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!
Showing posts with label Political. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political. Show all posts

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Society's Poisons ~ by Hénock Gugsa

Pandora's Box
Society's Poisons
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

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Little Political Humor ~ by Hénock Gugsa

A Little Political Humor
from Ethiopia
`````` === ``````
A renowned political scholar was recently asked what finally becomes of a starving people.  He responded, "That's obvious ... they will do the most immediate thing to quell their hunger ... they will eat their rulers!"

Journalists followed up: "So why haven't the Ethiopians gorged on their leaders in response to the current famine?"

The scholar was far from being nonplussed.  He replied, "Ethiopians are comprised of Coptic Christians and Muslims.   You all know very well that in both religions, it is expressly forbidden to eat pork!"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Haile Selassie Quotes ~ by TPO

Haile Selassie Quotes
~ by TPO ~ 

 ~ Nobody will fail to appreciate that law is the greatest benefit to every man.  It is from the equality of law that honor and advantage arise; it is from the deficiency of law that distress and damage result; it is through failure to set up law that violence and injury grow.

~  If you are kind and tolerant and courteous, you make people think well of us -- if you are arrogant and proud and unfriendly, you discredit us in the eyes of others.

 ~ One mark of a great leader is that he feels sufficiently secure  to devote his thought and attention to the well-being of his subordinates and the perfection of his task, rather than being constantly worried about the approval or disapproval of others.

 ~ The aim of those leaders that is based on ambition for power and personal gain is one with no firm foundation and will, consequently, crumble easily.

 ~ The greatness of a leader may be estimated in the first instance by the improvement of his country -- his contribution to the prosperity of his own people -- and, furthermore, to that of neighboring lands.

 ~ Anyone who makes the wrong choices will be a burden not only to himself but to future generations.
Source: Proverbs of Haile Selassie -- issuu.com/tafariverlag

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Some Tidbits from the WaPo on 05/22/17 ~~ by TPO

"Peach of Harmony"

Some Tidbits from the Washington Post on 05/22/17

~~ A longtime black congressman, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), says he received intense backlash after calling for Trump’s impeachment – including a spate of vulgar lynching threats. “You’re not going to impeach anybody, you f—— n—–  … You’ll be hanging from a tree,” one person said. (Kristine Phillips)

~~ An Alexandria gym terminated the membership of self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer, after he was confronted by a Georgetown University professor who called him a “cowardly Nazi” for his alt-right views. (Faiz Siddiqui)

~~ House Democrats are aggressively recruiting military veterans to run in 2018. Fifteen have already launched campaigns, and 10 more may enter races by this summer. (Wall Street Journal)

~~ The most memorable paragraph from Karen and Phil's story: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi praised Trump and invited him to visit Egypt, which Trump said he intends to do. Through a translator, Sissi said, “You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible.” “I agree!” Trump replied, as his advisers and others looking on laughed. Trump went on to compliment Sissi on his fashion, telling the Egyptian leader, “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man…”

~~ Columnist Anne Applebaum slams Trump for his “bizarre and un-American visit to Saudi Arabia,” noting that it is a very strange place to speak out against Islamist extremism: “Although Saudi Arabia is afraid of some forms of Islamist extremism, it supports others. Saudi Arabia sponsors extremist Wahabi mosques and imams all over the world; Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers. … Yes, Americans are often hypocritical about where and when they promote human rights … But to denounce human rights in Iran while standing in Saudi Arabia, a place where there is no political freedom and no religious freedom, brought hypocrisy to a whole new level. Better not to have said anything at all.”

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Enigmatic Henry Kissinger ~ by Hénock Gugsa

Henry Kissinger (born1923)

The Enigmatic Henry Kissinger
by Hénock Gugsa

Aside from the distraction of his discomforting accent, can we agree that Henry Kissinger is a very confounding and confusing communicator?  I find it hard sometimes figuring out what the hell he is talking about?  Does he commit to anything ever?  Can he avoid abstractions and lay out a clear-cut, short, and comprehensible statement?  Can he define problems or situations and educate his audience without a jumble of esoteric and nonsensical phrases?  Can he be less circuitous, less indirect, less enigmatic?  Can he be unclouded?

Decidedly, the only things of supreme concern to Kissinger are:
1) Security ... 
2) Power ... 
3) Order ... and ...
4) History (its definition and management)

He was and is a practitioner of a Machiavellian approach to Government and National Policies. In effect, he is a Nihilist who thinks in the mode of Nietzsche.  Kissinger has aphorisms as answers to all the world's problems.  He talks about "tangibles" and "intangibles", but for all practical purposes, they are nothing but abstractions.  In his world, there doesn't seem to be any room or consideration for the human spirit, for beliefs, for compassion, or even for decency.
Just take a look at some quotes of his ...

~~ “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”
~~ “The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it's their fault.”
~~ “Don't be too ambitious. Do the most important thing you can think of doing every year and then your career will take care of itself.”
~~ “Every victory is only the price of admission to a more difficult problem.”
~~ “It is not often that nations learn from the past,even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it.”
~~ “A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security.”
~~ “A turbulent history has taught Chinese leaders that not every problem has a solution and that too great an emphasis on total mastery over specific events could upset the harmony of the universe.”
~~ “In Washington...the appearance of power is therefore almost as important as the reality of it. In fact, the appearance is frequently its essential reality.”
~~ “The war is just when the intention that causes it to be undertaken is just. The will is therefore the principle element that must be considered, not the means... He who intends to kill the guilty sometimes faultlessly sheds the blood of the innocents...."
~~ “The state is a fragile organization, and the statesman does not have the moral right to risk its survival on ethical restraint.”
~~ “The reason that university politics is so vicious is because stakes are so small.”
~~ “In the end, peace can be achieved only by hegemony or by balance of power.”
~~ “Power without legitimacy tempts tests of strength; legitimacy without power tempts empty posturing.”
~~ “Politicians are like dogs... Their life expectancy is too short for a commitment to be bearable.”
~~ “History knows no resting places and no plateaus.”
~~ “Because complexity inhibits flexibility, early choices are especially crucial.”
~~ “Facts are rarely self-explanatory; their significance, analysis, and interpretation—at least in the foreign policy world—depend on context and relevance.”
~~ “In effect, none of the most important countries which must build a new world order have had any experience with the multi-state system that is emerging. Never before has a new world order had to be assembled from so many different perceptions, or on so global a scale.”
~~ “…Policy is the art of the possible, the science of the relative.”
~~ “Order always requires a subtle balance of restraint, force, and legitimacy.”
~~ “The highest form of warfare is to attack [the enemy’s] strategy itself.   The next, to attack [his] Alliances. The next, to attack Armies ....”
~~ “I want to express here my continuing respect and personal affection for President George W. Bush, who guided America with courage, dignity, and conviction in an unsteady time. His objectives and dedication honored his country even when in some cases they proved unattainable within the American political cycle.”
~~ “If the major powers come to practice foreign policies of manipulating a multiplicity of sub-sovereign units observing ambiguous and often violent rules of conduct, many based on extreme articulations of divergent cultural experiences, anarchy is certain.”  

Kissinger with Trump

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


Sunday, March 26, 2017

At the Precipice of Disaster ! - by Hénock Gugsa

 At the Precipice of Disaster !
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?

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Multitude Are Wrong! - by Hénock Gugsa

The Multitude Are Wrong! 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
Recently on Facebook, I responded to somebody named CG [initials] who made the following inane comment to the posted picture meme ....

CG ===> I absolutely love how ironic this picture is, and you all are proving it. It is simply saying ALL issues aren't so simple and everyone needs to be well informed. Nowhere does it mention politics, but what do so many of you do? You simply the issue to a "Democrats vs Republicans."
For fuck sakes, get your head out of the politician's assholes and THINK for yourself.
[ and I responded to CG as follows ...]

HG ===> Curtis: Couldn't you just simply give us only your take on the message in the meme instead of your snarky commentary about the world? I do not get anything of value from your commentary here, but I want you to know that I like and agree with the message in the meme. I don't have to give anyone a reason why ... do you give your reason for everything you do or for your beliefs and judgements?!

HG ===> ... and oh, incidentally, I see that  286  people have given your commentary a thumbs up.  I believe this proves that indeed the multitude seem to prefer taking the wrong path as stated by the meme.  This is a perfect example of "res ipse loquitur" ["the thing speaks for itself"].

Dame Maggie Smith ("The Dowager")

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Assessment and Prognostication - by Hénock Gugsa

Assessment and Prognostication 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
A Seriously Damaged Party:

The Democratic Party has taken a severe blow in the gut.  
The anger and frustration (hopelessness, helplessness) of the "working class" was not sufficiently addressed.  Hillary was never really there, and Obama was misguided in his unnecessary and (I believe wrong) advocacy of TPP* ~~~ both Clinton and Obama, thereby damaging the Democrat brand.  Hillary never picked up Bernie's cry, instead she chose the bland and uninspiring route. Big miscalculation!

And as for Donald Trump ... he's just an opportunist and a wild card! He stole the fire that should have been in the Democratic Party's camp!

Beginning of the Future: 

If things don't go well for this new Republican administration, you can bet your bottom dollar that indiscriminate scapegoating will be the order of the day. What's more, since Mr. Trump's agenda is obscure and not even seriously thought-out, there is great potential for self-propagating failure. I do not see clear skies in the horizon. 

In the global sphere, I am envisioning the world as conceived by George Orwell in his book, "1984".

The setting of Orwell's book  is the futuristic, fictional country of Oceania .  When Orwell wrote the book in 1948, the future he envisioned was 1984 ... hence the title of the book.
Oceania is one of three world powers; the other two are Eurasia and Eastasia. War with one or the other world power is a constant reality. 
It is always an alignment of two powers against one.

I am now envisioning the Americas as Oceania ... Eurasia as being all of Europe including Russia ... and Eastasia as China, India, etc.

Currently, with the Putin and Trump friendship, can you see the beginning of an alignment between Oceania and Eurasia against the "current" threat, Eastasia?  

*  TPP = Trans Pacific Partnership (trade pact)