They don’t have our inner boss.

Photo by Eelco Böhtlingk on Unsplash

“I saw a chimpanzee gaze at a particularly beautiful sunset for a full 15 minutes, watching the changing colors, until it became so dark that he had to retire to the forest without stopping to pick a pawpaw for his evening meal.” — Adriaan Kortlandt, wildlife researcher in Congo

So how come this chimp, threatened by leopards, searching for food in an endless “struggle for survival,” can stop to appreciate nature’s beauty, and we don’t? Well, according to a great book I just finished, Pleasurable Kingdom by Jonathan Balcombe, that’s what animals do. They…

US and Israeli governments outsourcing censorship to Facebook and Zoom

Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi in Cuba Image: with permission

Pushed by repressive governments, Big Tech and the Israel lobby are suppressing freedom of speech and academic freedom. As often happens, attacks on Palestinian rights are the sharp edge of the wedge undermining everyone’s rights. Palestinian academics and supporters are fighting this censorship and asking for your help.

The Israel-identified community, with its legal arms such as The Lawfare Project, political arms like the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC,) and dozens of others, have suppressed pro-Palestinian voices for years. …

To defend themselves and throw the rest of us under the bus

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

Facing world anger over their violence in Gaza and Jerusalem, the Israeli government counter-attacked. They accused their critics and all supporters of Palestine of being Jew-hating anti-Semites. By claiming their political and humanitarian critics are anti-Semitic, they normalize anti-Semitism in the West and seem happy to do it.

As Palestinian-American scholar Steven Salaita tweeted during a 2014 massacre in Gaza, if calling out murder of children is anti-Semitic, what other choice does a person of conscience have? Israel’s false Jew-hatred claims harm Arabs, Jews, and all who work…

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

(Photo by Adam Nowakowski on Unsplash)

Brilliant ideas can change the world, but not always for the better. Consider the 1970s pushback against economic growth. In 1968 Paul and Anne Ehrlich had published The Population Bomb, warning against the effects of too many people. In 1972, a group of scholars and leaders called the Club of Rome published Limits to Growth, predicting disaster if industrial capitalism kept growing. Resources would be exhausted, causing economic and environmental catastrophes. Their theories were covered in the media and widely believed.

The capitalist class was not happy. If people stopped believing that growth was sustainable, they might slow their buying…

Bigger isn’t always better. Do what you are called to do

Photo by Andreea Pop on Unsplash

How big should your life be? Do you want to travel, do great things, learn all you can, become friends with fascinating people, get rich? That sounds a lot of work, but shouldn’t we maximize the talents and opportunities we are given? Maybe we should follow the US Army’s recruitment slogan advice to “Be all you can be.”

For myself, I would be highly skeptical of life advice given by the world’s biggest killing machine. They might not have my best interests at heart. Neither do the advertisers beckoning us to buy, consume, or travel our way to happiness. …

I don’t know, and neither do they

Child in front of her bombed house in Gaza Image: Samah Askar

TW// Images of war

I’m sitting at my desktop wondering when my friends will be killed. Across 7,400 miles separation from Gaza, I can feel my friend Samah Askar’s terror and grief in every post and picture she sends. Since I set up a GoFundMe for her and a few other Gazan families, others there, male and female, have sought to friend me. They need money, because Gaza lives under a 15-year military blockade and has suffered a series of wars that have wiped out their economy.

Unemployment in June of 2020 was 49.3%, according to Relief Web, and that…

Act now to stop the brutal war on Palestine

Beach cafe in Gaza before and after Image Samah Askar (Author’s archive)

As Gaza shudders in fear, with Israeli bombs exploding around them and babies dying, the world wants to know the source of these human tragedies. Some blame Hamas; others Netanyahu, Islam, Judaism, or all of the above. Few people notice the power behind the scenes, Israel’s big brother, the United States of America. Without massive US support, including $3.8 billion a year in military aid, political cover at the United Nations, and US armed forces fighting entire wars against Israel’s enemies as in Iraq, none of this suffering would be happening.

The bombing of Gaza starting on May 9 has…

It’s time to become natives to this land

Image from

Many descendants of the new arrivals act like they still have one foot on the boat. They act like they’re just going to be here for a while, take what they can, and go somewhere else. Where will they go?” Native American elder as told to Robin Wall Kimmerer Ph.D. in Braiding Sweetgrass.

I think the most important thing is to create a self-sustaining city on Mars. I think that’s the critical thing for maximizing the life of humanity; how long our civilization will last.” Tech billionaire Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a dangerous madman. He’s also a true pioneer…

We can stop growing and still live well

(Photo by Jamie Morris on Unsplash)

“When you realize that under capitalism, a forest isn’t worth anything until it is cut down, you begin to see where the ecological crisis comes from.” -Adam Idek Hastie

Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it lead into freedom.” -Hannah Arendt

When European settlers came to America in the 16th century, forests covered about 50% of the ground. Plains, woods and wetlands were filled with all kinds of animals and plants. …

Life is wonderful, but pay attention or you’ll miss it

Image by Me!

I’m celebrating this Spring with flowering cherry trees on the San Francisco State (SFSU) campus. The flowers last about three weeks, and I’ve been sitting with them when I can, enjoying their beauty and sensing the life force exploding through them and their bee partners.

I got to campus early one day, but the bees were there first, and I noticed something interesting about them. When I first approach the trees, I don’t see many bees around them. But the longer I watch quietly, the more bees I see. …

David Spero Rn

Writer, fighter, lover, friend, listener. Based in San Francisco. Write about Health, Economics, Spirit, Psychology, Politics

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store