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Movie Review – Ship Of Fools 1965

Time for Terry’s Take on the Movie, a review. I am nearly chagrined, perhaps embarrassed, to confess, I have never read the book, nor seen the movie, until just recently, “Ship of Fools,” by Katherine Anne Porter, published in 1962, a twenty-year-long endeavor. It, immediately, was so well received that it became a screen play by 1965.

As a writer, I’m chagrined for not seeing it, when it is so frequently referenced in numerous, other literary materials. In other words, those in the know, when it comes to know about writing, should know about “Ship of Fools.” So, now, I’m making up for my literary deficiency regarding this work. There is also another play, “Ship Of Fools,” by Plato; you may have heard of him, but this is not that play.

After watching to movie, I read some reviews, analyses and plot summaries to see what I may have missed. It turns out that the I missed little, but the old reviews missed plenty. In fact, the reviews are a classic case of “missing the point.” So, prepare to enlightened, but not by the nose. Sorry, I mixed a metaphor.

The setting is a trans-Atlantic voyage from Vera Cruz Mexico to Bremerhaven in 1933 and based on the writer’s own voyage in 1931. Not to be a spoiler, but the movie is the antithesis of an action thriller; the movie is cerebral. There is virtually no action aside from a few too many Flamenco dances, George Segal gets punched, and Vivien Leigh whacks Lee Marvin with her shoe. There are no car chases or shoot outs, though a threat of violence looms and some people die. And, I have to add, the constant droning of German waltzes is tiresome, perhaps for a reason. I’ll let you decide, but there is a constant political undercurrent of German superiority, which is nearly the point and the prime cause of hypocrisy and it seems to be supported by the ever-present waltzes.

The only break away is the Flamenco which has its own competing redundancy. Interestingly, if you pay attention to music in movies, one can hear the Arabic influences in the Spanish music. Then, it seems not to be an accident to me, the main antagonist, Jose Ferrer, in a moment of faux-reflection says, “I’m not anti-Semitic, I lived with Arabs for many years.” I think most of us today would not understand the accuracy of his statement. We don’t understand Arabs as Semitic.

The keys to understanding this classic are the title, and the opening and the ending lines that are book-ends the story. Michael Dunn is the narrator, a charismatic dwarf who says, (paraphrased) “I am a fool, and this ship is full of fools and you will see them along the way. Maybe you will even see yourself. And the last line, (paraphrased) “What does this have to do with you? Nothing at all.”

One thing you must keep in mind with this dialogue, the things that are actually said and the things that are meant are frequently not the same, but you don’t realize it until a little action or time passes.

B’s favorite line was, “There are over one million Jews in Germany, what are they going to do, kill us all?” This is a poignant indictment on today’s head-in-the-sand PC culture that will become deadly, if we don’t wake up.

My favorite scene was the discussion between Bill Tenny, a washed up major league baseball player, played by Lee Marvin, and the Dwarf. In this scene, there are two pregnant pauses that make you wonder, what the H is going on, “Say something,” you’ll be thinking. And in both cases they finally do say something and it is over the top simple, yet unexpected.

Finally, the best line [SPOILER ALERT] the dwarf says to Tenny, (paraphrased) “I think, you’re being a bit harsh on yourself; I would estimate there are eight-hundred and seventy-three million people on this earth who do not even know what a curve ball on the outside corner is, and it’s a bit excessive for you to say you’ve muffed your whole life because you couldn’t hit it.” Tenny’s comeback is beautiful, but I won’t spoil that one for you.

In summary: See the movie, and see if maybe you see yourself somewhere along the way, but, of course, it has nothing to do with you. – Terry

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Elegy to Chair

I write this elegy to “Chair,” because I know so many “Friends” (2-3) out there, really care. Trust me.
Just for background information, my chair’s proper name is “Chair,” (not to be confused with Cher.) It’s not “a chair” or “the chair,” and it’s not nutty to give names to certain objects, everyone does it. We name all kinds of things like boats, bikes, cars and robots, because they are functional; they do stuff for us and in that way have an identity of their own.
We, you and I, and Chair, have endured a lot together, two terms of Obama, two elections, primaries, scandals, phony scandals, investigations and then there was the Clinton “matter.” We had FB, Google and the NSA monitoring and filtering our words and our news, while providing us with their subliminal advertising. While all these things seem more internet related, I submit, if I didn’t have Chair, and you didn’t have your own chair, no matter its name, the internet would be useless to us.
Think about it, chairs are important. In fact, I would bet that if we would give every member of al Qaeda a chair to sit on, instead of the floor, there might even be peace in the Middle East.
Chair has been with me through it all, rolling around on all five wheels, back and forth from dust covered printer to cat hair covered keyboard. As you know, Chair has suffered some injuries, you’ve seen pictures. I started with using clear packaging tape on his wounds, then duct tape, then some racing-striped tape, just for looks. Chair came through like a champ. And then there was that “five-bean salad” incident. We both suffered through that one.
Eventually came duct tape failure and when my forearms started sticking to the arm rests, I knew, Chair’s time had come.
So long, old friend, this may be the end, but you’re not through, I have a new job for you.
I am promoting Chair to “G-Chair,” which means, “garage chair,” because I always need a chair in the garage, where I can sit and work on fishing tackle etc. Like a passenger on Southwest Airline, chair now moves about the garage freely.
Now, we begin a new era. It’s time to unveil the new chair, picture included. Please note the tropical teal color and beach sand-white arm rests. You can even see through the see-through back rest, which is why they call it “see through.” It is specifically designed for typists in the tropics who type at the break-neck speed of 12 words per minute.
Like a little old lady protecting her couch, I kept the plastic covering on my new chair for weeks, but now it’s time to unveil and admire.
I am so excited that I not only put on a baseball cap backwards, I also cleaned-up my office, as you can plainly see from the photo. If you cannot see this, you didn’t see it before.
During clean-up, I found all kinds of forgotten stuff. I found an old pair of boat shoes back under the desk, under the dust. A lizard was no longer living inside, but he was still there. I found three pairs of reading glasses, one behind the monitor, one in a drawer and one stuck in a coffee cup that I had been looking for, for the last six months. I cleaned out some files as well, finding old articles I had written. One I had written for a friend’s on-line magazine was about Kansas City style BBQ.
There was also an old sit-com I had been working on, and a script from an episode of Frazer I had written for my “Sit-com Writing Class” at USF.
Then I came across an original script from an episode of the sit-com, “The Office,” which had been signed by the cast members, including Steve Carell. I got this through my “Half-Hours” instructor at USF. She was a staff writer on “The Fresh Prince of Bellaire,” and the “Rosanne Bar” show. If you’re unfortunate enough to watch either of these shows, look for her name in the credits, Lisa Rosenthal. I’m such a name dropper, but she’s a liberal and we’re not really friends.
Covered in dust behind the computer, I found three dust clothes, imagine the irony. Also, under layers of dust, I found my only heirloom from a distant relative, a sea-going uncle from days of yore. It is a small monkey, from Madagascar, I think, intricately carved from a walnut shell, by a native with a bone in his nose, or so the family story goes.
Then I found an old brass field telescope, carried by one of the Harrison’s (William Henry Harrisons, POTUS) at the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Think about that for a moment, an historical American artifact, lying around on my desk, covered in dust. Of course, I can’t prove it now, but that’s what my Grandmother, a descendant of Harrison, told me.
And, I discovered an “HP Officejet 6700” printer under another pile of dust. I swiveled my new chair to my keyboard and pushed the print button on a document. Sure enough, with a belch of dust and a hardy “Hi-ho Silver,” some printing came out.
Have you noticed the common denominator here? DUST.
Before “they” come up with another electronic gadget, the geeks in Silly-cone Valley need to invent office furniture that is electromagnetically charged to repel dust, especially from printers and cat hair on keyboards. (That sounds kind of like the old song, “Cat hair on keyboards and rain drops on roses.”)
You know what I’m talking about. Look at your printer right now. It’s covered in dust, isn’t it?
I know, all this is hard to believe, but I am not making it up, except the part about the five bean salad, it was really three bean, but just as toxic.

 

Chair

Chair

 

new-chair-e1497127044395.jpg

New Chair

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Let’s See if This Gets Any Traction

Using the true premise that a country is better off when its populace is better educated, makes for a specious argument when it comes to “free education.”  Those who argue for free education have neither taken the trouble to look beyond “free” to understand what makes this argument specious, nor would have the ability to do so, nor benefit from a free education if it were given to them.

First, nothing is free.  If one gets an education and does not pay for it himself, he is “free-loading” his or her education.  Someone else, probably you and me, is paying or it.

Second, things that are “free” are less appreciated, meaning they are given less respect and less commitment.  It’s a generalization, but think about it, if you spend time and money on something and lose it, you spend more effort to retrieve it than if it was free anyway, “no big loss.”    One is more likely to burn the midnight oil to make the grade, if there is a cost involved.  When there’s no cost, no big deal, just another way to kill some time.  This is why the argument is specious, in most cases.  There are exceptions.

The people who have not in some way made a sacrifice for an education are more likely not to get a real education; they will just under-perform and end up in the same place in the end, or worse yet, in a government job managing a line you and I have to wait in.

But, there’s more.  If the “free” education is granted to the undeserving or worse, the undisciplined, the quality of the product goes down.  Consequently, with poor results, less funding is available.  The tempting, real, solution is to lower standards, in which case everyone becomes a loser, because the accountability is limited to zero.

The added negative is that the so-called “education” has become an indoctrination with schools, such as the University of Missouri, where freedom of speech, and diversity of thought are inhibited, even banned, from “safe spaces.”  How is this an education?

Universities merely become incubators and fertilized hot beds for the breeding of more intolerant Leftists, will go out and become indoctrinated, not thinking, poorly equipped voters who don’t even know the history of this country.  We’ve seen it time and time again.

No wonder Bernie and his Marxist bears want free education.  It controls the thought and ideology of a dependent, enslaved class that keeps them in power.  The tragedy is that those who are deserving and those who have paid their own way, through currency or scholarships, are limited by and exposed to only the liberal drivel taught on these campuses.  There are limited and few opportunities to hear another opinion.

So, while an educated populace has merit and worth pursuit, “Free” is not an answer, at least not outside of some other qualifying performance and discipline.

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Carson Ahead of the Curve – To Clarify Our Confusion

ben carson tells it

Carson way head of the curve. To clarify our dilemma:

The inevitable show down that has been brewing for generations is coming to a boil. The American people do NOT have clarity on this issue and what is equally as troublesome is neither do the pundits on Fox.

The Founders Fathers assumed Christianity in some form, but they wrote the Constitution broadly enough to include, rather exclude, religions of any sort from being mandated or excluded from Constitutional consideration in the application of the laws.

On the surface (superficial analysis is part of our problem), it appears that Carson may have erred with his comment excluding from consideration a Muslim as the President. On the other hand, he may have been ahead of the curve.

There is more to consider, which is what Carson, not being a seasoned politician (i.e., professional, PC practicing, liar), was doing.

The key to the analysis lies squarely on the subversion and perversion of language, in this case one word, “religion.”

The erroneous assumption made by Carson’s critics, including all those on “The Five” and other Fox shows, is that Islam is just one of many “religions,” as we know them, and as such, can be subordinated by Muslims in the execution of their duties of public office.

By taking this position one, especially Greg and Dana, have lost the clarity for which they are otherwise known. They have unwittingly become subscribers to the “PC Agenda,” (a widely circulated publication, which does not print any offensive words).

The error is the assumption that Islam would be subject to the concept of “separation of Church and state.” Such a concept is the antithesis of Islam. Islam demands all things are subordinate to the “religion.”

As it turns out, the “religion” is a misnomer for a sociopolitical ideology. Under Islam, there is no room for freedom of thought, speech, or actions. All things must work in perfect submission, compliance, and coordination for the bloody execution of those who step out of line.

Islam, as practiced by a “true believer” cannot allow, and must destroy, any teaching contrary to its teaching.

Christianity also has some strict disciplines, but does not mandate the destruction of others who do not agree. This is the difference between a comprehensive ideology and voluntary religion as understood by the Founding Fathers.

It would be constitutionally consistent to approve of a Muslim as President if he or she could and would treat his “faith” as a subordinate “religion.” But, Islam has no such admonishment as does the Bible which says, “yield unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

Carson, operating on the evidence of behavior by both “radical” Islam and complicity of “peaceful” Muslims has assumed that a Muslim cannot adapt or operate under the principles of the US Constitution. (There are a few, however, who are striving toward this goal.)

Is there evidence to support Carson’s assumption?

This will bring up another entire debate, but the answer and evidence is, yes, “Obama.”

Whether a Muslim or not, Obama has arguably set-aside the Constitution to pursue his own agenda based on a personal ideology of his own, whatever that is.

Do we want a person with a questionable ideology making policy from a personal agenda?

It is bad enough that our policies are and have always been subject to any personal agendas, but a perverted ideology that allows for an “end-justifies-the-means” (tenet of Islam) tactic will result in a perverted Administration.
Do we not have this already? You already know the answer.

Unfortunately my arguments only push back the issue one more step.
What happens when the government itself becomes perverse and immoral for whatever reason? Are Christians compelled to “yield to Caesar?”

This then is the very same with which our Forefathers and Church leaders have struggled down through the ages. I direct you attention to a historical figure, Alvin York, and a literary work, “Murder in the Cathedral,” by T.S. Elliot.

No answer supersedes the moral base of the citizenry, hence the confusion, hence Carson’s insightful replay.

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The 2016 Presidential Debates #2. Part 1, The Venue

The 2016 GOP Presidential Debates
The Second debate on CNN

The discussion on the debate can be broken in two parts: The Venue and the Participants.

This post discusses The Venue.

Summary: Too long, too many, too off-point.

A three-hour debate by two participants is a strain on the bladder, but between eleven simply makes no sense and conveys less than no information. What can you learn about a candidate when he has less than nine minutes to respond to challenges on at least four or five issues? Candidates were not cut-off midsentence and had to force their time in order to finish a thought. There was no buzzer.

I suspect that someone must have had a “Catheters-R-Us” concession out in the lobby of the Reagan Library. If not, they missed an opportunity.

Then, for the first hour, there was little to no air conditioning.

Furthermore, what can you learn about the legitimate issues when the majority of the questions and challenges to the candidate are more related to what Donald Trump said, or didn’t say about one’s face, hair, or butt size. CNN attempted to make this whole thing a sensation over substance, but the candidates, for the most part did not fall for it.

CNN’s objective was obvious to anyone except other members of the media, trash the GOP by throwing them in a ring together for a fight to the death. The moderator pitted one against the other for a kind of Roman Circus. The only things missing were the starved lions.

What about the moderators? Yes, “moderators,” that’s plural. Yes, there were supposed to be three, but Hugh Hewitt, asked only four questions, as I recollect. Where was Dana Bash, on a coffee break? Jake Trapper seemed to be obsessed with the time keeping that he didn’t notice the candidates were speaking at will, whoever “Will” is.

It would have been so much better to have a weeklong series of debates, with each aired at two different times of the day and with three or four candidates at a time. There should be some kind of rating system and at the end of the week; there is a debate among the finalists. The issues to be addressed should be clearly stated at the beginning of, or before each session. This idea that the POTUS has to respond to issues extemporaneously has always been an ill-conceived idea. It’s not reality. This would take the sensation and name calling out of the equation and provide a better platform for substantive material. Amen.

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The 2016 GOP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES #2

The 2016 GOP Presidential Debates

The Second debate on CNN

The discussion on the debate can be broken in two parts: The Venue and the Participants.

This post discusses The Venue.

Summary: Too long, too many, too off-point.

A three-hour debate by two participants is a strain on the bladder, but between eleven simply makes no sense and conveys less than no information. What can you learn about a candidate when he has less than nine minutes to respond to challenges on at least four or five issues? Candidates were not cut-off mid sentence and had to force their time in order to finish a thought. There was no buzzer.

I suspect that someone must have had a “Catheters-R-Us” concession out in the lobby of the Reagan Library. If not, they missed an opportunity.

Then, for the first hour, there was little to no air conditioning.

Furthermore, what can you learn about the legitimate issues when the majority of the questions and challenges to the candidate are more related to what Donald Trump said, or didn’t say about one’s face, hair, or butt size. CNN attempted to make this whole thing a sensation over substance, but the candidates, for the most part did not fall for it.

CNN’s objective was obvious to anyone except other members of the media, trash the GOP by throwing them in a ring together for a fight to the death. The moderator pitted one against the other for a kind of Roman Circus. The only things missing were the starved lions.

What about the moderators? Yes, “moderators,” that’s plural. Yes, there were supposed to be three, but Hugh Hewitt, asked only four questions, as I recollect. Where was Dana Bash, on a coffee break? Jake Trapper seemed to be obsessed with the time keeping that he didn’t notice the candidates were speaking at will, whoever “Will” is.

It would have been so much better to have a weeklong series of debates, with each aired at two different times of the day and with three or four candidates at a time. There should be some kind of rating system and at the end of the week; there is a debate among the finalists. The issues to be addressed should be clearly stated at the beginning of, or before each session. This idea that the POTUS has to respond to issues extemporaneously has always been an ill-conceived idea. It’s not reality. This would take the sensation and name calling out of the equation and provide a better platform for substantive material. Amen.

 

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I’m shaking my head today

Well, I have been reading my newsfeeds again this morning.
Again, I ask, “What country are we living it?” If I had been kidnapped by extraterrestrials in 1965 and returned to almost any city in the United States on earth today, I would have to ask, “What country is this?” The USA is no longer recognizable.
“To what is this in reference?” you may ask.
And I would answer, “Pick any subject in the news on any day of any week.”
We have lost out way and our country. Oh, and have a nice day.
This is the Party Pooper (Buzz Kill in today’s terminology) signing off.

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Welcome, Santas of All Ethnicities

Welcome to the Gasbagger Blog, where we don’t care about Santa’s lineage.   “Period.”

Every year, for the last one year in a row, I write a special Christmas post.  This year, in 2013, in America, Santa is the issue.

Never mind, Iran with a nuke, NSA, or IRS scandals, Benghazi scandal, Extortion 17 scandal, Fast and Furious scandal, a POTUS who is an habitual and self-serving prevaricator, a failing healthcare plan, and unemployment in double digits, the focus is on Santa’s genealogy.

Over at MSNBC folks are getting lathered up over the atrocity of the audacity of Santa being of Nordic descent.  Now, let’s focus on this issue before he begins his “make-believe” flight of gift giving-emphasis on “make-believe.”

At Gasbagger we don’t give a little tiny mouse’s elbow what color or race Santa Clause is.  In fact, the more the merrier.  And, in the year 2013 in America, no one else cares except, of course, the folks at MSNCB where those folks are still struggling with why their ratings are lower than those of the Fox Network.

At MSNBC they are concerned that some are feeling deprived because Santa is not of their cultural persuasion.

Let’s be honest, anyone who feels deprived or a victimized because Santa is of Germanic descent is merely making themselves a victim by choice.  Or, they have been raised to believe they are a victim.  “Period.”

The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, has part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of a Christian bishop and gift-giver Saint Nicholas.  “Period.”

But, if Santa didn’t visit all homes of all colors and races with an equality of gifts, he would be a racist, no matter what his lineage.

The reality is that Santa (who is MAKE-BELIEVE) only discriminates between good and bad little boys and girls.   All Santas, of all nationalities, are welcome at my house at any time of years as long as they have plenty of gifts to leave.   I’ll leave the light on…….and a peppermint stick on the tree.

Let’s move on to my Christmas tale of 2013.

Speaking of honesty and Santa I never imposed the Santa-deception on my children, but they were admonished not to disclose the truth of the Santa Files to their little friends because I didn’t want to create any possible disappointment in those families.

My concern was the loss of trust it might create in future years when I might have to ask my children to trust what I say.  They might respond outwardly or inwardly with, “Yeah, I remember what you said about Santa Claus too.”

Looking back, however, I realize that this fantasy was harmless and I believe I was wrong to have avoided it.  Mark that down; it does not happen that often each day.

I needed a reality check and a swift kick in the arse, and now I’ve had one of each.  If I had just taken time to realize that my parents lied to me about Santa and I turned out to be nearly normal, on most accounts.   Let’s not debate the merits of “normal” just now.

This concept of being “totally” honest, while a good thing for matters that matter, could be better described as “honest to a fault” for things that are just for fun.

“Honest to a fault,” have you ever heard of it?  It’s when you tell someone the truth they asked you for but, in reality they don’t want to hear it.  They just want your support.  For example, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

There is only one correct answer for to that question and that answer is totally and completely irrelevant to the facts of the matter.

I first learned about the Santa-scam at a young age, but was able to leverage it into many more years of gift getting.  One Easter I awoke unexpectedly and surprised my parents during the act of……..hiding Easter Eggs, what do ya think.

“Okay, no Easter Bunny, but, what about Santa,” I asked.  I was not all that concerned about hard-boiled eggs, but when it came to Santa, he carried some real currency.

“Sorry son, there’s no Santa either,” they told me.  I felt like a person who bought stock in Solyndra.

I can remember sitting back on the edge of the couch, being completely deflated and with a lower lip, lower than a bug’s belly, or the President’s current approval rating.  But, like the President, I was an opportunist, so my Grandfather says, and I began to negotiate.

“Okay, I accept it; if you don’t tell anyone, I won’t tell anyone and I won’t whine all over the place as long as can we still have gifts magically appear on Christmas morning?”

My parents were concerned about my disappointment, and as a consolation, they agreed.  To this day, even in our house, my children and their children open most of the presents on Christmas Eve, but we all continue to hang up a Christmas stocking or hold back a gift for a last surprise on Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas to all and to all, “get real.”

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What’s Fair?

It is a reasonable approach to ask that everyone be treated equal under the law, is it not?  This is what Conservatives in the House are asking  for.  The President has arbitrarily and selectively already given exemptions to big business, some unions, and Congress.  Why not us?

Every argument presented by Democrats failed in many ways but most obviously it failed the fairness test.

Peter DeFazio representing the 4th District of Oregon seems to need a lesson in the US Constitution and some help in adding up the numbers, not to mention, but I am mentioning it, help with logic and fairness.

His points, more succinctly stated are, “Fund ACA because it’s already a law.”

Then, perhaps in anticipation of an obvious objection to his comment, he sites Gerrymandering as the illegitimate reason for Republicans being elected.  If that was the case, how did they get in office in the first place to practice Gerrymandering?

Gerrymandering, like many other provisions and strategies in politics are there because BOTH political parties have decided that it is beneficial. It is as often used, if not more often used, by Democrats as by Republicans.  This argument is a Red Herring.

More relevant however is the claim that the ACA is already a law.

The ACA barely passed with not one Republican voting for it and 34 Democrats voting against it.  Later 22 Democrats voted to delay it.

As soon as the ACA passed the 2012 elections that followed removed many of those who voted for it.  They were replaced by Representatives who could be counted on to not fund it.

These Representatives are doing the job they were elected to do, which as to mitigate the damages to be done by the ACA and to not fund it.  In other words, they are representing their constituency.

Furthermore, it is by design of the Constitution that the House that holds the purse strings.

Following the Constitutional requirements at this time has left Harry Reid and the Executive Branch with a shut-down as the only cards to play.

Clearly, the House is not in favor of a shut-down in spite of not having a budget.  They are passing Continuing Resolutions (CRs) to fund the functions being shut-down and in danger of shut-down by this Administration.  However, these CRs are not getting approved by the Senate or sanctioned by the President.  The Administration, in keeping with Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, continues to make shut-downs and life as uncomfortable as possible for anyone whom the President sees fit.  He closes open air, no cost, low cost parks, but instead he funds his favorite golf course which is a high maintenance facility.

Interestingly, the House’s passing of single issue CRs to fund specific operations and functions is a kind of de facto “line-item-veto” legislation.

It has long been argued that “line-item-veto” is needed in order to remove “pork barrel” and excessive special interest spending.  Obviously, and consequently, “line-item-veto” has not gotten much traction with politicians.  It reduces opportunity for their personal gain.

The House Conservatives, perhaps inadvertently, are on an equitable course of funding as needed, without padding the budget.

Now, what about fairness?  Why would DeFazio think he is above the American people and not be subject to ACA?

This law is directly and clearly in opposition to the principles set forth by the Federalist Papers 57(5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._57 .

Additionally, any Congressman who is voting to exempt himself from laws, to which we must submit, is obviously in office to benefit himself.  He is not representing his constituency.  Such a person should be recalled immediately.

Unfortunately, there is no 28th Amendment, but there should be and we should be calling for it with our Congressmen.

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