Sunday, October 21, 2007

Common Sense: Not So Common

I've had at least a gazillion things floating around in my head that I could have posted about but the thing is, they're really all about the same thing: the almost total lack of common sense in this country today. If you stop and think about it that's the key to just about every other problem facing us. What we used to call "horse sense", good, old fashioned, down-to-earth pragmatism, is nearly non-existent in the public dialogue today and frankly it was the one thing that distinguished the US from nearly every other nation on the planet. It was what made us great.

My better half has a knack for nailing an issue without ever trying and often some of his most offhand remarks will sum up an issue in a simple sentence that I, in my infinite wordiness, would have needed at least a 200 page essay to explain. Case in point: some political talking head or other posed the question, "who is your least favorite candidate" and Dear One passing through the kitchen spit out "everyone currently running".

Ding, we have a winner. That's exactly right, I couldn't even begin to improve on that answer.

I watched the pundits scrambling to weigh in on whether or not Gore would run now that he's won the Nobel prize with great amusement. When you win a Gold medal in the Olympics do you set your sights on winning the sack race at the county fair? The US presidency used to be a prized and respected office, today it's a stepping stone to a great book deal and a career as a public speaker. It's one way of obtaining "street cred" to go on and actually accomplish something for those who have any real ability. For those who don't, it's tenure and a fat pension. It is impossible to accomplish anything of real value while holding public office and everyone who is anyone knows this so for the most part, smart, capable people do not run for office.

We the People with a little help from our friends in the media made it so. For the record: while Fox news does come to mind in the forefront I include 90% of the rest of them as well. Lately I find myself filtering my news intake through Mika Brzezinski and Jon Stewart. What does it say about a nation that can only tell the truth on the Comedy channel?

How did we get so stupid? I dunno, maybe we could start by taking a look at our schools. I'm going to piss off a whole lot of teachers here but I have to say it: more than half of our teachers are as useless as tits on a bull. That's right kids, idiots are raising our young. Given the current system what makes anyone think that someone capable of having an independent thought would seek a career in education? Toss in the fact that whoever came up with the idea that tossing 500 or 1000 adolescents together and expecting them to learn anything we'd like them to learn ought to be drawn and quartered. Cost effective maybe but you get exactly what you pay for, children who've been raised by other children.

I loved the ruckus over schools banning children from playing "tag". Mr. Principal of one such elementary school went on air to explain that some children were harassing other children during the course of this game. When asked by the interviewer why the school did not simply discipline the children who misbehaved Mr. Principal explained that the school did not "have the resources to manage the problem". Parents in the district were applauding this move. M'kay, you just had the principle of your childs school go on national television and admit that he and and his cadre of teachers could not manage a group of 10 year olds. What part of "entrusting your child to such a group of idiots makes you an even bigger idiot" are people not understanding? That is what Dear One would refer to as "shit-for-brains".

With that in mind is it so surprising that all we can focus on in an election is what lapel pin or hair style a candidate is sporting? Is it any more surprising that few if any sane, capable people would even consider running for public office? Oh yes, just what I'd love to do, go on national television and debate how to meddle in the people's private affairs by legislating weight control, smoking, and sexual preferences while the dollar is doing a cliff dive and we are spending billions of dollars trying to do something or other, we aren't quite certain what, in Iraq. That's a job interview for an idiot.

Sometimes it isn't just the right wing that's insane. What the hell makes the left think that ending the "War on Drugs" but declaring war on smokers and chunky people makes any kind of sense at all? Move to the back of the class. If you don't like smokers or fat people, don't associate with them and mind your own damned business. Maybe they don't like you either and maybe, just maybe, most of us would rather not reallocate more assets to a "War on Fried Chicken".

Then there's that whole "Global Warming" thing. I did not post about it the other day when all the blogs got together on it because, because, while it is most certainly a worthy issue I think most people are once again a little slow on the uptake. It's here, it isn't going away and no one knows how much or how fast regardless of how we spin it. "Tipping point" my ass, we passed that decades back so it's moot. Stop adding fuel to the fire or don't and gamble on hotter being better, your choice. Frankly I see an upside to Florida disappearing into the ocean, it troubles me not one bit and that is the coldhearted truth.

The not-so-common, common sense thing to do would be to focus on how to adapt to the changes. Tip of the day: don't plan to retire in the Florida Keys. If you already own a home down there, well, you're fucked. Cut your losses and get out while you might still be able to get something out of your investment...there's always a bigger sucker right behind you. Or sit there and whine, it's all the same to me.

You have no idea how it warms my cold little heart to see water wars erupting between Georgia and Mississippi, North and South Carolina, etc. Having spent my entire life in the southwestern deserts I can only laugh hysterically when observing an Alabama farmer complaining on TV about the severe drought whilst in the background he is running giant overhead sprinklers over his crops at high noon. Apparently the news about evaporation has never made it to Alabama.

We're so busy with the Great Immigration Debate that we've failed to realize it's about to become a moot point. Immigrants, in particular the bulk of Mexican immigrants, come here for employment. Now that we're on a collision course with rising unemployment and economic slow down, THEY AREN'T COMING. While we weren't looking, have you taken a gander at Mexico's burgeoning economy? Care to guess how many "US companies" are now owned by Mexican companies? I don't know the exact number but it's quite a few....didja know that Rinker Materials, one of the largest US building material manufacturers is now owned by Mexico's Cemex? Hopefully they'll be smart enough to move headquarters out of West Palm Beach or I'm selling my Cemex stock. Besides all that, Canada is recruiting them, at least till their right wing nutbag "culture warriors" try to dent that action. I'm seeing Moose Tacos in the not-so-distant future. Yo quiero Toronto Bell.

We've been screaming about our idiotic congress and I have to agree, 90% of them are idiots but I don't see much point in replacing them with another group of equally idiotic political shit-for-brains people. Maybe it's time we looked in the mirror when we seek the source of senatorial stupidity. Maybe if we stopped behaving like morons we could entice someone other than morons to run for office, ya think?

Stop and think people. What are our priorities and what exactly do we want government to be responsible for: national energy policy, fiscal responsibility, national infrastructure and foreign policy or controlling our obese, chain-smoking neighbors? Are we more concerned with climate change or monitoring the height of our neighbors grass? Do we want affordable healthcare for everyone or would we rather use our healthcare system like a slot machine and sue every time an outcome doesn't please us? Keep it up people, pretty soon you'll be delivering your own babies at home because no one wants to be an OB-GYN nowadays...too many lawsuits.

It's way past time we went back to using a little common sense and got a grip on reality. Reality is you can't control everyone else and sometimes bad things happen in spite of all best efforts and no, you don't get a million dollars every time an outcome doesn't please you and expect the system to be able to function effectively and there will always be people and behaviors that don't suit you and no, you cannot behead your neighbor because he's an obnoxious drunk who doesn't mow his lawn. Quit behaving like spoiled teenagers and grow up and deal with it.


RJ Adams said...

I have just two words: well said!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a religious person but I'll add a big AMEN! Or maybe I should says RIGHT ON!

pekka said...

As rants go, nobody does it better than you, Mama. :-D

I feel like I have been tickled and slapped, both at the same time. What makes this so good is, using regular horse sense, that it's so true. I still can't figure out how a person like you, Mama, living in the middle of America, is able to see these matters the way you do? It's as if you were observing your domestic problems from the distance which sometimes seems to be a required precondition in forming brutally honest conclusions.

Vigilante said...

Mama, I'm not about to draft or propose a law to this effect, but I think you ought not to go out - in our times and in your clime - in the noonday's sun without your straw hat.

Woozie said...

A War on Fried Chicken?

The Negro community frowns upon your shenanigans for even mentioning such a preposterous, heinous, and heretical act.

Not Your Mama said...

RJ: hey, figure if nothing else we're leaving a record of the foolishness that led us to wherever we ultimately end up.

NV Mojo: hey ;).

Pekka: where ya been? It's because I am mostly detached from it. Coyotes are never welcome at the campfire.

Vigil: que? Assume your saying I'm already crazy enough. Kind of relative in these times now isn't it?

Woozie: beg pardon. I promise to eat a vegetarian as penance.

Flimsy Sanity said...

School was organized to provide workers who can follow directions and was never designed to teach people to think. Since our industrial age is dead school serves as just a holding pen where they are babysat until the kids can join the army where they can practice following orders - it is more like a prison than an exciting place of interesting information....but lazy, boring teachers should be fired.

What are our priorities and what exactly do we want government to be responsible for: national energy policy, fiscal responsibility, national infrastructure and foreign policy or controlling our obese, chain-smoking neighbors? No it is guns, abortion and homosexuality. Congressmen who are more interested in other people's sex lives than the business of govenment should be fired.

As for suing your doctor, "About 6 percent of doctors were responsible for more than half of all malpractice payouts made between 1991 and 2005. The report noted that the overwhelming majority – 85 percent – of doctors have not been behind a single malpractice payout since the Data Bank was created."
Those lousy doctors should be fired.

See how easy it is to fix things!!!

ryk said...

Posts like this are why I come here.

S2 said...

I watched "Panorama: Is America Ready for a Black President?" on prime-time TV here in the UK a few nights ago.
Obviously it didn't educate me enough to comment with any meaning on American politics, but I was astonished at the attitudes of some of the people interviewed for the programme.

As an outsider I get a confusing picture, there are obviously a lot of clever and sensible people in the US (present company obviously included), but a lot more appear to be, franky, a little deranged.

What's left of your manufacturing industry is in terminal decline, your farmers (unless they're on the ethanol bandwagon) face an uncertain future at best, your research establishments are heavily dependent on immigrant workers and your currency appears to be falling in global value at around 10% per decade (about the same rate as Arctic sea-ice).

A healthy injection of common-sense is probably the best thing that could happen to the USA, in my opinion (I have to repeat that I'm an outsider, though).

My intention is not to offend. I'm sure that others could level criticisms at Scotland, and I'd be happy to listen. Sometimes it's good to hear what others think.

"O wid some poo'er the giftie gie us tae see oorsels as ithers see us." (Rabbie Burns)

Not Your Mama said...

S2: I'm not even remotely offended, you're spot on.

There is a rapidly shrinking pool of americans left who are capable of actually doing anything useful. We have a nation of paper-pushers on one end and whiners on the other and fewer & fewer falling into any sort of "skilled middle".

Somewhere along the line we decided that all of our offspring were destined for greatness by virtue of being born in the US so none of them were ever taught any real skills. We now have millions of highly educated but useless people who'd have been better suited to repairing the plumbing.

The culture of "political correctness" went so far it eclipsed any sane version of common decency & civility and elevated the dialogue of the deranged to equal status, now the deranged have taken over.

Any wonder we're at odds with violent religious fanatics in the middle east....WE'RE JUST LIKE THEM.

Just My Thoughts said...

I have to say I loved this one. It pretty much summarizes the state of the nation. The U.S. I mean. I would not step out to insult the Scots as I have tremendous respect for the Scots. Damn I also like the dialect.....sue me they say such cool shit. And in addition they actually still THINK. The thing many citizens of the U.S. fail to do. Good post S2.
Oh and it isn't from being in the noon day sun there Vig. Only mad dogs and Englishmen go there huh? NYM is far ahead of that curve. I think your attempt at insult was unwarranted and ignorant as well. She tells the truth. And does it well I might add.
We will get the same crap day after day as long as we re-elect the same old staff we have had for years.
We want responsible Government from incompetent fools. Take a look and see just who voted these very fools into office. And keeps electing them time after time.
Last time I looked it was "We The People".
If change is needed, and it is for sure, then get the idlers and dead beats out and find some people who care about doing a good job. Good luck with that one. This nation doesn't have the guts left to do it.
The Me Me generation has won. We as a Nation have lost. Some of these children just don't know it yet.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

WOW!! A rant condemning half our union teachers and virtually all our trial lawyers!

Be careful, NYM, Nevada may be rubbing off on you ;)

the Wizard..............

Not Your Mama said...

Pfftt...never had any love for them so can't blame it on Nevada.

Thing is if we paid good teachers what they are really worth then we'd have good teachers and not job-protected union hacks. We made our own beds on that one.

Jim Yeager said...

More of the same, please. Much, much more...