Hope VS. Fear

In the United States today, the wealthiest 1% of Americans

have a greater net worth than the bottom 90% combined.

The bottom 50% of income earners

own less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.

Over 50% of stocks and bonds are owned by the 1%.

56% of all income gains went to the top 1%.

In the last 8 years the 1% gained $6.75 million each,

the poorest 50% of American adults lost an average of $3,000 each.

The wages of America’s poorest 50%

have remained stagnant for 40 years.

Corporations have benefited from 75 years of public funding

for technologies that are now replacing working people with robots.

Amazon paid absolutely zero taxes in 2017.

Apple, Google and Microsoft have tens of billions in overseas tax havens.

Hunter Harrison, former CEO of railroad giant CSX,

received a $230 million pay package for cutting 17,000 jobs.

In 1950, the ratio of a CEO’s wages was 30% more than a worker.

Since 2000, the ratio is between 300 to 500% to one.

The 1% ers view these figures as real progress.

The GOP and the 1% that owns it aren’t interested

in growing the economy only in taking a bigger piece of it.

If they were interested in growing the economy for all

they would invest in education, infrastructure and share

part of that growth with the workers who built it.

Instead they are only interested in raising their income

and in being able to cut their own tax rates.

Out of 11,000 lobbyist active in D.C.

6,242 work at cutting taxes with the goal

of reducing corporate tax rates,

The right characterizes increasing taxes on the wealthy as stealing?

They are the ones who are stealing, with their disregard for the social costs

of eliminating the environmental and financial regulations that protect us

and cutting education which ends up harming our children’s future.

They also send our sons and daughters off to die

in illegal, unnecessary wars that aren’t paid for.

Billionaire Warren Buffet said, “There’s class warfare, all right,

but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

In a debate about the inequity of CEO’s making 100’s of times the money

of workers Newt Gingrich said, that the salary of New York City janitors is obscene.

The 1% owns the media and it serves to do their bidding.

They use it to give you bumper sticker size mantras

to keep them on top like, “Healthcare for all is Socialism”

and that “Big government is bad.”

When you shrink government who wins, who loses?

The rich continue to win, the poor continue to lose.

The 1% has succeeded in dividing us based on non-economic issues

such as race, religion, abortion, gay marriage, guns etc.

Republicans regulating women’s bodies, and attacking

gays and immigrants is a NO-CLASS War.

If we stuck to voting based on sound and fair economics

(and not emotional hot-button issues),

we could diminish the power of the 1% substantially.

These figures should give us righteous anger and rage.

In dealings with people on a daily basis, I see little of either.

Many people agree we are getting screwed but they 

are not angry enough to even vote in many cases.

The 6 heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune have more wealth

than the bottom 93 million Americans while,

Wal-Mart doesn’t pay their workers a livable wage.

Billionaire hedge-fund managers,

who only pay 15% in taxes,

helped crash the economy and squirrel away

their money in offshore tax havens.

Who makes government tax policy?

Half the members of Congress are millionaires,

and they all rely on millionaires and large corporations

for campaign contributions to get them elected.

If we point out these facts we are labeled,

class warriors and Communists.

Meanwhile, the wealthy trash and go after

postmen, city workers, firefighters and cops.

They claim paying them a pension and benefits

is an entitlement they haven’t earned.

The wealthy hate unions fighting for a fair wage for teachers.

They claim these unions have destroyed the US education system,

not the relentless defunding by the congressional right wing.

When the wealthy do these things they claim it isn’t class warfare.

A conservative Supreme Court elected a president

and also ruled that corporations are people.

This ruling was called, “Citizens United.”

It gave the 1% free rein to buy our politicians.

They hire lobbyist to write

legislation favoring the 1%.

Unlike real people corporations

can’t be drafted, called to jury duty,

or in the case of two-thirds of them,

don’t have to pay taxes.

When the GOP continues to claim

they don’t negotiate with terrorists

they don’t include the corporations

that owns them lock stock and barrel.

That is why our planet our environment,

our very health and children’s future

is all for sale on the auction block.

The public doesn’t have enough money

to even qualify for a bidder’s card.

Somehow Bible thumpers always miss

sections about how we are our brothers’ keeper

and how a camel has a better chance of

getting thru the eye of a needle

than a rich man has of getting into heaven.

I believe the wealthy have scientists working on

shrinking camels and building giant needles.

If they actually read the Bible they’d learn that

being stewards of the planet usually doesn’t include

polluting, destroying and exploiting it for profit.

The whole weight of the world

is on the backs of the working-class

and yet we carry no weight

and are considered dead weight.

That’s because Wall Street, the military,

corporate farms and Big Pharma

have rigged the Capitalist game.

They are the salesman and they only have need

for you as long as you buy their goods.

They will always bite the hands that feed them

as they are snakes and the customers are sheep.

Congress protected bankers who went bankrupt

and foreclosed on the public and had us bail them out.

They protect CEO’s who offshore jobs,

and have no loyalty to our nation.

Congressional committees made up of men

attack women’s reproductive rights.

Paul Ryan and others want to gut

Social Security and Medicare

benefits for retirees and disabled people.

The environment was attacked with the passage

of the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

it will benefit Canada and send oil to China

and U.S. taxpayers will pay for any spills.

The GOP has gone to war against

science and scientific integrity.

They passed a bill forbidding scientist

from advising the EPA on their own research.

It now instead takes advice from so called, experts

paid by corporations who want to block regulations.

The Tea Party was funded by the 1%.

Together they and President Trump

have helped turn race against race,

the middle class against the poor

and private sector workers against public sector workers.

As the middle class has become poorer their only way

to hang on to some of their money is to vote against levies

that would benefit their local communities.

This is local voting against our own self interest

and is destroying communities across America.

Trump wins an election by promising jobs.

This while he and his daughter have products

with their names on them made in Chinese sweatshops.

High time to realize that our representatives

do not represent us or our children’s future.

Understanding our situation

and replacing complacency

with action is the catalyst

for any real change.

Any small act of kindness you can do

without expecting a reward is something

the wealthy will never understand.

To do so is an act of revolution

against their system of greed.

That and learning about the political agenda

of the places you spend your money

is the weapon of mass destruction

that the powers that be fear most.

They want you to fear losing all that you have.

They don’t want you to realize what you could have

by replacing fear with hope and action.

It’s a bottom up revolution,

not to take the power

but to share power with each other.

We can be a force of good when we walk together

in solidarity powered by peace and love.

As the late historian Howard Zinn said,

”They have the guns we have the poets.

Therefore, we will win.

John Butler Trio: “Revolution” 

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” ~ Henry Ford

 

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Cooking is a Blast or Killer Griller

A recent survey found that only 15% of gun owners secure their weapons so children wouldn’t have access to them.

In Warren, Ohio a 44 year old man named Robin Garlock said that there were some kids coming over to the house, so his first thought was that he needed to put his gun somewhere safe so the kids didn’t get hurt. He decided to put the loaded gun in his Maytag oven. Without knowing Robin’s girlfriend turned on the oven and started to heat it up. After a while of the oven being on the gun inside got to hot, in fact it was so hot that the bullets that were loaded in it exploded. Two of the bullets went right through the oven door and struck Robin, one in each shoulder. While at the hospital the police did question Robin about what happened, but ended up believing his story when the saw the bullet holes in the oven door.

Cooking is a Blast or Killer Griller

 

Hiding a gun in his Maytag oven

was a surely a half-baked idea

to implement gun safety.

It gives new meaning to the term, “firing range.”

How does putting a gun in an easily opened device

at floor level secure it from inquisitive children?

You keep kids out of an oven by

putting broccoli or cauliflower

somewhere near the front of it.

Everybody knows you hide your loaded

handgun in the microwave or baby’s crib.

Anyone would have known that a Remington

is just not compatible with a Maytag.

He should have stored his pistol in the Glock Pot.

This is why God gave men grills.

Microwaves spying on us,

now ovens shooting us,

I’m telling you, our kitchens

just aren’t safe anymore.

Green Eggs and BAM!!!

Robin said, “My wife’s meals

can often be very, very deadly.

On this particular day he asked her,

“Hey Honey, when’s dinner?”

He then heard bang, bang, and bang.

She replied, “Don’t ask again.”

It was Roasted lead with a light cream sauce.

Ironically, just at the time of the shooting

the kitchen radio was playing the Beatles song,

“Happiness is a Warm Gun.”

Could have just as easily been the Maytag

repair man who was shot in the kitchen.

The police investigated why the gun fired.

They found the oven had been sprayed with Easy Off.

I wondered if the oven yelled,

“Put up your mitts” before it fired?”

Robin opened the oven having forgot to wear

his Kevlar apron and Kevlar oven mitts.

This oven shooting incident has triggered

a lot of talk about oven control.

The NRA claims the oven shooting

should be blamed on, “metal illness.”

They say we have a Second Amendment

Constitutional right to keep and bake arms.

The NRA is demanding that all appliances

need to be loaded and armed.

A good microwave armed with a gun

could have stopped the gunslining oven.

The NRA claimed, “The only way to stop a bad appliance

with a gun is a good appliance with a gun.”

They were opposed to banning assault ovens as

people will get them somehow, so do nothing.

Trump said, “I’m not interested in this shooting

unless, it happened in Chicago or the oven

was Islamic or an illegal immigrant.

Politicians said, “We are not to speak of the gun.”

We can talk about Robin’s IQ level or

the obviously poor construction of the oven.

We can talk about the man’s extremely poor culinary skills

but we are NOT to talk about the gun.

That is because guns don’t shoot people

ovens shoot people.

FOX NEWS said this is what happens

when Maytag ovens are on Ritalin

and are allowed to play video games.

Wacky right-wing ministers stated

these kinds of shootings happen

when you take the Bible

and prayers out of kitchens.

They also recommended not sparing the rod

on misbehaving kitchen appliances.

The police questioned everyone in the kitchen.

The found out that the ice maker froze in fear,

the spatula had flipped out,

the dish ran away with the spoon,

the blender kept spinning the facts

and the waffle iron had waffled about what to do.

The refrigerator knew the case was cold

and oven knew the heat was on.

The police discovered that the oven

was licensed to Conceal Carry.

So if we were playing a game of clue.

it was the hot Maytag oven

with the revolver in the kitchen.

In the end the oven admitted guilt

and said it tried to fix stupid but failed.

You can lead a man to common sense,

but you can’t make him use it.

The oven’s lawyer says

ovens aren’t the problem,

guns owners are the problem.

For the future safety of all of us,

I think Robin should hide

his toaster in the bathtub.

He was not charged with any crime.

If he were driving and had wrecked into a ditch

and been injured he would be cited for reckless driving.

Ironically, to drive a vehicle,

requires training,

a license and insurance.

Owning a gun only requires cash.

To Robin I’ll send along,

laughter and tears.

The Beatles: “Happiness is a Warm Gun”

“When a country with less than five percent of the world’s population has nearly half of the world’s privately owned guns and makes up nearly a third of the world’s mass shootings, it’s time to stop saying guns make us safer.” ~ DaShanne Stokes

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Millennial Exodus

My wife and I are driving to Charlotte, North Carolina.

My daughter has gotten a job and moved there.

My son is working in College Station, Texas.

Like many parents in the Mahoning Valley,

my children have moved elsewhere to get jobs.

It’s a sad situation for the future of our area.

We are transporting some of my daughter’s furniture.

In West Virginia I noted a Gentleman’s Club

called, “Southern Exposure” and a Bible College

are both located at the same exit.

Along the highway I notice mountains of trees.

I see a fire trail with an observation tower

overlooking the vast expansion of forest.

This while the station on the car’s radio

is eerily playing, Jimi Hendrix’s version

of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.”

West Virginia is beautiful country to pass through.

Politically I was worried about their future.

Now after the recent primaries the voters

have showed they care about their future.

They have voted against Don Blankenship’s

bid to be their next U.S. Senator.

Don is a coal baron who likes to use racist language.

He spent a year in prison for violating mine safety standards

that led to the death of 29 West Virginia coal miners.

Don has showed no repentance for his crime.

He is happy his parole is up so he can get his guns back.

I was also happy to see that state legislator Rupie Phillips

was defeated in the his bid to be a U.S. Congressman.

Rupie will do anything to win including have run

as a Democrat, an Independent and a Republican.

He was charged with domestic battery in 2012.

Like Blankenship, Rupie does not believe in global warming.

We only spend a short time driving through Virginia.

Local sheriffs have speeders pulled over every mile.

I chock it up to just Virginia being Virginia.

From the on ramp a beat up pickup truck

pulls right in front of our car without even looking.

I cannot get in the other lane as a left lane bandit

has been riding next to me for a dozen miles.

I almost rear ended the dilapidated pickup

as it had absolutely no pickup and go.

In a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina,

we pass a Spanish Evangelic Church.

Its parking lot is filled with modest older cars.

Up the road sits a new huge megachuch.

I dubbed it the Mercedes, BMW church.

We arrive at my daughter’s apartment

and help her move her furniture in.

I call a local pizza shop and place an order.

They said it would be ready for pickup in 25 minutes.

We arrive to pick it up but it takes another 20 minutes.

I forgot to factor in Southern time.

Much like I see in Akron, Cleveland and Pittsburgh,

there are men on street corners holding signs

asking for donations and stating their plight.

My thought is that these guys should dress differently.

I’d suggest a top hat, tuxedo tails, monocle and a cane.

The more they resemble the Monopoly man the better.

I say that because in this country we take care of the rich.

We give them all manner of corporate welfare

while we bash poor people on Social welfare.

We even elected a candidate that filed bankruptcy

several times and stiffed workers who did jobs for him.

Hell, even our so called, elected “representatives”

represent the will of the wealthy not us working stiffs.

We keep voting for millionaires who play golf at County Club’s

So I say, “If you’re begging for money on a street corner

you should dress like you belong to a Country Club.

We stop at a QT which is like our 7/11.

Next to me a car pulls in with a bass booming stereo.

I then hear these lyrics, “Pop Shit, Top Shit,

Pop Shit, Top Shit” real catchy tune.

We go inside to get a fountain iced tea.

Being we are in the South there are several flavors.

The ice is broken and looks like it has been for some time now.

That makes me think about some of the construction standards

I see in places like my daughter’s apartment.

No one seems to be able to miter a corner or spread caulk evenly.

I guess some of that might be because so many people

are moving to Charlotte they are tossing up housing quickly.

From what I see it isn’t necessarily retired people

as much as it is young millennials getting jobs and moving here.

We went to the largest farmer’s market in Charlotte.

We passed on the turnips, okra and greens all which I hate

and we bought the best watermelon I have ever eaten.

It was cool to see senior white men walking

holding hands with senior citizen black women.

Looking around we saw many mixed raced people

and same sex couples all walking holding hands.

Maybe, it is a new South at least in the urban areas.

With an influx of young Northern millennials,

the South could one day turn into blue states.

It would a good thing to see eventually but

it doesn’t take away the hurt of so many of us

having had our children move so far away from us.

 

Kids sing, “Teach Your Children Well” to songwriter, Graham Nash

“The greatest gift you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” ~ Nishan Panwar

 

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Use it for Good or Lose it

Religious zealots, talk of God’s great love

but what they believe in is his unconditional hatred

of those he chooses to hate.

Funny how their God always

hates the same things they do.

God doesn’t have a Twitter or Facebook account

but they do and it’s where these bash gays and liberals.

I wonder why God would hate what he created with

his supposed unconditional and boundless love.

These zealots claim God helps those who help themselves.

I say it’s what they help themselves to

and who they harm while helping themselves

that really is what matters.

Some preachers focus on the coming apocalypse

instead of working to create a better here and now.

These preachers have absolutely no need

to buy insurance as they’re already dead.

Their concept of God is a murderous psychopath

who will torture you forever if you don’t agree to be his BFF.

My response to that line of thinking is

“You and I read the Bible very differently.”

God or at least my God doesn’t instruct me to hate anybody.

I prefer a faith of love and understanding

that doesn’t preach condemnation.

But I guess it’s much easier to keep converts

in line with fear than with love.

Racism, homophobia, bigotry,

xenophobia and misogyny

all have historic roots in religion.

These issues wouldn’t be in America without

religious zealots and their God of hate.

We would be so much further ahead,

socially, scientifically and intellectually,

in the world than we are currently.

You’ve heard the “my cross to bear” expression.

Think of the cross as an opportunity.

Use that opportunity to spread a faith of love.

You and everyone you meet in life

will happier and blessed and our short stay

on this planet can be a taste of Heaven

instead of a Hell on Earth. Peace.

 

Wrong Worship Song 

“Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.” ~ Garrison Keillor

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Torture Research

A Pew Research Center study revealed
the more often people attend church,
the more likely they are to support torture.
I don’t know how you can support torture
while claiming to be a Christian.
I don’t fit the study as
I’m opposed to torture
even though I sat through the torture
of the Catholic Mass for decades.
It was a small glimpse into the Spanish Inquisition.
A University of Maryland study found
people who regularly watch Fox News
are more likely to agree with torture.
That’s because they are masochists
who like being mentally abused by Fox News.

David Bromberg: “Someone Else’s Blues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5zOF44GaFI

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The Last Straw?

I heard a local talk radio host supporting Trump. He said, he just hasn’t seen racism coming out of this White House. I could point out statements some of Trump’s appointees have said. I will instead focus just on Donald Trump.

In the 1980’s back when Trump

owned casinos in Atlantic City,

managers knew he didn’t like black employees.

That meant that when Donald and Ivana

came to the casino, the bosses would order

all the black people off the floor.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission

fined the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino $200,000

because managers would remove African-American

card dealers at the request of a certain big-spending gambler.

Donald Trump and his KKK rally attending dad

were successfully sued twice for racial discrimination

by the Justice Department because they wouldn’t rent to blacks.

When Trump addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition

he tried to relate to the crowd by invoking the stereotype

of Jews as talented and cunning businesspeople.

Trump said, “I’ve got black accountants at

Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza.

Black guys counting my money! I hate it.

The only kind of people I want counting my money

are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”

Trump talked about a black employee being lazy.

He said it’s probably not his fault because laziness

is a trait in blacks and not anything they can control.

In 1989, Trump purchased ads calling

for the death penalty for the “Central Park Five,”

four black men and one Latino man

accused of rape who were later

exonerated thanks to DNA evidence.

Trump never apologized for accusing them.

He was still insisted they were guilty

during the 2016 presidential election.

He got press insisting America’s first black president

was  Kenyan and not really born in the United States.

He started off his campaign calling Mexicans rapists.

He stated that a judge couldn’t rule on him fairly

in a case because the judge had Mexican heritage.

He trashed a Gold Star family because they were Muslim.

He talked about Africa and said the residents all live in huts.

He claimed the residents of  Haiti all had AIDS.

At a meeting Trump expressed surprised to learn

that it is mostly white people who are on welfare.

At a meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus,

Trump asked the elected officials if they knew Ben Carson.

When the members said, no, Trump expressed surprise.

It was as if Trump thought all blacks knew one another.

Trump claimed, there were really good people

on the Nazi White Supremacist side in Charlottesville.

He said, Puerto Ricans were  losers who wanted handouts

after their island have been devastated by a hurricane.

He called, Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”

when he suppose to be honoring  Navajo code talkers.

Most recently, Trump decided to disrespect

lots of foreign nations all in one fall swoop..

He referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and certain nations

in Africa as “shithole countries” during a meeting

with lawmakers in the Oval Office.

And he added that the United States should

admit more people from places like Norway.

Many people are calling this the final

straw that broke the camel’s back.

It wouldn’t have broken the camel’s back

had not the heavy weight of so many

other straws not already been there.

If this isn’t actually Trump’s final straw

how much more racism from him will it take?

Racism is the very last thing that

will ever make America great again.

 

“Glory” John Legend and Common

“Our true nationality is mankind.” – H.G. Wells

-“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

-Joseph Fort Newton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Braggart Bob

Happy New Year!! I wanted to start 2018 with something light.

Here is my first poem of the year.

 

My friend Bob went to the Grammy Awards.

Better yet, he went to the after party.

He met lots of musicians and was now,

going around name dropping to everyone.

He met: Akon, Bono, Belly, Nelly, Chamillionaire, Chingy,

Common, Daya, Desiigner, Diddy, Dido, Diplo, Drake,

Eminem, Fergie, Flea, Jibbs, Ludacris, Madonna, Meatloaf,

Moby, Mystika, Nas, Offset, Takeoff, Papoose, Piles, Pink,

Pitbull, Questlove, Redfoot, Ringo, Rule, Sade, Seal, Shakira,

Skyblue, Slash, Sting, Taboo, Tonedeaf, Twista, Wale, Xzhibit and Yelawolf,

He shook hands and chatted personally with:

A-Trak, B-Legit, B-Tight, Cardi B, D’Angelo, DMC, DMX,

G-Eazy, Jay-Z, K Camp, MC Hammer, MC Lyte, Ne-Yo,

Pusha-T, T-Pain, T-Swizzel,  V-Nasty, Will.i.am, Mike Will Made-It,

LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Vanilla Ice, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and T-Wayne.

Bob claimed all the Lil’s were at the party:

Lil Wayne, Lil B, Lil Biddy, Lil Boosie, Lil ‘C, Lil’ Cease,

Lil Dickey, Lil Debbie, Lil Dirk, Lil Flex, Lil fate, Lil Flip,

Lil Herb, Lil Jon, Lil Keke, Lil Kim, Lil Lachty, Lil’ Louis,

Lil Mama, Lil Mo, Lil’ O, Lil Phat, Lil Ric, Lil Peep, Lil Poopy,

Lil Pump, Lil Reese, Lil Rob, Lil Romeo, Lil Ronnie, Lil Rue,

Lil Scrappy, Lil Troy, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil’ Wil, Lil Wyte and Lil Zane,

All generations were represented by these attendees at the after party:

Baby Bash, Baby Boy Da Prince, Soulja Boy, Kid Cudi, Kid Ink,

Young Buck, Yung Child Support, Young Joc, Young Thug, Yung Tone,

Childish Gambino, Blak Younggsta, School Boy Q, Paperboy,

Juvenille, Da Brat, Big Boi, Big K.R.I.T., Big Pun, Big Sean,

Method Man, Redman, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Uncle Murda and Chief Keef.

Bob claims these guys were the life of the party:

Bow Wow, Knockerz, Junglepussy, The Creator, The -Dream, The Game.

The Weekend, Dreddy Kruger, Ghostface Killah, Gun Play, Machine Gun Kelly,

Yoyo Honey, French Montana, Chingo Bling, Gudda Gudda, Bhad Bhabie,

Waka Flocka Flame, Fetty Wap, Flo Rida, Peanut Butter Wolf, Riff Raff,

Shaggy 2 Dope, Rich Homie Quan,Del Tha Funky Homosapien, SpongeBozz,

Dr, Dre, Dr. Luke, Lady Gaga, Iggy Pop, The Edge and Marilyn Manson.

Bob said that musicians not in attendance included:

Patti Smith, Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sam Smith, Howard Jones, Mick Jones,

Rickie Lee Jones, Steve Miller, Jack Johnson and Joe Jackson.

“Name Dropper” Staxx Brothers

“Birthplace of a new year is in the heart of hope” ~ Munia Khan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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