Playing with Trains

Big government apparatchiks (and part time US Senators from Ohio) Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown act to bail out their sponsors in AmTrak, America’s socialized choo-choo, but it is we who are being railroaded with yet another insider subsidy. Though the edifice of Cincinnatistan’s  Hall of Justice (or “Union Terminal” if you insist) does indeed make a powerful and evocative architectural statement, is it really worthy of tax-victim support?

180728

Rapping the Fed

How very gauche of our uncouth President to be “rapping” the Olympian minds of our exalted “Federal Reserve” as they pore over their auguries and divine the holiest and purest of interest rates for a grateful nation.

Backward rubes like Mr Trump might believe that in a primitive commodity based free market economy natural interest rates would be based on the perceived availability of surplus resources. In Our Enlightened Democracy we’ve learned from the great Soviet Pioneers that central planning, top down, one size fits all dicta are always superior to the chaotic caprice of capitalism and its mysterious invisible hands. All right (and wishful) thinking citizens understand that only the wizards of the Fe’ral Reserve have the moral clarity and detached objectivity to proclaim that most revered of rates. (Viva Vigorish!)

Mr Trump clearly fails to recall the Constitutional Convention of 1913 that repealed the Tenth Amendment (which theretofore had authorized State resistance to Fe’ral encroachment — really a dead letter anyway since Mr Lincoln’s invasion of the Sovereign South) and rescinded Article 1, Section 10’s prohibitions of the emission of Bills of Credit and of the States’ bar on making any Thing other than gold or silver Coin a Payment of Debts.

Silly President.  Constitutions are for tricks.
180721

On Ritual Mutilation

Kylie and Stormi Jenner are a very good example of a very bad example. Whether your intentions as a “proud” or “loving” parent are to mutilate your daughter’s ears or your son’s penis, it would be well to remember this: infants are unable to give informed consent.

To mutilate any person without his permission (or short of a medical emergency) is trespass and violence. Trespassing against another’s person or property or violating their bodily integrity is wrong. It’s wrong even if your Rabbi or the Village Elders insist that it’s righteous. And it is wrong even if all your friends tell you that “everybody do that.”

If you’re paying your own bills and making your own decisions lately and you fancy some tats or piercings or a circumcision or a clitorectomy, then have at it. It’s your cash and your body.

But leave the children alone!

If I’m going to hector strangers on the evils of child abuse, I should confess my own shame. Attend then to the sad despicable cascade of disgrace.

Shortly after the birth of our first son, Busy Body and I were moving into a house owned by her parents. Helping out with their new grand baby was their joy and I’m delighted that they had the disposable wherewithal to take part. However, discovering that young Stargazer had yet to be circumcised, Grandmama expressed her horror that her little grand darling could not be welcomed into the Kingdom of God.

Grandmama wanted to please a loving and merciful god, Busy Body wanted to please her mother, and I caved in to my wife and betrayed my son. I am comforted by the fact that I do not remember my own circumcision, and I suspect that few of us do. Our brains are not well organized yet to hold on to much. However. I do remember Stargazer’s circumcision. I remember the sterile room with the tiny form fitted tray for his little body. I remember being escorted out to the waiting area. I remember the screaming. I still remember the screaming. I’ll always remember the screaming.

Am I a hypocrite because I now exhort others not to commit the crimes that I have? No. I do not forgive myself for this, but I’ve tried to make the best of my life in spite of immutable history. If I were to remain silent I would be a hypocrite and a coward.

Please, for the love of life and liberty and decency and dignity, leave your children to their own natures and they will express it in their own time.

180714

* * * * * * * Oh Zarms * * * * * * *

Meeting the meter is my metier, and I often fall for the allure of alliteration. But getting back to meter. What follows is kind of a collaboration, I guess. I don’t know if I actually wrote any of it, though I will confess to rearranging M Rouget de Lisle‘s brilliant original. You may have noticed that irrespective of melody many songs have matching meters (I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke, House of the Rising Sun, and Amazing Grace, for one memorable example.) And some meters merely overlap, sometimes just barely glancing off each other. My all-time favorite national anthem, Les Marseilles, has an amusing overlap with another favorite. To get yourself started before you start reading, try whistlin’ Dixie.

Allons enfant de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivez.
Aux armes! Aux armes! Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons, marchon, marchon!
Formez vos bataillons.  Marchon pour Dieu et Patrie.
Aux armes, aux armes, aux armes pour Dieu et Patrie.
Marchon, marchon. Aux armes pour Dieuuuuuuuuu…
Et Patrie!

140714

Audit the FED

Does Donald Trump use the Federal Reserve and the United States Treasury Department to funnel funds to his friends in the Kremlin to support their shared anti-woman, anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-worker, anti-environmental, white supremacist agenda?

We may never know until we conduct a thorough and complete audit of the Fe’ral Reserve, find out how they framed Hillary, who’s funding Russian Collusion, what happened to America’s gold, and why the frogs are turning gay!
180703

Total Systematic Abuse

Correspondent EM “got completely torn apart by [the] TSA” the other day, very nearly missing her flight, over which correspondent GJ opined that he has “nothing but contempt” for them.

I too have plenty of contempt for the TSA, but as a former federal employee I also sympathize. Some of us are so spectacularly incompetent at the arcana of people’s delicate little fuh-fuh-fuh-feeeeeelings that such drone work (or cashiering at the Quikk Stopp by the Interstate) is the best employment that we can score.

Of course, when I actually witness one of these tax-feeders DELIGHTING in their abuse, then all sympathy fades.

Do I confirm correspondent GJ’s theory that the TSA “is just a govt work program for low-IQ individuals?” I don’t know if I confirm it, but I guess I do offer a little corroboration, as well as some counter-argument.

Irrespective of “low-IQ” employees, I’d say the TSA is more than “just a govt work program.” More importantly, it is public relations at its most nakedly honest. It is, to swipe the wit of the writers of Colony (DO NOT MISS IT!), their way of showing us who’s the bug, and who’s the kid with the magnifying glass.
180701