A Call for a 2nd Constitutional Convention As long as our politicians fails to lead, we must be the source of solutions. Article V of the US Constitution provides the
Plato Plato argued that the physical universe was in fact merely an imperfect reflection of a non-physical universe of ideas where our eternal identity resides before and after our life
Progressive Gains For Progressives, the greatest achievements of the 20th century were the New Deal, the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. Republicans have spent most of their
Rise of the Purple Ninja “The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.” – Aristotle Detail
Dragons Breath They crawl from oceans, to paint the caves/ But I’m working all weekend, I need to get paid. – Conor Oberst Chase Heat radiating off the steam engine
Opening Night The thermostat read 90º, which would be fine if not for the 80% humidity making it feel like they were standing in an open air sauna, fully dressed,
An Example Must Be Made Stephan Jensen, candidate for the United States Senate, vice-President of his father’s lumber company, and fair-haired bearer of the square jaw, stepped onto the platform
Prologue: A House Divided Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser’s, and unto God that which is God’s. – Matthew 22:21 In the year 2024, upon the election of California
“…so then, he scoops one big hairy arm under me, sticks his thumb in my pussy, 2 fingers up my ass, sticks his other hand under my back, and picks
A Call for a 2nd Constitutional Convention
As long as our politicians fails to lead, we must be the source of solutions. Article V of the US Constitution provides the perfect tool for populist reform.
We can hold a digital convention, sort through ideas, then send delegates to a physical convention to write a bill of amendments based on the results of the digital convention.
Those amendments would then have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states to become law.
Balanced budget, taxation policy, political accountability, campaign finance, and more could be discussed for reform without the interference of politicians who are bought and paid for by banks, corporations, and special interests.
We can do something, or we can do nothing, either way the future will be of our making.
Plato argued that the physical universe was in fact merely an imperfect reflection of a non-physical universe of ideas where our eternal identity resides before and after our life in the physical universe. (1) That the senses, of this world, were a distraction from the pure thinking of that non-physical portion of our being, eventually concluding that mathematics is the purest form of thought corporeal humans can develop because it is logic absent sensory or emotional data, and therefore most akin to the nature of this non-physical plane of our origin.
Are we just worker souls in a quantum hive mind?
The Higgs Mechanism theory, (2) proven by the team at CERN in 2013, could most simply be summarized as a field permeating the entire universe, which is the catalyst in a reaction that gives mass to previously massless quantum particles (fermions) at the quantum physics level. Without this there could not be a big bang or physical universe. Which begs many questions, such as; where do fermions and the Higgs Field exist? Since they predate the big bang, which brought forth the physical universe, and continue to exist till this day, where do they reside? Why does this reaction, pivotal to all of physical existence, occur at all? And why did it occur only once, since this reaction continues?
For Progressives, the greatest achievements of the 20th century were the New Deal, the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. Republicans have spent most of their time since working to undo them. They attack our economic stability, our democratic foundations, our very status as citizens, all in an attempt to return us to an era when a few people prospered off the exploitation of the rest.
The New Deal was a direct response to the Great Depression. A detailed explanation of all that transpired would be the subject of a lengthy text in its own right, of which there are many available. Pertinent to this topic are the bank reforms: the Glass-Steagall Acts, the Securities Act of 1933, and the creation of the SEC. As a result of Glass-Steagall, commercial and investment banks had to be separate businesses and their leadership could not serve across companies. Along with the regulatory power of the SEC, the more hazardous forms of investment schemes were now either outlawed or well regulated. Combined, these acts helped to stabilize and grow America’s economy for the next 4-5 decades.
Rise of the Purple Ninja
“The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.”
Coffee in her left hand, a black pleather briefcase/purse/handbag/medicine cabinet clutched in her right, Angela sauntered down the narrow street mesmerized by the glistening oak sign swinging on shiny iron chains. She smiled again, as she had every morning this week, at the tangible results of a few hours labor.
“It’s the details that make all the difference, little one.” her father, Leonard had said. As had his, Thomas and his before that, Maurice Gutenberg, founder of the family business. Sylvia and he had arrived in America with little else but copies of the stories from their homeland written in their native tongue. The homesick immigrants around them quickly bought their entire inventory. Then the Gutenberg’s bought it all back and re-sold it. Soon they were filling requests for other inventory. After a few months, Maurice realized he didn’t need something to keep him afloat till he got work for another man. In America, he could work for himself.
It was her father, Leonard, decades later, who moved the business from their living room into an actual store front. He designed the oaken sign, hanging from 2 metal chains, attached to a flagpole, attracting the eyes of potential customers like a waving hand. He personally carved and stained the words “Buch Laden” into the remains of a quarter panel of a fire damaged door. June, 1979 they opened the doors.
Karla Rheims was a graduate student doing research into eastern european literature and the opening of a book store with a german name, holding an inventory of source material, caught her attention. They ended up spending hours together, after closings, working on her research and falling in love.
Just shy of 2 years later, May of 1981, they were married, and Angela was born to the happy couple in November. A miracle of sorts.
They crawl from oceans, to paint the caves/
But I’m working all weekend, I need to get paid.
- Conor Oberst
Heat radiating off the steam engine between her legs kept her warm, as the Purple Ninja weaved through traffic on her bike. A violet knit scarf covered her nose and mouth, the ends trailing in the wind off her shoulders. Traffic was thick and unpredictable as the bars let out, so she had to be extraordinarily observant as she slid between vehicles. Unfortunately she did not have time for delays of any type.
Pursuit was dogged. A small fleet of private drone’s owned by a bounty hunter known as Dragon, were hot on her scarf streamers. Flying just a few yards above traffic, the slight, grey, unmanned vehicles darted across the sky, seeking her biosignature, anomalous movements, anything that might enable them to identify a target.
1 of the automatons caught sight of her. Then they all did. In formation, they dove towards her position. She feigned right then cut hard left between a the front end of a taxi and the rear of an SUV. Horns blared. Unfazed, they went left. In the middle of the intersection, They surrounded her. A chorus of car horns wailed in protest; of the traffic blockage, not her plight. She spun a full 360 seeking egress. There was none. Each drone took a road, hovering between her and the approach. The primary hung above, a spotlight from its underbelly highlighting her.
The thermostat read 90º, which would be fine if not for the 80% humidity making it feel like they were standing in an open air sauna, fully dressed, surrounded by fat people. The fact that it was 7pm and still this hot only made the situation more irritating. Jake mopped his forehead with the sleeve of his blue sports coat, took a breath, and continued to eye the crowd as they filtered through the gate. Straightening his black top hat, he ran his fingers across his freshly trimmed beard, down the front of his bloused shirt, finally resting his thumbs in the empty belt loops of his loose fitting black, leather pants. He looked down briefly to be sure his alligator shoes retained their polish, then returned to counting ticket sales.
It had taken surprisingly little convincing to get the Valero Brothers, owners of the largest refuse removal company in town, to support his plan. They provided land, and the money for a security detail, lighting, and seating. But just for the first event. Either he showed a profit right out of the gate, or they were done. And if he did not repay their ‘investment’, well, he was probably done. From the looks of the turnout, that was not going to be a problem.
A large open field, zoned for warehousing that had never been built, was held by a company that the Valero’s were associated with. On either side of the field, a set of rented metal bleachers, 5 rows high, seating 20 each row, had been placed. In front of each set stood a transparent, bulletproof, wall, 10 feet high and 22 feet long. Racks of lights on extendable aluminum tripods 12 feet high, encircled the field, shining their light towards the center. Groups of teenage mexican boys hurriedly worked around the bases, securing the tripods to the ground with wires.
An Example Must Be Made
Stephan Jensen, candidate for the United States Senate,
vice-President of his father’s lumber company, and fair-haired
bearer of the square jaw, stepped onto the platform at exactly 1:35PM. The crowd, group really, there were maybe 100 of them gathered on the grassy spot known to a few as Eakins Oval, applauded for exactly 30 seconds. He smoothed his red tie exactly once. He licked his lips twice, took a half step forward, laid both palms evenly on the podium, and spoke in a low, calm voice. “My friends and fellow citizens, our nation has come to a cross roads and we must decide which path to follow. Some say the way I offer is too difficult. That we should take an easier path. That those who are strong should be required to ease the burden of the weak.”
In the trees, to the north east of the parking lot, a magnifying glass secured, unobtrusively, to the side of a branch, was just starting to catch the afternoon sun in its lens.
Jensen continued methodically,”Behind me stand monuments for 2 of America’s great cultural heroes, fact and fiction.” He did not mention the art museum they adorned, filling the entire background, “George Washington as General of ragtag rebel forces fighting the most powerful military of his time, and Rocky Balboa feeling victorious just training for a title shot which even he did not believe he could win, the odds were so long.” Here Candidate Jensen stood a little straighter,raised his palms to include the group, and raised his volume, just a little.
The sunlight, those waves being cast through the magnifying glass, narrowed and intensified, focused onto a narrow rope laying on the ground. The far end had been staked to the ground with a silver mountain climber’s spike, currently hidden beneath a small pile of leaves. The near end tied to a 1 foot wide, 6 foot long, green and brown, rubber band. The ends of the giant rubber band, in turn, had been staked high on the trunk of 2 trees just a foot in front and to either side, creating a triangular shape, or more specifically, a slingshot. A red balloon sat in its cradle.
Prologue: A House Divided
Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser’s, and unto God that which is God’s.
- Matthew 22:21
In the year 2024, upon the election of California Senator Juanita Rosario of the Green Party to the office of President of the United States, old political divides came to a head. The largely agrarian states in the southern and central region, that held to an individualist philosophy, felt they could no longer support the planned society philosophy of the industrial and academic regions to the north, and west. Under the leadership of Governor Archibald Humphrey of the Republic of Texas, these states declared themselves in secession and formed The Libertarian Confederation of America.
President Rosario had a different perspective on Lincoln’s famous quote, “A house divided can not stand.” She decided it was best to allow a negotiated, peaceful separation rather than fighting a second civil war to force unwilling citizenship. Borders were negotiated, bureaucracies generated, treaties signed, and a new nation was born. Citizens were given a year to move to their preferred society. A great migration, in both directions, took place as people made hasty decisions based on fear and/or hope of great changes that would come in the new societies of unchallenged ideologues.
With the removal of anti-federalist agenda from national politics, the United States pursued a far more liberal, progressive policy. The military was reduced to a defensive posture, insurance and education became universal programs, welfare became a permanent WPA type program and heavy regulations were introduced on economic and energy related industries. In a few short years, similarly governed regions of Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, chose to join the remade republic. While a few of the more laissez faire, bank haven, island nations, chose to seek membership in the new, like-minded confederation. The nations of the European Union, fearing lack of influence in the new landscape, voted to approve a constitution for the EU, formalizing the economic alliance as a nation with a central senate elected by state governments.
At the end of Transition Year, the Confederation, under now President Humphrey, shut its borders and declared a 5 year isolationist foreign policy to develop domestically. With that period coming to an end, the first creaky bureaucratic doors have begun to open. Interest is high not only in the corporate world, but also among the US government’s defense establishment, the media and the public at large. Everyone wants to know what the Prodigal Child has been doing.
“…so then, he scoops one big hairy arm under me, sticks his thumb in my pussy, 2 fingers up my ass, sticks his other hand under my back, and picks me up like my taint is a goddamn handle.” She paused to shuffle her spearmint chewing gum, long since flavorless, from 1 side of her mouth to the other. “Then he shoves his face in my tits and starts rubbing it around,” as a visual aid, she shoved her cleavage out and shook her own head. First she brushed her bottle-red hair back from her shoulders to better accentuate the gold and black spotted, low cut, sleeveless ‘top’ that clung to her pale, mottled flesh. Her long, slender nose waggled, just a little at the tip, as her head shook inside her own, imaginary breasts.
“Now I told you already how hairy he was, and he had that big scraggly beard, well this was just scratching the hell out of my nipples. So I squealed, just a little. He musta thought that was encouragement, cause next thing I know, he’s biting my tit. Can you believe that shit? He bit my tit!
“Well there are some things I do not do. So I push him back and slap his hairy face. Only thing is, I’m still hanging there in mid air with his hand up my hooch. Son of a bitch drops me. Bam!” She slams her hand on the desk, demonstrating the impact. “Right on the hard wood floors. Thought I broke my fuckin’ ass.
“Does he apologize? No he starts cursing at me in Russian or Latonian, or some shit, for slapping him. He’s standing there, holding his cheek and yelling, like I could hurt him. But he don’t know that his finger has shit all over it from being up my ass all that time. If he had asked, I’d have told him I had to go the bathroom, but he’s all Carpe Diem all the time.
The door exploded into the apartment. When the dust and smoke cleared, a 4 foot tall, 2 foot wide, 2 foot deep, grey cube on small tank tracks extending to either side of its base, rolled into the apartment. It bore no markings and made no noise. Having rolled six inches across the threshold it stopped. the walls around the top section, perhaps a foot down, opened like metal flower petals revealing sensor devices below monitors. Then a sphere ejected from the top and began to fly around the room, stopping by each human, and scanning them with a green light. It finally stopped in front of Edgar, where he lay curled up at Kevin the Dog’s feet.
“You are Edgar, leader of this cell. You are to be detained for questioning.”
Heather, who had been hiding behind the kitchen counter, found this too much to bear. She bolted up and marched out between the drone and Edgar, wagging her finger in its sensor, “Questioning by whom? Who are you? Why are you operational while everything else is down? Where is your warrant for him? You can’t just come in here and take this person, you, you, robot.”
The drone sphere flew back to its body, reconnected, and ‘faced’ her with its primary monitor. “This unit is a US Army drone series Civilian Interrogation and Detention, designated for civilian patrol. You may refer to this unit as Cid. Units like Cid are able to operate because the military and civilian nets are not linked. A warrant is not necessary because the Patriot Act of 2001 and the NDAA of 2012 allow the President to declare an emergency which supersedes the Bill of Rights. I was built to enforce executive power in such an emergency. Do you have any other questions, citizen?”
“Only 1, Cid, if you are built for emergencies, why weren’t you prepared for this?”
Stevie and Johnny had snuck up behind Cid while it was talking with a scramble grenade. It was a crude device of their own making. Once attached to any digital machine with a suction pad, dozens of recursive algorithms would be generated and infected the target, all absent any structure to determine a termination point, causing the device to lock up and shut down.
Unfortunately for them, Cid didn’t actually have a backside and was well aware of their attack. When they leapt for it, 2 robotic arms shot out of its midsection, pummeled them in the stomachs, and then retracted as they sank to the floor. “I am sorry if I hurt you. But damage to Cid is not allowed. You have all now been upgraded to prime suspects in the assault on the civilian network. You will come with Cid.”
“And if we refuse?” Ellen tried to look hard, with her hand on her out thrust hip.
“Cid must bring you to headquarters for questioning. It is not necessary that you be conscious, though that is optimal. The choice is yours, however. There is a military vehicle downstairs.” Then it turned slightly, and extended a grasping limb from its body, gesturing towards the door like a person politely offering to allow someone to go first.
Then Heather and Ellen walked over to the boys, and helped them to their feet. Cid continued to stand near Edgar. It offered him assistance standing, but he slapped the metallic appendage away. In single file, the prisoners marched out the door, followed by their robot captor.
The Naval Yard
they were taken to was just a few blocks from Penn’s Landing where they had been the night before. Grey skies hung over the bay, a few commercial ships slowly drifted downriver, but there were none of the personal boats normally seen cruising around.
They were taken to the Marine Parade Grounds off Broad St and Constitution Ave, which had been fenced in as an open air prison to hold the dozens of people now milling around. With more showing up, like Edgar’s crew, almost continuously.
The auto-van took them to the North West corner, where Broad intersected Intrepid Ave and overlooked the bay. Cid had disappeared after they were locked in the back of the van, presumably to secure more prisoners. When the doors opened here, a 2 foot long, flying, 3 sided, pyramid drone was in front of them, also grey. It appeared to have visual sensors along the edges and a microphone/speaker in the center of each panel. It spoke briefly, “Follow me or be punished.” It then flew in the direction of a set of locks to enter the fenced area.
“I guess we should follow.”
“Are we going to attempt escape?”
By this point they had all climbed out of the van and were able to get a better look at the surrounds than provided via the tiny, barred windows. The air over the base was filled with drones of all types, as was the road and the building rooftops. Some with obvious weapons, some without. There were also humans, armed and unarmed, in uniform and in suits, walking hurriedly everywhere.
“So, that would be a no on the escaping thing.” Ellen’s dry sarcasm received no laughs.
Heather sighed and focused on keeping everyone focused, “Not right now, anyway. Just stick to the protocol. Deny everything. You’re just a citizen.”
“And if they have evidence?” Stevie was calculating the skill sets of the various drones around them.
“If they show you the evidence, then you declare yourself with pride but turn nobody else over.”
“About that, if we’re proud–”
“We are anonymous. Nobody should ever know us, individually. We are not interested in being heroes, just in being free.”
“Yes, we are all individuals.” Ellen intoned. Edgar hadn’t said anything, he just kept staring at the gates.
The first set of gates locked behind them, they were now in a 3 foot wide, 30 yard long, fence hallway between 2 gates with about 30 other people when the pyramid drones demanded a halt. A large sphere drone, like a golden, metallic mirror, rose above the group, issued a short tonal introduction and then began to speak in stern, but soft feminine tones, like an old librarian.
“Greetings Citizens, you are all suspects in last night’s attack on this nation’s security and stability. Obviously most of you are not guilty. It is the goal of this process to figure out who is innocent and set them free. You will all now be tagged with ID chips to make this process more efficient. The chip will be inserted into the arm at the shoulder by the drone, the drone will issue a beep sound, the suspect will then state their name aloud. It is advised that suspects respond properly the first time to avoid punishment. Thank you for your assistance in catching the truly guilty people who caused all of this.”
Then a flock of pyramid drones descended onto the group, with limbs extended from the center of their bottom. Each limb terminated in a 1″ diameter tubular device containing an injector. When the tube is placed against a body, the injector slides forward, digs into the flesh and thrusts the ID chip inside the body, stapling it to the bone with a second device that sends out a RF signal only if removed. There was a good deal of screaming, shouting and crying emanating from the compound in the next few minutes.
Afterwards, they were released into the yard. It didn’t take long to figure out how these people were selected. Everyone was a hacker of some type. Most were amateurs who like to jail break phones or pirate games. But there were a handful of pros around too. They were all staying away from each other, but Ellen and Heather had already seen half the local Anonymous crew milling around the yard.
“They must have had all of us on a list to be able to scoop us up like this.” Johnny muttered.
“File that under no shit.”
He ignored Ellen and kept on, “Sooo, about that drone saying we were prime suspects, I don’t see why that made us any more suspicious to them than before. Isn’t that exactly what they expect from everybody here? A bunch of anti-gov, hacker, radicals?”
Heather nodded, “Yeah, your probably right. But we should also assume those ID chips they practically raped us with,” she rubbed at the quarter sized wound on her arm, and everybody else did too, “probably have bugs in them, too.”
Stevie’s eyes got wide and he spoke into Ellen’s shoulder, “Right, I’m sure glad that I’m not the person responsible for this terrible deed. I’d hate to have the government after me.”
Before anybody could offer Johnny more than a withering look in response, a spectacle had begun on the far side of the field. A young man in a white t-shirt and sweat pants, clearly pulled out of his home while still in his PJs, stood up on a rock in the field and began speaking to the crowd of prisoners. People were cheering him on, so the crew walked over to hear what he was saying.
“- and I don’t know who did that last night, but if you’re here, good job.” The crowd cheered again. “Not only was that an awesome hack, but look at this bullshit!” More cheers and cursing, “How the fuck can they just round us up, tag us, and lock us up like cattle? When the hell did that become kosher? I’m a college kid who once a hacked a phone just to see if I could, and here I am on some enemies list.
“It was Fredric Nietzsche who said-,” Edgar and Heather turned to scan the perimeter. The drones didn’t seem to care about the young speaker. They continued to buzz about the yard, swooping in on individuals, herding them over towards the gate or back again, as they received unheard orders from their unseen masters.
A flock of 7 pyramid drones flew towards them. They exchanged a glance, but said nothing. The drones encircled them. The crowd grew silent and backed away. The drone, intoned its directions, “You 5 are required to come to the interview room at this time.”
The young speaker, realizing his audience had been stolen from him, decided to seize an opportunity to be daring and heroic. He jumped off his rock, ran through the crowd, and jumped in front of the drone issuing orders. “How dare you! We are humans! We made you! You don’t give us orders!”
A small, circular portal opened on the side of the drone and out fired a small projectile into the angry young man. He remained awake long enough to say, “What was that?” By which time the sedative had flooded his nervous system and he collapsed into a pile of skinny limbs and oversized clothing.
“So,” Ellen smirked at the drone, “Which way to the interview rooms?”
The drone turned on its axis in mid air, “You will follow this unit.”
As the crew started to move towards the pyramid drone, Edgar remained in place. He did not speak, or act in any specific way, but it was clear something was stirring deep inside him. The crowd could feel it and they began to back away. The machines were unaware, and they approached Edgar, insisting on his obedience.
“You will not deviate from instructions.”
The drone attempted to herd Edgar along by taking a position behind him and moving towards the desired direction. He did not budge. The nose of the machine pressed against his back fat, first just a nudge, then harder, and harder still. A slender trickle of blood began to leak out from his flesh, through the shirt, and down the silver sides of the flying pyramid.
Everyone, even the other drones, stood still and watched this battle of wills between man and machine taking place on the field. Edgar’s eyes were closed, his face blank, he leaned back into the drone, just slightly. Heather thought he had never looked so noble. The drone’s engines began to rev higher, and it dug deeper into his flesh.
“Deviation is not allowed.” The drone repeated.
“I guess I’m just a deviant.” Edgar said, quietly. Then he threw himself sideways. The drone had embedded itself too far to pull out in time and they both smashed into the ground with a loud noise. Edgar rolled off its nose, picked up a rock, and with blood pouring out his back, began to smash the machine to pieces where it lay.
From the sky, an electric pulse shot into Edgar’s back, sending him into a chubby pile of vibrating, bleeding flesh. This was a last straw for the crowd. Several dozen rocks flew towards the flock of drones hovering above, which dodged them with mechanical ease. The impromptu ballistic protests reached their collective zeniths, paused dramatically, then completed their parabolic paths in a disheartening stony rain.
Yelps, shouts and panicked cries echoed across the yard as nerd pandemonium ensued. The yard PA system issued a singular statement, “Deviation from instructions will be punished!” Then the drones began firing volleys of electric stun blasts into the crowd. It took only a few moments for the majority to be immobilized. The remainder volunteered to lay down after that.
Edgar still lay bleeding where he fell. The drone still lay next to him, in pieces. 2 drones lowered themselves over the 2 damaged bodies. A green light scanned each. Then they paused for a few moments while data was shared and processed with the central processor. After an assessment and decision had been made, they rose a few feet, a panel slid open in the base of both, and each released a single round object at the damaged parties. Seconds later they struck dead center in the exposed side.
The explosion did not fill a large area. Nor was it very bright, or loud. In mere moments, Edgar and the Drone were no longer occupying the yard. When the dust settled, whatever the grenades released had melted both bodies down to puddles of goo. Then the pyramid drones that had extinguished them, hovered low, extended a vacuum tube, sucked their liquified remains and flew away.
Heather, one of the lucky few who was still conscious, screamed as they left. It was a primal, guttural wail with no intelligible words but the deep sadness it contained was easily understood by any animal who heard it. The drones were nonplussed.