Societal Overhaul

“Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change,
into something rich and strange,
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell,
Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.”

Shakespeare ~ The Tempest

If it hasn’t become clear to most of you by now, it should have. We are in the middle of a blatant attempt by certain political elements  to completely and utterly overhaul society as it has existed for at least the last 100 years, if not longer. I call these elements by what they call themselves – Republicans. A little history is in order.

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‘Twas the Day after Christmas…

I wrote this on the day after Christmas.

With apologies to Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828)
(previously believed to be Clement Clarke Moore).

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the House
The leftovers were eaten, the fire was well doused.
The stockings had been stripped of their goodies and lost
While the pols at the Capitol dreamed of bribes of great cost.

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A Couple of Thoughts on the Newtown Tragedy

I have a couple of thoughts, by no means exclusive or comprehensive.

1. We definitely need a dialogue on how best to handle mental illness. There is such a societal stigma attached to it, and then we seem to only want to touch it with kid gloves, by making light of it, or joking (have you ever called a psychiatrist a “shrink”?). We are far more educated about the workings of the human brain than we were even 50 years ago, but we are light years away from understanding it completely. We have no problem running off to a doctor for the slightest physical ailment, yet despite the fact that the brain is far more complicated than all the other organs in the body combined, we hesitate to do something when things “aren’t right”. Often mental illness is left to the parents, or families, and society simply ignores it. We need to change our attitudes about it. In the process, we’ll not only have a better understanding of what makes the Adam Lanza’s of the world tick, but we’ll make great strides in dealing with other societal ills, such as homelessness, suicide, drug addiction, etc.

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I Get (Snail) Mail

Real mail. Snail mail. It was delivered by the Postal Service.

Recently I wrote a column and submitted it to my local paper. The paper actually printed it. I received a lot of responses, and some were actually written and delivered the old fashioned way.  I though I’d reproduce one of them here, along with my response to my fan ( a term I use loosely). I know, this is a cheap and easy way to get another post up on the blog, but I did write it, so why not?

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My Endorsement

Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Both of you. Who will SI endorse for President of the United States? I’m sure that if you’re a regular reader, you really have no idea, because I’m so obviously impartial in my politics,  and I clearly lean in both directions depending on the issue, that you are all scratching your heads, trying to tease some sense of who I will ultimately pick. Let me ease the suspense, and give it to you straight.

{drum roll}

Barack Obama.

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Gotta Love Conventions

In an effort to get another post in this month, I thought I’d ruminate on the recent Republican National Convention. I know. Snooze time, but really, it’s August 31, and this is my last chance to get something written this month.

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The Authoritarians

If you’re like me, you have a hard time ingesting current news, especially on the political front. The polarization of America is, front and center, the most perplexing aspect of current political discourse. Take for instance this fixation on defeating Obama, making him a “one term President” as Mitch McConnell promised early in his administration, during a time of economic crisis when millions of people were losing their homes, their jobs, and their way of life, and Congress should have been working WITH the President, not against him.

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WTF Is Going On In Syria?

I guess everyone is well aware of the Arab Spring that has swept across the Middle East and North Africa, with the toppling of regimes in countries like Libya and Egypt.  It seems to bear out the idea that people everywhere are more or less the same, regardless of their ethnic, cultural or religious differences, in the areas of political and personal freedom. They will put up with a crap-load of oppression and lack of freedom up to a point, but when that point is reached, they’ll snap, rise up and get rid of their oppressors. Usually, this happens in conjunction with an economic downturn. So it’s no surprise to see this with a world economy on the fritz, and it also explains American movements like the Tea Party and the Occupy movement. When people are able to exist with enough of the necessities of life, they are…well, maybe not happy, but content enough with their lives to let sleeping dogs lie. But when every day is a dog-eat-dog form of existence, the rulers better watch out. But enough with the canine cliches.

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Book Review: It’s Even Worse Than It Looks

I wrote a quick review of this book and posted it on my Goodreads account. I’ve expanded it a bit for this post:


It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (4.5, actually, but the Goodreads rating system only works with whole numbers)

… It’s nice to find a well researched and articulate book that gives voice to the confusion and bewilderment I have experienced watching political discourse and activity over the past couple of years in this country, especially since Obama was elected. I have had so many WTF moments, incredulous that what was happening in the regular course of government was actually happening. The faux debt crisis, for me, was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the one where I seriously thought Republicans were committing treason. Their actions and positions last summer were so obviously motivated by party-wide self advancement, rather than the good of the country they were elected and paid to serve, that I felt they should have been taken out back and summarily shot.

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That Clinches It For Me

There is far too much discussion about religion in this election. I don’t care who has the better theology, whether one is a better Christian than another, what god says about gays, vaginas or the price of oil for that matter. I don’t care what every two-bit preacher with a mail-order degree thinks. I don’t care what Obama’s pastor said once or twice in the 20 years he attended service in his church (that issue is old news and I don’t want to hear it re-hashed by Santorum).

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