Saturday, June 20, 2015

Housekeeping high and low

The other day, a remark was
presented Anonymously, as a
Comment under the posting of
two images - a leaping nude
athlete and a grounded car
lauding the removal of its
text, for lacking in taste.

But the posting never bore
a text, so this prompted a
delt-scratching amongst the
editors. At last it was re-
called that the posting ad-
jacent to it had been taken
down, as things sometimes
are, to guard against any
accident of monotony, only 
to be restored in place,
once a broader range is re-
established. Having recent-
ly entered a posting on
Mrs Clinton's oddly loving
gatherings of cash, our
report of her restatement
of her interesting request
to be given our Presidency
only came so soon, as to 
yield the appearance of
an untoward pursuit of her.

Now that a little more time
has passed, and a public ut-
terance of immensely greater
interest has supervened, the
posting on her East River e-
vent has been restored, to
the judgment of all readers.

Far be it from our humble
perspective, to divine any
connection between baroque 
personal enrichments, and 
seeking to inhabit a palace.
Yet, as Mrs Clinton knows,
the Donald Trump campaign 
offers to run superb inter-
ference, for an entire De-
cameron of shenanigans. It
is hoped, therefore, that
even her willingest agents
will allow her to be dis-

Now, a new weekend allows
a new candidate to claim
his place in the pantheon
of pander. The one allow-
ing himself to be styled
Jeb! has come out (can you
stand the thought) to the
Faith and Freedom Coalition
as being against judicial
supremacy and the binding
stare decisis quality of
the Supreme Court's inter-
pretation of the Constitu-
tion. This, from the fam-
ily who rigged the life
out of the Court in the
first place, from Clarence
Thomas to little Sammy Ali-
to, is, to a contemplation
of two opposing points of
view at the same time, what
charity is to the Clinton
Global Initiative. Yet do
not say, Something must be
done. It has been. Elizabeth
Drew, who has been watching
Gothic political torments
for us since Richard Nixon,
has defined this one already.
You and I, meanwhile, may go 
play where we belong.

You're on ..

Jeremy Peters
The New York Times
June 19, 2015

Elizabeth Drew
The New York Review
June 16, 2015

Fred Lyon
Washington Street by Night

California Street by Day


Thursday, June 18, 2015

What's become of trickling down?

       What's become of

                    Bliss was it in that dawn
                      to be alive
                    But to be young was very

Lettera Enciclica
  Laudato Si'
2015 A.D.

William Wordsworth
The Prelude
op. cit.

Monday, June 15, 2015

In Bordeaux, a column rises

   We're in the final fortnight of the
   American Supreme Court's calendar of
   dispensations on the law of man with-
   in its jurisdiction. We are tasked to
   cower, beneath construings of its e-
   dicts, as if bestowed by our Creator.

   At the same time, this is la semaine
   for Bordeaux to present its latest
   vintages en primeur, at an annual ex-
   position of the most treasured wines
   on the face of this planet. No one of
   a palate within the twirl of that orb
   requires excuses to accept the genius
   of Nature. And there it is, for Every-
   man to taste, beneath the parapet of
   Liberty inviolate.

   We have nothing to beg of that ob-
   scure clerisy in the trade of our
   Constitution. We are embedded, we
   were bedded in its origination,
   in its descent, and in its defense
   before its think tanks patted its
   powdered bottoms to go forth unto
   the People with diverse theories
   on our worthiness. It is nice of
   them to do it, but we do not al-
   low their jitters to disturb us,
   their gangsterly insults to de-
   flect us from our errand of life.

   In Bordeaux this column marks the
   spot where Robespierre commanded
   the guillotine to drop upon the
   worthiest of the Revolution. It
   did; and like a Quilt, spread up-
   on the Ellipse in Washington, DC,
   its extracted visage rose to com-
   mand the embrace of an eventually 
   delivered land.

   May the gods forgive that price.
   Some courts function, some do not.

   In the end, qui vive? Our func-
   tion is to live, and let their an-
   guished frettings for our own re-
   silent lineage, dissolve. The day
   already is ours, as it was when
   we discovered it. We can afford a
   Court that doesn't know the week. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Corniche en fuite

Bruce Weber
Point Conception

Marc Vorgers
Bentley Corniche

Rally on the East River

Like you, I studied Saturday's rally on the East River with a lively hope. I sustain it today by presuming to offer a guarded criticism. As of now, I have the impression that Mrs Clinton is flailing, at a time whose climate, in every sense of the word, voices a desire for refreshment. On the Right this aspiration expresses the usual temp-tations of grandeur, dominion, and unsacrificing aggressions. The word, greatness, is recited over and over, but with disdain for its meaning. Revanchism is the word, fear is its pitch. 

If there is a Left, it is as marginal as ever, but its sense of re-freshment would come from a consensus for social justice, which it is equally reluctant to admit to being delusional, and equally frightened to submit for inspection of its definitions. 

In the main body of the electorate, the desire for refreshment is impressively less intimidated. It means relief from precisely the hollowness of both poles, together with an appetite for leadership based on leading, not (as in the present era) on quieting. Mrs Clinton is running to smother this aspiration, but to the naked eye it doesn't look like running, at all. It looks like waiting. It looks like waiting by wallowing in umbrages, all of them borrowed but one.

Yet such symbolic weight attaches to the latter, that I don't think anyone truly knows how it may play. It simply strikes this observer as distinctly reckless, for a major Party to hazard its entire chance to retain its hold on the one branch of government where it's likeliest to succeed, on a wager that being of one gender or another can defeat a challenge to show one's hand of leadership. This is not her way; it was not her husband's way. Their way is to wait, to dis-cern what commitments are safe. I suspect, the public sees this in sufficient numbers, to reject that cleverness as unrefreshing. It's the way to promotion, not to leadership.

Mrs Clinton had a chance on Roosevelt Island, to support the President's initiative on trade with Asia, as the most Rooseveltian proposition on the table today. She chose to exchange his freedom from want, which does not exist, for a freedom from competition, which cannot exist. Swooning is not leadership, it is demagoguery; and the public will sense this. Positively nothing else remotely promises to "prime the pump" of economic energy so clearly in this generation's favor, as the President's program of engagement with Asia. 

She could have led, if her support were more than gender deep; she could have dared to lead this nation, and to lead her Party to electoral pre-eminence in more than one branch of government. But she'd rather rally umbrage, because she calculates that her gender will justify her. How strange, with such lack of clarity of purpose, lack of courage, lack of giving and lack of serving, having so little to do with that gender as we know it, or indeed, with what could lead. 

Say, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I'm sorry, but there it is.

A humane initiative from the other Party is not needed to expose this, but it could be needed to overcome it, if all the polls are right in assaying the claim of gender with such weight. If someone of slight respect for that Party can figure this out, just imagine what one of its own could do. Let heaven then help anyone who cares for the American judiciary, who cares for peace - especially in the Near East - or who cares for the timely heeding of the guidance of learning, if that notably backward other Party should come up with so much as one refreshing commitment, led by someone not claiming entitlement. Nothing is more transparent, than that a nomination of Mrs Clinton would free the other Party to rediscover its legitimacy. Maybe the senior Senator from Maine? What she lacks in arousing her Party's murky base, Mrs Clinton would provide free of charge. There would be a first one could believe in.