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September 23, 2008

Why Republicans?

Many liberals simply can't fathom why many folks, especially working-class and minorities, vote for Republicans. I find it difficult to rationalize their decision to, as I see it, vote for those whose policies are in direct opposition to their financial, civil, and personal well being. Don't we liberals fight for the right of the oppressed? Don't our policies support the middle- and lower-classes better? Aren't freedom, justice, health care, the environment, and education important to everyone? I honestly want to know.

In thinking about this, I stumbled upon a couple of articles, one thoughtful, the other bellicose, but both complementary, that look at this liberal dilemma: Why does a constituency that one would predict to be strongly left-leaning elect right-wing politicians?

First the thoughtful one:

"But with pleasure comes seduction, and with righteous pleasure comes seduction wearing a halo. Our diagnosis explains away Republican successes while convincing us and our fellow liberals that we hold the moral high ground. Our diagnosis tells us that we have nothing to learn from other ideologies, and it blinds us to what I think is one of the main reasons that so many Americans voted Republican over the last 30 years: they honestly prefer the Republican vision of a moral order to the one offered by Democrats. To see what Democrats have been missing, it helps to take off the halo, step back for a moment, and think about what morality really is."

More here: Why do working class people vote Republican?

Now the angry, but insightful, analysis:

"However: the happy comity that allows us to function as social and political animals inevitably falls apart when one group pulls away from the collective whole and decides that there are in fact two kinds of people in the world -- a righteous Us, and a suspect Them -- and They aren't worthy of respect, cannot be trusted, and should rightly be purged from our midst for the good of the whole. Whenever the name of the political game becomes Us Versus Them, the resulting divisions can quickly shred any sense of shared identity or common future. Nobody wants to invest in anything. Infrastructure and economies fall apart. In short order, the escalating internal conflicts can tear apart families, communities, and nations far more effectively than any external enemy ever could."

More here: Two Kinds of Americans: Us Versus Them (Part I)

Posted by tat at 09:08 PM | Comments (2)

September 17, 2008

Hurrican Ike Report

Finally got this internet thingy hooked back up again and thought I'd drop everybody a line. The eye of the hurricane, as a category 1, passed about 25 miles west of Lufkin Saturday morning. Gusts of 85+ were measured around the area, and many, many trees are down and some houses are destroyed. I sat on my back porch with my father and watched trees bend like reeds. Heard some loud snapping, and I lost a lot of limbs, but nothing serious. Some neighbors lost entire trees. The pile of debris I collected from my yard is about the size of a car. Power went out of course as the storm hit, and we still don't have any (as of Tuesday, 4:45 P.M.), but I scored a generator today through mother-in-law (boo-yah!), and got some basics back, like cold beer and the laptops. The military is very visible in the area, delivering water, ice, fuel, and food. Chinooks pass over occasionally. Most of the town seems to have power, but most rural areas--read most of the county--is looking at a week-plus for power, three weeks in the backwoods areas. I went out on my bicycle yesterday and counted four huge trees on powerlines and two houses destroyed, just in about 12 miles of riding. Most people who weathered Rita are judging this one worse for power outages, but less for damage.

A cold front blew through the day after the hurricane, so the days have been pleasant, maybe 85, and the nights have been downright cold, as low as 58, so we're not suffering from that. We've been cooking pancakes and pasta on a propane stove, and we lost everything in the freezer. I figured it would stay cold for at least a couple days, but tis not so. Ice was hard to find for a while, but we took the advice of a neighbor and froze water in zip-locs before the storm hit. *Very good idea*. It kept our food cold for a couple days until supplies caught up.

Things I did right: propane stove and fuel, frozen zip-locs for ice, dry and canned food to cook or eat out of the can, bathtub and buckets full of water, eating cold stuff first, lotsa peanut butter and bread, snacks for kids, wind-up lights.

Things I wish I had done: chlorine for the pool, extra gasoline, big tarp, batteries, bigger stock of food, emptied the freezer first thing.

Posted by tat at 06:27 PM | Comments (1)

September 01, 2008

Palin Pregnancy

A picture has turned up that shows Palin pregnant. It's obvious in the picture, so why was her announcement a surprise for those around her?

Mmmmm, love that warm, gooey feeling of egg on my face.

On the other hand, if Bristol is five month's pregnant, that means she got that way while home with mono. Hmmmm.

Bristol's pregnancy story quashes any rumors pretty soundly, but it would also be (in my conspiracy theory brain) a brilliant counter to the innuendo flying around. She could get married to the father of Trig, yet later "lose" her purported current pregnancy. Hmmmm.

Posted by tat at 03:32 PM | Comments (1)