Saturday, October 23, 2010

Running, Not Walking, to the Left

Doug J, the business and economics editor of Balloon Juice, has post up about how he moved to the left. In the that spirit here is the brief narrative of how I moved leftward.

Ten years ago I was a moderate above the fray type. Three things moved me to the left. The first was the war on terror. Everything from the idiocy and petty abuses of the TSA and Homeland Security, to the wholesale torture and destruction of our values that went on in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, to the murderous delusions of Iraq led to realize the peaceniks and hippies are right

The second event that moved me to left was taking a job in the healthcare industry. Once I saw how the patchwork system of private insurance and for-profit healthcare hindered caring for the sick as much, if not more, then it helped then I wanted a system of universal healthcare.

The final event was the economic crisis and the exposure of what thirty years of conservative ad neo-liberal policies did to the middle and working classes moved me even further to the left.

These three events, plus my theological liberalism leading me to oppose and detest evangelical fundamentalism, is what led me to move firmly to the left

Sunday, October 3, 2010

That Took a Bit Longer then We Expected

Today Germany paid the last payment related to the reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles and thus closing and balancing the books on World War 1. Ninety seven years after the war started, the lamps are coming back on all across Europe.

The costs of the war include 9 million soldiers, sailors, and airmen killed and 6 million civilians killed during Europe's four years of murderous insanity. The fighting cost the combatant nations about $180,000,000,000 in 1918 money. The Ottoman and Austrian-Hungarian empires disappeared forever, and the Russian empire was replaced by the Communist Soviet Union.

While today marks an ending, of sorts, of World War 1, we do well to remember how the war began. Capt. Edmund Blackadder explains the origins of the war in this clip from Blackadder Goes Forth(yes, that is Hugh Laurie).