Sunday Sonnet!

Poet friend Bushka graciously included the Re-Blog button, and I appreciate the opportunity to repost this lovely poem. Thanks.

Autumn Ambles

IMG_4877(WP)

🦋

Alone she sat disconsolately bowed,
Her customary calm demeanour strained;
Allegiance to Sophia disavowed,
Her credibility now sadly stained;
Distorted images of Truth abound,
Supplanted by intrigue of cunning Lies;
No greater fear can villainy compound
Than other human beings demonise;
Democracy, deflowered by Deceit,
Forever bears the scars of deep distrust,
Yet, Faith must not surrender in defeat,
For Hope shall be restored to all the Just;
Fraternity her mettle needs avail,
Equality shall in the end prevail!

©Meanderings 2016

🦋

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Top General Says Puerto Rico Is The Worst Disaster That He Has Seen/ FEMA’s Fubar

This is a do-not-miss post from Gronda Morin, who works tirelessly to round up and decifer the news! Thanks for the reblog…

Gronda Morin

The republican President Donald Trump and his apologists need to fess up to reality. The US government has failed in its obligations to adequately assist our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico which was decimated by Hurricane Maria which had landed around September 20, 2017.

A week later, the president looked like he was finally taking Puerto Rico’s humanitarian crisis seriously by sending the US military to assist and by waiving the Jones Act which allows foreign ships to deliver aid as well as US vessels.

Image result for photos of puerto rico after hurricane maria

Upon doing some research, I learned from an AP report that only about 5000 military soldiers were being sent when about 50,000 are needed according to a military expert, Phillip Carter, A Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. Then I found out that the president was waiving the Jones Act for only…

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Caribbean geography lesson…

Every now and then I like to get out a map and reassure myself that when not knowing the location of Yemen, or Utah, or Antiqua (for example) all I have to do is look it up on a map. A paper map, preferably, but sometimes even an online map will do.

So I wanted to see if Puerto Rico was really far out in the middle of the ocean someplace, or, as I suspected…in the Caribbean. So I did a search “Puerto Rico” and Bing zeroed in on a nice map of the island, in great detail of cities and even roads and topographical details like mountains. Zooming out to get the big picture…including the Pacific Ocean and all of Russia…the exact location of Puerto Rico became instantly remembered.

Looking Southward, from Florida, the island is sort of beyond Cuba, north of Venezuela, and in a line with other islands and chains of islands in the Caribbean, forming a line of defense reinforced by territories possessed by friendly allies: the French, Dutch, and British. This was perfect—especially back in the days of the conquest by Spain of the New World.

Actually the United States was interested in keeping the Spanish at bay as much as possible, while maintaining a strategic position of buffering between the British (our best friends forever) and “other” European or South American nations from getting any ideas. Or Japan…or anyone else.

The last good-size war the U.S. had with Spain was the Spanish-American War, which effectively booted the Spanish out of the area and declared US hegemony in the close-in islands, including Puerto Rico. It is true that the U.S. had a good line of defense in the Caribbean, and although U.S.-Cuban relations suffered during the Cold War…to the point where until the Cubans would acquiesce in being beaten by the U.S. Embargo, which effectively put Cuba and the Castro Dictatorship in its place as an oppressed and bullied island which “refused to straighten out” and endured sixty years or so of hardship and political hassles because of it.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, part of the spoils agreed on by the two nations was the prize of Puerto Rico…ceded to the U.S. by Spain. One of the results was that the Spanish-speaking citizens were required to speak and use English-only.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and thus Puerto Rican citizens are citizens of the United States, and are entitled to vote in U.S. elections…except for the office of President. They elect representatives to the U.S. Congress, who are on the same basis as reps and Senators from the 50 other states.

One difficult hang-over from the early 20th Century is THE JONES LAW, which forbids Puerto Rico to receive shipments of any materials or products from any sources except on officially sanctioned United States registered Ships. The result of this is that now that Hurricane Maria has devastated the Puerto Rican island, the Jones Law limits what foreign aid they can receive. The U.S. Congress has the power to rescind or modify the law…but has so far declined. It may be nteresting to note that the Jones Law has been suspended in other U.S. ports under emergencies created by Hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, as well as other U.S. controlled islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort has, as of this Wednesday morning, been sent to Puerto Rico. The reasons for the delay apparently have been worked out, especially the excuse of the ship being “too big to park in the harbor…” and the hospital ship will anchor off-shore and apparently transfer patients from the mainland of the island by helicopter.

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Puerto%20Rico&vdpid=202&mb=19.029888040912922~-69.22080993652341~17.464867724672842~-64.03526306152341&ppois=18.2491397857666_-66.6280364990234_Puerto%20Rico_~&cp=18.2491397857666~-66.6280364990234&v=2&sV=1&style=r&trfc=&lvl=7

After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Needs Major Assistance From USA And The World

Thanks to our good friend Gronda for posting this article on Puerto Rico. It makes one wonder why the citizens of Puerto Rico are having to beg for assistance…any more than if the disaster wiped out, say, Indiana. Great information here, including various sources of opportunities to contribute to aid efforts.

Gronda Morin

Carlos Giusti / AP

The following tells the story of Puerto Rico, a devastated island after Hurricane Maria’s landing where too many of our fellow Americans have been left in dire straights and who are in for a long road of months towards recovery. Below is a list of how to help our neighbors in Puerto Rico.

Some officials in Puerto Rico have been asking for a temporary waiver of the Jones Act which allows for shipment of goods only via US ships. New York Rep Nydia Velazquez has asked for for this on their behalf but the republican President Donald Trump and his administration have said no.

Perhaps “we the people” can help by contacting our US lawmakers by asking them to support NY Rep Nydia Velazquez in her request to waive the Jones Act.

The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 (202-224-3121) or  YOU CAN FIND PHONE…

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What’s the Point?

The latest in double-speak and hyperbole coming out of our White House involves the verbal censure — complete with cuss words — of some of our national Hero/Gladiators, the players of the National Football League.   By implication, other sports organizations may soon join in a general incident.

This brouhaha, is featured on the same Headline News sites as 1) the annihilation of North Korea and/or the rest of the World;  2) the devastation by multiple Hurricanes which are literally wiping out much of the Caribbean countryside; and 3) wreaking another type of havoc in the good old US-of-A in the form of political wreckage of our health care system, such as it is.

Is the point that the people involved are demonstrating disrespect for the U.S. Flag?   Or that the efforts and sacrifices of our military personnel in the wars that reinforce our system are being insulted and dishonored?

Should our great stadiums and ball courts be boycotted because of this perceived disrespect?

Do we want a system where the leaders can stand and demand certain responses from crowds gathered for games or other patriotic event… is it okay for anyone, as in the president of the country, to demand a specific response?     Should there be a law stating that the flag MUST be saluted?   That the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag MUST be said whenever the law requires?

These implications are that if patriotism is the law of the land…how soon will mandatory punishments follow?  When a pledge is required, at risk of breaking a law, with penalties…what happens then?

At risk here is the whole point of our system of government—freedom from tyranny and dictatorship.    In some nations of the world any big gathering, sports, political speeches, military show of strength….any one of these events show the threat that these kinds of rhetoric and neo-fascism promises to inflict on us down a very slippery slope.

It is tempting to think that this stirring-of-the-pot has an ulterior motive…more red-herrings dragged in front of our noses.

 

 

Sticks and Stones and “Dotards”

Re the sticks-and-stones contest, following the old adage that “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”      Remember when some kid would spew off a string of bad words and mean but innocuous insults, and Mom or Grandma would sooth hurt feelings with the little rhyme…which in effect meant “if some kid hits you let me know, but if he calls you a bad name just laugh it off.”   Now like as not she might look around for someone to sue.

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il  has resurrected a good old  English word to toss at Donald Trump in insult: “dotard,” an Old-English word from the 14th Century. This cool new word, according to the excited media,  spurred linguists and English teachers all over the world to research the word—dotard.

Not that the word “dotard” is especially archaic, not to disappoint media writers that want to insinuate that Kim Jong-Il may be more knowledgeable than Donald Trump.  Within arms reach I find a variety of dictionaries, including a nifty little volume called New Oxford Spelling Dictionary:  The Writers’ and Editors’ Guide to Spelling and Word Division.  Edited by Maurice Waite, published by Oxford University Press, 2014.*

There, right in alphabetical order between the words “dotage” and “dot-com” is— “dotard,”   pronounced to rhyme with soldered, watered.    The etymology is from the same as:  doting,  one-who-dotes…as in a doting-grandfather.

It was a fun image to imagine the North Korean leader poring over his archaic English dictionaries searching for insults.

  • The most recent Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2004) also features the word “dotard” right in proper order.

 

 

now…and again, in verse

DSC09451

Fall encroaches on Summer
not an ending
… a new season dawns.

© Sometimes, 2017

DSC09952.JPG QUEEN ANNE

Fall gently nudges
as Summer takes a bow
opening a new show in town.

© Sometimes, 2017

VERY GOOD DANDELION CLOSE

the culmination of flowers
not faded…but making room
for the next generation

© Sometimes, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginnings, a poem re-blogged from Paul F. Lenzi’s poseypluspolemics

 

One of my favorite poets, Paul F. Lenzi, of poesypluspolemics blog, included the Reblog button with his fascinating and most inspiring works of sheer genius of words…no need to ask me twice.  🙂  The Hubble Telescope shot is also breathtaking. Thanks Paul.

Poesy plus Polemics

pillars “Pillars of Creation” – Photo by Hubble Telescope

Secrets of creation hide deep in conflation
Of science with faith, of corpus with wraith,
Discrete bits of essence, immune from senescence,
That mark each warm creature, or cold lifeless feature,
Of all the known world, plus those unknown, thus hurled
Through vastness of space, push-pulled in their chase
By grave forces, unseen, save by eyes utmost keen
As detectors of naught, who find nothingness caught
By the physics of sleight, in mathematical light,
Racing outward, away from a focal array,
From a radiant heart that outburst apart
With the first stroke of time, Divine in its prime.

Before that release, all was soundless still peace,
When all matter, all dust, was consigned to the trust
Of that heart, then mere speck, the one salient check
Against stark eternity, charged with modernity,
Then, slowly it swelled, its inertia unquelled,
Now a tumescent…

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Delicate Structures, a reblog from jansenphotos “Dutch Goes the Photo.”

I was delighted to see the Reblog button on this post by jansenphotos, on the excellent blog “Dutch Goes the Photo!” which features excellent photographs on a weekly theme. A visit (via link) to the Netherlands design studio collection called “Fragile Future” leads to a fascinating photo display of remarkable light structures. Thanks for the reblog.

Dutch goes the Photo!

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Structure, which has made me very happy, as there is lots of structure in Nature and the world around us.

Sunday’s post focused on the structure of a fan structured leaf, with the angulation of each fold providing additional strength to the leaf over a rather large area.  Today’s post goes more toward the delicate, as we look at the placement of the seeds of that dreaded lawn denizen, the dandelion.  Each seed is constructed to be carried by the slightest of breezes to find a bit of disturbed soil, where it can take hold and germinate.

This is a closer look at the lovely dandelion…

Dandelions_MG_5244 Dandelions

This most delicate of structures has found its way across the ages to float forth and multiply.  As an aside, a design studio in the Netherlands makes light sculptures that use the…

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President Obama’s Response To The Cancelling of DACA…a re-blog from Gronda Morin.

Thanks for the excellent post, Gronda, and for allowing the Reblog.

Gronda Morin

Image result for PHOTOS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNING daca

On September 5, 2017, the LA Times published our former democratic President Barack Obama’s Response to the republican President Donald Trump’s September 5, 2017 decision to cancel DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program), with the caveat of a 6 month’s delay.

Young people protected from deportation and allowed to work legally under the DACA program will begin losing their protection around March 2018 unless the US Congress finally acts to shield them. “

President Obama (White House photo by Pete Souza)Statement from President Obama 

Immigration can be a controversial topic.  We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.

But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about.  This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who…

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Cornflower or Chicory? beautiful blue blossom!

 

DSC00294 (1) CORNFLOWER VERY CLOSE (2)
Cornflower Blue: a Crayola crayon color, gorgeous delicate blossoms, big bad weed.  A flower by any other name is still beautiful.    Also known as Chicory, among other names.           ©Sometimes, 2017