Sunday, July 01, 2007

Unusual thought near a patriotic holiday.

There are times when some turn of phrase, some connection of two words that had not earlier become part of any conscious thought, we expand for a flash and I will think that they are some kind of truth. Later, when I might sit down at the keyboard as I am now, I can't quite remember what that was or why it was then so important.

Those that do remember and that do continue the process are called poets and I do read them with appreciation. So it was that I opened Modern American and British Poetry, Louis Untermeyer, ed. © 1955 this morning and only by chance picked page 478. William Butler Yeats. (1865-1939)
The Leaders of the Crowd

They must to keep their certainty accuse
All that are different of a base intent;
Pull down established honor; hawk for news
Whatever their loose phantasy invent
And murmur it with bated breath, as though
The abounding gutter had been a Helicon
Or calumny a song. How can they know
Truth flourished where the student''s lamp has shone,
And there alone, that have no solitude?
So the crowd come they care not what my come.
They have loud music, hope every day renewed
And heartier loves; that lamp is from the tomb.

It seems as if things are as they always were. That what we have done matters less than the height of Hilton's skirt or whether Tatiana has red knickers.

The number of people who died on the 4th of July is not statistically unusual, but it give some pause to think that both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams succumbed on that day in 1826 and James Monroe on July 4th, 1831. I have always paid a lot of attention to the Jeffersonian ideal of an informed electorate.

"Though [the people] may acquiesce, they cannot approve what they do not understand."
-Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on Apportionment Bill, 1792. ME 3:211

Again, from reading Yeats...
To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat;
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbor's eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is the most difficult.


Lisa said...

Here is what Los Angeles Greens are involved in for July 4th:

Monday, July 2, 2007
Contact: Peter Thottam 310/497-7255 or Byron DeLear 818/974-8964

Rep. Maxine Waters, former state lawmakers
to speak at inauguration of Los Angeles
National Impeachment Center July 4

LOS ANGELES – Rep. Maxine Waters and several former state lawmakers have
confirmed they will be among the keynote speakers at the inauguration of
the Los Angeles National Impeachment Center – designed to lead to the
speedy impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard
B. Cheney – here July 4.

A news conference will precede the ribbon-cutting of the Center WEDNESDAY,
July 4, 11 a.m. at the Center (8124 W. Third Street / Crescent Heights &
3rd Streets). Speakers include Rep. Waters, former Assembly candidate Peter
Thottam and former congressional candidate Byron DeLear.

A major demonstration follows the inauguration at 12 Noon at La Cienega Park.

Other speakers at the demonstration also include former Democratic Party
Assemblymembers Jackie Goldberg and Paul Koretz, Executive Director of the
Islamic Shura Council of Southern California Shakeel Syed, Anthony St.
Martin and Larry Everest. Several surprise celebrity speakers will also be present.

The Los Angeles National Impeachment Center is sponsored by the Progressive
Democrats of Los Angeles, Westside Greens, Santa Monica Democratic Club and
Los Angeles Greens.

Organizers of the project said the Center will focus on convincing the
Santa Monica and Los Angeles city councils, and California legislative and
federal representatives to approve resolutions calling for impeachment of
Bush and Cheney for high crimes involving abuse of executive power, including:

* Misleading the American public to wage the US war on Iraq;
* Issuing signing statements to override federal legislation on torture and
other issues;
* Approving massive illegal wiretaps in violation of the Fourth Amendment;
*Suspending habeas corpus and Sixth Amendment due process rights in the
indefinite imprisonment and torture of detainees.


Lisa said...

The L.A. Impeachment Center launch made the cover of the L.A. Times CA section:,1,5735365.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california