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Every spring when the snow melts away and baseball season rolls around, my thoughts turn to Brooklyn where I was born and grew up in the baseball-crazed New York of the 50s. Despite the fact that Ive lived in and around Boston for the last 45 years, it was in Brooklyn that I first fell in love with baseball and with my team, the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Some years ago, when I returned to my job at the fire department after a summer vacation driving and camping across country with my family, I was in the kitchen of Engine 6 talking about my trip. I was telling the firefighters how I thought they all would love to take a similar trip through wild and remote places in the West but I told Sylvester, the one black firefighter in the room, that I might be afraid to do it if I were an African-American.
The North won the Civil War, but the South won the Reconstruction. The victorious Northern armies preserved the Union and the slaves were emancipated but the Confederates won the historical interpretation of those events by perpetrating the myths that became the accepted story over the next one hundred years.
The failure of the formal political process to protect the vulnerable from becoming victimized by the likes of Trump and his backers necessitates united action outside of this show democracy, beyond electoral politics controlled and confined by corporate power. It means taking the fight not only to the streets but to the workplace, the homes, the communities and the hearts and minds of all who hold out hope for a better world.
On a cold dark morning in the winter of 1967, I stood outside the induction center on Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan handing out draft facts cards to the arriving inductees.
Some years ago I had the good fortune to take a four day backpacking trip on the Kennicott glacier in Alaska. Glaciers are truly wondrous geophysical structures and we came upon many amazing features on the trip, crawling into a translucent blue ice cave, crossing cravasses, rock moraines, and skirting small lakes carved into the ice. It is an otherworldly landscape of dazzling scenes and strange unfamiliar forms but I found the moulins particularly beautiful and interesting.
In all the long duration of human history, from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt to the glistening towers of our coastal megapolises, there has never been a crisis as severe, as devastating, or as cataclysmic as the one unfolding now.
The educated underclass may be over-educated for the jobs that are available to them but they have the education necessary for a post-capitalist future world of sustainability and equality.
What science is telling us is that the greenhouse gases that the human race is emitting into the atmosphere are heating up the planet to levels not seen since before the evolution of homo sapiens. It tells us that unless the world can keep the human-caused temperature rise below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels, we face a disastrous near future with devastating and possibly unforeseen consequences.
With a shrinking window of opportunity for rescue, the worlds near-eight billion people face a horrendous future on an inhospitable planet, while the political leaders and the economic elite of the worlds nations talk the talk but will not, or cannot, walk the walk.
What do Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad have in common? Well besides being the acknowledged founders of the three great monotheistic religions, none of them ever existed.
Does class matter? Steve Fraser answers with a “Duh” in the introduction to his new book, Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion.