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What if they held a class war and nobody noticed? For decades, liberals and progressives have been bashed for conducting a "class war" every time they suggest that it would be appropriate for the extremely wealthy to shoulder a bit more of the burden of paying for government. Meanwhile, a swarm of far-right think-tanks and political action committees have been working tirelessly to promote the idea that taxes on the wealthy should be lowered further from their historic lows, and that entitlement programs such as social security and medicare are too expensive to sustain (and in any case, immoral). The latest attempts to delegitimize public employee unions are the logical next step in what genuinely appears to be the systematic dismantlement of the middle class. This blog will highlight some of the more extreme examples of this activity that may not always show up in your news feeds.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trip Down Memory Lane

P.Z. Myers reminds us of the ridiculous brouhaha that ensued from Monty Python's The Life of Brian, including the shameful performance by Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood during a televised debate.

Really Good Article

I'm way behind in my reading of the New Yorker, and just finished an issue from last October.  In it is the article "Washington Man" by George Packer.  This follows the long-form journalism format that seems to be more and more prevalent in the New Yorker, going into great depth on a guy who was a Washington insider for most of his adult life, working on Biden's staff as well as for a lobbying firm.  Of course, while telling his story, it also tells another important story about the increasingly prevalent corrupting influence of money in politics.

I have been a Packer skeptic since his Iraq misstep, but I must say this was an excellent article.  Sadly, it's behind the paywall, but here is the abstract.  If you have digital access, or if you happen to have access to old paper issues (i.e., you're a Luddite like me), it is well worth a read.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another Gun Tragedy

Mother, father, and three young kids (9, 5 and 2) shot dead by 15-year-old son.

The moral of the story:  if only those kids had been properly armed with assault weapons, they could have prevented it.  (Logical conclusion of gun nut arguments about arming everybody to stop crazies from carrying out mass murders.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What It's Like to Live In a Red State

I spent many years in one of the country's very reddest states, and was periodically floored by the things those in power publicly uttered, on the apparent assumption that 100% of the people hearing/reading about it would agree.  There was a total lack of awareness of how out-of-step they were with large segments of the larger society.  This could include overt racism, religious exceptionalism, or violent threats against any with whom they disagreed.

This latest episode from Kansas (not the state I refer to above) would fit right in.  Sadly, it's par for the course in the middle and southern parts of the country.