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Member since: Sat Nov 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
Number of posts: 17,671

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We are certainly bounded by our culture,

but who designed the culture that bounds us? How is it distributed and how do we acquire it? How diverse is the marketplace of ideas? Ideology, on the right and the left, has become little more than a consumer product. The institutions that have traditionally been a bulwark against mercantilism have been co-opted or marginalized by the profit motive, and when they fail, disaster capitalism can find a way to make money off of that.

College enrollment is going up, but look what the kids are studying:


And add to that the number of disciplines that are considered mere extensions of business like communications, journalism, engineering, health professions and the arts. While the objectives and methods of business are obvious, how many people are trained in other disciplines within the context of those same methods and objectives? That's how we get Madison Avenue, network television, HMO's, Google Glass, Twitter, SSRI uptake inhibitors for "social anxiety", Olestra, Fox News and the Southern Baptist Convention.

I once talked to a cowboy that trained horses for a living. He said the trick to training horses was to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. We are suffering from a national sense of anomie because our culture is been skewed to train us to make the wrong thing easy and the right thing hard. Today, given the obvious dangers over the horizon regarding resource depletion and climate change, the wrong thing is to do it the way we've done it for hundreds of years.

The term "liberal" refers to increased, or "liberally applied", cultural change. That's why we need a Democratic congress in 2014, because it's our best chance for change in a time when cultural change will make or break our country and our species. Conservatism simply makes no sense given what we know about the world today and our prospects for tomorrow.

Everywhere you look, from incessant culture wars to packaged cable television, your culture is doled out to you . Ninety nine percent of the images people see every day are produced by a corporation. Human relationships are metered and squeezed for profit by limiting them to, for example, 140 characters. Political discourse is dominated by ratings driven hyperbole on both sides of the aisle. From where I sit whole swaths of our population have become little more than trained pigeons pecking at a button for a pellet.

Meanwhile, in other news...

California lawmakers pass expanded semi-automatic weapons ban


By Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

SACRAMENTO — New sales of semi-automatic rifles with removable magazines would be banned in California under a bill passed by the Democratic-led state legislature on Tuesday, and those who already own such weapons would have to register them.

Missouri: Pro-Gun Laws Took Effect This Week

On August 28, House Bill 533, sponsored by state Representative Jeanie Riddle (R-49) and state Senator Brian Munzlinger (R-18), took effect. This new self-defense law protects the right of a state employee to store a firearm in his or her private vehicle on state property as long as that vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible. Additionally, it prohibits any government entity from using tax dollars to participate in a gun “buyback” program unless the firearms are resold or transferred to a federally licensed firearms dealer.

Finally, a provision in Senate Bill 75, sponsored by state Senator Dan Brown (R-16) and state Representative Eric Burlison (R-133), also took effect on August 28. This provision allows schools to annually teach the NRA Eddie Eagle Gunsafe® Program to help keep children safe by preventing gun-related accidents. However, the portion of this bill that makes sheriffs the issuing authority for all concealed carry permits in Missouri will not take effect until January 1, 2014.

Blue states go one way in the culture wars, red states go the other, swing states get divided. The split grows wider with every bill passed. And we sit around scratching our heads wondering why congress can't seem to get anything done. "What's the matter with Kansas?", we ask. How did one percent of the population wind up owning most of the country? This is how. We burn off metric tons of political capital on both sides of the aisle fighting culture wars while they run off with the store. Well, at least the money in the store. They leave the ideological kitsch for us to fight over.

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