Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

4

May

2017

As I write this, the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives have just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of legislation of their own making.  That the American Health Care Act is a complete disaster almost goes without saying; it will rob millions of people of the already inadequate health insurance ...
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The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

1

May

2017

This year's May Day sermon is an expanded version of a speech I gave this morning at the dedication by Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa of Chicago's 35th Ward of an honorary street named for the great radical freedom fighter Lucy Parsons.We’re all here today because of Lucy Gonzalez Parsons. And when I say we’re here today ...
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Race to the Top

Race to the Top

17

Apr

2017

Ever since the 2016 election, when the Democratic establishment faced a surprisingly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders and his relatively mild form of economic leftism, liberal partisans have insisted that everyone in America is underselling the damage done by racism.  (Everyone, that is, except themselves.  No one rol ...
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War Again

War Again

9

Apr

2017

It was only a matter of time before Donald Trump led America into another pointless, brutal conflict overseas. The only surprise is the speed with which he did it; most presidents would wait until they were in much more dire domestic straits before giving into the instinct to prop up their popularity against a pile of forei ...
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Old Wars, New Generals

Old Wars, New Generals

4

Apr

2017

For the good of the country, we are often told, the infighting between liberals (or, as they are properly understood, the party of nice rich people) and the left must cease.  Exactly which faction is supposed to lower its guns first is implicit, but so far they refuse to do so, having had a lot of experience with getting s ...
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The Drama of Our Time

The Drama of Our Time

20

Mar

2017

Fascism, for reasons that should not be difficult to divine, has been very much on my mind of late.  My bedside table has borne a stack of books about the growth, nature, and origins of fascism, mixed in with the novels, for the last six months or so, and understanding the similarities and differences between fascism and i ...
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The Women’s International

The Women’s International

8

Mar

2017

Today, Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, is International Women's Day.  It will be marked by protests, marches, rallies, and a proposed general strike by women -- the 'Day Without A Woman' -- in reaction to the election of Donald Trump as president and the legislation, remarkably hostile to women, that he has advanced.It is a da ...
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Rush ‘n’ Attack

Rush ‘n’ Attack

3

Mar

2017

A new wave of Russophobia is sweeping the nation, surely the high-water point for such shenanigans since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  It's familiar; much of it echoes the anti-communist rhetoric of Ronald Reagan, the closest analogue in presidential history to Donald Trump, only this time our political leader ...
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I See What You Do

I See What You Do

8

Feb

2017

There is a moment, late in I am Not Your Negro, where the great writer and thinker James Baldwin is appearing on Dick Cavett's talk show to discuss the one subject that consumed him like no other during his life:  America's compulsive reluctance to address the reality of its treatment of black citizens.  As Baldwin holds ...
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All the Ways of Communicating

All the Ways of Communicating

26

Jan

2017

The question so memorably posed by Jack Nicholson's Joker in Tim Burton's Batman -- "Hubba hubba hubba, who do you trust?" -- has become of rather grave importance in recent years.  With Donald Trump in the White House, the Republican war antagonism to the press, at a low boil at the best of times, has boiled over into ...
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As a Punishment for Crime

As a Punishment for Crime

25

Jan

2017

When you get right down to it, for capitalists, slavery was a hell of a good deal.  It opened up new markets, it was a self-reproducing form of labor, and best of all, it provided a very inexpensive and largely docile workforce.  Its failure, if you remove morality from the picture -- which capitalists are forever strivin ...
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The Curse of Memory

The Curse of Memory

18

Jan

2017

When I was much younger, a writer named Paul Slansky put out a book that had a huge effect on me.  The Clothes Have No Emperor:  A Chronicle of the Reagan '80s was formulated by its author as a defense mechanism, what we'd call today a means of self-care -- a way of staying sane in the face of the fact that the impossible ...
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Between Impression and Expression: Fred Hampton

Between Impression and Expression:  Fred Hampton

11

Jan

2017

With some things, you have to learn by either seeing it or participating in it.  And you know yourselves that there are people walking around your community today that have all types of degrees that should be at this meeting, but are not here.  Right?  Because you can have as many degrees as a thermometer; if you don't h ...
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The Party of What People?

The Party of What People?

30

Dec

2016

This will be my last entry of 2016.  Next year will begin, barring some unexpected act of fate, with the ascension to the presidency of Donald Trump, as dim-witted, incurious, crass, and crooked human being that has ever held public office in America.  Trump has spent the hours since the election staffing his White House ...
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Beck and Call

Beck and Call

20

Dec

2016

It’s inevitable, in the face of any great political defeat or party realignment, for loyalties to get a bit shaky. Confusion rules the day, and the ally of yesterday is the heretic of tomorrow. Only a few months ago, when it looked like the Republican Party was about to shake itself to pieces under the weight of Donald Tr ...
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