Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rod McKuen , and a Winter's Storm

It was, the newspapers and television personalities hyped, THE STORM OF THE CENTURY. Supermarket shoppers were interviewed. “How do you think you’ll get through this?” one anchor asked a friend of mine. “We’re human,” he said. “We’re pretty resourceful.” Storing water was encouraged. Suits from every level of government appeared on television for hours. “Stay home,” they implored. As the hours went on, the request became more stringent. “If you’re out on the streets after 11,” the Mayor said sternly, “ you will be ticketed. It’s a misdemeanor. You’re breaking the law.” (in accordance with the President now, laws no longer have to go through the unnecessary process of being voted on. Any politician can simply SAY it’s a law and voila!). It was snow alright. And it teetered and crunched and did all the things that snow usually does, given the circumstances. Was it THE STORM OF THE CENTURY? Was it ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS?? No, and no sane person really thought it would be. The global folks say it’s a side effect of global warming (don’t ask). The weather folk – like politicians, famous for their half-truths and outright lies - say regardless of its final status, the east ‘certainly got a wallop in this storm.’ I’m not going to lie. I think we’re all tired of shoveling. But those in the know claim there’s another storm in the offing, maybe as soon as Friday. And this one – nevermind earlier in the week – this one is going to be a doozy. Time will tell. **************** i know its fashionable to denigrate popular poetry, and try to act lofty and snobbish but i like Rod McKuen and his poems. Sorry about the syntax, can't seem to get it right for this blog....Here's one from In Someone's Shadow (Cheval Books, 1969): We come into the world alone We go away the same. We're meant to spend the interlude between in closeness But its a long way from the morning to the evening. Here's another favorite from the same book.. Its called "Empty Is": Empty is the sky before the sun wakes up the morning, The eyes of animals in cages , The faces of women mourning when everything has been taken from them. Me? Don't ask me about empty. Rock star bestselling poet, author and singer of the beautiful song Jean (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), the first millionaire hippie poet who sold his self pubbed books door to door like vacuum cleaners, Wayne Dyer with a gift for meter, singer of sad love ballads, Sinatra colloborator (This Town , is a use you town), gentleman beatnik, rest in peace Rod . Listen to the Warm... ** Thanks for visiting. You can find this author's poems wherever fine ebooks are sold, including "Blackbird Drawn on a Charcoal Sky White Snow."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

You Didn't Build That.

There isn’t much time. A man’s (woman’s) life is short, and there’s a finite time for you to grab your portion of the American dream. You work if you’re able (most of us do, anyway), you bring home money to feed and clothe your family. Maybe squirrel something away for a rainy day; hopefully have enough left over to bequeath to your family and loved ones. Time on this earth is fragile and precious and (for most of us) limited to a short interval. Forty or fifty years of productive work. And then you have some temporary hacks in Washington telling you that you didn’t build something. What you’re selling, say footnotes to history like Elizabeth Warren, was driven to your customers on roads that ‘other’s paid for.’ President Obama (who knows nothing of your toil) tells you that the business you built is not really yours alone. Collectivism. Sharing the monies you make with everyone else. If you’re fortunate to make a small nest-egg or even a little fortune (there are very few Bill Gate’s), you need to pay “your fair share”. In 2013, that meant that the top 1% paid 38.9% of their wealth to taxes. The bottom 50% paid 2.78% (less than 3 %). And still the statists say the rich aren’t paying enough: they want more. How much is enough? Well, it’s hard to pin down an answer. There is, some statist’s admit cagily, never enough. America has never before been a covetous nation. If your friend or neighbor made a million, you wished them well. Through luck or hard work or ingenuity (or a blend of all three), they were able to succeed and grab the brass ring. To live the American dream. Never before has this nation been a land of people with hand extended, looking for freebies and shortcuts. A land of jealous haves and have nots. Never before has America been a nation of classes; a land where people felt they were somehow ‘owed’ a living. Where rights like Social Security, insurance, Medicaid, voting were conferred on a group simply for breaking that nation’s laws and entering her illegally. Free enterprise, the best and most productive system ever devised for insuring dignity and a fruitful way of life, is ignored. One former college professor told me that the Keynesian economic theory that President Obama expounded was a sound theory (in fact, it has never worked): the professor had to cut our conversation short because the library where we were standing was closing and he had to wash up. He was living in his car (the irony was lost on him, of course). So you work hard. And your savings – all that you can amass during your short time on earth – is taxed and frittered away. The small amount you’re yet able to save is threatened with massive debt that your government is unwilling or too stubborn to pay down : its imminent implosion threatens to obliterate everything you’ve ever worked for. Your savings could disappear overnight. Still, you manage to die first. And the money you’ve scrimped and saved is cut by 40% again in what they euphemistically refer to as an “inheritance tax” but which is more correctly identified as a ‘death tax’. Money that has already been taxed while you were alive: the government swoops in for a second bite of the apple before they let any of what’s left go to your family. “You wished to pass along your savings to make your son’s life easier? That’s rich. Now bend over while we rifle your pockets!” Envy, jealousy, resentment, division, collectivism are antithetical to the American dream. Our dream is boundless, unlimited. We are born with unalienable rights to be left alone (something statist’s find impossible to do); to live freely and unfettered with constant harassment (ditto). We pay taxes for roads, police, fire, to help people who truly need help. But paying for 50% of the country PLUS illegals who wander over without any pride in this great country or assimilation is too much to ask. Communist writer George Bernard Shaw said “when you rob Peter to pay Paul, Paul will always be your friend.” But Peter will resent the constant intrusion. And may (if you’re not careful) release the Hounds of Hell at your heels. *** Thanks for visiting. You can find ebooks from Vince Iuliano on Amazon and Smashwords, and wherever ebooks are sold... including "Quotations of Chairman Oba mao!" and "What Price Liberty?"

Monday, January 19, 2015

What I Wrote/What They Printed

For decades my "letters to the editor" have run afoul of whichever flunky happens to be in charge of editing at that moment. One newspaper tacked on a whole new ending, changing my entire stated purpose. People who knew me wrote harsh letters, asking me to explain. When i complained to the newspaper, they ran a snarky retraction titled "We Care. Really." Newsday (in this case) published a letter of mine (11/28). Well, they published a paragraph of mine, then made a second out of whole cloth and slapped my name on it. Here's what they published: I was disappointed that President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform was so brief ["Obama forces the issue," Editorial, Nov. 23]. It didn't give him the opportunity to speak about the higher burden this will impose on taxpayers, or the fact that school and law enforcement systems will be stretched to their breaking points. I was also hoping he would address terrorist threats like the Islamic State group and the ease with which they can get into the country now, more drugs in communities, and the frequent incursion of MS-13 gangs in our small communities. Vince ... etc. Not only did they trim my letter majorly, they added words I never used in sentence patterns I never created. Not that it really matters anymore, but here was my original letter: I was disappointed that President Obama's immigration reform speech was so brief the other night. It didn't give the President the forum or opportunity to speak to the higher burden this will impose on taxpayers, or the new (or old) diseases we will be able to address (like Ebola or the Central American flu that killed five US children this year) , or the fact that school and law enforcement systems will now be stretched to their breaking points. He forgot to mention the new DHS rules that "dumb down" the penalties for illegal drunk drivers or sex offenders to misdemeanors now, or the fact that most communities will be less safe. Also, I was hoping he would address terrorist threats like Isis and the ease with which they can get into the country now, more drugs in communities, and the frequent addition of M13 gangs to our small towns. In the President's speech I was hoping he would speak less about the dreams of people who break our laws, and more about the diminishing American dream. He might have addressed "chain migration" (relatives bringing more relatives) and given less platitudes about American's "not wanting to separate families" (the last time i looked, Americans aren't separating anybody. Families choose to break themselves up when they make the decision to break another country's laws). Despite the anchorman for Univision telling viewers that "Obama was making good on his debt to Latino's" it would have been nice if either of these men addressed the incredible debt that law-breakers owe to taxpayer's. Or the real secret no one is talking about - - that most are coming here for "free" medical and health benefits, as well as to enjoy the fruits of our Medicare system without the messy aftertaste of having to actually have paid into it. Lastly, I had hoped the President would have addressed the fact that there are an estimated 8 million illegals now enrolled in Obamacare (which he promised wouldn't happen), that America is well on its way to becoming a giant welfare state, that half the country is still out of work, that the economy is in its worst shape in decades. I wish he had spoken to the fact that this was being done to create more Democrat voters and not from any heartfelt desire to help the downtrodden in any way. I understand now why the President has always been reluctant to release his school records. I'm sure they show a man who excelled at economics and leadership. Vince Iuliano may be found on Amazon, Smashword, and whereever fine ebooks are sold. Look for his latest Amazon offering , What Price Liberty?, here > ..