About Briseadh na Faire

I am what I am.

The Watering Hole: 2/10/16: Daylight Slavings Time

In a disparate bid to stay relevant, GOP hopeful and Goodyear Blimp wannabe Governor Chris Christie announced a plan to change time. Not 1985 DeLorean change time, but a way his State will change the way time is measured.

Beginning with the onset of Daylight Savings Time, New Jersey will switch to a 10-hour day. That is, each 24 hour day will be divided into ten one-hour units. Each hour will consist of 100 minutes, and each minute will have 100 seconds.

“It’s a much easier way to keep track of time” the governor said, noting that with the ten-hour day, no one would have to count to twelve, or divide by sixty. “I mean, think about it. A quarter of a dollar equals 25 cents, but a quarter of an hour only equals 15 minutes? That’s nuts.”

The governor went on to explain that the change in measuring time will in no way affect the American worker. “An 8 hour day will still be an 8 hour day. And workers will still be entitled to overtime after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week.”

When front-runner Donald Trump heard of Christie’s plan, he immediately jumped on the bandwagon, vowing to make weeks only 5 days long.

OPEN THREAD.

Have at it.

 

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, 02/03/2016: New ObamaCare Law Takes Effect in 2016

A little known provision of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare as it is more popularly called, took effect on January 1, 2016. This provision puts breastmilk under the auspices of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA, working under a total media blackout, rolled out the implementation of this aspect of ObamaCare earlier this month.

Under the newly implemented provisions of ObamaCare, all mothers who indicate they plan to nurse their newborns must register with the federal government. Following registration, they are required to submit samples of their breastmilk for testing on a weekly basis. Their milk will be tested for drugs, alcohol and the presence of garlic.

A positive test for illicit drugs will result in a warrant for the mother’s arrest. A positive test for alcohol will result in a referral to child protective services. If the mother’s breastmilk tests positive for the presence of garlic, a government breastmilk taste tester will be assigned to visit the mother and taste-test her milk. The mother will not be allowed to use a breast pump or otherwise express her milk for the breastmilk taste tester as exposing the breastmilk to air affects its taste.

Mothers whose milk tastes positive for garlic will be issued a warning. Subsequent violations will result in a court-order enjoining them from breast feeding until at least two successive garlic-free tests. Refusal to submit to the taste-test is punishable with a $500 fine and a ban on nursing until consent to submit to the taste test is granted.

Government records regarding the implementation of this aspect of ObamaCare remain sealed. It is impossible to tell how many nursing mothers have been arrested or have had their newborns taken away by child protective services as a result of this new law.

Likewise, the government is silent as to how often it has sent out its breastmilk taste testers. However, a spokesperson for the FDA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assured that the taste testers have all undergone a rigorous 6-month training program to learn proper suckling techniques as well as to distinguish between the presence of garlic as compared to onion or other herbs or spices in breastmilk.

This is our OPEN THREAD. Feel free to comment on this, or any other outrage you can think of.

 

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, January 27, 2016

White Pebbles
A modern parable
By
Briseadh na Faire

 

Once upon a time, there was a people who lived on an island with black sand beaches. The sand was black, the pebbles washed in the sand and smoothed by the sighing waves of the ocean were black. But, ever so rarely, a white pebble could be found.

So rare were the white pebbles they were highly valued, and even used in trade amongst the peoples.

Now there lived a young man who devoted all his time to scouring the beaches, looking for white pebbles. After many years, he amassed a basket full, and was considered the wealthiest man on the island.

But he wanted more. Because he spent all his time alone on the beaches gathering pebbles, he had no friends. Because he hoarded his white pebbles, he wasn’t well liked. He wanted to go to a new island, where no one knew him, where people would be impressed by his wealth and like him.

And so he placed his basket in a small boat along with some provisions and set sail. After a few days, his provisions ran low, but he spied another island on the horizon. He immediately set course for the new island.

And ere long, he set foot ashore on a white sand beach. The sand was white, the pebbles were white. But, ever so rarely, a black pebble could be seen.

There, on this new island, black pebbles were so rare they were a valuable commodity. The man’s white pebbles were worthless, and he had to spend many months combing the beaches for black pebbles enough to buy provisions to get back home.

© 2016 Briseadh na Faire

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole. 1/20/16.

The Traveler and the Disciple

a modern parable

by

Briseadh na Faire

 

On an ice-blue winter’s morn a long-journeyed traveler strode into a quiet village. Grownups, both proud and humble kept to their paces, bustling about in preparation for the coming holiday. But a young girl, on the cusp of womanhood bounded up to the stranger.

“Hi,” she sparkled.

“Hello” the Traveler returned.

“You’re not from around here” the girl observed.

“I have traveled from afar.” The Traveler paused, looking about. Snow covered much of the streets, and dripped slowly from thatched roofs creating diamond icicles reaching nearly to the ground. The winter sun was warm enough, however, to cause wisps of steam to float above the rooftops. The Traveler pulled back the hood of his forest-green cloak revealing his white hair and sky-blue eyes.

“Are you a Disciple?” The girl casually flicked back a lock of golden hair.

The Traveler paused. He looked at the girl, and at the townspeople who averted his glances. Then he sat down on the stone bench by a frozen fountain. He invited the girl to sit next to him. “What do you hope to learn by asking me if I am a Disciple?”

She squinted her eyes. That was not the answer she expected. She expected a yes, or a no.

“You’re not a Disciple,” she concluded.

“Why do you say that?” The Traveler looked into her eyes.

“Because…if you were a disciple you would have said so right away.”

“And so” the Traveler interjected, “you have judged me?”

The girl sat straight up. This stranger knew some of the words. But still, he didn’t come right out and confess that he was a Disciple.

“You asked if I was a Disciple so you could judge me.” the Traveler continued. The little girl felt her cheeks burn.

“If I said yes” the Traveler continued, “you would have accepted me. But if I said no…”

“Then…” the girl stammered, “then I would know you did not accept our Lord…” She paused, fidgeting. “…that you followed the Deceiver.”

The Traveler leaned on his birch staff and stood, looking to the east where a lone eagle circled against the cerulean sky. “I have heard of this Deceiver.” His back was to the girl. He slowly turned around. “But…”

The girl waited uncomfortably.

“But, if I followed the Deceiver, wouldn’t I have answered ‘yes,’ that I was a Disciple?” The Traveler’s eyes locked onto the girl’s eyes. She felt like he was peering into her very soul.

She thought about what this stranger said. It was true. The Deceiver would lie, about everything. She looked around. On the fringes of the village square she saw townspeople – the grown-ups that had taught her the words to ask – how to tell if one was to be accepted as a friend, a Disciple, and to shun all who didn’t say the right words. But this stranger, this man who didn’t say all the right words, but who knew some of the right words and seemed to know truths her elders never taught her – her head was swimming…

“You asked me if I was a Disciple so you could either accept me as a friend, or not have anything to do with me,” the Traveler sat back down next to the girl.

Get out of my head!” the girl thought. “You can’t know what I was thinking!” She cupped her hands over her ears burning ears.

The Traveler reached down and took her chin, directing her gaze into his eyes. “It’s alright. You were only doing as you have been taught.” His kind gaze relaxed her and she lowered her hands.

“If believers and deceivers both answer the same way…how do I tell the difference?” The girl’s eyes welled up with tears.

“The only way anyone can tell,” the Traveler replied, “by what they do, not by what they say.”

“I have travelled far,” the Traveler continued, “and have heard of this Lord of yours. I hear he is kind and gentle and wise. But not all have heard of him. When you ask a man who does not know what it means to you to be a Disciple, he will know that his answer will mean you won’t accept him for who he is.” The shadow of the eagle flitted over the Traveler as the great bird circled overhead.

“Tell me, does your Lord demand everyone be a Disciple?” The Traveler asked, standing and extending his left arm.

“N-n-no,” she stammered, “He leaves that choice to everyone. But the elders…”

The eagle swooped down and silently lit on the Traveler’s outstretched arm.

“Wow!” the girl’s eyes opened wide. “Is he your pet?”

“No. He’s more of a companion.”

The townspeople about the square stopped bustling about and gathered in small groups, talking in hushed tones and pointing at the stranger by the fountain.

“You were about to tell me about the elders?”

“They taught me to ask everyone if they are a Disciple. They taught me to stay away from anyone who didn’t confess they were a Disciple of my Lord. They taught me that everyone who is not a Disciple follows the Deceiver – they lie and are not to be trusted.”

The girl paused and frowned. “And you never answered my question.” She folded her arms.

“Ah, but I did. I just didn’t give you the answer you expected.” The eagle spread its wings and lifted itself effortlessly into the air. “That is true,” the girl thought.

“The sun, does it shine only on Disciples?” The Traveler took a couple of steps to the east.

“It shines on everyone.” She answered.

“Disciples, and those who are not Disciples?” His back was to the girl. But the townspeople to the east of the square suddenly broke their little groups and scurried into the nearest shops.

The girl got up from the stone bench and walked over to the Traveler. “Everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you believe. The sun is the sun. It shines on everyone.”

“And your Lord, is he not like the sun?” The eagle cried overhead.

“What do you mean?” Behind her, the townspeople started moving into the square.

“Well, this is his square, is it not?”

“Yes.”

The Traveler kneeled on one knee so his face was even with the girl’s. “Is it only for Disciples? Or may anyone gather here.”

“Anyone may gather here.” She paused a moment, thinking. Then she walked over to the fountain. “Anyone may drink of this fountain. Anyone may walk the streets.” She turned and faced the Traveler. “My Lord didn’t exclude anyone.” Then she looked at the growing crowd of townspeople. She backed up to the Traveler.

“But not everyone is welcome in the shops of the elders.” She turned and faced the Traveler, tears welling in her eyes. The townspeople halted in the snow. The little girl through her arms around the Traveler, sobbing onto the shoulder of his green cloak. A woman in fine clothes began pushing her way forward from the back of the crowd.

The elders….they’re not Disciples” the girl whispered into the Traveler’s ear. “I know” he whispered back. The Traveler gently placed his hands on the girl’s shoulders, holding her at arm’s length. He spoke softly, so that the townspeople could not hear. “You won’t have to ask that question anymore. You’ll know what’s in their hearts without asking. And what’s in their hearts is more important than whether one calls themselves a Disciple.” She nodded, wiping the last of her tears with her sleeve.

The woman broke through the crowd and grabbed the girl by the arm. “Come along, daughter!” she commanded.

“You’re not my mother!” screamed the girl, wresting her arm away. “You stole me from my mother when I was a baby!” The townspeople began muttering in hushed tones. In the shadows between shops, a woman in rags, long shunned by the townspeople, began crying.

“She’s my mother!” the girl proclaimed, pointing at the woman in rags. The woman stood, stretching out her arms even though she was still crying. The eagle overhead cried out, too. The girl ran to her mother, leaving behind the woman in fine clothes. The muttering in the crowd grew louder.

Suddenly there was a crack! as the ice in the fountain broke loose, spraying diamond-crystals and mists of freezing water every which way. The group of townspeople turned towards the fountain, and where the Traveler had stood, but the Traveler was nowhere to be seen.

“I love you, mother” the girl whispered in her mother’s ear.

“I love you, too.” The mother replied, as the woman in fine clothes grabbed the daughter’s arms and wrenched her away.

What’s in their hearts is more important than whether they call themselves a Disciple.’ Those words echoed in the girl’s ears as the woman in fine clothes pulled her down the town’s streets to the house where they lived. She vowed to herself that she would never again ask anyone if they were a Disciple. And to her dying day, she never did. But she did share what that stranger taught her by the fountain that one ice-blue winter’s morn.

© 2016 Briseadh na Faire

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, January1, 2016: I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I’m running for President, Part VII

I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I’m running for President. Here are a few of my positions on issues important to the American People today. Between now and November 2016, I will post additional policy and platform statements.

Today’s topic du jour: State of the Union – yeah, right.

I know, I know. By the time you read this, Obama will have given his last State of the Union Address as President of the United States, blah, blah, blah. He will have put a positive spin on all things Obama, all things black, all things from Kenya. And Fox “News” will have unleashed a barrage showing exactly how incompetent and impotent the Reign of Obama has been, replete with quotes from every Republican candidate from Palin to Trump. (FYI, Palin has never, I repeat never stopped running for President of these here United States.)

The penultimate question is, and always will be: “are you better off now than you were before Obama became President?”

The only possible answer is a resounding “NO!!!”

Before Obama became President, we had hope. Hope for change. Hope for a future better than that of our parents. Now, as we approach the end of his eight-year reign as our supreme leader, we are that much older, that much wiser.

We’re still at war in the middle east – only the name of our enemy has changed from Saddam and Al Qaeda and the Taliban to ISIS or ISIL and Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We’re fighting in Syria now, and Iran is still an open question. Iraq? Forget it. It’s a lost cause. As is Afghanistan. Maybe the oil pipeline is safe, but for sure their heroin production is hitting all-time highs (no pun intended).

Ok, so how about here at home? You feel the boost in the economy from the bazillions in bailout money given to the same banksters that robbed us? Neither did I. Nor anyone else making less than, say, a million a year.

Let’s face it, the only thing we got from eight years of Obama was ObamaCare. Republicans can’t repeal it. The Supreme Court didn’t overturn it. We’re stuck with it. It’s a massive gift to the insurance industry, which wrote much of it. But is it Universal Health Care? No. Medicare for all? No. Just another way for insurance companies to skim their profits off of our health care dollars without improving our health care at all. I know, Republicans created this Boogey Monster of “Government Death Panels” and all. But the reality is that private health insurance companies do that every day, every time they deny a claim, deny a treatment recommended by your doctor, to maximize their profits.

Don’t get me wrong. Obama has done some good.  He refused to prosecute Bush and company for war crimes and crimes against humanity. God knows he had enough evidence in the public record to convict at least some of the previous administration. But by not prosecuting his predecessors he let the whole world know that the United States of America will act with impunity when it comes to invading countries under false pretexts for the sole purpose of changing their government; that we will torture people with impunity; that we will kidnap people, and hold them in prison forever, without charges, without due process, because we are, above all things, a Nation of Laws, a Nation of Freedom, a Nation of Liberty. Which is why, of course, terrorists hate us.

So, come 2016, vote Briseadh na Faire for President. I’m the only candidate for President who knows what’s best for America; the only candidate who acknowledges up front that I will break each and every one of my campaign promises, and, when I do, you won’t be disappointed!

I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I approve this message.

[BriseadhNaFaireforPresidentisnotaffiliatedwithanyPolitcalActionCommitteenorhas receivedtheendorcementofTPZoonoranyotherindividualbusinessnonprofitorganizationorgod.]

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, 1/6/16

According to his ad, a President Trump will openly discriminate against a group of people solely based on their religion; will force an ally to build a wall, and pay for it, to keep Mexicans from crossing the border for economic gain, regardless of its affect on American Agribusiness; and will invade any sovereign country where ISIS is and plunder the natural resources (oil) of that country.

These acts will “make America great again” according to Trump.

If by “great” he means our government will officially discriminate against a class of people based on their religion, he is correct. In this case, our greatness will rely on abandoning that portion of the First Amendment that states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Yet millions of Christians support this notion of greatness that discriminates against Muslims.

People seem to be inherently inclined to discriminate against people below them on the socio-economic ladder. Keeping migrant farmworkers from crossing the U.S.-Mexican border is another message of “greatness” that resonates with Trump’s supporters.

However, those States that enacted laws designed to crack down on Mexicans saw their crops rot in the fields. So, if Trump builds a wall, the Mexican government ought to think seriously about tripling its land under cultivation. Their farmworkers will have work, and Mexico’s agribusiness can make a killing selling produce to America because America won’t have enough farmworkers anymore.

Trump’s commercial, however, depicts dozens of people running towards a wall – in Morocco. So apparently Trump wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Morocco and have Mexico pay for it. Or maybe he wants to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and have Morocco pay for it. Who knows? And who, among his supporters, cares?

And the third prong to “greatness” – take out ISIS and take their oil. We tried that with Iraq, not that Trump supporters remember anymore. We took out that evil leader, Saddam Hussein. We were supposed to take Iraq’s oil, too. The war was going to pay for itself. Only it didn’t. Now the working class owes the ruling class over $1 trillion and counting.

Trump’s idea of “greatness” is rooted in religious and racial intolerance, and war.

But there is a polar opposite to Trump. He’s running for president, too. But he doesn’t get nearly the same media play. Yet his message, too, is resonating with Evangelical ChristiansYet his message, too, is resonating with Evangelical Christians:

When I was watching Bernie Sanders talk at Liberty University, I was just really shocked, and something kind of magical happened for me, because as I watched that guy stand up on that stage, here’s what I saw. I saw a wild-haired Jew crying out in a hoarse voice, in a very forceful and forth-speaking way, he was convicting the Christian leaders and religious leaders in that University and calling us out for being complicit in the abandonment of those who suffer: “The least of these.” And siding with the powerful and the rich and the masters of this world. And he was convicting us, and calling us out. And we scorned him, and we stared him down, and with sour faces we thought, “Who is this whacko? And why do all these people seem to follow him, seem to like him? This wild-haired Jew, crying out from the wilderness of the political Left, in his hoarse voice?”

And if you’re an Evangelical listening to me today, you already know where I’m going with this. When I heard Bernie speaking in that way, when I saw that guy on stage at Liberty University, I saw John the Baptist. I saw the wild-haired, roughly-clothed John the Baptist, eating honey and wearing camel’s hair, and crying out to the religious leaders, the Pharisees of his day, calling them corrupt and complicit with those who have all the power and all the money and all the wealth, and for abandoning the people that God loves, that God cares about.

So, if the battle for President comes down to a choice between Sanders or Trump, it will be between a wild-haired Jew who espouses the teachings of Christ and a comb-over Christian who espouses religious and racial intolerance and war.

Current polls show that in such a match-up, the wild-haired Jew wins, hands down.

OPEN THREAD

Breaking Gnus: Obama sends Marines to Liberate Federal Building Taken Over by Unlawful Alien Enemy Combatants.

The Zoo has learned that President Obama issued a command to the 1st Marine Corps to recapture a Federal Building over-run by enemy combatants. The combatants, 150 or so, are presumed to be heavily armed and claim to be sovereign citizens, not citizens of the United States.

Under the broad mandate given him by Congress’ Authorization to Use Military Force against all who take up arms against the United States, President Obama has declared these invaders to be unlawful alien enemy combatants. The survivors of the impending Marine assault will be rounded up and incarcerated in Guantanamo. It is unlikely that charges will ever be filed, meaning they will remain in Guantanamo for the rest of their lives with no right to a hearing or trial.