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Monday, July 31, 2006

Human Sensibility

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god—the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
William Shakespere (Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 1604)

The burial of the dead is one of our oldest instincts. Over 400 years before the birth of Christ, Sophocles wrote the play, “Antigone”, in which a Theban princess defies the ruler to bury her brother who was ordered to remain unburied because he had fourght against Thebes. Even though her ‘burial’ was just a ritual handful of dirt scattered upon her brother's remains to satisfy the will of the Gods, she was condemned to death for refusing to violate the taboo.

What, then, would Sophocles think of a traveling show composed of over 200 actual human corpses, some still entire and posed in lifelike ways, which has come to the Museum of Science in Boston?

The exhibit is called Body Worlds II (there was a One, and a Body Worlds Three) and a link to the exhibit and a description of the process used to preserve the bodies can be found HERE which also includes a four-minute video tour of the exhibit. Not since the Tombs of the Pharaohs has there been such an elaborate treatment of the husk left behind when the soul departs.

"The purpose of Plastination from its very inception was a scientific one, to educate medical students. But the interest of lay people in the plastinated specimens inspired me think of public exhibitions, which was followed by the realization that I had to offer a heightened sense of aesthetics to avoid shocking the public and to capture their imagination,” says Dr. Von Hagens.

Well, the Doctor has certainly captured Porupine's imagination here. Although he hails from a time when 'resurrection men' were hanged - an undoubeted hinderance to bona fide medical science and study - Porcupine is now an organ donor and understands intellectually the reasons why the study and advance of medecine needs to study human remains. There is no doubt that the exhibition is an educational one. The lungs of smokers are displayed next to the lungs of non-smokers, and there are other such exhibits which demonstrate the ravages of disease. But as you look at the photos, and perhaps the exhibit, please keep something in mind. These are actual people, who got up in the morning, dressed, went to work, and so on. It is stated that they volunteered for this process, and it is to be hoped that there are no John Does with no next of kin, doomed to peripateic travels rather than rest in even an unmarked grave.

Porcupine has an uneasy feeling that the exhibit is designed instead to desensitize us all to human remains, to make nothing sacred by breaking the oldest taboo of all. Mankind is not just another animal, despite this display of gleaming plasticized musculature. Man is the only animal that knows he is going to die, which is why the remains of the dead are treated with the reverence they are, for indeed, As I am Now, So You Shall Be, So Stranger, Stop and Pray for Me.

Perhaps Porcupine will take a small vial of Cape Cod sand to scatter surreptitiously upon the toes of these 200 former persons. Somebody else will have to help with the silver for the Ferryman.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Summer Sing-Along - Part Four

The hour is late, and the ice makes a delicate clink against the cut crystal. As it is covered by the amber coloured liquid, the smoky voice of Tony Bennett begins to sing 'I Wish I Were In Love Again'. But this time, the words are different:

The Snide Remarks,
The Golfing Larks,
The Fight for Statues that Might Grace Our Parks
The Voters? Hey, They Are Just Easy Marks!
It’s Atsalis for Rep. Again!

The Me-Mine-My,
Is His Reason Why;
His Shoulder Chip Could Hit You in the Eye,
The Self Deception That Believes the Lie,
It’s Atsalis for Rep. Again!

Got No Shame
He’s Never to Blame
Excuses are Lame, But
Hey – He Had the Ear of the Speakah!

Believe Me, Sir,
I’d Much Prefer
Him Parking Cars for Daddy – Five Bucks Per
But Hey, As Long As He Can Fling a Slur,
He’ll Run Again!
Demetrius for Rep. - Agaaaain!!

Next Week - Into The Budget...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Out of State Adventures in the Alternative Universe

The Minute You Think You’re Out, That’s When They Pull You Right Back In Again
Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Godfather III

Porcupine really does try to go on vacation. Really.

Sitting up in Maine, in a little place off the electric grid, Porcupine was musing about why he tried to treat himself with insect repellant when the insects appeared unfazed by these nostrums, and why he bothers with screens when the various flying insects breeze through them laughing. Typical Maine summer activities, not political at all. Turning a limp page of a local paper on a humid day, Porcupine saw a notice that jolted him out of his apolitical torpor – Senator would be making a campaign appearance with gubernatorial candidate Chandler Woodcock, and would be pressing the flesh at the Yarmouth Clam Festival. The proximity of Yarmouth, Maine was too much to resist.

Porcupine spoke to the director of the Maine Republican Party to be sure he was welcome, and then went to the morning press conference at DeLorme, a fantastic map company with an accurate and proportional three story tall globe called Eartha which slowly turns on its axis, replicating the movement of the earth. Porcupine has long been a fan of the DeLorme map books, and has been to the plant before, and would urge it upon anyone going up Route 295 to Freetown.

A Maine crowd is very different from a Massachusetts one – for instance, it’s smaller. When Sen. McCain arrived with Candidate , there were only about twenty people there, excluding reporters, so Sen. McCain was autographing books and posing for photos in a leisurely fashion. It’s interesting to meet presidential candidates in person. He is shorter than you might think, and a little slighter (Mitt Romney is also slight, almost like a greyhound, but very tall). He is a little frail, but has a good strong handshake, and seems a little older until he steps in front of the cameras (rather like Ted Kennedy, who lights up when TV cameras are pointed at him).

After taking his place at the podium with Woodcock, McCain took questions from a bevy of reporters. He had been to Maine earlier, and had campaigned on behalf of Woodcock’s primary opponent, saying he had a special reason to make such an appearance. An aggressive redheaded young lady from the Portland Press Herald reminded him of this in a sneering way, and demanded what his special reason for appearing with Chan Woodcock might be.

That’s easy”, McCain calmly replied. “He won.”

This same young lady asked the Senator about . What response did he have to the condemnation of our European allies for being so one-sided in this matter, and wasn’t the US trying to go it alone once again with cowboy diplomacy?

The Senator’s lips compressed into an angry line. “I’m very disappointed in our European allies. We need to keep an important fact in mind here – was the one attacked. Hezbollah has as part of its charter the goal of destroying Israel, of murdering them all, and we need to remember that our country can never be a party to such extermination. It’s about time we remembered to look at this through the eyes of the Israelis who live in terror, not just the Palestinians.”

John McCain gave a brief speech on international relations, the importance of party loyalty, the excellence of Chan Woodcock as a candidate (running against a disaster like Baldacci, he should win in November!), and the enjoyment he gets out of serving with Olympia Snow and Susan Collins, Maine's two Republican women Senators. He then went to the Clam Fest after a cordial leave taking, as Porcupine headed north to take the mosquitoes on again.

Porcupine’s overall impression? His chance was six years ago; he is a little old now. His energy and intelligence are still at high ebb, but the burden of the Presidency, combined with his age, makes him a less than excellent candidate for 2008. Porcupine has many bones to pick with him, McCain-Feingold among them, but John McCain is an intelligent, dedicated and thoughtful leader, and it is to be hoped that he will be given a prominent role – be it as a Cabinet appointment or advisor – in our next Republican administration. It was a real pleasure to meet a bona fide American Hero, but then again, is The Way Life Should Be.

There are two items Porcupine wishes to call to your attention. First, Porcupine has a truly exceptional tenant this week - Ogre's Politics and Views - and he hopes all visitors wil take the time to visit the venerable Mr. Ogre by clicking on the Rent My Blog box. Secondly, for a long time, Porcupine has had an icon stating "I'm A Proud Friend of Israel" on his blog, but in light of current evets, he has decided to move it to the top of the page. Porcupine urges all bloggers to similarly register their support, and to keep those trapped in the situation in the Middle East in our thoughts and prayers.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Summer Sing-Along - Part Three

Porcupine decided to have some fun with the always controversial travel plans of our next President, Governor Mitt Romney of Massachsuetts (to the tune of 'Come Fly With Me'):

Come Fly With Mitt, the Solid South to Woo
In Bible-Land, They have Marching Bands
And They’ll Play their Drums for You!
Come Fly with Mitt; Let’s Fly Red, White and Blue!

Come Fly With Mitt; Let’s Fly Out To L.A.,
California Voters Do Not Know
What They Want From Day to Day
But They Like A Man Whose Hair is Here to Stay!

Once He Gets You Up There, Where the Air is Rarefied
You’ll Just Glide, Glassy-Eyed
Once He Gets You Up There, He Can Reason, oh, So Well
You Can Tell, The Oh-Eight Vote Is Gonna Be Just Swell!

Weather-wise, It’s Such A Lovely Day!
Just Say the Word and We’ll Hop a Bird
Down to Guantanamo Bay
It’s Perfect For a Flying Photo-Op, They Say,
Come Fly With Mitt, Come Fly, Let’s Fly Awaaaaay!

Next Week - A Ditty for Demetruis!

And my apologies for the delay in the appearance of this Sunday's offering - Porcupine has found that hot spots in Maine are far and few between!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday Summer Sing-Along - Part Two

'And now, from high atop the lovely Hanging Gardens of Babylon, courtesy of Peter Porcupine, it's the song stylings of BAGHDAD BETTY, with her latest hit - Impeach Bush!' (to the tune of Cole Porter's 'Day and Night')

We've kept up the media tom-tom
Without relenting for six whole years
If Rove keeps the House in November
It confirms all our worst fears.
There'll be no vote for impeachment
Under the GOP
So we wander from Niger to
Seeking evidence ceaselessly-

Night and Day, We think as One
Ditched the father,
Now we MUST impeach the son.
In the press plane's busy boom
In the SILENT Minority Cloakroom
We stalk George Bush
Night and Day!

Day and night, why is it so
That this yearning to get him
Follows wherever we go?
Whether near to him or far,
It don't matter where we are,
Obsessed with Bush
Night and Day!
Day and Night, under the hide of me,
There's oh such a hungry yearning
Burning inside of me.
And this torment won't be through
Till we turn the red states back into BLUE
By impeaching Bush - Come what may!

Nest Week - Come Fly With Mitt!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

High Noon for Gay Marriage

The Massachusetts gay marriage issue is older than the War on Terror.

It began April 11, 2001, when seven gay couples filed suit to be issued marriage licenses. On July 21, 2001, petitions began circulating to enact a so-called ‘Super-DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act)’. After collecting over 100,000 signatures, ten times the amount necessary, the constitutional amendment was sponsored by Rep. Phil Travis (D-Rehoboth). House 4840 stated that a marriage was between a man and a woman, and that ‘no other legal relationship would be recognized’. Senate President Birmingham began his complicated series of evasions, calling and then adjourning Constitutional Conventions, or Con Cons, without allowing debate or a vote on the matter.

Right there, the first mistake was made.

The Legislature began a series of maneuvers to prevent the matter from ever coming to a vote. Because of the stringent nature of Rep. Travis’ language, it would also have prohibited domestic partnership benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples, which were offered by many employers like Fidelity, John Hancock. All of those voters would probably have voted against the Super DOMA, and the whole businesses would have ended there. Instead, Birmingham continued with his coy bait-and-switch, calling and rapidly adjourning Con Cons.

The Supreme Judicial Court acted upon the 2001 suit. It stated that in the absence of an amendment, there were no grounds to deny a marriage license, and gay marriage was created. At that point in 2002, the Legislature had to act, and after a series of amendments were offered by the ‘Leadership’ of the Legislature, a Hobson’s choice was created. By amending the original language, a choice was given between voting no and allowing gay marriage to continue by denying the 100,000 signatures a vote, or voting yes and stating that marriage was between a man and a woman, but civil unions would be created. This satisfied nobody. As Rep Travis said, nobody had signed a petition to create civil unions.

Now, it is five years later. Another 70,000 signatures have been gathered, and the Legislature has a straightforward DOMA in front of it. It was filed in a different form, so it only needs 50 votes to go to the electorate instead of 100. Today, Senate President Traviglini will decide if a vote will be taken.

It is time. Those who say that he should maneuver and prevent a vote, killing the measure for two more years, need to understand that this will not go away. More signatures will be collected, another petition filed. Those who say that the petition is unconstitutional because it seeks to change a court interpretation are deluded. The same SJC that created gay marriage in a split vote also unanimously voted that an attempt to change the Constitution in the manner specified in the Constitution is proper, even if it does invalidate their judgment. It does not matter if you support or deride gay marriage. It is a proper subject for a vote, and has been voted on in over 30 other states. Porcupine is of the opinion that the gay marriage amendment will be defeated by the electorate, but by a much narrower margin that it would have been had people been allowed to vote on it in 2001. After all, those companies who offered domestic partnership benefits have begn to cancel them, on the grounds that now everybody can get married, and so marriage is a prerequisite for dometic partnership. He cannot say the same margin will prevail if the vote is again denied by the Legislature. People are angry that their initiative petitions have been voided or changed - the tax rollback, clean elections, a variety of proposals from all sides of the spectrum. There is a chance they will vote their anger instead of their conscience.

If a Legislator votes to refuse to allow a vote by the electorate, what is he saying about the judgment of the electorate that saw fit to place him in office?

Note: At 5:30 pm that day, Sen. President Traviglini adjourned the Session, saying that there was 'too much to consider in a single day'. The Session had begun at 2 pm. Sen. Traviglini adjoured the Session until Nov. 9th - two days after the election, so that the membership would not have to go on record about this matter.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Limits of Friendship

Memory Brushes the Same Years, Silently Sharing the Same Fears
Old Friends’, Simon & Garfunkel, 1968

38-year old Milena Devalle of Jamaica Plain, a passenger in a vehicle, was killed when a 40 foot section of a concrete ceiling tile in the I-90 tunnel that connects to the Ted Williams tunnel to Logan fell on a vehicle, crushing it. The driver of the car, 46-year old Angel Devalle, managed to crawl out of the car and was not seriously hurt. The incident happened around 11:15 Monday night, and was immediately observed by horrified drivers travelling to the airport from the city and the Mass Turnpike.

So – how many Legislators are now scurrying away from Outside Section 65 in this year’s Budget, their attempt in the Conference budget to subvert itt Romney’s patient attempts to get rid of The Chairman, Matt Amorello, in light of the tunnel collapse fiasco? How many regret not having voted for Outside Section 157 in the 2005 budget which would have merged the Turnpike Authority - and the - with MassHighway, similar to what was done with the MDC and the State Park system, which was shot down in the legislature? Ah, well, no friend is that good, and the art of politics is knowing when to get off the stage. Welcome, Beth Lindstrom!

In the meantime, the Chairman is spinning like a mad Sufi dervish with his turban slid down over one eye and his saber badly bent. The tunnel section? Aha! They it was built in 1996! No, 1995! Kerasiotes’ watch, not mine! No, that T-bar construction is obsolete, and we didn’t use it in the beautiful Tip O’Neill tunnel! Unitary construction, newer technology, was used there! Safe as houses! Of course, maybe there are a few joins, and few hundred feet out of the miles of Tunnel in the Big Dig, but we can locate those bad joins! Any minute now! Never mind why we keep declaring the job done, and don’t bother going back! Keep your grubby paws off that curtain! Why, I’m The Chairman! I’m the recipient of the first annual John Joseph Moakley Award for Public Service from the Engineering Center of Boston, the Artery Business Committee's Distinguished Leadership Award and the Frank Sargent Clean Harbor Award! Did you know I was once in the Senate?

This whole incident is a grisly Christmas Morning for the campaign. For years, Mihos has said that while he drives in the tunnels, he would not allow his wife or daughters to drive in them. Porcupine always looked askance at this assertion by Mihos, and confesses he merrily drove through the tunnels daily, even after the cement scandal broke and even when they did mysteriously leak. Like many others, Porcupine will think twice and thrice before doing so again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday Summer Sing-Along - Part One

For many years, Porcupine has made up song parodies, usually by singing at the top of his lungs during a long commute and refining the words as he goes. Recently, on Blue Mass Group, he posted one of his many compositions under the heading of Political Raillery but indeed, why cast pearls before swine? Why not share them here on a Sunday afternoon?

We will begin with a song about the Massachusetts Budget Battle, called DiMasi's Siren Song, sung to the tune of the Habernara in Bizet's opera Carmen:

DiMasi took the Speaker’s Chair
Kicked Out Old Leaders He Found Staaaanding There
Brought In Progressives As His Team
So They Could All Pursue their Noble Dream…

“Let’s Get That Cash Right Out of Hock
And Spread Around on Legislaaaaative Schlock!
How Can A Blue State Still Survive
Upon A Tax Rate Less Than Five-Point-Five?"

"We’ll Spend It All, To Show We Care,
To Debt We’ll Just Pile On Another Layer!
A Balanced Budget? Don’t You See…
Those Cuts Will All Come From
Mitt Rommmm-neeeey!”

Next Week: Impeach Bush!

Friday, July 07, 2006

The 2,996

"Under this tree people of all faiths and nationalities, united in grief, laid wreaths in memory of those killed on 7th July 2005, following the attacks on London's public transport system."

They stood at high noon for a two-minute silence, as they did almost 100 years ago on Armistice Day. The Queen, in her pink summer dress, stood in the doorway of Buckingham Palace. Prime Minister Tony Blair stood outside No. 10 Downing. Over 1,000 Londoners gathered quietly in bleachers. Broken only by the tolling of Big Ben, across England the Two Minutes Silence was observed. Even Tiger Woods bowed his head at St. Andrews on the 14th Hole of the British Open, and stood respectfully during the Silence.

A year ago, on July 7th, the Transit system was hit by terrorists at the peak of rush hour. Fifty-two people were killed and 700 injured in the four attacks. At the time, Porcupine wrote this post (HERE) about his beloved . Still, when he thinks of that day, Porcupine sees the quiet gent in the blue suit, head streaming blood like a fountain, politely and precisely describing how close he had come to death. Porcupine is sure he was there today, dignified and appropriate as ever, as England honored its dead on a tragic anniversary.

We have another anniversary looming here - the fifth anniversary of the September 1th plane hijackings and the deaths at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. Porcupine would like to share with fellow bloggers a unique opportunity to observe that day in a way that may be as touching and respectful as the British observance.

A blog has been started by D. C. Rowe – click HERE - which will assign a single victim at random to any person willing to blog about that person on that day. He hopes to assemble 2,996 bloggers to do a tribute to every person killed. Porcupine has signed on, and will be presenting a post about a very special lady on that day. We can all state the obvious, that terrorism is still alive as evidenced by the weekend arrest of plotters planning to assail the New York transit system, but Porcupine hopes that all of you with blogs will take the time to visit Mr. Rowe’s site and learn about a single special individual.

It is important for us all to remember, both in London and here, that each person killed got up that morning, got dressed, headed out – and was killed, ending a unique life story and bringing tragedy to a clear, blue day. There but for the grace of God might have been any one of us, and we should do what we can to remember The .

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Devil Takes Care of His Own

It is said, the devil takes care of his own. Much more should a good spirit—the spirit of the Constitution and the Union—take care of its own. I think it can not do less, and live.
Abraham Lincoln, 1862

Honest Abe was no dewy eyed babe; he called them as he saw them, and in this case, Porcupine is certain that a Good Spirit feels thwarted by the narrow escape has had from an orange jumpsuit parade. Lay died of a massive coronary on Tuesday, evading his October sentencing for his conviction in the fraud case.

was convicted last May 25 of defrauding investors and employees by repeatedly lying about Enron's financial strength in the months before the company plummeted into bankruptcy protection in December 2001. Lay was also convicted in a separate non-jury trial of bank fraud and making false statements to banks about his personal finances. Now, the prosecutors will have a difficult time recouping any of the $43.5 million judgment against Lay.

Lay had built Enron into a high-profile, widely admired company, the seventh-largest publicly traded in the country. But Enron collapsed after it was revealed the company's finances were based on a Ponzi-like web of fraudulent partnerships and schemes, not the profits that it reported to investors and the public.

When on trial, Lay was characterized as irritable and combative. He arrogantly defended his extravagant lifestyle, including a $200,000 yacht for wife Linda's birthday party, $4,700 for a trip to the French Rivera, while he was sunk into $100 million in personal debt and saying " We could have reduced some living costs, but as I said earlier, we had realized the American dream. We were living a very expensive lifestyle. It was difficult to turn off that lifestyle like a spigot." He also paid for a $12,000 birthday party. A note here from Porcupine for all aspiring Titans of Capital – never allow your toga-style birthday orgy to be videotaped. Later, when it becomes part of a major motion picture, you will look fat, disassociated and unspeakably greedy.

And what a motion picture it proved to be. Enron – the Smartest Guys in the Room was nominated for Best Documentary in the 2006 Academy Awards, and would likely have won if not for some penguin movie that so many people saw.

Using tape recordings of Enron traders on the phone with California power plants, the film chillingly overheard them asking plant managers to "get a little creative" in shutting down plants for "repairs." Between 30 percent and 50 percent of California's energy industry was shut down by Enron a great deal of the time, and up to 76 percent at one point, as the company drove the price of electricity higher by nine times. The Enron traders joked about "Grandma Millie," a hypothetical victim of the rolling blackouts, and boasting about the millions they made for Enron. Or, since the company went belly up, for Ken Lay.

Yes, the film lost to the blockbuster March of the Penguins. Yet we are driven along a similar trail, waddling desperately to reach our safe haven. Utility deregulation has not been a success, especially in rural areas like Cape Cod. There is a place for deregulation – phones, airlines, and other industries where there are alternative to that service. But electricity is needed by all, and electricity deregulation has been a disaster.

Ken Lay was to the business world what Duke Cunningham is to the political one – a Rapscallion Extraordinaire, an embarrassment and an example of how bad men in a system can pervert it. In the meantime, Satan has spared one of his Titans the embarrassment of incarceration. It is to be hoped that he has an even warmer welcome planned.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one
A. J. Liebling

t all began here, you know. Not just the Revolution, although your deadbeat John Hancock and your intemperate Sam Adams saw to that. No, I was referring to the designation of Independence Day, the Fourth of July, as a holiday. The first "official" state celebration of the Fourth as recognized under resolve of a Legislature occurred in Massachusetts in 1781. Boston was the first municipality to officially designate as a holiday, in 1783. Boston has worked assiduously to create further holidays, especially for state workers and labour unions, but their creativity began with the Glorious Fourth.

The first, and perhaps most important, Right which was created in your Bill of Rights was that of Speech and Expression. The mendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It is worth noting that freedom of religious expression was first over freedom of speech and the press, but nevertheless, Freedom of the Press gave me a career as a Pamphleteer. Here in the New Fleet Street of the Blogosphere, we can all be our own Pamphleteers, and express our thoughts and sentiments without Fear or Fetter, perhaps as never before.

I wrote in my paper, The Political Register, in August of 1830, the following remarks about the supposed Freedom of the Press:

I perceive that you want very much to be enlightened on the state of our press, which you appear to regard as being free, and which, as I am going to prove to you, is the most enslaved and the vilest thing that has ever been heard of in the world under the name of press. I say, that I am going to prove this; and proof consists of undeniable facts, and not of vague assertions.
Advertising is the great source of revenue with our journals, except in very few cases, such as mine, for instance, who have no advertisements. Hence, these journals are an affair of trade and not of literature; the proprietors think of the money that is to be got by them; they hire men to write them; and these men are ordered to write in a way to please the classes who can give most advertisements. The Government itself pays large sums in advertisements, many hundreds a year, to some journals. The aristocracy, the clergy, the magistrates (who are generally clergy too) in the several counties; the merchants, the manufacturers, the great shopkeepers; all these command the press, because without their advertisements it cannot be carried on with profit.”
Little has changed in 176 years, as the New York Times recently proved by publishing the classified state secrets of the hated Bush Administration in order to appeal it its Manhattan Mandarin ultra-liberal base, and possibly run up the subscriptions a little. Yet, as your President Franklin Roosevelt said, sortly before he began supressing stories, "Freedom of the press is essential to the preservation of a democracy; but there is a difference between freedom and license". For the New York Times, it appears that is a distinction without a difference, and they shall probably continue to merrily yell Fire! in crowded theatres.

You people today are shocked by the ‘division’ and ‘extremism’ of your talk radio, and yet here are only some of the names which I called by political enemies, the Jeffersonian Jacobins: "refuse of nations"; "yelper of the Democratic kennels"; "vile old wretch"; "tool of a baboon"; "frog-eating, man-eating, blood drinking cannibals"; "I say, beware, ye under-strapping cut-throats who walk in rags and sleep amidst filth and vermin; for if once the halter gets round your flea-bitten necks, howling and confessing will come too late." I wrote of the "base and hellish calumnies" propagated by the Jacobins, and of "tearing the mask from the artful and ferocious villains who, owing to the infatuation of the poor, and the supineness of the rich, have made such fearful progress in the destruction of all that is amiable and good and sacred among men." Among the milder examples of my description of Jacobins was the following:

"The sect of the Jacobins have attached themselves in every country they have been suffered to enter. They are a sort of flies, that naturally settle on the excremental and corrupted parts of the body politic. . . . The persons who composed this opposition, and who thence took the name of Anti-Federalists, were not equal to the Federalists, either in point of riches or respectability. They were in general, men of bad moral characters embarrassed in their private affairs, or the tools of such as were. Men of this caste naturally feared the operation of a Government embued with sufficient strength to make itself respected, and with sufficient wisdom to exclude the ignorant and wicked from a share in its administration."

Gad, but I did dislike that snooty Jefferson and his Francophile cabal! But, it strikes me that much of this description would admirable fit the reaction of puffy, fifty-something liberals, condescending intellectuals, and multimillionaire Hollywood players and songstresses to your President , especially his unforgivable proclivity to “exclude the ignorant and wicked from a share in its administration" and his inability to comprehend the superiority of their wisdom.

I raise a glass to you all, for 230 years of Free Expression, and God grant that none shall ever be afraid to bay at pieties and bark at curs!

An Exemplar of the Freedom to Cavail that Porcupine is praising can be found among the members of the Life, Liberty and Property Community - jealous watchdogs of our Common Freedoms. The Carnival of Liberty is one year old today, and the Anniversary Carnival can be found at The Unrepentant Individual by clicking HERE. A motlier crew, and more diverse range of opinion, would be difficult to find - and better reading and writing than in a month of New York Times is merely the Norm.

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