Tonight I became a confirmed monarchist.—The imm…

Tonight I became a confirmed monarchist.—The immediate spark was a newspaper article about how Dubya is using the Office he was awarded by an illegal vote of the Supreme Court, to bring out a larger conservative voter turnout in the upcoming Congressional elections, than they got in 2000, so they can forward their fascistic agenda. Such behavior is nothing new in politics of course. But this time I just became hugely offended that our Presidency unites political, administrative, and symbolic functions, so the symbolic is often prostituted to the political. As a result the whole country is literally up for grabs—to the highest bidder, as we see in the many Campaign Financing scandals and Conflicts of Interest; but also to the ‘best’ slogan or soundbite, no matter how deceitful; law and justice be damned. Everything is at the mercy of the politicians, parties, “activists,” “lobbyists.” GOD SAVE US FROM THE POLITICIANS!

As I’ve pointed out here before, America currently doesn’t have a single highest office. Constitutionally speaking, since the three Branches of government are equal, so are their heads: the President of the United States (i.e., of the Executive Branch), the President of the Senate (i.e., the VP of the US, but more commonly in his/her stead the Senate Majority Leader), the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the United States. Arguably, each and every member of Congress and the Supreme Court, and not just their ‘heads,’ is also mostly equal. It can even be argued that the entire Federal Bench is equal, since lower Federal Courts are merely extensions, Constitutionally speaking, of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. And as we learned to our great offense in December 2000 more than ever before, not a single one of these Offices is exempt from “politics” or free from “politicians.”

Make no mistake, I remain a “liberal,” a civil libertarian, etc. etc. Also, coming from an Irish Catholic background, I am under no illusions about the shortcomings of the English/UK governmental system. But I now believe the United States needs a Monarch, more or less in the modern English style. And of course, the change would need to take place nonviolently.

(A liberal democratic Monarchist…what a concept! 🙂

Actually, I’d like an American Monarch to be a little more active than Queen Elizabeth II has been. She privately questioned the morality of Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies in the 1980s, but in the end she signed all the Acts of Parliament and executive acts, and apparently did nothing of substance about them, despite her constitutional duty “to advise and warn” the Prime Minister. But a U.S. Monarch needs to be more principled than that…even principled enough to be so without being “political.” It has to be understood by all that a U.S. Monarch’s job is to protect the nation, its resources, its law, and its needy…and to represent all of us regardless of our politics, religion, race, etc.

And of course, an American Sovereign will be hereditary, not elected…and trained for the job from birth.

Equally important, penultimate power—legislative, executive, and judicial—will be retained by elected “politicians” (directly or indirectly), but who are now clearly and openly so, and no longer pretending to represent all of us…because that’s not their job.

The English system is usually misrepresented in American civics discourse, and even, to be honest, in most UK politics. Thus most people think the Queen is a figurehead, even a puppet. But this is not the case, legally or constitutionally, and is not supposed to be; ultra-Tory critics claim the UK monarchy has been weakened by Elizabeth’s relative youth (age 26) when she became queen, and her unusual degree of deference to [I think it was?] Churchill. In addition, of course, she wasn’t necessarily raised for the role from birth, since her father only became king when his brother abdicated. But in fact, it is rightly said that the English monarch “possesses absolute power, as long as she agrees not to use it” (since the 1600s).* Of course, no ruler is absolute, because all depend, minimally, on the obedience of their functionaries, and realistically, also on the advice and support of their counselors and constituents. (*–I believe I read that quote in the Australian media in the runup to their Republic referendum a couple years ago…which the voters there rejected.)

An American Sovereign would have to be able to veto bad legislation or administration, at least temporarily, without “precipitating a constitutional crisis” as they usually put it in the British press. It would be hoped that he or she also could propose good legislative or administrative measures or ideas…in confidence to the Prime Minister. And s/he would be expected to not lose touch with persons not of his/her class, race, religion, ethnicity, etc., so that her/his actions, as much as possible, might reflect the interests of the nation as a whole, and not only of his/her class, race, etc. A Monarch of America must protect and enhance democracy, not sell it out.

I hope to expand on these ideas on a new website. But for now, the late Marc-Eric Ely-Chaitlin had some ideas I find very intriguing (as well as some others that, as you’ll see, are very quirky to himself—God be good to him). But may God save us and the whole nation from the politicians in all 3 Branches who exploit us instead of representing us. Stop the rape of America, and the world!

Copyright Reminder—Remember that under the new U…

Copyright Reminder—Remember that under the new U.S. copyright rules, all published material, including on the WWW, is presumed copyright the author unless otherwise indicated. Including the preceding joke. But if you’re a comedian or other humor professional offline, and pay me, I might let you use it…! 😉 Hey, intellectual property, babe! Plus, I really need the money….

To ‘get’ the following, you have to understand tha…

To ‘get’ the following, you have to understand that Braille is sometimes, if not always, read with both hands; and that, as more than one comedian has noted, many drive-up cash machines include Braille directions.

Bank of America recently announced Talking Cash Machines for the blind.

That way, I guess, they can keep one hand on the steering wheel!

Woodrow Wilson Reconsidered—I hate to speak ill …

Woodrow Wilson Reconsidered—I hate to speak ill of a fellow Democrat,* but “wars and rumors of war” recently in the Balkans and the Former British Mandate of Palestine make me question the fundamental wisdom of the ethnic state. Like the Father of Post-WW I “national self-determination,” I prefer to be an idealist. But a better ideal may in fact be the ‘generic’ territorial state guaranteeing full rights for all individuals and ethnic or religious groups. Because let’s face it, most of the Old World’s current national borders are sociologically ‘fuzzy,’ yet most still pretend to be mostly one single ‘people-group.’ Even with respect to the Northern Ireland situation, I’ve thought that if Gaelic-, Norman-, and Anglo-Irish Catholics throughout the Island were free to be themselves, socially, culturally, religiously, linguistically, across current national borders, maybe they wouldn’t feel it necessary to reunify the Island. But they’re not free in the North, objectively speaking.

It’s like labor-management relations: well-treated workers don’t feel the need to unionize: workers don’t make unions, employers do!!!

Of course, the perfect non-ethnic (or whatever) State doesn’t exist yet, not even the USA; and of course there’s the not small matter of the Native Americans. Multi-ethnic/non-ethnic states historically have tended to form either by conquest and empire, by voluntary federation, or by social/cultural assimilation, that is, by becoming in fact a single ‘people group.’ And they haven’t gone so well yet, but we seem to be improving. The European Union aims to transcend that region’s fuzzy borders, so it won’t matter anymore if Alsace-Lorraine, say, is technically part of Germany, France, divided, or whatever. This will also be aided, it is hoped, by the “Europe of the Regions” policies, to pay attention to ‘under-attended-to’ spots like, I dunno, Alsace-Lorraine, Brittany, Galicia, the Island of Ireland, etc. The idea, I think, in part is that if ‘peoples’ can retain their life and identity irrespective of political borders, and cooperate peaceably with other ‘peoples,’ that might make a better world than we have at present. Like in the USA, it doesn’t matter if an Irish-American lives in Chicago, or Massachusetts, or Marin County, California, or Mississippi, or Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania, or the Borough of Sussex, New Jersey; they can still be an Irish-American (mostly).

This doesn’t necessarily rule out having a State religion like most countries currently do, officially or unofficially–as long as individuals aren’t required to join it or directly support it, and are permitted to believe and organize belief as they choose.

Of course, the concept of “ethno-genesis” is quite complicated and I believe still not completely understood historically or with respect to our own time. But jeez, if every time a new group of people come to see themselves as a group, we have wars and conflicts and threats…. There has to be a better way! “Let a million flowers bloom”…in the one Greenhouse Earth!!! 😉

What’s equally needed is less will to dominate by groups or persons that would dominate such a polity. And some suggest non-domination requires nothing less than a religious conversion of some kind!….

(*–At least we’re allowed: Republicans say “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican” is the 11th Commandment!)

If, indeed, "She sells seashells down by the seash…

If, indeed, “She sells seashells down by the seashore”…her customers must be pretty stoopid! 🙂

Sabra and Shatila All Over Again?—What’s happeni…

Sabra and Shatila All Over Again?—What’s happening right now in Jenin and elsewhere in the Israeli Occupied Territories of Palestine…and Ariel Sharon’s involvement/leadership of it…sound eerily similar to the massacre almost exactly 20 years ago in two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. It’s even been recently alleged by eyewitnesses that Israeli troops, and not rebel Christian Phalangist forces alone, did the dirty work there; now it’s all Israeli soldiers. Did you know there’s a war crimes and genocide case in process against Sharon? Not if you rely on U.S. newsmedia! Enter “What happened in Sabra and Shatila” into a search engine, and read a little. As usual, there’s two sides (at least), but even the Israeli Government faulted Sharon in the aftermath of the 1982 massacre, and fired him from the Defense Minister’s post; now he’s running the whole show!

This is the the Sharon who sued CBS-TV News’ 60 Minutes, claiming they libelled him. The (U.S.) court concluded he was “libel-proof”: that is, he had no good name for CBS to damage!

My biggest problem is, these are refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila and Jenin. Aren’t they under the control of the UN High Commission for Refugees, international law, and all that?!! or shouldn’t they be? Logically, if an enemy can invade a refugee camp, what kind of “refuge” is it exactly!

Queen Mother’s Funeral—I didn’t think the half-m…

Queen Mother’s Funeral—I didn’t think the half-million people I saw on TV were just there because she was a celebrity, or they were given time off work, or whatever. Maybe there’s still some life in the idea of the Monarchy of Great Britain after all, in the minds and hearts of the Great British at least. (I write as a non-GB-person, just observing.) That the Crown represents the Nation, unites the Nation, even creates the Nation. What do we have here in America, just paper and politics? and less of both since 2000?

Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem—Gee, if I …

Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem—Gee, if I had any doubt about who’s got it right regarding Easter….

Balky Players are Defying the Bush Game Plan ?—S…

Balky Players are Defying the Bush Game Plan ?—So Bush is “irritated,” “bristling”…even Snippy. Welcome to world affairs, W.! The leaders of other countries, or would-be countries, aren’t always going to snap-to like the Supreme Court did! Or does he think he’s King of the World; sorry, that’s DiCaprio’s job! W. can be forgiven, actually. After all, America ceased to be a nation of laws when the SCOTUS installed him in the White House, with no legal or Constitutional basis or authority. If we’re not a nation of laws, then we’re a medieval monarchy…an Empire even, the Puritan Byzantium. So maybe he does think he’s King of the World! Of course, his foreign policy is nonexistent; no wonder nobody trusts the USA out there anymore. His (illegitimate) Administration’s position changes with each passing day.

Before he gets us nuked, he should bring back Madeleine Albright and George Mitchell to the State Department; Colin Powell obviously isn’t ready for the job, move him to back Defense and put Don Rumsfeld back out in the pasture where he found him. Albright and Mitchell are Democrats? Clinton Defense Secretary Bill Cohen was a Republican, OK? Arguably, foreign affairs is the single most inportant job of a national government, legitimate or otherwise (So why did almost half those voting in 2000 go for this yokel?!). We need only our best people there. Hell, even Bill Clinton as Secretary of State would do a better job!

Of course, we know who W. cares about: Oil is up now, isn’t it. The rest of us can go up in a mushroom cloud, like the one that hovered over Manhattan on 9/11.