Friday, November 18, 2016

Today's White Men of Fear and Ignorance

Warning: The subject of this poem is ugly, and its language is ugly. It speaks to the awful hatred and extreme ignorance of racism in America today. Reader discretion is advised:

Here stand men
before their TV screens.
Here stand men
of modest mental means.

The talking heads, they say it’s so,
"The Muslims, gays, and blacks must go.
The Mexicans are worst of all.
To stop them you must build a wall
They took your jobs, they’ll take it all.
You’ve got to build that fucking wall.”

Here sit men
before computer screens.
Here sit men 
of modest mental means.

Their Facebook friends, they says it’s so,
“The Muslims, gays, and blacks must go.
The Mexicans are worst of all.
To stop them we must build a wall
They took our jobs. They’ll take it all.
We’ve got to build that fucking wall.”

Here pace men
behind their window screens.
Here pace men 
of modest mental means.

The people outside have to go,
Now everybody says it’s so.
Oh KKK we hear your call.
We will not let our brothers fall.
And N.R.A. we hear your call.
We’ll arm ourselves against them all

Dear Donald Trump:
They heard your call.
They voted for
your fucking wall.

Melania Trump - Error and Opportunity

I've yet to be critical of our future First Lady, Melania Trump. Mostly I’ve just felt sorry for her, but that will change in a moment.

First, let me say that beyond just being factual, I believe this criticism is justifiable and fair. Secondly, let me assure you that I will not join in with those who attack her for posing nude for the camera. The only relevancy of those photos is that they expose the extreme hypocrisy of Republicans who criticized Michelle Obama's bare arms (i.e. The Taliban wing of the Republican Party).
What is relevant to Melania however, and more importantly what is relevant to her new position as First Lady is that she, like her husband, is a fraud. I won't go into her immigration status, or when she was and wasn't working legally in America, because information on that is being held close by those who have it. Those records, like the Trump family taxes may never be revealed. What I will go into though is her false claim that she earned a college degree, and an impressive one at that.

Shortly after being caught reading a plagiarized speech (not her fault) during the campaign Melania's official professional website www.melaniatrump.com vanished from the internet and all attempts to access it were quickly redirected to www.trump.com. Now this is the important part - Melania's website, her official representation of herself to the world grossly overstated her educational credentials. It lied. And the lie that proclaimed Melania had obtained a "degree in design and architecture at University" wasn't hidden down at the bottom, or slipped in without Melania's knowledge. It was featured in the opening paragraph, quoted below.

"Born on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia, Melania Knauss began her modeling career at the age of sixteen. At the age of eighteen, she signed with a modeling agency in Milan. After obtaining a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia, Melania was jetting between photo shoots in Paris and Milan, finally settling in New York in 1996."

Now even though it's been proven that Melania did not earn a college degree (let alone one in design and architecture) and even though her college record shows that she dropped out in her first year, she has not admitted or apologized for falsifying her resume to the American people, her future constituency. All she has done thus far is post a tweet where she states that her official website "has been removed because it does not accurately reflect my current business and professional interests."

I guess that means the fraudulent claim of holding a college degree only accurately reflected her past business and professional interests. Like I said above, I believe that bare arms and bare breast comparisons are irrelevant, but I think this comparison is extremely relevant. Can you imagine the attacks that would have come and what the fallout would have been if Michelle Obama had been caught claiming to have a college degree that she didn't even come close to earning? It would have been on CNN for weeks and she would have been ruined... But all we hear are crickets.

Now I don't want to tar and feather poor Melania over this, but she absolutely should have to answer for it. And maybe this could be a teaching opportunity for her. If she really wants to make it her cause to reduce bullying in America (as she has hinted) then she can start by teaching bullies that they should accept people for who they are, and she can teach victims of bullying that who they are is okay… They don’t have to pretend to be more than that.

Unpresidential Behavior (ain't what it used to be)

Remember when a presidential candidate could do something so blatantly unpresidential that their chances of winning the election could drop from pretty darn good to zip in one news cycle? Like when a single celebratory scream too close to a microphone could earn you the label "too unstable to be president". Or like when overstating your involvement in the creation of the internet could flip your reputation from "kinda stiff" to "lying braggart" and cause the nation to decide that you're just "too arrogant to be president". Or like when puting a helmet on your head and standing up in a tank meant that you "lacked the judgement to be president".

Ah yes, those high expectation days of yesteryear. Damn we were fussy back then. But, we've managed to get over it. Now there's no need to act all presidential and stuff, or even competent to get the job. Just get those TV cameras pointed at you - Like a L.A. car chase. Like a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Like a "shock and awe" bombing campaign. As long as you can get those reporters to swarm around you like moths to a porch light, like flies to a pile of shit, you too can become president. You can be as misogynistic as Larry Flynt, as racist as George Wallace, as bombastic as Don King... As long as you're a white guy (orange is close enough). Sorry, if you're black or female, the old rules still apply.

Oh Howard Dean... What in the world made you think you could act so batshit crazy and still be taken seriously? What? The media turned the crowd mic off and cranked yours up? For ratings? No, the news channels wouldn't do that. You've clearly gone off the rails Howard... That's the kind of crap they only do on reality TV.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Last Boat

(A recent re-edit of an old poem of mine - Still trying to get it right)

The boats that I missed are all long down the river.
The goals of my life have all drifted to sea.
The dreams of my childhood are lost in the ocean.
Only one boat remains in the harbor for me.

And there’s rum in her galley,
and maps in the chart room.
Her sails are all torn,
but they still catch the breeze.

And I’ve had some families,
and I’ve had some failures,
and I’ve had my younger years
slip ‘way from me.

Now the last boat is tied at the end of the jetty.
Her captain lies buried beneath an oak tree.
A tree that I planted when I was a young man;
‘twas to be the last thing that remained here of me.

And there’s rum in her galley,
and maps in the chart room.
Her sails are all torn,
but they still catch the breeze.

And I have been cheated,
and I’ve been forgiven,
and I’ve had my dignity
taken from me.

Now I untie the rope from the end of the jetty.
From the galley I watch my old home drift from me.
And the tree that I planted when I was a young man,
is the only thing left of what I used to be.

And there’s rum in her galley,
and maps in the chart room.
Her sails are all torn,
but they still catch the breeze.

And I have been patient,
and patience is virtue,
and patience is killing,
the last part of me.

Now the pier’s out of sight, and the oak tree is fading,
and that whole damn town is now drifting to sea.
But the anchor comes loose, tumbling into the river,
and the chain in the water's the last thing I see.

And there’s rum in her galley,
and maps in the chart room.
Her sails are all torn,
but they still catch the breeze.

And I’ve learned some lessons,
and I’ve learned to listen,
and I’ve heard the beckoning
call of the sea.

So scatter my ashes right here in the river.
Look off to the west as I drift out to sea,
where I’ll chase all my childhood dreams in the ocean.
Every boat in these waters is here just for me.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Why I'm Not Ready to Unite (A few words about picking sides)

Who you defend matters. Who you ally yourself with matters.

The President Elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump is at this moment building a coalition void of ethics that tolerates if not invites hate, bigotry, and misogyny. To deny this, one must first deny the very words of Donald Trump himself, and one must deny the words of his accusers - from abused women, to bilked contractors, to conned students. Then one must deny the ties and motives of his most influential supporters, including some of the ugliest hate groups on earth. One must also deny the backgrounds of many of those being appointed to his transition team and administration. Lastly, if one has a conscience, one must deny that as well. In other words, one must deny all pertinent evidence, and assume beyond all reason that Donald Trump is something that he is not - a decent man with the values, temperament, and qualifications to lead a modern, free, and diverse nation.

“But he’s a businessman!” his self-proclaimed non-racists supporters exclaim, and “He’s going to shake up Washington!” they continue… and “Drain the swamp!” and “Make America great!!” and “How dare you call me a racist!!!” I didn’t call you a racist. I’m merely pointing out that by supporting Donald Trump you are supporting the adoption of a racist, homophobic, misogynistic agenda for America. As I mentioned at the top, who you defend matters. Who you ally yourself with matters. I don’t care if Donald Trump is a Fuc#ing leprechaun with a pot of gold for every one of us... He is unfit to lead, and his VP pick Mike Pence is a hateful homophobe poised to attack the entire LGBT community as soon as he’s able. They’re both dinosaurs from the pre-civil rights era with nothing to offer to a diverse community. And when all is said and done, I doubt they’ll have much to offer to the bulk of their red-state supporters either.

I've chosen my side. History will judge us all.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Uncounting Chickens

So many unhatched eggs sit
in Hillary Clinton's nest this morning
as Democrats look on
in shock and disbelief.
"What happened?" they ask,
and Hillary must be asking too,
as she mourns this loss.
But look closer... Many are cracked.
Cracked before they were viable I suspect.
But don't blame Hillary.
I believe they were cracked
almost a year ago,
when they were hurriedly stuffed there 
by Debbie Wasserman Schultz,
and the D.N.C.

- Of course there are many reasons for what happened last night, and D.W.S. is an extremely small part of it, but I blame her because I believe that she (more than Hillary) is corrupt. I believe that her mishandling of the Democratic primary ultimately made Hillary a weaker candidate... Basically I'm just mad and I need to blame somebody and I think Hillary has been blamed enough already.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The most important debate moment that all the TV talking heads missed

One brief exchange during last night’s debate immediately caught my attention. To me it was the moment of the night, and its potential ramifications are frightening. But it was just a moment and “poof!” it was gone. Maybe this has been addressed by others, but I stayed up till midnight watching the “experts” hash out the debate and I heard almost everything except for my “WFT?” moment discussed.
What starts a war? I’ll leave that question hanging for your consideration.
During the foreign policy segment of the debate, Hillary mentioned a recent incident where some Iranian sailors taunted some American sailors, and she quoted a statement Donald made about the event saying, “’You know if they taunted our sailors I’d blow them out of the water’ …and start another war,” she added.
Donald did not dispute the quote (It was accurate) or even the assertion that he would blow a foreign ship out of the water for “taunting”, but he did object to Hillary suggesting that such an action would start a war. Donald’s exact response to Hillary’s charge was to lean into the microphone and say, “That would not start a war.”
Now let me get this straight… Taunting an American sailor is an action that should be responded to by blowing a foreign vessel out of the water, but blowing a foreign vessel out of the water thus killing its crew is NOT an action that would start a war. WTF? Are you serious Donald? Well sadly, yes he is. You see this is Donald’s existence in a nutshell. If you rub the Donald the wrong way the consequences will rain down on you like hellfire. But no matter what the Donald does, no matter how heinous or vindictive, the consequences are “zero!” Thanks to daddy’s money, that’s his world.
But in the “real world” the acceptable response to having one’s ship blown out of the water is to return fire at whatever blew it out of the water… and at that moment “war” has begun. At that moment control of the situation is lost. At that moment the magnitude of the chain of events to follow is unknowable. All that’s predictable is death; perhaps incalculable death. And all because another thin-skinned political strongman was insulted.
Concerning the event discussed above: The “taunted” Americans, six officers and three sailors have all been disciplined or face action by the US Navy for their navigational incompetence. Their ineptness and resulting entry into Iranian territorial waters triggered the entire event. Yes, they were detained, questioned, and even “taunted”, but thanks to diplomacy they were quickly released. Now imagine a world, a Donald Trump world, where instead of asking for the return of our sailors, we simply blew an Iranian ship inside of Iranian territory out of the water.
What starts a war? That starts a war.