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. Je suis un francophile .... Bienvenue à tous!

Intelligent comments are always welcome!
Showing posts with label Biographical (Personal). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biographical (Personal). Show all posts

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Inclusive Democracy and "Medemer" (መደመር) ~ by Hénock Gugsa

Inclusive Democracy and "Medemer" (መደመር) 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

The Inclusive Democracy Project ( መደመር )
<<Inclusive democracy involves more than the formal equality of all individuals and groups to enter the political process, but entails taking special measures to compensate for the social and economic inequalities of unjust social structures. >> Iris Marion Young (extract from her book: "Inclusion and Democracy")
<<What is Inclusive Democracy?
by Takis Fotopoulos  

Inclusive democracy is a new conception of democracy, which, using as a starting point the classical definition of it, expresses democracy in terms of direct political democracy, economic democracy (beyond the confines of the market economy and state planning), as well as democracy in the social realm and ecological democracy. In short, inclusive democracy is a form of social organisation which re-integrates society with economy, polity and nature. The concept of inclusive democracy is derived from a synthesis of two major historical traditions, the classical democratic and the socialist, although it also encompasses radical green, feminist, and liberation movements in the South. Within the problematique of the inclusive democracy project, it is assumed that the world, at the beginning of the new millennium, faces a multi-dimensional crisis (economic, ecological, social, cultural and political) which is caused by the concentration of power in the hands of various elites, as a result of the establishment, in the last few centuries, of the system of market economy, representative democracy and the related forms of hierarchical structure. In this sense, an inclusive democracy, which involves the equal distribution of power at all levels, is seen not as a utopia (in the negative sense of the word) but as perhaps the only way out of the present crisis .... >>  --- Source: inclusivedemocracy.org
In Ethiopia, these days, they are using the term "መደመር" [Medemer] a lot in their political discussions.   That is the zeitgeist now !
Literally, the word "medemer" means "to add" as in the arithmetic sense, or "to count", or "to be counted".  In actuality, that word nowadays may be having a much bigger and more significant relevance in the political life of Ethiopians.  Of late, I've been made to understand that the specific reference of
"medemer" is to "unity" (as in "United we stand, divided we fall"). But there is also a general allusion to "Inclusive Democracy", because in such a democracy, everybody counts and gets counted.  
To top it all off, ... the impressively progressive leadership of the new Prime Minister seems to be steering the country in all the right directions !🤔🙂🙂  
B R A V O !!!


Friday, July 13, 2018

Ethio-Eritrean Brotherhood ! ~ by Hénock Gugsa

Ethio-Eritrean Brotherhood ! 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

I was born in Addis Ababa, but my entire family roots are Eritrean.  And although I identify as an American now, I most assuredly haven't forgotten my ties to either Ethiopia or Eritrea.

Of all the events that have happened in my lifetime, the current and beautifully budding relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea is the most exhilarating and memorable one for me.

May the two countries continue on the good path that they are on, and may they
eventually even reach a confederation state !!!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

ZERO ~ by Hénock Gugsa

~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Indulge me here for a philosophical moment if you will.   I am reaching for something, for nothing, and for everything ...  I'm attempting to focus on "ZERO".

What is zero?  More specifically, what does it signify in our lives?  I'm sure everyone of us have thought about it, or been affected by it in some form or another.

Zero isn't just a number or a point on a number line, mathematically speaking.  It is more of a vortex from which nothing and everything emanates.  We are way beyond abstraction when faced by zero ... we are in the region of metaphysics here.  But let us leave theology out of it.

I am imagining a starting and an ending point ... am I in a circle? .... Is this indeed infinity, a journey without beginning and/or end?

The zero zone (Black Hole?) has no direction and no dimension, or maybe they are infinitely multitudinous!  You cannot touch zero, and it does not touch you or your consciousness.  Yet you know it is there.  Comfort and ennui, confidence and uncertainty, light and darkness and everything in between are all there!

Zero is a tool for understanding and making sense of the universe.  Moreover, there is much practical application and use for "zero" in science and technology.  We have benefited a great deal from zero,  but we have not given it the respect or even modest appreciation it deserves.  So, let us start now ... let us thank zero for its challenge to us, for its nothingness and everythingness, and above all for bringing the past, the present, and the future into perspective.

* The motivation or trigger for this article is: "The mind-bendy weirdness of the number zero, explained" by  Brian Resnick (https://www.vox.com/science-and-ealth/2018/7/5/17500782/zero-number-math-explained).

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hiraeth - by Hénock Gugsa

 - by Hénock Gugsa -
** Please click on image to enlarge **
Please click inside to enlarge!

~~~  "Hiraeth" is a Welsh word! ~~~

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Magical Tale (Part 3) - by Hénock Gugsa

Hénock in Minneapolis, August 2017
A Magical Tale *
by Hénock Gugsa
--- Part 3 of 3---
Like a magician, Eve dove into her big purse and brought out a checkered table cloth and studiously laid it down on the ground in front of Zach.  Then she opened up the lunch bags that she'd picked up at the corner deli.  The ground beneath her was firm and even.  This was indeed a nice park, and there were hardly any crawly critters in sight.  She handed Zach his favorite sub which consisted of fresh Italian bread, mortadella, big hunks of muenster cheese, cucumber slices, and a generous layering of mustard.  There was potato chips to munch on, and bottled water to wash everything down.  Eve's lunch was going to be a boring vegetarian's "salad delight" ... and that was that!  For dessert, they were going to have a banana each. 
As they sat eating, Zach began to hum the tune he'd heard in his dream.  It was all kind of eerie and unsettling.  No surprise then that Eve didn't much care for it, and her displeasure was quite visible.  So, Zach stopped and concentrated instead on his sandwich.  He wanted to get done with lunch and pick up where he left off on his little tale.  But sweet Eve was in no hurry, she always ate slowly.  She never hurried about anything in her life, ever!  But she made up for that oddity with her good manners, she always apologized and earnestly too.  Eventually they were both done eating ...  and while Zach disposed of the garbage, Eve put her tablecloth back into her magic purse. 
- "What do you think, Eve, are we going to live to a ripe old age, in good health and comfort?"
- "Maybe ... if you're good and sweet as you are right now.  If you change, get grumpy, or get greedy, and get angry like the generation before us ... why then I won't even stand to be near you let alone be your friend and lover."
- "Yeah, I know.  And I'd be miserable without you.  And I'm really afraid where we're headed right now.  It is beginning to look like there won't be much of a world left for us."
- "Why, babe?  What makes you say that?"
Zach sighed.  He was beginning to fall into a rueful and melancholic mood.  He had to be careful lest he wallow too deep in such dark waters of the mind.  Still and all, he was happy that his sweetheart was there to cheer him up and bring the sunshine in.
- "I'm worried and we both know the old timers are not leaving this world the way they found it.  They're leaving us a horrendous mess, and they don't even care," he said.
- "But we have magic on our side ... and it is a special, secret magic.  We have to be careful and keep it hidden from them. However, we among ourselves can spread it around ... kinda like by osmosis!  You know what I'm talking about, right?"
- "Of-course ... yeah, yeah, yeah!  We're not so hung-up on that "individualism" b.s. like they are.  They have nothing really to teach us except their mistakes.  More and more, and day by day, we are seeing how morally bankrupt they are. "
As Eve's hands softly caressed Zach's face, he could not help but smile warmly at her.  She loved his brown eyes, and he loved her dimples --- It thus seemed natural that Eve and Zach continue gazing at each other longingly ... even while they discussed the world's weighty issues!
- "What is the first thing to come out of our magic bag?" Eve asked.
- "A new language, a secret language that only we young people can understand and speak, right?"
- "Right! .... And magic number two is exclusive group-think between ourselves.  We have to shut the old people out of our lives."
- "We will be pioneers, establish our own island communities.  You and I, we're in our early twenties.  We'll be a unit and join or better yet start a commune.  Yeah, Eve, we can do that!  We should start our own EveZach pronto!" 
"Yeah!" She laughed. 
Zach was momentarily lost in thought again. He looked inquiringly at Eve, and she was gleefully smiling and nodding at him.
- "Yes, yes, I just now heard your thoughts inside my head," she said, "We are indeed telepathic already!"
- "S w e e t !  But this is new territory for us humans.  We have to tread lightly."
- "Yes, but don't you see the bigger picture?  With telepathy, you have to be careful with your thoughts ... 'cause your thoughts will control your actions and behavior as well as those of our group." 
Zach's face lit up.
- "This is fantastic.  This is magical.  With this power, we'll be able to build a new society unlike any that came before.  All the old problems of society like distrust, fear, lying, and cheating will die out.  Crimes, large or small, will be eliminated to a great extent. Utopia, here we come!"
================================ The End.
* Inspired by a dream I had on 11/15/17 

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Magical Tale (Part 2) - by Hénock Gugsa

Hénock in Minneapolis, 2014
A Magical Tale *
by Hénock Gugsa

 --- Part 2 of 3 ---
Zach looked at his left foot and willed it to take one step forward, then he looked at his right foot and gave the same order.  As he repeated these actions a few more times, he realized he was no longer stationary.  He continued to walk at a good pace and he was soon in pursuit of the pesky little girls.  He had to rescue them from their folly.  As he was hurrying along, an angry witch with the face of a fox appeared before him and started to taunt him with insults and curses.  She was trying to impede him from reaching the children.  Zach closed his eyes firmly and covered his ears with his hands, he kicked the dirt in front of him and spat.  When he opened his eyes, he saw that the witch with the fox head was now gone.  Zach smiled and resumed his furtive and determined pursuit of the children.
  ---  Just then, his shoulders were being shaken ... at first gently, and then more forcibly ....
"Zach, Zach ... wake up wake up! ... ZACH !"
 A pair of gentle hands were pressing and shaking his shoulders, he was being wakened from a deep slumber by Eve.  As his eyes gradually cracked open, he became aware that he was at the City Park.  Apparently, he had drifted off into a magical dream world while sitting with his back buttressed against a young oak tree. 
Eve apologized for being late and asked if he was okay.  She was concerned because he had a strange, far-away look on his face.  He was now visibly starting to get irritated ... he was feverishly trying to concentrate and remember every detail of the dream from which he just  got yanked.  Indelicately, he put an index finger to his lips to indicate that he needed a quiet moment.  As soon as he felt sure that the memory of the dream was not evaporating, he smiled and hugged Eve.  Then he told her his dream with every detail in tact.
- "What do you think it all meant?" Zach asked.
- "Why it is all so obvious, isn't it?" Eve replied.
She continued, "The whole thing is just one big metaphor for the current state of affairs.  Almost everything in your dream can be ascribed to things, to people, and to events in our life."
Zach looked mystified.  He wasn't sure what Eve was talking about.  It was clearly up to her to clear the cobwebs off his brain.  That seemed to be the norm these days ... men were getting doltier and doltier by the day!
 "Think about it ... you being stuck, having a lead foot.  That's where we are politically today, ... stuck, mired, so to speak, and in a hopeless situation.  And the three little girls wearing three different colored blouses ... blue is for fear, green for greed, and red is definitely for hate.  Fear, Greed, and Hate! .... And we know who the fat old man with yellow hair is, don't we?  And the witch is, of-course, snarky old FOX-News!"
 - "So, Eve, what do you think?  Do we stand any chance of extricating ourselves from this mess?"
- "Well sure, Zach darling.  All you need is smarts ... and we can provide you that too!"   She laughed.                                      

 [... to be continued! ...]

*Inspired by a dream I had on 11/15/17

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Magical Tale - by Hénock Gugsa

Hénock in Duluth in 2008
A Magical Tale *
by Hénock Gugsa

--- Part 1 of 3 ---
Zach was not sure if he was in some sort of reverie where, out of the blue, he found himself in the middle of a strange forest.  The surroundings were dark, ominous, and unfriendly.  Not too far away, and in a starkly gray panorama lay a sort of a gorge, almost a canyon --- barren, craggy, and totally devoid of life except for a tall, fat, old man.  He was waving his arms feverishly from the center of the canyon, and the tuft of yellow hair on his head was billowing wildly in rhythm to his arms.

Then came the sound of determined feet as they crushed and crumpled the fallen leaves on the forest's uneven ground.  The unsettling rustle seemed to be headed in Zach's direction.  At that moment, he was suddenly shaken loose from his frozen state.  He was now sharply alert and his ears could now make out a choir of small angelic voices singing arcane nursery songs.

Zach looked around him, but saw nothing.  He was at his usual spot in the park ... and he had not felt the need to walk around and explore the surrounding forest.  But now as the voices seemed to draw near him, his feet which moments before had seemed non-existent had miraculously materialized.  He could feel them pulsating although he wasn't yet sure he was their master.  His toes wriggled as if they had lives of their own, and his knees started to bend and then to flex .  Zach felt alive!

The singers appeared as if from empty air and floated in front of him ... a strange sight indeed!  Three little girls were dragging a little boy behind them. His hands were tied in front of him with a  coarse rope.  The children, including the boy, were all about the same age ... not older than six or seven.  Each girl had on a different color blouse, ... the leader wore blue, the second girl had on green, and the third girl wore red.  As for the little boy, he was nondescript as to clothing or general appearance, but he looked distressed and helpless.

Now face to face with Zach, the little girls began to sing a mocking song ...

     Zachary, Zachary ... where's your sanctuary?
     You're stuck, you can't move, you got feet o' lead
     What to do, what to do, poor boy without hope
     The year went by quickly, we're back to January!
     You can't jump, and you can't fall on your head
     'N to get over that rock, you gonna need some rope!

     Zachary, Zachary ... where's your sanctuary? ...

The little girls sang and cackled as they dragged the little boy along.  Soon they tired of him, dumped him in front of Zach, and scampered off ... away toward the bleak canyon and the old, fat man still waving his arms.

Zach looked at the disheveled little boy closely, and as he did so, the little boy started to dissolve into thin air right there in front of him.  But as the child started to vanish, he became recognizable to Zach.  That was Zach himself some fifteen years back!

[... to be continued ....]

  "So, then, what next?!"
*Inspired by a dream I had on 11/15/17

Monday, January 22, 2018

Thoughts on Traveling - by Hénock Gugsa

Thoughts on Traveling
[and My Status as a U.S. Citizen]
by Hénock Gugsa
~~~~~~~ **** ~~~~~~~
In less than a month, I'll be traveling to Ethiopia for the second time in the last 37 years.  And if you should know, I've been a U.S. citizen for a quarter century.  However, that has not exempted me from receiving the special "treatment" coming-and-going ...  and you can safely infer that there's absolutely no way I'll turn into a Patrick Henry in front of ICE.  I have to grin and bear it all ... and say to myself, "The terrorists have indeed won!"

Indeed!  The last time when I arrived at MSP's International gate, a surly-looking ICE man (?!) made a bee-line toward me and another brown-skinned person while we were still standing in line to go to the Arrivals' processing window.  This agent asked to see our passports and inquired where we were coming from.  Meanwhile, he never even glanced at the young couple behind me who were white.  The questions this man asked were asked of me two more times on the way to retrieving my luggage.  I have to take these indignities in stride as I would many things.  What was that thing I read somewhere that said: If you shout at the devil, do you think he will shout back at you!
Happy trails! 

The ever-wonderful Lee Marvin !

Thursday, January 18, 2018

America, "the Perilous Fight" - by Hénock Gugsa

America, "the Perilous Fight"
by Hénock Gugsa
====== ~~~ ======
      A Facebook friend who lives in a tiny border community in Arizona recently sent me the following message ... with an accompanying video which I have included here ...
           <<  We see the deaths every week here, finding old remains and average about one new death per week, not to mention finding immigrants continually begging for succor sometimes a week or more without food, days without water .... [Unfortunately, they're considered] just mojados, wets.  They aren't going to elicit sympathy or interest.  Trump's outrages and that sensationalism captures the attention ....>>
      I have no words to descibe the disgust, the pain, and the total frustration I feel about America's current condition and its bleak future if things continue the way they are or grow worse.
      This beloved country has had its ups and downs, and its resiliency has of-course been exceptional.  Adversities and challenges have been met with courage, grit, and optimism.  Enemies from within and from without have continually failed to bring America to its knees.  This nation has been down as often as it's been up ... and always, there have been real heroes that have arrived just in time before the fall into a dark abyss.  To name the the three greatest ones, America was blessed with Washington, Lincoln, and FDR.  Often, America's heroes were just the people needed to mop up the disasters of previous, incompetent and unfit leaders and the parties they headed.  Recently, we had Obama pulling us out of the calamitous eight years of George W Bush's presidency.
      But alas, now, we are in the clutches of what Philip Roth describes as "[an] ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon ... a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac."
     True, in the Fifties, reference and blame for the world's problems was cast on "The Ugly American" as described in the excellent 1958 political novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer.  America got tangled up in the Korean War in the Early Fifties.  Then in the Sixties thru the mid-Seventies, Vietnam was the quagmire of choice.  Fast-forward to 2003 and up-to the current day, the "war against terrorism" is being waged full blast in the Middle East. 
     These wars and foreign adventures naturally affected the domestic political policies and direction of where the nation has been headed.
     Presently, or more specifically since late January of 2017, our country has been steered wrong on all aspects of Government.  The three-headed monster of
Greed-Fear-Hate is in charge.  A con-man extraordinaire with no plans but those of lining his pockets as well as those of his family, and his wealthy friends is shamelessly gutting our lives, our sense of security, and our hopes.
      We are in a period not too unlike that of Germany under Hitler.  Corporate plutocrats were buttressing the regime then, and they are doing the same thing now in Trump's America.  Truth is being dismantled, and everywhere corruption and injustice grow roots and thrive.  America needs to shirk off the current inertia and stand up to tyranny and evil everywhere.  In this respect, the Women's Resistance Movement has been a godsend and it should be replicated in every walk of life.  We should all rise up as one and cast off this yoke of misery and doom, and we can do it because we are optimists!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NIHILISM ! ~ by Hénock Gugsa


~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Conventional definitions of NIHILISM:
~ the belief that traditional morals, ideas, beliefs, etc., have no worth or value.
~ the belief that a society's political and social institutions are so bad that they should be destroyed.
[source: dictionary.com]

Click here to enlarge ! .... Cliquez ici l'image pour l'agrandir !

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving ! ~ by Hénock Gugsa

Happy Thanksgiving ! 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Along with your family and friends, have a Happy Thanksgiving ! 

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

"You've been primped!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Kinama - by Hénock Gugsa

[a folklore from Sidamo in Southern Ethiopia]
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
Kinama was a brave young Sidama who lived alone in the wilds with her sheep and her goats.  She lived inside a huge cave that had a big boulder right outside blocking the entrance.  Kinama was always on the lookout for her two persistent and dangerous enemies --- the mighty leopard who was lord of the jungle, and the pesky hyena who was always sneaky.  Everyday as Kinama took her charge out to the meadows to feed, she had to be extremely alert and be prepared for danger.  She had to be especially wary of the leopard because he was unpredictably dangerous.

But being human, Kinama was prone to habit ... she had gotten into a routine of sorts.  In the mornings, as she prepared to take her sheep and goats out of the cave, and she would say: My great cave, open your gate!

And when the boulder rolled back, she’d walk out with her animals.  Once outside, she would turn and say to the cave: My great cave, close your gate!

Then she’d speak up nice and loud and say, “Today, I’m going to take my goats to graze at Digarre!”  And instead of going to Digarre she’d go to Temede.  But, the next day, she’d get up and say, “Today, I’m going to Temede,” but instead she’d go to Digarre.  And although every day she’d be tricking the leopard in this fashion, she always made sure that nobody was listening to her when she was addressing the cave's entrance.

The great leopard was always lurking around not too far away, and he would be looking longingly at Kinama's goats and lambs and salivate.  He was frustrated that Kinama had been outsmarting him every-time he made a move.  He had to seriously devise a plan to outmaneuver Kinama, and so he came up with an idea.  Over the next few days, the leopard decided to learn every aspect of her routine from beginning to end. Early in the morning everyday, he would clamber to a tree just above the cave and hide.  When Kinama came out with the animals, he would make sure that she would not see him.  The leopard would then put his ears to the ground so that he would be able to hear what Kinama was whispering to the cave. 

As usual, each morning, Kinama would come out with her brood, talk to the cave in the same way that she always did.  She would also broadcast, to anybody that might listen, where she was headed, and she would go on her way.

The morning came when the leopard was totally ready and he patiently waited for his moment.  As soon as Kinama was gone, the leopard jumped down from behind the tree and ran up to the cave and said, “My great cave, open your gate.”  The boulder rolled to the side and the cave opened up for him.  The leopard went in, jumped up on a perch, and hid himself.

Later that day, Kinama and her animals returned to the cave.  She was safely home, so she says, “My great cave, close your gate,” and the boulder rolls back shut !

She sits down and starts lighting a fire. But the leopard was on the perch and he starts salivating and a drop of his saliva falls into the fire. And immediately she knows that the leopard’s in the cave. And she also smells his scent.
So she says, “I can smell the scent of my lord. He must be in this cave.”
And she continues blowing down on the fire to keep it going.  “Phoo phoo phoo ....”
Another drop of saliva falls down from above and she says, “I’m sure my lord is in the cave. I can smell his scent very strongly.”

And from his perch the leopard says, “Yes, I am in the cave. Now, what is your choice? Do you want me to jump down and kill you, or shall I jump down on your fattest kid, Warpo, and eat him whole?”

And she said, “My great lord, you know I have been rearing fat Warpo for you.  Why should you jump down and attack me?  Instead, please come and grab Warpo.”

So the leopard pounced down on poor Warpo and killed him instantly.  As the leopard slavered on the goat's blood, Kinama asked: Now, my great lord, shall I prepare the meat for you?

And he said, “Yes, do.”  So she skinned the kid, and she said, “I need some water to boil the meat in.”

The leopard sad, “Then go to the river and get it!”

So she went out, got the water and came back. But, at the river she picked up a huge white stone called chela glaka. And she brought the stone back with her, and she surreptitiously covered it completely with the white fat of Warpo the kid.   Then she put the fat-soaked rock on the fire and let it get sizzling hot.

The leopard was salivating and licking his lips.  He was indeed very hungry!  So Kinama said, “My lord, let me feed you. Please open your mouth wide.”

And he said, “Aah!” and opened his mouth very wide, and she quickly deposited the burning rock in his mouth and killed him promptly.

So now that she had gotten rid of one of her most dangerous enemies, Kinama decided to next deal with the hyena once and for all.  Kinama was ready for the challenge.  The first thing she did was to take out the bones of the kid and scatter them outside the entrance of the cave.  After that, she waited patiently.

But she didn't have to wait long; the dastardly hyena arrived on the scene as expected.

“What are all these bones?” He inquired.
"They're all for you.  Why don't you have some?  I’ve got plenty of food here for you to eat."

And of course, as you know, the hyena was a greedy lout.  “Oh, you do?”

“Yes, there are lots of yummy things for you to eat. But I’ll only feed you on one condition. That is: you must let me stitch together your tail to mine.”

The ravenous hyena was not very attentive, he was only focused on the food that was laid out on the ground in front of him.  So he said,  “OK, go ahead.”

He began eating the bones ... and, as she pierced his tail with the needle, he yelled, “Stop! That hurts!”

She said, “Then stop eating.”
He said, “No, I want to eat. I’m hungry.”
 “Well if you want to eat, I’ve got to stitch our tails together.”
He said, “OK, go ahead.”

And Kinama hurried and stitched the leopard’s tail and the hyena’s tail together while the hyena was crunching on the bones.

Then she said, “Look, hyena, what will you do if your lord, the leopard, appears?”

And he said, “No, don’t even mention his name. If he appeared, I’d dash away running for my life. I’d be so scared that I’d jump over thickets and everything, and fall into a chasm, probably.”
She said, “Are you sure?”

So she waited until he ate a few more bones.  Then she yelled, “Our lord is behind you! The leopard is behind you!”

The hyena turned and saw the leopard's spots, which scared him no end.  Coward that he was, he went running.  And because he was now permanently tethered to the leopard's tail, what he was now seeing was the leopard pouncing on him.  Almost like lightening, the terrified hyena bolted through bushes and thickets until he finally reached a cliff ... and he couldn't stop ... he fell screaming and cackling to his death!

Moral of the story:  Brawn and cunning are no match for brains and acumen!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

L'espoir ~ par Bernard Lavilliers, Jeanne Cherhal

<< L'espoir >>
Bernard Lavilliers, Jeanne Cherhal

~~~~~~~ *** ~~~~~~~
     Une belle chanson! .... 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rational vs. Emotional - by Hénock Gugsa

Rational vs. Emotional 
- by Hénock Gugsa -

You be the judge!  Are there foreign infiltrators into American politics on Facebook?***
Recently on Facebook, a friend of a friend posted the following:
<< BL:> How many other people are tired of those "thoughts and prayers and we will discuss this later" comments? ... My God...Reruns... America has dealt with enough reruns.>>

 Comments and general reactions followed.  I have extracted here the ones relevant to our topic.  Of special interest are the exchanges between JH and myself (HG) ....
JH:>  As a progressive, in favor of much better gun laws, my opinion is that this is strategically bad timing for psychological reasons on the right. You have to understand how their mind reacts to this because they are the ones we need to get to work with us. They don't see victims and want to limit guns. They see a shooter and want to arm themselves. The emotions are just as high on the right as they are on the left, it's just a different emotion with different triggers. This is the worse possible time to talk to Republicans about guns.
HG:>  No need to talk to them ever .... Just vote them out! Boot them out! 

JH:> HG, Republicans vote them in because they are wired differently. It's not simply the politicians, but the people who vote them in. They are the ones clinging to their guns and they do it because they see a threat.
DK:> JH, a threat fed by the NRA and the GOP for decades.
JH:> DK, The left sees the gun as the threat. The right sees the shooter as the threat.
HG:> JH, I agree. They don't blame the easy availability of guns to everyone not even in times of mass massacres ... they blame mental health instead! Taking this a step further, their logic crumbles because republicans are also major obstacles to improvements (or even availability) of mental healthcare in general!  But, we should not be defeatist. In time, due to attrition as a result of gun accidents (or deaths) to themselves and their loved ones, these gun nuts could potentially change their stance. Even some politicians, like G H W Bush, cancelled their NRA membership. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the number of gun lovers may not be as big as they would like us to believe. They do, however, have beaucoup money and that is where their power lies!

JH:> HG,  If we could rely on logic, this would be easy, but the high emotions just bypass rational thought. Which is part of why I think it's bad timing. We need people to be rational about this, not emotional. 

DK:> JH, the threat is neither; the real threats are the organizations and politicians who pander to fear and stoke hate. 
BL:> I understand but at what point do we have a real conversation.
HG:> JH, then why hasn't anybody ever taken up the issue when there was a lull to the emotional mood? Why haven't we seen anybody rise up to the challenge with rational wisdom?? No, everybody was sort of put into a "snooze" mode until the next big massacre! I say: strike while the iron is hot! Emotion can be used as the fuel to get the rational juices going. Remember the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". That was one heck of an emotional story. The American Revolution and the Civil War were essentially rational convictions driven by engines of emotion. Why do we disparage emotion so much even in the face of so much truth facing us?
DK:>  if you’re not outraged by horror, you’re dead to life. Those of us who have seen human flesh decimated by bullets are way beyond appalled; we are outraged because we live with those images for life. Climb down out of your intellectually remote tower and smell the carnage. It stinks, it reeks, it is gawd awful. It is the most vile and disgusting thing to have emblazoned on your heart.  If carnage does not outrage you; if the lack of integrity by politicians does not does not make you livid; if the sight of gore doesn’t revolt you, you are living in a fairy world detached from reality.  You’ve obviously never been there.
JH:> HG, Because your leadership sucks. Don't believe me? Look at the nation.
HG:> JH, that's why earlier I said boot the bums out. But now, are you abandoning your argument for the abandonment of emotion in favor of icy rationalism?! It seems you're flailing all over the place.
JH:> HG, You want to know, why hasn't anyone taken it up. Because they think that the best time to do something is when their base is energized. I think they keep failing because they don't understand the opposition or why this is strategically bad timing.
JH:> HG, I say boot them out too, but we aren't the majority that elected them.
HG:> JH,  Here's the thing. They, the majority, are showing us their hand by not doing anything. That is their move. They are also (like you) asking everybody to be rational, not emotional ... their favorite mantra being: "Now is not the time!" Our only resort is to keep being emotional, to keep the fire burning until the next election and go out and VOTE! We should not let anything or anybody dissuade us, or discourage us from our civic duty. We should not listen to foreign (Russian) agents posing as Americans to muddle the issues by pretending to be on our side. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. I will not be worried about "the majority that elected them". And by the way, that majority is not set in stone!
JH:> HG, And you're winning like crazy right?
HG:> JH, Dasvidaniya to you.

*** So do you agree that JH is a sort of an agent-provocateur?  If so, you are right!  Because at the end of my exchange with him there, I went and checked his profile.  There was practically nothing there, no photos, no bio, no indication of anything but a troll, a bot !  As a result of that, I immediately blocked him in order to prevent any future contact.  A major lesson there!

Vladimir Putin