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Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Upside Of Big Brother.

In Government, Nature on October 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Sandy swept up the East Coast with reckless abandon. A hybrid hurricane-blizzard superstorm, she gives new meaning to the term crazy spinster. Who could possibly help us get back to our feet after such a destructive force of nature? Turns out it’s actually Big Brother.

Most of the time, we think of Big Brother as an overreaching, freedom-squeezing, privacy-seizing government, à la 1984. That’s the know-it-all older brother, the bullying one. And we should be concerned about him. (For instance, he got into warrantless wiretapping.)

It turns out there’s this other side to him though, one we see again and again in times like these, when a natural disaster threatens huge swaths of the population. That’s the rescuing, resource-sharing, crisis-managing Big Brother. The brother you could talk to about stuff, whose know-how and eagerness to help was a lifesaver, who figured out a way to solve problems when you couldn’t. (I have one, and he’s been both at points, but much more often the latter.)

Unless you’re a person of interest in a plot to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank, that’s the Big Brother you’re more likely to encounter in your lifetime.

And we need that one. Desperately. Otherwise, we won’t be ready for or able to recover after the increasingly common roadblocks from nature and God, forces that Paul Ryan has so dutifully touted this campaign season, albeit for different reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

The Other Debates.

In Media, Politics on October 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

The presidential campaign is firing on all cylinders. If it were a Chevy Volt, it might actually have to stop for gas. President Obama and Mitt Romney will hold events in battleground states for the next 13 days, now that that their final debate is complete. But Monday’s wasn’t the final debate of the 2012 campaign.

There was another debate Tuesday night. No Obama, no Romney. No Biden, no Ryan.

CBS didn’t preempt NCIS (way too big a ratings winner) to show it to you. MSNBC didn’t offer special coverage in lieu of The Ed Show (if only) to bring it to you. And Fox News didn’t give The O’Reilly Factor a night off (and not simply because we all know Bill likes to do it live).

Instead, third party candidates for the presidency held a debate in Chicago. The only way to see it was to stream it online at

Four candidates from outside of the two dominant outfits attended: Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson. The discussion was moderated by Larry King, who despite being irresistibly easy to make fun of, is credible.

King’s rationale for putting on his suspenders Tuesday was simple: “It’s a two-party system, but not a two-party system by law.”

While none of the candidates in Tuesday’s debate is a threat to win the election, that doesn’t mean they don’t pose a threat, per the AP: “Democrats and Republicans are keeping tabs on Johnson and Goode, two ex-Republicans who could be factors in key battleground states.” The New York Times also reported recently on how Johnson, who is on the ballot in 48 of 50 states, may affect the results in some of the battlegrounds. Read the rest of this entry »