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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,170

Journal Archives

How to Talk to Your Kids About Bernie Sanders

How to Talk to Your Kids About Bernie Sanders

Sometimes it can be scary and confusing for kids when they’re faced with an unknown, like a politician who actually represents the regular people who voted for him. As you tuck them into bed don’t be surprised if you hear questions like, “But what about the billionaires? Who’s going to speak for them?” or “Why is he so angry all the time?” or “Mom, why did you hit him?” We’ll get to that last one in a minute.

I find that the best way to address kids’ valid concerns about politicians is to ease them into it. The last time we tried to explain a government shutdown to my 10-year-old he said, “Wow, sounds like they don’t know how to do their jobs. They should all be fired.” There’s no telling what sort of blood lust this whole Bernie situation could unleash in our household and I’m betting your family is struggling with the same sense of unease. I’ve put together some answers to use when fielding common questions from your kids. You’ve probably been asking yourself some of these questions too, so don’t feel shy about talking to yourself about Bernie Sanders. We all do. It’s completely natural.

What does it mean when a politician “doesn’t lie”?

Well, this means that he or she is telling “the truth”. This is the type of behavior that one might expect from, say, your teacher or a librarian. I understand it can be confusing, trust me, it’s definitely confusing to most adults. What we’re used to is a sort of non-truth-jargon-bite and we nod and think “Thank you politician for the nonsense that just came out of your face hole” and we get right back to eating our burrito(s) because that’s life, man. I think you know by now that adults don’t really expect the truth otherwise why would we ask you if you’ve brushed your teeth and then accept your answer without making you breathe directly into our faces “just to be sure”? We’re used to being lied to. We like it. It’s soothing. So this situation is uncomfortable for us too. Just know this: you are not alone. We will get through Truthmageddon-Honestypocalypse-2016 together.


But why is he even bothering when he can’t win?

I’m gonna lay this out real plain and simple to you kids: None of us have a chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks of achieving our biggest, boldest, bravest dreams unless we do one thing: Try. Without underdogs there would be no upsets and no legends. It’s exhilarating to see people try to win against all odds because most of us identify with that feeling. We’re so small, we’re just one person in an ocean of people. And all those other people? Taller, richer, smarter, more talented, better connected, nicer teeth, snazzier suits. How could we ever be the one who makes the shot, writes the book, gets the job or the girl or the life we’ve always wanted? Why us? But why NOT us?

The rest...

Stiglitz and Sanders under the bus.

Seriously, where am I?

They were heroes here a year ago.


I do.

So, yeah, here's a big heaping helping of "Shut The Fuck Up"

to those puling about "He's not a Democrat!"

...and an invitation to get on board.

Jump on. Jump in.

Jump. You are fresh out of excuses.

Bernie Sanders to Run for President as a Democrat

Let's do this.


The barnstorming charge here rushing to defend the deplorable TPP

...tells me one sure thing.

Finger-waggers here (the same one's defending this disaster deal, btw) have a nasty tendency to accuse Obama critics of believing that both parties are the same.

Here's the news: A whole lot of supporters of both parties are the same.


Sound familiar?

The TPP is good because Obama supports it, and that is all we apparently need to know.


Model for Norman Rockwell’s "Rosie the Riveter" dies at 92

You know Mary Doyle Keefe, but maybe not by that name. In 1943, the then-19-year-old telephone operator had been called upon to provide a unique kind of service during the war effort: Become the face of dedicated patriotism from the home front.

Norman Rockwell painted Keefe as “Rosie the Riveter,” an image that graced an iconic Saturday Evening Post cover and “became a symbol for millions of American women who went to work during World War II,” according to the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Keefe, 92, died in Connecticut this week after a brief illness, her family told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

The rest: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/04/22/rosie-the-riveter-model-dies-at-92/

We Call It "Mud Season" (New Hampshire and the 2016 GOP field)

The first of many dispatches to come from the Granite State. -- wrp

Senator Ted Cruz at the First In Nation Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire.
(Photo: Michael Vadon/Flickr)

We Call It "Mud Season"
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Here in New Hampshire, we call this "Mud Season." It is, in short, the phase between when the snowpack melts and the ground un-freezes, and then firms up again until the next thaw after the next winter. The streams run roaring over the rocks as the meltwater feeds their fury, the wind makes the leafless trees dance, and the yard whose green grass you'll enjoy in a month will sink you to the ankle if you step on it, boots or otherwise.

If you live on a paved road, with sidewalks and streetlights and all the comforts of town living, you're fine and dandy. For those of us who live on dirt roads, however, Mud Season is decidedly sporty. See, mud is far more dangerous than ice or snow. In winter, the snowpack - combined with the concerted efforts of the town's plowmen - make safe the road. So long as you don't stomp the brakes and know the contours, you can fly at a hot clip beneath the eaves of snow-bound boughs.

Not so in Mud Season, entirely because of warm days and cold nights. The warm days lead to snowmelt, which happily delivers an ocean of water into the ground, but disintegrates the hard-packed road into goo. This brown, graveled mush gets deeply rutted by passing vehicles, and those ruts freeze into proud arches during the still-cold nights, slowly becoming pudding as the sun grows broad on the pine-shaded road in the mornings. Once melted, that pudding is slick as oil, while the ruts remain.

When you traverse an expanse of Mud Season road, the ruts have a way of snaring your front wheels and setting you askew. Thanks to the slickness of the route, when the ruts choose to flick you into the woods - at any speed, mind you - the slippery surface will help you directly into the most available tree. Here in New Hampshire, people look forward to Mud Season the way the rest of the planet looks forward to radical root canal.

Which brings me to the Republican Leadership Summit that took place in Nashua over the weekend. Among the luminaries present were Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush.

Mud Season.

One would think any sane and fair-minded culture would gift some form of award to a state required to tolerate so many human catastrophes in one swallow. A tax break, a sports stadium, a bottle of whiskey to every person of woman born. The state motto is "Live Free Or Die." If this kind of mayhem confluence forms again, town councils from Lake Francis to Keene will be fielding heated requests from all and sundry to change the state motto to "Live Free And Kill Me Now."

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30325-we-call-it-mud-season

A Man In Full

This is my best friend crossing the Boston Marathon finish line in 2013, moments before the bombs went off. Strong across his back is an homage to his mother, who had succumbed to cancer some months earlier.

Here's to you, brother. Here's to you, Boston. Happy Marathon Day.

"Hater" is quite simply the dumbest Goddam term in the DU lexicon.

And I'm personally sick of seeing it.

It's a shortcut to thinking. If you deploy it, doing so makes you look like an idiot.

It's not "hate." It's honest disagreement based on legitimate reasons.

It's debate.

If you can't handle it, go find another hobby.

A day in the life.

For a while now, I've been banging awake around 5am, languishing in that warm you're-comfy-and-you-know-it zone of semi-sleep, before finally grabbing myself by the face and dragging myself out of bed a little before 6. It's nice: I used to be a very solitary animal, an only child, lived alone for years, and despite the no-BS absolute joy and astonishing privilege of baby/wife/job/etc. responsibilities, a part of me will always be the sibling-less kid building universes in his imagination alone in his room, who still worships the stillness of solitude. So I get some of that in my mornings.

I do most of my writing during those soft, quiet, precious hours (in my head, because I can't actually write at that hour, because I beat on keyboards like a rented mule when I do write and would wake the entire house). I watch the sun rise, and the snow melt, and the flowers grow, and wither, and disappear under a new season's blanket of white, and listen to the hum of nothing in my ears, and breathe.

My water well is almost 400 feet deep and taps an aquifer. When we moved here, we had the water tested to make sure there was nothing harmful to Lola, and the testers told us they had never, ever come across water as pure and perfect as what comes out of our taps. Before I go to bed each night, I pour a glass and place it on a kitchen windowsill next to a barely-cracked-open window...and then, in the morning, with the first hues of sunrise tickling the mountain, I drink deep of the blood of the Earth cooked and then cooled to perfection by the breath of the wind.

This morning, I woke, rose, padded quietly to the kitchen, reached for my glass...and paused. There were five huge wild turkeys in my back yard: four females and one male...and oh by God and sonny Jesus, was the male putting on a show. Puffed up like a dirigible, fantail fanning behind, strutting and strutting and strutting, big as life and twice as turkey, The Man, because it's finally mating season, don'tcha know...and the four females could not have disdained him more thoroughly. Dude was out of luck, period, end of file.

...so I raised my precious water glass to him in salute, drank deeply, and thought to myself, "Yeah, I hated the dating scene, too, brother."

A day in the life.

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