Thursday, November 15, 2012

How Dare you?!!!

Who in this universe authorized you to speak for your entire state?  How dare a small minority of people request that my state be allowed to secede from the union?  Even if it were constitutionally possible to do so, for a state to request secession for all Texans or Missourians or Kansans, it would be necessary to hold an election to see what the majority of the state's citizens want.  So, you want to secede for the entire population of the state, you hold a legal election.  Then if the majority wants to seek secession, I'll move to a state where sanity rules the day.

But majority rule is the problem here, right?  For the tantruming minority out there, majority rule is only good if the majority votes your way.  Instead of ruling that people can vote at 18, 21, or whatever, we need to develop a litmus test for maturity.

I am a citizen of these United States of America.  What states I have lived in are coincidental to my citizenship in the greatest country ever formed.  In fact, I've lived in Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Missouri and Kansas.  Comprendez-vous?  A state is a small part of a great big wonderful piece of real estate that goes from sea to shining sea.

But I have a good idea for all of you malcontents.  You don't like the land I love, then leave it.  Whether you were born here, are naturalized or illegal, you may feel free to take a hike at any time!  We grownups even have a word for it.  It's called emigration.  No, I didn't spell it wrong, it means the act of moving from one country to another and settling there.  Get packing.  You'll then be referred to as an expatriot.  You won't pledge our flag or sing our songs anymore.

Let me make some suggestions.  All you in the upper one per cent that don't like paying taxes here, just move to China, India and anywhere else you have found outsourcing helpful to your bottom line.

All you radical right religious creatures -- for you I suggest Afghanistan or some of the other Middle Eastern Countries.  You might even want to help the Taliban stone people and kill their rebellious daughters for uncovering their heads, wearing makeup or for wanting to choose their own husbands.  Your thinking hasn't evolved that far past them.

You who don't like the welfare programs here can move to a country where hoards of homeless and hungry surround you and impede your every step.  I would suggest India for this, but they seem to be doing better than we are now that they have so many of our jobs.

Perhaps your major beef with majority rule would be quelled if you moved to China or North Korea.  Do you fancy a dictatorship or Communism?

There's a reason masses of people risk their lives coming to our shores.  It's because it's better here.  We all have a vote, a say in our government.  And just sometimes in a democracy, the other side wins. 

You sports lovers out there use sports models for everything else, so use them here.  Throwing a temper tantrum because the majority that won wasn't your team is called poor sportsmanship.  That's bad business.  Now pull yourselves together and let's work as a team.  Your side won for eight straight years.  Now it's time for the other side to have eight straight.

Just as in team sports, sportsmanship is the rule of the day, so in majority rule, maturity holds the sway! 

Now remember -- don't secede, emigrate.  Whatever you do, never again speak for me.

The Folly of Lines Drawn in the Sand

A number of years ago, a Republican who ran for and won  the Presidency, kept saying "Read my lips, no new taxes."  It seems a lifetime ago.

Several members of the House (read my paper) signed pledges they would not raise taxes under any circumstances.

Representative John Boehner is now saying the people want us to cooperate and work together, but he won't raise taxes just on the rich.

The twice-elected President of the United States agrees that the two branches must cooperate and work out an agreement, but he won't raise taxes on the middle class, seniors and students -- at least without a raise for the upper class.

Lines in the sand lead to -- do not pass go, go directly to -- a standoff.  No wonder we have gridlock in Washington, D. C.

Now, the man who drew the line in the sand with Iraq eventually went to war with Sadaam Hussein because he would not produce and destroy the weapons of mass destruction it was assumed he had.  After a huge shock and awe campaign, a lengthy occupation and efforts to rebuild the nation we had willfully destroyed -- surprise, they had no weapons of mass destruction!  But, once the line had been drawn in the sand, war was unavoidable.  It has been eleven years now during which time we have lost precious lives, limbs and minds, just because of the foolishness of drawing lines in the sand.  All this and the line drawer has lost face anyway.

Those paper signing congressmen have boxed themselves in with their line drawing.  Either they cannot vote for any compromise that includes a tax on anyone, or they will have to tell their constituents that they were lied to earlier.  The alternative is to let the whole country continue in debt for generations or go bankrupt.  And, by the way, adjusting COLA downward isn't taxing?

John Boehner, Mr. Bluster himself, is once again saying we must work together and compromise, but it won't be conservative Republicans who will do it. 

And you, too, Mr. President?  You'll tax the rich, but not the middle class even though taxing just the rich won't bring sufficient funds to reduce the debt enough?

All of you might need to take a leaf from President George H. W. Bush's book.  Learn from the folly of making unwise promises and erase the lines at once.  Then go back to the drawing board with everything truly on the table and everything negotiable.

And remember the lesson of Iraq -- a person can't produce and destroy something he doesn't have.  The line drawing was a foolish act for which we are all still paying.  The American public should not have to suffer more because our leaders act like school children angling for a fight.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Morning After

Try reading the mind of God!  Is it possible to understand why, after the expenditure of six billion dollars in advertising, hours upon hours of American prayer and enough negative commercials to drive a Saint to drink, we wound up with almost the same situation we had before the election?  I'd like to try to help figure it out.

Some of the world's religions teach that we are sent to this planet to learn particular lessons.  Some even present that we pick our families ahead of coming here so that we maximize our opportunities to improve.  Others teach that whatever the reason we came in the first place, we are put into the same negative situations over and over until we finally learn correct and healthy responses to them.  An example might be always getting mean and hateful supervisors at work until such time as we learn how to cope and thrive in spite of them. 

So, keeping these thoughts in mind, how can we view our election results?

President Barack Obama gets another opportunity to defuse an obstinate House of Representatives and to motivate a recalcitrant Senate and to show the hope and change he promised as he moves us forward.  He gets to overcome his deer-in-the-headlights response to this dysfunctional Congress and assume the leadership role that We the People have twice given him the opportunity to command.

The Senate of these United States has one more chance to produce a sound budget that cuts wasteful spending while preserving worthwhile causes as they pay down the national debt.

The House of Representatives gets to forget ridiculous austerity and put on their thinking caps in an effort to devise sensible methods of paying down the afforementioned debt, including increasing taxes -- that five-letter, four-letter word.

All of the above absolutely must cooperate and compromise.  You are not playing games.  This is the real world and we are real people who need you to do what you were elected to do -- construct, tweek and pass laws to make our country better and stronger.

Mr. Mitch McConnell's lesson is that we want to give him one more chance to effect meaningful change for us.  We did not send him to congress to make sure Barack Obama was a one-term President or to waste an entire term in doing so.  We sent him to cooperate and use his mind for worthwhile things.  Besides he failed at his number one priority as well as on our behalf.

Mr. John Boehner needs this second chance to learn that the American right to go from a bar owner's son to one of the most powerful jobs in the land comes with a huge responsibility -- not just self aggrandizement.  He must play nice with others and get some good work done -- real work, not just rhetoric.

Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and others of their ilk must realize the folly of politicians -- themselves, especially -- making political promises that cannot or should not be kept.  You are going to have to tax!  Again, that four-letter word, but in it's three-letter form.

And our President, whom some of us see as too willing to cooperate and compromise, is going to have to have more starch.  He will need it to stand up to the bullies in the other branch.

Karl Rove, The Koch brothers and the Super Pac big spenders get to learn that they can find more influential and responsible ways to spend their dollars.  How about using it to pay down the debt?  You obviously didn't buy our votes, did you?  And, oh yes, lying doesn't really work either, does it?

Mr. George Will, perhaps you are correct to some degree.  It may be necessary to have a Republican majority in the House to slow things down long enough to think and work together.  But, I am right as well.  This much gridlock is dysfunctional.

You all have a new opportunity to get this right and save our country from debt and bancruptcy.  Don't screw it up this time.

The Meaning of Our Vote

However slim the difference in the vote, the majority hath spoken!  What has the majority said?

Most of us . . .

. . . want to keep the Affordable Health Care Act

. . . believe in an individual's right to choose -- what we do with our own bodies, whom we love and marry, as well as other specific individual decisions

. . . trust the President more than the dissidents

. . . do not want the radical religious right changing our laws

. . . prefer a moderate to liberal approach right now

. . . are not impressed by scare tactics

. . . believe more in large government than small government

. . . can discern who lies the most

. . . disdain of political posturing

. . . want public education

. . . do not want vouchers or their clones

. . . want to preserve Social Security and Medicare

. . . believe in helping the poor

. . . want the rich to pay their fair share

. . . like that "hopey changey" stuff

Bring it on!!!