Other bits and pieces

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I am The Sun!


Situated sublimely under a soothing state of hydrostatic equilibrium in one of the more rural subdivisions of the western arm of one of the more or less pedestrian barred spiral galaxies, you'll find what is probably a run of the mill planetary system. This system is unique, at least in the sense that it is the only system known to its inhabitants to contain inhabitants capable of knowing that they are inhabitants in fact inhabiting it. Up until a couple of years ago there were nine planets. More recently, and through no fault of its own, the runt of the litter was downgraded to a 'dwarf planet' (Apparently a blob of floating rock and ice is required to be more massive that Michael Moore to be considered an actual planet).

Each planet, while vastly different from one another in almost every respect, is exactly the right size to suit its distance from the Sun so that it is able to maintain a more or less circular ellipse around its governing body—the Sun. The Sun is exactly the right size to exert just enough influence on its orbiting subjugates to keep them bound in a not too confining framework which allows them the freedom to further subjugate their respective moons and rings as they see fit, but keeps them from smashing into each other and bringing the whole system down in a cataclysmic orgasm of hydrogen, carbon and puppies. If the Sun were to be any smaller, the planets would secede from the system and drift to another after smashing through the Oort Cloud like a 95 year-old plowing his Plymouth through a Florida flea market. If it were any larger, they would all be pulled into warm, gooey center, kicking and screaming as they were swallowed up by their hegemonic blast furnace of an overlord.

You can probably see where I'm going with this.

The U.S. Constitution, the study of which now takes second chair to that of the evolution of homosexual platypi, gives Congress specific powers called 'Enumerated Powers'. These include the authority to levy taxes, provide for the common defense, build post offices, and a few others, many of them obsolete like shaving the Indians or something. Anything that falls outside of those enumerated powers are not for the Federal Government to act upon. Think: No! Not yours! Put those powers down! To hammer this point home, the last amendment in the Bill of Rights addresses the issue specifically to keep socialist nut bars from ruining everything 203 years down the road.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So, I ask you this: How is it that we now try to meander our lives through and around over 200,000 federal laws? And that's not even counting 'regulations', which aren't laws, but act like laws. (Regulations, like 'Executive orders' are an end-around to give the executive branch an avenue to legislate even though that is expressly forbidden in the constitution). According to the Office of the Federal Register, in 1998, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the official listing of all regulations in effect, contained a total of 134,723 pages in 201 volumes that claimed 19 feet of shelf space. In 1970, the CFR totaled only 54,834 pages. And that's 21 YEARS ago.

If the intended size of the federal book of law were represented by a brine shrimp, our current brine shrimp would be the size of Godzilla's big, fat, conjoined-twin older step brothers after having eaten every tourist in Tokyo.

The Senate, this week, is proposing a Federal ban on driving while texting. Now, I will be the first to stand up and say that it should be illegal to do anything other than drive while driving. But, that's what the States are for. They can legislate that for themselves. While this particular encroachment seems trivial, it's just another brick in the wall. The miscreation that is the D.C. Beltway has its tentacles wrapped around every facet of your lives—from cradle to grave. Washington pushes the States around like Andre the Giant V. that little fat guy that hated rhyming in 'The Princess Bride'. (I know that those to characters did not actually co-mingle in a violent manner in the movie, so don't bother pointing that out...I'm just saying) Did you know there are federal laws that dictate the setup of the restroom in your home?

So how do they get away with it? It's called the 'Commerce Clause'. One of the enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8 states that congress can regulate trade among foreign nations and among the several states. That power has been construed over and over again to mean that congress can regulate anything it wants with impunity. Here's how, and this is a beautiful piece of spin: Since there's basically nothing at all, be it human, animal, mineral, noun, or verb that can take place without somehow being affected by something that was bought or sold, either something physical or a service, across State lines; every act you can think of can and will be regulated by the federal government under the Interstate Commerce Clause. For further reading look up 'The Heart of Atlanta Hotel V. The United States, 1964. Believe it or not, civil rights falls under Interstate Commerce—and apparently, so does BBQ.

The Sun has swollen. It's going to swallow the Solar System, which...probably explains global warming.

Text ©Raymond Smith- 2009

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