Death Squads in the Philippines

There’s an insane article in the New York Times today. (WARNING: Graphic) President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is slaughtering anyone even suspected of using or selling drugs. Government death squads are killing people in the streets. Imagine. You’re walking down the street with a buddy, and you’re sharing a joint. Good for you guys. Enjoy it. Maybe you’re playing some music on your phone, having a conversation about what a dog’s thoughts would sound like. And a cop pulls up on you. Usually, they’ll tell you to drop it and move on. Lots of people get arrested. But what …

Fuck Fidel

People on the left need to condemn Fidel Castro. He was anything but a liberator. No regime that executes people for political reasons and restricts freedom of expression deserves anyone’s adoration. It’s not enough to make token improvements in the education system if people still can’t speak their minds. That’s wrong, and it’s bad when people make excuses for it. The left needs to be clear: we want freedom and empowerment for all people. That means that no one and no regime can get away with intimidating and killing people for exercising their rights to free speech. Cubans had property …

Read INDIAN KILLER

Just finished Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie. One of the best books I’ve ever read. Based in 90s Seattle, it centers around the life of John Smith, an adopted Indian raised by a white couple. John feels alienated from his Indian roots and foreign in a white world. When a serial killer dubbed the “Indian Killer” starts scalping white people in Seattle, John Smith becomes the prime suspect. The book does an amazing job of critiquing everyday racism. There’s loud racism and subtle racism. The loud racist listens to talk radio and think Indians are trash. The subtle racist almost fetishizes Indians, thinking …

Trump and Special Interest

Trump campaigned everywhere with a similar message, drain the swamp. He promised to rid Washington of big money corruption. Now, I sincerely hope that happens. But judging from his transition team, it doesn’t seem like a priority. He nominated Steve Bannon, a known bigot. Doesn’t exactly jibe with the whole unity theme. Then there are the lobbyists from Verizon and Pfizer, the climate change denier that’s gonna lead the EPA appointments. It’s a damn mess. The transition team seems as establishment as it gets, except for Bannon who’s just a racist. So, here’s to hoping the transition team isn’t as bad …

It’s Okay to Feel Like Shit Right Now

I’m still processing a President Trump. I’m still unsure of what this means, and what I can do about it. And that’s okay. A lot of us are going through a kind of grieving process. It’s okay to feel disoriented. I almost threw out my current project to write about the rise of Trump. I feel a deep drive to make my work matter. But when I sat down to write the story, I was all over the place. I realized I’m not ready to write about it yet. Clearly lots of people have reason to celebrate, but lots of …