Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Common Sense Party

If they ever establish a party and call it the Common Sense Party, I believe those individuals would have a chance to win. Why because that is exactly what is lacking in so many of our politicans today. They either never had or lost the ability to utilize common sense.

People are wondering how the economy got in the mess it is in. Well for starters, the politicans began deregulating everything. The first I can remember was the S&L industry. The taxpayers had to bail them out. They broke up Ma Bell into all of the little Baby Bell's and guess what most of them have combined into Teenage Bells and are merging with cellular providers. Guess we dodged a bullet on that one. The airline industry is a great example of deregulation at its finest. I don't think we have stopped bailing an airline out since deregulation happened.

Banks initially operated within specific areas and no farther. I remember when they couldn't operate outside the state they were established in. Now, Bank of America is everyone because they have merged with just about every small to medium sized bank in the region and beyond. Banks also couldn't sell insurance and now everyone sells insurance. Banks holding companies also have investment firms operating along side their own investment department.

Mortgages were only for those who had money and could afford to borrow. Most individuals could only borrow from loan companies. These companies didn't make mortgages but lent money for just about everything else. Their interest rates were higher than banks but they were dealing with higher risk. Banks only made mortgages to account holders and only if you were a great credit risk.

That has all changed. The greed mongers thought up new and creative ways to make money and if they were a little on the shady side, they called up their friendly neighborhood congressman and asked for a little favor. Regulations were dropped or severely crippled and oversight became a thing of the past. The old trickle down theory. If you eliminate the regulations that are strangling businesses, they will make more profit and that profit will trickle down to their employees who will have a better standard of living.

Wrong!!!!!!!!!! The only thing it did was increase the profits for the businesses which in turn created large bonuses for the senior management so that when they decided to move to another industry they could trade their silver parachute for a golden one or even a platinum one. Leaving the employees high and dry still working for the same salary.

The only thing that trickles down is crap.

But I digress. The Common Sense Party would be founded on the premise that if it doesn't make sense and does more harm than good, you just don't do it. If it benefits the few to the detriment of the many, you just don't do it. In other words, we return to the values that this great country was founded on. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, freedom and justice for all. Sounds very pollyana but at one time not too long ago this country valued these things. A couple of world wars were fought for the protection of these ideals.

Yep, The Common Sense Party. Sounds like a winner to me. But then I can remember when......................

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What ever happened to .........

We have had those moments when we asked the question, What ever happened to...???? Usually it refers to an old college roomate, boyfriend or girlfriend, co-worker, etc.

Today, I am wondering what ever happened to Common Sense? You know, it is what keeps you from touching the burner after you remove the pot because it is hot. You did know that didn't you? Or it stops you from taking a sip of coffee because you just made a fresh pot and it hasn't cooled off yet. Well, unless you're that person who sued McDonald's because they didn't tell her the coffee was hot.

But anyway, Common Sense. Just about everyone had it when I was growing up and the ones who didn't stood out like a sore thumb. Their parents were pitied because you just knew they were not going to amount to much. But today, lack of common sense appears to be the norm. Was the common sense gene destroyed some how? Is it one of those things that you lose if you don't use it?

Common Sense, it kept us from doing things that would thoroughly embarass us and everyone around us. It also kept us from doing serious harm to ourselves and anyone else dumb enough to follow us.

America Land of the Free????

When I was in school we learned that our country was based on the freedoms that were denied under English rule. The freedom to speak our minds, to worship how and who we wanted or not, if we so chose.

Every 4 years we go through the process of selecting the individual who will head our government. Increasingly over the last few elections the process has become more negative. The contenders are more interested in attacking the merits or lack thereof of their opponents. This is done at the expense of the issues that are really important to the voters. This type of campaigning trickles down to the followers of the respective candidates. Why am I mentioning this??? Well because of an experience that a co-worker had while on vacation recently.
I will not recount the entire episode here. But it entailed he and his wife being terrorized on a highway in the United States because of the bumper sticker on their car. A fast food drink container was thrown at their car. Their car was surrounded and obsenities yelled at them, an individual even got out of his car and performed some indecent acts and made some threatening gestures.

When they got to their hotel and described their ordeal, they were told to remove the bumper sticker. They even approached the police and were told the exact same thing.

Thankfully no guns were pulled but if this had happened in the movies, guns would have been pulled, lives would have been taken. My co-worker and his wife, had they survived, would have taken in custody and locked away.

All of this because of a bumper sticker.

The last time I checked Freedom of Speech was a right that we all enjoyed, not just the supporters of one particular political party. You might say, that the perpetrators were just exercising their right to free speech and you would be right. However, the right to free speech ends when you jeopardize the lives of other individuals. When the individuals who are witnessing your free speech feel threatened and fear for their lives.

We need to exercise some common sense. We are all Americans, it doesn't matter who we vote for as long as we vote. It doesn't matter who or how we worship as long as we don't try to force others to believe the same as we do. Once we start turning on each other, those who would destroy America and our way of life have won.

Together we will prevail, separately we will fall.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Points in Time

We tend to mark our lives by important events that occur. We remember where we were when we heard our favorite song. We remember where we were when man first walked on the moon, when Kennedy was assasinated, and on 9/11/2001. Those and many others in the past and the many to come in the future define who we are and who we are to become. Each event whether good or bad leaves a mark in the fabric of our lives. It changes us, how we think, how we view the world and how we feel about life or death in general.

We can't avoid these events. They play out without our input or our consent. How we respond and how we learn from these events will aid us in the future.