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Articles by: Richard Oxman

Black Panther vs. Black Panthers

Black Panther vs. Black Panthers

  “A few of the major textbooks don’t even mention the Black Panthers, while most give the organization only a sentence or two. Even the small number that do devote a few paragraphs to the party, give little context for their actions and distort their ideology. “ — Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian of the Zinn Education Project Black Panther, its[Read More…]

 The Gang and  Homeless College: Miracle in the Works

 The Gang and  Homeless College: Miracle in the Works

Dedicated to my new community… with the intention of providing a model for many communities across the globe. One way I can contribute to reducing gang violence, securing shelter for the homeless and/or helping local citizens to provide better for themselves is to open a Free Gang and Homeless College that would include tutoring and other socially-conscious services gratis. I could secure[Read More…]

Dostoevsky Does Dissidents: Treason Of The Soul

Dostoevsky Does Dissidents: Treason Of The Soul

“Activists would benefit immeasurably by reading Dostoevsky.”  — Howard Zinn While U.S. citizens — “Americans” — were engaging in the unnecessary bloody Civil War and its horrific aftermath, Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was producing three of his greatest novels and two  of his best novellas more than half a world away. Life didn’t meet Dostoevsky half way, though. During the period[Read More…]

Nothing’s Changed For Me

Nothing’s Changed For Me

Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose.  Any minute now I’m expecting all hell to break loose. Troy was in trouble in 2011. Innocent, but on Death Row… so we circulated a petition. Lots of heartbeats spent, but it was worth all the time and energy and money that went into gathering those signatures. For we got[Read More…]

On Our Arthritic Snail’s Pace

On Our Arthritic Snail’s Pace

 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is a process by a United States government commission to increase United States Defense Department efficiency by planning the end of the Cold War realignment and closure of military installations. More than 350 installations have been closed in five BRAC rounds: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005, but we have to question what’s been involved in those closures environmentally… because, as we know, the U.S. military is,[Read More…]

Lovely Leitmotif For Collective Optimism

Lovely Leitmotif For Collective Optimism

  “Against Nature’s silence I use action In the vast indifference I invent a meaning I don’t watch unmoved I intervene and say that this and this are wrong and I work to alter them and improve them The important thing is to pull yourself up by your own hair to turn yourself inside out and see the whole world[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 The Importance of the Uncertainty Principle

 The Importance of the Uncertainty Principle

Special note: The author is not addressing Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle here. “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination – What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth….” — John Keats Activists — in part, because their prose has become mostly soooooo boring and repetitive and ineffectual — need to[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 The Most Gorgeous Map The World Has Ever Seen

 The Most Gorgeous Map The World Has Ever Seen

  “The geologist takes up the history of the earth at the point where the archaeologist leaves it, and carries it further back into remote antiquity.”  — Bal Gangadahr Tilak, The Arctic Home in the Vedas In 1793 — the year Louis XVI is guillotined, George Washington holds his first Cabinet meeting and British troops invade Haiti — a canal digger[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Book Review
Watch Your Language, Honor The Heart

Watch Your Language, Honor The Heart

  “Foul, coarse language is a first cousin to apocalyptic talk, and nihilism aligns easily — finds a home  –with writers who have a limited and hard-edged vocabulary. Where is delicacy today?” — one of the author’s home schooled teenage charges I basically like Street’s writing very much, although I’ve always had some reservations about his work and his activism.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Much Too Far Away From The Spirit Of Saint Therese Of Lisieux

Much Too Far Away From The Spirit Of Saint Therese Of Lisieux

  “She was the greatest healer of modern times.” — The Venerable Pope Pius XII “She was the greatest saint of modern times.” — Pope Saint Pius X “The Little Flower demonstrated the power of love.” — Flannery O’Connor Why can’t U.S. third parties fly? How do they manage to not take off during these times? With more than two million visitors a[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Grand Silence About Things That Matter

Grand Silence About Things That Matter

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. I trust that the thrust of this article will resonate with the readers of the Asian-based alternative media outlet which I write exclusively for these days. Building “a strong and robust public school system” along the lines delineated in Satvinderpal Kaur’s recent[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Until

 Until

Joan: I hear voices telling me what to do. They come from God. Robert: They come from your imagination. Joan: Of course. That is how the messages of God come to us. — from Shaw’s Saint Joan No matter whether one believes in God, I should think that everyone who’s been paying attention to our horrid societal and environmental momentum[Read More…]

This Is Not A Drill

This Is Not A Drill

  The recent “mistake” in Hawaii which sent many people running for cover, as if they could actually protect themselves from an incoming ballistic missile from North Korea pushed my envelope on several counts. It’s too early to have a handle on all of the important variables at the moment, but I can ask a few questions: Why — at[Read More…]

 Spiritually Taking Care Of Our Common Home

 Spiritually Taking Care Of Our Common Home

  “Glory be to God for dappled things” — Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty “The big conversation we need within government has still not begun.” George Monbiot responding to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s new environmental proposal, very much echoing the essential message embedded in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’… which focuses on Care for Our Common Home. The punchline to this piece —[Read More…]

Here’s Hoping You Do The Same On Some Level In Your Community

Here’s Hoping You Do The Same On Some Level In Your Community

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx “So many books, so little time.” — Frank Zappa Lest you think — looking at the quotes above —[Read More…]

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik

Sinful

  I’m in with the in crowd I go where the in crowd goes I’m in with the in crowd And I know what the in crowd knows — opening lines to Dobie Gray’s The “In” Crowd “There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” — Flannery O’Connor “It’s not a popular notion, but no advance in social[Read More…]

How Does One Process That?

How Does One Process That?

  The decision to try the leading Nazis at Nuremberg meant developing a system of due process, providing them with defense attorneys and, it has often been forgotten, with access to spiritual counsel. To Heinrich “Henry” Gerecke, an American Lutheran from the Midwest, fell the strange and theologically complex duty of providing succor to men marked, if any ever have[Read More…]

The Poor Can Teach Us

The Poor Can Teach Us

  “He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put[Read More…]

A Different Screaming Must Come Across the Sky Now

A Different Screaming Must Come Across the Sky Now

  “A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.” — the first line of Thomas Pynchon’s incomparable Gravity’s Rainbow (describing a rocket portending apocalypse during the Second World War) I was reading Harold G. Vatter’s The US Economy in World War II  while riding through San Joaquin County, California yesterday, and I[Read More…]

 True Madness, Truly Unmissable: Psychopathy For Concerned Citizens

 True Madness, Truly Unmissable: Psychopathy For Concerned Citizens

  “I have’t. It is engener’d  Hell and night must bring this birth to the world’s light.”  — Act I, Scene 3 of Othello, where Iago speaks about his plan to fool everyone, and convince Othello with evil mendacity Don’t read reviews about what I’m recommending. Watch it. One of the early episodes in the first season of Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley received[Read More…]

Not Much Of A Choice

Not Much Of A Choice

  “Teaching children to acclimate is necessary to some degree, of course, but that currently comprises well over ninety per cent of educational effort ‘cross the country, ‘cross the board. And very little energy is devoted to how youngsters can alter society radically, which is what will be necessary, of course, if they are to inherit a world worth living[Read More…]

Recommendation For The Fissured Workplace In A Fragmented Society, Part I

Recommendation For The Fissured Workplace In A Fragmented Society, Part I

by Richard Martin Oxman and the Oxman Collective “The bad news: Your wages are declining. The worse news: Surveys documenting falling wage actually under-estimate how much your wages are declining.” — the opening to Pete Dolack’s You Are Working Harder And Getting Paid Less There’s something that can be done about what Dolack is complaining about above, but it must be done[Read More…]

 HUMAN RIGHTS And Human Rights And U.S. Rights

 HUMAN RIGHTS And Human Rights And U.S. Rights

  “Chomsky has provided irrefutable analysis on the U.S. continuous violation of human rights, both within and outside its own borders.” — from a lead in to a Democracy Now! interview with Noam Chomsky from 1998 Human Rights organizations today play a major part in international affairs. Human Rights Watch, for instance, works in ninety countries, including virtually all those[Read More…]

New Horse And Words For An Emergency Room Operation Needed

New Horse And Words For An Emergency Room Operation Needed

  “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.” — from an article centered on a former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya[Read More…]

The Undemocratic Jerusalem Embassy Move

The Undemocratic Jerusalem Embassy Move

  “The near-universal opposition to Trump’s decision by much of the military, intelligence, and foreign policy establishment is not out of concern for the fate of the Palestinians or international law. Rather, they fear that effectively recognizing exclusive Israel control over the third holiest city in Islam will provoke a backlash throughout the Islamic world. Reactionary clerics and other Islamist[Read More…]

God’s Imagination

God’s Imagination

  “A nuclear weapon can be placed in a shipping container or on a small cabin cruiser, transported by sea, and set off remotely by cellular phone.” — from “Haywire” by Eric Schlosser in Harper’s Magazine/December 2017 This MUST be addressed in classrooms across the United States ASAP. The message here will go in and out of the ears of most[Read More…]

Mauritania And Much More Undimmed For The Damned

Mauritania And Much More Undimmed For The Damned

  “In Arab mythology, the al-Sada bird, or death owl, emerges from the body of a murdered man and shrieks until someone takes revenge.” — Lindsey Hilsum “I’m good at killing.” — Barack Obama The one thing most people know about the Islamic Republic of Mauritania — if they know anything at all about that mysterious country in the Maghreb[Read More…]

Abominations Abroad And Our Addictions: Advice for Parents and Teachers

Abominations Abroad And Our Addictions: Advice for Parents and Teachers

  “What do they talk about these days at Parent Teacher Association meetings?” — Question asked by one of the author’s home schooled youngsters. Cobalt is such a health hazard that it has a respiratory disease named after it – cobalt lung, a form of pneumonia which causes coughing and leads to permanent incapacity and even death. Even simply eating vegetables[Read More…]

Silicon Valley As Richard II: Setting The Stage For Teachers

Silicon Valley As Richard II: Setting The Stage For Teachers

  Not all the water in the rough rude sea Can wash the balm from an anointed king. (King Richard, Act 3 Scene 2) The ability of scientists to not only record and analyze brain activity but also influence it is growing, and those in academic circles on all levels — I humbly and respectfully submit — are obliged to[Read More…]

Relationship Between Our Nightmares And Dreams

Relationship Between Our Nightmares And Dreams

  “Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today?”  — Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot Arguably, the most haunting passage in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ classic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, describes the army arriving to quell striking banana workers in the mythical town of[Read More…]

Overseeing The Slaughter Overseas

Overseeing The Slaughter Overseas

  Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches I’ll recruit my army from the orphanages — Bob Dylan, Thunder on the Mountain The Southeast corridor of the U.S. — particularly, Georgia and Florida — have a  higher per capita representation among the military than any other region. The South, in general, boasts 40% of the total number of military[Read More…]

 Relationship Between Rape And Rape Of The Planet

 Relationship Between Rape And Rape Of The Planet

  “What’s the shock about how men are sexually harassing women in the context of our horrid societal and environmental momentum?” — question asked by one of the author’s home schooled teens Imagine a half-dozen Emergency Medical Technicians putting bandages on a person who has been assaulted by a knife-wielding psychopath. The EMTs are trying desperately to stop this person[Read More…]

Hot Chocolate, Anyone?

Hot Chocolate, Anyone?

  “All those sociological ingredients, the endless articles and insightful interviews, the official reports and incessant pontificating tomes don’t warm the body, let alone the soul. Privileged people aren’t just letting souls waste away, they continue to stir up the coldest, sickest brew imaginable for the immserated, not acknowledging that all souls are the same, deserve the same.” — one[Read More…]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Brownfields Don’t Have to Get You Down in Stockton

“Stockton was named an All-America City four times in the last eighteen years. I think it has the potential to become an All-World City next year.” — one of the author’s home schooled youngsters A Brownfields site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a[Read More…]

 We’re Doing Worse Than Dropping Bombs As A Matter Of Course

 We’re Doing Worse Than Dropping Bombs As A Matter Of Course

by Richard Martin Oxman “What’s the difference between our enabling the Saudis to blockade Yemen and making it possible for Stalin, Mao and Hitler to commit their atrocities?” — Question asked by one of the authors home schooled teenage charges The Saudi-led coalition has not allowed Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) flights into Yemen for the past few days, directly hindering[Read More…]

Terse Turse Take

Terse Turse Take

  “Oh no, you don’t call people from Niger and Nigeria by the same name!” — the author’s home schooled youngest in 2006 I have reservations about Democracy Now!, but often Amy Goodman & Co. provide a highly instructive segment. A recent exchange with Nick Turse is a good example of that. It’s a telegraphic treatment, of course, of the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Imperialism
Photo by Lupuca

Commitment Must Take A Different Course

  “As water seeks its own level, corruption creeps into the body politic to metastasize throughout society and its institutions.” –from Geoff Dutton’s NPR, the CIA and Corporatism While our mainstream media continue to distract us with the gender-based “horrors of Hollywood” and spotlights on other injustices (which do deserve our attention to some degree), the Big Picture is being ignored in the U.S.,[Read More…]

Radical Rule For Activist Writing

Radical Rule For Activist Writing

  “It should be instructive to think about why so many writers on alternative sites go on and on.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor When I first started teaching college students in in 1964, I began my Comparative Literature classes by pointing out how Mark Twain once demonstrated that several inflated passages from James Fenimore Cooper’s novels — including some from[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Being Frank About Franklin And The Founding Fathers

Being Frank About Franklin And The Founding Fathers

  “Eventually, religion and business merged as they did nowhere else.” — Barry Spector Benjamin Franklin wasn’t so cool. He had upsides, but he had utterly unconscionable downsides. The former are pretty much all that’s covered in schools. And yet the latter have a lot to do with having contributed to our evolving into the greatest threat to peace on[Read More…]

Photo by cogdogblog

Note To Colleagues At My New School Focusing On The Myth Of American Innocence

  The missive below was sent to my colleagues at Point Arena Community Charter School in Calfiornia, U.S.A. They are preparing to blend their theme for the year (Mythology, Magic and Mystery) with the curriculum. Parents will also be made privy to the email. Perhaps this will help. A society that begins by denying the soul’s longing cannot possibly satisfy[Read More…]

Such “Magic” Is Not Needed Anywhere in the World

Such “Magic” Is Not Needed Anywhere in the World

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and it’s very important to know who’s running the show.” — Arthur C. Clarke In 1942, when I was born, Walt Disney came out with the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (featuring the famous mouse, Mickey). Disney was inspired by the work of nineteenth-century French Composer Paul Dukas, a piece of music written in the[Read More…]

Photo by jafsegal (Thanks for the 2,5 million views)

 Why I Spotlight Nepal And Conduct A Comparative Analysis With The U.S.

  First of all, Nepal is a great point of departure for motivating students to become engaged with Climate Change issues. For some age levels the World Resources Report on “Impacts and Adaptive Strategies” is ideal for getting down with the environmental concerns, making use of Mathematics and Science, its old publishing date notwithstanding. I have contact with more than[Read More…]

 Three Prejudices, One Viable Solution

 Three Prejudices, One Viable Solution

  “History has not ended, and the need to understand its main features is as great as ever. Certainly, academics must stop teaching the Trivial Pursuit version of History.” — Chris Harman One prejudice we all have to face up to is the idea that the key features of successive societies and human history have been a result of an[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Indian Education- Suicide--Madura beats

Suicides And Education

  “We should be alarmed today, yesterday and every day, because every day on average 16 American youth are taking their lives.” — Dr. Christine Moutier of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention   “Why are students grunting through school instead of singing?” — One of the author’s home schooled youngsters Why aren’t adults in academia killing themselves in greater[Read More…]

As Things Stand

As Things Stand

    “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” — from Dostoyevsky’s The House of the Dead as translated by Constance Garnett What Dostoyevsky says about the incarcerated applies to how we treat children and animals too, of course. And — of course —  we’re failing immeasurably on all those counts. But you’d[Read More…]

 Swan Song?

 Swan Song?

“One airplane program, the F-35, could be canceled and the funds used to convert every home in the United States to clean energy.” — David Swanson The above, a line from David Swanson’s Bringing Movements Together, provides a point of departure for teaching elements of Math and Science. And, of course, it could be a lead in for instructive exploration in other[Read More…]

Photo by Lupuca

The Seeds of Salvation for the U.S. May Lie in the Desert

  “Mohammed frequently went to a cave in the desert three miles from Mecca, where he would spend months in prayer and meditation.” — Swami Sivananda’s introductory sentence to The Birth of Islam The posting of this article might — in the future — prevent me from securing a teaching position at more than 99% of the schools in the[Read More…]

The Relationship Between Racism And Slavery That’s Taught In The U.S.

The Relationship Between Racism And Slavery That’s Taught In The U.S.

  “A People’s History of the World is an indispensable volume on my reference bookshelf.” — Howard Zinn Over the course of several months this year, I surveyed four-year college and university History departments at select academic institutions in the fifty United States. To determine whether or not professors thought slavery caused racism or racism caused slavery. I also addressed the same[Read More…]

Through Ignoring The Looking-Glass

Through Ignoring The Looking-Glass

“…so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.” — from the Down the Rabbit-Hole section of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland When Humpty Dumpty shakes hands with Alice he extends only one finger. In Victorian Days, when someone shook hands with a person of inferior social status it[Read More…]

Authentic Discussion Naming Names

Authentic Discussion Naming Names

  “There is no intelligence in Washington. Only arrogance and hubris. The quarter century I spent there was with the most utterly stupid people on the face of the earth.” — Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, author of Another Step Toward Devastating War “The EPA was run like the Mafia for the twenty-five years I[Read More…]

Hiding head in sand

The Rape of Nanjing, Education By The Nape Of The Neck

  “Western indifference has been a problem. It continues to be a problem.” — Iris Chang to the author, 2004 On Craig’s List I came across an ad which called for an Elementary School Teacher to provide Spoken English instruction to youngsters in Nanjing, China. I’m highly qualified to serve in that capacity, the pay and benefits are good, and I’d love to[Read More…]

Questions For U.S. Educators

Questions For U.S. Educators

  Some of the questions below are, unquestionably, not appropriate for all grade levels. But — certainly — some should be addressed by the time a student secures entrance to, or matriculation status at, one of our institutions of higher education. If you disagree, do let me know. Over the last 34 years, incomes for the top 0.001% richest Americans[Read More…]

Ewan MacColl’s Call From The Grave

Ewan MacColl’s Call From The Grave

“Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave — and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another, and keep our word along the way. What do they say, In the Beginning there was the Word?” — Kirsty MacColl “Music to my fears this morning, my Muse mourning. For our one sphere of influence comes[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Hodgkinson’s Disease And Our Exceptional Nation

 Hodgkinson’s Disease And Our Exceptional Nation

  Hodgkin’s lymphoma — formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease — is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond the lymphatic system. As Hodgkin’s lymphoma progresses, it compromises your body’s ability to fight infection. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of two common[Read More…]

Blood Red Wheelbarrow

Blood Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

A Good Man’s History Lesson 

A Good Man’s History Lesson 

  “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” — William Faulkner Patrick Cockburn concludes his article Britain Refuses to Accept How Terrorists Really Work with, Contrary to conventional and governmental wisdom, terrorist conspiracies have not changed much since Brutus, Cassius and their friends plotted to murder Julius Caesar. It made me think about how many people Caesar killed or enslaved[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Practical Love Supreme in Activism

Practical Love Supreme in Activism

A review of a documentary on John Coltrane reminded me that the iconic jazz musician died on the same day that the Newark Riots officially ended. I trust that the reader knows why I’m using italics here; fact is, the trauma of those riots — fifty years old as of 2017 — never went away. Definitely not for me, as I knew colleagues[Read More…]

TOSCA in Tucson

TOSCA in Tucson

“We are documenting, discussing, debating, demonstrating, diverting and delaying ourselves to death in lieu of doing something new in solidarity that stands to make a big enough difference in time.” — One of the author’s home schooled youngsters at six years old (calling attention to the collective deadlines we face respecting our collective crises) “Yes, of course, one could make[Read More…]

Cattle Being Herded In A Heat

Cattle Being Herded In A Heat

The extraordinary achievement of Claire Simon’s latest film, The Graduation, relies on its ability to capture power at work. The film documents the entire selection process that hundreds of young candidates go through at La Femis in Paris to obtain a seat at one of the most prestigious film schools in the world.

Photo by Public Domain Photos

Educators Serving The Powers That Be: Results of a Recent Survey

In the months of April and May we conducted a random survey of 100 U.S. educators nationwide* — on all levels, in public and private institutions — and discovered that less than 10% of teachers and administrators** knew much at all about the 25 major environmental issues plaguing the planet today.

And The Minds of Children Closed

And The Minds of Children Closed

  Schools are still shills for our collective addiction to belief in technological fixes as a decent approach to addressing climate change issues. That’s one reason to home school, among many. But my informal survey of home schooling parents nationwide has revealed that virtually no one is teaching youth that only a no-growth vision of economics can possibly give us[Read More…]

Standing by Truth Together

Standing by Truth Together

The thing is, a core group of citizens are — first — going to have to get off of the Untruthful Treadmill that they’re on. Talk about the toxicity of the blacktops that cover the only roads now available. And, then, carve out unprecedented inroads in the realm of the electoral arena.

Positioning Popularity Properly

Positioning Popularity Properly

“Frequently the cock combines the lifting of his tail with the raising of his voice. He appears to receive through his feet some shock from the center of the earth, which travels upward through him and is released: Eee-ooo-ii! Eee-­ooo-ii! To the melancholy this sound is melancholy and to the hysterical it is hysterical. To me it has always sounded[Read More…]

The Relationship Between Forgetting Ourselves And War

The Relationship Between Forgetting Ourselves And War

  “The essential thing is to WANT to sing.” — Henry Miller “Education in this country just boxes you in.” — Emil White Just prior to Emil White dying, I had a chance to interact with the publisher, artist and well-known friend of Henry Miller at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California in the late eighties. One of[Read More…]

The Necessary Ground of Being for Dyslexic Activism

The Necessary Ground of Being for Dyslexic Activism

  In the early days of hip hop, most of the artists either lived in or were born in New York City’s South Bronx. That area was devastated in 1929 by the building of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, which displaced 60,000 Bronx residents. Although the white residents who lived in the realm moved to the suburbs, many of the poor African-American[Read More…]

Securing Sweetness For Sugarcane Souls: A Tribute To Paulo Freire

Securing Sweetness For Sugarcane Souls: A Tribute To Paulo Freire

  “…there neither is, nor has ever been, an educational practice in zero space-time—neutral in the sense of being committed only to preponderantly abstract, intangible ideas.” — Freire, Paolo (2014) Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York: Bloomsbury, p.67   “Paulo Freire says that reflection and action… action… action should be directed at the structures that need to be[Read More…]

STEM The Tide

STEM The Tide

  Fifty years ago Dr. King risked his life to tell us that ‘the world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve,” that a nation focused on military defense more than social uplift “is approaching spiritual death,’ and that we still had a choice: “nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.”  How much longer will[Read More…]

Eyes On Eternity Versus Eyes On The Prize: Dedicated To Gil Scott-Heron

Eyes On Eternity Versus Eyes On The Prize: Dedicated To Gil Scott-Heron

  Henry Hampton‘s work — like his groundbreaking Eyes on the Prize (1987-1990) — should be applauded. His grand efforts and accomplishments — along with those of his many hardworking, talented colleagues, such as the dedicated and incomparable Judy Richardson — are praiseworthy by any standards. That said, to have one’s eyes on any prize in the realm of social activism usually means a[Read More…]

Honoring the Million-Petaled Flower And Steve Biko

Honoring the Million-Petaled Flower And Steve Biko

  “We live on a beautiful and a delightful planet, which is so awesome and so perfect that we wonder at its creation.” — The opening to Prithiraj Dullay’s Humanity on the Road to Extinction? Early this morning, I half-awoke thinking of Steve Biko, who was murdered in the midst of my raising funds for the fight against South African[Read More…]

Sing It One More Time Like That

Sing It One More Time Like That

The world stands out on either side No wider than the heart is wide; Above the world is stretched the sky,— 205 No higher than the soul is high. The heart can push the sea and land Farther away on either hand; The soul can split the sky in two, And let the face of God shine through. The above[Read More…]

The Most Important U.S. History Book You Will Read in Your Lifetime

The Most Important U.S. History Book You Will Read in Your Lifetime

  “This may well be the most important US History book you will read in your lifetime.” — Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley providing a testimonial for the work of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. According to Harper’s Magazine (April, 2017), the minimum number of American colleges that have programs to study their past reliance on slavery is twenty-eight. Well, I trust that it’s[Read More…]

'The best part of the work we do is that it’s not what we’re fighting against but what we’re fighting for.' (Photo:  Indigenous Environmental Network/Facebook)

 Big Yellow Hearse To Moriturus

Dedicated to Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Fight for Sacco and Vanzetti “With his hand on my mouth He shall drag me forth, Shrieking to the south And clutching at the north.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay, from Moriturus As everyone paying attention knows, we are about to die. Unless indigenous people — the ones whose lead must be followed according to[Read More…]

Acts of Abomination: A Familiar Sound

Acts of Abomination: A Familiar Sound

The Claims Commission was essentially a mopping-up operation, established to clarify ambiguities about land ownership that still remained after a century of white assault. It simply asserted that the Indians had lost land that they often had not, and gave them money as a panacea. Usually these claims awards were dutifully hailed in the American press as if the U.S. was generously giving down-and-out Indians a gift, when actually the opposite was the case.

Melania Trump And The Downer We’re On

Melania Trump And The Downer We’re On

  “A political system devoted to decline instinctively does much to speed up that process.” — Jean-Paul Sartre One does not have to be a supporter of Donald Trump to recoil in horror at the unprecedented attack that’s being waged on an ongoing basis against the new First Lady. The late night comedy shows are going to town at her[Read More…]

 The Blight Man Was Not Born For

 The Blight Man Was Not Born For

  “Ah! ás the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie” –from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Spring and Fall: To a Young Child (in which the line “It ís the blight man was born for” appears) This week I responded to Craig’s List calls for[Read More…]

Risking Lives Over Ocean Mother Murder

Risking Lives Over Ocean Mother Murder

  Our enigmatic Ocean Mother has always fascinated poets. Rachel Carson is a singular writer, who — as an eminent scientist who absolutely loved and spiritually respected the sea — provided a factual, instructive and comprehensive survey of the expanse that covers the vast majority of the earth’s surface (in 1950). My family began reading the overview to me when[Read More…]

Can Go Congo, No

Can Go Congo, No

“Habit is the great deadener.” — Samuel Beckett An intrepid investigative journalist recently produced six minutes and seventeen seconds of footage that underscores how attachment to high tech gadgetry is causing abominations which are the equivalent of The Holocaust (which Hollywood never lets us forget). The atrocities being committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — by any standards —[Read More…]

The Child and the Chainsaw

The Child and the Chainsaw

  “No one ever really sees a flower anymore.” — Georgia O’Keeffe A rose doesn’t decide to provide its fragrance only for good people, nor deny its beauty to even the most evil people on earth. And a tree offers shade to anyone who comes under its umbrage. Also, with no discrimination. Beautiful fragrance on any day, and shade from[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Americans Must Crow Anew

Americans Must Crow Anew

“But I just had no intention of living this way” — from the Counting Crows’ Raining in Baltimore The actions being taken by concerned citizens respecting our collective crises are too prosaic. Overly “prosaic” in the sense that pleas and demonstrations are utterly too straightforward, much too much run-of-the-mill. Will someone, please, consider injecting poetry into activism? The language and[Read More…]

Three Denials And Discussion Denied

Three Denials And Discussion Denied

The denial of clemency for Leonard Peltier — courtesy of Obama — inspired me to write this piece, along with the denial of Climate Change on the part of the new U.S. Administration. But the Big Denial not talked about much is the one which is embraced by well-meaning, highly educated and deeply experienced activists and concerned citizens, along with[Read More…]

Playing Russian Roulette On More Than One Count

Playing Russian Roulette On More Than One Count

Britain’s nuclear safety regulator has been accused of turning a blind eye to dozens of serious mistakes at power plants and military bases. I initially came across the information given below on Sky News’ Press Review, as part of Monday’s coverage of what that mainstream media outlet considers stories of the day; usually entertainment/celebrity icons dominate the fare, and Monday[Read More…]

Super Fund Sites: Home Facts For Concerned Citizens

Super Fund Sites: Home Facts For Concerned Citizens

“One out of ten Americans live within ten miles of a Super Fund site.” — E.G. Vallianatos I gave a speech to educators a little over two years ago at a Social Forum in San Jose, California. In it I noted that I had conducted a survey a year before targeting academics, community leaders, students and staff at local educational institutions[Read More…]

The Yale Program On Climate Change Communication And My Survey On Our Nuclear Dynamic: Instructive Results for Activists

The Yale Program On Climate Change Communication And My Survey On Our Nuclear Dynamic: Instructive Results for Activists

The degree of resignation spotlighted below is something that activists must pay attention to; there’s a clear need to change gears in reaching out to citizens. The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (2015) demonstrated that a mere 52 percent of registered U.S. voters felt that alterations in the earth’s climate were mainly a function of human activity. That should[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Climate Change
The Loneliness Of  The Long Distance Activist

The Loneliness Of  The Long Distance Activist

“The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.” — Lorraine Hansberry “One of the problems with activists is that they’re afraid of being lonely, and they don’t get that the road they have to go down doesn’t allow for moving four abreast.” — James Baldwin “Direct action is[Read More…]

Atypical Revolutionary Effort (ARE): You Ready?

Atypical Revolutionary Effort (ARE): You Ready?

“There is a new kind of secessionist movement taking place in India. Shall we call it New Secessionism? It’s an inversion of Old Secessionism. It’s when people who are actually part of a whole different economy, a whole different country, a whole different planet, pretend they’re part of this one. It is the kind of secession in which a relatively small[Read More…]

10 Days In October

10 Days In October

Playing off of John Reed’s classic work about the Russian Revolution, I picked my title because of something that was whispered to me today by folks on the inside, who claim that the Justice Department’s new focus on Hillary’s past faux past with emails did not rear its troubling (for the Clinton candidacy) head by chance. With ten days left[Read More…]

The Fourth Remake Of “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers”

The Fourth Remake Of “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers”

True film aficionados who are old enough probably know that there were three cinematic versions of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (TIOTBS). Doesn’t matter, though, whether or not you’re familiar with them. I’ll give you enough to chew on here, and then hit you with why there needs to be another one made. The first two TIOTBS films had[Read More…]