Pig Roast

Donald J Pig

This is a roast of a small-fingered man
Who fancies that he’s Mister Big
He thinks he casts pearls before the swine
But he is the one who’s a pig

He operates with a simpleton’s mind
And an ego as fragile as a twig
Bombast and boast are the tools of his trade
When he fails, claims the system is rigged

He never learned the first lesson in life
When down in a hole, cease to dig
Rats wouldn’t nest in the hair on his head
‘Twould be better to wear powdered wig

He tweets like a bird in a gilded cage
This canary in coal mine … this prig
He’s risen to rank far exceeding his worth
But deeds make the man, not the gig

©2018 Tom Cordle

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Posted in Poetry, Politics | 2 Comments

The Color of Money

100 dollar bills

Money-makers are tiresome company, as they have no standard but cash value.” Plato, The Republic

Bill Russell, Hall of Fame center for the Boston Celtics, was once asked if he thought money changed people. He replied that it did; it made them more of what they were to begin with; if someone was a caring generous person, it made them even more caring and generous; and if someone was a greedy degenerate, it made them even more so.

No doubt, Bill Russell had it right; money – like success and failure –– changes people; it colors their beliefs, perceptions and actions. And those who have way too little or way too much seem to be changed the most.

· · ·

Recently, Eric Trump declared his father was not a racist and insisted that the only color that matters to his father is green – the color of money. Dim-bulb Eric sees that character flaw as praiseworthy and can’t comprehend that his words expose his old man as a greedy, soulless creep.

For the moment, let’s set aside the color of money and address the racist charge, where the evidence is overwhelming. Exhibit A is the housing discrimination suit brought against Trump properties in the 1970’s. Exhibit B is Trump’s outrageous campaign against the so-called Central Park Five even after they were cleared of all charges. Exhibit C is his disgusting role as Birther-in-Chief. Exhibits D, E, F, G and H are his Mexican trashing, Judge Curiel bashing, Khan family baiting, Muslim banning, Donald Duke demurring during his presidential campaign.

Add to that list, Trump’s hiring of Fourth-Reichers Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka (that’s one “S” more than “SS”). Then there’s his defense of torch-carrying, slur-hurling brown-shirts at the Charlottesville rally as “good people”.

When it comes to the charge of racism, the verdict ought to be unanimous: Defendant Donald J. Trump is guilty as hell.

· · ·

As for Trump’s obsession with money, it’s bitterly ironic that his attitude is pretty much the same as a ghetto thug. For Trump, it’s all about the Benjamins.

Had Trump been born in the ghetto, the evidence strongly suggests he would have ended-up a pimp or a drug-dealer. That’s not to say being born in the ghetto condemns anyone to becoming a thug; but it is to say Trump’s lack of character and obsession with all that glitters would certainly have inclined him to follow that path.

Indeed, some would say Trump is a thug, in spite of being to the manor born.

· · ·

Trump sees things quite differently, of course. He imagines himself not only a success, but a self-made man. He is living proof of a crack by Barry Switzer: “Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”

The conceit of the “self-made man” is an aspect of the American Dream; and thus, it too often clouds the self-image of many who start life with considerable advantages. But an accident of birth is certainly no reason to boast about one’s place in life. A wise man understands “there but for fortune”, and is thankful for his advantages without taking credit for them.

It’s said that a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient; in the same vein, the self-made man has a fool for a maker. A fool believes he alone is responsible for his successes, but blames others for his failures.

· · ·

 

Surely, Eric and Donald Trump believe they’ve earned their position in life … surely they perceive themselves as self-made men … and surely their actions expose their beliefs and self-perceptions as unwarranted. That’s inevitable when in a world filled with myriad beautiful colors, one sees only the color of money.

But money doesn’t come only in green; it also comes in gold, silver, copper, and a host of other colors. And sad to say, it also comes in blood-red and black – as in blood-money and dark-money. No amount of laundering can wash away the blood or the stain from such money.

Lawyers like to say follow the money, and surely Robert Mueller and company are doing exactly that. It will be poetic justice if Trump’s love of money brings him and his spawn down.

©2018 Tom Cordle

Posted in Philosophy, Politics | 2 Comments

Lost in Translation

Code talker Peter-MacDonald

Code Talker Peter McDonald

A recent White House ceremony intended to honor the few remaining Navajo code talkers who played a pivotal, and perhaps decisive, role in helping us win the war in the Pacific was despoiled by Donald Trump using the occasion to score cheap political points.

Sadly, in the process the words of wisdom offered by Peter McDonald, Navajo leader for more than forty years, and a veteran code-talker himself, were drowned out by the squealing of a pig.

The contrast couldn’t be greater than between code-talker McDonald and dog-whistle chickenhawk Trump. Where Trump sought to divide – as usual, McDonald tried to unite by speaking straight from the heart and getting straight to the heart of the matter:

My name is Peter MacDonald. I’m the president of the 13 surviving Navajo Code Talkers. I went in – I’m 90 years old – I went in when I was 15 years old in 1944. [In] the early part of World War II, the enemy was breaking every military code that was being used in the Pacific. This created a huge problem for strategizing against the enemy. Eventually, a suggestion was made in early 1942 – February ’42, essentially – to use Navajo language as a code.

The Marine Corps recruited 29 young Navajos, not telling them what they are being recruited for, because this was a top-secret operation. They were just asked, “Do you want to join the Marines? You want to fight the enemy? Come join the Marines.” So they volunteered.

Why? Because what we did truly represents who we are as Americans. America, we know, is composed of diverse communities. We have different languages, different skills, different talents, and different religions. But when our way of life is threatened, like the freedom and liberty that we all cherish, we come together as one. And when we come together as one, we are invincible. We cannot be defeated.

Thank you very much for listening.”

[the full text of McDonald’s statement is included below]

· · ·

Contrast the moving and powerful words of Peter McDonald with the infantile, self-serving vomit puked-up by carnival barker, game-show host and putative leader of the Free World Donald Trump – sometimes the best way to hang a man is with his own words :

That’s fantastic, thank you. That’s fantastic. Thank you very much. Beautiful. And I want to tell you — you said you’re 90 years old? That’s great, because you have good genes. That means the press has got me to kick around for a long time.

That was beautiful. I loved that, and I loved your delivery. And I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her “Pocahontas.”

So, on behalf of the United States, thank you all. Very much appreciate it. What a group. This is a great group. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

I think the tax bill is going very well. We had a meeting on it today. It’s going to be a tremendous tax cut – the biggest in the history of our country. You’ll have to pay a lot less tax. That’s okay. But we’re going to have a tremendous – I think we’re going to have great receptivity. We’ve had great spirit. And I will tell you the Republican senators were up.

If we win, we’ll get some Democratic senators joining us. If we don’t win, they won’t be joining us – you understand that. But, if we win, I think we’ll probably have a bipartisan bill. But I’m not so interested in that. We’re really interested just in getting it passed. Again, it will be the biggest tax reduction in the history of our country. It will bring jobs, it will bring a lot of income coming into the country, buying product, et cetera. And, I think it’s doing very well. So I think the tax bill is doing very well and I think the Republicans are going to be very proud of it. Thank you. Thank you.”

[the full text of Trump’s statement is included below]

· · ·

Thank you, indeed, but how did a grateful nation actually thank the Navajo? By recklessly mining uranium on reservation land and then proposing to use it as a dump site for nuclear waste. The Navajo are typically too polite to call a spade a spade, but the Lakota have an expression for scum like Trump: “Wašicun … wašin icu” (the white man … takes all the fat.)

Perhaps one day, this country will be blessed with a man as thoughtful and wise as Peter McDonald. But for now, we are cursed with a child who isn’t fit to be in the same room with McDonald. We are cursed with a man wealthy beyond all deserving and imagining … a man who would desecrate this solemn ceremony with racial slurs and shameless self-promotion of a tax bill that will make him and his undeserving spawn even more obscenely wealthy … a man who indeed takes all the fat.

©2017 Tom Cordle

Full text of the statement by Peter McDonald:

Thank you, Honorable President of this great United States of America, President Trump. Thank you for inviting us, Navajo Code Talkers, to the Capitol and to the White House of this great nation we call the United States.

Today, we have with us three of the thirteen surviving Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. First, we have Fleming Begaye. Fleming Begaye is 97 years old, the oldest veteran of World War II. He survived the Battle of Tarawa. His landing craft was blown up and he literally had to swim to the beach to survive. Also, on Saipan, he also landed on Tinian where he got shot up real badly, survived one year in naval hospital.

We have Thomas Begaye, also one of the Code Talkers who were on Iwo Jima, a tough battle, where Three Marine Division landed on Iwo; 5th Marine Division – he was part of the Code Talkers within the 5th Marine Division. Also, as if Marine Corps was not enough, he enlisted to be United States Army, and served in the Korean War. Survived that awful battle at Chosin.

My name is Peter MacDonald. I’m the president of the 13 surviving Navajo Code Talkers. I went in – I’m 90 years old – I went in when I was 15 years old in 1944. I was with the 1st Marine Brigade on Guam, and then went on to North China with 6th Marine Division to get those Japanese in Northern China to surrender. They didn’t want to surrender, but it took 1st Marine Division, 6th Marine Division to get them to surrender eventually. We had a separate treaty ceremony in Tsingtao, China, October 25th, 1945.

Navajo Code Talkers, in the early part of World War II, the enemy was breaking every military code that was being used in the Pacific. This created a huge problem for strategizing against the enemy. Eventually, a suggestion was made in early 1942 – February ’42, essentially – to use Navajo language as a code.

The Marine Corps recruited 29 young Navajos, not telling them what they are being recruited for, because this was a top-secret operation. They were just asked, “Do you want to join the Marines? You want to fight the enemy? Come join the Marines.” So they volunteered.

Twenty-nine young Navajos joined the Marines in 1942, after going through boot camp, passed boot camp with flying colors; combat training – the same thing. Then entered the Marine Corps Communication School – passed that. Then they were separated from all the rest of the Marines, took them to a top-secret location just east of San Diego – Camp Elliott. That’s where they created a military code to be used in the Pacific.

After creating 260 code words, the 29 young Marines – half of them were sent overseas to join the 1st Marine Division. The 1st Marine Division was getting ready to go on to the first offensive movement in the Pacific, Guadalcanal.

On August 7, 1942 – 75 years ago – 1st Marine Division hit the beaches of Guadalcanal with 15 Navajo Code Talkers. This was the first battle where the Navajo code was to be tested in actual battle to test to see how our memory would be under heavy enemy fire. Well, three weeks after the landing, General Van De Griff, Commander of the 1st Marine Division, sent word back to United States saying, this Navajo code is terrific. The enemy never understood it; he said, we don’t understand it either, but it works. Send us some more Navajos.

So that opened up the gate for United States Marine Corps, San Diego to start recruiting more and more Navajos, using the same tactics: “You want to fight? You want to join the Marines? You want to wear this beautiful blue uniform? Come join the Marines.” So we all volunteered. That’s how he went in, that’s how he went in, that’s how I went in.

Boot camp, combat training, communication schools. Then we all get separated, go to that special top-secret Navajo code school to learn to code. Initially, 260 code words, all subject to memory only. Eventually, by the time the war ended, 1945, there were 400 of us that went to war. And also, our code words grew to 600 code words, subject to memory only. In every battle two communication networks were established: Navajo communication network for all top-secret, confidential messages; the second network, English network, for all other messages.

In every battle – from the front-line, beach command post, command ship, all other ships – Code Talkers were used. On the island of Iwo, Major Connor said, the first 48 hours of battle, over 800 messages were sent by the 5th Marine Division, only. The first 48 hours, over 800 messages. Major Connor also said: Without Navajo, Marines would never have taken the island of Iwo Jima.

So thank you very much. The 13 of us, we still have one mission – that mission is to build national Navajo Code Talker Museum. We want to preserve this unique World War II history for our children, grandchildren, your children, your grandchildren to go through that museum.

Why? Because what we did truly represents who we are as Americans. America, we know, is composed of diverse community. We have different languages, different skills, different talents, and different religion. But when our way of life is threatened, like the freedom and liberty that we all cherish, we come together as one. And when we come together as one, we are invincible. We cannot be defeated. That’s why we need this national Navajo Code Talker Museum so that our children, the future generation, can go through that museum and learn why America is so strong.

Thank you very much for listening.”

Full text of the statement by Donald Trump:

That’s fantastic, thank you. That’s fantastic. Thank you very much. Beautiful. That was so incredible, and now I don’t have to make my speech. I had the most beautiful speech written out. I was so proud of it. Look. And I thought you would leave out Iwo Jima, but you got that in the end, too. And I want to tell you — you said you’re 90 years old? That’s great, because you have good genes. That means the press has got me to kick around for a long time.

That was beautiful. I loved that, and I loved your delivery. And the Code Talkers are amazing. And seriously, it is what I said. So what I’m going to do is give you my speech, and I want you to hold that. And I know you like me, so you’ll save it. But that was so well delivered, from the heart. That was from the heart.

So I want to give you this speech because I don’t want to bore them with saying the same thing you just said. And you said it better, believe me, because you said it from here. And I mean it from there, too.

And you have a lot of great friends. Tom Cole is here, and you know Tom. And you know Jeff. So I want to thank you both, Jeff Denham. I want to thank you both for being here, and you, too, for being here.

Also, General Dunford, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Kelly. And I have to say, I said to General Kelly — I said, General, how good — here he is right there, the Chief; he’s the General and the Chief. I said, how good were these Code Talkers? What was it? He said, sir, you have no idea. You have no idea how great they were — what they’ve done for this country, and the strength and the bravery and the love that they had for the country and that you have for the country.

So that was the ultimate statement from General Kelly, the importance. And I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her “Pocahontas.”

But you know what, I like you because you are special. You are special people. You are really incredible people. And from the heart, from the absolute heart, we appreciate what you’ve done, how you’ve done it, the bravery that you displayed, and the love that you have for your country.

Tom, I would say that’s as good as it gets, wouldn’t you say? That’s as good as you get. General Kelly, just come up for one second. I want to just have you say what you told me, a little bit about the Code Talkers. Because it really has been — learning about you and learning about what you’ve done has been something that I’d like General Kelly to say to the press. Go ahead, General.

So they’re working on building a Navajo Code Talkers Museum. And we will help you. Okay? And we have some pretty good strength. We will help you, and you deserve it. And I want to thank you all for being here.

I assume you’re the young one in the group? Are you the young one in the group? Thank you so much for being here. You’re very special people. And without you, maybe the results would have been a lot different. I’ve heard that, actually, the results could have very well been different.

So, on behalf of the United States, thank you all. Very much appreciate it. What a group. This is a great group. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

I think the tax bill is going very well. We had a meeting on it today. It’s going to be a tremendous tax cut — the biggest in the history of our country. You’ll have to pay a lot less tax. That’s okay. But we’re going to have a tremendous — I think we’re going to have great receptivity. We’ve had great spirit. And I will tell you the Republican senators were up.

If we win, we’ll get some Democratic senators joining us. If we don’t win, they won’t be joining us — you understand that. But, if we win, I think we’ll probably have a bipartisan bill, meaning a number of people are going to come over. But I’m not so interested in that. We’re really interested just in getting it passed. Again, it will be the biggest tax reduction in the history of our country. It will bring jobs, it will bring a lot of income coming into the country, buying product, et cetera. And, I think it’s doing very well.

No, I think we’re going to have really — I think — actually, I think it’s going to benefit everybody. It’s going to mostly benefit people looking for jobs more than anything else, because we’re giving great incentives. And we’re going to be bringing back into this country probably an excess of $4 trillion — $4 trillion — that’s outside of the country that right now, because of our tax laws, can’t come back in. And we will be bringing back at least — I think the number will be substantially higher — but at least $4 trillion, which will immediately be put to work in this country. So I think the tax bill is doing very well and I think the Republicans are going to be very proud of it. Thank you. Thank you.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

No Moore

Leigh Korfman

Like Leigh Korfman, I have been reluctant to address the matter of Roy Moore. Frankly, it shouldn’t have been necessary to expose this particular disgusting behavior – not when his own words and deeds should have long ago condemned him to the obscurity and ignominy he so richly deserves.

But alas, Moore’s homophobia, blatant disregard for the rule of law, and religious fanaticism were not enough to disqualify him in the hearts and minds of voters in Alabama. And so, at considerable personal risk, Korfman and others have come forward with charges not so easily ignored as his pursuit of Christian sharia.

Moore has been exposed as a likely molester of at least one fourteen-year-old girl. While that charge is not likely to be proven, what is blatantly obvious from the testimony of several women, who were teenagers at the time, is that as an adult in his thirties, Roy Moore had a predilection – if not an obsession, with dating (at least) girls half (or less) his age.

Their testimony has now been confirmed by Teresa Jones, a colleague of Moore’s, at the time:

“It was common knowledge that Roy Moore dated high school girls; everyone we knew thought it was weird. We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall … but you really wouldn’t say anything to someone like that.”

Roy Moore

What kind of a grown man is obsessed with young girls? A sick man … a very sick man. There’s a name for that sickness; it’s called the Lolita Complex, after the book and movie Lolita. Other movies, including Manhattan, Last Tango in Paris and American Beauty, also dealt with this touchy subject, a subject usually whispered about only in private – if at all, but now brought into the open by the distinct possibility Roy Moore, a man who appears to have suffered from that disorder, may be the next US senator from Alabama.

Moore and his apologists have tried to dismiss the accusations against him as fake news or a political witch-hunt, while paradoxically and simultaneously decrying the events as old news, mere youthful indiscretions that happened – if at all – forty years ago. And in the next breath, Moore resorts to the last refuge of a scoundrel caught with his pants down, so to speak:

“I don’t recall.”

Moore and Trump

This is, of course, a particular difficult time to be caught with your pants down, so to speak, what with news of sexual predations of Cosby, Weinstein, Ailes, O’Reilly, et al. While these men are accused of a variety of sexual predations – and some have paid a king’s ransom to keep their accusers quiet, none have been accused of sexual assault of a minor – a least not so far.

The same can’t be said for Donald Trump, who was accused of a raping a then thirteen-year-old girl. That case was scheduled for trial in December of 2016, but for reasons still not explained, the case was dropped. Some suspect a pay-off.

Trump also confessed to assaulting numerous women in the infamous Access Hollywood tape, and more than a dozen women came forward to accuse him of exactly the crimes he confessed to on that tape. He also admitted to ogling half-naked teen contestants in his beauty pageants; and perhaps most damning of all, he once leered to Howard Stern on the air that he’d like to “date” his own daughter.

Why bring all this up? Because in spite of the fact the rape case was still pending … in spite of admitting to being a serial sexual assaulter, a peeping Don, and a father with incestuous impulses … in spite of those facts, Donald Trump was elected president in November of 2016.

Given that sad fact, it is certainly possible, if not probable, that the citizens of Alabama will elect a known, or at least suspected, child molester to the US Senate in a few weeks. If that happens, America will be one step closer to Steve Bannon’s wet dream – the deconstruction of the administrative state and the imposition of the dystopic future portrayed in Margaret Atwood’s chilling book The Handmaid’s Tale.

Let us hope voters in Alabama instead do the right thing and just say “No Moore.”

©2017 Tom Cordle

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A Recipe for Disaster

trump-campaign-meeting

Nearly a year has passed since the perplexing and near-inexplicable ascendance of Donald of Orange to the throne of this fair land. Most thoughtful and informed citizens hunger for an explanation for his election. Most attempts to explain include a stew-pot of ingredients ranging from Hillary’s emails to Comey’s pronouncements to – well, insert your own excuse.

The truth is likely far simpler – this tragedy is largely the result of voter apathy and ignorance, quite likely exacerbated by Russian interference, and quite possibly collusion from Camp Tramp. That is a bitter gruel to swallow, and it does not bode well for the future of our democracy. Meanwhile, we are left to deal with the rain (spelling intended) of Donald of Orange. Anyone clinging to the audacious hope that this will somehow end well needs to keep a couple of things in mind:

(1) Tramp was neither a successful businessman nor a practiced politician; he was, is and always will be a second-rate (at best) entertainer, whose appeal, like that of his buddy Howard Stern, has been largely to slow-witted, arrested-development males (whatever their age) and the equally slow-witted women who put up with the infantile behavior of such men. Locker room talk, my posterior; such talk is all too often accompanied by actions, as Tramp, Weinstein, O’Reilly, Ailes, et al, provide more than ample proof.

(2) Tramp ran for President expecting to lose, but hoping the attendant publicity – and in his tortured psyche there is no such thing as bad publicity – might be parlayed into another TV show, or at least a stint on Fox News (seems that came to pass).

To the amazement of everyone but Michael Moore and Vladimir Putin, Tramp won, largely because, (1) deplorables who deem Howard Stern and The Apprentice entertainment voted for one of their own, (2) imbeciles and political ignoramuses insisted on change for its own sake, (3) evangelicals threw decency and honesty overboard to save the unborn (meanwhile crucifying the born), and (4) partisan hacks voted for Satan because he had an “R” next to his name.

All that review is to point out that the lack of experience either in big business or politics, combined with no expectation of victory, left Tramp utterly unprepared to govern, a condition exacerbated by a lack of a competent organization behind him. Just look at the principals – Kushner, Ivanka, Don Jr, Lewandowski, Stone, Bannon, Steven Miller, Gorka, Kassewitz, Cohen, Flynn, Manafort, Clovis, et al. Sessions was the only experienced elected pol on Tramp’s team, which qualifies as damning with no praise.

None among that rogue’s gallery was fit to advise Tramp; but advise, they did. Their advice? Hire Papadopalous, Page, Price, Pruitt, and Perry; and having exhausted the “Ps”, puked-up Carson, DeVos, McMahon, et al.

And they didn’t just offer bad advice on hiring. Some or all advised firing Comey, Sally Yates, Preet Bharara and the rest of the US attorneys and replacing them with political hacks. Indeed, Tramp is now personally interviewing replacements in hopes of finding some that will place loyalty to him over loyalty to the country.

The same goes for experienced hands at the State Department and other government departments who hadn’t already resigned in disgust, despair and disbelief. Bannon’s goal of the Destruction of the Administrative State is well on its way to becoming fait accompli – or in this case fiat accompli.

Of course, advisers like Bannon are only partly to blame; even the best advisers can only advise a President. Ultimately, the buck stops with Trump, though he certainly won’t take responsibility for anything, let alone admit to error.

Throw all those ingredients into a pot already seasoned with racism, cynicism, terrorism, nationalism, vulture capitalism, and military adventurism and bring to a boil with heated and ignorant rhetoric from an ego-maniacal man-boy with the emotional maturity of a seven-year-old. That is, in sum, a recipe for disaster.

©2017 Tom Cordle

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Blood and Soiled

grieving widow Myesha Johnson

In a recent report, Pew Research states 193,442 active duty military personnel are deployed overseas. If true, that would be the smallest number since 1957, again according to Pew. I say if true because a report by Business Insider puts the number at more than 450,000.

What’s the real number? It’s likely nobody knows for certain how many soldiers, sailors, special forces, and spies – not to mention soldiers of fortune – are operating overseas, but you can be sure it’s a very big number.

The tragic death of four soldiers in Niger have at least brought this matter to public attention, though sad to say, that aspect of the matter isn’t receiving nearly the attention it deserves. No, most of the attention has been drawn to a sidebar fomented by Donald Trump. That’s standard operating procedure for Trump, whose every move is the very definition of foment, that is “to instigate or stir up an undesirable or violent sentiment or course of action”.

Given his trashing of John McCain’s war service and his attack on the Gold Star Kahn family, it’s reasonable to question Trump’s motives, as well as his sincerity and sympathy, during his consolation call to Myesha Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson. And his dispute with the grieving widow, the family and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson calls into question his sanity as well.

Hard to explain why General John Kelly allowed himself to get dragged into the dispute; and though the first of half of his press conference was informative and moving, the second half, in which he attacked Congresswoman Wilson unfairly and inaccurately, calls into question his perspicacity, sincerity and veracity.

To be kind, one might say Kelly was also a victim in this matter; certainly his once sterling reputation has now been sullied. And so it goes with any and all who come into Trump’s circle. Given his sordid past, that’s no surprise. Dad used to say “lie down with dogs, get up with fleas”. With Trump, it’s more a case of “roll around with a pig and get up muddied”. Trump has spoken often about draining the swamp; well, turning the swamp into a pigpen is no improvement.

©2017 Tom Cordle

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

In Dreams

Dreams

We are such stuff as dreams are made on …” William Shakespeare, The Tempest

If we are the stuff of dreams, we are made on some pretty strange stuff. Researchers are still trying to figure out why we dream. One odd result of that research is the discovery that people who grew up before the advent of color television are much more likely to dream in black and white than in color, while the opposite is true for those who grew up with color television.

Speaking of television, in a recent interview, spy novelist John le Carre – whose real name is the much less dreamy David Cornwell – revealed that his nom de plume was born of a flight of fancy. He also confessed to an ongoing relationship with his favorite fictional character, George Smiley. That relationship might be dismissed as imaginary, until one considers just how profitable it has been for Cornwell.

In supposedly rational western thought, such flights of fancy and wild imaginings are too often dismissed as daydreaming. But to do so is to cut ourselves off from our subconscious minds and from possible solutions to real-world problems.

Other cultures are not so dismissive of sojourns into this other world; Native Americans speak of them as waking dreams or visions. It is said that before the battle at Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull had a vision in which he saw soldiers “as thick as grasshoppers” falling upside down into the Lakota camp. Had Custer been informed of that vision before the battle, he would likely have dismissed it as wishful thinking. It’s pretty clear from history which man engaged in wishful thinking.

I find the creative process to be much like a waking dream. In that altered state, I can choose to go places that exist only in my imagination. But I am equally liable to go places my concious mind could never have imagined. Indeed, I oftentimes look at what appears on the page and wonder where in the world did that come from?

Waking dreams are, of course, very different from sleeping dreams, where one has no control of where the imagination decides to go. A unicorn or a purple cow are perfectly “logical” in that world. So is flying and time travel. Speaking of time travel, did you ever notice that in sleeping dreams, there’s no pining for the past and no planning for the future? Everything happens in the moment – in the now.

In dreams, those we loved and lost and those who’ve passed on … are still very much with us. I sometimes wonder if life wouldn’t be better if we lived in dreams.

In Dreams

In dreams … there’s only black and white
In dreams … there’s only wrong and right
In dreams … there is no in-between
And so … I live my life in dreams

In dreams … there are no shades of gray
In dreams … there are no yesterdays
In dreams … there are no memories
And so … I live my life in dreams

In dreams … there is no wondering how
In dreams … there’s only here and now
In dreams … there’s nothing too extreme
And so … I live my life in dreams

In dreams … there is no need to cry
In dreams … there are no sad good-bye’s
In dreams … there are no final scenes
And so … I live my life in dreams

And so … I will live on … in dreams

©2017 Tom Cordle

Posted in Philosophy, Poetry, Science, Writing | 8 Comments