Stand Up and Be Counted!

Once to every thinking person
comes a moment to decide
whether to improve or worsen
life for those who share the ride.

In a culture populated
equally by right and wrong,
half are glorified; half hated.
All must rise to get along.

Those who choose the path of kindness
have a duty to the horde
lacking empathy whose blindness
simply cannot be ignored.

Never will the sound of silence
in the wake of cruel deeds
be acceptable. Nonviolence
doesn’t mean “abandon needs”.

Standing up for truth and justice,
quell the panic, lest we fall
for a web of lies that thrust us
straight into the devil’s thrall.

Citizen of earth and nation
striving for the common good,
raise a thundering vibration
over every neighborhood.

Only in a coalition
born of passionate desire
can a movement gain volition
going forward through the fire.

ccby 2020 Mary Boren

The two opening lines are borrowed from a hymn written by James Lowell Russell in 1845.

The Man Who Broke Democracy

The voters of his scenic state are lagging near the bottom
in economics, education, health care, yet he’s got ’em
unwittingly submitting to repeatedly renewing
a covenant of lies to keep
compliantly complicit sheep
co-authoring democracy’s undoing.

Constituents uphold him as a prime Kentucky wonder.
Electing him was second to the most unlucky blunder
Americans have ever made. His forty years of scheming
attest to values plasticized,
a cancer that’s metastasized
throughout the land with open lesions streaming.

Applauded as a brilliant strategist, he is enabled
by unrepentant colleagues whose integrity’s been tabled
in favor of the golden calf that feeds their lust for power.
But if the final story’s told
their legacy of slimy mold
will darken history’s pages but an hour.

ccby 2020 Mary Boren

Stable Genius President (Singalong Parody)

(with apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan)

I am the very model of a stable genius president,
the oldest living toddler in America’s chief residence.
My finger’s on the button of the Arsenal of Nuclear
diverting your attention to that other guy who’s spookier.

Because I see the writing on the wall and need a shock immense
enough to hide behind when Mueller comes with legal documents,
I’ll stamp my foot and contradict the evidence connecting me
to Putin while the GOP goes bigly down protecting me.

The party bought a ticket to the taming of democracy.
I’ll hold it down, they’ll kick it to the radical theocracy
who loves to hear me reading from the book of Two Corinthian.
They’ll revolutionize the world in matters labyrinthian.

With many cheerful lies about our pretty kakistocracy!
With many cheerful lies about our pretty kakistocracy!
With many cheerful lies about our pretty kakistocra-stocracy!

I’m very good at coloring with crayons on the diagram
provided by my generals who think they’re smarter than I am.
In short, my hands are big and my intelligence is evident
I am the very model of a stable genius president.

In short, his hands are big and his intelligence is evident,
He is the very model of a stable genius president!

I have the words my alter egos, Tweetledum and Tweetledee,
can fling in haste when anyone is trying to outwheedle me.
I proudly shout down idiots who still consider hate a sin.
Nobody else is qualified to make the country great again.

A prickle in the side of Nanny Mitch and Speaker Ryan,
anytime my mouth is open it’s a sign my lips are lyin’
as I reignite the culture wars and cultivate acedia*
by stifling all reports from that infernal nosy media.

We’ll stifle all reports from that infernal nosy media!
We’ll stifle all reports from that infernal nosy media!
We’ll stifle all reports from that infernal nosy medi-media!

Then I can sign all legislative bills without congressional
approval. On the Mar-a-Lago greens, I’m inaccessible.
In short, it matters not, for my authority is evident,
I am the very model of a stable genius president.

In short, it matters not, for his authority is evident,
He is the very model of a stable genius president!

I needn’t know the meaning of the words with many syllables
when I know more of bluster than a crooked lawyer’s billables.
In short, when you’re the target of the purest spittle ever spat,
you’ll say a better stable genius president has never sat!

You’ll say a better stable genius president has never sat!
You’ll say a better stable genius president has never sat!


*acedia – Baby Donald heard this word on CNN and thought it meant hero worship.


Mary Boren, 1/13/18

Gaudy and Crass

gaudy and crass
The Washington Post reports: It’s ‘very gold’: The presidential coin undergoes a Trumpian makeover

The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, “E pluribus unum” — a Latin phrase that means “Out of many, one” — is gone.


Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”


The changes don’t stop there. In addition to his signature, Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, which is thicker than those made for past presidents. And forget the traditional subdued silver and copper: Trump’s coin, a White House aide marveled, is “very gold.”


Some ethics experts questioned the unprecedented decision to include a campaign slogan on the coins, which are often distributed to members of the military.


“For the commander in chief to give a political token with a campaign slogan on it to military officers would violate the important principle of separating the military from politics, as well as diminishing the tradition of the coin,” said Trevor Potter, a Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.


Continue reading




The elegant mark of the past
in honoring soldiers with class
is wrecked in the clutches
of trump — all he touches
turns instantly gaudy and crass.

Mary Boren, 12/27/17


Thank You, Black Women of Alabama

Call for ALL Women
U.S. News asks: “Why do so many white women vote for misogynists?”

As political observers scrutinize the victory of Doug Jones over Roy Moore in the special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ senate seat in Alabama, demographic trends point, once again, to the significant racial divide between women voters. While a nearly unanimous 98 percent of black women supported Jones, carrying the Democratic candidate to victory, 68 percent of white women cast their vote for his Republican opponent who faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls while he was in his 30s.




The real story, though, lies in the 2016 election, when a full 53 percent of white women cast their votes for Trump even in the aftermath of numerous overtly misogynistic and vulgar verbal assaults on women. Prevailing logic seems to suggest that Hillary Clinton was such a toxic, polarizing and unpalatable candidate to this voting bloc that she was simply unable to win them over, “Access Hollywood” tape notwithstanding.


But Clinton wasn’t on the ballot this Tuesday in Alabama. Even so, white women once again demonstrated a willingness to vote for a male candidate facing credible accusations of sexual assault over his Democratic opponent. In fact, Jones performed significantly worse than Hillary Clinton with white women, unable to duplicate the six point lead that Clinton held in 2016 with traditionally Republican leaning college-educated white women.


What, then, explains the unwavering support among white women for Republican candidates even when they show such disdain for women as a whole? It is first worth noting that Alabama is one of the most conservative states in the nation with a deeply pro-life electorate. It is certainly possible that white women were so concerned by the Democratic candidate’s pro-choice position that they voted for Moore based on the abortion issue alone. But is a reliable pro-life vote in the Senate the only thing they have to gain from aligning themselves with men like Trump and Moore who are not only openly misogynistic in their behavior but who promote and represent institutional norms that devalue women and their rights?


Read the editorial:
White Women’s Bad Bargain



The black Alabamans have spoken.
Resistance is more than a token.
Our sisters have given
a call for all women
to keep the momentum unbroken.

Mary Boren, 12/14/17


If religion compels your support

if religion compels your support

Think Progress reports: Trump and the Religious Right have made the Religious Left unavoidable.

These days, nobody’s laughing at the Religious Left.


Granted, the core catalyst for this shift was something few expected: the election of Donald Trump. His rise caught many by surprise, and sparked innumerable signal fires within activist spheres—a metaphorical call to arms against an enemy who threatens virtually every progressive cause at once.


One year later, that shift — combined with continued support for Trump among many evangelical leaders — has proven to be a game-changer for the lefty faithful. Although many have mistakenly lifted up a hypothetical Religious Left as a mirror image of the Religious Right (which attained power over the years through electoral victories), progressive people of faith found themselves at their most influential as agents of protest, not power accumulation. When secular activists sounded the horn to mobilize against Trump, a bellowing symphony of shofars, church choirs, and koras had already filled the air.


At long last, the Religious Left has awakened.


Read the article …



If religion compels your support
for a rotten regime that would thwart
the fulfillment of freedom
by piling excretum
on top, then it’s time to abort.

Mary Boren, 12/13/17


Even a Dog Knows Better

even a dog knows better

Roger Cohen of the New York Times makes the case for intelligent disobedience “when immense power is in erratic and belligerent hands.”

Jim Kutsch, the president of The Seeing Eye in Morristown, N.J., the nation’s oldest organization training guide dogs for the blind, told me recently: “In all other cases, the human gives a command and the dog is expected to obey that command.” He continued, “In the case of the Seeing Eye dog, the dog is obligated to decide whether the command makes sense. The dog needs to stand still, or turn left or right, and lead me away from danger.”


Over months of training, dogs are taught to problem solve rather than obey commands. They are shown the dire consequences of unswerving obedience. Of course, as Kutsch put it, “There has to be a serious reason for the dog to invoke intelligent disobedience.”


The world spent the first half of the 20th century learning the moral and legal centrality of disobedience for the preservation of civilization. At a time when President Trump talks about the United States being “locked and loaded,” betrays a fascination with nukes, shows contempt for the law, and equates American greatness with American military power above all (compare what’s happening to budgets at the State Department and the Pentagon), a reminder is in order.


Continue reading
In Trump World, the Need for Disobedience




If the voice of the master relays
an instruction that clearly betrays
perspicacious opinions
then, unlike Trump’s minions,
a seeing eye dog disobeys.

Mary Boren, 12/13/17


A procession of shattered careers

As Trump celebrated the firing — and simultaneously attempted to pivot the conversation to “fake news” — critics pointed out on Twitter his hypocrisy and Trump’s own accusers awaited justice on at least 12 separate accusations against the president.


PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff — who has accused Trump of attacking her in 2005 by pushing her up against a wall at Mar-a-Lago and shoving his tongue down her throat — tells PEOPLE in an email: “It doesn’t surprise me at all that Mr. Trump would criticize someone else’s inappropriate sexual behavior and not address his own.”


“From what I understand, people who are delusional and narcissistic lack self-awareness and have a need to lash out,” she added.


Another one of the accusers, Melinda McGillivray, 38, tells PEOPLE of Trump’s response to Lauer’s ousting: “Donald is a complete hypocrite; he has the audacity to talk smack about other people when he’s the culprit himself.”


Donald Trump’s Sexual Assault Accusers Demand Justice
in the #MeToo Era: ‘We Were Forgotten’

People Politics



A procession of shattered careers
follows predators judged by their peers,
but when credible cries
against BLOTUS arise,
his supporters just cover their ears.

Mary Boren, 11/30/17



Dear Kamala, Liz, and Maxine:
The old boys think you’re bossy and mean.
You’re forsaking the feminine touch
by expressing opinions and such.

Yes, you women who serve on the hill
are depicted as strident and shrill.
They would like to send everyone home
who is missing a Y chromosome.

Nevertheless …

Passionate female persisters,
heroines to the resisters,
you are the reason we’re hopeful
reason will win in this rope-pull.

Strengthening every muscle,
giving the carpers a tussle,
courage and truth are your purview.
Don’t let the dunces deter you!


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2017

In the lap of the world’s richest nation

Wealth inequality may be even worse than we thought. Economic surveys estimate that roughly 85 percent of income and wealth gains in the last decade have gone to the wealthiest one-tenth of the top 1 percent.


That’s bad enough. But what if the concentration is even greater?


Visualize the nation’s wealth as an expansive and deep reservoir of fresh water. A small portion of this water provides sustenance to fields and villages downstream, in the form of tax dollars for public services.


In recent years, the water level has declined to a trickle, and the villages below are suffering from water shortages. Everyone is told to tighten their belts and make sacrifices.


Deep below the water surface, however, is a hidden pipe, siphoning vast amounts of water — as much as a third of the whole reservoir — off to a secret pool in the forest.


The rich are swimming while the villagers go thirsty and the fields dry up.


Yes, there are vast pools of privately owned wealth, mostly held by a small segment of super-rich Americans. The wealthiest 400 billionaires have at least as much wealth as 62 percent of the U.S. population — that’s nearly 200 million of us.


What Happened to America’s Wealth?
The Rich Hid It.

Common Dreams



In the lap of the world’s richest nation
where wages have stalled to stagnation,
the asse(t)s are stored in
the One Percent hoardin’
the cream off the Guernsey’s lactation.


Mary Boren, 7/4/17