The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Shake, Rattle, and Roll -- This Week in History

Along with Tax Day (long considered a Day of Infamy in its own right), this week in April is notable for many anniversaries. Tuesday was the day, one hundred years in our past, that the City by the Bay experienced a catastrophic earthquake, followed by a fire that virtually wiped out the town. My hat's off to the resilience of that town long ago, and its fairly quick rebuilding in that long ago time.

And the news is not all bad...this Friday is the kickoff of Fiesta San Antonio, a ten-day city wide bacchanal celebrating the Battle of San Jancinto -- an event in the Texas calendar only slightly less important than the first sighting of bluebonnets. It's the acknowledged date when the Republic of Texas was born. I lived in San Antone for six years, and during Fiesta, if you show up for work WITHOUT a hangover people inquire about your health. It ain't quite Mardi, but finding eggshell and confetti in unexpected places, on your person or otherwise, is not odd.

Mid-April has brought many things; the first American auto in 1892, and the introduction of the Mustang in 1964 (suggested price $2368 - that makes me tear up). Shirley Temple debuted in 1934, and eleven years later Hitler died by his own hand. Another ten years brings us to the death of Einstein, probably already dismayed at the steady perversion of science in the service of war. Then there's Columbine, which is evidence of nothing except there's some kids who have no hope. I remember being a nerd myself, chronically picked on. Then I started to smoke pot from time to time. It taught me to be mildly irritated at people who wanted to harsh my real. Sorry, but I can't report it made me quit paying attention.

This is also the anniversary week of the Bay of Pigs adventure. Speaking of other miscalculations, the end of that one, the 19th, is the anniversary of final assault on the Davidians just outside Waco. From the start in February of federal involvement to the fire that gutted the compound, the word STUPID resounds. The locals, maybe not entirely supportive of the religious intentions of Koresh, still to this day ask "why didn't they just arrest him when he came into town?" Probably an attitude that figured into the rationale of one Timothy McVeigh, the fiend who two years later blew up the Federal Building in OK city, murdering 149 adults and 19 children. Unless I am mistaken, an act of terrorism of the highest order.

Isn't it interesting, in the name of national security, that the domestic separatist movement has fallen completely off the radar? Do you believe groups that advocate the overthrow of the American Goverment such as the mini militias and the white supremists have simply ceased to exist? But we should be more worried about the Mexicans, and our southern border. My mom down in Arkansas, who is so unpolitical it hurts, mentioned lately to me she hadn't noticed any Mexicans flying planes into buildings. Then was tickled to tell me what a good job the Latino crew did two years ago reshingling the family home. She says she has yet to have a leak (and this is a house with a 50 history of being a sieve). Mom was just sorry she didn't have more than the Sesame Street Spanish she learned with her kids to be able to say gracias to the crew.

At least Mom's feelings are FOR people who want to work. The arguments so far are the alarmists who think we need to build a Berlin style wall (there are those who think, go ahead. And exactly who, in that area, is going to be supplying the labor? it is ha ha to laugh). The only thing that is wrong with the labor supplied by illegal immigrants is the fact they are being taken advantage of. It is not morally wrong to want to work. Having lived in Texas, which has always been ground zero of immigrant labor, these folks aren't ALIEN. They are just relatives. Sometimes of people who are here, sometimes of just people back home. And they are not taking jobs from Americans; the sucking sound you hear of jobs going away are the white collar jobs being outsourced to Asia, India, and Ireland. Myself, I'm considering working on my brougue!

Monday also brought us the first declaration of intent for President 2008. A real outside horse, Mike Gravel. His motto is "Let the People Decide", and among other things, he advocates complete withdrawal from Iraq, immediate measures to diminish the national debt, and progressive actions to take the money out of politics. He observes quite correctly that until the people have a direct means of forcing federal policy, none of these things will like a madman, he proposes an amendment to the Constitution allowing a FEDERAL Voter Iniative.

What a weird idea! It's something that would put the power of the government for the people, by the people, and of the people into the filthy, hardworking hands OF the people. Us. We would be able to propose.

DC is terrified of this idea...which in itself is weird, but predictable. Many in DC are irritated by Hollywood (not enough to quit venerating Reagan, the first arguably braindead leader of the free world), but I ask you. The People are going to do what they are going to do. Hollywood exists to entertain and reflect. Washington, DC is an anomaly in our entire body politic. Why in the world do we keep letting politicians who are supposed to represent us slide back in every election, to turn around and do things that actively hurt us?

I got some "Gravel in my Craw"; Mike announced his intention to run on Monday...the same week, in 1775, Paul Revere got on his horse, and gave the real Minutemen the heads up.

Like Patrick Henry, "Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death";
and quit harshing my real!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

a personal note

One of the last proudest things my ex did, it seems so long ago, but it was only a year and a half past, was vote against George Bush. Again.

She was taken from us by cancer...last year, a few days after Easter. And I sure do miss her.

She doesn't haunt me near as much as she still hugs me. Anybody who never got a chance to know her, missed out on a unique experience. She was one of those quiet ones who would surprise you into laughter, and my greatest joy when we were together was to surprise Ms. Thing into laughter herself. Jane's laugh out loud was rare, but oh my!

That laugh is the music of my memory. And Jane, hug your daddy for me -- I still miss Bill too.

I love you, Jane.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Bush takes a leak

...and through the Magic of Spin, it becomes declassified. And as usual, the story keeps morphing. I'm not even going to bother to try to figure out the real story at this point; whatever it may be, we certainly haven't heard it yet. I wait, with the famous moist and bated breath, for the completed investigation of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. While I admit it's kind of fun watching the damage control, in the long run, there's little yet to celebrate in the way of proof -- and sadly little that will resonate with the public. A recent study has shown that the average American can name more members of Homer Simpson's animated clan than amendments in the Bill of Rights. I'd be happy if Americans could at least understand the fundamental concepts of the Constitution; but being able to comprehend something as simple as freedom of speech these days only gets one called a pointy-headed liberal at best, and a treasonous supporter of Islamofacism at worst.

Here's a few words from another document many of us haven't read since high school, the Delaration of Independence. Red-letter comments refer to our current George:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. Including, but not limited to violating privacy, and denying due process, to name but two.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. Schiavo.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. He has made judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. Federal judges, not to mention Alberto and his predecessor Ashcroft.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance. Homeland Security, and it's funding of flak-jackets for firedogs, while our ports go virtually unprotected.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. Pentagon files on Quakers.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended legislation: Contemplate to de facto Colonies of Iraq and Afghanistan on the following two points --

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: Duh!

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: Abu Ghraib.

For imposing taxes on us without our Consent: This time around, it's been a shift of the tax burden from the wealthiest citizens and corporate giants onto the backs of the American middle class and the poor.

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: Extraordinary rendition, or kidnapping, to call it by it's true name.

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: Or tortured.

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: Well, they did try; the short-lived coup in Venezuela.

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: This one they left up to Delay in Texas.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. Drowning polar bears, drowning New Orleans, a Gulf Coast in ruins, and dead miners. Abuse and neglect are criminal offences.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation. Mercenaries? In New Orleans as well as the Middle East.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.

As has been mentioned on this blog before, it is high time to Impeach The MotherFuckers Already.

Sign me:
Proud of my Pointy Head.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

a candle, a prayer, and a salute -- a love letter from an old hippy

My thoughts and sympathy go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the recent shootings on Seattle's Capitol Hill. I don't think anyone has the foggiest idea why the man with the guns did this awful thing, but I can see while it has broken a lot of good hearts, it has also brought an already close-knit community of young people even closer together. The reaction of the "ravers" (as the media likes to call them) to this horrifying and senseless event has been amazing to see; I cannot in my memory recall a community of people acting in a more dignified, mature manner, made even more admirable by their very youth. The rest of the world, in all its bitterness and vengeful ways, could learn a lot by simply taking the time to see past the wacky clothes and hair colors; there is a grace of thought and spirit here that is astounding.

I think it was Wednesday or Thursday of last week, after a multifaith service was held in front of the blue house, that the kids quietly packed up the massive memorial on the sidewalk, boxing up the mementos to give to the various families, distributing the hundreds of bouquets of flowers amongst family and friends, and cleaning up the entire area, down to scraping up the wax from the candles off the sidewalks. This community laps over into several other art and music scenes, and anybody who's familiar with "burners" can recognize the concept of leaving a place the way you find it.

And it seems, media hoopla aside, the city of Seattle -- from the mayor to the police force to city council -- realizes wisely that taking action to 'curb' the all ages dances is exactly the wrong thing to do. For once, we won't be punishing the victims by going draconian on them. I'm breathing a sigh of relief.

Peace to you kids...and all my love. You give me hope for the future.