Some more gripes for a slow local news day would be:

Nobody seems to remember forty years ago when school children were told the poverty in the Soviet Union was related to government meddling in industry. Government was supposed to protect people from harm and help the abused find justice. It wasn’t supposed to give tax dollars to big campaign contributors. And yet, nary a day goes by that some politician isn’t celebrating a visit to industry to show how serious he is about “creating jobs.” Even The Wee People beg government to create jobs for them, but that is because the accounting and legal barriers are too prohibitive for most of us to just “get to work.”

In a similar vein, I liked the old days when I was in elementary school and we learned that prices were the point at which parties agreed to transact. Now, labor is reimbursed whenever, banks allow access to money after holding periods which may pop up anytime, prices for major purchases are subject to change while processing, and other purchases are subject to unannounced surcharges to cover incidentals. Somebody for whom I do bookkeeping recently stayed in an expensive motel that charged him 15 percent extra. Now, the charge must remain on the card for 7-10 days for processing. Sadly, in my experience, these undefined prices usually apply to travel, when one could be stranded and become a burden to society. One must not travel these days unless he has twice as much as he needs to cover “prices.”

Then, there are services. The system and I are on different wavelengths. I have no expectation of getting help for what ails me when I go to the hospital. Instead, I expect to be stuffed in a room and dealt protocols which somewhere involve switching of charts, and offered all kinds of free perks. When I explain I am uninsured and don’t want to run up my bill, then I get the spiel about how I can sign up for free this and free that. It is as if it is illegal and insane to presume that what is free to me is over-charging somebody elsewhere. “Oh, but you already paid for it with your taxes. It’s your right,” I am consoled. Whatever happened to the idea that one is healthy when he can give more than he takes?

Another gripe would be public hearings. Tonight, Asheville City Council is scheduled to have two, which should extend late into the evening. Likely, the outcomes had to come after the elections and before three newly oustable councilors could be seated. Why can’t we, as a people, agree that development poses risks for home values, traffic volumes, stormwater runoff, and viewsheds; and advance the dialogue from there? Then, we might all get some sleep.

Lastly, I was a little miffed yesterday at a blatant display of moral relativism I received in the email. It is a daily thing for which I signed up as a gesture of friendship toward a local politician. As you haven’t forgotten, this would have arrived the first work day after the terrible scene in Paris. I don’t like to speak about foreign affairs, as I am confident I never see who throws the first punch except when I think I do. But anyway, on a day when people were mourning mass murder, destruction of scores of lives of potential for good; the daily quote taught:

The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn’t take sides;
but welcomes both saints and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the center.
– Lao Tzu