Thursday, June 7, 2012
Lake Geneva and Politics
Well, I just got back from Lake Geneva in what was my last worship planning retreat as a part of the ResCov staff. It was great weather up at Covenant Harbor, and it was just the right mix of productivity and relaxation. Now I'm back in the city wishing I had a little more time in a place with less asphalt and concrete. This was only aggravated by my watching of the Ken Burns documentary on National Parks over the past few weeks. If that doesn't make you want to go to Yellowstone or at least your nearest national park, I don't know what will.
I started watching season 1 of The West Wing, and I think that could be bad for my overall productivity. If Leslie Knope can't be persuaded to run in 2016, I would definitely throw my support behind Jed Bartlet. If I had to get behind a third fictional president, it would probably be President David Palmer. Too bad we have to elect out of the non-fiction genre.
Speaking of presidents, why is Bill Clinton undermining President Obama on campaign tactics and on his decision (right decision, mind you) to not extend Bush tax cuts? Does he realize a) they're in the same party, b) his wife is in the administration, and c) former presidents are supposed to stay out of presidential policy decisions? I mean, George W. has done less damage to Obama than Clinton has. He really is an egomaniac.
So, I was disappointed by Wisconsin's choice to let Governor Walker stay around. Obviously when you outspend the opponent 30 million to 4 million (mostly out-of-state donations, thank you Supreme Court and your great Citizens United v. FEC decision that could go down as one of the worst in history. Simple anatomy tells me a business is not a person). Yet, it got me thinking about my conflicted feelings regarding unions, especially teacher's unions. First, let me say, I think unions are an integral part of allowing workers to stick up for themselves. I think they are a necessary balance in a capitalist society that already favors the CEOs, upper management, and general fat cats. They have been a cherished part of U.S. history. All that said, I found it troublesome when I student taught and substitute taught that terrible teachers (subjectively and objectively) were almost impossible to fire because of tenure/unions. They had obviously checked-out ten years ago, sat in the teachers' lounge and complained all through lunch, and were coasting until retirement. In my mind, poor teaching should not be safeguarded as a right. How this is discerned is obvious a difficult question, but how can we make unions strong yet flexible? That's what I've been thinking about...
Also, HuffPo needs to stop with the wardrobe malfunctions, "shear dresses," and all the other "news" items that are one step above soft-core porn. It seems like they are slowly devolving (or have slowly devolved) over the past few years. I expect better.
I wasn't expecting this to be so political, but things happen! Also, George Harrison is currently winning in my favorite Beatles poll. So, there's that. Okay, off to watch more West Wing. Later.