The Mason Missile, May 30, 2019

Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.

Greetings!

Since this publication takes a good deal of work and time, I welcome any donations, and I am willing to discuss ad space. For $10.00 I will be happy to advertise your business on the Missile. Please contact me and we’ll talk about it.

I have just finalized plans for my author’s event on Tuesday, August 6, at A Novel Idea On Passyunk, a lovely independent bookstore located at 1726 E. Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia. (https://anovelideaphilly.com/). We must support local bookstores; the big box chains and Amazon can’t fulfill all our book needs.

I will also be one of the dozens of fine Philadelphia-area poets reading their material at the 23rd Annual Poetry Ink, sponsored by the Moonstone Arts Center (http://moonstoneartscenter.org/). The event will take place at 12:00 PM, on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at District 1199C, 1319 Locust Street. Please try to attend; like I always say, the arts are for everyone.

I have also served on my division’s election board in the primary election on May 21, helping people exercise their fundamental right to vote. That is essential, especially since what’s left of our democracy-such as it has been-is endangered by a “president” and his minions trying to establish a police state for their benefit-or at least to repress attempts to legally get them out of office due to their corruption.

Impeach trump? I would NOT be opposed. I have friends who say we mustn’t impeach trump, since Mike Pence is more dangerous since he is more ideologically committed to the Christian Right agenda, which includes the “religious freedom” bills that permit discrimination against anyone-at a job or at a restaurant, say-on a “religious” excuse. LGBTQ+ people are targeted by these bills; but the bills would allow discrimination against anyone for any reason-“You’re a Muslim, I don’t serve Muslims.” “You Jews killed Jesus, so I won’t hire you.” You see where I’m going with this.

Back to impeachment-Nancy Pelosi has had fun mocking trump for his behavior, such as with the recent tirade he put on at a conference with Democratic leaders which was supposed to be about infrastructure, then going to the Rose Garden for a hissy-fit in front of the news media. Pelosi has also said trump wasn’t worth the bother impeaching, in a tone of “He ain’t nothing!”; but she sounds like she’s willing to hear discussions of impeachment from the rank and file of the caucus. 

There is also the rise in anti-abortion legislation, such as in Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri, which does not totally prevent abortions but only allows them after a certain period of time, long before a woman knows she’s pregnant, and by then it’s too late to have the abortion, so they would either have to carry the baby to term, or else go through some dangerous act-coat hangers, bleach, or worse-and risk life and health, or prison time. There are many fine people who differ on abortion and when life begins-at conception, or at birth? Scientists and theologians have debated for millennia when life begins, and they still haven’t decided; so why should a gang of political hacks in a state legislature have the power to decide? I believe a woman has the right to control her body and her reproductive system-end of story.

We are in a dangerous situation in this time. Climate scientists warn us that there are only ten to fifteen years left before irreparable damage in done to the environment-the air, water, and land which we all depend on to live. Far-right, racist “populist” movements are on the march in the US and Europe, and they’re not above using violence, including murder. But, thank God, I see some serious fightback against this, and I’m proud to be part of it, and I hope you join in.

Bye!

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Reclaim Philadelphia Meeting, February 9, 2019

On Saturday, February 9, I took part in a meeting of Reclaim Philadelphia, held at the Friends Center, 15th and Cherry streets in Philadelphia. This is the political movement that encourages progressive activists (like me) to run for local offices-committee people (like me), City Council, and state legislature.

Among the candidates present seeking endorsement for the May 21 primary election were Luigi Borda, Omar Sabir,  and Marwan Kreidie, running for City Commissioner; Ethelind Baylor, Sherrie Cohen, and Justin DeBernardinis for City Council at Large; Tonya Bah, running in the 8th Councilmanic District; and Wade Albert and Gregory Weyer, for Common Pleas Judge. Candidates were asked questions about such real issues as ending the ten-year tax abatement for real estate developers (which siphons money the City needs for services), the police advisory board, a moratorium on charter school development (and focusing on strengthening the public schools), housing as a human right, supporting workers right to organize, and climate change and renewable energy.

Kelly Morton, organizer for Reclaim Philadelphia, and Chair of its Democratic Party Transformation Taskforce
Madusa Carter, Mass Liberation Organizer, who gave a rap performance and spoke of her life and how it affected her activism and art.
Amanda McIllmurray, Lead Organizer, who spoke of how low-income and working people are need to unite across boundaries of race and ethnicity.

Their website is https://www.reclaimphiladelphia.org/.