Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Letter to the editor re World Peace Day

Herewith a letter to the editor of the SB News-Press that I sent today. I'll update this post when/if the letter is published.

Update: The letter was published in the News-Press on Sunday, October 2, 2016.

To the editor:

You likely missed World Peace Day, Wednesday, September 21 – understandable, since no major media source mentioned it. We're not talking about "World Days" for mosquitoes, (August 21), UFOs (July 2) or sleep (March 18).

No, World Peace Day is earnest, serious: proclaimed by the UN in 1981; designated in 2001 as a day of international peace; announced annually by ringing the Peace Bell at the UN building. However, last Wednesday, although the bell was once again rung, there was nowhere else the recognition or practice of peace.

Indeed, one senses that world peace is now so beyond possibility as to render the concept irrelevant – a preposterous, silly whim. With "wars" of various styles abounding – Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia – and potential hotspots everywhere – the Koreas, Ukraine/Crimea, Kashmir (plus American and European cities) – the ideals that created World Peace Day seem distant, forgotten.

Have Americans given up on World Peace? According to the two major presidential candidates, apparently so. Both Trump and Clinton speak as if wars, in various configurations, are the order of the day. But both Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, and Gary Johnson, Libertarian – echoing the majority of Americans – find ongoing, endless war intolerable.

But we won't hear their voices, neither in the upcoming debates nor in the major media, which rarely gives them airtime and charges too much for ads. In sum, World Peace Day, once a founded aspiration, is now an unheard outlier's plea, or, to the cynic, a sad joke.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Letter to the editor

Herewith, after a long spell of silence on this blog, is the text of a letter I wrote to the editor of the SB News-Press today. I'll update this blog if/when it's published.

Update: The letter was published in the News-Press on Sunday, July3, 2016.

Quo vadis, Bernie Babies?

The Brits' Brexit vote has shown that Americans aren't alone in yearning for substantive change in their system of governance. Indeed, if one were to string together the last decade's worldwide movements for real and dramatic change in the way things are – from a black U.S. President to Hugo Chavez; from Arab Spring to Occupy; from Tea Party to Donald Trump – it's clear: The Times They are A-changin'.

Or so we progressive Americans thought, we who so ardently worked and spent (an average of) $27 for Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic nomination for President, a campaign carrying the banner of "A future to believe in," and calling for a "political revolution."

But no. Hillary Clinton will become the party's nominee and Bernie, after (at best) causing meaningless language to be inserted into the Democrats' meaningless platform at the convention, is going to vote for her, he says.

So, do we hold our noses and, out of fear of Trump, vote for her too? Do we stay home on election day, or move to Denmark (if they'll have us)? Do we vote for Trump in spite?

To me, the answer is simple: I shall do as my high school civics teacher taught us was the purpose of each citizen's vote in a democracy – to give voice to that person's unfettered choice of the best candidate. And that person, hands down, is Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Tragedy for Sweden and the world

Thirty years ago yesterday, the assassination of Olof Palme changed Sweden, Europe and the world. For the story, read this. (The video is in Swedish, but the story, in English, tells enough to understand what was lost that day.)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A great essay on voter ignorance

Follow this link to a fun and founded assessment of the American political system and its victims, the voters.