Sunday, November 16, 2014

Retirement--still possible?

Retirement-- a scary time in this economy.

Michael Hiltzik leads his column today with a sobering quote from Alicia H. Munnell's new book, Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What To Do about It.

"There are only three options," she writes in her new book, "Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It." "The first is to simply accept that we are going to be poor in retirement. The second is to save more while working, which means spending less today. The third is to work longer, which means fewer years in retirement. Those are our only options."

She is director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Well, we blew item #2.  

We're working on #1, and my spouse and I both are hitting retirement at the faily early ages of 66 and 67, only partly by our own choice.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Duggar Escapee

Bill Cosby & Woody Allen

How many male celebrities does it take to turn on a light bulb in public consciousness?

One?  Such as Wood Allen?

Two?  Him and Bill Cosby?

Three?  JFK, FDR, Martin Luther King Jr.?

More than that, I guess.

Kings have had access to women's bodies for centuries, and patriarchs have owned the bodies of all women working for them.

The good news is that women are bringing the truth to light.

Powerful men can continue to exploit and rape women around them, but now they are having to own that behavior in public.  

No more secrets.

Blase Bonpane

I admire the work of Blase Bonpane in opposing US military intervention in Central America.

His weekly program Uprising on KPFK is always enlightening.

I just learned that he taught sociology at CSU Northridge, where I currently teach.

Yet another reason why I am proud to have been part of CSUN since 2007.

Mormon Messes

Mormon feminists are dealing with revelations about Joseph Smith:

Thank God there are Mormon feminists.

Thank God I don't have to deal with the rampant sexism and sexual abuse historically in the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

I'm steering clear of all comment on this one.  The whole thing is too big a mess--not wasting my time.

Women at the Wall

Women in Jerusalem are still fighting for equal access to the Western Wall:

  • for prayers
  • for bat mitzvahs
  • for women rabbis

Go to the website for Women of the Wall:

Let's pray with and for them.

Friday, November 14, 2014

International Court: A Victory

In May 2012 Charles Taylor, warlord in Sierra Leone, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for atrocities committed by his Revolutionary United Front.

He was the first former head of state convicted in an international court since Nuremberg.

This "sends a strong signal that no one is above the law," reports Human Rights Watch.  "It puts all leaders on notice that the world is increasingly intolerant of those who exploit their positions of power to commit serious crimes."

May the leaders of the Islamic State in northern Syria and Iraq soon be arrested and prosecuted for their beheadings of journalists.  

May the US have the courage to cease military intervention against ISIL and instead support efforts to gather evidence and capture the leaders in order to bring them before the International Court.

When did our intervention in the Middle East ever prove helpful?  


US bombing and invasion there only facilitate the recruitment of more extremists.

Let's get serious about the International Court in The Hague.

For an analysis of US unhelpful intervention--even terrorist intervention--in other countries, listen to World Focus by Blase Bonpane on KPFK on November 9, 2014:
  • South Africa
  • Cuba
  • Chile
  • Iraq
  • and other countries
He draws on the work of 
  • Medea Benjamin, winner of the 2014 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award from the International Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and co-founder of Code Pink, 
  • Noam Chomsky, 
  • Ramzy Baroud "Another failed war to rearrange the Middle East" in Counterpunch
  • and others.