Techno Gripe

In with the new and out with the old. Screw the taxpayers in the process. The government continues to have a free-for-all with our money,  expecting our unborn grandchildren to foot the bill.

As an IT content manager, I see government waste first-hand, and to be frank, it pisses me off.   I spend hundreds of wasted hours on my numerous websites,  redirecting links that have been moved or removed  — the vast majority of them are tax-funded government websites.

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to find information on government services? I can only hazard to guess that this is done intentionally, but I simply can’t fathom a reason, other than perhaps  to pay back web designers for campaign contributions. In other-words, you work on my campaign  and if I win you can work for the government creating my new identity.

The problem is these wonderful new website guru’s never bother to clean up the mess they have created by actually redirecting former URLs to the proper location. That would be too easy. Many times, they don’t even bother to archive the old information, often the site is simply dumped and they start over from scratch.

Every election there is a new round of candidates, a new set of paybacks and more wasted tax dollars. Data that is created at public expense belongs to us — you and me. Why isn’t that information being archived and preserved for public consumption? If the data is being stored, is it readily and easy obtained by John Q. Public?

I don’t have a problem with a newly elected official creating and maintaining their new online identity for their position, but IT content managers should create a usable archive of data, along with properly executed redirects. It would make my life much nicer, and provide far better usability and public access. I am so sick of hearing about our trillion dollar budget (Budget, now  that is totally laughable.  The  word budget implies  accountability, the numbers are so huge,  they are all but meaningless.).

The only thing that makes sense is that our elected officials don’t believe any of us will live long enough to have to worry about paying back the money. Only time will tell.

Want to know how your tax dollars are being spent for IT projects? Visit the IT Dashboard.

Adolescent America

America has become the land of adolescents — thinking in the short term across the board without a consideration of consequences. It’s everywhere, from personal life to institutions. And it’s costing us our future. Here are just a few examples that I’ve observed:

Buy now! Pay later! More than a commercial aimed at short-term thinkers, this is the policy of our U.S. Congress:

  • Spend more than you have and create a deficit.
  • Borrow to pay the deficit.
  • When you can’t pay the interest on that loan, just borrow some more!
  • Result: Bankruptcy.

In Fiscal Year 2006, the United States government spent $406 billion of your money just on interest payments to the holders of the National Debt. That National Debt is now $8.8 trillion.

Who needs terrorists? America is destroying herself.

Put it on credit, drive it today! Here’s a neat short-term idea — let’s sell off (or lease for a lifetime) our highways, bridges, ports, water departments and infrastructure to foreigners for some fast cash up front!

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, along with an increasing number of others, wanted some quick cash. But it wasn’t his house he refinanced. He sold the Indiana toll road to Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. of Spain for $3.85 billion. Who pays the price? The same ones who paid for the road to begin with — the taxpayers — who will be left with potholes and doubled tolls (for starters) channeled overseas rather than re-invested in their state.

Robert Poole, an engineer who advised the George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations to privatize U.S. highways, estimates that more than $25 billion in Public-Private-Partnership, or PPP, highway projects are planned or approved in the United States.

NAFTA superhighway to be built!
NAFTA Superhighway Planned

And now the short-term globalists are taking a page from the European Union and building a NAFTA superhighway (four football fields wide) from Mexico to Canada right through America — taking farms, businesses and homes from people all along the way. Texas Gov. Rick Perry just paved the way by vetoing legislation which would have delayed the Mexico to Oklahoma portion of the superhighway. Oh, and the same Spanish group, Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., will own the leasing and operating rights for 50 years after completion. By the way, Cintra is represented by Bracewell & Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani’s law firm. How very nice.

Short-term pleasure; long-term pain. Making less sense than the words, "Sell the house honey, we’re going to rent," adolescent thinking has become the norm everywhere you look:

  • Let’s just eat candy. Churches that have become ear-tickling, ever-smiling, self-help centers. Hymns may as well be replaced with the anthem: "Don’t worry, be happy." It draws the big crowds. Big crowds on a broad road who never hear about a thing called sin or a place called Hell. That is, until, without repentance, they arrive there. At least they had a positive attitude along the way.
  • It’s all about me. Adolescents (of all ages) want to have sex now. They don’t want to have a child now. Let’s set a government policy to accommodate that selfish short-term thinking — and 50 million children pay with their lives. And while Americans can’t be inconvenienced with more than two children, Muslims and foreigners are having 10 and 12. Welcome to the minority.
  • I want my MTV. Think adults haven’t adopted that mentality? Seventy-four million people voted for "American Idol" — that’s 12 million more than voted for our president in the last election. As long as we focus on what matters.
  • Drink beer and take drugs. Reaching far beyond the university campus, that mentality is commonplace in the home. Sedated and anesthetized, Americans are throwing away their lives, watching four hours of television each night and living for the weekend party.
  • Just get the cliff notes — it’s easier than reading the book. And watching television is less taxing than doing research and forming your own opinions. The liberal agenda is the lazy man’s worldview: Impress people at the dinner party by spewing back what you’ve heard on TV.
  • Play Nintendo. Like the Xbox fanatic, adult adolescents are lost in distraction, escape and fantasy. As evidenced by the $57 billion porn industry, our nation is consumed with the fake and the pretend. It’s like missing the Grand Canyon because you’re playing with your Game Boy. Important stuff is going on while we’re looking the other way: "Excuse me, did you say something about a bomb? I was listening to my iPod."
  • I want to look cool, and all the "cool kids" are talking about "tolerance" and "diversity." The attacks on Sept. 11, the Madrid train bombings, England’s subway terrorism and the attempts in Egypt, Jordan, Germany and France all had one thing in common. The terrorists all fit the very same profile: ALL were fervent Muslim men between the ages of 16 and 40. But we don’t want to risk being called a "profiler." We’ll look oh, so "diverse" by frisking grandma instead of the likely suspects. Certainly there aren’t any long-term consequences to this.
  • I want everyone to like me. Let’s keep our borders wide open and vulnerable and give lawbreakers amnesty. Then more people will like us, and we can tell our new illegal friends: "No necesita aprender otro idioma" [You don’t need to learn another language]. Soon we won’t be able to communicate in our homeland, but we’d rather not think that far ahead.

Short-term pleasure isn’t worth the long-term pain.

Would you like to do something about all this? Here’s a few places to start. Add to the 12 states that have passed legislation against the NAFTA superhighway. Join Reps. Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul in their battle against it. Balance the budget. Build the fence. And whenever you see an "adolescent" in authority, replace them with an adult who is able to think in the long-term and comprehend consequences.

About the Author

Janet L. Folger is president of Faith2Action: turning people of faith into people of action to win the cultural war together for life, liberty and the family. Author of "The Criminalization of Christianity," she hosts a daily radio program from 2-3 p.m. Eastern and a daily radio commentary heard in 100 markets and at Faith2Action.