Turnabout

He’d always hated traveling, but sometimes it was unavoidable. He wasn’t quite certain how he’d managed to be headed away from home this time but chalked it up to getting older. His memory wasn’t quite what it had been–everything about him had diminished with age. Then again, it might have been that bottle of Jack Daniels he vaguely recalled consuming the night before.

Traveling in America was bad enough with the TSA security screening, but many other countries were worse. They did all of the TSA things, and then insisted on conducting interviews with each. and. every. traveler.

So here he was, standing in line, with some old guy (well, older than him, anyway) behind a podium, waiting to be interviewed. The line snaked forward until it was his turn. The old man looked down a list.

“Ah! Here we go. Would you please state your occupation?”

“Damned bureaucrats,” he thought, “always poking their nose into other people’s business.” Then he said, “I work for Homeland Defense, protecting America’s borders.”

“Ahhh,” commented the man behind the podium. “What’s your position on immigrants?”

“If they are legal, educated, employable, and speak English, I can tolerate them,” he replied, surprised that he was so blatantly candid.

“And if they’re seeking refuge from dangers?”

He looked for an ID card or at least a badge so he could complain about this jerk, but all he had was one of those stupid stick on “Hello my name is” labels with Rock written in sharpie. He realized that the man was waiting.

“If they don’t have a visa, they’re not allowed in. That’s the law.”

“What about natural born citizens?” the man behind the podium asked.

“No problem.” he replied, “If they have proof of citizenship, we let them right in.”

“But not the refugees?”

“Right. The law is the law.” He smiled inside, proud of himself for sticking to his values.

“Tell me,” the man behind the podium asked, “were you born here?”

“No,” he replied, irritated at Rock’s stupidity. “I was born in America.”

“So you’re not a natural-born citizen here” Rock replied.

“Of course not” he responded. This guy was a real idiot. The man behind the podium put his finger on a button that was visible on the top of the podium. “Since you are not a citizen here and since you have not completed the immigration process, I cannot let you enter.”

“Where am I going?”

“Some call it limbo, others call it purgatory. You can call it whatever you like.

“Once you complete your application and submit it through proper channels, we should get around to it in an eon or so. Next!” he pushed the button. A trap door opened and the man began to fall.

I Can’t Do It

I have kept my stylus to myself lately, because I just cannot deal with your so-called systems of government.

Some rulers are interesting, such as Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great who conquered everything in site before he died at age 32. Some are bizarre, such as Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (who hated being called Caligula) or China’s Jin Hui Di. Others were just evil, like Stalin and Hitler. Even with all their faults (maybe because of them) these leaders were, at least, interesting.

On the other hand, the current cast of the play, “Modern Earth and It’s Leaders” is just plain bad theater. It’s boring and the characters are all one-dimensional. I’m not so fond of the script, either, and recommend it be completely rewritten.

Please, for the sake of posterity, either rewrite the tale and recast the entire troupe or close the show. Farce does not work with these players, all of whom take themselves far too seriously for comedy. For the record, I’m not fond of tragedies.

I cannot write about something if it is not at least minimally interesting.

 

Cowards

In my millennia, I have observed many cowards. Every one of them disgusts me.

I can understand the man, woman, or child who hides from a threat. That is survival. To confront every challenge without having the ability to prevail is foolish. Even a strong army retreats for strategic advantage. The failure to do so is “Winning the battle, but losing the war.”

I cannot contain my disgust with those who enter a school or place of worship in order to do harm. It’s a one-sided interaction. The aggressor is heavily armed, armored, and has the advantage of surprise. The victims are unprepared, innocent, intending to learn or worship–not to engage in war.

The perpetrators have no honor and certainly no courage.

If, when they arrived at their target, they were met with one–even one–other who was equally armed and equally prepared, they would run away because they would know they would lose.

Unfortunately, the media acknowledges their desire for publicity, showing their names and faces on the news. Their friends, family, and anyone else available are interviewed on camera. All of these images and sounds are played and replayed until the next big news story comes along.

For hundreds, indeed, thousands of years, I’ve advised people to see these losers for what they are. They are bullies–nothing more. If you want to meet one, just shovel out the stables. They will be what stinks the worst.

Mob Mentality

There is a phenomenon in which people who normally know and adhere to their values change when in the company of an emotionally charged group. Over the past millennia, I’ve seen it far too often. Call it “peer pressure”, “groupthink”, or “mob mentality”, it doesn’t matter.

Since most people in your time are not scholars of history, I won’t use an obscure example, but one with which most of you are familiar. Nevertheless, the same interaction has recurred time after time–the living do not learn, so it is up to those of us who are gone to explain.

In an ancient land with no BBC, no cable, no wi-fi, a man approaches a village. A murmur passes through the crowd. “This is the ONE that we’ve been waiting for! He is the one!”

The people run together and a crowd forms and welcomes him. “Hail to our hope! Hail to our future! Hail to military victory!”

But it is not Alexander, or Caesar, Hitler, or Stalin. It is an itinerant teacher who has asked for nothing; who has accepted only a place to sleep and a shared meal.

As he approaches, the people line the streets.

“You are what we’ve prayed for! You are the best–Holy, Holy, Holy (holiest, the third order of holy). We wave palms over your head! We lay our cloaks for you to walk over. You are THE one.”

A few days later, in the middle of the night, a kangaroo court is held to condemn the same man to death. The mob, this time, cries “Crucify him.”

Was it the same people?

Think.

 

 

Fact and Fiction

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

John Adams

If something is a reasonably accurate representation of reality, it is a fact. As humans, we’re incapable of observing, remembering, and then stating any event with 100 percent accuracy, even though most people try.

However, if you tell a lie, that’s what it is.

If you repeatedly tell a lie, it remains a lie.

If you get a million people to repeat your lie, it still remains a lie. It does not become a fact.

You may be able to kiss a frog and have it become a prince, but a lie is a lie is a lie.

It’s not a difficult concept, so why do so many people find it impossible to understand?

LATEST FAKE GNUS!!!!

In a surprise move today, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling with wide-reaching impact on the future selection of America’s leaders.

A number of issues have challenged the judicial system all the way to the nation’s highest court. These have included the ongoing allegation of voter fraud, disenfranchisement of minority groups, and Gerrymandering–all to ensure the continual reelection of incumbents.

The role of the Electoral College raises concerns, especially when the winner of the popular vote is repeatedly not the candidate who is elected. There are the credible—and frequent—charges that foreign governments interfere with US elections.

The Court ruled that selection for high office—cabinet members, ambassadors, the President and the Vice President—will from this point on be determined by polls, rather than elections. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., stated that it was his pleasure to present the courts judgement with a ruling and an opinion that were both unanimous, with no hint of dissent.

Our decision is based on the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We have determined that equal protection under the law is impossible when each of the individual states determines voting processes and procedures independently, delegating some of said authority to subordinate organizations, including counties, parishes, and political parties.

We anticipate that intelligent citizens have questions, which we will attempt to answer:

“Should this matter not be resolved by Congress?” The US Congress has shown the inability to address legal issues more complex than renaming post offices. Its failure to act in any meaningful manner since 1941 has demonstrated the de facto and ultimately the du jour abdication of Congressional authority. Given that members of Congress exercise neither authority nor accept responsibility, they will continue to be elected.

“What about the President? Doesn’t he have a voice?” The court acknowledges that the President does indeed have a voice, as well as a Twitter account, a Press Secretary, a Communications Director, and Fox News.

 “Then why not let the President address this issue by Executive Order?” Based on previous Executive Orders exceeding Constitutional authority, the Court deemed that this was inappropriate.

 “What about the Vice-President?” The powers of the Vice President cannot exceed those of a sitting President.

“Then why does the Judiciary have the authority to make this ruling?” The precedent has been well established that the other branches of government routinely defer decisions, particularly difficult decisions, to the Judiciary. The Court is merely adhering to said precedent.

How Dare He!

Andrew McCabe was once a member of the White House Theatrical Troupe–so called because at any given moment many top officials work in an “acting” capacity. McCabe was acting Director of the FBI (and, I might add, never nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy, or even a Tony).

Unfortunately, McCabe neglected to learn the rules. According to the rules, 96.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot. In most cases they are unnecessary because “people tell me” or “I’ve heard” is sufficient to substantiate a statement.  The rules further state that facts are, fluid, dynamic and always changing. And most importantly, anything with which you disagree is “fake news.”

McCabe, instead, looked to, of all places, the United States Constitution for guidance. In this case, he questioned whether the 25th Amendment should be considered. Using the Constitution is really hitting below the belt. It’s a good thing he got fired before he could invoke any other sections or amendments to the Constitution.

Who does he think he is, anyway–James Madison?