The Bed of Iniquity-American Politics as Usual

The present administration of the George Bush legacy has been embellished in many unsatisfactory practices and falsehood. The Bush presidency has been a carol of love songs shadowed in the conservative agenda-their greed has ultimately displaced the American working class in many disturbing trends that have now been the staple of our broken nation. How can America keep filtering billions of dollars to the Middle-Eastern War when our homeland desperately needs these funds to repair our tainted system?

The United States current state of affairs is in dire need of immediate repair, our health care system is in shambles, and our minimum wage is in need of innovative over-haul to adjust it to the new century American workers face.

Our nation has out-sourced too many American made factories and manufacturing jobs to the ever growing sector of China, India and Pakistan..,-so where does that leave the American middle-class? Simply put, nowhere to run from our government handshakes and favors that do not benefit the working class of our nation.

The pursuit of the American dream has fallen upon death ears, leaving many less prepared for the future and opulence of our multi-colored nation. The Bush present visit of many Afrikaans provinces is truly a cosmetic make-up for the present McCain quest for the nomination of the republican party-politics as usual. George Walker Bush knows how to play the political game well, his father was the ultimate player when it came to the manipulation of American politics.

At the present state-leaders of the African nation and most of the provinces will accept Bush invitation as an empty promise that was never fulfilled during his seven year term. Mediation has never been one of George Bush strong points, and his diplomatic flare has been none the less a failure to integrate policies that would have united several poor nations in a quest for peace and prosperity. Vietnam did the same thing to our nation-as the war in Iraq has, it has been unfortunate love affair that has been separated in a damaged divorce.

Many American middle class are reaching out to a government that will not engage our sanity in the needs and the problems that will start to heal a nation under continuous duress. The present economic standings for the less privilege has become ever clear-the American dream has become what it is for so many whom have fallen on hard times.

If you have noticed, the housing market and American dollar has decreased at a steady rate over the last seven years-the yen in China has more value than the American dollar. Our nation also has seen a decline in many products that were once shipped to many over-sea countries, and was once the staple of world trade. The United States government has also neglected to acknowledge the NAFTA trade inaccuracies and corruptible profits that gave way to China becoming the technological force to be reckoned with in a no fair trade act.

George Bush is not the only president that has sold out our nation to foreign trade-the only president that wanted to establish true fair trade, was none other than Jimmy Carter.

You could actually write a term paper on what he was trying to mandate under constitutional law-many of his efforts were shot down by a conservative congress that denied his ability to change laws that were not only outdated, but were obscure in the relation to the approaching twentieth century. Jimmy Carter term as the 39th President of the United States was short lived by a legacy of American and foreign policies that overshadowed all of the great and awe inspiring interactions he negated with many foreign countries.

One of the most prolific failures of Bill Clinton's presidency was his acknowledgement when the genocide was raping the people of Rwanda; the United States government turned a blind eye to the genocide that claimed more than one hundred thousand lives. His apology was a stale response when he visited the nation of Rwanda, too late, too little too soon. Bill Clinton failure to respond to the needs of the Afrikaans infected by the Aids virus-was none other than partisan politics as usual, during this period there were doctors that purposely infected thousands of Afrikaans with the Aids virus.

The United Nations wee warned by many BBC journalist and American journalist that there were doctors performing unethical experiments on many African people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and a few other provinces.

Now as we have come into the reality of the twentieth century-which presidential candidate has the appeal and courage to fight for the rights of the working class in America? Does Barack Obama have what it takes to sterilize the present failed policies and mandates that are strangling our country in debt and false promises? Our nation is ready for a change of pace from the abnormality of political divide, which separates our country in uncertainness and fear of tomorrow.

The fundamental structure of America is changing-our landscape is that in need of requiring a new and acquiescent song of peace and prosperity for all.

An Average American View-Damn Politics!

It seems as though each article I write about this election, always comes back to the simple fact. That fact is, America was founded on What The PEOPLE wanted to happen. Originally, the founding fathers were passionately concerned about the PEOPLE. Every decision was based on what was good for the people of America.

In watching many historical recreations and reading books about the history of our country, I have found that even though there was bad attitudes and selfish behavior in the days of our ancestors, there was true patriotism and true belief in this great country. I think this attitude is still a part of this country. I think there are many great human beings that love this country and have tremendous pride.

What I also believe is, through a progressive lack of leadership and our quest for the life of the rich and famous, we have negated our responsibility as Americans. We have sat back and allowed the government to direct our lives and to abuse our trust. They have made us look like agressive, evil people. It doesn't matter that the average person walking down the street may help everyone, be a totally wonderful human being or anything else positive. Our GOVERNMENT has created the bad reputation that America has. They have made us look like we are always trying to be the agressor or the ones in power.

The question here is, Are we going to continue to STAND BY and look like clowns or are we going to stand up and say what we think. Instead of being sheep through yet another election, I choose to speak up.

Enough with the damn politics people!

America is on the verge of crisis. We are hated, the dollar is worth almost nothing, the foreign oil companies are nailing us to the proverbial cross and countries are laughing at us across the globe for the Iraq war. Health care is out of reach for a majority of Americans, people are losing their jobs, their homes and their lives.

Last, but most assuredly not least are the over 4000 now soldiers that have left families. Families that our beloved Government doesn't even begin to compensate for their loss. The many more thousands who are permanently disabled either physically or mentally that depend on the horrors of the VA to provide health care.

Those are the things everyone should be talking about. While John McCain is running around Iraq saying whatever pops in his senile brain, Clinton is steadily bashing Obama. Now Obama has been forced to respond in kind. All the while people are still facing issues. Minute by minute, hour by hour. No matter what the tv is talking about, they still have to deal with how to feed their children supper or care for their spouse who can't work and is disabled.

All the arguing and talking trash by the people who we TRUST to lead us, just causes more stress. People are struggling in this country to remain confident in our government. That is like giving the government a free ticket to use and abuse us. The more we TRUST, the more they USE…….

It is time America. If you are supporting McCain, that is your right in this country. Food for thought: Are you really so unconcerned with what is GOOD for America, that you are willing to sacrifice more lives to try and be right? Can we afford to continue to be in debt?

He is just more of George Bush. Cocky, arrogant, and mislead. He doesn't have a clue about what to do about any issues other than the war. He is betting the farm on the war. MORE OF THE SAME. His constant reference to anything WAR is where the truth lies. Ask him about the real issues and see what he says? Does he even have any intention of doing anything about health care, the mortgage crisis or anything else. I haven't heard him even mention any of that.

If you are a Clinton supporter, again good for exercising your rights. Food for thought: When is Hillary going to focus on anything, while all the press and ill wishers are going to do is dredge up the past. She won't be allowed to focus on anything else. Bill will be a constant reminder of the past and his mistakes will overshadow anything she may be able to do. Not to mention that Hillary is a see-sawer. She goes back and forth. Do we want backbone or crowd pleasing? The only backbone she has shown was talking trash in order to divert the focus on the issues. How can we depend on that kind of Presidency?

If you are an Obama supporter my Food for thought is: Once every so often someone comes along that makes you sit up and listen better than usual. While I am still listening, I see hope like never before in my lifetime with the exception of Ronald Reagan. Yes I have been Republican for many years.

The question is not whether you are Republican or Democrat. The question is, What do you want for America? Do you want war, foreclosures, $5.00 gas, no jobs? Do you want to continue to sit at home and watch the clowns in Washington play with OUR LIVES? I don't.

Every time I hear the figures for the retirement plans of the President and the other members of the government, I want to scream. They go up there and no matter how bad of a job they do, they leave in high cotton. What?

Barack Obama is a mixed race American, who has spent time being around the people whose lives are the hardest. He has seen the struggles that they live with. He is honest. He is a PROUD AMERICAN. He is trying to unite America and give their voice back to the PEOPLE. A voice that the founding fathers gave them. Our voice is disappearing America folks. We are slowly creating laws and patterns that will eventually take away the very freedoms the founding fathers fought so patriotically for.

If you opt out of the responsibility of trying to start the change in this election, you can't complain later. The ISSUES need ACTION. The POLITICS need to be stopped. The obvious truth in this election is that you can get a clear vision of WHO is truly interested in America, by listening to what they are talking about.

Is it going to be the year of change or 4 more years of the same quagmire we have been in forever. Your choice, Your vote. Don't vote with your head and tradition. Vote with your mind and your heart.

How American Politics Contradicts Itself

There is one aspect of American politics that grates on my very last nerve: the complete and utter lack of common sense. I know, I know. I realize there would be a lot of members of Congress at their local soup kitchens (not there for a photo op) if common sense were a . That doesn’t mean that we as Americans have to ignore our common sense and gut instinct. It does not mean we have to abandon our principles and keep our mouths shut when we are grievously concerned about the actions our elected members are taking. It does not mean we have to keep quiet to our peers and community when we see something is very off.

I have several topics I wish to address regarding the complete contradictions present in current American political debate. For now, I will start with the death penalty.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice statistics website, there were 3,228 inmates on death row at the end of 2006. According to the same website, in 1971 there were 642 assigned to death row and in 1973 there were 134. Unbelievably, only 53 death row prisoners were executed in 2006 – or one percent of the death row inmate population.

Crimes punishable by death are generally various forms of murder. But not just any murder. Not justifiable homicide, of which there were 192 committed in 2005 (by non-law enforcement individuals). We are talking about BAD murder. For example, raping and killing children, murder involving torture and murder during a kidnapping (all from the Bureau of Justice list of capital offenses). I happen to agree that these offenses should be punishable by death. So would most people.

Here’s where things go awry. The American public is all about saving children, making sure they have school lunch programs, health care, etc. But we get squeamish when someone is sent to death row for raping and mutilating children. There is a case before the Supreme Court that is looking at the methods employed in execution of death row inmates – as cruel and unusual punishment. My question is: WHY?

Why are we concerned with whether or not these scum bags that rape and mutilate people, especially children, suffer when they are put to death as punishment for their crimes? Isn’t that the point of capital punishment? These evil morsels of the human population are given last rites if requested, a last meal per request, and a very humane passing. Did these criminals offer this to their victims? Did they offer them the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones before being defiled, mutilated, etc? NO. So, why should we extend to them these “rights”? When did we decide as a society that these people deserved rights that they did not grant to their victims???

There was a time in this country that appeals were non-existent and you were hung for stealing a horse. I am not stating that we should go back to that entirely, but in some form, yes, we should. If you are convicted of an aggravated sexual battery, or if you are convicted of raping or molesting a child, YOU should be on death row. There is no rehabilitation for these people. Why should we as a society condone the re-infiltration of these sick individuals to prey upon someone else? As for these anti-death penalty people, yes, there have been a few cases of innocent people on death row. However, in light of technological advances such as DNA, there is a much smaller chance of an innocent person being sent to death row. If anything, there are murderers sent free because of “reasonable doubt.” However, if the preponderence of guilt is such that a jury decides a person is responsible for taking a human life in a manner unbelievable to the majority of society, why waste taxpayer dollars?

When did the victim become invisible? Does what happened to them not matter? Is their manner of death irrelevant? What is wrong with us that we feel sympathy for a child murderer? What is wrong with us that we feel sympathy for a person who knowing and willingly snuffs out the life of another? I am not including self-defense. There is justifiable homicide. If someone breaks into your home with the intention of harming you or stealing what you have worked hard for, I don’t feel sympathy for them if they are shot.

Our society has decided that criminals have a special niche in life – they were abused, or lived a lousy childhood, or whatever. I say “BULL!” Who hasn’t had a messed up childhood? Does this condone bad behavior in any form? NO. It does not.

A rope and gallows are much more cost effective and justified than making sure these murderers don’t feel a thing. I am all in favor of pubic executiion. We as a country need to decide who deserves justice, the criminal or the victim. However cold it may seem, I will never care if a murderer of a child suffers in his last minutes of life. Quite frankly, I believe suffering is the least they could do for the crime they committed.

Is Yahoo News an Anti-American News Source?

Yahoo! is the web's biggest meeting place, rated #1 overall in traffic, but does Yahoo have an insidious, anti-American liberal bent lurking in its closet?

Yahoo news stories almost always seem to showcase deaths in Iraq, sympathetic viewpoints from forces hostile to America, and outright vicious name calling of Bush and his conservative administration. The pattern is well worn and painfully obvious, at least to these eyes. It is almost impossibly easy to describe oneself as a news service on the world wide web these days, but a substantial measure of non-bias and journalistic responsibility come along with such a claim, to be sure.

But hey, this is the Internet and sometimes it's easy to forget that.

The greater question is, regarding Yahoo's often folsom, left leaning slant, is Yahoo aiding and abetting the war on terror? Surely, Al-Qaeda and its key operatives surf Yahoo News on a daily basis, ostensibly to finger the pulse of American consensus regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the attitudes of the American public at home in general. One thousand Al-Qaeda spies could not inflict as much harm as a single day of Yahoo news threads do to our nation's cause, in my assessment. Yahoo surely has many friends in the Islamic world, indeed.

According to Yahoo, both wars against radical Islam are unwinnable, unprovoked, and unspeakable social evils perpetuated solely for America's oil lust and Bush's unbridled ego. According to Yahoo, civil rights in America lie slashed and bloodied by a flaying Draconian conservative sword, and that fomenting, breathless throngs of politically suppressed Americans are clamoring for their lost Constitutional freedoms, at direct odds with a Great Dark Christian Empire pounding them down back into place.

At least that's the world according to the guys at Yahoo, in my view.

That's how you lose wars, you know. By convincing the world you are losing. Who is to say that the Iraq insurgency wouldn't have caved and given up two years ago if liberal media had taken the alarmingly obvious stance of picking a side? The shocking reality is because Yahoo and similar liberal web based sites do not seem to be on our side.

Certainly, war deaths must be acknowledged, but with a grisly daily head count, tallying the score of death like some terrible soccer match? One shudders to think what would have become of the efforts against Nazism in World War II, when 220,000 Americans GI's died fighting Hitler in Europe, if a daily death tally were broadcast to a frightened nation's trembling hands and fearful eyes. My perception suggests that Yahoo seems to cross the line, perhaps even with sinister intentions. Maybe that's why we haven't yet won the war on terror, because liberal pages such as Yahoo are in the way, perhaps willingly.

Hot Latin American News Quickies July 5tht

These are your Hot Latin American News Quickies for July 5th, 2009. Be sure to check them out and go on to read the whole news stories later.

Honduras – OAS president Insulza will accompany Zelaya to Honduras. Hot Latin American News Quickies July 5th, 2009

After the 72 hr-ultimatum to reinstate Honduras has ended, OAS has said that Honduras will be suspended from the organization if de-facto president Micheletti does not step down and reinstate ousted president Zelaya. Micheletti and his government has responded withdrawing themselves from the OAS leaving the OAS with no diplomatic clout to do anything. Additionally, Michelletti has said that they will not reinstate Zelaya and will jail him if he returns to Honduras. Zelaya is said to that would arrive to his country between 1300 and 1400 local time (1900 to 2000 GMT). OAS president Insulza would accompany him to Honduras. According to different blogs, (including this one) Zelaya should not return to Honduras because there will be a blood bath on the streets. In an interesting story and twist to the Honduras coup, some sources are saying that Obama has signed with Obama and Castro in condemning the "ousting" as illegal and demanding the return of Zelaya to power. (I day "illegal" because some people are telling that the military were obeying a "court order" to oust him)

Cuba – Now you can flight directly to Cuba. Hot Latin American News Quickies July 5th, 2009

According to www.cubatravelservices.com, now is possible to flight nonstop to Cuba from Los Angeles, CA. Flight time is less than 5 1/2 hours. You will be traveling on a chartered Continental Airlines Boeing 737-800, which has 150 passengers capacity. Round-trip adult costs? from $689 plus tax.

Venezuela – Chavez continues with his wave of nationalizations. Hot Latin American News Quickies July 5th, 2009

In another round of wave of nationalizations, Chavez has nationalized the country's third largest bank (Banco de Venezuela). The nationalization is actually a government purchase for $1.05 billion, according to a deal announced in May. The first payment – $630 million – was made last Friday.

Sources:

Honduras Removes Itself from Organization of American States

Honduras: There Will Be Blood

obama sides with chavez and castro

Cuba Travel Services,

Venezuela Nationalizes Country's Third Largest Bank

Why Snookie is Destroying American Politics

In my mind, it really started with Puck from MTV's "The Real World". A loud obnoxious schmuck put on TV and made famous for the very vulgarity and ignorance we cross the street to avoid in real life, and yet, were were drawn to the dysfunction. The same way we rubberneck at a car accident, we found ourselves holding a bathroom break till the commercial to avoid missing what might be the moment that no one should have missed, and here, our lust for produced reality was born.

Since then it's been stretched and satiated in every possible variation, cops taking down shirtless rednecks, "survivors" put on an island where they don't have to survive so much as screw each other over, or, eat a pig testicle and win some cash, get a bunch of alcoholic 20 somethings together and see who mates on night vision camera, and who the hell cared about the housewives of anywhere until it showed up on Bravo? However, all of this produced reality has permeated our culture to the point where it seems we don't think it's real unless a fight breaks out, or someones hair ends up in a clenched fist. We have created a false interpretation of what's real.

Since Nixon/Kennedy, the first televised debate, (and if i'm being honest i felt like i should have put a "vs" in between them instead of a slash) the American people have grown to see political discourse as a competition between orators as opposed to a competition between ideologies. It doesn't matter who has the better ideas just who can deliver their ideas with more appeal. If you can remember that debate, it didn't matter who's ideas you liked at the beginning, Kennedy was cool and composed, Nixon was sweaty and disheveled, and unless you were an ardent Nixon man, Kennedy charmed the pants off you. The fact he had good ideas closed the deal.

We have come to the dangerous conclusion of that debate. We will side with whoever charms us best, or first. If we were still swayed by simple straight forward ideas that would be a good thing, the problem is that now we are swayed/entertained by reality; the controversial, explicit, ridiculous, produced reality we have come to expect as "real life". 15 years ago an airing of the House of Representatives on CSPAN was a look into civil governmental procedure, today its a misfit island of late night quotes and talking points.

Politicians have caught wind of popular entertainment and guided their actions in step with what they think will get them the most sound bytes. The more audacious an elected officials remarks, the better chance they have of being repeated to a national audience, even if those remarks are presented with disdain, even if those remarks don't represent their true beliefs. Air time has become more important than faithfully representing their constituency. It's this kind of attention whoring, along with the introduction of millions of dollars of private money, that has led us to accept a legislative branch that is completely impotent, not just to pass meaningful legislation, but to even recognize an alternate point of view besides their own. A view dictated by the Lobbyists of corporations that are at an intersect to the people who elected them. And it all comes back to Puck.

TV has made us think that conflict and rhetoric is the natural state of reality. Politicians, being on a national media stage, have pandered to a majority demographic, thus bringing the level of political discourse down to the level of an episode of Dance Moms, with the same amount of civility and compromise that an hour of that program provides. Honestly, how could we blame them?

It's been said that a society can be judged by how it entertains itself. I hate to admit it, but our primetime speaks volumes.

ABC News Poll Shows 71% Americans Find Sarah Palin Unqualified for President

An ABC News/Washington Post Poll reflecting that most Americans do not believe Sarah Palin is qualified to be president may not have been the best birthday gift for the ex-governor of Alaska but it probably was suitable from the perspective of the 71% that found her so. Luckily for Sarah Palin, the poll was taken (February 4-8) before the fallout of the hand notes mini-scandal and Retardgate, not afterward. Her unqualified numbers would undoubtedly have soared even higher.

Seriously, how do you forget the talking points that you repeat every time you're behind a podium? Sarah Palin knows how, you betcha! And how do you defend a guy (Rush Limbaugh) calling people "retards" right after you condemned another person (Rahm Emmanuel) of the opposite political party for doing the very same thing? Sarah Palin knows how to be a hypocrite as well, by golly.

Regardless, the ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed that 71% of Americans believe that Sarah Palin is unqualified to be president. Only 26% believed she is qualified. That qualified number is down from 38% from a similar poll conducted in November.

And it isn't just liberals, Democrats, and independents that are viewing the hockey mom politician in a negative light as time progresses. Her qualified numbers among conservatives alone fell 21% since November to 45%. (By the way, that number was lower than her age, which is now 46.)

To make matters a bit worse, the poll indicated that 37% of Americans have a favorable view of Sarah Palin, while 55% held an unfavorable view of her.

With numbers like those, it is difficult to see someone like Sarah Palin receiving the nod from the Republican Party in 2012. And with her constant exposure as a contributor on Fox News, it is possible that those chances will become even narrower as election season approaches. Add in her declarations on her Facebook page and her unsubstantiated and factless meanderings in articles and books and those unqualified numbers will remain as high as her favorable numbers remain low.

Conservatives are practical by nature. They are also usually quite loyal. But what they generally are not is loyal to the point of ridiculousness (except in the case of those loyal to George W. Bush). As loyal as many of them are to Sarah Palin, the practical portion of the average conservative will undoubtedly win out in the end. The problem? Grudgingly admitting that they were wrong about Palin's presidential credibility and/or admitting that liberals and independents and Ed Rollins (Republican strategist) were right.

Perhaps just this one exception…

******

Source:

CNN.com

American Idol Season Eleven News Needs to Come from Fox Soon

American Idol season 11 is as up in the air as the show was last summer. It's time for producers to decide if "American Idol" season 10 ratings and fan responses are good enough to keep the show intact with the new judges for the 2011 season. More importantly, it is time for Fox and show producers to let the fans know where the show will be heading in the immediate future. Nobody is looking forward to hearing another summer packed with rumors about what might be done with the format of the show or the judges' panel.

The 2011 season of "American Idol" is the first year that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have been part of the judging panel with Randy Jackson. They have been a lot better than expected in the roles, and viewers have not tuned out from the audition phase of the show. In fact, "American Idol" is back to being the top rated show on television, even taking into account that they moved away from Tuesday night's top rated drama on television ("NCIS"). That's pretty remarkable, and it shows that "American Idol" is as strong as ever as a product.

Taking a look at the ratings from the second week of episodes in 2011, "American Idol" is only down slightly in viewers from the premiere week. During the Wednesday, Jan. 26 episode, "American Idol" drew an estimated 23.8 million viewers and a 13.0 mark in the key demographic. That mark of 13.0 is really amazing, and something that Fox has to show off to their advertisers.

The Thursday numbers weren't quite as good in the 8 pm time slot, but Fox should have expected that when they decided it was a good idea to push their Tuesday-Wednesday show to Wednesday and Thursday this year. The numbers for Thursday were at 17.21 estimated rating, and a 5.8 mark in the 18-49 demographic. That was still five million more estimated viewers than any other show on Thursday night, but many shows were showing repeat episodes.

It is very clear that "American Idol" still has the viewers, even if this last Thursday saw a downturn of more than three million viewers. When the show finally gets to the competition phase of the show, or even the Hollywood week episodes, the audience numbers will probably go up again. Now it's time for Fox to become transparent about their thoughts on the future of Tyler and Lopez, and if the idea is to bring them back for "American Idol" season 11. If not, we are going to be in for a long summer of "AI" rumors, which actually might be what producers want in order to keep the show on people's minds.

Source:

American_Idol_Main_Website

Atlas Shrugged and American Politics Today

I was out on a date about a month ago when I first heard of it: "Atlas what?". "Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. It's a book that basically questions the duty of the strong to help the weak".

I am no scholar, and I do live in Brazil, but it is not common for me not even to have heard about famous books. So I decided to investigate. And that is one of the interesting things about Atlas Shrugged: while the author has an institute named after her and the book was voted one of the most influential in the USA, it is almost unheard of (outside academia) elsewhere. It is so hard to come by in Portuguese, for example, that a copy of the 1987 translation recently sold for over 130 dollars on the Brazilian equivalent of Ebay. I haven't been able to explain this yet. Perhaps the novel is just too American, or just too long.

The other mystery surrounding Atlas Shrugged is why it's suddenly regaining popularity: a movie is in the making, the book is said to have become a hit with CEOs and they're even republishing it in Portuguese. What does this say about the mood of America? That's straightforward. Recession is upon us, and so people are choosing to shield themselves against hard times rather than help the rest of the world. The economic center is shifting to the right, right?

Wrong. This book will not make one Democrat become a Republican. The tension here is not along the left-right axis, but comes from the crossed wires of American politics (and other bipartisan political systems too). It is what makes Democrats and Republicans both claim the title of 'liberals' while calling each other 'conservatives'. For historical reasons the Democrats are an alliance of social (or civil) liberals and economic conservatives, while Republicans are the reverse. But in terms of values, it make more sense for civil and economic liberals to group together against both groups of conservatives: after having taken Economics 101, it's harder for the pro-choice, secular ivy-leaguer to justify Democratic populism, while creationism is hardly how Republican big business wants its workforce to be educated. What we're seeing here are the liberals (or libertarians, if that's your jargon) trying to break free.

And that's exactly what happens in the book. It's important to point this out: no character shifts from left to right in the novel, no humanitarians become egoists. What happens is that the liberals decide to abandon the good samaritan morality which they had tolerated, but in which they had never felt comfortable. And while the economic component of the book has received a great deal of attention, one musn't forget that social liberalism is there too: Atlas Shrugged is perhaps unique in that the heroine sleeps with all three of the main characters without losing her heroine status, without feeling guilty and without provoking conflict among the men.

That there is strong political tension in American politics today, however, does not mean that it will be acted upon. While I believe that liberals and conservatives will realign more consistently in the long run, this will not necessarily happen in the near future, for obvious reasons. First, the bipartisan system is too strong in the USA for a mass desertion of the two main parties in favour of the Libertarian Party to be realistic. Second, neither party leadership would be willing to risk losing the middle-of-the-road voters for the sake of a more consistent ideology.

So it seems that for the time being we'll have to accept episodes like Obama and Clinton grinding out a nomination on the basis of likeability, as the electoral base which they cannot afford to alienate has internally inconsistent values. On the Republican side we'll have to accept such walking contradictions as Mitt Romney: socially conservative mormon, but also economically liberal former management consultant.

There are other aspects of the novel that are worthy of discussion, but as these are mostly literary or philosophical, I'll leave them to other posts. As to liberal pressure being so pent-up that it is being vented through a 1200 page novel from the 60s, soon to be Hollywood blockbuster: Milton Friedman is either turning in his grave, or laughing his head off.