I BELIEVE, ANITA, CHRISTINE, DEBORAH and too many more…

“We must send a message across the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence – the shame is on the aggressor.”  – Angelina Jolie

 

Survivor “I still wake up with your name stuck in my throat, sometimes where it caught between your hands when you squeezed, I still wake up in fear, most nights, your eyes follow me from every shadow, every loud noise crowding the edges of my memory. I still wake up.”  – Amber Koneval

 

 

Florence – by any other name

 

A double-edged irony

Dredged up shards from childhood.

A hurricane bearing grandma’s name

Following it, via internet

Feeling every blow, just as I did then

Even infancy wasn’t spared

Ask those in her path

 

Gone, neighborhoods,

Businesses, homes,

Evidence of life,

Gone like childhood

A survivor clings to shadows

Knowing the perpetrator

Knowing he, now dead

 

Grandmothers are supposed

To love their grandchildren

Not to offer them up to a friend

Send her in a dress, then

Leave as he arrives

All above board, a deacon

Of the church, above reproach

 

Earliest memories, not yet three

Rituals continued until age five

must arrive in dresses

Lay on a white papered altar

Bitter liquid gagging and choking me

Bathed after, sans evidence

Large, rough hands

So many years ago, yet crystal clear

 

 

Me too brings it back

But with resistance to perpetrators

Christine brings it back

But with the chutzpah to

Name the perpetrator, for herself

For all of us, even those still mute

 

Grandma Florence, I shall

Never forget, how you used me

To keep that friend coming back

No drugs, no alcohol, no consent

Nor, mother dearest, how you conspired

No words

Then beat me for being evil

Decades later, I shall never forget

 

You were all violent storms

That plowed through infancy

Leaving scars, deep furrows

 that will never go away

I grew stronger, put miles, then countries

Between disasters, despite this

I was one of the lucky ones

I’ve worked with many

And watched some perish

 

But unlike Anita, Christine, Deborah

And the others that will come

I didn’t have to do it on television

Ladies, you are heroes

I doff my chapeau

 

At first, the storm approached

In fumbling verse

On pages in my script

Armed with keys to the assaults

Words from my lips, another matter

Finding a career path, finding others

Holding the light, leading the way

They find the path, or they don’t

Often tripped by the righteous indignation

Of abusers and their supporters.

Ignorance and misogyny could soon

Be the law of the land

                            –

How long will America fuel this war on Women, are they incapable of justice? The usual M.O. sweeping their crimes under the carpet and hiding behind a woman’s skirt as they do it. Senate Judiciary Committee will hide, hide from their dirty hands, and the repercussions. 

 

 

 With gratitude for those who have made a stand and in solidarity,

 

Me too, Léa

Ville Folle / Crazytown

“America will not be destroyed by undocumented workers, same-sex marriage, Muslims, atheists or abortion but rather by unreasonable fears, uncontrolled hatred, divisive politics, unethical politicians, deliberate misinformation and a gullible population.” – Laura C. Keeling

“True Americanism is opposed utterly to any political divisions resting on race and religion.” – Henry Cabot Lodge

“A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Ville folle / Crazytown

 

How does one

Teach responsibility

To a child

When those sworn officials

Selected, to serve and protect

When those entrusted

To govern the land

Accept no responsibility

pointing at others, for their crimes

For their actions

For their words

Inciting death, destruction

Divisive tactics, misogyny – Nth degree 

Machiavellian inspired

Their only defense is offense

Harm to the masses

On their backs, spill their blood

Ripping families apart,

Infants torn from the breast

Caging children, more than

That pound of flesh

Innocence is stolen

Predatory ICE – presidential mandate

For a land that claims to be free

Free from responsibility

To women, men

To all the most vulnerable,

The air we breathe, the water we drink,

Food you try to consume,

Our oceans thick with toxic, plastic carcasses

Yes, there is one, condemns us to perish

With maniacal grin and predatory leer

The oath of one without conscience

As meaningless as those who

Stand with him, without conscience

Serving only themselves

Spewing propaganda from

Forked tongues, turning

Neighbor from neighbor

Man from woman

Brother from brother

Race from race

Ally bridges burning

Fractured States of Hate

Nothing here united

While the masses

Shock and awe mode

Standby waiting for change

Helplessness learned

Waiting for a hero, if you want one,

You must be one

Bisous,

Léa

One-Liner Wednesday — Home of the Brave

This, That, and The Other

B012BF24-7902-428B-9E38-A102EB3D4806

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Reporter and Peabody Award Recipient
Elmer Davis

I found out about this quote from fellow blogger Léa at Found In France. I’d never heard of Elmer Davis, so I googled him and learned that he was a news reporter, author, the Director of the United States Office of War Information during World War II, as well as a Peabody Award recipient.

Davis had been a reporter and editorial writer for The New York Times before joining CBS radio as a newscaster. In 1942, Davis was appointed to head the Office of War Information, where he won respect for his handling of official news. His liberal stance, however, especially his opposition to military censorship, generated controversy. In 1945 he resumed his career as a news broadcaster, this time with ABC, until 1953…

View original post 113 more words

God-Given Liberties

This, That, and The Other

2434F876-2167-420C-A82A-2DDA269DB4CCI am intrigued by Mike Pence’s use of the phrase “God-given liberties” in his tweet. I’m sure he is using language that religious people and/or those who believe in God could relate to.

But I do wonder why he couldn’t have used words such as “inherent,” “self-evident,” or “unalienable,” rather than “God-given” to describe these liberties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

I’m pragmatic enough to understand the broad appeal of the phrase “God-given” when it comes to liberties and rights, since most Americans claim Christianity, in one form or another, as their religion and also espouse a belief in God.

I see references to “God-given” all that time, so Pence’s phrasing is not that unusual. But I am a little bothered by the implication that rights and liberties bestowed upon Americans by the Founding Fathers are “God-given,” especially since the word “God” appears nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill…

View original post 606 more words

MERCI MILLE FOIS UK!

gettyimages-997652714_wide-a6ee666b5575f73046f37ff9748680cbe7126016-s800-c85[1]

Photo courtesy NPR – No copyright infringment intended

We’re sorry UK for the invasion you are currently subjected to. Despite becoming an ex-pat, I still have those I care about back in America. It does my heart good to see you take to the streets and demonstrate your response to one who has done so much to harm the Country he is suppose to represent and to the rest of the world. His list of crimes would require another post just to list them all. However, he has delcared war on Nature itself. I sometimes wonder if that has something to do with the fact that we have frequently referred to it as Mother Nature and we are all well aware of his views on women. Thank you to the Media sources who share this information and truth. 

United Kingdom Your signs and numbers do you proud!

londontrumpmarch1307f[1]

Photo courtesy of Evening Standard – no copyright infringment intended

THANK YOU UNITED KINGDOM!  You do yourselves and any allies proud. I’m not especially motivated by numbers but weigh these against inauguration photos from not that long ago and you do the math…

 

 Bisous,

Léa

Earth Hour 2018

Earth Day is 22 April. Give our Mother Earth a gift and help clean her and not continue to pillage and destroy.

MyBlog - solaner

Switch off unnecessary power consumption. It saves you money, but more important, that amount of power you don’t use, does not have to be produced!

Also, look up the power consumption of your big devices, like fridge, freezer or oven. Often, it’s a good decision, to buy a new device that can do the same as the old one but, with the consumption of less electrical power. Sometimes, the amount of money comes back to you in only a few years of usage because of the saved amount of electrical power. Keep in mind, the price of electrical power increases every year. So, the amount of money also increases every year.

Less consumption of electrical leads to a lower number of needed power plants. Coal plants have an environmental impact by polluting the air. Nuclear power plants are an enormous high risk for the environment and the people. Just in…

View original post 38 more words

Poet for his time…

Noticing the twin flags on your car — flag of Confederacy, flag of Union; seeing that you’re heading into the same bar I’m going to; letting my hands brush my pockets — clipped-on knife, cell phone; checking for pepper gel snapped to belt loop; calculating whether — and when — first strike will make more […]

via The First Strike — Dark Matter

Trump has declared war on Mother Nature. Who will step up? Thanks Vonita!

It was all of eleven years ago when I sat in a Johannesburg office wanting to see the last screening of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. I had project commitments that needed to be completed, and so I decided not to go. This week, I noticed the sequel is being screened at my local cinema. I […]

via Be Inconvenient — Poems and Petals

ONE WOMAN’S VOICE

For all those reeling from the event that shook a nation. Thanks to The Boston Globe who printed it.

ELIZABETH WARREN’S POST ELECTION SPEECH

 

Below are the prepared remarks by Senator Elizabeth Warren to the AFL-CIO Executive Council Thursday in Washington, D.C.  – CREDIT: bostonglobe.com

 

We’re now two days removed from an incredibly close and hard-fought election, and many people here in Washington and around the country are trying to make sense of what happened.

This wasn’t a pretty election. In fact, it was ugly, and we should not sugarcoat the reason why. Donald Trump ran a campaign that started with racial attacks and then rode the escalator down. He encouraged a toxic stew of hatred and fear. He attacked millions of Americans. And he regularly made statements that undermined core values of our democracy.

And he won. He won – and now Latino and Muslim-American children are worried about what will happen to their families. LGBT couples are worried that their marriages could be dissolved by a Trump-Pence Supreme Court. Women are worried that their access to desperately needed health services will disappear. Millions of people in this country are worried, deeply worried. And they are right to be worried.

Today, as President-Elect, Donald Trump has an opportunity to chart a different course: to govern for all Americans and to respect our institutions. In his victory speech, he pledged that he would be “President for all” of the American people. And when he takes the oath of office as the leader of our democracy and the leader of all Americans, I sincerely hope that he will fulfill that pledge with respect and concern for every single human being in this country, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what they believe, no matter whom they love. And that marks Democrats’ first job in this new era: We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans-on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.

But there are many millions of people who did not vote for Donald Trump because of the bigotry and hate that fueled his campaign rallies. They voted for him despite the hate. They voted for him out of frustration and anger-and also out of hope that he would bring change.

If we have learned nothing else from the past two years of electioneering, we should hear the message loud and clear that the American people want Washington to change. It was clear in the Democratic Primaries. It was clear in the Republican Primaries. It was clear in the campaign and it was clear on Election Day. The final results may have divided us – but the entire electorate embraced deep, fundamental reform of our economic system and our political system.

Working families across this country are deeply frustrated about an economy and a government that doesn’t work for them. Exit polling on Tuesday found that 72 percent of voters believe that, quote, “the American economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful.” 72 percent of ALL voters-Democrats and Republicans.1 The polls were also made clear that the economy was the top issue on voters’ minds. Americans are angry about a federal government that works for the rich and powerful and that leaves everyone else in the dirt.

Lobbyists and Washington insiders have spent years trying to convince themselves and each other that Americans don’t actually believe this. Now that the returns are in and the people have spoken, they’re already trying to wave their hands and dismiss these views as some sort of mass delusion. They are wrong-very wrong.

The truth is that people are right to be angry. Angry that wages have been stagnant for a generation, while basic costs like housing, health care, and child care have skyrocketed. Angry that our political system is awash in barely legalized campaign bribery. Angry that Washington eagerly protects tax breaks for billionaires while it refuses to raise the minimum wage, or help the millions of Americans struggling with student loans, or enforce the law when the millionaire CEOs who fund our political campaigns break it. Angry that Washington pushes big corporate interests in trade deals, but won’t make the investments in infrastructure to create good jobs right here in America. Angry that Washington tilts the playing field for giant corporations – giving them special privileges, letting them amass enormous economic and political power.

Angry that while Washington dithers and spins and does the backstroke in an ocean of money, while the American Dream moves further and further out of reach for too many families. Angry that working people are in debt. Angry that seniors can’t stretch a Social Security check to cover the basics.

President-Elect Trump spoke to these issues. Republican elites hated him for it. But he didn’t care. He criticized Wall Street and big money’s dominance in Washington-straight up. He supported a new Glass-Steagall. He spoke of the need to reform our trade deals so they aren’t raw deals for the American people. He said he will not cut Social Security benefits. He talked about the need to address the rising cost of college and about helping working parents struggling with the high cost of child care. He spoke of the urgency of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and putting people back to work. He spoke to the very real sense of millions of Americans that their government and their economy has abandoned them. And he promised to rebuild our economy for working people.

The deep worry that people feel over an America that does not work for them is not liberal or conservative worry. It is not Democratic or Republican worry. It is the deep worry that led even Americans with very deep reservations about Donald Trump’s temperament and fitness to vote for him anyway.

So let me be 100% clear about this. When President-Elect Trump wants to take on these issues, when his goal is to increase the economic security of middle class families, then count me in. I will put aside our differences and I will work with him to accomplish that goal. I offer to work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can into this effort. If Trump is ready to go on rebuilding economic security for millions of Americans, so am I and so are a lot of other people-Democrats and Republicans.

But let’s also be clear about what rebuilding our economy does not mean.

It does not mean handing the keys to our economy over to Wall Street so they can run it for themselves. Americans want to hold the big banks accountable.2 That will not happen if we gut Dodd-Frank and fire the cops responsible for watching over those banks, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If Trump and the Republican Party try to turn loose the big banks and financial institutions so they can once again gamble with our economy and bring it all crashing down, then we will fight them every step of the way.

It does not mean crippling our economy and ripping working families apart by rounding up and deporting millions of our coworkers, our friends and neighbors, our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters. And if Republicans choose that path, we will fight them every single step of the way.

Americans want reform to Obamacare -Democrats included. We must bring down the costs of health insurance and the cost of health care. But if the Republicans want to strip away health insurance from 20 million Americans, if they want to let cancer survivors get kicked to the curb, if they want to throw 24-year-olds off their parents’ health insurance, then we will fight them every step of the way.

Americans want to close tax loopholes that benefit the very rich,3 and Donald Trump claimed to support closing the carried interest loophole and other loopholes. We need a fairer tax system, but if Republicans want to force through massive tax breaks that blow a hole in our deficit and tilt the playing field even further toward the wealthy and big corporations, then we will fight them every step of the way.

The American people – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – have been clear about what economic policies they want Washington to pursue. Two-thirds of people support raising the federal minimum wage.4 Three-quarters of Americans want the federal government to increase its infrastructure investments.5 Over 70 percent of people believe students should have a chance at a debt-free education.6 Nearly three-quarters support expanding Social Security.7 These are the kinds of policies that will help level the playing field for working families and address the frustrations felt by millions of people across the country.

The American people sent one more message as well. Economic reform requires political reform. Why has the federal government worked so long only for those at the top? The answer is money-and they want this system changed. The American people are sick of politicians wallowing in the campaign contributions and dark money. They are revolted by influence peddling by wealthy people and giant corporations. When Bernie Sanders proved his independence by running a campaign based on small dollar contributions and when Donald Trump promised to spend his own money, both were sending an important message that they could not be bought. And once again, if Donald Trump is ready to make good on his promise to get corruption out of politics, to end dark money and pay-to-play, count me in. I will work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can to end the influence of big money and return democracy to the people.

Donald Trump won the Presidency under a Republican flag. But Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress – and their way of doing business – were rejected-rejected by their own primary voters, rejected during the campaign, and rejected in Tuesday’s election. Regardless of political party, working families are disgusted by a Washington that works for the rich and powerful and leaves everyone else behind.

The American people have called out loudly for economic and political reform. For years, too many Republicans and too many Democrats have refused to hear their demands.

The majority of Americans voted against Donald Trump. Democrats picked up seats in both the House and the Senate. And yet, here we are. Republicans are in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. And that makes our job clear. As the loyal opposition we will fight harder, we will fight longer and we will fight more passionately than ever for the rights of every human being in this country to be treated with respect and dignity. We will fight for economic opportunity, not just for some of our children, but for all of our children. We do not control the tools of government, but make no mistake, we know what we stand for, the sun will keep rising, and we will keep fighting – each day, every day, we will fight for the people of this country.

The time for ignoring the American people is over. It’s time for us to come together to work on America’s agenda. Democracy demands that we do so, and we are ready.

Dans liberté, égalité, fraternité,

Léa

Lumières d’étoiles, maison du futur?

Without followers, evil cannot spread.” – SPOCK, Star Trek ‘And The Children Shall Lead’

Beam me up Scotty. There’s no intelligent life here.” – SPOCK

*

Lumières détoiles, maison du futur?

In another world

kepler-452b?

Or perhaps

one of the other

habitable planets

one-hundred-billion galaxies

each with as many as

three-hundred-billion stars

lumière d’étoile, étoile brillante

this planet, this star

home to future generations?

we are not alone –

never have been

the rush to find

a ‘new earth’ – frantic

as nature rebells

man’s use up and dispose

mentality

the race heats up

those who have –

demand to stake their claim,

colonize, control, manipulate,

it will go to the highest bidder

even a larger planet

can take only so much abuse

Bisous,

Léa