Category Archives: democracy

the state of the state

So the recession of the 1970s led to a throw-the-bums-out dismantling of the government in the 1980s, fuelled by a surprisingly robust collective resentment of government’s most visible institutions — the DMV, the IRS, and the school system. I’m not convinced that most Americans really understood the economics of trucking regulation or savings-and-loan oversight. But they did understand their own personal experiences with public institutions, which by the late ’70s and early ’80s had become unpleasant, frustrating, and often quite costly. So voters gave fairly sweeping authority to President Reagan and, later, Newt Gingrich, allowing them to deregulate and privatize all kinds of things, not based on whether it made good social and economic sense to do so, but based on a highly personal anger towards a system seen as both hopelessly incompetent and full of knaves.

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prayers holy and secular

Rick Warren’s inaugural invocation reminds me of how strange it always is for me as a Baha’i to hear my Protestant brothers and sisters pray, whether extemporaneously or from a prepared text. Having grown up reciting prayers written by Baha’u’llah … Continue reading

Posted in America, community, democracy, poetry, religion | 3 Comments

protec’ yo neck

In light of the Lori Drew conviction and its bizarre assertion that Terms of Service agreements carry the power of law and that failing to abide by them can mean a conviction for hacking, we at The Handsome Camel have … Continue reading

Posted in community, democracy, law, web 3.0 | Leave a comment

a poem by the great Langston Hughes

I think this is appropriate no matter who you’re voting for, no matter who wins tonight. God bless all of America. I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company … Continue reading

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democracy is ass-backwards

Look, like most voters I’ve known for the better part of a year who I wanted to vote for in today’s presidential race. Okay. That’s not hard. These guys have weathered all the poop flung at them by party flacks and media commentators, and at this point everybody has his own opinion about who’s really covered in poo and who’s just taking a nice rose-scented mud bath.

But what about the rest of the ballot? Turns out there are, like, six more pages to the stupid thing — a couple devoted to people and jobs I’ve never heard of, and several more devoted to various ballot propositions.

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Posted in adventure, California, democracy | 7 Comments