Coyotes in the city: lessons for 2011

People’s World contributing writer John Bachtell tells us, via his Facebook page, that he and his dog encountered a coyote two short blocks from his Chicago home. What’s more, he says, “At last count there were approximately 2,000 coyotes in Chicago. They may need some representation in city council soon.” Yikes!

It sounds unnatural and scary. But it turns out that coyotes are common in our urban areas (several were spotted in New York City earlier this year), do little harm and actually do some good – helping curb urban over-population of Canadian geese and rodents.

There are some important lessons here: Expect the unexpected. Think, gather facts and analyze before reacting. There is balance in nature, and we human beings are part of nature.

As we ponder the state of our country and the world, this year-end season, it is good to keep those things in mind.

America’s workers and their families have had their share of ups and downs this year. The economic picture remains bleak for many of us and our communities. Yet, amazingly, through it all, people are standing up and fighting for what’s right, and they are increasingly doing it in unity with others. And the result has been some remarkable victories – victories that, frankly, would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Right-wing hate-mongering may capture headlines, and garner some support, but this week’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a symbol of a new climate, a broadening democratic understanding, among ordinary Americans.

No doubt about it: we face a tough battle in 2011. We’re up against the power of the reckless, ruthless, most extreme right-wing sections of American capitalism. They are looking to roll us back to the robber-baron/Jim Crow age – by any means necessary. We have to take that very seriously. It’s easy to get mad, but it’s more important to figure out the winning way forward. That takes a deeper look, a longer view.

Chicago’s coyotes teach us that.

And it’s what we try to do, here at People’s World. With your support, we look forward to continuing the good fight in the new year.

We’ll be publishing on a lighter schedule between now and New Year’s. Meanwhile, we wish all our readers very pleasant, healthy and safe holidays.

Photo: Sequoia Hughes CC 2.0