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. Soyez bienvenus!

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

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

 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis- by Hénock Gugsa


The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~



The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, MN 


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Society's Poisons ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Pandora's Box
Society's Poisons
by
Hénock Gugsa 

Obviously we are living in unreal or surreal times.  It wasn't too long ago that we, as individuals and as a nation, felt certain about our past, confident about our present, and optimistic about our future.  But of late, and specifically over the last year, there have come into our lives certain shifts of mood, and certain disenchantment with our mode-de-vie (way of life).  No doubt, there are dialectical forces behind our political existence. 
 

Decades of wars, economic crises, and political (philosophical) changes have left us unsettled and unsatisfied.  Then came 2016.  We said:  Enough already!  We need total and systemic alterations to not only the conduct but to the direction of Government!
 

We saw Bernie Sanders on the left denouncing the wealthy and the powerful for corrupting everything inside the Government.  However, he didn't get much traction from the democrats.
 

On the right rose an odd nationalist, quasi-populist  Donald Trump with an effective "promise" to drain Washington's swamp.  Strangely, his success was buoyed even further by the opportunistic republicans, and he became President.  And right away, he did not lose any time opening Pandora's box and society's poisons have been unleashed upon us.  What are they?
 

They are ... doubt, distrust, fear, and anger!  How did Mr. Trump accomplish this feat? In many ways ...
~ Misrepresentation of facts.
~ Denunciation of facts as false ( "Fake" news, "Fake" media, etc.).
~ Mastery of the confidence game (trickery, deflections, and empty promises).
~ Veiled threats.
~ Megalomania that appeals to certain segments of society.
~ Fox-News, and the predictable right-wing wacko media.
~ Spineless politicians on both sides of the aisle.
 

What do we need badly to get us out of this political morass and moral decline? ...
~ Truth speakers.
~ Courageous protests.
~ Political and civic participation at all levels of government ... volunteering, voting, etc.
~ Not losing our faith or our hope in our country.  We've been tested before ... we've come thru before ... we shall overcome again!
~ Let's stay focused!
Queen  Daenerys, Khalesi, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains!

 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

CIVICS in and of Itself ! - by Hénock Gugsa



CIVICS in and of Itself !
by Hénock Gugsa
======*======
[ Is it a big priority in American life anymore? ]

Defining and understanding the concept of "Civics" ===> Wikipedia gives a good, clear, and all-encompassing definition of the term: "Civics is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government. [Civics] includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens as opposed to external factors in the operation and oversight of government."

In essence, civics consists of sociopolitical dichotomies in our sovereign existence.
~ There are Rights (privileges) and there are Duties (responsibilities).
~ There is Law and there is Order (which subsumes disorder).
But over-riding and reining in all of these fractious matters is a virtuous concept known as "Civility".

While the origins of civics are certainly ancient, its status globally today range from thriving to endangered to non-existent. Here, in the United States, Civics has been essential, and very relevant in the daily political life of citizens at least up until the mid 1970's. Post-Watergate, the country has been experiencing a serious sociological facelift. With the advancement of the information age thru technology, we have been reaping the benefits certainly of knowledge. But unfortunately, wisdom has eluded us because we have seriously neglected history and civics. And if even a case could be made to the contrary, the current political situation of America reflects unpleasant realities. We have evidence that the fundamental principles of integrity and responsibility have been abandoned by people of means and power.

Sadly, the knowledge and practice of Civics in America today have turned out to be  entirely different things. Civics has been diluted, polluted, and almost totally shorn of the essential pillars of its structure, namely civility and responsibility. Lately, bullies have been running amok everywhere. You see them in all levels and branches of Government (yes, including the Supreme Court), in the media, in church organizations, in businesses, and in the police forces.

Integrity, which is the consolidation of civility and responsibility, is a rarity these days. Furthermore, loyalty and patriotism hardly mean what they used to. We have a President who kowtows to a foreign power while disabusing the citizens of his own nation. We have politicians whose bottom line is "winning" by any and all means. The party in power wants to exclude the minority even from hearings or consulting sessions. But when things go wrong, responsibility is shirked by blaming the minority.

Everything is about negativity (opposition). Nothing is about sacrifice. Nothing is about science. Nothing is about the future. Everything is about "me, me, me!" Everything is about "now, now, now!"

We are where we are now because we have not pushed ahead with our respect for Civics, its study and practical application in all walks of life. We have forgotten that Civics is the bedrock of Freedom and that in turn is the essence of America. 



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Nefarious Somalis - by TPO




The Nefarious Somalis
by TPO
~~~~~~ /// ~~~~~~
Let me start off by putting one point out there loud and clear.  As an Ethiopian-American, I've always had misgivings, and even prejudice against Somalis for as long as I can remember.  More often than not, my position has been strengthened by the various evidences that have been revealed.  Whereas I have not been swayed away from my opinions and beliefs, I have long been impressed by the generally liberal attitude of Minnesotans, at least those in officialdom.  However, I have also felt that these officials have been a tad too naive in their understanding of certain cultures.  I might even say that Minnesota has been far too gullible and far too accommodating to these vociferous and pushy newcomers!

We all know that Minnesota is home to a rich and substantial contingency of immigrants from all corners of the world.  To cite the latest additions (over the last 42 years), we have Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Ethiopians, and Eritreans.  Somalis are actually more recent additions as they have been pouring here in great numbers and becoming dominant in the last 25 years or so.  That is all not bad in and of itself.

However, unlike all the other new citizens, Somalis have been in the news more often in bad light than in good.  Unlike the rest of us, they have never been adept at keeping a low profile while being productive members of society.  Their religion , Islam, is not a problem.  Other ethnic Muslim groups (from Africa, the Middle East, or Asia) living in the United States have certainly been good, patriotic citizens, and the country has been enriched by them.  They have adapted better and have fared generally well up until the new, hostile Washington administration came to power.

But to the specific topic at hand, ... if ever there was a time when Somalis need to be even more circumspect in their visibility and their noisome notoriety, now is it.  The recent news of a Somali policeman killing an innocent, law-abiding woman for no good reason is an example.  What caused this reckless and stupid act?  Was the policeman on drugs (qhat)?  Was he afraid for his life like the disgraceful Jeronimo Yanez?!  And on a tangential matter, will the Police unions now stand behind this Somali officer?  But that is another topic for another day.

I will conclude by saying that I wish this latest police atrocity never happened ... but even more importantly, I fervently hope that we, the quiet and law-abiding ethnic groups, are not bundled, in a willy nilly fashion, with this notorious band.  The burden is on the Somalis to improve their image and work hard, and quietly toward a peaceful coexistence with all fellow citizens.

Karma in the Stone Age


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Enough, Enough with the Drumbeat! ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Enough, Enough with the Drumbeat!
~ by Hénock ~
================================
 

Alright, alright. Give me a break
Stop all that drumbeat, I've had enough
Keep your "360", keep it "All In"
And who needs anyone's "Last Word"
Or a "Situation Room" with a breathless Wuff?

Please, no "Eleventh Hour" and nothing "For the Record"
I prefer "Last Week Tonight" or a Bee's "Full Frontal"
Don't go "Out Front", no "TRMS", and no "Hardball"
"Morning Joe" is pukey, and all of FOX to boot
Just gimme "Time", "Newsweek", "WaPo" or Wall Street Journal!


Nick Offerman





Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Ducks at Nokomis ~ by Hénock Gugsa


The Ducks at Nokomis
by
Hénock Gugsa
=== // === 
 

~ It's "Seven Brothers for One Bride" !
~ Baby, there's a whole lot of clucking & quacking going on !!!

 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Vive la Résistance ! - by Hénock Gugsa


Click on the image to enlarge.

Vive la Résistance !
[Facebook] Reactions to Tax March Signs
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

M. Lopez: - 
Protesting his taxes over his abuse of power to unilaterally bomb Syria is the definition of lib-tard.

-------------------------
M. Butler: -
This march was planned MONTHS ago. Finding fault with it and calling names is not very productive use of YOUR time. What are YOU marching for?

-------------------------
M. Lopez: - 
It's frustrating to see all this energy misdirected... It's just another wasted opportunity for real change. Progressive and liberal movements should focus on real issues like holding accountable war criminals and restructuring the DNC who's truly responsible for Trump... Taxes and Russia ties are non-issues that will get us nowhere...

-----------------------------------
H. Gugsa: -
===>Mr. Lopez,

You must be the wolf in sheep's clothing who is an expert at deflection, dissension, and frustration. You sow doubts everywhere and you pooh-pooh everything ... and when you're done with your secret mission, there won't be any resistance movements of any kind left in this country. 
Keep up the good work!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Ethnostate! ~~ by TPO



The Ethnostate! 
~ by TPO ~

Recently, I learned a new term from some radio program: "Ethnostate."

From what I gathered, I think it means something like apartheid.
The Wiktionary definition is ===> A political unit that is populated by and run in the interest of an ethnic group.

I wonder where America is headed?!
-------------------------------------------------
About the ethnostate in America
"Reveal"



 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

At the Precipice of Disaster ! - by Hénock Gugsa


 At the Precipice of Disaster !
 by 
Hénock Gugsa 
Consider this scenario: ====>

You used to go thru life as simply as you could for many years.  Then life's demands started to become more difficult and got worse and worse from year to year.  About eight years ago, some one came along and made a few alterations ... not perfect, but generally beneficial changes.  They were not easily made because there was serious challenge and intransigent opposition.

The promoter of the new system was in power for only eight years.  When his term ended, unfortunately no one took up the torch and continued with his system. Instead, the person who took over was set to undo everything and his followers called the new move: "repeal and replace".

This has become a very uncertain, a very precarious moment in your life because nobody is telling you how they are replacing the old system, or rather what they have as replacement.

And all of this past week, there has been a mad dash to replace the old system with a patched-up, in-congruent, inimical concoction.  As luck would have it, very few people like it, and it has just fizzled out of existence on its own steam!

The system of the previous promoter is still alive and kicking!  Its enemies are still vowing they will destroy it some day.  But they have nothing in their bag ... no bright ideas, and no visions.  These new people in power are big losers!  The reason is quite simple ....  Unlike the previous promoter, these new leaders have no soul, no compassion, and no humanity!

So you are somehow safe for now ... you can resume your life with less fear !!!  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"Presenting Ethiopia" ~ by Hénock Gugsa


"Presenting Ethiopia" 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
Here is a video I hurriedly put together.  It is something less dispiriting and less somber with which to end the year.  I am hopeful you will find it fun, interesting, and maybe even wistfully diverting.  It is a bird's eye-view of an ancient land, its people and its history!

Incidentally, this is actually the 1,000th post or entry in this blog.  I began TPO in 2009.  Unfortunately, this could very well be my last posting as I am beginning to slowly lose interest.  Sadly, there has been very little encouragement for my efforts from any corner.  For the most part, I have actually not been getting any reaction of any kind whatsoever!  As a result, from this point on, my posting will definitely and markedly be reduced or suspended indefinitely!

My thanks to all the people near and far who have read or viewed any of the posts here over the years!!!


Presenting Ethiopia - the Video from Hénock on Vimeo.
==================================================================
Please  NOTE !
=============
I suggest when you're watching the video and it gets to a text frame, pause the video. That way you can read  the text without any rush.  Also, it is good to put the video in "full window" state.  You should find the feature right on the frame, just hover your mouse over little icons you might see around there.  When you're done, hit the ESC key on your keyboard, it will bring you back to normal viewing.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Very Troubling Indeed ! - by Hénock Gugsa


Ilhan Omar
 Very Troubling Indeed ! 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

From: The Star Tribune , December 12,2016 * 

State Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, said Monday that she reported to Washington, D.C., authorities an incident from last week in which she said she was harassed and threatened by a cabdriver ....
Omar, who will become the country's first Somali-American state legislator, was in the nation's capital last week for a conference attended by other state lawmakers. In a post on Facebook and Twitter last Wednesday, Omar said that she and her sister endured harassment the day before by a D.C. cabdriver after she attended a training at the White House.
The driver, Omar said, called her "ISIS" and threatened to remove her hijab.  [In] her Monday statement she described [the cabdriver] as an "African immigrant."
"It is essential we recognize what happened to me is not an isolated incident ...."  Omar said she has not filed a police report "because I believe criminalizing hate is not a solution and will only strengthen individual malice. Bigotry is a product of ignorance; by educating people, we will move toward respect and understanding." 

 * Source: Star Tribune, December 12,2016
====================================
  I find this report of the allegation by Ilhan Omar very confusing and troubling!  My reasons (or questions) are as follows ...  

1 - Why does she not consider this a "criminal" act ?  Does she not consider "Hate" a serious offense tantamount to crime?  Is she maybe acknowledging there has also been a lot of "Hate" and resentment inside her own [the Somali] community for quite some time now?  
2 - Does she think that the fact [?] the cabdriver is an African mitigates the seriousness of the issue?  Would she be more concerned if he had been a non-black person?  
3 - Has it ever occurred to Ilhan Omar that when she chose the path of public office, especially in the prevailing political climate, that she is fair game from all sides including her own?!   
4 - Does she recognize that her duty now is mainly to work within her own community (changing minds, attitudes, and rigid beliefs) and then to liaise with the rest of society to bring about improved understanding and agreement?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Good Notes to Self - by Hénock Gugsa


============= Good Notes to Self =============
by 
Hénock Gugsa

This past week, I had a good exchange with a friend on Facebook ....

HG ===> At another post, a friend suggests that starting January 1st ... how about logging down on paper (in a file somewhere) only the good things that happen in your life. Then, at the end of the year, go back and read them and smile.  Life has got to offer some good things even in the bleakest of times!

DK ===> I named my office my "I love me room!"  I have a wall of acknowledgments to remind me that I can stand for things worthy the effort, and I have a file drawer full of notes from former students, parents, colleagues and people in the community.  When I find the world bearing down on me and feeling hopeless, I open that drawer and humbly wrap myself in gratitude for the blessings life has brought me.  It helps when things seem their bleakest to have a touch stone.

HG ===> Thank you, Dan. Life indeed is a worthwhile undertaking in the hands of a wise person.  Above all, the learning, the sharing, and the caring is what I find most blissful and satisfying.  And if "memory" or the capacity for it remains in tact, then we can say that sanity is achievable ... humor and balance will stay in place!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lake Nokomis - Part 2 ~~ by Hénock Gugsa


Lake Nokomis - Part 2 *
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~




----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 * Part 1 was posted on 10/19/16 as"Lake Nokomis, My Lake ~~ by Hénock Gugsa"