Archive | Elections

Proposition 101: Yes or No?

The City of Tucson’s initiative to increase city sales tax by 1/2 per cent over the next five years raised serious issues for me. In principle, I usually oppose sales taxes and increases thereof as regressive taxes that hit poor people, most of whose income is applied to subsistence consumption needs to which sales taxes […]

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Title from original cover of Uncle Tom's Cabin

Who the hell is Uncle Tom?

The original Uncle Tom was the slave-as-Christ-like figure in abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s best-known book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Begun in 1851, her series of stories, intended to depict the evils of slavery, stretched into 40 magazine installments. Publication in novel form brought international acclaim and made Stowe a successful author. Unless he defines it differently, […]

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Making America Bullshit Again

The rise of Donald Trump is convincing evidence of a moral and philosophical bankruptcy across the Right in the United States today. What is there to say about the litany of bullshit1 we’ve heard from this man since he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015? That day he announced that Mexico was not a […]

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Making America Forget Again

After the low bar set by the Republicans, the Democratic National Convention featured noticeably better stagecraft and organization, despite frustration among Sanders delegates and the controversy following Wikileaks’ publishing of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails. Most of what I heard at the convention was boilerplate and nonetheless contrasted starkly with the hackneyed fear-mongering of the […]

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On the Dangers of the Two-Party System

The Democrats and Republicans have had their national conventions, and voters will be selecting between two of the most unfavorably-viewed candidates in modern American political history, the Democrat Hillary R. Clinton and the Republican Donald J. Trump. Not only are their net favorability ratings of worse than -20 practically unheard of among major party candidates, […]

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Making America Scared Again

After ruminating over the national conventions these past two weeks, I want to comment on the Republicans first. I am disturbed by their peddling of a fantasy that we are living in a post-apocalyptic scenario. The opening day of their convention was themed “Make America Safe Again”, despite the fact that violent crime has been declining […]

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