Covid shows, once more, who’s excluded from the American Dream

The media and disease experts tell us we must take personal responsibility to avoid Covid-19! Gov. Sununu, to no one’s surprise, has taken the same hands-off approach, choosing to treat the pandemic like we do other social ills, like poverty or homelessness, exemplifying our state motto: “Live Free or Die.” Indeed, some individual behavior is unconscionable, like folks refusing to wear masks and kids flocking to large parties. Yet disease experts stress that responsible leadership is essential because controlling this plague is beyond individual capabilities. That’s why it is so disheartening that after almost a full year, the federal government has yet to provide a …

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We are the first de-indigenized culture on Earth—and the last

Petroglyph of a couple, possibly Neolithic, in Sarmishsay, Uzbekistan. Detail of a photo by Stephanieadams99; from commons.wikimedia.org; Licensed under creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. by Jean Stimmell We take pride in our modern civilization for being advanced and forward-thinking while judging indigenous people as primitive and backward. According to Anthropologist Wade Davis, what we have accomplished is a “stunning innovation in human affairs, the sociological equivalent of the splitting of the atom⁠.” 1 For the first time is history, we have created “a new and original culture” that celebrates personal freedom over community and consumption as a way of life over sustainability. Our stunning innovation is an illusion comparable …

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Pseudo-Events: Trump and the White Rabbit

by Jean Stimmell Trump has an uncanny ability to orchestrate pseudo events. Any doubts I might have had were erased after talking to an acquaintance, a smart, honest, and successful trades-person. I had always found him confident and upbeat, but today he felt besieged: he explained he’d been on edge since the election but now was on high alert, after receiving a text, warning that a BLM [Black Lives Matter] gang was headed to New Hampshire, including his town, to loot and plunder. He said he was ready: “my whole family is “locked and loaded.” Unfortunately, fantasy had been winning the battle against reality, long …

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Death of Democracy

Richard Rorty, a prominent 20th-century philosopher and public intellectual, wrote an obscure book in 1998, Achieving Our Country, looking back on America from a vantage point 100 years in the future. Defying belief, he correctly predicted the election of a strongman in our country in 2014, missing by only two years the rise of Trump. Rorty based his prophecy on a trend that he saw already developing because Democrats were abandoning working-class interests. Check out, in his own words, how dead-on his predictions were: “It’s dawning on working folks that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs …

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Liberals, it’s time to stop gazing at our navels

In a few short weeks, the election will be over and, win or lose, we will have to pick up the pieces and move on. How is that possible with all the bad blood and name-calling between the left and the right? In a word, we must have empathy for the other side. What I am going to say, I’ve felt for a long time, alluded to in my pieces, but now have the courage to say it flat-out, buttressing my case with a recent podcast and a book. The podcast is an interview with Arlie Hochschild about her recent book, Strangers in Their Own …

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Whatever happened to our sense of right and wrong?

When I was young, success was not being rich but being a person of good repute: honest, hardworking, and willing to help others. We were taught stories in school about how presidents should be honest and of good character: stories about how George Washington confessed about cutting down the cherry tree and Abe Lincoln walking 3 miles at night to return 6 cents he had overcharged a customer. Also, we held religious stories in common, like how it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven. Yet now we have elected a rich …

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