Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I have recently been chastised, if you will, by someone for lacking compassion and caring with regard to my outspoken and brutally declared disgust with certain members of the Rightwing political establishment.  I went on the record and with as little compassion and caring as possible stated my position thus, I am not a Christian it is best not to come at me with those old canards and empty sentiments supposedly shared by all the God- fearing men and women in Congress who would take health care away from millions, many of whom are children; who begrudge a few dollars in food stamps for the hungry – lately a large number of which have been economically disenfranchised for the sake of the traditions of vulture capitalism and the culture of greed; who would ask a woman violated and terrorized to carry some psychopath’s baby to term.  

I grow bored with the proselytizing and sermonizing of hacks who behave as if they have been elected to the pulpit while engaging in legalized corruption and the rape of the public trust.  I grow bored with their followers who aide and abet them in disrespecting, obstructing, falsely accusing and vilifying the lawfully elected president.  I grow sick of treason masquerading as patriotism – what else is it when the will of the people who elected that president by a clear majority is deliberately flouted and undermined by churlish, soulless men squealing about God to justify their misguided belief that they enjoy the divine right of kings to govern this nation?

Bored, sick that is what I feel, not compassion or caring.   In my religious practice no one has the right to critique, define or mandate another’s feelings.  In other words, those hasty of judgment, loud of mouth and weak of nerve on the Right should keep their god-damn humbugs to themselves.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Quality of Friendship

Within this past week I have had the unpleasant task of unfriending someone on Facebook that I thought was a good friend.  We have all been through this, and it seems to be happening a little more often these days.  As I suppose is the way of friendships that end badly, it made me furious.  Hours afterward when I had settled down I was aware of a cold constricting hand around my heart.  The sensation was fear.

The situation was briefly this.  He had posted a list of Mitt Romney’s good works, I suppose you could say.  For instance, volunteering to work in his father’s gubernatorial campaign, to work for the Olympics and as a missionary in Paris for the Mormon Church.  I understand that this is a requirement of the Mormon Church.   It was also noted that Mr. Romney had not taken a salary as Governor of Massachusetts nor as head of the Olympic Committee.   I am sure he hardly missed the money.

 When I suggested that it was easier for Mr. Romney to volunteer large portions of his time then it was for me to volunteer in a rape crisis center, not to mention a number of free clinics, 20 years out of 41 years working 40 to 60 hours per week on the trauma deck, in the ICU or ER my friend became abusive.  He scolded me as a partisan whose opinion was of no value to him.

I began to think about the fact that Mr. Obama’s service as a community organizer working on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised of Chicago far from being respected was ridiculed during the 2008 election.  I realized that Mr. Romney’s Cadillac charitable work on behalf of his father and the Mormon Church in Paris, not Bangladesh, Africa or South America where many of my friends in the Peace Corp had served, was hardly equivalent to Mr. Obama’s work.  Our president came out of law school with a mountain of debt and no silver spoon in his mouth.  I believe it was a sacrifice for him to give of his time – his Harvard Law School graduate time – to people who had little or nothing to give back.  He could have gone anywhere and began to make a great deal of money if he had chosen to do so.  If he was paid serving the community it wasn’t much.  However, like the docs I worked with in the crisis center and the free clinics he probably volunteered much of his time and skill. 

That’s when I got it, and that’s when I got frightened.  It is not about volunteering or charity.  It is about who is being served.  Governors, the Olympic Committee and the Mormon Church matter.  The poor people President Obama served do not matter. 

By the Living Goddess can it be any clearer?  It was like looking through a magnifying glass at the platform of Romney and his prolife-antihuman mascot Ryan.  When some people matter and some people don’t, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” becomes nothing more than an empty campaign slogan.  Liberty, equality and freedom become the property of the privileged and are lost to the common, work-a-day world.

Is it possible that people like the person to whom I was speaking this past week are so deluded as not to realize that unless they become instantly as rich as Romney and his friends at the time of his election they will become instantly part of the common work-a-day world that does not matter?  I suppose they must be since they are confused enough to judge President Obama a failed leader never taking into account the record number of filibusters orchestrated by the amoeboid Republican Senate leadership and the obsession with other people’s wombs in the House that has effectively stopped the president’s efforts to do anything on behalf of the American people.  Apparently, they also missed the information that a cabal of Republican leaders met under cover of darkness on the night of Mr. Obama’s inauguration and vowed to make him a one term president at any cost.  The power was to be theirs.  The cost fell to the American People.

I paraphrase Chris Carter and the final episode of his “X-files” when I say; the devil is just a person with a plan.  Evil, true evil, is a collaboration of people.  We are staring it in the face.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Coherent Choice

One wonders how a man like Paul Ryan has squared his raging Catholicism, which leads him to sponsor draconian anti-abortion bills, with the philosophy of a rampant anti-religious sociopath like Ayn Rand.  It must have taken a tremendous leap in rationalization to bring together his divided political personality.  Following this supposition to its logical and ludicrous end one can only imagine him showing up for Confession and pleading, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned.  I have yet to destroy Medicare.”  For his penance he might be heard ritualistically muttering six long prayers to his Rosary beginning with “Hail Mary, full of Grace, nonetheless the Right is still with me.”  No matter since he has forsaken Ms. Rand, running from her almost as fast as Romney is running from his budget.  Ain’t that just like some politicians – core principles are a moveable feast.

I have never observed such a conundrum or predisposition to reverse gears at a moment’s notice in the mind, behavior or politics of Mr. Obama.  Be clear, I have had my disagreements with his policies.  Why the hell wouldn’t I?  I am so far to the left as to be scarcely in his peripheral vision.  Perforce he must seek compromise, seek the middle.  That is were deals are made that benefit a great number of people.  I don’t go near the middle; hardcore Liberals like me speak to the faith.  We are purists.  I have no objection to compromise as long as one group isn’t shortchanged on behalf of another.  Obama gets this necessary equity in a way few leaders ever have.  Therefore, it is and always has been my belief that President Obama is committed to doing the best he can for as many people as possible.  Perhaps, that is because he isn’t dealing with a religious v secular, god v greed moral muddle.

Ryan and his running mate Romney on the other hand seem to be advocating doing as little as possible for as many people as they can in order to do the best they can for a very few.  Somewhere in all of this is the Will of God, the clandestine Will of Ayn Rand, the Will of Bane Capital and the Witless Will of the Moral Wimp Romney.  Figuring out what is motivating either of these men at any given time is like separating the water from the beef in broth. 

One thing is obvious to me.  The Middle Class and the poor are being placed in much the same position as Witches and accused Witches in the 18th Century.  A large number of these people – mostly women – would have their hands and feet bound then be submerged in water.  If they sunk they were innocent, albeit dead.  So too the bulk of this country is being asked to sink into economic deprivation, hands and feet tied with more children than we can feed and steadily dwindling financial prospects.   If through it all we are willing to in the words of National Lampoon, “Heed well the advice of those greater than ourselves even though they be turkeys,” then and only then will we be good Americans deserving of the right to serve.

People who willingly submit to this kind of torture are probably more in need of a therapist than a voter’s registration card.  Still, I do not advocate disenfranchising anyone no matter how stupid or self destructive they are. In keeping with this alarming tendency of many to vote against their own interests there seems to be an equal tendency on the part of Romney and Ryan to advocate against their own interests when it comes to dealing with the concerns of women and seniors.

Women are aligning against them in great numbers, and seniors are beginning to follow close behind.  Without these two groups I don’t think they can win – Independents or no.  I have long suspected that a greater arrogance then we have ever seen before was born with Citizen’s United.  These two men of privilege may well be convinced that since money has always given them what they want, the Supreme Court has seen to it that money always will.  However, money may not prove to be worth much when it comes to getting the vote of a woman who might be forced to carry her rapist’s child to term or a senior who could be faced with accepting a Medicare voucher that is all but worthless in terms of meeting their health care needs.

The choices between the two opposing views of the Left and Right have never been more coherently demonstrated than they are in this election season.  Thus growing antagonism between women and seniors with regard to the Republican’s presumptive nominees for president and vice president must be encouraged.  Those of us with a voice no matter how large or small must take a page out of the Republican playbook, without the lies, threats or demonization usually attendant on the Right’s political speech, and stir the pot, encourage the dissatisfaction, harp on the facts that will persuade women and seniors to vote blue in November.  Like Ms. Rachel Maddow we must insist upon reminding these two valuable voting blocks that Romney and Ryan will not serve the vast majority of the American People.  Indeed it appears that they are about the business of establishing the political oligarchy of a very few to which the rest of us will be in service.  It is said, and the Republicans seem to live by the preposition that if you tell a big enough lie, long enough, people will believe it.  Perhaps that is because the enormity of the truth is not repeated nearly as often as necessary to defeat the lies.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Karmic Hurricane

The two people in the picture are my paternal Italian grandparents.  I share my grandmother’s name, first and last, as I never gave up my maiden name.  I once stood beside her grave and saw my name carved into the stone at her head.  It gave me an overwhelming sense of eternity.  Her name and some part of her existence via genetic memory had been passed on to me through my father.  So, I have a retrospective and precognitive sense of her time, even though she died three months before I was born.  In truth, death and violence notwithstanding, life is as indestructible and immutable as time itself.

She and my grandpa came to this country at the beginning of the last century.  With other Italians and Sicilians they were part of a great flood of immigration that was a pre-storm warning of an approaching karmic hurricane. 

They came to the United States looking for new lives because our soldiers who fought and helped win the First World War told them that the streets of America were paved with gold.  They came with their hearts full of hope to join a society full of hate – as the Irish or Chinese immigrants who came before could have told them.  Dirty Wop Anarchists they were called.  Some were probably Anarchists – much like the people who want to destroy the government today.  However, most of them were half starved peasants from the old country with their lives in tattered knapsacks and their families in tow.

The hurricane gained momentum in 1919 when the Volstead Act was passed into law and became the foundation of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution - Prohibition.  This despicable piece of unpopular legislation was designed to stop the use of intoxicating beverages, curb alcoholism and the social ills that resulted from it.  Once again, stupid, corrupt politicians pandering to fanatics with a lopsided agenda – not unlike the hacks we suffer today – missed the mark since Prohibition did none of these things.  What it did do was generate the greatest criminal empire in the history of the world.  Men like Alfonse “Scarface” Capone saw an opportunity to get rich through the illegal manufacture and distribution of alcohol.  They seized it gleefully.  Thus was born the eye of the storm.  

From the mid 1920’s to the early 1930’s when Capone was sent to prison for income tax evasion he ran Chicago.  This son of Dirty Wop Anarchists immigrants was one of the most powerful men in the country.  He was often called the unofficial Mayor of Chicago as he owned politicians, city officials, judges, cops and to a large extent the admiration of a public furious about Prohibition.  In no small way, Capone’s empire was built upon the loyalty, and not a little fear, of immigrant Italians like his parents and the Sicilian immigrants that faced the loathing of Chicago’s “decent” citizens every day.

As my father told the story, an often neglected part of the whole story by the way, when Italian or Sicilian men went looking for work in a garage, grocery story or restaurant they would be turned away with a warning not to come back because there wasn’t any work for their kind.  As a result they stepped into the tempest that surrounded America’s most infamous mob boss and ask for employment because their babies were hungry.  Capone gave them money to feed their kids telling them to come back and he would find something for them to do.  Accordingly, his empire grew exponentially out of the bigotry endemic in Chicago at that time.

Hurricane Al hit landfall in a torrent of blood gushing down the streets that were supposed to be paved with gold– the blood of his enemies, the blood of his friends and the blood of innocent civilians all mingling together and splattering the name Scarface across the front page of every newspaper in this nation.  The perfect karmic storm had come full circle.

To spite the era in which he lived the old man with the haunting dark eyes in the picture was the gentlest of human beings.  He was a simple man with simple needs, a decent job, a home and food on the table for his children - all of this to honor the woman who at the time of his death had been his wife of some fifty years.  You see, he believed that a man shows his children how much he loves them by the way he treats their mother.

My grandfather never saw a weapon or a bomb much less used one and never took anything that didn’t belong to him.  He was a law abiding, hardworking man all of his life; became a citizen within a few years of coming to this country and spoke English only, albeit not well.  Two of his American-born sons died in Italy during the Second World War fighting under the American Flag.  Still he was a Dirty Wop Anarchist until the day he died in the minds of many.  Perhaps that is why he reluctantly respected Capone, as did my father.  Preying upon their self inflicted weakness, Al beat the bastards at their own game taking their hate and shoving it up their ass.  You called Capone a Dirty Wop once then you never called anyone anything ever again.

It goes without saying that the bigotry that the Italian and Sicilian immigrants found so prevalent in the land of opportunity contributed to the rise of Al Capone’s murderous organization – as did the idiot politicians, the fanatics and their ridiculous 18th Amendment.  Not to mention a chronically indifferent public.  Just as it goes without saying that the hate spewing public figures on the national stage today contribute to the outbreak of mass murders which blemishes our society all too frequently.  The Bachmanns, Palins, Limbaughs and Becks who churn out hate toward other people, races, religions and political ideologies are as guilty in spirit of the assault on Gabby Giffords in Arizona or the destruction of life in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin as they would be if they had pulled the trigger in fact.

The same vile mythology underlies the prejudice and intolerance that is accepted today as it did when Sam and Barbara were alive in 1919.  It is the notion that the freedom, liberty and benefits of this great country are finite.  If those who enjoy them now ever share them with the “other” they in some way have lost them.  It is the worst kind of hate and fear mongering, of race baiting and class warfare.  People who engage in propagating this filth masquerading as patriotism for political or personal gain are not to be tolerated.  If we tolerate them we deserve them.  If we deserve them we will have them.  Prepare yourself for the next karmic hurricane.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What Goes Around, Comes Around

To all those who support draconian austerity measures I submit the following:

We are favoring four scapegoats in this country currently – government, taxes, spending and public sector workers some of the most valuable of which are teachers, first responders, fire fighters and cops.  I believe that by the time the Christies, the Walkers, the Scotts and all the other small government hacks that you have put in office stand for reelection the full impact of their policies will be felt.

If my prediction comes true you might find that your child is in a classroom with seventy other students.  It might happen that your grandmother chokes to death on a chicken bone because so few responders are available that no one can get to her.  Perhaps your house will burn down owing to the fact that the limited number of fire fighters considered essential simply can’t handle all the emergencies they must deal with each day.  

Should your wife, your daughter, your sister, your mother, or your Aunt Gertrude fall victim to a serial rapist who has added torture to his criminal repertoire it might happen that this predator has been able to hunt a hell of a lot longer because there weren’t enough cops to run him to ground.  Remember, as local law enforcement is stretched beyond its ability to serve so too is federal law enforcement; particularly, if you shrink government to the point that it can be “drown in a bathtub.”  If you think that you can take your tiny gun out, hunt down and kill this person, think again Mr. Earp or Ms. Palin as the shoe fits.  These aberrant personalities are often very intelligent, highly sophisticated, thoroughly enjoy what they are doing and routinely evade the likes of the FBI and Interpol.  You aren’t up to the job.  If you are into futility and/or suicide – people who hunt monsters often get caught by monsters – better you should just insert your metal phallic symbol into your anal cavity and blow your brains out.

Should any or all of this befall you or someone you know or love don’t go whining to the media.  Please don’t go bellyaching and jamming up the courts.  Above all don’t come crying to people like me who told you it wouldn’t work.  We won’t be interested in the fact that the constipated tax revenues and shrinking government you supported aren’t serving you.  Suck it up.  You will have earned it.  In any case, if you stay quiet long enough you just might acquire enough wisdom to understand that people who set out to destroy governments usually want to replace them with regimes of their own.  They don’t want anybody around strong enough to stop them.

It is a true thing that what goes around comes around, man.  If you think that it is morally, socially and economically acceptable, not to mention worthy of the God of your heart, to ignore the existence of the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the disabled, the elderly and even your fellow members of the Middle Class, you too might wakeup invisible someday in the society you helped build where indifference is policy.

Saturday, August 4, 2012




Feminism has been much maligned over the last 50 + years for many reason not the least of which is a desire to control the propagation of the species.  The central idea behind Feminism, as I understand it after nearly 45 years of defending the cause, is simply this; both sexes must be fully empowered and enfranchised for any society to stand on a solid foundation.  A society that does not stand solidly is in danger of not standing for long.  The wounding and vandalism of the feminine half of the human family is analogues to destroying one half of the foundation of a house – as that house becomes unstable so too will the human community.

Carl Jung said, and I am paraphrasing now, to separate the human being from some part of their humanity insures that the thing that is lost will return as disease.  The long history of denying the influence of the feminine voice and nature an equal and respected place in the affairs of human beings has resulted in rape, incest and the institutionalization of violence against women and children.  This then, to my mind, is the foundation of Feminism and Feminist thought.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Freedom of Religion

One of the most despicable and pernicious myths in modern day political discourse is the assertion that anyone who questions the Religious Right’s claim that they and only they should be allowed to exercise full religious freedom in this country is somehow engaged in the persecution of Christians.  From the Religion of Organized Bigotry to the United States Air Force to an unending stream of button pushing, self aggrandizing and opportunistic believe-I am-a-Christian-because-I-say-I am-Christian gasbag politicians on both sides of the isle, the collective minds of the American people have been polluted with the false - I say false - assumption that this is a Christian country, has always been a Christian country, always will be a Christian country.  In fact the worst of the scam hinges on the drivel that the Founding Fathers designed it so with planning and forethought.  Well as our noble cousins the Brits would say, bollocks.

To wit:

“. . . No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively."  Thomas Jefferson

“. . . I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”  George Washington

“"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion.”  John Adams

Anyone who doesn’t recognize these men as Founding Fathers needs to turn off Fox News, learn to read and take a high school history course. 

In my estimation there are two groups of “people of faith.”  The first have a deep commitment to a personal deity made known through individual revelation, meditation and experience.  Their faith is generally sturdy and often unshakable.   They find fellowship in religious organizations for communion not consensus.  The second group is comprised of people whose faith is saturated with panic and the isolation born of an unwillingness or inability to see that we are all part of the same thing, have nothing to fear and can’t in a real sense be alone.  Their faith is brittle and requires consensus rather than the fluid give and take of communion.  These are the religious tyrants who must stand on the flooring of other peoples’ conformity or they can’t stand at all.  These are the despots of God who insist that this country was founded as a Christian state, has always been a Christian state and must remain a Christian state.

The people of “fear-faith” are easily led by anyone who pays lip service to their overwhelming need for agreement.  They willingly settle for image over substance.  They freely give their trust to any charlatan who can quote, rightly or not, half a dozen bits of scripture from the Bible, promises to stop abortion, end homosexuality and return women to chains in the kitchen.  This unholy marriage between the terrified and the parasitic is the greatest corruption praying upon our society today.  Owing to it all other corruptions are made possible.  The interaction between these codependent and dysfunctional partners abrades our Democracy and is bleeding our Republic to death because the body politic is septic with it.