This time, the sky really is falling

Living in the Era of Trump


I gave up on blogging on Jan. 3, 2017. The first week of Donald Trump’s actual occupation of the White House was a nightmare for me. I hadn’t been that scared since 1964, when I was doing my student teaching in a junior high in Columbus, Ohio. Nothing had prepared me for that experience. It might surprise some of you that this guy who made a 33 year career out of being an education professor almost failed student teaching, but I nearly did. It was doubly puzzling for me, because I had always loved school: I did well in school, I liked most of my teachers, I had a good circle of friends, and I avoided the inevitable few assholes that I occasionally encountered along the way.

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Sometimes things seem to be upside down

Jym copes with political phone calls and door calls.

Sometimes, things can just really be complicated. I had returned from shopping the other day, and was parking in the handicapped spot in front of our yellow brick 1895 townhouse in Fox Park. I noticed a guy distributing political doorknob hangers on my block, just starting on the other side of the street. I was listening to one of the hourly news briefs on public radio, and so I just kept watching him. Nice looking black man dressed well, but casually in slacks and a sweatshirt, modest colors. Maybe he’s in his fifties. Now he’s crossing the street and going straight past me and up the steps to my place. Stephen is home. He rings the doorbell, which is a video system. Stephen is not answering. He comes back down the steps after a while, just as I am exiting the car and gathering the groceries.

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On a Future that Is Worth Living

I’ve given a lot of thought to the problem of making human culture on planet Earth sustainable. This word “sustainable” is more than just an environmentalist buzzword. It encapsulates an essential truth about the very survival of the human race and most other plant and animal species living on Earth. That essential truth is this: ‘sustainable’ means (among other things) having a future that is worth living. Talking about sustainability is talking about having a future that is worth living.

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On Democracy

How the candidates stack up to the principles of democracy.

I arrived at Indiana University in the Fall of 1967 with the intention to begin and complete a PhD program in the philosophy of education. I was nearly 30 years old, and had stumbled down several other potential life paths, only to fall off of them again and again. Fortunately for me, my undergraduate philosophy professor, Elizabeth Steiner Maccia, had never lost confidence in my ability, and I had followed her to Indiana University from The Ohio State University. I had a good analytic mind, and she saw a place for me in the newly emerging field of the logic and methodology of educational inquiry. She and her spouse, George Maccia, both held academic appointments at Indiana, and were well-known in their professional circles.

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Why I am a Democrat first and a Clinton and a Sanders supporter second.

I’m an old guy, in my eighth decade of life. I was once a young firebrand during my fourth decade in life. I’ve been in my lifetime apolitical, a conservative, a radical/revolutionary, a moderate, and a liberal/progressive person. I remember how all of those ways of being felt. I am hoping to shed some light on the current debate within the Democratic Party about who should lead it.

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I finally think I understand

How can people still believe that Barack Obama is not an American Citizen? How can it be that the percentage of Republicans that believe this is so much higher than the percentage of Democrats? How can people believe that a long-overdue attempt to reform a failing health care system—or as Andrew Weil has said, a failing disease-management system—is out to establish a policy of euthanasia for the US Government? How can so many Republican senators think that Sonya Sotomayor, a moderate female hispanic judge with excellent judicial experience, is unfit to sit on the Supreme Court because of one or two sentences in a couple of speeches she made? How could these senators subject the public to weeks of questioning one or two of her phrases, while not discussing the hundreds of cases she has written opinions on? How can conservative talk show hosts not so subtly compare Barack Obama with Hitler? These are questions that have been on my mind. In a flash this morning, the answer leapt into my mind.

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Who is controlling the political process?

I’ve been getting quite a political education lately. I wouldn’t call myself a conservative, and conservatives would call me liberal. For example, being gay, I am for equal rights for gays and lesbians. Not being stupid, I am against stupid wars, such as the one we are ending now in Iraq. I have watched in amazement as year after year, neocon philosophy took over the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government. I really didn’t understand how it was happening. For example, I didn’t understand how the Supreme Court could hand a close and disputed election to George W. Bush in 2004. Somewhere along the line, I discovered that there were voices in the media who were not only speaking for my particular political bent, but were exposing how a certain financial/commercial/business power structure is controlling elections to maintain a so-called “free market” economy. The very same economy which recently nearly collapsed due to corporate greed and wasteful military spending.

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