March 2013


By the luck of the draw, in 1943, I was born white, male, heterosexual and middle class. I was instantly granted cultural privileges and advantages that gave me a distinct leg up as I made my way in the world.5389_10152704673970374_1528401644_a

I grew up in a small town in Tennessee during the so-called “good old days,” when men were men, women knew their place, blacks were second-class citizens, the poor were “lazy white trash” and the existence of homosexuals was not even acknowledged. The cultural paradigm of the time was powerful, so I internalized those beliefs and looked down on those whom I considered “less” than me.

During my college years, I mixed with students and professors with broader worldviews. I began to question the way women, people of color and folks who had less material wealth than me were treated. After all, weren’t we all cut from the same cloth? Consequently, during the 1960s and ’70s, I was heartened when our nation passed legislation moving us toward greater equality for African-Americans and women as well as toward the alleviation of poverty.

As our culture evolved, I made changes in my own life, including questioning my culturally granted superior status as a white male, working to amend my previously unexamined beliefs about folks who weren’t like me and raising my first daughter in a manner that empowered her to become a powerful, independent woman. (more…)

chomsky_student_loans

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the roots.
–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.
–Rabindranath Tagore

Only in the last moment in history has the delusion arisen that people can flourish apart from the rest of the living world.
–E.O. Wilson

A time comes when silence is betrayal.
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

That millions share the same forms of mental pathology does not make those people sane.
–Erich Fromm

A few illogical arguments for the elimination of Saddam Hussein
October 12, 2002, Asheville Citizen-Times
By Bruce Mulkey

“After all, this is a guy that tried to kill my dad.”
–President George W. Bush about Saddam Hussein

“I can appreciate his obsessive need to prove his masculinity and defend his family name. But should Americans kill and die for that?”
–Dr. Susan Block about George W. Bush

“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”
–Hiram Johnson

Thousands, perhaps millions of Americans are saying “Yes” to peace and “No” to a war on Iraq—via telephone calls, e-mail, the U.S. Postal Service and their feet. Here in Asheville letters to the editor in the Citizen-Times overwhelmingly oppose a pre-emptive strike against Iraq, and over 125 citizens from all walks of life gathered at Pack Square last Sunday, in solidarity with thousands of other demonstrators throughout the U.S., to declare “Not in my name.”

Yet the relentless march to war by the Bush administration and camp followers proceeds. Congress has folded like a cheap suit, giving the President the authority to bully another second-rate power into submission. Yeah, we’re number one … as long as we pick on nations we can easily defeat.

There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein is an aggressive tyrant who maintains power through brutality and armed force. Of course, he was one of our guys in the Middle East until he lurched into Kuwait, but no one has ever accused us of choosing allies for their adherence to democratic principles. Nonetheless the Bush administration’s justifications for the proposed crusade against our latest Public Enemy Number One (Does anybody remember Osama bin Laden?) are worthy of close scrutiny. (more…)

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