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.

The Mason Moment, September 6, 2020

I speak today about the significance of Labor Day, what trump really things about our military service-members, and of the need to vote on November 3.

Labor Day Rally in Philadelphia

A rally to support sanitation workers in Philadelphia will take place at Dilworth Park, on the west side of City Hall in Philadelphia, starting at 10:00 Am, on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. 2020. This rally is on conjunction with union affiliate with District Council 33 on AFSCME. The rally will call for personal protective equipment (PPE), hazard pay, and no layoffs.

In this situation, where we are faced with a stupid, treasonous, and corrupt “president;” a movement of fanatical, gun-tooting fascists; a pandemic our government doesn’t believe exists; and rampant economic disaster, workers must band together to stand up for ourselves, our neighbors, and our nation. As we continue to practice social distancing and hand-washing,let us continue to show our numbers and our strength.

And, on November 3, get out to VOTE. The vote is our superpower, and don’t let ANY one take it from you.

Woman Holding Mop

The Mason Missile, August 27, 2020

Greetings, Americans!

I have been active in demonstrations to support the United States Postal Service (USPS) from its own Postmaster-General, Louis DeJoy-a big Republican donor and investor in several private delivery services, and who would profit hugely if the USPS was destroyed, and not compete with the private firms. That is the common capitalist tendency, to think that if it can’t make a profit for already rich plutocrats, it’s no good; they can’t think beyond lining their own pockets, no matter what it does for, or to, the public good.  

The Postal Service is OURS, it is the means by which veterans attain their medicines from the VA, people send letters and cards to their loved ones, paychecks are sent out, and businesses send their products. But the charlatans and money-grubbers in the trump regime can’t see that; trump has FLAT OUT said that he wants to prevent mail-in ballots from going out, so people afraid (justifiably) of the COVID still in the atmosphere. The public welfare in being destroyed due to one sorry-ass excuse of a man’s paranoia; just another reason to vote him out, and however you can do it, do it, in person if you have to; the nation’s live is at stake.

People are rallying behind the Postal Service, in localized rallies like the one I participated in. (https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/usps-mail-voting-delays-ballots-philly-rally-dejoy-trump-20200822.html) The Postal Service is great for hiring veterans at good wages. To find out how you can help save the Postal Service, please contact the real experts on the postal system-the postal workers themselves, in the form of the American Postal Workers Union (https://apwu.org/)

There is the weird movement QAnon, the crazy idea that there is, in the US intelligence apparatus, a person named Q, who passes along information about trump fighting against a global elite of Satanist pedophiles comprised of Democrats and Hollywood stars. (https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/04/23/qanon-conspiracy-increasingly-popular-antigovernment-extremists) trump has refused to directly refute it-the believers are his base, after all-and a number of Qanon believers are running as Republicans for congressional seats, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia, Mike Cargile and Erin Cruz in California, Theresa Raborn in Illinois, and Lauren Bobert in Colorado, and Jo Rae Perkins, running for the Senate in Oregon. The FBI has declared Qanon a domestic terrorist threat- but our commander-in-chief (gag!) wont’ turn against them or call them out; people carrying Qanon signs, t-shirts, and caps have congregated trump’s rallies. (https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/politics/qanon-congressional-candidates/index.html)

The Republican party has sunk to an even lower low; this is a continuation of the tea-party AstroTurf “movement” electing their candidates as Republicans, which the party leadership accepted, just so they can undermine Obama’s Presidency and implement tax cuts for corporations; I also can’t help but remember Arthur Jones, a total, balls-out, Jew-hating Nazi, running for Congress in Illinois as a Republican, and the party leaders not bothering to run anyone against him, instead saying “He doesn’t speak for us.” 

Added to this is the Republican National Convention; instead of drawing up a platform outlining the party’s policies on defense, the economy, and welfare, the convention put out a resolution stating that it would just support trump and everything he does; they would “reassert the Party’s strong support for President Donald Trump and his Administration.” (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gop-party-platform-2020-trump_n_5f4353bac5b6305f32597ec4?fbclid=IwAR3dua9EViaMQ96Bi06rug56QIUzqrWjesPiHg86qyyLt0vHqJVUy7a3YfQ) The Republican Party, once a breeding ground for great statesmen, has rotted into the Cult of trump.

Contrast this to what going on in the Democratic Party; the progressing wing of the party is growing and making an impact, unseating long-serving placeholders. One is Cori Bush, a registered nurse and leader of the Black Lives Matter Movement in Missouri, who was hit with teargas by police during a BLM demonstration; she beat 20-year incumbent William Lacy Clay in the congressional primaries, in a Saint-Louis-area district. (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cori-bush-black-lives-matter-activist-congress_n_5f2c32e9c5b6b9cff7eeaded) In New York, in a congressional primary in the Bronx, Jamaal Bowman, a middle-school principal, defeated Eliot Engel, a 32-year incumbent who had largely been absent from his district. (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bowman-defeats-engel-new-york-democratic-primaries-2020_n_5ef22705c5b663ecc8544563) If they win their general elections, they will join “the Squad” of congress-members already making an impact-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), and Ayanna Pressley (Florida).

These and many others were endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who, in spite of losing the primary to Joe Biden, has inspired a new generation of young progressive activists, to challenge the system, and that in itself is a victory. The party leadership-Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer come to mind-must pay them attention and respect, for they have ideas and energy we the American people so desperately need.

The fight is on, Americans, for the life and soul of our nation. We must educate ourselves on the issues of the day, and how we got there; we must realize we don’t have to be put down and abused by fools in power, that we have rights and we can and will utilize them; we certainly don’t have to accept our own demise from the Coronavirus, no matter trump’s “It is what it is” attitude showing he care zero about us. AND, we must get out there November 3 and vote, and don’t let ANY one take that right away from you.

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

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Crowd of Protesters Holding Signs

Defend USPS

trump and his minions have declared war on the United States Postal Service (USPS)- a popular agency of the government they’re supposed to be running. This is part of the effort to prevent mail-in ballots from going through the mails, so people can vote without having to risk contracting the Coronavirus; they have done such things as take away sorting machines and mail boxes in several states that war important in the Presidential election.

Leading this trumpist effort is Louis DeJoy, a longtime republican door, trump’s Postmaster General, and investor in several private delivery firms that would profit from the destruction of the USPS, an institution specifically mandated in the Constitution, Article One Section Eight, under the duties of Congress, “To establish Post Offices and post Roads”.

The postal system is OURS, it belongs to all the American people; yet for a long time, Republicans has floated the idea of privatizing the postal system, for no purpose but “the free market,” in and of itself. The postal system, along with delivering mail-in ballots, also delivers our newspapers and magazines, and our medicines, and our Social Security checks. Business would grind to a halt without the mails delivering products, which is a dangerous thought during the economic crisis due to the pandemic due to donnie’s incompetence. The Postal Service is also great at hiring military veterans.

We must stand up for OUR postal service. we must contact our members of Congress and urge them to vote for the HEROS Act, the Coronavirus relief bill-it has $25 billion allocated for USPS, along with the funding for state and local governments and the $600.00 a week stimulus for unemployed workers. Plus we must support the workers of the Postal service-members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) ( https://apwu.org/) , our fellow workers and Americans. Please do what you can to support them.

Standing Up To Tyrants

In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, there is an article by Trudy Rubin about protests in an eastern Russian city, against the arrest and detention of a popular governor; the official’s “crime” was to defeat a candidate favored by Putin. In spite of the growing dictator ship that Putin is imposing-which trump is trying to emulate-people in that region are on the streets protesting against the Putin regime, and people in the rest of Russia-in spite of Putin’s control over the media-are hearing about it. ( https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/khabarovsk-putin-trump-protests-nato-kremlin-20200728.html)

If the people of Russia can stand up to Putin, we in the US of A-allegedly the “Land Of The Free and The Home Of The Brave-” can certainly stand up to Putin’s pet boy that lurks in the White House bunker. Taking to the streets and standing up to a regime that wants to be more repressive-THAT is the American way. Who knows? When-not if, WHEN-we remove trump from his hole in Pennsylvania Avenue, and we eliminate his foul stench from our government, that will be a signal to other countries with authoritarian regimes-I’m thinking of Russia, Hungary, Brazil, and Turkey-to take to the streets and stand up for their OWN freedoms. Come on, Americans, we can DO this!

Fascism USA

We’ve seen the videos out of Portland-“agents,” really thugs, wearing military fatigues and tactical gear, hitting peaceful protesters with batons and pepper spray, at war with their fellow Americans. The protesters have, for the most part, not provoked or started any of the violence, but the “agents” have torn into them with brute force. This is from a regime that has no other defense-no popular base of support, no accomplishments, no way to sustain itself except brute terror, hoping the opposition is beaten into submission; it’s their only argument.

Fortunately, the protests, instead of declining, have been expending; they have included mothers, fathers, and military veterans who recognize donald trump-I won’t treat him with ANY respect, he is NOT worthy of it-as their REAL enemy, and the enemy of the American people.

Be warned, Americans, that which Jack London called “The Iron Heel” will come stomping into your city, like Philadelphia; and when it does, don’t hesitate to make like John Lewis, and make some “good trouble” for freedom-our forebears, and our children, are worthy of it.