5 months ago

Penn Magazine November 2017

The inaugural issue of Penn Magazine

“... they do the

“... they do the essential, noble work of helping those they are capable of helping. my ilk, I furiously guarded my pathetic fiefdom and tolerated only minimal dissent. I also made myriad ideological connections and foolishly perceived them as friendships. In addition, I regularly tuned into the pages of the radical (sic) elite (sic). Believing I needed to “keep up” with such folks, I ignored oh-somany warning signs. I’m tempted to name names now but that would give such hypocritical manipulators infinitely more credit than they’re due. Instead, I’ll just say I now often forget these people are even alive. Without their delusional proclamations and sniveling sycophants soiling my news feed, I feel far saner and can finally see with clarity how they are absolutely part of the problem (as I was). Turn off, tune out, drop out. No symbolic gestures. Just action. Direct action. A white male “left” major league icon (Timothy Leary) once babbled about “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Please allow a white male (former) “left” (minor league) icon (me) to counter: turn off, tune out, drop out… and wake up. We blew it, “comrades.” Big time. We’ve allowed things to get to the point where the best role any “activist” can play is like that of a triage or hospice nurse. Such nurses don’t come to work each day dreaming their patients will magically get better — or even live. Instead, they do the essential, noble work of helping those they are capable of helping. No symbolic gestures. Just action. Direct action. This isn’t to say “activists” should never ponder how to create systemic change and a less oppressive society. Mickey Z. on the streets of New York City, doing work. But it is to say that if we waste all our time and energy pondering grand strategies (sic) and “debating” on social media, we won’t even notice those in need. We’ll walk right past the vulnerable souls who are begging for our help. If you want to lend meaning to your daily life in a social-justice-y sort of way, I strongly suggest you turn off, tune out, drop out and start thinking like a hospice or triage nurse (or cat lady, for that matter). Creating a softer place land is the only work left to do and it will never happen on social media. [Article from World News Trust, Oct. 8, 2017] Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women-NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, make a donation right now. And please spread the word! 22/Penn Magazine/November 2017

Karen Kwiatkowski Neocon C R E E P by Karen Kwiatkowski Those of us who closely observed, and tried to stop, the neoconservative takeover of the Presidency, and the nation’s security and intelligence leadership between 1999 and 2004, may have thought it was so well publicized and so destructive that it couldn’t happen again. Others, while blaming the Bush and Cheney crowds for bringing cavalier interventionist chickenhawking perspectives into the White House, figured that at least it wouldn’t happen again with an outsider like Mr. Trump. Still others, falsely believing that the eight Obama years were years of neoconservative silence, may have thought, given Trump’s non-interventionist America First campaign last year, that at least neoconservatism wouldn’t be the main thing they’d need to worry about. These days, most everybody is wrong when it comes to politics in the US. The neoconservatives have already crept into key parts of the national security state decision-making process. As pointed out by The Guardian recently, we are seeing pressure from US political appointees on the intel- ligence agencies to produce data to support interventionist decisions already made. Honest men and women are again retiring and leaving their positions, rather than participate in the politicization of US intelligence. Time to buy old US gold coins The layman, perceiving the United States to be a democratic republic and a force for peace and goodwill around the world, may wonder why war decisions would be made before the intelligence case supporting those decisions had been put forth. But those less trusting souls, here and around November 2017/Penn Magazine/23

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