Stand up and be heard – Amanda S. Green

Stand up and be heard – Amanda S. Green

Last week, I asked “how far down the slippery slope are we going to go?” As the Iowa Caucus nears and the political rhetoric ratchets up another degree or three, that question becomes even more relevant. Do we vote for a man who denies that he is a career politician despite the fact he held his first elected office in 1981? Or do we vote for the woman who not only went shopping for a residence where she could be elected after her husband finished his last term as president but who also has shown she has little regard for the law of the land? Or how about we vote for the man who hasn’t met a dollar he doesn’t want, no matter whose back he has to step on to get it? This is the same man who, just a few months ago said there was no question about Ted Cruz being eligible to run for office and who, at the first sign Cruz might be gaining on him in the polls, now says Cruz needs to go to court to prove he’s eligible.

It is hard to get excited about any of the leading candidates right now. You have a statist, a socialist and Trump, who is unlike anyone else. Now there are rumblings that Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, might run as an independent. That’s right, the very same mayor who was so worried about his citizenry’s waistlines that he outlawed the big sized soft drinks – somehow forgetting that a person who wants to drink that much will simply buy two – is considering running for president. Won’t that be fun? We’ll get to hear how he wants to make us all healthy as he takes away our guns.

Add another name to the “oh hell no” list of candidates.

So how does this relate to last week’s post? It’s simple really. As more and more people reach the point of disgust with our political candidates, they contemplate not voting. After all, what is the good of voting when all you are doing is voting for the lesser of the evils? It’s a sentiment I’m familiar with. That’s especially true after some of the presidents we’ve had over the last generation or two, presidents who had no qualms about sidestepping the Constitution and the separation of powers by using executive orders to push their own agendas.

It would be very easy to give into that temptation to just sit back and not vote. After all, so many of us were taught that the president doesn’t have all that much power. Laws come from Congress and all the president can do it sign them into effect or veto them. If he vetoes them, Congress then has the chance to override the veto — if the required number of votes are there. Unfortunately, in this day and age, that separation of power doesn’t stop a president from trying to use executive orders to get his agenda pushed through.

So, as distasteful as it is, sometimes the lesser of two evils is better than sitting back and letting the worst evil gain power. But there is more we have to do. We have to keep a check on what our representatives in government are doing. It doesn’t’ matter if that person is the elected dog catcher or the President of the United States. If we don’t know what they are doing, that is on us.

So what do you do it you aren’t happy with what your elected representative is doing? You let them know. You let them know that you are keeping track of what they are proposing as new law and how they are voting. You let them know that you are watching their performance on the committees they belong to and you know when they make a vote and when the oh-so-conveniently miss it.

But you do more than that. You talk. You talk to your family and you talk to your friends. You talk to those people who come door to door and ask you to support their candidate. You go to the areas where early voting is taking place and you talk to the candidates. You ask the hard questions of the incumbent and the person(s) running against him.

In other words, you become an informed electorate.

Here’s the situation we are in in my neck of the woods. One of our state reps was elected several terms earlier solely on the basis of his affiliation with the Tea Party. He was a new face on the local political scene at a time when the electorate was tired of the same faces always running. A number of voters wanted a clean sweep of the government and this particular person was elected as part of that ground swell.

He could have taken that as an opportunity to really work for our community. Instead, he has done very little with his time in office except get in trouble. He continues to be elected based on his Tea Party affiliation and the power of the incumbency. I have seen him and his followers physically intimidate volunteers for other candidates. And I have stood up and campaigned against him.

Me. The one who doesn’t like stepping out into the spotlight. I have always preferred working behind the scenes. But I have stood out in the cold to watch the polls. I have stood in the heat and rain to campaign for candidates running against him. I have stood before this person and asked the hard questions and watched him squirm because he didn’t have the answers. I will continue to campaign against him until he either proves that he is representing the best interest of my district or he is defeated.

Resignation is as much an enemy of our freedom as is complacency. If we give up on our electoral process, we might as well hand the keys over to those who would destroy us. Universal healthcare sounds like a grand idea. But how is it supposed to be implemented and paid for? Those were the questions we should have been asking eight years ago. We didn’t, at least not enough of us did. So now we have this new health care system that is costing so many of us much more than what we had before. But we have universal health care – except we don’t. Insurance companies are pulling out of the pool, leaving people without insurance. We have a broken system we are being penalized for if we decide not to join it.

We have candidates promising to make drastic cuts in taxes in one breath and then promising to strengthen our infrastructure and military in the next. But how? Where are you going to get the money to pay for these programs – or any other – if you cut your income stream? Our debt is already too high. So don’t tell me you want to borrow more or issue more bonds.

Oh, I can hear some of you saying that can be done by cutting costs elsewhere. Okay, that would work. But where? What programs should be cut? I have more than a few I would love to see removed from the books. But we never hear about that stage of the plan from the candidates or, if we do, it is in such nebulous terms that there can be no way to really check if their plan would work.

So, at a time when we are all focused on who the candidates will be for the presidency, we need to also be looking at who will be filling the seats on Capitol Hill that will be coming up for election as well. These are the men and women who can and should act as a check on the President. They are the ones who can vet and veto his appointments. They are the ones who can take action when he tries to circumvent the Constitution and the laws already on the books through executive orders. They are the ones who hold the purse strings.

And a government lives and dies by those purse strings.

Here’s my question to you. How many of you can name your representatives and senators on the national level? My guess is that most of you can. However, here is where it gets a bit trickier. How many of you can name your state reps and senators? Do you know who your county commissioner, or equivalent, is? How about your city councilmen? Are your commissioners and councilmen elected at-large or by district? How about your state supreme court?

Yes, it does get to be a lot but that is our responsibility as an informed electorate. We need to know the who as well as the what. That is the only way we can begin to take back our country.

Stand up. Look around. Listen and, most of all, be heard.



354 thoughts on “Stand up and be heard – Amanda S. Green

      1. I was pondering running myself, since if you want a job done right… but there were a couple snags. I’d need to find a couple small plant-eating beetles, and I need to find someone who will lease them from me. Then, and only then, might I have a chance since I would the lessor of two weevils.

        That other snag? I really don’t want that particular job.

        1. I really don’t want that particular job.

          The United States of America, where any child can grow up to be President.

          And that’s just a risk they have to take.

          1. The problem, i find, is that it’s the ones who DO want the job that are, well, the problem. What we really need is a Cincinnatus here…

            1. Yes. Very much this.

              I think such a person would be absolutely *hated* in his time… and only later would most folks realize what good he had done for them, though.

                    1. Lincoln, I suspect, would have been able to strike a balance in the Occupied South between the Radical Republicans and the Johnsonite Unionists.
                      In other words, he probably would have backed the Freedman’s Bureau and forty acres and a mule and informed the new state governments that if they messed with the freedmen he would come down on them like the hammer of God, while also avoiding a lot of the carpetbagging nonsense that Thaddeus Stevens and crew pushed in over John.
                      Result: initially, a slightly bloodier aftermath to the Civil War, as much weaker Klan and Klan equivalents are put down more quickly, while Reconstruction actually reconstructs.
                      Further on, blacks actually maintain some political power, which means segregation does not become law–or, at the very least, that it is very restricted, and possibly gotten rid of by the states themselves. Result: no Plessy v. Ferguson, which means no Brown v. Board, which means no Civil Rights Movement, which means no 1964 Civil Rights Act, which means that, in the late 20th century, States’ Rights never becomes viewed as code for “I support segregation.”

            2. If a statue of Cincinnatus where to hit D.C. at just the right velocity…. well, no, that would just be wrong. But did I mention I know where to find a nice statue of Cincinnatus?

              1. But do you know how to create the needed reactionless drive.

                Still, that could be an interesting story: “On January 20, 2077 a relativistic state of Cincinnatus stroke the Capital building during the Presidential inauguration.”

        2. If I had that job my biggest temptation would be to veto every bill. Sure, we do need some bills passed, like the budget, but a President would eventually be overridden. What he would do is create a defacto supermajority requirement to pass any bill.

          I’m of the mind that is an exceptional idea.

          1. I’ve had that same idea.
            “But.. that will mean most of the time nothing will get done!”
            “And how do you like it when Congress ‘gets things done’?”

            1. My take on that idea is that the president reads the bill until the point at which it exceeds the length of the Constitution (in wordcount or pages, doesn’t matter). If the bill continues past that point, it gets stamped with a “TL;DR” and automatically vetoed.

              1. I like that one but in all fairness, the budget for certain departments even if we went back to constitutional limits would probably be longer than that (State’s budget, for example, would hit that just based on how many nations there are in the world).

                1. The less precisely worded a bill, the more room for administrators to invert its purpose. Look what they’ve done with Commerce Clause jurisprudence, or how much mischief they’ve made of “A well regulated militia.”

                  Attempts to address symptoms rather than the underlying problem (over-lying politicians and bureaucrats) are ever futile.

          1. They keep talking about “The End of History,” let’s show them what that really means.

            1. Chuckle Chuckle

              One author described a conflict as the “Last War” and I had to think that the only way a war could be the “Last War” is if everybody was killed so there wouldn’t be anybody to fight another war.

              Note, even if the “Bad Guys” conquered everybody, there’s still the possibility of a “Civil War” among the “Bad Guys”. 😈

                1. Come to think of it, the author may have called it “the Final War”. 😀

        1. What ever happened to the “Bill and Opus” ticket? Surely a dead cat would make a fine president. He can’t sign any bills or issue executive orders. He can’t agree to any treaties. Heck, he can’t even nominate cabinet secretaries.

          This is sounding better and better the more I think about it…

  1. On VJ day (or the very next day) there was radio broadcast about the war, its end, and how to prevent something like it from recurring. Some time ago, I heard the recording of it. There were several great lines, but the one that applies most, here, right now is this, “…and make sure your Representatives are representative.”

  2. There is one additional arena for taking action. Most news outlets maintain a big social media presence. Find it. Identify the political reporters FB page,Twitter account or whatever. Read their articles and use that SM venue to ask questions, most especially to ask the reporter why he/she didn’t ask Candidate A the obvious follow-up question of “How will you pay for that, what spending will you cut, what are the likely effects of your proposal, etc.”

    Give them a daily performance review, publicly, until they flinch when they see your name, until they stop allowing candidates to get away with assumed sub-texts and unproven, content-free assertions.

    1. And unless you are a Lefty, 90%+ of the time you will be blocked / comment moderated out of existence within a day.

      Stalking and harassment charges are not an impossibility. “Private”, my a$$. A legal system that allows that is a First Amendment infringement prima facie.

  3. See, I have a very valid reason for not voting in the general election for anything except local issues/candidates – my state is so solidly partisan that we’d elect a rabid dog as long as there was a (d) beside the name. If I want to make my voice heard my only ability is through the caucuses (because our primary is non-binding).

      1. Worse – WA state. I live in the small, redneck area to the south of the new San Francisco.

  4. So Bloomberg might get in the race? That could be a game changer. If Hillary picks him for the #2 slot, she immediately reduces the probability of assassination by 75%.

  5. “were the questions we should have been asking eight years ago.”

    Questions are racist, duh.

  6. I used to know all of my Senators, Congressmen, and state reps… until this summer when we moved across the state. I don’t think anybody out here knows who their Congressman, Senator, and State Reps are. But I’ll find out in time for the election.

    As far as POTUS voting goes… Amanda, you’re gonna be pissed, so hear me out, but if the primaries and nominations break down the way I suspect they will, I won’t be casting a vote for President. I’ll still go to the polls and vote for all the Congressional, State, and Local offices, but unless unless a miracle happens and Trumpzilla doesn’t get the GOP nomination, I will not in good conscience be able to vote for any of the Presidential candidates.

    1. Write in a nominee. I’ve been tempted for years to put in “anyone who will evict the current elected and unelected parasites, with prejudice, and return the Republic to the people.”

      1. Can you add “And make the current incumbents walk barefoot the length of DC while being whipped?” “Tied to the tail of a donkey” apparently is too traditional for some people here. SHEEESH.

        1. Aaaand what has that poor donkey done to deserve that sort of shame? Imagine when he or she has to go back to the barn and explain where he’s been?

              1. If necessary, I can provide a suitably ill-tempered mule… okay, he’s old and a bit incontinent these days, but I’d assume that’d be a plus. He’s been used for keeping wild dogs away from the herd for the last few years, and never was much of one for people before then, either.

        2. “Tied to the tail of a donkey” apparently is too traditional for some people here.

          Doesn’t running the gauntlet date to at least Roman times?

          A much more recent innovation.

          1. Point of pedantry. What you’re talking about is a gantlet. A gauntlet is a heavy or armored glove.

              1. They’re not all that hard to clean…a few branches of some hardwood, followed by 2-3 three liter bottles of Tilex…

                    1. Far too much effort. You simply tie them down and make them watch as ordinary people go about their lives without progressive interference.

                    2. Ahh, so you torture them! Of course, you have to put them in a sound-proof enclosure, so their shrieks of, “You’re not doing it right! You’re acting against your own self-interest!” won’t be heard or influence anyone at all. That would be the biggest torture of all, knowing that no one was paying any attention to them.

                    3. Exactly. And the thing is, technically, they’re torturing themselves. If they would just give up their desires to control everyone’s lives, they would start enjoying themselves.

                    1. It is? Latex is natural rubber? I thought it was the synthetic.

                      I though you were talking about handling sap and wanting latex or nitril gloves.

                      That’s what I enjoy about ATH, the odd things I learn.

                    2. “A latex is a stable dispersion (emulsion) of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium…Latex as found in nature is a milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants (angiosperms)…Latex is not to be confused with plant sap; it is a separate substance, separately produced, and with separate functions.”

                      So while it isn’t exactly sap, it’s close.

            1. What you’re talking about is a gantlet. A gauntlet is a heavy or armored glove.

              Thanks. I knew the armored glove definition (I’ve played enough fantasy RPGs and read enough that I’d better 🙂 ), but I wasn’t aware of the term “gantlet”. I guess I figured the phrase had just evolved into “gauntlet” from changes in practice, but still applied to older versions.

              1. Gauntlet and gantlet are both correct spellings, and let’s not even talk about how the pioneers spelled it. They both come from Middle English “gantelet” (and other spellings for the word for a type of work glove, armored or otherwise).

                Also, I don’t care if the NY Times wants to spell it “caldron,” because unless I am writing in Spanish, it is “cauldron.”

                1. I was wrong! Actually the correct legal American spelling is “gantlope,” derived from the Swedish “gat(a)lopp”, meaning “street, lane” (gata) plus “run” (lopp, similar to lope). Gustavus Adolphus, when not hanging out with time travelers, thought it would be a great addition to his version of army law to have all the other soldiers hit the errant one with sticks, and the Continental US Army also adopted it. The German name is “gassenlaufen”, apparently.

                  1. Apparently the New England Canaan chronicled a case of a woman who put on men’s array and signed up as a sailor. Contrary to the ballads, when detected she was dropped three times from the yardarm, then ran the gantlope, then was tarred and feathered, and yet only nearly died from all that.

        3. I can barely fit the wife’s name (or another family member’s) into the teeny, tiny, line provided on my ballots.

          Otherwise, I would take up your suggestion…

      2. That would be amusing, if everybody who doesn’t want Trump writes in Cruz (for example) instead.

        I’d be interesting to see how much of a vote-shared Cruz would get if that was done.

    2. Trump apparently doesn’t have a ground game in Iowa. If he tanks in Iowa, he may lose that portion of support that follows ‘inevitability’.

      Furthermore, remember how badly the polling predicted 2014.

      Political forecasting is sketchy in general, and there are some extra confounding factors now in particular.

      We are now less than a week from seeing Iowa, so we can wait and watch, and not spend time speculating.

          1. No, surely that was Jeb’s job, if he got elected. Aren’t the bushes related to one of the Mexican political families? Fast and Furious was all about gun-banning in the USA. (Because Obama has never lived in non-urban areas. We should put that in a constitutional amendment: Presidential candidate must have physically resided in both a county with more than one-million residents and in a county with fewer than ten-thousand residents for no less than a period of three-hundred sixty-five consecutive days.)

      1. Even a cursory review of polling results the last twenty-five years ought discourage any sensible person from placing much credence in them. Aside from all of the inherent sources of inaccuracy — faulty voter screening, restriction to land lines, loaded questions, sample sizes, etc. — is the recognized fact that pollsters lie, deliberately. As do the polled.

        1. ‘Majority of Scientists Agree: Earth Will Explode Unless Greens Forfeit Rights’

    3. I saw Trump interviewed by Bret Baier last night and The Donald says he’s a real fan, a yuuuuuge fan of The Constitution, he thinks the Constitution is fantastic, he’s proud of it, he loves it. He said absolutely he would rule through the Constitution.

        1. Transcript does not seem available online and I am not suffering through the video again. Baeir’s question, IIRC, framed it as the document but nothing in Trump’s response indicated he ever had or was currently interested in reading it (although I am confident he would have his attorneys do so in search of loopholes.)

          1. Oh, I’m sure Bret Baier was refering to the Constitution. When it comes to Donald and his Tribble your guess is as good as mine.

            Trump is doing well but I won’t pretend he’s not the equivalent of an NFL team that’s had a real bad string of quarterbacks taking Johnny Football in trade from Cleveland.

        2. Did Bret Baier clarify if Trump was refering to the document or the frigate?

          The Starship… the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was Constitution-class.

          1. When you put it that way, I do perceive a certain similarity between The Donald and James T. Kirk.

              1. Decker just went nuts because he ended up getting his crew killed trying to save them.

                Personality-wise, he strikes me as more similar to Lwaxana Troi, or maybe Q when his powers were first taken away.

                  1. And Decker…when the ship was disabled he beamed his crew off to a planet to save them only to watch as the Doomsday Machine consumed the planet.

        1. Heh, I wasn’t the only one who twitched at the use of the world “rule” then. 😉

          1. Not disagreeing but are we sure the word rules isn’t more common than govern in interviews and speeches anymore? I’m trying to think and suspect I need to watch some tape.

      1. I suddenly remember an old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson sketch where Johnny played a politician holding a press conference… while connected to a lie detector.

    4. Raptor, I’m not going to be pissed. It’s your decision. I just don’t like giving up my voice, even as a write in, because I don’t like who the candidates are.

      1. Why not vote for a third party at that point? I live in a state that’s so solidly Republican no one bothers to campaign here. Might as well encourage the other parties.

        What would it do to the two big parties if one of the solid red or blue states went 20% Libertarian? Green? Whatever? They’d take a serious look at what policy they could pick up to woo those voters. Especially if they thought they could flip the state to the other color by doing so.

        1. Ah yes. The principled third party vote. Yeah. I did that when George Bush, Sr. was offered up to us. The anti-Reagan (if you actually paid attention to politics back then, and I did. The statist, “read my lips no new taxes” liar. I could go on, but the only difference between George Bush Sr and La Donald is the former is more posh, and the latter made an honest buck once or twice.

          Thanks to people like me (and my husband, though we weren’t married at the time) YOU got Bill Clinton. And thanks to us, you might get Hillary, too.

          I am hoping and praying that Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, or someone who is part of the old conservative movement gets the nomination because (unlike my husband) I don’t think the U.S. is past the tipping point. But we won’t survive another eight years of a True Socialist Believer in the imperial presidency.

          We can survive a naked opportunist who uses presidential power to fuel his whims. He’s not going to Do Unto Us for our own good, he’s not a religious zealot: he’ll just screw up like every other self-interested crony pol who ever got elected into office.

          For the sweet love of Alexander Hamilton people, the Republic was designed to handle the Trumps and the Bull Connors.

          We’re getting sold down the river by the True Believers. Who are ALSO crony pols, but who won’t allow their brief flashes of conscience to deter them from taking us all over the cliff, because they consider that a temptation to apostasy.

      2. I’ll probably write in somebody since the electronic voting machines our county uses don’t like it if you leave any blanks on the ballot (skipped a question on the municipal election ballot by accident).

        What do you think about Mad Mike Williamson potentially becoming POTUS?

        1. I’d point out Sarah declared my candiacy up thread.

          If anyone wants to have the option in their state please find out what the write in rules are (some states require you to register in some way for example) or for states that require electors to be pre-declared wish to be an elector please let me know.

            1. The truly serious issue is, I think, that Mike would track down and do… things… to everyone who got him into that crack. He is called “Mad” for a reason.

              1. We’re facing a possible President Sanders (which I honestly think is more likely than a President Trump although theoretical appeal to the black community (look up CREAM as an acroynym) might change that) so why not run the risk. Sure, he might kill us but we’d save the country.

                1. ESR would be about as bad politically as Mad Mike, and I think would be legal.

                  1. Hrmm….
                    “You don’t have any nominees for these positions and-”
                    “Don’t need anyone to head up things that aren’t going to be there.”

                2. Yeah…. and that’s the exact argument (to use the term loosely) for La Donald. Except that I find Mad Mike slightly more entertaining.

                  Saving the country really isn’t an option at this point.

                  Helping to turn the tide in the long haul toward maybe having a more- functional-than-not is

                  Frankly, if you know of any bureacuracy that ever got taken down in the history of… anywhere, I’d love to hear of it. I’m not being snarky.

                  This side of violent revolution, our only real shot is a gradual change in the generally right direction. Thanks to our DLFs and their suicide pact with tribal Islam, we might not even have time for that.

                    1. That would put it into Wendell’s jurisdiction.

                      “Cry Hooooon! and unleash the manatee of war!”

                    1. Yes, but Mr. Rowe would be excellent for shutting it down. Especially his confirmation hearing. Watching the Prog heads explode over someone without advanced credentials in education – I don’t even think he has an advanced degree – oversee the Charlie Foxtrot that is our modern education system. Can it get any better?

                    2. Make it one desk under Interior, just like EPA. Their only responsibility is to make sure the kids in every state learn to read and Speak English, and do basic math. Rest is state’s choice.

                    3. About the only good thing that DoEd does that should be kept long-term is NEAP, it’s useful to have a common metric so that states can compare policies, and that fits well with the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. But before we shut down most of Education, we can put it to good use. Only issue federal funds to states with school choice programs, if a state doesn’t have such a program the parents get a voucher from the federal government. OCR puts out a “Dear Colleague” letter saying that any institution that employs an administrator who approved, explicitly or tacitly, the patent violations of due process in sexual assault complaints is ineligible to receive federal funds. The same with any school that does not immediately expel any student who participates in a disruptive protest. Oh, and schools need to take affirmative action to hire conservative faculty such that faculty donations to political causes matches the general population within 5% year to year and 1% over a 10 year period.

        2. They would have big problems with me in your county. I consider it my God given right to leave blanks on the ballot. One time, I actually voted for Attorney General, Lt. Governor and NOT for Governor (both choices were worthless). Similarly, I usually do not vote for someone that is running unopposed, unless I think they are doing a really great job (Our County Treasurer fit that metric last election).

          1. Poor phrasing on my part: the machines still let you submit blank ballot slots, but not before displaying a prompt saying that you left whichever slot on the ballot blank.

            1. Are you and the voting machine the only ones that see the prompt? I would be OK with that. We use paper ballots (the kind *everyone* should use) that are optically scanned and counted. I was impressed in the last local election, where originally the voting attendant had to feed your ballot in, now you place it in the slot yourself (any orientation) and it reads and stored. Untouched by human hands, except yours.

        3. I share their opposition to leaving blanks on the ballots. Much more effective is double-ought on the candidates.

  7. The people are only part of it. Check the people backing the people seeking office. Check the bills introduced into the legislative session. Check the agenda of the County Board of Supervisors and the City Council agenda.

    Sigh. It does get exhausting sometimes – but, yes, you can make a difference here and there. (Consider what Obama could do with the McAmnesty scheme being actually on the books, for instance.)

    1. Absolutely. I love when candidates talk about not taking special interest money and you present them with their own financial statements to prove the lie. Or when they say they support this issue or another and yet their main contributors are on the other side of the issue. Then you have to ask if there might not be a conflict of interest should they be elected and that issue come to a vote.

  8. As Heinlein said, there may not be anyone to vote for, but there’s always someone to vote against. Also remember: in the eyes of the Law, silence is consent, so if you don’t vote, you have consented to whatever the outcome of the election will be, and will have no right to complain about whatever follows it.

    “If God had meant us to vote, He would have given us candidates.”

    1. I myself have long considered and told others that casting your ballot is your license to bitch for the duration of the term in question. Personally, my vote in the coming presidential election will likely be meaningless. Alabama will vote Republican no matter what. I will still carry myself down, stand in that long line, and do my duty.
      My hope and prayer is that the Republicans do not yet again screw up so badly that they hand the election over to any Democrat and give us four more years of much like the past eight. Our country is already severely damaged and four more of the same just digs that hole ever deeper.

      1. “My hope and prayer is that the Republicans do not yet again screw up so badly that they hand the election over to any Democrat and give us four more years of much like the past eight.”

        I completely agree with this sentiment. What really scares me right now is that the Republican might just hand the election over to a Democrat in the *primaries*! And this, just because the Democrat in question is willing to tell us what he thinks we want to hear…

    2. in the eyes of the Law, silence is consent, so if you don’t vote, you have consented to whatever the outcome of the election will be, and will have no right to complain about whatever follows it.

      And in the eyes of the law engagement is consent. If you vote you have no right to complain about whatever follows, especially from the candidates you voted for.

      Because that is the reality…claim whatever reason you want for doing it but in our system you vote FOR candidates not against them.

      If you voted for John Kaisch you voted for embracing the medicare expansion of Obamacare. If you voted for G. W. Bush (which I did twice) you voted for Medicare Part D, the Iraq War, No Child Left Behind, and then record debt and spending.

      We love to tell people who didn’t vote they can’t complain because by not affirming what or the other candidate they consented to both.

      Well, by voting for a candidate, especially the lesser evil one, you have consented and actively affirmed support for evil.

      For we could end this nonsense and admit that while we disagree with the strategic choice the choice not to vote is as valid as choosing the lesser of two evils. However, either you own the lesser evil when it comes to pass or you let the no voter off the hook as much as you let yourself off the hook for the evil you supported. Can’t have it both ways.

      1. Sorry Herb, but that’s not how it works. As a citizen voter you are choosing the best candidate available to fill the job of representing you in our government. You are in effect hiring them. And like any other employer/employee relationship nothing ends once the hiring is complete. The elected official, your employee, is on probation. They either do the job expected of them or you fire them and try someone else.
        Unfortunately, in elected government the employees have a vested interest in gaming the system to make firing them as difficult as possible.
        There is no shame in admitting that you were conned and elected a loser. The shame lies in making no effort to call them to account and rectify your mistake.
        It’s never easy, always frustrating, the system fights us every step of the way, but choosing not to play is not a winning option. All that does is leave you a grease spot run over by an out of control juggernaut.

        1. The shame lies in making no effort to call them to account and rectify your mistake.

          What about when you re-elect the lesser of two evils such as, since I used him as my example, G. W. Bush.

          If you choose to vote FOR somebody you own it. So no complaining. If you want to complain about what you did then accept other people have the right to do something different and complain.

          Sorry Herb, but that’s not how it works. As a citizen voter you are choosing the best candidate available to fill the job of representing you in our government. You are in effect hiring them.

          Really? Have you ever been in a hiring position and determined none of the candidates are qualified and left the position open? I have, more than once. People who don’t vote are making the same choice.*

          * There are other circumstances where people don’t vote: I skipped two Congresional elections because I moved states the weekend before election day. I had no residency and my new state and believed it improper to vote absentee in an election where I wouldn’t be resident on election day, although I worked for a House candidate in the district I was leaving both times.

          1. eally? Have you ever been in a hiring position and determined none of the candidates are qualified and left the position open? I have, more than once. People who don’t vote are making the same choice.*

            Because of all those times when the Presidency, the Senate seat or the governorship remained empty….?

            Nah. You’re telling yourself happy lies to salve your conscience and appease your (quite realistic) sense of powerlessness.

            You don’t do your duty because you get what you want, you do your duty because you’re a responsible citizen of a democratic republic.

            1. I’ve done my duty more than most. How many campaigns has even the average politically aware voter worked. How many times has he bought a book of Heinlein’s book on political action and handed them out to get more people active. How many people have manned a phone bank Saturday morning knowing on Sunday they were flying to a different state to start a new job. How many people on Monday have picked up and delivered campaign literature when Wednesday they were driving four states away to start a new life. How many people have been the literature and sign guy for the GOP all day without relief (and poll open to close is a long day) in a precinct so liberal even the Green Party had workers in pairs who got reliefs every few hours.

              But please, lecture me about happy lies I tell myself and about doing my duty. I’m very open to learning how I’ve been failing in it.

      2. I’ve come to dislike the notion that you can’t complain if you don’t vote. We’re Americans: we should vote, or not, for whatever reason suits us; similarly, we should complain, and complain loudly, when the Government doesn’t go in our direction, regardless of whether or not we voted that Government in.

        It has often been said that we’re throwing our vote away when we don’t vote, or vote for a third party candidate; I have come to the conclusion that this is merely the whining of the politicians who are too lackluster to earn our vote. Indeed, it is as much, if not more, a responsibility of the candidate to earn each and every vote, than it is for the voter to vote for that candidate, because otherwise the voter is “throwing their vote away”.

        (Incidentally, voting for a third party candidate isn’t a bad thing, if it gets you to the polls to vote for lesser candidates, both on the Federal, State and Local levels. Sure, Clinton won his second term, but he lost the House at the same time, which was, in part, because Perot spoiled the election for Dole…and in part because people didn’t really want to vote Democrat, even if they didn’t want to vote for Dole either…)

          1. That would be a better phrasing. It’s nonetheless significant: The President voted in has a certain advantage where they pull in a certain percentage of fellow-party House and Senate members up for election, based on the fact that whoever votes for President will probably vote for the same party for the House and Senate.

            Sure, Perot may have prevented Dole from becoming President, but those voting for Perot probably weren’t voting for Democrat representatives and senators…

        1. Depends on where you are at, Alpheus. This election, Sarah’s vote (or refusal to vote) will “count” for more than mine, thanks to cockeyed “winner takes all” rules. She’s in a purple “swing” State – and I’m in a reliably “red” state. Her failing to vote could be an effective vote for the person she wants least in the office.

          And a few can be influential. The last Representative (the female “Mc” clone), we held our noses and voted for her – and she won by 134 votes. When I told her that she just lost five of those on her first vote in Congress, the panic was evident…

  9. “…all healthy as he tries to take away our guns.”


    As for why candidates never give details about what they cut, it’s because any candidate who does get specific will immediately face focused opposition from those who benefit from whatever program is proposed. By staying vague a candidate can gather support from people who think that somebody else’s ox is going to get gored.

    I think we need to set up a BRAC-type system for government programs. An iterative look at the government that identifies duplication and efficiencies to be gained, and then proposes a list of eliminations and consolidations to Congress for an up-or-down vote. And if Congress doesn’t vote in savings equivalent to 1% of expenditures, everything gets a 1% topline cut. Repeat for 5-10 years and we might actually have a somewhat efficient government. We also need to end baseline budgeting. Every department needs to justify every dollar every year.

    The real, effective, changes are the ones too boring to make it onto the stump speech. They’re the changes to the system that make it easier for elected representatives to do the right thing rather than the wrong thing.

    1. … any candidate who does get specific will immediately face focused opposition …

      Witness the heat taken by Ted Cruz for speaking against ethanol subsidies (and if he wins in spite of that, for breaking the Iowa caucuses free of the lock held by ethanol producers.)

      One reason why the “first in the nation” polling needs rotation — or why the color commentariat political journalists need to reduce the focus on it.

      1. That ethanol stance is what got me firmly into the “vote Cruz in the primaries” column. If Trump had wanted to prove he wasn’t all talk he could have done the same (and at less risk).

        1. But what could possibly be wrong with taking grain that would normally be processed directly into food or fed to livestock to produce meat, and turn it into a poor substitute for gasoline? Thus reducing the supply of food, raising its cost, and damaging countless older internal combustion engines.
          But the big corn producers and processors love the idea and they’re the ones contributing to politicians campaign funds all across the corn belt.
          Not to mention that it takes fuel to grow and harvest that grain, and more fuel to process and distill the ethanol from it. Haven’t run the numbers since the dramatic drop in oil prices, but I suspect that ethanol use, especially mandatory use dictated by the government, still represents either a zero sum or negative in US energy usage.

          1. Nothing if you don’t expect me to subsidize your loses. It’s your grain/farm/whatever.

            It’s when you start expecting me to bail you out be it ethanol, kids, or bad mortgages, when we get into a problem.

          2. As I understand it, ethanol blended fuel has a higher H2O content and risks rusting out your engine faster (I know — win/win for Government Motors! Bring back planned obsolescence!)

          3. Still find it funny how people who oppose ethanol never complain about oatmeal being wasted in beauty products.
            I think both of them are silly ideas.

            1. When the Law mandates inclusion of oatmeal in beauty products, be assured I will voice objections. When the law no longer requires me to adulterate my gasoline with alcohol I will desist in my opposition to ethanol mandates. (I will still view adding alcohol to gasoline as being no more sensible than adding gasoline to my alcohol, but I never interfere with other folks’ drinking habits.)

              1. (I will still view adding alcohol to gasoline as being no more sensible than adding gasoline to my alcohol, but I never interfere with other folks’ drinking habits.

                Wise man. I hope I can stand you a drink of your choice someday.

            2. I’d think one would need to be fairly to fail to see that the one is energy policy, government force, and tax subsidies, and the other is not.

              Energy policy is important because bad energy policy makes poor people poorer faster than any social program could help. Energy policy is more important than social spending.

              The government is picking our pockets to fund ethanol.

              Ethanol has lower energy density than gas. A gallon of ethanol has less energy than a gallon of gas. The gallon of ethanol contains less energy and will carry the vehicle fewer miles. Ethanol has a lower value than gas. Mixing ethanol in gas, at the same price or higher, is adulteration.

              Ethanol has a higher cost than gas. Anhydrous ethanol costs more than ethanol because removing the last bit of water is more expensive. Anhydrous ethanol mixes well with gas. Ethanol, water, and gas tend to separate out and tear up the machinery.

              Vehicles are an essential cost, not a luxury.

              Ethanol is bad energy policy, government mandate harmful technological choices, and a rakeoff that benefits special interests. Comparing with luxury spending is silly.

            3. If you do much meandering around products, you will find a number of government mandated additions. Yet corn seems to be getting the bulk of the attention.
              When ethanol was mandated, you could tell that it came with an end date – it was another one of those fashionable ideas, fads if you will.
              If too much attention is paid to ethanol, too many will miss the man behind the curtain.

              1. Well then how about instead of sh!tting on people who are complaining about ethanol only because they were unaware of the other subsidies you provide a list that we can base our future bitching on since you’re more up to speed on the topic.

                Or is the point to feel superior because of your knowledge instead of changing things?

                1. I see no point to this abuse, as I was not doing what you are accusing me of.
                  The information I have accumulated was via the Internet. As someone on another site said – I am not your Internet search engine, you should be able to do all that for yourself.


                  1. Frank, I suspect the abuse is engendered by you shifting goalposts. You began by comparing government mandates for ethanol in our fuel with with marketers’ voluntary addition of oatmeal to beauty products, a class of consumer product which is surely optional.

                    When this inequity was pointed out you retreated into unsupported allegations of government mandates of other products of unspecified nature.

                    Now that somebody expresses frustration over your failure to present an argument except by insinuation, innuendo and allegation you are complaining about abuse. Perhaps, and this is just my opinion so take it as you like, if you weren’t acting like such an ass people wouldn’t get short-tempered?

                  2. And I am not your yees man. You complained about people complaining about X but not Y which implies they know about Y. When told we don’t because X has a given condition you come back with so does Y. How about instead you said Y has that same issue as X. I ssuspect your responses would be different.

                    For one you wouldn’t look like you were playing gotcha.

            4. Am I paying the oatmeal producer to make up the difference between what he would make selling it as food versus what he makes selling it to cosmetic companies or is he selling for the best price he can get?

              If it is the former (that diversion is tax subsidized) then I’m not complaining because I was unaware of it until now and I’ll happily start complaining.

              If it is the later, what business is it of mine? It’s the farmer’s oatmeal and he can do what he wants with it.

          4. Is it still the case that the amount of energy produced by a gallon of ethanol is 15% less than the amount of energy required to make that gallon? And this after 40 years of subsidies and development?

            “sustainability” problems anyone?

            1. I’m pretty sure that will always be the case. You can’t change how chemistry and combustion work. What’s also worth knowing is that it takes nearly as much energy to create a gallon of corn-based ethanol as that gallon can produce.

              1. Even if you scrunch up your eyes tightly and really, really hope otherwise?

                Because that seems to be their approach to economics, too.

                Clearly we are not effectively tapping the miraculous power of unicorn farts. Perhaps we need a catalyst, such as sprinkling pixie dust on the vehicle and happy, happy thoughts?

                1. This pixie dust you speak of…it’s comprised of the ground, freeze-dried remains of pixies? I’m not sure I can be a part of that…

                  But much of their position does seem to consist of, “make the physical laws of the universe change to allow my desires to occur.”

          5. but I suspect that ethanol use, especially mandatory use dictated by the government, still represents either a zero sum or negative in US energy usage.

            It always has been a negative sum game, irrespective of the price of oil. Ethanol only replaces gasoline, not diesel, which ALL farm equipment uses. It would still be a negative even if all farm equipment was converted to use pure ethanol for fuel.

    2. “identifies duplication” and programs that just don’t work. I’m all in favor of trying something new, but when we keep throwing good money after bad, year after year … any experiments need to be time-limited with a requirement for concrete results that must meet a certain threshold.

      *sigh* I know, that’s too logical, and our govt surely doesn’t use logic.

  10. Of course you should know all those who purport to represent you, and should work to elect (whenever possible, which it often isn’t) those whose principles you agree with and who can be trusted to abide by those principles.

    However, these days that usually isn’t enough. Our Constitution has been misinterpreted nearly into irrelevance over the past century plus. Returning us to constitutional governance will not be done by Washington politicians and bureaucracy–they are invested in the system working as it does rather than as it should. The only way short of a revolution (most likely an armed one) to do so will be for the states to call an Article V convention for the proposal of amendments. To that end I strongly urge everyone to study up on the concept and to consider joining the Convention of States project ( It really is our last, best hope to return our country to constitutional governance.

    1. Would you trust any Constitution Convention where California (and other Blue States) were involved?

      This idea has the assumption that the States would be willing to fix the current problems with the Federal Government or at least “fix it” in a way that we would like.

      1. It’s not a question of trusting or not trusting a particular state. Any proposed amendments that came out of such a convention would need to be ratified by 3/4 of the states to become part of the Constitution. At any rate, what are the alternatives? To let the federal government continue its current wildly-unconstitutional ways, or to try to restrain it using the constitutional tools available to us, or to secede, or to have CWII?

        1. I repeat–convention for the proposal of amendments to the Constitution, which must then be ratified by 3/4 of the states to go into effect.

          1. The last time there was a Constitutional Convention, the new constitution had to be unanimously ratified by the states. You might note its clauses about ratification. . . .

            1. It did not…it had to be ratified by nine:

              Article. VII.

              The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

              That said, non-ratifying states would have been excluded.

              But, again, if we consider the Founders wise in their constitution why is exercising a process they, themselves put in place unwise?

              1. Yes it did. The constitution could hardly be in effect before it was ratified, so we were still under the Articles.

                1. Interesting, so the phrase “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution” actually means all thirteen needed to ratify it.

                  Man, that is some revolutionary mathematics.

                  1. Earth to Herb, come in Herb.

                    Why did that clause apply?

                    Because it was written? You wrote it here, did that compel it?

                    They were governed by the Articles. Under the Articles, unanimous was required to amend them. Only then would that clause apply.

                    1. The Constitution was not an amendment to the Articles. States approving the Constitution withdrew from the Articles and joined the new government. It was entirely possible that four states would have just maintained the Articles.

                      That was a step Rhode Island and North Carolina tried until the bitter end where 11 had ratified the Constitution and left the Articles. At that point the Continental Congress dissolved itself. North Carolina ratified on November of 1789 and Rhode Island did not ratify the Constitution until May of 1790. At which point the first federal elections had taken place and the Congress and President were in place.

                      So, in fact, the Constituiton did not require all thirteen colonies to agree to go into effect and of the original thirteen two did not participate in the initial elections under the Constitution. In fact, only ten states participated in the first Electoral College. New York had ratified the Constitution but did not appoint electors in a timely manner and North Carolina and Rhode Island had not ratified the Constitution.

                      They were governed by the Articles. Under the Articles, unanimous was required to amend them. Only then would that clause apply.

                      The Articles were not amended. A new government independent of them was formed and it began with the consent of only eleven of the thirteen members of the government of the Articles. The government of the Articles dissolved itself without unanimous ratification of the Constition so regardless of the fact that all thirteen of the Article government states joined the implementation of the current government did not require in theory or in fact the unanimous ratification of the thirteen states of the Articles government.

                    2. The Convention did not do that. The states did. The states could have rejected the convention’s actions.

                      In fact, the convention didn’t even propose that to the states themselves. The Constitution was presented to the Continential Congress which transmitted the Constitution to the states via vote on September 28, 1787.

                      The Continential Congress was specificly empowered to that as provided by the second paragraph of Article VI:

                      No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the united States in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.

                      The transmission of the Constitution to the states by the Congress of the United States it specified the purposes and duration of a confederation among two or more states (specifically nine to thirteen).

                      The problem is confusing what the convention was supposed to recommend (amendments) and what it did recommend (the Constitution) and thus evaluating the later by the rules for the former.

                      Had Congress assembled opposed the Constitution they could have failed to transmitted to the states the Constitution and called for a new convention to propose amendments. Instead, finding their convention had proposed a new confederation of states it acted in accordance to Article VI and transmitted the conditions of a new confederation to the states as required by the Articles.

                      This is history that is taught so shallowly and so wrong we tend to reject the legitimacy of the Constitution and consider it out of bound and extra-legal. The only thing that might be classified as such was a working committee, the Constitution Convention, proposed something different than they were enpanelled to do.

                      However, the transmission of the Constitution to the states and its method of ratification was withing the rules set by the Articles of Confederation regardless of what your American History teacher told you.

            2. Read HerbN’s comment directly below. But in short, the original Constitutional Convention and an Article V convention would be quite different things.

          2. Since 100% of the then existing states ratified the last change, my last statement still applies.

            1. Sorry, but it doesn’t. As I’ve said before, the original Constitutional Convention was a very different thing than an Article V convention for the proposal of constitutional amendments would be. That isn’t even mildly debatable, it’s just a fact.

              1. Actually, it was not: the original Constitutional Convention was actually the equivalent of an Article V convention for amending the Articles of Confederation.

                That isn’t to say that we have to agree to a new Constitution coming out of an Article V Convention, but even so…

                In any case, I’m not sure how confident I would be that amendments would help our case. Granted, the current Constitution isn’t perfect, but it’s better than what we have right now…and it’s not all that easy to see that our Government will change, just because we amend a thing or two…

                1. I really recommend Mark Levin’s book on the topic (The Liberty Amendments) because the front part does a lot to explain the thinking of the founders in adding the convention to Article V (it originally was not there) and why it applies to our current case. While you might be unconvinced about the latter I think it is enlightening to know what the men who wrote it were thinking when they added it.

                2. Sorry, but you’re just wrong about that. Please do some research in the instruments that were created by the Confederation Congress to call the Constitutional Convention, and you’ll see that it was never intended merely to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation.

                  As to your last paragraph, if you automatically assume that any attempt to reform the system is doomed to failure, why try at all? Nothing in this life is guaranteed, but that is never a reason not to try.

                  1. I’ll have to research the instruments someday, but for now, I’ll observe that the Constitutional Convention was done secretly, because of the fear that what they decided to do would be considered treasonous; along the same lines, Patrick Henry refused to get involved in the convention, declaring that he “smelled a rat”.

                    So, this claim that they were there to replace the Articles of Confederation contradict what I have learned about the carrying out of that Convention. Having said that, if that was the original purpose of the Convention, then it won’t be the first time that what I was taught as history contradicts what actually happened.

                    As for an Article V Constitutional Convention: I’m not as afraid of such a beast as some people are that it will become runaway–if it does, we don’t have to accept the outcome, and at worst, it might cause a civil war–but I’m not entirely convinced that it will do much good, either. If one is proposed, I probably won’t be against it…but some of the proposed amendments for such a Convention has already caused me to cringe, thinking of what ramifications such amendments will have on the Republic…

                    The biggest reason why I don’t have confidence in changing the Constitution, though, is the same that I have little confidence that a Revolution is going to change anything: if the heart of the people isn’t based in liberty, I cannot trust them to take actions to ensure liberty, and they may even hinder it.

                    Thus, Sarah’s desire (expressed in a previous blog post) to ensure as many people understanding just what liberty is, and why it came to be, and why it’s so valuable, is probably more important than attempts to amend the Constitution.

                    1. Regardless of it licit purpose, the actions of the “ad hoc” Constitutional Convention were ratified by enactment, much as a King can recognize and thus legitimate a bastard son.

                    2. Oy! Imagine the media swarm over such a convention. Methinks the swill produced from such a kitchen would be unfit for human consumption, no matter how well intended the cooks (and be confident some cooks would be happily dosing it with toxins.)

                      Were I more energetic today I might craft a parody interview by Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow of a member of that convention, but certes that image alone ought suffice as illustration. Now imagine what the clowns of The Daily Show or SNL would do with such material.

                      Doomed, we are doomed, I say thee!

                  2. “Nothing in this life is guaranteed, but that is never a reason not to try.”

                    My point precisely.

            2. There is a difference between requiring and obtaining.

              If you need a 91 to get an A in the class your getting 100 does not change the threshold.

        2. That required nine states to go into effect.

          Then again, perhaps that is what we need. If the Founders didn’t beleive what they didn’t might not be needed against they would not have provided the mechanism. Are we to conclude they were brilliant in everything but their admission that they might be wrong?

          Also, the section was added to Article V specifically for the circumstances we’re seeing as we know from period writings: a Congress that was expanding the role of the federal government at the expense of the states and the people. Such a Congress could not be trusted to offer amendments to roll itself back so a mechanism was provided for the states to do so.

          Finally, I keep hearing we can’t do a Constitutional convention, it is too risky. We can’t go third party, it’s too risky. We can’t revolt, it’s too risky. All we can do is keep voting for the Republican (lesser of two evils) and eventually leftism will stop.

          If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity is voting Republican for smaller government sane? How many more times until it stops being sane?

          Yes, yes, I know, it takes time to change things and really, honestly, we have real small government types moving up and taking over the party. Except we’ve had that since Reagan in 1980 which seems more than a few election cycles ago.

          1. Well, when Sweet Meteor Of Debt hits, and all the EBT cards stop working, and Free Stuff Nation comes out of the hood / trailer park / barrio to take what’s “theirs” without the middleman (and it’s already happening more than the government and media want to admit), this little debate will become academic….

            1. After my wife’s experience the night the EBT cards stopped working last year I don’t doubt it. She was working the register at Trader Joe’s the night and it was…interesting.

              What shocked me was the number of people on EBT cards who shop at Trader Joe’s. We barely shop there now because of prices (we did a bit when she worked there and got an employee discount). Given our household income is several times the SNAP cutoff it only reinforced ugly welfare stereotypes.

        3. Yep.

          The Constitutional Convention that gave us the Constitution was set up to only improve the Articles of Confederation.

          Mind you, the Articles were obviously not working so creating the new Constitution was a good idea.

          I’m just not sure that the “replacement” for the current Constitution would be better.

          Of course, part of the problem currently is that the Feds have been going beyond what the Constitution allows them to do.

          I’m not sure they’d follow the “new rules” either. 😦

          1. Depending on how those “new rules” were written, if they ignored them they’d essentially be firing the first shots in CWII. We really aren’t in a very sustainable political environment at the moment; eventually something will happen to precipitate a major change, for better or worse.

            1. The government types are following the rules, at least an interpretation of them. The key to any new rules would be to word them so that they can’t be misinterpreted. But that’s very difficult.

                1. I’ve spent most of the last 15 years as a sea-lawyer. I can generally rationalize any course of action, and the nuke manuals are nowhere near as complicated as the legal code (not to mention the fact that the Laws of Physics brook no insult).

      2. This isn’t actually a reply to you, Paul, this is a generic reply pointing out your thread of thought…

        California. New York. Illinois. New Jersey. Maryland. Massachusetts. Rhode Island. Conneticut. Washington State. Delaware. Hawaii. Oregon. Maine. Vermont.

        Whatever you proposed, just didn’t pass.

        Note this is without even selecting the liberal-leaning states like PA, MI, etc.

        1. OK, so much for that peaceful mechanism.

          There’s another reason I and many other people think we’ve passed the tipping point to Civil War 2.

  11. Resignation is as much an enemy of our freedom as is complacency. If we give up on our electoral process, we might as well hand the keys over to those who would destroy us.

    Just because I like being contrary: the sheer amount of energy you are recommending people need to spend, rightly I might add, to insure policies they don’t dislike are enacted proves that the direction of government most of the commenters here seem to prefer and that our hostess seems to prefer is irrevocably dead.

    Locally we defeated a resolution to create a new town, a new layer of government, where I live: La Vista Hills ( Read their website and you’ll they promised more police, governance by neighbors and not politicians, and less red tape, among other things. The reality, in my opinion, was it was a group of busy bodies who were mad they didn’t have their own government to run roughshood on their neighbors.

    I voted again it for that reason and it was barely defeated in an off-year election. I’m fairly sure they got it scheduled on the off year election to take advantage of lack of turnout.

    Yay all of us who opposed it for paying attention and working to defeat it. However, the reality is we now must sustain that level forever. People who don’t want more government must now devote as much time as the people who do want more goverment to the question of government. If we slip up once we lose and get Lavista Hills. Our next fight will be to stop a mill rate increase or avoid building a senior center or that new regulation on what color you can paint your house. They lose last year you can bet you @ss they’ll be back in 2017 and 2019 and 2021 and so on.

    So, just by getting the ball rolling they have insured small government people lose. I now have to work just as hard as I would if that level of government did. If I have to put in the energy why shouldn’t I instead give in and use that energy to steer things more to my liking. Everyone has things they wish their neighbors did or didn’t do and if I have to work as hard as they would to do that to me to avoid it why not use it to do to them.

    It becomes a perverse version of the golden rule: “Do unto others as they are trying do unto you.” Personally, I’d prefer to only use that rule in gunfights but now I suspect I need to use it to avoid gunfights.

    The lesser of two evil voting winds up on the same path. If I have to accept evil (in this case, government expansion) then why shouldn’t I, instead of trying to limit it, spend that same amount of energy steering it.

    After all, I would rather spend my time writing code or music, playing D&D, or reading your and our hostesses books. I suspect you and our hostess would rather be writing your books. But we can’t because the ship of small government has sailed and now we have to fight to limit big government. Well, if I have to fight to limit it why not instead fight to repay the favor. They have stolen my time to have their fun so the least I can do is make their fun no fun.

    Or, I can just let them have their fun running more and more of my life and spend my time having my fun in the shrinking piece left to me. Sure, it means I’m going to be raped by the leftists but the trend line is I can fight and fight and fight and wind up raped anyway in the long term or I can lie back and enjoy it.

    That’s where we are: people who want no government spending greater and greater amounts of time on government while getting more and more government or just lie back and enjoy more government.

    So, I’ve gone from working very hard on elections to just pulling the GOP “lesser of two evils” lever and I will for Trump if he is the nominnee*.

    1. We’re going to wind up left anyway. Two days ago RES said it was a problem if I can’t tell the difference between being screwed by Pelosi and being screwed by Ryan. I can but I can’t tell the difference between being screwed by Ryan and being screwed by Foley. The deal between three Democrats 22 years ago looks like the deal between Republicans and a Demcrat today after the GOP gained the largest Congressional majorities it has had since before FDR. Given the trend voting lesser of two evils has created, GOP Speaker Joe Blow in 2040, right after I die, will be indistinguishable from Speaker Pelosi.

    2. The level of energy fighting an endless rearguard action with no relief is only stealing from the ability to write music, read books, or even just has sex with my wife. It has taken vacation days used to work the polls. And it has given me leftism anyway. I want to actually write and record an album this year. I can do that or work the Presidental campaign. Looking at our choices and our probable Congresses what is the effort/reward on each? Is it such that it even comes close to justify doing the latter?

    If it is going to happen anyway why not just lie back and enjoy it? That is where the resigned voter is. His active counterpart each year risks becoming the “if I’m going to have big government anyway I’m better served mastering it than fighting it” apostate.

    * In no small part as a middle finger to all those people screeming “anyone but Trump” who screemed at people like me for not wanting to vote lesser of two evils for McCain, Romney, Dole, Thad Cochran in MI last year, and so on while giving a pass to the GOP former Senators who endorsed the Democrat in the 2014 Georgia Senate race out of spite and friendship with her father. You kept saying not supporting the Repubilcan was supporting the Democrat so I’m going to support the Republican good and hard.

    1. You’re in the game, whether you want to be or not. The only way to quit is to become the citizen of another country.
      The thing that chuffs me is the types who combing that kind of angered apathy with a desire to “burn it down”- not knowing that the monster which would arise from the ashes would be more repressive and would demand more from you.
      Hate the current system all you want, but the Constitutional safeguards are still functioning.

      1. To a limited extent, but certainly not completely. The fact that the Constitution is more observed in the breach today is a major reason for the rising anger among a large portion of the U.S. citizenry.

        1. Ponder Obama’s desire to enact gun control, and helplessness to actually do anything about it (other than sell lots of guns). Because he’s Constitutionally limited.
          Note that Obama is not running for a third term, or handpicking the next President. Constitutionally limited.
          A lot of the anger at supposed non-observance of the Constitution extends from an ignorance of how the American government actually runs, how the American legal system runs, and the rest. Do remember that the Constitution is not subject to private interpretation- that’s what the Constitutionally mandated Judicial branch is for. You will find that they may violate the spirit of the document, but will go along with the letter.

          1. Sorry Joe, but you’re wrong here. First, the Judicial branch isn’t constitutionally-mandated to interpret the Constitution. It just isn’t there. As to the Constitution being subject to private interpretation, sure it is. Whether you can enforce your private interpretation is another thing entirely. And what you seem to believe is ignorance about how the government and the legal system runs is in fact a clear understanding of those very things, and a recognition that “how they run” is in many cases in direct opposition to constitutional restrictions that proscribe many of the things they do.

            1. But the important thing is that they are following the forms, and that includes the chain of interpretations and precedent that is the foundation of our legal system.

              1. That’s just it–they’re not following the forms that are clearly laid out in the Constitution. Instead, they’re contorting their arguments in totally illogical ways to claim that they’re allowed to what they clearly are not allowed to do. And after they make the first claim, they point to it as precedent to allow themselves to further deviate from the clear meaning of the Constitution.

                1. The form is the whole legislature votes for something, passes it, and President signs it.
                  And even twisted by precedent, they are still judging actions against the rules laid down by the Constitution- as said above, following the letter while violating the spirit.

                  1. The “letter” says that the federal government has authority to act in a very few areas, and all other areas are left to the states and to the people. They aren’t even close to following the letter. They aren’t even pretending to judge their actions against the Constitution, and haven’t been for many years. I don’t know how you’ve convinced yourself otherwise.

                    1. First, I don’t agree with what they are doing- let’s get that out of the way right now.
                      Second, you really need to look at what other governments do, especially where the rulers are not limited by any sort of rules.
                      Third, again, while they are violating and ignoring the spirit, they actually do follow the letter- even if they have to twist something like the commerce clause to do it, they are still looking for something in the Document itself for justification.

                    2. To use a game analogy, think of a Min-Maxing Munchkin, one who follows (and twist) the rules but violates the spirit.

                    3. Not quite. They used the Commerce clause to create the initial judicial ruling, but thereafter they haven’t referred to the Constitution at all, but to the precedent created by their initial ruling.

                    4. Wait, are you claiming that:

                      1. Marbury vs. Madison used the commerce clause.
                      2. All constitutional rulings since then are based on that?

                      Have you even read Marbury vs. Madison? At no point does the commerce clause come up in supporting the court’s ruling. The ruling in it is specifically a separation of powers ruling: that the Constituion grants Congress no right to give to the SCUS the power of mandamus over a Cabinet officer. It was a technical conclusion based on the nature of mandamus and was arrived after the court ruled that Marbury had the right to his commission and the standing to sue for it legally. What he could not obtain constitutionally, ruled the court, was the specific legal remedy he sought.

                      It is ironic, given how we now see Marbury vs. Madison, as confering the court power greater than any branch, that the court actually limited both itself and Congress in the ruling.

                      Then again, the history of declaring laws unconstutional predates Marbury vs. Madison given that case itself cites cases concern the 1792 pension act being declared unconstitutional by the circuit courts. The case did not reach the SCUS as Congress repealed the law and acted to restore it in a different form, a pattern that has become common (and to which the court has done much mischief in recent decades).

                    5. Wow, Herb, you really misinterpreted what I said. I was responding to Joe’s 4:48 post where he said that “while they are violating and ignoring the spirit, they actually do follow the letter- even if they have to twist something like the commerce clause to do it, they are still looking for something in the Document itself for justification.” I said nothing whatsoever about Marbury v. Madison.

                    6. There is a reason I asked because the indenting got confusing.

                      However, the view that the court is doing no ruling with the Constitution shows a great deal of ignorance of a lot of cases even promient ones. For example, can you put out the lack of Constituional usage in Heller?

                      The only significant chain precident is in the abortion arena (all be be descendant of Griswold) and some in Commerce although that has been a back and forth one. There is shoddy logic all over the place but chain precident in the constitutional realm is fairly rare.

                    7. But chain precedent isn’t what I was talking about. What I mean is that once the precedent is established by a clearly bad ruling, they refuse to take up any similar or derivative case, using precedent to indicate the issue is settled.

                    8. Some exceptions to this rule can be determined, but the only examples coming to mind (not being a Constitutional jurisprudence scholar) is Plessy v. Ferguson (which gave us “separate but equal.”)

                      Even Dred Scott appears to have been overturned by Constitutional Amendment rather than the SCOTUS reversing precedent. It is worth noting that, at the time of the ruling, Dred Scott represents only the second time the Court had ruled a law passed by Congress and signed by the president was unconstitutional.

                    9. Other examples of the SCUS overturning precedent:

                      Gideon v. Wainwright concerning the right to councel which directly overturned Betts v. Brady.

                      Lawrence v. Texas concerning sodomy which overturned Bowers v. Hardwick.

                      As long ago as 1948 the Cornell Law Review could cite thirty five such cases ( and both of my examples as well as RES’s example of the serial overturning of Plessy (which did take multiple cases) occurred after the article giving us at least 38 instances. Given I’m going off the top of my head I’m sure there are more.

          2. The Supreme Court granted itself the power of “Judicial Review” in Marbury vs. Madison, the majority opinion on that case also stated that the executive, and the people, have no responsibility to follow an unconstitutional law.

            1. The Marbury v Madison decision has been accepted and followed by the other Constitutionally mandated branches of government since it was made. Thus, it’s part of the law of the land.

              1. It may be accepted, but that doesn’t make it “constitutionally-mandated,” which is what you initially said.

                    1. I recommend you re-read the Federalist papers. It was clearly seen as its roll. Also, I tend to give acts of Congresses, Presidents, and Courts containing members of the convention a broad assumption of being within the bounds of the intent of the document. They wrote it and then enacted what they wrote. Had the court been out of bounds in Marbury vs. Madison we’d have plain record of complaint from the men who wrote and ratified the Constitution.

                    2. I understand that judicial review was well-considered by the Founders. However, it wasn’t included in the Constitution, so the claim that it is “constitutionally-mandated” is clearly false.

                    3. Nor does it expressly forbid the process. Again, that our government has decided to pass that role onto the Court, ages and ages ago makes it part of how the thing works.

                    4. Mandated? That might be a bit strong but it was certainly considered in bounds and thus within the intent. To argue against it seems futile and outside of the spirit of the document.

                      However, that said we are relying on intent and that provides a clear opening for an amendment, several of which have been proposed, giving the Congress or the States the ability to overturn a SCUS ruling within a limited time.

                    5. Article III Section 2 grants the supreme court “appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, gives with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

                      That sounds like a good argument that the supreme court has the power of judicial review unless Congress says otherwise. Congress (including the early Congresses that including many of the Founders) has chosen not to make judicial review such an exception.

                    6. But Sean, saying that judicial review can be construed to fall within the purview of the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is far from saying that such judicial review is constitutionally-mandated.

                    7. Yeah, my phrasing was a little weak- it’s early, and I’m at work, writing in the free spaces. Twas the Supreme Court, not Judicial Review I was referring to.

              2. The funny thing about Marbury v Madison is this: granted, it’s not a power given the courts in the Constitution. But what are the Courts supposed to do, when looking at a blatantly unConstitutional law? Are they supposed to say, “Well, this bill of attainder was passed by Congress, signed into law by the President, and sure, Mr. Smith is as pure as the wind-driven snow, and the Constitution expressly forbids bills of attainder *and* cruel and unusual punishment…but because it’s passed, we’re going to have to put Mr. Smith on the rack, burn his entrails before his face, hang him by the neck for a bit, and then draw and quarter him, because Congress and the President said so, and the Constitution doesn’t grant us the power to reject unConstitutional laws!”

                The notion doesn’t make sense.

                Granted, a lot of things have been declared unConstitutional even if they were, and others have been accepted as Constitutional, even when they clearly weren’t, but what are you going to do with a bone-headed Supreme Court that doesn’t respect the Constitution?

                1. What it’s supposed to do is interpret the Constitution as a reasonably prudent man, using ordinary judgement, would.

                  1. Anyone who has practiced law or served more than 2 years as an elected official should be ineligible to sit on the Supreme Court.

                    1. That sounds good but ignores the nature of far and away the majority of SCUS cases. While we hear about the headline cases about gay marriage or abortion, etc the majority are fairly obscure legal issues on things like contract law where the various circuits have come to opposing opinions. In those cases extensive practice of law is exactly what is needed.

                    2. No, I don’t think so. Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity, but law is one of those things that is so fundamental to everyone’s life that it would be good to have the ultimate decisions crafted by people who aren’t professional lawyers. If lower judges and lawyers trying cases had to present their arguments in a form the lay Supreme Court could understand, the average citizen would be much less beholden to the legal profession.

                    3. Then there are judges such as those on the Ninth Circus who take joy in issuing outlandish enlightened decisions in the awareness that the SCOTUS can’t overturn them all, or even a significant fraction.

              3. So was slavery: not in the Constitution and around a while.

                It went away. Marbury will go the same route once they overreach a little further.

                1. Marbury isn’t going anywhere, it’s a logical necessity of the Supreme Court’s appeals power, the fact that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and the nature of law.

                  The law must be a logically consistent whole. An act cannot be both legal and illegal. If there’s a contradiction, one of the parts must be discarded as not law. Per the Constitution, anything that contradicts the Constitution loses. Per the Constitution, the Supreme Court has final say in what does and doesn’t conflict.

                  1. Per the Supreme Court, anything they don’t like loses.

                    And then they can’t change it because otherwise they would lose respect. They openly say so.

                    1. The joys of being governed by men. The reason Supreme Court justices aren’t elected and serve life terms is that they’re supposed to be dedicated to studying the law and immune to political considerations. Supposed to be. I think the Founders made a major mistake in underestimating the factionism people engage in. North vs. South, Democrat vs. Republican, Broncos vs. Panthers. For a lot of people it doesn’t matter what each side stands for, just as long as “their” side is winning. More than a couple of Supreme Court justices think the same way.

                    2. I think in their effort to avoid the British system, where the House of Lords, serves as supreme legal authority, they errored too far the other way.

                      Of all the “restore federalism” amendments proposed the ones I support the most are repeal of the 17th and one of the SCUS overrides. Personally I’d support one that combined Congressional and State ability to override.

                      Well, that and perhaps one requiring 2/3s majority to pass any bill in Congress, but I worry about the unintended consequences of that one especially on the budget. Had we had it before the federal government grew it would have served as a limiter. Now I suspect it could serve as an accelerator due to mutual backscratching bills.

          3. “You will find that they may violate the spirit of the document, but will go along with the letter.”

            “Shall not be infringed” seems pretty hard to confuse. Pfui.

            1. You would think, but then again you don’t have years of training in how to manipulate plain language to mean what you want.

      2. Hate the current system all you want, but the Constitutional safeguards are still functioning.

        I question that after this administration and after the court has pretty abrogated the right to exclude or require whatever 5 or more of them agree on.

        As for burning it all down I have no desire to do that. On the practical level I live here. On the vindictive level I want to see H. L. Menken’s quote about Democracy fulfilled.

        And you seemed to miss my point is that for many apathy has been earned as a cost/benefit analysis that determined continued engagement was merely indulging in the sunk costs fallicy.

      3. Rust doesn’t sleep because you are tired. Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty, whether shackles be iron or golden.

        1. Eternal vigilance is manning the walls. It is not fighting a non-ending rearguard without relief for a side that wants you to lose anyway.

          An army that only ever finds to the end to not lose a piece of ground but never fights to gain one will eventually be defeated.

        2. Oh, and rust is generally easily handled with routine preventive maintenace: light coating of oil, maintaining a proper pH inside pipe, etc.

          Also, ruthless elimination and repainting when found.

          The former doesn’t work on leftist and the latter is against the law 🙂

      4. “Hate the current system all you want, but the Constitutional safeguards are still functioning.”

        Bullshit of the purest ray serene.

        When the assets stolen by the government using asset forfeiture EXCEEDS the amount stolen by the thieves without badges?

        When the immigration laws are simply not being enforced at whim?

        When guns are being trafficked to criminals to provide pretexts for imposing more infringements to the Second Amendment.

        The only reason you can claim that is they haven’t gotten to you yet.

        “And if their own front door is shut, the whole wide world is warm.” — Leslie Fish, Merovingen Nights.

        1. Well, if I remember one of her older posts, Sarah is definitely Spartacus . . . 😉

  12. First of all, we have got to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.
    Second, the thing we really need to avoid is that the belief Right Man Can Fix Everything- If Only Allowed to Govern Without All Those Pesky Limits.

    1. However, we do need either the right man to roll back the executive order induced part of the problem, or a whole lot more of them in Congress.

    2. Define patient.

      Hell, just tell me you can honestly say you beleive we’ll live to see the left be told “this far and no further” instead of “okay, half way but just this one last time.”

      1. I saw it happen under Reagan, I saw the Gingrich congress produce a budget surplus. What has happened once can happen again. I “read” Cruz as likely to roll back the boundaries; most importantly, appoint staffers and judges who will.

        1. Oddly, I’ll give you Gingrich more than Reagan for a lot of complex reasons. Gingrich is why I’m so illusioned with this GOP Congress and why I wonder about the trend line.

          As I said, look at the deal Ryan and McConnell got with Obama and look at the deal Foley and Mitchell got with Clinton. Then look at the deals Gingrich and Dole got with Clinton. Which pair is most alike? Also, don’t forget a lot of the GOP couldn’t wait to be rid of Gingrich*

          Hell, Ryan put in the H-2B stuff ON HIS OWN despite Trump rising. The GOP teamed with Democrats against conservative Republicans to rescue the ImEx Bank. If we cannot cut the ImEx Bank when it doesn’t even take legislation to cut and in fact takes legislation to restore, what can we cut?

          So what if Obama shut down the government and the press said bad things. It happened in 2013 and the GOP hit the highest Congressional numbers in 80+ years in 2014. I can get not having that fight in October 2014/16 but in 13/15 it helps to not demoralize your base and is a long time away in politics.

          Then again, after winning record numbers they were more willing to surrender than before winning those numbers.

          *I think many were mad that he actually won a majority and thus they had to be responsible instead of just mouthing, “minority party, what can we do” all the time. A the House minority leader (1981 to 1994) Bob Michels used to tell new GOP House members: “every day I wake up and look in the mirror and say to myself, ‘Today you’re going to be a loser.’ And after you’re here a while, you’ll start to feel the same way. But don’t let it bother you. You’ll get used to it.”. Despite Gingrich the GOP seems to maintain his received wisdom.

      2. Absolutely. Of course, I’m younger than you and come from a very long lived family. (I read RAH’s Howard Families as a teen and asked, where’s our money? Then I realized it was fiction.)
        Trump and Sanders are both doing well because of fed-up voters. You think those folks are going to get un-fed-up? Sanders isn’t anymore D than Trump is R.
        What left and right in this country mean right now isn’t even going to stick. We have a religious enemy that’s being fed. We have decaying infrastructure. Sure, things are going to change. And what’s left now doesn’t work. Things that don’t work don’t last. What’s right isn’t going to last either.
        I look at my Grandmother’s left–eugenics, racist, all the ugly history the left wants to disavow now. Hitler was a bright young fellow with some good ideas to them! The left now would be the first ones standing in their road yelling “Stop! That’s our future President you’re advocating sterilizing! Stop!”

  13. Very Very Off Topic.

    Does anybody know how to underline a word/phrase in WordPress?

    I can bold or italicize but not underline.

        1. Actually, you’re on of the least testing posters here 😉

          Or were you refering to the okay Doctor (I don’t see a Tardis so he can’t be the good doctor).

          1. No underline (except for hyperlinks) as far as I can tell. Perhaps to prevent confusion with hyperlinks?

            1. I am quite saddened by my inability to not be blue. Apparently anything in the URL’s place, even a #, turns blue (and as an upstanding jokester of clean moral character I refuse to work blue.)

    1. If it supports it, the old HTML code for underline was and . (Without the spaces, of course.)

        1. I don’t know…not being able to post on ATH from home may have enhanced my calm a little depending on the topic of the day.

      1. Don’t fret it over much — by all evidence she’s an even less attractive campaigner than her mother.

        Worry about George Prescott Bush.

        1. Don’t even get me started on “yet another Bush”.

          As far as I’m concerned Bush winning the nomination would be worse than Trump and the reason has nothing to do with policy. The GOP would have an easier time recovering from a Trump run than a “yet another Bush” run. Using the old Moscow rules Trump is an accident but Jeb is enemy action.

          1. “No more Bushes, no more Clintons” has been my motto since 2008. IMHO, Trump and Sanders are just as bad, but weren’t on the horizon back then.

    1. That would be a … challenging campaign, given the available imagery.

      “What is the justification for your candidacy?”

  14. While 20 politicians at the bottom of the Marianas Trench is a good start, there is the non-GOP elephant in the room concerning what ails America.
    Don’t get me started on the Department of Education, but all of them are horrible. The EPA’s mission is apparently to protect us from the environment and toxic stuff, but the EPA ignores lead water in Flint for over a year, and drops toxic mine waste onto the only water source for the Navajo reservation… How many incompetent managers have been fired? A State Department that can not protect the lives of American Ambassadors… apparently that #Fail is a qualification for Presidents? The VA that can’t treat Veterans, and in spite of instruction from above to preferentially hire Veterans, instead they preferentially hire union workers. An FBI that thinks killing white protesters in Oregon is OK, but killing black looters in Missouri is not. The Secret Service as a prostitute ranking agency also comes to mind.
    These agencies filled with un-elected officials with no accountability, and worse the agencies receive political appointees to give those b*st*rds we have voted out of office a place to thrive until their next political bid.
    Fix the politicos and leave the agencies unaltered and there really isn’t a lot of change for the better.

      1. Tricky. I still work part-time as a consultant because the government (Navy, missiles and rockets) can not find anyone with the necessary skill set to do what I can do.
        Finally, after 5 years of retirement, they are hiring a newbie with a Masters in Statistics (Apparently more marketable than a Masters in Gender Studies). That we hope I can ‘mentor’ for a few years before I die a sudden death.

        1. Not if it includes employees as well as the elected officials.

          However, I can tell you from personal experience that will shift the power / influence to the civilian contractors who are there long enough to actually do the work. The only real solution is to shrink the thing.

          1. How about this? Convert all current civil-service bureaucratic employees to temporary contract employees, with all contracts expiring on Jan. 20 of the year following a presidential election.

      2. They don’t have to be term-limited, The public employee unions can be de-certified with a stroke of the pen, by executive order. That is why Scott Walker was the first driven from the field.

        You want to balance the budget, convert all their pensions to 401Ks with a multiplier linked to the National Debt. See how much they love AGW when every # pissed away on a Solyndra affects their retirement balance.

        I may be wrong, but I suspect the Obamadon’tcare “Cadillac Tax” (is the Caddy even thought of as a lux vehicle, any more, or is that an under the table bonus to Government Motors?) is not imposed on government employee health plans. That’s not only easily fixed, but can be similarly tied to the Debt.

        It is all a matter of making sure the incentives align with the public weal.

        1. That is why Scott Walker was the first driven from the field.

          And why he was my first choice in the primaries.

          I may be wrong, but I suspect the Obamadon’tcare “Cadillac Tax” (is the Caddy even thought of as a lux vehicle, any more, or is that an under the table bonus to Government Motors?) is not imposed on government employee health plans.

          It is which is why the Omnibus delayed its implementation (private unions as well but who is the political power in Unions that got the Democrats on board with the delay).

  15. tl,dr YET comments, and I still have work to do, so just in case I don’t get to them all first…

    Preach it, sister!

    N.B. Do you prefer hedgehogs or squirrels?

      1. Now…squirrels are preferable to hedgehogs in that they are more easily acquired and easier to clean. And they make a good (PA Dutch) potpie…

        1. My Joy of Cooking still has squirrel recipes, so you’ve got a point. More meat on them, too, I’m thinking.

          But in non-culinary terms, it’s Squirrel Nutkin v. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. How to choose, how to choose…?

          1. Not a country person, I take it? We were taught that no animal other than a personal pet was given a name. If you just had to name one, the name was always, “dinner.”

            1. My brother tried to get his daughters to name one of their pet rabbits “Stuart”. Does that count?

              1. Oh, there are a LOT of names for farm animals that fall under the sense of making it clear that the animal is intended to be food: A former coworker’s boys named two of their turkeys Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      2. Squirrels are communist

        Hmm, I wonder if there’s a large member of the deer family which Mrs. Hoyt feels that, along with said rodents, is communist.

        1. Well, elk do wander around your house, eating the flowers and hedges, wherever they’re protected from hunting. That does sound communistic: to each according to his need, from each according to his ability. (I’ve always wondered why leftists aren’t classified as varmints, so you could harvest them at need. Instead, we have to wait for a proper hunting season to be declared, and we’ll probably have to tag them whenever we get one.)

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