Friday, February 28, 2014

Cheer And Face The Red Card

       Just getting ready to comment on the "invasion" by the Russians into the Crimea and the folly of the Administration's announcement of "there will be costs."  However, on the Five (great show as always!) when I heard them talk about Rathdrum, Idaho banning cheering at basketball games by parents and red carding those who violated the rules. A supposed experiment on how better to encourage children. This experiment hit home as Coeur d'Alene, home of the Vikings is very close and as an alum of the high school, my memories were that the fans were anything but silent. Same for the church league games played by those who did not have enough talent to play varsity or in my case although 6'6" according to my muscle weight chart from summers in Alaska fishing commercially, could not break the actual fathom barrier.  Thought you would enjoy these muse comments.
Sounds Of Silence On The Rathdrum Prairie Reigns?
Here is a news flash for whomever came up with the parents-may-not-cheer rule
To remain civil in language and apologies to the Blues, it must have been a herd of mules
Basketball is not the same as the sport of golf were on the tee silence reigns
Where the slightest noise breaks concentration and slices, duffs, hooks become a golfer's bane
It is also not the sport of tennis where the spectators sit mute in the stands
Lips sealed to all movement, polite folded hands
Even when one side is on the free throw line there is not truce
Streamers wave, feet stomp and all volume breaks lose.
Noise and cheers are part of the game
That human urge to cheer these mules seek to tame
The way to silence a home crowd is not with for parents  a penalty box
But rather the steal and layup or the coffin nail three downtown not blocked
Too many kids have parents who are away at work
Or a parent who has split and his role now shirked
More valuable than gold is the parent who juggles and somehow finds time to appear
Only to then be embarrassed, dumped on, into the box for a rousing, supporting cheer?
Kids need encouragement, kids need loving praise
Not silence or only signs instead of voices raised
This is a rule, by mules, sadly less than two percent baked
Insane to this Viking alum from two schools, one in the City by the Lake
The other from a village of the Great Land Norse
Time for this rec department to reverse its course
Ere cheering at football games becomes also subject to this ban
What's next? Duct taping the mouths of parents and nonparent fans?
If this school district would take the time to peruse the Bill of Rights
Might come to its senses and repeal this nonsense to the cheering parents' delight
© February 28, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Red and Blue Bruises for the Governors

     Another bastion of political problem solving somewhat devoid of partisan wrangling--the National Governors' Conference--has taken a partisan hit. Not in the confines of the meeting rooms or conference room halls but to the press near the White House steps. Jindal launches into Obama and prompts a scathing Malloy retort. Almost like two children trying to find blame for their recess being cut short.  Whether Obama on the recovery has waved the white flag is for history to decide and not for the press to be handed yet another example by Jindal and Malloy of political dysfunction.
     If the Blues and Reds can take a deep breath and open up their history books to why Ike was swept into office in 1952. The Korean War was at a stalemate--Chinese and Americans killing each other by the thousands for not shifting of the lines and no end in sight short of the U.S. going nuclear and putting China back into the Stone Age. Ike stated "I will go to Korea, implying he would and could solve the stalemate just like he had led the Great Crusade to breach Fortress Europe and bring about with the Russians the demise of the Third Reich.  Even if the Reds sweep the Senate, without the ability to work with Obama in his last two years, it takes little imagination to in 2016 see another Ike like pronouncement from one Hillary Clinton to the effect that "I will go to Washington." coupled with like 1952 a shift back to the Blues in the House and Senate. For this poet, that would be a very bad state of affairs. This is the time for leaders not politicians interested only in their careers!
Reds and Blues Bruise, We All Lose
It was with great sadness on the Governors' Conference to learn
Growing signs now present of the D.C. culture of slash and burn
With state capitals not from their residents so very remote
With an inability to print money and bonds often needing citizen votes
Tempered and coated with a term limit trend
Recalls to away from office politicians send
States have been often blessed with the absence of gridlock
Rhetoric and rancor that got in the way often onto the chopping block
Problems to address, solutions from both sides to evolve
A sense of common purpose, a sense of common resolve
No longer, as it seems the Potomac fever has spread
Governors into two camps, one Blue and one Red
Partisanship is like a cancer overcoming the civil and practical resolution cells
Spreading to choke off compromise and solutions pushing States into a my-way-or-the- highway hell
The States used to be viewed as the laboratories of how to experiment
Not the Potomac to win at all cost to toss the opposite colors into the cement
Trickle down economics has by many been under attack
Now trickle down politics seems on the same track
Mimic the White House and Congress and what do the States get
A disaster we mere mortals would like to wash our hands of and forget
Is the Mayors' Conference the next battleground of the Reds and Blues?
Where reason, civility, and common goals have sunk into the partisan slough?
City Councils, County Boards, School Districts the Potomac virus to soon infect?
Partisanship to inflame, reason, compromise, solutions to reject?
Then we as a country have not a chance to cross the ribbon in any recovery race
We will be lucky even to leave the blocks much less end up even in last place.
Time for leaders not spoiled children eager to protect and advance their careers
Who can only pander to their base with personal attacks, appealing to voters' fears.
© February 26, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Monday, February 24, 2014

John Dingell Retires--One Less Poet In The House

    The news today included an announcement that the Dean of the House of Representatives, John Dingell, Jr., the longest ever serving member of the Congress, House or Senate, since the founding of this nation, will not run for reelection. At 87, age and a desire to spend his remaining time with his family must have influenced his decision as he won his district in 2012 with almost 70% of the vote. A reelection campaign would have been a breeze even for a candidate with a motorized wheel chair scooter with a placard "the Dean". What is disturbing are his reasons for retiring stated in an interview with the Detroit Free Press:   “I find serving in the House to be obnoxious. It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.” Chilling words and evidence of the gridlock facing us.
     Anyone who has served under 11 Presidents and witnessed as a 15 year old page on the floor of Congress FDR's speech to Congress calling for war against the Empire of Japan must have developed a strong sense of the value of the Separation of Powers embodied in our Constitution. I would hope that value is passed on to his likely Blue successor and to all members of the House, Red or Blue. If he is to leave a farewell address, one hopes it attacks the lack of compromise and civility, the rhetoric, and the refusal of Reds and Blues to try to work together to find common ground and one especially hopes that, if delivered, Senator Harry Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi listen and take heed and release their members to their conscience to vote on what is right for this country. My muse comments follow as does the poem by Rep. Dingell delivered on the House Floor in 2005.  Thank you Rep. Dingell for your service to this nation and for your poem.
John Dingell, Jr. Retires--One Less Poet In The House
From 1955 John Dingell followed in his father’s deceased steps
Won his seat and set a longevity record in a series of safe election bets
From a Page in Congress at the age of 12 to his announcement today,
Other than two years in the army in WWII waiting to head into harm’s way,
He has been dependent on the public sector paycheck
In a safe Blue district almost impossible for a Red to elect
If on a career such as his, one were to reflect on the entries in his political log
It would be hard to confine him into a uniform box, and certainly not as an ideologue
From A+ from the NRA to moderation on fuel standards imposed by EPA
To support for organized labor and social welfare always in the fray
Save one issue on which you could set your clocks or take it to the bank
National Health Insurance for him was an issue in number one rank
A fervent supporter of Obamacare which may prove to be the pivotal issue in the fall
Maybe like fellow Blues, Waxman and Miller, he saw the broken “period” promises writings on the wall
His tenure in safe districts may make him at 88 for term limits the poster child
Of entrenchment in the House, not intended by the Founding Fathers, run wild
But anyone who on the floor of the House recited a poem to O’Reilly’s War on Christmas attack
Represents to this poet even though a parody of the Night Before Christmas ,kudos for a sense of humor and civility our politicians now completely lack
Before he leaves office, as longest ever serving Rep, one would hope he urges his fellow Blues they act like hawks
Matters not whether a President is Red or Blue, Imperial Presidents bypassing the House, you must unite to block!
Since his seat is almost as Blue as Pelosi’s, his replacement will be Blue
Unless the voting Wolverines, jobless, living at home, burdened with student debt reject the Obama stew
© February 24, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet   

                                         Dingell’s 2005 “War On Christmas Poem”
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House
No bills were passed bout which Fox News could grouse;
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near;
Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds,
While visions of school and home danced in their heads;
In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan,
Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran;
Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell;
Americans feared we were on a fast track to well
Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily;
A fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly
We can pretend that Christmas is under attack
Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back;
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger
Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger!
This time of year we see Christmas everywhere we go,
From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes even Costco;
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy,
When this is the season to unite us with joy
At Christmas time we’re taught to unite,
We don’t need a made-up reason to fight
So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs;
You should just sit back, relax, have a few egg nogs!
Tis the holiday season; enjoy it a pinch
With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight,
A merry Christmas to all,
And to Bill O’Reilly--Happy Holidays.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Greed Knows No Pig Like A Retired Sheriff

      Without fail, every time I  think it is safe to rhyme about human emotions and spirits and be freed of the mundane columns on hypocrisy, dishonesty, greed, ineptness, money influence and a never ending  host of other failings in our body politic, the news of yet another retired public "servant", this time a Sheriff of Ventura County whose retirement pay is more than his last year of compensation, seeking more money in a court of law. At least Brooks will be the poster child of a referendum in Ventura seeking to eliminate defined benefit plans and offer only 401(k)s for new employees. Almost 3/4 of Ventura voters are in favor, but, of course, if it passes look to court challenges by the unions representing our public "servants". Almost every state in this country due to spineless elected officials who sated on the proverbial mother's milk from public unions is facing huge unfunded pension liabilities. When are we going to relegate defined benefit plans to the footnote of history and when will we either eliminate the public unions or at least eliminate their ability to collect dues or require approval before dues are spent for political purposes? Or to frame the question in another way, how many Stocktons, Vallejos and Detroits must we endure. Hope you enjoy my muse comment below:
Sounds of Oinks in the Retirement Trough
The news out of Ventura County should have taxpayers in a fit of absolute rage
As yet another public “servant” from the pension trough cannot disengage
Another former sheriff with a pension all mere mortals would aspire
Benefits beyond our fondest dreams when one would retire
Leaving a job at a salary of 227 thou yet a pension check of 50 grand more
Any wonder why the unfunded liabilities in California continue to soar
What is tragic is that he is not a lone wolf, our retired Sheriff Robert Brooks
Only a man with a spineless Board and a great lawyer to know how to read a benefits book
The news without the sounds of oinks and slurps another item reveals
Brooks is suing for more, needs 76 grand as part of the law’s retirement deal
In the 60’s and 70’s unrest all cops were unfairly labeled as pigs
Attacking protestors, Blacks, Hispanics and throwing them into the brig
The true pigs were not in uniform protecting our streets
But in civilian clothes after retirement with guaranteed and rising benefits to greet
With the growth of public unions and contributions to fuel a candidate’s for office run
Our public “servants” have seen their benefits and pensions rise at a pace that can only stun
With gimmicks akin to fraud like uniform allowances, bonus, vacation and sick pay for pension
Creating a system we cannot afford and Red or Blue all should detest and no one should like
There is a silver lining in any cloud and Brooks’ greed has certainly fit the bill
Ventura will have on the ballot a referendum to defined benefits plans kill
All new employees will now have only 401(k)s and others will have to choose
Increase your contributions or a portion of your future benefits you will lose
Never underestimate the power of public unions to confuse and distort
Or flock to block the will of the people they “serve” in the courts
Already the Mayor of Ventura serving himself and in essence telling his voters to take a hike
Has announced he will file suit to correct the statement to something more likely the union will like
And like a Pavlovian canine coming to sound of a dinner bell to feed
The Blue State AG wants language in statements that may cut into the taxpayers’ lead
But almost 3 out of 4 voters who feel rightfully so they are being fleeced
Favor the referendum to have this sort of public greed end and cease
As for Brooks whether he wins or loses in court is a winner in this poet’s book
His greed was the lightening rod for us taxpayers and for fiscal sanity we finally retook.
We all should wish Ventura well and be pounding on our Boards’ doors
Demanding a similar referendum to curb pension benefits continuing to soar.
But unless public unions are either outlawed or payment of dues they cannot force
They will try to outflank us faster that a stream facing a boulder changes course
© February 21, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  


Webs We Weave Mike Morell Deceives Will Hillary Grieve

     What is ironic is that had you asked Americans on the eve of the Presidential election in 2012 if they would not vote for Obama because, despite his sound bites of "Osama's dead but GM is alive", 4 Americans were killed in Benghazi,  an overwhelming majority would have said "huh?" and when informed where Benghazi was,  would have most likely said that it was not a factor.  Obama must not have viewed it at the moment as threatening to his reelection as he went off to Vegas to raise money.
      Like Nixon before him, the event is not as important as the cover-up. We may never know why Morell, as finally e-mails are being released that reveal a systematic pattern to deceive the American public, changed the talking points memo to create the aura of a spontaneous video-induced attack as the cause of the deaths, not any rising terror. Was it to protect the woman he knew he would be able to work for or out of loyalty to her? Unless part of a potential plea bargain, we may never know.
      Looking back at the coverage and the pursuit of the truth, once again the media by and large quickly moved on. The video became and remained the mantra and Obama was re-elected. The Blues disappeared from any real attempts to discover why it happened, how it happened and what we failed to do at the highest levels of the White House and the State Department to have prevented the deaths.  2016 will be soon upon us and although it may be premature to have Hillary today be picking her transition team, one lesson hopefully has been learned by the American voters and by the mainstream media--infatuation with electing a President who is Black or who is a woman without regard to skill, integrity, and character is a recipe for disaster and a recipe for a complete withering and impotence of the 4th Estate.  Muse comments follow. 

Like a good soldier, Mike  Morell knew where his butter was to in the future be spread
Osama was fish food, Al Qaeda on the run, how before the election to have 4 Americans dead?
I do not know if Morell behind the video farce was the genius to it create
High stakes here: an Obama reelection bid and Hillary in four lying in wait
But it would appear from the emails on the "talking points" he knew the score
If Obama's mantra “Osama dead GM survives” was to lead to four more
Mortars and heavy weapons had to have been pulled out of the video response hat
Ere Obama's reelection chances might be body slammed to the election mat
Morell may have committed perjury and should back to the witness stand be recalled
With or without the fifth, we need to cuff him as hands behind, legs apart he faces the wall
There must be a special place in the circles of Hell for those who to win an election deceive
With his words and silence next to Clapper will Hillary be snared in the web of deception he weaved.
Hillary hearing of the emails must finally be starting to cringe
Even his reward of Gatekeeper at Beacon may not curb Morell's desire to sing
Rice was so believable appearing at Hillary's behest on the Sunday talk shows
With Morell's changed talking points on the video, her legitimacy he did bestow
In her heart with Cairo in flames and jihadists reacting to slights in ways we would view insane
Duped like the rest of us she may have initially thought the video was what inflamed
Obama was told almost in real time by Panetta that Benghazi was a terrorist attack
But not serious enough for his campaign Vegas fundraiser to cancel or sidetrack
He must have known but to be reelected in his mind he had to have the truth concealed
Slowly, but slowly, the lie unravels, the truth beginning to be revealed
To find decay and rot in animals just follow your nose to the smell
In human deceit just follow the money for it takes so little for honesty to sell
Morell, you were the political equivalent of a Judas to change the memo and the truth never to tell
You've been caught by the e-mails; you will not be saved by the 2012 election bell
Hillary, no matter how hard you try
No matter how many of your minions divert and deny
At the point of 2016 as the truth leaves your chances in tatters
You were wrong those deaths really did matter
Obama, assuming you have a conscience left to soul search with a legacy in the trash heap
Look into the mirror of "they died; I lied" and the Obamacare lies you knew you could not keep.
Blues who turned deaf ears and had silent lips to the Benghazi deaths and cover up,
If 4 Americans abandoned and left to die matter, your terms should come to an  end abrupt.

© February 21, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Obama Called Saved By The River

   In 2012 the Nebraska Legislature enacted a statute giving the state government not the PUC the right to approve the Keystone PipelineXL route through the state. After approval, three landowners filed suit to block and yesterday Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled that the statute was unconstitutional and blocked the pipeline dead in its tracks. The state will appeal and pending the appeal maybe the PUC could quickly act, but my guess is a long delay. If I am right, President Obama has been handed a get of jail card on a silver platter. He intone that he wants the pipeline to help Blue Senators running in Red states whose losses cannot occur if Obama is to retain control of the Senate, but rightfully so he can intone the need to observe the law and wait until the issue is resolved. Also probably keeps the $100 million promised by his multibillionaire friend Tom Steyer and gets Kerry off the hook also with his numerous and wealthy Green friends.
     What is tragic and yet another reason why there must be a landslide of avalanche proportions against Blues in House and Senate is that the oil in the tar sands is not going to stay there at over $100 a barrel; Trans-Canada will say enough delay and route the pipeline British Columbia to waiting Chinese tankers to the tune of 800,000 barrels a day--no confidence that the U.S, is a country to do business with, no increased jobs, no further independence from oil in chaotic lands, but further fuel to China's growing stature. My muse comments below--only hope that Trans-Canada has a little patience and maybe a Plan B to circumvent the delay it will face.

The River Of Get Out Of Keystone Jail
Obama and his terrified Senate Blues get a Keystone get out of jail card
Pressure building on him to approve the pipeline he could not retard
On the horns of a dilemma with no teleprompter behind which to hide
His Green supporters demanding he be on the block Keystone side
Blue senators running for careers in Red states trying to save their hides
Delay, delay but then a report which puts bogus claims to rest
Can Obama somehow dodge the bullet and Keystone’s construct arrest?
Killing jobs and freeing us more from oil from uncertain lands
Looks like against his better judgment, called, he is going to have to declare his hand.
Then saved by the Flop, saved by a Nebraska District Court Judge
Law unconstitutional she rules, so pipeline stops, will not budge
Know not the facts of Nebraska PUC law and whether she was right or wrong
But given much more delay, Keystone XL notes to hear are of a final swansong
Just like possession can be nine tenths of the law
Delay trumps pipeline need, smoothes over the opposition’s flaws.
And Obama, watch him with a serious solemn face bemoan the pipeline delay
Knowing that he’s off the hook and Keystone through U.S. will never see light of day
It will, however. like the setting Sun find its way to the West and to the Chinese
Hope we remember those 800,000 barrels daily short in the next unrest or winter freeze.
Plus a lot of jobs lost at high rates for which we should point fingers and vote in rage.
For emboldened, with his Blue senators off the hook, Obama can on the War on Fossil continue to wage.
© February 20, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

I'm From The FCC, I'm Your New Reporter

    The news today in Ukraine is very vivid, very real--dozens of civilians shot to death in protests over the government moving closer to Putin's Russia and away from the EU. Does not take a lot of thought that with even the briefest knowledge of geography and history, to know that this is or should be an issue of great concern to the West. The news in Venezuela is not much better in terms of civilians being shot in the streets; what happens there and throughout Latin American should be of concern.
     Another item making the news should be just as troubling but a little less apparent and obtuse. A report coming out of the FCC in December is now surfacing in which the FCC feels a need in order to insure "diversity" that a presence in newsrooms by the FCC may be appropriate. The head of the RNC immediately raised alarm as did Fox. The DNC silence. CNN silence. MSNBC silence. ABC silence. Regardless of how one feels that the press has largely been co-opted by the Administration that over 90% of the reporters voted for, occasionally they rise above their bias and call the Administration to task. Putting the FCC into a newsroom for whatever Obamaspeak "noble purpose" is worse than putting foxes, a lot of them, in the hen house to guard the chickens. At the end of the day, there will be no chickens, no roosters, no eggs, only feathers and happy sated foxes, with yellow yolk on their lips.  Bad idea; actually worse than bad, it is totally tragic and does not bode well for this Republic already under the chill of the IRS. My comments in muse follow:
FCC Fox To Guard The Henhouse--Are You Kidding?
The seeds of continuing to fawn over Obama by the media continue to sprout
Like lobsters in a pot with temperature rising, Obama's greatness they continue to tout
Ignore Congress and with pen change the Obamacare mandated dates
A few more degrees, warm and comfy, nothing sinister in his pen's wake
A few more degrees, it's only a bunch of fanatic tea drinkers in the scope of the IRS
They are not part of the left view, so what a chilling message of suppress
A few more degrees, warm and comfy still
We're his loyal supporters, our rights he would never kill
A few more degrees, widespread eavesdropping by the NSA
Doesn't involve mainstream media, Carney tells us another false scandal to blow away
Now the FCC wants to go into the newsrooms certainly not us only the likes of Fox
Oops there’s boiling water, my freedom of press is  now in a lobster coffin box
I had a chance to question our anointed leader our president who would be king
No one now left to hear the song of loss of press I now too late want to sing
If all the press does is accolade this Administration’s every order and step
Count if lucky the days until their fawning an imperial president forgets
Where is the outrage, where is the outcry from the media mainstream?
Sounds of silence only as the free press becomes only a forgotten dream
At least the RNC raised the alarm as did such cable outlets as Fox
The DNC and the mainstream, water too comfy, their lips were sealed and locked.

© February 20, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ukraine Another Over The Line?

     Kiev has become a very unsettling place to be with civilians and police being shot down and the Ukraine on a possible civil war between those Ukrainians wanting the country to strengthen ties with the EU and those Ukrainians wanting to move closer to Putin's resurging Russia looking like it is coming out of the prolonger hibernation of the breakup of the Soviet Union. The government, perhaps swayed by the aid of 15 billion dollars from Putin, has rejected overtures to the EU. Not sure at this stage on how this will play out, only that fortunately we are not dealing with a country that in 1991 had the third largest strategic nuclear arsenal in the world on its soil. All the missiles and warheads were returned to Russia for dismantling.
    Any crisis of a potential civil war or repression by a government in the Ukraine of its citizens will take place under the shadow of a co-equal nuclear power-Russia. This is not the case of a genocidal Assad or an Iranian nuclear wanna-be. Lines in the sand or steppes or wherever or sanctions by the U.S. or Europe will be most likely ineffective and antagonize both the Ukrainian government and Russia. Obama's domestic problems have shredded his only effective tool--his teleprompter rhetoric and with the fear of losing control of the Senate to cook his lame duck goose, one would not expect much leadership that would be believable by the Russians.
    What is amazing to this poet is that Ukraine welcomed the Germans with flowers, bread and salt for "freeing them from the yoke of Stalin" and actually fought the Soviets in a guerilla war until 1953. Why the government is turning its back to the EU and instead with palms up hands turning to the Russians is somewhat surprising to say the least, unless it can read the handwriting on the wall and believe that Obama's rhetoric if any push comes to shove will be worthless. Hope the muse comment provokes some thought.

Ukraine Another Over The Line?
Ironic that the Ukrainians in world war II the Soviets so despised they welcomed the Germans with flowers, salt and bread
Today the government turns away from the EU and looks to Putin’s Russia instead
In seems like only yesterday the UIA was killing Soviet soldiers a faster rate
Than the those in the wilds of Afghanistan meeting a similar fate
To welcome Russia would seem like forgiving the Japanese and welcoming them to Nanking
Purging all memories of what terror and killing with them they had sought to bring
Maybe it is too hard to live under the shadow of Putin’s Bear
Who is now showing growing signs of coming out of its lair
While an American president is seen as  weak and losing support
All fluster and bluster crossing lines in the past to quickly abort
Hungry for power, hungry to dominate the Soviet’s dismembered parts
A dangerous part of the world, not for leaders without fearless and courageous hearts
The killing of civilians by the Ukrainian Army brings out Obama to protest
His words and geography, worse than Syria, will not do much to killings arrest
Syria, Iran, he’s batting O for two, will it be O for three very soon?
Not another line on the steppes, with Biden playing the role of the buffoon
One would hope he saves his line warnings breath
Save what little foreign policy credibility we may have left
Concentrate on how to keep Canadian oil in the Keystone game skin
Before our ally gets tired of the kicking by the Greens on its pipeline shins
Patience gone, with tacit Obama support, no end to Green blocking attempts in sight
Enough, enough, we’ll send our oil west to fuel China’s growing economic muscle and might

© February 19, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Pay For Pants Is New Taxpayer Fleece.

      One of the reasons we are so completely unable to control waste and abuse in the federal government is that is so remote, not before your very eyes and when the national debt is growing at close to $2 Billion a day a million here a million there saved in year almosts seems not worth the effort. Even if there were some brave souls in Congress, which the recently passed Farm Bill shows such souls both Red and Blue are few and far between, to seriously work on waste and abuse the results would seem almost microscopic and the effects invisible.  When it comes to spending at the federal level, those who receive are always more focused and eager to defend the receipt of federal money than the fleeced taxpayers filling out their 1040s and paying taxes.
      There is some hope at the local level, which is why reporters are some important in highlighting waste that we taxpayers can relate to. A classic example is the practice of the Orange County Sheriff Deputies bilking Orange County 30 minutes it takes to don their uniform and gear and the 28 minutes it takes to doff it. Ignoring the dumb question of why it takes so long--these deputies are not Navy Seals gearing up to go on a deadly combat mission or astronauts slowly suiting up for a space mission, why should they be paid at all? Probably because their union sues at the drop of the hat any attempt to curtail funds going to their members. No one of us would ever begrudge salaries paid to those putting their lives on the line to protect us, but getting dressed? Cannot be justified.
       Commend all readers wherever located to find out if their newspaper has a Watchdog on its news staff, like the Orange County Register and if not, complain vociferously over its absence. Reading the OC Register article on February 14, 2014 evoked the following muse comments.  Worse come to worse our preening deputies could emulate the firemen responding to a fire and gear up in less that a minute--they can always have a comb in their pocket to tidy up their hair.
worse com
Don Slowly, Doff Slowly Bill Hard    
Sadly, in the case of the Sheriff’s Office, when you give a deputy a badge and a gun
Hold on to your taxpayer wallets for it is clear the greed has just begun
If deputies were making a few dollars more than minimum wage
Billing for dressing, tying shoes or putting on a gun would cause no rage
But starting at over 60k a year, paying for an hour of donning and doffing is a practice we taxpayers should repeal
In a rational world where accountability rules, it can only be described as surreal
Imagine if we mortals tried to bill our boss for suiting up to appear at work
We would be fired in a moment, being viewed as being completely berserk
If only this were Wisconsin where public union money, reduced, finds the political process harder to corrupt,
We might be able to bring this gouging of our wallets to a quick end, so very abrupt.
With a good number of deputies making over 100k a year
Laughing all the way to the bank, not a pang of remorse, not even a tear
If our Board had any backbone, which is hard to have when present lots of campaign money, lots of guns
A few simple suggestions on what to do to  save our fleeced taxpayers must be done
First, time to give most of the deputies in the jails their pink slips
Replace with lower paid private guards though hard to do given their union’s funding grip
Second, remove them as bailiffs in most courtrooms except for trials of violent crimes
A few deputies in the holding cells below could quickly respond to a problem in real time.
Third, immediately scrap the defined benefit pensions for all new hires with 401ks
With some matching similar to private firms based on what into it deputies pay
Lastly, although this may be a dream, reserve or limit time in jail for those of violent crimes
The rest with probation or electronic bracelets their movements and freedoms to confine
If not, then just this little money saving step that would cut down on this waste we spend
Their pay starts when in the station in uniform ready for duty they check in and stops on shift end
We taxpayer’s wallets are not the proverbial cookies eyed by a greedy mouse
We want to retain more funds to spend on our own needs like rent or mortgage payments on a house.
Watchdogs to protect us are needed and may be the most feared of our canine friends
But we also need the two legged ones growling over waste in what the government spends.

© February 19, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Weapons Of Mass Destruction or Peter Crying Wolf

John Kerry delivered a speech in Indonesia calling global warming the new weapon of mass destruction and those who question global warming as members of a society of misguided fools who believe the world is still flat, physically that is. Just like exposing our population to hour upon hour of big screen, small screen or video screen violence and death, thus totally desensitizing them to real death and gore, Kerry's throwing out the "WMD" word does the same thing. The scientific jury in my mind is completely out and even if there were any consensus that fossil fuel consumption was the main reason for any future rise of the Earth's temperature and the sea levels, it would be a brave scientist to predict the problem would be solved by huge reductions in consumption and a callous one if consumption reductions had to occur also in the developing countries which need more energy not less.
     What frightens me and to some extent prompted this poem is not only Kerry's speech but also the  latest announcement by Obama of another $1 billion we do not have to spend to address the effects of climate change and thereby rally his base of environmentalists and  the realization of how better to throttle U.S. fossil fuel consumption than to block Keystone. In any event, before Kerry proclaims again the dangers of his imagined new WMD, hope he rereads the story and realizes that the villagers stopped running and the wolf ate all the sheep. 
The New WMD
If you want attention, raise the specter of weapons of mass destruction to be used
If you were not in the limelight, all of the mainstream are now enthused
Weapons of mass destruction today consist of the unholy trinity of three
Nukes, chemical, or biologic--the mere hint from a battlefield we all would flee
This is serious stuff and the mere threat of use by a non MAD capable state
Could unleash the dogs of nuclear war till not even a shattered bone to sate
To bandy about weapons of mass destruction when none in reality exist
No matter for once the threat or hint ala Iraq is made, war is hard to resist
For Kerry to seek to add to this list of true horror of winters and millions dead
One can only in amazement question what rational thoughts were forming in his head?
We know there is a problem when we see a mushroom cloud
Millions seared in a blast or covered in radioactive ashy shroud
Or thousands misted with nerve gas and then twitching, and falling frozen to the ground
Or killing viral diseases that spread almost as fast as the speed of sound
You do not have to wait centuries or decades to death by WMDs to quickly embrace
A large part around this tiny speck of the entire human race
But climate change, global warming, a CO2 increase, today there is no credible link
There’s no explosion, no rush of wind and heat, no flash of light blinding faster than one can blink
Kerry’s accusation of flat world devotees digging in their heels
Ignores the fact that on this the science is in no way a done deal
War on Women, War on the Middle Class, War on the Poor, War on Blacks from the Blues
War on Coal, War on Oil, War on the Rich, War on Crony Capital added by Reds into this bubbling toxic stew
Throw the “War” word out into the PR fray at drop of hat is like Peter calling a wolf attacking his sheep
Minimize, trivialize, push any discussion away, put us desensitized and to real dangers asleep
Through the fog of “war” however a real disturbing and frightening thought
Kerry’s WMD rant may signal another salvo of Obama’s desire to Keystone block
And with it a white flag on the “Wars against the Poor and Middle Class”
As the jobs and energy created with Keystone oil are lost in the trash.
Leaving millions of Americans without jobs and barely able to dance in the street
Hoping their sacrifice a hundred or so years from now meant a global warming defeat.
© February 19, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Orange County Chairman Double Dips

Just finished reading the column by the OC Watchdog under the byline Your Tax Dollars At Work--what an oxymoron. "At Waste" would be more appropriate and on point. Hearing "at work" conjures up images of Maynard G. Krebs in Dobie Gillis hearing the word "work" and then yelping "Work!" and then shaking uncontrollably and even fainting. Humorous for a fictional character in a comical TV series but not so in real life, real taxes, real unrestrained growth of government spending. I commend to you the Watchdog's article on Shawn Fisher's double dipping car allowance due to two government positions Chairman of the OC Board and a member of the Board of the AQMB. is the link. Hope you enjoy my perspective in muse of course.

Brother Can You Spare Another Nine Grand?
I used to think that the primary colors were blue, red and green
Separate and distinct to blend all other colors to come upon the human scene
Only one color sadly is unique and that is green
The color of money taxed from us never again for useful purposes to be seen
Red and Blue masquerade as primary colors separate and distinct
After reading yet again of another hand in cookie jar can no longer so think
Orange County is supposedly the bastion of frugal conservative fiscal thought
Should have been one of the lessons that our B/K filing should have taught
But no, when it comes to personal greed a Blue and Red is exactly the same
How can we the spending growth of government ever hope to tame
When our Chairmen of our OC Board for his cars carte blanche double dips in his claim?
Last time I looked the cars are not marked in logos,  probably  seem the same
9,000 car allowance from the Board and a free car from the Board of the AQMD
Worse somehow Nelson, the impropriety of the double dip he fails to see.
Only 9 grand probably will not the County’s coffers break
Even counting the more than 100 executives who also from us take
Only another symbol of another government body whose spending is out of control
But probably complaining about the mere mortals suffering from the recession’s toll
If Nelson can look in the mirror and claim “My own car is a BMW; no need to apologize”
He is well groomed to move to the D.C. Hill to fiscal restraint sermonize
Blue and Red exactly the same, blend and mix into a common purple elite or a hole in black
Where ideals, integrity, true public service are sucked into the hole and unseen never make it back
At least we have a watchdog, who after never-ending exposure must surely tire
Of waste, abuse, and Blue=Red, Red=Blue whose ethics and actions we cannot admire

© February 14, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Guns N Roses Rock Drones N' Roses FAA Blocks

We all new that Amazon was exploring the use of same day drone service to deliver packages. We learn on Valentines Day that an enterprising florist had spent $7,000 to test the feasibility of using drones to deliver roses and actually had a successful test in Connecticut, We also learn that like many things in life the federal government controls the sky. So no drones for Cupid to deliver roses on this day per the FAA. Probably just as well as the snow would be knocking them out of the sky faster that the Great Turkey Shoot and if any jihadists were hiding in the neighborhood, the would probably have heart attacks seeing the red tipped missiles or at least soil their pants.
       Hope the news will inspire that great rock band Guns N' Roses to create a new song "Drones N'
Roses"; hope you enjoy the comment in muse to go with your Valentine's Day:
Drones N' Roses
The trick to control communication is never having to do it face to face
The speaker controls the response, hides the facial emotions, controls the pace
No wonder we text instead of speak and greet
No wonder we send brief abbreviations in tweet
Anonymity is the new rule, the desired goal
Above all, avoid revealing your true intent, your inner soul
Why should Valentine's Day be any different with awkward emotions to avoid?
No wonder our advancing technology has stepped into the void
Go to the florists, talk to the florists of your rose gift, and stand in line
Far better with a few clicks in the shadows of anonymity order on line
Why run the risk the your Valentine will not be home or worse not like your gift
Why be face to face when facing a potential break up or need to marry rift?
Why give up your God given procrastination right?
Especially when that idea comes late in the day in the fading light?
As children of the 60’s we learned  twas better to make love not war
And the band Guns N' Roses made our dancing feet soar
Why not drop the Guns and go so very high tech
Drones N' Roses the combo it is time to select
What better way to be romantic, yet cool and aloof
Than to send in the roses by drone to the doorstep under her roof?
Alas in matters of safety even Cupid may not let his arrows fly
So the FDA bans a florist's use of drones armed with roses to rule the skies
© February 14, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Arctic Vortex And Sochi The Perfect One Two Punch

The Southeast and Northeast were hammered again with almost two feet of snow in some places with yet another Arctic Vortex hitting the area. Traffic in shambles, flights cancelled, people dying and massive power outages. Some humor although not much as new Mayor of NYC and the weather forecaster go at it for the schools, after being warned well in advance of the snowfall coming, did not cancel, exposing a good number of kids to Arctic survival training trudging to school in an snow storm only to be shortly thereafter turned around and sent home. The new mayor may be a progressive but the weather could care less upon weather inequality.
     Climate change models are beyond this poet's comprehension; only that it seems strange to have global warming warnings as the largest and one of the deepest lakes on the planet, Lake Superior is almost frozen over. Yet Sochi is unseasonably warm but the Olympics are proceeding without a hitch as Putin had ordered tons upon tons of snow brought in. Add to the difficulties of climate change prediction the little mini nuclear winter impact of a volcano on Java spewing tons of ash into the sky to block out the Sun and it is best to stop worrying and turn on MSNBC free of its pinheads and watch the stones, not the Rolling Stones, but the sliding stones of curling--fascinating!
      Stay warm and safe in the colder parts of this nation and enjoy another muse comment.

Arctic Vortex and Sochi One Two Punch

When it comes to trying to get the facts on Global Warming somewhat straight
If stranded snow bound in a car in the Carolinas I’d rather wait
Only a brave or foolish soul on global warming would continue to predict
As Lake Superior is freezing over and all lake traffic to interdict
On Desperation Day, the driest month for NYC
The city has a deep snowy blanket as far as the eye can see
From the Gulf to the Maine and the Great Lakes
Arctic blast after blast with increasing lives to with it take
One month of weather, a warming or cooling trend does not create
But the Midwest and Northeast cannot the freezing gods of snow and ice abate
Storm after storm with another standing in line
How can these be part of the global warming design?
As my fellow Americans trudge through the sleet and snow
With temperatures falling into the freezing lows
A slight sense of gratitude on which in these storms to reflect
With the weather news front and center and another storm to maybe expect
No more time for Christie bashing hogging up all the mass media airtime
Need to put the pinheads into the streets to see how we can survive the freezing climes
Add the Sochi coverage on NBC and it’s a combo punch that leaves them unable to speak
Bravo! Bravo! -- even if it is curling watching the stone and sweepers the perfect path to seek
For all of California’s faults and from San Andreas, Inglewood to Sacramento we have a growing list
Although we are in drought land, at the beach it is warm and the snow and sleet do not exist.

© February 14, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Valentines Day The Perfect Gift

    The poem says it all--Happy Valentines Day!--next year commission the Alaskanpoet to prepare a poem for your Valentine.

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift 

On Desperation Day I awoke in start from a nightmare dream and tossing sleep
Today was the day the seeds of procrastination I would finally reap
Had over the course of weeks made my list for my Valentine and now time to fill
Checked by cards and cash and had saved enough credit to pay the bills
The first shock was that the confectioner’s wares looked like a Stalinist GUM store
Shelves with mere scraps of non chocolates from ceiling to floor
Not a problem as my Valentine prefers not the calories to be added to her waist
Retreat over to the flower shop with all speed and due haste
The aroma off flowers was overpowering my sense of smell
Through the door a tiny thought began to dwell
“Roses have beauty and long thorny stems for petals of beauty to rest
But on the aroma side they fail the awe-the-olfactory test."
Another GUM like store with not a rose anywhere to be seen
Just a few bouquets of weeds and dandelion greens
The costume stuff in the jewelers was completely gone
Only the big rocks would suppress her not impressed yawn
Never spend a fortune before you know where to land after a leap
My new Valentine might not want to be one you would want to keep
The romantic tables were long since gone unless you wanted dinner late at 12
The Gondola in the canals, the Duffy Champagne rental back to the idea shelves
Victoria Secret would work in your Valentine tipped the scales at 220, wearing size 18
The Teddy Bear from UPS at this late date only in your Concorde dreams
The last gasp, the singing telegrams had all lost their voice
So head bowed you were left with but one choice
So after a resolution stronger than any New Year’s by a factor of ten
To treat each day with your Valentine as a Valentine’s Day and never go through this agony again
The last red ribbon in the city was found to wrap around your gift
A poet was cajoled to pen a teasing iambic sniff
“Valentine, roses may be red, but all life in the petals too quickly shed
Violets may be blue and when it comes to gifts I have no clue
But after opening this handwritten card please knock soon upon my door
A gift awaits that will melt your heart, and cause your spirits to soar
Better yet it’s a gift we can both enjoy and share, so please come quick.”
And she did, to find a red ribboned  Maltese puppy wagging tail and a stream of puppy licks.
Happy Valentine’s Day to one and to all; procrastinators can avoid the shame
You have dodged the bullet especially when you let her the Maltese puppy name.
© February 14, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  


Weed Slows HIV In Monkeys

      The struggle to decriminalize marijuana just received another ally in the form of a deadly killer HIV that seems to respond to treatment in the form of daily doses of marijuana. Research just reported out of LSU on extensive studies on our simian relatives Rhesus Monkeys shows very positive results on combating the growth and spread of the HIV virus with daily doses of marijuana. This is probably a first in animal studies on disease and drugs in that the monkeys are lining up to get high in the name of science.
       I could not help but conjure up the image of that noted pop rock band The Monkees and their TV show of the same name, only here not too busy singing as Rhesus Monkeys probably do not sing only screech and howl, but too busy toking. Looking forward to the results of further research.  Aids is still a killer and the costs of containment are mind boggling.
Monkeys Too Busy Toking To Put People Down
Early results from weed studies raise hopes of new cures weed use might bring
If the Rhesus Monkeys could hold a tune this might be what they would sing
“Hey, hey, we're the Monkees, And people say we monkey around.
But we're too busy toking, To put anybody down.”

News of Monkey see, Monkey do, Monkey likes his weed
New tests from LSU shows weed use may cause HIV attack to lose its speed
Not sure whether today we would ape our Rhesus Monkey pot heads
But worthy of further study as HIV is a disease one should really dread
Too bad the monkeys could not speak --"Hey Dude
My pipe's gone out, sorry to on you intrude
That was a powerful hit
I can feel my HIV in full on quit
I could use some more and maybe teach Clinton how to inhale
Now since Holder and Big Blue think weed is no longer a path to jail"
I am not sure which way the study will lead
Or at the end whether the DEA will even heed
But weed is a lot cheaper that the typical HIV cocktail at higher costs
May cut down on many of the lives to HIV sadly lost
"Hey Dude if you researchers want a winning hand
Expand tests to all the simians across this land
All the apes, chimps, gorillas and other monkey breeds will all vote yes
If we can keep the lab techs humans from using, a chance at an objective success
So, if you are going to keep me for research in this confined bachelor cage.
This Cool Bayou is bomb, more please, it's the new simian pot smoking rage."
© February 13, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sounds Of Silence Freedom Of Press Takes A Dive

The recent report by Reporters Without Borders recently published his World Freedom of the Press Index for 2013 and guess what. The U.S. dropped to 46th place. When we have a press that views our President as the equivalent of a king who can do no wrong, who can ignore with impunity the Constitution by unilaterally amended laws to fit his agenda or simply ignoring them, and what may be the most frightening of all insert the IRS into the political arena to chill conservative voter groups, it is only surprising to me that we have not fallen further.
       Beyond acts of our government to cause the law score, what is really frightening is that the mainstream media in large part has abdicated its proper and vital role to question and expose the failings of our government. In their view Obama and his Blues can do no wrong and the Reds can do no right. Once upon a time there used to be strong voices in the Senate and House to preserve the separation of powers and to vigilantly defend any attack by the Presidency to expand its powers and their expense. Sadly no more at least on the Blue sides of the aisle.
       This comment came to me, inspired by the notes of that Simon and Garfunkel classic "Sounds of Silence" and to a lesser extent that rhetorical question of when a tree falls in the forest with no one there, does it make a sound?  The few voices like Fox cannot do this job alone; their fellow journalists even the rabid partisan voices at MSNBC need to start doing their jobs, objectively or our "free press" may become the equivalent only of a Pravda--a mouthpiece for the party in power.
Sounds Of Silence Freedom Of Press Takes A Dive
It should not come as a shock in this latest report
U.S. increasingly fails to a free press support
A watchdog for the freedom of the press, Reporters without Borders
Points out drastic decline to 46 in where we stand in the press freedom order
No surprise, as the mainstream media has anointed Obama as one who can do not wrong
If the press is a Fox or conservative voice in the scheme of things, you do not belong
If you are in mainstream media, such voices are really not a member of the press
We’ll turn our eyes, close our ears, go back inside and ignore any federal attempts to suppress
If the press is muzzled by its own willing coronation choice
Who is left to protect to protect us as the feds ignore our voice?
The sounds of silence are written on the subway walls
Coated with graffiti on the bathroom stalls
Sounds of silence also found in the headlines and TV screens
The bands of bias rule what is or is not to be seen
Easy to see bias by tones, sneers, words, facials in any news report
Harder when after the salvo, no time for the target to retort
When the stories bias picks and bias will always its view choose
Sounds of Silence win and guess who among us will lose?
First the 4th Estate and if the voices of dissent are culled and only bystanders remain
How quickly before a free press becomes a sham, one only in name?
How soon can an imperial presidency grow to where it cannot be checked?
Too soon as Reid’s and Pelosi’s minions no longer have the will to its growth reject
How soon may the IRS silence the rally-the-conservative vote to a Senate reclaim?
Sooner than you think without a press to the power grab expose and explain
The mainstream media almost Blue to its very core remains sound asleep
They will go down along with us and the freedoms we would like to keep
Sounds of Silence written on the White House walls
Sounds of Silence unheard as the press muzzled and falls
© February 13, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet