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As I See It: Of this and that

Well, almost as one could predict from a Hollywood script, the government shutdown was over and an agreement was reached at nearly the last possible minute prior to the predicted apocalypse around the debt ceiling.

Of course, there wasn’t going to be any apocalypse, but that’s what the administration and media wanted everyone to believe. I can’t count the number of times the Republicans have been accused of fear mongering, but in actuality, they are rank amateurs in this area compared to the Democrats.

As the dust settled last week, everyone was trying to analyze who won and who lost during the shutdown. I don’t give a rip who won, because the American people were the ones who lost.

After all the machinations of the administration in making the impact of the shutdown appear far worse than it actually was, when it comes to the real problems — the national debt and unsustainable spending — nothing was solved.

I read a letter in another paper over the weekend praising the fact that we have such a big government and how good it is that it has its tentacles in virtually every facet of our society. The shutdown supposedly showed us all the different areas in which the government spends money and that money turns into so many more jobs and that’s good for the economy as a whole.

If you read any respected economist, you will discover that when government is the major source of economic activity in a country, you are in deep doodoo.

We are on an unsustainable path and no one in Washington, D.C., has the chutzpah to stop the insanity.

Speaking of insanity, as soon as the debt ceiling crisis was averted we suddenly were told that the signup process for Obamacare wasn’t doing too well. The problems ranged from mild irritation to outright disaster depending on which state you were in and whether or not you could actually get connected to a website.

For those people who were lucky enough to get through to a site and complete the application process, there were concerns about the amount of information that one had to provide to complete the process.

Given our recent experiences with the National Security Agency and their domestic spying debacle, I believe we should have very valid concerns about the security of our private information.

Still others who were successful in completing their applications were distressed at the high costs of the “Affordable Care Act.”

I don’t know the actual figure of the amount of money that was spent designing the online database and user interfaces, but it is at least $500 million (half a billion). Now that’s not chump change.

The implementation of Obamacare is certainly an educational process as we peel back each layer of the onion to find out what’s actually inside. Of course, the government could not or would not tell anyone how many people had actually enrolled. If the database worked, they would know the number instantaneously.

And I believe they had a good idea, but were so embarrassed at the low number they wouldn’t release it. I wonder if the Cat In The Hat could tell use what’s really going on here?

On “60 Minutes” Sunday evening, we found out that several members of Congress were perhaps abusing the leadership Political Action Committees, using the money they raised through these organizations for questionable purposes.

This is great news right after the shutdown/debt ceiling brouhaha, isn’t it?

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at this because as soon as a rule is written, it seems folks start working on ways around the restrictions. Nor should we be very surprised at all the delays and exemptions from the Obamacare provisions that have already been handed out for hundreds of groups – including Congress.

Have you ever applied for a job? If you have, especially in the last 20 years, you know how specialized the job requirements have become. Some things make a lot of sense, especially in the trades where you need a general contractor’s license or certification as a plumber, electrician, heating/air conditioning repair technician, and so on.

In other professions, you have to have higher education, like degrees in law, medicine, accounting, business and other disciplines. There are definite, specific prerequisites for nearly every job today. And if you have ever applied without one of the necessary items, you know you usually don’t even get called for an interview.

However, the prerequisites for a publicly elected office are citizenship (sometimes), age (sometimes) and residency (sometimes). Other than that, we demand very little and too often that is exactly what we get back. Usually, we are supposed to be satisfied with what the two political party nomination and primary processes hand to us. Isn’t it telling that the current political gridlock is ultimately our creation?

If we all looked for and demanded the actual truth about people and situations, our social and political landscape might look a lot different than it does today. When you search for the truth, you have to let go of the “I can have my own truth” mentality – that’s really progressive crap.

Belief alone is not truth; only truth is truth. And, truth cannot contradict truth.

Chew on that for a couple of weeks.

That’s the way I see it.