This piece is just another observation about one of the principles of government that seems to have gotten lost in the last 30 years or so. That principle is the notion of public or common good as a legitimate, arguably necessary function of government.
There are a few areas in today's political climate that conservatives believe are legitimate interests of the federal government: national security, broadly interpreted, being at the top of the list. A complete list of recognized federal functions, with a brief discussion of each, can be found here.
The two areas under the gun from conservatives are broadly, government provision of goods and services and social programs, who argue that many or most of these functions are not legitimate functions of government. ("Many" or "most" being based on how rabid the particular conservative is on a given day.) Instead, they argue, these functions are best left to the "free market" where individuals will have the "choice" to participate or not.
The website, that is. And the author as well. You will notice that this latest edition of my website looks and behaves differently from the first two. It is built on the open-source content management system called Joomla! (the exclamation point is part of the name, not a sign of excitement here. Joomla lets one concentrate on what's on the site rather than how to put it there. Lots of flexibility, lots of free add-ons and templates, so it's possible to change the whole look of the site by clicking a button.
This page will change fairly often, as I feel the urge to vent at something. New stuff will appear here at the top, and newer stuff will push the older stuff downward.
There is a Discussions link you can see on the left -- it will take you to our built-in bulletin board/forum. You'll need to register for a login to see or post anything on the forum. I'll approve registrations for people I know, but no others. I don't expect a lot of action on the forum -- I've found that a forum like this, to be viable, needs a few hundred people who are interested enough to check in and contribute regularly. If I knew a few hundred people that would be one thing, but....
If we were approached by aliens in a starship, we can be sure sure they would observe us closely and try to learn all they could about us before their first contact. They might well focus on areas of the globe that glow at night, since those areas are probably more suggestive of some form of civilization than are the darker areas. Quite possibly parts of the the US of A (Our Fair Country©), either coast, or other parts of the country more densely populated than, say, the Grain Belt or the Rockies.
The NRA: "...government [should] do a better job of enforcing existing gun laws". [Source: MSNBC]
Me: "Definitely! Those toothless, loophole-laden ineffectual laws the NRA fought so hard against should be enforced, because we see almost daily how great a job they do against curbing gun violence!"