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Dampened [Oct. 1st, 2015|10:23 pm]
The ground was damp when I woke up today, so it must have sprinkled a bit last night. Though it was cloudy all day there was no more rain until near dusk, when a brief thundershower arrived. There have been a few sprinkles since, but not enough to give the shrubs the water they didn't get when I decided not to irrigate them last night. The clouds are still hanging about, so there might be a bit more rain tonight but I'm not counting on it. I'd miss it in any case, as I'm getting sleepy already and will be lucky if I can stay awake until midnight.

I'm not sure I'll be able to get to the store tomorrow, but as Safeway has only one item on its Friday sale that I'd like to get it won't be a big deal if I don't. They actually have quite a few things on sale this week, but they will remain available until Tuesday, so no rush.

I spent quite a bit of this afternoon reading Debacle, Inc., a long article by Greg Grandin, author of the book Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman, from which this article, which is primarily about the strange doctor's machinations in the Middle East, was derived. I've long thought of Kissinger as one of the more sinister figures of American government in the 20th century, and Grandin's piece gives considerable substance to my notion of him. I don't often do webloggy linkage to stuff, but I found this article well worth reading— even though I'll probably end up having bad dreams featuring Kissinger's creepy visage tonight.

[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2015-10-03 03:06 am (UTC)
I'm not going to have the attention span to read books about "Henry the K," but did you notice in any of your reading a theory as to why he did all the wrong things and destabilized the whole world? I mean, was it just a case of bad political thinking? Or is there something diabolical about him? Inquiring minds...
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2015-10-03 07:44 pm (UTC)
It seems likely that Kissinger actually believed that the things he did were good for us. A few of them probably were (the rapprochement with China, for example.) But his views were fundamentally reactionary, and he was possessed of an oddly romantic view of American power, as though a late-20th century President could act like Theodore Roosevelt.

He was also opportunistic, and like many opportunists he missed a lot of real opportunities that might have paid off, because he was focused on manipulating everyone and everything he could. I think his ego too often got in the way of his insight, mainly because he was contemptuous of everyone who wasn't properly respectful of him and his genius, and thus he could never learn from his opponents. In short, he was very clever but he was also a self-important dick. Sort of like Donald Trump with a brain and an education.
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[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2015-10-03 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, what an image. Yes, I suspect you're right about all that. He clearly enjoyed being lionized back in the day. (How startling to see him turn up in that Stephen Colbert video a couple of years ago! The old egoist.) Thanks for the succinct summary!
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