Dignities and high sounding names have different effects on different beholders. The lustre of the Star and the title of My Lord, over-awe the superstitious vulgar, and forbid them to inquire into the character of the possessor: Nay more, they are, as it were, bewitched to admire in the great, the vices they would honestly condemn in themselves. This sacrifice of common sense is the certain badge which distinguishes slavery from freedom; for when men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

 

– from Reflections on Titles, by Thomas Paine

 

May 1775

A Company Town No More: Richmond Progressives Visit Petaluma to Discuss Their Grassroots Victory Over Chevron

Grassroots political organizing managed to put the people back in the political process in last year’s election, resoundingly beating one of the most profitable corporate behemoths on the planet, which had spent an unprecedented $3 million dollars in the city of Richmond to elect corporate-friendly candidates. How did Richmond progressives do it and can their…

Happy Birthday Dorothea Lange

Photojournalist & documentary photographer Dorothea Lange was born on this day in 1895. The shot known as “Migrant Mother,” immediately below, is among the most famous images of the Dust Bowl era in U.S. history. Lange was working as a photographer for the Resettlement Administration at the time, photographing farm labor around the state of…