Socialism for dummies

I don’t understand my country. None of its political labels make a damn bit of sense. Too many of them are outright falsehoods. And at least a couple have been maligned by so much propaganda that they may not be salvageable. “Liberal” is one. The word itself has become weaponized to the point where even liberals often eschew it in favor of “progressive”. I’m still not sure what that even means. Progress is cool, i suppose, but requires direction and a destination. And then there’s that pesky Zeno and his paradox: is progress even possible for a monkey with fancy thumbs? “Libertarian” is pretty bad these days too. Far too often the word is invoked as a dog whistle for social Darwinism and neo-liberalism. Liberty being best wholly described by “free” markets and possibly gun ownership. “Conservative” is the biggest laugh. Aside from conserving fetuses and the holy sanctity of heterosexuality (airport bathrooms and male prostitutes being the acceptable exceptions), i’m still at a loss for how these people got or retain the label.

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Losing my head…I mean my teeth

by Terry Hargrove

I don’t want to be a whiner and complainer, but I’m going to whine and complain for a while. I’m losing my teeth! It’s 2010, for crying out loud, and not only do we not have flying cars and floating cities, we don’t have a way to re-grow bone below the gum line. My teeth are shifting and sliding like dancers in a slippery ballroom, or worse: two of the front ones on the bottom are gone. They just fell out, and the timing couldn‘t have been worse. I lost one while eating a banana. You read that right. I was enjoying a banana, a ripe banana, when one of my bottom teeth just wasn’t there anymore. And how lucky was I that I was on my way to a job interview in Myrtle Beach when that happened. I kept my right hand over my lower lip and mumbled through it. Continue reading

Another nuclear-weapons commission? Wait, this one's the bomb!

THE DEPROLIFERATOR — In December, what for all intents and purposes looks like the mother of all reports on nuclear weapons was issued. The entity responsible is called the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND). A joint initiative of the Australian and Japanese Governments, it was launched to reinvigorate global nuclear disarmament in time for the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Continue reading