Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “general public”

Leadership in Public Service

One of my pre-campaign advisers suggested that I agree with everyone about everything to win the popular vote by being popular.  If a person asks what I think about something controversial, I can answer with a question.  “That is an important question.  I am glad you brought it up.  What do YOU think, sir?”  Then, depending on the response, I could simply agree.  “When in Rome….”  Or Boulder.

Obviously, much of what I write is “tongue in cheek,”  including my pre-campaign strategizing.  Today I want to bring up something more serious.

I admire many people who serve those of us in the general public by running for office, which is difficult for many reasons, and serving the public trust by wrestling with the issues of the day and actually providing leadership, including proclaiming values based on deeply held religious beliefs.

John F. Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage before he was President.  It is about risking unpopularity by choices made while in office.

Rebecca Hamilton is an Oklahoma legislator who has written about political pressures.

We have a representative form of government which requires people whom we elect to spend time using their judgement on all sorts of issues that affect the rest of us.   Government budgets are necessary but boring.  It requires absorbing information and making decisions.  Most of us in the general public do not want to spend the time studying the issues.  We let our elected officials worry about that stuff.  We also let them take the heat after the fact.  We can criticize them with hindsight similar to that of Monday Morning Quarterbacks.  If you think that you can do a better job than Peyton Manning, show your stuff.  If you think you can do a better job than the elected legislators or governors, run for office.

Today I thank those who serve our government in many ways that I do not.

I admire those who lead rather than merely try to please.

Taxing Sin — Win Win

Yesterday I pre-announced my pre-candidacy for the U.S. Senate, launching my pre-campaign.   Today I will start taking applications for pre-campaign volunteers.  For those interested, I am pleased to assure you that you are pre-approved.

Although I am (almost) running for a Senate seat in Colorado, I invite Americans from across the continent to hop on my bandwagon.  (Texas is “a whole other country.”  Nevertheless, even Texans are welcome to pre-campaign for me.  My wife is a former Texan so I’m pretty tolerant.  She is not, however, affiliated with Oklahoma, so that is where I draw the line.)

So, unless you are from Oklahoma, please keep reading about my exciting pre-campaign ideas.

Here in Colorado, we recently legalized marijuana despite it being illegal under federal law.    Apparently Colorado and Washington are so special that they can ignore federal law, which is, after all, intended merely for the general public, not everyone nor every state.  Maybe it is Colorado that is a whole other country.  Washington too.

During the campaign to amend Colorado’s state constitution to allow marijuana, an argument was frequently made that if stores can sell marijuana, the sales can be taxed, bringing increased revenue to the state, not to mention tourism dollars from drug-motivated tourists.

That got me to thinking about other taxes that Coloradans are presently missing out on.  Sure, we tax cigarettes and alcohol already.  We also sell lottery tickets.  We have gambling districts in Central City and Blackhawk, where casinos are allowed.  Why stop there?

Colorado is not as progressive as Nevada when it comes to prostitution.  Isn’t that something we could tax?  Wouldn’t that bring in more tourists, that niche interested in sex outside of marriage?

Are you paying attention, Oklahoma?  The Bible Belt is missing out.  Sin is a big moneymaker!

As a lawmaker in the U.S. Senate, I could show the way to the backward states and sponsor federal legislation to legalize drugs and prostitution, as well as gambling, on a national basis.  Also, I know how to overcome the objections of goody two-shoes types who want to impose their morals on folks unshackled by such things.

Back where I come from, Colorado, we have figgered that out.  My unoriginal idea for selling this legislation is to make it a win/win situation.  Since everyone should care about our children, the future of America, I say we use the new tax on prostitution to fund education.  The fine religious people who might not approve of prostitution will see the light when they realize that promoting prostitution helps our schools.

We have a diversity of values in America, but can’t we come together and agree on the importance of education?  Do it for the children!

Why stop at marijuana?  There is a lot of money in cocaine, heroin and meth.  I would tie taxes on each to popular causes.  I realize that all this will be debated on the floor of the Senate.  I would just be one voice among 100 Senators.  However, wait until my future colleagues get a load of this:  I suggest cocaine revenue goes to cancer research, maybe heroin taxes should be used to fund National Parks, and meth taxes could go to something like paying for the military.  Do you have a problem with healthcare, national parks or the military?  If so, I question your patriotism.  As a Senator, I will tell the F.B.I. to look into such citizens.  Maybe make ’em register as non-compliant.  Certainly, take their guns.

My pre-campaign values diversity.  I’m okay.  You’re okay.  And, let’s be open-minded and say that drug dealers and prostitutes are okay too.   Well, they are okay as long as they pay taxes.

Please support my pre-campaign by liking me on facebook.

Everyone is welcome!  Well, almost everyone.  I am fixin’ to open it up to Oklahomans in the near future.  For now, hold your horses, Okies.

Welcome to the General Public

In the original Rocky movie, when Rocky wanted to take Adrian ice skating, he was told that the ice rink was closed.  He asked, “Is it closed to everybody or just to the general public?”

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray what we call The Lord’s Prayer, which includes asking our Father who art in heaven to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” was he intending that only those twelve individuals pray that prayer or was it meant for the general public as well?

Like Rocky, I don’t always want to be part of just the general public.  Maybe I don’t want to forgive those who trespass against me.  Nevertheless, I do recommend that those in the general public ought to be forgiving.  I like to be forgiven by others and certainly I want to be forgiven by God.

Of course, Christians believe that Jesus died for the sins of everyone, to redeem everyone.  Everyone is in the general public.

Unfortunately, we do not always behave as we believe.

Have you had the experience of telling a fellow Christian that you have been hurt by that person and instead of being asked for forgiveness, such as a simple, “I am sorry,” had that person explain to you why you should not have been hurt?  Disregarding your feelings.  Or explain why you deserved to be hurt.  No remorse.  No apology.  Why?  Because the “hurter” will not accept blame and is unrepentant.   Too good.  Too superior.  Too “Christian?”

On the flip side, have you asked a Christian brother or sister to forgive you and been ignored?  Or refused.  Imagine a fellow sinner withholding forgiveness  from someone whom Christ died for.  How can any Christian be too good to forgive another?   Isn’t that disregarding what Christ has accomplished on the cross?

Apparently, such Christians are blind to the applicability of Jesus’ words to them.  Apparently, they do not see themselves as part of the general public.  Apparently, they deem themselves special.

Jesus was upset by similarly self-righteous attitudes by the Pharisees of his day.  He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you put burdens on others that you yourselves are unwilling to bear.”

Feeling superior about one’s righteousness might be comfortable for such persons, but I fear they missed the point of Jesus’ gospel.  They would be well-advised to acknowledge being part of the general public because Jesus came to save everyone.

Abraham Lincoln said, “God must especially love the common folks because he made so many of them.”

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