Often there are things I want to write about and though they are worthy of comment, they are not worth a column. I collect a few such things for this column.
No connection: When attempts are made to tie violent behavior to rap music, violent video games, or violent movies, or to tie sexual promiscuity to pornography, they are met with a wall of resistance from the media people who produce these things. They claim scientific studies do not show any connection. The same people who resist any attempt to make this connection jump at every opportunity to tie acts of violence, such as the recent Arizona shootings, to right wing rhetoric.
Privilege: The one thing I find most egregious about politicians is when they exempt themselves from the rules the rest of us must abide by. This could be such things as not having to go through the same security at the airport to not being a part of the government mandated healthcare plan or Social Security retirement plan.
Buying gold: The gold merchants are advertising heavily to try and get you to put gold in your investment portfolio. If you buy an ounce of gold today and keep it for ten years, you will still have an ounce of gold. The idea of investing in gold is that you protect yourself against inflation. Think about it for a moment; if the cash from the sale of that ounce of gold will buy you a month’s supply of groceries today, and it keeps up with inflation, when you sell it ten years from now, it will still buy a month’s worth of groceries. You need investments that grow. Precious metals are a way for the very rich to transport their wealth across the divide in difficult economic times.
Wrong: Al Gore finally admitted an inconvenient truth: ethanol was a mistake. It takes more energy to produce it than it conserves and the unintended consequences are a disaster. It drove the price of corn to unacceptable levels, causing hardship and hunger on poor people around the world. It never did make sense to me to turn a food source into energy to power our automobiles and toys when so many people in our world are starving. Now that Gore recognizes the error of this action, he tells us things will probably not change as there are now too many people with a vested interest in things the way they are. How many other negative unintended consequences are we living with over well intentioned actions of those who try to manage our lives with one-size-fits all government policies?
Labels: Back in the 80’s I was very politically active and participated in the formation of a group called The Moral Majority. The name was a public relations disaster because of what it wrongly implied about those who were not a part of the movement. A similar thing is happening with the modern liberal. Thinking the label liberal, which is a perfectly good label, has been tainted by the opposition beyond repair, those who fit that label have opted for the label “progressive.” Like the term Moral Majority, the label progressive implies something negative about those who are not a part of the movement. The same is true of churches that name themselves things like Assemblies of God, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of the Nazarene, etc.
Expanded quote: I have seen the quote that no democracy is safe once the people discover they can vote themselves favors from the public treasury attributed to several sources, but none take it to the next logical step: nor is a democracy safe once politicians discover they can buy votes from the same. Between these two abuses of the public largess, our democracy is doomed.
Affirmed: As a writer, I always feel joy when something I write is affirmed by someone of acclaim. A few columns back I noted the firing of Juan Williams by NPR once again affirmed my experience that there is nothing more narrow-minded than a broad minded liberal. I was pleased to read the following quote by Christopher Hitchens in a piece by Andrew Anthony in “The Observer:” “I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.”
Partisanship: If you read the pundits, the politicians, and listen to the news casts, you get the feeling that bipartisanship is the goal to strive for. I say thank God for partisanship and the gridlock it produces. Legislative success should be judged by quality not quantity. No piece of legislation should be passed until it has withstood every contrary argument that can be thrown at it. Whether Republican or Democrat, no political party should be able to get what it wants when it wants it, to be able to move its agenda forward without contest. Sometimes, I have been very fortunate not to have gotten what I wanted, and certainly our nation would have been better off if political parties had not gotten what they wanted. I refer you back to the paragraph on ethanol as an example.