Friday, May 30, 2014

Russians Go Home

Thousands of Russian troops are returning to their bases.  (Photo/Courtesy of

Russian troops, withdrawing from the borders of Ukraine,
Realized what anyone with even half a brain
Figured out a week ago; they do not need to fight.
Might as well go home before more sanctions start to bite.

Kiev won't try that again...  Their newest oligarch,
Petro Poroshenko, knows he's swimming with a shark.
Clearer than a nose upon a face, they've made their point.
Russians don't want our proboscis further out of joint.

We don't have to like it but the facts of life are these;
If your army's big enough you may do as you please.
Threaten an invasion and your neighbors will be daunted...
Just ask Mr. Putin, who got everything he wanted.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Patriot In His Own Mind

Brian Williams and Edward Snowden.

"Coward and a traitor" or a patriot who's brave?
Edward Snowden, in a recent interview he gave,
Said to Brian Williams he's a patriotic guy
Who exposed abuses he discovered as a spy.

Tried to go through proper channels over his concerns.
Wouldn't get a chance to make his case if he returns.
(He's accused of treason; says his trial would not be fair.)
Only stayed in Russia 'cause the U.S. trapped him there.

Patriot or traitor?  It depends how you define
Service to your country...  Did Ed Snowden cross the line?
Are his leaks on NSA something we need to know
Or has our intelligence received a fatal blow?

I believe, in Snowden's mind, he served the greater good.
With his theft he's proven almost anybody could
Access all our information...  Privacy is dead
And the only reason that we know is thanks to Ed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Consummatum est

Words some army's spoken since the days of Ancient Rome.
Afghans have to be the ones who cure the country's ills.
Groups of fundamentalists are holed up in those hills...

'though they take the winters off (because they'd freeze their buns)
When the "fighting season" starts, the men pick up their guns
Then return to home and hearth and shelter with their clan.
It's become a way of life throughout Afghanistan.

We are not the first to have to face this fact of life -
That, in certain regions of the world, there's constant strife -
We are just the latest, though I doubt we'll be the last.
Countries never seem to learn their lessons from the past.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In A Democracy You Get What You Deserve

Weekend saw a few elections held across the pond...
Politicians who would like to loosen ties that bond
European Union member nations won the day.
Tired of austerity, the voters voted "Nay!"

Half of Ukraine voted; not much turn-out in the East.
Faced with armed militias... Don't blame voters in the least.
In the West the winner was a candy billionaire.
Putin said he'd honor the results if they were fair.

Egypt held elections, too; the outcome no surprise.
Winner is a former Army General in disguise.
After leading Egypt's coup, took off his uniform.
In the region, that's not the exception, it's the norm.

U.S. will hold mid-terms soon but most of us won't vote.
By default, we'll let the special interests steer the boat
All the while complaining...  We have got a lot of nerve.
People only get the government that they deserve.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

When you're at your barbeque this weekend, don't forget -
If you love America and freedom - thank a Vet.
I don't mean a thanks with words for words have proven cheap...
We made Vets a promise but it's one we didn't keep.

They embody virtues that have made this country great;
It's disgraceful some of them are dying while they wait.
Situation's FUBAR at the VA, I'm afraid.
They don't have the staff and those they've got are underpaid.

Congress needs to spend the money now and screw the cost...
Right away! Before another soldier's life is lost.
There are no excuses for non-treatment of our Vets;
We owe them our sacred honor and must pay our debts.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

GM's Image Problem

General Motors, Renaissance Towers, Detroit, Michigan 

I'm not in the market for a car but, even so,
There are still some dealerships where I would never go.
Due to safety issues with equipment they installed.

They've already paid one fine (with other cases pending)
And the list of recalled cars seems, almost, neverending.
Don't see how their reputation ever gets restored...
I just know the next new car I  buy will be a Ford.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Google Won't Forget This


People throughout history have tried to leave their mark,
Hoping we'll name streets for them, or schools...  Perhaps a park.
Something that survives us after we are in our grave,
Yet we all  have made some marks that we don't want to save.

It might be a drunken photo or a careless tweet;
Information you don't want to share with folks you meet.
Something you don't talk about with people from your church...
Things that they can learn about you with a Google Search.

In the state of Denmark though, if you did something rotten,
European Union passed the Right to be Forgotten.
You can have those links removed - you only have to ask.
Google says complying is a monumental task.

If you're an American you do not have this right
So, if you're debating if it is or isn't bright
To do something that you'll later wish you could forget,
Just remember - what you do stays on the internet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Calling the Kettle Black

 D.o.J. has made it clear it isn't playing games;
Issued warrants for arrests that named some Chinese names.
5 men in their military we've accused of hacking...
Though our moral high-ground, after Edward Snowden's, lacking.

Justice claims it's not the same as what our country does;
China spies on companies and that's worse than ours was.
When we spy it's not a crime - when China does it is...
Our Ambassador was summoned.  Glad my job's not his.

Tensions are already high with us and the Chinese
Over actions they've committed on South China Seas.
Philippines and Vietnam are mad at China, too
And they wonder what their U.S. allies plan to do.

Wish we'd picked a better battle than the one we did.
After Edward Snowden's leaks blew off NSA's lid
Seems to me our outrage at their cyber hack-attack
Feels a lot like our pot's calling China's kettle black.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Who's Steering The Ship of State?

Income inequality, where few hold all the wealth,
Hasn't proven helpful to our economic health.
As we lose the middle class we lose the driving force
For a strong recovery because we've lost its source.

I hate to sound cynical because I'm, mostly, not.
I'm inclined to give something a fair and decent shot,
But I'm an idealist who doesn't understand
How the situation's gotten quite so out of hand.

I've begun to wonder, since we've given this a try
(and we've seen it doesn't work since poor people can't buy
Anything but food and Walmart clothing for their backs.
Unemployment's bad without degrees and worse for blacks...)

Why don't we try something else?  I think it's time we did.
Politicians work for those who've placed the highest bid.
We have got to change the law that lets those bidders hide.
How else will we know if we've been taken for a ride?

Friday, May 16, 2014

The World's Worst Mom (cont.)

Youngest son is home from school with mononucleosis;
But it took a while for us to get this diagnosis.
He complained of headaches first and then he got a rash.
Couldn't get him motivated - all he'd do was crash.

I kept on insisting he get up and go to school.
Didn't want to see my son grow up to be a fool.
Now I'm feeling guilty 'cause the kid was really sick...
Turns out that his mom's the one who's dumber than a brick.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pity The Clean Shaven

Women who don't follow sports might notice something weird
When the scruffy guy they've come to know shaves off his beard.
But, though he's clean shaven, you still ought to give him space.
Boston Bruins' fans are wearing their unhappy face.

It's not just your lover's face that's tender, pink, and raw;
He's still hurting from the hockey game that he just saw.
Last night was Game 7 and the Bruins won't advance.
Team did not play well - at all - and so they blew their chance.

Montreal's Canadiens, who beat us 3 to 1
(And were much more gracious after all was said and done),
Get to keep the scruffy look and play another round,
While the newly shaven had their hopes dashed to the ground.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Bad, Old Days

Protestors in Vietnam are angry at China.  (Photo/Courtesy of

So much for the "new world order;" we're back to the old...
Stronger preying on the weak - where wars aren't always cold.
China placed an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam;
Chinese ships protected it with orders they should ram

Any ships that Vietnam sent out to take a look.
Chinese used their water cannon...  Shades of Captain Hook.
They believe they should control the whole South China Sea;
Doesn't matter if the country's neighbors disagree.

Seems they took a page from Putin's playbook in Ukraine;
Seize the things you want to, first - then let the world complain.
Vietnam had rioting and Chinese factories burned.
Looks as if the "bad, old days" of history's returned.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NASA Says We're Screwed

Doesn't matter if you doubt that man caused climate change,
If you aren't concerned by now or don't believe it's strange
That the weather's out of whack - the seasons are delayed -
NASA says Antarctica is melting...  Be afraid.

In about a hundred years its glaciers will be gone
Meaning that the land the ice accumulated on,
Without all that weight, will rise and so, too, will the seas;
Causing devastation almost everyone agrees.

Process cannot be reversed, the NASA spokesman said.
Warmer water seeped between the glaciers and sea bed;
Now they're melting from the bottom as well as the top.
We are screwed.  There's nothing we can do to make it stop.

If we don't take action now - prepare as oceans rise -
Because we're too busy arguing that science lies
It won't matter anyway since it will be too late.
Mother Nature isn't proving open to debate.

Monday, May 12, 2014


(Photo/Courtesy of KCCI)

'Bring us back our stolen girls,' Nigerians demand.
They've accepted offers to let others lend a hand;
But the girls have been dispersed, now kept in smaller groups,
Some in other countries - where it's hard to send in troops.

Boko Haram just released a video today;
Shows about a hundred girls and some were forced to say
They embraced their captor's faith...  Rejected education
(Something most of us would do if in their situation.)

Terrorists are saying that they'd like to make a trade.
They'll release 100 girls they kidnapped in the raid
If Nigeria will free some guys they've got in jail...
Pretty bold from men who've got the whole world on their trail.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Serving the Social Welfare

(Photo/Courtesy of Mother Jones)
Is our social welfare served through funding dirty ads,
Spending money on elections?  (Not a little...  Scads!)
Or is that political in nature?  I'd say yes;
Putting me at odds with Rove at Crossroads GPS.

Donors to a social welfare group don't have to say
Who they are nor give a reason why they'll, gladly, pay
Limitless amounts of cash to get their guys elected.
Watch-dog groups did "sniff tests."  A foul odor was detected.

Issue driven campaign ads, though they're protected speech,
Urge you towards a candidate...  They're not designed to teach.
That sure sounds political - where speech is also free -
Guaranteed to them...  Without the anonymity.

If these secret Super PACs have got a point to make
I think we should know who funds positions that they take.
Social welfare isn't served by people talking trash,
Not unless we also know who's putting up the cash.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

South Sudan - I Wouldn't Call That Tranquil

It may look peaceful, but...  (Photo/Courtesy of

South Sudan's in turmoil when it needs tranquility.
U.N. got the government and rebels to agree;
Hoping it will give the farmers time to plant their crops...
Something that they cannot do unless the fighting stops.

Even if it's tranquil, starving farmers ate their seeds;
Therefore, they aren't able to fulfill the country's needs.
Those who still have seeds to plant will need a lot of luck.
Once they put them in the ground - if war resumes - they're stuck.

They would have to take the chance their crops (and they) will live.
In their struggle to survive there's not a lot of give.
South Sudan is facing famine; future's looking grim
If it cannot keep the peace - and hopes for that are slim.