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 Crash Live for Sebelius to Watch

     The furor over the failed website, Obama's deceptions, the insurance policy cancellations and looming cancellations in the employer market continue unabated. If I were a small business owner trying to treat my employees as family which I know from years of representing emerging companies that most try to do, I would be white hot with rage over the premium increases my small group policies will experience thanks to the ACA and even more outraged that I would not be able to afford continuing health care coverage and would have to terminate it for my employees/family members.  Listening to small business owners testify about increases forcing them to cancel policies was heartbreaking.  I doubt Sebelius, Carney, Reid, Pelosi or the President were listening.
     I also do know that excessive and premature celebration by the Reds over the failings of this Administration and his deception are not the right thing to do.  We have a problem in this country and we, Reds, Blues, and Indies need in a rational, nonpolitical manner try to solve it. If that is not persuasive enough, to the Reds, remember that my alma mater is Stanford and its football colors include Red. The excessive celebration on this very day November 20, 1982 on a go ahead field goal with 6 seconds left by the Stanford football team resulted in a 15 yard penalty which when coupled with the Stanford Band pouring out on the field prematurely during the return, resulted in "The Play" and Stanford's loss to Cal.
    The purple references in this poem refer not to royal trim or bearing but rather the color resulting from the blending of Blue and Red, or in political terms even the densest House member or Senator would understand, "reaching across the aisle" Hope you enjoy it!

                                       Caught on Candid Camera

“Silence on the set, lights, cameras, come on people no more cuts let's make this a wrap!”
 Sebelius in photo op moment watching trying to film a “it's a working wrap”
Only so typical of an administration totally on this above their pay grade
Watch the website fire up and then into crash mode quickly freeze and fade
The worker on TV smiles and admits it happens all the time
To fix this disaster known to be, the Administration is running out of time
The 30th we now know was at best a wing and a prayer
 At least not another period for Obama's dishonesty to bare
The polls increasingly show what all would know
You cannot have faith in a President who tries to snow
So on this day of RFK's birth in 1925
A suggestion Obama might want to follow for his legacy to survive
”America I wrongly and with no excuse lied, I deceived,  and contrived
I will work to amend or scrap ACA so with Red help a solution to uninsured we might derive
Please help me I do not want to see our health care system in fatal crash dive”
 And to the Blues this advice  to heed , it is not the time for dancing out on to the field or high fives
 Not a time to focus or energy expend to from office the Blues in the fall sweep
That will not solve the problem of the uninsured and frankly is a shot too cheep
So Reds shed your passion and bias and  put on your purple clothes and purple  mindset
With the Blues together as equals solve this, without exploding beyond repair our national debt
Mr. President at least you have been a role model that lies usually are for naught
In the waning years of your presidency, be thankful  period!,  that on these deceptions you were     caught 
                                    © November 20, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gettysburg Address 150 Years of Age and Skipped

The Gettysburg Address has always touched a responsive chord in this poet and to this day I can still recite its 272 words, surpassed by Obamacare’s word total of approximately 420,000, legislation that no one read and no one understood the complexities of its provisions save in one area—the representations made by President Obama that one could keep their policy period, that one could keep their doctor period were false. I believe with passage of this law hanging by the slenderest threads, Obama believed, wrongfully so, that this charitable nation would rise up in anger if the truth were known and his signature legacy legislation would not pass period. So he lied to the American people, his minions lied to the American people and worse he and his minions continued to lie to the American people and until most recently probably due to the incredible incompetency of the website rollout, such lies were completely free of any questioning or criticism by mainstream media.    
             November 2014 is a lifetime away and this poet is not smart enough to predict what will happen as a result of Obamacare. If Lincoln were speaking today over the struggle surrounding Obamacare and the perceived lies and deception on the part of the President, he might say in paraphrasing one of his more memorable lines: “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here about Obamacare, but it can never forget what lies Obama said to the American people” Probably a good thing Obama declined the invitation to attend ceremonies honoring the Gettysburg Address.

 Gettysburg Address 150 Years of Age and Skipped

The seeds of conscious deception finally with a botched rollout and memos have begun to sprout
The denials and excuses and sound bites and even periods have failed and are in full panic rout
We mere mortals have been burned and sadly accept that cops may lie on the stand
Lawyers  in client zeal sometimes also, but the not the chief executive officer of this great land

In a democracy with a Constitution a rule that the ends do not justify the means
If our President to us is not honest, then whom can we trust on whom can we lean
President Obama regardless of whether his motives were good or believed in our interests best
With his periods again and again with knowledge he  failed again and again the honest test

Truth and trust are fragile as a snowflake or the petal of a rose
When deception enters the room it melts and all beauty quickly goes
President Obama has and continues to throw truth under the bus
Those unifying, shining promises in 2009 now pitted, corroded with deception rust

We are witnessing the first acts of a deception, a lying sinking ship
Blues starting to bail, no one wants to drown in its sinking grip
No wonder the “Great Communicator” the Gettysburg Address now will skip
His conscience still remaining cannot bear to hear the words from the Emancipator’s lips

“Government of the people, by the people and for the people” is not  just a slogan for a teleprompter screen
It is a value worth fighting and dying for and a value this  President’s deceptions demean
Look closely at the Lincoln Memorial, the words and that war weary, bearded face
You should see tears being to stream as the integrity of the office this President’s lies disgrace

It is best Obama will not on an observance and memorial be on a podium to share
The stench of periods caught again and again would the memory of this Address impair
Everett’s speech and the debate over the rollout, lost policies, or costs of Obamacare the people will remember not
Only how the President deceived and lied again and again, and his credulity, integrity and trust was totally shot  

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

Friday, November 15, 2013

Failed Presidency Failed Website ACA in Ruins

       For this American and poet these have been the sad days that in misery seem to blend. The death of reason burnt to a crisp by the flames of rhetoric during the shutdown and the closing of the memorials to the Veterans of WWII on perhaps their last march before taps. Now the sad facts that our President in his zeal to pass the Affordable Healthcare Act without a single Republican vote did not just shade the truth or omit salient facts and you can take this period to the bank,,,He lied period! No ifs ands or buts period!
    We are in the 46th day of a failed website which like failed green energy projects such as Solyndra have hundreds of millions of dollars wasted and down the drain. Like the complexities of Ptolemaic epicycles piling one up on the other to mask the truth that the Earth revolves around the  Sun not the reverse, a growing tech wave of experts suggest it may be best to scrap it and start over. While we are at it may finally be time for Obama, Pelosi and Reid to swallow their pride and arrogance and seek Red input on how to solve what is a growing problem of access to affordable health care. Do it not because it may avoid a slaughter of Blues in 2014 but because for the nation it is the right thing to do. Before going to the poem below a plea to the Reds if they sweep in 2014, no spikes, no victory dances and no political equivalent of the Treaty of Versailles on Obama and his Blues to impose. 
Failed Presidency Failed Website ACA in Ruins
Obama and his tech cronies are totally out of their league
Finally even the Blues are getting more excuses fatigue
The number of start-up online businesses grow each day
Some like Amazon and eBay so successful they take your breath away
Functioning websites built at mere fractions of's cost
In the private sector if you can't securely, quickly click to buy all is lost
$400 million and months to try to make it work
From Obama on down all accountability to shirk
A private company would use its best and brightest technical minds
To innovate, create, improve and leave the competition behind uses its best and brightest to craft sound bites to deceive
So if the tech starter falters and bugs multiply there is no one to relieve
How could the troika of Obama, Pelosi and Reid
Have the arrogance to dismiss: "Red input we do not need!"
Now with his plan in shambles; his credibility in total disarray
We Reds must rise above the desire for revenge, rise above the fray
We had, have, and will have even more a coverage hole
Into a doctor's office sooner and not an ER is our common goal
I am a poet not a medical care guru, swami or ,in jest, the Great Carnak
Only a firm believer that the private sector is a far better track
And that we need to treat the causes not symptoms if costs to contain
Maybe income related subsidies to induce people back onto the coverage train
Roll up sleeves, earn your pay and with bipartisan resolve
No more blame, no more deceit, no more rhetoric to the table to a problem solve
Let the political chips fall where they may
No more trust of the American people to with periods betray....!
© November 15, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Monday, November 11, 2013

World War II Veterans and the Last Battle

I wrote in 2007 and posted on my blog a poem entitled General Old Age. Since writing it, close to one and a half million veterans of World War II have passed. The images of the veterans of World War II being denied admission to the World War II Memorial due to the idiocy and insensitivity of the 536 "leaders" in Washington outraged me and the images of the three survivors of the Doolittle Raid brought tears to my eyes. There today are only less than a million WWII vets left alive which means we non WWII vets have precious time left to honor them. Since my blog does not have search capabilities I decided to repost the poem. When I was growing up, this would be the day to buy a poppy to raise money for veterans. Today I urge you to donate dollars to the Fisher Foundation, ("Wounded Warriors"), the foundation that stepped up during the "shutdown" to pay death benefits and travel costs to the families who were losing sons and daughters in Afghanistan that an insensitive administration withheld. War does not stop killing and maiming just because the idiots in Washington were unable to set aside rhetoric and come together to try to stop blaming each other and try to solve real problems.

General Old Age

They answered the call by the millions, regardless of inner doubts or parents' fears,
Whether by draft notice or marching to recruitment, some even lying to be able to volunteer.
This was a war not for gold, honor or to occupy another's land,
No, this was a war to not let the gains of tyranny gel and stand,
Dropping plow, lathe, apron, even books and all manner of tools of trade,
A river of men and women to don khaki and join in the Great Crusade,
Ours was not a warrior nation, in standing armies we stood among the world almost last,
In every prior struggle once done, our armies and navies faded quietly into the peaceful past,
Our navy was our oceans that made Europe and Asia distant and remote,
Deeper and wider and more protected than any fortress moat,
No planes no matter how fast or how high they could soar,
Never, ever could they bring the horsemen of war upon our shore,
Our army was 3000 miles of land any foe would have to cross,
Behind each tree and wall, a citizen armed to cause deadly loss,
Or so it seemed, until that early, peaceful December Sunday morn,
In two hours our fathers' and grandfathers' generation in an instant was reborn,
From the sleep of isolation, a nation island in restful and secure peace,
To now chain the dogs of war others saw fit to unleash,
16 million Americans in the colors soldiered and served,
Over 400,000 never reaped the long life they so richly deserved,
These Crusaders lost a few battles and suffered a few defeats,
From time to time either orderly or in disarray they were forced to retreat
But the best generals the Axis could ever put upon the field,
In the long run each and every one died or had to yield,
The oceans soon became guarded American lakes.
No enemy admiral would ever survive in our seamen's wake,
Our airmen drowned out the sun with deadly, lethal planes,
Our foes fell from the skies like the monsoon rains,
There was not a general or admiral they could not best, their deeds fill many a page,
Save one general with forces all would wish never to have to engage,
Yet the battle has at last been joined and throughout this land it will rage,
This general takes no quarter, there are no prisoners and the war is in its final stage,
The men and Crusaders of summer in the late winter of their lives are meeting General Age,
More leave the field of battle daily than the carnage of their blackest days,
We have hindered his march, but soon we will no longer be able to delay.
Armies reducing to Corps and then to Divisions and then to Brigades,
The numbers of the Greatest Generation slowly continue to fade,
Regiments to Battalions, then to Companies and then to Platoons and then to Squads.
While we still have the time, it is they we should honor and laud,
For sadly, soon there will only be empty reunion halls,
Full only of the memories of heroes who answered the call.
And the prayer that this General will soon never, ever have to fight again such a war,
There will be no combat veterans aging and waiting their turn to storm an eternal peaceful shore. 

                                                      Michael P. Ridley aka The Alaskanpoet
God bless you all who served in World War II and all those since then in war and in peace. We are and will always be in debt to you and your families that suffered also.


                                                                   © September 16, 2007

Dolittle In 30 Seconds Not 15 Minutes For A Lifetime Of Fame

Several days prior to Veterans' Day November 11, 2013 three of the last four survivors of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo gathered on what would be the last toast to the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and to the souls of the seventy-six airmen who are no longer with us. Anyone as Warhol once said can have fifteen minutes of fame, but few very few perform acts of courage and bravery climaxed by only thirty seconds over a target that last a lifetime and go into the memories of all future generations if we the living and the civilians, who enjoy the freedoms our veterans have died or bleed to insure those freedoms, honor our veterans.

30 Seconds of Fame A Lifetime of Honor
In the dark days of World War II with American forces in full retreat
A Japanese juggernaut unstoppable, looking immune to any chance of defeat
On April 18, 1942, 80 pilots and crew too soon launched from their Hornet’s nest
On a one way ride to Japan to the myth of invincibility sting to arrest
A B-25 is a bomber, had no place on a pitching, heaving carrier deck
Desperate measures to in our days of  doom and despair, hope to inject
Launched too soon, not enough fuel, to bomb and reach Chinese landing strips
Even shedding weight, adding jerry cans of fuel, a one way odds-against-survival trip
No hesitation, no delay, no debate, into the wind, bomb laden into the sky
One way ticket, one way trip, throttle forward into the day you will likely die
30 seconds or so pinpricking the Japanese invincible myths
At point of release they did not know it, but the winds of war would shift
Three crewmen were lost, three captured and put to the sword
Seventy-four survived crash landings or internment as home morale soared
And now only four, in bodies aged and somewhat frail
Alive to all who should listen tell their heroic tail
Anyone can have fifteen minutes of fame and then fade
Not so the eighty defying death on the Doolittle Raid
Years from now when the last of the Great Generation has long since passed away
We pray that we will still honor the achievements of courage on that April 18th day

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