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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Disband The Government

I am a conservative. I believe in effective limited government. I believe our governments - local, state, and federal - are tasked with certain obligations that, should they not be met, require the disbanding of those governments and the formation of new ones. Their primary obligations are the protection of the citizenry (police; military) from the depredations of others (felons; terrorists), and the promotion of "the general welfare."

Government's involvement in the promotion of the general welfare essentially requires that we be provided with adequate infrastructure; roads, bridges, airports, sewer systems, electricity, communications. And potable water. Our governments, in each case, are either tasked with the obligation to provide those infrastructures or to facilitate their availability.

There are turds floating in the drinking water of American citizens living along Callahan Creek in Wise County, Virginia. In 2005. In the United States of America. See the recently released Virginia Department of Environmental Quality report here. [Note It is in .pdf format and requires Adobe Reader] The exhaustive report outlines the many contributing factors, including the "straight piping" of human waste into the creek from 350 homes along the stream, that have caused the problem for all the citizenry downstream. Callahan Creek and the Powell River are so polluted they will kill people drinking from them. And there are many people in the area drinking from them.

Local government has turned to the state of Virginia for assistance in preventing further loss of life.

So what has the state allocated funds for in this year's budget?

Unfortunately, however, when it came to the two-year, $63 billion budget for the commonwealth, approved 92-1 by the House and unanimously by the Senate, nothing much has changed. The General Assembly, divided between conservatives who dominate the House and Democrats and Republicans in Name Only who control the Senate, ended up passing a mishmash of raises for college faculty, state workers and state-funded local employees. There was also money in the budget for everything from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts to a Cold War Museum for Northern Virginia, and lawmakers are congratulating themselves over the passage of $848 million for transportation improvements ... (link) [my emphases]
I haven't found yet whether the state legislature also allocated the $5 million for that tunnel they want to run from their office building to the capital that is intended to keep their hair from getting wet in the rain. (link) I'll keep looking.

But enough is enough. Our political leadership in Richmond, after having passed the largest tax increase in state history, has decided to spend that tax revenue on cold war museums (!), performing arts (!), the obligatory raises for our (unionized) employees, and perhaps for their own private tunnel. And God knows what else.

This list doesn't include the moneys already allocated for Southwest Virginia that are being used to construct bike paths, hiking trails, and tourist visitors centers that nobody is visiting. Perhaps we should expand them to include exhibits on fecal matter in our drinking water. That'll give them a local flavor. Might even attract some o' them tourists.

No. Disband the government. It is failing in its primary obligation to the citizens of the state of Virginia.

Intimidation

We all saw the pathetic spectacle the other day of KKK Grand Klingon Robert Byrd calling the Republican senate majority a bunch of nazis and fascists for considering a rules change to allow for a vote (how awful) on President Bush's judicial nominees. I wonder what he would call them if Senator Frist and his savage gang of rules changers advocated the slaughter of five million Jews or if they were to start a war that resulted in the deaths of fifty million human beings. Extermination camps. Euthanasia of the feeble-minded.

I know what he would call them: Fellow Klansmen!

A word to the good senator: You might want to save those epithets for the really serious issues, Bob.

To lend the doddering old West Virginia racist a hand, the New York Times weighs in this morning with feigned alarm over the same issue - the rules change. And according to them, the world as we know it is coming to an end.

The Senate on the Brink

The White House's insistence on choosing only far-right judicial nominees has already damaged the federal courts. Now it threatens to do grave harm to the Senate. If Republicans fulfill their threat to overturn the historic role of the filibuster in order to ram the Bush administration's nominees through, they will be inviting all-out warfare
and perhaps an effective shutdown of Congress. (link)

All-out warfare. Shutdown of the United States government.

And what has brought on this fit of apoplexy?

The Republicans are claiming that 51 votes should be enough to win confirmation of the White House's judicial nominees.
How atrocious. I feel nauseous. The room is spinning. Life as we know it will, indeed, never be the same. The cosmos is out of kilter. My morning pancakes will never taste the same. How dare those Republicans demand majority rule in this our democratic republic?

Look, I know these tactics will likely have their desired effect on Mr. Frist and his puerile pack of pansies. He and they will back down. Again. But I'm going to offer this fatherly advice anyway:

Take it to them, Senator. You've already been called a nazi; what can they call you if you follow through on your commitments to those who voted your party in? A double-nazi? And as for the venerable New York Times, you went along with the infamous campaign finance reform law that stifles free speech in nearly every venue except in newspapers. I wish you would find the necessary intestinal fortitude to repeal the legislation, but if you're not so inclined, isn't it time to make the New York Times feel the sting of "limited free speech?"

The best advice I can pass on to you is this, from the French revolutionary, Danton:

Pour vaincre, il nous faut de l'audace, encore une fois de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

(To overcome them, we need audacity, still audacity, always audacity)

Or give up and go home.