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Thursday, November 4, 2010

From Amateurs To Pros ...

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We are where we are, but not so sure where that is ... nor how to get where we want to be, should this not be it. ... may seem familiar as that's how I've started several similar pieces over the years, the first back early in 2006. We interrupt this program ...
2010 Election Results
Based on initial reports, the Republican Party made significant gains across the board, expecting to hold the Executive power in at least 30 states. At the national level, they appear to have won 23 0f the 34 Senate seats being contested ... while obtaining control of the House 239 - 185.
Thus, we applaud the outcome for nonpolitical reasons ... our all powerful political party system totally undermines the intended "Checks and Balances" underpinning our Constitution, so that when both legislative houses and the executive power are under the control of the same party, the intended safeguards against abuse are effectively nonexistent.
Oklahoma Ballot Questions Pass!
It is noteworthy that Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly passed three ballot questions - one makes English the state's "common and unifying language," a second requires voters to have government-issued photo IDs, and a third prohibits state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.
I agree the with first, as would Teddy Roosevelt ...problem is, most folks can't speak English ... only American; poorly. The second should be the law of the land! However, I believe that jurisprudence would be best served if circumstances were allowed to dictate evidence admissibility, not the people ... provided they have the right to hold the presiding jurists duly accountable. Them's just my views ... what say ye?
For new visitors and them what may have been asleep at the switch or just plain forgot ... we started out as "The Old Barbershop" back in April of 2008 after sja had bought the place and hired me on as helper. A series of snafus forced the change from "The Old" to "Ye Olde" ... but it's still the same barbershop!
Turned out it had first opened back in 410 BC, by the founder of the Democratic Party ... barber named Democritus. Socrates later acquired it, took Plato on as a helper, who later turned it into a Barbering School, known far and wide as Plato's Place.
While cleaning up the Shop, we stumbled upon an old ... ancient sign in Greek that Plato hung up in the shop, back when it first opened, methinks ... translated, the sign reads "Let no unfair or unjust person enter" ... and we've adopted that as our own.
The Shop's current focus is what was first envisioned for our "Nonpolitical Politics" Special Feature ... but limited resources and my Miss Carol's illness caused a detour on the way to the Forum. History and Politics were her passionate loves ... mine too, as result of osmosis. She was truly expert in both areas, her dual undergraduate majors ... unfortunately, osmosis left the building with her, leaving me with but passion and uninformed opinions.
The original foundation piece for "NonPoliticial Politics" too, has left the building ... this is its intended replacement.
The game's afoot ...
Politics challenges prostitution for longevity ... and will always be with us. That's not all bad, for we can't all be of the same mind, and it takes compromise to deal with the many issues which we're continuously facing.
Not long ago, just a little over 200 years, our country was born and with it came a novel idea ... a democratic republican form of government, if you'll pardon the expression.
Perhaps democracies can work well in very small communities where the people have similar, vested interests and the time to be actively involved in deciding the issues confronting them ... but they fail miserably in larger or complex communities.

Nothing really new about that ... but, Delaware having an equal voice with New York ... that's something else again!

I don't know how it happened that we were so fortunate as to have such a fantastic group of folks as what brought our country into existence and formulated our government ... passionate patriots, virtuous ... devout, thoughtful and dedicated in their benevolence. It's a long list, so too is that of those who have built upon their efforts.

No reason to really dot those eyes or cross those tees but if we are to assess where we are, we should give some thought as to from whence we started and how we got here, methinks. I think the foundation upon which everything was built was the notion behind our state legislatures and ultimately our House of Representatives ... having our own representative from back home ... one of us ... one we know and trust ... one we have selected for their integrity and judgment, and upon whom we can rely to do what is in our best interests. Our job is to select them and hold them directly accountable ... we have neither the time nor the resources to keep up with all that's going on ... that's their job!

That's the notion, and it extended beyond that ... we used it in other forms ... perhaps most noteworthy being the election of delegations sent to the national political conventions to select those who would lead their respective parties in the national elections and decide upon the party's political platform.

That gradually changed over the years and in recent times, the selection of candidates has become a well orchestrated series of scheduled media events ... popularity contests controlled by special interest groups ... most notably, the Media, Party power brokers and the offices of the would be candidates. They would have us believe that we're more directly involved in the process ... have a more powerful voice.

Nothing could be further from the truth ... the system is as totally flawed as it is controlled ... we no longer have an effective voice. Even were that not the case, it violates many of the principles upon which we were founded ... something of which they're well aware ... but they do it, because they can, and because it serves their purposes.

Certainly the playing field is not level ... not when you consider that the candidates for whom we're given the opportunity to vote generally depends upon our state's positioning in the "Schedule of Media Events" ... that as they proceed through the schedule, we are directly influenced by the results of previous events, and in some cases, the final outcome is determined before some events are held.

They are mass marketing masters, playing upon our egos ... we're not being asked to select one of our own ... one we know well and trust for their integrity and judgment, and upon whom we can rely to do what is in our best interests. They want us to select one from a group of outsiders that of which we know little or nothing, 'cept what they, themselves, want us to know.

I place stock in Daddy's caution, first heard over 65 years ago ... "You can't tell much of anything about a man from his memorized spiel and how well it's delivered" ... and that especially applies to them what would be king, including the spiels of those in his Court.

I support both Democrats and Republicans ... just strongly oppose the all powerful Political Party Unions to which they pay homage, but until we can eliminate or neutralize them, I would hope that we would strive to have the system changed so that our role would be one of selecting delegates to the convention, trusting them to represent us well, rather than to continue with the current process.

I believe that the most often overlooked, always underrated, element in our system of intended checks and balances is the people ... if we will but actively participate and elect virtuous folks at the local level; folks we well know and respect ... for their integrity, prudence, frugality, benevolence, and wisdom ... then the political food chain would soon be filled with virtuous folks. We could then safely rely upon our representatives to the rest, save one responsibility ... we must hold our elected representative directly and strictly accountable for their performance.

Achieving perfection, with everyone performing their duty, may be beyond our reach but the rewards will be great if we can but progress in that direction ... better government, recovery of lost freedoms and the safeguarding of those we still have!

My guess is that of the two, most consider adequate balances as the more important ... they already have plenty of checks!

Without question, the midwives what helped birth our nation strived for an effective system of proper checks and balances ... the President needed the advice and consent of the Senate, which also provided a check on the House. The President's veto power served as a partial check on the Congress ... partial, since the veto can be overridden. The system of checks on the Supreme Court needs revisiting but it is for good reason protected from the whims of the other branches and the people; subject only to impeachment.

No, I'm not sure where we are, but I'm of the opinion that most of the reasons for our being here can be attributed to a departure from the principles upon which we were birthed, including a strong belief in God and our dependency upon his guidance ... and we are indebted as well to too much control of the mechanism by the media and the judicial branch; neither of which have proper checks or balances.

If we have lost our way and this isn't where we want to be, I believe we can turn this vehicle around by returning to those very same time proven and ageless principles.

Non-Political Politics?

Well, following the recent elections, I was taken aback with the journalistic posture that the "Republicans" were out of step ... and constituted a shrinking minority, not to mention the Whigs. Heard the same thing about the "Democrats" just a few years back.

Democrats, Republicans ... Liberals, Conservatives ... forget them names, they don't mean squat!

The Liberals have some good ideas ... as do the Conservatives ... and they're both impassioned. The problem is that they seem to fear and hate each other ... they simply don't trust one another and spend their time preaching to their respective choirs. What's needed is to find common ground that we can all support ... what's needed are statesmen and patriots rather than professional politicians.

It seems that when one side comes to power, they spend much of their time and energy attempting to undo what the other side did ... and as a result, we always have a convoluted mess with very little of consequence ever getting done ... one of the important reasons for opposing political parties.
For the benefit of the Doubting Thomases, I suggest that the notion of bailouts is proof positive that our society and our government are permeated with corruption ... forget if you must, the obscene monies and great imposition placed upon the people ... you need but to consider just the notion.
The need for bailouts are a long time in their coming ... had either the involved companies or the government properly attended their duties, there would be no need for such bailouts. Those involved are victims of their own abuses, mismanagement and malpractices ... the importance of industries qualifying for such special treatment demands that our government maintain a watchful regulatory eye to assure that standards are set and being met ... and for that, our governors must be held strictly accountable, for it is their negligence in the performance of their duties that is directly responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars being imposed upon the people.
The notion that the senior management of the involved companies should be allowed to continue under any circumstance further suggests governmental corruption ... that the ownership of the involved companies would even consider allowing it, is proof positive of their corruption, as is indeed the notion that bailout monies be used to pay bonuses and increase salaries. That the government would not anticipate such abuse and effect appropriate safeguards should be grounds for impeachment.
Instead of condemning them for what they are, bailouts are presented as a good thing ... a stimulus with everyone benefiting and getting their share.

We may find ourselves in one shrinking minority or another but my guess is that we still have a majority of folks in this country who share a common set of core values that transcend the traditional politics ... most of us want the same things, same but different ... and down deep, most believe that both the means and the end are important.
My guess is that most of us still oppose little boys and girls carrying deadly weapons to school ... big boys and girls too! My guess is that most of us still oppose the distribution of illegal drugs and pornography to our youngsters ... my goodness, to folks of any age! My guess is that most of us understand that our economic system must be predicated on some redistribution of wealth since there are more and more mouths to feed, but oppose policies that engender inflation where what a fellow manages to save during his productive years ain't enough to keep a body alive when he retires.
Cost me less than $2 to enjoy a baseball game with good seats, and all I wanted to eat, when I was a kid ... a very nice home was under $20,000, a fancy new car less than two. Guess they just print it when they need it ... we would go to jail if caught so doing! My guess is that most oppose wrongdoers going unpunished because of technicalities.
My guess is too that most of us share common beliefs relative to morality, propriety and proper codes of conduct.
The point is that my guess is that most of us still support a whole bunch of stuff what ain't ... and still oppose a whole bunch of stuff what is. What's more, nothing much is being done about it ... unthinkable! Common ground! I guess we simply get used to things as they are or ain't ... can't do much about it no ways.
Well, I don't buy that ... what if them boys back in 1776 had felt that way?! Those idiots imposed a "unanimous agreement" constraint upon themselves ... rather than a simple or two-thirds majority ... unbelievable! And having overcome that impossible task, took on the mighty British, seemingly without a chance.
Our four fathers may have been brilliant, well educated men ... but thank goodness, they could spell neither apathy nor fear! Like Franklin said to Adams, "it don't hurt none to try, John" ... my guess anyways! I'm with Dr, Ben ... what say Ye?
Harry Truman rose to the occasion, surprised most everybody and gave 'em Hell when he unexpectedly found himself in a difficult situation ... we can too!

To minimize spam and facilitate discussion, we have created our own GDAs ..."General Discussion Areas" ... where we hope everyone will leave their comments and enter into the discussions. The entrances are located in the sidebars, next to the currently featured posts ... but some posts have embedded buttons Miss Maudethat will take you directly inside!
For those with Blogger Sites who like our fare and would like to help promote the Shop ... you'll find our Marquee Widget in the Shop's Sidebar, available for easy installation.
Please note that I have me own brand of multipage posts ... don't be among the many who miss the paging buttons located at the top and bottom right of each multipage post. pages 1 2 3 4

To help get things started, the Shop's recent focus has been on our beginnings ... a tour with John Adams and his friends ... our last seven featured posts. Hopefully they will serve us well ... I've learned much, and it's been fun.
  • Chamberlain's Hangover
  • Parties ...
  • Thoughts ... John Adams
  • By Virtue Of ...
  • The Genius of Genius
  • Grosvenor Square, London ...
  • John Adams - Constitutional Midwife

Well, that's where we are, pretty much ... for those who haven't, we hope you'll please take the time to read, ponder, consider and evaluate these pieces, not forgetting that many have multiple pages ... it's the essence, not me words or style, what's really important, but I'd still be much obliged for suggestions as to how they can be improved. Together, we'll figure out where we are ... where we want to go, and how we might best go about getting there!
Let's start by remembering that political correctness is political ... so forgetting it is a good thing to remember, and a good place to start! Let's develop a list of things that shouldn't be political but are, or so seem ... as they will become part of our foundation, our guide to finding Common ground!
Remember too ... it's important that we not fall into the trap of falling in love with our own beliefs on specific issues to the point that we judge others, based on theirs, relative to our own. Those who so do, will succeed only in gaining approval from their respective choirs, and make little progress toward increasing the size of the Church. Though our founding patriot fathers imposed a condition of unanimity on their declaration of independence, there was sincere and passionate disagreement on most of the issues, with many differing views frequently being represented. This was especially true at the Constitutional Convention.
They had the distinct advantage of having had their freedoms overtly taken away by an external tyrant ... made obvious by folks in bright red coats running around with guns, but still, many saw the situation as hopeless and rationalized against taking action. Our tyrants are neither external nor overt ... making it far more difficult, methinks, to broaden the awareness of these threats to our freedoms and gain broad based support for efforts to right the wrongs and restore the integrity of the principles upon which our government is intended to be based.
My opines and posits are but ideas to be considered ... no pride of authorship. Indeed, let them be but our initial store of seeds which, through honest discussion, we can either transform and cultivate into fruit or discard as being unworthy. If we will all submit our seeds, ain't no telling what kind of fruit and pies we'll have to present to judges at the county fair, but my guess is we'll bring home a whole bunch of blue ribbons!
Ronald Reagan got real upset and serious about politics when he heard that a judge had dismissed the charges against a man charged with DUI because he was too drunk to understand his rights being read to him ... and look where it took him!
Reagan, not the drunk ...
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