Poetry Friday

Well, this has been quite the week, hasn’t it? It has left me feeling completely drained, and more than a bit despondent.

 

Maybe it’s just me, but my mind goes to poetry at these times, and Wiliam Butler Yeats describes it well:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
I noted from reports that Joe Biden called loudly for unity the other day, as he did more work than he has in a decade to undo the work of his predecessor. In fact, he wasn’t calling for ‘unity’ he was calling for ‘submission’ which he’ll get neither from the conservatives who have come to respect President Trump because he lived the words he said in the campaign against Hilary Clinton when we would have voted for pond scum instead of her. What we blindly voted for was a patriot and a man of his word, Not a perfect man, by any means but only the third President in my lifetime that I willingly would vote for again. The other two are Eisenhower (yes, I was too young by quite a bit, but looking back would) and Ronald Reagan. In truth, I think Trump surpassed both and was the best president since Calvin Coolidge, a full century ago.
So, no, Slow Joe, there’s not going to be any unity to be had, and in four years we will have a new president if you last that long, if you’re unlucky, you might be remembered like Buchanon, the man whose administration brought us to the brink of civil war.
But it’s also possible that he will suffer the fate of Benjamin Harrison, who arguably stole the election of 1892 against Grover Cleveland and was subsequently defeated by him in 1896. History has a habit of rhyming like that.
Have you seen this?
Somehow, I don’t think either American conservatism or Donald J Trump are quite to the end of the road yet. I have no idea what the names of the teams will be going forward, but there are many innings left to play. Made me think of another poem, in fact, From an American, writing in England, of the English. T.S Elliot’s Little Gidding

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Inauguration Week; or Something

So we are apparently going to try something new – the House has decided to impeach a former president. It’s almost certainly unconstitutional, and probably since there is no there penalty, imposes an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder, because it only penalty is imposing a restriction on a supposed action in the future, even if the Senate, in its folly, did convict which is almost unimaginable, idiots like Romney and Sasse notwithstanding. In short, it’s Pelosi’s supposed revenge against Trump, but it reminds me of that old cartoon gun that shoots the person firing it. Why?

Because the real loser in the affair is none other than Joe Biden. Half the populace already considers him an illegitimate president, who gained the office by fraud. It no longer matters whether that is true or not. He also follows a president who did more to restore respect and well being to more Americans than any other, and he does so with a program that promises to return to the abysmal Obama record, or maybe worse. His greatest day in the presidency will no doubt be inauguration day or would have been. This is what Nancy Pelosi stole from him. The (very) liberal Chicago Tribune says this.

[…] But rushing to impeach a president who has only seven days remaining in his term is itself an affront to our democracy. Impeachment is meant to be a last resort means of expelling a president, not a political weapon. There has not been a serious probe of what happened that terrible day, how the rioting was organized and by whom. Timelines and social media accounts show that the breaching of the Capitol took place even as Trump was still speaking to the large crowd of followers, and that the organizers may have plotted out the event in advance, mainly on Twitter and Facebook.

Democrats have no patience for a sober assessment of what went wrong; they want to humiliate a president who provoked and embarrassed them for four years, and who has accomplished much despite their incessant resistance.

Had they voted to censure Trump, they might have brought Republicans on board. As it is, only 10 Republicans in the House voted to impeach; 197 sided with the president. Democrats risk creating a martyr who will continue to have significant influence and who will bedevil them for the foreseeable future.

That’s true, they’ve thrown away whatever goodwill the right might have shown him as was done with Obama, he enters office as an enemy and he will leave the same way.

And something else, Toni Williams over at Victory Girls has been looking at something else about this inauguration, specifically the security. She also reminds us that

The Inauguration of Joe Biden has been scaled down, mostly due to Covid-19 fears, not to mention the fact that he can’t draw flies. The House and Senate and guests will be there and probably quite of few of the permanent class of D.C. will attend. That’s about it.

She also links to The Intrepid Reporter who did the digging and says it’s up to 30,000 National Guard troops. Wow, but he tells us who, and I’m going to steal his list.

The entire Washington, DC national guard (Camp Guards when I was at Gitmo in 06)
56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team (Pennsylvania Bloody Buckets… lots of combat tours… ‘heavy armor’ if you consider Stryker trucks to be ‘heavy’)
Troop B of the 102nd Cavalry Regiment (negative info on them… wiki sez they’re a No-Go at any real deployments.)

1-114th Infantry Regiment (Joisey Guard, No-Go no deployments)
508th Military Police Company (Another No-Go Joisey Unit)
229th Military Police Company (Kuwait Defense 1990, doubt if any of them are still there… a No-Go Virginia unit)
153rd Military Police Company (Delaware NG, A single tour in 07-08 in Iraq)
102nd Military Police Battalion (NY NG…a No-Go unit w/zero deployments)
104th Military Police Battalion (NY Guard, No-Go NY no deployments)
229th Brigade Engineer Battalion (Virginia Guard, lots of deployments, in a non-combat role)
160th Engineer Company (Delaware Guard, construction, couldn’t find intel on deployments… thin k these are the guys doing the fencing/blockades)
261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade (Command and Control unit, one tour at my old base Victory in Iraq in 08-09)
198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (Delaware NG, VSAT and comms unit…one company in South Carolina which DID deploy once in 13-14 to Kandahar)
1049th Transportation Company (Aviation trans… couple here’n there… ass and trash)
262nd Component Repair Company (you break it, they fix it, No-Go on deployments… to me, this means they expect to need to repair shit right then and there as opposed to waiting til they get home)
108th Wing (Refueling and Air-Recon Unit, multiple deployments)
177th Fighter Wing. (Air to Air F-16 Air defense… what the fuck do they need them for?)
105th Airlift Wing (Air Trans)
174th Attack Wing (Drones… lots and lots of drones… Predators, intel-gatherers… BAD juju)
166th Security Forces Squadron. (Security for the planes, lots of deployments)
That’s 20,000  plus troops, not counting DC and federal cops. It’s also more troops than we have had in Afghanistan in a long time, maybe ever.
But the real kicker here even beyond the number is that these guys are almost all newbies, very few have seen the elephant if any. Newbies always screw up, you know that, I know that and the military is no different in that.
What happens when soldiers screw up? Yeah, people die.
Can you say Kent State, I knew that you could.
If you’re in the east, Keep your ass down your head up, and check six. And stay the hell away from DC this week!

Sunday Funnies, A Fresh Hell

And so.

And of course, Tanya Roberts, RIP, uh maybe

Thy will be done.

Basically speaking, 73.8 million prayers were lifted. The realist in me has come, sort of, to a reconciliation that the Biden/Harris ticket won. All that’s left to do is the crying.

It’s especially hard, I think, for Christians who do firmly believe in the power of prayer. How do we ‘measure’ the effectiveness of prayers against actualities not of our choosing? While we may be hurting, I think it’s important to step back and look at things dispassionately.

First of all, America has been moving in this direction for quite some time. We did little to recognize it, let alone stop it. We just went along because, well, we’re busy and who has time to work these things out while juggling kids and work and family issues and the day to day trials and tribulations of the work a day world. Secondly, who could have foreseen the tremendous accomplishments of President Trump when he assumed power four years ago – did any one of us think he’d have such breath-taking success?

The thing to remember, when we scratch our heads and wonder if God has deserted us, is that for God, this is all just one long day. He sees the beginning, the middle, and the end of all things all at one time. He knows and sees what we can never know and see. There is always a reason. There is always the fulfillment of His plan. This turn of events may be a chastening; it may have an outcome, over the next four years, that we simply can’t imagine. But whatever the future holds, He is still in charge and ultimately, His will will be done – on earth, as it is in heaven.

So, as folks say, buck up, buttercup. He’s given us the strength to get through all that we’ve surmounted throughout our lives and we’ve lived through tough times as a country and we will, with His help, get through this as well. Don’t stop praying for our country; don’t stop praying for the President of the United States no matter who he or she may be; don’t stop praying for our governments and the people who man them. He hears us. But always remember, “THY will be done”

Sunday Funnies, Turkeys Everywhere

News from last week’s protests.

I believe I heard that the bar she worked at has closed permanently, a victim of Cuomo and DiBlasio’s lockdown policies.

And, of course, Miss USA, clinging to God, Guns, and President Trump.

 

(No title)

This has been around for a bit but it’s still valid. Neo.

token[ˈtōkən]NOUN a thing serving as a visible or tangible representation of a fact, quality, feeling, etc..”I wanted to offer you a small token of my appreciation” · [more]synonyms: symbol · sign · emblem · badge · representation · indication · mark · index · [more]a voucher that can be exchanged for goods or services, typically one given as a gift or offered as part of a promotional offer.” redeem this token for a free dessert” synonyms: voucher · coupon · chit · docket · stamp · order · credit note · IOU · chitty linguistics an individual occurrence of a linguistic unit in speech or writing, as contrasted with the type or class of linguistic unit of which it is an instance. Contrasted with type. computing sequence of bits passed continuously between nodes in a fixed order and enabling a node to transmit information.ADJECTIVE done for the sake of appearances or as a symbolic gesture.” cases like these often bring just token fines from the courts” synonyms: symbolic · emblematic · indicative · peppercorn · perfunctory · slight · [more] (internet definition; unknown attribute)

It’s just a word, folks. One of … “It may be difficult to say exactly how many words we have in the English Language, but going by Harvard University and Google Research on English Language vocabularies, the English Language has between 1,022,000 and 1,200,000 Words.” (Quoro)

Just in case I have you totaled confused and scratching your heads, refer to this video

If you’re looking for insult and injury, you can even find it in your breakfast cereal. Or dust bunnies under the bed, or road signs along the highway.

Context. Intent. Those are words, too.

The Democrat used the word ‘token’ correctly with the intent of explaining his understanding of items in a bill and read within the context of his statement, it is used correctly.

The Republican CHOSE to misunderstand the use of the word. Sad when ‘my side’ gets it wrong.

Unless the words are along the lines of ‘I’m gunna kill you!’, words are simply how we convey thought, they are not, in and of themselves, violent or hateful or biased. The context and intent can be what makes them violent, hateful, or biased.

Oh. Why no title? Because I didn’t think Neo would allow me to entitle this piece ARE YOU F’ING KIDDING ME?

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