I am a freelance writer, having worked for newspapers, magazines and blogs for over twenty-five years, covering neighborhood and working people making their communities and their lives better. I believe in the power of the written word to bring about change, and I put that into practice. I believe that when we become aware of the effect our small actions in the community have in improving lives, we can truly make a difference.
I am also one of the leading poets in the Philadelphia area, and I also write fiction. I also act, performing on the public access channel PhillyCAM.
On Tuesday, November 5, I took part in my division’s election board, to help people navigate the new voting machines, so they could exercise their right to vote. I’m proud to have dome my part in the political process, and in helping people find their power in their collective voting effort. In this election, we had these new voting machines that people were not used to, and we were afraid they would not want to deal with them; but it was simple when they got their hands on the machines-just like many things in life.
There are, though, efforts to keep people from their right to vote, such as laws demanding showing certain pieces of ID and excluding others, to prevent targeted demographic groups-racial minorities, college students, senior citizens-from voting. Plus, as the recent events in Kentucky and Minnesota show, the Republicans who lost the election have tried, and continue to try, to cling to power; we must be ready to resist these efforts.People power in the form of public demonstrations have been effective in Bolivia, Lebanon, and Hong Kong in overthrowing governments; it could work just as well in this, the “land of the free.”
I have, after my work, given myself the weekend off, no meetings or appointments; I needed the rest. That;s been the problem with activists, we go to so many meetings for so many issues, we wear ourselves out and get sick, and we’re NO good for our cause. For our own sake, let’s pencil in some downtime and refresh ourselves.
Since this publication takes
a good deal of work and time, I welcome any donations, and I am willing to
discuss ad space. I will be happy to advertise your business in the Missile. Please contact me and we’ll
We have been through the High
Holy Days-Rosh Ha-Shona, the New Year, the start of new hope and opportunities;
and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the day of re-tuning your life; these are
the days where we re-assess our lives, and look at where we went right and how
we can be better for the future. It’s not always good to call where we went
wrong “sins;” the idea is that we have these good intentions, but we slip
often, and we recognize where we slipped and we learn from our mistakes and
start over again. For a person, most of the time, there is room for
improvement. And where there is re-alignment with your true, positive self,
there is still hope, for the individual and the nation. Let’s keep these
lessons in mind as we go through the rest of the year.
In the situation this country
is in, we need hope to see us through, to know that we can get ourselves out of
this predicament. The forces are arrayed against working and low-income people:
a Supreme Court and federal judicial system filled with ideologically backward
incompetents; states, like North Carolina, rewriting election rules to make it
damn near impossible for minorities, students, and retired people to vote; the
elimination of limits on campaign donations, as in the Supreme court’s Citizen’s United decision, so that
corporations and plutocrats can pay for favored candidates to get elected.
Those are just the beginning of the list of tactics used to “legally”
perpetuate oligarchic rule in this country, under the guise of “democracy.”
It’s gotten even more
desperate with the news of trump’s contacting the President of Ukraine to
demand information about the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son Hunter, in
exchange for military assistance to Ukraine as it fights off Russian incursions
into its territory.
On top of this-oh the shame,
Americans!-trump withdrew US personnel from Northern Iraq, giving the Turkish
military the opportunity to attack Kurdish “terrorists”-these so-called
“terrorists who have joined with the US in fighting the Islamic State fighters;
the Kurds, who for generations have fought for their Own territory and their
Own nation-lost 11,000 fighting against ISIS, (By the way, trump has a Trump
Towers in Istanbul, along with over a hundred business interests in Turkey-a
fun fact to know.)
trump has a soft spot in his “heart”
for “strongmen” dictators-Putin, Kim Jong Un, Oban in Hungary, Erdogan in
Turkey, and Bolsonaro in Brazil. In his business dealings, he has had close
ties to the American La Cosa Nostra and the Russian mafia; and he has, in his
rallies, encouraged violence against protestors. (Not that he’s the type to do
it himself; I’m familiar with rich kids who think they’re badass since they’re
hanging out with guys on the street, but when things get rough, they can count
on the old man’s pull and money to get them out of the jam.)
Interviewed by Breitbart,
trump said, “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the
support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough
people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and
then it would be very bad, very bad.”
Civil war? Do they mean this, or are they trying to intimidate
us? Or both? let us remember the history of the original civil war; southern
states threatened to secede from the Union if Abraham Lincoln was duly elected
President; this bullying escalated into an actual civil war, where hundreds of
thousands of young men died-some to preserve the Union, others to preserve the
slave system and their feeling of being of a “superior race.”
If these Congress-creeps were anywhere to the left politically,
would they get the kids gloves, or the iron hand? In my reading of American
history, more than likely it’s the latter. Throughout the Sixties and Seventies,
the Republican Party has presented itself as the party of “law and order” and “strong
national defense,” while, if convenient, willing to break the law and compromise
national security to attain power. Let me count the ways:
Nixon contacting the South Vietnamese government to urge
them to back off from peace talks with the North and the NLF, promising
President Theiu a better deal-thereby prolonging the war and American’s involvement
in it, dragging Cambodia into the war (thus allowing the Khmer Rouge to wage
its genocidal regime), and allowing more American servicemen to be killed (how’s
THAT for “support the troops!);
organizing gangs of thugs to assault anti-war protestors
opposing a terrible war, and organizing a crew of burglars to break into the
Democratic National Committee office at Watergate; (this is recorded in The Arrogance of Power; The Secret World of Richard Nixon by
contacting the regime of the Ayatollahs in Iran, urging them
to back off of negotiations with Washington to release the hostages in the
Embassy, thus making Jimmy Carter look weak and inept and allowing Ronald
Reagan into office;
the Iran-contra affair, whereby anti-tank weapons were sold
to Iran to pay for the contra campaign in Nicaragua, against the law passed by
Mitch McConnell’s refusal to speak out against the blatant
effort, recorded by our intelligence and security agencies, by Russian state
entities to interfere in our elections in 2016;
I guess I just scratched the surface.
Fellow Americans, let us NOT be intimidated by the thugs in
and out of office. Let us organize, educate ourselves, and show them we will
not be intimidated. Let’s get out and VOTE!-November 5 in Pennsylvania-and let’s
keep ourselves strong, and America will be free!
This is the “law and order” party, trying to be a schoolyard bully. How about we apply some “law and order” on them? They care nothing about democracy or political transparency, they just want to intimidate the “wussie liberals.” It makes me so damn angry! It reminds me of how, just before the Nazi’s seizure of power in Germany, they disrupted the procedures of the Reichstag. The old rules of civics class no longer apply. They won’t play be the rules, let’s make that clear. we have to stand up to these Congress-thugs, and we can beat them.
The branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia in South Philadelphia will hold a Book Fiesta tomorrow-Friday, October 19, 2019. This event will celebrate the various cultures and languages of South Philadelphia, with all kinds of family fun. The branches are:
Thomas R. Donnatucci,Sr. Branch, 1935 Shunk Street;
South Philadelphia Regional Branch, 1700 South Broad Street;
Queen Memorial Library, 1201 South 23rd Street;
Charles Santore Branch, 932 South 7th Street;
Fumo family Branch, 2437 South Broad Street;
Whitman Branch, 200 Snyder Avenue.
Please show your face in the place and support your local library.