It rained a bit overnight and though it is dry enough (we didn't get much) I am taking yet another day off from cleaning up outside. Instead I have dusted one of my several book shelves and will do at least one more today. It is time to cull the books yet again.
I have to remind myself regularly that the "dysfunction" we see in our federal government and, perhaps by extension, our state governments isn't really a flaw but a design feature. This article at Americablog is a good reminder of exactly who wrote the constitution and how their values have percolated down through time. Though the author notes the privileged class of the framers he neglects to mention several another key fact. They hated the notion of "faction" and saw political parties as the most undesirable expression of faction. Faction pitted one "special interest" (to use the modern term) against other special interests and against the common good. So they designed a system they hoped would allow those special interests to fight themselves to exhaustion and allow the common good (undefined, of course) to emerge from the rubble. The system was designed for deadlock and has succeeded marvelously.
We haven't heard anything about this on our televised media and I don't know whether to be glad or infuriated. But I do wonder, like a couple of others I have seen comment on line, why the media has been so silent, at least outside the St. Louis area. We hear about Lamar Odom and the Kardashians or Sandy Jackson's trip to a country club prison and any number stories of lesser interest. Though I don't live near St. Louis the story of a possibly serial arsonist targeting black churches is far too reminiscent of the bad old days.
Two stories that broke today caught my attention: Paul Ryan makes some steep demands of his party to consider putting his name in for Speaker of the House and Joe Biden has decided not to contend for the 2016 Presidential nomination. I won't link since they are all over the news right now. Ryan basically insists that a party that has been anything but unified somehow come together and work towards common goals. He also insists that he will not sacrifice his time with his family to the job leading one commenter to write that he would take the job so long as he "didn't have to do the job." Good!! Someone in the party that styles itself as pro-family actually acting on that value. I don't like Paul Ryan much at all but I find that sentiment admirable. As for Biden, I think too many friends and supporters didn't take his comments on the emotional demands (on himself and his family) of contending for the opportunity to do the job and his questions of whether he was up to the challenge seriously. He dithered long enough to gracefully get out without pissing off anyone terribly.
Good!! Now let's legalize and regulate marijuana along the lines alcohol is legal and regulated.