Posted: March 3, 2015 in assassination, politics, Stratdegary, war
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In the same way that the access to film footage in Vietnam showed America the reality and atrocities of war, access to video on all sorts of devices is showing us the reality and atrocities of life on the streets, schools and playgrounds of America.

Scenes of limp, lifeless bodies dragged into body bags and stacked like cord-wood, made America, core America back home and there, rethink what we were doing in places like the sidewalks of Saigon and those images demanded that our policy hinging on insanity be changed. The memory of those images were so strong that the Bush administration would not allow pictures of bodies, body bags or rows of coffins in military transports to be seen on television during his reign over the Iraq War. He knew it would turn the American enthusiasm for the war as it did in Southeast Asia. Hopefully the scenes we watch today of the homeless and the children of America being killed will temper American enthusiasm for bloodshed here at home and put it under the same reality microscope and we as a civil society will force change again.

On two occasions, we have witnessed an overpowering force of officers justifying using deadly force against an unarmed man. How does a situation get so out of hand that it results to this? In both incidents, simply letting the victim loose would have brought the situation to a different end.

I just have to ask the questions, How much of this crap has been going on that hasn’t been caught on film or video in the past? Have we been living in a society where this happens routinely? Listening to the police, they say law enforcement has to be conducted this way. I’m getting the feeling that they think that “You can’t handle the truth!!!”.   Has it come to this?

We are like that you know. We can accept practically anything going on in the world without emotion when we just hear about it on the news or read about it in our favorite news blogs. Or read about it in the newspaper (does anybody still read a newspaper?). But until we actually see it in video or are unfortunate enough to see it with our own eyes we don’t react.

How is it that the police can react so quickly that they can justify killing a man only after a short skuffle but we as citizens can see it happen on video and it takes us so long before we can feel an emotion strong enough to force change?

Or maybe we just like it the way it is.



Posted: March 2, 2015 in Everyday Life

It is hard to concentrate on days such as these. The winds are gusting 46 miles per hour. Some would call it pre-hurricane. That’s not a word but it does describe it.

When I was a child, not that long ago but many miles from here, days like these were unusual in southern Iowa. But on these days we dreamt of kites and whirly-gigs. We flew seldom but we dreamt of it. I never really thought of wind as an entity until I moved here.

Now, where I am now, the winds blow everyday. Some more than others. Today more than most. I think it is not the wind that bothers but the sound. I can get out of the wind by getting behind a wall or object, but the sound is always there. Whether you are outdoors or in, you hear either a blast or a hint of it. When the wind stops or changes directions, you hear it before you feel it.

I’m glad my home is sealed tight because the wind here is more than air. It is made of air, dust, and smells. The air is alright, I thrive on it, but who likes dust? Any unsealed crack will soon fill with fine dirt or sand. The smells are more complicated. The smells are made of three types, scents, odors and stinks. Need I say more? On some days the scents are in the minority.

This is farm country. Makes me wonder why or how I can still eat beef, pork, eggs or chicken. Discover a way to raise any of these without odor and you might make a fortune. They now have seedless grapes, watermelon and countless others, why not odorless beef, pork, eggs or chicken? Wonder how those experiments are progressing. Surely someone is working on it.


A Loss

Posted: February 23, 2015 in Everyday Life
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Before sunrise, only a few minutes before man’s machines start to pulse and moments before dew appears on window panes and on each blade of grass, there is an indescribable silence. The birds have not awoken, the far away dog barks have tired and are now asleep.  Kitchen windows are just starting to glow and inside a slow hustle is beginning but seen only as faint silent shadows through drawn paper blinds. I try to breathe in those brief quiet moments, but instead only inhale the warm memories of home, the smell of sizzling bacon and fresh brewing coffee.

When my sense of sound is being deprived, the other 4 sensors fill the vacuum  by enunciating my sense of smell, vision and feeling. I get a heightened  sense of silent stimulation. Colors are brighter, smells are deepened and both physical and mental feelings are peaked. A very good time for love-making, during those silent moments of the day.

But in the same way that the street light’s mercury vapor glow of the city prevents me from seeing the detail of the stars and the heavens of the night sky, I’m sure that the sounds, racket and roar of man’s noise of the day prevent me from hearing clearly the natural sounds of the universe. How many miles from the glow of the noise of the city must I go to hear in detail the sound of the clear water brook or the whisper of a warm mid-morning breeze? I think I am missing these noises and others that have become as extinct as many other living creatures of my world.

Silence can be deafening. When there is a low voice, a thump in the night or even just a sound of a barking dog, and I can’t hear it, the sound of silence is indeed deafening. As I gradually lose my ability to detect life’s and the universe’s sounds, I still sense the few moments of the morning’s silence. But I am more aware of competing noises, I can hear when two people are talking at the same time but I’m unable to understand either. I hear and understand the dialog on TV but when a competing musical score is added, then I’m unable to understand what is being said.

Years of sitting behind noisy aircraft engines. Descending quickly from many thousands of feet in a parachute jump plane with painful “popping” ears and driving with high ambient noise in earthbound four-wheeled vehicles has slowly stolen my hearing. I wore what I thought was good hearing protection but obviously it may not have been enough. It may just be that loss of hearing with age is in my DNA helix. My grandfather and my father in their older years were very “hard of hearing” also.

Regardless of its cause, the silence that I will be having in the future will not be that beautiful morning silence that took me back to a more colorful time. What I will be hearing is the silence of the loss of one of my more cherished senses. I can only hope that my other four will be brightened enough to make my loss less painful.

As I age.

Such is the life of John



Whose Birthday?

Posted: February 16, 2015 in Birthdays, politics

This is one of those holidays that on the Sunday night before you are wondering whether you have the day off tomorrow. I had to crank up the work laptop, look through past documents and emails trying to find the yearly holiday schedule that I sent my wife so we could post it on a calendar to remember our dates.

President’s Day is sort of a pussy way of celebrating birthdays. It’s sort of a combination of two great Presidents’ holidays. George didn’t even know Abe, now he has to share the day with a total stranger who wasn’t even born on the same day on the calendar. I’m betting Abe would feel the same. They both deserve their own day. President Lincoln lost his national holiday when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed in 1971. They declared the Monday as Washington’s Birthday, some now call it Presidents Day but officially it is called Washington’s Birthday. Only four states recognize Lincoln’s Birthday on the right date; Illinois, Connecticut, Missouri, and New York.

Washington was born on Feb. 22nd, Abe was born on Feb. 12th . Today is not either of their birthdays.  Abe is recognized 4 days late and George is celebrated 6 days early. Have you ever had to celebrate your birthday early or late? It just isn’t the same. “Oh let’s wait to have your cake and ice cream until Saturday when the whole family can get together”, we’ve all said and have done that. The kids hate it, I hate it! It’s my frickin’ birthday! I’m going to celebrate it on the day of the month I was born. It is a big day for us individually, the one day we can be selfish. I’m going to celebrate it on the right day. I don’t care that the banks, stock market and post office might have to be closed twice in the month of February.

I think they have cheapened these days. Hell, the garbage trucks are running on schedule today. Many other trades will be working today. The banks and stock market are closed, the garbage collection crews are working. George and Abe would both sneer at that! They’d see the inequality of it. As a man living in the 21st century, I love the irony of it. But it isn’t fair.  If the banks get the day off, the working stiff should get the day off, also. And just because it is more convenient for the greedy bastards, is no reason to combine the two days into one just so they can get a three-day weekend. The garbage guys would like a three-day weekend, too. Or, if it falls that way, two days off during the month. Hell, there is a very good chance that one or the other birthdays will fall on a weekend anyway.

I am lucky, I have a lot of vacation days. This year I’m taking days away from work on the proper dates. No more of this celebrating holidays because it makes a three-day weekend. I love days off in the middle of the week. I want to recognize these events on the date they happened, even if it’s on a weekend. George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s memory deserve it. It is tradition, damn it!

Now let’s work on making Election Day a national holiday. How about it?

Gotta go, I have trash to set out.





Spread Some Love

Posted: February 14, 2015 in creative writing, love, peace, poetry
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You have to be a romantic, perhaps a dreamer to appreciate a day like this. It’s a celebration for those that feel, love and breathe. I feel sorry for those MB900078839that don’t feel for this day. Without the romance they can have no dreams. Their world must be full of facts and figures and fears of ulterior motives. It is a day for brave people who steadfastly keep the romance, love and heartfelt feelings from one year to the next and through thick and thin.

But not believe in Valentine’s Day? No way! Let this be the “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter for those who doubt. Not believe in Valentine’s Day? We can no more not believe in Valentine’s Day than we could not believe in Virginias, Marcias, Evys, Emilys, Paiges and Melissas.

Spread some love today.


Ask Her

Posted: February 13, 2015 in love, poetry
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Ask her if the clear water streams will flow
or if the ocean is truly blue.
Ask her to sit quietly for a while
just to dream a dream or two.
Ask her if the wind will blow
or if the sun will show the way.
Ask her if the birds will fly to the south
or to the north today.

Ask her to hold your calloused hand
just to let it rest awhile.
Ask her to look deep into your eyes
and smile a special smile.
Ask her to rest her lovely rose cheek
just a touch too close to yours.
Ask her if she wants to dance with you
to music that she adores.

Time is short and none to waste
You must give if you want to receive
When that girl walks past today
Ask her name… if love you will achieve


Remembering the Moon Wrong

Posted: February 12, 2015 in free verse, love, poetry
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What if we remember the moon wrong
And toast to it before it’s full.
Does it mean the same?
Is it as real or of value?
Proclaiming the nearly full moon.
Reaching out to the hope of the moon.
But you must first know it.
Is what you give as real?
What is it that’s given back?
Is it no more real than
the full moon a day early?
Is it no more than an early moon
With your hopes and promises as full?


With You

Posted: February 11, 2015 in free verse, love, poetry
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I want to share life with you

air with you, being with you, food with you

my verse, my music with you

you are in my soul, my sadness, my joy

You enrich my life, I am limp without you

and adrift.


White Bone

Posted: February 10, 2015 in free verse, love, poetry
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The knife of love cuts deep
It wounds to white bone
Drains life to the floor
Under loosely wrapped bandages
Tendons are slashed
Not easily dressed
Bleeds and so slowly heals


I Saw a Girl

Posted: February 9, 2015 in free verse, love, poetry
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I saw a girl
She sat relaxed in her chair
with a cup in her hand
Tanned arms and ankles
blue jeans
ripped knee, tanned knee
short shirt, low waist,
bare goose-bumped skin
peach fuzz skin
surely the texture of moonlight
blue eyes
ice blue eyes
A glance
just a look-away smile
I saw a girl


(Count down to Valentine’s Day)