Most timely, Charles. We all need to read and heed these quotes. The budget needs to put Education as a top priority. Alas, under the current regime, that won’t happen. One’s head must be buried deeply in the sand to not see the price the nation is paying for ignorance. Thank you for shining some light out into the darkness.
I find it both criminal and heartbreaking that over five years have gone by since I first shared this post and that things have exploded into the current state of affairs. My son is relieved that I’m so far away as he knows I would be on the frontlines with the protesters. We are long past due for the pendulum to swing and this time to go in the direction that is needed. Let it swing for love, understanding and compassion.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class, or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.” – Roger Ebert
“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird (Character – Scout)
“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” – Tim Holden
Yes, that is how
They do it
All of them
The black people I know
They put on their pants
First one leg and then
They hold down jobs – frequently
More than one – to survive
Blacks often are paid less
They eat, sleep, and shop
Cooking meals for family
Inviting friends in
Taking a hot dish
To someone whose been ill
They work in hospitals, search and
Rescue, give to charity,
Donate blood – you may have
It in you now
In a crisis – do you refuse?
They are expected to remain calm
As one more is profiled
Gunned down, targeted
Until the scapegoat paradigm
Chooses to target someone else
They read books, write poems
Dream dreams, large and small
They reach out their hands
In pain and in friendship
THE BLACK PEOPLE I KNOW
Bisous et solidarité,
I followed the money trail
That sap laden root of evil
Through the land of Mordor
To the heights of Mount Doom
Only to discover
Under a shadow of gloom
The dark arts of Sauron
Veiled behind the illusion
Of a philanthropic institution
Euphemistically referred to as
A reproductive health foundation
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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein
“Humour is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.” – Mary Hirsch
While I do realize that the following is a bit out-dated and perhaps Britain has issues of its own at the present… Yet I couldn’t resist pulling this letter out of the files, dusting it off and sharing it. My chapeau is off to John Cleese for the medicine (laughter) he dispenses when we need it most, like now!
Today, 14 July is Fête Nationale du 14 juillet (France). Outside of France, this is frequently referred to as Bastile Day. It is not Bastile day but it does mark the turning point of the French Revolution in 1789. The champagne and the wine will flow, music, and so much more. I’ve no doubt that each and every village will create a way to celebrate safely in this time of Covid-19.
Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A.
A message from John Cleese (British comedian)
To: The citizens of the United States of America:
In view of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).
Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown (now Boris Johnson), will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.
A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.
- Then look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
- The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise.
Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up ‘vocabulary’).
- Using the same 27 words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.
There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save the Queen.
- July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
- You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent.
Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.
- Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
- All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
Holden Monaros are also approved.
- All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humor.
- The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) – roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.
- You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick-cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
- The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
- Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
- You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don’t try Rugby – the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you like they regularly thrash us.
- Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
- You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
- An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
- Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high-quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.
God save the Queen.
Thank you John Cleese for offering the only remedy currently available for what ails millions of people (Laughter is still the best medicine.)
This is too beautiful not to share it would be dereliction on my part.
“I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye – that was the trouble – I wanted to kiss you good night – and there’s a lot of difference.” – Ernest Hemingway
“They love me like a pack of wolves.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Love is forever. Lust is for the moment. Got a moment?” – Michael Gorman
Affair with Hemingway
Remote corners du café
Closerie des Lilas
Summer evenings beneath stars
Sidewalk tables and stories
Late at night – mon chambre
I take you to my bed
Crawl deep inside your stories
I have my way with you
You reach out through time
Together, we do Paris
Huddled in corners
Sipping wine and champagne
Dark Smokey tables shared
Avec Fitzgerald, Ezra et
Ford Madox Ford
War stories, the bulls
Nights at Bricktops
Josephine’s rocking the joint
Champagne et art du jour
Breathless with anticipation
I surrender and plead for more
It is the life – it is life
Bereft, insatiable, pleading for more
You could just pretend
it’s a united country.
That has worked for you for years.
You could tell yourself everything
from the ice cream truck to the singer at the ball game
was singing our song.
You could admire the colors in the flag
without ever conjuring the words
“bleeding out,” “erasure,” or “suffocation.”
You could stay home just long enough
to claim it’s a hardship not to work
at the job you whine about seven days a week
but you’ll do it for your family
and your country — and what
are your neighbors’ names, anyway?
You could watch the gunners and bombers
and sigh about how the country’s fallen so far
and never even think of bounties placed on scalps,
a Klansman serving in the Senate for decades,
murderers laughing at their trials while in the courtroom,
everyone forgetting all of that happened
because that’s what “united” means.
United in memory loss. United…
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Great Barb, next time let’s take off the gloves! Seriously excellent and I hope you will pop by here on July 14th and hopefully have a laugh.
[NOTE from Barb: With this year’s Fourth of July approaching, I know I’m not the only one conflicted about the holiday. Like so many others, I’m facing the reality of how far we still have to go just to approach being the country so many of us already thought we were. But I’m also in awe of the Americans who took to the streets to protest the ways our country has fallen so short of our self-image. At the same time the protesters are affirming their belief that we could and should and need to become that country, with “liberty and justice for all” and not just for all who have the right skin color, gender, and religion. So I’m wishing my readers more than fireworks and a barbeque this year. I wish you the country we were always supposed to be. That really would be a Fourth of…
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“And whenever I’m in a situation where I’m wearing the same as 600 other people and doing the same thing as 600 other people, looking back, I always found ways to make myself different, whether it be having a red lining inside of my jacket, having red shoes, it hasn’t changed.”
– Jeremy Irons
“When in doubt wear RED.”
– Bill Blass
Red’s Own Story
She is the thick
That covers my nails
A pointer when tracing
On bare flesh
She is the sports car
Darting along the highway
Hugging the curves
Turning an eye
She is the ripe
Her flesh firm
Tantalizing dipped in dark chocolate
Suits her best
She is the
Long stemmed, heady fragrance
Her tight buds unfurl
Exposing her inner delicacy
We forget the thorns
She is the creamy dark war paint
On my lips
When and where
I choose to leave my mark
She is fire
On the move
Beckoning me on
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” – Kurt Vonnegut
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” – Albert Schweitzer
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Kindness is contagious, spread it around.” – moi (Léa)
be a sieve
let it run off you
from the pain
a mind so swayed
reach out to
hold a kitten
hear its mews
as a call to peace
tread your footsteps
gently on the earth
sing eternal truths
listen, listen, listen
you can still learn
open yourself, let love in
whistling in the wind
secrets softly whisper