Poetry: Sonnets

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “Poetry” as a “literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.”  According to Literary Terms, a Sonnet is “a fourteen line poem with a fixed rhyme scheme. Often, sonnets use iambic pentameter: five sets of unstressed syllables followed by stressed syllables for a ten-syllable line. Sonnets were invented by the Italian poet Giacomo da Lentini during the 1200s. The word sonnet is derived from the Old Occitan phrase sonnet meaning “little song.”

The Sonnet is, to me, an explicit poetic art form, a “painting” of sorts. And though it’s composed of written words on paper rather than oil paints or water colors on canvas, the finished product is similarly enclosed within a sturdy “frame,” i.e. a strict limit on its physical size. Its structure, as defined in ‘Literary Terms’ noted above, makes the sonnet sound as though it must be horribly confining and possessed with none of the fluidity of other poetic styles, but that’s definitely not the case.

A typical Sonnet in, e.g., Shakespearean format, expresses a “theme” — a premise or an idea, plus analysis — in its three rhyming- and syllable-defined quatrains, then typically ends with summary or conclusion in the terminating pair of lines, the rhyming couplet. The Shakespearean rhyming scheme is always the same: abab-cdcd-efef-gg. Other Sonnet formats can have different and varied rhyming patterns, but each and every form still contains,  with one exception (the so-called  Fourteener), a total of 140 syllables in its fourteen iambic lines.

Below are 32 Sonnets that I’ve written over the last 2 – 3 decades. Topics include “impressions” (and blends) of subjects such as war, death, life, friendship, love, beauty, nature, prehistory, the surreal, plus even recent and current politics. All but one (Of Man; Of Wolf) use the Shakespearean rhyming sequence; the odd-man-out’s rhyme scheme is abba-cddc-effe-gg, sometimes called the “Bowlesian” or “Australian” rhyming pattern.

Here they are, uninterrupted by further description or comment:

No More

One wearies of incessant Voice of war.
Across full breadth of time each nom de guerre
Inflicts upon the Human soul a scar
Which screams in mockery of hallowed prayer.
How many millions must we finally kill
Before is learned this simple quirk of fate:
That murdered dead, in valley or on hill,
Do NOT portend a Greatness in The State?
Upon this Earth of monuments and tombs
Which weep for fallen souls, it’s fair to shout
NO MORE! to darkness that forever looms
In constant threat. And let there be no doubt
Of this – War’s burdens hang upon the Cross
Of senseless death – in silent, wretched, loss.

******

In Memoriam
of those who died before their time
unforgotten

One wonders if they ever heard the cry.
The sound, the summons, which to faithful says:
Your God has called, your time is come to die
And travel on – conclusion of your days
On earth, the end of all familiar things –
Your Lives, your Loves, interred now, sans the pain
Inflicted by ungodly bands of kings
Who find their purpose in despotic shame.
So now all living walk upon a cache –
Abysmal graveyards – globally extant,
Concealing flesh and bone returned to ash
From which it came. Tears want to flow, but can’t
As souls of murdered dead now roam – set free –
And living close their eyes: Afraid to see.

******

The Vietnam Memorial
Washington, D.C.

Embedded in the ground, a blackened stone
Pays tribute to the fallen – those described
As hallowed dead – their souls departed, gone,
Now ashes in the wind. Their names – inscribed
Precisely – carved as if by hand of God
To ornament the rock, still whisper words
Of love to friends who seem to find it odd
That stone can weep, and too, the songs of birds.
There is no glory buried here beneath
This blackened stone, nor flesh, nor bones. But still,
One feels that sculpted names did each bequeath
A challenge only living can fulfill –
Exist in peace with all upon your Earth,
Since you won’t know, till death, what Life was worth.

******

The Vietnam Memorial II
a whisper from the wall

The flowers in the vase allay my fears.
She placed them, quite precisely, near my name
Here etched in stone. Her eyes are filled with tears,
Full knowing that it’s I who’ve lost the game
Of life, my place on Earth reduced to this.
I pray she knows our Spirits still are one,
That touch, and tears, and even winsome kiss
Remain forever locked, though breath is gone.
It’s peaceful here despite the constant pain
Of losing her. How easier for birds
To sing, for blackened clouds to spill their rain,
Than through this stone it is to speak these words:
I love you still, you’re always part of me –
And that can’t change – in this Eternity.

******

Requiescat In Pace
R.I.P.

All Living wonder how it feels to die,
To cross the bar, to bid farewell to things
Of Life and Love, to gasp that final sigh
Appropriate to Commoners – and Kings.
Your journey – ended now – opines that life
Be filled with warmth, not chill, that Destiny
Embraces Soul in passage, free of strife,
To final resting place: Eternity.
What worth remains for those whose scant reward
Is Death? You’ve offered us your Psalm, and taught
That breath refines the mind, and damn the sword
That slays it! Life, you’ve shown, is not for naught
When Love of others fills their hearts with glee.
May Peace embark – with you – from Heaven’s Quay.

*******

Halcyon Memories
and ghosts

Hidden deep within the veiled dusts of time,
Halcyon memories lie – gathered by
Ghosts of those who once enjoyed life’s sublime
Realities, where love seemed but a sigh.
And now the sighs have turned to muffled tears –
Shed – in sparse, soft, moments – in faint recall
Of dreams and happiness – those vanished years –
Now ever masked behind life’s dusty pall.
Time has no mandate but to fly on wings
Of passage, aiming always at the vast
Darkness which lies beyond the end of things –
Where light glows but through loves known in the past.
Lament the dusty pall, the fears it bared,
But not the life and love that once you shared.

******

Heartspeak

Admittedly, I grasp for words when I
Attempt to speak of Love and things akin —
It seems my feelings often run awry.
And though emotion from my heart within
Still clings to thought of you, I’m unaware
Of how to say those things I see and know.
My love, you’ve given me this cross to bear,
Its feathered weight – relentlessly – I tow.
Still, often do I thank the Gods above
For wordlessness. I can’t foresee a fate
More kind than offers burden born of love –
So light – compared with burden born of hate.
I break my silence now, and say to You
Your Soul is bright – and Wondrous be the hue.

******

(Untitled)

Wild flowers bloom on hillsides in the Spring.
They savor warmth, and life, and gentle breeze,
And filled their hearts are, blessed by buzzing wing.
Thus essence bridles forth – though never sees
Dark clouds which loom beyond the summered hill.
With patience, winter frost awaits his prize –
Stealthily, as the tiger seeks to kill
The lamb, he holds his breath – in cold surprise.
Who can rescind the fate to end all fates?
We live, and love, and glory in the bloom
Of life. No soul alive e’er hesitates
Upon life’s road, in journey toward the tomb.
Like flow’r, we disavow – as petals fall –
That final death which lives within us all.

******

Dark and Life

When darkness slips inside the end of day
And waning light extinguishes the sky,
There lives, in Dark, a light which deems to play
With shadows, speaking forth with passioned sigh.
For some, the dark of night insists a fear
That soul’s at risk, though others sense the dawn
Scant hours away. For most, when light appears
Again, both sadnesses and fears are gone.
The love of life and land is catalyst
Which alters lives of all who dare believe
That dark is naught but shadowed light. Insist
That brilliance be a wondrous gift – receive
Its breath and give in measure, so to learn,
That life shines bright through darkness – in return.

******

Manzanita

In Springtime, Manzanita calms one’s sense
With flaunt of color, shape, and form’s repose –
Conveyed with vivid flash of sentience
To all who see that every breeze which blows
Instructs each dancing bloom: “Communicate
Life’s earnest quests, its ever-wondrous goals.”
Ethereal concepts, thus revealed, create –
Upon each flow’r – reflections of our Souls.
And Muses too, embedded there within
Each tiny bit of beauty, dare imbue,
Along with Truth and Love, those once again
Delights which shift one’s thoughts to sense anew;
Each bloom becomes a poem which lends, to me,
Divined sweet light – and images of thee.

******

Xeric Xanadu:
A Paradise of Paradox

Paradise is Paradox: When silence
Affords the wistful mind a sense of soft
Rapture born of sand and rock, when intense
And windblown multi-colored clouds aloft
Drop scant rains on arid lands, life begins.
O’er deserts vast, beyond the winter’s edge,
Xanadus of xeric floral xanthins —
Profusive sprawls of hue-struck landscape — pledge
Another season rich of life, a year
Reduced in size and scope, till moment when
Aridity and heat-waves reappear.
Determined though it is to thrive again,
On withered wing, on waves of blist’ring heat,
Xanadu joins Paradise – in retreat.

******

Of Flower and Mist

Drowned within the shroud of eternal sky
Essence lives, dressed in softest shimmering white.
Beauty is the flow’r which, in garden, lies
Beside the rippling stream where mists are light.
Infinity collects in droplets. Dew,
Ensconced in winsome grasp breathes soft fragrance
And sweet scent of life to all who dare view
Nature’s gift of love, in her wind-kissed dance.
Defilers are not welcome, for Beauty
Pursues naught but Truth and Love – her message:
Enter not unless you share this with me!
Render unto me your heart-sought passage;
Receive me as the soul of life and Love,
Yet gentle be – approach with velvet glove.

******

Of Man; Of Wolf

The mountain throws a livid purple haze
As waning sunlight strays across the skies
And skims a craggy ridge. Man’s towers rise
From valley’s darkened floor as if ablaze
In ego – soaring – bluster unconstrained
By reason – or by feigned humilities.
Beyond the morrow’s sunrise where the trees
Stand tall, the lone wolf’s paw print, water-stained,
Confirms his passage o’er a sandy trail.
Instinctive stealth, the weapon of his choice,
And fearsome howl – the bête noire of voice –
Explain to men why man, himself, must fail:
“My birthright is to live! Run wild! Run free
Of shackled chains! . . . No wonder You fear Me!

******

Paradox of Humankind:
Superior Inferiority

Brash vanity ordains that Mankind be
Superior to all other life on Earth;
The curious source of this Mythology
Is Biblical – man’s fount of wisdom’s dearth.
Thus bold is he who advocates the case
Of Genesis errant, where metaphor,
As whimsical devise, cannot replace
Realities which each confirm the Core
Of Life: that every living form appeals
To substance greater than itself alone.
A single flash of intellect reveals
One Truth, as if inscribed in tempered stone:
Each bird and beast, each flowered weed, each tree
Expounds on Man’s Inferiority!

******

To A Friend
a simple wish

Emotion seems to drive the human soul
Through darkness born within, or light above.
Yet light, not dark, remains the fairest goal
Of those who understand the worth of love
And what it means for self to freely give
That smallest touch of joy. To love, to feel
Each moment of the days one has to live
Are life’s rewards, and psalm of light is real.
And so, I hold my glowing lamp for you
Upright, that darkness leave on wing of prayer,
That troubles cease. Forever may the hue
Of Happiness assuage your every care
And fear in mind of those you love, all part
Of me – Illuminations – in my Heart.

******

Embraces

I see your words on written page, then view
The stars in darkened sky as points of light –
Outpourings of your heart in cosmic queue.
As thoughts of love illuminate my night,
My soul is drawn to yours and begs to be
Like river, mountain borne, in constant flow,
In search of the embrace of azure sea
Where life renews in steadfast mystic glow.
Sweet be the passage of this life, for I’ve
Come to know my soul is outward bound toward
Waiting arms of thee, that when I arrive,
The glow within your heart is my reward.
My prayer is this: may journey never cease
Till we are one, our souls embraced – in peace.

******

Eden

Deserted though by gods we often feel,
Eden beckons, still, through sea’s quiet mist.
Born we are to sail life’s frigate, sans keel,
Before the Mother Wind – our ship at list.
Internal light is all we have as guide,
Except for things already taught and learned.
And so it is, through instinct and with pride,
No single voyage in this life we’ve spurned.
Now Love has grown within us, and we see
So many Truths unveiled, not known before;
Mists part, and grant rebirthed reality
In Eden’s sea – soft waves upon her shore.
There, distant rainbows hold but one surprise:
How beautiful is Eden through our eyes.

******

The Mother Wind

The Mother Wind is birthed on open sea,
And then begins her transit toward the shore
Which waits her winsome breath. Eternity
Is hers alone. Her face reflects the door
Through which both past and future might be viewed
By those who dare to brave her chill. Her voice,
As Wisdom, whispers soft to minds thus queued,
And only empty souls cannot rejoice
Her message: “Serenity deep within
Each self returns the glow of life like kiss
Of wave upon eternal shore. Begin
Each morn in my embrace, forget not this:
Revere the softness in the love of two
Become conjoined – to that one heart be true!”

******

Echoes

The breaking dawn makes scarce a sound, and yet
Awakens Earth below while noiseless dew
Shares selflessly its essence, to beget
Moist softness in the grass. In distant view
The mountaintop is cloaked in snow, with not
An echo audible as lands each flake
To form a shroud of white. Each star, each dot
Of light In nighttime’s sky, dares not forsake
The feelings manifest in souls below,
Yet silently, each echoes Love to cleave
The grip of loneliness. I sense the glow
Reflective in your eyes, and then retrieve
Those joys you freely give – and I rejoice
In all the Love which echoes in your voice.

******

Dust and Snow

Delight in life and love so often seems
Elusive to those hearts which dwell within
Bodies born of Dust. Endlessly, such dreams
Become a veiled reality, a din
Inside the soul which bares the inner light.
Exactly as the winter Snows enclose
All grey, returning world to brilliant white,
No darkness falls in dreamland’s soft repose.
No thing in life means more than touch of love,
So as the Snow collects like Dust on trees
My spirit soars on summer’s feathered dove
In search of thee, in quest of subtleties
That only we have shared – my heartsought prize,
How warm the love – reflected in your eyes.

******

Apparition

Alone, I watch as dawn’s illumined finger
Spreads crystal dance of light on wave and sand
Where impressions of our love still linger,
And breeze recalls the softness of your hand –
Your touch – which deep within my soul awoke
The ancient kiss of mist upon the sea.
Your essence brushed me, softly, to evoke
Eternal sense of peace – and mystery.
How beautiful, as glist’ning of your hair
Became starlight, to know your soul and heart
Were one with mine. No bounty is so fair
As that. Yet now we find ourselves apart –
For I awakened, realized anon,
‘Twas but a dream. And you, my love, were gone.

******

Oasis

How often does the human spirit cry
In search of comfort, peace, or warmth for heart,
Or feelings which bring tears to stolid eye?
Such Truths and Beauties constitute a part
Of Life itself, and souls have much to gain
In sharing kindred dreams which they possess;
For any life can build on either pain
And dark, or otherwise on Happiness.
So, enter thee, dear love, into my life,
Pray, let your glow illuminate my door –
Enlighten me! Dispel the darkness, rife
Within my heart. And may, forevermore,
The presence of your warmth define the role
Of Love as an Oasis – for our Soul.

******

Luz: The Light

A thread of light persists as darkness falls;
Luz, life’s subtle flame, shines forth as beam cast
Sharp through reality’s ere darkened pall,
Revealing hints of living soul’s repast.
In darkness, too, the whispers of the muse –
Silent intonations, though heard before –
Evoke reflections of lives lived; a ruse?
Fires sensed by those who live become as cores,
Pure shafts of light. Collections of past times
Not readily dispelled arouse the Source –
The Souls of those long gone returned as mimes,
Intoning memories of Luz, a force
No darkness can conceal, nor dare it try
Extinguish light with shadow – or with cry.

******

Written on the Wind

To feel each season’s breath upon one’s face
Is manifest delight when gentle rains –
With fragrances intact – recall embrace
Of absent love. The breaking dawn explains
With vivid hue the mysteries of the heart,
And stirs those passions deep within the soul
Which harbor love, though lovers be apart.
The nighttime sky displays eternal goal
Of life – soft points of light – illumined glow
Of reunited kindred hearts which cry
No more in loneliness, yet somehow know
Eternity embodies passioned sighs.
If death be final, dare it not rescind
These messages, as written on the wind.

******

Elegy on America
The Legacy of George W. Bush:
Gone, Wasted, Broken

Gone now, America’s halcyon days
Where Reason stood tall and grand in the sun;
Brilliance defined Her equanimous ways –
Gone now, expunged, all Her triumphs hard won.
E. Pluribus Unum: Her goal was clear.
One chosen from many, She alone rose
Reflecting the grandeur of cause sincere –
Gone now, forever corrupted by woes:
Environments: Poisoned with gas and fume;
Waters: Mercurial, deadly as wars;
Broken: A people, too cold to exhume;
Uberty: Ceded to desolate shores.
Still, some see not what others are mourning:
Haste become greed become waste – sans warning.

******

The Odyssey of Nemo
Of Nobody
Of Willard M. Romney
With Much Regret

When greed defines a nominee’s malaise,
Implicitly, the nation’s fortunes loom
Like mountains visible through brownish haze,
Like oceans’ breakers crashing in the gloom
And doom of icy or cyclonic storm.
Republics and Democracies succumb;
Death assumes a barbarous pose, its form
Most certainly the product of those numb
Regurgitations from dead minds, unsheathed.
Oh death, where is thy sting?’ the poet asked.
My sword’s malaise of greed to you bequeathed,’
Nemo responds, his vapid soul unmasked.
Eternal passage thus abruptly halts,
Yet Nemo cannot lead – he’s crazed with faults.

******

Donald J. Trump and His Egomaniacal Presidency, Defined
[via an Acrostic Fourteener Quatorzain]

Democracy allows a boundless breadth of mindless thought.
One brief glance today unmasks a President who deems to
Never claim to own the vicious speech he hopes will be bought
And sold as Truth. Whilst he himself wears masks of learned view,
Lengthy rhetoric from speaker thus afflicted reveals
Dismal platitudes, each expressed as if nonsensical
Judgment of those who are more sane, of those whose thought appeals
To wisdom, not to ignorance of issues topical.
Racial bigots find curious relief in hate and fear
Until they find themselves dismissed by soft impassioned dreams;
Misogyny as well appeals to minds that aim to smear
Perspectives based on common goals of life – with bogus schemes.
Deliv’rance of this nation’s soul and heart is thus on hold
Till egomania’s greed and sloth are disappeared – or sold.

******

GOODBYE, AMERICA
A Trump-Inspired National Elegy

Greed and Sloth have once again prevailed, their
Onerous goals retained by vulgar vote;
Once again America’s soul stands bare,
Delib’rately exposed as addled moat
Beneath her people, once defined as great.
Yet there remains a choice; to quote Voltaire,
Écrasez l’infame” (Crush the furtive State)
And grant Relief to all from hate’s despair
Made manifest by sophistic fear. Still,
Exercise of faux imperiousness
Results in cultural demise of will
In all but those possessed by mindlessness.
Calumny (Trump, our President-Elect)
Assigns ALL Truth to Perfidy-Select.

******

REQUIEM: AMERICA

Requiem, as dirge of sophistic love,
Exposes destinies which nations earn.
Quoth Hamlet: “conscience doth make cowards of
Us all” – that is, till We the People learn,
Implicitly, that human Cowardice
Exudes contempt for Rationalities.
Meanwhile, mankind’s destiny – Avarice –
Appears in service to those Vanities
Most shallowed minds presume to be their right,
Enabling failure thus of Self, of State.
Repression blooms and quickly dims all light
Intrinsic to the heart of Freedom’s Fate –
Consumed – whilst words of Truth, now specious, Moan . . .
And stand as lifeless slogans . . . etched in stone.

******

The Vanished Ones

The voices of the Vanished Ones still speak
Through missives born of dust and scribed in stone,
Available to all who dare to seek
Their enigmatic wisdom – practiced – gone.
They understood the message in the winds,
In waters issued forth by rain and creek;
And too, in governance of thinking minds
Which found, in night-time sky, the means to seek
And so to know the times to glean, to sow.
They learned the paradox, the consequence
Of bounty’s waste; with Nature thus a foe,
Their cities turned to dust. There’s no defense
Of aftermath which overuse portends:
Diminishment of resource – Means – the Ends.

******

Voices in the Wind

Though modern ears seem deaf to primal song,
Ideas seek – and probe – subconscious minds.
Where spirits walk, old muted voices long
To search – as dust now gathered by the winds –
To speak in silence, whispering to souls
Their sacred manifests of unsung dreams.
Then Suffrage of the land – through Gray Wolf’s howls
And breath of noiseless Deer – expresses themes
As surely as the murmur of the trees
Announces wind and wingéd life, in kind.
And silently as Eagle rides the breeze,
These messages – the Sum of Life – remind:
Man’s aimless, modern Din shall ne’er transcend
The Wild – and Ancient – Voices – in the Wind.

******

Elegy on Elysium
Remembering Emily Dickinson

Embedded in the chambers of the Soul
Must lurk one tear to salve that Final Fate.
Immortality – sham – pretends the goal:
Life! Everlasting! Granted at the Gate!
Yet moments slowly slip away as life
Declines in worth. Sagacity must wane
In stark proportion to the weight of strife –
Collective triumph? Victory? Or gain?
Knowledge of finality is crossroad
Incarnate souls can only try perceive.
No salvage is available for load
So heavy, which Circumference dares reprieve
On buzzing Wing as Soul takes Final Flight –
Not closure, just a sense of Dark – or Light?

******

I closed with my ‘Elegy on Elysium’ (acrostic) sonnet in order to ‘Remember’ Emily Dickinson, the nineteenth century American poet who was then — and remains — the pinnacle of America’s greatest poets. And even though she never, in her nearly 1800 poems, wrote a sonnet, she consistently demonstrated both the magic and power of poetry as the art form she could most effectively use to explore her own “inner vision” and those perceived “irrefutable aspects of reality” [“Circumference”], i.e. the details of “existence” itself — its myriad moments, its aftermath — all in context with the “uncertain certainty” “Of Paradise’ existence”.

Here’s Ms Dickinson’s poetic “definition” of poets and poetry and the potential impact thereof. Note that she used a total of only 27 words and 40 syllables, proof that she was NOT a politician!

The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate —
If vital Light
Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
Disseminating their
Circumference –
(Emily Dickinson)

******

 

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Gather ‘Round, It’s Miller Time! Yuk.

Congratulations Stephen Miller- on representing me this morning on
the various Sunday morning shows. Great job!
(@realDonaldTrump; 11 February, 2017)

Stephen Miller is a 31 year-old “Trump Senior Advisor,” also (reportedly) a college buddy of alt-right leader, neo-Nazi Trump supporter and white supremacist, Richard Spencer. On Sunday, Feb. 11, 2017, Miller appeared on numerous Sunday TV news shows where, when he spoke, he was clearly reading from cue cards or a teleprompter. He did have an interesting point to make, however, when he pointed out that “. . . our opponents, the media, and THE WHOLE WORLD will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT to protect our country are very substantial and WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED.” Anything goes, in other words, so long as it “protects our country.” Right. Like just the other day, when ICE caught up with that criminal Mexican ‘illegal’ mom in Phoenix, then immediately deported her to Nogales, Sonora, down on AZ’s southern border. She was a criminal, of course. She had used a phony Social Security number so she could get a job and earn some money to help care for her two (USA-born) children. So she was deported cuz Trump said, and his powers to protect our country get rid of them damn Mexicans WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED.

Sounds like something a white Supremacist might say. Oh. Wait. Speaking of which . . . I almost forgot:

Stephen Miller fought “Islamofascism”: Trump aide founded controversial group in college

A recent review by CNN’s KFile found that Miller helped run Duke’s chapter of the “Terrorism Awareness Project,” an initiative started by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a right-wing foundation that has ties to anti-Muslim hate groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

(…)

In high school, Miller focused his attention on his Hispanic classmates, publicly bemoaning the sound of Spanish-speakers in his school’s hallways. When Miller moved across the country for college, he adjusted his sights on the Muslim community.

What makes Trump adviser Stephen Miller so unlikeable?

 [K]eep in mind that Miller spent his teen years harassing Latinos, African Americans and Asians, wrote columns while he was a student at Duke that were so racist his colleagues in Jeff Sessions’ Senate office were stunned, and helped Steve Bannon write the unconstitutional Muslim ban. All of which makes him seem not just deeply unlikable, but ideologically dangerous and a threat to democracy.

Donald Trump’s white nationalist “genius bar”

Donald Trump’s administration is built around a brain trust of white nationalists. To deny that fact is to ignore a crucial element of this national crisis: America’s “greatest generation” defeated Nazism during World War II, and 70 or so years later one of the country’s two leading political parties has injected a more polite version of that poison into its veins and rode to power in Washington on a wave of bigotry and racism. . . .

Miller . . . is a fierce advocate of “ethno-nationalism,” meaning the racist belief that Europe and America must protect their culture and civilization (which are white by default) from outsiders who do not share their “Judeo-Christian values.” Miller echoed those talking points on Sunday talk shows, claiming that “millions” of “illegal aliens” voted against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

When I first saw Miller on the Telly spouting his propaganda as he read from his teleprompter, I kept staring at his face. SO familiar! But why? I’d never seen him before, but still . . .

So I did a little google-digging, came up with this pair of photos:

adolf-eichmann-stephen-miller

Adolf Eichmann. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Miller

Ah. Say no more. Now I get it. Resemblance — both in appearance and philosophy — is, to say the least, uncanny. Food for thought, sotospeak. And Trump gushes over Miller in “unpresidented” fashion. What’s up with that, I wonder? Lessee; what’s the word?

Achtung!

Javohl, Hair Furor.

******

“What luck for rulers, that men do not think.”
(Adolf Hitler)

******

Posted in "President" Trump, Fascism, Immigration, Race, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Night Became The Day Of Fire . . . And Children Burned To Ash”

From Emeralds and Ashes, a brief excerpt:

they stood ’round shivering
in worn and tattered coats
with only blackened sky to reflect their mood
and hopes
warming coals commandeered by those more reckless
for it was a time of sacrifice
you see
a time of war

in spite of chill
they knew inferno raged
on distant sun
even at night
impossible to see
impossible to sense
except through journey of the mind
which disallows consideration of darkness
or of cold
no darkness on the sun
no chill

even a child knows that

in tattered coats
the huddled ones leaned toward shelter
away from iced and chilling wind
to dream perhaps of summer’s warmth
to forget fateful thoughts and imaginings
of what might be their destiny
brought upon them by circumstance
of war
and as they dreamed
perhaps they prayed a better life for their children
who also suffered the cold
also suffered the fears

tomorrow would be better
they knew
because the fires which rage the sun
would rise again
to warm the earth and bring forth life
of yet another day
to nurture sons and daughters of creation
as inferno maintained itself
safe away

even the children knew that

but late that night the bombers came
to demonstrate to all creation
no thing is safe or sure
downward rained the firestorms
inferno and incendiary sucked away the breath
of eighty thousands
non-combatants all
just people in tattered coats
huddled in harm’s way
through heinous plan

and
night became the day of fire
flesh boiled or burned
in tattered coats

a man-made sun had come too close
as if to offer proof
that cold and dark
inhere within the human soul
though warmth and light do not
as dead and dying learned
too late

-and children burned to ash-

Dresden
february 14, 1945
r.i.p.

Seventy-two years ago this month — in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 15, 1945 — a three day-long allied (British and American) bombing and incendiary air attack on the unarmed and non-militarized German city of Dresden came to an end. It was an attack in which incendiary bombs, dropped in the aftermath of tons of high explosives that had blown off roofs and destroyed much of the inner city, ignited the exposed remains of bombed out buildings and started a firestorm of epic proportions. The final death toll remains, to this day, uncertain. Estimates have ranged from as “few” as 15-20 thousand to as many as ten times that amount, or more. The precise number will never, of course, be known.

The reasons for the attacks were simple enough. Their combined purpose was (a) to destroy the Dresden railway yards and thereby prevent that particular transit hub from being available to allow movement of Wehrmacht troops from the collapsing Western front to the Eastern front, and (b) to debilitate existing internal German communication systems — all parcel to the task of crippling any and all German efforts to counter the westward-toward-Germany advance of Russian Armies. The allied saturation bombing of Dresden thus began on February 13th with a British raid, and was followed by a second British raid on the 14th plus a pair of American raids on the 14th and the 15th, resp.

In partial summary. . . February 14 from 12:17 until 12:30, 311 American B-17s dropped 771 tons of bombs on Dresden, with the railway yards as their aiming point. . . . The Americans continued the bombing on February 15, dropping 466 tons of bombs. During [the] four raids a total of around 3,900 tons of bombs were dropped.

“The firebombing consisted of by-then standard methods; dropping large amounts of high-explosive to blow off the roofs to expose the timbers within buildings, followed by incendiary devices (fire-sticks) to ignite them and then more high-explosives to hamper the efforts of the fire services. This eventually created a self-sustaining firestorm with temperatures peaking at over 1,500 °C. After the area caught fire, the air above the bombed area became extremely hot and rose rapidly. Cold air then rushed in at ground level from the outside and people were sucked into the fire. (. . .)

“Out of 28,410 houses in the inner city of Dresden, 24,866 were destroyed. An area of 15 square kilometers was totally destroyed, among that 14,000 homes, 72 schools, 22 hospitals, 18 churches, 5 theatres, 50 banks and insurance companies, 31 department stores, 31 large hotels, 62 administration buildings, and factories. In total there were 222,000 apartments in the city. The bombing affected more than 80 percent of them with 75,000 of them being totally destroyed, 11,000 severely damaged, 7,000 damaged, and 81,000 slightly damaged. . . . Although bombing destroyed the main railway station completely, the railway was working again within a few days.” [Highlight added]

So: tens of thousands of civilians, including an unknowable but presumably large number of innocent children, were killed in the bombardments. They were either blown to bits or burnt to death in those heinous attacks even as the center of the city of Dresden was completely destroyed — but NOT because Dresden was seen as a profoundly legitimate military target. No. Dresden was never considered to be any sort of Nazi stronghold or industrial center. It was simply a rail hub. And the attacks were conceived and carried out, as noted, in order to destroy that potential rail link along a route the allies presumed might possibly be used to transport German troops from the West to the East, troops to be used to counter the Russian advance. If such transit had been allowed to persist without interruption, might Germany have been able to restrain the Russian advance? If so, for how long? A week? Or two? We’ll never know, nor will the tens of thousands of Dresden’s murdered dead.

In any case, those few moments of railway destruction that were parcel to the Dresden mission might indeed still be viewed as a marginal success — IF, that is, the words “marginal success” can reasonably be used to describe the failure of any attempt at permanent tactical destruction of an officially designated target, including the Dresden rail yards on those fateful days of February, 1945.

One cannot help but wonder, however, if those tens upon tens of thousands of innocent victims who remain — still, and through this day — Dead — might not themselves, if only they could find the means, argue the tenor of the word “successful” in re any context of war, particularly when mentioned within the lexicon of those bombing raids which devastated Dresden, Germany; February 13-15, 1945.

The entire Dresden operation accomplished, in other words and in effect, only one thing: the mass murder of civilians, including children. Why? One can understand and perhaps even agree with the potential for tactical advantage implicit in that day’s strategic wartime reality. But still, the question persists: why the incendiaries? WHY THE INCENDIARIES?? And too, of course, there’s that second question, the one that still lingers even today: where’s the ‘civilized’ outrage at what happened on February 13-15, 1945? Was that event not, after all and in coldest reality, nothing other than the mass murdering of tens of thousands of innocent civilians? For NO REASON? How could such an event EVER be tolerated by those who call themselves ‘civilized’?

As of today, a full seventy-two years have passed and times have changed. Today, there has emerged a modicum of public outrage (or at least some serious questioning) regarding the ethic of using a new technology to accomplish the goals implicit in most any war. The difference today is based on the fact that back then, in 1945, the deliverers of explosive and incendiary mass death and destruction were ‘civilized’ in the sense that manned aircraft were used in defined and legitimate war zones. Today, impersonal unmanned drones are employed within (and beyond) borderless theaters of (presumed) international conflict, and they are used to kill only small handfuls of “enemy combatants” (or, on occasion, a presumed American insurrectionist or two), with minimal destruction beyond the periphery of the attack site . . . and THAT is today’s OUTRAGE?

Ah, the invariably intellectual graces of . . . Civilization . . . (?)

Civilization. Yes. Civilization is, as we all know, “An advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.” It’s also “those people or nations that have reached such a state.”

Right. I propose a rewrite, one that reads a bit differently, one that’s a bit more truthful, more realistic, as in:

“Civilization – The bizarre, invariably nonsensical and eternally conflicting consequence of human existence, as carried forth by those people or nations that have attained such a state where the death and destruction of others is their most popular and praiseworthy goal; see also: WAR.”

And perhaps somewhere in that redefinition process, eventually, someone of fairer mind might demand an answer to the two most eternally compelling questions ever posed within the human community:

WAR??
WHY??

Commence the holding of the breath as ‘civilization’ continues its ever “forward” march in its eternally incessant and wearisome fashion, and meanwhile hope that never again will anyone be forced to bear witness to that moment — that moment when, for no credible or condonable reason, night became the day of fire . . . and children burned to ash.

NO MORE WARS! END THEM! ALL! NOW!

From Emeralds and Ashes, a closing thought:

IN MEMORIAM

One wonders if they ever heard the cry.
The sound, the summons, which to faithful says:
Your God has called, your time is come to die
And travel on – conclusion of your days
On earth, the end of all familiar things –
Your Lives, your Loves, interred now, sans the pain
Inflicted by ungodly bands of kings
Who find their purpose in despotic shame.
So now all living walk upon a cache –
Abysmal graveyards – globally extant,
Concealing flesh and bone returned to ash
From which it came. Tears want to flow, but can’t
As souls of murdered dead now roam – set free –
And living close their eyes: Afraid to see.

****

Special Note: Slaughterhouse Five, the epic anti-war novel by Kurt Vonnegut, is a ‘real time’ commentary based on Vonnegut’s own reflections of the fire-bombing of Dresden. He was there; he survived, and wrote of it in classic Vonnegut style.

Posted in Emeralds and Ashes I: Europe, Essays, War | Leave a comment

Friday, January 20th, 2017: “A Date Which Will Live In Infamy.”

I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate
president. I think the Russians participated
in helping this man get elected . . .”
(Rep. John Lewis, D-GA; 1-13-2017)

Rep. John Lewis was, of course, spot-on correct when he made that statement to Chuck Todd on MSNBC a week ago (seems like a year at least; why is that?) a mere seven days before the inauguration. Lewis also said he would not be in attendance for the event, a position that infuriated Trump even as it raised the spirits of others. The only quibble I have with Lewis’s statement is a simple one: to my mind, Trump’s “presidency” is not rendered illegitimate solely because of Russian interference in the election.

“Legitimate” is defined as conforming to established standards of usage, behaviour, etc., [and] based on correct or acceptable principles of reasoning.”

I cannot, even in my most generous mood, see how ANY of that definition can be applied to that which is about to happen to the highest elective office in this country. In my seventy-four-plus years on this planet, presidents FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Poppy Bush, Clinton, Dubsy Bush, and Obama have occupied the head chair in the Oval Office. Two of them — FDR and Obama — have been among the greatest Presidents the country has ever had, and while Ike, JFK, and Carter stood tall as they grandly overshadowed the marginal and/or less than marginal others, the dude that will ascend to that chair somewhere around noon EST today stands out as that pinhole of dimmest light which may well prove to be the herald of our nation’s darkest hour. How did that happen? As William Wordsworth put it a couple of hundred years ago,

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Where is it now indeed. We have, just  now, “elected” as “president,” a man who is clearly the LEAST qualified for that office in at least the last 85 years, and likely the most unqualified person ever in the country’s 240 year history. As of today, we have a president who . . .

  1. Is a certifiable Narcissistic Egomaniac,
  2. a bigot,
  3. a misogynist,
  4. a xenophobe, and
  5. a chronic liar.
  6. He has zero political experience, also offers no clue that he’s ever read even a word of the Constitution (or that he even COULD read a word of the Constitution).
  7. Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, and “won” the election solely via the obsolete but Constitutionally-defined Electoral College. His popular vote defeat was the largest in history of E.C. ‘winners,’ and yet he claims to have won the election in a landslide.
  8. He attributed Clinton’s 3 million winning vote margin to massive voter fraud.
  9. He has spoken out-loud that NATO is obsolete and that he has no interest in the Eurpoean Union. Small wonder that Europe is probably about as worried as we are in re Trump’s “election” to the most powerful governing position in the world.
  10. Trump is a climate change denier and has indicated that he’ll work to nullify the Paris Agreement, also to increase coal and other fossil fuel production in the US.
  11. A major contingent of the Republican Party (including Trump, I presume) believes that all Federal Public Lands should be turned over to the states so they can be made useful; Trump has offered no indication that he will support protection of National Forests, National Parks, Monuments, Refuges, Wilderness, or any other category of Public Land.
  12. Trump has often spoken of his admiration for Putin, and has either denied or minimized the fact that Russian cyber-hackers worked diligently to influence the US election in 2016 with the goal of swinging enough voters to elect Trump — apparently because Putin thinks he can manipulate Trump, something he couldn’t manage with Obama and knew wouldn’t happen with Hillary Clinton.
  13. Intelligence has revealed that Putin may indeed have the means at hand to essentially force Trump to do what Putin asks, via alleged hotel camera videos of Trump interacting with Russian Prostitutes; Trump, of course, denies everything.
  14. Since Trump’s election, White Supremacists/Nationalists, neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other hate groups have dramatically increased their anti-Jewish/Black/Latino/Muslim activities; hate crimes have increased nation wide.
  15. Trump has said he will halt all Muslim immigration, and will also . . .
  16. Move to immediately deport all undocumented immigrants from Latin America and, presumably, anywhere else.
  17. He has even included DACA people, i.e. young folks who were brought into this country by undocumented parents when they were children, even infants, and who have grown up as Americans.
  18. Trump has refused to divest his business interests, and is very likely to be violating the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution at the very moment his swearing-in is complete.
  19. He has also refused to open his finances and financial arrangements, including via his tax returns, for examination (does he have strong financial ties to Russia? He doesn’t want anyone to know, apparently, so a best guess would be YES he does).
  20. He is threatening every American-owned company that has products manufactured overseas or outside of the US in this hemisphere that there will be a heavy tariff imposed on their products unless they manufacture them in the US and not overseas. That will apply, apparently, to every company other than his own facilities in China, Turkey, Mexico, and various other places.
  21. When Trump’s proposed tax cuts and budgeting proposals are merged, the calculations result in a ten trillion dollar add-on to the National Debt; “conservatism” defined.
  22. He has vowed to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare. Right. Look for 20-30 million folks with no health care at all if Trump and fellow wingnuts get their way.

Can anyone make the argument that Trump is, indeed, a “Legitimate” president? Does he/will he ever conform to established standards of usage, behaviour, etc., based on correct or acceptable principles of reasoning? Clearly no. I do, therefore and hereby, declare Donald J. Trump to be this nation’s first totally ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENT! whose sole purpose remains his own self-glorification, no matter the cost to others — including the nation as a whole, even the entire of the planet. He, Donald J. Trump, is, in his mind, ALL THAT MATTERS! PERIOD! — all of which brings to the forefront, once again, FDR’s description of “December 7th, 1941: A date which will live in infamy,” now become “January 20th, 2017: A Date which . . . etc.”

In closing, I’m inserting a poem I wrote and posted here last summer after the Republican Convention, after Trump’s nomination. It’s a sonnet, an acrostic quatorzain, intended to define the essence of Trump the nominee, his persona. To bring it up to date I only had to change two words: in the title, ‘Persona’ to ‘Presidency,’ and in the body, ‘nominee’ to ‘President.’ It appears to have worked. 🙂

Donald J Trump and His Egomaniacal Presidency
(via an Acrostic Fourteener Quatorzain)

Democracy allows a boundless breadth of mindless thought.
One brief glance today unmasks a President who deems to
Never claim to own the vicious speech he hopes will be bought
And sold as memes. Whilst he himself wears masks of learn’ed view,
Lengthy rhetoric from speaker thus afflicted reveals
Dismal platitudes, each expressed as if nonsensical
Judgment of those who are more sane, of those whose thought appeals
To wisdom, not to ignorance of issues topical.
Racial bigots find curious relief in hate and fear
Until they are themselves dismissed by soft and passioned dreams.
Misogyny as well appeals to minds that aim to smear
Perspectives based on common goals of life — with bogus schemes.
Deliv’rance of this nation’s soul and heart is thus on hold
Till egomania’s greed and sloth are disappeared — or sold.

One has to wonder, I suppose, if the theses and conclusions implied in the sonnet will still be valid after, say, a full four-year term of a Trump presidency. My best guess is HELL YES they’ll still be valid! That’s assuming, of course, that the country can survive four years with a Narcissistic, Egomaniacal, Bigoted, Misogynistic, Xenophobic and Illegitimate nutcase at its helm. I, for one, have my doubts, but time will surely tell; it always does.

Footnote: Here are a couple of links that provide a few revealing details from both sides of the Trump-Putin topic:

Paul Krugman: With All Due Disrespect

Vladimir Putin defends Donald Trump, says critics trying to “undermine the legitimacy” of the president-elect

******

A darting fear — a pomp — a tear —
A waking on a morn
To find that what one waked for,
Inhales the different dawn.
(Emily Dickinson)

******

Posted in "President" Trump, Essays, Poetry, Politics | Leave a comment

National Monuments: Voices of the Vanished Ones, Preserved

VOICES in The Wind

Though modern ears seem deaf to primal song,
Ideas seek – and probe – subconscious minds.
Where spirits walk, old muted voices long
To search – as dust now gathered by the winds –
And speak in silence, whispering to those souls
Their sacred manifests of unsung dreams.
Then Suffrage of the land – through Gray Wolf’s howls
And breath of noiseless Deer – expresses themes
As surely as the murmur of the trees
Announces wind and wingéd life, in kind.
And silently as Eagle rides the breeze,
These messages – the Sum of Life – remind:
Man’s aimless, modern Din shall ne’er transcend
The Wild – and Ancient – Voices – in the Wind.

That was my summation, a decade or more ago, after having spent thirty years exploring the “out there” country of Arizona, including frequent visits to secluded national monuments that protected both historical sites and ‘special’ landscapes. And while I’ve never visited the latest pair of Obama-designated National Monuments — Gold Butte in Nevada and Bears Ears in S.E. Utah — I do totally and completely understand the grand value of each and every Antiquity Act designee that’s “out there” today. My hope is that we as a nation don’t stop here, but that we find every last square inch of land in need of absolute preservation, and then DO IT! And to hell with each and every wingnut that protests or tries to halt/overturn preservation whether past, present, or future.

Today’s Voices, a quick sample:

“I am designating two new national monuments in the desert landscapes of southeastern Utah and southern Nevada to protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archaeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes. Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes.”
(President Barack Obama; December 28, 2016)

“We have always looked to Bears Ears as a place of refuge. The rocks,
the winds, the land — they are living, breathing things that deserve
timely and lasting protection.”
(Russell Begaye; President, Navajo Nation)

“Obama’s decision to create the national monuments means that the area,
that contains some Native American artifacts, will be protected
from energy drilling in the future.”
(Nikita Vladimirov, The Hill)

“It’s just terribly arrogant, he unilaterally — he is taking 1.35 million acres,
that’s more land than there is in the entire state of Delaware,
and re-designating it as a national monument.”
(Rep Jason Chafetz, R-Utah)

“This arrogant act by a lame duck president will not stand.”
(Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah)

“. . . the president’s midnight proclamation cherry picked provisions of the
Public Lands Initiative and disregarded the economic development and
multi-use provisions necessary for a balanced compromise.”
(Jason Chafetz, R-Utah)

“We look forward to working with President-elect Trump to follow through
on his commitment to repeal midnight regulations.
(Rep Jason Chafetz, R-Utah)

“By significantly restricting access to a large portion of public lands in Utah, the President weakens land management capabilities and fails to protect
those the Antiquities Act intended to benefit.”
(Sean Reyes, State Atty. Gen., R-Utah)

“President Obama is a courageous man. I could not be more grateful to him
and his team for working with me to make this happen, and for everything
he has done to protect public lands in Nevada. By designating Gold Butte a
national monument, President Obama has shown once again why he
is one of the greatest environmental presidents in American history.”
(Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada)

“Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that
future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these
scenic and historic landscapes.”
(President Barack Obama)

******

Obama perfectly summed up the undercurrent intentions of the 1906 Antiquities Act which, in spite of today’s Fascist (Tea Party) rejection of same, serves as the major tool to enable preservation of “scenic and historic landscapes” by Presidential decree and NOT via far-more-difficult-to-secure Congressional action. Today’s Republicans see absolutely zero benefit in preserving anything other than their own power and position. Landscapes? If they’re that good, there’s gotta be money in NOT preserving them. Historic sites? Ain’t nothin’ but a bunch of Injun crapola, and we beat them red skinned worthless bums 150 years ago. Who cares about shit they done way back when?

In the last 8 years, President Obama has preserved, via the Antiquities Act, more than 550 million acres in 29 newly-designated National Monuments, more than any President has ever done: an impressive statistic. For those of us who cherish the ‘voices’ offered by the wind, by the vanished ones, Obama’s accomplishment stands tall and far above the sacrifices demanded by (political/commercial) gluttonous greed.

Following are a handful of photos I’ve taken over the years, visual descriptions of the centerpieces in nine of Arizona’s eighteen (the most in any one state) National Monuments. The first seven are of historic or ancient ruins, followed by a composite from a National Heritage Site in a National Forest, and finally a pair of Monumental ‘historic (volcanic) landscapes.’ Taken together, they vividly spell out — at least in my mind — the grand purpose behind the 1906 Antiquities Act, AND the fantastic consequences thereof. Continue reading

Posted in Arizona, Environmental Conservation, Land Preservation, Photo Essays, Photos, Poetry | Leave a comment

“Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie . . .”

“Nature makes only dumb animals. We owe the fools to society.”
(Honore de Balzac)

******

The bifurcation of the United States is now complete. The AFM (American Fascist Movement, aka the GOP, the Far Right) has, finally, taken over the ‘defining’ substance of the country via its majority control of the House, Senate, White House, and presumably quite soon, the Supreme Court, all alongside the political control of some 32 states. When, on January 20th, the new Precedent (sorry, couldn’t help it) named Donald J. Trump is inaugurated and officially becomes POTUS, the final demise of America will begin in earnest. The goals of the AFM-GOP are fairly straight forward; they intend to address a number of cash and power redistribution projects. Here’s their shortlist:

  1. Repeal Obamacare;
  2. Cut Social Security;
  3. Privatize Medicare;
  4. Drastically reduce Medicaid;
  5. Repeal Roe v. Wade;
  6. Defund Planned Parenthood;
  7. Disallow female Reproductive Rights;
  8. Deport undocumented immigrants;
  9. Overturn Obama’s immigration Executive Orders, including DACA;
  10. Build a border wall;
  11. Dismantle the EPA;
  12. Halt all Carbon-reducing efforts;
  13. Increase coal, oil, and natural gas production;
  14. Pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement;
  15. Open all Public Lands to fossil fuel/mining exploration and production;
  16. Potentially work to hand over all Federal Lands to the respective States;
  17. Tax reform: reduce  rates for corporate and top individual brackets, screw all the common folk;
  18. Abolish Net Neutrality (so cable companies can finally make a buck or two);
  19. Increase “defense” spending;
  20. Restart the nuclear arms race;
  21. Stop worrying about budget deficits;
  22. Blame the entire of the National Debt on Democrats, Obama mostly;
  23. Find places to start new wars;
  24. Universalize voter suppression and “ihre papiere, bitte” laws;
  25. Dismantle Public Education, pay for privatization with tax dollars;
  26. Rid colleges and universities of all those commie professors;
  27. Diminish NATO and the EU;
  28. Explore national merger with Russia.*

*(Not sure if number 28 is on any docket outside the Trump admin., but felt it worth a mention).

In short, (thanks to voter suppression, along with our clearly obsolete Electoral College) it’s a minority of voters that has enabled “All Of The Above.” Stated another way, the death of what once was a nation “of the people” is on the verge of total revision, with the fresh goal of a Feudal-style Fascist Oligarchy lying in wait just over the next horizon. The process should not take all that long to complete, now that the Extreme Right has essentially garnered full control of the government.

The presumed overall consequence — the bottom line — is a simple one: IF the AFM-GOP succeeds in the imposition of its Fascist agenda, the odds are very good that any return to Rooseveltian-style government where the PEOPLE come first, not the money-power enclave, will be gone for at least a generation or two, possibly forever. Remember: when government devolves into Fascism, the sole purpose of the blended money-power government is to disable and destroy each and every program designed to support and enable The People’s pursuit of a comfortable and productive life, and hand it off, instead, to the bums in their imaginary gleaming castles on the hill (sotospeak).

The process will begin on the afternoon of January 20, 2017, immediately following the swearing in of this nation’s 45th POTUS, Donald J. Trump.

potus

Resistance must begin immediately. I, for one, will not attend, watch, or even acknowledge this particular inauguration. I will, instead, spend my time exploring and supporting alternatives, aka virtually any potentially viable project that has even the slightest chance of ridding the nation of its Fascist element, aka the Republican Party . . . and all its works and all its ways. Apparently I’m not alone in this ‘dream,’ at least according to the following link’s stated goal:

Does impeachment begin now? The case for building the end of Trump’s presidency before it even starts

Hoping intelligent people across the land will consider and act appropriately upon all viable options, and in the process never forget the ancient but still accurate admonition of Plato:

The punishment for those who are too intelligent to engage in
politics is that they shall be governed by idiots.

Touche.

******

Posted in Election 2016, Fascism, Politics | 1 Comment

“Make America Great Hate Again”

Since November 8, 2016 and the “unpresidented” (s)election of Donald J. Trump as “precedent” of the United States, the probable consequences are rapidly clarifying, as evidenced in the following (tiny) handful of links:

‘We can march through town carrying high-powered rifles’: Neo-Nazi plans march against Montana Jews

Hate Groups Promise Revolt If Trump Abandons White Supremacy

Tracking the explosion of hate in Trump’s America

It appears that even though Trump’s inauguration is still 3 weeks away, he has already succeeded in enhancing amongst his followers the (irrational but traditional) Fascistic dreams of Power and Hate. And sadly, those same irrationalities are currently spreading through Europe — Brexit in England, Far Right Nationalism emerging in Poland, Hungary, France, Austria, Germany — altogether reminiscent of the Fascist tyrannies of just a few generations ago.

As England’s Prince Charles recently stated,

I’ve seen the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive towards those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930’s.

“I was born in 1948 just after World War II in which my parents’ generation fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and an inhuman attempt to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe. That nearly 70 years later we are seeing such evil persecution is beyond belief. We owe it to the people who have suffered and died so horribly not to repeat the horrors of the past.”

And today, as we set ourselves up “to repeat the horrors of the past,” we watch as anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry, xenophobia, anti-Islam, and white Nationalism (neo-Nazism) rapidly reassert themselves both at home and abroad, thanks in no small part to the American election of November 8, 2016. It’s worth noting that said election was, curiously, influenced by Russian cyber interference — likely motivated by Putin’s desire to see the world abandon freedom and democracy and select, instead, Fascism as its ruling authority. And who better than Trump — a politically inept egomaniacal narcissist — to help that movement along?

Russian analyst Nina Khrushcheva (great grand-daughter of Nikita Khruschev) recently noted that Trump is playing “right into Putin’s hands.” She further stated,

“I was just in Moscow and the Russians are saying ‘Look at those fools, look at their their democracy. How could America lecture us on any development, institutions, human rights, democracy, rhetoric when they just elected Donald Trump. He’s such a fool. He’s such a bully. That’s what America deserves and we’re going to take advantage of it.’ And that’s how Russians feel about it, and now it’s taking shape with letters from Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump with their exchange on potential nuclear armament and whatnot.”

In short, with the election of Donald J. Trump, the United States has ceded any global advantage it might ever have had to the re-emergent right wing fervor aka Fascism. We fought and defeated it in the past, but now have finally succumbed, thanks to the devolution of the Republican Party from one of democratic principle to its embrace of neo-fascism, and to the election of a narcissistic egomaniac — Donald J. Trump — who knows virtually nothing of anything other than his own ego (and how to grab women by the p***y, of course).

In short, we are on the edge of a major dilemma. Our current situation brings to mind an essay written more than three years ago, one that was first posted on October 17, 2013, well before anyone had even the vaguest notion that Donald Trump would ever become a candidate for the presidency, much less win an Electoral College “victory.” But he did, and in so doing has magnified immensely the quandary America came face-to-face with, in 2012: the American Fascist Movement, aka the (Republican) Tea Party.

So here, in celebration of 2016’s final passing is, courtesy of said essay, both a three-year rear-view-mirror look back, coupled with what is now virtually guaranteed to be a look forward as well; reprinted in full.

****** Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Fascism, Politics | 2 Comments