Posts tagged ‘government’


ENDURING FREEDOMThe fleet we call our government – an image to consider

When we talk about government, look how many levels we have. Township, town, city, county, state, and federal.

I’m not a navy guy, but here is your image. The US Navy has all kinds of ships. Over the years, we’ve learned about the nimble PT boats of John F. Kennedy and in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. There are troop ships, destroyers, cruisers, submarines, etc etc etc, with the grand daddy of them all being those huge aircraft carriers that are truly cities on a keel.

We’ve also learned that those aircraft carriers aren’t quite as nimble as those PT boats. It takes a good long time to alter course with an aircraft carrier – heck, a PT boat can virtually run circles around one of those aircraft carriers – or so it would seem.

So what does that have to do with our government? Those various levels of government I mentioned have the same agility in comparison. You want a road plowed in a township? Go to a meeting, you’ll get your yes or no pretty much right now. At the county or city level, that question might get through but would need some study first, the state level would take it under advisement and the feds? You’ll have to fill things out in triplicate, winnow them through 800 different agencies, and then maybe you’ll get on an agenda. In a year. Or so.

So, is it safe to say that the Federal level is an aircraft carrier — terribly potent, but by nature so very slow to maneuver?

Unfortunately, yes, it is. Though we look to the Federal government for its big guns, we can’t be too terribly surprised when it takes a seemingly inordinate amount of time to function. That’s what we’re seeing with the way things are going on that level when it comes to the pandemic.

So, no matter who is in charge of that aircraft carrier – a commander, an admiral, a team of workers, don’t be so gawdawful surprised that things are moving slowly at that level. Its inherent — but once they get it working, watch out.

In the meantime, our other levels are at it, doing their necessary work as well. Let them do their work, too.


Some thoughts on this MEME by REVOLUTION

5 things to not disagree with

… this MEME showed up online, and I need to address it.  It was shared by a friend – and it apparently originated with a group called The Revolution, which has a presence on Facebook.  Its cover picture is of the snake flag with the words “Join or Die” that we’ve all seen… its profile pic is that of a drawing of a man presumably from the American Revolution Era, pointing out of the pic in an UNCLE SAM pose, asking those who see it to join the Tea Party.

In general, I have a real problem with MEME type items.  They tend to be too simplistic, too much likely to treat the issue it addresses as black and white.  They tend to be inflammatory – this one here isn’t too bad that way… and they tend to leave little room at all for debate .. as this one clearly dares anyone to do so.

I pick up my laptop with the intent of sharing some thoughts about each of the five matters here.

The first one:   I do not believe we necessarily want to make the poor prosperous — there are those that do, and they may be over shooting their hopes, but I am still of the idea that the government can be of some assistance in giving a leg up.  It is in the second part of this statement that I see trouble.  It is ridiculous to say that a wealthy person will be turned OUT of prosperity by asking them — by legislation or any other way — to give up some of their wealth.  I do not see the government — or ANYONE – expecting a millionaire to become a thousandaire.  Let me make a specific example.  Let’s say there’s a guy out there who is worth a couple four million.  He pays taxes of a certain amount, but hey, he is still worth a cool chunk of change that still qualifies him as being a millionaire.   It seems to me he will not be turned into one of those who isn’t prosperous.

The second one: At first blush, I see this as a generality that just can’t be argued.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  If I freely give someone a gift, I had to work first (in some way) to acquire it…. but then, hey, look.  I DID receive something.  I got paid for a job that allowed me buy that gift.   So, I have demonstrated that this point is indeed debatable.  I so certainly hope that it is okay to give someone a gift, no strings attached… and that it is okay to use what I have to give such a gift.

The third one:  This one is the most solid of the five.  It is the government’s job to collect taxes (taking from one) and then use that revenue (giving it to someone).  I pay my taxes, and my government then dispenses that money to someone to build a road, a school, raise an army … you can make your own list.  The trouble is that sometimes this money is collected from the taxpayer (me) and given to those who already HAVE ample supply — that’s the point of those who are angered by the subsidies given to large corporations – or even individuals –  who already have a great deal of money in their own coffers. (An example from Minnesota:  A couple has been discovered who have been collecting welfare payments in the tens of thousands of dollars while they live on their yacht in Florida, away from their home in Minnesota.  Make of that what you want to.)

The fourth one:  This is such a simplistic statement – and I think it is fair to say that this one and the fifth statement have an alarmist tone to them.  Anyway, does it assume here that there are those who are asking someone with 20 million dollars to give up 19 million so we can create 19 more millionaires?  That’s ridiculous, of course.  I suspect there are few saying such a thing.  I also wonder if this statement is assuming there is a finite amount of riches out there.  Not so sure about that one.  It seems that one hundred years ago, our gross national product was a certain amount, fifty years ago, it was more, and right now, there’s more yet.  Mathematically, this statement may be correct, but the global economy is simply too liquid, too fluid, to fit this statement with too much reality attached to it.

The fifth one: Again with a simplistic statement.  Where are the statistics to say that its half this and half that?  Is this statement claiming that there is no validity to the famous 2 percent?  My own thought is that statistics are like Mark Twain claimed – there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.   Should there be motive to work?  Oh yes, no problem there….. and I do agree that we are getting a segment of our population that see no sense in working.  We indeed need to face that issue somehow.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT…. and you know what?  As I look at what I’ve written, it occurs to me that we have a very typical family trait here.  We have the older sibling who has something that the littler sibling wants.  In an ordinary world, the older one would see the sense of choosing to share – if even for a short time.  I would hope then that the littler one is appreciative.  But sometimes, that just doesn’t happen…. maybe the older one is selfish and won’t share his jacket for no other reason than “I don’t feel like it”.    And maybe the little one doesn’t really need that particular thing that the older one has and throws a little tizzy about it.  In both cases, we see selfishness as the motive for acting that way.

Then its time for the parent to step in .. there are no pat answers to the situation… there are no quick fixes, but the parent has to make a call.  Ideally, with some decent parenting, the two siblings will work it out.

So, sometimes the parent  … or the government … has to step in.  Hopefully, this is going to happen as little as necessary.  Sometimes we get parents who are too involved…and that’s where some think our government is… and sometimes we get those who think the parent needs to do more…. and that’s where others are regarding our government.

In the ideal world, the siblings would work it out, but we all know it is not an ideal world.

Do we expect our kids to share?  Do we occasionally need to step in and take care of things when they don’t?

Yes, we expect them to share, preferably freely… and to not be greedy, preferably freely … and yes, we need to step in at times in such a way that we are effective parents.

And that’s the real thing that can’t be argued…..



An Open Letter to Our Federally Elected Folks (feel free to pass this on to whoever you want….)

Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It…

With our government in a deep pattern of self-destruct mode when we come to one of those renowned cliffs, it is time to change behaviors…. The quote above pretty much says it…. As does the quote:

People who do things over and over and expect different results are insane.

So therefore, our government and those in charge need to now make drastic changes….some in attitude, some in actions.

None are exempted.  Here are your new behaviors:

No more hyperbole.  Nothing has been as bad or as good as you have been predicting.  Haven’t you noticed that NONE of it has come to fruition?  NO more threats of dire consequences.  No more promises that YOUR WAY will fix all our ills.  GET REAL about your predictions.  Say what you think without the embarrassing overstatement.

No more arrogance.  You are not as ‘right’ as you think you are, and the others aren’t as ‘wrong’ as you think they are.  Humility may just be the ticket you want; admit your idea is an opinion, not a fact. (Yes, you may have solid data to back it all up, but it is STILL JUST AN OPINION.)

No more spinning the polls to fit your thoughts and feelings.  We’ve heard you oftentimes spin the polls into what you want, but then turn around just a short time later – like at an election cycle when you’re losing –  and claim that the polls mean nothing.  You couldn’t have it both ways back then; you can’t have it both ways now.  This means that you cannot say ‘the American people want” such and such when you know darn well that at best maybe 65 percent of them want.  That, as far as I can recall, never qualified as meaning ALL Americans.

No more demanding ‘immediate’ results.  Face it, buckos, it took us decades to get where we are, and we’re not going to fix it in one congressional session…. And maybe not even in one decade – or even a generation.

No more digging in your heels.  Being stubborn, no matter now you look at it, cannot be considered a positive quality.  Instead, dig in with your hands and work together.

No more telling us what your constituents want.  Oh yes, the voices you listen to are those who voted for you.  Good for you.  But you represent ALL of those out there, not just your supporters.  You are obligated to represent them as well.

And no, you may not argue any of these points.  Your actions have been nothing but divisive and full of failure lately – why would your arguments now be of any benefit?

Any questions?  Too bad.  You have your assignment.  Get to it or get out.