Month: June 2015

Antoine-de-Saint-Exupery

Happy Birthday…

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. Tell me who admires and loves you, and I will tell you who you are. Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded. Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind. Antoine de Saint-Exupery – whose birthday we remember on this date.   It is also with a most heavy heart that I awoke this morning to the news of Chris Squire’s passing. The founder bassist with the band Yes, he was …

Walker, Wisconsin Ranger

Let the, um… fun begin…

*Sigh* Already it begins… Hours after the Supreme Court announced its decision on same-sex marriage, the conservative ‘right’ – as in those on the ‘right’, or ‘starboard’ side of some imaginary line that everyone keeps on referencing, but no one ever manages to find the time to actually define (and despite the fact that line probably moves all over the place, like a greased pig at a state fair), as opposed to those on the liberal ‘left’, or ‘cognac’ side of said line – ahem – the ‘right’ began gearing up for their assault on the new status of equal marriage rights for all. They want their ‘right to religious liberty’ to be more strongly encoded into law. I’m not really sure how you can get any stronger than the 1st amendment to the constitution; which reads, in full:

Homeless? In America?

The Lottery…

“[I]t does seem, dear, that this gloomy kind of story is what all you young people think about these days. Why don’t you write something to cheer people up?” ––– Shirley Jackson’s mother, in a letter, after the publication of Jackson’s short story The Lottery; a story of a randomly selected member of a small town being sacrificed, to insure an abundant harvest every year. Yet Jackson’s story seems to me to be but a thinly disguised allegory for what actually happens – to this very day. The only difference, in my mind, is the selection of those to be sacrificed really isn’t all that random, is it? Whether the ‘harvest’ is actually agricultural, or simply an increase in shareholder earnings, it’s the migrant workers or the employees, and those not paid enough to live on, or not rich enough to become a shareholder, who are sacrificed on the altar of the all-mighty dollar. How would you have me write something to cheer people up? Reality, as I see it, isn’t cheerful… EJ Liederstein   …

George_Orwell_press_photo

Happy Birthday…

As the news of friends spying on friends ratchets up a notch (or a billion), it seems rather disingenuous that nations are reacting with calculated anger. According to news reports, France’s response to reports of US spying on them was harshly worded, but spare, and that subsequent announcements were milder in tone. All this, even as French lawmakers are moving to vastly expand their own program of surveillance. And (shocker) Germany is also being accused of spying on friends, after having flipped their wig when it was disclosed that we had spied on them.