Un-retiring from Oakland Parents Together in the light of the new political reality

I’m coming out of retirement to resume leadership of Oakland Parents Together (OPT) mostly because it needs my time and resource for a while longer, but also because we have a new political reality which gives organizing Black and Latino parents a new urgency. It is likely, that the right-wing hegemony of the Federal government will move fast. They have two years to implement their privatization agenda. We can expect the privatization of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act, food stamps, and welfare in the first year. A return to stop and search and plant-evidence policing with no accountabiliby. […]

Winter in America

It seems like the whole pre- and post- election discussion have been about personalities. We should be talking about the system. The name of the system is Capitalism, and virtually no one is challenging it – except Black Lives Matter and allied groups. Bernie did not oppose it nor did he challenge its most egregious aspect, imperialism. The problem is that Capitalism is collapsing. It has reached the zenith of its centuries of growth, but it has now penetrated the farthest reaches of the globe. Capitalism can only survive by continually expanding, and it’s reached its limit. As the system […]

Everybody Knows

Trying to decide which of the late Leonard Cohen song titles I should use to title this week’s blog. I used “Democracy is Coming the USA” when Bernie was surging, and it wouldn’t be accurate now, except maybe long term. “You Want it Darker” would certainly apply. I’ll go with “Everybody Knows.” Everybody knows that the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That’s how it goes Everybody knows Even though we […]

After the Election

Last week I slogged into the fray to argue with Bernie or Bust/Jill Stein folks about why they should vote the Democratic ticket. I’m not going to reiterate the argument. Not surprisingly, I took a lot of shit from the ex-Bernie new-Greens. It didn’t bother me, I was ready for it. Probably lost about 30 of my 5000 friends. Boo-hoo. This week I want to talk about how we rebuild the unity we’re going to need going forward, no matter what happens.  We need to unite around a series of demands no matter who is elected. Here would be my […]

Day of the Dead

I am currently in Mexico, where I now live about a third of the time. It is Day of the Dead weekend, and I will be dressing up as Catrina, the well-dressed skeleton, a tradition that dates back to a revolutionary cartoonist, Jose Guadalupe Posada. His depictions were largely satirical of the bourgeoisie, dressed in finery but dead inside. People gather at the cemeteries on the actual Day of the Dead, which is November 1. In the town where I live, San Miguel de Allende, the main cemetery is divided into a Mexican section and an American section – the […]