Sunday, November 11, 2018

Plutocratic Denial

First sea level came for the islanders, and I continued to deny—
   Because “those people” are poor, and this is their lot in life.

Then hurricanes took out some coastal cities, and I continued to deny—
   Because I had business elsewhere, so got in my jet and steered clear.

Then fires came for rich homes in California, and I continued to deny—
   Because I was conservative, and California was full of liberals.

Then the heat took farms and spiked food prices, but I continued to deny—
   Because this was why one hoards cash, to weather rough times.

Then, finally, no one came to my dinner parties.
   Too busy “just surviving” they said,
      those with the good manners to return an RSVP.
      What was the world coming to?
   In this moment I had an epiphany—
      This might actually involve me!
      How inconvenient, this sudden wave of truth.

By the time it all came tumbling in on me, supply chains had folded
      and there was no one left even to bribe.
   Was I the last? Would anyone read this? No way to know.
   But, I smiled, neither anyone left to deny
      that this had been just a bad run of weather.
   Nothing more.


Inspired in form and spirit, of course, by Martin Niemöller's post-WWII poem “First they came...”

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Vote Today. Vote Democratic.

Rights are more fragile than we wish. Operationally, they are little more than laws that require a supermajority to change ... or a majority of SCOTUS to ignore.

Our nation is more fragile than we wish. We imagine there will be other elections, other chances to win. But that is not the GOP plan. Their plan is to occupy the treehouse and to pull up the ladder behind them, to undermine those elements of democracy that would permit others to challenge their complete authority.

Our planet is more fragile than we wish. We imagine the climate debate is something we might ultimately win, but physics doesn't work that way. It will quickly become uninhabitable due to Climate Change, and the race is not against each other but against an unyielding clock. It matters to act now, and every bit of delay is a nail in humanity's collective coffin.

If you are not voting today, if you are not voting for all Democrats today, you are by implication agreeing that the GOP should continue dismantling rights, dismantling democracy, and dismantling the habitability of the planet.

Vote Today. Vote Democratic. The GOP have shown themselves poor stewards of our rights, of our nation, of our ecosystem. It is important to stop them before they rob the US and all humanity of a future in their ugly, selfish, reckless quest for power at the expense of all else.

Kent Pitman, November 6, 2018