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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 · #observation · Daily Prompt · dance · missed opportunity · political · politics · treasures or junk

How shall I put it?

Heel-Toe (c) Tamara Beck

via Daily Prompt: Simplify

To paraphrase a complex thought, I need to break it down. “Break it down,” incidentally is a dance term as well. It involves taking the steps you’ve combined and presenting them in an effort to simplify the movements.

Some of us are better at this kind of activity, the process that makes things easier to understand. Those who are can simplify anything and make it accessible. I find it harder to break down the dystopia, for instance, of our post 2016 America into a simple sound bite. There is very little that will simplify it enough to make it easier to swallow.

political · politics

Upside down

OnTyrranyWe’ve fallen head first into a mess, mostly not of our choosing. We live in an alternate universe. Truth has been turned into dare. The real is decried as fake.

When our masters declare that what has been deemed wrong is now right, we acquiesce. Some of the more faithful minions echo the sentiments of our sovereigns with full-throated acceptance. Now the world has gone topsy-turvy. We enhabit the upside down.

A once free, decent and independent people allow themselves to be downtrodden. Worse they allow their values to be ridiculed. Ethical folks have had their principles inverted while they stare in disbelief, stunned into inaction.

The leader’s belligerent proclamations do not bode well for a future in this brave new world nor most certainly in the one we left behind. There is no peace in your heart, nor in the greater world around you. He has made the universe in his image– nasty, aggressive, vindictive, bullying and exclusionary.

This is not what we hoped for for ourselves and for our fellow wanderers on earth. Some devil must have imagined this dystopia and unleashed it upon our world.

#history · #loss · #observation · America · better choices · churlishness · compassion · Daily Prompt · disrupt · empathy · political · politics · power · pretender · provocation · reflections · riff

Polish or coverup?

Cropped Photo © Tamara Beck

via Daily Prompt: Varnish

Putting a coat of varnish on an old beat-up piece is one way of making it look shinier and maybe younger than its years and wear. Like “fake news,” the ever-so-popular-with-the-conservative-base meme, varnish gives an illusion of things being other than they are. Let me explain what I mean about “fake news”– for the most part this is a term used to denigrate the factual. Varnish, in its way, denigrates a reality as well; it alters –or attempts to alter–the age and condition of the furniture to which it is applied. In this way, varnish is truly a fakery, while “fake news” is a slur against truth.

#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.”

point of view · politics · riff


TakecarWe are a nation in crisis, scratch that– crises, yet we choose to look inward and at local issues. The trains don’t run on time and we are vexed. This is not minor but a problem many years in the making– infrastructure neglected, and the subway system allowed to become a sweltering and sometimes frightening mess. It’s natural to want to lead our lives and not worry about the big picture. We do need to see that by ignoring the big stuff we let everything go out of control.

The big picture is trouble brewing. It will and does affect us all.

#history · America · history · point of view · politics · riff

The 4th of July

Arthur Szyk (1894-1951). Thomas_Jefferson’s Oath (1951), New Canaan, CT

Who needs civil liberties? The rights of our citizens were hard-won. Freedom did not just emerge from the blood and sweat of the Revolutionary War in documents of federation and constitutional laws. Some Americans had many more years to struggle to see their rights recognized. Many of our privileges evolved in the amendments to our Bill of Rights over the 3 centuries since that war established a United States.

The simple single answer is we all do. Remembering, as always, that with rights come responsibilities.

Sometimes it is not possible to quell the anger, fear and hatred of a policeman who stops a citizen for a tail-light violation. Situations get out of hand. The driver is arrested.

Many of the folks incarcerated have committed only the crime of “driving while black.” Responsible parents in the Afro-American community teach their children how to mitigate the outcomes of this very serious circumstance. It is one which affects the statistic in which 14% of a county’s population are prosecuted or jailed for more than 50% of the crimes committed there.

When 14% of a county’s population in places like Mississippi, for instance, are prosecuted for more than half the crimes committed in that county, it looks like that 14% are the bad seed. Looks can be deceiving. Statistics like these are clearly skewed. They are also deceiving.