28 April 2005
of knowledgeable shadows(quick to seize
each nothing which all soulless wraiths proclaim
substance;all heartless spectres,happiness)"
Condoleeza Rice made a statement today to the effect that it is the duty of democracies to "tell the world that tyranny is a crime of man." (See MSNBC article at http://famulus.msnbc.com/famulusintl/ap04-28-180748.asp?reg=americas&vts=42820051848.)
It is my personal opinion that Ms. Rice needs to give her Pradas to charity and walk the streets of DC more often before she has earned the right to tell the world anything about tyranny. If, by "tyranny," one means the unjust or abusive exercise of a governmental power to benefit itself at the expense of its citizenry, then the United States is no stranger to it. If, by "tyranny," one means a government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power, then there are many examples in history in which a tyrant has given much better service to his people than Condoleeza Rice and her cohorts in Washington.
She continued on to say that "freedom is the universal longing of every soul." Not in my experience. In my experience, love is the longing of every soul. As a nation, we have demonstrated just how much of a heavenless hell and a homeless home unlove can create through our actions in Iraq, our lack of economic and environmental stewardship, and our unmitigated arrogance that the rest of the world would benefit from following our selfish example. The rest of the world loves us not. Why? Because we are in the winter of our discontent, making the clouds that lower over our heads.
"lovers alone wear sunlight. The whole truth
not hid by matter;not by mind revealed....
Here(only here)is freedom:always here
no then of winter equals now of spring;
but april's day transcends november's year"
Instead of dictating to other nations how they should emulate us, I suggest that it's long past time that we show those other nations something worth emulating.
(Quoted poetry from ee cummings, "unlove's the heavenless hell and homeless home," 95 Poems (1958).)
27 April 2005
I admit to being more than a little in love with life. I wish I could hug the universe just because being alive within it is a joyous thing to feel.
However, there isn't much modern writing which falls in the category of the simply celebratory. For those who feel the world is closing in, or that it is collapsing around their ears, take a dandelion break with any any poem by e.e. cummings. Or Google him; there are several websites dedicated to this poet and author. In cummings' world, slatterns are the subject of love sonnets and even crumbs become mysterious. If you haven't discovered the craziness in a daisy, then let your soul arise and sing with any collection of his.
26 April 2005
Single white female in search of sustainable city for long-term residence. Must have neighborhoods, the kind where you can walk w/in 6 blocks to do all your shopping, and I don't mean at 7-11. (Resident butchers, bakers, and fresh produce included.) Rents low enough for a SINK and well-supported public transportation system required. Good cultural programs and a liberal-minded population are pluses. All qualified applicant cities will be considered.
David Toscano, all-around good Democrat and former mayor unextraordinnaire, is that familiar choice for the 57th House of Delegates seat. Everyone knows his name around town. He's a solid administrator with no major vices and, unfortunately, no major drives. He's the mac & cheese on the menu, the comfort zone choice who is expected to ride into Richmond on Mitch Van Yahres's coattails. (See http://www.toscano2005.com)
We all know that a HoD chair is like getting tenure at UVa: you have to sexually assault a student in order to be kicked out once you are in. Whoever we vote in will likely be our bump on this log ride for the next 26 years. Toscano is not Van Yahres's equal, so why is my community so hell-bent on making him Van Yahres's successor?
With apologies to Virginia Dems across the state, Charlottesville likes to consider itself the last bastion of Blue in the southern Red sea. Let's say, arguendo, that we are. Don't we owe it to ourselves to elect someone who is less of a paper tiger than Toscano? I have nothing against the man. If he gains the Dem nomination, I will vote for him. But in this, as in all things, I like to think I can do better.
WAKE UP CHARLOTTESVILLE! If you want to make a difference in the direction Virginia heads, Toscano is neither strong enough nor progressive enough to do it. He'll shortly become a party critter in a Rep-tie zoo. Just my opinion.
25 April 2005
One-fifth of world's reefs destroyed: http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/04/25/seychelles.coral.reut/index.html
Snow makes unexpected return in Midwest:
Earthquake shakes southern California:
University to research melting ice caps: http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/04/12/polar.ice.grant.ap/index.html
Spring blizzard slams Colorado:
Earthquake strikes near Sumatra:
Quake rattles Japan's main island:
Disaster looms in coastal, urban regions:
Australian wave warning for west:
US in "battle mode" following quake:
Global warming is happening every day, and we are doing nothing concrete to stop it. How can the Bush administration send so much relief aid to so many countries and then propose to lower emission standards and drill in the arctic. From where does this "That is them and this is us" attitude derive? Is this the world you want to live in?
Ian McEwan discusses the topic frankly on Grist at http://www.grist.org/comments/soapbox/2005/04/25/mcewan-climate/index.html It is definitely worth a read. The problem with his solution is this: International measures hold no weight in the US. We allow for no law above ourselves.
While individual nations' media mouthpieces cast doubt, it has been evident since the borders opened that increased travel would make states of the nations. And, as they have had the sense to be nations for several centuries before becoming an ethnic fondue pot, I trust that Europe will, once again, show the US what our job should have been all along. I only hope we're smart enough to follow their example.
Yeah, I know, maybe I should just up and move there.
17 April 2005
GET OUT AND VOTE!
10 states have now joined in an action against the latest amendments to the Clean Air Act instigated by the Bush administration. From yesterday's NY Times: "Deep in the energy bill that was approved by a House committee this week, under a section titled 'Miscellaneous,' is a brief provision that could have major consequences for communities struggling to clean up their dirty air."
In essence, this "miscellaneous" provision allows communities whose air pollution is wafted from hundreds of miles away to delay meeting national air quality standards until their offending neighboring states meet those standards themselves.
Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Imagine living in downwind Connecticut having to deal with smog from New York. One large problem: This just measure indefinitely postpones meeting emission deadlines. Emissions are the primary cause of global warming. We are already 25 years behind where we need to be on meeting the emissions standards to alleviate that problem. In my opinion, global warming should not be qualified as "miscellany."
Sometimes I think it would be easier to teach polar bears to sing "I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas" than to teach the current administration proper stewardship.