You probably heard the great news – after two years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show–but the Boycott Must Go On!!

Dear Kevin,
You probably heard the great news – after two years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show.
Beck was targeted after he slandered President Obama by saying, “This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don’t know what it is… This guy, I believe, is a racist.”
Activists at ColorOfChange, Media Matters, StopBeck, FoxNewsBoycott, and of course responded with a boycott of advertisers on Glenn Beck’s show. Ultimately over 300 advertisers pulled their ads from Beck, costing FOX over $40 million.
Advertiser boycotts work! And it’s time to boycott all FOX News advertisers:

We’re starting our boycott of all FOX News with Proactiv, which sells acne medicine to teenagers and young adults. Why?
First, there are lots of other acne treatments. Second, young adults above all are hurt by FOX News, which promotes right-wing policies on race, education, healthcare, the environment, and war. Let’s get our future leaders to lead the fight against FOX News!
Sign the petition to Proactiv and enter the email address of every young adult over 18 you know:

Beyond President Obama, FOX regularly slanders nearly everyone: Democrats, unionized workers, the unemployed (including veterans and 99ers), environmentalists, feminists, blacks, Hiics, Jews, Muslims, progressives, scientists, and any other group it disagrees with.
FOX News broadcasts rightwing extremist slander, incitement to violence, political propaganda, and outright lies to promote its rightwing political agenda. This is not “news,” but rather a never-ending “war on news” – and it’s all documented in our petition.
Why would any decent company want to fund it? Tell Proactiv to stop advertising on FOX News:

Thanks for all you do!
Bob Fertik

GLEN BECK ADMITTED in 2007, “I Am RACIST and Barack Obama is very White” THIS MAKES Boycotting FOX NEWS needed NOW

By Kevin Stoda

Dear, American supporters of the Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) news networks.

AMERICANS are getting less tolerant of your racism and stronghold on our major media.

For example, we have noted that in his 2007 TV program from FOX (See on You-Tube), Glen Beck admitted he himself was racist. Further, Beck then, in contrast to 2009, called Barrack Obama much more white than black. (Apparently, Beck now he has other nonsense to mush men’s minds.)

Using a major news platform to promote racism and to tell people to disrespect a whole presidential administration through mixed truths, outright lies, and xenophobia, is not to be tolerated any more.

On Democracy Now today, Amy Goodman asked Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP what he thought of Wal-Mart’s pull-out from advertising on the Glen Beck program on FOX.

NOTE: Goodman had simply asked , “The whole attack by Glenn Beck that drove this (resignation)? In your response from the NAACP to Van Jones, it says, ´The only thing more outrageous than Mr. Beck’s attack on Van Jones is the fact that there are sponsors that continue to pay him to provide this type of offensive commentary.` Do you support the continued boycott of companies like Wal-Mart of Beck’s show on Fox?”

This is a particularly important point because Glen Beck´s HATE CAMPAIGN ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION led recently to a great American policy maker, Van Jones, quitting the government this week.

Mr. Jealous said, “We certainly support them (Walmart) choosing with their dollars who they’re going to support. I mean, it’s—Glenn Beck is somebody who’s told a seven-year-old girl, a seven-year-old black girl, that he would buy her a ticket back to Africa, that she needed to go back to Africa. And then he comes out, and he says that healthcare is the beginning of reparations. I mean, this guy plays the race card on a weekly basis. He does it very aggressive—you know, in a very hateful way.”

Recall, first, that Van Jones is one of the most important and thoughtful men in America—however, the FOX (Fascist Oddball Xenophobic) news network chose to support a man, like Glen Beck, rather than seeing that tens of millions of Americans need to get health care from promoters like Jones and that our America economy needs to move starting today to the kind of economy that its competitors worldwide are already doing.

Let’s quote the wisdom and influential words of Van Jones on the absolute necessity to green the American economy NOW!
“I think it’s really important to point out that we’re sort of at the end of an era of American capitalism, where we thought we could run the economy based on consumption rather than production, credit rather than creativity, borrowing rather than building, and also, most importantly, environmental destruction rather than environmental restoration.”
Jones continued, “We’re trying to make the case in this book that that era is over. We now have to move in a very different direction. And key to that will be basing the US economy not on credit cards, but based on clean energy and the clean energy revolution that would put literally millions of people to work, putting up solar panels all across the United States, weatherizing buildings so they don’t leak so much energy and put up so much carbon, building wind farms and wave farms, manufacturing wind turbines. We argue you could put Detroit back to work not making SUVs to destroy the world, but making wind turbines, 8,000 finely machine parts in each one, twenty tons of steel in each wind tower, making wind turbines to help save the world.”
Finally, Van Jones wisely noted, “So we think that you can fight pollution and poverty at the same time. We think that you can actually power our way through this recession by putting people to work, but we’re going to have to start building things here and re-powering, retrofitting, retooling America, and that that’s the way forward both for the economy, for the earth and for everyday people.”
Note: These statements came from a program on DN from October of last year:

Van Beck has written a book of the same title, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.

America needs such voices as Van Jones in government leadership in America—not Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) types.

Clean up the American airwaves of all its fascism and racism, today.

NOTE: One way to change the noise of Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) media moguls is to support alternative media organizations

and alternative monitoring websites.

Another way, is to demand that local radio and TV channels put better programming on, such as Democracy Now or news sources promoted by serious progressive journalists:

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Who is Paying for the Syrian-IRaq Suicide War? and Should We? A Regular Antidote to the Mainstream Media
Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, Incinerating Iraq

Who even knows what to call it? The Iraq War or the Iraq-Syrian War would be far too orderly for what’s happening, so it remains a no-name conflict that couldn’t be deadlier or more destabilizing — and it’s in the process of internationalizing in unsettling ways. Think of it as the strangest disaster on the planet right now. After all, when was the last time that the U.S. andRussia ended up on the same side in a conflict? You would have to go back almost three quarters of a century to World War II to answer that one. And how about the U.S. and Iran? Now, it seems that all three of those countries are sending in military hardware and, in the case of the U.S. and Irandrones, advisers, pilots, and possibly other personnel. 

Since World War I, the region that became Iraq and Syria has been a magnet for the meddling of outside powers of every sort, each of which, including France and Britain, the Clinton administration with its brutal sanctions, and the Bush administration with its disastrous invasion and occupation, helped set the stage for the full-scale destabilization and sectarian disintegration of both countries. And now the outsiders are at it again. 

The U.S., Russia, and Iran only start the list. The Saudis, to give an example, have reportedly been deeply involved in funding the rise of the al-Qaeda-style extremist movement the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Now, facing that movement’s success — some of its armed followers, including undoubtedly Saudi nationals, have already reached the Iraqi-Saudi frontier — the Saudis are reportedly moving 30,000 troops there, no doubt in fear that their fragile and autocratic land might someday be open to the very violence their petrodollars have stoked. Turkey, which has wielded an open-border/safe haven policy to support the Syrian rebels fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime, including ISIS and other extremist outfits, is now dealing with kidnapped nationals and chaos on its border, thanks to those same rebels. Israel entered the fray recently as well, launching airstrikes against nine Syrian “military targets,” and just to add to the violence and confusion, Assad’s planes and helicopters have been attackingISIS forces across the now-nonexistent border in Iraq. And I haven’t even mentioned Hezbollah, the Jordanians, or the Europeans, all of whom are involved in their own ways. 

Since 2003, Dahr Jamail, a rare and courageous unembedded reporter in Iraq, has observed how this witch’s brew of outside intervention and exploding sectarian violence has played out in the lives of ordinary Iraqis. It couldn’t be a sadder tale, one hestarted reporting for TomDispatch in 2005 — even then the subject was “devastation.” Nine years later, he’s back and the devastation is almost beyond imagining. As he now works for the website Truthout, this is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report.Tom

A Nation on the Brink 
How America’s Policies Sealed Iraq’s Fate 
By Dahr Jamail

[This essay is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report.]

For Americans, it was like the news from nowhere. Years had passed since reporters bothered to head for the country we invaded and blew a hole through back in 2003, the country once known as Iraq that our occupation drove into a never-ending sectarian nightmare. In 2011, the last U.S. combat troops slipped out of the country, their heads “held high,” as President Obama proclaimed at the time, and Iraq ceased to be news for Americans.

So the headlines of recent weeks — Iraq Army collapses! Iraq’s second largest city falls to insurgents! Terrorist Caliphate established in Middle East! — couldn’t have seemed more shockingly out of the blue. Suddenly, reporters flooded back in, the Bush-era neocons who had planned and supported the invasion and occupation were writing op-eds as if it were yesterday, and Iraq was again the story of the moment as the post-post-mortems began to appear and commentators began asking: How in the world could this be happening?

Iraqis, of course, lacked the luxury of ignoring what had been going on in their land since 2011. For them, whether Sunnis or Shiites, the recent unraveling of the army, the spread of a series of revolts across the Sunni parts of Iraq, the advance of an extremist insurgency on the country’s capital, Baghdad, and the embattled nature of the autocratic government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were, if not predictable, at least expectable. And as the killings ratcheted up, caught in the middle were the vast majority of Iraqis, people who were neither fighters nor directly involved in the corrupt politics of their country, but found themselves, as always, caught in the vice grip of the violence again engulfing it.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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Stop War with Tom and Jim!!

Tom Hayden’s
The Democracy Journal:
Biweekly commentary shifting from the Long Wars to the Climate Wars, from Wall Street Rule to a Democratic Society for All 

Published by Tom Hayden and the Peace & Justice Resource Center, The Democracy Journal is a reader-supported journal of original thoughts on peace, justice and green energy. The Democracy Journal is read by activists, organizers, and advocates in 60 communities across the US and abroad. 


Readers can support the Journal with two easy clicks: by sending stories you like to your own lists, and by making small contributions. 


McGovern Demands War Powers Vote in Two Weeks


Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced a measure Friday requiring a House vote on Iraq under the War Powers Resolution, forcing the Republican leadership to take action within fifteen days or face an up-or-down vote, which might curb the administration’s escalating military intervention in the civil war.


Continue reading… 


Avoid Splinters in Iraq, Syria


Congressional support for a War Powers authorization looms as the only opportunity for the US to avoid another self-inflicted wound in Iraq and Syria. The fifteen-day deadline provides an opportunity for anti-war groups to exert public pressure against any escalation, and a wrenching deadline for Congress to end its dickering and denial. The best that can be expected is a face-saving bipartisan formula for avoiding a quagmire while minimizing the political cycle of blame. The difficulty will be defining a formula that might yet patch together the Sunni “humpty” with the Shiite “dumpty”.


Continue reading…  


Arab Winter


The “Arab winter” that began last year with the US-backed military coup in Egypt, is falling fast over Gaza. Provoked initially by Palestinian kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teenagers, the conflict has unfolded into a systematic and one-sided destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure and inhabitants amidst a sharp reshuffling of the regional balance of forces.


Continue reading…


Going Green by Local Means: The Case of British Columbia


VANCOUVER, B.C. – Canadian environmentalists are achieving climate change progress on a province-by-province basis in response to the complete intransigence of the conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper regime in Ottawa, another example of decentralized pacts similar to those led by California against the climate-change-denying fossil fuel and religious fundamentalists in Washington.


Continue reading…


US-China Climate Talks Creep Forward, But Justice in Question


With the US and China responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions, the future likely turns on bilateral diplomatic progress towards the December 2015 global summit. With tensions increasing between the US and China over the South China Sea and cyber-espionage, it was at least a hopeful sign that recent negotiations towards a climate agreement were not being sacrificed to a new Cold War. The presence of John Podesta, President Barack Obama’s top climate change specialist, on last week’s US diplomatic delegation to the strategic dialogue with Beijing, was a guarantee of the Obama administration’s growing seriousness.


Continue reading…


Hijos De Las Guerras


The tens of thousands of Central American children streaming towards the US border are refugees from violence and economic crisis fostered by decades of wrongheaded US foreign policy. By comparison with the Central Americans, tens of thousands of Cubans have been welcomed for decades as “refugees from communism” and granted immediate status, creating a right-wing Miami boom after their arrival. Few conservatives would claim those Cuban exiles were a “drain on the taxpayer” or a threat to America’s “way of life.” Yet they have harbored cliques of anti-Castro terrorism, turned southern Florida into a sanctuary for their numerous plots, and built a “Cuban lobby” which has distorted American politics with money and votes for years.


Continue reading…


Toward the White, Male, Christian Republic


As reported in the Journal before, a white, male, nativist Christian country is evolving rapidly as we evolve into, “two, three, many Americas.” Whether this conservative version of “America” prevails against the new multicultural majority is an open question. Moderates and liberals will have to wake up to the threat and plan a new politics accordingly.


Continue reading…  


An Exchange: Mike Davis & Tom Hayden on Kilcullen
Originally published in the comments section of The Rag Blog


Mike Davis: Tom is absolutely correct to assert a continuity of intellectual hubris and moral depravity between McNamara’s whiz kids and the Rumsfeld-era advocates of a ‘revolution in military affairs.’ And what are Obama’s drones except a robotized version of the Phoenix program? 


Continue reading…


Upcoming Events, Media & Publications
CNN’s The Sixties
Continues on every Thursday at 9pm
With episodes featuring Tom Hayden on July 24
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Here is How to Map Rise of Militarism Worldwide

If you haven’t yet signed the pledge to help end all war, please do so at

Mapping Militarism

World Beyond War has created a set of online interactive maps to help us all see where and how war and preparations for war exist in the world today.

You can find the maps we’ve created thus far at and send us your ideas for more maps here .

We’ll be updating some of these maps with new data every year and displaying animation of the progress away from war or the regress toward more war as the case may be. Click to explore this tool and share it with others:


Fund Our Media Campaign

Our campaign to raise funds to advertise for supporters of ending all war is taking off atIndiegogo . Can you help?

We’re going to place prominent billboards and signs and other advertisements around the globe in numerous languages, directing people to the World Beyond War website to get involved in the project of ending all war. Watch the video for the details:

Opinion Has Shifted Against War

Please contribute what you can , as soon as you can, to help the video and the campaign spread online. Please share it by email and social media. The faster this link spreads around the world, the sooner the acceptability of war will be made a thing of the past:

PS: Check out the buttons, scarves, and books you get as our thanks for chipping in.

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Why does NPR Listen to these Losers of Peoples Trust and Faith???

NPR reverses course, when the press loves GOP losers, a CNBC expert exposed, and more

Dear Kevin,

Welcome to the new layout. Here’s some other things I’ve been reading this week:Matt Bruenig on Lebron James and the Rust Belt, Soyoung Kim and Liana Bakerand Peter Lauria and Ken Doctor on Rupert Murdoch’s pursuit of Time Warner,Caitlin Schiller on clickbait and modern media, and Tracie McMillan on the new face of hunger in America. If you are at Netroots this weekend, please get in touch!

John Whitehouse


NPR Restores Ombudsman

NPR’s CEO tells Media Matters‘ Joe Strupp that they will abandon a job description that indicated a defanged ombudsman:


Why Does The Press Love GOP Losers?

Eric Boehlert explores why Republican losers like Rick Perry, John McCain, and Sarah Palin have large media constituencies:


Featured Video

Steve Liesman embarrassed tea party hero Rick Santelli live on CNBC, pointing out that for five years Santelli has gotten everything wrong:


Featured Image

Sexual assault is now literally a joke on Fox News: Host Charles Paynebragged about his cufflinks that portray a caveman dragging a woman by the hair.

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50,000 children will starve if something isn’t done

A Matter of Life and Death

The UN just warned that 50,000 children may die without immediate action. Yet, Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit doesn’t even have South Sudan on the agenda. 

Dear Kevin,

This week, the United Nations issued its starkest warning on South Sudan yet — 50,000 children are at severe risk of starvation. 10,000 innocent people have already died. More than 1.5 million people have fled their homes. 

Why are these children — and all those under attack in South Sudan — NOT on the agenda of President Obama’s upcoming US-Africa Leaders Summit? 

On the cusp of a return to a full-blown civil war and with widespread famine looming, South Sudan is Africa’s largest and most immediate crisis, affecting 7 million people. Yet, President Obama’s upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit ignores this crisis. 

Join me in demanding that President Obama use the Summit to push for a solution in South Sudan. 

The situation in South Sudan is dire. At least 10,000 civilians have been killed and 1.5 million people have fled their homes. More than half of the country — 7 million people — are at risk of food insecurity and the rainy season has begun, increasing the difficulty in delivering humanitarian aid. 

Solving the humanitarian crisis requires solving the political crisis as well.South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar agreed to form a transitional government, but little progress has been made and an August 10th deadline is looming. 

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit — held just days before the deadline for forming the transitional government — offers a unique opportunity to break the political deadlock and save untold numbers of lives. More than 50 leaders from Africa will be coming to Washington DC, including the chairman of the African Union, leaders of the regional group that brokered the latest agreement, and the President of South Sudan. Many of these countries have been involved in peacekeeping, negotiations and have pledged humanitarian aid. 

Now, with these critical leaders together, President Obama must push for a unified plan to stop the killing and avert a famine that could claim the lives of millions. 

The Unites States has taken important steps. Administration officials — including Secretary of State Kerry — visited South Sudan this spring to help broker an interim agreement and President Obama issued an executive order authorizing economic sanctions on those responsible for the violence in South Sudan. 

But the crisis in South Sudan could take a tragic turn for the worse if a settlement is not reached and if humanitarian aid is not delivered. The moment for decisive leadership is now. 

Efforts by the United States and many African nations led to a temporary agreement for a transitional government. Now, the leaders who will gather in Washington can take the next crucial step. Peace is possible, but only if it is made clear to South Sudanese President Kiir and rebel leader Machar that the world will not let their political differences lead to the deaths of millions. 

With only two weeks before the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, South Sudan needs to be on the agenda. Those fomenting ethnic warfare and brutality need to know that they will be held fully accountable. Those who are suffering must know that the world cares about them and that help is on the way. 

With the eyes of the world on the United States during the Summit, let’s flood President Obama with thousands of messages demanding that immediate and decisive action be taken for South Sudan. 

Together, we will not only put South Sudan on the agenda of the U.S-Africa Leaders Summit but set the stage to bring an end to the crisis. 

 President, United to End Genocide
ABOUT UNITED TO END GENOCIDEWe are United to End Genocide, the largest activist organization in America dedicated to preventing and ending genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. We are faith leaders, students, artists, investors and genocide survivors, and all those who believe we must fulfill the promise the world made following the Holocaust — “Never Again!”
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Staffing Problem in Hot Spot

Staffing Problem in Hot Spot
Dear Dr. Spilchuk,
I would like to get your professional advice on a ‘catch-22′ situation. In fact, I recently built a state-of-the-art Grammar school in a small city of Pakistan. I intend to hire one Principal, two Administrators (Entry Level) and two English teachers from abroad, and advertised in different newspapers. However, all the interested candidates are very much concerned about the security of Pakistan. I tried to the best of my ability to convince them that the city where the school is located is very peaceful, people are friendly and there is no security problem.Read complete Article / Blog
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Stolen Daughters?


Resources for you: “Men of Passion, Men of Power” DVD set

What does it take to be a real man?

In today’s culture, manhood has never been more confusing. In this four part series on four DVDs, Ron Hutchcraft takes a practical look at the secrets of manhood. You’ll discover how to be unsinkable in tough times, how to avoid temptation, what to do about restlessness…and more!

Purchase the DVD set


Join the Conversation

Our firstborn – our daughter – was only a few days old when I first called her “Princess.” She’s been my princess ever since. I cannot imagine the agony of having her snatched from her school and taken who knows where.

 That was the ordeal hundreds of Nigerian parents went through. Nearly 300 of their daughters were kidnapped from their school by terrorists. The kidnappers threatened to sell those girls for something like $12. Some daddy’s princess, some mother’s treasure, sold like cattle.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Stolen Daughters.”

Demonstrations demanding action spread far beyond Nigeria. In fact, one national newscast said, “This has touched a nerve in women around the world.” What a nightmare; your daughter stolen and taken to a very bad place. That’s the kind of nightmare that I have shared with too many families.

After years of working with young people, my wife and I have grieved over a lot of stolen daughters. Thankfully not our own, but girls who – though they might still be there physically – have been taken away to a bad place morally, emotionally, or spiritually.

We’ve been there when a girl not yet a woman finds out she’s going to be a mother; when a parent weeps over their daughter’s life-scarring choices. I’ve been there when a parent has no idea where their daughter disappeared to. Been in the emergency room as a mom or dad waits as the doctors fight to save their girl who’s overdosed.

Through it all, we’ve seen four ways that we can lose our daughters. First, missing dads: missing physically, or missing emotionally, leaving a girl unsure of her father’s love, with this gaping daddy deficit. Which she will try to fill often by looking for love in all the wrong places and often getting lost.

And then there are misguided moms who let their little girls become “teenagers” long before they’re ready. Break out the makeup, the clothes, and the styles of high school when she hasn’t even finished elementary school. Psychologist Neil Postman called it “the disappearance of childhood.” So many years ahead to be grown-up. Can’t we let them have those few short years of being a child? If they act like they’re 14 when they’re ten, they’ll be acting like they’re 20 when they’re 14 and often going to a very bad place.

Here’s the third way we lose our daughters: selfish boys. Oh they know the words “I love you,” but they really mean is, “I’ll use you.” Their hormones are in charge, and they’re takers not givers. If we’ve let our daughters buy the lie that a guy gives them worth, they’ll do almost anything to get one and keep one. Giving what they cannot get back only to end up used and not loved. We need to teach our daughters that any boy who says, “If you love me, you will let me” doesn’t love you.

Unchallenged lies. Yes, that’s the other way we lose our daughters. How about this one, “It’s all about how you look.” And Hollywood tells our girls, “Here’s what you should look like.” Leaving most girls looking in the mirror and seeing someone they think is “fat” or “ugly” and not worth much; desperate to please anyone who gives her a little attention and so easily lost.

I’ve always thought an inventor knows best about what he’s made. Right? And our Inventor says, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty…you should clothe yourselves with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty…” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

You know, the real worth of a girl is rooted in something that is in God’s Word and our word for today from the Word of God, Ephesians 2:10, to say to our daughters, “We are God’s workmanship.” “You are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works God prepared in advance for you to do.” No one on earth gives a girl her worth, and no one on earth can take it away.

Every daughter is a princess. Make sure she knows that. That’s the best way to keep her safe.

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Tomgram: The Future Is Not Ours (and Neither Is the Past)

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Future Is Not Ours (and Neither Is the Past)

Requiem for the American Century 
Turning 70, Paragraph by Paragraph 
By Tom Engelhardt

First Paragraphs on Turning 70 in the American Century That Was

* Seventy-three years ago, on February 17, 1941, as a second devastating global war approached, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Lifemagazines, called on his countrymen to “create the first great American Century.”  Luce died in 1967 at age 69.  Life, the pictorial magazine no home would have been without in my 1950s childhood, ceased to exist as a weekly in 1972 and as a monthly in 2000; Time, which launched his career as a media mogul, is still wobbling on, a shadow of its former self.  No one today could claim that this is Time’s century, or the American Century, or perhaps anyone else’s.  Even the greatest empires now seem to have shortened lifespans.  The Soviet Century, after all, barely lasted seven decades.  Of course, only the rarest among us live to be 100, which means that at 70, like Time, I’m undoubtedly beginning to wobble, too.

* The other day I sat down with an old friend, a law professor who started telling me about his students.  What he said aged me instantly.  They’re so young, he pointed out, that their parents didn’t even come of age during the Vietnam War.  For them, he added, that war is what World War I was to us.  He might as well have mentioned the Mongol conquests or the War of the Roses.  We’re talking about the white-haired guys riding in the open cars in Veteran’s Day parades when I was a boy.  And now, it seems, I’m them.

* In March 1976, accompanied by two friends, my wife and I got married at City Hall in San Francisco, and then adjourned to a Chinese restaurant for a dim sum lunch.  If, while I was settling our bill of perhaps $30, you had told me that, almost half a century in the future, marriage would be an annual $40 billion dollar business, that official couplings would be preceded by elaborate bachelor and bachelorette parties, and that there would be such a thing as destination weddings, I would have assumed you were clueless about the future.  On that score at least, the nature of the world to come was self-evident and elaborate weddings of any sort weren’t going to be part of it.

* From the time I was 20 until I was 65, I was always 40 years old.  Now, I feel my age.  Still, my life at 70 is a luxury.  Across the planet, fromAfghanistan to Central America, and in the poverty zones of this country, young people regularly stare death in the face at an age when, so many decades ago, I was wondering whether my life would ever begin.  That’s a crime against humanity.  So consider me lucky (and privileged) to be seven decades in and only now thinking about my death.

* Recently, I had the urge to tell my son something about my mother, who died before he was born.  From my closet, I retrieved an attaché case of my father’s in which I keep various family mementos.  Rummaging around in one of its pockets, I stumbled upon two letters my mother wrote him while he was at war.  (We’re talking about World War II, that ancient conflict of the history books.)  Almost four decades after her death, all I had to do was see my mother’s handwriting on the envelope — “Major C. L. Engelhardt, 1st Air Commando Force, A.P.O. 433, Postmaster, New York 17, N.Y.” — to experience such an upwelling of emotion I could barely contain my tears.  So many years later, her handwriting and my father’s remain etched into my consciousness.  I don’t doubt I could recognize them amid any other set of scribblings on Earth.  What fingerprints were to law enforcement then, handwriting was to family memories.  And that started me wondering: years from now, in an electronic world in which no one is likely to think about picking up a pen to write anyone else, what will those “fingerprints” be?

* There are so many futures and so few of them happen.  On the night of October 22, 1962, a college freshman, I listened to John F. Kennedyaddress the American people and tell us that the Russians were building “a series of offensive missile sites” on the island of Cuba and that “the purposes of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere.”  In other words, the president of the United States was telling us that we might be at the edge of the sort of world-ending, monster-mutating nuclear war that, fromGodzilla to Them, had run riot in the popular culture (and the nightmares) of my childhood.  At that moment, I looked directly into the future — and there was none. We were, I believed, toast. My family, my friends, all of us, from Hudson Bay, Canada, to Lima, Peru, as the president put it.  Yet here I am 52 years later.  As with so many futures we imagine, somehow it didn’t happen and so many years after I’m still wondering when I’ll be toast.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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If you’re obsessed with the destination, you’re missing the joy


Summer of Hope 2014: Reservation Report #3


I had never met a Native American young person. Until I met some from this reservation way back in 1973. At a camp where I spoke. I never got them out of my heart.

They were the seed God planted in my heart that would, nearly 20 years later, become this miracle we call On Eagles’ Wings.



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I was on a typical wall-to-wall schedule, and old man winter wasn’t cooperating. I was traveling with my wife and we were slipping and sliding through this major snow storm to get to our flight at the airport. We heard on the radio that flights were being seriously delayed. I told my wife, “That airport’s going to close. I know it is.” So we made a last-minute decision. We called Amtrak. They had two seats left on the train, and we diverted from the airport to the train station.

 Now, it worked, but I was not a happy camper. I had no choice. They did close the airport that day, and as it turned out, we had to take the train both ways – to Chicago and back. But you know, as I watched America go by outside my window, I have to confess I began to unwind. This is the stuff I usually fly over in my rush to get to my destination. Now I’ve got a confession to make. The next trip my wife and I had to make – I asked her to check on the train.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “What You’re Missing When You’re Flying.”

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from some of the most familiar, beautiful words in the Bible, Psalm 23. “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.” This is my favorite picture of my relationship with the Lord: I love Him shepherd, me sheep.

And this is an unusual ministry that the shepherd has. It’s described in these verses; one that you might be having in your life right now. It’s what I call the ministry of the enforced slowdown. He says, “He makes me lie down.” But not in a bad place; it’s in green pastures. And He makes you lie down to see some things you could never see when you’re running through or flying by.

Now, the Lord has many means of making us lie down, doesn’t he? I’ve experienced a few. Or at least to get you to slow down. He’s got medical brakes that He steps on to slow you down, financial brakes, family brakes; some situation that forces us to stop and give it attention. Some circumstance comes along that forces you to go slower.

And then there’s me when I had to take the train, grumbling and resisting every step of the way. Maybe you’re there right now. But God has things for you to see that you’re missing when you’re going full throttle. Maybe you’ve been missing the person you’re married to, and God’s saying, “Slow down! Rediscover the treasure I gave you in this person.”

Maybe you’ve been missing the daily drama of your child growing up right before your eyes; days you can never get back. And God’s putting on the brakes so you can get to know your son or daughter. And unfortunately, a crisis is often what brings a family closer to each other than anything else.

Possibly you’ve been missing quality time with the Lord Himself, and God is saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” Not be busy and know, and you’ve been flying right past your Lord day after day. Your priorities got jumbled somewhere. At the speed you’ve been traveling, you can’t even see the faces of people. You can’t hear what they’re saying. You can’t enjoy the journey because you’re so obsessed with the destination. So in His love, the Shepherd has declared a slowdown for you. Embrace it!

If all of a sudden you can’t fly like you’re used to doing, don’t pound the wall or don’t complain. Thank the Lord for making you lie down so you can see some green pastures that you’ve been flying right by.

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I hope that this is true about the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–TRUE FOR ME & YOU


Not long ago, I was at a McDonald’s when a man came over, held out his hand and said he had been having trouble with a fee his bank had charged. It wasn’t huge, but he said the bank should not have charged him. He called and argued, talked with customer relations, asked to speak to a manager — and he got a big, fat zero.

Then he said he remembered about the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and told the bank he would file a complaint. They put him on hold and then came back and said they would reverse the fee. The agency worked.

Today is the fourth anniversary of Dodd-Frank, the law that established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — and the third anniversary of the date the CFPB became an independent agency. And in those three years, the agency has done a lot to help level the playing field.

    • The CFPB has forced big financial companies to return more than $4 billion dollars to consumers they cheated.

    • The CFPB has put in place rules to protect consumers from a whole host of dangerous financial products and to make sure that companies can’t issue the kinds of deceptive mortgages that contributed to millions of foreclosures.

  • The CFPB has helped tens of thousands of consumers resolve complaints against financial institutions that cheated them. 

Sure, there is a lot of financial reform work left undone. The big banks today are dramatically bigger than they were in 2008 and they are taking on new risks, and I think that means we need a 21st Century Glass-Steagall law to break them up. But I celebrate the progress we’ve had so far: When big banks have to listen to their customers a little more, the playing field starts to level out just a little bit more.    

The big banks spent more than a million dollars a day lobbying against financial reforms, and top lobbyists said that killing off the consumer agency was their number one priority.  Even now, the Republicans continue the attack, introducing bills that would take the legs out from under the agency.

We didn’t have the lobbying muscle or the money that the big banks had. But we got that agency because we fought for it. We joined forces online and through groups, and we made our voices heard. And now, after three years, it’s starting to work.

I smiled at the guy who said he got his money back. I smiled because I love to hear how the CFPB works. But mostly I smiled because it reminded me of what we can do when we fight.  

Happy anniversary!


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