Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I think that opposition to the pestilence’s actions needs to take place in the mails, emails and even text messages to one’s Representatives in Congress, particularly if they are Republicans. So, this morning I start my effort and will write to my representative at least once a week. Remember, it has only been Republican House Majorities who prosecuted impeachment cases before the Senate (Andrew Johnson and William Clinton [Nixon resigned prior to any House prosecution]. I probably am not simple enough in my first letter. But, I will improve with time. If you are represented in either Chamber of Congress by a Republican, write in opposition to the pestilence.
Below is my first missive to my Republican Representative in the House followed by the next episode of the Amanda Saga.
Wishing you happiness, health and warmth.
Warmest regards, Ed
The Honorable Jaime Herrera Beutler
Unites State House of Representatives
1107 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Ms. Herrera Beutler:
“Alternative facts,” antagonizing allies, banning people coming to America from a place we have soldiers on the ground, refusing to release tax information, finding a convoluted way to get Mexico to pay for the wall (i.e. the US Taxpayers) all leave me more than a bit anxious about our future, indeed, the future of the world. It seems that this president is not bound by his word once he gets his way. The only hope American has is you, Members of the Republican Caucuses in Congress. Republicans in the House and Senate are the ones who have to stand up and say enough.
This president must, under the Constitution, ask Congress for the money to fund the wall he wants to build as seed or starter (it would not surprise me if he called in a construction loan) money until he gets Mexico to pay. Since he has suggested a convoluted way, such as taxing imports from Mexico (US consumers then pay, not the Mexicans), the Republicans in Congress are going to have to refuse or US Taxpayers will end up paying. The issue, here is simply, the president asserted he can get Mexico to pay. He asserted Mexico will pay. Now, he is pulling a bait and switch and will use some, as he termed it in a televised interview, convoluted way to get them to pay. However, nothing other than a cash payment from Mexico will meet that claim: not a reduction in US grants or aid to Mexico, not a withholding of money owed to Mexicans, not a tax that US taxpayers pay.
A wall will be very expensive to build. We have a serious debt already. We have serious needs for funds for our infrastructure. We have serious needs for funds to support our veterans. We have serious needs for funds and the president wants a tax cut. If Mexico does not directly pay up front, any scheme the president suggests will have a serious flaw. That flaw, is it will directly increase our debt and cost US Taxpayers.
I urge you to closely examine any suggestion the president makes for funding the Wall prior to Mexico paying. You will find, it costs the US Taxpayer. Indeed, keep an accountant handy for advice when the president asks for any funding of any kind.
T. Edward Westen, your constituent
058 Amanda Smithers, at last
Fiction in 1496 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Special Agent Fleishman appeared at the Auckland, Princes Wharf ticket office of the Cruise the Oceans, Inc. 30 minutes before its ‘South Seas Art Cruise’ was scheduled to depart. He purchased a ticket for the last penthouse suite available on the art cruise leg to Tahiti. The ticket agent whisked his bags away “They will be in the Penthouse when you arrive,” and handed him the door key card. “I am sure you will enjoy the cruise sir. You will be thanking yourself for getting here prior to last boarding call. This is a trip to die for.” The man tipped his hat and pointed to the door “You had best hurry.” The man smiled again.
‘I had quite forgotten how hurried things are when one lives in real time. . . real slow time.’ Special Agent Fleishman chuckled at his own mental playing with words. Sensing the urgency of the crew at the end of the gangway to close the gate and prepare for departure, Special Agent Fleishman increased his pace until he was on board.
He asked the purser where the elevators to the Penthouse suites were. The man pointed to a sign. ‘that obviously a newbie’ he thought and chuckled. “Thank you,” Special Agent Fleishman said to the man.
Waiting for the elevator, a very attractive and fit older woman who looked like Amanda Anderson walked up and stood next to him. He turned to her and asked, “You wouldn’t be Amanda Smithers by any chance?”
The elevator arrived and the two of them entered.
Mrs. Smithers looked at him over the tops of her sun glasses, cocked her head slightly to the side, “I don’t believe I know you.”
“No, Mam. I am Anderson Fleishman; and yesterday I had dinner with Mrs. Andrews, Mrs. Hastings, Mrs. White, Mr. and Mr. Clarkton and their two lovely daughters.”
“Two, my but young people work fast these days. Yes, Mr. Anderson I am Amanda Smithers.” With that she held out her hand in the old fashioned female gesture of palm down with the back available to be kissed. “You must tell me all about your dinner yesterday.” She paused while he bent over her hand and proffered the token kiss; and, then she suggested “Say on the Penthouse Spa Terrace at Three this afternoon, ship’s time of course. Tell the purser you are my guest.”
Special Agent Fleishman held up his key card which clearly showed he was a Penthouse guest and said “I can hardly wait. See you at Three.”
Mrs. Smithers went immediately to her room. Safely inside, she opened her valise and took out her Cruise the Oceans cell phone. She dialed Mrs. Anderson. After a few rings Mrs. Anderson picked up. “Mandy,” Mrs. Smithers said, “I just met a young man who claims he had dinner with you yesterday.” She listened intently while Mrs. Anderson talked. Mrs. Smithers then said, “No, he didn’t say he was a Special Agent, just Anderson Fleishman.” She paused to listen to Mrs. Anderson then said, “Yes, you described the same fellow. And you say he is on the up and up?” Mrs. Anderson spoke at some length and Mrs., Smithers sat down and listened. Periodically she would utter words such as “you don’t say,” or “My goodness.” Or, “Do you believe that.” And then finally she said, OK, I see. All of you are inclined to go along with him. I’ll keep an open mind. Sorry I got you up in the middle of the night Mandy. Night, Night.” Mrs. Smithers looked both confused and intrigued at the same time as she put down the cruise line cell phone. “My, my, this could be an interesting tea with Anderson Fleishman. Yes, very interesting.”
Mrs. Smithers was seated in the shade
at a table set for two with a pitcher in the middle of the table, which contained something light brown with ice, when Special Agent Fleishman arrived at Three on the Penthouse Spa Terrace. She stated to rise and Special Agent Anderson said, “Please, stay seated. I must say this is the ideal place for a chat.”
Mrs. Smithers pointed to the pitcher, “Iced peppermint tea. It is refreshing, contains no caffeine and tastes good without having to add sugar or to one’s waistline.” She smiled. “I do hope you like it. If not, we can order whatever you would like.”
Special Agent Fleishman poured a glass full and took a sip. “Yes, it is delightful. Thank you for introducing me to it.”
Mrs. Smithers nodded politely and said, “Mrs. Anderson tells me you are some sort of special agent from the future.”
“Yes, Mam. I am a field agent, with the designation Special Agent for the Agency for Timeline Integrity. The Agency is tasked to insure that everyone has a future,” Said Special Agent Fleishman.
“That sounds both rather ambitious and rather impossible,” said Mrs. Smithers.”
Special Agent Fleishman chuckled and then said, “It is not as ambitions as you would think. You see, we limit our activities to things that change history or what we call the timeline.”
Mrs. Smithers raised an eyebrow and said, “you mean changes by people who travel in time, like you?”
“You have hit the nail squarely on the head. Yes, but we are focused upon people who go back in time and change something that causes someone, anyone, not to have a future, or modifies someone’s future” said Special Agent Fleishman. “You know that if something can be done, say make a nuclear weapon, it will be done. So, when time travel became possible my Agency was established to see that time travel did not cause changes that prevented anyone from having his or her future because we knew that since time travel was possible it would be done. We police time travelers and attempt to ‘correct’ the harm they do to people’s futures.”
Mrs. Smithers lowered her voice and said, “Aren’t you tempted, just a little bit to make a few improvements, say like removing that evil Mr. Hitler a few years back?”
Special Agent Fleishman shook his head ever so slightly and said, “There are two problems doing that sort of thing. The obvious problem is removing someone who is evil, prevents him from having a future.”
Mrs. Smithers interrupted, “But isn’t the removal of such evil . . .”
Special Agent Fleischman held up his hand shaking it slightly and said, “Yes, it is tempting, but there is also the problem that the people replacing evil people are not always less evil. The people filling in could be worse. Then there is the second problem of whom would police the Agency?”
Mrs. Smithers said, “I see. That makes sense. For you could become worse than those you seek to, ah what is the word for deterring after the fact so they couldn’t have done it in the first place?
“Fix or restore,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “We take out the person making a change in the past before they made the change. Since they have to make a change for us to notice, we attempt to restore the past to the way it was before they made the change.”
“Mrs. Anderson tells me you offered her and the others a job,” said Mrs. Smithers. “Tell me about it.”
“I am about to arrest a fellow who is responsible for a major change in the time line, you and the other Amandas.” Special Agent Fleishman looked for a response from Mrs. Smithers, who only moved her hand in a circular motion for him to continue. Special Agent Fleishman continued. “Once I arrest him, he will not cause the destruction that we think caused you and the others to enter this universe by jumping off that swing on Christmas Eve. By, arresting him, you and the others will cease to exist. One Amanda swinging in the other universe will remain, in the other universe. But, she will not have any memories from any of you. The only way my Agency can keep you from never having existed is to have you become a time traveler.”
Mrs. Smithers, held her hand with her palm extended indicating she wished to ask a question or make a comment. “So, exactly how would you make me a time traveler?”
Special Agent Fleishman replied, “We would give you a biological implant that would make you a time traveler.” He hesitated for a moment. Then he added, “Of course we would give you a bit of training as well.”
Mrs. Smithers asked, “A job at my age? Surely you jest!”
Special Agent Fleishman straightened up and replied with a serious expression on his face, “I Madam am seven chronological years older than you.”
Mrs. Smithers said, “Young man, I am 104 years old, although I know I don’t look a day over 79.”
Special Agent Fleishman winked, “Yes, I know, we can fix that looking 79 thing too. After all, I am 111.”