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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Not much

Been working some off hours at the bookstore, so not much to post here. Haven’t had snow in a number of weeks and it’s really been pretty warm. None's left on the ground. Early last week I went for a walk without even a sweatshirt. Started All the Kings Men last night; heckuva first sentence. Saw Good Night, Good Luck. Recommended.

Sorry for the lame post. Not much to say right now. My weekend starts tomorrow, so more later.

Happy birthday Phil Levine! Here's a poem.


The new grass rising in the hills,
the cows loitering in the morning chill,
a dozen or more old browns hidden
in the shadows of the cottonwoods
beside the streambed. I go higher
to where the road gives up and there's
only a faint path strewn with lupine
between the mountain oaks. I don't
ask myself what I'm looking for.
I didn't come for answers
to a place like this, I came to walk
on the earth, still cold, still silent.
Still ungiving, I've said to myself,
although it greets me with last year's
dead thistles and this year's
hard spines, early blooming
wild onions, the curling remains
of spider's cloth. What did I bring
to the dance? In my back pocket
a crushed letter from a woman
I've never met bearing bad news
I can do nothing about. So I wander
these woods half sightless while
a west wind picks up in the trees
clustered above. The pines make
a music like no other, rising and
falling like a distant surf at night
that calms the darkness before
first light. "Soughing" we call it, from
Old English, no less. How weightless
words are when nothing will do.


Dan said...

I saw Munich on Sunday. It was as you hoped it wouldn't be, which is unfair because I would have thought it was the brilliant entrance of a fresh new voice, if that voice wasn't Steven Spielberg's; perhaps Senor Sielbergo would have done better, es muy bueno. Nevertheless, One Day in September was better.

*** said...

You can't have it; it's mine.

Actually, Robert Mezey already took it, but I will take it back. From

"Baldassare Forestiere, a Sicilian immigrant, worked as a laborer digging subways in New York City before moving to Fresno, California, about 1905. He invested his savings in a 70-acre parcel he planned to make into an orchard. Unfortunately, the soil baked to a brick-like consistency in the scorching San Joaquin Valley sun. Fortunately, his experience with tunneling gave him the means to escape the torturing heat--and even to create fertile growing conditions on his barren plot.

He began his new homestead by building a small (10-foot square) frame house where he could live while working on neighboring farms. Before long, he added to it by digging a basement to escape the searing (120-degree) summer heat. During the next four decades, he enlarged that basement into an underground hacienda sprawling across 10 acres. He created more than 50 rooms, each of which had an opening in the ceiling to admit light and draw in fresh air. Typically, he planted a fruit tree under the opening, where it would be watered by rainfall. In some of the rooms, he provided glass sheets to cover the roof opening during inclement weather.

Forestiere's home became increasingly elaborate as the years passed. Eventually, he added features like a library, a chapel, and an underground, glass-bottomed aquarium with a viewing room underneath it. Since 1954 the unique structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been operated as a public museum by Forestiere's heirs."


But is it available for weddings?

Andrea said...

This isn't the real America
By Jimmy Carter, JIMMY CARTER was the 39th president of the United States.
His newest book is "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," published this month by Simon & Schuster.
IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.
Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.

Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of "You are either with us or against us!" has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.

Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.

Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" on people in U.S. custody.

Instead of reducing America's reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of "first use" of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.

Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation's global environmental policies.

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).

I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.

As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.

It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.

Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2005

Joshua Robbins said...

Guess I'll wait on Munich as a rental, though I wasn't interested in it anyway as it just looks like another action flick with an attempt at a surface-level meaningful message.

Did see "One Day in September" last night, finally after a number of years saying, "Yeah, we should really watch that." A good documentary and provacative.

I'm really interested in learning more about the Israeli/Palestinian history. Can anyone recommend a non-biased book?

The caves there are amazing and I only hope they do weddings. I'm there!

Jimmy Carter's new book was not what I expected. I actually agree with a lot of what he says in the bits I've read. It's certainly been a big seller at the bookstore which is surprising in conservative Middle America. I appreciate his whole morality "spin" on issues like torture. Tragic that torture is now something that is "spun."