Category Archives: Truth At Last

The State of The Nation #3478.02A

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The State of The Union, #3478.02A

AN ALLEGORY

We need some structural work, and can’t find a good carpenter.  We need the plumbing re-done; a new hookup to the sewer.  Well, we need a sewer, because the leach field out back is poisoning the corn field down hill of it.  Been that way for two years, and the public was supposed to do something.  And, guess what, we can’t get a plumber, and the DPW  don’t answer the phone anymore.

We need the road outside paved.  That was promised years ago.  And I think Jasper, the guy over on the other side of the hill?  I think his pickup’s still in the hole where the road washed out last March.  Ain’t no glass in the window, and the electric’s been out for six months since the creek took down the bridge and the feed from the power company. Killed most of the trout up and down for a mile till someone down there cut the switch to up here.

Ain’t got no phone. That went with the electric. The old man lost his job cause the bridge went out and he couldn’t get acrost the creek.  Tried beaver and muskrat trapping, but he can’t get out in the water with no boots, which he gave up when he got work in the town, and the boat got crushed by the bridge fallin’.

Got no firewood.  We was countin’ on Uncle Dan to deliver us a load, but last we talked, he said he can’t get enough for himself, and there ain’t no coal left since the mines was shut down..  Besides, creek’s to wild to walk it across since the damn cracked and flooded everything upstream last year.

But, what the hell.  Winter’s still three or four months away.  We don’t starve first, when it comes real strong we’ll freeze to death.  That’s a good way to go.  Painless, kinda easy, happy like.

Tommy, the oldest one, set out yesterday to walk across the mountain to see if there’s anythin’ them folks can do in North Valley.  He took the last blanket, a cook pot and some coffee.  Not much else.

If you’re readin’ this, we’re dead.  Bury us upland of this place.  We always like lookin’ at it, an’ hopin’.

Ellen

Frostiana, Your Lines Don’t Seem to Be His Work

Some scholars say that this is one of Robert Frost’s last poems.  No scholar myself, I simply know that it cannot be from the textual evidence.  Can you see why Frost could not have written it?

The Edge of Winter

Windy Autumn brawls down my street
Kicking fallen leaves aside.
Frantically scuttering they compete
For any safe place to hide

This dance I think is good excuse
For me to wait until the Spring.
Leaf herding with split bamboo’s
No good at all for my old wings.

The brash youngster across the way’s
Gone and got himself a leaf blower
That stirs up a hurricane
Of leaves and needles.  A shower

Surrounds him slowly blowing
His way across the lawn.
I watch him working, knowing
While he works the law time worn:

The afternoon won’t have ended,
Day will not yet have gone
Gentle, but bright colors blended
Once more blanket his deep green lawn .

 

Rolling Stone’s Stupidity

Catherine Ann Fanning was born on June 18, 1883, in the little town of Leighlinbridge in Cty. Carlow, Ireland.  She left at 16 and came to New York City.  She went immediately to work ten hours a day in the laundry of a large convalescent home in the East Bronx.  It’s still there.  If you use the Whitestone bridge to get to Long Island you’ll see it, the large red stone building, on your left as you approach the toll booths.  It borders St. Raymond’s Cemetery.

I don’t know how many years she worked there. I do know that she worked in similar places until she was in her seventies, nearly, and began to lose her mind.

She was my father’s mother.  She never went home.

Years later I was there, in the little town she left,  with a cousin.  We went to a low hill in a cemetery overlooking the river Barrow and the lovely plain beyond.  He told me a few stories of my grandmother’s family and the conditions in which they lived.  While he spoke, I remembered her own stories, of one meal a day, and that cold potatoes or oatmeal, on land her father farmed for someone far away.  “It’s our own land once again,” my cousin said. Listening quietly I knew why my grandmother never went home.

Nothing was there.

Ella McGowan was born in New York City very near the same date as Catherine Fanning in a place that used to be called The Five Points.  Her father had grown up there, and she spent her young years there.  She married a fellow named Downs and bore him four children in the first years of the 20th Century, the Edwardian Age to some; a time of elegance and excess.  Mr. Downs?  He fell in love with long distance and left her and the kids in The Five Points, a place a slum dog millionaire would avoid.

She was my mother’s mother.  She never went home, either.  What use?  It was demolished to make way for court houses and skyscrapers.

In their own way they were each as soft as kittens and as fierce as tigers.  They both spent much of their day in prayer when I saw them on visits, or on longer stays at our very crowded apartment in Kingsbridge.  I loved them both.

Ellen Frances MacAuliffe was my wife’s mother.  Born in Ireland she left at 16, too, and came here.  She had her own stories, about beatings and shootings in the street from the Black and Tans.  But she never said a word about them, nor about her husband, who came home from two years in combat in Europe a wasted man, who abandoned her and her two children.  She was a quiet, happy woman.  Neither did my wife breathe a word, aside from the occasional, “When life gives you lemons…” kind of observation.

I loved them both.

There is a publication called Rolling Stone that appears regularly on the newsstands and is read by enough people to warrant the expectation of those who publish it that they can do it again, can feed themselves on its income.  I wish they weren’t so full of hope.  I had never read it until a day or so ago when I was interested enough to do it because my granddaughter , a journalism student, gave it what is called now a “shout out” for a story in it.

You have probably heard of the story.  Desiring, I suppose, to place the story before the eyes of as many as possible, and to make the story’s point even more graphically, the cover of the issue was filled with the face of a doe eyed, soft faced young man.  Framed with wavy black hair, the face could have been the subject of some Renaissance master, either in stone or oil; another David.  The rest of the issue was mere filler to the young fellow’s story, the story of a cold blooded killer and the people who loved him, the story of a kid who had a difficult time not being “the best he could be”…and the people who knew him, helped him, befriended him and whom he betrayed.  Some of these people, fellow students, were the ones who helped him by hiding the elements of his crime; accessories after the fact to bloody terrorism.

That was almost more disturbing to read about than the portrait the author painted of this fellow.  In five or so pages, she detailed a life of woe and disappointment, frustration and discord, all endured while the young fellow and his family were well cared for by the state.  He went to school, became a well liked athlete, earned the respect and fellowship of his peers, was a darling to his teachers.  In the end, he was unsatisfied, though.  So he became a terrorist.

Yesterday, while spending a quiet afternoon with some people I know who have had their own share of  “bad times” I learned something.  In the hospitals across Boston on the day that this nice young man and his brother set off their home made WMDs men and women with their own tough stories were picking nails and bits of metal from the shredded skin and burnt limbs of hundreds of victims of his bad mood.

There are other pictures to appear on Rolling Stone covers, and other stories to be written I suppose.   And, well there’s really no sense in getting personal about this, but I can’t help wondering what in the world was so interesting about this kid killer’s life that required the time needed and the space devoted to telling it?  You want to write about people whose lives were tough?  Why not write about Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman or George Washington Carver?  Why not tell the story of Elie Wiesel or Alexander Solzhenitsyn?  Why not speak of Saints Josephine Bakitha, Kateri Tekakwitha  or of Pierre Toussaint.

Instead we got five pages of “the rest of the story”, a depressing tale of disgruntled and ungrateful people blaming others for their failures and angrily biting the hands that fed them.  Are we supposed to sympathize with them all, the killers and the fools, the complainers and the complacent?

Someone said that journalism’s purpose is to bring the truth to light. But what is the point in telling anyone the “truth” about losers, abettors and their mentors and friends?  The only truth that matters here is that this young man is a killer and some of his friends are ignorant enough to think that helping a killer cover his horrible crime is a good thing to do.  That was mentioned but was not covered by Rolling Stone.  Why it wasn’t may be a story worth telling.  It’s certain it won’t be told by Rolling Stone.

This story may have been an exercise in public relations, and badly done at that.  It was certainly not truth, or journalism – however one conceives that thing.

The Last Act

A friend sent me this article which is either in the present issue of Newsweek or scheduled to appear next week.

You know it’s about time.

As a matter of fact it’s long past time, but even so a part of me can’t help .feeling sorry for the guy, the same way I felt sorry for the young man in the Manchurian Candidate.

He’s been lied to all his life, told he can do something for which by 2008 was apparent to me at least he was supremely unfitted, and now, only now, are the party’s kholops in the press waking up to their responsibility to the people. Only now are they waking up period and using their heads for something else other than keeping their ears apart.

Still, I do feel sorry. The first debate was a kind of Shakespearean or Greek tragedy live in front of 150 million people.  A Great Sadness might be a good title I thought as I watched him deflate and disappear in  front of  the live audience; disappear into a caricature of a leader, a stuttering, feebly smiling, imbecilically mumbling shadow; a pity.   Who could have written a more pathetic bit of theater?  Who could have performed as well the so distressingly inadequate leader?  His earlier missteps, malapropisms and mistakes here and abroad reminded me then and now as little more than Danny Kaye type clownings; the pratfalls of a fool.  Sure, he was the leader of the country, but who really believed that.  Who still can?  He has all along been playing a role.

Who knew that deeply inside him, he was coming to the realization that this was some serious kimchee he was in, and for years more?  What an agony it must be.

Who knew that his much lauded but sometimes frustratingly time consuming “weighing of  options” was a combination of fear and the old choomers natural avoidance of responsibility?  Go back now and look  at the photo of him taken the night that Osama bin Laden is killed.  He sits, hunched over, thin and miserable, a look of anguish and dread it seemed to me on his face.  Deep worry of course, but for whom, for what?

It was a great relief to him, I thought, that he made the announcement he made, against all propriety, all sense; very probably a betrayal of the nation’s security, but for him, poor weak creature, a necessary crowing, a dance in the end zone, a running to mother.  His one triumph!  Wherever Mom was, wherever his never there father was that night I suppose he was holding up the dead murderer and saying, “See…?  I did it myself!”

Oh, I could almost vote for him out of pity saying to anyone who’d listen, “Why not give it to him to play with again?  Let’s not take it away from him, the poor kid.”  After all, one might think from the way things have played out he’s never really had anything, has he?

He’ll have to go through this twice more, and I will feel sorry for him.  I don’t know if I can watch.   I will, though.  I have paid for the ticket and should stay until the final act in January.  I do hope that there will be no situation comedy version; though in many ways the situation cries out for comedy.  Enough sadness!

We need a laugh.

Oh, before you read this bit below I want to share with you one last thought based strictly on the change, the awakening to the light that appears to have come over the author of the piece. Ask why, and then wonder why we don’t have some kind of procedure to prosecute publishers, editors, reporters, producers and news directors, TV anchors and “pundits”, for malfeasance.  Can you bring an action against a vital and necessary function of the republic and the people who serve it for their willful blindness to biographical facts about this man which they have preferred to obfuscate and deflect rather than confront more honestly.  Well, of course you can’t.  But if anyone was needed, if any such thing was warranted, it is here.

“What did they know and when did they know it?”

They knew it all along.  Laugh at that!

THE WASHINGTON POST HITS OBAMA

Finally, the Washington Post and Newsweek speak out about Obama. This is timely and tough. As many of you know, the Washington Post and Newsweek have a reputation for being extremely liberal. The fact that their editors saw fit to print the following article about Obama and the one that appears in the latest Newsweek, makes this a truly
amazing event, and a news story in and of itself. At last, the truth about our President and his agenda are starting to trickle through the “protective wall” built around him by the liberal media.

___________________________

I Too Have Become Disillusioned.

By Matt Patterson (columnist – Washington Post, New York Post, San
Francisco Examiner)

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack
Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a
baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the
Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of
professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could
manage the world’s largest economy, direct the world’s most powerful
military, execute the world’s most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama’s pre-presidential life:
ushered into and through the Ivy League, despite unremarkable grades
and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a “community
organizer;” a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative
achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did
he vote “present”); and finally an unaccomplished single term in the
United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his
presidential ambitions.

He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature
legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his
troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher
who for decades served as Obama’s “spiritual mentor”; a real-life,
actual terrorist who served as Obama’s colleague and political
sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all
and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz
addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be
sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken
hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist
like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama
was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberal Dom to have
hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if
they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama
was given a pass – held to a lower standard – because of the color of
his skin.

Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history
matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself
had said) “non-threatening,” all of which gave him a fighting chance
to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of
racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the
Obama phenomenon – affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of
course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all
affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily
to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about
themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat
themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools
for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the
inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow.
Liberals don’t care if these minority students fail; liberals aren’t
around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self-esteem
resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes,
racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the
color of his skin – that’s affirmative action in a nutshell, and if
that isn’t racism, then nothing is.

And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was never
troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many
have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite
undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough
for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was told
he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the
Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was
good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the
contrary.

What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display
every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked
executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama’s oratory
skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people – conservatives
included – ought now to be deeply embarrassed.

The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that’s when
he has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent
he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever
issued from his mouth – it’s all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that
has failed over and over again for 100 years.

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and
everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I
inherited this mess. Remember, he wanted the job, campaigned for the
task. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise
his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But
really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for
anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small-minded man, with neither the
temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand
that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of
liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise
with such a man in the Oval Office.