Tonight is the annual propaganda event known as The State of the Union address.
Even though the majority of Americans think that Congress should call the shots when it comes to the war in Iraq, Bush pushes ahead as if he were a king. Bill Richardson has made the Democratic presidential race more interesting. Other items of interest include:
If you find any articles worthy of mention in these roundups, send the URL to gazissax at best dot com. And feel free to comment!
Fidel Castro is still not dead.
The world is filled with stories of war, accidents, and Dubya’s doings.
2007 is barely begun and we already have a strong frontrunner
Who needs cats or squids when anteaters combine the best qualities of both?
I hardly touched politics today!
When I first heard about the rocket attack on the American Embassy in Athens, I remembered how it looked from the slopes of Mount Likavitos. Like a giant white CPU in a transistor board of streets set in the gray marble bedrock of the city. [[Lykavittos|Mount Likavitos]] is the larger of two mountains sticking out of the middle of [[Athens]] (the other is the [[Acropolis]]). It resembles an ice cream cone that some toddler has dropped in the middle of the floor, covered with a fine mold of pine trees.
I know because I lived on the slopes of that mountain for six months, in a neighborhood which was fashionable for the expatriate crowd, namely [[Kolonaki]].
It was during the declining years of the [[Energy_crisis|Energy Crisis]] and the heart of the [[Iran_hostage_crisis|Hostage Crisis]] when I stayed there. No taverna could stay open after 2 am. Families were expected to be in bed at a reasonable hour, a habit which shocked the Athenians and curtailed their pleasures. Telling people that you were an American elicited sympathy. “Oh, so you’re an American. Yes, we’re so concerned about the hostages.” It made for good talk when you went out for a drink.
I was not one for the bars, so I took many walks along the crushed marble streets (which were hell when it rained) and on the slopes of Mount Likavitos. Back then, I remembered looking over the alluvial plain to the east and thinking how obvious a target the embassy was. All an Iranian terrorist would need was a rocket launcher.
The homegrown terrorists who struck last week did use one, but they shot from the street instead of the slope. Perhaps they feared the dogs. The dogs scared me so much that after one encounter on a Sunday afternoon, I avoided the time and place thereafter. An old man walked about twenty of them. None on a leash. All free and as feral as a pet hound could be. When I turned the corner on the trail and saw them behind their neatly-besuited owner, they barked as one. I froze.
The fellow came forward and reassured me in Greek. “Oh don’t worry,” he must have been saying. “They won’t hurt you.” I didn’t know Greek well enough to be sure. His burbling did little to reassure me. What was I to do? Where should I put my pink-tipped, obviously succulent fingers? I could not run and I could not relax. I waved my hands in front of me, signaled “Go go. Get them out of here.” He teased the pack past me. I found a log and sat on it for a long time. Memories of the times I’d seen dogs and their teeth licked the edges of my mind. Where did he keep all those animals in this big city? I wondered.
The old man is probably long dead now, but I do not doubt that his ghost still haunts those slopes. His [[wild hunt]] roars at the passing of every cat shadow, tears at the serenity of evening lovers. What terrorist could ever face a ghost like that?
A greater quarter of the sacrificial lamb is devoted to politics today.
I decided to do a “no politics Tuesday”.
Happy Martin Luther King Day