We destroy the beauty of the countryside because the un-appropriated splendors of nature have no economic value. We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend. — John Maynard Keynes
Personal notes- My story, "From a Trolley Stop in Amsterdam" (an "honorable mention" published in Ink Pot Special Edition, Short Story and Flash Fiction Contest Winners), is about to be reprinted in a new Lit Pot (Literary Potpourri) anthology.
- I am now co-chair of the New York chapter of the National Writers Union, UAW 1981.
- Our book on Latin American Architecture and Urbanism (for Norton) is progressing, but I'm going to have to cut great chunks of fascinating contextual information to avoid turning it into an encyclopedia.
- "Fahrenheit 9/11" gives the impression (shared by almost everybody I talked to in Spain) that G. W. Bush is the world's most dangerous imbecile -- but no, not really. He is quite shrewd and utterly ruthless about achieving short-range goals, like getting elected in November. He is only imbecillic about those things that matter most to you and me, how to use America's many strengths to contribute to the security and prosperity of the world.
LitPol is back!De vuelta a casa / Back home again. We've just returned from Spain, and LitPol will resume more frequent publishing. However, for the time being, it's just going to be Fox and Lion ; Bear is off writing a novel, and Glib has started working for Dick Cheney (!) and so will have little time to spare for us until after November 2. Or even after, because if things go as some of us hope, Cheney will need Glib more than ever to explain how the sneaky liberals stole the election from him and his puppet W. (See Our Editorial Team for profiles.)
This is without a doubt the most important presidential election since the last one. The problem was that, in 2000, most of us had no idea how important it was. We couldn't imagine the magical effect that GWB as president would have on our budget surplus, our national prestige abroad, or on the lives of over a thousand young men and women in the armed services -- that he would make them all disappear! Now we know.
At this writing, it appears that the Bush campaign's scare tactics may work, and that we may have to endure another four years of the erosion of American moral authority, environment and economy, and continued blood-letting of our nationals and theirs in Iraq. Prepare for the worst, work for the best, as Gramsci said more elegantly. In the long run, America is weakening itself by trying to project its power rather than its founding values, which include "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind," as our Declaration of Independence puts it, and liberty (which means respecting other peoples' choices, not imposing ours) and democracy (which means real decision-making by the people affected, who also get to establish their own laws, and not a plebiscite to approve a candidate selected by the occupying power). -- More later, and maybe something more than a rant.
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