A year ago today was my first day working for the city of Portland, Oregon. It’s hard to believe it has been a year. In some ways, it has flown by. In other ways, it has seemed slow. Sitting here a year later, I can honestly say it has been a wonderful year!
It looks like spring is finally trying to spring. I won’t say it has sprung, because cool rainy weather may return this week. At least we have had a few nice days lately.
Our long national nightmare is over. Thankfully, we now know, as if there was any doubt, Beto is running! What we don’t know, other than his ego, is why Beto is running. America doesn’t need an empty suit with little experience, a moderate record, and an unwillingness to take many stands. In honoring Beto’s announcement, I’m going to make a second donation to Bernie Sander’s campaign. A commitment to progressive ideals and a willingness to fight for universal health care, at least a 15-dollar minimum wage, and more is what matters.
Max Blumenthal’s Republican Gomorrah highlights the hypocrisy, connects the sleazy dots, and demonstrates the true character and history of the Christian right and its hold over the GOP better than any book I have ever read.
We have to begin by making one thing that should be obvious but apparently isn’t clear: criticizing Israel doesn’t make someone antisemitic. Israel is a government. It does not represent all Jewish people. Questioning governmental policy shouldn’t be seen as attacking an entire religion.
Many people, certainly including me, focus on the staggering amount of lies Donald Trump tells daily. We all want to believe he is a true outlier. People, including me, regularly discuss how America has never had a liar like Trump in government.
It’s true America has never had someone in government who lies as often as Trump Lies, but most of his lies are insignificant. On the other hand, there are volumes of evidence to indicate politicians with substantially more respect than Trump, I know that’s a low bar, have lied about extremely substantial things.
The Pinochet File produced by Peter Kornblugh and the National Security Archive uses declassified US government documents and phone conversations to demonstrate America’s involvement in Chile through the ’70s and ’80s. With shocking, stunning detail, Kornblugh uses government secrets to tell a story that will surprise most Americans.
Even though I write largely about American domestic policy, I think a lot about foreign policy. Those who follow my blog know I have lately been reading a lot about America’s terrible history in Latin America. Facing that terrible history and thinking about Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and more, has led me to feel confident in sharing what I hope is a new, interesting foreign policy idea.
Since I’m not a politician in practice or mindset, I’m not going to mislead. The truth is I have no idea of all the consequences of what I’m proposing. Nor can I guarantee some of the possible consequences wouldn’t result in outcomes I would hate. Still, I’m proposing this idea because we need something different. We need something that gets us closer to living up to our founding ideals. We need something that rejects exceptionalism and imperialism in favor of respect and openness. We need an approach to other nations that understands foreign policy based on military might and massive amounts of cash, especially when that might and cash was too often created by exploitation and is too often used to exploit–is wrong. We need the humility to admit we don’t have all the answers. We need the confidence to acknowledge we have much to learn from others. And, we need the character to stick to our principals when immediate results challenge our idea that we know best.
If our ideas are the best, we shouldn’t be afraid to work with those who think differently. If our ideals really are the most just, we shouldn’t be afraid of ideals we don’t support. If our system of government really is the envy of the world, we shouldn’t have to force people to adopt it.
As I’m sure almost everyone knows, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney, testified before Congress this week. While Cohen testified before three House committees, this post addresses his comments to a public session of the House Oversight Committee.