Bernie Sanders to propose cancelling $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, wiping slate clean for 45 million people — National Post

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., will propose on Monday eliminating all $1.6 trillion of student debt held in the United States, a significant escalation of the policy fight in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary two days before the candidates’ first debate in Miami. Read More

Bernie Sanders to propose cancelling $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, wiping slate clean for 45 million people — National Post

We absolutely MUST eliminate student loan debt. In this economy the nice juicy jobs you’re promised on graduation don’t always pop up, and college graduates also have to take care of families, mortgages, utilities, etc. This would be no different from, in a developing country, a land reform, where poor peasants are allotted portions of a big landowner’s land to farm privately. And, alas, we ARE damned close to becoming a third-world country.
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Behaalotecha

We are now on the Torah portion Behaalotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16.

8:5-22; God instructs Moses on the ritual for consecrating the Levites as the priestly tribe-the washing of the clothes, the laying on of hands by the Israelites, the sacrificing of the bulls. God selects the Levites, instead of taking the first born, for performing the rites at the Mishkan.

8:23-26; God tells Moses that the Levites would begin their service at the Mishkan at age 25, and retire at age 50 and serve as a sort of ‘honor guard” at the Mishkan. A new generation must be developed to take over after the older generation, but the older people must be on hand to advise the youngsters. (Youth and age each have their virtues; it’s not either-or.)

11:1-9; the Israelites complain to Moses about not having any meat to eat, but having nothing bot the manna; they talk about the vast array of food they had when they were slaves in Egypt. (this is one of the times they show a lack of faith in themselves, believing they can’t handle being a free people; also, the idea of nostalgia comes up, the glorifying the “good old days” whenever there are difficulties in the present. The liberation of Israel from bondage was a revolution, a serious social upheaval, and such events create a beautiful picture of the old regime, which does not match reality.)

11:10-25; Moses gets upset with all the complaining he hears from the people, crying “I can’t take care of all these people!” God tells Moses to assemble 70 of the Israelite elders, experienced leaders, so that God;s spirit would descend upon them and share Moses’ burden of leadership. (This shows that one individual, no mater how talented and gifted, cannot do everything in running a tribe or an organization; they need other talented people to help them with leading the tribe or other body.)

11:26-30; Two lay Israelite, Eldad and Medad, have the spirit of God in them, and they “spoke in ecstasy.” Joshua urges Moses to make them stop, but Moses says, “would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD put His spirit upon them.” God, spiritual development, and participation in any body, is the right and responsibility of all of the community, not just an elite.

Salute To Labor

I was present at the Philadelphia Public Record‘s Salute To Labor, honoring a number of fine Labor leaders, some I know personally, at the Philadelphia Joint Board, 22 South 22nd Street, on Friday, June 20, 2019.

Nicole Fuller, Director of PHILAPOSH, Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health, one of the honorees. (Full disclosure, I’m on the PHILAPOSH board.)
On the left is Ken Washington, Laborers District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity, one of the honorees.
Jonathan Saidel, former City Controller of Philadelphia, master of ceremonies.
Daniel Grace, Teamsters Local 830, one of the honorees.
Keven Boyle, Ironworkers Local 401, one of the honorees.
City Council-member Janie Blackwell and Pat Eiding, President of Philadelphia AFL-CIO.
Todd Farally, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, one of the honorees.

Here’s why the right abandons Democracy in favor of authoritarianism

It has become a means to maintain power.

Source: Here’s why the right abandons Democracy in favor of authoritarianism

The idea of Democracy was, all differing factions come together for the common good, to work out their differences, in a mutually respectful manner. How can we progressives deal with people who don’t give a rat’s ass about Democracy, but instead want to repress anyone who gets in their way?

Asperger’s and Me

We have just come out of May, Mental Health Month; and I think it’s an appropriate time to state a fact about myself: my psychiatrist has diagnosed me with Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as “Asperger’s Syndrome.” (Officially, the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t use that term in the DSM, but it’s used outside the country.)

It’s a level of autism where a person’s cognitive functions are fine, but they have problems with social interactions, such as picking up social clues or react appropriately to what goes on around them. They take statements literally when they are meant figuratively or as a joke, their conversations may not be appropriate in a group, and their motor skills, like catching a ball or handwriting, may not be so good. They need to set a routine, a regular patters for the day, to alleviate anxiety, which is another symptom. They may have trouble empathizing with people. Other symptoms include talking to one’s self (I do it all the time), fixating on particular topics and sensitivity to odors. Neurologists believe this stems from fetal development, and how the brain develops in the baby before birth.

However, Asperger’s patients are known to have great skills in Math and the arts; some famous people diagnosed with Asperger’s include Charles Darwin, Stanley Kubrick, Robin Williams, Dan Aykroyd, Michelangelo, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bill Gates, James Joyce, Issac Asimov, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Jefferson, among others. So this means I’m in good company, and so are many of us.

Why did I write this? I’m pulling myself out of the closet, to give encouragement to others in the boat with me. I continue to function well in society, and I’m overcoming whatever internal obstacles are in my way.

Goodbye Fourth of July: Our self-aggrandizer-in-chief is hellbent on making the theme of the day Trump’s America

I was there the last time a president and his pals tried to use the Fourth of July for partisan purposes.

Source: Goodbye Fourth of July: Our self-aggrandizer-in-chief is hellbent on making the theme of the day Trump’s America