Saturday, May 29, 2010

Salute To Veterans Air Show

I took my family to the Salute to Veterans Air Show at the Columbia Regional Airport south of Columbia, Missouri this morning. It was already warm when we arrived at 10:30 am, and the parking was becoming less ample. After a short hike, we made it onto the tarmac, set our lawn chairs down, and went for even more of a stroll to gawk at the sleeping aircraft. We saw bi-planes of the Great War, magnificent fighters and bombers of WWII, and modern helicopters, fighters, and jumbo jets used for mid-air refuelling, reconnaisance, troop transport, etc. Among this menagerie of might and terror which keeps us free were the A-10, MH-53, P-51, B-25H, and P-38. Here are a few photos of the magnificent and terrifying instruments of death and freedom I took at the event:

After an impressive series of parachuting maneuvers by Canadian troops, an A-10C from Tuscon put on an exhibition of its flying capabilities, followed by an even more awe-inspiring F/A-18 Hornet...a very loud one.

One interesting moment that could have or should have been made even more interesting occurred during the A-10's show. A couple of leftovers from the 1960's went strolling through the large crowd of spectators wearing placards which read: "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"


The interestingness quotient was kept low by this author's restraining his profound urge to walk up to them to answer their question thusly: "People...who" and then saying, probably half-facetiously, "maybe," probably.
I don't know if anyone else even noticed them, all attention was fixed upon the skies.

Today, I pass along my feeble thanks to our airmen who very powerfully keep us free.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Imminent Eschatological Perturbances

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
-- William Butler Yeats

This was written in the aftermath of a war that was supposed to end all wars. That war, the false boom and the three-decade depression which followed--which in itself contained an epic and truly global conflagration--were all brought about by leftist Bolshevic communism in the east, a rightist national socialist Europe, and progressive utopianism in America.

Europe is about to fall into chaos yet again. The neo-nazi cancer is metastasizing in Germany, and the Red Bear has a giant Dragon as a sparring partner in the fight for global dominance against an America that is seen as shrivelling--cowering in progressive shame over the sins of individual liberty and a capitalist prosperity that has made her poorest the envy of the world.

Europe is begging Greece to abandon government-run healthcare and rampant deficit spending while Washington DC continues to churn out bailout after bailout after bailout. Behind the scenes, meanwhile, a framework for "fundamental transformation" is being built--merely for emergency purposes, of course. You know, just in case. But remember, we don't have to worry anymore because the recession is behind us now.

Back to normal, everybody. Go about your business, go about your fun. Just try not to be racist or argumentative. We are in a post-debate era.

Isn't that nice?

Now, if only we can find our Archduke Ferdinand before it's too late...

If only we can stand up....

Be ready.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Would you vote for a candidate for US Senate?

"What? What did you just say?"

Tell me you didn't just think that! Until the past year or so, there has never been a time when I questioned the idea of voting for candidates for the US Senate. What's weird about that? We vote for our state Senates and for our US House, why not vote for US Senators, too? So the question goes unanswered.

Until today (or these days). In anno domini 2010, The Constitution, in it's specifics and its intentions, has been revisited like never before across the fruited plain, o'er the mountains, through the prairies, and to the oceans white with foam. The cat was let out of the bag that was designed to restrain it a hundred years ago, but the people and the states are fixin' to renew the bulwarks that kept the cat there in the first place.

In order to do this, we must constantly be asking each other and ourselves a lot of different questions. The renewal movement of which I write is calling into question even some amendments to the Constitution. So, without further ado, today I'd like to start by asking you, good reader, this:

Should we repeal the Seventeenth Amendment?

This is the text of Amendment XVII ...

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies:
Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to
make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as
the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any
Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Before Amendment XVII, a US Senator was elected by his state legislature, as per Article I, Section 3: "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote."

Compare this with Article I, Section 2: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature." For the purposes of this discussion, this passage indicates that the representatives for the House are to be chosen by the People of each state.

As we can see, it was the intent that the Senate be the legislative body that represents the States while the House represents the People. This important distinction was made to help prevent the United States from degenerating into such hellish democracies as the framers were witnessing across the pond in Robespierrean France--where, to put it briefly, the majority wolves let the minority sheep have a say in what went on the menu.

In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified by 36 states, placing the election of Senators in the hands of the people (a 37th state subsequently ratified it) with Utah rejecting the amendment. Although a Reign of Terror has not necessarily occurred as a result, thanks in large part to other measures of republican security still in place in the Constitution, what we have now is a bicameral federal legislature that is elected wholly by the people of the union. Former Senator Zell Miller (GA), perhaps my favorite Democrat of the 20th-21st Centuries, said this upon retirement: "Direct elections of Senators … allowed Washington’s special interests to call the shots, whether it is filling judicial vacancies, passing laws, or issuing regulations."

What do you think? We know we are far from the representative republic the framers had intended; is the Seventeenth Amendment a significant obstacle to a renewal of that republic? Is the general government or the states better for placing the direct elections of US Senators in the hands of the general electorate? Or would it be better to repeal A. XVII?