Saturday, July 28, 2007

Off to the Races

Looking at the current crop of candidates I am almost tempted to stage a run for the Presidency. Since I don’t believe I will be able to raise the Cash that the others have, the shadow approach might be best. Picture a combination of Jeff Foxworthy and a televangelist. It’d go something like this.

“Mah fellah ‘mericans”, A’hm Phil and Ah need y’all to write me in to be the President. Thass right, Ah said President. Big Chair, Ovuul Office an all that.”

“Fact is folks that Ah don owe nobody nothin. Ah gots no skeletens in th closet. An bein the honest guy that Ah am, Ah’ll tell ya how to vote.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That Uncle Sugar is there to make sure you get a check to soothe your ego when you don’t have a job, Then folks, Don’t vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That international welfare is a god given right and we are obligated by some moral power to provide it to every nation in the world, Then folks, Don’t vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That banning assault rifles and handguns is ok, Then folks, Don’t vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That the income tax is fair and progressive, Then folks, Don’t vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That pages are for turning instead of talking dirty to, and that freezers are for ice cream and not cash, Then folks, Vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That killing terrorists is a dirty job that has to be done, Then folks, Vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That we should stick by our friends and leave everyone else the hell alone, Then folks, Vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That the constitution is somehow alive and open to interpretation (except when it suits ya), Then folks, Don’t vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That there is a wall of separation in the first amendment, Then folks, Don’t vote fer me.”

“IF YOU BELIEEEEVE: That the job of the press is to do anything but make money, Then folks you are reeeeeeeeally deluded, and yeah, Don’t vote fer me.”

Anyway y’all, I gots lots more of those, and jest as soon as I find that ol videeeo camera ah’ll be on youtube right along witcher favorite demercrats.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Maybe they do work for us after all...

How's it going folks? Hopefully everyone reading this is happy, healthy, and prospering. The title of this post indicates that maybe I was wrong in my earlier entry They Don't Work For Us. Only time will confirm it. But, I am going to hold out an (out of character) unrealistic hope.

An amazing thing happened recently. The people, yup the McUSA's , roared like lions instead of whimpering like kittens. And in that roar they crashed the Senate switchboards as they opposed the CIB . Suddenly the exalted ones in the Senate discovered there was intelligent life outside of thier chambers. And, more importantly, some realized that getting rehired might not be as rubber stamped as before.

Honestly, I cannot prove scientifically that the crooks and liars we elected actually heard the roar and obeyed. So, I would like to propose a test to see if we can induce failure again. This time we want it to occur on September the 11th at noon eastern time. Obviously the date is symbolic to those both for or against the war. It is also midway thru the last month of the fiscal year. It is after the summer and holiday recesses. And it isn't close enough to Christmas to ruin anyone's festive moods. Finally, I would propose that this time we crash both switchboards to see if it can be done.

My personal issue call will be to get the Fairtax moving instead of sitting on the shelf in the House Ways and Means Committee under Charlie Rangels thumb. It would be awesome to see the same type of roar again.

But, I don't personally have the resources to reach and sell it (a single issue) to the nation at large. If, on the 12th of September, the news tells me that the switchboard crashed simply because the people roared over a thousand different issues then I will still consider the experiment a success.

But, curiosity compels me to ask: What issue will you call for?

Monday, July 02, 2007

More Justice For All?

Bush commutes Libby prison sentence. Thus spake the Almighty Press. Well, y'all know this isn't going to set well with Democrats right? In fact according to the AP story
"As Independence Day nears, we are reminded that one of the principles our forefathers fought for was equal justice under the law. This commutation completely tramples on that principle," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said through a spokesman.

Somehow I think we all knew that he, and others, would weigh in. Bloomberg notes:
Bush's decision was denounced by Democrats. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who had demanded that Bush promise not to pardon Libby, called the commutation ``disgraceful'' and said, ``History will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own vice president's chief of staff.''

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of Illinois said Bush's action cements his legacy as one of ``cynicism and division'' that ``placed itself and its ideology above the law.''

I have to say that I support GWBush in general because he is the President. I also have to say that my support is in the form of loyal opposition more and more. Today added to that list.

I'm kind of in a conundrum. I despise criminals with the same intensity that the Orkin man feels for cockroaches. I break crime into three broad categories. Those that involve violence either as an act or as a result, those that don't, and those that involve national security. Of course the violent felons should be locked away forever. Of course any crime that results in death (even speeding or dui) should result in a death sentence. And of course, I recognise that the power to pardon or commuteis absolute and without question. So in this case I have to subordinate my opinion in favor of reality. At least this President isn't (so far) as prolific as some when it comes to exercising this privilege.

By commuting the sentence, he signals both parties that he is loyal to his people for better or worse. That in and of itself is honorable. So we have a case of someone doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. Sounds like politics as usual huh?

The reality is that the US Criminal Justice system, at the Federal level, needs a series of modifications to bring it into the twenty-first century. Since the Democrats are in power, it isn't realistic to propose the more "radical" of them. But, here are some steps along the way that would come closer to the phrase "and justice for all". If the democrats work toward these, thier ultimate reward might be the favor of the McUSA family come the next round of elections.

First: All guilty verdicts involving violence or national security must result in long incarcerations. Non-violent crimes should not result in incarceration. This partially feeds the "liberal" desire for rehabilitation as well as the "right wing" desire for retribution.

Second: No federal conviction receives parole in any form save pardon or commutation by the President.

Third: Eliminate any and all "Club Fed" institutions unless they are set aside for the mentally ill. Prisoners in thier right minds whether they were drug runners, congressional aides, staffers, cops, etc are all housed together.

Here is the most radical of the suggestions. Once the verdict is in, the presiding judge should draft a neutral executive summary. This summary should be given to a sentencing judge. Almost everyone agrees that "equal justice under the law" isn't a reality in todays United States. So, each case gets two judges. The presiding judge makes sure that the case proceeds according to law and procedure. He will ensure the jury is properly instructed. In short he will do as he always has except for sentencing.

The sentencing judge will receive a brief from the presiding judge which will be sanitized with regard to race, religion, gender, notoriety, national origin, age, etc etc. He will not know if he is sentencing a poor white female, an old black man, a rich Muslim sheik, or a crippled poor Mexican male. His sentence is based on the facts presented to him devoid of the prejudices we see so often. Think Paris Hilton, Sandy Berger, and Scooter Libby.

The bottom line is that in this country we have a standard of justice that isn't being met. It is more a matter of how much attorney you can afford, which old boy club you belong to, and who you know. I don't think justice will ever be truly blind, but maybe in the sentencing phase we can at least turn down the lights.

AP Story via Yahoo News