Thursday, October 23, 2008

Iron Constitution

I'm sure many of you remember when I wrote about the Border Patrol SUV parked outside a downtown Cleveland hotel for a few days.

"Of course they do, that's the one time you didn't dull the purple pain of your banal, oh so banal prose with a picture of a scantily-clad lady."

Shut up, brain or I'll stab you to death with a Q-tip. Anyway, thanks to those communist Muslim fundamentalist Nazis over at the ACLU, I recently found out why it was here: I'm living in a Constitution-Free Zone®! Sure, it's fascist, left-wing propaganda, but check out this cool map!

One of my classmates spent a couple of semesters a few years back up in Quebec studying the life and habitat of the nearest frog enclave, and he said that he received far more grief both to-and-fro on the Murkan side of the fence than from the gentle Canadian hippies. Probably didn't help that he's a brother; you know how they are, been plotting to bring down the government for decades.

Oh well, at least I've got nothing to hide. Long ago I learned my lesson, and thus keep my porn, weed and out-of-state fruits and vegetables in my basement next to the meth lab and S&M dungeon.

One more thing. I don't like being disappointed in my fellow Murkans, really I don't, as it pains me more than my posts pain you, but this is just silly. recently ran a poll for our favorite movie pretzeldent and I can't believe Han Solo tore down the voting wall when there was such an obvious, nay, duh, choice.

America, there you go again.


Wait. The 1980s weren't a movie?


Frederick said...

No Sir, they weren't just a movie. And if they were I'd still vote 'em the worstest soundtrack evar. But hey, I live in a Constitution-Free Zone®, so what do I have to complain about.

FranIAm said...

CFZ (Constitution Free Zone) - that is it, isn't it?

I wish you would watch your hateful, not-pro-American(not quite ready to label you as anti) mouth young man.

susan said...

I've got news that won't surprise you in that the US Immigration officials aren't too thrilled to welcome back a middle aged white Canadian Registered Alien either. Passport? check. Alien Card? check. Driver's License? check. Proof of Residence? check. Proof of Employment? check. There have been moments when I've been tempted to stay on the other side where they like me for myself.

Missy said...

Oh, I'm not afraid to call him anti-American. Look, there are Americans, and then there are anti-Americans. Randal is clearly the latter.

The House Anti-American Activities Committee is gonna bust you. Just wait and see. They'll find you hiding in that S&M dungeon--then they're gonna lock you in.

Interesting that all of Michigan is Constitution free. Wow. Who knew?

Übermilf said...

I'm also without constitutional protection!

Woo Hoo! See you on the cattle car as we're shipped off to the work camp!

MRMacrum said...

Having Bush the First relaxing and sunbathing on a regular basis for the last 20 years not 30 miles from here, I have been living in a "Constitution Free Zone" for what feels like forever. Golfers on the Kennebunk links must vacate the premises when the ole man wants to shag some balls. Square miles of woods are cordoned off and patrolled by balck SUVs when Bush the Dull son feels like riding his mountain bike.

But this all pales to your predicament. Imagine Homeland Security's concern over a city that exists next to a lake that on occaision used to catch fire. They say that problem has been dealt with, but you know the guys in sunglasses and ear gadgets in their ears. I am sure they hang out 24/7 with eyeglasses focused on Lake Erie. Just waiting, maybe even praying some muslim loser will strike a match and poof, there goes Cleveland.

Randal Graves said...

frederick, oh c'mon, what about, no, well how about, hmm. You're right. Worst. Soundtrack. Ever. And be careful up there, there might be socialists afoot.

fran, I can't help it, I was brainwashed by Barack Hussein X's childhood madrasah through time-traveling osmosis.

susan, of course such a tale doesn't surprise me. You're from Canada and thus helped all those cowardly draft dodgers who didn't wish to expand American imperialism through their needless death in the field or by McCain crashing on them.

missy, see, who's the smarty pants now, Miss HAAAC - better get that cough checked out. I hope you didn't swallow a copy of the constitution. They keep you regular but they don't go down so well.

übermilf, oh jeez, should I make the call to Godwin now or later?

Wait, I already said Nazi. Dammit!

mrmacrum, I'm glad you see that I have it far worse than you do. Sure, Bush the Smarter and/or his offspring - watch out for falling pretzels! - don't come 'round these parts all that often - must be the flaming water - and speaking of that, I must correct your error. The river, not the lake, was a toxic inferno of pollution. I'd love to give you more details on our history, but it's my shift to keep an eye out for anti-Americans.

La Belette Rouge said...

The 80's were a movie by John Hughes. I saw it. And, the last presidency was the theater of the absurd. And, McLame so wants to do a remake of the Reagan film.

Speaking of Prez films, I saw W. I was sorry to see how kind Oliver Stone was to W. I almost felt sorry for W. I know, shocking! Fret not, that feeling did not last.

Dean Wormer said...

It will be so nice to have people in the White House who don't read the constitution simply because they're searching for loopholes.

Sal Kilmister said...

Randal, you are a day late with that brilliant map...

Great work otherwise.

puddy said...

no bagging on the 80s... they gave us swayze after all...

DCup said...

We don't need no stinkin' constitution.

Liberality said...

I gotta brag that I live in a constitutional enforced zone but then again, I live in a red area and get hassled by the local police and governing officials so that ain't saying much.

okjimm said...

Oh, wowsers! So that is why I keep getting pulled over! I never thought of Lake Michigan as a border.....but then again....Illinois is rather foreign.

Beach Bum said...

Looking on the map I seem to straddling the border down around Columbia, South Carolina. I guess I'll need to buy a GPS to know when I enter the CFZ. But down here they don't put too much stock in pieces of paper(like the Constitution with all those rights), its unmanly and ant-American to them. All they need is Jesus and guns.

KELSO'S NUTS said...


I have no particular problem with guns. Hunting and target shooting are pretty popular in South America (Colombia is a whole other story...pure madness there and everybody's got stockpiles of guns and explosives), but there are strict laws about brandishing a firearm in public or anything and everything worse. The sport guns have to be kept locked up at a hunting club or a target range. No automatic weapons, obviously, and no cut shotguns.

I exercise my right NOT to own a gun.

America has a long way to go to reach the kind of social contract the rest of the Western world has though. Boy, did I get a lesson in that when I had the temerity to tell the truth about Colin Powell! Once he was sort of kind of but not really on Team Democrat, he was off-limits.

I think that with an Obama win pretty much cinched up, Democrats, liberals, progressives, social democrats, libertarians, populists, and just people of conscience have to look not to blame the GOP but to find out what's missing in the opposition.

From my way of thinking and what I've observed in the blogosphere, there are plenty of issues the opposition has to get comfortable with if the USA is going to have democratic republican constitutional self-government again. You need to get off this war/military fetish. World War II is long over. Time to give that shit up and free up lots and lots of budget room for positive things. You have to get off the punishment fetish. No more death penalty. No more life sentences. No more KKK-and-yer-out. No more locking up children with adults. No more political concentration camps like GITMO. No more federal sentencing guidelines. Judges have to have discretion again. Non-violent crimes have to be dealt with non-violently. "Victimless" crimes should either be decriminialized into civil violations or LEGALIZED. You've got to start respecting each other and codify that into serious anti-discrimination law for all groups who feel aggrieved. Starting at least with legalizing gay civil marriage. You've got to make Organized Religion pay their taxes or shut the fuck up.

Canada's done all that. France has done all that. Even Israel has done it.

Yet, what I've suggested couldn't happen in America for 50 years. Your OPPOSITION candidate disagrees with me on all of that. Secretly, I'm sure, many very polite bloggers do too.

Something to consider anyway, if you really want change.

Things will be a little mellower with Obama as president for sure. But they certainly don't have to be mellower. The first three cabinet officers he's suggested have been Powell, and keeping Paulson and Gates. Mueller is staying on by right at FBI.

THE rich are still going to do super-great under Obama while the poor and still going to starve. The dreaded "corporations" will still exist. They may not get incentives to domicile off-shore but they'll find work-arounds. Obama has certainly promised you an escalation of fighting in South Asia.

You could have a lot more rights and liberties if you wanted them. Most of the rest of the world were dictatorships not long ago but the people said "that's more." If you're right with that list of issues I set forth above, you have to stay in America and make it better or leave tomorrow because when REALID comes, state-to-state travel will be difficult and there will be no shortage of refuseniks. Or you can get mad at me.


Martin Sheen "The West Wing"

Fredric Marsh "Seven Days In May"

Philip Baker Hall (as Nixon) "Secret Honor"

Anthony Hopkins (as Nixon) "Nixon"

Gergory Peck: "Amazing Grace And Chuck"

Michael Douglas "The American President"

Robin Williams "Man Of The Year"

HONORABLE MENTION: Ray McAnally as PM of UK in "A Very British Coup" [if he were eligible he'd be #2 behind Sheen]

Unconventional Conventionist said...

The 1980's WERE TOO a movie. I watched some of the early punk parts, but then walked out after a while.

Mathman6293 said...

I thought that a merkin was something else.

Utah Savage said...

Utah is a CFZ concentration camp that has camps within it's borders. We take all the refugees from red states gone blue.

Mathman I too thought we were talkin Merkin, but no we're not. Merkin is more fun that Murkan

S.W. Anderson said...

Randal wrote: ". . . keep my porn, weed and out-of-state fruits and vegetables in my basement next to the meth lab and S&M dungeon."

Add a well-stocked bar, thick-carpeted room with dim, colored accent lighting, mirror walls, oversize pillows and a few air mattresses, plus some surround-sound Miles Davis, and you could host the next big AIG or Merrill Lynch bash.

Now, the vomitorium might pose a challenge for your friendly local plumbing contractor, but with a little ingenuity . . .

As for visiting Border Patrol agents, they might be up for a little partying themselves. You never know.

Randal Graves said...

LBR, it's a good thing he's not making movies anymore, or poor Molly Ringwald would be cast as Mooselini.

I might feel sorry for W if he were 18. Alas, he's not. Thus, undying hatred.

dean, like you don't do the same thing when you pothead Oregonians are plotting your next abortion-fueled riot.

sal, just trying to keep the celebration going!

puddy, bag on Mr. Swayze, after he won an Oscar for playing a dancing wolverine who lived in a house by the road?

dcup, sure we do! What will I write on if I run out of loose-leaf paper?

liberality, if you weren't so hellbent on destroying the fabric of the Union with your anti-Americanism, you wouldn't have these problems.

okjimm, I don't know, I'm a bit wary of you guys and all that cheese. Sounds like an anti-American trick to me!

BB, it doesn't help that you yourself are obviously a tool of the local party commissar. My suggestion? Buy some guns and extra Jesuses.

monsieur panama, I've got no problems with guns in and of themselves, but like virtually everything else in America, it's our attitude towards and about them that causes problems; our social DNA needs a massive sea change (that's redundant, muah) and I don't think Murkans are willing to do the things necessary to affect such change.

Powell is an excellent example. Sure, Obama would be foolish politically to not take his support as he's popular, but like on most things, we refuse to talk like adults about anything. Powell should be in jail like so many other American war criminals.

The piss poor economy is a glimpse into what change could happen here. The ability to pay the bills pretty much trumps every other issue all the time, including racism, homophobia, etc. Such wedge issues lose their power when Joe the Plumber and Jane His Wife can't pay x, y or z.

Shit, you hit on one of my pet peeves, the fetishization of the military. You can't even discuss such matters rationally without someone getting their knickers in a twist. Wanting to slash the military budget as we stop pretending on teevee to be the saviors of the world - not to mention Americans coming to grips with the fact that we ARE an empire - isn't 'hating the troops' or whatever strawman you want to erect.

Soldiers can have a tough job. So can cops and firemen and teachers and moms and dads. Putting forth constructive criticism of our policies and worldview isn't hating. If someone honestly critiques my fiction, they aren't hating me, they're trying to assist me in making it better.

Your summation of les Etats-Unis under Obama, I couldn't agree more. A kindler, gentler empire. I don't know why anyone thinks things will massively improve. The American people aren't ready for such improvements because they aren't ready to talk like adults about what would be required to bring them forth.

Believe me, I wish I had a magic elixir to get folks - sorry for stealing your line, Chimpy - on the right path. Hell, it's exhausting simply trying to convince my center-right sister that voting for McPOW is one bad idea. Getting hundreds of millions to wake up? Look at what it took to get them to raise their voice a little, a fucked up economy. Marching off to war and such? What, Feingold, Kucinich and a few others? Those topics just aren't sexy because we've so perfected the out-of-sight, out-of-mind. We don't care that sentencing is racist or that we'll imprison you if you dig getting high on weekends after busting your ass and paying taxes for five days. Only bad guys are in jail.

It's easier to believe the lie, I suppose.

As for your presidents, I haven't seen Man of the Year. Was it actually pretty good?

UC, I'm sure you went off to commit some anarchy in various Anglo-American nations.

mathman, Bush's pretzeldency is much funnier and bizarre if he's been saying that all this time.

utah, but you've got the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing the blues away.

My fellow Merkins, heh, heh.

SWA, that sounds pretty swanky. Do CEOs still do lines of blow or have they moved on to even more designer drugs?

Hey, if it'll keep them from tossing me in Gitmo, I'll share the stash.

DivaJood said...

Harrison Ford is hot, but I would have voted for Martin Sheen. Michael Douglas was a pretty good President too, so was Kevin Kline in Dave.

So, California sucks, I need to move back to Illinois.

Randal Graves said...

I forgot about Kline, though my favorite role of his has to be from this flick. Of course California sucks, that's where all the hippie peaceniks are!

Christopher said...

According to the USA Patriot Act, if you're arrested and cite the United States Constitution and/or Bill of Rights, it can be construed as "a possible terrorist action."

Imagine that?

Citing our nation's governing document in the post-9/11 era makes us terrorists?

Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Pinochet would be proud!

Randal Graves said...

Especially since McPOW was a BFF of Pinochet!

Border Explorer said...

The map makes 2/3 of Murkans official Border Explorers. I'm joining the ACLU ASAP.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

RG: I wouldn't say Man Of The Year was that good. It was kind of relevant though in that the tension involves touch-screen voting fraud. Robin Williams is more low-key than usual and plays a kind of a mellow Jesse Venutra type.

I know nothing about Asian politics, but I know Chilean history and politics pretty well.

Pinochet is a good analog for Chimpy in a way. Eduardo Frei is a good analog for Obama. A huge break from the expected but not an ideological agent of change. His election and the entire move into modernity of Chile was a result of a weak copper market as much as anything else. Michelle Bachelet is yet another step forward.

That's why I think the election of Obama is essential. It won't bring tectonic change but it is the only possible way forward. I believe Obama assuming nothing out of the ordinary happens will make two terms and whoever follows him, Democrat or Republican will be even more progressive. That's IF Americans can reason with each other.

Maybe Chile is a bad example even though no US president was ever as much of a monster on social policy as Pinochet was. Chile is a diverse country, but at its core it's a Spanish and French country. So, post-Pinochet Chileans looked to Gonzalez and Chirac as the kinds of leaders they liked and to the Spanish and French systems as the models.

S.W. Anderson said...

Randal asked: "Do CEOs still do lines of blow or have they moved on to even more designer drugs?"

I think they're more into greed binges and the high they get from laying off legions, then passing out extra-large bonuses throughout the executive suite, not forgetting themselves, of course — because they can.