My Summer Vacation

MY SUMMER VACATION: I went to Spain on vacation this summer. Traveling is overrated. It took us five days to get back to Oakland – don’t fly Norwegian Airlines. I was surprised how prosperous the country was, how fabulous their transportation system. Barcelona has 4 different ways to get where you’re going: subway, underground light rail, surface light rail, and buses. Subway trains were three minutes apart. I wasn’t aware until I returned that Barcelona and read the New Yorker that “Barcelona is the heart of a new global political phenomenon known as municipalism.” I read up on the Spanish […]

U. S. Imperialism

If capitalism collapsed on a world-wide basis in 1929, as I believe, then we have to face the fact that it was saved by World War II – that the combination of militarism, socialized spending on armaments, the destruction of the infrastructure of Europe and Japan, and the drastic reduction of population in places like the USSR and Germany was what saved capitalism, and provided for its post-war regeneration. There is nothing in place – the UN lol? – to prevent the same scenario from repeating itself. Sooner or later the economic system will collapse again. We dodged a bullet […]

Viva Mexico!

The election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) could be a turning point in the hemisphere. The early 2000s saw a proliferation of socialism in Latin America, not just Cuba any more. Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina. Of course El Salvador and Nicaragua, who fought and defeated the United States. The 2010s saw a right-wing resurgence. It’s one fight. We are one people. It’s not good enough to back “humane” immigration policies, okay, no f-ing concentration camps for the tender aged. Obama didn’t incarcerate people, but he did deport a record number of undocumented. This should be a […]

The arc of history is long but it bends toward justice

Somehow I am still optimistic for the long term. Short term not so much. As MLK said, “the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice.” I believe this is true. Short term, I think we’re in deep shit. Concentration camps for tender aged children? How bad does it have to get before the left realizes that it is our disunity which has fostered this situation? I’m going to be harsh here. People who vote their “conscience” instead of voting strategically are guilty of what we used to call bourgeois individualism, the antithesis of solidarity. The objective is […]

The Poor People’s Campaign

Happy Birthday, Malcolm X! Finally. The movement we have been waiting for since 1968 has sprung on the scene that for some time has been mired in hopelessness. Hundreds marched in 30 state capitols on June 14. Some 300 were arrested committing civil disobedience. This is a game changer. Check out the demands of this movement and see if you can find ways to disagree with them lol. (Isn’t that what we on the left do too much of?). End systemic racism. End poverty and inequality. End war and militarism. End ecological devastation. But not in the abstract. Each of […]

Cinco de Mayo

GUEST BLOG By Juana Bordas Cinco de Mayo is gathering steam as the Southwest’s favorite cultural holiday. Just as St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year recognize our cultural mosaic, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the contributions of Mexican Americans and our relationship with our neighbors south of the border.  So open up a cold Corona, order up some tacos, listen to some hot Salsa or Mariachi music and celebrate “El Cinco.” Since Latinos are the fastest growing group in America, the fiesta has just begun! Cinco de Mayo honors the brave Mexican Indians who – outnumbered 2 to 1 – smashed the French […]

Student Loan Strike?

Education should be free! Here’s a modest proposal. A college loan payment strike. Easy for me to say, since I have no such loans, but my son does. We can take our time. Set a date for the strike to begin, say Labor Day, 2019. Develop an organization. Get people to commit to joining the strike. Open an escrow account somewhere that the money can’t be seized (bitcoin? Cayman Islands?). People pay their loan installments to this special account. Assemble a legal team to advise us on how to protect our other assets from being seized by the government. Now […]

Why? (The King of Love is Dead)

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the most tragic assassination of the 20th century, we present a “guest blog” from the high priestess of soul, Nina Simone, who pronounced the last word on this event, written and performed on April 7, 1968, 3 days after the murder. Please listen to the whole thing. (apologies for the tasteless ad). “They’re shooting us down one by one, don’t forget that, because they are. Killing us one by one.”

Reparations Redux

In order to understand the need for reparations, we need to understand that racism is historic, systemic, and structural, woven in the social fabric of the United States. It’s not about who was alive in slavery times or even who benefitted from centuries of oppression and discrimination. Its essence is embodied in the following statistic: the median wealth (not income) of white households is 13 times that of Black households, $141,000 to $11,000 (2013 figures). A difference of $130,000 per household. While useful, the destruction of Confederate monuments or even the stopping of police murder of Black people will not end racism. The only […]

The Chi

  The Chi is the best show on television for a long time, maybe ever. Lena Waithe has created a masterpiece of a Chicago Black community drama that rivals and perhaps exceeds both The Wire and Do the Right Thing. I don’t want to give it a full review until I’ve seen all of it, but I want to emphasize one of the key points the story is making. We all know that at least in some cases, the street violence in the Black community is orchestrated by the police, who snitch on their own snitchers to keep the cycle […]