Monthly Archives: September 2015

Refugee Impasse

©2015 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee   [caption id="attachment_3512" align="alignnone" width="640"]Refugee Impasse: Desperate Syrians at the Turkish border Refugee Impasse: Desperate Syrians at the Turkish border[/caption]    

The Refugee Impasse: A Lack of Humanity

  The lack of humanity in the Syrian refugee impasse  is failing not only the refugees, but all of civilizaton.   The  appalling clash of circumstance the global community has allowed to fester is unacceptable to any reasonable observer.  Let's be frank and very, very clear about that, being a kind and long-time observer of humanity  I do not like or accept what is taking place—nor should anyone like or accept  the status quo of the refugee impasse.  

"Stories emerging and images of the growing refugee impasse, incidents of abuse of helpless families and individuals  are disturbing, disgusting and inhumane."


A futile Escape —to Another Prison?

Syrian refugees are desperately attempting to escape civil war, bombs,  death,  ISIS fanatics, and the resulting impossible living and economic  circumstance.  Thousands are risking their lives crossing the sea toward Europe--and walking hundreds of kilometers —in a desperate, futile bid for life. They have no support, no food, or water. No shelter from inclement conditions whether they are man, woman, child or infant. They are being blocked, delayed, and abused and sometimes fed like animals by uncaring officials,  border guards, police, and upset, scared  populations, jurisdictions both unable and afraid to shoulder the incredible  cultural responsibility and cost  of taking them in —or even  allowing them to simply pass across their territory northward into Europe. This unprecedented  refugee impasse grows worse by the day.  Hungary closed, flee to Croatia, closed,  then on to other escape routes that may end up in buses or trains —deviously scheduled to go back to Hungary. We must ask if  these innocent people  are caught in a futile escape trap,and will end up hauled to a different sort of prison.. A seemingly forever refugee camp. Somewhere If they are lucky to survive dangerous water crossings and other challenges. The news and images of the growing refugee impasse, incidents of abuse of helpless families and individuals  are disturbing, disgusting and inhumane.  

What is the Real Problem?

Europeans are overwhelmed by the prospect of such a huge commitment and are building fences of fear. Economic refugee overload has  taken place so rapidly, borders have now  been  tightened to choke off the influx of desperate Syrians. The unknown.  People of a different culture and religion.  Which is the weightier  problem, inhumane fences of razor wire, pepper spray and riot control-equipped police battling an influx of the poor, or the global perception of Islam?   Brutal incidents have flooded the media, flashing around the world in shocked airwaves. The body of a young child tragically found drowned  on a beach both enraged and  temporarily touched collective hearts. For a few days.     Doors and travel corridors are now being slammed shut.  European Union countries are embattled in disagreements for quotas of refugees.  North America is reluctant to accept more than a dribble of refugees, citing security issues.  Rich Arab countries are reportedly not accepting refugees If not rich Arab nations, who? And why?  Questions must be asked. Uncomfortable questions.       Is it the immediate cost involved, the long-term obligation required, racism,  ignorance, apathy,  or is the worrisome shadow of Islam a root problem?  You get to decide.  In fact, we all get to decide,  and if nations fail to act, we  all get to  hang our heads in shame.  

The Time is Now

Regardless of individual and collective opinions, allegations of racism, or political convenience,  civilization must do more.  Human decency demands immediate solutions. Food, shelter and security is required for these people now,  not tomorrow, not after big important meetings  next week, not next month, or next year.  There can be no excuses.  Think about it.  


    Is that Incoming I hear?        
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Life: Fall Fairs

© 2015 by  Raymond Alexander Kukkee   [caption id="attachment_3492" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Hymers Fall Fair Hymers Fall Fair[/caption]    

Idyllic Fall Fairs are Upon Us

    The haze of blue smoke lazily curls into the air wafting the smell of barbecued sausage all the way to the parking lot, a trimmed, elderly hay field.  We know instantly that hot dogs and fries beckon from across the way. The Hymers Fall fairs is upon us.  Friendly  smiles from waving parking attendants,  Park here. Children run. The once-a-year exhilaration of September fall fairs smells good. Hot dogs, burgers,  baked potatoes, food of every description is offered at every turn from small tents and  shack-like venues set up almost in  lines.   Pleasant, orderly  customers eagerly hand over cash for ice cream, onion rings and other delicious creations,  fresh organic garden produce,  There are always beautiful people pushing baby-buggies,  with kids the next size up racing about fall fairs, laughing and pointing and rediscovering the familiar, but always exciting.


Discoveries to be Made

Old, once-retired engines from the previous century puff away like small, sleepy cast-iron dinosaurs burping and blinking in the sunlight. Noisy buggers, aren't they, but highly efficient, those antique hit and miss motors.   Demonstrably  pumping water, functioning, some almost hopping about on the ground, strutting their original stuff in bright coats of red, orange, and green paint. See, people, we’re still relevant, we might be old, but we still work.   Back-breakers, those ancient, clunky chain saws.  A tractor from yesteryear  with 4”long pointed cleats on all four steel wheels. True 4x4.  My grandfather had one exactly the same model.  I have a picture somewhere.   The smell of  forge coal burning,  a blacksmith demonstrates how red-hot steel can be easily shaped.  Sparks fly, and the anvil rings.   Stifling hot and humid, clouds coming and going, threatening rain, where’s your umbrella? Hot isn’t it? You didn't bring an umbrella? Hope it doesn’t rain. Your oats ripe yet? How'd the garden do?  Pretty dry this year.   Old geezers smile and nod, farmers all —the once-a-year jawing session.   The threat of rain makes no difference to small boys grinning and pushing the entertaining 2-kid tippy car-spring ride to their limits, monkey bars climbers,  or bold, shaky would-be 3-ring circus stilt-walkers stumbling  precariously about in the children's playground. Bang a spike, pay two bucks, fastest time wins. Hit the nail on the head. Pups of all descriptions and sizes on leashes pant away in the shade, dreaming of a visit to the free dog-watering station.  Smiling politicians shake hands with passers-by,  handing out buttons, pamphlets, squinting into the sun and sweating with election fever hotter than this unusually hot September day.   Weather makes no difference to elegant, dressage-coiffed teen riders in meticulous English riding habits.  Black-hatted equine competitors  concentrate on their braided, silky steeds and  steer the horses around  course obstacles , challenging pole barriers set increasingly higher, fences standing between them and first prize of $250.00. Wow. We pause to watch. There is nothing as graceful as a well-trained jumper.   The green, wet turf grass is soft from an overnight drenching in the white-plank fenced arena, but hearts and hoofs are pounding, eliminations are announced and the bars are raised; poles fall, you're out.   The winners smile, proudly riding around the perimeter in victory.   The smell of elephant ears with cinnamon and coffee next door lures folks down from the bleachers.  Ogo-Pogos, you know the kind, a blanketed hot-dog-on-a-stick. With mustard. Want fries with that, sir? Corn-on-the-cob with butter, salt and pepper. Deep-fried everything with ketchup, salt and vinegar. Soda pop. Coffee.   Fair-goers of all ages and entertainment at its finest. Skills proudly displayed. Artisans, ceramics, paintings,  demonstrations.  Want to learn how to weave,  spin wool, or carve?  Pause and watch. There's much that can be learned.   Clapping. Music on the main stage, singers rattling off tunes performed by the greats. Agricultural and crafts, knitting, sewing, painting, kid-art displays, competitive carrots, beets, garlic, pumpkins, potatoes, five on a plate, baking, apple pies, cookies, jams, jellies, apples and preserves. First prize, ribbons red.  Prize stock.  So many varieties of  clucking chickens, preening pigeons, quacking ducks, gobbling turkeys, then it's hogs, bunnies, goats, sheep and cattle. We see them as winners all.

The Hymers Agricultural Fall Fair was founded in 1912 and runs through the Labour Day weekend every year. This one was the 103rd year of fun and merriment.  The same people come back every year. New visitors promise to return. Every year. It's a tradition.

Apparently fall fairs can’t be  bad —regardless of the weather. See you again next year...

  # Is that Incoming I hear?  
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