Monday, February 16, 2009
It’s the Parties!
Molly the Robin
My name is Molly and I am an American robin. I learned to think by seeing myself in car door mirrors. I am a mother who has had several broods of hatchlings. A fellow wrote about my story in Animal Park. He only got half the story right as most people do. I use public school libraries which are often closed. I usually find windows or openings into schools. I only have to perch on a tree or bush or deck to watch television news, which is hardly worth the trouble most of the time.
Now I just watched on one of your soft and shallow information television news networks say that Senator Reid has introduced legislation providing for funding of a new high speed railway link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Your government never has compiled and completed a prioritized list of infrastructure projects. Instead your elected leaders reward their districts and you might think that all your country needs are subsidized trips to casinos. In the poorest countries lotteries and gambling are a major focus in the society. Your elected leaders appear to be planning the same fate for your country.
I have seen Amtrak from Buffalo to Albany to New York city and that line is old, slow and needs sprucing up to say the least. I have flown along aside this Amtrak train and it takes forever to get anywhere with so many stops. Going to Florida on Amtrak takes a long time as well as not being cost effective for many, if not most passengers. The cost is several times the cost of a roundtrip by air. Just try to cross the country by train. Maybe you’ll get to your destination in one or probably two weeks at a cost that you could fly several round trips between L.A. and N.Y. Is the Boston to Washington, D.C. train newer and faster than the Amtrak train from Buffalo to New York City because U.S. Senators use that line? Is the Amtrak line between New York City and points north and west old and dilapidated because the two most recent U.S. Senators never use that line themselves?
Most of the trains in your country are old and slow while trains in Europe and Japan are fast and efficient making your trains look out of date. Why is that? The politicians don’t seem to care and your citizenry are so enamored by the automobile that train service gets short shrift. Is it in your national interest to neglect modern rail service?
Your government subsidizes the air line industry and owns the substandard Amtrak line (when compared to those trains in Europe). Your government decided on its own to support and fund airlines over rail lines. Now that fuel is expensive that isn’t such a good idea. There apparently was no foresight in having a passenger rail line the country could really use to cross the country or even go to New York City from Buffalo in a few hours instead of traveling nearly a day. The politicians can say the people don’t care about fast rail service or they would know it.
Those politicians are really clever. They set up the Internal Revenue Service to catch citizens who mistakenly make a deduction of a couple thousand dollars and freeze their assets (the bank must comply or face criminal penalties). In this case it was a middle aged woman who calculated her income. The IRS first contact with her was freezing her assets. No inquiry and no discussion. I watched and listened on a lilac bush the woman tell her story to someone on the phone while she was on her deck. Did the IRS freeze the assets of new Secretary of the Treasury when he made a mistake regarding his taxes? Favoritism may well be the Achilles Heel in any society, for it breeds distrust. The trust quotient in your society is diminishing by the day and has been occurring for a long time.
When the national government “loses” billions, tens of billions and even trillions of dollars in spending in the United States and overseas there is often little accountability. One might even dare say that members of the government (elected and non-elected alike) engage in the most reckless financial manner with impunity and rarely is there a financial crime for anyone in government, despite the fact that tens of billions of dollars, even trillions of dollars are lost or stolen or never recovered. That is the manner that your government conducts business in war and peace, day in and day out. If it continues in this manner it is most likely to come crashing down, most devastatingly on the American people who were so polite and sheepish during the episode of wanton and reckless empire. It all starts with momentous legislation that members of Congress do not read. Their party leaders tell them what to vote on-something like the old Soviet Union where everyone here made fun of the strict party line they all followed. Luckily the library window was open upstairs and I flew right in while nobody was around and did a lot of reading on these matters.
It seems to me that the country is in a financial mess because the two political parties controlling the government caused it. Now the current dominate political party will spend more money trying to extricate the country from the financial meltdown both political parties caused through inattention, incompetence and mismanagement. It’s funny and strange beyond belief that the hundreds of billions given to banks, investment and insurance companies during the Bush bailout has done little for the national economy. How was that money spent? Why was it spent so quickly? I think it was done to protect the assets of those in power as well as those in the banking and investment industries. If they had been allowed to fail the country would know when, where and how to assist the economy if needed. Again, panic for the benefit of the few was the order of the day.
Government of the political parties, for the political parties and by the political parties seems to be the government you have today, something which the first and probably your greatest president, George Washington, warned against in his Farewell Address. I think you respect people and their wisdom by abiding by their words, not by discarding and violating their words. Something like abiding by the Constitution and showing respect by doing so. I’ll be flying off now.