Saturday, March 02, 2013

Sunday Ramble

First I guess has to be the upcoming elections. Rather interesting don't you think? we have 19 candidates for six of the seven seats on Council. Sunday the Standard-Times will finally put about that we have a School Board race, district 4, the first time since 2007 we have even had a contestant or an election. I want to thank every candidate. I know better than most the commitment of not only money but personal time running a race requires. I am one of the locals who will have only one vote, for Mayor, I live in Johnny Silvas' SMD3 and he simply continues in office.

At this time I withhold endorsements; well you might reasonably guess I support my friend Jim Turner; but aside from the obvious, I'm just happy to see well contested races all around. I hope the usual candidate forums come up with some way to accomodate the sheer numbers, give them each a chance to speak and take questions and not last until 2:00AM!

In a rare nod to government efficiency: I just recieved my first ever passport. Never needed one before, but I applied Feb. 9 and was told it would be 6-8 weeks. It came in the mail yesterday, call it 3 weeks, a pat on the back to the State Department.

Speaking of the mail. USPS is running unsupportable deficits and has announced it will drop Saturday regular delivery. It will not be enough. I gotta ask; if it came to it could you live with 3 day a week delivery? Now think, how much of your daily mail ends up in File 13, and how much regular mail is next-day critical? The Post Office is a critical binder. Constitution Article 1, Sec 8, right under counterfeiting, "to establish Post Offices and postal roads". I believe the very first Act of an American Congress was to fund this. It's one thing to talk about private competition, and that works well in populated areas, but what Congress had in mind was the remote farmer 10 miles outside East Undershirt Kentucky; he should be served as well. One of the few "subsidies" I support. I don't want to pay that farmer to grow or not grow corn, but I'll help get the letter from USDA telling him the corn check ain't coming in his mailbox. Then he'll know it's time to start moonshining his corn. That assumes he isn't already.

The first internal military action,1794, was to supress the "Whisky Rebellion", actually in western Pennsylvania, at the time the edge of the wilderness. A cash-strapped Congress had had the temerity to impose a tax on booze! An economic reality of the time, it was more efficient for farmers on the edge of the new nation to turn corn into ethanol and ship a couple barrels east than to sack up the raw corn and pay freight for several wagonloads. They were understandably honked off. It really didn't amount to much, a few shots fired here and there, and a revenooers house burned. Still unclear whether anyone was actually killed. In the face of 13,000 Federal militia, it did not take long for the frontiersmen to realize  it was cheaper to melt away, and duck the revenooer on the black market than to go to war. What it did do was establish Federal authority. Today's world, you decide whether that was a good thing or not.

As to the moonshiner/revenoorer dispute, it was the great-great-great granddaddy of a sport we call NASCAR.

Just in case you think San Angelo streets are bad (OK, they are) you should read the original specs for a postal road. No stumps higher than 14 inches left between the ruts among others. Could be a challenge for a Humvee!

Enough for now, but Coming Attractions...I hope by then to have met more candidates and in the history part I will explain something you didn't learn in high school civics: The War of 1812, the only time we have been invaded by a foreign power, was in part over marijuana. OK, hemp, but..