Skip to main content

Justice Putnam Self-Portrait / copyright Justice Putnam

The Justice Department is on Netroots Sundays 8pm to 9pm Pacific and Mondays 9pm to Midnight Pacific. Powered by Unity Radio Net!

I'm Special Agent DJ Justice; Radio Host and Program Director for Netroots; and I'm manning the dials, spinning the discs, warbling the woofers, putting a slip in your hip and a trip to your hop.

The playlist for Sunday 3 August 14 8pm to 9pm Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

 ~~ "Words That Wilt Like Oak and Elm and Ash" ~~

1 - Cake -- "Italian Leather Sofa"
2 - Half Head Special -- "Chinese Blond"
3 - Boards of Canada -- "Music is Math"
4 - Porno For Pyros -- "Thick Of It All"
5 - Thievery Corporation -- "33 Degree"
6 - Sugarcubes -- "Cold Sweat"
7 - Dirty On Purpose -- "Monument"

Station Break

8 - Cranberries -- "Never Grow Old"
9 - The Cardigans -- "Don't Blame Your Daughter"
10 - Morrissey -- "Everyday is Like Sunday"
11 - Concrete Blonde -- "Mexican Moon"
12 - Ennio Morricone -- "La Bambola"
13 - Loop Guru -- "Hope"
14 - Style Council -- "Luck"
15 - Mimi & Richard Farina -- "Reno, Nevada"

Who luvs ya, baby?


The Netroots Radio Player

 photo CrystalRadioKit.jpg

Daily Kos Radio, Vintage James Baldwin, Labor History, Native American Documentaries, Flashpoints, Majority Report, RadioLabor News, Democracy Now, The David Packman Show, The Union Edge, The Professional Left with Driftglass & Blue Gal, West Coast Cookbook 6 Minute Recipes, Free Speech Radio News, Jim Hightower, Green News Report, ACLU Minutes, Breaking Through with Mom's Rising, The BradCast, Eclectic Mixes by Spc Agnt DJ Justice, Nicole Sandler, Ring of Fire, The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, Liberal Fix Radio, Health, Science & History Specials, your Netroots Radio Favorites... and so much more, on right now!

Go ahead, now you can listen while roaming the Big Orange and beyond!


(12-String Ovation Balladeer Astoria, Oregon / copyright Justice Putnam)


Our big city is a city of big bombs and big bicycles, we hire grafters for their pretty art. To force a shoot inside a shoot, to grow an apple on a crab, to grow a plum upon a leprechaun. Dyspepsia is often grafted upon hysteria. To grow a boy inside a belly, cutting capers. Words, through grace, are grafted in our heart and the orange bears a greener fruit that blossoms as it swells. With imperfect grace from that perfect grace from wherever that perfect grace may remain.

To paint half a man on a half a horse. To paint a dolphin in a forest. To color feathers on a beast. To grant a maid a fish's waist. To graft or to wax, whether clay, whether nether. As men graft their gods upon empires.

Then we build mirrors to better understand ourselves, to better understand our souls, and we ask ourselves reflectively, Where? then Who? Woe unto us, we are building our city from our urine. Maintaining it with our fardels and with facts. The burbs we raise to the ranks of birds. Then we furnish them with words that wilt, like oak and elm and ash.

Busily we build our city. Toilsomely we lay the bricks. Men of the six-clock give way to those of nine, those of the nine to the generation of twelve, and those of the twelve tend to disappear, making room for the more fashionable folks who make the two-o-clock noon in the middle of day by the greedy ill will of pills.

Toilsomely we build our city. Burdensomely we tow the line. Those ministers who refuse to tow we quickly omit. Then, when the city is complete, we sit back in the stadium bleachers and wonder how the generated world can be so excellent. How the emulated world can be so grand. How the phone pole stands in for its form. How matter is glued to the elements of ideals.

Then, when the city is complete, we sit at the edge of our great new void, like frogs at edge of a pond, like birds whose nests are littered with knots. Here, we live here in the syllables of our screams where vowels hang like fish hang on hooks. Out of the water. Like consonants with their scales scraped off. And because we fear our world is growing weary, we fill our homes with booty and with loot.

Then our big city crawls into the country, dragging its mountains right along with it. Like death that extends itself with golden planks, we hang ourselves by silk, by twine, by telephone cords. The religious tongue becomes the last supper that we swallow greedily and without chewing. Like death. That is the supreme fortune of man. This is a studied and digested truth.

A couple of hours later, we find ourselves at the junction of shanties where prairies host the sprawling city of Denver, that long lost city of long lost ghosts who haunt the long lost plains, that lifeless and wifeless city, in contrast, of course, to the Big Apple, that city of violated treaties, that wailing city set for the protection of infinity, so like the city of the seven gods, so like Rome, so with its epithets, with its alphabetical locomotives. There, only dogs can find the grisly burbs where the grisly grass slowly grows. Where savage canoes now blossom into lilies.

Montgomery says it's not a place of roof and of walls, it's more like a company, it's more like a corporation. But what is the city but its steeples and domes? What is a city but its spires and its clocks? Time, the people of the city. Time, the bluntest eye, the lion's padded paws.

Sea dreams and my flowering germander eyes droop at the factoried gloom. Bank rates are a codex to the cross. This is the religious box body. This is the largest corporation in the world. This, with a sprinkling of poetry and a poetic moat.

Sea dreams, a new born clerk, all raised and bred. A maze of cuneiform streets spread like a spider's web. Not dapper, but cricket-like. Not coned, but molded. The lot is posted for the dock. Violets are sold at a hundred a piece and marshals ride on horseback while Homer makes his slow way home.

-- Sandy Florian
"Our Big City"


 photo TournesolNormandyFrance.jpg

(Field of Tournesol Normandy, France / copyright Justice Putnam


Voices and Soul appears on Black Kos Tuesday's Chile; poetry chosen and critiqued by Black Kos Poetry Editor, Justice Putnam.


(Cut Stones and Arch St Ceneri, France / copyright Justice Putnam)


 photo ChateaudeValicourtatMontmorancyFrance.jpg

(Chateau de Valicourt Montmorancy, France / copyright Justice Putnam)


Question: Who is your audience? What are you here for?

Answer: Tribal Alliances, Heart-felt Convictions, Passionate Reason, Random Abandon, Sustainable Civility and a kiss; to comfort the sad and the mad Ones; the Ones roaming the International section of the American Supermarket at night; or roaming the neglected streets looking for an angry malaprop to sink their teeth into; the Ones who seek without seeking and learn as much as they teach; the Ones who embrace and kiss and embrace again; the Ones who sing the song of the city and the ballads of the forest; the Ones who chant the rhythm of the sea and hum the melody of the desert; the Ones who sing the prayer of Her name and Her name is the World. Yes, those are the Ones.    -- JP


(Man, Girl and Broken Window Klamath Falls, Oregon / copyright Justice Putnam)


Okiciyap (we help) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation should be tax deductible. Okiciyap, located on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, is working to provide a food pantry, youth center, K-12 educational support, GED & Lakota as a 2nd language class support for youth and adults. The word Okiciyap is Lakota for "we help."

The Daily Kos Fundraising for Okiciyap group was formed to support the pantry. More information is available at the Okiciyap diaries published here at Daily Kos.


So that explains it... !

Sunlight and Water Pitcher Muir Beach / copyright Justice Putnam


... Or does it?

(Holy Bible and 3 in 1 Oil Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam)


I took another small sip of water as the next questioner rose, this time by the stacks of French novels. She was cute; red hair, tall, maybe 5'9" or 5'10", well proportioned. Had to be another doctoral student in Comparative Literature at Cal; so even at 24 or 25, was too young for my wandering eye.

"You stated," she stated determinedly, "and I quote; 'Comedy, Poetry and Fiction are only effective and only become Art if there is a Truth behind the humor, the verse and the lie.'"

"Yes," I uttered to fill the small silence.

"In your writing; in your humor, verse and lies, are you telling a Truth about yourself?" she asked, "or are you telling a Truth about the Culture and Society as a whole?"

"Yes," I answered.

--Justice Putnam
"Conversations With The Audience"


Mowtown NN14 / copyright Justice Putnam photo MotownNN14_zps3a498ed1.jpg

(Motown NN14 Detroit, Michigan / copyright Justice Putnam)


Chair, Floor and Electric Cord Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam photo ChairFloorandElectricCord-copyrightJusticePutnam_zps6e4dae5e.jpg

(Chair, Floor and Electric Cord Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam)

"The most unostentatious, the most inexpensive, the most ridiculous chair, if a chair can be ridiculous, which could be devised. Brassai chose precisely this insignificant chair and, snapping it where he found it, unearthed what there was in it of dignity and veracity. THIS IS A CHAIR."

-- Henry Miller
"The Eye of Paris"


 photo RRXing.jpg

(Rail Road Crossing Sonoma, California / copyright Justice Putnam)


Farm Road Olema, California - copyright Justice Putnam photo FarmRoad_zps99a508b7.jpg

(Farm Road Olema, California / copyright Justice Putnam)


"Many heroes lived before Agamemnon, but they are all unmourned, and consigned to oblivion, because they had no bard to sing their praises."

 -- Horace

"Still the race of hero spirits pass the lamp from hand to hand."

-- Charles Kingsley


Lamp and Post Berkeley, California - copyright Justice Putnam photo LampandPostBerkeleyCalifornia-copyrightJusticePutnam_zps17e491e0.jpg

(Lamp and Post Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam)

House Ruins of Poet St Pol Roux Brittany, France - copyright Justice Putnam photo HouseRuinsofPoetStPolRouxBrittanyFrance-copyrightJusticePutnam_zps2736d08b.jpg

(House Ruins of Poet St Pol Roux Brittany, France / copyright Justice Putnam)


The Off Ramp to Terra Azul


Justice Putnam

"If it were possible to know the outcome of every journey, few journeys would be undertaken," Farouk Hazim said into the cell phone. "But I know the outcome of this journey. There is nothing mysterious about it. So I just hit the turn signal and turn right at the end of the off ramp."

I could hear an angry buzz in reply from the cell as Farouk held it away from his ear. He looked at me and smiled. After several moments he let a small silence elapse and then put the cell to his ear, "Do not worry. I will off-load by 10 am, I have my top helper with me today."

Farouk closed his cell and put it in the holder. He shifted the big semi and changed lanes. He checked both side mirrors and continued our conversation.

"It's all a matter of what you first notice in life," he said, "at each benchmark, what do you notice?'

I didn't hear his statement as a question at first, but finally I realized his request,

"I wrote a poem about that issue," I proclaimed, unconsciously full of myself, "I wrote about an argument about which came first, Light or Sound. For me the first sound was a heartbeat."

"Aha!" Farouk Hazim exclaimed loudly, "That is very important. You are a Romantic, be careful my friend," he lowered his voice in seriousness, "as strong and intelligent as you are, Romantics have a high death rate."

He laughed in his singular, Farouk Hazim manner. If you didn't know that Farouk came from Lebanon, you'd think he was descended from Zorba the Greek.

"None of us escape what we're born into," Farouk continued, "we can move from place to place, we can rub elbows with people of different classes, one can do any number of things to escape. But we can never escape."

"I always felt the great equalizer," I interjected, "is education. Social mobility is attained with education."

Farouk laughed loud and long again. His eyes were gleaming when he responded,

"Yes! You are very correct. The thing about education, though, is that the more of it you have, the more you know that we can never escape that which we're born into!" Farouk laughed and laughed.

"But I don't understand," I said, truly confused. "I look to you as an example of what can be attained. I mean, look at you, ten years ago you were cleaning offices and now you own your own trucking firm. Your kids go to private schools, your wife is beautiful."

"It still doesn't matter," Farouk Hazim was shaking his head, " there is no escape. Not for you, not for me, not for my children or my beautiful wife."

Farouk checked his side mirror as he shifted gears. He was silent for a long moment and then continued,

"The first sounds I heard were bombs exploding in my village. The first pain I had was from shrapnel in my leg. The first thing I saw was a rifle firing. The first time I met other people was at a funeral. Aha!" Farouk suddenly said, "we have arrived!"

I looked up and saw the exit sign. Farouk turned right at the end of the off ramp. He slowly built compression in the big semi and shifted gears as we approached the city limit sign, welcoming us to Terra Azul. Everything looked familiar, as if I was born into it.

We passed the sign and I had a sinking feeling.

Written in small graffiti-like letters next to the Chamber of Commerce plaque was the invocation,

"Death to All Who Enter Here."

© 2006 by Justice Putnam
and Mechanisches-Strophe Verlagswesen


Rest in Peace Aaron Schwartz



(Morning Fog And Surf, Muir Beach, California / copyright Justice Putnam)


Originally posted to The Justice Department on Netroots on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Netroots Radio, Black Kos community, LatinoKos, and Protest Music.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site