The comments and actions or inactions of the politicians provide plenty of fodder for the inquiring mind…..
Those on the Right generally bemoan the level of regulation of business and even private affairs and those on the Left defend each of them and call for even more regulations for ever perceived problem whether real or only imagined. A few facts might be helpful in determining the level of regulations we face in the US now. If you are a big bank then you are subject to the regulations and injunctions of–the SEC, the FDIC, Office of the Comptroller, the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the new committee under the Dodd-Frank law and that leaves out the other government agencies like EEOC, OSHA, the NLRB, the Commerce department and even the EPA and of course the IRS. Those are the ones that come to mind much less those other arcane Federal entities that have a hand in regulation we can’t think of now. You think that is enough regulation?
Does anyone anywhere anymore take a few two by fours and old apple crate and wheels from an old pair of roller skates and make a small derby car for their three or four year-old? It really isn’t that hard and it is a great Saturday project for Dad and his son. Try it sometime and you learn something about yourself.
France has historically prided itself on a vigorous protection of individual rights including the right of free speech similar to our own. Just this week they made another arrest for an alleged criminal violation because of speech. It involves a Norwegian fellow that supposedly made “aggressive racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic remarks on the internet. Let’s assume that what he wrote was indeed very vile, nasty and offensive. But the West has become so addicted to the notion of political correctness that we are intruding on the right to free speech. After all if I restrict what you say then you may be able to restrict what I say. And like art much of the offensive language is in the eyes of the beholder. Even if the comments are outright racist do we really want the Government to impinge in any degree on our comments? After all we allow the most vile images in the art world that are grossly offensive such as a crucifix in a bottle of urine in the art gallaries as an expression of free speech but someone is not allowed to vent against another group he finds abhorrent. Let all the ideas have free license in the marketplace of ideas however repugnant. We have faith that ultimately the better thoughts and arguments will prevail among a free people. You have a right to despise red-headed, one -legged Irishmen and call for their deportation through new legislation. It might be an awful idea and even silly but free speech is all or control by the State, there is no middle ground. Free speech rights are a zero sum game either you have them are they are regulated which means you have only the free speech rights allowed by those in power.
Politicians will, when convenient, deny that the Sun rises in the East. Witnesses Jay Carney’s recent statement this week that there is no evidence that Obamacare is slowing or impeding hiring in the US. What is so sad is that there will be millions out there that will hear that and shake their heads up and down in agreement. That statement has as much truth as the assertion of the guy in the White House a couple of years ago that passage of Obamacare would save the average American family $2500.00 a year. Some still believe that even in face of revised health insurance premium statements moving up.
I was blessed with a great mom. She was full of energy and had a true joie du vivre and watched over me and my brother. Yet by today’s standards she would probably be brought up before the child welfare services. When I was about 11 or 12 we lived in a neighborhood that was still open land in many areas as the building bo0m after the War continued to fill in the vacant areas. My friend had some horses about a mile from our house. On many occasions my mom would let me and my friend go to the corral alone. We would saddle the horses, bridle them and then go riding for an hour or so in the woods, creek bottoms and fields still extant in the neighborhood and then undue everything and stall the horses and come home. Horses for you city slickers can be dangerous. When a 1000 pound animal decides to do something he will regardless of what you want him to do. I fell off a few times and was thrown off a few times. Got some bruises and bumps but no broken bones and don’t think it lowered my IQ, but others may disagree about that. It was a lesson in learning to handle freedom and the responsibility that goes with it. You may think I am a bad seed to rat out mom now but the statute of limitations has long since run.
Poor Walt Disney must be spinning in his grave. First it was John Carter a couple years ago and now it is the Lone Ranger. He knew it was best to tell a fun and interesting story and stay away from silly social issues of the day. People always like a great story told and shown with verve but a significant part of any potential audience will rebel against a propagandist vent unless it is totally patriotic. You might disagree but the ticket sales speak for themselves.
Best cartoonist ever?….without a doubt this vote goes to Bill Mauldin and his Willy and Joe series from WWII. If you’ve never seen them you really should. He had a deft touch about the average Joe and his worries and hopes and helped everyone truly appreciate the little joys in life.
“Where the people possess no authority, their rights obtain no respect.” Geo. Bancroft, American historian. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com