We seem to have lost any ability to get along with others, celebrate diversity, or even to tolerate diversity. We seem to crave an enemy, a threat, in order to preserve our perception of the American way of life.
There is a evil undercurrent fast at work driving wedges between groups and pitting neighbor against neighbor, and it's ugly. This vile force has large numbers of Americans wrongly believing that our culture faces extinction, that God has somehow been expelled from our nation by liberals (oh, if only we had that kind of power), that the English language is in danger, and of course, that gays, lesbians, and especially the transgendered threaten the very foundation of our society.
What the fuck is wrong with us?
The Republicans debated in Des Moines this weekend. You know something good is coming out of that.
Say It, Even If It Ain't So
Because we're so dumb we'll probably believe it if we hear it repeated enough.
As in past encounters, the Republicans largely agreed on the need to continue the Iraq war, saying that leaving the country too quickly would disrupt the fight against terrorism.
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), whose front-runner status has slipped away in a wave of fundraising and staff woes, stuck to his guns on the war, saying there will be catastrophic consequences if America abandons Iraq.
"We are winning. We must win. And we will not set a date for surrender, as the Democrats want us to do," McCain said.
And while we're on this road, define incompetence.
How the hell can we win a war if we can't even keep track of our own weapons?
"They really have no idea where they are," said Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information who has studied small-arms trade and received Pentagon briefings on the issue. "It likely means that the United States is unintentionally providing weapons to bad actors."
Meanwhile, have a look at success:
Jihad Wali, 35, victim of a roadside bomb that killed nine civilians and wounded eight.
How many hundreds of thousands of times has this scene played out in Iraq?
Bush is a great multitasker. While wreaking havoc overseas, he can simultaneously do it at home.
"We must remember that our work is not done," Bush said upon signing the [eavesdropping] bill...
Most Americans will pay little or no attention to this because we're all a little too concerned about another dangerous threat: illegal immigrants seeking hard work and a better life for them and their families. God knows, I sure can't sleep at night with so many brown-skinned people coming here to work, sleep, pay rent, eat strange food and speak some inferior language which I can't understand.
Spurred by rising resentment in the country over illegal immigration and by the collapse of a broad immigration bill in the Senate in June, state legislators nationwide adopted measures to curb employment of unauthorized immigrants and to make it more difficult for them to obtain state identification documents like driver’s licenses.
State lawmakers have introduced about two and half times more immigration bills this year than in 2006, and the number that have become law is more than double the 84 bills enacted last year, according to the conference, a nonpartisan organization that includes all the state legislatures.
Big Brother is on the march in Louisiana:
The toughest law was adopted in Louisiana, which now requires applicants’ names to be checked against a federal immigration database as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorism watch list.
And it's not just the dirty Mexicans getting our white wrath.
Indian immigrants are getting the cracking whip.
ISELIN, N.J., Aug. 3 — With the workweek behind him, Deepu Dass focused on a pesky bald spot in his front lawn here. As he sprayed the patch with water, urging the grass toward the perfection achieved by several neighbors, he said confidently: “I planted seeds.”
I'm happy I don't live in a neighborhood where the neighbors complain about something like a patch of imperfect grass.
There have been up to six men sharing the house, whose owners include Suresh Kumar, president of NexAge Technologies USA, a nearby software company where the tenants work. But the unusual arrangement — and the unsightly lawn — caught the attention of local housing inspectors, and in May Woodbridge Township cited Mr. Kumar for several violations, including an unauthorized boarding house and an illegal multifamily dwelling. He has until Aug. 16 to resolve the situation, which may mean kicking his workers out.
Hey, I'm all for cleaning up hazardous living conditions such as the 10 people living in a basement, and the unlicensed day care center which was set up in another house, but to clamp down on otherwise hard-working middle-class people because their culture encourages extended families living together, or because someone wants to help out co-workers by allowing five others to live with him in his home, is unnecessarily aggressive.
Sharmila Rudrappa, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of “Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship,” said it was common for Indian families to live in joint households both in their homeland and in the United States.
“My father’s brother is married to my mother’s sister,” she said. “The two families had five kids between them. We lived together for a few years, and it was kind of a wonderful way to grow up.”
The joint family arrangements have become harder to maintain in crowded Indian cities, but in American homes the practice is alive and well.
“It’s a way to ease immigration,” Professor Rudrappa said. “You help family out. Family members coming from India might not know how to drive, and grocery stores can be unnerving.”
American attitudes can be unnerving as well. I like this man's rationale:
Rakesh Patel, 34, a technology worker at a New York investment bank, said he had his three-bedroom, two-story house built here seven years ago “for family and friends.” He and his wife, two children and his parents moved from a cramped apartment in Edison. Mr. Patel’s cousin’s sister has joined the household, and Mr. Patel’s sister and three family members may soon come to stay for a while. Other relatives often visit for months at a time.
“Why not?” asked Mr. Patel, noting that he also stayed with his uncle when he first came to the United States from India in 1996. “I pay $9,000 a year in taxes.”
It's Monday. Welcome to another day in the "greatest nation on earth."
Crossposted at B3