As unrest widens in the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy vacillates between support for demonstrators and appeasement of tyrants.
The proposed new budget is claimed to slash, over the next ten years, more than a trillion from the deficit while doubling the national debt and adding nearly two trillion in new taxes.
The largest scandal ever to hit the federal government is steadfastly ignored in major news sources, which choose to cover "Fashion Week" instead.
The reigning philosophy of the political elite is summed up in two pictures.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church invites people to spend five minutes in silent meditation, "imagining God saying to each of us, 'You are my beloved, in whom I am well pleased.'" (This is not the first time the Pied Piper has conveyed such a message.)
Meanwhile, the Anglican Communion sunders, the Archbishop of Canterbury converts to Islam (just kidding! but -- ?), and Christopher Hitchens, soon to die of esophageal cancer, lectures a Unitarian minister about what it means to be a Christian.
Those at the helm, by denying that objective values exist, are bereft of any moral, political or social compass. Man himself is the measure of all things, and there are none so blind as those who will not see (that they are blind). I do not say there is nothing being done that is right -- especially (and gratifyingly) by those who have the means. But the impact of what is being done wrong on the national and global scale will, at least for the nonce, engulf all smaller efforts.
In the end, which poet will have been right --
William Butler Yeats?
The Second Coming
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Or George Meredith?
Lucifer in Starlight
ON a starr'd night Prince Lucifer uprose.
Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiend
Above the rolling ball in cloud part screen'd,
Where sinners hugg'd their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
And now upon his western wing he lean'd,
Now his huge bulk o'er Afric's sands careen'd,
Now the black planet shadow'd Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that prick'd his scars
With memory of the old revolt from Awe,
He reach'd a middle height, and at the stars,
Which are the brain of heaven, he look'd, and sank.
Around the ancient track march'd, rank on rank,
The army of unalterable law.