I was listening to a clip of AEI (American Enterprise Institute) president Arthur Brooks speak about the problem of contempt in American politics. Brooks says that we need to practice “warm heartedness” toward those who speak to us with contempt. On the one hand I can see that. We stand at a place and time in our country when the rich men who are in power want to divide us. They are effectively doing so along lines of race and gender and sexual orientation. After all, it only takes convincing one group that another is the problem to sow discord. Men lose their jobs toRead More →

Remember the good, old days before Trump became the GOP Presidential nominee and then President? Remember those days when… We’d wake up in the morning and none of us was cursing because he or she read the news on an IPhone? We would go for a drive to see the beauty of the countryside and not start talking about how Bannon and Trump are the most insidious and dangerous beings ever to gain a position of power in the country? We used to have breakfast and discuss our last visit to a museum, our grandchildren, or a book store and not the fact that theRead More →

  Knowing and understanding world history helps you to see patterns in human behaviors and events. Dictators never like the arts or artists. One of the first actions a dictator takes is to suppress the press and the poets and writers. Whatever classification in which you place the 45th President, Donald Trump now shares this trait with dictators, great and small, in human history. Russia’s Stalin conducted his Pogrom in secret, trial by terror, shameless and ridiculous to the few who witnessed it and survived. David Hofstein, Leib Kvitko, and Peretz Markish, among millions of others, suffered for their art, their words, before they wereRead More →

  Acts of hate against minorities and people of various religions in the United States, particularly those practicing the religions of Islam and Judaism, have recently seen a marked increase in incidences. The correlation between Trump’s rise to power, first as the GOP candidate and then as president, and the increase in hate acts in America appears marked. Fear can unleash terrible, violent, and unnatural emotions that result in criminal and horrendous acts. However, empowerment and lack of fear of retribution can also unleash terrible forces. In a mere ten days after the last presidential election, the rise in acts of violence against Muslim AmericansRead More →

My inbox is full of them. Surveys, questionnaires, emails requesting I let the DNC, the DCCC, the Americans for Democracy, Nancy Pelosi, Kirsten Gillibrand, or Tom Perez, know what issues matter to me. They list all the things Trump and the Republicans are actively destroying – the EPA, education, the environment, the Arts, Science; all the peoples whose rights are being obliterated – People of Color, members of the LGBTQ community, women, Muslims, immigrants; or every safety net we know – Medicaid, Medicare, ACA, Social Security. Then they ask me to “pick the three” I want the Democratic Party to work on preserving. Apparently, hittingRead More →

Teacher to Her Students: “You, too, Can Grow Up to be President” Always seeking to motivate her students to aim high, a teacher responded to her student’s question, “Could I be President?” “You, too, can grow up to be President of the United States of America, the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth, the beacon of hope for oppressed peoples everywhere if you work extremely hard, listen to others, study law and policy, learn world history, offer years of your life to public service, articulate your ideas clearly and well, advance the sciences and humanities, advocate, through your service and words, for theRead More →

In Spring 1969 I stared up at the Berlin Wall.  Its menacing, hulking concrete mass snaking through and around the city of Berlin, dividing a city and a country into free and not-free. We were young college students from upstate NY staring up at soldiers perched above us in the guard towers with their machine guns looking for prey.  The wall on our side was pockmarked with fading splotches of political graffiti – the other side most assuredly stained with the blood of people shot while attempting to leave East Berlin. That wall was not beautiful. I was in Berlin with my college choir toRead More →

On March 28th Shaun King wrote in the New York Daily News article, “Democrats and progressives and liberals must not simply oppose Trump, they must do what Republicans never did with Obama, they must present intelligent policy alternatives to every bad idea that they present.” He used the example of Bernie Sanders coming out after the withdrawal of Trumpcare with a proposal for Medicare for All. If we look at every program Trump and the Republicans want to dismantle, what do we want beyond just to stop them being torn apart? If we say “No” to the dismantling of the EPA, what do we proposeRead More →

  On November 10, 2016, Donald J. Trump tweeted: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” Trump and his surrogates have continued to respond to massive protests around the country by labeling everyone in disagreement with his policies as “professional, paid protesters.” Considering his words, I have decided to address this serious issue in the light it deserves. By now, I’ve gotten rich. First, there was the Women’s March on Saturday, January 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, for which I was paid a small fortune to go out, walkRead More →

There is much to digest from the budget which was released from the Trump White House this week. We thought it might be helpful to share some specifics on how this proposed budget could affect people in Cortland County, one bite at a time. For tonight, we’d like you to chew on this:  Trump’s budget completely eliminates the $32 billion earmarked for the Community Development Block Grant. Meals on Wheels is one program that would lose 100% of its federal funding due to this cut. Meals on Wheels is a program that provides food to home-bound individuals age 60 and over, and some younger individuals with disabilities and otherRead More →