#89 What’s So Great about Being White?

375 people have now been arrested, charged and intensively interviewed about their participation in the attack on the US Capitol January 6. A reliable picture is emerging of who they are and what motivated them.

It’s no surprise that they were overwhelmingly white and male and strongly influenced by Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the November election

But it came as a bit of a surprise, at least to some, that only about 10% were members of known far right groups like the Proud Boys. And that the attackers as a whole we’re…

This should not be a question in a democracy, but it has become a real issue that could define our identity as a nation

Picture from New York Civil Liberties Union

In a country with universal suffrage, this has sadly become a very real threat to all we hold sacred. If you’ve been following the news, you know that the State of Georgia has just enacted the most extensive voting restrictions in generations and the other Red States are not far behind.

The Georgia legislation introduces a raft of new oppressive laws aimed at disenfranchising voters

These include but are not limited to curbs on mail-in and early voting, stiffer requirements for voter ID, absentee balloting and provisional ballots, and fewer drop boxes. …

Last week, Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white man, killed eight people, seven of them women, in three Atlanta-area spas. His motives seem to have been a toxic mix of misogyny, racism, and bizarre ideas about himself and sex.

A patron of two of the spas, the Long grew up in an ultra-conservative Baptist church and appeared fixated on lust and guilt. He told police that he was a “sex addict” and that the women working there were temptations he couldn’t resist and so he had to eliminate them.

The fact that six of the women he killed were of…

You may think, Well by God he is! Or you may see him as a socialist demon. Well fine, it’s a free country and I really want to spark respectful, fact-based discussions by these weekly talks.

Let’s start with the basics. We are in the worst peacetime crisis in a century. Lots of people are scared, depressed, frustrated, pissed off, or all of the above.

And last Thursday night this new American president starts a speech to the nation by telling us he understands our pain about what’s been going on, from dead friends and relatives to closed businesses and…

In the contest between Biden and Trump, I very much wanted Joe Biden to win and I’m very happy with the strong, quick moves he’s made to advance an agenda that makes this country the nation it can be.

Until last week.

Senate Republicans have shown us again and again that political courage is rare. It’s just that, with Joe Biden, I expected it to last more than six weeks.

In my opinion Biden made a serious stumble last week and it could cause long-term problems for American interests in the Middle East as well as call into question Biden’s…

Mars, Science and the Future of Reality

I’m betting that much of your attention this last week was on quarantines and masks, and on scrambling to get a vaccine appointment.

If you’ve had time for politics, there’s the chess matches in Congress over President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill and a few of his more controversial nominations for top jobs.

With all that going on, did you also see the reports on the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars? It was glorious.

The ingenuity, precision and perseverance of what NASA’s scientists have done seem almost beyond belief —…

“America’s Back.” On February 17, with those two words, the new US president repudiated the go-it-alone policies of his predecessor that had led to bitter disagreements, escalating trade wars, and rejection of the alliances that have benefited America and its allies since the end of the Second World War

But a slogan is not a policy. Let’s look at what’s back and what isn’t.

Acknowledging the strains and shit storms have characterized America’s

relationships with Europe over the last four years, President Biden assured European leaders that “The US is determined to reengage with Europe. To consult with you. …

I don’t blame you if you haven’t been watching every moment of the trial of former President Trump for inciting an attack on the Capitol that killed five people as a raving mob ransacked the seat of American government, holding it for hours.

But some of the proceedings have actually been fascinating, especially new videos showing the extent of the violence and how close to injury or death key members of Congress and their staffs came on that day.

Donald Trump was charged with incitement of insurrection. For three days, House managers laid out a devastating case for conviction. Methodically…

Were you hoping, just for a couple of days there, that Republicans had finally burst out of their Trump trance? You know, when some of their Senators said they’d vote to convict on his impeachment by the House for inciting rioters to attack the Capitol? When even McConnell said Trump had gone too far? When it seemed that more than a few Republicans saw that dumping Trump might give their Party a shot at resurrection and re-invention.

Didn’t last long, did it.

The backtracking began when it became clear that Trump’s powerful political base and its agents in the Congress…

As the Biden Administration begins, many of us are pivoting from dread and outrage to… happiness. And it’s about a lot more than “Ding Dong, the wicked witch is dead!” isn’t it?

Let’s see if I can hit some of the reasons.

I’m happy that after four years, a good and decent man is in the White House, a president with a lifelong record of integrity, compassion, and dedication to this country and its Constitution.

I find it a huge relief that the White House is no longer the national epicenter of corruption, lies, incompetence and venality. …

John Graham

John Graham is an adventurer, a former Foreign Service Officer, a writer, speaker and political activist, and a leader of the Giraffe Heroes Project,

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