21
May
13

If government is evil, then so are we

If one lives in an oppressive system, like Iran or North Korea, then, yes, one can quite easily make the claim that government can be evil.

Modern history is littered with examples of evil governments, from Stalin’s USSR to Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

But what all these governments have in common is a lack of agency among its subjects. The people who lived and continue to live under those regimes have no political control over their lives. Decisions are mandated from some remote source, and all opposition is quashed. With my cantankerous nature, I certainly wouldn’t want to live in the Iran of Ahmedinajad, or the Belarus of Lukashenko.

This is not the case in the United States of America.

For all our faults, citizens are in control of their own destinies, or should be. Elections are frequent, common, and free. Whether we like it or not, Tea Party governors and legislatures were elected openly, and their policies have the imprimatur of the electorate.

Which is why, whenever I hear anyone say that “government is evil”, or “government is the problem”, I want to shake them until a modicum of sense seeps back into their addled brains.

Let’s take a look at two of President Obama’s recent “scandals”, and at the tragedies in Oklahoma.

In the IRS “scandal”, overzealous IRS employees, deluged with Tea Party applications for 501 c 3 status, decided to look more closely at those applications. The fact was that these employees were operating with very vague guidelines, as the Supreme Court’s decision that money was speech didn’t put in place policies to guide employees as to the appropriate tax status of all these new “social” organizations. Such policies also weren’t enacted by Congress. The policies put in place by the IRS evolved, and as they evolved, they grew to the point where most all applications were approved. We can argue whether organizations—of either the left or right—which are devoted mostly to political work should be tax exempt. I, of course, think they shouldn’t, either on the left or right. But that’s the muddle in which we find ourselves thanks to a bought and paid for Supreme Court, and the “government”, once the situation was evident, moved to correct the disparities based on existing law. No groups were persecuted or denied something afforded to other similar groups. This was far from a case of government oppression of protected political activity.

The AP “scandal” is even more clear cut. An AP story alerted Al Qaeda to a CIA operative in its midst. We, of course, don’t know the ramifications of that leak. We don’t know if people working with the US were captured or killed. At the very least, the AP story terminated an ongoing intelligence operation which yielded much good work, including the prevention of an airline bombing. The AP had a right to publish the story; but it has no right to shield the person who leaked the information, which threatened national security and a theater in the struggle against Al Qaeda. Furthermore, despite the hysterics from the fourth estate, the AP wasn’t being “spied” upon. If they can’t tell the difference between spying and obtaining phone records from a legal search warrant, then they have no business reporting on anything. No, the government isn’t “evil” for subpoenaing the AP; it is, in fact, doing what the Right always wanted the government to do, which is to quash national security leaks. But, of course, it’s quite different when Barack Obama is the one pursuing those leaks.

Now we come to the tragedies in Oklahoma. Let’s put aside for the moment all talk about climate change and the fact that such change will make our weather more extreme. (Yes, Sarah Palin, including snow in Alaska in May, you vituperative, know-nothing guttersnipe.) Who is going to be there helping those affected put together their lives? Yes, the evil government. The government, much like a lawyer, is evil—until you need it.

But what kind of civilized life would we have without a strong, well-funded government? None, as far as I can see. From disaster relief to clean air and clean water to drug standards to food safety to the thousand other things which make modern life possible, government has its hand in it all.

And what is this government? You. And me. And your neighbor next door.

The greatest trick the Right has pulled is to con its followers into thinking of “government” as an “Other”, something far away and alien. The Founding Fathers they parrot ad nauseum would be aghast as such an ideology. Although their concept of the makeup of the Republic was limited—white men, propertied, no blacks or women—their idea was that all citizens had the right and the obligation to self-government. The thought of a political faction divorcing the idea of “government” from the rights and obligations of a citizen would have been anathema to them.

But, that’s where we are. The tragedies in Oklahoma are going to stir up the images of Congressional dysfunction once more. Yet again, there are Republican legislators (like Oklahoma’s very own Senator Coburn) who vow that any aid to Oklahoma must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, holding victims of unimaginable tragedy hostage to the political combat of the day. The churlishness on display while people are in mourning is hard to fathom

And yet, we have stories of neighbors running towards the rubble, of teachers shielding their students, of first responders digging frantically to save lives. And we have a President who doesn’t think of red states or blue states, but of people suffering who need all the help he can offer.

Government is not evil, because we are the government. To say that it is evil is to say that we are evil. To say that it does ill, apart from any power we have to control it and change it, or consent we give, is to surrender to the grossest sort of nihilism. And that would be the end of any civilized life.

Don’t listen to the hucksters and the charlatans; all they have to sell is falsity and resentment. I’m with those that hope and work and make the world just a bit better. The government is only as good as we make it.


126 Responses to “If government is evil, then so are we”


  1. 1 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

    TY LL!

  2. 4 JER
    May 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Good morning everybody.

  3. 6 Don
    May 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Great post LL!

  4. 7 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Excellent Post! “I’m with those that hope and work and make the world just a bit better. The government is only as good as we make it.”

  5. May 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

    LL..Thanks for your well thought out, well written post.

  6. 9 57andfemale
    May 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Huh? What?!

    • 10 utaustinliberal
      May 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

      That “Fuck You Inhofe” has me in fits of laughter.

    • May 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

      57…I guess it’s like the difference between ‘ Terrorist attack’ and ‘Act of terror’. Gawd, these people are unhinged and blinded by
      their hypocrisy.

    • 13 Nena20409
      May 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

      What an Evil, Evil man this Coburn is? Where both events NOT Climatic driven events? What is the difference Tom Evil Coburn? Oops, yeah right: NJ is a Blue state and OK is a Red state? Hmm? Of all the states in the West coast…..OK has the least number of Brown and Black people. OK voted in 2008 and 2012…..the Most for TBGOPers. Dems didn’t win Not one County. That in a NUTshell, explains what ails OK.

      • 14 Nena20409
        May 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

        Were…..both events….oops.

      • 15 57andfemale
        May 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        Inhofe is claiming that it’s because the Hurricane Sandy bill was ‘full of pork’. Like rebuilding animal shelters and museums. But remember, they waited over 3 months to pass ANY help of any kind, so he’s a lying bastard.

      • 16 Obama Grandmama
        May 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

        I am beginning to understand two people in my art group better from this information. Both were born and grew up in OK. They came to the art group at different times not knowing each other. We live in a rural area and I hate the political views of lots around me. One of these two taught fifth grade like I did so I expected that he would be more tolerant. He thinks he is but he constantly says generalizations based on Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. Political conversations are impossible in our group. We tried, but they do not act rational so we vow to leave politics at the door. On the positive side there were as many people in support of our President as in opposition. They do not even care to hear facts. I have even heard something on the order of I don’t care, I believe what I believe.

  7. May 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Congrats on #1 Dudette.

  8. May 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Absolutely right on, LL. We get what we ask for… Unfortunately, sometimes we are TOLD what we “should” ask for, bolstered by fears, prejudices, and lies. If we’re foolish enough to believe those lies, this is what we get. Great post; thanks!

    Gato

  9. 23 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Bringing over the very relevant, very timely link (and accompanying video) that Ladyhawke shared in the previous link

    GOVERNMENT IS GOOD – An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution

    http://www.governmentisgood.com/index.php

  10. 28 cookemom
    May 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    We keep those hit by the tragedy in Okla in our prayers for healing and safe keeping. However, don’t be surprised that many of the people most impacted there are in agreement with their Sen Coburn. The Governor has been interviewed several times and she is quick to point out what great volunteerism, is the Okla spirit. She says that they will help each other out of this turmoil. She has yet to mention that the area has been declared a disaster and that FEMA aid will be available. Some of the local officials I’ve heard are spouting this same narrative.

    Luckily for them, PBO has always said that he is the President for all Americans, even those who didn’t vote for him. Don’t expect him or FEMA to get too much credit for helping them, not that he’s looking for any credit.

  11. 29 Jovie
    May 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

  12. 32 Jovie
    May 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Oh look, there is Thomas Roberts on Msnbc, who reported in The umbrella gate last week.
    And…, now somebody is holding an umbrella for him.
    Charlatan!

  13. 33 Jovie
    May 21, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Government is evil, only until I need it and then it’s wonderful! :)

  14. May 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

    A break from seriousness: A cute boy doing a cute thing because he’s cute and his dad plays for Chelsea.

  15. May 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Thank you, LL. The ‘Government’ is not an abstraction – it is US.

    As to slimeball Coburn …

    #FORWARD FOCUSED

  16. 43 Nena20409
    May 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Morning TODers Across the Globe.

    Now Tom Coburn is having a different Tune/Tone?

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/coburn-oklahomans-will-get-available-aid-without-delay

    Hmm? KO then.

    OK is 3.8M in population. All 5 Representatives are TBGOPers. I want OKans helped. But I also what questions posed why they allow schools and structures left unprotected. In the 1960-1995. I get it. In 2013 I don’t. I know this may not be the time for this discussion. But if not now, when?

  17. May 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I doff my cap to you LL (well, I would if I was wearing one), another masterpiece.

    “What is this government? You. And me. And your neighbor next door.”

    And that’s what they either can’t, or refuse to, get.

  18. May 21, 2013 at 11:36 am

    *Very* interesting piece by SmartyPants on Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, what a curious background the man has….

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.ie/2013/05/how-journalists-get-played.html

    • May 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Yes in_deed, a very curious background Chips … as I attempted to crystallize in this tweet, yesterday …

      Both Rosen and Kim had an agenda and it’s obvious how tightly that agenda was aligned. No question Kim compromised the CIA assets in NK; no question Rosen actively sought national intelligence information and, in my mind, no question both of them wanted to harm a President facing a major national security issue.

      #TrustBarack

  19. 47 Bill R.
    May 21, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Death count revised downward. Seven children died at school. From CNN:

    “The medical examiner has revised the death toll in yesterday’s tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, to 24, down from 51. Nine of the fatalities are children.

    At least seven of those children were killed at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, police said. Emergency personnel continue to scour the school’s rubble.

    President Barack Obama said today he doesn’t yet know the full extent of the damage but promised aid. “Oklahoma needs to get everything it needs right away.”

  20. 50 carla4obama
    May 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Great words LL!!
    “The government is only as good as we make it.” Like anything in life, the government is only as good as the people that make it up. Some really sorry asses in there at present..but they were elected, so they are doing what their constituents want …right? Look in the mirror America, your elected officials are a reflection of you. Lets see what Oklahomans think about their Senator T.C…… they voted him in.

  21. May 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Another exceptional essay LL. I agree with what you have said.

    The right is going out of their way to generate and maintain the negative perception of government. Making cuts and underfunding agencies so that they are inefficient and ineffective. Delaying legislation and promoting inane bills to tear down people’s confidence in their government. These are the tactics that must be defeated to restore people’s faith in their government. Building that understanding that “The government is only as good as we make it” is a step in that direction.

  22. 52 Jovie
    May 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

  23. 53 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Can’t get this image out of my head!

  24. 55 Dakota
    May 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Good Morning Family.

    My heart is still heavy for the people of Moore. Even though, thank God, my co-worker’s son and his family are all safe and miraculosly didn’t lose their home, I’m still tearing up every time I look at those photos of the devastation and think about the loss of life. God Bless the teachers of this world! They are the real heroes of this country. Not only do they educate our children, but they are their protectors in horrible times like this. On a daily basis they protect them from the violence that permeates some of our schools. We don’t hear about it in the media, but it’s true.

    Sending blessings to Carolyn, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes to symmetry and 99 for speedy recoveries. Excellent post L.L. Great Job!

    Thank God for President Barack Hussein Obama!

  25. 56 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 11:51 am

  26. 57 Dakota
    May 21, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Having difficult time signing in…have a comment in moderation. Anyone else having issues?

  27. 59 HZ
    May 21, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Thank you LL. Excellent essay. I love the brilliant minds that we have here in our TOD Family. Thanks again, LL.

  28. 60 Ladyhawke
    May 21, 2013 at 11:55 am

    SENATOR OBAMA: And so part of my job, I think, as president, is to make government cool again.

    ==============================================================

    Transcript: ServiceNation Presidential Forum at Columbia University

    September 11, 2008 By

    OBAMA: I think you make an important point. Look, Washington is broken. My whole campaign has been premised from the start on the idea that we have to fundamentally change how Washington works. That the domination of special interests, the domination of lobbyists, the loss of a civic culture in Washington among public service has led to not only well-known disasters, like the mismanagement of the Katrina situation, but quiet disasters, where you’ve got entire agencies that have been hollowed out and you’ve got political appointees who aren’t concerned with the mission of those organizations.

    So we’ve got to transform Washington. And we’ve got to do some house cleaning. But what we also want to do is to remind young people that if it weren’t for government, then we wouldn’t have a Civil Rights Act. If it weren’t for government, we would not have the interstate highway system. If it weren’t for government, we would not have some of our parks and natural wilderness areas that are so precious to America.
    And so part of my job, I think, as president, is to make government cool again.

    (APPLAUSE)

    And to say to young people, to say to young people, even as we’re transforming Washington, come on, we want you. We want you to get involved at every level. And by the way, you don’t even have to join government. Part of what we’re going to do is create transparency and accountability in how government works so that you can be an active citizen holding your public servants and elected officials accountable. That’s one other aspect of citizenship is paying attention to what’s taking place. And part of what I’ve been thrilled about during the course of this campaign is how energized people have been, how interested people are. I mean, the viewership, both for the Democratic and Republican convention, broke all records. We have seen the kinds of volunteerism in our own campaign, in which by the way, we’re channeling not just to work on our own campaign, we’ve had 1,000 hours of community service by our volunteers, not organized by us but organized by themselves. And that’s the kind of opportunity that I think we have to tap into.

    =============================================================

    http://www.clipsandcomment.com/2008/09/11/transcript-servicenation-presidential-forum-at-columbia-university/

    • 61 Ladyhawke
      May 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Obama recasts his ‘cool again’ pledge

      By Ed O’Keefe – (01/13/2011)

      ——————————–

      But on Wednesday he returned to the “cool again” pledge, recasting it by suggesting the government’s “coolness” factor should include being noble, setting a good example and remembering that the work done today can inspire future generations, just as it was starting to inspire Christina.

      He also reminded the general public that participating in government through public forums including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s “Congress on Your Corner” — “just an updated version of government of and by and for the people,” as Obama described it — is equally noble.

      The clarion call came at a time of mourning — and many may forget it by next week — but it was an important reminder and reset for our public discourse and the mission of public servants.

      ————————————-

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2011/01/obama_from_cool_again_to_chris.html

  29. 62 carolyn
    May 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Once again LL, excellent. When I was growing up….a LONG time ago…this is what was inculcated into us…We are the country, the government, the actors…….government is not something Out There away from us. You have put into wonderful words what my husband I have often discussed.

    Let me say this about Oklahoma: something happened here in the past 30 years. At one time we had progressive representatives like Frank Harris, Mike Monroney, and others, people who actually worked FOR the people. There was a generation who knew what FDR and the federal government had done for the state. Without the federal government there would be no state; it would have been allowed to blow away in the 30s. That generation is gone, and a new generation has arisen that is extremely selfish and self-righteously “Christian.”

    It has always lived with a boom or bust mentality if you check the history. Good times during the 20s oil boom, then the horrible 30s drought and windstorms culminating in the dust bowl, good times for aircraft industry in the 40s…yes, WWII was a good time in the state; drought and flood and oil boom in the 50s, hatred of the “hippies” and integration in the 60s,…..an oil boom in the early 80s, then a terrible bust…..and somehow, during that the Republicans rose to power.

    My daughter says it is a poverty mindset, and I think there is some validity in that viewpoint.
    They are scared to death of taxes ,and ,during the 90s we had a good tax system, and the education system did well, then along came the GWB bandwagon, and everything went to hell again.

    The governor turned down the Medicaid expansion, we have an extremely high percentage of uninsured people, the poverty rate is high, we have one of the highest obesity rates, etc., etc. They will vote for anyone who claims to be religious and pounds the Bible. Yet, there are those of us here who stay because our house investment is here, our children and grandchildren are here, and after living here, frankly, we couldn’t afford to move anywhere else.

    My husband and I do have a good quality of life here, we worked during the good years and have good retirement. My husband’s doctors are superb…..how they got here I don’t know…..but thank God for them.

    From what I’m seeing, the attitude that will be expressed with this tornado will be very much the attitude of “us vs. the government.” Mary Fallin always talks about the “spirit of Oklahoma” whatever that means. Volunteerism can only go so far. Look for really stupid statements from our reps, especially my particular Congresscritter, James Lankford. His only job before this that I know of was that of manager of a Christian youth camp. Not great experience for his present job. But, he’s a Bible pounder, so he’s adored.

    There is very much a battle going on here between urban and rural…….the urban areas are becoming Democratic, as in many places, and the rural areas are very Republican. They LOVE federal farm aid, but think everything else is evil.

    Sorry for the length, but just thought I’d give a little history and context.

    • May 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      thank you Carolyn for sharing first hand knowledge, it is very valuable. take care~ :)

    • 64 japa21
      May 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Carolyn, thank you so much for your perspective. And we are so happy you were not in the direct path. The rest of us can look at this from a distance and be dismayed. How much more difficult it must be for you being right there and knowing that long after the pictures and videos have dropped off the TV and newspapers (give it a week to 10 days) you will still have evidence of the devastation all around you.

      This sentence really caught my eye: “That generation is gone, and a new generation has arisen that is extremely selfish and self-righteously “Christian.” ”

      As a disclaimer, I am a Christian with a very strong faith, so what I am about to say should be taken with that knowledge. I also have been around more years than I can imagine, so I have seen a lot of changes in this country, not all for the better. One of those changes is the explosion in size of the Fundamentalist Christian movement. Even in my youth, there were always some who felt the world was 6,000 years old and evolution was a false theory promulgated by the devil. But they were a small part of the population.

      The movie Inherit the Wind was typical. The fundamentalist side was viewed with some scorn as being out of touch. If that movie came out today it would be picketed by many people as being blasphemous.

      What I am saying is that the growth of fundamentalist Christianity has mirrored the growth of self-centered conservatism. In the 90’s, some Republicaqns were worried that it was gaining too much power in the party and, for a while, successfully shoved it into the background. That changed, most emphatically in 2004, when Rove based the Bush reelection effort around getting these more doctrinaire Christian churches actively involved. The GOP has sense learned that that genie will not go back into the bottle.

      Now the GOP leadership has been taken over by this group to a great degree. A group that considers itself favored by God and above all the rest of us. But, and here I will get a little bit theological, so my apology up front, the God they appear to worship and who they say they are fulfilling the will of, is not the God that many Christians follow.

      All one has to do is listen to them. They quote the Old Testament and Paul almost exclusively to justify their positions on issues. They only quote Christ when He talks about being the only way to the Father. Liberal/progressive Christians more frequently quote Christ. After all, He is the focus of our religion.

      Sorry for the lengthy statement, but again, your statement rang a bell for me. It is not that Oklahomans were not Christians before when they were electing the people you mentioned. It is that the form of Christianity has undergone a transformation where Christianity has gone from a community oriented religion to a very personalistic religion where the individual is more important than the community.

      • May 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        While I can’t in good conscience call myself “Catholic”, my upbringing still informs who I am as an adult. And the Catholicism in which I was raised was that of social justice, that we are not disparate individuals looking for the main chance, but have an obligation to each other and society.

        The same fundamentalist Christians who laud and make alliance with Catholic bishops over abortion and gay rights are also aghast at the social justice message of the Church. A selfish, “prosperity gospel” Christianity isn’t the religion in which I was raised.

        • 66 carolyn
          May 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

          Japa and LL, you are right on. I too call myself a Christian, but not a rightwing political Christian…in fact, the term has become so degraded, that I almost hate to admit to it. That is sad. I was brought up in a Protestant minister’s home, with the example of a minister father who was compassionate and consistent in his life and words. What he was bears no resemblance to what I see so much calling itself Christian today.

          The selfish prosperity gospel touted by so many on TV and in churches, did great damage I think to the entire culture of the country. I so often think of Gandhi: I admire your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Such a sad commentary.

          The attitude promulgated has been “I’m going to heaven, and I’ve got mine, too bad about you.” From this attitude we get environmental stupidity and many more social ills, we all know what they are. When I was growing up, the goal was not to accumulate as much as possible, nor to hate others.

          The church we attend now is one of an old line Protestant denomination, whose motto is: “Unashamedly Christian, unabashedly progressive.” This church is concerned for social issues, and realizes that we are all in this life together. What I find encouraging, is that this individual church is the fastest growing of its kind in the Kansas/Oklahoma conference, and one of the fastest growing over all.

          I still believe that light overcomes darkness, and love conquers hate. I will continue to do so with what years I have left.

          I guess Japa, you and I are the two on this blog “older than dirt” We’ve seen a lot!

        • 69 japa21
          May 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

          Well, I can in good conscience call myself a member of the Catholic faith community and I agree with you. I was also reared in the Congregationalist community, now the UCC. The Catholic Church and most mainstream Protestant churches have always maintained a message of community above self. salvation went beyond just accepting Christ, but what was even more important was actions.

          Today’s fundamentalist churches focus on personal, individual redemption, not based upon behavior but the mere acceptance of Christ as one’s savior. By focusing as much as they do on the individual, they ignore the whole. Oh, there will be an outpouring of support from those churches to this disaster. Then they will ignore the fact that mini disasters happen everday around this country and go their happy way.

          One of PBO’s main tenets is that what happens to one of us happenes to all of us. That making sure a child in the inner city of Chicago has food and education has meaning for all of us. That caring for a senior citizen in Seattle is something we all should be invested in. That making sure health care is available to a poor person in Appalachia is a measure of our country. This is not the philosophy adhered to by so many so called Christians in our country.

        • 70 MightyPamela
          May 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

          LL, I was sent a book titled Exo-Vaticana last week. Authors are Cris Putnam and Thomas Horn. Though mainly a Bible-based effort (for which they seem to have been paid a great deal of $$), they are attempting to prove that the RCC is heavily invested in making first contact with ET/aliens, believing Jesus Christ will return via alien spacecraft. Their focus is on the End of Days, which they promote we are in now, that any and all phenomena regarding climate change, ufology, the current depravity of mankind in general worldwide is all the work of Satan, whose aim is to deceive and destroy. They avoid much political involvement other than to condemn government cover-up of information, at the same time avoiding how the 1% have accumulated most of the wealth and resources of the planet, to the detriment of all life forms. Defender Publishing. What is disturbing to me is the years of seemingly obsessive focus on proving or disproving the existence of God AND the possibility that Life may exist elsewhere than on Earth. Hard to read, but illuminating in the glimpse into how some minds ‘think’! I expect it will not become a best seller!

          • May 21, 2013 at 11:46 pm

            I don’t understand their point? Do we have free will in this book? Do they give opinions? It sounds like something from what I think of as the old National Enquirer. Are we in this together? Sorry, I’m the curious cat again. ;)

      • May 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        Japa21, are you from OK too?

    • 73 Lovepolitics2008
      May 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Carolyn, what you’re describing has happened in many other areas in America. Have you read “What’s the matter with Kansas ? ” ?

      Best wishes to you and to all people of Oklahoma in these difficult times.

    • 75 ber6964
      May 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Late to the blog……..but I want to add my thanks for your primer on Oklahoma.

    • May 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      Thanks Carolyn. I’m glad you told us about the states history.

  30. 77 Jovie
    May 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    • May 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      “…but Hatch has lobbied to eliminate other restrictions on U.S. companies that require them to first offer jobs to Americans before looking overseas.”

      Wow. Just wow.

      • 79 theo67
        May 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        But, isn’t that the current process for all immigration positions? You have to post the job opening domestically before a visa is issued. Besides, for many of these more manual jobs, if there were Americans willing to do them, then we’d have zero unemployment.

  31. 80 japa21
    May 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    LL, as usual, you hit one out of the park, hit nothing but net, slapped in a one timer, split the uprights, and sorry, don’t have a soccer saying that I know of.

    This is one of those things that Thom Hartmann emphasizes every day when he concludes his show. The government is us. If we don’t like what it is doing then we need to get involved, get active, do something.

    It would help if we had a media that actually did what it was supposed to do, but since we don’t, we have to do the job ourselves.

  32. 83 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

  33. 87 Nena20409
    May 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Brilliant Post LL. Thanks.

    Unfortunately, with less Lessons on Civics, with less reporting, informing and factually investigating by and from The News Media, Our nation and most importantly, our citizens are woefully lacking in understanding why a Good Government is essential to our form of democratic republic.

    Pardon me to go off point for a second. Thanks.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/colbert-goes-after-abc-news-super-sleuth-jon-karls-journalism-behind-inaccurate-benghazi-report/

  34. 88 prettyfoot58
    May 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    But what kind of civilized life would we have without a strong, well-funded government? None, as far as I can see. From disaster relief to clean air and clean water to drug standards to food safety to the thousand other things which make modern life possible, government has its hand in it all.

    And what is this government? You. And me. And your neighbor next door.
    *******************************

    Great Commentary!

  35. 89 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

  36. May 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks once again LL for this excellent essay!

  37. May 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

  38. 92 Ladyhawke
    May 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    17 Great American Companies That Keep Mountains Of Cash Overseas Just Like Apple Does

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-google-microsoft-coca-cola-taxes-cash-offshore-2013-5#ixzz2TwdFkRoK

  39. 93 jacquelineoboomer
    May 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    LL – Used to tell my second granddaughter when she was young that all of her written stories were good, because “I could picture it.” (She fell for that!) May I “tell you” today that your essay here was good, because – in the adult world in which we live! – it brought out all kinds of emotions for me, all kinds (laughter, anger, etc.), and it may be the finest essay I’ll read for quite some time … unless President Obama has something up his sleeve to deliver to us!

    Keep writin’. Congrats.

  40. 94 sonjiaduncan
    May 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I truly hope the citizens of Oklahoma remember who helped them in their time of need and not vote in another GOP RWNJ in 2014.

  41. 95 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  42. 96 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    • 97 Dudette
      May 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      I’ve scoured Governor Fallin’s twitter timeline. Not a word of thanks to the President, not a single mention of him at all. The above tweet was the closest thing.

      Good thing, she (or her staff) could find time to tweet these:

    • 100 anniebella
      May 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Now the one who think Government is bad, please don’t accept any help from big Government.

    • 101 cookemom
      May 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      So she finally gets around to acknowledging that the area will use the governmental assistance that has been made available to them? All morning she’d been talking about Okies helping each other due to their spirit of volunteerism.

      • May 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm

        I understand Fallon praising the neighbor helping neighbor spirit we are witnessing but volunteerism is not going to get them tens of millions of dollars to rebuild nor the resources and manpower it takes to rebuild. Volunteerism is wonderful but it only goes so far. I guarantee if PBO had taken the Coburn route and basically said no money for Oklahoma these same people would be talking about the unfairness of it all.

    • 103 Dudette
      May 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Okay, she’s on MSNBC now. Just mentioned Administrator Fugate(thanked him) and acknowledged POTUS’ two phone calls of support.

  43. 104 daisydem
    May 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    LL-thank you. Your essay is excellent. And it boils down to something that our President talks about that I cannot remember the last time I heard anyone else speak of: citizenship. After hearing him use that word, I began to remember studying “civics” in high school (yes, I am that old), and we talked about the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen. I don’t even know if civics is still taught at any level.

    • 105 theo67
      May 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Well, with Texas being in charge of school textbooks, we can’t even be sure that civics means anything more than the Second Amendment, at this point.

  44. 106 Ladyhawke
    May 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    The White House Press Corps Briefing with Press Secretary Jay ‘Clark Kent’ Carney (where the jackals will ask questions formulated for them by the Republican Party) will begin shortly.

  45. 107 daisydem
    May 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    “government of the people, by the people, for the people …” Abraham Lincoln

  46. 108 MightyPamela
    May 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    PBO has his arms around us all. Now we need to keep our arms around each other. http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  47. 109 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  48. 111 Dudette
    May 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

  49. 113 Ladyhawke
    May 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    AMAZING ………

    ‘Apologize to Apple’?

    By Steve Benen

    ——————————–

    Nearly three years ago, after much of the country — and much of Congress — was condemning BP for the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) apologized to the oil giant, saying it was wrong for Washington to try to hold the company responsible for its failures.

    And now, it’s Rand Paul wanting to apologize to Apple for questioning its tax-avoidance schemes. Amazing.

    ———————————–

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/21/18400824-apologize-to-apple?lite

  50. 114 Ladyhawke
    May 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Live Blog: Apple and Corporate Taxes

    By THE NEW YORK TIMES

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/live-blog-apple-and-corporate-taxes/

  51. May 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    It’s the ultimate con game. Newman and Redford in The Sting don’t have nothing on these Republicans.

    Complain about government but run for re-election every year, while getting the nice federal paycheck and all the perks including an incredible health care package. But keep telling your constituents how evil Washington is. And it works mainly because their supporters want to believe it. I don’t know who to fault more the swindlers or the swindlees.

  52. 118 Ladyhawke
    May 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Senator Whitehouse Tells the GOP They Need To Reject The ‘Iron Curtain’ Of Climate-Change Denial

    http://www.nationalmemo.com/senator-whitehouse-tells-the-gop-they-need-to-reject-the-iron-curtain-of-climate-change-denial/

  53. 119 hopefruit2
    May 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

  54. 121 forus50
    May 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you President Barack Hussein Obama!

  55. 123 57andfemale
    May 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Standing in line at the grocery store today, for my lunch. There’s a particular cashier who I love – a big-hearted, outspoken Earth Mother of an AA lady, and we just love talking to each other. In front of me was a blonde woman, in her 50’s I would say, and I asked her about the barbecue sauce she was buying, and she said she was from West Texas and she knew good barbecue and she loved the sauce. The three of us got into a conversation about the Woes of the World and this woman from West Texas said, “I’m Christian and ashamed of anyone who claims that God says, “I don’t like gay people so I’m going to decimate little children. The God I believe in gave me a mind to learn and reason with, and the earth to take care of.” I told her you don’t have to be Christian to believe in that God – that’s the God I was raised to believe in in Judaism.

    “We gotta stop these nuts,” she said. And my Earth Mother of a cashier said, “And I won’t let them take over my mood or defeat me in any way.”

    Now, that’s what I call a religious service. These two great women made my day.

  56. 125 BigDaddyRich
    May 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Huzzah, LL! HUZZAH!!

  57. 126 sjterrid
    May 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Another brilliant essay, LL! You should put these essays in a book. I would definitely buy it.


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