Parkland students like Emma Gonzales remind me so much of myself at their age. I was ready to change the world, and I knew exactly how to do it. I also rocked the same kind of natty friendship bracelets, and even shaved my head (well, part of it). I helped mobilize thousands of students to …Continue reading "I’m ready to follow these young people to a better future"
The FCC is about to vote to end net neutrality—breaking the fundamental principle of the open Internet. I’m supporting an effort to create an avalanche of calls to Congress to stop it.
Net neutrality affects everyone who uses the Internet. This is for all of us.Continue reading "Stop the FCC and save Net Neutrality!"
I will say it again: please stop thinking everything will work out in the end. The only way that happens is if massive numbers of Americans rise up and do not allow business as usual to continue. It’s on US. The institutions that got us to this moment are not going to suddenly fix it. …Continue reading "Less faith, more action"
In addition to the many reasons that people need unfettered access to the Internet without megacorporations deciding which content to privilege, I can’t imagine the United States having anything resembling free and fair elections without net neutrality. The New York Times today: “The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark …Continue reading "Net neutrality is not optional"
A funny thing happened yesterday. I decided to block the president on Twitter because I’m sick of his toxic idiocy and narcissism. When you block someone, they ask you the reason. Are they harassing you or someone else, are they spamming, is the account hacked, etc. Since All of the above was not an option, I chose to report him as hacked since I’ve been reading a lot about Russia’s hacking of our democracy and what an effective tool he is for Putin.
About 30 minutes later, his account was actually deactivated!Continue reading "Did I do that?"
Haven’t processed all of this yet, but this is a great exploration of antifa from a Buddhist perspective. Please read if like me you are troubled by both violence and nazis. Buddhists and the Bloc: An Open Thread On Antifa On perceptions: I also want to think about this on a “Buddhist” level. What do …Continue reading "Can you be Buddhist and antifa at the same time?"
From visiting the wonderful Dutch Resistance Museum many years ago, I knew about the “Judenrat,” councils of Jewish leaders that Nazis used to facilitate the implementation of their own annihilation. Although I’m Jewish and believe it’s important to remember the Holocaust, I never really spent that much time learning the political history. I foolishly thought that “never …Continue reading "The price of collaboration"
I graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993. Even then we questioned why any soldier, not to mention one abstracted from a war that divided the country in an effort to preserve the horrible institution of slavery, should be in such a position of honor for all to see. The purpose of Confederate …Continue reading "Silent Sam must go"
Like many people, a week ago I was feeling pretty down about the state of racial justice and just basic humanity in the United States. But then something happened.
In response to the hate and violence displayed in Charlottesville, hundreds of Durhamites came together for a huge vigil on Sunday night. Many friends of mine posted pictures and powerful testimonials to the collective love they felt gathered together.
But I also noticed that some activists had less satisfied responses, including frustration that the mostly-white event marginalized voices of color and those with more radical tactics. Much of that frustration fed into the Monday demonstration, which had already been planned to take place in front of Durham’s old courthouse, where there was a confederate monument with an inscription to “the boys who wore gray.”
Many times I have passed that statue and wondered what on earth it was doing there. Until last year, I really didn’t realize how pervasive these were and what drove their creation.Continue reading "What happened in Durham"
If you live in a “swing state” like North Carolina or Texas, or have more than a passing interest in democracy, you are probably aware of how severely Republicans have gerrymandered state and federal electoral districts. Rather than voters being able to pick our representatives, they have drawn lines to pick the voters they want, and packed the rest of us into as few districts as possible. It’s been remarkably effective and has led to passing legislation like HB2 with total impunity since the GOP leaders know their majority can’t be threatened with the current districts, even though our state actually has way more registered Democrats than Republicans.
Don’t believe it? I just looked up the latest stats from the state board of elections, and as of 7/29/17 we had 39% Democrats, 30% Republicans, 30% unaffiliated, and less than 1% Libertarian. (Unaffiliated has been growing rapidly, for good reason. Don’t make the mistake of assuming these are centrist voters.) Meanwhile our NC senate is 68% Republican and our house representatives are 62% Republican.
You might also know that The Supreme Court found that NC’s districts are racially gerrymandered and told the state legislature to redraw them and hold a special election ASAP. I was skeptical that Republicans wouldn’t just redraw them in a way that ensured their majorities but didn’t follow racial lines as closely. But in fact, they haven’t even done that. They have been filing appeals and dragging their feet, as explained in the timeline in this very helpful article by NC Policy Watch, “Republicans silent in wake of court order to draw new maps in one month”.
So the NC house and senate redistricting committees are now taking comments online, and they are meeting tomorrow so it’s a great time to let them know that you value representative democracy.Continue reading "Speak up now to restore democracy in North Carolina"