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I blog at "Left-Wing Tex" from beautiful Fort Worth, Texas. Here I am a retired English-as-a-Second Language teacher.
I have had poems published in a number of venues, including California Quarterly, Borderlands, The Texas Observer, redriverreview.com, Illya's Honey, Oakbend Review, and two anthologies of Texas poetry. Besides that, my essays have appeared in The Texas Observer, San Antonio Express-News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Peace Times,Still Crazy and Fort Worth Weekly. Finally, stories of mine have been published in Lynx Eye, Hardboiled, and the on-line literary journals: Verdad, Scrivener's Pen, SouthLit.com, Amarillo Bay, and The Write Room. My story, Fire in Galveston was one of four runner-ups for the 2013 Texas Observer Short Story Contest.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 4, 2019 A Holiday from our Political Wars
Take an hour, take an evening, hell, why not take a whole day off of the circus that is our modern media landscape? Here's something radical: take a Twitter Holiday. Do not speak of the current occupant of the White House, either positively or negatively. He's not going anywhere. Trust me, he'll still be there when you're ready to check back in.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, January 18, 2019 Just Another Pretty Face
No longer content to hide under our beds, Russians are everywhere these days from fake memes and online trolling to NRA galas, Trump Tower and, maybe, even the White House. It takes me back to my year in Moscow, 1988. Gorby and glasnost were in, as was rock, long hair, and dissent. I felt so at home.
(7 comments) SHARE Friday, April 6, 2018 Trump to Refugees: Drop Dead!
In the Age of Trump, what has been our response to the refugee crisis? In one word, obscene.
The Trump Administration had promised to take in 45,000 refugees during fiscal 2018, a paltry number. Even so, at the halfway mark, we've only admitted a little more than 10,000. So in this respect, the Trump Administration has gone all in for globalization,or, as Pope Francis called it "the globalization of indifference."
(40 comments) SHARE Friday, March 2, 2018 Believe it or Not, Trump is Not Our Main Problem
By the dizzying number of unforced errors, Trump has proven his worst detractors correct. He is spectacularly unsuited to be President. So it is with some sadness I have to admit that Trump is not our main problem. The proximate cause of Trump being in the White is not Russian bots, the mendacious Fox News, or, even, the unpropitious James Comey, but because of the out-dated, convoluted way we pick our Presidents.
(7 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 12, 2017 My Southern Heritage
I'm such a son of the south that my great grandfather, a Tennessee farmer, was named after not only one Confederate "hero" but two, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Yes, I love my southern heritage, a phrase that's only besmirched, when you package it as an excuse to keep symbols of white supremacy, which in 2017 we should be long past defending.
(14 comments) SHARE Friday, June 9, 2017 Dating in Your Sixties or Beware of Crazy Greek Psychotherapists!
Remember how awful junior high was? Well, dating in your sixties is worse. Women complain of hoped-for princes turning out to be frogs, mansplainers, or pervs, but, let me tell you, it's not so easy for men either. After my wife of 30 years died almost 2 years ago, I thought having a long successful marriage, plus still having my hair and being in good shape would bode well for me in the dating world. World-class wrong!
(38 comments) SHARE Friday, December 16, 2016 The G(OP)rinch that Stole Democracy
Reasons abound for the election of Trump, from Russian hacking to FBI Director Comey's unprecedented meddling in the election process, but one reason should really get more attention. That the Republican Party has been involved in a long-term, well-funded project, not to steal Christmas like the Grinch -- that would be small potatoes -- but American democracy, itself.
(12 comments) SHARE Friday, September 16, 2016 2020: Welcome to Dystopian America: Like Us, But Only Worse
It's 2020, and even the most jejune commentators are bored to death of the constant belaboring of the utter irony of 20/20 vision in the American dystopia of 2020. Hillary is facing an impeachment trial in the Senate, while Sean Hannity and Anne Coulter are leading a yuge field of Republican presidential hopefuls. And all because of a computer program called Maptitude.
(20 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 17, 2016 A Husband's Case for Physician-assisted Suicide
Before she died last July, my wife and I were blessed to live for 30 years our own goofy, old-movies, cheap-date life. She was one of the sweetest, most loving and giving people I've ever known.
She certainly didn't deserve to suffer as she did her last six months. If my wife had had access to physician-assisted suicide, she'd have used it without hesitation. In Texas she never had that option, but she should have.
(15 comments) SHARE Friday, July 22, 2016 Beware the Coming Zombie Republican Apocalypse!
After a primary season historical in its tumult, easily the most chaotic convention since 1968, and a smarmy conman, light on specifics and posing as a strong man who can single-handily solve all our problems, as its standard bearer, a real danger exists now that the Republican Party will become a zombie party, the party of the living dead -- too weak to win the presidency but strong enough at the state level and in the House
(7 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 2, 2016 An Open-Letter to Speaker Ryan: The People's House, Really?
After the Democrats staged a sit-in for gun safety, Speaker Ryan had the gall to lecture them, calling his bought-and-paid-for House "The People's House." The fact is Republican control of the House is a national scandal that involves tons of dark money and is obscenely undemocratic. Since the Republican House is very opposite of "The People's House," Ryan has no right to use the phrase.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, June 16, 2014 Dubya's Glory Days?
For some Americans, nostalgic for what some saw as George W. Bush's strong leadership in foreign affairs and straight talk, a Dubya revival of sorts is underway. But if you are nostalgic for those halcyon days of yore, you need to know, really know, what you're nostalgic for: overweening hubris, war, international crimes, torture, the joys of the great recession? Take your pick.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Lighting Up: Fort Worth, Voter-ID Law, and Willie
Before the November 5th election, Fort Worth, my hometown, was ground zero for Texas Voter-ID-law news. But what most people don't know is that not only is the law unfair, its implementation was not ready for prime-time.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 8, 2012 The Step Down Revolution of Ted Cruz
Barring a small miracle, Texas is fated to be represented by an inexperienced ideologue, Ted Cruz, who's never even been elected dog-catcher and is beholden to a lunatic fringe of the Republican party. It's fitting somehow that Texas is a red state. We all should be red from the sheer embarrassment of it all.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 12, 2012 Not all Texans are idiots!: A Tribute to Annette Sanford
To outsiders,it must seem that Texas is populated by right-wing, gun-toting know-nothings.Yet the truth is Texas is no intellectual backwater. But we don't trumpet our best and brightest, just our dumber and dumberers. A case in point is this past January when one of our best Texas writers Annette Sanford died. I've been surprised that not much has been written to honor this gem of Texas letters, so I decided to write this.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Middle-aged Foreplay
Sometimes poems come from your imagination. This poem comes from my own personal experience, which I think most middle-aged or older people can identify with. Enjoy!
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 7, 2012 On Teaching
This is Teacher Appreciation Week! Having taught for 24 years in high schools in two states and 5 school districts, I know a thing or two about teaching, which I'm happy to share in this essay, where I'm more concerned about the one that got away, one of the many students that I failed to reach and teach.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 22, 2012 Governor Vaginal Probe or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Stupid Laws
Our illustrious governor and not ready for primetime former Presidential candidate declared the Be an a**hole to Pregnant Women Bill an emergency despite Texas being in the midst of a several billion dollar shortfall. I think that
any governor who would push for women to be raped by a transvaginal ultrasound wand because they wanted to have an abortion should have something done to him.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, January 1, 2012 Blowback?: Will 2012 Be Our Year of Living Dangerously ?
We've been very fortunate that no huge terrorist attack has occurred in the US since 9/11, but the chance exists that in 2012 our luck might run out. Blowback is a possibility because every year that we bully one group or another is another year we need to understand that we might face another possible terrorist attack. The only solution is that we completely reject empire. But when will we come to our senses?
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 20, 2011 Dubya is Illegal: Full-frontal Hypocrisy with a Texas Twang
"Illegals are illegal!" or so the anti-immigrant rant goes. But what really gets me about that is that it supposes that the rest of us, "legals," are so law-abiding that we're shocked that anything illegal is going on in our midst. But think about my neighbor to the east, ex-President George W. Bush. Honored in this area, he is guilty of the supreme international crime of aggression. Law-abiding? Maybe we're really not.