Today is the anniversary of the day that Rosa Parks made waves in Montgomery Alabama in 1955 by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. What Rosa did that day sparked a movement resulting from pressure that had been building for almost 100 years.
African Americans, who had been freed from slavery by Abraham Lincoln, were forced to endure a century of contempt, disdain and abuse from white Americans. Our society, although founded by men who rejected the concept of social classes, was maintaining a dual class existence and legally forcing people of color to live a servile existence.
This was wrong.
By the power and grace of God, this finally changed in America as a result of the boycotts, rallies, legal wranglings, and efforts of the Federal Courts and finally Congress. Although one may believe strongly in the sovereignty of the states, clearly the rights of United States citizens was being abridged by the actions and/or inaction of many of those states, and the Federal government needed to act.
When I contemplate these events, it always amazes me that human beings can be so incredibly dysfunctional. It certainly makes greater sense to me to see an individual here or there who is so stupid that they actually think they are superior to others. But to think that large swathes of our society would actually continue to look down on others because of a history that is over two generations old, and especially in a time following the horrors of Nazi Germany, that they could continue to look upon other humans as just wild cattle that had been let loose and whose status as free men and women had to be tolerated. How could our country reach this point?
I think the answer to [...]
Today will be the third (and final) week sitting in for Tim Albrecht at The Bean Walker Live on Des Moines Local Live/Mac's World Live. I have a number of interesting topics to share today, including the news about the possible Democratic opponent to Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Attorney General's plans for staff cuts, oddities, and of course we'll talk about Health Care Reform.
I'm hoping to have a local heart surgeon join us to discuss some of the costs embedded in the current system, and talk about ways we can address those costs.
This week, once again, I will be hosting the internet rafio show The Bean Walker Live at Des Moines Local Live! The show airs Tuesday from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. During the first hour we will be talking about the Iowa Gubernatorial Candidate Forum this past weekend, the situation with the Iowa state budget, and Friday's CBO report on the benefits of Tort Reform. During the second hour, we will have Pastors Quintin Stieff and Dan Wentworth from Valley Church in West Des Moines to talk about a new program at Valley Church called "Love You Des Moines!".
Update! Link to podcast of today's show!
Last Tuesday (September 29), I hosted the second half of Tim Albrecht's program "The Bean Walker Live!" on Des Moines Local Live, and today begins 3 weeks of hosting the program in full while Tim concentrates on getting married!
On today's show, during the first hour I will have Shane Vander Hart from Serve Our Youth Network to share about the volunteer opportunities they have and how they cooperate with local government to impact the lives of high-risk kids in the Des Moines Metro area.
During the second hour [...]
Term limits have lately become a popular topic of conversation. When a lot of folks start getting fed up with what's happening in Washington, term limits are sometimes becomes strategy #1 for solving the problem. But it's like the idea of a flat tax or domestic drilling... it sounds good as a sound bite, but what does it really end up meaning, and why do we really think it's going to help?
Frankly, I was a big supporter of the idea some years ago (back when Neal Smith represented my US House district in Congress), but I have figured out that the reason I was such a big supporter was specifically because of Neal Smith. That is, I wanted him out of office, and term limits sounded like an easy way to accomplish it. It was a specific, tactical, selfish reason.
I certainly recognize that there are other reasons, some of which are compelling. Let's make a list, shall we?
I don't like the person who's currently my (legislator, governor, etc.). From my own party, I've heard activists actually say "How else do we get rid of Tom Harkin (Senator from Iowa)?". Wow, so then what happens when we get someone in office who we actually like? You can't have it both ways... implementing term limits is not the way to move your agenda forward. Term limits will likely cause us more difficulty in moving the agenda forward. What you need is to bring candidates who can win elections.
Two terms (or one, or three, whatever the number of the month is) are enough for anyone to accomplish what they need to accomplish. If the purpose of sending someone to represent us in Washington or our state capital is to accomplish some singular thing, this might actually make sense. But the purpose of the legislatures includes doing a good deal of work that must be [...]