When I was in High School, Civics (or Government, as the subject was called by an earlier generation) was required for graduation; today, the term refers to more than one car made by Honda.   It is sad, but true - the California Department of Education now refers to "Civic Learning", possibly out of an…

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For many years, I have been interested in the art of translation.   In the future, I will post my thoughts on the approach one should take to translation.   Meanwhile, here is the first I  ever did: The Giantess (La Géante) by Charles Baudelaire Trans 1967 When Nature, with artistic inspiration Conceived a giantess…

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Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer's recent announcement of her decision not to seek reelection took me back to 1991. My late wife, Senator Pat Wiggins, spent the best part of that year working in a cavernous San Francisco office as the Assistant Financial Officer of Barbara's first Senate campaign.   Her job consisted of processing the thousands of small…

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Double Dactyl

As you may have figured out by now, I'm starting off the poetry side of this blog with some lighter stuff (although if you look closely at some of my light verse, there's a serious edge to it).  We'll get more serious as time goes on, although the light stuff will never entirely disappear. Today's…

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Local Politics

Several people, who are familiar with my former work as a North Coast political consultant, have asked me if I am going to comment on local politics on this blog, since I appear to have been focusing to date on broader, more philosophical issues. My answer is: yes - fairly often when it’s the political…

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Light Verse 1 - The Clerihew

The Clerihew, like most light verse forms, is an excuse for an intellectual type to be clever. Its thrust is biographical - it begins with the name of a famous person and proceeds, in two rhyming couplets of unequal lengths, to say something comical or satirical about him or her. Here is an example of…

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People like to back a winner. Sports fans are much more likely to attend a game if the home team has a winning record. Politics is also a sport, and voters are much more likely to back a candidate if they think he or she is likely to win. I’ve always thought of politics as…

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Unconventional Light Verse

When I was young, I developed an unseemly passion for turning serious poetry forms into light verse. The following Shakespearian sonnet is from 1970: Consider, friend, the paradox of life: It’s all you have, and all you’re sure to lose. All that you do - grow up, pick out a wife, Owes more to Chance…

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Turnout Issues

If you talk to people about politics these days (and of course, I do), you’ll hear a lot of verbal hand-wringing about the fact that people don’t vote, even when it’s in their best interest to do so. In my view, part of the problem is that voting is too hard, and voters have to…

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A blog about all the arts, including politics
"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner

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