A World of Speculation

I’ve got no blame, finger-pointing or recriminations. I think I’m going to continue what has become a step aside from politics, while I get other things done.

But the shadows lengthen at the end of what James Lileks called “the greatest summer ever” (it was in a bleat last August or September — you’ll just have to trust me — but it was exactly the right mix of Minnesota fall and decline of Western civilization that captured the melancholy loveliness of the moment). Now it’s November, and the likely chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has connections with militant Islamists. Sen. John Conyers, D-Mich., is from the heavily Islamic area of Dearborn, Mich., where a noise variance allows the Muslim prayer call to be amplified five times every day of the year.

But the bells-vs.-loudspeakers debate will seem quaint if he succeeds with his vow to make it illegal to consider religion and national origin in airport screening, if he and soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi succeed in their announced plan of gutting the Patriot Act, and if he keeps his vow of drawing up show trials to keep the Commander in Chief from operating the war.

November has its own beauty, though — of a gray and austere kind. To the people who will die because of the inattentiveness and fecklessness of me and my fellow countrymen, I say I’m sorry. The light was already far slanting when we woke and began to stir, and maybe it was already too late. Or maybe there’s time yet. It’s always to hard to know, standing on the cusp of what was and what will be.