Saturday, May 03, 2003

The Cat
His name is Widdles - we call him that, and although it may be
somewhat embarrassing ( his given name was Wylie) -- he doesn't
seem to care one way or another. He was dropped off here a few
years ago by Jody - my daughter's cat - for a few months visiting,
but he has never been claimed.

At The Turning Of The Tide By William Rivers Pitt
Thursday 1 May 2003

One of my earliest memories of childhood is of sitting in front of the television watching a baseball game with my mother in our apartment outside Boston. The year was 1975, and the Cincinnati Reds were playing the Red Sox in what has gone down in history as one of the most remarkable World Series matchups ever. The Reds were winning the game I was watching that day, and I turned to my mother and told her I was rooting for them. I wanted to be on the winning side, and even at that tender age I could sense the aura of inevitable doom that cloaked our hometown team.

You can’t do that, she said. The Red Sox are your team. It is wrong to bail out on them because they are losing. You stand with your team no matter what. Besides, she finished, some day they will actually win this thing, and you’ll miss out on the celebration if you discarded them before that happens.

I’ve been a die-hard Red Sox fan ever since. I remember Bucky Dent the way some people remember Sirhan Sirhan. I was watching the World Series in a basement in Newton in 1986 when that ball skipped nimbly through the legs of Bill Buckner, and my friend was so outraged that he punched the low-hanging ceiling hard enough to dent the linoleum floor of the kitchen above us. I just sat there, numb and dumb, with ceiling tile dust in my hair and a sinking feeling in my gut. Later that night we were walking back from the store when we were accosted by an abysmally inebriated Sox fan whose whole world had been destroyed. He made us do pushups on the greasy blacktop of a gas station to offer some sort of atonement to a universe that had, once again, reached out to crush us. We were young and small, he was huge and drunk, and as my nose lifted and fell off that oil-soaked pavement I thought, somehow, that it all made sense.

In George W. Bush’s America, being even moderately liberal these days is like being a Red Sox fan. You know what needs to happen, you know what is right, and yet some cosmic force akin to the lingering shade of Babe Ruth always manages to ascend from purgatory and batter you into dust right at the moment when something good and great is within your grasp. If you do manage to get your lineup together - home run issues, grand slam arguments, All Star players - you will get completely outspent by the damned Yankees who are sitting in your division with more money than God and the will to use it. Baseball, like politics, has no spending limits.

Read more at -- this article -- At the Turning of the Tide, by William Rivers Pitt
The Vanishing Bogeyman
Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

by Richard Wall

Being a meditation on the comings and goings of late in Arabia and Mesopotamia, and the significance of the number six, with apologies to the late, great E. E. Cummings.

Saddam Hussein Al-Takriti
That name has a good ring to it, doesn’t it?
But most of us know you
As just plain

Your regime lasted 24 years
That’s quite a long time as dictators go
Two years longer than Mussolini
whom the people done strung up good and true,
Double Hitler
And about as long as
Your hero
Joe Stalin
But not as long as Franco
Or Salazar
Who fell off a deck chair and lost his mind
They still brought him papers to sign
Until they decided one day
To pull the plug
On his life support... the rest of the poem at Lew Rockwell's site

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Here's a couple of doozies for the day:

Rocket Fuel
in Your Salad?
Lettuce Samples Found Tainted
Conclusions on perchlorate are elusive, but environmental group calls for
action. (April 28 2003 LA Times Online)

A laboratory test of 22 types of lettuce purchased at Northern California
supermarkets found that four were contaminated with perchlorate, a toxic
rocket-fuel ingredient that has polluted the Colorado River, the source of
the water used to grow most of the nation's winter vegetables.

The complete article can be viewed at:

Or this bit of news from the Guinea Pig Department:

What a brilliant concept!
...Hit up all the kids at once with some nasty old vaccine
they need to get rid of, before it "expires"-- practicing
a new fun game --"Disease Police Emergency Procedures"
while creating a "real health emergency" --
and -- Such Great Timing!
---just three weeks before finals and
and then we will wonder why test scores are low,
absenteeism is high, everyone is sick and demoralized--
Gee -- It must be the Teachers' fault!

- April 29 - Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque students will take part in a
mass vaccination Wednesday at Cibola
High School.

Around 800 students from the high scholl and
corresponding middle schools will be offered
vaccination boosters for tetanus and diphtheria
from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm according to the New
Mexico Department of Health....

Students will be managed as though they are
members of the public affected by a large-scale
public health threat
....The model is designed
to handle large numbers of patients as would be
the case in event of a biological terror attack....

Beyond treating the students, public health workers
also will set up a mock press room and give mock
briefings as if it were a real health emergency.

---Which of course, it is!--

Sunday, April 27, 2003


These days, one must fly—but where to?
without wings, without an airplane, fly—without a doubt:
the footsteps have passed on, to no avail;
they didn’t move the feet of the traveler along.

At every instant, one must fly—like
eagles, like houseflies, like days:
must conquer the rings of Saturn
and build new carillons there.

Shoes and pathways are no longer enough,
the earth is no use anymore to the wanderer:
the roots have already crossed through the night,

and you will appear on another planet,
stubbornly transient,
transformed in the end into poppies.

from 100 Love Sonnets Cien sonetos de amorby Pablo Neruda (1959)

...these are tulips in my backyard

Hay que volar en este tiempo, a donde?
Sin alas, sin avion, volar sin duda:
ya los pasos pasaron sin remedio,
no elevaron los pies del pasajero.

Hay que volar a cada instante como
las aguilas, las moscas y los dias,
hay que vencer los ojos de Saturno
y establecer alli nuevas campanas.

Ya no bastan zapatos ni caminos,
ya no sirve la tierrra a los errantes,
ya cruzaron la noche las raices,

y tu aparaceras en otra estrella
determinadamente transitoria
convertida por fin en amapola.

This is a painting by Alice Woolf from the early 1940s