Monday Mornning S and M


In countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark, poverty has almost been eliminated. All people have healthcare as a right of citizenship. College education is available to all people, regardless of income, virtually free. They have been very aggressive in trying to move to sustainable energy. They have a lot of political participation, high voter turnouts. I think there is a lot to be learned from countries that have created more egalitarian societies than has the United States of America.

Senator Bernie Sanders, on Democracy Now

You know, my campaign office, since the very beginning, looked like the UN. We had everybody in the room, people of all faiths, all cultures, all colors, working together behind a progressive agenda to challenge this Iraq policy, to raise the issue about the 47 million uninsured, to talk about fair working conditions and middle class economics, to talk about the right to organize in labor unions, clean renewable energy, behind a progressive agenda.

Representative Keith Ellison, on Democracy Now

Amy Goodman has a way of reminding me of things. Last week she noted that there were several firsts in the midterm elections. There will be a woman in charge of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi is now the most powerful women ever elected in the United States. She will be third in line, so once we get those impeachment hearings out of the way… Try to picture Bush and Cheney’s mug shot next to Delay’s.

Anyway, we also voted our first Socialist into the Senate, Senator Bernie Sanders, and our first Muslim into the House, Representative Keith Ellison. Americans too often vilify Socialists and Muslims, so it’s a remarkable event.

It’s strange to think that so many people have opposed the kinds of things people like Pelosi, Ellison, Sanders, and even Goodman want: health care for everyone, strong labor laws, affordable college educations.

Delay and his ilk offered little of anything, yet people voted them in again and again for a dozen years. I am not sure if that is sadism or masochism.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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