Refugees, a poem by Brian Bilston

The world can be looked at another way

For United Nations Day, I decided to post a poem entitled Refugees by Brian Bilston. I came across it on Facebook in 2018, though the author first posted in March 2016. It was buried in my email until now.

It is used with permission of the author. As he says, “Please bear with it.”

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(now read from bottom to top)

UN Day

Here’s the Secretary-General’s Message from 2018;
refugees
United Nations Day marks the birthday of our founding Charter – the landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of “we the peoples”.

Every day, the women and men of the United Nations work to give practical meaning to that Charter.

Despite the odds and the obstacles, we never give up.

Extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing.

Yet we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world.

Climate change is moving faster than we are, but we don’t give up because we know that climate action is the only path.

Human rights are being violated in so many places. But we don’t give up because we know respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace.

Conflicts are multiplying – people are suffering. But we don’t give up because we know every man, woman, and child deserves a life of peace.

On United Nations Day, let us reaffirm our commitment.

To repair broken trust.

To heal our planet.

To leave no one behind.

To uphold dignity for one and all, as united nations.

  • António Guterres

See also the Refugee Rights section from the Human Rights Watch page.

November rambling #3: The American In Me

A time-honored American political tradition: disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination

Australia cut off food and water at an offshore detention camp; asylum seekers there more determined than ever to find freedom

Meet the Teenagers Who Started a Film Production Studio in Their Refugee Camp

Where Brexit Hurts: The Nurses and Doctors Leaving London

From the November 26 lectionary: Matthew 25:44-45 (NIV): They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work

The recent tide of apologies by famous men have been ‘awful’

Right-wing troll James O’Keefe fails badly at baiting Washington Post with rape lie

Fear of a Black Princess: Britain’s Royal Racial Problem

Bringing an XX perspective to an XY world of movies

What Latino Film Critics Are Saying About Pixar’s ‘Coco’

I’ve seen a variation of this more than once on Facebook: “If we’re being technical here, Charles Manson isn’t actually a serial killer and never killed anyone that we know of.” I think this is pedantic; encouraging others to kill made him legally culpable

How evidence once thought destroyed helped free a man after 39 years behind bars for murder he didn’t commit

NYT responds to readers’ accusations of normalizing a Nazi sympathizer

Fear of crackdown haunts daily life of undocumented immigrants

Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now and Without it in Portugal, mobile internet is bundled like a cable package

Thomas Brunell’s appointment “signals an effort by the administration to politicize” the decennial survey

Supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination

Supporter Says He’d Trust Trump Before Jesus Christ

He Now Says That Wasn’t Him on Access Hollywood Tape

Schroedinger’s Tax Hike

In the Land of Vendettas That Go On Forever

Why the rise of the robots won’t mean the end of work

NOW YOU CAN ENJOY GLUTEN FREE VERSIONS OF FAMOUS ART – As gluten-free options are on the rise in trendy circles, someone had the bright idea to go back into classical art and make it gluten-free too

David Brickman’s Italy photos

#Marie Severin is a Comic-Con Icon Award Recipient

#The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour at 50: The Rise and Fall of a Groundbreaking Variety Show

a few thoughts on bathroom signage

This New York Times Website Comment Is the Single Best Comment of the Year

These Aren’t the Tootsie Rolls You’re Looking For

Lessons from the Worst Food Hack of 2017

The strategically planned implosion of the Georgia Dome, captured by The Weather Channel

MUSIC

The Passenger (Randall Thompson) – Chris Trombley, baritone; Todd Sisley, piano

Simple Gifts (excerpt) – Aaron Copeland

Suite from JFK – John Williams

The American In Me – The Avengers

Abraham, Martin and John – Dion

In My Life – Jose Feliciano and Jools Holland

Obsession – OK Go

R. Stevie Moore

Hero and Leander by Victor Herbert

The True History Of The Traveling Wilburys

Neil Young Launching Online Music Archives December 1

July rambling #1: Equality Feels Like Oppression

Smokey Robinson, a Leader of ‘a Musical Revolution,’ to Receive Gershwin Prize

synonym rolls

Refugees Encounter a Foreign Word: Welcome

‘When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression’

Whiteness.

Medicalization and its Discontents

Expats and accents

N.J. forces mom to pay son’s student loans: Murder ‘does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness’

Noel Neill, R.I.P.

Stephen Colbert Fondly Recall the Moment He Knew His Wife Was the One

Now I Know: The Friendliest of Fire and A (Stuart) Little Discovery and A Whale of a Discovery and A Run on the Runs

Stars and Stripes

Are we overdoing the Founding Fathers?

Three-part series of American Revolution-themed Sesame Street sketches from 1986/1987.

‘Is Lady Liberty a man?’: Fox worries France ‘pulled a fast one’ with transgender Statue of Liberty

Hanging Clothes

Trouble With Comics: Nationalism and the comics

How Justice Scalia’s Absence Has Affected the Supreme Court’s Decision

Racism In My Front Yard

The Negro Motorist Green Book and Black America’s Perpetual Search For A Home; Yes, I wrote about this here

Real Time with Bill Maher: How “Trickle Down” economics has never worked

thinker.toppled
Fun facts: Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. His father, John A. Chaffetz, was previously married to Katherine (Kitty) Dickson, and they had one son, John. Later, John Sr. married Jason’s mother, Margaret A. Wood. Kitty subsequently married Michael Dukakis (D-MA), the now-former governor. Jason worked on Michael Dukakis’ 1988 Presidential campaign.

DJT

The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy to Make Donald Trump Look Like a Bigot

Donald Trump is shattering taboos around race, causing alarm among those who track racial tension and galvanizing white supremacists

WHO ARE ALL THESE TRUMP SUPPORTERS? At the candidate’s rallies, a new understanding of America emerges.

The Theology of Donald Trump

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob?

How voters’ personal suffering overtook reason

Donald Trump and the Jews, explained

An old episode of Sesame Street featuring a Muppet named Ronald Grump who is proposing building a condo tower called Grump Tower. Throughout the show (0:00, 10:52, 21:27, 28:18 and 51:23). Plus ‘Sesame Street’ Parodied Donald Trump As A Garbage Grouch

MUSIC

Let’s Make America Great Again

Neil Sedaka – The Immigrant (re John Lennon)

30 Years- Roan Yellowthorne a/k/a Jackie McLean, who Remembers Her Childhood as Don McLean’s Daughter

US. Navy Band Sailors – “Jersey Boys” Medley (2014)

DakhaBrakha: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

17 COVER SONGS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS

Ten iconic TV opening theme songs

Donny & Marie Do Steely Dan

Smokey Robinson, a Leader of ‘a Musical Revolution,’ to Receive Gershwin Prize

Animated interview with Bob Dylan, age 20

Paul Simon Talks Peace with His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2005)

The Spice Girls at 20: ‘Women weren’t allowed to be like that in public’

 

December rambling #1: your first draft

Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact – Gonna Be Alright (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

25mphPicture per HERE.

How Republicans Trumped Themselves. Still, I’m NOT convinced that FriendsWhoLikeTrump.com reflects true Trump supporters on Facebook.

How people respond to Bible quotes when told they’re from the Quran.

The Deadliest Mass Shooting Everyone Forgot.

Ikea’s Newly Designed Refugee Shelters.

Why Poor People Stay Poor. Saving money costs money. Period.

UN Fighting to make LGBT people Free & Equal.

Speedway gas stations and Common Core math.

The Twitter blue bird? Hatched in Albany.

I fit the description.

2016 colors of the year.

Tom Tomorrow: The Gun Policy Debate in Four Sentences and The last thing a chaotic crime scene needs is more untrained civilians carrying guns; The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper discovers that becoming an effective good guy with a gun is harder than it looks. Plus Guns are security blankets, not insurance policies.

Conversation between Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jon Stewart & a number of 9/11 First Responders who are fighting to extend health care and compensation to responders, many of whom need it dearly. Congress is the #worstresponders.

An Interview with Catharine Hannay: Creator and Editor of MindfulTeachers.org, who I know personally.

John Oliver on the art of regifting.

Now I Know: Gator Aid and How to Make the World’s Best Paper Airplane.

The satire section

Study: Scalia Better Off in “Less Advanced” Court. Satire of very real comments from a member of SCOTUS.

Native Americans call for ban on Christians entering the US.

Donald Trump is actually Andy Kaufman.

Syrian family gets into U.S. by disguising themselves as guns, as the US Congress marks third anniversary of doing nothing in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Newtown.

The Jaquandor section

Your First Draft is NOT Crap!!!

Jaquandor’s family’s first Thanksgiving in New York. Several neat posts, such as at the Hayden Planetarium, et al.

Music!

Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact – Gonna Be Alright (OFFICIAL VIDEO), plus On the field interview with Rebecca Jade!

Liz Callaway bobbles the lyrics to a Stephen Sondheim song. Or does she?

Dustbury: RIP to music’s P.F. Sloan and Cynthia Robinson.

Coverville: All-Beatles covers Thanksgiving show for the 12th year in a row! “Track by track tribute to Rubber Soul for the 50th anniversary of its release, as well as a tribute to Paris with a full set of French-spoken Beatles covers.”

Chuck Miller wants to be buried with Stevie Wonder’s “Hotter Than July”, which I consider his last great album.

Funnies

AV Club’s favorite graphic novels, one-shots, and archives of 2015.

Mark Evanier continues to list the twenty top voice actors in American animated cartoons between 1928 and 1968, including Paul Winchell (Tigger) and Howard Morris (Atom Ant) and Stan Freberg (Junior Bear), and Paul Frees (Boris Badenov, Professor Ludwig Von Drake, Poppin Fresh the Pillsbury Doughboy) and June Foray (Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale) and Daws Butler (Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Captain Crunch).

Buster Keaton – the Art of the Gag.

Smilin’ Ed Comics by Raoul Vezina & Tom Skulan. Hardcover on IndieGoGo.

GOOGLE alerts (me)

Time to Ask Arthur Anything. He answered mine about Prez and Veep candidates and Ranking the Republican candidates and The USA’s gun problem.

SamraiFrog’s 50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums.

Twing toustlers.

GOOGLE alerts (not me)

St Peter’s set for £1.2 million renovation. “Admitting to being “very nervous” about taking on the large-scale project, Friends chairman Roger Green, who this year won an award for his volunteering, has agreed to stay on and see through the changes, which are not likely to be complete until at least the end of 2019.”

Thanks. Giving. (Refugees)

We make a mockery of the inscription of that beacon of hope, the Statue of Liberty.

syrian refugeesThere are three basic arguments against blocking Syrian refugees from entering the United States after the extensive screening already taking place:

1. It’s exactly what Daesh wants. That’s a rather persuasive argument against equating refugees with terrorists, for me. The identified Paris attackers were not refugees, and the Syrian passport conveniently found near one of the attack sites, was most likely a fake.

Daesh has been recruiting people that are already citizens in their target country. As my former TU blogging colleague Kevin Marshall notes: “Planting operatives among Syrian refugees that have to undergo vetting processes, scrutiny, and no resources for them once they reach their uncertain destination? Not only is that the opposite of their modus operandi, but it’s also a really dumb, convoluted plan with unnecessary obstacles. It’s like the Rube Goldberg Device of terrorist plots.”

Yet at least 30 governors say they want to close their states to Syrian refugees. Presidential candidates are talking about shutting down mosques (that would be D. Trump) and discriminating against refugees on the basis of religion. Members of Congress are threatening to cut off funding for refugee assistance while four million Syrian refugees are desperate to get away from a civil war not of their own making.

In other words, to quote the cliche from dozen years ago, “We’re letting the terrorists win.” Or as Robert Reich put it, channeling FDR, we’d be “fearing fear itself.” (Which FDR himself succumbed to with the Japanese internment, one of the most shameful acts in American history.)

2. It falls desperately short of the American ideal. To quote Andrew Cuomo, which I VERY seldom do: “We have to protect Americans and not lose our soul as America in the process.”
syrian refugees2
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

When we close our borders and stop letting in those that need our help to enter this country, we make a mockery of the inscription of that beacon of hope, the Statue of Liberty, and as Cuomo noted, “I say take down the Statue of Liberty because you’ve gone to a different place.”

And I get to agree with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) when he notes, about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggestion to favor Christian refugees from Syria over Muslims, “I don’t think any child, whether they are Christian or whether they are atheist or whether they are Buddhist, that we should make a distinction,” McCain said. “My belief is that all children are God’s children.”

Plus, resettlement in the U.S. is a long process as it is. The Refugee Admissions Program is jointly administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in the Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within DHS conducts refugee interviews and determines individual eligibility for refugee status in the United States. John Oliver explains.

We should not respond with hysteria. Here are some things ordinary people can do to restore sanity.

superman.racism
3. It’s not the Christian thing to do:

Imagine a poor Middle Eastern couple, the woman very pregnant, with no place to stay. Recall how the child who would be born grows up to say, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Here are some other Bible verses about how to treat refugees. If we claim to be Christians and ignore this invocation, we might as well keep those creches in their storage boxes this Advent season.

When I posted the Resolution for Protection and Hospitality for Syrian Refugees from the Albany (NY) Presbytery on Facebook, I was told, “I think you’ve just glossed over just about everything that [a lengthy rationale from a third party] has said in favor of blind faith.” To which I replied, “I guess I’m just trying to literally respond to WWJD.” Check out Stephen Colbert’s response.
lawn ornaments
Or, in the words of The Thinking Atheist: “Why are we so quick to see the ugly…when we stand before the beautiful?”
***
Remember this Thanksgiving:
Hello

Thanksgiving explanations from Anglophenia

Choose to be grateful. It will make you happier.

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