The recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States on the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Acts has a personal significance to me beyond just the merits of the law and the obvious disconnect between the dissenting opinion and any semblance of reality. This whole issue was for me, as Joe Biden so eloquently put it, "A big f***ing deal."
I just finished reading a book yesterday by David Gerrold called Leaping to the Stars. It's mostly just a great action-adventure story, but like nearly all science fiction, it does hit upon some rather weighty issues including the relationship betwen man and technology and the nature of good and evil. In the context of a political science class, he described how the United States had collapsed after three hundred years. It was almost as if he was channeling both Howard Dean and Barack Obama when this book was written in 2001/2002 (first edition was printed in 2002, well before Dean exploded onto the national scene).
When asked why the US had failed, the students responded with a litany of complaints, all of which we're familiar with in some form or another (illegal aliens, liberals, fundies, greed, special interests, etc.). After the students ran our of people to blame, the professor explained the truth in a way that I think will prove to be prophetic.