A few bits and pieces

@troyburns (1428)
New Zealand
November 15, 2015 3:59am CST
On my way to the supermarket this afternoon I saw the aftermath of a horrendous car crash. A head-on, with bits of wreckage strewn across the road. I've since learned that one person was killed in the crash and two others are in a critical condition. This is a trip I make regularly, and it's shocking to think that one of those vehicles contained victims who had done nothing more than be in the wrong place at the wrong time. My boy seems to have a phonographic memory, which sounds great until you hear him reciting lines of dialogue from movies and shows for hours at a time. Okay,maybe not for hours, but it sometimes feels that way. On the other hand, he can also recount most of Poe's The Raven, so it's not all bad. Here are a couple of things about the tragedy in Paris that maybe haven't been discussed yet: 1) On November 13 1918, the allied forces occupied Constantinople (Istanbul), effectively ending 450 years of the Ottoman Caliphate. Is this a coincidence, or did these well-coordinated attacks have a sense of history to them? 2) I wonder if Friday's events have handed the White House keys to a Republican? Too early to tell, perhaps, but I suspect that national security and foreign policy will now be major factors in deciding the next Leader of the Free World. Hillary is hawkish enough but her record on Libya and the Arab Spring isn't convincing, while "enemies at the gate" has always been an effective GOP rallying cry. And finally, how soon will it be before someone high profile starts quoting Kipling's The Stranger? If you don't know the poem, there's a link below. Stay well
Poetry Lovers' Page: featuring complete collections of poems by the following poets: Rudyard Kipling Edgar Allan Poe Robert Louis Stevenson You are here: Home » British/American Poets » Rudyard Kipling » The Stranger Share | Rudyard Kipling Canadian The St
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2 responses
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
15 Nov 15
Hillary is "hawkish"? Hillary is the one who said "Assad is a reformer". Hillary will do exactly what is politically expedient. Just as she did with Benghazi. And following the Paris attacks and the revelation that one of the terrorists registered as a refugee in Greece, all three Democrat candidates said they want to take in big bunches of Syrian refugees. That's not going to sit well. Our country is an extraordinary economic mess and contrary to what you may think, we're not all xenophobes and recognize that many of our enemies are already inside the gates. Informed voters will consider economic policies, foreign policy and vision. Other voters will vote for Hillary because she is a woman, some will vote for her or Sanders because they have the longest list of "free stuff" they promise to give away. Most of them are young and most of them have no clue what is going on in the world. If I were a candidate, I would be ashamed to have these people as my support base.
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@troyburns (1428)
• New Zealand
15 Nov 15
Thanks for your comment Anja - you're one of the few people who actually cares about what I have to say, even if we don't agree most of the time. Hillary's remark about Assad is part of that "unconvincing" Arab Spring stuff I mentioned. She is a flip-flopper, I think, but I stand by my "hawkish" epithet. I honestly don't know what's to be done about refugees from the ME and elsewhere. They're coming, and turning them away isn't going to be a long-term solution. I laughed at your comment about "informed voters". Are there really enough of them to swing an election anywhere?
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
15 Nov 15
@troyburns Perhaps it isn't productive to always talk just with people we agree with. I have no respect for Hillary, for many reasons - and even on a "let's vote for a woman" whim, she's not a good choice. I am afraid that informed voters are a minority, here and probably everywhere. There hasn't been a system in place for vetting refugees. One camp in Germany is missing one out of every two that arrived - they didn't register, they ran off. Refugees need to register to be eligible for assistance and services, so what benefit is it to them to sneak off into the countryside? They caught a guy headed out of Germany with a carload of automatic weapons and grenades and Paris on his GPS. The thing is, there is nothing wrong with compassion and charity but we'd better make sure that we know the people we are are extending it to. I am all for taking in refugees, if they are truly refugees.
1 person likes this
@troyburns (1428)
• New Zealand
16 Nov 15
@Rollo1 - As I recently said elsewhere, it's a good thing to have your beliefs challenged so that you can understand them better. I must confess, a few of the things I write are "testing the water" exercises, giving me a chance to develop vague ideas. There are a few things I'm pig-headed about, but not as many as you might imagine. One thing I'm unsure about is refugees. Recent history suggests that, while the vast majority of different culture immigrants are law abiding and peaceful, the same may not be true of their children.
@boiboing (12882)
• Northampton, England
15 Nov 15
Any event like this causes ripples across the world.
1 person likes this
@troyburns (1428)
• New Zealand
16 Nov 15
@boiboing - I think this will turn out to be the declaration of war that many have been waiting for. The fallout may be as immense as that which followed 9/11. Now, if only we can get people to recognize that this barbarism isn't limited to the West, we might start getting somewhere.