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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.

There are NO Black People in America

equal not equal

I have a certain blindness.

In that I assume everyone is on the same path as I am and that everyone is on the same place on that path. It occurs to me, that I only recently realized a thing about race. That thing is that there are no races.

Race is both the most obvious thing in the world, and the most non-existent thing in the world. Yes, one can look around the world, and even look around any diverse place in America and see white, black, brown, yellow and red people, though we are all various shades of brown/black with some of those whose origins are from the far north being so pale as to be almost pink or white.

What we are is families and tribes, and various genetic traits in regards to skin color have evolved over a few millions of years, and yes, some genetic differences not related to skin color also developed over this time, and as we all come from families who tended to inbreed and to not move around much, a long nose, or a large ear or a odd shaped toe might be more prominent in one group than the next, but people from all regions, and all colors are tall, short, skinny, fat, smart, stupid, and 100s of other traits often associated with one group or another. In fact, scientists tell us there is more genetic variation within color groups than there are between them. Think about that. If you are “white”, there is a “black” person who shares more genetic material with you, than some other person who is identified as “white.”

Now, don’t misunderstand me, there is much racism in America, and to have racism, you must have races, even if you make them up. That is exactly what has happened. So, we have very different cultural experiences, not based so much on race, but on racism. If you a human being with dark skin, we assume your ancestry to be African, which it likely is, but your experience, especially if your family has been in the USA a along time, is different, not so much because your family 200 years ago came from Senegal, instead of Sweden, but because your ancestor probably landed here in chains and then after some generations, your ancestors were “freed” and still treated nominally like slaves, and then, unless your family was really lucky, even up to today, your family has been treated differently from some Irish family, whose ancestor came over indentured 150 years ago, but was able to pass for “English” within a generation, due to the pigmentation of their skin. Neither the English, nor the Irish, nor the man from Senegal are white or black, as a thing, give the same circumstances, they have a near equal probability of doing the same things and reacting the same way.

Somehow, it took me 50 years to realize we did not need to “treat” people of color the same,” we “White” needed to recognize that ALL people ARE the same. That we are not “White” and they are not “Black” or “Brown” or even in the more offensive shadings of “Yellow” and “Red.”

“They” are “Us.” We are one people, with many different family and tribal heritages. As the title says, there are NO Black people in America. There are lots of people with lots of different appearances and experiences, but until we get over the basic concept that there are real and significant differences between people BECAUSE of skin color, we cannot be anywhere near as great as we could be.

Until we can see that every child, no matter their color, no matter what neighborhood, needs the very best possible education and the best healthcare, as well as the fullest work opportunity, so they can contribute to our society to their fullest, we will continue to fail.

We will fail them. We will fail at our goal of equality. We will fail at our economic successes. We will fail as human beings as our very survival as a RACE, depends on our ability to maximize the effectiveness of every human being on the planet.

The same is true, regarding gender, gender identity gender preference, religion, or national origin, or nationality. Until we recognize that humanity faces an oncoming existential that, and that threat is not Christian, Muslim, Jew, Male, Female, Straight Gay, Trans, Black, White or Brown, and that we MUST work together to maximize every persons’ intellectual contribution, our complete extinction is only a matter of time. If we took the effort and energy we use to compete with one another, to oppress one another, to literally destroy one another, we can become our own “Super Race.”

Monopoly in the Sand Box

Okay, lets play in the sand box for a little while:

Today, the weather is nice, so we settle into the cool soft sand and set up the monopoly board. The rules says everybody gets $2000 and an even number of turns. Of course, as we are supposed to believe in life, sometimes a roll comes up empty, sometimes we get to advance to GO and collect $200, so it is a bit of luck and a lot of good/bad decision making that determines the winner.


But to more reflect real life, our game today has one player, drawn at random, lets say as random as the chance of a person being born rich. This person receives $10,000 and will get $1000 every time he goes around go, he never has to go to jail, pay assessments, fines, or bail to get out of jail.
We will call him the “Rich” player. Two players get to play by the conventional rules. Two players get to play by “Special rules” they get $50 when they go around go, and cannot buy any property they land on, unless no one else wants to buy it, and if they do want to buy it, they have to pay double face value.

In our game, the players can not go out of the game, so there is no monopoly, the poorest player has to take on more debt to pay for the more and more expensive hotels he stays at, and all three of the regular and rich players have to pay up to fund the debt of the poor players. The poor players are still in debt, but the state still has to pay the debt.

Now, if, instead, we adjusted the game so that the rich guy only got $5000 to start and only $500 when he went past go, he would still be rich, and still have a great chance to win, but not now we distribute the rest of the same $15,000 we distributed to start the first game”


$10,000 Rich

$2,000 Regular

$2,000 Regular

$500 Special

$500 Special


Now we give it out like this

$10,000 Rich -$5,000 = $5,000

$2,000 Regular + $1,000 = $3,000

$2,000 Regular + $1,000 = $3,000

$500 Special + $1,500 =$2,000

$500 Special + $1,500 =$2,000

And then each time they passed go, they got proportional to their original distribution.

The Rich is still rich, the Special is still poorer than the other two classes, but now, they are a lot less likely to be a burden on the other players, they are less likely to run out of money and lose the game. The rich will still have a huge advantage, but it is a much fairer game where everyone at least has a chance.

Of course, we could tax the rich so that each person has the same amount, but in real life, most people don’t see that as fair, no matter how the rich person got rich.


This week, we have seen the rules rewritten in a shocking way:

Now the game is this:

$10,000 Rich + $500 = $5,500

$2,000 Regular – $150 = $1,850

$2,000 Regular – $150 = $1,850

$500 Special – $100 =$400

$500 Special – $100 =$400


Can anyone imagine how that extra $500 to the rich guy will benefit the game?

Well, at least this is just Monopoly!

Nobody would make up these silly rules in real life….

Would they?


Forget the 1%, are you 1 of the 50,000?

In the entire United States there just over 3000 Counties.
Political party organizations are based by county.that means each party has for approximately 50,000 to 60,000 people involved as regular volunteers including the state and federal level and if you were not part of that 50,000 to 60,000 people then you have no right to complain about anything that happens in America because you’re sitting on your lazy butt watching football or soap opera or scandal or real housewives or whatever stupid thing there is instead of caring enough to donate to the five hours per week of your time.
if you are a single mother and you’re working three jobs and raising two kids, you get a free pass, nobody else does.
I do not know a single human being, of course, I live in an entitled middle-class white world but I don’t know a single person that doesn’t have 3 to 5 hours a week and $5 to $10 a week that they could not give both to their favorite party and if everybody in America did that we would have a very different set of political parties and a very different government.
The party is only an assembly of its pieces. look at the Pat Robertson model in the 1980s, his followers took over the GOP and even though he was never elected president, his policies have controlled it ever since. The Dems could use the reverse to shift the DNC away from corporatism, there are about 450 DNC members and yes, they are “superdelegates” so not only would you, as a DNC member have about the same amount of influence over the party ans a member of congress has over the us govt, you would get to have an outsized role in selecting your party’s presidential candidate. so, if anyone is unhappy with the direction of the DNC, they should get up off their fat asses and go to work, otherwise they are just entitled complainers. I was active in county politics from 2000-2004 and was offered the state committeman position for our county within four years!i busted my butt, but then we moved out of the county, and we had a new born, so since then, i have only occasionaly volunteered and never again taken on the responsibility of leadership. but the path is not complicated. donate about 200 hours or so per year and take on any responsibility the party asked (i took over volunteer coordinating) and you will make state committee within 4-6 years, maybe sooner, if you are in a small county), then from state, you will probably be another 4-10 years making the DNC, and from there, you simply organize other DNC members and recurit likeminded people to join the party and work their way up. taking over a party is hard work and requires patience, but it is not complicated nor impossible.

5/10/50 my alternative to GOP Tax Reform

The top 1% of Americans earn 3.9 Trillion dollars per year. Currently, they pay about and effective 22% tax rate, or nearly .9 trillion dollars in taxes. As 1% of America is 3.3 million people, that means, on average, those 3,300,000 people each earn, after taxes, about $900,000 per year, not per household, per person.

The other 99% average $42,000 take home per person. Not bad, but if you think about the richest 1% making 20 times that, while the bottom 50% of Americans earn an average of $21,000.

While the 1% can truthfully say they pay 40% of the current income tax bill, they still earn 20 – 40 times as much as most Americans. It is hard to understand why anyone would think we need to lower taxes on these people who control over 20 percent of all the wealth in America, while some of the hardest working people end up at or near the bottom making around $15,000 while working full time.

Which is why I propose we tax everyone who makes less than $50,000 per person at a 5% rate, and raise the top 1% to 50%, with a couple of stops along the way for people who make between $50,000 and $430,000. See, the funny thing in America, we tax earned income at a much higher rate than unearned income! So, while the top 1% average earning nearly $1,500,000 each, nearly a million dollars on average is not from wages, it is from money they already own making more money for them, without them having to work. And it is taxed at a much lower rate. This needs to stop.

If we taxed the 170 million Americans who earned a total of 4.25 Trillion, we would generate 212 Billion, or about 10% of what you current collect from all Americans in income tax.

Now, we collect 50% of every dollar over 430,000 the 1% made, we would raise another $1.65 trillion, leaving them with about $600,000 per year per person, hardly anything other than still rich. Now if the remaining 49% of us who are neither in the bottom 50 nor the top 1. We earn the remaining 9 trillion dollars of our GDP, we do “okay”, but we currently pay about the same taxes as the 1%, we could cut the taxes on this class in half so the average middle class home earning a little over 100K for the house hold would pay 10% and that would raise another 900,000,000,000, so we are now collecting 2.7 trillion, which would allow us to keep all the services we have now and even eliminate the deficit. This is my 5/10/50 plan. The GOP would like to lower the taxes on the rich, cut the services to the poor, run up the deficit and actually raise taxes on millions of us in the middle class! I say 5/10/50 is better!!!



If you don’t know that pi is 3.141592, and if you don’t know how to use it in this formula and then know what you are achieving when you run a number thru the formula, does that make you stupid?
Formula: V=4/3 pi r3
The answer is no you are not stupid. If you can’t multiply 1234 x 567 and then divide by 89 to get the correct answer, working only in your head, no paper, no calculator, excel spreadsheet. If you don’t know the answer with great confidence 5 positions past the decimal, that means you don’t do math in your head for a hobby, but you might be pretty smart.
Now, if you see someone who writes something and their spelling, or grammar or some aspect of their word choice amuses you, that’s fine, but before you start thinking you are smarter than them, that they must be idiots, please review the preceding few words regarding mathematics.
Unless you are an idiot because you not only didn’t recognize the formula that starts with “V” you don’t know how to use it and you have no idea what V nor r, nor even pi is, then someone who writes something down in a nonstandard format is not automatically an idiot either!