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.

Losing a friend

I asked my friend, what will we do when there are no more rallies? I guess we have years to figure it out.

I have never felt this way at the changing of the guard. But we’ve never had a president like Trump, either. Bold, decisive, and stubborn. I am not one of the people who think he’s just short of Jesus but I liked him very much. He is the epitome of what New Yorkers are like – it’s an easy-going friendliness; everyone’s your buddy. A lot of his humor (and why so many people didn’t understand him) is New York type humor. I ‘got it’ because I was born and raised in Queens.

President Trump’s farewell address was a good one. He mentioned all that he had been able to accomplish in four years of the most contentious presidency ever. It’s impressive. He’s impressive. Great smile and hide like a rhinoceros. He is the unique combination of a rich man and ‘everyman’; it’s very attractive in a ‘down home with the family’ kind of way.

As he and Melania walked toward Air Force One for the last time, a reporter shouted, “What do you regret about your presidency?” and our boy just kept on walkin’. He doesn’t have to tolerate that crap anymore. Hey! Reporter! ‘read between the lines’. Those of you of a certain age will understand the ‘lines’ thing.

Covid actually gave us one blessing. The Republican National Convention. It was stellar. And moving. And classy. And very American. Just our neighbors from around the country telling us about their America and the impact Donald Trump had on their lives. There’ll never be another convention like that one – it was a one time treasure to behold.

Now he’s back to being my down south neighbor. He’s home again. But you know what they say, you can never go home again. I’m feeling that way today. Home is where the heart is and for every American, the White House is home. But it will never be my house again; too much has and will change. I feel like that picture of the little kid, walking alone down a dirt road, my belongings tied up in a bandana tied to a stick.

There’s no solace in conservative news – they have started the same crap the liberals did to President Trump and that’s just stupid. It’s wasted effort. It doesn’t make anything better, it doesn’t change anything. It’s just the flip side of the last four years and I don’t know if I can go through it again. I have always been the person who, being warned about someone, decided I’d wait and see for myself. Who knows? Maybe something good will happen. In any event, we’re stuck with whatever this new term becomes.

But in my heart … I feel like I’ve lost a good friend.

 

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, Coup

Getting prophecy right

False Flag or FBI sting?

Welcome to Masada

And of course, Ginger herself.

Random Observations

Feeling a little bit better about things – momentarily, I’m sure, sigh – but I loved this and want to share it. For those of you with a memory like mine, the song is Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox. You can’t imagine how long it took me to remember the name! I think my hard drive needs a re-boot. Enjoy this…

Just to make peace with Nancy Pelosi, I will tell you this story. For Christmas, I sent my child who has a penis two big food packages of meat, cheese, and a selection of sweets and breads. Also, for my person-in-law, who is married to my child who has a vagina, I purchased a food processor. All the children were pleased.

Every once in a while, you strike gold. I did this morning. I have to share this with you because – well – just because I HAVE to! You need to walk around in my shoes to fully appreciate the things I do to inform you (I know, you never asked me to but hey – it’s my job) of all that is happening in the world. There’s this:

but there’s also this, Feral pigs flummox Puerto Rico, infiltrate communities | Honolulu Star-Advertiser. And finally, just so we don’t get tickled by these stories, here’s a real wake-up call Biggest Wild Hogs Ever Killed – The Outdoor Trip.

Audre’s articles are nearly perfect, so I rarely have anything to add but this reminded me that the phrase ‘Root hog, or die’ goes back in American history at least to the early 1800s. Pigs were commonly left to roam the first growth forests in the Old Northwest and Old Southwest. The result was Cincinnati’s early nickname ‘Porkopolis’. We may not be Pepperidge Farm but we remember in our folklore, like this [Neo]

In the final analysis, we all know he pissed off too many people – there was no coming back from that. But more than that, even if nothing happened on January 6th, the size of the crowd was frighteningly huge. It was the culmination of the campaign rally season and it scared the hell out of people on both sides of the divide. It’s one thing to think a person has power, it’s quite another thing entirely to see digits converted to human beings. Our job now is to figure out what comes next and how to deal with it. We’ve lost a battle – not the war.

Here’s a question – I don’t have an answer and maybe you’d like to make some suggestions (just remember, it’s physically impossible for me to do that! [wink]) … am I the only one that has noticed that suddenly there’s no talk at all about “voting irregularities” (just in case Big Brother is watching) since Jan. 6th? Hmmm …

http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/dunning-kruger-effect

Home

click to embiggen

I hope everyone is enjoying ‘nothing time’; that span of time from Christmas to the first working day in the new year. It’s nothing time because pretty much nothing gets done. There are occupations for which there is no ‘nothing time’ and I appreciate the sacrifices made to be sure everything in the country works when we need it. For the rest of us, it’s a chance to breathe a little after the chaos of Christmas and to actually enjoy all the work we’ve put into the holiday.

I was thinking about when Christmas goes away and the real world descends again and having to put the beloved Christmas decorations away for another year. Which lead me to think about my home. Which lead me to think about ‘home’ and what that looks like today. The American dream has always been owning one’s own home and a lot of people do. What is changing, however, is the idea of what that home should look like. I grew up in New York – most homes there are brick, some stone, a few frame. When the pioneers crossed the country, they took that idea of brick homes with them. Depending on where they decided to stay, a lot of the architecture of the midwest and west is very much similar to the homes of the east. Then regional changes had an impact on the design and construction of homes. Technology and innovation changed the layout of houses and how they could be used differently than our grandparents and great grandparents used their houses.

Today, I’m very much interested in ‘tiny houses’. I am both charmed by and fascinated with them. I live in a house that’s 1800 sq. ft under cover. How much of it do we use? Probably around 1000 sq. ft. As long as my tiny house has a fully functional bathroom with a flush toilet, I’m good to go.

Our children are grown, live out of state; we don’t entertain anymore. A family could use this house to its full potential. The only time the foyer gets used is when Amazon drops off a package; the dining room is lovely but unused, the spare bedroom very rarely gets used. A tiny house makes much more sense for two people or someone living single.

YouTube is filled with tiny house videos. I thought this was brilliant – I’d love this house

We don’t need any more room than that. If I have room for my computer set up, I’m happy. Another option, depending on what you’re looking for is the dome – it’s been around since the 1980s, if not before, and it, too, has been improved. Take a look at these

With the space problems Japan has, they, too, are going tiny. Some are no more than a coffin with a hot plate but some are very clever and airy. Once you’ve gotten over the need to impress people with what you have – which is our tendency when we’re young – you realize it doesn’t really take much to make you happy. There’s a lot to be said for simplicity and freedom from ‘stuff’. It seems to be human nature to fill the spaces we have; the less space, the less stuff. Additionally, I’d a whole lot rather mop 1000 sq. ft than 1800 or 2500 or 5000. It just makes sense to me, those tiny houses. I think I could be perfectly comfortable in one. I have a dream – it’s silly, really – a dream of building a tiny house on a corner of the land my son owns. Far enough away for personal privacy but close enough for coffee and cake of an afternoon. Yes; I’m ready for tiny.

%d bloggers like this: