Sunday, September 18, 2011

Q: What is a disaster?

A: You may be able to witness one when Missouri plays Oklahoma in their September 24 football game.

Mizzou fans can look forward to the September 24 clash between the Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners; that is if you like hurricanes, floods, and other disasters.

Not that Mizzou hasn't a few times beaten some mediocre Oklahoma teams, but the Sooners ranked Number One, in Norman, on their own killing grounds???

To steal a line from the immortal "Casey At The Bat," "The outlook isn't brilliant."

Now nothing could be finer or more satisfying than for the writer of this gloomy forecast to be forced-fed humble pie, and have large amounts of crow rammed down his throat. But there is a thing called realism.

Mizzou has been looking better in recent years. But Oklahoma is one of the Top Dogs of the college football world with a recruiting program and reputation belonging only to a few.

Standby lifeboats, ambulances, and rescue squads. A tornado is on its way.

Q: Is the GOP posturing obstructing a new era of smart government.

A: Cokie & Steve Roberts say it is.

Republican candidate for president, Rick Perry, may be as bad as Cokie & Steve said he is in their column for Sunday 9-11. There is still a lot to be learned about the Texas governor.

The Roberts quote Perry as saying he will make Washington "as inconsequential in life as I can." Then the Roberts go on to point out that Texas as well as all the states will call on the federal government for help in times of disaster. There is more than a hint of hypocrisy here.

This seems a weak argument for the Roberts because there are fundamental duties of government that will exist no matter what power is in office; whether it's socialism, communism, or a democracy. Even in a monarchy the king is not just to be kept fat & sassy, but to come to the aid of people when the need is there.

Just exactly what Perry means when he says he will keep Washington inconsequential is subject to interpretation. We could go as far as anarchy which if so we don't need Perry, the federal government, or any other power except a jungle where the physically strong would probably rule.

If Perry just means just less federal power then has he simply entered an argument that goes back before he was born, or before there was a United States; and probably back to when cave men were attempting some sort of organization. There will undoubtedly be disagreement on this issue long after every person alive now on this planet is dead and buried.

The Roberts present a stronger argument for hypocrisy when they point out that Perry received $80,000 in subsidies for his 1980s cotton land. This, however, was and is a long established federal program; and the question is who is going to return the check? Maybe Perry gave the money to charity? And maybe he bought a bigger and better automobile. We don't know, nor do the Roberts.

The Roberts have a bad habit of writing in aphorisms. They just come right out in that 9-ll column and say that the people who disagree with them are "irresponsible and ignorant." They seem to have supreme knowledge privileged to an esoteric few.

Those of us less gifted might like to think of our government as elected officials whose duties are to make or repeal laws that will benefit all, and lead to more happiness and contentment. There are, however, other government responsibilities that would be there even under the whip of a dictatorship. The question is about the extent of government control, whether more, or less.

There are enough government agencies now to fill an encyclopedia. Surely the Roberts wouldn't consider it hypocritical to ask one or two of them for help in times of emergency? There will be others there we can normally depend on, such as the churches and other religious groups, service organizations, and the many volunteers wearing no government badges.

Let's start a political discussion: More federal power, or less federal power?

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