Humanity Washed Up Ashore

From the Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here


Warning – The image you are about to see is disturbing

Humanity Washed Up Ashore

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Oh ye that deny them an education


Patty Kinkead pulled her kid out of the Bristol Tennessee school system, and now she is organizing a rally protesting some history of Islam that is being taught as part of a world history class. Mrs. Kinkead, you have no dog in this hunt. Shit stirrers, lick your spoons.

Denying students – ALL students, not just the ones with Christian mommies or daddies, the right to an unbiased yet factual education is just wrong. This form of Christian idiocy is dangerous in its ignorance. Don’t we all want our kids to have more, be more, than ourselves? Why do these people think that eliminating a part of world history (or science, literature and art) is in a child’s best interest? In reality this sets their little darlings up for tremendous failure once they reach the “real world”.  I understand this all too well, because I lived it.

As a child growing up in the seventies and early eighties, the importance of an education was never discussed. There were no conversations about what I wanted to be when I grew up and left to seek my own way in the world. Frankly, I don’t believe my parents thought I would ever venture too far from them.  In blissfully ignorant fashion, I had no thoughts or experiences beyond the edge of my yard, the boundaries of our church doors. Had emphasis and encouragement been placed on education my life’s path would have been very different. But I did not know that at the time. What I did know was my religion.

Now by way of a woefully lacking, piecemeal, take what knowledge and experience you can from any source you can self-education, I recognize that same dogma as it rears its bigoted head on an almost daily basis. It tries to let out a roar, but thankfully it comes across as more of a mewing sound, not quite faint enough to be ignored completely but still loud enough to be annoying. And it is. To those of us who might be labeled as progressives but instead simply see ourselves as part of the human family, we try to shrug off this uncomfortably binding shroud of ignorance and intolerance, for we know that unless we do, we will not survive as a species.

The Christian attitude that they are the only ones who matter is just one of the many reasons I have no use for organized religions. I can be a stupid bigot without giving God the credit, or the blame, for it. I just have chosen not to.

Students to learn about Islam in Tennessee

“This is the radical transformation of our lives and language.”

The quote in the title (above) is by a woman named Julie West, who has two children at the University Tennessee – where apparently “they are willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of gender inclusivity”. It’s because of this Franklin Graham has his tightie-whities in a wad.

According to the University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, educators are concerned that students might be offended by the usage of traditional pronouns like she, he, him and hers. “There are dozens of gender-neutral pronouns,” said Donna Braquet, Director of the university’s Pride Center. She suggests using a variety of gender neutral pronouns instead of traditional pronouns.

Here is what makes people like Old Franklin so dangerous. He writes that “secularists and progressives are pushing their godless agenda into our education system and corporate America”. As opposed to what Mr. Graham? Biblical teachings? We have a little thing called Separation of Church and State, so unless you own this university and fund it privately, I’d suggest you stop talking. Oh and yes, there is a gender neutral word for idiot. The word is “intolerant”.

I have a suggestion for you Mr. Graham. Why don’t you spend your time and energy feeding the hungry children or housing the homeless in Tennessee, instead of blithering away on a topic about which you are ill-informed? Your bigotry shines through, as always. Do something productive or, just sit quietly while the rest of the world seeks progress and inclusion.



Bang! You’re dead… Warning – Violent and Disturbing Images

The president has called on congress again and again to do something about the growing gun violence epidemic. Some have offered that we need to keep guns out of the hands of the “crazies”.
Who gets to decide which among us is crazy? How do we identify those unscrupulous enough to provide weapons to those identified as crazy? Do we punish rightful gun owners who might be careless enough to have their weapons fall into the hands of those disqualified persons?



Warning – The images you are about to see are disturbing


Kill ’em with Kindness

Do you ever think about being kind? We assume it’s automatic but the fact is, some of us (myself included) have to really make an effort sometimes. I was reading an article recently about what it means to be kind, and I decided to write this handy list. Note to self…

Telephone a lonely person – Or at least send a text message/email. I know, I know. These people can be real downers. Do it anyway, because your phone call can be the reason they get out of bed, get a shower and leave the house. This is a good thing.

Hold the door for someone – This requires you to be aware of the people around you. And smile when you do it.

Fill the paper or change the toner in the copier – I am in awe of people who can change the toner. I always end up wearing it.

Buy someone a cup of Joe – Coffee is the greatest resource known to man. Share it.

Help a disabled or elderly person – Have patience, because you will one day be elderly yourself.

Give your small change to that homeless person – It’s weighing you down anyway, right?

Shop for someone – Know someone who is sick or has had an accident? Going to the store for bread and milk can be a lifesaver. Here is a bonus – don’t take their money!

Offer your place in line at the checkout – Does the person behind you have two items, and you have a cart full? Let them cut in front of you. It’s just the right thing to do.

Drive with kindness – Instead of cursing and waving the naughty bird at another driver, stop and put yourself behind their wheel for a moment (figuratively, of course). Are they lost? Are they distracted? Are their screaming kids in the car? Maybe they just lost a job or a loved one. Try out some empathy; it fits every one of us nicely.

Smile and pay someone a sincere compliment – This one is self-explanatory. If they’re shy they might be struggling with social interaction. Who knows what you may discover if you can draw them out of their shell. Be friendly and optimistic.

Express gratitude – Say thank you. And while you’re at it, use the manners your mother tried to teach you and throw a “please” or “excuse me” in, just for good measure.

Donate to a disaster fund – They make it easy to give these days.

Mow the grass or clean the gutters – Old people dig it when you do this.

Grow your hairLocks of Love, baby!

Pass up that great parking space near the store – You really could use the exercise anyway.

Schedule acts of kindness – Calendar reminders are great aren’t they?

Minimize judgment – Focus on wanting to help others instead of spending your time being critical of other people. Work on being positive and compassionate. Kindness means giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Be present – Sometimes we forget that the gift of kindness to another person is often just to be with them in the moment. Listen. No, really listen, and hear what it is they have to say. Look into their eyes and let them speak.  You don’t always have to solve their problems, but by just listening to them without interrupting, you can often allow them to find their own solutions.

Foster a pet – Or pet-sit for a friend. Often the stress of finding a safe place to leave a pet can mean the difference between someone taking a vacation and not going at all, or having surgery versus putting it off.

Share – Baking cookies? Double the batch and treat the folks in your office, or a neighbor.

Be thoughtful – Find a cute notepad at the card shop? Buy a second one and give it to your sister-in-law.

Forgive somebody – Not because they deserve it, but because you deserve to stop carrying around the baggage that comes with being wronged.

When you need help, help someone else – Shifting the focus away from your own issues can often help to put what ails us in perspective.

Think before you speak – I’m still working on this one. Pause. Reflect. Walk away if you have to.

Don’t be a “know-it-all” – Let someone else take the lead, and likewise, the glory.

Stop practicing selective kindness – Don’t neglect being kind to someone else just because you think they can cope without your support or understanding.

Ask for nothing in return – Kindness comes with no strings attached and places no conditions on anything.

Don’t be kind for the sake of getting what you want – Kindness is not about self-interest or control. And being a people pleaser is not kindness.

Be kind to yourself – Take time to become more self-aware and use what you’ve learned to be kinder to you. Remember how other people’s kindness makes you feel, and then do that. For yourself.

Remember that your kids are watching and learning from you – Teach them by setting a good example.

“Life’s most persistent and nagging question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King Jr.


Watching him nap

Ah, Sunday afternoons. The laziness and the quiet. No phones ringing, no television gibberish polluting the air. Even the dog is asleep. And my beloved is lightly snoring. I dare not move for fear of waking him, and he so very much deserves the chance to rest.

And here I am, attached to my laptop like it’s another appendage.

The Anointed One?

Think about this – if god had wanted this man to be president, wouldn’t he have been born in America? Cruz is not eligible to be president because he was not born here. Unlike all those “anchor babies” the repubs are foaming at the mouth to deport. And maybe Adar/Jalaal/Mustapha feel that THEIR god wants them to be president too.

  • Adar/Addar~ M-Syrian = prince, ruler, H = noble, exalted
  • Jalaal (jah-lahl)~ M = grandeur, greatness, eminence, glory, majesty
  • Mustapha/Mustafa~ M = chosen one, selected one
  • Ted ~ In French the meaning of the name Ted is: Prosperous protector. English name Eadmund, meaning rich or happy, and protection. In American the meaning of the name Ted is: Prosperous protector. In English the meaning of the name Ted is: Wealthy guardian. Also a diminutive of Edgar: Fortunate and powerful. People with this name have a deep inner desire for travel and adventure, and want to set their own pace in life without being governed by tradition. People with this name tend to be idealistic, highly imaginative, intuitive, and spiritual. They seek after spiritual truth and often find it. They tend to be visionary and may inspire others. If they fail to develop their potential, they may become dreamers, or misuse power.

The difference between delivery and DiGiorno

I stumbled upon this article while sipping coffee this morning. Ah coffee, the nectar of the gods… Any-hoo, I saw a story on the “book of face” and opened the article to see if it was some new hate, or the same hate served on a different plate. Ha-ha, Plate of Hate – that’s mine, so don’t use it.

The article was about the casual but derogatory use of the word ‘tranny’. The article says, in short, that a business owner used the word as a means to promote his business and when called out for using the word, tried to make a joke of it. He later released an apology. Sort of. It was more like “sorry-not sorry”. Here is an excerpt, complete with misspellings and improper grammar; …”your a propaganda machine at best as a responsible organisation truly missions with education would have at least called me and educated me before trying to end the lively hood of a good man with great kids and a kind hearted blessing of a wife and a store full of staff of all races sexual orientations religious beliefs but with a common denomination of being good hardworking people“.

Wow. Did you get that? You could have called me. Really? You make derogatory remarks about a group of people and expect to get a phone call to educate you? Um, no. You made the remarks in public using social media. You were called out in public using social media. No one owes you the courtesy of a phone call Mr. DeSantis. But you do owe all Trans people and their allies a true, heartfelt apology. You were a jerk, now own it. And while you’re at it, how ’bout slicing yourself a big piece of humble pie. Here’s hoping you choke on it.

Speak to me?

How is it that I, as a non-believer, can have good things happen in my life without believing in a higher power? Should this be enough for a believer to realize that he/she is not special/blessed/privileged/chosen? Bad things happen to good people – Christian, Jew, Hindu and Muslim. Likewise good things will happen to those same people. Life is chance, happenstance. No divine being required.

Why is it that god only speaks to believers? I can hear the answers ringing in my head as I type this. “We are his chosen. Why would he speak to someone who doesn’t believe he even exists”?

What about those people who claim god speaks through them? Wow. Really? Full of yourself much? I would think that if a deity had a message for all of mankind, then he/she/it would commandeer the radio waves and Fox News. Move over Megyn Kelly, god needs to speak to his/her/its target audience. No burning bush in this century! Hmmm, what’s that? Right…the internet group Anonymous and those pesky hackers from China can do that. No, a supreme being needs something big – BIGGER!

Wait, I’ve got it! I know what he/she/it can use to speak to the world.

A book.