16 August 2017

Unequivocal Moral Imperative

In many of our differences we must find a way to compromise and move FORWARD. I understand the compassion and empathy of that ideal and I applaud.

However, the struggle we’re all facing right now is a concerted effort to force our society to move BACKWARD, back to a time of social oppression for all but the most select group. We cannot let that happen. Let me be clear: No, we cannot all just get along! This isn’t an issue of differing opinions. This isn’t people “just not getting along.” This struggle is our unequivocal moral imperative. Our children and grandchildren will look at this history being played out right now and ask what we did to resist this forced march backwards to oppression.

Frankly, letting everyone have “a right to their own opinions” is what gave room for this rise of racist fascism and social oppression we’re seeing now. We cannot continue to permit anyone the right to any “opinion” that oppresses humanity. These are not “opinions” – they are evil “ideologies.” These are ideologies no less egregious than those of the Islamist extremists. Racism, supremacist ideologies, and fascist ideologies are the same radical extremism as every Islamist extremist’s ideology. Free speech was never intended to protect hate-speech. Hate-speech is the speech of oppression.

What we’re seeing this past week cannot be allowed to continue. There is NO moral equivalency between the alt-right’s white supremacist, fascist, racist, bigoted, white nationalist, nazi, KKK, evil extremist “opinions” and those standing against them. Their “opinions” are unequivocally EVIL. It is just plain wicked to hold up those standing against that evil as equally guilty, which what Trump did yesterday – he essentially said that the protestors standing against EVIL are the same evil. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting racist fascism in WWII – It is the duty of every American to honor them – we are the heirs of those WWII anti-fascist warriors – by standing unified against racist fascism rising in our very midst. It is every person’s duty to stand up and be counted… either we stand against this evil, or we continue to enable it.

There is no middle ground. This week defines for us all an unequivocal moral imperative as a nation, as Americans: Either you stand against racist fascism or you stand with it… and Trump.

23 July 2017

Joseph’s Angel

Daughter, sister, wife, mother… friend
She gave loyalty for loyalty to the end
Her flame-kissed hair shinin’ like a halo
That mischievous turn of her lips, just so
Losing Dawny cuts deep to our hearts
A little piece o’sunshine torn from hearts

With her bright laughing eyes
And those one of a kind Dawn smiles
Givin’ us reason to laugh in the middle o’hell
O Lord, we all need Joseph’s Angel

Joseph’s Angel, mom to the fiercest degree
Gone from us now with the Lord to be
Laughing eyes dimmed in pain never more
Gone home, sharin’ stories on the golden shore
Lookin’ down on her Joe with hopeful sighs
In our Lord’s bosom Our Dawny now lies

With her bright laughing eyes
And those one of a kind Dawn smiles
Givin’ us reason to laugh in the middle o’hell
O Lord, we all need Joseph’s Angel

We see her now with little tricksy pranks
Laughter for all in Heaven’s ranks
We’ll miss Joseph’s Angel while we rejoice
God called her forth with His wise choice
To with the Heavenly Hosts her stories regale
Dawny’s gone Home, made new, hearty and hale

With her bright laughing eyes
And those one of a kind Dawn smiles
Givin’ us reason to laugh in the middle o’hell
O Lord, we all need Joseph’s Angel

I never imagined such a world or day
Where she wasn’t just a phone call away
Joseph’s Angel always found the laughter
In every situation of the joke she was master
She told our stories, rendered humorously
Showed us not to take ourselves so seriously

With her bright laughing eyes
And those one of kind Dawn smiles
Givin’ us reason to laugh in the middle o’Hell
O Lord, we all love Joseph’s Angel

RIP Dawn Dell Dever Connell – my sister and my friend. [11 July 1967–30 November 2016]
I never imagined a world where our Dawny wasn’t just a phone call away. When you went Home, Dawny, a little bit of sunshine went out of the world. I don’t weep for our Dawny. There’s no more pain and suffering for her. She’s gone Home to the Lord’s embrace – for that, I will celebrate. However, for now… and for a long time to come… I weep. I weep for Joseph and Wayne. I weep for our parents and sisters. I weep for myself. I weep for a world without our Dawny… without Joseph’s Angel to make us laugh.

D. Denise Dianaty
©23 July 2017

19 July 2017

#Sexism and #Inequality

A gentleman direct messaged me with the assertion: “inequality between genders is no longer a thing…” He included the assertions that he’s not trying to troll, that men are actually disadvantaged now, and that he’s just trying to be informed. I’ll begin by recommending people who believe these statements to do a bit of research – starting with government provided, publicly available-to-all statistics. I’ll continue by posing a few questions and sharing a few examples:

Were you aware that women in the Trump WH make 63¢ on the dollar that men make?

Were you aware that women, until the ACA, were charged nearly double what men were charged for healthcare – and that was BEFORE adding pregnancy coverage?

Were you aware that businesses and companies STILL refuse to talk to wives unless definitively specified by their husbands – but that no such limitation exists for men. My husband and I have a loan on our home; my name is on the title. But, when the mortgage company calls, they refuse to speak to me beyond leaving a contact number and message for my husband. Yet, the credit card which is in MY NAME, from the same company, upon which my husband is merely an approved user, has no qualms with full disclosure to my husband.

Were you aware that on average in America women make 79¢ to the dollar men make for the same jobs – and that we women are delighted with this “progress” over the last fifty years or so.

Were you aware that women alone are less likely to be approved for mortgages? Were you aware that women alone are less likely to be approved for small business loans?

Were you aware that women who do manage to get approved for loans are likely to be approved for LESS than men with the same financial prospects?

When my husband called a flooring company out for an estimate, they came and met with him and never considered me. When I tried to schedule a few appointments with competitors to compare costs, they would not meet with me unless “both decision makers” were present. My husband called two of them back and nothing was mentioned of “both decision makers” when he scheduled their visits.

Have you ever met a man who lost a job because he was having a baby? I personally lost a career job for that reason – I lost a baby, did not miss one day of work, but was foolish enough to answer the boss’ question when he asked if I was going to keep trying to get pregnant. Next thing I know, this award winning graphic designer was out of a job.

I know numerous women – especially service sector workers – who’ve lost their jobs because of their pregnancies. They return from a few weeks of maternity leave to find their job gone and they’ve been relegated to demotion (a common occurrence professionally); or, more likely, they don’t get enough hours put on the schedule to be able to afford to keep that job – that’s what getting pushed out of a job looks like in the service sector.

I’ve also worked jobs where I trained guys, who went on to be promoted above me.

Was that a man thrown out of the Speaker of the House’s corridor for dressing for the weather in DC? It was not.

Is it a common occurrence for women to push past men and grope them? It is for women.

Is it a common occurrence for people to comment on men’s bodies either negatively or positively? It is for women.

Is it a common occurrence for people to tell men, during serious and/or profession conversations that they need to smile? It is for women.

Do men get told to “let it go” or “sit down and be quiet” or “laugh it off” or – worst of all – “that’s just the way things are?” Women and girls are told these kinds of things all the time.

Have you ever been advised not to go somewhere public just to preserve your physical safety? Women are advised not to walk alone anywhere, especially at night. Women are taught to makes sure someone knows who they’re with and where they’re going. Women are taught that getting into a car with a new guy is accepting the physical risks that implies.

Have you ever been warned not to dress as you see fit because it entices sexual advances? Women and girls are told that all the time.

Have you ever had your male biology legislated? All non-CIS-male biologies are legislated.

Does a man have to fight for access to birth control?

Does a man have to fight for access to his little blue pill?

Is there any law concerning men even approaching the recent law in Arkansas requiring women to get the sperm donor’s permission for an abortion – even if the sperm donor is the woman’s rapist? The list of examples could go on to fill a dozen libraries… or more.

Inequality is real. There is inequality in gender and in ethnicity. If you are genuinely seeking an enlightened social intellect, it begins with being willing to accept the fact of inequality. Gains in equality are not taking anything from the fortunate-birth white-CIS-male biology; it is merely sharing the privileges with all persons which are accorded white-CIS-males by virtue of birth. See, that’s what “privilege” is: it is an advantage in life that has nothing to do with talent or skill or deservedness. The struggle for gender equality, ultimately, is the struggle for equality for all humanity.

17 July 2017

Letter to #GOP: #HealthCareIsARight

Will you hear me? Do I matter? Does my child matter?

How can you countenance gutting Medicaid and slashing protections and permitting coverage for millions to evaporate? 

I have preexisting conditions that went untreated for all of my adulthood until the ACA.

I have a 13-year old child who would not have insurance without the Medicaid expansions; my child also has ADHD and receives highly successful in-school guidance and counseling partially funded by the Medicaid expansion.

My husband works full time in the service sector. When he worked for a different service sector employer and had employer provided healthcare (at only 60% coverage with a $3000 individual deductible, $6000 for the family), it did NOT cover my son and I – we had to pay full price out of pocket to buy into his employer’s group plan. 

The ACA changed that.

How can you countenance allowing that coverage to fail? At my current age – mid 50s – I cannot maintain a reasonable quality of life without care for my preexisting conditions. For something approaching 25 years of adulthood, I did not see a pulmonologist for my asthma – a carcinoid tumor went undetected for what the doctors have said may have been decades. For twenty years I did not see an endocrinologist for my pancreatic seizures and hypoglycemia; when, after my pregnancy, I developed diabetes, I still could not see an endocrinologist until the ACA. Nor did I see a heart doctor for the arrhythmia I developed while pregnant. I did not see an orthopedic doctor for the hip dysplasia with which I was born – not even when I was pregnant;
 and, we had what was considered great insurance at the time. I suffered with Plantars Fascia without treatment until the ACA. I nearly died - full near-death experience and all – for lack of treatment for high blood pressure during a two year period when we had no insurance at all. 

Your suggestions of tax credits will not help us. We already receive the maximum deductions on our tax returns. I don’t receive disability because my husband makes just slightly too much for me to draw off his and I’m denied access to my own SS disability because I took time to be a stay-at-home mom before I became disabled. I became disabled due largely to lack of treatment for all my preexisting conditions (that’s what Catch-22 looks like). Your health savings plans are meaningless for us – if we had money to save for such a thing, we would be saving for our brilliant, tech-phenom son’s future education. Frankly, if we had money for a health savings plan, we would have all along been able to afford the “privilege” of premium insurance such as you in Congress enjoy.

Healthcare is NOT a privilege. It is as necessary as basic utilities… as necessary as food, water, air. Healthcare should never be a for-profit business. Healthcare should not be some stripped down version that just collects money while providing no substantive coverage. You cannot justify continuing to help the insurance and pharmaceutical industries to scam the nation for their ever increasing, annual multi-billion dollar profit margins. You cannot sustain tax cuts to help the wealthiest gain more wealth at the expense of the working-poor whose labors generate that wealth.

Walk through a nursing home, where sick, elderly Americans will be forced out by the Medicaid cuts, and say to those people that their healthcare is a “privilege” they did not earn after a lifetime of struggle. Walk through the emergency rooms where people who lose Medicaid coverage for their children will be found and tell those mothers that healthcare is a “privilege” their children do not deserve. Tell all the people who will end up in the emergency room when their untreated preexisting conditions leave them clinging to life, send them home with no quality of life in sight. Tell me it is a privilege to be able to breathe or to keep my heart beating. That is what permitting the ACA to fail says to hardworking, poor Americans: “Healthcare is a privilege you have no right to attain.”

The GOP’s attitude to healthcare is symptomatic of its attitude to America’s hardworking poor. That attitude is continuing a corporatist trend creating a new era of robber barons. You are helping the robber barons destroy the middle class in America, making corporate feudal wages-slaves of us all. 
It is nothing less than the social and economic brutalization of the very people who do the work of generating the wealth of this nation. Politicians, the legislation you make tells all of America for whom you work: Either you work for us and vote against this social and economic brutalization… or you work for the robber barons.

13 July 2017

Sexism and Ingrained Misogyny

It’s interesting the way MEN who’ve never had to face the immersive totality of sexism and culturally ingrained misogyny feel so confident condemning the very idea of such ingrained gender discrimination. Look… I get it. No guy thinks he is a misogynist. No guy who considers himself an honorable person wants to accept such a glaring defect in his social intellect. That’s why misogyny still exists. And yes, women can be culturally ingrained anti-feminist misogynists too. People with the social intellect to recognize the problem and brave enough to call it out are attacked by those who are too squeamish to acknowledge their own ingrained, casual misogyny.

Sure… you guys don’t beat your wife or kids. You don’t make your women wear burkas. You don’t have a problem with women working. You don’t sell your daughters in marriage. Heck… you’re probably even all for lesbian intimacy for entertainment. 

Truthfully, we are all – every single human being – guilty of prejudices both gender and ethnic based. We’ve been taught those prejudices from the cradle. Factually, most of us recognize the wrong of those prejudices and try to overcome them. Ingrained prejudices – whether sexism or ethnic are casual because they are UNINTENDED. No one is accusing people who express ingrained prejudices of trying to oppress anyone. 

For the gentlemen reading this… Benefit of the doubt: You are evolved men who would never think of oppressing women.

That’s NOT The Same Thing As Ingrained Misogyny. 
It’s something even more deeply insidious. Most likely, it’s something you do or say completely unwares. It’s probably something akin to what I personally experienced with my own father. My father loves me and has always been proud of me and my talents. He took me to what I think was an art museum (or some kind of picture exhibit) when I was a child and I looked up at a painting in which the eyes seemed to follow you about the room. I said to him that I was going to learn to paint like that (FYI, I did achieve that goal). However, at the time he responded with what I’m certain he believed to be a kindly response and that he was advising me with what he accepted was a necessary truth. He replied, “But, sweetheart, there are no women artists.”

I believe that most people try to understand and make an effort to think and act fairly. But, see, most folks don’t realize the way culturally ingrained misogyny comes out. You, as men, cannot have the experience of the way that misogyny cuts deep into the psyches of women and girls. You cannot experience the burning injustices of it all. It is not possible for you to understand how the cultural misogyny becomes ingrained even in women and girls. Our societies have been ingrained to live and breathe the misogyny as “just the way things are.”

Yet, consider this… Think of the recent kerfuffle over Andy Murray correcting the ingrained, casual misogyny of the reporter who asked him about “the first US player” (not just the first US man – but, the first US person) to have made it to a major semi-final since 2009 – completely ignoring the FOUR American women who’d done so well before this interview with Andy Murray.

Permit me a pause to extend MUCH kudos to Mr. Murray for his enlightened social intellect.

To continue… Put yourselves into those women’s positions… Those four American women in the world of tennis… The reporter accorded the first man to finally achieve what they had long ago achieved the accolade of being first, of being the best, being prime. Those women and their achievements did not exist for that reporter in that moment. Those amazing women athletes were relegated to LESS than the man who finally caught up with them and made the grade. 

That is sexism and ingrained misogyny.

Here is the video of the referenced interview, 
with Andy Murray’s enlightened social intellect on display…

05 July 2017

My #ACA, #Obamacare story… #RESIST

I’ve had preexisting conditions all my life, from the NICU at birth: Asthma, hypoglycemia, pancreatic seizures, hereditary dishidrosis, poor eyesight, hip dysplasia, food and environmental allergies… As an adult, during pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes plus an arrhythmia from full-blown eclampsia – post pregnancy, high BP and diabetes set in, a carcinoid tumor was found on my lung (thanks to the ACA making it possible for me to see a pulmonologist at last) and is being monitored, I developed Plantars Fascia, arthritic hips, and became disabled because of the sum of my conditions. The truth is that most of my problems may never have become serious if I’d been able to get treatment for the decades years of my adult life I was denied healthcare coverage for my preexisting conditions – that included the arrhythmia post pregnancy until the ACA. I went from 2003 until the ACA went into effect without treatment for an arrhythmia! That tumor on my lung may have been there for decades but I never saw a pulmonologist in all that time because my asthma was a preexisting condition for which I was legally denied treatment before the ACA.

My husband works full time in the service sector with NO employer provided healthcare. Oh – and we all know that employer provided healthcare ONLY covers the employee – NOT their spouses and children; spouses and children’s coverage comes at full price out of pocket paid by the employee – spouses and children were NEVER covered by employers; employer plans only make it possible for employees to buy into the plan for their dependents – at full cost out of pocket.

Without the ACA, I would probably be dead by now. I would certainly be in deep decline and my thirteen year old son would be watching his mother die. Moreover, my son, himself, would be without healthcare if it wasn’t for the ACA Medicare expansion.

Your plan is ludicrously out of touch with the reality of the working poor. Tax credits are meaningless to us. We already get the maximum tax deductions and use that return to keep paying our modest mortgage all year. And no, that does NOT mean we don’t pay taxes – as you well know. It means we get some of those taxes back which we then pay sales tax and service fees upon for every dollar of which is spent and put back into the economy – because we are surviving financially off that tax return.

Because I haven’t worked in over ten years due to my disabilities, I cannot draw my social security disability and my husband makes just barely over the limit for me to draw disability on his social security. BTW, that also means he makes just that little bit too much for us to get any kind of assistance, including food stamps. OH, BTW – I’m told (by the SS caseworker who denied my disability claim) that I will NEVER draw social security in my own right, even though I paid in for 25 working years before becoming disabled, just because I’ve not worked for more than ten years. I worked for every cent that was taken out of every paycheck I ever received. That is NOT a tax nor an entitlement – that is my earned wages being stolen by my own government with no accounting for those contributions. I WANT MY MONEY BACK!

As for health savings accounts – damn! If we could save money for that, we wouldn’t be spending our tax return all year making up the income difference every month because my immigrant husband, who speaks six languages (three fluently) and graduated on the National Dean’s List is relegated to the service sector and not deemed worth even $15 an hour, let alone decent employer provided healthcare.

Detach your lips from the festering backsides of the Kochs and ALEC and open your eyes to the devastation you are wreaking upon America’s hard-working poor, sick, elderly, disabled, and children. You claim to work for Americans but you obviously believe the only Americans who matter are those rich enough to be lining your campaign coffers. Your actions sacrifice everyone else on the altar to your gods, the ├╝ber rich.

You also know that the only reason the ACA is failing is because YOU – the members of the GOP – have done everything in your power to sabotage it for the last seven years! You never considered working to make the ACA better. You never tried to suggest anything else in its place. You never even started any kind of plan of your own. You just kept fighting the law of the land to suit your theocratic corporatist overlords. Stop trying to kill the ACA – Stop trying to kill honest, hard-working Americans and their families who rely upon the ACA.

01 July 2017

Ruminating On Compassion

It often seems these days that compassion has become a purely tribal thing. If you don’t look or think like the tribe, you are somehow substandard… less than human and undeserving of basic human compassion. Withholding compassion is the expression of prejudice. This poem questions what motivates compassion in us and, I hope, challenges us to expand our sense of our own tribe to include all of humanity. We are, when all is said and done, only one world for one human race.

What is compassion?
What is this illusive ideal?
Is it only for the deserving?
If it’s limited is it even real?

Why do humans feel compassion, and for whom?
Is compassion reserved only for our own tribe?

What determines withholding compassion?
Who decides only the deserving may be served?
Deciding, who condescends to choose?
Who chooses for whom compassion is deserved?

Will I be chosen?
Will you?

© D. Denise Dianaty
01 July 2017

22 June 2017

Living Beyond the End… Chapter-Teaser

The following is a teaser from one of the chapters of the book I’m currently writing.
Sitting in the lecture hall for art history, Danielle was ruminating on how lucky she was to have found such good friends in her life as her class wrapped up. – in truth, they all felt like the family she’d always wished for herself. Art history was one of the two classes Annabelle took with her. However, Annabelle was unexpectedly absent today. She’d woken with a nasty stomach bug. Shrugging on her cornflower-blue short trench-coat, Danielle determined she would just have to brave the walk across campus on her own this time. Slinging her backpack across her shoulder, the belt of her coat left undone, Danielle hurried to keep up with the crowd of students filing out of the lecture hall. As she neared the short corridor leading out of the lecture hall, someone bumped her backpack and it went tumbling off her shoulder, spilling half the contents down the steps. The flow of students widened around her and the mess, but continued out of the hall, with no one pausing to help.

She picked up and reorganized the mess of papers and supplies, fitting them back into her backpack. Looking around, Danielle saw her earbuds case a few steps below where most of the pack had tumbled out. She picked up the backpack and started down the steps for the case. Before she reached it, the lights in the hall went out, leaving only the safety lighting along the floor of the aisles. She was mildly unnerved and tried to steady herself with controlled breathing. Then she heard it… IT was the sound of villainous degradation… it was the sound of indecency. It felt like every nerve in her body was set on fire hearing that wheezing cackle that she would never forget.

The earbud case abandoned, Danielle whipped around in time to see the door leading out of the hall closing, with an echoing, thunderous finality, cutting off the light from the exit corridor. She could just make out the scramble and thump of someone moving in the darkened rows of seating above where she stood. A darker shadow was just discernible climbing over the back row of seating. That savagely perverse laugh raked across her nerves again and she knew Jorge was toying with her. She turned, dropping her backpack, and raced down the steps, heedless of her scarf fluttering off her neck and into one of rows of seats. She was also unaware of the earring that fell off her earlobe at the bottom of the stairs. She stumbled down into the lecture gallery below, but held to her feet, hoping to reach the door the she knew led to a hallway of teacher’s offices. She could hear Jorge’s barely hurried steps gaining on her. The merciless malevolence of his laugh was very near. Danielle felt something snatch at the belt of her coat and it pulled free as she barreled through the door into the office corridor. 

Danielle ran into the first open office door and gave in to the overwhelming urge to scream bloody murder, much to the shock of the middle-aged, balding professor who had been lightly snoozing at his desk.

16 June 2017

Lost In Your Calidity

A color may evoke a feeling, an emotion, a remembered experience. Can you name the color to which this poem alludes? Hint: It is NOT the color in which the text is displayed.

Ahhh… love… to rest a kiss…
‘Pon the fullness of your lips…
T’would be my life’s vitality.
Come, my love, with me,
To the florid depths of rapture.
Walk with me in the glow of love,
The blush of life all about us.
Lie with me among the fragrant
Dew-kissed silken petals.
Together, we’ll revel
In the fervency of passion.
Let me be lost in your calidity.

©D. Denise Dianaty
10 September 2014

15 June 2017

Seasons of Love

An allegory of Life’s journey to forever love…
We may love deeply and sincerely even when that love doesn’t last or is misplaced. The seasons of love have something to teach us. The lessons we learn along the way, if we take them in, will teach us to not only discern True Love, but also how to make it a forever love.

Soft and gentle Summer love…
When did share love’s first kiss…
‘Pon my lips flutter as wings of a dove.
We shall always remember this.

Autumn come with love’s deep need…
A space… a while… a hand I grasped…
To stay a time, yet end and heed…
’Tis not he will share thy days unto the last.

Winter heart too cold… too cold to sing…
In sun too dim, and dark too bright…
For Greed has no love to bring…
And Love for Greed will give no light.

But, ah-h… at last comes vernal relief…
A tender bud laid in the heart of winter…
When true love blooms in heartache’s release…
And deliver Love’s Spring in our forever…

© D. Denise Dianaty
23 August 2014

13 June 2017

Through True Love’s Eyes

True love is generous and supportive; it will always set itself apart with a joy that, in comparison, exposes the manipulative self-obsession of users whose interest only ever serves themselves.

I’ve been through fire… left alone to dance…
Been pulled from the ash heap of romance…

At last set free in joy, a gift from above…
To share the soul mates’ journey of true love…

For him and me, a promise… not of ease,
But, we’ll not go alone through life’s unease.

And here you come, thinking that hope to dash,
But, I see true… your words are blackest ash…

With smiles struggling through my tears…
From new eyes I see your barren fears.

You dole out handfuls of mediocrity…
While true love is lost in your superiority.

Your every cause only kindling trauma…
Your Shanghaied pain is naught but drama…

You are nothing…raping, stealing voices of pain
From some other heart’s regret. Your pleas I disdain.

©D. Denise Dianaty
31 August 2014

10 June 2017

So Far Away

A poem about not being taken back in by the wrong person, and of what's to be gained by embracing the right one. It’s specifically about the last boyfriend I had, and the healing love of my husband.

Stolen… lost moments…
Deep hidden places…
Secret longing ache…
Rising ‘pon the precipice… falling…
Undulating, rushing sound…
Wall of music… rising pain…
Feeling like it’s all been done…
Got to go through Hell
To get to my Heaven
So far away…

I heard you crying loud…
Wailing outside my door…
Stealing voice from my pain…
Never thinking…
Of how things might’ve been.
Taking me… taking me down…
Tearing me apart.
Was it just a game for you?
Making me a fool… lost…
So far away…

To this door you have no key.
It’s closed to you forevermore.
My wounded heart bides
In this sweet healing space.
What you lost, he gains…
Through trust… and gentle knocking…
Healing drams of love…
Laid at my feet, softly waiting.
Opening to love, I give my hand…
He whispers me a kiss…
Far from you… from pain… he takes me
So far away.

©D. Denise Dianaty
27 August 2014

03 June 2017

Kathy Griffin’s Terroristic Sensationalism

Why We On The Left Should Be Leading The Outcry Against Kathy Griffin
Yes, the hypocrisy from the right is mind boggling and outrageous. And, yes, Trump is blight on our entire world. But this decapitated effigy of Trump stunt by Kathy Griffin was filthy and vile. It is indefensible. It is abhorrent! How can we hold the moral high ground when we defend people, supposedly on our side, who do the same things, but just targeted at the Right? Wrong doesn’t stop being wrong because your tribe perpetrated the wrong. 

Let us ask ourselves: When they strung up and burned an effigy of Obama, was that terroristic sensationalism by any stretch of our reason and imagination defensible or justifiable? If our answer is that is “no…” If our answer is that it was wholly unjustifiable… Then our answer to Kathy Griffin’s terroristic sensationalism should be identical. Any other response is pure tribalism. Wrong is wrong even when your tribe behaves badly. In fact, I would say that our side is MORE wrong for justifying this vile display precisely because WE KNOW IT IS WRONG.

We must be better.

The Left Should Be Leading The Outcry Against This Terroristic Sensationalism.
That’s what stunts like this are – terroristic sensationalism. Any defense or justification of stunts like this is social poison. I have read a few defenses and reams upon reams of justifications on behalf of Kathy Griffin over this. In my estimation, the Left’s defense and/or justification is more wrong than were the right wing stunts with Obama or Clinton effigies – because we on the left know the pain and disgust those stunts cause. If we defend and/or justify the same types of stunts just because it’s our own side, we are all the MORE in the wrong.

What do we stand for? 

These kind of tactics are evil. If we use tactics as vile, as evil as those we decry from the other side, what good can there be in our side? You cannot create good by doing evil. The defenses and justifications try to ameliorate her vile actions in light of the other side’s evil by decrying the hypocrisy of the Right who are condemning her vile stunt. We excuse her because they did it first – that, folks, is the height of hypocrisy from us!

Pure Unadulterated FACT: 
Kathy Griffin’s stunt with a Trump effigy was no less vile and filthy – no less evil – than the Right’s stunts with effigies of Obama and/or Clinton. The source of inspiration is no justification. That the other side has done similar things is no justification. That the other side is hypocritical is no justification. There is no justification. 

This horrific stunt and Kathy Griffin should face the same social ramifications as we on the Left wanted to see the Right face for their heinous, acts of terroristic sensationalism against our side. The undeniable hypocrisy of the Right decrying this woman of the Left in tone-deaf ignorance of their own side’s perfidy in no way lessons the perfidy of Kathy Griffin’s disgusting, socially and morally degrading stunt.

These kinds of stunts are indefensible – no matter who perpetrates them. Something like this is like standing up in a crowded theater and yelling “FIRE!” These kinds of inflamatory are flat-out inhumane, degrading, and can only foment more fear, hate, bigotry, tribalism, and even violence in response – such acts are evil. They are incitement to hatred, fear, and violence. Evil can only ever render more evil. I don’t care whose hypocrisy is perceived as worse. It is hypocritical of the Right to have defended or justified their side’s poisonous stunts.
IT IS EVEN MORE HYPOCRITICAL OF OUR SIDE TO DEFEND OR JUSTIFY SIMILAR TERRORISTIC SENSATIONALISM. I don’t care if it’s the Left or the Right who is responsible. Every single time something like this is done, it poisons our society. If we cannot be better than what we abhor, we are lost, already damned. We must be better.

Many of the anti-Trump feeds are defending and justifying Kathy Griffin’s behavior with this stunt. Most are trying to justify not condemning her or her for no other reason than the hypocrisy of other side. They may not be defending her actions, but they are justifying NOT condemning those actions. 

The right-wing’s hypocrisy or past actions should not have a thing to do with condemning such terroristic sensationalism and the person (in this case, Kathy Griffin) who uses our precious right to freedom of speech to inflict it. We shouldn’t be pausing to castigate the Right, as if they have no right to their outrage and anger because “they did it first.” The only thing we on the Left should be hearing and saying about it right now is that she was wrong and that she does not speak for our side. The Left is SUPPOSED to be the side of sanity.

Permit me a crass analogy: If you’re standing between two groups of monkeys and they start flinging feces at each other, will it matter which monkey’s shit stinks worse?

Moreover, the justifications I’ve seen are painfully similar to justifications made by thoughtful and moderate conservatives/republicans trying to justify not condemning people on their side who took their protest and anger too far. I know many republicans who said the effigies of Obama were horrible, but in the same breath justified it as an unfortunate extension of how angry people were.

We on the Left are all righteously angry right now. But, if our anger leads us to evil acts, we have abandoned righteousness and embraced evil.

We must be better.


29 May 2017

Prayer: Live In Gratitude

Holy Father,
All glory and honor and praise
Belong to only you,
Master and Creator of Life
Author of all that is good in the Universe

Your kingdom is above creation
And, if we only let your will lead us,
we find your kingdom
in our heats and all of life around us,
from a child’s laugh
to an old man’s tears of remembrance

We ask Lord for what we need today.
Help us Lord to recognize and respond to need in others.
We beg forgiveness of our sins.
Help us be understanding
and forgiving of others
even when their actions have hurt us.

Teach us to be just and compassionate
When trouble or temptation arise
Let us remember Christ, our example
and to be like him
because all are your children
and the chosen stewards of your creation.

Teach us Lord to be worth of that stewardship
Open our eyes to Your every miracle.
Help us see the smallest and the least of Your wonders.
Fill up our minds with Your Promise.
Swell to over-flowing our hearts with Your Grace.
Let our tongues forever sing Your praise.

May our hands ever work to Your Glory.
With every waking hour let us live in gratitude.
Upon our bowed heads, and bended knee
Lay your perfect blessings.
Hold us always in Your Hand.
To You we give all thanks and praise.
In the name of Christ Jesus, we pray.

©D. Denise Dianaty
06 January 2015

28 May 2017


With Him there is forgiveness
By the blood of His covenant
For many, for all… He was poured out

For the forgiveness of sins
When we are ever unworthy
By His blood we are redeemed

When we only believe…
By the grace of God… By the mercy of the Lord…
We unworthy receive forgiveness

Eyes are opened to the darkness
We see the darkness of life without Him
We are turned from darkness to the Light

From the Satan’s power to the glory of the Lord
Not by our own will – not by our deeds
We are forgiven… We are cleansed… We are sanctified

Our place by His side is assured
In our faith we shall testify of His Grace
With all our soul we shall praise and adore

In our hearts shall we magnify His Holy Name
Upon our heads the Holy Spirit rests

God encompasses… God among us… God within


Mark 3:28 "I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.”

Luke 5:20 “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.'"

Romans 4:7 “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered."

2 Corinthians 2:10 "If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven--if there was anything to forgive--I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,”

Hebrews 10:18 "And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”

James 5:15 "And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.”

1 John 2:12 “ write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”

©D. Denise Dianaty
08 January 2015

05 May 2017

Faith-Centered Leadership

Jesus Washing Feet by Simon Dewey 
Christ’s leadership example is always and ever about serving the underserved. 

I’m not a theologian nor a pastor. What follows is just my perspective on what Faith-centered leadership should look like in our secular world. As Christians we should know that Jesus Himself, as always, is our example of how to live out all aspects of our Christ-centered Faith. 

Jesus himself was a leader and called his apostles and disciples to be leaders – Christ modeled leadership and challenged His Apostles and indeed all His disciples (i.e. ALL Christians) to strive to live out his example of leadership – that example is to lead with a sacrificial heart and to serve the needs of those most in need, to raise up the marginalized, to treat the lowliest equal to everyone else. He didn’t come into the world to bring down the wealthy and privileged; but, my understanding when I read the Scripture is that He did come into the world to raise up the underserved and all people, regardless of the superficial status we humans accord each other. Christ is our leadership example of that in every word and deed recorded of Him, from him telling Peter and us in John 21 to “Feed my sheep” to His own humbling example of washing the Apostles feet in John 13, and more. Christ’s leadership example is always and ever about serving the underserved. 

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow Me, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 

Matthew 20:25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. 

John 13:12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as i have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. 

John 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” 

James 2:5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong? 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.

There are many other passages teaching leadership in both the Old and New Testaments; I find the most meaning in the above Scriptures. What these passages mean to me are basic guides, listed below, for how to live out a life of Christ-centered leadership. And, again, Christ’s leadership example is always and ever about serving the underserved. 

Christ led with a focus on those most in need – the underserved in our societies. He never valued a rich man over a poor man. He didn’t spend His ministry raising the privileged even higher – He spent his ministry raising up the down trodden. 

Christ led with a sacrificial heart of service focused on those most in need, and He sent others out to share His example of leadership, raising others to their best potential. 

Christ showed us that we must understand those we want to help and be understood by them. He talked to the people in need and He heard them, healed them, filled them with hope. As leaders, we have to begin by listening and understanding in tolerance and compassion for all, to recognize and serve the needs of others without judgment. 

Jesus taught us by His every Word and by the example of His every deed how to live out a life of leadership through service to those most in need. And, He taught us that we all stand equal before God. 

Moreover, Christ shows us that our notions of serving status (i.e., the interests of the wealth, privilege, and of corporations – an entirely humanistic leadership viewpoint) are counterproductive to Christ-centered leadership and His commands that we love one another and care for those in need. 

His example also taught us to work together, even as He sent His disciples out into the world in teams to work together. Even the blessing of the Holy Spirit is an assurance that we are not alone in whatever mission God has for our lives, that we will always have a partner working together with us when we work for God’s will. 

Christ’s message is always of hope for all people equally. His example of leadership is always and ever about serving the underserved. His hope isn’t reserved for the privileged or the powerful. 

Jesus’ message is of hope for all people everywhere – to me, that is a Christ-given directive found in His message and in His example of DIVINE EQUALITY. That is Christ’s shared inspiration for Faith-centered leadership. 

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. 

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

03 May 2017


“Perseverance, character, and hope…” –Romans 5:4

“…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” –Hebrews 12:1

“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” –James 1:4

Never give up… Never give in…
With determination and perseverance you’ll win.

Boredom saps your drive and makes you lame;
You’ll never lie down to win your game.

Stand fast, play hard, loyal and true…
Only perseverance can carry you through.

Wildness and abandon will take you away;
From your right path you’ll be led astray.

Steadfast and thoughtful you always must be.
Persevere in the right and stand tall as a tree.

Self-serving and callous will gain you no true friend;
Alone and struggling may be your end.

Choose loyalty and honor with all whom you know;
Persevere in good company, your best character show.

The world will carry you along and diminish…
Your every word and deed darkly tarnish.

Persevere in the race and the hope of God’s Grace
Will complete and assure His Grace shines from your face.

by D. Denise Dianaty
© 21 August 2014

Pick up your own copy of my first
book of poetry at My Life In Poetry

24 April 2017

Proverbs 24 – Wisdom sayings

1 Do not envy the wicked, nor desire to be with them; 2 for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief.
3 By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4 by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
5 Wise warriors are mightier than strong ones, and those who have knowledge than those who have strength; 6 for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
7 Wisdom is too high for fools; in the gate they do not open their mouths.
8 Whoever plans to do evil will be called a mischief-maker.
9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to all.
10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength being small; 11 if you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death, those who go staggering to the slaughter; 12 if you say, "Look, we did not know this"— does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it? And will he not repay all according to their deeds?
13 My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, you will find a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against the home of the righteous; do no violence to the place where the righteous live; 16 for though they fall seven times, they will rise again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble, 18 or else the Lord will see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from them.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers. Do not envy the wicked; 20 for the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will go out.
21 My child, fear the Lord and the king, and do not disobey either of them; 22 for disaster comes from them suddenly, and who knows the ruin that both can bring?
23 These also are sayings of the wise: Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever says to the wicked, “You are innocent," will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations; 25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.
26 One who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.
27Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house.
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “I will do to others as they have done to me; I will pay them back for what they have done."
30 I passed by the field of one who was lazy, by the vineyard of a stupid person; 31 and see, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.
33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want, like an armed warrior.