Monthly Archives: August 2013

America Your America, Finis

There was a time, not long ago, when the future of America This America seemed poised for a new golden era. The Berlin wall was gone, and with it the cold war hysteria; the tech boom was raising many boats as we all became proud members of the investor class; and the new millennium was promising to unfold in all its hope and splendor. And, despite some Y2K fears that the end was nigh, when the ball dropped on December 31st, 1999, the people of the world released a collective sigh of relief. We had made it. The future was ours.
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America Your America, Part 7

There is little doubt that the greatest casualty of the sustained assault on our democracy over the last thirty years or so has been the American middle class. Suffering through a sustained period of attrition as membership has been pushed both down and out by the relentless efficiency gains and rent seeking imposed by the owners of capital and production, to still find oneself situated between the poor and the rich has darkened from dream to nightmare. But this itself is a mere symptom of an even greater tragedy: the abject loss of faith in the social institutions and rule of law necessary for a healthy representative government.
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Chasing livable land

I had the occasion to recently watch the film Chasing Ice, a visually stunning and compelling documentary of photographer James Balog’s multi-year venture to capture time elapsed pictures of the rapid erosion of several of the world’s glaciers.

Highly recommended.

Yet, in the middle of watching the documentary, with its inevitable discussion of loss of glacial ice and the corresponding, devastating rise in ocean level that will cause the inland migration of hundreds of millions of climate refugees, I was struck with this thought: the inland migration to where?

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America Your America, Part 6

America is two nations on many fronts: The rich America and the poor America; the white America and the America of color; the America of the elite and the common America; the secular America and the America of the devout; and so on. But few parallels are as dangerous as the America of democracy, and the America of those who view representative government as a quaint, outdated concept.
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