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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Boomer conservatism: only hypocrites need apply

Most libertine conservatives do not believe in personal freedom, except perhaps their own, and so their countercultural actions do not even make them more libertarian by circumstance. Indeed, their hypocrisy and rightwing guilt often render them some of the most outwardly puritanical and fascistic people out there. Afraid to be too far to the "left" in principles as well as actions, these people will call for longer prison sentences for drug users even as they feed their own gambling addiction or even, to be more directly hypocritical, drug addiction. Rush Limbaugh comes to mind.

"Libertine Conservatives"

Boomer-led DNC still hooked on failed drug war policies

Maybe the president will suddenly wake up and decide to take on the issue five days before he leaves office. That's what Bill Clinton did, writing a 2001 New York Times op-ed in which he trumpeted the need to "immediately reduce the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences" -- conveniently putting aside the fact that he had the power to solve it for eight years and did nothing.

When it mattered, he maintained an imperial silence. Then, when it didn't, he became Captain Courageous. And he lamented the failures of our drug policy, acting as though he had been an innocent bystander rather than the chief executive presiding over these failures (indeed, the prison population doubled on his watch).

"Democratic Candidates Are Deafeningly Silent on The Drug War"

Our boomer president: "unfit to lead"

The three big Bush stories of 2007--the decision to "surge" in Iraq, the scandalous treatment of wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for tawdry political reasons--precisely illuminate the three qualities that make this Administration one of the worst in American history: arrogance (the surge), incompetence (Walter Reed) and cynicism (the U.S. Attorneys).

"An Administration's Epic Collapse"

Slouching towards Baghdad: the collapse of boomer leadership

At this point, it's hard to be optimistic about the chances that the boomers will turn things around. Many, apparently, bought into Bush's War in Iraq, though he had no evidence of an imminent threat to the United States. Older voters won him his re-election, though it was clear he was a self-serving liar. But when it comes to a real threat, like global warming - which is supported by mountains of scientific evidence - people suddenly want to wait and see. What's wrong with this picture? If America really cared about its young people more than its profits, it wouldn't be sending them to die in Iraq while downplaying global warming.

"This Is Our Time"
Daily Targum (New Jersey)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Boomer parents and status children

The dress code at a public school, or school uniform question, is not about children. It has nothing to do with the right to a child's free expression.

It's about Baby Boomers, who have discovered that their own children serve as excellent billboards to advertise to the world the type of parents that they are. We've had "tennis moms," "Little League dads," even Mozart mommas; that is, parents who defined their identity -- and their social position -- through the exposition (and often exploitation) of their children's talents. But now there are an alarming number of parents who see their children the way they view Blackberrys or hybrid cars -- as symbols of their position in life. That's why those who are against school uniforms make such strange political bedfellows.

"On Lessons for Life"
San Franscisco Chronicle

"Boomsday": comic fiction or all too real?

Boomsday is satire, sometimes over the top, but it contains enough elements of plausibility to raise serious questions. Buckley, through Cassandra, is right to ask whether the next two or three generations should be paying for the retirements of Boomers. A subplot involving Cassandra's father and a software project he is working on that would accurately predict the time of your death sounds fascinating until you realize which industries would make use of it. Its portrayal of a near future weakened America which is all but bankrupt – in Boomsday foreign nations are no longer interested in buying U.S. debt – sounds preposterous until you realize that day may not be far away after all.

"Whan Satire and Reality Collide Head On"
Enter Stage Right