

DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

 

Modern authorities just like the traditional ones rely on the magical power of words in the form of propaganda to propagate their will and to render their subjects docile and obedient. The modern power elite, however, have at their beck and call the efficient means of mass terror as well as the means of direct communication with the masses. Since the power elite control the massive political-economic apparatus, and therefore have the ability to determine whether a man works, or whether he is able to buy a house or a car and so on with debt or not, and also has the ability to determine the relative value of money itself, they can usually keep their instruments of mass murder concealed domestically, relying on economic means to terrify the masses and to consequently keep people in line.

Under the current regime, keeping the people intimidated in mass production and consumption with both virtual and real means keeps them preoccupied with officially defined work whether that work is meaningful or not. The power elite’s propaganda is intended to make the production and consumption of vast quantities of superfluous “goods” somewhat meaningful or at least unquestionable. If the truth were told, much of that stuff is really trash, garbage and junk. Alas that people who have not been rendered zombies by advertising, must cooperate in producing stuff brainwashed people want in order to supply their own, real needs. That is not to say everyone should not have what they want provided it does no harm to others by depriving them of their needs—there must be a viable alternative to the so-called rational economy as the way of life.

A United States President speaks of work-fare as the means to get people off well-fare and to impress upon them the “dignity of work”. He does not speak at all of the dignity of the worker, or mention the fact that most of the working population, who have never been on well-fare, are engaged in make-work already, are already, therefore, on work-fare: for they must waste their lives churning out trash and junk just to survive, just to have the basic necessities of life. That is the nature of the political-economic machine: that the wealthy have their fine enduring treasures to be passed down to their descendants in accordance with the natural law of wealth, while the servants are kept occupied building up those fortunes, employees to be paid with fast food, cheap imitation goods, trinkets, gadgets and toys to keep them preoccupied in their off hours. The anxiety resulting from this system of slavery is allayed with drugs both legal and illegal, produced by the two major forms of organized crime: the mob and the government. The plantation, the castle, the club is therefore safe.

In fact, the United States population is presently being treated as the population of a gigantic mental hospital, where patients are to be kept busy with work-therapy. To question one’s existence under the current regimen of drugs and work, to confront the futility of that existence and to seriously consider suicide is discouraged; for suicidal thoughts can lead not only to self-murder but to revolt, to the murder of the power elite and their authorized minions on down the pecking order even to the deluded bosses in the pits who have sold out to the hellish political-economic scheme.

The virtual suicide of an unexamined life perpetuated under the repressive power elite, which is anathema to any free individual, is the modern mode of existence; or, rather, the mode of non-existence and walking death: for he who does not think does not exist as a real human being. Hence extensive psychoanalysis is out, and a life of quick fixes, of short-term, feel-good therapies and drug-induced states of intellectual paralysis and mental enslavement is in. The goal of this sort of therapy is productiveness for the security and well-being of the power elite who gloat on luxuries while handing out tokens and facsimiles to the virtually enslaved rank and file.

A Surgeon General of the United States has defined mental health as productiveness, therefore mental illness is whatever interferes with working-for-the-Man; mental disease is the inability to lead a productive life of work therapy, although that work is often meaningless or despised. And for that unease the good surgeon recommends that drug factories keep churning out massive quantities of psychotropic dope. Especially favored as worker-candy are the serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

A few rebels left who are quite aware of what is happening but it behooves them to keep their mouths shut. Some of them used to self-medicate themselves with illicit drugs just to be rebellious. A few have gotten themselves totally clean, and have even foresworn nicotine and alcohol, two of the most popular mass-produced drugs the power elite has capitalized on for profit and pushed to keep the population obedient. Of course, smoking and drinking on the job is prohibited, for there workers must concentrate on making profits; but most workers are not arrested or fired because nicotine or alcohol from the previous night’s rest and relaxation has been found in their urine or blood streams. There are some very good reasons for that.

For example, nicotine poisoning causes the body to produce a natural pain killer thus dissipating somewhat the urge to kill one’s chieftains. The remaining homicidal urge is directed into other harmless activities that benefit the ruling elite. That is, harmless except for the self-destruction of the smoker who generates huge revenues for the medical community to take advantage of, in revenge, perhaps, for the suffering one has to withstand to become a doctor. Be that as it may, many an authority’s life has been saved by a smoke break. Furthermore, the coffers of the drug pushers and their harlots in Washington are brimming over.

Alcohol is especially tolerated, inasmuch as it also acts as a safety valve. Alcohol provides a false feeling of power, muddles the mind, and helps deflect the urge to kill the power elite onto helpless women and children and external enemies. An ancient priesthood of reformed power-drinkers managed very early to get out of harm’s way by ritualizing the drunken war parties that are preludes to and aftermaths of mass rape, murder and pillage. The religious elite soon threw up elaborate bureaucracies to administer the plunder and to keep the violence directed at the foreign enemies of the national god instead of the domestic rulers the priesthood anointed in order to maintain its servile status.

Therefore, it is obvious that a true rebel today must avoid nicotine and alcohol along with all the other population-control drugs used to supplement or replace them.

Ironically, one rebel, who is himself a total abstainer from drugs of all kinds, recently proposed the ergot poisoning of the bread supply. This rebel, who calls himself “Manny”, believes people have rocks in their heads, mental rocks formed by fighting over corresponding rocks in the ground and over artificially produced rocks called “goods”. He believes those mental rocks must be dissolved by hallucinogenic acids in order to prevent people from getting completely stoned to death by their own conformity to the dictates of the power elite.

I interviewed Manny at his secret laboratory in the Oregon wild. A full transcript of that interview is scheduled to be released in the near future, so I can only cursorily mention a few matters we discussed.

Manny admitted to being a reformed alcoholic; he said he was cured with the aid of LSD. He stated that, during his withdrawal from alcohol, he became eager to help his fellow man, so he proceeded to dump large quantities of LSD into the Oregon water supply, thinking it was a sure cure for conformity. Manny did not know at the time that immersing LSD in water renders it useless. When he discovered that to be the case, he decided, after some further research, that a special strain of ergot would do the trick, and set about producing the same in his lab. His plans to launch it have since been rudely interrupted by his untimely death when he tried to fly off the Brooklyn Bridge.

Manny, in response to my pointed questions, admitted many hallucinating people would run amuck on the streets after his product is launched into the bread supply, convinced that they had gone completely mad; he further admitted that many people would be hurt as a consequence. But he said those injuries would be merely contingent and not necessary. He insisted most people “would wake up and get real.” One of the first things they would do upon awakening, he said, would be to rid themselves of the “parasitic pigs” which he constantly referred to as “the tribal thugs of the forces of darkness”.

As for a drug-free society, Manny said a drug-free society would be impossible to obtain without slaughtering at least a quarter of the population. When I asked him if it would not suffice to simply limit the consumption of mind altering and mood enhancing drugs, including nicotine, alcohol, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, upper and downers, and so on, to prisons, and to arrest and confine in those prisons anyone caught using such drugs, Manny balked. I suggested that those prisons might be used to produce many of the necessities needed by the free people outside, and that to build and to maintain the new prison system would also provide many free people with a productive occupation. This gave Manny some pause for thought, apparently, as he went into a trance, concluding the interview.

As I have indicated, Manny’s responses will soon be published, at which time I shall fully address my many concerns with his proposal to clear the minds of the repressed population by means of ergot poisoning. His plot was rather bizarre, but some of his arguments against the status quo have merit.

In the interim, from what I have already said, some people might be motivated to at least reduce their intake of those substances mentioned, and to prepare for the overthrow of the power elite. It is to that end that I also urge people to reduce their consumption of the propaganda being propagated to render the masses docile and obedient.

TO BE CONTINUED