Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

America the Awesome

America the Awesome
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Supreme Court to Hear Obamacare

Article Synopsis:
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. This was widely expected by everyone. Supporters claim that requiring all people to buy health insurance is an allowable regulation of interstate commerce. Opponents claim that there is no allowance in the Constitution to compel anyone to purchase anything. Twenty-six states have sued to stop it. Kennedy is expected to cast the deciding vote.

Casting the net wider still: Among the rationalizations used by supporters of Obamacare is that other legislation widely criticized at the time of its passage and surviving Court challenge is the Social Security Act ... a federally-run ponzi scheme built to create an old-age pension under the powers of the Old-Age Pension clause of the US Constitution.

Still other federal legislation to have survived Court challenge is the Voting Rights Act, which was used to propel Dubya into office in 2000, among other things. Certain people believe that the provision which prevents changing written election procedure until after the election is certified is fine when it helps minorities cast votes, but when it interferes with Democrats counting Democrat-heavy votes in new and exciting chad-free ways, then it doesn’t count. Or something.

Another key piece of legislation surviving the High Nine was the Civil Rights Act, written to fulfill the Constitution’s “equal outcome under the law” provision.

With all these precedents supporting the federal government’s authority to do what they are not allowed to do, how can Obamacare fail? After all, insurance is a state-controlled commodity; it cannot be bought or transferred across state lines. So naturally the authority for Congress to regulate intERstate commerce can and should be applied to intRAstate commerce. It’s a natural progression.

Conclusion: What’s two little letters in the grand scheme of doing the right thing the wrong way? Line up to have your pockets picked; it’s for the good of the country. By which I mean: the insurance companies.

Headline: Law Prof Calls Care Packages to US Soldiers ‘Shameful’

Article Synopsis:
Michael Avery, Constitutional Law professor at Massachusetts’ Suffolk University responded to a campus-wide appeal for sunblock and decks of cards to be donated to US soldiers with an email to the faculty criticizing it. He also claims that sympathy for our soldiers is “not particularly rational” and says that hanging the US flag on a US college campus is “not politically neutral”. The VFW objects to his sentiments, as does the Suffolk student body.

Teaching the world to sing: A professor of Constitutional law ought to be well aware that soldiers have no ability to control US foreign policy, they simply play their part as ordered by the Commander in Chief ... as Constitutionally required. Throwing the buck private out with the bathwater is a callous way to stand on a principle. ...if it can be called that.

The purpose of the US Constitution – as a Constitutional law professor ought to know – is to promote the United States, nothing else. The flag of the United States therefore transcends political consideration and becomes the essence of political neutrality. To suggest otherwise implies that there is another, non-US consideration to be incorporated in this country, and his position as a Constitutional law professor suddenly becomes suspect.

The presumption here is that he is a ‘world government’ aficionado, which is perfectly fine, if not several centuries in our future – under the best of circumstances which, frankly, are less likely the more we travel down our current path. He should be aware, though, that before he can buy the world a Coke®, the world has to lose its desire for individual national predominance. Before it can lose its desire for national predominance, it must first lose its desire for tribal predominance. Most of the world is still in its tribalistic infancy.

Infant tribalists are who the US is currently engaged in fighting.

Conclusion: We are ahead of the cultural evolution curve, and our soldiers need sunblock to help keep us there. Pony up, prof.

Headline: Court Allows Ban on Flag T-Shirts

Article Synopsis:
A San Francisco federal judge has agreed with a California school district which disallowed US flags from school grounds on Cinco de Mayo. US flags were deemed to “cause a significant disruption” by the principal and were disallowed. Some students, to protest other students running around with Mexican flags – which were not considered significantly disruptive – flouted the principal’s rule and ran a US flag up a tree ... and the name-calling broke out.

What country is this again?: Cinco de Mayo is widely seen in the US as a Mexican holiday roughly equivalent to the American 4th of July. However, it is mainly seen as a similar holiday simply because each is named after the date on the calendar on which is occurs. Cinco de Mayo is an American holiday celebrating a Mexican victory over the French in 1862; in Mexico it is ignored since they mostly lost the war.

In practical effect, Cinco de Mayo is a day for those who came from Mexico to look back and muse upon why they left – if they came here legally. It is a day for those who did not come here legally to wander around waving Mexican flags as if they were currently in Mexico rather than being in a future Mexico. For the rest of us it is a day to drink margaritas [a US invention] and eat chimichangas [another US invention], and similarly show patronizing brotherhood with our southern neighbor.

Without the Mexican victory on May 5th 1862, France would have been able to consolidate its conquest of Mexico and supply the Confederacy in the US Civil War without having to run Union blockades, thus helping split the United States in half, which France – and most of the rest of Europe – greatly desired. In retrospect, Mexico desired this as well, but they resisted being invaded by the French Foreign Legion in order to accomplish it.

The San Francisco-area high school, with many students of non-documented status, attempted to maintain school decorum and civility by allowing foreign students to rudely insult their American classmates and declare solidarity with the nation in which their parents could not find jobs, while simultaneously prohibiting citizen students from reminding the non-documented students of the nation in which their parents DID find jobs. The principal considered only the latter to be rude and inciting.

Conclusion: How about no flags at all, and put chimichangas on the school lunch menu? Allowing rude and inciting behavior should not be fine for some and wrong for others. All or none. Or does this make too much sense?

Headline: ‘Awesome’ Ad Campaign

Article Synopsis:
Congress created “Brand USA” to advertise the benefits to the rest of the world of vacationing in the US. Its logo is the letters “U S A” created by dots in one of two color schemes: blues and purples, or greens and yellows. Red, white and blue were seen as non-inclusive. The ad tagline is “United States of Awesome Possibilities”. Many advertising “strategists” see the whole thing as tasteless and irrelevant. It is funded by corporate donation and $14 entrance fees charged to Visa-less foreign visitors at the border.

Das ist verboten, mein Herr: Lost in the shuffle is our national personality change over the last generation, particularly in the last decade, which a slick ad campaign isn’t likely to change. The US is acting more and more like any uber-bureaucratized assortment of petty fiefdoms that the rest of the world largely consists of. Why come here and endure our petty fiefdoms when they can stay in their own country and enjoy the same experience without spending the money?

Also, without having to pay $14 to the US government just for the privilege of crossing our border, when the money is only being used to advertise how awesome a time they’ll have once they get here ... by being subjected to petty American bureaucratic fiefdoms and $14 entry surcharges for advertising our awesomeness.

Another awesome American tourist attraction virtually guaranteed to be given to foreign tourists and not even spared to American travelers either, is the Everyone’s a Terrorist Until We Say Otherwise shakedown available from the fine high school dropouts of TSA. Not even in Europe, where imperial prerogative was honed to an art form, and defined civil rights is a tepid version of those found in the US Constitution [though not in the actual US], nor even during the heyday of the Reds Brigade and Carlos the Jackal did Europeans have to submit to the nosy, imperious, degrading intrusion of US airflight “security”.

To get such treatment they’d otherwise have to go to Iran or North Korea, or hop in the Wayback to visit Nazi Germany. But now, with US paranoia what it is, foreign visitors can get the fascist experience without necessarily ending up in front of a brick oven with 200 of their closest – and nakedest – friends. And all for $14 [transportation extra]. What a deal. Awesome.

Conclusion: Modern usage suggests that the term “awesome” denotes sarcasm or irony. As in, “Your dog was hit by a police car, and the cop left a ticket on the carcass for an unleashed pet, jaywalking, littering, and improper disposal of a domestic animal. Your court date is next week.” “Oh, awesome!

Yes, America is a truly awesome place. Nailed it, guys.


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