History-making music group for UMM - morris mn

History-making music group for UMM - morris mn
The UMM men's chorus opened the Minnesota Day program at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cable TV news drones on, making me sleep

Marco Rubio, conservative
I woke up at about 5 a.m. this morning, as I always do, and decided to go back to bed. Normally I heat water, make some strong instant coffee, then turn on a cable news channel to begin digesting what's going on, what's causing "buzz."
There is no shortage of buzz these days, but so much of it is around the presidential race, and it's getting tarred by too much circus-like bravado. I'm just stating the obvious, right?
The news media landscape has paved the way for this. For one thing, the "race for the presidency" goes on way, way too long. The cable networks latch onto this like a horse craving its first oats of the day. They pick up on the various narratives and pour gasoline on them.
One cannot help but feel like a fool, consuming all this over a considerable period of time.
So I went back to bed at 5 and was in a semi-somnambulant state until about 8:30. I still didn't want to turn on cable news. So I tried a movie channel and found an old Jimmy Stewart western. I sampled it just to be reminded of the quality of that genre of movie from a previous time. I hung there until a horse got hurt. I have no stomach for that.
I took a look at cable news again, to find that this day (Saturday) did have a different twist: coverage of the funeral for Antonin Scalia. This is a man who made at least one racist or racist-tinged comment in his life, even recently. His apparently serious health issues should have prompted him to resign from the Supreme Court. Did he refrain from doing that, for no other reason than he didn't want President Obama to nominate a successor? Was he afraid of a "liberal" succeeding him?
Let's back off from this disturbing back-and-forth on whether something called "liberalism" should be allowed to advance in our public life. Many of us are far more "liberal" than we wish to admit. Scalia is being lionized in death not only as a dedicated justice, but as a dedicated "conservative" justice. This scares me. Jeb Bush has pushed his own conservatism by saying we need to abolish Medicare. Not that this statement has appeared to help him.
All advanced industrial nations are a combination of free market capitalism and socialism. It is my belief we are eventually going to get single payer health care. The trend toward this moves forward with a glacier-like force, quiet as a glacier too. In the meantime, so many of us fret about and scorn socialism, collectivism or other synonyms for those terms.
A guest on CNN upbraided a program host for reporting that Marco Rubio favored repealing "Obamacare." That's biased reporting because Rubio would "replace it with something," the guest implored. Really? Biased reporting? When Republicans want to replace an entitlement with something else, how truly helpful would that "something else" be for the common person? Oh, but Republicans don't care about the common person. Tax credits for buying private health insurance? Insurance burdens weigh increasingly on people.
Ever heard the expression "insurance poor?" We pay so much for insurance, there's little discretionary money left. Maybe it's best that we accept just paying a little more in taxes, or at least let's force all the shady hedge fund guys and their ilk on Wall Street to pay a few bills for the rest of us. We had better start tilting this way, or, in the event of a sharp economic downturn, we could have something akin to the French Revolution. Or, maybe something like what happened in 1930s Germany.
"Liberals" in the U.S. today are on the defensive, Bernie Sanders' rise notwithstanding. I could be wrong and maybe the worm will turn, but look at how many state houses across the U.S. are dominated by Republicans. The presidency is a bastion for the progressive folk, but we hear day after day such strong putdowns and disrespect from the Fox News folks, Rush Limbaugh etc., aimed at Democrats as if Democrats are truly evil. Tucker Carlson suggests that no one votes Democratic on the basis of principle.
I had an old college friend, Brad, very astute on politics, who said it was always hard to argue with Republicans on the basis of pure principle. "But Republicans don't care about people," he said. Do we all, deep down, really insist on another "conservative" justice on the U.S. Supreme Court? Do we, really?
How about a "liberal?" Hey, would it really kill you?
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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