Monday, December 29, 2008


Sarah Palin's a grandmother!  How sweet.  

As reported today, Alaskan  Governor Sarah Palin's UNWED daughter Bristol gave birth to a seven pound son this week.  And the father, Levi Johnston (referred to several times in today's AP article as "the young man") can't wait to take him hunting and fishing.  Send them a rifle, amo, hooks, and a box of worms as a gift. God bless America.  Pass the bait.

Back in October I wrote about Governor Palin campaigning against gay marriage during the presidential race.  She had been interviewed by CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), home of former presidential hopeful and television preacher Pat Robertson, about the gay marriage subject.  My main point was that gay marriage was (and still is) a non issue.  At the time it was a smoke and mirror subject that pandered to the religious right for votes, got a segment of the voting population lathered up with emotional content, and diverted attention away from the little matter of the conservative Christian Governor's reported family disfunctions, most notably her UNWED pregnant daughter.  Oh yeah....As I mentioned in October, it also diverted our attention away from issues like the Afgan and Iraqi wars, health care, energy, education, and the crumbling economy, just to name a few. 

It's not my intention here to rehash that story.  I just want to point out, and keep in view,  yet another example of the ongoing hypocrisy we tend to ignore about these public figures as they blather on out of both sides of their mouths about how we should be living our lives and how what they do is ok, fine, or none of our business.  According to the AP, the governor's office would not comment on Governor Palin's UNWED pregnant daughter giving birth, saying that it was a "private, family matter."  Indeed.  I would imagine that thousands of gay men and women would say the same thing about their own marriages, if they were allowed to marry.  

As for Bristol Palin and "the young man" getting married, it was hinted in today's report that they were "considering" getting married next summer.  Sweet!  My question is, what the hell are they waiting for?  The responsibility has arrived.  Let's see some of those evangelical Christian values put into action, even if the morality part was cast aside nine months ago.  

Well, that's ok.  No one needs the governor's office to make any official announcement.  And the Christian Broadcasting Network need not blush over the matter either.  Sarah Palin doesn't have to call Tina Fey and have it announced on Saturday Night Live.  No, none of that.  Colleen Jones, the sister of Bristol's grandmother, according to the AP, spilled the bait.  

She's the family member who was arrested this month on felony drug charges for allegedly trying to sell OxyContin to a couple of police informants.  Another "private, family matter"? 

In the mean time, let's hope (where's Obama when you need him?) this doesn't tarnish Sarah Palin's image.  After all, according to the media, she's a potential candidate for president in 2012.  And all of these trials and tribulations simply "humanize" her and her family, according to the AP report.  

Pass the bait.  But don't tell anyone, it's a private family matter.

(c)2008 R. Burnett Baker


Friday, November 28, 2008


On Thursday we gave thanks.  This Friday morning we trampled a man to death. 

Yes, at 5AM today Long Island, NY  Wal-Mart employee, Mr. Jdimytai Damour, trying to control the doors just before opening, was knocked down by crazed shoppers forcing their way into the store, running for those oh so freakin important bargains.  They trampled him to death.  All for Samsung flatscreen TV's, Bissel vacuum cleaners, and The Incredible Hulk DVD's for $9.  Black Friday has taken on, not the color of green, but the color of blood red.  

Happy Thanksgiving!  Merry freakin Christmas!  

Having been in retail for over 25 years, I long ago lost any respect for customers overall, and I absolutely loathe the holiday period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.  As my college classmate, columnist,  and close friend Andrew T. Durham has said many times, "Everything has the potential to be meaningless."  Today selfish, greedy, thoughtless, lowlife, consuming scum in a New York Wal-Mart showed that to be true.  

A Wal-Mart spokesman issued a statement today saying that the security and safety of Wal-Mart employees is a "top priority."  A meaningless statement.  Otherwise Mr. Damour would be alive tonight. 

And ALL retailers must be held accountable for this as well.  They have purposely created the monsters called customers who literally commit manslaughter to boost traffic, sales, and profits in the name of free enterprise and yes, Jesus!   

If security and safety were a priority for any retailer, none of them would be open at 4AM or 5AM or 6AM.  Period.  They would open when daylight appeared.  They would have ample security for crowd control.  And ideally they would not have these idiotic "door buster" sales and promotions to lure these braindead shoppers to their doors in the first place. None of these shoppers - I repeat NONE of them - are shopping early in the spirit of love and giving.  No, these jackasses are shopping for themselves.  I've seen them, waited on them, and been "polite" to them (meaningless) just to satisfy the corporate masters' desire for higher comp sales.   

None of these retailers'  balance sheets,  profit margins,  shareholders, or dividends are important enough to help participate in the meaningless death of an employee. The authorities should ensure that Wal-Mart is heavily penalized in some way as a form of accountability.  And if, through reviewing surveillance videos, the police can identify and arrest those responsible directly and indirectly for the depraved indifference that caused Mr. Damour's death, they should be put in prison for life as examples to other crapheaded shoppers who push, shove and potentially kill to buy junk they don't need with money they don't have.  Let 'em rot in jail! 

And folks, I'm being restrained here as to how I really feel about retail and customers during this time of year.  It was Harry Selfridge of Selfridge Department Store in London who, in 1909 coined the phrase "The Customer Is Always Right."  It's hogwash.  Today customers should be ashamed of themselves.  They could never be more wrong as they were in Long Island this morning.  Today retailers should be ashamed of themselves.  They could never be more wrong about making Black Friday green:  Their dollars are the color of blood red. 

Merry Christmas! 

(c)2008 R. Burnett Baker 


Sunday, October 26, 2008


hourglass moments 
set on a 

our time together 
flows grain by grain, 
top to 

             a vial of sand  
             waiting to be 
                              upended again. 

Poetry and photo (c) 2008 R. Burnett Baker

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Ok, so the war isn't over?  We're NOT bringing the troops home?  The national and world economies are still crumbling around our feet?  

Could have fooled me!  I mean, I've been following Tina Fe... I mean Sarah Palin this week, and she's campaigning by harping on that oh so important "issue" of gay marriage.  (As I've said before, it ISN'T an issue.  It's a CAUSE)  Yep!  The Republican candidate for Vice-President is, according to this week's press reports, "breaking" with John McCain on the question of gay marriage.  My guess is that she and the campaign strategists must believe that this stupidly emotional subject might get folks whipped up in a foaming mouth lather and spur the Republicans on to victory.  

According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Palin hopes to see a federal ban on such unions.  CBN is home to former presidential hopeful and television preacher Pat Robertson.  I suppose by being interviewed by CBN, Palin's handlers thought that by spewing more nonsense about this non-issue, voters would ignore this week's reports about her questionable use of taxpayers' dollars for her children's travel expenses to official functions.  Functions, that according to some organizers, they were not invited to.  According to reporters Brett Blackledge, Adam Goldman, and Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press, these questionable expenses add up to well over $21,000.  

Also in the CBN interview, Palin said that God and religion had been "mocked" throughout the campaign.  I didn't read any explanation as to what she meant by that.  But Palin, who by most accounts is a conservative Christian (Pentecostal), should be as at home at CBN as she is on Saturday Night Live.  Such intellectual depth!  

As for the gay marriage subject, Palin alluded to the ideal that strong families come from marriages of one man and one woman.  We've all heard the arguments about how the family will be destroyed by gay marriage.  Never mind that various studies and demographic data puts the divorce rate in the United States at somewhere between 41% to 50%, depending on methodology, and that divorce rates among conservative Christians are significantly higher than for other religious groups, and higher than agnostics and atheists.  This according to on study conducted by the Barna Research Group.  

It is interesting that these Bible thumping folks are so worried that gay men and women might legally marry and do what?  Increase the divorce rates for conservative Christians?  According to one Barna study, the divorce rate for Baptists is 29%, mainline Protestants 25%, Mormons 24%, Catholics and Lutherans both 21%, and non-denominational (evangelicals, fundamentalists, and others not affiliated with mainstream denominations) 34%.   So much for the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.  

And reading reports about Palin's various family "issues", I'd opine that she isn't quite the role model the Republicans would have wanted.  Or CBN for that matter.  But nevertheless, here we have it:  A vice-presidential candidate going on comedy shows to boost network ratings (and presumably the Republicans' ratings), being investigated about questionable use of taxpayer dollars, being tabloid fodder regarding her reported family dysfunctions, and campaigning against a subject that isn't even an issue.  

The issues are Iraq, Afghanistan, terror, borders, education, taxes, and health care.  Oh yeah, the failing global economy and job security for all Americans.  And the Republican VP candidate is worried about a subject that affects really NO ONE except for a fractional minority who would enjoy economic parity and social stability not currently allowed by law.  Palin's "happy" family isn't going to be affected.  Her UNWED pregnant daughter, certainly won't be marginalized by gay marriage.  Her children will still be able to fly to various functions they're not invited to and have no business attending at taxpayers' expense.  And she will still be able to mix and mingle with rich TV ministries, hypocrisy notwithstanding.  

And the war won't be lost or won, nor will the global economic meltdown be stopped if Palin and those like her pass meaningless amendments to stop a non-issue.  But I'd really like for both the Democratic and Republican candidates to stop the foolishness and tell me what the hell they plan for confronting and solving real issues and problems facing our citizens, the nation, and our global reputation.  

What, the war isn't over?  The economy isn't fixed? Well thank God for CBN, SNL, and all those causes that will provide a diversion and excuse for NOT thinking, and give the candidates "meaningful" forums for keeping us focused on nothing. 

(c)2008 R.Burnett Baker   

Sunday, October 12, 2008

too quickly 

too quickly, 
we say, 

summer has past 

but the sun 
rises and sets 
on schedule. 

Photo and poetry (c)2008  R. Burnett Baker 

Monday, September 22, 2008


This past week ushered in a change of seasons.  Summer to fall.  Same as years past, on schedule.  

It also ushered in something most Americans have, for decades, pledged to fight with all the colors of the flag:  Socialism.  The hidden powers that be, using their puppet Bush administration have effectively nationalized America's banking and insurance industries.  And probably more.  Any economic leverage the American public may have had has also been nationalized.  Our economy, the health of which is often measured by consumer spending, could be crippled if enough citizens don't wake up and realize that taxes will surely have to increase to pay for the stupidity of our collective spending orgy.  I doubt that will happen, though.  Most people still are filling their Hummers, buying their snowmobiles or ski-doos, flat screen TV's and the latest "iWad".  

I didn't bother to look at the national ragsheet USA Today and see what that medium was blathering on about.  But Yahoo News featured a huge diamond find in Africa, an NFL player with a bad reputation, and Miley's response to reports of her "diva-like behavior."  Yep!  Gotta keep up with Miley.  Smiley Miley.  At least she wears panties. 

Oh yes, the bailout...There was a story about the Wall Street "turmoil" causing more people to turn to religion for solace.  Good God, we ARE  in trouble.  Folks, religion isn't going to save your house, lower gas prices, or keep the price of bread low.  We need to put down the Bibles, pick up the pitchforks and fill the streets with anger and civil disobedience.  But we won't.  Can't afford a pitchfork cause we had to fill the Hummer, and anyway, no one is manufacturing pitchforks here anymore since the farms are being taken over by corporate conglomerates, and farm tools are now very low quality because they're made in China.  We'd probably get a Chinese made pitchfork that gave us chemical burns on our hands and sickened our children. 

The two presidential candidates have said absolutely nothing about all of these socialist stirrings.  Probably because Obama's leanings (and the Democratic Party's in general) are fully in line with the socialist, communist, Marxist bent, and McCain is simply clueless, being a shill for the powers that are shoving these socio-economic changes up our collective butts.  Most likely, neither of these men or their running mates know what is happening to this economy, our form of government, and the world economy.  Whoever winds up sitting in the Oval Office will do exactly what he is told to do by the wealthy powers consolidating control over the world's wealth and the masses.  

We're probably screwed, folks!  We STILL don't pay attention.  We STILL pay at the pump, grumble a bit, then go out and buy more gas-honkin Fords and Chevys.  We STILL swoon over the latest hour's celebrity gossip.  We STILL complain about jobs outsourced to India or China while strolling the aisles of Wal-Mart, buying goods made in both countries. We STILL get emotionally lathered up about non-issues like flag burning, abortion, gay marriage, and doctor assisted suicide.  (These are CAUSES, people, not issues!)   

Today, even a local conservative radio talk show host aired views about the "bailout", but then decided the day was "too beautiful"  to keep talking about such a depressing subject.  That's right, folks!  Enough about all that!  Let's talk about Miley.  Ooohh, and the Buffalo Bills being 3-0!  Damn, I smell a Super Bowl!  Let's just get on with the weather, traffic report, and pretend nothing has changed.  Let's ignore these disconcerted stirrings about a global economic collapse.

But the seasons changed today, and soon we'll be scrambling to find the sweaters, coats and gloves. 

And the leaves on the trees will change to yellow, brown and red. like our national bank account.  Red like the herrings that divert our attention.  Red like our designer iPods.  Oh yeah, red like the Chinese flag that we owe our economic souls to.  

Sobering isn't it?  Well, perhaps not.  After all, seasons come and go.  Same as years past, on schedule.  Every year like clockwork. Always have.  Winter will come, and spring and summer will bloom again. 

But I have a feeling that this winter may bring record cold in more ways than one.  And we'll STILL be too distracted to look for those winter clothes before the first snow falls. 

(c)2008 R.Burnett Baker   


Sunday, September 7, 2008


Some years ago I heard, or read conspiracy chatter about contrails being a sinister plot by the government to spray chemicals over the country as some kind of mass experiment.  It may have been talk show host Art Bell who did a program about contrails.  Doesn't really matter who.  I heard it somewhere and had to laugh about it.  

Most people I've talked to don't even know what a contrail is.  As a boy in the Texas Panhandle I would see aircraft contrails every day in the clear skies of the plains.  Now, I watch them in the early mornings at sunrise.  I'm fascinated by them, not because of what they are doing to the masses, but because of where the aircraft might be coming from, and where they're going.  I watch them coming over from the northeast and imagine that this one or that one or the one over there is coming from Europe and headed for, gee, I don't know, maybe Chicago, or Atlanta, or Houston, or the west coast.  Others coming in from the northwest surely must be flying in from Asia for New York or Boston, or Washington DC.  

I think of the time it takes for each flight.  From my many years of travel to and from Asia I know that to get from Rochester, NY to, say Taipei takes a total of about 22 hours.  Not all of that in the air, mind you, but it's a long haul.  As I look up in the morning at each streaking contrail I know that the brief time it takes each plane to fly out of my sight is but a flash in the sky compared to the total time those passengers will experience on their journey.  For some time after the plane has vanished from my view, the contrail will remain.  It either quickly dissipates, or spreads out on wind currents, finally appearing as a stretch of clouds.  

Each part of this experience is a measure of time:  My view of the tiny plane, the time it takes the plane to vanish from view, the flight time each invisible passenger spends on the journey, and the time afterward that the contrail is visible.  The contrail, for me, is the only evidence of a journey taken by those passengers.  It's my confirmation of life that passes above me, and speeds rapidly away.  

Two years ago, on the 5th anniversary of 9/11,  I happened to be outdoors on that clear morning, as usual looking up at aircraft and their contrails.  It struck me that it was September 11th.  (2006)  In less time than it took for one of the aircraft to vanish from my sight, I quickly wrote a short poem.  This week as we approach yet another anniversary of the day that redefined our world views, I'll share that poem here.  

In the morning as the sun rises, look up and watch a jet carry lives from somewhere to somewhere else.  Consider all the elements of time that journey represents.  See how long the contrails last. And appreciate the short time you're able to live, stand, look into the sky and imagine.  


contrail cloud: 
evidence of a journey 
swept away on winds 

as lives 
speed invisible 
through Earth's 
ocean sky.

Poetry and photo (c) R. Burnett Baker 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Black National Anthem:  Have We Lost Our Collective Minds? 

No.  We haven’t lost our collective minds.  We just can’t be bothered to use them any longer.  Too lazy, perhaps.  Too distracted with the price of gas maybe?  Or has stupidity and arrogance taken over as the driving, guiding force in our society today?

No.  This country’s citizens simply don’t have the collective balls to stand up for our history, our common heritage (blemishes and all),  or the ideal of a nation striving for equality and justice for all.  So to speak.  And, yes, stupidity and arrogance have taken over as the driving, guiding force in our society today, as demonstrated by jazz singer Rene Marie on July 1, 2008 in Denver, Colorado during the opening of the Denver State of the City Address.  

A “Black National Anthem”?  Who’s asinine idea was that?  Well, I suppose it wasn’t conceived as asinine when penned in February of 1900 by James Weldon Johnson.  (1871-1938)  Written by Johnson as a poem titled “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”,  the work was set to music by Johnson’s brother, and performed in Jacksonville, Florida by a children’s choir to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, 1900.  It was considered to be a song of patriotism and hope for the future for African American citizens, and was nicknamed the “Black National Anthem” by, I suppose no one in particular or of any consequence. That’s all well and fine. 

However, jazz singer Rene Marie was invited by the Denver Mayor’s office to sing the National Anthem before his annual State of the City Address.  Instead, she performed “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” to the melody of the Star Spangled Banner.  

She has, fortunately for those of us with some national dignity left, been criticized and rebuked for her action.  But unfortunately, Ms Marie did not apologize, but said that she had no regrets.  As quoted in a story by Russell Goldman of ABC News, Ms Marie said that she wanted to  express how she felt about “ in this country as a black woman.”  “Art is supposed to make you think, “ she said.  “ I wanted to express how I felt, being a black woman living in this country.” 

Therein lies the arrogance.  No one asked her how she felt as a black woman, a woman, a jazz singer, or as an aging diva in her own mind.  No one was interested in her “art”.  They simply wanted her to sing the National Anthem.  That, in itself should have been a hint to Ms Marie that she was (I stress WAS) a respected citizen, woman, and if skin color had anything to do with it, a “black woman.”  Damn, woman!  Just sing the Star Spangled Banner and let that be its own expression!  What’s wrong with people? 

Next time, the mayor’s office should simply get a children’s choir to sing the National Anthem.  But the stupidity is that Rene Marie will become a sounding board for those with an ax to grind, or an agenda to push.  Maybe she and Michelle Obama can team up and give us all lessons in art, pride, and expression.  

Come on Americans.  Start making noise about these self-serving “artists” and activists who cannot or will not join together and celebrate a common bond of citizenship.  Such arrogance as demonstrated by Rene Marie this week, only creates divisions between all races, all creeds, all citizens.  Let’s end the stupidity or there may be more serious sentiments we will all have to “express” about living in this country.  

I hope jazz singer Rene Marie will have an opportunity this July 4th to say the Pledge and sing the National Anthem, and keep the arrogance and stupidity of her "art" to herself. 


(c)R.Burnett Baker 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I Don't Want To Be Green: I Want To Drink Water Out Of a Plastic Bottle

Honestly, I don’t want to be “green”. I don’t believe the hype about so-called global warming, and couldn’t give two craps about my carbon footprint.  I happen to like incandescent light bulbs and believe that they could be produced to last longer, and burn efficiently.  Changing light bulbs won’t stop climate change. Drinking water out of plastic bottles is convenient, and often I  reuse the bottles over and over again. I resent a town, city, or any governmental body telling me through legislation that I cannot use plastic bags. 

Having said all that,  I believe we should all strive to be good stewards of the environment.  

Now he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth, you might be thinking.  Well, yes I am. 

Here’s the deal.  Citizens of the world in general, and North Americans in particular, are being fed a pig’s trough of informational slop to induced fear, guilt, and self-loathing all for political and economic expediency of the true masters of the planet:  Multinational corporations, or what I nicknamed several years ago,  international, or multinational corportocracy.  

A news article on Yahoo June 8, 2008 told us  about some of the evils of bottled water without really saying anything at all.  In the article, Cornell University professor Doug James was quoted as saying about Fiji Water that one-liter bottles are “...taken out of the aquifer of this little island, and shipped all the way across the world, producing like (yes, he said “like”) half a pound of greenhouse gases so you can have this one-liter bottle of water.” 

If I were any good at math I’d want to see the calculations for that statement.  I’m not good at math, but I’d STILL like to see those calculations and know who did the measurements.  

Professor Doug tweaked my curiosity, so I looked at the Fiji Water web site, and a couple of other related articles.  Seems to me that if we were to all be green and boycott Fiji Water because of our concern for “global warming” , a major industry of a tiny nation might be shut down, and the citizens of that tiny nation could continue to be quaint little brown people stringing pukka shells and grass skirts for the Al Gore tourists of the world. 

Seems that after some negative “green” press last year, Fiji Water will this year strive to be “carbon negative”, whatever that means.  Actually what that means, is that through the counseling of organizations like Conservation International, and ICF International, Fiji Water will supposedly be able to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 25%,  reduce packaging by about 20% and waste by over 30%, and increase by 50% the amount of production energy that comes from renewable resources.  What it means is that some elite industrial slave masters will be making money and getting richer. 

It also portends the ever increasing financial and political control and subjugation of the masses in both the developed and developing worlds that the multinational corportocracy will possess.  

Oh yes... According to (“The Executive’s Daily Green Briefing)  any remaining carbon emissions produced by Fiji Water  “...will be mitigated through a portfolio of forest carbon and renewable energy offset projects...” under the auspices of Conservation International.  

You, inquisitive reader, can look into the above mentioned organizations and explore their web sites to learn who their “partners” are:  Governmental agencies, military affiliations, corporations, and oh yes, governmental agencies.  It’s not my goal in this screed to give fine details, but rather encourage any reader to further research where all this information comes from, who is involved in disseminating it, and what the underlying and/or over arching objectives might be.  (Hint:  Political and economic expediency) 

As for the legislation part I alluded to at the beginning:  In 2002, Ireland was the first nation to introduce a plastic bag tax  (“PlasTax”).  Since then other high-minded cities and governments have been pushing similar legislation.  But that’s a discussion for another day.  

In the meantime, I will stop at my local inconvenient store tomorrow, purchase a bottle of Fiji Water, drink it and use the bottle over and over again.  

And I’ll carry it to my car in that handy plastic bag that I can use again as well. 

(c)R. Burnett Baker 2008


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

storm divine

it's the rain's fragrance
we savor, 

a break in clouds 
that makes a 
storm divine. 

Poetry and Photo (c) 2008 R.Burnett Baker 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

all the world

so much art 
in all the world 

painter a master 
writer a laureate
musician a maestro 

each patron an 
insatiable hunger 

craving to be fed. 

(c)R. Burnett Baker 2007

An Introduction:  You're Damned Right I Am!

During my years in retail management I've hired countless employees, many of them young college students.  A few years ago one young lady in particular opened my eyes to what seems to be a common denominator of late teen, early 20's men and women:  They don't have strong (if they have them at all) opinions.  About much of anything. 

As often happens in the workplace, we would all talk about the latest news or entertainment, philosophies, history or current events.  Through the course of a day or week I would bring up subjects or make statements about historical events or people, and at times I'd be able to weave the conversation into the products we sold, or the countries from which those products came.  (We sold unique products from all over the globe).  I thought of some of these little talks as "educational".  They mostly thought of my screeds as rantings of a middle-aged, bitter retail hack who probably couldn't succeed in a "real" profession. 

At times I would ask about what was going on in their academic lives:  What were they studying?  What courses were they taking?  What "new thing" did they learn that day in class?  What were their future ambitions?  More often than not I got blank stares, shrugged shoulders, or just non-committed answers like, "uh, nutin' much, I guess." 

One fine day I was on a roll and this young lady I mentioned looked at me and said, "You're VERY opinionated, aren't you?"  I was instantly annoyed with her.  I replied, "You're damned right I am.  And it would do you well to get a few or your own!"  And I meant it. 

Too often in this age of politically correct sensitivity people are afraid to express their opinions.  If they have any. After that brief encounter though, I wondered what percentage of college students today have no real opinions?  I wondered if my college student employee was really representative of most college students?  I doubt it.  

But it's disturbing to think that many of them don't have opinions.  They don't know when John Kennedy was assassinated.  Don't know what December 7th represents. They've never heard of Neil Diamond or Paul Simon.  They can't even tell you who the Vice President of the US is.  I've always enjoyed Lay Leno's segment "Jaywalking".  Probably because I've seen it in action in my daily routine.  It's funny, but serious and potentially disturbing for the future of the country. 

We simply cannot afford to give birth to children and nurture them in collective ignorance that inevitably breeds stupidity. If they don't gain basic knowledge about life past and present, if they don't formulate opinions about past or current events, and if they don't learn to express those opinions, then our freedom-loving lifestyle in this country could be in jeopardy. 

Without critical thinking skills, opinions we can express, and the confidence to express them, we cannot be free, and will not be able to understand why. 

So this is my forum to rant.  And rave. Or just muse if I must. It's a place for my opinions, an opportunity to offer my take on any given subject and perhaps engage in dialogue with those who happen upon this blog.  I'll even amuse myself with my own poetry from time to time.  

After all, it's cheaper than therapy.