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On weariness and readiness May 22, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Musings, Poetry.
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Beneath this sliver silver moon

I cease my climb through time for you,

in a glade of shimmer

and solace earned

in leagues of tireless steps immune

to leaves that ever whine

their horrid whispered doubt

and arms

of gropy brush that bind to hold

away from gracious calm

you vowed

so long ago whence first we met

in waking blush of wispy knowing

you moved the air.

A soul

of me

for me

there for finding

and off I set til the way came here

to a field of gentle bluegrass beckoning

in easy flow of coming June,

enough to push me ever back

til I can bend no more and face

a track of starry awe that melts me down

first

to knees and then

afloat in a thousand arms sprung of proper seed in perfect loam.

In ease I am doomed

even as scent awakens every cell in memory’s store

to yelp

in feary panic

to beg a rally as not to miss

the prize

—  alas.

I’m smothered here by woody whisper

I’ve known too well:

“It cannot be,

no never.

Not for thee.”

I sense your linger

as you cock your eye to wonder,

your breath to utter:

“Now.”

“I am here.”

“The path awaits.”

I ache to scurry past

the whispers gathered now to din

but crave a gentle hand

tracing slow across my cheek

a digit paused on lips

with smiling joy my faith can vet.

A shard of time we’re owed is all the fare

you need expend,

a closing inch the final league to know

alone.

Not feeling all that good … May 20, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Economy, Greed, Musings, Wall Street.
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… about the financial markets tonight, even as I cheer passage of a reform bill.

An awful lot of negative money is in play in Europe, betting against the currency, the bailout funds, the state budget deficits, just about anything that smacks of stability and a long climb back. The smart money — the core cynical money — says it won’t work and is playing heavy on the down side, which is helping to build momentum in that direction.

Over Here, the negative vibes have driven up the “Fear Index” and Smart Money fled hard today into Treasuries and near cash. Futures trading will probably have the Dow down below 10,000 before the bell. And once the false floor is gone, the 50 states weigh in with unemployment numbers for April, which probably won’t cheer too many Bears.

So I think we all need to think tonight about how far we have come in 14 months, strap in for a bit of bluster and then say no to Fear. It cost us dearly the last time.

Now is a time to hold ’em — and just say No to the Children of Darkness.

We have Wall Street reform … May 20, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Greed, Justice, Obama, Politics, Wall Street.
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… on a 59-39 vote a little while ago, with four Republicans on the Aye side and 2 Democrats on the Nay side. And the GOP is fully correct that the bill fails to tackle Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and that remains a task for Congress to take on. But we have reform, imperfect as it surely will be out of the chute. Now we must keep it — and that will be a very tall task.

This creates a new set of rules of the road, and some may need adjustment as the inevitable unintended consequences reveal themselves and demand redress, or the intended consequences prove too harsh — or restrictive. And that will require vigilance we did not see in the cops on the beat, most of which we left  in place to do jobs expanded beyond their shape when things went off the rails without an alarm 18 months ago. Congress and the financial press cannot fail in their essential watchdog functions either.

And all must also keep a keen eye on the larger scene, for money will flow as it will, and greed will drive the Masters to the edge of these new rules also, peering over, around and under for and edge, a crack, a flaw. New threats will emerge to markets that simply must be fair and police to remain open and healthy.

But this is a huge step. I applaud those who refused to say it is too hard — all 98 for this debate was constructive, productive democracy as I prefer it.

Let us pray that in the end result there is wisdom.

Tomorrow looks like the day … May 18, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Economy, Justice, Musings, Politics.
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… for a Senate vote on the Dodd Financial Reform bill, after a whole lot of debate over a whole slew of amendments from Republicans and Democrats and Independents. Some won and were added. Some lost and were discarded by a shifting majority vote. Everybody had their say. And the final product — good, bad or indifferent — is an amalgam of Democratic ideas, Republican ideas and some cross-breed notions.

So, I’m going to say I like it — and I have not read even a synopsis of all it would do or attempt to do to prevent another meltdown in the financial world. And as any even casual reader here can attest, I view such prevention as the most important task before this Congress.

But these people took a vitally important thing, hammered it out thoughtfully and are about to vote on a bipartisan bill that’s with a little “b.”

And man that has been a loooooong time coming. We should applaud that. We really should.

I don’t know what the options are … May 18, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in angry rants, Politics.
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… but I’m gonna jump right in and suggest that Connecticut scratch this one. Read that account and you decide whether this Blumenthal guy maybe “misspoke” a time or two.

I say he lied.

And I don’t care what color stripes he’s wearing, what he promises, what he’s done in his long government career, he doesn’t belong in the U.S. Senate.

Rule 1 for November: No more liars.

Somehow — I had to read … May 18, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Musings, Uncategorized.
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this, knowing of course what it would be. And that’s also knowing that the denials have flown thicker than the initial prose. And I know that by even making reference to it and mulling about it I am contributing to the delinquency of the portion of the human race that visits here. And thereby encouraging more of it.

I humbly apologize for slowing yet again to gape at the smoking wreckage.

And a last thought for today (I think) … May 16, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Musings.
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… dwells on a 16-year-old kid from the land Down Under, who stepped onto land Saturday after sailing a boat around the world all by herself. Bravo in spades to Jessica Watson.

Yeah, I’m sure there was some pretty good financial support behind here. That doesn’t look like your average bathtub-variety sailboat.

And yeah, she’s pretty close to a million bucks ahead of her babysitting brethren with the books deal, the speaking tour and all that jazz. But I’m gonna give her the right to the gravy because she’s been chowing down on a lot of fish and soggy crackers and probably salty Spam for — oh — 210 freekin’ days.

But I am in awe, really. And not just because she got in that boat in the first place, which in my world is a gutsy thing in and of itself. She decided she was going to. Then she did. She stayed in that boat until it hit the dock. The best words came from New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally:

“You have reminded us in a spectacular way that life itself is a risk, and those who don’t risk never win.”

I’m left wondering … May 16, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Education, Obama, Politics.
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… exactly what the point  of all the high drama was in this school in Rhode Island where the boss opted for the plan firing all the teachers to institute reform. Now, the teachers’ union has caved, accepts the plan for a longer school day, more tutoring and other stuff that, quite frankly, sounds awfully thin. Seems the teachers wanted 3 times what the district was willing to pay for extra hours devoted to duty.

So was it, after all, just about money?

The story notes that 700 people had applied for the suddenly vacant jobs, which the bounced staff also had the ability to take a shot at. While I’m generally a labor guy, this strikes me somehow as a lost opportunity, as there just might have been a bunch of people in that line of 700 who could have made a difference — not just in this school, but, by a powerful example, in a lot of other places.

And I also am a big teacher fan generally, knowing from my childhood as the son of a teacher just how tough and time-consuming the job is if the teacher is doing more than punching the clock. And if you’ll recall, this was a school where just 7% of the 11th grade students could pass the math test. And that’s 11th grade — a point at which you can be sure a slew of the more general failures had already cashed and fled to the streets. A wholesale experiment would not have been a big risk of tossing the baby with the bath.

I dunno. What happens in the classroom is but 30% of the learning process, they say — and  think they’re right. We’ve got to ratchet up what happens there, and figure out better what works better there. But my appetite is very limited for education reform as it is pitched today, because it rarely ventures very far from the schoolhouse.

It all has to reach the parents somehow. And we can’t fire them.

Are you with us — or against us? May 16, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Musings.
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I’ve been wandering around the Ether, dabbling here and there and everywhere and since I don’t have an awful lot of time today for this with the sun shining so warm and the physical energy running strong enough to tackle — and actually complete — something, I’m going to be brief. I can hear the distinct relief among what I would be nuts to call a crowd.

But I sincerely wish every blogger, ranter, commenter and so on types would take just a moment to preface everything with one simple introductory phrase: “I the citizen, in order to form a more perfect union, think we should ….”

Not to form a more perfect world for just me. Not to leverage it to my advantage. Not to dissolve all that differentiates the units in it. Not to relieve me of any responsibility for things like the “general welfare,” or “domestic tranquility” or any of the many notions underlying the very concept of a union.

That’s not really a very restrictive request. You can go in many directions from that preface. But by stating it front and center, it imposes upon you a sort of honor-code obligation to demonstrate even in passing how what will follow advances that prime objective.

And it is relevant to utterances from all quarters.

Why will this notion advance the cause? It would alert us to ideas and perspectives from members who  act or speak  from a vantage within the Union — and to those who do so from a perch outside more interested in forging Something Else.

Let me see if I’ve got this right May 15, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Musings, Politics.
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Thou shalt not kill.

But thou shalt be ready to?