Friday, March 25, 2005

Ethan Allen's Point of View

And Terry Schiavo will finally be set free from the prison of her body.

Those who have grown cynical with the country’s direction can’t help but be a little shocked at the courts having withstood the passions and pressures of Congress, the White House, and the church crowd.

Bush and Co., took the same path that led to victory in the 2000 election, through the south and finally to friends at the Supreme Court.
But they were told that once is enough and that the other case was, well, special. But otherwise the law’s the law and the people down in Florida have settled this matter for themselves.
The courts refused to be a part of the three-ring circus this majority has turned the Congress into: suspension of voting rules to pass the Medicare bill, firing the ethics guy for saying they were unethical.
In the Schiavo case they fashioned congress a rubber stamp, convening at night, dispensing with debate, committee work and other dispensable democratic niceties.
But they were had. The Democrats let them leave the building with a bad law the courts couldn’t work with. Ah! those tiresome parliamentary tactics.
In the end the system worked, pushed to its limits, the built-in checks and balances finally pushed back and the rule of law in a case that has taken years to develop was, lo and behold, respected.
Meantime, those who can only enjoy their special relationship to God within the framework of a camera lens do a medieval wail outside the place where the poor woman lies.
They are so much more American than you and me.
And their spectacle of saintly suffering brought to the scribe’s mind some excerpts from the writings of Ethan Allen cribbed out of a biography done many years ago by Stuart Holbrook.
Allen was a frontiersman and intellectual who gamed George Washington into allowing he and his friends in the Green Mountain Boys a state all their own, Vermont, amen to their help in the revolutionary war and other cagey states craft.
He was from the "Don’t Tread on Me" wing of that glorious revolution, like Tom Paine, a member of the artisan class and somewhat beneath Jefferson, Franklin, Washington and the other fancy boys who went on to run things.
He was rougher. The way Walt Whitman saw rough. More like lusty.
After being released from British capture he declared, "The taking of my lickers was an abomination."
He wrote a melodramatic book of his travails in captivity to fan the flames of revolution and it worked.
A lesser-known founding father, here are some of his thoughts as culled by the scribe from Holbrook’s book while working as a reader at the Creative Artists Agency:
"If we could comprehend God at all, he would cease to be what he is. The ignorant among mankind cannot even understand the wise of their own species, much less the perfection of God."

"A feasible suggestion would be to lay out the money paid to priests and preachers in good wine or old spirits to make the heart glad, and then laugh at the stupidity or cunning of those who would make us mere machines, incapable of conducting our destiny."
"He who waits for the aid of devils, prayers or miracles to help him in some enterprise had better spend his time by the application of his natural powers."
"[Christ] was an honest man who never claimed to be God, but specifically ranked himself with finite beings. He would be astonished to know what the prophets and scriveners have done to him."

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