A Poet

Sometimes I wish I were a poet like my friend Steve Duresky. Poets sculpt words and emotions and then fuse and/or mold them into a stream of consciousness absorbed through hearing or reading and then supposedly consumed by the soul. I’d love to be able to “wax poetic” about things of the world, things of love, and just plain things. But alas, no poetry for me, just the “trudgery” of life, flitting from thing-to-thing-to-thing. Oh wait…that’s not baaaaaad. People take photos everyday and I do believe that a person will definitely get better the more photos one takes…even, maybe especially, those taken with a phone. I worry about words. Can you do a poem in 140 characters? Maybe Haiku was ahead of its time.

 

Syracuse University

Syracuse University

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Racism…and “Sticks and Stones”

Just recently, a white person said something inappropriate and ignorant to an African-American friend of mine. The incident was passed on by my friend’s spouse so I’m not sure of the exact words, but, the negative impact on my friend’s feelings and my friend’s interpretation of the words, were what was important. I shuddered, both physically and emotionally and, in fact, am still in wonder. To me, the sense of the word or words that were used objectified my friend, my friend’s race, and perhaps even gender. But, I also wonder about the speaker, the person whose words came so easily to hurt so deeply. What could make that person unaware of the humanity of all? Did that person actually want to make a connection to understand and change but could not properly articulate the outreach? What was that person’s background that seemingly has generated a cocoon of insensitivity and inhumanity? I think applying Christ’s Golden Rule in a case like this would have us not hope for comeuppance for the hurtful person, but, rather a reworking of that person’s human spirit.

This is a shot taken from the inside of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The shot looks out, through the architectural crown and onto the US Department of Commerce building. Americana.

African American Museum of History & Culture

African American Museum of History & Culture

 

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High School

Another shooting. Crickets in Congress.

Yesterday we found out that an “expelled student” had tweeted his intention to shoot up a local high school and that he will do the deed today! Copycat? Disturbed child? Evil incarnate? I don’t know; I have to believe that someone is investigating.

I read the most incredible things after school shootings, some of them are just beyond comprehension. Gun sales have been down since November 2016, even Remington Arms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The oped I read suggested that the arms industry might be hoping for a large democratic surge in the 2018 midterm elections since democratic wins always turn into large sales events for firearms and ammunition manufacturers. Some people blame school violence on (1) the parents and/or (2) video games that have made our children callous towards violence. Keep the guns…control video games. Or parental behavior. Hmmmm. Really. People who are really broken will more than likely always find some way to hurt people. The sheer difference in mass is the weapon…all the prohibition of video games, R-Rated movies, pornography…or whatever is not going to change the impact of a firearm like the AR-15 firing magazines of 20+ plus rounds at lightning speed into the bodies of small children. I posit that we have tried for thousands of years to “fix” broken people and that we haven’t been able to improve our success rate, indeed, we only give them more tools for terrible destruction. Of course, one of the “answers” to all of this is to arm the teachers. Of course, the next step will be to arm the students. And on and on and on.

I went out early in the drizzle and stood under the Wilson Bridge. I watched the homeless dig through the trash and the “Far From Homeless” jog on the asphalt trails. Oh, and, I took these photos.

Looking Straight Up at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Looking Straight Up at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

 

Looking Back to Land at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Looking Back to Land at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

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Union Station

My camera, my cane, mi cadera nueva! Off I toddled to Union Station today for a short walkabout. Miss DC was there, on a photoshoot that I was NOT a part of…or at least, not at first. She was nice enough to smile and pose quickly for me between the shots of her photographer.

I was not able to con anyone into giving me access to any behind the scenes places…well, maybe one. Not sure, I ended up back by the tracks and infrastructure and  was pretty much by myself. I took the second two shots of the trains and plumbing. I have no idea what all of the big pipes are for but the darkness of the tunnel I was in combined with the bright floods on the white pipes and red fittings made for a cool picture. There are lots of people who are homeless in the nooks and crannies throughout the station. It was cold out and they were getting warm…I talked with this guy for a bit, he hasn’t worked in years. Off again and then my hip told me to stand still for a while, so I stood on a balcony for a few minutes and shot straight down onto people walking by, I noted that most were alone, not with anyone. I put them in a grid.

Miss DC

Miss DC

Behind the scenes in Union Station

Behind the scenes in Union Station

Trains at the ready in Union Staion

Trains at the ready in Union Station

Searching for a warm place.

Searching for a warm place.

Passersby

Passersby

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No Public Hearings

We have a new tax law…or will have one soon assuming that trump signs the bill. No public hearings were held. That means no industry or personal testimony was given in favor of or opposed to the bill. Lots of different viewpoints and I can’t decide which of them is correct or close to correct. I’m guessing that since trump is saying this is a wonderful thing for the middle class that it’s exactly the opposite and if I’m considered in the middle class, at some point real soon I will be feeling the shaft.

The facts of the bill…the US deficit is going up by $1.4T trillion, that is $1,400,000,000,000. I can’t imagine that much money.  The tax rates of the very, very, very wealthy will put millions and millions more in their pockets. Rates are supposedly cut for other than the very rich but it doesn’t really add up to much and the cuts disappear in a few years.

What’s really disturbing is that the people who passed the bill are the same ones that HATE deficit spending. So…I’m guessing that the behind the scenes dealing all had to do with social program cuts which translates to cutting social security, medicare, medicaid, and other safety net programs that are the targets of the uber-rich. And probably beginning in 2019,  corporations will begin to pay larger dividends and buying back their own company stock. It’s better to have rising stock prices than rising revenue margins…at least better for the shareholders. So America, we’ve been screwed.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Scrooge wins this one.

Wheels Of Commerce

Wheels Of Commerce

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