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Although a genetic democrat, after a few years of living in MA, I opted to ‘un-enroll’- my reasons for doing that could easily be the subject of another diary.

The point of this diary, for those who aren’t up for a lengthy journey, is this: if you want to see change, sea-change- then you start at the bottom and work up. And we need a sea-change. Dean was right. And Mitch McConnell and the Koch Brothers know he was right, because they took his brilliant 50 state blueprint, flushed it full of money, low standards, and self-deluding ideologues, and proved it works- last night.

Bear with me- the doc says I should write this story down- it’ll be therapeutic in the long winter ahead.  If you want to avoid the whole story about why I know from running for office as a Green party member that ground up is better than top down, jump to the last three or so paragraphs.  Those with a stronger stomach, read on.

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I wasn't there. I don't know what happened in that Texas Emergency Room, when Thomas Duncan arrived, symptomatic for Ebola, and was sent home with the proverbial 'take two aspirins and call me in the morning' advice.  But as the events unfolded, they suggested the GOMER scenario to me.  

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New Friends, New Energy... eeff, courtesy of tool. Landscaping By New York City...
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Fouling the nest isn't what it used to be.  We live in an era when denial, often paired with self-interest and corporate dollars, encourages us to ignore the mess we have created. Or to find someone else to blame.

If you never acknowledge a problem, you can avoid accountability for a long time.  But not forever.  I know.

Because. Mother Nature told me so. And if Mother Nature ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Join me below for an object lesson about the wages of willful ignorance, and the failure to allocate accountability in direct proportion to the damage done...

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I had the good fortune to live in Buffalo, New York, for eight years. I went up there to finish a Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Education, with a specialty in working with people who have physical disabilities. Picked up a graduate degree in the same field. Never used either of them the way I thought I would.
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Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:13 PM PDT

Who Marches For Them?

by The Poet Deploreate

Every year, before I vote in a federal election, I play a little game with myself.
I pair my vote. It's kind of immature, but I've made no great claims to maturity that anyone can pin on me.

It isn't exactly matching. I decide whose vote I'm neutralize. Usually, It's Dick Cheney's, or Karl Rove's.  I vote, knowing that my vote for X will cancel out their vote for X-minus.

During the March4Climate on September 21, I'm voting with my feet, and I'm going to pair my vote once again.

This time, I think I'll link it to someone who would march if they could.  I'll carry them on my back, in a way.  I think on September 21st, I will pair my vote with a farmer in Sub-Sahara Africa, who's lost ten years worth of crops due to 50 years worth of environmental degradation to the surrounding farmlands.  

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Hand me down my walking' cane...
"...Let me tell you 'bout the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees, and the moon up above..."

No, we don't need Herbert Brown and Dean Martin to tell us 'bout climate change.  We can feel it, we can see it. We can smell it. And we can do something about it.

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Sometimes, it isn't until the light goes out that you realize how brightly it shined; how much better we were able to see the world and ourselves when it was lit and blazing. But like the Yin and the Yang, darkness and light exist to celebrate, and impinge on each other.

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Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:57 AM PST

Scout for Equality

by The Poet Deploreate

I received an email this morning from Wayne Brock, the Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America. In it, he explained the backtracking decision by the Scouts to study the "complex issue" involving their "membership criteria", without ever using the word "gay", or "homosexual", or "sexual orientation" in describing what the criteria actually say.

Neat trick, I think. Not exactly the kind of transparency that inspires confidence in another review process in addition to the one they claimed they had already spent more than a year in, when they reaffirmed membership criteria that was notable for who it excluded, and not so much who it included.

I've been a scout leader for the past four years, if for no other reason than a selfish one- I like camping, and I love being with my son. I love being with my daughter, which is why I have supported her joining Venture Scouts.

Our family can apparently tolerate dissonance better than the 103 year old Boy Scouts- at one point, my daughter was not only the President of the Venture Scout Troop, but she was also coordinator of the Gay-Straight Alliance at her High School. We believe in working from the inside out to bring about culture change.  Sort of a family ethos.  I don't know if that makes us embarrassingly naive, or unwitting collaborators. I suppose I'd worry more about which it was, if we didn't often see shifts in culture occurring as a result of simply bearing witness and working for change on the inside. Either way, we've been called both.

I think scouting, as an ideal, has a lot offer kids and adults. The values of honesty, kindness, service to community, respect for the environment- even the value of honoring one's own spiritual path, should you choose to have one- all good ideals. And all anti-thetical to the concept that you can practice all those things, and still prevent a youth who is gay from joining the same kids they go to school with, play sports with, and maybe live next door to in the scouting experience. Too much dissonance.

So I responded to Mr. Brock.

Mr. Brock-

I appreciate that the Volunteer Board feels the need to study what it feels is a "complex" issue- one I notice you delicately did not refer to directly.  It doesn't inspire much confidence in your deliberations, if you cannot even say the word "gay" in your communications to the thousands of parents and scouts who are members.

Let me be more clear- I am a Scout Leader, Merit Badge counselor in three areas, and a duly elected member of the Order of the Arrow- my son became a Life Scout before he was fourteen, and is currently holding til he meets the age criteria for Eagle while he plans an Eagle Scout project.

Both he and I feel deeply that what we have gotten from Scouting has been life-changing. To deny that opportunity to other youth, to the 10% of our youth that demographics show will eventually become functional members of our society who happen to also be gay, is to our way of thinking entirely anti-thetical to everything we believe as a Scouting family. It has become very difficult to justify our ongoing involvement in light of our perceived support for a policy that we feel is so at odds with the ideals of scouting.

Please take this as a plea from my son and I to uphold the ideals of scouting- of tolerance, and service to community, of kindness and honesty- and strike this membership policy that excludes young men and adults on the basis of sexual orientation. It is unfair, it diminishes the value of scouting as path to confident independence for our youth, and looks backward, not forward.

Thank you for reconsidering this unfair membership criteria for youth and adult participation. I look forward to the time when scouting is an option for all youth who want to participate.

Troop 21 XXXXXXX

It occurs to me that on the 103rd Anniversary of Scouting, we have an opportunity to look forward and celebrate what will be; and not just look to the past and celebrate what has been.


Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM PDT

To Know, Know, Know Him...

by The Poet Deploreate

There are those ‘a-ha’ moments that occur in the heat of a political campaign. Moments when a point suddenly becomes clear you. It’s happened to me twice in the last two weeks; and since it such a rare occurrence, it is noteworthy.

The first was several weeks back, after one of those time-wasting, mind-boggling exchanges with “friends” across the aisle on Facebook. You know the drill- they post some dog-whistling, disrespectful, fact-bereft Republican talking point about President Obama, and you post a factual response, complete with cites and footnotes. And then they come back with even something more outlandish, in an effort to change the subject. We’ve all been there.

This time it was a birther, pimping that silly idea about Obama not being born in the United States, not being a citizen. I thought about whether there was a new way to approach this cesspool; and then asked a simple question: Do you agree that the woman that Obama claims was his mother actually was his mother? The response was pretty quick- yes, they did. That wasn’t the issue, they said. It was about where he was born, and who his father was.

And I simply typed back my response. It is the point. Regardless of where Obama was born, if his mother, who you agree is really his mother, was a United States citizen, then he is a United States citizen. Regardless of where he is born.

No response.  Over the next week, I tried this out on a number of people- some who plead the birther case, some who tried to dismiss the claims. Universally I was met with a pause, and then something like… “I never thought of that.” It can’t have been that simple.


Here’s the second moment of the campaign.

One of the neat things about Governor Romney, is that, like John McCain before him, one of the trappings of his success is that he owns several houses. In several states. Interesting.

In fact, when you think about it, five states can stake a claim to the Governor- Michigan, where he was born and raised, Utah, where he went to school and rose through the ranks to become a Bishop in his church, California and New Hampshire, where he owns vacation homes, and Massachusetts, where he served as Governor, and is still registered to vote, his address being the unfinished basement of one of his sons.

Five states that know him well, five that could make a claim on his loyalties- if he had any.

So what is going on, that in four of these five states, the Governor is getting his ass kicked, his head handed to him, he’s getting the bum’s rush. He’s losing by margins ranging from 15 points to 5 points; the biggest gap being in the only place he has held elective office- Massachusetts.  

And it is worth noting that while Utah is reliably red, and has a century and a half long connection to the Mormon church, it is also a place where the Governor, in his capacity as the president of the Olympics Committee, he brought in over $1,500,000,000 in federal tax breaks, grants, infrastructure improvements.  

For those keeping score, that is about $250,000 per electoral vote.

So what’s up with four of the five states that know him going thumbs down on the Governor, and the one state that does support him also happens to have gotten what may amount to the largest amount of federal pork ever delivered to a single state for a single event.


Join us every Monday night for drinks at the Daily Kos community political poetry club. Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments. Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional. The keypad is mightier than the sword.
Dear Friends-

Longtime reader, first time writer…

Since the 1984 elections, Republican candidates have been appropriating songs from popular music as their theme tunes without bothering to ask for permission. They have had to cease and desist, often waiting until they receive a letter from a lawyer asking them to, well, cease and desist. One of the delightful sidebars to this has been their cluelessness about what the songs are actually saying. Cue, 'Born in the USA.'

All a subterfuge, however, to keep the media from focusing on the real story- that right wing operatives have been stealing some of these songs, and re-writing the lyrics to reflect their own pungent beliefs. Thanks to the discovery of a fat folder of these plagiarized tunes, accidentally left behind by some besotted Young Republican in a gin mill in Cincinnati, tonight I am able to bring you a sample of these songs.

You’ll need a strong stomach and a marginal ability to carry a tune. Here are a few of them, along with some introductory commentary about their nefarious intentions….
First up, this was apparently intended to be a Tea Party anthem. Sung to the tune of the Beatles song “Revolution”…


We don’t believe in Evolution,
Well, you know
We don’t want the world to change
We just believe in absolution,
Well, you know
We don’t want the world to change
But when you’re talking education
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know we’re gonna be all Right
all Right, all Right

You say you got the real solution
Well, you know
We trust the Bible more than you
You want to tackle global warming,
Well, you know
We don’t believe it’s really true
But when you want to take my money, and give it to people that I really hate
All I can tell you brother is you have to wait
Don't you know we’re gonna be all Right
all Right, all Right
ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

Horrifying, huh?

In a stinging rebuke of the Republican brand and the two remaining moderates in the GOP, several tea party apparatchiks swiped a Sam Cooke tune and penned an anthem.  This one apparently went viral with the “just hit forward” crowd.

We Haven’t a Party (to the tune of ‘We’re Having a Party,’ by Sam Cooke)

We haven’t a party
‘Cause everybody's right wing
Dancing to the musing
On the radio
So listen, Mr. Limbaugh
Keep those lies a’comin
'Cause I'm having such a good time
Tea-partyin’ with my baby

We haven’t a party
Don’t even get me started,
Talking ‘bout Obama
On the radio
Live in such a small world
Ammo’s on the table
Just me and my baby
And locks across the door

Ain’t nobody thinkin’
Workin’ up my list now…
so I’m givin’ orders, I....
I got a few for you
watch me stand my ground, yeah
‘cos I’m a vigilante,
Don’t believe in science
Guns always up the ante…

We haven’t a party
Cos Everybody's right wing
Dancing to the musing
On the radio
So listen, Mr. Limbaugh
Keep those lies a’comin
'Cause I'm having such a good time
Fightin’ with my neighbors…

Of course, the candidates hopped on to this train before it left the station. This next one was apparently penned for the sadly defunct (and dysfunctional) Rick Santorum campaign. Like Reagan, Santorum is apparently a Bruce Springsteen fan, stealing the melody “She’s the One,” from the classic Born to Run album. In this song, Ricky shared his deeply held beliefs about the role of women.

She’s A Nun (Sung to the tune of ‘She’s the One’ by Bruce…the other Bruce)

With her apron laces and her submissive graces bending to my will,
With a bowl of chips, she brings my slippers to the door, she’s always ready to greet me
With her perfect seams, standing in the kitchen like a dream, I wish she’d talk a little less
She knows I’m Master, here, she submits and obeys me here, then she cleans up my messes
With her long hair coiffed, and her downcast eyes that shine when she sees our sons,
Whoa-o, Be a nun
She’s a nun

Hear that thunder on the Right, you know I’m talking ‘bout my wife, you know she’s never gonna leave me.
She knows who’s the boss, all she really needs to do is shut her mouth and believe me
And tonight I’ll try just one more time, to pat her soft behind, and tell her what to do
Oh she can fake it, but if she wants to change things, she’s gonna find out that ain’t so easy to do
And no matter what she cooks, even if she bakes my favorite buns
Whoa-oh, love those buns,
She's a nun

With one chaste kiss, she’ll fill my lonely nights with carnal bliss
Any new ideas about changing things ‘round here, just forget’em little Miss,

Ohh, ohh
Oh, she's a nun
Oh, she's a nun
Love those buns
Yeah, she's a nun
Oh, she's my nun
She’s my nun
Yeah, yeah, yeah…

Mitt Romney, up next. Karl Rove's fingerprints are all over this baby. Apparently the  idea was to take the Mittster's sordid history of predatory capitalism, and make it a centerpiece of his campaign- an unapologetic celebration of the life he’s chosen to lead. Mitt believes this qualifies him to step to the head of the class (his class) and become President.  Never one to come up with an original thought, Mitt followed Santorum's lead, diving into the same Bruce Springsteen album for this ditty. This time, the sacrilege is perpetrated on the classic “Born To Run.”

Bain To Ruin (sung to the tune of ‘Born To Run,’ by Bruce Springsteen)

In the day you sweat it out on the streets turning labor into green
At night I live in mansions of glory that illegal aliens clean
One percent better than you 99
I’ve secured you a spot at the head of the welfare line
Baby we own it, and we won’t give it back
It’s a debt trap, we own all this crap,
We’ll bolt when we’re done screwin’
“Cause scamps like us, baby we are Bain To Ruin…

Wendy’s let us in we wanna be your friend
We wanna guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your ledger round these corporate whims
And we’ll make financial decisions
Don’t doubt that we will beat the rap
We’ll stick till you drop, then baby we’ll never look back
Will you walk with me til you expire,
`just hand me the list of people i gotta fire
I’ve got plans I can’t reveal
It’s wild, girl, there’s so much here to steal

With over-leveraged buyouts, and maxxed out credit lines
We’ll default on your loans
Shut down your phones,
It really isn’t that hard
You’ll be sleeping in the park where it’s cold and dark
When we’ve finished we will leave you pissed,
We wanna die with you Wendy’s, if the price is right,
It’s an everlasting diss

Wall Street’s jammed with well-paid zero’s on a last chance power drive
Everybody’s on the run from subpoena’s tonight but there's no place left to hide
For a while, Wendy’s we’ll live with the sadness
Eat up your assets, you’ll be a victim of corporate madness

Someday girl I don't know when, you’re gonna lose that race
And we’ll toss you aside, that time is comin’ soon
But til then scamps like, baby we are Bain to Ruin….
Honey, scamps like us, baby we are Bain to Ruin…

Finally, we discovered another would-be anthem for the “hold my nose and vote for Romney” contingent of the Republican party- the vast majority.  This one was unusual in that it used a contemporary pop tune that was not 40 or more years old. Still, plagiarism is plagiarism.

Only Lies (Sung to the tune of ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City)

You have to believe my lies
You can do it if you try
Said Mitt Romney to a crowd of sheep
I’ll turn a profit there
Don’t ask if I really care,
You'd think me rude
But I never learned to share

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth warms slowly
It's hard to say but I'd rather stay
Walking in my sleep
'Cause everything is black and white, not green

'Cause I'd get a thousand shrugs
From ten thousand NRA thugs
As they tried to teach me how to shoot
An emptiness in my head
A commie beneath my bed
Illegal aliens are stealing all my bread

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth warms slowly
It's hard to say but I'd rather stay
Walking in my sleep
'Cause everything is black and white, not green

It’s just the common touch I lack
(Please take me away from here)
‘I’m just a wealthy, boorish hack
(Please take me away from here)

I hope I can count on all you sheep
(Please take me away from here)
How 'bout Louis Gohmert as my Veep?

Women, I don’t despise
Do not believe the lies
I never told them all to go to hell

I own a million cars,
But I don’t know where they are
Ted Nugent is my favorite wingnut star

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth warms slowly
It's hard to say but I'd rather stay
Walking in my sleep
'Cos everything is black and white, not green

Apologies to Owl City, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Sam Cooke and the other Bruce... and to y'all. Thanks. This was the bomb...

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