America, I Love You

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Well, you’re not going to get a year end review from me. I’ve been thinking all week — talking to you in my mind, actually — trying to come up with something uplifting to say. Running along in my thoughts, as a kind of bass line to the rest of it, […]

This is What a Socialist Sounds Like

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Most people are smart enough to resist the attempt of the radical right, and the Republican politicians who are courting them, to replace their brain cells with string cheese by clamoring for Barack Obama to come up with a valid birth certificate. But even some of these folks look askance at […]

The Gini Index: Another American Claim to Fame

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Yesterday it was where we stand as a nation with regard to the effectiveness of our health care system, as measured by life expectancy.We got to stand up and cheer, “We’re Number 49!!!” Yay, us. Today it’s where we stand as a nation with regard to the relative distribution of family […]

What They Say / What They Mean

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Let it be known at the outset that here I will be talking about radical Republicans and their enablers and not everyone who is registered to vote or self-identified as a Republican. It’s easy to stick labels on people, especially when stress trumps nuance, as it does in these times. But […]

Thoughts About Columbus Day

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I can’t explain this, but from the time I was a child I’ve had mixed feelings about Columbus Day. I don’t know many indigenous people, or at least I don’t know many who identify themselves as such. But I remember thinking, the first time a teacher said Columbus discovered America, “What […]

Like a Knife Through the Heart

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson In one of those quirks of the calendar that sometimes seem meant to make us crazy, September 11, a day of contemplation and remembrance for most Americans and one of nasty political opportunism for some, this year is also the joyous Muslim holiday of Eid al-Feitr, celebrating the end of the […]

‘I Would Join a Union’

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson For my father, whom I honor by using his last name in the middle of mine, joining a union was not an option. He was a printer. He loved the printed word, and he loved the process by which words got put on paper. Part of how I learned to read […]

UPDATED Bugs and Itches – An Interactive Invitation

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Sometimes things bug me (I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you.) Sometimes something comes along that I’m itching to tell you about, but I’ve got other things to write. Mostly they get away from me, because I forget to write them down. No more. “Bugs and Itches” will be the title for […]

UN Approves Water Rights Resolution, US Abstains

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The United Nations has declared access to clean and accessible water a fundamental human right. Apparently this is not the same as amending  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , making water the 31st on the list of fundamental human rights. The UN’s UDHR page has not yet been amended to […]

Water: The New Oil

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” — W. H. Auden, 20th Century poet and essayist So begins “Flow,” a film shown on DVD at the Warwick Town Hall on Saturday night. Released in 2008, it’s a stunning survey of water shortages, pollution, and corporate exploitation in the developing […]