Happy anniversary, dear. Look, I got us handcuffs!

Tomorrow is Hiroshima Day, a time to remember the dreadful destructiveness of nuclear weapons. A time to remember that our country is the only country ever to have used these inhuman weapons — twice. And it is a time to rededicate ourselves to the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. There are today still nearly 15,000 nuclear warheads in the hands of nine countries. 

I’ll be hosting a special edition of Other Voices TV about the current state of nuclear weapons and the continuing abolition movement. I’m looking forward to my conversation with Jackie Cabasso, a nuclear abolition activist for over 30 years, and Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action. Here are the details. I hope you’ll join me for this forum.

But for this post, I wanted to briefly relate the story of one particular anti-nuclear weapons protest that I participated in because it was particularly memorable.

Continue reading “Happy anniversary, dear. Look, I got us handcuffs!”

Impeachment: We have lift off! Sort of. But that’s okay.

Not with a bang but a whimper.

That’s how T. S. Eliot completed his sentence This is the way the world ends… in his celebrated poem The Hollow Men. It could also be a finale to the sentence, This is how impeachment starts… 

After 200+ days of beseeching House Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings — and, following the release of the Mueller report, screaming at them to get started — we suddenly found out on Friday that an “impeachment inquiry” has essentially begun. As with so many other things when it comes to the courts and Congress, it can all be very confusing.

Continue reading “Impeachment: We have lift off! Sort of. But that’s okay.”

Endless summer memories

Florida c. 1966 – ’67 / Hawaii 2006

Nothing but memories here today. No politics. No analysis. No dissent. Just memories plain and simple. Very fond memories.

This has been a banner year to indulge our appetites for celebrating anniversaries, especially those weighty ones like 50th anniversaries. We got off to a good start with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ last public concert, from the roof of Apple Studios. We have just finished (mostly) a celebration of the moon landing, and Woodstock’s 50th lies just ahead.

Continue reading “Endless summer memories”

Mandela Day: An antidote to the toxic racism poisoning our atmosphere

I was going to write — and rant and rave — about #RacistPresident’s latest outrages, his “go back” tweets and, most especially, the Klan rally last night which he claimed was a “campaign rally.” This is all headed somewhere really awful, I’m afraid, and it will only get worse. There are still 474 days before the election.

But then I realized that today is Nelson Mandela Day, marking the great man’s birth 101 years ago. So I will use the occasion to offer an antidote to the miasma flowing from the White House, a collection of favorite Mandela quotes. This may be cheating, blog-writing-wise, but I think we could all use a little fresh air.

  • It always seems impossible until it is done.
  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  • As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.
  • A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.
  • Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.
  • Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.
  • Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.
  • Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?
  • Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water, and salt for all.Happy Birthday, Madiba!