Unions Are The Answer You Are Looking For


  Everyone is consumed in a conversation about white economic insecurity versus racial animus and what caused this catastrophe.   There is, of course, plenty of blame to go around.  The key is to focus on what has changed since 2012, when Obama won the states naively referred to as the Blue Wall – the ‘Rust Belt’ deindustrialized states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  These are states that once belonged to the Democratic coalition which emerged in the post-Roosevelt era as a stronghold for working class and African-American voting power. […]

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We Have The Power We Need: A Call For a General Strike


It is a dark day in the United States, and the world.   While a slim majority of American voters chose to back the multicultural, urban, liberal party of incremental progress, enough people, in the states that mattered most, chose to throw the election to a reactionary populist who openly attacked ethnic and religious minorities, and will use the powers of the state to prosecute his enemies, foreign and domestic. There is little comfort in looking to government in the short term – the people with the power of appointment, […]

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Putting the Arts to Work for Homeless Youth in Los Angeles

Mural by Aly Timbuctustate  and Do Art Foundation

    Art is more than entertainment or decoration.   Back in March, this photo caused some tepid online outrage in Los Angeles, and spurred another (too brief) examination of the homelessness crisis in the city.   It served as a snapshot of how relatively wealthy millennials were changing some of Los Angeles’ most iconic neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves into playgrounds of twenty-something decadence, literally stepping over homeless residents to snap a selfie in front of a cheeky mural.  When I saw it, I was immediately upset by not only how indifferent […]

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The Moment I Discovered I Was Not a Prodigy


©2011 Rebecca Hale/National Geographic

Down to the last twoÉ Nilai Sarda, 11, of Georgia (left) and Tine Valencia, 13, of Texas. Valencia, a seventh grader from Colleyville, Texas, emerged the winner and claimed the first prize of a $25,000 college scholarship. ÒJeopardy!Ó host Alex Trebek moderated the 2011 National Geographic Bee held in Washington, D.C., May 25.

Scholars refer to 1905, the year in which Albert Einstein wrote his famous works on the photoelectric effect, Mass-Energy equivalence and special relativity, as his Annus Mirabilis, his ‘miraculous’ year.  For me, that year was 1992.  I was ten years old, in the fifth grade, and I was runner-up in the Robert Frost Poetry Contest for Children and Teens, an honorable mention bestowed in person by Governor Judd Gregg himself. That was also the year I won my city’s championship in the National Geography Bee. I was chosen to represent […]

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#OWS: The Morning After

You know the argument about a rising tide, and how it lifts all boats?  This has always seemed a dubious metaphor to me because of all the assumptions it must make in order to apply, and all of the obvious features of the ‘tide’ that it conveniently leaves out of the idiom. Join me while I break it down. (much more below the fold)

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#OccupyLA: Who Speaks For Us?

We Don’t Need a Leader, But We Need Something When the General Assembly in Woodruff Park in Atlanta declined to allow John Lewis, famed civil rights activist and sitting U.S. Congressman to deliver a few words of encouragement, I believe this movement made a curious and possibly detrimental turn toward the irrelevant.  The reason for this is straightforward:  I do not believe you can assault our broken democracy and our broken economic system simultaneously.  By rejecting elected and aspiring representatives of the people from engaging in this movement and taking its message to city halls, state houses, and the impotent galleries of the U.S.  Congress, there is a chance we could doom this protest to the alternate fates of destructive riots or perpetual but inconsequential unrest. <much more below the fold>

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