Tag Archives: Republican

Pope Francis in America

by Dell Franklin


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Our great author, John Steinbeck, who appeared to have little use for religion, might have liked this Pope. Steinbeck was all about the little guy who was not blessed with great physical strength, intelligence, drive and luck. He felt those who possessed these rare gifts should try and help those without them, for life and survival was so difficult, the world so merciless and unfair in many cases. I believe this Pope believes those with these gifts should be humble, compassionate and generous, not arrogant, greedy, selfish and inhumane.

So what must this Pope think of us, as a country, when he certainly observes our burgeoning oligarchy disguised as a democracy. What must he think about super pacs supported by billionaires like the Koch brothers, who despise our safety nets and wish to turn the entire country into a company town tossing crumbs to the over-worked peons? I had a political science teacher back in 1962 who warned our class that the greatest threat to our then thriving democracy was capitalism unchecked, in that it would evolve to the degree where money and material items and the trappings of wealth could become more important than our humanity.

So what must the Pope think of the mean-spiritedness of conservative Catholics like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and a few others so gorged with acrimony and persecution they actually want to de-fund Planned Parenthood and Obamacare, which have been created to help people without the means to help themselves and are therefore cast as parasites so un-American they are dragging down “America’s Greatness”? What must the Pope think of Donald Trump’s cannibalistic rhetoric, his racism, his bragging, his arrogance, his propensity to intimidate and make people feel small, and the mobs of strictly white hordes steeped in stupidity who idolize him and wish to see his ideas put into action?

Did the Pope see the Republican debates, where a Carly Fiorina displayed a hypocrite’s adoption of a lie to make her point about fetuses to curry favor with fanatics? Does he see people running for our highest office who are stooping to the lowest, most selfish and cynical common denominator so that in the end they can actually shaft these misguided and misinformed fools whose votes they seek? Did he notice those running for office in America fawn over him for political advantage and that their behavior is nauseating?

I’m sure this Pope assumes our people are good, not that we have become a crumbling empire ripe for demagogues, and that we are thinking only of our own self-gratification instead of the future of the planet and the concern for those with disease, are homeless, and who suffer daily and seem to feel they have no way out of their situations—here and everywhere throughout the world.

This Pope, who has rankled those bishops in the Vatican that have feathered their own nests with luxury and avoided confronting the sexual abuse of children by their priests and generally behaved like expedient politicians above the people, eschews the trappings of his mantle and associates himself with those who worship what HE, as Pope, represents.

What they should really worship is the man himself, Francis. One wonders, do those at the Vatican who for centuries reveled in the luxury, politics and pomp of their mantles despise Francis for so blatantly eschewing these rewards and driving around in a tiny Fiat? Do they feel he is embarrassing them, show-boating, and a fool? Or do they realize that Francis, having seen the world at its worst and walked among the downtrodden, would feel ashamed of himself to wallow in materialistic success while those still suffer. This Pope leads by example.

This Pope has an aura of greatness, such as we’ve seen in people like Franklin Roosevelt, Churchill, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, in that whole civilizations liked and trusted these people and would follow them anywhere. Like those fore-mentioned, there is an inclination to feel Francis is one of those very mortal beings who come along once in a lifetime and is special and will make a difference if we just let him, if we listen to what he says, and follow him.

In Cannery Row, Steinbeck’s main character, and in many of his books his personal mouth-piece, Doc Ricketts, sits and watches a parade pass by in Monterey, Calif., and observes some bums and talks to a man named Richard Frost.

‘It has always seemed strange to me,” said Doc. “The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”

The Pope would know where he stood with one of our greatest writers. Donald Trump and those running for office and fawning all over the Pope would probably call Steinbeck a crackpot and probable communist. What about the rest of the country? What do we really think of what Steinbeck said and what Pope Francis preaches as we exalt him? §

Dell Franklin writes from his home in Cayucos, Calif., where he lives with his dog Wilbur. His work can also be read online at dellfranklin.com.




by Talmadge Jarratee

Poor Rand Paul tried to re-establish himself to the Republican voting public by attempting to take down the mighty Donald with lame imitations of the Donald’s disreputable gibberish and in doing so beame the incredible shrinking man (ISM), the kind whose emaciated skull once hung from mirrors of cherried-out jalopies driven by hooligans back in the 1950s and ‘60s. The Donald regards Senator Paul as if he is an annoying flea to be flicked off his thousand-dollar sleeve. The ISM maintained the Donald  cheapened the campaign among the 16 stooges trampling all over each other like a mad scramble to roll back every single piece of legislature the Democrats have passed since the 1930s, when President Roosevelt placed people like William O. Douglas as head of the SEC and stuck it in their big business craw.

Rand Paul began his childish whining during the first debate, when, like a little boy hiding behind his big brother facing the neighborhood bully, began challenging the Donald on “hedging” his answer on whether he’d run as an Independent. The Donald flicked him aside. Throughout the debate the senator, obviously having rehearsed his assault on the Donald in the mirror for hours in an attempt to look tough and resolute, appeared peaked with his skull recently shorn of familiar curls, possibly to seem more presidential. The ISM bobbed and weaved and slithered behind his big brother all night long like the kid every other kid in the neighborhood hates just by the sneaky look in his ferret face. Now the pathetic senator is caviling every chance he gets on all the cable stations while the ponderous Donald calls his own press conference, which is treated like a monumental happening and plays big and friendly with the press corps he previously excoriated as less than vermin.

Fox News, tortured that Donald might be the nominee, backed down, and are now ON him. The salvation.

Meanwhile, Senator Paul, whom the Donald accused of losing to him in golf, claimed the Big Bad Donald was playing on “his home course,” has seen his poll numbers plummet to near extinction—which the Donald notes—while ex-Governor Jeb Bush, the joyless non-personality lump of a brother of the blundering ex-President, sees his stooped frame wither on the vine as the Donald calls more press conferences and waxes eloquent in a show of bravado, as if he has already been elected President.

The major news cable stations—Fox, MSNBC, CNN—scurry to post …BREAKING NEWS… alerts and go apeshit as the Donald, with no notes or teleprompter, excoriates the remaining shrinking men as losers in life because they don’t know how to make money and build castles and fuck the government and are dependent on swine like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelsen and other bilious billionaires interested only in power and control to bankroll their shriveling campaigns.

The other night, with thousands cheering and the Donald regaling them, he tore into Bush who was down the road lecturing a paltry lot of 200 max in his own lackluster way about policy and trying to ignore the Donald’s barbs about his being “weak.” The exalted, entitled Bush, a hand-picked momma’s boy by the steely Barbara to be our next President, who obviously lived a sheltered childhood as he worked his way through prep schools and the University of Texas at Austin, retorts with the sneery snipes of somebody who’s never been punched in the nose—in certain realms he would be punched in the nose, just for his looks and bearing.

His voice is weak and whiny. Next to the Donald, he looks like a punk. He’s shrinking, shrinking, his numbers plummeting as he claims he’s in for the long haul with his $114 million, more than any of the other contenders, most of whom, beside the Donald, have shrunk into vapors—troll-like Jindal; Huckabee, Christ-crazed, fire-breathing ex-governor from Arkansas is near extinction (thank God); Santorum is a feeble echo in the din; Senator Graham went down in flames with his cell phone; brain-dead Perry is broke and babbling nonsense; the paleface hypocrite Walker from Wisconsin along with the weasel-faced demagogue Cruz have turned to caddying for all of the Donald’s putrid, mean-spirited, outlandish, grandiose so-called policies, sucking up in case he falls.

They’re all trying to arrest the terrible shrinking within and without by holding interviews with cable employees stuck with the rotten job of listening to their lame excuses and empty vows of hope while it’s pointed out their poll-numbers are shrinking.

Kasich looks the rumpled eastern European just got off the boat next to the sartorial Donald, who travels in his own plane with a third wife gorgeous enough to be on the cover of Vogue. Pataki is a sour pill impossible to digest. Only the venomous-tongued scarecrow of a woman Fiorino, the Hewlett-Packard devouring vampire, who looks like she belongs on a broom headed to Oz, and the doctor, who read his debate retorts from a script and likens Obamacare to slavery, are fighting off the shrinkage Donald heaps upon them. He doesn’t mention them. He knows they’re no threat. Right now he’s in the process of extinguishing the third Bush, not exactly a manly man.

But he’s got his millions, and he’s got his brother, whom he defends, and blames Obama for the situation the boob brother started and ignited, and he’s quickly backing away from every humanitarian policy or statement he ever made for the little guy and reiterating that he is “his own man” and not his dad or brother, so as to curry favor and votes from the numbskull slugs lost in the wilderness of ignorance and anger at being passed over by the new technology and the rapidly increasing ruthlessness of their own party.

What Bush is is the same flotsam and jetsam as all the rest—sans Trump—a pawn and puppet of the big money boys turning America, the greatest democracy in history, into a flat-out oligarchy.

We deserve Trump.

Talmadge Jarratee writes about politics and occasional sketches of San Francisco and, because of his views, may soon be homeless. For more on Talmadge, visit dellfranklin.com