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!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Coexistence - by TPO


Coexistence
- by TPO -

In a time of difficulties back in the 1930s, an Italian photographer saw something which he had never seen anywhere else but in Ethiopia and was very much surprised: Muslims and Christians praying together.
 
After a little conversation with the locals he documented his unique experience in pictures. 

The picture was later published by Richard Pankhurst and Denis Gerard.
 
The photo caption read: “At St George’s Cathedral, Addis Ababa, Christians and Muslim’s praying together for peace.”
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Coexistence: (noun) a policy of living peacefully with other nations, religions, etc., despite fundamental disagreements.
source: Dictionary.com


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cursed or Blessed?! - by Hénock Gugsa


Cursed or Blessed  ?! 
- by Hénock Gugsa - 

One afternoon, earlier this month, I was coming out of a Social Security Administration branch office ... and in the parking lot, I was accosted rather aggressively by a young African-American man wearing an expensive-looking sport jersey shirt.  He shouted at me and asked what my first (favorite) language was. 

I gave him a puzzled look and inquired why he was asking me that.  


He said because he needed to know if I spoke "Hindi or moslem or whatever."  


I replied that I spoke English alright.  


Then he got huffy, reached into the seat of his pickup truck, picked up a small (3.5"x5") flyer, brought it over and handed it to me.  As he was walking away, he yelled at me: "Jesus Christ is your savior. Read that, or you'll perish!"


I responded, "Oh, really?!" I got into my car, and making sure that he was looking at me, I shredded that piece of paper into bits. 


Then I drove away, grinning.  A little while later, I dumped the little bits of the unread flyer into a public trash bin elsewhere.


Humphrey Bogart - "The Maltese Falcon"
  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Oromo Street" in Minneapolis, MN - by Hénock Gugsa


"Oromo Street"- You may have to magnify the picture to read the new street name.

"Oromo Street" in Minneapolis, MN
 - by Hénock Gugsa  -
[አገር የሌላቸው ሰዎች በሰው አገር መጥተው አስፋልት መንገድ ይሰጠን አሉ !]  

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There is a saying in Ethiopia: 
"Without food and starving, yet she covets the fancy dress!"
" የምትበላው የሌላት የምትከናነበው አማራት !! " 

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The street in this picture is found in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis (near the U of M campus), which is now locally known as "Little Mogadishu".  The black building in the background is a madrasas (Islamic school) that belongs to the dominant Somalis in the area.  Up-to almost fifteen years ago, this same building used to be a bar/club called "the 400 Bar".  I have some great memories of some good times at that bar back in the late 80'sBut back then, there were few Oromos and even fewer Somalis here in the Twin Cities.

Regarding this street ... thankfully, I don't believe the city of Minneapolis completely recognizes this new, strange name.  It is still "S 4th Street" as far as everybody (including this writer) is concerned ! 

To be sure, the money wasted on this stupid street name (the sign itself and the license or permit fees, etc.) could have been put to better use in Ethiopia.  That money could have bought school books and materials for poor Ethiopian children, it could have bought hospital beds, and it could have been used as startup funds for building community wells, etc. 

One last point of note:  Has anybody seen streets named for Laos, for Vietnam, for Liberia, for Kenya, etc. here in America?  The expats from those countries living here are to be commended for having sense enough to keep low profiles and making noteworthy contributions to America, their new home.   So, Oromos and Somalis: ===> If you want to be recognized, please be good citizens here first, and then go and do something substantial, something meaningful and respectable for your former (native) lands ... and do it quietly!
 
frustrated Nick Offerman


Friday, September 4, 2015

Wealth and Happiness - by Yaakov Menken


Wealth and Happiness *
- by Yaakov Menken -
     "Who is wealthy? He who is happy with his lot."
Imagine a farmer who owns a modest few acres of land. He works through the year, harvests his crop, and knows that he'll be able to feed his family. He's content, because he has all that he needs.

But before he can take advantage of that crop, he knows he has to bring his first fruits. So he saddles his donkey, fills a small bag with loaves of bread and a few clusters of grapes, and heads off for [the city]. After traveling for a while, he reaches the main highway.

[And then things change...] He isn't happy anymore!

He gets to the main road, but needs to wait -- a huge caravan is passing. There is a huge carriage with extraordinarily large and beautiful grapes. The next is piled high with loaves of bread. And in the third sits the owner of the horses, carriages, farmland and crop.The farmer looks at his small bag of first fruits. 

Has anything changed? Only his perception. His satisfaction is replaced by jealousy, because someone else has all that wealth.
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* Source: Yaakov Menken (News from Project Genesis and Torah.org)


Thursday, September 3, 2015