Life Isn’t a Smorgasbord…

Not sure if fits...just love the picture!

Not sure if fits…just love the picture!

Gun Control, Abortion Rights, LBGT Civil Rights (someone please tell me how this is not a Civil Rights issue) – quite a bit going on this week and next.  As our Congress spends the majority of time playing pocket pool and continues to demonstrate ineptitude beyond belief, they systematically ignore where this country has been and is heading in these areas.  Recent legislative efforts by Kansas and North Dakota (again, both states that never make the top 10 list for admirable points for which most strive) to outlaw abortion, again demonstrates a vendetta against Women’s rights and a direction counter where most people in this country are.  The Supreme Court this week will hear two cases crucial to the pace of progress in giving LGBT citizens their civil rights and equality under the law.  Gun Control – little progress in even what a thinking and feeling person might think would be an easy step forward – Universal background checks.

Are you sure you want to go back to Kansas?

Are you sure you want to go back to Kansas?

In every case the American public who, as a whole, is well ahead of the political musings and stances, makes it clear they support abortion rights (a woman’s right to choice, let’s be clear), LGBT equality and the right to marry, and better gun control (in particular Universal background checks).  The problem is in the details as we look at the state and local level and the way political divisions have been drawn. We end up with a clear division of view of where the Federal should have rule and set law and where it should fall to the State and Local.  While I don’t always believe the Federal Government is right and should be making choices for States, I would be more inclined to move decision-making for these specific issues I’ve cited to the State and Local levels if I actually believed they had the intellectual and social where-with-all to make smart decisions.  Again, my judgment to sure but making decisions based on bible teachings, views that harken back to how we used to treat both women and Blacks in our country and lastly, some misguided view that the government is trying to take everyone’s weapons seems to fall short of the yardstick of a civilized and informed society.

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain

That being said, I am willing to take a shot at letting the states have their way.  We can move these sorts of decisions out there and let the states decide for their people.  However, I suggest we should also begin to play approach out to the full extent of the concept.  If you really want the Federal government out of your shorts, sounds good to me but then let’s make it incumbent on the States to then provide everything the Federal Government provides today – try that for health care costs.  We can let the States deal with the repercussions of making abortions illegal.  We can watch as States continue to outlaw LGBT Civil Rights.  We can let more idiots own guns in those States that want it and watch more people die from the results.  End of the day, the costs, both financial and social, can sit with the State.

What happens is that we get more pockets of the same type of people living in different states as people with a social conscience and intellect migrate either to those more progressive states.  We can watch the distribution of income and educated people move around at the same time – sorry but I would expect that the median income and level of education isn’t going to rise in the South or places like North Dakota and Kansas.  And these states will lose most everyone there who have kept their state within arm’s-length of civility and humanity (maybe even Texas has a few).   At some point it will become obvious that the longer-term impact of attitudes and mindsets from the 50’s isn’t a step forward.  Sad commentary but maybe we let them have what they want.  I for one might actually see my Federal tax bill drop a bit when I’m no longer having my tax dollars going to states that are the “Takers” and depend on Federal support to run their states – interesting that as of 2011, we now have 30 of the 50 states having 1/3rd of their state budget dependent on Federal funding (my state is one of them) and two states (Oklahoma and Louisiana) with more than 50% of their state budget Federally funded.

Fed Taxes/Benefit Balance

Fed Taxes/Benefit Balance

 

Sometimes you just can’t protect people from themselves.  However, we can only hope that people at some point realize that life isn’t a smorgasbord – it’s basically “Eat what’s on  your plate” – some you want and some you don’t but in the end it’s all there for a reason.  And if you’re good, you might get some .

“All government — indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is founded on compromise and barter.” – Edmund Burke 

Leave it to Beaver – Redux

For anyone not growing up in the later 50’s/early 60’s, one of the early TV shows most all of us watched was Leave it to Beaver. The show was about childhood and family life featuring a fictional suburban couple and their children – in particular “Jerry Mathers as the Beaver”.  The series actually ran for six seasons (234 episodes) so we had plenty of opportunity to watch what it was like to be white, suburban, middle-class family.  Not that I remembered it at all but in all six seasons there was only one episode that had a black character and that was a black maid.  Given the times, there were many other themes highlighting in particular education, occupation, marriage and family as requirements for a happy and productive life (cited from Wikipedia).  Interesting parallel with much of what we see with the modern day Republican party – I guess that not all of us were as effectively brainwashed!

So why the reference to Leave it to Beaver?  I have commented numerous times on the desire of the Republican Party to return to the past with a particular interest in the 1950’s.  While I had always assumed it was primarily driven by the Tea Party, I can now see how much the Romney’s also embrace that intent – with what I would expect to be closets full of dresses, interesting pick that Ann chose for today’s cover of Parade.  How June Cleaverish.  Not much of a stretch to see Mitt (doing an impressive Ward Cleaver imitation) sitting around the house in a white shirt and tie!

I knew that Mitt reminded me of someone prominent in my childhood – Ward Cleaver!

Santorum – back to the 50’s?

No matter how you look at it, the lack of insight as well as the hypocrisy that sits in the head (not sure a brain exists) of Rick Santorum is obvious and rather disturbing.  His latest attack on President Obama and those not part of the “right” again show the depth of not only his lack of connection with the real world but his total disregard for anything other than his shortsighted and anachronistic views of the world and where we are as a society and people in the 21st century.

First the lack of insight and hypocrisy (and I quote – taken from MSN) – “Santorum said, I’ve been pretty clear that the left in America has their own moral code in which they want to impose on this country. You can call it a theology. You can call it a moral code. You can call it a world view, but they have their own moral code that they want to impose on everybody else. While they insist and complain that somehow or another that people of Judeo Christian faith are intolerant of their new moral code that they want to create here. I’m just saying they the ones who are intolerant in imposing their will on in this case the Catholic church.””  Okay, what am I missing here?  It would seem that I could replace the work “left” in Santorum’s statement with the word “right” and other than the fact that it would no longer impose will on the Catholic Church and it would pretty much read to mirror the intent of those leaning to the right in our country to inject their views and rules into everything the rest of us do and how we live our lives.  Whether it be the Tea Party, Born-again Christians, the Catholic Church, etc., etc., the mantra is essentially “if you are not with me, you are against me” and we of dissimilar faith (or no faith at all) are now the target of their set of delusions.  In this case, if it was up to Santorum, no one would be using contraceptives (maybe other than an aspirin) and we would all be paying for even more of the Santorum offspring issues as a result of being too old to reproduce.

Tweedledick and Tweedledumb

I also find Santorum’s statements on the “Face the Nation” regarding the environment to be somewhat of a throwback view – one I would expect from someone stuck in the 50’s.

“I am talking about his world view, and the way he approaches problems in this country. I think they’re different than how most people do in America,” Santorum said in the broadcast interview.

The former Pennsylvania senator said Obama’s environmental policies promote ideas of “radical environmentalists,” who, Santorum argues, oppose greater use of the country’s natural resources because they believe “man is here to serve the Earth.” He said that was the reference he was making Saturday in his Ohio campaign appearance when he denounced a “phony theology.”

First off, nice Texas Two-Step on the Theology remark – at least have the balls to hold your ground.  That explanation doesn’t even make sense in try to tie “phony theology” to Obama’s take on environmental issues.  Second, good to see that in the world of Santorum, anyone who takes a view that says that the environment is important and that it is important to consider the impact of what we do as man on the earth is a radical environmentalist.  Of course there is no history or evidence that man ever disregards how what we do impacts the environment and the ability of the earth to deal with it.  Oh, that’s right, in the world of the Right, global warming is not real and is something that has no scientific basis.

So this is the one of the contenders for our next President.  Wow, wonder at what point we start to hear it is time that pants for women are outlawed and it’s skirts only – and at least two fingers below the knee.  Looks like The Honeymooners reruns – “To the moon, Alice” – oh wait, that’s Gingrich territory.