Musings from George

The more things change…
December 8, 2006, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Watching the news each night becomes more surreal as our President insists that we cannot lose, because losing would be a disaster; therefore we must be winning, so let’s all concentrate really hard and figure out how to call this winning. The learning curve is flat, the insights nonexistent…even after his Robispierre was finally stabbed enough times by his wife and father to finally die, Bush continues on as the sole defender of the neocon myths that i) the Iraqis want our version of democracy; and ii) we must be winning, we just have to re-define that word for the American people.

One would think that I would be thrilled by the election results, and for the most part that person would be right. But on the same ballot that I use to elect my representatives for our democracy, I was also asked to consider $40B+ worth of bond measures for the state of California and to decide whether smokers should be taxed, developers should be constrained, and pregnant teenagers should be delayed in seeking to end their pregnancy. While I am thrilled that democracy works, I also resent the fact that the state government can’t make prudent financial decisions or enforce reasonable social legislation, so we are left to vote on extreme measures promoted by extreme groups instead. An extra $2.50 per pack is pretty ridiculous, even for those who would raise that tax; waiting periods for abortions might be okay, but exceptions had better allow the truly suppressed a way to opt out / work around the law. Why is the average voter in my county a better person to choose new zoning laws than the people we pay full-time to consider requests from developers?

 Nancy Pelosi promises us 100 hours of action when the Democrats take over. Will anyone be paying attention? I have a few requests:

1. Close Guantanamo Bay’s detention centers. Turn it into a memorial like the ones we built to insult our Japanese citizens in WWII.

2. Balance the budget. It’s good practice, and forces today’s citizens to pay for their own activities (and wastefulness).

3. Change the budget process such that any specific spending allocation be put to a vote out in public, with every elected representative recording their vote for each spending request. Let’s find the quid pro quos, and let those quids run for re-election on the platform that they traded a vote for $14B worth of bridges in Alaska for their own $20M highway turnoff.

4. Post the Bill of Rights in the chambers of the House and Senate, so we never see another Schiavo moment. Define government activism as the role of the houses of Congress to ensure that they money they spend is well-spent, that the money they collect covers the expenses they incur, and that the “hortatory” role H. Clinton professes move to an active oversight and inquiry into the things our executive branch does. Less torture, less spying, less spending, fewer discretionary wars.

So many books have come out damning Shrub that it appears his legacy is being written while he is still alive. Is this what technology has given us?