All posts by anthonyuplandpoetwatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty

Dear Tom Perez, DNC, DCCC

Dear Tom Perez, DNC, DCCC,
and other entities within the Democratic National Party. In the year 2000, I got involved with the party to try to stop George W Bush, I have stayed involved and I have encouraged everyone I know to do likewise. When I meet people who are concerned abut the party being too centrist, I say, “join the party, volunteer your way to the top.”

When people got upset because the DNC laid a heavy thumb on the scale, I said, hey, its their party, if you want Bernie or anyone else, you should be on the inside, pushing a progressive agenda, and a progressive slate of candidates. I still believe the best way to fix the party is to get in the tent and work your way up.
Continue reading Dear Tom Perez, DNC, DCCC


When I was growing up, conservative meant two related things.

A conservative person wasn’t cheap, they weren’t selfish, what they were was very careful with their money. They might buy a Mercedes or Volvo instead of a Pinto, because they were persuaded of the value of quality and durability, and probably safety, too. They did not buy designer bags to show off the labels. Generally, they drove Buicks and Oldsmobiles, keeping the same car for several years. They lived in moderate well-built houses and took interesting trips, staying in safe clean but inexpensive lodging.


  • They were slow to adapt to new ideas, be they radical rightwing or leftwing ideas. Today, we might call them principled moderates. If you had a calm rational discussion with them, and had valid points and good documentation, they might at least consider what you have to say. They were not opposed to knew and better ideas, but they remained skeptical until there was solid proof the new idea was right. Sometimes they were wrong, sometimes they held onto gender and race and religion in ways that most of us today find a bit backwards, but they tended to come around, only a bit slower than the trend setting “liberal minded” sort.


  • Today, Conservative, does not mean this at all. In most cases, conservatives today, look at items that do not support America as it was in 1950 as bad, even if they are well documented, long tested and rigorously evaluated by experts. These “new things and new ideas” are, by their very nature, seen as wrong, and evil and destructive to some moral order.


  • When science determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, when the science proves that man’s careless actions are greatly contributing to global climate change. When science proves that race is not a scientific concept, when study after study, looking at the history of our own country, shows that immigrants bring, in the net, a huge positive, even the “poor tired masses teeming to be free, as well as the doctors and lawyers and engineers who bring so much to our economy and well-being. These are facts, and conservative used to be persuaded by facts. Today’s conservatives attack facts, attack science, attack historical records. These people are not conservatives. They are what my conservative Aunts and Uncles would have called “fools.”


  • Yet, it us, the rest of us who are fools. We treat these people as if they are just of an alternative point of view. They are not. It isn’t that they are just waiting on the facts. They actively seek to bury the facts and destroy those who would unearth them. They are the brave defenders, not only of ignorance, but of pure stupidity. We can no longer treat these people as if they were rational people who, like Missouri’s folks were so famously tagged “Show me” people. These are the people who threaten to kill you if you “show them.”


  • Today’s Conservative is engaged in an activity designed to destroy the long-term viability of the human race. They are NOT harmless. They are a clear and present danger to not only liberals, but to the entire planet. It is time we dealt with this terror as all terrorism should be dealt with, swiftly and stiffly!

A Modest Proposal to Right America’s Ship

modest proposalTotal Annual GDP                    Total American Population                   GDP per person

$20,000,000,000,000.00              328,000,000                                               $60,975.61

Total Revenue Required      Sub Group Pop.     Annual Payment                  Sub Groups Title

$3,048,000,000,000.00             254,000,000           $12,000.00                        Basic income only,                                                                                                                                 non-working adults $  444,000,000,000.00              74,000,000                $6,000.00                        Basic income only,                                                                                                                               non-working minors $3,080,000,000,000.00          154,000,000               $20,000.00                  $10 per hour fulltime                                                                                                                                 minimum wage $3,000,000,000,000.00                                                                        Cost of normal gov’t services $9,572,000,000,000.00         Total of GDP to be pre-allocated to various parts of  population

Proposed Division of remaining GDP      Unskilled          Skilled           Owners/Stockholders

Funds Available & Proposed shares           1x                          2x                        4x                           $10,428,000,000,000.00                          80,000,000          44,000,000              30,000,000

$36,208.33          $72,416.67             $144,833.33

To calculate income for an individual, add basic income, add minimum wage, then add their category pay. Example:

Basic Income                                      $12,000.00

Minimum Wage                                 $20,000.00

Unskilled                                              $36,208.33

One  child                                             $ 6,000.00

Total pay                                               $74,208.33         $110,416.67       $182,833.33

Low skilled worker pay $68,000 per year, +$6000/child payment each minor.

Skilled workers pay to around $104,000 per year, +$6000/child payment each minor          Owner/stockholders would earn up to $176,000.  Stockholder dividend comes out of  $108,625.00 (the difference between the $145,000 owner share and the basic $36,000). They would draw their percentage of the $108,600 they actually owned. They would get the same base of around $68,000 all workers get.

Wealth, Not Income 

The current net worth of the entire country is about 125 trillion dollars:                                ($125,000,000,000,000.00) the richest 3,000,000 Americans own about 50 trillion.                  Net worth of the 1%                       Numbers in the 1%          Average wealth of the 1% $50,000,000,000,000.00                       3,000,000                                         $16,666,666.67

If we put a 50% wealth tax on any person who had over 15 million dollars in wealth, we could capture 25 trillion dollars in excess wealth. This would fund one time reparations for 40 million African Americans as well as 5 million Native Americans, just over $500,000 each. Going foward, this fund would make a healthy “rainy day fund”.                  Total wealth tax                       Citizens due reparations                  Individual amount  $25,000,000,000,000.00                        45,000,000                                       $555,555.56

I believe we could institute an economic policy like this and soon we would be dividing up 30 trillion dollars per year, very few of the wealthiest Americans would have to make real sacrifices. We would end poverty, and reduce many govt services over time. A family of 2 unskilled workers and 2 children would earn $148,000 per year. Unemployed person would receive $1000 per month added to their current SSI disability payment. This “radical giveaway to the poor” plan, is only restoring wealth that, for generations has been taken from wealth creators and given to capitalists who often contribute little for their great pay.

To recap, no wealthy person would have any of the first $15 million dollars in wealth, per person, taken in the tax.

Rich people could and would still be several times richer than the poorest working persons, and could make up to 20 times the basic income of a non-working person. This plan presupposes that the value of a human life, in America, is never worth less than 20 times the value of another life.

Why Does It Have To Be Black Folks?

I know there are a lot of white folks in the fight for justice, but largely it is seen as a “Black Issue”, just as the ERA was seen as a “Women’s Issue”. But what I wonder is when will most white people realize that true equality, in access, in justice, in every form, for every person is not only a benefit to the minorities who are the direct beneficiaries of having their rights extended and respected, but more importantly, for the long survival of our society and our economic stability, these rights and accommodations are important to ALL of us.

The same case can be made for immigrants, but the key to the situation with Black Americans, is they ARE Americans, they have been Americans for hundreds of years, even in slavery, with basically NO rights, they were still Americans. For over 150 years, for longer than there was slavery, we have been in a post slavery America. Yet, too often, even today, the path to leadership, the path to productivity is blocked or greatly hindered because of race.

In no part of America is this not true. From Jackson, Mississippi to Boston, Massachusetts, with all the efforts that have been made by governments and good intentioned organizations, a white person still has a million advantages over a black person. In the short run, this system helps a white person. If I am white, I have a much better chance getting a job in the market place, if I am white, unless I am acting very strange, no one confronts me, follows me, or makes it a point to interfere with me. “I am white, I must be doing what I am supposed to be doing.”

The problem for white people is two-fold (as opposed to the obvious and myriad problems it presents for black people) is first the crippling effect this has on white people. In sports we understand, that if we all have to compete on a level playing field, not only do we get the best (this is the second issue), all of the competitors get better.  In track, a faster leader means the second and third place guy runs faster, too. We even have an expression for this, this fast person is a “pace setter”.

For too long, in the world of business, arts, science, education, in short, all fields, we have ALL been deprived of a fair playing field where everyone can compete. Can you imagine a track team assembled, not by a stop watch, but by interviews conducted by the coach over dinner with his family? If the runner was charming and fit in, he/she made the team, if the coach didn’t like that person, they were not on the team. One would end up with a slow team whose members looked a lot like the coach’s family, in fact, maybe some of the team members would BE his family!

This is America today. This is a world where white people continue to hire white people, so some of the best “runners” never even get on the “track”. In sports, for the most part, over the last 50 years, we have come to see the folly of this. But in the rest of our lives, we are still stuck at Mississippi State, 1950.

So, we don’t even have the best white people have to offer, and white men, in particular. In two of the largest companies I have ever worked for (I will not name names), neither blacks, nor women were generally considered to be hired for anything above the lowest levels of unskilled positions, and then only if white men did not apply. From what I can gather, this is not uncommon, even in 2018, most hiring personnel are white, and are biased towards white men, either on their own, or through spoken and unspoken directives from senior management.

If we end up with weaker performances, because the guys know they are only competing with 20-30% of the entire workforce, how hard to they push to be the best, to innovate, to create new and better opportunities?

Secondly, we as a society, at large, and thus each of us individually suffer from a loss of benefits. The benefits a wider based workforce and social leadership, a wider and richer culture. Think of food, if all we allowed in America were American Diners, we would miss out on Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Mexican, Cuban, Thai, Indian, and 100s of other food experiences. It isn’t the American food is bad, at least not all of it, but we are richer because we have so many choices, even if over half the choices do not appeal to any one of us.

The same with the abilities of Blacks (and other groups), whether they directly impact you (and many of them do, whether you realize it or not), allowing every little black kid to get a decent education, and then, most importantly, allowing that black kid to grow up to have access to job opportunities where they are treated fairly, promoted fairly, and given the opportunities to compete fairly on EVERY playing field. It is inconceivable that we are better off with half the population locked out of being as productive and contributing as much as possible.

The problem of race is personal and dangerous to every Black person in America. But it is also crippling every white person in America. White people need to be enraged when an unarmed black person is gunned down by a white cop, but they also need to be outraged when HR doesn’t even consider a Black person for a “public position” in a firm, (“not because we are racists, we are not! But because our customers won’t like a black face, as the face of our company.”) I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that argument!

Its time for you to get a new customer base, if your clientele doesn’t want to have a black person around, or better yet, you need to come clean and deal with the fact it is you, mister or missus hiring person/owner who is a racist. We white people cannot afford this foolishness any longer. The ship is sinking and we wont let the black folks help solve the problems, yes, they will drown, too, but   so will we white folks.

Ending racism, and I don’t mean papering it over and pretending we are “post Obama, post racial.” I don’t mean just getting rid of the KKK jerk who is in the White House, now. I mean a real deep and honest fix. First let’s start with justice. Let’s make sure EVERY cop knows its not okay to murder Black people (and yes, it is murder, and yes, you and I have given that officer permission to kill black people. We have been approving of it ever since Jim Crow), lets make sure we don’t lock people up, because they are black, especially if they are poor and black. We need those people in the workforce, contributing to building the nations wealth, contributing to finding answers to today’s problems, and getting a big enough piece of the wealth they create to raise and educate their own family to contribute in the future.

If you are tempted to fight for the survival of the “white race”, you need to start by fighting to make sure every person, no matter their gender, no matter their color, no matter their sexual orientation or identification no matter their religion, are given a chance to be all they can be, if not, if we continue to block so many paths, especially the blocks we throw up for black people, white people will become a pointless dying shrinking part of the world, forgotten by time and ignored by the billions of non whites who bypassed us.

No one should be fighting harder for equality and justice for Black people than White people, think about it!

How to really make your vote count

Sometimes a single vote matters, an important race comes down to a coin toss, but most of the time the fix is in and it feels like the fix is in, long before the first vote is cast. Because of this, sometimes less motivated voters or people who have never registered to vote will say “my vote doesn’t matter.”

They say, “I live in a blue state”, or “I live in a red state” though in the last two years we have seen “blue states” vote for Trump and we have seen some of the “reddest” states and districts vote “blue.”

Now, I am one of those rare white males who thought Hillary was a great choice, and about 30% of America really liked Trump, but for a lot of people, the idea that it was Hillary or Trump really made them feel powerless. Some wanted Bernie, some wanted someone else, or almost anyone else.

I am here to tell you how you personally, if you are reading this, you can make a major difference in the 2018 midterms, and you might cast the deciding vote for the next American president in 2020.

Yes, YOU!

Not all the liberals, or all the conservatives, banded together but you, and you alone might be


Here is how:

While there are 300+ million Americans, and while about 200+ million of them are eligible to vote, the candidates are self-selected, they choose to run, and then we thin them out in the primaries, and then the two nominees go head-to-head, right? Well sorta….

There are 3,142 counties or equivalents in the USA, these are the organizing cells of the parties. Each county sends two representatives to the state party, these, at least in Florida are called state committee women and men, one male, one female from each county. There are also a party chair and vice chair, again male and female, required by the bylaws, so if your chair is male, your vice chair is female, and vice versa, and so there are two slots to represent the county at the state level, though at the one party I was closely involved with long enough to be elected to go to state, the committeepersons were the only people who went and voted, if I remember correctly, though we closely consulted with the chair and vice chair on all matters, so at most you have about 12,500 people in each party, these are the people who select the state members of the DNC (as well as a similar number in the RNC, though it is slightly different and somewhat more restricted.) so less than 25,000 completely control the entire political process in America. If you want to make sure the person you want to run for office both runs and is elected, you need to be one of those 25,000.

The good news is how very easy and simple this is to accomplish. Tomorrow, you call or show up at your local party office, either one, I prefer the Dems, but if you are a Republican, go, too. You do not say, “I’m here to take over your party.” You say, “I’m here to help. What can I do?” you canvass, you make phone calls, you enter data, you put up signs, you go to meetings where the things you do are planned. You volunteer for anything and you volunteer for leadership responsibilities. If you promise to show up, show up, you attend every meeting, or at least 11 out of 12.

Within a year, you will be asked to be in charge of one of more activities, to be on one or more committees, if you work without complaint for approx. 3-5 hours per month, maybe 10, at the heat of election cycles, you can stand for election to the state, and you will likely win. Now you will vote on some of the 446 people who control the party. Now understand, these 446 people are very powerful in their own right, but they elect the 5-10 people who control the party.

So now, it’s the fall, you have done good work all summer and fall, about September, or sooner if there is a deadline, you ask the party chair, who is your good buddy now, because you are making their life much easier, if you can run for a party position.

Spring 2019, you are an active member of the state party, you work as hard if not harder there than you did at the county level, maybe you coordinate a special election of some off year election in your district in the fall, maybe you do well, maybe you ask your state party chair if you can stand for the DNC, maybe you win.

There are 446 members of the DNC. You are one of them, between you and the 445 members you decide platforms, you decide which races get extra funding and extra volunteers, you even decide which candidate to encourage or discourage a primary race against, you get to lobby possible candidates for all offices, from president to local dogcatcher to either run or to sit it out.  When the 10-15 national candidates declare for president, you will call them and encourage them or explain why you think they shouldn’t run. If none of the 15 are your favorites, you call Joe Schmo from the 7th district in Tennessee and tell him why he should run. You politic to other members of the 446 to also recruit him, you get them to agree to smooth his path with money and help. He runs, you can put your finger on the scale as much as possible to get this guy elected, it is what you are SUPPOSED to do in party politics. You do not control the other party’s candidate, but who cares, you have the best possible candidate in the country running, and probably winning the nomination, your guy, your vote, you win. Instead of holding your nose and picking the lesser of two evils, you got to pick THE GUY (or gal). Your vote decided the election.

So, next time you think, or hear someone else say, “my vote doesn’t count, they are all the same, they are all crooks, and the fix is in already, anyway,”remember this, maybe your vote will count, maybe it won’t, you should vote, just in case so you don’t get Senator Coin Toss, but, if you really want to be the guy/gal who casts the deciding vote for president, now you know how!

We are live, Better Than Starbucks February 2018 Vol III No II

we are live feb 2018
This month in Better Than Starbucks (not your ordinary poetry magazine):
The Interview – with Jared Carter by Vera Ignatowitsch
7 New Poems by Jared Carter
3 Timeless Poems by Jared Carter
Featured Poem – I can lie and tell you i care- by Sydney Szwarc
Free Verse with Suzanne Robinson featuring Sergio A. Ortiz, Marc Carver, Hope Madden, Jaunita Cox, Phil Capitano, Larry D. Giles, and Neil Creighton.
Haiku with Kevin McLaughlin featuring Afriku with Kayode Afolabi and Adjei Agyfi-Baah, and haiku by Veerangana, Bob Whitmire, Jen Smith, Zachary Outzen, Dr. Sandip Saha, Vera Ignatowitsch, Honorah Murphy, Angie Davidson, and Joseph Davidson.
Formal & Rhyming Poetry with Vera Ignatowitsch featuring Richard Wakelfield, John Beaton, Kathryn Jacobs, Robin Helweg-Larsen, Michael Burch, Peter C. Venable, Elizabeth Faris, and Paul Willis.
Poetry Translations with S. Ye Laird featuring Yun Wang, Ranald Barnicot, David B. Gosselin, and Joseph Tusiani.
International Poetry:
African Poetry with Tendai Rinos Mwanaka featuring Maryam Gatawa, Toyota M. Safari, and Thato Tshukudu.
Asian Poetry with Rameeza Nasim featuring Yuan Changming, Yanna, Kazi Nabeel, and Prasang Agarwal.
Experimental Poetry featuring Dennis Aguinaldo, Martin Porter, and Jon Nakapalau.
Sentimental Poetry featuring Matthew Pollock, Marjon van Bruggen, Joseph Anthony Samoles, and David B. Gosselin.
Fiction: Crap Apples by Sarah Cimarusti
More Fiction: THE SPOTLIGHT by Michael Giorgio
Better Than Fiction: Does my Child Have a Right to Live? by Matt Hughes
From The Mind: of Anthony Uplandpoet Watkins, our editor in chief and publisher

2 Pro-Business/Pro Taxpayers Suggestions

On this last day of the year, I just want to make a political point:
“free college” and “free healthcare” are not socialism.

Both are very wise capitalistic concepts.
When society invests in both, it saves a ton of costs for both the worker and their employer. If society institutes a policy that ends up lowering the net cost to business and to taxpayers, that is PRO BUSINESS/PRO TAXPAYER, not socialism.
No cost college will pay for itself in increased taxes over the lifetime of the higher earning grad, plus some. The same is true with universal healthcare. If you take what the taxpayer and the corporation currently spend on medical care, plus the loss of productivity our current system costs our economy, universal healthcare would save approximately 1/2 of a TRILLION dollars per year!
Over time, the college educated taxpayer would pay enough into the IRS to also increase the coffers by hundreds of Billions, so, if, instead of giving away the treasury to the richest .1%, the congress had enacted policies to create a universal no cost education and universal no cost healthcare system, we would have balanced the budget in a few years and in my lifetime, we might pay off the debt. Along the way, we would pretty much end poverty in America. Because every child in America could pursue as much education as they could stand, we would have a much larger talent pool to solve ours and the world’s problems and thus also remained at the forefront of world economies….

So, if you think you must be socialist, and/or like Bernie Sanders to support two of the smartest money-saving ideas in modern society, think again, you just need to be what Trump isn’t: a smart businessperson.