Orcinus, April 6, 2010
Sedition: Crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful civil authority with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction — Brittanica Concise Dictionary
Well, finally. It’s high time somebody had the guts to say the S-word — sedition — right out loud.
When the indictments against the Hutaree were unsealed last week, the S-word was right there, front and center, in Count One. The Justice Department accused them of “seditious conspiracy,” charging that the defendants “did knowingly conspire, confederate, and agree with each other and other persons known and unknown…to levy war against the United States, and to prevent, hinder, and delay by force the execution of any United States law.”
This is very serious stuff. But the Hutaree are getting nailed for sedition only because they crossed the line with inches to spare. They’re by no means the only ones. Advocating, encouraging, and sanctioning sedition is the new norm on the conservative side.
Continue reading “None Dare Call It Sedition”
ourfuture.org, February 12, 2010
Hello, world. We’ve been expecting you. It’s good to see you here, milling around Robson Street in your uniforms and badges, whooshing here and there in what must be a million Official Olympic GM-donated cars, making guesses as to where in town they’ve hidden the fire tower for the Olympic Torch (it’s still a big secret, but the local news station thinks they may have found it last night), and generally making it impossible for locals to get a restaurant reservation or cross a bridge. Still, we’ve got you to thank for the new convention center and Seabus ferry, the Canada Line subway that finally(!!) directly connects the airport to downtown, and that shiny new four-lane freeway that’s taken half an hour off what used to be a treacherous winding trip two-lane up to Whistler.
So, y’no, thanks.
I got here a little ahead of you — six years ahead, in fact, as a native California transplant who was looking for something a bit more like freedom back in 2003. This city has been preparing for this week almost exactly as long as I’ve been here. And I arrived already knowing what Vancouver was in for, because this isn’t my first Games. I’m an Olympics veteran who did her time as a full-time paid staff writer for the Los Angeles Summer Olympics back in 1984. So the energy gathering around town right now is very familiar, mostly in a sweet, good way.
Continue reading “An Expat’s Guide to the Vancouver Olympics”
ourfuture.org, September 13, 2009
True confessions: I missed the health care speech. While the whole lefty blogosphere was watching and blogging and tweeting, I was sacked out in my attic bedroom high on a mountainside in Vancouver, sleeping off a narcotic haze and the exhausting aftermath of a long night spent in the emergency room at Lions Gate Hospital.
President Obama tried to remind Americans all over again why health care reform matters. I didn’t need a speech: I’d just had an up-close-and-personal encounter with a rational, not-for-profit, single-payer health care system. And it reminded me all over again (as it does every time we see a doctor here) why health care reform is the most crucial battle of our generation.
Continue reading “Postcard From Canada: Why I Missed Obama’s Speech”
Orcinus, July 26, 2009
Tommy Douglas — Canada’s answer to Abe Lincoln.
He didn’t free the slaves, but he got everybody free health care.
One of the big differences between the 1993 Hillarycare debate and our current conversation is that we’re hearing a lot more fact and lot less fiction about how other countries’ systems actually work.Thank the Internet. Back in 1993, the “Harry and Louise” ads succeeded because most Americans didn’t have access to any other sources of information. Now, the whole world is at our fingertips. Anybody who really wants to know how health care is managed in Canada, or the UK, or Japan, or Australia can readily find someone with real experience in those systems who can tell their stories.
But progressive Americans living overseas aren’t waiting around any more for y’all to ask. Some of us are getting proactive about sending our stories home. All around the world, there are millions of American citizens who have first-hand experience with other countries’ health care systems. And Democrats Abroad, the world’s largest political gathering of expatriate Americans, is getting us organized to tell our tales.
Continue reading “The Health Care Debate: Another Country Heard From”
Orcinus, June 19, 2009
It’s been a wild couple of weeks for those of us in the wingnutology business. Our services have been in tremendous demand as the mainstream media tries to sort out the meaning of what Scott Roeder and James von Brunn did. I’ve done an average of one radio show every day for the past two weeks trying to help various lefty talkers around the country make some sense of it all; and I’m generally gratified at how seriously people are starting to take this.
At the same time, I’m also appalled (though, sadly, hardly surprised) by the conservative mythmaking that’s going on around the very serious issue of right-wing domestic terrorism. So it’s obviously time to pull together another “Firing Back” piece to give progressives what they need to separate fact from fiction when these talking points start flying.
I’ve actually had every one of the following myths pitched to me by on-air interviewers, phone-in callers, and/or online commenters over the last two weeks. Most of them have come up over and over, which suggests to me that you’re likely to encounter them, too. So let’s walk ’em through…
Continue reading “Mythbusting Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism”
Orcinus, June 11, 2009
The storm I’ve been warning about is coming faster now. To get a sense of just how fast, let’s take stock of what’s been happening on the right wing since President Obama’s inauguration:
Continue reading “Tragedy at the Holocaust Museum: Stand Up To Terror”
Orcinus, May 31, 2009
I arrived in DC for the America’s Future Now!
conference, kicked back in my hotel room, and was greeted with the news that Dr. George Tiller — the Kansas gynecologist who has endured shootings, state investigations, public harassment, and more death threats than any thousand of us together can imagine in 20 years of standing up to that state’s anti-abortion thugs — was shot to death
in his own Lutheran church this morning.
I don’t have a lot of time to think through an elaborate post on this (I’m leading a panel with Tom Frank, Rick Perlstein, and James Rucker that will be televised in full on C-SPAN tomorrow), but there are several quick things that spring to mind.
Continue reading “Jesus’s Jihadis”
Orcinus, April 25, 2009
Some of the commenters below seemed confused or surprised by my asserting that conservative or liberal parenting styles could affect people’s ideas about the prerogatives of authority, and of how they think about ideas like liberty, justice, and accountability.
A few thought the whole idea absurd. (It would be interesting to hear their alternative theories on how they think the dramatic worldview shift between conservatives and liberals comes about.)
Others pointed out, quite rightly, that the two parenting styles I described are hardly exclusive or hard-and-fast. Most parents go to the authoritarian side on some issues (and generally, it’s those issues where they feel least in control themselves); and tend to be more liberal on others (generally, those where they feel more confidence in their ability to control the situation). George Lakoff made the same observation about how people mix-and-match the strict-father versus nurturant-parent models in their political thinking. It holds just as true here.
But it’s also true that the conservative worldview is far more obsessed generally with the issue of control — when in doubt, clamp down hard and fast — and conservative parents would therefore lean to a more authoritarian parenting style. The liberal worldview tends to trust people and the world in general — when in doubt, stand back and see what happens — and this leads to a more open-ended sense of how to manage children.
Either way, though, the basic fact is this: Parenting is the first — and far and away the most defining — experience most of us have with power relationships. What we learn from that relationship teaches us a great deal about what we can expect from power for the rest of our lives. We may choose to revisit those assumptions as adults; but it’s not easy, and requires significant re-trenchment of how you view yourself and the rest of the world.
Continue reading “Blame It On the Parents”