Monthly Archives: July 2010

The curious case of the non-missing rights, or, here’s your bill, what’s your hurry

Let me be the first to admit that the nation survived the Bush administration, and we came out of those years with our rights intact, despite the Patriot Act and the shoe n’ belt ecdysiast dance at the airport, despite the fact that a lot of us feared the worst.  But our fears were small-mashed-mini potatoes compared to the doom n’ gloom Obama hating fear baiting going on right now.

Let’s play a game.  Let’s pretend it’s tomorrow morning.  You walk out of your house.  Name ONE right you don’t have as you walk out of the house that you had when Obama took office.  I’m not talking about what you THINK will happen or speculation, I want to know one right you had back in 2008, you don’t have right now.

I keep hearing about how our rights are being trampled and we are going to be lucky to get out of this with a scintilla of freedom, but we’ve made it through a civil war, people being property, women being largely chattel, apartheid in many states, and the alien and sedition act.  We ain’t got nothing to compare to that.  And yes, I’m not thinking that any sane person wants this much debt, but I don’t see how any sane person would bet against this country.  We’ve been in bigger ruts than this (ask anyone who made it through the great depression).

But, let’s review those rights:

1st amendment: Clearly you can call the current President a socialist, a nazi, a communist, a Kenyan and a racist and do that all on the public airwaves, and not be jailed, so I’m going to say that the ‘free speech’ part of the 1st amendment hasn’t been abridged.

We don’t have a government established religion, we can assemble at the church, synagogue or mosque* of our choice, or stay at home and believe in no higher power than the person who invented the TV remote control.

So..1st amendment: INTACT

2nd amendment: This is quite ironic, and I certainly would say that Obama only gets indirect credit for this, but I’d say if you believe that the right to bear arms is more than just having a militia, you have hit the jackpot in many states.  In our fair state, you can now carry your gun (with a carry permit of course) to bars and to state parks.  In Louisiana, you can carry your gun into church now**.

We have a variety of militias, some state-sanctioned, and many not.  Unless the militia members attempt to blow up a federal building or take over a state, I’d have to say that militias are free to flourish.

So..2nd amendment: INTACT

3rd Amendment: Is anyone forcing you to house any soldiers?  Didn’t think so…

4th Amendment: Last I heard, police still have to have a warrant to enter your house for search and seizure. Probable cause appears to be intact***.

5th Amendment:  Anybody forced to incriminate themselves, not have the right to a grand jury??  I will agree that eminent domain has been abused, but that was by the Supreme Court before Obama was elected, so you can’t pin that one on him.

6th Amendment: You still get a trial..you still get a jury if you wish in a criminal case, you still get to question witnesses against you..anybody wanna seriously make a case that the 6th has been derogated?

7th Amendment: If you want a jury in a civil trial, you get a jury in a civil trial ($20 bucks and above).

8th Amendment: Ask any bail bondsman..Reasonable bail is still available where bail is appropriate.  One can argue that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment, but I don’t think you can pin that one on Obama.

9th Amendment: Once again, what rights are you missing as you walk outside your door tomorrow?

10th Amendment: One could reasonably argue that states rights have been eroded for the last 80 years.  Personally in some cases (civil rights, voting rights, environmental law), I’m grateful for the federal government.  My argument deals with personal rights and I’ll leave it to great scholars than me to argue this one.

It’s so easy to decry and proclaim, but if you look at it, we still live in a free country, riddled with imperfection.  My personal belief is that as long as mankind is involved, imperfection comes with the territory.  I firmly believe we have a great country, and it will still be a great free country tomorrow, in 2012, and in 2016.

*except in some parts of Rutherford County

** I’m pretty sure if guns had been allowed in churches in Tennessee during my youth that my personal history would have been greatly altered.  Not because people in my church would have intentionally fired their weapons, but because when people keeled over while falling asleep their guns might have fallen out of their holsters and accidentally discharged.  Believe me, I can ensure you that numerous people in my church would have at least been winged.

***Unless, of course, you are Hispanic, and State Rep Mike Turner sees you and decides you are an illegal immigrant.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100715/NEWS02/100715061/2066/NEWS03

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Filed under apocalypse now, politics

That stupid Golden Rule

“Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, It will set you free Be more like the man you were made to be.” Mumford & Sons

Here is the law I am proposing for the great state of Tennessee. Perhaps other states will follow along. Based on sheer appearance, we really don’t know how many Canadians are in our midst, working along side us, receiving food stamps, attending our hockey games and promulgating the myth that their bacon is superior. Seriously.

I’m thinking that every time a law enforcement agent sees a suspicious looking white person, every time a white driver is pulled over for a traffic infraction, every time a white person is hanging out on the streets and every time a white person behaves in any manner suspiciously, that a passport or birth certificate be demanded on the spot. If said white person cannot produce either document, he or she will be detained until a member of their family can produce one of the two documents.

Some would argue that a simple pronunciation test would suffice – ‘Sir, would you please say the words ‘house’ and ‘about’ or questioning the suspect about the life of Bobby Orr, but pronunciation tics can be un-learned and facts about Bobby Orr can be faked. It’s time we take back our state from the hockey-obsessed, weird-bacon loving Habs.

If the document cannot be obtained with 48 hours, the said white person will be incarcerated, at a cost to said white person of $200.00. Citizenship isn’t cheap my friends. If not proof of citizenship can be found, said white person will be flown to Detroit, and given fare to cross the Big Bridge. Since we are really not racial profiling but looking for suspicious behavior or odd driving, I’m sure NO ONE will object to this new law.

Note: I really do like Canada and at least one Canadian..

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Filed under golden rule stuff, irony may be the shackle of youth but I love it

What it’s gonna get me to watch the ‘LeBron James Vanity Special’ tonight.

Note: some of this is borrowed from The Sports Guy. I have embellished quite a bit..I AM interested in where LeBron goes because it definitely will effect the next few years of the NBA.

To watch the show I’m not asking, I’m DEMANDING the following:
1) All the GM’s in contention in the room with LeBron
2) A rose
3) Seacrest
4) A table with all of the hats of the teams in contention
5) the frozen head of Ted Williams
6) a song from the losing GMs after LeBron makes his choice – preferably a medley of ‘You’re No Good’, ‘I’m a Loser’, ‘Fat-Bottom Girls’ and ‘Halloween Head’ by Ryan Adams

The show opens with Seacrest introducing the GMs and making jokes about the enormous forehead of Jim Gray (the official host of the show). LeBron descends from the ceiling in some kind of chariot (kind of a reverse Elijah). LeBron dribbles around (with a basketball of course), takes a couple of trick shots, and then begins to eliminate the hats from the table. When he gets to the final two hats, he opens the box holding Ted Williams frozen head, and puts the ‘winning’ hat on Williams cryogenic noggin, and hands a rose to the ‘winning’ GM.

Seacrest interviews the crest-fallen ‘losing’ GMs. An army of small children (possibly the offspring of Shawn Kemp) rappel down the forehead of Gray. The show closes with the medley from the losing GMs while LaBron and the winning GM ascend into basketball heaven.

Otherwise, I’m just gonna get the news from my phone and skip the foreplay..

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Am-ur-i-can History – Texas style..

I was a history minor in college and still have quite an avid interest in the subject. I was lucky enough to be given an advance copy of one of the history texts approved by the Texas school board folks..it’s just a snippet, but I hope to get more chapters in the future..

Chapter 1: In the beginning the Intelligent Designer created the heavens and the earth. Before HE created light, HE created the dinosaurs and various fossils. He let them bump into each other looking for food-stuff that had not yet been created. On or about 2:00 PM on the first day (if there had been light or time), He killed the dinosaurs. Because He could. When He got around to creating light, He thought it would be quite fun to make it look like the light from the stars had already traveled millions of miles. He hadn’t come to creating the human-types yet, but He thought it would be really a lot of fun to mess around with them when He did get around to forming man from the mud that was yet to be processed. At first he thought that He would create something called the United States of America, but He thought that could wait until he came up with at least 10 rules for the human-types He was just about to create. So He created Man and added a lot more fossils just to mess around some more and said..Yes, this IS good.

After a few years of years of easy living, man had to go and screw it up by eating the one fruit in the world he was forbidden to eat. This was followed by many years of man mucking things up so much, thanks to excessive taxation, and overall government intervention, that the Intelligent Designer decided it was time for a do-over. Despite the valiant efforts of Hands-on-Tyre, the ensuing flood wiped out everyone except Noah and his family and a whole ark of animals. Noah wanted to sail for the United States of America, but sadly they were only a design in the eye of the Intelligent Designer….

Noah eventually landed pretty much where he started after the floods receded, and his family began to re-populate the earth.  Soon, things were as mucked up as they were before, so the Intelligent Designer decided that mankind in general was a brutish lot. Giving up, for the moment, on the entire mankind, He decided to choose a group of people and concentrate on them.

Not only would He choose them but He would give them a special sovereign  nation surrounded by tribes and war-loads who despised them mightily.  “Need to keep the chosen people on their toes”.  He then freed their collective selves from the bonds of the Egyptians without means of a messy over-rated Civil Rights movement. No need for protest when you have boils, locusts, blood-water, snakes and a really interesting form of primogeniture.

He gave directions to his chosen ones to their new land.  Unfortunately, the chosen lot while really good at mathematics, medical skills, negotiating and political thought were a bit low on the explorer gene.  No Vasco de Goldsteins in the bunch.  Forty years later, when they finally made it to their home, where they could practice their commandments as kind of an experimental lab for the later and greater United States of America, where despite their chosen-ness, they fell into the trap of excessive governmental intervention and were subsequently whisked to Babylon, the well-spring of many a fine tune.

<SNIP>

And then after attending church for the third time that week, the men who became known as our Founding Fathers, were visited by Moses and told to build a new country, unfettered with excessive governmental intervention.  Thankfully, the colonial power, England, dressed their soldiers in red and marched in straight lines into battle and after a few years of developing the spirit of the 4th of July, the USA, the new and greatest Chosen nation won its independence from Great Britain.

So impressed were the dark-skinned Africans who suffered in a brutal clime, that many African leaders practically begged to work in America, free-of-charge, just so they could get away from the jungles and all the lions and vuvuzelas.  Thus ships were built to transport these willing souls who happily dedicated their lives to the servitude of their masters.

After many years of growing the southern economy, the purveyors of excessive governmental intervention decided that due to a rather odd interpretation of ‘all men are created equal’ found in our Declaration of Independence, it was quite possible that the servitude of the dark skin was somewhat illegal despite the love the slaves had for their masters.

So deep was this governmental intervention, that northern aggressors besieged and attacked the south.  President Lincoln, far exceeding his limited Presidential mandate, summarily freed the slaves, and the south was decimated.

Most of the good southerners who survived the war moved to Texas where they became the latest version of the Chosen People.

<snip>.  Texans are a strong and hearty breed and health care is not needed in these climes.

Sadly, that’s all the chapters I could find.

Unfortunately, this is the only fragment of the book I was able to purloin, er, borrow..

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Filed under irony may be the shackle of youth but I love it, travel, we don't need no education