Hushed, long silent but now urgent beyond all measure

The past is constructed with large portions excised

A jigsaw puzzle missing the bridge arching over the brook

In the bottom left corner beneath a pale blue sky

The few lines of text give

No meaning within besides that which you feel

Sparkle within your weary heart

She turns to you, and only you

Entering the doorway with her back to a pall

Of a past you did not know

The checkbook slides across the marble table

A pen clicks once,

Twice more, anxiety bubbling

Yes, money

But for what, to whom?

Facing the past, or running away again-

Will this poem describe not one moment but two

Three, more?

Wrinkled brow and a tortured, lingering glance

The pen clicks once more, the checkbook slides away

The sun comes up as a new day dawns

And ushers forth the leaves falling, the nights darkening

A chill that stays long past its welcome

Only tired hope thinks that you’re still

Here

Alive

Was the slow shake of the head merely the

Conductor’s cue for a dirge?

My California ballot measure endorsements for November 6th


A common issue I notice is that each fall election in California has a slew of ballot measures, many of which are confusing and most importantly, deceptive. The amendment, veto and initiative process dates to 1910 and the heyday of the Progressive Era. In the century since, over 1,200 proposals have made it on the ballot. This year has several substantial propositions, which could change not only California’s tax policy, but also how we treat criminals.

I won’t preface these endorsements with much, but I’ll pick out the two most important to me.

Prop 34 will eliminate the death penalty and commute sentences to life without parole. It is not only a moral imperative to do this, but also will have about $100 million a year, which will in part go to investigating unsolved rapes and murders- an outrageous proportion of terrible crimes are done by people who elude justice.

Prop 36¬†is a serious reform of the “three strikes” policy approved by voters in 1994. I assume some of you may have voted yes in that election, but it is now clear the it is a perversion of justice. It would stop people from serving life for a third, petty offense and adjust sentences of those that are in prison for a minor third strike. Many of the people that have come to define three strikes (who stole a crowbar, a few cookies, or a couple videotapes) would be freed under time served.

Our prison system is inhumane, overcrowded, and filled with people sentenced under mandatory minimums and other measures that fill our prisons and remove power from judges.

The endorsements are below the fold.

Continue reading “My California ballot measure endorsements for November 6th”

Paul Ryan: Catholic When Convenient

In a 2012 presidential campaign marked by vague promises regarding domestic and foreign policy, August 11th was a day that put ideas front and center. The selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential candidate brought a man with a strong, clear ideology into the mix. Whereas Romney has distanced himself from the work he did as an elected official, Ryan stands proud of over a decade of policy proposals and a radical vision for reshaping American institutions.

One of the most interesting parts of Ryan is the disconnect between the teachings of his Catholic faith, and the political and economic ideology he has developed. Firstly, let’s go over Ryan’s positions, and then the considerable criticism from Catholic circles.

Continue reading “Paul Ryan: Catholic When Convenient”