Reading dangerously – posted 9/24/2022

September 25, 2022 9 comments

I was watching the Ken Burns documentary about America and the Holocaust and there was a deeply unsettling moment when the filmmakers showed the Nazi book burning in 1933. With Joseph Goebbels presiding, many Nazi students threw thousands of books deemed subversive, decadent or corrupt into a massive burning pyre. This was part of the effort to purify German literature from Jewish influence.

The scene made me think of a favorite quote of mine from the writer, Edwidge Danticot:

“Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. This is what I’ve always thought it meant to be a writer.”

Danticot is like the opposite of the Nazi vision. Nazi anti-intellectualism is not compatible with intellectual freedom and any spirit of independent critical thinking and reading. Fascists and authoritarians ban books to erase history and the lived experience of people outside their control.

My love of reading started as a teen. I don’t associate it with any school. My school made us read classics and I remember reading A Tale of Two Cities and Silas Marner and enjoying them but I got turned on to reading outside school. At summer camp, I remember lying in my bunk, being mesmerized by The Caine Mutiny.

This led to my love affair with books and bookstores. It was long before Amazon and the closure of so many independent bookstores. Hanging out at bookstores was a favorite pastime. I was an inveterate bookstore browser.

Growing up in a suburb of Philadelphia, Lower Merion, my sister Lisa and I used to take the train, the Paoli Local, into downtown Philadelphia on Saturdays. We lived easy walking distance from the town train stop and it was a quick ride into Suburban Station in the city.

I don’t remember exactly how we found it but one of our regular destinations was Robin’s Bookstore, which was located close to City Hall. The store closed over 10 years ago. The owner, Larry Robin, had eclectic tastes with literature, political books and periodicals you could not find elsewhere. The store was a counterculture institution.

The poetry section had the collected poems of Kenneth Patchen and Kenneth Rexroth, two poets I came to love but whose work has now disappeared. Patchen is truly unique. He did these bizarre, cosmic drawings as part of his work. They were always interesting to contemplate and try to interpret. Patchen offered sayings like:

“No man’s life is beautiful except in hurtless work.”
“Law and order embrace on hate’s border.”
“In the love of a man and a woman is the look of God looking.”

Rexroth was an anarchist and a father of the San Francisco beat movement that included Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder. I would mention Rexroth’s poem “For Eli Jacobson” which gives a good feel for who he was.

Unusual back then, Robin’s had a large African-American history section including works by the historians Herbert Aptheker and Philip Foner. I especially remember Aptheker’s book American Negro Slave Revolts. This was history not taught in school.

In my 20’s I moved to the Boston area and discovered the Red Bookstore, which was then located near Central Square in Cambridge. That bookstore also had progressive books that were almost impossible to find in other venues. Two books I found in that store I treasure: a novel, Daughter of Earth, by Agnes Smedley and an autobiography, Memoirs of a Revolutionary, by Victor Serge. Both are beautifully written.

Daughter of Earth is a feminist classic. I recall the words near the start of the book:

“What I have written is not a work of beauty created that someone may spend an hour pleasantly; not a symphony to lift up the spirit, to release it from the dreariness of reality. It is the story of a life, written in desperation, in unhappiness.
I write of the earth on which we all, by some strange circumstance, happen to be living. I write of the joys and sorrows of the lowly. Of loneliness. Of pain. And of love.”

Little known in the United States , Victor Serge is a giant among working class writers in the twentieth century. A libertarian socialist, Serge always remained committed to the values of democracy and free expression. He fought capitalism and Stalinism. If very lucky, you might find some of his books in used bookstores.

Used bookstores have a special place in my heart. One great one is Brattleboro Books in Brattleboro, Vermont. I also would give a shout out to Tidal Wave Books in Anchorage Alaska. Tidal Wave is a huge store. There I found and bought The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht. His poem, To Posterity, is a favorite of mine.

As for other bookstores in my life, I would be remiss if I did not mention our own Gibson’s in Concord, City Lights in San Francisco, and Powell’s in Portland Oregon. All have been nourishing as far as discovering books I never would have seen or read otherwise. Larry Robin said this before his bookstore closed:

“With the internet, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. But what’s most important is to find what you weren’t looking for.”

Like other tastes in life, my book preferences are personal and idiosyncratic and I think it is the same for all who love books and reading. No syllabus or institution ever directed my reading. Reading is a passion to follow. As I have gotten older, I think I am more impatient about reading only what I find compelling. If I am not grabbed, I’ll put it aside.

What is strange and peculiar about our time is all the censors and busybodies who think they know better and want to direct the reading of others. Hiding behind criticizing wokeness, they want to protect young people from critical race theory or LGBTQ books.

PEN America just released a new report that shows that 1,600 book titles across 32 states were banned from public schools during the 2021-2022 school year. Most ban requests came from right wing groups with a racist or anti-gay agenda. They may not be Nazis but their role is equivalent to the Nazi book burners. If the opportunity presented itself, they probably would torch books.

Intellectual freedom is about reading books others say you can’t read. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you what you can and can’t read. Find your own way with reading. Read whatever strikes your fancy and tell censors to go to hell.

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The nation-wide abortion ban, fetal personhood and the shocking disregard for women – posted 9/18/2022

September 18, 2022 1 comment

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in the Dobbs decision, the direction of the anti-abortion forces has been more clearly established. Anti-abortion activists seek a national abortion ban and they also plan an all-out fight for fetal personhood.

On September 13, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R.-S.C.) and Rep. Chris Smith (R.-N.J.) introduced a bill to ban abortion nationally after 15 weeks of pregnancy with some very narrow exceptions. Since Dobbs, abortion is now illegal or severely restricted in 16 states, eviscerating the right of abortion access for over 21 million women. In another 9 states, bans are blocked by court order. Graham’s bill would allow states with more restrictive abortion laws to keep their more restrictive laws in place.

It is not an exaggeration to say that for broad swaths of America, especially the South and Plains states, access to abortion, a right previously constitutionally guaranteed for 50 years, is gone.

In Rhode Island, anti-abortion advocates have filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are “persons”, having due process and equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment. Their goal is to establish fetal personhood, something the Roe court rejected. To move the case forward, the petitioners need four Supreme Court justices to agree to hear it. Given the present composition of the Court, that seems entirely possible.

Both the Graham abortion ban and the Rhode Island case indicate that anti-abortion forces are not satisfied leaving the matter of abortion to the states. They seek a nation-wide ban. The goal is to restrict and then eliminate abortion in the blue states, not just the states that are already hostile to abortion rights. The combination of the ban and then the court case are a one-two punch. The ban is a first step to the ultimate goal – no abortion access at all anywhere in America.

What is most horrifying about these efforts is the shocking disregard for women they reflect. The fetus is conceived of as more important and worthy than the woman. The rights of the woman become secondary to the fetus. The anti-abortion forces are giving an insensate clump of cells, a potential life, superior status to a living, breathing woman.

The sexism embodied in this effort is profound. This is about control and power over women to force them into a subservient subclass where their reproductive autonomy is extinguished. It is turning back the clock on women’s rights to a time before women’s liberation when male supremacy reigned as the norm. In this fundamentally religious vision, the husband is the head of the household and the wife is the subordinate.

I don’t believe the harm currently being visited on pregnant women has been sufficiently appreciated Fetal protection laws have been already criminalizing pregnant women’s behavior. Since protecting the fetus becomes primary, women are seen as a danger to their fetuses. After all, if abortion is murder, women who desire abortions are considered potential murderers.

Writing in the Guardian, Moira Donegan has just described how a 23 year old, six week pregnant Alabama woman, Ashley Banks, was kept in jail for 3 months, without a trial, for allegedly endangering her fetus. Her crime: smoking marijuana two days before she was stopped by a policeman. She was not allowed to post bail or go free. She was imprisoned (imprisoned!) to protect her pregnancy.

The state of Alabama determined that she had to remain in state custody in jail or in a residential drug program. The drug program rejected her because she was only a casual pot user, so she stayed in jail. Banks bled while she was in jail and had no access to medical care. The logic of the state incarcerating someone to protect their fetus in what is typically a dirty and violent place is twisted.

The National Advocates for Pregnant Women have documented 1,700 instances of women being arrested, prosecuted, convicted, detained or forced to undergo medical interventions that would not have occurred but for their status as pregnant people whose rights state actors assumed could be subordinated in the interests of fetal protection.

Women who experience stillbirth, miscarriages, falling down stairs, using drugs, being in a physical fight, or being shot are getting prosecuted because of the alleged harm to the fetus. Invariably, the women getting prosecuted are poor and they are disproportionately people of color.

It should be clear by now that the pro-life movement is inaccurately labelled. They are not pro-life. They are a forced birth movement. They are stealing the freedom of women to protect fetuses. Where are these pro-lifers after children are born? Who is going to care for all the children and what steps are being taken to address their quality of life once born?

You see precious little written about the huge monkey wrench an abortion ban would throw into the economic circumstances of women. Women of child-bearing age would have much less control of their lives.

There is a monumental hypocrisy underlying fetal personhood. The United States suffers from an under-acknowledged epidemic of child abuse and neglect. So many American children never have a chance in this life because of the traumas inflicted upon them by parents, foster parents and care-takers. And it is not simply parental failure. There is a failure of our broader society to care and to take effective action to minimize the abuse and neglect. We fail to measure that harm.

In 2021, over 400,000 children were in foster care. A small percentage, only 4%, were in pre-adoptive households. While there are many great foster parents, it must be pointed out that foster care is often not a safe haven. Many children report abuse in foster care and experience mental health problems at unprecedented rates. Many foster children carry major depression and PTSD diagnoses.

The pro-lifers who want to force births are seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. A futurist might predict the likely result – an utterly over-stretched foster care system inhabited by a flood of unwanted and unloved children.

The Republican Party bears huge responsibility for the end of Roe. Republican candidates are now back-pedaling hoping that voters forget their role in stripping away reproductive rights from the female half of the population. Voters must not forget and voters must make them pay this November. We must take them at their word – they are not done in taking away rights.

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We need a peace movement now – posted 9/11/2022

September 11, 2022 3 comments

In my lifetime, I have experienced three peace movements. There was the enormous anti-Vietnam War peace movement, the international nuclear freeze movement in the 1980’s and the smaller movement that opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

What is worrisome about our own time is that there is not a comparable peace movement even though a hot war danger remains high. Both Ukraine and the situation with China raise the spectre of possible nuclear war.

At least in the 1980’s masses of people were afraid of nuclear war. Now it seems like people simply assume it won’t happen. Our time lacks forceful voices emphasizing diplomacy, negotiation and peace-making. Neither political party appears to see or address the increased militarism and war risk.

This is probably not surprising considering the history of empires. Like the British Empire and other colonial empires before it, the American empire wants a unipolar world where it calls the shots. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, the United States sought to establish global political and military dominance.

Instead of a peace dividend after the Cold War, power to control world affairs has been the agenda of our political elite, whether Republican or Democratic. Like 19th century imperialists, our leaders remain stuck in old ways of thinking. It is like lessons are never learned from past wars. Vietnam and Iraq don’t register or even cause pause. We have a need for an enemy and it is on to the next war.

Not enough leaders of major powers take seriously the reality of looming climate catastrophe and how it requires change. The science could not be clearer. Carbon dioxide emissions are the leading source of greenhouse gases which are responsible for global warming. Combustion of fossil fuels is primarily behind the emissions.

If we do not trigger an immediate decline in such combustion, the results will be nightmarish. They are already quite evident. Take your pick: the devastating floods in Pakistan, the heatwaves in China, Europe and California. And the raging forest fires in the western U.S.. Superstorms and flooding are in our future.

Even though the Inflation Reduction Act passed Congress and it has laudable climate provisions, action on climate ranks behind military needs among almost all American leaders. In 2020 the United States spent an estimated $778 billion on its military. That represents almost 40% of the world’s military expenditures even though the U.S. composes 4.25% of the world’s population.

In a bi-partisan way, we throw many billions of dollars into the war in Ukraine. Our military leaders want to weaken Russia. They still see it as an enemy, even not being communist. There is precious little talk of a negotiated settlement in Ukraine although there must be such a settlement.

I oppose the Russian invasion and I think there should be an immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine. But the narrative that western powers are blameless is simple-minded. As Jeffrey Sachs has persuasively argued “the real history starts with the Western promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not enlarge to the East”. That was followed by four waves of NATO aggrandizement.

The war needs to end. No one wants to think about it but the threat of nuclear war remains too high. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukaine, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, has come under fire. Shelling by either side could lead to a Chernobyl. If the war continues to go badly for Russia, would a desperate Putin play the nuclear card? Probably not, but speculation is not that reassuring.

Similarly, the U.S. should not be escalating tensions with China. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was ill-advised and unnecessarily provocative. Tensions with China must be de-escalated.

China and the U.S. are the world’s largest carbon emitters. Last year, U.S. Climate Evoy John Kerry and China Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua issued a joint statement to strengthen the Paris Agreement by adopting long-term strategies aimed at net-zero greenhouse gas emissions to keep the world’s temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

After Pelosi’s visit, China broke off climate talks and launched large scale military drills. The foolishness of scuttling U.S.-China climate talks should be obvious but hawkishness appears to be in vogue. And unfortunately that is not an accident.

Powerful economic forces, our military-industrial complex and particularly weapons manufacturers, want war expenditures to always remain high. They always want to modernize weapons systems regardless of whether it is nukes, fighter planes or battleships. It is fundamentally about profit. As Randolph Bourne said over 100 years ago: “War is the health of the state’.

A new peace movement is needed to challenge our misguided priorities of military dominance and empire-building. America still maintains 750 foreign military bases spread across 80 nations. Our military is the world’s largest oil consumer and causes more greenhouse gas emissions than 140 nations combined. What good will an American empire be if the world is not habitable for our children and grandchildren? War should not be taking precedence over climate.

In the 21st century, there is a need for a new definition of national security which would make the climate emergency and prevention of nuclear war our highest priorities.

Hamilton Nolan has written:

“We are like the drivers of a car accelerating toward a brick wall, unwilling to take our foot off the gas pedal and hit the brakes, because we don’t want to disturb the passengers in the back seat.”

As the old saying goes, there is no way to peace, peace is the way.

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In praise of anti-fascists – posted 9/3/2022

September 3, 2022 1 comment

Part of the Donald Trump playbook is the creation of enemies to rail against. Trump created the bogeyman of Antifa. When you step back and think about it, Antifa was a bizarre choice. Some people who identify with Antifa live in Portland, Oregon but they are not even an organization. They are mostly an exaggerated fantasy but for Trump they have played the role of foil.

I am not saying Antifa doesn’t exist. Obviously there are millions who identify with anti-fascism. But Antifa is more an image inhabiting fevered minds than much of a reality.

The word “Antifa” is an abbreviation for anti-fascist. What is strange is that before Trump tagged Antifa, anti-fascists were the incarnation of a noble tradition. Trump dragged anti-fascists down through his looking glass and distorted any sense of history.

The obvious needs to be stated: anti-fascists fought and defeated the German and Italian fascists in World War 2 and saved democracy in America and elsewhere. These anti-fascists were the British, American and Russian militaries. Whatever the internal differences among the allies, they all contributed to the defeat of European fascism.

So how did it come to be that anti-fascists became the bad guys? Trump has consistently associated anti-fascists with riots against the police. In Trump World, anti-fascists were enemies of his peculiar version of law and order. Also, I would offer that Trump has embraced fascists. Think Bolsanaro, Orban, Duterte and Erdogan. Trump has cozied up to the Proud Boys and Q’Anon and has now promised to pardon the criminal seditionists who attacked the Capitol on January 6.

History illustrates the illogic of Trump’s anti-fascist antipathy. American anti-fascists recognized the danger Nazi Germany represented to the world. To understand, I would go back to the little-remembered Spanish Civil War in the years before World War 2. In the 1930’s, America was isolationist and trying to remain neutral, a posture which served Nazi interests.

While they were sometimes called “premature anti-fascists”, the American opponents of fascism in the mid-1930’s had the most clear-eyed vision and understanding of Nazi barbarism. In 1936-1939, 2,800 young Americans volunteered to fight for the Spanish Republic against fascist General Francisco Franco who was financially supported by Hitler and Mussolini.

The Spanish Civil War stirred the conscience of anti-fascists from all over the world. Over 40,000 anti-fascists from over fifty countries volunteered to fight in Spain. They became the International Brigades. The war came about when monarchists, large landowners and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church rebelled against the democratically elected Spanish Republican government.

The Americans who went to Spain organized themselves into the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. They reflected a wide swath of views on the Left but they were all united by an anti-fascist commitment. The Brigade was the first fully integrated United States army.

The Lincoln Brigade was tremendously idealistic and self-sacrificing. They were poorly supplied in food, water and weapons. Of the 2,800 Americans who fought in Spain, an estimated 750 died there.

When faced with his mother’s disapproval of his decision to fight in Spain, an American Jewish volunteer, Hy Katz, said this:

“This is a case where sons must go against their mother’s wishes for the sake of their mothers themselves. So I took up arms against the persecutors of my people – the Jews – and my class – the Oppressed. Are these traits which you admire so much in a Prophet Jeremiah or a Judas Maccabeus bad when your son exhibits them?”

Probably the best book about the Spanish Civil War is George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. Inside the story of the battle against fascism was the effort for social revolution in Spain. Orwell wrote as a soldier for the Republic and a partisan. In spite of the horrors of the war he experienced (he himself got shot), Orwell wrote:

“Curiously enough the whole experience has left me with not less but more belief in the decency of human beings.”

Before Franco’s victory, Spain provided a glimpse of what a more egalitarian society could look like.

I would suggest that the Spanish Civil War history connects directly to our time. The same battle between democracy and fascism is going on now. Like the Spanish fascists, MAGA Republicans reject a fair, democratic election they lost.

Beyond all particulars, the central question voters face this fall is whether America will remain a constitutional republic or whether it will degenerate into authoritarianism. And that is not hyperbole.

MAGA Republicans threaten both voting rights and election oversight. It is not an accident they have targeted Secretary of State races in battleground states. The Washington Post has reported that 54 of 87 Republican candidates running for positions with power over the way elections are certified in battleground states have falsely claimed the 2020 election was fraudulent. If such people are elected, they would have power to monkey with procedures and results. Winners could become losers.

Trump and his MAGA Republican supporters do not believe in the continued existence of American democracy and the rule of law. The January 6 coup attempt was consistent with the fascist resort to violence when unable to win electorally. Unable to accept losing, Trump will always say elections are corrupt and illegitimate.

In the fall election and beyond, we need a united front of all Democrats, progressives, independents, conservatives and anti-Trump Republicans to protect our constitutional republic. Saving democracy and preventing a slide into fascism is the most important issue out there. We must do better than the Spanish Republic did.

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Corporate dark money rots the judiciary – posted 8/25/2022

August 25, 2022 Leave a comment

For years, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has been a lone voice in the wilderness warning about the role of conservative dark money on the judiciary. He has described a multi-pronged effort. First, the conservative legal movement selects carefully vetted judges who embrace a pro-corporate world view. Then the movement unleashes millions in dark money from their donor network to support their nominees. Finally they tee up strategic cases and use amicus briefs to get the desired pro-corporate result.

In an article in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Senator Whitehouse detailed a 50 year effort going back to the famous secret memo written by Lewis Powell, then a prominent corporate lawyer, which decried progressive gains. Powell argued for an unprecedented influence campaign on behalf of corporate America.

I thought of Senator Whitehouse and Justice Powell when I saw the story about the massive $1.6 billion donation Leonard Leo, a Federalist Society Vice-President, received from Barre Seid, a 90 year old Chicago electronics company mogul.

This unbelievably sketchy transaction, structured so that neither Leo’s group nor Seid pay taxes, is likely the biggest political donation ever. It left Leo sitting atop a mountain of cash. No one knows how this money will be spent but it is such a stupendous windfall that it is safe to assume it will be transformational over the next generation for the whole right wing ecosphere.

Seid transferred an ownership stake in his company, Tripp Lite, to Leo’s new group, Marble Freedom Trust. The trust then sold Seid’s company and netted $1.6 billion. It is estimated the transaction saved Seid $400 million in taxes. The Marble Freedom Trust is not required to publicly disclose its donations and it has wide latitude in spending on elections or other ideological projects.

The Seid to Leo money transfer perfectly encapsulates the dark money conundrum we face. Although an absolutely enormous donation, the deal went down in the shadows two years ago. We were lucky to find out about it at all. The New York Times reported it, but as noted, it was two years after the fact.

In the Citizens United era, there is no transparency. Money rules in politics. People have the mistaken notion that the judiciary is insulated from special interest influence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Certainly, the Founders did not anticipate the corrupting power of corporations but here we are. It is not just a dark money flood – it is a tsunami.

Leonard Leo has been described as the most influential person you have never heard of. He is not just another conservative movement lawyer ideologue. He has been the mastermind of the conservative effort to reshape the American judicial system, especially the Supreme Court. He delivered to former President Trump the list of Federalist Society-vetted Supreme Court candidates and he counseled him on picks.

He has been remarkably successful in packing the Supreme Court and the federal courts with right wing extremists. Leo’s fingerprints are all over the successful nominations of five sitting conservative Supreme Court justices as well as the effort to stop Merrick Garland’s ascendancy to the High Court.

During an event in 2018, his buddy, Justice Clarence Thomas jokingly referred to Leo as “the third most powerful person in the world”. Leo has been effectively raising huge sums from anonymous corporate donors since 2005. The Seid transaction is a glimpse into a world we never get to see. Dark money is typically funding that cannot be traced to actual donors.

The conservative plan has been to groom and select judges who will unambiguously support the Republican effort to roll back laws and regulations they consider unwelcome. As Trump’s lawyer Donald McGahn has said,

“There is a coherent plan here where actually the judicial selection and the deregulatory effort are really the flip side of the same coin.”

In response to the Seid donation, Leo has said they are just trying to keep up with the Left but that is laughable. Over the last 20 years, the Left failed to prioritize judicial nominations and it has nothing in place that in any way compares to what Leo has accomplished. Results speak for themselves.

Senator Whitehouse points out how much the Supreme Court has become a reliable ally for corporate and Republican partisan interests. He writes that from 2004 to 2017, the Roberts Court issued 73 five to four partisan decisions which benefited big corporate and Republican donor interests. To quote Whitehouse:

“They included allowing corporate interests to spend unlimited money in elections, hobbling pollution regulations, enabling attacks on minority voting rights, curtailing labor’s right to organize and restricting workers’ ability to challenge employers in court.”

And this was before the devastating decisions we saw this last term.

Leo and the Federalist Society are on a mission to turn back the legal clock to a pre-New Deal era. Incredibly, they appear to believe the law was better 85 years ago. This is a deeply reactionary project designed to benefit rich Christian conservative white men. It is a legal agenda for the 1%.

I think the overturning of Roe v Wade shows that precedent will not stand in the way of the conservative wrecking ball.

Much could be done to address the dark money plague. Congress could require much more transparency. The courts have escaped the type of tight scrutiny other branches of government require. Senator Whitehouse suggests far more disclosure of donors behind political campaigns for judge, disclosure of travel and hospitality perks and reporting of ex parte contact during pending litigation.

The hidden behind-the-scenes nature of the whole conservative influence machine should shock Americans. I expect there is much we still do not know.

When you think about whom to thank when the Supreme Court makes climate change worse, destroys women’s reproductive rights, and makes it much harder for black people to vote, don’t forget Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society and the Republican Party.

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Concord’s own Rebel Girl, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn – posted 8/22/2022

August 22, 2022 6 comments

A few years back, while on vacation, I was browsing in Tim’s Used Books in Provincetown. In the biography/autobiography section, I came across The Rebel Girl, An Autobiography by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. To my surprise, Flynn wrote that she was born in Concord, New Hampshire in 1890. I had no idea Flynn was from Concord. As far as I knew, no one ever claimed her. She also lived some of her early years in Manchester. Her father had moved the family around New England as he tried to find work.

The name Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is now obscure but in the early twentieth century she was one of the most famous labor leaders in America. The title, The Rebel Girl, comes from a song written by the legendary minstrel, Joe Hill, that he dedicated to Flynn. In part, the lyrics go:

“There are women of many descriptions
In this queer world, as everyone knows
Some are living in beautiful mansionsAnd are wearing the finest of clothes
There are blue blood queens and princesses
Who have charms made of diamonds and pearl
But the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl

That’s the Rebel Girl, the Rebel Girl!
To the working class, she’s a precious pearl”…

Gore Vidal once called the USA “the United States of Amnesia”. When it comes to labor history, Vidal could not be more accurate. The vital and colorful history of American labor has not been transmitted. It is forgotten history, an untold story.

Flynn was from a poor but intellectual Irish working class family. She wrote that all four kids slept in a single bed with their coats on because of the cold. Her parents were too poor even to afford a babysitter so they dragged her and her siblings to political meetings. Her parents were radicals and her father ran for assemblyman in New York as a Socialist Party candidate.

As a young teen, she was asked to give a speech at the Harlem Socialist Club in New York City and she spoke on the topic of “What socialism will do for women”. She was inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” and August Bebel’s book Women and Socialism.

Quickly Flynn proved she was a gifted orator. Right from the start she grabbed media attention. She started speaking on the street in New York City and got arrested. One newspaper headlined “Mere child talks bitterly of life”. The New York Times called her “ a ferocious Socialist haranguer”.

In 1907, her high school expelled her and she joined the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies. She began a period in her life when she travelled widely around America working as a labor agitator. She said she had wanderlust in her heart. She described the IWW this way:

“The IWW identified itself with all the pressing immediate needs of the poorest, the most exploited, the most oppressed workers. It “fanned the flames” of their discontent…The memorable accusation against Jesus, “He stirreth up the people!” fitted the IWW. It set out to organize the unorganized, unskilled foreign-born workers in the mass production industries of the East and the unorganized migratory workers of the West, who were largely American born and employed in maritime, lumbar, agriculture, mining and construction work.”

Flynn was a contemporary of Emma Goldman, Mother Jones, Big Bill Haywood and Eugene Debs. She knew them all. Theodore Dreiser called Flynn “an East Side Joan of Arc”. She led the famous Lawrence Massachusetts Bread and Roses textile strike in 1912. Workers were being forced to work 56 hours a week for starvation pay. Conditions in the shop were deplorable. Mill owners were forced to settle, giving workers a 20% pay raise.

In the years before World War 1, Flynn worked to organize garment workers in Pennsylvania, restaurant workers in New York City and miners in Minnesota. She also played a central role in the silk workers strike in Paterson, New Jersey in 1913.

She was an opponent of World War 1 and like other anti-war activists, she was accused of violating the Espionage Act. The government ultimately dropped those charges. She fought against the deportation of other immigrants who had also opposed the war.

In 1920, Flynn helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU, and she was elected to the National Board. In 1921, She took up the struggle against the conviction of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. The defense of Sacco and Vanzetti was
the cause celebre of the 1920’s. She was a key fundraiser.

In spite of seven years of unrelenting effort by the Defense Committee, the state of Massachusetts executed Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927. On August 23, 1977, the 50th anniversary of Sacco and Vanzetti’s execution, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis pardoned them and declared any stigma and disgrace should be forever removed from their names.

After a long period of ill health, Flynn joined the Communist Party in 1936. She wrote a series of feminist articles for its paper, the Daily Worker. Flynn wrote about birth control, women’s suffrage, labor legislation for women, divorce, prostitution and desire for love. She never publicly dissented from the party line. She remained a loyalist even in the face of the exposure of Stalin’s crimes.

During the McCarthy witch hunt, Flynn and sixteen others were prosecuted for violating the Smith Act. She and the others were accused of conspiring to “teach and advocate violent overthrow” of the government. After a nine month trial Flynn was found guilty. She served two years in Federal Prison in Anderson West Virginia. Her statement delivered at her trial in 1952 is remarkably eloquent, defiant, and revealing.

In her history of American labor, Fight Like Hell, Kim Kelly writes:

“Collective working-class power was behind every stride forward this country has made, grudgingly or otherwise, and will continue to be the animating force behind any true progress.”

I am sure that is a statement with which Elizabeth Gurley Flynn would have agreed.

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The little-known story of Jewish illegal immigration – posted 8/14/2022

August 14, 2022 1 comment

I think it is fair to say that fear of immigrants in the United States is out-of-conrol. And it is not just in the United States.

Fascist and far right politicians have persuaded citizens in many countries that the greatest threat they face is not climate change or economic inequality. It is faceless masses at some distant border.The demagogic message from Donald Trump, Victor Orban and Marine Le Pen is the same: they will replace you, they will eventually outnumber you.

A May Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 3 in 10 worry more immigration is causing native-born Americans to lose their economic, political and cultural influence. Irrational fear of outsiders has skewed public understanding.

The lack of empathy for immigrants was recently driven home by the horrific June deaths of 53 people inside a sweltering tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas. The truck did not have a functioning cooling system as temperatures spiked over 100 degrees. People wedged in like sardines died from heat exhaustion and dehydration. The dead included victims from age 13 to 55 who were from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. All were believed to be brought illegally through the border with Mexico.

I didn’t see much sympathy for these dead. It was just a blip in the news cycle. But the story is very reminiscent of Jewish experience. Just like Mexican and Central Americans now, Jews were once smuggled into America.

The story has been forgotten. One hundred years ago, Jews were a suspect class. Anti-semitism was widespread and much of the American public held stereotypical views, not too different from how “illegal aliens” are viewed now.

In 1921 and later in 1924 strict immigration quotas were put into place that greatly limited the number of Southern and Eastern European immigrants, especially Jews, who could come into the U.S..

The quotas were so limiting that the new laws prompted illegal smuggling operations. The fact of the quotas did not stop European Jews from wanting to come to the U.S.. No one knows exactly how many Jews illegally emigrated to the U.S.. Over the period from 1921 to 1965, best estimates are in the tens of thousands, possibly higher.

The story is told in Libby Garland’s book After They Closed the Gates. Smugglers brought Jews over on ships with forged travel documents. People crossed the border in Mexico, Canada and also by boat from Cuba. Havana was a center for smuggling from Cuba into the U.S. It afforded easy access to the Gulf and Atlantic ports, especially to points on the Florida coast.

Garland shows how complicated and multi-faceted the process of immigration was. Garland writes:

“Emigration was only one of many arenas in which Eastern European Jews relied on illegal methods. Buying and selling on the black market, smuggling, assuming false identities and obtaining forged documents were, particularly in the chaos that followed World War 1, facts of life.”

There was a dark side to the alien smuggling. Liquor bootlegging and sex trafficking were often part of the rampant illegality. The smugglers were often brutal. Garland says immigrants who did not pay up or who were naive enough to pay up front would get dumped overboard. Smugglers often robbed Jewish passengers of their valuables.

Immigrants often relied on friends and families in the United States for detailed instructions about the story they should offer which would provide the best chance for entry. Jewish name-changing was a rite of passage.

Given the experience Jews had with anti-semitism in Russia and eastern Europe, many people perceived illegal immigration as a perfectly legitimate choice. Desperate situations demanded creative responses. Garland says that being Jewish in Eastern Europe often meant having to engage in a process of creating improvisational and shifting identities.

Just as with immigrants now, Jewish illegal immigrants left Eastern Europe and Russia because of extreme poverty, lack of economic opportunities and the threat of violence. Immigration restriction and the lack of a legal path to citizenship contributed to people turning to the smugglers.

From the perspective of 2022, knowing what we know now about the Holocaust, that Jewish illegal immigration now looks benign and it is never mentioned. Closing the gates left European Jews at the hands of the Nazis. In retrospect, the extreme quotas that kept Jews out of the United States were both a tragedy and a giant mistake. How many were murdered who could have been saved?

Maybe Jewish history should make Americans reconsider the hysteria directed against Mexican and Latin American illegal immigrants.

No one supercharged the fear and hysteria more than Trump Administration hatemonger, Stephen Miller. Miller’s uncle, David Glosser posted this on Facebook:

“My nephew and I must both reflect long and hard on an awful truth. If in the early 20th century, the USA had built a wall against poor desperate ignorant immigrants of a different religion, like the Glossers, all of us would have gone up the crematoria chimneys with the other six million kinsmen whom we can never know.”

The last major immigration reform was enacted in 1986. We remain long overdue for new legislation which could provide a roadmap to permanent protections and citizenship for undocumented people.

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Drenched in misogyny – posted 8/6/2022

August 7, 2022 2 comments

I have been trying to think of the right metaphor to describe the U.S. Supreme Court’s last term. I would settle on “train wreck”. The major problem with the characterization of train wreck is the fact that most train wrecks can get cleared away relatively quickly and trains can get back on the tracks and running. The damage is not necessarily long-lasting. That cannot be said about the Supreme Court’s last term.

The damage done will be long-lasting. Whether it is guns, climate change, criminal defendants’ rights, Native American tribal sovereignty or religious liberty, the defeats were epic. But they pale next to the harm done to abortion rights in the Dobbs case.

Taking away a constitutionally protected right that has been guaranteed for 50 years has never happened before. Up until the Dobbs case, the Constitution safeguarded women’s right to decide for herself whether to bear a child. Now the Court has given that right to the state.

The idea that a court would take away a given right is counter-intuitive. While American courts have a checkered history, we generally expect that courts will bestow rights – not short-circuit them.

What is disturbing about Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in Dobbs is not just the holding that there is no right to abortion, it is also his reasoning. It reeked of misogyny as well as a one-sided grasp of history.

Women simply do not figure in the decision. That is true even though as an issue abortion could not be more exclusively about women.

Justice Alito argues that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in our nation’s history and traditions. He says the right to abortion is not mentioned in the 1787 Constitution. Nor is it an unenumerated right. Of course, the words “woman” or “sex” are not mentioned in the Constitution. That did not change until 1920 when the nineteenth amendment was added to the Constitution and gave women the right to vote.

In reading Justice Alito’s opinion, you get no sense of the profound sexism that has shaped American history. Fifty-five white men crafted the Constitution. As Jill Lepore has written, women were not “part of the political community embraced by the phrase “We the People” “.

In every respect women were second class citizens. There were no women judges or legislators. Neither could women run for or hold office. A patriarchal system relegated women to the domestic sphere to be wives and mothers. Men virtually owned their wives. When women married, they lost their legal identity. They couldn’t own property, control their own money or sign legal documents.

Domestic violence was practically a norm. There was no such thing as marital rape. Married women had no right to say “no” to sex. Both English and American jurisprudence did not see husbands as ever guilty of rape of a wife.

Based on the Dobbs opinion one might conclude that Justice Alito had never heard of women’s liberation. Alito conveys no sense of appreciation of any women’s history.

It is telling what legal authorities he cites in Dobbs. Alito has a fixation on medieval men. Most prominently he cites a 17th century English jurist, Sir Matthew Hale, who he calls a “great” and “eminent” legal authority. He mentions Hale more than 10 times. Hale lived from 1609-1676.

In 1662, Hale presided over the trial and execution of two women, Rose Cullendar and Amy Duny, for witchcraft. The trial became a model for the Salem witch trials which were held 30 years later.

Hale found independent women to be a threat to society. If not owned by a husband or a father, Hale believed women could become satanic.

Hale believed women’s bodies belonged to men. He was steeped in the Christian religious view that women were made from Adam’s rib. Beating your wife was encouraged as a corrective tool.

Probably Hale’s most significant “contribution” to legal scholarship was his defense of marital rape. It remained the legal standard in the U.S. until the 1970’s. Law Professor Jill Hasday writes that she has read hundreds of American judicial opinions, citing Hale. For centuries, male legal authorities like Hale did not believe women had any bodily autonomy.

Professor Hasday goes on to say that the reason Alito cites Hale is because he wants to establish that the early American legal system was opposed to abortion. But Alito botches the history. Although little remarked on, the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians issued a joint statement criticizing the Court decision. They wrote:

“… the court denies the strong presence in U.S. history and traditions at least from the Revolution to the Civil War of women’s ability to terminate pregnancy before the third to fourth month without intervention by the state.”

The Court majority chose to disregard the historians. Before the Dobbs decision, both American historian organizations had written an amicus brief outlining the historical and legal precedents of abortion in the U.S..The amicus cut directly against Alito’s argument that abortion was not deeply rooted in American history.

How anachronistic and messed-up is it that Alito would rely on a man from the Dark Ages who believed women could be witches as his authority on reproductive rights. Even by the seventeenth century, Hale was considered a misogynist. Back then, many were already doubting allegations of witchcraft.

By sending abortion back to the states. Alito knowingly is transferring power back to the white right wing men who control so many state legislatures. He knows his decision will result in abortion care being severely restricted or outlawed in roughly half the states. Now we can return to the era of coat-hanger abortions.

The Republican Party owns this debacle. This was their male supremacist project for the last 40 years. As happened in Kansas, the voters must make them pay.

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Some questions I would like answered about January 6 – posted 7/30/2022

July 30, 2022 Leave a comment

Many aspects of former President Trump’s January 6 coup attempt have become clearer because of the work of the January 6 Committee. We know there was nothing spontaneous about the coup effort. As with Trump’s other attacks on democracy like his fake elector scheme, this was a highly planned operation.

From right after the time that Trump tweeted on December 19 for his shock troops to come to Washington D.C. for something “wild” until January 6, a plan evolved. Much money, strategizing and organizing were behind the insurrection.

However, there are many unanswered questions that deserve further exploration. The January 6 Committee hasn’t explained everything and I have more questions.

How much coordination existed between Trump operatives and the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers? What went on at the Willard Hotel war room command center leading to January 6? Key members of Trump world like Rudy Giuliani, Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon and John Eastman were part of the war room planning. From Cassidy Hutchinson we know that Mark Meadows called in to the war room on the evening of January 5.

Was there a developed plan in place for the violent attack on the Capitol that included Trump and his operatives? Was the violence planned by the Trump team?

Were the Proud Boys put in place early by Trump operatives to initiate the violent attack? We know from Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker, that hundreds of Proud Boys cased the Capitol around 10:30am on January 6, long before Trump’s speech. I guess I don’t believe in “accidents”. We know that leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers met in a Washington DC parking garage on January 5. Why did Enrique Tarrio, Proud Boys chairman, post on Parler on December 29:

“We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will be spread across downtown DC in smaller teams.”

Why were so many of the insurrectionists armed with lethal weapons like pistols and assault weapons? Why did they have flex ties and bear spray? Why did they stash an arsenal of firearms and ammunition at the Comfort Inn in Ballston, Va, a 15 minute drive from the Capitol? Why did Trump urge the removal of magnetometers on January 6 when he knew his supporters were armed?

Why were the Oath Keepers decked out in full tactical gear, wearing hard-knuckled gloves, tactical vests, camo helmets, ballistic goggles and radios with earpieces? Why did they march in stack formation? Were they expecting some order from Trump to justify military action?

Who planted the pipe bombs that did not explode? How did the bombs fit into the plot?

Did any of the far right groups plan to execute leaders they considered enemies like Nancy Pelosi or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Did they actually plan to hang Mike Pence? Would that have happened if Pence was captured? Were there murder cells? When Trump tweeted at 2:24pm that he was disappointed in Pence for lacking courage was that seen by Trump supporters as an implicit order to carry out Pence’s execution?

How close were we to martial law being declared by Trump? We know that Mike Flynn advocated that. Even as late as January 17, 2021, a few days before Biden’s inauguration, Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene was texting Mark Meadows, presidential chief of staff, that members of Congress wanted Trump to declare martial law so Trump could stay in power.

Was the Willard Hotel war room plan that Trump was going to march on the Capitol with his supporters and declare himself President/dictator? Why didn’t Trump end up marching to the Capitol as he said he was going to do?

What was the Secret Service actually up to on January 6? Were some Secret Service agents in cahoots with Trump’s coup? Why was Mike Pence unwilling to get in the vice presidential limo with the Secret Service and leave the capitol? Were agents going to fly him to Alaska or remove him so that Trump’s scheme could move ahead?

Did Trump really grab the steering wheel of his limo and forcefully argue to get the Secret Service to allow him to march on the Capitol? Did the Secret Service say “no” simply because they could not guarantee his safety in the crowd?

Why did the Secret Service delete text messages around January 5 and 6? As federal government employees they know the importance of maintaining and safeguarding records. It is legally required. How could they disappear evidence on days they knew in advance would be historically important even with a system migration?

The Secret Service received a letter on January 16, 2021 from the chairs of four congressional committees instructing preservation of all January 6-related documents. The erasure took place after the oversight officials’ request. The January 6 Committee received only one text message from the Secret Service after issuing a subpoena on July 15. Did the Secret Service calculate the risk of exposure was worse than intentionally covering up?

Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli also deleted text messages around January 6. Coincidences like this stop looking like coincidences. Looking back on Watergate, the Rosemary Woods tape gap was 18 minutes. Here there is a more widespread pattern of cover-up. Remember Trump also disappeared records for hours on January 6. This adds greatly to the impression of a systemic cover-up. Was cover-up part of the war room plan?

We know that for hours Trump gleefully watched TV coverage of the assault on the Capitol and he didn’t order police or military intervention. Was the reason he did not order such intervention part of.a plan to stop election certification? The more chaos created, the more impossible it became for Congress to conduct any business. Delay prevented the feared goal: certification.

Why did the police or military not anticipate what was going to happen on January 6 when there was so much advance notice of the insurrectionists’ intentions? There were so few defenders at the Capitol to face the mob. On the night of January 5 on his podcast Steve Bannon said “to strap in”. He said “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow”. He called it “game day”. Why was that not taken seriously as the attack on the Capitol was entirely foreseeable?

How much did the Trump team have to do with disabling military or police response before and on January 6? Did the Trump team keep the National Guard away from the insurrection deliberately? Again, was delay part of the Trump plan to allow more time for his coup scheme to unfold?

Did the Trump operatives coordinate their violent insurrection plan with Congressional allies including people like Reps. Boebert, Greene, Jordan, Gaetz, Gosar and Sens. Hawley and Cruz? In the two month period prior to January 6, how many Congressional tours were actually reconnaissance missions so that future insurrectionists knew where to find legislators they targeted? Why was Boebert tweeting “1776”?

If they did nothing wrong, why, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, did Reps Biggs, Gohmert, Perry, Greene and Gaetz seek pardons from Trump? Doesn’t that show consciousness of criminality and guilt?

Hopefully, the January 6 Committee will look at questions like these and seek answers. Even without knowing all the answers, it is clear that MAGA fascism came close to succeeding on January 6. If Pence had gotten in the limo, if demonstrators had killed congressman or senators or if Trump had declared martial law, who knows? All supporters of democracy of whatever party should be very alarmed. The threat remains.

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Craig McNamara’s story – posted 7/24/2022

July 24, 2022 3 comments

As a sixties survivor, I am conscious of being part of a shrinking community. So many comrades are already gone. Because the sixties are invoked so much, I also admit to being hyper-critical about depictions that attempt to convey that time. There are not many that pass muster but Craig McNamara’s book, Because Our Fathers Lied, is unique. The title comes from a Rudyard Kipling poem:

“If any question why we died
Tell them, because our fathers lied”

Craig McNamara is the son of Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense and the architect of the Vietnam war under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. His book exposes a lifelong struggle to come to terms with being the son of a war criminal but a war criminal he loved. It also honestly recounts a 60’s story in the best hippie radical tradition.

It is difficult to transmit now how much the Vietnam war was hated by my generation then. The pointlessness, the body counts, the abject racism toward the Vietnamese and the sheer imperialist waste of it all were not lost on us. Some of us became perpetually alienated skeptics or radicals. The journalist I.F. Stone used to say all governments lie and Vietnam taught us that truth. Vietnam was our education in empire.

What is unique about Craig McNamara’s story is how he manages to balance love of a father with angry reckoning about his father’s deeds. Craig never was able to confront his father, though. His father always evaded that confrontation.

His father was the exemplar of the Camelot mythology, the best and the brightest. Robert McNamara was the data-driven whiz kid who had been plucked from running Ford Motor Company to become JFK’s Secretary of Defense. The fact that he knew little about Vietnamese history or culture did not stop him from designing disastrous policies which killed massive numbers of human beings. This is what C. Wright Mills, author of The Power Elite, would have dubbed “crackpot realism”.

Craig ended up striking out away from any well beaten paths. After starting at Sidwell Friends, he transferred to St Paul’s School where he bombed out academically. He was dyslexic but that wasn’t recognized at the time. Still, he managed to get accepted at Stanford. But college was not for him. Like so many, he connected to the anti-war movement and activism. He experienced “a burning sadness” and deep trauma related to his father’s role. He suffered stomach ulcers. He wrote:

“This template of protest was the only thing available to make sense of the ugliness in my inner world.”

Craig describes what he calls the “chipper gene”. Typically his father would say things like “It’s a glorious day” no matter what kind of day it was. He never allowed Craig into any honest discussion of Vietnam although he vaguely acknowledged “mistakes”.

Needing a change and being determined 4-F for the draft, Craig dropped out of college and with two friends decided to ride motorcycles through Central and South America all the way to Chile. Craig spent two and a half years traveling. He and the others spoke no Spanish. They contended with motorcycle accidents, nightmarish bugs, potholes, impassable roads and unfriendly police. They had little understanding of the political landscape through which they were passing.

Arriving in Santiago, Chile in September 1971, Craig’s stay coincided with the new presidency of Salvador Allende. Allende’s election was an epic event in Latin America. He was a democratically elected Socialist, a precedent that tremendously worried then-President Nixon. Allende’s election released enormous enthusiasm and revolutionary fervor among the Chilean masses. This was Craig’s education in revolution.

Craig also was drawn to farming which really became his passion. He moved to an island where he lived in an underground cave and started a dairy cooperative. During this period, he was almost entirely cut off from his past life.

He left Chile around the time of the military coup that toppled Allende. His father had failed upward to presidency of the World Bank. The World Bank had cut off lending to Chile during the Allende years but resumed lending under the fascist Pinochet regime. Craig was horrified. After the coup in Chile, in his personal journal, Craig wrote:

“My soul is weeping and my heart is anguished. My passion for Chile and my companeros consumes me…Companero Allende, you will never be forgotten”

Upon his return to the U.S. Craig decided that farming would be his way forward. He wrote that he could not utter the word Vietnam without wanting to cry. He re-entered college at 25 to study agriculture at University of California Davis where he got a degree. His dream was to buy and run a farm.

Craig found a walnut farm in Winters, California which is in the northern part of the state. With financial help from his father, he purchased it in 1980. Craig describes worrying that others would think he rode on his father’s coattails although getting help from parents is hardly unusual.

For 42 years now, Craig has diligently worked the walnut farm. The work is very hard and not that lucrative but Craig has lived a life of integrity.

His story touches the universal theme of the difficulty of father and son relationships but it also raises questions about how to live a moral life in 2022. In watching the January 6 hearings, I have been struck by the overweening ambition and careerism of people who worked in the Trump White House, even people like Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews who did the right thing and resigned.

The lure of professional success seems to have a powerful hold even when navigating a moral swamp. Whether it is love of power, prestige, desire for fame or money, professionals in the Trump orbit have seemed able to push moral considerations into the background. January 6 was hardly the start of venality and corruption in that administration

Craig McNamara’s example stands in total contrast to the get-ahead-at-any-cost mentality. Career advancement was never his yardstick.

I think the peace movement of the 1960’s played the role of necessary corrective to the sick vision of Robert McNamara and other war planners. A peace movement is something we are sorely lacking now. There are inadequate checks on the forces now pushing war and militarism. Craig McNamara stands in an honorable tradition of those who did not go along and who swam against the tide.

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