Can an imperfect person make a difference for God and country?
The Express Line
It is a funny thing the “Express Line,” well not really, especially when you’re in a hurry and the old lady in front of you just has a “few” things. I understand the theory behind the Express line; you get your bread, milk and toilet paper, the cashier rings you through, packs the bag in the order scanned, and you get out in five minutes or less, with flat bread and damp toilet paper.
I’m not sure how the number of items was determined; perhaps an Express Line sub-committee in Washington weighs various facts and figures, can comes up with a number. I find twelve items or less to be the standard, in most places. Of course, that signage, has the same impact as a 25-mph sign in a neighborhood, none. How is it that grandma won’t go one-mile-an-hour over the speed limit when I’m behind her on E. Bruceton, by will invoke the 10-mph over rule, when she is in front of me in the express line?
A quick run for milk, Raisin Brand and an ice cream treat, gets trapped behind a full-fledged order; Depends, several cans cat food, cat litter, lettuce, socks, Boost, peanut butter, toilet paper, tomato soup, tomato sauce, potato salad, crossword puzzle book, People Magazine, stool softener, aspirin, Sprite, National Enquirer Tums, toothpaste, toothbrush, and Efferdent. Hey, I was a pissed as my Klondikes were melting.
My other favorite express guest, the quantity buyer; I understand you like oatmeal, but 25 boxes of the same item, do not count as one item. However, buying a bunch of bananas is okay, after all they are bunched together, hence the term. This leads to some philosophical thought. What if I was to buy 26 apples? If I put them in three bags, that would be okay, but if I put them through individually, I am using poor express line edict. What about one case of pop, verses 15 individual cans? How about “Buy One, Get One Free?” One item or two?
This tension is why I now avoid the Express Line at all costs. All I want is a drink, maybe a candy bar, or a few necessities the wife has requested. Who needs the stress? That’s why I now use that fine oiled machine called, “Self-Checkout.”
The Imperial Presidency (02/10/2017)
“Stroke of the pen, law of the land.”-Paul Begala
When President Obama was in power, the Republicans complained about his use of Executive Orders. With Donald Trump holding the reins of power, the Democrats scream of Political overreach, and protesters take to the streets. Unfortunately, the use of Presidential pen, has become a tool to circumvent the legislative branch of government.
The inaction of the Congress to overturn Executive Orders, mainly due to partisanship, has surrendered much of their power to the Presidency. Couple that with an activist Supreme Court, one wonders why we hold Congressional elections. There comes a time when our elected representatives need to put the Constitution and their constituents above partisan politics. They need to do more than collect campaign contributions, and duck and cover on the important issues of the day.
The “Trump Movement,” wants the swamped drained, and part of that must include electing representatives that are willing to follow the Constitution, and reinstate the concept of three equal branches of government. The current crop in Washington is not the group to fulfill the promise and vision of the Founders. Draining the swamp will require getting your hands dirty, and staying active; either as a concerned citizen, or candidate.
“Every once in a while, somebody has to get the bureaucracy by the neck and shake it loose and say, “Stop what you’re doing.”-Ronald Reagan
We have become so lazy that we no longer even do the simple things. Perhaps I really mean the decent thing. I speak of today’s modern bathrooms that are being used in businesses around the country. The new technology being used in the toilet, sink and hand drying is leading to a new generation of lazy, inconsiderate people.
Have you noticed that in a bathroom that does not have the new technology you are often greeted by a yellow puddle in the urinal, or a poop blanket party in the toilet? My friends, if you do not hear a swoosh sound; chances are that YOU may have to actually flush the potty yourself. Here is another clue for you. If the sink has handles on either side of the spigot, the water will not turn on no matter how long you hold your hands under it. YOU must actually turn it on. There is a similar process with the soap. There are times when YOU actually need to press the dispenser to get soap on your hands.
Finally, there are things called paper towels, and yes, sometimes you have to turn a handle or push a bar for them to come out. Shaking your formally dirty hands to dry them off, and spraying me with dirty water, is poor form. While we are on the subject of hand dryers, just a warning to the great unwashed, everyone in the place can hear them blowing, so everyone knows if you actually washed your hands.
We spend millions of dollars and a good portion of early childhood development, even into the high school years, teaching the importance of self-esteem and being careful not to hurt or offend others. Yet as adults, politicians go out of their way to hurt and offend others, no longer caring about self-esteem issues. Actually issues are one of the major pieces of the political pie that are missing, but political parties don’t care about issues, they care about winning.
Is it better to win votes by getting people to fear and/or hate your opponent, than to win an election based on issues? I suppose that this type of win can make governing much easier as no one knows the newly elected candidate’s positions, and expectations are low. We are just glad that we didn’t elect the piece of garbage running against him, or her.
Obviously the candidates wash their hands of these attack ads, and blame the various political action committees running them. Sometimes the candidate will bravely step forward blaming an overzealous supporter for sending out a letter claiming an opponent beats his wife and fathered puppies out of wedlock. However, after the hand wringing apology, have any candidates actually put a stop to this activity?
Do politicians really believe we are that dumb and that the public can’t see through the deception? They must, and given the election results it works. Perhaps in the end we are not dumb, just worn down by the constant campaigning and the 24/7 news cycle that drones on and on. Eventually it all just becomes background noise that we all ignore, to our own peril.
john Gregory Parks
I only worry about the things I can control; as I control nothing, I have no worries.