August 29, 2010

Are You Listening, America?

Until yesterday, I'd only heard of Glenn Beck in the most unflattering terms: a fear- and hate-mongerer and, my favorite, a racist.

Mr. Beck apparently is a commentator of some renown, or perhaps infamy. I try to avoid such media types; hardly ever listen to them. In my experience, they tend to value their own views very highly, and they generally seem to love their own voices. I'm painting with a broad brush here, but somehow they've become totally convinced their utterances are wisdom for the ages, and they're quite willing to share them with us.

(As you probably can tell, they're not all in the media. We all know one or two people whose views, in their own minds, are priceless.)
The Wife doesn't appreciate such commentators knowing just how to push my buttons. For some reason, she gets irritated when I talk back to the radio or moon the TV. So, I generally try to avoid such "pundits."

Nevertheless, yesterday I tuned in to C-Span's coverage of the "Restoring Honor" to America rally, mostly to see what the buzz was about. Depending on who did the counting, the gathering at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, drew fewer than 100,000 to about 500,000 in support of turning the nation back to God.

Beck's organization billed the rally as apolitical and non-confrontational. As far as I could tell, it was. However, since yesterday was on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the rally apparently chafed several self-styled national black leaders and their apologists in the media. The most-esteemed Rev. Al Sharpton organized his own march nearby to "truly observe" (my quotation marks) the speech anniversary.

Sharpton and others, not all black, predicted the rally would be little more than an evil, hate-filled gathering of politically conservative racists. I don't know where they got their crystal balls, but I hope they were under warranty. The rally was just as Beck's organization had billed it: an effort to challenge the average U.S. citizen to get his/her own heart right and turn back to civility, honor, service, and God. The critics who prematurally trashed the rally charged that its timing was an attempt to "hijack" the civil rights movement.

When I heard that, I would have laughed my butt off -- except that they were serious. As Beck has put it, the movement no more "belongs" to one group of Americans than Abe Lincoln belongs to another. Apparently, King's niece, Dr. Alveda King, agrees. As the head of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and founder of King for America, she spoke at the rally.

During the gathering, Beck honored several people of differing color for their selflessness, their charity and their commitment to service. And I don't recall any mention, negative or otherwise, of other organizations, gatherings or rallies. According to reports today, the day after the event, though that wasn't quite true for other gatherings.

I don't know what Glenn Beck has done in the past to create such animosity, and I don't much care. I am a staunch believer in free speech, even for those who spout what I consider tripe. I don't know if I am a fan of this guy or not. His faith and his commitment to it seem genuine enough.

What I do know is that yesterday, Beck urged you, me, the average U.S. citizen, to look beyond color, wealth, stature and return ourselves to honor. Do what God wants us to do, serve our brothers and sisters. Reestablish in each of our lives the values we have ignored or cast aside. Then, we can value our brothers and sisters.

Then, we can get together and fix was is broken in this nation of ours.

Beck, yesterday, hit a home run. God bless him! Let's see what happens now. Maybe, just maybe, this'll be the start of something really important to our nation. Maybe it won't. If not, well...

Maybe I'll just dance....

August 28, 2010

Here's Your Transparent Government....

This is the guy who argued against a proposal in the Senate that every senator agree to read the bill BEFORE he/she voted on it. Now you know why....

I've been watching and listening and reading...and incidents like this are still a mystery to me!

Why won't our elected officials wake up? Are they all that stupid, or does the circus that is our nation's capital make them that way? Or worse yet, do they take us all for fools?

The only explanation I can see is that we keep electing the extremely arrogant. Only someone like that, it seems, could hide the vacuousness that pops out only after they're office?

Take the good senator from Montana, Max Baucus, in the clip above. Can you believe this guy? If you strip all the stumbling and backpedaling and fumbling around from his reply, what you get is, "No!" He didn't read the bill. What's more, he acted surprised that the lady who raised the question had the brass to even ask!

I believe even someone with the I.Q. of a potato would have the brains to ask his staff of "experts" to prepare a one-to-three-page summary of the law's contents. I'll bet even yet he doesn't know what's in it!

Now, I know, it may seem as if I am sharpshooting Mr. Baucus, especially if you're a yellow-dog Democrat, an Obama disciple, or perhaps even a Montanan. But I assure you, I have nothing against the good senator, except that he is a career politician. He's just a convenient example.

And you know what? You don't have to be on one side of the Obamacare question or the other to be, to borrow from Elmer Fudd, "vewwy, vewwy afwaid!" Baucus is far from the only shameless, even arrogant, ignoramus in Washington. For years, even decades, the Hallowed Halls of Congress has been infested with them. And that makes me vewwy, vewwy afwaid.

I'd bet my ol' dog Spot that Baucus ain't the only congressman who doesn't know the contents of legislation he/she supports. And that turkey about how impossible it is to personally read each and every bill that comes across one of 'em's desk just doesn't fly. For what do those folk think we send them to D.C? To play with their faces? 

Contrary to what many of them come to believe, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, plus exotic "fact-finding" junkets on John Q's dime, is NOT in their job descriptions. Knowing what's what, and what that might bring, IS their job! Are they doing it? Obviously, not well enough, if at all.

Our Founding Fathers wanted no part of government run by professional politicians. They envisioned a nation, literally, "by" and "of the People." Made up of common citizens elected by their peers who would gather at regular intervals, conduct the country's business; then, go home.

Many of this nation's founders, George Washington among them, believed professional officeholders (read "politicians") would bring about a ruling class. So, what do we have today?

We have sons and daughters of senators and congressmen, even state governors and others, all but inheriting public office from a parent. We have public officials who know nothing about working in a real, everyday job; who know nothing about earning a wage, making a mortgage payment, financing a car or paying for a child's college -- and doing it all WITHOUT help from special perks.

We have done this to ourselves! We the People are to blame for the incompetence. We the People put them into office based on how glib they are, how photogenic they are and based on promises they make. Promises, if we stop to think, we KNOW won't be kept! We the People put into our nation's top positions individuals such as these with whom I would not want my children to be friends.

And that, my brothers and sisters, is a vewwy, vewwy sad state of affaiws, indeed. May we begin changing that come November!

Or, maybe, we'll all just dance....