It has been argued in several of the intellectual journals in the West, that the aspiration for freedom is a universal goal, that most societies admire the freedoms we enjoy and wish to emulate us. As I see it, this proposition is one of the more pernicious illusions we entertain.
No matter on what thoroughfare we Americans may reside, there is only one truly two-way street in this country and sadly, too many of us have forgotten its significance and lost sight of where it leads.
An essay aired in 2005, concerning casinos in the Catskills, mentioned some of the pros and cons of gambling; now, in 2013, here we go again. It appears that, increasingly, the governments of many states are believing in gambling as a quick fix to shortage of funds.
1. The Chandler Travis Three-O: "Make the Small Things Pretty" from their album This Is What Bears Look Like Underwater. Playing at the Dream Away Lodge in Becket, Mass. tonight.
2. David Greenberger: "Halloween's Over" from his album So Tough, playing at Valentine's Music Hall in Albany on Saturday night with Boston rock legend Willie "Loco" Alexander and Saratoga's MaryLeigh Roohan.
3. C. Ryder Cooley: "Lady of Graves" from Xmalia. Ryder & Hazel with the Dust Bowl Faeries play at Boscom Lodge in Adams, Mass. at 5:30pm on Sunday.
Plume Giant, the Brooklyn-based chamber-folk trio that favors pop melodies, a miniature orchestra of sounds and textures, and Beatlesque whimsy, performs in Club B-10 at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, at 8 p.m. The group’s eclectic approach has drawn comparisons to Bowerbirds, Dirty Projectors, Sea Wolf, and Dan Hicks.
The government shutdown and the disconnect on health care By Andrew D. Coates, M.D., F.A.C.P.
I’d like to offer some thoughts this week about the discussion over health care in Washington. We’re heading into the second week of the federal government shutdown, in which the right wing of Congress has demanded that President Obama step back from his health reform.
This reveals to me the shocking disconnect between the center-stage discussion in Washington and the everyday discussion we have at our kitchen tables, at our jobs, and with our friends.
Unless a miracle happens, but the time this commentary airs the US federal government will enter its tenth day of shutdown. Nearly 800,000 workers will remain furloughed, important social service and educational programs will remain unfunded, national parks and monuments will remain closed, and the National Zoo's panda cam will remain offline.
Do we have a stake in each other’s future or only in our own? That is a central question of American politics. The Tea Party’s tossing of the entire American budget into the sea over the issue of Obamacare is an effort to say no, we have no stake in each other’s welfare. To claim a stake in each other’s welfare is socialism. Although the political waters warrant silence from many elected officials about it, that same cry has been leveled and is being leveled against other American efforts to help each other. Social security, socialism. Medicare and Medicaid, socialism. Indeed, there is no logical reason to draw the line there and many don’t. National parks, socialism. Veterans’ benefits, socialism. Head start, socialism. Why stop there? Public schools, socialism. Public hospitals, government health departments and laboratories, socialism. It’s all socialism in the heads of the true believers. So let me repeat that question – do we have a stake in each other’s future or only our own?
On September 24th, 1942, three months shy of his 20th birthday, this combat veteran of WWII in the Pacific stood with several dozen other enlistees, at Fort Dix, N.J., prepared to join the United States Army. It had taken me eight months after the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, by the Japanese, to convince my father to sign the permission paper my lack of seniority demanded. Preliminaries: medical and routine completed, we were called to attention to be sworn in by the officer in charge. I still recall the oath, by which I swore to defend the United States from all enemies – foreign and domestic. For me, it has been a life-long impetus for service.