The Best Decision I Have Ever Made

Last month, after ISIS beheaded American journalist James Foley and posted the video on the internet, I decided enough was enough. The parade of bad news was an anchor dragging on my sense of well-being. Besides the turmoil in Iraq and Syria, there was news that more than a thousand Russian troops had moved into the Ukraine, there were protests over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and Congress left on summer vacation without addressing global warming or immigration (in fact, this Congress addressed little other than their own reelections). Throughout all this, the cacophony of arguments and counterarguments spewed forth on the television and the internet, never ending, rarely slowing, and devouring such cherished aspects of debate as ‘nuance’ and ‘facts.’ All of this served to foster in me feelings of anger, anxiety, frustration, and even a smattering of despair. This is something that had been building for a long time. Politics is nothing if not a soul-sucking enterprise. It never ends. There is never any resolution to the debates. Increasingly, it has turned into a zero-sum game. One side has to win and the other side has to lose. The greater the pain is for the losing side, the better. Continue reading “The Best Decision I Have Ever Made”

No Winners

Politics can wear a person down. The endless push and pull, the lack of continual progress, and the realization that most of our leaders are in it for themselves and their paymasters, is enough to make even the most impassioned observers develop hard hearts. I look at the state of the capital today, and I have a difficult time mustering either enthusiasm or outrage. Politics is what it is. We, the people, are the sucker at the poker table. But, unlike in real life, we cannot just get up and leave. We are trapped here. Continue reading “No Winners”

The Iraq War

Ten years ago today the American military began its invasion of Iraq. Ten years on the war still incenses. Politics today is in the grip of hyper-partisanship. The GOP is blatantly obstructionist, the Democrats flailing as they try to play small ball with legislation and the economy. The rancor in Washington and in the media is poisonous. Our leaders are growing increasingly cloistered in that world of theirs, and seem either blissfully unaware of the damage they’re doing to the country, or, worse, unconcerned. It’s a disheartening time. But, I would rather see a broken government than the one that so efficiently led us into war in Iraq. Continue reading “The Iraq War”