President’s 71st birthday party, in Hueytown, Alabama, June 14th
by Mary Maxwell, PhD, LLB
The guy on the right in this picture is singing Muddy Waters’ “Get My Mojo Workin’.” The guy on the left is saying “Boy, these MSM buggers have got tenacity.” The girl in the middle (a lovely yellow seersucker design from Katie’s of Rundle Mall) is thinking “How can I possibly reach more than a handful of Alabamians on the campaign trail?”
Just to tell Gumshoe readers, hush-hush of course, that I am floundering a bit. Hmm. It seems so odd that we at this website feel that we’ve got the Trump situation down pat, but the Donald himself makes no statement identifying the enemy. I have so far not been able to explain it to anyone here. The Republicans like him but have no idea of the danger he is in.
I am shifting away from my “stick with the Constitution” position. It now seems to me that there is no hope of the states carrying their weight, and they are one of the five pillars of the parchment (i.e., the three branches of government, the states, and the people).
I no longer think SCOTUS is carrying its weight, or has any intention of ever carrying it. I have worried about the Court since Kelo v New London (an eminent domain case), Citizens United (corporations are persons, oh no, not that again!), and the Albert Florence strip-search case (“Who ever said the Fourth Amendment prevents prison guards from trekking up your kazoo?”)
The legislature has handed in its resignation as protector of the Constitution. So, of the five pillars, that leaves us with the Executive and the People. Now here is the sad news: the people are not with the program. See, we get so used to things at Gumshoe — such as understanding that it’s the government that pushes drugs — but these concepts are not in the people’s mental furniture here.
How can they carry their weight of assisting the Constitution if they lack the requisite mental furniture?
You may be shocked to hear me say I would alter my “famous” approach. But I am a practical person. If I keep up my old line, and meanwhile the assassins are gearing up, I can’t see what good I would be doing.
So let’s see what the options are for a constitutionless US.
First, allow me to use this space to review some of my hustings speeches and the reactions I got to them. Maybe it will help me do a Eureka. Oh and by the way I have just been told that Forrest Gump was from Alabama.
Alabama Farmer’s Federation
I prepared my maiden speech for the Farmer’s Federation – wow that was fun – by contacting Christopher Brooks in Goulburn Valley. Told him that I had just bought a GALLON of milk here for one dollar, and asked how I might discuss with Southern farmers such a farm-destroying price. True to form, Aussie farmer Brooks replied:
The problem all over is “monopoly,” Mary. Money creation monopoly allows information, political, resource, manufacturing, transport and retail monopoly….
The world is abundant and food is very easily produced way beyond sufficiency for all mankind so it should rightly be very affordable.
I would never argue the $1 per litre milk in Australia is the ruination of the Dairy Industry because it is far too simplistic a claim. The important question is what are the correct principles of association that work best to balance individual freedom with the real efficiency in community and common.
Of course you and I know this is a complexity and the best you can hope for in limited circumstances is to stimulate our fellows to break the spell over their mindset. If you can pierce through the lies and reach just one mind in an audience of many it is progress.
We are just puffing against the wind trying to deal with symptoms like milk price and dairy industry policy.
See what I mean? Anyway I worked that into my speech, and used Cargill and Monsanto as the monopoly examples. When I entered the room I expected 5 or 6 famers to be there – but the audience was huge!
The first question I got was “Who are your sponsors?” I replied “After what I just said you think I have sponsors?” – laughter. Later in the day it was announced that the farmers would endorse the incumbent, Luther Strange. That sort of brought me back to reality.
The Alabama New South Coalition
You may have heard that people on Indian lands in the US are not quite under the same laws as the rest of the nation. In the Southeast there aren’t many reservations left, as forced marches took place to remove the people to the west. (Many did not survive.)
There is a Creek Indian reservation near Montgomery. It is entirely a casino. Huge inside, and huge parking lot without. We were there in a function room. The group consisted mainly of Democrats. I went off on a toot about prisons. No one greeted me afterward.
The lady governor is currently deciding whether to relieve the over-crowding in state prisons by building new ones. I have a different suggestion….
Your Basic Birthday Barbecue
A barbecue was held at the business premises of a Repub near Birmingham. It was so nice. The occasion was both Flag Day and Trump’s birthday (of course he was not there).
The big surprise to me was Judge Roy Moore – the one who got deposed for his Ten Commandments caper. As soon as I met him I said “You are the reason I came here from Australia.” He said “I’ve been to Queensland!” – he then launched into some very creditable reciting of Banjo Paterson poetry! Maybe he knows The Man from Iron Bark, too.
I was told afterwards by the hostess that only my speech got applause. I had not even been aware of it.
Around this time I got a request from Hearst to provide some “Fun Facts about the Candidate.” I obliged thusly with a touch of wariness:
Candidate Fun Facts:
First Job: Telephone operator (if you don’t count snow-shoveling at 50 cents an hour).
First Car: Chevy Biscayne (essentially a Bel Air with fewer options), color green. My mother was ashamed of the color. I think she wanted to pretend it belonged to the person next door.
Favorite Food: Hands down zucchini soup, but I wouldn’t say No to a macaroni and cheese if it had some Southern bite. You could also force me to eat birthday cake. (Ask me about the Yee-haw in Roadhouse last week.)
Favorite Music: classical, and Spanish guitar. Also, church music. I have conducted a children’s choir (in the Middle East – it was mainly a parents’ way of getting free babysitting, but we did make music). Being choir-less now, I direct everything, even the Berlin Philharmonic, on Youtube, from my easy chair.
Favorite Sports Team: Anything but hockey. (I am, after all, a girl.) Also lack the moral courage for kayaking. (Can’t swim, as a matter of fact.)
Role Model Growing Up: A school principal named Everett Conway, who was a friend of my school-vice-principal father. Mr Conway used to make Biblical jokes like calling the 7 Maccabees “the 7 McCabes,” but in so doing made me pay attention. Never thought of him as a role model till you asked the question! Of course Mom is the one I really imitated, but at the time thought she was “not to be imitated at all costs.”
(The Yee-haw I referred to? I was without cash for a while but managed to buy a bowl of soup at Roadhouse. When the waitress asked us all to shout “Yee-haw” for a customer’s birthday I thought I would sidle over to the honoree and be offered a piece of her cake. Yes, it was a nutritious evening. Note: I often feel loved here.)
I’ve Been Caricatured! I’ve Been Caricatured!
The cartoonist for AL.com – which is a combo of newspapers such as The Huntsville Times and The Birmingham News — took his pen to all ten GOP (Grand Old Party) candidates. Judge Moore is the one with, well, the black robe. The cartoonist’s name I think is JDC, can’t really make it out. Sorry.
Here is what he said about Gumshoe’s “Al Haig”:
Mary Maxwell is running for Jeff Session’s old senate seat. Mary Maxwell just moved to Alabama from Australia — just to run for Jeff Sessions’ old senate seat. Because — why not? Of all the Senate candidates, Maxwell has the most Trump-like hair-do, which is about as Alabama-patriotic as you can get.
Martin Bryant – Almost
Not exactly a part of the campaign, but I saw an ad for an Author’s Lunch at the Juliet Hampton Morgan Memorial Library in Montgomery (pronounced Mun-gum-ree). The book club was reading “The Axe Man of New Orleans.” This murderer, somewhat like the Boston Strangler, had caused everyone to be on the alert.
On one occasion he promised not to strike at any house where jazz was being played. My ears were lighting up with clues from the you-know-what case. The author – Miriam Davis — was terrific. I must send her some Port Arthur stuff. Here is the wonderful opening paragraph of her Axeman book:
On a hot summer afternoon about thirteen years ago, my brother Tim and I were sitting in my front porch drinking bracingly cold English cider. The conversation turned, as it always does on these occasions, to the subject of serial murder….
On Chucking the Constitution
Hey, wait. Wasn’t this article supposed to express my discouragement about the five pillars? Wasn’t I supposed to come up with some new scheme for running the US without a constitution?
That was an hour ago. After I stared to think of the campaign trail’s tiny successes – and of course especially when made to recall our stick-to-it-iveness about Martin Bryant — I got over my melancholia and my quittin’ mood.
Life without the beloved parchment? Muddah, Faddah, kindly disregard this letter!
–Mary Maxwell is in the race for a Senate seat. She’s got the Katie’s fashions. She’s got the patriotic hairdo. She’s got a competitor who’s been to Queensland. She’s got it all. Onward, Christian soldiers!