Friday, February 4, 2011

It Will Be A Cold Day

As Winter continues to maintain its icy grip on the Midwest, it cannot help but bring back thoughts of my youth (you know, the last Ice Age). I remember my parents chiding me over the often capricious requests that I made of Santa Claus each Christmas, and the similarly ridiculous requests that I made at birthdays and on various weekends throughout my adolescence; all of which went equally unfulfilled. "It will be a cold day in Hell when that happens mister," was the reasoned response that I usually received from them to such unreasonable entreaties. Knowing that they had only my best interests at heart, I therefore reasoned that strange and probably unhealthy things would only happen to me when the temperature dropped in the netherworld. 

These thoughts now often come to mind as I consider the frigid temperatures in the early days of 2011 and the nature of the things that have gone on in this country recently, without any request from me. Government spending is out of control; but not to fear, the Republican Party has taken over control of the purse strings. Unfortunately the Republican Party that often claims to be fiscally conservative seems intent on proving it by cutting federal spending by amounts only visible through a microscope. 

Such paltry striving does not prevent Democrats from demonizing them however and obstructing even these insignificant efforts. Political rhetoric has been deemed never so pointless or rancorous as it is today (the latter a premise that I disproved in a previous post). Nevertheless Democrats, having complained about being kept silent during prior Republican majorities, refused to allow Republican voices to be heard when the tables were turned. Not content with being bad winners at the time, they added insult to injury by accusing their gagged opponents of having nothing to say but "no". Now the tables are once again turned (at least in one legislative House), and they now have little to say, except in the Senate where they seem to have nothing to say but "no". Republicans, having so recently suffered in stoic silence; took the reins in the House and proceeded to once more silence Democrats. (Proof that whatever comes around goes around, or that no idea in history is dumb enough that it does not repeat itself.) 

Never fear however, because the United States is the bastion of capitalism and the defender of the rule of law. Then Legislators forced banks to lend money to people who couldn't pay it back and demonized these institutions for getting into financial trouble by doing so. Soon after, the federal government in effect nationalized two major auto manufacturers in this country, ignoring both the Constitutional considerations of doing so and existing case law on bankruptcy for these corporations' debtors; while imposing its arbitrary will on all parties concerned. Having carefully considered its position, government ruled in favor of union pension funds over other legitimate debt holders and became partners with those unions in owning these companies. After saying it had no interest in running them, it then dismissed the president of one (GM) in favor of one more to its liking, decided on advertising policy and the scope of product line, and went on to purchase a number of cars from ... well, itself. 

At least we knew however, that Congress would not violate the sanctity of the founding documents and the principles of private business practices. Then it mandated who private insurance companies would provide health coverage for, what rate increases will be found acceptable for such coverage, and what doctors would be reimbursed by these companies for care. In doing so, they refused to consider whether such steps will allow either the doctors or insurance companies to make a profit or even survive as free market entities under these regulations. Most amazing of all, most stood by in mute ignorance as a government which wouldn't understand even the concept of truth if it bit them in the ass told us that they could insure 30 million more people under a government program without it costing taxpayers more money. 

The Executive branch of the federal government, not to be outdone by these shenanigans, decided that it could ignore the rulings of the Judiciary branch (with which it is supposed to be equal); at least as they pertain to implementing the aforementioned health care legislation or its executive orders and bureaucratic bans on off-shore drilling for petroleum products that this country now desperately needs.

With the ball back in their court and seeking a new level of the ridiculous, Congress passed legislation that allows the government to determine how many fund-raising bake sales can be held at public schools and what fat and sugar content of the items sold at them will be permitted. If all of this serendipity were not enough to signal the coming Apocalypse, the fourth branch of government (Bureaucracy), feeling left out the mix in exercising power that it was never intended to have under the Constitution, issued new dietary guidelines for those of us no longer in school, and made every cow fart and every breath we exhale into a toxic substance contributing to the planet's doom. The fact that such regulations support a theory coming increasingly under question was considered of no consequence in the process. (Though admittedly, expecting facts to be the basis for political decisions is probably a bit crazy anyway.) 

Speaking of crazy, I wouldn't mind getting a little sanity in the media in the days ahead. Though having some of the pundits and personalities curb their imaginations, reduce their volume, and eliminate their 'fire and brimstone' preaching would make it a less target rich environment; a little less doom and gloom might make some of the other madness more bearable. I also wouldn't mind having government stop trying to help me as much as they seem to want to lately. Quite frankly, I am coming to believe that their motives are suspect, their help is more than I can afford, and their giving it is more likely to do me harm than good. If it's all the same to those in Washington, I would like them to stop before they help me to death. 

In spite of this however, and the dire predictions for December 21, 2012 by the Mayans for the 'End of Days', I still remain unprepared to consider that my place of residence is becoming Hades. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I did once live in an Ohio town only one letter off from one of its other appellations (a little town called Gahanna), but that was long ago

I cannot further help but recognize while there is an amusing irony involved in the contemplation of Global Warming while staring at the low level of mercury in the thermometer, and I chuckle occasionally when thinking of the name of the NHL team currently passing the puck around in New Jersey, I refuse to take such things as a sign. 

Nevertheless, I cannot help but find myself occasionally amused over the long ago remonstrations of my parents and the frozen conditions we are enjoying. And while we have assurances from Puxatony Phil that spring is around the corner, I cannot help but think:

"It will be a cold day indeed ..."

No comments: