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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ruminations from the Void

From time to time here at Sam’s Taste of Chaos, I will post my current thinking on anything and everything.  It will simply be a collection of whatever random, often trivial thoughts are flying through my head.  Imagine it as cutting my skull open, turning it upside down and shaking it to see what falls out.  I can’t think of any particular reason why this should be interesting for anyone, but to paraphrase my favorite poet, mine not to reason why; mine but to do and to write.  So into the void we ride.

Minute to Win It - I was exposed to this show last night and now I fear for our nation’s ability to Win the Future™.  It was two hours of watching two girls compete in the type of backyard/church basement activities we would do when I was a kid.  That’s two hours of a national TV audience on a big three network watching two girls carry an egg on a tray, blowing ping pong balls off a pizza pan and trying to roll quarters into the tines of a fork.  (In my defense, we were at the neighbors for dinner.  At home we had the ABC and FOX lineups recording to the DVR.) (No, I still don’t know if that’s good, but it definitely makes me feel better.)

My alarm did not function properly this morning, so I went off to work without my coffee.  Keep this in mind as you read.

Children are off school today again (Note: be sure to read my post from yesterday – I Give Up, Al Gore! Now Make it Stop Snowing).   Cabin fever has set in at our home, so we are leaving town for a couple of days.  No real agenda; just tired of kids sitting in the same room for hours on end. (Indoor pool and hot tub are beckoning)

I’m a union officer with the Laborers. I represent workers at a mining/manufacturing plant.  Teamsters’ President, Jimmy Hoffa has a piece today defending public unions.  But even I am put off by the public unions.  My job is to leverage our workers’ rights with the private owner’s rights; even there, our stake is disproportionate.  But the public union workers as voters are part of the electorate and have de facto authority over ‘ownership’; in effect placing them on both sides of the bargaining table.

On the same topic, Right to Work is being debated in the Missouri legislature.  In my opinion, until we can enforce our borders against illegal immigration, this is a discussion to be put off to another day.  States have been flooded by illegals following RTW implementation.  In addition, the state should try to attract new businesses in ways that do not punish Missouri's current businesses which RTW would do.  Let’s evaluate our tax structure first.  Illinois has opened the flood gates by raising taxes.  Missouri can do its part to reap the rewards by lowering the cost for all businesses through lower taxes.  Several versions of a bill to eliminate the income tax through revision of the sales tax are on the table.  We should act now.

I’ll try to finish off my (starting to seem a bit creepy) obsession with Reagan on a lighter note.  If you have read the graphic novel Watchmen you know that in extending Nixon’s presidency into the 80’s, Reagan’s disappears from history.  The author Alan Moore, a terrific writer, wanted to write an anti-Reaganism story.  But he unknowingly, did the opposite.  Without Reagan, the only hope for averting a nuclear holocaust was having the smartest man on earth manufacture a perceived alien attack, with mass destruction and wide-scale death, in order to bring foes together against this unified threat.  Would I prefer that a hero might never be needed? Sure.  Unfortunately, events had degraded America to the point that finding one was imperative.  President Reagan was that hero.  The story was written in 1986, so Moore can be forgiven for being on the wrong side of history.  But why are so many still under the misconception that this Watchmen’s truth is still validated?

As to the underlying basis for it's title, the Watchmen rings true today.  We can give the government control over our healthcare, our businesses, our economy, our education, even our lives; but who watches the watchmen?  The beauty of America is that we, the people; each of us hold the keys to our own fate.  We write our own story and follow our own path.  The miracle of America is that we rise above our mortal failings as a people because no one is indispensable, yet none are unimportant.  As Dr. Manhattan found,

"But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another's vantage point, as if new, it may still take our breath away."

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