Truthout

Jan Hollingsworth

Jan Hollingsworth

Jan Hollingsworth is an award-winning journalist with 25 years experience in print, broadcast and online reporting. She is the author of "Unspeakable Acts."

Outspoken Bayou residents lament the losses they experienced in the aftermath of the largest environmental "accident" in US history. To a one, they are critical not only of BP - a company that had long sidestepped safety to enhance profit - but of government capitulation to the corporate giant.

Wenonah Hauter: Breaking the foodopoly and fixing the dysfunctional food system requires far-reaching legislative and regulatory changes that are part of a larger strategy for restoring our democracy. Food activists must engage with other progressives in building the political power to reform and restructure public policy. This means overcoming the deep apathy and cynicism that discourage people from becoming involved in the political system.

Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:09

Radical Reading: The Progressive Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) seated at a desk covered with his books.Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) seated at a desk covered with his books. (Photo: Al Ravenna / World Telegram & Su)"Generations of progressive activists may not trace their political views to their early exposure to Dr. Seuss, but without doubt this shy, brilliant genius played a role in sensitizing them to abuses of power."

On Friday, March 1, tens of millions of children and their parents will be reading Dr. Seuss books as part of Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Educational Association (NEA) in partnership with local school districts and some businesses. The NEA, which started the program 16 years ago to encourage reading, was smart to tie the program to Dr. Seuss, who remains - more than two decades after his death - the world's most popular writer of modern children's books.

Money printing(Image: Money printing via Shutterstock)Quantitative easing (QE) is supposed to stimulate the economy by adding money to the money supply, increasing demand. But so far, it hasn't been working. Why not? Because as practiced for the last two decades, QE does not actually increase the circulating money supply. It merely cleans up the toxic balance sheets of banks.

A real "helicopter drop" that puts money into the pockets of consumers and businesses has not yet been tried. Why not? Another good question.

Quantitative easing as practiced today is not designed to serve the real economy. It is designed to serve bankers who create money as debt and rent it out for a fee. The money power needs to be restored to the people and the government, but we need an executive and legislature willing to stand up to the banks. A popular movement could give them the backbone. In the meantime, states could set up their own banks, which could leverage the state's massive capital and revenue base into credit for the local economy.

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.A birthday picnic for Vivianna Rivera, 2, at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in New York, August 20, 2011. The park, a faded site of both the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs, is a multicultural backyard for a borough of immigrants. (Photo: Hiroko Masuike / The New York Times)

In order to grasp the larger picture and understand better the relation between multiculturalism and democracy, we need to scale up to a more global level, and a deeper historical frame, to recover the traces of the long histories that have maintained the racial divide, and to see as well how new demands for enfranchisement have been rebutted or rechanneled for an equally long time. In other words, today's "failure" should be placed at the feet of something other than recalcitrant minorities or "flabby" liberalism.

At a bare minimum, our children must acquire skills in the "3 Rs" (reading, writing and 'rithmetic) to succeed in life. Humanity is dangerously past due adding a fourth critical R to our children's curriculum - reason (actually something much broader than reason, which I call sound thinking, outlined below).

Despite tracking devices and personal escorts, the problem of lost, stray and damaged "pigs" points to chronic performance problems along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline caused by the operator's failure to learn from past mistakes.

The principal benefit Obama's second term holds for progressives is their avoidance of right-wing triumphalism for four years. Policies causing inequality will almost certainly grow worse. Could progressives have changed this dim prospect by using their vote more effectively?