I wrote today’s post in a state of righteous indignation. I would proof it but if I did I’d probably start to feel bad and change this phrase or that word so I don’t offend anybody. It’s not much of a gift but it certainly is a curse. So I’m not going to proof it and hope all the words are spelled correctly, the grammar is recognizable, I keep my comma usage appropriate, and most of the tense agrees. If I screwed up anywhere, sorry about that. If I do happen to offend you in my state of righteous indignation, sorry about that. This was about pleasing me this time. I know. Unconventional at best. Sorry about that, too.
Three things happened that I read about in the paper last week. And one thing happened that I did. They all have something in common. The three things I read about were that the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that a preschool is eligible to apply for and receive a state grant for playground resurfacing, announcers for Great Britain mass transit stations have to begin announcements with “Good afternoon” or “Good evening,” and my state’s legislature recessed but passed a budget on time. The one thing I did was I locked my car in the Walmart parking lot. What do they have in common? None of them made any sense.
The state assembly recessing with a passed budget is both true and false. It’s true in that they did pass a “budget” before the July 1 deadline, unlike roughly half of the states’ legislatures held to a similar requirement. And they were more than happy to include that little tidbit in the press releases announcing the passed “budget.” The problem is that the “budget” is only the spending part of the plan. It should be called a spending plan but then they would have to stick around until they came up with a way of paying for everything they plan on spending. So they changed the name, or the rules, so they along have to pass the spending part by the budget deadline. I haven’t worked for a couple of years but when I did I had to submit my planned revenue, and how I was going to achieve that revenue before I was even allowed to start thinking about how I was going to spend that money. Even doing a home budget, I have make the money I want to have next month before I can spend it. Isn’t it time that we hold our governments to the same standards we hold ourselves? Oh, in case you’re wondering, no, they didn’t pass the revenue bill before adjourning.
Source: Any newspaper in Pennsylvania
The mass transit operator Transport for London has instructed its staff, and rerecorded their automated announcements, to use gender neutral terms and phrases like “Good morning everybody” rather than “Ladies and gentlemen “ so everyone will feel welcome. I’ve never been on a London subway train but if it’s like any of the ones I have been on in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or Washington DC, or any of the surface transports in hundreds of different cities in several different countries, hearing “Good morning everybody” isn’t going to make me feel all that welcome. Making certain I get off the train with the same amount of money in my pocket as I got on with (which didn’t happen in Washington), making certain I get off with the wallet that I had when I got on (which didn’t happen in Philadelphia), making sure I actually know where to get off by having station announcements that match the station names (which doesn’t happen in Pittsburgh), or making station announcements at a volume that is audible and understandable, or at all (which never happens in New York) would make me much happier. If you do want to call me something, I don’t want to be just a part of “everybody,” I sort of like being called a gentleman. Shouldn’t I get to feel welcome also?
Source: The Independent, ESI Media, July 13, 2017.
So what’s wrong with an organization that cares for children receiving grant money? Because it’s Lutheran. Opponents said if they received state money it would violate the separation of church and state. The Court ruled that not giving them the opportunity to apply for such grants is a violation of their right to freedom of religion. What doesn’t make sense about that? Nothing doesn’t make sense about the decision. What doesn’t make sense is that the Supreme Court has to listen to arguments about that. What are the opponents afraid of? That the children while riding a swing will decide they believe in God, or that nature is a cool place to play, or that the teacher is a fun person, or “look, a bird!”? The First Amendment has only 45 words. Isn’t time we stopped second guessing what they meant when they wrote them?
Source: Catholic News Service, June 30, 2017.
I know, I’m getting old and turning into a cantankerous old coot. It’s one of the benefits of having been able to hang around for enough years that I actually have cantankerous in my vocabulary. It makes me scratch my head and ask,” What’s wrong with the picture? These pictures, even? What are the priorities here? Making sure we don’t influence children in their lifetime journeys toward if, how, or when they may want to worship some supreme being? Or not? Or making sure children don’t get hurt when they trip on a pothole in the playground? Being certain that we don’t offend some group of people who aren’t certain if they are being offended until some other group might think they are being offended so we pick our words so carefully we barely recognize that there are actually people in the group? Or being certain we get our passengers to their destinations quickly and safely? That we follow the letter of the law and adhere to all deadlines and instructions or that we keep our power to change the definition of deadline or that which is deadline dependent? Or that we do what’s right and honorable and don’t spend money we don’t have, especially when it’s not our money anyway? I have the answers. But nobody is asking me the questions.
Oh, what does locking my car in Walmart’s parking lot have to do with misplaced priorities? It was the convertible. With the top down. And the alarm off. I know. I’m getting old and….. ok, I’m just getting old.