“Fools,” said I, “You do not know, silence, like a cancer, grows

Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”

WilmerHale’s Report of Independent Investigation: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Martin A. Philbert was released publicly today. I leave it to the reader to make of the report what they will. As I have on occasion in this rolling record called for reflection on history’s passing moments, here I bring to our attention an enduring truth in many tragedies: the sound of silence.

there is no indication that he (or anyone else at the University) did

Out of a reported 27 pages of comments submitted by University faculty to upper management, at least one – “Re: your administrative appointments: Martin Philbert was/is a notorious sexual predator, physically cornering and emotionally coercing his female graduate students in his toxicology lab.” – was left unread. We are told elsewhere in the report “President Schlissel acknowledged that had he reviewed the comment, he would have routed it to OIE.” The authors of the report believe “that would have been the correct course of action.”

Our systems cannot be so porous nor so dependent on the right people in the right places doing the right thing. Because there’s a lot of wrong people out there forcing good people into bad situations. Maybe in the future, run those surveys through an auto-search algorithm looking for phrases like “notorious”, “sexual predator”, and “coercing”. Throw in “Nazi sympathizer”, “pet abuser”, and “pedophile” while we’re at it. Best to cast a wide net.1

May this never happen again. And when it does, may the victims be heard sooner and their concern taken more seriously. And when the perpetrators are held to account, may they own up to every cent of the debt they owe the victim and the victim’s people. And as those who hurt pay back for the pains they have caused, may we build up the ever more just society.2

As Paul and Art remind us, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls / And tenement halls / And whispered in the sounds of silence.” We need only hear it.


  1. Especially if we have already seen that some are not tending to their own reels.
  2. In this case, by heeding the recommendations of the Report, drawing lessons from what is reported, and reading every damn comment you asked for from a survey.3
  3. Or send it through aforementioned auto-search algorithm.

List of Wars Involving the United States of America

Names of conflicts reported are those of the general historical consensus so far as my brief perusal with the unfortunately immense subject matter allows. Years designated are the approximate beginning and end of the United States’ involvement. Numbers of the dead/wounded are of U.S. combatants and not those of the other nation(s) due to the incompleteness of my personal record and is in no way meant to suggest theirs are any less deserving of our respect. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, only an illuminative one.

1775 – 1783, American Revolutionary War, the first 25,000 Americans to die in combat

1776 – 1795, Cherokee-American Wars, first official military action of the latest Americans with the first

1785 – 1795, Northwest Indian War, over 1,000 citizens killed in combat

1801 – 1805, First Barbary War, 74 killed, 64 wounded

1812 – 1815, War of 1812, approximately 15,000 died during the war, about 2,260 from combat

1813 – 1814, Creek War, 575 dead

1815, Second Barbary War, 134 killed, 10 wounded

1817 – 1818, First Seminole War, 47 killed in combat

1820 – 1875, Texas-Indian Wars, a conflict lasting through Mexican Texas, the Republic of Texas, and the state of Texas

1823, Arikara War, 12 killed, 7 drowned in a river

1832, Black Hawk War, 305 dead, 85 wounded

1835 – 1836, Texas Revolution, 700 dead, 100 wounded

1835 – 1842, Second Seminole War, 1,535 war dead

1846 – 1848, Mexican-American War, 17,435 casualties

1847 – 1855, Cayuse War, 40 killed in combat, 75 wounded (1 grievously)

1851 – 1900, Apache Wars

1855 – 1858, Third Seminole War, 26 dead, 27 wounded

1855 – 1858, Yakima War, 34 dead from war, 92 injured

1858 – 1866, Navajo Wars

1861 – 1865, American Civil War, 364,511 dead from the U.S. Army, 290,000 dead from the Confederate Army, over 1,000,000 wounded

1862, Dakota War, somewhere between about 70 and about 120 dead

1863 – 1865, Colorado War

1876 – 1877, Great Sioux War, 314 dead, 211 wounded

1877, Nez Perce War, 134 dead, 157 wounded

1878, Bannock War, 12 dead, 22 wounded

1878 – 1879, Cheyenne War

1896 – 1918, Yaqui Wars

1898, Spanish-American War, 2,446 dead

1899 – 1902, Philippine-American War, 4,196 dead

1910 – 1919, Border War

1912 – 1933, Occupation of Nicaragua, 160 killed, 290 injured

1915 – 1934, Occupation of Haiti, 148 killed, at least 26 injured

1916 – 1924, Occupation of the Dominican Republic

1917 – 1918, World War I, 116,516 dead, 204,002 wounded, 3,350 missing

1939 – 1945, World War II, 405,399 dead, 670,846 wounded, 30,314 missing

1950 – 1953, Korean War, 36,516 dead, 92,134 wounded, 4,759 missing

1953 – 1975, Laotian Civil War

1955 – 1975, Vietnam War, 58,209 dead, 153,303 wounded, 1,587 missing

1965 – 1966, Dominican Civil War, 47 killed, 283 injured

1967 – 1975, Cambodian Civil War

1989 – 1990, Invasion of Panama, 40 dead, 324 injured

1990 – 1991, Gulf War, 294 killed, 849 injured

1992 – 1995, Bosnian War, 12 dead

1998 – 1999, Kosovo War, 18 dead

2001 – present, War in Afghanistan, 2,216 dead as of this writing, about 20,000 injured

2003 – 2011, Iraq War, 4,497 dead, 32,222 injured

2004 – present, War in North-West Pakistan

2014 – present, American-led intervention in Iraq

2014 – present, American-led intervention in Syria

2015 – present, American-led intervention in Libya

2015 – present, Yemeni Civil War, 1 dead, 3 injured

 


Times People Predicted The End of the World

All dates are given in “Common Era”. A pair of dividing lines separate “past” and “future” predictions from “current” prediction(s).

 

30ish to 100ish – Jesus, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” [1]

500 – Hippolytus of Rome, Sextus Julius Africanus, and Irenaeus, based on dimensions of Noah’s Ark

1000Pope Sylvester II, riots resulted from the populace’s belief that Jesus would return one thousand years after his birth, and a similar logic led similar believers to think 1033 to be the true date, one thousand years after his death

1284Pope Innocent III, arrived at the number by adding 666 years to the year Islam was founded, 618

By 1600Martin Luther, the first Protestant prediction

1648, 1666, and 1667Sabbatai Zevi, used the Kabbalah and used it again

1656 and 1658Christopher Columbus, from El Libro de las Proecias, a compilation of apocalyptic ruminations written towards the end of his life [3]

April 5, 1719Jacob Bernoulli, the man who discovered the number “e” thought the earth would be destroyed by a comet

April 23, 1843, December 31, 1843, March 21, 1844, October 22, 1844The Millerites, the first of many American predictions

1910Camille Flammarion, believed Halley’s Comet would scorch the earth, “comet pills” were sold to alleviate the effects

1914, 1918, 1920, 1942, 1975, ≤1999, “imminent”Jehovah’s Witnesses, pick up a copy of The Watchtower magazine for the latest update

1967Jim Jones, had vision of a nuclear holocaust

1969Charles Manson, believed his “Helter Skelter” “race war” signaled the end of the world

1982Pat Robertson, then again in April 29, 2007

1988ish (±5 years, every five years after) – Hal Lindsay, popularized in The Late, Great Planet Earth (over 35 million sold!)

1991Louis Farrakhan, declared the Gulf War to be “that which the scriptures refer to as the War of Armageddon which is the final war”

September 6, 1994, September 22, 1994, October 2, 1994, March 31, 1995, May 21, 2011, October 21, 2011Harold Camping, died in 2013, ending his end of the world predictions

July 1999Nostradamus, had a poem about a “King of Terror” that would come screaming across the sky in “1999 and seven months”

January 1, 2000Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, and Jerry B. Jenkins, all profited handsomely

2000Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church was among many predicting the end/beginning of the millennium 

October 30 through November 29, 2003Aum Shinrikyo, the same Japanese cult that perpetrated the Tokyo subway sarin gas attacks in 1995

December 21, 2012Misinterpreters of Mayan Calendars, there is nothing to suggest classic Mayans thought this is when the world would end


2020Jeanne Dixon, previously predicted February 4, 1962


Before 2239 until 3239The Talmud, Orthodox Judaism posits that a Messiah will come within 6,000 years of Adam’s creation and the world would be destroyed a thousand years later

3000, probablyThe past as prologue, Given that 1000 and 2000 CE were met with apocalyptic predictions, I predict there will be end of the world predictions scheduled around 3000 CE too

Within 1,000,000 yearsThe Geological Society, within the next million years Earth will likely experience a supervolanic event (my money’s on Yellowstone)

Somewhere between 1,000,000,000 and 5,000,000,000 years from nowThe Sun Exploding, on its way to becoming a red giant, the Earth will be swallowed by the sun

In approximately 1,600,000,000 years  – All life dies out, with multicellular life dying out first somewhere between 800,000,000 and 1,200,000,000 years from now, all eukaryotes suffocating on carbon dioxide somewhere between 1,300,000,000 to 1,500,000,000 years from now, and prokaryotes returning to dust 100,000,000 years after that [4]

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years from this very minuteThe Heat Death of the Universe, a state of the universe in which there is no thermodynamic free energy

 


  1. Per Matthew 24, said things include but are not limited to, “not […] one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down”, “wars and rumours of wars”, “nation shall rise against nation”, “kingdom against kingdom”, “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places”, “many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another”, “many false prophets shall rise”, “the love of many shall wax cold”, “great tribulation”, “there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders”, and “the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven”. [2]
  2. “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:8
  3. According to this “Book of Prophecies”, for the end of the world to occur, Christianity must spread across the world, the Garden of Eden must be found, a Crusade must be fought to “take back” the Holy Land, and a final (earthly) emperor must ascend.
  4. S. Franck, C. Bounama, and W. von Bloh, “Causes and timing of future biosphere extinctions”, Biogeosciences, 3, 85-92, 2002.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Vollmann

This [birthday wish] was written in urine, lime and vitriol
under circumstance of hunger and death
for all you bright and risen angels of brimstone and sulfur
who live beneath the dragon’s eye in the eye of fire, united for the
procreation of lye and aquafortis.
Blessed be you in your infamy.
You are pernicious, poisonous and deadly.
I will offer up to you iron and lead; on your alters I will burn
alkali, vinegar and white arsenic.
I will make wax of your steel.
Your men will become dead men.
And your women will also die.
And if your women become pregnant and bear children as they die.
the children also will perish.
The sun will rise without you,
In the dry cold earth you will burn.
Spring will come without you.
Your bright day, my angels, will be followed by my night.
In the manure pile you will be annealed.
The crows’ feet will find you in time.
I piss on you all.
This is my gift, you angels; love me.


I support the LGBTQRS community

Encompassing both the “LGBTQ(IA,lmnop)+ community” – i.e., those who are hopefully happy with their sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. – and the “QRS community” – i.e., those with a QRS-complex, i.e., those with a heartbeat, i.e., “those of us yet living”, the “LGBTQRS community” ought to suffice as a term to describe all of those of us happy to live in the diverse splendor of sex and help others to do the same.

A half-way academic debate whispers across the land, How many letters should we be using to express that community referred to by the initialisms GLB, LGB, LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA, LGBTTQQIAAP, QUILTBAG? The question, so far as I can tell is How should we strike a balance between including as many as we can into that community (/those communities) by explicit acknowledgement and/or implicit branding (including but not limited to folks identifying as asexual, bisexual, curious, gay, genderqueer, intersex, lesbian, other, pansexual, polyamorous, queer, questioning, trans, transgender, transexual, transvestite, two-spirit, unsure; ABCGGILOPPQQTTTTTU at first pass) and brevity/efficacy of communication (ABCGGILOPPQQTTTTTU is, if nothing else, a mouthful).

I offer here the term “LGBTQRS” as one striking an optimal balance between inclusion of the many in the letters of the few.

From a spoken voice, the letters L, G, B, T, and Q in a row have a good cadence, keep all the rhyming letters together, and I think pay historical tribute to the founders of the community and its accompanying movements. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, and those questioning Sex In All Its Forms have each in their own way and with the help of others created a space for these liberties to exist. (The latter Q, especially to younger audiences, can equally represent “queer” folk who have themselves also contribute(d) significantly to the community and its rights.) 

Recognizing that the facets of Sex In All Its Forms are myriad and those that wish to support the freedoms of others to dis/engage in Sex In All Its Forms are multiplied daily (🤞), from there I hope it is safe to presume in the long run we hope to include all of “those of us yet living” (we cannot, alas, convince the dead of their wrongs against us). A serviceable-enough criterion for “those of us yet living” includes a heartbeat, generally including P-, Q,- R-, S-, and T-waves in a typical clinical-grade electrocardiogram. Lasting approximately 50 to 100 milliseconds, the most obvious pattern in this electrical display of the heart’s activity is the “QRS complex”. Thus, to recognize “those of us yet living”, the “QRS community” ought not to be too off the mark as a description of those still alive.

Portmanteau the two, paying deference to the history of those who fought for these rights, and we have the “LGBTQRS community”, a community I am proud to support.