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Alex Baer

A Chip Off the Ol' Chopping Block

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The following is an open letter to the French Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Francois Delattre:

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Our countries have a long history together.  And, we Americans are not particularly gracious in granting any nation any gratitude -- or even, any latitude.

(This recalcitrance could be the result of our being a still-adolescent nation, one with inflamed hormones and short attention spans, and a terribly self-centered upbringing.)

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 February 2012 23:37 Read more...

People Are So Yesterday.

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Now that we've been at war with the world for some time, it appears we've branched out, moved on to war with ourselves, cut our own throats for a while.

Seems to be all the rage, refusing to be on our own side.  How else to explain all the hurry-scurry to dismantle and strike down anything worker-and-union?  The panic at HQ when the "U" word is uttered -- well, it triggers arrhythmia, gets hearts all a-flutter.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 February 2012 16:49 Read more...

No, No, Everything's Fine!

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It's getting harder all the time to counsel patience, to urge a happy-medium approach, to advise letting wisdom -- not more folly -- be the quiet adult in the room, not while our reality-thrashed inner child strains to be let loose, screaming wild, left shredding the whole house.

We can totter down this road again, but the trip's pretty worthless.  Scenery's not changed much, last 20 or 30 years.  Road's still strewn with broken bodies, littered with burnt dreams, stacked high with jagged-edged splinters and shards of busted hope, spirit shot from the skies.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 22:35 Read more...

Checking Our Scripts and Our Voices

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The play may already be over.  In fact, it could have been over the moment you were born, before you had a thought in your head, before you learned how to read.  Everything we say, mere window dressing, just so much air we shove around.

This is more meditation on that nature-nurture, chicken-and-egg, which-caused-what business.

Low-intelligence children, it is said, are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults, according to one study at Brock University in Ontario.  There's more operating here -- and, a cycle, at that.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:22 Read more...

Social Security: Some Birthday -- or Bash

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It was for $22.54, that first Social Security check, issued 72 years ago today -- January 31, 1940 -- to Ida May Fuller.  It was check number 00-000-001.  It was a long time ago, as time is reckoned here.

Some anniversary, some birthday.  Leave it to Republicans, it'll be a "Birthday Bash,"  all right -- just leave out the "Birthday."

If Republicans have their way, the agency will become a privatized corporation.  Those of us who have experienced less-than-humane treatment at the hands of health insurance companies, for example, those beacons of private, for-profit enterprises, know that profit must, will, and does occur no matter what -- no matter who's hurt.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 22:48 Read more...

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