Let’s Stop and Take a Breath: American Divisiveness

No Service to AZ LegislatorsAmerican divisiveness is a special breed of cat. American-style democracy is an anomaly in the world and so is the American way of trying to bridge divisions to balance the needs of the many and the few.

Sometimes this is a knee-jerk, willful, or greatly misguided bunk — as in former House Speaker Tom DeLay’s contention that, “We stopped realizing that God created this nation, that he wrote the Constitution, that it’s based on biblical principles.” Sometimes it is a matter of forcing opinions on your opposition — like Richard Dawkins’ claim that, “What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child, therefore that is what you believe. That’s child abuse.”

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If Politics is Toxic Now, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Capture.JPGIf politics is toxic now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. During the reign of St. Ronnie of Reagan, I used to think, “You know, politicians talk some serious shit these days.” But, Reagan was a kindly grandpa compared to the current lot. He may have done a lot of things that the country still suffers from, but he also managed to do some good. And the reason was that Congressional leaders were reasonable people who understood you had to drop the posturing and downright hatefulness at the end of the day and go play a round of golf with the other side.

Flash forward to Newt Gingrich, infant terrible of the right-wing. He came to office with an agenda to shake things up, but not in a good way. He paid the price with a short term, but went on to become the right’s idea of a one man intelligentsia — at least until Ted Cruz came along.

But Newt begat Tom DeLay who wasn’t called “The Hammer” for nothing. Since then there have been a long line of “leaders” from both parties with a penchant for spending a lot of time talking about what assholes the opposing party is instead of cooperating.

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Reality TV: Making You Feel Superior Every Day

DistractionsREALITY WARS – Truthful, truthy, or just plain lies, America’s fascination with goobs on TV keeps their minds off of truly icky subjects.

Stephen Colbert coined the phrase Truthiness, defined as “a truth that a person claims to know intuitively from the gut or because it feels right without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.” Based on that definition “reality” television shows even stretch that broad definition to something closer to realitiness, “the relative reality based on colorful characters and stupid premises without regard for the relative reality of either.” Or something like that.

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