You know how the good folks working in M-theory posit eleven dimensions with which to explain (or try to explain) how the universe works? Given our natural observational bias toward four-dimensional spacetime, the extra seven dimensions must be really hard to see. Perhaps they're very, very tiny. Maybe there are even parallel universes tucked into these dimensions, invisible to us despite their ultra-close proximity. It's like a weirdly enhanced game of six degrees of Kevin Bacon, where the links in the chain are dimensional shifts that move you into alternate realities. Creepy!
On the other hand, the world we live in is already replete with perceptible weirdness. My recent experience could be called “six degrees of Ed Brayton,” except that six is much too generous a number. Also, instead of talking about the consecutive links in a chain, it might make more sense to talk about the consecutive straps in a straitjacket. Come with me now on a little journey, starting over at Ed's blog, Dispatches from the Culture Wars, where he posted an entertaining little item:
If you’re looking for your daily dose of serious right wing insanity, Sher Zieve has you covered. This is so batshit crazy that it would make Glenn Beck cringe:“Robert O'Brien” award, which recognizes distinguished performance in the art of vapid, wrong-headed, tortuous, and torturous argument. Ed went on to demonstrate that Zieve was a worthy aspirant to the honor with a quote from one of her recent columns. Zieve saw fit to mock the concerns of those who see President Obama pushing the nation toward European-style socialism. Not true, she says:
Instead, it is careening at full speed — with no discernable braking — into full-fledged Marxist Communo-Fascist elitist-ruled Islamo-Drug cartel Narco/Nazi State — replete with its own apparent and visible concentration camps.Wheeeeee! That must be quite a thrilling ride!
Tickled by Ed's excerpt, I went to Sher's page on the reactionary RenewAmerica site and read the rest of the column dated December 20, 2011. The bowl-cut blonde did not disappoint:
Second, we are living under an apparent dictator-driven oligarchic government. Whether many are aware of it or not, the US Constitution officially ended with the passage of the "new and revised" NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] and we are, also, officially no longer a Republic. Both had been on their last legs for years and now have come to an end under Usurper and Dictator-in-Chief Barack “the smiling Muslim” Hussein Obama.I'm not sure when “the smiling Muslim” earned its quotation marks, but I'm pretty certain that a “Dictator-in-Chief” would not be having anywhere near the trouble with Congress that the president has been having. Does he know that Ms. Zieve has ascribed unilateral and arbitrary power to him?
Now I'm even more disappointed with Obama. He doesn't even know how to use his absolute powers!
But let me get back on track. We were talking about degrees of separation. The next step came when I scrolled down to the comments. What a treasure trove! When the columnists are crazy, the commenters are crazy-squared:
Sher Zieve, I have been aware of the direction this nation is being pushed by the elite for some tiime. Sher.....PLEASE look at my web site www.starovertexas.com and then contact me. I AGREE with you. The TIME IS NOW.....if we are ever going to stop this...we must ACT NOW. The working people are our only hope now.
warmly, STAR LOCKE.
Who could resist such a plea? Not me! I clicked over to Star Locke's website.
William O. Douglas gets bold-face play in the middle of the page. I guess Mr. Locke is unaware that Douglas was one of the court's great liberals. But perhaps it makes sense to cite a dedicated exponent of civil liberties when one excepts to get swept up into FEMA concentration camps (cf. Zieve's column) at any moment. Do you have your overnight bag packed?
Mr. Locke's website offers a bizarre and colorful biography (including a reported encounter with John Wayne) and a collection of political issues. My favorite is the proposed “Family Security & Protection Act,” whose provisions are quite remarkable:
You can read the details of the Deposit & Recycle Act on the same site. While it seems odd to refer to “the legislature of the United States” instead of “the Congress of the United States,” the really good stuff is yet to come.THE FAMILY SECURITY & PROTECTION ACT
An act promoting family security and safety by putting certain dangerous actions and dangerous products out of the reach of children thereby keeping our most precious blood—our children out of “HARMS WAY.” Further this act put certain items out of the reach of government. By using a tool given to us by our founding fathers we hereby effect or families and their security. James Madison taught us, “the power to tax is the power to destroy”. By utilizing this tool handed down to us by our founding fathers, we strive to promote the general welfare and protect our future security for ourselves and our posterity.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE UNITED STATES:
[a] The FAMILY HOME SECURITY COMMISSION is established which duty it shall be to carry out and implement this ACT.
[b] The COMMISSION shall establish the FAMLY HOME SECURITY ACCOUNT with funds coming from the EDUCATORS ACCOUNT under the authority of THE DEPOSIT AND RECYCLE ACT.
SECTION 2.Yeah. Section 2 is where it got interesting. Locke thinks that the U.S. Congress can repeal legislation enacted by the state of Texas. Someone who is paranoid about the federal government wants to harness its power to supersede the enactments and shutter an agency of his own state government. Can it get any stranger? Oh, yes!
[a] THE TEXAS Alcoholic AND BEVERAGE COMMISSION IS HERBY CLOSED and the enabling legislations is hereby rescinded.
[b] The FAMILY HOME SECURITY COMMISSION shall take over all existing facilities presently owned or leased by the T.A.B.C and shall make its own determinations as to any future facility location needs.
[c] All TAX ON PRIVATE PROPERTY in TEXAS is hereby rescinded and repealed.
[d] The Annual renewal fees and/or taxes on already licensed vehicles, equipment, trailers and/or instruments of transportation of humans or goods is hereby rescinded and repealed.
SECTION 3.Two hours of P.E. every day? Cruel and unusual punishment! (Especially to me.) I'm surprised that Locke passed up a chance to make football the official state religion, but instead he had money on his mind. After all, how is he to fund a section that has two clauses labeled “[a]” as well as a commitment to “EXECELENCE”? Fear not!
[a] The ATHLETIC BOARD shall set minimum Physical fitness work out programs for all TEXAS SCHOOLS with 2 hour minimum P.E. daily classes for all students.
[b] The ATHLETIC BOARD shall establish a High Protein Diet Nutrition Program that shall be instituted in all TEXAS Schools with the goal to [a] promote the physical fitness in each student. [b] to eliminate OBESITY and addictive behaviors in children and staff.
[c] The ATHLETIC BOARD shall work with existing School Boards to implement the goals of this act.
SECTION 4.Hmm. No “human violence”? Oops. I sense a lot of alien massacres coming up! Take that, space bugs!
[a] This COMMISION shall levy a 100% of price sales cost tax for the sale on all item listed below:
1 . any video game containing any form of human violence. .
2. any machine or toy or cd that uses or includes bodily harm of any human or human image its function or goal or score.
Now that the youth of Texas have been slimmed down and spared [human] video violence by congressional fiat, what more is there to do? Mr. Locke is not at a loss. It's time to ban abortion—unless you're prosperous enough to afford the fee! And, while we're at it, let's not forget grease and sugar.
SECTION 5.Now that the republic has been made safe, it's time for a big finish:
[b] This commission shall levy a 50% of price of sales tax [GREASE TAX] upon all food prepared by deep-frying or cooking in any form of oil or grease for human consumption
[c] This commission shall levy a 50% of price sales tax on any beverage sold to humans to be consumed by humans that contains added glucose, fructose, and sucrose to the beverage for sale to humans.
SECTION 6.Wow. The measure supersedes the usual constitutional provisions concerning the enactment of legislation by means of its own provisions! Talk about boot-strapping!
The importance of this legislation and the crowed condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the Constitutional Rule requiring bills be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended, and that this ACT take effect and be in force according to its terms and it is so enacted.
I'm relieved that Locke's site did not have a Links page that would have taken me into any other parallel universes. The twists in this one were quite enough, thank you.