Monday, March 24, 2014

Michelle On The Great Wall Strolls As Russian Tanks May Roll

First Family Junkets On The Great Wall
It is ironic that Michelle Obama touts education on her China trip
While a large part of her party is held hostage to the teachers union’s grip
Look at the public schools of almost any large city in this land and what comes to mind?
Only, despite billions of aid and dollars, our kids in the world race drop further behind
Look at the charter schools in the same cities free of crushing union rules
What you see are almost always very successful achieving schools
But look as teachers are forced to contribute dues in order to teach
More campaign dues to Blues means no real reform will ever reach
Kids of color drop out like flies in a DDT never ending mist
If they somehow stay, any chance of learning long missed
Any time the media is focused on Michelle as opposed to media sycophants
Fawning over such trivia as a President filling out the bracket Dance
While old fabrics for curtains are being dusted off
While Putin and his minions at our “sanctions” scoff
Regardless of the huge costs once again born by us
May be a value and perhaps we should not raise a fuss
But at least so, we might get some sense of value for her 15 minute in China talk
Open the event to our media as the First Family without Obama enjoys its Great Wall walk.
In a time when austerity should be our goal and our sacred quest
Now is the time for not more First Family junkets but for a lot less.
© March 24, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Friday, March 21, 2014

Starbucks--Coffee, Tea or Ale

Starbucks-Coffee, Tea or Ale
When it comes to marketing, Starbucks is without doubt without equal
Who would have guessed that dark dingy first location would ever have a sequel?
Who would have guessed with higher prices and refills another charge,
That it would grow to many locations with a P/E obscenely large?
Now to squeeze out more sales, more locations to offer beer and wine
The new 24/7 offices you ever need to leave save until computer off, it's bedtime 
Somehow the idea of happy hour mixed with coffee and moms with soccer kids
Is something most party lovers in search of bars or taverns would forbid
Hard to imagine a beer after quitting work without Buffalo Wings and  sports on a flat panel HD
Or with the aroma of coffee and glow of  lap top screen, sipping wine and spreading brie
At least if you believe in the myth of coffee to sober up to be able to drive
Coffee is right there for the asking and the checkpoint gauntlet you might survive
One wonders when the betas expand to growlers to take out
Or early morning blood Marys to get the hangover shakes out
Colorado may also be a special place for beer, wine and Buckshigh
Calming down from a day of stress, watching the 24/7s rushing by.
Only one more idea, just one more thing
Knowing Starbucks, it has to be in the waiting wings
Hope Starbucks has the StarLite Girls with coffee brown eyes and hair
Clearly these will be Starbucks destinations when one has time with friends to share 
© March 21, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fred Phelps Dies Westboro Baptist Too?

    When a poet reaches the winter of his life, he has been exposed to a blizzard of lessons, teachings, suggestions, morals, manners, social graces, and all sorts of images that make it easier to function in the chaos we often find in our society. One lesson learned very early in life is not to attack a person's religion and do not attack any that person during his memorial services attended by grieving friends and family--No one should be filled with such ego to presume that that person has the moral high ground to pass judgment and even more basic--such activities are in the poorest of taste and are a disgrace to the human race.
     In Fred Phelps' case that restraint is a difficult proposition. Fred Phelps who died at 84 was the founder of the Westboro  Baptist Church in 1995 and gained "notoriety" for picketing funerals of gay and lesbians complete with placards condemning their lifestyle and intoning that their death was proper punishment from God. I can only imagine the pain and anger of family, partners, or friends to have him or one of his parishioners show up to disrupt a funeral and I commend those suffering from his antics for their own restraint.
     The image of Christ speaking to those about to stone a prostitute to death immediately came to me which prompted this poem. Maybe in death Fred Phelps can become the poster child for how civilized people do not behave. Far be from me to judge this man or his beliefs only wish his soul finds relief from the pain that he must has felt to without quarter and without decency wage a one church jihad on lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender community. The comments I have seen on his death are pretty brutal. He is facing the only Judge worth going before as I type.  He does not my opinion of what Phelps' fate should be. Way above my pay grade.
Fred Phelps Dies; Westboro Baptist Too?
All of us are taking space on this planet with but a short term lease
Terms known only to the thief of the night who says it now will cease
Those of us who believe in a God know he listens to all who to Him will seek
The rich, the poor, regardless of race or creed, the strong and the weak
No matter how devout a man can proclaim
Who among us has a right to judge in His name?
Who among us has a monopoly on His words to us repeat?
To judge who among us should be tossed, the rest kept as wheat?
Fred Phelps has received his eviction notice and has died
Not a time for his death to applaud though his preachings of hate to deride 
Only one Judge now awaits for the fate of his soul to decide
In judgment whether more worthy to unite or seek to expel and divide
As memories of hate and bias will in short order among us subside
Those of us still here should not cheer his death; such acts His teachings belied
Better to follow His teachings of dropping to the grounds any stones
For all of us are not perfect, we have some failings we need to atone.
© March 20, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Rolling Thunder Gave No Pain, Rolling Sanctions No Gain

     The parallel of the events leading up the outbreak of World War compared to the moves that Putin has made in the Crimea and may make in Eastern Ukraine, Moldavia, and the Baltic Republic and the response of this administration thus far both preceding and following such acts have been well commented upon. What is troubling if one is a student of history is to compare Operation Rolling Thunder strategy of LBJ conducted by the U.S. from March 2, 1965 with certain interim halts until November 2, 1968 with Operation Linebacker II unleashed by Nixon from December 18, 1972 to December 29, 1972 in an attempt to finally force the North to the negotiating table in Paris.
      The B-52s participating in Linebacker II carried up to 26 tons of 500 lb bombs per plane and in the 11 days of Linebacker II they flew 741 sorties dropping over 15,000 tons of explosives, the equivalent of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The cost to the North in terms of electrical power, harbor facilities, rail yards, roads, air bases and SAM batteries was catastrophic. The inventory of SAMs was exhausted and the North for all intent and purposes in the last days of Linebacker II was undefended against attacks from the air. The cost to the U.S.--15 B-52s shot down or crash landed, 33 airmen killed or MIA and 33 add to the Hanoi Hilton's resident POW population.
      The result. Nixon agreed that if the North returned to Paris to reopen the Peace Talks there on January 2, 1973 the U.S. would cease B-52 bombing of the North on the 29th of December. They did and Linebacker II ended. On January 27, 1973 the Paris Peace Accords were signed, ending the U.S. participation in the Vietnam War.  Is the lesson to be learned that military force must be used in the situation at hand. No, the lesson is that if you are going to substitute sanctions for armed conflict, which no one would want to see involving four nuclear powers France, Great Britain, Russia and the United States, those sanctions must be massive, applied immediately, without interruption and result in substantial economic harm to Russia and those oligarchs supporting Putin. Thus far from the White House the sanctions are farcical, about as effective as draining Lake Mead with a hole in Hoover Dam the diameter of a human hair.
 Rolling Thunder Gave No Pain, Rolling Sanctions No Gain        
Why are the lessons of history so painfully with lives lost learned,
In times of crisis, too often today are missed or spurned?
In response to the Crimean annexation game
11 individuals sanctioned as if that the Bear will tame
Whatever happened to the lessons of Rolling Thunder?
Where the North was subjected to creeping American air wonders
While the metal dumb bomb equivalents of a later shock and awe
Sat idle in the B-52s hoping the North would be forced to withdraw
Accords didn’t happen until the Linebackers started blitzing from Guam
Each one dropping 26 tons of high explosive bombs
Lesson learned is that gradual escalation of force does not cause a foe to yield
Only massive, immediate, and unrelenting cause a foe to leave the field
Today, even more feeble aimed at a few individuals with weeks to plan
Now monetary targets as if somehow this will stay Putin’s hand
There are no clouds; there is not even the hint of thunder
Only another red line in the sand like empty blunder
If we are to avoid a bullet war and move to the sanction’s field
Here is an idea that may make the oligarchs rebel and Putin to yield.
Unleash the fracking, unleash the oil sands, unlimber Keystone, export our gas
Already on shaky ground, cutbacks of oil and the Russian economy may not last
From the world markets, the ruble and Russian goods bar
Austerity in Europe on gas and the Bear hobbled may not go far
China will be the unknown card that we need to join our suit
If they do or if only neutral the Russian economy will feel depression’s boot
If not, there are many cheap goods we can do without
We a better trading partner, China’s best interest to come about
We broke the Bear’s back with SDI and we may have to do it again
Especially if due to falling oil sales, Russia has less hard currency to spend
The annex of Russian speaking territories past Crimea without a nation’s consent must halt
No more lands lost, peoples enslaved because of our silence, inertia and default  
This will not be easy; it will be a most difficult task involving great unity and skill
But history tells us of the alternative and swallowing it will be the most bitter of all pills.
Mr. President on sanctions today, all in, double down, not in starts and stops, or dribs and drabs
Without a single bullet, rattled saber, we might just put an end to further Russian land grabs.

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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Russian Roulette With Nuclear Chips--What Real Estate Is Next?

      The tragedy in Crimea is not the fact it is reverting back to Russia, but rather the signals we have given to Putin in terms of our resolve. Any leader of Russia not living under a rock over the last 20 years must have been watching the failure of American policy in terms of denying North Korea nuclear weapons, failing to halt Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, warning Syria of dire consequences then doing nothing, and when the slaughter became so intense in Libya,  trying to lead from behind with Europe dependent  on Libyan oil also weak in its efforts to support the rebels. Why should Russia have any fear or respect when we cannot protect a consulate and then hide behind a concocted video explanation.
       It is ironic that the nation, that gave the most in terms of lives and destruction as a result of Hitler's moves against it, has gone to school on how Hitler was able to grab huge chunks of real estate in Europe without firing a shot and even when his bluff was finally called on Poland and France and Britain declared war on Germany, the result was the almost total absence of hostilities, the Phony War, which only ended when the Germans in lightening fashion swept through Holland, Belgium and France in May of 1940 and would have been landing almost unopposed in England if Hitler had not lost his nerve and instead listened to Goring and stopped his panzers, enabling the Brits to evacuate almost the entire BEF back to England from Dunkirk.
        Our President has been outclassed by Putin; we are no longer feared; we are no longer trusted to fulfill our promises or our threats; we have lost our ability to lead.  The headlines in Fox implied playing Russian Roulette; even though in roulette the house always wins, the game is far too dangerous when the chips are also nuclear. Some thoughts below:
Russian Roulette With Nuclear Chips
No matter how many times the wheel turns or the cylinder spins
At least if we are foolish enough to this game play
Don't give Putin more rounds in the chamber to slay
If all the best our leader can do on the sanction front
Is to pull the 10 oligarch deny access stunt
Time to leave the casino of nations and regroup
Time to put some backbone and thought back in the loop
Crimea is probably today the most like the Saar
Where Hitler in 35 was not an invader but a redeeming star
Russian territory since long before the Charge of Light Brigade
On this spin Putin outclasses he gets the A+ Grade
And the U.S., we just continue there-will-be-costs fade
Victims of misguided red lines in the sands charades
Time for this nation to realize the Bear in all its potential fury is back
No neighbor with even one Russian speaking native is free from its attack
In response to the feckless and weak sanctions’ joke
Russia announces their Iran anti nuke stance they may revoke
Time to open up what is left in our dwindling purse and military coffers
Give to Ukraine all the military aid they need and a NATO membership offer
Now more than ever is not the time to our military power shrink
As we edge closer to more Russian moves to Eastern Europe chain and link
Tell our EPA to take an immediate hindering of drilling, fracking and Keystone XL hike
To Putin thanks but no thanks on Iran, they end nuke race or our neutrinos will strike
American energy needs to expand, we need to put BTUs in the cylinders to revolve
Bullets of doubt replaced by American energy into Europe and watch the Russian economy dissolve
Crimea is gone and perhaps from Russia it never did depart
But a Ukraine, Moldavia, the Baltics annex grab we must stop before it starts
No one in their right mind would ever want a war in which only the cockroaches win
But our perceived weakness only puts more rounds in Putin’s chamber to spin.
And as we from the world stage continue to with or without lines  retreat
We only embolden more Putins across the world no longer fearful to move for our defeat.
If there ever was a time to agree we have reached the water's edge
If we do not unite we will be pushed by to the nuclear ledge
It is now, it is time to on foreign policy on Russia, North Korea, and Iran
One voice, with resolve, no more shifting, politically induced lines in the sand.
© March 19, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Mustangs Shocks Shockers Cinderella Wears A Glass Nike

It is March Madness and Cinderella time; Cal Poly Mustangs the only losing team in March Madness just declawed the Tigers of Texas Southern to advance to the tournament of 64. That is the good news. The bad news is that they face the Shockers of Wichita State on Friday. Go Mustangs. We all love an underdog; hopefully the Upset Gods do too and better yet enjoy poetry:
Mustang Shocks Shockers Cinderella Wears A Glass Nike
It may be too early to be measuring for a Nike shoe of glass
But for today, the carriage works, the Mustangs firing on all cylinders upset gas
Cal Poly still keeps its first time ever March Madness Dance Card
Looming ahead is an undefeated team almost impossible to guard
One would either have to be a dreamer to the max or off one’s complete rocker
For on Friday night after the Tigers declawed they meet the Shockers
A game next to impossible to put on any sort of hopeful spin
Up against a number one seed with no losses and 34 wins
History may be against the Mustangs; they face a heavy rein
No 16 seed has ever played a number one and lived to play again
Worse, the Mustangs have lost their superstitious enhancing fears
With this Tiger win, triskaidekaphobia by the Shockers may disappear
But history also in this nation is that of Mustangs in the unconquered West
Where dreamers and settlers said, " let’s cross—we can pass this test!"
The frontier of knowledge and innovation has not closed at Cal Poly at SLO
In the classroom, on the diamond, and now on the court, those dreams still grow
If I had a choice of a favored thoroughbred or Mustang wild which would I pick
A jockey in silks or a rider seeking to dance in chaps with dreams to stick?
And a coach bred to chaos surrounded by his siblings numbering 15
With a spread of years from the oldest to youngest of exactly 19
Knowing dreams of upset from a son of history in the sophomore class near an AMTRAC
This bard looks to his next poem on Friday musing that overconfident Shockers’ did not come out on top
19 is a number to forge a team’s character into high tensile steel
Upset desires to overcome the saddles of expectations and bring 20 losses to heel.
But if the Upset Gods somehow feel the wins must end and the carriage must return to
pumpkin seed
These Mustangs’ pursuit of dreams and desire to win is exactly the uplift this nation
now really needs.
© March 19, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Monday, March 17, 2014

EPA Fines 75k A Day Sanity Slays

The EPA must be exhausted after destroying logging due to the Spottted Owls and shutting down coal-fired power plant after coal-fired power plant. You would think it would be into regulation hibernation so it could unleash its fury on the Keystone XL Pipeline; but no it is still alive and well pursuing easy saps to harass and threaten with fines to put them into bankruptcy. News that a Wyoming family of four is being hounded by the EPA for building a pond on its 8 acres for wildlife and birds and threatened with a $75,000 a day fine is outrageous.   My muse comments  below:
EPA Once Again On The Fine At Drop Of The Hat
Once again the EPA is in headlines as all reason and sanity it strives to slay
Threatening fines and penalties of $75,000 a day
For a company discharging toxic chemicals into a waterway?
Or a company using illegal pesticides to vermin slay?
No! Nothing so dramatic or something we all would support
No! Here is news of actions of a far more troubling sort
A Wyoming family of five builds a pond for wildlife to drink and birds to rest
EPA comes down on them with a major daily fine threatening distress
Animal species are in a losing battle with humans over places to eat, live and nest
Why in creating a pond would the EPA such welcome habitat addition suppress?
If the Johnson family were fortunate to have a beaver family dam their creek
Not a problem; but if manmade, the Johnson family is mired in EPA double speak
Not content with its presumed guilty attack and  its War on Logging to the Spotted Owl preserve
Or its War on Coal to force us to pay more and to more drastically to conserve
Or its new holy grail--the War on Fossil Fuels to toast to the Climate Change myth
While hiding the scientific evidence as effective as Lois Lerner taking the Fifth,
It has unleashed its fury to catalogue all bodies of water to heel owners under its rule
How in creating this agency and picking its leaders could we have been such fools?
Why under the guise of noble goals did we ever create an EPA carrying about costs not a wit?
Another example of a federal government run amok with overreaching that refuses to quit.  
Worse it would appear that any landowner with any body of water intermittent or not should take pause
The assault on the Johnson family may be just the beginnings for the rest of us exposed to the EPA’s flaws.
© March 16, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Top of the Tolerance on St. Patrick's Day Parade

         The news that Guinness was withdrawing its sponsorship of the annual New York City St. Patrick's Day must come as somewhat of a surprise. It is hard to fathom a St. Patrick's Day without copious amounts of Guinness even if diluted in the Black and Tan mode. Sign of the times and this poet believes a good sign of the times. I am proud of my Scot/Irish heritage and although straight with four children now all adults, I cannot support banning a group from marching because they may be gay or lesbian. Well maybe if by continuing the ban, we are spared seeing the new "Progressive" mayor of the Big Apple who in a politically correct move announced that he would not march because of the ban.
         Erin Go Bragh; maybe next year the dogs of tolerance will open much wider and this nonsense of discrimination banning a group from marching and displaying their Irish pride will end. If we are lucky De Blasio's ratings will be falling so fast, he might decide that quitting would be the better course of valor before he chases all the job creators out of the city. 

Top of the Tolerance on St. Patrick's Day Parade
It is a sign of the times that shows tolerance in this nation continues to increase
Guinness, the nectar of the Irish Gods, has decided its Parade sponsorship will cease.
Never understood why a man or woman of the sod because he or she may be gay
Somehow is stripped of his or her heritage and may not march on St. Patrick’s Day
Even in the time of the Troubles with English Lion gunning down civilians in the streets of Belfast
Some one of English ancestry could pin on a shamrock and derby and march unhassled past
Not too many years ago, Dogs and Irish in saloons could not be served
Why is a ban on gay Irish marching something that the organizers want to preserve?
If as this poet believes the Irish monks saved Civilization from the Ages Dark
No reason one’s sexual preference should ban one from the marching on 5th Ave and next to Central Park
There is only one reason, somewhat of a stretch,  to continue this idiotic ban, and it is just one
De Blasio, a mayor waging war on charter schools,  the parade so banning he will shun
As a major, mired in payback to the teacher’s union and waging a anti-carriage war
He is a disgrace to this fine city; we need less of him to swagger and not more.
© March 17, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Deal the Good Cards to the Men with the Trees

      In a mild upset in the quarter finals of the PAC 12 Basketball tournament in Las Vegas, Stanford de-tined the Trident carrying Sun Devils and will face UCLA, a team that during the Wooden years dominated college basketball and the NCAA Tournament, in the semis March 14, 2014. The following poem came to me after watching the game. Both teams have won one game against each other during the season and not sure on a neutral court, in actuality, as opposed to Staples, a very short ride from Westwood, but hopefully the Cards will win (for Vegas has a nice ring to it). Hope you enjoy the poem. And like a modern day Cato facing a Carthage like UCLA....The Bruins must be destroyed. Go Cardinal!
Hope and March Madness
As a rabid Cardinal fan with a legacy alum of 2010
And another class of 2017 starting the grind again
The results were most pleasing, a night to enjoy
But stepping back, a win/win for both as NCAA berths both can deploy
The Trident still is three prongs going downtown to fear
Rest up till Sunday brackets; you will be packing up your regional gear
To the Cardinal, a job well done!
A game I thought you might not have won
And now before into the valley of the shadow of Tucson death
Where a Wildcat defense stills the heart and takes away the breath
It is time to play the rubber match on a neutral court
No Maples to sway, no Pauley's ghosts for shots to fall short
You do not need a home crowd to play aggressive and tough
Any more than you need a trampoline for a ball to stuff
The Bruins with a national ranking and those Wooden years must be looking ahead
Cardinal,   play to the max, a win would be great, but even in loss, as a team you're better read.
If perchance that in Vegas the Mecca of chips, dice, wheels, slots and Cards
With fans in the thousands and several noted and rabid bards
The gods of chance may look kindly on men of the Color and intone three wins break the bank
And with that and aggressive play, more threes, a few blocks, trips to the line, Wildcat hopes may go into the tank.
© March 14, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Voters Took Everthing Jolly But Not The Kitchen Sink

       The 13th District in Florida, although carried by Obama in 2008 and 2012 and had not voted for a Republican Presidential candidate since 1988, had been represented by Republican William Young from 1970 until his death in 2013. Young was legendary in his ability as a member and later chair of the House Appropriations Committee in bringing federal dollars into the District. Alex Sink, the Blue candidate in the special election, had great name recognition and experience and was presumed by many pundits to be a favorite. David Jolly did not have that recognition, but campaigned on the need to repeal Obamacare--you could not mend it as Sink was proposing to do as she was also attacking him as a climate change skeptic (remember Kerry's new definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction?). But when the dust cleared, Jolly won, sending the Blue spin doctors into high gear, but realistically sending tremors among those Blues seeking reelection in the Senate and House , especially those in states that Romney carried.
      This could be a historic election, the first time in my memory that a central similar issue resulted in Congressional landslides--the aborted and failed Hillary Care in 1994, Obamacare in 2010 and now once again Obamacare in 2014.  Will make for interesting poetic comments!
But Not The Kitchen Sink
One election victory be it a landslide or thin does not mean a trend
Even though the results from the 13th mean ACA problems are not coming to an end
In a district Obama had carried in 2010 and 2012
The Blues brought the best candidate from the shelves
Clinton campaigned and the DNC unleashed a flood of campaign dollars that would not quit
Borrowing a Clinton phrase “Don’t end it, mend it”
Outspent four to one, to against a Blue with name recognition run seemed to be height of folly
When the dust had cleared, votes all counted, 13th would not take the Sink but did David Jolly
Alex Sink tried to with ad dollars keep the worry over Obamacare deflected
Ads claiming Jolly was an ostrich who global warming fears has rejected
Like Nero who fiddled while Rome burned, the Blues filibustered late into the night
Over failure of carbon reductions and the wisdom of their global warming clear insight
This may not have been the first sign of a growing Red  trend
Who knows what potholes in the next 8 months lurk around the bend
But all Blue candidates seeking reelection voted for this mess, each and everyone
If this election was an omen a good number of these Blues the voters in the fall will shun
Debt, Deficit, size of government, imperial Presidency are concepts too abstract
But loss of trust, loss of  doctor, loss of plan, higher costs these are issues that voting anger attracts
If all the Blues have in their bag of tricks is to the minimum wage raise
And more unemployment insurance payment extensions  to get the voters’ praise
If the Reds push some increase with a carve out for employees under an early age
To encourage the young, unskilled, unemployed to start receiving a wage
Income Inequality which is a farce as a Blue issue is cut off at the knees
Global Warming left but still a hoax; there is no human caused rising of the seas
But Reds to insure a quantum shift must have a unified vision on healthcare to propose
Along with jobs, energy, immigration—they cannot remain only the party of Noes!
© March 13, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

USS Coronado Is Not The Pequod--No Ahab On Board

    Iditarod is over, March Madness is approaching, still way to much chaos in the political world, still potential chaos in Ukraine.  Time for this poet to take a new tack (good sailing term and links to the photo). The above photo is not a refugee stealth boat from a Bond film, but the USS Coronado, one of the first of  the new class of stealth destroyers now being commissioned, albeit due to budget issues, slowly. The ship has not just intercepted a drug runner or a boat of illegal aliens, but rather is joining off the coast of Dana Point, a whale watching excursion boat. If I were a whale and had Dragon Software (flukes and fins too bulky to type with) and an underwater computer, this is the poem I would have written. Hope you enjoy it.

If I were a whale, be it grey or even the rare white
The USS Coronado would have been an unnerving sight
No matter how deep I could dive no matter where I might hide
With all that sonar pinging when spouting she would be there by my side
Ahab with his wood oar powered dories equipped with rope and a harpoon lance
I would fear not, for as a whale of speed and size I would have a fighting chance
But this ship has harpoons of missile that will not miss
With 50 knot speed any chance to ram would be dismissed
If by miracle my flukes were fast and my approach hidden in her wake
A might thud on a metal hull complete with a two thousand Excedrin ache
But the Coronado was here only for her watching  sailors to treat
And as a fellow master of the oceans to greet
Her intentions must have been noble, her motives true
Alaska and its bounty beckons ;no time to in court to the Navy sue
© March 12, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Kim Jong Un This Red Line Is For Real

      By any benefit of the doubt, Kim Jon Un is a loose cannon; but instead of a child with toy soldiers and toy cannons, this child has nuclear cannons. Worse it may be that he has the missile capability to deliver them if not to the West Coast of the U.S., certainly to South Korea and Japan, countries which we are obligated to defend by treaty. China has born a goodly amount of criticism over its failure to reign in the antics of Kim Jon Un and his predecessor and maybe the unconfirmed reports that his uncle killed by him was not dispatched by firing squad but rather by being thrown into a cage of starving dogs and eaten alive was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
        The other day Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi  told reporters on the sidelines of China's annual largely rubber-stamp parliament, "The Korean peninsula is right on China's doorstep. We have a red line, that is, we will not allow war or instability on the Korean peninsula," Wang called upon all parties to "exercise restraint", adding that "genuine and lasting peace" on the peninsula was only possible with denuclearization. Looking back at history, after the successful landing at Inchon and the 8th Army's breakout from the Pusan perimeter, China expressed repeatedly through diplomatic channels although directly to the U.S. that the advance by U.N. forces past the 38th parallel could not be tolerated.
          MacArthur ignored the warning; Red China crossed the Yalu in force, inflicting a huge setback on the "home by Christmas" slogan of the U.S. forces, bogging us down in another two and half years of conflict, causing us at least an additional 30, 000 battle deaths. China has issued another warning today and one would hope that Kim Jong Un listens and moves to eliminate his nuclear program, before out President is motivated to issue his own red line to the detriment of our waning military credibility.
A River Runs Red  
In the Korean War, China’s warnings were precise, without doubt and very clear
Ignored by the American Caesar who from the mountain intoned “We have nothing to fear
As 8th Army approached the Yalu and X Corps also with its Marines a mountain range apart
Were slogging along the Chosin Reservoir while the Chinese had crossed Yalu waiting for a counterattack to start
MacArthur split his forces and ignored, dismissed and  belittled the Chinese threat
Turning an advance into a retreat and for the Marines a frozen hell they would never forget
Though slaughtered by the thousands, the Chinese pushed  8th Army and X Corps back
Never again should we a Chinese warning on force to be used ignore and detract
Order is to be desired in the Chinese sphere and the North is a loose cannon that needs to be spiked
Worse, the North after years of sanctions has nuclear weapons controlled by a mad man who might the South or Japan want to strike
We may be on the decline and our President’s red line warnings may no longer have worth
But treaty bound to defend, even Obama would be hard pressed not to wipe an attacking North from the face of the earth.
The news today that China cannot allow war or instability on its border is a good sign.
Kim Jong Un hopefully is listening when China speaks of its “red line”
Perhaps the reports of Jong Un feeding his uncle alive to dogs was finally over the top
Maybe a chance that forewarned, the nuke insanity in his land will come to a stop
China speaks of a peninsula that from stationed nukes must be freed
This is a warning that Kim Jong Un unless insane must really heed
In a perfect world, he would abdicate and the North and South would become one
U.S. troops could leave and the delayed economic miracle in the ex-North begun
A border of prosperous Koreans no longer avoiding starvation voting with their feet
But those with full wallets with appetite for Chinese goods and investments to greet
In a less perfect world, at least one less image on which to stare
No more zoned out “Ambassador” Rodman with his tattoos and dyed hair.
© March 12, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


Monday, March 10, 2014

De Blasio Axes Harlem Charter School Tree Of Success

      Mayor De Blasio is a pawn of the public school teachers' unions in New York City.  Charter schools in NYC like any place else in this country are the proverbial kiss of death to those unions; they succeed and public schools in too many cases do not. New York leads the nation in money spent on public schools and ranks in the bottom twenty, not a great return on taxpayer dollars. Harlem Success Academy is a charter middle school in Harlem in which a student in the 5th grade who is not performing at or above grade is about as rare as a snowstorm in July in Death Valley, California or a non muggy, humid day in NYC in August. The school, which is an unqualified success and should be the model for each and every one of the public schools in NYC, due to De Blasio's inane attack on charter schools is losing its location and may not reopen in the fall, abandoning over 200 minority kids to the failure of the public school system.
      Adults are probably smart enough to endure the idiocy of a Sandinista supporter who has never worked in the private sector in his whole life who was able to become Mayor of New York City and among other targets launch a war on conservatives, but kids may not have such skills. Dunce Cap for this Mayor and for his public teachers unions.
A Tree May Grow In Brooklyn But The Tree Of Harlem Success Academy Will Not
I do not know what hat size the progressive Mayor De Blasio wears
Or the number of students in the Big Apple web of failure ensnared
Why a man of intelligence charter schools in the Big Apple would oppose
Seeing the failures of minorities in public schools, the beginning of a lifetime of woes?
It would be so easy to vent and demand with Dunce Cap and in the corner he sit
For when it comes to knowing how to educate children he knows not a wit
For if he had a smidgeon of smarts his charter school assault he would quit
Why increase the number of failed kids, ignored, left behind too soon to forget
There has to be another explanation, a benefit of the doubt, something in this puzzle more
Why when a charter school succeeds would the Mayor, revoke its space, close its doors
All of us want to believe our politicians, when it comes to educating all of our kids,
Want to give them the best education for roadblocks to success to for all diminish or rid
In De Blasio’s case the exception must be made; we need to follow his money trail
Obvious why he fights charter schools and cheers the charter schools that fail
Follow the money, follow the contributed teacher union dues to his elections always support
So simple to know, no matter the failings, his loyalty to the union will come up A+ on his report
If one were sinister and a cynic the explanation is more than just his campaign greed
All those dropouts of color forgotten and dumped will be a never-ending source of government need
What a waste, young minds the charter schools nourish and enable them to succeed
A charter school Harlem Success Academy which is almost completely brown and black
Educates its students in ways the union bloated public schools completely lack
But in his crusade to close charter schools as a misguided to the union payback
He is condemning the youth of Harlem to the no chance poverty track
Unions should come a distant last place and educating children should come first
Way ahead of this Progressive politician’s need for higher office thirst
De Blasio represents a plantation mentality at its very worst that is beyond the moral pale
To condemn children to schools despite overflowing coffers where the students are doomed to fail
If minorities drop out or “graduate” from public schools unable to write, compute or read
With not a chance, not one, to have means in this high-tech world to succeed
Unable to think or question why for Blues like De Blasio they continue to vote
Taken for granted by the Progressives, the achievement of the American Dream too remote.
© March 10, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Iron Curtain Of Liberal Academia On Rutgers

    One would think that most universities would be thrilled to have Condoleezza Rice be a commencement speaker. A professor at Stanford, Provost of Stanford and National Security Adviser to President Bush and Secretary of State under Bush's Administration. History will ultimately judge the war in Iraq and the war on terror waged by instigated by Bush following the 911 and perhaps Condi Rice's role in those events. History does not need the censorship and liberal outrage expressed by the faculty of Rutgers trying to have Rutgers withdraw an invitation to speak at Commencement on May 17, 2014. If anything the faculty's action makes a mockery of the concept of academic freedom by trying to silence anyone, even a Black woman who has committed the sin of being a conservative thinker.
      If I were a taxpayer in New Jersey I would be demanding since we are not getting our dollars worth in terms of academic independence that salaries be lowered. The Sun at least in the faculty no longer shines. My thoughts in muse are below and with apologies to another Rice of color, I could not ignore a quick comparison between Condi Rice and Susan Rice, who is the darling of the media and probably will have more commencement speaking opportunities with or without the famous video.

A Better Brand Of Rice
The Sun of righteousness at Rutgers may on the West shine too
As long as the rays are in the sole direction of what a faculty deems to be true
Can it be one of the oldest universities in this nation wishes shut down ideas diverse?
A faculty up in arms against Condi Rice as a speaker; is the free exchange of knowledge in reverse?
Rutgers’ faculty believes Condi Rice’s support of Bush renders her unworthy for students to address
A conservative black woman, whose service to the country and beliefs must be suppressed
I know not what Ms Rice will choose as a topic to graduates to seek to inspire
As the American Dream, burdened by national and student debt seems to recede and retire
Could it be she might apply Obama’s trite sound bites of hard work to get ahead?
Not in general but to her own examples of how with work, impediments to success were shed
You don’t excel as National Security Adviser, Secretary of State, or Provost herding faculty cats
Without a degree of intelligence and determination, of forceful action not just idle chat
I would bet a dime against 50 dollars that assuming she were not booed off the stage
Another victim of the war on free thought liberal academia loves to without quarter wage
That many of the members of the senior class burdened with debt and no job in sight
Knowing after a day, if lucky, of flipping burgers or pouring coffee, to parent’s home at night
Would take heed the story of her success and her drive and sacrifice to succeed?
A motivational spark that such students would take to heart, could really use and need
A final note to Rutgers’ faculty’s closed and bias minds
As to what type of Rice most people would want to get behind
Not the Rice video queen without remorse as a mouthpiece for a deceptive lie
Or later like Condi a security adviser who was clueless as Russian planes were landing from the sky
No, they would want a Rice of great intellect who despite barriers has had great success
To top it off is a popular Stanford professor and plays a piano with élan and finesse.
© March 9, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet  

It's St. Patrick's Day Not St. Patrick's Month

St. Patrick's Day is rapidly approaching, a great day to wear green and a shamrock, take in some bag pipes, watch a parade, read some chapters in How The Irish Saved Civilization and honor a race of very creative and romantic people in ways other than partying all day, weekend,  week and month..  One can only hope that the other day of great celebration, Cinco de Mayo, is not hit with the creep of more tequila and cervazas into a weekend, week and month
Holiday Creep St. Patrick's Day
When diplomacy fails and a nation puts boots on the ground,
There’s a normal trend that usually is proven unsound
What is supposed to be an easy in followed by an easy out
As a complacent foe is supposed to be a swift and easy rout
Drags on and on as the number of boots continues to multiply
Quick victory and easy exit events seem always to defy
Always more boots to on the field avoid defeat
In the lexicon of war, it’s known as mission creep
In the retail wars for profit, it goes by another name
But the focus and desire is pretty much the same
To avoid the stigma of retailing red ink with hopes of profit in defeat
For holiday shopping the phenomena is known as Holiday Creep
Look only to Christmas to see what is meant
Retailers desperate to get more shopping dollars spent
Christmas cards and decorations in the stores right after Halloween
TV ads and live Santas here and there now starting to be seen
Black Friday now officially starting in the wee morning at 12:01
Some retail giants even open before the turkey is carved or done
A day for a holiday becomes a weekend to celebrate
The retail profit monsters are impossible to sate
Even that icon of religious holidays from that beloved Emerald Isle
When everyone is wearing green, all want kisses and everyone has a smile
St. Patrick’s Day noted with countdowns in every bar, starting with March 18
Is now a weekend and a week of Bushmill, Guinness, Harp held by those in seas of green
This Irish poet from the Alaskan shores would celebrants more days to party never scorn
Even watching the sacrilege diluting the Black Bush with coffee true Irish should mourn
In a day, weekend, week, or soon to be maybe a month, is there more than an excuse to drink?
That wearing a shamrock and guzzling green beer somehow gives one a Gaelic however transitory link?
What image does weaving or stumbling down a street?
Slobbering a forced kiss on any unlucky colleen to meet?
A race of creative, romantic thinkers, poets and writers and saviors of Western Civ.
Propelled into the Dark Ages when knowledge almost ceased to live?
Ireland may have its share of unfortunate  sots
But also a surplus of spiritual and creative thoughts
Be Irish on this day, not with far too many drinks consumed
But rather a time for some prayer and reflection in one’s creative rooms
Should you decide not, but to give the brewers, distillers, and dispensers your hard earned cash.
At least have a sober driver to avoid the late night or early morning crash!
Although St. Patrick was a master when it came to ridding Ireland of its snakes,
He is weak as a patron Saint for pardons of DUIs or treating hangover ills, chills and shakes.
© March 9. 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Benghazi Out Of Town Obama Repeat

Benghazi Out Of Town Obama Repeat
In politics and diplomacy words are 10 percent and the rest is media show
One would think this President would want clips of meeting with his generals as the crisis grows
Biden is an afterthought and his words are mostly gaffe
Good only in most cases to lift spirits with a good laugh
But Obama for all his faults is our Commander in Chief
Now is not the time for him from the "rigors" of his job to get some family time relief
Could you imagine in the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis JFK heading off to Hyannis Port?
With the world wondering on the eve a nuclear winter whether humans' time on this planet would be cut short
Or Bush on the eve of Desert Storm shutting down his office and heading for Maine?
Or Truman at the outbreak of the Korean War, heading back to Missouri to work on his piano refrains?
Russia has seized the Crimea, what European country or portion will he next seek to reclaim
With the threat of response by NATO or the U.S. completely tamed?
No wonder Putin is not worried, no wonder he knows the Crimea is his to keep
No wonder he views the U.S. under Obama as a bunch of sheep
It is Ground Hog Day all over again typical  Benghazi style
Crisis? Time to put on the fund raising or vacation Air Force One miles.
Maybe in the Florida Keys if Russian moves again, he will not be able to make another warning speech
Feckless, not backed by action, not deterring, only emboldening Putin to send more troops into another breach. 

© March 7, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Terror Is the New Bermuda Triangle

The loss of the Malaysian 777 is tragic and our hearts go out to the families who most likely have lost loved ones. Little facts as to what happened are clear, only that jets do not fall out of the skies normally. A poetic reaction to reports that two passengers were traveling on stolen passports.

Terror Is the New Bermuda Triangle?
Why a Malaysian 777 would disappear off radar is a great mystery?
Last time I looked there is no Bermuda Triangle in the South China Sea
Jets like a Boeing 777 just don’t disappear
Terrorist rumblings are now just starting to appear
The disappearance is almost like the fog of war
Mists of unknowns, uncertainty and questions soar
Early news is that two of the passengers were not who they claimed to be
May never know who as fish and crabs are hungry in the South China Sea
But traveling under two stolen passports should raise great alarm
Likely case of two suicide bombers seeking to cause great harm?
In dealing with problems in Syria, Iran, and Pakistan, China has been somewhat remiss
But if a terrorist attack, wrong target; this time, China will be thoroughly pissed
Knocking a flight to Beijing out of the sky is not a bright terrorist move
Any hesitation for China to join the war on terror you have just removed
All of us should and do mourn the loss of the innocents on that plane
But in a silver lining maybe, this loss Putin’s acts of aggression may restrain
Russia on its southern border is surrounded Chechnya and by Islamic “stans”
Fertile ground for the jihadists to remove the Russian infidels from lost lands
Putin, join with the U.S., China and the rest of the civilized world in a crusade to try to rid
Jihadists, who, under the cloak of Islam, kill, without remorse, innocent men, women, and kids.
©March 8, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ohio House versus the Nimbys of Newport Beach

     In all the phony wars we have had to put up with for political sound bite purposes, here is a real one--the War on Sober Living Homes; a war waged in many communities but with a vengeance in Newport Beach and now claiming its most recent victim the Ohio House on 36th Street in Newport Beach, an area that can only be described as party central in the summer and on the weekends. Newport Beach has fought tooth and nail to remove sober living homes from the city. An ordinance passed in 2007 has been very successful in that respect: According to a staff report for the Ohio House case, the number of recovery and residential treatment facilities operating in Newport Beach has dropped by about 70% since 2007, from 86 to 27. Has the number of alcoholics trying to recover from this disease decreased? No, not by a long shot.
      It is a difficult issue and being next to a house with ten chain smokers polluting the air and discarding their butts is not pleasant, but people dying or going into seizure or driving a car intoxicated is not pleasant either. What ever happened to tolerance? At least in a sober living house like the Ohio House, you will not have 50 people over for a party getting completely wasted with cups and beer cans strewn all over the neighborhood or urine or vomit stains on the sidewalks.  Chill out Nimbys, the person needing a bed at a place like the Ohio House may be your son, grandson, brother, or father, your best friend, et al. as the victim list is exponential. Where will they go?

No Molokais in Newport Beach
It is the leper disease of the 20th Century and still growing on the 21st
It gives no quarter, takes no prisoners, for new victims a never ending thirst
Race, creed, IQ, degrees, careers, sex, careers, neighborhoods no shields
When it strikes a winning defense is so hard to field
But unlike the lepers, there is no island paradise of Molokai
Only a life of misery and tornadoes until jailed or until you die
If not bad enough for most victims, it’s even worse
Trapped also in smoking’s addictive curse
Hospital beds are luxuries for only the very few
Only a few insurance days before coverage the victims outgrew
But there is some ray of hope
For victims trying to recover and cope
Sober living seeped in the 12 step program of AA
Keeping the demon beasts of alcohol away and at bay
But one man’s treatment and recovery is another man’s castle’s values drop
NIMBY beasts rise up in fury to sober living anywhere near quickly stop
Ohio House is the latest victim of the NIMBY counterattack
Must close its doors, nowhere for the victims to go, other beds a total lack
Ohio House with potential butts to be seen and density above single family norm
Its residents despite our best efforts of understanding so easy to scorn
Property values are of great import, but so are human lives
And so are the innocents killed when untreated those sick may drive
Or the families wasted, jobs lost, houses lost, ERs and jails to fill
With we taxpayers left pay the piper, left to pay the bill.
If the Ohio House were an assisted rehab for victims of stroke
Would the Nimbys be still trying to their operations try to revoke?
If the Ohio House were a hospice, a last way station before the casket or urn
Would the Nimbys be fighting their right to stay at every turn?
We know the answer, despite whatever selfish faults, our Nimbys are better than that
In their hearts for the unfortunate or disabled they would go to bat.
If the Nimbys in their zeal to sober living houses expel,
Send the residents back into their descent into Hell,
Ignore that vaping may bring an end to the trail of butts
Parking may be a problem but not a rush to the doors shut
They should know that alcoholics in recovery are protected by the ADA
9th Circuit ruling unless appealed means sober living is here to stay
Nimbys should look at the bright side, think of all the police money they will not incur
Music maybe, but No drunken parties at places like Ohio House, all there are seeking their disease to cure.
© March 6, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet