Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



R.I.P. Officer Swasey and the civilians who were killed.

R.I.P. Officer Swasey and the civilians who were killed.
Colorado Officer Garrett Swasey was from my hometown, Melrose, Massachusetts


After graduating from Melrose High School in the 1980s, Swasey moved to Colorado to pursue a career in competitive figure skating, the Globe reported. After competing in three U.S. Championships for skating and winning a national title in the junior ranks, Swasey became an officer with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police force six years ago.Swasey was one of three people killed in the shooting. He leaves behind a wife, two children, his parents, and a sister. Read the full Globe story here.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Planned Parenthood Killer Apprehended

Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Robert Lewis Dear Apprehended

At least one police officer and two others have been killed and nearly a dozen wounded after a man reportedly armed with an AK-47 hit a Colorado Planned Parenthood. At 11:38 AM on Friday, the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) was notified of an active shooter situation at the local Planned Parenthood clinic. According to a suspect description relayed over the police scanner, the shooter was a white man with a “white beard,” wearing a long coat and a hunting hat with flaps on the side. 

The man allegedly behind the shooting was later identified as Robert Lewis Dear, 59. Over seven hours later, after the shooter had been apprehended, CSPD spokesperson Lieutenant Catherine Buckley conveyed the tragic news: one University of Colorado police officer and two civilians were dead. Several more had been injured. What occurred in the interim was a horrific, hours-long standoff between the armed man inside the clinic and police outside of it.

Robert Lewis Dear, cop killer, and hero to the Christians on the right who are praising his killing spree at Planned Parenthood.

Christian Conservatives Celebrate Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting
by Michael Stone

Some anti-abortion Christian conservatives are celebrating the shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood that left three people dead and nine others injured. Calling the shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, a hero for attacking the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, some social conservatives came out on social media to declare their support for what appears to be a terrorist attack inspired by anti-abortion propaganda promoted by the GOP and Christian conservatives. The following is a selection of depressing if not surprising social media posts praising the Planned Parenthood shooting:

Friday, November 27, 2015

Even Mainstream Republicans Are Calling Donald Trump the "F" Word.

Over the past week or so, something unusual has happened in American politics: political figures, mainstream scholars and commentators are describing a leading contender for president of the United States as a fascist. Sure, people on barstools around the country have done this forever but it’s unprecedented to see such a thing on national television and in the pages of major newspapers. 

For instance, take a look at this piece by MJ Lee at CNN: [I]t it was after Trump started calling for stronger surveillance of Muslim-Americans in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks that a handful of conservatives ventured to call Trump’s rhetoric something much more dangerous: fascism. […] 

“Trump is a fascist. And that’s not a term I use loosely or often. But he’s earned it,” tweeted Max Boot, a conservative fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who is advising Marco Rubio. 

“Forced federal registration of US citizens, based on religious identity, is fascism. Period. Nothing else to call it,” Jeb Bush national security adviser John Noonan wrote on Twitter. 

 Conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace, who has endorsed Ted Cruz, also used the “F” word last week: “If Obama proposed the same religion registry as Trump every conservative in the country would call it what it is — creeping fascism.” 

Donald Trump:  "A billionaire brute.

Timothy Egan at The New York Times writes about Donald Trump’s rhetoric in the race for the Republican nomination: 

"Take him at his word — albeit, a worthless thing given his propensity for telling outright lies and not backing down when called on them — Donald Trump’s reign would be a police state. He has now outlined a series of measures that would make the United States an authoritarian nightmare. Trump is no longer entertaining, or diversionary. He’s a billionaire brute, his bluster getting more ominous by the day."
h/t DailyKos


What does this say about the people who support Trump? Do they really not understand that forcing people to register by religion is morally as well as Constitutionally repugnant? I imagine Trump's supporters think of themselves as patriotic Americans, but do they not know American values? Laws? Decency? How can they approve of a man who suggests these abhorrent policies? Who are these thousands and thousands of people? Did they grow up here in America?  They seem more foreign and contra-America than the people Trump is suggesting we surveil, register, and even monitor in their mosques.

Have Donald Trump's supporters lost their minds?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

A special thank you to my loving family and friends who helped me through this most difficult year. I am thankful for all your support, encouragement, and love. I could not have endured my ordeal without you. 

This simple passage from Bruce Weigl's poem, "Home," resonates with me; and in its simplicity, speaks to what is truly important in this life:

          "I didn't know I was grateful
                     for such late autumn
                          bent-up corn fields"