Saturday, January 31, 2015

"事態は膠着状態になっている" Hostage situation stalemate

Dark side of a rising sun.

[UPDATE: An hour later, news arrives of Kenji Goto's brutal murder at the hands of ISIS. As we Jews say, may God avenge his blood.]

tonight's soundtrack Roy Davis Jr ft Peven Everett - Gabriel (Live Garage Version)
(This is slightly trance-inducing music tweeted as "today's soundtrack" by a stressed Japanese reporter who is taking the graveyard shift, on standby, awaiting any developments in the deadlocked hostages situation between Japan, Jordan and the Islamic State group. The Japanese reporters are enduring a hugely emotional situation, exacerbated by the death of one killed in a car accident on the way to the Turkish border where they all had gathered to prepare to report on and greet their colleague Kenji Goto upon his hoped-for release. Tragically, he did not appear, of course, the situation devolved into a dark silence of waiting, and the reporters were later warned away from the border area by their own goverment in fear of more kidnapping. How these journos survive emotionally, I don't know.)

膠着 (kouchakuDeadlock, stuck, stalemate

The next day, a Japanese government official announced that the negotiations were deadlocked.

How had this sad story happened? Here we have an elite Japanese (in this case Abe) who postured with a $200 million humanitarian gift to support the countries battling with ISIS, forgetting about, or disregarding, the risk to the lives of the two hostages, and leading to the death of one and possibly both.

This grand gesture at the probable cost of men's lives echoes those of Messrs. Toyoda and Uchiyamada in the 2010 Congressional hearings; their apologies, their public posturing about how they care so deeply for the tragedies and for the safety of their customers, their denials of deliberate wrongdoing. All the while, as has been widely alleged, they and their employees knew full well about the risk to their customers' lives.

Now we have a deadlock with Toyota and the peoples' lives. The company is forever blocked from admitting the truth of the killer defects in their vehicle electronics, or admitting their own lies, because of the self-destruction that would bring. In a crazy absurdity of modern corporate life, their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders has prevented them from admitting the truth. They are stuck. And as long as they are stuck, both the Japanese and US governments are just as stuck.
Until they admit it, lives remain at risk.

Jake Adelstein writes in a Japan Times column: The Dark Side of the Rising Sun
There is another crime in Japanese law we have also been hearing about in the midst of the hostage crisis: professional negligence resulting in death or injury. The Tokyo Prosecutor’s District Public Office last week said it would not hold Tepco responsible for the triple nuclear meltdowns in March 2011 and, therefore, would not press charges. The story was buried in the news cycle amidst all the hostage updates.
Imagine if we started holding people responsible for the deaths of people because they failed to pay attention to the risks of what they did? Tepco might go bankrupt or its executives might be jailed. On the other hand, Shukan Post paid attention and killed its story. Abe decided for himself there was no risk or, simply, that he didn’t care.
That’s not a crime, right?

Well, Jake, this all sounds so familiar to us who noticed that US prosecutors also did not go after Toyota execs when they had evidence of professional negligence (at best; more likely executive willful blindness) resulting in both death and injury.  The professional negligence seems contagious. Prosecutors catch it from executives and politicians.  Somehow Toyota made the US goverment behave just like the Japanese government behaves towards it most sacred sources of funding and support.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

NHTSA whistleblower hotline? 1-888-327-4236 -- seekS Takata whistleblowers UPDATE

(Reuters) - U.S. vehicle safety regulators want to find whistleblowers with knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” by Takata Corp, stepping up pressure on the air bag maker whose products are linked to five deaths and dozens of injuries.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Reuters it was urging potential informants to call its hotline at 1-888-327-4236, promising legal protection.
"We encourage all individuals with information about the manufacture or testing of Takata air bag inflators, or who have knowledge of possible defects or any wrongdoing by the company, to make this information available to NHTSA," agency spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said.


I did a little "fact-checking" to see if NHTSA's invitation to Takata whistleblowers was reality. I called the listed number and tried to check whether, if I were a Takata whistleblower, what the response would be. The lady who answered the phone had no idea what I was talking about. Her supervisor had no idea what I was talking about. She also suggested that I contact the "communications" department to talk about anything that I had "read in the news." After I took around ten minutes to explain that the communications department sounds like outbound communications, and any potential whistleblower would be providing inbound communications, and that it somehow did not make sense to mix up those two things, ...then after a long long time on hold, I was provided a physical address for any whistleblower to mail in their report of what they could offer. I suggested to her that many whistleblowers would not like mailing as their only option, and she repeated that it is all she can suggest as way of reporting any defect. So I conclude that the "hotline" does not really function as a whistleblower hotline unless someone is a lot more persuasive than I was.

The address:
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C.   20590

Meanwhile, on a related track:

Breaking: bipartisan group of senators led by reintroduce auto safety whistleblower legislation 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Google (cleverly) tells would-be regulators of self-driving cars to just go to hell

Intricate enough to boggle a regulator's mind.

Where have we heard this before?
Sacramento Business Journal reports on CA DMV meetings on self-driving cars

Google company officials warned the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday against establishing a government process for measuring the safety of driverless cars.
Google representatives spoke Tuesday morning at a public workshop attended by more than 100 car manufacturers, state workers, lobbyists and safety advocates. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) officials argued that the technology behind autonomous vehicles is too intricate for state government representatives to fully grasp -- and therefore regulate. Google instead suggested that the tech giant show regulators its own safety process.
"This is a dangerous route you are taking," said Bryan Salesky, program manager for Google's self-driving cars unit. He was referring to the possibility that state officials will establish their own process for assessing the safety of these cars.
"The DMV is not in the best position to evaluate the safety of any one of these products," Salesky said....."Safety is built into the product from day one. It's something that is organic to what we do."For the same reason, Salesky said, bringing in a third-party safety contractor would be "naive."
Here's a reminder that the NHTSA #2 man who presided over the NASA (purported) "study" of Toyota's electronics, Ron Medford, is now Director of Safety for Google's autonomous cars program.

Wired: Google poaches NHTSA deputy director for self-driving cars program

Question: If the government is responsible for the safety and well-being of the people, how can Google just tell the government to neglect to perform that duty?

Toyota recalls Avalons due to risk of fires from short circuit

. recalls 52,000 2011-2012 Avalon sedans because of fire risk; cargo could contact subwoofer wires in trunk, cause short circuit

Toyota gets hip to its need for efficient vehicle systems development!


At least 15 years too late (but better late than never), Toyota sounds like it is getting serious about highly efficient vehicle systems development, presumably leading to dependable software.

How about seeking some good candidates like Dr. Koopman? 


Post-Doc Researcher (Closed Loop)
Posted yesterday by Toyota InfoTechnology Center in Mountain View, CA under Research
Job Summary:
Demand for highly-dependable automotive systems is a challenge common to the past present and future. In order to address the increasing importance of E/E systems, Toyota InfoTechnology Center, Systems and Software Research Team is conducting research projects including System & Software Assurance; Efficient Development Processes; and Dependable Software Platforms.
Toyota InfoTechnology Center, Systems and Software Research Team is seeking talented candidates for a post-doc researcher involving full-time research on highly efficient vehicle system development. This post-doc researcher position is mainly involved in the research agenda for systems and software engineering.
Primary Performance Responsibilities:
  • Research on Innovative Approach to Vehicle System Development including
    • Real-time system design
    • Model-based development for cyber physical systems
    • Multi-physics and multi-fidelity modeling
    • Model interoperability
    • Closed-loop simulation and verification
    • Applied formal verification
  • Ph. D in Computer Science or related field.
  • Deep knowledge of Computer Systems, Embedded Systems, and Systems and Software Engineering.
  • Research prototype development skills.
  • Ability to engage in general research activities, e.g., planning, time management, and team building.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a highly motivated team environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
To Apply for this position:
Please include:
  • A cover letter explaining why you would like to work with us
  • Latest Resume/CV
  • Any other information that you think we should consider while reviewing your application
About us:
Since 2001, Toyota InfoTechnology Center USA, Inc. has specialized in R&D and business research with a focus on cutting-edge information technologies to advance the driving experience of Toyota automobiles and safety of the automotive industry on the globe. ITC’s current areas of interest include future vehicular network,in-vehicle software and system architecture, vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology, intelligent computing technology including artificial intelligence and machine learning, Smart Grid.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


"Toyota Motor Corp. is in settlement talks with a former translator and self-described whistleblower who was sanctioned last month for posting on a blog internal documents related to its sudden acceleration defects.
In a court filing on Thursday, Toyota attorney Lisa Gilford and a lawyer for the translator, Betsy Benjaminson, said they “are actively negotiating a potential resolution to their differences regarding the documents.” They sought more time to file a proposed plan by Feb. 11 on how to destroy the documents.
A settlement, if finalized, would end the latest chapter over Toyota’s sudden acceleration issues, which resulted in recalls of more than 10 million vehicles worldwide and billions of dollars in settlements with government agencies and consumers. Toyota raised concerns about Benjaminson last year after she posted thousands of its internal documents online.
Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin declined to discuss any settlement negotiations. He wrote in an email, “We believe all of the documents obtained by Ms. Benjaminson through her work on Toyota-related matters are protected, and we are exploring our options to secure the return or destruction of these confidential materials.”
Benjamin’s attorney, Karren Kenney, a criminal defense attorney in Costa Mesa, Calif., said her client is “committed to continue with the negotiations in hopes of reaching a settlement.”
She added: “At this point, given all of the issues involved, I'm not sure if a settlement will be reached that would satisfy both sides.”

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Toyota Tsusho (Thailand) URGENTLY seeking technical trainers for ECU software engineering

(better late than never ... )
Technical Trainer(Software Engineer) **Urgent **
Lumpini Patthumwan Bangkok
Qualifications :
- Male/Female, not least than 30 year-old, Thai nationality.
- Bachelor's Degree or higher in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Software Engineering,
Electronics Engineering, Electrical Engineering or related field
- At least 3 years experiences in Technical Training (C Programming, Embedded system)
- Experience in C Programming Language, Embedded System Programming and Other programming language
- Have skill in ECU development and Application developments
- Logical thinking to provide effective communication and Pleasant / Energetic characteristic.
- Able to work under pressure situation and give commitment to deadline
- Good command of both written and spoken English
Job description:
- Technical Trainer for Embedded Software Business
- Developing Training Material and Delivering training to Software Engineer
- Developing Training course to support Software Engineer
(Basic Embedded System, C Programming and Enterprise software development course)
Skills / Languages
Japanese Skill : None
English Skill : Good
N/A THB/Month
Additional Information
Nationality : Thai
Gender : N/A
Age (From-To) : 30-0 Years
Education Level : Bachelor
Job Type : Full Time
Year Exp. : 3 - 0 Years
Position : 1 Position(s)
Contact Information
Contact Name : TAKAHASHI 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Joan Claybrook comments on Obama's "cut regulations" and "rein in frivolous lawsuits"

"[Obama has] issued an edict that says that every 
government agency ought to cut regulations."

AMY GOODMAN: Joan Claybrook, you’re a leading consumer advocate. You’re the president emerita of Public Citizen. You’re here in Park City at the Sundance Film Festival — actually, we played a clip of a movie yesterday called Hot Coffee, where you talked about legislation that limits people’s ability to access the courts. But first, overall, your response to what President Obama had to say last night?
JOAN CLAYBROOK: Well, first of all, I think that this was his first campaign speech of 2012, and he was attempting to preempt the Republicans from going after some of the things that he’s advocated. And the thing that — but the thing that really bothered me the most was that he’s going to cut domestic spending for programs that are essential for Americans. And I look at his new framework of being a business-friendly administration and say to myself, have they earned this? Have the Wall Street guys who robbed and plundered America, have they earned a seat at the table from this president? Have the guys who harmed homeowners and sent all these poor families into foreclosure, have they earned a seat at the table in a, quote, "business-friendly" administration? Not to me.
I also look at the whole issue of regulation. He has issued an edict that says that every government agency ought cut some regulations. Now, we’re not talking about some obscure thing. We’re talking about the environment, global warming, health, safety, pharmaceutical issues, auto safety, truck safety — all these issues that matter every day to Americans. And what that sends is a message. It sends a message to the civil servants who sweat to try and get these issues dealt with and to protect the American public that their president isn’t going to support them if they get into a controversial issue. And every regulation, almost, is controversial, because somebody doesn’t want it, particularly Big Business. And it sends a message to the business interests that they can go with impunity and oppose these regulatory programs, and they know that the President is probably going to clamp down on the people who are issuing the rules. And these rules matter. They really matter, when you have, for example, a very controversial one pending is hours of service for truck drivers. And it kills 5,000 people a year and injures, you know, almost 100,000 people a year. Just think of the consequences for American families with just that one rule. And then it sends a message to Congress, and particularly Congressman Issa of California, who is the new head of the Oversight Committee, who wants to go after the regulatory program, who went to the business interests and said, "What do you want to kill?" So, I see that the President is not really addressing the issues that matter to American people.
AMY GOODMAN: [Darrell] Issa, believed to be, I think, the wealthiest member of Congress.
JOAN CLAYBROOK: Yes, right, right.
AMY GOODMAN: "Step away from the car" is his line. I think it’s in his voice.
JOAN CLAYBROOK: Right, right.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s where he got his wealth —
JOAN CLAYBROOK: That’s right. Right.
AMY GOODMAN: — from the — what was the — the system for protecting cars, the car alarm system.
JOAN CLAYBROOK: Right, right.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn for a minute to something else President Obama talked about, and it’s about limiting what they call frivolous lawsuits. This is President Obama in his State of the Union address.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This means further reducing healthcare costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. The health insurance law we passed last year will slow these rising costs, which is part of the reason that nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the healthcare law would add a quarter-of-a-trillion dollars to our deficit. Still, I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.
AMY GOODMAN: That was President Obama talking about "medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits." Your response, Joan Claybrook?
JOAN CLAYBROOK: My response is that I am outraged to hear this. First of all, they’re not frivolous lawsuits in the medical malpractice area, because the lawyers who take these cases don’t get paid unless they win. So they’re not going to take frivolous lawsuits. That’s the first thing. Secondly, medical malpractice kills between 40,000 and 100,000 people a year. Five percent of the doctors cause 55 percent of the medical malpractice in this country. The medical system does not discipline themselves. And so, the only way that you can have any kind of redress against repeat offender doctors is to have the opportunity for people to sue and to make sure that these doctors are eventually disciplined. The harm is horrific. [sounds like the same pattern as the auto industry and NHTSA]
And what he wants to do is to put a cap on damages, so that the President is deciding the value that these poor people who are injured should get, and the individuals are then limited, under such arbitrary caps, caps on the amount of money they can recover, they’re limited to that amount. And I met a family that was in this Hot Coffee movie that had awarded — the jury awarded them for their baby who was born with brain damage. They were awarded almost $6 million. The cap on damages got them $125 million. So who pays the difference?
AMY GOODMAN: One-point-two-five.
JOAN CLAYBROOK: Oh, $1.25 million, sorry. And so, who gets the difference — who pays the difference? It’s the state, the taxpayers. They have to pick up the care. And this family have no capacity to make sure their child is taken care of when they die. And it’s a 24/7 job for the mother to take care of a brain-damaged child. And she gets no compensation whatsoever. And the doctor walks away scot-free.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Transcript of Dec. 3 contempt hearing in Central District of California court

Hello, Lisa! Hello, can you hear?

Hearing transcript

I take the Fifth in my declaration responding to court order

While I'm at it, give me a pint of "Mama's Pilz" draft craft.

The Fifth Amendment applies only to natural persons, but Toyota seems to think that it applies to itself in a kind of informal way, in other words, it seems to think that it has a perfect right to keep silent about anything at all, no matter what death that may bring to the people.

 Anyway, I am a natural person with more rights than Toyota has under the U.S. Constitution.

Benjaminson declaration in response to court order

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PR expert and professor Shannon Bowen analyzes Toyota's PR response to SUA crisis and finds ethics wanting

Are we shocked that Toyota's ethics are wanting?, no!  But this is interesting as a quantitative analysis of just how Toyota's PR was handled as it covered up SUA in general and electronically-induced SUA ...

Doing the Right Thing  - article describing the study and background

".....For Bowen, the episode is a stark example of what can happen when ethical behavior is not a driving force in top management and when a public relations strategy is not aligned with the tenets of ethical conduct. Her dissertation focused on how ethics derived from the work of 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant can serve as a guiding principle in public relations, and in her academic career she focuses on teaching and research involving the integration of ethical conduct into the highest decision-making levels of organizations. She sees an ethically grounded chief communications officer as an essential member of all top management teams."
Paper at Science Direct

This study employs a content analysis to examine news coverage concerning Toyota's recall crises from January 16, 2009, through November 21, 2012, in the following media: The New York TimesThe Washington PostUSA Today, and the news releases listed on the Toyota official website. We examine how the media frame Toyota's crises and responses, and whether the news coverage varied between mass media and Toyota's releases. The findings shed light on the crisis communication in terms of response strategy selection. In tracking the ethics of the Toyota crisis in the years since its inception, combined with a content analysis conducted in this paper, the authors attempted to integrate the literature of crisis management with that of ethics in public relations. Ethics should be foremost among the considerations of an organization's reputation and a primary factor of successful crisis management. The Toyota case has far reaching implications for ethical crisis management and recall strategy in the auto industry as a whole.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Israeli start-up Phinergy presents working prototype "air car" while Abe shows up in Israel with 100 Japanese business/govt. leaders

New aluminum battery allows car to run on air and water.

A little digression into another aspect of auto safety--that is, how to keep the earth and its people safe from auto-generated pollution.

Bloomberg exclusive on Israel-invented "air car"

 A car that runs on water and air — 

the future of transportation in an aluminum-air battery from Israeli company Phinergy. 

Could be on market in 2017.

Fill-up? with water! Sounds like just another wild idea. But this car is driveable already. 

To me, it sounds like a much better idea than Toyota's hydrogen vehicles.

Meanwhile, Japan's PM Shinzo Abe arrived in Israel yesterday as Japan gears up for more commercial ties to Israel, now that we have discovered trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and have invented lots of great high-tech stuff. This air car is just one example.

Japan's PM Shinzo Abe arrives in Israel.

For its part, Israel also needs to boost trade with Asia on account of the Islamization of Europe, so it seems likely that we will hear more about Israel-Japan tech cooperation and business deals going forward.

Thread on Hacker News re Toyota's dangerous software: "Code must not kill."


Hacker News discussion thread in response to Koopman and Barr

On this thread, "Tokenrove" wrote:
There is mounting evidence that this wasn't a "it could happen to anyone" bug, but rather a serious violation of software engineering ethics. Code must not kill.

"Pure, innocent prayers" protection plan for auto safety

If automakers and NHTSA do not really care about your safety, 
you can pay to have innocent children pray and appeal directly to God.

silverpikezero on Hacker News: "Alarming" ... "Stunning lapse of quality"


Yet another software engineer joins the large community of engineers who are alarmed at Toyota's unsafe engineering practices:

Comment by "silverpikezero" on Hacker News, commenting on Dr. Koopman's presentation about Toyota's software:

This is an absolutely fascinating slide set. Thanks submitter very much for the link. I have written embedded C before, and the following facts just blow my mind:1. The Throttle Angle function in the Toyota code had a McCabe Cyclomatic Complexity of 146 (over 50 is considered untestable according to slides) [slide 38]
2. The main throttle function was 1300 lines long, and had no directed tests. [slide 38]
3. I find the static analysis results quite alarming. [slide 37]
4. 80+% of variables were declared as global. [slide 40]
I find this to be a stunning lapse of quality, especially for a safety-critical system.

Question: Why are the DOJ, Congress, and NHTSA not alarmed at the stunning lapse of quality in a safety-critical system?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quinlan vs. Toyota SUA = quadruplegic: All he can do is blink

A  blink.

A Florida court found that the plaintiff had offered enough evidence to permit a claim for punitive damages.

"Defendants knew...but delayed warning the public about the electronics defects to protect their own interests."

Florida court's opinion permitting claim for punitive damages

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Koua Fong Lee trial: attorney Bob Hilliard says Toyota never tested cars with plastic pulleys

Plastic pulleys = pulling bodies out of a car

Toyota denies fault for fatal StPaul crash
By Elizabeth Mohr
POSTED:   01/08/2015 12:01:00 AM CST  
Twin Cities report on Koua Fong Lee trial
(selected comment):
Trudy Groppoli Baltazar • 4 days ago
So, I have to say my favorite statement by Bob Hilliard during his opening statement in this lawsuit. He showed the Toyota testing specification for when Toyota tested their 1996 Camry LE before determining if it was safe or not. The test was specifically for the Accelerator Control System (ACS). The ACS that Toyota tested all contained metal pulleys which control the accelerator cable. Well as it turns out, Koua's '96 Camry has plastic pulleys. Toyota never tested the ACS units with plastic pulleys.

[Toyota defense counsel] Graves also objected repeatedly during the testimony of John Stilson, an Illinois automotive and safety consultant who criticized Toyota’s accelerator design for the 1996 Camry.
“It is my opinion it was designed and manufactured defectively,” he stated.
Stilson said that heat from the Camry engine caused two plastic pulleys to “bind” and become stuck, leading the car to accelerate on its own.

Karren Kenney appointed as my new defense counsel

Karren Kenney

The court appointed another lawyer. I look forward to working with her.

Order appointing Karren Kenney as my CJA defense counsel

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ba Boom! Expert in Koua Fong Lee v Toyota trial -- Lee "stepped on brakes"

"Koua Fong Lee had been stepping on his brakes at the time of impact."

Question: Toyota's defense counsel has surely seen this same evidence. Why does he persist in bringing the pedal error defense?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Masque of Anarchy - the poem that inspired modern nonviolent civil disobedience

People stand strong against killing by tyrants, whether they be 
brutal rulers, murderous enslaving corporations, or phony religious megalomaniacs.

The Masque of Anarchy
Written on the occasion of the massacre at Manchester.

As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.
I met Murder on the way—
He had a mask like Castlereagh—
Very smooth he looked, yet grim ;
Seven blood-hounds followed him :
All were fat ; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.
Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Lord Eldon, an ermined gown ;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.
And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.
Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.
And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, and spies.
Last came Anarchy : he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood ;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.
And he wore a kingly crown ;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone ;
On his brow this mark I saw—
With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.
And with a mighty troop around
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.
And with glorious triumph they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.
O’er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down ;
Till they came to London town.
And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.
For from pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
‘Thou art God, and Law, and King.
‘We have waited weak and lone
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.’
Lawyers and priests a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed ;
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering—‘Thou art Law and God.’—
Then all cried with one accord,
‘Thou art King, and God, and Lord ;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!’
And Anarchy, the Skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.
For he knew the Palaces
Of our Kings were rightly his ;
His the sceptre, crown, and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.
So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned Parliament
When one fled past, a maniac maid,
And her name was Hope, she said :
But she looked more like Despair,
And she cried out in the air :
‘My father Time is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day ;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling with his palsied hands!
‘He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me—
Misery, oh, Misery!’
Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.
When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, an image rose.
Small at first, and weak, and frail
Like the vapour of a vale :
Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky.
It grew—a Shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper’s scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was as the light of sunny rain.
On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the Morning’s, lay ;
And those plumes its light rained through
Like a shower of crimson dew.
With step as soft as wind it passed
O’er the heads of men—so fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked,—but all was empty air.
As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,
As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.
And the prostrate multitude
Looked—and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien :
And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth ;
The Horse of Death tameless as wind
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.
A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt—and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose
As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother’s throe
Had turned every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood,—
As if her heart cried out aloud :
‘Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another ;
‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number.
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few.
‘What is Freedom?—ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well—
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.
‘’Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants’ use to dwell,
‘So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.
‘’Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak,—
They are dying whilst I speak.
‘’Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye ;
‘’Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More than e’er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.
‘Paper coin—that forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something from the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.
‘’Tis to be a slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.
‘And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
’Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew
Ride over your wives and you—
Blood is on the grass like dew.
‘Then it is to feel revenge
Fiercely thirsting to exchange
Blood for blood—and wrong for wrong—
Do not thus when ye are strong.
‘Birds find rest, in narrow nest
When weary of their wingèd quest ;
Beasts find fare, in woody lair
When storm and snow are in the air.
‘Horses, oxen, have a home,
When from daily toil they come ;
Household dogs, when the wind roars,
Find a home within warm doors.’
‘Asses, swine, have litter spread
And with fitting food are fed ;
All things have a home but one—
Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none !
‘This is Slavery—savage men,
Or wild beasts within a den
Would endure not as ye do—
But such ills they never knew.
‘What art thou, Freedom ? O ! could slaves
Answer from their living graves
This demand—tyrants would flee
Like a dream’s imagery :
‘Thou are not, as impostors say,
A shadow soon to pass away,
A superstition, and a name
Echoing from the cave of Fame.
‘For the labourer thou art bread,
And a comely table spread
From his daily labour come
In a neat and happy home.
‘Thou art clothes, and fire, and food
For the trampled multitude—
No—in countries that are free
Such starvation cannot be
As in England now we see.
‘To the rich thou art a check,
When his foot is on the neck
Of his victim, thou dost make
That he treads upon a snake.
‘Thou art Justice—ne’er for gold
May thy righteous laws be sold
As laws are in England—thou
Shield’st alike both high and low.
‘Thou art Wisdom—Freemen never
Dream that God will damn for ever
All who think those things untrue
Of which Priests make such ado.
‘Thou art Peace—never by thee
Would blood and treasure wasted be
As tyrants wasted them, when all
Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.
‘What if English toil and blood
Was poured forth, even as a flood ?
It availed, Oh, Liberty.
To dim, but not extinguish thee.
‘Thou art Love—the rich have kissed
Thy feet, and like him following Christ,
Give their substance to the free
And through the rough world follow thee,
‘Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
War for thy belovèd sake
On wealth, and war, and fraud—whence they
Drew the power which is their prey.
‘Science, Poetry, and Thought
Are thy lamps ; they make the lot
Of the dwellers in a cot
So serene, they curse it not.
‘Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,
All that can adorn and bless
Art thou—let deeds, not words, express
Thine exceeding loveliness.
‘Let a great Assembly be
Of the fearless and the free
On some spot of English ground
Where the plains stretch wide around.
‘Let the blue sky overhead,
The green earth on which ye tread,
All that must eternal be
Witness the solemnity.
‘From the corners uttermost
Of the bounds of English coast ;
From every hut, village, and town
Where those who live and suffer moan
For others’ misery or their own,
‘From the workhouse and the prison
Where pale as corpses newly risen,
Women, children, young and old
Groan for pain, and weep for cold—
‘From the haunts of daily life
Where is waged the daily strife
With common wants and common cares
Which sows the human heart with tares—
‘Lastly from the palaces
Where the murmur of distress
Echoes, like the distant sound
Of a wind alive around
‘Those prison halls of wealth and fashion.
Where some few feel such compassion
For those who groan, and toil, and wail
As must make their brethren pale—
‘Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold—
‘Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free—
‘Be your strong and simple words
Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
And wide as targes let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.
‘Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
Troops of armed emblazonry.
‘Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses’ heels.
‘Let the fixèd bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
Its bright point in English blood
Looking keen as one for food.
‘Let the horsemen’s scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
In a sea of death and mourning.
‘Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,
‘And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armèd steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.
‘Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,
‘The old laws of England—they
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day ;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo—Liberty !
‘On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.
‘And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew, —
What they like, that let them do.
‘With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.’
‘Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.
‘Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand—
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.
‘And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.
‘And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular ;
A volcano heard afar.
‘And these words shall then become
Like Oppression’s thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain.
Heard again—again—again—
‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number—
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few.’