Mr. President, this some bullshit.

Mr. President, this some bullshit.

“‘I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that they may cause someone who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat,’ Obama said. ‘But I also want people to think about the pain that he may be expressing about somebody who has lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.'”

What Colin Kaepernick is doing has nothing to do with military families. It has to do with ALL families, those with bodies to bury and those who see injustice and are repulsed by it. Oh yes, I noticed that you treat the pain of military families as a given and the pain of victims of police violence as an opinion.

What’s up with this? Mr. President, what about the black veteran who is shot by the police, or his black child? Where do they fall on your dichotomy? Either you think Kaepernick is right or you think he is wrong. Ain’t no in between.

Only bullshit.

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Reading a Bedtime Story to a Libertarian: A Play in One Act.

STORYTELLER (ST): Are you ready for your bedtime story?

LIBERTARIAN BOY (LB): Sure am.

ST: All righty then. How about LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.

LB: Oh I like that one.

ST: OK. Once upon a time there was a little girl named Little Red Riding Hood. One day her mother gave her a basket of goodies to take to her grandmother’s house deep in the forest.

LB: What kind of goodies?

ST: Oh, all kinds. Candies and tiny cakes and tasty savories, all bundled in a checkered cloth and tucked into a wicker basket. Now Little Red Riding Hood went skipping off into the forest on her way to Grandmother’s house …

LB: I Like tiny cakes and savories. I can not think of anything I like more than Tiny Cakes and Savories.

ST: They are good. Now Little Red Riding Hood went skipping off into the forest on her way to Grandmother’s house …

LB: Do you think the grandmother will give LRRH any of the cakes and savories?

ST: I’m sure she will. Now Little Red Riding Hood went skipping off into the forest on her way to Grandmother’s house …

LB:Well it really wouldn’t be giving her the cakes and savories. I mean, she did walk all the way to Grandmother’s house to deliver the cakes and savories so she earned some for her trouble. It’s not like she just showed up at her Grandmother’s and after putting in no effort at all, just took the cakes and savories like it was her entitlement.

ST: Are you finished?

LB: Oh yes. Please go on.

ST: Now Little Red Riding Hood went skipping off into the forest on her way to Grandmother’s house …

LB: Now of course if once she gets to Grandmother’s and her cousin is there with even better cakes and savories, LRRH shouldn’t get any of those because she didn’t bring those. Only Grandmother and the cousin should get those, because the cousin brought those.

ST: <clears throat> Now Little Red Riding Hood went skipping off into the forest on her way to Grandmother’s house …

LB: The only way LRRH could get the better cakes and savories was if she did some kind of service to earn the better goodies, like set the table or unpack the basket or maybe do the washing up after they had all eaten.

ST: <Glares at LB for 96 seconds and then quite loudly> Now Little Red Riding Hood went skipping off into the forest on her way to Grandmother’s house …

LB: That’s what I would do. I would work and earn the better savories and cakes. I suppose the Grandmother could just give LRRH the cakes and savories as charity. That is acceptable but only if LRRH didn’t coerce the Grandmother in anyway. And you don’t want to be too generous with charity. Makes people lazy and they won’t work. But I love cakes and savories too much not to be willing to work for them, so I would always have cakes and savories, even when there weren’t enough for everyone, even when there weren’t enough for the people who worked because I would work just that much harder and beat the competition.
Oh Storyteller, what a big .357 magnum you have!

A WORD ON NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS

Integration works. Segregation doesn’t. Neighborhood schools, no matter how well intentioned, are a segregating agent.

Are we a community of citizens or a collection of enclaves each separate and unto itself? Are the children in the schools here your children and my children and those over there’s children, or are they all our children?

We dream ourselves a city on a hill and go into our houses of worship and preach to ourselves the joy and fellowship of brotherhood and a love universal. We kneel in prayer that our children and our children’s children live in a place free of fear of one another and steeped in an abundancy of trust and love. Then we rise and go out into the world and live another life.

Must we leave our gospels behind doors of locked churches and live lives divorced of our aspirations? We can build that shining city and we can have that bright future, but the work is hard and it must done not in worlds apart but in communion together.

Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand for the National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand for the National Anthem. He didn’t do the mindless thing, the thoughtless thing, the automatic thing. Colin Kaepernick did a mindful thing, a thoughtful thing, a deliberate thing, Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand for the National Anthem.

And people lost their shit.

Not all the people lost their shit, just the surface people did. You know the surface people. The people who think history began last Thursday. The people who think that Affirmative Action is “reverse discrimination” and not an attempt TO REVERSE DISCRIMINATION. The people who think wearing flag lapel pins is a sign of good citizenship but having your legs and an arm blown off in fighting for your country proves nothing. The people who go through the motions of the affections of what looks like patriotism without ever breaking the surface to see what sacrifices lie underneath.

Colin Kaepernick looked underneath at why we stand and saw that it was a reason we were not living up to. And so he did not stand. Perhaps he thought we were not a people worthy to stand for while we still valued so little the lives of darker citizens as to shot them wholesale. Perhaps when we can embrace color acceptance and reject colorblindness, when we can see the inherent worth and dignity in people who are not white and rich and male, when we are no longer such frightened creatures as to kill without question, cause or care; then maybe …

just maybe…

we will be a country whose anthem is worth standing for.

Fundamentalism and Fascism

Fundamentalism is fascism dressed in the robes of the church. Fascism is fundamentalism wrapped in a flag of patriotism. Each is but a different side of the same coin, a currency of cruelty, an exchange in exceptionalism, a specie of speciousness, selfishness, and sins most deadly.

Childhood

Childhood happens between chores and lessons and practices. Growing up rural, there were plenty of chores and lessons and some practices, but there was time too. And old people to watch from their chairs on porches and beneath oak trees. Old women to tell you right from wrong. Old men to tell you had a right to do a little wrong. And time. We had time.

Time to roll in the grass, to lie in the grass, and on Saturday morning to cut the grass. Time to paint clouds and call cars and to stand by the highway and pull invisible cords that real big rigs horns blow.

Time to talk, to debate the pressing issues of day. Which was funnier, Wile E. Coyote or Bugs Bunny? Just how cool was the Pink Panther? Dr. J or Kareem? (the correct answer is the Doctor and if you don’t agree, you’re a doo-doo head). Choo-Choo Cherry or Goofy Grape (and no, RED is not a flavor of drink mix)?

Time to walk and run and ride bikes and explore. To go to the places your parents said not to. To plot and scheme great adventures. To fight battles and learn to make your own peace. To learn the rules of the playground, to learn secrets and trust, and how to not be a tattle tale, even when the belt was a sure reward for silence.

Time to dream, and wish, crush on boys too dumb to notice and long for girls to cool to care and to learn to survive tiny breaks in the heart.

Childhood happens between chores and lessons and practices. And the gift we give our children is time

Patriotism

Whenever the word Patriot is spoken there should be a catch in the throat and a bit of sadness in the voice. You see, anyone can wave a flag, anyone can wear a pin, anyone can stand for song they don’t even know all the words to, but to put all your stuff on the line to protect your ideals (even the ones you fall short of) and the lives of your neighbors (even the ones you don’t like) that takes sacrifice and sacrifice is what makes a patriot. Anything less, and you’re just a member of the audience.