Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Haiku for Today

a full moon shining through clouds in the night sky

On the road through the clouds
Is there a short cut
To the summer moon?

from: Women Poets of Japan. Copyright 1977.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue   
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,   
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to   
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Berries cast dark   

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,   
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.   
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.   
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive   
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.
from: Collected Poems. Copyright 1960.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Graffiti as Social Commentary

Stressed? Looking for solace in an increasingly turbulent world?


In the Military Mobile Hospital

 by - Elisha Porat

Who was born like me, in 1938,
Who looked for partners in his trip through life;
What other baby was conveyed home on the floor
Of an armored bus, while his young mother
Knelt over him, sheltering;
Or who else became a tourist 
crossing over alien lands
his whole life but leaving 
behind his shuddering 
heart, flapping back there, 
still in the military mobile hospital?
Always I remind myself:
We were only one year old when
The fate of our world was moulded and altered
by a bloodbath, and our first words --
Compressed words, bad words -- became
Precisely the ancient amulet.
translated from the Hebrew by
author and Ward Kelley

Copyright 2006.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


"There’s a fucking art to the first term because you’re always running for a second term the whole time. It’s like Clinton’s first term. You can’t really do your gangsta shit until your second term. … 

Even Bush couldn’t really fuck up the world until his second term. That’s when he put the hammer down. 

I’m like everybody, I want more action. But I understand that he’s trying not to piss off a lot of people. 

But I believe wholeheartedly if he’s back in, he’s going to do some gangsta shit,"

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Thanks to “Anonymous,” undergraduates will be confidently asserting that Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare for the next 10 years at least, and profs will have to waste countless hours explaining the obvious. 

“Anonymous” subscribes to the Oxfordian theory of authorship, the contention that Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Among Shakespeare scholars, the idea has roughly the same currency as the faked moon landing does among astronauts.

Friday, November 25, 2011

PLATO, Sort of


By Zeus, Socrates!
It seems you're right once again!
Time for your hemlock.

Happie ZOMBIE Consumer Day

green cartoon zombie pushing shopping cart

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Thankful.

My motto has always been, "It could always be worse."

In spite of everything that has happened in the past few years, I still have much for which to be truly grateful. And I am.

For me, a part of being grateful is reaching out to others in need. And I hope not only to remember those for whom life has not been as kind, but to 'pay it forward.' It doesn't take much.

In this Holiday season, so mired in uncertainty, turmoil, and fear, I wish for you, my dear readers, security and love.

Happy Thanksgiving

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, If Even for a Little While

Occupy Cleveland Saves Woman’s Home From Imminent Foreclosure.

After her husband left her and refused to provide any real support, Beth Sommerer was due to be evicted from her home today, along with her children.

But at the last moment, she made a desperate plea to the protesters of Occupy Cleveland. Soon afterward, Occupy Cleveland pitched its tents in Sommerer’s yard, vowing not to move unless she was allowed to stay in her home.

On Monday, a local court gave in and gave a 30-day stay on the eviction order.

sunrise in oranges and yellows


Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

Jobs for those who can work.

Security for those who need it.

The ending of special privilege for the few.

The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment -- The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


 "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."

I Found This On BEN'S TEN, And It Needs To Be Shared Far And Wide . . .

picture of Congress in session

Let's shout it from the rooftops!

by Hafiz

Let your
Intelligence begin to rule
Whenever you sit with others
Using this sane idea:
Leave all your cocked guns in a field
Far from us,
One of those damn things
Might go

by Hafiz

Keeps the sad game going.
It keeps stealing all your wealth–
Giving it to an imbecile with
No financial skills.
Dear one,

SOURCE: ben's ten.
Hafiz, and Daniel James. Ladinsky. The Gift: Poems by the Great Sufi Master. New York: Penguin Compass, 1999.

To Recent Arrivals

by Anonymous

Is our land still the same
As we dimly recall
With plenty of room
For the great and the small?
Has there been any change
From the old, well-loved scenes
In the Bronx, or in Brooklyn,
Long Island or Queens?

Does the water still sing
‘Mid the rocks and the rills
Of the tiny trout streams in the clean Berkshire hills?
Does the draftee’s step drag
With a touch of the blues
As each juke box in Natchez
Blares forth “Born to Lose”?

Do the geese flying south
Rend the dawn with their call?
Did they crown a new “Ice King”
Up there in St. Paul?
Do the trains whistle yet,
Clear and sweet as a flute
As they speed thru the darkness
Towards Billings and Butte?

Do the stockmen still stroll
In a tight little clan
With their boots striking sparks
In the streets of Cheyenne?
Do the gay lights of Frisco
Make sport of the dark
As you gaze over town
From the “top of the Mark”?

Is our land just the same
As it was long ago?
Please tell us, compadres,
We’re wanting to know.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Haiku for Today

snow on delicate branches silhouetted against a blue sky
time passes.
The only life I have
submits to its power.

- Hatsui Shizue

from: Women Poets of Japan. Copyright 1977.

Scholastic Offers Teachers

some favorite authors.

spot lit hand writing in journal

Learn with: 
Jack Prelutsky (1-4), 
Karla Kuskin (4-8), 
Jean Marzollo (2-5) . . .

Check out the Teacher's Guide here.


Please believe me when I say that this is not a story about Penn State or some other corrupt organization. Characterizing what happened in State College, particularly the failures of so many adults to report the abuse, as the product of some morally bankrupt institution is a way of convincing ourselves that we are outsiders to these sinister forces.

It is no different from calling Sandusky a "monster." That is soothing, I realize.

But it also lets us off the hook too easily, allowing us to avoid asking hard questions about what happens, or can happen, in our own backyards.

The Penn State cover-up could have, and undoubtedly has, happened at many other institutions, including those you most care about.

Don’t content yourself with demanding something of Penn State, or big-time college sports.

While that might make you feel better, it won’t prevent the next tragedy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Poppies in October

red poppies against a blue sky

by Sylvia Plath  

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.   
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly——

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for   
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes   
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.

from: Collected Poems. Copyright © 1960.


"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms.

Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"
-Samuel Adams

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Father Iraq, Mother Palestine

     by - Farrah Sarafa

Mortar attacks a bus in Baghdad, 15 die
Civil war strife mirrors the war
America has waged on Iraqi life

More than two years ago.

How can this happen
How can this be
That I will never see
The land of my great grandfather?

I strive, I feel too much zeal
to help heal the schisms
splitting this poor country
and that of Palestine.

marble grief statue of a woman kneeling with her head in her hands

Hamas' request that they vacate the west
and return East Jerusalem
on which they settled, built checkpoint and a wall
In 1949

How can this happen
How can this be
That I will never see
The Land of my dear grandmother?

I cry, I whine, abstaining

From bodily pleasures
emptying myself
of the life deprived Iraq.

Copyright 2006.

Happy Absurdity Day

green one half round tea cup and whole round saucer

 I guess my question is, 





"Aren't they all, these days?"

Don't sit back waiting for something absurd to happen. Rather, seek out things to do that are somewhat, if not wholly, illogical. Have fun with it. But, whatever you do, don't try to make sense with it.

Have a wonderful, mind boggling and absurd Absurdity Day!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cradle Song

From groves of spice,
O'er fields of rice,
Athwart the lotus-stream,
I bring for you,
Aglint with dew,
A little lovely dream.

Sweet, shut your eyes,
The wild fire-flies
Dance through the fairy neem;
From the poppy-bole
For you I stole
A little lovely dream.

Dear eyes, good night,
In golden light
The stars around you gleam;
On you I Press
With soft caress
A little lovely dream.

"Imagine . . .

. . .  if we had a pro-life movement that said the following: 

“We will study why particular women have particular abortions and see if there are things we can collectively do to reduce the pressures that cause women to end their pregnancies in this way.

We will measure our success not by what we are able to criminalize, but by reductions in abortion’s frequency. We’re already 1/3 of the way to our goal, as compared to 1980, and with continued effort we hope to achieve continuing reductions in the future.”

Such a statement would involve some considerable changes in the thinking of the pro-life movement. It would mean the end of abortion’s signifier as a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern world.

It would sever abortion from the larger debate over sexuality and spirituality–just as alcohol has been separated from debates over ethnicity and spirituality.

And it would define success in terms of abortion reduction rather than abortion prohibition.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It's easier to demonize those we don't know much about, but harder to criticize those we idolize.

author of Betrayed as Boys.

Why Studying Literature is Important

Is Moby Dick just a print version of Discovery's Deadliest Catch? Is there more to be gleaned from its pages than harrowing experiences and melodrama?

I have struggled to explain to my students, most of whom are struggling, why it is important to persevere even when they find the reading difficult or boring, and I found a great quote on The Dish that helps.

Andrew is quoting Nathaniel Philbrick, from Vanity Fair. In the article Mr. Philbrick expounds on the lessons in the story, the context and character, and how these things affect our lives. It is a wonderful dip into the world of Moby Dick, but it is also an illustration of how Reading Literature can expand and strengthen our critical thinking skills.

And between you and me, critical thinking seems to be on life support these days. Mr. Philbrick ends with:

So how do we face a world in which yet another cataclysm, whether it be environmental, financial, or terrorist-devised, always seems to be just around the corner? I think it’s Ishmael who puts it best. Nearly halfway into the novel, after almost getting killed in pursuit of a whale, he says,

“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own.”

ilustration of Moby Dick with the whale breaching and three men in a lifeboat struggling to escape

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


But we all cheat death every day, don’t we?

We cheat it by crafting beauty, or loving someone, or making new life;

sometimes we cheat it just by leaving the gun in the drawer, the liquor in the cabinet, the hateful word in our bellies.

Disaster is Only One Granted Right Away

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Taxes are the "User Fees for Civilization"

A post at Addicting Info lists over a hundred things we take for granted that are funded by the taxes we pay.

cartoon of two tiny people standing in front of the giant word TAX

Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Do not use Medicare.
2. Do not use Social Security

5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt.
6. Do not call the police to stop intruders in your home.
7. Do not summon the fire department to save your burning home.
8. Do not drive on any paved road, highway, and interstate or drive on any bridge.

24. Do not ask for an attorney when you are arrested and do not ask for one to be assigned to you by the court.

36. Do not ask for FEMA assistance when everything you own gets wiped out by disaster.

52. Do not ask for help from the FBI, S.W.A.T, the bomb squad, Homeland Security, State troopers, etc…

66. Do not use Medicaid.

70. Do not ask the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild levees when they break.
71. Do not let the Coast Guard save you from drowning when your boat capsizes at sea.

The fact is, we pay for the lifestyle we expect. Without taxes, our lifestyles would be totally different and much harder. . . .

The less we pay, the less we get in return. Americans pay less taxes today since 1958 and is ranked 32nd out of 34 of the top tax paying countries. . . . The Republicans are lying when they say that we pay the highest taxes in the world and are only attacking taxes to reward corporations and the wealthy and to weaken our infrastructure and way of life.

So next time you object to paying taxes or fight to abolish taxes for corporations and the wealthy, keep this quote in mind…

“I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes


   by Arthur Rimbaud
translated by Wyatt Mason


No one's serious at seventeen.
--On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade
And loud, blinding cafés are the last thing you need
--You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade.

Lindens smell fine on fine June nights!
Sometimes the air is so sweet that you close your eyes;
The wind brings sounds--the town is near--
And carries scents of vineyards and beer. . .


--Over there, framed by a branch
You can see a little patch of dark blue
Stung by a sinister star that fades
With faint quiverings, so small and white. . .

June nights! Seventeen!--Drink it in.
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head. . .
The mind wanders, you feel a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing. . .


The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels
--And when a young girl walks alluringly
Through a streetlamp's pale light, beneath the ominous shadow
Of her father's starched collar. . .

Because as she passes by, boot heels tapping,
She turns on a dime, eyes wide, 
Finding you too sweet to resist. . .
--And cavatinas die on your lips.


You're in love. Off the market till August.
You're in love.--Your sonnets make Her laugh.
Your friends are gone, you're bad news.
--Then, one night, your beloved, writes. . .!

That night. . .you return to the blinding cafés;
You order beer or lemonade. . .
--No one's serious at seventeen 
When lindens line the promenade.

29 September 1870

from: Rimbaud Complete. Copyright 2002.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Me, I'd rather spend my calories trying to help my fellow Americans, instead of blaming everybody else for my own moral failings. 

two hands reaching for each other with a blue sky as the background

Business as Usual

Waiting for the Barbarians     
by C. P. Cavafy
translated by Edmund Keeley

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

          The barbarians are due here today.

Why isn't anything going on in the senate?
Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?

          Because the barbarians are coming today.
          What's the point of senators making laws now?
          Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating.

Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting enthroned at the city's main gate,
in state, wearing the crown?

          Because the barbarians are coming today
          and the emperor's waiting to receive their leader.
          He's even got a scroll to give him,
          loaded with titles, with imposing names.

Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

          Because the barbarians are coming today
          and things like that dazzle the barbarians.

Why don't our distinguished orators turn up as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

          Because the barbarians are coming today
          and they're bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?
(How serious people's faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home lost in thought?

          Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven't come.
          And some of our men just in from the border say
          there are no barbarians any longer.

Now what's going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.

from: C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Copyright  1975.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Listen to the Rhythm . . .

Photo: Daniel Berehulak


The picture of grace there doesn’t fit easily alongside many of the dominant themes preached by our most vocal moralizers, particularly not alongside their ideas of economic morality.

If that idea of grace is a cornerstone of one’s belief, as it purportedly is for us Christians, then how ever did we arrive at concepts like that of “the deserving poor” or its blasphemous counterpart, “the undeserving poor”?

This makes me think again of the foreclosure crisis depressing America’s housing market and kneecapping any hope for the kind of robust economic recovery that might bring us back to full employment.

The clearest solution is straightforward and necessary, but it’s politically impossible due to our preoccupation with the idea that, at all costs, the “undeserving” among the 99 percent must be prevented from any measure of aid, security, restoration or protection.

- Fred Clark, Slacktivist.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.
 - Luke 6:37...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

No Comment Necessary

riot police congregated around light pole with sign saying wrong way

We ALL Are A Part of History IV

from: (Un)occupy Oakland: An Open Source Love Poem
by Shailja Patel

A thousand candles. Look
she who was thrown out
of her wheelchair by the police,
illuminated. See
the ones with the wrist casts, dressings
on wounds, eyes rinsed of teargas
with camomile tea, watch
the street medics check their supplies
mediators earth the rage, watch
how we labor
at strategy, technique, dialogue
at race, class, gender, disability
at coalition-building, at complexity
conversation by careful
conversation. Watch us

See us
fifty, sixty-thousand strong
wave on wave
rolled two miles back
from Port of Oakland, carnival
of joyous justice ¿De
quién son las calles? ¡Son nuestras
las calles!

there under the jeer
of the low-circling ‘copter, three
generations of hijabi women
do yoga asanas
on the straw floor
of Frank Ogawa - Oscar Grant plaza.

They have come
for the city I love
for the people I love
and the people I love
and the city I love


Friday, November 11, 2011


With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

~ A. Lincoln


"In war ... there are no unwounded soldiers." 

- Jose Narosky

Submission courtesy of Zoriah 

The Graffiti of War Project (homepage) . . .

... [E]xperience the wars through the eyes of those living and dying through these conflicts. Each image represents a moment in time, when an emotion was captured in ink, paint, or pencil, an unconventional historical record of this generation's war.
Our Mission is that through sharing these images, we will begin a dialog between soldier and civilian, to bridge this ever-widening divide between our warfighters and civilians. To bring understanding and true empathy of what our military men and women experience during their deployments. ...
We have NO political affiliation, NO ulterior agenda other than to ensure our brothers and sisters-in-arms receive the help and support they deserve because of their selfless service to answer the call to arms. They are that 1% and it is our duty as Americans to ensure their health and posterity.

28th CSH Sather Air Base Iraq 2010 
submitted by James M.
Submitted by Alex Pagel, taken in 2008, Camp Victory Iraq. 
Created as a memorial for soldiers killed in an IED attack.

Submission by Jesse T. 
titled: "Paradise Contemplated"

The Graffiti of War, by Susannah Breslin, BoingBoing.


After all, the present is always lived in ambiguity. [...] It is only in retrospect that we begin to simplify experience into myth — because we need stories to live by, because we want to honor our ancestors and our country instead of doubting them.

In this way, a necessary but terrible war is simplified into a “good war,” and we start to feel shy or guilty at any reminder of the moral compromises and outright betrayals that are inseparable from every combat.

The best history writing reverses this process, restoring complexity to our sense of the past. Indeed, its most important lesson may be that the awareness of ambiguity must not lead to detachment and paralysis — or to pacifism and isolationism, as Nicholson Baker and Pat Buchanan would have it. [...]

The fact that we can still be instructed by the war, that we are still proud of our forefathers’ virtues and pained by their sufferings and sins, is the best proof that World War II is still living history — just as the Civil War is still alive, long after the last veteran was laid to rest.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

We ALL are A Part of History III

four Black Hawk helicopters in flight

from: (Un)occupy Oakland: An Open Source Love Poem
by Shailja Patel

They have come for the dream that we dreamed
a city of parks and libraries
Jingletown Art Murmur
First Fridays Sistahs
Steppin’ In Pride
Bay Area Solidarity Summer
Women’s Cancer Resource Center
Pueblo Community Health
Destiny Arts, Food Justice
a city of Refuge, a city
of safe streets, where migrants
walk unafraid, vibrant schools
food co-ops in every ‘hood
for the people, yoga
for the people, power
to the people, books
not bars, living wage green
jobs not jails
clean air and water
public healthcare, public transport
urban farms on every block
children making art and science and music
adults making home, community.

Tonight, last night, the night before
the helicopters roared
at 4am, a pack
of jackals in the sky, snarled
contempt at all that lives and grows
desecrated sunrise.

from: Migritude.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Carl.

Carl Sagan leaning against the earth and smiling

Can't See the Forest . . .

black and white picture of a stand of young trees

We ALL Are A Part of History II

from: (Un)occupy Oakland: An Open Source Love Poem
by Shailja Patel

II. They have come for the people I love
butch dykes and tranny boys
trans men and drag queens
the two-spirit, gender-queer
dreadlocked and pierced
dancers and drummers
unionists stevedores
copwatchers carpenters
labor historians bodyworkers
scholars shamans jugglers
welders mechanics plumbers
painters truckdrivers fruitpickers
immigrant activists hemp weavers
raw-fooders rollerbladers
bikers builders engineers
wheelchair warriors war resisters
musicians journalists co-op creators
bakers of bread, growers of food
reclaimers of contaminated soil
cleaners of polluted waterways
teachers nurses healers
layers of pipe and cable, strippers of asbestos
urban farmers scientists union organizers
radical lawyers artists

the ones who know that making a movement
is a life’s work; know
how to go limp when arrested; how
to eat from the land, make
cities beautiful, livable; heal
without surgery, drugs; raise
a child without violence.
They have come for my people
with military helicopters, armored

vehicles, with rubber bullets, teargas
with flash-bang grenades and gratuitous
destruction, police bussed in
from 17 departments outside Oakland
with pepper spray and sticks
with 40mm canisters aimed
to fracture skulls, they have come
for the people I love.

from: Migritude.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This Picture Says SO Much . . .

We ALL Are A Part of History I

from: (Un)occupy Oakland: An Open Source Love Poem
by Shailja Patel

They have come for the city I love

city of taco trucks, wetlands reclaimed
water fowl with attitude, gutted
neighborhoods, city of toxic
waste dumps and the oldest wildlife refuge
in North America.

City owned by spirits
of Ohlone, home
to the international treaty
council, inter-tribal friendship house

in which I love and work, make art,
dance, share food, cycle dark streets at 2am
wind in my face, ecstasy
pumping my pedals.

City where women make family
with women
men with men
picnic in parks with their children
walk strollers through streets.

City that birthed the Black Panthers
who took on the state
with the deadliest of arsenals:
free breakfast for children, free clinics,
grocery giveaways, shoemaking
senior transport, bussing to prisons
legal aid.

City where homicide rate for black men
rivals that of US soldiers in combat.

City where I have walked precincts
rung doorbells, learned that real
is street by street, house by house
get the money out andget the people in.

City of struggling libraries
50-year old indie bookshops
temples to Oshun, Kali-Ma, Kwan Yin.

City where Marx, Boal,
Bhaktin, Freire are taught
next to tattoo shops
bike collectives rub shoulders
with sex shops, marijuana
dispensaries snuggle banks

City of pho, kimchee, platanos, nopales
of injera, tom kha gai, braised goat,
nabeyaki udon, houmous and chaat,
of dim sum and wheatgrass and chicken-n-waffles.

City of capoiera and belly-dance,
martial arts, punk rock, hip-hop,
salsa, bachata, tango
city of funk and blues and jazz.

City that shut down for 52 hours
in 1946, dragged jukeboxes
into the streets, jammed
to “Pistol-Packin’ Mama” for the rights
of 400 female store clerks
to fair wages and unions.

City of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union,
who refused for a record 10 days
in 1984 to unload a ship from South Africa
in the world’s 4th largest port
faced down million dollar fines.

City of nail parlours, hair brokers, tarot dens
nano-tech, biotech, startups
women-owned auto shops
gondolas on a lake fruity
with sewage, magical
with lights.

City of one-hundred-twenty-five
freaking languages
the most ethnically diverse
in the USA.
Here on the shores of a lake
where all the waters, fresh and salt
of history and revolution mingle
they have come for the city I love.

from: Migritude.

Monday, November 7, 2011

There ARE Ways to Begin Taking Back Power and Control . . .


"The Move Your Money project is a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation's largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions. 

Little has changed to prevent another financial crisis or to end 'Too Big To Fail,' and with Congress unwilling to act, we are encouraging individuals to take power into their own hands by voting with their dollars and no longer contributing to a financial system that has led our country astray. 

We are a campaign that gives people real, concrete actions they can take to create a more sane, stable and localized banking system."

Invest in Main Street, not Wall Street

End too big to fail


One of the most fatuous themes of mainstream OWS coverage is the endless loop of media bafflement at this movement that doesn’t have a message. … It takes a walloping amount of willful cluelessness to look at a mass of people holding up signs and claim that they have no message.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Weather Has Turned Chilly, So If You Need Your Heart Warmed . . .

. . . WARNING!
Tears may fall and Ahhs may escape your lips.

Reddit members received a request from one of their own and rose the the occasion.

five year old boy and girl sitting with their backs to the camera photo shopped into a field of wild flowers with mountains in the distance

Redditor bbilbay asked the community to help cheer up his daughter and her best friend, who had recently been diagnosed with leukemia,  by photo-shopping “something pretty or fun” into the background of a photo of them together. This photo.

- Courtesy of The Daily What.

The responses of Reddit's members were . . . 
Well, check for yourself.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don't Forget to TURN YOUR CLOCKS BACK Tonight

Clock with face of Homer Simpson and second hand hass Duff bear at the end

Daylight Saving Time ENDS at 2:00 AM Sunday, November 6, this year. So do yourself a favor and set your clock back one hour before you go to bed. That way everything will be OK when you get up. 

Well, maybe not everything. But at least you'll arrive where you need to be at the correct time.

Greenwich Mean Time

"Spring forward, Fall back"

Everything Old is new Again

[A]mid rising calls in the United States and Britain to curb government spending, Fawkes' anti-government spirit has become something of a rally cry on both sides of the pond. 
- The Christian Science Monitor.

Guy Fawkes masks filling up a store display shelf

Some other links: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, & here

I think I mixed them all up.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Ran Across A Defunct Blog

bunny smiling straight ahaed like in a portrait 

I know, I know, big surprise. But this one dealt with Disability Issues and had some interesting posts, as well as a killer Blogroll. This isn't the normal offering of products & tech. Rather, it is the many different voices of people with a wide variety of disabilities who are offering their experience, advice, joys, frustrations . . .

In other words, People being people.

I combed through to weed out broken links and in most cases the sites are still live. Some are political, some are intensely personal, but all are genuine and "guaranteed" to get you thinking. I do not agree with every view point offered, but I offer them to you now in hopes that you might find information, inspiration, or a kindred spirit.


Blogroll I

Illustration source:
Drew Draws,
blog of artist Drew Sterns


photo shopped dog and cat as Ren and Stimpy. Happy happy joy joy

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Was Told, That

translated by Coleman Barks
What was said to the rose that made it open was said
to me here in my chest. 

What was told the cypress that made it strong
and straight, what was

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made
sugarcane sweet, whatever

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in
Turkestan that makes them

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face, that is

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in
language, that's happening here.

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,
chewing a piece of sugarcane, 

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!

A Few Stray Links I Found Hanging Around

close up of a length of chain twelve links long

There is a vast chasm between reality and the rhetoric of Mythical Bootstraps.

Guess who joined the Occupy movement!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Popular Victory for Occupy Wall Street

Why should the American people rekindle a spirit of rebellion against those who would abuse their power and run roughshod over their lives with no regard to the consequences? 

Because it works!

photo of three people holding letters made of yellow flowers that spell protest is beautiful

In four days, Bank of America was all set to face protests against its proposed $5 per month debit card fees -- a so-called "Bank Transfer Day." Today, the bank told the protesters they could find something else to do.
We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee. Our customers' voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.
Is this the first popular victory for Occupy Wall Street? The first politician who hinted as much was (get ready for a shock) Sen. Bernie Sanders, who went to the floor of the Senate to congratulate the "American people" for beating the bank.

- Slate.