• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Niles on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Niles on Pornhub Category: White H…
    jmac on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Catscatscats on Pornhub Category: White H…
    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    HerstoryRepeating on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Catscatscats on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    July 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Jun    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Khameini’s Three Directives for Iran
      From the useful Elija Mangnier, 1 – Adherence to Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment and everything related to this science at all costs. Nuclear enrichment is a sword Iran can hold in the face of the West, which wants to take it from Tehran. It is Iran’s card to obstruct any US intention of “obliterating” […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

War and Peace

Some thoughts that are shorter and pithier than Leo Tolstoy’s book:

“Peace is not the absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition of benevolence, confidence, justice.”  -Baruch Spinoza

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Not necessarily war related but so often overlooked by the peacemakers as well as the war hawks:

“If you don’t take the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?” – Former Advanced Inorganic Professor

“Begin with the end in mind” – Stephen Covey

 

Advertisements

Peacnicks for Obama

….. (thinking)

I’ve got nothing.

Memorial Day: For the Union Dead

Burial ground for Union soldiers who died at Andersonville Prison

Burial ground for Union soldiers who died at Andersonville Prison

Memorial Day

was first observed in 1865 as Decoration Day by liberated slaves, who independently set up, decorated and proclaimed an ad-hoc graveyard – a field of “passionless mounds” – to honor dead Union soldiers.

In 1868, General John A. Logan issued the original order for Memorial Day.

Learning about the history of Memorial Day put me in mind of a poem by Robert Lowell, who was a conscientious objector during World War II and did time in federal prison for resisting the draft. Later, he was involved in the Civil Rights movement and the antiwar movement during the 1960s. He was arrested at the famous peace march that surrounded the Pentagon in October, 1967. This protest is described in Norman Mailer’s The Armies of the Night.

For the Union Dead

Relinquunt Ommia Servare Rem Publicam.

The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.
Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the crowded, compliant fish.

My hand draws back. I often sign still
for the dark downward and vegetating kingdom
of the fish and reptile. One morning last March,
I pressed against the new barbed and galvanized

fence on the Boston Common. Behind their cage,
yellow dinosaur steamshovels were grunting
as they cropped up tons of mush and grass
to gouge their underworld garage.

Parking spaces luxuriate like civic
sandpiles in the heart of Boston.
a girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girders
braces the tingling Statehouse,

shaking over the excavations, as it faces Colonel Shaw
and his bell-cheeked Negro infantry
on St. Gaudens’ shaking Civil War relief,
propped by a plank splint against the garage’s earthquake.

Two months after marching through Boston,
half of the regiment was dead;
at the dedication,
William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe.

Their monument sticks like a fishbone
in the city’s throat.
Its Colonel is a lean
as a compass-needle.

He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,
a greyhound’s gentle tautness;
he seems to wince at pleasure,
and suffocate for privacy.

He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man’s lovely,
peculiar power to choose life and die-
when he leads his black soldiers to death,
he cannot bend his back.

On a thousand small town New England greens
the old white churches hold their air
of sparse, sincere rebellion; frayed flags
quilt the graveyards of the Grand Army of the Republic

The stone statutes of the abstract Union Soldier
grow slimmer and younger each year-
wasp-waisted, they doze over muskets
and muse through their sideburns…

Shaw’s father wanted no monument
except the ditch,
where his son’s body was thrown
and lost with his “niggers.”

The ditch is nearer.
There are no statutes for the last war here;
on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph
shows Hiroshima boiling

over a Mosler Safe, the “Rock of Ages”
that survived the blast. Space is nearer.
when I crouch to my television set,
the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.

Colonel Shaw
is riding on his bubble,
he waits
for the blessed break.

The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.

The ancient owls’ nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft!- a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!

Robert Lowell

Three Cups of Tea, The Confluence Book Club Selection

This is my first experience at hosting The Confluence Book Club.  And I feel a little awkward suggesting a book I haven’t read yet. I keep thinking what if I hate it?  What if they hate it?  But, isn’t that part of the give and take in a vibrant book club?  So here it goes:

Taking our inspiration from Riverdaughter’s post Saturday morning (Saturday: A little thing for the girls), the next selection for The Confluence Book Club (the week of February 23-28) is Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortensen:

From my own observations, and remembering a childhood proverb from Africa, there is a saying that “if you educate a boy—you educated an individual, because he often leaves the community to find work, and may never return or send back money, but if you educate a girl—you educate a community, because when the girl becomes a mother, she will remain in the community and instill that value in her community. – Greg Mortensen

gultori

Mortenson advocates girls’ education as the top priority to promote economic development, peace and prosperity, and says, “you can drop bombs, hand out condoms, build roads, or put in electricity, but until the girls are educated a society won’t change”.

Mortenson wasn’t looking for a mission.  He thought he was just going to climb a mountain:

On July 24th, 1992, Mortenson’s younger sister, Christa, died from a massive seizure after a lifelong struggle with epilepsy on the eve of a trip to visit Dysersville, Iowa, where the baseball movie, ‘Field of Dreams’, was filmed in a cornfield.

In 1993, to honor his sister’s memory, Mortenson climbed Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain in the Karakoram range.

After K2, while recovering in a local village called Korphe, Mortenson met a group of children sitting in the dirt writing with sticks in the sand, and made a promise to help them build a school.

From that rash promise, grew a remarkable humanitarian campaign, in which Mortenson has dedicated his life to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

. . .

The book traces how Mortenson kept this promise (and many more) in the high country of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson was up against considerable odds. Not only is the region remote and dangerous, it is also a notorious breeding ground for Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists. In the course of his work, Mortenson was kidnapped and threatened with death; he endured local rivalries, deep misunderstandings, jealousy, and corruption, not to mention treacherous roads and epic weather. What kept him going was his passionate belief that balanced, non-extremist education, for boys and girls alike, is the most effective way to combat the violent intolerance that breeds terrorism. To date, Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute has constructed fifty-five schools, and the work goes on.

The Three Cups of Tea website has an abundance of information that includes a readers guide and an extended author interview.

Reviews of the book mention concerns with the awkwardness of the writing.  But, Greg Mortenson’s story is so compelling that when the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library scheduled Mortenson to speak tickets ran out months before the event.  And fans flew in from all over the country.  The library hosts author events all the time but we  had never seen such an enthusiastic response from the public.

So there is some indication that this is a book people like to talk about. . . . (I’m nervous, OK? — I still haven’t read it myself!)

To give everyone time to buy or borrow Three Cups of Tea and read the book, I’m setting a general date of February 23-28 for our discussion.  And I hope we’ll have a rousing-good discussion!

“Have peace now”

Said Goldberry to the hobbits:

“Have peace now,’ she said, ‘until the morning! Heed no nightly noises! For nothing passes door & window here save moonlight & starlight & the wind off the hilltop. Good night!’ She passed out of the room with a glimmer & a rustle. the sound of her footsteps was like a stream falling gently away downhill over cool stones in the quiet of night.

As you may recall, they finished their quest.

Velvet Shoes

Let us walk in the white snow

In a soundless space;

With footsteps quiet and slow,

At a tranquil pace,

Under veils of white lace.

I shall go shod in silk,

And you in wool,

White as white cow’s milk,

More beautiful

Than the breast of a gull.

We shall walk through the still town

In a windless peace;

We shall step upon white down,

Upon silver fleece,

Upon softer than these.

We shall walk in velvet shoes:

Wherever we go

Silence will fall like dews

On white silence below.

We shall walk in the snow.

Elinor Wylie

The Day That Froze America In Time

Still Stuck Here

Stuck

Prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, newly-selected President George W. Bush was enjoying a fairly decent approval rating of between 50-60%. Then, as he so heartlessly stated, he won the “trifecta.” And America was frozen in time, much as Bush was frozen for several minutes in that Florida classroom after the second of the two World Trade Center towers was hit.

After those attacks, George Bush had the full support of nearly every American – and, of our allies across the world, including Iran, which was led by a much more moderate faction at the time. And what did he do with this political capital? He spent it – and made sure that we would be mired in the 20th Century for the entire length of his Reign of Error.

Bush used Bin Laden’s attacks as an excuse to push America into a bizarre “war on terror.” This was, he warned, going to be a war that would take many years and be unconventional in its approach. What he did not tell us is that the “war on terror” would be used as an excuse to seize an unprecedented amount of executive power, invade a country that did not attack us first, and would actually INCREASE the strength of Al Qaeda and the number of terrorist attacks around the world.

Continue reading