A neighbor illustrated the problem with the Fourth of July. He broke out a new bumper sticker for his car just in time for the annual celebration. The sticker promoted the US Navy with the slogan, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of all those who oppose us.” This twisted take on the spirit of the day is a perfect illustration of the worst American chauvinism that often pushes leftists and other progressives away from the holiday. However, as historians such as Howard Zinn have demonstrated, there are alternatives – there is a counter-narrative to American history that represents ordinary people. The Fourth of July is the perfect opportunity to discover it.
So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being. – Franz Kafka
Hidden beneath the spectacular street battles that aim to force Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak out of office is a trigger that exists in dozens of countries throughout the world – food. Or, more specifically, the lack of it. While commentators focus on the corruption of the dictatorship, or the viral effects of the Tunisian moment or the something akin to an Arab political awakening, the inability of the Egyptian regime to insure a steady flow of food staples should be viewed as a critical factor driving this seemingly spontaneous movement for freedom.
Tonight’s State of the Union speech revealed just how far out of touch President Barack Obama is from the reality of working people in America. What a distance from the White House to the unemployment line. From the Rose Garden to the food pantry.