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, August 27, 2018

Racial Profiling Flourishes in America ! ~ by TPO

Racial Profiling Flourishes in America !
~ by TPO ~

Well, folks ... You just got to watch the video in this story, and then try and tell me that cops "are the greatest human beings and heroes, ... and all that!"
I'm afraid Iowa is now dangerous to young black men.  The Klan must have infested the police departments in the State !  There is no safe place in America for black men, especially the young !!!
For a more extended account of this story go to ...


Saturday, August 25, 2018

"Où vont les fleurs?" ~ Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich  (1901-1992)

"Où vont les fleurs?" 
~ Marlene Dietrich ~

Où vont les fleurs?
[ Here are the lyrics / Voici les paroles ... ]
Qui peut dire où vont les fleurs 

Du temps qui passe?
Qui peut dire où sont les fleurs

Du temps passé?
Quand va la saison jolie

Les jeunes filles les ont cueillies.
Quand saurons-nous un jour?
Quand saurons-nous un jour?

Qui peut dire où vont les filles 

Du temps qui passe?
Qui peut dire où sont les filles 

Du temps passé?
Quand va le temps des chansons

Se sont données aux garçons.
Quand saurons-nous un jour?
Quand saurons-nous un jour?

Mais où vont tous les garçons 

Du temps qui passe?
Mais où sont tous les garçons 

Du temps passé?
Lorsque le tambour roula

 Se sont faits petits soldats.
Quand saurons-nous un jour?
Quand saurons-nous un jour?

Mais où vont tous les soldats 

Du temps qui passe?
Mais où sont tous les soldats 

Du temps passé?
Sont tombés dans les combats

Et couchés dessous leur proie 
Quand saurons-nous un jour?
Quand saurons-nous un jour?

Il est fait de tant de croix

Le temps qui passe
Il est fait de tant de croix

Le temps passé
Pauvres tombes de l'oubli

Les fleurs les ont envahies
Quand saurons-nous un jour?
Quand saurons-nous un jour?

Qui peut dire où vont les fleurs

Du temps qui passe?
Qui peut dire où sont les fleurs 

Du temps passé?
Sur les tombes du mois de mai

Les filles en font des bouquets,
Quand saurons-nous un jour?
Quand saurons-nous ...  jamais!?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

And they call me faithless?! - by Hénock Gugsa

And they call me faithless?! *
by Hénock Gugsa
In the far reaches of time and legends, there is a tale told of a chase, an act of kindness, and of ingratitude, of wise counsel, and of treachery ....
Two hunters were mad on their heels in pursuit of a leopard who had been eluding them for years.   Their hunting  skills were improving but the leopard was losing his wily ways.  As the hunters were closing in on him, the leopard happened to run into a farmer who was hauling his harvested crop on a cart. 
The leopard bowed at the farmer's feet and pleaded, "Please, please save me from these two hunters who are about to kill me.  Let me hide in that stack of grain."
The farmer was at first startled and afraid of the leopard.  But then, seeing that his fear was less than that of the leopard's, he agreed to let him conceal himself on the cart.
Very soon, the hunters appeared before the farmer and asked, “Have you seen a leopard?”
The farmer replied: Yes, he went that-a-way!
So the hunters resumed their chase in the direction that the farmer pointed.  As soon as they had disappeared from sight, the farmer yells, “Come on out, leopard. The coast is clear!”
The leopard jumped out of the cart and growled, "I am hungry.  Bring me some food  now or I will kill you and eat you right here.”
The farmer objects: Why? Will you now kill me even as I saved your life from imminent death?
But the leopard is unmoved.  So the farmer says, “Let's go and ask the donkey to mediate.”
They find the donkey, and the farmer asked the donkey, “Am I the one to be eaten?”
And the mindless donkey says, “Yes, why not?”
So then they went to the fox and the farmer said, “I saved this leopard and now as payment, he wants to eat me.”
“How did you save him?” asked the fox.  So the farmer told her the story of the hunters and the pile of grain.
The fox then says, “Show me exactly how you saved him.”  So, the farmer hides the leopard again on the cart in the same manner as before.
The fox says, “Now tie him down very tightly and secure him.”  The farmer does as instructed.  The fox nods her head approvingly and says, “Now when those two hunters return this way, deliver him to them.”
The farmer says, “You saved my life,  I am so grateful to you.  How can I repay your kindness?"
The fox says, “Bring me one of your good sheep tomorrow so that I can feed my family.”
With that they parted company as it was already dark and everybody needed to go home.
The farmer returned the next day and came to the lair where dwelt the fox.  But instead of the promised sheep, the farmer had brought his big dog with him.
The fox saw the man's treachery and cried out, as she was being chased by the dog:  And they call me faithless?! ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
*  An old fable from North Central Ethiopia  -- edited, abridged and adapted by Hénock Gugsa

Monday, August 20, 2018

"The Darkest Hour" (My Reaction) - by Hénock Gugsa

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"The Darkest Hour" (My Reaction) 
- by Hénock Gugsa -
I just can't seem to get tired of watching the movie ... saw it last night for the third time on HBO !
I can't get enough of the British defiance against Hitler and Fascist dictators !!

Please click inside box to enlarge.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Re: "the blunting of a nation" ~ by Hénock Gugsa

"Unhappy America"
Re: "the blunting of a nation" *
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
Whew ... this is really NOT a topic one can delicately wade into without simply drowning from the weight or import of it,  or from just being stung on all sides by the invisible and the abstract? 
To begin, we accept the principle of antagonistic dichotomies in our discussion.  We have Government vs the Governed, producers vs customers (users), pain vs medication, prescribed medication vs self-medication., etc., etc.  All of these dichotomies are either everyday aspects of life that preoccupy us every minute of every hour, or they are undercurrents that swirl around us all the time.
To say that our senses have long been or have of late come under the effect of some sort of rotary file that dulls, blunts, desensitizes, or deadens us is not at all off the mark.  However, do we really need any (new) research to validate the reality of our perilous condition?  Plenty has been written about the topic from many angles by academicians, theologians, philosophers, authors, and everybody else.  Some have made it all too complex and hardly utile while others have actually opened our eyes with their incisive clarity and wit.  It won't surprise you much that I prefer the latter because they are  easily understood but still profound.  In my opinion, they have boiled things down to Life and the Fear of Death, or Mortality to be concise.  Their wisdom, however, is easily applicable to a wide array of situations. 
Here are examples of perennial agitators who have depth, passion, and wit: George Orwell, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain, Aldous Huxley, Ernest Hemingway, and George Bernard Shaw ....
===> "A normal human being does not want the Kingdom of Heaven: he wants life on earth to continue. This is not solely because he is 'weak,' 'sinful' and anxious for a 'good time.' Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise. Ultimately it is the Christian attitude which is self-interested and hedonistic, since the aim is always to get away from the painful struggle of earthly life and find eternal peace in some kind of Heaven or Nirvana. The humanist attitude is that the struggle must continue and that death is the price of life." - George Orwell, "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool"
===> "The meaning of life is that it stops." - Franz Kafka
===> "Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. Life was a fever-dream made up of joys embittered by sorrows, pleasure poisoned by pain; a dream that was a nightmare-confusion of spasmodic and fleeting delights, ecstasies, exultations, happinesses, interspersed with long-drawn miseries, griefs, perils, horrors, disappointments, defeats, humiliations, and despairs -- the heaviest curse devisable by divine ingenuity; but death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free." - Mark Twain, "Letters from the Earth" (Crest Books, 1963)
===> "Ignore death up to the last moment; then, when it can't be ignored any longer, have yourself squirted full of morphia and shuffle off in a coma. Thoroughly sensible, humane and scientific, eh?" - Aldous Huxley
===> "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry." - Ernest Hemingway
===> "Dying is a troublesome business: there is pain to be suffered, and it wrings one's heart; but death is a splendid thing -- a warfare accomplished, a beginning all over again, a triumph. You can always see that in their faces." - George Bernard Shaw
** My personal take on the topic ! **
Most of the time I am just angry and frustrated at the whole frame of mind of American society, its passion for quick fixes, or permanent solutions all the while denying or ignoring some basic, simple tenets of life ...
1 - The so-called experts, doctors, fixers, etc. are all humans.  They are fallible, they are not gods! Theirs is not the last word on the matters at hand. So let us stop worshiping these people.  They are no more and no less than vendors of goods and services.
2 - The goods and services out there on the market are not guaranteed to be faultless.  Else why would all that medicine they are hawking on TV come with warnings of side effects or causes for even worse ailments!
3 - Doctors order unnecessary tests and referrals.  I believe the whole exercise is all for naught whether they find anything wrong or not.  If results are positive, more tests, some drugs, and more tests.  If results are negative, more tests for some other related or unrelated possible ailments.  In the mean time, you are wiped out financially, and sent to the poor house, depressed, hopeless, and sick!  So why not ignore the doctors more, and accept your mortality?!
4-  Common Sense should be our guide in most things.  But there is also the oft-neglected knowledge gathered from personal experience.  For instance, I discovered quite a while back that my own saliva is a healant for some skin irritations or sores. It works for me, I stopped buying Blistex or its brothers on drugstore shelves.  I deducted that saliva must be good for something or else why would animals use it so much?
 * posted in a recent exchange with a friend on Facebook.
Viggo Mortensen - "The Road"

Friday, August 17, 2018

A Very Naughty Tree ! - by Hénock Gugsa

A Very Naughty Tree !
by Hénock Gugsa

Naughty in the sense of tricky, sly, almost deviant ....! There are so many suggestions from top to bottom. Begin with the whole picture first ... then, just zoom in closer and take it all in. I see a Medusa-like creature with stringy old hair and a melting-wax face. She looks immortal ... look at her ... despite all the dents, bumps and even shotgun bullet holes on her, she sits there defiantly like a queen. She has intertwined creatures on her body that look like they are in some sort of bacchanal orgy. However, there are no signs of actual living creatures (birds or animals) on or around her.

I bet it's a baobab tree, it is worshiped in some parts of Africa.  You can start thinking about TAOT (ጣዖት)  and  ADBAR (አድባር) and that should complete the picture for you!

Okay, that's enough discussion about a gnarly old tree.

Hénock in Paris - March, 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

Bruce Campbell, ingénieur - TPO

Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell, ingénieur (Engineer)
- par TPO -

"Viens chez moi, j'habite dans un avion." Bruce Campbell, un Américain de 68 ans, vit depuis dix-neuf ans dans un vieux Boeing 727 qu'il a installé dans sa propriété de Hillsboro, dans l’Oregon (Etats-Unis). En 1999, l'ancien ingénieur électricien, aujourd’hui retraité, achète l'appareil, à l'abandon, pour 85 000 euros.
"Come to my place, I live inside an aircraft," says Bruce Campbell, a 68-year old American who is a former electrical engineer.  He has, for the last nineteen years, been living inside an old Boeing 727 which he installed on his [wooded] property in Hillsboro, Oregon. When  he retired, he bought the abandoned plane (with its fuselage and interiors intact) for 85,000 euros (almost 1000,000 dollars). [Obviously, he made some modifications and totally made the whole thing functional and habitable.)

Source: FrancetvInfo

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Ethiopian PM's Visit to Minneapolis (on 7/30/18) ~ by Hénock Gugsa

Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia's new PM

Ethiopian PM's Visit to Minneapolis 
(on 7/30/18) 
~Report by Hénock Gugsa ~
==== **** ====
The new and refreshingly progressive Ethiopian leader, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, came to Minneapolis on Monday and was warmly welcomed by a sizable gathering of Ethiopian-Americans, and Ethiopian resident communities from the surrounding areas.  The event at Target Center was carried live on YouTube and can be accessed for viewing by all who may be interested.
The phenomenon of "Abiy", if I may be permitted to so describe it, is a development that is positively contagious since it is taking Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa by storm.
Let me describe just what is going on with the new philosophy, new direction, and the totally un-imagined notion of nationhood in Ethiopia. Dr. Abiy has brought together and neatly combined all of his ideas under one umbrella which everybody is abbreviating as " መ ደ መ ር " (MEDEMER).
Literally, the word "medemer" means to add, as in the arithmetic sense, ... or to count, or to be counted.  In actuality, "medemer" nowadays may be having a much bigger and more significant relevance in the political life of Ethiopians.  Of late, I've been made to understand that the specific reference of "medemer" is to "Unity" (as in "United we stand, divided we fall").  But there is also a general allusion to "Inclusive Democracy", because in such a democracy, everybody counts and gets counted.
Moreover, Dr. Abiy is pointedly asking for Love, for Peace, for Forgiveness, for Brotherhood, for Sacrifice, and for a grander, and more dedicated philosophy of giving, not taking.  Specifically, he praises idealists and thinkers, but he is more appreciative of those who actually do the work.  He mentions John F Kennedy as a great visionary, but Dr. Abiy's hero is Lyndon Johnson who actually accomplished a lot.
Dr. Abiy Ahmed is most uniquely suited to lead Ethiopia for the following reasons:
1 - His family background (i.e. cultural) .... Born to a Moslem father and an Orthodox Christian mother and raised in Southwest Ethiopia , he, himself, is a Pentecostal Christian. Ethnically, he is an Oromo but not an "Oromayan". He identifies as an Ethiopian, and rigorously promotes that sense of belonging. Furthermore, he is married to a graceful lady from Northwest Ethiopia and they're proud parents to three beautiful young daughters.
2 - He speaks three ethnic languages: Amharic, Oromo, and Tigrigna ...all of them fluently!
     He also speaks English very well even though it is a foreign language.  

 *** Talk about a product of a "melting pot" ... he is a living example of that for Ethiopia ! ***
3 - He served in the military reaching the rank of Lt. Colonel.  And it is reported he had been engaged in battlefront lines especially during the Ethio-Eritrean conflict.  There, he learned the senselessness of wars between brothers.
4 - He is highly educated and well-versed in political science and information technology matters, especially in the areas of Network Communications as tools for day-to-day dealings in national security, in business, in banking, in education, and in overall national development and growth.
5 - He is receptive and approachable.  And so far, he has shown none of the trappings of power or ego. He is simple and humble but he is also daring and challenges his countrymen to step up and walk the talk!  
6 - "Progression not Regression" seems to be his motto as well.  And he has proclaimed he seeks friends and allies, not enemies.
7 - He is applying "gentle persuasion" and not forceful and militant dogmatism.  He is hitting all the right chords so far.  No wonder, Ethiopians are loving him up !!!

<< MEDEMER ... that is the zeitgeist now ! >>