The Leaks

The Wikileaks story has taken over the headlines.  The private who leaked the cables will no doubt spend many years in jail.  As a condition of his security clearance, he would have had to sign an agreement not t disclose what he released.  Politicians are calling for prosecution of Wikileaks and Julian Assange.  But whose laws did he break and where was he when he broke them?  Prosecution may be more difficult than we think.

Most of what we have seen so far is more embarrassing than strategic.  An ambassador here or there may have said some sharp things about  a foreign leader.  So, how do you vote?  Is Wikileaks a positive force for transparency or an act of treason?

Orion

Having gone to sleep around 12:30, I woke at 5:48.  It was my habit to sleep about 5 hours a night, staying up late to have some time for myself, and waking up relatively early to tend to J.  (I was not too sleep-deprived because I’d take a nap sometime later in the day.)  That schedule seems to be stamped on my nervous system for the time being.  Anyway, I had to pee.

The window was full of pale light, but dawn wasn’t visible yet.  (I suppose we had already entered astronomical twilight.)  It was the half moon — technically third quarter — shining directly overhead, so brightly that the sand was silver and there were sharp black shadows under the palm trees and the beach chairs.  Despite the bright moon, the first few stealthy photons of sunlight, and the light pollution at both ends of this island, I could see quite a few stars.  Especially Orion, my favorite constellation, standing foursquare and manly above the Gulf of Mexico, framed right in the center of my window.

I sat down and answered an e-mail from Pat, and minutes later, when I looked again, the moon had dimmed and the stars were gone, erased by a rolling fog.

A Poem for Jacques

Sent by dear friends, “Felix Randal” by Gerard Manley Hopkins (the speaker is, as Hopkins was, a ministering priest):

Felix Randal the farrier, O he is dead then? my duty all ended,
Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome
Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and some
Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?

Sickness broke him. Impatient he cursed at first, but mended
Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier heart began some
Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom
Tendered to him. Ah well, God rest him all road ever he offended!

This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears.
My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched thy tears,
Thy tears that touched my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Randal;

How far from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years,
When thou at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers,
Didst fettle for the great grey drayhorse his bright and battering sandal!