DON BELIANIS OF GREECE
To Don Quixote of la Mancha
In slashing, hewing, cleaving, word and deed,
I was the foremost knight of chivalry,
Stout, bold, expert, as e’er the world did see;
Thousands from the oppressor’s wrong I freed;
Great were my feats, eternal fame their meed;
In love I proved my truth and loyalty;
The hugest giant was a dwarf for me;
Ever to knighthood’s laws gave I good heed.
My mastery the Fickle Goddess owned,
And even Chance, submitting to control,
Grasped by the forelock, yielded to my will.
Yet–though above yon horned moon enthroned
My fortune seems to sit–great Quixote, still
Envy of thy achievements fills my soul.
My friend, dear ardashir shall I trust forgive,
This co-option of his famous style,
My soul, in pain, should this then so aggrieve
By taking umbrage, on my umbrella suffrage.
Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms
in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti…
Despite the naysayers down there (while hoping Eric decides to lose a weekend just in case) the new interface has been running generally acceptable for many days since they found a lot of the bugs were due to a mis-behaving caching server.
I am predicting a few reactions from the classic die-hards, and a few will threaten to leave, and some might actually do so. But I’d rather design for my posts for one interface rather than three.
And now perhaps some formerly useful scripts shall return.
Oh! I’m back.
… and not for long. But some things need to get done, and this activity begins to take on a life of its own rather than being a diversion.
I hope V3 is working by the time I get back. But if not, well, I understand, and like I do Mr. Obama, I won’t hold it against anyone.
(Note the lack of formatting is intentional)
(thank you to mundanemania whose appeal I belatedly answered with much regret)
A letter to Mr. Obama
Dear Mr. President
I was thrilled by your inaugural address, I found much to agree with it, but the euphoria of the moment delayed the contemplation of a couple of its more interesting points. And I quote:
“…To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds”
Those are noble thoughts, and we thank you for them, but with all due respect, will you kindly leave us the hell alone with your offer of food, water, education as you open your hand to our dictators’ unclenched fists?
On the second part of that, I realize you spent part of your childhood in one of our poor nations and that you have seen the situation of the urban poor in third world countries. It is not a lack of water, or ability to grow food, or a lack of education that is keeping us poor, it is the lack of employment that keeps our incomes low. Most of us have plenty of water, food and other basic resources, and our children score higher than yours do in basic education examinations. We need your investments and your outsourced jobs far more than your aid. I realize this may lead to unpopular choices at home when your own economy is in a shambles and your unemployment rate is rising, but putting regulations on outsourcing and foreign investments to boost your local economy will make us poorer despite all the aid you suggest wanting to send.
But no rush. We did quite well during your last great depression, even if it helped start World War II which we regretfully had to bear more of domestically than you did. We understand that and have forgiven for evacuating your pledged military forces just as the Japanese invaded. It all worked out in the end and we got our democracy back in 1946 which your predecessor Mr. McKinley had stolen from us almost exactly fifty years earlier.
We like you and we like your words, but please understand that most of your predecessors had nice words also, as they treated many of our poor nations rather shabbily by supporting the sort of corrupt dictators you now wish would unclench their fists, while helping them suppress democratic forces who opposed them. We don’t mind that as much as the havoc your predecessors caused as you changed your minds and removed them. This has been our experience thus far at any rate and your offer to help is very kind, but we’d really rather you ease up on this issue. We manage to figure things out in due course and are usually better off for it, like we did with Mr. Marcos who then VP George Bush Sr. gushed over saying “we love your adherence to democratic principles” during Mr. Marcos’ third inauguration in twenty years. You would have laughed to see our eyes rolling. Your Senator Lugar’s telephone call to Mr. Marcos on behalf of Mr. Reagan was timely, but we sorted it out by ourselves enough for that to have been necessary. And thanks for the helicopter that pulled him out of the Palace. It made things a bit easier for Mrs Aquino the next day as he and Imelda were en route to Hawaii. Oh! Thanks for the handy place of exile too! You are from there after all.
We know you intend to be different and we want to hold you to your intentions as we hope don’t screw your Presidency up. But if you do, we understand and won’t hold it against you. We don’t hate George Bush as much as your countrymen do, because we’ve been there and done that enough times. It would be nice to see you succeed by behaving differently from the vast majority of your predecessors over the past 120 years.
Good luck & thanks!