Christine Goes All Hippy On You… Again

trailer park

Some days the universe points you in the right direction. Someone will say, or write something and you know just how to respond. That was the case today when Laura Ingraham and Representative Mo Brooks handed the Twitterverse a gift in perpetuating the idea that there is somehow a war on white people. Everyone grabbed that ball and ran with it, myself included. It is all well and good to mock the powerful when they say foolish and inflammatory things. It is another to kick the powerless. Continue reading

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(Dis)owning the Parallels

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Thinking about Gaza again. It does not help that this time, for whatever reason, it has really motivated people on all sides of the debate (yeah, you read that right, “all” not “both.”)  I cannot recall a time in the age of social media when so many people, for so many consecutive days, have posted something, usually many things, about their opinions on this issue. I suppose, despite so much of the vitriol spraying about in all this, that it is a good thing. People are talking and we have not done a lot of that on this issue. So yeah, talking is fine. Continue reading

Saving Grace

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I just had to do some admittedly too late to call it spring cleaning of my friends list on Facebook. I know you should not live in an echo chamber but the absolutely psychotic degree of hatred leveled at the poor (or as they like to call them “takers”) in our country was starting to trigger me, hard. I wish had saved the internet meme that put me over the edge. It was something along the lines of “share if you think it is wrong that some, hard-working, people are taxed to the point of breaking to give money to those who refuse to work.” Frankly I put a bit of the blame for the timing of that meme on a crap broadcast by that bastion of “liberal” media, 60 minutes, on disability benefit fraud. Nothing says legitimate journalism like sensationalist, nasty, speculation by two disgruntled employees, but I digress. I blame the ongoing nastiness directed at the less fortunate in society on something far more insidious. Continue reading

The Immigration Debate Comes To My Hometown

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It is late June here and as is usual for this time of year in Brockport, a quiet, little Victorian village on the Erie Canal between Rochester and Buffalo in upstate NY, there is a pleasant laziness in the air. That happens when you lose somewhere between quarter and a third of your population as the college students leave for home. The worst you usually hear around now is a complaint about the mugginess, but we will live. It is a cozy place, with a cozy sense of self. People do not like change, as evidenced by its citizens fighting to keep their distinct, village government in the name of community identity a couple of years ago. This is neither good nor bad, it just is. It is also why it is no surprise when a big change is suggested, it stirs the hornet’s nest nicely. Continue reading

The (Empty) World Cup Runneth Over

An anti-government demonstrator takes part in a protest against the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro

Years past, every four years, I have been able to pretend I am more of a “proper” football fan than American football fan. This is, of course, patently false, evidenced by the quotation marks around the word “proper” and the fact that this is my first blog post about soccer. The sad reality of it is that it is not really about the game at all, but rather the unfortunate outcome for so many Brazilians. Continue reading

In For a Penny, In For a Pound (of Flesh)

Photo: Priorities ....

I am sure many of you have seen the above graphic. It is worth noting that several of the states on the left of the image are our allies, and the two we do not consider allies are not exactly enemies either. Our military budget is bloated beyond any reasonable boundaries, and yet somehow this is perfectly acceptable to most Americans. Oh, some speak out about it. The Democratic party likes to pretend that they are willing to cut back defense spending but wither in the face of war profiteers and the small but obnoxious ranks of the violently patriotic. Continue reading

Taking a Good Idea and Cutting it to Shreds

It is a dirty word for suburbanites: “consolidation.” People in rural communities and suburbs alike want to keep their identities even at the expense of good fiscal policy and more efficient government. This debate heats up even more when you get into the notion of “metro” school districts, folding city schools and suburban schools into one entity. Suburbanites understandably want to keep their high performing schools, and are willing to dismiss the benefits to both themselves and city families to keep them, especially when certain segments of the political community start using dog whistle racism. I believe consolidation, doing away with the hundreds of governments we have can be a boon, when done right. Therein, however, lies the rub. Continue reading