New England wallpaper and “So turn off the TV set”

New England Fishing Village wallpaper

The Rebirth of American Civic Life

Throughout the last four decades of the 20th century, young people’s engagement in American civic life declined year after year with depressing regularity. In fall 1966, well before the full flowering of Vietnam War protests, a UCLA poll of college freshmen nationwide found that “keeping up with politics” was a “very important” goal in their lives for fully 60 percent.

[ ]…Last month the UCLA researchers reported that “For today’s freshmen, discussing politics is more prevalent now than at any point in the past 41 years.” This and other evidence led us and other observers to speak hopefully of a 9/11 generation, perhaps even a “new Greatest Generation.” In the 2004 and 2006 elections, turnout among young people began at last to climb after decades of decline, reaching the highest point in 20 years in 2006. As we approached the presidential season of 2008, young Americans were, in effect, coiled for civic action, not because of their stage of life, but because of the lingering effects of the unifying national crisis they had experienced in their formative years.

While the Right has claimed that 9-11 changed everything to justify instilling a collective herd mentality of perpetual fear and war, maybe the herd mentality has peaked. Rather then ushering in the era of Conservative Chicken-Littleness, the Right’s shrill over reaction to 9-11 has pointed the way to a new progressive era. While it will take a full generation to undo the damage Bush and Conservatives have done to the Constitution, it is appears at this point that Bush has pushed the Conservative movement with its multitude of hypocrisies, lies, and bloated corporate welfare to the fringes of the political arena. From which they will whine and play victim, but unable to do much damage. Though as we progress we shouldn’t forget that the Right is like rust they never sleep.

As children we all knew on some level that we weren’t mature. Maturity was the mysterious domain occupied by adults. We were consoled by the fact that some day we would grow up and have access to that wonderful world where our peers were older and wiser. Many of us have undoubtedly been more then disappointed to find out that many adults seem to hit a certain age and undergo some kind of regression, becoming even more petulant and immature then the worse children, Fox News attacks Obama for ditching Fox News

The viewer’s comments, which Wallace made a conscious decision to read on air, echo Fox News chief Roger Ailes’s hysterical claim that “the candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda.”

This might explain why the semi-official propaganda channel for the Republican Party is losing viewers and why many politicians are beginning to realize that avoiding Fox doesn’t hurt them a bit. Leave it to a loyal Fox viewer to equate Fox with a loose confederation of terrorists and not realize the unintended satire.

I would consider the possibility that in his own mind at least Tim “Meet The Press” Russert thinks that he is unbiased. The reality in Tim’s case differs from his self perceptions. Not an unusual occurrence in people that make obscene sums of money and live in the Beltway bubble. That said he still needs to explain why he keeps throwing so many low curve balls At Senator Clinton.

If you live long enough you get to hear a politician say exactly what you were thinking. Something that goes against the the perceived populist wave and not get booed, Teaching

“So turn off the TV set. Put the video game away. Buy a little desk. Or put that child at the kitchen table. Watch them do their homework. If they don’t know how to do it, give ’em help. If you don’t know how to do it, call the teacher.”