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On January 4, 2020, protests were held around the world because Donald Trump is provoking further war in the Middle East. One place where good people gathered was Dallas, Texas, where I live. We had over 100 protesters, which made it the largest local anti-war demonstration in several years.

The conversations, the signs, and the speakers shared some good information. The problem was defined pretty well: Trump knows he will lose the 2020 election if he doesn’t do something drastic like starting a new war. The United States has a long history of invading other countries on the flimsiest pretexts. One of the banners said, “Imperialism is the symptom; capitalism is the problem; socialism is the answer.”

By the time the rally was over, even the newest protesters had a pretty good idea what they were up against. But what, they must be wondering, are we going to do about it?

Certainly, public protests are worthwhile. When our friends see us hitting the streets, they are a little bit less afraid and a little bit more likely to join us. Mathematically, it sounds like we will eventually keep adding people every time until we have everybody on our side. But if that were true, the United States would have solved all its problems long ago. Some of us joining this particular protest have been doing it over 50 years!

We are going to have to do more than protest. We are going to have to lead. A leader, simply defined, is someone who knows what to do next. In order to lead, we are going to have to know what to do. To know what to do, we are going to have to go through some hard study.

-Gene Lantz

I’m on KNON’s “Workers Beat” program at 9 AM Central Time every Saturday. If you are curious about what I really think, check out my personal web site

The Democrats will split in 2020. Republicans will be overjoyed. Traditional democrats will scream in pain and blame Bernie Sanders for everything from measles to Armageddon.

Health care will be the reason for the split. It’s already apparent. The candidates running for the Democratic nomination are easily categorized as “for” or “against” single payer health care.

The candidates favoring a single-payer solution to the crisis, notably Bernie and Elizabeth, already have a lot more combined voter support than the “favorite.” One of them would probably win the nomination if things were fair.

But things aren’t fair. In 2016, the traditional Democrats resorted to foul means to make sure that Bernie Sanders did not win the nomination. They will do it again in 2020. They will choose the big money insurance companies over democracy again.

But this time, Bernie won’t go along. He will look at the combined support for single-payer health care, he will look at the cadres of supporters already organized in every state, and he will conclude that either he or Elizabeth, backed by the many progressive candidates in other elections, can win without the Democrats.

He will be right, too. Either he or Elizabeth, or in the best scenario, he AND Elizabeth, will beat both the “liberal” Democrats and the racist Republicans at once. A better world is coming, and it could make significant headway in 2020!

–Gene Lantz

I’m on KNON’s “Workers Beat” radio talk show at 9 AM Central Time every Saturday. If you are curious about what I really think, check out my personal web site

“So long, to you

I hope I don’t make you blue

But I think I’m gonna kill myself

I think I’m gonna kill myself”

1950’s singer Buddy Knox

The American Psychological Association says, “The [United States] suicide rate increased 33 percent from 1999 through 2017, from 10.5 to 14 suicides per 100,000 people.” At the same time, suicide rates in the other industrialized countries dropped. Wonder about that!

From my teen years, I’ve always been preoccupied with suicide. I’ve had several reasons for putting it off:

  • Coffee. No matter how bad everything else seems to get, I have always enjoyed coffee
  • Clarice Tinsley. Back in the sex-mad 1970s, I remember speeding my hot motorcycle down a Houston highway with self-murder on my mind. I passed a billboard with smiling television newsperson Clarice Tinsley on it and thought, “As long as I am alive, there’s still a chance of having sex someday with Clarice Tinsley, and that’s a good enough reason to keep going.”
  • New Developments. Nowadays, with the progressive movement booming, I just can’t stand the thought of missing anything.

In a logical sense, though, I convinced myself as a teenager that “At the nadir of ‘why live,’ is the acme of ‘why not.’ If living is totally empty, dying is still no better than living. In other words, even when I could no longer think of any reason to go on living, I still couldn’t think of a good enough reason to stop. I continue my lifelong obsession with suicide, but I keep putting it off.

Some of the sages point out that people don’t kill themselves because of the effect it would have on them. They kill themselves because of the effect it would have on somebody else. I may have planned elaborate, step-by-step plans for dying, but I also plan for how it would affect other people. When we admit that, it’s a good reason for not doing it.

Still, though, all other things being equal, there is still a deadly American trend that begs to be understood.

Who is killing ourselves?

Our nation’s domination of the world has been slipping since the mid 1970s, but we’ve been slow to realize it. If that’s the reason for the increase in suicides, and I think it is, then we can expect to see more and more Americans offing themselves. The only way to get the United States back “on top” is to have another world war, and we’d have so many deaths then that suicides wouldn’t even been noticed.

I’m theorizing that we are killing ourselves because so many of us have lost hope. It is a direct result of our political apathy. Not only do many of us see and feel no hope, we also don’t see any improvement in the future. There is, however, a tiny subset of the American population that is immune to suicide.

Who isn’t killing ourselves?

The people who aren’t killing themselves, and aren’t likely to, are the ones who believe that a better world is possible. They are the people who are helping bring about that better world. They wouldn’t dream of suicide. If we can convince the rest of you to join the effort, we could establish a counter-trend.

They never stopped his smiling

No matter how they tried

Cause in his heart he always knew

He was on the winning side!

–My own song about a devoted Communist named George Meyers

–Gene Lantz

I’m on KNON’s “Workers Beat” talk show at 9 AM central time every Saturday. If you are curious about what I really think, check out my personal web site