Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wars of Liberation

Does anyone remember when the Soviet Union recommended starting Wars of Liberation around the world?
Remember how our government condemned these dangerous activities?
Now the Soviet Union is no more, and the United States of America is promoting Wars of Liberation.
What happened?   Did I miss something?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Many important people are upset about the alleged attempt to arrange an assassination of the Saudi ambassador on U.S. soil.  Many self-important people are upset, also.
I don't like it either.  But I can't quite feel the outrage that infects Hillary Clinton and Bill O'Reilly, for example.
I don't forget our history.  I remember the assassination of Orlando Letelier, former Chilean ambassador to the U.S., who was riding in an automobile with his assistant Ronni Moffitt, and the driver, Ronni's husband, Michael Moffitt.  The car was blown up as it traveled through Washington D.C..  Letelier & Mrs. Moffitt were killed.  Michael Moffitt was injured.  The assassination was order by General Pinochet, the dictator of Chile, and our ally.
The American government was properly 'horrified' by this incident and 'condemned' it in the 'strongest possible language.'
But no one wanted to take action against Chile or invoke sanctions.  Why?  Because Chile was the main player in Operation Condor which consisted of a group of Latin American right-wing dictators who plotted to kill communist and socialist politicians whom they opposed.  The United States performed a 'supervisory role' in Operation Condor which is a euphemism for providing money, training, support and a target list.
In recent years the United States has assassinated people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Pakistan and continues to do so.
We violate national boundaries and international law on a daily basis.  We no longer operate from the moral high ground.  America is losing its soul.  It makes me sick at heart to say that.  But I won't lie to myself about it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Philip Larkin, The Old Fools

When you are as old as I am (and feel), that is, older than Olduvai, you will really appreciate this poem by Philip Larkin.


What do they think has happened, the old fools,
to make them like this?  Do they somehow suppose
it's more grown-up when your mouth hangs open and drools,
and you keep on pissing yourself, and you can't remember
who called this morning?  Or that, if they only chose,
they could alter things back to when they could dance all night,
or went to their wedding, or sloped arms some September?
Or do they fancy there's really been no change,
and they've always behaved as if they were crippled or tight,
or sat through days of thin continous dreaming
watching light move?  If they don't (and they can't) it's strange:
                          Why aren't they screaming?

At death you break up:  the bits that were you
start speeding away from each other for ever
with no one to see.  It's only oblivion, true:
we had it before, but then it was going to end,
and was all the time merging with a unique endeavour
to bring to bloom the million-petalled flower
of being here.  Next time you can't pretend
there'll be anything else.  And these are the first signs:
now knowing how,  not hearing who, the power
of choosing gone.  Their looks show that they're for it:
ash hair, toad hands, prune face dried into lines -
                        How can they ignore it?

Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms
inside your head, and people in them, acting.
People you know, yet can't quite name;  each looms
like a deep loss restored, from known doors turning,
setting down a lamp, smiling from a stair, extracting
a known book from the shelves, or sometimes only
the rooms themselves, chair and a fire burning,
the blown bush at the window, or the sun's
faint friendliness on the wall some lonely
rain-ceased mid-summer evening.  That is where they live
not here and now but where all happened once.
                           That is why they give

an air of baffled absence, trying to be there
yet being here.  For the rooms grow farther, leaving,
incompetent cold the constant wear and tear
of taken breath, and them crouching below
extinction's alp, the old fools, never perceiving
how near it is.  This must be what keeps them quiet:
the peak that stays in view wherever we go
for them is rising ground.  Can they never tell
what is dragging them back, and how it will end?  Not at night?
Not when the strangers come?  Never, throughout
the whole hideous inverted childhood?  Well,
                               we shall find out.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Puritan Dilemma

A Tragedy in 38 Words.

Girls aroused his interest when he was young.  But he never asked them out.  He did not see girls as persons.  He wished only to fuck them.  Since his motives were impure, he could not ask them out.

Burkean Wisdom

"Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral claims upon their own appetites, in proportion as their love of justice is above rapacity......Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without."
                                                                           Edmund Burke