Tag Archives: rhetoric

Unto The Breach

Iowa Caucus

Here we go again…

Here we go again! Political mechanics (rather than celestial mechanics, quantum mechanics, or auto mechanics) brings the Silly Season of a presidential election around once more. Tonight, in Iowa, the results of the first of the Primaries will give us the first clues whether He Who Must Not Be Named gets traction.

The social mechanics, along with technology, seems to make this election cycle unlike any seen in American politics. Despite a common assertion, the world (society, really) does evolve and change!

So no one knows what will happen tonight!

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Striped Cuckoo

striped cuckoo 1There is a bit of delicious schadenfreude with regard to the mainstream (“establishment”) Republican party scrambling to correct for The Donald. The GOP spent years training their electorate to respond to noise and nonsense; now they’re stuck behind an interloper cuckoo bird who’s a master at noise, nonsense, and (worst of all) media.

Between the chirping Donnie Boy and the incoherent lipsticked pit bull, it’s quite an entertaining show. Of course, no one will actually vote for the guy, right? Those big crowds just turn out to see the show, right? They’ll never show up at the actual caucus…

Right? Right??

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Extreme Weather

DC winter stormWashington (D.C.) is the expected epicenter of an approaching patch of extreme weather, an historic storm that is, in large part, due to the damage our modern society has done to the environment. And utterly without irony, there’s going to be a big snow storm there, too.

The crazy weather does seem suited to the craziness going on in politics. As with climate change due to the increase of CO2, the flow of other pollutants into public discourse has changed the social environment.

The Earth’s weather is getting chaotic, and so is its politics.

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POTUS SOTUS

POTUS SOTUSMy impulse was to here write, “It’s been an interesting week,” but in reality it’s just been a week much like those that came before it. The social weather forecast: continuing craziness with scattered outbursts of outright insanity.

President Obama gave his final State of The Union (SOTU) speech on Tuesday, and so I find myself writing about how proud I was of my president for the second time in as many weeks (and, very possibly, the only two times since he was elected).

Watching that speech, I kept thinking, “Where has this guy been for the last seven years?”

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Climbing Sand Dunes

Batman TDKR movieThe thing about climbing up sand dunes is that you keep sliding downwards. If you slide downward one step for every step you take upwards, you stay in place and get nowhere. Worse, if you slide two steps down for every step up, you go backwards!

To climb a sand dune successfully, you have to take more steps upwards than you slide downwards. I’ve climbed sand dunes; it’s hard; it takes effort (or a dune buggy).

The thing about social progress is that, without real effort towards moving upwards, society tends to slide backwards. Or just stay in place.

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Unreality Show

truth-lies-0Well, here we are in 2016, a Presidential election year, and — man, oh man — it’s going to be a weird one! High waters from several rivers seems to be converging to form a flood unlike any we’ve seen in modern politics. And while that’s kind of fascinating from a sociology perspective, as a citizen some of it seems kind of scary.

As I write this, actual rivers are flooding Midwestern cities in the USA, but the rivers I have in mind are reality shows, the interweb, and our social environment (where global unrest and terrorism is a primary topic). The flood here is a lack of sense, nuance, and thoughtfulness.

My question today: When did we so fully embrace lies and illusion?

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Everything Louder

vu overloadI’ve been watching the cable news a lot lately, and it fills me with dismay. I’m seeing coming to fruition a crop that I’ve been warning about for over 40 years. I’ve referred to it as the Death of a Liberal Arts Education.

As this crop of useless weeds chokes the life out of the nutritious and necessary political and social fauna and flora, I find that we’ve arrived at an even greater loss: Utter Dialectic Failure!

That’s a topic for future posts. Right now I want to ask:

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For The Record

Thank You For ArguingIt was a number of years ago that the book you see pictured here on the right caught my eye. I was wandering around a bookstore, as book-lovers do, seeing what there was to see (and possibly buy). This may surprise you, but I’ve always enjoyed a good debate, so the book’s topic seemed attractive and a nice change of pace from baseball and science books or SF novels.

Plus: Aristotle, Lincoln and Homer Simpson! Who could resist that? A glance at a few of the pages showed an easy and breezy open writing style that went down nicely, and the bits I read were quite intriguing. I snagged it thinking it would be right up my alley, and that I’d enjoy it thoroughly.

I never got more than a third of the way through it!

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