Pseudo-patriotic madness

This is news, right from the CBC, not April Fool or The Onion: The Massachusetts House of Representatives has finally granted initial approval to a Bill naming the Fluffernutter the official state sandwich. The bill was filed in 2006 by then Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, in response to a motion by State Senator Jarrett Barrios limiting school Fluff servings to once a week. She thought … (more)

50 Years: Has Anything Changed?

I remember that day, in 1963. I was in high school. Penmanship class, after lunch. I think it was the last year for penmanship in Ontario high school, but even if not, I never took it again.* We used those long wooden pens with the fancy metal nibs, removable nibs that had to be periodically cleaned to keep the ink from clogging the narrow … (more)

Racism and the US Civil Rights movement retold

As I read through Rick Perlstein’s book, Nixonland, about American politics and life in the 1950s and 60s, the Civil Rights movement and the reaction to it by white Americans, the narrative astounds me. Such anger, such violence. Such sadness. It seems like such an alien place, dystopian, almost fictional, like an Orwellian novel. I was, it seems from my reading, not really aware, … (more)

Tax the Rich – a video

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6ZsXrzF8Cc] You really should watch this video. It explains in clear, simple terms the argument of the billionaires and the rest of us. I like it because – while it’s simplistic – it is succinct and presents its argument in a powerful story. It also clearly underscores the very polarized US arguments about both taxation and wealth. This was commented on the Daily Kos … (more)

Ten Lessons Learned From the Petraeus Affair

After watching the recent, exaggerated – and sordid – upheaval over the story about an extramarital affair that the (now former) head of the CIA had with his biographer, I have come to several conclusions about America, sex, American media and publicity: 1. Americans, who bought millions of copies of “Fifty Shades of Grey“, a poorly-written, highly derivative, pornographic book, and then turned it into a national industry that … (more)

Pondering the US election from a Canadian perspective

Canadians often find US politics mystifying, no more so than during presidential elections. It’s not just their byzantine electoral college system (which truly baffles us – even when explained concisely as in the video below). It’s not just the differences between America’s republican governance system and our parliamentary system (although they do contribute mightily to the confusion since they are so dissimilar). These are … (more)

Santorum’s ‘faith’ attack incomprehensible

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyIZIiY81Ek”]I really don’t understand American politics. Watching the current campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination for presidential candidacy only baffles me further. It’s stunning that so many of the Republican candidates appeal – and do so loudly and consistently – to the lowest common denominator among the population. Topping my list of Republicans who bemuse me is Rick Santorum. His campaign only proves that … (more)

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