On Friday, an editorial in The New York Times warned that other foreign governments could use special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as a road map to interfere with other US elections. The report said that President Donald Trump’s campaign did not criminally conspire with Russia, however, the editorial explained that Putin won on a different front. “It is obviously difficult for this president to acknowledge that he was aided in his election by Russia, and …
The ACLU of New Mexico on Thursday demanded an investigation into “an armed fascist militia organization” that has reportedly been illegally detaining migrants at gunpoint at the U.S.-Mexico border. “The Trump administration’s vile racism has emboldened white nationalists and fascists to flagrantly violate the law,” the group wrote in a letter to New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Hector Balderas. “This has no place in our state: we cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain …
A self-appointed gang of thugs take THEIR law into THEIR hands and terrorizes people who are already terrified by their trek and their experiences in their home countries. trump can also turn these goons on dissidents her at home. NOW is the time to stand up for freedom, Americans!
we are approaching Pesach, AKA Passover, theholiday commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt-called in Hebrew “Mitzrayim,” the narrow place, the place of limitations and few options-through the red Sea, and on to the Promised Land, the place of fulfillment.
A ;pt pf this is metaphor, like all religious teachings;”Mitzrayim” is a terrible situation you can’t tolerate any longer, such as physical bondage, a terrible job with little pay and bad conditions, a school bully, or an abusive spouse or parent. The Red Sea stands for the act of leaving the abusive situation, the borderline between oppression and liberation.
For this, I continue my tradition of Pesach resolutions, like with New Year’s; Pesach is the New Year of the Jews:
I will continue to conduct myself with self-love, self esteem, and self-respect, carrying myself with dignity, paying attention to the positive parts of my life, not judging myself too critically but correcting any errors and moving on.
I will continue to be loyal to Jewish history, religion, Kaballah, Israel,etc., and stand up for my people if attacked.
I will continue my social and political activism,standing up for all put-upon and powerless people, helping them find their power, and help right what is wrong in the community.
I will continue the art and business of writing, attending classes, readings, seminars, etc.
I will continue all forms of educations, be it classroom, libraries, lectures, etc.
I wish everyone a happy Pesach, and may you all escape you own Mitzrayim and get to your Promised land.
A special meeting of Philly For Change-one of my favorite groups-will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019, at 7:00 PM, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia. There, we will meet the following candidates:
Maria Quinones Sanchez, City Council, 7th Councilmanic District;
Isaiah Thomas, Adrian Rivera-Reyes, Asa Khalif, and Fernando Trevino, for City Council at Large;
Jen Devor and Kalil Williams for City Commissioner;
and judicial candidates Wendi Barish, Gregory Weyer, Dave Conroy, and Jennifer Schultz;
and a discussion on voting machines led by Rich Garella.
This will be the last meeting before endorsement. I hope to see you all there.
Last night I attended the Second Annual Bobbi Willig Memorial Labor Seder, sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Jewish Labor Committee, held at the Germantown Jewish Centre, 400 W. Ellet Street. The theme of the Seder this year was “A woman’s Place Is In Her Union,” and we honored two outstanding labor women-Laura Wentz, past President of the Philadelphia chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), and Nicole Fuller, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH).
Rabbi Ari Witkin led the religious portion of the service. An estimated 60 to 70 people attended; these included representatives of Philadelphia CLUW, PHILAPOSH, UFCW Local 1776, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), and a presentation by Cindy Heyward, Recording Secretary and Legislative Director of the Philadelphia Area Local, American Postal Workers Union (APWU).
The purpose of the Labor Seder is to commemorate the struggles of working and minority people in the world and the nation, tying them to the Passover story of the Israelites leaving oppression in Egypt. We had the custom of dipping out the drops of wine to remember the plagues that fell on Egypt-blood, frogs, lice, flies, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the death of the first-born-along with plagues we suffer through today-child labor, slave labor, sweatshops, hunger, below-subsistence wages, sexism, racism, ethnic cleansing, domestic violence, and indifference to human suffering. (And these are not all the plagues we have in the world.) It’s always the rank-and-file people who suffer from the ignorance of their leaders.
Over my writing career, I’ve picked up advice for my writing work, through classes and my reading. I want to share them with you:
Keep a pen and notepad on you at ALL times. You never know where and when an idea for an article, poem, or story could come to you. Don’t trust your memory to work for you to retain the idea, you might not remember the idea later.
Watch your environment-the diner you eat at, your neighborhood, your favorite spots, you place of worship, etc.-and take down on paper the scene, the furniture, the sounds, the aromas from the kitchen, the conversation going on. Pick up on what people say, what they wear, their gestures, etc. Give a physical description of what you see, don’t put down what your mind says, don’t editorialize.
Go to places where writers are-conferences, conventions, groups, classes, cafes, bars, etc. Talk to writers and network with them, and learn from them, pick up ideas. Editors and publishers would be in the room where they meet, and they might hire you. Also, subscribe to writers’ media-websites, magazines, manuals, etc. All of that has inspired me to write out drafts of poems and stories.
Practice the art of writing. Write a diary, write letters, take notes of what goes on around you, what you attain with your senses, maintain a blog. Just write anything, when your mind will trigger, and the words will flow freely, and you can find a story or poem in those scribblings.
Read! That tops them all. Read the classics of fiction and poetry, of journalism, newspapers, magazines, blogs-from the classics to the crappiest pulp stuff. Again in my experience, reading triggers in me the urge to do my own writing, right then and there.
Here are a couple of fine writing guidebooks in my life:
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and EB White. This little book is a classic for learning to write with clarity, taking a less-is-more attitude.
Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg is an advocate of free-writing, just putting down whatever you must, just let the pen run free on the paper.
Once again, I will join many other Philadelphia progressive activists at the meeting of Philly For Change, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets, in Philadelphia. Candidates for local offices will show up there, including:
Sherrie Cohen, Helen Gym, Eryn Santamoor. and Deja Lynn Alvarez, for City Council at Large;
Alan Butkovitz, for Mayor;
and Kay Yu, for Judge. Please come and ask them how they would work for the people of Philadelphia.
every first Monday of the Month, the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia (http://freelibrary.org) holds its Monday Poets Reading Series; last night I took part in an open reading, along with other fine regional poets. The next reading, on May 6, will be on the theme “Whitman@200: Art and Democracy,” featuring Leonard Gontarek and poets from the Poetry in Common Workshop. Please look into this, and please support your local libraries and other educational venues.