Patty Dineen

The view from here

Archive for January 2008

John McCain’s Poem – William Ernest Henley

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Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud,

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbow’d.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the horror of the shade,

And yet, the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with pubishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

Written by dineenp

January 22, 2008 at 9:11 pm

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What happened in New Hampshire?

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Re: “Hillary’s Free Pass” by Gail Collins (and other recent pieces expressing surprise and puzzlement at Clinton’s support from women voters in New Hampshire)– I find that I have a strong and visceral reaction to the scenario in which a woman has been working very long and hard– and effectively– and suddenly a less-examined, but nevertheless wonderfully self-assured man appears on the scene with a message that goes something like, “thanks so much for all your hard work, you’ve been great (and likable enough) and you deserve a break– I’ll just take it from here.” After seeing the results of the New Hampshire primary, I’m guessing that I’m not alone.

Written by dineenp

January 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm

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How important (or not) are leaders?

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There was an op-ed in today’s NYT titled Democracy by Other Means by Aidan Hartley.  He writes from Kenya; observes the current unrest and violence and explores the tension between too much central power and too much “decentralization.”  He writes “without functioning national institutions, decentralization becomes synonymous with mob rule.”

 He further writes “Kenyan democracy has failed because ordinary people were encouraged to believe that the process in and of itself could bring change.  So Kenya’s leaders– and often international observers– interpret democracy simply in terms of the ceremony of multiparty elections.  Polls bestow legitimacy on politicians to pillage for five years until the next depressing cycle begins.”

There is something missing between spending our time and energy encouraging the public to “be the leaders we are looking for,” and searching for the charismatic leaders who will save us.  There must be some balance of the two; neither is sufficient alone.

Hope is created and sustained only when there has been cause for it to begin with.

Written by dineenp

January 12, 2008 at 12:11 am

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