Category Archives: Politics

Reckon where we’d be today if they’d put this on the ballot in 1992

1992,the NBC News/WSJ poll asked whether voters would be willing to check a box on the ballot that would defeat everyone in Congress, including their own representatives. Sixty percent of those surveyed were willing to play 52-card pickup and start all over again with 535 new members of Congress.

Imagining a vibrant third party is a political fantasy that ranks right up there with a deadlocked national convention going to a ninth ballot. But two decades ago, there was the out-of-nowhere emergence of Ross Perot. Before Perot became known for his paranoid claims and his bizarre (and temporary) withdrawal during the 1992 Democratic Convention, he touched off an outsider populist movement with a centrist cut-the-national-debt ideology.

http://news.yahoo.com/why-republicans-should-be-very–very-afraid-192943188.html

Lessee, there’s all the banana wars, the series of gawdawful presidents and the families running US Congress probably wouldn’t have happened they way they did.  Then there’s NAFTA, millions of trainloads of Chinese toasters we’d have to do without, maybe.  Bank bailouts, auto industry bailouts, where does it all stop once you begin trying to digest it all?

Luckily it never made it onto the ballot. 

Might have, though, if anyone found a way past the people who control what goes on ballots.

All I can be certain of is that if it had been on the ballot I’d have voted.  Might even have kept voting in some of the others between then and now.  Saved me one hell of a lot of trouble, them not putting it on the ballot.

Old Jules

The only thing that ever scared the US Congress

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The framers of the US Constitution were careful, careful, careful to put as much distance as possible between the voting citizenry and the people running things in Washington.  They did their best to make it near impossible for groups of individual citizens to directly recall elected officials, judges, anyone capable of directly influencing the activities of government.

That’s because they didn’t want the Boston Tea Party running things.  Simple as that.  They knew the people who’d be elected to office would be people who could afford to campaign.  Wealthy property owners who could afford to leave their jobs to serve in Congress.  People who’d respect the property rights and interests of other wealthy people.

So they deliberately left out any provision for direct citizen initiative or referendum demands related to laws, changes in the Constitution, replacing federal judges, getting rid of corrupt or incompetent elected officials.

But they did provide the illusion of the possibility for changes in Article V of the Constitution.  A demand, not by citizens, but by states for a Constitutional Convention.  And every time there’s ever been a demand by states approaching likelihood, the US Congress suddenly saw the error of their ways.

States have demanded an Article 5 Constitutional Convention a lot of times since 1787.  Never, not once has one happened.  You can see a list of the tries at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state_applications_for_an_Article_V_Convention

According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, and therefore 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. Once an Article V Convention has proposed amendments, then each of those amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (i.e. 38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_to_propose_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Plenty difficult enough to reduce the possibilities of it ever happening.

The next nearly-successful attempt to call a convention was in the late 1970s and 1980s, in response to the ballooning federal deficit. States began applying to Congress for an Article V Convention to propose a balanced budget amendment. By 1983, the number of applications had reached 32, only two states short of the 34 needed to force such a convention.[18] Enthusiasm for the amendment subsided in response to fears that an Article V Convention could not be limited to a single subject and because Congress passed the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which required that the budget be balanced by 1991 (but that Act was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1986).[18]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_to_propose_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution

As you can see, the states have been concerned about the Federal deficit a longish while.  Congress sidestepped a Constitutional Convention by promising promising promising they’d mend their ways.

But as you can also see, they gave it a wink and nod as soon as the danger of an Article V Constitutional Convention ceased to loom in front of them.

So what can you as a citizen, as a voter, as an unhappy frustrated idealist do?

Not a damned thing except grin and bear it.  The US Constitution is not about you.  Quit thinking it is, quit whining about it, quit worrying about it.  Human beings generally haven’t had a lot to say about what demands their aristocrats would choose to make on them.  And at least for the moment it could still be a lot worse than it is.

Old Jules

I wonder if we oldsters are different

Hi readers.

The representative democracy elected government useless eaters and the various space aliens running things know younger people are nothing but a bunch of sheep trapped in career paths, credit ratings and compulsive consumerism.  They know most of them have never stepped far outside the boundaries of control-created behavior and never will.  They know their heads are loaded with frenzied propaganda-induced rabidity of opinion safely within the fences.

But what those useless eaters in the White House, Congress, and all the societal traps of career paths have never been is old, been-there-done-that on most things, and trapped in promises made by useless eaters of the past.  Promises that if we handed over pieces of our incomes for half-century, they’d set it aside, nurture it, and feed it back to us when we got too old to make a living.  One month at a time, every month.

Come rain, shine, four horsemen of the whatchallit, apocalypse, Chinese invasion of toasters, utopian government sawbones free-for-alls, Drug Wars, supporting our Freedom Fighters against their Terrorists, whatever.

We oldsters have broken enough promises in our lives to recognize what a broken promise looks like.  And a lot more of us than anyone might imagine don’t have a lot to lose.  Whole different animal from those on the under-side of 65 circuits around Old Sol.

Some of us also have a mean-streak we’ve gone to a lot of trouble to subdue during our lives.  And some of us probably figure when it comes time to get off the pavement going through the fence is as good as going over it.

I say this because of the workings of my own, personal mind.  And that doesn’t assume the way my mind works necessarily rhymes with the workings of the minds of others in my situation.

For myself, I’ve got three cats I’ve got a contract to feed as long as I’m alive to do it.  It’s a contract I hold dear, as important to me as anything in my reality.  Those cats are going to eat one way or another, so long as anyone in the United States has a plate of food in front of him.  So long as I have the ability to make it happen, by any means whatsoever.

The promises made back when I was feeding the US government pieces of my income and trusting them to set them aside were written into law, and those laws haven’t changed.  But when the US government jumps the tracks and becomes a legion of lawbreakers and the laws they break influence whether my cats eat, all bets are off. 

The government can prove by prima faci evidence they didn’t mean it when they made their laws.  But they can’t do it surgically, selectively.  If the laws don’t apply to them, they don’t apply to anyone.  Not just the laws they picked to break, but all the laws on the books.

But hell, that’s just one old guy saying it.  What the hell do I know?

Old Jules

Sheeze – A LITTLER bittier pissanter Russia? Catherine the Great and John Paul Jones reverse cowboy style replayed

See readers, there you are.  I haven’t even barely just wrapped my atrophied mind around the USSR spang being a little bitty pissant place but what damned if it doesn’t threaten to get smaller.

And naturally it’s worrying the bejesus out of the same people who used to fret and chew their fingernails about it being the WHEW great big old USSR.  And then the ones who discovered they were scared crapless of it when it was little bitty.

So now, nobody less than the freaking Heritage Foundation’s running around in increasingly small circles because Oh shit oh dear it might get even smaller.

But you gotta remember these are the same people who fret over the threat North freaking Korea is to the peace and dignity of the United States.  And the threat Iran is to the United States.  And the ugly threat Syria is to the United States.

I’m thinking the whole damned thing is an effort to keep the Chosen People from recognizing the obvious fact we need to invade Mexico, soonest.  Then wossname, Guatamala.  And anything else that gets in the way between there and the Panama Canal.

Russia?  Haaaa!  Russia’s never done anything for the US besides Catherine the Great fornicating with famous US sailor sailor John Paul Jones reverse cowboy style.  It’s all been downhill since then.  Unless we can find another John Paul Jones to send over there what the hell does a little bitty pissant Russia have to do with anything?

Old Jules

A century of bloodshed – Look what those lowdown stinking Muslims did!

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

You never-forgetters have something to remember and celebrate not forgetting it.

This time a century ago the sneaky lowdown stinking Muslim Ottoman Empire was withdrawing from the Balkans.  Territory ripe for the taking by devil-take-the-hindmost.

Naturally the web of inbred monarch cousins ruling Europe, Russia and Britain wanted a piece of what those Muslims were leaving behind.  And by 1913 they’d all decided which cousins were friends this time around, and which were enemies.

Those cousins had plenty of cannon fodder and they were all waiting for a spark to set them off so’s they’d have an excuse for their patriotic homeland worship-ridden peasantry to cut one another down with artillery, machine guns and bayonettes.

A few months down the road they got their excuse when their Austrian cousin got offed by a Serbian as he drove by in a motorcade on the way to laying down the law the Austrians were about to provide for the Serbians to march to.

Thoroughly pissed off the cousins running France, the Austrian Empire, the Russian Empire, the German Empire, the British Empire, and scattered cousins elsewhere.  Eventually even the cousins running the United States.

So naturally they sent their peasants out to slaughter one another for the homeland, protecting their motherlands from all the damned foreigners taking the ownership of the land, food, wealth and power from the cousins who were providing them their weaponry and telling them to “CHARGE!  Fight to the death!”

Gave us one hell of a 20th Century.  After that the Russian peasants on the front lines starving to death fighting Germans and Austrians decided, “Screw this shit!”.  Went home and chopped their ruling cousins to death instead of going after the intended target.

Damned British cousins were having distractions in Ireland where they were starving everyone to death, and Wales with the coal miners wanting to get paid and have safety standards in their mines where so many were getting killed in mine accidents.  Had to call in the cousins from the US to bail them out.

As if that weren’t enough, the cheeky bastard Turks whipped the socks off the British Navy and all the Australian and Indian peasants the British cousins sent to invade Turkey!

French cousins had some difficulties because the damned German cousins kept telling their peasants in the trenches to shoot the French peasants, and the French cousins having to shoot their own peasants when they tried to get the hell out of Dodge.

And all because of the damned Turks.  Those damned sneaky-assed Ottoman Muslim Turks.  They caused it all.  The end of the Russian cousins, the Austrian cousins having to hide a longish time, the British cousins having to let go their stranglehold on Ireland and pay their damned miners in Wales, give them air down in the holes and ways to fight fires.

Damned Muslim bastards caused the WWII and Cold War.  Civilization hasn’t recovered yet.   30-40 million people killed in that one war and all because of those lowdown sneaking no-go0d-for-nothing Moslems.

Not to mention all the damage it did all over the world by opening up the Pandora’s Box of unions springing up all over the place keeping factory and industry owners from making an honest living by having to pay wages, have safety enough on jobs to keep a lot of injured workers from drawing attention to themselves.

And now they’re trying to do it again.  Forcing the cousins in the United States into sending the peasants out with the new generation of weaponry.

Old Jules

The Zen of politics – Romantic vs Classic forms

Hi readers. Thanks for the visit.

Probably some of you have noticed as I have that things in Washington D.C. aren’t always as they appear to be.

Moving the White House and Congress to Disneyland – A serious proposal

The reasons for this reach deeply into the psyche of the people who call themselves Americans. They’re entrenched in the idealized construct of the US Constitution and the romantic, dehumanized cardboard cutouts of the ‘founding fathers’, US presidents, generals, politicians and jurists. By definition their motives were pure, their decisions and actions were entirely driven by the desire to protect the rights of the future citizenry.

A classical view of all this would note a few contradictions inside the fog of idealism. The supposed ability of the judiciary, for instance, to shed the skin of partisanship and self-interest once sworn into office. The fact a substantial portion of the humanity born inside the borders, the ‘Indians’, were not to be included in the census, not to be taxed. In fact, were not citizens at all when it came to the protected rights of citizenship. The only protections the US Constitution provided them were treaty obligations approved by the US Congress. Even the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1868 pretended the tribes governed themselves and the US Government had no jurisdiction over them. Excluded for automatic citizenship even those who gave up tribal affiliations.

Keeping the options open, those realists. Kept them open until 1924, by which time the protection of any rights they might have had as citizens couldn’t do them a hell of a lot of good.

Not to say impartial or non-partisan Supreme Court jurists, or what happened to the rights of American Indians has anything to do with anything except reality.

The reality. Washington D.C. is inhabited by human beings looking out for their own best interests. They’ve pared the environment down so it’s contained in a two-party system to protect itself from intruders, outsiders, invaders. They’re all singing from the same songbook inside the conch shell where the only sound you hear is their ocean.

Whining about taxes, rights protected by Constitutional amendments, undeclared wars and candidates for National elected offices who aren’t blessed with chins can’t penetrate the walls of the conch shell.

The reality is that if any of that can be changed it can’t happen in a capsule of romantic form anchored to a past that never existed, celluloid people canonized in myth and a piece of paper with less substance than a US dollar.

Playing nicknack tallywack inside Washington’s two-party system only results in them throwing the dog a bone. But the dogs do love it.

That’s reality.

Old Jules

Abraham Lincolncare – A realistic way to remember US Presidents

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I keep hearing about something called WossnameCare, which I don’t know what is and honestly don’t want to know.  Anything that names itself after a US president tends to arouse suspicion for me.  Strikes me as an attempt by someone who sees himself as the most powerful person in the world to inject his name into history books, along with a particular slant.  The fact an enormous lot of US citizens are opposed to is suggests it would be worthy of a lot of careful study before anyone formed an opinion.

But it also brings to mind something I believe is a flaw in the way we remember US presidents of the past, figuring out whether they did anything good, and remembering them for that.  The entire world and the citizenry of the US would probably be better served if we all remembered US presidents for the absolutely awful, terrible, long-range disasterous things they did and decisions they made.  An object lesson to anyone holding that office as a warning he’ll be remembered by history for his follies.

A few examples, in case I’m not expressing myself clearly.

Franklin Rooseveltcare might be a good place to begin.  Roosevelt gave us the Manhattan Project and the nuclear bomb.  Franklin Roosevelt can be said to be responsible for the Cold War Mutual Assured Destruction, that whole nest of horrors, as well as all that damned radiation contamination the Japanese are dumping into the sky and the Pacific Ocean.

Harry Trumancare.  The endless serious of undeclared presidential wars he began.

Lyndon Johnsoncare.  The Vietnam War legacy and more importantly, the welfare state.

Richard Nixoncare.  A Chinese toaster in every kitchen and a dead US toaster-making industry.

Ronald Reagancare.  Generations of an endless War on Drugs, a prison industry and the US becoming the country with more prisoners held in prisons than any other country in the world.

Bill Clintoncare.  The careful planting and nurturing of the US police state.

Father and Son Bushcare.  Endless wars and military adventures in the Middle East.

US presidents are in office because they are attracted to the thought of being the most powerful person in the world.  US presidents want their names in history books.  Naturally most of them are functionally illiterate and haven’t spent a lot of time reading history books.  They just have to ride along on gut feel and what they think previous presidents are praised for doing, remembered for doing.

And if US presidents are remembered for the ways they’ve managed to convert the United States to the country it has become, is still becoming, they might well take a deeper look at what they are about.  Give a few thoughts to consequences.

Old Jules

Bobby’s over there squealing like a pig in the White House

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.  Apologies in advance to those of you who never saw or read Deliverance.

One of the problems that comes from ten generations of intermarried first cousins running the country is they all begin to think it’s about Dueling Banjos.  They start believing it’s perfectly natural Bobby’s over there squealing like a pig.  Nobody wants to rock the canoe.

But at the moment the reason Bobby’s over there in the White House squealing like a pig is that Saudi Arabia and their cousins in Israel are pressuring the hell out of him to bomb their other cousins in Syria.  Same as they’re doing over there in Congress where they understand all about squealing like pigs for the White House, Israel, Saudi Arabia, anyone with the money to buy a quickie.

It’s all become a habit.  Nobody 75 years ago would have dreamed there’d come a time when the President of the US could believe he could bomb the bejesus out of anyone he wanted to anytime he wanted to without anyone raising an eyebrow.  Nobody would have believed US Presidents could take the country into a series of endless wars without consulting Congress.  Nobody would have believed any president could believe he could do it and get by with it.

But that all changed with a lot of other things.  And now we’ve got a guy in the White House hysterical because he wants to give a war and nobody’s willing to come.  Standing on one leg, then the other saying he’s going to get permission from Congress, then saying he doesn’t have to.  Saying he’s the only one needs to pick the tune for all of us.

And all those hydrocephalic banjo players over in Congress listening to Israel lobbyists handing them nice stuff under the table, Saudi Arabian lobbyists giving them free trips to Tahiti and porn stars in their hotel rooms to help them remember where their loyalty belongs.

Meanwhile, the world’s died laughing and decided they’ve had enough of US Presidents and their big-headed advisors telling them who needs the bejesus bombed out of them.  Which puts Bobby into a hell of a fix.

Bobby knows if he doesn’t do what Israel and Saudi Arabia tell him to do, he’s got a Vice President who will.  He knows he can be LBJed same as Kennedy was.  LBJed and J. Edgar Hoovered by one of the packs of goons and snipers he’s helped put into place on all the rooftops.  He never figured he’d be the one in the crosshairs he helped create.

It’s no wonder he’s squealing like a pig.

Old Jules

John F. Kennedy and Barbie go to Boston – 1962 – The rest of the story

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I promised the other day that I’d relate one more precious memory of John and Jackie Kennedy’s Boston adventure. 

A better way – Getting new royalty when the President croaks

So here it is.

All those men lined up along Boylston Street, including Julio, Tonyand I were still mesmerized by the thoughts of whether Jackie Kennedy would be an inspired bed partner.  The street between the police cordons was vacant for a moment, when suddenly the sound of a bell clanging brought our attention back.

Hell bent down empty Boylston came a vehicle pulling an open trailer.  A guy was on the back of the trailer ringing a huge bell mounted there, big bell.  Church bell sized, rather than locomotive sized.  On the side of the trailer was a huge sign, “KRUSHCHEV SAYS, ‘WE WILL BURY YOU!”

They zipped past us, hung a hard left around Boston Plaza, and swung in behind the emptying motorcade in front of the Plaza Hotel.  Still ringing that damned bell.  [Likely the granddaddy of the patriots of today, I'm thinking by hindsight.]

Friends and readers, this whole thing was not in keeping with the high standards Boston wanted in their welcoming Ken and Barbie to town.  Every cop on Boylston forgot about that yellow tape and ran across Boston Plaza, pulling their billy clubs out as they ran.  Wasn’t any time at all before that trailer was surrounded by Boston’s finest and all an observer could see was the backs of cops and a forest of billy clubs rising and falling.

They weren’t aiming for that bell, either.  Didn’t hear it clang one single time after the first club rose and fell.

But you’ve got to admit the guy had imagination and class.  A freaking liberty bell!  You surely don’t see that anymore.  All these teapartying occupiers just go around telling one another inane BS about what they think about guns and abortion and Wall Street.

If that guy with the liberty bell lived through the next five minutes after the cops got him, he might be still alive.  He could teach these modern jerks a thing or two about how to deliver messages to the Kens and Barbies.

Having some Secret Service or Homeland Security thug put a rifle bullet through your face before the cops arrived with mace and 20,000 volt non-lethal zappers to finish you off ought not deter anyone from a little display of class and imagination.

Old Jules

Hey! How about them Rooskies?

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

This guy in the White House is evidently really really really determined to do a humanitarian air strike against the next-door-neighbor to Israel.  He wants to do it so badly he’s even planning to ASK THE US CONGRESS to approve him doing it.  How’s that for adding a new side of presidential behavior?

But now this Rambo/Charles Atlas/Arnold Schwartzneigger guy running Russia’s saying he has an itchy trigger finger, too.  Says he ain’t going to put up with any one-upsmanship from the US guy in the White House when it comes to bombing the bejesus out of unlikely places.

So the burning question is this:

Can we still kill more Russians than they can kill of us? 

Now that they’re just a pissant rat hole more in Asia than Europe run by gangs of thugs that aren’t even all from the same families the way they are in the US, I’m betting they can’t nuke more than thirty, forty US cities.  And I’m betting too, that we can destroy several hundred Rooskie cities if it comes to it. 

Our Popeye is one hell of a lot tougher than their Bluto nowadays.

If those damned Rooskies don’t want us humanitarian bombing the bejesus out of Israel’s next-door-neighbors, maybe it’s time to cut them down a few notches, saturate them with some H-bombs for their trouble.

We can afford to lose a few dozen cities to protect our right to humanitarian bomb backwoods places like Syria.  Israeli lobbyists will work three shifts telling these straight facts to the US Congress next week.

I’m betting that, too.  But I won’t get any takers.  Nobody bets against a sure thing.

Old Jules