I won my Denver vs. San Diego wager today which meant I could not resist betting on Indianapolis -7.5 home vs. Arizona tomorrow with my winnings.
"You are who you think you ain't."
I won my Denver vs. San Diego wager today which meant I could not resist betting on Indianapolis -7.5 home vs. Arizona tomorrow with my winnings.
Thirteen more hours and then it is the new year.
The Planet on the Table
Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time
Or something seen that he liked.
Other makings of the sun
Were waste and welter
And the ripe shrub writhed.
His self and the sun were one
And his poems, although makings of his self,
Were no less makings of the sun.
It was not important that they survive.
What mattered was that they should bear
Some lineament or character,
Some afluence, if only half-perceived,
In the poverty of their words,
Of the planet of which they were part.
A cold rain is falling tonight. It's warm for this time of year.
I had mentioned earlier this week that I might not bet on any football games this weekend. I changed my mind after looking at the spread today. Here they are.
Lots of folks from out of town are in Chicago this week. That's nice. It's always fun to meet them. They will all be gone next week. I expect the recent mild weather won't hold out much longer either. That will drive the city folks into their abodes too.
I think I will go shopping for a pocket calendar tonight. Something very cheap. If I see a Rita Hayworth calendar though, I am buying that no matter what the price.
The city is enveloped in fog as often happens at this time of year. I can only see the bottom floors of the Bloomingdale Building on Michigan Avenue a couple of blocks away.
Corporal Potter lets the match burn down to his fingers.
Corporal Potter: It bloody well hurts. What’s the trick?
Lawrence of Arabia: The trick is not minding that it hurts.
Lawrence of Arabia
I lost 1 and tied 1 against the spread. That leaves me at 14 wins, 13 losses, and 2 ties against the spread for the season. I have won 1 and lost none against the moneyline.
I started listening to rock 'n roll in 1957. I never thought much of Roy Orbison when he first became popular.
Here is what I got for Christmas.
Fred Block has an interesting paper at Longview Institute called A Strategy for Corporate Reform. He recommends implementing the Ethical Corporation to replace the Me-first Corporation.
It was Christmas 1967 in Vietnam. Being an fng (fucking new guy) I was assigned to guard duty during the month of December.
David Hume in the first paragraph of his essay, That politics may be reduced to a science, says this.
It is a question with several, whether there be any essential difference between one form of government and another and, whether any form may not become good or bad, according as it is well or ill administered? Were it once admitted, that all governments are alike, and that the only difference consists in the character and conduct of the governors, most political disputes would be at an end, and all Zeal for one constitution above another, must be esteemed mere bigotry or folly. But, though a friend to moderation, I cannot forbear condemning this sentiment, and should be sorry to think, that human affairs admit no greater stability, than what they receive from casual humours and characters of particular men.When you criticize the competence of government officials, you skate on thin ice. Those who idolize the people in power will grasp at any straw to prove you wrong. Those who exalt principles think you have missed the point no matter whose side you are on.
The bill of rights were ratified on December 7, 1791.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.What a wonderful sentence. Almost like poetry. But what were they thinking? How could they have been so naive?
What's the matter with me,It's almost to go home. But first, coffee and donuts.
I don't have much to say,
Daylight sneakin' through the window
And I'm still in this all-night cafe.
Walkin' to and fro beneath the moon
Out to where the trucks are rollin' slow,
To sit down on this bank of sand
And watch the river flow.
Wish I was back in the city
Instead of this old bank of sand,
With the sun beating down over the chimney tops
And the one I love so close at hand.
If I had wings and I could fly,
I know where I would go.
But right now I'll just sit here so contentedly
And watch the river flow.
Watching the River Flow, Bob Dylan
Calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.President Bush believes he has the right to tap my phone, read my e-mail, and monitor my Internet usage without a warrant. He could not have been more plain spoken about it during the past week.
Cool Hand Luke
Cuba says they will donate any money they make from playing in the the World Baseball Classic tournament in March to a relief fund for hurricane Katrina victims.
I read the following quotation this morning.
Reason is itself a matter faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.I live in a material world both physically and socially. I am alive because I know how to negotiate the world by using my reason in its various forms.
G. K. Chesterton
Here we go.
I don’t know when I will travel to Iowa for the Christmas celebration. All I know is that if I wait until Monday it will be too late.
The snow in the city is already gray and soiled from the city atmosphere. It's better for it to melt now and spare us its ugliness.
I am a fan of amateur wrestling. When I lived in Iowa I had season tickets to all the home matches of the University of Iowa wrestling team that dominated the college wrestling scene at the time under the leadership of the legendary wrestler and coach Dan Gable. I used to travel to the College Wrestling Championships each year no matter where they were held.
You take your poetry where you find it. Such is the case with the small anthology called The Hell With Love: poems to mend a broken heart edited by Mary D. Esselman & Elizabeth Ash Velez. From the back cover:
Passionate, edgy, funny, and profound. The Hell With Love is for anyone who has ever suffered the pain of breaking up--and everyone who believes in the unique power of poetry to console and transform.That last short phrase 'move on' grates. Other than that it's a book of good poems. I won't comment on the commentary supplied to each section of the book. Some will adore them and others won't.
We've all been there...probably more often than we'd care to admit. Interpreted by a pair of wise and witty editors, these poems make up a one-of-a-kind collection that helps you through the classic stages of heartbreak. From John Donne to Margaret Atwood, from Pablo Neruda to Gwendolyn Brooks, here are poems that dig into the hurt and anger, poems that bring comfort and perspective, and poems that encourage you to get over your ex and move on.
wishes for sons
i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
i wish them no 7-11.
i wish them one week early
and wearing a white skirt.
i wish them one week late.
later i wish them hot flashes
and clots like you
wouldn't believe. let the
flashes come when they
meet someone special.
let the clots come
when they want to.
let them think they have accepted
arrogance in the universe,
then bring them to gynecologists
not unlike themselves.
I shall hate you
Like a dart of singing steel
Shot through still air
As pines are sober
When they stand etched
Against the sky.
Hating you shall be a game
Played with cool hands
And slim fingers.
Your heart will yearn
For the lonely splendor
Of the pine tree;
While rekindled fires
In my eyes
Shall wound you like swift arrows.
Memory will lay its hands
Upon your breast
And you will understand
The President is spending a lot of time expaining his high controversial stance on wiretapping U. S. citizens.
The verdict is in on the Dover ID case. You can find a link to pdf file of the court's decision here. It is a 139 page document, so to get immediately to the juicy part jump to the end of the document to read the conclusion.
Edie mentions the Chinese poet Yuan Chen in a comment about one of her paintings at Annotated Life. Here is a poem by Yuan Chen taken from the excellent Crossing the Yellow River translated by Sam Hamill.
Life is lovely in seclusion
near tall pines in remote mountains.
I wander with clouds all day,
all night I follow the moon.
A world in a teapot:
fame is a silly dream.
Across the sea,
the thousand-year-old crane
lingers in the city,
but one day may return.
The pen that told the truth
went into the washing machine
for its trouble. Came out
an hour later, and was tossed
in the dryer with jeans
and a western shirt. Days
passedwhile it lay quietly on the desk
under the window. Lay there
thinking it was finished.
Without a single conviction
to its name. It didn’t have
the will to go on, even if it’d wanted.
But one morning, an hour or so
before sunrise, it came to life
“The damp fields asleep in moonlight.”
Then it was still again.
in this life
clearly at an end.
He shook it and whacked it
On the desk. Then gave up
on it, or nearly.
Once more though, with the greatest
effort, it summoned its last
reserves. This is what it wrote:
“A light wind, and beyond the window
trees swimming in the golden morning air.”
He tried to write some more
but that was all. The pen
quit working forever.
By and by it was put
into the stove along with
other junk. And much later
it was another pen,
an undistinguished pen,
that hadn’t proved itself
yet, that facilely wrote:
“Darkness gathers in the branches.
Stay inside. Keep still.”
It's cold. I think I'll take a hot shower and walk to Starbuck's for lunch to drink a tall coffee and eat a brownie. After that, I might stay at Starbuck's, write a little, drink another tall coffee, and eat another brownie.
I won 1 and lost 1 against the spread today. That leaves my season totals at 14 wins, 12 losses, and 1 tie against the spread. I have won 1 and lost none against the moneyline.
All that tough talk don't mean doodly squat.
Granny Hawkins, The Outlaw Josey Wales
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust is a matter for academic discussion and the West should be more tolerant of his views, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi defended the president's remarks, which also drew a rebuke from the UN Security Council.
"What the president said is an academic issue. The West's reaction shows their continued support for Zionists," Asefi told a weekly news conference.
"Westerners are used to leading a monologue but they should learn to listen to different views," he added.
I won't create a diatribe or argument out of this quotation. It does remind me of the Intelligent Design discussion though. You know. Let's teach the controversy.
Thank you, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for drawing a clear and visible line in the sand. Separation of church and state is a good thing.
President Bush has admitted he has authorized illegal spying on U. S. citizens and will continue to do so. This came after he and distinguished members of Congress got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. This comes at a particularly bad time for President Bush as he touts the Iraqi elections and exhorts Congress to approve the Patriot Act.
I decided to get down for a couple of football wagers today. I mean, what if the Bears went to their coach on Sunday and said, "coach, we don't feel like playing today?" It would never happen. And so it is with me. If you are going to be a player, you have to get up for all the games every weekend. Otherwise, just take your marbles and go home.
I didn't bet on any football games yesterday. I am going to look at my options, but if I bet now I have to pay 10% juice which I am now enthused about.
My computer works again--almost. Thanks again to Devang for turning me on to HouseCall.
Many thanks to Devang at The title consicous blog (that is what it's called right now) for recommending I scan my computer with HouseCall at TrendMicro. It has helped a lot.
I have been working on my computer a lot today trying to fix it. All I have managed to do is make things worse. My DSL access to the Internet is now slower than dial-up. I may not be talking to you all for a while until I get this fixed.
Day 4 and my computer is back to being way screwed up. Something evil is on the march and I can't locate it.
I could have slept with somebody tonight I have wanted to sleep with for over ten years. But I didn't. I am sure it would have been a lot of fun. Maybe, I wasn't drunk enough.
It appears as though my computer is just about back to normal after my nasty virus attack. My Outlook e-mail client is magically working again after rebooting this morning.
From Reuters: US vetoes Cuba for world baseball event
MIAMI (Reuters) - The United States has denied Major League Baseball a license that would allow Cuba to play in the inaugural World Baseball Classic next March, The Miami Herald reported on Wednesday.
The decision came after Cuban-American members of Congress urged the U.S. Treasury Department to veto the license application and asked Major League baseball to drop the Cuban team, the Herald said in a story posted on its Web site.
"There's always the option of an appeal. Major League Baseball's official position is: we want Cuba to play," Ronaldo Peralta of the MLB office in the Dominican Republic told the newspaper.
The World Baseball Classic is an 18-day, 16-team World Cup-style tournament scheduled to begin on March 3 that will bring together some of the world's best baseball players on teams representing their home countries.
I started rereading Marx's Capital volume 1 this past weekend. I read it over ten years ago. My mind was not up to the task at the time. I was distracted by other things even though I did take notes on what I felt was the central argument. I still have the notes, but I'm darned if I can find them.
First, I screwed up a deposit into my checking account which caused me no end of problems. Then my cell phone gave out on Friday, and I had to go through three iterations with customer service to get it fixed.
President Bush gave his third speech of the month on Iraq. You will find the transcript at the official White House site. I note a few major problems with the speech.
It is important to keep this history in mind as we look at the progress of freedom and democracy in Iraq. No nation in history has made the transition to a free society without facing challenges, setbacks, and false starts. The past two-and-a-half years have been a period of difficult struggle in Iraq, yet they've also been a time of great hope and achievement for the Iraqi people.
The terrorists affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda are the smallest, but most lethal group. Many are foreigners coming to fight freedom's progress in Iraq. They are led by a brutal terrorist named Zarqawi -- al Qaeda's chief of operations in Iraq -- who has stated his allegiance to Osama bin Laden. The terrorists' stated objective is to drive U.S. and coalition forces out of Iraq and gain control of that country, and then use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks against America, overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East, and establish a totalitarian Islamic empire that reaches from Spain to Indonesia.
To fill the vacuum after liberation, we established the Coalition Provisional Authority. The CPA was ably led by Ambassador Jerry Bremer, and many fine officials from our government volunteered to serve in the EPA -- CPA. While things did not always go as planned, these men and women did a good job under extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances -- helping to restore basic services, making sure food was distributed, and reestablishing government ministries.
We've done this kind of work before; we must have confidence in our cause. In World War II, the free nations defeated fascism and helped our former adversaries, Germany and Japan, build strong democracies -- and today, these nations are allies in securing the peace. In the Cold War, free nations defeated communism, and helped our former Warsaw Pact adversaries become strong democracies -- and today, nations of Central and Eastern Europe are allies in the war on terror.
Today in the Middle East, freedom is once again contending with a totalitarian ideology that seeks to sow anger and hatred and despair. And like fascism and communism before, the hateful ideologies that use terror will be defeated by the unstoppable power of freedom. (Applause.)
I won 1 and lost 1 against the spread this week. My season totals are 13 wins, 11 losses, and 1 tie against the spread. I have won 1 and lost none against the moneyline.
They held the drawings for the World Cup football championshiip a few days ago. The odds on the USA to win are 90-1. I think, at those odds, I'll bet $10 on them in case lightning strikes.
The Iraqi constitution guarantees a dazzling array of economic, social, and cultural rights.
SECOND: Economic, social and cultural rights
Article (22): 1st - Work is a right for all Iraqis in a way that guarantees them a good life.
2nd - The law regulates the relation between employees and employers on an economic basis, while keeping in consideration rules of social justice.
3rd - The state guarantees the right to form or join syndicates or professional unions. This shall be regulated by law.
Article (23): 1st - Private property is protected and the owner has the right to use it, exploit it and benefit from it within the boundaries of the law.
2nd - Property may not be taken away except for the public interest in exchange for fair compensation. This shall be regulated by law.
3rd - (a) An Iraqi has the right to ownership anywhere in Iraq and no one else has the right to own real estate except what is exempted by law. (b) Ownership with the purpose of demographic changes is forbidden.
Article (24): The state shall guarantee the freedom of movement for workers, goods and Iraqi capital between the regions and the provinces. This shall be regulated by law.
Article (25): The state shall guarantee the reforming of the Iraqi economy according to modern economic bases, in a way that ensures complete investment of its resources, diversifying its sources and encouraging and developing the private sector.
Article (26): The country shall guarantee the encouragement of investments in the different sectors. This shall be regulated by law.
Article (27): 1st - Public property is sacrosanct, and its protection is the duty of every citizen.
2nd - Regulations pertaining to preserving and administrating state property, the conditions set for using it and the cases when giving up any of the property may be allowed shall be regulated by law.
Article (28): 1st - Taxes and fees shall not be imposed, amended, collected or eliminated except by law.
2nd - Low-income people should be exempted from taxes in a way that guarantees maintaining the minimum level necessary for a living. This shall be regulated by law.
Article (29): 1st - (a) The family is the foundation of society and the state should preserve its (the family's) existence and ethical and religious value. (b) The state shall guarantee the protection of motherhood, childhood and old age and shall take care of juveniles and youths and provide them with agreeable conditions to develop their capabilities.
2nd - Children have the right to upbringing, education and care from their parents; parents have the right to respect and care from their children, especially in times of want, disability or old age.
3rd - Economic exploitation of children in any form is banned and the state shall take measures to guarantee their protection.
4th - Violence and abuse in the family, school and society
shall be forbidden.
Article (30): 1st - The state guarantees social and health insurance, the basics for a free and honourable life for the individual and the family - especially children and women - and works to protect them from illiteracy, fear and poverty and provides them with housing and the means to rehabilitate and take care of them. This shall be regulated by law.
Article (31): 1st - Every Iraqi has the right to health service, and the state is in charge of public health and guarantees the means of protection and treatment by building different kinds of hospitals and health institutions.
2nd - Individuals and associations have the right to build hospitals, dispensaries or private clinics under the supervision of the state. This shall be regulated by law.
Article (32): The state cares for the disabled and those with special needs and guarantees their rehabilitation to integrate them in society. This shall be regulated by law.
Article (33): 1st - Every individual has the right to live in a correct environmental atmosphere.
2nd - The state guarantees protection and preservation of the environment and biological diversity.
Article (34): 1st - Education is a main factor for the progress of society and it is a right guaranteed by the state. It is mandatory in the primary school and the state guarantees fighting illiteracy.
2nd - Free education is a right for Iraqis in all its stages.
3rd - The state encourages scientific research for peaceful purposes in a way that benefits humanity and it promotes excelling, creativity and the different manifestations of excellence.
4th - Private and national education is guaranteed and regulated by law.
Deborah Soloman interviews Peter Watson, author of Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, From Fire to Freud, in the NYT Magazine.
Soloman: I find I seldom have ideas away from my desk.I always wondered if that happened to anybody else besides me.
Watson: That is because ideas come from other ideas. I used to sleep with a piece of paper by my bed. But I never had an idea in bed. The other thing I noticed is that when you are out to dinner and you have a good idea and write it down, the next day when you're sober, it's terrible.
Soloman: Perhaps if you went out less, you would have better ideas.
Watson: I think the interesting thing in life is not having an idea, but realizing it.
It is haircut morning. That means I have to change out of my pajamas by 9 in the morning. Life can be so brutal.
This week's wagers are as follows.
Chicago received its first accumulation of snow today. Traffic was horrible downtown as a result.
The House of Representatives voted today to extend President Bush's capital gains and dividends tax cuts. The tax cuts, which will reduce tax revenue by about $56 billion over five years, comes shortly after cuts in food stamps, education, and such to the poor amounting coincidentally to about $56 billion over five years.
I recall a quiz given to the American public around the time of the invasion of Iraq. The quiz showed that a shockingly large number of Americans could not locate Iraq on a world map. Given the grave nature of the Iraq conflict, the result is almost unbelievable. Americans do not do well on quizzes like this. You see similar results on basic science, economics, etc. literacy tests. America appears a country containing many folks with a willful lack of intellectual curiosity. The results of the geography quiz seemed particularly egregious since Iraq had been prominently featured in the news since the Gulf War.
A woman in Blogland is displeased that the Indiana legislature has barred chaplains from mentioning the name of Jesus or other religious figures when delivering the opening prayer to legislative sessions. She goes on to conclude that soon religion will be banned completely and everywhere.
I started rereading Edmund Wilson's To the Finland Station over the weekend. The first paragraph:
One day in January 1824, a young French professor named Jules Michelet, who was teaching philosophy and history, found the name of Giovanni Vico in a translator's note to a book he was reading. The reference to Vico interested him so much that he immediately set out to learn Italian.So the story begins and continues to Lenin's arrival at the Finland Station in 1917. Even though I have read the book before and remember quite a bit of Wilson's story, I read To the Finland Station like a story, as in I wonder what happens next. I know how it ends post-Wilson in 1991.
It's winter already. And this is a poem by Robert Frost.
An Old Man's Winter Night
All out-of-doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him--at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping here, he scared it once again
In clomping off;--and scared the outer night
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing like the beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man--one man--can't keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It's thus he does it of a winter night.
I won both my football wagers today. That leaves my season record at 12 wins, 10 losses, and 1 tie against the spread. I am 1-0 against the moneyline.
I woke at five AM. Since then I have been thinking and writing.
I read the New York Times Book Review on the Internet each day, but rarely look at what is on the bestseller list. I noticed this morning that President Carter's book, Our Endangered Values, has reached number one on the nonfiction bestseller list. The NYT has yet to review the book.
Most people believe the scientific evidence the earth is warming. The impact on the environment isn’t much doubted either. Most people agree that greenhouse gases add to the problem. Yet there are still doubters. These are people who have a vested economic interest in not reducing greenhouse emissions and such.
I'd like to thank Cuppa at Brown Betty Brew for lifting my spirits yesterday.
According to Google, we and Lynn live more than 600 miles or 16 hours apart, yet the one blogger was able to impact the other in the blink of an eye as it were. We have never met, and, in all probability we never will, yet, in some ways, I wonder if in some very real sense we, who read each other's real thoughts and feelings and comment back and forth, don't know one other more intimately than we know those around us, for the written word is immensely powerful and can be powerfully intimate. In our writings, we have at least some time to reflect upon what we say, and, so, our innerness is frequently laid more bare and open than it might be in our daily physical walks.One of the blogs I stumbled upon when I first started blogging was Cuppa’s at Brown Betty Brew. I liked the way she wrote. I later found out we shared a mutual love of poetry and some of the same poets. Her uplifting thoughts and quotations are infectious. Via Cuppa’s blog, I found Anvilcloud’s and other blogs.
Many thanks to Cuppa at Brown Betty Brew for recommending I read some poetry today. It's just the tonic and curative.
The Plain Sense of Things
After the leaves have fallen, we return
To a plain sense of things. It is as if
We had come to an end of the imagination,
Inanimate in an inert savoir.
It is difficult even to choose the adjective
For this blank cold, this sadness without cause.
The great structure has become a minor house.
No turban walks across the lessened floors.
The greenhouse never so badly needed paint.
The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side.
A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition
In a repetitiousness of men and flies.
Yet the absence of the imagination had
Itself to be imagined. The great pond,
The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves,
Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence
Of a sort, silence of a rat come out to see,
The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this
Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge,
Required, as a necessity requires.
I ran an experiment before this week's point spread came out. I printed a list of of the NFL teams rank ordered by winning percentage and this week's schedule. Then by inspection of the league standings I guessed what the point spread would be for each game. The most I differed from the official point spread was two points, and that was only one game.