Category: America

Those Ridiculous Clerics!

The nerve of these people! We are outraged. We are livid. This kind of barbarity cannot be permitted in civilized society. Mahmoud Shaaban is an “ultraconservative” Islamic cleric in Egypt. “Hard-line,” “orthodox” – whatever. In the name of his great religion, he and his fellow cleric Wagdi Ghoneim have issued fatwas (edicts) calling for the...

A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem

Guns are not the problem. People are not the problem. Young people are the problem. They don’t listen. They play awful video game simulations of mass murder. They shoot six-year-olds. And no amount of background checks or ammo-clip restrictions will change that. There’s only one way to solve the gun situation, one way to bring...

Life as a First-Person Shooter

The world didn’t end. We went on. After the last of the murdered children was laid to rest, buried in the Connecticut dirt, it was time for life to get back to normal. To play our “first-person shooter” video games – “Assassin’s Creed” anyone? – and watch our TV programs – Criminal This and Criminal...

Winner-Take-All Politics

The grave necessity of Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker’s book, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, was never clearer than the 2012 elections, in which citizens were presented with a “choice” between two competitie sub-brands of The Money Party monopoly. If you’re pro-war, pro-assassination, pro-bribery and...

The NASCAR President

So long as the American people are quite alright with their elected offices being available for rent, let’s have some fun. We’re resigned to a world where money is speech, not property, a world where no one minds that half their Members of Congress are millionaires (as opposed to 1% of the population-at-large), where $372...

Climate Change, Clean Coal, and Dirty Propaganda

In the days preceding the storm of the century, two candidates running for President of the United States strenuously assured voters that they would pump more crude, frack more natural gas, and burn more coal than the other guy. Whether or not an energy policy built on a fossil-fuel paradigm could or could not be...

America and Human Rights Abuse

Allow us to describe a country for you: Prisoners detained without charges. Prisons operating outside the legal system. Limits on free speech. Limits on the Internet. Legitimately entitled voters prevented from casting ballots. Government sanctioned kidnappings. Witch hunts against political enemies. Torture. China, right? Or is it Russia? Actually, this description, reported in the Los...

This is Democracy?

This Tuesday (October 23) there’ll be a fourth Presidential Debate held at the Chicago Hilton and moderated by wizened celebrity interlocutor Larry King. Didn’t hear about it? That’s because it’s not being broadcast on any television network – the debate is being streamed on the Internet – and neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama will...

Little Lies, Big Lies, and American Lies

Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology committee, which guides national science policy. His constituents, who elected and re-elected him, are untroubled apparently that Broun rejects science as a legitimate basis for decision-making. Broun has publicly called evolution – and all that we’ve learned about the process –...

Occupied with Occupy

The Occupy movement celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. Professional pontificators wondered in print and on TV, What has Occupy Actually Achieved? Prevailing sentiment seems to be: nothing much. At least nothing tangible, measurable, quantifiable, or, most important, commoditizable. Since protesters took over Zuccotti Park, numerous polls have shown that the American public – the...