reason number 10:

admit it.
we’re as greedy as children.
we take, take & take.
soon there’ll be nothing left.
we’ll take it.

reason number 9:

same journey, Sylvia.
intolerable winter weather-
infants more demanding than God-
& death, a tacky souvenir.
Atrocity of birthdays.

reason number 8:

revenge is sweet,
sweeter still is guilt.
we’re at Danny’s bar & grill
in Devonshire, England.
we’re finishing up our pints.
aren’t all bartender’s fascist?
tip him.
we tip well.

reason number 7:

because it’s the 50s
and we’re not hip to manic d
we’ll stay inside.
read dull books.
feed the birds of gossip.

reason number 6:

feeling better?
i am.
shouldn’t we take Ariel for a romp?
man, beast & muse:
the natural order,
things falling into place.

reason number 5:

& we’ll decorate those winter trees.
no. we’ll chop them down.
it’s cold & we’re out of wood.

reason number 4:

or go a little crazy.
what I mean is we’re so uptight.
our holiday refinements,
despair dressed as a villanelle.
shun Robert Lowell.
i mean it, Sylvia.
shun him.

reason number 3:

i hate the holidays.
New Years, Christmas,
November Pilgrim’s day of thanks.
December, a filthy blur of lights.
& look at bloated Santa,
a 90s thing.

reason number2:

temperature dropping.
don’t believe me?
go outside.

Reason number 1:

we’re as greedy as children,
no better than most adults.


Mortgages, Defaults, Refinancing, Bankruptcy, Prison - Meltdown

Hell hath no fury like a politician looking for a scapegoat. Mortgage companies that lie, steal, and encourage others to do the same are just fine until their actions lead to economic instability. Then the FBI is sent after them.

Where was the special FBI task force when all of this lying was being done openly? Why was no one concerned then? This is not a case of sneaky documents being signed in the Cayman Islands. Mortgage companies competed for business by creating "liar loans" that required no income verification.

Now that there is political pressure from someone in Congress, the FBI springs into action. Where were they before? Why is it a crime worthy of their focus at this time, and not when the practice started to happen? And why does it take a crisis for anyone in Congress to decide there's a problem?

The financial interests of the mortgage companies put pressure on Congress such that they didn't want to see an obvious problem. Mortgage companies donate to political campaigns, after all. And they hire constituents who vote for politicians. So Congress was content to turn a blind eye towards a systemic problem.

But wait! The entire system is melting down! I might get thrown out of office! Let's get an investigation going so people associate me with vengeance instead of greed.

And that delivers us to where we are today: hunting down the mortgage lenders and giving the cowardly national leaders a pass.

Food Crisis: One Billion Hungry Asians

The prospect is frightening. The political instability that a food crisis on a continent-wide scale could cause is really beyond our comprehension. As a species, we've never faced it before.

Expensive food is one thing when there are cheaper alternatives. When the cheap food is your only nutrient staple and you can't even afford to eat that, the situation becomes dangerous. Widespread violence is going to be the result.

Remember, that's one billion people. If even a fraction decide that they're going to gate-crash another part of the globe, we'll be severely overwhelmed and looking back with fondness when it was only the Mexicans we had to worry about.


McCain and the Oil Wars

Presidential candidate McCain promises to end U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil "so we never have to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East." The implication is that once we are energy-independent they can all kill each other for all we care. (The Arabs. Not Israel.) And it's an appealing thought. Without oil, the United States would never have defended Kuwait and Saudi Arabia against Saddam Hussein. As much as Osama bin Laden hates Western influences in his country, let's see how much he likes complete indifference.

With the United States relying on other means of fueling our vehicles and our economy, it would be a welcome relief to not care about placating religious crazies in Saudi Arabia. After all, we have enough of them here.

My position has always been that the excessive focus on Israel by other Middle Eastern nations is only to distract its citizenry from internal conflicts that would otherwise lead to civil war. And let's face it, none of them want the Palestinians.


Would You Rather Be Wright or Be Happy?

The Rev. Wright's problem is that he wants to maintain the divisions of race, not because he wants to eliminate them. As these racial barriers he complains about are watered down, he is going to start having white people ask him about what he has said in a sermon and to justify it. It's part of the racial integration of Sunday morning he likes to talk about.

The uniquely Black religious experience Rev. Wright talks about is getting attention. He doesn't like that, it seems.

When Your Husband Says "Don't Go in the Basement" ...

It is never a good sign. Take that guy in Austria, for example. He told his family not to go into the basement. So did a few American serial killers.

Personally, I have a hard time imagining that the wife of Josef Fritzl had no idea of what was going on. The man had to buy food, cook it, and deliver it downstairs. What the hell did she think was going on? That her husband ate enough for four people?

Mrs. Fritzl is a passive party to what happened to her child. And let's not forget the years of sexual abuse the daughter endured before being held in the basement. Where was the mother then?

So if your husband tells you never to go into the basement, makes tons of food to bring down there, spends hours there, you have a problem. And you can't say you had no idea. Not anymore.