Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Team Leader

On Huckabee's show on 12/28/2013 the author of The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Team Leader was a guest. After listening to him and remembering that just days ago, our feckless Congress, that does not know the meaning of prioritize or the need to cut spending, cut cost of living increases to Vets including those disabled due to service to their country, I was ashamed over that action.
        I will buy the book tomorrow on my usual pilgrimage to my favorite Starbucks wrapped in a Barnes & Noble. His story brought to mind a funeral of a SEAL back in 2008. Mike Monsoor, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for in May of 2006 throwing himself on top of a grenade in a firefight in  Ar Ramadi, Iraq to save his fellow SEALs. As the coffin was removed from the hearse,  45 Seals lined up along the path 2 by 2 from the hearse to the gravesite. As the wooden coffin passed, it stopped by each Seal who  removed his Trident and slammed it into the casket embedding it, each slam heard across the cemetery, louder than any three gun farewell salute and certainly more lasting and poignant. Sadly, the funeral of a man who chose to save his buddies rather than himself was hardly mentioned by the media save Fox and a few others.
        When I learned of the funeral, the images of stars as tridents  on a flag came to mind and I wrote this poem in 2008 after learning of the award of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the details of his funeral. Thank God for the SEALs and shame upon those in Congress who did not have the desire or integrity to find the paltry amount of funds cut from Veterans' pensions, including the disabled.
As President George W. Bush said of the event during the April 2008 Medal of Honor ceremony, "The procession went on nearly half an hour, and when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten."
As President George W. Bush said of the event during the April 2008 Medal of Honor ceremony, "The procession went on nearly half an hour, and when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten."
Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow Seals.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero
Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow Seals.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero
Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow Seals.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.

Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow Seals.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.

Stars On a Flag and a Casket
The last time Old Glory had stars numbering but 45 was in 1896
When Utah joined the union adding a Mormon state to this great diversity mix,
We may only have achieved a flag with stars of but 48,
Save for the citizen warriors who dropped all and went into harm's fate.
Civilization in 1917 was at a new dark ages abyss,
The doughboys crossed the ocean to fix what was clearly remiss,
The flags brought forward in the mud and shelling, stars of but 48,
For the last two stars in the balance would have to wait,
Lessons learned by those who are not lifelong Spartans to the core,
Soon forgotten and in just 23 short years we had to do it again once more.
The Flags of Our Fathers on Iwo Jima had stars still of 48,
Clash of evil and the Great Crusade two more in the balance would have to wait.
The flags in the dark days of Pusan or the glory of Inchon, also furled but 48,
The world trembled as another band of brothers went off to meet their fate,
Any one can sew a star onto a flag if you have some needle and thread,
But to keep them on, you must go to Arlington or Normandy to view the threads of crosses and stars of the dead,
When the winds of war and chaos try to rip the stars from the flag apart, 
Remember those threads who each time gave it all until the last beat of their hearts.
Sadly, another brave warrior Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL, gave his life for others to save,
So fitting his casket took with it 45 tridents so much like 45 stars to his far too early grave.
The flag has 50 stars because of the thousands of crosses, stars and now crescents on well kept lawns, 
A stark reminder that  without the courage and sacrifice of soldiers like Monsoor, this nation may not see another dawn.    

© July 13, 2008 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Friday, December 27, 2013

UPS and Obamacara

I just finished reading a blog posted in the Huff Post in essence arguing that was running while Amazon and UPS screwed up big time in terms of Christmas deliveries. For those who did not receive on time from UPS the gifts purchased from Amazon, you know that you will soon receive that gift period (for real not an Obama period), that shipping charges will probably be waived, and in many cases, a credit on subsequent purchases will be received. Compare that to the well known deception of being able to keep a policy, keep your doctor, and save $2,500 per year. Not sure how many persons were disappointed in not seeing the UPS sled in time, but I have to believe, it was a fraction of the 6,000,000 or so policies that as result of Fed regulations that were cancelled and also the number was directly related to the arctic winter that descended on this nation raising havoc with its transportation ion system, of which UPS is a part.  Posted the following comment in response.
Straws of ACA Defense in the Winter Winds
This should come as no great shock
Comparing UPS to is a crock
Less this pundit forgets, schedules in the winter are subject to nature's law
When snow comes raging in blizzard force and the ice will not thaw
Planes get grounded, trucks and flights suffer major delays
Far different than when  CGI and Fed incompetence gets in the way
Amazon and UPS apologized and refunds and credits sent
Up front with the public not like the Feds' spin and the truth bent
In the private sector failure usually means that consequences follow
As opposed to a belated  Obama "apology" so sham and hollow
Sebelius is still in charge and CGI has not been hauled into court
Massive cost overruns, no accountability, and a website that comes up short
Imagine if Amazon promised if you don't like your book send it back
Then when the books returned, Amazon immediately without shame retracts
DA's across the country would on Amazon be turned loose
Executives would be subject to a world of criminal and civil abuse
If supporters of the ACA really want to be set aback and stunned
Wait until enrollment possible and with loss of MDs and costs, watch voters all Blues shun
© December 27, 2013  Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Thursday, December 26, 2013

ACA: Aloha Is a Two Meaning Word

    No one should begrudge the First Family a vacation on Oahu's North Shore. After all the heat he has taken over periods and keeping your insurance and doctors he needs a battery charge rest. But if he thinks he can say Aloha to the ACA growing outrage and his ratings drop, and wash his hands goodbye, the meaning of Aloha as hello trumps good bye even on those magical isles. The more the exchange begins to function the more his problems and his fellow Blues will get worse---increasing loss of coverage and sticker and deductible shocks curse. Maybe in his teleprompter or photo op bag of tricks their lies a rabbit to pull. But given the loss of trust that is going to be a very, very long and difficult pull:
Aloha to ACA Problems
We all know fraud and abuse and cost plus blank checks are in DC the norm
Just when Obama thought there may be a light, here comes another storm
Hawaii spends millions to enroll 257 on its state exchange ACA website
Hired the same people who spent 50 million trying to get a tax portal remotely right
Oregon's exchange has never worked despite millions from the Feds
Another exchange director on medical leave soon to be shed
Maryland one of the bluest of the blue
Also in the festering rollout stew
Not to be left behind and wanting to declare in the face of chaos, Pelosi claims in California the ACA has won
Slight problem in that half of the uninsured are Latinos and all but a meager few have enrollment chosen to shun
The money wasted on the navigators, rollout, websites, and ads to the millennium ACA rejects
Makes the Pentagon seem like the paragons of frugality who are holding each penny of waste in check
The loss of privacy to soon occur from ACA hackers will knock off your socks
It will make Target data seem as safe from theft as the gold in Fort Knox
In the spirit of Christmas, one should be charitable and not be viewed as unforgiving or cruel
But anyone who thinks this Administration should be entrusted with our health and one sixth of GNP is a blithering, complete fool
Pity the poor person who must  appear on January 1 at the doctor's or hospital's door
Now with cancelled insurance and frustration, anger and resentment in full on uncheck soar 
Incompetence, lack of accountability and flat out lies are acts for which we cannot impeach
But a litmus test of any one who voted for the ACA we reject, is a lesson we voters can teach
© December 26, 2013 aka the Alaskanpoet

Phil Robertson and Duck Hypocisy in the Air

      This poet does not watch the Duck Dynasty or A&E for that matter, but the controversy swirling around Phil Robertson's remarks on homosexuality and his subsequent dismal from the show Duck Dynasty has spawned a storm of protest on both sides. From Cracker Barrel removing items from the show to not offend the gay community only to put them back following a firestorm of anger to the Reverend Jessie Jackson comparing Robertson to the driver who ordered Rosa Parks to the back of the Montgomery bus, only worse. The only thing lacking in this media circus is Al Sharpton coming on scene in a shrill voice comparing Robertson to George Zimmerman.
        Lost in this chaos is a simple fact; this is not a First Amendment issue as A&E has a right to fire him unless his contract provides otherwise. Some would argue their move, given the fare shown on that network, was not the right thing to do. Lost in the chaos is the fact that those viewers upset over the loss of the patriarch of the show can express their outrage to the sponsors of the show as can the gay community who felt slighted and demeaned.  There are no winners in this dispute, only hypocrisy of A&E. The real loser in the dispute is also very clear---tolerance for other points of view and to try to force that other point of view off the air.
         Hypocrisy because all of the episodes have been completed, A&E is continuing to show them and with all the furor, ratings will increase and A&E will be able to increase its ad revenue. We are not crabs in a constant state of molt with no means of protecting ourselves. Rather we are human beings that need to be exposed to other views to either accept, reject or modify if we are ever to grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Firing someone whose views might inflame a segment of the population does not foster that growth and the hypocrisy practiced by A&E deprives it of any moral authority. My thoughts as expressed in rhyme follow:

Duck Hypocrisy in the Air
The trick to good marketing to enhance your chances to sell
Is to create the buzz, create the discussions on which all want to dwell
The episodes of Duck Dynasty have already been put in the can
A&E fires the patriarch but does not take it off the air or showings ban
As a company they of course have the discharge right
No matter how many viewers of certain beliefs they may slight
If the patriarch's words were so outrageous that A&E had to dismiss
Willfully jumping into the slime of the politically correct abyss
Then why in their hypocrisy run rampant, totally out of control
With all the publicity, continue to let viewing times roll
Shame on A&E; viewings of all A&E’s other programs we should stop
Watch the hypocrites cringe and squirm as their sponsors drop
God help us all if to enjoy the careers we seek
With PC mavens we must first screen each word we speak
Time for the PC world to stop being in 24/7 shell shedding molt
With even the slightest perceived insensitivity go into self-righteous revolt
Tolerance is always easy to teach
If only those who agree are in its reach
Though we may be forced to buy insurance we still have a choice
You don't have to picket only turn the channel if you dislike the words in Robertson's voice.
But to fire someone who in his faith homosexuality is a sin
And then continues to show episodes gives hypocrisy a major win
Why is it A&E panders to a segment in continual shell shedding molt
Yet continues to air shows that for many non gays disgust and revolt?
Almost worse is the shear hypocrisy to Robertson fire
Yet continue to air Duck Dynasty and not the series retire
Maybe the past discriminations into closets forced
Heighten their need to attack without quarter or remorse
Any perceived slight to gays however small as tolerance for nonPC ripped and torn
And any chance for any discussion from the screens quickly shorn

©  December 26, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Eat, Drink Be Merry and Give

In a time when many this Christmas will be seeing lumps of coal in their stockings and if they have a home, no hope coming down the chimney, the news out of Houston is refreshing and inspirational to say the least. Several bars across the country are donating a portion of their profits to charity, not just a token nickel or dime per drink a cap like foam on a beer but profits. If you are in Houston go to the Okra Charity Saloon---all profits to charity and better yet Playboy rates it as a top place to have brew. $300, 000 to charities that run circles around our well-meaning but inept federal and state agencies, in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Okra is now my new favorite four letter word. Merry Christmas to all and none for the road.
Okra Is the New Myrrh at Christmas
Alcohol and tobacco have always been easy targets of the “sin” tax
A golden goose of funds for the government’s goals to attach
But the news during the Christmas season suggests a far better way to give back
Private charities have always had the skill to treat, a skill the government lacks
Profit it appears is not, when it comes to giving, a four letter word
Whereas the government’s stewardship to help is absurd
The news is that bars and taverns are not just a place to eat and drink
But rather a source of funds to help the unfortunate to pull back from the brink
Look at the Okra Charity Saloon, one of Playboy’s tavern best
$300 k of all its profits to on the year despair to slow and arrest
No regulations, no audits, no bureaucratic layers
Just giving to those who need with no chest pounding or flair
We all know that taxes and red tape and rules make anyone want a strong drink
Redistribution of the wealth is in most cases an idiotic and foolish way to think
A 10 year old could build a website without millions of dollars spent down the drain
But our feds barely know it is and not smart enough to know when to come out of the rain
All of us this season should pause and to Okra and its ilk give thanks and a toast
A simple prayer that this is a giving trend from the heartlands to each coast
And an order one for charity and not one for the road
Even when not drinking, be today and always in a charitable mode
© December 22, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

India Two Step Inept

       I have many talents, but doing the Texas Two-Step is not one of them. Although pleasant to watch and the music moves my mortal soul, my knees go on strike. Now I also can claim that I have another case of no talent but in this case I am pleased that is the case. I call this dance the India Two Step and it shows, in my opinion, another example of a lack of leadership at the top. First step is the Obama administration denies a Visa to a Modi who is favored to become the next Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy---not smart. Next a female Indian envoy is arrested for paying less than a fair wage to her Indian housekeeper and submitting false documents on payments in order to get her an A-3 Visa in order to work for her. Like most nonviolent crimes do we allow her to turn herself in with her lawyer from the Indian consulate and allow her to be released on her on recognizance or post a small bail? No she is arrested allegedly while picking up her children at school, cuffed, strip searched (understand if she was alleged to be smuggling drugs or explosives or trying to board a flight) then jailed in a general population that probably consisted of prostitutes, addicts, dealers, and duis, certainly not the typical invite list to a consulate reception
         India already smarting from the slight to one of its political leaders took umbrage and reacted by tit-for-tats to our diplomatic community in India and what is more troubling given the massacre of guests by Islamic terrorists in Mumbai several years ago, removed the security barriers protecting our embassy. God help us if while those barriers are down, our embassy is attacked either by jihadists or simply outraged citizens. My poetic last word follows: 
India Two Step Inept
How do you pivot to the Pacific when you can only use your nose
Once again the ineptness of this Administration seems to show
By some bush league actions we have just fallen on our face
In an area where China is eager for us to replace
First we deny a visa to Modi who may be India's next Prime Minister
Accusing him of complacency in Hindu outrage against Muslims as far too sinister
Now we have the foresight to arrest and strip search an Indian  female envoy and place her in jail
Surrounded by "new friends" until the Indian consulate arrives and posts her $250,000 bail
Her crimes, not paying her Indian housekeeper a fair wage
Needless to say, India is a bit miffed and in a bit of a rage
Tit-for-tats as India will become much less for our diplomats to be
Id airport cards and embassy traffic barriers are now history
Maybe it's the mess around the roll out of the ACA
Maybe Obama is preoccupied to get to Hawaii to play
Maybe the "selfie" fallout is bringing to him more grief
Maybe the Wastebook release puts spending waste in glaring motif
But  to treat an envoy of a needed ally to whom you wish to pivot
As a armed felon to flee makes as much sense as joining nonwelded plates without rivets
Hope Kerry or Biden are up to the relations repairing task
A little think before you arrest and strip is not too much to ask

© December 17, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Veterans Stiffed Sessions Amendment Fails

Remember the hue and cry over the shutdown and the disaster that would befall this nation and for good measure if the sky was going to fall, the whole world, if the United States did not honor its debt obligations. Fast forward to today and the Ryan/Murray budget deal which although provides for a budget does next to nothing to decrease spending. One group of losers will be veterans who have earned a pension by virtue of their service to the country and will see cuts in those pensions over the next 10 years. Amendments by various Republican Senators to remove those cuts failed and the Senate will adopt the budget by Wednesday December 18, 2013. What is ironic is that the Watchbook was just released which shows blatant waste of over $30 billion, an amount almost four times the amount of the cuts to the Veterans' pensions.
         I have not read the Watchbook as of this moment but some of the excesses really build up the blood pressure, e.g. the Ft. Hood slayer is still drawing his salary.  We are running out of fiscal time, the sands are about gone from the hour glass and yet Reds and almost ever Blue continue to increase spending to the ultimate detriment of our children and grandchildren. Winning the almost one billion in the Mega Lottery tonight will be useless if the underlying value of the dollar and our economy collapses under a crushing mountain of debt. I billion would not pay more than 10 days interest on our national debt.
Veterans Betrayed

If Kennedy were still alive he would be rewriting his speech
As honor and integrity from our political fabric has just been leached
"Ask not what your country can do for you
Ask rather when to you it will screw"
Where are the legions of Joseph Welch to raise this cry
"These vets fought and bled and many died
Have you no sense of decency, have you no shame
To break your pledge to a bogus deficit reduction gain?"
Obama spends a billion for a website that does not work
His cronies get millions for projects where only bankruptcy lurks
How many billions does the government lose through fraud and abuse?
While the spending dragon, uncurtailed runs loose?
The men and women in our military have been thrown under the bus
We will need searchlights by the score to find one of the 536 to ever again trust
When the certain next conflict in the future erupts
Where will be the warriors who now will not re-up?
No decency! No shame!
Honorless is all your middle names

© December 17, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Monday, December 16, 2013

Veterans' Benefit Cuts as Honor Left Behind

Ryan and Murray have pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat in crafting a budget which does little to rein in spending but at least sets the stage for the return of some trace of compromise to enable us to deal with what could be a 25 trillion dollar problem when Obama leaves office. Lost in the popping was the fact that to paraphrase a saying from the Vietnam War, "In order to save the military from sequester, we had to destroy the pension promises to veterans who served their commitment." The military prides itself that they leave no one behind. If Senator's Sessions amendment restoring the cuts by closing certain tax credits and loopholes is not adopted the and the budget is passed in the Senate, it will be a stain on this nation's honor and its promises to those who served and by that service earned their pension.
No Man or Woman or Honor Left Behind
We as a nation have not always been upfront with our vets
Some events have been so shameful that we would like to forget
Look only back to 1932 and the Bonus Army camped on the Capitol’s doorsteps
Swept away by the Army with tanks and troops like Cossacks on the steppes
In the depths of the Depression these vets only wanted to their certificate early redeem
Small amounts of cash to turn the Depression nightmare into a small chance to dream
More recent is the sorry state of a shutdown and the Memorials locked
Warriors now in their 80’s and 90’s in wheelchairs on a last mission only to be blocked
Add to such theater the unseen tragedy of veteran’s medicine looking more like Britain each day
Not enough doctors, not enough nurses, not enough beds for the wounds of war to allay
Now the latest straw almost lost in the budget “deal”
The sacrificial lamb that now known is starting to squeal
This was a promise made in exchange to put one’s life for country on the line
To enlist, to do the tours of duty, to re-up and above all elect to continue to serve and not resign
Pension payments by service fully earned not by draftees but by volunteers
Will now be cut for those who have made the military their career.
This is worse that the “period” promises made to not lose the ACA votes
 This involves the honor and bond of a nation which these cuts demote
If Ryan and Murray could truthfully to the vets say
“We have cut every dollar, every fraud, every waste—there is no other way”
More likely than not, almost to a woman and a man
They would tighten their belts, agree and pitch in a helping hand
 A billion to build a website that does not work despite the cost
Means that plea for sacrifice can ot be made,  has clearly been lost
Vets have no unions; they collect no dues to finance incumbent campaigns
But if the Feds succeed, no group will be able to Fed broken promises restrain
If these pension promises are broken get ready for the resumption of the draft
Any one volunteering to place life and limb in harm’s way in the future will be a bit  daft
© December 17, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Selfie Not A Scandal Only A Scandal Distraction

Arianna Huffington on her Huff Post, recently blogged about the artificial scandals over the Obama "selfie" with the very attractive female P.M. of Denmark while next to him Michelle looks completely unhappy and the shaking of Castro's hand at Mandela's memorial service. Such artificial scandals raised while the expiration of extended unemployment benefits and deaths by handguns are real scandals. Certainly agree that any death by gun is a scandal and we should, consistent with the Second Amendment which we celebrate on Bill of Rights Day, December 15, 2013, do everything possible to reduce such deaths.
        We have in the failure of the ACA, its rollout, its deception by the President  to get it passed, and the consequences of millions of policy holders being cancelled, choice of doctors and hospitals curtailed, privacy out the window and premiums skyrocketing. Such consequences are being felt in an atmosphere where the government has determined  the coverage it thinks is best for you. This from a body that cannot build a functioning website for less than a billion dollars and seems incapable of holding anyone in the administration accountable.
        We have enough scandals with the ACA--like it is the daily front page for the National Enquirer, each day worse than the last. What we need is some sense of compromise and willingness for Reds and Blue to come together to address major problems that will cripple this country, not the least of which is our growing national debt. The Ryan/Murray Budget passed in the House and to be voted on in the Senate on Tuesday is a tiny flicker of hope that some compromise is possible in Washington.   The budget is an absolute failure, however, to decrease spending and that slight flicker of compromise can be blown out by the winds of rhetoric and rancor in an instant. God help us if we cannot address a national debt of $17,000,000,000,000 today; imagine how impossible it will be when Obama leaves office and the 17 stands at 20-25.
Focus on Selfies and Handshakes to Miss Real Scandal
The Head Huff needs a different word; please open up and read "scandal" in a dictionary page
"An action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage"
Obama doing a "selfie" flirt with a Danish P.M. is not morally or legally wrong
It does demonstrate when it comes to respect for the office he clearly does not belong
To on the ACA blatantly lie to the American People period, again and again is a moral sin
Completely in poor taste while Michelle scowls is during Mandela's service his "selfie" idiotic looking grin
As to the handshake of Castro, here is a thought for what it's worth
Scandal would have been if he refused as we near the celebration of Christ's birth
On Bill of Rights Day which includes the 2nd's right to bear arms
Sandy Hook was a tragedy beyond belief--how sick to inflict such harm
Any life taken by another by any means including a gun
Is a true scandal that any sense of decency would condemn and shun
Not to minimize the carnage but from the Brady Foundation these facts:
30 a day murdered, 53 by their own hand, 2 by accident, and 1 by police attack
On extension of benefits there is reasoned debate
Longer benefits mean a return to work much longer to await
The American people do not need any more "scandals" to fill our plate
Obama's and his minion's lies on the ACA period have made us sick and completely sate.
Save the scandal of runaway spending and increasing national debt,
Such that a dreams of prosperity our children and grandchildren will only forget
© December 16, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mandela Funeral and Selfies

     Too often a man's death assumes impacts far beyond his deeds in life, attracting  new followers to link themselves with a great man who has just passed.  Mandela was a great man and his suffering of 27 years in prison is beyond comprehension for most people especially when he was released and ultimately was elected President of South Africa and exhibited forgiveness to his Apartheid tormentors as a means of unity to build a greater South Africa. Contrast that with the brother of the man whose hand to the howl of some conservative leaders and pundit Obama shook, Fidel Castro who had public trials of Batista supporters and then executed those supporters and confiscated both foreign and domestic investments in Cuba.
       If at Christmas 1914 in the early stages of the carnage of World War I to the consternation of their commanders soldiers on both sides of the trenches put down their rifles and came out to exchange tokens and gifts and even play soccer then why the outcry over a handshake by President Obama at the funeral of the man who will go down in history as the symbol of forgiveness? Makes no sense. The "selfies" from the cell phone are another matter and epitomize poor taste and the fact that our President has really not yet grown into his job. Too much time dodging and trying not very well to explain "periods" when it would appeared that he had paltered to the American people. A Tale of Two Images follow:

A Tale of Two Images

The world leaders gathered to pay homage to an icon of compassion, forgiveness and peace
With hopes and prayers that Mandela's message would be passed on and never cease
In a digital world where every action can be seen by a camera's eyes
At the funeral two photos of our President were subject to hue and cry
From the Reds upon the photo of Obama shaking Castro's hand,  a cascade of blame
Their quick and knee jerk condemnations should cause disgust and cries of “Shame!”
At a funeral for a man who to build a nation forgave his jailers’ white
It’s only a handshake, not a condoning of tyranny, not presidential to Castro slight
The second was the “selfie” of Obama and two P.M.s looking like immature teens
Hardly a proper display of decorum  at a world attended memorial scene
Sure the female P.M. was gorgeous as teens would say “too hot.”
But in that case time for a cold shower not a “selfie” photo shot
Red or Blue should be appalled and Obama’s actions condemn and reject
From a man who has lied and deceived PERIOD, sadly it is what we have come to expect
His actions have demeaned the Office of the Presidency shows him to be a fool
“Selfies” on a date may be okay, but at Memorial Service, Mr. President, just not cool

 © December 11, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

50 Year Cycle

Almost 50 years and two weeks ago, a funeral of a world leader was held in Washington, D.C. A President cut down in the prime of his life setting forth from a Camelot of Dreams, full pennants flying. Hard to make the statement that after losing a President to an assassin, the world was a safer place for its leaders, but the images of the escort of his casket of countless world leaders from Charles de Gaulle towering over Haile Selassie reminders that the nations of the world are composed not of lines on a globe but of people, all of whom share this planet and many common dreams and hopes regardless of language, physical attributes and needs, economic standing, or beliefs.  Fear does not and cannot trump humanity.

       Mandela's funeral once again pointed that out as even more leaders from around the globe descended on South Africa. Much more security this time  but once again the death of a great leader was a magnet to bring together the leaders of the nations of this tiny globe in a common celebration of a great man’s life and accomplishments.

50 Years
He was born in the last year of the War to End All Wars
Sadly, mankind failed bitterly on that hopeful score
Endured a system so punishing to his race
Spent 27 years in prison, a truly God-awful place
One would think he would want upon assuming power
To exact revenge for all humanity within must have soured
His greatness and his lasting eulogy that will for the ages endure
Lessons on how discrimination and exploitation one can cure
Revenge and vengeance may be emotions within us with deep roots
But a great man, a man of peace, a unifier can shed them like a cheap suit
If after decades of apartheid’s  crushing blows
And years of prison he retained the seeds of unity to sow
Why then we who are not all in prison for our race or beliefs
Cannot in our lives and in our Capitols bring an end to this rhetoric and rancor grief?
An aisle is not an impassable barrier or moat
Light bulbs need to go on—  we are all in the same boat!
Nelson,  rest in peace and may your legacy be relived each and every day
All colors and beliefs together holding the forces of discrimination, revenge and vengeance at bay!

© December 10, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Monday, December 9, 2013

Heisman Trophy But No Triple Threat

The six finalists in the Heisman Trophy have been announced. After the AG of Florida has indicated there will be no prosecution of Winston for rape, it should be clear to anyone near a TV this season that Winston of FSU will win the trophy for excellence and integrity in the sport. A suggestion on someone definitely not a favorite but that rare breed of football players becoming more and more specialized, a true Triple Threat--in this case a Junior from Stanford, Ty Montgomery: If poets could vote this is mine:

Triple Threat Heisman
Excellence with integrity is the hurdle one must cross
Be it in running or in a spiral to toss
Lost in the mix are tackles, kicks or blocks
Winner and finalists will see a great  rise in NFL stock
Six finalists in what must already be a done deal
No surprise when the votes on 12/14 are unsealed
Winston will be the winner of the Heisman no doubt
Even if on the 6th the Tigers he does not rout
Not even on the list
But with a slight historical twist
An Old Montgomery passed a different hurdle and stopped the Fox
In the desert in the Valley of the Sun, a new Montgomery ran circles around the box
Rare in today's world is the true triple threat-run, catch and return
While being a student with very tough academics to learn
Winston may be the winner of the Heisman and has earned that goal
But when he steps onto the grass of the ancient and historic Rose Bowl
He should listen to the whispers of the blades of grass
"Dear Heisman on this very field less than a week past
A team of excellence and integrity in classroom and on the field
Fought the Spartans with every fiber of talent and heart that would not yield
A triple threat played here, be thankful he never passed
Ere you trophy might have been surpassed
Stiff arm all and any barriers to classroom learning
College is more than what in the NFL you will be earning"

© December  9, 2013 Michael  P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Monday, December 2, 2013

Martin Bashir--The New Marvin K. Mooney

Taking a break from writing and reviewing a consulting project and thought I would turn on to the "New MSNBC" After watching the Cycle discuss the tech wars between Apple and Google and wondering why a panel that supports a regulatory environment that is more effective in killing entrepreneurship that a failure to make payroll or tapping out on the line of credit to fund a start up, I returned to watch the "Martin Bashir Show." Was pleasantly surprised to see he was not on, supposedly "on vacation," but his smug, smiling, biased face was shown during breaks. The silence of MSNBC on Bashir's over-the-top, beyond-the-pale-of-decency remarks on Sarah Palin remains a complete mystery to me. Bashir's views on politics as much as I disagree with them have a place on the air and should not be curtailed anymore that Beck's or Limbaugh's. His personal attack on Sarah Palin do not have a place. His urging of listeners to defecate not in jest but in all seriousness into the mouth of Sarah Palin if she speaks forfeits his right to continue to appear. Martin Bashir would you please go now and save some dignity by heeding the last paragraph of that  great Dr. Suess poem and emulating it: "I said GO and GO I meant....
The time had come.
Marvin WENT.
         Having so said, time to put into the muse:
Martin Bashir--The New Marvin K. Mooney
The GOP War on Women is a war completely in myth
To here the Blue trumpets blare makes one want to down a fifth
Islam's treatment of women as veiled objects without independent rights
That's a real war that Red and Blues together and united would wish to fight
Abortion versus a right to life is a battle no one without wounds and scars ever wins
It must be a decision especially as the days go by like being kicked again and again in the shins
We should expand all efforts to increase numbers of those who wish to adopt
And the partial birth abortions when the fetus is moving and  clearly viable in most cases stop
With deference to a want-to-be father, in all cases a woman's rights should prevail
We should with compassion support her in what ever pain that decision might entail
The War on Women, however,  by the left sadly is for real without quarter waged
Beyond all bounds of decency and civility and common sense it has raged
Any conservative woman is a traitor who in Bashir's eyes must wear a blue CB in shame
But his last remark on toilets and Palin has this tolerant poet really angered and  inflamed
Palin's comments may at time seem from the hip and miss the mark
It's easy to dismiss sometime her simile like conservative remarks
But for Martin Bashir with his pompous feigned erudite accent  to urge and suggest
On air and not in jest, to close her mouth, use it as a toilet is a comment we all should protest
A delayed apology too weak and too contrite
NBC should be sending him bags packed into the night
Rachel, Ed, Alex, Al, J.J. and Chris
When do you realize your Martin is in the gutter abyss?
No one, no woman, no matter how left or right, should ever be subject to a Bashir-like abuse
His "vacation" from MSNBC needs to be permanent; his bias and attacks far to in him infused
The sounds of silence from NOW and MSNBC are failed streaks on a bathroom wall
Why do they continue the release of rightful condemnation with silenced continue to stall?
Martin K. Mooney it is time to go;  your leaving we will cheer and not rue
At least if you life to keep your bias you can, with apologies to Dr. Suess,  go in an old Blue shoe
We wish him well on his lasting vacation a time to rest and a time to reflect
Woe to any, right or left into the on-air mainstream, who such hatred seeks to inject.
© December 2, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quemoy And Matsu Deja Vu

        During the 1960 Presidential campaign, China was laying claim to and shelling Quemoy and Matsu, small islands approximately 6 miles off the coast of China. Both Nixon and Kennedy campaigned on the premise that the U.S. would defend Taiwan against invasion by China, but Kennedy broke with Nixon and indicated that the islands were not strategically defensible and served no purpose in the defense of Taiwan.
         Kennedy, in a close election prevailed; China did not invade the islands, and they remain under the control of Taiwan and in the present time are vacation spots for tourists from both China and Taiwan. China must have reasoned that no value could be obtained in invading the islands perhaps as the Cuban Missile Crisis proved Kennedy was a resolute and strong leader when U. S. interests were at stake. Unfortunately, many parts of the world do not view the current administration in the same light and there may be concern that China in declaring an air defense flight identification  zone over islands claimed by China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan in the East China Sea is seeking to exploit that perceived weakness. Cooler heads have prevailed and no warning shots or attempts to force down aircraft have occurred.
          Biden will be going to China to express our concerns. Tensions over ownership over islands in the South China Sea in the late 90's have been resolved; in large part because of a strong U.S, Naval presence. What Biden will be able to accomplish is anyone's guess but one thing is certain---a U.S. perceived by China to be weak and waffling is not an acceptable means to avoid or resolve any crisis that may ensue. History repeats itself best in the cadence of rhyme: hope the following is enjoyed:

                      Quemoy and Matsu and Biden Too

Once again in another part of the world for weakness  we must atone
Empty teleprompter and photo ops  rhetoric, no military muscle on the bone
When a President lied "period" to has own people and continues to deceive
Hard for any ally or foe to his stern and teleprompter delivered  proclamations believe
Especially a potential foe and this should be no shock
To whom due to Obama's soaring debt we are deeply in hock
The world is a very deadly, dangerous, shifting place
A teleprompter and jog down a chopper merits no slack or grace
Lines in the sand from Obama are like a sandcastle contest on the 4th of July
Oohs and ahs at low tide but completely washed away on the rising tide's high
Biden may not be the icon of foe or ally respect
Kerry after Iran not sure also we should select
But either would be a better choice
Than a President driven only by his politics voice
Make no mistake this is very serious stuff
Worsened by a President who is politics driven, weak and not tough
China may be the Moose who self invites himself through an unguarded island door
With each muffin, then jam, then more isles, he will never be sated, only want more
We are, to many voters' growing regret, stuck with Obama until 2016
Maybe some backbone we can give him with a Red sweep in 2014
Until then watch the bouncing, shifting focus and attention span
As Democare becomes more a failed  Castle of Deceit crumbling on shifting sands   

© November 30, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday The New Knockout Game

      On Thanksgiving, there once was a time in almost all of commerce shut down for people to enjoy the bounty of the day with friends and family. Malls and shopping centers and restaurant parking lots were totally vacant. That time is somewhat past as increasing numbers of restaurants are open for Thanksgiving and stores like Walmart are open to attractive the Christmas shoppers as if the ingestion of tryptophan would somehow melt a shoppers resolve to not go into major debt during the holidays.

      Black Friday has typically been the busiest shopping day of the year, with the chains opening their stores earlier and earlier until stores were opening at 12:01 a.m. and thousands upon thousands of shoppers lined up outside the store and into the streets for the supposed bargains.  Now some stores like Walmart getting an even earlier jump on the Black Friday shopping frenzy by opening up Thanksgiving Day  at 8:00 p.m. and remaining open until late Friday night. Unfortunately the longer hours have resulted in near riots among shoppers in searching for bargains, risking life and limb for a discount for gifts that may or may not be thrown away or discarded.

Black Friday The New Knockout Game
We may have been numbed by rhetoric and lack of civil respect
By the paragons of public service we have been doomed to elect
The halls of Congress and the Senate were supposed to foster reasoned debate
Now only forums to spread ideology, distrust and illogic and reasoning third rate
The White House this time bears a lot of well-deserved blame
The Great Communicator seems only to seek passions to inflame
Something in our social fabric is torn asunder, a civility ship deeply in list
When stuffed with turkey, standing in line in the cold and early morning mist
Shoppers eagerly with cards and ready wallets open waiting to pounce on the sale lure, the discount bait
Discounts real or surreal to trigger the frenzy, to try to the consumer saving urges seek to sate
Shoppers are not lining up for a heart attack, cancer, or stroke miracle cure
No, the line is for the discounts on the latest fads while spending restraints must be interred
The malls of Black Friday have now become the new venue for the Knockout Game
Watching the attacks on TV one can only shake one’s head—how do we this violence tame?
Knocking shoppers over, snatching items, stabbings, assaults, fist fights and brawls
The gratitude of Thanksgiving freshly noted so soon lost in the chaos of the malls.
Human lemmings over the bargain and discount cliff
No wonder so many feel our morals and values are adrift.
Black Friday should not be a lottery to see if in the malls you can survive
Even if loaded down with goods and credit our deportment takes a deadly dive.
Maybe time on Black Friday to wear a black armband and the Malls boycott
Defer to Saturday and give the small business retailer a shot
Recharge your moral batteries on Sunday in prayer and rest
Shop online on Monday, Starbucks in hand, free of the crowd’s unrest.

© November 29, 2013 Michael P. Ridley


Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The college football season is just about over and for schools in the Pac 12 especially Stanford the is the last year of the BCS mess as opposed to a 4 to 8 team playoff. Unfortunately the media infatuation with the SEC may well linger on. After reading some of the news on this weekend's games and the lack of any real attention to games in the PAC 12, this poem came to me. No gauntlet being thrown down at the loyal fans of the SEC but for the SEC to really walk on water, the graduation rates of the football players need to be increased---one of four failing to graduate is absolutely a disgrace.  The SEC should mandate that its coaches spend some time on The Farm to see how Stanford achieves a 93% graduation rate despite an obvious difficult and challenging academic program.

In Football, SEC  Rules, PAC 12 Drools But In All Sports PAC 12 Rules, SEC Drools

No mention of Stanford versus Notre Dame football game
Or whether the Wildcats will push the Devils back into the flames
SC/ UCLA has bearing only for City of Angels’ bragging rights
And whether an interim coach leads the Trojans in next year's PAC 12 fights
But Wildcats/Devils football  game winner a site will pick
Much easier for ASU in Tempe to pull off Cardinal upset trick
If only  sportscasters honored the fact that a college is primarily a place to learn
Not a farm club for the NFL to prepare students for short careers but high salaries to earn
SEC teams from Alabama, Auburn, MIZOU, A&M and LSU
Leaders on the field but in graduations a performance to rue
73, 70, 74, 74 and 74 hardly acceptable graduation scores
Stanford comes in 93 so its players hold keys to the executive doors
Though only 8 in football; if one were to count NCAA titles in all sports
Never, ever Stanford and the PAC 12 dismiss or coverage ignore or short
109, 104 and 98 are the NCAA titles in all sports of UCLA, Stanford and SC
Most of SEC not on top 20 list and the Cowboys and the Tigers far behind at 51 and 43
With a ranking in the BCS of 8 Stanford is what student athletes are supposed to be
Time for more coverage of the PAC 12 and less fawning over the NFL farm clubs in the SEC
Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet 11/27/2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Baxter the Dog, the Computer Wiz

      The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare as its critics are prone to call it, has had a very difficult roll out to put it mildly. The President's credibility with the nation has suffered with a one two punch that has him on the ropes with falling ratings due in part to the difficulties encountered with the rollout but more importantly he either out of ignorance of the ACA's provisions or with full knowledge of his signature piece of legislation, deceived and mislead the American people on the issue of keeping their policies and their health care professionals and the costs that the ACA will entail.
       A third blow to the Presidential body is now starting to land, namely the fact that may not be secure from hackers who will be able to obtain a policy holder's or policy shopper's sensitive personal information. Add to those concerns the fact that the "navigators" engaged to assist persons seeking to come on to the site have not undergone any significant criminal background checks. The fourth blow which will land in the very near future is the real potential loss in the employee and small business health insurance market. The numbers of policy cancellations my run in the range to 50 to 100 million policy holders, a staggering amount to put it charitably.
      The news today that a resident of Colorado without any attempt on his part discovered that his healthy Yorki named Baxter is now covered under the ACA. In an attempt to help scale down the rhetoric, and bring some levity to an otherwise miserable mess, this poem came to me.  I only regret like all dogs even like the Maltese I once owned, Baxter cannot read but if he could I am sure his paws would be clapping

Baxter Registered for Obamacare
A dog is a man's best friend
A true and loyal friend to the very end
If you are wondering on this Christmas what gift should be for your dog
As the family and pet warm themselves around the Yule time log
Forget the Milk Bone or sweater for the cold winter air
No, Baxter like all dogs should be enrolled in Obamacare
It is somewhat funny, almost a joke
Though it takes our minds off the despair of cancelled policies yoke
Obama, his ego he needs to dial way, way back
Listen to the concerns of those well meaning attacks
Open a Clinton on Affirmative Action playbook page
He might even save his "legacy" and appear somewhat sage
"Don't end it
 Mend it"
At least the deductible be lowered for Baxter's treats
And lower prices for the collars for the fleas to defeat.
If somehow or someway poor Baxter in an oxymoron curse to many males has to be “fixed”
Make sure the policy calls for anesthetics and post op pain killers be applied very thick

© November 20, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Free Speech Like Buffalos Now Roam

       The news out of the University of Colorado, the home of the Buffalos in the Pac 12, was most rewarding. The University has taken steps to prevent discrimination based on political views. If the ban on anti-discrimination is actually enforced such that conservative speakers might actually not be banned or if they appear will not be drowned out such there message with not be heard, then the University of Colorado will live up to its motto of "Let the Light Shine." Listening to only one side of a point of view day in and day out makes the pathways to the brain no longer transparent but opaque and the pathways in the brain more clogged to the flow of ideas than the 405 Freeway during rush hour.
        The poem that follows was inspired by the news of the Colorado Regents' actions. Churchill referenced in the poem was a 66 year old tenured professor infamous for his remarks that the victims of 911 were "little Eichmans" and that 911 was a natural result of American policy in the Middle. He was fired for research irregularities such as fabrication and plagiarism. He prevailed in court but was ultimately denied any monetary award or reinstatement.
        Bashir as of today has not been disciplined for his intemperate remarks on his show that listeners of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin should sh** in her mouth.
        Hard to have any reasoned discussion of issues with rhetoric so inflaming and intense.
God help this noble country if we ever on our first amendment promises Welch
Freedom to appear and speak drowned out or by disruption squelched
Colorado in its Pac 12 football skills sadly this year still  really lacks
But this poet applauds the Regents who against 1st Amendment assaults fought back
Where would this country ever be
If we lost our right to speak to disagree?
As much as I believe Ward Churchill's remarks were completely insane
 And by all his views should completely be rejected and disdained
 Men and women have bled and died for his right of speech
 Maybe atonement today for University of Colorado that ended his right to teach
Only in America can a Martin Bashir live on MSNBC
Urge defecation in Palin's mouth with unrestrained glee
At MSNBC you cannot attack lesbian or  gays
So Alex Baldwin for a while is suspended away
But a remark that, apology notwithstanding, is so offensive to women even if they are on the right
Merits no MSNBC rebuke only silence so Martin can still be seen Leaning Forward at night
 One down but another really important one to go
As Christmas fast approaches with its cold and snow
Now is the time to all religious freedoms also protect
Christianity, atheists and all other faiths and sects
When Christmas is over, trees and decorations and lights all down, and the gifts all put away
Time to keep the attacks on the exercise of all religions in check and well at bay.

© November 19, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet