RANGER AGAINST WAR <

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sanctuary Cities

--They've co-opted their leader's invective

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head 
--Revolution,
The Beatles

 Sanctuary, it said:
but only the road has meaning there. It leads
into the world's cities like a long fuse laid
--Sanctuary,
Judith Wright 

You don't need a weather man
to know which way the wind blows
--Subterranean Homesick Blues,
Bob Dylan
_____________________

Subtitle: The Illegal illegal fight.

Mending Fences, Pt. II:

In Iraq the Coalition Forces (i.e., the United States) built walls around cities to keep insurgents out. This implied that walls would lead to victory versus violence.

Street battles, as in Fallujah, were fought to isolate cities from the insurgents (both domestic and foreign). In our current fight against ISIS, the same winning (ahem) formula applies: fight for the cities and when the vermin have been eradicated, everything will be just fine. 

Today, our 2017 Sanctuary City warriors are insurging against their President and federal authority. We (they) are insurgents when they burn images of their President in effigy, and wear shirt proclaiming, "No My President.

Immigration has become a point of contention in the United States, and the United States insurgents wish to keep criminal illegals inside the borders, rather than outside. It is a perverse inversion of the military fight abroad.

Do these sanctuary insurgents comprehend the nonsensical illegality what they are doing? If President Obama had the authority to address immigration, then so does President Trump have that same authority. Legality transcends our personal convictions.

Mayors do not have the authority to override Constitutional imperatives. However, it is obvious they are not above sucking up to their constituents, forward-looking as they are to their next election and their meal plate.

Social workers may inhabit the "Every sperm is sacred" zone, fighting for the "rights" of illegals to remain in place. But why are the rest of us so hot to keep in people who are double criminals (i.e., illegals + run of the mill criminals)?

Our country has problems enough ministering to our own citizens and blighted cities. What purpose can the whine du jour of the Democrats have other than being a convenient distraction from the problems of the indigenous?

Ah, but since the myriad of problems that beset our own citizens has proven to be intractable and obdurate, why not just look over there and drill down some illegal Muslims and Mexicans? The illegal fight to retain illegals is a clever bit of legerdemain. 

Since the U.S. has been fighting a 14 year war to protect foreign cities from external threats, what argument can be made to not do the same for our own cities?

In the counterinsurgency (COIN) environment the concept of personnel and resource control (PRC) is that every citizen or legitimate resident must have official identification issued by a legal authority. How else can a government control its territory?

If we will not control our borders then it is obvious that the PWOT © and the War on Drugs have been farcical enterprises conducted by farceurs (i.e., politicians). 

Logical endpoint: a restive population maintains perpetual battle against their duly elected leader, who then must do something to restore order. As the U.S. insurgents glumly and gleefully (a seeming oxymoron, but a Starbuck's espresso keeps it bearable) construct their insurgent safe zones against the order of law, they begin to feel more ostracized, more convinced that they are being persecuted and that they are on the side of right.

Ensconced in their "safety zones" pitted against the rule of law, they are transmuted into "The Deplorables" -- a term once reserved for the very people they are now opposing. They hunker down and draw to themselves their fellow travelers du jour (their token illegal pets).

What next for these illegals, and the people illegally harboring them?

Why does a nation have borders if they do not intend to enforce immigration law?

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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Mending Fences


  Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun 
--Mending Wall,
Robert Frost

I'm a bigot, but for the Left
Annie Hall (1977)

 Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride
Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no
I got to keep on movin' 
--Break My Stride,
Matthew Wilder
____________________
A small meditation on The Fence, in two parts:

It seems just yesterday that the Free World celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall -- that the iconic symbol of the Iron Curtain -- and with it, the collapse of the evil empire. Sort of.

Today, the United States contemplates building a wall between itself and Mexico at an estimated cost of $18 billion (which means that it will actually cost $65 billion, with mandatory cost overruns, before it is functional.) Ranger will now consider the fence in simple military terms.

The Fence will be an obstacle. The first rule of employing an obstacle is that it is useless unless covered by fire. This means direct or indirect fire must be implemented in a complete defensive fire plan.

Lacking fire, an obstacle is a waste of effort, time and assets. For the breacher, it is a like a bolus of material, an irritation, to be summited.

The U.S. must be willing to treat U.S. soil as an exclusion zone, and stand ready to implement deadly force to achieve the hoped-for goal of the fence, which would be as an adjutant to enforcing immigration policy.

But a fence is just a fence, an obstacle on the course, unless it is covered by fire. This point is offered for consideration, as it is usually omitted when considering the simple architecture of the thing.

An effective fence implies more than its mere physicality.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Raveonettes



In the long run,
the greatest weapon of mass destruction
is stupidity.
--Thomas Sowell
We've all gone mad
--Network (1976)

A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline 
--The End of the World As We Know It,
R.E.M.

I saw the sign and it opened up my mind
And I am happy now living without you
I've left you
Oh, oh-oh-oh 
--The Sign,
Ace of Base 
______________________

Lisa's post-inaugural reflections:

I spectated, agog, this political season. It was all so clear, and for speaking my truth, I was given no quarter by the erstwhile victors.

Some people once close are still angry with me. Still I am not sure why, for I was just the camera.

I saw my society in decline, born of a toxic blend of technological savvy, arrogance and entitlement. No party had a monopoly on these traits, but the party which had historically laid claim to be the protectors of the downtrodden (the Democrats) came across as impossibly smug and dismissive of those downtrodden with whom they felt no kinship. 


It was hypocrisy of the highest order, and their tone-deafness lost them the election. The sorry inability of the entitled, erstwhile thinking, people in the Democratic camp to engage in a dialog about the phenomenon unfolding before them in plain sight was shocking. 

My observations of the deracinated in our midst was met with horror by those supposedly in the know. Except, they did not know. They engaged in a robust cognitive dissonance because the plight of some did not fit in with their perceptions of "neediest cases" -- their personal tokens.

Now-President Trump revealed us to ourselves. We are angry, clannish, disputatious, and worse. We think well of ourselves when we shed crocodile tears for the right minority, and belittle and dismiss those who do not further our insular paradigm, one which is usually constructed for and received by us fairly early in life.

Over the course of the election season, I began to feel shamed for thinking myself a liberal. These were not my people, and I was now one of the deracinated.

An edition of the New Yorker magazine filled with only Trump-derision cartoons (poor ones, at that) came from a place of audacious triumphalism and hauteur, as Ms. Clinton would surely -- simply had to -- win. Given.

Mrs. Clinton in her workaday Xanthippe shroud now infamously goaded Trump in a debate, "Will you accept the results of the election?" with the affect of a gladiator entering the arena. We had seen this posture before in her "veni, vedi, vici" speech in her capacity as stateswoman following the brutal assassination of Libyan President and former Time coverboy Muommer Gaddafy. 

In retrospect, it was a marvel of ineptitude, like bringing tomato aspic to a 2nd grade Valentine's Day party. 

It was shame-faced strong-arming, straight from the Mayor Daley or Boss Tweed Machine playbook. Just like in a banana republic, she had a token opponent (Jewish socialist Uncle Bernie) . . . but, not really. Just like them, she was the presumptive shoo-in. 

Pity for the (literally) poor sops who donated their often meager holdings to his campaign coffers and who still refuse to remove their "Bernie" bumper stickers (all while the machinations of the Clinton campaign moved to discredit him, another bit of soul rot for which she, and they, will have to atone.)

My marveling continues as I read the discredited New York Times daily trying to beat its swords into plowshares.

The NYT calls their advertising spiel ("50% off new subscriptions!") their "Inauguration campaign". A few, for your amusement, with following RAW editorial comment:

"True, original, independent, always" [well, not exactly "always".]
"The truth is what we do better" [and, we do lies even better!]
"Searching out truth is What We Do" [But, it is a "search and destroy" mission.]
"Discover the truth with us" [if you enjoy solipsism, we will make it up as we go.]
"Read news that values the truth" [Tautology. Shouldn't "the news" =  "the truth"?]
"Truth: it's vital to our democracy" [Maybe so, but we won't deliver it.]
"Finding truth matters" [But even if we find it, we will not give it to you.]
"Eager for the Facts?" [Then go someplace else to get them.]

"Original"? Yeah, in terms of being divorced from reality, much in the same way that a kindergartener's lollipop drawing is an original imaging of a tree. 


"Independent"? Ditto. Actually, blandly following the party line in their construction of reality is more to the truth. Writing with egg all over their face is the fact. 

Our salvation as a nation may come (hopefully) when people don't feel so comfortable in Plato's cave anymore. However, the comfort and addiction of one's personal social media ego feed make this increasingly unlikely.

Readers of The Times and other badly skewed outlets have the temerity to laugh at Rupert Murdoch, but the lot of 'em are no better. They are just crusaders for their particular brand of lie. This writer will scan it to keep current with The Agenda, but for the news? Nevermore.

There was a time when tabloids were tabloids, and newspapers delivered facts (yes, yes -- albeit, with a slant.) No more. Election season 2016 stuck a fork in that beast.

Many years ago, as crime began to take up its cruel residency in our neighborhood, my family (like many others) took flight from the D.C. suburbs to Florida. My father left the now-defunct Washington Star (D.C.'s then conservative answer to The Post) and needed a job in a poor hiring climate, so he interviewed with the National Enquirer (the wicked pleasure of conspiracy-theorists, pre-Internet.) 

He was offered the job, but warned that the burnout rate for creating outrageously false "news" was usually two years for bona fide newsmen. It seems that caveat no longer applies. The nuttier, the better. 

Barnum and Bailey Circus recently reported that they were closing shop. As co-founder P.T. Barnum presciently said, "there's a sucker born every minute." Someone will have to take up their torch for amusing that public, and that someone may as well be fake and painfully based media outlets like the once-trusted Times.

Who wants to be told he is a bastard every day of his life? And yet, that is the average liberal's posture towards the new President. Unremitting, arrogant and entitled, as ever.

If the "Not My President" crowd could see their project with the benefit of perspective, they would know that their stance is sort of adversarial, sort of disrespectful, of the schoolyard bully variety. Adult behavior, it's not. Reaching across the aisle, it is not.


The nasty behavior is, at best, explainable as "tit for tat". But the liberals should be better than that.

They have lost the moral high ground.

It does not bode well for a healthy democracy.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gone Girl


You shall see things, wonderful to tell.
You shall see a... a cow...
on the roof of a cotton house.
And, oh, so many startlements.
--Oh Brother, Where Art Thou (2000)


There's something happening here.
And what it is ain't exactly clear
--For What It's Worth,
Buffalo Springfield


You got the cool conversation
on your high tech telephone
But you got one little problem, baby
--You Ain't Down Home,
Julie Roberts

____________________


A non-United States citizen friend recently said to me, "I don't think Trump or anyone can make American great again -- you all are too far gone." 

I pondered this while several images coalesced in my mind, much like Douglas Adams's holistic detective, Dirk Gently.

This morning while checking online for the whereabouts of the wayward soldier Bowe Bergdahl I stumbled upon a "fake news" story put out by a satirical news site claiming that he had been promoted on the order of President Obama (a "story" which nevertheless had to be de-bunked by Snopes.)

Satire is a pleasure when it is done well, as it often is by The Onion and Andy Borowitz (when he's not inhabiting the bottom of the anti-Trump rabbit hole), but the realm of parody is now merging with that of actual news. And the consumer either does not care about or cannot discern the difference.

If a story is one toke over the line, we excuse it and blame it on the requisite hyperbole of the news cycle. Worse, we embrace it to our bosom if it furthers the agenda of our fellow cave dwellers, offering a pale "mea culpa" when it becomes too burdensome to prop up any longer.

At an I-10 exchange yesterday, I saw a hitchhiker on the side of the road sitting on his pack, taking a selfie. Mind you, he looked pretty clean, healthy and young, and his gear gotten more at Urban Outfitters than dumpster diving. Nonetheless.

Crossing Tennessee Street in front of the university, all pedestrian heads were down in the familiar smartphone scroll pose. The only place on campus where heads are reliably up is on the soccer fields.What is so important, and why must we be endlessly amused by our ego feeds?

Then my mind traveled back in a patchwork fashion. I remembered the secretary at the defunct Yugoslav-American office telling me that what most left visiting professors stupefied was when they stood before an entire aisle of (mostly) sweetened breakfast cereals in the supermarket. How to choose, and why so many?

Later, a trip to Walgreens revealed four pages of laxatives, followed by three of proton-pump acid reflux inhibitors in their sales flyer. Yup, this was just the stuff on special. Perhaps this was indicative of all of the bilge and bile we hear and disseminate?

And then I recalled my first trip to the U.K.visiting a friend in humble Llandudno, Wales. I wanted to see a field trial, so went to the phone book to look up farmers. Pages of them. I also wanted to find rambling groups, and on the way to the "R's" stumbled upon "Psychologists".

Precisely three.

People were actively engaged in doing productive things, even if that was a serious group ramble. Not too much time to wallow in self-important misery.

The Hillary and Bernie people still can't get over the functioning of the U.S. democratic process.

Junk food and laxatives, anger and therapists. Was there a connection? Are we become a phlegmatic people? Back to the old "Ridge Runner" template? Do we all need a government-mandated Bromo seltzer regime?

Surely something is wrong here.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Little Things


History doesn’t repeat itself.
But it does rhyme
--Mark Twain

 And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
--Circle Game
Joni Mitchell

Team by team, reporters baffled,
trumped, tethered, cropped
Look at that low plane, fine, then
Uh oh, overflow, population, common group 
--It's the End of the World as We Know It,
R.E.M.
______________________

Mr. Obama wasn't the funniest of Presidents, but he has a toothsome sense of the ironic.

Just a little rumination, on Inaugural Day 2017 (which you might not know about if you read the New York Times exclusively.)

Last September, the President feted 1968 Mexico City Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the White House. The athlete's Black Power salute in violation of the non-partisan International Olympic Committee charter was a shot heard round the world via television. It was also to be the seminal event of symbolic terrorism in the mid-20th century.

Prior to this event, terrorist's goals were more tactically-oriented. Violence before Mexico City was for violence's sake. After Mexico City, it grew increasingly symbolic and spectacular. Terrorist events became entertainment in the theatre and the society of the spectacle.

Smith's and Carlos's theatre inspired terrorist actions from that point forward. Not that the two Olympians killed anyone, themselves. Rather, they showed that massive attention could be garnered by enlisting the electronic media in the conspiracy to commit spectacle. Simply put: their action was a fountainhead of international terrorism.

The near result was the 1972 Summer Munich Olympics Massacre of Jewish athletes by Palestinian terrorist group Black September. Eleven Olympic team members were taken hostage and killed, with the (later revealed) complicity of members of the German police force.

Subsequent actions were also media sensations, often focusing on only one building, boat or other vehicle. They were framed for the camera, just as the Olympics winner's podium provided a frame and a set-up for the Smith-Carlos photo-grab.

The athletes were not standing in the grass, but elevated and arrested in motion, calling out for the perfect shot. (Catch me while you can in my static set up; I'd like to be on t..v. tonight.)

Historical examples abound, but the Lod Airport Massacre (1972), the Raid on Entebbe (1976), the Rome and Vienna airport incidents (1985) and the Achille Lauro hijacking (1985) are a few.

The Irish Republican Army's 1982 Hyde Park bombing which killed seven Blues and Royal's horses scored front pages above the fold internationally, but not for the 11 serviceman that were killed: it was for the horses (who held no passport). Murdered animals are always a gut punch, and this was a new and novel target.

TWA Flight 847 (1985) featured the body of a USN diver thrown onto the tarmac. But the iconic image of this hijacking -- a gun being held to a pilot's head, sticking out of the cockpit window -- was committed with an unloaded gun.

The hijacker stated he primarily wanted to be on television.

The 1968 Olympic protest spectacle differs little from ISIS instantaneous uploads of their violence in Iraq, France, Belgium or Australia. We are our own publicists in this day of the social media upload.

Both murderer, set designer and photog.

The drama and symbolism always trumps the action. In order not to become hackneyed, symbolic terrorist acts always require that each subsequent act has more shock power than its predecessor.

As our consumption grows ever more savvy, we demand increasingly outrageous spectacles to hold our gaze. It is perhaps not too simplistic to trace the origins of ISIS live Facebook feeds to the 1968 initial broadcasted transgression.

It took four years for terrorists to learn and operationalize the lesson, but a profusion of spectacular media events followed.

Operating from the principle of charity, it could be said that Mr. Obama acted from an intellectual scotoma, as the first visibly black President. Everyone from Henry Louis Gates to Rosa Parks had their moment in the sun during his presidency, in the callow effort to enforce a post-racial America.

But publicly honoring the Olympic "protest" lends credence to every subsequent video violation. Euroterror and Palestinian terror groups were informed by this first act of live defiance, and learned to coalesce and to harness the power of instantaneous international news coverage.

Smith and Carlos let the horse out of the barn. The West has been opposing the violence unleashed for the last 48 years. And we now commend them.

Just how stupid and clueless are we?

We guess it's good for giving the dispirited public something to fixate upon. We all like rehabilitation stories -- even when we must construct them for ourselves.

However, it would be wise to consider that one cannot in good faith be both for protests that germinate terror activities, and yet against terror activities. Or as the late George Carlin said, "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."

What have the last 25+ years been about? Confronting the escalating threat of terrorist activity rising out of the Middle East.

Concomitant with and responsible for the terrorist's success is their ability to saturate the media. Ditto for the ability of the media to saturate our minds, as we grow ever closer to the much ballyhooed convergence day when our minds coalesce with our devices.

Some celebrate this "brain opera", but we must be ever-vigilant in monitoring the conductors. How to keep the mind in control is becoming an exponentially greater challenge daily. The peddlers of fake news -- an oxymoron if ever there was one -- do not want to help you.

Living in America today is a little like inhabiting an M. C. Escher drawing, or traveling a Mobius strip.  Perhaps, Hieronymous Bosch's Purgatory is the more analogous scenario.

We supposedly fight terrorism, while smiling and nodding at two men who blazed the trail for terrorists to exploit public media.

Where does it come from and where does it go?

Just an interesting little thought on this morning of the swearing in of a new President.

--by Jim and Lisa

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Goodbye to You


Nothin' more to be said
Write me a letter instead
I don't mean to be cruel
But I'm finished with you
--Talk to Ya Later,
The Tubes 

You say yes, I say no
You say stop
and I say go go go 
--Hello, Goodbye,
The Beatles 

These last few weeks of holdin' on
The days are dull, the nights are long
Guess it's better to say
Goodbye to you 
--Goodbye to You,
Scandal
_______________________

Capping off an evening of inanity which passes as television news today was departing President Obama's Farewell Address to the nation from Chicago. It was a self-aggrandizing wrap on a lackluster two terms.

Mr. Obama proudly proclaimed that our lives as citizens matter, while inhabiting a podium in a city which he and anyone he knows and loves would not walk the streets sans Gestapo-like personal security details. Say it all you want, but the lives of those city's residents do not matter, not so much.

His boilerplate about how our soldiers, police and security apparatus have protected us from terrorist incidents drew hearty applause, but it is unproven. Mr. Obama was pitching woo over the murders of Osama bin Laden and thousands of terrorists, but the subjects of his kill orders were never near threats to the United States.

Those killings were merely convenient distractions, of the Wag the Dog variety.

The President cannot prove that his actions prevented terrorist attacks, and Ranger cannot prove his contention to the contrary. Neither Ranger nor Obama can prove that he is correct. Both positions, simply hypotheses without proof.

We here at RAW have maintained since 2005 that there have been no follow-on attacks because there are no operational terror assets capable of such actions here in the Homeland. The worst that we can expect are pin-prick attacks by pathetic losers wrongly portrayed as credible threats.

The President talked "democracy", while bragging of killing without trial and proof of guilt. Such actions are not democratic, and look suspiciously like those of the 9th century inhabited by crazed modern jihadists. Our leader is not a monarch wielding the power of life and death. Our Constitution says otherwise.

Ironically, this speech preempted a PBS special, "Super Weapons of the Third Reich". The coincidence provokes thought.

How do the U.S. drones unleashed on terror suspects differ from the V1 and V2 rockets used by the Nazis on the people of England? The U.S. Tomahawk missiles are direct descendants of these rockets. We launch them in the absence of declared war and on people outside the jurisdiction of our legal codes.

What the President did not say about democracy was that we hold detainees in a prison called Guantanamo, and that they are held without consideration of their being Prisoners of War (POW's) nor of their not having been convicted of any crime by any federal court.

One of Mr. Obama's feted election promises -- to dissolve GITMO, remains unfulfilled. 40 prisoners remain held in this legal limbo inflicted upon enemy combatants, our term for what the international community calls POW's.

Mr. Obama was elected on a platform of "hope" and "change", a counter-balance to the legal breeches of his predecessor. As he departs for his new $5 million D.C. digs (yes, the Obama's are leasing this humble abode, but they are buying multi-million dollar homes in California and Hawaii), it seems the main and abiding change will be in his personal and familial well-being.

The Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) has not achieved much for most of us, but has profited some, handsomely.

History will be the final arbiter of the actions of both President Obama and those of his predecessor.

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Monday, January 02, 2017

Welcome to the Post-Truth Era


--Schott (De Volkskrant, Netherlands)


 A half truth is a whole lie
--Yiddish proverb

Welcome to Costco,
I love you
--Idiocracy (2006)


It's a beautiful mornin', ah
I think I'll go outside a while
And just smile
Just take in some clean fresh air, boy!
--A Beautiful Morning,
The Rascals


Play that funky music white boy
Lay down that boogie and
play that funky music 'til you die
--Play That Funky Music,
Wild Cherry  

____________________
  
A caveat, and a wish:

Ranger and I considered this week which loss will hurt the most: the death of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) or former boy band singer George Michael. The news cycle has tended assiduously to both. But the answer is, “neither”.

The greatest loss is the integrity of the portal through we are fed such stuff. 2016 marks the death of the news media as a trusted partner in our vaunted democratic experiment. Requiescat in pace.

Yes, yes, we all know the news has always come with a bias, and even the fact of what we see is determined for us. But this year, the rust fully breached the veneer. 

It has been a long, inexorable regression. 

Newspapers have been precipitously cutting staff and shuttering operations for over a decade. Cheap, often unvetted and inaccurate content has filled the void (thank you Huffington Post for leading the way, exploiting desperate and often unpaid writers.)

Gone are most college journalism departments and their lessons of boring but stolid integrity. In their place, media studies programs where one learns the art of the package and the spectacle, how to be “newsy” and “newsish”, have bling, and get hired.


Fakirs and Magis:

In 2016, it became o.k. for "legitimate" newscasters to present a lie, provided it propped up the approved liberal agenda.

Couric edited her "Under the Gun" documentary to further the program's anti-gun agenda. Jill Stein was censored in her appearance on the PBS Newshour to make the candidate appear clueless. The reporting offenses are legion, and occurred daily through 2016 in every erstwhile legitimate news outlet. 

This year, I learned disgust for my previous go-to sites, places like The New York Times, The New Yorker and National Public Radio. Each liberal media source partook this election season in a robust and frenzied dance of “Kill the Other Candidate,” and they did so by any means necessary.

It turns out much of their “news” was fake -- misinformed or outright created to foment madness and fury. And in their mad bubble, they were wrong. (It didn't take a Carnac the Magnificent to see this.)

We head into 2017 dampened by a sour anger and a bitter fear born of their imposed and continually reinforced ideation. It is a poor way to welcome a new presidency and a New Year. 

For those who were blinkered, snookered and tribed-up, our wish and hope is that you will wake up, and not too hungover.


In the face of this loss, some tonic ideas from elsewhere:

A Swedish friend recently celebrated with me the Finnish concept of  “Sisu” (in honor of my heritage). Sisu is a national ethos, and has no English translation. Roughly, it means “grit”. Getting it done despite all resistance; seizing success from the jaws of defeat. 

Sisu is a good and noble sort of hardheadness.

We then spoke of “lagom”, the Swedish concept of “just enough” – neither too much, nor too little. Again, a concept absent from the average U.S. lexicon. 

Lagom is a sort of life art, the knowing and understanding of what is necessary for an elegantly simple life. It is a hard concept to acquire for one raised in our “more for me” society.

For good measure, we threw in the Danish idea of “hygge”. Hygge is both the having and the enjoying of simple comforts, the sort that makes a “hard rain’s gonna fall” sort of day bearable. It is neither ostentatious nor in excess. It may be private, or shared.  It is a self-comfort.

So for our readers may you know sisu, lagom and hygge as the holiday season draws nigh. May we all find a candle to light our way.

May we be grateful for the things not lost, and for the ability to apprehend and to appreciate them.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Not Gonna Die on That Hill


  --“Lily” calls for violence and death 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back 
--The Road Not Taken,
Robert Frost

Things go up, things go down,
but at least the Lord is always around 
--There Will be Blood (2007)

Pictures of Lily made my life so wonderful
Pictures of Lily helped me sleep at night
 Pictures of Lily solved my childhood problems
Pictures of Lily helped me feel alright 
--Pictures of Lily,
The Who 
_________________________

From among the people protesting the election of Donald Trump, CNN featured “Lily”, a sign-carrying Latina woman from Los Angeles who called for blood and death. Why this would have to happen for her was unclear.

Lily appeared like your prototypical American, what Ranger calls, the “fat, dumb and happy”. She appeared to be well-fed, clean and well made-up. Like the much too many, Lily was either stupid or misled in the nature of her amorphous animation, or someone paid her and put a sign in her hand.

Like so many people, Lily is living off the fat of the land. It is not a bad life. That is why so many immigrants come to this country.

We don't say anything negative about her call for anarchy because she is a Hispanic person. We are all cowed into fearing being labeled “racist”. In fact, we consider her kind of heroic since she is featured on CNN with no censure.

Lily states enigmatically, “There will be casualties on both sides. There will be, because people have to die to make a change in this world,” she continued. “Trump, enough with your racism. Stop splitting families. Don’t split my family.”

So, there must be casualties, because Mr. Trump has been “splitting families” (even though he hasn’t held political office yet.) This seems something of a non-sequitur.

One might guess that her baffling statement has to do with illegal Mexican immigrants wanting to bring other family members to the United States. Sorry, Lily, but I don’t want to die for your right to break immigration laws.

See, these things are set in law books, and it takes legal action to get them changed. We do have limits on the numbers and qualifications of immigrants which are allowed into the United States annually. You either qualify or you do not, and it all stands on current immigration law (not Donald Trump).

If people like Lily were interested in facts, they would know that President Obama is known as the "Deporter in Chief" for the large number of illegal, mostly criminal, aliens which he has sent toting. Ah, but he is a person of color, so therefore, he too, cannot be criticized.

In fact, his decisions in this matter have been correct, and they are commensurate with those of Donald Trump. (This, according to all the major news outlets.) Yet, despite the pesky facts, Berkeley students are protesting to coerce their school president to make their campus, post-Trump, an immigrant asylum zone.

Why they have remained mum for the past eight years is a mystery.

Now, here is a thought project: what if the sign-carrier were a Cliven Bundy-type telling the government to stay off his land? That he is not going to pay the BLM grazing fees – that he would also like to break the law, like Lily -- and that he too says, “People have to die.”

Would we be kindly disposed to Cliven’s call for blood? Perhaps deify him, too, on a CNN clip?

What if it were a Branch Davidian member in WACO, Texas, calling for people to die? That would have been ironic, since they were the ones who got killed (76 of them).

They were killed in 1993 in their religious compound after a 51-day standoff with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for suspected weapons violations. It has been postulated that the WACO deaths, in combination with those at the Ruby Ridge standoff a year earlier, were the tinder that set off the Oklahoma City (OKC) Bombing by McVeigh and Nichols exactly two years following WACO.

In 1995, OKC killed 168 people, injuring over 680. National mass killings have been with us more or less since then.

Killing is never a good way to solve a problem. It breeds more violence and killing to avenge the deaths, ad infinitum.

The nation's fear-mongering and anger escalation needs to end. The people must direct their energies to building, versus destroying.

Trump has been called upon by the press to address the rioters. But the rioters have some vague notion that they are rioting against him, so that doesn’t make much sense.

The press would be on standby, ready to call him an “interloper”, someone who does not respect democracy or President Obama, a bumpkin, tone-deaf, a jackboot or some other derisive epithets which they might conjure.

It would be like throwing butane on a fire, and Mr. Trump has rightly not made comment. What could he say after the press has had its year of evil play . . . “Don’t hate me?”

No, it must be a concerted effort, and President Obama could play a great role. By onboarding the President-elect and addressing the nation as a team, the two men could appeal to the nation’s heart and soul.

Perpetuating and fomenting protests against a legally executed election and duly-elected President shows a total lack of faith in our country.
It is a sad spectacle on the part of all the players.

 --Hatfield Clan

Our nation outgrew the Hatfield and McCoy grudge matches in the 19th Century. It would be a pity to resurrect them now.

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