Sunday, June 29, 2008

Big Sur is Burning

The "Primitivist" Henri Rousseau painted "The Dream" in 1910. It hangs in Manhattan's MOMA

…the greatest beauty is organic wholeness
the wholeness of life and things.
the divine beauty of the universe.
Love that, not man apart from that… -- Robinson Jeffers

Big Sur is Burning

By Richard Power

Big Sur is burning.

I followed the voices of Jack Kerouac, Robinson Jeffers and Henry Miller to Big Sur.

Their muses were waiting for me.

The place is sacred. Like Shasta, Yosemite, Hot Creek and Death Valley, it is one of the power spots of the Western Paradise.

I tell people that Big Sur is where the Greek Gods went after they quit the scene.

Some of my most joyful moments in this life were spent there, including staring into the calm but wild eyes of a huge white wolf in the mist at dawn.

I do not have much else to say.

Just two stories from this week that you do not want to lose:

First, as I have written and said often and loudly for the last SEVEN years -- in briefings, blog posts, and articles -- global warming is a serious national security issue, one that not only brings its own perils, but exacerbates all the others, now it has been documented in a National Intelligence Assessment --

Climate change will have sweeping consequences for US national security by 2030 aggravating global poverty and destabilizing fragile countries, a US intelligence report said Wednesday.
"We judge global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US national security interests over the next 20 years," Thomas Fingar, deputy director of National Intelligence for Analysis, told US lawmakers. ...
He presented the findings of 16 US intelligence agencies gathered in a National Intelligence Assessment, based primarily on research done by the United Nations inter-governmental panel on climate change.
Global warming will exacerbate existing problems such as poverty and social tension, damage the environment and weaken political institutions, while triggering increased economic emigration, the report warns.
Agence France Press, 6-25-08

Second, lost in the important dust-up between Glenn Greenwald, one of the people I respect most in the blogosphere, and Keith Olbermann, the only person to respect on cable news (both are right, BTW, remember, the truth is paradoxical), is this important interview with Jonathan Turley concerning the latest revelations in the scandalous, likely criminal politicization of the DoJ by the Bush-Cheney regime --

OLBERMANN: The Justice Department‘s own watchdog, the inspector general, finding clear evidence now that fully qualified job and internship applicants were deliberately rejected, in clear violation of DOJ policy and of anti-discrimination laws, because they were Democrats, liberals or simply had affiliations with so-called liberal causes. ...
OLBERMANN: Do we know that previous administrations did not do this? That this isn‘t like those thousands of U.S. post master jobs that used to go from Democratic to Republican to Democratic each time there was a different president was elected?
TURLEY: There‘s a very big difference. The honors program is jealously protected by the Department of Justice. It is one of the proudest and longest standing programs in the legal profession. It has always transcended politics. It is the way the Justice Department has shown that they take truly the best and the brightest. And for the Bush administration to invade even that program and to apply a political litmus test is really abhorrent to many lawyers.
And this is not a conservative or liberal issue. There are many conservatives in this town that began in the honors program under Democratic administration. Their politics were not considered. So it‘s a very fundamental betrayal on the part of Gonzalez and his staff and unfortunately it‘s not unique. It is part of a pattern of politicizing that department.
OLBERMANN: To that pattern, fit this into the bigger scheme of things. A, Karl Rove prophesized a permanent Republican majority. B, the DOJ starts to prosecute Democrats for voting crimes whenever possible. C, the DOJ fires U.S. attorneys who will not prosecute those kinds of cases, whether they have merit or they don‘t, more likely the latter. And D, the DOJ tries to reduce the number of entry level jobs and internships that don‘t go to conservatives. Put those letters together and what do they spell?
TURLEY: Well, they don‘t read anything that we would want to see in our government. And I think that the real problem here is that people need to understand the Justice Department‘s neutrality and independence is the sort of grout that holds together the other departments. We were supposed to rely on the Justice Department to transcend politics, to enforce the law. And the invasion of politics by the Bush administration into that department has been so extensive and so severe, I expect the Justice Department will be the one that is the most difficult to put back together.
But this just shows how deep the damage is. It‘s well below the water line. And it‘s going to take some real effort to try to bring it back.
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC Countdown, 6-24-08

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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