Category Archives: Freedom

Core Issues in the Trump Resistance

In an earlier post, I suggested I wasn’t happy with a reject everything posture for resisting the Trump empire.  So here are my initial thoughts on what my core issues are that will capture my attention over the next 4 years:

  • Universal Healthcare
  • Free Public Education
  • Strong Personal and National Security
  • Strong Communities and Neighborhoods

Jobs and infrastructure are important but they can also be seen as byproducts of the core issues.  To expand access to healthcare, to improve education, to strengthen personal and national security, and to provide strong communities and neighborhoods all require more quality, reasonable paying jobs.  The will also require improvements and ongoing sustaining of our infrastructures.

International trade is a nonissue.  Do we in the U.S. worry about trade across the artificial borders of states?  Of course we don’t (at least not that much).  So why worry about trade across the artificial borders of nations?  It does seem that expanded free trade truly does help raise all boats.  So make it a nonissue, one that requires no debate beyond insuring that it is done fairly to all parties and in an open manner.

But equally important to those issues is the question of how we organize our resistance to Trump and the GOP.  I don’t have a clear answer for that yet but it is my focus.

“Difference generates new thinking.”

This title is a great quote from a conversation between Walter Hood and Shannon Jackson about the project that Hood and UC Berkeley is pursuing with the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA).  The conversation was included in a recent issue of Boom and initially caught my attention because my daughter, Caitlin, works at OMCA.  But the discussion between Jackson and Hood is enlightening and exciting in it’s own right.

Well worth the read!

The Inside-Out Museum/ The Inside-Out University

I don’t think this is OK either…

Two articles brought me here this morning and influence my own approach to resisting the current state of affairs.  First was Finji’s blog entry, This Is Not OK.  It was a nice summary of the sorry state that has become reality with the takeover of U.S. government by Trump and Friends.  Like many others, it is a statement that they do not accept what has happened and will be an ongoing voice and force for change and resistance.

I applauded that post.  The second article was about The Indivisible Guide.  Like Finji, these folks want to resist the Trumpian era and do all they can to restore decency, integrity, and honor to American politics and leadership.

But the Indivisible Guide suggests tactics that I am not comfortable with.  Their tactic is simple: block everything, don’t offer alternatives.  Even the folks at CrimEthnic.com offer some sort of alternative (yes, I consider anarchy an alternative).

I have no problem with resisting and blocking the coming tide of indecent, dishonest, and harmful moves that are the goal of Trump, McConnell, Ryan, Roberts, and friends.  But I also believe we need to provide a vision of a healthy, inclusive, and affirming alternative.

One View of the 2016 Election

I’ve been pondering the 2016 election and what it means, what message it carries about the state of our world.  One analysis is that a growing number of Americans, especially the young, find our historical political processes irrelevant and not important in their daily lives.  The cultural shifts of the past 50 or so years (post-WWII) and especially since the turn of the century have strengthened the appeal of individualism and self-selected groups.  

Our ties to a national identity have been weakened by disillusionment with national ventures such as unwinnable wars (Korea, Vietnam, both Gulf wars, Eastern Europe, the mideast quagmire unleashed by our “war on terror”); a long and constant vocal dislike by large swaths of Americans with our president (be it Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, or Obama); continuing low approvals of Congress; revelations of widespread government snooping and law-breaking; and an economy that has shown its weakness through savings and loan failures, dot-com spikes and crashes, and devastating recession caused by bank and corporate greed. The diverse and fluid nature of 21st Century America makes it hard to get behind a war effort when the people being killed and attacked come from the same religion and ethnic background as some of our dearest personal friends.  And the rise of LGBT issues and same-sex marriage illustrates how we increasingly see equal rights and respect for all people as more important than tradition or legal precedent.  We see issues of respect and tolerance in more personal terms in our daily lives.

Perhaps the youth of this year’s election looked around and basically decided that what happens in Washington or state legislatures has very little relevance in their daily lives.  An easy conclusion given the dearth of meaningful agreement and progress by our executive leadership and legislative bodies both nationally and locally.

What is relevant to many Americans may be their circle of Facebook friends; their network of peers that has fluidly built up over fast and dramatic change; their local schools, parks, streets; their own health status and the health of their environment; their own ability to live the life they want and hoped for.  The connection between those desires and pleasures has little to do with what the President and Congress do.

We live in a time of tremendous fundamental change.  We see it in our economic structures that have caused the vast decline of whole industries.  We see it in the increasing threat of global warming and climate disruption.  We see it in the maturation and spread of robotics.  We see it in our tools for communication and learning.  Perhaps the 2016 U.S. election, and similar elections in other parts of the world, are simply indicators of another aspect of fundamental global change.  A fundamental change in how we organize and govern ourselves as people of one world.

Exploring now– Bitcoin, Augur

TechCrunch today pointed to Ethereum and Augur which started my latest tech exploration and, of course, led to Bitcoin.  In spite of it’s widely recognized role in the underground ‘Net world as a means to conduct financial transactions securely and without regulatory oversight (think Silk Road, marijuana stores circumventing US ban on access to traditional banks), Bitcoin relies upon some very interesting and capable technology approaches.  Deeply rooted in the open source world, Bitcoin is fully de-centralized relying on peer-to-peer technology and top security.

From what I can see, Ethereum is sort of the “meta” version of Bitcoin. It seeks to provide a framework of decentralized connectivity and strong security upon which tools like Bitcoin could be readily built.  And Augur is one of the first efforts to do that.  In Augur’s case the industry is prediction markets.

My exploration has just started but this whole world of open-source, highly secure, decentralized operations strikes me as one of the fundamental economic shifts ushered in by the Internet (noting that “the Web” is only one part of “the Internet”).

Fascinating stuff.