Aphorismo, placard fodder and random reductive ramblings




History is most often written to ensure its repetition

Is “Democracy Dies in Darkness” an admonition

Or an aspiration?

We need a much broader canvas for “the art of the possible”

Whether we are or not, it’s best to act as an optimist

Than not as a pessimist

Liberalism can be defined as doing enough to avoid doing enough

If there were no Democratic Party

The Republicans would have to invent one

“Better than nothing” is almost always next to it

Our choice is to live on our feet

Or die on our knees

History repeats

And humanity retreats

They’re going to come, and the only place to run

Will be toward each other

If it is our common interest that brings us together

It will be our common humanity that keeps us united

We wonder if there’s intelligent life on other planets

If there is, they have to be wondering the same of us

The cause of humanity is never advanced

At the cost of our own


The barefoot have no bootstraps

Burying the past

Digs a grave for the future


I don’t know that I know that much, but I do know that dogma is friend to no one but the dominator, and despises those who question contradictions

If two plus two keeps coming out seven, it may not be your math

We humans can be intellectually lax, which often leads to being morally slack, because we “want to believe”, to be part of something larger than ourselves, in an effort to validate our existence

But at what cost?

When a political personality or movement supersedes the principles they or it claim to represent, dogma has triumphed

And as we question the contradictions of others, we must also be ever alert to our own, else we fall victim to a self made ideological rigidity that consigns our criticisms to the realm of hypocrisy

I hope that makes some sense

Half steps only lead down dead ends

We are human, in all that means

Therein lies our slim chance of survival

Or our certain date with demise

It’s vital to defend the concept of a free press

Because a concept’s pretty much all we actually have

Opposition to imperialism shouldn’t be based on its inefficacy

But on its iniquity

Political pragmatism” isn’t the acknowledgment of what can’t be done

But the attempt to ensure it isn’t

Knowledge is power, and ignorance the currency with which it is purchased by the powerful

To have vision

We have to open our eyes

There’s no negotiating with nature

We do what it demands

Or we die

Our limbs cannot be unchained

Before our minds

Instead of being your own worst critic

Try being your best

The only way to reach your destination is to keep putting one foot in front of the other

Just keep checking to make sure you’re walking in the right direction

War is not the answer

But the question doesn’t get asked

“On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient?

And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic?

Vanity asks the question, is it popular?

Conscience asks the question

Is it right?”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., March 31, 1968

When will we ask that last question first?


There is always a cost for standing by one’s convictions

It is a premium paid toward a world that reflects them

A journey of a thousand miles does not end with a single misstep

We can’t create the world we want

Until we live it in the world we don’t

All we have is each other

And if we do, it’s all we need

Playing by the rules only works for those who wrote them

The “impossible” has to be our dream

Anything less leads us to nightmare

It is possible that we may hang together

It is certain that we must

The only way to avoid errors is to avoid acting

Poverty is a choice

Not made by the poor

If you think you know all the answers

You haven’t asked all the questions

There is no greater risk than doing what our conscience demands

Other than not doing so

Why does it seem that only the horrors of history repeat themselves?

Knowledge is power

Ignorance is how it’s held

If “Vote for the Democrats, then organize” had any validity

It would have long ago become obsolete as a strategy

It’s not about proving yourself

It’s about improving yourself

There are lies

Damn lies

And statistics to hide them

Choosing what we consider the lesser evil is like putting off fixing your brakes

The longer you delay confronting the problem, the worse it grows, until you find you’re headed for a crash, and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it

For anyone naïve enough to believe that somehow the Democratic Party elite “get it” this time, if only for their own self interest

Fool me once, shame on you

Fool me twice, shame on me

What do you say after you’ve lost count?

Money talks every language

The “lesser evil” becomes greater each time we choose it

You don’t have to know the right answers

To know the wrong questions

If I fretted over what fools say of me

I’d be a grander fool than they

Humanity is not who we are

But what we do

I don’t need to be part of something

I need something to be part of me

A system based on competition and profit, no matter how “well regulated” its workings, or “well intentioned” its participants, inevitably leads to injustice

The inherent logic will always lead to “pragmatic” decisions that favor the health of the business entity over considerations of fairness and community well being

It’s the nature of the beast

And beast it surely is

You can’t lead if you can’t listen

They want us at each other’s throats

As they stand on our necks

The road to hell is paved with the patina of good intentions

The “reasonable person”

Is far from standard

The struggles for the power we use, and against the power that uses us, can’t be separated

To imagine that the exploitocracy has a role to play in warding off the worst of the hell of its own making is to ignore the history of the disaster that is capitalism

We have to come out at the other end of this with not only the dynamics of climate transformed, but the dynamics of class as well

The end of the destruction of the earth

Must carry with it the seeds of destruction for its defilers

We need to go beyond imagining ourselves in another’s shoes

And imagine ourselves in their souls

Religion enlists the divine

To justify the all too human

You don’t have to have hope to dream of a better world

Just a keen instinct for survival

We need to walk in another’s shoes

To step in the right direction

We face the future

Or forfeit it

The truly open heart cannot exist without the truly open mind

Socialism isn’t about “reforming” capitalism

Any more than Christianity is about saving the soul of Satan

Corporations aren’t persons

They have far more rights

Those who promise security at home are those who guarantee the opposite by creating chaos abroad

Blowback doesn’t occur in a vacuum, but a inferno of one’s own making

We must be equal opportunity mourners

Terror breeds terror, and will do so until it is neutered by an ascendant sense of humanity

Wealth should be measured by what one gets back from giving

Not what one gains from greed

Power concedes nothing without a demand

And condones only those who make none

If you’re only looking out for yourself

You’ll find that you’re the only one looking out for you

If Jesus did return, he’d still be offed

Only this time, in his name

If we continue to choose the lesser evil, we may find ourselves incapable of serious consideration of the greater good

“Disaster capitalism” is the ultimate anti oxymoron

If we’re all in the same boat

We’d all best be rowing in the same direction

Wealth and power are inseparable

One can’t exist without the other

When it comes to “free trade”

Solidarity is shoreless

We’re all in the same bed

And we’re all getting screwed

Backing each other up

Is the only way we all move forward

Some of the acts precipitated by the systemic economic, political and legal injustices that black folks have endured for centuries in this country are not productive, and should be critiqued as such.  Many in those communities have done so, without playing into the “thug” narrative promulgated by the corpress and politicians appealing to worst instincts.

Of course, all “violence” on the part of the oppressed gets lumped together, doesn’t it?  Smashing the windows of a cop car is equivalent to looting a liquor store.  Motive becomes irrelevant in the effort to paint protest as “riot”.

And we should always be alert to the possibility of provocateurs, if history is any indication.

What is genuine, which no propaganda can eviscerate, is the rage that is borne of a visceral intimacy with injustice.

It may be inchoate

It may be destructive

Or it may be righteous and rationally directed

But it is all in reaction to an inhumanity that any “civilized society” worthy of the name would never countenance in its midst.

Our oppressors light the fire

Then damn the flame

The lesser evil

Never leads to the greater good

A united front

Has all our backs

Justice is irrelevant without a livable planet

And a livable planet is impossible without justice

Killer cops

Bad apples in a rotten barrel

Why do law and logic

Rarely share more than a single letter?

Climate negotiations
/ˈklīmit nəˌɡōSHēˈāSH(ə)ns/

Budgeting the water

While the house burns down

A good thing our hopes aren’t subject to wager, else we might be tempted to bet against ourselves

When you try to do the right things solely because you deem it such, its outcome is irrelevant

No act of conscience is ever in vain

The problem with engaging in electoral politics is that it almost always devolves into “the art of the possible”, rather than that of “the potential”.

At some point, none of the great victories of the past – the end of formal slavery, the realization of basic workers’ rights, et alia – fit into the former category, did they?

There will always be a tension between what can be accomplished at any given juncture, and what needs to be created.

We face hard choices, but they must be taken in the context of a vision that refuses to cede the potential of the future to the constraints of the present.

Our reach should exceed our grasp

Else what’s our humanity for?

The aim of the exploitocracy is to force us to fight each other over the scraps

When we should be working together to take over the table

We damn ourselves

When we don’t give one for anybody else

The best way to rob a government

Is to own it

We’ve been settling for the “lesser of two evils” for decades

And the lesser’s only gotten greater

We can live in fear of the worst

Or we can strive in hope for the best

If it’s true that we seldom fear what we understand, then if follows that the corpress is tasked with the inversion of that venerable truism

By ensuring that we lack the capacity to understand what we’re told to fear

Justice is blinded

But the DA says there’s not enough evidence to press charges

We stand together

Or we fall apart

What many critical of the surveillance state don’t seem to grasp is that the primary motivation for it is not to guard against a threat to the public

But rather to guard against a threat from the public.

It’s born of a police state of mind

That is wilfully incapable of reason.

A shame we can’t quarantine those spreading the deadly diseases of fear and ignorance

If only we had something to vote for

Instead of only something to vote against


All our spines stiffen

When we have each other’s backs

There is no reason to be optimistic

And every reason to act as if there were

There’s no question things are falling apart

The real question is

Are we going to come together to do something about it?

Homelessness is where the heartlessness is

Ignorance is a virus

That’s often extremely resistant to treatment

There is a Holocaust myth

That the terrors of today are justified by the horrors of the past


Is for our sake

Nationalism is the ultimate manifestation of “divide and conquer”

The purpose of “reform” isn’t to fundamentally change the system

But to ensure that it remains fundamentally unchanged

It needs to be remembered that every struggle for justice faces difficult choices

And those that have been and are successful understand that the further they stray from their principles

The harder those struggles become.

I don’t mean to romanticize. The stakes are high.

But I think history has shown that when the leaders of popular causes seek to become players in a perverted political game, rather than dedicated to changes its rules

Whatever they do at the table

Pales beside what could be done in the streets.

The essence of solidarity

Is making common cause with common causes

Greed is often blind

Even to its own interests

I realized some time ago

That I will always be a “recovering” racist.

Prejudice will forever color my perception of those of a different color.

There is no cure

Only the methadone of assiduous awareness

And heedful humanity

So what does it tell you that the Democrats can continue to play the “Us or Them” card

While moving inexorably to the right?

Maybe that as long as we keep on buying that boogeyman

Our nightmares will never end?

In any given situation, it might make sense, however unpalatable it may be, to vote for the bastards

But if they aren’t challenged once elected, aren’t we right back where we started

And isn’t that what they count on?

The reality of realpolitik

Is that it does precious little to change reality.

None of our struggles take place in isolation

And none of them can truly be won in isolation

The vultures feast

On the masses’ famine

Ever feel you’ve been pissed on so many times

You should have “KOHLER” embossed on your forehead … ?

The only antidote to toilet training

Is to flush the bastards sitting on top of us

Intended or not, to me the implication of the “creating terrorists” meme is that if the US would stop killing people in other countries, then the *real* America would make friends around the world.

But that *is* the real America, isn’t it?

It’s what’s been done for centuries. It’s what an empire does.

This isn’t an aberration from the true nature of American interaction with the rest of the world.

This is its essence.

If we are indeed doomed

Let us take our exit exhibiting the best within us

Rather than the worst that led us there

How does the corpress decide just whom to label a “terrorist”?

Often, the difference between a white hood

And a white turban

Is the white skin underneath

If you’re doing nothing wrong in the eyes of those in power

You’re assuredly doing nothing at all

When we deem others worthless

Our souls are priced likewise

We stick together

Or we come apart

One purpose of propaganda

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it

And it’s the objective of those who distort history to ensure they will

Of course corporations aren’t people

Have you ever seen a human body with that many pricks?

The paradox of plastic “populism”

How can rhetoric be empty

And full of it at the same time?

Fear is fascism’s most fervent friend

Empathy its most implacable enemy

Until the social goods that define a dignified life no longer bear a bar code

Until our labor is no longer a private commodity, but a communal obligation to each other

Until we are no longer units of production, but united in the production of a society that values the well being of each and every person on this planet

We cannot claim to have achieved “socialism”, or any other term to denote humanity transcendent

If the righteous were as concerned about the fate of children in the world as they claim to be when they’re in the womb

There would be relatively little need for abortion in the first place, wouldn’t there?

When our collectives are as cogent in their humanity

As our proclamations of it

We will have validated a reason for hope

The goal of “divide and conquer” is to diminish empathy among the less well off, to instill the same callousness for others that is the hallmark of the exploitocracy

Observing our fighting among ourselves is their merriest entertainment

And the surest guarantee of the continuing indulgence of all their other debaucheries

For the war machine

Nothing is more certain than death

And the taxes to pay for it

When you’re fighting an octopus

It’s folly to focus on only one tentacle

The original sin of our species is that it has always been profoundly human

To be profoundly inhuman

On rape culture

Rape is a crowd sourced crime

Some folks are just hell bent on being hung separately

And the state will be more than happy to oblige

Knowledge is power

Only if it’s put to use

So who owns the mine

And who gets the shaft?

The exploitocracy are addicts. Power and profit are their drugs of choice.

They can’t tolerate limits on either, even at the cost of their own
continued existence.

Of course, they don’t see it that way. They aren’t making a conscious
decision to drive us – and themselves – off the cliff.

Their hubris doesn’t allow them to conceive of such a fate. They are
the masters of the universe, and the laws of nature that would
constrain them are not recognized.

Their empire will crumble, as all must

And unless humanity rouses from its torpor, and sees oblivion staring
it in the face

Theirs will be the last

A guiding principle for any movement is to walk the talk of community within and without

For folks to have each other’s back

They have to be glad to see each other’s face

Why are we so keen to perceive the sins of others

And so loath to apprehend our own?

You can’t rewind your life

You can only unwind it

Truth may be the first casualty of war

But lies often lead to it

If you don’t watch any politician like a hawk

You might wind up staring at a vulture

Never expect those in power to act with reason

Their position was achieved through its repression

We don’t need to believe we’ll win in order to do what’s right

We do need to believe that doing what’s right is a victory in itself

And that what we need won’t be achieved unless we do

On “economic mobility”

Isn’t the problem less one of “moving up the ladder”

Than having to climb it in the first place?

“Leaders” should not only allow themselves to be held accountable

They should demand it

They rarely do

So we must

Love is the validation of our humanity

Fear is the lock on the door to power

We’re all in this together

Or none of us are getting out

I’m always disturbed by the use of the term “failed” when describing wars of empire

What if they had “succeeded”?

What would that mean?

The sin isn’t in the execution, but in the decision

“Splendid little wars” are as morally despicable as languishing “failures”

The blood shed runs just as red

Capitalism is a system that rewards success

Regardless of how it was achieved by the “winners”

And punishes failure

Regardless of how stacked the odds are against the “losers”

It is the epitome of amoral accounting

Caring nothing for what we do for others

And everything for what we are able to do to them

It is the scoreboard for sociopathy

Our banners must hang together

Or our bodies assuredly will

When folks got your back

It makes it hard for the bastards to stab you there

On “too big to jail”

In this here country

It can be a crime to be homeless

But rarely ever to make someone so

On identity politics

To paraphrase King

Progress isn’t defined by the color of a leader’s skin

But by the content of their character

We don’t know if our acts will bear fruit

We do know that seeds won’t grow

If they’re not planted

When you’ve been pissed on so much

It’s easy to believe everyone’s a prick

That’s when our humanity

Faces one of its hardest tests

When it comes to CEO pay at fast food corps

There’s no value menu in the executive dining room

If the planet is a disposable commodity

We’re all trashed

Timid measures

Will always fall shy

Call it “McSnoops”

“Billions and Billions Surveilled”

In most every contest between the two major parties

Both candidates are pieces of shit

The only difference is how long it takes to wipe your ass

We can’t try to save life as we know it

If we’re to know a life worth saving

Economic poverty emanates from empathetic poverty

Energy is a public need, and needs to be public.

The “invisible hand of the marketplace” always seeks to tighten its grip on our throats

Whether it’s gloved in black, or green

On the dangers of reformism

Frederick Douglass said that “Power concedes nothing without a demand”

But power, once forced to make that concession, seeks to quarantine it

All too often, its proponents acquiesce

There is no Planet B

Once ours ceases to be

We should not cast our gaze around or below us

In search of our true tormentors

But rather we must lift our eyes up

For they are not of a different country or color

But of a different class

Austerity (n):

Drowning in Ayn Rand’s wet dream

The “magic hand of the marketplace”

Comes sheathed in a iron glove

So called ”progressives” have an amazing capacity for dressing up the lesser evil as a greater good

The exploitocracy is trying to squeeze every last drop of profit out of capitalism before it collapses

They realize the implosion’s coming if the status quo is maintained, and rather than making any concessions that would stave off that fate, they rush like lemmings off the cliff, grabbing all they can carry with them over the edge

I’m not saying that I want to see them maintain their control over our lives by acting in their own best interests

I’m simply saying that their addiction to greed and power prevents them from doing so

And they’ll take us all down with them

We can follow our uncomfortable conscience

Or be led by our convenient cowardice

The Newspeak is of “humanitarian intervention”

The reality is of the contravention of humanity

When it comes to the cascade of campaign cash

We get what they pay for

Nukes fell into “the wrong hands” long ago

A message from Dear Misleader to liberals

Yes we can

Lie to your face in the evening

And rest assured you’ll still kiss our dicks in the morning

That’s not the audacity of hope

It’s the arrogance of certainty

The money junkies extract their poison from the veins of the earth

And inject it into ours

Make war without end?

“Yes We Can

(And there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it)”

Only if we believe there isn’t …

Truth is the first casualty of war

But the bleeding always begins beforehand

On “pragmatism”

You can play ball

Or show some

If “terrorists” didn’t exist, the power structure would have had to invent them

Which, in large measure, they did

Why are we talking about a “living” wage

And not a life of dignity, one aspect of which is to be no one’s servant, beholden to them for your ability to survive?

Is that “impractical”, “unrealistic”?

If so, then let’s jettison all this lofty rhetoric about “justice” and “fairness”

And admit that we’re simply engaged in damage control

Otherwise, let’s start walking the talk

And stepping toward a future we’ll feel no need to obscure

The material poverty of the many

Would not exist without the moral poverty of the few

It’s a simple equation

Either we will see that everything is connected

Or we will see everything fall apart

The Golden Rule

Doesn’t have an asterisk after it

The exploitocracy is keenly aware of what the future holds, as they squeeze every drop of profit out of the sweat of workers, and the blood of everyone else not of their class, while the system they control devours the resources and diseases the land, air and water of this planet

They know that their only hope for maintaining their position lies in the creation of the 21st century police state

“Terrorism” is their cloak

And surveillance and repression their daggers

Considering the erosion of our First and Fourth Amendment rights, among others

I think we know just who “hates us for our freedoms”

If we don’t know our real past

Then we can have no real future

Does reform precede transformation

Or does it preclude it?

I think it’s a question anyone serious about justice struggles with, and neither “purism” nor “pragmatism” answers it adequately

What I can say is that if we lose sight of what we truly want

We will never find the path to it

We must be both awake to the nightmare

And open to the dream

Acutely aware that we seldom fear what we understand

It’s the charge of the propagandist to ensure we remain ignorant

A half step

Means it will take twice as long to get where you need to go

We should have no appetite for revenge

But a deep thirst for justice

On laws criminalizing protest
A conscience is being defined as a dangerous weapon

Which, if the actions it prompts are worth engaging in

Is precisely what it must be

Fear and ignorance are the aims of those in power

And we’re in the crosshairs

The difference between reformists and transformists

A reformist says the system is broken

And needs to be fixed

A transformist says the system is fixed

And needs to be broken

“Terrorism” is the pretext for the police state

Which isn’t intended to keep us safe

But to keep those in power safe from us

The goal of “divide and conquer”

With us at each other’s throats

We are oblivious to the chains around our necks

Do we need to believe that a truly just world is possible to struggle for it

Or can we see it as worth our efforts regardless?

I understand the power of hope

But I’m convinced of the imperative of obligation, of purpose

Our better angels don’t need a flight plan

They just need to get airborne

On the administration’s energy policy
”All of the above”?

Look out below

If only oil spills were as simple to remove from the water and soil

As they are from the pages and broadcasts of the corpress

The corps feed at the gummint trough

While we deal with what comes out the other end

The weapons manufacturers sell guns

The NRA sells fear

And both want to sell us the first as the solution to the second

Austerity (n):

Cutting the fingernails

Of those hanging on by them

We have to ask ourselves

Do we want to reform

Or do we want to transform?

The future is now

Or never

On the imperative of direct action
You can only win

If you don’t play the game

On the loopholes for “nutritional information”
Read the label

But know the limitations

On confronting others’ contradictions

And our own
Before we can speak truth to power

We have to speak it among ourselves

On the stenography of empire
The echo chamber

Doubles as a death chamber

On the theory of “trickle down”

(More accurately, “trickle on”)
A rising tide

Drowns those without boats

On popping the propaganda bubble we live in
Fool the people once

Shame on you

Fool them twice

Shame on us

Anyone or any movement worthy of our admiration

Should also welcome our constructive criticism

Our survival is inextricably linked with everyone else’s

And if that doesn’t activate our empathy gene

Our demise will be a shared one, as well

Regardless of the outcome

Doing what your conscience demands

Is never an act committed in vain

Before we can speak truth to power

We must seek it for ourselves

We have laws that guarantee the right to vote

But none that ensure anything worth voting for

Reformism is about “urging” corporations to “do what’s right”

Rather than punishing them for doing what’s wrong

On the plethora of “vote integrity” bills in state legislatures
Voter fraud’s no problem, but there’s plenty of electoral fraud

And it’s a many capitol offense

On wrist slaps rather than handcuffs
Until pinstripes are exchanged for prison stripes

There will be no true justice

On the political pantomime of much environmentalism
If we’re talking about “Game over”

Shouldn’t we stop playing the game?

Power must always be held accountable

And anyone wielding it

Worthy of our trust

Would insist on it

On the SOTU 2013
Old wine

New bottle

Same vinegar

On the essential contradiction of reformism
You can’t change the game

If you’re playing it

Elites always have internal squabbles over the most effective methods for achieving their shared goals

That shouldn’t be interpreted as any hesitancy over whether to pursue them

On the perniciousness of “pragmatism”
First they ignore you

Then they ridicule you

Then they fight you

Then they “compromise” with you

They they win

Does reform have to precede transformation

Or does reform preclude transformation?

I think history makes a compelling case for the latter

On single issue politics
Trimming the trees

While the forest festers

Comparing gummint debt with household debt is a fallacious analogy

But it is true that an effective method for reducing your grocery bill

Is starvation

On “euphemiasma” 

Language is a virus

That infects our relation to reality

On the war against generic drugs
Big Pharma’s amendment to the Hippocratic Oath

First do no harm

To our profits

On online surveillance
The Fourth Amendment

o Delete

o Save
On the inauguration
Contrast the scene on the Mall

The carefully crafted symbolism, the adoration of the multitude, the high minded oratory

With the repulsive reality of the horrors they conceal

And then talk to me about the dream

Instead of the nightmare

The history we are most ignorant of

Is that which most closely mirrors the present we suffer in

And that is precisely why we are kept from knowing it

Capitalism knows the price of everything

And everyone

And the value of nothing

And no one

“They” don’t hate us for our freedoms

They hate us for denying them theirs

On “Zero Dark Thirty” as agitprop
As the bread is taken from our mouths

The circuses will fill our eyes and minds

And we will cheer not only others’

But our own oppression

A land of the free

Is perforce a home of the brave

As long as we are passive actors

The play will be written by the powerful

And we can forget about a happy ending

We need our woeful ability to reason

To exceed our impressive capacity to rationalize

We have to have each other’s backs

Or we’ll find ourselves flat on our own

On the purpose of pedagogy
Teachers don’t furnish wisdom

They facilitate it

On going beyond the “pragmatic” parameters of “reform”
Band aids won’t cure cancer

We need neurosurgery


Minimal education

Equals minimum wage

Equals maximum profit

On “ideological purity”
Whatever ultimately may be possible

To not acknowledge what would be true justice

Is to deny the reality of those who deserve it

On single issue politics
Fighting our battles separately

Is our surest way to lose them

On the inferiority of  “the other”
Only the dehumanized

Can dehumanize others

On our culture of violence
We are a sick, twisted society, and as hypocritical a one as has ever existed on this earth

Those two characteristics are inextricably interconnected, don’t you think?

The more fucked up you are, the more you engage in delusion to avoid facing yourself

Guns don’t kill people

People kill people

And more people with more guns

Kill more people

On “partisan battles”
It’s a script we should know by heart

The Republicans go for the whole enchilada

While the Democrats offer us a few drops of chili sauce

Then proclaim a “principled” fealty to “fairness”

It may be a dog and pony show

But the end product is pure horseshit

Think for yourself

Then act for others

They hate us for our freedom

To do to them what we damn well please

On a place for all in the struggle
Exclusion is the most discouraging disability

On corpress complicity
Our ignorance

Is their bliss

And their business

Guns don’t kill people

Bullets fired from guns kill people

Let them have all the guns they want

And restrict the living shit out of ammunition

The goal is what you strive for

The struggle is what gives your life meaning

On the absence of change on climate change
Insanity is defined not only by repeating the same act, and expecting a different result

But also by repeating the same destructive acts, and expecting nothing to change

True leaders have no followers

Only fellow travelers

It can be damnably difficult to know the right thing to do, and if anything is certain in this world, it’s that we won’t avoid mistakes in trying to do it

What we do after making them defines our principles, and our progress

On the denial of abortion even when the mother’s life is in danger
How often is the “sanctity of life”

Accompanied by the stench of death?

Many mainstream enviro orgs laud any “green” initiative, regardless of the nature of its instigator

You don’t praise a Mafiosi for making a charitable donation

And you don’t hail a polluter for making a “green” profit

We can clamor for the rich to pay their “fair share”

But until we honestly confront the rationalizations for such wealth, we can never claim to truly struggle for justice

On propaganda as history
Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

And those who are denied the past are condemned to suffer through its repetition

On the abuse of antibiotics by humans and other beasts
Married to Big Pharma

In sickness

And in wealth

On the “pushing the president” meme
The only place I want him pushed is into a prison cell, for the murders he commits daily here and abroad.

Of course, if there were any possibility of that, he would have plenty of company on the same charge, wouldn’t he?

On the inequity of disaster relief and rebuilding
Nature plays no favorites

That’s what the power structure’s for

On buying elections
Money talks

And makes us a truly “silent majority”

A world based on cooperation and empathy has always been our only hope for justice

Now it’s our only hope for survival

On working with or donating to “progressive” orgs
We need to be certain that the folks who ask for our trust have our backs

And not disposed to stick something sharp in them

On dealing with disaster
We can build the barricades that may spare us from the awesome power of nature

But our true hope lies in the breaching of those that prevent us from exercising our own

If our species is to survive

We must recognize our stark choice


Or Disintegrate

On half measures
We have to play for all the marbles

Or lose our spot on the the big blue one we live on

On the limitations of electoral politics
Slowing the car down doesn’t keep it from hurtling off the cliff

It just buys us some time to grab the wheel and swerve away from catastrophe

On the insanity and inhumanity of biofuel production
Fill tummies

Not tanks

We can consume the earth

Or we can assume our role as its defender

We can make the choice

Or have our recalcitrance leave us lacking one

On selling out
Some folks’ souls come with a bar code

On the horrific consequences of the sanctions on Iran
The terrorists in tailored suits sniff

“Let them eat yellowcake”

On electoral politics
It’s better to vote for a piece of shit than a pile of it

But we can’t forget that the ultimate goal is to flush the toilet

We are the only species willfully incapable of reason

The question is

Do we have the will to make that maladjustment moot?

On crime and punishment
For the rich

A slap on the wrist

Being careful to avoid the Cartier

Dogma is not man’s, woman’s, or justice’s best friend


The ascent of technology

The descent of humanity

In this system, the task of Republicans is to keep the pedal to the metal

The task of Democrats is to take their foot off the accelerator

But don’t apply the brakes

Given where we’re headed if we don’t jam them on ourselves, our choice is effectively how fast we want to be going when he hurtle off the cliff

The purpose of propaganda

Is to put us in our place

Inside the fences

And outside the gates

On privatization
Should the national emblem be changed

From an eagle

To a vulture?

Voting is such a valuable right

But there is so often such little value in the exercise of it

A new ad slogan for Walmart

Low prices

Lower wages

Exponentially lower morals

Talk about truth in advertising

The value of war

Is that the powerful get

What the powerless pay for

Dear Misleader once made a pledge to walk them with unions

But he doesn’t want to walk with them

He wants to walk over them

And many union “leaders” lie down to let him

The push for “education reform” is primarily about two things:

The privatization of public education, and the transformation of schools into nothing more than factories for churning out cogs to fill the needs of corporations

The teachers are being pelted with brickbats

And the kids are being pressed into bricks for the wall

Constantly question everything

Including, and especially

Your own assumptions

When you think you have all the answers

You lose the objectivity imperative

To effectively addressing the questions

We’re all hypocrites

But it needn’t be a full time position

There are many reasons to protest, but it all comes down to this:

People are dying, people are in misery

And the bastards in both parties, and those they serve, are responsible

If you can’t raise your voice against that

Can you truly call yourself human?

On averting the end of the world as we know it
To any rational mind

Hope is foolish

To any humane heart

It’s superfluous

We don’t play the game because we expect to win

But because it’s the only thing that gives us meaning

There may be nothing on the other side

But it’s certain there’s nothing of value on this side

If we don’t let our humanity guide our actions

A slight alteration to H.L. Mencken’s observation that “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”:

No network or newspaper ever went broke undermining the intelligence of the American public

The watchwords of libertarianism

(At least of the Paulist persuasion)


History may be written by the rulers

But it is made by those who refuse to be ruled

Corpress equation on climate change

Much heat

Little light

On civilians constituting the majority of drone dead in Pakistan
How is it “collateral” damage

When it’s the principal?

Richmond, and so many other majority minority areas near industrial health hazards, are repositories of the literal poison of prejudice

On the false promise of  Democratic reformism
You can’t make even half a loaf

Out of crumbs

Always remember that this isn’t about some bloodless debate over political philosophy

It’s about the very bloody business of life and death

Fear is the protofascist’s most fervent friend

We need to call a spade a spade

Or we risk being buried by it

There’s a far from delicious irony in reactionaries claiming that something which clearly exists – namely, global warming – does not

And professing an unshakable belief in something which clearly doesn’t exist – namely, voter fraud beyond the quintessentially aberrational

Except, of course, that which they perpetrate through “voter fraud” law

These are the only regulations Republicans find warranted, aren’t they?

Syria is a proxy war

With no proxies for the dead

Every nation can’t have “God on our side”

As the song says

“Two men say they’re Jesus

“One of them must be wrong”

But it’s easy to claim divine guidance

When you’re writing the commandments

On Aurora, Oak Creek et alia
Welcome to America

A 3.79 million square mile free fire zone

On the commodification of nature
You can’t slap a bar code on the commons

On the industry attack against GMO labeling
Our ignorance

Is their bliss

In other “developed” nations, healthcare is focused on outcome

In this country, healthcare is focused on income

“Expensive” trumps “effective”

It’s the American way, isn’t it just?

Empiricism and cynicism often take the same bus

But get off at different stops

What else can you call climate change denial

But a scorched earth policy?

How much dust has Dear Misleader’s Nobel gathered?

On “humanitarian intervention”
Persons of  good will, if not good sense, may call for “sending the cavalry to the rescue”

But you might want to ask Native Americans for some historical perspective on that

It used to be bread and circuses

Now the bakery’s closed

It’s a “free market” for the climate killers

Free to profit

Free to pollute

Free from prosecution

But there’s always a price tag for the public

On the horror of Aurora
There’s a bitter and bloody irony in “gun rights” supporters also claiming to be “pro life”

On voter ID legislation
There are plenty of examples of voting fraud

These laws, for one

On teaching the impact of climate change
Ignorance isn’t bliss

It’s abetting Armageddon

On the surveillance society
Eyes in the skies

Ears in the ether

Rights in the toilet

Knowing the best thing to do electorally can be a right bastard

But whichever way you choose to exercise your franchise

Once you vote your conscience

Go out and put it to work

On the pernicious persistence of  propaganda
We are born without sight

And those in power strive mightily to see to it that we remain that way

On education “reform”
A test drive that’s taking us straight over the cliff

On refusing to buy leather goods
From fashion conscious

To fashion conscience

On Tuscon’s “subversive” book blacklist
They can ban the books

But they can’t box up the spirit they inspire

On the state censoring of evidence contrary to corporate propaganda
Blinding us without science

On gummint surveillance
The difference between watching over us

And watching to keep over us

It may be that our species deserves what likely will be our fate

What we do in the next short period will confirm or disprove that assessment, whatever the ultimate outcome

I wouldn’t advise putting scared money on the upside, but I would admonish us all to strive mightily to change the odds on the proposition

On the price we pay for the society we’re induced to purchase
A mind is a terrible thing to waste

A soul a terrible thing to lay waste to

On global warming
If you can’t stand the heat

Get out of the kitchen

And put the pols’ feet to the fire

On climate denial
Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it

And those who ignore the consequences of the present condemn us, and themselves, to an apocalyptic future

On pitting us against each other in order to pit the planet
“Divide and conquer”  applies to both people

And the earth

On Walmart and prison labor
Talk about chain stores …

Efficiency in election rigging

If they can’t vote in the first place, you don’t have to go to all the trouble of miscounts and machine manipulation come election day

On campaign cash and why no financial exec has been prosecuted
Wall Street butters its bread on both sides

And never has to worry about prison food

I say that I try to do what my conscience demands and my courage allows, and never be satisfied with the limits of either

To that I should add a codicil – to do what reason seems to deem best, and to continue to question that reasoning

It can be goddamn difficult to know the right thing to do, and if anything is certain in this world, it’s that we won’t avoid mistakes in trying to do it

What we do after making them defines our principles, and our progress

Victory is not defined by the outcome

But by the struggle

On the Supreme Court’s ACA ruling
With victories like this, who needs defeats?

We can settle for a moldy half loaf

Or we can work for the day when we run the bakery

Is the risk worth the reward?

Ask those who won’t get even a stale slice

At some point you have to piss

Or get flushed down the pot

On nuclear energy
Flirting with disaster?

More like full on coitus

On monocultural carbon sequestration
You can’t see the forest for the fabricated trees

On the evisceration of the rule of law in the Global War on Terror ™
Welcome to the dark star chamber

Where “national security” renders habeas a corpse

The world’s a complex place, and anyone trying to do what’s right has to navigate its imperfections and contradictions while maintaining their principles as best they can.

But what we can always do is be honest about that, and don’t pretend those contradictions don’t exist

Compromise may be a last resort

Duplicity should never be an option

I try to be an empiricist, and that mitigates against hope

But whatever hope there may be is not a blessing bestowed, but a struggle engaged

Homes have to be built.  Crops have to be raised

And hope arises from work, not wishes

On regulatory complicity
There’s a difference between being asleep at the wheel

And closing your eyes to the dangers on the road ahead

Assembly line education is good business

Invest your child

On “divide and conquer”
The poor will always be with us

As long as the rich can keep them apart

Single issue advocacy, as imperative as those issues may be, yields isolated gains

Our strength lies not in doting on the “I”s

But in cross-fertilizing the “We”s

The deadliest disease infects most every politician and power holder


Humanity Intolerant Virus

On commitment to principle
If you’re taking the bus to justice

You don’t get off at the first stop

Never accuse our gummint of not following the Golden Rule

If it gives gold to the gilded

It rules

On organizing
We have to go beyond the “usual suspects”, and reach folks who won’t be engaged by the unions, the Dems or most all activist orgs, people who don’t need a documentary to show them how bad things are, because they live that reality every day

If you don’t tend to the roots, the tree never flowers

On cuts to the military versus social spending
Austerity is never uniform

And never wears one

On a transition to renewable energy
Any plan must be based on public ownership of energy sources

Profiteering may become greener, but the green will still flow to the top


On “pro life” legislation
So how long before “intentional spermicide” is declared a Class 1 felony?

Obama’s assassination protocol is just a new way to express an old abomination …

Kill ‘em all

We’re God, and we don’t have to sort ‘em out

The “Christian” right twists the cross into a swastika

Their Golden Rule is “Do unto ‘the other’ as you would never wish to be done unto you”

On “education reform”
Call it “No Child Left Standing”

The Democrats have sold out more times than a performance of  “CATS”

Mendacity basks in the limelight

Where history is kept in the dark

Electoral politics in the US is almost always about damage control, not transformative change

We can keep applying duct tape, or we can get out the hammers and nails and build something new and durable outside of the polling place

Opposing the death penalty means opposing it for everyone, innocent and guilty

Life can only be taken to defend ourselves and others

Any other justification has no relation to justice

As we look out on the soldiers’ cemeteries that dot our nation’s landscape, we should question why it is that such great care is given to the graves of the dead

And so little to the bodies and souls of the living

But we know the answer

On the Palestinian struggle
There is no “peace process”

Only the “piece process”

Taking the most desirable parts of Palestine

Piece by piece

On the economy of our political system
The rich buy

And the rest of us pay

On the corpress
There are none so blind as those who will not see

And who willfully blind others

The world is the plutocracy’s oyster

And we’re getting shucked

On US gummint and corporate propaganda
It’s tempting to say, “Goebbels would be proud”

It might be closer to the truth to say he would be envious

When it comes to the inhumanity of  “humanitarian intervention”

The “good guys” wear whitewash

Afghanistan is not “a war of vengeance”

It’s a war of empire, fought for resources and geostrategic gain (see “Iraq, War in”)

It’s about pipelines and power politics

And the only 911 connected to it is the one Afghans are living through

And dying in


Money may not be the root of all evil

But evil – one way or another – is the route to all money

A compromising of conscience cannot coexist alongside a commitment to justice

The most dangerous bank robbers sit on their boards of directors

What most elections come down to is a choice between a tepid turd, and a heaping pile of horseshit

Given that choice, you vote against volume

But you better hoard the toilet paper

‘Cause in the end, we’re really only talking about how much wiping we’ll have to do, aren’t we?

All this is to say that we have to move beyond the lesser of two evils

To the one greater good

The corpress gets the facts straight

Into the shredder

Health care costs – financial and human

The true face of  “American exceptionalism”

Welcome to America

The land of opportunism

On the multiple crises in education
As the exploiters decide what knowledge is worth

We need to ask ourselves

What knowledge is worth knowing?

The whole world is watching

The question is

How many will do more than that?

Common criminals break the law

Corporate criminals control it

The soul can never be free as long as the mind is in chains

On climate change
At some point the whistling past the graveyard becomes a dirge

Speaking of the Democratic “leadership”

With friends like these …

Enemies are superfluous

We must speak truth to power

But we also must speak it to each other

Our honesty is inseparable from our humanity

Crumbs from the master’s table may look appetizing when you’re faced with starvation

But we’ll only end our hunger when we own the bakery

If you’re not asking the right questions

You’ll never find the right answers

I don’t have a roadmap to The Promised Land, but I do know that stopping for every half measure will never get us the whole way

Are creationists proof of evolution

In reverse?

A poor woman’s place is in the home

Someone else’s home

Cleaning someone else’s floors

Or taking care of someone else’s kids

We have a “justice” system with a hair trigger “Guilty” reflex

A woman’s work is never done

Being devalued

Public ignorance is the climate denialists’ bliss

To forgive is not to forget

It is to recall our humanity

And it cannot succeed without all committing to that recollection

There is always blood on the ax

We can hope for the best

Or we can bring out the best within us

Which is our only hope

The lesser of two evils is, by definition, evil, meaning that there will be those who will suffer if that choice is made.

So I believe that advocates for that choice are morally obligated to ask themselves how they would explain their stand to those who will suffer, and inextricably related to that, whether they could accept that reasoning if was they who would suffer.

Truth is always an enemy of the state

The rotten apples don’t fall far from the fetid tree

The damage is never “collateral” to the victims

Or to the nature of empire

Voting is a fundamental democratic right

But so is having something truly worth voting for

If  you don’t know the ends of empire, you can’t know how to get to the end of empire

The more you know, the more you know what you don’t know

And the better you are at discerning the difference

In the empire game, the best offense is a claim of defense

Fear prostrates the oppressed

And exalts the oppressor

When it comes to covering their plutocratic patrons, the corpress has a literally Golden Rule:

What we don’t know won’t hurt them

Education “reform”

Filling circles

Emptying minds

It’s true there are rotten apples

But they come from a putrid orchard

Electoral fraud is a huge problem

It just has nothing to do with those who are voting

Out with the “in” crowd


Why is it that our species seems to be at its most ingenious when it comes to either exploiting other members …

Or exterminating them?

Solidarity must be shoreless

Not just because corporate rule is, as well

But because justice’s true and only value is in the universal, not the parochial

In our court system,  justice is often willfully blind

There is no honest hope for the future

If there is no honest understanding of the past

Need before greed

A caveat on coalitions

You can’t advance your principles on one front by abandoning them on another

Be wary of  politicians who declare that they’re behind you

They may just like it doggy style

The rich do deserve what they get

And we’re going to give it to them

Republicans subvert our right to vote

Democrats subvert our reason to

We have to think, and act, global

Or the word very soon will cease to have any meaning

Time’s up

Either we get our shit together today

Or it’s going to hit the fan tomorrow

Libertarianism is the “freedom” of enough rope

The truth is the first casualty of war

Long before the first shots are fired

Credo of the “pro-life” safety net slashers

“If anyone’s gonna kill those babies, it’s gonna be us”

We have to change the societal narrative

From “what I want”

To “what we need”

The Arab Spring knows no winter

The bipartisan choice come November:

You can overdose on sedatives

Or you can put a bullet in your brain

But when all is said and done

the end result’s the same

That Dear Misleader can be seen as the lesser of two evils shows just how evil the system is

Bailing out

The banks get the parachutes

We’re in freefall

Solidarity is shoreless

My freedom has no worth

If it comes at your cost

We dream to awaken from the nightmare

If this is the end of the world as we know it, let it be to the bangs of our outrage, and not the whimpers of our despair

The profitizers say

“Let them eat cake

“If they can find a bakery dumpster”

We need a fashion forward style change for corporate execs

From pinstripes

To prison stripes

Solidarity can know no borders

Or we will never know justice

How can a corporation be a person?

Have you ever seen someone with that many pricks?

We work for the day when far more than small towns are “unincorporated”

Student debt:

A whole new meaning to “slaving away at the books”

A large yellow triangle bearing the legend:



Courage may not guarantee victory

But its absence assures defeat

Fight foreclosures

Home is where the heart is

And the heartless aren’t

Effective actions are part inspiration, part perspiration, and part deeply serious consideration

We can only win hearts and minds

By opening them

We must first free our minds

The keys to our chains

Lie within our brains

Actions speak louder with the right words

Our “representatives” are bought

And we pay for it

(Not mine, but I had to share)

There is no Planet B

(To which I say, “Fucking A”)

The only real difference between the two major parties is over how wide to spread our legs

Not the act to be committed

The climate change clock keeps ticking

And we keep hitting the snooze button

Corpress creed:

All the news that’s printed to fit

Shake the money makers

For the money changers

The bubbles may pop

But the champagne keeps flowing

The truly dangerous deficit lies in our “leaders”‘ lack of humanity

The goal of organizing is to let people get it

And then give them a place to put it

A caution on hero worship

Pedestals are inherently unstable objects

They tend to topple over on those gathered in admiration around them

Patience is no virtue

When the patient’s on life support

When evaluating potential allies, actions speak louder than letterheads

There can be no masters

If there are no servants

You can’t reform rot

You can only replace it

Ignorance is the lack of knowledge

Stupidity is its rejection

Human beings are the only species willfully incapable of reason

The poor will always be with us

Until the rich are not

In the empire game, you can’t boogie without a boogeyman

Take it from the top

“Sacrifice” should obey the laws of gravity

And the principles of humanity

No belt tightening around our throats

Let’s make this a class act

Working class
Middle class


Courage is contagious

And we urgently need an epidemic

Do what your conscience demands

And your courage allows

And never be satisfied

With the limits of either

Pissed on

Pissed OFF

No to the deaths from a thousand cuts
























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