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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

On Brotherhood and Unity - by Hénock Gugsa



On Brotherhood and Unity 
- by Hénock Gugsa -
(Please click inside the box below to enlarge.)
Click inside this box to enlarge.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Robot Bartender ~ by Anonymous


The Robot Bartender 
~ by Anonymous ~ 
A Floridian goes into a bar in Calgary where there is a robot bartender. 
The robot says, “What will you have?”
The guy replies, “Whiskey.”
The robot brings back his drink and asks, “What’s your I.Q.?”
The guy says, “168.”
The robot then commences to talk about physics, space exploration, and medical technology.

So the guy leaves the bar and outside in the street, he is reflecting upon his  experience at the bar.  And the more he thinks about it, the more perplexed he gets ... so he decides to go back.
At the bar, the robot asks, “What’s your drink?”
The guy answers, “Whiskey.”
The robot returns with the drink and asks, “What’s your I.Q.?”
The man replies, “100.”
The robot begins to talk about NASCAR, Budweiser, the Lions, and hockey.

The man finishes his drink and leaves.  But he is so intrigued by the result of his little “experiment” that he decides to try one more test.
He goes back to the bar and, as usual, the robot asks him what he wants to drink.
The man replies, “Whiskey.”
The robot brings the drink and asks, “What’s your IQ?”
The man answers, “50.”
The robot leans in real close and asks, “So . . . are . . . you people . . . still happy . . . with Trump?”

James Stewart and Cat

  

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

 

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Tyrant's Tantrum ~ by Hénock Gugsa


A Tyrant's Tantrum
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Back in the olden days of antiquity, there were tyrants that behaved like infants with  their defiant stance against good manners.  Nobody or hardly anybody dared to challenge the power or privilege of these dictators.  They did as they wished.


 


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


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