The Grow Together Snow Foundation

My good friend, Michelle Snow, is an excellent career coach; she has helped my along in my media career, guiding me, encouraging me, and helping me grow my own network. I never cease to talk up her work and her enthusiasm for helping small entrepreneurs along their way to success.

Michelle has now begun the Grow Together Snow Foundation, https://thegtsf.org/#:~:text=The%20Grow%20Together%20Snow%20Foundation,succeed%20in%20business%20and%20life., which helps small business operators attain support, initial funding, and skill to further develop their businesses. This endeavor is worthy of support. Please consider making a donation to the Grow Together Snow Foundation. Thanks.

cheerful multiethnic students having high five with teacher
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The Mason Missile, February 23, 2021

Greetings, Americans!

I have just received my first COVID-19 vaccine injection (Pfizer) at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in West Philadelphia (https://www.philadelphia.va.gov/). I get my next one in the middle of March. When your turn come, please get it, and we can beat this plague that has killed now over 5000,000 of our fellow Americans-our friends and loved ones.

The deterioration of the Republican Party is going on; Pat Toomey, of my home state Pennsylvania, is facing censure for voting to impeach trump-Toomey, for had voted 85 percent for trump’s actions. Dave Ball, Chair of the Washington County Republican Party, said it all when he said, “We did not send (Toomey) there to vote his conscience, we did not send him there to do the right thing…we sent him there to represent us.” (https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/02/15/western-pa-republican-county-chairs-oppose-sen-toomeys-vote-to-convict-trump-but-disagree-on-censure-resolutions/)

This is the same Pat Toomey who was poised to run against Arlen Spector in the 2010 Republican primary for the Senate from Pennsylvania. This caused Spector to move to the Democratic Party, but he was defeated in the Democratic primaries by Joe Sestak; Toomey run the general election, as part of the shift of the Republican Party further to the right. (https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Retirement/sen-arlen-specter-loss-joe-sestak-pennsylvania-senate/story?id=10669683) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Senate_election_in_Pennsylvania) Thus, the Republican Party is now the party of Donald trump, white supremacists, religious bigots, science deniers, and conspiracy-theory devotees, and Toomey isn’t right-wing enough for them.

Other senators voting for impeachment of trump include Mitt Romney of Utah, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Susan Collins of Maine; they have all faced censure resolutions from their states’ stae and county Republican organizations. ( https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/16/republicans-who-voted-to-convict-trump-face-censure-at-home) (https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-politics/republican-groups-censure-party-lawmakers-who-voted-impeach-convict-trump)

The old idea has popped up again: third party!   The idea is popular among some pro-trump Republicans. (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/02/support-third-party-republicans-record-high-gallup.html) There is also talk among more main-stream conservative Republicans, people who worked in past Republican administrations, of forming their own third party. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-party-exclusive/exclusive-dozens-of-former-republican-officials-in-talks-to-form-anti-trump-third-party-idUSKBN2AB07P)

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Pennsylvania Republicans to invalidate vote cast during the 2020 elections. (https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/22/politics/election-pennsylvania-republicans-supreme-court/index.html) The Republicans continue their efforts to deny the ability to vote to those of us opposed to their anti-worker policies; state legislatures have been inundated with new bills trying to either limit voting by mail, purging voter lists, or more voter ID laws aimed at people who usually don’t have the “required” ID, such as minorities, seniors, and college students-Jim Crow redux. (https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics/voting-rights-state-legislation/index.html). This is not the work of a party confident in mass appeal, and popularity, but one clinging to power by whatever means. And of course there’s the old reliable, gerrymandering, redrawing legislative districts for the party’s benefit, to keep their members in power for nearly eternity.

With Donald trump as its spiritual leader, can you imagine the kids of bills emanating from such legislatures, becoming THE LAW? More deregulations of environmental controls on corporations, to allow them to pollute the air and water; more starving financially of schools, so that kids can’t learn and improve their lives; more discriminations permitted against LGBTQ people, in the name of “religious freedom”; more deterioration of our infrastructure, such as our highways, electric power grids, our railways, our water and sewage, and our bridges, for the sake of the almighty “free enterprise.” The list is endless. 

As enjoyable as the collapse of the Republican Party, and  of the trump empire is- like the implosion of the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City (https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/02/17/trump-plaza-demolition-atlantic-city-implosion-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-originals-counterprogramming/)- we progressives have a responsibility to work at the grassroots to advocate for our policies, and elect candidates who will act on them. They are:

A $15.00 an hour minimum wage (for a start);

A national health care system for every citizen in this country, “Medicare For All”:

Ending limitations on workers organizing into unions:

Resisting Republican efforts to gerrymander legislative districts for their benefit, to the exclusion of minorities, women, working and low-income people, and seniors;

Upgrading our infrastructure so we can truly enter the 21st century, economically; and

Upgrading our educational system and restoring respect for learning, as a way for personal advancement, and as a great thing for its own sake.

I might be missing some things, but this is a start, and knowing American history like I do, we CAN and WILL organize to bring these things about, for ourselves and our future generations. So let’s get busy on this.

Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! America will be free! Bye!    

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Since this publication takes a good deal of work and time, I welcome any donations, and I am willing to discuss selling ad space. For a fee I will be happy to advertise your business on the Missile. Please contact me and we’ll talk about it, thanks.

I have just self-published my manifesto, Under The Workers Cap, printed by Minuteman Press (https://www.minutemanpress.com/), where I articulate my social and political beliefs, based on my study of American History and my activism in the Labor movement and the community. It’s on sale for $10.00 plus postage.

The Mason Moment, February 20, 2021

I speak today on the need for the COVID-19 vaccinations, the breakdown of the Texas electric system due to the snowstorm, and the need for grassroots activism for needed reforms, such as upgrading infrastructure, the $15.00 an hour minimum wage, and the elimination of student debt.

Moonstone Still Rocks!

I continue to be active in the activities of the Moonstone Arts Center, https://moonstoneartscenter.org/. They continue to hold their poetry readings and other events over Zoom, and they continue to publish poetry chapbooks and anthologies centered around important topics, such as the January 6 rampage on the Capitol, the former regime (whose leader doesn’t need mentioning), the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo movement, the war in Iraq, and the COVID pandemic; they also publish poetry anthologies around famous poets, like Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Amiri Baraka. They also continue their Poetry Ink celebrations, with the publication of the anthology and readings by poets in the anthology (like me), as well as the New Voices series honoring new and young poets.

On February 20, there will be a virtual poetry reading of New Voices, featuring the poets Wes Matthews, Colby Bellman, and Rose-Marie Athiley. (https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/virtual-poetry-reading-for-new-voices-emerging-poets-rose-marie-athiley-colby-bellman-wes-mathews-with-larry-robin/) On February 21, there will be “Philly Jawns: For women Revisited,” a tribute anthology to Nina Simone. (https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/virtual-poetry-reading-philly-jawns-for-women-revisited-poetry-anthology-tribute-to-nina-simone/) On February 24, there will be an online reading, featuring the poets Ahmad Amallah and Grant Clauser, and and Larry Robin, founder of Moonstone and proprietor of the old Robin’s Books chain in Philadelphia, which was a great outlet for non-commercial books. ( https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/virtual-poetry-reading-ahmad-almallah-grant-clauser-with-larry-robin/)

Please check these events out, and support Moonstone and other local poetry programs. The arts, like poetry, are not a luxury, they’re for all of us.

stack of books placed on seat of wooden swing
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The Fall of the House of trump

After being evicted-finally! – out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, donald trump is still trying to act like he’s still President, or still relevant. He has opened an “Office Of the Former President,” that would “be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism”; he has also floated the idea of forming his own political party, called “Patriot party” that would have no platform or agenda, other than worshiping trump. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-office-idUSKBN29V07C) (https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-wouldn-t-really-create-new-patriot-party-would-he-n1255690?icid=recommended)

Trump has been descending to the status of an unperson after his election. His accounts on Facebook, his precious Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube has been shut down; banks that have freely lent him money-Deutsche Bank, Signature, and two in Florida have cut him off; Banks United, a Florida bank that has held two money-market accounts, has closed these accounts. (https://meaww.com/several-banks-distance-themselves-from-donald-trump-allegations-of-inciting-violence-capitol-eric?fbclid=IwAR3wFzYhofsA6_nd-2eFnFXGxAAzKisREQ46KjWc-QUjsa9anfc-nhmfYfs)

The name of trump has become toxic in real estate; the Trump SoHo, a combination hotel and condominium complex, has been renamed The Dominick. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dominick) The PGA refuses to hold tournaments on his golf course in Bedminster. (https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/10/business/pga-championship-trump-golf-course/index.html) Without the immunity of his former office, trump faces legal problems from the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, from the City of New York, and the State of New York. (https://www.npr.org/2020/11/20/937044524/once-out-of-office-trump-faces-significant-legal-peril) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTNQUOOznGg)

Now, trump faces impeachment for a second time, and we must stay on top of the senators for them to convict him. Racism and religious bigotry have existed in this country, but trump, by his rhetoric and his campaigns, have made it safe for racists and haters to emerge and act out, through violence, their hates. trump and his enablers MUST be held accountable for their crimes.

rear view of a silhouette man in window
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