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Alex Baer

Things We'd Rather Not Think About

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Late on election night, there are plenty of things everyone would really rather not think about -- not after such a long, grinding, 4-year campaign.  And that's probably a good indication that we should think of them.  Now.  Even if we get queasy.

I dunno about you, but my own private version of Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue managed to leak out and stain my innermost thoughts, even now, fully tired, and my guard down.

After brushing aside all the shouts of Peanuts! Popcorn! Hot Dogs! Cold Drinks! and ducking around vendors and crowds, I found myself standing alone, under a huge banner, overhead:  Step Right Up and Make a Prediction for the Big Day (TM).

Truth be told?  Either way we regular folk will be hosed, and the mega-billionaires will win --another notch on their belts for their victory, more tightening on ours, in the loss.

How so?  Well, just shooting from the hip, so to say...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 19:08 Read more...

A Weary Nation

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On one side, a hope-and-change machine started up, despite signs of sputtering, stuttering, and stalling out from time to time. But, it always responded well to CPR, then would get right back on track, going down the center of the road.

On the other side, a blockade machine was built. It swerved hard right all the time, otherwise working flawlessly, halting all forward progress with random exclamations of "NO!" and "One term only or else!" and "Over our dead body!"

That was four years ago.  Feels more like forty.

Both machines had constant tinkering as they rattled and wheezed along.  The blockade machine worked out better than hoped:  Its sworn mission was to stop everything cold until it could be in the lead.  It most always did.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 22:30 Read more...

Please Seek Help if Still Undecided

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There's really nothing for it, not at this stage.  Propaganda, marketing, and psychological operations have done all they can.

Voters who remain undecided should seek professional assistance as soon as possible to prevent injury from overwrought hand-wringing, or other long-term damage.

The rest of us will struggle on and try to do what we think best.

* * * * *

Many will see today as the last full-spectrum day of candidate drum-beating, tambourine-shaking, and stump-smoldering speechifying.  There may be a regretful tear at this realization and news.

We must try to have, and show, pity towards victims of Campaignitis -- that rote-learned, knee-jerk, nearly autonomic response slowly built up over time in response to talking points, memes, and rigid belief systems following prolonged, unsafe exposure to politics and, especially, politicians.

Just as radiation research established maximum safe exposure levels people could withstand, measured and expressed in units called rads, political workers can unknowingly absorb too many cams over a short period of time.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 14:59 Read more...

One More Peek, if We Dare Look

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the world's most expensive election but were afraid to ask:  Here's the tale of the single-most psychotic leadership-selection method, and in the world's most heavily-armed nation -- a country totally unafraid to randomly flex its military and financial might, whimsically, this way or that -- and it can be found right here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20163081

It provides a crisp, clear 3-minute view of the infernal inferno of an election process we bright Americans have created for ourselves and then rapidly, placidly accepted -- if we dare look, and if we dare see.

At "only" $2.5 billion, this is the most expensive election in history -- about 20 bucks a vote. Great use of money, making teevee stations rich?  Go ahead, make yourself crazy:  Take ten seconds to wonder what else that money could have done instead.  OK, you should stop now, before you really hurt yourself.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 November 2012 21:48 Read more...

How to Get Real News, in One Easy Lesson

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There's nothing like going to another country to get news about your own.

At least the internet / internets / internest / interwebz / internexus -- whatever you choose to call it -- makes dashing out for an electronic paper tons easier than before, boarding an international flight every morning in your PJs.

There are at least three advantages that come to mind.  First, the United States no longer has a press corps interested in journalism -- they have become professional softball lobbers and the current culture's fluff-and-product-placement pimps.

If you're looking for starched and shellacked hair, capped teeth, tan-in-a-bottle good looks, and someone who can provide the set clothing a fairly good hang, well, that's one thing.  If you're scouting around for those who hunger for hollow fame for fame's sake -- recognition without achievement -- then, you're also in the right place.  Trolling for nominal celebrities with seven-figure paychecks?  Bingo again!

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 November 2012 21:15 Read more...

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