Eternal Sunshine #98

March 2015

By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149

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Yes, I went ahead and listed a new Game Opening…a Gunboat game this time.  Email me if you want in, still 5 spots left.




“Danger to Elizabeth” by Alison Plowden

Reviewed by Paul Milewski

     These excerpts are from the book (ISBN 978-0-7509-2196-1), first published in 1973, of which I own a copy of the 2010 edition.  It provides a glimpse into the strife between Protestants and Catholics during the reign of Elizabeth I. 

[Page 25]

      She gave the world its first definite clue as to the course she meant to follow on Christmas Day 1558 by sending a message to Owen Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle, ordering him not to elevate the Host at High Mass.  The bishop, reported [Spanish Ambassador] de Feria, answered stoutly “that Her Majesty was mistress of his body and life, but not of his conscience, and accordingly she heard the Mass until after the gospel, when she rose and left, so as not to be present at the canon and adoration of the Host which the bishop elevated as usual.”  The Queen’s next move was to issue a proclamation forbidding all preaching and teaching, thus silencing hotheads and both sides and putting an end to “unfruitful dispute in matters of religion.”  The proclamation laid down that the gospel, epistle and ten commandments were to be recited in the vernacular “without exposition or addition.”  There was to be no other “public prayer, rite, or ceremony in the church, but that which is already used and by law received; or the common litany used at this present in Her Majesty’s own Chapel, and the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed in English; until consultation may be had by parliament, by Her Majesty, and her three estate of this realm, for better conciliation and accord of such causes as at this present are moved in matters and ceremonies of religion.”

[Page 41]

      1559 was a busy year.  While the cases of the individual bishops were still pending, the government was pressing ahead with its plans for establishing the Church of England.  The new Prayer Book came into use officially on Midsummer Day and by August a series of visitations had been organized, the Queen’s Commissioners setting out on a tour of all the dioceses of England and Wales to enforce nationwide obedience to the provisions of the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, as well as the newly issued Royal Injunctions which dealt, among other things, with such important matters as the replacing of stone altars by communion tables.  The commissioners were also supplied with a list of fifty-six “Articles of Inquiry”—an alarmingly detailed questionnaire covering every aspect of clerical character and conduct.

[Page 46]

      The perplexity facing patriotic Elizabethan Catholics in 1559 was neatly summarized in the Oath of Supremacy by which everyone holding office in Church or State had to “utterly testify and declare in my conscience that the Queen’s highness is the only supreme governor of this realm…as well in all spiritual and ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal, and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate has, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority ecclesiastical or spiritual within this realm; and therefore I do utterly renounce and forsake all foreign jurisdictions, power, superiorities and authorities, and do promise that from henceforth I shall bear faith and true allegiance to the Queen’s highness, her heirs and lawful successors.”

[Page 49-50]

      Anyone who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy was deprived of office and barred from holding office for life.  The Oath could be administered to all ecclesiastics, judges and mayors, to anyone taking holy orders or university degrees, to all office-holders under the Crown.  …The Act of Supremacy also laid down that anyone who “by writing, printing, teaching, preaching, express words, deed or act” maintained and defended the spiritual or ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any foreign prince or prelate (i.e. the Pope) could lose all his goods and chattels for a first offence, lose all his property and go to prison for life for a second offense, and suffer the penalties of high treason for a third offense.

[Page 62]

      In February 1568 a writ went out under the Queen’s name to Edward Holland, Sheriff of Lancashire.  “Whereas we have been credibly informed,” it ran, “that certain persons, who having been late ministers in the Church were justly deprived of their offices of ministery for their contempts and obstinacy, be yet or lately have been secretly maintained in private places in that our county of Lancaster (whose names are here subscribed) where they do not only continue their former doings in contempt, as it seemeth, of our authority and good orders provided for an uniformity, but also do seditiously pervert and abuse or good subjects to our no small grief: like as we think it convenient for the service of Almighty God and for the love we bear to our good and obedient subjects to have such evil members rooted out to the end the good may the better prosper: so have we thought good to will and command you forthwith upon the receipt hereof, to the end that none may pretend ignorance herein, to take order and cause to be openly published in the chief market towns of that our county in times and places of most resort thither, that our pleasure is to have the said persons and every of them apprehended and committed to ward.”

[Page 89-90]

[Concerning the Papal Bull Regnens in Excelsis:]

      “He that reigneth on high,” it ran, “to whom is given all power in Heaven and in Earth, hath committed his One, Holy, Catholick and Apostolick Church, out of which there is no Salvation, to one alone upon Earth, namely to Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and to Peter’s successor the Bishop of Rome, to be by him governed with plenary Authority.  Him alone hath he made Prince over all People and all Kingdoms, to pluck up, destroy, scatter, consume, plant and build; that he may preserve his faithful people…in the Unity of the Spirit and present them spotless and unblamable to their Saviour.  In Discharge of which Function, We, who are by God’s goodness called to the government of the aforesaid Church, do spare no Pains, laboring with all earnestness, that Unity and the Catholick Religion…might be preserved sincere.  But the number of the Ungodly hath gotten such Power, that there is no place in the whole World left which they have not assayed to corrupt with the utmost Doctrines, and amongst others, Elizabeth, the pretended Queen of England, the Servant of Wickedness, lendeth thereunto her helping hand, with whom, as in a Sanctuary, the most pernicious persons have found a Refuge.  This very Woman, having seized on the Kingdom, and monstrously usurped the place of Supreme Head of the Church in all England, and the chief Authority and Jurisdiction thereof, hath again reduced the said Kingdom into a miserable and ruinous Condition, which was so lately reclaimed to the Catholick Faith and a thriving condition.

      “…We, seeing that Impieties and Wicked actions are multiplied one upon another, as also that the Prosecution of the Faithful and Affliction for Religion growth every day heavier and heavier through the Instigation and by means of the said Elizabeth, and since We understand her heart to be so hardened and obdurate that she hath not only contemned the godly Request and Admonitions of Catholick Princes concerning her Cure and Conversion, but also hath not so much as suffered the Nuncios of this See to cross the Seas for this purpose into England, are constrained of necessity to betake ourselves the Weapons of Justice against her…

      “Being therefore supported with His authority whose pleasure it was to place Us (though unable for so great a Burthen) in this Supreme Throne of Justice, We do out of the fullness of our Apostolick Power, declare the aforesaid Elizabeth as being an Heretick and a Favourer of Hereticks, and her Adherents in the matters aforesaid, to have incurred the Sentence of Excommunication, and to be cut off from the Unity of the Body of Christ.  And moreover we declare her to be deprived of her pretended Title to the Kingdom aforesaid, and of all Dominion, Dignity and Privilege whatsoever; and also the Nobility, Subjects an Peoples of the said Kingdom, and all others who have in any sort sworn unto her, to be forever absolved from any such Oath, and all manner of Duty of Dominion, Allegiance and Obedience: and We also do by Authority of these Presents absolve them, and do deprive said Elizabeth of her pretended Title to the Kingdom and all other things before named.  And We do command and charge all and every the Noblemen, Subjects, People and others aforesaid, that they resume not to obey her, or her Order4s, Mandates and Laws: and those which shall do the contrary, We do include them in the like Sentence of Anathema.”

[Page 108]

[A December 1571 letter from the Bishop of Norwich to a Mr. Townsend:]

      “I have been often advised,” wrote his lordship, “that you and my lady your wife, do absent yourselves from church and hearing divine service and the receiving of the sacrament.  I have hoped still that my favourable forbearing, together with my duties in this behalf, would have moved you to have conformed yourselves.  And yet I hear, and thank God for this, that for your own part you come on very well and shall by God’s grace increase daily.  But touching my lady, I hear she is willfully bent, and little hope as yet of her reformation, to the displeasure of Almighty God, the breach of the Queen’s majesty’s laws, my danger and peril to suffer so long, and an evil example and encouragement to many others.”  The bishop had been very patient with the Townsends, but now, he went on, “My duty and place of calling, together with my conscience to Godward, cannot suffer me to know such disorder and to suffer the same any longer.  And therefore I desire from you both from henceforth to frequent the church and the receiving of the sacrament as becometh Christians; so I may be certified forthwith both of the one and the other; which I look for.  Otherwise, this is most assured, I will not fail to complain of you both to her Majesty’s Council.”

[Page 123-4]

      Sherwood was tried at Westminster on 3 February 1578 charged with upholding the authority of the Pope; denying the Royal Supremacy; declaring that Elizabeth was not lawful Queen; and diabolically, maliciously and traitorously affirming “in the present and hearing of divers faithful subjects of the said Lady our Queen…that our said Queen Elizabeth…is a schismatic and an heretic, to the great scandal and derogation of the person of our said Lady the Queen and the subversion of this realm of England.”  His conviction followed speedily and he was condemned to the dreadful traitor’s death: “that the aforesaid Thomas Sherwood be led by the aforesaid Lieutenant unto the Tower of London and thence be dragged through the midst of the city of London, directly unto the gallows at Tyburn, and upon the gallows there be hanged [not until dead, merely unconscious], and thrown living to the earth, and that his bowels be taken from his belly, and whilst he is alive be burnt, and his head be cut off, and that his body be divided into four parts, and that his head and quarters be placed where our Lady the Queen shall please to assign them” [for public display].

[Page 177]

      Another bill passed by the 1581 session of Parliament was the Act against seditious words and rumours uttered against the Queen’s most excellent Majesty.  Hitherto the penalty for slandering the sovereign had been the loss of both ears and three months in gaol, but with the option of a fine in lieu of ears.  The new bill withdrew the option and increased the term of imprisonment to last during the Queen’s pleasure.  To repeat such an overheard slander (as distinct from inventing one) previously involved one ear and one month in gaol, again with the option of a fine instead of an ear.  Now that option was to disappear as well, and the term in gaol increased to three years.  A repetition of either offense would now become a felony.  Under the old law the punishment for writing or printing a slander against the sovereign had been the loss of the right hand, as the Puritan hero John Stubbs had recently discovered.  Under the new law this, too, became a felony. 

[Page 187]

      When the customary question, whether he had anything to say why sentenced should not be passed, was put to him by the Lord Chief Justice, he replied: “…if our religion do make us traitors, we are worthy to be condemned; but otherwise are and have been as true subjects as ever the Queen had.  In condemning us you condemn all your own ancestors—all the ancient priests, bishops and kings—all that was once the glory of England, the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter.  For what have we taught, however you may qualify it with the odious name of treason, that they did not uniformly teach?  To be condemned with these old lights—not of England only, but of the world—by heir degenerate descendants, is both gladness and glory to us.  God lives; posterity will live: their judgment is not so liable to corruption as that of those who are now going to sentence us to death.”

[Page 199]

      Three years earlier, the Welshman Humphrey Ely had visited Madrid on behalf of a group of anonymous English noblemen, to seek a ruling from the papal nuncio there as to whether or not they would incur sin by carrying out a plan to murder the Queen.  The nuncio, Cardinal Sega, gave it as his opinion that they need have no qualms, adding that in any case he was sure the Pope would grant them a retrospective absolution.  However, to make assurance doubly sure, he referred the matter to Rome, at the same time asking for absolution for himself if it was felt that he had gone too far.  On 12 December 1580, the Cardinal of Como, who as papal Secretary of State could speak with peculiar authority, conveyed the official feeling on the subject of assassination in a letter to Sega.  “Since that guilty woman of England rules over two such noble kingdoms of Christendom,” he wrote, “and is the cause of so much injury to the Catholic faith, and loss of so many million souls, there is no doubt that whosoever sends her out of the world does not sin but gains merit, especially having regard to the sentence pronounced against her by Pius V of holy memory.  And so, if those English nobles decide actually to undertake so glorious a work, your lordship can assure them that they do not commit any sin.  We trust in God also that they will escape danger.  As far as concerns your lordship, in case you have incurred any irregularity, the Pope bestows upon you his holy benediction.”

[Page 239]

      Of course it was all a tragic waste, but no one living in the twentieth century should need to be told that when man’s aggressive instincts become sublimated in devotion to a cause, when passions become mixed with politics, the result is inevitably suffering, bloodshed and, above all else, waste.  The pity of it is that more people could not have agreed with Queen Elizabeth when she remarked, “There is only one Christ Jesus and one faith: the rest is dispute about trifles.”




24601 or 30965-177: You’re Still Just a Number Unless You’re In the Presidential Suite


By Larry Peery

When I first discussed this article with Doug Kent he wrote me: “When I was in Pennsylvania, prisons were the only growth industry in the state.” I kept that thought in mind as I wrote this story. Here’s what I found out.
As often is the case for me this article evolved out of another story I was writing about hotels and Diplomacy. From hotels and Diplomacy to prisons and Diplomacy isn’t that much of a stretch, is it?

He thinks that man is me
He knew him at a glance!
That stranger he has found
This man could be my chance!

Why should I save his hide?
Why should I right this wrong
When I have come so far
And struggled for so long?

If I speak, I am condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned!

I am the master of hundreds of workers.
They all look to me.
How can I abandon them?
How would they live
If I am not free?

If I speak, they are condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned!

Who am I?
Can I condemn this man to slavery
Pretend I do not feel his agony
This innocent who bears my face
Who goes to judgement in my place
Who am I?
Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I'm not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die
Be no more than an alibi?
Must I lie?
How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on

[He appears in front of the court]

Who am I? Who am I?
I am Jean Valjean!

[He unbuttons his shirt to reveal the number tattooed to his chest]

And so Javert, you see it's true
That man bears no more guilt than you!
Who am I?

There’s no doubt that American culture has always been fascinated, if not exactly pre-occupied  by prisons. In fact we’ve created quite a culture around that subject. Douglas, Kent, the publisher of DIPLOMACY WORLD,  in his book IT’S THEIR HOUSE I’M JUST A GUEST, writes about his experiences as a “guest” in one such prison, the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex.  That’s his story. Mine is about the other 210,000 prisoners that are part of the US BOP system today,  the 1,574,700 adults held in US state and federal correctional facilities,  and the 6,899,000 persons under the supervision of adult correctional systems at yearend 2013.
There are 3,144 counties (or equivalents) in the US; and almost all of them have a jail or prison. There are over a thousand state run prisons or penitentiaries. And there are over 121, and counting, Federal correctional facilities in the country. This is their story.
I think we all have memories of prisons in one form or another: they might be from books or movies, or  even from personal experiences.  Doug mentioned “Oz”,  “The Shawshank Redemption”, and “Midnight Express” as ones he remembered. I can vividly remember the 1958 B&W film noir “I Want to Live” that won a Best Actress Award for Susan Hayward and an Oscar nomination for director Robert Wise; the 1962 B&W “Birdman of Alcatraz” that got Oscar nominations for Burt Lancaster (Best Actor), Telly Savalas (Best Supporting Actor, Thelma Ritter (Best Supporting Actress) and Best B&W Cinematography. Interestingly, although the title of the movie was “Birdman of Alcatraz”, Robert Stroud was at Leavenworth Penitentiary when he had his birds --- such was the box office appeal of the name Alcatraz. In 1973 color had come to Hollywood and “Papillon”, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, told the story of a French convict on Devil’s Island. On You Tube you can find a series of videos called “Best of The Big House” that tells the story of famous prisons like Attica, Alcatraz, Folsom, McNeil Island, etc.
Among my personal experiences with jails, prisons and penitentiaries I recall a 1963 family trip in our new Buick Roadmaster up to Canada. On our way we went through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge, heady stuff for an impressionable 15 year old. At one point my step-dad pulled the car over and pointed out Alcatraz Island, which was still a working US Penitentiary at the time.  Shortly thereafter he pulled over again for a look at San Quentin State Prison where I got the familiar teenage lecture-of-the-day, “If you ever break the law this is where you’re going to end up.”  Today San Quentin holds over 4,000 prisoners, 137% of its designed capacity.
A few weeks later we arrived at my uncle’s place in Burnaby, British Columbia. One day, while we were driving back from Vancouver, I saw a large cloud of black smoke rising in the distance over what I learned later was The British Columbia Penitentiary, commonly referred to as the BC Pen and the Pen, which was located in New Westminster, another suburb of Vancouver. The vivid story of that April 20, 1963 riot can be found in Wikipedia. After 102 years, the Penitentiary was closed in 1980.
Closer to home I’ve been in the San Diego County Jail (a maximum security jail with over a thousand inmates awaiting court processing or serving sentences of a year or less), the San Diego Metropolitan Correctional Center (over a thousand guests in a high-rise facility going through the Federal court system) and the Donovan Correctional Facility, a huge State of California complex near the Mexican border that emphasizes rehab and work training programs.
I will never forget the first and only time I ever visited the Los Angeles County Twin Towers Jail, the largest in the country with some 2,000,000 guests a year. The sound of those heavy, metal gates slamming shut as I entered and left remains with me to this day. Inside I was visiting one of the most notorious slumlords in Los Angeles, a man who owned some 44,000 below code housing units in the County and who had at that time some 500 outstanding violations of various legal codes against him but, because of the army of high-priced lawyers he could afford, he would be out of jail within a day. That was in the 1970s. As far as I know he’s still in business. The next time I passed by the LAC Twin Towers Jail was last year on an AMTRAK train on my way to WAC Con in Seattle (There’s the Diplomacy link you’ve all been looking for.) As the train slowly pulled out of Union Station I could see the Twin Towers Jail on its ten-acre site sitting so close to the tracks that I could have reached out and touched the buildings if it weren’t for the 12 foot, razor-wire topped fence between the two. As the train passed by with me looking up at the Towers I couldn’t help but think of the five or six thousand inmates in them looking down at me as I made my way to freedom in my tiny train compartment that was, ironically, smaller than most jail or prison cells.
Factoid: About 26% of the Los Angeles County budget each year goes for “public protection.” That’s approximately $25 billion.
Moving up a bureaucratic notch, the State of California has approximately 173,000 (compared to the 210,000 in the Federal system) guests in its correctional system facilities at any given moment. That’s 143% of the system’s capacity and over the 141.5% capacity ordered by the Courts. The State is spending millions trying to correct the situation by contracting out prisoner care or early paroles for low –risk criminals.  To keep that system functioning last year required 7.7% of the State budget, or some $13,285,000,000 and  60,747 personnel. By comparison the Federal System spent $7,000,000,000 and all the states combined spent $33,000,000,000 in 2014 on correctional inmates. Another source put the total sum spent at some $39,000,000,000.  In less than ten years in California the  number of guests in the system went from  81,000 to 173,000 and the costs to accommodate them went from roughly $4,000,000,000 to $7,000,000,000. Ten years ago it cost an average of $28,000 to keep a guest in a county jail. Five years  ago it cost approximately $31,000 to keep a guest in a state prison, with a range from $14,600 (in Kentucky) to $60,073 in New York. But a state’s per-inmate cost has little to do with efficiency or effectiveness. In New York City the annual  jail cost per inmate is nearly $167,000.
Put differently, in Lane County, Oregon the cost per guest per day for an all-inclusive package including County overhead costs, as well as support services and the booking operations, is $235 a day. Just the direct jail costs are $130 per day. In contrast, in New York the direct jail costs per inmate are $460 per day.  Of that between $1 and $3 per day goes for food.
At the top of the pecking order is the US Bureau of Prisons (or BOP) which, as I’ve noted,  currently has some 210,000 guests costing some $7,000,000,000 a year in a system that includes 121 facilities of various kinds requiring some 40,000 personnel to operate.  In 2014 the Federal System increased its budget $295,000,000 (4.4%), added 2,051 positions, including 1,155 correctional officers, and 3 new facilities opening for guests and two more under construction.
Obviously these county, state and federal correctional systems are growth industries, as Doug said. If you’re interested the lowest skilled job and the one that always has vacancies is that of correctional officer which pays between $39,000 and $51,000 a year. Wardens, or supervisors of correctional officers, make $55,000 (lower levels), $71,000 (federal levels), and $90,000 (highest levels). Professional employees, such as medical doctors make up to $170,000 and most skilled workers make $70,000-$80,000 annually.
Another area of possible employment is the  federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a conglomeration of some 22 different Federal agencies that has 34,000 beds in its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities alone. Note, however, that the proposed current DHS annual $40,000,000,000 budget is in limbo in a dispute between the White House and Congress.
I mentioned the  new, or relatively new, facilities the Federal BOP is opening. One is a women’s facility for some 500 guests in Middle America,  a thousand-plus bed facility in Michigan, a thousand-plus bed facility in Alabama and another thousand-plus bed facility in West Virginia. The other two are rather more interesting.
Keep in mind that the Allenwood FCC, where Doug Kent was a guest, has approximately 1,000 inmates, was built in 1993, and includes low, medium and high-risk facilities. It’s most famous current inmate is Aldrich Ames, the spy.
The Big Sandy Penitentiary, near Inez, Kentucky (You can find out more about it with a Google search. The AP article of 26 July, 2002 is particularly interesting.)  was  under  construction in 2002 and even before it was completed was being hailed as the “most expensive Federal prison ever built” at $170,000,000 due to construction complications caused by the site’s settling ground. The prison sits on a 316-acre site, will hold 960 high-security federal  guests , 126 minimum-security guests, and have 400 workers.
Another boondoggle project is the nation’s second SuperMax Prison in Illinois.
 The first Federal ADX in Florence, CO opened in 1994. The residents of Fremont County welcomed the prison as a source of employment. At the time, the county was already home to nine existing prisons (Today there are thirteen.). However, the lure of between 750 and 900 permanent jobs, in addition to another 1,000 temporary jobs during the prison’s construction, led residents in the area to raise $160,000 to purchase 600 acres for the new prison; which eventually cost $60,000,000 to build.
ADX Florence has a variety of interesting guests including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies, cartel leaders and organized crime figures: 54 of its 490 beds are occupied by “celebrity” guests.
The new Federal Thomson ADX facility in Illinois is a former unused state prison that was bought by the US BOP in a deal arranged by Senator Paul Durbin with the support of President Obama. The BOP is spending $60,000,000 (not counting the purchase price) to remodel the facility to its own ADX standards and prepare for the estimated 2,100 guests who will eventually fill its beds and 749 correction officers who will make sure guests sleep securely at night. Interestingly, although the Florence ADX is still not a full house after 20 years, the BOP is creating a new facility double the size of the original one.

No. 6: Song (Mikado & Chorus)
"A more humane Mikado"

A more humane Mikado never
Did in Japan exist,
To nobody second,
I'm certainly reckoned
A true philanthropist.
It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

R. Scott Fisher as
The Mikado,
1895 Revival

Darrell Fan court as The Mikado,
c. 1921
All prosy dull society sinners,
Who chatter and bleat and bore,
Are sent to hear sermons
From mystical Germans
Who preach from ten till four.
The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off-hours,
Exhibit his powers
To Madame Tussaud's waxwork.

The lady who dyes a chemical yellow
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figure,
Is painted with vigour
And permanent walnut juice.
The idiot who, in railway carriages,
Scribbles on window-panes,
We only suffer
To ride on a buffer
In Parliamentary trains.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

Darrell Fancourt as The Mikado, 1926

1966 Film of "The Mikado"
The advertising quack who wearies
With tales of countless cures,
His teeth, I've enacted,
Shall all be extracted
By terrified amateurs.
The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and "ops"
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.

The billiard sharp who any one catches,
His doom's extremely hard —
He's made to dwell —
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that's always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls
On a cloth untrue
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls!

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

You may recall in Disney’s classic The Beauty and the Beast the song “Be Our Guest,” began with

Ma chere Mademoiselle, it is with deepest pride
and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight.
And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a
chair as the dining room proudly presents - your dinner!
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie
And we provide the rest
Soup du jour
Hot hors d'oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff
It's delicious!
You don't believe me? Ask the dishes

They can sing
They can dance
After all, Miss, this is France
And the dinner here is never second best
Go on, unfold your menu
Take a glance and then you'll
Be our guest
Oui, our guest
Be our guest

Lumiere and Chorus:
Beef ragout
Cheese souffle
Pie and pudding "en flambe"

We'll prepare and serve with flair
A culinary cabaret!
You're alone
And you're scared
But the banquet's all prepared
No one's gloomy or complaining
While the flatware's entertaining
We tell jokes
I do tricks
With my fellow candlesticks

And it's all in perfect taste
That you can bet
Come on and lift your glass
You've won your own free pass
To be our guest

If you're stressed
It's fine dining we suggest!

Lumiere and Chorus:
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Be our guest!

Life is so unnerving
For a servant who's not serving
He's not whole without a soul to wait upon
Ah, those good old days when we were useful
Suddenly those good old days are gone
Ten years we've been rusting
Needing so much more than dusting
Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills
Most days we just lay around the castle
Flabby, fat and lazy
You walked in and oops-a-daisy!

Mrs Potts:
It's a guest!
It's a guest!
Sakes alive, well I'll be blessed!
Wine's been poured and thank the Lord
I've had the napkins freshly pressed
With dessert
She'll want tea
And my dear that's fine with me
While the cups do their soft-shoein'
I'll be bubbling, I'll be brewing
I'll get warm
Piping hot
Heaven's sakes! Is that a spot?
Clean it up! We want the company impressed

We've got a lot to do!

Mrs Potts:
Is it one lump or two?
For you, our guest!

She's our guest!

Mrs Potts:
She's our guest!

She's our guest!

Be our guest
Be our guest
Our command is your request
It's been years since we've had anybody here
And we're obsessed
With your meal
With your ease
Yes, indeed, we aim to please
While the candlelight's still glowing
Let us help you
We'll keep going
Course by course
One by one
'Til you shout, "Enough! I'm done!"
Then we'll sing you off to sleep as you digest
Tonight you'll prop your feet up
But for now, let's eat up
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Please, be our guest!

As I wrote in my opening,  the leap from prisons to hotels may seem like quite a stretch but when you think about it they actually have a lot in common, although they also have some big differences:
Types: County Jails; State and Federal  Low-risk, Medium-risk, High-risk Prisons; State and Federal Penitentiaries; SuperMax or ADX facilities;  vs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the new 6-star “Palace” class hotels in Paris.
Costs: From $130 to $460 per day for correctional inmates vs. $100 to $1,800 per day for hotel guests.
Occupancy Rates: Most correctional facilities run at 140-145% occupancy rates 100% of the time vs. hotels which don’t like below 60% occupancy rates, begin to turn a profit at 65% and anything over 70% is pure profit.
Room size: From 81 square feet for a solitary ADX prison cell vs. 160 to 400 square feet for a typical hotel room.
Toilet & bath: From a toilet with no seat and a 15-minute shower once a week vs. a toilet, bidet, walk-in shower, soaking tub, etc.
Meals: From $1-3 per day, included, in a correctional facility vs. $50 to $500 (with a modest bottle of wine) per day, extra, for a typical hotel room. Most jails and prisons try to keep their food costs to less than 1% % of their daily per inmate costs vs. most hotels, which try to keep their food costs to around 7% per day per guest.
Entertainment: In an ADX facility you might get an hour a day in an outdoor cage and a law book from the library vs. a “Your wish is our command” in a high-end hotel.
In house medical care: In a correctional facility it’s included vs. in a hotel where a visit by the hotel on-call doctor will cost about $500.
Staffing ratios: Most correctional facilities try to maintain a .4: 1 staffing ratio, with half of the staff being correctional officers vs. most hotels that have a 1.2 (low) or 1.5 – 1.8: 1 (average) staff ratio. Anything above 2.1:1 is rare, although in the very top hotels in Asia (e.g. India and Thailand) the ratio may reach 5:1. Most prison staff costs account for nearly 67% of their budgets vs. most hotel staff costs account for no more than 12% of their operating costs.
Privacy: In a correctional facility, you’re just a number vs. an anonymous room number in a standard hotel or a top hotel where every staff member is expected to know your name within four hours of check-in.  In a SuperMax prison  an inmate expects to be under observation 24-hours a day vs. at a top hotel, a staff member scratches (not knocks) on the door before entering but responds to a bell call within five minutes.
Goal: Both correctional facilities and hotels have the same ultimate goal: to keep their beds occupied and their guests happy or at least on the property. Prisons do this as part of their raison d’etre  and because it makes their job easier. Hotels do it because it makes them more profitable.
The big difference, of course is: in a prison you have no control over when you leave vs. in a hotel you can leave at any time, provided you’ve paid your bill.
In our culture hotels are also treated quite differently from prisons.  The 1954 movie White Christmas has been followed  by everything up to today’s Oscar winner Grand Hotel Budapest. Books about hotels range from Conrad Hilton’s 1982 Be My Guest (Which could be found in every Hilton Hotel night stand along with a Gideon Bible and a Book of Mormon until recently.) to the recent best-seller The Hiltons (A tell-all about the Hilton family’s ups and downs.). Also of interest are: books by Isadore Sharpe (Four Seasons Hotels), Cornell University, Starwood Hotels, and Walt Disney’s Customer Service book entitled “Be Our Guest”.
 In comparison to the US BOP system,  Hilton Hotels Corp., the 38th largest privately held corporation in the United States in 2013, had: 4,112 hotels with 680,117 rooms in 91 countries with 152,000 direct employees and 162,000 franchise employees, generating revenues of $9,735,000,000.
Above I discussed job availability and pay in the prison industry. What of the hotel industry? A burger flipper (the equivalent to a jail correctional officer) can make about $22,000 a year. A cook can make between $38,000 and $71,000 a year depending on whether it’s a restaurant or hotel and what quality it is. Chefs can make anywhere from $40,000 - $65,000 a year in a hotel to $150,000 a year in a five-star hotel. A celebrity chef can expect to earn as much as $500,000 a year. At most hotels managers make an average of $51,000 a year. At a five-star hotel a manager will earn $150,000 or more,  plus excellent benefits (Most quality properties include an on-site apartment and a month’s yearly vacation at another chain property as part of their compensation package.)
While the number of new hotels opening worldwide each year is staggering (Just in China three new 4- or 5-star hotels are opening each day with some 250,000 rooms added yearly.);  not all the news is good. While room rate increases are booming across the United States anywhere from 5-15%; in New York City the rate increase has dropped to between 2.5 – 4%, primarily because of the big increase of new hotels opening.

I’ve already discussed the dollar costs of maintaining a correctional or hotel system but who are these inmates or guests?
Although the overall US prison population declined slightly in 2011, the federal prison population continued to rise, with rates of drug and immigration offenders that eclipse those held for violent crimes. While only 8 percent of federal prisoners were sentenced for violent crimes in 2011, almost half of federal inmates – 48% - were in prison for drug crimes. Another 11 percent were held for immigration offenses – one of the largest-growing segments of the prison population. Far less than 1% were held for foreign or domestic terrorism, spying, drug cartel membership, or crime syndicate membership.  Interestingly, on a percentage-basis the fastest-growing segment of the prison population is the seniors (age 65 and above).
Hotel guests, in the US or worldwide, have a variety of reasons for staying in hotels. I leave it to your imagination.

I’ve already discussed the bodies and beds of this article but what about the souls inside those bodies?
Let the punishment fit the crime is certainly a very old idea. I think the earliest version I’ve heard of is the Code of Hamurabi, which predates the Mosaic Law by about 500 years. Both Hamurabi and Moses feature the idea that punishments should be fair and “fitting,” but neither of them uses the words “make the punishment fit the crime.
In 1862 Victor Hugo published his epic novel, Les Miserables about the famous prisoner Valjean, number 24601. Later came (In 1866 to be exact) Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment and his hero, Raskolnikov. Interestingly, in prison Raskolnikov went by his name and had no known number. And still later came Douglas Kent, number 30965-177. Kent’s story can be found on in his book that I’ve already mentioned.
Also interestingly, Valjean spent most of his adult life in and out of prison, Dostoyevsky spent ten years in exile in Siberia, and Douglas Kent spent 46-months in a correctional institution of one kind or another (Maybe less with time off for good behavior.).
Beyond these you may find The Atlantic’s article “An American Gulag” or the Ochberg Society’s “The Gray Box: An Original Investigation” interesting. Both are available online.

So, as far as I can see and tell prisons are indeed growth industries not only in Pennsylvania  but in the entire country. However, in researching this article I discovered that Medicare/Obamacare is an even bigger growth industry in the nation, but that’s another story for another time about the Old Farts Generation of Dippers who are looking at seizing their last black dot.
As we’ve also seen, both Hugo and Dostoyevsky and their characters had a purpose and a reason for spending time in prison. Douglas Kent was just there spending time.
I hope I’ve raised some interesting questions for you, gentle reader, to consider:
1) How do you calculate the “real” vs. budget cost of time in a jail, a prison, a penitentiary, or an ADX facility vs. a 1- or 6-star hotel to an individual or a society?
2) How do you compare a life of solitary confinement with an hour in a steel out-door cage with a life of Sybaritic luxury for a day?
3) Which is better: a life in prison or a speedy, painless execution? And where does the use of torture enter into the equation?
4) How do you put a value ($ or otherwise) on time or life?

If you can’t decide, perhaps you’ll want to read Hugo, Dostoyevsky or Kent again. Take a look at the ADX Florence site at As for hotels, check out the Sarojin in Khao Lak, Thailand’s website at; and then ask yourself where you’d rather spend a day or a lifetime, at ADX Florence or the Sarojin?
And finally, here are the lyrics to Antoine Domino’s (and others) Be My Guest:
Come on baby and be my guest
Come here to party and meet the rest
Everything gonna be all right
So be my guest tonight

We're gonna dance to the rock 'n' roll
We're gonna even do the stroll
We're gonna Lindy Hop and Suzy Q
It's a special party just for you

My, my-oh-mine, gee you're so fine
Don't let me down
I'm the king but you can wear my crown
I'm gonna sing, my band gonna play
I'm gonna make you queen for a day
Everything gonna be all right
So be my guest tonight

My, my-oh-mine, gee you're so fine
Don't let me down
I'm the king but you can wear my crown
I'm gonna sing, my band gonna play
I'm gonna make you queen for a day
Everything gonna be all right
So be my guest tonight








Game Openings

Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Two players, need five more.

Coming Soon?: 1898, Colonia VII-B, Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki.  If you’re interested in one of these variants let me know.






Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Acquire Game #2 - “Juliet” – Eternal Sunshine

Players: Tom Howell, Mark Firth, Andy Bate, Richard Weiss, Hank Alme


Turn 11


Tom plays 8-B and buys 3 Tower.


Mark plays 5-I and buys 1 Festival.


Andy plays 3-D and merges Imperial into Tower.  Andy gets $6,000 and Richard gets $3,000.  Andy converts his 6 Imperial into 3 Tower.  Richard is up to decide what to do with his shares next!













Diplomacy “Jerusalem” 2012A, Game End



Russia (Richard Weiss): I entered the game as replacement for an NMR'd Russia being attacked by all four neighbors.  I had not played Dip this century.  I knew Austria, France, and Germany.  The late Don, Duck, Williams was Germany.  Thanks to Don, I won my first-ever seven person game of FTF Dip before dying of exhaustion.  I had hopes.  I knew of Italy and thought probably both England and Turkey.  I had hopes of diplomacy working despite the apparent hopelessness.  I put my busy fingers to work in email.


This game was marked by terrible communication, erratic planning, and frequent misordering by every country other than Germany.  The first email from England was incredibly hostile and arrogant, which set my course for the rest of the game.  And led to me being the largest survivor not in the final draw.  I'd been proposing draws for a few years and finally one passed.  I am very happy with the outcome and the course of the game.  Thank you all, including my butt of vitriol, the ever (and truly) wonderful Prime MInister of England. And John, congratulations to not rising to any of my bait over the past few game years.  Job well done in creating your piece of the draw.


Turkey once told me he had never stabbed for a win.  I made myself indispensable to his draw.  Although, he could have taken me out and probably had the same result.  England told me he had no interest in anything but a win.  So, I'm surprised that he voted for the draw.  I guess it was being tired.  R-T did not yet have a successful draw line established, and might not have.  If I were England, despite Doug's seeming sense of winding down (now outed by him), I would have persisted to take BER and then MUN and seen whether the misorders and poor communication would have succeeed.  However, thank you for the blessed ending. 


And by the way, we Russians have now become Muslems, although not Black, and will not declare which sect is our minority and ruling class.


Thank you Mr. GM for your wonderful touch, reminders about orders due, and acknowledgement of orders received.  Twas a fine game for me to play in, as my token 21st century event.  And with that, peace out, all.










Diplomacy “Walkerdine” 2012D, W 09

F/G Draw Passes!

EOG Report and Statements Next Issue




Steve to Jim-Bob: Thanks for a "nice" ending to a difficult game. I can't think of a better way to show the love and respect I had for Don. He was a rare man: he knew how to disagree without being disagreeable. He did not impute motivations--he asked questions. Without looking to lecture anyone, our hobby could use more of Don and it's a shame we lost the original.


Steve to Don: Yes, I forgive you for orchestrating the Demo Debacle--just in case you're wondering (and, no, I don't think you are). I cannot forget the way cancer caused your body to waste away. You never complained or asked why it had to be you. Your concern was always for others and their well-being. Class act all the way.


(Jim-Bob to Steve): I am most worried about the Walkerdine part of this, I hope he is looking down on us with Don and approves of the way we've done this. Don and Richard were both great storytellers, and valued the stories of the people in the game.  As you probably recall, Steve, Richard also was EXTREMELY conservative.  I think Don and Richard would approve, so ending this as a two way is the right thing to do.








Black Press Gunboat, “Fred Noonan”, 2013Arb32, W 11/S 12

France: Retreat A Burgundy - Marseilles.. F Barents Sea Supports F Norway, F Edinburgh - North Sea (*Fails*),

 F English Channel Hold, F Irish Sea – Wales, A Marseilles - Burgundy (*Fails*),

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc) (*Bounce*), F Norway Supports F Edinburgh - North Sea (*Cut*),

 A Picardy - Paris.

Germany: Retreat F English Channel - Wales..Build A Munich.. A Belgium Supports A Ruhr – Burgundy,

 A Burgundy – Gascony, A London Hold, A Munich - Tyrolia (*Fails*),

 F North Sea Supports F Sweden - Norway (*Cut*), A Ruhr – Burgundy, F Sweden - Norway (*Fails*),

 A Trieste Supports A Tyrolia - Venice (*Disbanded*), A Tyrolia - Venice (*Bounce*), F Wales - Liverpool.

Italy: Civil Disorder.  Remove F Apulia..A Vienna U, A Budapest U.

Russia: Retreat A Warsaw - Silesia.. A Moscow – Ukraine, A Silesia - Berlin.

Turkey: Build A Ankara.. F Adriatic Sea - Venice (*Bounce*), A Albania – Trieste, A Ankara – Rumania,

 F Black Sea Convoys A Ankara – Rumania, F Constantinople - Aegean Sea, A Galicia – Silesia,

 A Serbia Supports A Albania – Trieste, A Sevastopol – Moscow, F Tunis - North Africa,

 F Tyrrhenian Sea - Gulf of Lyon, A Warsaw Supports A Sevastopol – Moscow,

 F Western Mediterranean - Spain(sc) (*Bounce*).


Now Proposed – G/T and F/G/T.  Please vote.  NVR=No.

Deadline for F 12 will Be March 30th at 7am My Time




France to all:  Germany and Turkey have won.  Congratulations on your win.  Let’s not drag this out, and let’s vote for the concession to them.  Well played.









Woolworth II-D “Coney Island” 2013Bcb19, A 09

Seasons Separated By Player Request

Balkans (Secret): Has A Bur, A Pic, A Par, A Bre, A Alb, A Ser, F Tri.

England (Secret): Has F Lon, F Enc, F Nao.
Italy (Secret): Has F Bas, F Wms, A Gas, A Pie, A Ven, F Mao, F Gol.

Russia (Jim Burgess - jfburgess “of” Ret F Nth-Nwg..Has A Fin, F GOB, A Nwy, F Lap, A Swe,

 F Den, F Hel, F Nwg, A Hol, A Bel, A Sev.

Scandinavia (Geoff Kemp - ggeoff510 “of” Ret F Nwy-OTB..Has F Wao, F Nth, F Iri.

Turkey (Hugh Polleyhapolley “of” Has F Ion, A Rum, A Bul, F Bob, F Hao, F Aeg, A Mor.


Deadline for W 09/S 10 is March 30th at 7am My Time


Supply Center Chart


Balkans            Ser, Gre, Bud, Vie, Tri, Swi, Par, Bre=8                                                  Build 1

England           Lvp, Lon=2                                                                                           Remove 1

Italy                 Nap, Ven, Rom, Cre, Mar, Por, Mad=7                                                   Even

Russia              Mos, War, Sev, Stp, Gal, Ber, Kie, Mun, Hol, Bel, Den, Swe, Nwy=13      Build 2

Scand.              Edi, Ice=2                                                                                            Remove 1

Turkey              Ank, Con, Smy, Bul, Rum, Tun, Mor=7                                                  Even




None.  You Guys suck.








Diplomacy, “Milk and Trash”, 2015A, Spring 1901

Austria (Jack McHugh – jwmchughjr “of” A Budapest Supports A Vienna – Galicia,

 F Trieste – Albania, A Vienna - Galicia.

England (Mark Firth – mark.r.firth “of” F Edinburgh - North Sea, A Liverpool – Yorkshire,

 F London - English Channel.

France (Paul Milewskipaul.milewski “of” F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,

 A Marseilles – Gascony, A Paris - Picardy.

Germany (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” A Berlin – Kiel, F Kiel – Denmark, A Munich - Ruhr.

Italy (John Biehljerbil “of” F Naples - Ionian Sea, A Rome – Apulia, A Venice Hold.

Russia (Kevin Wilson – ckevinw “of” A Moscow – Ukraine,

 F Sevastopol - Black Sea (*Bounce*), F St Petersburg(sc) - Gulf of Bothnia, A Warsaw - Galicia (*Fails*).

Turkey (John David Galt – jdg “of” F Ankara - Black Sea (*Bounce*),

 A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Smyrna - Armenia.


Deadline for Fall 1901 is March 30th at 7am my time




France to Germany:  I'm suitably impressed.  You can put it back in your pants now.


France to Doug:  As I'm sure occurred to you, I was referring to his pocket knife.


Doug – France: Really?  Darn.


(BOOB LAMENTS): Oh why, oh why, Germany, can you still my black little heart?


(BOOB to DOUG): So there is no doubt there is a core of people who really want to play here, why does it include me, again?


Doug – Boob: Because I never liked you.


(ANSCHLUSS GERMAN SIDE to AUSTRIAN SIDE): So, Jack, can you even SPELL Anschluss?  You will remember that this means that YOU are incorporated into US, so you WILL do my bidding....


(GERMANY to FRANCE): We now see if Burgess and Milewski can discuss Diplomacy effectively... time will tell.


Rome (Apr 1, 1901): King Giovanni the Excitable was rapt with attention. "You see, Sire, our naval forces must turn the Mediterranean into Mare Nostrum. In this way Italia may regain its ancient glory" replied Rodrigo Balboata (otherwise known as 'Rocky Balboata', ex-world champion swimmer) now, inexplicably, the main military advisor (and High Admiral) to his Majesty. "Yes, yes, yes!" squeaked the pip-squeek and easily excitable pint-sized royal personage, Giovanni. Now emboldened by delusions of grandeur and flattered by the sychophancy of his courtiers, Giovanni declared, " Italia must immediately unfurl the Banner of War and seek a new Latin Empire."


Rome (Apr2, 1901) It is reported that a run on Bank deposits has begun, plunging the Italian economy into crisis. The Lira has dropped 20% in value in one day of trading on news that the King has rattled his sabre at all his neighbours. The Prime Minister, Mario Igottago, has tendered his resignation in response to the Kings' pronouncement. It is rumoured that the government will fall and new elections will be required.










General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  March 30th, 2015 at 7:00am my time.   

That’s a MONDAY! 

Hope to See You Then!