By Alec Dubro

I just got back from the Pacific Northwest and California and the warning is clear: The American West is burning up and running dry. It may become uninhabitable in less time than we imagine. Mere survival in areas like this will take concerted and prolonged effort, political will and a huge expenditure of resources. And mass evacuation of the West no longer seems like an alarmist vision, but one that’s already being considered.

So, what are concerned people doing? Buying new electric cars. I saw more Teslas in the Bay Area than I had seen anywhere else…


By Alec Dubro

We lost the union election at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama — once a strongly union steel town — by 1798 to 738. And I say “we” rather than “they,” because working people everywhere lost — not just the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

Unlike millions of people worldwide, I’ve never worked on the shop floor of an Amazon warehouse. …


By Alec Dubro

So many of my progressive friends and social media buddies are openly salivating over the prospect of Trump in the dock and moldering in prison. I’m not.

Certainly, a time of reckoning approaches for Donald Trump, but also for the rest of us. He is set to face a number of serious criminal and civil prosecutions that could last for many years. And although the prospect of him humiliated in court and sitting in prison is enticing for many, I’m thinking of an alternative to the usual legal proceedings and punishments: Exile. St. …


I was out watering the daisies in front of my modest Capitol Hill row house yesterday. It’s normally pretty quiet here and, since the pandemic, not so much foot traffic.

Despite the proximity of our house to the Capitol, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a notable political figure wander by. But this one was pretty recognizable: a large, late-middle age, blondish man in an ill-fitting blue suit and a long, red tie — walking awkwardly on the brick sidewalk. He kept turning his head in every direction, looking like someone utterly lost but he kept slowly walking toward me.


By Alec Dubro

The US is “the greatest, most exceptional and most virtuous nation in the history of the world.” Or so Donald Trump proclaimed at Mt. Rushmore this past July fourth.

Apparently, it’s not sufficient for the US to be merely exceptional — which means there are no others like us — we must be the most exceptional, which is in the category of ‘most unique.’ It’s not just grammatical nonsense; it assumes an unassailable mantle that none can touch. And since we’re also the most virtuous, don’t bother to criticize us since we’re much better than you. …


By Alec Dubro

The US is “the greatest, most exceptional and most virtuous nation in the history of the world.” Or so Donald Trump proclaimed at Mt. Rushmore this past July fourth.

Apparently, it’s not sufficient for the US to be merely exceptional — which means there are no others like us — we must be the most exceptional, which is in the category of ‘most unique.’ It’s not just grammatical nonsense; it assumes an unassailable mantle that none can touch. And since we’re also the most virtuous, don’t bother to criticize us since we’re much better than you. …


­

By Alec Dubro

As long as you’re stuck in the house, you might as well save the world. Because this hiatus from ordinary life gives us a chance to review once more our relationship to material things. And have no doubt: Our superfluity of things is what has led us to the environmental precipice. Global warming is just the most immediate crisis. Plastic waste, water pollution, deforestation, extinctions all can be traced to consumer goods and services.

Right now, we are being denied at least some of our usual stream of stuff, but most of us are not experiencing…


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The Real Working-Class Hero Leaves the Room

John Prine: A Remembrance

April 7, 2020

John Prine died this month.

I met him in 1972, right after his first album came out. I’m almost embarrassed now at how glowingly I reviewed that record, except it was that good.

Prine came out of the Chicago folk scene, along with Steve Goodman (“City of New Orleans”) and earlier, Big Bill Broonzy. Prine was different, not just from those two, but from everyone in music. His rough-hewn working-class sensibility carried so much understated emotion, you became his characters. As I found out, he’d earned every one of those songs.

In 1971, Prine’s…


“Our race faces a world-wide genetic catastrophe. There is only one word that can adequately describe it: genocide.” David Duke

So really, what’s the thing with Russia? Why would Donald Trump and portions of the American right be drawn to a relatively poor country that seems to have few international friends and is known for assassinations, interfering in elections and sports doping?

Out in the world, Russia is not much of a success. Sure, it’s a Eurasian country with a lot of land and a lot of oil. But it has a population and economy just somewhat larger than Mexico…


Sleeping in a Burning House: Why we’re so stuck fighting climate change

By Alec Dubro

Heat waves, the Amazon, the Arctic, Siberia. But will these increasingly alarming developments spur greater action? If what I’m hearing and seeing in conversations around the country is an indicator, not bloody likely. And that’s because we face an enormous and largely ignored obstacle. It’s not just the fossil fuel industry and its climate-denier allies. Instead, the obstacle is us: the people who believe climate change is real but feel helpless to mount a sufficient response.

I live in Washington, DC, and while I do…

Alec Dubro

Alec Dubro was a warehouse worker. He was also a Rolling Stone record reviewer, a journalist and president of the National Writers Union

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