The Constitution is 400 years old?

This week in domestic uproar:

Representative Sheila Jackson (D-TX) supposedly claimed that the Constitution was 400 years old.

Last time I checked, getting basic history facts wrong is the Tea Party’s job. So I was a bit surprised to see that a Democrat would miss something that simple. Let’s check it out:

Depending on your political affiliation, you may be quick to jump to some assumptions.

But as someone who has suffered through AP US History, I’m going to take a guess and say that maybe crazy right-wingers are misrepresenting what she said.

“…and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years, operating under a Constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what is not.”

400 years ago was approximately when Virginia was permanently settled, in 1607. British colonization, the foundation for America, began then. The Constitution was ratified in 1788.

I can see this as a case of ambiguity. “We” can define the geographical lineage of the USA, which is about 400 years. However, it can also describe the country under the Constitution.

I’m not an expert in grammar, but I’ll say that analyzing the sentence would actually give you what Fox News charges, because “operating” is a clause used to modify “have lasted”. But I honestly don’t think that’s what Jackson was implying.

This is really a case of picking at words. It’s like “You Didn’t Build That”. Obama was completely correct in saying that in the context, while grammatically he may have implied something incorrect.

On the other hand, Bachmann is pretty clear about how CO2 isn’t harmful.

I would suggest that Democrats start learning how to correctly enunciate their ideas, so that conservatives can stop attacking ideas that are correct but said incorrectly.

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Some Food for Thought on Crimea

WE MUST STOP CRIMEA FROM SECEDING!

is probably the most hypocritical thing America could possibly say.

Think about it for a second.

This country was founded by people who violently rebelled against their mother country, in the name of liberty and all that.

Nearly 240 years after the Declaration of Independence, we are now attempting to stifle a movement attempting to do the exact same thing we did without the violence.

Here’s a little thought experiment. Consider that the American Revolution were happening today.

Patriot: We should secede from the UK and become an independent nation! We aren’t being represented properly and they’re not addressing our problems!

Putin: No.

Patriot: What do you have to do with our decision? You’re not related to our problems in any way at all!

Putin: No.

Sounds ridiculous?

Now replace “Patriot” with “Crimean”, and “Putin” with “EU and USA”.

I don’t really give a shit about some aspects of “international law”. There are sometimes more important things than “international law”. The American Revolution was one of them. Crimea is another.

Now consider that Crimea is voting for secession at something like 95%, when Patriots numbered less than 50% during the Revolution. Talk about inconsistency.

If we want to act like Crimea is taking down the UN’s law and burning it at the stake, I suggest we go back to being a colony under the UK to bring ourselves in line with our own rhetoric. I, for one, would like the socialized healthcare.

How Sectional Democracy Propogates Stupidity

There are two kinds of people in the USA.

There are the rational people. You’ll find them mostly in the Northeast and West.

Then there are the Confederate flag-waving idiots. You’ll find them mostly in the South and Midwest. (Don’t believe me? Check out the Mississippi state flag and the Confederate flag in SC.) This group includes the Obama conspiracy theorists and whatever other stupid crap that we have come  with.

This divide has existed since the founding of the country. Yes, things have changed. At one point, “radical Republican” meant someone who wanted to disenfranchise rich white voters, take their land, and give it to black people. But there has always been a divide.

And one of the critical aspects of this divide has been that the part on the bottom has usually been overrun by idiots.

Indian Removal supporters– the South. Slavery supporters– the South. Segregation supporters– the South. Creationism supporters– the South.

You’d think that some great president like FDR would do something and enlighten these people, so that they would stop being such bigots.

But that’s not how sectional democracy works.

Sectional Democracy is when you have a few geographical parts to a country that have distinctly different views. Eg, the USA. (I coined this term. Much unique!)

Typically, one side’s agenda is based on scientific morality. More opportunity for students as an investment for the future, lower taxes on the middle class to strengthen spending, raise in the minimum wage to alleviate poverty, etc.

The other side’s agenda is based on what they think is correct. As in, what their religious book says is correct. (Both sides can be stupidly bigoted in opposite directions. That works too.) But their illiteracy, mainly as a result of historical problems, precludes advancement in thought processes. (For the USA, this was the socioeconomic divide during the slavery period, and Johnson’s failure to effect Reconstruction properly after the South was devastated by the Civil War.)

(I will except Ukraine because it’s only been 20 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Sectional Democracy stands for a long time.)

So then, the problem is, how to educate the illiterate? You could band-aid the broken bone with No Child Left Behind or some other stupid umbrella crap. But when they teach the Bible in school, do they really think about No Child Left Behind?

I made this point earlier– a person born to bigots in a bigoted town going to a bigoted school will almost inevitably become a bigot, no matter whether you say nurture or nature. You cannot tell a racist that racism is bad, walk out the door, and expect him to come to a realization. A blanket federal program will not, in the way it tries to, prevent the spread of bigotry.

The fact of the matter is, you must adopt a strong interventionist posture in order to fix the problem. You must walk into the town of bigots with a march of science teachers, burn down and rebuild the school (metaphorically), and force the presence of non-bigots. This is what activists did during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. They walked into the South, registered black voters, and progressivized people. That’s why it worked.

That’s nice and all, but who’s going to take this posture?

Activists? It’s not like rednecks are posing an actual threat to the intelligentsia of America. Sure, they’re screwing over the middle class and themselves, but the intelligentsia are international.

That leaves the federal government. The federal government has taken strong interventionist postures a few times, but only in the wake of war and extreme economic depression. Reconstruction. The New Deal. The Great Society (which, for the sake of argument, I will say actually originated in Truman’s presidency, but was realized by the “f**k the people who don’t agree with me” LBJ).

But the federal government can’t take a strong posture outside of those circumstances. Reason is, the bigots won’t let them.

Analogy time!

Let’s say I have a committee. 5 people are idiots. Their IQ levels are about room temperature (Fahrenheit, because ‘Murica). 5 people are well-educated. They have six figure salaries.

The 5 smart people want to pass a bill that would allow any member of the committee access to the committee refrigerator at any time during the working day. The idiots think that they’re trying to steal the refrigerator, and block the bill.

The 5 smart people try passing a few more bills, all simple ideas that would benefit everyone. To their indignation, the idiots block each one.

They then try to kick the idiots off the board. Sadly for them, the idiots block that too.

That is the essence of our political system. You cannot do anything. If you try to fix the root of the problem, the same people who prevent you from doing anything will also prevent you from doing something about not being able to do anything. And even in the slight chance that there’s some urgent national problem that the nation can band together to fight against, you still can’t fix education! Bigots may temporarily agree to give up some of their bigotry because they have no other choice, but they will never allow you to teach science in their schools.

If I had no money, I might let you give some to me so I could pay my daily expenses for a while, even if you were an instrument of the devil. But would I let you teach my children your heathen ways? Think about that.

This leaves us in a peculiar spot. We have a problem. We know we have to fix it. But we don’t know how. There are simply too many idiots to stop their expansion.

There’s not really a realistic solution to this, sadly. You could win some kind of 1964-like victory with some kind of progressive revolution, but that’s just pie in the sky. I live in the Northeast, and most people vote Democratic, but only because they’re scared of an idiot like Romney becoming President. If it were something like Clinton vs Christie, they probably wouldn’t bother voting at all. People are fed up with government corruption, and just want to make sure that someone like Romney doesn’t win.

Sectional Democracy is a failure. Ukraine is demonstrating that to us right now. Jefferson said, “We are all Republicans– we are all Federalists”.  Sadly, that’s no longer true. Sorry, Jefferson.

How much longer can America last before it falls at its own foundation? We are the only superpower that has not collapsed to some extent since WW2. But you can’t outrun time.

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Give them Crimea

STOP FIGHTING OVER CRIMEA.

Governments and people everywhere seem to have the idea that the revolution against Yanukovych was some kind of American Revolution, where the entire country fought against unjust oppression.

It wasn’t.

See this really nice graph by the Washington Post:

Image

There is a divide in Ukraine. A sharp one. Obama doesn’t realize this. The EU doesn’t realize this. Kiev’s government doesn’t realize this. (Or they ignore it.)

But Putin does.

Note that Putin has no ambitions to take West Ukraine. Putin’s not an idiot. He is not going to risk another World War. He just wants East Ukraine. And East Ukraine, for the most part, wants Russia.

Don’t take the graph’s word for it. Today, the Crimean parliament voted SEVENTY EIGHT TO ZERO to schedule a referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

The West, and West Ukraine, are criticizing Russia for making unjustified incursions into Crimea. But that’s stupid. Crimea wants Russia to come in and take over.

ukraine-crimea-map

Stop trying to stop Crimea. They will secede. You will not prevent them from seceding. Russia will absolutely pulverize us on a defensive front if civil war breaks out. The rest (or much) of East Ukraine will likely follow. (That’s a prediction. Note that a large majority of pro-Russia doesn’t exist in all parts of East Ukraine.)

And in that case, West Ukraine will happily have their own government with a more stable electorate, (some of) East Ukraine will happily be joined with Russia, and the rest of the world will happily not have to intervene.

Is it really that damn hard to decide?

You can’t ban Bitcoin

“Bitcoin has also become a haven for individuals to buy black market items. Individuals are able to anonymously purchase items such as drugs and weapons illegally.” -Sen Manchin (D-W.Va)

There are problems with any method of approaching a situation. Whether you wear running shoes or tennis shoes, you will still get tired after running. You could discard the running aspect altogether and take a car, but now you don’t lose calories.

With Bitcoin, you sacrifice some of the government regulation for anonymity. Meaning, some people can abuse the system to do some illegal stuff.

But who cares?

Is being able to buy drugs over the internet and not through cash such a liability?

This argument, if you think about it, is a lot like arguments for the NSA.

“You might do something illegal on the internet. Let me watch you just to make sure.”

“You might be talking about something illegal over the phone. Let me listen in just to make sure.”

“You might be doing something illegal. Let me follow you just to make sure.”

And now,

“You might be abusing those Bitcoins. Let me illegalize them, just to make sure.”

It’s preposterous. Has the encroachment on civil rights by the reached the point where the government now gets to decide what we can and can’t do on the internet?

Why the hell, Joe Manchin, is it your problem if I want to sell candy for a number on a computer?

Here in America, we value freedom. The government must not provide for your insurance, because that would be an encroachment on freedom of spending your money. Allow the banks to riskily invest with their customer’s money, for freedom, then spend more of taxpayer money to bail them out, to protect the banks’ freedom. Lower taxes, for freedom, but spend more on war– to protect the freedom of the military-industrial complex.

But civil rights mean nothing. We struck down the Voting Rights Act, because we want to act like racism doesn’t exist. We spy on the entire world, because there might just be a terrorist out there. We restrain the sharing of ideas, because artists would, by outdated logic, lose money. We oppose gay marriage, because to some it’s disgusting.

And, of course, we oppose cryptocurrency, because it may have some adverse side effects of anonymity, which, as Snowden has shown us, Big Brother hates.