I try, as always, to make it clear that I do not consider myself a conservative or a liberal. I am a sober Catholic woman, which means there are going to be those issues where people regard me as a fascist right wing horror story (I accept all the Church's teachings on homosexuality, chastity, marriage) and then there are those who will view with alarm, for the good of the whole, my beliefs on immigration, tolerance, The Eucharist, the importance of catechises and the need to stand up for Truth even when no one around you will back you up.
I loved Rick Santorum's response during the Arizona debate when he reminded people that believing we need to help the poor and disadvantaged does not automatically mean one is in favor of a government program. I believe that those areas of the country where Catholic Charities has been successfully pushed out of things like child care, elder care, adoption etc will suffer for it because the government is wildly inefficient when it comes to anything.
Case in point: the use of correctly printed return envelopes.
I left the office yesterday after exchanging forty-five emails with another supervisor, a manager and an analyst. The subject?
When can the unit I supervise begin to use the envelopes that have the correct return address on them?
These envelopes were ordered two years ago. We have 10 boxes of 500 envelopes each sitting in my office. The envelopes are supposed to be put into basic intake packets and given to the clients applying for Medi Cal. The client can return their application to us without having to pay anything for postage.
The problem? When the envelopes arrived two years ago this unit still had some packets with the OLD addresses on them. The decision was made to use those up and then switch to the NEW envelopes. The NEW envelopes direct mail to a PO box. That PO box was opened two years ago and has been paid for EVERY YEAR SINCE THAT TIME.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the packets with the OLD envelopes were being used...and no one bothered to check and see when that would end. And so, without fail, orders for envelopes with the OLD address were reordered and no one EVER asked why.
The Post Office Box was not being used but being paid for by the government.
The new envelopes were paid for but not being used - by the government.
The OLD envelopes were being re-ordered again and again and again and being used (and paid for) by the government.
The conversation involved five people. I make close to 50k a year and I was the cheapest employee in on this discussion.
The discussion wrapped up this morning - and the decision was made to:
1) get the courier route set up to begin April 2.
2) swap out the old envelopes for the new envelopes beginning March 28.
3) make sure there is a standing order for Basic Intake packets that include the NEW envelopes placed with the Print and Mail Service Unit beginning NOW.
4) return the OLD envelopes to our supply clerk who will return them to Print and Mail Service Unit for recycle
Why do you think people join the Tea Party? Why do you think the average American who has to cut coupons and worries about sending their kid to JUNIOR college looks at government programs and thinks, "Are you KIDDING ME?".
You may want the government involved in every aspect of your life but I do not - and I WORK for the government. I do not want the government defining marriage - it is a Sacrament and none of their business how a religion celebrates their particular Sacrament. I do not want the government telling me what hospital or doctor I can go to and I do not want MY government involved in immoral or unethical practices.
I want my government to make sure the roads are open and the lights are on and if the wind blows my town off the map I want the government to deploy troops and volunteers to help me find it. I want MY money I have put into Social Security there for me when I am ready to start collecting it and I want them to provide basic educational needs to the population - and that means the populace should be able to read roadsigns and know not to put their wet fingers into an electrical outlet.
I want the government to keep me safe - in other words, if it has been determined by society that killing me for my iPhone is wrong, I want there to be armed and trained personnel on the street and at my disposal to protect me from those selfish, arrogant and ridiculous people that believe they have a right to my stuff if they want it and can take it from me.
Look, I understand I am being simplistic here. I know that there is a reasonable balance between what the government, in the name of the populace, should do in terms of safety, education, health etc. I understand that we are a country built on the principle that there is a God and it is not us, that we need to stand for what is right and not what is easy and we have to be willing to do what is BEST rather than simply what is GOOD (sometimes the good can be the enemy of the best).
However, all that being said, it is ridiculous that two seconds ago I received still ANOTHER email regarding these envelopes and what exactly we should be doing with them.
In today's mid morning reading is found Isaiah 55:3:
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Renew in me a steadfast spirit.
I am begging The Holy Spirit, right now, to fill this room and my heart before I go and bop someone over the head with a box of envelopes.
With the wrong addresses on them.....