Hmmm…40 years ago today, 4 students were killed by the national guard that were called in to keep order on the campus of Kent State University. Being a 17 year old kid at the time (and one who generally supported the government) I didn’t know what to think about our government killing people who were not much older than I was and whose only crime was to exercise their constitutionally protected rights of assembly and protest. I think that day opened my eyes and set me on the path that has led me to where I am now…believing that government can be good or evil; it depends on the humans that are making up that government….
No citizen, or no human should have to pay that high a price for his or her beliefs…but I know that’s how change happens; and it’s cost is sometime almost unbearable. Thank you to those who have had the courage to bet it all on making this country and world a better place.
I still get chills whenever the first notes of “Ohio” by CSNY come on the radio…
“What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground?”
I’ll be filling in my thoughts tomorrow…this is kind of a placeholder until then….tune in later…
HI…I’m back, I was reading the newspaper a couple of days ago and there was a story about the increase in violence that has been occurring in many of the road rage incidents that happen across Michigan. There have been shootings, stabbings, and beatings along with the mayhem of using a two ton weapon to what? Protect your manhood? Or womanhood, since these incidents are not exclusively a male phenomenon. But, the road rage incidents are not really the topic today; it is just a symptom of what I see as a lack of reasonableness that is polluting society today. It is one of the things that the great author Robert Heinlein saw as a signpost in the decline of any civilization; the lack of manners and common courtesy that the citizens show each other on a daily basis.
I know I was going somewhere with this…..well…I guess I just want to say that most times, you can choose how you react to the things that happen in life…I know I was taught that it was a value to think and to react to life and politics in a thoughtful, measured way, and the shouters were idiots that did not deserve attention. What happened??
Well….reading all of the furor over the new immigration law that was just signed in Arizona, and the predictable stances from the left and right, I think of one question that is not being asked: Why are the illegals there? I think it’s pretty well settled that they are there for jobs. Then, that drives you to a second question: who gives them the jobs they are there to fill? I think that question is a little more complex and the explanations have run the gamut but center on the assumption that they are there to do jobs that Americans won’t do.
I can’t fault the people of Arizona for being frustrated that 6-7 percent of their population are illegals, but I think their anger is misguided; Why aren’t they mad that employers in their state are creating the problem by hiring illegals? Why aren’t these employers being held up as unpatriotic because all they can see is the increased profits that come with a workforce that is an unethical company’s dream: non-union, non-voting people who can be abused at will. But, by using the illegals, they are just passing on the costs that would come from an American workforce (higher wages and healthcare, pensions, etc.) on to Arizona’s and the U.S. society as a whole since it has been argued repeatedly by the right that illegals send their children to our schools and use our emergency rooms for their health needs. This means higher profits for the company and bigger bonuses for the managers.
I’ve always thought that business needs to be socially responsible and pay it’s employees enough for them to have the chance to do what our founding father’s codified in the founding documents; “the pursuit of happiness”.
You and I pay our fair share as members of our society. Why shouldn’t business? Geez….
Well…the latest rant from the righties is that Bush’s deficits were nowhere near as large or bad as the one’s that have come from the Obama administration. What most people of both right and left fail to realize is what I think is the core distinction between the two: The Bush deficits were done by the choice of his administration to give tax cuts when we were fighting two wars. On the other hand, the Obama deficits are, to some extent, inherited from the Bushies, but mostly are a result of the economics that anyone learns in econ 101: in the midst of a severe recession, one of the best ways to stimulate the economy and help end that recession is for the government to deficit spend. Is the problem that deficit spending will help keep the middle class working? It’s been clear for a long time that the Repubs don’t really care what happens to the middle class…and yet so many of them keep believing the lies they are being fed and keep voting for the same people that gave us Enron, Blackwater, and how many other instances of looting from our society. Geez…
Well…I don’t understand the sudden interest in personal rights by the gun toting folks at the rally that was held in Virginia earlier in the week. Where the heck were these guys when the Bushies were trampling on all of the Constitution, not just the Second amendment? Where were they when Habeas Corpus was being denied to even American Citizens? Where were they when the Fourth amendment was being gutted by the unlimited wiretaps without warrants that they foisted on the American people under the guise of fighting terrorism? Where were they when these lawbreakers were torturing in the name of the American people? I truly believe in the Second amendment but these guys should understand that the possibility of the government “coming for them” is much reduced in an administration that believes in the rule of law rather than the rule of Bush. Geez….
Well…another day another and another time where the Repubs have gone schizo…I hope you can remember that when they were in charge of both houses of congress and had ole GW in the White House, they voted (along with the Dems) to bail out the large banks to the tune of 800 billion dollars. The cause of this has widely be attributed to the almost religious fervor that the repubs normally have for deregulation in any and all parts of the economy. Don’t they learn? Over the past few days, they are back to their old tricks in stating they will filibuster any Obama plan to put reasonable regulation back on the market to try to prevent the gaming caused meltdown of the economy. Where is the outrage except mine? Why do the tea partyers support these guys when they have thoroughly screwed them over the years? Geez….
Well….have finally worked up some outrage over something I see happening in our society. but I need a couple of hours or so to crystallize it in my mind…it has to do with the responsibilities we have being members of our society, one of those is that we need to find ways to work together, that arguments are not either-or but are a way to come to consensus…but the right are like a bunch of petulant children. If they don’t get everything they want and things done the way they want…they just try to invoke revolution, take their ball and go home to mommy. Geez…more later….
Well…one of the things that I am having a hard time understanding is why anyone keeps listening to people, (commentators, politicians, etc.), who have been proven to be wrong so many times. Back when I was growing up, people took pride in identifying the idiots and then not paying any attention to them. These days, it appears that it is a requirement for political life to try to be as unreasonable as possible. In what other era would an empty vessel like Sarah Palin be able to make 12 million dollars in less than a year with a resume like hers? And to top that, people also take her political views seriously when they are shallow and simplistic at best…I think we see this because simplicity has become a virtue and nuance the enemy of success in the political arena.
I think we need a new era of reasonableness in daily life and politics in the country…not the threats of forming militias (like in Oklahoma) to “protect” themselves from the federal government. Last time, that didn’t work out too well for the south…geez….
well…Fox news has done it again, at the nuclear summit, where Obama got 47 heads of state to come together to try to reduce and control nuclear material, and got some agreement on those issues; Fox News centers on the logo for the summit positing the “question” that it looks like the half-moon that is on many Islamic nation’s flags. A short phone call to the White House would have revealed that the logo is based on the hydrogen atom….geez…do they have to hate him so much? I hesitate to even write “Fox News” since they really don’t do news. Yeah, I know…there are many other news outlets that do some of the same things, doesn’t anyone other than me miss the days when you could trust the news to be the news and not commentary disguised as news?
In a (to me) shocking truth telling, Senator Tom Coburn has told a town hall meeting with his constituents that Fox people should look farther than Fox News to get the truth in the political arena. It is a welcome development that one of the Republicans has stopped trying to demonize the Democratic side and has instead focused on the policy difference between the two parties going so far as to say that Nancy Pelosi is a “nice person”. Maybe this is the start of a break from politics as usual; could Washington be starting to put the country first instead of political ambitions and point scoring that play to the bases? Hope so…..