You loved my fire….

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unsplash-logoMohamed Nohassi

You said you were attracted to my fire, passion
you saw me burning from ten thousand miles away
We were born on the same date
two children of the God Mars
and I was enchanted by your kindness toward me

It was an easy thing
Fire and fire burns brighter, higher,
illuminating the night
You pointed out the familiar
and I could taste the same poison
on your skin, I was familiar with

With ease, our sex, the weight around our neck
bound to who we are by social chains
I found a friend that I needed
a doppelganger, an echo, perhaps vanity
seductively talking to my own ego

You’d crossed the bridge and created love
without the complications of the flesh
a pure thing, this little inferno
which promised the potential of a future
a friendship to span the ages

Yet something went wrong
a cold east wind blew in through the night
and before I had known you crossed back
across the gulf leaving me holding
the little inferno in my hands
making excuses for yourself the entire way

But one thing you weren’t expecting
was the actions I would take
as I cast the friendship down and watched the bridge burn
I realized fifteen years prior when I didn’t burn so sure
I would have acquiesced to the idea of time and place and purpose

Yet, that isn’t my truth now
I rage equally in love and in hate
in fear and in pain
I burn in the night the same for all who needs me
but I do have one question,
now that your choices have been made
and the bridge between us has been destroyed

“How do you like my fire now?”

 

My thoughts on Donald Trump’s Shithole Statement

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2017 was the year for irony and it looks like 2018 is going to similar in those regards.
Donald Trump’s “Shithole” comment about Haiti and other countries that are predominantly brown-skinned is another example.
Why is that?

Well, here in the United States we’ve had several mass shootings in schools since 1980 with a death tally of almost three hundred. Since then, there has been no legislation passed to prevent the murder of our nation’s children.

We are the last major industrialized nation on the planet without universal healthcare. Last night a man videotaped a woman, clothed in only a hospital gown, being dropped off in the middle of nowhere because she couldn’t afford to stay in the hospital any longer. She was dropped off in Baltimore, Maryland in the dead of winter.

Speaking of Universal Healthcare – the coverage we do have under The Affordable Care Act – provides healthcare for 13 million people. The Republicans are doing everything they can to repeal that and therefore leaving those 13 million people without adequate care.

This past summer, partygoers at a concert in Las Vegas were gunned down when a deranged psychopath who had no business owning weapons, opened fire on the crowd. 500 people were shot, and fifty-eight people lost their lives. Thoughts and prayers were distributed but no laws have been passed to prevent this from happening again.

From what my African American friends tell me, there are 0 places where they feel safe from being murdered by psychotic police officers.

Speaking of African Americans – it wasn’t until 1955 that this country stopped hanging them for arbitrary reasons in places like Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. The last recorded lynching that I know of was a very young man by the name of Emmett Till. He was 14 years old and was accused of ‘wolf whistling’ at a white woman. She was offended. He was brutalized and murdered for it. To paraphrase FDR, it doesn’t matter how poor a white man is, if you can convince him that he’s better than any black man rich or poor, you can steal his money and he’ll thank you for it.

Here in the United States is a hatred of people of color so bad – that there is a phenomenon called White Flight. See, they’ll tell you that places like Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore all suffer because black people live there. What they won’t tell you is that when African American people move in – white people pack up and leave taking their tax dollars with them. Because you see, even though a court decision back in the 1950’s ruled against segregated schools – they’ve still not gotten used to the idea of little Bobby and little Suzie going to school with little Tyrone. They won’t say it outright – but whenever there is a shooting like the one in Vegas, they’ll bring up Detroit or Chicago as an example as to why guns are necessary. But don’t let that fool you as those cities are code for the word black.

Right now in our legislature, Republicans are working tirelessly to end health care for children under a program called CHIP. A bipartisan piece of legislation passed in the 1990’s provided health care for 9 million kids. Children. Speaking of Children, according to the Washington Post, America has the highest infant mortality rate all the wealthy countries of the world. We sadly boast a death rate of 6 children per 1,000 born.

Wages have had no real growth since the 1960’s. According to Forbes magazine, 65 percent of Americans cannot afford a 500 dollar emergency. With the steady decline of unions and the spreading of ‘right to work’ states – those wages aren’t expected to move any time soon.

America ranks 14th in Education, 24th in Literacy, and 17th in Educational Performance. The richest country in the world doesn’t know how to read very well. The top ten are:
Finland
South Korea
Hong Kong SAR
Japan
Singapore
United Kingdom
Netherlands
New Zealand
Switzerland
Canada.

And everyone gets mad when they call a helpline and get someone from India answering the phone. This is why.

According to the military times, The United States in hemorrhaging veterans. According to them, we are still losing 20 veterans per day to suicide. For as patriotic as we claim to be – that’s a national disgrace. Oh, by the way, the Republicans are also trying to do away with their healthcare benefits as well.

Here in the United States – we are in the midst of a terrible opioid addiction problem. However, studies have shown that medical marijuana and nonmedical marijuana use curbs people’s addiction to meth and heroin. However, as a response to brown vs board of education – those sneaky little politicians declared a war on drugs in the 1980’s which has disproportionately affected people of color. What? Really? Now how on earth did that happen?

We also have a huge fight in our country over conservativism versus liberalism. The conservatives claim they love to cut taxes, spend small, and allow businesses to create revenue. Yet, out all the states in the union, all but two are these deeply red states are referred to as ‘moocher’ states. They are, according to CNSnews.com:

Mississippi, 42.9% federal aid as percentage of general revenue
Louisiana, 41.9%
Tennessee, 39.5%
South Dakota, 39.0%
Missouri, 38.2%
Montana, 37.4%
Georgia, 37.3%
New Mexico, 36.6%
Alabama, 36.1%
Maine, 35.3

That means that for all the smack talk they do about liberals, they really don’t mind spending their taxes.

I know a lot of people were offended by what Donald Trump said. Rightly so. He’s a racist, ignorant, bigot. Among his almost daily outrages, he’s failed to help his own people – such as Puerto Rico who suffered a massive blow to their little island because of a hurricane. His supporters have laughed at them during their misery. However, the joke is on them. Puerto Rico is one of our biggest suppliers of I.V. bags. Thanks to the killer flu season we’re in – there is one hell of a shortage.

I love my country. I served in the Armed Forces after 9/11. Yet we have our flaws. Major, major flaws that should prevent anyone with any sense (I know that excludes the racist in the White House) from making fun of anyone or calling anyone’s home a shit hole. Keep in mind, however, that only 37 percent of the country approves of him while almost 60 percent thinks the shit hole is in the Oval Office. And of those 37 percent of supporters – a vast majority of them are too dumb to understand that they’re going to suffer the worst.

 

Empty Threats (poem)

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unsplash-logoChristian Sterk

It started with a statement on the television
from the leader of the free world
‘He want’s to hang all of em’
he said with a smile and a hand gesture
as they talked about men, like me

My chest tightened
the floor fell away and suddenly
I was falling without moving
Shaking, sweating,
the rope tightened around my neck
“You are dying,” my mind screamed

Empty threats
from an exhausted mind,
fear of murder of my own kind,
where can I run?
Now that liberty’s run dry

I am not on my own anymore
my vagabond existence
two trash bags of clothes in the trunk
fleeing my past as soon as it
catches up with me

No more no-name face
no more hooking up
with cigarette smiles
trying to remember what’s his name
some random fuck, in some random place

there’s another, now
a family, now
I’m a husband, now
trapped by my vows
my marriage license now
a potential death warrant

Two pills a day
significant weight gain
gasping for breath at the edge of sleep
empty threats from my
tired brain
God, how do I deal with this?

I feel like there’s a storm coming
and I’m naked and standing in a field
with mud up to my knees
how long before it crawls up to my chest
and down my throat?
How long before the empty threat,
becomes too real?

Accidental Druid (poem)

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Inja Pavlić

 

deep shadow
has crept across the face of the world
there is a stirring deep in the bowels
of the world
a drum beat
My dreams have been disturbing as of late
familiar faces – in moments of desperation
begging for help or saying goodbye

Then there are the names
Putin, Assange, Un,
and I am where they are watching
briefly whatever business
they are up to
listening to those around them speak

I wake from sleep gasping
anxiety grips my heart
and dims my eyes
I try to break my connection
with the unseen stream of consciousness
but i can’t

I can tast the fear on the air
the anxiety shimmers in the sunlight
something wicked this way comes
comes and comes again
like ocean swells against a levee

The world is in pain
and having found no solace
in daylight nor dreams
I can feel her
She’s afraid
and because of that
I, this accidental Druid
am dying

Thoughts on the nature of Good vs Evil

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Oscar Keys

The nature of evil is not to be something shrouded in black smoke, having horns, fangs, or some sort of paranormal element to it.
That would be easy.
And evil is never ever easily recognized.
It’s not something slayable on a weekly television series no matter how sweet Jared and Jensen are.
Evil never shows up and sticks out its hand saying, “Hey there. My name is evil and I am here to be be the worst baddie that ever did bad.”
No evil overlord has ever taken the mantle of evil – they all stand for the most truth and for the best justice – and the evil shows up in the execution of their plans.
That is how its possible for politicians to be monsters, cops to be murderers, preachers to be con artists, and populaces to be deceived.
Anything that separates you from God by separating you from your humanity and mutes your ability to recognize the hand of on God in each other – is Grade A certifiable evil.
When it comes to racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, hatred of Jews – any adherence to radicalism, fundamentalism, extreme political ideology – is evil.
Anything that seeks to remove you from the whole, from the main – is evil.
I do believe in angels and demons and spirits – but all I’ve ever seen in my life – all the evil I’ve come across in my time on earth – has been nothing short of human.
Evil is often not a thing but an absence of a thing. No hope.

Yet on the flip side of that – Good is rarely as loud as evil. Good is subversive. It shows up in the unwashed masses, it shows up in the actions of those who refuse to let man made divisions occupy their thoughts. It shows up in protests, it shows up in natural disasters, it shows up in making friends with the ‘other’ as they allow themselves to see a person and not a category. It’s sitting down and breaking bread, it’s working through problems, and it’s a prayer flung upward to heaven.In the midst of impossible, knowing it will probably fail, it still does the right thing. IT’s in the alcoholic struggling to maintain sobriety, it’s in the depressed person pushing on another day, it’s in the slipping of a homeless a couple of bucks knowing that they’re not going to buy food – because their addiction will kill them if no immediate help is made available and not judging them for it. Although the road to hell has been paved with good intentions the good is in the intent. Good exists in the radicalness of equality and the faith that even the most evil can somehow be redeemed. For good to flourish there must be hope – and hope is the thing that evil needs to destroy before it can assert itself.

 

Wisdom is knowing that human beings contain the propensity for both one hundred percent of the time.

Violence and Scars ( a call for passive resistance)

 

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Photo by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash

I remember the day 9/11 happened. It’s something that is seared into my memory.
The whole day I was in shock.
I fell asleep to CNN and woke up to it still playing on the television with picture after picture, replay after replay of the hijacked airliners and the damage they’d done.
The body count.
People standing outside of The World Trade Center weeping, begging God and passerby’s to deliver them their loved ones.
The next the numbness of it all wore off and there I was, nineteen years old, weeping into the arms of my sister.
I was scared.
Knowing all those people died, it broke my heart.
I remember asking my mom if she thought there were ‘saved’ people in those buildings.
The other day, with Charlottesville I sat down and cried again. I’m thirty six years old and later on as I prayed the ‘Our Father’ with my husband – clinging for some kind of comfort – when I got to ‘Thy Will Be Done’ I choked it out.
I’ve lived a long life.
Not in years but in experiences.
I am a survivor of fundamentalism.
I was raised in the belief that I had no inherent ‘good.’
That the world had no inherent good.
I was beaten. Often. The religion was rigorous and I often rebelled against it.
I knew as a kid there was something inherently wrong with them.
I couldn’t put my finger on it – I mean, the people we talked to were polite, they dressed nice, the churches were nice, they drove nice cars….and in a lot of ways, it wasn’t the worst of circumstances.
Until it was.
And when it was, baby, it was a honey.
I’ve seen and been through things too bizarre to put in 9 books let alone one.
My sisters, can even top my experiences.
Those experiences have put a scar in me, on my heart, so deep it cuts into my very being into the foundation of who I am as a person.
And if I am not careful, those scars, get infected.
I have to be vigilant.
There is an old Sunday School song that goes, “Oh be careful little ears what you hear. Oh be careful little ears what you hear. For the Lord above is looking down – in love – oh be careful little ears what you hear.
It’s in what I hear – that requires the most vigilance.
Like someone who’s had a weather related injury, such as heatstroke, or frostbite or someone who’s come in contact with poison ivy – I’ll always be susceptible to the tone of a message than the actual message itself.
Passion, rhetorical flourish, and charisma are the cornerstone of any good speaker. It’s not really in what they say, that makes us listen, it’s all in the delivery.
Think of your favorite speaker, preacher, politician, or public persona.
Don’t listen to what they say, give that a rest, listen to how they say it.
There’s a lot of umph to their message, a schtick they use, they’re just like you….but they’re not. If they are public speaking, have their starched white shirts rolled up, can deliver a speech without any reservation or nervousness, they haven’t been one of you for a very long time. Most people I know HATE public speaking.
Right now, there is a lot of talk about Nazis and their alter ego – Antifa.
There’s a lot of passionate rhetoric being tossed around by both sides. Promises of violence. Actual acts of violence and confrontations.
A whole lot of passion.
We should always stand against fascism. Always. There’s no room in a free society for authoritarianism. Period. White supremacy and it’s ugly older brother antisemitism and ugly older sister bigotry – ruin and destroy – and have never once created a thing.
It’s led nations into ruins and took its people along for the ride.
And while there is something in the idea of standing up to a Nazi and ‘giving them their just desserts’ violence never creates anything. Like racism and bigotry – violence only begets more violence.
I’ve seen so many people on social media talking about ‘getting ready ‘ for some kind of showdown with the evil that is Nazi’s and no doubt – they are evil.
Yet these same people are unaware, or maybe they are aware, that they are slowly becoming being pushed into the very thing they’re trying to fight against. They become the other side to the same coin.
I feel like a fool when I quote this man, because everyone does who try to drive home a point. Bigots have used this guy, which isn’t too far a stretch since a racist will use Jesus and the Bible to justify their deep rooted hate. But Dr. Martin Luther King stood against much worse, so much worse, and was far more effective in his methodology of passive resistance than any armed conflict can ever accomplish.
War is not about success no matter what General stands up and delivers his speech ‘to the boys’.
War is about failure.
It’s about people failing to come together and work out their issues.
It becomes mindless.
To commit an act of violence against another human being, you have to work yourself up into a state of mindless rage and once that line is crossed – there’s no coming back.
Ask the vets who’ve come back from Iraq and Afghanistan how they feel.
I am not telling you to march. I am not telling you not to resist. I am not telling you to just let them hit you or hurt you. No. You have a right to defend yourself from bodily harm.
All I am asking you to do – is listen not to what your side says – listen to how they’re saying it. Listen to the words they use, not in a way that convinces you to join their cause, but what they are calling for.
The French know about this.
While their revolution was probably 100 percent just. It became a mindless stream of violence and death because people couldn’t back out of the frenzy they found themselves in.
There were so many different factions inside of that event that when someone starts to talk about the French Revolution – you are 100 percent justified in asking, “Which one?”
Are we facing some dark times? Yes. No doubt.
‘ The other’ regardless of where they fit, are in dire straights.
But ladies and gentlemen, there is power in numbers.
Passive resistance like Dr. Kings wasn’t very popular in America. He was murdered for it. Like Christ, he used to the parts of the society in which he lived to shame the wise. He held a mirror up to this country and let it get a good look at itself.
Sure you may face violence and worse when you stand up for what you believe in in any capacity.
But there is one sure fire way you’ll be unable to avoid it and that is by being violent yourself.
A man that lives by the sword will die by it each and every time.
Whoever got a hold of those 15 hijackers used passion to convince them 100 percent of their righteousness. The man who plowed into the crowd of protesters was 100 percent convinced of his righteousness.
The man who sucker punched his little boy, and bounced his head off a tile floor in the kitchen because they were angry, was 100 percent sure – in the heat of the moment – he was right.
Curtail your passions. Or they will destroy everything around you and trust me, there are some fates that are worse than death.

Violence is NEVER the answer. All it does is create a whole myriad and painful questions. Questions like, “Why me?”

What’s worse, is some questions then, have no good answer and because of that – there is are scars that never heal right.

Life’s Banquet

 

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Who I am here, is who I am in real life
Memes and comments aside
I’m nice to people who are nice to me
and I don’t acknowledge the existence of others who aren’t

It’s not difficult really
its a matter of simply shutting a door
walking away and moving on down the long winding road
to another face, another chance meeting, a conversation
stuck up like a match

There are literally seven and a half billion people on earth
all with varying degrees of wit and humor
surely I’ll find another conversation worthy of my time among them
Maybe a volcanologist in Bali who has an affinity for sharp cheddar

It takes a certain kind of person, really
someone wrapped up inside of who they are
to think that one should starve themselves from sampling
life’s banquet – for a chance taste of you

my odds are better ‘out there’
in this nebulous thing we call the world
and quite frankly although my pallet is easily pleased
I find honesty of character far more to my liking
than pleasantries for pleasantries sake

No, I am no Nobel Prize winner
No Oxford Scholar, Poet Laureate, hell, I barely graduated high school
Yet I have lived a full life, have sipped from the cup of pain and joy
and I speak full throated about the flavors that broke over my tongue

So, if that speech bothers you too much
I’ll take my leave as soon as you think I should
for although my feet are calloused from years of walking
morning will break over the horizon the same as it did before

Scott Lively, Jerry Falwell Jr, and the Theocrats among us.

 

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Once upon a time, in a land apparently not so different than the one we live in today, African American’s achieved (as did the rest of the country) their God given right to snub Jim Crow law and attend any school they chose.  Racial integration had been achieved, and all was well in the land.

Or so we thought.

A little lesser known case than it’s predecessor Brown V Board of Education made it’s way up to the United States Supreme Court called Bob Jones Sr. vs The United States. A preacher (or a group of them, rather) angry that they couldn’t use their tax exempt status to open white only schools sued the government.

They lost in an 8-1 decision handed down by the court.

Everything still seemed right in the land. The last vestiges of the wicked minded had finally been eradicated, nothing to see here. African Americans were brought inside the castle for years of bountiful and joyous celebrations, everyone started getting along, and the Prince married the Princess.

Except that never happened. Not even close and that is more apparent today, than in any other time in my life.

Why?

Well, it’s a simple yet sad thing we as a nation did to our Black brothers and sisters.

The lone dissenter in Bob Jones Sr. vs The United States – William H. Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States where he served as Chief Justice until his death in 2005.

Essentially, We opened the draw bridge to the castle, yes. They were enticed to come in, yes. Yet, without them knowing everyone bailed out, locked the doors and shuttered the windows of the castle…..and then set it on fire.

You can read about the account here in Politico’s article, The Real Origins of the Religious Right. 

TL;DR = Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, and Bob Jones Sr. were really really mad their little Bobby’s and Little Susie’s would have to go to school with little Tyrone. Lied to people about their stance on abortion, convinced Catholics that they didn’t think the Pope was the Anti-Christ, and their church was the Great Whore of Babylon, defeated their own Christian brother Jimmy Carter for a B Hollywood Movie Actor (and former Union Boss) Ronald Reagan.  Ta-Da – Civil Rights curtailed.

Donald Trump pandered to the religious right, supporters of Mike Pence who nauseatingly prayed over the Presidential Candidate who, despite holding up a rainbow flag and was quoted as saying, ” I love the gays,” believed him to be what it took to Make America Great again.

Nothing to see here.

Except for The White House just announcing that Jerry Falwell will be heading up the ‘Education Reform’ task force to not only address public schools but higher levels of learning.  Jerry Falwell Jr, the son of the late, great (although greatness doesn’t denote goodness) Jerry Falwell Sr. is the Chancellor of Liberty University.

“So what,” you say. We knew Public Education was about to get blown out of the water with Betsy Devos.  “After how many years of Every Child Left Behind? The average tenure of a school teacher in America is roughly two years. Their salaries are meager, the work load is enormous, I mean – come on the Tea Party has been putting nutjobs on school boards since Obama got elected. Of course we know what’s going on. They’re trying to eradicate public education or at least make it so public school kids leave those schools sounding like the idiots that graduate from non accredited private Christian schools. Why campaign and convince a generation of people to vote for you when you can grow your own?”

Hold on grasshopper, this story gets better.

A couple of years ago, Scott Lively, a radical Christian fundamentalist went to Uganda and not only spread his gospel, he decided to spread his murderous hatred for gay people. Convincing the Ugandan government that enacting anti-gay laws that killed gay people or worse, threw them into 3rd world prisons for the crime of BEING gay, was God’s Will – he was brought up on charges of Crimes Against Humanity by a Ugandan who wanted his pasty white and cowardly ass sent to the Hague to stand trial.

Seems pretty logical, right?

Try and incite a genocide – have to go stand before a court that sort of frowns on these things.

Except, Mr. Lively won his case. Yet he didn’t walk away from it unscathed. The Judge basically called him shit underneath his shoe, called him a bigot, Judge Pryor had this to say about Mr. Lively:

 “Discovery confirmed the nature of Defendant’s, on the one hand, vicious and, on the other hand, ludicrously extreme animus against LGBTI people and his determination to assist in persecuting them wherever they are, including Uganda.

 

“The evidence of record demonstrates that Defendant aided and abetted efforts (1) to restrict freedom of expression by members of the LBGTI community in Uganda, (2) to suppress their civil rights, and (3) to make the very existence of LGBTI people in Uganda a crime.

“The record also confirms that these efforts to intimidate and injure the LGBTI community in Uganda were, unfortunately, to some extent successful.

“This crackpot bigotry could be brushed aside as pathetic, except for the terrible harm it can cause. The record in this case demonstrates that Defendant has worked with elements in Uganda who share some of his views to try to repress freedom of expression by LGBTI people in Uganda, deprive them of the protection of the law, and render their very existence illegal.

“He has, for example, proposed twenty-year prison sentences for gay couples in Uganda who simply lead open, law-abiding lives.”

Scott Lively, unhappy with the Judge for calling him names is appealing the case. You can read about it, here. 

Now what, do you ask, has this to do with Mr. Jerry Falwell Jr?  I am so glad you asked.

The Liberty Counsel is the Law firm that represents Liberty University and their very own King James – Mr. Jerry Falwell Jr. They were the same legal counsel for Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis who infamously refused to give a gay couple a marriage license.

Now, what does this have to do with everyone else? Especially gay people?

One of the last things Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said to his followers before he was assassinated was, “You know, we’ve struggled long and hard for the victories we have attained. Yet there is something that troubles me deeply. For all the Civil Rights and all the things we’ve done….I have come to believe that we are integrating into a burning house…we have no choice but to become firemen.”

Just like our African American brothers and sisters, we’re facing a real and motivated threat. There are those who are angry at us just for simply having the right to live as human beings live. They’re angry that we have the same rights they have. Yet among those who are angry, there are some who have allowed their anger to fester into cancerous hate. We’ve called them Republican, We’ve called them Tea Partiers, but the truth of the matter is we had better call them what they are. Fascists. And not just any kind of fascists, Theocrats.

These people aren’t interested in a democracy, or a democratic republic – they’re interested in created The Kingdom of God on Earth. Taliban who? Isis wha..?

Liberty as a word written down, or something vocalized, is not Liberty actualized. He can call his university Liberty University, they can call their law firm Liberty Counsel. Yet Freedom and liberty are as far from their minds as their belief in Global Climate Change, Civil Rights for minorities, Gay marriage, and believing Muslims should be allowed into the country. As a matter of fact they are, as are people like Franklin Graham, extremely vocal in demonizing the latter. Just remember those that push this nonsense don’t want to relieve the world of religious oppression; they want to oppress you with theirs.

Liberty, real liberty, is being threatened.  As Sinclair Lewis famously put it, “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”  We, like our African American brothers and sisters, may have been run into our own burning building with the SCOTUS decision. Watch this space, this story could have a very sad ending for us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check your words three times (Poem)

 

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(Photo by Imani Clovis)

 

check one
check two
check three
sit and ponder – is this me?
pick it apart, tear it asunder
flip it over and look at it under
a microscope, throw it up in the air
a telescope, wondering where
the words they say stop and where I begin
Is it normal to be living in sin
and what is sin? What is this thing
is it still constant even with my wedding ring
and is it still real if I don’t believe everything
that comes rolling out of the mouths of they
who’s sin is wrapped up in the modesty of Sears Clothing?

But there’s no softer side here
no pastel feelings no warmth do they bring
Sat up before us like kings and like queens
of banana pudding and too much hair spray
hair jacked to Jesus – as drag queens often say
who are they? Who are they?
who use rhetorical flourish – who use a book to beat people
when it was origionally created to nourish and bring life
now its a weapon used against a wife
who wants to leave because her man is abusive
the comfort of The Holy Spirit who was supposed to be constant
has now become elusive, obtuse and
M.I.A.
What Can I say?

Tear down that statue, iis what I say, rip down that flag
But they reply , “Don’t say nothin’ boy, you’s nothin but a fag”
those black men, they don’t like you
it’s all gang-bangers and do-rags, its inbred in their race

But those same people who try to sew division
on Sunday they’re the loudest when they sing
Amazing Grace – hands stretched to God
tears rolling down their face
My God, don’t they know?
That John Newton was The Captain of a Slave Ship
Who – back when those men’s backs learned the anger
of the master’s bull whip
said “STOP!” Wait. What have I done?
How can I claim The Father and the Son
How do I try to plea the blood
when I’m the one who failed to read the book of Exodus
So, here, let me fix this – let me become the worlds first Abolitionist and pen a song now that I’m blind
and feeble in my bereavement let me work to do God’s work
and live to free men to see them
so mine eyes can see the glory of the coming of the Lord

Check one
Check two
Check three
sit and ponder – is this me?
Or is this them who be talkin’
talkin’ talkin’ yet they don’t do no walkin’
Their faith has become static – like that statue in N’awlins
lost in time they don’t realize
the differences in mankind aint about them
but this poem is, my flow is, the words often spoken
in hate, and fear, and malice -they’ve used that that I toss back at them
us ‘others’ we ain’t in it
talk about sin
their sin – they sit in it – and are proud of it
and repeat it, and believe it, and wonder why they’re all alone
sittin’ on a throne of bones, tombs, and headstones
When you say you’re saved – ain’t nobody believes it
The God you speak of – yeah he probably still loves
but it’s in spite of and not because of
those words that should make any man hesitate
and say, “Wait a minute, is this me?”
Let me stop, drop, let me see
and before I speak – are these words anointed
in the love I so needed , from God up above
or has my philosophy been informed solely by my geography
and grandaddy’s broke down theology
so’s I’m out creating disciples twice as fit for hell as I was?

Check one
Check two
Check three
Check your words three times before you speak.

Johnson Amendment and the Poverty Pimps

37_Lyndon_Johnson_3x4

Lyndon B. Johnson was a Texan. A southerner. A Senator and then President.
He was also the last damn souther politician, democrat or otherwise, who attempted to address the root of poverty.
Johnson’s Great Society was the largest leap forward in education and in wealth this country had ever seen.
Upon visiting the Appalachians and swamps of Louisiana, he couldn’t understand how the wealthiest nation in all the world had such abject poverty in these places.
He was also the author of the Johnson amendment which barred religious institutions and tax exempt organizations from interfering in politics.
Republicans have hated Johnson’s great society and love to point to Detroit as an example of it’s failure.
But what republicans won’t tell you – is after all of this was passed – they went behind it and while they didn’t repeal the law- they just took they legs out from underneath it – causing an inevitable collapse, causing it to fail.
Donal Trump’s EO today, is right out of the G.O.P’s handbook.
Johnson declared a war on poverty.
Republicans declared war on the poor.
See, wealth is supposed to be owned by an elite few. Them.
Anyone possessing any sort of wealth is an affront to them. Anyone besides a certain demographic having success or liberty or freedom, is an affront to them.
They love to blame democrats for ‘keeping people poor.’ Ben Carson likes to tell poor people, especially poor blacks, that they need to ‘get off the plantation’ and lament people ‘being on the government teet’.
And people agree with him.
But the bottom line is thus: The republicans have convinced the working poor that they are middle class.
If you’re not making at least 100,000 dollars a year you are the working poor.
If a catastrophic illness, legal entanglement, sudden death of a loved one – mainly the breadwinner – if you plan on using social security when you retire, if your company doesn’t provide you with a pension, if you are not independently wealthy to survive any or all of these things – you have NO BUSINESS supporting the republican party because they DO NOT support you. And you and what little money you have – are their biggest targets. They want it for themselves.
See republicans – the wealthy top- are hoarders. There is no trickle down anything. That’s the problem. Unlike most Americans they can afford to stash their money. They put it in off shore tax exempt accounts. They won’t even pay what you pay percentage wise in taxes.
Why should they when you work for scab wages with the added bonus of paying for their corporations’ tax shortfall? They have it made in the shade.
But today – like all good republicans do – Donald Trump used religion and the Johnson Amendment to feed into the narrative that the working poor’s religious rights will be treasured by them. So now, you can refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple, sure. But you’re also going to be unable to provide for your posterity and the likelihood of you dying on your feet at your job just went up.
Yay – you!

The poverty pimps have won again, sucker.