Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The horror I am facing (not a poem)

Here I am, trying to write a thriller, but it's near impossible. Every time I think to settle down, back to my run of the mill - I really can't be bothered with politics, progressivism - along comes another egregious assault to human rights and civil liberties. Assaults that are designed to turn back the clock to an era nobody wants except the would-be-lords-of-all-they-survey. It's scarier than anything I've ever contemplated writing up to now.

So it comes to this. A fight for head-space between fictional demons vs the real-life morally undead. People who think it's literally okay to kill people in the pursuit of money, and power. Who, no longer content with pulling the strings from a distance, are elbowing in with a power play of epic proportions.

Dammit, but never in my life has real life been fringed with such fear and suspicion. But as many Americans are saying normal service will be resumed shortly. I can't be sure when. So I'll paraphrase Douglas Adams - I'll be restoring normality just as soon as I'm sure what is normal anyway- (to be fair, this isn't strictly true. Sureties are not for times like these. And I've never really been a fan of normal-more a live and let live creative chaos.)

But aside from persnickety details, the important message is I want my brain back, away from the dreadful contemplation of how close we are to the precipice - minutes to midnight. Not that I needed that awful clock to tell me the danger, the evidence is everywhere and it's inescapable for thinking people. Either people win, or corporations do, or nobody. And if it is not the first option, the world will be facing horror worse than any we've faced in my lifetime - or worse.

But this is a long game.
And I'm a tiny piece. But if we all do something, maybe, just maybe we'll come out of this with a near utopian society that is so close the millennials can almost reach out and touch it. There's no wonder they feel cheated. But they're fighting because they also have hope. So should we all.

Apologies for no poem, but do have a great week, and please feel free to share any good ideas. Especially if you have a good alternative to Amazon. We can't all do everything - but we can all do a  little bit and consider we are all together in this little ship called Earth. :)


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Battle Hymn of the Resistance

Public domain image from the Project Gutenberg archives
I went to see the truth about the changing of the guard
(After it was over because watching was too hard)
They'd sugared it through serpent's fangs and covered it with lard
And the lies kept marching on

Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
And posttruth keeps marching on

Women's rights were gutted with a scribble from his pen
He's happy to risk women's lives, and so are all his men
Right to life's an awful lie - and now thousands will die
And the lies kept marching on

Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
And posttruth keeps marching on

Then he asked Guiliani to impose a Muslim ban
But one that protects his companies, and so they hatched an evil plan
And now they have the gall to say it's not a bloody ban
And the lies keep marching on

Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
Glory glory, what's it to ya
And posttruth keeps marching on

Will America be gutted on the altar of his greed?
From Goldman Sacks and lobbyists the US should be freed
And taken to a place where there's respect every race and creed
Let's stop the lies from marching on

Glory glory, time to free ya
Glory glory, time to free ya
Glory glory, time to free ya
Stop posttruth from marching on

For too long your rights to work and vote have been twisted heartlessly
To the right to work for nothing, and to vote provisionally
But you can stop your lives and votes being thrown in the bin
Join a local human rights organization!

Glory glory, and good on ya
Glory glory, and good on ya
Glory glory, and good on ya
Keep #posttruth from marching on

A.J. Ponder 

My goodness, it's not easy to stay current and keep accurate! Also there's heaps I haven't covered eg #NoDAPL, so please tell me if you manage a verse or two and I'll link to it.

Have a great week! Breathe! Democracy is a long term objective, it's not perfected anywhere yet. All we can do is keep working toward a society that gives everyone the best opportunities to achieve-without stepping on the rights of others.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Silver Sword

you are a silver sword
with which to slay the dragons.
For though their heads are many
and I cannot take them all
we can share the cutting truth
will you hear its clarion call?

from all around the world
as women we have spoken. (And men too! And non-binary, but this is a poem!)
We'll cut through the serpent's lies
knowing each is but a token,
then we'll take the fight to the Wyrms of greed
and dance as each head falls.

A.J. Ponder

A slightly more traditional offering this week, even if it's still within a certain theme. Apologies for using every synonym for dragon - because of the different flavour each has. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Have a great week, and stay strong. And remember, as Thom Hartman says, #democracy is not a spectator sport.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I Will Not Yeild - William Shakespeare Butchered

Yield thee, coward,
Your juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense,
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. 

Yield thee, coward,
Or be sure to be expos'd
And live to be the show and gaze o' th' time.
We’ll have thee, painted on a pole, and underwrit,
“See the tyrant.”
Yield thee, coward,
For until then, I will not yield,
Or be baited with the rabble’s curse.
And thou opposed, 
I will try to the last. 
I will not yield.

A.J. Ponder
Was looking for rebel poetry, but couldn't quite find what I wanted. So had a little play with the Scottish play. :)
Have a great week, and if you're protesting (The Women's March is this weekend in 386 places around the world), stay safe. http://resources.womensmarch.com/  https://www.acludc.org/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/aclu_8.5_x_11_trifold_v21.pdf
And remember non-violent protests have been shown to be significantly more effective, unfailing politeness is a weapon to be marshaled, because we need to change hearts and minds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Have you heard the news?

If you're reading my blog at the moment this will be a horribly familiar theme.
Anyone can make a stand - not just Meryl Streep in her Golden Globes 2017 speech. But on the phones, in the street -banding with friends and doing whatever needs to be done for human rights environmental needs, and democratic principles.  Corporate interests have shown money will trump all, and they're framing the debate. They tell us that we're not powerful and we can't change the world - well, that's only right if they can keep you at home and ignoring politics because you feel powerless. So...

Have you heard the
Do you know?
Where you were
democracy died?
the free world fell?

Have you seen the news
What did you choose?
Where the f*ck were you
the lies flew
And before we knew
The meme had set

Did you see #maga become #masa
Make America Scared Again
And all because
We forgot it's our job
To stand up to power
And make the world a better place.

Have you seen the
Do you know?
Where you were
the free vote fell?
Did you see?
Jim Crow raised his head
Did you raise your voice?
Or did you watch him
Tear the vote
From the poor
The huddled masses
Yearning to breathe free?

Now you can choose to sing
Everything is
To drown out
Or you can stand against
The entity that is corporate greed
And demand our world back.

Where are you?
The world is falling.


Right, and lets get to it. What can we do?

Well, I have only one thing to say- Are you Ready? okay nobody's really ready for "interesting times"
But small things can make a huge difference. Here's a piece from Ecowatch. 6 Lessons Learned Fighting Oppressive Regimes While Trying to Protect People and Planet.
We can do this.

If we stand for truth, human rights, and the environment, and try to make a tiny difference for at least one of those we can make this world a better place. :)

One of the most important things an American can do is protect their voting rights. " The US Civil Rights Commission concluded that the odds of your vote being miscounted or tossed out are 900% greater if you vote in a community of color." So if I was an American I'd join the local @ACLU   https://www.aclu.org/issues/voting-rights  But there are other great organizations you might prefer.

Stay strong, have fun, and never give up hope. We need you. :)
A.J. Ponder

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Are you ready?

It's almost a New Year
Let's not make America fear
Let's not throw our brothers and sisters
to the wolves
We could make the world a better place
Are you ready?

We've done it before
in days of yore
We broke the bonds of
kings and queens
We threw off the shackles
of slavery
We stood up and demanded
One Person One Vote
Again and again
we demanded a minimum wage, a living wage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage)
and the democratic world flourished...

But now it's dying,
strangled by the weeds
we were
so careless of.

So, I need to know - are you ready
to speak up
against those who would silence us?
Are you ready - to stand firm
against those who would
strip away your vote?
destroy your living wage?
poison your food and water, the very air you breathe?
and allow innocents to be destroyed -
- in the name of oil- in the name of money
- in the name of power

Are you ready to throw off the lies that mute us?
Are you ready to stand against the gags that deny us?
Are you ready to make this world a better place?
Can you accept the cost?

The longer we wait
the more we'll pay.

So I need to know,
are you ready?

A.J. Ponder

An early poem so it can be published before the New Year in time for resolutions. There will not be one on the 6th, because there's no reason not to make a New Years resolution to support human rights. Mine is to speak out when I see injustice, to hold our politicians to account and to join at least one local group that supports human rights and the environment. 

Happy New Year everyone, also PS - a link to Mike Moore's 5 point plan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaqst_B498 (it's basically all in first minute or so.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

False Prophets

Given the GOP memo published recently that included '...Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King...' and the many people who are prepared to defend a deliberate and misleading false equivalency as if the move from past to present wasn't entirely deliberate, with the double meaning left to placate the evangelicals for whom this would be blasphemy.

I'd like to remind anyone who is drawn to this false show of Christianity of what the Bible records Jesus as saying. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits."  (Matt. 7:15-16b).

From what I can see Trumps fruits are blackmail, bankruptcy, lechery, and threats. And while I don't pretend to be a Christian, Trump does, and he fulfills this biblical warning: The counterfeit Christian is marked by arrogance and slander (2:10). They are "experts in greed" and "their eyes are full of adultery" (2:14).

So do not let religious friends be pulled into the sway of this false prophet who would be a king. Because Jesus was right. And the wolves he speaks of will never sate their hunger, their greed is a sickness that consumes them, it is a greed for power and love that has lead followers to death, while aggrandizing themselves.

Whatever our faith - whether we believe Jesus was the son of God, a prophet, or just someone who challenged an authority who cared for money and power, and belittled suffering - we should heed his warning, because there are always people who say they have the answers - but if their fruit is vile - if what they actually do is vile - then so are they. If we don't stand up now against the corporations who are dividing the world between them, the world we pass on to our children and grandchildren will be very grim indeed, and not the society that compassion and vision and science can build. But first we must challenge our own moneylenders. The morally criminal who trade our life health and happiness for worthless coin.

We need to stand against corporate greed
Because 1% of the world now has 90% of the money.
Because they don't pay taxes
Because they don't pay their workers a living wage
Because they steal resources from under the feet of the people they should be supporting.
Because they corrupt our politicians
Because they corrupt our media
Because they make us fight for scraps at our own table
Because they make us beg for the poisons that kill us
Because they refuse to treat those in need preferring coin
Because global warming is real
Because the earth is a finite resource
Because little children should not suffer when we can prevent that suffering
Because nobody should suffer for their faith
Because we hold the moral stance that all are created equal
Because we can make this world a better place
So I will stand,
I will stand with the millennials,
I will stand with the progressives
I will stand with Bernie, and Warren and Stein and the Greens and the unions and the Indigenous people and all those who protect the land and human rights.
Will you?

A.J. Ponder

For those who wonder why I follow American politics so assiduously - it's because that is the country used to create the narrative we are supposed to believe. That somehow minimum wages make people poorer. A lie. Proved here  (http://www.citylab.com/work/2016/12/as-an-anti-poverty-measure-raising-the-minimum-wage-works/510119/?utm_source=SFTwitter) and in scientific studies.

That drug and oil and banks and the worst excesses of war require government money, but we should ignore the suffering of people whose needs would require far less, and we could then reap the health benefits of a more egalitarian population.

It is not just America. This is an issue for the whole world so please don't hesitate to add links to organisations/organizations you think can help. And DO be aware that facts change - especially if it's money that's being asked for.

There are almost too many options. So don't find heaps, find the one that best suits you and make a New Year's resolution to make a difference. Remember you can stand up for the #environment and #humanrights check out these
6 Lessons Learned Fighting Oppressive Regimes While Trying to Protect People and Planet 

You can:
Petition your local politicians
Join rallies for causes you believe in
Divest from banks that support oil or habitat destruction
Buy mindfully
Use power mindfully
Join groups who promote the causes you hold important  - but always check to make sure they are  currently as advertised.  eg in NZ our Red Cross currently has most of it's money go to where it's needed, whereas the American Red Cross has a less efficient structure in getting charity money to where it's need so there may be better options.
Join Your local human rights org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_rights_organisations
Join Your local union or group ready to ask for a living wage eg. #fightfor15
Join your local Green Party
Join the NAACP http://www.naacp.org/about-us/
Join Amnesty international https://www.amnesty.org/en/
I'm not always the biggest fan of the UN, sometimes it seems to be captured by political and business interests, but maybe that means we need to take it back and make it for people all the more.
Support education for the less fortunate  Malala.org, ACEI, Education International, GPE, Plan International, Save the Children, UNESCO & UNICEF.

There are almost too many options. So don't find heaps, even one would make an awesome New Year's resolution and make a real difference.

Merry Christmas Holiday (for those lucky enough to get a Christmas Holiday) and a happy New Year