Saturday, December 3, 2016

Miracles Great and Small

The back entrance to Mueller Park Jr. High that my wife uses the morning after the shotgun blast.
My wife heard that the neighboring LDS Stake President initiated this effort.
There have been a series of bruises to this liberal heart since returning from the Land of my Fathers (Cymru) last summer. First, the Malheur Armed Occupiers were found not guilty. Then, somehow, America elected the most despicable woman-abusing, self-aggrandizing, klepto-capitalist to be President. And finally, a troubled kid with a shotgun blasted a hole in the ceiling of a classroom in the school where my wife teaches.

The first miracle is that in spite of significant emotional trauma to that school community (yours truly included), no blood was shed. The Washington Post noted this is in a fairly accurate article revealing some of the difficult details of he incident that I wasn't going to share, but that 's the press for you. Locally, KSL also had good coverage of the aftermath. Those details do, however, reveal how close this was to becoming a horrific tragedy. Thank Heavens and all involved who acted with good training, smarts, and compassion. No one had to shoot the poor kid down and he was unsuccessful in whatever he was attempting except that first blast.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Second Amendment says "WELL REGULATED," You D*** Fools!

This morning my eldest daughter, a school teacher, called me in obvious distress asking if I had heard the news. She asked me to check if her mom, also a school teacher, was OK because she was afraid to do so. So I quickly checked:


Police responded to Mueller Park Junior High School Thursday morning on reports…

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Donny Trump - Big Popular Vote LOSER!

Donnie asked us not to use any unflattering photos (heh, heh)
You can go and check the facts on the 2 million plus popular vote loss. He should have hosted "The Biggest Loser" rather than "The Apprentice."  Not that it matters much in this evil time when truth is a short commodity as marketing lies are bought and sold to make the rich and powerful more so.

There was this great analysis of the recent election and the PEOTUS that when I find again I will link in here. It's not the only one, however, as many have noted the authoritarian strain of Trumpism. But the essence was that America is divided into two "families." One is the authoritarian that appeals to bullies, fundamentalists, the Donny, and a lot of blue-collar males (some women, too). The other is the collaborative that believes that its members are all in this together and can work out their differences through the power of their diversity. Guess which family or America I want to belong to?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

West Coast Boy

James Island, La Push, Washington. (c) Larry K. Vaughn (my dad)
A friend at work complimented me yesterday saying that I was definitely of a West-Coast mentality. That matches well with a serendipitous discovery in family history materials recently obtained from my mom. In a sporadic journal she kept in the 1970s, she copied a poem I had written after my family moved from the Seattle suburbs to Wyoming. That was quite a culture shock for this West-Coast Boy in my junior year of high school.

I have no independent memory of this poem but I do remember I was writing some poetry in those days. (West-Coast Mentality). I share it here:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Not Gonna Waste My Shot!"

I signed this letter along with a few thousand others. We do what we can.

Letter from Attorneys Opposing Stephen Bannon's Appointment as White House Chief Strategist to the President
[The below letter will be circulated to current and incoming members of Congress. With appropriate modifications in phrasing it will also be sent to the President-elect.]
Dear [Leaders]:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

South Wales

On my key chain - To remember . . . .
Checking through the interwebs and iTunes to add to my collection of Welsh Music, I came across this modern classic:

Pit shaft wheels turn for the last time
In the Rhondda tonight
The Davey lamps that shone so brightly
There's no more need for their light
As the last piece of coal is cut
From the belly of the black seamed hole
A man walks home alone
Past a church full of mourning souls
Throughout his lifetime he has fought
He has given his life
In tears the congregation sing
Cwm Rhondda, Oh my Lord!

Great is the rape of the fair country
To Botany Bay for my Great Grandfathers
Deportation sailed

Great so great is the fair country

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hey, Dad! -- A Message to Republicans (Guest Post)

One of my children just sent me the following. I post it here as a guest post for your consideration:

Hey Dad,
This was the best way I felt I could express my feelings. It isn't anything super eloquent or exciting, but it is what I believe and how I feel. If you want to publish this on your blog I give you full permission. I don't plan on publicly sharing this, unless it is through your blog, but I am probably going to send it to a few others that I know and who I feel would appreciate what I have to say.
Love you,

I’ve been pretty quiet about what’s happened since the election. I don’t feel that I’ve had my thoughts together enough to express what I’m feeling about everything. But now I think I’m ready.

To my Republican friends and family-Please stop defending Trump, and trying to make us support and rally around him. He has not once demonstrated that he is a man that can be trusted. He has shown that he is a racist and a bigot. First of all, how many of you even once did the same for Obama? I’m pretty sure that number is close to 0. In fact, I sat back for 8 years and let your words roll off my back when you would make fun of Obama or criticize him or make rude comments about him and his amazing family. It was your right to do so. But now that there are people who suddenly criticize YOUR President-Elect, you suddenly feel the need to stranglehold us and accuse us of being hypocrites. If anything, we’re being JUST LIKE YOU, not hypocrites. I saw a post that I liked, that it’s not about us not accepting the results of the election, but rather it is about us making our voices heard that we are frustrated with everything that is happening in our communities since Trump was elected. And to those of you who keep saying ‘These things were happening before this’, yes, you are correct, but you’re also more wrong than you realize. These things have been increasingly more prevalent ever since Trump became the nominee. When he won the presidency, the amount of people being harassed and abused has skyrocketed. And if you can’t see that, check out Buzzfeed’s ongoing list of reports since the election. It isn’t even all the things that happened, and it is an enormous list already, and keeps growing.