SOMEONE CALL A DOCTOR – OUR PRESIDENT IS SICK

empathy, n. Identification with and understanding of another’s feelings, situation, and motives. –Webster’s New College Dictionary

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Unless you’ve been separated from the news since 2017, you’ve no doubt heard of our U.S. President’s “zero tolerance” (zero humanity?) immigration policy, whereby children (including infants and toddlers) are taken from their asylum-seeking mother and/or father at the southern border, resulting in what the New York Times reported as “thousands of migrant parents spending months in agonized uncertainty, unable to communicate with their children and in many cases not even knowing where their children are.”

Let’s call this unconscionable practice what it is:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-met-family-separation-border-children-trump-huppke-20190211-story.html

In June 2018, a federal judge in San Diego directed the federal government to halt the separations and reunite children with their parents, but federal inspectors found that separations continued to occur. Furthermore, according to the N.Y. Times, the total number of separated children is unknown “because of the lack of a coordinated formal tracking system between the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the arm of Health and Human Services that takes in the children, and the Dept. of Homeland Security, which separated them from their parents.”

What is wrong with this morally sick President that renders him incapable of empathy, that blinds him to the needs of others, particularly the ‘least’ of us?

“All children old enough to recognize that they exist as separate (albeit weak and dependent) beings have a strong need to believe that their parents are ultimately good and kind. Parents appear to the child to be omnipotent figures who have everything: food, warmth, love, mobility and so forth. The child desperately needs to feel that these God-like parents are devoted to his or her particular needs and well-being: the consequences of the reverse, for the weak and utterly dependent child, are simply too terrible to contemplate.” — Scott Mann, author, HEART OF A HEARTLESS WORLD

Someone call a doctor — preferably a heart specialist — for our President.

 

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BETTER HATE THAN NEVER

It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something. –Samuel Butler

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Eight days from today, much of the civilized world will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Between now and then, the candy kiss and chocolate industry will make nothing short of a mint, selling sweet somethings to buyers to treat lovers….what some might call a vast capitalist conspiracy to take advantage of the lovesick. I* call it, “Bah! Humbug! A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every 14th of February!”

Therefore and mean-while, I’m proposing to you the need for a date — a day to counterbalance that upcoming day of over-commercialized romance and mushy love with a date which celebrates its opposite: hot-blooded, hard-boiled HATE. And what better way to inspire a hateful frame of mind than appropriate mood music:

*and Ebenezer Scrooge

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Still not feeling the hate? All right, ladies, repeat after me: I Hate You, Darling….

However, being the sensitive soul that I am, I’d rather you not hate me personally. So let’s broad-en the scope and close on this e-gal-itarian note:

Hold on. We can’t close without a name for this hate date. Down With Love Day? Cupid Sucks Day? Miss Ogamist Day? Better Hate Than Never Day? Wait a sec — now we’re back where we started.

This is the end.

 

READ MY LIPS POEM

Here in the American Midwest, waking up to sub-zero lows the past few mornings reminded me of a poem I wrote one January more than two dozen frozen winters ago, titled WINTERDREAM….so I dug the poem out of cold storage, blew the snow (or was it dust?) off it, and re-read it for the first time in some time. As I did, it dawned on me that, although published before (both in paper journals and online), perhaps it could stand one more exposure. Then, near poem’s end, I re-came upon the word “lips”….and that settled it (reference the last two sentences of my last post, LIPS SERVICE). Here, then, one last time, is….

WINTERDREAM

Suppose a homeless man
found a tattered hat,
abandoned, like himself,
to the elements….
and in that tattered hat,
tucked inside the band,
a winning lottery ticket
could transform his life;

but first, he must see it –
and then, seeing it,
not toss it to the wind,
as life had tossed him.
Let us further suppose
the deadline to claim
its prize came at midnight
of that very day.

That night, in winter’s turn,
the man had a dream
that he could live his life
starting all over again,
knowing as much at birth
as he knew this moment,
so that all the choices
and hidden chances
of wasted turning points
lay exhumed ahead….

but the thought made him
cringe: regret was a fire
that gave pain without heat.
He awoke in cold sweat
to the taste of blown snow
on the cracks of his lips,
and pulled down the brim
of yesterday’s fortune.
What luck to have found
a buffer against fate.

 

 

LIPS SERVICE

The title of today’s post is LIPS SERVICE — as distinguished from ROOM SERVICE — although I’m informed there are major hot-els and inns, both in-and-outside of iniquitous areas, where hot lips can be ordered (what one might call inn-clusive room service).

And then there’s Major Hot Lips Houlihan, which may be a stretch (what one might call post thematic stretch syndrome), but hopefully you can use the exercise as much as I can use the connection:

Coincidently (speaking of seeking hot lips), Robert HOOKER was the author of the novel MASH, on which the movie of that name (1970) and TV series M*A*S*H (1972-83) were based. HOOKER, born 2/1/1924, was the pen name of Korean War Army surgeon H. Robert Hornberger Jr. A very Happy upcoming Birthday to you, good sir, wherever you are.

Two years before “Hot Lips” creator Hooker was born, this red hot song was conceived by composer/orchestra leader Henry Busse:

So you see, friends, this post is not just paying lip service to LIPS SERVICE. This lips service is a hip service because it’s a ‘sound’ follow-up to last week’s THE KISSING POST. It’s in the groove. It’s on record.

Will my next post continue along the lines of this post and THE KISSING POST?

My lips are sealed.

 

 

 

THE KISSING POST

I am in favor of preserving the French habit of kissing ladies’ hands–after all, one must start somewhere. –Sacha Guitry, French actor, playwright and film maker

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The title of today’s post is THE KISSING POST– not to be confused with THE HITCHING POST, which would be a post about the ceremony of getting hitched (after kissing went to the hand-kisser’s head). Alternatively, THE HITCHING POST could be a post about a post to which you tether your horse….as opposed to your spouse (pardon my horse play).

Be that as it may, it may interest you to know that anthropologists believe kissing is a learned behavior. But they believe above all in science, so what competence could anthropologists possibly have in the field of kissing….with the likely exception of Parisian anthropologists, who are said to have French kissing down to an art….in the interest of science? C’est une bonne planque!*

Knowing that many of my readers are serious about science, you would no doubt like to know where I came up with what “it may interest you to know” — so, just so you know:

https://people.howstuffworks.com/kissing2.htm

As for the romantic barbarians among you, far be it from me to kiss you off. Kiss on!

*Nice work if you can get it!

WHO CARES? I DON’T CARE!

Last month, a red-winged whitebird from Utah, Senator Orrin Hatch, laid a big GOP egg when asked about allegations against President Donald Trump:

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/asked-about-allegations-against-trump-senator-says-i-dont-care

Hatch later apologized for his fowl apathy, but he needn’t have. After all, a number of other non-peons down through the eons haven’t given a hoot about one thing or another, including these warblers:

No doubt the Nuthatch in the White House thinks Orrin Hatch is a sage Grouse. Not to crow, but I don’t give a tweet….and from heron, never let it be said that I never write posts that are for the birds.

 

 

 

SEE NO EVIL (REVISITING CHARLOTTESVILLE AS METAPHOR)

The statues you’re defending are of men who erased my history. –Kevin S. Aldridge, opinion editor, Cincinnati Enquirer

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Rick Borden said of his son, Daniel Borden, who (along with others) beat up an unarmed black man, “I absolutely don’t think my son did anything wrong.” Daniel’s mother called reports of her son’s actions “fake news” (sound familiar?). The beating victim was left with a concussion, eight staples in his head, a broken wrist, and other injuries. And we wonder why the son of such a father and mother grows up with moral blinders.

That beating wasn’t the only violent act committed in Charlottesville, Virginia, during that white supremacist rally in August 2017. An avowed neo-Nazi deliberately drove his car into rally-protesters, injuring dozens and killing 32-year old protester Heather Heyer. Her offense: actively opposing the alt-right’s racism. In her last Facebook post before her death, she had said of her activism: If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

Last month, Heyer’s killer was sentenced to life in prison. As for Daniel Borden, he was sentenced last week. The particulars? In the words of the old idiom, “Read ’em and weep”:

https://www.c-ville.com/daniel-borden-2/

Around the time of the Charlottesville madness, the opinion editor (a black man) who was quoted at the beginning of this post, wrote an editorial titled YOUR HERITAGE BEING ERASED? WELCOME TO THE CLUB. It included these words:

“There’s been a lot of consternation among some folks about this growing movement to take down Confederate statues and monuments across the United States. Even President Trump has joined the chorus of laments that removing these monuments is an attempt to erase or rewrite history and rob certain people of their Southern culture and heritage.”
“But here’s the thing that some people don’t seem to get or want to acknowledge: These monuments pay tribute to individuals who took away and erased the history of Africans through slavery, through the killing and slaughtering of innocents, through the destruction of black families by way of rape and separation  – all in the name of cruelty, white supremacy, exploitation and greed.”
“How would I like my history taken away?”
“Been there and done that, sir.”
“Most African-Americans in this country will never know the true history of our ancestors. Much of our heritage was lost when our forefathers were densely packed into slave ships and transported across the Atlantic to be sold like common goods. Many of them died and their individual histories along with them. And those who survived….had their native, ancestral names stripped from them and replaced with the ones slave masters wanted them to have.”
“Much of our African heritage has been irretrievably lost to the ravages and ruthlessness of callous individuals and traitors to this nation, such as General Lee, who fought to maintain the deplorable and murderous system of slavery. Now there are some who want to romanticize, revere and commemorate them as heroes.”
“Well, excuse me if I’m not willing to buy that brand. Forgive me if I don’t shed a tear for your loss. Sorry if it ruins some quaint childhood memory.”
“All I can say is, welcome to the club.”

Are YOU paying attention?