Hard truths Wednesday

I am sitting here in Chicago, only able to get to my garage by walking through a waist-deep snow tunnel, not that getting there would do me any good since even my trusty Subaru couldn’t navigate the black diamond slope that is my alley.

So it’s time for what may become a semi-regular blog feature: Hard Truths Wednesday.

Hard Truth: Old guys need to just get out of the way.

I am 57. That’s not old-old, but I can see old from here. I spend far too much of my time on the phone with other 57 year-olds listening to them carp about how life sucks because they are unappreciated at work and the newspaper wants to cut their pay and make them work more hours and blah blah blah.

Here’s the hard truth. A 57 year-old is not worth as much as a 37 year-old. All that experience doesn’t make up for energy and enthusiasm and being in the moment. Continue reading

Why Washington clings to a failed Middle East strategy

by Gareth Porter

The death throes of the Mubarak regime in Egypt signal a new level of crisis for a U.S. Middle East strategy that has shown itself over and over again in recent years to be based on nothing more than the illusion of power. The incipient loss of the U.S. client regime in Egypt is an obvious moment for a fundamental adjustment in that strategy.

But those moments have been coming with increasing regularity in recent years, and the U.S. national security bureaucracy has shown itself to be remarkably resistant to giving it up. The troubled history of that strategy suggests that it is an expression of some powerful political forces at work in this society, as former NSC official Gary Sick hinted in a commentary on the crisis. Continue reading

Old Ethan, Halfway Home

          - Imbolc 2011, 2:17am MST

Old Ethan like a walking stick, daylong shadow:
sets him after a halfway pole
fifty mile through a
dankling woods.

October throwed his scarecoat down.
November framed those woods a house of smoke.
December painted the black days white.
Come January, the ringnecks froze in place.
Treelocked they'll sit 'til April
flumes their melted songs to the sea.

Now Midwinter:

          a milepost on a swerving road,
          a weed in a tombyard.

Turns him 'round and marks for home.
Never know home until you get there,
never know halfways at all.