Opinions

21st Century Supreme Court’s Charade-Imperils Democracy

      The Supreme Court was established by the Judiciary Act in 1789 and signed by President George Washington. It was charged with ensuring the American people with the promise of equal justice under law and to function as the Constitution’s guardian and interpreter. This noble idea was conceived by men with flawed morality. President Washington, who was a slave owner, nominated to the court one chief justice and five associates which were confirmed by the U.S. senate. However, in 1869, the court was set at nine. […]

Opinions

Tell Republicans: Stop Trump from Trashing Our Post Office

     The post office is one of the most respected institutions in America, a lifeline for millions of Americans, and a source of good jobs for thousands of Black people—and the Trump administration is trying to destroy it. Senate Republicans have a choice to make right now: are they going to side with the Trump administration’s political corruption, or with Americans who rely on the post office? […]

Opinions

Real Patriotic Education

     We do not need a Patriotic Education Commission like Trump proposes; we need to fund programs like Camp Keep (Keen Environmental Education Program) and Youth in Yosemite. We help make patriotic Americans when we teach young people the importance of conserving and preserving our natural resources for the good of everyone—especially future generations. […]

Opinions

Life in Cancer Alley

     This is the message the activists of Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” — a heavily industrialized, 85-mile strip of land along the Mississippi River, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — have gotten from the local powers that be regarding their determination to prevent the construction a gigantic, highly toxic, 14-plant plastics-production complex in their midst. […]

Opinions

Naming the Violence

     There is a term that was developed in the academic field of peace research, and it deserves far more currency in political discourse and everyday language than it currently receives.  It is called “structural,” or indirect, violence, and, as the name implies, it refers to violence that is embedded in social structures or institutions.  You can’t name a specific perpetrator as you would when an individual shoots, stabs, or suffocates another person.  But structural violence inflicts no less harm than its direct counterpart. […]

Opinions

The End of “Climate Change”

     “Climate change” is over. No, not the relentless, catastrophic environmental crisis that is spreading like, well, wildfire around the world. That is definitely real and definitely far from over. What I am talking about is the anemic, wishy-washy term “climate change,” which does such a poor job of communicating the existential threat to the planet.  […]

Opinions

Defeating a Demagogue: A Reminder from History

      It may be small comfort as we watch Donald Trump try to cheat and bully his way to a second term, but a recent study of his demagogic predecessor, Senator Joseph McCarthy, offers one. In Louis Menand’s review of the book by Larry Tye, appropriately titled Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy, Menand points up elements of McCarthy’s behavior that describes Trump’s as well: the constant lying, the disdain for opponents, the “lazy, ignorant, and unprepared” approach to politics, the bombast and conspiracy mongering. […]