Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
The nation just might owe the Supreme Court a debt of gratitude for its Obamacare decision. It means the reigniting of the tea-party fires and even broader public concern for the fate of the Constitution.
The real shocker in the 5-4 ruling is it makes Nancy Pelosi look like, for once, she knew what she was talking about.
Ah, well. Onward to repeal!
As for the question of the “individual mandate” and whether it is or is not a “tax,” a loyal reader repairs to Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”
Satire? Really? I went by a demonstration at California’s Capitol, where picketers had formed a file blocking the driveway to the subterranean parking garage. The cars of frustrated legislative staffers were lined up along L Street, subtracting a full lane from the heavily traveled street.
Horns were blaring when I spotted police Lt. Jill Poke and a squad of officers, who were chatting on the sidewalk near the driveway.
“Hey, lieutenant!” I hollered, and she nodded a cordial recognition as I approached.
I asked, “When are you going to call in the paddy wagon and start hauling off these demonstrators?”
Poke grinned. “I’m not going to arrest anybody,” she said.
When I asked why, she replied, “These folks are demonstrating against a scheme to alter the state’s public pension plans. I happen to agree with them, and so do my officers here. So, no arrests.”
“But, lieutenant,” I said, “they’re breaking the law. I’ve seen you arrest people for blocking traffic at other demonstrations, so why not these picketers?”
“I just told you,” Poke said, a little testily, “I agree with them.”
“But … these guys are breaking the law,” I repeated.
“Yeah, but it’s for a good cause, as far as I’m concerned,” said Poke, hooking her thumbs, cop-style, in her pistol belt.
“If you want to see arrests,” she added airily, “go over to N Street. See what Doroteo is up to.”
So I skirted the east entrance to the Capitol, crossed Capitol Park and found Sgt. Doroteo Arango rounding up some people who were passing out leaflets.
I sang out, “What’s up here, Doroteo?” and the sergeant explained he was arresting some Christians for blocking the sidewalk and harassing pedestrians. I looked around.
“But they aren’t blocking the sidewalk, sergeant,” I said, “and they aren’t harassing anybody. From what I can see, they’re just offering leaflets.”
“That’s what you see,” said Arango. “I see a bunch of born-agains who just annoy the heck out of me with their holy roller nonsense. I’m busting them.”
“Sergeant,” I said, more sternly, “you’ve sworn to uphold the law and protect the rights of citizens. These folks are exercising a First Amendment right.”
Arango just grinned.
Eventually I trekked back across Capitol park to confront Lt. Poke once more.
“Lieutenant,” I said, “Think about what you and Doroteo are doing. Police authority doesn’t mean police license. Selective enforcement would mean a police state.”
Poke took off her cap, adjusted her pony tail and replaced her head gear. “I’m just following the example of my superiors,” she said.
“I demand to know who,” I almost shouted. “The chief of police, the mayor – who?!”
“The president of the United States and the U.S. attorney general,” Poke said seriously. “If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.”
Another serious matter: The linguistic abominations of advertising or of the talking heads of the electronic news media could fill this column, leaving no room for other pontifications. However, there is space here for a couple of examples:
Everywhere we look we find products labeled “artisan.” Artisan bread, artisan olive oil, artisan hummus, artisan beer. The word should apply to the work of skilled craftsmen, turning out a limited volume. As used currently, it requires an addition to the Blind Partisan’s Dictionary:
Artisan: adj. – produced in mass quantities, but at some point touched by human hands, as in the wrapping for sale.
Then we have, regarding produce, “hand-grown:” Hand-grown strawberries, hand-grown lettuce, hand-grown tomatoes. This week, TV gave us “hand-grown” avocados. Wrap your head around that image. Again, we repair to the Blind Partisan’s Dictionary:
Hand-grown: adj. – produced in mass quantities on a factory farm, but at some point touched by human hands, as in the wrapping for sale.