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