Daily Archives: July 10, 2011

Why don’t we go after a 21st Century government?

Second round of the French presidential electi...

Is this the Old Way?

I was watching Walter Mosely on Book Notes this afternoon as he promoted a new book about American politics. One of the things he said has stuck in my head: we have an 18th century government in a 21st century environment. What he was referring to was the fact that we still elect representatives to “represent” what we believe in Congress and to vote on items for us, whether we, in the end, agree with them or not. And, since they are easily corrupted by corporations and lobbyists putting money in their campaigns to get the job of “representing” us, we often do not agree with what they are voting for… for us.

Yet we are in an era that is pervaded by technology, where Facebook keeps thousands of us at a time, no matter where we are, communicating together. What if we all put a particular amount of time (Mosely suggested 90 minutes, but I don’t believe that much is possible on a daily basis… more likely 30 minutes) into being on-line and voting on those things ourselves? All of a sudden there is no need for Congress… the only way big corporations could influence us is by making their products and services cheaper or higher in quality (it would be realyl hard to pay off 220 million voters who are representing themselves.)

Certainly, there would have to be technical administration services created to hold the wiring together. nd we would have to have volunteer committees to control things like the military and the treasury and other important needs. But think about a real Democracy here… 1 on 1 in operation, but a huge scale overall. I know there will be so many arguments on why it can’t be done… but didn’t the imperial governments of the 18th Century think the great American experience, freeing itself from Great Britain, was certainly going to fail?

All I am saying is think about it… and remember that right now, right this very second, you and I are in a potential debate on the subject and that debate could be expanded and millions could take part. Then all we need to do is have a vote…

Cartoon(s) of the Week – More than one subject this week…

…so I’m dividing them up by topic.

Debt and Deficit Discussion:

Steve Breen, San Diego Union Tribune:

Let’s all sit down at the table and compromise…

– and –

Jim Morin, Miami Herald:

…but we really want an agreement…

– and –

David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star:

… of course, not giving in can destroy you come election time.

Campaign Comedy:

Once again, Jim Morin, Miami Herald:

Knowledge is a tremendous benefit for candidates…

Not a great week for Rupert Murdoch:

Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle:

What do you think of when you hear “Rupert Murdoch?

– and –

Harry Bliss, Tribune Media Services:

What do you think of Rupert Murdoch’s News network?

– and –

And one last time, Jim Morin, Miami Herald:


I guess I’m REALLY feeling older…

Al Thomas

Last night was Al Thomas’ Birthday Party over at the Folly, the wonderful timber frame performance area he built some years ago on Bradley Sanders’ property, surrounded by talking areas and wood benches and what’s left of Al’s giant trebuchet (which he says he’s going to put back together one of these days.)

Al turned 60 this week, which makes him 5 years younger than me and a person with so much more energy and personality, able to carry on discussions with anyone and loved by everyone, that I am totally jealous.

Elly and Bud were also at the party with me ( Bud stayed there till 1:00 AM… 1:00 AM!… when his mother picked him up and the party was still going on.) We got there around quarter past five and after 2 1/2 hours I was exhausted, so I talked Elly into going home (she was going to a 10PM showing of “Paris Texas” at the Opera House with her friend Joan anyway), where I went to bed (I had been up since 4:30 in the morning and could barely keep awake.

The music was great, the food was terrific and beer and wine flowed freely. By the time I left there were easily 100 people there… from folks my age and older to the youngest of children running around and speeding through crowds on bikes… and Elly said when she picked up Bud cars will still arriving as others were leaving. How folks close to my age can keep going so far into the night is more than I can understand.

My son says I’m not “social” and that’s probably true (Elly agrees), but I think part of it is that I can never think of things to talk about unless someone else and I are involved in the same project, and I can’t remember most names… even of people I’ve met only a day or so ago. I am so embarrassed about my inability to remember names and how it makes it hard for me to introduce people to my wife and son or others, that I avoid doing it… or I do “one way” introductions, hoping the person whose name I can’t remember coughs it up when saying “nice to meet you.”

As I get older, I’m losing my memory of other things, too… events, movies I’ve seen, etc. … and my energy level is dropping like a bag of stones from a bridge. I’m having more and more trouble losing weight as I get more and more sedentary. I only sleep in 90 minute chunks, so I’m up and down all night. If it were not for this blog, my podcast, and co-hosting for John Case on the Friday morning radio show, I would probably be in a coma.

I can’t figure out who I am at this point in life. Perhaps working on the Carnival project for August at the Folly will help me see who I am (and someday I’d like to direct some theatre again… there are so many pieces I want to do and no one, so far, interested in having me do them.

At least it is Sunday and I can nap the afternoon away.

Anyhow… Happy Birthday, Al. You are one of the people whose names I CAN remember and who I really enjoy talking with.