In case you’ve been procrastinating on your New Year’s resolutions, I have a few suggestions. This was a tough year, and 2017 looks like it could be worse. The ball is definitely in our court, and we have to decide whether and how we are going to put it in play.
Last column, I wrote about tribalism being a force that encouraged suspicion and hatred between different racial and ethnic groups. A friend pointed out that our indigenous people, who call themselves tribes
We have come to a time when those with racial, ethnic, and sexual biases think that their views have achieved some level of legitimacy. The only way we can counter that opinion is by showing by sheer numbers how small—hopefully—a minority they really are. Before we can do that, we should all spend some time confronting our own biases.
A year ago, who could have imagined that a perfect storm of discontent, fear, and blind folly would land us in the world we have today? I’ve always said that this is one of the most exciting times to be alive, and our current scenario fits that description in spades.
Back in 1988, Joy Goldstein strong-armed me into working with her and a handful of others on the Community Council Affordable Housing Committee. We went on to form Vashon Household (Joy’s name). I put about twenty years into the effort, and despite some notable successes, such as Charter House, JG Commons, Roseballen, Eernisse Apts., and Mukai Commons, I’ve never felt that our efforts put a dent in the structural foundations of housing unaffordability.
I have been working with a group called Revolution Vashon. We are Berniecrats that are promoting the political revolution that Bernie Sanders called for. We agree with Bernie that it is vitally important that Hillary Clinton be elected president.
When I started writing this column years ago, it was intended to be a voice for the Transition Vashon group. We were espousing the need to plan for decreasing energy use due to the dangers of CO2 concentration and consequent global warming, and the arrival of peak oil.
Last issue, I began exploring the importance of focusing on a new vision rather than just combating the present incompetence. Addressing an article recently published in YES! Magazine by Gar Alperivitz titled “Six Ways We Are Already Leading an Economic Revolution,”
Trying to get more involved in government policy decisions is a tough and thankless task when the emphasis seems to be on choosing the least worst power broker to run the nation who has the least objectionable plan (if any) to get us out of any number of messes that our established corporate power brokers have gotten us into.
Our task remains essentially the same as it would have been if Bernie Sanders had been elected President. Sanders made us to understand that nothing he was espousing would happen without a major grass roots effort to force our elected officials to act. I imagine we all thought it might be a whole lot easier with Bernie in the seat of power, but we weren’t being totally honest with ourselves.
The conventions are over and our next president will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. A few years ago, it looked like we were going to have a very humdrum choice of the two ruling family establishment candidates, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.
Picture this scenario. The presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party is lagging in the polls before the nominating convention. Another candidate that might attract more votes lags behind in elected delegates but can take the nomination if the superdelegates vote for him.
Those of you that have read my column for some time remember that my primary subject has always been transitioning our society away from a fossil fuel-based economy bent on infinite growth. One of the reasons for transition is that the ever-growing use of fossil fuels is creating a change in our climate that threatens the existence of the world we know.
Both the Republicans and the Democrats have been challenged this election year by a populist insurrection. Many of us bristle as the pundits throw Trump and Sanders supporters into the same bag. After all, the motives and intentions of the two factions seem to be as different as night and day.
Although there will be much more to consider as the election saga unfolds this week, I want to talk about a local project that will make our community here more secure and resilient regardless of election results in November.
First off, the article in the last issue, “Politics Among The Billionaires,” was wrongfully attributed to me. It was written by Ward Carson.
As we approach the end of the 2016 primary season, we find the likely candidates of both parties to have the highest unfavorability ratings since such polls have been taken. Trump at 57% and Clinton at 55% top the charts.
Imagine yourself as a billionaire in 1981. Ronald Reagan has just been elected. You’ve parked one of your billions in Treasury bonds—a solid, conservative investment backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government.
The current trends for employment seem to be heading toward a train wreck. There is a strong push to lower labor costs as more and more work is being outsourced to lower wage labor pools around the world. In fact, slavery seems to be on the comeback. Free trade agreements, although not advertised as such, have lower labor costs as a main goal among others.
A guest article this week by Ward Carson:
I’ve always appreciated the value of a trust fund. My friend Jim has one. He deserves it I suppose; his father was a millionaire. He’s always lived free and easy. His fund has treated him well.
The Democratic Caucus for Washington State is coming up on Saturday, March 26th. The doors open at 9am and the Caucus begins at 10am at the O Space. The goal is to finish by noon, and please plan on staying until the end to be sure that your vote counts.
When Bernie Sanders entered the presidential race, he proposed universal health care as a basic human right. This has been envisaged as a single payer health care system, that is, a system in which the many private health insurance providers we now have would be replaced by a single, public payer, as it is currently done in Medicare.
As the Sanders campaign becomes more and more credible, the pundits, rightly, are scrutinizing the viability and popularity of his campaign promises. That is all well and good. It is true that such changes need to be well considered and thought out.
The differences between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are becoming apparent. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have had some good debates that have clarified their positions on specific issues. I am disregarding O’Malley at this point because, as appealing as he is, he is not seriously in contention right now.