Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"All political parties die at last swallowing their own lies."-John Arbuthnot

The dance in Washington is complicated and the steps are difficult to learn. Yet it can simply be described as a game of musical chairs. Arlen Specter is a political animal to the end. The spectre of the Democrats cheering the defection of this creature is disheartening. As a counsel on the Warren Commission he is the inventor of the single bullet theory of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He has now changed parties twice. He indulged himself during a Senate hearing in a leering character assassination of Anita Hill which put a distinctly small puppet on the United States Supreme Court. I would welcome him to a party as much as Jack Bauer would welcome Tony Almeida back to CTU.
Now, in danger of losing his Senate seat in a Republican primary to a Club For Growth reactionary, he has flushed chameleon chemicals into the surface of his pellum to change his outward appearance. Yet, within, within, lurks a vain reptile who seeks only a place of safety for the purpose of digesting unmentionable things slowly in the dark.

"[Specter] kept trying to get me to change my story, particularly regarding the number of shots. He said I had been told how many shots there were and I figured he was talking about what the Secret Service told me right after the assassination. His inflection and attitude was that I knew what I was supposed to be saying, why wouldn't I just say it.

I asked him, "Look, do you want the truth or just what you want me to say?" He said he wanted the truth, so I said, "The truth is that I heard between four and six shots." I told him, "I'm not going to lie for you."

So he starts talking off the record. He told me about my life, my family, and even mentioned that my marriage was in trouble. I said, "What's the point of interviewing me if you already know everything about me?"

He got angrier and finally told me, "Look, we can even make you look as crazy as Marguerite Oswald and everybody knows how crazy she is. We could have you put in a mental institution if you don't cooperate with us." I knew he was trying to intimidate me."- Jean Hill, witness to the Kennedy assassination on her interview with Arlen Specter, junior counsel to the Warren Commission

Dover Beach

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold, published 1867, "New Poems"

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