"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." ~ Ambrose Bierce
Dream a Little Dream
It has been a newsworthy month thus far. The bloody fiasco in Iraq continues as the administration dances a propaganda jig trying to re-explain its intentions while the body bags keep coming home. The Terminator is stalking California, and his main opponent is running on promises to increase the root cause of the problems the state faces. The maudlin prostitution of 9/11 as a political gimmick was singularly sickening this past week. Read the major sites--Reuters, AP, the TV networks online, the major papers online--90% of all news is about something the government is doing, has done, or will do, and most often, in ways that benefit no one but the government.
If, as Mike Gaddy's Sierra Times article (posted on STR on 9/13) argues, government does not protect us against anarchy, but instead, calls anarchy "chaos" to cover its own inherently chaotic behavior, then we are being spoon-fed our own captivity.
And that is most all of the news, most days. If you can manage to suffer through the evening news on Fox, or the other three so-called majors every evening at the dinner hour, imagine if they excised all political or governmental news (including the government's war) from their broadcasts each evening. They would have little more to report than the computer tracking of Hurricane Isabel, and the growing seismic disturbance in Yellowstone, which some say might be the world's next super-volcano.
Geez, I need a nap. Getting snoozy here . . . .
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Following his re-election yesterday, President Bush thanked Americans for not voting, and thus ensuring him an unprecedented four year vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Leaders in the House and Senate phoned in congratulations, and expressed their thanks to America for their respective two and six year vacations as well.
The mood of the country has been something to behold, as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution, passed just over a year ago, has taken effect. The infusion of almost $3 trillion formerly removed in taxes and deficit spending, back into the economy, has resulted in history's first near-zero unemployment rate. The national debt could be a thing of the past in a few years. New York Stock Exchange Chairman Martha Stewart announced today that the market has stabilized in such an amazing fashion that she is dedicating most of her time to her television program and various personal business pursuits, and has again turned down a salary offer. Former Chairman Robert Grasso was unavailable for comments.
Governor Schwarzenegger of California has, like the President, announced a four year hiatus to resume making his blockbuster "Terminator" movies. Shares in "Arnie, Inc." responded appropriately upward on the market today. State legislators from all 50 states began their national meeting today in Denver, where they were expected to ratify an agreement to follow the lead of the United States Congress, and recess permanently.
Top on the list of discussion topics is the disbanding of Congress on both a national and state level. Quoted under anonymity, one Congressman at the Denver meeting admitted that he and his colleagues were somewhat stymied:
"We're not quite sure what to do since we are now, in effect, paid to do nothing, but our constituents love it! The mood in my district is beyond words."
He went on to add that they have to consider disbanding, since the current trend to eliminate trade tariffs and barriers has all but ruled out an income pool for national legislators, and with the IRS a thing of the past, the dollars for politicians just are no longer there. President Bush, already a millionaire, and always one to ride the political wave, rejected his presidential salary upon passage of the Amendment.
The European Union has expressed its amazement. Tony Blair admitted that:
"Americans never lost their 'revolutionary' roots, and they have proven that to the world once again."
Alan Greenspan, formerly the Chairman of the now defunct Federal Reserve System agreed, and in a nod to his distant past, admitted that the return to the gold standard had worked economic miracles even he could not have imagined possible.
President Bush, interviewed by the fledgling Liberty News Network late yesterday, had this to say:
"I congratulate the American people on their self-determination, and their intent to rule themselves. Nothing more exemplifies what the War of Independence was really all about, and I am proud to be the President who stepped aside and let the people truly be their own rulers."
In a surprising development, Israel's Sharon, and Yasser Arafat held extended discussions over lunch yesterday, even as the "wall" was being demolished by a joint committee of the Israeli military and Hamas. Shorn of its annual $3 billion hand-out from the US, and likewise, loan guarantees, the Israeli government has begun to listen to the business community, which has pressured the government to realize the economic benefit of having millions of Palestinians as potential customers. Said one shopkeeper in the former occupied territories: "It used to be we feared Palestinians coming in with bombs. Now they come in with ample money, and our business has just taken off."
Experts attribute it all to last year's monumental Constitutional Amendment, which not only ruled out Executive Orders from the President, but was also retroactive to 1789. While historians of all stripes have been discussing the matter in heated philosophical exchange, they have also been spending more time in the classroom, since federal grants were eliminated. Former judges and lawyers are now working with local communities to set up boards of inquiry and arbitration, while the insurance industry, after suffering an initial profit loss, is reporting that despite the increase in legitimate claims, it is the reduction of false claims that is helping to bring the books into balance.
Significant also, was the disbanding of the two major teachers' unions six months ago. Without federal and state funding, the former public school system went bankrupt. But several astute educators have pointed out the astronomical rise in the number of high-quality private schools, and preliminary results indicate that already, reading and math skills are on the rise. Universities across the nation reported that they lost about about 20% of their students who, without grants and loans from the government, had to go to work. But they noted also, that the loss of student monies was offset by faculty reductions, as many in formerly federally funded teaching situations returned to the private sector. One university president, speaking off the record, remarked: "We have become an institute of higher learning again. We found our roots."
The Pentagon, which for a week surrounded the Capitol building and the White House following passage of the 28th Amendment, reluctantly backed off, and began negotiating with the states to distribute weaponry. Their incorporation, and eventual stock offering on the NYSE was welcomed by most, and ongoing discussions with the various states for joint protective concerns have been going well. The President, hosting the European Union's Trade Representative at his Crawford ranch this weekend, was full of hope--
"This is the 'real' American Revolution brought back to life, and we would like to share with our ancestors in Europe, and throughout the world, the recipe to make men truly free."
The President then smiled, put down his plate of ribs and his beer and said:
"God bless the Congress that had the courage to be true Americans. With a simple sentence, retroactive to the founding of this great nation, it took an amendment with only five words to make America well again . . .
"Congress shall make no laws."
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ZZZZZZZZZZZZ . . . diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing?
Huh? What's that?
Shoot, the alarm clock. I gotta get up and make some coffee. Sigh. Think I need to sip a beer while the coffee brews, and think on my dream.
Something to think about.
Credit where credit is due . . . Years ago, Stephen King, under a pseudonym, wrote a story based on what would happen if the demons in hell went on strike. I just kinda borrowed the idea. :-)