Remedying Racial Inequity

There is a lot to think about in this video lecture by David C. Wilson, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy from Robert Reich’s Wealth and Poverty class at U.C. Berkeley. It’s about the science behind racial resentment and justice. It surprised me by alluding to psychological similarities between people who want to keep our structurally racist systems and people to want to get rid of them – both appeal to a sense of fairness but with very different results.

The Case for Universal Vote-By-Mail

In case it’s not clear to everyone by now, ALL eligible people (Dem, GOP, etc.) should register to vote by mail-in ballot for the general election in November (and the primary, if your state hasn’t had one yet and there’s still time). There is one compelling reason for this that applies to all voters: COVID-19.

Do NOT rely on the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency to be over by November. For the emergency to be over and for social distancing mandates to be relaxed we will require a vaccine — a well-tested and effective vaccine — to be available and administered to all people in the U.S. While at least one candidate vaccine is almost ready to test it will still take months for the test to run and confirm that it is effective and non-harmful. If it passes the testing it’ll take many more months to produce enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone and more months still to administer those vaccinations.

I’m not even talking about voter suppression as demonstrated in Wisconsin and other states. There’s a case to be made there, too, but that would require another, longer analysis and I am not the best person to make that argument. I’ll leave that to Heather Cox Richardson’s post from yesterday that covers the Wisconsin disenfranchisement.

Here’s one note from an article about an article about potential vaccines:

“This virus isn’t going away. It’s going to continue to bounce around the world,” Gottlieb said. “And it’s going to change our lives until we have a therapeutic that can vanquish it or really take the fear away from this virus spreading in the background.”

Changing the Structure of Power in the U.S.A.

Two important points in this article:

1) The CDC recommends that the elderly and physically fragile people should not fly on commercial airlines.


2) Trump/Pence don’t want you to know that.

I think the unitary executive branch needs to end. The legislative branch has the Senate and the House of Representatives and neither one can tell the other what to do. The Judicial branch has the Supreme Court at the top and they can choose to override some lower court rulings but they don’t run the various regional circuits. Likewise, I think that the Executive branch should not be in thrall to the whims of one person (no, not even a Democratic president). In California we directly elect the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and several other top posts. If several of the cabinet departments (State, Justice, Treasury, and Defense, for starters) were walled off from direct control of the president and we directly elected people to those posts we could avoid this CDC problem, not to mention the Barr problem!

Yeah, yeah, I know, constitutional convention, ratification, yada, yada. But it can’t ever happen if we don’t start talking about it.

Also, the prospect is very scary because there are people who are pretty well organized who want to consolidate power along more nationalist/supremacist lines.

‘High likelihood of human civilisation coming to end’ by 2050, report finds | The Independent

This needs to be part of the discussion.

Question of the Century: Do We Have a Right to a Livable Climate? | The Revelator

This article lays out some of the legal challenges and promises of the Juliana v. United States case. It’s worth reading, I believe, and it gives me simultaneously nervous and hopeful feelings.

Liberal Religion…Where Are You?

I’m not backing a particular presidential candidate yet (though I do have a couple favorites) because I think, at this stage, they should be exercising their ideas, seeing which ones capture and build attention. Additionally, they need to be watching how the ideas of the rest of the field are being perceived. The smart ones will adapt and adjust.

Rev. Adam Dyer’ s point needs to be incorporated into that candidate- and campaign-level conversation.

Window and/or Mirror

I wrote this a long time ago. Unfortunately, it seems relevant again still.

We have a cause. Our cause is just and righteous. Our cause serves all people from oppressed minorities to the silent, suffering majority. No reasonable person could oppose our proposals since they are based on universal, well-researched, unwavering principles. We are receptive to new ideas. Our spokespeople are respectful, passionate and articulate and never engage in the ad-hominem attacks or vicious polarization. We are willing to reach out to anyone and educate those who do not know our cause and what it stands for. We decry the media for being biased against our cause because they are in the sway of our opponents. We work within the democratic, lawful system as it exists even as we work from within to promote positive change. Our cause has wide, populist appeal. We are poor or, at least, not rich. We are disenfranchised and un- or under-represented. We are indignant and, unless those in power realize that they should be serving us (as opposed to the other way around), we will rise up and sweep them into the dustbin of history.

They have an agenda. Their agenda is evil or, at least, short-sighted. Their agenda serves special interests and the minority of people who gain the most from their machinations. It is clear that their agenda is based on transitory, self-serving, half-baked, inconsistent, baseless assertions that any reasonable person could see through if they weren’t duped by the expensive and well-researched, psychologically compelling, guilt-inducing propaganda. They tear down our ideas without offering constructive alternatives. Their talking heads are divisive, arrogant, rude, violent, name-calling mouthpieces. They rely on ad-hominem attacks, vicious polarization and the politics of personal destruction to shout down and intimidate all who oppose them. They distort our cause in the media and use their control of big business and corrupt government to legitimize their agenda . They are demagogues who pay lip-service to our system of government but ignore and even break the law to further their agenda . The only people who support their agenda are those who seek to maintain or improve their privileged position. They make no effort to include those they view as enemies and refuse to believe that there are those who legitimately oppose them. They’re crazy and will do anything to undermine the democratic process that would otherwise sweep them and their crazy ideas into the dustbin of history.