February 7th, 2018

It is snowing heavily at 9:19 this morning in New York City.  I don’t think we have had a flake before this.  I well remember winters forty years ago when there was snow on the ground for months and all precipitation would be snow in the winter.

The city workers managed to get masses of it into trucks and then it was dumped out onto the frozen river.  There would be piles of snow higher than my head on the sidewalks with a cleared walkway for pedestrians.  Global warming has changed all that radically.

The forecast calls for high temperature today to be near 42 degrees. What snow we have will be gone shortly.  I am still glad to have a little snow; I miss those winters decades ago.

“US Not Like The Developed World”

February 2nd, 2018


I just read a strikingly accurate assessment of ways in which the US is not like the developed world in an article that quotes Korean leader Pyongyang. He correctly notes that the US is behind other wealthy nations in many areas as well as being “the gross violator of human rights”. The link is below:



January 20th, 2018













This was at Revolution Books up in Harlem.  You can’t see her, but Deborah is beside me with another of these signs.  We were there to hear Andy Worthington, British activist and authority on the US prisoners held at Guantanamo, give a talk about them.


January 14th, 2018

   Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president.

He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech.

He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

King helped organize the Selma to Montgomery marches and took the movement north to Chicago where he worked on segregated housing.

In his last years Martin Luther King worked to oppose poverty and the Vietnam War, and, unfortunately, alienated many of his liberal allies with his “Beyond Vietnam” speech in 1967.

On April 4, 1967, accompanied by Amherst College professor Henry Commager, Union Theological Seminary President John Bennett, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel at an event sponsored by Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, King spoke to over 3,000 at New York’s Riverside Church. King’s address emphasized his responsibility to the American people and explained that conversations with young black men in the ghettos reinforced his own commitment to nonviolence.

He was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C. when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on the 4th of April 1968 in Memphis. There were riots in many US cities as a result.

James Earl Ray, his assassin, fled the country, only to be arrested two months later at London’s Heathrow Airport. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison and died in prison of hepatitis.

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. MLK, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states and made a US federal holiday in 1986.


January 12th, 2018

It is 58 degrees at 9:51 am in New York City in January!  It is raining and foggy as well.

This frightens me even though the high tomorrow is predicted to be 41 degrees and the prediction of the high for Sunday is 26 degrees, much more what it used to be here at this time of year.  Global warming is nonetheless very much evident.

Though there is excellent public transportation here, there are large numbers of automobiles visible from my window that are going up 10th Avenue.  There always are many in the streets of this city.  I personally made a choice when I moved here several decades ago not to own a car.  It puzzles me that others drive cars in this city.

Choosing bumper to bumper traffic during rush hours, the outrageous expense of an automobile, and the trouble of owning and operating one seems senseless to me.  It does not appear so to large numbers of others here.  Though many of us in this city defy the national love affair with the automobile, many do not.  Unfortunately, these latter are contributing to global warming.

How much is at stake?  Is there a danger that this planet will become uninhabitable by human beings–because the climate is so changed that  it will not be possible to grow food for them or that it will be too hot for people to survive?  Even if people in the few cities in the United States where there is good public transportation were to give up automobiles, the rest of the country is heavily dependent on them, and on trucks which emit even more noxious gases.  And the US is far from the only source of automobile and other noxious emissions such as those from manufacturing for instance.

What can we do to protect life on this planet Earth?


January 9th, 2018

I read these remarks at online sites.  [From Wikipedia: “Health Affairs is a peer-reviewed healthcare journal established in 1981 by John K. Iglehart … . It was described by The Washington Post as ‘the bible of health policy’.”]

“American kids are 70 percent more likely to die during childhood compared with children in other wealthy, democratic nations, according to a peer-reviewed study published … by Health Affairs.

“The U.S. is the most dangerous of wealthy, democratic countries in the world for children,” (said Dr. Ashish Thakrar, the lead author of the story and an internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System). “Across all ages and in both sexes, children have been dying more often in the U.S. than in similar countries since the 1980s.”

The quotations are from an article published on Common Dreams, January 9, 2018, titled “This Study Should Alarm Everyone’: US Child Mortality Rate 70% Higher Than Other Wealthy Nations.

What are we US citizens going to do about this?  How can we affect change and lower our child mortality rate to be in line with other wealthy nations?


January 1st, 2018








In January of 2017 the New York Times ran an article about Trump’s ban on entry of Muslims into the United States and said it was “Cowardly and Dangerous.” Several of his actions were called cowardly as well.

This school bus was one of the casualties of a driver who ran off the street onto the sidewalk and careened into other vehicles. Children were hurt. The cowardly driver could not face the challenges of his life and chose to victimize many, including school children.

In Mexico, a news reporter Gumaro Perez, who had reported on local crime and drug trafficking, was shot dead at his son’s school Christmas celebration just before the holiday vacation.

What could we do to have fewer of these disasters in 2018?


December 20th, 2017

Below are remarks by Philip Alston, U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, reported by Common Dreams on 19 December 2017

Among the things he noted are:
U.S. inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries;
U.S. infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world;
America has the highest incarceration rate in the world;
In terms of access to water and sanitation the US ranks 36th in the world.

Alston said the US is out of line with the developed world and insists its human rights “do not include rights that guard against dying of hunger, dying for a lack of access to affordable healthcare, or growing up in a context of total deprivation.”

Alston spoke with politicians and political appointees. Some of them, he said, clung to “caricatured narratives” of who the wealthy and poor are—narratives that falsely portray the rich as industrious, and the poor as lazy people who merely need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps in order to make it.

“I wonder how many of these politicians have ever visited poor areas, let alone spoken to those who dwell there,” he stated.

Census Bureau data he cited say more than one in eight Americans –40 million people–live in poverty; Alston said that figure appears to be by design; “…at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could be eliminated.”

What can we do to change this?  I am contacting my senators, who may or more likely may not do anything about it.  What else can we do?


December 5th, 2017

There is considerable expert opinion that the United States is sliding into fascism. Dr. Brian Klaas, an American scholar who is currently a fellow in comparative politics at the London School of Economics, says that Trump’s willingness to flout the law and attack democratic institutions puts the US on line with the early stages of authoritarian regimes.

He says “This is a threat to our democracy and to the core values we stand for.” Klaas says that Trump hasn’t become a despot “but he clearly wants to be one.”

Klaas also wrote: “Trump demonizes the press, He issues calls to ‘lock up’ his political rival and brazenly deploys divide-and-rule tactics, whipping up nationalist anger against Muslims and migrants. He surrounds himself with family members and cronies, riding roughshod over long-accepted ethical standards. And he belittles our democratic allies while bizarrely cheerleading for brutal despots across the globe.”

All Dr. Klaas writes is true and frightening to me. What will become of the United States if we the people do not rise up against Trump who is clearly doing damage to our country?

Dr. Klass asks “What if a smarter, savvier and more disciplined Donald Trump 2.0 comes along. Trump has paved the way for such a figure. Imagine an authoritarian populist who borrows from the Trump playbook while avoiding its more obvious divisive and self-defeating qualities. Imaging someone with Ronald Reagan’s charism and Barack Obama’s polished rhetoric peddling ideological Trumpism. The Trump presidency could serve as the rehearsal for someone far more dangerous.”

Frightening! What can we do to avoid such a successor to Trump? How can we begin to repair the damage to our country Trump is doing?


November 23rd, 2017


Above is a photograph of one of the floats in the Macy’s parade here in New York today, Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd 2017.  There is not a flake of snow on the ground and the high temperature was 49 degrees.

To me this is alarming.  Thirty or forty years ago, there would have been snow and temperature below freezing.  Clear signs of global warming.

When will we begin to address this issue?  Is it already too late?  Is planet earth going to become uninhabitable by human beings?