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As I See It: Points to ponder

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Every once in a while, the ideas for my opinion columns come in a deluge and it’s almost impossible to choose one over the other. At times like this, I inevitably pick one that doesn’t turn out quite the way I had planned and by then I’m up against a deadline and I finish it as best I can and move on.

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This week, I’m just going to lay some things on you without going too deeply into each subject. I imagine if you think about the question itself or the way it is presented you can likely figure out what I think about the subject.

A couple weeks ago another Echo Journal columnist of the opposite political persuasion decried the influence and expenditures of the Koch brothers in attempting to influence our U.S. representative election race this year. He could have found himself to be equally circumspect about the massive influx of out-of-state money that swayed the marriage amendment defeat last year.

Why do so many of us find fault with others but cannot recognize the same faults in ourselves?

Isn’t it equally ironic that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey may no longer have a political future because of some misguided staff members, orange traffic cones, and the only-too-cooperative media — when the Internal Revenue Service has essentially done the same thing in regard to nonprofit status applications from suspect “conservative” groups?

A train carrying crude oil derailed in North Dakota a few weeks ago and now that has been turned into a national crisis by a chorus of Chicken Little wannabes. Can trains and people no longer co-exist? If the dithering chief executive could make a choice between jobs and pandering to his environmental base we might be able to move more oil by pipeline instead of by train.

Don’t we owe our neighbor to the north and one of our staunchest friends in the world some consideration, too? Why can’t/won’t the president admit we will still need affordable oil for the foreseeable future?

The government occasionally touts the creation of more jobs as a sign of a continuing recovery. Yet at the same time we continue to graduate more job-seekers than creating new jobs. And when others out of total discouragement and frustration stop seeking employment, they are no longer factors in the “unemployment” equation.

The politicians will not tell us the accurate figures because the truth will set them free — from office that is.

Speaking of the truth, another Chicken Little chorus predicted Manhattan Island and Miami Beach would be beneath six feet of water and that Indiana might have frontage on the Atlantic Ocean by now. Still others see the periodic cold waves and snow sweeping the nation as proof of man-made/caused climatological change.

I seem to remember winters 40 years ago when it was darn cold and snow was up to my nether regions for several months. I wonder who caused it all back then.

If we could have a truly scientific analysis without the use of predictive models built by pseudo-scientists with political agendas, I might put more credence in some of their claims. I still believe if they are somehow correct, we are kidding ourselves if we believe we can somehow change what nature eventually has in store for us. Can we ever overcome our arrogance when it comes to nature?

I have a close relative who has gone through two bankruptcies because the family continuously spent more money than they were able to make. They are now relatively solvent because their expenditures are much closer to their income.

They learned a lesson that many others in our nation have likewise learned. That lesson has yet to find its way into the psyche of our national politicians. Isn’t the same result close or perhaps inevitable?

On a related note, this family may well be back in financial distress because of the “Affordable Care Act.” Our leaders have long touted that no one should go bankrupt because of their medical bills. As things continue to evolve with the status, amount and payment of subsidies, they could well go bankrupt because of the cost of their medical insurance.

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that MNsure was touted as a model because it was going so well? Now it appears to have some of the same issues as most of the others.

Our chief executive is mad because people are blaming government for too many things. I guess I might agree that government itself is not the problem, but government bureaucracy certainly is. If he can just fix that, things might turn around.

The Titanic did not have enough rudder authority to avoid the iceberg. Does he believe the icebergs will part for him just like the Red Sea did for Moses?

It’s time for us to drop some terms from our political dialogue. My candidates are “radical, extremist, racist, bigot/bigoted, homophobe/homophobic, Tea Party/Tea-Partier” and you are welcome to add to the list. These words really mean, “I don’t agree with this person’s position but I can’t dispute it on the intellectual level, so I must discredit him or her.”

In the case of New York State, none of those people are welcome there anyway. What a great country!

That ought to keep your mind busy and/or your blood boiling for another two weeks or so. It’s just another service I humbly offer.

Well, that’s the way I see it.

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