Let’s Do The Math

 

Add in paranoid rightwing, xenophobic, false piety,

Subtract civility, amity, tolerance, levelheaded sobriety,

Multiply the fear factor, caused by media instilled anxiety,

Divide further the already too fractured, factional society.

 

On May 5, 2016, a clueless, unworldly passenger aboard an American Airlines jet unjustifiably profiled her seatmate… suspected him of being a terrorist… this all escalating to the point where the accused, Guido Menzio, a renowned, University of Pennsylvania, economics professor was detained and questioned… and the flight was delayed by more than two hours. So why did this all happen?

Just because she didn’t understand the mathematical symbols… the differential equation… Menzio was jotting down on a pad of paper. Just because he was so absorbed in his work that he ignored her small talk. To get down to the actual reason… just because he wasn’t Caucasian enough for her liking.

True, a sensible level of caution in our post 9/11 world is not a bad idea… the key word being sensible. But, think about it for a moment.

If any airline passenger ever has evil intent, would not this person…

ADD in a bit more friendliness… you know… disarm suspicion by “killing” everyone with kindness?

SUBTRACT the aura of suspicion by doing the math at home instead of on the plane?

I think it’s a safe bet to say…

It is those, who no one ever suspects, in the least, who perpetrate terrorist acts that go down as planned.

Considering how Menzio was the injured party in this incident, it’s only fair that I yield the podium to the good professor… let him get in the final word… and… btw… being the consummate mathematician he is… he SUMMED up everything perfectly… Said he…

“Trump’s America is already here.”

 

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My Heartfelt Thank You!

What is a WordPress website without followers? Well, one might as well be typing one’s thoughts, offline, into a Word Document.

What is a WordPress website with 50 followers?

In one word… WOW!

In a few more words…

Time is a precious commodity in all our lives and for you to spend your time reading my words, means more to me than my words can ever express.

My heartfelt thanks to all 50 of you!

A Womb to the Tomb 21 Verse Salute

 

Chapter One

 

I ~ A child enters the world; mid-spring month of May,

Takes his first breath; on his very first day,

Communication unscripted; just cry to ad-lib,

His whole world revolves; around life in his crib.

 

II ~ Mom, Dad and his Sister; take him for a stroll,

The carriage’s wheels; squeak, wobble and roll,

There’s sunshine, fresh air; lilacs’ fragrant traces,

Leaves of green, clouds of white; smiles on family faces.

 

III ~ He hears others speak; he soon learns to talk,

Watches in awe; as upright, people walk,

Soon crawling on floor; leads to unsteady standing,

Takes first baby steps; his world is expanding.

 

IV ~ Looking down at the ground; can be dreary milieu,

To stand on two feet, expands his worldly view,

His new outlook on life, will enrich, empower,

Sunrays on one’s face; means to outshine and tower.

 

V ~ Each day in, day out; it’s playtime for this child,

With neighborhood pals; imaginations run wild,

With the out-of-doors turf; now under his feet,

He heeds parents’ warnings, “Stay out of the street!”

 

VI ~ He pedals his kiddie car; likewise with his trike,

Both soon abandoned; he learns to ride bike,

Training wheels are soon off; he’s giddy with glee,

Speeds down a hill’s sidewalk; feels totally free!

 

VII ~ One late p.m. summer; setting sun, western haze,

At his back are the sunbeams; cast a sight to amaze,

For this boy, who oft wishes; to be adult tall,

His long shadow appears; he no longer feels small.

 

VIII ~ The downtown four corners; present a new land,

To cross Michigan Ave.; Dad holds onto son’s hand,

Explains what the walk/don’t walk signals all mean,

“Look both ways”, his Dad warns, “Make sure you’ve been seen.”

 

IX ~ His first day at school; that special September,

His teacher shares knowledge; to learn and remember,

He quickly absorbs; all that’s worth knowing,

His mind and world, both; are constantly growing.

 

Chapter Two

 

X ~ For reasons he never; can comprehend fully,

He soon becomes victim; of more than one bully,

Monday through Friday; school grades 4 through 8,

He incurs their taunts, torture; their punches and hate.

 

XI ~ His principal / teacher; tell him not to tattle,

Won’t lift a finger; to end playground battle,

Sure, kid thugs move on; the boy loses them gladly,

Still, things could not have been; timed out more badly.

 

XII ~ That’s when woes worsen; deep sorrow sets in,

What he can’t face; his grotesque teenage skin,

With emotions tanked out; his will to live sinking,

Instead of enlarging; his world is now shrinking.

 

XIII ~ Spends countless “date nights”; in exile in his room,

Alone in life’s limbo; faces darkness and gloom,

This “no-win” confounds; his four walls confine,

His “prison cell” world; measures ten feet by nine.

 

XIV ~ A few kindhearted girls; accept his exterior,

Their warm smiles tend to soothe; his feelings inferior,

But true love’s elusive; stored on the top shelf,

That’s way out of reach; when one can’t love one’s self.

 

XV ~ His cap and gown cap off; grade K through 12 knowledge,

Soon earns his degree, too; at near hometown college,

But when Mom and Dad start; to feel ill, feel old,

He helps out at home; puts his life on hold.

 

Chapter Three

 

XVI ~ For the next thirty years; he works odd jobs, as well,

Labors hard behind gates; which enclose Retail Hell,

Endures the low pay; bosses’ oft nutty notions,

To stay close to home; passes up most promotions.

 

XVII ~ So selfless is he; he had totally neglected,

To network, make friends; to stay well connected,

With Mom, Dad now dead; good life’s beyond hope,

To see his small world; he’d need a microscope.

 

Epilogue

 

XVIII ~ His age and health issues; now breathe down his neck,

Retail’s “lift lead” “stand long”; left his bod a wreck,

At the end of each day; as his mind drifts toward slumber,

Asks, “How soon before God, calls up my number?”

 

XIX~ Wonders, too; when we die; what really remains?

Do our memories; our dreams; outlive our brains?

Will our atoms float lonely; in cold cosmos so vast?

Will they create future life; from our life in the past?

 

XX ~ Having opted out from; the parenthood matter,

His unique double helix; will unwind and scatter,

His blogged sentiments are; his one, last, sure bet,

For it’s been said nothing dies; when it “hits” Internet.

 

XXI ~ When will the “child” exit his world? Hard to say,

But he will take his last breath; his very last day,

Once talked out and cried dry; he’ll get his first gander,

At a world which revolves; around something far grander.

 

 

 

The Constitution of Our Constitution

So far… the U.S Constitution still stipulates…

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

So far… we Americans are relatively secure in maintaining these above stated rights.

Still… it is possible that, in our not too distant future, voters could elect a power-tripping president… someone who believes, “It’s my way or the highway”… someone who would put an end to dissenting opinions by squelching free speech and suppressing the press.

After all… sans the dissemination of freely spoken and published ideas, there’d be no easy way to for us to alert others that the time to assemble and petition had arrived.

Such a “leader” would then proceed to muzzle authors, journalists, editors, publishers, poets, songwriters, recording artists, screenplay writers, film directors and producers.

In days of yore, that would’ve required the deployment of goon squads to first round up and detain these creative individuals. Then the raids would follow. This thought police force would kick down doors ISO banned books, periodicals, newspapers and audio/video recordings… then seize and incinerate these items.

And as long as they were in the neighborhood, anyway, this “army” would likely also have their marching orders to shut down cinematic and theatrical productions as well as silence musical performances.

Some of you may’ve noticed how I neglected to mention the censorship of TV and radio broadcasts? Well, that’s because FOX and the other rightwing biased MSM networks are already doing their damnedest to lay the groundwork to establish an oppressed, ill-informed, sheeple type society.

A futuristic, autocratic president would consider the MSM his propaganda ministers. They’d be akin to ventriloquist’s dummies who he’d always be able to speak through.

Of course, to maintain a societal / media chokehold could be one daunting task… could be a corrupt leader’s worst nightmare… but…

Here’s where, We the People, inadvertently, are already the unwitting accomplices playing right into the hands of some presidential wannabe, who at this very moment, could be plotting to wage an Oval Office originated overthrow of America.

With most of us currently reading, viewing and listening to nearly everything online, all that “prez” would need to do is merely “pull the plug” on the Internet.

You say, “No way! It’ll never happen”?

Have we forgotten Murphy’s Law?

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Still say, “It’ll never happen”? While I was over @ YouTube auditioning the video clips to accompany this blog, that website totally froze up and I had to do a force quit to regain control. True… in all likelihood this was due to my lousy ISP… but someday… well… who knows?

Now, far be it from me to tell anyone how to live their lives… but… as for the way I’m living mine? Well… I’ll never give up my real world possessions… the hardcopy books and periodicals I enjoy reading… the DVDs and CDs I love to playback.

That way, if there’s ever a president who tramples the U.S. Constitution… his goons will have to pay me a visit… have to pry these items from my cold dead hands.

 

A Neighborly O’er the Backyard Fence Chat

Just a few days ago, while taking five from my yard work (mowing down dandelions), I struck up a conversation with my next-door neighbor. We wound up chatting about Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders… eventually agreeing that, as the next POTUS, the more moderate HC could cope a bit better with the U.S. Congress.

In keeping in that neighborly spirit… in the spirit of moderation… let’s engage in an o’er the backyard fence chat…

Yes… right here… right now… in this blog.

Well… after I had gotten back to my yard work, last week, I was feeling alive again… and this went way beyond spring fever. I realized that my chat had been a turning point. This staunch liberal had taken his first steps onto the more centrist path of HC. Oddly enough, this did not bother me.

You see, my becoming a bit more politically moderate even jibes with my mood… as of late… here @WordPress. True, upon my arrival in the early days of ‘16, I had planned mostly political posts, which would remain true to my blue roots. Indeed, many of my previous postings do reflect that. But now?

Well, my new focus is to talk about life / what’s happening in our lives. Ergo, most of my new blog topics will have an apolitical, more positive tone… something, which could appeal to virtually everyone.

However… this may not always be the case. After all, one can hardly ignore all that’s happening in our world. By now, it should be clear to all that the present-day political and religious posturing (especially in America) is getting us nowhere. There is a need for all of us to chill out and try to find the path to peaceful co-existence.

Towards that new beginning… we certainly need to find some common ground, common sense solutions to our world’s problems. We need to get a meaningful, productive dialogue going. And what better place for that than WordPress?

Yes, I realize, as a blogger, I’m a virtual unknown. I also fully appreciate how amity involves far more than everyone simply gathering around a campfire to roast marshmallows while singing Kumbaya.

To be sure, I’m far, Far, FAR from being omniscient. I just believe that presenting a short blog with an incomplete, imperfect plan now is far better than waiting for someone far more learned publishing some pièce de résistance, thick volume decades later.

So… does all this mean that I am mellowing with age? I suppose one does tend to feel that way when “The Realization” finally hits. That being?

Well, to cut to the chase, I have far more miles behind than before me on the road of life and that means it’s time to start making peace with myself… peace with the world… and along the way? Well… I might even inspire a few others to do the same?

I think most of us can concur… regardless of what age we may be… life is too short to continue with our world’s present-day, acrimonious, nonproductive status quo.

Let’s start walking that path towards a more positive, inclusive, better tomorrow.

Well… on this new day… that’s about it from my side of the backyard fence. If you, my neighbors, have anything to chat about from your side of the fence… I”m all ears… and the comment box awaits.

Happy Mother’s Day 2016!

On this Mother’s Day, I lovingly dedicate that above William Wordsworth poem… present that video bouquet to my late Mom. After all, the daffodil had been her favorite spring flower. It has been a little more than 13 years since she passed away and while I am certain life eternal awaits us all… I believe I can still do one last thing to immortalize her life on Earth.

On this special day… I’d like to submit and commit my Mom’s Memoir to the realm better known as the World Wide Web.

Why? Because it has oft been said that nothing ever dies on the Internet… and in this context… I do love the sound of that sentiment.

The words that now follow are from the second half of the eulogy… which I had composed… which I had delivered at…

Mom’s Memorial Service… April 22, 2003 10 a.m.

To be with a loved one till the very end…

“makes us aware of the uniqueness of each individual in the vast sea of humanity. It makes us aware of our finiteness, our limited lifespan …in that brief time, most of us create and live a unique biography and weave ourselves into the fabric of human history.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I’d like to now share my Mom’s unique biography… this is… this was her life.

Not many knew what her middle initial stood for… but Mom had kept her maiden name as part of her legal name generations before women’s liberation had made it commonplace.

Although I only knew her as a dedicated, stay at home Mom… she did spend several years teaching English and Literature in the public schools in Minnesota and briefly in our hometown. She then broadened the scope of her lesson plans to teach life’s lessons to my sister and me… when Dad and she felt raising a family was more important.

Mom was always there to cook our meals… pot roasts with browned potatoes, a Slovenian dish štrukle, breaded chicken and pancakes all being her specialties. She was an expert at canning corn on the cob, tomato sauce, as well as a jam… a unique, extremely tasty peach/pineapple conserve. She won numerous blue ribbons at the local fair, many a September.

But baking was where she really excelled… all those delectable breads, kuchens, poticas, chocolate cakes, apple pies, and Christmas doughnuts… some plain, others coated with sugar and cinnamon. I can still taste them… warm… literally melting in my mouth.

Mom also loved the outdoors… to be communing with God as she tended her mums, tulips, irises and daffodils. While others loathed them, she loved the dandelion… only cutting them down with her hoe after they went to seed. She and Dad kept our yard pesticide/herbicide free and nurtured the apple and pear trees they had planted as well as the five wild raspberry canes… that later proliferated into hundreds. They also raised tomatoes, green beans and leaf lettuce… that is… until rabbits moved in to harvest these crops first.

Before arthritic fingers limited her ability, Mom and Dad used to play a duet on our piano, a very spirited rendition of Five Foot Two, as well as her solo, Stardust, the latter with such emotion and passion there had to be a story she never revealed… perhaps of love lost… that so moved… so inspired her.

She despised TV, only really caring for Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire… gameshows she could play along with. Katherine Hepburn and Clark Gable were her favorite actors. She liked the slapstick humor of The Three Stooges and in the Home Alone films. The Big Band era of the thirties and forties provided her, her favorite music. But she did enjoy the early Beatles, as well.

Mom read the daily newspaper and was very upset with the injustices in our world. She was very opinionated and we had many lively discussions about current events. She also read the hundreds of books in her considerable home library… finishing, in her final weeks, Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipović.

Mom loved writing and kept a daily journal to chronicle her life’s experiences, never missing a day until she began ailing in her final months. She also recorded the daily weather statistics. She corresponded with her big sister, Justine… their exchanging letters two or three times per month for over forty years… up till just before Justine had preceded Mom in death.

Mom was an avid Scrabble and Cribbage player. She had been fortunate, one night, when Dad dealt to her the very rare, perfect twenty-nine hand. Aficionados of the game claim it to be a once in a lifetime event. Although I never had that luck when Mom and I played cards, she did deal me the next best… the twenty-eight hand… twice, over the years.

Well, twenty-nine hands are rare, as was the privilege of knowing my Mom. I’ve had much time over the last several days to sum up her nearly ninety years and the almost half a century that she was in my life. So I can now say this with certainty. The most important of life’s lessons my Sister and I ever received from our Mom, our mentor was… above all else… that love and caring is what really matters. Give and you will receive.

I now thank all of you @WordPress for attending today. I appreciate your indulging this (perhaps overly?) sentimental blogger. Be sure to remember your own Moms on this special day.

 

When you gotta go…

However you may feel about gender issues, our public restrooms, which only acknowledge the unforgiving, narrow parameters of female and male, are just not cutting it. However, there can be a resolution to this problem.

But prior to getting down to details…

For the benefit of those who may harbor any anti-transgender issues, I have a few questions. Are you left handed or right? Brown eyed or blue? Brunette or blonde? Short or tall? Small framed or large?

Considering the complexity of the process, where a single cell blossoms into a human being… the randomness of the process, which determines our genetic traits… would you not agree that there are going to be times when people wind up with sexually ambiguous anatomy?

So what is a transgender person to do when, for far too long, our public restrooms have been set up to perpetuate the flat-out lie that humanity rigidly falls under the category of either XX or XY?

It is the height of arrogance and insensitivity to try to force people to lead lives, which are not compatible with their bodies and true sense of self.

States, such as California, have begun to implement some changes for the better. This video excerpt from The Young Turks cohosted by Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss what’s been going on, on the Left Coast.

This clip lasts 6:30 and, if you’re upset by icky issues and/or profanity, I highly recommend that you stop this video at 2:02.

My proposed solution expands on what California has started…

Our public restrooms (involving more than single occupant usage) need to be reconfigured nationwide. Each stall should be enclosed by floor to ceiling walls and lockable, full-length doors.

That way the gender of these new restrooms would be determined by whoever the occupant of the moment happened to be.

The sink area (and ONLY the sink area) would be unisex and (best of all) would be where Mom and/or Dad could wait / be on the look out for their youngsters’ safety.

These communal areas could also be monitored by security cams and/or guards… we could call this security force the Pee-Pee Police. Hey… a little lavatory levity is needed to cut through what has become a nationwide hysteria (well… at least, here, in America).

This extensive reconstruction project would also be a boon to the economy. It’d be tantamount to dealing a “royal flush” to the plumbers and carpenters. Of course a renovation project of that magnitude could take years / decades. But… the sooner we begin, the better it will be for everyone.

Someday, hopefully soon, “when you gotta go” where you will go will not be so problematic.