politics

All posts in the politics category

Even Drivers Need a License

Published October 12, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder if all incombents should be required to pass a sanity test.  It would be in the best interest of everyone–Republican and Democrat alike.

Have you read Bob Woodwad’s book  Fear: Trump in the White House?  Just the following tiny passage gives pause:

“There’s never been a guy win a Republican primary that’s not pro-life,”  Bossie said. “And unfortunately, you’re very pro-choice.”

“What does that mean?”

“You have a record of giving to the pro-choice candidates. You’ve made statements. You’ve got to be pro-life, against abortion.”

“I’m against abortion.” Trump said. “I’m pro-life.”

“Well, you’ve got a track record.”

“That can be fixed,” Trump said. “You just tell me how to fix that.  I’m–what do you call it? Pro-life.  I’m pro-life, I’m telling you.”

What kind of license to rule might be devised?

Perhaps a national  rating by he FACT folks on the qualities all sane individuals must possess.  Surely everyone would agree on the qualities, wouldn’t they?  The Republicans can’t really like that their man stole state secrets when he left the White House!?

Would not everyone agree that elected leaders and guardians of our United States should rate outstandingly on Honesty, Knowledge, Level-Headedness, Respect for the Law, Anger Control, Rationality…what else?  Empathy would be nice, as well as  Decency  and maybe views on Climate Change?  What traits would conservatives reject?  Maybe  respect for the humanity of all, but you see I’ve left that out, although that would cover respect for women.  I’ve also side-stepped use of the DSM-V which may be more contentious.

This and That, Not These and Those

Published September 27, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Just had to fool around a little…Had to mention this and that:

A group of top state judges has made a rare plea to the Supreme Court, urging it to reject a legal theory pressed by Republicans that would give state legislatures extraordinary power, Adam Liptak writes in nytimes.

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I find myself eagerly awaiting the unauthorized biography of Anthony Bourdain, although I usually hate books with sad endings.  (I usually read the last page first in order to avoid sad endings, but I liked what I knew of him and was already saddened by his demise.)

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I hope none of DeSantis’ spending of $1.3 billion towards vouchers diverted from Public Schools taps into the money already spent on the forced immigrant plane trips north!

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The library poetry writing group I have been in since its inception much more than ten years ago has resumed going out to lunch together.  We happen to be liberals (I still don’t think MAGA folks can hear their muse),  and after sharing some experiences in life earlier, our black waitress who had overheard our conversation joined us in the  conversation.  (I still don’t know the proper way to say that.  Black individual? Woman? Person of color?)  Anyway, it was a great experience.  I won’t say what restaurant so she won’t get in trouble for taking the time “away from her duties”).   We’re all non-racists, of course, and all of us lunching together are over seventy.

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A reminder:  It’s my opinion that the main problem America is facing is a direct result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (FEC) decision in 2010 that political spending is a form of free speech that’s protected under the First Amendment. The controversial 5-4 decision effectively opened the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to support their chosen political candidates, provided they were technically independent of the campaigns themselves.   The corporations, being more monetarily influential than unions, of course, had the advantage over unions and the majority of our population.  Thus, corporations gained the rights of individual citizens, but with more power to influence elections  A poem at that time by fellow writing member Patricia Black is re-printed courtesy of Patricia L.H. Black, plhb222@hotmail.com :

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE

I met some corporations and

because I had a hunch they had

all been adjudged “persons,”

I invited one to lunch.

Oh, that naughty corporation!

As far as I could see,

it had not been taught its manners—

I got no R, S, V nor P.

But since I was the hostess

I had duties to perform,

though this corporation person

was so outside the norm

that making up the place cards

put my thinking to the test—

could I just write General

and forget about the rest?

And since Incorporated is so very long,

tell me what you think—

would it be uncouth of me

if all I wrote was Inc.?

Then, again, there’s gender

to complicate my tale.

Is corporation female

or is corporation male?

Somehow it seems that neither

is appropriate or will fit.

But it goes against my training

to call a person “It.”

Well, I had invited it

so I assigned it to a seat.

Now I had a problem—

What do corporations eat?

Was it carnivorous or vegan?

Lactose intolerant?

Some persons can eat seafood

while other persons can’t.

There were peanuts to consider

and corn syrup issues, too.

If I fed this so-called person eggs

would it suddenly turn blue?

What a jolt at lunch time

when the corporation knocked!

When the door was opened

I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!

I’m used to thinking “person”

as my neighbor or my dad

but I was sorely disabused

of all such thoughts I might have had.

There were janitors, clerks and typists,

lawyers up to you know where,

receptionists and file clerks

and scientists to spare;

there were bricks-and-mortar buildings

from here to Timbuktu;

fleets of trucks and warehouses,

the list just grew and grew!

Shareholders by the gazillions,

ships, public and private planes,

mortgage-holding entities

and miles and miles of trains.

There were CEO’s and CFO’s

and all sorts of other O’s.

How this “person” would fit

my dining room

the Supreme Court only knows.

Although jolly, the impetous behind the poem is a tragic matter, in my opinion.

 

 

Are There MAGA Poets?

Published August 31, 2022 by Nan Mykel

https://www.fineartandyou.com/2016/03/pierre-carrier-belleuse-french-painter.html

The poetry I read and attempt to write feels like it is inspired by –what would it be called?–a creative, almost spiritual source.

Suddenly I try to imagine what kind of poem a MAGA devotee would write, so I looked it up on Google.  First I came up with The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump by Rob Sears.  Since it was “unauthorized,” I decided that wouldn’t be fair, so I persevered in my internet search.  Under a search phrase of Poetry by Conservatives I found Rob Sears had authored another book,  Vladimir Putin: Life Coach, which had no customer reviews but earned a 4-star rating.  “Be the dictator you’ve always dreamed of being, with this handy guide to life inspired by everyone’s favourite autocrat.”   You’ve got to know that I wondered if this was on the level, or a spoof, so I looked further.  Maybe poetry wasn’t indexed by the political leanings of the editor, or even the poet?  I tried some more:  Oh, I see…I got a peek under the first poem’s title and it wasn’t written by Donald Trump, I can tell you!

So, how about looking up conservatives by their name and see what poetry they’ve written?  I looked–surely there are some MAGA folks who wrote poetry before Trump tricked them?  If you look, and find them please let me know….This can be continued in a subsequent blog.  I’m really curious.

LITERATURE

1. William Wordsworth, ‘London, 1802’.

2. Percy Shelley, ‘England in 1819

3. Ambrose Bierce, ‘A Political Apostate’.

4. Emma Lazarus, ‘The New Colossus’.

5. Rudyard Kipling, ‘Recessional’.

6. W. B. Yeats, ‘Easter 1916’.

7. e. e. cummings, ‘next to of course god america ’.

8. W. H. Auden, ‘September 1, 1939’ 
9. Audre Lorde, ‘Coal’.  Since Lorde was a self-described ‘Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, and poet she appears not have been a conservative, nor was number 10:.
10. Nikki Giovanni, ‘Rosa Parks’.

(This may have been a thankless research project but– under the Google entry “Political poetry” is the definition:  “poetry that is related to activism, protest, and social concern, or that is commenting on social, political, or current events. Read poems for social justice, politics, Black Lives Matter, and protest.”  (Doesn’t sound real conservative…)

Dear God, They’re Dangling Money…

Published August 8, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Per the release, effective from July 20 taxpayers can claim “a dependent personal exemption … in the amount of $3,000 for each unborn child.” Those expecting twins can claim up to $6,000. According to the The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the new law also “allows expectant mothers to file for child support to cover the costs of pregnancy and delivery,” and requires unborn children to be counted for Georgia’s census records.

YOU SEE, I CAN NO LONGER KEEP UP…

Published July 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel

…with the young’un bloggers.  I can’t even keep up with mature Diane Ravitch, who’s only a tad younger, it seems.

I’ve stumbled  recently on an exchange of ideas when viewing Diane and Jill Dennison and Keith Wilson that really gets to the nuts and bolts of things, and from many bloggers on the subject.  Maybe Ned Hanson offers such an offering, too.  Or maybe Word Press thought I just needed a change?  Whatever, I’m convinced that all I can offer at this point is an emotional touchstone.  Feelings I have, although rushed by a November election and the question of my own longevity (smile).  (I smile when I know I’m being a little grimmer than called for).

Maybe over a year ago I asked readers to think of jingles–maybe to old tunes–portraying issues of the political heart (though I was less flowery).  Today, after reading again The Moral Ground by Elie Mystal in The Nation, I put a couple of things together: I would try, myself, to do it tho it  receive rejection and avoidance, even ridicule.  Here I go willingly into that space, having already failed at an  I Am a Woman attempt, which you will never see.:

HOW DARE YOU…

….Tell me what to do.

I wear masks for others.

Do you?

 

I don’t invade your heart of hearts

nor presume to know your pain.

Look into my eyes and see

another human same as thee.

 

Those who swallow others’ lies

and betray the Golden Rule

do not attend to their still voice

when push comes around to shove.

 

Painful decisions require clear-eyed guts

not your state’s grotesque intrusions.

Does your God favor laws that plot

to  make me suffer their invasion?

 

Out out, damned spot I say–

Let the freedom of our people

rule the day.

 

 

 

Friend Felix Speaks Again

Published July 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel

4th of JULY:  GOOD GRIEF!

If you like pretty poems, please look away,

for here I lament decay, dying and death.

I’m not bemoaning my dying contemporaries,

who lately fall like old-growth trees in a forest.

Nor do I pre-grieve my own impending death.

 

My concern is for the fate of our democracy,

as it is doing a dangerous dance with doom.

Our precious political freedoms are eroding.

Our fractured center seems not to be holding.

 

Our democracy could be in its death throes.

Female bodily autonomy has been outlawed,

voting rights have been wantonly suppressed,

there is massive support for Trump’s Big Lie.

 

The Supreme Court defies the majority’s will.

Throughout our land gun fetishism flourishes.

Louder liars shout down the voices of veracity.

Violence grows, the environment degrades.

 

This Independence Day is a day of gloom.

Sadly I fly our tattered flag upside down.

Today I can’t sing Happy Birthday America!

In these dark days, I weep as I sing of thee.

 

Felix Gagliano,  July 2022

 

The Evangelical Mystery…

Published December 27, 2019 by Nan Mykel

Can anyone help me understand what the Evangelicals value in the president?  I’ve never heard of him turning the other cheek; au contraire!

The Seven Deadly Sins are:

LUST,  GLUTTONY;  GREED,  SLOTH,  WRATH, ENVY AND PRIDE

I won’t insult the readers’ intelligence by listing examples of the president’s commission of these deadly sins.  I just wonder what the Evangelicals are telling themselves and their God about him.

Wouldn’t It Be Loverly…

Published September 30, 2019 by Nan Mykel

If either a Democratic or Republican candidate wrote an ad or tweeted the following (from an early Henry Bulletin of the Town of Martinsville, Virginia:)

Four years ago as you well know                 

The Ticket bore my name

And if you scratched it off or not

I thanked you just the same

Again I ask for your support

Not that I claim to be

A better man than others are

For all of you know me

But promising  to ever stand

For what is just and true

I will simply sign my name

And leave results for you.

J.L. Minter

Posted by nm circa 2017

Suggested Pertinent Reading

Published July 23, 2018 by Nan Mykel

From 3 Quarks Daily from The Guardian:

Why Identity Politics Benefits The Right More Than The Left

Sheri Berman in The Guardian:

Over a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, commentators are still trying to understand the election and the explosion of intolerance following it. One common view is that Trump’s victory was a consequence of pervasive racism in American society.

Studies make clear, however, that racism has been decreasing over time, among Republicans and Democrats. (Views of immigration have also grown more favorable.) Moreover, since racism is deep-seated and longstanding, reference to it alone makes it difficult to understand the election of Barack Obama and Trump, the differences between Trump and the two previous Republican nominees on race and immigration, and the dramatic breakdown of social norms and civility following the elections. (Social scientists call this the “constant can’t explain a variable” problem.)

This does not mean racism is irrelevant; it matters, but social science suggests it does in more complicated ways than much commentary suggests.

Perhaps because straightforward bigotry has declined precipitously while more subtle, complex resentments remain, understanding how intolerance shapes politics requires examining not just beliefs, but also the relationship between beliefs and the environments people find themselves in. This distinction has important implications for how we interpret and address contemporary social and political problems.

More here.

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