Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Wyoming legislature is considering a concealed carry lay what would let any citizen not expressly barred carry a concealed weapon. If it passes, I and my neighbors could get a shoulder holster and carry a 9mm Glock to the grocery store. There is some logic to it. If you arm one moron, you have to arm them all. We need guns to protect ourselves from people with guns. I am sure many of my Wyoming colleagues would accept the compelling nature of this argument but there seems to be a whiff of circular logic here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A letter to my congressional representatives

I was sitting down at the local coffee shop this morning pondering our national budget and its revenue shortfall. I think I know a way to balance the budget: increase revenue and cut spending. If you would like, my 7th graders could do the math for you. You get this black line going up as revenue increases. As one of the leaders of our country, you get to decide the slope of the line. Then you start cutting spending a little each year. That will be a red line with a negative slope. You can make it as steep as you choose. When the two lines cross, the budget will be balanced. My 7th grades can find this point several ways. They also work for granola bars and fruit snacks. If you give us a couple of weeks, they can do this with exponential models as well and these are exponential times. We will leave who to tax and where to cut to the grownups. You remember grownups, don’t you? They are people who have matured past ideological positioning and tender egos. They typically have children and so look to secure an abundant future. They can make the subtle distinction between governance and power. `

I am not expecting a response to this bit of satire but I would love to hear your views on the system itself. Governance seems to have fallen into the dysfunction of ideology. I would love to hear your thoughts on re-booting civil discourse and a collaborative problem solving model of government. Attack ads work. Vilifying the opponent works. Framing the other’s position in the most negative light works. That is an unfortunate attribute of our cognition and its biological baggage. These things also paralyze governance. I would love to hear your views on how to work productively in partnership with the current federal administration to solve problems. I am not interested in hearing the party line. I know it. I cannot avoid knowing it because the strategy is to repeat the same framing again and again in less than three sentences. It tells me how evil the other side it. How do we get past power games to governance? I would love to hear that.