29 April 2013

Why Mitt Romney won the 2012 election

Almost six months after Barack Obama's reelection, it turns out that all the things Democratic Party functionaries told us would happen if Mitt Romney was elected have happened anyway.  Here is a partial list:

1.  Abortion rights rolled back

Kansas women have seen their reproductive rights evaporate (the trigger for this measure's effect being a Supreme Court decision that no president can directly control).  Other states are pushing ahead in "targeted regulation of abortion providers" that make it all but impossible for safe and legal abortions to happen.

2.  Irresponsible military adventurism

Instead of improving the disgraceful state of veterans' health care, or indeed doing anything to benefit needy Americans at all, the administration has spent over $100 million on aid to Syrian rebels.  This is virtually guaranteed to be diverted from the ostensible purposes of "sanitation, food, medicine and education" towards lining the pockets of warlords who have no lasting goodwill to the United States.  (A true cynic might say that the administration is hoping they would misuse the money by buying assault rifles from American manufacturers).

And, of course, without an international treaty (merely a gentleman's agreement between Obama and Karzai) we really have no idea when the Afghanistan war will end.

3.  Deepening poverty

Cutting Social Security benefits, as well as failure to enact real universal health care, is going to increase poverty in this country.  We can speculate as to how much more Romney would have squeezed poor people in his budget proposals, but the fact is Obama is doing it too.

4.  Total inaction on climate change

Aside from some passing mention in the State of the Union speech, Obama has shown no interest in talking about climate change.  His State Department released a brain-dead report on the Keystone XL pipeline and there is clear evidence of oil-industry corruption in the department.

The Romney clan, though it cannot baptize dead people in the White House, continues to rake in money, of course, by exploiting the carried interest tax loophole, which Obama has not succeeded in ending.

25 April 2013

If we already exist in the final world or in the best of all possible worlds, an alternative future is unwelcome. But if the contradictions are continually growing, and if the victims of the present system of living are becoming more and more numerous, we are bound to look around for alternatives. The people who control the present system, and the system's beneficiaries, always have only a conservative interest in its preservation or a progressive interest in its expansion. But the victims can survive solely by virtue of the hope for an alternative future. The victims of the present system are: 1. Unemployed 'surplus people,' whom nobody wants and nobody needs. Automated industries and digital communications no longer merely exploit; they also produce more and more of these surplus people. 2. Future generations, which will have to pay off the mountain of debt that present generations are heaping up so that they can enjoy their own existence. 3. Nature, which is being driven into ecological catastrophe and left 'without form and void.' 4. The present system itself, which is going to founder on the contradictions it produces and will annihilate the human race unless history is opened up afresh and real alternatives emerge that make this system reformable.
Jurgen Moltmann, "Liberating and Anticipating the Future"

23 April 2013

Dear Andrew Sullivan,

I have not found your recent fear-mongering on the Dish worthy of a deeply intellectual commentator and good Christian such as yourself.  Would it be too much to ask that, until we actually know of a link between the Tsarnaev brothers and any organized jihadist group, you confine yourself to writing about beagles, Provincetown, and the lesser-known saints' days?

Boston Strong,

Skye Winspur

20 April 2013

John Milton, no stranger to chaotic violence as an Englishman of the mid-seventeenth century, wrote:

...As bees
in spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides,
pour forth their populous youth about the hive
in clusters:  they among fresh dews and flowers
fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel,
New rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs...[Paradise Lost, Book I, 768-775]

Thank God we in Greater Boston can come out and confer with each other in the spring air once again.