Friday, September 30, 2022

Five Modest Proposals: Neutralizing Tecumseh’s Curse

     Neutralizing Tecumseh’s Curse


Being President is an affliction at the best of times, which these are not. The President elected in 2020 faces a plague, a depression, civic unrest, and also an Indian curse. According to legend, the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh laid a curse upon the Presidency; namely, that anyone elected on a year ending with zero will die in office.

          Tecumseh’s curse has accumulated a long list of victims: Harrison, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, FDR and JFK. Some were murder most foul, and some were health-related.

Only Zachary Taylor died in office without being elected on a zero year. There are two other exceptions, but they’re arguable. Reagan’s body survived, but his mind died; and unpopular Dubya left the office no stupider than he entered it, but his entire family’s political career died.

          Call me superstitious, but I wouldn’t face odds like that. Besides, the White House should bear an Indian curse. It deserves one, it’s earned it. Tecumseh’s legendary curse gives the White House street cred. The tale is colorful and poetic. It’s authentic Americana.

          I write to tell how to neutralize the curse. Consider the Dubya exception: he survived, but his family’s political career died. So the next zero-year President should try this:

          Set up a working Administration.

Then do something nice for the Shawnee.

Then resign for health reasons.

Then retire from politics.

So his political career dies instead of him. I figure that this sacrifice should keep him safe from Tecumseh’s curse.

He can risk waiting until he’s genuinely sick before he resigns; or he can lie by quitting the Presidency before the job sucks all of the life out of him. That’s his choice. For proof that the Presidency sucks the life out of people, just look at previous Presidents, before and after.

If he wants his resignation to be an act of power, then he can publicly denounce certain rich crooks, and take decisive but politically-suicidal action against their crimes, just before he retires. So if he wants to, then he can slam the door on the way out.

I recommend that every zero-year President, from now on, take these precautions. It would mean that every fifth Presidential campaign will really be about the Vice-President. That’s how it’s been, so far.



Thursday, September 29, 2022

Five Modest Proposals: Nuclear Blatancy Day

          Nuclear Blatancy Day


          There are political dangers in a standing army; yet SAC’s power to destroy civilization should not be in the hands of recruits. How, then, do we reconcile citizen armies with nuclear technology?

          Jonathan Schell offers a partial solution in his book, “The Abolition”, which proposes that the USA become a “latent” nuclear power; that is, that it dismantle all actual nuclear bombs, but retain (and indeed strengthen) its ability to swiftly build those bombs.

We keep the know-how and the infrastructure and the fissile materials, but hold off on building the accursed things unless we need them right away. You could call it just-in-time civicide; like taking the bullet out of the rifle over the fireplace. I also call it the “virtual” bomb. Nuclear latency is purified deterrence; a way for America to say to the world that we don’t feel like killing a million people today, so don’t make us want to.

          I like Schell’s idea, but I think it’s incomplete. It’s too rational, it lacks the aura of apocalyptic histrionics so natural to all things nuclear. Also, those virtual bombs need occasional testing, to be credible.

Therefore I offer the following modest proposal: Nuclear Blatancy Day. It’s a nuclear war game, and it works like this:

Participating contestant countries send the following to the U.S.A.:

A “shell”; that is, a nuclear bomb, minus trigger-explosives and fissiles; and sent separate from that, trigger explosives and fissiles;

Blueprints for those nukes;

A modest entrance fee;

And a sizable entrance loan.

The shell, the explosives and the fissiles are given with careful ceremony by participant countries to the U.S.A. via their elite military forces. The entrance fee defrays America’s game-hosting expenses; and return of the loan depends upon the kilotonnage of the nukes.

Some American citizens will compete for prizes by submitting their own shells and blueprints. The Defense Department will provide explosives and fissiles.

Shell, explosives and fissiles then go to the test site, where there are glove boxes, deep shafts, and reporters with video cameras. On Trinity Day, high-ranking representatives from the participating countries arrive at the test site, to witness the results personally.

Also on hand are American contestants, reporters, politicians, marching bands (pro-bomb) and satirical giant-puppet troupes (anti-bomb). Both groups are welcomed as essential components of the inherently mixed message being sent that day.  Politicians speak smoothly in praise of the People’s Bomb; a grandmother from Hiroshima pleads passionately for peace.

One of the speakers is a “holy fool”, who wears motley, and whose job is to question, warn, bewail, criticize, satirize, mock, castigate, and curse the assembled heads of state for their nuclear ambitions.

Each country’s team assembles their nukes in the glove boxes, under close surveillance by Americans. These nukes then go to the bottom of the mine shafts. The mine shafts are sealed off.

The countdown starts. Five, four, three, two, one, zero! Suddenly the earth quakes, and new craters collapse in the desert. The marching bands cheer, the puppeteers boo, and the foreign dignitaries look at each other nervously. Technicians announce yields; the winning contestants get scholarships and job offers; and the dignitary from Japan politely tells the other dignitaries that these Americans are indeed as crazy as they look, so don’t mess with them!

The heads of state attend a banquet, then go home.

All countries whose nukes do not achieve the kilotonnage goal forfeit their loans. The winning countries get back their loans, and the forfeited loans are distributed evenly among the winning countries and the U.S.A.

Entrance loans are also forfeit if the nukes cause damage to the test site by exceeding the kilotonnage limit.

The blueprints, and the glove-box footage, is distributed, unedited, to the winning countries and the U.S.A.

In addition to the loans, there may also be prior treaties whose terms depend upon the kilotonnage of the nukes. These “side bets” may cover exchanges of money, territory, alliances, trading arrangements, and other considerations that would otherwise require a war to settle.

          The point of the exercise is to impose order upon chaos via games and ritual. Nuclear war games are “virtual” nuclear wars; they have all the physical ferocity of nuclear war, but with zero casualties. This maximizes witnesses, and consequent political point. It is given full global media scrutiny, with blueprints shared by the winners, in order to reduce uncertainty to a minimum; for the greatest terror is the unknown.

          Unassembled nukes, with shell, trigger and fissiles stored separately, are “virtual” nukes, which all participating countries have by definition. Virtual nukes are reliable once they are tested in a virtual nuclear war. Unlike assembled nukes, virtual nukes do not threaten a first-strike attack; yet they resist first strike. It’s hard to nuke a nuke that isn’t there yet. So it’s best to not wake the dragon!


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Five Modest Proposals: Discorporation





          Under United States Federal Law, a Corporation is called a Person,

          AND WHEREAS:

          Under United States Federal Law, Persons found guilty of committing certain heinous crimes may incur the penalty of death,


          That under United States Federal Law, Corporations found guilty of committing certain heinous crimes may incur the penalty of death.



          Definition of Discorporation


          In Discorporation, the officers of the state force a Corporation to stop functioning. No human Person is to be harmed in any way, except in being deprived of a functioning relationship with the legally-deceased Corporation.

          In a Discorporation, the State shall:

          Repudiate the condemned Corporation’s franchise,

          Deny it all standing in any court of Law,

          Seize its assets, records and property,

          Halt its commercial activities,

          Close its production facilities,

          Dismiss its employees and managers,

Destroy, in public ceremony, a copy of the condemned Corporation’s identifying logo or symbol,

And declare the Corporation Legally Dead.



          First Dibs


          Discorporation is targeted at the criminal Corporation, not at those amongst its human servitors who are innocent of its crimes. Nonetheless, loss of corporate economic support can cause human hardship. To soften the blow, be it resolved that the first claimants to an executed Corporation’s assets shall be its innocent human servitors; each of whom shall receive one year’s worth of the Corporation’s median salary; or if that be impossible within the limits of the assets seized, all shall receive equal shares.



          Just Cause


          Corporations, being legal Persons, may be put to death for the same high crimes for which human Persons may be executed. These crimes include:






          and Treason.



          Critique of this Law


          A Discorporation is the fictional death of a fictional Person at the hands of the State; with violence, pretense and power thus woven into the very fabric of this instrument, it is clear that great evils may result from its misuse. Beware!

          The fundamental flaw of this law is that it may be applied to the wrong Corporations. In this imperfect world, such errors can and do often happen; and the death penalty, by nature, cannot be rescinded once imposed. Therefore this law, if accepted, will on occasion mean tragic and irremediable miscarriages of corporate justice; just like the death penalty for humans.

          Therefore doubt this law!



          Logical Conclusion



          that if

          Discorporation is not acceptable in the eyes of the law

          and if

          all persons are equal in the eyes of the law

          then either

          Coporations are not Persons in the eyes of the law

          or else

          the law does not accept death as a valid penalty.