Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Political Musings

I've been piling these up for a few days. Today, they had to burst forth.

1. Government Accountability Office finds duplicate programs. A rider to a bill passed last year requires the GAO to do an annual audit. The first one was released yesterday and found massive duplication of efforts among different government departments. For example, 15 different agencies oversee food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs help the homeless and 80 programs provide for economic development. Do you think if we removed some of the bloat from the Federal government, we might be able to pay down the debt? I wish the voting public would stand on its hind legs and howl about this waste. I know my tax dollars would go further if we didn't have 80 programs for economic development. Maybe this is something the tea partiers should get behind. More money, small government. Seems like it would fit into that group's stated goals.

2. Sitting in at the Wisconsin state house. Shades of the '60s when concerned citizens blocked access to government buildings to get their points of view across to their elected officials. This is democracy at work. Peaceful protests of serious issues, no National Guard called out (yet) to remove people, and a group of elected officials hiding in an adjacent state. A different kind of March Madness continues. Let it be a lesson to the countries looking for democracy. Democracy's messy and not always quick, but it's a better form of government than revolution.

3. And speaking of revolution, what about the madman in Libya? Gadhafi says his people love him and will fight to their last bullet. Maybe, but he reminds me of the Iraqi who was standing in front of television cameras telling his people that Iraq had not fallen. And the tanks were rumbling down the highway behind him. Regardless of what we think aobut Gadhafi, his people don't deserve what he's doing to them. Unfortunately, after the fall may come a void into which who knows what will pour. We can only hope that calmer and wiser heads will prevail when Gadhafi falls. And he will fall. He can't continue slaughtering his own people without them getting sick and tired of it. And then, his promise to die on Libyan soil could come true.

Enough ranting.

2 comments:

Austin James said...

It really is great to see peaceful protests where people don't bring guns to intimidate or protect themselves... I totally agree with you that democracy can be a messy thing - and were lucky to have it.

I'm actually really optimistic about the middle east. I think we are witnessing the same kind of revolution that happened in the late 1700's in the western world. Some of them will succeed more than others, but overall, things will be better off. Even the french revolution failed in the short term - but it's positive effects are still felt today.

Betsy Ashton said...

I agree, Austin. I think the activities in the Middle East hold great hope for the people. If they can only be patient, they can move from subjects to citizens, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities democracy requires. I wish them all luck.