Friday, December 11, 2009

Pretty Words

But consistent?

“No Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint - no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or the Red Cross worker, or even a person of one's own faith."
- US President Barack Obama,
Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech 10 December 2009.

"I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world.”
- President Obama, same speech.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"It should be more easy to get out of war than into it."

My ancestor Oliver uttered these words in 1787 at the (US) Constitutional Convention. Moyers cites this in this week's comment.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


What I really meant to send to Alice & Gloryoski:
EKPHRASIS or "ecphrasis" is the graphic, often dramatic description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, 'out' and 'speak' respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name. ("Ekphrasis." WIKIPEDIA. Web. 2 Dec. 2009) Here's one from that amazing old pacifist Homer - regarding the shield Achilles' mother (Thetis) persuaded his metalsmith stepfather underground god (Hephaestus) to make for her little warrior (asshole) boy:
- - - (478) First of all he forged a shield that was huge and heavy, elaborating it about, and threw around it a shining triple rim that glittered, and the shield strap was cast of silver. There were five folds composing the shield itself, and upon it he elaborated many things in his skill and craftsmanship. (483) He made the earth upon it, and the sky, and the sea's water, and the tireless sun, and the moon waxing into her fullness, and on it all the constellations that festoon the heavens, the Pleiades and the Hyades and the strength of Orion and the Bear, whom men give also the name of the Wagon, who turns about in a fixed place and looks at Orion and she alone is never plunged in the wash of the Ocean. (490) On it he wrought in all their beauty two cities of mortal men. And there were marriages in one, and festivals. They were leading the brides along the city from their maiden chambers under the flaring of torches, and the loud bride song was arising. The young men followed the circles of the dance, and among them the flutes and lyres kept up their clamour as in the meantime the women standing each at the door of her court admired them. The people were assembled in the market place, where a quarrel had arisen, and two men were disputing over the blood price for a man who had been killed. One man promised full restitution in a public statement, but the other refused and would accept nothing. Both then made for an arbitrator, to have a decision; and people were speaking up on either side, to help both men. But the heralds kept the people in hand, as meanwhile the elders were in session on benches of polished stone in the sacred circle and held in their hands the staves of the heralds who lift their voices. The two men rushed before these, and took turns speaking their cases, and between them lay on the ground two talents of gold, to be given to that judge who in this case spoke the straightest opinion.(509) But around the other city were lying two forces of armed men shining in their war gear. For one side counsel was divided whether to storm and sack, or share between both sides the property and all the possessions the lovely citadel held hard within it. But the city's people were not giving way, and armed for an ambush. Their beloved wives and their little children stood on the rampart to hold it, and with them the men with age upon them, but meanwhile the others went out. And Ares led them, and Pallas Athene. These were gold, both, and golden raiment upon them, and they were beautiful and huge in their armour, being divinities, and conspicuous from afar, but the people around them were smaller. These, when they were come to the place that was set for their ambush, in a river, where there was a watering place for all animals, there they sat down in place shrouding themselves in the bright bronze. But apart from these were sitting two men to watch for the rest of them and waiting until they could see the sheep and the shambling cattle, who appeared presently, and two herdsmen went along with them playing happily on pipes, and took no thought of the treachery. Those others saw them, and made a rush, and quickly thereafter cut off on both sides the herds of cattle and the beautiful flocks of shining sheep, and killed the shepherds upon them. But the other army, as soon as they heard the uproar arising from the cattle, as they sat in their councils, suddenly mounted behind their light-foot horses, and went after, and soon overtook them. These stood their ground and fought a battle by the banks of the river, and they were making casts at each other with their spears bronze-headed; and Hate was there with Confusion among them, and Death the destructive; she was holding a live man with a new wound, and another one unhurt, and dragged a dead man by the feet through the carnage. The clothing upon her shoulders showed strong red with the men's blood. All closed together like living men and fought with each other and dragged away from each other the corpses of those who had fallen.(541) He made upon it a soft field, the pride of the tilled land, wide and triple-ploughed, with many ploughmen upon it who wheeled their teams at the turn and drove them in either direction. And as these making their turn would reach the end-strip of the field, a man would come up to them at this point and hand them a flagon of honey-sweet wine, and they would turn again to the furrows in their haste to come again to the end-strip of the deep field. The earth darkened behind them and looked like earth that has been ploughed though it was gold. Such was the wonder of the shield's forging(550) He made on it the precinct of a king, where the labourers were reaping, with the sharp reaping hooks in their hands Of the cut swathes some fell along the lines of reaping, one after another, while the sheaf-binders caught up others and tied them with bind-ropes. There were three sheaf-binders who stood by, and behind them were children picking up the cut swathes, and filled their arms with them and carried and gave them always; and by them the king in silence and holding his staff stood near the line of the reapers, happily. And apart and under a tree the heralds made a feast ready and trimmed a great ox they had slaughtered. Meanwhile the women scattered, for the workmen to eat, abundant white barley.(561) He made on it a great vineyard heavy with clusters, lovely and in gold, but the grapes upon it were darkened and the vines themselves stood out through poles of silver. About them he made a field-ditch of dark metal, and drove all around this a fence of tin; and there was only one path to the vineyard, and along it ran the grape-bearers for the vineyard's stripping. Young girls and young men, in all their light-hearted innocence, carried the kind, sweet fruit away in their woven baskets, and in their midst a youth with a singing lyre played charmingly upon it for them, and sang the beautiful song for Linos in a light voice, and they followed him, and with singing and whistling and light dance-steps of their feet kept time to the music. (573) He made upon it a herd of horn-straight oxen. The cattle were wrought of gold and of tin, and thronged in speed and with lowing out of the dung of the farmyard to a pasturing place by a sounding river, and beside the moving field of a reed bed. The herdsmen were of gold who went along with the cattle, four of them, and nine dogs shifting their feet followed them. But among the foremost of the cattle two formidable lions had caught hold of a bellowing bull, and he with loud lowings was dragged away, as the dogs and the young men went in pursuit of him. But the two lions, breaking open the hide of the great ox, gulped the black blood and the inward guts, as meanwhile the herdsmen were in the act of setting and urging the quick dogs on them. But they, before they could get their teeth in, turned back from the lions, but would come and take their stand very close, and bayed, and kept clear.(587) And the renowned smith of the strong arms made on it a meadow large and in a lovely valley for the glimmering sheepflocks, with dwelling places upon it, and covered shelters, and sheepfolds.(590) And the renowned smith of the strong arms made elaborate on it a dancing floor, like that which once in the wide spaces of Knossos Daidalos built for Ariadne of the lovely tresses. And there were young men on it and young girls, sought for their beauty with gifts of oxen, dancing, and holding hands at the wrist. These wore, the maidens long light robes, but the men wore tunics of finespun work and shining softly, touched with olive oil. And the girls wore fair garlands on their heads, while the young men carried golden knives that hung from sword-belts of silver. At whiles on their understanding feet they would run very lightly, as when a potter crouching makes trial of his wheel, holding it close in his hands, to see if it will run smooth. At another time they would form rows, and run, rows crossing each other. And around the lovely chorus of dancers stood a great multitude happily watching, while among the dancers two acrobats led the measures of song and dance revolving among them.(606) He made on it the great strength of the Ocean River which ran around the uttermost rim of the shield's strong structure. (transl. Richard Lattimore)
PS: When you read Homer, you draw with him an overarching conclusion: War is destructive bullshit. Glory - I love LeGuin; still figuring out how to dance with Rilke. Alice - xoxo T&A

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Glass-Steagall Repeal Redux

More from Bernie Sanders from our friends at Democracy Now!

Glass-Steagall Act Repeal

from a William Kaufman piece that videopal posted 10 April 2009 on the page titled Common Ground:

The Glass-Steagall Act, passed in 1933, mandated the separation of commercial and investment banking in order to protect depositors from the hazards of risky investment and speculation. It worked fine for fifty years until the banking industry began lobbying for its repeal during the 1980s, the go-go years of Reaganesque market fundamentalism, an outlook embraced wholeheartedly by mainstream Democrats under the rubric "neoliberalism."

The main cheerleader for the repeal was Phil Gramm, the fulsome reactionary who, until he recently shoved his foot even farther into his mouth than usual, was McCain's chief economic advisor.

But wait . . . as usual, the Democrats were eager to pile on to this reversal of New Deal regulatory progressivism -- fully 38 of 45 Senate Democrats voted for the repeal (which passed 90-8), including some famous names commonly associated with "progressive" politics by the easily gulled: Dodd, Kennedy, Kerry, Reid, and Schumer. And, of course, there was the inevitable shout of "yea" from the ever-servile corporate factotum Joseph Biden, Barack Obama's idea of a tribune of "change"--if by change one means erasing any lingering obstacle to corporate domination of the polity.

This disgraceful bow to the banking industry, eagerly signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1999, bears a major share of responsibility for the current banking crisis. Here's the complete roll call of shame:

REPUBLICANS FOR (52): Abraham, Allard, Ashcroft, Bennett, Brownback, Bond, Bunning, Burns, Campbell, Chafee, Cochran, Collins, Coverdell, Craig, Crapo, DeWine, Domenici, Enzi, Frist, Gorton, Gramm (Tex.), Grams (Minn.), Grassley, Gregg, Hegel, Hatch, Helms, Hutchinson (Ark.), Hutchison (Tex.), Inhofe, Jeffords, Kyl, Lott, Lugar, Mack, McConnell, Murkowski, Nickles, Roberts, Roth, Santorum, Sessions, Smith (N.H.), Smith (Ore.), Snowe, Specter, Stevens, Thomas, Thompson, Thurmond, Voinovich and Warner.

DEMOCRATS FOR (38): Akaka, Baucus, Bayh, Biden, Bingaman, Breaux, Byrd, Cleland, Conrad, Daschle, Dodd, Durbin, Edwards, Feinstein, Graham (Fla.), Hollings, Inouye, Johnson, Kennedy, Kerrey (Neb.), Kerry (Mass.), Kohl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Lincoln, Moynihan, Murray, Reed (R.L), Reid (Nev.), Robb, Rockefeller, Sarbanes, Schumer, Torricelli and Wyden.


DEMOCRATS AGAINST(7): Boxer, Bryan, Dorgan, Feingold, Harkin, Mikulski and Wellstone.

NOT VOTING: 2 REPUBLICANS (2): Fitzgerald (voted present) and McCain.

Who's in charge here now, really?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Won't Get Fooled Again

We keep saying that, but we keep getting fooled: "Meet the new boss - same as the old boss."

"The partyng on the left is now partyng on the right."

"I know that they hypnotize - never 'lie.'"

As for me - "I move myself and my family aside / If we happen to be left half alive."

I could go on. Find your own favorite lines.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Save energy! Put people back on the job!

Let's work our way out of the twenty-first century Depression. Bernie Sanders:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stop Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccinations

Keep yer damn lab shit outta my family's bloodstream!

Monday, September 28, 2009

That Said

What's with all the unnecessary gibberish syllables people are increasingly attaching to their utterances? For example the phrase "that said," after making some point. First of all, this is obvious if the listener/reader has been paying attention at all. Second, it usually suggests a prelude to presenting another perspective, which could more meaningfully be conveyed with the word "however" or meaningfully and briefly with "but."
Or how about "It is what it is"? Gee! Really?
How does "in and of itself" differ from "in itself"?
Some forms of "to be able to" seem increasingly to replace "can" or "could." Or to appear for no reason at all, as in "When Gallileo looked through his telescope at the moons of Jupiter and at the motions of the other planets, he was able to conclude that Copernicus was right about the turn of the earth." This could more economically be put like this: ". . . he concluded that . . . ."

In his essay "Politics and the English Language" Orwell called these "verbal false limbs" and warned that exposure to blather like these (and some other forms - see his essay) threatens collectively to make our minds lazy. This is already happening.

These are just a few examples. Here are some more.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kurt Vonnegut

From Armageddon in Retrospect:

We don't fear death, and neither should you. You know what Socrates said about death, in Greek. of course? "Death is just one more night."

As a Humanist, I love science. I hate superstition, which would never have given us A-bombs.

I love science, not only because it has given us the means to trash the planet, and I don't like it here. It has found the answer to one of the biggest questions: How did the Universe begin, and how did we and all the other animals get the wonderful bodies we have, with eyes and brains and kidneys and so on?

OK. So Science sent the Hubble telescope out into space, so it could capture light and the absence thereof, from the very beginning of time. And the telescope really did that. So now we know there was once absolutely nothing, such a perfect nothing that there wasn't even nothing or once. Can you imagine that? You can't, because there isn't even nothing to imagine.

But then there was this great big BANG! And that's where all this crap came from.

Friday, September 4, 2009

This is a blast

I was kind of like the inciter guy in this short after I survived brain surgery. I think people at work thought I was stealing stuff.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The House - Richard Wilbur

by Richard Wilbur

Sometimes, on waking, she would close her eyes
For a last look at that white house she knew
In sleep alone, and held no title to,
And had not entered yet, for all her sighs.
What did she tell me of that house of hers?
White gatepost; terrace; fanlight of the door;
A widow’s walk above the bouldered shore;
Salt winds that ruffle the surrounding firs.
Is she now there, wherever there may be?
Only a foolish man would hope to find
That haven fashioned by her dreaming mind.
Night after night, my love, I put to sea.

(The New Yorker AUGUST 31, 2009)

Monday, August 10, 2009

At least Mom got out alive!

I know what you might be thinking. Mom is dead, some year and a half. So that's just ignorant. I say no, no it's not! Mom got out somewhat unscathed. She died in her sleep on her favorite couch, in her most favorite abode. The couch of all transgression, god forbid! When mom broke her hip and was finally released to her home, she had a visiting nurse whom she loved - Anne - St Anne who loved mom reciprocally. She listened to all Mom's political ravings (Anne-sorry to say I always egged her on).
Well, after her hospital rehab for a hip joint replacement, mom was assigned a youngish- ornery physical therapist who came every other day to bark at her. He told her and she then told me that her furniture, (especially her couch) was unacceptable for her to relax on. I said ok what did he suggest we get?
Mom: Who knows? Oh yeah? What did he know? Brat! He was just a young very unhappy man. Well apparently he did himself in (and her consequentially) when he showed up at a random time in the summer. Mom kept her screen door and windows open. He saw her 'sitting on the dreaded couch' and threatened her that if he ever caught her sitting on THAT couch again, he'd personally throw the damn thing on the lawn.
Mom wasn't easily threatened- in fact she took it as a challenge, and she practically started to live on the couch, in utter defiance of the stocky little man who seemed to her to arrive just in time to torture her in some way. Mom and I decided he was just a dick-and he was.
His last visit to her before he imploded was another unannounced visit. Knowing mom she may have been washing dishes and saw him coming and got her butt right over to 'The Couch' and snuggled right in there just to irk him. "Hello? Someone there?"
According to her report to me, he finally imploded and did a Rumpelstiltskin hissey fit and ran out the door yelling back to her, " You will never see me again!"
Mom was gleeful, but guilty, when I showed up. "I finally got rid of that nasty little man!"
What? I thought, another carcass on the superhighway of mom's intolerance?
I was really proud of her, even though I was put into a position to rescue her from the status quo. I wasn't prepared for that, as in why don't they give manuals when you have a new baby? I called Anne. Anne, saint Anne took this all in and also considered when she met up with me, that I was the antagonist, which she accepted without scorn, saint that she was. She came right over and brought a new, unconventional caretaker for Mom, some lovey- dovey- tiny- Korean woman, who babied mom and was very touchy-touchy. Mom was appalled. She hated touchy-feely-gushy people. At the end of this mortal coil for mom, she tried to give up that belief, with caveats. Like forgetting her appointment with the nice woman by mistake on purpose.
Anne was eventually recommissioned and moved on to her new assignment, but never forgot about mom and kept up on all the goings on. Mom continued to believe that Anne was her Guardian Angel- who else could she be? I was inclined to agree.
On Dec 22, 2007, Mom died on her beloved couch. She won in the final inning. She used all of her great talents to unseat the nasties, and for someone who always took the "Golden Rule' very seriously, in the end realized the golden rule applied to her being as well. God love and good deserved rest Mom!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wendy's Baconator Sandwich

What has the food industry done? They've taken the fat, sugar, and salt; they've put it on every corner. They've made it available 24/7. They've made it socially acceptable to eat at any time. They've added the emotional gloss of advertising. Look at an ad: you'll love it; you'll want it. They've made food into entertainment. We're living, in fact, in a food carnival. - Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Till We Get There

I am on your side.

The Lumpen

Black Panther Party band

All power to the people!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


We can be heroes just for one day.

Friday, July 3, 2009

It is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering.

Fripp: Exposure (dir. Chris Stein). Again -

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Troublemaker

Separate were heaven and earth, good and bad, birth and death. Day and Night never mixed. Woman was woman and man was man.

But Exu, the errant bandit of Africa, liked to entertain himself by provoking outlandish minglings. And he is still at it.

His devilish tricks erase borders, join what the gods divided. Thanks to his clever deeds the sun turns black and the night burns bright. From the pores of men sprout women and women sweat men. The dying are born, the born are dying. For everything created or yet to be created, backward and forward get so confused you can never tell boss from bossed or up from down.

Later rather than sooner, divine order reestablishes its hierarchies and geographies, and everything and everyone gets put in place. But sooner rather than later, madness reappears.

Then the gods lament that the world is such a difficult place

--Eduardo Galleano, "The Troublemaker." Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone. Tr. Mark Fried. (New York: Nation Books, 2009) p.2.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The American Empire is Bankrupt

Chris Hedges:

"This week marks the end of the dollar's reign as the world's reserve currency. It marks the beginning of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signifies the last gasp of the American imperium. That's over. It's not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Did they get you to talk or did you hold out?

Thanks a lot -  RMN, LBJ, Milton Friedman's Chicago Boys, RR, (& GRF) and, yes, even JEC and WGC:

Monday, June 1, 2009

War is Sin

Chris Hedges:

The crisis faced by combat veterans returning from war is not simply a profound struggle with trauma and alienation.  It is often, for those who can slice through the suffering to self-awareness, an existential crisis.  War exposes the lies we tell ourselves about about ourselves.  It rips open the hypocrisy of our religions and secular institutions.  Those who return from war have learned something which is often incomprehensible to those who have stayed home.  We are not a virtuous nation.  God and fate have not blessed us above others.  Victory is not assured.  War is neither glorious nor noble.  And we carry within us the capacity for evil we ascribe to those we fight.

Those who return to speak this truth, such as members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, are our contemporary prophets.  But like all prophets they are condemned and ignored for their courage.  They struggle, in  a culture awash in lies, to tell what few have the fortitude to digest. . . . 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Marx's Relevance Right Now


Remember when WalMart lobbied in favor of upping the minimum wage?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Williiam Carlos Williams "The Dance"

 . . . . Kicking and rolling about  / the Fair Grounds, swinging their butts, those / shanks must be sound to bear up under such / rollicking measures, prance as they dance / in Breughel's great picture, the Kermess

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Back when she was a child, Helena pretended to be sleeping and then slipped out of bed.
She dressed all in white, as if it were Sunday, and without a sound snuck out on the patio to discover the mysteries of the Tuscuman night.
Her parents slept, her sisters as well.
She wanted to see how the night changed and how the moon and stars moved. Someone had told her that the heavenly bodies shifted and sometimes fell, and that as the night advanced they changed color.
That night of nights, Helena watched without blinking. Her neck ached, her eyes hurt. She rubbed her eyes and looked again. She looked and kept on looking, but the sky did not change and the moon and stars remained firmly in their places.
Dawn awakened her. Helena shed a tear.
Later, she consoled herself with the thought that night doesn't like anyone spying on its secrets.

- Eduardo Galeano, "Night." Voices of Time: A Life in Stories. Trans. Mark Fried (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006) 40.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The debate about whether "human rights" can ever truly be separated from politics and economics is not unique to Latin America; these are questions that surface whenever states use torture as a weapon of policy. Despite the mystique that surrounds it, and the understandable impulse to treat it as aberrant behavior beyond politics, torture is not particularly complicated or mysterious. A tool of the crudest kind of coercion, it crops up with great predictability whenever a local despot or a foreign occupier lacks consent to rule: Marcos in the Philippines, the shah in Iran, Saddam in Iraq, the French in Algeria, the Israelis in the occupied territories, the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. The list could stretch on and on. The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtually foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system--whether political, religious or economic--that is rejected by large numbers of the people they are ruling. Just as ecologists define ecosystems by the presence of certain "indicator species" of plants and birds, torture is an indicator species of a regime that is engaged in a deeply anti-democratic project, even if that regime happens to have come to power through elections

As a means of extracting information during interrogations, torture is notoriously unreliable, but as a means of terrorizing and controlling populations, nothing is quite as effective. It was for this reason that, in the fifties and sixties, many Algerians grew impatient with French liberals who expressed their moral outrage over news that their soldiers were electrocuting and water-boarding liberation fighters--and yet did nothing to end the occupation that was the reason for these abuses.

-- Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine (New York: Picador, 2007), 155-156.

Harold and Maude

HAROLD: You sure have a way with people.

MAUDE: Well, they're my species!


(esp. in Marxist terminology) the unorganized and unpolitical lower orders of society who are not interested in revolutionary advancement.

ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from German (a term originally used by Karl Marx), from Lumpen "rag, rogue" + PROLETARIAT.

Oxford American Dictionaries

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nassim Taleb in one of his sunniest moods


#111:  Some people think they attend opera for the story.

It is the same with language.  Language is largely made to show-off,  gossip, confuse people, delude them, charm them, seduce them, exploit them, etc.  And as a side effect, convey information.  Just a side effect, you fools.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Honeymoon's Over for Obama ( with more thanks to Taibbi)

Weird decisions from the get-go.  More Goldman Sachs thieves?  Talk about crooked cops!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Taleb's Ten Principles for a Black Swan free world

As I understand it a "black swan" is an odious random circumstance that affects history.  You could probably think of some.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Eric Cantor: Flunkie for Extortionist Thugs

Gosh I'd hate to see anything happen to your paycheck. How's the wife and kids?

Monday, March 23, 2009

One of the Heroes

Someone who reminds us that (abridging Frank Zappa) it's great to be alive.

Usury & foreclosures - not so much.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Larisa Alexandrovna on shabby reporting

At a recent John Edwards appearance at Brown.  Sad.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Christopher Smart

18th century English poet.  From

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Love

My Love

I feel you

Like I felt you

Over time when I called you

And I searched for your face

In all of the small towns

And wondered what it would be like

If we passed each other on the street

I feel you now

Is it you? Is it?

My spine tingles

My sleep is fitful

As I reach for you, but you aren’t there

I wake smiling and the dream

Dances on through my day

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009


The way the dog runs out through the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.

Who provides a better example
of a life without encumbrance--
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Ghandi with his staff and his holy diapers?

Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.

If only she did not shove the cat aside
every morning
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she
would be
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.

Billy Collins 1974

The Pope Knows

I haven't written and I feel sooo guilty! There is so much on my mind, I am glad that the election is over and I believe I may throw my hat in for my town Board. It's an actual paying job, which has been a problem in this last year. Not much to be made on unemployment after Cobra payments. What a world!

The most distressing situation has been the murder by shelling and dropping of white phosphorous and god knows what all else, on the innocent people of Gaza by Israel. There is no excuse, I feel it is outright genocide. Thank the stars for Jimmy Carter, and the others who took Israel to task and are now threatening war crimes charges.

"The New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC), based in Genoa, Italy, indicated that Israel was "experimenting with new non-conventional weapons on the civilian population in Gaza," similar to those Israel used during its 34-day war on Lebanon in 2006.

The committee, made up of independent scientists and doctors studying non-conventional weapons and their medium-term effects on people, said Israel was using "white phosphorous, dense inert metal explosive (DIME), thermobaric bomb, cluster bombs and uranium ammunitions, and experimented novel weapons and delivery modalities."

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has concurred, saying that Israel was using white phosphorus, and that its own researchers observed multiple shell-bursts of the chemical material on Jan. 9 and 10 near Gaza City and Jabalya refugee camp. HRW urged Israel against using it in its operations in densely-populated areas.

The rights group said while Israel seemed to be using white phosphorous as an "obscurant," which is permitted in principle under international humanitarian law, it is a violation to be used in populated areas.

"White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin," HRW senior military analyst Marc Garlasco said in a statement." (Middle East Times, Monday February 2, 2009 )

So back to the Pope, Ratzinger, who was busy forgiving a holocaust denier bishop, while claiming solidarity with Israel. What do you expect from a former Hitler Youth? See below:

"Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday expressed "solidarity" with the Jews and condemned denial of the Holocaust after lifting the excommunication of a bishop who claims the Nazis did not use gas chambers." (AFP news- Wednesday January 28, 2009)

Anyway, with all of this hypocrisy and lying, I will leave with this thought: Where is the benevolent god that religions supposedly seek? I guess the Pope knows..


Friday, January 30, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good News!

Obama Names Michael Copps Acting Head of FCC