Must be because must ain’t don’t sound right!

I live a some what contemplative life. I am alone most of the time. I bike a lot which even if there are others, it is an activity which requires presence and mindfulness. I am compelled to examine my mind and observe the origins and value of my behaviors.

For instance. Becoming a drug addict in my 50s was a bad decision. Losing my wealth in 2008 was a series of bad, avoidable decisions. Marriage, divorce, surgery, what to eat today, series of mistakes permeate my life. 

 I got surgery this year to correct a discomfort in my body. I could have passed on it. It went wrong, twice. It cannot be remedied. I was successful at many things and generally walked away from every success for no apparent good reason. My femur surgery last year has its own set of challenges but arose out of a mistake I made riding my bicycle.

I am hardly unique. Everyone of my friends has made significant mistakes in life. I and many of you have mistakes stacked up to the roof. In this moment, I am often the observer of my thoughts. I find I am frequently viewing the moments in life that once brought pain. But in the Buddhist training, I also learned; not to relive the pains, that all things are impermanent and that my true suffering is my attachment to the “what ifs”, “but fors”, “if I’d a only”, etc. 

No, if “if and buts” were “candy and nuts”, every day would be Christmas. You all give me the gift of being here, in this moment and always reassuring me that nothing matters but this moment. Resistance is futile so practice acceptance. Acceptance does not mean approval. It is merely a recognition of that which simply is.

Like all things, I am impermanent.

How can we talk about life when we cannot talk about death. No one tells you they are going to kill themselves because family and friends will call out the cavalry. So they do not talk about it.

When I was 15, I told a therapist that I considered suicide regularly. He tried to have me committed to a psychiatric institution. Lesson learned. And yet I have often contemplated suicide. But why, or why not.

Like many of my readers I suffer from emotional, financial, psychological and spiritual difficulties. Addiction, loss of financial well-being and the loss of love due to death and break-ups.

Much of my life I struggled with my demons. Made friends with em and broke up with em. Worked through them. Got tired and quit. Came back and started over. Made progress, back pedaled rinse repeat.

I will not likely die a natural death. I expect an accident or suicide will end this chapter of my story. I have no wish to suffer death via illness. As my abilities fade and the losses of life mount, I will go on my terms. Not a damn thing will change that. Buddha sensed what I have been going through and he proposed a path to free me from suffering. It has been very helpful. But I do not think I will achieve enlightenment in time. Talking with my favorite monk 2 days ago, I agreed to investigate some teachings on rebirth. That is for Buddhists. I think maybe Christians get to be with Jesus. My friend Jerry is with Jesus, wherever that may be.

But the reason I started writing today is I have spent many hours in solitude contemplating things. I wonder about love. So many folks are in love with someone who does not love them back. So many of us are trying to navigate romance and it can be a source of great frustration, ache and intense pain comparable to physical pain of the worse kind. Others have loved well and long and then lost to death them that they loved. Alone at the end of the day when they are least likely to re-engage with the types of social milieu that will reintegrate them to romance. Bars and social activities reserved for the younger crowd.

Unlike some, I have tremendous resilience and resources when I am hurt. I trudge on and rebound. But today I looked around and did an assessment. My two daughters live with their mom. I got divorced 5 years ago. I am jobless and my finances are thin and I may be broke before I die. I am starting over and I am simply not ready, willing and able to do so except in short spurts and even then I wonder why.

Do or did I have a soul mate? Did I meet her but we did not figure it out. Did she meet me but I was emotionally unavailable? I met someone I felt so comfortable with and so close to, for 6 months and then it was no more. She was gone. No amount of love, money, or gestures could prevent or return her to me. She was my soul-mate. Big fucking deal.

Aging boomers may become the next “lost generation”. Shell-shocked from cultural shifts unseen in modern times. The digital age leaving us in its dirt. The magnification of regressive politics, polarization and aging leads many of us to feelings of vulnerability, isolation and regret.

I for one lived large. Much to my detriment and regret. But on the plus side so many personal and professional encounters in my life saw benefit to others from my being a warrior. Ex-cons, drug addicts, gangs, and everyday people need what I have and there is no shame in being that special snowflake that they can relate to.

As he said, “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” Theodore Roosevelt

Or him, “Old age isn’t a battle; old age is a massacre.” Philip Roth

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
― W. Somerset Maugham


The Universal Suffering

Imagine the collective suffering that is taking place at this moment. Each sufferer managing their suffering in their own way. Drinking, drugging, praying, hiding, crying and on and on. I could never tell my whole story even if I knew it. Pain blocks out joy and then joy blocks out the pain. And I begin again. 

I am never going to be the person I most desire nor the person I least respect. I am a middling kind of guy who loved Martin Luther King JR. and vowed to be like him. But in the end I was just a regular guy who has trouble changing a bicycle tire much less the world. 

But when I think about the collective suffering I am reminded that most of us are just trying to get through the trials and tribulations of life. And in my small world I have so many examples of people who managed their tremendous difficulties with great dignity. My suffering is nothing more than the anxiety of thinking that when I feel bad I will always feel bad. It isn’t true. I have to stop making up stories with endings that never happen, sometimes love stories, others, stories of calamity. Doesn’t matter which, cause neither outcome could be permanent except the one where I eventually die.

Sometimes the antidote to my suffering is to empathize with the global conflicts, famine, oppression etc. If I allow the recognition of the global/universal suffering taking place it helps me to understand that empathy diminishes my focus on my pain and allows me to make room for all pain, its devastation and the physical, emotional and psychological effects. Sometimes from this suffering comes redemption but most of the time, it just results in pain.

I recite this Buddhist blessing for all beings as the war in Ukraine rages.

May all distresses be averted.

may every disease be destroyed.

May there be no dangers for you.

May you be happy & live long.

For one of respectful nature who

constantly honors the worthy,

Four qualities increase:

long life, beauty, happiness, strength.

May you be: freed from all disease, safe from all torment,

beyond all animosity, & unbound.

When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Thank you my dear dear friends and family. I did indeed recently reach the end of my rope. You advertently and inadvertently showed me that I do not live or die for me alone. I absorb my difficulties so that I can be part of this universal experience we call life.

I remind myself, with your help, that I am a vessel of infinite capacity for the likes of grief, suffering and pain. Unto myself, I am more than willing to slip into the darkest night. But over and over, when I share the difficulties, you remind me that it is my obsession with self that causes the majority of my suffering.

As my health problems multiplied, so did my mental health. But, as I shared, I learned to empathize and sympathize with your difficulties. You shared your tales of broken bones, disease and nose bleeds. ( I was in the ER yesterday for nose bleed.) You gently explained how long and painful my recoveries will be.

Broke my femur and my brother Rick, my sister Karen and others carried me. I lost my kitty cat to heart disease, I found my grief was shared by all pet owners. I had surgery for another problem and friends brought food and comfort

Ram Dass wrote about his stroke and how it changed his identity from golfer and sports car driver to patient in need of care. He wrote about the challenge of allowing himself to be a gracious patient needing help with everything. I carried thoughts of his journey into the ambulance, hospital bed and rehab because breaking my femur was a game/identity changer.

Dontcha think one of the great spiritual axioms is that when we share our burdens we lessen them? I am convinced that friends have repeatedly saved my soul. Perhaps they are merely God with skin on. Dunno. Don’t care. It works and I cannot come up with a better theory.

Community and connection equals my salvation. Rolling Stones sang

“I’m all alone, won’t you give all your sympathy to mine?
Tell me a story about how you adore me
Live in the shadow, see through the shadow
Live through the shadow, tear at the shadow
Hate in the shadow and love in your shadowy life
Have you seen your lover, baby, standing in the shadow?”

Thanks. Gracias. Kab khun krub. Mam’noon.

May you know the affection I carry in my heart for you. May all beings be safe and may you and they be free from all suffering.

Death be my constant companion on the path I live.

I am writing this blog post about unrequited loves and unrelenting hurts, Suddenly, I remembered this song. Nothing new to be said on the subject. Love always seems to be as much of a pain as a joy. So turn up the volume and slow dance. Memories? The sweet taste of loves found and lost in your mouth.

I am listening to the song and strolling down the boulevard of broken dreams and see if there is anybody I recognize. I have been down some mean streets but when I talk to friends who lost loved ones, I think the meanest street is Love Lost. Little can ever be said to help endure loss. Not just romantic love, but close family and friends leave that same hole in the soul.

I came back from visiting Tucson AZ. I have wanted to go back there for a while and work through losses there. The one loss that evaded any healing was losing my friend Jerry. I wanted those closest to him to commiserate with me. But there was no one I could reach for years.
And then this trip I had a long dinner with 2 of his daughters. It filled a bit of that hole in my soul to enjoy their company. It brought more healing in 3 hours than the 5 years since he died.

Similarly, my old boarding school roommate died around 1986 but I did not find resolution for 20 years, when my phone rang with a call from a long lost mutual friend. Then I could explore my feelings and share meaningfully about the loss.

Sharing and caring can precipitate healing, (and more hurt). I do hurt for people who lack the people and resources to facilitate healing. Psychologically handicapped and alone in their own hearts and minds. I worry for their mental health in those situations. In fact, I have floated away at times from everyone because pain robbed me of a voice to express the feelings. I think that is called depression.

If I believed I was alone, I would quit. But I am always reminded that I am loved. What a blessing that is.


“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
― Kahlil Gibran

Nothing left to offer

Sometimes I have nothing left to offer. No opinions, no explanations, no answers. In this moment I offer prayer and blessings. May our country and all its people heal soon. May we find balance, compassion and love for those we share this country, this planet and this universe with. May we shower all living beings with the same compassion we would ask for ourselves. May all who have been harmed, forgive and all who harmed, be forgiven.I send loving kindness to those I find difficult or resent. I wish to be forgiven for the tone I have taken and the tone I will likely take again. I sought/seek to persuade because I think it important. I sought/seek to protect because I fear there are those who are vulnerable. My values albeit may be different from yours, are a product my experience, education and actions. My intent was to protect myself, the earth, the children and all those who sought my protection. I am a staunch Buddhist and yet I respect and revere and pray to all the various names that God has been given. I do this because I believe all who live, fear and all who fear, need comfort and all who need comfort should find it in whatever form it takes.

“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.” Joseph Addison

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.” William E. Gladstone

I get it. I so get it.

I get it. I have friends who are so far right wing that we hardly agree on anything political. I also know that most of those same people have pets they adore, disdain poverty, believe in justice and honor the earth in various ways. None of my friends is simple and none are pure.
Sad that the Trump administration unleashed the ugliest of behaviors and lies in modern history. Sad that so many of my neighbors believe in a man who has been sued thousands of times and accused of a multitude of crimes, sexual, financial and political.
I can not cross that political divide. I can only recognize and honor that my friends believe they are being the best humans they can be. As I also allow for my crazy liberal pals. (No shortage there)
I try not to hate. I put a lot of effort into not hating. I do hate trump freely. When I seek the good in people I can usually find many redeeming features. Such as they have pets, love animals, disdain poverty and believe in justice. I have seen no evidence that trump has any redeeming features including being kind to animals, humans or nature. The likes of trump. McConnell and Graham passing will be celebrated by a lot of people who simply want to be the best American citizens possible. Many liberals will celebrate when Pelosi and Feinstein and Schumer retire for similar reasons.
I seek peace and harmony. I do not believe we will ever get back to peaceful co-existence. I think violence and discord will be an ever increasing presence. But that growing threat will not be diminished by my defaulting to hate and anger. That is the currency that the rich assholes have been paying us with in order to grow their power and profits. May they all be reborn as 3 legged dogs in a 4th world country.

Gun Control. Gun Safety, Gun Something!!

My brother sent me a group of articles on guns. I am not fact checking, most are from sane responsible sources although they may be accused of bias. I am now biased. As a gun owner and concealed gun carrier, I am biased. I think it is time to examine seriously the corruption of America by the NRA. I am biased against the lies disseminated by groups like the NRA which lie, twist and bend the constitution to an audience that honestly believes the bullshit. I know many people who pontificate about the rights granted in the second amendment and none of them can intelligently discuss the responsibilities that all public policies and legislation represent. If you do not understand the underpinnings of the law then you are quite ill-prepared to analyze it. Like the doctors who saw lung cancer but never understood the relationship to carcinogens. Or sees a damaged liver but never bothers to explain the effects of alcohol on that liver. And worse yet, refuse to look at the scientific research that would explain the linkage. So here goes.

There have been more than 2,500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook -includes not just shootings in which four or more people were murdered, but shootings in which four or more people were shot.
Mass shootings make up less than 2 percent portion of America’s firearm deaths, which totaled nearly 40,000 in 2017 alone.
On average, there is around one mass shooting for each day in America

states with more guns tend to have more gun deaths

the US does not, contrary to the old conventional wisdom, have more crime in general than other Western industrial nations. Instead, the US appears to have more lethal violence

“A preference for crimes of personal force and the willingness and ability to use guns in robbery make similar levels of property crime 54 times as deadly in New York City as in London.”

other social indicators in 2011,… found that higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness didn’t correlate with more gun deaths. But he did find one telling correlation: States with tighter gun control laws have fewer gun-related deaths

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

one theory that researchers have widely debunked is the idea that more guns have deterred crime

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/

The problem with much gun violence research is that the Congress forbids the federal government including the Centers for Disease Control to study gun violence. So the best we can do is extrapolate from FBI statistics.

Whichever side of the debate you stand, your ideology or your love or disdain of firearms, the truth is that we kill a lot of innocents. The law has a term, reckless disregard for the life of others, to act without regard to the risk of death or great bodily harm to others. Recklessness means the person knew (or should have known) that his or her action were likely to cause harm.

A failure to do something; a neglect of a duty, is an omission which can be the foundation of liability. We all know the lethality of guns. We know that gun violence in the hands of gun possessors causes harm to innocents. And we are guilty by omission everyday we do not explore and implement changes in our society to protect innocents!. Universal background checks on all firearm sales is the beginning and can and should be implemented tomorrow upon an act of a united congress. I know that is never happening but I write because saying nothing is just more omission, negligence and a betrayal to every innocent who will die because we did nothing.

GUN CONTROL!

As many of you know. I owned the DFW Gun Range in Dallas TX for several years. I have been licensed to carry a firearm since 1993 and have done so. I have many friends from my participation in the gun industry, but none have ever openly supported my advocacy of universal background checks and none has ever published in social media that I have seen, of advocacy of any gun limitations.

I have been interviewed in the news, many times on gun ownership and openly stood against most gun restrictions and argued passionately that the problem is more about mental illness and poverty than guns. I am right about that but those problems are much more difficult to address than simply putting restrictions on buying guns.

I do not believe that the safety of my community must rely upon my ability to carry a gun. It certainly should not rely upon folks who are precluded by law from getting guns but can buy one privately without limitation. We are asked throughout history to make compromises and sacrifices for the safety and welfare of the common good. Hitler and Mao may have instituted gun control in their countries before persecuting folks. But is it better to be shot at the grocery store or in your first grade class than in a gulag or prison camp?
Don’t be ridiculous. It was useful to have a gun when men tried to commit violence against me or break into my home. I have never needed a rifle, ever. My handguns were just fine.

We are dying as a democracy but it is not liberals killing it. I have said this repeatedly…I know more about gun rights than any of the pontificators who continue to assert some absolute right to have guns. I know more about gun laws, the constitution and history. Your zealousness arguing in any absolute right to guns is wrong as has been determined by every governmental authority, legislators, courts and executive branch. You continue to misinterpret the law, believe propaganda and stand on ground which you can only hold through obstinacy not morality or legality.

Wash your hands of my input. Put no weight on my experience, education and training. I guess the blood will have to flow through your living rooms to bring change.

To the rest of you, there are too many guns already in private hands to confiscate, eliminate or buy back. There are many actions which can be taken to help but if you advocate confiscation, you will fail, miserably. Safe storage, background checks and a thorough examination and study of the causes of gun violence. And please stop pontificating about gun owners unless you have insights rather than prejudices. We are as afraid of being victims as you are. Our reaction to violence has been to prepare ourselves to defend ourselves and our families. We never lived in a country that had gun control and an absence of violence. We know this country which has made blood an integral part of our history, anthem and flag. In our world where we do not harm anyone, we do not practice callousness towards others. We intend on being good citizens, helping our communities and loving our neighbors. The carnage you see was not initiated but the average gun owner. It is precipitated by hate mongers, gang members and mentally ill persons.

We gun owners sure do need to broaden our perspective, initiate, investigate and advocate for reasonable limitations on gun access and its use in murders and mayhem. Shit happens. Shit changes. We learn. Now we need to act. Let me be clear. I have used a gun to prevent felonious assaults intended against my person. How badly I would have been hurt without a gun I do not know. But when I weigh my safety against those many victims of gun violence, I submit to the better good. (I do not believe the government is my biggest threat and necessitates my owning guns. I think it is white supremacists.)

When I was young!

The photo above shows a storefront on what was always referred to as 57th Street on the south side of Chicago. The photo itself slightly predates the events described in this narrative.

I started running away from home when I was 15. This was the first place I ran to because I heard that I could find people here to steer me to a “crash pad”, a place to sleep or live temporarily and at no cost.
It was this alley and on this block where I was taken into police custody on a few occasions. My most serious criminal charges arose out of actions taken in this vicinity. The alley seen adjacent to the store was also the heart of an adolescent social community which I became a part of.

I would eventually be arrested on this very block for disorderly conduct, loitering, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen or mislaid property. I was probably stopped and searched here by CPD at least 20 times.
The storefront in the photo was a bookstore and coffeehouse. I was banned from this business at an early age and as a result I retaliated and escalated my activities in and around there which resulted in a manager putting a gun to my forehead, bouncers removing me and Chicago police escorting me to the local precinct station.

That alley was possibly the epicenter of the cultural revolution for dozens of teens like myself. Many days and nights, multiple squad cars would arrive and harass the gathered long-haired hippie teens. Here is where many a drug deal went down, the revolution planned and consciousness was expanded via intellectual discourse and LSD.

Next door to this corner building you can see the Christian Science Reading Room. The Room was the location of my least productive commercial burglary. About $3.65.

4 storefronts down was Ahmad’s Persian restaurant where I could be found in the evenings selling pot. My friend Abby Bardi worked at Ahmad’s and depicted it in her great novel, Double Take. This is also where my fence, (a much older criminal also depicted in the novel) met me in the evenings to take possession of my stolen-goods for safe keeping. It was Ahmad’s where the CPD arrived, in what is generally described as dragnet (a network of measures for apprehension), looking to place me in custody for innumerable burglaries . Fortunately, I had escaped out the back door just in the nick of time and fled the jurisdiction (not depicted in the novel). Days later you would have found me safely ensconced in San Francisco. In a time before cell phones there were 2 ways to communicate with me when I was a youth. Come to 57th or call the pay phone inside Ahmad’s.

Very few of my pals from those days survived. Those that did are still friends of mine. Drugs and violence took so many so young. I was shaped by the many youths who crossed my path here. All colors, sexual preferences and intellect. Kids whose parents were janitors and some whose parents were nuclear physicist or molecular biologists and such at the nearby University of Chicago. The first artificial nuclear chain reaction took place 5 blocks from here in 1942.

I am a productive member of society now. I was just simply lucky that I was spared death and prison. The massive amounts of hallucinogens, barbiturates and amphetamine I consumed could probably have caused my death even in the absence of other violent forces. But, my heart and soul and concern for the welfare of others was shaped and concretized here. It may be a paradox that I could have had such a flexible moral code while simultaneously being shaped into the very progressive, liberal stalwart that I remain today.

It is hard for me to have seen this photo online today and not get nostalgic. Try as I might, I will never feel I can do justice describing the place where I was at my craziest, slickest and most evasive. That street introduced me to some of the smartest, craziest, stoned but cool kids ever. In my own way I am proud to have been here to mingle and play a role when the cultural revolution we associate with the hippie culture was at its peak.

If you know me to be visiting Chicago, you can bet that I will take a stroll down 57th or as I now call it, Memory Lane.

Not out of the woods yet.

The following may be too intellectual for some users of social media, but Trump grips his power over his supporters by being the nationalistic, forceful leader with religious and aggressive/violent supporters who keep talking about killing liberals, BLM and Jews. Just read below and think this through with Putin instead of Chinese, communism from Christianity and pandemic for famine etc. This is our time we live in.

What follows is derived from Wikipedia and the University of Minnesota Center of Holocaust and Genocide Studies Taking power in Cambodia at the height of Marxism–Leninism’s global impact, Pol Pot proved divisive among the international communist movement. Many claimed he deviated from orthodox Marxism–Leninism, but China backed his government as a bulwark against Soviet influence in Southeast Asia. To his supporters, he was a champion of Cambodian sovereignty in the face of Vietnamese imperialism and stood against the Marxist revisionism of the Soviet Union. Conversely, he has been internationally denounced for his role in the Cambodian genocide and is regarded as a totalitarian dictator who was guilty of crimes against humanity.

Those that Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regarded as enemies were killed. These mass killings, coupled with malnutrition and poor medical care, killed between 1.5 and 2 million people, approximately a quarter of Cambodia’s population, a period later termed the Cambodian genocide.

Because the Khmer Rouge placed a heavy emphasis on the rural peasant population, anyone considered an intellectual was targeted for special treatment. This meant teachers, lawyers, doctors, and clergy were the targets of the regime. Even people wearing glasses were the target of Pol Pot’s reign of terror. Muslims suffered great loss of life. Khmer Rouge militia regularly killed those they deemed to be “bad elements”. A common statement used by the Khmer Rouge to those they executed was that “to keep you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss.

Polarization and victimization and scapegoating are the essential elements which have been infused into our society/country which is in retreat from itself and its values. Trump supporters are angry and trump hopes to use that fire, add gasoline and then scorch his political opponents. If an international tribunal were to have the power to investigate, I have not a bit of doubt that they would discover that trump committed multiple crimes against the US. Historically when evil loses power, the void is filled with reformers and patriots. But this government is filled with fat cat politicians who have thrived in this environment and are now populist heroes of the Right. They find no value or cache in reform and lament the loss of their corrupt Pol Pot.

Hitler is a fair analogy for trump as is the Third Reich for trump’s administration but his never reached fruition. We successfully slowed his authoritarian gestures and resisted his attempts to marginalize, demonize and harm his opponents which were largely liberals. Sadly liberals suck at politics and our shaky reprieve will be short-lived if our leaders do not wake up to the precarious nature of our victory.

They still do not understand immigration hostile Mexicans-Americans. The liberal politicians fail to actualize the promises made repeatedly to people of color. Liberals/democrats eat their own. Even as I write this Joe Biden is under attack from almost every special interest group in the democratic umbrella. His appointee is gay but not black. His appointment is a black male, why is it a male. And on and on ad nauseum. We are dodging a bullet and should be celebrating that we freaking survived. But instead, all day long pundits are taking to the airwaves to chastise the proposed Biden administration for every secretary appointment and policy maker. I am a progressive. Dear Joe Biden, take your time and do not worry about me. I just want you to move us away from this nightmare, this depravity of a spiritual, psychological and emotional nature of the USA.

God bless the real US.

For reference. https://cla.umn.edu/chgs/holocaust-genocide-education/resource-guides/cambodia#:~:text=Because%20the%20Khmer%20Rouge%20placed,Pol%20Pot’s%20reign%20of%20terror.

The Uprising is not complete!

Watching the statistics of the presidential election. I am glad to see a shift because it is time for the democratic party to recognize that young white black and Latin women are saving the party. They recognized the threat of trump, they organized and they showed up. It is not the Pelosi, Feinstein, Perez or Schumer that won this election. Give it up for WOMEN! Transfer the power. AND it is fucking time to find solutions to poverty and the epidemic of incarceration of men of color.
Democrats have given lip service to the problems without substantive solutions. Yes the republicans could care less and block bills. The bills they blocked were not remedies, they were band aids. Fuck that.

Put America to work with the biggest infrastructure repair ever and hire every ex-con and able-bodied person to help. Put Black and White men together on road crews, forest maintenance and waterway rehab. They will find a way to get along….or else. Nothing like working alongside another man to learn about him. Ask people who served in a military that was flush with conscripts that did not want to be there but fought alongside each other in Nam.

The hate for liberals is acute and dangerous. Part of it is irrational and part of it is our continued neglect of the health, safety and welfare of the dying middle class. Fucking politicians, fat fucks who linger in office because we the people do not know enough about our political systems to show up and vote the fat fucks out.

Political correctness sucks too. Worrying about some right-wing speaker on campus, insisting as readily as the Right that people must agree with us, and throwing gun owners under the bus while there are 300 million guns in circulation are just vote subtractors.

I would have to think hard to find a single long-term democratic (or republican) politician that I trust. Maybe Bernie and Elizabeth but they are moving past their expiration dates as politicians also. In what fantasy do any of my friends see Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer leading the way? Biden is a necessary accommodation to transition from trump. Like one political yard sign said, “Any Functional Adult 2020.”

Don’t get me wrong. I like and admire Biden and his presence of late has been impressive and comforting. But I am tired of being ruled over by old white men (of which I am one). My children’s futures are hinging on what happens next. Thus it is time for Mayor Pete and the like to move up and move in. I do not care that you do not agree with The Squad, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. I do not care that they are not super-supportive of Israel. I do not support the Far Right Wing government of Israel or any other Far Right or religious fundamentalist government. They are and deserve to be a significant part of our political future

My head can often be found up my ass when it comes to the digital world and pop culture. But I am not stupid. We will never get term limits passed. We need to look to smart young women and men who hold humanistic values and are not beholden to a political machine. We need to groom them, elect them and follow them into a brave new world….soon….now.

The heart should not be a lonely hunter.

I did not intend to craft a bummer blog today but I write what I write and share what I share. I let the market place decide worthiness.

Thai Buddhist monks (Theravada) are not vegetarian. In large measure they cannot choose their diet as they are expected to eat what is offered by lay people whether it be meat or fish head in oil. But the expectation is that neither lay persons or monks will cause harm unnecessarily. My sensitivity to my environment in conjunction with the concept of “engaged Buddhism” has led me to work that much harder on behalf of the earth and all its occupants.

In my Buddhist practice, we send blessings and compassion to all sentient beings (metta). If you ever had a pet, you know sentience. Sentience is defined as “able to experience feelings,” “responsive to or conscious of sense impressions,” and “capable of feeling things through physical senses.” Sentient beings experience wanted emotions like happiness, joy, and gratitude, and unwanted emotions in the form of pain, suffering, and grief. Do not be someone who hurts sentient beings through ignorance, neglect, intention or negligence.

Every time I eat meat or fowl I recognize there is a food chain that I am part of but my participation is multiplied by the indifference of our society and its marketing of food products. So I minimize my non-vegetable consumption, which by the way always pays off in better health, less expense and enhanced awareness of my environment. Most of you think that is bullshit which probably means like me, you do not want to be inconvenienced or are unwilling to disrupt your taste buds. Equally disturbing to me are persons who own animals but are indifferent to their animals’ discomfort or suffering. Show up for life being the best sentient being you can be and have empathy for all other sentient beings.

Do not merely “not kill needlessly” but to the best of your ability, protect all beings. Hold in your heart that we are fortunate to be able to actively express our discomfort and suffering. If we get hit by a vehicle they will send an ambulance to help us. Not so for the thousands of critters struck last night for whom only death will bring an end to their suffering.

My bubble is crowded with the suffering of others. Empathy is an attribute that I value but it is the foundation of so much of my discomfort and suffering. It is why I do not practice law. I could not handle watching my clients sentenced to confinement in a system which only held the promise of punishment without the offer of rehabilitation, education or reformation.

Like we say in Alcoholics Anonymous, No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. … We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

“Why, if it weren’t for this ‘internal illumination’ [i.e., sentience] the world would be nothing but a pile of dirt!”
― Albert Einstein

Wake Up!!!

Dear Outraged Liberals,

Please let me explain this from my perspective. When trump the candidate began his campaign back in 2015, many of us tried to be heard that it was the beginning of a call to violence.
Now there is some righteous indignation about the claim that he did not denounce white supremacists. May I suggest that you may have no idea what is happening,

I know these white supremacists. I went to gun training with them when I attended various gun schools. I was always the sole liberal in these environments.

They are well-armed and have been practicing for the apocalyptic civil war. They are not great in number but they are much more dangerous than you seem to realize. They believe that POC are mud people. They believe that Jews control the media and the money. They believe that the president of the United States is on their side and that their is a liberal dark state that is trying to illegally overthrow their hero and he is the best hope for a whiter America. Homosexuals are an aberration and Islam is a bunch of sand-niggers.

The women can be equal to the violence but they are not allowed to lead. They can train with guns but generally they stick to supporting roles. They will rip your eyes out just as readily as the men.

You saw them marching in Michigan, Portland and elsewhere. You have seen them on display. They typically carried AR 15s, a semi-auto military style rifle. In addition they carry a handgun and at least one tactical knife. They often train in rural environments in anticipation of a violent encounter with the government. They believe that a New World Order is a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda that is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government. They believe that Clinton and/or Obama was intending to allow the United Nations to send in troops to confiscate firearms. They believe that democrats have supported and planned for the mass incarceration of gun-owners in large internment camps around the country.

The hundreds of these cells are communicating and operating on the Internet to share extensive support/info in activities including bomb making. They relish the idea that they are being given support to actually act out. I mean they are excited that all this training and preparation is finally coming in handy.

Can you imagine these mother fuckers foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs? These are not advocates of a fair fight. They must absorb pain without tears because machismo is everything!!

These are not your average trump supporters. These are a special brand of men and women who number in the tens of thousands and are located in every state. (You might want to move to Wyoming if you want the state with the least number of identified hate groups)

Trump told them during the debate to stand by!!!!!!!

Perchance a trump supporter reads this. You are either tone deaf to the language of hate or you do not care what cost the defeat of Roe vs Wade or Gun Control. You do not intend for any innocents to get hurt but you are not sure there are any Black or liberal innocents. BLM stands for usurpation of law and order to you. But you never had a mob pour a milkshake over your head as you sat at a lunch counter because you asked to be served. Your mother never made news because she refused to give up her seat in the front of the bus. You never watched your family and friends gassed, beaten and bit by police dogs because they protested their deprivation of civil rights. These things are not “historical” events which are being dredged up like slavery. These are events in our time.

Lyrics from Ball of Confusion Published in 1970

Well, the only person talkin’ ’bout love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, aggravation,
humiliation, obligation to our nation
Ball Of Confusion that’s what the world is today (yeah, yeah)
The sale of pills is at an all time high
young folks walkin’ ’round with their heads in the sky
Cities aflame in the summer time, and oh the beat goes on
Eve of destruction, tax deduction,
City inspectors, bill collectors,
Evolution, revolution, gun control, the sound of soul,
Shootin’ rockets to the moon, kids growin’ up too soon
Politicians say more taxes will solve ev’rything, and the band played on.
Round and round and around we go, where the world’s headed nobody knows.

You could hear that song 50 years later and it will sound fresh. How is that progress?

This is now. Meanwhile as you read this, Donald Trump will be the first president since Richard Nixon to go a full first term without selecting a Black nominee for a federal appeals court. In 2020! BLM does not stand for Burn Loot and Murder. It stands for an end to police violence and while it has turned into riots and looting, that is not the intention. The intention is to bring attention to years of criminal police behavior aimed at people of color. As Martin Luther King Jr told us, “Riots are the language of the unheard”.

So my dear, dear liberal friends. Your outrage is warranted but do not rest in your rage. You should be guarded for the trump call to arms emanating from the entire trump family. I wish I had confidence that the government will protect us. I don’t. Many white cops think we deserve what we get when their fellow whites attack us to honor the blue. The irony is no one hates cops more than the white supremacists, until the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The debate moment being talked about is the refusal of trump to denounce white supremacy. Really? He is way past that and onto signaling his eagerness for their intervention in saving his ass from a fair election. Bullies may be weak….until they surround themselves with other bullies. They feed off each other and then when the first bullet is fired, it will be followed by a volley.

I may be writing quite inartfully but it is early the morning after the debate. I am tired of watching the previously emasculated white power movement grow in numbers, confidence and support.

And there is a good reason the FBI has been trying to warn about Right Wing extremists groups including their infiltration of police departments.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/extremists-pose-a-violent-threat-fbi-and-dhs-officials-say-11600998139

Hate group intel. https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

God bless America, land of the broke.

Dear Trump supporters. Our country is on its way to bankruptcy. Whoops. But who better to lead us than trump. He has already done it 4 times. ha ha ha, tee hee tee hee. Suckers and losers in abundance. Just kidding. No I’m not. Yes I am. Not, am, not. Why would I bring this up when we all know I could not change anyone’s mind? Because our children must pay back all the deficit spending costs. We are breaking their financial backs with our lack of fiscal prudence and corrupt leadership. So I am not appealing for myself but for our kids and grandkids. Take a moment….think….a country once the economic powerhouse will be financially broken. Me and you laying in our graves, safe and sound. Them, can hardly afford food and housing because we sat by while the country borrowed its way through each day.

Bankruptcy 1: The Trump Taj Mahal, 1991
The first bankruptcy associated with Trump was perhaps the most significant in terms of his personal finances, according to news reports at the time. He funded the construction of the $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, which opened in 1990. By 1991, the casino was nearly $3 billion in debt, while Trump had racked up nearly $900 million in personal liabilities, so the business decided to file for Chapter 11 reorganization, according to the New York Times. As a result, Trump gave up half his personal stake in the casino and sold his yacht and airline, according to the Washington Post.

Bankruptcy 2: Trump Plaza Hotel, 1992
Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel in New York for $390 million in 1988. By 1992, the hotel had accumulated $550 million in debt. As a result of the bankruptcy, in exchange for easier terms on which to pay off the debts, Trump relinquished a 49 percent stake in the Plaza to a total of six lenders, according to ABC News. Trump remained the hotel’s CEO, but it was merely a gesture — he didn’t earn a salary and had no say in the hotel’s day-to-day operations, according to the New York Times.

Bankruptcy 3: Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts, 2004
Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for bankruptcy again in 2004 when his casinos — including the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Marina and Trump Plaza casinos in Atlantic City and a riverboat casino in Indiana — had accrued an estimated $1.8 billion in debt, according to the Associated Press. Trump agreed to reduce his share in the company from 47 to 27 percent in a restructuring plan, but he was still the company’s largest single shareholder and remained in charge of its operations. Trump told the Associated Press at the time that the company represented less than 1 percent of his net worth.

Bankruptcy 4: Trump Entertainment Resorts, 2009
Trump Entertainment Resorts — formerly Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts — was hit hard by the 2008 economic recession and missed a $53.1 million bond interest payment in December 2008, according to ABC News. After debating with the company’s board of directors, Trump resigned as the company’s chairman and had his corporate stake in the company reduced to 10 percent. The company continued to use Trump’s name in licensing.

God bless the real America! Not the one of trumpian nightmares.

Adios mother fuckers

If trump is re-elected I am exploring moving to another country. Congratulations trump supporters, you succeeded in supporting the total and complete corruption of my birthplace. It is uninhabitable to persons who actually read and absorb facts, believe videos and scientists and value honesty and integrity. Fuck trump. Every lie he tells about Covid 19 is a death sentence for untold Americans. Every dictator he snuggles up to brings us closer to war. Every ally he offends brings us closer to a war without friends. Me, I am going to go relax somewhere they do not house alien kids in cages, believe in women’s right to choose and do not attempt inflame the populace and thus to purge judges, government administrators and opposition politicians, i.e.those considered enemies of the president. In other words I will not be moving to the Philippines or some such banana republic.
My family fled Russia for a reason. My parents raised me to hear the sound of injustice and fascism. And I needed no help to hear the sound of racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

Did I say Fuck trump? I am sorry. I meant to say, double fuck him. Did I mention he is a worthless twit void of ideology? I mean to. I need a gun because I live in the US. You do not need a gun everywhere but you do here. We are the best country? Drink that kool ade.

It is great that we have free access to so much information unlike a dictatorship. But what good is it if you limit yourself to Fox News and Breitbart and other propaganda used to prop up this Far right government. What good is access to information if you do not listen to the wealth of scientific information available or listen and then choose to exercise ignorance and ignore it.

What good are your rights as a citizen if you use your status to deprive anyone of affordable education or health care or housing. You think taxes are your money? Your taxes are a drop in the bucket of what it takes to support the country. You want to pay less taxes and get better infrastructure? You do not deserve the level of service you get for the amount you pay. You only got to enjoy much of your public services because others pay their share. But now fewer people and companies of wealth contribute so the country sinks economically and financially. And you grin and think you got over on the system like a fat rat in a cheese factory. The system got you. You did not get it.

A rich guy pissed on your head and told you it was raining and you believe it. Smelled like piss. Looked like piss. Expert analysis says it is piss, but trump said it was rain. Damn.

I been to Europe and Asia and never had a gun there and I yet I was safe. Guns do not make us safe. People make us safe. Guns make us safe from bad people with guns. I walked into neighborhoods in Asian and Europe that were rough. Poor! People of color! And no one bothered me and I did not need a gun. Want America great again. Be the example of the person who does not tolerate hate. Does not treat the stranger with hate and suspicion. Choose leaders that do not make me feel I need a gun because your leader praises white supremacists and mocks Jews, calls Mexicans rapists and protesters, terrorists. Oh, and advocate for an end to the unregulated firearms market and the demonization and incarceration of drug addicts. I did not day give up your guns but we should never again sell one of our guns to anyone who has not passed a verified minimal background check.

The whole point of claiming this was the best country was the perception that it was democratic, tolerant and helped the rest of a world in need. That shit went out the window while you cheered. Damn.

I could not burst your bubble about the US. You are not concerned that prisoners and immigrant detainees are held in private prisons. Kids in cages. I wish your Facebook pages were plastered with how upset you are that bbout 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. Fuck em. (Texas has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result, Texas, has an estimated 761,000 residents ineligible for Medicaid and are also ineligible for premium subsidies to offset the cost of private coverage in the health care exchange.)

The greatest country? Best at what? Largest military budget. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of the total. U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined.

Highest murder rate? Highest cost of college education? Least amount of training time for law enforcement officers. (16-18 weeks versus 2-3 years)

You do not trust big government or the US government. You believe a deep state is undermining our democracy. If you mindlessly bought the story that we are the greatest and/or will be great again, how great can it be if there are FBI, Department of Justice lawyers, ex-presidents and the Democratic party all working to destroy our country? Wake the fuck up.

Man I have to watch news, read crap propaganda and listen to everyone’s opinion to get to the truth. You mock my conclusions. But you just wanna skim the Fox headlines, listen to Judge Jeanine and smile while they blow smoke up your ass. I’m working my ass off to preserve democracy and you are wallowing in the misinformation fed you because someone convinced you that everyone else is telling fake news. So you believe your country news media lies all the time? Great country. What the fuck.

You will thank God for all God has given you but who did he send to deliver it. His angels earn your scorn daily. Your fellow Christians show up looking for work and toil in the hot sun to harvest your food, cover your roofs and build your roads. Look as you go by on a hot summer day and see who is manning that road crew! What a shame. God sent you salvation from labor by giving you the hardest working, cheapest work force and you kick them, take their children and turn away as they beg for access to health care and education and citizenship.

The president of the United States is a whoremonger, admitted sexual predator and one of the most sued entities in the history of the country including judgments for cheating charities, students and contractors. He is presiding over the biggest kill off of our population in its history

How low can you go? Apparently there is no bottom. MAGA for the win? I suggest you get a good umbrella because trump is not done pissing on us.

reference

https://www.healthinsurance.org/texas-medicaid/

https://www.wbtv.com/2020/06/13/some-us-police-train-just-few-weeks-some-countries-they-train-years/

https://thelastweekends.org/?utm_source=tlw_patinkin

Throw the bums out.

When you listen to Rand Paul, Chuck Grassley, Chuck Schumer, et al in these hearings, you get an overwhelming sensation that we are long, long, long past the time for term limits. This men’s club is corrupt beyond measure. They are partisan, politically or financially corrupt and out of touch. I do not agree with everything Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says or supports, but clearly she is more plugged in to the reality of our everyday difficulties. Whether or not she has the solutions is unimportant because until you grasp the problem you cannot craft the solution. (Kinda like a pandemic)


I never feared a sole political leader in the past because I was raised with the notion of checks and balances. Now I have learned what can happen when the entire government capitulates to the president. Now we are seeing the complete surrender of obligations by the ruling party and how much it resembles foreign authoritarian governments. Especially where the “strong man” consistently and persistently derides the opposition and encourages violence against his own citizens who oppose his rule.

Time to revisit life in the USA. Politics in the USA and the allowance of bought and paid for politicians being allowed to rule over us for years on end. I am okay with the suppression of the political parties especially to the degree that governance returns to the governed. I favor rule by coalition allowing for more political parties. I do not believe in social engineering by legislation. I do not believe that items beyond the scope of national concern can be subject to the whims of the party in power. I abhor the drug laws which criminalize and demonize addiction. I support the right to choose but I believe we have never spent enough money and time curbing unwanted pregnancies.
I love my guns but I also support the right to life as pertains to the health safety and welfare of school children, concert-goers and worshippers. If I must compromise my gun rights, so be it if it will help make it more difficult for the mentally-ill and prohibited possessors in securing a firearm. And every fucking gun owner with half a brain knows that there is an open market in Texas and other states which allows free access to guns by persons who would not be allowed to purchase under federal law from any licensed seller.

So no one is going to compromise or bend in today’s environment of which trump remains the pivotal figure from both sides. So it is clearly time to start over with a government that works for both (many) sides. Many repel at the idea of compromise and cling to the illusion of God Given rights and obligations. I also repel at certain compromises such as caging children, even illegal children. I believe in the sanctity of school children and their right to be free from men with AR-15s who are set to slaughter them.

So I hope we can agree on just this one item. Term limits. Run out the rascals. Then we can sit at the table across from each other via young, smart partisan legislators who will be unable to legally take lobbyists dollars and will know how to craft legislation which addresses the needs of the greatest good.
The Congress was invented to find compromise in legislating. That concept has been abandoned. So I am good with the destruction of the republican party. I never would have advocated that before but recent events over the past 12 years have convinced me that our government is more fragile than I knew. I do not have to advocate the elimination of the democratic party, the republicans are already well on their way to that. But we must not let the victor have the spoils. Deprive both sides of a stranglehold/foothold over our government.

I am and always have been a citizen of the USA. I have and always will support the health, safety and welfare of our military, especially our combat veterans. I do not support rioting and looting but I absolutely support a transformation in policing. Change the training paradigm, the caliber of recruits and the policies around use of force especially as pertains to the mentally-ill.

Oh my I have gone on far too long. God bless the REAL America. Not this trump perpetrated hoax and pox upon us.

Vote for me and I will set you free!

I used the title in the hopes it would more likely get readers more than the title “This is who I am”

I am a long time advocate of civil liberties and gun rights. I disdain violence against animals or humans in all forms. In contrast I will not hesitate to react violently to an immediate threat.

My liberal friends generally agree with my values such as, I support all peaceful efforts to stop police violence. I support the efforts to help small business survive the pandemic. I support masks and social distance. I do not support any rioting or looting. I do not support the confederate or Nazi flag waving. I never support hate speech whether coming from a misguided/frustrated black man or a conniving rich white man in the White House.

I advocate term limits and the elimination from congress of its life long members, including Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer. I advocate an end to Citizens United, the legal case which allows unlimited corporate cash into and to influence our elections. I would support efforts to eliminate corporate lobbyists influencing legislation.

I support Joe Biden. True he was not my choice and rather than suggesting that means he is not a good candidate, it means I am far more progressive than him. IT does not mean that I have any concern about his character or his ability to lead the country. It means that he is too far to the right, too conservative for my tastes. I am absolutely certain, he is no puppet of the far left, not going to take our guns, not mentally incapable of serving or that he will destroy the suburbs or allow our “white” women to be raped.
Joe Biden has more morality, empathy, compassion and intellect in his little finger than donald trump has in his entire body.

His choice to pick a moderate woman of color as a running mate is great. That it is Kamala Harris is great. While the right wishes to buy the idea that she is a dangerous, left wing demagogue, the reality is different. She has spent a good part of her career as an attorney general. She is conservative with a some moderate progressive views such as health care for all and police should be held accountable for unlawful violence. I admire her successes and I care not in the least that I would never have liked her law enforcement actions as a prosecutor because I never met a prosecutor I agreed with. (Well Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot would be an exception.)
Neither Biden or Kamala has ever been accused of being a devil worshiper and/or a destroyer of Christianity.

If you are a conservative you should be quite content to vote for Joe and Kamala. Yes, you lose the abortion battle temporarily. You gained a lot of ground with trump, I know. But he is buying your Christian vote at the cost of your country’s soul with his autocratic leadership. Yes your super rich friends may pay more taxes. Yes your health insurance will probably be more expansive and cheaper. Yes, we will likely repair our historical alliances and rejoin the climate accords. But you will get another Republican president soon and he will swing us back to the Right but hopefully he/she will have a moral compass and a brain.


There is value in compromise and moderation. Abortion is murder to you and non-negotiable. I have my non-negotiables also and they also involve the sanctity of life including children are never to be caged. Suspects of color are not to be murdered by police officers. (Not saying cops should not protect themselves. Saying unlawful use of force resulting in death should be, must be punished.) The murder and dismemberment of journalists and opponents, such as practiced in Russia and Saudi Arabia is not to be rewarded with our countries friendship.

So will we negotiate unifying the country or will you dig in to the polarization of the country by being a stuck on your hatred for me. Yes, me. I am everything the Right hates. But I get calls every week from friends who forget my politics when they have a legal matter. It is the adage that you would never have someone like me for a neighbor but would never want anyone else to be your lawyer. (Yes, I am that good.)

You would never negotiate abortion and there are some on the Left who would never negotiate gun ownership. These issues will never be permanently resolved in your lifetime and the fight will continue. Let the middle rule. It is not the slippery slope you imagine. It is the way countries thrive and survive peacefully. (If it helps, I will say Merry Christmas more often, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem at sporting events.)

It is time to return to the middle. I lose some, you lose some but ahhh, we both gain much, starting with the soul of our country, improved relations and respect with our historical European allies and the lessening of the heated/destructive exchanges between neighbors, family and friends over the direction of our America.
God bless the real America.

Time again to pick sides

I note that the rising tide of resentment against black athletes and there boycott of the games. Some think that a bunch of uppity prima donna black athletes are acting out and in response you will boycott the sports/leagues. I suggest, you may have missed the point.

You care for the police and the difficult job they have. You are not touched by the pain of these homicides by police officers of black people. So you shout out, where are the protests for Blue Lives Matter, these oppressed cops who are being treated so poorly, even killed in the line of duty.
But the officers the uproar is about are quite alive, dangerous and at best, poorly trained and at worst, racists. The point of all this is a large community wants this to stop. So you boycott the leagues because the athletes continue to honor victims and now demand justice. You will never get the point if you did not get it by now.

There is praise for the lost boy from hell who killed people in Kenosha because as Sean Hannity said, the boy is doing what the politicians and police were unwilling to do. Follow Hannity right to the gates of hell where civil war, fear and hate await you.

Very few adult liberals want violence committed against businesses or homes or cops. Very few of us want civil war, communist rule or the death of your suburban white communities. Most liberals are not antifa and we sure as shit are not KKK or Boogaloo Boys or any other white supremacists or Right wing hate group.
It is not now nor ever was fair that people are persecuted or prosecuted more aggressively because of their color, religion or sex. We have repeatedly offered up the evidence of discrimination, systemic racism and police brutality. You ignore it. You wave the flag at it. You denounce us as if we killed someone.

Well liberals are not going anywhere so I guess if you are planning on eliminating us pursuant to the trump/pence plan, get to it. Right-wing violence represents an increasing share of terrorist activity. Terrorist violence by right-wing extremists seems to have increased from 6% of attacks in 2010 to 35% by 2016, while left-wing terrorist violence during the same period dropped from 64% of attacks to just 12%. It further appears that right-wing violence quadrupled between 2016 and 2017. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies notes, “Although violent left-wing groups and individuals also present a threat, far-right-networks appear to be better armed and larger.” You got big momentum and big guns on your side.

Over 300 right wing hate groups are identified and active at this very moment, https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map/by-state

Trump and pence are urging you to view us as lethal enemies and destroyers of your communities and country. So rise up with your fellow whites. I know you are not racist but you have chosen your side and you have the guns and the president on your side. I do not think these “uppity blacks”, and “demon liberals” are going away. So you better get busy cause there are a lot of us.

I’ll always love my momma, she’s my favorite girl.

I just texted my sister on the first anniversary of mom passing. I noted that our mom was not a stand out mom. But she was a good enough mom for me. They certainly do not do movies or write books about moms like mine. She was generally quiet and solitary throughout her last years. But she was loyal, moral and good-humored. Frugal but generous. By living 102 years she endured more losses than I can comprehend. She was not very affectionate but from what I saw of my grandmother, it would have been amazing if she was. I think my sister Karen and I taught her to say “I love you”. I say that because I do not remember her ever saying it until later in life and we had repeated it to her a thousand times.

I owed her in many ways. She was frequently called to schools to discuss my behavior. She shrugged off my being flunked in my religious classes at the synagogue. When I was ten, I vividly recall how she tried to save me from a significant beating I was getting from my dad and she paid for her intervention. I started running away at 13. She found me hours later wandering the streets. Where else was I to go. She delivered me to psychologists and psychiatrists in an attempt to keep me from completely unraveling before I could turn 16.

I owed her for getting me out of police lock-up twice, going to court, paying an attorney on my felony charges. I owed her for laughing at neighbors who complained to her about my smoking pot (long before pot was fashionable). I owed her for the many years I was a teenage runaway and those nights she spent sleepless, crying and worrying if I was dead or alive. I owed her for helping me pay for law school.

Maybe I owed her for keeping the family together when every fiber of my being cried for its end. Why do I assume that economic insecurity would have been preferable to physical safety. The beatings and terror are the ground from which many a rich and humorous anecdote have sprouted. They shaped me in ways I could not have predicted and made me the lawyer of choice for persons who did harmful things for no apparent reason.

I sucked at being her child. I was getting better at it every year and I am glad that I was a much better son in the final reel. I wish it had occurred to me sooner to be a better son but it did not! (I will credit Ajahn Panumat, a Thai Buddhist monk with starting me on the path on my 55th birthday. He told me to call my mom and thank her as but for her, I have no life.) I would be a shallow person indeed if I did not recognize the neglect and indifference I showed towards my mother’s feelings much of her life.

So to pen an homage to the departed seems to be something we do to assuage our grief and our guilt. I do not have much of either in great abundance but I have my share of both.