Friday, June 29, 2012

Where is the Consent of the Governed?

A key concept in our Republic is the consent of the governed. Where is the consent of the governed when political trickery overhauls our health system? When the EPA wants to tax the very air we breathe (or at least exhale)? When traffic fines are designed for raising local government revenues instead of ensuring safety? When tax cheats head the Department of the Treasury? Where is the consent of the governed when our President in effect declares himself archbishop of the United States? When airborne drones spy on our citizens? When government functionaries brag they will "crucify" our employers? When political correctness threatens the security of our Nation? When the President spoils our concept of fair play by making obscene gestures at defeated opponents? Where is the consent of the governed when we dare not disturb a rock, a puddle, or an unheard-of animal on our own property? When SWAT teams are sent against our minor offenses? When our sovereign states have become mere administrative districts of the federal government? When our Department of Justice lacks justice? When our elected officials act like royalty? When children's lemonade stands are shut down for lack of licenses? Where is the consent of the governed when prosecutors cheat, lie, and instead of the rack use plea bargaining to pressure innocent people to false confessions? When local governments raise taxes for extravagant spending saying it will only cost us "a cup of coffee per week" or "one dinner out per month?" That's our coffee. And our dinner. And they matter to us. Where is the consent of the governed when our politicians turn their elected offices into their own sexual, financial, or power-based playgrounds? When cops are quick to ticket us for speeding but refuse to obey speed laws themselves (they think we don't notice?)? When people trained as doctors, insurance underwriters, and bankers are hampered by government officials who know nothing about medicine, insurance, or finance. When kids are not getting educated but the biggest, most extravagant building in a small town is the local school? Where is the consent of the governed when we are forced to give up the guilty pleasures of our junk food? When our wives, mothers, and children are molested, groped, and traumatized at airports? When foreign intruders invade our country and the federal government attacks local efforts to stop them? When the most creative and productive among us are penalized for their success? When our economy is manipulated and ruined by people who know nothing about economics? Where is the consent of the governed? Gradually, one by one, week by week, people are becoming aware of these violations. And they are meeting in businesses and coffee shops, veterans halls and homes. They are organizing, strategizing, donating, reading and learning, running for office or helping others in doing so, turning off their televisions and turning to action. We the People are tolerant. We are patient. But as citizens of the United States, a representative Republic, we will not be governed without our consent.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Upgrade to a Creek of Consciousness

Wow -- has it been nearly three months since I've posted anything? The rush of end-of-semester things at the campus caught me up, then there was a vacation of nearly two weeks to visit our daughters in California (and I fell in love with Catalina Island). Then there was a rash of things needed in the upkeep of our two-and-a-half acres, then there was... Never mind. You've been busy, too. Of course, being away long enough allowed Google to work mischief: they revamped the software for posting this blog. I hope everything posts okay. If software engineers ran the world (Wait. They do.), we'd go out to our cars in the morning and find the steering wheel in the back seat, the brake pedal on the passenger's side door, and a sign that said Upgraded. Or we'd drive up to a traffic light and find a sign that says System upgrade: from now on the color blue means "stop," yellow means "go," and white means "caution." Which is why I'm in fear and trembling over the phasing in of Windows 7 at my campus. At any rate, here's a Creek of Consciousness: over three months, talk has turned from can Romney win? to the possibility of a Romney landslide. Ah, but the polls show Obama and Romney even. Translation: Romney landslide...Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard ( has an amazing story entitled The Real Reagan. Barnes says Ronald Reagan intentionally disarmed opponents by playing the role of the amiable dunce they thought him to be. But Barnes quotes David Smick, chief of staff to Jack Kemp, regarding Reagan's comments on a speech by Kemp: “Reagan reveled in the wonkdom of urban policy in a way that might have even made a young Bill Clinton envious. The more I read the comments in the margins of Kemp’s speech, the more obvious it became that Reagan had a passion for policy details.”...Barbra and I visited the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California. Moving experience. However, close to his grave was a herd of goats being used to keep the grass down. What's this? How disrespectful! Goats by the grave of a President of the United States! To which Reagan would have replied something like: "Well, they sort of remind me of when I got around Congress. Anything I took to them, they just said: 'Baaah.'"...Spent last weekend in Texas to visit Barbra's dad, Harold Johnston, for Father's Day. He's 83, and if you want to know what he's like, think of Robert Duvall playing Gus in Lonesome Dove. Harold is an amazing storyteller -- I've known him for forty years and rarely have him repeat a story. This time he had us laughing about the time he accidentally shot himself in the foot with a .22 pistol. He had a hard time getting to the doctor because despite his injured foot he had to carry his friend who kept passing out at the sight of blood. That's all for now -- Google's new blog format seems painless, I guess. Except for one thing: how does one make paragraphs? Not everything is meant for Facebook and Twitter, you know. Is this like Microsoft Word 2007's inability to make documents single space unless you revert to the 2003 format? And why is the brake pedal on the passenger door?