Monday, October 25, 2004


The hit show "Survivor" seems to be an accurate metaphor for the state of the USA today. More and more wage-earners are "surviving" the loss of jobs that have been outsourced overseas. More families are surviving the loss of a breadwinner or loved one to the continuing bloodbath, er, war in Iraq. Many are surviving rising insurance costs and benefit cuts. Some are surviving corporate scandals. We are all 'surviving' a right-wing faith-based administration bent on obeying some mysterious direction of (their) God. I feel our best chance of Survival at this point is to Vote Nov 2nd for John Kerry, and vote the rascals out!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Evil Empire revisited

All of the pictures of naked Iraquis in the Abu Ghraib prison are an unfortunate black eye to the USA. I admit, it is kind of funny to see Islamic dudes forced to shed their clothes and be posed in, er, very compromising positions. Until one stops and thinks of the ramifications of such acts. The revenge factor is a major problem here - witness the beheading of that American prisoner recently. Also, the inflaming of public opinion amongst the entire Islamic world against the USA. Now, I am as patriotic as the next fellow, and I like to think I support our troops. But, c'mon now, really. I would like to slap some of the involved goons across the face and yell, "you morons!" . Now, in the mind of the average Iraqi, we are no better than Saddam. Worse, actually, because we are in their country telling them what to do and what kind of government to have. How would we feel towards some occupying troops on our soil, torturing our citizenry, many of whom have been jailed without trial for no particular reason? I suspect we would also be taking up arms against the invaders. Can't wait to see what happens after June 30th. At least the truth is out, and investigations are ongoing.

I just hope we can get a Democrat in the White House, and clean up this mess.

Saturday, April 10, 2004


A few days after posting last, I read a lengthy article on the whole school funding issue in the Des Moines Register. Evidently the Schools have lost a lot of state and federal funding in the last few years. So they have been forced to do the same or more, with a lot less money. This sheds some new light on things, and I have a little different outlook on things. I sympathize with their plight - but still, in the corner of my mind, a small voice is saying, "But WE learned how to read, write and do math without expensive computers and etc..." But I'm sure they are realizing these things too. Things are never simple, black and white. Everything is complex nowadays, especially public funding of necessities. Sorry for the gaffe.

Saturday, March 20, 2004


It never ends. Every year, the litany of hand-wringing about our schools not having any money. In the 1980's, a state lottery was sold to the public, partly, on the promise of more money for schools. Ditto gambling at the local horse track. And a local option sales tax was passed, to help get more money for the schools. Yet, still, there is not enough. There never seems to be enough. Where is this money going? This seems like more than simpleminded incompetence. Such gross failure to manage school finances is taking on the appearance of outwright fraud. No matter how much money gets funneled to these bozos, they cannot manage it. Maintenance is shortchanged. Teachers are buying classroom supplies. Can you imagine working in any corporation today, and be expected to buy your own office supplies, etc? This is ridiculous. It is getting to be time for the federal Justice department to investigate the Des Moines Public School System for out and out fraud, deception, and embezzling of funds. Heads ought to roll. Someone belongs in prison! Our teachers and our kids are being screwed over, and noone sems to know how to stop this. What a sick, pathetic joke of a system. No wonder our society is on a mad downward spiral to the bottom. Sheesh!

In the gallery’s light

We speak quietly, as paintings

Flaunt their textures,

More bold than we who hold a palette

And hesitate to pick up a brush.

In a world

Rampant with hatred,

We resist, striking back,

Cry in our frustration,

It makes no sense.

We who march

Because we know not what else to do,

Who long for love to be free . . .

Know the depth of death.

Creativity is not a choice

For those in the underworld.

We who walk on clouds, see

A world with wings,

Feel the pain of birth.

In the light of the gallery

We, the conflicted, speak

Of darkness, as if those who hate

Are created on a different canvas.

Draft by Debbie Dembinski 2003


Entering buildings late in the evenings,
After the swarming crowds have left;
Arranging equipment for nighttime cleaning,
They have barrels to line, vaccuums to heft.

Arrival of starting time greeted with team
Moving out onto floors, dusters flashing;
Waste containers emptied, then vaccuuming,
Restrooms swept, sanitized with flushing.

Tile floors swept and mopped,
Scraped free of scuffs and tar;
Occasionally wax is stripped and re-topped,
Leaving mirrored surfaces without mark or mar.

This A-team against dirt and grime,
Swoops in, dispatches duties quickly;
Transforming dingy cubicles to digs sublime,
Brightening dull facades efficiently.
Corporations are lucky to have contract cleaners,
So they can sparkle and gleam, while staying leaner.

(c) 2003 MSW

Sunday, January 25, 2004


Gas ball bouncing, rolling across surface,
Stops, deflates, unfolds, extracts --
Solar panels unfurl, charging batteries,
Internal systems brought to life.

Cameras record vistas, rover rolls;
Rocks and dirt studies and sampled.
Successful mission paves way for more,
Landers, rovers, finally sample-return.

Humanity folows close on heels,
Colonizing in fits and starts.
Small cities bloom and interconnect,
Supporting missions further out.

Jupiter's moons one day host colonies,
Increasingly populated solar system expanding;
Transports move steadily between habitations,
Sustaining humanity's toeholds out there.
One day entire system colonized,
Time to migrate to the stars!

(c) 2003 MSW

Greeted by attendant with eyes piercing blue,
"Good morning sir, are you familiar with our service?"
I think to myself, if he only knew --
Hiding lasciviousness inside, I try not to be nervous.

Entering the shop, I opt for basic selection.
Taking a seat, leafing through newspapers --
Other customers present, engaged in conversation.
I settle in for a wait, read about troublemakers.

Man recounts tale of hitting seven deer,
Couple enters in, guy with stunning profile;
Trying not to stare, they might realize I'm queer,
Sure nice scenery here, I ponder with a smile.
People come and go, and soon my car is done --
Saturday morning at the Quik-lube, vignette in time, then time to run.

(c) MSW 2003 - a sonnet

Dean takes center stage,
Cooly, dispassionately recounts facts;
Gephart, Kerry showing their rage,
Vigorously launch their attacks.

Kucinich, Edwards join the fray,
Leiberman, Moseley-Braun remain aside;
Let the others strut and bray,
Remaining ones quietly taking it in stride.

Dean, Kerry, Gephart jabbing,
Rebutting, countering, ducking & dodging;
Occasionally they rise above gabbing,
Goal is democratic White House lodging.

Now hypothetical taxes get cut,
Discussing free healthcare for all;
Promising to get USA out of a rut,
Lofty statements hold supporters in thrall.
Sure looking forward to this summer,
When I can escape the hot air of all these runners!

(c) MSW 2003