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 ! *

Monday, December 31, 2012

Foreign Lands - by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson
Foreign Lands
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.

I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.

I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping in to town.

If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,

To where the road on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Microcosme de France - par TPO

Lencloître - 4 juin 2012


par la Nouvelle République.fr

Pays:                   France
Canton:              Lencloître 
Région:               Poitou-Charentes
Département:       Vienne
Arrondissement:   Châtellerault

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Guilty by Reason of Hypocrisy! - by TPO

Mike Crapo

TPO (a.k.a. FormerET)

Comments on

 "Idaho senator charged with DUI" *


[Sunday, December 23, 2012 - Senator Mike Crapo, R. Idaho, was arrested on a DUI charge in Alexandria, VA. The senator, it turns out, is also a Mormon bishop.  His religion forbids the drinking of alcohol and other beverages such as tea and coffee!]**

Pirates wrote ...
12:30 PM CST
His name reminds me of a Senator from South Dakota. His name was Joe Bottom. Believe it or not, he named his daughter Rosie. Can you believe that? True story. Back in the 1960's. Yes, he was a Conservative Republican.
FormerET responds ...
12:37 PM CST
ha ha ha. That's hilarious.
I was about to comment that Mr. Crap-o must have had a harsh childhood ... what with all the cruel name calling and such. It is a miracle he did not end up being a bully or something. Oh wait. He did become a senator, didn't he?
FormerET wrote ...
12:50 PM CST
Idaho? ....hmm-mm?
Isn't that the state with another hypocrite Republican Senator who was caught soliciting homosexual favors in an airport restroom some years back?
Whazzup, Idaho?
FormerET wrote ...
1:10 PM CST
Date: December 24, 2012
Message to William Shakespeare:
Instead of the lawyers, first thing we need to do here is get rid of all religious fanatics, and hypocrites in congress! But if there are lawyers amongst them, them too!
Your American cousins
Windy_Denizen wrote ...
1:59 PM CST
He was pretty hammered. 
Not sure what sect of Mormonism he follows but it appears to be pretty liberal.
FormerET responds...
2:09 PM CST
The MoreGin sect, maybe? But they are not liberal by a long stretch!
Bmdboy wrote ...
2:10 PM CST
Australia says thank you America.... For having a drunken republican senator named Crapo.....
Your still the funniest nation on earth Merry Christmas. Please drive and shoot responsibly.
FormerET responds ...
2:26 PM CST
I'd say we aim to please ... but that is so cliché.
icyone wrote ...
2:24 PM CST
Maybe the fact that he got elected 3 times is just Montana's way of p**ing at DC & the Gov't long distance.
Rileymon responds ...
2:34 PM CST
IDAHO, not Montana - please, there is a big difference!
FormerET responds ...
2:36 PM CST
And maybe Idaho wants to be famous for something other than potatoes!?
KBlit wrote ...
2:44 PM CST
A name that is fully consistent with being a member of congress. Anyway he will apologize and be reelected in a landslide and if he had a gun, run for president.
FormerET responds ...
2:51 PM CST
Or he could join the crazy pundits and assorted villains at FOX where they magically make news out of nothing for the propagation of fear and hate.
Joseph Calling wrote ...
2:51 PM CST
Whew! It's a good thing he didn't have a woman not his wife in the car with him, and it's a good thing he didn't drive it off a bridge and leave her to drown. Oh, yeah, that was someone else.
cfrost1 responds ...
2:53 PM CST
How many years, decades, centuries are you guys going to be milking that?
FormerET responds ...
2:57 PM CST
Milking? ... No, they're drinking!
yokosuka1985 wrote ...
3:03 PM CST
Amazing people still drink and drive these days.
cfrost1 responds ...
3:16 PM CST
Perhaps God gave him special permission.
FormerET responds ...
3:18 PM CST
I hope he is not a pilot also. I don't like where that scenario leads!
Rush2112CA wrote ...
3:13 PM CST
What happend to the hooker in the car?
FormerET responds ...
3:19 PM CST
Maybe fbutler1 and his right wing cronies here can give the answer to that one.
Hoya4692 responds ...
3:28 PM CST
Hmmm, male or female?
neraksmar wrote ...
3:22 PM CST
A very unfortunate last name.
FormerET responds ...
3:34 PM CST
Or maybe an appropriate (i.e. prophetic) name, nonetheless!
FormerET wrote ...
3:55 PM CST
"When will they ever learn?" is a phrase from that old folk song, "Where have all the flowers gone?"
Apparently, we all must be dunderheads for constantly thinking and doing the wrong things over and over again. What they say about the short memory and attention span must really be true.
A possible solution ...
I believe that history should be taught at every level of the education experience in this country. And by history, I don't mean the revisionist kind. We should hammer ourselves with local, national, and world history as school curricula. That way, maybe, no one will try to pull the wool over our heads ... tell us "up is down" , "wrong is right", etc.
chindi--s wrote
5:59 PM CST
At least as a good right wing ideologue absolutist, he doesn't consume the devil’s brew--well maybe not!
FormerET responds ...
8:05 PM CST
Isn't "Absolut" some kind of vodka?
laytonian2 wrote ...
6:08 PM CST
NRA response to Crapo's arrest:
"Let's put mini-bars in all vehicles, to stop drunk driving!"
FormerET responds ...
6:15 PM CST
Or said another way ...
The trouble with killing is not the guns ... it's the killers!
And it follows ...
The trouble with drinking is not the liquor ... it's the drunkard!
amazd responds ...
6:36 PM CST
Let's ban alcoholic beverages. We know how that worked the first time.
FormerET responds ...
7:10 PM CST
Nah, just ban gun users and drunkards. Problem solved because you are dealing with the demand side, not the supply. 
You will be given ownership licenses only. Why should society give you permission to drink (whether to excess or not) or to use your firearm to kill another human being.
We will have the best kind of Catch-22 situation - one that will force people to think and to act responsibly.
And of-course if you don't want to abide by society's laws, then you can go and live in the wilds. Even a "survivalist" would need to live in a community to one degree or another.
FormerET wrote ...
6:42 PM CST
Re: " Crapo is serving his third term in the Senate. "
I wouldn't say that Senator Crapo is any kind of a servant. The only "serving" he is associated with seems to be either some rapturous praises from his constituents in Idaho ... or the shots of boilermakers he will soon be vowing to ban from his life.
scottmmanson1 wrote ...
7:42 PM CST
At least he did not drive into the water with his mistress like some other Senator
FormerET responds ...
7:44 PM CST
another crapo comment!
scottmmanson1 responds ...
7:45 PM CST
I think we should call dui driving like a kennedy.
FormerET responds ...
8:03 PM CST
It is DUI ... not DLK, genius.
In case it needs to be spelled out ...
DUI ==> driving under the influence
or in the present situation, we might be tempted to say ...
DUI => driver usually inebriated 
And we are concerned with the living only. We leave the dead rest in peace.
* posted by Rosalind S. Helderman in the Washington Post,Dec. 23, 2012
** Source:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/12/23/idaho-senator-charged-with-dui/

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry X-Mas, Everyone! - by TPO

 "I wonder as I wander"


Annalisa Kerrigan

Annalisa Kerrigan

 "I Wonder As I Wander"
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander ... out under the sky.

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have had it, 'cause He was the King.

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander ... out under the sky.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

True Love Ways - Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly
 True Love Ways
Buddy Holly (1936-1959)

 Just you know why
Why you and I
Will by and by
Know true love ways
Sometimes we'll sigh
Sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why
Just you and I know true love ways

Throughout the days
Our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share
With those who really care

Sometimes we'll sigh
Sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why
Just you and I know true love ways

Throughout the days
Our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share
With those who really care

Sometimes we'll sigh
Sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why
Just you and I know true love ways

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NRA under Fire [post "Newtown massacre"]- by TPO

graphics by Henock  (click to enlarge)
NRA Under Fire [post "Newtown massacre"]


 by TPO (a.k.a. FormerET)

Subject: "Protesters target NRA’s Capitol Hill office to call for gun control after Newtown killings"
Venue: Washington Post, December 17, 2012
Article by: Fredrick Kunkle *

12:57 PM CST
Maybe the real reason the NRA is keeping a very low profile at the moment is because that is the best strategy. Gun violence is a very hot issue right now and may stay that way for a while. The national mood right now is that of self-disgust, remorse, and anger at the undelying impotence.

There is no benefit in bringing out charlton-heston-look-alike zombies shouting "from my cold, dead hands!" 

The reality seems to be that everybody including sane and sensible members of NRA are now doing serious soul-searching , questioning America's madness about ... me, me, me, ... mine,mine, mine, ... my rights, my rights, my rights, ... and never my obligations and responsiblities!!!
2:13 PM CST
Isn't it sad and scary that Texas' Tea Party politicians are now doubling down on their "Alamo" stand that teachers should be enabled to carry handguns on school premises? 

Somehow, Texan logic dictates that such a law would take care of potential violent outbreaks (i.e. lessen the gravity). The rationale is that Newtown Elementary School should have been run by Wyatt Earp, and all the teachers there ought to have been gun-toting Annie Oakleys!

Glad I got out of Texas with my hide in tact!
4:15 PM CST
And, on another front, can someone explain to me why "assault" weapons are considered sportive? What is gentlemanly or even manly about owning them (much less using them)? 

If we cannot see and understand the role of paranoia as a motivational force here, we can consider ourselves at sea rudderless.

* source:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/protesters-target-nras-capitol-hill-office-to-call-for-gun-control-after-newtown-killings/2012/12/17/eb3423c0-4898-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_story.html

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beggar to Beggar Cried - by W B Yeats

W B Yeats
Beggar To Beggar Cried
 William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

'Time to put off the world and go somewhere
And find my health again in the sea air,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'And make my soul before my pate is bare.

'And get a comfortable wife and house
To rid me of the devil in my shoes,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'And the worse devil that is between my thighs.'

And though I'd marry with a comely lass,
She need not be too comely - let it pass,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'But there's a devil in a looking-glass.'

'Nor should she be too rich, because the rich
Are driven by wealth as beggars by the itch,'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'And cannot have a humorous happy speech.'

'And there I'll grow respected at my ease,
And hear amid the garden's nightly peace.'
Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,
'The wind-blown clamour of the barnacle-geese.'

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"L'amour est un oiseau rebelle!" - Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet
Denyce Graves 

Habanera - Carmen **
-------- // ---------



    L'amour est un oiseau rebelle
    Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
    Et c'est bien en vain qu'on l'appelle,
    S'il lui convient de refuser.

    Rien n'y fait, menace ou prière,

    L'un parle bien, l'autre se tait:
    Et c'est l'autre que je préfère,
    Il n'a rien dit mais il me plaît.

    L'amour! L'amour! L'amour! L'amour!

    L'amour est enfant de Bohême,

    Il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi.
    Si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime
    Si je t'aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas,

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime! (Prends garde à toi!)
    Mais, si je t’aime,
    Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!

    L'oiseau que tu croyais surprendre

    Battit de l'aile et s'envola.
    L'amour est loin, tu peux l'attendre.
    Tu ne l'attends plus, il est là!

    Tout autour de toi, vite, vite,

    il vient, s'en va, puis il revient.
    Tu crois le tenir, il t'évite,
    Tu crois l'éviter, il te tient.

    L'amour! L'amour! L'amour! L'amour!

    L'amour est enfant de Bohême,

    il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi;
    Si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime.
    Si je t'aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas,

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime! (Prends garde à toi!)
    Mais, si je t’aime,
    Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!

    Choir: L'amour est enfant de Bohême,

    il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi;
    si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime
    si je t'aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

    Carmen: Si tu ne m’aimes pas,

    Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime! (Prends garde à toi!)
    Mais, si je t’aime,
    Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi! 

** Georges Bizet (1838-1875)
** Denyce Graves (1964 - )

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Conducting Business - by Elissa Ely

Conducting Business
Elissa Ely
The Boston Globe Op-ed (July 9, 2011)    
AS if by wide-eyed coincidence, the calls and letters all began to arrive at the same time. There must be some rule about this in the small print of the industry. No one made a peep until three months after the funeral.
That was just enough time to accomplish the small, practical, haunting tasks one cannot do for oneself - no matter how independent in life - because one is now dead. The apartment had been closed. Plants were given away; magazine articles, torn for a future reading, recycled; clothes sent in one direction, small household items in another. We knew the charity donation criteria (“NO TVS OR COMPUTER MONITORS PLEASE’’) by heart.

The medical supply store had accepted their equipment back. They ran a distribution program for patients who couldn’t afford ambulatory aides otherwise. Taking them out of the car trunk was like reviewing the stages of deterioration: first, the decorative cane, then the metal three-legged one; the walker with tennis balls, then the sitting walker; the shower chair, then the wheelchair. Each piece of equipment, during its months of use, seemed the only one that would be needed. But there was always another helplessness to follow, and the medical supply store, while filling one order, was too kind to tell us they would see us again soon.

After three months, the first letter arrived, hand written. “My dear friend,’’ it began, “Our deepest sympathy is extended to you on the loss of your Loved One. Unfortunately, a most difficult task now lies before you.’’

I looked down a paragraph. “Upon visiting our showroom, you will find a complete selection of the finest certified Barre Granite Memorials. You will find our prices amazingly reasonable, and will receive Everlasting Satisfaction through our Certificate of Quality and Workmanship.’’ The return address was in Long Island, where the burial had taken place.

Other letters from the tri-state area were soon flying north. Some enclosed template pictures with labeled measurements. Some had invoices requesting signature and deposit. One was a contract. Each knew the precise date of death. It was creepy.

A few weeks later, the phone rang. A man asked for me by first name. He said he was sorry for my loss, and following up on the letter he had sent about the memorial proposal. It sounded like we were already a team.

I began to tell him that we had made arrangements with the funeral home for a headstone. Before I got to the end of the sentence, he had hung up on me. The consoler had hung up on me in the midst of his consolation. I understood it was not personal. It was just the most efficient thing to do.

I also understood something else, if I hadn’t before. The dead get buried, but the living, conducting business, go on. Everyone has to go on.

Elissa Ely is a psychiatrist.
© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Turning the Table - by TPO

Turning the Table
(Pearls before Swine) *
by Stephan Pastis
~~~~ // ~~~~
** comic strip's date: December 9, 2012 **
click the strip to enlarge
click the strip to enlarge
* At its heart, Pearls Before Swine is the comic strip tale of two friends: an arrogant Rat who thinks he knows it all and a slow-witted Pig who doesn't know any better. And once in a while, the two friends run into a mutual friend called Goat. Together or apart, this trio offer caustic commentary on humanity's quest for the unattainable ...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf - by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
----- //------

"Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf"
 As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, 'May I come in?'
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
'He's going to eat me up!' she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, 'That's not enough!
I haven't yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!'
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
'I've got to have a second helping!'

Then added with a frightful leer,
'I'm therefore going to wait right here
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
Comes home from walking in the wood.'

He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,
(Of course he hadn't eaten those).
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes, and after that,
He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.

In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared. And then she said,
'What great big ears you have, Grandma.'
'All the better to hear you with,'
the Wolf replied.
'What great big eyes you have, Grandma.'
said Little Red Riding Hood.
'All the better to see you with,'
the Wolf replied.
He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I'm going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma,
She's going to taste like caviar.

Then Little Red Riding Hood said, '
But Grandma, what a lovely great big
furry coat you have on.'

'That's wrong!' cried Wolf.
'Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I'm going to eat you anyway.'

The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head,
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.

A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, 'Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.'

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"The Union Forever!" - by TPO

"The Union Forever!"
by TPO

16th U.S. President  - Abraham Lincoln

Lyrics to "Battle Cry of Freedom" 
We will rally round the flag, boys
We'll rally once again,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom
We will rally from the hillside
We'll gather from the plains,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

The Union forever!
Hurrah boys hurrah!
Down with the traitor, and up with the star,
And we'll fill the vacant ranks
With a million freemen more,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

The Union forever!
Hurrah boys hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star,
And we're marching for the flag, boys,
We will rally once again
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

The Union forever!
Hurrah boys hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star,
While we rally round the flag, boys
Rally once again
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ethiopia's Tom Thumb ! - by Hénock Gugsa

Graphics by Hénock Gugsa (ሄኖክ  ጉግሣ)

Ethiopia's Tom Thumb :  Sinzirro !
Hénock Gugsa

[Ethiopia is a land of fables. It is even said that the great fabulist, Aesop, was from Ethiopia.  His name is presumed to be a derivation of Aethiop. Although the following fable is from Ethiopia, it is however not attributed to Aesop …. I, as the sole author, am here simply transcribing this tale from folklore in my own words.  I beg your indulgence and forgiveness for the literary license I have taken in embellishing it.]

Once upon a time, ... long, long ago, there lived in the land of Ethiopia an old woman and her son, Sinzirro.  The tree goddess, Adbar, had granted the lonely old woman her wish for a small child that would never grow to normal-size and would never leave his mother’s side ever. The old woman named the child “Sinzirro” because he did not grow any bigger than a thumb in size.  In Ethiopia, a sinzir is the length-measure of a thumb … and so you might say that Sinzirro was the Ethiopian equivalent of Tom Thumb!

Now, there was a strong bond between the old woman and Sinzirro, and it was reinforced daily by her feeding him fresh milk from a jar.  And Sinzirro loved the milk so much … he just could not get enough of it.  He was always following his mother around and begging for milk all the time.

One day, the old woman was feeding  Sinzirro his ration of milk from the jar.  As usual, he was laid out on his little bed with his mouth wide open and he was gulping down the milk.  He kept drinking that milk with the happiest glint in his eyes.  His mother was so enchanted by his blissful face that she forgot that maybe he had had enough milk for now.  But Sinzirro did not complain and kept on drinking and grinning.  He started filling up … his naked belly was beginning to inflate and swell … it grew like a balloon filling with air.  Sinzirro was so full he could hardly move.  Then, suddenly his mother realized her mistake and stopped feeding the impish child. 

As she was taking the milk away, one tiny droplet fell on Sinzirro’s belly button.

Sinzirro was not about to ignore that little bit of milk sitting atop the little hill of a tummy in front of him.  He slowly raised himself up, and with tongue stuck-out, he began his lunge for the tempting thing on his belly.  He arched forward and stretched … he moaned and groaned from the effort and the extreme discomfort … he still could not reach the object!  But he was a persistent (if not too bright) child that had to have milk although it had never done anything for his growth.  And now he could almost reach it ... he was close … victory was at hand ... only a little way to go!

In the other room, the old woman put the jar on a shelf … of-course Sinzirro would never be able to reach that droplet on his belly, she thought quizzically!  Then before she turned to get back to her son, she heard a small tearing sound followed by a loud pop coming from the boy's room.  She rushed over there … but alas! ... she was too late.

There before her lay the remains of Sinzirro … the balloon had finally snapped and popped.  And now there was mostly milk all over the tiny bed ...  and hardly anything left of Sinzirro!

Moral of the story: Greed is a destructive thing!

Friday, November 30, 2012

An Inconvenient Truth for Republicans - by David Horsey

[Right wingers careen into craziness to explain Obama's victory]
by David Horsey,
Political commentator, Los Angeles Times
November 12, 2012

President Obama’s reelection has caused right-wingers to become completely unhinged. They are purple-faced and apoplectic, convinced that an ignorant horde of government-dependent social leeches has destroyed traditional America and banished God from the country.

The craziest comments came from certifiably loony celebrities. Gun-crazy rocker Ted Nugent tweeted that “Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters hav [sic] a president to destroy America,” and  former Saturday Night Live goofball Victoria Jackson let loose a series of tweets, saying in part, “Thanks a lot, Christians, for not showing up. You disgust me… In the Good vs. Evil battle, today Evil won.”

Egomaniacal rich guy Donald Trump simply called for a revolution.

Various tea party leaders, who thought they had already launched a pretty good revolution, could not fathom the election results. Cincinnati Tea Party President George Brunemann said, "The easy two-word answer for what happened Tuesday is: America died."

On Fox News, political has-been Sarah Palin, sporting a big Loretta Lynn hairdo, looked positively baffled, wondering why the American people would willingly abandon the Constitution. Bill O’Reilly had an answer for her: “People feel they are entitled to things.” And those “people,” O’Reilly made clear, are not "traditional" Americans or members of the “white establishment;” rather, they have skin that is brown.

Ann Coulter echoed the view of numerous conservative pundits: “If Mitt Romney cannot win in this economy, then the tipping point has been reached. We have more takers than makers and it’s over.”

All of this doomsday blather hearkens back to Romney’s infamous characterization of 47% of Americans as “victims” who only want to be coddled by government. As it was when Romney said it, this portrait of America is not only demonstrably false, it is a scurrilous slander with a racist tinge.

The most numerous voters dependent on government to keep them economically afloat are retirees who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. This was the cohort that went most heavily for Romney. The people who put Obama over the top in the electoral vote, on the other hand, were autoworkers in Ohio; not exactly a dependent bunch.

They were also young people who do not grow faint at the thought of gays getting married or women using birth control. They were middle-class white Americans – as many as voted for Bill Clinton, by the way – who think it is unfair that all the economic benefits in this country flow to the richest 1%.

And, of course, they were blacks and Latinos who voted for Obama in overwhelming numbers. When Ted Nugent emotes about pimps, whores and welfare brats, we all know who he has in mind – and it isn’t the white establishment living off corporate welfare.

Right-wingers will not let go of their own misleading mythology. They have a constricted vision of who the “real Americans” are and who they are not. Until election night, they still believed that people like themselves constituted a majority in this country. Now that they are faced with the truth of their own diminishing numbers, they are rejiggering reality. Incapable of accepting that the millions of people who voted for Obama are overwhelmingly hardworking, family-loving, patriotic Americans, they have to imagine them as the “takers” that Ayn Rand warned them were coming.

This is a necessary self-deception. Otherwise, conservative crazies would have to face an inconvenient truth: On election day, a majority of real Americans rejected them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Equal Time - by The Iceman of Merriam Park

 Subject: Equal time
The Iceman of Merriam Park *

Al B's story of his father, a Republican, suggesting they take Al B's vote for a Democrat to the town dump [BB, 5/8/2012] reminded me of a sorority sister of my niece, who, being from Texas but unable to return for the Thanksgiving dinner with her family, was invited to our family's festivities.

During the dinner, she suggested she was a 'good Republican.' It was too easy, but the obvious rejoinder was: 'Oh, you vote for Democrats.'

Needless to say, the turkey, a fitting symbol of Republicans and Democrats, was enjoyed by all.
* Bulletin Board, Pioneer Press (May, 2012)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

[Regarding] "Three Blind Mice" - Billy Collins

Billy Collins

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"
Billy Collins (1941-)

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mitt Romney's Adieu - by SCHMOYOHO

The 2012 Concession Song of Mittens *

* TPO says: "All is well that ends well." 
Today, on Thanksgiving Day ...
Thank God for that !!!

P.S. - I wonder ... do they eat turkey in Turkey?!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lying, Stealing, and Killing - by Hénock Gugsa

Lying -> Stealing -> Killing
( LSK )
by Hénock Gugsa

This morning, I woke up with a nagging thought on what could be at the root of the world’s problems.  In my humble opinion, it is the deadly combination of lying, stealing, and killing that has taken over practically all aspects of our lives from birth to death. But, going even deeper, we find that the real foundation (the ‘bud’) of all our troubles is LYING !

We all remember from our high-school geometry lessons that a three-sided polygon is known as a triangle.  Further, we learned that there are six types of triangles … equilateral, acute, obtuse, scalene, isosceles, and right-angle.


But, the polygon of interest to our discussion here is the equilateral triangle - a triangle with all three sides equal and the internal angles are also equal.  For reasons that will soon become clear or obvious, I have labeled the sides of the  triangle as: L (for lying),  S (for stealing), and K (for killing).


Amazingly, the root cause of all our social and societal ailments has simple beginnings …  little untruths in early childhood. 

Lying is not innate, but rather an acquired (learned) habit.  It can be squelched early on thru good parenting and tutelage, or it can be overlooked, forgiven and excused.  This is the time when correct choices should be made by adults in a society.  They should take their responsibility seriously ... to guide and to keep the youth on the right path.  Furthermore, children's education should include serious  discussion and understanding of morality.

Walk a few paces from “lying”, and you shall find yourself in the “stealing” zone.  Here is where denial, the ultimate form of lying, comes into play.  One lies about the small things as well as the big.  Worst of all, one does not only lie to others, but one lies to the self as well … constantly and convincingly!  It is a hopeless and heartrendingly sad state because it  is also seriously injurious to the victims.  The level of lying here is where the liar is  self-empowered to excuse thefts and other forms of personal violations (fraud and abuse of trust).  No distinction is made between right and wrong.  Here, the big time players are the thieves, the rapists, the con-artists, the investment bankers, the sleazy lawyers, the corrupt politicians, et al.  It is a given - There is no nobility in the deeds of these sociopathic liars and thieves.  I would also contend that these robbers don’t always steal out of necessity or need.  Rather, it seems that some of the motivation may just be self-driven moral depravity.


The final stage in this chain of moral decrepitude is the big-time crime arena of “killing”.  We are now at the point of no return where the acts of lying and stealing have to be justified with some perverse and final act, namely “killing” (or murder if you wish).  All types of arguments are given to excuse the act of “killing”, including strangely enough self-defense.  At no time anywhere do we hear anyone say:  The cause of the killing was greed and denial (stealing) of the victims’ basic Civil Rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness!

On a larger scale, of-course, we see nations behave as individuals do.  A country may go to war (organized mass "killing”) using the justification of national defense, or the elimination of national security threats both at home and abroad.  In war, naturally, the first casualty is TRUTH.  Lying pundits and propagandists thrive and flourish in this period.  To be sure, the real reason(s) for war may never be clear-cut or well-defined.  But the beneficiaries are not necessarily hidden to us.  We have all heard of large military-industrial complexes in general terms and of Halliburton in particular.

In Ethiopia, a tale is told of a mother who could see no wrong in her one and  only son. She had always excused his little fibs.  When he grew to adolescence, his fibs had grown to lies; but his mother still overlooked his wrong ways.  As he grew to manhood, his lies grew even bigger … he was not only lying to others, he was now also lying to himself.  Thus, he was excusing all wrong-doings with his lies and self-deceptions.  Finally, he reached the point where his stealing and robbing turned to killing.  He was apprehended for a murder he had committed; and he was sentenced to death.  On the day of his execution at the gallows, he looked down at the crowd below and saw his mother there crying her her heart out.  In that moment of critical finality and clarity, he began to sob as he spoke the following words to her: “Oh, dear mother.  Are those tears really for me now?  But where were you when I was a little boy and I was telling those little fibs?  Where were you when I got older and told big lies?  And where were you when I started to steal?  Why did you never stop me even once? Why didn't you punish me?  Alas, it is too late now, mother! Your tears now are way too late!”

It seems self-evident to me that things do not happen without a reason.  There is always a cause … and that cause has a beginning in a time past ….  A progression (or sequence of developments) leads to the morphing of states.  Thus what started out as small fibs (white lies) gradually grow to big time lying, and stealing, ... and ultimately to killing!

We need to be alert and attentive to our surroundings.  We need to be responsible parents, and citizens.  

We need to recognize and condemn MENDACITY when we encounter it!

We need to, as Barney Fife would say, nip this thing in the bud!