Fifteen years ago the United States invaded Iraq based on lies about connections to 9/11 and non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction.
That war led to the sending of troops to Afghanistan where the war still rages.
How many wars are we engaged in now? Five? Seven? Wars we don’t even know about.
War without end.
On Wednesday’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers we will be joined by Billy Che Brooks, Cha Cha Jimenz and Susan Klonsky to recall the Rainbow Coalition – The Black Panther Party, The Young Lords Organization and Students for a Democratic Society – and we will see what lessons can be learned for today’s movement. A special Wednesday live broadcast at noon, CDT. Streamed at Lupenradio.com and later on podcast at hittingleft.libsyn.com, iTunes and Spotify. Also available on Mixcloud.
Friday we will return to our regular time with a wrap-up of Today’s Illinois primary election and prospects for November.
Kady describes the everyday facts of life of women working in the culture of Springfield where a legislator will schedule a meeting with a female lobbyist or staffer for no other reason than to sexually harass them, and the gentleman’s agreement where even men who aren’t the harassers remain silent about those that are.
I am looking forward to the Friday edition of Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers (11am CDT. 105.5fm. Lumpenradio.com and podcast).
Our guests will be Kady McFadden, executive director of the Illinois Sierra Club. Kady has been in the news lately for speaking out about sexual harassment in Springfield, the Illinois capital.
She has also been in the thick of fighting to preserve the EPA from the Trumpsters.
Also joining us will be Jitu Brown. We’ve known Jitu for years. He was a leader in the successful fight to save Dyett High School from closing and is now fighting the closing of four community high schools in Englewood.
One of the things I want to ask Jitu Brown about is the recent column by the New York Times house conservative, David Brooks.
Full disclosure: I sometimes turn on Friday’s PBS News Hour just for the vision of watching David Brooks and Mark Shields commenting on the news. When the discussion turns, as it inevitably does, to something Trump has done, Brooks’ face will scrunch up as if Mark Shields has farted. His policy differences with Trump are less about substance and more about how common and distasteful Trump is. He yearns for the days when Republicans had William Buckley, summers in the Hamptons and ski trips to Gstadd – whereever the hell that is.
The solutions to the nation’s problems already exist somewhere out in the country; we just do a terrible job of circulating them.
For example, if you want to learn how to improve city schools, look how Washington, New Orleans and Chicago are already doing it. Since 2011 the graduation rate at Chicago public schools has increased at nearly four times the national average, to 77.5 percent from 56.9 percent. The percentage of Chicago students going to two- or four-year colleges directly after graduation increased to 63 percent in 2015 from 50 percent in 2006.
Sean Reardon of Stanford compared changes in national test scores between third and eighth grade. He found that Chicago students were improving faster than students in any other major school district in the country. Chicago schools are cramming six years’ worth of education into five years of actual schooling.
These improvements are proof that demography is not destiny, that bad things happening in a neighborhood do not have to determine student outcomes.
How is Chicago doing it? Well, its test scores have been rising since 2003. Chicago has a rich civic culture, research support from places like the University of Chicago and a tradition of excellent leadership from school heads, from Arne Duncan to Janice Jackson, and the obsessive, energetic drive of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
I’m really interested in the theory of “cramming six years worth of education” into five years of “actual schooling.”
How do you measure “six years worth of education”? How do you “cram it” into five years of “actual schooling.”
Our radio show/podcast is done in the Bridgeport neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.
Bridgeport is in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, an area represented by a Lipinski for about 40 years.
Old Bill Lipinski was a typical Machine Democrat who got elected term after term through connections and patronage voters.
Dan is a Chicago Democrat in a wing of the Party that has roots in the Dixiecrats. When some talk about returning the Democratic Party to its roots, I want to remind them that these Southern segregationists and their northern brethren are a part of those roots.
No where more true than in the Chicago Democratic Machine.
National attention has been focused on Marie Newman’s challenge to Democratic Party Congressman Dan Lipinski.
First of all, Chicago Democratic incumbent congressman are rarely challenged and they rarely loose.
Some, like Daniel Rostenkowski, go to jail. But they rarely lose.
The Illinois 3rd is not your daddy’s, or Dan’s daddy’s, 3rd district.
The demographics have changed and it is way more diverse than when Bill was in Congress.
Newman has won the support of a wide range of progressive forces within the Democratic Party, even as Marie herself suggests their are a dozen wings in the Party.
My bro came by to pick me up a little early today because Chicago got hit over night by a bit show storm.
Not as big as they predicted. They never are. Or so it seems.
About ten inches had fallen. Schools are closed. People took public transportation or stayed home.
So the expressway to our Bridgeport studio was wide open and we arrived at Bridgeport Coffee two hours before show time.
Jamie trusts me now with a key to the studio, but of course I forgot it.
“Don’t f up,” are Jamie’s three most commonly used words to me now that I am producing the show.
And I always do.
F up, that is.
Marijka Stoll called us at Bridgeport Coffee because she got to the studio early too. We ordered her and her mom, Marja, some coffee and found Jamie shoveling the snow in front of Co-Prosperity Sphere. I didn’t need the key after all.
Marijka is a University of Chicago alum and active with the University of Chicago students, faculty and alumni protesting the school’s invite to Steve Bannon.
Bill Ayers knows something about protests and knows something about being denied free speech on college campuses. It was interesting to hear his take on all this.
Did you know that the current Democratic Party candidate for Governor, Chris Kennedy, blocked emeritus status to Bill when he retired as professor from UIC? Kennedy was head of the board of trustees for the university at the time.
Petty guy, that Kennedy.
Bill and Crystal Laura were in studio to talk about their new book (authored with Rick Ayers), You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones!” And 18 other myths about teachers, teacher unions and public education.
And my bro shared a report that the latest scientific research suggest that drinking more coffee will cause us to live longer.
We had a chance to talk with Anne Shaw on a Wednesday episode of Hitting Left.
Anne is running for an Illinois House seat.
She has a good story to tell and she’s a solid progressive.
Born in Atlanta to immigrant parents, she works as a civil rights attorney in Chicago.
Mention names like Madigan and Berrios and she lets out a groan.
She speaks proudly of the time she got into Rahm’s face and challenged Alderman Proco Joe Moreno.
She lost that one, but as I recall, Moreno only avoided a run-off by one percent of the vote.
At the start of the show we have some cross talk about JB Pritzker’s latest troubles, Jeanne Ives being a moderate in today’s Republican Party (there’s a self-admitted Nazi running as the Republican candidate in the 3rd congressional district), and the Democrats caving once again on DACA.
Don’t miss the part of the show when I tell the story of Anne Klonsky dirty dancing with Bettye Lavette.
Friday we are back to our regular time at 11am. 105.5fm. Lumpenradio.com
Bill Ayers, Crystal Lara and Marijka Stoll are our in-studio guests.
Join my brother and me Friday at 11am and celebrate our one year of weekly broadcast and podcast from the Lumpen Radio studio at Co-Prosperity Sphere in the always sunny neighborhood of Bridgeport on Chicago’s south side.
Tomorrow we will be talking about the week’s events.
We also be talking about the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War by remembering Chicago artist, poet, raconteur, one-armed pianist and veteran of the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Eddie Balchowsky. In studio with Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jeff Balch and Isaac Brosilow.