Friday, May 29, 2009

Heads Must Roll


Let's face it. Our government is impotent. Think Hurricane Katrina - the slow response after the storm, the formaldehyde laced trailers for temporary living quarters, the lack of funding for rebuilding. No, excuse me, the funding is there, there is just no way to get at it through the briar patch thickets of red tape. I recently drove along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. There's not much going on there. City halls and banks and libraries are still operating in temporary trailers. Don't even get me started about the Katrina ice debacle.

Think "The War on Drugs" and "The War on Terror". Think about the high costs, rampant inefficiencies, and low performance of Medicare and Medicaid. Think the collapsing federal interstate highway system. Think Department of Homeland Security. Think of the lazy-assed secretary at the IRS who hasn't hit a lick in two years and then gets promoted to a G13 to get her out of the fucking office. (You can't fire her because of the union.) Think of the billions, no, trillions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars that are wasted each year. Just pretty much think the entire Federal Government and all of its activities (expenditures) across the board, coast to coast, internationally, and outer space as far as the planet Mars.

It's as though our government has evolved into a self-fulfilling entity. It exists for itself. It feeds itself on taxpayer dollars. It has ceased to be about serving the people, serving the country. They try, but they just can't be effective and efficient anymore. We throw money at our problems like no one else. No real plan - just throw money at it and the restless natives will be happy. Too big. No one in charge. Too many chiefs and not enough indians. Bogged down in their own bureaucracy. So much red tape to give the appearance of protecting the taxpayers' dollars that a hammer and a toilet seat on the space shuttle cost multi-millions of dollars. So much red tape that our money goes and goes and goes to nothing but mostly fund the government behemoth itself.

Snakebit. A bleeder. We've got a bleeder on our hands folks.

It starts at the top - in the legislature - with self-interested, special-interested, self-absorbed career politicians who are only there to line their pockets and for the killer lifetime retirement plan. To me, given the lack of performance over the past 20 plus years, and the current economic state of the world, ALL BETS ARE OFF.

All bets are off in the sense that there is no more Federal Retirement plan, or it should at least be severely scaled back, with a fucking broadaxe. No more federal holidays out the wahzoo. Get your collective federalized asses to work! What about salary reviews and pay cuts? What about firing the worthless pieceofshit sonsabitches whose only daily contribution is to be a doorstop or a doormat or a hurdle to getting things done.

We KNOW these people exist. They are only there to collect a paycheck and make it to retirement. WE, WE THE PEOPLE, have the right to change all of this. We have the responsibility to change all of this. Our very economic survival depends on our getting off of OUR collective asses and actually doing something about it. Yes, I'm talking about changing the Federal Government. Changing the way it thinks and sees and operates.

Sure, there are some recent bright spots of hope. States and local governments are realizing we can't afford "The War on Drugs". It seems I heard the Federal drug czar even saying something about this. There is talk of releasing all the non-violent drug offenders from prison - talk of treatment in lieu of incarceration. Duh. Finally.

There is talk of a national high speed rail system. Good. There is talk of revamping our educational system so that people have actually learned how to read and count change after 12 years. Good. There is talk of the greening of our energy systems - clean coal (questionable, but no other option for now), solar, wind, geothermal. Great.

There is only one problem. We are depending on the idiots in the government to accomplish all this effective, efficient, critically necessary change. We are depending on the idiots to dream up new concepts, plan, organize, draft and formalize policy and theoretically ultimately actually implement - all on our dollar. We're in for trouble people, if we believe this.

I feel for Obama. He's got the vision. He's got the drive. He's got the heart and soul. I fear he doesn't have the staff (that is, every single agency of the Federal Government) to get with it and get 'er done.

Vision, drive, ability, experience, initiative, heart and soul, or your head must roll. Or you must roll on down the road and let someone who wants to work, who wants to serve, who wants to make a difference in this beautiful country of ours take over. Lead, follow, or get out of the fucking way.

It's time. We are going to have to fix this ourselves. We can't depend on the idiots anymore. There is a movement afoot to replace all the worthless assholes in Congress with real citizens - working folk who know how to get shit done. It's called GOOOH - Get Out Of Our House. It may be a novelty and a longshot right now - but they have the right idea. They have the right idea in that our government in its present form is debilitated.

We, the people, have two choices. Option One is to peacefully take back control and operation of our Federal (and State, and county, and city) Government over the next two years, not twenty, and make substantial changes in the way things are run. We, the change agents. Option Two is revolution.

Oh, and there is always the "Do Nothing" option - people always forget about this one - and boy-oh-boy we are oh-so-good at this one. Stick our collective heads in the sand and raise our collective asses in the air. That's what the American people are best in the world at - the "Do Nothing" option with regards to our own governance. What, you want me to go to a town hall meeting? Write a letter to my representatives? But what about the game on Monday night? What about my tee time on Saturday? What about...? Hey, you know what? The "Do nothing" option is okay. Under this option, Mother Nature takes over. You might call it evolution. Perhaps mankind is destined to devolve into oblivion - to shit ourselves in the name of dollars until our Mother Earth can no longer support us. Until she refuses to support us. Until she decides to give us a wake-up call. Until she decides to kill us all off - the idiot children of Mother Earth who can't figure out how to live clean and green and sustainably and with abundant love for all of our brothers and sisters.

I'm not advocating that we all give up on rest and relaxation and recreation. I'm advocating that we all give up on the time wasting bullshit we have in our lives. You know what it is that I'm talking about. The vast majority of us have it in our daily lives - way too much of it. It's difficult, but I know we can do it. No more TV. No more Facebook. No more video games (not me, but many young and grown men alike). No more shopping for shit we don't even need. Read more. Talk more. Think more. Write more. Go to conferences and workshops and events that interest you. Go on green home/solar house tours. Grow a garden. Eat healthier. Learn a trade. Learn how to make shit with your hands. Get more exercise. Figure out how to do a water budget. Take shorter showers. Go to your city council meeting. Find a local committee or commission to serve on or volunteer for. Follow your local activist blog. I found one covering groundwater rights issues right here under where I live. The point is this - engage. Engage in life, and in your own governance.

Engage. Please. Before it's too late. Please, please purty please?

I'll leave you with this quote, attributed, I believe, to writer Edward Abbey: "True patriots must always be willing to defend their country against their government."

And this one, from the GOOOH website:
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams, 1776


SA said...

You nailed it, and thanks for the reminding me about GOOOH. I heard about it over a year ago, and now see it is not only alive, but thriving.

Joe Grohens said...

Right on Alex,

I certainly share your feelings of anger. BUT the anti-gov stuff sounds a lot like Bobby Jindal (for some good reasons, I'll admit), and Bobby Jindal comes close to sounding a lot like Rush Limbaugh, who comes close to making me pretty nervous these days, because I think they both would like to put back into office the kind of people who were in office during Katrina.

Anyhow -- I am ready to sign up on GOOOH. Dare I to use my standard email address?


Joe Grohens said...

This GOOOH is a little looney. I'm answer the candidate questionnaire now (intriguing as a gut check). Logic is not necessarily their strong suit, though.


"Will you vote for or against all financial backing of the oil industry by the government? [ ] For [ ] Against"

Ha ha -- right, like someone can say right now that they would vote "for _all_ financial backing of the oil industry" or "against _all_ financial backing".

What is "backing"?

What is "all"?

Then they say

"As you are answering the questions you probably notice that some are pretty hard, and there is a lot of gray with so little information. That is by design. The challenge is for you to declare where you stand based on the information given. Are you for or against? Either answer is acceptable."

Ha ha ... sort of like some mad science fiction scenario. Gee -- exactly the kind of people I would like to have running my government.