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My Father’s Day post

Little darling of mine, I can’t for the life of me
Remember a sadder day, I know they say to let it be
But it just don’t work out that way

Paul Simon, Mother and Child Reunion

These days I am often too dispirited to post. Currently I have a set of personal calamities to deal with and others are more eloquent on the endless cavalcade of cruelty and corruption than I can be. The realization that soon the courts will be in the hands of Trump appointed judges and that no justice will be found there for the rest of my lifetime; the license the police have been given to kill at will, the estimated death tolls of Pruitt’s EPA policies – the present is not good and the future looks worse. When Trump expounded on the dystopian horrors of the American landscape at his inauguration, I should have understood these remarks to be aspirational. Trump has never accused anyone of anything he hasn’t done himself.

But I wouldn’t want to look back and see that I didn’t at least try to raise my voice against this current set of horrors. A little more than a decade ago, the mismanagement and resulting deaths in New Orleans generated wide and sustained outrage against then president Bush. How we have changed in such a short time! Even on my regular leftwing internet stops, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, etc. I look long and hard before I find mention of the updated death tolls in Puerto Rico. Why isn’t this Trump’s Katrina?

If we ever hoped that there would be, at long last, some line the Republican Party wouldn’t cross, we’ve been disabused. Not one Republican Senator has signed on to Feinstein’s bill to keep families seeking asylum together. Susan Collins, widely considered a moderate for reasons that escape me, is sending out the most cowardly possible letter explaining why children must be torn from their parents and imprisoned in compounds. I’m haunted in particular by Jeff Session’s little laugh as he told us God has ordained this. A cartoon villain but the villainy is real.

The LA Times has a story about three Brazilian siblings who believed their parents were dead and weren’t allowed to hug and comfort each other. Consoling these children is apparently forbidden; also forbidden is allowing them to console themselves. Their terror and grief is just a bargaining chip to Trump. Perhaps Susan Collins would like to go to these compounds and see for herself. Though probably she doesn’t want to waste her beautiful mind on it.

I’ve found the party of Trump to be evil many times, even before Trump arrived to steer it. But now we are so far past evil, I can’t even see it in the distance. If the American people don’t stop this and soon, then there is really nothing left worth saving in this country.

More Earth Day

More Earth Day

Among the things I’m doing today is trying to understand why David Buckel’s self-immolation last week went largely unnoticed, barely reported and rarely discussed.  I understand the difficulties a suicide raises for the media.  But a man gave his life for a discussion we largely refuse to have.  Maybe if he’d been a porn star…IMG_0658

Noamic wisdom

There’s been nothing like this in history. It’s kind of an outrageous statement, but it happens to be true, that the Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history. Nobody, not even the Nazis, was dedicated to destroying the possibility of organized human life. It’s just missing from the media. In fact, if you read, say, the sensible business press, the Financial Times, BusinessWeek, any of them, when they talk about fossil fuel production, the articles are all just about the prospect for profit. Is the U.S. is moving to number one and what are the gains? Not that it’s going to wipe out organized human life. Maybe that’s a footnote somewhere. It’s pretty astonishing.  Noam Chompsky

This place don’t make sense to me no more

Let’s overturn these tables
Disconnect these cables
This place don’t make sense to me no more
Can you tell me what we’re waiting for, señor?

Bob Dylan, Señor


The Occupation of the White House continues, despite the constant suggestions that the whole criminal enterprise is about to run aground on the rocks of madness or the rule of law or that we will finally just all wake up and realize the whole thing was just a bad dream.

Often I intend to write about it, only to decide I have nothing new to offer and other writers have responded more brilliantly than I can. The morning’s outrage is eclipsed by the afternoon’s before I can construct the sentences I need.

Tomorrow I have a Noam Chompsky quote to post.  Today I’m going to write about a couple of things made me happy this morning and this week.  The first is that there was a tide so low, I got to walk on parts of the beach where I’ve never walked before.  There were starfish, egrets, and an underwater cave, suddenly high and dry that Lily and I could explore all the way to the back of.  It was like being in a children’s book, finding a new world in the back of the wardrobe.

Secondly, friend of the blog, Andrew Sean Greer, won the Pulitzer prize for his fabulous novel LESS.  If you haven’t read this book, apparently I am not the only person who thinks you should. Joy awaits you there.


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Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.

No darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars. Ursula K Le Guin.



For the great Ursula Le Guin’s 80th birthday, Debbie Notkin and I put together a festshrift as a gift to her.  My own contribution was a poem.  Missing her today, I pulled it out and I see that it needs much work.  But also that I won’t be working on it.  It was a birthday present, not a work of art. And it’s time is over.

I’ve spent the last month writing tributes to her and I think I’m worded out.  But I wanted something on my personal blog that acknowledges her passing and how lucky we were to have her when we did.  So here is the poem I wrote eight years ago:



Ursula’s Eightieth

A Sonnet Upon it


Sunrise at the edge of the world.  We dance,

the dog and I (the dog deadweight.)  We hear

the cri de coeur of seals, the “ur, ur, ur”

of Ursula.  The morning sun advances.


Dazzled sea and rock below.  Above

me, lines of pelicans, a cloud of gulls

unlock the air with joyful aerials.

We celebrate!  It is the birthday of


the worlds of Omelas, Urras, Gethen,

O, of Rocannon and the Ansarac,

and more.  All are very far away from

anywhere, yet each one holds this lesson:

that, wander where you will, (or even walk

away) and still you’re always coming home.

You’ve got to sing loud

I have squandered my existence
On a pocket full of mumbles such are promises

Paul Simon, The Boxer


Another bleak day in Democrat land.  Who was Lucy and who was Charlie Brown in today’s deal to end the government shutdown?  Mitch McConnell taunting Chuck Schumer?  Or Chuck Schumer taunting us?  How many times have we watched this play out, hoping to see the Democrats match their actions to their words, only to see them cave?

The Republican Party has moved beyond truth, beyond shame, beyond the last remnants of their morality.  We need something more from our Democratic Representatives than that they manage only to be better than that.

On Saturday we marched.  On Monday we mourn.