Is the risk of fascism overblown?

The good Goldmans and I dig into the history of fascism and discuss whether concerns about America going full-out fascist are overblown, election-year, scare-the-voter hype. The short answer is no, such concerns are not overblown. The risk is real, and the parallels to 1930s Germany are too striking to ignore. The bottom line is this: Vote as if your life and our democracy depend on it! Continue Reading →

I won’t do what Biden told me to do

You might recall that, in a video captured by Kathy Byrnes at a campaign rally last January, Joe Biden told me, “Go vote for someone else.” Well, I’m not going to do that. I’m voting for Joe Biden because, even though climate leaders may disagree with Biden on specifics, we can work with him. The best I can hope from climate denier Donald Trump is to get thrown out of his rallies. Continue Reading →

At the polls or by mail — VOTE!

My column last week created some confusion, sorry. The title was Don’t Vote by Mail!, and if that’s as far as you got, you might have thought I was telling people either to vote at the polls or not at all. Never! Going forward, I’ll try to be more diligent in my selection of titles, remembering that’s are as far as some readers get. Beyond that, thanks to conversations with election officials last week, I’m now more confident that when Iowans cast their votes by mail or at the county auditor’s office, they will be counted. Continue Reading →

Grassley seals his legacy

“You’ll be remembered as just another career politician who buried his conscience deep in the back forty while succumbing to the flagrant partisanship of ambitious, self-serving men like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell — men who never had an ounce of integrity to start with. You, Senator, have become a hypocrite.” Continue Reading →

Are you checked in or checked out?

Perhaps the strongest voice for civic engagement is … Erik Hagerman himself. In that Times story, Hagerman says, “I had been paying attention to the news for decades and I never did anything with it.” Well, that’s your first problem, Erik. You should’ve done something.

Because as my friend Miriam Kashia likes to say, “Action is the antidote to despair.” Continue Reading →

Unions Crucial for Worker and Farm Safety

“With crisis after crisis that has hit our nation and our state,” writes Charlie Wishman in his Labor Day message, “it is always workers who are making sure our communities continue to run. With the devastating storms that just blew through Iowa, it is working class workers, public and private sector, that are cleaning up damage, restoring power as quickly as possible, and ensuring that our streets and neighborhoods are safe.” Continue Reading →

Paper or Plastic? Neither!

Think about each plastic item you use, and do away with as many as possible. Think about what might work instead of that hunk of reconstituted petroleum. What you put in the recycling bin may well end up in Kenya or some other poor country. … Or it may end up in the ocean, in those two massive circles of floating plastic trash called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That abomination covers over 617,000 square miles and weighs more than 43,000 cars. I do not use the word abomination lightly. … Our governments can do better. Each of us can do better. It starts by saying “no” to both paper and plastic — but especially to plastic. Continue Reading →

Media cover climate chaos on the coasts, but not in poor nations or “fly-over country”

Even worse than the scant attention paid by the mainstream media to climate chaos in fly-over country is the extent to which climate disasters around the world are ignored. Here are a few examples from 2019 non-stories: AFRICA. Cyclone Idai killed 1000 people in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, drought in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia killed livestock, ruined crops, and left 15 million people facing a serious shortage of food and clean water. Continue Reading →

Derechos and Fires and Bears … and Biden — Oh My!

Even as warnings of the impact of climate change on the Arctic grow more dire, President Trump just fulfilled another one of his Big Oil buddies’ dreams: authorizing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Oil and gas companies can now begin to apply for leases to gain the right to destroy America’s largest wilderness area — though it may take several years for drilling to begin. Which brings us to … BIDEN. Even if you can’t stomach voting FOR Biden, cast your vote AGAINST Trump. And how do you spell an anti-Trump vote? It’s B-I-D-E-N Continue Reading →