Archive for June, 2015


June 29, 2015

The President showed up today in Charleston. He was so touched by what he said he touched himself. Finally.

His own personal state of “grace” as leader of this nation is precisely what’s needed if we are to catalyze the country’s mounting impatience and dialogue on racism and other human tragedies and fairness issues – into change and to sustain the commitment to prevail.


At the end, after he had spoken (and sung) he returned to his folding chair on the main floor immediately in front of the stage…and leaned forward, forearms on his knees – lost in his thoughts and in the enormity of the moment…and became utterly and completely human. And I liked him as a leader more than I ever had. His genuineness belied hope.

I’m thinking that maybe his trip to Charleston surprised him. Got to him more than he thought it would. Things like that can be life changing. Hope so.

He’s still got the better part of two years to catalyze change. And a hell of a lot of impatient and eager citizens who would follow him off a cliff – if going over a cliff held any promise of restoring this country’s integrity and honor and fair play.


JMB – June 2015


A Burke with no name…

June 17, 2015

He’s pretty big for a little guy. My brand new Grandson. Big as he needs to be for now.

Still a Burke with no name…but that should be solved shortly.

But frankly I kind of like him undefined and unqualified by a name.  All potential. What ever and where ever and who ever he wants to be.

Formed by mom’s and dad’s metes and bounds and love and hopes for him.  And blowing winds that will push and buffet.  Forming things inside that see and feel and sort – and keep things ordered long enough to create self and purpose.

He’s just a little muncher. But after just a day he seems to know.  He seems calm beyond his first day. Level. Not at all afraid.  Like he knows the drill he’s facing. What’s required of him.  What’s preordained. Who he needs to be.

I haven’t even held him yet.  But that’s what I sense and see in his face – and in his Mom’s face. And in his Dad’s. It’s what he already evokes in others.  On his very first day he has found his space in the universe. His uniqueness.  What a wonderful gift.

I think he’s just fine with no name. Why would one want to clip his wings on his second or third day of marveling…with a context or a meaning – or a conveyed image not his alone, or of his own making. Why filter what he sees and feels and forms thoughts about, through a name selected for the imagery it conveys…or that sets expectations that anchor him to a legacy only accidentally his.

But, because it is our way to brand and limit and to set expectations…it will be done, shortly. But I know, in this case, with this little boy – it will be his life that defines him.

I’d name him “America” if the choice were mine to make. He’s got a lot of work to do. He’s pretty big for a little guy.


JMB – June 16, 2015

It’s more than clear to everyone…our economy is a disaster. What the hell do we do now?

June 4, 2015

Certainly not Capitalism as currently played.

Not so sure that socialism is a bad idea. It’s kind of what’s needed when people don’t have enough money to live. And after the accelerated collapse of Capitalism in this country that has marginalized most of the middle class for the past 25 years and reduced 45 to 60% of the population to a point where they are a paycheck away from economic failure – it’s re-distribution of money that is precisely what is needed to keep the wheels on this country until we can solve the fundamental issues that are killing us.

You don’t want a lot of people who are failing because they don’t have a job…or who are frustrated to the point of utter exasperation because they have one that doesn’t generate enough income to sustain their families (or themselves individually)…and you don’t want to have old people getting thrown out on the street because inflation of food and rent and energy and medical expenses aren’t met by increases in income (social security or taxed pension funds). Sure don’t want them on the street.

Sure don’t want to shut down hope and opportunity by shutting out middle class and poor kids from college…or by crushing them with debt that kills off any possibly of “getting in the game”. Or precluding them from ever getting a decent job, ever. Nope, you don’t want kids with crushed hope and despair out there on the streets feeling angry/rageful and disrespected and pissed at a system that has been broken on purpose – by people who don’t give a shit about them and never will. No way. You definitely don’t want that.

If the problem is people not having enough income to cover their bills…who are increasingly losing viability – and are faced with nothing but low paying jobs that don’t improve their lot in life – the only answer…the only solution to the problem (assuming we are a compassionate race of people) – is to get them money any way you can.

And that means socialism. That means doing everything that can be done to get money into the hands of people who are failing. That means doing socialistic kinds of things: like lessening/eliminating tax burdens…providing debt relief or forgiveness (college and otherwise)…creating affordable housing they can afford to live in, and giving people help with rent expenses and food expenses…and creating socialized medical replacements to Obamacare…and rebuilding social service infrastructures to assist people in trouble and the elderly.

And you keep doing that until we figure out how to structure an economy that doesn’t have anywhere near enough decent paying jobs to go anywhere near around…and then we figure out how to either reduce the population to fit the size of the world we live in and the amount of jobs available…or, how to generate enough meaningful jobs to fit the number of people we have living in this world.

First, we need to get the people the money they need to keep the place from exploding…which is coming at us pretty quickly, unless I miss my bet. Then we need to deal with the pressure cooker fueled by the mounting need for clean and available water, and the omnipresent impact of Global Warming…and the continuing lack of meaningful jobs that pay enough to keep lives going and sustainable…and the incessant “death by pinpricks” price rises in gas and food and rent…and the accumulation of crushing frustration of living in a world where everyone’s lying about help being on the way – but where nothing ever gets better. The accumulation of all this leads to a really nasty place.

Where does the money come from you ask? From the people and the corporations and financial players who have it…and from the huge budget line items that insanely squander this nations wealth: military adventurism, internal security, subsidized energy and agricultural industries…a massively unfair tax system…ludicrous policy exemptions for massive drug companies and medical services. There are no other options that I can see.

So, we need to buy some time to figure out how to separate the rich from their wealth and give it to the poor, I’m thinking. They’ve had it long enough, and they are well aware they took it unfairly. And they are also fully aware the days of redistribution are here. They just don’t want the country’s largess to them to end.

This is probably not going to be much fun – for anybody.

I’m sure Bernie’s got it covered.


JMB – June 4, 2015