T P O

T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
an irreligious blog
with egalitarian and individualist tendencies!


On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!


Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Tous sont les bienvenus!

Intelligent comments are always welcome!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Love and Hate" - by Hénock Gugsa


" Love and Hate "
by Hénock Gugsa
(4/28/2015)
==== ~~ ====
Have you noticed in your readings of people's commentaries in Facebook (or in your general life observations) how these two words are bandied about casually and without examination of their meanings. Love and hate are practically weightless and meaningless!

Here's my take ... Do you really love something that [or] someone whom you may forget in some degree after a lapse of time? ... same question for hate?

Think of something or someone you loved or hated many years back. Do you still love them or hate them with the same fire and passion today at this moment? If you honestly do, then maybe those are the real passions for you ... and good luck with them.

In my old age now, I have come to adopt a safe and healthy approach ... I try not to hate, I do my best to avoid it; and I am not averse to love, I try to cultivate it and nourish it.

Above all, I follow my wife's wise counsel: "You are not perfect, but keep trying. And when you run into a distasteful situation, don't dwell on it ... let it go, let it go!"


Gregory Peck ("Yellow Sky")
 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Losing My Religion for Equality - by Jimmy Carter


President Jimmy Carter
 Losing My Religion for Equality
by Jimmy Carter * 
======= ~~ =======

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasize the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as preeminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.
==========================================
* Jimmy Carter - President of the United States (1977 to 1981), and 2002 Nobel 

     Peace  Prize Winner.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Responsible, Wealthy Citizens! - by Bill Moyers


Bill Moyers

Responsible, Wealthy Citizens!
- by Bill Moyers -

Republicans! Wake up and listen to the truly responsible, wealthy citizens of this country!

Do not repeal the Inheritance Tax !!






Monday, April 13, 2015

Raise The Bar - by Raymond Beyda

Raise The Bar
 - Raymond Beyda - *
==== ~~ ====
It is not unusual to see two people arguing and to observe that you have to be a fool to fight. Things that are said during a heated exchange may make sense to the combatants but rarely sound smart to others in the vicinity of the battleground.

When one loses one's temper, one usually loses one's mind as well. One of the big errors that many make is to argue with another who is not on their level intellectually. [In Mishle 26:4] King Solomon advises "Do not answer a fool according to his folly." Today we would say "Don't stoop to his level." When you are trapped into dealing with someone who was not blessed with your "smarts" and refinement, pull them up towards you rather than stoop to his or her level.

If one of those types gets your goat, keep cool and keep your head up at your level. You don't have to respond to all that they say -- silence is truly golden. And when you really must reply keep it "UP" at a level worthy of you -- not [necessarily at what is] suitable to your adversary. It only takes a minute to seek your own level. 


CONSIDER THIS FOR A MINUTE :
----------------------------------------------
Life is a balancing act. It is true that haste often makes waste but it is also true that delay allows good things to spoil.One must know when to run and when to walk slowly. ==========================
* Rabbi Raymond Beyda
http://www.torah.org/learning/reflections/






Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The little black Easter bunny - by GLG



The little black Easter bunny 
(who didn't know if he was a bunny or a cat) *
========== // ==========
Good Little Girl remembers:

"Many Easters ago, we gave our children a little black bunny. We brought it into the house after everyone was in bed. We put papers down in the kitchen, and the bunny used them right away.

My husband sang at the long Vigil Mass that night. When we came home, the bunny was fast asleep. We decided to leave him uncaged for the night. The kids would be delighted to find him. We hid the baskets and went to bed.

In the morning, we all gathered at the top of the stairs. We went down together to light the Paschal Candle and look for our baskets.

You won't believe what we found! Our mother cat was in the middle of the living-room floor nursing her five kittens AND the bunny. He was nestled in with the others, enjoying family life.

The bunny thrived and was soon a handsome outdoor rabbit. He had one problem. He found female cats attractive. He chased them and approached them in such a way that the neighbors complained. We thought that a freer environment would suit him better than our neighborhood, so we did what people did in those days: We took him to the zoo.

He ran across the grass, climbed a little brick enclosure, and began chasing a female ostrich."
--------------------------------------------------------------------

* Bulletin Board, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 04/04/2015



H  a  p  p  y       E  a  s  t  e  r  ! ! !

Thursday, April 2, 2015

For the First Days of Spring - by Leonidas Kavakos


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

For the First Days of Spring
- Ludwig van Beethoven -

==> Leonidas Kavakos -
 Beethoven Sonata for violin and piano No. 5 "Spring" (Rondo)