Monday, June 5, 2017

If you certify yourself, you save everyone else the trouble, and other farside poetry from Key West

Yesterday, Kari Dangler suggested I look up this Hewey Lewis & The News song online, since it is set in Birmingham, Alabama, where I was born and raised:

I met a fan dancer
Down in South Side Birmingham
She was running from a fat man 
Selling salvation in his hand
Now he's trying to save me
We'll I'm doing alright, the best that I can 
Just another fallen angel
Trying to get through the night
Step by step, one by one, higher and higher
Step by step, rung by rung 
Climbing Jacob's ladder
Coming over the airwaves
The man says I'm overdue
Sing along, send some money
Join the chosen few
Well, Mister I'm not in a hurry
And I don't want to be like you
All I want from tomorrow
Is to get it better than today
Step by step, one by one, higher and higher
Step by step, rung by rung 
Climbing Jacob's ladder
All I want from tomorrow
Is to get it better than today
Step by step, one by one, higher and higher
Step by step, rung by rung 
Climbing and trying
Step by step, one by one
Step by step
Step by step
Step by step
I figured "Jacob's Ladder" was a message to me about taking the stuff going on in Birmingham one step at a time, doing the best I can.

Down here on the hard rock pile (Key West):
Key West's poet laureate

​Arriving at last night's 1st Sunday of the month Key West Poetry Guild meeting in the county library auditorium, I borrowed a ballpoint pen from the event's moderator and jotted down:

The lady poet hailed me,
Sit down,
I'll tell you a tale. 

I was wondering what
I would do next?

I told her half hour later,
make it into a poem.

She said she'd always liked me,
because I'm certified.

Certified by me,
I laughed.

Save everyone else the trouble.

A hoodoo spell caster amiga
emailed a rant by a political
armchair prophet:

"Cluster Fuck Nation"

slamming the Resistance in America

Something grabbed ahold of me
I couldn't help myself

I'm certified 

I wrote back ...

When I was called to the microphone during the 1st round of poets reading or reciting their own poetry, I read that to the poets. Then, 
I opened my laptop and read from yesterday's post at this website:
Hell, I could teach these Resistance slammers and the Resistance they slam about a RESISTANCE they would be very happy never to meet, nor even know exists.

Yep, everything is all fucked up. And America has nobody but America to holler at.

My position remains.

Humanity will not fix itself.

If God doesn't do it, then expect more of same.

For God to do it would, in my opinion, make nearly every last person on this world very unhappy.

Even the good people, who actually are trying to make it better.

Saw "Wonder Woman" last night. An excellent treatment of human war and what drives it (World War I), both in humanity and from the spirit realm. An excellent treatment of human depravity and human courage and love - grace under fire.

Yet, at the end of the film, with a god come to earth in humanity's midst, a female god, humanity still struggling, and, as we know what happened after WW I, well, cluster fuck kinda sums it up.

Meanwhile, President Trump refuses to state himself whether there is or is not global warming, and he filed for an extension on his 2016 income taxes, and he may or may not try to stop fired FBI director Comey from testifying about Trump and his cronies about from Russia with love, and Trump has totally pissed off NATO countries, but he seems to be fond of Vladimir Putin, who is a reincarnation of Genghis Kahn.
A later poet said she had thought last night's theme was LBGT, and she read a poem she had written to her husband, who, I supposed, is a woman.

After the intermission, I made something up for the 2nd round, which I'm recalling from memory today. There was a minister in the audience, Pastor Omar, known for feeding homeless people every Sunday morning in Bayview Park, then preaching a sermon to them. 

I said:

I didn't know the theme for tonight, 
or I forgot it

I had eight wives 
so I don't relate well to not being straight

my brother was bisexual

Someone who knew it 
and had it in for him
was going to out him
and there was nothing 
he could do about it

He lived in Birmingham
He could not deal with 
that coming out
So he killed himself and
tried to make it look like murder

An hour after I got a call from Birmingham
saying my brother had gone missing
The certified angels I'm certified for making up
told me it was suicide made to look like murder

Not long after that
a journalist called me from Birmingham
to interview me 

I told him what the angels had told me
just before he called me
He said cold chills were running
down and up his spine
He'd had thought the same thing
just before he had called me
He was not religious

We both knew 
before anyone knew my brother was dead
what had happened

The local coroner and the city police detective
bold concluded
made to look like murder

Yet, preacher man,
99.9 percent of people in Alabama
still believe it was murder.

All that work God went to
to explain what had happened
and it didn't matter ...

Well, there's another man
I want to mention now

He went around persecuting
and getting lots of Christians killed
until he had a comeuppance
on the road to Damascus

Then God really went to work on him
which you can see by reading Acts

He declared homosexuality an abomination
citing Leviticus

He didn't care much for women
Wrote only through their husbands
could they know Christ

Christians today quote him
far more than they quote Jesus

He wrote he didn't like sex
it caused problems
he wished everyone was like him

He wrote of his thorn in the flesh
which God would not remove

Why was he so down on homosexuality
when God didn't give a damn
if he was homosexual?

I'm talking about St. Paul

The Guild, except for the preacher man, applauded.

After the meeting, outside the library, Pastor Omar asked me why I had mocked God?

I asked, when did I mock God?

When you said that about Paul.

What I mock is humanity.

Paul was not homosexual, Pastor Omar said.

How do you know that?

His thorn in the flesh was an earache.

It was Jesus who told me about Paul, ask Jesus about it.

And tell me why Christians quote Paul a lot more than they quote Jesus?

Pastor Omar was walking away.

I said, because Paul is a lot easier to swallow than Jesus.

I later wondered why I had spaced out telling the Guild?

Paul was a Pharisee
and thus he had a solemn duty to God 
to marry and propagate God's chosen people
but nowhere in anything Paul wrote
did he say he had ever married or had had children

And why did I space out telling the Guild?

If Mary Magdalene washed Jesus' feet 
with her hair and tears in public,
What did she wash him with
in private?

One of the poets last night, J.D. Adler, invited us to post our own poems, and to invite others to submit poems, at the Key West Poetry Guild's Facebook page.

Here's a link to the youtube of some of last night's Poetry Guild meeting, my St. Paul rant is in it.
Moving laterally on the hard rock pile ...
One reader's comments, and the editor's replies to that reader, under the most recent Key West the Newspaper ( illegal immigration article took a turn, which seemed to arouse my dream maker, which, in turn, aroused my fingers to do some more typing.

Here is a link to the blue paper's article, which now contains 3 youtubes and a commentary on the legality of local enforcement being involved in US immigration enforcement.
I suggest all of that be viewed/read as background for this below.


  1. This sounds like a great way to avoid a traffic ticket in Key West. When you are pulled over, just tell the officer that you’re name is Jose Gonzalez, and you forgot your address. You don’t have a drivers license or any other identification, and you’re illegal. That’s your Key West get out of jail free card. How can the KWPD officer give you a ticket and expect to ever see you again for the fine or court date if they don’t know who you are or where you live? From the Blue Paper’s perspective, there’s nothing the officer is allowed to do. The KWPD officer can’t call ICE to determine your true identity, and it is apparently not KWPD policy to hold you for a traffic violation. Just toss whatever ticket you may receive and go along your merry “illegal” way.
    In Key West, it doesn’t matter if you are a mass murderer, an international terrorist or just a common Joe, just use the magic words “I’m illegal” and you’re suddenly untouchable.

    • Officers have the discretion to arrest those who are driving and who do not possess a valid drivers license as that is a misdemeanor that occurred in the presence of the officer. They can also use their discretion to instead issue a “Notice to Appear”. In the case where the person has no ID the officer could chose to arrest him and bring him to the County jail. In this case the man had identification, showing his address, his boss came to the scene and vouched for his identity and the officer did indeed choose to issue a “Notice to Appear” in lieu of arresting him. Why exactly do you believe immigration status should matter for purpose of enforcing state traffic laws? Now, if you want to argue that you believe or wish it was legal for local law enforcement to enforce immigration law absent specific federal authorization — that would be more on point.

    • Ben, you’re right. That’s brilliant. If after a traffic law violator refuses to provide a divers license or ID, and the police can’t find him in their system, The Blue Paper is suggesting it should be illegal for the officer to ask if he’s illegal? He should just let him go with a ticket to whatever name and address he gives.
      Worse, this is just the beginning of how upside down we would have to turn our society if we were to not enforce immigration law. America would be a welfare state magnet for the uneducated, the unskilled, and the lawless. This has already affected wages; how much more would it do so if institutionalized? How long would it be until it’s racist or illegal to require full background checks on some employees because that disadvantages Central and South Americans? How would this change our culture and political values if people coming from failed cultures and failed states become an even larger portion of our population, further fail to assimilate do to our welfare system? How long would it be before even people like you and I are so concerned that we have institutionalized two classes of long time residents in the US, that we want to just go ahead and grant them full citizenship?
      Even if we just loosen immigration law rather than discard it, as the Blue Paper has suggested before, excluding those from deportation who have contributed to society for some time, it would represent a further abandonment of our principle of blind justice. It would further open up application of laws to the whims of those currently in power, enabling them to selectively exclude the application of laws to whatever class of lawbreakers most benefit the political or economic special interests of their donors or base, and selectively apply it to others.
      This has consequences beyond just letting some guy stay here who has done nothing much wrong other breaking in or staying beyond what he promised. Multiplied by tens of millions, it degrades our civil society and our liberties.

      • The Blue Paper “suggests”, based on the law, that an officer, pursuant to Florida Law, always has the discretion to arrest and jail anyone who is driving but does not have a driver’s license. In this particular case the officer decided to issue a “Notice to Appear”. The Blue Paper interviewed an attorney who specialized in immigration law. The Blue Paper pointed out, through this expert in the field of law, that there is a federal program that governs how local law enforcement can be empowered to enforce immigration law. The Blue Paper pointed out that our Sheriff has not signed an agreement with ICE to train and empower any of his deputies to enforce federal immigration law. The Blue Paper also points out that the Sheriff has taken the position that his deputies may question the immigration status of subjects they come in contact with at their discretion and that he need not take a formal position on the matter, train, track, or oversee those deputies in the manner in which they interact with suspects and Border Patrol with regard to enforcement of federal immigration law. The Blue Paper pointed out that the City of Key West and KWPD do adhere to the well-established legal doctrine that KWPD officers are only empowered to enforce state and city ordinances. Now as to your points, the Blue Paper has never suggested that immigration law be “discarded”. That is simply not true. As to the rest of your comments, yes, there is a larger discussion about immigration reform [taking place nationwide] and how that might include an amnesty program for certain undocumented aliens that meet certain criteria, but that is not the subject of this article. The purpose of this article is to inform readers as to what is happening on the ground in Key West in terms of MCSO enforcement of federal immigration law, as well as on the existing current law governing how the federal government can authorize local law enforcement personnel to investigate violations of and enforce immigration law.

        • Nothing in Section 287(g) prohibits local police from asking someone’s immigration status. It just sets up a formal program to work with them on immigration enforcement.
          And as best I can tell, although the federal government “may” and “has” prohibited some state immigration enforcement activities due to conflicting priorities with theirs, there is no specific law prohibiting them from assisting. This is supported in Congressional Research Report #R41423.
          “Congressional authority to prescribe rules on immigration does not necessarily imply exclusive authority to enforce those rules. In certain circumstances, Congress has expressly authorized states and localities to assist in enforcing federal immigration law.
          “Moreover, there is a notion that has been articulated in some federal courts and by the executive branch that states may possess “inherent” authority to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law, even in the absence of clear authorization by federal statute. Nonetheless, states may be precluded from taking actions if federal law would thereby be thwarted.”
          I see another news a news story also states that “federal law does not prohibit local police from asking people their immigration status”, but if you have evidence to the contrary, I’ll listen.
          Finally, Wayne Dapser may be an immigration lawyer, but he also appears to be an ACLU activists working to make Key West a sanctuary city. But more disturbing is his summary of the KW chief of police’s statement that he doesn’t want his police to enforce immigration law because “it destroys your ability to investigate real crimes.” I’m pretty sure the police chief didn’t use the term “real” crimes, but if Wayne Dapser believes immigration crimes are not, he’s not qualified to be an “expert”.

          • I know Wayne Dapser somewhat.
            We first met via man Wayne had tried to help prove who he actually was, as the man had one view and law enforcement had another view. Wayne said the man was referred to him because he did immigration work and that entailed doing a lot of work helping people get identification. The client was not an illegal immigrant as far as I knew.
            Wayne also is involved in local theater productions, he acts, as I recall. And, he had me on his local morning radio show once.
            His law office was really messy the several times I was in it. But I liked him. I suppose he is not upset that he is getting this free advertising for his immigration law practice.
            I would like to hear from Wayne directly, if he wishes to weigh into this discussion.
            I know very little about immigration law. However, I cannot imagine it is illegal, as it seems the blue paper is claiming, for sheriff deputies and city police officers, to inquire about the immigration legality of someone they arrest for something else, which is a crime of some kind, including a traffic violation. Especially, if the crime is driving without a driver’s licence. More especially, if the driver does not even have a driver’s license. That is a pretty darn serious offense if you take into consideration public safety.
            Because of the heat of passion I am seeing from the blue paper editor in these comments, that’s Naja Girard, I cannot help but wonder if Naja has some kind of personal stake in this conversation; if this really close to the bone for her in some way?
            I am pretty sure hubby Araud is an American citizen, so there is no worry there. But twice now in this conversation I have asked Naja how Arnaud became an American citizen?, and twice Naja did not respond. I think that’s a fair inquiry by me, especially given Naja’s heat of passion over whether or not local law enforcement inquiring about immigration status.
            There is something else in play, which I don’t recall seeing in any other reader comments.
            Since 9/11, America has been at war with Islam. Or, if you wish, Islam has been at war with America.
            9/11 changed everything for America and Americans and American law enforcement. That’s a fact.
            I can’t stand Donald Trump (nor can I stand Hillary Clinton)However, I think Trump struck a very deep and very real chord in a great many Americans when he campaigned against illegal immigrants being allowed to stay in America. When he did that, he tapped into the much deeper terror many Americans have of being killed, or their loved ones killed, like just happened in London, England.
            White Americans, especially, have that terror.
            I wonder how the blue paper would have reported the two recent illegal immigrant cases, if one of Naja and Arnaud’s children had been blown up by a suicide bomber in an American city on the mainland, or even in Key West?
            I read what all was written in this discussion about the Arizona statute. I have legal training. I practiced law. I do not see that case has much, if any, application to the two local illegal immigration cases.
            However, how I think those two cases should have been handled is, the 2 illegal immigrants should have been vetted. ICE should have talked with friends, relatives, employers of the 2 illegal aliens, to determine what kind of people they are.
            If all that was discovered was they don’t have legal papers to be in America, and otherwise they appear to be good people, they should have been released on their own recognizance and told to call Wayne Dapser, who could try to help them become legal residents.
            There are really serious crimes being committed all over America, and even in Key West. And, I think, in the White House. These two immigration cases are distracting, in my opinion, from what ICE and local law enforcement need to be doing to help Americans be safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment