a poem gift of yellow – thx

I wake with the sun
And walk amidst everything
she has rinsed in rose gold

I smile as the grass bends to wave hello
The wind pirouettes
And graciously sends
A soulful breeze
Through emerald trees
Whose clapping leaves
With smooth edges
And perfect pleats
make it so
I am touched by the trees

Yet it is the yellowness of the flowers
that makes my heart take a knee

When I witness daffodils rejoicing
with their stems stretching
Whose perfectly petalled faces
Are upturned in praise
Beneath a buttery sun
The best preacher there ever was.

My hearts’ hymn is Hallelujah
My soul is in full bloom
As my body flowers into the Spring of its life

For I feel
And I see
And I know
I am as rich as I will ever need to be

For how generous are the daffodils
in their fields of charity

Glittering like gems
Gleaming like gold
Giving all their riches away for free.

andrew mccabes statement

I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years. I spent half of that time investigating Russian Organized Crime as a street agent and Supervisor in New York City. I have spent the second half of my career focusing on national security issues and protecting this country from terrorism. I served in some of the most challenging, demanding investigative and leadership roles in the FBI. And I was privileged to serve as Deputy Director during a particularly tough time.
For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.

No more.

The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau, and to make clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.

The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact, it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request. The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.

But looking at that in isolation completely misses the big picture. The big picture is a tale of what can happen when law enforcement is politicized, public servants are attacked, and people who are supposed to cherish and protect our institutions become instruments for damaging those institutions and people.

Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday’s comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.

This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.

I have always prided myself on serving my country with distinction and integrity, and I always encouraged those around me to do the same. Just ask them. To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.

I have unfailing faith in the men and women of the FBI and I am confident that their efforts to seek justice will not be deterred.

THANK YOU ANDREW McCABE

joni mitchell

judgement of the moon and the stars
joni mitchell

No tongue in the bell
And the fishwives yell
But they might as well be mute
So you get to keep the pictures
That don’t seem like much
Cold white keys under your fingers
Now you’re thinking
“That’s no substitute
It just don’t do it
Like the song of a warm warm body
Loving your touch”

In the court they carve your legend
With an apple in its jaw
And the women that you wanted
They get their laughs
Long silk stockings
On the bedposts of refinement
You’re too raw
They think you’re too raw
It’s the judgement of the moon and stars
Your solitary path
Draw yourself a bath
Think what you’d like to have
For supper
Or take a walk
A park
A bridge
A tree
A river
Revoked but not yet cancelled
The gift goes on
In silence
In a bell jar
Still a song

my brother ed wrote this

“These are dark and desperate times in our democracy.
Did the Founding Fathers or for that matter any seated Congress repeatedly try and pass laws that vast majority of Americans did not want?
Did they do so in the middle of the night? On bills that had not be read by the voters? Adding trillions to the national debt? Taking services from those who can least afford it, even children? Transferring more wealth to the wealthy and corporations from the lowest income members of our society.
This is madness. America is looking out for a hero, can you be that hero?
Someone, somewhere needs to stand up to this. Congress is voting on bills that are barely written, much less vetted that will negatively impact the majority of Americans for years to come. It needs to be stopped.
Let’s start with the ACA. For six months or more this was debated by Congress and the changes proposed did not pass. So what happens when it doesn’t get passed? The Congressional leadership throws it into a tax bill for a portion of the cuts that they did not get when they couldn’t pass the bill. An estimated 13 Million Americans will not have insurance based on this.
State and local taxes no longer being able to be deducted, or capped at a rate that is ridiculously low, is nothing more than a punitive action against the states that did not vote for the current Administration. These states are the ones which already contribute the most to the federal government. This will have a major impact on the housing market and economies of these states. This will no doubt negatively impact which funding to the federal government. Did no one in Congress take Economics?
Then there are the inappropriate and bizarre additions to this tax bill.
• Setting up 529 college savings accounts for unborn children? With millions of graduates saddled by student loans (which the bill would not have tax deductible interest), young people not being able to afford college and the solution is 529 plans for fetuses? In a tax bill no less?
• Finally, churches endorsing candidates? How about they pay taxes for the privilege? And then there is the separation of church and state. You want to throw out the First Amendment – you need to change the Constitution – not throw this in a tax bill.
America was founded as a country with rights for all citizens with a legislative process that has worked for over 200+ years. This is not the way things are supposed to run in our great democracy. This bill will further concentrate the wealth in the hands of a few and will detrimentally impact the lives of those who are least able to deal with it.
I believe you are a moral person who is looking to do the right thing. The right thing to do here it to take the time to come up with a plan that works for ALL Americans not just the privileged few.
I leave you with the words of the Bible:
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
— 1 John 3:17
Please work to stop this madness and vote against the proposed tax bill. America is holding out for a hero. You can be that hero.”

the journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

Mary Oliver
The Journey