Saturday, January 30, 2010

Footholds

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In a recent posting, I used the metaphor of the millipede to describe the federal government. I didn't strain for the image; it just popped into my mind. But when I thought about it later, it seemed like an apt comparison for the central State that now -- instead of sticking to the limited powers granted by the Constitution -- feels free to insert a leg or two into virtually every area of life in these United States. (To be really accurate, the animal in question would need to be larger and longer than any known species of millipede. A mega-millipede, so to speak.)

I read today that the Obama administration's hollow kingship -- at a time when millions of citizens are out of work, the national debt has reached Everest-like proportions, militant Islam openly boasts of its threats to the safety of Americans, and we are engaged in a fool's errand costing American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is turning its attention to ... wait for it ... the college football bowl system.
President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he does not like the current system for naming a national championship team in college football.

Now his administration may take action on behalf of him and the countless other sports fans who oppose college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the controversial system by which a national champion is crowned every January. ...

In his four-page letter, an exhaustive explanation and dissection of the complex BCS system, [Assistant Attorney General] Weich said that the department is exploring several options to address the concerns of those opposed to the current system, including asking the Federal Trade Commission to examine its legality under consumer protection laws and having a governmental or non-governmental body or commission study the possibility of a playoff system.

Just to be non-partisan, I note that a Republican senator, Orrin Hatch, requested the investigation.

I don't know enough about the Bowl Championship Series to have an opinion about its fairness or the lack thereof. But even if its rules were written in blood by Satan, it is no business of the mannequin president or his Justice Department.

Fishermen in Madagascar or someplace put metal rings around the necks of cormorants. The birds catch the fish but because of the constriction can't swallow them, and the fishermen collect the catch. It's long past time to put a ring around the neck of the federal government so that it can't go on swallowing one more area of life after another.

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3 comments:

David said...

To further develop the analogy...Arthur Koestler observed that if a centipede had to consciously think about which legs to move in which order, he probably wouldn't have been able to move at all!

This is exactly what happens to a company or a society when all decisions are centralized. The decision-making entity at the center cannot have enough mental "bandwidth" to handle the whole flood of issues that come to it. (Congress also spent considerable time debating the vital issue of subsidies for digital television converters...)

In a simple society or company, extreme centralization may work for a while)but it cannot work over a long period in a highly complex environment.

DP111 said...

It could also be that the Obama's advisors would like to portray Obama as a man of the people, interested in football and all that.

Given that Obama has been accused of being withdrawn, cold, aloof and haughty, its a possibility.

yih said...

Well Rick, I'll see your Congressional idiocy and raise you one.
I'm pretty sure by now you're aware of the problems Toyota is having.
Well guess what? Congressman Waxman is going to hold hearings into it.
Now if Toyota was obfuscating, denying the problem, or simply ignoring it then to be honest I wouldn't have a problem with it.
But what hasn't Toyota done to try to deal with this?
They've recalled the last four years of production, halted further production, and suspended sales of vehicles on dealer lots.
If you went to your local dealer to buy a Camry the poor guy has to look at you and say ''Sorry sir, no can do. Toyota won't let me.''
A car dealer's worst nightmare come to life.
Toyota is looking to lose a billion dollars day until they get this mess straightened out. Between that and all the bad PR they're getting out of this, it sounds like they have plenty of incentive.