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And then There was Vaclav Havel

There was the passing of Hitchens and Jobs and The Supreme Leader.  And also Vaclav Havel.  I went to the front pages of Huffington Post and The Daily Beast, and except for one opinion piece at the Huff, you wouldn't know that he had passed away.

The opinion piece by Lucas Kavner began:

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Get Off My Damn Lawn Capitalism

I told my mother-in-law that my house was her house, and she said, "Get the hell off my property."  ~Joan Rivers

If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.  ~Ludwig von Mises

Personally I don't own a house.  No landed estate for this trope.  And I don't see that changing any time soon, if ever.  Maybe someday through inheritance if I am able to conduct a successful take-down drag-down metaphorically bloody battle with my siblings.  Actually there is a level of high anxiety that comes from the thought of owning property, but that is another story.  Dan K's recent blog Capitalism got me thinking not only about towards what economic forms and system we should aspire, but also about our current paradigms that tend to hold in place or facilitate the growth of the current system in all of its many manifestations.

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Caucus Anxiety

While looking up some information in order to respond to some thread comment, I came across the news that Washington State has suspended it 2012 primary elections as cost saving measure ($10 million savings). 

The Pacific Northwest state will rely on a precinct caucus-convention system, used by Iowa for nominating national convention delegates, the Washington Secretary of State's office said.

With what may be something from the Department of Too Much Information, I have recently had to start a new regiment of prescribe pharmaceuticals (better living through chemistry) to deal with, among other things, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  Being the one to ponder political phenomenon among other things (with no assertion as to the quality of those ponderings), this has me thinking about the impact of anxiety on the political environment, and specifically on participation in such events as precinct caucus system.

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The Parable of Our Tribes

The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. Let us not speak well of it either. Let us not speak of it at all. It is true the population has increased."
- Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

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Buy Local - The Next Step

Here's a suggestion for those in the current Occupy movement: throw all the energy toward getting people to support the small businesses in their communities as the holiday season comes upon us.

The mom and pop stores are not part of the 1% by any stretch of the imagination.  They are living month to month like the rest of us.  They are our neighbors.  Let's support them.

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The Prize Upon Which We Keep Our Eyes

"The prize....there it is!"

There has been a comparison of the current Occupy movement and the Civil Rights movement of the 50's and 60's.  In some ways, there is a truth to that.  Whereas the latter looked to achieve racial equality, the former is seeking to achieve economic equality.  The problem is that racial equality is easier to grasp than economic equality (although the arena of the means to remedy the equalities is another matter - see affirmative action).

As a young lad in the 5th grade, I became fascinated with the Underground Railroad.  I still remember the delight of the school librarian when I asked her to help me find something on the topic just because I wanted to learn more about it and not because it was part of some assignment (although at the time I didn't understand the subtext of her glee).  This interest led me to the Civil Rights movement and the numerous stories about living in the segregated South.

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innocence lost

There a number of factors as to why the scandal at Penn St has captured the public psyche.  One of the key factors centers around those who seek to vilify Joe Paterno and those who seek to defend his good name.  As one of those who believe JoePa enabled a pedophile predator to run amuck for years and years, I do not understand those who enthusiastically defend the man.

What seems to be at play is those who cannot come to terms with the fall from grace of someone who was held in the upmost esteem. The world as they knew it doesn’t make sense anymore.

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SVU comes to Happy Valley

In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.


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