Barstool Knowledge


Washington never told a lie.

Twinkies can never spoil.

You have to wait 24 hours before you can report a person missing.

Buddha was fat.

Adam and Eve ate an apple.

Jesus was born on December 25.

Obama is from Kenya.

Barstool knowledge.

The things that people tell each other while consuming their drugs of choice.

Barstool knowledge is defined by another term, one-upmanship.

That lame practice in a conversation where one person states an experience and a round-robin follows of everyone else saying how their experience tops the previous.

Barstool knowledge starts out reasonably innocent.

A white lie that once it has played its way through the group think of fellow sloshed minds metamorphose into fire breathing dragons.

It's been a fact of human society since one monkey sat on a branch next to another.

When one monkey said that the sky God told them that they had to give them half their food or God would become angry.

Oh, yes, must obey here's half my food said the first monkey.

Happy in the belief that once appeased the God would no longer send them misfortune.

It's interesting how easy any of us can succumb to barstool knowledge.

Barstool knowledge generally is easy to hear from your uncle, aunt, father, mother, brother, sister, friend who at every family gathering causes that uncomfortable moment.

When the uncle tells that racist joke and everyone chuckles but is really embarrassed.

The party guest exclaims their story is a joke, but everyone knows it is true.

Barstool knowledge.

Psychology informs us it's because it feeds our expectations.

Our prejudice.

Our individual experience.

But our individual experience does not necessarily mean it conforms to reality.

We meet one jerk, and because there is this inherent need in humans to categorize, we label everyone similar to that one person as a jerk.

We had an unfavorable run-in with an individual and we forevermore see similar people as jerks too.

Barstool knowledge.

None of it is valid.

It gives comfort to ignorance.

It pads the truth, keeps reality out of our minds.

It sponges away our responsibility to others as well as to ourselves.

Barstool knowledge is an adolescent mind preferring a lie to the truth.

A preference for fantasy, the way we wish the world should be, the world should be under our control, there to please us, not as it really is.

Barstool knowledge hasn't destroyed nations up to this point in human history…

At least not until this past week.

This past week the President took it up a notch and demonstrated his lifelong affiliation and confirmation of his Doctoral with barstool knowledge.

If you are not familiar, the President used direct quotes from fascist leaders of WWII Germany to say he is the chosen one, that Jews are not loyal to our democracy.

He also said he was the second coming of Christ, he was in fact, Jesus, the economy is the greatest ever, we have great background checks, climate change is a hoax, Putin played Obama, the President wants world peace, his tariffs aren't being paid by U.S. citizens, did I say he said he was Jesus to the Jews and that was all in a three day period?

The President indeed demonstrated his barstool knowledge of theology specifically in regards to Judaism as well as his professed love of Christianity.


I said, sociopath.

I have had and continue to have direct experience with a sociopath.

Now you do too if you are residing in this Republic under this President.

They live in a world created in their own minds about their perception of the world and how it is there for them alone.

Their reality is in their mind and has nothing to do with the group's experience with reality.

At its core, sociopathy is a self-defense mechanism allowing the individual to survive in an adverse world.

However, sociopaths are not conducive to a stable government, a stable economy, stable relationships, both personal and impersonal.

You can never pin a sociopath down to the truth they are experts at moving their own goalposts.

It is also conclusive that sociopaths attract other sociopaths.

That's why all those people with barstool knowledge are so drawn and attracted to their messiah.

Sociopaths at their core cannot and will not ever share.

Like Homer Simpson at the buffet table, they will take the whole tray of fried shrimp with them back to their table.

The world is their actual oyster.

The only thing that will ever stop a sociopath and their followers is a consequence.

Something or someone has to draw a line in the sand and say stop.

They will not do it on their own.

They will not recognize the house is on fire.

They will not for any reason in heaven or hell stop on their own accord from wreaking havoc.

Only the good people, the good person who with conviction moral purpose has the ability to stand before this President and tell him to stop.

The confidence the insistence upon the belief in barstool knowledge is so deep…

How deep?

Have you ever tried to convince someone to give up their religion?

It's that deep.

I'm reminded of the beloved song, We Shall Overcome.

The only way that brotherhood of man can be made to come true is if the good people stop allowing the bad ones a seat at the end of the table.

We got to stop allowing the relative or friend from telling the racial joke.

We got to call out the fan at the sports game for yelling a gender slur.

We have to walk together arm in arm with those who want a better world and step over and around those who don't.

We have to understand we can't save everybody only those who want to be.

Here's some real knowledge to drop.

Love expects more of every one of us every day.

Tell the uncle to pass the potato's, act civil, or leave the table.





They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor safety.

Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

If Liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Liberty and justice for all.

The thread that binds our civil society together is being pulled thin once again.

Benjamin Franklin, Bob Marley, Lincoln, Orwell speak from their experience of those who would deny Liberty to others.

The other being you and I.

At the foundation of the idea that all men are free is found in the expression of Liberty.

For all its failings, our democracy has agreed upon a belief in the inalienable rights of its citizens and in the people of the world to their right of Liberty and justice.

Patriots known and unknown, in the halls of congress, in the halls of tenements have fought the good fight against the ignorance of the selfish.

We were the first nation on the earth to agree to put to the test our principles of freedom.

The Great American Experiment.

Could we the people form a government for the people and not to the benefit of one person, one party, one corporation, one religion, one ethnicity?

Could we overcome our inherent selfishness as a species and formerly together promote the general welfare of all peoples?

Could we over come?

No country in the world had declared for itself a challenge like this before.

No king, no prince, no czar, no queen, no business leader, no religious leader, declared that the average man had the right to independence.

Independence of thought, of congregation, of vote, of movement, of association, of speech, of press, of religion, of petition of grievance to your government.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

Liberty and justice for all.

The freedom-loving people of the world admired us.

In the hearts of some nations, a bond of friendship of kinship was recognized.

France gave this nation a gift an emblem of what the American people stood for in the world.


Americans fought with themselves for freedom.

They fought in the world for freedom.

They welcomed all those who came to their shore seeking freedom.

What better emblem than Liberty to stand with her torch held up high so that all could see the open door to that land high upon the hill of human ideals.

Even when the foundations were laid for the statue, the grinding teeth of the selfish demanded the door be shut.

There's no more room.

No more room?

The ignorant are consistent in how small they believe and think.

Freedom has arms as wide as the universe.

Liberty encompasses all of time.

Justice is forever.

Love will always demand more.

We, as a people who believe in love, can do more than one thing at a time.

Freedom is not just for you, freedom asks you to extend that same freedom to everyone.

Liberty is not just for America; it is for every nation on the globe.

Justice is not just for one race; it is for all genders, creeds, and colors.

To think, to express that this ideal should go away strikes at the core of who we are as a people.

It is the exact opposite of those who believe in humanity.

It is the voice of hate.

It is the cruelty of selfishness.

It is the criminal mind who believes in might makes right.

It is the voice of the ignorant.

The hateful seem to have a short memory.

They act as if they have come upon some brand new idea that none of us have ever heard before.

They boldly stand before us and proclaim hate and selfishness as a cure for all the problems in the world.

As if none of us haven't heard it all before and have rejected it.

Each and every generation has rejected hate because of where it leads.

Hate leads any society that fosters it and gives it a place to live a death sentence.

The forces of good are taken as being weak will rise up and wash away the ugliness of hate.

This President and his sponsors and supporters little realize the sand upon which they stand.

Ask history where are all the tyrants now?

Where are their statues?

Where are their people?

How are they remembered?

Now ask where the leaders who promoted the general welfare are?

Who pushed for freedom?

Who demanded Liberty and justice for all?

Where are their people?

We're still here.



Lost on Purpose


An old pair of shoes left behind.

A broken umbrella put under a bench.

Chewed gum stuck on a pole.

We've all left things behind on purpose because they no longer served us.

We left things behind because we wanted to.

It wasn't by accident that we left our clothes on the floor.

We did it on purpose because we were too tired or just plain lazy to do the right thing and put them in the laundry.

We all have left things behind, but what about people?

That sibling who couldn't keep their nose out of our business.

The co-worker who is always talking about how great their family is.

The clerk at the grocery store because they ask how we are feeling.

People can be left behind too.

We leave them on purpose.

They have become an annoyance, to be avoided.

The spouse who we once loved now we can't stand.

We go to court and have the legal system divorce us from our emotions.

We use institutions of varying sizes to mitigate our responsibilities.

Our religions keep us separate from those who don't believe like us.

Our commerce organizations segregate us to only do business with those like us.

Political charities we give our support and money to fight to keep alliances from forming.

The communities in which we live are there to keep in those like us and keep out those not like us.

And our police force for our communities is there to serve and protect yet discriminate who can enter.

Lost on purpose.

There are those among us who have lost their humanity on purpose.

They desire the world at the expense of their own soul.

They protect their right to kill who they want when they want without regard to who they make afraid.

A belief that strength at any cost is right.

They have freely given away their humanity to gain freedom of responsibility to their fellow man.

They hate you and me.

We represent the other.

The taker.

They only see limitations.

A limit to wealth, to prosperity, to food, to shelter, to compassion.

Their compassion extends only to the length of their own fingertips.

Have you ever tried to make someone give up their religion?

The person who has left their humanity behind on purpose is not going to be persuaded to pick it up again.

They have made a life choice.

No argument is going to make them turn their eyes and look at you or me with love.

They only see us as so much dirt beneath their feet to step on and over.

Again, when was the last time you went back to the trash pile where you left those old shoes 25 years ago and retrieved them?

People who have left their humanity behind are not searching for it.

They're are happy hating.

Our President is happy helping them hate.

Hate has brought him power.

Hate has delivered him respect.

Hate fills his bank accounts with wealth.

Why would he stop hating certainly not for you and me?

He and his re-election campaign are banking on hate.

The Republican Party continues to bank on hate.

Ever since they welcomed the Southern Strategy, which was a free lunch given to all those segregationists and racists who left the Democratic Party after the civil rights movement broke the back of that party.

The racists joined into common cause with the business conservatives of the GOP who they courted and danced with in their discrimination of brown people and women.

They have a belief that there are more haters in our Republic than soft-hearted, soft-headed people.

Conservatives have had this bone they've been chewing on for the past 100 years or more believing that America has been waiting for its great hate awakening.

A belief that we all hate we just don't realize it and we need to let it go.

The belief that America is conservative, not liberal.

Conservative America can't believe that brown people, woman, and gays are equal to a white man.

It is remarkable how self-fulfilling the world view is of conservatives and hate.

The darkness they have created for themselves and their adoption of this world view of hating the other blinds them to the light of love.

Because of it, they can't see the writing on the wall.

The sack they wear on their heads rebreathing the same old tired air.

They can't hear the voices in the street.

They only recognize their own closed-minded communities of hate and mistake violence for the inevitability of what they see as a just cause.

Through strength, they are right.

They can't hear someone like me say that sentiment is pure evil.

That sentiment is the sword on which so many warriors for love have fought against.

It is the monster that tears apart nations, communities, families, and individuals.

So certain is darkness of the outcome of this battle with love.

The darkness of the soul has a very short memory.

Since its only interest is self, it doesn't recognize outcomes.

It doesn't realize the motivation created by one child crying.

It doesn't realize the feet it puts in the street with each mass shooting.

It doesn't see what the death of one brown person can do to the outcome in the voting booth.

It doesn't hear the chant…

Do something.

We are not afraid.

We shall over come…







Carpets have a fringe.

A fancy decorative edge.

A flash, a glint there to catch the eye.

The broad weave of the carpet the dull, boring part in the middle is usually not as attractive as the golden edge.

The center of the carpet is where you stand.

The fringe has an appeal in the beginning.

Look what I have bought into.

But it soon gets old.

You walk into your room, and the fringe trips you up.

What was once a feature is now a distraction.

It catches the dirt.

You can't get it clean.

Its only purpose was to draw attention.

Maybe I spent too much?

The broad weave of the carpet does the real work.

It keeps your feet warm when you walk across the hard cold floor.

The fringe can't do that.

Now the fringe has tripped you up once too often.

It's time to trim the fringe back.

Maybe cut it off entirely.

Once free of the fringe your carpet has a new life.

It no longer serves two purposes.

It can fulfill its reason why you bought it in the first place.

It can do the real work.


Political movements.

Movements have their fancy edges also.

They throw out flashy objects into social media to draw attention.

They stir the pot, get people talking.

But do they put feet into motion?

When the world is cold and hard, are they there to give comfort and compassion?

Or do they only think of themselves?

Often the political fringe will trip up a given society.

Will cause self-destruction of the individual.

The political and social fringe can draw attention, but when it comes down to doing the real work, they trip up the body.

Fringes, political, and social fringes are out only for themselves.

Like the social media poster who sets out a sympathy trap, they bait for clicks only to raise their following number.

They're not there for the children.

They're not there for the person who has done there time and needs a job.

They're not there for those who have lost the people they love through addiction.

They're not there to feed the poor, clothe the naked and give comfort to those that despair.


No, they are there only for themselves.

Right or left self-interest does not discriminate.

On the contrary, self-interest is an equal opportunist willing to take advantage of the compassionate as well as the racist.

It's not just those who want to save the turtles that get taken advantage of.

The hardcore racist gets taken advantage of too.

People like the President tell them things that they have long believed to be true about non-white races.

He makes a pact with them that he can change the movement of time and restore the past.

They want to believe in their racist Santa Clause and will follow him over a cliff to their own economic and social doom only to make it all come true.

The fringe.

But remember the fringe is not the broad weave of the American society.

The heart of America is where the real work is done.

The fringe, all fringe wants you and I to believe they are there for us, but they are not.

The pitchman who wants to sell you the greatest frying pan ever made will not be there to comfort you when your job goes away.

He won't be there when you can't pay for the medicine you need.

He won't hang with you at the time of your despair.

Our attention should be on the broad weave of our Republic.

Let the voices of intolerance, of racism, of hate, be as so much fringe.

Like a crow at the top of a tree that squawks don't let it distract from our true purpose.

Our purpose is to give warmth and compassion to each other in this cold hard world.

To give a place for each of us to stand upon the earth.

To realize each one of us our truth, our purpose, and to reach for and obtain that purpose.

We are all here to embrace not pull apart.

We are here to bring together, not separate.

We are here to love not to hate.





Standing on the corner waiting for the ice cream man.

Seeing the Wizard of Oz only once a year on TV.

LP's, 45's, CD's, cassette tapes, VHS, Super 8.

S&H Green Stamps.

Manual typewriters.

White only counters.

Single-sex public restrooms.

50 cent coffee.




Civic courage.






Common ground.

United States.


Like a thief in the night America awoke to find an empty house.

A shell in which roam individuals who cannot see each other because of the hate that wraps their heads like a blindfold.

Those things that were once so familiar that we could touch, see, and hold onto vanished like a mirage.

America has awoken out of its dream.

A dream that told its people that everything was going to be okay.

Everyone was going to have justice.

No one was above the law of the land.

Like a dream as the hours and days go by that dream becomes harder and harder to remember.

Email, texts, news, social media, entertainment, sports, school, job, lifestyle all of which is a part of all of our daily experience in none of it does it speak to Community.

None of it brings two people together over a common piece of ground.

Gone are the ties that once bound each of us to each other.

Where did they go?

Who took it?

Who is responsible?

We are.

You and me together.

We did it.

We destroyed the dream.

Dreams do not vanish on their own.

To make a dream come true, you have to work to make it real.

Otherwise, a dream, including the American Dream, is a story with no more relevance to reality than any other dream.

Dreams require the individual the society to reach and strive every day for a better tomorrow.

Dreams require you and me to march against giants.

Dreams require us no matter how beaten down how tired to stand once again and say the ignorance of mankind will not rule our lives.

Like a dream, those things that are gone are only out of sight not out of mind.

The mind can bend time and space.

The mind can span the distance between you and me we can see each other and know we want the same things.

We want good work that will provide us a good life.

We want to be free of living in fear.

We want hope.

We need a new American dream.

The old dream was at its heart only for the few.

This new dream should follow the truth that has been revealed by this President and his administration.

That truth is the ignorant never went away.

The truth is one political party courted that vote and has no intention of letting that vote go.

We the people, the majority must recognize you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Ain't going to happen.

We need to take that dime in our hand we were going to give to the ice cream man and find ourselves another corner to stand on.

Those brothers and sisters are not going to follow us to a better community.

They won't get on the freedom train.

Which means we shouldn't be waiting on them to decide if they want to join us, we need to get on down the line.

We have to realize that we are not going to get the racist to behave and sit cordially at our table of humanity.

They want the food fight and want to turn over the table of the brotherhood of man.

Our party has to move because the angry old neighbors are upset our party has the wrong kind of people at it.

We have to be happy with what we have and move along to that better world.

Doesn't mean we won't hold open a seat in case hell freezes over but it also means we need to be realistic that some people prefer to be gone.

They don't like the people at our party.

We all need to do the right thing right now.

When you're saving a life, you don't worry about your appearance.

You do the right thing.

Worrying about Monday morning quarterbacks in the face of presidential corruption and criminality is ridiculously childish.

It's like a child saying they won't clean their room because mommy will expect me to keep my room clean.

If you don't step out of your house, you'll never get to where you want to go.

You can't dream the world better you got to make it better with your own hands.

Ideals will only get you so far unless you are willing to stand for them.

They are meaningless if you don't put actions to your rhetoric.

It's obvious this President and this administration are willing to fight for their view of the world.

Will the good people fight for theirs?

Who will win out?

Injustice or justice?

It will depend upon you and I.



Not Me


When I see an elderly woman stumble and fall.

When I see a man stand on the corner lost.

When I see a girl disobey the traffic laws.

When I see a boy take a hoody from the store.

I say not me.

When I hear the angry voice of a man, who lost his job.

When I hear a young person's song beat my ears.

When I hear the cry of another woman's child.

When I hear the tenor of despair because of lost love.

I say not me.

When I feel the desperate pleas for justice.

When I feel the passion of anger against violence.

When I feel the burning rage of neglect.

When I feel the fear of those, who hate.

I say not me.

Not me?

None of us are without fault committed by us freely in our lives.

Our faults can define us and how we conduct our lives to the end.

Our faults can drive us to persecute or towards an awakening.

Our faults can blind us or open our eyes.

Our faults can deafen our compassion or open wide our hearts and minds.

None of us are without fault.

We all share the responsibility for our society for our community.

Through neglect, we've allowed the shallow, the petty, the self-interest to dominate our social discourse, our Republic.

Our government, our law enforcement leadership apparently so corrupted by their own vice that they are unwilling or unable to prosecute crimes committed against our society.

Money launder's, sex trafficker's, pedophiles, tax frauds, sexual predators as long as they serve a political party is exempt from justice.

Obvious crimes committed by officials of this government along our borders go un-investigated, are not stopped as private enterprise profits off the imprisonment of children?

What has happened to the leadership of this nation, I ask?

Are we to believe as I have stated that they are all every last one of them so corrupted by their vices that not one of them can hold jury over any of these apparent crimes?

If it's not their vices, what else can prevent apparently good people from standing for justice and bringing the criminal to trial?

Is the can of worms, the Pandora's Box of corruption so great that every last official is awash in a quagmire of their own muck?

Shame is only for humans who can still feel it.

Apparently, many do not know the meaning of love.

By that which I treat the least of the lives found in this world, I will be known.

To grovel and fetch for the carnal pleasure of hate?

Is that where our society has landed here in the 21st Century?

Have the dreams of a nation of a people been so torn and discarded that even a simple point of justice, that we don't tolerate child rape is too difficult for us to prosecute?

The apparent moral bankruptcy of our two political powers, the one graft, and power at any cost, the other spineless, is overwhelming.

I feel the rage of neglect.

I hear the cry of pain of another woman's child.

I see the man lost because of fear.

I stand.

I will never be silent.



Without Our Permission


Change happens without our permission.

That's a fact of this Universe.

The Universe does not wait for our approval.

You can have an opinion about it, but it doesn't change the facts.

Can you stop the tide from rolling in?

Can you stop your child from growing?

Can you stop the sun from setting?

No, you can't.

I can't either.

Nobody can.

Change is the fundamental nature of life.

We are born, we live a life, and then we die.

Each step along that path, we find the world changes around us as we change.

Some of the changes are welcome.

The look of your child as they master riding a bike.

Watching your daughter's face as she marries the person she loves.

That new job you've worked so long and hard for.

Suddenly is gone.


Some changes are not welcome.

Your dog is ill and needs to be put down.

There's no work in your town anymore.

The McRib will no longer be sold.

The biggest unwanted change…

The death of a loved one.

Today, March 24th, 2018 in the streets of America and around the world, a collective shout demanding change was issued.

A choice, a demand that life be preserved versus the right to kill.

Why do we reserve the right to kill in this nation?

Could it be the lagging cancer on our soul of racism?

Fear of the other?

Fear of the stranger?

A new voice was raised today to join the old chorus of the past.

It's beat, it's melody unfamiliar to the ears of an older generation, yet, at its heart, it's driving beat as familiar as that old gospel sung by other marchers for freedom from tyranny.

Change comes without our permission.

You can be part of the solution, or you can step aside.

A better world, free of the fear of gun violence has always been in our hands to make real.

The eyes of a nation have been lifted up by the spirit of their children.

March for our lives.



Lift Them Up


Walking into my favorite coffee spot the other day, the hostess Josseline looked tired. 

"How are you today, Josseline," I asked?

She smiled, "No one ever asks how I'm doing. Thank you."

Lift them up.

Some girls were out in front of the grocery store the other day selling Girl Scout cookies. 

They had their learned lines down asking each person as they went by to please purchase their cookies. 

Many did.

An old woman walked by. 

They asked her if she would buy some of their delicious cookies. 

She said she liked to, but she didn't have extra money. 

One of the girls handed her a box for free.

Lift them up.

This coming Saturday, March 24th, from 10 AM to 2 PM starting at Pershing Square, 582 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA,

March For Our Lives is holding a rally and a march.

Everyone is welcome, not just students and teachers affected by the rule of the gun in our land.



Did you hear that…?

Do you hear it?

People, a nation, a time when voices filled with fear call out collectively for justice.

A sound heard through the long halls history foretells of a building wave. 

A wave built upon the broken and shattered lives cut short by the tyranny of a few men over the many.

Lift them up.

Why can't some people hear other people crying?

Why can't some people see the suffering people not like them

Why do some people turn their backs when they can help stop injustice?

Fear of change clouds the eye.

Fear of change darkens the heart.

Fear of change binds the hands.

Fear of the stranger resists compassion.

Lift them up.

You can read the writing on the wall.

You can see the summer change to fall and then to winter. 

You can see the tide roll in and out. 

You can witness the sunrise in the East and set in the West.

But can you see the despair in others, not like yourself?

Can you feel what it is like to live in fear of death?

Can we as a people ask everyone to be responsible? 


Is that too much to ask for? 

Is that a bridge too far? 

A shore too distant? 

Are we collectively going to fall into a trap set by profiteers of death?

The profiteers who stoke the fears of the unknown. 

Who whisper horrible intent of races not your own. 

Who raised up Jesus yet tell us that even the man of peace would have a conceal-carry under his robe.

That if everyone carried a gun, we would all be safe?

I tell you that's a lie.

It is a lie made by dark-hearted men to make a profit out of the fearful.

To tell you the truth…

I can tell you there will never be a time in your whole life that you will you ever be safe.


That is the reality.

The story that many believe is if you live a good life, worship the right god, live in the right neighborhood, drive the right car, marry the right person, go to the right school, get the good job, mind your own business, mow your lawn, keep your house painted, donate to charity, care for your family, that somehow through all these things you will be kept safe by an invisible spirit.

You will not be given anything you cannot bear…

That's a story.

It is not reality.

There are some storms we cannot bear…

Bad things happen to everyone. 

You can't stop it.

But you can with compassion do the thing that we all can recognize is the right thing to do.

You can reach out and take a hand that reaches for help.

You can reach out and hold that person who is afraid.

You can lift them up.

Stand with us on March 24th everywhere in our nation.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Most of all, for life.