Friday, November 11, 2016

In the Wrong Hands

When the Patriot Act was created shortly after 9/11,  and when the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was enacted somewhat later, serious concern was  expressed about  the danger these bills presented to our liberties.

Our concerns were mollified by statements  that we had nothing to fear unless these powers fell "into the wrong hands."


__________________________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dylan Thomas (expressing my feelings on 2016 American election)

I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors' continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I  have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
From there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.

I have longed to move away but am afraid;
Some life, yet unspent, might explode,
Out of the old lie burning on the ground.
And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night's ancient fear,
The parting of hat from hair,
Pursed lips at the receiver,
Shall I fall to death's feather.
By these I would not care to die,
Half convention, half lie.

_______________________________________________________________________

Dylan Thomas on Power

The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose's quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.

The  hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
And famine grew, and locusts came;
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.

The five  kings count the  dead but  do not soften
The crusted wound nor stroke the  brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.

________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Ashes


Ashes slip from hand
to earth.  Tears wet some.  Others
settle in.  Selah.

________________________________________________________________



Monday, August 15, 2016

Image and Technology, Daniel Boorstin has a say

This  is a good time to re-post a trenchant  quotation  by the Swiss novelist Max Frisch"

"Technology...the knack of so arranging the world  that we don't have to  experience  it."

The above quotation is found on the title page of "THE IMAGE", a book written by Daniel J. Boorstin and published in 1962.

The book is  divided into six sections, titled as follows:

1.  From News Gathering to News Making
     A Flood of Pseudo-Events

2.  From Hero to Celebrity
     The Human Pseudo-Event

3.From Traveler to Tourist
   The Lost Art of Travel

4.  From Shapes to  Shadows
     Dissolving Forms

5.  From Ideal to Image
     The Search for Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

6.  From the American Dream to  American Illusions?
     The Self-Deceiving Magic of Prestige

Sound intriguing?  Read it.  You won't regret it.  Maybe.

______________________________________________________________________________

Friday, June 10, 2016

Medical shame

I received a card from my primary care doctor today.  He has acquired a new name.  Now he is called The Medical Group of South Florida.

In the card, the good doctor is quoted as follows:

"The time I spend with a patient is the most vital ingredient of excellence in medical practice.  There are no shortcuts or substitutions."

That quote is followed by this statement:

We are living in a time of extraordinary medical technological advances.  I strongly believe  that we are losing ground on the other important side of the medical balance, the personal touch or human side.That is why I will now concentrate on a smaller number of patients called Concierge Medicine.



I look forward to you becoming part of the exciting times in our relationship.

This is followed by a list of services that will be part of Concierge Medicine.

They include:
Same day appointments, if needed.
Patients have 24/7 access to the doctor.
Minimal office waits.
Etc, etc.
The cost per person is $3000.00.  Per couple $5000.00.

Well...
that's one way to reduce the workload.  Separate the wealthy from the not-so-wealthy.
The gentrification  of our social structure continues apace.

__________________________________________________________________________________________





Thursday, March 24, 2016

Such beauty in one sentence.

"It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy;  to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self - never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardour of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dimsighted."

- George Eliot
   Middlemarch

____________________________________________________________________________________