People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Gov't Run Amok

One could argue that the federal government has a role in the education of our youth.  We'd disagree but one could certainly make that argument.  That same person, therefore, could argue just as righteously that the federal government is spending our hard-earned income wisely by funding an agency that supervises a "teacher quality" program.

A noble venture.  And they print the money so money's no object.

But make this argument, if you dare: The federal government is spending our hard-earned income wisely by funding ten federal bureaucracies that oversee eighty-two "teacher quality" programs.

You can't.  It's indefensible.  It's waste on a monumental scale.  It's our government doing what it does.

The worst part?

Until the GAO did its study and the shocking findings were revealed, nobody in the United States government - either in the legislative or executive branch - knew how out-of-control this situation is.  Nobody.

That's what spending $3,830,000,000,000 in one year will bring.

Absolute chaos.

Incomprehensible chaos.

And waste beyond anyone's imagination.

What to do?

Some would argue that we need to scrap the damn thing and start over.  Some would have a legitimate argument to make.

The New Civility

Ever remember reading a headline like this when those maniacal Tea Party reactionaries gathered to protest?

Of course you didn't. It never happened.  Union thugs weren't involved.

A question: Should the state of Wisconsin sue AFSCME, the SEIU, and WSEU for damages?

The New Civility II

Another story from today's headlines that doesn't involve the Tea Party:

Expect Obama to release a statement about the rising tide of vitriol and hatred any day now.

But That's How It's Supposed To Work

Since time immemorial citizens of the United States have approached their Congressional representatives and sought funds for their personal and/or corporate projects. Those congresspersons would then deem those projects either (a) funding-worthy or (b) a good opportunity to get reelected. And they'd turn around and "lobby" the executive branch of government for an appropriation.

It always worked that way in part because the executive branch of the federal government employs all the experts. Requests submitted, studies drawn, evaluations made, projects voted up or down based on merit, cost-effectiveness, cash-on-hand, and achievability (yes, and based on political pressures), and funds duly allocated.

So why is this news so startling?
House appropriator: We know how to get around earmark ban
By Daniel Strauss, The Hill

A House Democrat indicated Thursday that lawmakers are getting around the new ban on earmarks by convincing Obama administration officials to fund their pet projects.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), an appropriator, made the remarks during an appearance on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program.

In response to a question about whether earmark bans have "curtailed" the Appropriations Committee's power, Moran responded, "No, and I have to say — and I'm going to be as candid as possible — the appropriators are going to be okay because we know people in agencies and so on. We will continue to do the best job we can for the country and to some extent for our congressional districts because that's our job as well." [link]
Sure, I have trouble - as most Americans do - with getting beyond the fact that Jim Moran is a detestable creature who should be cleaning rest area toilets along I-66 rather than holding the prestigious position he does.

But he's right.  Got a need?  A great idea?  Take it to your congressperson.  He or she can pass it along to the executive branch of our government with a recommendation.  Funding can be secured.  You're off and running.

That's something new?

Guess what?  That's the way it's been done since 1789.  And it always worked.

Quote of the Day

You'll have to read the story to get it.
You can't be too careful. Your average middle school, high school, or college can expect to see an on-campus shooting about once every 12,000 years. If Southhampton Middle School hasn't had at least one shooting since 10,000 B.C., they're really just on borrowed time.
As Mayor Bloomberg might hector: Once every 12,000 years is unacceptable.  We need more gun laws!

They See What They Want To See

Let it be stipulated:

1) The planet's temperature, as best anyone can guess, has not increased at all this century.

2) Over the last several decades, that global temperature, as best anyone can guess, has gone up an alarming imperceptible 0.2°.

But still, to those prone to wake up each morning and see the rising sun as being a portent of doom, that's enough to make them cough up prognostications that are - to those of us in the real world - absolutely foolish.

Today's offering:

See (1) and (2).

One can only hope that there is treatment for whatever it is that afflicts these people.