Monday, April 6, 2009

Surprise! Are You Surprised?

April seems to be the month for surprises.  After all, it begins with April Fool's Day, the day for surprising your friends with faux surprises.

Sometimes surprises that come in April can be delightful.  Just after I finished cancer therapy last year, The Queen and I were at the beginning of a very lengthy and painful recovery process when we were given a wonderful surprise which many/most of you know.  That's the kind of event in which we were really, happily surprised!

But this April, it seems we have surprises each day on the news which are not so surprising, and certainly not very delightful.

Yesterday, the North Koreans launched their long expected missile over Japan, the event that had been specifically prohibited by the UN Security Council.  Today, the United States, which had warned that such a launch would be "a provocative act," will announce a White House ordered 20% reduction in its spending on our missile defense system.  Surprise!  But are you surprised?

Several weeks ago, when President Obama signed the $410 Billion spending bill, he announced that the earmarks contained in that bill would mark "the end of the old way of doing business." Today, as the House Appropriations Committee begins putting together the new bills which will make up the more than $ 1 Trillion budget for this year, the committee has accepted requests for more than 3,000 additional earmarks which have never been evaluated by any authorization committee.  Surprise!  But, after gagging, are you surprised?

Yesterday's Washington Compost reported the following concerning the proposed Congressional vote to give Washington D.C. a voting Representative in the Congress:

"Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting D.C. delegate to the House who aspire to be its voting representative, has made clear that she regards questions of constitutionality as irrelevant and she thinks members of the House and Senate do, too. 'I don't think members are in the least bit affected in their votes on the on the question of its constitutionality,' she said just last week. 'People vote their politics in the House and in the Senate.'  "

Surprise!  But, besides feeling ill, are you surprised?

There was a great quote at the start of Mary O'Grady's opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal:

"We have sunk to such a depth that the restatement of the
   obvious has become the first duty of intelligent men."

George Orwell, 1939

So, here is the obvious, a paraphrase attributed to Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough good men do nothing.

Head to the high ground, armed with your teabags, stamps, envelopes and both email and snail mail addresses for the people who claim to represent you.  Restate the obvious to them.  Don't be among the good men who do nothing.  Please.

Surprise them. Perhaps for change you can believe in...