2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our blog.  Since we would have no readers if it was not for all of you that either subscribe directly or through our mail list, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, OpenSalon.com, or California Political Review. We want to take a moment to share with you our success for this year and to thank you for reading what we put out there.

I also want to personally thank all of you for the retweets, likes, and comments.  Because of your retweets and recommendations we know have almost 5,000 twitter followers and equal growth on Facebook. Continue reading

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Eye of the Beholder: Me and my Arrow!

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder

It was Lew Wallace (1827-1905) who said, “Beauty is altogether in the eye of the beholder.”

Since I began getting involved in Washington, DC with the debate over healthcare reform a number of years ago, I have wondered more and more about how we have arrived at such a place that every issue, every decision, every need is met with such partisan, fractional, divisive and inflammatory rhetoric. Today it seems that there are no discussions on any issue that doesn’t revert to, “they said this, and what they really mean, is that.”  Or, you can hear a statement from one side or the other to the effect that, “It’s clear that their agenda is to do X, Y or Z to harm us.” Any, and all, of these statements amount to “doodly squat” as Granny Hawkins would say! – a prize to anyone who knows this reference — without using the internet!

Spin is not a new concept

Nothing related to any issue facing our national interest today is devoid of some spin to gain advantage on some other tangential issue–related or not.  Not to pick on any one side, or the other, but how often do we now hear the phrase, unfortunately most recently attributed to Rahm Emmanuel, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  Or to be fair, the statement by Senator McConnell that the prime goal of republicans is to defeat the president. If you think Mr. Emmanuel or Mr. McConnell are the first to utter these kinds of ideas, that they meant them completely literally, or that it is not a practice by each side of the political aisle, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I am willing to sell you; if you can convince me you deserve it!

If you think hyper-partisanship and gridlock are new I again encourage readers to go to Google Books and look up some of the old papers from the late 1800s and early 1900s and read what was going on then. There are surprising similarities.

Agenda based legislation now the norm

During the drive for healthcare reform there were a series of changes to the goals of the legislation that occurred as the process spread to one committee after another.  Senator Kennedy began the current process of healthcare reform in the wake of the disastrous attempt during the Clinton administration.  The bill that he authored just prior to his death was the result of his long-term attempt to find some legislation that would be acceptable to people on both sides and improve the healthcare system.  The HELP bill, while clearly not likely to have conservatives jump up and proclaim it a triumph of modern legislation, was still a bill that he clearly had worked hard on to find areas of support from his political opponents and an honest attempt  to find methods to improve the healthcare system. Continue reading

Are we really healthier?

More than 84 percent of workers admit coming to work sick

Sick at Work: More than 84 percent of workers admit coming to work sick by: Ned Smith, Dec 21, 2012, Business News Daily

The premise of the above article titled, “Sick at Work,” published in Business News Daily by Ned Smith, is that  workplaces are becoming breeding grounds for bacteria and sickness.  I was struck by this article, not for the valid point that when people come to work they are bringing disease into the workplace, but more by the idea that this is some new trend.  Perhaps the author did not intend this deduction but in speaking to a few people after reading the article, many made comments from the perspective that this was somehow a new trend and also something that is morally not acceptable. Continue reading

Let’s Remember Our Soft Heroes

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly and to take account of our blessings, contemplate our friends and consider the good graces of those who support us in any and every way.

The recent tragedy in Sandy Hook reminds us all that life is fragile and the world despite all peoples best efforts and governmental controls is still a very dangerous place.  It only takes one person, crazy or otherwise, with a gun, a bomb, a knife, fertilizer, poison, bacteria from soil like anthrax, or a variety of other means to cause such vile and unbelievable atrocities. Continue reading

Fiscal Cliff: Does Familiarity breed contempt?

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Maybe its best if we just jump!

About four years ago, I was working as an executive in a company where it became clear just such cuts needed to be made.  I counseled one of the many division presidents who reported to me that the horrible outcomes they were predicting would not happen, and as distasteful and unpleasant as the process was, in the end, her division would be much improved, her employee’s futures more secure, and the morale in her division would also improve.  Needless to say, the president, and likely many of her colleagues—although no others would openly tell me their feelings— did not share this view!  She shared this view willingly, passionately, with me on numerous Continue reading

The Pit and the Pendulum: Party politics today!

Constitutional Republic, Can we keep it?

Constitutional Republic: Can we keep it?

As the energy, of hate and discontent, from the election subsides and the act of actual governance once again begins to be considered the job of politicians, we are now hearing calls from the left, the right and the middle about all the things that are wrong with our political system.

Should the two party system be changed? Should there be a constitutional congress to amend our fundamental political system in order to better reflect our modern societal needs and wants? Should we make more fundamental changes and move from the constitutional republic constructed by the founding fathers to a simple democracy? (elimination of the electoral college is one such idea) Continue reading