Wednesday, May 12, 2010

They the People

I think I'll turn on one of those public affair shows...

"Hello. My name Is Edward R. Trudeau, and today I'm interviewing the noted conservative pundit Basil Hapsburg. Thank you for joining us today, Basil."

"My pleasure, Edward."

"Well, Basil, what do you think of the Health Care Plan that just passed Congress."

"Oh, if only the Founding Fathers knew how their Constitution is being trampled on! Thomas Jefferson is turning over so much in his grave it's making Monticello rock on its' foundations!"

"Let's move on to the bill that would create a Consumer Protection Agency."

"Oh, the Founding Fathers would be simply horrified! From beyond the grave, I can hear James Madison weeping in Dolly's arms!"

"Er, lets move on to environmental legislation..."

"Oh, my, now you have really enraged the Founding Fathers! Why, I bet George Washington is clenching his wooden teeth so hard in frustration right now he'll soon have a mouthful of toothpicks!"

"Well, Basil, since you keep bringing up the Founding Fathers, isn't it true some of them were slaveholders?"

"Edward, I'm ashamed of you! You are being totally unfair! You can't judge people living in the 17th century by the standards of the 21st. The Founding Fathers were products of their times. They were limited by the mores of their times. They lived over 200 years ago, in a vastly different era. No comparison to the era we live in now. Absolutely none. Cut them some slack, why don't you?!"

"I-I guess you're right."

"Of course I am!"

"I'm sorry I ever brought it up."

"I forgive you."

"Well, let's move on to something else. So, tell me, Basil, what do you think about Obama's latest Supreme Court pick?"

"Oh, she mustn't be allowed to serve! It could so upset Thomas Jefferson he might go limp on Sally Hemings!"


  1. I heard Obama is Sally's descendant.

  2. @Tag--Tell it to the birthers.

  3. I for one, am so sick of Palin and her ilk that want to "quote" the Founding Fathers... she doesn't even know how to read! If she did, she'd stuff a sock in her mouth.

  4. The Founding Fathers would object to the notion of Elena Kagan's being seated on the Supreme Court. After all, they weren't all that far removed from the Pilgrims and - damn! - we MUST have Protestant representation. That is of the utmost importance.

  5. @Badger--Sarah Palin can read this:


  6. @Limes--I snagged this from somewhere on the Web:

    "The religious affiliation of judicial nominees is seldom discussed in the US and when touched it is dealt with extremely delicately. But with Ms Kagan's nomination, the discussion became public, not so much because of her Jewish faith, but rather due to the religious makeup of America's highest court. With Ms Kagan replacing retiring justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court will have six Catholic and three Jewish members - and no representative of the Protestant church, America's largest religious denomination."

    Growing up in heavily Catholic Cleveland, I was almost 20 before I realized that the Roman Catholic Church was actually a minority religion in the US. As one whose last name might lead some to assume I'm Catholic, I can't say I ever felt persecuted by the Protestant majority.

    I don't know if an athiest or an agnostic will ever make it to the Supreme Court or White House. Unless they--heh, heh--lie about it.

    Given recent Supreme Court rulings, I think they worship mammon more than anything.

  7. POOP! Blogger is being obstinate this afternoon. I just typed a perfectly brilliant comment that evaporated and I'm frustrated. I'll try to reconstruct it as soon as I get a moment.

    WV- mesep. Why did Blogger have to mesep just then?

  8. @Limes--OK, I came across something that puts your comment in a different light. A columnist for the Wahington Post is actually complaining about the lack of Protestants on the Supreme Court should Kagan get confirmed.

    If it makes her feel any better , every president except one has been Protestant. I think this evens things out.

  9. Here's something from the Nation's Eric Alterman:

    Even so, these guys are pikers compared to the master El Rushbo, who taught the lesser crazies a little something about how to do the job when he attacked Kagan for implying that America’s original Constitution—which, after all, gave its blessing to slavery and refused women the vote—might be improved upon. But when things get this crazy this fast, it’s a sure sign that either the country’s political discourse has gone dangerously off the rails or this is a nominee who has few if any genuine vulnerabilities.

  10. All right, finished sputtering, I'll try again. I thought the Founding Fathers were the originators of that separation of church and state thing, all (wo)men being created equal, etc. Or does none of that apply to this? And that's a nice quote you snagged, Kirk! Religious affiliation dealt with extremely delicately? I believe Kagan's possible appointment had been whispered and carried on the wind for about 14 seconds when her LACK OF Protestant religious affiliation was being heartily dissected. WHO CARES?

    By the way, are you up on the Supreme Court decision regarding our Mojave cross? I was to take some pictures of it this weekend to put on a post I was writing. Some rotters stole it right out of the desert, thereby also stealing my thunder, for I would have dazzled with that post. Dripped a little sarcasm about crosses in our public lands, slammed into a rock which surely is eroding around the base of where that cross formerly stood.

    And, yes, Kirk - that was my exact point - the braying about "our Supreme Court would have no Protestants!" Once again I say "WHO CARES?"

  11. I say both things are true: few genuine vulnerabilities AND dangerously off the rails.

  12. @Limes--I just googled the Mojave controversey. I'd have no problem with a cross on public lands if they also throw in a star of David. After all, I'm sure some of those WWI vets were Jewish.

    By the way, for some reason I associate the Mojave desert with hippies. Maybe they should put up a giant statue of Jerry Garcia.

  13. How about some symbol, not star or cross - circle, maybe - unadorned? And we could all just make of it what is meaningful to us individually. As a matter of fact, why couldn't we do that with that Joshua tree over there or the claret cup cactus or the agave or the desert willow? How about a dedicated area, with a plaque, planted with native species in honor of the vets?

    Did you catch this part of the controversy? The cross was technically planted on a morsel of privately owned land, surrounded by the millions of acres of the Preserve. "Yes, but I have to LOOK at it when I go to commune with nature in our public areas."

    You calling us hippies, Kirk? I like it! And then, there was Manson and his family just a bit north in Death Valley.

  14. I like this "Founding Fathers". Spoken of as one entity, all of one mind with no disagreements although acrimony among them led to duels and death.

  15. Here is a link to a blog I enjoy and you'll know why if you pop over to look at it. The posts seem to be exclusively newspaper articles from various publications. The last couple of posts shed a bit of light on the skirmish over the cross.

  16. @Tag--You're right. Some of them were for big government, and some of them were for small. Some believed in a strong federal government, and some believed power resided mainly in the states.

    @Limes--I don't know, Limes. Maybe the simplest solution is to erect a big sign that says NOT SANCTIONED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

    I like the template of that blog you sent me to.

    I'll be back.

  17. Me again. Well, somebody perhaps should have complained 75 years ago when that thing went up. I know, I know, they thought differently then.

    Again, I restate my original position. Add a star of David any other religious symbol providing people of those faiths died during WWI. I don't accept the cross as a generic symbol of, what, gravestones?

    As far as it being on private property, the only reason the property was privatized, and only a small slice of it at that, was to get around the constitutional issues. Visitors are going to assume it's part of the park. UNLESS, as I said in my earlier comment, you want to erect a big sign saying PRIVATE PROPERTY.

  18. Nice conversation you two!
    Thos. Jefferson advocated a review of the constitution every 20 years. Once again putting people's needs ahead of pieces of paper and the written word, no matter how well written. The constitution has become something that people of all stripes hide behind.
    WV - i think we should start a bloggers unium. What say ye, Limes?

  19. @Tag--I don't usually like to explain the meaning of the titles of these posts, but your comment made think I should for this one. By holding the Constitution, and all subsequent legislation, to whatever mindset existed 234 years ago (man, has that much time passed? I don't mean the first 200 years but the remaining 34. Seems like those Bicentennial minutes aired just yesterday) than it's not a document for We, the People alive right now but the We, the People alive back then.

    Maybe they should change the beginning to We, the Caldavers.

  20. Thanks for clarification. I thought you meant They the Conservative Political Pundits.
    And yes we are feeling Monticello rocking on its foundation way down here in southern Virginia.

  21. @Tag--Actually, what you thought the title meant works just as well.

  22. me again, On the link Leslie supplied there was a letter printed from the alleged cross thief who wants a non sectarian memorial there.
    As a veteran I think we have plenty of memorials in graveyards all over the world. I don't think we need another in the Mojave.

  23. Wow! One leaves the blogosphere for just a short while and SO much happens. Kirk,look what you got started! Couple of housekeeping items,then some real commentary. Tag, if we're talkin' (Kirk and me in this instance), you're immediately in, as far as I'm concerned. Kirk, I KNEW you'd dig that template!

    'K now: the Badger hadn't had a chance to keep up with this today. He's going to a serious race early tomorrow. I fed him a meal rich in protein tonight and tried to tell him where this post had gone, including Kirk's comment that Sarah could read $$$$$. He laughed out loud!

    BTW, the Badger liked my circle symbol idea. Folks could either fill in the blanks as they saw fit, or view it as a zero. We almost fell on the sidewalk laughing over that, as my cat Virginia Woolf tried to make a run for it out the front door.

    Serious commentary - no humor intended. That cross was not 8 exposed feet. We've been there many, many times. Maybe 4 feet into the rock and 4 feet into the air, but not 8 feet into the air. Made from gray pipe as used in World War I plumbing. A perfectly shitty cross.

    Tag, a bloggers' union? You KNOW I'm in! Too bad Ex has left us, as he was a remarkable union organizer. But I do all right for a girl, AND I can communicate . . I thank you two for today/tonight. You may hear directly from the Badger on this race weekend, but if not,I promise you, he's in the loop!

  24. @Tag--I'm willing to make an exception to the seperation of church and state if something has a whiff of history about. For instance, I don't think you have to yank a 200 old statue of Moses of the Justice Department building in Washington DC. So I'm curious, since this statue has been there since 1934, is it considered a local landmark? Was it built by the WPA? Has it become a tourist attraction? In his opinion, Judge Kennedy said hardly anyone sees it, which, quite frankly, is a good reason to TEAR IT DOWN (or not put to back up again as the case may be) Since there's seems to have been more than one cross over the years, that's another argument against it being a historic landmark. Still, I'm kind of surprised noone's used that argument (I skimmed through those links pretty fast, so maybe someone has)

    @Limes--Good luck to Badger in his race. Shitty pipes you say? Another argument against making it a landmark, unless the pipes are a unique example of World War I plumbing. Ed Norton, help us out!

  25. You may trust me about this: hardly anyone sees it. This is not a destination. No one except real desert rats goes here on purpose. I'd wager most of us who do go here are repeat business. Made by the WPA? It was made by some Joe who had a couple of old, unwanted pipes stashed beneath his trailer. A local landmark? There are no locals. Across the entire Preserve, there are a handful of tiny ranches. Some of those are located fairly near the cross site. But I don't imagine the folks seek out the site to picnic on the 4th of July to sit in the nonexistent shade of the cross.

  26. In that case, Limes, I say tear it down.

  27. Yay, Kirk! Want to go out there with me Sunday? I plan to scale the rock and take a picture of the hole the damned thing was planted in.

    Wow. WV gave me a prompt. We know how I play words games. It's so politically incorrect I'm blushing at my desk.

  28. What, did my opinion stand in the way of it being torn down? I ain't exactly Rush Limbaugh.

  29. No, I was just "yay"ing you because you landed on a good opinion in my opinion. You frequently to that, in my opinion. And you DID catch that vandals made off with it after the Supreme Court decision, right? It's gone! Nothing left but the hole in the rock. Nothing for me to photograph but a void.

  30. Fill the hole up so they can't put it back.