Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hey, it beats firing on Fort Sumter

         Reacting to a suggestion from 
         one of Trump’s advisers that 
         he could eliminate NASA‘s earth-
         science programs, which have done 
         much to illuminate the advance of 
         global warming, [Governor] Brown 
         said, “We’ve got the scientists, 
         we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re 
         ready to fight. . . . If Trump 
         turns off the satellites, Cali-
         fornia will launch its own damn 

         And serve a darn good ceviche

John Cassidy
The New Yorker
December 16, 2016©

American Geophysical Union
San Francisco
December 14, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

One, final, Constitutional artifice

rises between the
United States and
ignominy, crisis,
and bestiality be-
yond exoneration;

designed to guard
the republic from
fraud at the high-
est level, undis-
covered in a game
inadequately dis-
ciplined. Then, a
country with this
advantage can ill
refuse protection
of reflection be-
fore a world it's
obliged to share.

This abduction of
the country first
makes the rest so
easy. All war be-
gins as blithely. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Alexandria now and then

Sounds of mourning for this lost greatness would not be heard until later, until Cavafy, whose mirror game of anachronisms predicted the rise of the barbarians and the downfall of Hellen-ism, a future disguised as the past. You did not wish to prevent [it]. Or were you unable to, because it no longer involved a myth, but reality, history, facts? Those who have the power may bring along their own gods, while those who lose power must abandon theirs, but which god will appear when the barbarians come?

Cees Nooteboom
Letters to Poseidon
  Letter XII
Laura Watkinson
op. cit.

Voyager I
Planetary Society
Cloudscape of Jupiter

Will McBride
Street dog in Florence

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Missal tow

   .. Let the storm come on,

   Let my little boat shudder and plunge in the turbulent sea,
   I will not do as the voyaging merchant does
   And cravenly pray and bargain with vows to the gods
   To save my goods. I'll ride the storm out, and,

   Perhaps, at last, with the help of the heavenly twins,
   Castor and Pollux, under whose fortunate sign
   The storm subsides and the clouds disperse, I'll sail,
   Carried by clearing breezes, safe into port.

In the year-ending days set aside, at least by custom, to so much reflection as events, themselves, now heap in our paths, one wouldn't like to be without the poet cited so often here, as being at one's back. This was an incredibly gutsy writer; although sustained by an imperial patron whose name is still synonymous with authoritarian magnificence, he also stood stunningly, dangerously independent, and enormously outlived his era as few ever have. Now, when we remark with any favor at all, on Caesar, it's for his gift for prose. But he's not who's hauled the wonder of his language to this day, setting true its pur-pose, as we know it still.

The Odes
23 - 16 BC
David Ferry
Book III, xxix
  To Maecenas
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
op. cit.

iii  Ladislav Sitensky