Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apparently It’s Time for a Disclaimer

From time to time, I’ve received comments and emails -- not all favorable -- about the posts that stray from “Travel” and “Trains” and wander off into “Other Things.”

Sometimes I write about "Other Things" because there just isn’t enough stuff about travel or trains coming along to provide fodder for a daily post that’s worth your time. And so I digress when I come across something I find interesting and worth sharing.

Yes, many of those other posts are about politics … but, gee … it is a political year and we’re in the home stretch of a damn important election. We should be discussing politics, don’t you think?

I do my very best to get my facts straight for all my posts, political or otherwise, and I do try to be fair. But I certainly have opinions and my posts tend to reflect them.

For instance, I have no patience for the cynical and superficial crap that seems to dominate political campaigns in this country. Why are we talking about lipstick on pigs when 47 million of us have no health insurance? Why do we tolerate that stuff? It makes me mad as hell and I intend to keep on writing about it.

But any blog … this blog … is just a collection of one individual's thoughts and opinions. In the grand scheme of things, how important is it, anyway?


Mike said...

Jim, don't change a thing.

I will say I do very much enjoy your travel writing, but you're entirely correct that this is a particularly important year in American history.

Please continue to exercise the wonderful gift of the First Amendment to the fullest extent.

Montana Bob said...

I'd just like to make one small point. The First Amendment isn't a "gift" from the government. It is a right. The government can't "grant" us what it has no right to take away or abridge in the first place. It all falls under the heading of "liberty" which the founding fathers asserted was something that all men were endowed with by our creator... not our government.

Mike said...

Montana Bob, concur w/ your well-taken point. I was thinking of James Madison, Tho's Jefferson and the rest of the gang when I wrote of our gift. It is very much an inalienable right.

My guess is that those gentlemen who were the Founding Fathers would be aghast at what's become of their country.

One of the few things I really hold sacred is the U.S. Constitution, which I hold to be one of the great works of human genius.

Montana Bob said...

I knew what you meant Mike and agree with you. You were using it as a figure of speech and I seized on it just as a good opportunity to remind ourselves (and our politicians) that government doesn't "give us" any of those things, rather our government is supposed to have power only by consent of we the governed.

Absolutely... the Constitution is an amazing document and accomplishment considering it has held this country together so successfully. One fact I rather enjoy is that the United States of America is, as odd as it may sound, the oldest democracy (well, democratic republic) on the planet.

One of my favorite amendments is the 10th:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Mike said...

Montana Bob, I like that #10 Amendment a lot, too. I wonder if our current president has ever heard of it?

Mike said...

Gents, in fact yesterday, Sept 17th, was the 221st birthday of the Constitution! We picked a great day for our conversation.

Kevin Love said...

Montana Bob wrote:

"One fact I rather enjoy is that the United States of America is, as odd as it may sound, the oldest democracy (well, democratic republic) on the planet."

Kevin's comment:
Switzerland is probably the oldest democratic republic on the planet.

The USA became a democratic country in the first election after successful implementation of the voting rights acts that overthrew the "Jim Crow" laws. In other words, the USA became a democracy in 1968. This makes it one of the younger democracies on the planet.

Montana Bob said...

Sorry Kevin, but I don't go along with your notion that the United States became a democracy in 1968. Maybe in your world...