The Newer Colossus

Given recent events, I’ve decided the poem at the Statue of Liberty needed an update



Like the yuge orange guy of Apprentice fame,
With tiny hands grabbing  from bleep  to bleep;
Here at our (giant wall coming soon) shall stand
A vetting process, whose clipboard
Is the imprisoned red tape , and his name
The Donald. From his tiny-hand
Glows you’re not  welcome; his crazy eyes command
The (giant wall coming soon) that twin cities frame.

“Keep, off our land , you rapey Mexicans ” cries he
With pursed lips. “Give me your English speaking, your rich,
Your entrepreneurs  yearning to make more money,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Keep these, the homeless, the brown people away from me,
I’ll build my wall with a  golden door!”


Yet Another Political Post

There are a lot of troubling news items coming out of DC recently. So many that a lot get lost in the shuffle.Someone created a website to help people keep track of the happenings.

I know some will be offended by the profanity in the title, but it isn’t any more obscene than some of the news listed. So, with all of this going on I decided to write about the three recent things I have found most troubling lately.

  1. Trump is more concerned with the fact that there were leaks than the fact that the leaks revealed his National Security Adviser had lied about his phone call with Russia. Flynn lied to the FBI. Flynn lied to the Vice President. Trump knew this and only fired him when it was made public. He’s not angry that Flynn had inappropriate talks with Russia. He’s not angry that he lied to the FBI(a crime) and the Vice President. He’s angry that the press reported it. That’s like a cheating husband saying his adultery is not the problem and that the real problem is that the wife looked at his phone and found out he was cheating.
  2. Trump adviser Stephen Miller made the rounds on the TV talk shows and his performance was praised by Trump. During these appearances he said the following “the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” This was in response to the judiciary ruling the travel ban illegal. Apparently the Trump administration believes his power should be absolute and the system of checks and balances in place should not be recognized. This sounds like a dictatorship, not the United States. The president(regardless of party) should be questioned by Congress, the judiciary, the public and the press. Being elected president does not give you absolute power to do whatever you want without question.
  3.  Representative Lamar Smith,  the Chairman for the House Committee on Science said in a speech on the House floor that it is “Better to get your news directly from the president. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.” This, along with Trump’s constant use of the term “fake news”, is an attempt to get the public to disregard any negative news regarding the administration. If the public ignores the news and only listens to the glowing reports from the president himself then he can do whatever he wants with no repercussions. The cowardly GOP congress will do nothing to stop him so if they can get us to disregard the press and the judiciary they have absolute power. This is scary.

Do your part. Stay informed. Support the press. Subscribe to newspapers. Question what you hear from any source and get multiple opinions. Speak up. We the people are what makes America great.

Tater’s Sick Day Ramblings on the Debate, Sick Days and Blogging

Today is one of those rare days when I actually feel bad enough to stay home from work. This only happens once or twice a year. It’s hard for me to call in sick. There’s always a part of me that thinks I should just suck it up and go to work. I feel guilty about someone working extra desk shifts because I’m not there. I think about the stuff I was supposed to do and feel guilty about not doing it. I know it’s better for me and my coworkers for me to stay home, but I still feel like a slacker. Of course, being at home isn’t easier. I feel like I should do something productive instead of resting like I should. It will be hard for me to rest instead of cleaning bathrooms or doing laundry. I don’t know why I feel lazy when I  know I need the rest. I blame the Obama administration. Thanks, Obama.

I watched the debate last night. Maybe that’s what made me sick. I feel like there was a clear winner, but it seems the thought on that depends on who you supported going in. Trump people say Trump won(he didn’t). Clinton people say Clinton won(she did). I don’t think the debate changed anyone’s mind. I’m not sure the undecided voters will be swayed by the debate. If you are undecided at this point there is probably one candidate for which you refuse to vote. If you are an undecided Republican I assume you can’t stomach voting for Clinton, but can’t decide if you can bring yourself to vote for Trump. You will either not vote, vote Johnson or vote Trump. If you are an undecided Democrat I assume you can’t stomach voting for Trump, but can’t decide if you can bring yourself to vote for Clinton. You will either not vote, vote Stein, write in Bernie or vote Clinton. I’m note sure the debate changed any of that.

I’ve been considering the possibility of paying to upgrade my blog. I would like to make it look better and have the option of making money off of it if I can grow my readership. I told my wife this and her response was “You have a blog?”I just looked and confirmed O started this blog in 2008. I did just start writing more regularly recently, but 8 years and you never noticed? Anyway, I made the mistake of reading articles about the pros and cons of a premium account and just confused myself. I really just want to write my blog, make it look professional and have the possibility of monetizing it. I think the one is good for that, but articles point you toward, but that seems much more involved than what I want. Maybe I should just ramble free for a while longer.

Tater’s Takes on Odds and Ends

Flying While Arab –A student was recently removed from a Southwest flight after another passenger heard him speaking Arabic. Just another instance of judging others because they aren’t like us. Best case scenario is that this random other passenger speaks Arabic and actually heard him say something threatening. Most likely scenario is that an Islamaphobe heard Arabic and got scared. I would rather fly with the student than with someone who panics because they heard another language. Grow up people.

Cry Baby Trump:  Anyone who knows anything about politics or had paid any attention to the  presidential race this year has known for months that a candidate needs a specific number of delegates or there could be a brokered convention. Anyone who knows politics knows this could lead to the delegates choosing anyone as the nominee even if they never actually ran for the nomination. Now that it appears that Trump may not get the delegate he needs he is crying that the system isn’t fair and that they are stealing the nomination from him. This is the way the system works. Maybe it isn’t the best system, but it is the way it is and if you paid attention you knew this going in. Crying about it now is immature and ridiculous. Grow up.

Do do, don’t don’t:  I see a lot of posts from religious people who are full of don’ts. Don’t drink, don’t use profanity, don’t let your kids read books with s-e-x in them, don’t this, don’t that. I can recall going to library conference sessions where they talk about signage and they warn against posting a lot of “don’t” lists because you want people to feel welcome. They aren’t saying get rid of the rules, they are just saying maybe don’t sound so negative and don’t lead with the don’ts. I would say this could also be said for the church Focus on the do’s and not the don’ts. When asked about commandments(which, btw, don’t mention any of the above) he didn’t go to a list of don’ts. He went to a short list of do’s. Do love God with all your heart. Do love people. Short and simple and if you do these it will generally lead to not doing the don’ts from the commandments given in the Old Testament. We tend to focus on the don’ts and not so much on the do’s. I think we would all be better off focusing on the do’s. Love sounds like a good way to go.

Tater’s Take on Some News of the Week

  1. Starbucks is Less Rewarding If You Are Cheap: People are furious that Starbucks is changing the rewards program. This is a program they don’t have to offer, giving you rewards you don’t deserve and you are angry? If you buy what I buy, it actually works out about the same as before. If you buy food, you might come out ahead. It only goes bad for you if you are only buying a regular cup of coffee. If you are only buying a regular cup of coffee, you are already losing because you are paying too much for over-roasted coffee. Go to 7-11. They have a drink reward system that would work for you.
  2. Librarian of Congress: President Obama has nominated Dr Carla Hayden of Enoch Pratt to be the next Librarian of Congress. It’s great that he has selected an actual librarian for the job. I’ve never met Dr. Hayden, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about her. I think she is a great choice. Unfortunately, when I see Dr. Hayden I only think of her appearances on the mess of a Saturday morning news show on WBAL where she does book recommendations. She’s not horrible, but I’ve often thought that there are probably other area librarians who would be much better than her. Also, she rarely recommends a book I would want to read. Maybe I can take her slot when she moves on.
  3. The Election: Jeb! is out.Jeb! and Cooper Manning need to start a support group for brothers of more successful people. Oompa Loompa American Donald Trump is still winning meaning America is closer to losing. Clinton says she has never lied, proving she can’t help lying even when talking about lying. Evil Eddie Munster seems to be fading behind Robot Rubio, so there is a positive to report.
  4. Justice Waffling: McConnell and the Republicans were fine with Reagan nominating Kennedy late in his term, but now think it’s a bad thing. Biden used to think nominating someone in an election year was bad but now it’s fine. Is anyone surprised that politicians waffle on the issues? Why do we keep electing people like McConnell? We reap what we sow. Also, mmm waffles.
  5. The Uber Killer:  A man went on a killing spree in Michigan recently. All of the news reports lead with the fact that he was an Uber driver, like that had anything to do with the killings. Would you lead with his job if he was a librarian or a banker? I think the news is in the pocket of Big Taxi.

I thought doing the writing challenge would make me write more. This is my first post in six days. I need to jot things down as I watch the news. It might make these posts a little better and I might write more. I’m a bad blogger.

Day 23 A Letter to America

Dear America,

I am writing to you today to tell you that I’m very disappointed in you. I had such high hopes for you when we were younger. I thought you had a chance to be better than you were. I thought you would mature and evolve and things would get better. Unfortunately, here we are in a place where people are still hating and killing each other because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. We are in a place where a loud, obnoxious, racist, orange buffoon actually has a chance to become our president. We are in a place where we refuse to help refugees because they are the “wrong” religion. I don’t understand where and when we went wrong.

I know what you are going to say. You’re going to point out how even with your problems you are still better than some of the other countries in the world. That may be true, but it doesn’t excuse the bad things. I understand that there are places worse than America and I”m still happy to live here. I know there are a lot of good people in America trying to do the right thing. The problem I have is that you’ve the the loud, hateful minority seize control. You got angry and you let anger make your decisions for you. This is not the way you want to live. You can’t let your anger lead you to bad decisions. Take a deep breath and count to ten before you elect a clown. Trust me, you will be happier if you make your decision based on intellect and not emotion.

You have a lot of potential America. You can reach that potential if you go back to what makes the country great.You are great because you are the land of opportunity where people of all races an religions can come to live their dreams. You are great because people are free to be who and what they want to be. You can reach your potential only if you refuse to require a religion test to enter the country. You can reach your potential only if you allow people to love who they want and be who they want. You can’t reach your potential if you live on hate, anger and distrust of those who are not like you. America can be great again when America re-embraces its role as the great melting pot.

Make me proud America. Do what it takes to reach that potential. Love each other. Welcome those who aren’t like you. Don’t try to force everyone to be like you. We can do this.




On Challenge Day 10 Let Freedom Ring

Today’s challenge is to write about something I feel strongly about. I could probably pick several things here, but considering there was another GOP debate last night, I felt freedom was the right choice. There has been a lot of talk this election about “making America great again.” I don’t think I have the same opinion on what makes America great. I think freedom is what really makes America great. America is the land of opportunity. America is the place where you can aspire to be all you can be no matter who you are. America is about the freedom to be you no matter who you are. If we take freedom away, we make America less great.

Donald Trump wants to keep Muslims out of America. America is not a land where we should be requiring a religion test to enter the country. Freedom of religion is in the US Constitution. Perhaps Trump and other Republicans should spend less time worrying about the 2nd Amendment and read the rest of the Bill of Rights. Freedom of religion is right there. Guess what? It’s number one. I’m pretty sure someone in the debate last night mentioned that these were put in a certain order for a reason and not drawn out of a hat. This was said to stress the importance of number two. So, I guess this religion thing must be even more important than the gun thing. The United States of America is a place where everyone is supposed to be free to worship or not worship however, whoever or whatever they want. I was free to be a Baptist and then leave the Baptist church and join  a Methodist church. I’m free to just stop going to church completely if that is what I choose to do. These same freedoms apply to all religions. You are free to be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Scientologist, Pastafarian, etc and it doesn’t matter how I, or Donald Trump feels about that. This is what makes America great. Not an orange buffoon deciding he can restrict entry based on religion.

We are also free in other ways that some would like to restrict. I’m free to be a  man who is married to a woman. I have friends who are free to be men who are married to men and women who are married to women. You are free to marry who you choose. You are not free to tell others who they can choose to love and/or marry. I am free to live my life as a man and be called Alan. Caitlyn Jenner is free to live her life as a woman and be called Caitlyn. It doesn’t matter how you feel about that. Caitlyn’s freedom to be Caitlyn does not affect your life in any way You can’t restrict her freedom because you don’t agree with or understand her decision. You’re free to speak your mind about all of this. I’m free to disagree with you. A long as we don’t threaten or harm each other we can argue all day about it because this is America and we are free to do and think how we feel as long a we aren’t harming other or restricting their rights.

America is great because we are not a fascist dictatorship where we force people into conformity. We are great because we are not all alike.  I’m not sure how people think we can be “great again” by taking away freedoms that make us great. We shouldn’t be looking back at “the good ole days” when it was standard and legal to discriminate against people because they weren’t like us. Let’s keep America great by embracing our freedoms, not by restricting them.