A Running Mate, Spring, 2000

Image‘On May 10 I had dinner with the governor in Austin to go over the information we had gathered on the first set of prospective candidates. I brought two copies of the binder that contained background information on each. I handed one copy to the governor and kept the other for myself, so I could walk him through it. We had not written down the most sensitive material, so I briefed the governor on it orally. Before we began this first session, I told Governor Bush that what we were about to discuss was highly sensitive, and we had to ensure complete confidentiality. Of course, he agreed, and at the end of each of our meetings to discuss the candidates, he would hand his copy of the briefing book back to me.

Two people not on our list were Colin Powell and John McCain. Both had made it clear that they weren’t interested. One candidate who spent a short time on the real list was Don Rumsfeld. Not long after I took on the assignment of managing the selection process, I placed a call to Don and said, “I’m pulling together a list of potential VP candidates, and I’d like to put your name on it. You don’t have to say yes, but if you don’t say anything, I’m going to put your name on the list.” There was silence on the other end of the phone line, so I added Don’s name and left him in a position where he could truthfully say he had not asked to be on the list.’

In My Time, Dick Cheney, with Liz Cheney, Threshold Editions, 2011.

Photo by Cherie A. Thurlby

Back to Bachimba

Image‘No doubt my chagrin was accentuated by the fact that Pancho Villa’s exploits were a constant topic of conversation in our household. My entire childhood seems to be shadowed by his presence. At our dinner table, almost every night, we would listen to endlessly repeated accounts of this battle, that stratagem, or some great act of Robin Hood kindness by el centauro del norte….

…As if to deepen our sense of Villismo, my parents also taught us “Adelita” and “Se llevaron el canon para Bachimba”  (“They took the canons to Bachimba”), the two most famous songs of the Mexican revolution. Some twenty years later (during my stint at Harvard Law School), while strolling along the Charles River, I would find myself softly singing, “Se llevaron el canon para Bachimba, para Bachimba, para Bachimba” over and over again. That’s all I could remember of that poignant rebel song. Though I had been born there, I had always regarded “Bachimba” as a fictitious, made-up, Lewis Carroll kind of word. So that eight year ago, when I first returned to Mexico, I was literally stunned when I came to a crossroad south of Chihuahua and saw an old road marker: “Bachimba 18 km.” Then it really exists–I shouted inwardly– Bachimba is a real town! Swinging onto the narrow, poorly paved road, I gunned the motor and sped toward the town I’d been singing about since infancy. It turned out to be a quiet, dusty village with a bleak worn-down plaza that was surrounded by nondescript buildings of uncertain vintage.’

‘Back to Bachimba’ Enrique Hank Lopez, Horizon, Winter, 1967

The Spirit of Gregory Efimovich Rasputin-Novykh of the village of Pokrovskoe


‘I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1. I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa, to the Russian Mother and to the Children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, will have nothing to fear, remain on your throne and govern, and you, Russian Tsar, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia. But if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be no nobles in the country. Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Gregory has been killed, you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought my death then no one of your family, that is to say, none of your children or relations will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people… I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, be strong, think of your blessed family. Gregory’

Letter written by Gregory Rasputin in December, 1916. The mystic and adviser to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra was murdered by Prince Felix Felixovich Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovic on December 29, 1916.

The Community Rule

Cave 1 Scroll

‘These are the rules by which they shall judge at a Community Inquiry according to the cases….

Whoever has borne malice against his companion unjustly shall do penance for six months/one year; and likewise, whoever has taken revenge in any matter whatever.

Whoever has spoken foolishly: three months.

Whoever has interrupted his companion whilst speaking: ten days.

Whoever has lain down to sleep during an Assembly of the Congregation: thirty days. And likewise, whoever has left, without reason, an Assembly of the Congregation as many as three times during one Assembly, shall do penance for ten days. But if he has departed whilst they were standing he shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has gone naked before his companion, without having been obliged to do so, he shall do penance for six months.

Whoever has spat in an Assembly of the Congregation shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has been so poorly dressed that when drawing his hand from beneath his garment his nakedness has been seen, he shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has guffawed foolishly shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has drawn out his left hand to gesticulate with it shall do penance for ten days.

Whoever has gone about slandering his companion shall be excluded from the pure Meal of the Congregation for one year and shall do penance. But whoever has slandered the Congregation shall be expelled from among them and shall return no more.’

IQS: Cave 1 / Qumran / “Serekh” = ‘rule’, 408 BCE to 318 CE

The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, G. Vermes, Penguin Books, 1962

Photographs by Ardon Bar Hama, author of original document is unknown. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional public domain work of art.

The Creation of Hercule Poirot


‘I left it to develop and turned my attention to the detective. Who could I have as a detective? I reviewed such detectives as I had met and admired in books. There was Sherlock Holmes, the one and only–I should never be able to emulate him. There was Arsene Lupin– was he a criminal or a detective? Anyway, not my kind. There was the young journalist Rouletabille in The Mystery of the Yellow Room— that was the sort of person whom I would like to invent: someone who hadn’t been used before. Who could I have? A schoolboy? Rather difficult. A scientist? What did I know of scientists? Then I remembered our Belgian refugees. We had quite a colony of Belgian refugees living in the parish of Tor. Everyone had been bursting with loving kindness and sympathy when they arrived. People had stocked houses with furniture for them to live in, had done everything they could to make them comfortable. There had been the usual reaction later, when the refugees had not seemed to be sufficiently grateful for what had been done for them, and complained of this and that. The fact that the poor things were bewildered and in a strange country  was not sufficiently appreciated. A good many of them were suspicious peasants, and the last thing they wanted was be asked out to tea or have people drop in upon them; they wanted to be left alone, to be able to keep to themselves; they wanted to save money, to dig their garden and to manure it in their own particular and intimate way.

Why not make my detective a Belgian? I thought. There were all types of refugees. How about a refugee police officer? A retired police officer. Not a young one. What a mistake I made there. The result is that my fictional detective must really be well over a hundred by now.

Anyway, I settled on a Belgian detective. I allowed him slowly to grow into his part. He should have been an inspector, so that he would have a certain knowledge of crime. He would be meticulous, very tidy, I thought to myself, as I cleared away a good many odds and ends in my own bedroom. A tidy little man. I could see him as a tidy little man, always arranging things, liking things in pairs, liking things square instead of round.’

Agatha Christie An Autobiography, Agatha Christie, William Collins Sons & Co Ltd, 1977.

Henry Kissinger’s International Mind File Postal System

Brice Taylor codified the tenets of modern conspiracism in 1999’s THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES… THE TRUTH HAS SET ME FREE! The memoirs of Bob Hope’s and Henry Kissinger’s mind-controlled slave. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES is a touchstone on conspiracy theory forums–alternately used to silence skeptics (‘Read Brice Taylor’s book!’) or disparaged by people who think Taylor and TRANCE Formation of America author Cathy O’Brien are patsies– deliberately outlandish distractions from the real victims of the Illuminati’s Wizard of Oz and Disney-based mind-control programming.


‘Henry created a mental postal exchange system inside my head. He created it first visually by telling me that there was a large box in my head with separate boxes inside of it and they each had a different key. He explained that there were rows of numbered boxes positioned layer upon layer. Programs were attached to numbers or people, places, or documents, etc., which were attached to numbered boxes. George Bush wanted always to be #1 in everything so Henry had to change someone else’s number to give George the #1 box. This system worked like a post office so that people had a box and they could receive or send information at their box. This system was the way the higher ups kept their communication clear and anonymous when access was necessary.  It kept the Council’s messages clear for me to deliver accurately or to receive a message to take back to them. It kept messages clear and straight to be delivered between people who were involved and didn’t want to be identified as knowing, or communicating with, each other. I met with and delivered messages to the Council, at times, on huge ships out in the middle of the ocean.

I was most often helicoptered to ships, hotels, islands, or wherever I was to deliver this anonymous information. Once the information had been exchanged, I was helicoptered back. Henry created the programed system for these communications. He was the mastermind of lots of their plans, and used me to further it. Kissinger, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Thatcher, Mitterrand, Trudeau, Gorbachev, Salinger, Ford, Nixon, etc. all participated.’

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES… THE TRUTH HAS SET ME FREE! The memoirs of Bob Hope’s and Henry Kissinger’s mind-controlled slave, Brice Taylor, 1999

Photograph: White House Photo office, June 10, 1981

Entering Taxis and Cars


‘Low-slung taxis and cars sometimes make it difficult for a woman being accompanied by a man to enter first, especially if her skirt is tight and short, if she is in evening clothes, or for any other reason. It is now perfectly proper for her to say, “Will you please get in first?” The man should do so quickly, seat himself to her left, and perhaps offer her his hand as she enters and, if there is no doorman, reach over and close the door. If the car or taxi subsequently pulls up to the curb in a way that doesn’t leave the man seated on the curb side, he must excuse himself and cross carefully if he can in front of the woman to assist her out if there is no one else to do this.

On entering a taxi it is perhaps more graceful to put the left foot on the floor first, instead of trying to enter with head and shoulders first. Then, with the foot on the floor, insert the body sideways in a semisitting position. In a very low-slung sports car when the top is down it is possible to seat oneself sideways on the seat, feet on the ground, then, legs together, lift the feet into the car. When the top is up, the preceding directions for taxis work best.

On leaving low-slung cars or taxis, slide along the seat until you can put one or both feet on the ground when the door is opened. Then lower your head and ease out.’

Amy Vanderbilt’s Etiquette: The Guide to Gracious Living, Drawings by Fred McCarroll, Mary Suzuki, Andy Warhol, Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1952.

Photo: William C. Shrout

The Diarist of Iran’s Royal Court

Asadollah Alam was the H.R. Haldeman to the Shah of Iran’s Richard Nixon. Loyal and adoring (‘I would gladly lay down my life for him, even now,’ Alam wrote in the final entry of his diary), he served as Prime Minister (1962-1964), and in 1966 he was appointed Minister to the Court of His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavī (HIM, in Alam’s journals). Alam remained in this position almost until his death in April of 1978. Like his friend the Shah, Alam had cancer, a diagnosis both men’s physicians hid from the patients, who were constantly visiting specialists and trying new treatments and medications. Alam’s fascinating diaries stretch from 1968-1977. Pahlavi was overthrown on February 11, 1979, an event Alam dreaded and came close to prophesying in his journal.


‘Tuesday, June 21, 1977

Audience… Asked HIM what he made of William Sullivan, the new US ambassador. ‘No hint of the demagogue,’ he said. ‘Strikes me as having his head screwed on.’ Reported that he’s asked to call on me, but that I’ve postponed the meeting for a week so that he won’t think I’m unduly anxious to see him.

It has been hinted abroad that Senator McGovern may head some sort of enquiry into Savak’s activities in the USA. HIM told me that, when I meet the ambassador, I should remark to him pleasantly that our own Senate has likewise decided to investigate CIA activities in Iran… Submitted the Daily Telegraph‘s review of HIM’s latest book. I told him that it struck me as being favourable. ‘What on earth’s “favourable” about it?’, he snapped back, as soon as he’d read it. I told him to look again at the final paragraph. ‘What do you suppose this word, “megalomania” means?’, he said. ‘Greatness,’ I replied. ‘Greatness be damned’, he exclaimed. ‘Greatness to the point of madness.’ I was thoroughly ashamed of myself. I should have read it more carefully, but by then it was too late.

The Shah and I: The Confidential Diary of Iran’s Royal Court, 1968-77, Asadollah Alam, Edited by Alinaghi Alikhani, Translated by Alinaghi Alikhani and Nicholas Vincent, I.B. Tauris, 1991.

A Lunch Date, September, 1979


In the summer of 1979, Senator Edward M. Kennedy was threatening to challenge President Jimmy Carter for their party’s nomination in the upcoming election. Senator Kennedy’s aide Richard Burke phoned Carter’s Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan in August. He told Jordan the Senator had something personal he wished to discuss with the President. A lunch date was set for early September:

‘Upstairs in the residential quarters, on an outdoor terrace overlooking the Rose Garden, Mrs. Carter joined the President and Senator for a brief time, and the atmosphere remained cordial.

The First Lady left and, over their luncheon, the two national leaders discussed various current issues and the conversation remained civilized. The Senator spoke about his feeling that the country was adrift and needed stronger leadership. He quietly announced that for the sake of the Democratic party, and the country, he was going to make an effort to attain the presidency. Unstated was the hope that the President would gracefully bow out, leaving the Senator with an open field.

But it was not going to be that easy. President Carter demurred politely. He agreed that the country was beset by problems, but declared his belief that he was dealing with these problems effectively.

They finished their discussion over coffee, and then the President and the Senator returned to the Map Room, along with Jordan. Jordan introduced me to the President, who greeted me warmly. To my astonishment, he then left the Senator with Jordan and took me on a tour of the Map Room, taking his time, commenting, ‘This is where President Roosevelt and Churchill met.’ He pulled out various maps and showed them to me, seemingly unhurried. I said to myself, No wonder this guy won in 76. He has the ability to make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world.

Finally, the President and Jordan walked us out to the Rose Garden, to our car, where driver Jay Morgan waited. The President shook hands with us both and wished us a good day.

Afterward, as we rode back to the Senate, I commented, ‘God, the President was so nice to me. It was incredible.’

The Senator was livid. He snapped, ‘That’s just because he wanted to irritate me. He did that on purpose. He knew I was waiting. He wanted me to get the impression that he was unfazed by what I said.’

The Senator: My Ten Years with Ted Kennedy, Richard E. Burke, with William and Marilyn Hoffer, St. Martin’s Press, 1992

 White House Staff Photographers. (01/20/1977 – 01/20/1981), President Carter meets with Senator Kennedy in the Oval Office, 20 October, 1977

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving


‘Having houseguests I think really requires as much help as you can possibly afford. If you plan dinner parties you have to have someone serve and clean up. A minimum of one. I’d rather save pennies and have guests only once a year, with enough staff to run everything beautifully, than to have to spend all my time in the kitchen, knowing that the ashtrays weren’t being emptied and the dirty dishes had to be dealt with surreptitiously in the middle of the night. Having houseguests should be fun, not drudgery.’

My Way of Life, Joan Crawford, Simon & Schuster, 1971.