Rich Ferguson

 

 

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(Photo “Orange Crush” by Rich Ferguson)

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What the What

What we argue about.
What we know to the depths of our souls.
What causes the soles of our feet to burn.
What our pain is, and what we do with it.

What we do for love.
What animals mate for life.

What weapons will look like in 100 years.
What our history of violence tells us.
What the silence tells us on nights we can’t sleep. 
What time whispers in our ears when another year slips by.

What slips between our fingers, between the cracks.

What cracks us up.

What gets us up out of bed every morning.

What we see when we look in the mirror. 
What to do for a broken heart.

What to do when your what-if machine breaks.

What your tongue can tell you about your health.

What your health can tell you about your wealth.

What we can learn from our mistakes.

What we can learn from the color of a star.

What we wish for when we wish upon a star.

What truths are self-evident.

What our parents aren’t telling us.
What our politicians aren’t telling us. 
What it means to be kind, what it means to be cruel.
What it means to be rich, what it means to be poor. 
What to do to cleanse your colon.

What to do to cleanse your soul.
What to take for a yeast infection, or erectile dysfunction.
What a dangling or misplaced modifier looks like in a sentence.
What a prison inmate’s life sentence costs the average taxpayer. 
What it costs to build a house.

What it costs to buy a house.
What Lincoln said about a house divided.

What Shakespeare said about destiny and the stars.

What scars we wear proudly. 

What wounds we keep hidden deep.

What we’ve lied about, rioted about. 
What we’ve remained absolutely quiet about.

What the coroner’s report will say about us when we’re gone.
What our families, friends, and coworkers will say about us when we’re gone.

What to do to get turned on.

What to do when you’re turned off.

What made Van Gogh cut off his ear.

What paint colors go together, or make people look more beautiful.

What it really means when people say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What eye color is most sensitive to light.

What it takes to power Times Square.

What 9/11 looked like from outer space.

What you can and can’t take on airplanes.

What you can and can’t buy with food stamps, or eat while pregnant.

What role folic acid plays in pregnancy.

What acid taught Timothy Leary.

What we should and shouldn’t be leery of.

What agitates us, brings us peace. 

What meditation does to the brain.

What cancer does to the brain.

What we know about wisdom vs. intelligence.
What we know about ignorance vs. stupidity. 

What stupid things people do with their smart phones.

What women do that drive guys crazy.

What guys do that drive women crazy. 

What it really means when a guy says he’s scared.

What it really means when a woman says, “Fine.”

What degree of separation you are from Tom Waits vs. Tom Cruise.
What your musical taste, or taste in movies says about you. 
What the chicken says when crossing the road.
What the road has told us when we’ve journeyed off alone.

What we’ve done for kicks on Route 66.

What 666 means to a mathematician vs. a devil worshiper, or biblical scholar.

What prayers to say for abundance, what prayers to say for healing. 
What we’ve held in our hands.

What we’ll be handing over to the next generation.
What we’ve handed over as a bribe, peace offering, or evidence.
What the witness saw.
What the victim saw.
What the shooter saw when staring down the barrel of his rifle.
What we see when looking up at the clouds.

What we see when looking down deep into ourselves.

 

Rich Ferguson

c. 2018

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“the fruit of war”

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(CNN) – Pope Francis is having cards printed and distributed showing a 1945 photo of victims of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki along with the words “the fruit of war.”

The photo captures a boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders while he waits for his turn at the crematory. It was taken by US Marine photographer Joe O’Donnell shortly after the bombs were dropped at the end of World War II.
The leader of the world’s Roman Catholics asked that “the fruit of war” be written in the back of the card along with his signature “Franciscus.”
A short caption explains the content and origin of the photo, it reads in part: “The young boy’s sadness is expressed only in his gesture of biting his lips which are oozing blood.”
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,’” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” – The New York Times

Democrats are the New Republicans…

 

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“Democrats are the party of patriotism, because they’re doing something infinitely more urgent and substantive than berating football players who kneel during the national anthem. They’re recognizing that a hostile foreign power tried to change the course of an American presidential election. They’re pressing for a full accounting of that. They’re looking for fixes, so that we can know with confidence that we control our own destiny going forward. The president, meanwhile, plays down the threat, and Republicans prop him up.

Democrats are the party of national security. They don’t taunt and get into Twitter wars with the rulers of countries that just might send nuclear warheads our way. They don’t alienate longtime allies by flashing contradictory signals about their commitment to NATO. The leader of the Republican Party does all of that and more, denying the G.O.P. any pretense to stewardship of a stable world order.

Democrats are the law-and-order party. While many Republicans and their media mouthpiece, Fox News, labor to delegitimize the F.B.I. and thus inoculate Trump, Democrats put faith in prosecutors, agents and the system.

Democrats are the party of decency and modesty. None of their highest leaders uses the public arena to bully private citizens in the way that the Republican president does. None advances his or her financial interests as brazenly or brags as extravagantly.

Democrats are the party of tradition, if it’s interpreted — and it should be — to mean a news media that operates without fear of government interference, an internet to which access isn’t tiered, judicial appointees who have a modicum of fluency in trial law.

Under Trump’s thumb and spell, the Republican Party is watching the pillars of its brand crumble. Democrats should grab hold of and appropriate them. And they’re starting to, fitfully and imperfectly. Jettisoning Al Franken as the Republican National Committee reteamed with Moorewas part of that effort.

Who among us doesn’t care about family values, defined justly and embraced honestly? Who doesn’t see the good in patriotism, tradition and decency? They’re neither hokey words nor musty concepts, and that’s why Republicans have been using (and misusing) them. But in the age of Trump, they constitute a language that Democrats can more credibly speak.”

Frank Bruni  – 

The New York Times

Eminem

 

87730“We have a president who does not care about everybody in our country; he is not the president for all of us, he is the president for some of us… As long as he’s got his base, he does not give a f–k about anybody else in America. But guess what? There’s more of us than there are of them.”

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino…R.I.P.

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Blueberry Hill
I found my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
On Blueberry Hill
When I found you
The moon stood still
On Blueberry Hill
And lingered until
My dream came true
The wind in the willow played
Love’s sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be
Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
The wind in the willow played
Love’s sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be
Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
Songwriters: Al Lewis / Larry Stock / Larry Lawrence Stock / Vincent Rose
Blueberry Hill lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Memory Lane Music Group

Mr. President, I rise today to say: enough.

 

 

Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, announced on Tuesday that he would not seek re-election in 2018. He delivered a statement from the Senate floor.

The following is an excerpt of those remarks, as prepared by The New York Times.

 

“We were not made great as a country by indulging in or even exalting our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorifying in the things that divide us, and calling fake things true and true things fake. And we did not become the beacon of freedom in the darkest corners of the world by flouting our institutions and failing to understand just how hard-won and vulnerable they are.

This spell will eventually break. That is my belief. We will return to ourselves once more, and I say the sooner the better. Because we have a healthy government, we must also have healthy and functioning parties. We must respect each other again in an atmosphere of shared facts and shared values, comity and good faith. We must argue our positions fervently and never be afraid to compromise. We must assume the best of our fellow man, and always look for the good.

Until that day comes, we must be unafraid to stand up and speak out as if our country depends on it, because it does. I plan to spend the remaining 14 months of my Senate term doing just that.

Mr. President, the graveyard is full of indispensable men and women. None of us here is indispensable nor were even the great figures of history who toiled at these very desks, in this very chamber, to shape the country that we have inherited. What is indispensable are the values that they consecrated in Philadelphia and in this place, values which have endured and will endure for so long as men and women wish to remain free.

What is indispensable is what we do here in defense of those values. A political career does not mean much if we are complicit in undermining these values. I thank my colleagues for indulging me here today.

I will close by borrowing the words of President Lincoln, who knew more about healthy enmity and preserving our founding values than any other American who has ever lived. His words from his first inaugural were a prayer in his time and are now no less in ours.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break the bonds of our affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely as they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.”

Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona