Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Filed Under (Politics, Stuff) by Sean on November-3-2010

How have people come to be taken in by The Phenomenon of Man? We must not underestimate the size of the market for works of this kind, for philosophy-fiction. Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.

- Sir Peter Medawar

Richard Dawkins’ latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, mentions Peter Medawar’s legendary review of The Phenomenon of Man with alacrity in detailing how otherwise fairly educated people use farcical logic like, “If chimps evolved into us, how come there are chimps still around?”

Alas, Medawar’s hypothesis seems to be as true today as then, and it’s getting worse (and is pervasive in politics, as well). To paraphrase a statement Dawkins made during his last Houston stop with the Progressive Forum a few weeks ago, “It’s truly astounding how otherwise intelligent, rational people who go about their daily life, balancing their checkbook and the like, cease to exercise any critical thinking about the greatest questions . . . it’s a tragedy, really . . . it seems, particularly in the U.S., that about 40% of the population is carrying along the other 60% in moving humanity forward.” Or in light of the current political season, perhaps it’s just shy of 47%.

Sir Peter Medawar (February 28, 1915 – October 2, 1987) was  a British zoologist received the Nobel Price in Physiology for his work on the human immune system and graft rejection. His discovery of acquired immune tolerance helped make organ transplants possible.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Filed Under (Politics, Rants) by Sean on February-9-2009

I felt it important to write this quick post about what I believe it really means to be Liberal. I always find it amusing that the people who use the label pejoratively seem to be somehow divinely knowledgeable about its definition. They like to use definitions that frame it as an ideology that is counter to their own. They use it to be divisive. I’m here to say they’re dead wrong.

Let’s start with the dictionary definition:

lib·er·al (lÄ­b’É™r-É™l, lÄ­b’rÉ™l)  adj.

    1. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
    2. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
    3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
    4. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
    5. Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
    6. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.
    7. Archaic Permissible or appropriate for a person of free birth; befitting a lady or gentleman.
    8. Obsolete Morally unrestrained; licentious.
    1. Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
    2. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.
    3. Archaic Permissible or appropriate for a person of free birth; befitting a lady or gentleman.
    4. Obsolete Morally unrestrained; licentious.
  1. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation.
  2. Of, relating to, or based on the traditional arts and sciences of a college or university curriculum: a liberal education.
    1. Archaic Permissible or appropriate for a person of free birth; befitting a lady or gentleman.
    2. Obsolete Morally unrestrained; licentious.
  1. A person with liberal ideas or opinions.
  2. Liberal A member of a Liberal political party.

[Middle English, generous, from Old French, from Latin līberālis, from līber, free; see leudh- in Indo-European roots.]
lib’er·al·ly adv., lib’er·al·ness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Read it over. Carefully. Especially read the first definition. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

Read it again. THAT is what being liberal is all about. It is ruthlessly independent. Not trying to apply the same policies and ideas to differing situations and different contexts. Different realities require different approaches.  This is the core of being liberal. Being liberal is not about “big government” or “welfare society” or anything like that. It is not about confusing correlation with causation. It is not about using rhetoric and divisive labels to plant prejudicial narratives in people’s minds. After all, there is nothing inherently bad about big government any more than there is something inherently bad about a large gun; though, to be honest, I still don’t know what the hell big government means any way. To me it’s kind of like saying, “Big football is bad. Big companies are bad.” Uh, sure. It’s intellectually dishonest and lazy. It’s pandering. How easy it is to paint such a broad stroke and completely discount the human element within. How easy it is to ignore the complexities of reality, of systems, of chaos, and simply say it’s all bad because it’s easier that way. Instead, what being liberal is about is doing what works given the situation. It’s about critically thinking about issues in context, applying analysis and some semblance of scientific method where appropriate, and crafting policy to put action behind the hypotheses derived from those activities.

Dogma is this: you have a square peg. There may be a square hole, in which case you’re in good shape. You may have a round hole, in which case you still try to fit the square peg through it. In case that doesn’t work, you take some C4 and blow a big enough hole so you can insert the square peg. This epitomizes GOP thinking. It’s all about laissez faire, no government, no regulation, the market is divine arbiter of all things good, blah blah blah all the time, no matter what is happening in the world around them. Being liberal is to say, “Hey, we like the Friedman school of economics so long as it applies to the macroeconomic realities surrounding it.” BUT, when you have zero percent interest rates and economic stagnation and a domino effect of economic collapse going on, you dust off the book from the Keynes school and start applying the lessons learned there. It’s balanced. It’s not about big vs. small government or any of that, so much as conservatives love to play those frames over and over and over again. It’s about doing what’s required given the situation. Finis.

Tuam libera mentem.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]



Filed Under (Business, Politics, Technology) by Sean on September-11-2008

Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The World is Flat, appeared on David Letterman this past Monday to discuss his latest book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Friedman is known for being a huge proponent of free trade, outsourcing, capitalism, and globalization. While I may not agree exactly on his methodologies about all these from a practical point of view, I do think he stirs up some good thinking points. He has become a somewhat controversial advocate of the green movement in his advocacy surrounding what to do about climate change. In this case, however, I am in 100% agreement with his argument about stoking the American innovation machine in order to solve the problems facing us. Another book from author Fred Krupp, the president for the Environmental Defense Fund, entitled Earth: The Sequel, similarly discusses the role capitalism, coupled with government leadership as referee to ensure a level playing field (i.e., allow new technologies to come to market in a way to compete with the more than $6 Billion in taxpayer subsidies still received by Big Oil, not to mention addressing mothballed clean tech patents acquired by Big Oil to stifle competition), can play in stoking the new “energy technology” revolution the way it did with information technology (which, in its present form, was built largely on the back of a government project called ARPANET, which we now know as the Internet).

The full video of the interview on David Letterman is posted below for your viewing. I’ve taken the liberty to paste the main points from the interview verbatim, with emphasis added to especially important narratives. His points are the same points I would make in debating about what needs to be done with US energy policy, specifically as this country’s biggest mandate and wealth creation industry for the 21st century. It doesn’t matter if you believe in climate change or not (though if you don’t you possibly also believe the Earth is 4,000 years old, but I won’t get into that here). It is an economic and security imperative at this point that we take charge and lead the way or suffer the fate of becoming a second rate power.

Dave (concerning letting the nation know the seriousness of climate change): “We need people coming out here screaming . . . . we need somebody to knock people over and jump up and down on their chest.”

Thomas: “[Republican's] mantra is drill baby, drill . . . what I’ve been saying to them is  . . . we’re on the eve of [the energy technology] revolution . . . on the eve of that revolution, to be saying, ‘drill, baby, drill’ is like saying on the eve of the IT revolution, . . . ‘I want more carbon paper . . . more IBM typewriters’ . . . hello?”

Dave (in discussing the Government’s role): “Maybe I’m wrong, maybe we don’t need leadership in this country, in the white house, maybe we don’t need a national political mandate.”

Tom: “We do.”

Dave: “Until we look at this like a national problem . . . this country always wants to be a world leader, why aren’t we leading the world at this?”

Thomas: “And why do we need government? Why, you are right we need a leader, because . . . leaders write the rules, they shape the market . . . what we need is a price signal, ok, a price on carbon, a price on gasoline, that says to the American marketplace, which is the greatest innovation engine in the world, go out and invent the alternatives and you’ll get rich. So we get 100,000 people trying 100,000 things in 100,000 garages, 100 of which will be promising, ten will be great and two will become the next green Microsoft and green Google.”

Dave: “Will either of these guys [presidential candidates] do it?”

Thomas: “Certainly if you listen to them today, they aren’t preparing the public for that. Everyone’s ready to say, ‘I’m going to throw this amount of money at it’ . . . but it really isn’t, Dave, about throwing money at it. It’s triggering the innovative prowess of this country that gave us the IT revolution. That’s what we need for the ET revolution. Now if we don’t do it . . . this is the next great economic revolution, the next great industry . . . the country that leads that is going to have the higher standard of living, the most economic security, the most national security, which part of that sentence don’t people understand?

Dave: “And to a great affect will solve our current economic problems . . . . it’s not an overnight kind of a deal, it will contribute greatly to making things much better economically. Why can’t we get a guy smart enough . . . to say ‘by god, here’s how it’s going to be different, and I’m the guy that’s going to make it different, and I’m going to lead the world, and I’m going to save the planet’?”

Thomas: “What if you were . . . one of those members of congress who came out and said, ‘we need a carbon tax, we need gasoline tax, we need the right standards, we’ll offset it on people’s payroll’ and then your opponent says, ‘there’s my opponent . . . [who] never saw a tax he didn’t like’ . . . here’s what I would say, ‘let’s get one thing straight pal, we’re both for a tax, because we’re being taxed right now by Saudia Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, Russia; I just prefer that my taxes go to the US treasury to build US schools, US roads, US highways.  . . . It’s just a little tick I have  . . . that I like my taxes to go to my country.  . . . if you can’t win that debate, you don’t belong in politics.”

Dave: “Would that work as a stump speech . . . in a debate?”

Thomas: “I believe this issue is like civil rights and women’s suffrage . . . the public are ahead of the politicians. . . . [the public] will take a lot of pain on this if they think you have a real plan, and it’s equitable . . . and it’s a plan not just about energy, but about nation building in America. This is the key to propelling our country into the 21st century, not into the 19th century with drill, baby drill . . . if it’s a hoax . . . everything we would do to prepare ourselves for climate change would make us more respected, more innovative, more competitive, more entrepreneurial.”

Here is the video:



Filed Under (Business, Entrepreneurship, Houston, Politics, Technology) by Sean on May-29-2008

The following is a letter one of my friends and colleagues wrote to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison concerning the upcoming Senate vote on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. I have left it unedited, with the exception of replacing his underlines with italics for readability. I think he makes some excellent points here and I concur with his assessment, particularly the point about Houston (and Texas) constantly taking the easy road of eschewing change, resulting in the best minds, ideas and innovations going to the west coast. I am tired of the intellectually lazy, business-as-usual conservative politics here. Because of insipid, brainless dogma, we repeatedly squander every opportunity to do truly great, innovative things. Anyway, enough of my opinion. Enjoy!

To: Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison & John Cornyn
RE: Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act

The Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act the first week of June.

As a citizen of Texas, a technology entrepreneur, a co-founder of one of Houston’s first Internet service providers, a veteran of the armed forces, and a current real estate professional, I urge you to seize this historic opportunity and pass this bill.

Here are five compelling reasons to act now:

  1. The political opportunity is ripe. 78% of Americans want Congress to act on global warming. We need to take advantage of the tremendous momentum that exists today.
    • Building a domestic renewable energy supply that weans us from a mostly foreign, Middle-Eastern oil supply should be a national security imperative.
    • Carbon emission caps also address a very important LOCAL concern in Houston – our notorious air toxicity and ozone (exacerbated by CO2 and other heat-rapping gases).
  2. This isn’t an issue with whether or not you agree with global warming – this is an economic issue now of producing domestic, cleaner energy and spurring technology investment in Texas beyond oil and gas – gas prices are out of control and we need more choices for energy. However, every year we wait equals extra effort. If we delay this bill by just two years, we will have to make twice the annual cuts in carbon emissions to hit the same cumulative reductions by 2020.
  3. Someone is going to win the global race to create competitive cleaner energy. Houston and Texas can benefit, with effective leadership, from this growing consensus. Renewable energy promises to become one of the world’s most profitable industries – Japan and Germany already are ahead of us. But advances in renewable energy technologies will not be fully realized without a national cap on global warming pollution – almost every clean-energy entrepreneur agrees with this statement that has been interviewed. Refuse to act and most of the entrepreneurship will go to Silicon Valley just like in 1995 when I was starting Houston’s first large Internet services provider. Please don’t become complicit in a technology brain-drain from Texas 10 years out.
  4. The science is unforgiving. As the Earth warms, we approach a “tipping point,” after which large destructive climate changes become inevitable. This is a scientific consensus (like tobacco smoke causes lung cancer) – I am frankly not interested in whether or not policy analysts or members of Congress agree with this consensus or not, especially when it comes to my planet and health.
  5. What legacy will the 110th Congress and you leave for Texas? When future generations look back at this moment, they will either praise you and the Senate for starting us down the path to solving the global warming crisis, or blame you and the Senate for squandering this opportunity. If you fail to vote, you stand to put us right back to the 1980’s in Texas while the rest of the nation moves ahead. You have an opportunity to make us a leader in the energy future of America, or to allow us to decline when oil production drops off. It will happen – history is famous for repetition.
  6. Finally, have you read Earth: The Sequel: The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming by Fred Krupp? What amazes me as a business leader and entrepreneur is his complete embrace of markets – with smart and effective federal leadership – to solve the problem, based on case studies and diligent research. What are you doing to secure Texas in this new emerging energy markets? Please vote FOR the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act when it comes to a vote in June.

Erik Fowler
Houston, TX



Filed Under (Politics, Rants) by Sean on April-30-2008

I suppose with all the wars Republicans have going on, such as the war on terror, war on drugs, war on illegal immigration, war on crime, war on gay marriage, war on abortion, war on the environment, war on science, war on education, war on health care, and many others, it should come as no surprise they have been fighting a war on economics since the Reagan era. As successful as Reaganomics has been in widening the gap between rich and poor, skewing the distribution of wealth further into the hands of the few, putting increased burden on the middle class while expecting them to go into debt to consume even more to hold up the economy, stacking up nearly insurmountable federal debt, mortgaging the country with tax cuts for the rich that are eventually paid for by everyone else, making more and more corporate welfare available to poorly run businesses, and making sure that those who have benefited most from the commonwealth don’t have to give anything back so they can pass it on to their spoiled brat children who don’t need it in the first place, there isn’t any reason to stop now!

So, you ask, “what exactly is this war on economics you’re taking about and how do I join the fight?” Well, a perfect, timely example of this is John McCain‘s proposed fuel “tax holiday” with the presumed goal of stimulating the economy while taking some of the bite out of high gas prices. Right. Let’s take a closer look at this proposed legislation, shall we?

The idea is this: we’ve got this giant sucking sound out of people’s wallets with $4 per gallon gasoline, particularly hurting the average, red blooded, good, hard working, god-fearing ‘murican who is driving a 4 ton land yacht. Compounding the issue for this good, middle class ‘murican, is that he (she of course is a stay at home mom, cleaning the floors and putting dinner on the table) lives three states away from work and has to commute for 4 hours each way, giving him even more time to listen to angry, sex-deprived, white men like himself rant on “talk” radio about the fact that it takes so much money to fill up their land yachts and how it’s all the fault of illegal immigrants and communist liberals (especially given the audacity of said latte drinkers to demand things like safety belts, catalytic converters, and bumpers!). They want relief damn it (I’m not talking about from their enlarged prostate here either)!! So, what better than to put a moratorium on federal taxes on gasoline, which amounts to $0.184 per gallon for passenger vehicles and $0.24 per gallon for trucks (the real kind that hauls freight, not your neighbor’s gilded Cataract Escapade).

To see the wisdom of this wonderful idea, let’s first determine what useless entitlements these federal taxes fund. The proceeds go into the highway trust fund to fund infrastructure such as highways, levees, and bridges, which we all know are in completely perfect shape; perfectly omnipotent market forces or the sins of residents of course explain things like Katrina and the Minneapolis bridge collapse, so why waste money on those things? Since we’re in agreement that the US Government has no business interfering in free markets by working on roads and the like, let’s go ahead and see what economic benefits are derived from this wonderful tax holiday.

The first awesome benefit to be derived from the tax holiday is to make refiners and oil companies richer! This is perfect and in accordance with Reaganomics (who undoubtedly is looking down from Peter’s right shoulder and uttering, “it is good.”). How does this ingenious plan accomplish this, you ask. In several ways. First, Americans drive more during the period in which the holiday would be in effect (i.e., summer), creating more demand. Refining capacity is a constant, constricting supply, resulting in increased prices at the pump. Second, a tax holiday may in fact spur good, flag lapel pin wearing ‘muricans into patriotically driving their land yachts rather than other means of travel (or staying home). This increases the demand for gasoline even more, escalating prices. So the net effect is that in all likelihood has prices at the pump would climb back to what they were pre-tax holiday, and adding the difference straight to oil refinery‘s profits. Brilliant!

The next economic benefit is to further mortgage the country since the revenue lost from the tax (not to fund silly entitlements like highway improvements, construction jobs or clean air, but more important things like invading more sovereign nations not run by angry white Christian men) would have to be added to the deficit, likely resulting in the shortfall being borrowed from foreign investors. We can just add this to shortfalls from things like the sub-prime mortgage success, which resulting from eliminating pesky government interference of predatory lending practices (a perfectly moral thing in a free market, right?).

“Wait a minute!” you say. “What about a windfall profit tax excised on oil companies to make up the shortfall?” This was proposed by Hillary Clinton (McBush presumably taking money instead from welfare earmarks such as education and healthcare). This is a great idea! In fact, it falls in perfectly with the other economic benefits listed above. Ronald Reagan, if alive, might leap for joy and secretly vote for Hillary in fact. Companies who will derive no marginal benefit from increased sales due to a windfall tax will of course further restrict supply to result in the optimum mix of revenue/profits such that they would yield the same profits by selling less gasoline. This reduced supply fits in perfect with the above formulas in pushing up prices, yielding no revenue benefit for the government, forcing it again to look elsewhere to make up the shortfall.

So, we continue in good King George Bush fashion with this plan, by decreeing the laws of nature and to hell with nonsensical things such as facts. This is perfectly in alignment with other brilliant Republican strategies, including but not limited to, privatizing Social Security, boundless free trade agreements, pushing abstinence as the sole means to address teen pregnancy, eliminating terrorism by pissing off as many people in the world as possible, and preaching good wholesome science like intelligent design in the classroom.

And my eyes were already welling up with tears from the loss of Premier W. It is good to see that we still have ‘publicans willing to fight the good fight for the constitutional right to have a moron for President. It also shows once again that Senator Obama seems to be the only candidate with the “temerity” to actually critically think complex things (like reality) through rather than take every opportunity to pander to voters.



Filed Under (Politics) by Sean on April-23-2008

As promised, I am posting the full chat log from the IRC channel #PennsylvaniaPrimary, created by @davewiner. This started around 7:30 CT and the log posted here goes through about midnight. I thought it was a great live backchannel in addition to Twitter (@scobleizer even joked that he thought Twitter was IRC) that wasn’t part of the public timeline, so here it is. It the raw IRC log file so you’ll see lots of superfluous information about people coming and going and other myriad IRC messages. Enjoy!

Now talking on #PennsylvaniaPrimary

<davewiner> Thanks to @adarg for the reminder

<davewiner> @adamrg

<maslowbeer> ah good fun all tweeps!

Virtudude (n=virtudud@c-76-24-20-91.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) has joined #PennsylvaniaPrimary

berryhill (n=berryhil@195.229.242.53) has joined #PennsylvaniaPrimary

agessaman (n=adam@pool-71-113-74-244.sttlwa.dsl-w.verizon.net) has joined #PennsylvaniaPrimary

GabeW (i=gwachob@pdpc/supporter/professional/GabeW) has joined #pennsylvaniaprimary

<maslowbeer> there we go :)

Read the rest of this entry »



Filed Under (Politics, Rants) by Sean on April-16-2008

So every once and a while you read something that really fires you up. Yesterday was one of those instances. I was lying in bed, peacefully scrolling through the last several hours of tweets that I had missed while sleeping (in today’s case that would have been between 7 am and 1 pm; yeah, my schedule is that screwed up), and I came across a tweet from @nprnewsblog, whom I follow on Twitter:

nprnewspic4.jpg

Intriguing, I thought, and hardly debatable. I usually read the really controversial stuff and would have typically passed this over completely but thought I would at least get the pulse of what diplomats had to say about the subject. So I clicked on the link. It was a decent account of what, again, seemed to be obvious. Quoted in the article was an excerpt from study by Quinnipiac University professor of public relations Kathy Fitzpatrick:

An overwhelming majority (88 percent) of more than 200 former high-ranking officers in the United States Information Agency who participated in the study said the U.S. is not diplomatically prepared to address ideological threats to U.S. interests in the 21st century …

More than 80 percent of the former USIA officers rated American public diplomacy efforts today as either “poor” or “marginal.” In contrast, more than 80 percent of the former USIA officers rated America’s public diplomacy efforts during the Cold War as “good” or “excellent.”

Sounds good – again, nothing earth shattering. Then I see the following thoroughly well thought out, insightful comment by our good buddy deek:

LOL, what else would we expect from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates?

The center’s of Jihad are supposed to like us?

Sent by deek | 11:01 AM ET | 04-15-2008

Yeah, that got me out of bed. I went straight to the computer, before having any coffee or food (which is a very serious thing for those that know me), and hammered out the following response in 90 seconds:

Boy comments like deek’s show the ignorance and impudence of the neo-conservative’s school yard adolescent bully mindset. You may recall that we actually won the cold war, resoundingly in fact. If the Bushies were in office at the time we would have certainly started WWW3 and none of us would be alive because of it. Even during (failed) shows of force like the Bay of Pigs and crises like the Cuban missile crisis among others, diplomacy shows its deftness of in being able to obtain the net result desired, in spite of these failings. If we took a similar tact in the current terrorism threat, we perhaps could win the war of ideas necessary to ultimately make us safer and ultimately prevail; the current strategy (or lack thereof) is not only ineffective, it does quite the opposite, further fomenting “jihadism.”

It is becoming increasingly clear to me how collectively immature the Bush neocon ideology is. The pre-pubescent school yard bully is an appropriate metaphor. Do you actually want to accomplish greatness in your life and truly lead or is your ego so frail you have to constantly show everyone how bad ass you are? The true leader is one who can show force but never does. Ultimately the bully always ends up at the short end of the stick later in life. Let’s do our best to put the dark days of W behind us and have some intelligent, enlightened leaders do what’s necessary to actually protect our interests rather than continuing our current weak, pathetic, and insipid “war on terror.”

Sent by Sean | 3:38 PM ET | 04-15-2008

So I wasn’t shy and didn’t pull any punches. Even though I suppose I could have taken a few minutes to compose a more proper argument, I still stand by what I wrote. Just when I start to regain some hope about the human condition, I read or hear this type of crap spewing out of some jackass’ mouth and my cynicism resurfaces.

As an inherently progressive species, it appears there are still those amongst us who want to divide us and hold humanity back for their own gain or sense of self worth. I will be writing a lot more about this and other political hot buttons in the coming weeks.

I will forever be optimistic, but it is certainly up to us to pave the way for change. I’m finding in my reading and discussions with other progressives that it is imperative we begin speaking out on our values and vision for America. That is the only way we can reclaim this nation from the grips of the insidious neocon spin machine.

 



Filed Under (Politics) by Sean on March-16-2008

David Michael Green writes about the current state of politics and, in particular, a certain Senator from Illinois.

American politics sucks, doesn’t it?

C’mon, face it–you know it does. You know ’cause you’ve experienced it your whole life. You (and I) have made a career out of sitting there watching in helpless astonishment as dweebs like Mike Dukakis and John Kerry stood by hopelessly looking on in election after election, while crypto-fascist punks like Dick Nixon and Little Bush handed them their lunch. Only then to go on and rack up nearly as much damage in the world as imaginable, while using hate and divisiveness to maintain support at home. Right?

Your whole life teaches you that to be a progressive in America is to make Sisyphus look like a slacker. Hey, at least he got to the top of the mountain once in a while! Even if it was all for naught, that’s still a lot more than we’ve been getting across the better part of a lifetime. Right?

And yet …

Maybe–just maybe–the long regressive winter of American politics is coming to a close. And maybe–just maybe–it is doing so with the extra kicker of a righteous wrath bringing its fury down on those most deserving of a generation’s worth of rage and contempt.

If you think I’ve gone off my rocker into a naive Wonderland so absurd that it would make Neville Chamberlain squeamish, try on this little thought experiment to see what I mean. Cast yourself back to the dark days of 2003 or 2004. The country has gone off on some 9/11-induced mass hysteria making Salem look like a picnic. The dumbest and the meanest amongst us are in charge. They are telling palpable, demonstrable lies about imaginary enemies, and the public is rallying behind their insane plans for Armageddon (in some cases quite literally), even (s)electing them for a second term. Their job approval ratings have skyrocketed to 90 percent. They are demonizing as traitors anyone who even feebly disagrees with them, even as they shred every major provision of the Constitution all claim to revere. And very few do dare to disagree with them–certainly not leaders of the completely misnamed opposition party. They are on a roll, fueled by a religious-like (and religious) fervor, and it looks like there is no end in sight. Remember?

Read the rest of this post



Filed Under (Politics) by Sean on March-7-2008

I think this impressive piece from the current issue of Rolling Stone reflects my own opinion regarding the current Presidential candidacy of Senator Obama. I could make a futile attempt to add something, but I believe she expresses my own viewpoints clearly and concisely. Enjoy.