best left unsaid

inspired by the (mis)speech of Donald Trump at the United Nations on 19 September 2017* + the history of the United States of America**

so what did you think, dad?

This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by
imposing a failed ideology that has produced
poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried.


failure abounds, it must be stopped

the drums of war have begun beating yet again

We face this decision not only in North Korea…the Iranian
government…ISIS…the criminal regime of Bashar
al-Assad…the corrupt and destabilizing regime in
Cuba…the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela…


criminals left and right, just like Congress

(but dad, I didn’t know they’d ever stopped)

The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue
regimes that violate every principle on which the United
Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor
the sovereign rights of their countries.


of our sovereignty, we offer correction

the American war machine, on the march since 1775

Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been…I
intend to address some of the very serious threats before us
today but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed.


the machine well oiled, unable to be stopped

(has there ever been a time we weren’t at war?)

Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support
terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with
the most destructive weapons known to humanity.


they’re most destructive, we’re most powerful

cowing those who think differently

If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then
evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become
bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only
gather power and strength.


their ways are evil, they must be corrected

(enforcing freely the American way)

In America, we do not seek to impose our way of
life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example
for everyone to watch.


watch carefully, adjust accordingly

lying, stealing, killing, genocide, replacing

In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward a
lasting defeat of ISIS.


when facts fail, narrative fills in

baiting, threatening, bombing, pretending

The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind
the false guise of a democracy…We cannot let a murderous
regime continue these destabilizing activities while building
dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it
provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.


ye who have ears, let him hear

starting, treating, resuming, ending, resuming

We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are
guided by outcomes, not ideology. We have a policy of principled
realism, rooted in shared goals, interests, and values.


goals and values, but not ideology

(can I see this never-ceasing conflict? what’s the proof?)

Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with
different values, different cultures, and different dreams
not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of
mutual respect.


if the respect is lacking, we can enforce that value

revolution, native genocides, 1812, mexico, opium, civil

From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope
of military operations, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set
up by politicians…Major portions of the world are in conflict and
some, in fact, are going to hell.


avoiding damnation, our plans can’t fail

korea, spain, philippines, china, nicaragua, haiti, dominican republic

We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions
from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams, and to
ensure that new generations of children are raised free from
violence, hatred, and fear.


it’s in our power, but we won’t choose it

world war 1, russia, world war 2 (hiroshima, nagasaki)

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it
is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice
but to totally destroy North Korea.


been there, done that

korea (again), cuba, dominican republic (again), vietnam, thailand,

If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit
of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world
with unthinkable loss of human life.


stop loss of life, drop bigger bombs

lebanon, grenada, libya, panama, iraq, somalia, haiti (again),

From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true
socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered
anguish and devastation and failure.


punching bag of an idea, even though practically extinct (china?)

bosnia, kosovo, afghanistan, iraq (again), pakistan, libya (again)

It is far past time for the nations of the world to confront
another reckless regime — one that speaks openly of mass
murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin
for many leaders and nations in this room.


sticks and stones, but words

and that’s nowhere near the full list, my son

Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent
nations that embrace their sovereignty to promote security,
prosperity, and peace for themselves and for the world.


groups of one, getting shit done

(damn dad, you’re right…why are we built this way?)

Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action.
All people deserve a government that cares for their
safety, their interests, and their well being, including
their prosperity.


our sovereignty, others will comply

because we know what’s best, son

Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever…Are we still
patriots? Do we love our nations enough to protect
their sovereignty and to take ownership of their futures?


hope they bought it, thank god it’s over


*Transcript can be found online at

**For a somewhat comprehensive list of wars into which the US has inserted itself or started, at least the ones we’ll acknowledge, visit It’s one hell of an eye-opening read.

thinking of irma (2 poems)

A few poems I wrote this week while thinking of Hurricane Irma.

beautiful oblivion

The water is beautiful –
Serene, cerulean,
Stretched wide as the eye can see.

You’d never know that
Lurked just beneath the surface –
Breathing yesterday,
Now submerged in eerie calm.

Ripples from kayaks,
The occasional man in hip waders,
Swimming neighbor children.

As fast as it came the
Deadly water disappears –
But life is never quite the same after
Irma comes to town.

bad people

the dying embers of Irma
reached my home today –


we bitched about the drizzle while
others, unknown faces,
lost everything they

I received a bit of feedback from the editor of a literary magazine on beautiful oblivion, which I’ll paste below, followed by an edit that much improved the piece.

beautiful oblivion, rewrite

The water is beautiful –
Serene, cerulean,
Stretched wide as the eye can see.

You’d never know that
Beneath the surface –
Breathing yesterday,
Now submerged in eerie calm.

Ripples from kayaks,
The occasional man in hip waders,
Swimming neighbor children.

As fast as it came the
Deadly water disappears.