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June 01, 2016


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The underlying political message in Cabaret was the decadence of the cultural elites. Is this what you're concerned about, Steve?


I have to say, I'm coming off a series of conversations about Trump, Brexit and other issues where people who ought to know better engaged in "magical thinking" that scared the sh** out of me...


My grandmother and great aunt, both teachers, visited Germany before the war. They described being in the garden of an inn like that, where everyone was charming, pleasant, relaxed - then suddenly someone shouted sonething, every jumped to their feet, hauling these two young tourists up with them and started shouting and saluting as a cavalcade of cars roared by, then sang a patriotic song. It was, they found out later, Hitler going by. My grandmother described it as genuinely frightening (this was in the 70s) to see the unreasoning reaction in the crowd.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

It all started with Ronald Deficit Reagan. The Reagan Revolution began the neutering of government. "Government is the problem." So, government was defunded with supply side tax cuts. Later, the Bush tax cuts and refund/rebate checks. I got a check in 2001 for $320.00. I purchased a long ago discarded couch. Government became ineffective at regulating and backstopping the Great Recession. Folks now have contempt for government when bridges fall down, schools fail and when we can't help 50,000 people stuck in a putrid stadium after a hurricane. "See," Reagan, would say, "I told you so." When government does something right, it gets knocked down. Dodd-Frank, climatology, civil rights, Amtrak and our National Parks/wilderness areas (land grab) are relevant examples. Its as if Kim Davis, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, the NRA and Trump have an outsized influence on the direction of our country.

terry malloy

good read on this: you can't go home again, Thomas Wolfe.

my 2c: humans have a limited emotional range, and are capable of far more evil that we can fathom in the sunny light of a peaceful afternoon, especially in groups. the likelihood that this will end really badly, and possibly lead to the end of the republic. . . 5%. which doesn't sound like a lot, but is 1 in 20. I don't like those odds.


The US is an empire and empires rise and fall. These are cyclical and cannot be prevented. Delayed yes but not prevented. I am not sure America is there "yet" but certainly signs exist that America is not far from serious decline: corrupt local and national officials who care little for the public; an increasingly large segment of the population that does not subscribe to the cultural ethos that built the Empire; an increasingly burnt out public who believes rightly or wrongly that the elites are ruining the nation via corruption and a loss of American prestige (explains Sanders and Trump appeal); an increasingly pervasive government that is looking for money but allows large corporations to enjoy tax shelters via foreign domicile tricks. Meanwhile for the average citizen the IRS regs are so complicated most people need expensive accountants and there is burdensome paperwork and an invasion of privacy leading an increasingly (although still small) number of citizens of the Empire to relinquish citizenship and live abroad; poor infrastructure (airports, roads) which is a national humiliation - go to other countries and see the difference; a poor public educational system where social workers and guidance counselors are emphasized over academics - only expensive private education is providing an education so a vast number of people are shut out based on lack of ability to pay; a military stretched from the Korean border to the Persian Gulf to Germany - we have bases in many nations and we are broke.

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