Category Archives: RESIST

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

Regarding things about which you are currently tweeting, such as the conduct of athletes, please kindly

Shut the hell up.

You have better things to be doing than picking inane and absurd fights.

And speaking of . . . please stop inflaming the insanity regarding North Korea.

Kindly,

A Frustrated Citizen

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Weeping 

A verdict came down Friday that I do not understand.

I am reading.  I have read the entire verdict.  I’ve read a great deal of background.

I don’t understand why a new prosecutor decided to bring action based on undisclosed new evidence, but then did not reveal that new evidence in court.

I do not understand why the State went for first-degree murder only, instead of that plus a raft of lesser charges.

I do not understand why police officers kill people with multiple gunshots at close range.

I do not understand why racial prejudice and hatred is carefully taught anyway.  This is not something with which people are born.

I do not understand why my friend Ken Haller has to have a talk with a 15-year-old African-American male patient about how to react to what will almost inevitably be a traffic stop for ‘driving while black’ or some other perceived infraction.

I do not understand why my students of color have to live in a society that continues to marginalise them, trivialize their concerns, and have them feeling left out of the mainstream, fighting for a chance.

Yes, I am a privileged white male, with a middle-class upbringing, and never really needing for anything.  Yes, I’m an over-the-top liberal with socialist leanings.

And yes, my lack of understanding of this tense world leads me to weep in frustration and anger.

Tonight, just two blocks from my house, I saw what Saint Louis is becoming. And I do not like it.  At all.

As I write this Friday evening, I hear sirens all around, and the sound of multiple helicopters overhead.  And I weep. I weep for my friends, acquaintances, and students of color who cannot get a fair deal in this despicable system.  I weep societal fabric so fragile that it frays this easily.  And I weep for my students and young members of my family who will inherit this ugly, racially charged, divided world that my generation, and those before me, have created.

And if you’ve read this far, link over to my Facebook page, where I have shared a brilliant post by my friend Matt Pentecost, and Ken Haller’s poignant, heartbreaking story from today at the clinic. And weep with me.

Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, in the New York Times this week:

Take the success of the Bernie Sanders campaign, the most remarkable feature of the 2016 election. It is, after all, not all that surprising that a billionaire showman with extensive media backing (including the liberal media, entranced by his antics and the advertising revenue it afforded) should win the nomination of the ultra-reactionary Republican Party.

The Sanders campaign, however, broke dramatically with over a century of U.S. political history. Extensive political science research, notably the work of Thomas Ferguson, has shown convincingly that elections are pretty much bought. For example, campaign spending alone is a remarkably good predictor of electoral success, and support of corporate power and private wealth is a virtual prerequisite even for participation in the political arena.

The Sanders campaign showed that a candidate with mildly progressive (basically New Deal) programs could win the nomination, maybe the election, even without the backing of the major funders or any media support. There’s good reason to suppose that Sanders would have won the nomination had it not been for shenanigans of the Obama-Clinton party managers. He is now the most popular political figure in the country by a large margin.

Activism spawned by the campaign is beginning to make inroads into electoral politics. Under Barack Obama, the Democratic Party pretty much collapsed at the crucial local and state levels, but it can be rebuilt and turned into a progressive force. That would mean reviving the New Deal legacy and moving well beyond, instead of abandoning, the working class and turning into Clintonite New Democrats, which more or less resemble what used to be called moderate Republicans, a category that has largely disappeared with the shift of both parties to the right during the neoliberal period.

Such prospects may not be out of reach, and efforts to attain them can be combined with direct activism right now, urgently needed, to counter the legislative and executive actions of the Republican administration, often concealed behind the bluster of the figure nominally in charge.

There are in fact many ways to combat the Trump project of creating a tiny America, isolated from the world, cowering in fear behind walls while pursuing the Paul Ryan-style domestic policies that represent the most savage wing of the Republican establishment.

Here’s the whole article: