Sunday, May 30, 2010

What Next for the Gulf?

Amidst the tragedy that is threatening the entire ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and the livelihoods of so many Americans it is heartening to see the outpouring of love from the Republican Party.
Unfortunately the love they are exhibiting is for the chance to place the blame on President Obama.
Too much time has been wasted arguing that the President is not displaying enough anger.  Some of his detractors and unfortunately supporters as well want him to scream and yell.  Personally I want action and that calls for a cool calm person to come up with an intelligent solution, not a child throwing a tantrum.
Useless moron Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is on television relentlessly blaming and taking jabs at Obama for his handling of the oil spill.  Finger pointing would appear to be quite silly for the party of Bush and Cheeenie since they were in bed so much with big oil that I am surprised they did not get pregnant.  Although they sure did get rich!
The first focus for truly concerned citizens, and here I must exclude Pawlenty and friends must be the stopping of the leak and the tremendous clean-up of the waters and marshlands.
The Republican mantra has been and always will be the trashing of any Democratic President so their words against Mr. Obama should not surprise anyone.  What should be noted is how active they are in continuing aftermath of the tragedy.
While most Governors, R or D from the Gulf States are blaming BP and pushing them to do more Texas' Rick Perry, he of secessionist fame is silent.  And in this case his silence is louder than any Republican rhetoric aimed at the President.  And it is just one more reason intelligent people of America would not mind if Texas and their BORED of education would up and leave the union.
But for now we must stop this leak.  And since it is obvious that BP has no clue how to do so it is up to everyone to ideate.  Come up with a plan or an idea and send it to your local congressman.  If it will not work so be it but do not assume someone else has a better idea.  So far you would be wrong.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ala Carte PLEASE

Picture this:

You're a young man and you have been agonizing over asking out this beautiful lady.
You spend days, weeks, months hemming and hawing and acting like a fool just to get up enough nerve to call her.
Finally you take a deep breath and in a voice reminiscent of an Italian castrato you suggest a night out together.
Surprisingly she agrees and you literally melt with excitement.  Not thinking straight you forget your former frugal ways and reserve a table for two at a very expensive and exclusive restaurant.
The night comes and you escort your date to her seat.  You order the specialty of the house, a surf and turf delight to die for.
Out comes the wait staff and in synchronized motion BAM, they uncover the savory duo with a flair and a flick of the wrist.
But also on the plate and interspersed with your meal are some nachos, a side order of fried onion rings with ketchup, and a couple of Oreo cookies.
To make matters worse, if possible the entire dish is part of a package and you will be paying for all of it whether you like it or not.
You swallow your pride and the stew while simmering in anger.  Your date is not impressed.
The above scenario would never happen in a good restaurant, or most any restaurant for that matter but it happens regularly in a place that has raised the idea of combination plates to an art form; Congress!
The latest bitter pill to swallow comes in the form of a $500,000,000 side order of nachos tacked on to the long awaited and sought after, "Don't ask - Don't tell" repeal act.  The President has stated for a while that he will not sign a bill that has wasteful Defense spending attached.
This money is part of an amendment to be used in the continuing development an engine for a fighter jet that the Pentagon itself does not want or need.  In fact current Defense Secretary Robert Gates has stated that he categorically does not want the engine.
Knowing that the President and Mr. Gates feel this strongly about the erroneous earmark there can be only two reasons for its appearance in the bill:
1 - Congress and all involved really don't want it to pass and needed some insurance that it would not - or
2 - Congress really is as stupid as many in America are starting to realize and cannot get out of their own way.
Many will argue that with so much to get done it is not possible for any singularly focused bill to come up for consideration, debate, and passage.  The sheer number of important issues demand package deals be made and strange bedfellows bunk up.
But if an issue is truly important should it not be considered on its own merits?
This beautiful lady has been waiting for the President to call for way too long.  She is dressed to the nines and starving for a wonderful meal.
Why ruin the night by asking if she'd like fries with that?

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Henny Penny for your Thoughts

We have all heard the tale about chicken little or the boy who cried wolf.  They are stories read to all children in the hopes they will understand the importance of telling the truth.
The sad thing is that for the most part nobody seems to heed the morals of those tales once they grow up.
However crying wolf does not have to be about the sky falling.  It can be as simple as saying "No" every time someone asks a question, no matter what it is or even if you want to say yes!
Two negatives produce a positive in math but in real life two wrongs don't make a right.  And being consistently wrong is never right, unless you are a broken clock.
But the important thing to understand is that once you have been labeled a "Wolf Crier" nothing you say will nor should be heeded; nothing you say will be considered important and no one will act upon your plaintive plea.
Case in point is the relationship between the entire group of elected officials in the Republican party along with their shills in the media vis a vie President Obama.
Pick one person from the group of nay-sayers and follow their words for a while.  Many times they may actually say something truthful and, dare I say factual.  But the problem is you cannot pick those fair bon mots out of the tremendous volume of vile filth they normally spew without getting sick in the process.
The most obvious buffoon in this camp is Rush Limbaugh but at least he is consistent and will never give credit to anyone outside the "far right."  That, and his girth makes him easy to spot and avoid like the plague he is.
But the ones we have to worry about more than the Oxy loving Rush are the subtle nay-sayers.  These are the good-looking; well-groomed; even-toned mellifluously glib purveyors of party talking points such as Joe Scarborough.
If you ever watch the MSNBC show, "Morning Joe" you will be hit with two undeniable facts;
1 - Joe does not like anything Obama &
2 - His sidekick Mika is useless.
Today Joe harped on the fact that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has not been completely taken care of yet.  He also claimed that the main reason for this failing of the President was Obama's lack of emotion in dealing with this terrible crisis.
In many ways one must agree with the facts as laid forth by this former Republican Senator with aspirations of getting back into Congress.  But since he also takes issue with anything the President does his points of view must be taken with a touch of simple sodium chloride.
If we can agree that the President must show more concern about the Gulf Coast and the clean-up thereof fine.  Some people will not be happy until they see a tear drop on Mr. Obama's cheek like the Indian Chief of commercial fame.  But that does not mean that everything else Joe and his group have said about the President is therefore correct as well.
And of course Mika sits by his side with her inimitable, "Uh-huh, Yeah, Oh yes, Right, I agree.  Well my daddy would say..."
But Joe and his friends cannot hold a candle to some of the unbelievably brain dead wastes of a beating heart on Fox News!?!  Even the name of the network is an oxymoron - News?
If you listen the 'sky is falling' rhetoric of that channel you would think that the current resident of the White House who was born in Kenya is out to get this country attacked by terrorists and ruin our economy for the rest of time.  If Obama were to outlaw all stations other than Fox they would probably accuse him of attempting another Government take-over plot.
Perhaps some of the policies put forward under the current administration will not work perfectly as planned or hoped for but at least they are being tried.  And the feasibility of these plans are being discussed without the assistance of an entire opposing party in Congress.
Whose fault is that?
If the ship of state is sinking don't we need all  hands on deck to help avert disaster?
When Chicken Little ran around like Sue Lowden with her head cut off warning everyone of impending doom nobody listened because, well that's just what the Chicken always did!  So what else is new?
In order to be taken seriously if the Republican party and their lap dogs in the media ever wish to point out a problem on the horizon they have to start admitting there is a horizon over which the sun does occasionally come up.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tax This!

Notice how the public is swayed by politicians and the media?
When either wishes you to think a certain way they have set ways to do so.
With unemployment way up and the economy, for those of us not in the millionaires club way down an easy target for those above to create a usable mob mentality is to point out the villain du jour.  These days those villains are making everyone’s life easy by raising their hands and saying, “Over here – Here I am!”
For example there is our current crowd favorite, BP who is doing a heck of a job killing an entire ecosystem while still garnering huge bottom line profits.  And you don’t have to dredge down too far to find this out!
Don’t believe me?
Brokerage House Panmure Gordon of Great Britain “upped” their target price for BP stock to the $50 range.  It is already up from Monday’s $40 to $45 today.  The report states that the company will not even have to cut its dividend although they may have to forego some top level bonuses.  By the way, as for not doling out the top level bonuses don’t bet on it.  They will be given out just not in a simple way for public scrutiny.  Did someone say toga parties in Tahiti?
And there is also the wonderful company that distributes so many products for consumers of the world and gives so much aid to the poor and needy, Goldman Sachs.  Uh wait, never mind.  What exactly do they do?  Oh yeah, they turn their millionaire crooks, sorry my fingers slipped I mean clients into billionaires.
Congress has asked us to believe that they are going to tax these giants and their ilk so as to get back some of the obscene and uncalled for profits being raked in while the entire World suffers.
And then the tooth fairy will distribute the money to all of us in conjunction with the Easter Bunny!
Under our current system if a corporation is taxed more they consider that amount to be a cost and it is then figured into pricing schedules.  We the consumer ultimately pay for every extra dollar they are taxed.
But if our elected officials really wish to risk losing all their funding from corporate and lobbyist bribery and do the jobs they were elected to do they might call for a revamping of our ridiculous tax code.
It used to be you had to be an accountant to figure out the code.  Then it grew so you had to also be an attorney and now the damn thing would take a graduate with both of those degrees along with the skills of the magna cum laude of the Evelyn Wood reading dynamics school.
That’s because the current tax code is approximately 17,000 pages long and could have nearly 2.5 million words purposely written in legalese to bemuse the attorneys and befuddle the tax payer.
One suggestion that understandably gets shot down by the accounting lobby is to toss out the absurd thing and replace it with a combination flat tax of both income and sales.  I believe that is a good starting point.
But by saying starting point I open the door to allowing amendments galore that could end up with a document nearly the size of the current morass (emphasis on the last three letters.)
So here is a succinct suggestion to shore up our Government’s cash flow:
Corporations in America must be taxed at a rate closer to that of the rest of the civilized World.  They have been getting away with murder for far too long.
Personal income tax must be lowered so that individual citizens of this country can keep more of their really hard earned cash.  I will allow a graduated scale of higher taxes on higher incomes but it too should be lower than it is now as long as the loopholes are totally disallowed.
Charitable contributions can still be taken to lessen a tax burden but will be closely regulated and limited in scope.  The charities themselves will be placed under scrutiny so as to make sure they are in fact charitable.
A Value Added Tax or VAT must be put in place as it is in other countries.  It has worked there for years and I believe we can be as smart as they are unless Congress would like to admit to the contrary.  The VAT would bring our Government a steady cash flow of dollars with which to put in place all those wonderful programs they like to enact.
The consumer would be able to save money and not be taxed unless he or she actually spent thus making a savings account a beneficiary.
I do not presume to know all the facets and nuances of even the new tax code I am proposing but I do know we need a change.  And obviously a few other issues would need to be resolved to get this tax code working.
Of course one side effect of the above is we would have to find a place for the out of work accountants and lawyers to go during tax season but hey, don’t we need more troops overseas?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't Scuttle the Shuttle

How sad it is to witness the end of an era that was the Shuttle program.
Of course as a New Yawka I realize it's not over till it's over but this week we saw the (supposed) end of the below mentioned best series on television, Law and Order and the final landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

I understand that NBC Universal is run by idiots and has been for years and that NASA must answer to a lower court, Congress but once in a while you have to hope that cooler more intelligent heads will prevail.

As far as the Space Program is concerned think about where the Atlantis just came back from.  It was visiting, it's still hard to fathom that thought, a huge conglomerate of metal that is the International Space Station (ISS.) This floating melting pot of a laboratory that houses astronauts and scientists from many nations of the World shows what great feats we humans can accomplish when we collectively put our minds to it.

A few wars ago we could never think of cooperating with or being allowed to spend time with people from Japan or Russia or any other former enemy.  And as hard as it is to believe we could actually enjoy welcoming people from North Korea or even Iran into the ISS some time in the future.  Naturally political posturing will have to give way to rational thought and the station itself will have to be kept alive until then.

A while back Sting sang a song that included the words, "I hope the Russians love their children too."  It was about an era of tension that threatened to explode into full scale war. Luckily it turned out he was correct.  But with suicide bombings around the World it appears safe to say he could not hold out the same hope for the parents of Islamic terrorists, at least not yet.

So it sounds naive to say give peace a chance while irrational beings sit in caves and plot the destruction of as many innocent human beings as possible supposedly in the name of God.

The lofty hope of a united Earth exploring the Universe seems rather dim.

But should we just give up?
Should we say we must devote all our resources to one arena?
I do not pretend to know the answer to our security problems nor do I feel they should be taken lightly.  But I do think we must not allow the few rotten apples of the Earth to dictate the direction of the future of mankind

To end this era is an error - Bring law and order back to the scientific community - Do not scuttle the shuttle.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Here’s My LawN Order

   In my back yard there are two forces at work; the seeds to promote growth and forces of evil trying to stop it.  This is my story!  (I hope I don't suffer any PUN-ative damages for the following.)
   In the over 26 years I have lived on Long Island (a bit longer than the television pretender of a similar name) I have had several people on the job attempting to weed out the criminal growths that are strangling my shrubs.
   I employ various environmentally safe chemicals to guard the borders around my flower beds but victory is fleeting.
   I want my yard healthy and my trees free to provide life, liberty and allow me my pursuit of shade!
   For some reason this seems to be an impossibility.  Yet I continue to throw good money after bad.
   It’s a crime, one that would stump a St. Bernard and is making me Lupo.
   The old saying that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence happens to be true in my case.
   Many years ago I took out a contract with a local business man to provide my back yard with greenery.  He planted sickly bushes that lasted just over one year.  When I noticed one of them lapsing into a coma I requested a replacement.  The patriarch Don of the company investigated and claimed, “She’s a no dead!”
   But his lying under oath did not change the fact that the corpse in question was a victim of his crime.  And the mass murder was complete when its three relatives joined it and I was left with a barren yard.
   To prevent further damage the Don offered me protection from similar mishaps but I bravely declined.
   Since then I have had little luck back there. I would almost prefer to have a Crag en my yard so I wouldn’t bother any more.
   Many times I have tried to cut down offensive growths in an endless battle that always ends in my pain and suffering.
   Last season I planted a tiny bush in the back end of my yard but it suffered the indignity of being ripped from the hedge lines by a gardener mistaking it for a weed.  I could almost hear his Lenny Briscoe voice policing either the front Orbach area saying, “Nobody puts baby in the corner!”
   I’m sure there was no Criminal Intent on his part but the young Special Victim is nevertheless gone forever.
   When I pointed to the evidence, an empty dead spot where once a life existed the guilty Bratt clammed up.
   The mystery that keeps turning my bushes into Stone is as insidious as a plot by Moriarty involving a Borgia-like rule of corruption.
   My yard has a Serene Southerlyn exposure that is better than a Wiest one where many a Branch grows tall but only for a season or so.
   Sometimes I hear the sweet baby voice of a Robinette or a fleeting Falcon on high.
   I have yet to have luck with any red Ruby Rosas although my neighbors grow them all the time.
   Blindly I Water Stone hoping the real McCoy will grow; hoping I'll Detect Green.
   It is driving me into a bottle of Hennessey.
   Where do I go from here?  Should I Schiff my efforts to another Hill?
   Will each summer be an endless rerun of seasons gone by?
   Should I place a new LawN Order or will my old LawN Order come back next year?
   For better or worse I still love it and hope it returns in Prime Time for me.
   And so I cling to my blankie like Linus and continue to be a Cutter of weeds till the Wolf is at the door and I hear the final “Doink Doink.”

If you're a Law & Order Geek I insist you comment!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our Three-Fathers?

When speaking of the greatness of our nation and retracing its history we often recall the courage it took for our forefathers to break away from Great Britain and its tyranny.

Our Constitutional Congress was comprised of men, nothing more and nothing less.  They were in many ways flawed but in the most important way visionaries.

They conceived a nation of liberty and freedom and proposed a separation between church and state.  And although they originally left out one entire race of human beings they nevertheless allowed for the possibility of amendments to alter that and any other errors as deemed necessary in the future.

The treatises they produced are among the greatest legal testaments to decency and honor and remain to this day living breathing documents of freedom.

These facts are what they are and cannot be changed.

Unless of course you live in Texas!

The school board of the Lone Star State has decided that our forefathers, and it seems Thomas Jefferson in particular were wrong.  The removal of his name and one must assume his accomplishments from the new curriculum will thus change history for the virgin minds of the second largest state in the union.

Texas has become the State of Denial and joins a long list of anti-visionaries hell bent on censoring and altering history.

It seems odd that the land that asks us to “Remember the Alamo” wishes to forget everything else.  Perhaps they should remember the book bonfires of insanity in Nazi Germany.  And they must note the censorship of the internet in present day China.  These attempts to put forward one ideology over another are ill-advised and in the end ill-fated.

The new school books from which the eager young minds of Texas will be taught will also include new heroes such as Phyllis Schlafly a conservative activist who was notably against the Equal Rights Amendment and feminism.

Conservatives love quoting Ronald Reagan and always point to his, “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall” speech as a show of our dedication to truth and freedom.  Yet the conservative camp is now busy building a new wall that shuts out those two ideals.

An intelligent rational path for a school board to follow would be to allow the teachings of historical facts.  History is not a novel to be interpreted as a parable.  It is an indelible retelling of what was; what happened; and what it caused.  And if it is taught properly it can be a roadmap showing how to avoid any mistakes made in the past.

Chainsaws may have been used in massacres of the past but the pen is definitely mightier than the sword.  And the Texas School Book Massacre will prove to be far more deadly in the future.

But since Texas has deemed it necessary to remove one of our founding fathers from history books we should no longer stand in the way of their desire to remove themselves from the union that is the United States of America.

Before Hawaii was ratified as our fiftieth state in 1959 we had a flag showing 49 stars.  We can certainly bring back those glory days of Old Glory once again. 

Just as our fore fathers have become three fathers so too can our 50 states become 49.

See ya Texas, It’s been real.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Getting High More Often!

The debate over "Global Climate Change" nee Global Warming goes on with science and scientists on one side and energy companies of all kinds and their followers on the other side.

No matter how many times we are shown photos of lost glaciers or given actual data showing the rise of the World's oceans there will always be groups of deniers who stand to gain monetarily by their ostrich-like stance.

The fact of the matter is the harm we are doing to the environment may not adversely affect them in their lifetime so they could not care less.  It's all about greed wrapped up neatly in a demand for 'smaller government' and more personal freedom.I won't get into the total stupidity of their arguments because even they know how self evident the errors of their ways are.

I have kept track of the number of record highs vs record lows for New York City and charted them against my lifetime.  I also noted the number of highs and lows in the same area since the year 2000.

The chart merely notes whether or not the record high or low for a particular date took place before or after I was born.  Therefore the maximum number of record highs or lows on the chart is 366.

This totally non-scientific charting method is nevertheless very accurate in it's numbers.
The facts are simple:
Since I was born (1949) there have been 226 new highs or nearly 62% of the year but there have only been 96 new lows or 26%.

Furthermore since 2000 New York has recorded 42 dates that can boast new highs while only 4 dates with low record temperatures.

One other interesting piece of data is the differences between the years that recorded their respective records.  For example the record high for January 1st in New York is 62º recorded in 1966.  The low for that date of -4º was hit in 1918.  The difference in years between those two events is 48.

Even more telling is the average number of years since new records were hit.  For new highs the average per January day is 51.4 years.  For new lows that average is 81.4!

And that makes January a fairly normal month for this type of useless yet intriguing grouping of facts.  That is because for the entire year counting backwards from 2010 the average number of years since we have recorded record highs is 52 but for lows it jumps to 86.6.

This data shows that there are not only many more record highs being hit per year but also that it is taking far less time for us to break the existing records for highs versus lows.

I can already hear the arguments against this post:

The data is skewed - It's only for NYC so who cares - It only goes back 140 years - It's Obama's fault.

Behold the charts!
Click them to enlarge for proper viewing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Figured it Out Yet?

Your baby cries and you pick him up.
What happens?
He stops crying!

Your baby cries but you don't feel like picking him up.

What happens?
He continues to cry.
You finally you pick him up.
What happens?
He stops crying.

Lessons learned:

1 - You may as well pick him up sooner rather than later so you don't go crazy.
2 - If I keep crying mommy will pick me up!

We never lose the trick we picked up in the crib.
Some of us have honed it into a skill that has sadly become a winning strategy by many politicians in DC.

It doesn't seem to matter how often their inconsistencies are pointed out or displayed by showing actual films on television.

Once a politician has told a lie their strategy is to deny the lie.
And then deny the lie.
After that they will then deny the lie.
In fact they will continue to deny the lie until you pick them up, which in their case means getting elected, re-elected.

From the wonderful state that brought you legal prostitution and slot machines (two different things) in 7-11 stores and restrooms comes that brightest of dullards Sue Lowden.  This Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin type brazenly stated on film over and over again that patients used to bring chickens as payment to doctors and that the system worked!  She now states that she never said it!

She is in the second trimester of denying.

This tactic is not only being used by being used by Senator-wannabes but by long seated Senators as well.

This week Republican John Boner reacted to the latest Republican to join the "Swaggert I have sinned against thee" glee club by taking the hypocritical oath of silence.  His silent denial would not be so bad had the same Boner not pulled a boner by insisting that we use every tool at our disposal when going after Democratic idiot Eric Massa.  Perhaps it is Boner who is the tool!

Here Boner pontificates while Mitch McConnell shows reporters the size of his tool.

The bottom line here is that so many hypocrites are in Federal; State and local Congresses that reports of obvious lies or sexual misconduct therein should no longer be considered news, breaking or otherwise.  Unfortunately if we threw all the bad seeds out we wouldn't have enough for a Minyan.

And if you are wondering what our politicians believe in don't waste your time.  At the end of their career in so-called public service the only conviction associated with many of them should be of the 'ten to twenty' variety.

The old adage about actions speaking louder than words is the only thing these hypocrites cannot deny.  This is why so many of our children in the crib that is Congress are not being picked up - We the voters are just plain tired of their crocodile tears.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cost of Leaving - Long Island that is

The Long Island Rail Road made some drastic cuts in service and schedule this week in order to close a huge budget deficit they caused by their own stupidity and horrible management.
Having said that (I hate that phrase) the time has come to attempt the needed fix and the easiest way to start that journey is on the backs of the ridership.
Regardless of which side of the tracks you live on having to fork up more cash for less service can easily derail a formerly good day.
Ultimately when a business of any kind needs to make more money they have two choices, cut costs or raise prices.
However for a service company such as the LIRR doing either goes directly to the bottom line, but doing both is like main-lining.
Luckily the geniuses at the LIRR have not gone whole hog switching over to a pari-mutuel system of charges like they do at another mismanaged government operation, the Off Track Betting Corporation, OTB.
Assuming a one-way ride from Babylon into Manhattan costs the railroad $10,000 (total fiction) and they wish to have a hefty profit of $5,000.  They charge the 1000 passengers on the train $15 each.
Now assume the same trip is made during a less crowded time period and only carries 500 passengers.  The railroad would have to charge each rider $30 to make the same amount.
Of course with my luck I’d be the only jerk on the train and be asked to fork over all $15,000 by myself.
You would sit in the waiting room at your local station waiting for a more crowded ride watching the odds change for an affordable trip into the Big Apple.
But the pricing schedule is far more complicated than that and includes all types of fares even ‘un’ ones.
The other side of the coin is that many of the cuts should have been made years ago.  Train schedules are not written in stone and should be altered with shifting ridership.  Someone at the LIRR was asleep at the switch.
Personally I rode on many trains where the workers outnumbered the passengers.
Of course the trains must get to the other end of the line in order to carry riders back.  The practice known as 'dead-heading' is used by the airlines.  Many trains will therefore be fairly empty but there are always alternatives.
Since they have similar problems the LIRR should take its cue from the Airline industry.  No I don’t want them to start charging for carry-on bags but they should utilize their hub at Jamaica a little better.
Having trains stop and turn around at that active station would create a sort of shuttle into Penn Station that could operate more frequently than the longer rides heading ‘out east.’
Many riders would complain that they had to get up or rather wake up in order to switch at Jamaica but they would get over the inconvenience when they realized the savings.
Before making any cuts the head of a company always says “Nobody wants to see anyone lose their job but…”  That is PC speak for, “We have to fire someone so I can keep making obscene amounts of money.”
Of course without knowing the exact amount of money the top people are pulling in at the LIRR or Metropolitan Transit Authority, MTA it is hard to rail against them.  But it is easy to realize that their salaries added to all the perks and benefits and healthcare and retirement incentives they receive make the job a very lucrative and desirable one.
Frankly they’re doing a heck of a job!
So isn’t it time they started to do better?
But the shame is when those at the top make all the wrong decisions it is the loyal workforce and customer that gets thrown under the bus, or train for that matter.
At the end of the day (I hate that phrase also) it is always the little guy that gets the raw deal, the wrong end of the stick, the higher priced ticket.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

1 Judge is too Left & 1 is too Right But This 1 is Just - Center?

Which is worse, too much information or a lack of same?
In the first case much has been said about the TMI syndrome where the public knows way too much about something or someone.  For example do we really need to know how many men some celebrity has slept with?  (Notice I left off the gender of the celebrity.)
But the other side of the coin (the Not Enough To Go On - or NETGO) is the ignorance factor that supposedly breeds fear and contempt.
So I guess the answer is it's in between both and that's too bad.
You see it's quite hard to reach a Goldilocks level of security in everything we do, know, and say.  Even beds are made with varying degrees of softnesses from side to side lest you think married couples are completely compatible in all things.
The upcoming circus known as the confirmation hearings for a new Supreme Court Justice will show the fallacy between the TMI & NETGO camps.
On the one hand there are the Republicans who will argue that they know nothing (well that part seems true) about nominee Elena Kagan and therefore cannot confirm her.  But since she has survived as a scholarly woman and head of Harvard and appeared before the Supreme Court on many occasions they may find it also hard to deny her.  So I guess as usual the Republicans can neither confirm nor deny.
But if the candidate had a large tome of easy to find opinions he or she would face a tremendous scrutiny and cross examination more fitting the trial of a mass murderer.
So what should we do?
In politics which of the strange bedfellows will be juuuust right?
The truth is neither.
As long as we have this increasingly partisan attitude in DC that has stymied progress both camps are right AND wrong.
We need to know a little about Ms. Kagan to understand if she will be capable of making fair and unbiased opinions based solely on the law of the land as set forth in the current configuration of our Constitution.  In other words can she set aside her personal feelings and rule impartially?
Can anyone?
It's a tough question that cannot be answered until all the results are in, in say 30 or 40 years.
Perhaps we should just place her on the bench and come back then to see if we wish still to confirm her.
Of course at that point if we don't like her legacy we would have to overturn all of her decisions.  Lawyers might like that guaranty of lifetime work but I'm not sure about the rest of us.
And it seems to me and any other truthful individual that our Senators do not want an unbiased judge.  They are always looking for someone to appoint to this lifetime post that will rule the way they would like them to for years to come!
Looking back through the ages our Supreme Court has been fairly good but no side would give them 100%.  And that's fine.  That's as it should be.
Remember you cannot please nor fool all of the people all of the time but it can be fun trying.  (Or as a somewhat less than articulate person once said, "Fool me once uh, uh shame on you.  Fool me twice uh, well uh shame uh you can't fool me again.)
So here's a bit of advice as might have been offered by Kipling:
If you can work within the framework of the law stating your opinions as to how you arrived at your decision clearly for all to see and understand;
If you can listen with an unbiased ear to all sides of an argument without any preconceived notions or prejudices;
If you can allow that others may not agree with you and still work with them to come away with a fair compromise;
If you can risk the wrath and ridicule of both the public and the Sunday funnies yet still rule with sane thought and clear eye toward society
Then yours is the future my friend and you will be a true Supreme Court Justice worthy of the respect of the likes of John Jay.
And in conclusion, do you think Senator McCain had a touch of buyers remorse after finding out where his choice for VP sat on the TMI vs. NETGO scale?