About John Oliver Mason

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.

Torah Portion Bo

This weekend we have studied the Torah portion Bo, Exodus 10.1-13:16. In this portion, Moses and Aaron continue to approach Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt to worship their God; but each time, Pharaoh refuses to allow it, no matter how severe the plague is on his nation and his people. God, through His prophet Moses, inflicts further plagues on Egypt-Locusts and Darkness. Pharaoh’s own courtiers plead with the king to give in, or the nation would be destroyed. But Pharaoh, still believing himself to be a god-despots develop big egos-refuses to budge, and does not allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt.

Then finally, there is the final plague, the Death of the First-Born, from the children pf Pharaoh to the children of the slave girls. Pharaoh’s will is finally broken, and he begs Moses to take the Israelite out of Egypt. the great thing is, Moses, once a prince of Egypt, was still respected in the court, and the Egyptians looked favorably upon the Israelites. The Egyptians, like all lower-class people, suffer from the stupidity and egotism of their rulers. In the portion is the beginning of the holiday Peach, the commemoration of the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery, with the origins of the Seder; and of the redeeming of the first-born.


Warren Harding and Teapot Dome

This Monday, I’ll take part in the taping for the show Conversations Across Time, http://www.conversationsacrosstime.com/, broadcast over PhillyCAM (Verizon channel 29, Comcast channel 66), where we discuss the scandals currently going on in Washington; I will play Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, who was the front man for the Teapot Dome scandal, who put in place the crooks in his cabinet who carried out the sale of the nation’s natural resources and line their pockets in the process.

For research I borrowed from the Free Library of Philadelphia (http://freelibrary.org/) a book, The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought The Harding White House And Tried To Steal The Country, by Laton McCartney. It’s a great history of how deep the connections have long been between the corporate world and the political elite in this country. Oil companies, and corporations in general, have bought and sold politicians in Washington for centuries, and we the people do not at all benefit from it, “free enterprise” myths and the ravings of Ayn Rand notwithstanding. After I get done with it, please look it up.

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‘What are we waiting for?’: NYT columnist David Leonhardt calls for Trump’s immediate removal from office in scathing editorial

In a powerful and lengthy piece, up this afternoon, titled The People vs. Donald J. Trump and subtitled “He is demonstrably unfit for office. What are we waiting for?”He begins with a very blunt paragraph:The presidential oath of office contains 35 words and one core promise: to “preserve, pro

Source: ‘What are we waiting for?’: NYT columnist David Leonhardt calls for Trump’s immediate removal from office in scathing editorial

A Reading at A Novel IDea

Yesterday, January 4, I attended a reading at A Novel Idea On Passyunk, 1726 E. Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. The reading was led by Thirty West Publishing House, a new independent publishing company in Philadelphia. https://www.thirtywestph.com/

The Thirty West logo
Christina Schneider, co-owner of A Novel Idea and one of the readers
Josh Dale, Editor-In-Chief of Thirty West
Scott Laudati
Ariel Franscisco
Alex Breth, Operations Manager of Thirty West

Libertarianism is a form of white supremacy: economist

Libertarianism occupies a peculiar spot in the American political landscape as an ideology that garners much more debate and attention than its base of support would seem to suggest. In 2014 poll, Pew Research found that 14 percent of Americans said they identified as libertarians, but only 11 percent identified as libertarians and correctly identified what the term means, that is, “someone whose political views emphasize individual freedom by limiting the role of government.” Even among this …

Source: Libertarianism is a form of white supremacy: economist

I knew it, I KNEW IT! All the talk about “get government off our backs” has all this time been a code for “I want the right to discriminate against whomever I want to discriminate against, for whatever reason, and I still want the government to provide ME services, but not for those people I want to discriminate against.”

Philly For Change, January 2, 2019

Tonight, I will attend the monthly meeting of Philly For Change, at Tattooed Mom, at 5th and South streets in Philadelphia (https://www.tattooedmomphilly.com/). Featured speakers tonight will be candidates for this years’s municipal elections:

Melissa Robbins, and Fernando Trevino, running for City Council;

Jen Devor, running for City Commissioners;

and judicial candidates Gregory Weyer, Kay Yu, and Henry Sias.

Please attend and ask questions.

Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions, argues Duke historian Nancy MacLean

Source: Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

We better remember this guy, and all the damage he helped create. This shows that democracy is NOT compatible to absolute capitalism.

Border Wall Blues

trump refuses to give up on his precious border wall with Mexico, because such pundits as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, presumably speaking for trump voters, complained about any backing down on the construction of the wall. He’s also talked about closing the border with Mexico entirely-that reminds me of East Germany during the Cold war period.

This is not the act of a responsible leader, but of someone who is desperate for whatever support he could get, since Mueller is on his trail, and established Republican leaders are souring on his stupid foreign policy moves, like the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria, to appease such despots he admires like Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia. He has to play tough for his voters-what would he use them for? A crude militia if he IS impeached? I would put nothing past him. The rules of politics in this country have been long gone.

For this stunt, over 800,000 federal employees are without paychecks; these are not the evil “bureaucrats” the right wing myth factory whines about, but people trying to do the best job they can for the community, often with not all that much pay; people who have mortgages and groceries to pay for, and kids to support. But don’t worry, CONgress and the inmates in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue still get their pay. That’s something to think about this new year.

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