T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
A personal blog with diverse topicality and multiple interests!

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!

* Your comments and evaluations are appreciated ! *

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Time for "Gut Check", everyone! - by TPO

Time for "Gut Check", everyone!

by TPO


"Gut check: It's time to shed that muffing top, that beer belly" (**)
by The YOU Docs:
Michael Rolzen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D

Want to nab a sneaky health thief that's fast becoming Public Enemy No. 1? Grab a tape measure, lock the bathroom door, get naked and take an honest your-eyes-only gander at your middle(without sucking that tummy pooch in). If your waist is more than 35 inches around for women or 40 for men, it's time to get real about the fat you keep pretending is a "no big deal" muffin top or beer belly.

We're talking abdominal fat, aka ab fat. Those breezy summer catalogs clogging your mailbox may offer loads of high-fashion camouflage for a big belly, from XL T-shirts to floaty linen tunics and Miraclesuits. But you're probably aware that "out of sight, out of mind" is a risky way to deal with a spare tire.

We YOU Docs have been warning about ab fat for more than a decade. (To find out more, see our new book, "YOU: Losing Weight.") But the latest data knocked even our tube socks off.

Ab fat is lethal. That spare tire is as deadly as a pack-a-day smoking habit or sky-high blood pressure. Ab fat dumps fatty acids and chemicals into your bloodstream that boost dangerous, body-wide inflammation. If you're among the 28.3 million North Americans with heart disease, even a modest tummy pooch doubles your odds for an early death.

Ab fat infiltrates your liver and squeezes your heart. If you saw Mehmet on that unforgettable episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" a few years back when he dangled thick, swollen sheets of omentum- the curtain of abdominal fat that stretches from your stomach to your pelvis and that should be lacy and thin - you know how ugly this stuff can get. Fat that accumulates in your omentum oozes out to threaten your organs. One in nine adults now has a fatty liver, which is a gilt-edged invitation to diabetes, heart disease and serious liver trouble.

Ab fat is bad for bones, joints, brains, breasts, and prostates. It weakens your skeleton, increases arthritis risk and pain, raises your odds for dementia by 80 percent, increases at least one kind of breast cancer and likely prostate cancer, too. Oh yeah, and it makes migraines more likely.

Ab fat is dangerous even if the rest of you is slim. Up to 45 percent of skinny women and 60 percent of thin men have some. It takes a tape measure, not a bathroom scale, to find this nasty stuff.


But if it's there, you don't have to morph into Richard Simmons(or wear sparkly exercise outfits!) to shrink it. Dropping just 3 percent to 5 percent of your body weight (about five to nine pounds if you weigh 180) could shrink ab fat by 20 percent and liver fat by 40 percent! Here's what it takes to do that:

Just make a diet YOU-Turn. Rein in super-sized portions and banish two foods that make ab fat expand: refined grains (anything made with white flour, from pastries to regular pasta) and trans fats(aka partially hydrogenated fats). Either or both are found in many, many baked goods and other processed foods. Trans fats are particularly gruesome. They not only add belly fat but also coax fat from other body zones to pack up and move there.

Switch to whole grains and good fats. Simply eating three servings a day of whole grains (oatmeal, two slices of 100 percent whole-wheat bread) could slash belly fat by 10 percent if you limit refined grains to one serving (aim for none). Then use olive and canola oils instead of butter; munch a few nuts instead of chips; add avocado to sandwiches instead of mayo or cheese. These delicious mono-unsaturated fats encourage your body to move fat away from your belly. Nice trick!

Overindulge in blueberries and green tea. These super-low-cal treats are rich in plant compounds that turn up the body's immune defenses and may help burn more ab fat.

Walk for 30 minutes today. Repeat tomorrow. No need to train for the New York Marathon. Moderate, consistent exercise blasts ab fat. Got kids in your life? Take them with you. More and more children and teens have bulging bellies, and active fun slims their middles.

Always on the go? Pack your own road food. A steady diet of fast food can increase your ab fat by 41 percent in just one month! Invest in a small cooler and load it with fat-fighting goodies. Then, wave good-bye to those over-sized shirts and elastic-waist pants.
** source: The Saint Paul Pioneer Press (05/28/2011)

America's Best Ranter - by TPO

Lewis Black (1948 - )

America's Best Ranter

** Caution:- Rated NP - not prudish at all; explicit and cathartic language!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"A Legend of Truth" - by Rudyard Kipling

A Legend of Truth
Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

Once on a time, the ancient legends tell,
Truth, rising from the bottom of her well,
Looked on the world, but, hearing how it lied,
Returned to her seclusion horrified.
There she abode, so conscious of her worth,
Not even Pilate's Question called her forth,
Nor Galileo, kneeling to deny
The Laws that hold our Planet 'neath the sky.
Meantime, her kindlier sister, whom men call
Fiction, did all her work and more than all,
With so much zeal, devotion, tact, and care,
That no one noticed Truth was otherwhere.

Then came a War when, bombed and gassed and mined,
Truth rose once more, perforce, to meet mankind,
And through the dust and glare and wreck of things,
Beheld a phantom on unbalanced wings,
Reeling and groping, dazed, dishevelled, dumb,
But semaphoring direr deeds to come.

Truth hailed and bade her stand; the quavering shade
Clung to her knees and babbled, 'Sister, aid!
I am-I was-thy Deputy, and men
Besought me for my useful tongue or pen
To gloss their gentle deeds, and I complied,
And they, and thy demands, were satisfied.
But this-' she pointed o'er the blistered plain,
Where men as Gods and devils wrought amain-
'This is beyond me! Take thy work again.'

Tablets and pen transferred, she fled afar,
And Truth assumed the record of the War…
She saw, she heard, she read, she tried to tell
Facts beyond precedent and parallel-
Unfit to hint or breathe, much less to write,
But happening every minute, day and night.
She called for proof. It came. The dossiers grew.
She marked them, first, 'Return. This can't be true.'
Then, underneath the cold official word:
'This is not really half of what occurred.'

She faced herself at last, the story runs,
And telegraphed her sister: 'Come at once.
Facts out of hand. Unable overtake
Without your aid. Come back for Truth's own sake!
Co-equal rank and powers if you agree.
They need us both, but you far more than me!'

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shakespeare In Tombstone - by TPO

Shakespeare In Tombstone *
by TPO

## Henry Fonda ##
## Victor Mature ##
## Walter Brennan ##

 *  "My Darling Clementine" - 1946 (20th Century Fox)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"What You Focus Upon Expands" - A. Selvarajah

"What You Focus Upon Expands"
by Dr. Asoka Selvarajah (*)

There is ample evidence that the universe responds directly to thought. Thoughts are real, and they directly create the reality you choose to live in. In short...What you focus upon expands!

That would be an excellent phrase for you to meditate upon in the silence of your room, throughout the day, and in the midst of every reaction you experience to every situation. Make it your mantra for the next few days, weeks, or even months. Let the truth of it become your own in the very depths of your being. What you focus upon expands!

So, what do YOU focus upon? Money problems? A bad relationship? Fear? Terrorism? Or ... Love? Abundance? Inner growth? Compassion?

Remember, whatever you focus upon expands. If you concentrate your mind on the negative, you will get more of it. Some people are stuck in the mistakes and regrets of the past. Guilt and regret hold them down. As a result, they are trapped by the past and become incapable of facing the future with a fresh attitude. They bring past mistakes into the present and then into the future. And what you focus upon expands!

If only Governments could realize this essential law of creation. Sadly, they do not. Do you want to focus upon terrorism and anti-terrorism? Well, what you focus upon EXPANDS! Perhaps you have noticed that recently?....

The same is true of the excessive mass of legislation that burdens modern society in every conceivable area of life. It is based on mistrust, fear and the assumption of dishonesty. Of course, what you focus upon expands. Hence, the more emphasis you place upon these negative qualities of human nature, the more you encourage it to flourish. What might happen if instead, we could gradually transform society from being fear-based to love-based? What might happen if we placed more funds and education upon creating a truly loving and supportive society?

Do leaders negotiate for peace, but their hearts are filled with fear, legalism, enmity and accusation? What might happen if they could approach negotiations with a spirit of reconciliation, respect, love and determination for peace? What if the use of violence, bloodshed and war were REALLY considered totally unacceptable, and not a tool to negotiate with?

What you focus upon expands!

In your own life, watch your thoughts and actions, because this law applies to you. If you have money problems and you focus on the PROBLEM instead of the SOLUTION, you are assured of more money difficulties. If you engage in anger and criticism of others on a continual basis, this too will grow. If you create a defensive negative attitude to all the BS going on in the workplace, but do nothing constructive to counter it, then the BS can only grow.

If instead you focus heavily on love, peace and compassion, then these will grow in your life. If you are a solution-oriented positive personality at your job, then people will respond to you in like manner, giving you more respect and even expanding your role and opportunity. Try it, starting today! Have a mind focused upon constriction and a contracting spiral of life, and that is what will perpetuate. Focus instead upon expansion and growth, and that is what you will attract into your life.

What you focus upon expands!

The same is true of what you aspire for. If you spend ALL of your time in daily drudgery, forever dreaming of some idealized future but doing nothing to achieve it, then it will remain forever a dream and you will remain forever mired in daily distraction. The latter will grow and the dream will recede. However, if you budget a regular time to pursue your dream, no matter how small that time allotment might be, and commit to following through on that regular session, then you will do more than develop mere expertise. You will harness this universal law, and cause what you focus upon to gradually expand. Then you will find yourself doing more of it, and that will cause even further expansion.

What you focus upon expands!

So what DO you focus upon? What IS expanding in your life right now? Why not stop right now and ponder this question deeply? REALLY deeply. You might even want to write down a list, or make some notes in your journal. You cannot change what you are not conscious of. So work to become conscious of what you are focusing upon right away.

Why not take this as a mantra? Ponder this thought continually and apply it to your life at every opportunity and in every area? If you do, not only will you begin to become conscious of hidden patterns of repetitive thought, but you will also become aware of exactly what you are attracting into your life on a habitual basis.

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for because it might come true! So remember....What you focus upon expands!
(*)- Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is an active author/researcher on personal development and esoteric spirituality. You can visit his website at: http://www.enchantedspirit.org/

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Todo El Tiempo" - by NYSU Films

"Todo El Tiempo"
A Strange but Funny Video (!Video muy extraño!)
by NYSU Films
Presented here by TPO

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gaffes, Fluffs, and Blunders - Peter Grier

Newt Gingrich (1943 - )

Gaffes, Fluffs, and Blunders
by Peter Grier (CSM Staff Writer / May 24, 2011)**

Where did the word “gaffe” come from? We wondered this the other day after watching Newt Gingrich explain yet again why he didn’t mean it when he called Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal “right-wing social engineering.”

(Please – no e-mails saying we’re picking on poor Mr. Gingrich. We’re pretty sure the GOP presidential hopeful himself would say he wishes he hadn’t blabbed so much about the Ryan plan in the first place.)

Anyway, our trusty American Heritage Dictionary says “gaffe” comes from an old French word for “hook.” The word “gaff,” without the “e,” is still used in this context: It refers to an iron hook used to land fish.

That leads us to the political definition of “gaffe” by the great wordsmith William Safire.

“To a politician – even one who can ‘stand the gaff’ or abuse – it’s the dread mistake that pierces the psyche like the angler’s sharp hook,” wrote Mr. Safire in a 2008 New York Times Magazine column.

Gingrich’s statement surely qualifies under that characterization. You think he wanted to spend days talking about whether turning Medicare into a voucherlike program is too big a jump? When then-candidate Barack Obama said that people in rural America “cling to guns or religion,” it was a gaffe, too. In some places, he hasn’t recovered from that one yet.

Safire distinguishes “gaffe” from the less-serious “fluff.” A fluff is a pure mistake, as when a barnstorming candidate says he’s glad to be in Iowa when he’s really in New Hampshire.

Then there’s “blunder,” which is worse than “gaffe,” according to Safire. A blunder (probably from the Old Swedish “blundra,” to “have one’s eyes closed,” he says) is a strategic misstep that jeopardizes one’s entire enterprise. For Richard Nixon, Watergate was not just a gaffe, or even a crime: It was a blunder that ended his presidency.

We’ll end with a bonus pundit tip. In Washington, many try to look sage by quoting another great journalist, Michael Kinsley, on this subject. “A gaffe ... is when a politician tells the truth,” Mr. Kinsley once wrote.

Do you think Gingrich was telling the truth, or at least what he perceived to be the truth, with his original Ryan comments? We won’t take a position – you can discuss it among yourselves.


** Source: [Christian Science Monitor] http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/DC-Decoder/2011/0524/Newt-Gingrich-and-the-gaffe-what-s-in-a-word

Monday, May 23, 2011

All the World's a Stage - William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
"All the World's a Stage" (from: As You Like It)

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

"Pardonne-moi" - Mireille Mathieu

Mireille Mathieu

Mireille Mathieu (1946 - )

{ Refrain: // }
// Pardonne-moi ce caprice d'enfant
Pardonne-moi, reviens moi comme avant
Je t'aime trop et je ne peux pas vivre sans toi //

Pardonne-moi ce caprice d'enfant
Pardonne-moi, reviens moi comme avant
Je t'aime trop et je ne peux pas vivre sans toi

C'était le temps des "je t'aime"
Nous deux on vivait heureux dans nos rêves
C'était le temps des "je t'aime"
Et puis j'ai voulu voler de mes ailes
Je voulais vivre d'autres amours
D'autres "je t'aime", d'autres "toujours"
Mais c'est de toi que je rêvais la nuit
Mon amour

{au Refrain}

C'était vouloir et connaître
Tout de la vie, trop vite peut-être
C'était découvrir la vie
Avec ses peines, ses joies, ses folies
Je voulais vivre comme le temps
Suivre mes heures, vivre au présent
Plus je vivais, plus encore je t'aimais

{au Refrain}

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"L'Invitation au Voyage" - de Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)

" L'Invitation au Voyage "

Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur,
D'aller là-bas, vivre ensemble!
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir,
Au pays qui te ressemble!
Les soleils mouillés,
De ces ciels brouillés,
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes,
Si mystérieux,
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.
Des meubles luisants,
Polis par les ans,
Décoreraient notre chambre;
Les plus rares fleurs
Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l'ambre,
Les riches plafonds,
Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur orientale,
Tout y parlerait
A l'âme en secret
Sa douce langue natale.
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe,calme et volupté.
Vois sur ces canaux
Dormir ces vaisseaux
Dont l'humeur est vagabonde;
C'est pour assouvir
Ton moindre désir
Qu'ils viennent du bout du monde.
--Les soleils couchants
Revêtent les champs
Les canaux, la ville entière
D'hyacinthe et d'or;
Le monde s'endort
Dans une chaude lumière
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In the Right - by Hénock Gugsa

In the Right

by Hénock Gugsa

To every outrage, there is, rightly, a justified response and/or reaction.

And it may be immediate or it may take a while.

But it will happen!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Hawk in My Backyard - by Hénock Gugsa

A Hawk in My Backyard (05/17/2011)
by Hénock Gugsa

This morning, between 11:00 a.m and noon, a hawk decided to ground itself in my backyard. It sat flat on the grass and spread out its wings as if to flex its muscles. The wings stayed spread out, and it seemed that the hawk merely was there to get some sun, and the feel of the ground under its talons. For once, it was looking up at the sky and not down at the earth!

A hawk in my backyard ... I don't know if it was a "Lord Hawk" or a "Lady Hawk," ... but it doesn't matter ... this was one of God's magnificent creatures!

The Damage Done - by RainFall Films

The Damage Done

"The Damage Done" is a western short by Rainfall Films. It premiered at the 2010 DVX WESTFEST, where it won 1st Place.

A hired gun is tasked by the local sheriff to apprehend a bank robber in a hostile area of 1890's New Mexico. The dangerous assignment is complicated by a personal secret which the gunman is trying to protect.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vedanta - by Deepak Chopra

V E D A N T A [in brief] *

Deepak Chopra

Vedanta, one of the world's most ancient philosophies, says there are only five reasons why humans suffer: not knowing who we are, identifying with our ego or self-image, clinging to the transient and unreal, recoiling in fear of the transient and unreal, and fear of death. Vedanta also says that the five causes of suffering are all contained in the first cause - not knowing who we are.

If someone were to ask, "Who are you?" your response would probably be "My name is so-and-so. I'm American, or I'm the president of this company." You may also identify with your body, "This bag of flesh and bones is who I am." But sensory experience is totally illusory. You may think you are the body that your senses can locate in space and time, but the body is a field of invisible vibrations that has no boundaries in space and time.

How long can we cling to a world of illusion? Is there such a thing as the color red? Every color we see is a particular wavelength of light, and the light we can actually detect is a fraction of what exists. An insight that comes to us from both Vedic science and the Jewish Kabbalah is that the center of our awareness is the center of all space and time. It is at once everywhere and nowhere. But my eyes tell me this is not the case. I am here, you are there, wherever you are.

So maybe we should not trust our senses that much. My eyes tell me that the ground I am standing on is stationary, but we know that the earth is spinning on its axis and hurtling through space at thousands of miles an hour. Sensory experience tells me that the objects of my perception are solid, but we know they are made up of particles that whirl around huge empty spaces.

The experience of a material world is a superstition that we've developed because we've learned to trust our senses. The universe is actually a chaos of energy soup, and we ingest this soup through our five senses, and then convert it into a material reality in our consciousness. Our senses transform massless energy into form and solidity, texture and color, fragrance and taste, sound and vibration. And our interpretation of that energy soup structures our reality and creates our perceptual experience.

Most of the time we do this unconsciously as a result of social conditioning. This superstition of materialism relies on sensory experience - what we can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch - as the crucial test of reality. If information is not available to our senses, we tend to think it isn't there. And the intellect, with its linguistically structured system of logic, serves to justify this mistaken perception of reality.

The essential you, your real essence, is a field of awareness that becomes both mind and body. The real you, infinite consciousness, is inseparable from the patterns of intelligence that permeate every fiber of creation. And yet the intellect divides infinite consciousness into a world of objects separated by space, time, and causation. As a result, we lose touch with the true nature of our reality, which is powerful, boundless, immortal, and free.

We are all prisoners of the intellect. The intellect mistakes the image of reality for reality itself. It squeezes the soul into the volume of a body, in the span of a lifetime, and the spell of mortality is cast. The image of the self overshadows the unbounded Self, and we feel cut off or disconnected from infinite consciousness, our source. This is the beginning of fear, the onset of suffering, and all the problems of humanity.

To one who is trapped in the prison of the intellect, all is indeed suffering. Ignorance of our real nature causes the inner self to be obscured. But when ignorance is destroyed, the powerful, unbounded nature of the inner self is revealed. Once you fully grasp this understanding, not only will you have the power to accomplish all that you want, but you will also have true freedom and grace. This means you will never experience fear, not even the fear of death.

** Excerpted from Power Freedom, & Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness [Published by Permission of Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., San Rafael, California © 2006 by Deepak Chopra Publication Date: August 2006]

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Sous le ciel de Paris" - Yves Montand

Yves Montand

Yves Montand (1921-1991)
"Sous le ciel de Paris"

Sous le ciel de Paris
S'envole une chanson
Hum Hum
Elle est née d'aujourd'hui
Dans le cœur d'un garçon
Sous le ciel de Paris
Marchent des amoureux
Hum Hum
Leur bonheur se construit
Sur un air fait pour eux

Sous le pont de Bercy
Un philosophe assis
Deux musiciens quelques badauds
Puis les gens par milliers

Sous le ciel de Paris
Jusqu'au soir vont chanter
Hum Hum
L'hymne d'un peuple épris
De sa vieille cité

Près de Notre Dame
Parfois couve un drame
Oui mais à Paname
Tout peut t'arriver
Quelques rayons
D'un ciel d'été
D'un marinier
L'espoir fleurit
Au ciel de Paris

Mais le ciel de Paris
A son secret pour lui
Depuis vingt siècles il est épris
De notre Ile Saint Louis
Quand elle lui sourit
Il met son habit bleu
Hum Hum
Quand il pleut sur Paris
C'est qu'il est malheureux
Quand il est trop jaloux
De ses millions d'amants
Hum Hum
Il fait gronder sur nous
Son tonnerr' éclatant
Mais le ciel de Paris
N'est pas longtemps cruel
Hum Hum
Pour se fair' pardonner
Il offre un arc en ciel!



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Humans can KMA* - by The Cat

Humans can KMA.*
by the cat

A man absolutely hated his wife's cat and decided to get rid of him one day by driving him 20 blocks from his home and leaving him at the park.

As he was getting home, the cat was walking up the driveway.

The next day he decided to drive the cat 40 blocks away. He put the beast out and headed home.

Driving back up his driveway, there was the cat!

He kept taking the cat further and further and the cat would always beat him home. At last he decided to drive a few miles away, turn right, then left, past the bridge, then right again and another right until he reached what he thought was a safe distance from his home and left the cat there.

Hours later the man calls home to his wife: "Jen, is the cat there?"

"Yes," the wife answers, "why do you ask?"

Frustrated, the man answered, "Put that son of a bitch on the phone,
I'm lost and need directions!"

The cat's response ...


From Cat's STC (simple text code) Dictionary

* KMA : kiss my ass

"How to be a failure, in four easy steps " - by Dale Dauten

"How to be a failure, in four easy steps"

by Dale Dauten (*)

Today let us consider how lives and careers come apart – or, said another way, how to fail. During the past year I’ve been doing volunteer career counseling at a men’s center, a place for starting over. While many of those I’ve encountered simply have had a run of bad luck and are regaining their balance quickly, others seem to have mastered the art of screwing up. From the latter, I’ve put together this Guide to Being a Bonehead.

## Don’t know what you don’t know.

If there’s one point the “how to succeed” literature agrees upon, it’s that confidence and a positive attitude are the underpinnings of achievement. Well, if there were “how to fail” literature, it would be full of stories of overconfidence and overpositivism.
Those who have collected the most failures are often the ones who offer the most advice, making assertions with stunning absence of self-doubt. The ones quickly rebounding in their lives and careers are different. They ask the most questions. Said another way, it’s the difference between know-it-alls and learn-it-alls.

## When things go bad, go with them.

In the physics of failure, the critical factor is momentum. The “tipping point” was a health or business failure, being laid off, an arrest, drug habit or divorce. Financial and personal problems tumble down together.
For many of these men, living out their own versions of “Jerry Springer” scenes, their salvation came when they walked away. One young man told of the day his wife introduced him to the man whose baby she was carrying: “I shook his hand and said, ‘Thank you – she’s your problem now,’ and walked out for good.”
Having left dreadful environments, the men most likely to succeed have found the humility to understand that they are not stronger than their environment. As one of the recovering addicts put it: “I don’t have to just avoid ‘using,’ I have to avoid ‘using behavior.’ That means giving up all my old friends.” Misery doesn’t just love company, it has an active recruiting program.

## Believe that your job is a dead end.

Every job is a dead end if your end is dead. What people who fail often rarely
understand is that every job is an audition.

## Believe that “we’re all in this alone.”

Despite all we hear about the brutal new economic realities, there is still plenty of kindness in strangers. There are still people willing to help. Let’s end with one such story of helping, one perfect for the Christmas season.
Having been kicked out of his apartment, and eventually those of all his friends, a young man was wandering the streets one night when he tried the doors of a nearby church, found one unlocked and spent the rest of the night curled up in a pew. He was awakened by a group of the ladies of the church.
To their credit, the women of the Presbyterian church did not get the police; they got breakfast. They also got him a motel room for the next night and then found him a spot in the men’s center. Those women did more than get him a meal or a place to sleep, the made him want to be like them, made him want to be one of those giving help, which is a marvelous definition of success.

(*) Corporate Curmudgeon - Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 19, 2001

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Great Art Buchwald - by TPO

Art Buchwald (1925 - 2000)
Sa Liaison Française (His French Connection)

On the "antipathy between the French and Americans" ...


Le Grande Thanksgiving

By Art Buchwald
Thursday, November 24, 2005© 2005 
The Washington Post Company

[This confidential column was leaked to me by a high government official in the Plymouth colony on the condition that I not reveal his name.]

One of our most important holidays is Thanksgiving Day, known in France as le Jour de Merci Donnant.

Le Jour de Merci Donnant was first started by a group of Pilgrims ( Pèlerins ) who fled from l'Angleterre before the McCarran Act to found a colony in the New World ( le Nouveau Monde ) where they could shoot Indians ( les Peaux-Rouges ) and eat turkey ( dinde ) to their hearts' content.

They landed at a place called Plymouth (now a famous voiture Américaine ) in a wooden sailing ship called the Mayflower (or Fleur de Mai ) in 1620. But while the Pèlerins were killing the dindes, the Peaux-Rouges were killing the Pèlerins, and there were several hard winters ahead for both of them. The only way the Peaux-Rouges helped the Pèlerins was when they taught them to grow corn ( maïs ). The reason they did this was because they liked corn with their Pèlerins.

In 1623, after another harsh year, the Pèlerins' crops were so good that they decided to have a celebration and give thanks because more maïs was raised by the Pèlerins than Pèlerins were killed by Peaux-Rouges.

Every year on the Jour de Merci Donnant, parents tell their children an amusing story about the first celebration.

It concerns a brave capitaine named Miles Standish (known in France as Kilomètres Deboutish) and a young, shy lieutenant named Jean Alden. Both of them were in love with a flower of Plymouth called Priscilla Mullens (no translation). The vieux capitaine said to the jeune lieutenant:

"Go to the damsel Priscilla ( allez très vite chez Priscilla), the loveliest maiden of Plymouth ( la plus jolie demoiselle de Plymouth). Say that a blunt old captain, a man not of words but of action ( un vieux Fanfan la Tulipe ), offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a soldier. Not in these words, you know, but this, in short, is my meaning.

"I am a maker of war ( je suis un fabricant de la guerre ) and not a maker of phrases. You, bred as a scholar ( vous, qui êtes pain comme un étudiant ), can say it in elegant language, such as you read in your books of the pleadings and wooings of lovers, such as you think best adapted to win the heart of the maiden."

Although Jean was fit to be tied ( convenable à être emballé ), friendship prevailed over love and he went to his duty. But instead of using elegant language, he blurted out his mission. Priscilla was muted with amazement and sorrow ( rendue muette par l'étonnement et las tristesse ).

At length she exclaimed, interrupting the ominous silence: "If the great captain of Plymouth is so very eager to wed me, why does he not come himself and take the trouble to woo me?" ( Où est-il, le vieux Kilomètres? Pourquoi ne vient-il pas auprès de moi pour tenter sa chance? )

Jean said that Kilomètres Deboutish was very busy and didn't have time for those things. He staggered on, telling what a wonderful husband Kilomètres would make. Finally Priscilla arched her eyebrows and said in a tremulous voice, "Why don't you speak for yourself, Jean?" ( Chacun à son goût. )

And so, on the fourth Thursday in November, American families sit down at a large table brimming with tasty dishes and, for the only time during the year, eat better than the French do.

No one can deny that le Jour de Merci Donnant is a grande fête and no matter how well fed American families are, they never forget to give thanks to Kilomètres Deboutish, who made this great day possible.

**Art Buchwald. This column first appeared in the IHT many, many Thanksgivings ago. **

Monday, May 9, 2011

"One Love" - Tribute to Bob Marley

"One Love" - Tribute to Bob Marley

Fear No More - by William Shakespeare

Fear No More
by William Shakespeare

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"7 Brides for 7 Brothers" - Best Barn Dance Ever

You should know this movie! (Clue: It's about some brothers in old Oregon.)

I saw it when I was maybe seven ( another clue! ) or eight years old in Addis Ababa. It was showing at Cinéma Empire, which was the sole venue for MGM movies there back then.

They sure don't make movies like that anymore!

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Of Your Feelings On Human Rights" - by Francis Duggan

Of Your Feelings On Human Rights

by Francis Duggan

Of your feelings on human rights never leave others in doubt
Of wrongs against others one ought to speak out
To those who abuse others' rights let your feelings be known
Them for their behavior you ought to disown
Though with what I say here many may not agree
Those silent at human rights abuse seem in agreement to me
With the offender whoever the offending one may be
Silence in the demonization of others is saying yes to inhumanity
Speak out against racism for racism is wrong
In the Human World it does not belong
There is far too much racism in the big World out there
And a racist person one can meet anywhere,
Against abuse of human rights never fear to speak out
On your feelings on such never leave others in doubt. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Birtherism (A Pernicious Mania) - by TPO

BIRTHERISM (A Pernicious Mania)
by TPO (Henock Gugsa)

For quite sometime now, America has been besieged on and off by a relentless, insidious, and evil preoccupation known as "birtherism." In case you have not been aware, there has been an incessant demand on Barack Obama to prove that he was actually born in the United States. This has been going on ever since he came to national political prominence when he decided to run for the presidency back in 2008. That he is a bi-racial individual with an exotic, muslim (and foreign-sounding) name was and is still, to many, a bothersome situation to say the least. Like many, I was one of those that hoped and believed this mania would wear out of its own accord and become ancient history. Alas, that is not to be the case. We have to confront this and similar issues for yet another six years at least.

Recently, I was saddened and hurt when a "friend" on FaceBook posted (copied from somewhere and pasted) the following trashy commentary... quote ...

"Let's be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American soldier, who Obama just a few weeks ago was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. Obama just happened to be the one in office when our soldiers finally found Osama Bin Laden and took him out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!! RE-POST IF YOU AGREE!!!" End of quote.

But I could not just ignore this and not respond. My "friend" obviously agrees with this balderdash, but I must set my friend straight on his/her wrongness. The following was my response ... quote ...

"This must be a "birther" issue, right ? ... Obama is not an American; therefore this is not his victory?!
One last comment: Has anybody considered that if this mission had been a failure, the original 'Let's be clear on this: ...' writer would also be the first person to blame Obama for the failure, and it wouldn't be an American failure." End of quote.

To wrap up, I would like to leave you with a link to a wonderful analysis of this issue by James Carroll. He has posted an incisive commentary in The Boston Globe on May 2, 2011. It is titled: Birthers’ shameful racist roots.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Jimmy and the Shrink" - by Anonymous

"Jimmy and the Shrink"
by Anonymous

One day, Jimmy went to see a psychiatrist.

"Doc," he said, "I've got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it. I'm going crazy!"

"Just put yourself in my hands for one year," said the shrink. "Come to my office three times a week, and I'll cure your fears."

"How much do you charge?"

"A hundred dollars per visit."

"I'll sleep on it," said Jimmy.

Six months later the doctor ran into Jimmy on the street.

"You never ever showed up to get your treatment for your problems. What happened?" asked the psychiatrist.

"For a hundred bucks a visit? A bartender cured me for $10."

"Is that so! How?"

"He told me to cut the legs off the bed! Ain't nobody under there now!!!"