Needing a break

I spent the evening just breathing while sitting on my bed in the camper. I find the smallness of the camper to be soothing like that machine Temple Grandin used to squeeze her body. I don’t have that machine but the embryonic roundness of my aluminum cocoon is what I curl up in when the world is too much with me.

The world is too much with me these days. The news happens so fast and its always negative. I shut it off and I can’t keep up anyway. Theres a feeling of desperation in the air I can’t describe; a bitter metallic taste of fear and anger and frustration. I become embroiled by it if I succumb to anger and fear. I feel like we are living Yeats’s The Second Coming.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

I need quiet. I crave quiet. I’m tired of the anger and divisiveness and cacophony of voices all shouting at each other drowning out reason.

People fighting for their party like it’s a life and death thing. People disowning family over this. People hurting others because they believe what they are told about teachers and immigrants and protesters and Republicans and Democrats. I fear there is nothing to be saved and that we are lost as a nation. The divide between rich and poor is a chasm. We work more and earn less. Every day a new scandal and new denials and more anger and injustice ugh!! Today our president announced that protesting which is a 1st Amendment right should be illegal. This isn’t really a surprise, because Republicans have been trying to get rid of protesting by passing laws to curtail it for the last year-and-a-half. This in a country that used to be about freedom and used to stand up against the Putins and Dutertes of the world. No, now we admire dictators. It is a brave new world in which we hate diplomacy and pull out of human rights councils. It is a brave new world in which we deride our allies and embrace despots as friends. Upside down. Alice in the rabbit hole. I wonder when the madness ends. My life is looped into the life of the nation. I love my country and I’m terrified at what I see. The opposite of freedom is happening . Praise of Putin and autocrats by Trump and his followers even before he was in the White House let alone now is even scaring those conservatives left who are actually conservative.

I sit and breathe. Politics affects everything now. Its affecting friendships and relationships. Its personal. It didn’t used to be this way. You could live separately from the goings on in Washington and do all right. Not anymore. Its been a slow creeping infection this division and hate.

Its killing America. Its killing freedom and people will die because of this disease of nationalism and populism.

I fear for my country.

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Vision of what is to come

all is black and I am

moved forward by voices a cacophony if voices quiet then growing louder confused

I cannot make out the words but they slipside around me washing me like water drowning me rough seas

for we have known fear all of us unable to get traction on the world in front of us moving at light speed all of us crying in bewilderment at what we have created this great evil destroying us by degrees

I get alone and rock back and forth on the shore of this big inland sea and my prayers are carried by birds on the wind dipping and wheeling over waves crashing then

I see eagles in flight glowing in the black

I have seen them every day for a week so they announced themselves and these are giant birds who have voices of thunder

those thunder voices carry them forward they know the people need them

there is a blue warrior

A red warrior

A yellow warrior

A black warrior

a white sky and cloud people usher them and the growing dawn erases the black and people are no longer blind

Oh the horses, black and brown and red and bays and white all flowing manes and tails

the thunder of their hooves is astounding and I cower in front of them waiting

To be crushed

they leap over me and the wind of them blows the sun across the sky

those warriors follow behind them and then I see a beautiful woman

all is hushed

This woman carries a pipe and a buffalo walks beside her and behind her and becomes her and she is woman old and young and buffalo and calf all at once shimmering in the wake of horses

she speaks in the ancient language and it does not matter I do not understand I understand she has come

To save us

she sang the world into being and she sings again to save it her song erasing those who would destroy her mother her mother no longer old and sick on a cot but rising to destroy the ones who are death

rising the people rise the people know the people rainbow people rising

I open my eyes and the sun is almost gone

I get up and now I write

to tell

To remember

This is what will be what will happen the eagles have told me an

In which I ponder the lies we tell ourselves and how I am learning to speak my truth even if my voice shakes

We like lies.

We claim not to like liars but we do.

We like the people who butter us up. We like feeling validated. We fall for it and then wonder how the carpet got pulled out from under us when these types take advantage of us.

We like politicians who tell us what we want to hear. We all say we know politicians are liars. None of them keep campaign promises which are usually do gooder crap about how they’re going to feed hungry children and then don’t do it. We vote for the one with the best lines in the end. Politicians are like bad boyfriends we know are bad for us but we fall for the lines (read lies) every time.

I get tired of lies and the lying liars who tell them. They need to be called out but calling out self aggrandizing liars for what they are requires us to recognize we fell for their crap in the first place and we don’t like to admit we can be wrong. When our politics possesses us like Satan himself and we’d rather vote for the team so we can one up the “competition” or the “enemy” and “win,” rather than vote for the good of the country (that means the good of all, even the people you don’t like. This is a democratic republic after all. Other people than you live here and deserve the same rights and freedoms you enjoy). It takes recognizing some groups in our society are historically oppressed and this oppression goes on today. It means recognizing the truth of racism and misogyny and not trying to deny that real people get hurt when one group dictates for everyone else.

Lies. Liars. It is because of the liars in my own life I learned and am learning to stand up and speak up. This is what I think of the whole buzz around the possible peace deal between North and South Korea.

Big Liar

Kim Jong Un is the biggest liar of them all. He is fooling everyone. He is a dictator who kills and imprisons his own people and he has been sidelined and sanctioned for good reason. His human rights abuses are shocking. He engages in human trafficking of North Korean girls to China to make money. If they come back pregnant by Chinese men, they are forced to get an abortion. No one is free in North Korea. Those who resist, die.Human Rights Watch notes that North Korea’s human rights violations are unparalleled in the world:

They include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom.

There have been numerous warnings by North Korean experts and those who have defected not to be taken in by Kim Jong Un’s sudden wish for peace. He recognizes that he is the linch pin of the whole peace process and his self importance pleases him for he is as narcissistic as they come. He is charming and funny and he is using it to charm the world so that he gets what he wants. He recognizes that there is a US president who not only publicly admires dictators, but who is deluding himself with daydreams of all the accolades his troubled presidency will get if this comes together. Kim Jong Un knows the President of the United States will look the other way while he kills and imprisons and takes the rights away of his own people. So he is bowing and kissing in order to win freedom for himself to rule his country without the interference (sanctions) of the world, open his markets to the world to bring money into North Korea.

South Korea’s leader is no better. He wants peace so badly so he can look good to his people that he has removed the propaganda speakers at the border so as to appease Kim Jong Un. To make it look as if North Korea is also interested in peace, North Korea has been said to appear to be doing the same on their side.

The freedom to be a murderous dictator is the price of peace between the Koreas. And we are so enamored of the lie, we are failing to ask ourselves why now? Why is Kim Jong Un so suddenly interested in peace now after blustering and threatening Japan and the US and Korea all last year?

The appeasing by Kim Jong Un is not new. He and his father before him have repeated this cycle for years. Usually it is so they can get something they want–sanctions lifted, funding, armaments, etc. Joel Wit, a North Korea expert who has been involved with negotiations with North Korea since the Clinton administrationin an interview on National Public Radio yesterday says he feels North Korea has come to the end of their nuclear weapons development program which accounts for some of the sudden change in attitude:

But I also think the North Koreans may have reached the end of their development programs for nuclear weapons and missiles and may have decided that now is the time to shift gear – gears and to improve their economy. And so that means improving the external security environment so they can build up their economy.

KELLY: Oh, that’s interesting. So you’re arguing that maybe North Korea is thinking they wouldn’t have that much to lose by freezing their nuclear program for a bit.

WIT: You know, the North Koreans think months ahead, and I think they’re very different from us. So they probably had a number of game plans in place. And, you know, this was probably part of their game plan, and they’d been thinking about it for a while now. And I’ve heard things like this in private discussions with the North Koreans but certainly not having a meeting at the level of Kim Jong Un and President Trump.

Professor Robert E Kelly, an Australian at Pusan University in South Korea takes it one step further in a recent interview:

ROBERT E. KELLY: Well… (laughs) It’s probably in the middle…I don’t actually think that the ‘maximum pressure campaign’ really resulted in this opening. I think this is because the North Koreans now feel that they have nuclear deterrence with the United States, which is to say, they can strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. That means America cannot attack North Korea, because they might nuke us in return. And therefore, that gives North Korea room to negotiate.

I think that’s what this sort of ‘spring of summitry’ is, because the North Koreans aren’t just meeting with Americans, but with the South Koreans; with the Chinese; probably the Japanese and the Russians. They met the IOC (International Olympic Committee). And what they’re doing, basically, to my mind, is shopping around their program. So I don’t think that they are coming to the table to capitulate, as the President has intimated.

I think they are coming, basically, looking for a deal. And if we don’t give them something, if we don’t get some kind of deal out of them, they will just go back to the defensive crouch they have been in for years.

PT Barnum says a sucker is born every minute. We need to watch that we aren’t the suckers in a grand charade. Kim Jong Un plays chess. Our president does not. He shakes hands with dictators, praises dictators and legitimizes them instead of asking himself in the face if the horrific things Kim Jong Un does to his own people why no American president has ever visited with a leader of North Korea. Kim Jong Un lies about his human rights abuses daily, presents a face to the world that is a lie and lies to his own people with impunity and forces them to lie so they don’t die. He knows how to flatter and smile and joke.

Which one is wise? I will leave that to you to answer.

If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Kim Jong Un is lovebombing is for a reason. Just like a narcissist does. We should be asking ourselves why.

If the leaders of the world have no conscience, it is up to us, the people of the world, to stand up for the oppressed and brutalized people of North Korea. Unification of the Koreas will not change life for them. In the end we will be selling our soul to appease a monster who has no intention of handing over any power and democratizing North Korea.

Poem of the Day: William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

(Image from http://www.liamelia.com/second_coming.htm)

Why the First Amendment is way more important in protecting our freedom than the Second Amendment

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.

James Madison

Newspapers. The press. They’ve been a part of our nations history and growth for as long as America has been a country. There are and have been all kinds of newspapers through the years–the sensational papers like the National Enquirer, the dailies like The Nee York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and all the local city newspapers around the country. While it may seem that news is controversial now, it always has been, and as Napoleon Bonaparte said quite truthfully,

Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.

My question is threefold: Why do we trust elected officials more than our own abilities and intelligence? Why do we believe politicians when they decry the press? Why do we trust that these elected officials no matter who they may be, have our best interests at heart?

We know politicians don’t care about us. Yet we believe every word they say. This isn’t healthy for democracy if we mindlessly drink up every word they think we want to hear and never question them. They distract us with petty squabbles that keep us too busy to pay attention to what they are doing. We swallow whatever our favorite politician has to say hook, line and sinker. We hate who they tell us to hate without questioning why. They are trying to get us to hate the press and not place trust in the press. Healthy skepticism isn’t a bad thing. Question everything. But to wholesale distrust the established press is bad for freedom. We need the press as a check on the powerful in Washington.

This controversy that the press brings is good for our national discourse and without it, without a First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech and the press, we would have no discourse, no controversy and no freedom at all. All voices would be silenced except for the ones deemed acceptable by whatever administration happens to be in office. Rights for all but a few would go out the window. Thus, it is my contention that the First Amendment is much more important in defense of this country and our values of freedom for all than the Second Amendment, which some use to replace the First Amendment. Guns do not secure freedom alone. It is no good to secure freedom at gunpoint only to restrict what can be said openly. They can defend freedom, to be sure. In the end, it is the fundamental right to speak out that is sacred, that truly protects democracy ,whether it be by peaceful protest or protecting the rights of the people by printing what political leaders are doing in secret that affect the people adversely. Examples come to mind.

  • Edward R Murrow exposing Joseph McCarthy and his Communist witch hunt by reporting on it on television and allowing the American people to hear McCarthys own words to judge for themselves if he constituted a danger to freedom.
  • The publishing of the Pentagon Papers by the Washington Post. The papers had been classified to keep secret from the American people the history of American involvement in Vietnam through the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations, as well as the serious misgivings those governments had had about achieving any military success if America became involved in a war in Vietnam. President Nixon tried to stop The New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers under the guise of national security by getting an injunction to stop them reporting further on the fact the government had lied to the American people for 30 years about the war. For a while that worked. Then someone leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post. The Nixon government took the Post to court and eventually, the Supreme Court sided with the Post and in newspapers who covered the story after the Post, upholding the First Amendment in freedom of the press to inform the American people.

There are many more examples. Because here’s the thing. The President of the United States, no matter who it is, no matter what party, is not an authoritarian figure with the right by rule of law to be the sole decision maker for the whole country. The Founding Fathers feared that kind of authority and so they put up a system of checks and balances to stop any one branch from taking control of the country. This is a big reason why our republic has been stable for so long. The Founding Fathers thought the First Amendment was so important, they listed freedom of speech and freedom of the press first. Above the right to bear arms. Above any other right.

Were it not for the First Amendment, the NRA would not be able to say the things they say nor would they have become the large lobby they are. Were it not for the First Amendment, the politicians who support the gun lobby would be allowed to run amok with zero accountability. The NRA is also held accountable by freedom of speech and a free press.

It doesn’t matter if politicians like the press. The press is not there to be liked. The press is there to do the job of informing the American people. Like it or not. Is there problems with that? Of course there are. However, there are politicians of all stripes who would like to undermine the press as Nixon tried to so that they do not have to be accountable for wrongs they commit. When the news brings out the lies they tell, of course the politicians don’t like that. Nobody likes being caught in a lie. Of course the liars will try to undermine the credibility of the ones who expose the lies. By undermining a free press, by claiming free speech rights while taking away and suppressing that same right in others who do not agree with them, by calling the press the enemy of the people, not only does this attempt to normalize the idea that the press is always wrong, that there is no right to free speech and a free press except that which the government and those in authority in the government give, that is a direct frontal assault on the First Amendment, which is the check on a government which uses corrupt practices in order to benefit individuals within that government, not for the benefit of the American people, whether that benefit be the retention of power in ever greater amount, or the receiving of gross amounts of money.

The people have a right to know what its representative government is doing. The American people have a right to know in order to make the best informed decisions as to who should represent us to run the country. When we are not informed, we make terrible election choices. When we are not informed, we are increasingly dependent on the government to inform us and that cannot stand. No government no matter which party they represent, can be trusted to tell the truth, and to have our best interests at heart. And when that governments seeks absolute power by claiming they can’t tell us the truth because it is a “matter of national security,” (this is the cover most often selected behind which the government hides), then a nation can no longer claim to defend freedom.

The term “freedom of speech” has become so overused and eroded of late as to render it meaningless. When a public figure makes a claim and is criticized for it, they claim their freedom of speech is being compromised. We the people have adopted this as well. You can’t talk politics anymore with anyone without someone claiming their freedom of speech is being taken from them simply based on the fact that others don’t agree with them. This shuts down debate, and takes national discourse down with it. When we hold facts and education and educated people in disdain, we harm the First Amendment. We willfully hand over the reins of responsibility for self governance over to those who do not care about us nor have a vested interest in us. It is as Kierkegaard said:

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

Søren Kierkegaard

Winston Churchill also saw this issue crop up. It is not a new problem. And this is where we are at as a nation right now. Everyone’s outraged. Consequently, there is no national discourse and politicians, having succeeded in dividing us and stymieing the national discourse are free to do as they like with only the press to check them because the American people have checked out on our collective responsibility of ensuring that our interests are carried out, not the interests of corporations and lobbies or individual politicians’ interests. The American people have abdicated the right to put a check on the people who they have chosen to represent them and it is a sad day in this country to see daily what happens when the people willingly hand over power to a few.

Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.

Winston S. Churchill

We can love the press or hate it but it serves its purpose as a check when all three branches of the government fail. When corruption takes an absolute foothold on democracy and our leaders advocate for jailing journalists for reporting things those in charge don’t like, or claim that the press should “be loyal” to them, then we know as a people that something is wrong with the leaders we have chosen. Those who have attempted to bring down a free press (name any dictator throughout world history), have only succeeded in retaining power for a little while and the people with the press, have eventually brought them down. In this there is hope. For the truth will always out in the end.

Engage in your government folks! Write and call your representatives about every issue! Educate yourselves as to who these people are and what they represent to the best of your ability. Demand accountability and know that when the press is being attacked that these people are probably lying to you and they’re mad because they’re being found out. We may not like what each other has to say but we must always be willing to defend everyone’s right to say what they think. Always. We must defend facts. Education. Knowledge. We must always debate and be willing to engage with controversy.

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both

James Madison

Injustice

Yesterday I wrote what I see as injustice being done to children, schools and teachers; and by extension the public at large. Today I want to talk further about how injustice for one equals injustice for all and why we, the American public, can not afford to believe propaganda whether from the right or the left and continue to sleep at the wheel regarding public education as we have been doing the last few years.

The ones in power think you are dumb.

I’m starting with the assumption that you are not stupid. You know injustice when you see it. Even kids know when something is or isn’t fair. The propagandists use our biases and fears to twist injustice (because it benefits them, usually monetarily), and make it seem like if teachers or public schools are having problems, it’s the teachers’ fault or the kids’ fault or the parents’ fault (you see this targeted most effectively towards poverty stricken areas). The richest country in the world, the United States, has some of the highest rates of child poverty in the world.

It always comes down to money.

Funding for public education is now seen as “reward money” only to be given to the most deserving teachers in the most deserving schools. Those schools tend to be in better served areas, not underserved areas, so when underserved schools fail, the politicians point their fingers and convince you that if they failed it was because the teachers are “bad,” so the school didn’t deserve that funding and convince parents to take their kids out of that public school and put them in privatized charter schools. Guess where the Federal funding per student goes? Into the pockets of the politicians and CEOs on the unelected boards of these privatized institutions with little to no state oversight. This creates a constant conflict of interests that (guess what) don’t benefit students.

Funding for the beleaguered public school and teacher pay is then based on students’ performance on standardized tests. Hence, teachers end up teaching to the test or worse. During Teach for America’s former head “educational reformer” (read: public school destroyer) Michelle Rhee’s memorably fraught tenure as Chancellor of DC public schools in 2007– the “reformers” began by stripping decision making power from the school board (elected officials so your voice was silenced), and the school board was then turned into an advisory body, and the new office of chancellor was created—so changes in the public school system could be made without waiting for the approval of the school board. That’s right. They did all of that with little to no outcry by the public and they got away with it.

In other words, it was a hostile takeover by politicians and “reformers.” The first thing they took was YOUR voice. While politicians argued with the school district about money, the teachers stayed anyway despite the poor state of the schools, and were given zero credit for their dedication to the students during the years all this was going on up to dismantling the school boards power. Instead, once Rhee was hired, she weakened the teachers’ contract and then fired 241 teachers and put 737 on notice.Budget cuts were the scapegoat for continued firings of teachers through 2009.

Because they were getting fired left and right, and because their new weakened contract made pay increases dependent on student performance on standardized tests, with no tenure rights that would have protected them from being targeted as a political football ripe for firing, cheating, institutionalized fraud and dumbing down of tests became the tools of the desperate.

This is just one example. Teachers all over the country have been enduring similar treatment, been given zero respect, vilified in the media in order to get public support for privatizing education, and are blamed for everything that goes wrong in the public school system thanks to a marvelous brainwashing campaign by certain members of the media that reformers and politicians have been using to serve their interests.

The upshot

The injustice being done here in destroying the public school system in this country is patently clear.

1. Cut education funding so schools can’t get textbooks or supplies or make infrastructure repairs and keep cutting until the school falls apart and becomes a place students can’t learn. There goes test scores!

2. Weaken or destroy unions by making states “right to work” states that gut union protections for educators and blue collar workers so that politicians and corporate interests can run roughshod over them to achieve their ends, and the teachers and workers can’t do a thing about it and indeed, have been told right to work is really protecting them from the big bad corrupt union! Now teachers and workers have no one to represent their interests and that is how people in power like it.

3. As a result of #1 and #2, test scores drop, schools literally fall apart and teachers are left holding the bag to buy their own classroom materials and/or have parents buy more; the teachers are then blamed by the “reformers,” politicians and CEOs, who feed this line to their media of choice so that you won’t see what’s going on. They then cut teacher pay, and cut benefits to “discipline” the “bad teachers” (or hell. Do it Michelle Rhee style and fire them all), and this planned obsolescence creates a fake need for charter schools. The “reformers” who really have a vested monetary and/or ideological interest in destroying public education, look like heroes crusading “for the kids” while making striking teachers look evil for shutting down schools because they are trying to get the funding to give the best education they can for the kids.

3. Federal dollars per student are then funneled into “reformers” and politicians and CEOs pockets and the public doesn’t see it because they’re so busy being told to “look over there” at the “bad” teachers and failing schools. The public is mad at the wrong people. Be mad at the politicians who created this planned disaster.

Do your own research. Make the connections. The “reforms” aren’t working.

Public education in this country is tried and true and has been the bedrock of our republic for over 100 years. Teachers are professionals. Take the examples of Canada and Finland where teachers are regarded as highly as doctors and lawyers and listen to them. Let them do their job instead of being an armchair critic. Unless they’ve spent time teaching in a classroom politicians don’t know shit about teaching or what it entails. They want money. That’s it. They want to steal taxpayer money under the guise of telling you the people what a big fat favor they are doing our kids by getting rid of incompetent teachers and the rotten unions who protect them, and they’ve put the biggest fox of them all in charge of the henhouse–Betsy DeVos, who has never taught a day in her life and has made it patently clear she is not for the public school system and is for “school choice” and teaching evangelical fundamentalist Christianity in the schools.

Injustice of this magnitude contributes to the dumbing down of society and is taking the last democratic bastion of this nation away from the people. Pay attention.

Support public education and funding public education, and the teachers who are fighting for public education and your kids so that ALL children may receive an excellent education.

warning

first they came with their religion saying get back to God (while they stole from the people)

then like farmers

Of the devil they sow division and tear down schools and beat down teachers

busted unions systematically

taking away the freedom of others they fear

the people

they fear you, the people

in the name of freedom they do

these things

standing up

talking about

how they need to own my body because I can’t be trusted to live in it

Godly (while they give guns to madmen and the earth burns fire and spews hatred like green acid streaming down the purity of rivers annihilated)

annihilation is their name

telling you they are civilized

behold

they do not come in the name of freedom they come to destroy in the name of the greed that drives them enslaved to the whips and chains of hatred

talking about jailing journalists

talking about burning newspapers burning books burning burning

talking about fair and balanced

while they stomp on the scales and defecate on justice’s flowing skirts

talking about freedom

talking about freedom while using the flag to bind us all while using the flag as a hate symbol as the justification for all that these types of people do

They ain’t talking about our freedom

They only talking about what they’ve ever talked about 400 years and sliding backwards

talking about their freedom

Freedom to destroy

Freedom to rape

they believe the earth is a woman you see and these same types been justifying rape for time immemorial woman is subject to man subject to God we not subject to anyone you see we got our balls out so you can see how big they are so we can grab your womanhood it’s our freedom

not yours it’s not rape

when we do it

Freedom to silence because freedom of speech is too messy and we don’t like being told what we do we don’t like the exposure we don’t like the truth so we tell you the truth is not the truth we make up facts we change the language we don’t tell lies we speak the language call it alternative facts we

love freedom when it frees us we beat down the law

above the law

we only need you to keep winning so you hang on to those ideals we spout wave the flag stand up we passing laws to kill you when the curtain burns down when the puppeteer is exposed when the

Scales

Fall

From

Your

Eyes

when you flood the streets in protest we can kill you we have been killing you to see how far we can go we started with the brown ones to see what the

results will be the public outcry seems

quiet the doctor says (they don’t seem to mind)

And about that wall we got you so excited about we lied it isn’t about keeping them out it’s about how

that wall will keep you in

the cross will save you white

Freedom

Is

Sacred

Freedom morphs

the red white and blue slipping slowly inexorably

Into a white flag with a blue field and a cross

Freedom is upside down and inside out freedom is gagged and zip tied and we don’t hear her screaming or the nails being pounded in her

coffin

Listen listen listen

can the sickness be cured

she is dying

consent

why do they think they own us that we are fertile

Soil

they can walk all

Over or

Possess I repeat the lamentation of my sisters across the ages that has fallen on deaf ears or preaches to the choir so

let me

Spell it out for you

Consent

means my consent not yours to consent with yourself that you have the right

the right to

touch me whenever you want or to pinch my ass or to hug me or peck me on the cheek while you talk about how much all the girls

Love you

trust me they don’t

Consent

isn’t you promising

me a future pretending to be the one

while your real agenda is to get into

my pants that isn’t consent it is

rape by fraud

you lie to get laid

I don’t

Consent

to that

Consent isn’t you and me getting drunk

together and then you screwing me while I’m unconscious that’s

rape that’s being a coward that’s criminal

I am not your new territory and I don’t need you mansplaining to me how life works

like I am

Five years old

I been spending my time cleaning up after you and cooking for you and pushing out your babies because that’s what my mama my church my society tells me all I am

Worth

Ok you can work sure but

you gotta have that career while taking care of the house and your babies and your man

Well

Fuck you. He can cook too and clean he lives here too fuck this shit about how I have to be the one to be his Betty Crocker apron wearing slut while he

does nothing but tell me I’m

Not thin enough for him and reads Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition on the toilet pointing out all my faults compared to

Those airbrushed bitches

Fuck you society. I am a woman.

I don’t fucking consent to be owned and operated like a machine with no brain

I hope

I dream

I want

I THINK

I consent to me.

I consent for those who cannot to be who they should be

I don’t consent to his last name being the name of my master

I don’t consent to his opinion being the only one steamrolling my thoughts into

silence or his fists slamming into my

stomach into my thoughts intimidation into a shadow of who I once was before I was required by society to become lost in

Him.

I don’t consent to little boys who can’t keep their prick in their pants and excuse raping and assaulting women because oh shoot I can’t control myself and that’s just how men are

Boys will be boys

I don’t consent

To locker room pussy grabbing jackasses talking trash to look like men when real men don’t talk like that or act like that

I don’t consent to authoritarian beasts sticking their flagpoles into me like conquerors

normalizing rape behavior when it makes men into animals rubbing up against me so I can feel their hard on

I don’t consent

I don’t consent to men legislating my ovaries I don’t consent to men’s self perceived superiority I don’t consent

I don’t consent

for Las Vegas

what do we do when the darkness we sang in is no longer our friend when a madman unleashes his unreasoning anger in deadly speeding shafts of light from on high that cut through us mowing us down like grass and we discover suddenly that bullets transform us from people with loves and lives and families into fish in a barrel

when the news suddenly is not impersonal and we become the news when reality slams into us with the force of a car into a crowd or bullets into soft skin shouting in its hatred that no place is safe and Hate and Rage are all that is I say

do not give up hope for

the sky may seem bereft of God or Spirit but I saw Him among you gathering souls

perhaps you felt Him brushing past you in the crowds when love caused strangers to protect one another and perhaps he was the hand that yanked you into a van to safety or pushed you under a car

whatsoever you do to others you do it to Me He says

Those bullets tore through to the truth we all know but forget in our daily opinions and tirades and jealousy and fear

We are human we are love we are angels to strangers when bullets fly nobody cares about politics color or religion–only look

LOOK

Truth speaks softly look and see

See the helpers

See who you are beautiful people

So many helping and helped and helped and are helping strangers helping strangers in thousands of stories yet to be heard because

we are not

democrat or

republican or

atheist or

Christian we are not

labels we are

People we are

Americans we are those who reach out in floods and fires and tornadoes and hurricanes we are those who rescue and comfort

we are the mothers who bring food to those without we are the fathers who rescue the babies of others we are the ones who rebuild and bind wounds and wipe tears

we are not our anger and our petty disagreements or our divisions

in the end in the face of evil and bullets cutting through the night we are no longer strangers or enemies or adversaries

In that moment, we are one

we are love

we are American

Love one another even as I have loved you

charlottesville

Darkness creeps down over the passage of years

falling

enveloping

insidious

I stand in a vision in choking darkness

staring at a never healed wound

in the soul of this country

Civil war whispers out of the past

and I see a flash of red out of the corner

of my eye

the blood of thousands marches out of the

mists murmuring unrest and hate

Then I see them.

Faintly at first like candlelight they follow

the procession of the dead

orange glow flickering firelight

the hopeless and the angry full of false equivalencies walk in lockstep muted unreasoned fury in restraint

waiting to be unleashed

a river of fire wending endlessly a snake of fire

heavy passions twisted into patriotism

Boldly hate is unmasked

Done are they waiting for the answer

they have come as Death’s minions armed with clubs and guns and fire and fury

vigilantes for liberty of the white race

They have come to save us from extinction

You see.

They are heroes waiting ruthlessly to die for their country

to be made into statues like the heroes

of a lost cause long ago who have stared into the future with the alacrity of a sleeping dragon

There is no shame in their hatred of Other

Darkness seeps into light at last and there is none to stop them

only victorious leaders watching silently

as their napalm atomic vision of victory over the enemies that have watered down and delayed their being

grows closer to resurrection

Out of the darkness hurtles Death and her dark demons follow after her gleefully applauding bodies flying into the air

they have shed first blood

they are soldiers on the front lines where truth is inverted and lies are truth and freedom isn’t freedom and we are the enemy and following after

this tiki torch parade

follows demonic faces with swastikas carved into them and Evil wrapping

blackness into a cloak daring

God and Peace and Love and Truth to

stop it

Ravens pick at the dead and the storm

gathers