Daily Archives: July 31, 2003

Choosing Your Battles

When the middle of the road is muddy slick
so that the vehicles of truth get mired,
‘Tis then the vultures gather there to pick
among the helpless and the uninspired.

The wheels of progress spin but cannot grab
or gain a purchase ‘gainst the tide of war,
but spout mere rhetoric and useless gab
until the words don’t matter anymore.

And love? It is subsumed in mindless hate;
the doves of peace set on by hungry hawks
who speak of “help” but would decide our fate
while the whole world still argues and just gawks.

The future in such times is so unsure –
for who’s to judge whose motives are more pure?

21 JUN 2003

for LJ user stephanielynch

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Watergate and Lao Tzu

I remember being 8 years old and watching every minute of the Watergate hearings on television. Watching the PBS special on the 30th Anniversary of the Destruction of the Innocence of the Republic, or rather, the Watergate scandal (which Kurt Vonnegut so eloquently pointed out was the first time we as a nation were made aware that a President so hated the American people that he in essence used the Constitution as toilet paper and demonstrated his contempt for law as being for other people), I am reminded of something Lao Tzu wrote:

The value of a government lies in its honesty;
The value of management lies in its ability;
The value of action lies its timing.

To which I might also add: the value of justice lies in its impartiality.

As many of the senators who participated in the hearings commented in this retrospective, it would nice if we as a nation had learned some kind of lasting lesson from Watergate. Something about the nature of the Executive branch to stretch its tentacles seeking power and usurping the nature of balance between itself and the other branches of government. Something about our Chief Executive believing themselves above the law, beyond the realm of culpability, outside the judgment of history, able to justify its own actions in the name of national security.

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