October 20, 2021
Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. He who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or decisions possible or impossible to execute.
Ray’s Daily first published on October 20, 2005
If you are like I am you meet people everyday that are against lots of different things. For example many complain about the educational system, but when asked what they are for, you find that they have not looked for something better. I hear so much of that about education and other issues that I am thrilled when I meet somebody who is for something and can tell me why.
I go to meeting after meeting dominated by critics. Few spend time studying the issues or have tried to identify practical solutions. I participated in an international affairs meeting where a major problem was identified and the causes explored. I said I thought a major cause we had not identified was us and our silence. It’s like the comic character Pogo said, I have met the enemy and they are us.
This morning I was reading an article that talked about how politics has changed in America it discussed how much has changed since Lincoln’s day. Our short attention spans, our concentration on our self-interest, and how we spend out time has made it too easy to manipulate how we feel. Politicians these days have learned that they win elections by raising enough money to hire professionals to make them look good, public relations people to make them sound good, and experts to tell them where our attitudes and prejudices lie so they can tell us what we want to hear. They have found it way too easy to manipulate an unstudied population through what borders on propaganda.
Unfortunately too many elections are won by those raise the most money. It is too bad that many politicians spend so much time raising money and pandering to contributors that they don’t have enough time to spend on their jobs. From my experience the real power often rests with the congressional staffs on all but the most controversial issues. That happens because there are too many things on an elected official’s plate for them to handle personally. On many if not most issues the professional staff recommends and the member does as they suggest. However on a number of major issues, committee staffer’s opinions differ widely from the public. When major bills end up in the hands of a House/Senate conference committee it is the staffers who do most of the horse trading, they decide what stays and what goes on all but the most controversial elements of the legislation. Mostly these are good people, but you can’t blame them for their opinions if all they hear is one side of any story. That happens when we stand mute on the issues we care about and only say what we are against and let someone else provide solutions. A recent example is all the pork in the highway bill.
So when we are worried about what is wrong we need to remember that things may be that way because too many of us failed to watch what was going on and then saying something about it. OK, sorry about the harangue, I don’t know why I do that sometime, maybe I do because if we don’t say something who will?
The peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: “Our country — when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.”
Gary and Keith were chatting by the office coffee maker.
“I had the most bizarre dream the night before last,” Gary declared, “All night there was just this huge glowing number 5. It was made of gold and sparkled with diamonds.”
Keith raised an eyebrow and responded, “Interesting. So what’d ya do?”
“The first thing that I did in the morning was to grab the daily racing digest and look up the fifth race and the #5 horse in the fifth race was named ‘The Fifth Element.'”
Keith started grinning.
“I was sure that this was a sign,” explained Gary, “so…
– I ate five bowls of cereal for breakfast and drank five cups of coffee
– I went for a five mile jog to clear my head
– I took a five minute shower
– I dressed in the fifth suit I found in my closet
– I sat in my car for five minutes before starting it up
– I drove to the racetrack and parked in the fifth stall in the fifth row
– I entered through the fifth admissions gate
– I bought five programs
– I went to the fifth betting window and bet $555 on the fifth horse in the fifth race
– I went and sat in the fifth row of the bleachers making sure there were five people sitting on either side of me. I settled in and waited for the race to start.”
“Well,” wondered Keith, “Did the horse win?”
Gary smiled, “Of course not, he came in fifth.”
If you can’t get a lawyer who knows the law, get one who knows the judge.
Josh had always been a big fan of Walt Disney. He saw every film that the Disney Studios put out. So it was no surprise when he headed to Disneyland looking for a job as a tour guide. And his interview went something like this:
Interviewer, “So why would you like to work for us?”
Josh, “I’ve been a big fan for many years. I reckon that I know as much about your characters as anyone. I’d make an exceptionally good tour guide.”
Interviewer, “Tell you what. If you can answer 3 questions, I won’t just hire you, I’ll give you the job of Head Tour Guide.”
Josh, “Sounds great!”
Interviewer, “First Question: Who is Mickey Mouse’s girlfriend?”
Josh, “Minnie Mouse.” Interviewer, Second Question: Name our 2 most famous dogs.” Josh, “Pluto and Goofy.” Interviewer, “Very Good. Speaking of dogs, I assume you saw the movie 101 Dalmatians?”
Josh, “Sure did.”
Interviewer, “Okay, name them.”
Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.
“Thanks for the harmonica you gave me for Christmas,” little Joshua said to his uncle the first time he saw him after the holidays. “It’s the best Christmas present I ever got.”
“Hey, that’s great,” said his uncle. “Do you know how to play it?”
“Oh, I don’t play it,” the little fellow said. “Mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night.”
“God help the man who won’t marry until he finds a perfect woman, and God help him still more if he finds her.”
My eccentric neighbor proudly showed me what appeared to be a dog.
“It’s unique,” he explained, “part dog and part bull, and it cost me a thousand!”
“Wow! Which part is bull?” I asked.
He replied, “The part about the thousand.”
Sam is shouting at his wife, Becky.
“Oh no, not another new dress and accessories. Just where do you think I am going to get the money to pay for it all?”
Becky replies, “I may be a lot of different things to many people, but I’m certainly not inquisitive!”
The only really good advice that your Jewish mother ever gave you was: “Go! You might meet somebody!”
A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.
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