Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#63 / Izzy

I used to subscribe to the I.F. Stone Weekly, and I subscribed until it was impossible to subscribe any longer, because its publication ceased. The Weekly used to come by what we now call "snail mail." It was greatly anticipated, and my copies were treasured. I believe I still have a cache, buried in the filing cabinets in my garage. The link above is to an online archive, with all nineteen years of the Weekly on display, should you care to browse (and I advise it).

Since the Weekly is no longer available, I now get a weekly "Tomgram" from The "Tom" in question is Tom Engelhardt, and his "Tomgrams" come by email not snail mail. It's free to sign up, by the way (and I advise it).

Engelhardt is a kind of modern day counterpart to I.F. Stone (they called him "Izzy"), but Stone was like the face of El Capitan. A "stone," yes, but what a monumental work he did; what a giant among the truth tellers! Incidentally, as credit is provided, let's not forget Stone's wife, Esther, essential to the enterprise and pictured above, with I.F. Stone, at the table at which the Weekly was prepared. Engelhardt calls himself a "pebble," in comparison to Stone, and a bit too modestly, I think. Still, Stone was unique, and amazing, and he is rightly revered. 

Click this link to see a "Tomgram" honoring Stone's memory, discussing what the Weekly meant to Engelhardt (and many of us), and speculating about what is different now from the anti-war years in which both Engelhardt and I grew up. 

Engelhardt's thoughts are worth considering. He suggests that Americans no longer really believe that our government belongs to "us." He might be right, but our "feelings" about our government are something different from the essential political "fact" of who we are, and what our government is. The government is ours. It belongs to us (even if we don't find it when we look in the garage). Wherever it's gone to, our ownership remains. The President works for us. We don't work for the President.

Take back our country.

That's our mission for this moment. 

That's what Izzy would say.

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