From my vantage point there has been a continuing failure of our presidents and the congress to inform the people in any real detail about their plans and legislation far enough in advance for us to react on just about every piece of legislation in the past 9 years or more. It seems to me that the idea is to hold the contents of legislation close until there are enough votes for passage, and then to sign it and dump it onto the public, all the while crowing about their victories ad nauseam.
Partisans leak bits and pieces for us to chew upon and react for or against as a kind of vetting the ideas involved, but an honest debate on the whole thing, with publication of the details in advance, is assiduously avoided. What we really get are platitudes and generalities, along with trumped up warnings of dire consequences if the legislation is not enacted real soon now.
What is the cure? We have a fundamental problem with the structure of the congress and its partisan and changable governing rules, the fact of multi-term incumbents whose main efforts appear to be election campaigning and sheparding earmarks to their states, of outside interests lavishly funding reelections in return for favorable regulatory treatment, and what appears to be a corrupting methodology that turns fresh newbies into compliant dogs in a matter of weeks or months in office, which nets them financial largess out of the budget for their states. The last thing wanted, it seems, is true transparency of the horse-trading processes whereby they plan for, legislate and spend trillions of taxpayer dollars, much of it behind closed doors. We need reforms, but these kinds of changes would be virtually impossible to enact, and would be fought against to the death by many of the current legislators.
So, sadly, I do not know what the cures would be or how they could be effected. How many honorable, patriotic, wise and prudent legislators do you know?Comment Posted By mannning On 17.12.2009 @ 13:01
So tell us which of these planks of yours no longer apply!
"I believe first and foremost in American exceptionalism - the idea that we are a different country and people from any other nation on earth.
I believe the free market economic system is the fairest, the most productive, and the greatest engine for human liberty ever conceived.
I believe that American defenses must be second to none – conventional and strategic.
I believe in a robust, forward thinking, “America first” foreign policy.
I believe in a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution and that a president should appoint judges to the federal courts who reflect that view.
I believe in the inviolable rights of private property as the guarantor of American liberty.
I believe in equality of opportunity for all Americans regardless of color, ethnic heritage, or national origin.
I believe America should strive to create the smallest government realistically possible, possessing the lightest touch imaginable on the individual citizen.
I believe in a just and moral society with a as clear a sense of right and wrong as is consistent with reality.
I believe that all of these things should be taught in American schools and that an appreciation of these values and qualities should be encouraged.
And I believe we should have the freedom to say what we think, write what we want, worship however the hell we please, do anything, go anywhere, and enjoy life according to our own lights – as long as we do no harm to annother.... Moran"
Please, please, please ... everyone! Take a break, willya? Lighten up. Smile a bit. If life were as serious as you are making it out to be, I would have committed suicide 30 years ago.
Stop and smell the roses! Stop the world I want to get off! All we have to fear is fear itself!
And for God's sake, thanks for all the fish!
ed.Comment Posted By mannning On 14.12.2009 @ 14:01
To me, the true worth of stories depicting the evils of the past is totally dependent upon the stories being good guidance for the present and future. Why should we dwell on the terrible events of the past if they have little or no bearing on now? If the lesson is that men can be very, very evil, that is so well-known as to be totally trite. If the lesson is that America is not perfect, and has not been perfect since inception, what is new about that? Enumerating the sins of the past does not (or should not) alter the perception of America as a great nation.
We should be looking under all the rocks for today's evil practices instead of weeping, wailing and knashing our teeth about the inequities of times past. There is nothing to be done about them now!Comment Posted By mannning On 13.12.2009 @ 16:36
It is refreshing to be proud of our President for his words in a foreign land. Let us hope that his future decisions and actions will follow the words appropriately.
That is a wait-and-see proposition.Comment Posted By mannning On 11.12.2009 @ 12:37
I agree that no faction has a corner on stupidity--left or right. It is a matter of degree, with the greater seemingly falling on the left, from my perspective, although the far, far right has some real one-tune imbeciles too. We had some snake worshippers in Tennessee that founded themselves on a somewhat obscure Bible passage. Talking about forked tongues...!Comment Posted By mannning On 11.12.2009 @ 22:27
Yes indeed, let us see each other as individuals and as American citizens, with the responsibilities and obligations that citizenship implies.
Once ethnic group-think and group action in involved we are steered down paths we cannot support in all conscience as American citizens. Affirmative Action is an example, as is Reparations for Black Slavery, or the blackmail of corporations by the Rainbow Coalition headed by Jessie Jackson. The preachings of Reverend White and many ACORN activities appear to be in this class too.
But it isn't just black group-think and group actions that is a worry, witness CAIR, for instance!
When the Left tries to coopt the ethnic group-think or group actions of blacks or other ethnic or religious groups for their own nefarious purposes we see a demonstration of yet another hypocritical facet of their cynicism and immorality.
I am reminded of Rousseau's admonition that if society must have factions, let there be many, many of them, so that their impact on the collective will is spread all over the political and social lot--none to be too, too dominant.
Sounds like a good idea. One that we Americans appear to practice by default, if not by deliberate plan.Comment Posted By mannning On 11.12.2009 @ 11:59
The scary part is that Obama seems to be completely for saving the planet from AGW. It is settled science, apparently, in the White House of 2009, and the power of the Administration is behind doing something big, costly, and centralizing of control.
They are seemingly not going to let a little CRU setback ruin their plans. The Media, of course, is trying its best to ignore the CRU affair, or, at the least, to play it down and play AGW up.
Meanwhile, we can stew all we want with the few solid insights and little real data we have available. We are not in control.Comment Posted By mannning On 8.12.2009 @ 21:40
Since I do oppose some slithy toves ...ah, conservatives... because of their whacky positions on key matters, I take it that I am therefore not a mere cultist as defined here above!
Good to know, I think, else the momey Raths might outgrabe!Comment Posted By mannning On 8.12.2009 @ 10:39
After 100,000,000 or more words and innumerable twists of mind in essay after essay we will read soon on the web, all of this turbulence will boil down to simply voting for or against Republican/conservative candidates in 2010 and 2012.
If any of this flood of essays that will surely wash over us in the next year have the effect of deflecting votes away from conservatives and towards liberals, it would be a very regrettable thing indeed.
If these essays focus upon how to heal the wounds, fill the cracks, make bedfellows of snarling dissidents, and show the way to a winning conservative approach, they would be a huge service to the cause.
Every word, however, that widens the cracks and fuses dissent in the party, without also showing the right and inclusive path to success, is a waste of time and effort and is potentially very harmful to the cause. We must look for uniters, not dividers, whose core principles we can support. Which do you want to be?Comment Posted By mannning On 3.12.2009 @ 13:35
CT: As I wrote that post, I was thinking of the beauty of many mathematical constructs and their relationship to reality, so I must agree with you. They are indeed inspiring and uplifting, but, to me, in a quite different way from religious inspiration.
In trying to capture the difference in a word or two, scientific explanation gives great mental satisfaction that a lot of physical loose ends or mysteries have been knitted together or solved, however temporarily, while religious inspiration fills the heart and mind with the pleasures of love that seem to be permanenty "there" for the taking.
Both phenomena should be appreciated to the fullest in one's life, I believe.Comment Posted By mannning On 2.12.2009 @ 15:17