Tag Archives: Blogging

SOCS-Tempus Desolationis

“Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.”

Times of desolation. This describes so much of what is going on in the Middle East right now. The extremists may think their cause justifies what they do but it does not and never will. There can never be a justification for all their atrocities.  Kayla Mueller was working with aid organizations to help Syrian refugees in Turkey when she was captured by ISIS.

President Assad has dropped bombs and poison gas on his own people. Now there is talk to let him remain in power in order to “stabilize” Syria. Russia is sending in troops and weapons to try to prop him up as well.

It seems the forces of evil are very strong. I hope the forces of good can prevail in the end.

Via Powerful Scenes on You Tube:

Mordor must be defeated.

This is my contribution to : Stream of Consciousness Saturday

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Under the Mediterrean Sea

A Syrian woman posted on Facebook recently, “Under the Mediterranean, on the bottom of the sea, another Syria exists, one that’s full of life: children kicking soccer balls, teens doing their homework, women cooking, men working, and the elderly sipping coffee. If you visit the bottom of the sea, you will discover another Syria.”

In Daily Beast today “Drowning Syria to Keep Iran Deal Afloat,” (where I found the above quote)  Lina Attar asks if it is worth it and just to have turned away from confronting Assad because Iran is supporting him.

The US has been the major donor to the UN for Syrian refugee relief. Other countries have shrugged off the UN request for funds. But the US has been absent in coming forth with assistance with resettlement and the silence of the President has been deafening on the recent refugee crisis. US refugee organizations are asking our government to take 100,000 refugees. From the Huffington Post:

If the U.S. wanted to admit that many people again, it could, said Erol Kekic, executive director of Church World Service’s immigration and refugee program. [ referring to the much larger numbers we have taken in in the past ] He said the U.S. has “been absent from this crisis from the very beginning — at least on the resettlement side — and that’s embarrassing, to put it mildly.”

Today John Kerry spoke with congress and stated the US will take in more Syrian refugees. No numbers were mentioned in the news report.

Iraqis Join the River of Migrants

In the New York Times today, A New Wave of Migrants Flees Iraq, Yearning for Europe, but some talk of coming to the US.

Mr. Hattam said he hoped his journey ends not in Europe but in the United States, where, he said, “even the dogs live well.”

He explained what he meant by telling a story an Iraqi friend living in the United States had recently told him. The friend, he said, had gone to the supermarket and left his dog in his car with the windows up on a hot day. A police officer, seeing this, scolded him, and told him he was putting the dog at risk.

“That means they even respect the dogs,” he said. “Even the dogs have rights in America.”

Secretary of State John Kerry plans to brief members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees on Wednesday about how many Syrian refugees the U.S. is willing to take in.

 ….a spokesman for the National Security Council said Monday the U.S. was “actively considering” steps to alleviate the situation in Europe, where more than 340,000 people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia now have arrived. Beyond Syria, many are also fleeing parts of Iraq that are under the Islamic State group’s control. (AP)

Finally, there may be a glimmer of light at the end of this very long tunnel.

Kerry, Lawmakers to Discuss Refugee Crisis


What You Can’t See

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”           —Henry David Thoreau

She was glad the rain finally stopped as she took her dog for a walk.  ” It’s just a pile of rags,” she explained to her companion. Her dog strained at his leash and whined. “Calm down boy! ” she said a bit louder as they drew closer to the mound.  She didn’t want to look too closely fearing…what? Why was she afraid of a pile of rags. She was determined not to let anything spoil her vacation. Tired of reading all that disturbing news. What could she do about it? It didn’t affect her. Even the President hadn’t spoken a word about it while he was on his trip. If he didn’t care why should she? She was looking forward to reading the latest romance novel that had been recommended in her favorite magazine. “Hurry up, boy! ” she almost shouted as they scurried past the little body in the sand.

Monterey or Bust

California has many spectacular natural resources. One that is on display right now is the Monterey Bay gathering of whales, sea lions, dolphins, orcas and other marine animals that has been occurring in abundance for the past couple of years. I hope I can get up to Monterey in the next weeks to see this in person. A BBC/PBS production Big Blue Live will give you an idea of what is going on up the beautiful coast of California.

There is abundance of food for the marine life. One of these is the Pacific Sardine. If you go to Monterey you will see a tourist area called Cannery Row. This is same area written about by John Steinbeck. The area used to be a real thriving cannery for sardines. They were overfished, impacted by ocean temperature changes, and just about wiped out. Now due to conservation measures the sardines are back. Whales and the California Sea Otter were also almost hunted to extinction and since being protected are now thriving. It is amazing to see this bounty of nature alive in Monterey.

CanneryRow by Bility via Wikipedia

Mondays Finish the Story

“The cemetery spread along the area known as Devils Abode.” 

The cemetery spread along the area know as Devils Abode. This was not encouraging to the residents of Sunny Hills Rest Home whose facility butted up against its boundary. They were reminded daily of their next destination after their time on earth was over.

Sunny Hills was located on part of the old site of the Dixmont Psychiatric Hospital. In the early days it had been a large facility to house the criminally  insane of the state. The remaining patients had been moved to other facilities years ago, except for one.

In all the confusion of the last days he was forgotten. He had hidden out in the old coal storage building ever since. He still made his daily visit to the cemetery to see some of his old friends. His cold empty eyes gazed over to the cheerful grounds of Sunny Hills.

Gingerbread_House_Essex_CT via wikipedia

Sunny Hills

Mondays Finish the Story

SOCS-Mind Meld

I love Star Trek and all the alien species who populate the series. Some of the aliens are the Klingons, the Vulcans and the Ferengi. I suspect some of our corporations and Wall Street may be run by Ferengi.  The Ferengi think profit is supreme and they have several rules they live by called The Rules of Acquisition.  One of these rules is never put family before business. Even though the Ferengi are pretty funny they are not my favorite characters.

One of my favorite characters is the Vulcan Mr. Spock. I was sad when the original actor,Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock recently passed. He was so great in the role I was skeptical, when the new Star Trek movies were coming out, that a new actor could fill the part as well. I think Zachary Quinto has done it. Something Spock was known for was “the Vulcan Mind Meld.” He employed it when other forms of communication failed or when he wanted to have a meeting of the minds with humans or other species.

Here are a few Mild Meld scenes via Russ Hany on You Tube entitled Don’t Forget Mind Meld:

Spock and another character Dr. McCoy were often at odds with each other. Dr. McCoy did not like that Spock was so unemotional and stubbornly logical. In the new Star Trek films the relationship continues the same.

Via Lostzilla 847 on You Tube:

And I can’t leave out the Klingons via Beau S :

This is my contribution to Stream of Consciousness Saturday

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SOCS-Older Women Are Invisable

Most older women are not visible in modern media. Women who are aging naturally that is. We don’t see many older actresses and models. Women drop off the radar and start to disappear as they get older. Wouldn’t you like to know more about them? Wouldn’t you like to hear their stories? Who are they? According to Beauty Redefined , in their great post, they have been shunned by main stream media. They have been “symbolically annihilated.”

That sounds like science fiction. Something The Borg would say. “We are The Borg. You have been symbolically annihilated. Resistance is futile!” But looks like it is not science fiction. If you are an older woman you will not see yourself in popular magazine ads, in Hollywood films or on TV. Unless you have had a lot of “work done” to make you look much younger. There may be a few token older women on display but they are in the minority. Kind of like endangered species in the zoo.

Then there are all the negative messages for women about letting yourself look your natural age. Messages bombarding us about anti-wrinkle creams, botox, hair color, diets, and plastic surgery.

“What would happen if confident, happy, beautiful women decided to forego painful and expensive anti-aging procedures, breast lifts and enhancements, liposuction, all-over hair removal or tanning regimens? How could that change the way their daughters, students, friends, nieces and coworkers perceived themselves and their own “flawed,” lined, real faces? How could simply owning (and treating kindly and speaking nicely about) our so-called “imperfect” bodies affect not only our own lives, but those over whom we have influence? Is it possible to slowly but deliberately change the perception of these “flaws” as something to shame, hide and fix at any cost to something acceptable and embraceable in all their human, womanly real-ness?” (Beauty Redefined)

Yes what would happen? The “beauty” industry would self-destruct. I do like to be optimistic, enthusiastic, and hopeful about change. I think I can imagine the change beginning. I think I hear it. Robotic voice in background, “The self-destruct sequence is initiated….”

This is my contribution to Stream of Consciousness Saturday.


#This Oppresses Women

“Women, are you sick of being bombarded with advertisements that depict women as sexual objects? That use our bodies to sell products? That embolden men to disrespect us? That tell us we are not worthy unless we conform to unrealistic, sexist, racist, and unhealthy beauty standards?” ( National Women’s Liberation)

A campaign by National Women’s Liberation and Red Stocking to place stickers on ads that are exploitive of women and, I like the last sentence, “tell us we are not worthy unless we conform to unrealistic, sexist, racist and unhealthy beauty standards.”

Do you see a contradiction between breast augmentation, push up bras, and minimizer bras? It seems like we are never supposed to be happy with the way we are.