Justin Krebs's blog

Unarmed But Not Unharmed

An unarmed black teen is gunned down in Ferguson
and now protesters face a militarized police force
keeping the peace with instruments of war.

Civilians shudder as the Israel/Hamas conflict smolders,
the plight of innocents inches America back into Iraq
and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee
calls for a foreign policy of even more military force.

Ebola returns to public attention
as it claims lives with sudden fury.
Depression returns to center stage
the quiet killer of beloved and gifted Robin Williams.

Overseas to our own shores, with violence and silence
by guns and bombs, disease and depression,
we are reminded and should be alarmed
that being unarmed doesn't mean being unharmed.

Need company, conversation or comrades,
find them all sharing a toast and an evening
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Long Road From Cease To Peace

After weeks of casualties and clashes,
rocket fire and ratcheted-up rhetoric,
Israel and Hamas have an uneasy ceasefire,
but even without fire, the flames still burn.

After months of inaction and obstruction,
a do-nothing Congress takes a recess --
but taking a break from divided DC
only means time for campaign conflict back home.

After incidents of police brutality across the US
increase tension with communities of color,
practices like fatal chokeholds have to cease
before rebuilding trust can even begin.

It's one thing to put out a fire.
It's another to create conditions for change.
We start when we cease
-- but it's a long road to peace.

Bring your fiery feelings into a cool conversation
as you find a safe place to think and to drink
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Lofty Pursuits or Petty Lawsuits

The House Republicans could be pursuing
solutions to the migrant youth at the border
or sensible answers to our energy problems,
but instead are focused on suing the President.

The GOP could have a vibrant intra-party debate
over conservative values in a diverse America
or reducing medical costs for all our citizens,
but spend time debating impeachment vs lawsuit.

The Conservatives could be constructive partners
across the current set of international crises,
on job creation or college affordability --
but prefer distraction, deflection and destruction.

We live in a time where someone from any party
could go into politics to tackle pressing challenges.
Instead of lofty pursuits, they choose petty lawsuits.

And they call Democrats the litigious ones...

Concerned about conservatives? Liven up with liberals!
Pour out your ideas as your pour out a pitcher
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Bombs Bursting in Err

At first, it seemed it must be an accident --
why would rebels shoot down a passenger flight
sending hundreds of families into mourning
and shocking the international community?

We want Israel and Hamas to see it's a mistake
to self-sabotage by ceasing ceasefires,
to puncture the potential for peace
with civilian casualties and the racket of rockets.

Those who call for US military action in Iraq
must live in another era -- or error --
because how will our bombs heal a nation
that our own errant bombs helped fracture?

The sad truth is this violence is intentional
and all parties are in error if they believe
they can shoot their way to stability.

We sing of our "bombs bursting in air."
We cry for these bombs bursting in err.

Escape the heat of international affairs,
with a cool drink and chill conversation
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Bombs Bursting in Err

At first, it seemed it must be an accident --
why would rebels shoot down a passenger flight
sending hundreds of families into mourning
and shocking the international community?

We want Israel and Hamas to see it's a mistake
to self-sabotage by ceasing ceasefires,
to puncture the potential for peace
with civilian casualties and the racket of rockets.

Those who call for US military action in Iraq
must live in another era -- or error --
because how will our bombs heal a nation
that our own errant bombs helped fracture?

The sad truth is this violence is intentional
and all parties are in error if they believe
they can shoot their way to stability.

We sing of our "bombs bursting in air."
We cry for these bombs bursting in err.

Escape the heat of international affairs,
with a cool drink and chill conversation
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Human Rights. Human Wrongs.

Many residents of Detroit may have their water shut off.
No matter how broken the city or broke the residents,
can't we keep a little hope, and a little water, running,
or will we really deny them this basic right?

Migrant youth seeking safe haven are held at the border.
Can't we cut through the immigration inaction and anger
to treat these humans with compassion and concern,
or is that measure of humanity lost in partisan politics?

Palestinian families face recurring evacuations
as air raids rain down on residential neighborhoods.
Can we see through ceasefires brokered and broken,
through violence and vengeance from all quarters
to assert that civilians should be safe in their homes?

These complicated cases have no simple solutions,
but when you take away basic human rights,
you are perpetuating fundamental human wrongs.

Feeling wronged or right, come enjoy the night
as we raise our voices while raising a glass
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Border Issues and Broader Issues

The crisis of tens of thousands of children
from Central America crossing the US border
isn't isolated, nor only about immigration
but about how we act compassionately as a nation.

The explosion of the Israeli / Palestinian feud
is about more than brutal killings on both sides.
It shows a lack of international political pressure,
even among goodwill players, to resist violence.

Tumult continues from Syria to Iraq and beyond.
Russian separatists create chaos in Ukraine.
The World Cup becomes a platform to protest
poverty in Brazil and global injustice abroad.

Few of these crises have easy fixes,
and just as few really stop at the water's edge.

There are border issues. And broader issues.
Until we start tackling the broader issues
of inequality, extremism and authoritarianism,
with compassion, seriousness and inclusion,
nobody's borders will truly keep them safe.

For now, know you'll belong and never be bored
with broad, buoyant conversation and a beer
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Justices Could Use a New Hobby

The Supreme Court ruled against women,
reproductive health, family planning and science,
deciding the rights corporations count more.

The Justices set a precedent for companies to seek
religious exemptions from a host of laws
that protect employees, customers and the public.

SCOTUS has been on a supremely unfortunate path:
letting more money into politics,
guaranteeing more protections for corporations
and securing fewer safeguards for individual.

America could use a different decision in Hobby Lobby.
Or maybe the Justices should just take up a new hobby.

I hear George Bush has found painting very fulfilling --
I'd love to see Scalia and Thomas at an easel.

Until then, paint the picture of a better tomorrow
over political pints with a few pleasant pals
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
FInd - or start - a chapter near you.

From Mississippi to Iraq, Opposites Attract

In a unanimous decision on cell phone privacy,
the often-divided Supreme Court pulled together.

To address Iraq's insurgency and uncertainty,
the US and Iran may actually have to communicate.

To save his seat from a Tea Part challenger,
a Mississippi conservative relied on Democrats.

Maybe it's just a touch of unlikely summer love,
or the spirit of the World Cup infecting politics,
but this season shows opposites can still attract.

Let's attract some conversation and community
as we gather with lefties and libations
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Iraq Hacks Are Back

Iraq Hacks Are Back

A broken, bleeding Iraq worsens daily,
the citizens of Baghdad live in fear
and the Bush-Cheney gang reappears
declaring this proves their way was right.

"Mission Accomplished" made a mess we couldn't fix
and if Iraq falls, it's part the failure and fault
that we never had a mission we could accomplish.
Yet the GOP is raring to re-invade to set it right.

While a group more militant than Al Qaeda
is seizing cities and slaughtering soldiers,
the US Prez who tried to sweep up a broken country,
gets pummeled more than the one who shattered it.

We're stuck between Iraq and a hard place
and the guys who dug the hole to begin with
have leapt back in, shovels at the ready.

They weren't just hawks, they were hacks,
hot to attack, they took a whack
and then, with a crack, they wrecked Iraq.
Now these quacks yak -- and deserve a smack.

Iraq's a wreck.
And the Iraq Hacks Are Back

Hot nights and heated debates
deserve cool drinks and chill company,
so temper the temperature with timely talk
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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