January 20, 2017 / From the Editor
Every Friday, we publish a short list of a few articles that have caught our …
April 7, 2017
In a moment when so much information is unreliable and even more distressing, we feel an obligation to provide for our readership a small selection of writing that encourages the stirrings of critical thought and resistance. This is what we’re reading this week:
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State pioneers the College for All Act with Bernie Sanders:
The unfairness of it, though, is that getting that advanced degree has become completely unaffordable. Today, our young people are making untenable choices: going to college and taking on mountains of debt, or foregoing the college degree to work part-time or minimum-wage jobs that simply won’t allow them to build a future. Or, if they go to college and come out with an average of $30,000 per person in debt, they live in perpetual fear. That choice hurts not only our young people, it hurts our families, our communities and our economy.
More details of the College for All Act with statements from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren:
President Donald Trump doesn’t appear willing nor interested in addressing astronomical student debt levels, which long since crested above $1 trillion. In fact, his administration has made it easier for for-profit colleges to rip off students, and recently scrapped Obama-era regulations that limited rates loan guarantee agencies can charge people who defaulted on student loans. His budget also proposed cutting$5 billion in higher education funding for low-income Americans. Perhaps that’s not surprising from a president who just finalized a $25 million settlement stemming from his scam for-profit university.
Koch influence aboundingly present in the White House:
Newly disclosed ethics forms reveal that a significant number of senior Trump staffers were previously employed by the sprawling network of hard-right and libertarian advocacy groups financed and controlled by Charles and David Koch, the conservative duo hyper-focused on entrenching Republican power, eliminating taxes, and slashing environmental and labor regulations.
A Brief History of Medicare and what Bernie wants to do with it:
Such a system would wipe out inefficiencies in our current, private insurance-run system, and polls very well — yet it is opposed by the health care industry and the Democratic and Republican establishments that relies on them for campaign cash.
Patient-Zero of Populism: The French
If you want to understand the populist fury now crashing over the West, France provides a good place to start. Not only has the country had its own Trumps for a long time now, but the conditions under which Trumpism can flourish have been present in France for much longer than in much of the rest of Europe and the United States. There is a good case to be made, in fact, that France was the “patient zero” of the West’s current epidemic of populist fever.
The Harrowing Effects of Deportation on Young Children:
She believes that people cannot be truly healthy unless they have trygghet, a word that in English translates as “security” but which has a broader meaning in Swedish: trust, a sense of belonging, freedom from danger, anxiety, and fear. The modern Swedish welfare state was built on the idea that it must safeguard trygghet for its citizens, minimizing the risks to which they are exposed. “Security is the most basic foundation of the individual,” the Swedish minister of social affairs explained, in 1967. “Nothing good has ever come out of insecurity.”
Check out the latest book by our very own Editor-in-Chief, Dan Rhodes, Organizing Church: Grassroots Practices for Embodying Change in Your Congregation, Your Community, and Our World. Available for purchase on Amazon!
But this book is not about that horror; it is about the possibility we have glimpsed at times in many churches and faith communities—who, when organized, exhibit a beautiful, relational authenticity within their fellowship, and have rallied to do some astounding faithful justice work where they are.