Sunday, December 11, 2016

When SS Doesn't Work

The GOP Conmen are doing to Social Security what they've already done, in large part, to American Public Education - impoverish it.

And then shout at the top of their itty bitty lungs, "Social Security is bankrupting America. And besides that, it won't work much longer."

After beating their "We're so poor" drum, they'll offer in place of SS a shoddy investment plan which will:

1) Always benefit those who own the instruments of investment.
2) Benefit even some of the investors.
3) Leaving most of America all the poorer.

America, you're being duped.

And most pitiable of all, the Evangelicals, who've not only been duped, but have convinced themselves that the con game is God's will.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

America's Warrior Class

We have a warrior class in America. 1) In part, because it's in our DNA, and some have it in spades. 2) Southern Culture has curried a notion of honor found in war. 3) Large segments of the Christian Church have exchanged the Prince of Peace for the Dogs of War. 4) Accentuated now by the lack of a draft, and sustained by walls of secrecy and distance from the day-to-day experience of society. 5) Perhaps even aided and abetted by video games. 6) That for many a young woman or man, the military life is an escape from poverty, a means of education, and, for some, a pathway to citizenship. Poverty is a function of maintaining a recruitment pool.

Given all of this, I get the feeling that some in America are spoiling for war, and have done so for some time now.

In reading about WW1, the war that should never have been, the nations involved had talked tough for so long, had rattled sabers and spoken of honor, had even sought peace, until everyone was exhausted, and going to war was the easiest option of all. Having teetered on the edge for so long, it was now easier just to fall off.

There is a portion of any given society which loves war - "the smell of napalm in the morning." They talk tough, they speak endlessly of national and personal honor, they believe in might, they long for the adventure, they believe that violence is always a viable solution for peace.

Given the right conditions, if such people assume responsibility for a nation, the prospects of war increase significantly. And, sadly, all across Europe, when the drums of war were pounding, there was found the Christian Church prompting the soldiers with thoughts of heavenly glory and the will of god, confusing the Father of Glory with the glorious Fatherland.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Telling lies seems to be in season.

The city of Santa Anna is drawing up a proposal to become a sanctuary city.

An opponent of the proposal said:
"We know that most illegals are criminals who come here to exploit the United States."

This is a lie.
We all know it.
Stats make it clear.
The evidenced is in.

Hats off to Santa Anna and other sanctuary cities.
Hats off to people who tell the truth.
Who embrace kindness and mercy and intelligence and reason.
Folks who see the world in the light of reality and facts.

And boo bad to the man or woman who tells the lie.
And double boo bad to those who believe them.
Because the lies coincide with fear and suspicion.
And let's face it, the lies also correspond to prejudice.

Are there criminals amongst the illegals?
But not most, hardly any.
So, no more lies on this point.

Folks come here to work.
To find life for their families.
To find a future.
To live a dream.

Let's support them.
Let's help them.
Let love be the norm.
Not the lie.

Let the truth be told.
And let the truth set us free.
Free from the lies.
And free to be responsible human beings.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Voting for My Granddaughter

My granddaughter will be four tomorrow.
Election Day.
So I’ll cast my vote on her behalf.
And maybe just maybe, 
I can give her a good world.
Her gender is welcomed and celebrated, without question.
Her salary will be equal to what others make in all regards.
Her color won’t be a question.
Universal Health Care will be hers.
Along with all her choices for health care.
And adequate social safety nets in place for the unforeseen.
Where global warming is seriously considered.
Where scientists are respected.
Where knowledge is honored.
Just a few things
For which I am voting, on a mighty important day:
My granddaughter’s birthday, and the day of our Election.
So, now ya’ know.
How I’ll cast my vote.
All the way, for my granddaughter.
And for the women of the world.
And for all the girls and all the children.
A President who’ll make a better world for all of them.
And lest there be a question.
Let there be no doubt … for me, and for America:
Welcome - to a leader; welcome Madame President!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Immigrants, Talent, Future

Reading a novel about Berlin, 1939, and the shadow of hatred darkening the landscape of the nation, draping everyone in a curtain of fear and suspicion, with the doors and windows of life slowly closing on the Jew, and being locked.

The author, Jane Thynne, The Pursuit of Pearls, captures the insanity of it all - the plodding, determined, logical, reasonable insanity of the Nazis to refine the race and purify the nation, ridding themselves of anyone and everything that stained their collective sense of racial greatness.

It occurred to me, while reading, all the lost talent ... not that life and people is all about talent, as if human beings were simply a commodity to be traded upon.

But talent it is of which I'm thinking - the artist and the poet, the physician and the philosopher, the seamstress and the jeweler, the chef and the athlete, the writer and the musician, the comedian and the architect, and so much more - all of it lost to the ages, because of some insane desire to protect the nation from impurity.

In the hideous gas chambers of Hitler's regime, what inestimable treasure was lost - the children who once knew laughter, the families and the Sunday afternoon outing at the park, the books that now would never be written, the songs never sung, the ideas never born, the love never given and received.

I think of our times now, and those who so "reasonably" fear the "immigrant" - that catchall phrase that gathers up all the anger and fear of a nation undergoing tremendous demographic change, because of the Statue of Liberty guarding the New York Harbor. Welcome, it says, welcome to a land of hope and opportunity, a land wherein all have a chance to achieve their best intentions and realize their abilities to make this a better world.

And now, some would take millions of people and send them packing. These red-faced, pinch-eyed, politicians would gladly break up families, condemning children to endless terror and their parents to untold sorrow.

Who are these politicians that speak so harshly, and sound, at least to their eager fans, so reasonable, so logical, so patriotic?

And what will be our loss, if I may put it in computable terms?

The books that remain to be written ... the science that remains to be enlarged ... the thoughts and talents of millions that will enrich our nation, flavor our culture, energize our economy, adding depth and delight to our future.

These mean-spirited politicians drag out statistics to prove that our immigrants are terrible people, and there are those who are more than happy to denounce the immigrant as a job-stealer, a rapist, and a drug-dealer.

Sounds to me too much like Nazi Germany - the vilification of the Jew, the Gypsy and the Slav - all of them, and more, undesirable.

Well, what's gained in all of this?

As the Nazis found in the rubble of Berlin, nothing is gained, and the losses are unimaginably huge.

Those who would live in nation with windows and doors sealed shut will soon run out of fresh air, and lo and behold will quickly discover that all the "bad" things imagined or real about the immigrant are painfully present in those ensconced in their version of racial purity and national pride. That which they fear in the "other," is present within their own soul and mind, and thus there will never be peace, within or without.

And the loss is unimaginable.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Our Very Best

One of the most creative lies spun as of late is that our economic challenges are the result of a Democratic President, and how many folks, who have other issues like race, are quick to believe the lie.
But, truth be told, we've been dealing with a GOP-dominated Congress for a long time, and, sadly, some Dems who were more like the GOP than they should have been.
The GOP has had this country on the run for 50 years ... and they've pretty much done their best to run it into the ground, even as they pillaged public monies to funnel them into the pockets of the few.
I would love to see a Progressive Congress ... out with the t-bag GOP, out with Blue Dog Dems, and in with those who hold in their hearts a great love for America, who can see beyond the moment, who rise to the occasion to offer justice and peace, who pay attention to our children and their education, who seek the welfare of the whole nation, and not just a few.
Let's elect Hillary ... and let's give to her a Congress that will work with her, to promote the welfare of the entire nation, and through appointments to the Federal Judiciary, insure justice for all for a long time to come.
And then to slowly clean out state houses ... all the GOP craziness of creationism, its bigotry against LGBTQ persons, its deconstruction of American Public Education, its upside down tax plans, its misogyny, and its courtship with racism and nullification.
Let's put in place our very best ... a Progressive Vision that will inspire all of America and place before the world what has truly made America great.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

So, We're Christian ...

With a little thought, it's obvious why America is so insanely religious, and specifically "christian" - we have a ton of sins to cover, sins we refuse to coherently admit, the ravages of which we blame on those whom we've hurt.

Sadly, religion in America, and specifically Christianity, has played a major role in this coverup.

But the sins of racism, the sins of genocide, the sins of Jim Crow apartheid, demand a hearing, and until they're heard for what they are, they continue to corrode and corrupt the entire system.

In a land dotted with churches, that we should be at our current state of chaos, only confirms what has been emerging in my mind - the failure of christianity. A failure of unimaginable proportions.

We've been preaching people into heaven, while letting them create hell on earth for millions of people. As of late, heaven has lost some of its luster, so churches have taken to preaching wealth, while condemning the poor for their lack of character and desire.

So, we're christian ... we praise je-e-sus until our brains fall out ... we hate other religions for not being the truth ... we've sent missionaries around the world to export our wickedness, along with arms and war.

So, we're christian ... shouting loudly our righteousness in the hopes of out-shouting our demons ... but the demons will continue to throw us into the fire ... until they're cast out ...

So, we're christian ...

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Heart in Turmoil


1. My heart is in turmoil ...

2. Last evening, a white cop parked his SUV patrol car by a restaurant, got out to get some food ... his attire deeply militarized, all black, tons of equipment dangling from his belt. Looked more like a robocop ... for the first time ever, I felt revulsion. I'm sure he's a good man, but his profession has come under suspicion.

3. If you're white, you're right; if you're black, you're dead.

4. Cops kill with impunity. The history of law enforcement in this nation has always been white officers to suppress black communities and keep "them in their place."

5. Blacks smoke weed and are sent away for years.

6. NRA is sick.

7. Good cops are afraid of the bad cops.

8 Judges defend bad cops.

9. Violence, John Wayne, and our incessant warfare, has coarsened our society ... stripping away the thin veneer of sociability essential to our survival, leaving only animal instincts, brutality, the worst kinds of tribalism.

10. US racism has never gone away, and these days, it has a new lease on life, thanks to Trump and the whole screwed up GOP, which has become the Party of hatred. Old White Men longing for their lost virility and supremacy, and angry trailer trash women who look for anyone just a rung lower. Thank you, Muslims will do just fine for this.

11. Subculture of whites will never forgive their nation for electing a "black man" to the White House - got it, it's a "white" house ...

12. NRA will defend armed whites, but shuts its mouth on armed blacks. Armed whites are patriots; armed blacks are thugs. Armed whites protect women and children; armed blacks are out to get your daughters and your sisters.

13. There are some whites who long for a race war ... their adolescent dreams of fire-fights and taking out the bad guys has replaced reality.

14. Southern Culture is still a virus in this nation. Reconstruction ended a 100 years too soon.

15. My heart aches ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Here's the Deal ... on Guns!

Here's the deal ...

Cars are dangerous, used for crime, and even suicide.
So we regulate them as best we can.
We monitor who can drive, and if there's a violation
Or two, well, the license can be yanked or the
Person thrown into jail.

We require insurance.
We require smog controls.
We require and monitor all
Sorts of things ...

When it comes down to it,
Legit folks get to drive.
Get to own.
Even dozens of cars.

So, it'll be with guns.
We've got to get our heads on this one.
And we've got to stop the NRA and all
Of its fearful preachments.

Which are really nothing more than
A pack of lies.

So, it'll be, I'm sure, when we finally
Put our heads into this.

Legit folks will get to own guns.
Sure, some will be stolen.
Even as are cars.

But hunters and collectors will be okay.
And so will those in dangerous professions.
Those who may need a firearm. Okay?

When we finally get our head around this.
And make sense of what's now a
Senseless deal.

Gun-Almighty Prayer

Gun-Almighty, forgive us, we pray, for doubting your ability to solve all problems and save us from bad people ... forgive us, we pray, for restricting your influence ... there are those who would hedge you about with their callous laws and strange ideals, but we know better ... we know that in your firepower, all our ills can be solved. Forgive us, Gun-Almighty, for doubting your prophet, the NRA ... and for believing that peaceful means can be found ... help us, we pray, to find peace only through violence, the purest form of peace, only through relying on you, Gun-Almighty ... hear our prayer. Amen!

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Harvest is Trump

Listened to Romney trash #Trump today ... no question there, but then Romney did his obligatory #Obama bash ... I thought to myself: #Romney and the #GOP are simply harvesting the results of their 8-years of obstructionism and tolerance of hate and bigotry. 

Trump isn't anything new, but rather the culmination of years now of GOP efforts to deconstruct the nation while playing footsie with #Limbaugh and #Beck and a host of other fascists and neocon war mongers.

It's an ugly thing to see what you've become, and there's no clearer picture right now of what the GOP has become than it's presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review of "Among the Mad" - a Maisie Dobbs Mystery

Just finished "Among the Mad," a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear ... for me, truly an amazing read. I'm struck by Winspear's ability to give us a complete portrait of a life - multiple stories running concurrently, yet the reader (me, that is) doesn't get lost.

Winspear's a fine writer and has created an endearing character in "investigator and psychologist" Maisie Hobbs, whose life is as complicated as the characters she investigates, as complicated, I suppose, as are all our lives.

For me, this book, in particular, (published 2009), as all of her books thus far, give heed to the profound social conditions that shaped England after the Great War - the wounded, in soul and body ... how a callous society hurries on by and hopes to forget them, and the endless machinations of government ...

As one point, Maisie attends a political meeting, to hear the latest demagogue claim to have all the answers for England, and I couldn't help but think of our latest adventures with Donald Trump.

Anyway, this book started off with a bang, so to speak, and didn't let up ... and always more than a mystery, but a look at people, the countless people who cross our path ... in the end, the mystery might be solved, but the mystery of life pushes on, just out of our reach.

So, like Maisie, we wonder ... do we ever belong? And what does it take when our soul departs in sorrow, and can the eyes, perhaps, tell us when the soul has returned.

An amazing read ...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Money, as the rich see it.

Strikes me as odd.
The rich claim:
High Salaries spur creativity.
And promote job growth.
Energizing the already-rich.

But, then, say:
Higher minimum wages are a
Job Killer.
And destroy incentive.
Making the already-poor even lazier.

Am I missing something?
Probably am.

I wait for enlightenment.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throwing Money at a Problem

I've always believed in throwing money at a problem ...
and so do Republicans ...
at least, at their kind of problems ...
like a military-hardware system ... or
barring abortion ... or
stopping trans-bathrooms ... or
promoting free-for-all carry ... or
defending rapists' rights ... or
forcing the repayment of school loans ... or
fighting health care for all Americans ... or
ousting liberal politicians and gerrymandering districts ...
yup, hundred of millions, billions even,
thrown at GOP kinda problems.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What if ...

What if ...
Satan had the power to deliver.
On the proposition:
"Bow down, and the kingdoms of the world
Are yours"?

What if ...
Jesus fully understood
Just how serious a
Proposition this was?

What if ...
The massive wealth of the Nations,
The obscene wealth of the Few,
Is simple proof of having
Bowed the knee to Satan?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


When the rich skim the cream,
Of course, there isn't enough
To go around.

So the rich hope we blame
The hungry for wanting too
Much cream.


An early morning drive,
To get some gas;
Noticed some working folks who were likely
Not paid much ... I caught a face or two ...
And saw their anxious eyes ... 
And by a huge public works construction project.
Workers, lots of 'em.
Plenty of good cars and trucks.
Good wages build the economy.
Low wages wreck the soul.

Friday, April 1, 2016

I'm Tired of the Political Season

I'm tired of the political season.
I'm tired of all the claims and counter-claims.
The name-calling.
I'm tired of penis stuff and wife-denigration.
I'm tired of conservative sex-fixation.
I'm tired of the religious right oh so wrong.
I'm tired of liberals getting hoity-toity with one another.
About Bernie this and Hillary that.
And Sarah Palin and Susan Sarandon.
But, I'm even more tired of racism and gun-madness.
I'm even more tired of America's endless wars.
I'm even more tired of our income inequality and the roll-back of voting rights ... the right-to-work nonsense ...
I'm tired of hungry children.
Families denied health care.
Education deconstructed.
Infrastructure going to pot.
And because I'm evermore tired of this, I'm willing to put up with the rest.
God save the Queen ... or whatever.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lessons from the Spanish Civil War

Lessons from history ... at first, Franco's uprising against a mildly left-wing government, backed by the aristocracy and the church, was less an attempt to impose fascism (a la Mussolini or Hitler) and more an effort to restore feudalism.

When the allies, pretty much boxed around the ears by Japan, Italy and Germany, refused to back the government, the Soviets came to its aid, because they saw it as a fight against fascism, whatever its brand, and certainly against the aristocracy and the church and their support of class structures.

Once the Soviet Union entered on the side of the government, the allies distanced themselves even further (triggering however a flood of volunteers from the West, including George Orwell of England and the likes of Ernest Hemingway who eventually wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls).

Seeing how it was shaking out, Mussolini and Hitler jumped at the chance and poured men and equipment into the fight, eventually securing Franco's victory, and fine-tuning their equipment and battlefield tactics.

Lessons: 1) the aristocracy and the church will mostly always lean toward fascism, which, in turn, supports the aristocracy and the church - a Ménage à trois made in hell. 2) Fascism often possesses a certain "holy" energy that intimidates others. 3) Fascism aways ends badly.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Clear and Present Danger?

At a certain point in time, when does a political ideology cease being merely just so many alternative ideas/programs to much the same goal to which most everyone aspires and become a clear and present danger to the wellbeing of a society's life?

We're at a time now in America when a constellation of ideas and brutish behavior have coalesced into a dangerous mix threatening to undo our democracy and bring the American Experiment to an end.

I'm distressed by the brutishness and ignorance of a lot of our current politics and religion - all of it mixed up in some kind of noxious brew, highly addictive apparently, and, yes, a clear and present danger.

If only the people of Italy in the Twenties and Germans in the Thirties has been alert enough to see in the Brown and Black Shirts a threat to everything they held dear. That the rhetoric and posturing of Mussolini and Hitler was nothing less than evil, a contradiction of everything sacred and everything good.

People in Italy, with Mussolini's rise to power, and folks in Germany, with the advent of Hitler, believed that such extremism just wasn't possible, but it was, and what a price was paid, by the whole world, as fascism took the world into the darkest of places.

All Lives Matter????

When someone says, "All lives matter," I'm immediately suspicious.


Because I think it's an avoidance thing ... an avoidance of the specific, the very specific, issue: Black Lives Matter, and every day, how our society makes it clear that Black Lives don't matter very much at all.

The avoidance of the specific, to blunt the sorrow and to sidestep responsibility.

Yes, all lives matter ... but without specificity, the slogan becomes just another meaningless, throwaway phrase ... like, "How are you today?" or, "Have a good day!"

In reality, if we want to get serious and go to work, then it's Black Lives Matter ... here is a need, a task, to keep our society busy for a long time to come.

Some would say, "The Devil's in the details."

I say, "God is in the details, and so is love and justice, if we make it so."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lenten Thoughts - Class Struggle

Lenten Thoughts ...

1) The story of Jesus is always the story of The People in conflict with the Ruling Class ...

2) The gospel offered by Jesus (see Beatitudes) must have scared the be-jesus (so to speak) out of the Ruling Class, both Roman and Judean.

3) The big question became: How do we get rid of him without further upsetting the people whom we're slowly crushing while we continue to live our lives of ease? 

4) As Jesus' popularity grew (how the people loved him when he tweaked the noses of the Ruling Class), the "central powers" of Rome and Judea grew evermore concerned ...

5) And we know the rest of the story ... the Ruling Class manipulated the crowds and the judicial process ... and to mollify the crowds, threw Barabbas into the deal, a revolutionary of some sort.

6) A story as old as Cain and Able ... and the descendants of Cain and Seth.

Patterns of History ...

The patterns of history ...

1) the Ruling Class creates within itself an attitude of disrespect toward the poor - it's the only way the Ruling Class can live with its unjust behavior toward The Poor.

2) It's unjust behavior always is wage suppression and denial of rights, and terrible working conditions, without any support for injury or illness.

3) For a time, The Poor accept their lot in life - this has always been one of the functions of religion.

4) Sooner or later, The Poor awaken ... and suddenly The Rich begin to fear The Poor rather than simply despise them.

5) Meager morsels are tossed to The Poor: better working conditions, the right to vote, etc..

6) This works to mollify The Poor.

7) But The Poor continue to agitate for more ... for themselves and their children. Sometimes religion assists with a progressive interpretation of the Gospel.

8) And, then, some form of revolution - perhaps peaceful, but more likely, with violence, since The Ruling Class has never allowed any society to "vote away their privilege" ... an adjustment that narrows the gap between The Ruling Class and The Poor, creating The Middle Class and wide-spread prosperity.

9) The Ruling Class continue to despise everyone not born with silver spoon and possessing their good looks and love of ease. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a good Fox Hunt now and then?

10) Sooner or later, wage suppression and denial of rights becomes once again the tool of The Ruling Class to retake what was given, what "belongs to them by right of birth and divinity, and the Middle Class begins to shrink.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Needed for Moloch

Horrible, hideous, thought ...
Children, must never.
Be aborted.
They're needed ...
Later on.
For Moloch.
For Flint poisons.
Menial labor.
Private prisons.
Targets of hate.
Sorry about this.
Horrible, Hideous, thought.