It is written, better to be a fool all your days than for one hour to be evil

One would think that after the Hamdan and the recent conclusion by the ABA that Bush’s Signing Statement Practice Contrary to Rule of Law and Separation of Powers the Bush administration might notice that the United States of America was not, contrary to neocon doublethink a monarchy and Bush was not a potentate who governed without restraint, but no. Hubris infests these neocons like an incurable rash, Congress Learned of Nation’s Nuclear Expansion From Independent Analysts

Henry D. Sokolski, the Defense Department’s top nonproliferation official during the George H.W. Bush administration, said he was most surprised by the way news of the reactor in Pakistan became known.

“What is baffling is that this information — which was surely information that our own intelligence agencies had — was kept from Congress,” said Sokolski, now director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. “We lack imagination if we think that this is no big deal.”

This information was probably keep from Congress because BushCo has done such a bang up job on the foreign policy front that being able to handle India and Pakistan was just considered a gimme.

“Where’s the beef”, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”, “Mikey likes it” and “Conservatives believe in small government”- all some of the most memorable advertising slogans of our age. About that last one and truth in advertising, Congress to spend $750 million to promote marriage, better fathers

Ron McLain has no qualms about the federal government getting involved in marriage. Indeed, he’s counting on it.

McLain has applied for a $550,000 federal grant to hire counselors for Marriage Mentoring Ministries Inc., a tiny business in Fresno County, Calif., that helps couples before and after they exchange wedding vows. He also has a bid in for a $250,000 grant to teach men to become better fathers.

“The market is obviously very ripe for this with the divorce rate as high as it is, and obviously couples want a good marriage,” said McLain, who oversees the organization along with his wife, Joan. They specialize in training couples to mentor other couples, with many of the classes taking place at local churches.

On even casual inspection this would seem to fail the small government test and then there are these arcane old writings, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. The lack of 750 million in tax payer dollars wouldn’t prevent Ron or the like from practicing their religion, but it is a case of head meets wall on the establishment clause.

“It’s amazing to me how anyone can find this controversial,” Herger said. “Being a parent of nine children myself, it’s tough enough to raise children when there’s two parents, let alone when there’s just one mother, totally alone, trying to raise a child.”

So it is Herger’s proposition that since some people have made dubious decisions about having children requires that the government step in and take matters in hand. His party has campaigned against job training so that the poor with children can earn a better living and lessen some of the strain that leads to broken families, yet thinks that if government rushes in and chants a few bible verses that somehow families will magically find a way. Rep. Herger makes note of the link between poverty and unstable households, but thinks that rather then a good education and a good paying job being the obvious solution, tax payers will get a better return on their social investment if we just send these folks down to Ron McLain for some religious based counseling. I have nothing against pastors or rabbis counseling the faithful, but aside from illegal merging of religion and government, it may not be all that effective. Red states as we all know at this point have a larger percentage of christian fundamentalists and have at least a slight majority of right-wing voters, yet they have a higher divorce rate and some other rather sorted problems, Dossier: Red-State Values

In red states in 2001, there were 572,000 divorces … Blue states recorded 340,000 … In the same year, 11 red states had higher rates of divorce than any blue state … In each of the red states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico, 46.3 percent of all births were to unwed mothers … In blue states, on average, that percentage was 31.7 … Delaware has the highest rate of births to teenage mothers among all blue states, yet 17 red states have a higher rate … Of those red states, 15 have at least twice the rate as that of Massachusetts … There were more than 100 teen pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 in 5 red states in 2002 …

Granted personal problems are just that, but if there is one link between bad marriages and teen pregnancies on a national scale of trends it would seem to be cultural conservatism, poor wages, and lack of economic opportunity not the access to someone that can give advice with a bible and a government check marking chapter and verse. If we can spend over 8 billion dollars a month to create a civil war in Iraq we could spend a quarter of that getting people a solid education and job skills so their lives and their marriages might truly be just a little more “stable”.

I went to the rabbi to get some advice. He said, “It is
written, better to be a fool all your days than for one hour
to be evil. You are not a fool. They are the fools. For
he who causes his neighbor to feel shame loses Paradise
himself.” Nevertheless the rabbi’s daughter took me in. As
I left the rabbinical court she said, “Have you kissed the
wall yet?” I said, “No what for?” she answered, “It’s the
law; you’ve got to do it after every visit.” Well, there
didn’t seem to be any harm in it. And she burst out
laughing. It was a fine trick. She put one over on me,
all right

excerpt from Gimpel the Fool
by Isaac Bashevis Singer.