Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hired Help

News comes this morning that the House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a budget that will be good enough until September 2015. So we were told by two papers that reach this house, the one with the lower-case h. Is that the end of the fiscal meltdown crisis? Well, the vote is still ahead.

Just yesterday Brigitte wrote as follows in one of her notebooks; she keeps up several, each on a different major aspect of our lives:

I have become more and more aware of how speculation is the major content of news reports:  “should, may/might, plans, expects, soon, near, suggests, etc.” are operative words. Those definitive words “is/are, will, etc.” are used only in reports of little if any impact on any real action, rules, and described facts!

If House members and senators actually bless this agreement soon, we will be able to say that the hired help has finally gotten around to doing its job.

Yes, the paradox of democratic government. We the People hire the people we hope will govern us. But democracy is either unnatural or Janus-faced. Those hired in this way cannot help but think that they are now our masters—and free to spend their time quarreling with one another.

Truth  to tell, the news caught me by surprise. I made what might have been a very costly error recently. I bought a laptop (called “Tyke” hereabouts). Getting it up and running right has cost lots of time, money, and stress—enough so that all those mountain-sized public problems had entirely disappeared from my view. This is the first post composed on Tyke—whom I am constantly having to remind that it is the servant and I am (at least titularly) its Lord and Master.

2 comments:

  1. I like Brigitte's idea that speculation is the major content of news reports -- it fits with something I've noticed myself, which is that the only real evidence that is usually involved in news reports is testimonial; there's never evidence, only this or that person saying this or that. And that would make it difficult to use (honestly, anyway) the definitive words, rather than these operative words related to speculation.

    Laptops do seem to be getting to the point where the ones that are easy to set up aren't likely to do what you want, and the ones that do what you want aren't usually easy to set up. I suppose that's very much like politicians, too!

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  2. My laptop is finally behaving very obediently -- say I. knocking on wood, but, come to think of it, this table just looks like wood; I think it is actually a very fancy plastic.

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