Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blue Moon

Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked to the Moon it turned to gold

Blue Moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked the Moon had turned to gold

Blue moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

-- Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007


To be
The first to come.

-- Rene Char

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The monstrous vanity of wishes

The monstrous vanity of wishes is revealed for instance in my wish to fill a nice notebook with writing as soon as possible. I get nothing from this; it's not that I wish it because, say, it will be evidence of my productivity; it is simply a longing to rid myself of something familiar as soon as I can; although of course, as soon as I am rid of it, I must start a fresh one & the whole business will have to be repeated.

-- L. Wittgenstein

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Heraclitus says

Heraclitus says that the waking share one common world, but when asleep each man turns away to a private one.

-- Plutarch

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Socrates who always

Socrates who always reduces the Sophist to silence -- does he reduce him to silence rightfully? -- It's true, the Sophist does not know what he thinks he knows; but that is no triumph for Socrates. It can neither be a case of "You see! You don't know it!" -- nor, triumphantly, "So none of us knows anything!"

Because I don't want to think just to convict myself, or even someone else, of unclarity I am not trying to understand something, simply in order to see that I still do not understand it.

-- L. Wittgenstein

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Thinking

My thinking, like everyone's, has sticking to it the shrivelled husks of my earlier (withered) thoughts.

-- L. Wittgenstein

Friday, May 11, 2007


"Let us be lovers we'll marry our fortunes together"
"I've got some real estate here in my bag"
So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner pies
And we walked off to look for America

"Kathy," I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
"Michigan seems like a dream to me now"
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I've gone to look for America

Laughing on the bus
Playing games with the faces
She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy
I said "Be careful his bowtie is really a camera"

"Toss me a cigarette, I think there's one in my raincoat"
"We smoked the last one an hour ago"
So I looked at the scenery, she read her magazine
And the moon rose over an open field

"Kathy, I'm lost," I said, though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all gone to look for America
All gone to look for America
All gone to look for America

-- Simon & Garfunkel

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Give the Iraqis a Break

Washington empties out every August as members of Congress and administration officials leave for their annual summer vacations. So why isn't this American political tradition good enough for Iraqi officials in Baghdad?

President Bush and Vice President Cheney have both now urged Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discourage Iraqi lawmakers from taking a two-month summer break. The issue has become symbolic of the sad truth of the surge in particular and the war in general: We cannot make Iraq the country we would like it to be, and we cannot force Iraqis to act when we want them to.

Cheney met with Maliki in Baghdad yesterday to communicate the administration's sense of the gravity of the situation: The Iraqi government needs to make progress on security and move forward on reconciliation and governance far more quickly.

The vice president also pressed the prime minister to discourage the Iraqi parliament from taking its two-month summer recess. Bush appealed to Maliki on Monday not to let the lawmakers go on vacation.

"We believe it's very important to move on the issues before us in a timely fashion and that any undue delay would be difficult to explain," Cheney told reporters in Baghdad yesterday. He is not alone in his view.

"For the Iraqi parliament to take a two-month vacation in the middle of summer is impossible to understand," U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates also said that he pressed for the recess to be canceled. Sen. John Warner (R-VA) said a two-month recess is "not acceptable."

It's not just the prospect of U.S. troops dying while Iraqi parliamentarians vacation that bothers American officials. They also argue that the Iraqis should continue to work to resolve issues associated with oil revenue sharing and the status of former Baathists from Saddam's government, two outstanding questions that might held to strengthen Shia and Sunni unity.

Maliki signaled to Cheney that he was sympathetic to the American complaint. But some Iraqi legislators reacted angrily, including Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who said members of Parliament were "busy with our own calamities."

One of those calamities is attendance: the security situation is so bad that many parliamentarians can't even make it to the sessions. Sometimes lawmakers show up, only to be turned away by bomb scares, lack of electricity or other impediments. Boycotts are also common.

Another problem is that when the parliament meets, it is often chaotic. With tens of "parties" representing not just Shia, Sunni and Kurd but also factions within each community, there is an absence of any party discipline or legislative coherence. Thus there is no reason to believe that even if the Iraqi parliament toils all summer, it will make any difference.

In fact, if it stays in session, capitulating to American pressure, it may well demonstrate to Iraqis that their elected representatives cannot even make their own schedule. And from an American political standpoint, canceling the Iraqi summer recess will also be unhelpful, allowing more pretending here in Washington that "progress" is being made and forestalling tough decisions.

So I say, let them go.

-- William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security
Washington Post


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