Tag Archives: Government

Historical Tradition


I’ve read and heard about the “standard procedures” of the US Congress in its early days, especially during the time leading up to the Civil War. Some members (and COngressional staffers) carried pistols and almost all had walking sticks.  Being carried unconscious form the hallowed chambers was not unheard of, since fistfights were not uncommon, they used their walking sticks as clubs, and the ubiquitous spittoon was often thrown or poured on “my distinguished colleague from [fill in the blank]” as a First Amendment protected expression of free speech.

You do know what a spittoon is?

Think about it. Ewwwwww!

While you might find their deportment while in office vile and disgusting, these are our roots, and it might be well to return to them. Don’t forget, in our early days, the Vice President came to the capital to be sworn in, then headed back home.

I propose bringing back these proud American traditions.

First, since, in the formative years of Congress, there was no television, I propose that all speeches may only occur when the Congress has a quorum. That means that a majority of the members of that house of Congress must be present even if they have to listen to a colleague’s drabble. The CSPAN cameras (God love ’em) are great, but do not constitute a quorum.

Second, elected congressmen and senators should be allowed–nay, encouraged–to bring the weapon of their choice with them, just as they did in the early to mid 1800s. Let’s see how that affects gridlock. (Don’t worry, there are damned few who would have the guts to actually use a weapon, and most couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. I’m not including those few military veterans, who would not only hit their target, but do so with a precise grouping.)

Third, insist that members of Congress experience what the FOunding Fathers did. The British do so at least to a degree in their courts. In Congress, this would call for stockings, instead of trousers, heavy woolen clothes year-round and, no screens on the windows, much less air conditioning.

I’d bet that this would have some impact on gridlock–not to mention an increase in special elections as a few members of Congress were killed or injured and many of the others fled for their lives.

Just kidding–everything is working just fine as it is.

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work!*

I’ve been outrageously busy at work preparing for a meeting. Since I’m a Federal employee, I just wanted to let you taxpayers know that there actually is an effort to keep costs down. The number of justifications I have to complete in order to travel for work is sufficiently onerous that anyone who has the option would quickly decide to stay home. It has to be really, really important before you’re willing to run the gauntlet for orders to travel.

As an employee, it’s an ordeal. As a taxpayer, I approve.

So, here are other thoughts…

We have a combination printer copier at work. It prints, it copies (obviously) it does dual sided copies, it enlarges, it scans, it folds, staples, spindles and mutilates.

So why doesn’t it know that if 3 of its 4 trays are filled with the same size paper oriented the same way, it doesn’t have to stop all printing and wait until Tray 1 is refilled?

At what age did it happen to you?




At what age did you realize that your “Permanent Record” was no longer of any consequence?

I always wanted to read that the Permanent Record Storage Vault was destroyed by fire, flood or hacked by Wiki-Leaks throwing the country into chaos. I pictured it as some cavernous bomb proof shelter buried deep underground in West Virginia accessible only by a secret trap door in an otherwise nondescript Waffle House.

But, alas, it was all but a ruse by our high school teachers.

Today’s high school teachers have to tell a far better story to the kids today.

* Governor LePetomaine – “Blazing Saddles