It's Not Just Trump— US Gripped by Anti-Muslim Hysteria

It’s Not Just Trump— US Gripped by Anti-Muslim Hysteria

Trump is not the only one spreading fear and loathing by ignoring facts about Muslims.  Marco Rubio claimed that Islamophobia is fictitious. Under President Obama, thousands of law-abiding people – mostly Muslims – have been denied citizenship and visas.

My Mother's Blue Chevy Convertible

My Mother’s Blue Chevy Convertible

Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and esthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation,” wrote John Steinbeck in Cannery Row. “Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than the clitoris, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars.”

New York State Shook by Power of Bottom-Up Politics

New York State Shook by Power of Bottom-Up Politics

New York makes it hard for citizens to influence policy.   They cannot put an issue on the state ballot no matter how many signatures they gather.  And although the state Constitution has a home rule provision, cities and counties lack authority to undertake some of the most basic initiatives.  Even mighty New York City, with over 8 million people, must go hat in hand to Albany to request permission to reduce city speed limits, install red light cameras, open their courts at night, or raise taxes other than those imposed on property.

Norma Rae is Spinning in Her Grave

Norma Rae is Spinning in Her Grave

In a small town in rural North Carolina in those days a mill job was about the best a blue collar worker could do. Crystal Lee’s grandfather had worked in the mill, as had both of her parents. It seemed to be the natural order of things that she would follow her parents and grandparents into the mill.

What's On Your Commons Bucket List? 1

What’s On Your Commons Bucket List?

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about–and attempting cross off items from–bucket lists. Only a few people are talking about “generativity”–a term introduced by psychologist Erik Erikson, who described it as an active concern for the next generation and a need to leave something of value for people who will live on after we die. But I feel there is a strong connection between the two. The idea of generativity suggests that it might be a good idea to have a bucket list for future generations–not just for ourselves. These too can offer adventure, challenges and fun by making a long-lasting contribution that helps people and the planet.

The Death of Anas al-Atrash

The Death of Anas al-Atrash

ON THE EVENING of Thursday, November 8 [2013], Anas and Ismail al-Atrash closed up their family’s shoe store in the central West Bank city of Jericho. Before leaving for their home in Hebron, about an hour’s drive south, the brothers called their mother. “She asked me to buy tomatoes and lemons and oranges and cucumbers and potatoes,” recalled Ismail, squeezed between his parents in the sitting room of their three-story house in the Hebron neighborhood of Abu Sneineh. Ismail’s hair was neatly gelled, but his cheeks were unshaven, his eyelids heavy. An uncle sat sprawled across an adjacent sofa, fingering a length of wooden prayer beads.

The Game is Rigged Against Small Business

The Game is Rigged Against Small Business

Small business looms large in American political rhetoric. From the campaign trail to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, members of Congress love to evoke the diner and dry cleaner, the neighborhood grocer and local hardware store. Ensuring the well-being of Main Street, we might easily assume, is one of their central policy aims.

The legislative track record tells another story. It is one in which the interests of big corporations are dominant, and many laws and regulations seem designed to bend the marketplace in their favor and put small, independent businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Dealing with a Mystery Disease

Dealing with a Mystery Disease

I ignored the blur in my right eye. About two weeks later, I figured I had time, so I made an appointment with Dr. Lowe, my ophthalmologist, for December 1.