Here at S&R we try and generate as much original content as possible and, unlike a lot of blogs, we don’t dedicate much energy to linking other stories around the ‘sphere. Aside from Mike’s Nota Bene series, anyway. But earlier today three other outlets linked to my “Will you vote for Obama (again)?” piece, and since these places are trying to broaden what I think is a critical discussion for our nation, I thought I’d take a moment to say thanks and encourage S&R’s reader to backtrack with us.
Fourth in a series
As a child turning teen in the late 1950s, the black-and-white RCA in the living room received only three channels … well, four, but we didn’t watch PBS. So I read. Newspapers, of course (after Dad finished sports and Mom finished news). And books. The library was only two blocks away, so I spent afternoons there sampling the stack. I was a small-town boy at the end of the idyllic “Father Knows Best” decade of Eisenhower placidity, a geeky kid feeling the first pangs of puberty.
I longed for adventure beyond being a Boy Scout or tossing a football with neighborhood pals. In the library I found adventure stories set in space, spun with well-chosen words and exquisitely crafted plots.
I discovered Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End.” Then Robert A. Heinlein’s “Methuselah’s Children,” Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” and Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation and Empire.” Science fiction (or, in Clarke’s case, science prediction) captivated me. I became a sci-fi cognoscente.
Then, in 1957, came the shocker: Sputnik. Continue reading
One of my political lists broke out into an impassioned and occasionally contentious debate yesterday over a basic question: do you plan on voting for Obama in 2012? (Actually, the original phrasing was more along the lines of “how could you possibly vote for Obama in 2012?”)
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the conduct of Mr. Obama’s first term, it isn’t hard to understand where the question comes from.
- He has continued Bush’s wars.
- He has failed to close Gitmo, as promised.
- Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Don’t ask.
- Race to the Bottom (or, let’s take Bush’s dumbass No Child Left Untested and double down on “accountability”).
- He led the handover of trillions of dollars to the financial institutions that created the largest financial crisis since the Depression.
- He has reasserted the government’s right to torture.
- And now he stands on the brink of bargaining away Medicare and Social Security to the Koch Brothers’ towelboys in Congress.
- To those who argue that this is the best he can do under the circumstances, the response is fairly straightforward: losing a fight is one thing, but surrendering before it starts is quite another.