791 This is one YOU have to decide.


Tom Garrett 2 years, 7 months ago

We all believe — well I do anyway — that less government is good government, and that freedom is a preciously individual thing. That sometimes makes it a bit hard to decide where to draw the line. I think this is one of those times.

Annie Moody, 59, was born in Mississippi, moved with her family to Chicago, and arrived in Pasadena on her 17th birthday. She married, had two fine children, and did well for a time, but the marriage failed. Her husband went east, taking the children with him, but they were soon back with Annie. The three of them ended up in temporary housing for the homeless in Venice, California.

“That was awful,” said Taren Moody, Annie's 39 year old daughter, now a nurse living in Inglewood. “Depressing.”

After that, Annie found a job and did quite well, raising both children, who went off on their own. But 20 years ago, after the children were gone, she lost her job as a word processing clerk at Security Pacific Bank — unfairly, she says.

Annie, not too happy with her lot in life at that moment, says she saw a psychiatrist after she lost her job, and “it made a world of difference” for her. Apparently it gave her a different outlook on what is important in life. She decided that she preferred the homeless life to the ups and downs of the economy, public shelters, and governmental control of her life, and she has lived that way ever since then.

Taren says, “My mother is intelligent. Everybody says that.” She also says her mother is a loner who goes her own way.

Annie is not alone in Los Angeles, which has "1,000 or so street dwellers on skid row." Annie has a little tent, and an article I read described her this way, "She wears [sun] glasses. Her hair springs in braids away from her head, or is tucked neatly into netting. Denim shorts reach below her knees, and her crisp clean T-shirts recall long-forgotten events — a Batman movie, a Skechers beach walk."

But here's the rub — the law:

"Under a court settlement, homeless people can sleep on the sidewalk overnight, but must be up by 6 a.m. or face charges of resting on the sidewalk or having an illegal lodging.”

Most of the 1,000 or so street dwellers fear arrest and move along when told to, if only temporarily.

Annie doesn't. She comes out of her tent, pulls over a blue milk crate and watches what is going on.


Robbin Flowers 2 years, 7 months ago

"Less government is good government." I would say that depends on the government system in play. Some governments do a good job, others not so much. The ideal government is - efficient, intelligent, honest and incorruptible.


Ronald Hamric 2 years, 7 months ago

I'll just stick with the old adage "The government that governs least is the best government".


Tom Garrett 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree with both of you. I like legislators who don't think that the rest of the world should be as perfect as they are, so they don't write hundreds of unnecessary laws to make it that way. And while they're at it, it wouldn't hurt if they were "...efficient, intelligent, honest and incorruptible."


A small, honest government.

Seems like a dream, doesn't it? But if you go back in history and see the things that governments — even aristocratic governments with kings and emperors — did NOT try to regulate, it looks possible. By and large, the laws in most nations until a few few short years ago just let people be people until they started making trouble for others or tried to cheat on their fair share of the taxes.

Tell me something? Can you think of a way — or maybe ways — of getting people in office who are there to do what the people what done, not what THEY want done? That's the trouble, you see. We never get anyone running on a platform that says, "I will see what my constituents want and I will give them that." Instead, we get people who say, "Raffle bergen high york flinty is the way this nation should run, and I will see to it that it runs that way." Half the time I don't think that even THEY know what they are saying.

And I mean run the country for the people as a whole, not some temporary majority in some legislature. For example, if we put it to a national vote wouldn't a very large majority of Americans vote to close our borders and send the illegals home? Yes? Well...?

Any ideas? Any ways we could change things? Any way we could get the people back in charge? Any ideas at all?


Tom Garrett 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm sure you have ideas, but while you're thinking about them I'll offer one. It is startlingly simple and obvious, but I think it's under used, namely the one issue campaign, followed when elected by something we DO NOT NOW SEE.

Take the original, and highly successful, Obama campaign. He ran a one word campaign, promising change. The way he talked, and the way those who supported him talked, it was both stated and strongly implied that what he meant us to get out of that one word was a change in the way that Washington does business, in other words, an administration that DID NOT take advantage of a temporary major to shove through unpopular highly partisan legislation.

And what did we get? More of the same — an even worse example than ever before. That opens the door to an opportunity!!

What if we were to combine a one-issue election with an administration which focuses on doing what it said it would do, and makes a strong point of talking about afterward, thereby gearing up for the next election?

What if we had a president who said, "I promised you that I would take action to close our borders and send home those who did not apply to come here. I have done that, and as you can see the problem is on its way to a satisfactory and permanent solution. We are able to spend more time on approving the applications of those who apply to come here legally. We have a far better relationship with our neighbors below the border. Jobs once filled by those who sneaked across our borders are now open to those who belong here. The greatest issue separating Americans in the past half-century is now close to a resolution. We are coming together as a nation. Hands reach across the aisle.

I promise you that if this administration says it will be do something it will do it. You and all other Americans, whether Republicans, Democrats, Independents, or others can go to bed tonight confident that your President, and your Congress as far as I am able to do accomplish it, represents every one of us.

And all the rest that would be true....

You see, once committed during the campaign to honesty, and once having demonstrated it, the president and the rest of Washington will be forced to move away from sound bites and toward a more genuinely representative government.

The trick is to start with a one-issue campaign — and we have been handed one on a silver platter: illegals.

Think of the truthful things that can be said during that campaign. Here;s just one: "I sometimes wonder how those who have used this issue to fool people to vote for them have been able to avoid the basic truth that when people sneak across out borders they take jobs away from those who are struggling the hardest to make ends meet?"


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