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Disarming and Alarming

The Prez takes small, but real, action on firearms,
so the NRA sounds its alarm bells,
and GOP candidates promise to undo it —
in spite of most Americans supporting the measure.

When an armed crew takes over a wildlife refuge,
they’re met with polite distance by law enforcement,
in contrast to how on a regular basis police confront
unarmed Black protesters, citizens and bystanders.

North Korea claims it tested a hydrogen bomb.
Saudis try to heat up their cold war with Iran.
And every sane Republican wonders
how on Earth to detonate the Trump campaign.

As nations and the right-wing arm themselves,
and candidates seek to charm all of us,
new year’s news has ranged from disarming to alarming
—let’s just hope it’s all a little less harming.

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Pieces of Earth, Goodwill to Some?

The world is about to celebrate a holiday
based on the refugee child of an unwed mother,
while the the right wing spends its time
demonizing refugees and single moms.

The world is cheering for the new Star Wars,
and boojng a militaristic force that targets civilians.
The GOP debate sounds more like "Start Wars"
as candidates boast of what civilians they'd attack.

And in this season of goodwill to all,
Republican frontrunners make clear
that "all" doesn't apply to Muslims.

Let's hope for peace on Earth and goodwill to all.
Not a politics of war, fear, and division
that would leave pieces of Earth and goodwill to some.

Saunter over to share a yuletide toast
during a holiday happy hour with political pals
at your local progressive social club.

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Haters, Baiters and Debaters

The world cheers a historic climate change accord,
then Republicans immediately pile hate on the deal,
the GOP candidates debate if climate science is real,
and Congress pushes to lift an oil export ban.

As violence surges against Muslims across the US,
Trump, Cruz and others fan the rising hate,
yet thankfully Democrats resist taking the bait,
beating attacks on the Syrian refugee program for now.

We mark the 3rd anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting
with the president poised for small steps to curb gun violence,
an idea met with vitriol from the right wing,
and fearmongering from the NRA and gun manufacturers.

And while the GOP put on a debate full of hate,
with Trump baiting Bush, Bush bashing back,
Rubio ripping Cruz, Cruz clawing Rubio,
it seemed that for all the targets of GOP hate,
maybe they hate each other most of all.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders reached
his 2 millionth donor to his campaign --
and gets nearly no airtime.

Take a break from the haters, baiters and debaters
to join with left leaning drinkers and thinkers
at your local progressive social club.

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One America or Un-America?

The leading Republican presidential candidate
proposes barring all Muslims from America,
and while leaders of both parties criticize him,
few Republicans disavow Trump's campaign
as his poll numbers continue to rise.

In America, the debate is whether to shut out
all Syrian families seeking to escape violence.
In Canada, they welcome the first plane
full of refugees finding a new home.

The President addresses the nation
on terror threats and gun violence.
Meanwhile, the right wing
fearmongers and calls for more guns.

In the face of real acts of violence,
genuine fear, and even "terror,"
we have to decide how to respond:
as One America or as Un-America?

For the soul of our nation,
let's hope that the Statue of Liberty
still trumps fear and bigotry.

Choose beer, not fear,
as you cheer with those near
at your local progressive social club.

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A Shot in the Dark

A mass shooting in San Bernadino
is horrific, fatal, and shocking --
yet with over 300 mass shootings this year,
it's horrifically and fatally not shocking at all.

Just days before, a gunman in Colorado
killed three in an assault at Planned Parenthood.
And the right-wing responds with solutions
of more guns and fewer reproductive rights.

All of this in the shadow of Paris and Beirut,
terrible events that have somehow led
to blaming refugee families fleeing violence
and to a knee-jerk embrace of more military action
which promises more violence, but what impact?

And along the way, Republicans make sure
to never admit we have a gun problem in the U.S.

In guessing at motives, grasping at responses,
most lawmakers are taking a shot in the dark.
But maybe one step would be to take on guns
if we want to curb so many shots in the light.

Get a shot to share your thoughts,
and a shot or a pint to share
at you local progressive social club.

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Tell Those Republican Turkeys To Get Stuffed

As many of us prepare for Thanksgiving meals,
too many politicians are acting like turkeys
giving shame and fear instead of thanks,
and denying refugee families reasons to be thankful.

Forgetting this season's spirit of breaking bed,
Trump, Cruz & co want to break American tradition
with religious tests for immigrants, ID badges for Muslims,
and turning families fleeing violence away from safety.

France is committed to its refugee program,
while the US House votes to effectively end ours.
Maybe our holiday gift to the French
will be sending Lady Liberty back across the ocean.

Muslim-Americans are being profiled and surveilled,
while white supremacists commit domestic terrorism
against peaceful demonstrators in Minneapolis,
and Trump-supporters attack a black protestor.

And amidst all the demagoguery and demonizing,
you could almost forget that the pilgrims we're celebrating
were also seeking refuge in this new world.
Good thing Donald Trump hadn't gotten here first.

This Thanksgiving, tell the fearmongers to get stuffed
and let's make this holiday and nation
the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Share your holiday hopes, worldly woes,
your insights, opinions and escapist ideas
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
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The French Connection

A series of attacks in Paris and Beirut,
and other actions by the Daesh extremists,
have resonated around the world,
connecting us in shock, outrage, and morning.

For many Americans, "France's 9/11"
connects with us viscerally: our horror that day,
our gratitude for the outpouring of global support,
and our shame at the mistakes made in the years that followed.

Now, the Republicans whose fierce anti-France views
once led to the creation of "Freedom Fries"
seek to reconnect to "America's oldest ally"
in order to beat the drums for a brand, new war.

And the symbol that connects us to France the most,
the Statue of Liberty, shines a little more dimly,
as conservatives seek to shut out refugee families
fleeing the same violence whose victims we mourn.

We approach a Thanksgiving holiday,
while Congress tries to deny many a place at the table.
And Republicans demonize Middle East refugees
on the brink of the holiday season that celebrates
the most famous Middle Eastern orphan of them all.

Whether you're feeling, "We are all French,"
or want to shout, "Isn't America still America?"
it's undoubtedly a week shaped by our French connection,
and a time that will lead to lively conversations
at next week's Thanksgiving table.

In the meantime, join a lively conversation
to meet, mourn, learn, lift spirits and share libations
at your local progressive social club.

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Missouri Loves Company

Mizzou students rise against racism and indifference,
leading to resignations and more confrontations.
And from Ithaca College to Yale University,
more campuses are wrestling with racial tension.

From the RNC debates and SNL stage,
Donald Trump's bigotry steals the spotlight,
while more and more hate crimes across America
target those who look and sound different.

The NRA fear-mongers about sensible gun laws.
Right wing leaders tell us not to trust Muslims.
And not a week goes by without another incident
of police violence toward people of color.

Yes, students at Mizzou had a victory!
But the fight for justice is far from over
both on that campus and everywhere.

The saying goes, "Misery loves company."
And this week, in terms of racism and tension,
Missouri loves company, as well.

Decompress, debrief, and deliberate
over a drink and some democratic discussion
at your local, progressive social club

DRINKING LIBERALLY
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