Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's a Katy Bar the Door Thing

Dear America,

katy bar the door

maybe it's just me, but I just can't bear to listen to it.

The absolute protection of a nation's entire health and welfare should never be left in the care of the politics of it.

Some of you may remember a few 'days' back, my brief remarks on dealing with a medical emergency --  when my girl, all the way on the other side of the country, required a 911 call and a brief stay at a local emergency room.  Fortunately, all was well at the end of the day and she returned to her dorm in time for afternoon tea and life went on as if nothing had ever happened.

As with all emergency calls -- the paramedics and hospital staff don't discriminate.  They just do.  They jump to the task at hand at the mercy of the circumstances at play, no matter what.  

And how many times have people boarded a plane bearing symptoms of the flu -- slight fever, aches and pains, and just dying to get home to their own bed?

And President Obama cancels a fundraiser?  Now?
He had to get his sleep the night of the Benghazi attacks just to get to where ever it was the next day.... Los Angeles,.... Las Vegas...can't remember; no matter, he sure couldn't cancel those plans. But he stopped everything to gather the troops to talk about Ebola?  

I thought everything was under control?

After hearing of the missile downing a passenger jet over Ukraine, life went on business as usual.    After hearing of one of own be beheaded by ISIS, golf went on for the afternoon totally unaffected.   What's so different about this situation that prompted the discriminating gesture of throwing off the best laid plans and prompt your full attention, Mr. President?

And if I hear Thomas Frieden say 24/7 one more time....well I ought-ta...

no, no, here's a good quote (thanks to CNS News):

“I think there are two different parts of that equation,” he continued. “The first is, if you’re a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone? And the answer is no.”
“Second, if you are sick and you may have Ebola, should you get on a bus? And the answer to that is also no. You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you,” he said.

The thing is -- as I may be sounding very well all over the place -- I'm not alone in my flighty outbursts of contradiction and confusion; I have plenty of company...CDC, check.  NIH, check, White House, check check.

katy bar the door


How is it that this morning  -- after authorizing the second nurse to board the Frontier flight from Ohio back to Texas -- the CDC mulls over the possibility of changing protocol and putting all medical personnel who just happened to have come in contact with the patient who died in Texas, suddenly land themselves on the "no-fly" list --  AND YET, no one seems all that concerned about banning flights from the African countries  at the heart of the Ebola virus?  Come fly, come all.

Are you kidding me?
And you know -- it's funny (not really) -- how is it that as things progress, or rather, regress -- the effective protocols in place require change?   

And on top of that, how is it that our president is considering sending more troops -- National Guard -- to Liberia?

Again, with the contradictions being sharply illuminated by the politics of it all.  

We can send our steadfast National Guard into a situation containing absolute danger of contracting a deadly virus, in the protection of non-citizens, but we can't send our National Guard to our borders to protect us?   

Until we truly have a handle on this thing called Ebola, wouldn't it be smart  -- in the protection of  America and all of our citizens -- to quarantine -- to quarantine all 300 million of us, that is?

katy bar the door


And if, in fact, we know that the virus contagion can be active in the body for 21 days, how do we really know how vulnerable the public truly is, even before someone coming down with a fever?

If the CDC director, Tom Frieden, tells us we need to "stop it [Ebola] at the source"  -- doesn't that mean keep it within the borders on the continent of Africa?  



Our healthcare system is already being tested in ways unimaginable with added costs and regulations and bureaucracy and subsidizing  -- how is it even possible to put the African Ebola epidemic at the top of the list of things to do?  [personal note: bear in mind, seven hours in the emergency room after simply fainting and accidentally hitting the head costs about a grand per hour.  NO kidding.  I wonder what it will cost in the care-taking of an entire nation (or three) of the Ebola virus?]

And what about this news breaker -- via the Washington Times -- here's the opening:


The Centers for Disease Control told the incoming Obama administration in 2008 that it should establish 18 regional disease detection centers around the world to adequately safeguard the U.S. from emerging health threats like Ebola, according to an agency memo.
But six years later, as the government struggles to contain the fallout from a deadly Ebola outbreak at home and abroad, the CDC still has only 10 centers — and none of them operates in the western Africa region hardest hit by the deadly virus.

2008 was a long time ago.

katy bar the door


So here we are, instead of putting our troops on the border, we are putting them at risk by physically traveling to places like Liberia to assist in the containment of this virus; while, here at home, leaving our borders open to whatever.   And when I say 'whatever' the list is growing:   illegal immigrants, illegal gang violence, illegal Islamic Extremists, and the illegal spread of all kinds of infectious and deadly diseases.  Come one, come all.

We can't be seen as intolerant or discriminating in any possible way...even if such actions protect the health and welfare of our own.

While to continue on this thread of being all over the place, let's applaud a couple actions of the free market.

British Airways, who began suspending flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone back in August, is extending the restrictions through MARCH!   Cue the Liberian diplomat who calls such actions knee-jerk and contempt-able...and bear with me now as I link to The Telegraph for more on that.

And what kind of help does an Ebola Swat Team accomplish after the fact, the day after another person in America has been infected, Mr. President?

And let's cue Pete Hoekstra, former House Intelligence Chairman, via Newsmax, highlighting conflicting optics:
"The director of the CDC yesterday saying, 'We've got all of our rules and regulations and the protocols, they're all very, very clear,' and then people are saying, 'Well, if everything is so well understood and they work so well, why is it that we now have two nurses that have Ebola?'
As Newsmax goes on to add:

The Michigan Republican says the Obama administration needs to "step back, take a deep breath. Before you say you got it under control, understand exactly what's going on." 
Hoekstra contends that this is another example of the administration's putting "politics before policy." 
katy bar the door

I don't know...
I say, let's pass the hat around and take donations, and send money.

Ask for volunteers to go to Africa -- to assist.

Stop all flights from the infectious countries until such time we have things under control.

Send medications.  Send food and water.  All while working personnel to and fro don Hazmat suits.

And close our border...Maybe until March...We'll see,
I'll have my people get back to your people.

Let's have a summit.  Create a task force.  Soon.  
Lord knows, we have plenty of shovel ready jobs ahead.

Yes, I'm being flip and all over the place all the way to the brutal end.


Make it a Good Day, G

Oh my:  THIS JUST IN!  An area of Southwestern College, in a south county of San Diego, Chula Vista --  has just gone on lock down, and full quarantine AFTER a student who had apparently come in contact with the nurse in flight exhibited symptoms.  She vomited in class and confessed to the possibility of just maybe...hopefully it's nothing.  Maybe she's got the flu.  No No, maybe it's worse, maybe she's pregnant.

katy bar the door

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's Fool Me Once, Shame on You, Fool Me Twice...Thing

Dear America,

plucked from a recent email from one of my favorite organizations, Liberty Counsel, little g finds great inspiration...Matthew Staver quotes our sixth president, John Quincy Adams...

 "The precept of the Quran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that (Mohammed) is the prophet of God ... As the essential principle of (Mohammed's) faith is the subjugation of others by the sword; it is only by force, that his false doctrines can be dispelled, and his power annihilated. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force."

Of course, this left me stabbed down the center of my being in a split decision, arguing with myself over which way to go with it --  whether I was going to use this snippet of JQA as the seed, prompting me to seek and find more...Or, would I sit stymied by frustration and do nothing with it, letting the absurdity devour me from the inside out and fully abandon any opportunity for true enlightenment?

But splendid is as splendid does.

In the process of unearthing the more, I discovered a brand spanking new website -- Apologetics Press.  Although -- let me clarify:  Apologetics Press is hardly new; it's birth dates back to the seventies!  It's merely new to me.

And along these lines of the more I know, the more I learn I don't know -- how crazy is it that our government has known about the threat of Islam for so very long?  How mind-boggling to realize that John Quincy Adams had studied and written in-depth on the subject, recording it for all future generations of government to take note --  to heed --  to perhaps take advantage of -- and most importantly, to use such knowledge in the security and protection of our Constitutional Republic.

As I begin to think -- what a freakin' waste of expertise and fair warning.

Now normally I would give you all a tidbit or two, a morsel, just something to stave off the hunger pangs, but today, I say no.  If you want to know what I read @ Apologetics Press you will need to go to @ Apologetics Press -- so just hit THIS.  My deep appreciation goes out to Dave Miller, who wrote the post, as well as to the entire organization, for producing such a bounty of knowledge for all to partake (and without asking for anything in return.)    Just think of it as a place where fruits of the Vine run amuck and it is good.  So good.  How could anyone say no to that?

New subject, same topic:  Go Duncan Hunter.

The THING is:

When responding to the question as to what do we know and when did we know it...America?

Oh, we've known.

We've known everything we need to know on Islam for a very long time.  And it isn't bigotry, Ben Affleck.

So here are my final thoughts on the day, this day:
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Make it a Good Day, G


Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's Who is Being Naive, America ...It's an Un-checked Contagion Thing

Dear America,

so don't we all love technology...

until it sucks.

Oh yes, says the girl who refuses to get a smart phone...

Frustrated is the day everything breaks.  And when I say "everything" -- I mean, my every thing, my life, my love, my blog, my connection to the world and to the people I adore ... my computer; it's the everything that makes it possible to make all things, and any possible thing, go boom. 

And as ponder what I just said, I feel like I'm channeling 'Charlie' of the AT&T commercials.  when he says, "I know, I can't imagine living without it...it's a place people come, to share knowledge and ideas..."  just before his jaw drops at the number of likes on his selfie...[ a hundred, btw].   The old gthing can so relate.

Actually, let me take that back; I can't relate -- as a hundred likes has never happened on anything I've posted.   It would make my jaw drop, too.  But I digress.

gosh, I love him.  He had me at "did it hurt?...when you fell from heaven"...

But to save the day here, let's move on.org.

I believe the last thing we talked about was the latest illumination of a "new" terrorist group:  the Khorasan Group.

At the time, if you recall, little g was somewhat mocking it's arrival on the news front, thinking it sounded more like a Hedge Fund.   Turns out -- little g wasn't that far off, now was she?

As you say, what?  

stop speaking in tongues and explain yourself...

okay.  I WILL.  And more than that, I will count on somebody else to do it --  somebody with the brass and access to the intelligence and the personal background, to say so.   So take that and read THIS: The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist.  [It's been talked about and shared all over the internet for days now...And it explains just about everything.  Enjoy.]

It's painful, isn't it?

It's painful having all this knowledge at out fingertips and with very little power to do anything about it.

Did you know that within Obama's United Nations speech he applauded a controversial Muslim Cleric?

Cue, The Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo, who brings tidings of sweet alarm in his post, Obama Praises Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa on Killing U.S. Soldiers.

Seriously?

Now don't you think somebody else -- somebody other than me --  as in our president --  has some esplainin' to do?

There are not words, there is no explaining your way out of that one, Mr. President.  But is anyone going to really call him out on it?

Interesting is Steve Wynn's attempt at calling out the fraud.

Recently interviewed, Wynn basically said on NBC News that he is "stunned at the immaturity of this administration...since '08...we elected a man as president who had no experience on anything -- nothing --what did you expect? "


And my reply:

exactly.

And all of a sudden Micheal Corleone is ringing in my ear..."oh. Who's being naive, Kay?"

Oh. Who's being naive, Steve?

Barack Obama being UNqualified, UNprepared, UNvetted, and IN-experienced in just about everything, with NO record (scratch that, make that an edited record, of bad sorts) made him the all too marketable, priceless, invaluable tool to the whole. And when I say "whole" -- we are talking about The Left ----- the super pac powerful, think tank supplied, George Soros sourced, mainstream media politicized and supported,  progressively undermining, take down of everything AMERICAN... the brash, asinine, we can only "co-exist" if you are Left, Left.

His "immaturity" that you speak --if we can all agree to disagree to call it that -- was an advantage.

He is the face for The Left to make it all possible.

He's the hardware to make all the software behind the scenes to make the change, to make the FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION all possible, from the roots.

No, no, I got it.

Obama is the ebola of our time in American government; he is the face of an UN-checked contagion.  He is the face of a virus infecting all of us -- his administration is destroying not only the very foundation from which this country stands, he is infiltrating every facet of our lives and livelihood and making us, as a nation, completely, recklessly, unconscionably, ill to the point, quite possibly, of no return.

There is one more thing I encourage you to read today.

It just might explain how easily the fraud is all getting done, and better still, UN-done.

For this we turn to Hillsdale College and it's monthly newsletter, Imprimis: The History and Danger of Administrative Law.  As all newsletters. it is a written adaptation of a speech made by the guest speaker, Philip Hamburger,  Hamburger comes with a qualified, vetted, resume a mile long.

And given I really, really, really want you to read the whole thing, I will do my best not to give it all a way right here and right now. But let's just say, Hamburger makes a few stunning, mature, remarks on the subject of everything Constitutional and everything that's not.  And it's all available on the world wide web for everyone!  Isn't that great!  Isn't it just marvelous!  Isn't the internet wonderful!

Hamburger says at one point, 

I argue that the rise of administrative law is essentially a re-emergence of the absolute power practiced by pre-modern kings.  Rather than a modern necessity, it is a latter day version of a recurring threat -- a threat inherent in human nature and in the temptations of power...

Whereas ordinarily kings bound their subjects through statutes passed by Parliament, when exercising prerogative power they bound subjects through proclamations or decrees -- or what we today call rules and regulations.  Whereas ordinarily kings would repeal old statutes, when exercising prerogative power they issued dispensations and suspensions -- or what we today call waivers.  Whereas ordinarily kings enforced the law through courts of law, when exercising prerogative power they enforced their commands through prerogative courts -- courts such as the King's Council, the Star Chamber, and the High Commission -- or what we today call administrative courts...

AND so on...

Indeed.


Obama is the face of a man with intent to do harm to America, no question in my mind.  He is the face of an highly organized fraud against everything we know and love. 

And this  is not fanaticism speaking.

We are in the midst of unchecked power running a muck...whether discussing the economy, illegal immigration, foreign affairs, healthcare...and it's all about control, absolute control.  It's all about change, fundamental change, transforming America in every way, absolutely.

He made it perfectly clear before he was president; and he has methodically double downed on it in the every day thereafter.  He has continued to use his connections, his position of power, his deep-seated judgement against this country,and virtually every hardware and software known to man and made available to all, to his advantage.

And just in case I haven't made my point :  THIS Administration is the face of a world wide web of deceit in motion and it may just kill us before they are done.

and isn't that just grand.


Make it a Good Day, G

And what the hell is the Senior Adviser to the President of the United States doing on The Good Wife?    How dare you corrupt one of my favorite shows?  Ugh.
Seriously?  How can anyone take this administration seriously when it implants it's propaganda into our day to day like this?  And she wasn't even good!   But thank you... talk about transparency... thank you.  Some of us can see right through the emperor rising and leaving imprints in it's wake.  Kinda like tracking cookies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's What in Tar Nation is the Mission Thing

Dear America,


hey. two days in a row. just look at me go.

So... returning to yesterday's topic for a twirl, what caught my eye this morning was this....

Featured on Fox News NY, the AP in Berlin noted that the Defense Minister in Germany -- Ursula -- ASKED for volunteers to fight the highly infectious, deadly, Ebola enemy.  

Fascinating, isn't it?  The different strokes for different folks.

Clearly, the situation warrants considerable thought -- of life and limb, of family and friends, and if one truly wishes to step into harm's way on purpose.  It was nice that she asked first, you know.

But no............... our Commander-In-Chief just deployed 3000 troops without asking a single one of them.  Can you imagine being on that list?

And how about them Jets?

And you know I love my football; but this ain't about that.

Can you believe we have bombed out Syria overnight?

This morning our Commander-In-Chief was pandering to the press and paparazzi for extra recognition on behalf of entering another country, without permission really,  and essentially without any western allies, to bomb it. 

And remember now, last year at this time, we were ready to pounce on Assad for using chemical weapons and then quickly "recalculated."   

Let's just say that for quite some time now, Assad of Syria is has not been our friend, per say.   

Honestly, not sure how I would describe this relationship; anyone?  Perhaps Enemies with Benefits?

I found a section in the Washington Post that pretty much spells it all out for us,..

GO --

This time, the Americans’ target is not Assad, who has managed to cling to his seat in Damascus, but the Islamic State, a onetime al-Qaeda affiliate that has exploited the chaos in Syria to attract a huge flow of recruits, weapons and money.
The Islamic State also represents a mortal threat to Assad and has beaten back his forces on several fronts. The Obama administration has said repeatedly that it would not cooperate with Assad in any way, even though the two sides now share an enemy. As a result, it was unclear how Assad’s armed forces would respond to unauthorized intrusions into Syrian airspace by U.S. warplanes.
The Syrian government has some of the most formidable air defenses in the Middle East. Obama had publicly warned Syria in advance not to interfere with any U.S. operations against the Islamic State, saying the Pentagon would respond forcefully. In the end, U.S. military planners said they expected Assad would stand down and allow them to attack Islamic State targets freely.

So Assad was the target, but now he's not?  Does this mean he gets to stay?

I just love that part where The Post almost gloats of our president  who "publicly warned Syria in advance not to interfere with any U.S. operations against the Islamic State, saying the Pentagon would respond forcefully."

"Respond forcefully" ...like what, like we did a year ago, perhaps?  Right after that "red line" was crossed?

And I still don't get who we are arming exactly.  But what could go wrong there, right?

And hey -- if these FIVE Arab countries are truly supportive of these operations, they should be paying for it.  Lord knows they have way more money than us.    Why is it that our assets are the first to be squandered?

Notable is this part, too:

The Pentagon also has a large number of aircraft stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, a NATO installation. But with the exception of unarmed U.S. surveillance drones based there, Turkish authorities have said they won’t allow the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State from their territory.
So, needless to say, Turkey no likey likey US that much.  Guess Turkey has picked a side and it ain't ours.  

And this part is intersting:

Although France has agreed to join in airstrikes in Iraq, and last week conducted a bombing raid there, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday that his government did not believe it had the legal basis to join the Syria operations.

Huh.   He says, "[non, merci beaucoup] legal basis to join the Syria operations."

It just gets better and better.

You know, when I first heard the Commander-In-Chief say that the United States would not go it alone, my first thought was that he would have the players of the WESTERN world join forces, en masse.

So far, the official list of allies includes Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.

That's it?

seriously?

really?

no, seriously?

We have entered another country -- Syria -- to blow up the radicalized pockets of ISIS to smithereens, hand picking the targets along the way, after telling the president  -- Assad -- not to do anything about it, or else....without the UK?  Germany?  France?  And everyone is okay with this?   Maybe we should ask Mexico what kind of help they could give us?  How about we send the gang bangers crossing our southern border over there to lend an arm?


But  worst of all...what kind of retaliation are we in store for after all is said and done, and yet never finished?

Oh wait.

There's another group?

There's another group who is apparently even worse that ISIS?  Say it isn't so.

This just in from the National Journal -- including comments from Ben Rhodes, our White House Deputy National Security Adviser:

[Rhodes] said Tuesday that the U.S. has had the Khorasan Group on its radar, according to press pool reports. "For some time, we've been tracking a plot to conduct attack in the United States," he said. "We believe that attack-planning was imminent."
 The terrorist group, Rhodes continued, had "clear ambitions to launch external operations against the United States." "We see this very much as an extension of the threat posed by al-Qaida and their associated forces," he said
Rhodes said that Syrian opposition forces alone are "certainly unable" to combat the threat of the Khorasan Group. American forces acted alone in their strikes against the group in Syria on Monday night. In their 14 strikes against the Islamic State in the same country, they had help from Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Oh, so actually  "[Rhodes] said that Syrian opposition forces alone are "certainly unable" to combat the threat of the Khorasan Group. American forces acted alone in their strikes against the group in Syria on Monday night."   It's funny (but not really),  Khorasan Group sounds more like a Hedge Fund, but if you want more on this development, go here.


Oh, I get it....


No.

I don't get it.

It would be nice if we had a strategy in place -- you know, like a real plan.

We just bombed Syria, after intermittently bombing parts of Iraq, while hopelessly trying to cut off the entire mission in Afghanistan as fast as we can:  what in tar nation is the mission?  Is that asking too much?

Or is this as good as it gets -- just jumping from one hot spot to the next arbitrarily?

Seems slightly tyrannical without a western coalition in place.  

Seems like someone is desperately seeking a Syrian re-do, no doubt.

Seems like it would be advantageous for all the powers that be from the Defense Department to the White House to have a cohesive starting point and ending point with a strategy of both short term and long term dimensions in place.

And wouldn't it be nice if our actual plan was a big fat military secret?   Wouldn't that be swell?  Do our enemies really need to know what we are going to do next?  I don't need to know -- I just want to be confident and assured that "the powers" know.  It's as simple as that.   Just where is our common core basics of war mongering being implemented?  You know, our FINE military has what's called a WAR COLLEGE available with a history of assets, years of knowledge and expertise up the wazoo and available to use night and day, day and night, 24/7, if you get my drift! !

But what do I know; I'm just a girl, an American girl,  and this is just one day in the life.

What is the plan, Mr. President?

Is it our president's naivete, ignorance, lack of preparation and experience, or his sympathizing with the Sunni's, that sends our boys and girls haphazardly into harm's way and to Africa without even asking?  

All Americans should be asking this question.


You know, in just a wee bit, our Commander-In-Chief will be showing up for the United Nations meetings --  if he's not there already.

That should be interesting.  Can you say awkward moment imminent ten times fast?  Can't wait to hear what he has to say to all the Arab world...the western world ...whoever that really is....who really knows anymore on any given day.

Remember when our Commander-In-Chief got up there just after the Benghazi attacks killing four Americans and he was still blaming it on the video?  But what did he really know and when did he really know it? The world may never know it.

As the world turns...upside down.

Make it a Good Day, G




Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Three AM in America, Ringy Dingy Thing

Dear America,

I'll have a cafe mocha vodka valium latte to go please..........

just a little thought to get the engines off and running today -- 

of course, all rights reserved to an outlet headquartered somewhere in China (Young, Inc.), an organization who has somehow figured out the typical American proclivity of buying things we don't need.  And -- after decades amassing such a wealth of knowledge on the subject -- begin tinkering and mass producing just about everything tchotchke under the sun before being sold for a profit at a local convenience store (say a CVS, Inc. for example). 

But besides all that, isn't it remarkable how a simple phrase can explain everything?

I love that.

After all, it's how commercials get it done.  You want to know what something is all about in a snippet?  In print or televised -- boom! An idea, product, service is broken down to to it's very core, providing all who passerby the essence of what makes it wonderful, solid, desired, and more than anything else, generating a certain feeling deep down inside to stir a reaction.

A commercial wants us to make a connection with something, so much so, that we, the consumer, buy into it (literally and figuratively).

Now, I happened to have been shopping for things I didn't know I wanted in order to send a care package to my girl --  who happens to be living far, far away from her mama, in college.

And to that end -- we had both had a rough week.  Matter of fact, it was so rough, I couldn't write.  I couldn't think straight,  I couldn't sleep a wink.  For last week began with the arrival of what we all refer to as the "3 am phone call."

So what, if it was more like a 6:30 am phone call, right?  

I was still awakened out of a deep sleep with a nurse calling from an ER that sits 3500 miles away from me and who happened to also be sitting at the right hand of my girl.

Needless to say, that little phrase prancing atop the page in a pink tutu, says it all.

And not just personally, either.

I mean, honestly,  What in hell's bells is going on in this world???? ... as I anxiously nibble at the fresh paint of "Shell We Dance" across my fingertips. [it's a really pretty color, btw...Check out Sally Hanson, Inc.]

I'll have a cafe mocha vodka valium latte to go please..........


If I may be so bold -- it just might say it all  for all of us.

The only thing I might request, is that it be  made "on the rocks."  As it's not only been hotter than Hades around here, but metaphorically speaking, we are there already.  We have run aground.   While every worthy vessel of everything Americana as been left adrift for as far and wide as the eye can see, totally abandoned and left to the mercy of the elements., an environment unkind. 

If  we were to go along the premise of nothing ever good happens after midnight -- what happens when it is 3am in America and the only people who answer the call are left winged radicals, hellbent on fundamentally transforming America?

Oh, am I being too dramatic?

Really?

There are not words to describe the sensation that comes over me when I hear of the president's plan to send 3,000 of our men and women in uniform directly into harm's way, assisting in the immediate control of the Ebola outbreak in Africa.   How did he come up with this number?     And considering the villagers do not trust outsiders -- read this  -- what are we doing?

And so -- when it comes to fighting ISIS -- we have to wait for an entourage before jumping into the fire...  Going back to the president's address to the nation September 10:

  "But this is not our fight alone.  American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region.  And that’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days..."
Here's the president on fighting the Ebola enemy:

"We can't dawdle on this one. We have to move with force and make sure that we are catching this as best we can, given that it has already broken out in ways that we have not seen before."


And still, what's with the 3,000?

It's like the nagging ringing in the ear that remains after being shell-shocked.  I am so disturbed by the number -- and I can't seem to shake it.  The last time America has been touched by a number like this it was 9/11.  Yes, the 9/11.  And from exposure to this presidency and specifically, this president, over the last six years, the conspiracy that rages inside my head tells me this number is intentionally driven by a deep seated hatred of some kind.

Either through contamination or by a stones throw, our soldiers are walking into hell on all fronts and our president just sends them in....with no dawdle.  "We have to move with force," he says.  

With Iraq, Syria...no,...let's wait it out shall we.....

[and what is this about????...there are not words or enough time in this day to go here]

Back to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone.  Ebola is spreading like a California wildfire in Santa Ana conditions, through sagebrush and canyon, over the ridge and through the woods, for hundreds of square miles, out of control.  Let's send in the troops on the ground; how about 3,000 of them.

Sure.  There may certainly be justification, right?  No doubt it is a security threat to the world.

But what's with all of a sudden acting like we are taking on the lead role in this case, as if, America, is in fact, in some small way, oh how do you say -- um -- exceptional?

Here's our prez:

"Faced with this outbreak, the world is looking to the United States and it is a responsibility we are prepared to embrace. We are prepared to take leadership on this."


By the way, I plucked that quote from the "World Socialist Web Site."  Yes, indeed.  For kicks, just go read a little of it.  The American Imperialists conspiracy  and it's army are alive and well.


So, let's run with another conspiracy real quick, shall we?

Wonder what happened to the visiting Afghan soldiers, who were in Cape Cod, as part of a military training exercise and then turned up missing.    I mean, it's like no big deal, right, as "the Massachusetts National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. James Sahady told the Cape Cod Times that the men 'had the freedom to come and go.' "

" 'If they were off-duty, they could go to McDonald's or the mall', he said."


Well, apparently, after the drive-thru for a couple of Big Mac's and fries, they took a shot at getting across the border.... to Canada.  It's not like they were armed or anything; surely, they meant to do no harm.

Of course, this goes hand in hand with a post from National Review,.   While it dates back a few days, it also looks to the other border.


Here's a snippet:

In a statement obtained by National Review Online, the U.S. National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, a union representing 12,000 federal immigration agents, sounded the alarm that not only could jihadists “slip across our porous southern border,” but that fighters could also “exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States.”
USCIS cites two main issues: a dearth of resources for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for enforcement and tracking and the administration’s decision to increase the number of immigrants allowed in for asylum purposes.
I'll have a cafe mocha vodka valium latte to go please..........

Of course, only if you have the time.  Read this from Michelle Malkin.

Nothing like a little jihad hidden in our very own Rocky Mountains. [on the rocks, make mine a double]

I'll have a cafe mocha vodka valium latte to go please..........


Allow me to share something else.  It's something that has been saved -- even "pinned" to my start screen just waiting for just the right moment to drop into the mix.  Me thinks this is the time.

Again, as with all the stories this morning, it is enough to make the blood boil.  But be strong.  Take a big sip of your morning joe and carry on...

It comes out of the little Bible Baptist Church in Carthage, Missouri, no less.  Given their affinity to God and Country, faith and strength, the flag, patriotism, and community running deep -- their Vacation Bible School program set out to honor "God's Rescue Squad."

Sounds simple enough.

Well, not so fast...

“We were told it was against military policy for National Guard troops to participate in Vacation Bible School,” Pastor Hogan said. “They said if the National Guard had assets on church property it would look like the National Guard is sponsoring the Baptist religion..."

"We are right in the middle of the United States of America,” the pastor said. “We are part of the Bible Belt. You read about this stuff going on in big cities. But in Carthage?”

What else is new?

"We are seeing a shocking level of hostility towards religious faith but beyond that – we’ve also seen a militantly secular attitude of trying to sterilize the defense department of all references to faith and references."

This commentary was in response to outrageous policy changes within the U.S. Military.  After all hell broke loose to a specific policy change at Walter Reed Hospital, led in the House by Rep. Steven King (R-IA)....Todd Starnes of Fox News writes:

King spoke from the House floor Thursday blasting a policy memorandum from the commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center written by Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan. The September 14th memo covers guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care.”
“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states.
 “The President of the United States should address this and should excoriate the people who brought about this policy and the individual who brought it about should be dismissed from the United States Military,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told Fox News & Commentary.
Are you kidding me?  No bibles allowed?  We have a son or daughter or husband or wife arrive home injured from war, and we can't bring a Bible in to read to them?

Hence, a day after hitting the House floor, the policy was rescinded.

King took up the good fight. And won.

But WTF?  What is happening to America?

I'll have a cafe mocha vodka valium latte to go please..........


Oh my.
What a mess.
I think I spilled my cafe mocha vodka valium latte all over myself today.

There was simply too much to say for one day.

Now, there is such a thing as a good silence -- the kind that finds us self-reflective, learning and growing and quiet in mind while contemplating meaningful and thoughtful things; and then there's the other.    

Now This -- this  is what happens when an evil silence chips away at our soul and steals the day(s) -- an entire week even!   And right out from under me!  So unexpected.  As if sitting paralyzed in fear, or worry is going to help matters.  It's not productive in any way.

When this silence happens, nothing gets said, nothing gets done, and nothing good ever comes of it.

It's 3 am in America. Ringy Dingy.   Let us not be silent in our response.

Make it a Good Day, G

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's a Day in the Life of America Losing Her Way Thing

Dear America,

so,
here we are.
It's a Day After and a Day Of intertwined.

What?
What the hell G?  What does that even mean?!

I used to mention the Day After often.   We've covered a Day After in full context, be it in the detailing of speeches, State of the Union's, elections, whatever... fitting the phrase in when the moment fits like the best cliche (and you know I like my cliche's).   

But of course, if you follow me at all,  I haven't gone down the Day After line of assault for a very long time it would seem.

While today -- this DAY OF --  is the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11  AND the second anniversary of the Benghazi attack  (strange how President Obama left that out).   Having said that, my girl was just beginning her third week of Kindergarten.

So,
here we are.
It's a Day After and a Day Of intertwined.

And now let me ask you  -- just how have we - America -  weathered the years?

You know, time is a funny thing.  

There's a part of me who believes I haven't changed one teeny tiny itty bitty bit  since the days of finger painting and paste...and there was lots and lots of paste.

And yet, it's been a long time!  Thirteen years! 

George Bush was only just beginning his first term!  Just NINE MONTHS IN.  [And to think -- this is what happens thirteen years thereafter...unbelievable.]

While from my personal perspective -- it's enough time for my girl to have started and finished her early education; and now, as you all know, with intellect and maturity and diploma in hand, she has fully prepared and readied herself for the next level -- the University.

How about we talk about what was really going on in Benghazi,  just days, maybe weeks, correction -- months --  before Ambassador Stevens and three Americans were killed...

oh it's not a question.

READ THIS in it's entirety, as featured on WND just three days ago.

How have we weathered?

How have we weathered?

We are adrift.

We are adrift and at the mercy of an administration who is not our friend.

We have an administration who clings to an ideology over the protection of the American people; we have an administration who hides the truth from the American people; we have an administration who twists the words and redefines our mission without a true strategy in place; we have an administration who plays with the truth -- the true reality on the ground and in power --- whether we're talking about Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Egypt, Libya...aw, and who are we kidding, even in America.

The tell?

The tell was in the opening moments of the president's fifteen minutes of modern day, "reluctant warrior*" fame when he had the audacity to say this (doubling down on HIS naturally born loyalties):

Now let's make two things clear: ISIL is not "Islamic." No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al-Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria's civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.
(Plucked from NPR online)

* note: the commentators of last night kept referring to the president as the "reluctant warrior" of some sort -- as if that's something to be proud of.   Really?  Is that how we want our Commander-In-Chief to be described?

And the nerve -- the president saying they are not Islamic.  Once again -- way to sympathize with an enemy that has been nothing but clear in the matter.  They are fighting, and fighting hard, against the Western World, the INFIDELS in the name of their religion!  And yet you give this mighty sort of rebels who have no fear whatsoever of dying on behalf of Allah this explanation that continues to save Muslims from any responsibility and connection to this catastrophic implosion of ideals within the barriers of the Middle East and beyond.


For certain, after thirteen years of watching the wars, the region, the players, the rebels (altogether being -- the good, the bad, and the ugly) -- how does anyone really know for sure who we are really dealing with?

Remember it was not that long ago in the great scheme of things when THIS administration had said this:

The term Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a congressional hearing today.

wow, right?
February 10, 2011.

And today?

Actions in Congress over the summer,  circa July 24th, designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, go here...

Perhaps prompted, in part, by Egypt's actions, dating back to last year, go here...

The thing is -- who can you trust anymore when you can't even trust our own?  How can we go from James Clapper, as the DIRECTOR of NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE no less, saying oh, the brotherhood, no big deal.  They're harmless, secular, no trouble at all....to a big time ooops, scratch that, take it back, they are vewy, vewy bad.

Fast forward to the latest polling question asking the American people, do you feel safe?

Here's the pulse on that, go.

So,
here we are.
It's the Day After and the Day Of intertwined.

Some say the president had to make a speech to correct the optics; that the American people have given up on this president and his ability to do the one thing he's supposed to be doing and doing it well, without a smidgen of doubt, at all times -- and that being in the job of protecting America, the American people, from our borders and extending out to our presence over the entire world.

Does he have our back?

Is there no American left behind -- accounting for all three hundred million of us?

This job is not for the faint of heart --  let alone a thin-skinned, narcissistic, unprepared, never vetted, Manchurian candidate, now president, who decides to play golf the DAY Of responding to the beheading of an American journalist.  

"ISIL is not 'Islamic', " the president says.

seriously, Mr. President?

This is what ISIL/ISIS is, whether we are talking yesterday, today or tomorrow:  

Under fire from Iraqi military forces seeking to win back territory, an Al Qaeda break-away organization fighting in Iraq and Syria declared Sunday the establishment of a new “caliphate” — an Islamic state led by a single supreme religious and political leader.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, commonly known as ISIS, made the declaration in a statement released on the Internet, calling on Muslim factions worldwide to pledge allegiance.
The Sunni Muslim militant organization, which first made headlines fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, named its own headman, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caliph —or supreme leader — of the caliphate. 
“He is the imam and caliph for the Muslims everywhere,” ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in the statement, calling the caliphate “the dream in all the Muslims’ hearts” and “the hope of all jihadists.”

Sounds pretty religious to me.  And you?

And they seem to have  a pretty clear vision to boot.


so,
here we are.

Do you feel safer, smarter, ready to tackle the world?

ISIL does.

And as we speak,  they -- ISIL -- are fighting alongside the rebels against al-Assad, the Syrian president, too?  ?   And they have been there all along?    How do know we really know who is who?

No, seriously.

What a joke we are to the world.  Might as well extend the Nobel Peace Prize recipient the Class Clown while we're at it.

Did we arrange to give ISIL any weapons, by chance?


Is there anyone -- in this so-called American administration -- on our freaking side and keeping their eye on the ammunition?  Really.  Is there?!?

What the hell is going on?

Oh my -- I may be living a nightmare, but I have a dream.

I have a dream we have a brand spanking new president.

Someone like, oh, maybe, a Ted Cruz...


Instead, we need a Commander in Chief who articulates a specific military objective tethered directly to defending U.S. national security. We did not see that tonight. "We should destroy ISIS altogether, using overwhelming airpower to ensure they cannot bring jihad to America.
Oh and there was plenty more; for more, go here.

Politics and Facts are sticky things.

Intertwined.......indeed  and always......it's in constant motion all the live long day.

It's how we come to a Day After and a Day Of  all on the same day.

How have we weathered?

How have we weathered?

America is showing her age -- minus the wisdom; the kind of wisdom that which should naturally build over time...experiences, investigation, deep background, homework; the kind of wisdom that organically, and yet intentionally, coalesces a vision that substantiates and supports a mission that exudes a certain strength, an enduring fortitude,  that supports and upholds the foundation set forth from our birth and GROWS UP.

How does the world see America now?  It isn't pretty.

Personally -- over the last thirteen years, I have witnessed my little girl come into her own.  She is happy, balanced, secure in herself, knowing exactly where she comes from and astoundingly, has come into an awareness of where she wants to go from here with the tools in place to get her there.

Make no mistake, right Mr. President?  Isn't that how you say it? ------

No, no, I got it.  Let me be clear --  the last thirteen years in America has not been kind.  And the last six years has been abysmal (O-bizmal), ISIS/ISIL....

It would seem we haven't learned a thing.

What a waste.

Or is it that as a nation, we have grown no different than the prevailing, debilitating, compromising attitudes of entitlement and self-serving social justice agendas that have infiltrated our very soul as a whole?  All of it is just distracting us from being all that we are truly meant to be; and none of it is making us appear any smarter for it.

But here we are anyway, in spite of ourselves -- 
endeavoring to be the world's beacon on a shoestring.  And with one foot in and one foot out, we shake it all about, do the hokey pokey and we turn ourselves about...that's what it's all about foreign policy...

...oh to be five.

But here we are -- tripping and falling all over ourselves and the playground we live; venturing forward without really being prepared and fully committed of doing all the work that will be required of us -- and without the coveted constitutional prerequisite no less --   the glorious congressional approval. [And surely that was a run-on sentence, some things never change on G thing...]

Here we are.

Thirteen years later.

So,
 in memory of 9/11/01 and  9/11/12  my heart aches in the Day After and in the Day Of.

I wonder what the president is doing today?

I bet he's thinking he has dodged the proverbial political bullet.

His schedule today doesn't include any meetings with a general, nor a Defense Secretary, or for that matter, a Director of National Intelligence.  It shows a meeting with the Director of Health and Human Services Burwell, in the Oval Office... and an unspecified service project later in the day. Oh and lunch with Joe.  

Interesting, isn't it? 

After last night's speech, I would imagine him locking himself and the powers that be into the situation room until we win, or something.  And even if it's for just one day.

For the optics, you know...

For the politics and talking points and photo-ops -- showing the president and Commander-In-Chief getting to brass tacks to "destroy"  ISIS.

It's ridiculous, really.

But here we are.
Don't be fooled.
It's just another day in the life of America losing her way.

Where will we be in another thirteen years?

Make it a Good Day, G



Monday, September 8, 2014

It's an Administration by Broken Window Thing

Dear America,

yeah, it's been a few days.  shoot me.

would you believe you haven't missed a thing all summer long?

right.  what am I trying to do, pull the wool over your own eyes?

Of Ferguson and Fallujah, Gaza, Martha's Vineyard --  along with anywhere along the U.S. and Mexico border -- stories of the unconscionable challenging order were everywhere...all summer long.

Of course, my heart and soul was busy tending to the unleashing of an era -- securing my girl in a place that requires a day's travel, over the purple mountains majesty and across the fruited plains, just to see her pretty face.   

But it's safe place, more or less.  It's a place that exudes a fundamental and exemplary direct opposition of a place in chaos...

the University.

Broken windows?  None.

So -- in other words -- this little mama can breathe, anyway.

But let's get on with the day, shall we?  

Now, starting with going backwards just a wee bit...

Beginning with responsive questions after the president's statement on August 28th, going something like this:

"Thank you, Mr. President.  Do you regret not moving on ISIS earlier?"...and ending with this one, "What makes you think that forming a new government will change the situation? "

...Keep in mind we had been in communications with the Iraqi government for more than a year indicating that we saw significant problems in the Sunni areas.  Prime Minister Maliki was not as responsive perhaps as we would have liked to some of the underlying political grievances that existed at the time...
The problem we have had consistently is a Sunni population that feels alienated from Baghdad and does not feel invested in what’s happening, and does not feel as if anybody is looking out for them...
As I’ve said before -- I think I said in the previous press conference -- our military is the best in the world.  We can route ISIS on the ground and keep a lid on things temporarily.  But then as soon as we leave...
And part of our message to the entire region is this should be a wake-up call to Sunni,to Shia -- to everybody -- that a group like ISIS is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people.  And as a consequence, we’ve got to all join together -- even if we have differences on a range of political issues -- to make sure that they’re rooted out.


Being clear as a bell -- describing ISIS -- "-- that a group like ISIS is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people."

I don't remember much between the headlines over the last couple of months, but I do remember this.

This made my skin crawl from my head to my toes.

If we really wanted to mince words, we could immediately accuse the president of using a phrase that dates back to 1791, and one that for some people, may find offensive.  At a place called phrases.org, "beyond the pale" is further scrutinized for the modern world, and gives us historic background:

"Catherine the Great created the Pale of Settlement in Russia in 1791. This was the name given to the western border region of the country, in which Jews were allowed to live. The motivation behind this was to restrict trade between Jews and native Russians. Some Jews were allowed to live, as a concession, 'beyond the pale'."
That is fascinating, huh?  I never knew that.

But let's not dwell.

Where I got stuck was the president's claim, "that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people." 

And I thought to myself, with pins and needles ripping out my eyeballs.... wow, Mr.President, way to sympathize with the Islamic Extremists.  No vision?  No ideology?  Seriously?

Who's fooling who?

Ah but the differences in the "range of political issues" at home would not allow you to sit with that claim for long, could it Mr. President? 

But it must have hurt -- for you came out looking more worse for wear than when you started, didn't you?  [I know, who could have known?]

Just for you today,  my fellow American inquiring minds...There's more! as the plot and the stories and the politics thickens.  And if you will, allow me to make it as painless as possible; let me give you the crib notes first:

"From “degrade and destroy” to “a manageable problem.” In the same press conference. Has Obama’s mission truly changed – or was this yet another example of mixed messages from the President of the United States?"


[If you have the time to read more about the contradictions of a presidency, go here for the full  detail.]

The thing is, what I really set out for you to read today was printed in the Wall Street Journal (August 19th) -- coming midstream of my summer retreat.   

On the Opinion page, providing a Global View by Bret Stephens-- it's titled, Of Ferguson and Fallujah. 

It's really good.


But if for some reason that asks of you too much -- let me cut to the chase and go to his conclusion:

This is a case study of allowing neighborhoods to decay and disorder to fester; of doing things reactively, not preventively. Where would we be in Iraq today if Mr. Obama hadn't simply walked and looked away for the past three years? 
The answer to disorder is to provide order. To engage community leaders. To enforce norms. To reassure good citizens that their security is being looked after and it's not every man for himself. To maintain a visible presence that deters would-be lawbreakers from committing criminal acts. To prevent bad people from acting badly, and to punish them swiftly when they do. 
This is how a successful police force like the NYPD works. And it's how a competent foreign policy should operate. Bill Bratton knows his job—which is more than can be said of the Keystone cops in Ferguson, or at the White House

It's the difference between a Ronald Reagan foreign policy and a Barack Obama's.

It's the difference between the direct and indirect, seen and unseen, contrasts of ideology and vision  (be it in policy, in reality, in strength -- be it at home or abroad)  -- going beyond the pale of an American president.

It's unforgivable, deplorable. And totally unacceptable.  And it just might all add up to an impeachable offence --  treason.


ISIS, ISIL, tomayto, tomahto.  They know something that the majority of American people fail to see and intend to use that to their every advantage.  

And about our border issues?   Again, our stance is not one that clings to order, but disorder.

The consequences -- whether intended or not -- will be telling.  

Damn the broken windows...  

[shaking your head?  then you need reread Of Ferguson and Fallujah if that seems totally disconnected].

And then someday,
out of the pages of history, ethics, politics, and providing for a common defense, our children's children will be reading all about it in school [probably in Spanglish].

Make it a Good Day, G

Turning over my last thought to Bret Stephens: 
 "Broken windows stresses
 that endemic criminality 
is not primarily a function 
of the usual 'root causes'
 -- poverty, 
racism, 
bad schools, 
broken families 
and so on. 
 The real problem is disorder itself."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's One Kind Day Amid the Chaos Thing

Dear America,

"Hope that, in future, 
all is well, 
everyone eats free, 
no one must work, 
all just sit around
 feeling love
 for one another."  

-- George Saunders

It was just something I read on the side of a Chipotle take-out brown bag.


And from there, my mind drifted -- separating from the overwhelming ills of the world, falling away from all the troubles, at home and abroad -- and nearly in tandem, with free abandon and wild desperation, finding myself believing that for one minute the entire notion may one day come true.

But here's the thing, I just can't think about this world, the world we actually live in today,  or this America, for one more minute without my head exploding.  Not today, not yesterday, or the day before that, and most likely as things seem to be going,  tomorrow.

Thankfully,

when looking into this George Saunders more deeply, my jaded G found a certain salvation, as if by divine intervention.

[You know how It works around here...we always get what we need.  God knows.  Matter of fact, God knows everything before we know it, before we even think it.]


so the meandering continued to a piece at The Huffington Post (April 2014), by Claire Fallon... giving a short review on George and a few thoughts on kindness...

and it was good.

really good.

Now Claire dropped in the video of George telling a story about "ellen" -- but after thinking about it for awhile, and you know, given my undying love of the written word and being a card-carrying sucker for a wee bit more kindness in this world --  I felt a total reprint here was in order. [And, you know, order over chaos always wins...eventually.]

So, as Claire directed, we go to a column by Joel Lovell, at The New York Times, dating back to last summer, George Saunders's Advice to Graduates  [and yes, truly fitting, given this is the summer of celebration of my own little graduate]:  

happy reading....

Down through the ages, a traditional form has evolved for this type of speech, which is: Some old fart, his best years behind him, who, over the course of his life, has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people, with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you).
And I intend to respect that tradition.
Now, one useful thing you can do with an old person, in addition to borrowing money from them, or asking them to do one of their old-time “dances,” so you can watch, while laughing, is ask: “Looking back, what do you regret?” And they’ll tell you. Sometimes, as you know, they’ll tell you even if you haven’t asked. Sometimes, even when you’ve specifically requested they not tell you, they’ll tell you.
So: What do I regret? Being poor from time to time? Not really. Working terrible jobs, like “knuckle-puller in a slaughterhouse?” (And don’t even ASK what that entails.) No. I don’t regret that. Skinny-dipping in a river in Sumatra, a little buzzed, and looking up and seeing like 300 monkeys sitting on a pipeline, pooping down into the river, the river in which I was swimming, with my mouth open, naked? And getting deathly ill afterwards, and staying sick for the next seven months? Not so much. Do I regret the occasional humiliation? Like once, playing hockey in front of a big crowd, including this girl I really liked, I somehow managed, while falling and emitting this weird whooping noise, to score on my own goalie, while also sending my stick flying into the crowd, nearly hitting that girl? No. I don’t even regret that.
But here’s something I do regret:
In seventh grade, this new kid joined our class. In the interest of confidentiality, her Convocation Speech name will be “ELLEN.” ELLEN was small, shy. She wore these blue cat’s-eye glasses that, at the time, only old ladies wore. When nervous, which was pretty much always, she had a habit of taking a strand of hair into her mouth and chewing on it.
So she came to our school and our neighborhood, and was mostly ignored, occasionally teased (“Your hair taste good?” — that sort of thing). I could see this hurt her. I still remember the way she’d look after such an insult: eyes cast down, a little gut-kicked, as if, having just been reminded of her place in things, she was trying, as much as possible, to disappear. After awhile she’d drift away, hair-strand still in her mouth. At home, I imagined, after school, her mother would say, you know: “How was your day, sweetie?” and she’d say, “Oh, fine.” And her mother would say, “Making any friends?” and she’d go, “Sure, lots.”
Sometimes I’d see her hanging around alone in her front yard, as if afraid to leave it.
And then — they moved. That was it. No tragedy, no big final hazing.
One day she was there, next day she wasn’t.
End of story.
Now, why do I regret that? Why, forty-two years later, am I still thinking about it? Relative to most of the other kids, I was actually pretty nice to her. I never said an unkind word to her. In fact, I sometimes even (mildly) defended her.
But still. It bothers me.

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded . . . sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope: Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?
Those who were kindest to you, I bet.
It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.
Now, the million-dollar question: What’s our problem? Why aren’t we kinder?
Here’s what I think:
Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably somehow Darwinian. These are: (1) we’re central to the universe (that is, our personal story is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really); (2) we’re separate from the universe (there’s US and then, out there, all that other junk – dogs and swing-sets, and the State of Nebraska and low-hanging clouds and, you know, other people), and (3) we’re permanent (death is real, o.k., sure – for you, but not for me).
Now, we don’t really believe these things – intellectually we know better – but we believe them viscerally, and live by them, and they cause us to prioritize our own needs over the needs of others, even though what we really want, in our hearts, is to be less selfish, more aware of what’s actually happening in the present moment, more open, and more loving.
So, the second million-dollar question: How might we DO this? How might we become more loving, more open, less selfish, more present, less delusional, etc., etc?
Well, yes, good question.
Unfortunately, I only have three minutes left.
So let me just say this. There are ways. You already know that because, in your life, there have been High Kindness periods and Low Kindness periods, and you know what inclined you toward the former and away from the latter. Education is good; immersing ourselves in a work of art: good; prayer is good; meditation’s good; a frank talk with a dear friend; establishing ourselves in some kind of spiritual tradition — recognizing that there have been countless really smart people before us who have asked these same questions and left behind answers for us.
Because kindness, it turns out, is hard — it starts out all rainbows and puppy dogs, and expands to include . . . well, everything.
One thing in our favor: some of this “becoming kinder” happens naturally, with age. It might be a simple matter of attrition: as we get older, we come to see how useless it is to be selfish — how illogical, really. We come to love other people and are thereby counter-instructed in our own centrality. We get our butts kicked by real life, and people come to our defense, and help us, and we learn that we’re not separate, and don’t want to be. We see people near and dear to us dropping away, and are gradually convinced that maybe we too will drop away (someday, a long time from now). Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving. I think this is true. The great Syracuse poet, Hayden Carruth, said, in a poem written near the end of his life, that he was “mostly Love, now.”
And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love. YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE. If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment. You really won’t care what happens to YOU, as long as they benefit. That’s one reason your parents are so proud and happy today. One of their fondest dreams has come true: you have accomplished something difficult and tangible that has enlarged you as a person and will make your life better, from here on in, forever.
Congratulations, by the way.
When young, we’re anxious — understandably — to find out if we’ve got what it takes. Can we succeed? Can we build a viable life for ourselves? But you — in particular you, of this generation — may have noticed a certain cyclical quality to ambition. You do well in high-school, in hopes of getting into a good college, so you can do well in the good college, in the hopes of getting a good job, so you can do well in the good job so you can . . .
And this is actually O.K. If we’re going to become kinder, that process has to include taking ourselves seriously — as doers, as accomplishers, as dreamers. We have to do that, to be our best selves.
Still, accomplishment is unreliable. “Succeeding,” whatever that might mean to you, is hard, and the need to do so constantly renews itself (success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it), and there’s the very real danger that “succeeding” will take up your whole life, while the big questions go untended.
So, quick, end-of-speech advice: Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now. There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness. But there’s also a cure. So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf — seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.
Do all the other things, the ambitious things — travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality — your soul, if you will — is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.
And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been. I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful.
Congratulations, Class of 2013.
I wish you great happiness, all the luck in the world, and a beautiful summer.
and to think, this all started with one really damn good Barbacoa burrito with extra guacamole...

Make it a Good Day, G