Tuesday, February 24, 2009


We expect a conspiracy. In last night's episode of 24, all of the plot lines seem tied up with nothing left to fix and nothing left for Jack Bauer to do but sit on the Capitol steps in contemplation. Of course, we knew that couldn't be true, because we hadn't used up 24 hours yet and Jack's not that inward-looking --- and lo and behold, Tony showed up to introduce a new cabal.

We expect another conspiracy to keep on popping up, not only on 24, but in real life.

It occurred to me that we always expect a new conspiracy because we can't trust the people we have put our trust in. At home, in our educational institutions, in our private organizations --- religious and otherwise, and in government. To a large degree, our nation and the world's current financial crisis stems from misplaced trust in the rich and powerful people we allowed to govern and manage our money.

As a federal employee, I always knew that --- at least in my agency, the IRS --- the federal government wasn't adequately funding oversight and enforcement of the laws. There was a lot more work to be done at a cost much less than the revenue it would produce to get people to comply and pay their taxes. So many individuals and corporations and companies were let go, allowed to wallow in their dishonesty and greed. It wasn't hard to surmise that that was probably the case with other regulatory agencies that oversaw finances and trade. And low and behold, it was true. And it continues to be so.

Nonetheless, those we have elected to represent us continue to balk at adequate funding for such agencies and for such oversight. A person has to ask themselves why. There is no doubt that in our country we need transparency in our government --- to use the latest catch word. That's true not only in government but in our personal lives and our private institutions. At some point we have to give meaning in a real and substantive way to the notion, "I have nothing to hide."

Yesterday the Utah republicans met to talk about Chris Buttars . . . in secret.

We love our conspiracies. And we love to perpetrate them.

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