November 6, 2012 in Commentary, Dogma

Below is a list of links that present cases for “No On Proposition 37.” I know, I haven’t provided titles for the links…Thought it might be more fun for you to be surprised.

For those interested, the entire text of the law is provided below:

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.
This initiative measure amends and adds sections to the Health and Safety Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in underline type to indicate that they are new.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act
  (a) California consumers have the right to know whether the foods they purchase were produced using genetic engineering. Genetic engineering of plants and animals often causes unintended consequences. Manipulating genes and inserting them into organisms is an imprecise process. The results are not always predictable or controllable, and they can lead to adverse health or environmental consequences.
  (b) Government scientists have stated that the artificial insertion of DNA into plants, a technique unique to genetic engineering, can cause a variety of significant problems with plant foods. Such genetic engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants in foods and introduce new toxicants and health concerns.
  (c) Mandatory identification of foods produced through genetic engineering can provide a critical method for tracking the potential health effects of eating genetically engineered foods.
  (d) No federal or California law requires that food producers identify whether foods were produced using genetic engineering. At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies of such foods. Unless these foods contain a known allergen, the FDA does not even require developers of genetically engineered crops to consult with the agency.
  (e) Polls consistently show that more than 90 percent of the public want to know if their food was produced using genetic engineering.
  (f) Fifty countries–including the European Union member states, Japan and other key U.S. trading partners–have laws mandating disclosure of genetically engineered foods. No international agreements prohibit the mandatory identification of foods produced through genetic engineering.
  (g) Without disclosure, consumers of genetically engineered food can unknowingly violate their own dietary and religious restrictions.
  (h) The cultivation of genetically engineered crops can also cause serious impacts to the environment. For example, most genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand weed-killing pesticides known as herbicides. As a result, hundreds of millions of pounds of additional herbicides have been used on U.S. farms. Because of the massive use of such products, herbicide-resistant weeds have flourished–a problem that has resulted, in turn, in the use of increasingly toxic herbicides. These toxic herbicides damage our agricultural areas, impair our drinking water, and pose health risks to farm workers and consumers. California consumers should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods production of which can lead to such environmental harm.
  (i) Organic farming is a significant and increasingly important part of California agriculture. California has more organic cropland than any other state and has almost one out of every four certified organic operations in the nation. California’s organic agriculture is growing faster than 20 percent a year.
  (j) Organic farmers are prohibited from using genetically engineered seeds. Nonetheless, these farmers’ crops are regularly threatened with accidental contamination from neighboring lands where genetically engineered crops abound. This risk of contamination can erode public confidence in California’s organic products, significantly undermining this industry. Californians should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods whose production could harm the state’s organic farmers and its organic foods industry.
  (k) The labeling, advertising and marketing of genetically engineered foods using terms such as “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” or “all natural” is misleading to California consumers.
The purpose of this measure is to create and enforce the fundamental right of the people of California to be fully informed about whether the food they purchase and eat is genetically engineered and not misbranded as natural so that they can choose for themselves whether to purchase and eat such foods. It shall be liberally construed to fulfill this purpose.
SEC. 3. Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
  110808. Definitions
  The following definitions shall apply only for the purposes of this article:
    (a) Cultivated commercially. “Cultivated commercially” means grown or raised by a person in the course of his business or trade and sold within the United States.
    (b) Enzyme. “Enzyme” means a protein that catalyzes chemical reactions of other substances without itself being destroyed or altered upon completion of the reactions.
    (c) Genetically engineered. (1) “Genetically engineered” means any food that is produced from an organism or organisms in which the genetic material has been changed through the application of:
        (A) In vitro nucleic acid techniques, including recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques and the direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles, or
        (B) Fusion of cells, including protoplast fusion, or hybridization techniques that overcome natural physiological, reproductive, or recombination barriers, where the donor cells/protoplasts do not fall within the same taxonomic family, in a way that does not occur by natural multiplication or natural recombination.
      (2) For purposes of this subdivision:
        (A) “Organism” means any biological entity capable of replication, reproduction, or transferring genetic material.
        (B) “In vitro nucleic acid techniques” include, but are not limited to, recombinant DNA or RNA techniques that use vector systems and techniques involving the direct introduction into the organisms of hereditary materials prepared outside the organisms such as micro-injection, macro-injection, chemoporation, electroporation, micro-encapsulation, and liposome fusion.
    (d) Processed food. “Processed food” means any food other than a raw agricultural commodity, and includes any food produced from a raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing such as canning, smoking, pressing, cooking, freezing, dehydration, fermentation, or milling.
    (e) Processing aid. “Processing aid” means:
      (1) A substance that is added to a food during the processing of such food, but is removed in some manner from the food before it is packaged in its finished form;
      (2) A substance that is added to a food during processing, is converted into constituents normally present in the food, and does not significantly increase the amount of the constituents naturally found in the food; or
      (3) A substance that is added to a food for its technical or functional effect in the processing, but is present in the finished food at insignificant levels and does not have any technical or functional effect in that finished food.
    (f) Food Facility. “Food facility” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 113789.
  110809. Disclosure With Respect to Genetic Engineering of Food
    (a) Commencing July 1, 2014, any food offered for retail sale in California is misbranded if it is or may have been entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering [and or contains genetically engineered ingredients], and that fact is not disclosed:
      (1) In the case of a raw agricultural commodity on the package offered for retail sale, with the clear and conspicuous words “Genetically Engineered” on the front of the package of such commodity or, in the case of any such commodity that is not separately packaged or labeled, on a label appearing on the retail store shelf or bin in which such commodity is displayed for sale;
      (2) In the case of any processed food, in clear and conspicuous language on the front or back of the package of such food, with the words lal
    (b) Subdivision (a) of this section and subdivision (e) of Section 110809.2 shall not be construed to require either the listing or identification of any ingredient or ingredients that were genetically engineered or that the term “genetically engineered” be placed immediately preceding any common name or primary product descriptor of a food.
  110809.1. Misbranding of Genetically Engineered Foods as “Natural”
  In addition to any disclosure required by Section 110809, if a food meets any of the definitions in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 110808, and is not otherwise exempted from labeling under Section 110809.2, the food may not in California, on its label, accompanying signage in a retail establishment, or in any advertising or promotional materials, state or imply that the food is “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” “all natural,” or any words of similar import that would have any tendency to mislead any consumer.
  110809.2. Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food–Exemptions
  The requirements of Section 110809 shall not apply to any of the following:
    (a) Food consisting entirely of, or derived entirely from, an animal that has not itself been genetically engineered, regardless of whether such animal has been fed or injected with any genetically engineered food or any drug that has been produced through means of genetic engineering.
    (b) A raw agricultural commodity or food derived therefrom that has been grown, raised, or produced without the knowing and intentional use of genetically engineered seed or food. Food will be deemed to be described in the preceding sentence only if the person otherwise responsible for complying with the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 110809 with respect to a raw agricultural commodity or food obtains, from whoever sold the commodity or food to that person, a sworn statement that such commodity or food: (1) has not been knowingly or intentionally genetically engineered; and (2) has been segregated from, and has not been knowingly or intentionally commingled with, food that may have been genetically engineered at any time. In providing such a sworn statement, any person may rely on a sworn statement from his or her own supplier that contains the affirmation set forth in the preceding sentence.
    (c) Any processed food that would be subject to Section 110809 solely because it includes one or more genetically engineered processing aids or enzymes.
    (d) Any alcoholic beverage that is subject to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, set forth in Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code.
    (e) Until July 1, 2019, any processed food that would be subject to Section 110809 solely because it includes one or more genetically engineered ingredients, provided that: (1) no single such ingredient accounts for more than one-half of one percent of the total weight of such processed food; and (2) the processed food does not contain more than 10 such ingredients.
    (f) Food that an independent organization has determined has not been knowingly and intentionally produced from or commingled with genetically engineered seed or genetically engineered food, provided that such determination has been made pursuant to a sampling and testing procedure approved in regulations adopted by the department. No sampling procedure shall be approved by the department unless sampling is done according to a statistically valid sampling plan consistent with principles recommended by internationally recognized sources such as the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA). No testing procedure shall be approved by the department unless: (1) it is consistent with the most recent “Guidelines on Performance Criteria and Validation of Methods for Detection, Identification and Quantification of Specific DNA Sequences and Specific Proteins in Foods,” (CAC/GL 74 (2010)) published by the Codex Alimentarius Commission; and (2) it does not rely on testing of processed foods in which no DNA is detectable.
    (g) Food that has been lawfully certified to be labeled, marketed, and offered for sale as “organic” pursuant to the federal Organic Food Products Act of 1990 and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto by the United States Department of Agriculture.
    (h) Food that is not packaged for retail sale and that either:       (1) is a processed food prepared and intended for immediate human consumption or (2) is served, sold, or otherwise provided in any restaurant or other food facility that is primarily engaged in the sale of food prepared and intended for immediate human consumption.
    (i) Medical food.
  110809.3. Adoption of Regulations
  The department may adopt any regulations that it determines are necessary for the enforcement and interpretation of this article, provided that the department shall not be authorized to create any exemptions beyond those specified in Section 110809.2.
  110809.4. Enforcement
  In addition to any action under Article 4 (commencing with Section 111900) of Chapter 8, any violation of Section 110809 or 110890.1 shall be deemed a violation of paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 1770 of the Civil Code and may be prosecuted under Title 1.5 (commencing with section 1750) of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, save that the consumer bringing the action need not establish any specific damage from, or prove any reliance on, the alleged violation. The failure to make any disclosure required by Section 110809, or the making of a statement prohibited by section 110809.1, shall each be deemed to cause damage in at least the amount of the actual or offered retail price of each package or product alleged to be in violation.
Section 111910 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
111910. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 111900 or any other provision of law, any person may bring an action in superior court pursuant to this section and the court shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown, to grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any provision of Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808), or Article 7 (commencing with Section 110810) of Chapter 5. Any proceeding under this section shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 525) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, except that the person shall not be required to allege facts necessary to show, or tending to show, lack of adequate remedy at law, or to show, or tending to show, irreparable damage or loss, or to show, or tending to show, unique or special individual injury or damages.
  (b) In addition to the injunctive relief provided in subdivision (a), the court may award to that person, organization, or entity reasonable attorney’s fees and all reasonable costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the action as determined by the court.
  (c) This section shall not be construed to limit or alter the powers of the department and its authorized agents to bring an action to enforce this chapter pursuant to Section 111900 or any other provision of law.
Section 110663 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
110663. Any food is misbranded if its labeling does not conform to the requirements of Section 110809 or 110809.1.
If any provision of this initiative or the application thereof is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, that shall not affect other provisions or applications of the initiative that can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this initiative are severable.
This initiative shall be construed to supplement, not to supersede, the requirements of any federal or California statute or regulation that provides for less stringent or less complete labeling of any raw agricultural commodity or processed food subject to the provisions of this initiative.
This initiative shall become effective upon enactment pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 10 of Article II of the California Constitution.
    In the event that another measure or measures appearing on the same statewide ballot impose additional requirements relating to the production, sale and/or labeling of genetically engineered food, then the provisions of the other measure or measures, if approved by the voters, shall be harmonized with the provisions of this act, provided that the provisions of the other measure or measures do not prevent or excuse compliance with the requirements of this act.
    In the event that the provisions of the other measure or measures prevent or excuse compliance with the provisions of this act, and this act receives a greater number of affirmative votes, then the provisions of this act shall prevail in their entirety, and the other measure or measures shall be null and void.
This initiative may be amended by the Legislature, but only to further its intent and purpose, by a statute passed by a two-thirds vote in each house.

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July 7, 2012 in Commentary, Uncategorized

In my last post I said I’d parse the Texas Republican Party Platform statement:

(We stand for)Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)(values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE)(mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the students fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Is this a statement opposing critical thinking or the teaching thereof? Maybe, though I personally think not. The kernel of the statement is:

“…We oppose…programs …which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the students fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

That’s it! In the eyes of the party, “(HOTS)(values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are taught or being used in the school system… are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE)(mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the students fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. We may, or may not, agree with whether or not this is the job of our educational institutions but I suggest that how we view this will most certainly depend on whose “Ox” is being gored. I would have stated this item somewhat differently leaving little or no room for mischief and interpretation.

In closing I point out, unless we have a complete knowledge of what is meant by the terms HOTS, values clarification, critical thinking skills, Outcome-Based Education (OBE)(mastery learning), and their use within the context of the party platform, we fail to exercise our own critical thinking skills when we pass judgement on this plank in the party platform and attack it as an attack on the teaching of critical thinking.

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July 2, 2012 in Commentary, Dogma

I had a friend who was fond of saying, nothing is sacred but the truth. Though I couldn’t really take issue with him, there was always something naggingly bothersome when I’d hear him say it. And then I had an epiphany. Implicit and inherent in his speaking was, if I say it’s the truth, it “IS” the truth.

Merely labeling something or calling something something, does not necessarily make it the thing you call it. Calling a dog a cat does not make it one. Calling something the “TRUTH” doesn’t make it true or the “TRUTH.”

I recently saw a comment to a post about critical thinking. It said: The Texas Repub Party platform takes a stand AGAINST teaching critical thinking skills in Tex(as) public schools As my pappy used to say, don’t believe everything you read, and as I say, critical thinking demands that I actually see for myself what the platform says (not to mention that I couldn’t believe anybody would be so stupid as to put something like that into writing).

What the platform actually says is:

(We stand for)Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)(values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE)(mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the students fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Whereas anybody is entitled to abstract “The Texas Repub Party platform takes a stand AGAINST teaching critical thinking skills in Tex(as)” from this (or anything else they may wish to abstract for that matter), that’s not what it’s saying nor what it says (in my humble opinion anyway).

I’ll save my parsing for my next post but in the mean time, I’m dying to hear what you have to say and hear you weigh in on this issue.

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May 19, 2012 in Musings

I’m privileged and fortunate. Though entering the ranks of the senior citizens, young people are still willing to talk to me and even listen to my ramblings and babblings. I suspect this has something to do with the fact that I’m interested in how they see the world and what they have to say about it; something that I think is sorely lacking within the senior community these days.

I’m convinced that technology widens the gap between the young and the old and the faster technology changes, the faster this gap widens. Along with this widening comes a diminishment of relatedness and commonality as well. The old have little sympathy for the woes of the young and the young see their elders as nothing more than a bunch of old farts.

I’m torn. On the one hand I find this problematic. There seems to be a power in the symbiotic relationship between the wisdom of age and the raw energy of youth when they forge a powerful working relationship. On the other, maybe there is a point at which there is nothing in the form of wisdom that age has to offer a technologically driven society.

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May 1, 2012 in Musings

A Facebook friend recently posted:

When its all said and done many, many, many decades from now my goal is to be able to think back and say “Damn that was a fun ride!”

My comment was:

When it’s all said and done, fewer decades from now than for you, I’ll be able to say, “What a Hell of a Ride,” all of it, nothing left out. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Not always fun, but always challenging.

Now clearly, I understood what he was communicating and my answer was just short of flippant. However, I think there’s real grist for the mill here.

You see, when I really think about it, there is much in life that just isn’t inherently fun. Furthermore, I know of no one that has problems mastering life when it is fun. The fun things in life seem to flow naturally, flow with no struggle. If there’s mastery to be gained, it seems to come at a cost and it comes from those things that are often challenging, difficult, and not particularly fun.

I see life, or try to, as this great adventure where no day is ever the same. Yes, the day in day out task are frequently the same, hence the saying, same shit, different day, but it’s that different day that makes the task a different task. Each day provides me with the opportunity to create fun, joy, and value from the task at hand, or not. Also, adventures are not always fun and enjoyable. What makes them an adventure is the uncertainty of the outcome, not necessarily whether they’re enjoyable or fun. The challenge in the adventure always becomes, can I create value out of what’s ahead of me today.

I just got thinking. I’ve often heard people say things like “what a great party that was, it was sure a lot of fun.” What I cannot ever remember anybody saying is, “what a great party that was, boy was it fun and boy do I feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

By the way, I’m not agin fun, not in the least. In fact, it’s an integral part of my daily life.

Hmmmm, I feel another post coming on…”Life is a Soap Opera.”

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April 19, 2012 in Miscellaneous

I walked out of my house about a week and a half ago, only to be confronted by this beautiful hen. I had no idea where she came from and automatically assumed that she belonged to the neighbors. As it turned out, I don’t think that was the case.

After my initial shock, I started taking a liking to my new found hen. She was sweet, mellow in personality, and laid an egg after a day or so. My wife requested that I go to the local feed store and buy some food and before I knew it, it became apparent that she had adopted us and was very much at home roaming around our yard, though I couldn’t find any more eggs. That is, until I was looking for her one day and found her tucked in under a rose-bush along with 6 new eggs. At this point, I decided it was time to build her a coop since we’d had a terrific thunderstorm and I wanted to protect her from the elements. I picked up the materials and made her a hasty shelter, for the storm had passed, and planned on making a more permanent coop over the weekend.

Sunday morning i went out to feed my little hen and start building her coop. I looked around and didn’t see her. I looked where she’d been laying eggs and she was nowhere to be found. I started to walk around and see where else she might be hiding when all of the sudden, to my horror, there she was, a crumpled mass of dead feathers, entrails gone, her guts and the meat on her bones consumed, and the yellow yolk of the egg she was about to lay, exposed and broken.

No, no, no, I thought, this just couldn’t have happened, this just could not be true. But sure enough, true it was. I’d failed her, I’d failed to keep her safe. As I looked at the remains of what just the day before had been my little Rhode Island Red hen, several thoughts crossed my mind and still haunt me. First, what remained as a rendered corpse was eerily  devoid of the life that physical body, the personality it had once housed, and second, a line from Anne Rice’s book “Memnoch the Devil,” God’s savage garden.

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April 6, 2012 in Commentary

In his song, “Ballad of a Thin Man,” Bob Dylan sings, “Something’s happening, and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” I feel that way a lot these days.

I’m inundated with information on a daily basis, at a rate that’s far too rapid to check out and verify, let alone assimilate. In many cases, the information is a convolution of partial truths. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, except the people that post, seem to be convinced with absolute certainty, that what they post is accurate and the truth, the “truth” with a capital “T.” Furthermore, with the viral nature of the internet, the same trash circulates at a rate that far exceeds any efforts to correct it. From religion to politics, knowledge that could be used to unite and unify, separates us as we draw ideological battle lines. The game becomes a sort of “preaching to the choir” where nobody is willing to listen to anybody anymore. After all, you know how it is, you can’t speak to those stupid people, you’ll never convince them of anything.

So, as I end this post, head to Facebook to see how much further behind I’ve gotten, and the knowledge and wisdom contained in those hours of shared videos and other posts pile up for me to confront, I just smile as I remind myself, “Something’s Happening and “I” don’t know what it is…”

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February 5, 2012 in Commentary, Musings

I have friends I only know through limited interactions on Facebook, yet feel I’ve known my entire life.  Some of these friends are heavily invested in the martial arts where they have attained a high level of proficiency.  This got me thinking.  What is the role of the martial arts, the role of the “old ways” in a modern technological society?  As with most of the outcomes from my thinking, the results are mixed, a convolution of epiphanies leading to more questions.

I do not believe  the martial arts arose for the purpose of enlightenment of the human being.   I suspect  their  whole evolution  was born out of the necessity of survival.  The strong survive, the weak die, and the cruel hard realities of life in those days probably was, lose your focus, you die.  Simple as that.  The Samurai, the warrior, could not indulge the the luxury of any distraction, pain or otherwise.  Pain was to be endured and the mind ignored.  Reactions needed to be automatic and fluid as the Samurai became as one with his body, as one with his weapons.  This was no esoteric undertaking.  As I’ve already said, life depended on it.

So where do the old ways fit in with  a modern technological society?  I suggest  what the martial arts hold for us are at least two fold whether that be metaphorical or actual.  First, our lives are always at stake though what threatens us in a technological age is not our physical being but our spiritual being.  In a technological society distractions abound that threaten to rob us of what is most important and nurturing to human beings.   Second, like the Samurai of old, discipline and practice  are the secret to the focus necessary to ignore the distractions that could cost our lives.

Like the Samurai of old, the focus that comes from discipline and practice may just be a lifetime commitment though we all succumb to life in the end.

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January 23, 2012 in Commentary, Musings

I may have written about truth in the past  but tonight was so much fun I had to share the evening with you and write about truth again.

I was listening to blogtalkradio when a discussion about answers to humanity’s  problems became the topic.  I suggested that nobody had “the answer(s),” otherwise humanity’s problems would have been solved long ago.  This sparked a lot of debate, disagreement, and discussion which was soon bouncing back and forth between answers and truth.  During the course of the discussion, one of the participants commented, the one thing  they knew to be true was that a positive times a negative always equaled a negative.  At this point I asked, “how about the product of the positive square root of negative one times the negative square root of negative one?”   They asked me, what’s the square root of negative one, and I responded, in mathematics it’s called an imaginary with the property that  when squared equals -1.  Therefore, in the example I presented, we have a case where a negative times a positive gives a positive.  What happened after that, I don’t know, the chat room shut off.

What’s the point?  I don’t know.  What I do know is,  in mathematics there are tests for truth, tests to check if a given mathematical function or solution (answer) is the right one.  I don’t know the same can be said for the answers in life, the solutions in life, for the human experience.

I find it fascinating that we humans have such a hard time accepting that things exist for which there are no absolute answers.   Maybe if we could ever come to grips with this, it would be possible to have a tolerant world,  a world that worked for everyone.

Do you think this might be the answer, the truth?

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October 23, 2011 in Commentary

I know the frustration felt by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.  After all, shouldn’t we all be frustrated by a congress that is bought and paid for by the evil rich?  I think not:  only a victim that doesn’t wish to take responsibility for their culpability in the state of their nation could feel this way.

First, let’s look at the alleged 99%.   The last time I checked, it took a majority to elect the president or a congressperson.  If the OWS crowd really does represent the 99%, there’s no way any congressperson could get elected by the remaining 1% that they claim tyrannizes them.  Campaign contribution and expenditure information is public information and readily available  to anybody interested.  Oh yes, I know, the “Citizens United” case allows corporations to contribute without revealing their contributions.  Well, if you have somebody that’s running for office that doesn’t want to divulge the source of their bucks, don’t vote for them.

Talk about victims, what about the young people occupying Wall Street.  Since my youth, the young voter has been the great silent hope of every running elected official.  They’re always going to show up at the last minute and vote in the next election and turn everything around.  Though they did make a difference in the 2008 election, the same was not the case for the 2010 election and now  rumor has it that their disillusionment will have them absent from the voting booths in 2012.  Sorry youth of the nation, that’s just not the way it works in our political system.  If you don’t get your way the first time, you try and try again.  By the way, that’s what I tell every young person I run across that will listen to me.  I tell them that if they ever got together as a group, they could offset the political power of my political group with their hands out, senior citizens.

I close with the oft told story of the man that was crawling around looking for his lost keys under the streetlight when a stranger came by, dropped to his knees and joined him.   After several minutes the stranger asked, “what are we looking for,” and the man says my keys, I lost them.  The stranger then says, “well, where did you loose them,” at which point the man points behind himself toward the dark street and says, “over there.”   The stranger then asks, “then why are you looking for them here,” to which the man replies, “because that’s where the light is.”

We all immediately recognize the silliness of looking for the keys because that’s where the light is, as opposed to looking for them where we lost them, where they are.  Maybe we’ll learn the same about our political problems some day or in the words of a famous old time comic strip character, Pogo, we have met the enemy and it is us.

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