Monday, October 31, 2016
while I desponded, weak and weary
over many a banal and boring
email of Clintonian yore,
suddenly there came a tapping,
as of someone gently rapping,
rapping at our nation's door.
My mind was wobbly, cluelessly wobbling
when suddenly there came a goblin,
as some terrible beastie toppling
toppling down our Rule of Law!
Screamed the raven, Caw! Caw! Caw!
Screamed the maven, No more Law, No Election Law!
Then quoth the maven, Rigged, Rigged!
And quoth the raven, Jiggedy Jig!
And then I saw it, in media gone wild
with citizenry by hearsay now defiled
as Comey's call flew through the door,
Our Elective legitimacy cometh Nevermore!
How this happened, I am not sure.
I only hope we're not beyond a cure.
But as the storm rolled o'er our news-tossed shore,
I heard again, the raven, Nevermore!
I mean, um, I woke up.
It seemed like the eye of the storm had passed. But then this past weekend we started to feel it-- those first ominous stirrings of a fierce backwind--phase two--the last rumblings of a frightfully destructive political maelstrom.
It was Hurricane Donilldary swirling up again from the dark depths of our dysfunction; so soon doth it roll again and again like bungling banshees o'er the coasts of our confusion, until the end, November 8th, the very end.
Highly unstable air--blown up between Donald's hot bluster and Hillary's cool cloud'cover-- now takes control of what used to be an orderly democratic-republican system for presidential selection.
Makes Watergate look like a walk in the park, McArthur's Park. Someone left the cake out in the rain.
I don't think the Weatherman faction could have come up with a more destructive gunpowder plot for blowing up--or at least hopelessly confounding--our constitutionally-established electoral process.
I mean, it has been like this:
The Donald railed loudly that the thing was rigged, carelessly casting, like, acid rain on the wild winds of our discontent. But then, like the scary surprise ending of a Hitchcock movie, we open our jaded eyes to find, in the final (week) scene, that maybe it turns out to be the Hillary who, on the morning of 11/9, perches accusedly at the doorpost of our darkest fears, and there she calls out, caws out, repeatedly, frantically cawing,
So While Comey's last-minute disclosures in the background then do fade, America's confidence in the rule of law then fades,
to charade, a giga-question mark tirade,
of fear and loathing from near and far
While squawks the Raven, Bizarre!, Bizarre!
And Anonymous hackers call Who's the next Star?
of this, our ghastly ghoulish game,
which no constitutional precedent can tame
and who's the next candidate for our feathering and tar?
Guy Fawkes couldn't have plotted it better.
We read it in a subpeona'ed email letter.
Quoth the Maven from afar,
so Bizarre, so Bizarre!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with obsolete political parties, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness--that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among the people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
And furthermore, that whenever any system of quasi-governmental political parties becomes destructive of these ends, it becomes the Necessity of the people to alter or abolish those superfluous forms, and to institute new political associations, laying the revised foundations on such principles and organizing political powers in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Liberty.
When a long train of political party misuses and misappropriations enables the party powers to take undue advantage of the people beneath two overblown party hegemonies, it is the right of the people--yea, it is their duty--to throw off such contra-functional political structures, and to provide new avenues for their political expressions, and more importantly, for their national security.
Such has been the patient, obsequious sufferance of many a hapless Democrat and clueless Republican under irresponsible, exploitive party hacks; and such is now the necessity which constrains the exploited people to delete their formerly systematic, politically impotent political parties.
The history of those present political parties is a history of increasing irrelevance and institutional ineptitude, presently producing no useful thing, except insofar as it provokes a mounting urgency for reform amongst the American people. This discontent is soon to be directed against the ineffective Dhemmie and Repooblican lackeys, as the people realize their sincere desires and thus sharpen their dutiful efforts toward finding new governance, through the appointment of competent, dignified leadership. To effect such change as heretofore put forth, let us tell it like it is:
~~ Both political parties have produced presidential candidates who are incapable of upholding the dignity of the people whom they pretend to govern.
~~ Both presidential candidates have obsessively traded insults about each other's crimes, bankruptcies, emails, and many other superfluous offenses too numerous to list. These narcissistic jabs serve no constructive purpose; rather, they ignore, in effect, the noble heritage and the inherent dignity of the American people; furthermore, these Hillary/Donald excursions into ridiculous dog-chasing-his-tail quasi-rhetorical futility, do insidiously distract the formerly productive attentions of the American people, and thereby dumb-down the entire political landscape. Such gravely irresponsible misdirection of the public discourse is destructive; it absolutely fails to illuminate the serious issues and grave concerns by which our nation's security and prosperity is now imperiled. Thus Hillary and Donald have utterly failed, by their useless antics, to edify or instruct us about anything pertaining to the governance of this nation, not to mention the rest of the world, to which we were in days past, the original, exceptional (haha) example of republican democracy.
~~ As concerning the two dumb-downed parties who, by their negligence and self-serving corruption, have facilitated the seizure of our presidential selection process by these two charlatans, we the people hereby reject their collusive hegemony over our individual lives and over our collective security as a free people.
We, therefore, the citizens of the United States of America, in our domestic habitations, in our cyber identities, and in our collective and individual dignity as citizens of a free nation, do set forth this appeal to our fellow-Americans, that we might ditch the old, has-been Democrat and Republican wrecked irrelevancies, and embark upon a bold, revised political scenario, by which we can approach, adventurously, a new horizon wherein is the vigorous extension of our free expression and truly effective political organization, to whit:
Go ye out on election day and Vote. Feel free to Vote for any party that remotely reflects your principles, be it Green, or Libertarian, or whatever, but not the damn Nazis. Endorse whatsoever political association you shall, in your good conscience, with regard to responsible leadership, devise.
Therefore, so that We, the People of the United States of America, may embark upon a new expedition of responsive leadership and effective government, do hereby now forsake the old, sclerotic Democratic party and the decrepit, obsolete Republican party,
And forsooth, by this means, government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth,
Because hey, if such a thing as this cannot be done in the United States of America, where on earth can it be done?
Sunday, October 9, 2016
He wasn't actually marching, anyway, but rather flying commercial out of Vietnam on a PanAm from Cam Ranh Bay. The jet featured American stewardesses, and this was a very favorable detail that our exiting guys did not fail to notice as they soared off to Pacific destinations and ultimately all the way back over here to the good ole USA. It was a long flight from the war, and a long time to have to watch stewardesses traipsing up and down the carpeted aisles, serving food and drink; but our guys managed to get through it.
My old friend Johnny's departing flight from Vietnam was a reversal of his arrival there, a year earlier, on a commercial US aircraft.
But here's a curious fact that he confided to me. The "scaredest" he ever got while in Vietnam was on that first day, during the jet's approach into Cam Ranh, because the descending plane was drawing enemy fire!
Welcome to Vietnam! Haha!
Last week, during the first days of October 2016, my old neighborhood friend Johnny told me about his one year tour in Vietnam. He lives in Louisiana, where we both started life; now I live in North Carolina. We brought our wives and had a Florida panhandle reunion at the beach.
We were chums in high school, but after our graduation in 1969 he went his way and I went mine. I went to college; he went to Vietnam.
I was protesting the war; he was over there in the middle of it.
Before last week, I had not seen Johnny since about 1975.
Now I'm writing a novel about that period of time, and about some of the differences--and reconciliation-- between those two diverging groups--"them that went" and "them that didn't."
As it turned out, Johnny's year of duty at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, just north of Saigon, was, he admits, easier than the brutal combat some of our guys had to endure out in the jungles while they were on patrol being relentlessly pursued by the silently stalking Viet Cong.
During our time of defending the former Republic of Vietnam, tons and tons of weaponry, machinery, and supplies had to be delivered into the country to supply our people there. Tan Son Nhut was a busy location for transport and communications, and we needed a lot of guys on the ground to keep systems oiled, protected and combat-ready. My friend Johnny was one of those men.
During high school, Johnny had acquired some work experience in appliances and refrigeration. After our high school graduation he was not inclined, as I was, toward college. He worked for a while. Then he saw, you might say, "the handwriting on the wall" about how career choices were shaping up in 1969-70. So he volunteered for the Army. After boot camp at Fort Polk (Louisiana) and some duty-specific training at Fort Belvoir (Virginia), he shipped out, which is to say, he was put on a flight path that landed him at the Cam Ranh Air Base where they almost got shot down before setting foot in the infamous theater of Vietnam.
When my friend arrived at his post on the perimeter of Tan Son Nhut Air Base, he spent a year on guard duty, keeping watch over the rice paddies and distant jungles beyond the fence, and reporting whenever mortar fire or any other unfriendly thing was approaching the air base.
Inside the base, there were moments when our guys could take a little time off. Here's a pic that Johnny snapped; it depicts a recreational session of high-stakes card-sharking, with maybe a little bluffing and probably some bravado bullcrap thrown in to keep the game interesting.
Here's a pic of Johnny, taken when he had only been in Vietnam a few days.
Last week, after Johnny showed me a few hundred photos that had been stored away at his home, I thanked him for taking the time to meet me in Florida so we could talk about Vietnam.
Because I can't write a book about what was happ'nin' in the USA in 1969 without talking about Vietnam. I also thanked my friend for his service to our nation.
And I thanked God that he survived it. There were 58,000 of "them that went" who did not.
If you were a college kid like me in the 1960's-'70's, you will find it well worth your time to visit a few of the men and women who did not do college at that time, but who served--by choice or by draft--in the military. Right or wrong, won or lost, however you call it, they did what our country called them to do.
We may need many more like them before it's all over with.
King of Soul
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
life is dear
now and here
World turns round
up turns down
some get lost, others found
life goes back to ground
Build the town
structures up, but they'll come down
lots of noise, then dearth of sound
still the world goes round and round
Another day, another turn
some will learn; some will burn
many earn and some discern
still the world doth turn and turn
Clouds rise up
life is tough
times get rough
lose some stuff
When all is said and done
we live and walk and speak and run
we feel pain but we find fun
until this present day is done.
Do it all again?
How about find a friend
in the one who died and rose again.