Sometimes even sleight relationships blossom into intimacy, not because one loves more generously, but because the other forgoes doubting.(@guyatree)


I want to tell you how this “quote” of mine arose… 

In one of his lesser read books. Coleman Barks advises his translations of Rumi are not translations so much as paraphrases, all of which arise in his mind after hearing translations of Rumi by various Iranian friends over and over, and on occasion having some weed.

I find that to be similar, but not the same, regarding Thomas Merton’s “translation” of Chuang Tzu. 

I  point this out frankly to excuse myself for having made a similar inspired paraphrase (called paraphrased only to be generous to myself, and perhaps more aptly called mangled) using as basis a tweet by Pico Iyer, whom I have tweeted about my vain alteration over his original tweet.  To date, he has not replied. 

Here is the original tweet:

”The imbalance in so many relationships comes not because one party loves more, but because one reads the other so much more clearly.”

                               ~@PicoIyer, July 22, 2017


The only change that Obamacare made in Medicaid was to give states the option of expanding coverage with increased federal funding,” said Ms. Collins, who opposed the Senate legislation. “Yet the Senate bill would have cut hundreds of billions of dollars from this program, imposed an entirely new formula and reduced the reimbursement rate below the cost of medical inflation.

NYT 7/18/27


Yes. Action is more beautiful than intention. First intention, then offering, then actualization. Thus the old saying is proved anew as “The road FROM Hell is paved with good intentions.” Be the paver, insh’Allah



Let me be blunt: The soft spot is not NSA and it’s not the drone program. The soft spot, the least tyrant-proof part of the government, is the U.S. Department of Justice and the larger law enforcement and regulatory apparatus of the United States government. The first reason you should fear a Donald Trump presidency is what he would do to the ordinary enforcement functions of the federal government, not the most extraordinary ones…
A prosecutor—and by extention, a tyrant president who directs that prosecutor—can harass or target almost anyone, and he can often do so without violating any law. He doesn’t actually need to indict the person, though that can be fun. He needs only open an investigation; that alone can be ruinous. The standards for doing so, criminal predication, are not high. And the fabric of American federal law—criminal and civil law alike—is so vast that a huge number of people and institutions of consequence are ripe for some sort of meddling from authorities. A template here is how former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli was able to harass climate scientists he didn’t like. This stuff is not hard to do, and you don’t even need to win to succeed.
The Justice Department has some institutional defenses against this sort of thing, but they are far weaker than the intelligence community’s institutional defenses against abuses. They mostly do not reside in statute or in the sort of complex oversight structures that Granick complains in the case of NSA are not restrictive enough. They reside in the Levi Guidelines, in certain normative rules about contacts between the Justice Department and the White House, in norms that have developed over the years in the FBI. And they reside in the hearts of a lot of replaceable people. Ultimately, they reside in an institutional culture at the Justice Department, and that is precisely the sort of thing a tyrant leader can change.

~Benjamin Wittes, quoted by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic