Let the bird of loudest lay
On the sole Arabian tree,
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.

But thou shrieking harbinger,
Foul precurrer of the fiend,
Augur of the fever’s end,
To this troop come thou not near.

From this session interdict
Every fowl of tyrant wing
Save the eagle, feather’d king:
Keep the obsequy so strict.

Let the priest in surplice white
That defunctive music can,
Be the death-divining swan,
Lest the requiem lack his right.

And thou, treble-dated crow,
That thy sable gender mak’st
With the breath thou giv’st and tak’st,
‘Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.

Here the anthem doth commence:—
Love and constancy is dead;
Phoenix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.

So they loved, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none;
Number there in love was slain.

Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance, and no space was seen
‘Twixt the turtle and his queen:
But in them it were a wonder.

So between them love did shine,
That the turtle saw his right
Flaming in the phoenix’ sight;
Either was the other’s mine.

Property was thus appall’d,
That the self was not the same;
Single nature’s double name
Neither two nor one was call’d.

Reason, in itself confounded,
Saw division grow together;
To themselves yet either neither;
Simple were so well compounded,

That it cried, ‘How true a twain
Seemeth this concordant one!
Love hath reason, reason none
If what parts can so remain.’

Whereupon it made this threne
To the phoenix and the dove,
Co-supremes and stars of love,
As chorus to their tragic scene.


Beauty, truth, and rarity,
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclosed in cinders lie.

Death is now the phoenix’ nest;
And the turtle’s loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,

Leaving no posterity:
‘Twas not their infirmity,
It was married chastity.

Truth may seem, but cannot be;
Beauty brag, but ’tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.

To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.


The Phoenix and the Turtle

William Shakespeare


Graphic - Tom Fleming


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Apr. 09, 2014) East coast-based Navy SEALs conduct high risk air vehicle interdiction training. Vehicle interdiction training is in preparation for future operations during their upcoming deployment.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Meranda Keller/ Released)

Architecture is the expression of every society’s very being. But only the ideal being of society, the one that issues orders and interdictions with authority, is expressed in architectural compositions in the strict sense of the word. Thus great monuments rise up like levees, opposing the logic of majesty and authority to any confusion: Church and State in the form of cathedrals and palaces speak to the multitudes, or silence them. It is obvious that monuments inspire social good behaviour in societies and often even real fear. The storming of the Bastille is symbolic of this state of affairs: it is hard to explain this mass movement other than through the people’s animosity against the monuments that are its real masters.
—  Georges Bataille, ‘Architecture’.

Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

One of those firms created a private intelligence network known as Black Asphalt Electronic Networking & Notification System that enabled police nationwide to share detailed reports about American motorists — criminals and the innocent alike — including their Social Security numbers, addresses and identifying tattoos, as well as hunches about which drivers to stop.

A thriving subculture of road officers on the network now competes to see who can seize the most cash and contraband, describing their exploits in the network’s chat rooms and sharing “trophy shots” of money and drugs. Some police advocate highway interdiction as a way of raising revenue for cash-strapped municipalities.

Among Black Asphalt’s features is a section called BOLO, or “be on the lookout,” where police who join the network can post tips and hunches.

Police set up what amounted to rolling checkpoints on busy highways and pulled over motorists for minor violations, such as following too closely or improper signaling. They quickly issued warnings or tickets. They studied drivers for signs of nervousness, including pulsing carotid arteries, clenched jaws and perspiration. They also looked for supposed “indicators” of criminal activity, which can include such things as trash on the floor of a vehicle, abundant energy drinks or air fresheners hanging from rearview mirrors.

A must read.

With each new story we hear of the NSA’s spying program, things get a little bit crazier—a little more Hollywood, and a lot more galling.

From planting agents in video games like World of Warcraft to a spy satellite adorned with a world-devouring, tentacled octopus (pictured above) the NSA has shown time and again that it’s willing to go to just about any length to gather intelligence on both domestic and foreign citizens.

The latter isn’t problematic beyond diplomatic tension. Spy agencies are, by design, bankrolled to spy on allies and enemies abroad. When it comes to domestic spying, however, we run into problems.

The latest report, this time via Der Spiegel and based on internal NSA documents, reveals that the NSA, in conjunction with the CIA and FBI, has begun intercepting laptops purchased online in order to install (quite literal) spyware and even hardware on the machines.
The NSA terms this “interdiction.” Agents divert shipments to secret warehouses, carefully open the packages, install the software and/or hardware, and send them on their way.

F/A-18A Hornets arrives in the Middle East Region

As part of Operation OKRA, the Australian Air Task Group has deployed six F/A-18A Hornet combat aircraft. The Australian ATG F/A-18A Hornets, as part of the Coalition, continue to conduct close air support and strike operations against the Daesh over Iraq. The F/A-18A Hornet is a Multi-Role Fighter, which means it can be employed in air combat, close air support of ground troops, interdiction of enemy supply lines, and strategic strike in the land and maritime domains.

50 Cal

Cpl. Kyle Klingaman, a Jacksonville, N.C., native and scout sniper with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, runs at the head of a group of Marines moving to cover during an interdiction operation against insurgents near the Bari Gul Bazaar, Nad Ali District, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 4, 2013. The interdiction force landed by helicopter during the cover of night and began sweeping through the area with the help of Afghan forces and interpreters before engaging Taliban fighters in a firefight that lasted nearly four hours. (Photo: Cpl Paul Peterson)


U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier ground attack aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 311, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., take off for a sortie at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2014, during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces, providing combined offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Peter Reft/Released)
Report: NSA Intercepting Laptops Ordered Online, Installing Spyware

The latest report, this time via Der Spiegel and based on internal NSA documents, reveals that the NSA, in conjunction with the CIA and FBI, has begun intercepting laptops purchased online in order to install (quite literal) spyware and even hardware on the machines. The NSA terms this “interdiction.” Agents divert shipments to secret warehouses, carefully open the packages, install the software and/or hardware, and send them on their way.

Building one’s own desktop never looked so attractive.