Government at Work – Ain’t It Grand?

I’ve said it a million times.  If you love the way government runs the DMV, post office, SEC in dealing with Bernie Madoff, Fannie & Freddie Mac, education, the BP oil spill, TSA and Hurricane Katrina, you’re gonna love Obamacare.  We’ve already experienced government’s track record and we haven’t even scratched the surface of the health care reform bill.  In the meantime, there’s absolutely no shortage of stupid government ideas and actions which shouldn’t see the light of day but have.

Traffic and parking citations given out by the police in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, have an image of a yoga position on the front of the envelope with instructions on the reverse on how to achieve it.  The point of all this is to calm down angry recipients of the tickets.  You tell me whether that would work for you.

The feds are at it again with cigarettes.  I’ve yet to meet a smoker who gave up smoking because of the warning labels which have been on the packs for decades.  The feds are now talking about putting gruesome images on the packs to get people to stop smoking.  Corpses, cancer patients and diseased lungs are among the images being considered.  I know only a few people who continue to smoke but I also see a huge number of high school kids smoking, decades after the connection was made between cancer and smoking.  Young people believe they’re invincible and warning labels aren’t going to stop them from smoking.  Unless they’ve been living on a different planet, they already know the link between cancer and smoking and they continue to smoke because of their “it’s not going to happen to me” attitude.

My nephew sent me a photo of a sign posted at the ferry terminal in Seattle which reads, “ASSAULTS ON WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYEES WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW.”  He commented, “Why would the government feel the need to post a sign like this?  Will someone that’s thinking about assaulting a WA state employee see it and think, “Oh my God, I didn’t realize that I’d be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  I better not do it!”

The Federal Highway Administration is requiring the City of New York to replace its 250,000 street signs to “conform to national standards” at a cost of $27.5 million.

My state of Washington spent probably millions producing what has to be one of the most stupid public announcements called “Wash-your-hands-ington.”  This is just plain embarrassing.

In June, a group of high school students were singing the National Anthem at the Lincoln Memorial and were told by the U.S. Park Police to stop singing because they were “in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain ‘completely content neutral.’”  Had they moved 25 steps – yes 25 steps – from where they were standing, it would’ve been alright.  The students, in an act of civil disobedience, continued to sing.  Yes, I’m fully aware the right to assemble may be restricted but, despite Supreme Court rulings, I don’t get why singing the National Anthem of the United States – anywhere – should be prohibited in America.

In early 2009, a Massachusetts parole board released a career criminal who was serving three concurrent life sentences after he convinced them his was a changed man. In December, he killed a police officer while attempting to rob a department store.  Fortunately, he died in the shootout.

But, there is a tiny ray of hope amidst all this dopey stuff.  Stanislaus County, CA officials have said that 13-year old Cody Alicea could keep the American flag on his bicycle.  Earlier, he was told to remove it because of “racial tensions” at the school.  Even bikers from the American Legion Riders escorted Cody to school to show their support for him and the American flag.  Like singing the National Anthem, anyone, anywhere, should be able to wear, display or carry the American flag.  After all, this is America, and if you don’t like it, leave!

I don’t get any of it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
Author website: http://www.idontgetit.us
  • Roger Ward

    If allowed to stand, Obamacare will certainly bankrupt this country. An insight to the U.S. under Obamacare can be had by looking at a similar type of program which was put into place in Massachusetts: staggering costs, long delays before appointments, no choices on doctors, etc. Massachusetts is only one state and fortunately, I don’t live there …. but it appears that I’ll have no choice but to accept a similarly disasterous plan soon, and this on a national scale. (By the way, that medical program was championed and shepherded into being by one Mitt Romney. As a conservative, I can only hang my head in shame and despair that he is one of the front-runners on the Republican ticket …. some conservative! He also flip-flopped on abortion, going from a long standing support of abortion rights to his recent position as a pro-lifer.)

    Did you watch the Super Bowl? Do you remember the ad against smoking which was put up and paid for by California tax payers? Three million dollars for one ad to say something that everyone knows (smoking is bad for you.) Given our state’s colossal deficit and the coming increases in taxes, it seems to me that a three million dollar ad doesn’t make good financial sense …. but what do I know? I’m just a tax payer.

    What Politically Correct moron told Cody Alicea to remove the American flag from his bicycle? Was he prosecuted for trying to deprive Cody of his first amendment rights? (If it were a Mexican flag I’m sure he would not have been told to remove it.)

    Were the U.S. Park Police disciplined after they tried to stop students from singing the National Anthem at the Lincoln Memorial? Why not?

    Wash-your-hands-ington?????

    I’m getting a headache.

    • Bob Hadley

      If allowed to stand, our current health care system may well bankrupt this nation. If the recently enacted health care law is defective, let’s fix it. If it’s inherently defective, where is the alternative system that will make health insurance affordable, even for those with pre-existing conditions????????????

      Knowledgable Republican leaders will only admit under water boarding that health insurance costs will spiral out of control unless the pool of the insured is greatly increased to include the young and healthy in some way. That is an unpleasant truth that only a Republican leader who is a profile in courage will admit. Otherwise, health insurance will continue to spiral largely because ERs are required to treat whoever ends up there, regardless of ability to pay and regardless of whether they’re facing an emergency. Many use the ER as primary care service. Yes, we already have a type of socialized medical care….highly inefficient socialized medical care.

      As just one example, if diabetes were to be detected and treated early, untold tens of billions of dollars would be saved in hospital visits and urgent care for the debilitating effects on those who do not have early intervention. (Newt used this example shortly after becoming Speaker of the House.) The list goes on – strokes, heart attacks, infant care, etc. Of course, not everyone would take advantage of their health insurance even if they had it. But, enough would make ample use of their health insurance to greatly lower costs.

      Can we constitutionally force people to buy insurance or pay a fine? We’ll soon find out. But one thing’s for sure: right now, taxpayers and health insurance consumers are forced to pay for the mushrooming unpaid ER costs.

      Republicans controlled the House, the Senate and the presidency for six years. They never made any attempt at a health care law that would address these concerns during that time (or ever), because they know that doing so is political suicide. Rather, they feel compelled to use focus-group tested rhetoric to sabotage the law that recently passed.

      I don’t doubt that so called Obama-care has flaws, but the current system is unsustainable. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, a comprehensive health care insurance law (one addressing the above concerns) is the worst system on the face of the Earth, except for all the rest of them.

  • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

    If you love the way government runs the DMV, post office, SEC in dealing with Bernie Madoff, Fannie & Freddie Mac, education, the BP oil spill, TSA and Hurricane Katrina, you’re gonna love Obamacare.>>

    If not our government, then who? The private sector? Don’t make me laugh!

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  • Oh please

    All these anti-govt crusades are secretly being funded by the wall street crooks and the mega polluters. They want to end govt so they can steal trillions more and create another great depression. We saw how that bush de-regulation worked out.
    I mail my netflix dvd’s at 2pm and within 24 hours I recieve my next dvd’s.
    I went to the DMV at 10am and it took me 15 minutes to renew…most dmv’s allow you to set up an appointment.

    Any of these so-called government inefficencies are actually the result of your “smaller government” programs which actually mean less employees and slower customer turnaround.

    • Jeffreydan

      The USPS is good at delivering mail, absolutely. It would be nice, however, if it weren’t consistently running in the red, and the lines to wait at the post office are no picnic.
      My DMV visits have varied in wait-times, and I’ve actually had a couple of walk-in visits over the years go quicker than one via appointment. But one thing that has remained consistent every time, without fail: a disinterested, personality-free worker at every window who would be replaced by a pleasant, motivated person if it were a private company in charge.

      And now to correct you: government inefficiencies increase as government’s size increases. Decades of more money and more workers thrown at them hasn’t balanced the checkbooks or improved the overall performances of the USPS, Medicare, and most public schools.

      All these big-govt crusades are funded by power-hungry special interests and crooked unions. They want to give govt more & more control so they can make extract more money out of diligent, successful people and create a miserable nanny-state. We remain stuck in the aftermath of the democrats’ failed mortgage policies that they successfully kept President Bush from regulating.

    • begbie

      Haha…OH PLEASE! Netflix is your example? The reason why Netflix gets your movies turned around so fast are the number of service hubs shipping and receiving movies! Netflix has been building their business for at least 15 years; that’s “building” by making a profit and making solid investments in their resources to make the service as good as it is now. The post office might get the mail there but at the same time being $7 billion in the red and CLIMBING.

      There’s NO comparison. Netflix and their customers made Netflix better…the USPS had nothing to do with it. In fact, Netflix helps to keep the USPS’s situation from getting even worse, but of course just delaying the inevitable….fiscal failure.

  • NeverCon

    During his eight years in office, Ronald Reagan increased federal spending by 53 percent, added a quarter of a million new civilian government employees, escalated the War on Drugs, created the “drug czar’s office,” and lowered the value of your 1980 dollar to 73 cents. His Republican successor, George Herbert Walker Bush, further increased taxes, further increased federal spending, and “managed to knock thirteen cents off the value of your dollar in just four years.”

    • Jeffreydan

      You are absolutely right about President Reagan. The way he took that stellar economy that Carter blessed us with and just ruined it, well, that was a dark time in this country’s history.

      • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

        I remember hard times and two severe recessions during Ronnie’s reign.

        • Jeffreydan

          Exactly!

          That loser had no business unseating Carter, and the whole economy just went down the toilet from there. It still stings to this day.

          • Bob Hadley

            Pres. Reagan would provoke the ire of Tea Partiers if he were president today and was doing things he did back in the ’80s. He raised taxes a few times after he lowered them, he granted amnesty to illegal aliens, he oversaw huge deficits (altho’ small in comparison to those of today) and never proposed a balanced budget, he cut and run (from Beruit) when the going got tough and during the 1982 congressional campaign he repeatedly and doggedly blamed the terrible economy on Pres. Carter. In the 1984 presidential campaign he acted as if he were running against Pres. Carter, blaming him for everything. Reagan’s wit, charm, soaring rhetoric and patriotic demeanor snowed many conservatives purists.

            That being said, Reagan also did some GREAT things.

  • Ron

    Singing the National Anthem at the Lincoln Memorial. The area in which the studens were singing was an area that prohibits any type of demonstrations or performances to maintain a contemplative and reverent area for the Lincoln Memorial. I think the gurard handled it poorly but I can understand the rule. Since I only have to renew my driver’s license every 5 years and it has never taken me more than 30 minutes, I think the DMV does a pretty good job. My guess is the Post Office does a pretty good job as well for the volume of mail that it handles. My guess is that the problem with the Massachusetts Parole Board has more to do with the law than the Board. If we are going to give Board’s discretion, they will make mistakes. As for the street lights, we long ago gave the Federal government too much power to regulate every aspect of our lives. The only President in my lifetime who reversed the trend was Ronad Reagan.

    • begbie

      Again, the DMV and Post Office might do a pretty good job; but at the same time hemoraging tax dollars. All together and undeniably, that equates to FAILURE.

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