Dear Tucker Carlson

Yes to all of this.


Dear Tucker Carlson,

Hey Tuck, I just got done watching a segment of your show. You know, the one where you suggest that there should be a camera in every classroom in order to root out…let me get this accurate…”civilization ending poison.”

I’m going to zig where you thought most teachers would zag. I welcome your Orwellian cameras in my classroom. Frankly, I don’t know many teachers who would object to having people watch what we do. As a matter of fact, I hate to tell you this Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, but most of us spent the last year having video cameras in our classrooms.

See, I think you believe that your suggestion that people see what happens in our classrooms will somehow scare teachers. The truth of it is that we have been begging for years to have people, such as yourself, come into our classrooms. I…

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You never really get over it.

You think you move beyond it,

accept it

come to terms with it.

And in many ways you have.

After all, Life goes on

and you move on.

You let it go as you live your life

or  you think you have.

Maybe you swat it back from the surface

just far enough so that it doesn’t bubble back up on a daily basis.

Or maybe you avoid triggers

or try to

as some triggers are unavoidable

and make you weary from the constant


There it is

in your face.





Sometimes, before you know it, and

without warning.


You are often unsuspecting

even years later

that you still grapple with it.

You never get over it,

Not really.


You are seemingly alone

though the statistics prove otherwise.

No one talks about it

apologizes, offers assistance or

throws. you. a. party.

Everyone assumes you are OK

that it’s not a big deal.

You are expected to be OK

to be fine

to participate

to be smiley and happy and genuine.

You are expected to keep your tight jaw in check

to be light and airy

to swat it back.

No one tries to understand

(am I that incomprehensible?).


Unless you are a statistic yourself.

Then you know.

You understand.

You see it

because you feel it too.


You never really get over it.

Reminders are everywhere.

They’re generational.







April 17, 1967

On this Memorial Day 2017, a return to a piece written for my cousin, Jack Bense, who sacrificed his life in Vietnam to save a comrade.



the first born

the first grandchild

the first

a gifted athlete and student at Father Judge High School.


an All Catholic tackle

earned a full scholarship to play football at the University of Tulsa

and played hard, but fair.


left school

to return home to family on Meridian Street

and worked construction.


his number came up. It was

November 1965.


was begged

by his parents

by his mother

not to be

a hero

before being sent to Vietnam

in July 1966.


was assigned to

Company C of the 2nd  Battalion

of the 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division.



sent pictures and wrote letters

and always downplayed

the hell

all around him.


a team leader who,

like so many others,

longed for the simple:

to return home to his family

to his friends and to the neighborhood

that he





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The Weary Colossus

Speaks for itself…


slice-of-life_individualIn 1883, in an effort to raise money for the Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus was asked to write a poem. Initially she declined, but later penned The New Colossus that was read at an auction of art and literary works. Though the statue opened in 1886, it wasn’t until 1903 when a plaque that bears the text of the poem, was placed on the pedestal of the statue, reinventing the purpose of Lady Liberty as a welcoming mother to refugees and immigrants.

My own ancestors passed through Ellis Island from Ireland and England, with few possessions and courageous hope. Almost everyone I know can claim descending from immigrants. We are a beautiful melting pot! And so this last year has caused my heart to break as I see nationalism and xenophobia on the rise, as I cringe at the push to ban Muslim immigrants and label them as dangerous…

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The Essential Selfishness of School Choice

Interesting viewpoint



Say your friend Sheila invites you over to her house.

Sheila has just made a fresh pumpkin pie.

She offers you a slice.

You politely refuse, but she insists. She hands you the knife so you can take as big a piece as you like.

You start to cut and then ask, “Does it matter where I cut from?”

Sheila says, “No. Take whatever you want.”

You don’t like crust, so you cut a perfect triangle piece from the middle of the pie.

Sheila’s face reddens.

This wasn’t exactly what she meant, but what is she going to do? You took your slice, and now the rest of the pie is ruined. No one else can take a whole piece. Your choice has limited everyone else’s.

That’s what school choice does to public education.

It privileges the choice of some and limits the choices of others.


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Sea Turtle life

The habitat /breeding grounds for the majestic sea turtle in Riviera Maya is being challenged by development and tourists who are not always respectful. This is an image of a turtle watched on our trip to Akumal. Poem written by FrenchRootsinAmerica and worth the read.


You bear your heavy burden

Diving, eating, swimming and breeding

Exhausted after long hours on sandy beaches

You can not even live in peace in your habitat

You bear your heavy burden

Competing with odd animals on your playground

Competing with developers who take over your beaches

Competing with all kinds of predators

You bear your heavy burden

make the joy of all snorkelers and divers

Protected but also threatened by others

Your life is not really an easy one

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Bring me my spear

I have no words again today, so I reblog a poem by Jane Dougherty, who lives in France, and wrote this piece this morning. Cette merde hits very close to home…


Jane Dougherty Writes

To borrow and paraphrase Blake’s words. I don’t have enough of my own left.


I will not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,

Till we have built fraternity,

In every green and pleasant land.

I will not pray for others’ sins,

Nor will I hide, but take a stand,

To lighten ignorance in our midst,

That darkness never raise its hand.

I will not turn the other cheek,

Nor forgive those who maim and kill,

I will denounce their ugly creed,

Justice must win, one day it will.

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A great piece that leaves questions unanswered yet is filled with hope…check it out!


Dead end,  No outlet,

 It is on the road or in our lives?

Experiencing, visualizing real dead ends at a larger scale is uncommon.

What if an entire country has no way out?

What if an entire country has catastrophic events occurring  all the time.

Rusty trains abandoned in the middle of nowhere.


Roads washed away by the last cyclone.


Villages and  inhabitants  left behind.


Mine fields on the road sides


No Way Out!


Beyond this fate, we might find hope

Determination can open roads


Beyond this fate, we might find smiles

Resilience can make people empowered


Beyond this fate, we might find faith

Perseverance can trigger creativity


sunset at Morrungulo


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