FYI about the Khan Sheikoun affair for open-minders, from the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syria-chemical-attack-al-qaeda-played-donald-trump_us_58ea226fe4b058f0a02fca4d

Even for readers who already have their minds made up owe it to themselves to read this detailed Huffington Post article by Scott Ritter, and to add it to all available sources of information.     Here is a great example of “Alternate Facts,” in a logical sense of being mixed information from different sources, that as a whole may lead to knowledge of what really happened in Khan Sheikoun.

There is a creditable “trail of misinformation” under the smug expressions of media reporters.   We can’t believe selectively here…this situation is important enough for followers to be informed and alert…research, research, research!

It really makes me wonder why many of the same pundits who daily attack Donald Trump as a liar and self-advantage seeker suddenly hail him as a hero—are we really a people who judge our presidents by their bully-characteristics?   Are we understanding the “America First” thing to mean “America As Boss of the World…Richer and Stronger and Meaner than any other nation?”

Cure for lagging respect and trust—bomb somebody.

 

“Moving South” and NAFTA

When I was growing up and into the 70s and 80s, my home area of Northeast Ohio was booming…the steel mills in Cleveland and Lorain were blasting night and day, round-the-clock shifts, and there were plenty of good-paying jobs in the mills and in auto manufacturing plants.   THEN the plants started to close and move down South….no, not to Mexico then, but to Alabama and Georgia .   The cause (they told us) was the labor unions guaranteeing good-pay and benefits and decent working safety conditions.
 “Illegal” workers picked tomatoes, worked on ranches in the broiling southwest sun, and worked laborer construction jobs and washed dishes and mopped floors in restaurants and hospitals etc, etc.   Ranchers hired these “pickers” because local-white boys would not do these jobs.         They also worked as nannies and housekeepers for our well-to-do,
NAFTA has provided a free-for-all atmosphere that harmed American workers.    The worst I personally know of is that NAFTA decimated the Mexican farmer corn business….flooding the Mexican markets with American corn.   An even greater atrocity is that under NAFTA came the genitically-modified corn itself, which was treated to prevent re-growth from seed.
The so-called “maquiladoras” throughout Mexico hired cheap and mistreated labor…big companies like Tommy Hilfiger and The Gap.   I have seen these with my own eyes, workers stand for long shifts, begging for bathroom breaks, standing at sewing machines (etc.) for 12-14 hour shifts on tiled concrete floors.   Yes, these people ARE glad to get the work at any price.
These points are just a few, and may be arbitrary…..but are facts.   .  TRUE FACTS, not Alternate Facts.

circling the wagons…

keeping up with the shenanigans
leading up to the off-again/ on-agains
complacent in our political wagons
endeavoring to circle… Old-Western style…
made difficult by attempts to  mis-beguile
by conflicting opinions and factions

turning the political order on its head…
keeping promises to the rabid, illogical  crowd
flies in the face of common-sensical thought
due to ignorance of which they are proud;
defying the principles by which they were taught,
…the  cost with which our freedom was bought.

© Sometimes, 2017

 

they can do better than that

Day 13, 2017

As a long-time fan of spy fiction
I like to keep an open mind
and far be it from me to take a poke
at intelligence dossiers and spy reports
but it all seems to me a very bad joke!

Normally reading the details of a carefully-
teased expose…dragged across our nose…
gives fuel to the fire and facts to the tale
but when details sound to be suspicious
they usually are just as they seem.

The truth is sometimes hidden, for lack
of sufficiently shocking details (better presented
in a colorfully embellished story-form)
with salacious stories of sex and smut,
to present a more spicy distraction.

© Sometimes, 2017

incongruous

(Day 11, 2017)

who was Cleopatra’s hubby?

right… the King of Denial

that’s my new nickname for

The Donald

who will soon be the leader of the

free world…such as it is.

Never so much the urge to giggle

as watching the Press Conference

in which our Prez-To-Be  developed a temper

at the bad reporter who wouldn’t shut up.

Really quite a valuable lesson:

when backed in a corner just snarl

and deny it ever happened.

I really want to take them seriously,

Don and his Won Tons of stand-up comedy,

but really—its not at all funny—

snickering at nuke-talk

the bane of existence!

© Sometimes, 2017

 

 

Second Guessing myself…

Day 8, 2017.

Wow!  We are already heading into the second week of the new year.   January is the busiest month of the year as far as family birthdays count.   My late husband, two grandsons, a son, great-granddaughter, son-in-law, and daughter-in-law.  And that is just my immediate family, not counting at least one niece from my Florida-Clan.

I used to send cards with detailed notes in them, and even money.    Now that I am basically a poor church mouse, I’m lucky if I get a card out at all.   Oh, sure, there are electronic cards that are relatively easy to send, and I must say those are often very attractive…and they even sing or play music for the recipient.

My intentions are good, and yes, I do know what they say about good intentions.   I do at least think about people on their birthdays.

Unfortunately (I guess,) I am not really into Facebook or other social media.   Let’s not go into that here, with a wink and a nod to my excuse/reasoning that these venues cause a LOT of trouble.   E-mail was bad enough, always a risk for correspondents.

Blogging is my love, being a source of endless blank pages on the computer screen, beckoning with a promise that I can write/say almost anything about nearly any subject.  I write poetry, essays and diaries about the good old days…at least MY good old days.     My goal for this new year is to write something every day…or at least re-post something that I have written since my blog SOMETIMES was born.

One of the sweet things about blogging is that we tend to attract like-minded writers who more or less follow our work.   We enjoy each others’ photos, essays, and poems, and short stories.

One rule I set for myself is to write with care.   To me that means avoiding offending anyone, getting uppity with those who do not agree with me, or writing obnoxious or unsubstantiated  things.    Normally I rest fairly well assured that when I push the SEND button, and later when someone opens my post to read it, there will not be any adverse effects.    Sometimes (often, actually) what I write is intended to be humorous, though representative of my views and opinions.   Satire and sarcasm I use sparingly,  with care and judgement.

I have published 671 posts to this blog, Sometimes, as of a glance to my Stats page just moments ago.    This represents steady publications the last couple of years, and the total over the life of my blog since 2011.   I have deleted two posts that I recall, rewrote a couple, but most have stood as written.      I don’t think I’ve offended or insulted anyone, and I take great pains to avoid such writing.

My number one goal this year is to write every day.    Actually I do write daily, usually in a variety of diaries and notebooks…then transfer items to my blog.    Once in a great while I have misgivings about a post, and accordingly re-write it, edit it for spelling or grammatical errors…and for any questionable content.     It takes a few moments to go back in the pages and fix typos or mis-spellings, or to make glaring corrections of fact.

Yesterday I wrote one of my problem pieces, and have mulled it over in my mind since.   It is about the infamous Wall which has been proposed…whether actual or theoretical, our president-elect now owns this idea, and possibly feels he has an obligation to “build the wall.”.     My purpose was to post the link to photos of the existing wall between the United States southern border and Mexico.   The suggestions that were included in my post are facetious…tongue-in-cheek…sarcastic.   When I came to my computer this morning I fully expected (dreaded, perhaps,) some negative comments about my rather outrageous “suggestions” for extending the border.    Especially worrying to me are “guests” or browsers who happen-upon  what I write, not regulars that recognize snide…ok, snarky…sarcasm.    So far so good…

 

 

 

the trouble with time limits

Every election, and whenever the subject comes up in between elections, there is a big
“thing” about term limits.

“Throw ’em all out…ALL of them.”      This seems like a good idea…on the face of it…except that it would almost always be a disaster.     This point of view is often described as “clear the swamp.”      I like my clichés to have literal meaning, so when someone says that I picture a real swamp, with hanging moss, fragrant jungle flowers, glass-bottomed tour boats, and alligators sunning themselves in mis-leading innocence.    Yeah, this is all very picturesque.    The thing to “clear out” of the actual swamp/jungle, presumeably is the alligators, and other creatures that will eat you if they get a chance.   In the metaphorical  swamp, to which the plotters and pundits refer,… is of course Washington D.C.   The best allusions may be to the alligators, standing in for elected members of Congress.     (No aspersions cast on the alligators.)

Depending on the speaker, there is usually no consensus of exactly WHOM to throw out.     The “commenters” are not very specific either….they mostly just advocate getting rid of “ALL of them,” and starting over with an all-new brand-spanking lot of Congress people and their respective entourages.

“Don’t throw out MY Congresspeople though!”    Ah-ha, therein lies the rub…the Dems want their own representatives, and Republicans back theirs (most of the time…moreorless.)     That could be called the “Your Rep is a crook…Mine isn’t” theory of political adequacy.

Yes, I DO have an allegorical illustration for my point…which is that it is basically impossible to start over completely, from scratch, at a grass-roots level.     Once…back in the proverbial day…a would-be entrepreneur presented to our City Council a plan to open a new restaurant.    He said he intended to hire ALL NEW staff—new cooks, new waitresses/waiters, now known as “Servers.”      New hostesses, new managers, new bartender…even new dishwasher/busboys.     By “new” was meant workers who had NO experience in any of the positions.   They would be trained “to order” by the owner, in his own expectations for how to do their jobs.    In other words, no one would have even a clue of what they were supposed to do.    Needless to say, if the restaurant ever had materialized as planned it could have been named “The Fiasco Diner.”

That’s what would happen in Washington if there was a law that all new politicians had to be completely inexperienced.    Wow!     As if the atmosphere there is not already terrifying!     Actually the current experiment in Foggy Bottom threatens to loom menacingly as The PEOTUS seems to be introducing a concept of “let’s just see what happens!”     Maybe its a principle of “…keeping one’s friends close and enemies closer.”

Here’s a scary one: “let’s call up all our enemies and suggest we all play nice.”

 

Rules For Commenters…or Think First!

There should be a rule
on commenting protocol
requiring at least
(if not a working knowledge)
mini-common sense.

Every school age child
with a mite’s  intelligence
should have learned restraint
in matters of opinion…
at least a few facts.

No one should ever
consider as an expert
smart snappy comments…
an internet free-for-all
sans supervision.

Our Rule Number One:
Start out with a set of clues,
a few question marks,
a reasonably open-mind
and process of thought.

For Rule Number Two,
should be needless to expound,
an unspoken rule–
have proof, or at least
citations of information.

Who, what, when, where, why
How the commenter knows,
…at least Who Said So?
citation of source
and last—Who Cares?

© Sometimes, 2016

 

STILL GOT YOUR SOCKS ON? THIS WILL SCARE THE BEJEEZUS OUT OF MOST ANYONE! (from the Washington Post)

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/president-elect-donald-trump-is-about-to-learn-the-nations-deep-secrets/2016/11/12/8bf9bc40-a847-11e6-8fc0-7be8f848c492_story.html?wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

 

OK….I admit it…I’m scared!

There are people that I know very well, family members, friends, acquaintenaces from various times of my life who snicker or sneer at my fears.    They say I am of the “old school”—the “Cold War era”—afraid of bogies and ghosts of the past, as gifted us from the best selling authors of Spy Fiction.    You know—Tom Clancey et al.

I have been told in so many words that the old Cold War politics are passé.   I have been told, that  being an old woman— one having studied matters of the World, and especially the United States, of which I am an informed citizen and Historian—my views are left over from the bad old days when Russia was not our friend.

In the recent past I have been accused of “hating” my country.    WRONG…as our new president elect would say.    I have always likened this theory of un-Americanism to the case of a loving and devoted Great-Grandmother who accepts and loves all family members the same no matter what they do or how they live…or what they do.        She (ok… I….) love my country but not necessarily everything they do.

“My country right or wrong” was the slogan of a more patriotic time when we the people were psyched up for war, or invasion, or over-throwing sovereign governments, or killing world leaders that we don’t like.

Demonization…a process by which a leader/country/nationality/situation by which the citizenry is often known to fall in with a given idea at a proverbial snap of the fingers by whoever is  in charge.     Pick up the morning paper…or sign onto Yahoo…or flick the radio switch.   Chances are there will be a brand new name of someone that we as citizens need to oppose.   We are expected to absorb and believe in whatever truths and half-truths spew forth from the powers-that-be.

Remember a few years ago when we were all expected to be mad at France—because they declined leaping happily at invading or bombing or otherwise harassing another country?   Sort of a “We are having a War, and you are cordially invited (expected) to participate…or else we will make French Fry jokes and remarks about your manly prowess…”

 

 

 

 

My answer to a question in the Washington Post this morning.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/09/how-do-i-explain-this-to-my-children-van-jones-gives-voice-to-the-nightmare-some-are-feeling/?wpisrc=nl_mix&wpmm=1

HERE’S THE THING FOLKS—this is how it works in a society such as ours here in the United States.       There is no need to “apologize” for our system to our children or anyone else.

This is it—this is US, We the People.

We are not a “banana republic,” as the historians and pundits like to call the countries that were literally run by fruit companies…American fruit countries, of course.   This was common in Central American countries back in the last century: massive corporations set up shop in a given country, bought or intimidated the government, and proceeded to recruit the local workers…who really had no other choice of jobs.     At least whacking banana bunches provided opportunities for employment.

Remember the old song by Harry Belafonte?    Here are the lyrics, sung to a calypso beat with a Jamaican accent.       It is one of those cute, entertaining songs that contain a sickening reality.

 

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and he wan’ go home
Day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and he wan’ go home

Work all night on a drink a’rum
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Stack banana till thee morning come
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally me banana
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)

Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally me banana
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
It’s six foot, seven foot, eight foot, BUNCH!
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot, BUNCH!
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)

Day, he say day-ay-ay-o
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
A beautiful bunch a’ripe banana
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)

Hide thee deadly black tarantula
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
It’s six foot, seven foot, eight foot, BUNCH!
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot, BUNCH!
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)

Day, he say day-ay-ay-o
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally me banana
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)

Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally me banana
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
Day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day-ay-ay-o
(Daylight come and he wan’ go home)

Songwriters: IRVING BURGIE, WILLIAM ATTAWAY
© Alfred, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

 

SO, enough of that — BACK TO THE BLOG POST, and the question “what do we tell our kids?”

  1.  The USA is a nation governed by laws.
  2.  Government OF the People, By the People, and FOR the People.
  3.  “WE” are the People—I am a person, the reader here is a person, etc.
  4.   We all—citizens—get to vote.
  5.    We have represenatives at various levels, which is a whole other story—and  since   this isn’t a History or Government course per se we won’t go into that.
  6.   On election day we go to the polls (or absentee ballot, whatever…) and VOTE for our choice of candidates.      YOU vote for your choice; I vote for my choice.
  7.  After the votes are cast, they are counted.
  8.  The winner is declared.
  9.   We all cheer…or not.      If MY guy gets more votes than YOUR guy, I cheer!

10.   If your guy wins…well….

SO HERE COMES THE THING!   The Point:

Once the voting is over and the votes are counted, WE are faced with a situation whereby we have a candidate who has become an Elected Official.

Except in special circumstances, which won’t be covered here, once the election is over and the winner declared—that’s it.

Yes, I’m talking about Donald Trump—President Elect Donald Trump.

HE WON…

SO the question becomes—IF I don’t like the outcome—-What do I tell my kids?

…that this is how our system works

…we don’t throw stuff, destroy anything,  or go all berserk and get ourselves arrested or … worse …

…we just sit back and say “OK, Let’s see what he’s Got.”

…recognize that “WE” the People have spoken.    OK, so we can grumble that it was more accurately “THEY” the Other People.   That is beside the point, which is that we must abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the majority of our fellow citizens.

…or, in the vernacular “shut up and suck it up.”

 

 

 

 

biding time

time is running short
maybe even running out
as we wait to discover
if the Sane shall outnumber the Other
in sorting all of the ideas out

there is always suspence at elections
as we wait for others to make their selections
based on…who knows?    Too many sections
exist when  deciding the various directions
of thoughtful and mundane  reflections

©Sometimes, 2016

A Re-blog of “EU Mission to Mars; no thanks” by Calers. With commentary from a space-nut.

Here is an interesting post by Calers, one of my favorite bloggers…who always manages to stretch my imagination. Like Kermit the Frog, I subscribe to the like of Dreamers and Lovers and all of the many songs about rainbows and the sheer joy of speculation and imagination that is an innate part of our Human Intelligence. Or as my late husband once suggested: maybe I am just “nuts.”

 

Calers's Blog

The EU has many urgent needs. A mission to Mars is not one of them. Greece may need another bailout. The EU is trying to form an army. There is massive illegal immigration. Many EU states have terrifyingly large deficits. The PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) still suffer from massive unemployment. Among the young this is beyond massive. We need to turn to green energy.

The USA already has missions to Mars. It is wasteful for the United States too. There is no need for the EU to copy such profligacy. It is part of the EU’s small man syndrome. The European Union often tries and fails to rival the United States.

The EU is better than the USA in terms of dealing with poverty and providing healthcare. We have a far lower murder rate and a better human rights situation. Why do EU fanatics feel impelled to take…

View original post 132 more words

the space race remembered

Once I watched a rocket launch from under a blanket…our TV set was ancient and the light was very dim, so unless the room was almost dark the image on the set was barely visible.   I’m not sure of the year, or which of the early missions it was.   My whole life back in those days, between 1957 and about 1965 , are catalogued according to babies that joined our little family.

Our oldest was just a few months old, and we were living in a trailer park outside of the base of Fort Hood, Texas.  Our tiny television set was on a high shelf, and we had to stand right next to it in order to see anything in much detail.     In the interest of accuracy, by the time the Soviets launched Sputnick in October 1957, my daughter was five months old, and we were stationed at the Oklahoma Military Academy, where facilities had been set up to accommodate army insturctors.  We lived there for a year and a half.

Our connection to the United States Army accounted for much of my interest in space travel and life on other planets, and all kinds of innovative gadgets and scenarios that actually would become History within my lifetime.    I have  always been an avid fan of Science Fiction, and was working my way through the library shelves reading everything I could dealing with outer space.  The only other book that occupied as much or more of my time during that era was Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care, having literally worn out my original copy of the Baby Manual.

So with that setting, the events leading up to the great space race between the United States and the Soviet Union were high on my “interests lists.”    The Cold War was alive and well, and a source of vast panic and hysteria for young military wives, who feared the bell ringing in the night would be a call for hubby to go somewhere and do something to fight The Russians.

So it was with great interest and intrepidation that I pretty much stayed glued to the TV after the hoopla of the Russians having beaten us to the draw in launching a rocket, and then a month later…a dog named Laika,  thus becoming the first Earth Creature ever to attempt space travel.

In January of 1958 we were absolutely ecstatic when th United States Army Ballastic Missile Agency sent up the first U.S. satellite into orbit.

Here’s a Timeline borrowed from the NASA site.    For the entire timeline, please go to  https://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/space-timeline.html

1957

  • October 4 – The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into space.
  • November 3 – The Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 was launched with a dog named Laika on board. Laika did not survive the voyage.

1958

  • January 31 – Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the United States when it was sent into orbit on January 31, 1958. It was designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology. The satellite was sent aloft from Cape Canaveral in Florida by the Jupiter C rocket that was designed, built, and launched by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) under the direction of Dr. Wernher Von Braun.

1960

  • August 19 – The Soviet craft Sputnik 5 was launched, carrying the dogs Strelka and Belka. They became the first living beings to survive a trip into space.

1961

  • April 12 – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.
  • May 5 – Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
  • May 25 – President Kennedy challenged the country to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

[The space saga continues… .]