Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 796, November 9, 2014

We live in a Republic, not a democracy,
so politicians have a legal right to
ignore the will of the people.

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Two Weeks in Greater Appalachia: A Tale of Two Toms
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Vote Spam Crunch Time is thankfully done!
And ditto for Election Day this past week; which was destined to be the day I became disenchanted with the political process in a way I haven't been in a long time. Probably since the election in 96. The mood seems much like then or the early 2000s when I had recently finished the greenhouse and was in the process of making improvements in and around it. And this year—the year of the Renaissance Summer & Renaissance Autumn going into Winter has been a lot like those years with the shift in direction.

Personal hobbies have always made for a decent escape from the political world out beyond the boundaries of my land and life. I've never really cared that much about that world ; apart from the entertainment value—being that politics is show biz for the ugly and the people running for state and local offices pretty much prove that. Of course there is also the fear factor in regard to their ability to intrude on my own personal world with their meddlesome laws and regulations. If maybe we could roll back a ton of regulations that threaten our liberty and way of life and then gridlock the government and politics could become a safe and amusing spectator sport like it was when I enjoyed the Clinton scandals and Jim Quinn's Monica jokes were some of the best laughs to be had since the twilight days of the Reagan era when Jimmy Swaggart put the fun back into fundamentalism! Or the 96 "Erection" and "Viagra Bob" Dole! And my visit to Florida that fall for a fish collecting trip where I got to see the building contractor's union throwing fits in front of the State House in Tallahassee over a proposal to relax building codes and allow more DIY stuff on private property. And the commercials for the proposed Sugar Tax to save the Everglades touted by the opposing party as "A Tax You Will Pay"! More truth than poetry!

Made for good entertainment while boxing up Golden Topminnows and Bluefin Killies for a friend in Louisiana and one in Wisconsin.

Those were the days!

The last week of October going into the first week of November is of course Crunch Time—also known as "Pond Week" which was last week and the encore this week for both me and my friend Ray in Wisconsin as we talked about the upcoming elections along with efforts to get our non hardy fish in and get our ponds, cleaned and netted for winter.

I visited the greenhouse and puttered around outside that morning before breakfast. Then started getting my pump, hose, nets and containers organized and also checked up on some of the fish I was holding in the garage to make sure they were alive and well. The "harvest"—a term coined by Ray is the term we use to describe the process of recovering fish at the end of the season—had been a mixed bag for us both. He had a good return on his Coosa Bass and Red-Breasted Sunfish while bombing out on Dollar Sunfish and me on Bantam Sunfishes (species we've both done well with over the years) and we both did ok with the Black-Banded Sunfish. I had awesome results with the Appalachee Shiners after struggling a few years to get a breeding colony going again after almost loosing the species. Now in addition to a dozen or so adults moved into the greenhouse pond—I have a twenty gallon tank in the kitchen teeming with YOY* and another bucket full waiting in the greenhouse. Yet nothing from the 8 Flagfin Shiners in the adjoining tub. Breeding was a bust. At least I got 7 back out to try again next year.

Before heading out again to sow grass seed on the area below the new water bar on my field, I wished Ray good luck in Wisconsin. Both with his ponds and voting. He was rooting for Scott Walker and his Lt Governor—the Tea Party favored Rebecca Kleefisch. Like Sarah Palin she's quite a catch too! This duo is not well liked by many of the special interest groups who bombed out in their effort at a recall election a few years ago but beloved by my friend and many other Wisconsin taxpayers for reigning in the excesses of the previous democratic administration and getting a handle on the state's out of control budget problems.

Meanwhile things in Pennsylvania looked less promising for anyone who might be in favor of either fiscal sanity or Freedom. Or even the lesser of two evils for that matter. On one hand you had the incumbent republican Tom Corbett who could be described as a RINO or crony capitalist—and on the other—his opponent Tom Wolf who's talking points screamed the war cry of the proverbial looter and Plebeian Tyrant of classical lore. It was The Tale of Two Tom's! Sometimes reality is more unbelievable than fiction.

And the candidates for the state legislature and local offices were also putting on quite a circus on TV.

Got a heads up from one of the local Tea Party groups about a Get out the Vote rally for Corbett who is PA's watered down version of Scott Walker—and also just about as well liked by the Left here and even many republicans don't care all that much for him. In the last election many conservatives thought it was better to have him as governor preoccupied with the state budget and economy rather than caving to democrats in the US Senate. But even the so called staunch conservative Pat Toomey who got the senate seat instead turned out to be just as bad in that regard. And with Corbett it was looking like another case of the Tea Party trying to push another RINO across the finish line though maybe half hearted since there were bigger fish to fry on the national stage. Corbett was not as bad as Mitt Romney being that He didn't go out of the way to shoot himself in the foot—even if he ran pretty much a lackluster campaign. That is probably more of a problem than all the toes he has stepped on; even in a blue state like Pennsylvania where people are suspicious of free markets and expect the government to do things for them, address pet issues and hang the expense.

There's no easy answer to that issue and I'm afraid it will get worse before it gets better again.

As there are two Americas it seems there are also two faces of Greater Appalachia. One represented by the small government libertarians and freeholders who embrace the Tea Party and the other made up of a coalition of populists and progressives and special interest like environmentalists and labor unions that embrace the two main political parties—the democrats in particular and sometimes the republicans when it comes to guns or social issues.

The Plebeian Tyrants shamelessly pander to them and because of the spirit of the times they can come right out with it ; like the smearing of Romney with the bullshit about the dog on the car roof and Ann Romney's horse. As opposed to the more subtler stuff in the Clinton years. During an unraveling the populist card does not play so well—but today it does. Now I can see how the democrats are positioning themselves to take credit for the economic boom from the shale gas drilling they originally tried to stop. They're all promising to rebuild the economy of Pennsylvania which won't be hard at all if it is already coming back on its own. Talk about sneaky and underhanded. An they may just pull it off with the republican brand so tainted by a combination of bad luck and lackluster candidates that keep sabotaging themselves. A few years ago on one of his shows, Jerry Doyle predicted an economic recovery coming about 2015*** and said that the party in power at the time was likely to stay in power for a long time. And it looks like that could be coming true.

A growing economy is often a good thing but it can have a darker side. Jim Quinn of the late America's Morning Show used to talk about how cutting taxes resulted in more economic activity and increased revenue going into government coffers and thought that was a good thing. Only problem with increasing revenue is then there are more resources to hire more government busybodies—swarms of officers to harass us and eat our sustenance! And also increasing the population with people of mid to low level skills that often live paycheck to paycheck and get laid off during slumps and more areas of the map turn blue. The things I think about while working on my projects.

And the lower pond awaited. So did the voting booth. I loathed doing both and especially the latter. It's kind of like doing tax returns. I just hate the thought of even talking to people at the polls—just wish I could have Scotty beam me strait into the fire hall and sign in and do it and get the hell out of there. I just loathe Sheeple and politicians anymore and I'm surrounded by Sheeple pretty much most of the time I'm not alone. So I just do my best to take care of them on the job and deal in a friendly and professional manner which is what I'm paid for and of course I'm a humanitarian in many respects as that's the way I was raised and my real job demands it and helping people in distress is the right thing to do. The problem with the progressives is that by their own admission (don't let a crisis go to waste) they live to take advantage of the misfortunes of others as a means to an end ; aspiring for power and control over their fellow Man and universal domination.

Controlling others is the only thing they have to live for.

So glad I have other things!

Like cleaning and netting my ponds and sowing more grass seed to reclaim a barren pasture.

And it was shaping up to be a decent, verging on beautiful day. Have to say I was wrong about the last perfect day in Greater Appalachia last month or the one before. Tuesday might actually have been it. And it was probably also the first and only day of Indian Summer according to the long range forecast that goes steadily downhill from there. Which was why I was moving so slow and just kind of savoring it and wish I could have stopped the earth from moving a little while in order to have a longer day to enjoy and get more things done.

Yet in a way it was good that it was winding down. The election was coming to a close and I looked so forward to it being over and done with. I would soon be able to paper my walls with fliers from the state races between Kuhla and Stefano and a couple others.

In the beginning I didn't want to wait too long to vote in order to avoid crowds but the day was fraught with distractions and I was late getting started on everything and by late afternoon I still had yet to head off to the Advanced Auction of Stolen Goods at the fire hall. Got a little sidetracked planting grass seed on the remainder of the strip below the water bar that the spirit finally moved me to do. Then a friend; Steve stopped by just as I was taking pics of the lower pond after starting the pump. After showing him a few things I'd done he's off to the tree stand. Hopefully he'd bag a deer on my place this year! Regardless he's going to give me some more surplus summer sausage and Elk Chorizo from last year or another hunt out west. Looking forward to that since I used the last of it up for breakfast this morning!

After he walked out of the woods empty handed that evening I was still wrangling.

Might just go vote now and get it over with. Yet I was still in no hurry to deal with Sheeple stumping for their favorite Plebeian Tyrants. My God—I'd rather be sowing grass in my pasture or pond work in raw 40 degree weather than have to walk that gauntlet of people badgering me on the way in. I'm just so tapped out anymore.

Lately I've become so disgusted with politics—especially the populism which I have for the most part loathed all my life ever since I was a kid. The meanness and narrow minded bigotry of those who think the system ought to take care of them and who are willing to let themselves be manipulated with hot button issues which is not much better than people who burn down their own neighborhoods because they didn't like the outcome of a trial—even though the treatment of Rodney King by the police after they had him subdued on the ground was excessively and unnecessarily brutal.

The whole education thing which was one of the main planks in the Wolf campaign was always a big fat crock of lies. Spun as if it is a desperate race to give the school children a competitive edge in the future global job market when its really all about expanding career opportunities for members of the teacher's unions or crony capitalism—taking care of text book publishers and computer and software manufacturers who contribute to campaign coffers of both parties. You'll never hear the Republican Party or the Dems ever make issue of those things. Because they are both beholden to the system and another thing about the education issue—it's also a convenient straw man for flogging political opponents. Lambasting a rival for cutting or wanting to cut education spending is the next best thing to calling them a racist or a fascist or saying they're for dirty water and dirty air.

How dare anyone even think about rolling back anything that is part of the progressive agenda. That's the ultimate thoughtcrime!

Of course the republicans are no angels either—being there really are no angels of government anymore—aside from maybe fallen ones. In the state and local races some of them are worse than the democrats. And when it comes to most of the others; you really can't tell the difference. Often the republicans fawn over public education the way Hollywood liberals fawn over baby seals.

Cripes! Even listening to Michael Savage and Jerry Doyle** back to back couldn't make me feel any more cynical than I'd been feeling that day or since!

Still had yet to make it to the polls when it came time to stop the pump and resume the next day rather than mess around with plants and fish in the waning light of dusk. But I did plant the Jurassic Park Hosta as planned and put two remaining Irises—an extra Sun Moon Lake & regular species tectorum in the ground by the greenhouse and what other redding up that could be done before dark. Then head over to vote since waiting in line would be less of an issue and maybe the people wanting to shake my hand and give me buttons and leaflets will either tired or just overwhelmed by the line that I won't have to talk to them much.


Finally got myself there right after sunset. Good timing since I didn't waste any good daylight hours. Not that any other time would have been better or worse. Line? Hardly anyone there. The peeps for Steffano—the republican on the right side of the walkway—the democrats for Kula & that other one—a greasy looking shyster on the left—how appropriate—I wonder if the positioning is a mutual partisan agreement?

Got a few chuckles from bystanders in the atrium when tossed the leaflets from both sides in the trash going in. I laughed really hard when I thought about it again getting out of my car back home—along with a sigh of relief—no more muck slinging political adds on TV and fliers cluttering up my mailbox for a while! Was not really worth the time and gasoline. Pretty much a local and state election since there are no seats in Washington up for grabs in PA like Iowa where the lady who castrates pigs was running and some of the others that were subject to countless pleas for donations from Tea Party Patriots. Had thought about giving but the $400 brake job kind of put the kibosh on that idea.

The best choice this time around in PA of course I think was "None of the Above", or maybe Alfred E. Neuman****.

Hell—in spite of the insights and laughs to be had I could have just as well set this one out like the one in 96 when the republicans ran Viagra Bob. Boy I almost did! My feelings were very similar to that election that was ongoing while I was too busy fish collecting in Florida to care. Seriously! It took a lot of effort to pull myself away from my beloved place to go in and waste my precious time and energy in the Crunch Time of late fall. At least I has been intelligent enough o wait until sundown so there was no waste of daylight in which I could do things more productive.

Late on election night the results were in.

Anyone who voted for the lesser of two evils might as well have stayed home. The Plebeian Tyrant took the governorship in Harrisburg. But at least for better or worse—Wisconsin still has Scott Walker. Have no idea even as of Saturday how the lesser races went for the state senate and house but the lovely heads up from Tea Party Patriots: the top Plebeian Tyrant in Washington is now saddled with a republican controlled congress just like Bill Clinton. It truly was an auction of stolen goods with winners and loosers on all sides and I just hope in my state that the governor will be restrained by the legislature.

Divided government is often a good thing. The Founders were wise in rigging the system so mid term elections could check the excesses of an out of control president who just happened to have a majority of his own party controlling both legislatures for a while. Not perfect but at least it gives us a chance to correct things or run out the clock until he's gone from office.

Vote Spam put to good use As for poor Barry—I guess he'll have to start World War III or unleash an Ebola pandemic so he can declare martial law and become President for Life! I'd give my two front teeth to hear what Savage is saying right now, but can't get his show anymore. Like one time before when he said something about how cornered tyrants like cornered animals can become dangerous. It will be an interesting next two years.

End Notes

* YOY—Young Of the Year: a fish hobbyist term. Considered ideal for starting a new population because they are big enough to handle but young and healthy with their best years and breeding potential ahead of them.

** Jerry Doyle—good old Michael Garibaldi of Babylon 5 Fame—turned talk radio host—said some funny things coming up on the 2012 election. One of the best was a comment regarding the government's approach to dealing with the national debt which he summed up as : "Kicking the can down the road & building more road to kick the can down"!
I loved that one!

*** And as things are looking—Jerry may be on to something—considering the way the democrats are shamelessly trying to position themselves to take credit for an economic renaissance spurred by new sources of domestic energy reserves that they originally fought tooth and nail against developing when it was more fashionable to "Be Green". But like climate and weather—predicting the future can be a very shaky affair.
So many wild cards and game changers!

**** BTW—"None of the Above" actually served as president for 4 years in one of El Neil's novels—The Probability Broach. I always got a kick out of Lucy when she pointed to the blank portrait in the hallway going into the Continental Congress and said " Who's gonna die if there's no president for four years"?
Many are sure to be skeptical of that one but Pennsylvania could probably last 4 years without a governor and the USA managed to survive 4 years of Jimmy Carter and 6 years of Obama -so far!

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