Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Empty Exercises II

Empty Exercises © was originally phrased in 2005 by John Nichols, then The Nation's Washington D.C. Correspondent in an article called "An Empty Exercise in Deceit" on Friday, January 21, 2005.  The article was about President G.W. Bush's second inaugural address
It discussed the first term of GWB and he suggested that the second term wouldn't be any better.  He discussed Iraq and Bush's deliberate misreading of intelligence information that lead us into that situation, and he thought that there was no indication whatsoever that he had learned from the mistakes and misdeeds of his first term.
Mr. Nichols brought out Empty Exercises by Mr. Bush:  "America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling."  Sounds great doesn't it?  But, "did anyone read that as an abandonment of the doctrine of preemptive war that served as an excuse for the unilateral invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq during the President's first term?  The article goes on to explain several areas where Americans were deceived. 
The article brings forth several areas that we citizens must watch our  politicians and our wallets.
A concept that is common of politicians everywhere:  The Hallow Law.  A politician's constituency is upset about a specific problem in his district.  Let's say, tainted water by a chemical plant that is harming the people down river.  The people organize, an interest group, they do everything correct; they bring their problem to their representative. The politician is concerned about the problem and takes their concerns under advisement and will get back to them as soon as possible.  What the interest group doesn't know is, the owners of the chemical plant gave the Congressman money for his campaign, the Congressman owes them a favor, so, the Congressman calls the owner of the factory and the owner is asked to write a bill for a  law prohibiting the chemical factory from putting chemicals in the river.  The interest group sees the bill move forward and moves smoothly through Congress and is signed by the President.  After the bill is enacted, the interest group people test the water and see that the chemical plant is still putting chemicals into the river.  They are furious--they haven't been active for a while and can't get too many people excited about something they thought they had solved.  When the interest group goes to the representative and asks why they are still putting chemicals into the river, the Representative looks over the signed bill and finds a small paragraph explaining that this bill applies to chemical plants with more than 20,000 square feet of operation, the plant up the river from the people only has 10,000 square feet, thus the bill does not apply to that plant because it falls under the 20,000 sq.ft floor.
The people did everything correct, except having a watchdog go over the bill before it was adopted, having paragraphs ready for insertion into the bill and having the watchdog make sure it was inserted, checking on the size of the plant, and making sure their representative worked for them.
The bill, now a law looked great from the outside, just as a hallow log looks, but the inside of the log was deteriorated by ants, termites small and large animals just as members of "Free Enterprise" eat away at perfectly well-intentioned "bills" so that they are protected from the "rule of the citizens".  The reason they wanted the chemicals dumped into the river was:  1.  It was easy, 2. It was cost effective, 3.  They didn't care for where ever or whomever was damaged, all they cared about was the bottom line profit. 

If you know any "Empty Exercises" that you would like to comment about, please feel free to discuss them in the comment section below.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Empty Exercises

Empty exercises, those exercises of political, economic, religious, whatever, that "fake out" their constitency, but show their efficacy in doing a job that they have been put in place to represent their constituency, team, whomever, and make themselves valuable and stay in their positions.
A prime example is the Republican Party in the majority within the current U.S. House of Representatives.  Another would be the Republican Party in the House that voted to impeach then President William J. Clinton. 
The current Republican Party in the House, has introduced bills that they know will never pass the Senate or the veto process of the President.  They are doing what they were elected to do by their constitutency, and their political party.  What these political people are forgetting is; they were put in their positions to represent the people.  They are supposed to receive the information presented to them in Congress and vote for the greater good instead of taking their preconceived ideas of their constituency and party to vote in a block.  They need to acheive the passage of bills that will actually pass through the House/Senate and President.  It is ideally why they were put into office.  Empty Exercises WASTE TIME! 
When you are thinking about who you want to support for a political party, insure you watch their previous performances, their support for legislature, their language in the public.  There is a Senator who recently made a statement of fact, in a speech, but when shown that he had made a error, he simply said that any of his public speeches are not statement of fact.  I think he needs to re-think that statement, our representation is in those positions to gather in all the data, make a judgement on the issue and state to his constituency what he has found out and why he agrees or disagrees.