From The American Conservative: David Vitter might lose the Governor’s race in Louisiana, setting up a fascinating Senate campaign next year.
From Quartz: How terrorism spreads by breeding savage behavior in its targets. Evolution wins again.
From the Priceonomics blog: The politics of Pad Thai.
From Aon: How sentimental claptrap about “eating local” is undermining the environment and compromising sustainability.
From Rolling Stone: Our long history of failed campaigns against decadent pop culture.
From Governing: Important things are happening in Seattle that may affect your future. Cities are starting to assert themselves politically.
Salon is pretty partisan “left”, but they got this commentary exactly right. My good friend lives in Jefferson County which successfully fought against big money brought into the county to fight a recall election of conservatives on the JeffCo School Board. She said this article is spot on in relating how parents, teachers, students, and community leaders countered KOCH megabucks intended to keep hand picked conservatives to a local school board. These KOCH TP board members were destroying what had been an excellent public school district and the people of Jefferson County fought back and booted them out of office! How they did it is pretty amazing…very low budget but very high tech in combination with good old fashioned door to door outreach combined with passion and hard work. Especially interesting to me is the fact that over 70% of the voters in Jefferson County, CO, do not have children in the school system. Never the less, the organizers worked to inform, involve and get them to vote in an election that might have drawn a much smaller turnout if they hadn’t mobilized.
This is Democracy at its best. For those of you who have never been involved in a grassroots cause, this is how it’s done and it is so very gratifying. The article highlights other elections at lower echelons which illustrate that regular people at the local level are beginning to get involved and fight back against TP control. YEA!
Folks of all political persuasions will get a chuckle from Doonesbury’s cartoon today. (Hope it doesn’t post large, but….it is so perfect for this blog that I couldn’t resist sharing.)
Even now in Paris terrorism will not be one of the most important dangers – nearly 200 people killed in terrorist attacks recently
compared to over 3000 in road accidents
Total “accidents” was about 30/100,000 – 65 Million in France so 19,500 deaths per year
Paris is 2.25Million so 6,750 deaths in Paris
The sensible thing to do is NOT to overreact – no Patriot Acts – No mass surveillance
Terrorism is less than 1% of the risk of having an “accident”
The price on “eating local”, no matter how well reasoned, will never gain traction with the crowd who are ‘gluten-free’, wear Birkenstocks to work, eschew deodorant, have tattered, well-thumbed copies of Silent Spring on their nightstands, and anti-GMO protest signs behind the couch. It’s religion.
Piece on… Geez.
Isn’t The American Conservative basically the only sane man of conservative internet sites, with the exception of their weird occasional weakness for the “intellectual” far right (i.e. European-styled fascism)?
I really like that site. I disagree with them on most things. They are far too strident and occasionally weird about cultural issues. But they are actual conservatives, in the old meaning of the term.
The only really lousy stuff you’ll see on the site happens when Pat Buchanan, one of the founders, decides to publish something.
Lifer, is there a conservative site that you think is pretty consistent and balanced? You added lots of caveats to the American Conservative comment.
I want to read more conservative commentary to expand my perspective. I used to be able to count on the WSJ but not as much these days.
Any suggestions? Journals? Newspapers?
Other than the American Conservative, no, there isn’t. That’s a serious problem.
There are lots of Republican thinkers out there who are solid and interesting, but so far none of them has been willing to publicly start saying things that would put them at odds with the party.
Currently there is no forum on the right that I am aware of that fosters smart, reality-based thinking.
What about the National Review?
My good CO friend (fellow conservative Democrat and very open-minded, much more so than i am) now follows you. She asked me today, “when does Ladd sleep?” She’s worried about you trying to do so many things of substance, including having a real job and family plus your blog and FB, etc posts. As we all are. You carry a big load in trying to keep conversation going and blow out the BS. We all appreciate that, Chris.
I’m pretty distressed by the xenophobia I’m seeing and hearing everywhere w/r to the attacks in Paris.
Also, seing images of NYPD cops as heavily armed as soldiers patrolling NYC based on no credible threat other then an attack on the other side of the Atlantic.
Drumbeats are faintly sounding everywhere I look, but getting louder.
This is how facist dictatorships get ushered in. Hopefully sanity returns.
At some point, you just have to accept the fact that we live in a world with heightened terror risk and not be terrified of our own shadows.
The type of “Big ggovernment” that spends a lot of money to support its poorest citizens is far, far, far better then the type of “Big government” that spends a lot of money controlling its citizens under the guise of “protection”.
It appears that socialist governments are just as vulnerable as democracies. The common denominator is that we stand for liberty and equality for all (even if we don’t practice it here very consistently or well).
This group of people defy categorization. Anyone who is willing to blow himself up in order to kill innocent people is so out there that a rational assessment just won’t work.
Hmmm… Looking to the past century or so of fascism, I can’t think of a single regime born of terrorism or the reaction to it. Sure – propaganda played a significant role in fostering hatred in the public at large, but the Parisian and Mumbai attacks were not the product of some twisted, government-controlled propaganda machine. These were real.
So while I take your point that government overreaction can certainly look ‘fascist’, the circumstances here are much different than those which lead to the rise of fascist dictatorships in the past.
Fifty, “terrorism” isn’t the reason. Its simply the current manifestation.
The common themes seem to be poverty, xenophobia, nationalism and fear. and the root of it all seems to be inequality.
In Germany in the 30’s, the Germans were being crippled by the overly punitive Treaty of Versailles, which created intense poverty in Germany. Hitler exploited that, he exploited the nationalistic side of a reventnworld power reduced to humiliation. He exploited the fear of the Other, in that case, the Jews.
Obviously, every specific example is different and has its own unique circumstances. Modern Islamic terrorism is relatiively new.
There are some similar themes though, and when I hear some of the things ppl are saying from the local level (on Facebook, the water cooler etc) up to the national level (Republican presidential candidates etc) you can see and hear many things that sound very familiar to those with a knowledge of the histiry of facist regimes and how they come to power.
In our present case, if it ever got that far, it wouldn’t be terrorism directly that would bring it about. It would be our REACTION to terrorism and the fear, hatred, and.xenophobia it breeds.
To give specific examples of what I’m talking about the leading GOP prez candidate calling Mexicans rapists and murderes and whose main platform involves a “deportation force” of jackbooted thugs going door to door ripping parents out of bed at 2 am. Even if you think deporting 11 million people within a year is a goos idea, does ANYbody with any knowledge of such things think this could be done with even a modicum of due process and humanity?
I’m talking about a Facebook feed full of memes and quotes talking about how we need to make being Muslim illegal, how we need to make it easier for governments to spy on its citizens, etc etc
Fear and xenophobia are the lifeblood of facist regimes. Keep the people afraid and convince them that only you can keep them safe, and they’ll happily give away their rights.
I wouldn’t doubt that this “trick” has happened before (-: And not just in LA !
Found this clip someone posted on the Louisiana Governor’s race linked in Lifer’s post. It shows that dirty politics go back to the founding of the country. Our current crop of politicians are amateurs.
That’s clever, Stephen.
It goes back even before that, I believe. Peter Minuit is on record as playing so dirty that it would make Richard Nixon blush.
Check out the McAllister add (third one down in the Vitter link). Voters are told to vote on Saturday, November 16th. LOL
Oops, never mind. That ad wasn’t about the upcoming election. My bad.