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MUS-LOGUE – PART 3

The air was crisp and cool – a perfect autumn morning – as though the Earth herself could do no more than hold her breath just to take it all in ... a serene tapestry to fill the senses ... as if standing and looking across the mus-sized valley with its perfectly aligned rectangles of golden wheat meant nothing less than acknowledging the very presence of God.

     When suddenly from beyond a small rise ... singing! ... to the tune of “Wooden Soldiers on Parade,” oddly enough, but something like four octaves higher than normal. Onlookers would have been mildly shocked to see column after column of little white muroid rodents – red-jacketed and at least 500 strong – mus-stepping their way along what used to be the narrow and winding castle driveway back in the old days. Their leader, dressed in white from head to toe and draped with multicolored ribbons, was a fine looking mouse, if quite nearsighted apparently, as his thick glasses made his eyes look enormous.

Leader ~ “It's us”
Cadre ~ “It's us”
Leader ~ “We're Mus”
Cadre ~ “We're Mus”
:::: ~ “It's off to the fields”
:::: ~ “Away for our meals”
:::: ~ “It's off to the fields we go.”

     The cadence continued around a bend and through what at first glance appeared to be a stand of young saplings, making it seem as if everything in the landscape had been carved out in miniature. And yet the trained eye might have thought there could be something amiss. What was it about those small trees if not the perception that somehow they'd been placed there for a reason, and, as trees go at least, weren't they actually a bit too weedy-looking?

     The mystery righted itself, however, as chaos began to break out in ranks once the leader – who was legally blind anyway – had rounded the bend, thereby losing sight of the columns toward the rear. And just then, in what seemed to be the unfolding of a rather bold scheme – for a mouse at least – a pile of leaves began to rustle with the emergence of an overweight, bloat-faced and also seriously myopic rodent. It was the Drugster moving in to take up his collection.

     The sudden breakdown in discipline spread quickly and with no time to lose, the rank and file began pulling like crazy at the leaves on the would-be “trees” as they marched past, finishing – on peril of serious bodily harm – with a “donation” dropped into the Drugster's outstretched cap.

     “You're crazy, y'know that, Drugster?” whispered a young trooper as he dropped his coin. “You're gonna get us all killed!”

     “You don't appreciate my genius, son,” the Drugster replied. “Don't you get it? Bro' here has managed to get his paws on everything except these because they're right out in plain view.”

     “Hey I get it, man. I get it that you don't mind if you lose your tail. In fact, you already did. But I can't go for that, understand?”

     And yet of all the things that can go awry, one of them, said Robert Burns, would be the best laid plans of ... well mice, actually, and sadly, this was one of those times. The commandant's voice coming from the head of the column was getting through loud and clear ...

     “Cadence ... count! – ONE – TWO – THREE – FOUR – battalion! ... HALT!”

     ... and what was happening in the rear resembled little less than a fur-covered train wreck.

     “Stop shoving! ... “Ow! You're standing on my tail!”... “Get back in line!” ... “Shut up, asshole!” ... “No, you shut up!”

     There was a sudden silence as the commandant was practically upon them.

     “Well, what have we here?” was the commandant's snide greeting as he strode toward the “hang mouse” looking little crowd.

     “All in the name of freedom, Bro,” Drugster replied.

     “You can't handle freedom! ... and who are you calling 'Bro,' Bro?" snapped the commandant with his eyes fixed firmly on the Drugster's unwavering gaze. "All You really want is the freedom to corrupt! This is exactly how the humans “lost it” you know. You're a hypocrite! ... and if there's one thing I can't stand it's hypocrisy! Guards! Off with their tails!”

     The candles had all burned low, and while some of the very youngest had fallen asleep, many hundreds of tiny eyes were still shining brightly as they looked back and forth at each other in awe and wonder.

     “And so children, that's how on that one bloody day all the white mice lost their tails,” sighed the old Papa, “and this is why still today all white mice have their tails bobbed at birth out of reverence for The Great One – the one who many believe saved all of mus-kind.”

     Out of the great sea of children hanging on every word of the old Papa's story, one small brown mouse stood and immediately spoke up.

     “Why only the white mice, Papa?” Aren't we just as important?”

     “Indeed you are, little one,” Papa replied with a kindly smile. “Other mice have their tails bobbed too, you know, and not all for the same reasons, either. Some think it's liberating, I guess you'd say, and others think it's just stupid.”

     “But it happened so long ago, Papa,” said one of the older children, rising quickly. “We want to be modern, and some of my friends are saying that The Great One was just being mus-guided.”

     “Well, began the wise old Papa with a hearty chuckle. “That's something each one of us needs to work out for ourselves, is it not?”

------------------------------------------

PART 3, INTRODUCTION

“Freedom isn't free,” as they like to say, but it is for sale through a clearinghouse known as the U.S. Supreme Court.

     Every time the Supreme Court rules in favor of a special interest group, it undermines the freedom of the remaining masses. The two most recent examples: the overturning of the D.C. handgun ban (District of Columbia vs. Heller) and the lifting of the ban on political campaign spending by corporations (Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission).

     This is known in the legal sense as “taking the narrow view” which supports special interest lobbying groups in the same way that atmospheric oxygen supports all those who breathe. Furthermore, as decisions like this go forward there can be no doubt in a thinking person's mind that this was not the intent of the original framers of the Constitution.

     Paradoxically, there is a school of thought called Originalism, which states that laws must be interpreted from the bench as would be appropriate in the context of an original setting – contemporaneous perhaps, but not out of necessity. According to RationalWiki, “Originalism is popular with United States conservatives in general and conservative U.S. judges in particular (see note 1). This can be best observed in the push for originalist judges to be nominated to positions where constitutional law cases will most likely be heard.”

     But there are obvious problems. RationalWiki says: “... a document written in the 18th century cannot perfectly relate to the United States of the 21st century, so interpretation will always be required. In modern times, many issues come up which simply have no analogy from the 18th century, and thus we must seek to guide ourselves, rather than trying to ask how dead men's opinions on other matters might tell us what to do” (see note 2).

~~ The Drugster Doesn't Hear It ~~

     So 235 years later we have tea partiers, gun toters and freedom fighters all looking for their little slice of freedom. And who's buying? ... the NRA and it's dealership wing of the gun-running business, for one. Who's selling? ... Rush Limbaugh and the ignorati whose best thinking tells them it's time to go back two centuries and bask in the glow of slave owning free thinkers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

     And then there are the remaining 300 million or so Americans who are simply trying to get through their lives day by day. Because special interest freedom, you see, doesn't give a hoot about anyone's freedom except its own. So whad'd'ya say? Are you buying? ... or selling.

THE BACK STORY

     We shouldn't allow ourselves to get too lost in the weeds here (pun intended). This great nation deserves better than the way we're going about balancing our inputs and outputs ... debits and credits ... pluses and minuses on a daily basis. So the question becomes, how much government is too much or too little, and how do we go about striking a balance? We could start at the beginning and note in passing that the right of free speech is pretty hard to usurp in its position as #1 in the Bill of Rights.

     Yet it's still all about balance. Telemarketers have a right to free speech, but not while we're at the dinner table. You can't yell fire in a crowded theater. Installing a granite copy of the Ten Commandments on government property is a no-no. There's libel ... conspiracy, and plagiarism (taking credit for the literary works of others). Free speech isn't always obvious ... sometimes you have to remove your blindfold before speaking.

     You take a Rush Limbaugh, for example, and you come away believing that the only rule is that there are no rules – not in the First Amendment ... the Second ... the Tenth nor any of those in between. That's because he's hellishly passionate about his freedoms, but you ... well, you can just go to hell. The fact is that you don't use facts against the Limbaugh crowd. They pay no attention to facts – none whatsoever. An online edition of "Fair" and its published list of Limbaugh “whoppers” has gone as far as is practicable in a somewhat dated article entitled, “The Way Things Aren't” (see note 3) toward exposing a master prevaricator to the world at large, which through Fair's own admission represents hardly more than a scratch across the surface.

THE BACK STORY BACK STORY

~~ The Tenth Amendment ~~

     Unfortunately, the Right-wingnuts have it all so very, very wrong. They muddle through their American History even while it's obviously the one class they slept their entire way through in school. And the mainstream media isn't much better, either. Chris Matthews, for example, who is one of the best at what he does, can't seem to place the stake over the heart of the beast and drive home the fact that the Constitution contains a Supremacy Clause ... wherein, “The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be *necessary and proper* for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, [enumerated Powers] and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

     This is crystal clear language. It is saying that no state flag shall fly higher than the National Flag of the United States ... meaning any argument that attempts to assert states' supremacy in this country is a mythological one. These groups – Tea Partiers, etc. – all have at least one thing in common. They seem to be of the belief that a trip back in time will solve everything. Well guess what ... they didn't have states' supremacy back then either.

~~ Party Time for Some ~~

     The Tea Partiers and others seem to think that by simply invoking the name of Thomas Jefferson all their prayers will be answered. Well for them the Light Divine could come streaming in from somewhere, perhaps, but first they'd better decide that they really, really like farming. Jefferson claimed to champion the “yeoman farmer” over bankers and industrialists, making “Jeffersonian Democracy” the philosophical opposite of Limbaugh's today.

     Ah, but Jefferson never envisioned farming becoming Big Ag (beyond the role of King Cotton) and he certainly never saw anything like Herbert Hoover's 1928 Federal Farm Board program coming. Yet being a plantation owner himself, Jefferson was absolutely no stranger to agricultural protectionism in the form of import tariffs ... the first seeds of corporate welfare as we know it. Somehow, the poor yeoman farmers – America's counterpart to the serfs of Europe – couldn't grasp the duplicity at work against them. With corporatist leanings at heart, Jefferson and his Democratic Republicans – the party he founded – kept their true allegiance to themselves, with Republicans continuing to pull the cotton over the eyes of the grass roots from then to the present day – Tea Partiers, Palin, Limbaugh and all like them included.

~~ Crying Time for Others ~~

     So what was it like in the United States back in the day? It's Census time here in 2010 and maybe a look back at the first U.S. Census in 1790 can provide us with an interesting glimpse into our ancestral heritage. Philadelphia was the nation's largest city, (pop. 50,000) and along with the Census came the first Census questionnaire as obtained from Wikipedia (see note 4)

     The information found in the 1790 census is as follows. Columns, left to right:

     1. Name of head of family
     2. Number of free white males 16 and up, including heads of families
     3. Number of free white males under 16
     4. Number of free white females including heads of families
     5. Number of all other free persons, except Indians not taxed
     6. Number of slaves

     Now were it not for one or more of the many imponderables surrounding his birth, or anyone's, for that matter, Rush Limbaugh may very well have found his profile appearing somewhere at or near the bottom of this list, lending assurance to the fact that his beloved set of “core principles” back then would sound nothing like what spills from his mouth today.

~~ Time Keeps Slippin', Slippin', Slippin' ~~

     John Browning developed the first semi-automatic handgun – a pistol in .32 caliber – as late as 1896 (see note 5), or 107 years after ratification of the U.S. Constitution. So we're talking about a time even before the six-shooter when the muzzle loaded, ball- and-powder rifle was at the technological forefront in weaponry. Mightn't it occur to anyone, then, that the thought of firing from a clip as fast as the shooter could pull the trigger would absolutely have set Washington's wooden teeth on edge? Mightn't this have changed the way the 2nd Amendment was worded?

     [A reminder here -- there were runaway slaves throughout the country, and history records a great deal of concern over armed slave movements, of which there were many. Suppose for a moment that automatic and semi-automatic weapons were the order of the day, and then try to imagine the new level of concern.]

     Actually, we doubt that the Tea Partiers would want to admit that technology is a product of the time frame it's in, or that the times and the technology influence each other. In thinking that modern “socialists” like FDR have torn up the Constitution, they fail to realize that it's technology that has forged ahead, creating the appearance that the Constitution no longer speaks to them directly ... the magnification factor all the while being proportional to the strength of the conservative lens, of course.

     Thomas Wolfe said you can't go home again while Einstein said that all time is relative, and so the Tea Partiers have fallen for an illusion. They propose reverting to the “original” Constitution, when, having been amended a mere 17 times (two of those wasted on Prohibition) in the 230+ years since the original Bill of Rights, it is to be suggested here that if anything it's the Constitution that needs to be brought forward into the modern world, thus reestablishing the alignment many conservatives desire so fervently. Maybe that way we could actually define once and for all what we mean by the word, “militia.”

     At the risk of sounding repetitive, none of this can be argued with Limbaugh in a rational manner. The only thing that explains Limbaugh and his political posturing today is the Mus factor, as elucidated in the next section.

PROFILE OF A POSTURING PREVARICATOR

~~ Mus Factor – The Would-Be Student ~~

     “Limbaugh began his career in radio as a teenager in 1967 in his hometown of Cape Girardeau, using the name Rusty Sharpe. He graduated from Cape Central High School, in 1969. Because of his parents' desire to see him attend college, he enrolled in Southeast Missouri State University but left the school after two semesters and one summer. According to his mother, 'he flunked everything', and 'he just didn't seem interested in anything except radio.'" [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – The Wouldn't-Be Soldier ~~

     According to Wikipedia, “Limbaugh's birthdate was ranked as 152 in the Vietnam War draft lottery. No one was drafted above 125. He was classified as “1-Y” (later reclassified “4-F”) due to either a football knee injury or a diagnosis of Pilonidal disease” (see note 6).

     So let's get this straight. Due to circumstances totally beyond his control, that is, because of a highly curable skin problem which has been described colloquially as “a boil on the butt” (see note 7), we are made to understand that Limbaugh's disqualification from active participation in his one great passion – the preservation of freedom in America – resulted from his having "a pain in the ass.”

     Well we're glad to have cleared that up, Rush. Not only did the military have your number, now you know exactly how you come across to the rest of us as well.

~~ Mus Factor – Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out ~~

     "Turn on, tune in, drop out is a counterculture phrase coined by Timothy Leary in the 1960s. The phrase [was meant] to promote the benefits of LSD. It is an excerpt from a prepared speech ... in New York City on September 19, 1966, [urging] people to embrace cultural changes through the use of psychedelics and by detaching themselves from the existing conventions and hierarchies in society.” (see note 8).

     “The phrase is derived from this part of Leary's speech:

     "Like every great religion of the past we seek to find the divinity within and to express this revelation in a life of glorification and the worship of God. These ancient goals we define in the metaphor of the present — turn on, tune in, drop out” (see note 9).

~~ Mus Factor – Drop Out ~~

     “After dropping out of college, Limbaugh moved to McKeesport, Pennsylvania. In 1972, he became a Top 40 music disc jockey on WIXZ, a small AM radio station that reached much of the Pittsburgh area. He started with an afternoon show and later did mornings, broadcasting under the name "Jeff Christie". Limbaugh moved to Pittsburgh station KQV in 1973 as the evening disc jockey, succeeding Jim Quinn. He was fired in late-1974, when the station was sold to Taft Broadcasting. Limbaugh was reportedly told by management that he would never make it as on air talent, and should consider going into sales.[1] After not finding another job in radio, Limbaugh moved back home to Cape Girardeau. He became a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers from his time in the region.” [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – Repeal of the Fairness Doctrine ~~

     “The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine—which had required that stations provide free air time for responses to any controversial opinions that were broadcast—by the FCC in 1987 meant stations could broadcast editorial commentary without having to present opposing views. Daniel Henninger wrote, in a Wall Street Journal editorial, "Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the Fairness Doctrine) in 1987 ... and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination." [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – The Arm Chair General ~~

     “Limbaugh's rising popularity coincided with the Persian Gulf War, and his support for the war effort and his relentless ridicule of peace activists. The program gained more popularity and was moved to stations with larger audiences, eventually being broadcast on over 650 radio stations nationwide.” [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – The Arm Chair Quarterback ~~

     “In 2003, Limbaugh had a brief stint as a pro football commentator with ESPN. He resigned a few weeks into the 2003 NFL season after making comments about the press coverage for quarterback Donovan McNabb, which one sportswriter construed as racist against himself and other sportswriters.[11] Another sports analyst wrote Limbaugh's viewpoint was shared by "many football fans and analysts" and "it is ...absurd to say that the sports media haven't overrated Donovan McNabb because he's black." [12]

     "In April 2006, Limbaugh turned himself in and was arrested "on a single charge of prescription fraud".[13] His record was later expunged after eighteen months of rehabilitation and paying court costs.” [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – Tune In ~~

     “As of 2006 [update], Arbitron ratings indicated that The Rush Limbaugh Show had a minimum weekly audience of 13.5 million listeners, making it the largest radio talk show audience in the United States. In March 2006, WBAL in Baltimore, MD became the first radio station in the country to drop Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio program.” [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – Phony Medicine ~~

     “On the October 23, 2006, edition of his radio show, Limbaugh imitated on the "DittoCam" (the webcam for Web site subscribers to see him on the air) the physical symptoms actor Michael J. Fox showed in a television commercial raising Parkinson's disease awareness.[20][21] He said "(Fox) is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act ... This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting “ [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – Genuine Racism ~~

     “On March 19, 2007, Limbaugh referred to a Los Angeles Times editorial by David Ehrenstein which claimed that Barack Obama was filling the role of the "magic negro," and that this explained his appeal to voters.[24] Limbaugh then later played a song by Paul Shanklin entitled "Barack the Magic Negro,"[25] sung to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – Phony Patriotism ~~

     “During the September 26, 2007, broadcast of Limbaugh's radio show, Limbaugh used the term "phony soldiers" when speaking to a caller who had brought up soldiers who criticize the war.[27][28][29][30][31] The caller, saying he was currently serving in the Army for 14 years, said, "They never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media." Limbaugh interrupted, "The phony soldiers." [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – The Carpetbagger ~~

     “In an attempt to undermine the 2008 Democratic primary campaigns, Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to vote for whoever was behind in the race, an effort dubbed "Operation Chaos".[41] In Ohio, Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to register as Democrats and vote for Hillary Clinton. In Ohio, voters changing their registration must attest that they support the principles of the party to which they switch. About 16,000 Ohio Republicans switched parties for the election.” [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – The Seditionist ~~

     “On January 16, 2009, Limbaugh read a letter on his radio show that he had received a request from a national print outlet: ... "If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal." He responded, "I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails." He explained that he didn't want "absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work." [Wikipedia]

~~ Mus Factor – Turn On ~~

     “On October 3, 2003 the National Enquirer reported that Limbaugh was being investigated for illegally obtaining the prescription drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone. Other news outlets quickly confirmed the investigation. A subsequent investigation into whether Limbaugh had violated Florida's doctor shopping laws was launched by the Palm Beach State Attorney, which raised privacy issues when investigators seized Limbaugh's private medical records looking for evidence of crimes.” [Wikipedia]

     “On April 28, 2006, Limbaugh and his attorney, Roy Black, went to the Palm Beach County Jail to surrender after a warrant was issued for his arrest on the charge of doctor shopping.[116] According to Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Sheriff, during his arrest, Limbaugh was booked, photographed, and fingerprinted, but not handcuffed. He was then released after about an hour on $3,000 bail.” [Wikipedia]

     Before his addiction became known, Limbaugh had condemned illegal drug use on his television program, stating that those convicted of drug crimes should be sent to jail.” (Mus factor) “Roy Black, one of Limbaugh's attorneys, stated that "Rush Limbaugh was singled out for prosecution because of who he is. We believe the state attorney's office is applying a double standard." (Mus factor) [Wikipedia]

     “In June 2006, Limbaugh was detained by drug enforcement agents at Palm Beach International Airport. Customs officials confiscated Viagra from Limbaugh's luggage as he was returning from the Dominican Republic. The prescription was not in Limbaugh's name.” [Wikipedia]

     We know for a fact that drug addiction is a brain disease, so if you're going to listen to someone with a disease, make sure it isn't coming from anyone who is surely losing his mind.

-------------------------------------------

NOTES

(1) http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Originalism

(2) ibid. Anton Scalia and Clarence Thomas – two of the nation's most prominent jurists – are originalists. (The Introduction to this piece also opened with reference to the U.S. Supreme Court)

(3 ) http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1895

(4 ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1790_United_States_Census

(5 ) http://www.aaawt.com/html/firearms/f154.html

(6) http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/pilonidal-disease-topic-overview

(7) http://www.snopes.com/military/limbaugh.asp

(8 ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turn_on,_tune_in,_drop_out

(9) Ibid.

[1] a b c d e f g h i j Paul D. Colford. The Rush Limbaugh story: talent on loan from God: an unauthorized biography. New York. St. Martin’s Press, 1993. ISBN 0-312-09906-1.

[11] King, Peter (September 30, 2003). "Open mouth, insert foot, Limbaugh's comments on McNabb aren't racist, but they are boneheaded". SI.com. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2003/writers/peter_king/09/30/mcnabb_limbaugh/. 

[12] http://www.slate.com/id/2089193/

[13] Limbaugh admits addiction to pain medication Accessed 20010-01-04

[20] Election 2004 | Pa. Sen. Specter Focuses on Stem Cell Support To Attract Moderate Voters, Distances Himself From Bush in Re-Election Campaign Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

[21] Michael J. Fox Fires Back at Critics ABC News

[24] Ehrenstein, David (March 19, 2007). "Obama the 'Magic Negro'". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-ehrenstein19mar19,0,5335087.story?coll=la- opinion-center. 

[25] Paul Shanklin. "Barack the Magic Negro". Rush Limbaugh web site (cached via Akamai). http://mfile.akamai.com/5020/wma/rushlimb.download.akamai.com/5020/New/barackthemagicnegr o.asx. 

[27] Mooney, Alex. (2007-10-01). "Top Democrat blasts Limbaugh for 'phony soldiers' comment". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/01/reid.limbaugh/. Retrieved 2007-10- 23. 

[28] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298556,00.html

[29] http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1004/p99s01-duts.html

[30] http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/politics/view.bg?articleid=1034890

[31] CNN. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/09/28/dems-seize-on-limbaughs-phony- soldier-comment/?fbid=54GDutdfEZM. Retrieved March 31, 2010. 

[41] a b "Rush to Excellence Speech for WPHT-AM Philadelphia". Transcript. RushLimbaugh.com. October 11, 2007. http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_101207/content/01125106.guest.html. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 

[116] "Lowry, Newsweek attacked media for reporting that Limbaugh was "arrested"". Media Matters. May 1, 2006. http://mediamatters.org/items/200605010011. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
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Fritzwilliam


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