Saturday, January 1, 2011

Today - Yesterday - Tomorrow?

Tomorrow will not be like today. Today is not like yesterday. Change is happening faster than at any point in our history. Faster than most can grasp. The question asked daily is what direction is this profound change taking us. It seems it can't be slowed and seems to have taken on a life of it's own.

This reminds me of a line in an old poem: "Thunder on the mountain, snake in the grass, Satan is a abiding, Lord let him pass." (I would give credit but I can't remember who wrote this poem.)

I am HAPPY to see the end of 2010….Surely this year will be remembered as one of the most stressful in many decades. I hope next year will not be anything like it. (I vaguely remember saying the same thing any number of times as the kids were growing up.) Winning a little here and there in 2010, which we did, helps consoles and as time clouds memories, maybe we will, at some point, look back to the past year as a turning point

We are in a battle with the tradition of power. Mostly power and the people that achieved power are thought of badly. History does not confirm this bias. Not that long ago the strongest guy in the tribe became its leader. He protected the tribe and the tribe survived. As time went forward and the tribe grew they realized they needed a leader who was both strong and smart. Sure enough the tribes did better and survived longer with stronger and smarter leaders. The ground work was laid and the tradition rooted.

This stronger/smarter is the page all retained history has been written on and results were societies and nations grew. However, sooner or later these transitional nations failed and the failure kept repeating itself. What they had in common was their reliance on one key guy. 'The main man' died and the nation/society collapsed often very quickly.

It isn't clear just how or why, but some city states came up with the idea that the people living in those cities should have a say, as a group, in their own leadership and protecting themselves. Some of these city/states went so far as to require every citizen to serve in a leadership council. Bam...Another kind of power tradition got rooted in the idea of citizens ruling themselves.

Over time various forms of this 'citizens rule thing' got tried in different parts of the world. Usually failing in some form of catastrophic disaster, sometimes they lost a war, sometimes they let some charismatic person takeover, but more often than not they simply collapsed because of internal conflicts. (Greed, arrogance, hubris, and complacency.)

Here we, one more citizen form of government, on the first day of 2011 find ourselves with leaders that are unresponsive to the people they were elected to serve. A government that has depleted it coffers, burdened it citizens with debt, centralizing power unto itself, waging wars where the outcome is questionable, destroying our businesses through taxes and regulations, and creating personal wealth for its members. The elected to guard of our nation, our liberty, and our citizens.

We find we are, in so many ways, a mirror of republic's past.

Senator Colburn: The problem that faces our country today, is the fact for the last 30 years we have lived off the future and the bill has come due. The history of republics is they average 200 years of life. And they all fail over fiscal matters. They rot from within before they collapse or are attacked: There has been a lot of speculation this week about why the GOP rolled over in the Senate on virtually every issue. From Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal to START, etc.

The Senate GOP is decidedly mushy on many fronts and unwilling for really tough fights except in odd circumstances. The Senate GOP understands that Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Marco Rubio are headed to the Senate as reinforcements for Jim DeMint. They are deeply worried because of it.

Why should they worry? Because the Senate GOP wants to cut deals with the Senate Democrats and they know that just Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Jim DeMint will be able to force deals much more conservative than the Senate GOP as a whole might want. So Senate Republicans decided to roll over on big issues now knowing that next year they will be forced further right than they might be comfortable.

Senator Graham gives away the political game: He says, “I can understand the Democrats being afraid of the new Republicans; I can understand Republicans being afraid of the new Republicans. The 2010 election was about moving the Senate GOP to the right, not moving the Senate to the GOP. The GOP voting this past week makes my case for me."

Representative John Shadegg (R- Ariz.) (Note: I want to share some of his thoughts and answers to questions in a recent interview.)

SHADEGG: If the Tea Party movement concludes that Election Day was the end, then this is over. The new class will turn and Washington will remain Washington. If the Tea Party movement and conservatives across America understand that election day was day one. Now the election is over, now is when the pressure has to be greater than ever. They have to watch every vote. They have to greet the freshman Congressmen when they’re getting on the plane to go back to Washington and greet them when they’re getting off the plane coming home. And say to them, “Hey, remember us…”

The other thing that happens is it takes a lot of money to get re-elected, and so all the young freshmen say, “I want the speaker to come to my fundraiser,” or, “I want my committee chairman to come to my fundraiser,” or, “I want this committee seat.” So now they’re put into a position where they’re beg and barter. Well, the more they have to ask, the more supplicant they become.

If the Tea Party movement were creating a support mechanism back home, saying, “We’ll help you raise money. We’ll do the grassroots work. We help get you elected. If you keep your promises, we’ll do our part to get you re-elected.”

The freshmen don’t know what pressures they’re up against and in that sense, neither does the Tea Party. So there’s the issue. If the Tea Part doesn't see or know what is about to happen to their freshmen, then they don’t know how they can help them.

Colburn, Graham, and Shadegg have each given us some very good advice in a very clear simple way in their brief political lessons on Washington.. We don't want to lose this new crop of leaders like we did in 94. Does everyone remember how quickly the 94 group succumbed to the old guard leadership?

We might want to start watching, listening to, and talking to representative Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) Looks like he may have the 'right stuff.'

Fire up the computers, get your check books out, it seems we may be in for a bumpy ride in 2011

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?

Only we can grard the guards.

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