Noman, I'm getting so tired of you monopolizing this thread. Some might think you have secret code to limit the nay-sayers from contributing.
Personal responsibility is not calling other people names, especially the President. I have no idea what kind of dork Obama is, but I have a sense he knows more than you and has to deal with it: "what?" ever it is. And, I must admit, it is difficult to figure out how one becomes so much of an expert on the constitution he can teach it to lawyer wanna-bees, but can't seem to practice what he preaches and presumably "knows". History, will likely, judge the man poorly. It is hard to figure what "change" is. Where does he go from here?
I'm with you on tricky dicky two. He reminds me of "Chucky" (the unkillable block of wood) - enough said (no complaints, with your preaching from the top of the soap box on the matter, here). History has already condemned him. He is the worst of the worst of the worst of this world and pure evil for the American way of life: the American Fascist.
And, that looser Bush two - history will judge him very poorly. A true puppet. He makes a block of wood look smart.
But, personal responsibility is not us dwelling on them (these three poor examples of personal responsibility), but rather us ignoring their actions when we decide what our's will be.
And, if you expect the current crop of B-school graduates to put community above immediate profits and their personal success, your expectations are way too high. The future will likely provide more "citizen managers", who are more ethical and sensitive to all aspects of their companies' actions - but, don't hold your breath, it may take awhile for them to move into positions of power.
The current crop of politicians in this country do seem to have a bit of the gangster mentality too. It is hard to figure how good people with good intentions get ground up in the system while getting rich with no particular source of ongoing income that should create wealth. Seems like there might be a personal responsibility issue with anyone making too much money - what ever that is.
Once upon a time, I claimed to be a Libertarian. I was criticized by an acquaintance for being one of those anarchist who believed in selling drugs to elementary school kids on every street corner in the city. How ridiculous, I responded back, I want drugs to be legal and adults to be free to use them in their own personal space. And, all adults to take enough personal responsibility to treat every child, as their own, teaching them about freedom on every street corner, not drugs.
But alas, many adults get trapped in a bottle, or a pipe or some other poison of their choosing, fail to function in society, pushing on society looking for a Utopian crutch to do all their bidding while pissing on the foundation. If that weren't bad enough, the other side of the coin has high minded people judging and convicting alternate lifestyles by use of the legal system. Morality has be legislated. Laws, laws, laws.
Every law curtails freedom.
We (I guess I mean me, and maybe you) then judge all the morons, top to bottom, with our (mine and maybe your's?) values system. Welfare based baby maker on crack all the way up to the President, hard to find any personal responsibility, any where. Sure, there are pockets of it here and there, but mostly out of the lime light. People exhibiting personal responsibility are usually too busy doing what they should be doing to be noticed.
I took a tour of Folsom prison once upon a time. Every prisoner that approached me claimed to have been wrong by the legal system and was soliciting assistance in righting the wrongs. After the pattern set in (25 cases or so) I realized most people are unwilling to accept their mistakes even under overwhelming evidence. Most people are victims or their own actions in a prison they made for themselves.
If we (definitely meaning me, and again, maybe you) want more personal responsibility in the world, we need to stop bitching and start being, because no amount of complaining is gonna do a dam thing to improve the situation (or condition in others) - it is what it is.
I, for one, am not going to get involved in the fight to the bottom by forcing conformity (or non-conformity, for that matter) on the mass of my peers - in general, I don't think they're worth it. I prefer to find a community with similar values and hope I can live in peace where I feel comfortable while exhibiting a reasonable amount of personal and community responsibility.
We need to widen our range of what seems responsibility, in others, given their circumstances. We need too judge less.
I realize there are some big issues in the world that seem to need immediate attention, but high expectations for immediate change seems highly unlikely. We need to just, keep at it, ...
Scream at the policy makers a bit and often enough to be at least annoying.
And, ... there is help on the horizon.
Eventually, the country will run out of wealth, and some of the macro behavior you mention (crimes against the world) will be curtailed (or eliminated) outright as money becomes to tight to try to rule the world. I think that will be a good thing, even if it might be hard to get used to.
I'm ready to get used to it, are you?