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Stake your Claim

1brassyvia Daily Prompt: Insist

If there is any doubt about the truth, insist on evidence as proof. Demand, require, argue, protest, urge, exhort, and assert your unwillingness to be complicit in a lie. Insist on honesty. #Resist falsehood.

#Facts · #math · #observation · #triangle · a noir · America · better choices · change · Daily Prompt · disrupt · ethics · law · lies · opinions · P.O.V. · peculiarities of the baroque mind · point of view · political · provocation · riff · take note · what if


Author Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons: Laundry 1871
via Daily Prompt: Funnel

Money that has been scooped from one purpose to another is said to be in fact funnelled when its use is not legitimate. This kind of laundering takes place everywhere, from government to private industry; politicians often funnel funds designated for one social need into another aspect of the budget. This may fall under the category of creative accounting, or you may just call it malfeasance.

#history · #life-is-short · #living · #observation · #remember · awe · better choices · culture · dazzling · endings · expectation · gifts · history · hope · humankind · inspirations · lest you forget · mystery · new year's resolutions · New York City · opinions · P.O.V. · point of view · preferences · reflections · resolutons · take note · what if · wish list

So close…Can’t wait…Here it goes…

Here. at midnight on the 31st of December, the ball will drop and you–even from your couch at home– will join the throngs in yelling out Happy New Year! Photo © Tamara Beck

via Daily Prompt: Finally

You waited 364 days for this one. Or is it 363 this year? Whichever it is, finally the anticipated New Year is upon us.

Well, in truth, in some locales around the globe it has already peaked, but here in NYC we await the balldrop some 13 plus hours from now, and counting.

One two three … midnight and happy new year.

#life-is-short · #observation · better choices · expectation · opinions · point of view · political · preferences · riff · stress · take note · two sides to every story · what if · wish list


good-better-best by Tamara Beck

via Daily Prompt: Almost

Not quite there — that is what your muttered almost tells us. It is a goal differed.

Almost signifies the hope of something as yet unachieved.

Our aspirations for a better world are entrusted to quietly uttered resolutions, when they depend on our actions to turn them from almost to accomplishment.

#Facts · #history · #observation · believers · culture · Daily Prompt · inspirations · is it real · memories · memory · missed opportunity · point of view · recalling · reflections · riff · truth · views · what if

Honestly? Honestly!

By P.D Jankens – Fred Chess, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24974

via Daily Prompt: Confess

In an era of frankness (well not in the political arena or in our “civic” lives, but certainly in films), why do so many bio-pics present such a bowdlerized view of their subjects? Sanitizing and censoring the lives that the persons of interest led seems an unpardonable treatment.

It may be possible to excuse Hollywood for masking Lorenz Hart’s sexual inclinations in the 1948 film, Words and Music. But the times they are a-changin’ as Bob Dylan would put it. Shouldn’t we be more forthright about who Cole Porter really was in De-Lovely than we were in 1946 in Night and Day? The Kevin Klein version from 2004 hints only slightly at the double life Porter had.

The facts of a person’s life may not be as straightforward or as simply depicted as we’d like to think. Allowing for artistic license and interpretation as well as for the p.o.v. of the auteur, the life on the screen cannot replicate the life as it was lived.


The movie about Sylvia Plath’s relationship with Ted Hughes, Sylvia (2003) is based on a collection of his poems. To the survivor belongs the turn of the tale. Even the esteemable Richard Attenborough while harnessing the talents of the superb Robert Downey, Jr. misses the mark in revealing Chaplin to his audience. While I will confess to having it liked it, I agree that the movie underplays the dramas inherent in Charlie Chaplin’s rich and controversial life.


#observation · point of view · politics · riff


OnTyrranySteve Bannon left the White House and his official role in the administration to become an off-campus Field Marshall. He baits the bear, goading a man who needs no invitation to act the fool and to violate the Constitution he swore to uphold into ever more outrageous claims of tyranny. Bannon, like many other advisors in this administration, encourages the illegal and the heinous.

John Kelly, for instance, has redefined “patriotism” to mean “treason for a cause you believe.” He defends Robert E. Lee in these terms and calls the Civil War, in effect, a misunderstanding.

1noAs for Bannon– to all my friends who saw his departure from inside the WH as diminishing his influence– I wish it were so.

The tom-foolery Bannon espouses is dangerous. It flaunts the values the Founding Fathers of the United States enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Unlike Jefferson, Hamilton, Eisenhower, the Roosevelts, John McCain, and Obama (to name a few patriots in our history), he is an unprincipled man. He loves disruption. Like the devil, he looks to sow trouble and division. Like his former boss, he spreads harmful fictions and calls the truth false.

November 15th addendum, out of the blue, or perhaps it’s the red, I should be saying.

By Dietrich Bartel (my father) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97656

Tax cuts, Spkr McCarthy of the House, was saying are about creating jobs and “making America competitive again.” What a cute rephrasing of the MAGA motto! The idea that giving tax cuts to the rich will somehow help the poor is an alt-reality view of the GOP.

Money in the pockets of the well-heeled has never trickled down to the worker. Once it’s theirs, they tend to keep hold of it.

Are tax havens, like Delaware or Singapore, benefitted by the policies that allow corporations to park their businesses without having to fork over revenue to the state? They do so by imposing registration fees in their districts, for example. They do impose unfairly on other countries which would benefit from levying taxes on the corporate entity.

Turning the USA into one big tax break for American corporations and businessmen exposes us to so many other financial problems. Who pays to maintain the infrastructure? How do we keep a police force or a national guard if money is not coming in to the treasury?

There is a sense of the dire which envelops many liberals these days. I am grateful to the New Yorker for its quotes on democracy. Archibald Macleish’s perspective as quoted in the June 5-12 issue by Jill Lepore brightened my day: “Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.”

#beauty · #memory · #observation · #poem · admiration · East River · memories · memory · mystery · P.O.V. · point of view · preferences · presentation · reflections

My establishing shot

Lost in thought?

This would be my establishing shot

The one that sets the place and the

Character, facing Roosevelt Island,

Connecting to Queens, the lights on

The bridge twinkling in twilight,

Shadows, the river deep, dark and

Mysterious, waters moving slowly

With undercurrents, the river establishes

Without irony, without self-parody, as

Serious as the approaching night, shadows,

Not hiding, but revealing who we are, who

I am, my establishing shot