"Change will happen when people demand it. We need to support the messy and unruly movements that bring about change. That is democracy."
24 months of inactivity on Southwest You may call it spending beyond our means, but I recognize it for what it is: the disappearance
Mandela's death should remind us that racism exists outside of institutions and seeps into our daily lives. Apartheid no longer stands as a law and yet it lives in so many people's minds. We have to pick up the fight from where Mandela left off.
Mujica projected, from his presidential perch, the wildly innocent virtue of Uruguay itself -- and magnified it. If Uruguay as a country is part exile, part refuge, Mujica made the country more the latter. One thing is certain, the world will remember Mujica -- the president, the person.
Class war is precisely what we've been seeing for decades now -- but it's been waged for, not against, the wealthy. And Republicans have been its dutiful servants from the start. It might make a good hashtag, come to think of it: #RepublicanClassWar. The wreckage of this war can be seen all around us.
Workers and businesses are linked at the hip, but business has the scalpel to cut that bond. The relationship is, if not a war, then a continuous battle. It is a battle by definition. It only becomes "class warfare" if workers want raises or the government wants to have businesses pay higher taxes.
Looking forward to Tuesday's State of the Union address, we are seeing a somewhat bolder Barack Obama. The White House has already pre-announced or leaked several "fourth-quarter initiatives," in the president's words. Some of these can be accomplished by executive order; most will require legislation. The measures that can be achieved by presidential order include reducing the down-payment or interest on federally insured mortgages to stimulate home ownership. Among the measures requiring legislation is a tax plan that would increase taxes on the wealthiest in order to finance the tuition help for community college students and more generous child tax credits for working families. Obama also wants an excise tax on large banks and he is calling on Congress to pass a law giving all workers seven days of annual sick leave. All this amounts to a salutary whiff of class warfare, of the sort that identifies the president with most Americans, against the one percent. And there will probably be a few more surprises in the actual address that have not yet been leaked.
Just took a routine flight from Chicago to Boston. No rain. No snow. Only a 30-minute delay going there due to a "typographical error on the pilot's checklist." (What on earth is that?) So why am I complaining? Well, air travel has become a metaphor for the overall lack of caring and civility we see around us every day.
Memories don't just spring up from nowhere; they are shaped and controlled by power. Those in power desire to keep their power. This is why the loss of the public sphere in America since the Reagan era in the '80s has introduced an anti-public logic that gave birth to privatizing schools, prisons, and institutions in the public sectors.
A specter is haunting America - the privatization of its public schools, and Big Money has entered into an unholy alliance to aid and abet it. Multi-billionaire philanthropists and others are making common cause to hasten the destruction of public schools.
The Boston Globe about Wall Street's secretly purchased influence in Washington, D.C. was somewhat mistitled as being about the "struggle for the Democratic Party's Soul." It's also about how Wall Street's virtually unlimited cash secretly influences the key debates as well as the policy outcomes in the nation's capital.
If the United States continues down the road toward becoming a nation in which the few rule, manipulate, and exploit the many, how many good and humane causes will do well?