How This Blog Got It’s Name
Saturday, May 3, 2008
SUBURB-OPIA, USA--- During the late 90s, I listened to National Public Radio daily. One afternoon, I heard a politician making the following statement on the floor of the House, “We try to make laws that fit the ‘lowest odometer’ of American society. That way, it helps more people…” I laughed all the way home for two reasons: one, if there were ever proof that our educational system has not improved by dumping money into it—it was that Congressman’s comments and two, clearly, Congressmen/women need to be changed regularly to avoid brains atrophy. Since my favorite topic is the human condition, particularly as manifested through politics, I decided to someday name a blog that included part of the Congressman’s quote. This is that blog…except for one little thing:
The missing word that points the reader or listener in the correct metaphorical direction required to ‘get the joke’ that the Congressman missed is included in the title. The missing word is “common.” What the Congressman had tried to remember from his elementary math lessons was the phrase: “lowest common denominator.” His malapropism confused automobile measurement equipment and fractions (a mathematical measurement). Clearly, the Congressman knew very little about cars, the American people or math.
The average six grader or NASCAR mechanic knew more about math and mechanics than did this representative of our country. They not only know what a common denominator is, they can use them to perform calculations in both metric and American fractions. How tragic it is that someone who doesn’t know the depths of his own ignorance should be in a position to make decisions about education, war and other policies that affect American lives.
PLATO WAS RIGHT
Plato believed that philosophers should run nations. He opined that if those whose avocation was analyzing reasoning methods that lead to the truth would have two characteristics essential to leadership: intelligence and a passion for truth. Such people according to Plato would not be as interested in material possessions or power. While I am not absolutely sure that Plato was correct, I do know that we have elected men and women from a huge number of professions to serve as Presidents, Congressman and Senators.
WE HAVE TO RESPECT AND ADMIRE OUR LEADERS NOT IDOLIZE THEM
From the people that have been elected, I can only think of four that I respect deeply. Those are: John F. Kennedy, Barry Goldwater, Max Cleland and Ron Paul. What I respected most about all of these men was that they were intelligent, albeit in different disciplines, they aspired to being truthful and they cared about this country and its people. In particular, Kennedy and Paul read across all academic disciplines, because of their thirst for knowledge and truth. They made ‘informed decisions” about policy and did not rely upon their aides to read for them.
STOP DELEGATING CONTROL OF OUR LIVES TO PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT LEADERS. READ.
Just as I don’t like being represented in any capacity by ignorant people, I believe that part of a citizen’s duty is to be involved in the decisions that concern all of us. Don’t delegate your life or my life to people who can’t put together an intelligent sentence while on the floor of Congress.
For a great read, I recommend “The Management Style of John F. Kennedy,” and Ron Paul’s current book about his career in Congress whose title escapes me at this exact moment. I also recommend Young Patriots-a very personal view of the youth and political vision of the remarkable people who founded this country. I promise that you will come away with a completely different view of this country’s founders.
Read both the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist papers. You will discover that the Supreme Court is not empowered to determine what is Constitutional, we are. We the People are the ultimate authority on our own country’s laws and governance. You will also discover that the Founders’ Intentions were completely spelled out in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers as well as their own journals, law books, dictionaries and other reference books which they left to all of us.
GET INSPIRED BY THE FOUNDERS OF THIS COUNTRY AND START GOVERNING OUR COUNTRY
If you accept my challenge and begin reading the books that I mentioned above…you will be so proud of what you are a part of. You will want to make our country a great place for all people. You will learn that we have the power to make this a great country again. We can create jobs for people. We can make people understand how healing work itself is. We can rebuild what has been lost. We can become a beacon instead of an object lesson in the fallacies of letting spoiled rich kids stack the rules in their favor to destroy democracy.
FINALLY, INSIST ON THE TRUTH—ABOLISH POST-SESSION “CORRECTIONS TO ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL’S REMARKS”
Even though I heard the comment about the lowest odometer, it turned out that I could not find it for my blog. At first, I wondered what had happened…then I remembered that our government officials have given themselves the right to add their comments to legislative hearings that they have not actually heard; they can change what they did say if they were in attendance that day to make themselves more intelligent and, actually, it is not clear if they have to actually write their own remarks for publication in the Congressional Record or in the National Archives. Here is my question: how much does it cost to make elected nitwits sound smart? Here’s my followup question: why should we pay for this? Do we want to know what they really are saying or a cosmetically-enhanced version? Personally, I want the truth—even if it is embarrassing to elected officials.
THE LAST GROUP WHO WERE PERMITTED TO MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK AND SOUND BETTER THAN THEY ACTUALLY DO WERE CALLED “ROYALTY.”
Is that how we view our elected officials? As royalty? I don’t think so and I think that it is time to let them know that we will no longer tolerate anything but the truth from anybody including the Department of Defense. Next blog, I will talk about the sacred cow of “national security” and why it is a load of “bird dookey” to say the least.