The Second Coming Redux

The Second Coming Redux
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William Butler Yeats' poem, The Second Coming, is a post-World War One poem depicting the end of times.  I don't view him as another Nostradamus or prophet.  He lived in troubling times like our own and wondered how it could continue.  It applies to any age.  Below is the poem in its entirety.

 

The Second Coming


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

 

--William Bulter Yeats, 1919

 

Here is my interpretation of our times:

 

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

 

The falconer represents the people, the governed.  The falcon is our government, ever distancing itself from the people.  The government (falcon) no longer hears the people and is about to break free.  We only have an illusion of democracy.

 

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

 

We, as a people, no longer agree.  About a third tend towards socialism.  Another third tends towards laissez-faire.  The middle third is the battle ground.  We are stuck in an endless battle with the extremes playing against the middle.  Neither side can win the hearts and minds of the fickle middle.  The extremes are at each other's throats.  We as a nation cannot hold together.  We cannot progress.  Each side moves the football only a few yards and is forced to punt. 

 

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

 

The rule of law no longer applies.  Congress does nothing, forcing our presidents to rule by decree.  The Constitution is the paper by which our leaders wipe their collective derrieres.  Our democratic institutions are being subverted.  The Deep State now determines the winners and losers.  We have entered the Age of Acrimony where violence is acceptable, even encouraged, to shut down that with which we disagree.  We've lost our innocence in the belief that our government acts in the best interest of the governed.  We have realized that we have become slaves to our own government.  It is the Military Industrial Complex and Political Action Committees who rule and rule in their best interest.

 

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

 

The good and decent people no longer have the convictions enshrined in our Constitution.  They have been slow-boiled in the pot of victimhood.  The passionate ones are the ones who wish to establish an authoritarian rule.  The believe they are morally right and have the right to enforce their morals on everyone else at the barrel of a gun.  The ideal of self-rule is ridiculed out of existence.  The Constitution no long has meaning.  It is just a piece of paper drawn up by a bunch of rich, old white men to protect their wealth, they tell us.

 

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

 

Who will save us from ourselves?  Surely, we are facing the end of times.  The grand plan will soon avail itself.  One side is about to be defeated.  Evil will perish, and righteousness will soon prevail.  Righteousness and evil will be defined by the victor.

 

 
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

 

 

 


Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

 

The indignant desert birds are the media and progressive liberals who have become deranged.

 

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

 

He’s vulgar, uncouth, narcissistic, a braggart, a loudmouth, a bully, and infantile:  who could argue that Trump wasn't the rough beast slouching towards Washington (the new Bethlehem) to be born?  Perhaps he is the devil incarnate.  Maybe it is the devil whom we need. 

 

It is the twentieth and twenty-first century progressive liberals who unknowingly rocked the cradle of this rough beast.  Their creation has become their worst nightmare.   Nevertheless, he is orders of magnitude better than the alternative.  The day of reckoning is here.  The last, best hope for the United States and the Western world lies with this rough beast.

 

 

 

 

Comments

George N Romey Added Jan 30, 2018 - 4:17pm
The election of Donald Trump will begin the process of the system failing. No country will prosper if government seeks to enhance only a small portion of the population. That’s how you get countries like Haiti.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 30, 2018 - 4:24pm
 a very thoughtful treatment of a fine poem. Yeats was a superstar, a favorite of the late, great Mancunian Tony Wilson.   
 
It does seem to fit rather well.  I don't know as I care to place that much hope in the man, but surely better than the cunt. Yes I said it!  I will not insult dogs by calling her a bitch!
 
Probably no harm in this.  I don't think his vanity could be any further inflated.  I'll hold on to my skepticism regarding how much will get done, but if what he is doing pisses off all of the network pinheads and the Washington establishment he can't be all bad.  
Katharine Otto Added Jan 30, 2018 - 6:38pm
Leroy,
The Constitution is an economic document that gives the federal government all the power and the individual none.  The purpose of the federal government is, and always has been, to fund itself through taxes and public debt.
 
We are seeing the 231st year of the Constitution following its natural course.  Perhaps these are "unintended consequences," but the purpose is still being served, which is to serve the rich (especially those who work in government or who are government friends) at the expense of everyone else.
Leroy Added Jan 30, 2018 - 6:44pm
George, I think Trump is our last, best hope.  If he doesn't roll back government, then we are screwed.  Eight more years of progressive liberalism and the US will be relegated to the dustbin of history.
Leroy Added Jan 30, 2018 - 6:51pm
TBH, Yeats is one of my favorites. His idea of life being like a spiral staircase always resonated with me.  I'm not familiar with Tony Wilson.
 
Like I said, he was better than the alternative.  I would have preferred Cruz, but I wasn't given that choice.  I have to say that I am pleased so far, although occasionally embarrassed at what he says.
 
I am happy to see him rattle a few cages.  It's long past due.
Leroy Added Jan 30, 2018 - 6:55pm
I have to disagree with you Katharine.  The idea of income tax is a recent one.  I view the Constitution as a genuine attempt at a better government.   As Churchill might say, it is the worst, except for all the others.
 
It is the natural regression of government.  Government tends towards authoritarianism.  I believe it was Jefferson who said that we needed a revolution every now and then.  It is long overdue.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 30, 2018 - 9:30pm
Yeah KO! You know better than that! Income tax roughly coincided with the formation of the Fed (at least the income tax we know today)
 
Also your understanding of the constitution as you indicate above is in fact the exact opposite. The constitution, at least in its first ten ammendments, was designed as a strict definition of what the federal government may not do. Known more familiarly as the Bill of Rights these affirm the rights of the individual. AFFIRMS, not bestows. Freedom of conscience and the right of self determination and most importantly....sovereignty of the states and those powers not expressly granted to the federal government are reserved to those states.
 
Like any other law only as good as those bound by it. The federal government slipped those bonds long ago.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 10:06pm
re "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;"
 
This battle between right and left has been going on for thousands of years. It's this technology that has really done us in. Everyone should work, but there isn't enough of it - but that is just today's times. At other times this dialectic manifested itself differently, maybe in a way we cannot understand. It comes up everywhere - the Left thinks of how things are, the Right thinks of how things should be.
  So much more clarity is brought forward when we think of how things ought to be, and apply reason in reaching that goal. The detective on Murder in The Orient Express shows us reason.
  I don't know if you read my essay on here, but if you haven't, its called "White Genocide: Why?". Originally it was about Roman law and how the west deals with chaos and order. There is a lot of stuff in it about the law that most people haven't heard.
  You are right about the constitution, it was a commercial document to pay the debt to King Henry for the civil war. He paid for both sides. I don't know why they had that war, I guess to put free people into bondage, it seems to always be the reason.
  Kant had better ideas but he may have not been read by our writers of the constitution. He railed against secret societies, among other unspeakable things. Its being administered from Delaware anyways - so they are free to break it. Washington DC isn't in America.
  I would like it if you could check the essay out, its dense, I'm trying to put this all into a digestible body of work - size wise and its just to complex to fit. I'd really like to hear your opinion on it. I think that everything I said needed to be said and that I didn't frame it right.
  There is a handful of people who I respect on here, half of them are Jews 8-). You are one of them (not Jews) and I really want your take on this.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 10:09pm
The Burghale Hidage: The constitution sounds good, but there are a few fly's in the ointment. They were put there deliberately. America is nothing more than a bitch for the real powers. It was made that way.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 10:10pm
@Katherine re "The Constitution is an economic document that gives the federal government all the power and the individual none. "
  No government will ever empower the individual, only law can do that. It's what the West was built on, starting in Rome. Governments come and go, but the cornerstone remains.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 10:12pm
No doubt, Yeats was aware of the conspiracy. Many intellectuals were. One wrote "The Open Conspiracy", HG Wells.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 10:13pm
re "Washington DC isn't in America." But United States is in Washington DC.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 10:14pm
Kant talks about it - says it would never fly, its just stupid. He gives it a single paragraph in all he ever wrote.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 10:17pm
re "The idea of income tax is a recent one." Income tax has been with us since the inception of merchant law, since we got ships. It was never to tax individual labour, only commerce. It protects the money from counterfeiters and pirates for merchants so they can do business and not have to pay us in potatoes.
Leroy Added Jan 30, 2018 - 11:00pm
Thanks for your comments, Doug.
 
"This battle between right and left has been going on for thousands of years."
 
I agree, but, there was a time when we could find common ground.  There were the Bluedog and Dixiecrat Democrats who would reach out to the Republicans.  The Bluedogs are all but gone.  The Dixiecrats died out long ago.
 
"So much more clarity is brought forward when we think of how things ought to be, and apply reason in reaching that goal."
 
I very much agree with that statement.  The left tends to have a knee-jerk emotion approach to solving problems.  If you know where you want to be, it is easy to make a plan to get there. 
 
"You are right about the constitution, it was a commercial document to pay the debt to King Henry for the civil war."
 
We may disagree on the Constitution.  I think it is a remarkable document.  I wish that we would adhere to it.
 
Thanks for bringing your article to my attention.  I am not sure how I missed it.  I will read it tomorrow.  If it is anything like your YouTube video, I am sure that I am in for a thought-provoking read.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 30, 2018 - 11:03pm
Great ! Its just a little dense. I thought it would get more hits and comments.
opher goodwin Added Jan 31, 2018 - 4:14am
Leroy - good analysis. I was reminded of Shelley
Ozymandias

By Percy Bysshe Shelley
 



I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is OzymandiasOzymandias Pharaoh Rameses II (reigned 1279-1213 BCE). According to the OED, the statue was once 57 feet tall., King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 6:36am
Thanks, Opher.  And thanks for sharing Shelley's poem.   The UK has more than its fair share of great poets.  His words we should take to heart.
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 6:38am
Sorry to disappoint you, Neelon.  I suppose the face might have been a giveaway.
Michael B. Added Jan 31, 2018 - 7:58am
Interesting interpretation there, Leroy. One of my favorite classes ever was an English Lit course where we read various poems and short stories and then had to analyze their meaning. Several had none, lol.
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 8:04am
Same here, Michael.  I only took English Literature because I had to.  Much to my surprise, I enjoyed it and discovered I wasn't half bad at it.  After all, it was analytical, and that is what I did best.  I was often at odds with the professors, but they were liberal enough to accept my alternative views, while still hating me.  I suppose I was liberal at the time, having voted at 17 for Carter in the primaries.
Michael B. Added Jan 31, 2018 - 8:17am
LOL...yes, I also took it out of necessity, but wound enjoying it tremendously. In another Lit class, I actually had the lecturer ask if he could use portions of one of my papers as part of a syllabus, but that's another story altogether.
Richard Plank Added Jan 31, 2018 - 9:15am
George, I could not disagree with you more on this one.  The latest worldwide research by Euromonitor  examines the 19-29 year old group and compares it to the other popular groups.   While intellectually I find this somewhat of a bunch of nonsense, mostly in how it is reported by a mostly ignorant press, this research indicates some of the fundamental changes that are taking place world wide; which will have longer term ramifications for those of us that live long enough.  The change many of us seek in society is happening and will impact human behavior in all of  the functional systems we inhabit (10 according to latest general systems perspective scientists).  This will have profound effect on political models as well as economic models.  Figure to see the impacts starting in 15 years as the next group now middle school and teenagers will continue to move more strongly in that direction (my bias is showing). Eventually the momentum will  have impacts at the ballot box and everything else that is interdependent.   Actually this research has changed my mind on when it will happen, I never had any doubt if, just when and will it change the world enough to keep it from some of the doomsday scenarios that are at least partially preventable.
Leroy hats off to you for having the patience and skill to interpret literature.  Good historians are rather good at this as well, the literature often being private correspondence that really adds meaning to things and often changes the way we see how something happened.  All science and history is, from that perspective a science, is revisionist.  Published literature often reflects the authors view of the times, with whatever biases may be present and as Michael B notes sometimes it is unfathomable, for whatever reason.
Sam Nowaczynski Added Jan 31, 2018 - 10:11am
If our Democracy is an illusion are you also of the opinion that Trump was not elected fairly?
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 10:30am
Sam, I am of the opinion that Trump was elected fairly. 
 
The illusion is the Deep State trying to prevent Trump from being elected and to unseat a duly elected president. 
 
The Deep State intervened on behalf of Clinton.  It almost succeeded.  It may yet succeed.  It is beyond doubt that Clinton was guilty.  It was Comey's insertion of intent into the law that he was able to find her not guilty.  Whether it should have prevented her from becoming president is another matter.
 
The Deep State also intervened with the media.  Without the Deep State intervention, Clinton would not have come as close as she did.
 
The Mueller investigation is a case in point.  Its invocation is based on false information.  As long as it continues, our democracy is in question. 
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 10:32am
"Leroy hats off to you for having the patience and skill to interpret literature."
 
Thanks, Richard, but I can't claim patience and skill at interpreting literature.  I can only claim to be not half bad.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 31, 2018 - 10:34am
Leroy,
I didn't even mention the income tax.  I know it came later.  In fact, Adam Smith, in Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, stated he thought even the King of England  couldn't get away with an income tax.  
 
The Constitution promised compensation for all branches of government and provided for the federal government to assume debt.  It also took control of all "economic narrows."
 
To pay Revolutionary War debt, the government sold bonds, and created the first central bank, tied to the Whiskey Tax, with legislation introduced by Alexander Hamilton (who helped start the bank) two days apart in Congress, December 13, 1790 and December 14, 1790.  In other words, the whiskey tax was implemented to pay perpetual interest to the first central bank on federal debt.
 
That model was repeated in 1913 with the income tax tied to the Federal Reserve Act and the central bank we have now.  Before the income tax, tariffs accounted for most government revenue.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 31, 2018 - 10:39am
Burghal,
I wasn't referring to the Bill of Rights.  It was passed after the original Constitution in exchange for the Southern states ratifying the Constitution itself. 
 
By the way, the Constitution was written in a strictly secret gathering. Special assemblies were called in the states to ratify it, so it was not ratified by state legislatures.  Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were out of the country and did not participate in the constitutional convention, which was supposedly called only to modify the Articles of Confederation.  Thus, they did not sign the Constitution.
Spartacus Added Jan 31, 2018 - 10:42am
Nice one Leroy.
 
Modern minds of all flavors do not understand that American democracy was founded on keeping a perpetual war for power perpetual.  This is the mortal price for freedom.
 
Far too many want utopia at the price of their freedom . . . and seek power at all costs to create Disneyland for adults.
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 10:48am
Katharine, it is a sad fact that governments do need money to operate.  It does take money to wage war.  We can debate on the best way for the government to raise money.  Some have suggested a national lottery.  I'm not saying that would work, but I would like to see a voluntary tax.  A minimal government shouldn't take a lot of funds.
 
 
Dave Volek Added Jan 31, 2018 - 11:07am
Richard
I am intrigued with your comments about the Euromoniter research. Could you write an article on this? Or maybe provide some links?
 
Leroy
Nice piece and your interpretation has gotten us thinking. But the Trump photoshopped on the sphinx is a bit of a stretch.
 
I just see the US Constitution working as it was designed for when a rogue president gets into power: a stalled presidency!
Spartacus Added Jan 31, 2018 - 11:26am
I just see the US Constitution working as it was designed for when a rogue president gets into power: a stalled presidency!
 
Are you talking about Obama?  If not, what is stalling now with Trump?  The democratic party is losing members and funding like a Texas Holdem convention on the Titanic.  Looks like progress to me!
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 12:16pm
Thanks, William.  I don't know who said it originally, but I remember President Ford saying, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have."  We were quickly arriving at that point. 
 
Trump is a soft revolution.  We'll have to see if it is enough to turn back the progressive clock.
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 12:18pm
"Nice piece and your interpretation has gotten us thinking. But the Trump photoshopped on the sphinx is a bit of a stretch."
 
It was more of a shrink to fit his big head.
Dave Volek Added Jan 31, 2018 - 1:18pm
William
I agree. The Obama presidency was also a stalled presidency.
 
The last time a president was able to unite the American Congress and people was the war against Iraq. I don't think America is going to see that again.
mark henry smith Added Jan 31, 2018 - 1:32pm
Leroy, an interesting interpretation, but I see the poem as a statement on religion. The falcon is us and the falconer is God. When this happens, the world spirals into chaos, with no central values to keep us bound together.
The blood-dimmed tide, so much death that even the waters of baptism are tinged with blood, baptism being the ceremony of innocence.
The best lack all conviction for the words of God, sober conviction, while those without knowledge get caught up in ideas of passion.
The second coming, emerging out of the vast suffering that has engulfed the planet, the spirit of the times being so dark.
Then we have the image of the sphinx, that great questioner and devourer of men, the shadows of indignant desert birds, stony sleep these twenty centuries (since Christ's life) vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, humanity. And what will this second coming be?
 
The ambiguity of a good poem allows for pondering. It surely appeared last night during SOTU that Trump is starting to believe.
 
Thanks for this, giving poetry a boost.    
Leroy Added Jan 31, 2018 - 3:19pm
Thanks, Mark.  You are correct in that it draws on a religious theme.  It gives the poem a mystical quality.  As with most works of art, it is open to interpretation.  I could be wrong, but I don't view the poem to be about religion. 
 
I started an article sometime back about poetry, with comments on some of my favorite poets and some on those who are overrated, IMHO.  I doubt there would be very much interest.  Poetry is a personal thing.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 31, 2018 - 5:53pm
This war machine and these bailouts would not exist if we had honest money. I bet these crooks steal about 30% of the economy, put that 30% back in and the improvements would be astronomical. People would become even more comfortable, numb and dumb. Maybe people retire at 40 and be dead from alcohol or drug overdose at 50.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 31, 2018 - 9:18pm
William Stockton,
I disagree with the premise that war is necessary for freedom.  In fact, war is slavery, along with the debt it creates.  War has been responsible for most of the debt in this country's history and the cause of collapse of the British Empire, Roman Empire, French Empire, Austrio-Hungary Empire, and others.  The American Empire is teetering on the brink of economic collapse.
 
Leroy,
A sugar-daddy government big enough to give you everything is a paternalistic, dependency-creating, cripple-to-control tyranny that deserves to go bankrupt. Trump is just the latest hand in the till.  
 
Leroy Added Feb 1, 2018 - 9:15am
"Trump is just the latest hand in the till."
 
I'm giving him a benefit of a doubt.  He's done well so far.
Bill Kamps Added Feb 1, 2018 - 10:48am
Leroy, I would  suggest we live in MUCH better times than Yeats.  He was writing between two World Wars that together destroyed Europe, and killed probably 200 million people.  While anyone can predict awful things for our future, our present is nothing like his present. 
Spartacus Added Feb 1, 2018 - 11:04am
I disagree with the premise that war is necessary for freedom.
 
Of course.  If it ever came to a real conflict, as a woman, you would be right behind the nearest man, pushing him into the fight to battle for your freedom. 
From your perspective, war is not relevant.  Your relevance is how good you are in compelling a man to fight for you.
 
It is disgraceful that hundreds of thousands of men have died for your freedom to say that their deaths were unnecessary.
Leroy Added Feb 1, 2018 - 11:25am
You might be right, Bill, but, if you believe the progressive liberals, we are at the end of times.  I doubt that Yeats had the premonition of the second world war at the time he wrote the poem.  But, he was witness to the first, which was particularly gruesome.
 
You are right, and that is why I gave my analysis based on our times. 
 
I watch Dick Morris's video today on Chester Arthur.  There are some parallels there.  He came to office when Garland was assassinated.  The assassin said something to the effect, "Now Chester Arthur will be president."  Arthur was notoriously corrupt.  He was changed by a woman who wrote him a series of letters (maybe WSU can change Trump).  He reformed the government and gave us the non-politic civil service that we have today.  Trump may be the rough beast, but I have confidence that he is trying to drain the swamp.  The FBI and DOJ are unwittingly assisting him along the way.
George N Romey Added Feb 1, 2018 - 11:37am
The election of Trump is a realization the emperor has no clothes. Changing regimes as the founding of our own nation showed is long, difficult, and very messy. Let’s not forget all the infighting our our own founding fathers. You can only imagine what the tweets would have been.
 
Whether Trump is the true catalyst for change is yet to be determined. Like many before him he struggles with a system insisting on business as usual only this time it’s more rich and powerful than anything known to mankind.  Look at how bloody and hard our own revolution was. 
mark henry smith Added Feb 1, 2018 - 12:14pm
Thank you, Katherine, for pointing out that obvious fact.
 
The right likes to impugn social programs for the deficit gap, but the real cost has been military spending and unfunded wars. How much have we spent on these debacles since 9/11? Who knows the accurate number? How does 12 trillion sound? More than half of our current debt has gone to military spending. Sorry, let me recalculate. 15 trillion. That's an average of 500 billion per year over 16 years, plus the added expenditures for continuous war, plus servicing the debt, and we have permanent debt syphoning off a huge percentage of our tax revenue from public into private hands for nothing more than nothing. We got nothing.
 
I love that term, servicing the debt. puts it in an accurate perspective.
 
Leroy, I think people underestimate the power of poetry. All rock music is poetry. All rap. All lyrical music. The bane of poetry was the separation of it into the ivory towers where it was expected to be "deep" to be good. Shakespeare was never trying to be deep, I would argue. He was just trying to tell a good story and have a good time doing it. The depth is just part of his nature, that we can dig into those casual lines and find hidden mines.   
Spartacus Added Feb 1, 2018 - 12:20pm
The right likes to impugn social programs for the deficit gap, but the real cost has been military spending and unfunded wars.
 
The budget, of our current federal government, spends 70% on entitlement programs.  16% on defense.
You are a dyed in the wool moron, mark.
mark henry smith Added Feb 1, 2018 - 12:53pm
William, do the math. The Iraq war wasn't in the defense budget, and neither the others. The black budget isn't even part of the numbers and where does security come in. And at least for the social programs we get some quality of life benefits. The point is that our obsessive need to push military options over all others is a disaster.
 
You have your numbers. I have mine. Can't we all be Trump now in your conservative mind? Make up any reality that suits the time? You certainly allow yourself that option.
 
Haiku de Marko (C) 2018
 
news can be fake and true
all stew in same melting pot
broken bread leaves crumbs 
George N Romey Added Feb 1, 2018 - 2:17pm
Marko not mention back in 2001 the Pentagon was hauled before Congress to explain a missing $2.1 trillion for which Rumsfeld had no answer. Anyone want to guess what that figured would be today?
John Minehan Added Feb 1, 2018 - 3:00pm
Dover Beach
 
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; - on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the {AE}gean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold
Leroy Added Feb 1, 2018 - 5:51pm
Beautiful poem, John.  I am not familiar with Arnold.  Thanks for the introduction.
Richard Plank Added Feb 2, 2018 - 11:25am
Dave I don't hide, you can find me at the University of South Florida Tampa, Muma College of Business Marketing Department to send me an email, be happy to send you a copy of the paper; it is the for public consumption piece and I get it emailed so am not aware if they post it on their website.  Company sells this research to a lot of people for big $ so this is only a 40 page of so summary.  In my professional opinion this is well done and believable subject to the usual types of error this work engenders.  Frankly there are a very competent operation.
 
mark henry smith Added Feb 2, 2018 - 11:55am
Lovely poem, thanks.
 
The first kiss was for the angels
to rouse from ageless sleep
to feel ruffled wings flapping
as from God's nest they leap. 
Leroy Added Feb 2, 2018 - 12:24pm
Nice, Mark.
George N Romey Added Feb 2, 2018 - 12:26pm
Katharine the Korean War, Vietnam War and wars in the Middle East all unneeded.  Even for WW2 entering Europe was not mandatory.  Yes after Pearl Harbor Germany declared war on the US but it was nothing more than an idle threat.  Hitler's armies were stretched beyond practically against Russia.  Mounting an attack against the US was not feasible but to the mind of a mad man.
 
Even more so, FDR's military advisers were recommending the US just battle Japan then after or near victory come to the aid of the UK and Russia. However, FDR felt he had no choice but to come to the aid of Churchill, although I'm sure there were other factors at play.
 
The point is we have spent trillions upon trillions waging unnecessary wars.  The end of the draft ensured that there would never be protests again with an all volunteer military.  With Trump I see no end to the trillions funneled towards the military. 
Sam Nowaczynski Added Feb 3, 2018 - 6:08am
The illusion is the Deep State trying to prevent Trump from being elected and to unseat a duly elected president.
 
Trying to do something and failing is not an example of an illusion, see definition of illusion.    
 
The Deep State intervened on behalf of Clinton. It almost succeeded.  It may yet succeed.  It is beyond doubt that Clinton was guilty.  It was Comey's insertion of intent into the law that he was able to find her not guilty.  Whether it should have prevented her from becoming president is another matter.
 
I couldn’t agree more about Hillary’s guilt, Democrats don’t agree.  Besides, you just got done saying the Deep State was after Trump. 
 
The Deep State also intervened with the media.  Without the Deep State intervention, Clinton would not have come as close as she did.
 
I’m getting annoyed with the term “Deep State.”  You want to blame the FBI for doing something improper/illegal than name it.  What you’ll find is that in an organization as vast as that there elements who like Trump and elements who don’t.  Think of how difficult a job the agency has.  How can it investigate any political candidate without the other side claiming it’s a bias investigation? 
 
The Mueller investigation is a case in point.  Its invocation is based on false information.  As long as it continues, our democracy is in question.
 
You don’t know what the Mueller investigation is a case in point of until it finishes its investigation.
Leroy Added Feb 3, 2018 - 9:38am
"Trying to do something and failing is not an example of an illusion, see definition of illusion."
 
The illusion is believing that we still have a democracy when we have high-level officials undermining it.
 
"How can it investigate any political candidate without the other side claiming it’s a bias investigation?"
 
Investigating is one thing; fabricating evidence to overthrow a government is another.  We now have proof.
 
"You don’t know what the Mueller investigation is a case in point of until it finishes its investigation."
 
We know already that it is a case in point of a government run amuck.  Without the fabrication by the opposition, there wouldn't be an investigation.  Mueller may be an honest investigator, and his conclusions may be fair.  The fact that he is investigating a crime that we know was fabricated and done with the intent of impeachment and that we allow it continue is a case in point in my book.  It is an outrage that this administration has been encumbered for over a year.  We have become a banana republic.
 
 
mark henry smith Added Feb 3, 2018 - 1:35pm
Thank you, Leroy.
 
You rake your muck and I'll rake mine
and maybe in the muck an oyster you'll find
and maybe I'll shuck that oyster with my sharp knife and find a pearl
and maybe that oyster will be good eatin' for two
and maybe the shell can be split in half to hold sips of wine
and maybe we'll dine and drink together like old friends
until it's time to go and we have to decide
who gets the pearl?
Is it he who found the oyster, or he who shucked it?
Leroy Added Feb 4, 2018 - 9:09am
Or do you toss it back into the muck for someone else to find?
mark henry smith Added Feb 4, 2018 - 1:42pm
Good question, Leroy. Shows a rare understanding.
I'd prefer to put the pearl back in the oyster and get nacred.
mark henry smith Added Feb 14, 2018 - 1:56pm
FEC,
Doggerel
When I was too free, I turned goofy
greatest joy as ears flapped in the breeze.
When I was too bound, I was like a hound
being led on a scent strapped to a leash.
Freedom in both canine permutations
was my free intent trapped in beliefs
that I was making my own way ahead
when it was ears and nose instead.
 
(-:)>+ Marko, aka Marko Noyes, aka Mark Henry Smith 8/15/57
all rights reserved. (C) 2018 
Richard Plank Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:17am
MHS  you are really being polite.
 
FEC, I guess my question is why do you view the world in such black and white terms (your sense of humor?) not only is it clearly gray, but  you don't understand the function of government if that is what you really believe.  We only have rights because others see an obligation to make sure we got those rights.  With no government you have no such structure that at least provides a modicum of protection for your rights.  Now I would argue that government can be bad and there is such as thing as too much.  Now I would also argue your are correct the founding fathers had multiple intentions and a close reading of history makes that very clear.  And I would point out nothing much has changed our functional systems then as now were marked by abuse of power and opportunistic behavior with  guile just as they are today; or as one of my colleagues argues in more macro terms, shareholder versus stakeholder decision models.
George hindsight can be 20/20 or not.  Vietnam war was not needed at least on the surface, but for 10+ years it did keep people otherwise occupied with it rather than something else.  Korean war I am not so sure, both Vietnam and Korea were blatant aggression of the other side.  The jury will be out an even longer time on the most recent wars.
Katherine, actually human behavior patterns drive other human behavior patterns.  Sometimes it is just anticipation.  War in history is just such a model.  Since most behavior is conscious (an assumption) one can predict and expect this and unless we have wholesale frontal lobotomies of the human race they are likely to continue, but actually the latest cohort 19-29 seems to, on average, have a different view of this.  War as slavery is an interesting perspective, it certainly leads, in many cases, to losers being slaves and I suppose you mean the financial obligations are what you refer to as slavery.  You can also look at it as a necessary investment; I don't but I am sure people do. I do agree with your reading of history from our beginnings some really interesting books outlining the nuts and bolts of the decisions.  Not enough people take the time to really try and understand the past.  It too is filled with ambiguity and we sometimes have to make some leaps to draw some conclusions so speculation is still apparent in many cases, but all history is revisionist and new things come to light all the time.
mark henry smith Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:39pm
Richard,
 
Thank you. It is the first time in my life I have been accused of being too kind. LOL
 
People in this world forget the purpose of so many things and when you remind them they're prone to get angry.
 
You are absolutely correct in my estimation, that government is a social contract between the government and the governed, but is in reality a contract between the governed and their better natures. Anyone who's studied history has seen the horrors when civilized government gives way to anarchy. It only lasts until a new power comes along. It appears to prove the point that people exist to be governed.
 
War, unlike the song, what is it good for, absolutely nothing, is good for something. It decides who and what system will govern us. Vietnam may have been a canard to displace a growing unrest in our black communities, but it could also have been a real attempt to maintain an alliance and business agreement with the French and oil companies, or both, or it could have been more, a real fear of communism, and a way to keep our military-industrial complex relevant.
 
Debt is slavery. War is debt. War is slavery. Finally got to use that classic logic course; premise, premise, thesis.
 
Do we still look at Jewish banking interests as the world funders of war, like at the time of Napoleon? Or have we decided that someone else will finance a Trump war? 
mark henry smith Added Feb 15, 2018 - 1:49pm
Poetry with help from Saki (HH MONROE)
 
There was a little Trump
with a little bump
right in the middle of his forehead.
When he was nice
he was very, very nice,
but when he was bad he was horrid.   
Richard Plank Added Feb 15, 2018 - 3:28pm
Mark you sound like  you have it it for the financial system.  Lots of people do.  The blockchain folks did it big time trying to get disintermediation in the money system. Predictably it will fail, too early, too powerful a group to persuade; all the usual reasons.  But blockchain will happen in many contexts and where it does it will remove opportunities for bad behavior.   It will eventually run most of our business/economic system 50/100 years and eventually be part of most political systems.  Better than a frontal lobotomy it removes much of the opportunity for bad behavior after you set it up.    And as to who will govern us, theoretically the best government is a benevolent despot.  You minimize transaction costs and decisions lean toward a system rather than a special interest.  Of course neither of us  have ever seen one (BD) but after all it is about theory!!
 
Great ditty about Trump, but I would guess such  comments are in the eye of the beholder and some are likely to disagree, but as for me I think that describes most politicians and a hell of a lot of business leaders as well.
Pardero Added Feb 23, 2018 - 10:55pm
Leroy,
I am wiser for reading your words.
Leroy Added Feb 23, 2018 - 11:00pm
Thank you for your kind words, Pardero.
Leroy Added Feb 24, 2018 - 9:05am
Thanks for your comments, Free Ear Candy.  Morality is indeed a tricky business.  We can hold that life is sacred, yet allow the abortion of a rape victim.  We can execute a criminal for his crimes.  We can fight wars to the death.  Life is either sacred or it is not.  Our actions show that it is not.  Donner Pass was the true test of our morality.  Meat is meat in the grand scheme of things.
 
"Hence, you have come to a premature conclusion. He could turn out to be EVERYONE'S worst nightmare."
 
I don't think that I have been premature.  The progressive liberals manifestly have become deranged.  I can't imagine another scenario that would have triggered a more violent reaction.  Could he become everyone's worse nightmare?  Sure.  So far, I have nothing but praise for the results.  He could also be everyone's savior.  It would take another great war with the US again unscathed for him to bring the US back to its former glory.  There is too much self-interest to allow that to happen.  Bush got the ball rolling towards self-destruction.  O double-downed.  With an albatross around his neck, Trump's chances of success are low.  Clinton would have given us our best chance of success of wiping the slate clean.  The long-delayed war of good versus evil would be at hand--US Vs Russia and China.  It is debatable of who would have written the history books.
 
In the end, it is might makes right.  Always has been.  Always will be.  It is the natural order of things.  All we have to do is observe the animal kingdom, to which we belong.
George N Romey Added Feb 24, 2018 - 9:12am
Even assuming Trump became President for all the right reasons there is the Washington DC complex that doesn’t want change because their money bags demand status quo. It will take an FDR personality, wit, cunning and dedication to win against the Deep State. So far Trump seems to be caught up in tangle after tangle. However for now the Democrats aren’t offering anything better other than this ridiculous narrative that the Russians are out to get us.
Leroy Added Feb 24, 2018 - 9:20am
" It will take an FDR personality, wit, cunning and dedication to win against the Deep State."
 
I might add a loose cannon to the list.  Trump fits that bill.  The Democrats and RINOs may have a rope around his muzzle, but he is still sloshing around.  He has not been fully restrained yet and is still wreaking havoc.  The rougher the sea, the more the destruction of the Deep State.
George N Romey Added Feb 24, 2018 - 11:32am
Throughout his public years Trump has sought and craved the spotlight. Well maybe not so much now. You are correct he’s been all over the map during the years.
 
Me thinks he sees himself as pragmatic molding himself as he views the situation. However that doesn’t seem to translate to this job in which every decision is multi dimensional often with no clear correct answer.
Leroy Added Feb 24, 2018 - 1:04pm
Quite honestly, I think it is Trump playing checkers while the Deep State attempts to play its 3d+ chess game.  You can lose playing checkers if you spend to much time overthinking your next ten moves.  Maybe Trump is mentally deranged, but it is the most transparent presidency in my lifetime.  He says what's on his mind.  We don't have to guess.  He seems to have little self-control.  When he says his button is bigger, he means it. 
 
I am disappointed in the prolific budget that was passed.  But, Congress is responsible for the budget.  Maybe he could have stopped it, but the blame belongs to Congress.  Congress passed the tax bill, but it was Trump who pushed it.  He owns it.  I support in because I don't think we pay too little in taxes.  Will our grandchildren have to pay for it? It is a moot argument.  We are already passed the point of no return.  Only a great war will solve the problem.
 
Regarding the 702, Trump's hand was forced.  Without this albatross around his neck, he might have been able to do differently.  He is credited with being tougher on Russia than O.  Again, his hand was forced.
 
In any case, no matter how horrible he turns out, he is better than the alternative.  The alternative was more of the same.
Leroy Added Feb 24, 2018 - 1:08pm
George, Trump views himself as the ultimate dealmaker.  That will be his undoing.  Somewhere along the line, he made a mistake.  Regardless whether or not it was intentional, Mueller will indict him.  On the outside chance that the Democrats take over Congress, they will impeach him.  If successful, he will be removed.  In not, like Clinton, he will become more powerful.
George N Romey Added Feb 24, 2018 - 1:58pm
If there is an impeachment it will be the final tear in this country. My opinion in an increasingly complex world the US has become to big to govern. We need to be broken up similar to Europe pre EU.
Leroy Added Feb 24, 2018 - 8:46pm
Seems we need a split between the big blue cities and flyover country.
mark henry smith Added Feb 25, 2018 - 2:40pm
What we need is a poet for president, to return to the thread, not a guy with a baby orangutan pelt on his head.
Hey, I'm not opposed to what Trump is doing,
if I was a guy with his "money" I'd be play golf and screwing
any babe who'd have me if I was in his condition.
No impeachment.
Do you really want Pence making the final decision? 
Richard Plank Added Feb 27, 2018 - 11:03am
George I agree with you on several counts;  Scale is an important issue, what works in a country with 11 million is a heck of a bit different when you have 335 or so million.  I too am frustrated by lack of change and it is a problem in all systems, not just government and for all the same reasons.  What we see today is not fundamentally different then in 1790 so not much real change has taken place in that respect.
Leroy Added Feb 28, 2018 - 11:33pm
This is where I break with Trump.  His position on guns is confiscate now and let due process take its course.  Not quite sure how the progressive left can spin this one against Trump.  This is a dream come true for them.  It is a pretext for the government to take all guns and let Americans sue to get them back.  Maybe Trump has something more pragmatic in mind, but it will be an unintended consequence. 
 
On raising the age to 21 to buy a gun, maybe this is reasonable, IFF the age is raised to 21 for everything.  If one is old enough to lay down his life for his country, he is old enough to own a gun.  If we want to raise the age to 21 to enter the military, then, ok.  I can go along with it.
mark henry smith Added Mar 1, 2018 - 1:57pm
The age rules do more to create a forbidden fruit mentality than promote responsible behavior. In other cultures they don't have our drinking problems and I believe it's because they learn to drink in the home as youngsters and don't learn about drinking at a party where everybody is there to get shit-faced. The twenty-one limit on alcohol has done little to stop under-aged drinking from what I read and see. 
Leroy Added Mar 2, 2018 - 10:04pm
That's true, Mark.  It didn't stop me.  I remember while living in France my German neighbors would give their kids low alcohol beer to drink.  They were like five and six years old.
 
But, guns are a different issue.  Nobody wants to sell a gun to someone that isn't eligible.  Too much legal trouble.  Kids could die.  They might be tempted to buy the guns on the street where no one cares.