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Open letter to …

Open letter to my elders and countrymen

Dear Sirs,

I am a citizen.  Not just of this city, state and country, but of the world.  I am one among many billions, living, breathing, fighting, loving, and dying.  I am writing you today to remind you, to remind myself, that we are all a product of history.  I would like to say that we are all children, with the stars for our father, and the earth as our mother.  I sincerely wish I could say this, but I’d be a fool.  Unfortunately, there are those among us that rape the earth, and oppress her people. 

Politicians and whole governments, businessmen, militants, and religious zealots have forgotten their place.  These men put money, which has no value of its own, above all else.  Greed perches over the people, like a vulture awaiting something’s sweet death.  Death of freedom, death of self, death of joy itself.  These men care nothing about uprooting entire civilizations for the sake of gold.

Politicians preside over a lurid carnival indeed.  Our country’s myths say that we fought a war to separate from a tyrant and his men.  The tyrants men were all businessmen, who taxed and regulated us unmercifully.  In actuality, our “Founding Fathers” were all rich, white men who wanted to tax and regulate us unmercifully themselves.  Our myths say we were founded on “freedom and equality”, while simultaneously counting blacks as both slaves and 3/5’s of a person.  Our myths say that the Indian took pity on us and created the idea of Thanksgiving.  In actuality, our ancestors killed 25 million Native Americans, usually with smallpox, and created Thanksgiving to sell greeting cards.

Our current politicians sold us out to foreign powers decades ago.  Seemingly to help the businessmen be “competitive”.  In practice it is these competitive businessmen that line the politicians pockets, and help them get reelected.  Thus starting and maintaining a vicious cycle that crushes Joe Everyman, his family, his community, our community.  When politicians and businessmen aren’t busy smashing dreams, they’re starting wars.  Wars for ‘security”, wars for “humanitarian” reasons, for drugs, for oil….the list is far too exhaustive for my small space. Interestingly, they start wars while preaching the “globalization” doctrine.  Both are bad ideas, but globalization was the stupidest idea in history.  Globalization will only lead to more wars.  

There is one more reason that wars are fought.  Wars are fought over religion.  Three of the world’s “great” religions, started with someone wandering in the desert, having “visions”, surviving, and returning home to convince others that he saw a deity who told him how to live.  In reality, the man’s brain chemistry was cooking, he was hallucinating, he survived and went home with an excuse to be what he already was.  Misogynistic, homophobic, and controlling.  When I was a boy, you my elders tried to convince me of the “truth” of religion.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending through what lens you look, I was smart enough to see through the lie.  Another interesting statistic, more people have been killed over an imaginary friend than any other reason in our history.

In conclusion, to my elders I would remind you again, we are all products of history.  The politics and betrayals have always been legion, but they come with a question, “when you had your chance, why didn’t you really change things for the better?”  To my countrymen, another question, “when we had our chance, why didn’t we?”




Weekly Writing Challenge: And Now For Something Completely Different




Ya know I’ve supported my local union for almost 3 yrs now.  I like the idea of workers bonding together to get the best compensation and benefits that they can.  Lately though, I’m beginning to understand why politicians, Republicans especially, don’t necessarily like unions.  Seems to me that some have lost their way.

For example, I’m out on a jobsite last week.  We’re installing a chimney liner in the city of Wilmington.  We got a 35 ft aluminum liner for a three story house.  Unfortunately, the truck we’re riding in doesn’t have ladder racks so we had to borrow a ladder.  We pull up and out pops this guy I all jamaican jimbob.  This guy had 9 people(2 union, 7 of his own) dig a 6×6 sump ditch to nowhere on the hottest day of the year, with nothing but hand tools.  After that gig, I told my union rep that I really did not want to work with such an incompetent contractor.  So we borrow this 30 ft rickety, half wood-half metal construct of a ladder.  It’s only long enough to reach the first roof so we have to drag another little step ladder up behind us.  Keep in mind that OSHA rules say that you must be tied off anything higher than 6 ft.  I suffer from vertigo and am terrified of open heights.  I got about half way up and have never felt so unsafe in my life.  I come back down, and by this time my union rep just happened to be there.  I go over and playfully remind him of the OSHA regs….and much to my amazement, he tells me that I have to provide my own safety equipment.  Unions were founded on unsafe working conditions and you’d think that my rep would get that.  I haven’t had any work since.  Seems some unions only care about collecting dues.

Its Time we got started

Hello Everyone,

Now that both the DNC and RNC are both over, I suppose its time for a few thoughts.  To start with, this election is not about the best choice to run our enfeebled country.  Neither Obama or Romney are absolutely stellar choices.  One is a rich businessman who wants to play president.  Romney has no foreign policy experience, I suppose he intends to rely on whomever he picks for Secretary of State.  But as “leader of the free world”, we should expect the man to know something of the world outside of the boardroom.  Romney’s choice for a running mate is just awful, and I predict will hold the Republicans back this election.  Paul Ryan has made a 16 year career of anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-anything non Christian.  I don’t really understand the mindset that led to this choice, probably because every one else turned him down.

President Obama is a better choice, but not because he’s done anything vaguely resembling effective leadership.  Obama spends most of his time campaigning, not governing.  One of the major themes that kept reverberating throughout the DNC speech was that he knows what the average American is going through.  As I stated recently in a piece that I wrote for Examiner.com(I’m the Wilmington Labor Examiner), the president gets $400,000 a year, plus a $50,000 discretionary stipend.  The average American worker makes $40,000 a year.  None of our elected leaders has any idea what we, the working class of America, go through on a daily basis.

In real life I’m a partially employed member of a trade union.  My wife, Dottie, has had brain cancer since 2007.  If were lucky, we get by on $25,000 a year.  This has been going on since 2010 when I got fired(illegally mind you, the labor board said so) from Home Depot.  The Republicans say I should pull myself up by my bootstraps, as if I hadn’t that about that.  The Democrats fling money at retraining programs that don’t give a damn if you get hired after graduation.  For example, I graduated from Delaware Skills Center HVAC program in March 2011.  They got $5,000 for each of the 12 students in my class.  What they neglected to tell us was that local HVAC companies, facing a glut of good people with many years of experience, just aren’t hiring apprentices.

I joined the union after graduation, and have worked sporadically the last 18 months.  I stopped paying dues, until I got steady work.  Im also looking at possibly joining another union, just to be able to feed my family of four, not two mention 3 dogs and 6 cats.  Neither Obama, nor Romney for that matter, ever have to decide between paying the mortgage or paying for Dottie’s chemo.  Neither has to make the choice between going to two meals a day to pay the overpayment that my local unemployment office says I defrauded them out of, even though it was an actual mistake, and paying for the car to be fixed so my wife can ride to Philadelphia to get.  If these leaders claim to know what I’m going through, why has my American dream be sent over to China?

As stated earlier, this election isn’t about the best choice to lead the country, this election is about which one will destroy our country just a little bit less

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