Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 7:00pm

The government shutdown dominates the news. Republicans and Democrats fight in a stalemate, unable to agree. There is talk, including by mainstream commentators, that "our democracy is imperiled." (See Thomas Friedman's op-ed, "Our Democracy Is at Stake," in the October 1 New York Times.) Each night witnesses a parade of extreme right-wing demagogues dominating the cable news shows, influencing the thinking of millions, and rallying people to their side.  

What is going on? Is the situation as serious as some say? Why? Who are these Republicans? Are they just lunatics, fools, and racists-or are they actually proceeding with a strategy and a goal in mind?

And what about the Democrats-are they "finally standing up for reason"?

Why do these disagreements seem so bitter-is it for real, is it for short-term advantage, or is it just fakery altogether?

What is really being fought over-is it only about health care? What stakes, if any, do the masses of people-in the U.S. but, more important, all around the world-have in this conflict? And what challenge does this pose to those who really want to see a better world? Read more

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