Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saying Goodbye to An Old Friend, October 08, 2006

SINCE THE DAYS OF THOMAS PAINE'S famous address of 1791, our old friend known as "Common Sense" has been under almost constant attack. In the beginning those perpetrating said attacks were almost universally considered as "the lunatic fringe." These elements were, for years, easy to pick out in a crowd for their unwillingness to conform to the accepted standards of society at any given time. Today though, those lines of distinction are becoming more and more blurred. This past week gave us two excellent examples of this.

The first example was the page situation in Washington. Seemingly smart politicians are taking an incident that rises way above party lines and politics and trying to turn it into a political issue. Any politician who would take potential abuse of an underage house page and use that potential abuse to further her political career (yes I'm talking about Nancy Pelosi) is an abomination and there is no punishment severe enough for that lack of common sense.

Secondly we saw the senseless slaughter of Ammish children in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse by a seemingly normal run of the mill guy who seemed to think it was ok to kill children as a means of solving his own personal issues that he had been hiding for years. Then on top of that, the daughter and wife of the "so-called Reverend" Fred Phelps (military funeral protesters) came on a national radio program and called those dead little girls, whorish souls that are burning in hell. A lack of common sense is just the tip of the iceberg here. There's so much going on with this one, I don't even where to start. Maybe I'll save it for a later blog.

In the meantime, with everything going on in the world and here in the United States....I thought it might be a good time to pull this one out of my "stack of stuff." Most of you may have seen this, or some version of it before. After recent events though, it seemed appropriate to dust it off and toss it out there for everyone once again!


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense.

Common Sense lived a long life but died in the United States from heart failure on the brink of the new millennium. No one really knows how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, and factories helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades, petty rules, silly laws, and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second. A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including body piercing, whole language, and "new math."

But sadly, his health declined when he became infected with the "if-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus.

In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well-intentioned but overbearing regulations. He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parent when a female student was pregnant or wanted an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from the Boy Scouts to professional sports. Finally, when a woman too stupid to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot was awarded a huge settlement, Common Sense threw in the towel.

As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations such as those for low flow toilets, rocking chairs, and stepladders.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers: My Rights, and Ima Whiner.

His funeral was poorly attended because so few realized he was gone...

Originally posted 10/8/06 on Yahoo 360
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