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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.
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."
Friday, March 2, 2018(40 comments)
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.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017(7 comments)
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.
Friday, June 9, 2017(14 comments)
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!
Friday, December 16, 2016(38 comments)
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.
Friday, September 16, 2016(12 comments)
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.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016(20 comments)
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.
Friday, July 22, 2016(15 comments)
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
Saturday, July 2, 2016(7 comments)
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.
Monday, June 16, 2014(3 comments)
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.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013(1 comments)
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.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012(4 comments)
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.
Thursday, July 12, 2012(1 comments)
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.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012(3 comments)
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!
Monday, May 7, 2012(1 comments)
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.
Thursday, March 22, 2012(1 comments)
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.
Sunday, January 1, 2012(2 comments)
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?
Sunday, November 20, 2011(1 comments)
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.
Sunday, September 18, 2011(3 comments)
Rick Perry's Texas: No Miracles Here!
As a native Texan I can tell you the truth, that if Rick Perry's Texas is the template for the future of our country, I fear for my country. Rick Perry's Texas is poor and getting poorer. And in the years that he's been governor, Texas has only gotten better for the super rich. The rest of us have gotten the shaft, as usual.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011(8 comments)
The Broken Government
Having observed our system for almost 40 years, I've come to the conclusion that our enemies du jour are not our real problems. The real problems in America are caused by deep-seated and systemic problems with our electoral system and our outdated Constitution. And while numerous reforms could correct our problems, I don't think our system is capable of reforming itself.