White House Israel Relations at a New Low

White House Israel Relations at a New Low

Above is a New York Times article about how the relationship between the White House and Israel is at a new low due to the actions of Benjamin Netanyahu and the GOP.  Normally anytime I typed the words “new low” it would be along the lines of something negative, but I think in this case it is a good thing.  Isreal’s treatment of the Palestinians under Netanyahu is atrocious.  The way that Israel and APAC have tried to influence U.S. politics is atrocious.  If we ever want to see peace in the Middle East Netanyahu and his fellow rightwing politicians need to be marginalized.

Obama, State of the Union, Thug Life

The internet can be an endless black hole of distraction.  I try, although I’m sure I fail at times, to post things that have some value, that will give you something to ponder over.  However, when I saw the above video during dinner I almost spit my drink out!

I watched the State of the Union earlier this evening on YouTube as I was busy last night.  It’s amazing that some of the things he discussed during his section on the economy are even up for debate.  Who are the scrooges that wouldn’t want childcare to be more affordable, for women to not make equal pay for equal work, and for minimum wage to not be raised?  These seem like such common sense proposals, ones that would help so many people who are struggling.  They seem to me like proposals based in common decency.

I was also greatly happy to see his stance on climate change.  Talk to scientists that actually study climate change.  The fact that it is here and that humans are contributing to it are indisputable.  If we don’t do something about it our generation will not be remembered fondly in the history books.

Watching the State of the Union I was reminded why I voted twice for Obama.  Although there have been policies that I have not agreed with, I still think we have been extremely lucky to have him at the helm during these very trying years.

Why Obama College Plan is Elegant and Forward Thinking

Why Obama College Plan is Elegant and Forward Thinking

This is an interesting article about Obama’s plan to make community college free.  It not only addresses the plan itself, but also talks about why this plan is so unusual compared to most in modern government. 

The Secret Deal to Save the Planet

The Secret Deal to Save the Planet

The above link is to an interesting article over at Rolling Stone about the deal that Obama made with China over climate change.  Rolling Stone’s music coverage is pretty terrible, but they have pretty great investigative political reporting.  I kind of look at what they do as being like a Trojan horse.  They put out a magazine that is mostly meaningless pop drivel on the outside, but inside they actually have some articles that are trying to make people think.  I can’t really get too mad at them as long as they keep people like Matt Taibbi and others employed.

The Past is Not Past

I spent most of the day either at rehearsal or learning about Stonewall Jackson.  S.C. Gwynne has written another captivating book.  I’m not far enough into it to feel that I can talk about it, but there is no question that Jackson was a “unique” individual.  Today was one of those days that slipped through my grasp.  One minute I’m drinking coffee and the next the sun is going down.

After this recent election, which seems to defy reason, I have been looking for answers about our current political climate in our history and culture.  How did we arrive at this moment in time?  Take climate change for instance, something for which Obama just made a great step forward with his deal with China.  (I am still reading up on our deal with China for more specifics.)  The fact that climate change is occurring is scientific fact.  There is some uncertainty as to the exact outcome, but don’t get confused by the word uncertainty.  Think about if a large rainstorm came in.  You know that the ground will be soaked, but you can’t say for certain if the big oak tree out front is going to fall over.  That however, doesn’t mean it is not raining.  Anyway, so science and all reason point to climate change happening, yet not only does a portion of the populace not believe it is real, but we have elected officials that are not scientists, that claim they know more than scientists, going to be in charge of parts of our environmental policy.

Now there is no doubt that these people are for the most part bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry.  You don’t have to be Columbo to deduce that.  You also don’t have to be Columbo to figure out that the regions with the most jobs in the fossil fuel industry are also the regions that are most against us doing anything about climate change.  Yet I don’t think it is as simple as a mere question of economics.

From the very beginning of our country there is an element that is against any kind of centralized authority.  Part of our country also puts faith above reason.  I just read in the Stonewall Jackson book last night that in 1850 Florida only had 85,000 inhabitants and half of them were slaves.  It is hard to imagine that modern Florida, with Disney World and Miami and the countless beach resorts, was created in 164 years, which is the lifespan of two humans.  Go to Miami and think about how two lives ago it was a desolate swamp.  As far as civilization goes our country is but a baby.

I am still thinking about all of this myself.  I wanted to ask those of you that read this a rhetorical question.  How does our unique American history and culture affect the way in which we think politically?  Places that were settled by different ethnic and religious groups often ended up quite different.  Places that had to subdue the land and keep people oppressed often ended up quite different than places that were booming with industry.  All of these things factor into who we are now.  How so?

Net Neutrality Explained

topic_net-neutrality

Net Neutrality Explained

The above link is a simple explanation of the importance of net neutrality.  It will let you know why it is important and how not having it affect your internet usage.  It also shits on Ted Cruz, which always makes everything better.