Wednesday, November 16, 2016

No Regulation without Representation

Included in the foundational document of our great nation -- the Declaration of Independence -- is a long list of grievances which provided the reasons on which the Continental Congress based its declaration that,

"these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do."

Midway through that list of grievances is the following:

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance."

Were the great men who affixed their signatures to that document -- mutually pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor -- to see the huge and onerous regulatory apparatus that today sends hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance, they would no doubt exclaim in unanimous exasperation something along the lines of:

"We thought we won the war!  Nothing has changed!  In fact, things are much worse than under King George!"  

Or words to that effect.  The Colonel imagines the Founders would use far more colorful and impactful language than his meager attempt at channeling -- as was their genius.  

No doubt those great men would be apoplectically appalled at the overbearing governmental (Federal, state, and local) bureaucracy that controls every aspect of the American citizens' lives today, no matter how well-meaning the bureaucrats' intentions.  

Bureaucracies nearly always begin with the best of intentions -- to save us from ourselves.  Bureaucrats nearly always end up expanding their power and justifying their existence with more and more regulations.  Bureaucracies become principalities in and of themselves, answerable to none but themselves.

Our elected representatives, at all levels of government, create and empower these bureaucratic principalities, and then allow them to run roughshod over the rights of those they are elected to represent -- in effect, abdicating their responsibilities and betraying their oaths. 

Were the great men who affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence -- mutually pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor -- to speak to our situation today, the Colonel fervently believes they would say,

"No regulation without representation!

Those great classical liberals (not to be confused with today's statist socialist progressives we call "liberals"), upon seeing the state of regulatory affairs in their United States, would no doubt tear the powdered wigs from their heads and wail in mourning, reprising Charlton Heston's final line in the cinematic classic "Planet of the Apes,"  

"You maniacs!  You blew it up!  Damn them!  Damn them all to hell!"

Or words to that effect.  The Founders were far more eloquent and far less profane than 20th Century movie script writers.

It should be pointed out at this juncture that objective historians note that the standard of living and range of rights enjoyed by mid 18th Century Colonial Americans were, in fact, far higher and more expansive than those of the average Londoner at the time.  Current demographers and social scientists make a similar claim about the standard of living and rights of American citizens vis-à-vis the rest of the world.  But one should never confuse the cleanliness and security of one's cage with the blessings of freedom and self-determination.

It was personal and commercial freedom, relatively unfettered by bureaucratic regulation, that catapulted a colonial back-water to hemispheric dominance in little more than four generations and to world power in little more than four more generations. 

For the last four generations, the American Republic has stagnated under a blanket of bureaucratic control that keeps it warm and safe, but stifles the growth that comes only from rising to challenges. 

Truly making America great again will mean sacrificing the Republic's social security (not be confused with the agency of the same name) in the short term, for the sake of long-term growth-inducing challenge.  Therefore, the first action of the new Presidential Administration and the Congress, must be, not just token regulatory reform, but full-scale bureaucratic house-cleaning.  Strip it down to the bare bones.  Eliminate any regulation, and its parent bureaucracy, that sacrifices individual and commercial freedom at the alter of transitory security. 

Then, watch the American Republic soar.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Misunderestimation

Allow the Colonel to make this crystal clear right up front:

When he voted in the Republican Primary, Donald Trump was the Colonel's 17th choice.

That's right -- the Colonel would have voted for Gilmore over Trump. To be brutally honest, the Colonel has never liked Trump.  Never have been a big fan of ostentatious narcissistic bullies.

And, the Colonel will freely admit that he way underestimated Donald Trump's ability to mount a winning presidential campaign -- even against the most flawed Democrat Party candidate in history.  The Colonel, as many of you who frequently waste precious rod and cone time perusing posts hereon will remember, early on endorsed a Rubio/Kasich ticket that he believed had the best chance of both defeating Hillary Clinton (in the Electoral College count) and effectively governing over the next four years.  And, after watching Trump's performance in the "debates" (a term defined, in the current American lexicon, with less firmament than a newborn's diaper deposit), and his inability to resist spending political capital on defending himself against attacks designed to do just that, the Colonel was convinced the polls were all wrong.  The Colonel didn't believe that the race was going to be any closer than about 15 points.  

The Colonel was wr...

The Colonel was wwrr...

The Colonel was wroooo...

The Colonel misunderestimated.  (It's a word -- just ask W)

Look, the Colonel gets it.  The Donald tapped into a seething reservoir of discontent.  He said what 60+ million American citizens wanted to hear. But, that doesn't make the Colonel trust him any more than he trusts a threatened copperhead not to strike.

And, while the Colonel is decidedly not a practitioner of the unmanly art of political correctness, he is uncomfortable with Trump's rhetoric.  Just as uncomfortable as he is with the divisive rhetoric, and tenuous grasp on the truth, of the current temp help in the Oval Office.

For the Colonel's many friends who are currently toasting with tankards of Trumpade: he hopes you are right.  He hopes President Trump will restore Constitutional governance to our great Republic.

But, the Colonel has learned from painful experience that "hope" is not an effective strategy, nor even a satisfactory operational or tactical course of action.  The Colonel fervently believes that the future greatness of our Republic lies not in the hands of an extra-Constitutional strongman, but in a chief executive whose every action is bound by a strict interpretation of the Constitution to which he or she solemnly swears his allegiance and defense.  The Colonel is not ready to place complete trust in Trump's willingness to abide strictly by the Constitution while he endeavors to deliver on his promise to "make America great again;" whatever that means.  The Colonel fears that Trump's narcissism and the counsel of sycophants will win out over strict Constitutional governance just as surely as it has in Obama's case.

But, we could have been in far more worse hands come January.  A Hillary Clinton presidency, with certain attendant corruption the likes of which have not been seen since the Grant administration, was a prospect too horrible to entertain, even for a plurality of the voters in several states that went for Obama two elections in a row.   

For that reason, he will admit, the Colonel was a sniff short of giddy as the elections results trickled in last Tuesday.  He may not have been on the Trump Train, but the Colonel was for dang sure not looking forward to the certain full-scale assault on the Constitution that would have continued under a Clinton administration.  

Bottom line:  The Colonel's actual declaration of the Tallahatchie Republic is on hold.  But, Trump had better watch his... actions. 


 



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Morning with Martha


It may seem that it was way too early to laugh, but the Colonel and his lady, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda, and her twin sister, the courageous and skilled Miss Linda, couldn't help it.  

It also may seem that making the Colonel's recently-widowed mother-in-law the object of our collective mirth was the absolute height (depth?) of inappropriate behavior.  You would probably be right.  But, don't judge just yet.

See, the Colonel's father-in-law, the man whose every waking moment for the past decade has been consumed with providing constant care to his bride of over six decades, was relieved of that duty by his heavenly commanding officer and called to his eternal home earlier this week.  The man had more than fought the good fight; lapped the field in the good race; pulled...  you get the picture.

He more than rated his relief.

And, as he fought for his last breaths, the Colonel leaned in close and made him a solemn promise.  He could go.  The Colonel would take over.  Miss Martha would be well taken care of. 

This morning, the strong and serene Miss Martha had an appointment with an oral surgeon.  Not. A. Problem.

The Colonel has this.  Besides, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda and her sister, the highly experienced registered nurse were on hand to provide support as required.

Reveille went off as planned.  That was the last thing that went off as planned.

Shortly after the Colonel marched down the passageway banging on hatches and announcing the end of the nightly rest period, he retired back to his rack to wait for the women to clear the shower facilities.  

The Colonel awoke an hour later to a strangely quiet house.  

Reveille had failed to launch.  The rocket was not only still on the pad, it was cold and empty of fuel.  No venting of gasses.  No countdown.  No...  you get the picture.
  
The Colonel's next actions were reminiscent of those of the first class porter on the Titanic post berg-bump. Only with a little more alacrity and alarm.  

Bedroom doors in the house have now been sufficiently tested for impact resiliency.

Being now an hour behind his carefully choreographed operational plan of the day, the Colonel began closely supervising every aspect of three women's morning preparation.

That went about as well as you would expect.  The Colonel retired once again to his rack to wait out the firestorm of indignation his efforts had ignited.

When the smoke cleared, the Colonel ventured out to see how well preparations had progressed in his forced absence.  He arrived in the kitchen just in time to hear the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda ask her sister, the highly experienced registered nurse,

"You didn't give her the whole pill, did you?"

"Yes," the highly experienced registered nurse answered stiffly.  "Why do you ask?"

"Read the directions on the bottle," the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda said, her voice rising a half octave with each word.

The Colonel saw a situation developing and inserted himself into said situation for the purpose of situation dissipation.  "What's the problem here, ladies?"

"Oh, no," the Colonel's sister-in-law, the highly experienced nurse, exclaimed.  "The bottle says give her half a pill!"

"Half a pill of what?," the Colonel inquired.  

"Valium!"  Both women exclaimed together.

"Valium," the Colonel asked. "Valium, Valium?"

The Colonel looked over at his mother-in-law.  A sleepy smile looked back.

"Let me get this straight," the Colonel attempted to clarify.  "You gave her a whole Valium when the prescription said to just give her half a Valium?"

"Yes!," said the twins.

"Yesh," said the twins' mother.

Needless to say, things were going widely astray of the Colonel's carefully choreographed plan, and they weren't going to get rounded up anytime soon.

The next forty-five minutes, during which the Colonel and his "helpers" got the strong and serene Miss Martha into the car, drove a half-hour to the oral surgeon's office, got the strong and very serene Miss Martha out of the car and into a wheel chair, wheeled the strong and serenely zonked-out Miss Martha into the reception area and then down to the operating room and into the operating chair, was nearly a scene-by-scene recreation of the cinematic tour de force "Weekend at Bernie's."  

The Colonel would like to report that unlike the scenes in which Bernie's head constantly hit hard objects, the strongly drugged and very serene Miss Martha suffered no such indignities.

The Colonel would like to report that, but he can't.

At one point the Colonel attempted a "dead-man lift" he had practiced countless times during his infantry days.  Unfortunately, his infantry days were a couple of decades ago and his "dead-man lift" was a bit out of practice.  

The Colonel dropped his mother-in-law.   

He'll rot in hell, he knows.

The Colonel's prayers this evening will include sincere apologies to his hero father-in-law.  Somehow, he thinks that, just maybe, the great man was watching with a smile on his face.  Of course, the Colonel knows today's antics will be added to the long list of such episodes his father-in-law took such great joy in retelling about his jarhead son-in-law.  

Fair enough.
   

The Colonel wishes to assure his meager readership that no mothers-in-law were actually harmed in the making of this blog.