December 4, 2004

The games we play...

Dear Friends

Dear Friends, reproach me not for what I do,

Nor counsel me, nor pity me; nor say

That I am wearing half my life away

For bubble-work that only fools pursue.

And if my bubbles be too small for you,

Blow bigger then your own: the games we play

To fill the frittered minutes of a day,

Good glasses are to read the spirit through.

And whoso reads may get him some shrewd skill;

And some unprofitable scorn resign,

To praise the very thing that he deplores;

So, friends (dear friends), remember, if you will,

The shame I win for singing is all mine,

The gold I miss for dreaming is all yours.

E.A. Robinson

Tommy Thompson, resigning, says in passing that he cannot understand why terrorists have not gone after the food supply -- it would be so easy. For a moment, Thompson went off-message, became a poet. Why is this off-message? Well, as long as we restrict our "homeland security" awareness to courthouses and airports, it seems feasible that the country could both provide adequate security against terrorist attack and wage one or more expensive wars abroad. But if homeland security involves superintending the rebuilding of the butter packaging plant in New Ulm, screening Taystee Bread Company employees, ....

I wish Mr. Thompson hadn't said what he said. There's always the small chance that the particular terrorist group with the right resources is still trying to get somebody on a plane with funky shoes. You don't want to do these folks' thinking for them. At the same, it seems to me like all the poetry and play are getting squeezed out of government, to be replaced by Message Central with speakers in Defense and State and Interior. There will be no more Freudian slips and no more hanky panky.

When Temple Grandin builds a slaughterhouse, each cow is encouraged to think only of the comforting back end of the cow in front of her, right up to the last moment. That's the most humane way -- to manage cows.

Posted by shea0017 at December 4, 2004 10:42 AM