Thursday, 07/28/2016

It Is Certainly A Rich Pageant

There's the progress we have found...


July 28, 11:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

America never was America to me

Let America Be America Again:

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,

Langston Hughes.


July 28, 11:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Valid To All Intents And Purposes

The one sure mode to remand the States that rebelled against the Union to their autonomy was to give suffrage to the negro; and that autonomy will be complete, absolute, and unquestioned whenever the rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic shall be enjoyed in every State...

 - Congressman Edward de Veaux Morrell (R-PA) on "the negro question," April 4, 1904

On this date in 1868, Secretary of State William Seward certified the ratification of the 14th Amendment to our Constitution.  Naturally Democrats and Confederate Apologists and Jim Crowers still kept trying to destroy equal protection, as well as the 15th's suffrage guarantee.

Then the roles switched.  Now the Party of Lincoln and Seward undermines these rights whilst attacking immigrants, women, and non-cis-het Americans.  Honestly, I'm surprised Bill O and Donald T haven't tried suggesting there's no such thing as the 14th.


July 28, 10:18 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

None Dare Call It Treason, Because It's Not

Trump's "joke" asking for Russia's hacking help wasn't funny, and it really wasn't treason or anything other than being in poor taste and not something any truly sensible or responsible politician should ever say.  But many people forget there was an actual, traitorous presidential candidate in our great Republic's history: John C Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats.

Dude was secesh, and placed 2nd in the Electoral College to Ole Uncle Abe.  He was then elected Senator by the Kentucky Leg, but having taking up the musket against his government, was indicted for treason, then declared a traitor and kicked out of the Senate on December 4, 1861:

Mr. Chandler submitted the following resolution for consideration:

Resolved, That John C. Breckinridge be, and he hereby is, expelled from the Senate.

The Senate proceeded, by unanimous consent, to consider the resolution; and the same having been amended, on the motion of Mr. Trumbull, to read as follows:

Whereas John C. Breckinridge, a member of this body from the State of Kentucky, has joined the enemies of his country, and is now in arms against the government he had sworn to support: Therefore--

Resolved, That said John C. Breckinridge, the traitor, be, and he hereby is, expelled from the Senate.

On the question to agree to the resolution as amended,

  • It was determined in the affirmative,
  • Yeas ... 37
  • Nays ... 00

On motion by Mr. Trumbull,

The yeas and nays being desired by one-fifth of the senators present,

Those who voted in the affirmative are,

Messrs. Anthony, Browning, Carlile, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, Cowan, Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan, Harris, Howe, Kennedy, King, Lane, of Indiana, Lane, of Kansas, Latham, McDougall, Morrill, Nesmith, Pomeroy, Rice, Sherman, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Thomson, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, Wilmot, Wilson.

So the resolution as amended was agreed to--two-thirds of the senators present having voted in the affirmative.

Sadly, Donald T and Bill O forget the motivation behind Breckinridge's treason.  Hint: it wasn't because slaves were treated so great that we didn't need the 13th or 14th Amendments.


July 28, 6:32 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1)

Can You Tell Me How To Get Axed On Sesame Street?

I've been alive just a smidge longer than Sesame Street. I do not like change in my beloved neighborhood, especially when it involves losing characters who have taught me so much for over 40 years.  I just hope Big Bird doesn't really move to a new habitat with that Alexander Hamilton guy...


July 28, 2:41 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)


Obama rally in PDX, May 18, 2008.


July 28, 12:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 07/27/2016

I am only human; I am weak.

I'm saying something really deep.


July 27, 11:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


Wisdom (на русском):

   "O my children, take care," said the beldame,
    "Attend to these counsels of mine:
Get not tipsy! for danger is seldom
   Remote from the goblet of wine."

"With thee in his company, no man
Can err," said our wag with a wink;
"But come, thou good-natured old woman,
There's a drop in the goblet -- and drink!"

She frowned -- but her scruples soon twisting,
   Consented: -- and smilingly said:
   "So polite -- there's indeed no resisting,
   For Wisdom was never ill-bred."

She drank but continued her teaching:
   "Let the wise from indulgence refrain;"
And never gave over her preaching,
   But to say, "Fill the goblet again."

Denis Davydov.


July 27, 11:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Party Of Sedition And Slavery

Ole Uncle Abe would be so proud:

But please, vote for Jill Stein because Hillary isn't liberal enough.  Or Gary Johnson because guns.


July 27, 10:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Parenting: We're Doing It Wrong

Wonder if there's a lot of money in "off-grid" whoring?  Because I would totally blog our experience if people will donate for that sort of thing.


July 27, 10:12 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

When I'm out walking

I just might stop to check you out.


July 27, 8:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

And I Really Miss Watching The A-Team

So I was reading the Grosse Pointe News from 1983, as one does, and saw 2 ads that made me chuckle.  This:

Then I almost didn't notice this one:

All of a sudden, I feel quite old.


July 27, 7:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Department Of Foreign Affairs

Secretary Clinton's old job was created on this date in 1789:

[T]here shall be an Executive department, to be denominated the department of foreign Affairs: and that there shall be a principal Officer therein, to be called the Secretary for the department of foreign Affairs, who shall perform and execute such duties as shall from time to time be enjoined on, or intrusted to him by the President of the United States, agreeable to the Constitution, relative to correspondences, commissions, or instructions to, or with public Ministers or Consuls from the United States, or to negociations with public Ministers from foreign States or princes, or to Memorials or other applications from foreign public Ministers, or other foreigners, or to such other Matters respecting foreign Affairs, as the President of the United States shall assign to the said department

Yet merely a month later the House, followed by the Senate several days after that, debated another bit of legislation dealing with how exactly to transmit and publish new laws was passed.  There doesn't appear to be any controversy surrounding the bill, but it was referred to an ad hoc committee for a few days in the Senate.  Washington signed the bill into law on September 15, not only establishing the new protocol but also changing the department's name from "Foreign Affairs" to "State."

Why the hell did they need to change the name?  It certainly makes sense: what was originally supposed to deal with foreign relations had some new internal responsibilities (later assigned elsewhere) added to its workload, thus the original name wouldn't really be so fitting.  

The department still handles domestic things like certifying amendments to the Constitution and such, so it isn't just dealing with issues between sovereign states but also within the United States.  It's a good name.

I have always found it interesting how much the First Congress had to feel its way through all the bootstrapping.  They realized there was more stuff to be done, so quickly made adjustments for an existing department to take on an expanding role.  Congress did so all while organizing other Executive departments, debating Madison's proposal that became something called the Bill of Rights, figuring out relations with Native Americans, arguing about compensation for elected officials, and tackling mundane things like establishing the post office and oversight of lighthouses.  It was a brave new world...


PS--SecState used to be a common stepping stone to the Presidency before the Civil War. Not so much in the modern epoch.  Maybe President Clinton start a new trend.

July 27, 6:35 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

We carry your gun deep within our hearts

For no better reason than our lives have no meaning, and we want to be on television.


July 27, 4:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I could walk on water

Apropos of something, I've actually started using LinkedIn for realz.  If you give me money, I'll teach your network to speak seven languages in seven days...


July 27, 3:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fun At The Compound

Now I know exactly how wasteful an old air-conditioner really is.


July 27, 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Keep Revolution Alive

I'll just say this to #BernieOrBusters: if you want the revolution to continue, you need to put more skin in the game than booing or walking out of the DNC.  Go home, get involved in your local party committees (Democratic or otherwise). Actually do shit for the Republic.

Then you can have a Fart In.


PS--I supported Kucinich in '08, then worked my ass off to get Obama elected even in the wake of my great disappointment.  After that, I went to demonstrate with Code Pink at his inauguration, constructively criticized his approach to healthcare reform, and engaged in other activities to try effecting change.  Not the only way to do it, of course, but people might consider what Gandhi said about how scrupulous a satyagrahi must be before trying to undermine the existing order.

July 27, 12:22 PM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 07/26/2016

I do not see a hostile, empty world.

I see the radiant body where man has taken his first steps into a frontier that will never end...


July 26, 11:26 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Yes, We Could

Good Bones:

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

Maggie Smith.


July 26, 10:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Such A Sore Loser

Over at Orange Satan:

Bernie Sanders just stood up and asked that all votes be awarded to Hillary. A truly classy and touching move.

And five thousand throats just called for a second. The ayes have it!

It's so upsetting how he's just undermined the Dems and handed the election to Trump...


July 26, 7:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, 07/25/2016

The Great G

I guess Harnoncourt makes a good point that there's no "proper" finale...


July 25, 11:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Here's A Prayer For You, Good Ole STC


Stop, Christian passer-by!—Stop, child of God,
And read with gentle breast. Beneath this sod
A poet lies, or that which once seemed he.
O, lift one thought in prayer for S. T. C.;
That he who many a year with toil of breath
Found death in life, may here find life in death!
Mercy for praise—to be forgiven for fame
He asked, and hoped, through Christ. Do thou the same!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


July 25, 10:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hard To Compromise With People Who Refuse To Compromise

Somehow it seems germane today that mere days after the disastrous Battle of Bull Run in 1861, the US Senate voted 30-5 in favor of this statement of war principles:

Resolved, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the disunionists of the southern States now in revolt against the constitutional government and in arms around the capital; that in this national emergency Congress, banishing all feeling of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not prosecuted upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of these States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in pursuance thereof, and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease.

The House had overwhelmingly passed a very similar resolution on July 22.  Not exact, but close enough for gummint work.  President Andrew Johnson referred to both versions in his proclamation of April 2, 1866:

[W]hereas these resolutions, though not joint or concurrent in form, are substantially identical, and as such may be regarded as having expressed the sense of Congress upon the subject to which they relate;

And whereas, by my proclamation of the thirteenth day of June last, the insurrection in the State of Tennessee was declared to have been suppressed, the authority of the United States therein to bo undisputed, and such United States officers as had been duly commissioned to be in the undisputed exercise of their official functions;And whereas there now exists no organized armed resistance of misguided citizens or others

to the authority of the United States in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida, and the laws can be sustained and enforced therein by the proper civil authority, State or Federal, and the people of the said States are well and loyally disposed, and have conformed or will conform in their legislation to the condition of affairs growing out of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting slavery within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States...

Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the insurrection which heretofore existed in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida is at an end, and is henceforth to be so regarded. 

Well, good ole King Andy elided a couple of things.  The resolutions were passed in large part out of fear in the war's early days when the Union wasn't faring well and needed to make sure border states didn't bolt for the CSA.  But attitudes can change over time:

[The resolutions] voiced at the time the public opinion of the country, and almost the unanimous opinion of the Republican party. President Lincoln represented this opinion, and in a conservative spirit he attempted at first to conduct the war without inter- fering with slavery, on the assumption that the status of the states and their relation to the Union had not changed. 

But the war made all the difference in the world. The events of but a few short months of war wrought a decided change in the purpose and temper of Congress and the country. It was seen that slavery was a source of strength to the Rebellion. Conservative Union men were being rapidly and radically convinced that if the national government did not interfere with slavery, slavery would seriously interfere with the national government and the success of its arms. This change in policy and purpose is indicated by the fact that when the Thirty-seventh Congress came together again in its regular session in December, 1861, and an attempt was made to reaffirm the Crittenden resolution which had received such universal approval but a few months before, it was decisively rejected.

Indeed, the House laid the resolution to reaffirm said principles upon the table by Stevens' motion on December 4, and another in the same vein was similarly dealt with the following day through a motion made by Owen Lovejoy, brother of martyred abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy.

I bring that up only to show that the position of the Congress and the President had evolved fairly quickly once it was clear the war wasn't going to be quick and the prodigal South wouldn't be coming back to the family any time soon.  Certainly Lincoln saw that undermining slavery would undermine the rebellion, and when the House had a chance to reaffirm that the destruction of slavery wasn't a goal of the war--a purely political move--it failed to do so.

While Johnson made a nod to the 13th Amendment, he was still a white supremacist and a lot of stuff was going down in April that he and the South didn't like.  Congress was repassing the Civil Rights Act that the President had rejected in '65, and overriding his subsequent veto, plus a compromise was introduced that ultimately would become the 14th Amendment.  And that, of course, the Rebs weren't going to support--Johnson discouraged them to, not that they needed his advice--so Congress was spurred to pass the Reconstruction Acts and implement a Radical Republican vision of how to readmit Southern States.

Southern Unionist/War Democrat Johnson was just as counterproductive as the traitors themselves.  In an alternate history, he might've signed the Civil Rights Act first time around, and the Radical Reconstruction would not have come to fruition and the 14th Amendment never would have been deemed necessary.

Anyway, from the North's perspective (not the South's, natch), the war wasn't about slavery at the beginning.  But every time they tried to meet the pro-slavery folks halfway, or 3/5s of the way, their opponents weren't satisfied, so fairly quickly the war did become a fight against slavery.  

The Union couldn't be a house divided, and the Rebels forced the question.  Then lost.

I think some people need a reminder.


July 25, 9:29 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, 07/24/2016

Splashdown! Apollo has splashdown.

Hornet, copy. Understand splashdown.


July 24, 11:38 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

I want to fake my death on Facebook. I want a pony.


I want Rattawut Lapcharoensap to write my biography.
I want him to come to my apartment when my boyfriend’s
not home. I want to make him coffee. I know that he
will want to tape record all of our sessions, and
after I die I want these tapes catalogued and archived
in the temperature controlled basement of an ivy league
university library. Additionally, I would like
my biography to have a neon purple dust jacket and
I would like Nancy Milford to grant us permission
to call the book Zelda even though there is already
a book called Zelda because it is about the life of Zelda
Fitzgerald. Maybe because it is just one word and
that word is a name we won’t need permission; I’m
not a lawyer. Also: I would like Martin Scorsese to direct
the movie based on the book based on my real life.

Leigh Stein,


July 24, 10:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 07/21/2016

Ascent, Descent

July 21 was busy for NASA: Apollo 11 went up, Liberty Bell went up and down, and the Shuttle program ended.


July 21, 11:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)