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You Can Pick Your Nose........

…………But You Can’t Pick Your Family.

A recent conversation with John Doe “Tittlemouse” Jones — my other brother.

Tittlemouse at rest

Tittlemouse at rest

Tittlemouse called up the other day and wanted to discuss the affairs of the world. Now T-mouse is light on the schooling but he is not ignorant.

‘This whole Obama thing has gotten outta control Bro.  Me and The Squeeze (ed. note-his wife) are havin’ trouble making heads or tails of the whole danged mess.’

‘How so T-mouse?’

‘Well,  a dog may bite you in the ass but it will never stab you in the back.  Those sumbitches in DC are out of control.  Half the people I know are on The Check.’

‘The Check?’

‘Welfare, food stamps. disability.  Hell, you know, government handouts.’

‘Entitlements T, they call those entitlements.’

‘Around here it is The Check bro.  You know there are places in West Virginia and Kentucky where the government payout is the biggest payroll in the county?  That ain’t right.  You know I try to work most ev’ry day ‘cept when I am down in my back or in jail. I can’t be helping either one of those most times ya know. It just steams my butt that I am paying out tax dollars for those slackers.  You know I ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer but I been doing some internet studying because I am rattled to my toes.  Best I can figger it started going south with Woodrow Wilson.’

Woodrow Wilson??????  WTF was he talking about?  The best I could do on Woodrow Wilson was call to mind a tall skinny man with a tall tophat riding in an open car… or was that Calvin Coolidge?  I heard Tittlemouse pop a top.

‘Whatcha drinkin’ T?’

‘Blue Ribbon bro. The nectar of the gods it is.  Helps me to think.’

‘So tell me the deal on Woodrow Wilson.’  I made sure I had a mostly full pack of smokes and settled back to listen.  He was on a rip with a full head of steam.

‘Ol’ Double W was the first American President to throw the Constitution out in the yard, did you know that?  He signed off on the Federal Reserve to start with and there ain’t nothing ‘Federal’ about ’em.  He just turned control of our money over to a buncha private bankers. Then he started up the IRS.  They ratified the 17th amendment while he was Prez and he was a Segregationist bastard of the first degree.  He throwed civil rights back 50 years.’

’17th amendment T?’  I heard a long sigh……….

‘You are sposed to be the smarter brother.  You not know nuthin’? I gotta go back to high school Civics class with you looks like.  The 17th provided for the popular election of Senators. Before that, Senators were appointed by the State Legislatures.  It was all about the balance of power that those original Constitution fellas like John Adams and James Madison were all keen over.  They lined it out like this… The House was elected by regular folks like me and you and the number of representatives is set by how many folks live in the state.  So that is the People’s Voice.  There are two Senators per state and that never changes unless there is a new state comes up.   So that means even those itty bitty states like Rhode Island got the same power as Texas in the Senate.  The Senate is the State’s voice.   See, back in the day, the power was not in Washington;  it rested with the Sovereign States.  The Feds were just supposed to make sure the States played nice with each other and oversee the military.  I think it was a damned slick set up because the House answered to me and you and the Senate serves the State.  Double W fouled that up and then some. ‘

I was nonplussed.  This was not the Tittlemouse I knew.  His only previous contribution to the well being of mankind occurred at the local bar on a regular basis.  When the old gals would get drunked up and start dancing, T-mouse was always the one that would holler ‘Show us your titties’ and they usually did.  His new occupation of Constitutional Scholar was a little outlandish in anybody’s book.   He was still talkin’…

‘FDR was the next bad actor.  He defaulted on our debt, did ya know that?   He confiscated all the privately held gold way back in 1933.  Back then, a dollar was worth 1/20 ounce of gold.   FDR reset that and said  a dollar was worth 1/35 ounce so all those folks holding our debt got a real haircut.   They all raised hell about it and he just said F ’em.   He was the one that cranked up the first entitlement programs with that New Deal and with new programs you gotta make new agencies to administer them.   Government got big and all up in our business when FDR was Prez.  You know as well as I do that Government don’t get smaller–it always gets bigger.  That socialist FDR started all that bull shit.’

My head was spinning and I had to ask ‘What got you all fired up on this T-mouse?’

‘Obamacare.   The Squeeze checked it out.  You know the reason it is so cheap for some folks is because the Government is subsidizing part of the monthly bill.  You called that an entitlement program, right?   You know me and The Squeeze are smokers so we do not qualify for the subsidy.  We gotta pay full measure.  It is like $15k a year for the two of us.   That ain’t happening.’

‘Hold on T  — you know you don’t have to do Obamacare if you have private health insurance, right?’

‘You know me and The Squeeze don’t have health insurance bro.  We just pay cash as we go.  The big diff is I choose to roll the dice on health care because I am free to do so.  With Obamacare, they force me to buy government insurance or pay a fine.  Holy crap, is that right?  When I saw the IRS was gonna be in charge of Obamacare enforcement I knew we was screwed and tattooed.  I’ll be damned and go to hell if I’m agonna pay full measure and subsidize some 3rd generation welfare mom and her 4 kids in Detroit just so’s they can get insurance for $100 bucks a month.  It just ain’t happenin’ let me tell ya.’

‘So what is the plan Tittlemouse?’  I always called him that when things got down to brass tacks.

‘Off the books bro. We gotta go off the books.   Hey listen, I gotta go.  The Squeeze just came in and turned on the flat screen.  Duck Dynasty is comin’ on.’

‘OK bro.  Tell me this real quick.  We got any out on this mess?’

‘Sure, Article V.  Article V of the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to call an amendments convention.  We got the power to make it right if enough folks get pissed off like I am. Gotta run!’

‘Later T’

The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic by Mark R. Levin

End Note: What’d I Say by Rare Earth from the 20th Century Masters cd.

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34 comments to You Can Pick Your Nose……..

  • Rob

    A constitutional convention? We have more to lose than to gain, do you really think that any of today’s professional politicians would allow the Bill Of Rights to stand?
    The Bill Of Rights has to be a major pain in the butt to managing the population and making a healthy profit!

    Speaking of healthy profits, the US health care BEFORE Obamacare was already #1 in cost in the industrial world and #37 in quality (40,000 Americans die every year because they can’t afford the health care product), this is just more cost and helps to reduce the dead.

    We have a lot more to lose than we have to gain with a Constitutional convention! That would give the professionals who actually run society the ability to rewrite the rule book behind closed doors. We don’t have Thomas Jefferson & his brethren looking out for us any more.

    One last thought, the 17th Amendment had to have the support of the states to pass it.

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    • Andrew

      Read Article V gain Rob. 2/3 of the STATES can call for a Constitutional Convention; any amendments ratified by 3/4 of the States stand. CONGRESS has ratified amendments 27 times. The States have attempted it before with no success. A Constitutional Convention called by the States is NOT dependent on the Congress of the United States for ANY part of the process. The Founders put that in specifically to allow the States to retain the power to thwart a corrupt government.

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      • Rob

        The states can call for the convention but once that box is open it’s open. It’s not limited to a single issue or problem like an amendment would be, the whole Constitution would be open for a re-write.
        There is no politician alive today I’d trust with that.

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  • joel

    LOL! What a goofball, that brother of yours!

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  • Jim

    What does your bro have to say about impeachment? Can the people do it or does it have to be congress?

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    • Andrew

      With a Democratic majority in the Senate, Impeachment will never fly.

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  • joel

    Considering that the current sitting president won a national election by a large majority of the voting citizens of the United States, and considering that he has since committed no high crimes and misdemeanors, I’d rate the chances of impeachment and conviction pretty low.

    I don’t see anything in the Constitution saying that serving as president while black is grounds for impeachment.

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  • joel

    “With a Democratic majority in the Senate, Impeachment will never fly.”

    Andrew, according to the US Constitution, the Senate has nothing to say about impeachment. The power to impeach rests solely with the House of Representatives, which has a GOP majority.

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    • Andrew

      Thanks for the clarification Joel. I learned something. Impeachment is not an answer to the problem. We would be in the same boat had Romney won.

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  • Lynette

    Soooo, is T’s “squeeze” a new one or did the old one return, after taking the vehicle and leaving him per a previous phone call to you, Andy? Just need to have this all-important clarification. Lol!

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  • joel

    “I wouldn’t consider 51.06% of the popular vote a “large majority,” but maybe that’s just me.”

    He beat the next biggest vote-getter by 3.9%. In historical terms, that is a large majority.

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    • Wallace

      Well, since you bring up history…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1860

      In a 4-way race, if you beat the next guy by over 10%, THAT is a large majority. I still say that if you garnered barely half the popular vote, you’d best be thanking your lucky stars instead of acting like you won by “a large majority.” In fact, he won more of the popular vote the first time around (2008). Has an incumbent ever had that happen before?

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      • joel

        ” I still say that if you garnered barely half the popular vote, you’d best be thanking your lucky stars instead of acting like you won by “a large majority.””

        Heh. At least he won with the popular vote, unlike the winner in the 2000 election.

        GWB ’00 margin: -0.51%
        GWB ’04 margin: 2.46%

        So Obama’s ’12 margin was greater than both of GWB’s margins combined! And yet, GWB behaved like he had an electoral mandate throughout his 8 years.

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        • Wallace

          Did you notice the GWB won by more popular votes the 2nd time than he did the first time? That’s not unusual — in fact, that’s the norm. So, you still didn’t answer my question regarding BHO: “In fact, he won more of the popular vote the first time around (2008). Has an incumbent ever had that happen before?”

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          • Andrew

            We have a two party system in name only these days. It is the difference of a red apple and a yellow apple. They are all rotten thieves that are handled by PACS, Big Business contributors and the Financial Powers That Be. Arguing the various benefits of one party over the other is fruitless.

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  • joel

    “Has an incumbent ever had that happen before?”

    Sure. One example is Lincoln. Another example is FDR: in fact, in ’44, he won by a smaller margin than *any* of the other three previous times he won.

    Feel free to do your own research.

    Who cares? Obama still won by wide margins both times. And the second time was still by a wider than the combined total of the previous president in both his elections!

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    • Wallace

      You keep repeating “Obama still won by wide margins both times,” but that doesn’t make it true. Proof by assertion? Ask any reasonable person if winning by 51.06% is a “wide margin” & they’ll tell you, “um ,no.” That being said, the trend for most incumbent is to win by a larger margin the 2nd time, as most voters are more familiar with them; they are no longer unknown. I find it quite revealing that BHO won by a lower percentage, almost as if the voters were finally wising up. Romney’s problem was that he told the truth about the 47% of the voters, & he was crucified for it.

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  • Trout

    A US debt-default and following economic implosion is much more likely before any constitutional convention.

    When something can NOT continue, it won’t and paying .5 to 3 percent on 12 trillion plus (5 trillion the Fed owes itself) can NOT continue. The Global Bankster System (reserve banking) has just about run out of “other peoples money”. Each 1 percent of interest on 12 trillion equals 120,000,000,000 (120 billion). Do the math… 2012 Fed Revenue was 5.1 trillion, expenditure was 1+ trillion over revenue.

    When the interest rate on Fed debt rises above 5 percent, the fat lady starts to sing… Greece is paying over 20%, Italy and Spain, ~7%. They either must start to cut-like-mad or implode then cut-like-mad.

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  • joel

    Analogies to Greece, Italy and Spain are specious. These are all Eurozone countries. They don’t control their own currency. The US does.

    The US deficit is dropping dramatically. The national debt, as a percent of GDP was higher at the end of WWII, and the US didn’t implode.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/the-long-story-of-us-debt-from-1790-to-2011-in-1-little-chart/265185/

    I see no reason to turn into Chicken Little. YMMV.

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    • Trout

      Your assumptions are specious. You assume the Dollar will continue to be the international reserve currency while China and other countries quite openly move to stop using the dollar. People are not stupid and know that currency will not hold value and can not be printed indefinitely without providing implicit value. This is reflected in the declining US Dollar-GDP ratio. If you like inflation, just hold onto your cash, rube. Zimbabwe prints it’s own money too. The fact is that the Fed is simply inflating the dollar because it has no choice – it can not pay the vig on it’s debt.

      We will see, won’t we ? It’s a matter of fact that FDR defaulted on US debt when he unilaterally modified the gold standard exchange rate(40% haircut)and made personal ownership of gold illegal (confiscated) by executive order. It’s debatable what the actual current debt is since the government continually LIES about the deficit and all other fiscal reporting. The federal debt stuck at exactly $16,699,396,000,000 for OVER 70 straight days while they spent 10 billion a day, conveniently just below their spending limit — yeh sure !!.

      If you think the longterm deficit is going to continue to drop, I have a bridge to sell you. Typical lefty bs.

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  • joel

    “FDR defaulted on US debt when he unilaterally modified the gold standard exchange rate(40% haircut)and made personal ownership of gold illegal (confiscated) by executive order.”

    And yet here we are 70 years later, and the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency.

    “If you think the longterm deficit is going to continue to drop”

    Define “longterm.” If you bothered to actually click the link, you’ll see that in the “longterm,” deficits in the US have dropped, then risen, then dropped, then risen, etc. As John Maynard Keynes–a far better economist than you’ll ever be–once said: In the long run we are all dead.

    “Zimbabwe prints it’s own money too.”

    LOL! And the moon has rocks, too. Did you have a point?

    “If you like inflation, just hold onto your cash, rube.”

    That’s “wealthy rube” to you, my young friend. We actually hold very little cash, of course. We have a balanced portfolio. It has served us well over the past several decades and I’m well-pleased with our investment judgements. May you be so fortunate.

    But the US is forever perched on the precipice of perdition, eh, young Trout?

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    • Andrew

      You know what is unsettling to me about the debt limit solution HR 2775 that Obama signed this week? Sure, it just kicks the can down the road until Feb 7, 2014 but the part I don’t like is the debt limit was NOT raised — it was suspended. That’s right, there is now no limit on government borrowing. Has the precedent been set that this is now a viable financial route for us?

      We haven’t had a budget passed since April 2009 and no one seems to care. Now, we have no spending limits and no one seems to care. Not in the States anyway; some of our foreign friends see it differently. China state media had this to say “It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.”

      All is not well in the Homeland folks.

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    • Miss Kathy

      Check out this.
      http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/keynesianmyth.html

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  • joel

    “Has the precedent been set that this is now a viable financial route for us?”

    No other industrialized nation on the planet requires a vote in the national legislature to raise the debt limit.

    China state media had this to say “It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.”

    This is the first time I’ve seen you quote China state media credulously. Which of their media have you been following and for how long? What other statements have they made that you also regard as a guide to action? What are some recent examples of Chinese state media statements that have led to a global change in policy?

    “All is not well in the Homeland folks.”

    And it won’t get better quickly until we focus on the real problem in this country–unemployment. Austerity has failed to promote recovery from a recession here and in all the industrialized nations where it has been tried. The way we reduced the debt/GDP after its record high at the end of WWII was to grow the economy, not by slashing federal spending.

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    • Andrew

      I am not going to niggle over facts and sources Joel because I just don’t do that.

      I wish it was just a simple as reducing unemployment. We don’t make anything anymore Joel. The jobs left along with the machinery and the factories. Hell, half the steel mills in the country have vanished in the last 40 years.

      There is no upward trend in the middle class — the standard of living is diminishing due to job availability and lower paying jobs. More people are falling below the poverty level than folks moving to the upper class.

      It won’t get better until people want to get a job; government entitlements are turning the country into a welfare state. A good portion of the citizens do not feel the need to get a job since the government sends ’em a check every month. Why should they?

      That is the problem.

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  • joel

    “That is the problem.”

    No, that is the fiction. The problem is that there are way too many people who used to work and who want to work again, but cannot find jobs. That’s the problem. Not the deficit. Not the debt. Not inflation. Jobs.

    The thing about facts and sources, Andy, is that they are the best path to an understanding of reality. Facts and sources are the stuff we use in science as guides to action. That, and a willingness to challenge preconceived notions about how things work.

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    • Andrew

      I’ll stand by what I said Joel. We will never have enough jobs available ever again to reach any semblance of near-full employment. Obamacare is forcing businesses to cut the payroll or the hours and just who is going to pay for all the medicare subsidized folks signing up? A healthy unemployed millennial can’t afford health insurance.

      The QE / unimaginable deficit spending / ever expanding social entitlement costs / borrowing from Peter to pay Paul will not work. Nobody can spin those numbers in any shape form or fashion to show me a bottom line in the black.

      I am preparing for the Long Decline. Those that will not acknowledge the problem in its’ whole severity will not be swayed by the likes of me I am sure.

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  • joel

    “The QE / unimaginable deficit spending / ever expanding social entitlement costs / borrowing from Peter to pay Paul will not work. ”

    Actually, Andy, the deficit has been declining. Here’s what reality looks like:

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/10/slaying-the-deficit-bogeyman.html

    The ACA has very little to do with payrolls and hours. It is a convenient whipping boy for businessmen who were going to make cuts and want to avoid the heat.

    As for what the future holds, how well has the crystal ball worked for the past 40 years of your life?

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    • Andrew

      The deficit is declining slightly this year but is still higher than historical levels.

      As far as the future, how about 2023, Social Security and government health-care spending is expected to hit $3 trillion, or half the budget.

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  • joel

    “As far as the future, how about 2023, Social Security and government health-care spending is expected to hit $3 trillion, or half the budget.”

    “Expected” by whom? Do you really believe budget projections ten years off? Did you predict today’s economy in 2003? Nobody else did at that time?

    Social Security pays for itself. It is not part of the deficit or the national debt.

    Every other industrialized nation on the planet has some form of single payer and has had for years. And yet, strangely, none of their governments have been bankrupted by government health care spending.

    If you’re planning to stay in the prophecy business, you should examine your assumptions.

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  • Miss Kathy

    Joel. The link you posted states: “According to C.B.O. projections, rising spending on Medicare, in particular, will blow a genuine hole in the budget during the twenty-twenties and twenty-thirties, causing the federal government’s over-all indebtedness to rise to a hundred per cent of G.D.P., or more.”!

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  • joel

    Kathy, if you follow the link on which that statement is based, you will read “Most of the projections in this report are based on the assumption that federal tax and spending policies will generally follow current law . . .”

    This assumption is a matter of convenience, not a prophecy. Federal tax and spending policies have changed in the past 10 years. It is highly unlikely that federal tax and spending policy will remain unchanged for the next 10 years.

    In the specific case of Medicare, which, of course, is driven by healthcare prices, the growth in healthcare costs as slowed recently. It is likely that some of the tax cuts implemented by GOP administrations will have to be rolled back.

    Of course, if Andy’s prophecy of growing inflation holds true, we’ll pay back our debts with cheaper dollars!

    But seriously, nobody really knows what the US economy will look like in 10 years. A growing economy means growing tax receipts. The US already has some of the lowest tax rates in the developed world (and has historically had much higher federal income tax rates during periods of growth), so increased taxes targeted Medicare wouldn’t harm the US economy.

    The reality is that Social Security is self-supporting and has nothing whatsoever to do with the federal deficit or the federal debt. Medicare does and will require adjustment, but Medicare isn’t, nor was it ever, to blame for the lion’s share of the deficit. Tax cuts during two US military invasions and occupations, coupled to a financial collapse caused by de-regulation of the financial services industry put us where we are today. We can get out without leaving a legacy of debt to the next generations if we invest in jobs and raise taxes back to historical levels to pay for what we’ve already taken.

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