Anakin: “Not another lecture, Master. At leaset not on the economics of politics….”
Anakin: “…and besides, you’re generalizing. The Chancellor doesn’t appear to be corrupt.”
Obi-wan: “Palpatine is a politician. I have observed that he is very clever at following the passions and prejudices of the Senators.”
Anakin: “I think he’s a good man. My…”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
The MSNBC talking heads have taken over my coffee shop. Damn Caucus.
“No you listen! We live in a real world, come back to it.” – Padme, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
I have a new calling – budget manager for The City. I’m going to make up this year’s $8,000,000 budget deficit, and then some.
You see, The City planted a tree in my curb lawn on Wednesday. A small, baby linden tree to replace the mature, spreading maple that Padawan Learner loved to climb while he waited for Dad Windu to get home from work. The tree that some jackass distracted driver literally wrapped his giant SUV around nearly 2 years ago, setting it at a jaunty 65 degree angle for 9 months while The City waited “to see if it will make it”.
At 8:45 a.m., a City flatbed truck with two men inside pulled up in front of my house with a backhoe on the trailer. The driver got out of the truck and watched as his passenger climbed up into the backhoe, backed it off and proceeded to dig a hole 3 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep. He returned the backhoe to the trailer and the two men drove away.
At 9:45 a.m., a City pickup truck arrived with two men inside. The driver got out and walked to the front door with a very valuable piece of paper: instructions on caring for my new, baby linden tree. Meanwhile, his passenger took two metal poles out of the bed of the truck and placed dropped them in the newly dug hole. They returned to the truck and drove away.
At 1:20 p.m., two City trucks arrived: a pickup truck (A) full of baby trees sticking up over the back and a water truck (B) filled with The City’s secret formula of water and baby-tree fertilizer. Each truck had a driver and a passenger. Now this is going to get a little tricky, so be sure to pay attention.
The two drivers got out of their respective trucks and watched while Passenger A placed the baby tree in the hole, arranged the poles and guy wires correctly, and covered the roots with the piled up soil. Passenger B stood at the ready with his over-sized garden hose. When the ground was firmly tamped, Passenger B soaked the disturbed soil area well with his proprietary mix. All four men returned to their respective trucks and drove away.
That’s right, The City paid 8 men to plant my small, baby linden tree.
Oh, I should add that two days previously, The City sent another man in a pickup truck out to rake out the bare area where my formerly lovely tree had stood and spread a healthy layer of grass seed down – right where the backhoe dug the hole for the new, baby linden tree on Wednesday.
Now using my advanced degree and keen efficiency skills, I have deduced that the planting of my new, baby tree on Wednesday could have been performed (with a reasonably adequate amount of waste, as required by all government entities) by a total of three men altogether – one per truck, with the stake dropping and instruction giving truck’s tasks handed off to the occupants of Truck B and Truck A respectively.
If we reduced the city workforce by these 5 men alone (6 if we include the counter-productive tasks of the guy who came on Monday to seed my soon-to-be-backhoe’d bare spot), I could immediately save The City approximately $150,000 (or $180,000) without any loss of service to City residents – assuming that each man is paid $30,000 per year.
What efficiencies would you put in place if you were able to get your hands on your city or county’s Budget?
“It is clear to me now that the Republic no longer functions. … I pray you will bring sanity and compassion back to the Senate.” - Queen Amidala, Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace
The inauguration is upon us. In a few hours the American people will have a new President, the Federal government will have a new agenda, and hopefully America will have a fresh start. I do not believe that all things will improve for all people in all ways because of this change. I do, however, believe we have the potential to move this country in new and better directions for many, if not most, citizens and residents. Time only will tell if we – President Obama, Congress, and the American people – take this opportunity to better our country, our states and our communities or fritter it away in politics-as-usual power plays, snarky back-biting, and selfish wastefulness.
I wish us all wisdom, self-restraint and foresight.
Mace Windu: “You are on the council, but we do not grant you the rank of master.”
Anakin Skywalker: ”What? How can you do this? This is outrageous, it’s unfair.”
Mace Windu: “Take a seat, young Skywalker.”
Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
Proposal 8 looks to have passed in California. I am deeply sorry for them. Take a seat (in the back of the bus, please) GLBT citizens. You are no longer recognized as fully human in California. HOPEfully, that can be CHANGEd nationally now and this defeat will not much longer matter to you or to future generations.
Admiral Piett: “Shall I hold them?”
Darth Vader: “No. Leave them to me. I will deal with them myself.”
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi
Dear Politician (or Politician’s Foot Soldier, where applicable):
Please go away. Feel free to leave literature wedged in my door handle; I promise that I will read it diligently and consider your argument. Ring the doorbell once or twice, if you must. However, when I do not answer the door, and I’m probably not going to, please take the hint that I have a life outside of your election and move on to the next house. Do not, in any manner, take this as an opportunity to ring the door bell incessantly, bang on my doors (front and side) repeatedly, or peer inside my windows. Just leave the f#cking pamphlet and go.
I assure you that I am very well informed on the issues. I have read your website, looked up your voting record (if applicable) and considered your proposed legislative changes. In short, I have formed an opinion on your fitness for government already. I solemnly swear to not vote based on my friends’ opinions, my neighbors’ yard signs or any of the “Why my opponent will ruin our city, county, state or federal government” radio or television advertisements that are completely flooding the airwaves right now.
In addition, when I do answer the door and listen to your schpeel, please give me the courtesy of listening to my questions and actually.address.my.concerns. Do not simply restate the same 30 second soundbite that you’ve (obviously) perfected and already spouted. It does not make me think better of you.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this manner.
“Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy!” Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
These are my touchstones for a political candidate – local, state and national. This is what I want from the collective United State of America.
- For all children to have the opportunity to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and to sleep safely in a warm bed, 365 days a year. Hunger and destitute poverty, in a land of plenty, is beyond unfair. It is unjust.
- For all people to have access to basic, preventative medical care – recommended vaccines, an annual check-up, an annual blood screening, contraceptives, and nutritional and wellness information. The basics.
- The freedom to live, love, learn, travel and raise our children without undue interference from government – federal, state or local.
- IF parents decide to send their children to a public school, the right of those parents to decide where their children will attend – not a school district grid.
- Equal treatment of all businesses under the law – no special treatment for large corporations, no exemptions from clean air or water standards, no subsidized oil, no tax loopholes.
- A commitment to get clean, renewable and nonpolluting energy sources online – immediately.
A little left, a little right.