“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken
September 12 is H.L. Mencken’s birthday. He was a wonderful provocative opinionated Baltimore Sun newspaperman who was definitely not politically correct and loved to piss off everybody. Times such as these require we celebrate six days early.
Though I could never match him the only way to celebrate him is follow his lead. Please accept this as all in good fun.
My celebration is in two parts.
Extra! Extra! Read all about It! Where in the Constitution is the freedom of choice?
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” — H.L. Mencken
Let us first consider American “freedom of choice,” which has been heavily relied on by anti-vaxxers and the intellectuals on Fox News.
Let’s start with a little history. In the mid-1950s, my mother joined all the other mothers back then who lined up their children for the new polio vaccine and thereafter for mumps, measles and who knows what including all kinds of booster shots. It was so long ago there were “pin cushion” jokes. Back then, people had sewing machines and pin cushions.
Yes! These were the days when tattooed people were not afraid of needles and vaccinations were not considered to be secret government IQ tests.
It wasn’t perfect but I am sure that many of us are alive today because our “Rosie the Riveter” mothers, fresh from their patriotic duties and the sacrifices of the Second World War, grabbed their first graders and put them in line.
It was a civic duty that their children were safe and also were not spreading any infectious diseases. I guess today they would be blamed for not looking out for #1.
This is not to say I have given up on the present.
I was very happy when almost every anti-vaxxer to whom I talked refused to tell me where this “freedom of choice” is located in the Constitution. But was saddened that nonetheless they said it was “in there someplace.”
Unfortunately, after a careful review of the Constitution, I discovered “freedom of choice” is in fact from a short-lived Burger King advertisement. The fact that it was short-lived seems to indicate that most of these Americans preferred uniformity in their Whoppers.
When I argued that perhaps freedom of choice at least requires a concern for others and it was inappropriate to disseminate misinformation and cited my mother as an example, I got nowhere.
For my back-up authority for both proposals I asked If they recognized these names: Marc Bernier, Dick Farrel, Tod Tucker, Jimmy DeYoung Sr., and Phil Valentine? I pointed out that they had two things in common: they have all made a fortune as anti-vaxxer talk show hosts and they have all died of COVID. I can’t even imagine how many people they took with them, as the numbers continue to multiply.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it – Are we back to deputizing bounty hunters?
“There is always an easy solution to every problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” — H. L. Mencken
As you already know by now the Supreme Court’s decision last week finds no constitutional problem with Texas bounty hunters receiving up to $10,000 for reporting anyone who “aids or abets” an untimely abortion.
The Court’s decision sidesteps the right to privacy of a woman which remains constitutional in Roe v. Wade but lets stand that bounty on anyone, including nurses or doctors, who make any effort to help her.
These developments will be obviously universally supported by our fellow Americans since recently we love and elect presidents that have acted as cowboys in the movies or have been on reality TV.
Nonetheless, I think that the current Supreme Court is showing us the way to solve all of our current problems if we just support the constitutionality of this decision and embrace its wisdom.
There seems to be no constitutional reason we cannot employ bounty hunters to ensure our personal freedoms, cut unwanted government protections, and also cut taxes.
Consider traffic safety. What a wonderful way to get rid of police expenses and cut the costs of enforcement. We can eliminate road rage by merely reporting on bad drivers and collecting the bounty.
Our federal and state highways could be a reenactment of the carnival game Whack-a-Mole or a video game and advertising will increase substantially for drive time traffic updates. It will be great for business and prevent us from having to raise the minimum wage.
This opportunity has no limits! We can finally all be safe if we each are bounty hunters reporting on each other for any violation of any law. There may be one problem though: how do you collect the bounty if there are no police to enforce it?
But once again the current Texas Republican Party and the current Supreme Court helps us understand that the second amendment has been there all along. We the people finally will be the “well-regulated militia,” which the Supreme Court has previously ignored.
If you think about it, we can even eliminate election fraud if “we the people” police them. We can ensure fair elections and “stop the steal” if we have televised shootouts between the candidates.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. These are the new breed of Trump Republican that have modernized the party. Completely different than my old Republican heroes like President Eisenhower, Chief Justice Warren, or Senator Charles Mathias for whom I was proud to have worked for when people from both parties worked together for the good of the nation. But that was the old Republican Party.
I apologize. Mr. Mencken made me do it. He was born in 1880, so on September 12th he would have been 141 years old and almost half the age of our country.
“If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.” — H. L. Mencken
I am not worthy. He was politically incorrect but he still can shock you and make you laugh. Hats off to my friend David R. So, let’s get this party started!