August 23, 2017


61 percent of adults in the United States support the federal government passing legislation to protect women’s access to abortion and prevent state’s from passing laws meant to restrict that access,

Job growth in rural areas continues to lag

Rural Blog - "Job growth in rural America continues to lag the rest of the country, according to the latest figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics," Bill Bishop reports for The Daily Yonder. While jobs increased about 2 percent in large metropolitan areas from June 2016 to June 2017, rural areas overall only increased 0.29 percent, and the 924 counties that are farthest away from cities didn't gain jobs at all; they declined by 0.02 percent.

Trump has lied over a 1000 times since taking office

Common Dreams - A new video produced by the Washington Post asserts that President Donald Trump has mislead or blatantly lied to the public more than 1,000 times since taking office in January. The newspaper counted a total of 1,057 lies, with the president averaging nearly five falsehoods per day since his inauguration.

Police on track for klling the most people in one year

Popular Resistance - In 2017 alone, police have killed 746 people in the U.S., according to the Killed By Police database, which puts this year on pace to become the deadliest year on record. In contrast, in the first seven months of 2016, police killed 714 people; the number was slightly higher in 2015 with 725 killed, and it was noticeably lower in 2014 with 663 killed and in 2013 with 353 killed.

Some reasons Sheriff Arpaio shouldn't get a pardon

ACLU - Arpaio was recently convicted of criminal contempt after he deliberately violated an earlier court ruling that ordered his department to end its practice of illegally detaining people based only on suspicions about their immigration status. That ruling came in a successful case brought by Latino residents to challenge Arpaio’s racial profiling policies.

His conviction came after years of implementing discriminatory policies, flouting the law, and violating the civil rights of the people he was elected to serve. The ACLU was one of the groups that brought the lawsuit against him.

Trump’s personal affection for Arpaio and gratitude for his political support may now help the former sheriff get a pardon. Here are five reasons why a pardon of Arpaio would be a miscarriage of justice and an outright endorsement of racism from President Trump.

1. Racially profiling Latino communities

In traffic stops, workplace raids, and neighborhood sweeps, Arpaio ordered deputies to target residents solely based on their ethnicity, often detaining people without reasonable suspicion that they were violating any laws that his office was allowed to enforce.

In the civil rights case against Arpaio, the federal court found that Arpaio systematically targeted Latinos for traffic stops and illegally detained them.

After he was ordered to stop his illegal immigration policies, Arpaio deliberately left his unconstitutional practices in place, leading first to a civil contempt proceeding and then to his contempt conviction.

2. Failing survivors of sexual abuse

The people of Maricopa County paid the price for Arpaio’s pursuit of illegal immigration enforcement policies, suffering damage to community safety. In 2011, the Associated Press found that Arpaio’s office ignored hundreds of sex crime cases, including cases of alleged child abuse. One officer told the AP that many of those cases involved the children of undocumented immigrants.

A Justice Department civil rights complaint similarly stated that the county failed “to adequately respond to reports of sexual violence, including allegations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse of girls,” noting that county’s single-minded focus on immigration arrests led to an increase in the rate of violent crime.

3. Creating brutal prison conditions for detainees

Arpaio is best known for establishing Tent City, a sprawling, outdoor detention center which he once positively compared to a “concentration camp.” Temperatures in Tent City, which is surrounded by an electrocuted fence, could reach up to 141 degrees; one detainee said life in Tent City felt “like you are in a furnace.” People held there were primarily Latinos — he called it “the tent where all the Mexicans are” — and were put into chain gangs and subjected to humiliating practices like public parades.

Women of color in Arpaio’s jails were particularly mistreated. The Justice Department discovered cases where Latina detainees were “denied basic sanitary items” and were “forced to remain with sheets or pants soiled from menstruation” or were put into “solitary confinement for extended periods of time because of their inability to understand and thus follow a command given in English.”

In what was called “the biggest misspending of state funds in the history of Arizona,” Arpaio’s department misappropriated tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars meant to improve the county’s jails and used the money to conduct immigration sweeps, investigate Arpaio’s critics, and pay for personal travel.

4. Undermining the health of detainees

People in Arpaio’s jails were subject to substandard health care, sometimes to the point of extreme suffering, even death. The ACLU challenged Arpaio over his failure to meet the health needs of the people in his jails, and won in court when a federal judge agreed that the deficient and dangerous health care system violated detainees’ constitutional right to adequate care. Detainees with mental illnesses were especially victimized in Arpaio’s jails.

Neglect appeared to be standard procedure in Arpaio’s jails. When a diabetic detainee who had not received insulin shots began vomiting and having seizures, she was roundly ignored by prison staff. Eventually, one guard simply moved her into another room to muffle her cries for help.

The Phoenix New Times also discovered that “people hang themselves in the sheriff’s jail at a rate that dwarfs other county lockups,” comparing the medical care found at county jails to those of prisoner-of-war camps.

5. Abusing public office
Arpaio was known to intimidate supposed enemies, including a judge’s spouse, a political rival, a county official, and a reporter. The Justice Department also found that his office “engaged in a pattern or practice of retaliating against individuals for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech,” as deputies tried “to silence individuals who have publicly spoken out and participated in protected demonstrations” against Arpaio.

In one infamous case, people working under Arpaio staged an assassination attempt against him in order to boost his popularity — framing an innocent man in the process. He spent four years in jail waiting to clear his name and eventually received a $1.1 million settlement.

While Trump seems to think that Arpaio is the victim, a presidential pardon for the former sheriff would just be the latest injustice to befall the countless people wronged by his years of racism, lawlessness, and abuse.

Village Voice gives up print edition

NY Times - The Village Voice, the left-leaning independent weekly New York City newspaper, announced on Tuesday that it will end print publication. The exact date of the last print edition has not yet been finalized, according to a spokeswoman. The paper’s owner, Peter D. Barbey, said in a statement that the move was intended to revitalize the 62-year-old Voice by concentrating on other forms, and to reach its audience more than once a week.

The Village Voice started in 1955, and was- along with a handful of other alternative media such as the Texas Observer - part of the inspiration for the Idler, predecessor of the Progressive Review.

Word: Afghanistan

Juan Cole, long time Middle East, SouthAsian expert, on the Bradcast

Juan Cole - There's no real danger the Taliban are going to take over the [Afghan] government and kick us out. However, if the U.S. got out, I don't imagine that the government in Kabul would last more than a year.

Whatever resources and capacity Afghanistan had to be an independent country were destroyed from 1978 forward, once the [Soviet] Communists took over, and then Reagan conducted what I call the 'Reagan Jihad'. He got all the Muslim fundamentalists all together --- including what became al-Qaeda --- to kill the Communists. Since that time, since 1978 forward, Afghanistan has been roiled and in turmoil. I figure a couple million people have been killed. The country has no real resources. It's one of the poorest countries in the world. So this is just not a place, especially given what was done to it in the last 30 years, that is very likely to stand up a government. This is one of the reasons the U.S. is stuck there.

The thing that puzzles me --- I can't entirely understand it --- is that no one in the United States cares about Afghanistan. No one cares if we're there or we're not there. If troops are killed over there, it hurts me in my gut. I'm an Army brat. But they put it on page 17 of the Washington Post. And it never comes on cable new. It's an invisible war.

August 22, 2017

Why counter protests don't work

Rick Gell, AlterNet - The Charlottesville police, according to Doug Stanglin of USA Today, estimated 2,000 to 6,000 marchers would attend before the event, billed by organizers as the biggest gathering of alt-right, white nationalists, KKK and neo-Nazis in decades.

In 1926, 50,000 KKK marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. Adjusted for current population, that would be close to 150,000 people today. A march before commercial air travel that did not include other groups. Today, Unite the Right has the benefit of a well-oiled, online ecosystem and convenient transit to bring supporters together.

And all they could muster were 500 people.

Without counter-protesters, without violence, there would be no blanket cable news coverage. And probably no innocent deaths. Might the headline have read “Unite the Right march fizzles"? What if the Democratic response was “70 years ago, 50,000 KKK marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, and today white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other alt-right groups combined, could barely muster 500 people. And while one Nazi is one too many, these are troubled, fringe people with an ideology America abhors.”

...Counter-protesting is confrontational, counter-productive and a troubling trend, if every protest in America is now going to be a head-to-head stand-off. A near impossible scenario for law enforcement and first responders.

Any psychology student can cite studies about how people act in a mob and it ain’t pretty. People are pumped-up, taunting each other, and more prone to take actions they might not take in less heated circumstances. Counter-protests put two groups, who may hate each other, together face-to-face at a moment of heightened emotions.

It is simply a prescription for violence. 

A counter-protest by its very existence is going to make an event bigger. In Charlottesville, the number of counter-protesters was double the size of the original protesters, greatly increasing the magnitude of the event. Yes, in Boston the counter-protest was so large the nationalist event didn’t even occur, but in Charlottesville opponents met and violence did happen. Incumbent candidates avoid direct engagement with challengers for a reason. Why legitimize a lesser, fringe candidate? Sharing the stage always places the lesser opponent on a more equal plain.

Furthermore. . .

In 1960, 4% in US approved of interracial marriage. Now nearly 90% do. The social norms white supremacists threaten

U.S. solar installations jumped 95 percent last year

Trump appointee not only doesn't understand science, but gay sex as well

CNN - Sam Clovis, Donald Trump's pick to be chief scientist for the Department of Agriculture, has argued that homosexuality is a choice and that the sanctioning of same-sex marriage could lead to the legalization of pedophilia, a CNN KFile review of Clovis' writings, radio broadcasts, and speeches has found.

Clovis made the comments between 2012 and 2014 in his capacity as a talk radio host, political activist, and briefly as a candidate for US Senate in Iowa. His nomination has drawn criticism from Senate Democrats, who argue his lack of scientific background makes him unqualified for the USDA post overseeing science. Clovis has repeatedly argued that the science on homosexuality is unsettled and that "LGBT behavior" is a choice.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has an 18 percent job approval rating in Kentucky.

How assistane to needy families is failing

Young links

Young news
Colleges & universities
Millenials down on marriage
Generation gap

Student loans & debt

Academic Freedom
Student Debt
Student Debt Crisis

Precarious Faculty
How to write like an academic

Student loans

Youth Rights


An apology to younger Americans

Skull & Bones

The Navy’s navigation crisis

Sam Smith

Having been the navigator aboard a Coast Guard cutter a half century ago I have been grimly fascinated with the two recent Navy ship collisions. For a long time I assumed I couldn’t really understand what happened because I had no familiarity with modern bridge equipment and procedures. But today I had an odd thought perhaps worth passing along: what if the accidents were due not to faulty equipment but to putting too much faith in it and not enough on the simplest of information? What if the quartermasters weren’t checking things on the wings of the bridge and what if the magnificent array of equipment diminished the importance of that old but essential item: the radar?

I recalled the time we were on a search & rescue mission in dense fog near George’s Bank, about 60 miles east of Cape Cod. I was officer of the deck and spotted on the radar a big blip that kept closing on our stern. I called the captain and by the time he had come to the bridge a large Russian fishing and surveillance vessel had broken through the shroud a hundred yards away. . The captain went below to wire Washington.

I am reminded how important that little radar was to our lives and how little competition it had on the bridge.  And because we were stationed in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay,  with some 30 islands and lots of Navy and commercial ships, it was almost like your sunglasses.

Bryan McGrath commanded  the USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), “a ship very much like the Fitzgerald, and during the rest of my 21-year Navy career I spent a good bit of time at sea…  During my career, on the rare occasions in which Navy ships were involved in collisions, voluminous lessons learned were promulgated. We studied these incidents and incorporated them into our training. In virtually every instance, decisions made by fallible human beings were contributing factors.”

Writing on the website, War on the Rock, McGrath noted:

When I was in command, I had a monitor installed next to my bed that replicated one of the main command-and-control pictures available to my watch-standers. This monitor was a “God’s-eye view” straight down on my ship out to 8 nautical miles. My ship was in the center, and other ships in the area were represented by ship avatars which indicated both their direction of movement and their speed. When the bridge watch called and woke me up to report a nearby ship that would pass close enough to be of interest, I swiveled this monitor away from the wall and matched what they were telling me with what the “radar” picture was telling me. Virtually all the time, the stories matched. Now and then, I saw something in the radar picture that was not reflected in the narrative from the bridge and asked for clarification. On occasion, I was concerned with a conflict and shuffled up to the bridge to have a look for myself.

McGrath details some of the complexities of handling a vessel like this and towards the end notes:

Because ships at sea are required to have embarked humans in the decision loop … human factors will continue to dominate as the cause of collisions.
Were the watch-standers on each ship well-qualified? Were they distracted? Were they properly rested? Did they understand the rules of the road? Was the proper maintenance performed on installed electronic navigation systems? Were those systems ignored or devalued?

These questions and more will be posed by the various organizations — Navy and   factors will be eliminated as a contributing cause of this incident. It is quite likely that they will be cited as the primary causes.

And one of the lessons we may take away from these tragic incidents is that no matter what technology and other equipment one has, who is there doing what can be the thing that really matters.

August 21, 2017

Links: Words and writing

Words & writing news
Post literate America
Words & meaning
SomeRulesForWriting L.L.C. (SRFW)!
A few thoughts about writing
Words and cruelty
What's a humanities?
Cliche challenge
Harder to read than Ulysses
Just words on words
The politics of symbols
Pocket paradigms

Improving public school reading with eye glasses

Politico - Beginning in May 2016, the city of Baltimore assembled a public-private coalition made up of its health department, the public school system, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Education, eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, and a national nonprofit called Vision To Learn. The three-year program, called Vision for Baltimore, plans to visit 150 schools over the course of the study and screen 60,000 students, making it the biggest study of its kind. The data officials expect to glean could radically alter how school systems across the country approach one of the most difficult and consequential problems in modern education. It may well be that the solution to the persistent gap in reading proficiency is not instructional, but a simple health issue that could be addressed with a pair eyeglasses that could cost a couple of hundred dollars at the mall.

... About 100 students, a fourth of Worthy-Owens’ school’s total, received the glasses in March. Though there are no hard data yet on reading proficiency, Worthy-Owens said teachers at her school have noticed those students who received and regularly wear glasses from V4B have improved in the classroom. The glasses have even boosted student self-esteem: Her school spotlights the students for wearing their glasses on a bulletin board, she said, and none of them have been bullied. She attributes this to the way they promote the “coolness” of wearing them.

Flotsam & Jetsam

In September, my friends, Lou and Di Stovall, will be receiving an award from the Historical Society of Washington for distinguished artistic achievement. But they had some other skills that I described upon leaving as their next door neighbors

Sam Smith - One of the saddest parts leaving Washington’s Cleveland Park in back in 2001 was that I wouldn't be living next to Lou and Di Stovall anymore, which had gotten to be a 28 year habit. Lou, black from Massachusetts, and Di, white from Georgia, were both artists but they also served as the magnetic north of the neighborhood. Follow the compass and that's where you'd end up. Our friendship endured even though Lou, who had done silkscreen prints for over 70 artists, no longer asks my advice on art. That ended after I wandered into his studio while he was working on a print of a seascape and he recklessly inquired what I thought of it. I pointed to an empty piece of sky and suggested that a plane towing a banner would look nice there. Nonetheless, when we moved to Capitol Hill, he still had my cartoon posted in his studio, showing a Lou type character saying, “Art is what I say it is.” And next to him was a dog grumbling “I know Art and he won’t like that.”

And I did get into one of his works. Outside his Newark Street house one day, he explained that he was working on prints for the Equal Opportunities Commission and needed some quotes to use on them. "Got any quotes, Sam?" he asked. "Look Lou," I replied, "writers write things and then they get quoted; they don't just write quotes." But for him, I thought of one anyway and he used it: "God is an equal opportunity employer."

Nothing was too minor not to give it an artistic or literary spin. Once Di asked me to feed their dog Ruby while they were away. I left her a written report that read in part:

I went outside and said, “Ruby, upstairs.” We stood eyeball to eyeball. She flinched. I pointed. “Upstairs,” I repeated in a voice fraught with meaning. She lifted her lanky buff frame and with a frantic kick of her left hind leg she hightailed it to the bedroom faster than a hooker with a high roller from Dallas. . . Trouble is my business but as I walked out into the sultry Cleveland Park night I thought there must be more to this than that.”

Lou and Di also provided the neighborhood young with counsel, refuge, laughs, food, a badminton court and their own box of art supplies in the studio. Back when the street wasn't as busy as it became, Lou even painted home plate in the middle of it for whiffle ball, the required afternoon activity for anyone between the ages of 6 and 16. Since there weren't enough kids to staff two full teams, every game involved innumerable "ghost men," imaginary creatures whose precise accomplishments and locations at any given moment were a matter of endless, loud debate after every play. Among other services, Lou and Di provided advice on anger management. And one year, four of Sidwell Friend School's starting nine were graduates of the Newark Street field of screams.


Some years later, Lou and Di's own son went to Sidwell Friends and, faced with having both Chelsea Clinton and Al Gore Jr as schoolmates, rebelled in one of the few ways available to a black 7th grader under such circumstances: he became a Republican. This revolt, mercifully brief, included playing golf and arranging to have me sent a membership in the GOP Gold Club complete with a welcoming letter from Haley Barber, as well posting a Dole-Kemp sign on his bedroom window that looked directly down into our living room.

Lou and I conspired on a number of matters, including one of the city's first neighborhood crime watches. He designed the signs and hosted meetings, while I served as crime statistician. Some of the watch's efforts didn't work out all that well. At one meeting, Bishop John Walker complained that a wanted poster drawn by a neighbor seemed racist to him. I told John that he just didn't understand the difference between racism and bad art. John, the black bishop of the Washington National Cathedral, had a sense of humor good enough that Lou once loudly transmitted one of my recent jokes, from one crowded supermarket checkout line across to another, and John, in the latter, had the grace to laugh. The joke was that Moses had come down from the Mount and told the people, "I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is I've talked him down from 100 to ten. The bad news is that adultery is still one of them."

On another occasion, someone called the police around ten pm to complain about people shining flashlights into their house. It was the neighborhood watch on patrol, albeit a bit counterproductively. Then, on a pleasant Saturday afternoon, the alarm went off at the house on the other side of ours. The police responded, with Lou and I there to assist. Noting that the kitchen window was unlocked, the officer pulled his revolver and announced, with what struck me as excessive hubris, "Stand back, I'm going in." He opened the window and crawled through, waving his revolver. A few minutes later, he reappeared, announcing with even great import, "Stand back, this could be dangerous." In his right hand he still held his revolver, but in his left was a saucepan out of which all the water had boiled, leaving only one perilously overheated and smoking egg.

On another occasion, I returned to find Lou in his front yard. "Doesn't that car look like the one they're looking for in that rape case?" he asked, pointing to a decrepit vehicle up the street. We went to take a look, nodded thoughtfully at the decrepit contents, and then returned to call the cops. Afterwards, we stayed on the sidewalk talking for about twenty minutes, until Lou said, "Let's go take another look." After our inspection, we returned to Lou's fence and our conversations. Some while later, Lou said, "Where are those cops? I think I'll call again." When he returned outside, he reported that the officer on duty had told him, "We have the car under surveillance, sir, but it doesn't help much if citizens keep looking in the window. Which one are you, the big white guy or the little short bald black guy?"

"I resent that," said Lou. Replied the officer, "We're paid to be observant."

It's was going to be rough not having Lou close at hand for help in such matters. But then, maybe now he would be able to get more art done.

Nearly half of women want Trump to be impeached

Maine Public Broacating - Women are more enthusiastic than men about the idea of a Trump impeachment, according to the Public Religion Research Institute. Nearly half of women — 47 percent — believe President Trump should be impeached, compared with 32 percent of men. Not only that, but women are a big reason why his approval rating is so low, Gallup data show. Women approve of Trump far less than they have approved of any other president at this point in his administration in at least the last 64 years, according to data collected since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. Men, meanwhile, are within the historical norm.

Warming causes serious problem for walruses

Inside Climate News -A remote barrier island off Alaska's northwest coast has been mobbed by thousands of Pacific walruses in recent weeks in the earliest known "haul out" for the species.

Their arrival is tied to shrinking Arctic sea ice and follows one of the hottest months on record. It also comes as Arctic sea ice extent is near a record low for this time of year. Global Temperatures Rising

Last month, global temperatures tied July 2016 for the warmest July in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

....Walruses rely on the ice as they hunt for food. They typically dive from floating blocks of ice to feed on clams on the ocean floor. As the ice floes melt, however, this vanishing habitat recedes farther north, beyond the shallow waters of the continental shelf and into Arctic waters too deep for the foraging animals. Then they haul up on shore, crowding together, sometimes in herds of thousands, where deadly stampedes can occur.

As of last week, approximately 2,000 of the marine mammals were on shore, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Andrea Medeiros wrote in an email.

"This early haul out shows that Pacific walruses are in terrible trouble," Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity said in a written statement. "The walrus, within the foreseeable future, will be at risk of extinction due to the loss of sea ice."

August 20, 2017

What’s missing in this saga

Sam Smith

While there is a growing realization that the dysfunctional dictator docent in the White House shouldn’t be in the job, there is a stunning lack of alternative paths-  save his impeachment and replacement by the consistently wrong and frequently evil Michael Pence.

A main reason for this vacuum is the most apathetic, unimaginative, conservative and irresponsible Democratic Party in modern history. There is no way wrong can be effectively combatted without a decent alternative and the Democrats have been acting as though just finding fault with Trump will do the job.

A decade, writing about the threat of fascism, I noted:

Germany's willingness to accept Hitler was the product of many cultural characteristics specific to that country, to the anger and frustrations in the wake of the World War I defeat, to extraordinary inflation and particular dumb reactions to it, and, of course, to the appeal of anti-Semitism. Bearing in mind all the foregoing, there was also:

- A collapse of conventional liberal and conservative politics that bears uncomfortable similarities to what we are now experiencing.

- The gross mismanagement of the economy and of such key worker concerns as wages, inflation, pensions, layoffs, and rising property taxes. Many of the actions were taken in the name of efficiency, an improved economy and the "rationalization of production." There were also bankruptcies, negative trade balance, major decline in national production, large national debt rise compensated for by foreign investment. In other words, a hyped version of what America and its workers are experiencing today.

But the Germans didn’t invent fascism. It was the Italians:

One needs to separate Hitler, Nazism and fascism. Conflating these leads the unwary to assume easily that all three are inevitably characterized by anti-Semitism, when in fact only the first two are. By avoiding this distinction we don't have to face the fact that America is closer to fascism than it has ever been in its history.
To understand why, one needs to look not at Hitler but at the founder of fascism, Mussolini. What Mussolini founded was the estato corporativo - the corporative state or corporatism. Writing in Economic Affairs in the mid 1970s, R.E. Pahl and J. T. Winkler described corporatism as a system under which government guides privately owned businesses towards order, unity, nationalism and success. They were quite clear as to what this system amounted to: "Let us not mince words. Corporatism is fascism with a human face.”

Adrian Lyttelton, describing the rise of Italian fascism in The Seizure of Power, writes: "A good example of Mussolini's new views is provided by his inaugural speech to the National Exports Institute on 8 July 1926. . . Industry was ordered to form 'a common front' in dealing with foreigners, to avoid 'ruinous competition,' and to eliminate inefficient enterprises. . . The values of competition were to be replaced by those of organization: Italian industry would be reshaped and modernized by the cartel and trust. . .There was a new philosophy here of state intervention for the technical modernization of the economy serving the ultimate political objectives of military strength and self-sufficiency; it was a return to the authoritarian and interventionist war economy."

Lyttelton writes that "fascism can be viewed as a product of the transition from the market capitalism of the independent producer to the organized capitalism of the oligopoly." It was a point that Orwell had noted when he described fascism as being but an extension of capitalism. Lyttelton quoted Nationalist theorist Affredo Rocco: "The Fascist economy is. . . an organized economy. It is organized by the producers themselves, under the supreme direction and control of the State."

Central to this model of fascism, for its acceptance, is convincing its major victims, workers, to blame others than the corporatist elite. In Germany, it was the Jews, but in America today we have increasingly not only the ethnic prejudices of white nationalists but a liberal disparagement of the white working class, assumed by many to be defined by the former.
This is a potentially mortal mistake. It merely provides recruiting assistance for the white nationalists, not to mention the corporatist elite and the Trump administration. 

A striking exception to this dismal pattern in left of center America is the program espoused by Bernie Sanders. Far from being radical it is reminiscent of policies Democrats used to support but have, for several decades, either forgotten about or dismissed. And the beauty of these policies is that they are ones not only appealing to the white working class but to blacks, latinos, women, labor unions, and the young – in short aimed at a coalition  that we desperately need but is currently missing. 

Let’s run through some examples
·      Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. Corporations must stop shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes.

·      Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020.

·      Putting at least 13 million Americans to work by investing $1 trillion over five years towards rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs.

·      Reversing trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China that have driven down wages and caused the loss of millions of jobs. If corporate America wants us to buy their products they need to manufacture those products in this country, not in China or other low-wage countries.

·      Creating 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program. Today, the youth unemployment rate is off the charts.

·      Fighting for pay equity by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. It is an outrage that women earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns.

·      Making tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout America. Everyone in this country who studies hard should be able to go to college regardless of income.

·      Expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000. At a time when the senior poverty rate is going up, we have got to make sure that every American can retire with dignity and respect.

·      Guaranteeing healthcare as a right of citizenship by enacting a Medicare for all single-payer healthcare system. It’s time for the U.S. to join every major industrialized country on earth and provide universal healthcare to all.

·      Requiring employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days. Real family values are about making sure that parents have the time they need to bond with their babies and take care of their children and relatives when they get ill.

·      Enacting a universal childcare and prekindergarten program. Every psychologist understands that the most formative years for a human being is from the ages 0-3. We have got to make sure every family in America has the opportunity to send their kids to a high quality childcare and pre-K program.

·      Making it easier for workers to join unions by fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act. One of the most significant reasons for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have been severely undermined.

·      Breaking up huge financial institutions so that they are no longer too big to fail. Seven years ago, the taxpayers of this country bailed out Wall Street because they were too big to fail. Yet, 3 out of the 4 largest financial institutions are 80 percent bigger today than before we bailed them out.

Compared with legislation passed in the New Deal and Great Society, there is nothing radical about this. These are issues that can bring the white working class into progressive politics creating fairness by common goals.

Of course, listening to the media and conventional Democratic leaders  these days one has little notion that such ideas even exist. The mass media has given us two choices: support Donald Trump or oppose him. The thought that the ideas of America are vastly broader that this is kept concealed from the public. This must change. 
While little hope can be expected from the Democratic elite, there is nothing stopping the young, the wise, the varied genders, the imaginative and those of all ethnicities from coming together in a coalition for an America that works better for everyone. 

This is an opportunity especially for the young. 

Remember that during much of the primaries last year, Bernie Sanders was getting more votes from young people than Trump and Clinton put together. 
The young did it in the 1960s and they can do it again. Whites and blacks, men and women, and other groups the media likes to keep divided can come together as well. 

The story is there. It’s just waiting for some to make it real.