I haven’t been promoting my campaign for a while.  Let’s face it, there’s so much no one is bothering to talk about because no one has a clue what’s going on.  Well, I’ve come up with one important foreign policy rule that I would encourage.  When sending anyone to Russia to negotiate with or even just stand next to Vladimir Putin, make sure they are less than 5′ 5″.  I am not the first to notice that his petite frame might be the cause of his determination to take over neighboring countries.  

This is more important that we might think.  Looking at history, which I do most of the time, one realizes that those other short megalomaniacs, Napoleon and Hitler, were defeated by the Russian winter.  Well, Putin has that one licked already.  Therefore, I say, be sensitive to his feelings.  Put him among other short people.  Show that a smaller leader and a smaller Russia are good things to be respected.  Stress quality over size.  Maybe Vladimir will become happier with himself and go back to hang gliding rather than invading.

If I’m elected, I’ll do my best to arrange photos of politicians by height, maybe putting the shorter ones on boxes to even things up.  I’m going to stand next to the biggest person I can find, because I’d rather feel less conspicuous.  Hmmm… not a good trait in a politician.  Good thing I’m only running for the perks.

 

One of the best things about being in the Senate is having lobbyists pay for all your meals.  I realized that I didn’t understand the process much and so I did a bit of research

I was fascinated to hear on NPR the other day that the NFL spends $10,000,000.00 a year on lobbyists.  Apparently this has resulted in zoning changing for stadiums (stadii) and blackout rules for TV stations, among other things.  Wow!  I don’t think they’d bother trying to convince me but there are some lobbies that might be able to sway me.  Sadly, I couldn’t find a chocolate lobby.  However, the American Mosquito Control Association spent $40,000.00 in 2013,  http://www.mosquito.org/  Now why would they need to have someone in Washington to convince Congress that we need to control mosquitoes?

I’m not surprised that big donors include medical and insurance lobbies.  But the major lobbyist in the country turns out to be the Chamber of Commerce.  How do all those chambers agree on what laws they want to lobby for?  Still, they can take me out to lunch and explain.

The one that seemed the most interesting to me, if there is no chocolate lobby is The National Association for the Self-Employed. http://www.nase.org/NASE.aspx   They offer tips on grants and perks one can get to start a business.  As a member of the Senate, I’d probably be a member of that.  All the same, the $580,810.00 they spent in lobbying could have bought a lot of startups.

Another thing I didn’t know was that there are businesses who hire out their expertise in lobbying, so it’s hard to tell just why this guy is in my office again and if he (most seem to me male) really cares about the interest he’s pitching.

It all rather reminds me of the people at Louis XIV’s court who hung around fighting for the privilege of emptying his chamber pot and getting a chance to put in a good word for their family or cause.

Sorry, guys;  if I’m elected, I’m holding out for chocolate.

No, I didn’t die.  When I lost the 2012 election, I wrote another book, which will be out in April.  However, I have been begged, well, asked, well it’s been suggested that the 2014 election is coming up and that it was time to restart my campaign.  After all, as I go about asking for votes, I can also promote the book.  I’ve always believed that the tax laws for writers are generous because so many members of congress intend to write books once they leave the Senate.  I intend to make no changes to this excellent arrangement.

I am going to introduce bills that promote education, particularly in the area of correct grammar.  No one should be let out of high school unless they know when to use ‘less’ and when ‘fewer’.  Students should also have a clear understanding of the apostrophe.  Fines shall be imposed on media representatives and government officials for each grammar error they make in public.  Sloppy speech should only be in private and between consenting adults.  At no time should children be exposed to adjectives in adverbial settings.

Of course, there are other matters of importance that I shall address in the course of the campaign.  But the base of civilization is the clear exchange of ideas and opinions.  The foundation under this base is grammar.

So, here I am again, asking for you to write in my name as Senator at Large.  One term only; I’m in it for the benefits.  Failing that, considering pre-ordering my next book, which is as close to a political statement as I’m likely to make.

The story of the first Queen of Crusader Jerusalem and the world in which she lived.  April 2014

The story of the first Queen of Crusader Jerusalem and the world in which she lived. April 2014

I was suggesting to a friend the other day that she should have a will.  Like many people, she was resistant.  Then I pointed out that if she died without one, a lot of her money would go to the courts and the government.  That got her attention.

The other candidates in this election seem to think that it’s about a choice between Big Government, telling everyone what to do and regulating people to death and Free Enterprise that will return us to the days of child labor, sweat shops (yes, I know they still exist) and no health insurance.  When did everything become so polarized?

Personally, I think we should have a constitutional monarchy.  I’ve been practicing my queen wave.  Somehow I don’t think that’s going to be an option, darn.

However, what fascinates me is how many of us have forgotten the preamble to the Constitution.   The whole point of our republican democracy is that the people decide things.

 WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT.

 So, if we don’t like the way things are going, we can get rid of the bums without resorting to riots or siege warfare.   We can also convince the people we elect to change their views.  One of the few things I like about Republican Rome is that no one could run the Senate for more than two years.  (Bread and circuses were nice, too.  I suppose they were the equivalent of Food Stamps and NPR, both of which may be on their way out.)

I have lots more opinions for my platform but I’m overwhelmed by the rest of the media.  One thing I’ve decided to change is the much beloved Grammar Police.  I always felt it was a bit too authoritarian and I don’t want to live in a dictatorship, even if I’m in charge.  A friend suggested another term, “lifeguard”.  I like that.  Adults, especially those on news programs and other media, may need a strong hand but wouldn’t it be lovely to have a group of people spreading across the country to schools, meeting rooms, offices, even bars, ready to save those who fall into verbal confusion?

If you don’t vote for me, vote for the establishment of the Grammar Lifeguards!

Thank you for your support.

 
Whee! I didn’t know about this. Even with piles of work to do and tons of unfinished business, Congress gets to declare their own recess and go home to play.  What a great idea!  It’s like going on vacation the week before a big project is due.  Even better, congresspeople can put off doing anything nasty until they’ve been reelected.  Is this a great country or what?  it’s like leaving your teenagers and saying you’ll be back when they turn 21.  Tell me you were never tempted, I dare you.

So I’ve been on recess, too, just to see if I can manage this part of the job.  I think I’ve got it covered.  Remember, all I want is the health insurance and the pension.  I promise not to vote on anything that doesn’t involve my passionate belief that the grammar of the nation must be preserved.  I actually said ‘hung’ when I meant ‘hanged’ the other day.  It’s insidious.
So, if you don’t vote for me, although you should, see just what your local reps are doing during recess.   Remember the trouble you got into when let out of school?

Not watching the debate tonight.  I’m streaming disaster movies.  Time to get ready for the inevitable (see my apocalypse blog)  Sharan

I realized that I haven’t shared my feelings about supporting the military.  Tricky.  I came from a military family.  I have family serving overseas now.  I think that we should do the best we can to take care of our soldiers.  In my novel THE SHANGHAI TUNNEL, I used something that really happened.  During our Civil War, government contractors sold the army substandard guns while sending the good ones that Washington had paid for to the Chinese.  Really.  I know, it seems impossible.  So, part of my platform would be that there be more oversight of those who sell to the military.  Yes, that means big government but, for pity’s sake, we wouldn’t need oversight if people were less greedy and more moral. (see my post on ethics)

OK, that seems pretty pro forma for a candidate.  This is because I believe that for millennia this whole army thing has been totally confused.  My thinking is as follows.

All wars are defensive, right?  It’s been ages since a leader said, “Hey, I’ve got this great big army just lying around stuffing their faces; I think I’ll conquer something.”  Alexander the Great is the only one who comes to mind.  Ah, I do miss the days when leaders actually led armies!

If one isn’t defending against an invader other reasons are still things like, “I was promised the throne and that nasty person took it away.” or  “We have no food or water and the guy down the road has both and won’t share.”  etc.

Now, most wars are fought by young men who are supposed to be naturally aggressive.  The general opinion is that they might as well rape and pillage somewhere other than home.   I’m not sure I buy into this.  I think it’s one of those things we just take for granted, like no one took a bath before 1890.   However, let’s assume that testosterone is useful if one wants to go to war.

BUT, if we only need an army to protect ourselves from threat it makes sense to me that we really don’t want a bunch of people in the army prepared to shoot anything that moves and is subliminally encouraged to humiliate anyone in their power.  We have enough trouble with CEOs  so, my proposal is that armies only be made up of women with low testosterone and gay men.  I assure you that both groups are tigers when their homes and families are in danger.

I’ve been thinking of this for many years.  I once suggested it at a party.  The man I was speaking to went ballistic. “Do you think the Russians would do that?  Do you think the Chinese would?”  he shouted.  Personally, I think he made my point.  I don’t want someone that irrationally aggressive and humorless being all that’s between me and invasion.  I’d rather have someone who wants to protect more than to kill.  And, when I propose this in the senate, it will be easy to tell who shouldn’t join.