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"Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind - even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants. And do your homework." . Maggie Kuhn


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.  Dorothy Parker

"Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow ... money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands" - Abraham Lincoln


It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.-John Steinbeck


The moment you limit free speech it's not free speech. -Salman Rushdie


Ramona used to write nice feature pieces for newspapers and magazines, along with columns that, yes, got testy once in a while (Ronald Reagan was president. What could she do?) but were basically and overall nice.

But then. . .

. . .then came the hanky-panky and subsequent impeachment of Bill Clinton!  Then Bush v. Gore!  Hanging Chads!  Katherine Harris!  Supreme Court busy bodies! 9/11!  War with Iraq! (Iraq??)  The right wing!  The religious right!  The TEA PARTY, for God's sake!

Whatever she is today is the fault of all of the above.  She is not to blame.


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Curtain Down On The Trump Show Already. Please.

I've got that thing again where my heart races and my belly hurts and I don't know whether those tears are from laughing or crying.  I'm craving chocolate, any kind will do, and I can't stop thinking the end of civilization as we know it is right around the corner or up the street or somewhere in Iowa.

I go to sleep stressing and I wake up stressing.  Terrible things are going on in the world.  I should be stressing over them, and it could be that that's what's going on, but it feels like it's Donald Trump.
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It's Been Fun. But Seriously, Folks, It's The Presidency.

Since at least the turn of the 21st Century it's been a time-honored tradition to bring in the clowns and have some fun with the quest for the highest job in the nation.  You would think the duties and obligations of the presidency of the United States would cause most people to turn and run and keep on running, but every four years the most unlikely characters come out of the woodwork, shouting, "Hey, I could be president!  Why not?  How hard could it be?"

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How The Benghazi Committee Led Me To Hillary

Hi Dagbloggers:  If some of this looks familiar it's because I built this blog around a comment I made  a few days ago.  My blogs won't be all Hillary all the time, I promise!

Last week, on the morning of the latest in a long line of House Select Committee hearings on Benghazi, I was finishing up a blog post in which I hoped during the next few months Progressives/Liberals would all just get along.  At that point, on that morning, I thought I was still neutral about the two front-runners.  (Joe Biden has announced he's not running and Martin O'Malley, the only other viable candidate, is so far behind he's almost invisible. It's early yet, but unless someone else shows up, it  going to be either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.)
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So it's Clinton vs. Sanders. Can't We Just Be Frenemies?

Yesterday Joe Biden stood in the Rose Garden with his wife Jill and President Obama and announced he wouldn't be running for president. (Thank you, Joe, you did the right thing. I love you.) It's still early in the election season (WAY early.  Did you know Canadians can only campaign for 78 days? Must seem like a damned eternity, right?) but unless a dark horse comes up from behind, it looks like it'll be a run between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

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What If The Second Amendment Didn't Exist?

Once upon a time, long before The National Rifle Association stopped being a reasonable, responsible hunter's association and became the NRA, the Second Amendment was looked on, if at all, as a remnant of the olden days, when the writers of the Constitution saw fit to assuage the fears of the states by assuring them they could form their own state militias in case the federal government got too bossy, thinking they owned the place.

These days, even though nothing about it has changed, the Second Amendment is the one and only part of the Constitution actually seen as constitutional by the Right Wing. (Causing certain politicians who don't know what's going on to keep repeating the magic words, "Second Amendment". It gets them votes, so what the hell?)

Read more at Crooks & Liars.

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Obama Says He'll Politicize Guns. NRA, Fox, GOP Say No Way, That's Our Job.

. . .And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.  Well, this is something we should politicize.  It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.
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The Pope's Parting Gift to Bigotry

While much of the country was still coming off of the Papal Visit high last week (it was a trip, wasn't it?), that parade was not only rained on yesterday, it was deluged.

Less than a week after Pope Francis the Terrific thrilled the country with a visit that filled our very souls with joy (Right?), the Papal love-fest is threatening to become a veritable wash-out. How did this happen? How could it happen?

(Posting at Crooks and Liars.  Read more here.)

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Okay Meanies, You Can Come Out Now. The Pope Is Gone.

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how quiet the resident meanies were while the Pope was here? Even Donald Trump gave it a rest for a few days.  Or am I wrong?  Did I just not notice because, to their credit (and my relief), the press took to covering the Pope every day in every way and kept it nice?

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How Do You Shame The Shameless?

Every now and then I get to thinking about shame; about its legitimacy as a teaching tool ("Kids are starving in China and you won't eat your peas?"), about its necessity in a civilized society ("Shut the door! Were you born in a barn?"), and about its mean-spirited use as a weapon ("What kind of #$&*% are you, anyway?").

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The Hopelessness of Homelessness - A Guest Post

The post below was written by my internet friend and fellow writer, syrbal-labrys.  She posted it on her own blog, Experiential Pagan, about a month ago but I only just discovered it last week.  I asked her if I could re-post it here and she graciously agreed.  

We talk about the homeless a lot, but most often as distant observers who can only imagine what it must be like.  This is a story of an encounter and a rescue, with an ending as elusive as the reasons why:


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