How Not To Lead

March 22, 2006

Put the maximization of profit above all ideals
call it the American dream.

Invite lobbyists to secretly make policy
declare it executive privilege.

Listen only to people who agree with you
pretend you do otherwise.

Paint all who dissent with a broad pink brush
label them a problem.

Intimidate rather than dialogue
blame it on evil.

squander a surplus
build a deficit

outsource torture
ignore law

fatten the rich
squeeze the poor

call yourself a Christian.


unHappy Anniversary

March 20, 2006

Today, on NPR's (National Public Radio's) Morning Edition, reporter Mike Shuster gives a comprehensive timeline review of events and spin leading up to the war in Iraq. The piece is titled Iraq Three Years Later: the Path to War. Listen at:

“Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return.” are two oft quoted
lines from W.H. Auden’s poem titled September 1,1939. The poem was written in response to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland. Undoubtedly it was a bleak and ominous event; one that changed everything – again.

Sixty two years later, after the attacks on  September 11,  the quote was resurrected by many in their struggle to understand what the hell was going on – again.  Those who cited Auden were often criticized as being “simple minded” and “illogical”: not all who are tortured become torturers. Not all bullies were treated unkindly.

The citations were also seen by some as excusing the abominable and audacious behavior of a maniac.

Poetry is not a science (as if science has all the answers). It is a non-linear endeavor. Auden’s full poem (ironically 9 stanzas by 11 lines each) is a stark, direct, visceral, and personal reaction to a dark event. That is the beauty of art. Each individual person has their own say – and there is no right or wrong about it.

Interestingly, the author came to reject this poem. Perhaps he fell into the “yes-no-wrong-right” thinking of his detractors.

To see the full poem and two related essays go to:

solong slobo

March 16, 2006

The world has rid itself of yet another political criminal. Slobodan Milosevic can now take his comfort with the likes of Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Ferdinand Marcos, and countless others named and unnamed – celebrated and despised.

In their honor, and the honor of those inexorably yet to come, I submit this poetic tribute:

Lousy Karma

think I saw Slobo today
buzzing around piles
of slimy dog poop

making one of those
famous speeches
to all the eggs he just laid.

Technological Neanderthal

March 14, 2006

I really don’t know what I am doing yet. I’m not sure why I started this blog apart from a strong compulsion to do so. Perhaps my spirit needs to formalize something to leave behind. Maybe this is the equivalent of a cave wall.