Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving's Today
Like it -or not - the World : neither revolves around me, nor you, nor any other human who has lived, now lives, or will eventually live.
Thanks is our emotional attachment to a situation ; giving, though, is our physical reaction as a response to this attachment. It evolves.
Trivial is the amount of time most people take pursuing 
a lifestyle worth living. Do they," go forth and spread beauty and light " ? 
Give Thanks !
Ronald C. Downie

Monday, November 24, 2014

Four Billion $$$$$

What can politicians get for $4,000,000,000.00 ? They spent this amount (four billion dollars) for getting out the vote this last election cycle. Yes, they delivered a total vote percentage of 37% of the overall electorate. Seems, a kind of an expensive contest, the most expensive ever spent, to get such a paltry outcome. Hell, some countries get close to 90% voting without hardly spending a nickel to get the vote out. 

These countries have Supreme Courts too, but not ours. These same countries spend on infrastructure so economic progress is not stymied, they educate the young without bankrupting their families, and they acknowledge climate change while doing something about it. Also, they understand the future is exclusively in renewables for energy : wind, solar, and hydrothermal. 

The oligarch, who run our country and spend to keep the common person from realizing what harm is happening all around them, don't want you the public to know. In other countries, constituents are expected to keep themselves informed ; here in the USA, ignorance seems to be an honored attribute. Football and other sports are revered, the flag we observe is generally on display with guns by the gun lobby, and our congress is led more and more by numerous deniers of scientific inquiry. Ignorance, benign ignorance, relies upon an apathetic public who, by lullaby, fall asleep forgetting their duty as a citizen. What did our country gain from a  Four Million Dollar buy ?

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Where Is The Weighted Comparison

Council me if I'm wrong. As Commander In Chief, our president has the right to call up 5,000 troops, whether active or National Guard, to go any where in the world and engage combatants who jeopardize the security of our nation. Seems to me, this is quite an enormous responsibility put on any person by his country.

After a few days of our president calling for a secession of deportations to, as many as 5,000 immigrants, now congress seems livid. President Obama did not grant these people amnesty, far from it. They need to register, pass a criminal test, pay any and all taxes -and for this - they get a chance to be free from deportation for a three year period. The borders, including airports and seaports, are to be strengthened along with the ground lines we commonly refer to as our boarders.

Where is the weighted comparison ? We elect people to legislate when improprieties are apparent to the majority of the electorate. We elect them, not to stir up a "got you" attitude in Washington, DC. ; but, to move progressive legislation through into intelligent laws which makes daily life worthy of living. Sending men and women into harms way, acceptable ; allowing families to live, at least for a couple of years, free from a tragic upheaval, damned. Again, where is the weighted comparison ?

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I bask in bright radiant light cast by my children, their offspring, and all who'll come after. In them are all my hopes found in my expiring life.
Howling winds through high oaks all night, then at break of day, sun grabs shards of streaming flow, subdues into calm gentle breezes.
Unbelievable, the attitude of Phil. Pro. Sports team owners, who seem unconcerned how lousy their teams play. Mediocrity at play for owners. 
Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 16, 2014


We are a country of immigrants, both my parents from Scotland in the 1920's, who came with their parents and their siblings to New York and New Jersey : the Downie's to Yonkers, NY. ; the Piggots to Bayonne, NJ. Both families contributed to the economy wherever they eventually settled down. Immigrants tend to be the people with some giddy-up willing to take a chance. Mine where noticeable by their twang, they rolled their RR's in Scottish fashion until later in life, when finally they assimilated into American jargon.

Why would I think today's immigrants are any different from those of my parents time ? In my mind there is no difference, even if, their language isn't derived from English, but now from predominately a Spanish culture. Back far enough, I imagine, we all came out of a grunting culture, so far back that we all feel better when each of us grunts from some exertion. Everyone of us is related to ever other person in this World, bar none.

"The ethic of reciprocity" lays out an idea common among siblings "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". How in the World can Man be killing Man - today a video feed from Iraq showed more beheadings by Isis, one an American - with impunity ? Very reminiscent of the days of Ganges Kahn, or Adolfo Hitler, or even Hirohito, days forgetful of "The Golden Rule" as a way of living. Neither do I want to live under Islamic Law, nor do I under Papal Law ; but I am willing to live in a Democratic Society governed by the will of the people expressed through voting. I'm not satisfied with all the money prostituting our election cycles but, I believe, these inequities will eventually be reversed and revised so voting will end up as a true duty of living as an American.

Ronald C. Downie

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Soccer's On The Move

Watching soccer, Liverpool verses Chelsea. I'm utterly amazed at the body dexterity, especially the feet, of professional soccer players. My dad, a Scotsman, continued playing this game when he arrived in America in the 1920's settling in Yonkers, New York, playing there with friends of The Partick Thistle. He gave up the game in the mid 30's when we moved to Pottstown since there was little interest shown in soccer by local natives. Even so, dad seemed quite athletic during most of his life. On occasion, he would kick balled up paper in the air keeping them going for many minutes at a time. Often he'd bop the balled up paper with his head during his antics just as we observe being done during soccer matches seen today on TV.

One aspect of soccer is finally sinking into my mind after years and years of playing and watching football. It is understanding that every one of the eleven soccer players on the field will kick the ball during the game. Most would also head the ball during the contest. Every one of the players must be proficient with their feet and head, they must be able to run, to run with gusto, and must have body dexterity similar to a ballet dancer. All eleven will engage the ball many times during an average game. Quite different from football.

A game of specialists, football, has evolved into a game according to the girth of your body, your brute strength. The game of football is under stress lately due to long range damage occurring to ex-players from, doctors agree, head trauma. School administrators are starting to pay attention, parents of young children are are also becoming alarmed. A movement away from football is evident so where do children go to continue in sports but not with football ? Soccer. Soccer is a world wide phenomenon played in most countries, in most corners of the world, why not here ?

Transition won't happen right away because of the enormous investments in football and, from these huge investments, pour in profits beyond any rational estimates. But, eventually, the health of players, especially youthful players, when damage from head traumas which seem to accumulate over time create many in firmed until their early deaths. These facts far out weigh the publics' need for organized carnage so football too will slowly peter out. 

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Finishing The World

Rain, heavily pouring down, so a man steps into a museum for cover. There he observes the art in paintings that he never experienced before. The poet as translated by Ms. Caws leaves the reader with this last line, a line which just blew my mind :

* "In each painting, I think, it's as if God were giving up on finishing the world."

What did this man, dripping wet with rain, see in artist's canvases which caused him to question the works of God ? Did artists capture beauty the man hadn't seen himself in the world ? Were the artists able to illustrate life free of the inhumanities that this poor man sees daily in his struggle to live this life ? 

Just what indicated to this man, in now out of the rain, after viewing canvases in a museum, that God may be tardy in completing the work started when he began the construction of our world ? If the reader is led to believe, as I do, that viewing art in which the depiction  of beauty commands the focal point, the dismal display of humanities' interaction with nature is truly a negative. 

May we all imagine a scenario ; if we were constructing our world would there be a point of disgust when we'd feel like giving up finishing ? I can; can you ?

Ronald C. Downie

* "The Museum" by Yves Bonnefoy translated from the French by Mary Ann Caws : Poetry, Nov. 2014.