It’s hard to shut down the positronic brain at times and so I had a few musings that struck me last night as I drifted off to the Matrix to shoot at some recognizers.
|Mmmm, tasty. It’s menu item #34 on the Leaping Peacock’s menu|
Thought #1: Obama stepped in a deep pile of kimchee with that “you didn’t build it” quote. It’s out there and there’s no “walking it back” (see #2) nor did he try to in subsequent speeches and Jay “tapdance” Carney hasn’t either. Let’s put this simply – the “help” that President Obama (and before him, Elizabeth Warren) is referring to: education, infrastructure, national defense, etc. is provided to all Americans (and a number of illegal immigrants). While we can truly debate whether the federal government should provide all of these types of services, the fact is that current, it does. This is what is known as a level playing field. I can use the highway system just as much as any other person. The military, police and fire are providing me the same safety they provide others in my community – I’m no different and I don’t get any sort of priority or special handling when it comes to those services. Education may be slightly different. I started with public education back in the early 1970s but the hippie-esque “open classrooms” with 40 kids in it, no set curriculum and other factors caused my parents to (thankfully) move me into a parochial school that provided a more structured and disciplined education. I then went on to a private high school and it wasn’t until college did I move back into a public university (that continuously ranks in the top 10 in engineering). So while I had the same opportunity to take advantage of the common services, I didn’t (or rather my parents didn’t) and instead, their tax dollars that cover their portion of the public education system went to help cover others while they paid their own money to educate me. Regardless – it is a level playing field. And it should be. These are common services and resources provided by the government using OUR tax dollars for our benefit. What we do with them is what we bring to the table. So it’s a losing proposition to try to lay some sort of liberal guilt trip on the country and call for more contributions (forcibly taken via taxes) to the federal government because they succeeded.
Thought #2: “Walking it back” – this has to be one of the lamest phrases I’ve heard. The person said it. So either (a) they made a mistake and should admit it plainly and clear, (b) they just didn’t think before they spoke and don’t realize it or (c) they meant it at the time and then realize later that it doesn’t mesh with the popular thought amongst their constituency. This is what politics has evolved (devolved?) into? I wonder, at times, whether a plain, average guy or girl could jump into the political fray and how well that would go. Just stand up and say, “Hey, I’m a regular working schmoe and I’m not perfect, but I know how to lead people, listen and evaluate, answer a question, say what I mean and do I think is right, so vote for me.” Have we really overcomplicated matters that much?
Thought #3: If my hometown metropolitan area ever seriously considers putting in a bid to host the Olympics, I’m moving. I was very tangentially part of the early stages of Atlanta’s Olympic bid and preparation process. I saw and heard from friends in the city as the Olympics approached and took place some of the stories. Since then we’ve heard of a number of disastrous stories about how the cities and countries have fared with hosting the Olympics. Yes, it is quite an honor but I heard this morning that London is a mess: 3,000-5,000 security staff short (quite public, it explains the trending twitter tag #G4S), several venues not complete at 10 days out, two venues flooded with the rain, the weather isn’t helping (cool and rainy) to the point that they are considering a similar approach that the Chinese took of seeding the clouds to alter the rain, a Charlie-Foxtrot of a situation with traffic where Olympic buses with dedicated lanes are taking hours to travel along routes that should take 45 minutes possibly complicated with pissed-off taxi drivers who now can’t use the same restricted lanes as they once could. Economically, there isn’t a lot of positives for the host city in the long term. Short-term economic boosts occur and many Olympic organizing committees will report breaking even but the longer term public debt for the metropolitan area is usually negative.
That’s it for now, I might go join ‘Puter and the Czar at the Leaping Peacock for a bit of breakfast.