Notes From Frisco

I'm still in San Francisco. I'll be back in a couple of days and resume regular posting about local issues.

Above is an episode of Ajazeera's The Listening Post, which is based in London. I was asked to contribute a few remarks, and you can find my comments around the 9:30 mark. I do recommend you watch the entire segment and episode. It's an in-depth look at the U.S. media's relationship to president-elect Donald Trump. I don't know if I necessarily agree with the idea that "echo chambers" on the left and right have resulted in complete polarization in this country, as one contributor argued, but that's a minor quibble.

I continue to insist that it has been the rise of the right-wing media that has both shifted all U.S. mainstream media outlets to the right and made "truth" a commodity rather than a foundational reality we should all still embrace. Sure, there's room for argument on issues, but the right-wing media has pushed fact-based journalism into a precarious position, which led to Trump's election.

On a more positive note, a lot of people here seem upbeat and ready to fight Trump's agenda, however that emerges. I remain upbeat as well. Let's pull together.


Trump Is Going To Do What He Wants To Do

Some thoughts on the election of Donald Trump as president and the corporate mainstream media.


Stay Focused: Positives Emerge From A Disastrous Election Day

Anyone following Okie Funk or its Facebook page knows I’ve gone from denial to anger to acceptance, or something along those lines, after Tuesday’s election massacre, but please fully realize I’m not defeated, and I’m going to keep fighting on a political level with my words and by showing up when I need to show up.

I urge you to stay engaged, too. By all means, cry your heart out in hefty sobs, curl up in a fetal position and sleep for six more straight days, maybe stay drunk but don’t drive for another week, but stand with me and fellow progressives and liberals to work for change. We will be triumphant eventually.

Having said that, I do need to note that there were some positives both locally and nationally in Tuesday’s election.

Locally, the most obvious positives were the defeat of State Question 777, the so-called “right to contaminate our drinking water” initiative and the passage of State Questions 780 and 781, which, in more seriousness than what I just said about SQ 777, will hopefully kickstart a trend to completely decriminalize simple drug possession here and treat rather than punish addiction. Both 780 and 781 could also reduce our chronic prison overcrowding in this place of prison horror stories and massive incarceration.

You can find my pre-election takes on all the state questions here. Why waste time on the rehashing each particular question? What’s done is done. I do think the defeat of SQ 777, known really as “the right to farm” initiative, along with the passage of SQs 780 and 781, show a majority of Oklahoma voters can come together sometimes and vote sensibly and reasonably. There’s some hope there, right?

On the national level, voters in Nevada, Massachusetts and California legalized recreational marijuana, joining other states, such as Colorado, which have done the same. I’m not so much interested in the “highs” points of these initiatives as I am in advancing the argument that voters throughout the country are perhaps waking up to the nightmare of the so-called “war on drugs” that started in the 1970s under former President Richard Nixon and has been a colossal and complete, utter failure. The Washington Post ran a post-election story on its web site under the headline, “Marijuana wins big on election night.” It did indeed.

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