[I am uploading to this blog earlier e-mail blasts I sent out that were in the vein of “Jim’s Approximately Monthly Missives.” I will be posting them first here and then sharing links to them in the hopes that comments will come here in a more publicly engaging way than when I send them out via the bcc feature in my email. I hope you find them stimulating and thought-provoking. This one was originally sent out on 10 December 2016. -Jim]
Dear Friends,It has been over a month since I was in touch. A sea change is afoot in our socio-political world. How are you responding? Just a couple of short notices and a few brief notes on the presidential election follow. Thanks for reading and letting me know what you think.-Jim
Apply by the end of Monday, December 12 to join the May 2017 Center for Jewish Nonviolence delegation to Palestine, “End 50 Years of Occupation: Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue.” This will be a continuation of the solidarity work I did last July as part of the “Occupation is Not My Judaism” delegation. No money needs to be put up until sometime in February, but you need to submit your initial application by the end of the day, this Monday. This is your final chance to submit an application for the May 14 – 22, 2017 delegation,Click here to watch a great, short video about the July delegation I was on. There’s a lot of work on the ground in Israel-Palestine. Our Palestinian and Israeli partners are calling upon us to stand with them in solidarity. We have 60 scholarships available for those in need. Click here to see my Flickr photo album from last July too.You’ll want to be there. Let’s do this together. Apply now!________________________Locally:Wednesday December 21 Join Jewish Voice for Peace and the Network Against Islamophobia for “Rekindling Our Commitment to Justice,” a prelude to Chanukah, candle lighting action in Union Square. From 4:00 to 5:30 pm. Find us near Geary and Powell Streets. This is being replicated in 20 cities across the country. Locally, the demonstration is co-sponsored by Bay Area Women in Black, CAIR-SF, and Kehilla Synagogue’s Middle East Peace Committee. Let me know if you have any questions.________________________A few random thoughts on the elections:
- Republican gerrymandering and rampant voter disenfranchisement efforts that target poor people and especially people of color. These have been underway for years, and are clearly intended to shift the electorate to the right. So many of these efforts are blatantly racist, that it is hard to believe they’re upheld in courts.
- Democratic Party leadership that fears their own party membership so much that they have refused to push back meaningfully against those efforts; some, yes, but not as strongly as they should have. The DNC, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and others have not worked against these efforts enough and have left the party weak on the ground out of fear that if it grows too much, the party will become more progressive and less economically tied to pro-development industry that funds them. Even after their widespread losses, the leadership continues not to see that big donors aren’t going to win the day against the 0.1%.
- Dishonesty by the DNC during the primaries ensured Hillary Clinton would be the nominee after blatant, dishonest efforts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign that probably violated their own party’ rules. They didn’t trust the people or the process, and they delivered to us a candidate who was very impugnable.
- I don’t blame third party candidates for splitting the vote or taking small percentages away from Clinton as the deciding factor. To blame people working for what they believe in instead of really taking on the dishonesty and racism that mark our society undermines any chance for democracy to have its day, and is a fundamentally hopeless and simple-minded analysis that pushes aside systemic problems that must be addressed.
- Trump isn’t alone. He is part of a fascistic rise of leaders around the world.
- I knew that Truimp would be able to play Clinton as the dishonest one, galling and absurd as that was. She lied and supported so much war and anti-democratic efforts abroad that Trump could be a horrific truth-teller and deflect needed attention to his bald-face lies.
- Clinton, Obama and the Democratic leadership weren’t willing to fight for the victory they actually earned! Yet again, like in 2000 with Gore, they didn’t stand up for themselves. They didn’t want to assert constitutional means as fully as they could have. They didn’t stand up for themselves, so why should people believe in them? They don’t believe in themselves!
- You don’t know which female candidate I voted for. A vote for either Stein or Clinton was defensible. I don’t think either choice deserves rebuke.
- I have little patience with people who blame Stein, or Bernie supporters or Julian Assange or anyone pointing out Clinton’s faults.
- Misogyny certainly was a factor, for sure, and patriarchy remains debilitating for all our liberation. But that isn’t why everyone who didn’t vote for Clinton chose otherwise.
- Socialism wasn’t going to be the damning label some people thought it would be.Gotta run: Laughter Yoga awaits!