hearts and minds

April 1, 2011

The Difference Between a “Person” and a “Party”

My ol’ huntin’ partners, Sid D. Complex and Jesse B. Simple, and I were enjoying a couple beers together this Spring. Jess had just boggled my mind with one of his astute observations on the human condition. So I was trying to appear calm, and in full possession of my faculties while feeling more than usually uncertain and unbalanced.

Sid handled the silence that followed by deftly changing the subject. ‘Know what?’ inquired Sid. ‘The word “Person(s)” appears in the U.S. Constitution 22 times. And that same word pops up 27 times in the Constitutional Amendments (which averages once per Amendment). I know because I counted. But, the word “corporation(s)” doesn’t appear even once in the U.S. Constitution or in any Amendment. What the hell is all this noise about the Supreme Court declaring that a corporation is a person? That’s just plain nuts. A corporation doesn’t bleed, it can’t have kids, a corporation ain’t a person, anybody knows that.’

Smart-as-a-whip Jess came right back, without even pausing to take a deep breath or whet his whistle. (more…)

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January 2, 2008

Pay for Elections – Low Cost and Up-Front, or High Cost and Under-the-Table?

Sid. D. Complex was skinning and butchering the deer carcass that had frozen while hanging in his shed, when I stopped by for a visit, and that perennial sheepshead champ, Jess B. Simple, was being careful not to needle him for his procrastination.

“So,” I opened, deftly avoiding controversy, “who d’ya wanna see win the elections this year?”
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December 4, 2006

The People’s Choice

Filed under: Conversations with Sid D. Complex,Politics & elections — Hearts & Minds @ 11:54 pm

“Hey, partner, you got a lot to be thankful for. How was turkey day?” Sid had slipped up on me while I was butchering the second of the two whitetail deer I had been so fortunate to bag this beautiful but unusual fall.
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October 31, 2006

October Surprise

“Hey, Slick, you got an October surprise for us?” Sid D. Complex greeted me.

“Matter of fact I got a couple, Sid. Where you been keeping yourself?”

“Nose to the grindstone, ol’ buddy, you know how that goes”, declared Sid.

“Are you down with this election?” I asked.

“No point in voting”, said Sid. “As usual, nobody’s running against the local incumbents. Voting here ain’t worth losing time, and catching the boss’s frown.”
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August 6, 2006

Cheney visits Chappaquiddick

No doubt you recall my old friend, Sid D. Complex, who’s visited with us before in this column, on rare occasions over the last four years. Well, he and I decided to take a final winter opportunity to do some small game hunting. My mouth has been watering thinking about hasenpfeffer, and Sid, as you know, has his own preferences, which don’t usually coincide with mine. But we are both keen on joining the many other carnivores in the predatory pursuit of rabbits. C’mon along, if you like, but keep your safety on when you’re busting brush, and mind where your muzzle is pointed.
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Need a lawyer? Why not get a judge?

“That ain’t a bad way to open the bow hunting season.” I was admiring the nice deer my ol’ buddy, Sid D. Complex, had just cleanly killed. “How much you judge it’ll dress out to?” That was the wrong way to phrase my question.

“Don’t ask me about judges.” Sid was annoyed. “I’m tired of hearing about judges. I steer clear of ‘em. I don’t know any, and don’t care to. How ‘bout you? Who you voting for to join the club with all those liberals in the Supreme Court?”

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WE the people v. THEM the power company

Filed under: Conversations with Sid D. Complex,Courts and Justice,eminent domain — Hearts & Minds @ 5:34 pm

In the midst of another dry and dusty growing season, my ol’ buddy, Sid D. Complex, dropped by looking like he needed something wet and frosty. “I haven’t talked with you about that big new gas pipeline since gun deer season a couple years ago”, said Sid. “The power company put the pipeline across your place. How’d it go? I recollect you didn’t like that easement they were pushing.”

“No, I sure didn’t, Sid, and a lot of other designated victims didn’t, either. Nobody was trying to stop the pipeline. Let’s be clear about that. But there were problems before construction even began. One was with the compensation they were offering and the fact that the appraisals done by the utility did not even comply with state law that’s meant to protect your rights when your property is taken by eminent domain.

“Another problem was with the terms of the easement document. You won’t believe the scam they’re trying to pull, and how they’re doing it.
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Changing the Rules During the Game

Warmer winters with less snow, and wilder storms around the equinox; is this a clue to the future? The fields have been too soaked to work, and I was visiting your friend and mine, Sid D. Complex, for a change, and letting off some steam, as usual.

“Sid how much vacant land do you want around your home?” I asked.

“Much as I can get” said Sid, “as long as I don’t have to mow or weed it.”

“You like to see what’s called ‘rural ambiance’ while you’re driving around, don’t you Sid?”
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Saving a Buck on Tolls and Taxes

How come are there freeways in Wisconsin, and tollways in Illinois? Anytime I go down to Chicago or beyond, as soon as I get south of the border I get dinged six bits. Coming back, I get held up again right before I cross back into the land of freeways. Any ideas Sid, what’s the reason for this?

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Appraising our Pipeline Futures

Filed under: Bill of Rights,Conversations with Sid D. Complex,eminent domain — Hearts & Minds @ 10:41 am

My ol’ buddy, Sid D. Complex, stopped by the other day. Everyone knows it’s fall and it’s getting close to the rut, but that guy’s uncanny. He always shows up within hours of the first hot rubs and scrapes appearing.

“What is it with you, Sid? Have you got deer pheromone receptors in your olfactories? I mean my mouth waters when I take a walk this time-a-year and it can’t be just the falling leaves that makes my nerves tingle. But man, you not only act like a buck, and think like a buck, I do believe you’ve got canine or cervine genes embedded in your cells. That’s meant as a compliment, by the way.”

“None taken.” Sid was nonplussed and got right to the point. “Seen any bucks?”
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Talking Turkey with Sid. D. Complex (published August, 2003)

I was checking the sweet corn, and wondering if the raccoons would leave any for us when Sid D. Complex stopped by to scout deer. “Seen any bucks?” he queried.

“I saw a young one on crabapples yesterday, but I’ve been busy. Don’t think I’ll be hunting this fall,” I told him.

“Right…I’ve heard that one before. It depends on how you define the word ‘hunting’.” Sid’s sarcasm could be vicious.

I knew what he meant. Seems too many politicians can’t come up with the simple truth if it’s handed to them. Sid says, “They’re just like con artists…what you call invertebrate liars, ain’a? Not George Dubya though. I voted for him and glad I did. He’s been like a tiger on them terrorists. On the TV he’s four-square supporting our troops. I say it’s about time.”

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