Blame It On The Founding Fathers

Those crazy “Founding Fathers”. I have often wanted to ask individuals who love to use phrases including, “The Founding Fathers intended” and other such rhetoric, which of the “Fathers” they were referring to and why. “They” were a disparate lot, farmers and lawyers, tradesman and soldiers who were, just barely, united by a common purpose….sort of. We are, I concede, a culture that values the citation as a badge of credibility whether the label fits or not. There are those among us who would pair up a phrase from Revelation with one from Leviticus and use the twain to undermine the collective message of the four Gospels. The citation is the important thing when the people one is trying to impress aren’t really listening.

Thus, the “Founding Fathers”; most of them disliked the Royal authority and some of them disliked any authority. The clear motives for rebellion; the quartering of royal troops in colonial homes, warrantless searches of home and business and seizures of property, and government policy enacted by a Parliament of which the colonials were not a part of, all found their way in to the Constitution. Most of these slights are now pointed to by current politicians wanting to make a point (or rather, steal one). The “Teabaggers” (their name, not mine) were supposedly against “Taxation without representation”….”The Founding Fathers fought against it!” Cue the gnashing of teeth and wailing of women and babes. The problem of course, is that we Americans do have representation; being the minority party in a democracy is not the same as living in a colony for which no representative is allowed into the ruling nation’s legislative body.

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The Imminent Demise Of Health Care Reform

Just a few thoughts on the imminent demise of real action on health care…..

There should have been a real conversation in this country on several topics;

  1. Why should taxpayers who have coverage bear a burden for the uninsured?
  2. How can a government program help to spur the creation of a competitive marketplace in health care?
  3. Why do government run programs in the rest of the world outperform U.S. providers in health care outcomes while costing less of those nation’s GDP?
  4. Can we trust government committees with sensitive choices in regards to our family’s health care?
  5. Why do we trust big insurance bureaucrats with sensitive choices in regards to our family’s health care?
  6. How do the costs of action now relate to costs in the future?

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Glenbeck Syndrome

Glenn Beck went on the morning show on Fox News last week and got off a shot against the President. It really wasn’t newsworthy, as much of his commentary is not newsworthy. Mr. Beck will admit to as much when pressed; he is, in his words, an entertainer and not a newsman. He feels no responsibility to check his facts before he makes an attack. Last summer Mr. Beck famously attacked Democrats for their lack of support for clean coal technology, then went on the offensive in February against the stimulus bill for its inclusion of billions for…clean coal technology.

I feel comfortable bringing this up because I understand Glenn Beck’s problem. He suffers from a previously undiagnosed problem that afflicts millions of Americans…including me. Mr. Beck suffers from Glennbeck Syndrome; the uncontrollable urge to overreact to anything seen in the news or an email combined with overpowering “knowitallness” and a strong dose of bad attitude. Those who suffer from this disease take information from emails and news programs as gospel, and recirculate the information before checking the facts. Unfortunately, I have looked for years for a twelve-step program; but to no avail.

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The Race Card

Sgt. James Crowley and Henry Lewis Gates are going to have a beer with the President. The rational middle hopes that meeting goes better than their first. I will admit up front that I have no noble reasons for wishing the two men well…I just want the whole bloody story to go away. You see, what began as a series of bad judgements and ill tempers has been used by various groups as a tool for “getting the message out”.

To be sure, the messages in question are valid; Civil-Rights groups concerned about the status of African-Americans and police profiling, police groups concerned about personal attacks and the limiting of their ability to do their jobs, and the media concerned about making money from a hot story. It is of course this final group who has the motive, means, and opportunity to make the story worse than reality and keep it alive past its expiration date. I am, quite frankly, sick of it all.

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