Friday, October 01, 2004

It's "Mullah", Not "Moolah"

Senator John Kerry is the clear winner of the first debate. His performance demonstrated the qualities one wants in a leader of the free world: good judgment informed by years of experience in the Senate dealing with foreign relations, sound analysis of the options given tough problems, smooth delivery and the ability to stay focused on the question at hand, strategic planning and initiative, restraint when matters of international or national urgency are colored by personal experience or relationships, and poise in the face of an adversary whose main objective is to inspire fear and to degrade confidence.

In the days ahead, some pundits and networks will cut and edit the debate videos to make President Bush appear to be all of the above when in fact any honest viewer saw that when the right questions are asked by the right man at the right time in the right place, Bush falls back on his arrogant and divisive character traits. Clever spinning won't obscure the facts of his failures of performance, both in this debate and in office.

It's "mullah", Mr. President, not "moolah". You are confusing the leaders of Iran with a former executive of Halliburton. It's Vladimir, not Vladimurr. One would think an Ivy League educated native of Maine would be able to pronounce these, but one suspects years of feigning a Texas accent has side effects.

Clear speaking and clear thinking are hard work too.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Red Palace

In his last days, Shah Jahan was left to die in the Red Palace
With one faithful daughter to attend him, tools to write,
Memories of his beloved Mumtaz, and his distant view of the Taj.
His son had defeated all rivals for the old man's throne and
Became emperor before his father would be wrapped in white linen
And carried aloft to the marble spired mausoleum.

In the manicured paths that lay between his heart and that end,
He watched the awed travelers marvel before the prayer towers.
In his grief for his Queen, now forever parted, he became a prisoner
Of his passion and his great works, enslaved by his love and his loss.

The jewels encrusting the carved writings would be cleaved
By the sharpened knives of foreigners who would conquer this land.
Having prepared his place for eternity, he had not prepared his soul,
His people, or his land for the days on sorrow's bent knee.

Without dharma, artha has no meaning, and kama, no taste.
Dusty winds blow harshly around the arabesqued walls.
Hear in them the wailing of an old man's parched cries
Lamenting the untouchable vista of the beautiful temple.

Suddha Prem

To offer without expectation
To accept what is offered and not ask for more
To give when the heart is breaking
To sail away from the safe harbor
To keep truth as a burning lamp
To bind your soul to the feet of another
To have faith in ends without understanding
To adore beyond desire for this world
To live in union with one beloved
To stand naked before God, unashamed

Make an altar of flowers and garlands.
Ring the bell and prepare the cordial food.
Light the candles and sing a joyful song.
Make a gift of your life to the life giver.
See in each living soul the same living light.
Do for others what they may not do for themselves.
Feel the divine presence in all places and beings.
Forget yourself and be the friend of your lover.

In times of need, be patient.
In times of longing, be satisfied.
In times of sorrow, be glad.
In times of anger, love.

Know that the Lord is with you.
Know that the Lord finds you pleasing.
Know that without fear, you may approach.
Know that without loss, you may depart.

Be one in separation and separate in one.
Partake of the bliss that transforms.
In that transformation is immortality.
In that bliss is pure love.

Comment Policy

If you don't sign it, I won't post it. To quote an ancient source: "All your private property is target for your enemy. And your enemy is me."