Monday, September 30, 2013

First, a Rant...  I freely admit it's a rant..., so if you're not in the mood for another expression of concern about what's happening in Washington, skip all the way to the bottom of this BLOG post and see pictures I got today of friends being happy together.


If America were just an idea, a reality show, an episode in a fictional BBC series, we could go to sleep tonight and wake up in October ready to go on with life in a sane, real world.  If Ted Cruz were just a made-up fictional character in a make-belief government; and if the Tea Party were the name of a rock band or a chorus in a comic opera,  the American nation could feel more hopeful about October, November, December and all of the next year.

If there happen to be any Tea Party people reading this, not likely, I hope they’ll ask someone what a rhetorical question is before reading on.  Have we ever had in Congress a more inept bunch of whiners than this fresh gaggle of Tea Party representatives and senators?  Has our government ever been held hostage by legislators more unschooled in basic tenth grade civics than these men and women who insist they are Tea Party patriots first and Republicans second? Has there ever been a clearer example of anti-intellectualism in our government than the drama playing itself out on Capital Hill today? Anti-intellectualism is said to be a disposition that discounts the importance of truth and the life of the mind.  Ted Cruz doesn’t speak the truth, and he surely must know what the truth; so he is a fraud.  His State of Texas deserves better representation in Congress... Well, maybe not all... but on the other hand, I know some very honest, good, hardworking, honorable, truth-telling people who live in Texas; and they deserve better. 


Many of the Tea Party people in government claim a religious devotion and active church affiliation.  Sadly, the ones who quote Scripture with the most fervor are the same ones who actively promote programs that deny help and inflict hurt on America’s poorest citizens.  They loudly proclaimed their support of legislative action that drastically cut the food stamp program.  One representative this week quoted Scripture to justify his support of cuts to the food stamp program.  He quoted the Apostle Paul's saying in Second Thessalonians, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.  And now were getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you.  This must not be tolerated.  We command them to get to work immediately--no excuses, no arguments--and earn their own keep.”  

I’m not a theologian, not a Bible scholar, but it’s clear even to me that whatever the First Century tentmaker known in church history as The Apostle Paul is reported to have said on the subject of who should and who should not be allowed to eat can’t possibly outweigh the basic teachings in the Christian Gospel credited to Jesus’ devotion to the poor and to his example of ministering to the poor. 

Speaking of eating... and drinking...  I had a very good time today with friends...We ate and drank and told stories to each other.  Life is Good.

Irene's Dessert

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Autumn beauty.
It's a mystery...
year after year after year
winter comes always
then spring
then summer.
Flowers bloom in the desert
followed by
Autumn... The expected surprise.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


That’s the way it starts...
A duck crossing the road 
feels the earth move
and suddenly cracks
that weren’t there yesterday
run like lightening
through everything
before separations begin;
the center can’t hold
and the earth splits
into a zillion fragments
flying every which way... 

I was going to make a poem
about global warming
but all the words I tried
seemed so prosaic
I gave up the project 
and settled for an imaginary
catastrophe with which religious folk
who say they know the mind of God
are already quite familiar.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Preserved wine is good
but virginity aged is suspect

The well is full of dust

dry bones
wind in dry grass
mice skittering

void devoid

milk curdles
blood clots
swords and crowns rust

church bells break
kings die

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ANy peRSon whOse ImaGinatiOn
isn’T Fired bY whAt’s lefT oVer
aFter a LOtus bloSSom DropS peTals
iSn’t AWAke...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coffee early with good friends... 
awareness throughout the day of images
like inkblots in a Rorschack test
in stains and shadows
on walls and floors and sidewalks.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I've been working on a project with these three wise men... all thinkers, all scholars, all retired.  What a pleasure!  At the end of the day I went home, in much the same way I once did when I did something called "work." Oh, I forgot to say, perhaps because they aren't in this picture, there are some very wise women, also thinkers, also scholars, also retired, working on this project, a photographic exhibition built around the subject of social justice: Visualizing Social Justice.  The month-long exhibition begins this coming Saturday, September 28... First United Methodist Church.  Anybody who'd like to know more can get information at...

On my short bike ride today I rode up Linda Vista Road past the University of San Diego... and couldn't resist aiming my camera at this wonderful building.  For awhile the bike ride took my mind off
the charade happening on the floor of the United States Senate in Washington, D.C.

WORTH NOTING... I guess.

Determined to oppose anything President Obama proposes and especially to try to undo The Affordable Care Act which is scheduled to take full effect next month, first term Senator Ted Cruz, with the enthusiastic support of one-time vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin along with just about everybody else in the Tea Party caucus of Republicans, has launched an old-fashioned filibuster in the Senate.  Mrs. Palin, who can no longer claim to be one of the 99% (with a one-million dollar annual salary from Fox News and a published net worth of 12 million dollars) isn’t an elected official in federal government or in her home state of Alaska, says she supports Cruz’s effort because she is concerned about government encroachment into matters of health care for ordinary Americans. Senator Cruz said as he rose to begin his filibuster that he will be speaking against the new federal health-care law “until I am no longer able to stand.”  Presumably, he is expected to hold forth until Wednesday afternoon when the Senate is scheduled to hold a key procedural test vote that is expected to pass with bipartisan support.  Cruz also said as he began his filibuster that he was acting on behalf of Texans and Americans who are opposed to the new health-care law.  He said, “a great many Texans, a great many Americans feel they do not have a voice, and so I hope to play some very small role in providing the voice.”   Traditionalist Republicans are afraid Cruz and the Tea Party obstructionists are dismantling the Grand Old Party.  They may be right, and destroying the Republican Party would be a great shame and a great loss for our country.  American democracy works best when two political parties provide balance and reason and compromise to our political system.  

If indeed Cruz is the standard bearer for the Republican Party, we are in deep trouble.  Don’t worry.  He is not.  To put it as crudely as my Arkansas heritage might allow me to say it publicly, “Ted Cruz is pissing into the wind.”  He is only going to hurt his own party.  Of course, there are some uninformed, therefore ignorant, Americans; but they are definitely in the minority.  The Republican Party appropriately gains its strength from a core of intelligent, honorable, well-informed patriots who will not be persuaded to dismantle the Government of the United States.  This past summer first term senator Cruz, a Southern Baptist, speaking at Colorado Christian University’s fourth-annual Conservative Western Summit said that one of his goals is to do away with the IRS.  “We have to be focused on growth,” he said.  “That means remaking the tax code... abolishing the IRS.  He hasn’t indicated how he thinks roads, infrastructure, education, or the government that pays his generous salary and buys his family’s health care program should be financed. Perhaps he will get around to explaining that part of his plan for America as he grows weary on the Senate floor through tonight and perhaps even through tomorrow.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I'll hurry to say the picture with snow isn't mine.  My friend Bryan Respess took the picture from his house in Yreka a week after I passed through there...  so my timing was off, as you can see from a picture I took and posted a week ago.  Bryan's grandson Ayden calls it "Mountain Shasta."  I'll probably always think of it as that from now on.

The whitest image I could find today in San Diego was the jimson weed growing in Mission Valley.  Georgia O'Keeffe would like it.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Life was especially good today.  I enjoyed reunion with mi amigo verdadero, Jose Sandoval,  whose home is Lima, Peru.  He is traveling with Ronald, Juan Carlos, and Angel, also from Lima... Excellent company. The five of us were well aware today as we talked about Lima and San Diego and other cities we all know well that we are citizens of the same place, the third planet out from our shared sun, Earth.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


To avoid getting worked up into a discouraged/discouraging political state of mind at the end of the week when...  aaaaaAAAAAHHHH... I almost lost it again and was about to go off on another...!  

What I was about to say is that I started fooling with some pictures of hibiscus I found today.  Flowers are remarkable creations, hibiscus especially... incredible designs, which I decided to play around with... and maybe make patterns with them... 

Just one little bitty political thought: WHY CAN'T THOSE PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON STOP and smell the roses and hibiscus and... and... and... make things better for everybody.