Iowans: Don’t Just Be First, Be Leaders

Steve Hochstadt: Find someone who can embody the best in America, who can lead by persuasion, whose vision of the ideal American includes all of us. When you pull that lever, pull it for all of us. Be more than first. Be leaders.

Merry Christmas 2011

captain america

Steve Hochstadt: I look forward to our family Christmas all year, seeking gifts for each relative when I travel, planning with my children what to give to my wife, anticipating sitting in a circle with people I love.

Someone Is Watching You

facebook privacy policy

Steve Hochstadt: Right now we are being spied upon on a grand scale unimaginable a few years ago. Not by the government, but by the real Big Brother, Big Brother Computing.

Who’s the Scrooge?

compassion

Steve Hochstadt: The calls to flatten the income tax, to eliminate welfare payments, and to repeal regulation of industry are about going back to an earlier America, where the rich and powerful could use their advantages without hindrance.

Herman Cain No More

herman-cain-hat

Steve Hochstadt: Palin and Cain are not foolish. They recognized that the elemental ideas of the Tea Party supporters could be exploited by slick slogans and political gimmicks.

Speaking for Myself

occupy hippie

Steve Hochstadt: The reinvigoration of our constitutional freedoms in my lifetime came from below, from ordinary citizens, from readers who wanted to end censorship by the powerful.

Back to the Future: Why Republicans Hate the 1960s

obama martin luther king statue

Steve Hochstadt: Republicans avoid talking about their leadership and power in Washington for the past 30 years, because they are fighting to undo the changes in our political system that came earlier, during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Herman Cain: Brainwashing

herman cain

Steve Hochstadt: According to Cain, most African Americans are unable to escape the mind-control black magic of those long-time political criminals, led by their Brainwasher-in-Chief, Barack Obama.

A New American Political Morality

jacksonville development center

Steve Hochstadt: Conservatives don’t say that the US isn’t rich enough to care for such people; they say all the time that we are the most prosperous nation ever. They say they don’t want to pay for them. That’s why I’m not a conservative.

Why Kyoto Is So Beautiful

kyoto

Steve Hochstadt: Kyoto is a Japanese treasure, and a monument to the development of human culture. In shrines and gardens hundreds of years old, an American tourist can experience the common human striving for understanding, for beauty, and for peace.

Are Republican Candidates Good Businessmen?

global warming hoax

Steve Hochstadt: The Republican candidates for President often say that government should be run like a business. Yet businesses take a very different attitude toward the science of global warming than Republican politicians.

One Week in Polite and Egalitarian Japan

Bonsai Tree Nature Environment

Steve Hochstadt: If the US enters a long period of stagnation, our stark social inequalities may become less tolerable, as both the rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations already show. More egalitarian Japanese society may be better placed to deal with lack of growth.

Can Republicans Cure the Jobs Crisis?

jobs-bill-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Republicans believe that continuing high unemployment will bring Obama down, so they want to preserve what they feel is their winning card: a bad economy.

Are Republican Politicians Good for Jews?

steve hochstadt

Steve Hochstadt: Romney’s clumsy attempt campaign to use alleged Jewish gullibility to knock his opponent isn’t about Jews at all. It is part of a larger effort by conservative Republicans to use Jews to win Christian votes.

Ranters Run Rampant

internet-short

Steve Hochstadt: Angry ranters are all over the web. The anonymity of virtual communication encourages their vituperation. The racist, know-nothing, jingoist language of online political commentators would be shocking if expressed in person.

The Texas Economic Model

hungry-texas-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Republicans don’t mention poverty, because they don’t plan to do anything about it. The millions of poor Americans are invisible to Republican politicians. They pretend that trickle-down economics will reach the poor, but it hasn’t and won’t.

What Do Republican Politicians Believe?

rick-perry-swagger-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Displaying scientific illiteracy or telling disaster victims that their suffering is God’s punishment won’t create one new job. Scaring Americans about Social Security, the most successful social program in American history, won’t improve economic confidence.

American Exceptionalism

liberty-skittish-wide

Steve Hochstadt: American exceptionalism is dangerous. The desire to proclaim superiority leads to stupidity, such as Perry’s claim in “Fed Up” that the US has “the best health care system in the world.”

Libertarians, Watch Out!

television-mania

Steve Hochstadt: The Republican dream is a libertarian nightmare – the “free market” is free to watch you all the time. Big Brother isn’t a government camera. It’s a corporate cookie right in your computer.

Congratulations Republicans!

Chart prepared by Rick Seaman of Portland, Oregon source: Rachel Maddow Blog

Steve Hochstadt: In 2011, the Republican strategy has been crowned with total success. They have managed to make the US government into a laughing stock, a global symbol of incompetence. Public confidence in government is at an all-time low.

The Place Where Family Happens

family vacatin

Steve Hochstadt: Family is not just a sum of people. It’s a continuing chemical reaction among all the molecules, each person evolving through life by observing, copying, listening to, and sometimes even avoiding the others. In this family these reactions are multiplied and stimulated by the crucible of this place.

Real Crises and Fake Ones

poverty_america-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Our economic disaster is not about national debt, but about national poverty. America cannot be a great country, if we do not alleviate the critical economic problems gripping our poorest families.

Can the Bible Be Taken Literally?

witch-stake-wide

Steve Hochstadt: So-called literalists choose which passages they want to take literally on the basis of principles which are very modern, far from the ideas and attitudes of Jews and Christians thousands of years ago.

Traditions at the County Fair: Judging Little Girls

beauty-contest-wide

Steve Hochstadt: The Princess Pageant brings up questions for me. Is this what we want to teach 5-year-olds about how they will be judged in the world? Are these the only useful qualities that the fair organizers think 5- to 7-year-olds have? Why should 5-year-olds be sexy?

Second-Class Citizens

train-travel-wide

Steve Hochstadt: I don’t understand why people who paid a commercial airline for a first-class ticket get their own line through official TSA security. Does TSA get more from them? Or are they better people, deserving of better treatment, by everyone, private or public, like other privileges of access that the rich get

More Riches for the Rich

Rich-and-Poor

Steve Hochstadt: But neither party has tried very hard to protect the poorest Americans from the outsized greed of the wealthy. About half of all members of Congress are millionaires, and all of them are beholden to the very wealthy for donations to their constant campaigning.

Clean Water and Good Government

drinking-fountain-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Supplying pure water is just one of many essential functions of governments that we all must fund with our taxes. Governments, representing all citizens, were created for just such common purposes.

Saving Lives, Preserving Life

newborn-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Whether cities and states are ruled by Democrats or Republicans, self-identified as “pro-life” or not, too much human life is lost across America, in birthing rooms and in the years of childhood.

Doctors and Science

global-warming-wide

Steve Hochstadt: When it comes to global warming, thus far the public is like a teenager who hears that tanning booths will produce skin cancer much later in life: I’ll worry about that later.

The Science of Cicadas

cicada-wide

Steve Hochstadt: In some desert regions, people fry cicadas up and consider them a delicacy. Those people are not playing “Survivor” games. Where food is scarce, any local source of nutrition is valuable.