Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Much Talk Is Neccessary?

In response to a letter in a local web-based news service, I responded to the editor with this letter.
The original author appeared furious at what he perceived to be the total indifference to his, and his organization's, opinions and viewpoints, as presented in public comments. He really seemed steamed at the local paper for daring to express in an editorial that further public comment was not needed.
I did not get that message out of the editorial in question. What I read was the question of how long or how many times must public comment be entertained. If the comment period is past, can you demand another one because you felt your opinion was unheard. Or was it bad planning on y0ur part for missing the originally scheduled comment period?

My response to the Sitnews editor:

I agree absolutely, thoroughly, completely, and joyously with your identification of some of the fantastic freedoms that we enjoy as Americans.
Public policy is often a hammering out of different viewpoints, none of which survive unscathed. Compromise, negotiation, and agreement have to happen in the formation of policy. Unless we agree to let one person act as our better (and that person has not been born yet), then every action on a community level will be decided by some form of agreement.
When do we stop the talking and get to work?
When does one group stop blocking every negotiation with yet more talk?
When can one side admit that their pet motive or goal has to suffer some of the dents of compromise? Hammers can be wielded by both parties, but both of them must realize that they are probably going to be bruised in the process.
If we continue to talk about the problems we face, then nothing will get done, except more talk. Sooner or later we have to agree to put the hammers down, to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Why is work in such disfavor?
Could it be that a person working doesn't have time to listen to talk? And if no one is listening, that pretty well puts the talkers out of business...or sends them off to block any further work until the hammers get picked up yet again, to hammer out yet more concessions on both sides.
Meanwhile, the work isn't getting done.

I would link to the original Ketchikan Daily News editorial, but their online edition requires a subscription.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gimme Some O'that

Via Og, I have enjoyed reading some...eclectic...blogs. Today, he linked to a great one, one that I will visit again.
The Velociman does indeed have an elegant style. I did not care for E. Caldwell's Tobacco Road, but the Vman does a great job of putting that novel in the context of today.

The United States of Tobacco Road

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Museum Shows I'd Like To See

While trying to track down a story in Southeast Texas, I hit on this story, from The Orange Leader newspaper, in Orange, Texas.

Stark Museum of Art to feature exhibit on pistols

There are a few listed in the article that would be worth the visit if I were down that neck of the woods (or bayous in that area).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good Night, Ed

Ed McMahon, dead at 86.
Marine, fighter pilot, test pilot, Brigadier General, guffawing sidekick, all around American.
Eighty-five bird dog flights over Korea...
We stand in the shadow of heroes, and most times never look up.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We the People...

Several of the blogs that I read have posted this letter. It was sent to Glenn Beck from Arizona resident Janet Contreras. It is an open letter to our elected select.
Like Robb Allen, I post it here to give it maximum exposure (though not by this page).

I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.
Thanks to Kevin, at The Smallest Minority for posting this; to Glenn Beck for airing it; and to Ms. Contreras for writing it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Heat Waves

We Alaskans?...we are some of the biggest wimps in the US. The temperatures for the last several days, almost a whole week, have been getting up to the high 70s and even crossed into the low 80s.


Seriously. We are no longer adapted to heat above the mid-60s. Seventy is about my upper comfort level. I want air conditioning at 75.

When coral reefs start forming offshore here, I will not be surprised. Imagine, in 6 or 7 hundred years, this might be a tropical paradise.