Pandemic World!

We are inhabiting a foreign world these days. A world of fear vs. apathy, germs & isolation, recklessness vs paranoia vs. extreme caution. How do we cope? How does one cope if on top of that one is uprooted from one’s home of a lifetime?

After 49 of fifty years, one year early on in a different place, this soul finds himself in a new city. Nearly by but no longer of the place of his love & life. Displaced by a lack of financial fortitude. displaced by youth & assaulted by mother nature (along with the rest of us). One wonders if it’s worth the effort?

If I decide it is I should find the time to post here again…

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Edouard Dubus

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I never intended this blog and it’s counterparts to be purely Gay Issue oriented. However a number of Gay related news stories at present demand rebuttal. So the next few posts will be posted on all three blogs verbatim.
In no particular order:
Ann Coulter; her column of Sept. 28th “Does Rick Perry Have a Performance Problem”. Coulter makes some very bizarre statements.

 a) We already had a Republican president and both political parties try to foist amnesty on us. The country erupted in rage, forced Congress to withdraw Bush’s “comprehensive immigration reform” and rewarded Bush with a humiliating defeat in the 2006 midterm elections.

It wasn’t Perry’s delivery; it was his policy that Republicans — and apparently a lot of Democrats and independents — don’t like. Hispanic citizens who have undergone the arduous process of becoming citizens the legal way aren’t crazy about the idea either.                                    (my italics)

 This final sentence structured to imply an overwhelming consensus of opinion from legal Hispanic immigrants. I think a statement like that requires some statistical back-up. A quick on-line search today showed overwhelming consensus. The best (or worst) I could find was a Denver Post poll of 3,000 Colorado voters showed a majority of Hispanic respondents, 62% supported strict laws similar to Arizona’s and an odd extrapolation by another blogger:

It shows that most Hispanic-Americans understand the Arizona law isn’t about racism or even opposition to immigration. It’s about a state trying to curb illegal immigration only.   (my italics)

                                                                            Sure.

b) When the audience booed Gov. Perry, it wasn’t booing a former Air Force captain. It was booing in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

Similarly, the audience was not “booing a soldier” during one of the video questions, … The audience was booing the soldier’s demand that Republican presidential candidates commit to not overturning a sleazy partisan vote taken in the twilight days of the heavily Democratic 2010 Congress.                                                                                                                       (my underlines and italics)

 Be careful Ann (You don’t mind if I call Ann?), such elastic analogies can snap very easily.
For example there is a Brobdingnagian (Cool word huh!) difference between a political office holder, running for higher office who happens to be a veteran and an active serviceman serving in wartime. I really hope no further explication is required on that point.
What would you and fellow conservative commentators be saying if the soldier asked the same question worded from a conservative viewpoint and the same number of audience members booed? The uproar would be deafening!
further:

c) The audience was booing the soldier’s demand…. (my italics again)
Serviceman Stephen Hill: In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job.
My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?

I’m hard pressed to find anything approaching a demand in the above quote. If I’m somehow missing it would someone please point it out to me.
Serviceman Hill, thank you for your service to our nation and BRAVO for your courage in coming out as you did.
The only word that comes to mind to describe the breakdown of the question and inclusion of interjections is cunning. You managed to give a perception of length and pause to the question that wasn’t there and invent an exaggerated sense patience on the part of the audience while magnifying the specificity of the booing to suit your purpose.
d) It is beyond absurd to demand that Republican candidates pledge not to consider altering a recent rule change overturning a military policy that had been in effect from the beginning of warfare until the last few weeks of the 111th Congress.
From the beginning of warfare! come on Ann, that’s downright pitiful.
see DOD Directive 1332.14, January 28, 1982, Part 1, Section H
A quick search of Amazon or Abe books will reveal an avalanche of books countering that sentence!

e) This is not an anti-gay position; it’s a pro-military position. The basic idea is that sexual bonds are disruptive to the military bond.                                                                     Soldiers, sailors and Marines living in close quarters who are having sex with one another, used to have sex with one another or would like to have sex with one another simply cannot function as a well-oiled fighting machine.

It just keeps getting worse and worse. Proofs? Statistics? Studies?” Legitimate ones that is.

f) A battalion of married couples facing a small unit of heterosexual men would be slaughtered.                                                                                                                           (My italics)

Epaminondas,                                             The Sacred Band of Thebes
 
                                                Need I say more!

g) But liberals enjoy engaging in wild social experiments(my italics) with other people’s lives, safety and money in order to feel better about themselves. So now the next Republican president is going to have to repeal open sexuality in the military along with Obamacare.

“Wild social experiments” like equality and the franchise for woman and blacks, or maybe Truman’s desegregating the military or Eisenhower’s use of federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the nine students in Little Rock etc., etc., etc.,

h) Let’s just hope the Germans don’t start feeling militaristic before then. ( my italics)

The dig about the Germans is cute-I’m sure that’ll help our relations with Germany and improve our image overseas!
Most of the rest of that particular column is grist for another time, except to remark on Coulter’s claim of Liberal bullying tactics. I’ll have to let that one by, for if there’s one thing Conservatives in this country know it’s bullying tactics!
So much more to come…….
                                                                                                               A.S.Merrimac

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“Honor” Student

I was going to post something regarding this travesty, however I found a post on the blog I Should Be Laughing that laid out the story completely and objectively. Give it a read, it’ll be time well spent!

A.S.Merrimac

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I Met a Man

I met a man just like me,
He loves his family, just like me.
He loves his land, just like me.
He loves the spring, just like me.
He loves the blue of the sky, just like me.
He loves the flickering stars and transiting planets, just like me.
He loves the rich earth, the sapphire seas and the golden sun,
just like me.
He loves his life, just like me.
He loves as I love,
we are the same in all we love.
I met a man just like me,
He loves his God, just like me.
We are the same,
but for our God’s name.
I met a man just like me,
In truth we really are the same.
All of us, you and me.
                                                    A.S.Merrimac

Sept. 26, ’11

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The Art of Politics

Compromise
a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things
(Merriam-Webster)
 
American politics is, essentially a battle between opposing, but broad viewpoints on various planes intersecting at various places sharing the governance of the land through all levels of government. This battle takes place on the back of a huge moderate majority. All laid out in a way that prevents any faction from gaining complete and permanent control of our government. It has been tried, many times in our past and it will be tried again in our future. This form of republican government is by necessity cumbersome and messy. And we should be grateful it’s that way.
The ONLY way this system can function and endure is through compromise. As we’ve seen this year; when any one faction digs in its proverbial heels, the entire political machine grinds to a halt. No mechanism can properly run if one of its gears refuses to turn. No matter how much or how loud any constituency cheers the steadfast stubborn gear, the machine will soon break down. Flexibility is a cornerstone of democracy. ( Inefficiency is another. )
  Any faction which refuses to compromise endangers our nation. Any faction which refuses to accommodate that with which they disagree endangers our nation. Quite simply anyone who opposes any and all change is un-American. This nation has survived because of its adaptability; in spite of some severe tests. Times of great challenges and difficulties demand plasticity, a reactionary stand will cause us to fall. Look around, in all of nature that which bends eventually destroys that which is rigid and unmoving. Resilience is survival.
  Accept and embrace change. Like the swimmer in the grip of riptide swim with the current, to fight it is to drown; work with, not against change.
  I love this great nation; so much so that I willingly face its scars and deformities in the bright sunlight of honest  day and work to heal, rather than hide her wounds. I acknowledge past wrongs in order to prevent future wrongs. I adapt.
   Demand that flexibility of your representatives, demand it of yourself. Don’t just accept, stand up and fight for liberty even for those you oppose. Give what you expect to receive. And like the child in a toy store, accept the fact that you can’t have everything you want all the time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A.S.Merrimac

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.    
 – Thomas Jefferson

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On a Water Taxi

image from the web

I

You sat across from me,

on the starboard side,

just forward,

on the little water taxi.

At that moment

we could have been on Charon’s barge,

I didn’t care.

You were small built,

with tousled dark hair

and a casual beard.

Your eyes hidden behind

simple tortoise shell sunglasses.

 II

I first noticed that rough dark beard

& then the thick dark hair

showing in the irregular “V”

of the two open buttons of your shirt.

III

So beautiful!

IV

Sparks of white light,

the steel ring in your left ear,

& the silver band on your right hand.

V

Were you looking at me from behind those dark glasses,

or out beyond at the port side view?

Honestly, I wonder-

did you even notice me?

Where you wondering;

“Why does he keep looking at me?”

VI

I could not help myself,

Your youthful masculine beauty

easily won out over the familiar harbor views.

Your form,

Your perfect tan.

A tan of healthy summer activity.

VII                                                                                                                                                                    The golden sunlight glinting off the bleached hair

of arms & legs.

The soft wavering shadow lines;

faint tracings along your hands & forearms

revealing the arterial channels

shot through with your youthful lifeblood.

VIII

What of that sheathed body?

What of those masked eyes?

What of that unknown psyche,

or that primeval id?

Who are you really?

IX

I know you are so much more

than just that splendid form,

visible before my eyes.

Are you good & true?

or evil & crude perhaps?

X

I shall never know you,

beyond that arousing frame.

You’ll never read this,

  if you did, you’d never know,

  It’s about you.

This poor jumble is all I’ll ever have

beyond faded memory of our brushing paths,

All I can ever do to express such bittersweet gratitude;

taking of you what I could with eyes alone.

How can I assuage my regret:

I’ll never know the complete you,

still, I thank you swarthy stranger.

A.S.Merrimac

Summer  ’11

copyright ASM 2011

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Beginning

Greetings, I am simply another small voice in this vast place of no place; this web electronically connecting us all. Our world is smaller & smaller each day, we learn more & more about each other every day. We are all passengers aboard this spinning orb careering through space & time, all overseen by a Entity; a Power, a Creator, whatever word you may choose “It” goes far beyond language.
Today it is thought all humanity is descended from a meager few thousand individuals aeons ago in an  Ice Age. We nearly died out, but for a few hardy souls. There is more DNA variety in a tribe of lower primates than in all of us! We are brothers & sisters yet we fear & hate each other so often. We close off our minds to different ideas & interpretations. We create false standards & ranks to divide ourselves. When will we acknowledge the one supreme tribe: life
From time to time I shall share my canted way of seeing our world through essays, fiction & philosophy (even some very poor attempts at poetry). I have a very definite view of the world, one I have much faith in, but I know it’s only one view. I hope to be able to share my thoughts & beliefs with those who are interested as well as learn their views & beliefs. We may never agree but it is my hope we can begin to understand & accept each other & our views.

A.S. Merrimac

“Then to the lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean’n, the Secret of my life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmured—“While
you live,
Drink!—for once dead, you never shall
return.”

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám:        XXXV

from the web

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