And Sometimes… It Doesn’t

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“It gets better.” This is what we are told. We are told this by a campaign by Dan Savage to help bullied kids, in particular bullied queer kids. For a while, for a long while, it was kind of true. Yes, in the just over a decade since I came out as trans I have had my fair share of unpleasant encounters with bigots or the system in general, I have also encountered so many people, loved ones and strangers alike, that gave me hope for my future. I remember what things were like when I was a kid, the dark days of the eighties, and got to see all that “it gets better” unfold before my eyes. Continue reading

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Bernie or Bust? Nah, We Can Do Better.

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This past spring I was excited about electoral politics for the first time in a long time. Even when I volunteered or was paid by campaigns in the past, I liked the people I was working for, but was really never super excited. Bernie Sanders, the self identified socialist independent Senator for Vermont put his self out there for the Democratic Presidential Primaries. By no means perfect, Senator Sanders was far and away more principled than mainstream politicians of either major party. His policy positions were closer to mine than anyone else with a legitimate chance at getting into the White House, considerably closer. In lieu of the more “moderate” but still to the left of most Dems Elizabeth Warren, who fans, and Bernie himself, tried to draft, the Senator decided why the hell not? Continue reading

All You Democrats Out There

Andrew Cuomo

Wait… is that a “gang sign?”

A few months ago I encouraged my fellow Working Families Party Members to get behind Howie Hawkins for Governor. To my knowledge no one from the Hawkins campaign actively sought the Working Families endorsement. I was not at the convention so I have no idea whether or not anyone was stumping for him, if I had been there I would have, because I think he has the right mix of ideas and recognition to have truly made a viable third party run for governor if he had both major progressive parties in New York behind him. Instead the little-known Fordham professor Zephyr Teachout was the name bandied about the convention as the alternative to “Prince” Andrew Cuomo. 

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All’s Fair… Except This Isn’t War… Yet

Republicans vs. Democrats

Time to roll out an old complaint. This is going to sound horribly arrogant, in no small part because it is, at least a little, but I sometimes wonder if humanity in general and Americans in particular are mature enough for democracy. When push comes to shove I do not actually believe that. Maturity really is not a prerequisite for self determination, at least absolute maturity is not. That is a good thing too, because Americans are really immature about their politics. Going back to my oft used comparison, Americans treat politics like a football game, rooting for their team even when it is clear when their team is not rooting for them. So long as their guys are winning they don’t care what they are doing and when they are losing anything the other guys do is wrong. Continue reading

(Dis)owning the Parallels

comparison

Thinking about Gaza again. It does not help that this time, for whatever reason, it has really motivated people on all sides of the debate (yeah, you read that right, “all” not “both.”)  I cannot recall a time in the age of social media when so many people, for so many consecutive days, have posted something, usually many things, about their opinions on this issue. I suppose, despite so much of the vitriol spraying about in all this, that it is a good thing. People are talking and we have not done a lot of that on this issue. So yeah, talking is fine. Continue reading

Civics Classes? What Civics Classes?

capitol

The above question pops into my head a lot. I get the impression most folks do not know what their government does, or how it works, despite the fact that you are required to spend at least half a school year studying just that, and usually at the end of your intermediate education so it should be fresh in your head. I don’t know, maybe they should do it early, while your little, neural pathways are still developing, kind of the same reason we are encouraged to learn languages young. I suppose it is the language of self governance we are talking about. Who knows? I do know that there is one meme in particular that bugs me in this regard. It is the idea that Congress only works so many days a year. Continue reading