One Civilian’s Salute To WW-II / D-Day Heroes

 

On this June 6th day… D-Day’s 75th anniversary… this civilian salutes WW-II’s heroic troops, who so decisively defeated the Nazis / Axis powers. The selflessness and sense of duty of the American / Allied forces secured globe spanning liberty for the past three score and fifteen years… and still counting.

These WW-II vets were honored earlier, today, in Normandy, France, and I cannot help but wonder how The Greatest Generation would weigh in re this day’s main speechifier Donald J. Trump? Would they rate his delivery style somber sincerity or berate him for merely deadpanning over-rehearsed lines?

I’d gravitate towards the latter, due to some self-evident truths which tend to hollow out nearly everything he’s ever said (and will ever say).

For starters… Trump owes his very rise to power to the political and economic support of White Nationalists. And little doubt, he’ll be counting on additional Nazi / Klansmen bucks and votes in order to snag himself a second term.

BTW, such hobnobbing might be acceptable were it some sort of top secret, clever ploy designed to slowly but surely reprogram / humanize them. But… truth be told… a reverse programming is the more likely eventuality… i.e., White Nationalists will cough up so much loot into Trump’s coffers, they’ll totally own him. Under such circumstances, how can they not further dehumanize him?

Beyond that… let’s rundown the following 13 key points… a reblogged, slightly revised / renumbered portion from my Memorial Day 2019 post. Hey… since it wound up mostly unread… it’ll likely be all new to you! Indeed, Trump’s inconsistent to freedom words and deeds abound. He routinely…

[1] flips off Constitutionally stipulated congressional / judicial oversight / stacks the judicial deck
[2] stifles free speech / brands journalism fake news and journalists “enemies of the people”
[3] insulates himself with Orwellian sycophants who vomit forth putrid, “alternate facts”
[4] bosses around We The People who, in reality, are his bosses
[5] demands mindless acceptance of his wretchedly unacceptable, patently offensive, avarice driven agenda
[6] alienates / pisses off longstanding, honorable allies until they all despise him / the U.S.
[7] tears up mutually beneficial international treaties so no one will ever come to our aid again
[8] meets secretly with / sucks up to sworn enemies who deem him a patsy, not a pal
[9] welcomes / encourages foreign meddling into our free elections
[10] makes war criminals his war heroes
[11] conflates patriotism with blind loyalty, as in, exclusively to him
[12] wrests infants / children from their asylum seeking parents’ embraces and interns all in concentration camps
[13] deems Nazis and Klansmen “fine people”

Now, I ask… don’t those above Trumpian excesses remind you of Nazi Germany’s? The clear and present danger, here, is how, left unchecked… well… let’s not “go there” just yet.

 

 

 

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Memorial Day Meditations

Ever since the United States of America set forth on its march towards independence… some two and one half centuries ago… our servicemen and servicewomen have been selflessly and courageously fighting and dying while protecting and defending the downtrodden masses… securing the path to liberty and prosperity for both their freedom loving compatriots and other like-minded peoples spanning our globe.

While, by my very nature, I do favor pacifism, I know fully well that such an ideal must be tempered by pragmatism. As such, I know these truths to be self-evident…

[1] peace does not always come easily
[2] freedom is not always free of charge… and as such… and regrettably…
[3] soldier patriots oft wind up paying freedom’s hefty price tag with their very blood

It is with all such sentiments in mind that I now stand upon my native soil on this Memorial Day, to express my undying gratitude… to direct my civilian salute heavenward to these exemplary servicewomen and servicemen.

Oh, if only I could end this blog right here and now… but…

It is with all such sentiments in mind that I now must also issue warnings about a looming threat to freedom / peace… namely… the resurgence of grotesque white supremacy.

I would never want to see past battlefield victories to have been for naught… specifically those wars where our troops defeated America’s Confederacy and Germany’s Third Reich… respectively… emancipating the slaves and liberating the Jews.

There is an urgent need to uproot / eradicate the choking, poisonous vines of racism. Bad actors… to name but a few… Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and Donald J. Trump are all working overtime… independently and/or in collusion… to do their damnedest to suffocate life, liberty… joie de vivre itself… again.

Indeed, oppression can only thrive wherever and whenever a leader (such as DJT) is ignorant and/or ignoble… e.g., each and every time he…

[1] flips off Constitutionally stipulated congressional / judicial oversight / stacks the judicial deck
[2] stifles free speech / brands journalism fake news and journalists “enemies of the people”
[3] insulates himself with Orwellian sycophants who vomit forth putrid, “alternate facts”
[4] alienates / pisses off longstanding, honorable allies until they all despise him / the U.S.
[5] tears up mutually beneficial international treaties so no one will ever come to our aid again
[6] meets secretly with / sucks up to sworn enemies who deem him a patsy, not a pal
[7] welcomes / encourages foreign meddling into our free elections
[8] deems Nazis and Klansmen “fine people”
[9] erects walls, tears down bridges and wrests infants / children from their asylum seeking parents’ embraces
[10] makes war criminals his war heroes
[11] bosses around We The People who, in reality, are his bosses
[12] demands acceptance of his wretchedly unacceptable, patently offensive, avarice driven agenda
[13] conflates patriotism with blind loyalty, as in, exclusively to him

While I will always honor soldiers who’ve fought and died to secure a better life for us, would not each future Memorial Day service be even more meaningful were we to elect a new, honorable, mentally stable Commander-In-Chief who would ensure their long ago, hard-fought battle victories had not been in vain?

 

 

 

My apologies for this late posting. Internet magic cannot happen when connection problems block the path to the www.

To Preserve, Protect and Defend His Own Grubby Hide

The flag hugging, so-called prez claims to be a patriot. Would you not agree that a person who professes his love for America would also extend said love to the U.S. Constitution?

So… is the so-called prez truly patriotic? Not when his own words and deeds have amply proven his ignorance / arrogance fueled belief that the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment does not protect Civil Rights activist Colin Kaepernick.

Hmm… looks like the so-called prez’s racism is glowering forth from his KKK white hood’s eye-holes. Little doubt, the fake prez is reveling in the perverse satisfaction of knowing that his own ill-considered, intemperate influence over the NFL’s cowardly big bosses has wrongfully deprived Mr. Kaepernick of his livelihood. Hell, if left to his own devices, Donny would gleefully (and unlawfully) lock this quarterback up… and throw away the key.

So… is the so-called prez truly patriotic? Not when his own words and deeds have amply proven his ignorance / arrogance fueled belief that the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment does not protect journalists. Indeed, if the whiny, so-called prez could have it his way, he’d unlawfully muzzle and/or imprison any reporter who does not suck up to him.

SIDEBAR #1: For the benefit of anyone who may’ve slept through their civics lessons, we ARE talking about the 1st Amendment which states… in part… “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… is the so-called prez truly patriotic? Not when his own words and deeds have amply proven his ignorance / arrogance fueled disregard for several of the U.S. Constitution’s articles… e.g., those passages which explicitly lay down the law re the Separation of Powers… stipulate the required Checks and Balances among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches.

No shocker here, the so-called prez’s mission has been to seize absolute power by blurring these boundary lines. To that end, he’s been loading up the U.S. Supreme Court to his own advantage. To that end, he’s been colluding with his spineless, corrupt, congressional cronies… effortlessly intimidating these legislative lapdogs… even guaranteeing them a lifetime of political power if they bend over backwards for him (or is that forwards?). Yep, he’s got these wildly partisan, corrupt crony legislators rubber-stamping his wildly partisan, corrupt crony, U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

SIDEBAR #2: If/When Special Counsel for the Department of Justice Robert Mueller establishes how Donny’s words and deeds have been illegal / treasonous / collusive with Russians, these complicit congressmen would never, ever dare to even whisper the “I – word”. Even were they to, somehow, do the right thing and Impeach that autocratic automaton, Donny could always first stick out his tongue and next say, “OH YEAH?” He’d then proceed to pull the strings of his indebted SCOTUS judges / puppets and make them dance to his trumpeted “music”. These cherry-picked charlatans would be akin to a jury of his own peers who’d never even dare to find their flagrantly guilty, puppeteer boss guilty of anything.

SIDEBAR #3: Why do we even bother pretending the U.S. Constitution even exists anymore? Seeing how Despot Donny, has already, unilaterally usurped power, why not just pink slip the 535 Congresspersons and the 9 Supreme Court judges? Imagine the megamillions of tax dollars saved! (Naturally, I don’t really mean this. I’m just stating this for the shock value. I mean somebody has to attempt a tough love, political intervention… nope… we had better make that an exorcism).

So… is the so-called prez truly patriotic? Not when his own ignorance / arrogance fueled words and deeds have amply proven his total disregard for the Presidential Oath of Office! What could possibly be more clear than this straight talk straight from the U.S. Constitution… ”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Bottom line… ever since Inauguration Day 2017, most assuredly, the so-called prez has not been doing his best “to preserve, protect and defend” anything other than his BFF Vlad, his own corrupt dirty business deals and his own grubby hide. Hell, he’s practically been wiping his fat fanny with pieces of the American flag and Constitution of the United States.

Anyone who’d stain the Red, White and Blue brown sure as hell doesn’t sound like a patriot to me. How about you?

 

RIP John McCain

To say that Cancer drastically alters human physiology… until everything becomes inconsistent with sustaining life… would be an understatement. Such was the case, this past Saturday, when 81-year-old, Arizona Senator John McCain lost his battle with the “Big C”.

To say John McCain’s brand of conservatism had been inconsistent with my liberalism would also be an understatement. However, now is not the time to dwell excessively on the right/left schism.

Now is the time to say something positive about McCain, the man. Now is the time to commend the late Senator for his spirit of bipartisanship and statesmanship… for his service to America.

My tribute begins with this video clip… recorded during McCain’s 2008 campaign for the White House. This is a respectability defining moment soundbite, where he defends his (then) Senatorial colleague and presidential wannabe rival, Barack Obama.

To contemporize, compare and contrast… had Donald Trump been running for prez in 2008, could you ever imagine him similarly correcting either misinformed supporter?

Well, within the decade that was to follow, in addition to my newfound respect for McCain, I had also grown to view him as a bold man fully capable of…

1. prioritizing the moral right over the political right.
2. elevating patriotism above partisan politics.
3. differentiating between genuine, heartfelt American patriotism and the mutilated, headstrong Trumpian bastardization.
4. detecting the stench of other Trumpian, fascism reeking policies.

To contemporize, compare and contrast… it’d be a rare Trumpster who’d possess either the spine or moral compass to publicly spurn political expediency and simply do what’s right… i.e, right… as in righteous.

Historically speaking, McCain’s Vietnam War experiences, inclusive of being captured and tortured by the enemy, had afforded him a perspective sorely lacking amongst the war profiteering, torture touting, chickenhawks residing within the U.S. Congress AND Oval Office.

True… such a perspective had failed to prevent McCain’s 2003 vote, which had authorized the war profiteering, torture touting, chickenhawk, half-cocked GW Bush to NEEDLESSLY, preemptively strike / go on a rampage into Iraq. However… from the following excerpt from John’s published 2018 memoir, one gets a sense that were time travel do overs possible, he would’ve never supported W’s folly…

“(Iraq) can’t be judged as anything other than a mistake, a very serious one, and I have to accept my share of the blame for it.”

To contemporize, compare and contrast… it’d be a rare Trumpster who’d possess either the mettle or morals to publicly admit when (s)he is wrong.

Well… had McCain won his battle with the “Big C”… he’d have wound up returning to the U.S. Senate… perhaps even becoming the sorely needed calming, voice of reason during America’s tense, unreasonable times.

Without a man like John McCain to rein in the executive and legislative branch’s chickenhawk saber rattlers… with his likely successor being yet another Trumpian piece of… uh… work… well…

To say that America could wind up mindlessly, needlessly and endlessly fighting upon the battlefields of the fake prez’s own making, could easily become yet another understatement.

My heartfelt condolences to McCain’s family and friends.

 

A Walk Through the Land of Broken Dreams…

What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted serves as both song title and question posed to us all. We are invited to traipse alongside singer Jimmy Ruffin and song composers James Anthony Dean, Paul Riser and William Henry Witherspoon as… together… we walk through the land of broken dreams.

With each subsequent, soulfully, dolefully sung lyrical couplet, memories of our own failed interpersonal relationships are inevitable. Caring souls, everywhere, can relive and relate to the universal feelings of loss… identify with those tearstained, heavyhearted moments from our past.

Several days ago, while playing back this Sixties era, Motown musical masterpiece / classic, I realized that… as is true with all superbly crafted poetry… these lyrics cast their spell on more than one level.

The addressed feelings of emotional distress are not unlike what transpires following the actual death of a loved one… even the death of one’s country… the death of Lady Liberty.

Indeed, patriotism… the love of one’s homeland… is no different.

And what description more aptly sums up the breakup of our relationships with our present-day, troubled world… indeed, the breakup of my relationship with my ideologically fractured, broken down homeland… other than “the land of broken dreams”… the end of the American Dream?

While my love of country has not wavered in the least and I’ve always sensed that my country has loved me in return (well… at least up until January 20, 2017), there IS a diabolical political force afoot and his wicked intent is to make damned sure that my love… my compatriots’ love… shall forever remain unrequited.

In a sense, America’s oppressor is not unlike a narrow-minded, stone hearted, selfish, egotistical, domineering father figure who… just to ensure relationships never blossom between suitors and his daughter, Lady Liberty… imprisons, shackles and gags her in the depths of his dingy, dank, stone walled and iron barred dungeon.

To extend this… he does so just to prevent patriotic love relationships between country and countrywomen / countrymen.

“Daddy” is flat out denying us all the opportunity to experience sweet Libby’s delightful aspect… the freedom gleaming in her eyes, the warmth of her welcoming smile… her soft whispers of unconditional patriotic love.

I can only hope that you, my international readers, are never forced to share in my anguish… in all true Americans’ anguish… experience our heavy hearts and eyes welled up with tears.

And folks… to now quote Dean, Riser and Witherspoon… “I can’t stand this pain much longer!”

 

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Since in our online lives there can be breakups with / breakdowns to musical links, I’m also including a more enduring presentation of these compelling song lyrics which have now… at least for me… taken on a even deeper meaning. Maybe you feel the same way, too?

 

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted

Songwriters: James Anthony Dean / Paul Riser / William Henry Witherspoon

 

 

 

As I walk this land of broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion

What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe

The roots of love grow all around
But for me they come a-tumblin’ down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer

I walk in shadows searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone who’ll care
Always moving and goin’ nowhere

What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Help me please

I’m searching, though I don’t succeed
For someone’s love there’s a growing need
All is lost, there’s no place for beginning
All that’s left is an unhappy ending

Now, what becomes of the broken-hearted
Who have love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
I’ll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care
I’ll be looking everyday, I know I’m gonna find a way
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
I’ll find a way somehow
And I’ll be searching everywhere
I know I gotta find a way
I’ll be looking

 

 

It Sounded Like a Battlefield!

 

It all began a few eves ago around sundown. As the glow along the hazy, northwesterly horizon dimmed and the deep purple hues of twilight gave way to the inky darkness, folks from near and far, came roaring into my lifelong hometown. With them came the pervasive, sickly stench of vehicular exhaust… sufficiently pungent to make the already unpleasant, sweltering, muggy conditions even more so.

Once their countless vehicles were all neatly parallel parked up and down the labyrinth of my subdivision’s asphalt streets, the drivers and passengers began emerging and slamming car doors shut. With a sense of urgency, they began marching forth to converge upon… to noisily congregate at… what was about to become ground zero.

My residing in the direct path of the expected onslaught, I needed to figure out my next move, expeditiously. Either staying far from the madding crowd or?

Well… after a moment of deliberation, I surrendered to the inevitable. I’d make my stand on my side of the chainlink fence, which cordoned off my backyard… which separated me from my countless compatriots standing on the opposite side.

The final moments leading up to the expected Zero Hour just kept on ticking down… rapidly.

Then… all the sudden… the barrage began! Even though I had been through a similar siege back in the fall of ‘16, nonetheless, this startled me, anew. Then came the launch of the subsequent missiles and projectiles… numbering in the hundreds… their smoky, streaky, chemical contrails scarring the starlit skies… contaminating the sweet air. This could not possibly be harmless to any of our Creator’s creatures. As for the accompanying, relentless, thunderous explosions and whizzing, whistling din… well… long sigh…

For the vast majority of us, taking all of this in stride was doable. BUT, could the same be said for the sensitive souls, who experience life from differing perspectives? They’d likely be hunkering down within their nearby homes, YET, still be within earshot. Folks such as…

America’s valiant war veterans haunted by horrifying flashbacks… the disturbing sights, smells and sounds associated with their tours of duty upon the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Civilians trying their very best to cope with autism would not be exempt, either. Ditto goes for the crying children and infants too young and frightened to ever fully comprehend.

Even household felines and canines as well as other domesticated and feral creatures could wind up getting spooked.

OK folks, full disclosure time. All the news isn’t bad, after all. You see, nobody had actually declared war and attacked my hometown. What you’ve just been reading is my account of a 4th of July fireworks show.

So, does my fact based, fictional treatment of this topic make me out to be a grumpy old man who sucks the joy of life out of everything? Is it unpatriotic for me to “malign” a “harmless” fireworks show?

BUT, what about how the BOOM BOOM BOOM of fireworks needlessly terrifies some folks? Wouldn’t you say that sucks the joy out of their lives? There’s nothing harmless about that! If fireworks explosions upset even one person in any way, that would be one person too many! And what if that one person turned out to be a war veteran?

I mean… is it not bad enough for any nation to deploy selfless soldiers into war zones? Must we also force war survivors (now suffering from PTSD), to relive the hell of war just so some selfish civilians, who romanticize war, can experience the “ooh and ahh” of a fireworks display?

And btw… there weren’t all that many fireworks attendees who did go, “ooh and ahh”… in fact I actually witnessed some of them leaving that 20 minute show long before it ended.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. About all that’s left is the epilogue to my story… and believe me… once the nasty dust of the fireworks settled… things did not go smoothly.

It took a couple of hours for the local cops to clear the massive traffic jam. And included in their traffic management was the need to report to the scene of a nearby head-on collision, which resulted in the head injury of one of the victims.

Indeed, the wailing ambulance siren added a few more decibels to the sounds of idling and idled SUVs. And it’s tough to go “nose-blind” when the pervasive, sickly stench of vehicular exhaust is sufficiently pungent to make the already unpleasant, sweltering, muggy conditions even more so.

I would hope that people would concur with my conclusion… namely… that fireworks displays have little to offer. They glorify war, give folks a shallow sense of patriotism, pollute our environment and… last but not least… needlessly disturb the peace of mind of war veterans, autistic folks, youngsters / infants, house pets and wildlife.

 

 

Spirituality and Patriotism

 

Most people profess their love for God and country. We’ve seen a lot of these sentiments serve as window dressing to bogusly spruce up one particular 2016 presidential candidate’s campaign rallies (need I even name him?). That said, does everybody actually understand how deep spirituality and patriotism need to go?

To better illustrate this, either actually run this “experiment” or just imagine doing so. First write whatever symbols represent your religion on a sheet of paper. Not to worry… even atheism has its own “logo” and I truly believe folks can still feel love and behave in a spiritual manner even without a Supreme Being entering the picture. Next, draw an image of your nation’s flag.

No need to be concerned if your calligraphy and artistry are just so-so. Of primary importance here is to, first, observe the height and width of everything you’ve written and drawn and, next, view the paper edge on.

If you’ve detected spirituality and patriotism as being only paper-thin, you’ve drawn the right conclusion. Indeed, a more significant third dimension is found only within our minds and hearts.

To add such depth, one must feel respect for humanity… regardless of people’s age, nationality, ethnicity, spirituality, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical disability and psychological disorder.

We must NEVER worship the almighty (paper-thin) buck… NEVER disrespect Mother Nature… NEVER accept torture, homicide, gun violence, WMD and war.

We must fully realize that, in our world of plenty, no one need ever waste away from nutritional and intellectual starvation. Once stomachs and minds are fed, all industrious individuals should be allowed to freely draw upon their innate talents, become gainfully employed, be granted unencumbered passage on the path to self-sufficiency and prosperity.

Love of God and country have never actually gone away… spirituality and patriotism have just been reduced to paper-thin, barebones symbols and imagery.

The only remaining question…

Is it too late for such a society to self-correct? Your thoughts?