The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Archive for the ‘fables’ Category

THE CONCEITED CROW

Once upon a time there was an extremely egotistical and conceited crow.  He was, if truth be told, extremely good looking and never had difficulty finding a date.  All the female crows enjoyed being seen with him.  Of course, these dates never turned into relationships as none of these females was good enough for our friend.

Well, as will often happen with crows and others of his mindset, our conceited crow felt that the rules which applied to all other crows did not apply to him.  He was, quite frankly, too important to be bound by the laws of nature that applied to everyone else.

As it happened to be an extremely harsh winter, many of the crows had migrated south to escape Mother Nature’s bitter chill.  But not our friend who refused to admit that there was someone or something more powerful than himself.  So he stayed behind and resolved not to allow the elements get the best of him.

This went on for several weeks.  But the food which he needed became more and more scarce.  He spent far more time harvesting his meals than he had before and this, of course, meant that he had to fly longer than was his custom.  Between the extra exertion he had to put forth, coupled with the inclement weather, one day he fell from his perch in a bare birch tree and dropped to the ground.

As he lay there, he thought to himself, “What an unfair fate it is that has been handed to me.  Here am I, the handsomest and most witty of all crows, preparing to meet death, frozen stiff and laying in this barren, snow-filled landscape.  Truly, there is no justice in this world.”

As he held these thoughts, ready to pass out from hypothermia, a cow came by and saw the crow on the ground.  The cow lived in a farmer’s barn a short distance away and had plenty to eat from the store of hay that the farmer had put away for the winter.  In fact, she had just finished a particularly delicious and plentiful meal and had to relieve herself.  She did so, virtually burying the inert crow in her dung.

With the remaining moments of consciousness left to him, our hero again began musing about his fate.

“Wasn’t it bad enough that I am dying at a premature age?  How the world will go on without me I cannot even imagine.  And to add insult to injury, I am buried in a pile of cow manure.  There is no justice in this world,” he repeated silently to himself.

But after a few minutes the crow noticed something.  The heat of the cow’s dung was beginning to warm his frozen body.  He could feel the blood begin to circulate to his feet and his wings.  And it didn’t take too long before he was feeling like his old self once again.

With his energy renewed, he began clawing his way out of the dung heap.  He was feeling his old vigor return and began digging and pecking faster and faster until finally he saw the sky above him.  With one mighty thrust, he pushed aside the last clod of manure that stood between him and freedom and soared overhead, cawing loudly as he rose in the air as he started to fly to an old oak tree.

Just at that moment, several youngsters, armed with twenty-two rifles, appeared in the clearing, took aim at the crow and shot him dead.

MORAL:  If you rise to the top on bull sh*t, you’re going to get shot down.

cc:  All those elected “leaders” who pass laws for others but who exempt themselves from them.

THE SQUIRREL AND THE CAT

There was once a common gray squirrel who made the acquaintance of a beautiful Angora cat.  They lived in the same area, although the squirrel made his home in a very old elm tree and the cat lived in a ritzy garden apartment.

Come rain or shine the squirrel could be seen scurrying about the neighborhood, looking for acorns or anything else that looked nutritious.  The cat had no such concerns as his mistress put out his meals on a regular schedule and provided all that he wanted to eat.

The cat found the squirrel’s constant comings and goings to be not only dizzying but quite inexplicable.

“My friend,” he said.  “Why do you go about in such a constant frenzy?  Your continuous scurrying is causing me to have a headache.  Settle down for a bit and let’s have a nice chat.”

“I would love to,” said the squirrel.  “But if I did, I would not have enough rations to make it through the day.  So I need to keep foraging to stave off starvation.”

The cat thought this was very peculiar.  He had never known a moment when his food was not provided for him and so, naturally, assumed that was the way it was for all creatures.  In his heart of hearts he thought that the squirrel was making a joke at his expense.  But being a polite sort of creature, he did not mention his suspicions to the squirrel.

The cat sauntered outside one day after his mistress had just finished brushing him.  He always enjoyed a good brushing and looked absolutely glamorous.  So when he saw the squirrel hastening by, he couldn’t help comparing his appearance to that of his friend’s.

“My goodness,” the cat thought to himself.  “My poor friend is looking rather shabby.  His coat has got little parts of plants stuck to it.  He really should take better care of himself.”

Well the squirrel, pre-occupied with the necessities of gathering food, had little time to try to look chic.  In fact, the concept never even crossed his mind.  He was totally focused on his mission of surviving.

Things went along in this way for quite some time until something unexpected happened.  One morning when the cat went into the kitchen to get his breakfast there was nothing in his dish.

He went into his mistress’ room to find out why there was a delay but when he jumped up on her bed he found only her lifeless body.  He began meowing as loudly as he could, hoping this would revive her.  But nothing he did could bring her back to this world.

So the cat jumped through the open window of the garden apartment and happened to see his friend the squirrel engaged, as usual, in looking for his own breakfast.  The cat couldn’t help but notice that the squirrel, while still sporting the vestiges of plant parts all over his fur, was quite plump and seemed to be doing an excellent job of providing his own food.  By contrast, the cat’s stomach began to growl and he was feeling a little faint.

The squirrel greeted the cat as he raced by.  He had just spotted what appeared to be a very choice acorn.  And the cat began to wonder what he would do for food since his mistress was no longer there to set out his meals.

Suddenly, it occurred to the cat that his pampered life was over and he would need to fend for himself.  The thought of that sent a terrible shiver down his spine.  And he began to think how fortunate the squirrel was that he had enough to eat.

When the squirrel came back with his acorn and began to munch on it, the cat, in a moment of self pity said to him, “My friend.  All the time I’ve known you, I have always thought how fortunate I was that I didn’t have to do anything and yet my food magically appeared.  In honesty, I looked down on your abject need to have to provide for yourself.  But now things have changed, and I must admit that I envy you.  You are, indeed a lucky creature.”

To this, the squirrel made a reply which is the moral of our story:

“There’s something I’ve noticed in going through life.  It seems as though the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

AND THE AWARD GOES TO …

Hillary Rodham Clinton has had an interesting career – to put it mildly.

She is an attorney; an inexperienced but highly successful commodities trader; the former first lady of the State of Arkansas and of these United States; the first female partner in the Rose Law Firm – the firm of choice for the rich and powerful in her adopted state (the first one); a key player in the Whitewater Scandal that absorbed the nation’s attention for over two years; a partner in an unusually “open” marriage; a United States Senator elected from her adopted state (the second one); our 67th Secretary of State; and now … my nominee for “The Best Actress In A Leading Role” for her testimony regarding the “Benghazi Affair” delivered to the Senate.

With a dossier that is extensive as Secretary of State Clinton’s it is hard to know where to begin in reviewing her career.

It shows remarkable, innate talent on Ms.Clinton’s part to have given the emotional performance that she delivered in front of the Simpy Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week while essentially avoiding answering the questions that were put to her.  Rather than respond with facts, Ms. Clinton launched her own assault on those who were questioning her – overflowing with “emotion” as she talked about standing next to the caskets of those who had been murdered by Muslim “extremists” in Libya.

During her testimony she also pointed out to her Republican critics that it was not only Libya but that there were at least twenty countries around the globe where American diplomats and embassies were at great risk.  That was perhaps the most honest part of the testimony which she delivered.  Perhaps that was what prompted Senator Dick “Duh” Durbin of Illinois to comment,

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has done an extraordinary job for this country. It’ll be recognized by history. This was one of her finer moments.”

Sadly, Senator Durbin’s statement might have been one of the most insightful of his rather inglorious career.  The only small emendation I would like to make would be the small matter of a preposition in the first line of that comment.  My revision would change that line to read, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has done an extraordinary job on this country.”

Let’s return briefly to the Secretary’s remark about the danger our men and women in the foreign service face around the world.  As the present administration, which claimed that it would be the most transparent in history has proven continuously to be the polar opposite, it is unusual to have one of its members be so forthright by making this kind of statement – and it gives us an unexpected opportunity to gain an understanding of our government’s thinking and foreign policy.

What is it, if anything, that these twenty hot spots have in common?  Well, for those of you who lived through 9/11 (the first one), it should come as no surprise that virtually all of these foreign lands are run by governments where sharia Muslim law is the law of their land and jihad is their political message.

So having been forthcoming in her analysis of what is going on globally, how did Secretary Clinton’s Department of State explain the Benghazi massacre?  Did they place the blame on extremists whose goal is to bring down America?  No.  It squarely faulted an “insulting film made by an American Coptic Christian” and publicly maintained that position for at least a week after the facts were known.

Have you heard anyone, whether in the State Department, the Congress or the White House with the guts to speak out against those in the Muslim world of jihad and say, “America will not tolerate your abrogation either of our laws or of international law and you will be rooted out and destroyed if you attack any of our embassies or our personnel?”

Secretary Clinton (along with many of her European colleagues) has maintained a position (our official position) of being an apologist when the “rights of Muslims” are purportedly infringed.  Protecting our citizens’ ability to practice their religious convictions freely is an essential part of the American Constitution – and one not accorded to non-believers in the countries to which the Secretary made reference.

The performance to which the Senators and the nation were treated by the Secretary was nothing short of astounding.  Perhaps the senior Senator from Illinois’ comment,  “It’ll be recognized by history. This was one of her finer moments”  will ring true.

But coming off a baseline of a career filled with deception, half truths, intrigue and unmitigated dishonesty, doesn’t America deserve better?

AN ELECTION DAY FABLE

Once upon a time in the old West there was a prospector who had discovered a very substantial gold mine.  It was about a half mile from the base of a steep mountain on the top of which he had built a little home for his wife and himself.

Day after day the prospector worked his claim.  And each night he filled his donkey’s two saddle bags with the ore that he had mined and sent the animal up the mountain ahead of him while he covered up the mine’s entrance so that no one would discover it.

One day he had found a particularly rich vein of gold and so the donkey’s saddle bags were fuller and heavier than usual.  And when the donkey began his trek, he began to resent the fact that for all the labor he had to provide, all he received was his food and an occasional pat on the head.

“I am the most unfortunate of creatures,” he brayed as he began to head for the base of the mountain.

“My owner does not really care for me but merely uses me without ever giving me a day’s rest.  Why was I born into such an unhappy lot?”

As it happened on his journey to the mountain, he encountered a bull who was wandering about, looking for stray cows with whom he might be amorous.  After a particularly heavy meal, the bull was relieving himself when the donkey came upon him.  He had deposited quite a few “patties” directly in front of the entrance up the slope in which the donkey would have to step so that he might begin his upward trek.  The donkey, already in a bad mood from his heavy burden, thought this was the final insult – and so he yelled at the bull.

“Why, sir did you have to drop your leavings there?  They are directly in the way of my access to the mountain which I must climb to return home.  That is most rude and uncivilized of you, if I say so myself.”

Now the bull was a very amiable chap and so he took no umbrage at the donkey’s remarks, noticing how his back was buckling under the heavy load he bore.  In fact he felt sorry for this poor creature, and being the sort who liked to help out where he could, he shared a secret with the donkey.  He was a magical bull – or more correctly – his “patties” had a magical quality to them.

So the bull turned to the donkey and said, “My good fellow, you are in great good luck.  I see the burden that you bear and I can help you so that you do not have to endure the hard trek up the mountain.  My “patties” allow any creature that steps in them to defy gravity and to be able to float to any destination of their choosing without expending any effort at all.”

Well, the donkey who was not very long on intelligence welcomed this announcement with a great deal of gusto.  He thought to himself, “Just imagine not having to trek the two miles up the steep mountain.  That sounds good to me.”  And since he had to go through the “patty patch” anyway, he thought he would jump into it with all four hooves – which he did.

“Now that I have your magical residue on my feet,” he asked the bull, “what do I do?”

The bull said, “Just think about going home and you will go there.”

So the donkey thought about going home and no sooner had the thought entered his mind, he began floating off the ground, rising higher and higher.  He was elated that at least this day, his journey would be an easy one and he brayed his thanks to the bull who was getting smaller by the second.

Well all this braying caught the attention of several Paiutes who were out hoping to bag an elk with their carbines.  You can imagine their surprise at seeing a flying donkey and were quite sure that this was a sign that the Great Spirit was angry with them.  So in fear, they took aim at the donkey and shot him.

With the pain from his wounds overwhelming him, the donkey took his mind off his destination and addressed himself to thinking about his torment, which caused him to fall even more rapidly than he had risen until he encountered the ground with a thud and was killed.

Moral:  If you rise to the top on B*ll Sh*t you’re going to get shot down.  (Or so one can hope).

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