Peter Dejong, The Associated Press

Aside from issues that rightly dominate print headlines and social media, there is an inconspicuous national movement arising: legalizing psychedelics.

This movement may cause many boomers to smirk as they conjure up memories of Dr. Timothy Leary, the iconic advocate for using psychedelics. He coined the phrase, “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Such skepticism also greeted the advocacy for legalizing marijuana, renamed more accurately as cannabis. In the sixties, it was unthinkable that possessing cannabis would be legal.

Fifty years ago, the jails were filled with Black citizens for smoking cannabis. Even in liberal California, after forty years of…


lumber baron William Carson’s Victorian Mansion built 1886; photo N. Licata

Over the past year, new research has shown how a phenomenal accumulation of wealth has become concentrated among just 1 percent of Americans over the last four decades. If that trend continues, our future as a democracy will come to an end. So the first step is to recognize it, and the second is to address it now.

This trend was quantitively demonstrated in a RAND Corporation paper, Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 by Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards. They used a time-period agnostic and income-level agnostic measure of inequality that relates income growth to economic growth…


Supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside the office where ballots were being counted in Phoenix on Nov. 6.Credit…Adrian Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

Recently there has been extensive reporting on how a select group of the wealthiest Americans promotes Donald Trump’s accusation that he won the election, referred to as the Big Lie. Nothing new here.

However, the current reporting shows how multimillionaires, foundations, and news media stars use white ethnic nationalism to protect an unregulated market economy. An economy that best serves the richest from being tapped to fund government programs, like providing greater economic opportunities for…


Eric Dean Wilson

In opening Eric Dean Wilson’s book, “After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort,” I was prepared for a lot of data on how the Freon gas created a huge hole in our ozone layer and had threatened our human survival.

But Wilson goes beyond the technical explanation of how Freon (and other gases that have replaced it) that still threaten our environment. Instead, he shows how our faith in the ability to cool the world without environmental repercussions is still with us. …


Former president Donald Trump addresses supporters during a “Save America” rally July 3 in Sarasota, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post)

Both the Democrat and Republican parties employ Fear and Hope messaging in marketing their campaigns. The Republicans present Fear like a paperback novel you can’t put down. Will you be murdered on an evening stroll by someone who doesn’t look like you? And did you notice there’s more of them moving into your neighborhood? For the Democrats, Fear is like a chapter in an assigned textbook. …


CSA-Printstock/Getty

For the first time in four decades, we have a new national holiday, the Juneteenth National Independence Day. It celebrates the liberation of Black American slaves from the last city enslaving them in Galveston, Texas.

All the Senate Republicans, and all but fourteen of the Republicans in the House, voted in favor of establishing the holiday. Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mt., released a statement before the vote that captures Republican concerns that are festering within their ranks: “This is an effort by the Left to … celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make Critical Race Theory…


Credit Wikipedia Commons

The Democrats have been losing blue-collar voters for the last decade; this legislation could reverse that trend.

The Democrats and the Republicans are struggling over Biden’s infrastructure plan as a play for how each party can appeal to blue-collar workers. The Ds argue that this plan will promote good-paying jobs. The Rs can’t argue against creating better jobs, so they counter with the fear that it could bankrupt businesses and put people out of work. It’s a defensive position that lacks the more vital positive message that the D’s can make.

The R’s do fear that Biden is aiming to cleave blue-collar employees off from the Republican’s base by framing the debate as one of creating jobs…


Washington Post

Filibusters have blocked and supported progressive legislation

Independent and Democratic progressives are pushing to eliminate the Senate filibuster. They see how it has often succeeded in stopping legislation that protects citizens’ freedoms.

Filibustering against civil rights legislation in congress is an unfortunate tradition. It was repeatedly used by Southern Democratic senators to successfully block efforts to pass anti-lynching legislation in the 1920s and ’30s. Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina became the iconic example of filibustering when he talked twenty-four hours straight to stop the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 to protect the right of Blacks to…


G/obalstock/iStock

Ignorance Does Not Lead to Freedom

The slogans of the January 6 insurrections who stormed the Capitol demonstrated much passion. But they had little understanding of how a democratic government works. Nor did they care to find out.

Foreign terrorists did not manipulate them. They earnestly believed as President Donald Trump told them that day and for weeks beforehand, that Congress was about to trample on their freedom and liberty. Most of them could have been your white neighbors.

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a friend pointed out that the lack of an educated populace leads to the expectation…


The legal answer to that question depends on how the courts treat the status of social media providers. The political answer depends on who and what you want to ban? The fragile Democratic control of Congress faces a steep challenge in passing legislation to answer these questions. And they must get the courts to accept their solution as not infringing on First Amendment rights.

Let’s look at regulating free speech on social media from the perspectives of the courts and Congress. The first is concerned with legal precedents, the latter with the politics of passing legislation. …

Nick Licata

Author of Becoming a Citizen Activist, 18 year Seattle Councilmember, named progressive municipal official of the year by The Nation.

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