Saturday, March 28, 2009


So I've voted, reported for jury duty, registered my vehicle, and now, I have filed my taxes (depressing). I'd like to think that my responsibilities as a citizen are now fulfilled—at least until next year. But they're not. Only the ones that could land me in jail (or with a steep fine). Which reminds me—I need to step outside (sunshine) and put the new tags on my car.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share that bit of news. And this article I read this morning about the end of an era of excess in America and how that's probably a good thing (because yes, I did waste copious amounts of time surfing online before I finally caved and did the deed). It's a fairly long piece, so visit the bathroom and settle in with a drink before you start.

I like that the author addresses the cyclical political shifts in America and ties those shifts to historical events. I've always thought that these shifts from left to right and back again would somehow allows us to find a middle ground as each political shift corrected for the other, not unlike correcting for oversteering a car—sure, you'll fishtail a bit, but (hopefully) you eventually straighten it out (unless you're driving on black ice, which is an experience I shudder at every time I recall it and thank whoever is in charge again for the fact that I'm still alive).

But lately it seems like the folks that are entrenched on the left and the right (our Olbermans and our O'Reillys), elected or otherwise, have been pushing so fast toward one direction or the other that we're in danger of overcorrecting (funny, spell check wants that to be overreacting—same difference, really) and careening off the road altogether. There seems to be so little patience to see if a method is having an affect before we pull an about-face and try something else.

Our problems didn't happen overnight; and neither will the solutions. And getting to safer ground will require a lot of hard work and compromise. With that in mind, it was encouraging to see that Rep. Fattah (D-PA) had the time and energy to join in the current NASA/Colbert scuffle over NASA's naming of a room in the International Space Station.

This is what we pay our congressfolks (how's that for gender-neutral writing?) to do. Come on people! Priorities!

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