Well, actually, I haven't been anywhere. Except Facebook, which is where I've been doing a lot of posting and commenting lately. But I've decided that here is where I belong, especially in this long hot summer of our discontent with one another. I'm talking about the health care "debate." (Irony quotes intended.)
The thing that seems most obvious to me is that the Republicans are terrified -- and rightly so. They're terrified that the Democrats might actually produce a health care bill that will work -- lower costs, increase coverage. And if they do that, the GOP game is over. People love the benefits -- Social Security, Medicare -- that the Dems provided them over fierce Repub opposition.
So we get lots of lies about "death panels" and mandatory sex-change operations and a lot of other hooey. Which leads to noisy mobs shouting down one another. Some of the people shouting at these town halls are shills -- planted there by well-funded groups opposed to any progressive legislation. But some of them are genuinely scared people, whom no amount of rational argument will assuage. I only hope when the shouting is over that those who inspired the shouting, who lied and distorted, will be exposed to the scorn they deserve.
Starting with Newt Gingrich.
And Chuck Grassley.
A blog formerly known as Bookishness
By Charles Matthews"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude