Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Week in Review

On a personal note, Dennis Conkin’s reaction to my Wade’s Bio was particularly heartening. When we worked with The Tenderlin Times, which published poetry written by neighborhood residents, Dennis was my favorite poet. His poetry was clear, direct, elegant, passionate, and spiritual. But until I received this comment, I did not know how much we had in common. Dennis wrote:

I am 63. I was 19 when I started going to same sex dances at Alternative Futures Commune. I read your bio and unbeknownst to me, I discovered you’ve been behind or integral to most of the stuff I have been involved with all of my life: Network Against Psychiatric Assult, Madness Network News, Other Avenues Food Store, The Tenderloin Times, etc.

Just sayin’.
Best wishes

Given recent frustrations, and the fact that those who dream never realize all their dreams, it’s good to know I have apparently contributed to the enrichment of at least one life.

Rene Burke Ellis’s comment on that post also felt good.. She and I connected through our support for the Charter for Compassion, and though we have never met and she’s a Dodger fan (no one is perfect), we’ve developed a good online relationship. So, when she wrote, “Impressive credentials, sir!,” it was like icing on a cake. As was that of an old friend from high school, Charla Doughty, who wrote, “My friend…he has and continues to change the world…one conversation at a time..” I don’t live for strokes, but they help.

I also connected with Nedi Safa through the Charter for Compassion. Though we haven’t communicated much lately, she did reply to my I Love Donald Trump by saying, “I think this is the best thing you’ve written. Thanks.” Since I was nervous about losing readers with that post, her response was reassuring.

I still think it’s important not to demonize Trump. So it seems fortunate to me that, contrary to some cable news headlines, Hillary has not labelled Trump a racist, though he has called her a “bigot” without apparently knowing what the word means. Rather, she more astutely levels charges such as “These are racist ideas.” That distinction is critical. To call someone a racist without knowing that they believe others are inferior due to their race is an unjustified judgment that makes fruitful communication more difficult.

Also, on a personal note, I did well last week in terms of refining my routine, taking care of my body, making good money, enjoying many interactions with passengers, squeezing out some time each night for writing, and taking a Day of Rest, during which I “read no screens.”

I enjoy listening to National Public Radio while driving taxi and have come to really appreciate The Takeway, which is edited by John Hockenbery, and Your Call, hosted by Rose Aguilar on San Francisco’s KALW-FM, which was the nation’s first public radio station and is owned by the School District.

Friday, Aguilar interviewed David Sirota, author of “Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department.” That program prompted me to post to Facebook a link to that article, a link to "Who Cares About the Clinton Foundation?” by Simon Johnson’s colleague, James Kwak, and the following comment:

Within reason, anger can be a good thing. And the piece on the Clinton foundation and arms sales infuriates me. How can they be so stupid? I recently read one article that tried to explain Hillary's greed as having been prompted by economic insecurities after Bill lost his campaign for governor. Give me a break. Two Yale law school graduates and they feel insecure? My anger motivates me to do everything I can to find and join, or help initiate, a National Coalition to really make a difference. Clearly we cannot count on the Democrats.

Then, earlier today, I elaborated and posted The Clinton Foundation, Big Money, and Access to Wade’s Wire.

Last week I was also pleased to post two guest blogs to Wade’s Weekly:

On Wade's Wire, I also posted Reader’s Comments and
Beyond the American Dream: A Good Life is Good Enough, which was inspired by The Downsizing of the American Dream and Why Growth Will Fall by William D. Nordhaus, a New York Review of Books review of The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon.

Gordon “argues that the innovations of today are much narrower and contribute much less to improvements in living standards than did the innovations of [that] special century” and any similar discoveries are highly unlikely in the future.

If he’s right, the cultural impact would likely be dramatic. The result could either be an upward spiral or a downward one. In my essay, I speculate on how the consequences could prove to be beneficial.

Last week I also posted the following to Facebook:

As a parent, this message – that our kids can do anything if they dream big and work hard – is deeply alluring.
But as a psychologist, I find this well-intentioned message distressing.


Key staffers quit amid lingering tensions from the Vermont senator's campaign.

My comment on Facebook: Unfortunately these events are not surprising.


My status update: "Being humble without being arrogant about how humble you are is not easy."


Rankism is "abusive, discriminatory, or exploitative behavior towards people because of their rank in a particular hierarchy". Rank-based abuse underlies many other phenomena such as bullying, racism, hazing, ageism, sexism, and homophobia. The term "rankism" was coined by physicist, educator, and citizen diplomat Robert W. Fuller.

My comment: Are racism and sexism rooted in rankism? If so, is overcoming our rankism one way to overcome our racist and sexist tendencies?


Don't know what #NODAPL means or what the Dakota Access Pipeline is or what all those indigenous warriors on horses are doing in North Dakota? Well this little primer will get you up to speed.


Charter schools are privately run, publicly funded, and irregularly regulated. John Oliver explores why they aren’t at all like pizzerias.

My comment: John Oliver's show is available free on YouTube.


To read a stack of new and reissued books about Mr. Trump, as well as a bunch of his own works, is to be plunged into a kind of Bizarro World version of Dante’s “Inferno,” where arrogance, acquisitiveness and the sowing of discord are not sins, but attributes of leadership; a place where lies, contradictions and outrageous remarks spring up in such thickets that the sort of moral exhaustion associated with bad soap operas quickly threatens to ensue.


As Sarah Jaffe’s new chronicle of American protest culture shows, change is happening—but it’s coming from below.

My comment: True enough. But can this energy coalesce into sustained, unified action to change national policy? I'll be posting some updated thoughts on that question soon.


Interview by ANA MARIE COX


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem in each of the team's three preseason games and said he plans to continue to do so until he sees real change when it comes to racial oppression in the United States.

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