Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The most important debate moment that all the TV talking heads missed

One brief exchange during last night’s debate immediately caught my attention. To me it was the moment of the night, and its potential ramifications are frightening. But it was just a moment and “poof!” it was gone. Maybe this has been addressed by others, but I stayed up till midnight watching the “experts” hash out the debate and I heard almost everything except for my “WFT?” moment discussed.
What starts a war? I’ll leave that question hanging for your consideration.
During the foreign policy segment of the debate, Hillary mentioned a recent incident where some Iranian sailors taunted some American sailors, and she quoted a statement Donald made about the event saying, “’You know if they taunted our sailors I’d blow them out of the water’ …and start another war,” she added.
Donald did not dispute the quote (It was accurate) or even the assertion that he would blow a foreign ship out of the water for “taunting”, but he did object to Hillary suggesting that such an action would start a war. Donald’s exact response to Hillary’s charge was to lean into the microphone and say, “That would not start a war.”
Now let me get this straight… Taunting an American sailor is an action that should be responded to by blowing a foreign vessel out of the water, but blowing a foreign vessel out of the water thus killing its crew is NOT an action that would start a war. WTF? Are you serious Donald? Well sadly, yes he is. You see this is Donald’s existence in a nutshell. If you rub the Donald the wrong way the consequences will rain down on you like hellfire. But no matter what the Donald does, no matter how heinous or vindictive, the consequences are “zero!” Thanks to daddy’s money, that’s his world.
But in the “real world” the acceptable response to having one’s ship blown out of the water is to return fire at whatever blew it out of the water… and at that moment “war” has begun. At that moment control of the situation is lost. At that moment the magnitude of the chain of events to follow is unknowable. All that’s predictable is death; perhaps incalculable death. And all because another thin-skinned political strongman was insulted.
Concerning the event discussed above: The “taunted” Americans, six officers and three sailors have all been disciplined or face action by the US Navy for their navigational incompetence. Their ineptness and resulting entry into Iranian territorial waters triggered the entire event. Yes, they were detained, questioned, and even “taunted”, but thanks to diplomacy they were quickly released. Now imagine a world, a Donald Trump world, where instead of asking for the return of our sailors, we simply blew an Iranian ship inside of Iranian territory out of the water.
What starts a war? That starts a war.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pulling Beets

My garden has no rhythm,
‘cause I pulled up all the beets.
I put ‘em in a basket
to hand out as trick-or-treats.

Yeah, I’m the old man that
at Halloween most kids avoid.
They tried me once.
They tried me twice,
Then some got real annoyed.

So now they pelt my house with eggs
and I throw beets at them.
Last year I won. Oh it was fun.
My last shot was a gem.

It hit that Tommy Perkins kid
upside his big ol’ head.
His mask flew off,
and he went down.
Thought sure that he was dead.

But don’t you worry none,
‘cause every time I tell this tale.
I make it sound a little worse.
Next time I’m goin’ to jail.

And that’s the beauty don’t ya know,
of Halloween and fiction.
You can kill off half the neighbor kids,
and never face conviction.

Just make it gruesome, make it gory,
You can even make it mean.
Then slap your thigh and laugh,
and tell ‘em “Happy Halloween!”
The only thing that’s true is
that I picked some beets today.
And if you must know,
then I vacuumed rugs,
and stacked some hay.

Authors Note: The first two lines popped into my head while I was pulling the beets… The rest crept in while cleaning the harvest, vacuuming, and stacking the donkey's winter hay ;)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I ate a piece of moldy bread.
It’s been four days, I’m still not dead.
My pie was walked on by a fly.
I ate it, and I did not die.
Some bug spray got upon my plum.
But still, to death, I don’t succumb.
My spud with sour cream and chive
was tainted, yet I’m still alive.
I drank a beer with funky yeast,
and look at me, I’m not deceased.
I’m not deceased, not in the least.
But now I fear I need a priest…
for there’s broccoli in my soup du jour.
This time I’m gonna croak for sure.

A Tale of Two Presidents

Another attempt to put things into perspective, and I won't even opine this time... Just some facts:
In 1840 the United States elected a president who had a susceptibility to pneumonia. One person died as a result and America continued along its lethargic path toward a more perfect union.
In 1933 Germany elected a president who had a narcissistic personality disorder. Millions of people died as a result and Germany was left in ruins.

Show Your Papers

Does America have a right to be kept updated on Hillary’s medical condition? Yes, I think so, but let’s put this into some perspective. Firstly – We have been given an update. Her campaign released a statement saying she has pneumonia. Now you may accept that diagnosis or not, but if you reject it without having first rejected the blatant lies that Trump’s doctor spewed out concerning the Donald’s super-human health (A statement even the doc admitted was baseless) then I doubt you’re really concerned about the truth, or Mrs. Clinton’s health. I suspect you may have a different agenda. Secondly – Some of our most productive presidents were in poor health… Jackson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and others. Thirdly – We have a well-defined, often used, slick as a whistle process for dealing with incapacitated presidents. It hasn’t failed yet.
So with that in mind, which is more important America? …a peek at a presidential candidate’s medical record, or a peek at their tax returns? As I mentioned, if a president up and dies America stays her course with very few waves rocking the boat. But, if a president turns out to be a bloviating con-man America is in deep trouble.
As I wrote in a comment earlier today, “Her medical records and his tax returns ARE America's business, but frankly I think the tax returns are the more important thing to insist on.”

Monday, September 12, 2016

Compliance does not equal Patriotism

When a black man is unjustly gunned down by a police officer in urban America these days the outrage across suburban America can sometimes last for an entire afternoon… But then CNN stops looping the video and suburban America says to itself, “Well maybe the cop had a valid reason for doing that. Maybe we should try to understand all the facts before making a judgement,” and by evening suburban America calms down and things return to normal. But when a black man says, “Maybe this shouldn’t be normal,” and he uses his First Amendment freedom during a song supposedly played to celebrate that freedom the outrage across suburban America can sometimes last for… Well frankly I don’t know. It only started a few weeks ago.

Of course this comment generalizes and stereotypes, and much of “suburban America” gets it, but this does apply to a huge group of self-proclaimed patriots who conflate patriotism with compliance. Remember, compliance enabled the rise of Hitler. It sustains the Kim Jong Uns of the world. And it fuels the maniacal dreams of Donald Trump. Protest on the other hand has been the precursor to countless advances in human rights throughout history.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

In Support of Kaepernick

A man stands of his own free will. A puppet stands at the will of another.
I’m not a fan of Colin Kaepernick the quarterback, but I am a fan of people who stand up (or sit down) for what they believe in, especially when what they believe is, “We can do better than this. We must do better than this”. And that in effect is what Kaepernick is saying with his national anthem protest… AMERICA HAS THE ABILITY TO BE BETTER THAN THIS.
As retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer Jim Wright says in his blog, “Kaepernick raises valid concerns about the present state of America, and no veteran or true patriot should demand that his concerns be silenced.” Wright isn't alone. If you read the growing list of comments from veterans on social media and in editorial pages you’ll read again and again that they fought for freedom, not for nationalism. They fought for people, not for symbols; and certainly not for a song. #veteransforkaepernick
A classmate of mine said yesterday of Kaepernick, “To kick the teeth of the system that feeds you is just really short sighted.” Boy, talk about some old-timey advice to give to a black man. Whip wielding masters gave similar advice to their slaves for decades, but thank god it was never accepted. Kicking the teeth of the system is how progress has been made by societies throughout history… century after century, decade after decade, year after year. It’s nothing new. It’s just the ongoing battle of forward thinking vs. backward thinking.
As a parting thought I’ll just ask this - Why is it okay for white men to arm themselves with military style weapons as a warning to the United States government to heed their flag (The one that says, “Don’t tread on me”) but it’s not okay for a black man to ask that same government (by simply sitting during a song) to stop treading so violently on his people?
Like I said, I’m not a fan of Colin Kaepernick the quarterback… but I am a fan of Colin Kaepernick the thorn in white America’s side, because I agree, “We can do better than this. We must do better than this”.