Thoughts from a Dentist Chair


Thoughts from a Dentist Chair

by Bill Briggs


I was getting a root canal today, an experience made totally bearable by nitrous oxide, and the dentist along with his assistant had a long, good natured debate about Obama, the IRS/Tea Party mess, Free Press vs. National Security (my dentist a liberal, his assistant conservative), and I was struck that all the complaints and differences they had were once again, at the root (pun intended!), about the money. If it wasn’t for a mouth full of fingers and lungs full of laughing gas I might have pointed that out to them but perhaps another time. I also realized that although I had pretty strong feelings about some of what was said, I wouldn’t have needed to bring my opinions to the room to be able to talk to either of them about what Cenk and Wolf-PAC are going (not trying) to do.

Another realization was that all the effort I have given in the past and might give in the future to causes I care about has been and always will be an uphill, if not pointless, battle. Not against opposing ideas but against huge amounts of money, and that maybe, just maybe, if that money were eliminated, then real, timely, balanced solutions might come to all these problems. Do I imagine that my ideas will surely prevail? That my bleeding heart, liberal, and I’ll admit it, semi-socialist idea of a world where most everybody has enough and schools don’t have to choose between art and football, and children aren’t collateral damage in social wars against perceived lazy parents or real ‘shooting wars’ in oil-rich countries? Well, I’d like to think so, but if not, I think I’d be willing to accept it if it turned out that I was wrong based on a fair and open debate that allows the true will of the people to come to the light. Without getting rid of the money we’ll never know.

I consider myself a very skeptical agnostic but I do believe in a yearning or aspiration that resides collectedly in humanity for a better world and right now I believe that one expression of that is the near unanimous agreement that money in politics is thwarting our ability to move towards any better future, so I’m making a commitment to this effort and would like to volunteer to lead the Wolf-PAC effort in Alaska. I have time, ideas and, I think, a skill set that can be valuable to our common goal. A decade ago I spent most of 4 years in Nepal working for an NGO providing education to girls in many small villages. It was almost as frustrating as it was rewarding but I learned from our failures, enjoyed our successes and brought real change and opportunity to a few hundred girls. In my current job I use creativity and imagination to solve problems and make noticeable improvements for both the company I work for and the people who work for us. I’m not afraid to make mistakes nor am I afraid to be told that I need to modify my approach or find a new one. I can be persuasive and persistent but I loathe conflict and pointless debate.

I have called both my state Senator and Representative and followed up each call with an email. I’ve also created a database from VoteSmart of all the Alaska Senators and Representatives with contact information and their position, where stated, on campaign finance reform, and another list of the political and activist organizations in the state, again with contact information. I have also thought out a somewhat vague strategy to find and recruit people in each district that will make the calls we need to get the State of Alaska “on the board”. They are currently not in session and will not meet again until next January and I believe we can mobilize support and get this on the floor at that session. This may be duplicative of work you have already done or even contrary to things you have found to work in other states, that’s fine. I couldn’t sleep and might as well have done that as spent those hours surfing the web, a vaster wasteland than Newt Minow ever imagined. If you find someone better suited to the task now or in the future, that’s fine too, I’ll still work with you in whatever capacity I can.

I didn’t start this email to be either an essay or a resume, but it is a little of both. For some time and increasingly over the last two years I have felt an urgency and almost an anxiety over the direction our country is going. I was brought up to believe that America was the greatest country not just on the earth but in history, and although the jury is surely not in on that issue the case against us is gaining credence. I want to be part of making America great again.

Bill Joy made a good case that the future doesn’t need us, but we certainly need the future.

-  Bill Briggs 

Reporting for duty from the great state of Alaska 

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Showing 6 reactions

commented 2014-09-23 08:40:02 -0400 · Flag
This is a well written article and I enjoyed it very much. It was interesting to see your point of view and opinions. Your view from a dentist chair was brilliant and you painted a picture for the reader very well.
commented 2014-08-04 10:17:37 -0400 · Flag
I would like to find out more from a dentist on how preforming procedures and surgeries in someones mouth feels. I wonder if they ever get grossed out by someones mouth. I hope someone can answer my questions. <a href=“”">“> ”"></a>
commented 2014-06-09 13:54:58 -0400 · Flag
Thank you for sharing this great article. I feel a lot more at ease getting my root canal after reading this information about dentists. Thanks again!

Dorthy Packer | <a href=“”“>”>;/a&gt;
commented 2013-09-23 13:28:51 -0400 · Flag
I don’t think I would be comforted in the Burlington dentist office if I heard my dentist and his assistant arguing – a little unprofessional. I was looking into and they seemed professional.
commented 2013-08-10 03:41:51 -0400 · Flag
This is what exactly I was searching, the information was overall very useful for me, thanks a lot. <a href=“”">">tui xach thoi trang</a>
commented 2013-08-10 03:41:11 -0400 · Flag
Greetings! The site is great. Thank you for a great resource

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