July 18, 2009
July 8, 2009
July 6, 2009
July 6, 2009
Somewhere, someone wrote about Europe of a thousand flags. Cannot, for the life of me, track down where such a phrase came from. The point is immaterial, the reason I bring it up is in reference to D’s last post. The phrase refers to the past, when local dukedoms, free towns, monarchies, democratic villages, and city-states were the general tone of Europe. Before the monarchies and (later) republics began to amalgamate such self-ruling localities into dependent provinces.
In response to D’s exit question: so long as the populace is complacent in accepting the “glitz and glam” of D.C. and ignoring the “pettiness” of their state government (to say nothing of their county and city), then no, such Senators are immune. If, however, we can revive that wonderful and peculiar love of a specific place (e.g. your neighborhood), then perhaps such senators would be under a popular recall so fast, they would get whiplash from the plane trip home.
Perhaps the way forward is rekindle the pride and love of local places. Our European ancestors often took surnames based on their ancestral village. Our American forefathers were adamant about being first Virginians and only then Americans. The reason is because Virginia, or better yet, Richmond, is real. That is, a man can look around and build up Virginia, if only by building up his home, his business or trade, his neighborhood, and city. If a horde of West Virginians were to suddenly march against Richmond (a la Napoleon of Notting Hill), Richmond is defensible. America is a castle in the sky.
America, in this regards, is a hazy abstraction and a collection. Until we realize that what is real in our everyday lives (keeping our eyes, for the moment, on the immanent side of things) is that which we can touch, see, and effect. America, as such, is well represented by the fireworks many of us witnessed this weekend. It is a grand show: written across the sky in brilliant colors and thunderous claps. But what is real is the people we witness the pyrotechnics with, the field in which we sit, the family and friends we love, and the city (be it a village of 100 or a city of 100,000) around us.
America is a hypothesis. It is a grand experiment, for sure, and I do not denigrate it as such. What I mean to point out is, quite simply what matters in our everyday lives is the local scene where we spend 95% of our time. In that regards, why do not we as a citizenry begin to demand our local government (primarily the State, as cities and counties derive their authority from there) to take up responsibility and shrug off the behemoth of the national government, except where it is needed? In that same light, when do we as a citizenry (emphatically NOT consumers) begin to support our local businesses over and above the corpulent corporations?
California is real. If it accepts a federal bail-out, then it will lose any remaining truth and pretense of being governed by Californians. It will fall to the degraded status as a mere province of D.C.
I entitled this post America of 51 flags (Porto Rico- run!). Perhaps what I really meant was America of 3192 flags.
July 5, 2009
There have been a few times in my life when I realized that everything I knew was wrong. Like when I realized that the Republican party isn’t the answer to every political problem. Or when it hit me that God wouldn’t push me into my vocation since the greatness of a vocation is my free will choosing God’s will. That not all nuns line up in the spirit of the convent from the Sound of Music. Each of these instances, though mournful at the loss of simplicity, broadened my view of reality.
And the United States Government cannot continue to operate as a host for 50 state-sized parasites.
These roles have been proposed by Washington and accepted by states over many years through the passing of funds from one to the other. Shorthand: In a state-run America, how is it that the universal drinking age is 21 years? Within 50 different state governments, one would expect at least one outlier – unless a universal system has been put in place by a larger entity (see: Federal Government) through strings attached to highway funding.
Through these deals the Congressmen and Senators in Washington circumvent the local governments that they represent and have traded the potentially difficult path of legitimate legislation for the easy path of state manipulation. A state government is comprised of elected representatives to make laws, but a Senator in Washington can vote for legislation that effectively undercuts the entire elected system of the state. Far fringe rumblings are continually concerned about the creation of a North American Union (Canexica, MexAmeriDa… whatever), but is the state/Federal Government relationship being being strongarmed into a further microcosm of such a union?
I never thought that Star Wars would scare me. I used to just see sci-fi… now it’s Pelosi, Reid, Biden, Clinton, et al:
Exit Question: If a Senator proposes legislation that cuts his own state government out of the issue at hand, should he be a viable candidate for reelection?