Friday, October 26, 2012


Jackson Brown wrote this back in the eighties. And it seems truer and truer every year. Especially with the information about where Romney got some of his seed money for Bain. From Salvadoran oligarchs who were either financing the death squads or sitting over in the corner with their fingers in their ears, humming real loud. How you do it is just as important as what you do. 


I've been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you've seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

And there's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends--
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can't even say the names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire


Friday, October 19, 2012


This fiery indictment by Pedro Casaldaliga is modeled after Ode to Roosevelt by Nicaraguan poet Reuben Dario. It is painful and eye opening to understand how this country is seen by those who have been on the receiving end of our "freedom fighters." Five billion in aid and over seventy thousand deaths  to El Salvador alone in the Reagan/Bush era. 


You are being excommunicated by me and the poets, the children, the poor of the land:

Pay attention!

We’ve got to see the world in human terms.
Don’t play Nero.
This isn’t a movie, you screen monkey.
You’re the leader of a great nation!
(I’ll tell your people to clean off forever the shit your cowboy boots have tracked over your flag.
And I’ll tell them, when they vote, to realize they may be selling a lot of blood and their own honor!)

You may have inebriated the world with Coca Cola, but there is still someone lucid enough to tell you “No!”
The profits and power of your weapons cannot be valued above the feverish wail of a little black child.

Empires no longer suit the race of human beings.
Listen Reagan,” the sun rises as sun for everyone and the same God rains over every life god has invited to the celebration.

No people is greatest.
Take care of your own back yard.
Respect us.

Rachel has found you out Herod, and you will have to answer for her desolation.

Sandino’s star is waiting for you in the hills and in the volcano a single heart awakes: like a sea of indignation, little girl Nicaragua will smash your aggression.

The blood of martyrs sustains our arms and becomes a song and fountain in our mouths. You have never seen the hills, Reagan, nor have you heard in their birds the voice of the voiceless. You know nothing of life and song means nothing to you.

Don’t come to us with hypocritical morality, you mass murderer, you’re aborting a whole people and their revolution!

The lie you pass off to the world (and to the pope) is the worst drug. You are showing Freedom (in an exclusive screening) while you block the way to Liberation.

“The United States is powerful and mighty.” All right! “In God… we Trust.” You may think you’re the owners, you may think you have everything, even god, your god- the bloodstained idol of your dollars, the mechanical Moloch- but you don’t have the God of Jesus Christ, the Humanity of God! I swear by the blood of His Son, killed by another empire, and I swear by the blood of Latin America-now ready to give birth to new tomorrows- that you will be

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Between the kitten and politics I’ve been the invisible woman lately. Midge is doing fine, thank you. I’d take more pictures but all you’d see right now is a blur.  That girl can really move. 

Politics? Yuck. All I can say is vote as if your right to vote depended on it, it probably does.

I’ve been continuing my reading of the Latin Americans. Powerful voices. Prophetic voices. Unheard in much of this country. Suppressed by the Vatican. Attempted to suppress anyway.  If only we had voices like this in this country. So I’m going to try something. Put excerpts in my blog.

Much of the material comes from the eighties and the nineties. Read if you wish. Copy if you like. But, think about what’s being said. What it means now. And how the silence, indifference and but we’re fighting Communism of then (and I’m guilty too) is coming back to bite us on the ass now.

Pedro Casaldaliga is the retired bishop of Sao Felix do Araguaia in Brazil. He is an unapologetic follower of liberation theology. And locked horns with his superiors and the Vatican more than once.  And if I can keep this up we’ll see why he refused to be silent.

“The fact that the Salvadoran Human Rights Commission has asked me for a statement on behalf of the rights of Salvadoran refugee children makes me deeply ashamed before God and history.

Ashamed of being a human being and ashamed of being a Christian. Impotent and frustrated despite my hope.

For Central America has been an open wound for years. And the so called Christian west and, too often the very church of Jesus, have manifested passive complicity if not open involvement while neocolonialism, the oligarchy, and military repression-which means jail, torture and death- decimates these tiny peoples at the waist of the Americas.

And the criminal nightmare has become a routine news item, or has even ceased being news, upstaged by a soccer ball…

I am not going to make a statement. Any word that is just a word seems cynical to me. May any of us who can passively witness the pain of Central America be cursed by the living God.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos…will threaten the wrath of Yahweh against our insensitive society and church.

The statement is there, inexorable. Let those who have ears to hear listen to the cry of an exiled child. Let those who have eyes to see witness the anemic faces of refugee mothers and children. “ 

Bishop Pedro Casaldaliga in  In Pursuit of the Kingdom.