by Maria Panaritis, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 19, 2017
Those who turned out for the gathering organized by Democratic State Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County had come following two months of anger and frustration over Donald Trump’s win in November.
They were told to form Facebook pages with like-minded friends and try to expand followers; consider putting their “bodies on the line” in acts of civil disobedience in the years to come; and, in the words of one Democratic political consultant, start to mirror the tactics that Republicans have used to win power in Washington and in a majority of state capitols across the country.
The goal of Daylin’s Resistance Forum, he said, is to preserve policies and institutions that progressives hold dear and that Republicans appear poised to dilute or dismantle.
“The end of democracy is not inevitable,” Leach said, “but there are warning signs.”…
continue reading at Philadelphia Inquirer
by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, July 4, 2016
That term “failed state” (I prefer “country”*) is often tossed around in news reports to describe other countries, the most dramatic of which are predominantly Muslim countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Pakistan (one of the three pieces of what was one country on independence from Britain).
Then there is Latin America, where two of many examples are Venezuela (an example of pure government incompetence leading to breakdown in vital services and widespread starvation) and Brazil (whose infrastructure and services are collapsing under corruption, impeachments, and the 2016 Olympics).
You know: countries with governments that can’t govern, countries riven by ethnic and ideological strife and about to fall apart, countries with leaders on the take and huge gaps between the wealthy and the impoverished, countries whose citizens can’t get along because they lack the long tradition of respectful democracy founded long ago in Europe, of which it is accepted wisdom that we are the greatest exemplar.
And Europe? Come to think of it, Germany was split in two states after World War II. Czechoslovakia split into two parts and Yugoslavia into, eventually, seven. The USSR collapsed into its 15 constituent republics. Belgium periodically looks like the Flemish and French speakers are breaking up. The UK again is threatened by possible Scottish independence and Spain by the long-standing Catalan and Basque independence movements. And Greece, the birthplace of democracy, has been undergoing a bit of turmoil itself recently….
continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester
by Diane Ravitch, 7/4/16
I am very patriotic. I was a child during World War II, when Americans fought for freedom and democracy and to liberate the world from tyranny.
I want America to be the America I thought it would be in my childhood.
I want it to be a place with “liberty and justice for all.”
I want it to be a country where no one is homeless.
I want it to be a country where no one goes hungry, where everyone who wants to work can find a job that pays a living wage.
I want it to be a country where no one who is ill cannot afford medical care.
I want it to be a country where people get enough education to realize their hopes and dreams, without going deep into debt.
I want it to be a country where schools cultivate creativity and the joy of learning.
I want it to be a country where educators are treated with the same respect as other professionals.
I want it be to a country where neighbors help one another and care for one another.
I want it to be the country of the American Dream, a country where every child can grow up loved and live in dignity.
That’s what the Fourth of July means to me.