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The People Are (Now) On Trial

The people are now on trial. Not by fame or power, not by name, but as conscious members of the human family.

"There have now been well over 20,000 protests since Trump took office, according to data from the Crowd Counting Consortium, involving some 15 million participants, in every corner of the country." wrote LA Kauffman in the Guardian. The article contains the bleak reality in its title - Dear Resistance: it is not enough to march.

However the people are on trial.

We know that in America there are two major driving forces of change. One is money, and the other is downplayed to the extent it is barely acknowledged - and that is human nature.
Human nature is flawed. It is attracted to the idea of power by association. That is if you are the "right" type - Christian, Protestant, evangelical, cis-gender, able-bodied, patriotic, nationalistic and capitalist - you are given the protection of being in the majority -  a privilege the majority does not see or feel in…

The Field Mice: a Folk Tale for Adults

(Originally posted in 2014)

Long ago in the olden days, field mice knew the meaning of life: to gather nuts and seeds no matter how cold or wet, how hot or windy, and to bring them back to the nest.
Were they happy? Who knew? There were seasons. There was birth and there was death, but no time to contemplate and no philosophers in the field.
Then came the hyenas across the river, hidden by long grasses, salivating at the sight of tender fresh meat. And these were not your common or jungle variety. These were a new breed who could plan, who saw ways of making the larder last longer.
In the river were beavers busy building dams. They looked too dank and tough to eat but the hyenas saw that they could be useful and entered into a contract called The Trans-River Deal which promised greater status for the beavers and wealth for hyenas.
Ah, a new way of seeing the world thought the beavers and they called it “The Economy”. Congratulating themselves on their ability to analyse and re-frame …

Simone Weil on Political Parties

Andrew Nikiforuk writes in The Tyee about Simone Weil's conclusion that political parties are dedicated to “killing in all souls the sense of truth and justice.” This is not a call for the end of democracy, but a re-engagement in democratic expression and activity on behalf of the common people. It's not democracy's fault - it's politics.

Failed democracies are dangerous because of the implication that it's citizens have failed and need to be told what to do.

Nikiforuk writes that we are aware of broken promises no matter what party is in power. Hearing that Justin Trudeau won the election in 2015 with his promises of writing wrongs towards women, the indigenous people and making environmental concerns a priority - I was relieved because Trudeau's platform promise was based on compassion and social justice.

Then when Trump was "elected" I felt deflated. It was clear to me that the next few years would be built on hate, misogyny and scapegoating, and …

Do Not Be Daunted

Do not be daunted
by the enormity 
of the world's grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated
to complete the work,
but neither are you free
to abandon it.

The Talmud

The Real Crisis

"No, the real crisis is an upsurge in hatred — unreasoning hatred that bears no relationship to anything the victims have done. And anyone making excuses for that hatred — who tries, for example, to turn it into a “both sides” story — is, in effect, an apologist for crimes against humanity." (Paul Krugman, Return of the Blood Libel, New York Times.         https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/opinion/blood-libel-trump-immigrants.html)

Paul Krugman writes about how Hitler's hatred of Jews became a "cause" for his campaign to find glory in killing as many people as possible.

The fact that hate drives wars is a sordid economic boon, while the lives of decent people are disrupted and destroyed. This is true for any system of government.

In the early part of the last century there was a theory, probably created by Russian secret police, that Jews were planning to take over the world, writes Krugman. As Russia was about to begin the communist revolution through fascist me…

A Prayer for Little Children

I wonder how to protect you keep you safe from uniforms with men inside  who have pledged to follow  orders in prisons  where doors are locked so I can’t get in and you can’t get out even though all you want is your mother or brother or sister  and the crying of other children warns of danger as if  there was anything you could have done different and the uniformed bodies are not smiling but hard and I suspect your infant heart beats louder than your screams sensing that something you can’t name has gone terribly wrong.
But these words are merely a stranger’s attempt to do something, anything like send a card with butterflies that opens to a nursery rhyme to make the terror go away knowing she can't.