The Utopia of Zero Wishful Thinking

What is a history of thought? We are often told tales of the progress of thought from one mode to another over the centuries (say, magical – religious – rational – pragmatist – ), and yet no one has ever encountered a society in which any of the supposedly past modes of thought does not remain significantly present; nor are many past or primitive societies not known to have contained, or to contain, at least a few thinkers well ahead of their times. Many individuals come read more

Thoughts on Criminal Justice

December 1998
My first encounter with the idea that prisons might be a bad idea was in reading Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (1975). He spoke of alternatives or substitutes for prisons, and also for factories, schools, barracks, and hospitals, all of which he said resembled prisons. But he said not one word about what such alternatives might be, and his style struck me as pretentious. So I didn’t pay much attention.

I believed, of course, that we ought to have been devoting read more

The Last Word on Sodomy

When I read Newsweek, I generally skim it, and even then seem to grasp it all without having to really pay attention. But sometimes I hit the George Will column, “The Last Word,” like a brick wall. I have to go back over it carefully three times, and even then can only at best guess what he’s saying. His thinking is so far removed from mine, and he is so convinced that everybody already shares his views, that I often have a hard time grasping his message.

This was the case read more

Wear Mittens

She said to me: Those were the first words you said to me: “You have beautiful mittens.” Remember?

I didn’t remember: Of course. And you did. They were my favorite color. Like . . . like your eyes.

My eyes aren’t red.

Just a little. I kissed her eyes.

Red isn’t your favorite color.

It is now. Just ask me.

What’s your favorite color?

Red . . . see?

What does that prove? What kind of mittens were they?

Wool mittens that you could see the shape of your fingers read more

Speech By Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Fair Taxes Is A Way Of Making The Union More Perfect
Speech By Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.
ACORN’s Annual Legislative and Political Conference
Monday, March 12, 2001
12:00 Noon
I want to start with two observations before making several other points. The first observation is that during the Civil War it was said that one of the differences between Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis was that Davis seemed determined to win arguments and debates even if read more

Reference Letter from Karen Kilroy

Karen Kilroy
Akron, Ohio

re: David Swanson

To Whom It May Concern

I had the good fortune to work closely with David Swanson in his role with the Kucinich for President Campaign in 2003-2004. My role as Webmaster was closely dependent on his role as Press Secretary. I could always depend on the quality of David’s output as I posted his writings to the kucinich.us web site and in mass email communications.

David’s role included being editor-in-chief of the website, which meant that he was read more

Reference Letter from Jeff Cohen

From Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR, columnist/TV commentator, former ACLU attorney

Feb. 3, 2004

To whom it may concern:

I have been an executive in the progressive/public interest/nonprofit sector for more than two decades, and I have never come across a public interest co-worker whose skills and work ethic surpassed those of David Swanson. He is a quick study, talented writer, great motivator of colleagues and consummate multi-tasker. I first met him when he was the communications director of ACORN. read more

Reference Letter from Dennis Kucinich

FROM DENNIS KUCINICH

Cleveland, Ohio
February 6, 2004

To Whom It May Concern:

This is to enthusiastically recommend David Swanson to your employment.

I worked closely with Mr. Swanson on a daily basis in his capacity as press secretary to my campaign for President of the United States.

He is honest, thorough, hardworking and able to complete even the most demanding tasks expeditiously.

His extraordinary dedication helped to build strong awareness of our campaign in the national media.

He was aggressive read more

Reference Letter from Steve Cobble

From Steve Cobble, Political Strategist

To Whom It May Concern:

David Swanson is quite possibly the hardest-working person I have ever worked with — and I have spent most of my adult life on political and issue campaigns, where hard-working people are everywhere. David is smart; committed to change; a good writer, and a very fast writer. He is optimistic, and I enjoyed working with him on the Kucinich Campaign (of course, that was partly because he was constantly volunteering to take on additional read more