Looking back, glancing ahead

Biggest footprint on world stage: Pope Francis, for his speeches on economic justice, poverty, and climate change; modesty and modest lifestyle; appeals for peace and non-violence; lifting up the people and crisis of the Global South; role in facilitating diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. and Cuba and, last but not least, willingness to challenge the profit making and growth logic of capitalist development.

Biggest splash on sports scene: Who else but Steph Curry, the basketball point guard extraordinaire of the Golden State Warriors. He’s a magician on the court and, with his team mates, is reconfiguring the game.

Happy New Year

A brief observation on the Obama Presidency

In assessing the Obama Presidency from a progressive and left perspective, two questions I would argue loom large: First, what was the concrete relationship of political and social forces – the balance of power – in the capital and country during his presidency? Second, is a transformative presidency a realistic possibility without a movement that possesses transformative power and a Congress that is disposed to social change?

The answers to each question isn’t the end of any assessment of his presidency. But both have to figure into any judgement of the Obama years. Otherwise, hollow and abstract pronouncements become the result. And, generally speaking, they do little to expand our political understanding of the achievements and limits of Obma’s presidency, nor do they shine much light on our own insufficiencies and what needs to be done going forward.

Genocide, dispossession, and creating a human and sustainable community

Yesterday was the 125th anniversary of the slaughter of hundreds of defenseless Native People – men, women, and children – at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1890.

While this atrocity was the work of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry, its genesis lies in the policy of genocide and dispossession practiced by European colonial powers from the day of their arrival in the Americas four centuries earlier. Moreover, these practices were sanctioned by racist ideology and acquired extraordinary force and tempo as they evolved and maturated in the “whirlpool,” to use Marx’s word, of an emerging and expanding capitalist economy.

Merry Christmas

Joni makes mention of Xmas here, but this song is a bit melancholy, not exactly in the holiday spirit. But damn, it’s beautiful. Happy Holidays!

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