Togane, Japan
December 31
I'm teaching English in foreign countries as a way to see the world. I lived in Germany for three years and have been in Japan since August of 2011.


Kemstone's Links

FEBRUARY 23, 2011 7:04AM

Politically Unmotivated

Rate: 5 Flag

Lately I just haven’t been able to summon the will to write about politics.  I know there’s important stuff going on but I just don’t have much to say about any of it and I’m all-too-conscious of the fact that nobody really cares about my opinion anyway.

The revolutionary movements taking hold throughout the Middle East are a great thing in my opinion, but not knowing much about each individual country there’s not much more I can say that I haven’t already said in my posts about Tunisia and Egypt.

The protests taking place now in Wisconsin over the governor’s union-busting proposal are also a very positive development (the establishment is finally being reminded that conservatives aren’t the only Americans willing to take to the streets) and could potentially be a landmark event in American history, but there’s nothing I have to say about it that isn’t already being said, and I honestly don’t know enough about the inner workings of labor unions to say anything particularly intelligent about it anyway.

As for Barack Obama, he’s doing the same “look at how centrist I am” dance that he’s been doing since he took office, and I’ve said all I have to say about it a million times over.  It also seems that every time I write a post critical of Obama I lose a few readers :) 

The Republicans are engaging in their typical hypocritical behavior, talking about creating jobs but focusing mostly on making it harder for women to get abortions.

And all but a select few in the media are letting both parties get away with talking about spending cuts without ever suggesting that maybe the deficit wouldn’t be such a huge problem if they didn’t just give out $800 billion worth of tax-cuts, mostly to the richest 2%.  The entire Washington establishment and corporate media seem to be engaging in some kind of cooperative selective amnesia.  The poor and middle class have to make sacrifices because the government just doesn’t have enough money, but nobody dares to point out that we wouldn’t have to cut so deeply if the rich were to just pay their fair share.

Last but not least, the main source of the information that led us to war in Iraq has admitted to lying, and even though the Bush administration had every reason in the world not to trust him back then they still went to war anyway and this story is getting almost no attention at all.  The conventional wisdom is that “we have to look forward, not backward” especially when behind us lies one of the most egregious crimes in history—a government deliberately deceiving its own people and the rest of the world in order to start a war that would result in the loss of tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of lives, the vast majority of them innocent Iraqis.  At least all those kids died for a good cause—to make our military contractors richer.

I’m hearing almost no outrage about this, but I don’t have the energy to express it to the extent it warrants.  My voice won’t make a lick of difference anyway, as my past two years of blogging have made clear to me.

In the past I might have been able to fully research and write out a lengthy post about all of these topics but now I just don’t feel like it.  Presumably I’m just in a temporary slump right now and I’ll get back in the swing of things after a little while, but for now I’d rather devote most of my mental energy to learning Japanese—a much more practical use of my time seeing as how I’m moving to Japan in August.  [Incidentally, learning Japanese is surprisingly fun.  I only began last weekend and I can already read hiragana and katakana at about a 1st-grade level, and I’ve got about fifty of the most useful words and phrases firmly memorized.]

So for the handful of you who actually do appreciate my political posts, I just wanted to explain my relative absence from the blogosphere at this point in time.  As with this post, I still intend to write something every now and then but not with as much frequency as before.

Meanwhile, Revolution Earth remains open for business and virtually devoid of participation (for which I mostly blame my own lack of motivation).  I sincerely thank everyone who has been posting there, and anyone still interested in joining that little operation is always welcome.  It doesn’t cost too much to maintain, so it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Until next time, sayounara.

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I get your point. By the way, thanks for the link about Curveball - I hadn't heard about that. I don't think it's been big news here.

You're completely right about the problem with the deficit being that we're refusing to tax the people who actually have almost all of America's money. I addressed that in my last post.

The truth is that we aren't being read, except by other people who do what we do. That will do a little good. One of my readers is a teacher and some of the stuff I write makes it into her classroom or to her colleagues. Every little bit helps, but it is after all a little bit.

If nothing else, write once in a while for us. Enjoy Japan.
I just discovered this site and signed up to Thank You for your writings. Just posted your Koch Brothers piece on facebook. And thank you for that piece. Awareness needs to be raised on those dastardly men! I'm feeling the same way today - a bit exhausted by all the political ongoings. There is so much distress going on I feel like I'm watching a 2 year old child melt down. Good that you are focusing on something positive today. I'm gonna go paint - create something positive. Thanks again for your writings!
Like 57% of other Americans the main stream media is on my pay no mind list (that is according to the most recent Gallup poll) where as I read almost everything you write. Although I don’t always agree with you I always find you informative. Stop selling yourself short!
And by the way the degenerate staff at OS is refusing to allow me to rate your post. I have now tried 3 times and each time I come back the rate is gone. You are right about one thing this time: this is due to your refusal to drink the Obama Koolaid.
it finally stuck I wonder why
People read you.
Hmmm. It's not that no one cares what you have to say. (I think you're an excellent writer, and I know that I'm not alone.) It's that there are soooo many voices out there.

I've been blogging fiercely since the fall of 2002. If I worried too much about how big my audience is, I wouldn't blog.

I think of myself as one cell of a great big human body. Sure, as one cell you can feel insignificant. But if ALL of the cells felt that way and thus stopped functioning, then the body would die.

Cheesy analogy, I know, but it's true...

We can't give up. If we do, fascism, which obviously is on the rise, will win.
As usual, I am way behind in catching up with my favorite OS writers, so I truly hope you will get to see this.

I read your blogs faithfully (albeit a bit late) and there have been many days when knowing there are people like you, who think and feel as I do -- who see things for what they are and can write so eloquently about them -- is what keeps me going.

It isn't an exaggeration to say that I draw strength from your blogs.

It is most understandable that you're feeling a certain malaise, but I'm convinced it is invaluable to keep speaking up, if for no other reason than that it gives others courage. Even if we do not always express this directly.

Thank you for your outstanding blogs and while I always think it's good to take a breather once in a while, (every oil lamp must be refilled in order to keep burning) I hope you will not allow your passion to wane, or to ever believe you aren't being heard.

You just never know who might be listening.