Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's government for?

According to Cow & Boy:

Cow & Boy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What if?

What if in order to get a bill passed it had to first pass the "average joe understanding test."

This test would be quite simple. An average male or female American would sit in congress and listen to congress explain EXACTLY what a bill would do. In addition, that average American would then sit and read the bill in its entirety before it is voted upon.

If in either case the American cannot understand the bill then the congress people go back to edit the bill to make it more understandable.

Then, instead of reading the bill to the same American, a new average American is brought in and the same process repeats. This is done until an average American has no misgivings about understanding what the bill will do.

Of course, Mr. or Ms. Joe would not necessarily agree with the bill. But that is a totally separate issue solved through exercising the right to vote.

Instead, we Americans would have something no living American has ever had before: An ability to understand the laws that are passed by congress.

Now some of you are saying to yourself, "we can't understand everything, some issues are too complex." To that I say, I don't think I believe that. I cannot think of one instance where a law needs to be complex to get the job done of TRULY helping Americans and protecting their rights. Please, provide one if you can think of it.

Others of you are saying to yourself, "This could never work." If that is the case, my next option is to say that for the next five years congress can only repeal legislation. No more new legislation can be done. Call it a legislative fast using a cleansing juice diet complete with its own enema.

And if you don't like that idea either, can we at least start fresh and replace the entire congress?

What, you don’t like that idea either?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Obscene Pay'

I just read an article that put a sick angry knot in my stomach.

The city manager of Bell, California makes almost $800,000. It's police chief makes $457,000. PART-TIME (emphasis added out of disgust) city council members make almost $100,000.

The population of Bell? 38,000.

Needless to say, residents are pretty ticked right now.

UPDATE: Here is a nice article that goes into a little more depth and shows a nice comparison of salaries of Bell city officials with other officials (including the president).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Regulation Without Representation

I have a beef with regulation.

And it has nothing to do with thinking that there shouldn't be limits on what we can or can't do in America. Some limits that don't infringe upon our rights are needed to protect those rights.

My current beef is that some regulation is passed by a representative and some regulation is mandated by a bureaucrat. One of those shouldn't happen at all.

I also think that 99.9% of our regulation is garbage, but that is a whole ‘nother post.

I am of the strong belief that a government agency's responsibility is to enforce law not create it. We vote in lawmakers to do that.

When power is 'given' to an agency to create law, laws are being created without representation.

I may be treading on thin ice here, but it seems that regulatory agencies are sliding down greasy slopes. The more we create agencies to regulate and the more we give agencies to regulate, the more we are taking power from the people and the representatives that represent them.

With the new banking and consumer protection bill, a new agency will be created with new powers to regulate and create regulation. These will in effect be new laws that financial institutions and merchants will have to adhere to. They will not have been created by your representative. (And they’ll be most menos eficaz.)

I don't know why, but the more I think about regulation the more I'm irritated with regulation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

'Tea Party' as an obscenity

I don't get it. Not really.

Sure, I guess I understand why some people would think that the Tea Party movement is a racist, close minded, prejudice group. But that IS NOT because of what I've learned from listening to and watching the actual movement. I understand why some people think that way because I've listened to what those against the Tea Party movement have said about it.

This article is a case in point:

Those who have joined Tea Party groups across the country seem to be those who would label themselves as conservatives or of the political right. Those vehemently against the Tea Party groups seem to be those who would label themselves as liberals or of the political left.

Among those who label themselves as politically independent I've also noticed a split between the politically independents that are more conservative and those that are more liberal. There are also some that are scratching their heads not yet knowing where they stand when it comes to the Tea Party movement.

I suppose I am one who sympathizes with the Tea Party movement. I haven't joined a local Tea Party group or even been to one of their gatherings, but I am definitely attracted to its small federal government stance. AND I have NEVER seen or heard anything that has led me to believe that the Tea Party movement is racially motivated or driven.

Now, do some people for the Tea Party movement say stupid things? Absolutely. But that happens on both sides of the political stand. But I have yet to see any immoral or disgustingly hypocritical actions from the Tea Party movement itself.

At its core, I believe, are Americans who think government is getting too big and too involved in our daily life. I think, and this is just my observation, that this movement is fueled by the desire of Americans to govern their own lives and to keep America fiscally sound and strong enough to protect itself against its enemies. And America does have enemies.

You can disagree with those points, but these points are what the Tea Party movement is all about. They don't care about the color of the President, they care about the content of his policies and the policies of those around him. They are local organizations not governed by a large national head.

If you disagree with those against the current administration, and think that the policies being presented and passed by our government are good strong policies that our country needs, then you need to do a better job at explaining to your neighbor why these are good policies. The name calling, prejudging, hypocritical bantering that is coming from those who despise the Tea Party movement is doing NOTHING to convince the other side that their ideas are wrong.

Using 'Tea Party' as an obscenity is dividing America.

I'm a relatively young guy and have not seen the political movements my parents and grandparents have seen. But just in my lifetime, the current heat and political fervor is dividing neighbors, friendships, families, and America like I've never seen before.

I believe the main reason for this is that no one is willing to sit and listen to each other any more. All because of the political obscenities used by many of those in power, which are being used to keep and grow their power not to help what is true and best for America.

This is America, and we are only as strong as we are willing to listen to each other and work together. Disagreement is fine and needed for imperfect beings to find perfect solutions. But I'm guessing that if we listened to each other, disagreement would decrease and cooperation and common ground would increase.

Both sides have a lot more in common than is currently being publicized. Using each other as obscenities is not how we are going to find that.