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Articles by: Richard Oxman

Authentic Discussion Naming Names

Authentic Discussion Naming Names

  “There is no intelligence in Washington. Only arrogance and hubris. The quarter century I spent there was with the most utterly stupid people on the face of the earth.” — Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, author of Another Step Toward Devastating War “The EPA was run like the Mafia for the twenty-five years I[Read More…]

Hiding head in sand

The Rape of Nanjing, Education By The Nape Of The Neck

  “Western indifference has been a problem. It continues to be a problem.” — Iris Chang to the author, 2004 On Craig’s List I came across an ad which called for an Elementary School Teacher to provide Spoken English instruction to youngsters in Nanjing, China. I’m highly qualified to serve in that capacity, the pay and benefits are good, and I’d love to[Read More…]

Questions For U.S. Educators

Questions For U.S. Educators

  Some of the questions below are, unquestionably, not appropriate for all grade levels. But — certainly — some should be addressed by the time a student secures entrance to, or matriculation status at, one of our institutions of higher education. If you disagree, do let me know. Over the last 34 years, incomes for the top 0.001% richest Americans[Read More…]

Ewan MacColl’s Call From The Grave

Ewan MacColl’s Call From The Grave

“Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave — and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another, and keep our word along the way. What do they say, In the Beginning there was the Word?” — Kirsty MacColl “Music to my fears this morning, my Muse mourning. For our one sphere of influence comes[Read More…]

 Hodgkinson’s Disease And Our Exceptional Nation

 Hodgkinson’s Disease And Our Exceptional Nation

  Hodgkin’s lymphoma — formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease — is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond the lymphatic system. As Hodgkin’s lymphoma progresses, it compromises your body’s ability to fight infection. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of two common[Read More…]

Blood Red Wheelbarrow

Blood Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

A Good Man’s History Lesson 

A Good Man’s History Lesson 

  “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” — William Faulkner Patrick Cockburn concludes his article Britain Refuses to Accept How Terrorists Really Work with, Contrary to conventional and governmental wisdom, terrorist conspiracies have not changed much since Brutus, Cassius and their friends plotted to murder Julius Caesar. It made me think about how many people Caesar killed or enslaved[Read More…]

Practical Love Supreme in Activism

Practical Love Supreme in Activism

A review of a documentary on John Coltrane reminded me that the iconic jazz musician died on the same day that the Newark Riots officially ended. I trust that the reader knows why I’m using italics here; fact is, the trauma of those riots — fifty years old as of 2017 — never went away. Definitely not for me, as I knew colleagues[Read More…]

TOSCA in Tucson

TOSCA in Tucson

“We are documenting, discussing, debating, demonstrating, diverting and delaying ourselves to death in lieu of doing something new in solidarity that stands to make a big enough difference in time.” — One of the author’s home schooled youngsters at six years old (calling attention to the collective deadlines we face respecting our collective crises) “Yes, of course, one could make[Read More…]

Cattle Being Herded In A Heat

Cattle Being Herded In A Heat

The extraordinary achievement of Claire Simon’s latest film, The Graduation, relies on its ability to capture power at work. The film documents the entire selection process that hundreds of young candidates go through at La Femis in Paris to obtain a seat at one of the most prestigious film schools in the world.

Photo by Public Domain Photos

Educators Serving The Powers That Be: Results of a Recent Survey

In the months of April and May we conducted a random survey of 100 U.S. educators nationwide* — on all levels, in public and private institutions — and discovered that less than 10% of teachers and administrators** knew much at all about the 25 major environmental issues plaguing the planet today.

And The Minds of Children Closed

And The Minds of Children Closed

  Schools are still shills for our collective addiction to belief in technological fixes as a decent approach to addressing climate change issues. That’s one reason to home school, among many. But my informal survey of home schooling parents nationwide has revealed that virtually no one is teaching youth that only a no-growth vision of economics can possibly give us[Read More…]

Standing by Truth Together

Standing by Truth Together

The thing is, a core group of citizens are — first — going to have to get off of the Untruthful Treadmill that they’re on. Talk about the toxicity of the blacktops that cover the only roads now available. And, then, carve out unprecedented inroads in the realm of the electoral arena.

Positioning Popularity Properly

Positioning Popularity Properly

“Frequently the cock combines the lifting of his tail with the raising of his voice. He appears to receive through his feet some shock from the center of the earth, which travels upward through him and is released: Eee-ooo-ii! Eee-­ooo-ii! To the melancholy this sound is melancholy and to the hysterical it is hysterical. To me it has always sounded[Read More…]

The Relationship Between Forgetting Ourselves And War

The Relationship Between Forgetting Ourselves And War

  “The essential thing is to WANT to sing.” — Henry Miller “Education in this country just boxes you in.” — Emil White Just prior to Emil White dying, I had a chance to interact with the publisher, artist and well-known friend of Henry Miller at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California in the late eighties. One of[Read More…]

The Necessary Ground of Being for Dyslexic Activism

The Necessary Ground of Being for Dyslexic Activism

  In the early days of hip hop, most of the artists either lived in or were born in New York City’s South Bronx. That area was devastated in 1929 by the building of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, which displaced 60,000 Bronx residents. Although the white residents who lived in the realm moved to the suburbs, many of the poor African-American[Read More…]

Securing Sweetness For Sugarcane Souls: A Tribute To Paulo Freire

Securing Sweetness For Sugarcane Souls: A Tribute To Paulo Freire

  “…there neither is, nor has ever been, an educational practice in zero space-time—neutral in the sense of being committed only to preponderantly abstract, intangible ideas.” — Freire, Paolo (2014) Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York: Bloomsbury, p.67   “Paulo Freire says that reflection and action… action… action should be directed at the structures that need to be[Read More…]

STEM The Tide

STEM The Tide

  Fifty years ago Dr. King risked his life to tell us that ‘the world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve,” that a nation focused on military defense more than social uplift “is approaching spiritual death,’ and that we still had a choice: “nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.”  How much longer will[Read More…]

Eyes On Eternity Versus Eyes On The Prize: Dedicated To Gil Scott-Heron

Eyes On Eternity Versus Eyes On The Prize: Dedicated To Gil Scott-Heron

  Henry Hampton‘s work — like his groundbreaking Eyes on the Prize (1987-1990) — should be applauded. His grand efforts and accomplishments — along with those of his many hardworking, talented colleagues, such as the dedicated and incomparable Judy Richardson — are praiseworthy by any standards. That said, to have one’s eyes on any prize in the realm of social activism usually means a[Read More…]

Honoring the Million-Petaled Flower And Steve Biko

Honoring the Million-Petaled Flower And Steve Biko

  “We live on a beautiful and a delightful planet, which is so awesome and so perfect that we wonder at its creation.” — The opening to Prithiraj Dullay’s Humanity on the Road to Extinction? Early this morning, I half-awoke thinking of Steve Biko, who was murdered in the midst of my raising funds for the fight against South African[Read More…]

Sing It One More Time Like That

Sing It One More Time Like That

The world stands out on either side No wider than the heart is wide; Above the world is stretched the sky,— 205 No higher than the soul is high. The heart can push the sea and land Farther away on either hand; The soul can split the sky in two, And let the face of God shine through. The above[Read More…]

The Most Important U.S. History Book You Will Read in Your Lifetime

The Most Important U.S. History Book You Will Read in Your Lifetime

  “This may well be the most important US History book you will read in your lifetime.” — Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley providing a testimonial for the work of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. According to Harper’s Magazine (April, 2017), the minimum number of American colleges that have programs to study their past reliance on slavery is twenty-eight. Well, I trust that it’s[Read More…]

'The best part of the work we do is that it’s not what we’re fighting against but what we’re fighting for.' (Photo:  Indigenous Environmental Network/Facebook)

 Big Yellow Hearse To Moriturus

Dedicated to Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Fight for Sacco and Vanzetti “With his hand on my mouth He shall drag me forth, Shrieking to the south And clutching at the north.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay, from Moriturus As everyone paying attention knows, we are about to die. Unless indigenous people — the ones whose lead must be followed according to[Read More…]

Acts of Abomination: A Familiar Sound

Acts of Abomination: A Familiar Sound

The Claims Commission was essentially a mopping-up operation, established to clarify ambiguities about land ownership that still remained after a century of white assault. It simply asserted that the Indians had lost land that they often had not, and gave them money as a panacea. Usually these claims awards were dutifully hailed in the American press as if the U.S. was generously giving down-and-out Indians a gift, when actually the opposite was the case.

Melania Trump And The Downer We’re On

Melania Trump And The Downer We’re On

  “A political system devoted to decline instinctively does much to speed up that process.” — Jean-Paul Sartre One does not have to be a supporter of Donald Trump to recoil in horror at the unprecedented attack that’s being waged on an ongoing basis against the new First Lady. The late night comedy shows are going to town at her[Read More…]

 The Blight Man Was Not Born For

 The Blight Man Was Not Born For

  “Ah! ás the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie” –from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Spring and Fall: To a Young Child (in which the line “It ís the blight man was born for” appears) This week I responded to Craig’s List calls for[Read More…]

Risking Lives Over Ocean Mother Murder

Risking Lives Over Ocean Mother Murder

  Our enigmatic Ocean Mother has always fascinated poets. Rachel Carson is a singular writer, who — as an eminent scientist who absolutely loved and spiritually respected the sea — provided a factual, instructive and comprehensive survey of the expanse that covers the vast majority of the earth’s surface (in 1950). My family began reading the overview to me when[Read More…]

Can Go Congo, No

Can Go Congo, No

“Habit is the great deadener.” — Samuel Beckett An intrepid investigative journalist recently produced six minutes and seventeen seconds of footage that underscores how attachment to high tech gadgetry is causing abominations which are the equivalent of The Holocaust (which Hollywood never lets us forget). The atrocities being committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — by any standards —[Read More…]

The Child and the Chainsaw

The Child and the Chainsaw

  “No one ever really sees a flower anymore.” — Georgia O’Keeffe A rose doesn’t decide to provide its fragrance only for good people, nor deny its beauty to even the most evil people on earth. And a tree offers shade to anyone who comes under its umbrage. Also, with no discrimination. Beautiful fragrance on any day, and shade from[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Americans Must Crow Anew

Americans Must Crow Anew

“But I just had no intention of living this way” — from the Counting Crows’ Raining in Baltimore The actions being taken by concerned citizens respecting our collective crises are too prosaic. Overly “prosaic” in the sense that pleas and demonstrations are utterly too straightforward, much too much run-of-the-mill. Will someone, please, consider injecting poetry into activism? The language and[Read More…]

Three Denials And Discussion Denied

Three Denials And Discussion Denied

The denial of clemency for Leonard Peltier — courtesy of Obama — inspired me to write this piece, along with the denial of Climate Change on the part of the new U.S. Administration. But the Big Denial not talked about much is the one which is embraced by well-meaning, highly educated and deeply experienced activists and concerned citizens, along with[Read More…]

Playing Russian Roulette On More Than One Count

Playing Russian Roulette On More Than One Count

Britain’s nuclear safety regulator has been accused of turning a blind eye to dozens of serious mistakes at power plants and military bases. I initially came across the information given below on Sky News’ Press Review, as part of Monday’s coverage of what that mainstream media outlet considers stories of the day; usually entertainment/celebrity icons dominate the fare, and Monday[Read More…]

Super Fund Sites: Home Facts For Concerned Citizens

Super Fund Sites: Home Facts For Concerned Citizens

“One out of ten Americans live within ten miles of a Super Fund site.” — E.G. Vallianatos I gave a speech to educators a little over two years ago at a Social Forum in San Jose, California. In it I noted that I had conducted a survey a year before targeting academics, community leaders, students and staff at local educational institutions[Read More…]

The Yale Program On Climate Change Communication And My Survey On Our Nuclear Dynamic: Instructive Results for Activists

The Yale Program On Climate Change Communication And My Survey On Our Nuclear Dynamic: Instructive Results for Activists

The degree of resignation spotlighted below is something that activists must pay attention to; there’s a clear need to change gears in reaching out to citizens. The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (2015) demonstrated that a mere 52 percent of registered U.S. voters felt that alterations in the earth’s climate were mainly a function of human activity. That should[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Climate Change
The Loneliness Of  The Long Distance Activist

The Loneliness Of  The Long Distance Activist

“The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.” — Lorraine Hansberry “One of the problems with activists is that they’re afraid of being lonely, and they don’t get that the road they have to go down doesn’t allow for moving four abreast.” — James Baldwin “Direct action is[Read More…]

Atypical Revolutionary Effort (ARE): You Ready?

Atypical Revolutionary Effort (ARE): You Ready?

“There is a new kind of secessionist movement taking place in India. Shall we call it New Secessionism? It’s an inversion of Old Secessionism. It’s when people who are actually part of a whole different economy, a whole different country, a whole different planet, pretend they’re part of this one. It is the kind of secession in which a relatively small[Read More…]

10 Days In October

10 Days In October

Playing off of John Reed’s classic work about the Russian Revolution, I picked my title because of something that was whispered to me today by folks on the inside, who claim that the Justice Department’s new focus on Hillary’s past faux past with emails did not rear its troubling (for the Clinton candidacy) head by chance. With ten days left[Read More…]

The Fourth Remake Of “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers”

The Fourth Remake Of “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers”

True film aficionados who are old enough probably know that there were three cinematic versions of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (TIOTBS). Doesn’t matter, though, whether or not you’re familiar with them. I’ll give you enough to chew on here, and then hit you with why there needs to be another one made. The first two TIOTBS films had[Read More…]