Bubble Smith’s Elected President
©2007 Garrett Clevenger



I rise from my bed with dreams in my head in the morning.
I rise up from my bed with thoughts far ahead everyday.
Some days it seems that life is just a dream,
waiting for me to wake up and see what that really means,
to keep sleeping when you’re dreaming about seeing a new scene.


Ocean waves pound upon the shore.  An open blaze keeps my body warm.
A gentle breeze blows in from the sea.  A full moon floats high in front of me.
A million voices harmonize the scene.  A portrait worth a hundred thousand dreams.

Behind me comes a weary friend.  Returning from a distant land.
Bringing news I have hoped to hear.  My view is now more crystal clear.
A billion voices harmonize the scene.  A portrait worth a hundred million dreams.

Chaos had once ruled supreme.  Fed by the ones who held that dream.
But now new order is the way.  Golden Rules are now how we play.
A trillion voices harmonize the scene.  A portrait worth a hundred billion dreams.

Reflecting waves all around.  Where every person’s dreams are found.
Collective consciousness.  Connected by awareness.
A zillion voices harmonize the scene.  A portrait worth a hundred trillion dreams.

 I rise from my bed with dreams in my head in the morning.
I rise up from my bed with thoughts far ahead everyday.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,


   While the memories are still fairly fresh in my head, before being faded by the passage of time, and to honor the dead and living who played a part in this story, I have been writing down, to the best of my ability, these words. There may be more accurate accounts, more 'to-the-fact' representations, and lessss philosophical portraits of a man and the time he lived through available for readers. My version attempts to show how important a Hero is in inspiring hope in a time when that feeling was minimized. I was lucky to have access to many of the writings my Hero left behind, and have gleaned ideas presented here from him.

   I am writing this, though, not really for you, but for me to remember when one day I may not be able to piece it together as truly as it deserves. I do this as I start my second term as president. The year is 2049 AD.

   I was a 13 year old girl when I first heard of Bubble Smith. I was 14 when I first, and last, saw him and his green eyes. I am now a young woman, who has tasted the passion of love, has felt the loss of losing someone I care for too many times, and but still hopes to remember that the future is in our hands, despite the overwhelming odds against that cause.

   5 years ago, my Papa and I were making our way down a dusty street to pick up our rations. This was always an exciting time for me, leaving our new camp, visiting with our neighbors, getting more food and water! A little girl can only sit still for so long.

   I kept noticing an interesting looking poster of someone running for President that was placed at several locations on our route. "Who’s Bubble Smith?” I asked my Papa after seeing the third campaign poster on our walk to the Amero Store.

   “Bubble Smith was one of the greatest running backs to play football. He was a star before you were born, before the last World War, before the Amero replaced the Dollar as the North American currency,” my Papa reminisced. “Those were the days of excess, of computerized sex, of junk mail and suppressed females. Remember, the US did not have a woman president until 15 years ago. That was before the Big Change, that, for better or worse, brought our family from the old West coast to our current mountain home,” replied my Papa.

   “I like his poster. It reminds me of a time when we lived at the Camp, when my friends would spend the cooler part of the afternoon playing football. I kind of miss that, Papa,” I said with a sigh for missing those moments, but also glad to not be trapped anymore during the Roundup.

   The poster showed Bubbles holding a US shaped football tucked tightly under his right arm. He had an intensely serious look on his face as he held out his left arm as he was plowing through a hodgepodge of obstacles. There were fat men in business suits, soldiers dressed in foreign uniforms, broken-down cars and decrepit buildings. Under his right foot was a squished effigy of someone holding a wad of money in one had and a handgun in the other, his eyes bugging out as he finally saw the Hero step on him and snuff him out.

   Behind Bubbles were ordinary looking people, picking up trash, planting seeds and putting together a scene that looked more pleasant than what was shown on the foreground and what most people at that point lived in.

   “Bubbles played for the New Orleans Saints, back when New Orleans was not under water. He held the record for most yards gained and most points scored for two consecutive seasons. He was big and quick and would make the most intimidating noise as he plowed through his opposing team. Everybody respected him not only for his athletic prowess, but also because of his big heart. The same heart that finally ended his career, before the whole National Football League finally ended. When the Big Change happened, most American past-times didn’t survive,” my Papa said, and continued to tell the tale of this Hero.




I know why we cry.
I know why we cry.
Feel sympathy and remorse.  Let it be.
Our tears that fall unite you and me.

All rivers flow toward the sea.
Seasons change me internally.
Eternity's forever free.
Freedom's for you and me.

We are the same, our joys and pain.
Painful, sometimes, it is to change.
Changeless, though's, our need to drain.
The drainage basin's full again.

The Hurricane came and blew on through,
Through it's fury, New Orleans turned blue.
Blue-bloods and others flew.
Flew past the old and poor people who

could not make their escape.
Escape the flood or their fate.
Fatal it was, make no mistake.
Mistakes I hope jolt us awake.

Jesus Christ where are you now?
Are you hidin' out in the crowd?
Jesus            Christ
are you ever gonna come down?

A storm is strong, its wind and rain.
Rainfall that floods, causin' pain.
Painful it feels, fillin' my brain.
Brainstormin' now how to change.

Let's rearrange how we manage.
Managers, pay a living wage.
Wage peace and set the stage.
The staging ground for the sage.

I know why we cry.
Our tears that fall unite you and me.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,
                                                                                                     "I Know Why We Cry"


   "When New Orleans flooded for the third and final time, you would think people would have been prepared for the worst, would have evacuated when that huge hurricane aimed right smack for the city.  New Orleans had just started drying out after the hurricane before skimmed the west side of the city, causing levies to burst, sending their floodwaters careening through the streets.  It wasn’t as bad as the first flood, but it took three months for the waters to recede and the levies to be repaired.

   “Most people thought the hurricane season was over until another major storm began to form in the Atlantic Ocean.  As the hurricane grew bigger and stronger, it lumbered toward New Orleans, a city below sea level.  Most people were smart enough, aware enough, able to evacuate in time to avoid the coming disaster.  There are, though, always people who stay behind, whether by choice or not.  Bubbles chose to stay behind.

   “In the flood that preceded the final one, Bubbles lost his mama.  She was never found.  Some think she did escape, but as she was suffering from dementia, she lost her identity and was somehow misplaced in a neighboring state with the other refugees.  Other people thought she was swept away down the Mississippi River, or she was buried in mud and debris that built up when the flood ensued.  Whatever the case, she was gone and Bubbles was devastated.  He wasn’t there to help his mama because his team was on the road, ready to play a game.  Some wonder why the Saints, of all teams, were made to play when they knew this storm was bearing down on their city.  Whatever the reason, his career was soon over.

   “He stayed behind for the final flood as the third hurricane in 10 years smashed into the coast below, sending a huge storm surge up and into New Orleans.  There wasn’t even a slight chance that New Orleans would survive that onslaught.  With 150 mile an hour winds, a 35 foot storm surge and a levy system already weakened and not designed to handle such force, the Mississippi River reclaimed its flood plain and that was the last of New Orleans as we knew it,” my Papa somberly stated.

   That was a time that would test anybody.  Most resort to pure survival, doing whatever they can to stay alive.  Some, though, the true Heroes, rise up and take command.  Bubbles was one such person.  He spent the next 3 days rescuing people, carrying them on his back, rowing them out in a boat, pulling them out of collapsed homes.  Helicopters above saw his shape below, plowing through the flood waters and debris like they were the opposing team.  He had a goal, and nothing would stop him.

   “The legend of Bubbles grew when videos of him appeared on TV.  Grainy versions were posted on the internet.  News accounts from those he rescued became touching testimonials of a man who used his power for good.  Some of the stories may have been exaggerated.  There were so many, though, that most knew there must have been some truth to his heroic efforts,” my Papa said.

   When it was all over, about 100 people claimed to have been rescued by Bubbles.  Some were in groups of 5 to 10, but most were lone individuals, either too weak, sick, old or injured to escape on their own.  Everyone of them said Bubbles told them he was doing this for his mom.  It was his way to appease the guilt he felt for not being there for her during the last flood.

   "Bubbles heroism took a toll on him, though. On the last day of Operation Rescue, he stepped on a rusty nail.  Being in a state of adrenaline, he didn’t notice how deep the puncture was and that as he kept walking in the contaminated mud and water, his wound had become infected.  When the pain in his foot became unbearable, he himself had to be rescued by the National Guard, who by this time took up positions throughout the flooded city," my Papa continued, as I continued to be touched by this story.

   Bubbles spent the next week in a hospital, for he had also overexerted himself and suffered from acute exposure to toxins.  During this time, the news of this Hero spread and supporters from all over the world held vigils.  Candles were lit.  Prayers were said.  The NFL highlighted his career during the games that were played.  It’s ironic that such a disaster could have such a touching moment.  There hadn’t been many times in American history where such solidarity was displayed for one individual, especially when the recipient of the honor had ancestors who were slaves who worked on a cotton plantation in Alabama, back when it was legal to own other human beings.  Not even a great storyteller could come up with such a compelling story.

   Yet, here was Bubble Smith, lying in a hospital bed, seeing out the window the glow of candles, seeing on TV reruns of his greatest moments playing football in between snippets of him carrying an elderly person miles through the flood to safety, filmed from a helicopter.  He was slightly drugged up, for the doctors just finished amputating his right foot.  He knew, though, his glory days were through and he’d have to be content with reruns and the fans outside.  And come up with another way to express his passion for action.

   "Over the years, Bubbles became active in politics, promoting social justice and equal rights.  He used his fame to network fellow activists with the power structure in Washington, and he was mesmerizing when he'd read his poetry, emotionally moving people to accept the reality of the state of the world, with its predilection to growing for growth's sake while exploiting resources, both human and natural, with ill-regard to the consequences of disparity of wealth and international warring that ensued," my Papa, in one of his more passionate moments, stated. 

   "He raised his family in this whirlwind and the last I know of what happened to him was when his daughter, who I think was about your age, was kidnapped and found dead.  Bubble's political activism had upset those in power, and I believe her death was retribution.  I can imagine how horrible that must have been and I wasn't surprised when he dropped out.  I hadn't heard his name since then," my Papa finally finished, sighing, after finishing our errands, and had made our way home.

   “Wow, Papa, that is a pretty crazy story.  It looks like he's survived the Big Change, at least.  He sounds like someone who would make a great President!” I said after a pause, as I opened the front door and unloaded our canned rations into the food cupboard, me stuck thinking about Bubble's actions.





Outraged, outraged. I've been this way for years
knowin' the corruption reaps death and all these tears.
Outraged, outraged.  I know I'm not alone    
ever since the President robbed our home.
Took our pensions and our children and sent them to his war.
Outraged, outraged 'cause I know there's so much, so much more.
Outraged, outraged. It's still goin' on.
After all the evidence it's obvious it's wrong.
Outraged, outraged.  Unless you are a friend 
of powerful people who wanna control the land.
Take our labor and another's oil, perpetuating war.
Outraged, outraged 'cause I know there's so much, so much more.
Outraged, outraged, I can't believe it's gone this far.
I guess it's no surprise, though, we'd elect another liar.
Outraged, outraged.  Building up our debt,
building bombs then dropping them.  Countless now are dead.
Taking lives and passing lies.  Profiting from war.
Outraged, outraged 'cause I know there's so much, so much more.
How do we shake up and make them disappear?
How can we smack them down to stop all these tears?
Where are my Representatives?  I won't let them get away.
After knowing what they've done they're gonna pay.
Outraged, outraged. Nixon was impeached
for doin less they took him down.  Justice was reached.
Outraged, outraged.  Other leaders have got to go
for breaking the oath of office:  The Constitution to uphold.
Take life and liberty away in the pursuit of war.
Outraged, outraged 'cause I know there's so much, so much more.
Outraged, outraged 'cause freedom of speech
now includes paying politicians like a leach.
Outraged, outraged 'cause a right to a jury
can now be suspended like your right to privacy.
Take away our right to organize against their war.
Outraged, outraged 'cause I know there's so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much more.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,


  My Mama came in and asked how the trip to the ration store was, if there was power at the mailing station and who else we saw out and about.

  “We saw Bubble Smith!” I told my Mama, who took a minute to register his name.

  “Bubble Smith!  Why would he be out in our neck of the woods?” my Mama asked.

  “Well, we actually saw a picture of him on a poster.  He’s running for President, or I should say he’s plowing for President.  The poster shows him leading a charge through bad guys.”

  “Bubbles is running for President?!  I had given up hope that anyone that worthy would get my vote!  Is this real, or just some cruel joke?” my Mama asked.

  “It’s real,” my Papa explained.  “There was an interview with him on the radio as we waited in line for our rations.  You should have heard him!  I think everybody was as shocked and as happy as I was, because no one talked as he spoke.  There was even an applause that followed the report.  I tell you, Annie, he’s one of the few people I ever thought who deserved to be elected President!” my Papa finished.

  My family was not the only one to feel inspired.  There was a widespread movement to see that this Hero was voted in.  Throughout the country, in cities and towns, north, south, east and west, people were organizing to spread the word.  Who better to rescue the country from the flood of problems than somebody who proved his worth and made such a sacrifice to save people he didn’t know from eminent doom?  Although survival was our mindset, we knew that to move past this way of living, to make something better for ourselves, we needed to get real leaders elected, and Bubbles was our best hope.  We knew he was just as outraged as we were.





Billy Hatfield hates Bobby McCoy.
For good reason, he screwed his wife Lenoi.
That was 13 years ago.  Their feud's spun way out of control.
Each family member serves vengeance with joy.

A friend of mine, or one who used to be
took my wallet when I was not looking.
I found out and punched him out.  His pa had a lot of clout.
They put me in jail and threw away the key.

Vengeance, oh, vengeance go away.
You don't serve justice, you just decay.
You only feed yourself while starving us today.
Vengeance, oh, vengeance go away.

The Christians, Hindus, Jews and the Muslims
keep killing each other.  I wish they'd just be friends.
As one bomb blows the other apart it leaves an angry, bitter heart
that takes revenge.  This spiral never ends.

Warfare is never, ever fair.
It costs a lot of lives and leaves despair.
The trauma's chronic, too, and when they come for you,
I'm sure you won't be the first to declare,

"The Bible states, 'Overcome evil with good.
"'Don't take your own revenge,' though you think you should.
"'Vengeance is mine; I will repay,' is what the Lord's quoted to say."
If God forgave, though, perhaps also we would.

The Twin Towers tumbled 'cause of revenge.
Some think God sent them to avenge
for the misdeeds of our country.  Throughout history
it's fanatics who maim and kill humans.

Vengeance, oh, vengeance go away.
You don't serve justice, you just decay.
You only feed yourself while killing us today.
Vengeance, oh, vengeance go away.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,


   It had been 20 years since New Orleans was fatally submerged.  20 years that saw the collapse of the US as the world superpower.  20 years and the Worst World War.  20 years of natural disasters, martial law, the loss of civil liberties, the collapse of the the economy and the unraveling of social and ecological structures that held the country, and the world, together.

   Though there was no way to know for sure, it was believed that 90% of the world's human population perished amidst the chaos.  Starvation, environmental contamination and all the other consequences of war and ecological disaster took their toll.  The environment just could not support the 10 billion humans who lived on the planet at that point. The survivors were tired and wary, yet hungry for things to get better.

   The leaders who assumed power during the last quarter century were corrupt, incompetent or just too weak to make the policy changes needed to pull the country, and lead the world, from the morass it was in.  Not that any one policy or person could actually change the course.  In many ways, real change was overwhelming.  The country too big, too diverse and full of too many problems.  The people too isolated, too used to the status quo, and too unsure how to make things better.  Plus, there were people who were strongly opposed to making any radical changes.

   History is a powerful legacy.  The US once dominated the world’s economy, culture, technology and arts.  That record is still here, in the memory of those who lived through it, in the books left behind, in the songs and stories told around campfires and meals.  Desire to return to those days still persists, yet lack of adequate resources and fear of repeating the tragedy has restrained any drastic measures to see a rebuilding of a cohesive country.

   When the first nuclear bomb was detonated on the east coast of the US, there was a strong sense of anger and sorrow, even though the inevitability of such a violent act was well known and anticipated.  How could a country that started the nuclear arms race not think that tempting fate in such a way was pressing their luck?  After all, it was the US who first demonstrated the force latent in the atom when it dropped 2 atomic bombs in Japan, destroying 2 cities where millions lived.  That should have been a wake up call, that unleashing this power would have devastating consequences.  Instead of reigning in this technology, though, it proliferated around the world, led by the US, making it only a matter of time before everyone would pay a huge price.

   Martial law was instantly declared in many cities throughout the country.  The perpetrators were unknown and potentially, was expected, to detonate another at some point.  No one will ever know if the second bomb, all the way over on the west coast, was exploded by the same individual, group, or country.  The US had many enemies then who wanted to see the sole world power taken down.  At that point, though, the power of the US was unleashed, and many other world citizens paid a huge price for this power struggle.  They saw their share of nuclear explosions, as well, as the US took vengeance to its limit.

   Islamic terrorists were the first suspects.  Thus, retaliation against any Muslim became the norm in the US by a fearful citizenry.  Vengeance is a powerful motivator, even if the facts of the matter were unclear, for it could have been the Russians, who had just as many bombs, and just as much of a mobster mentality; the Chinese, who no longer needed the wealth of the US, because all that wealth had been spent on Chinese exports that were at the same time poisoning the consumers of those products (some thought it was a brilliant military strategy of the Chinese selling their competitors things that were also ruining their health), and who also feared the violent tendencies of the US and desired to lose a competitor; or even the Japanese, who obviously always harbored great resentment for being the victim of the first 2 atomic bombs.

   Since the US was already waging a war in the Middle East, Americans mostly believed, either because of Muslims' own vengeance or fanatical ideology, that Islamic terrorists were out to destroy the US, who in their mind, was the Great Satan.  From their perspective, they saw the US empire encroach into their land, culture and resources and like any patriot, only naturally would retaliate against abuse and injustice that had inflicted so much death and destruction on their homeland.  They must have blown up these nuclear bombs, people thought.

   Once the spiral of vengeance begins, it is extremely hard to pull out.  It is a natural response to defend yourself.  Even for many Christians, who held tremendous political power in the US before the Big Change, the instinct was to strike back, despite Jesus’ teaching that forgiveness and turning your cheek the other way was a holy understanding.  Sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish between believers of specific faiths, when all their reactions are the same.  All humans suffer from these feelings, and the consequences of such retaliation.

   The US had been meddling in the Middle East since World War II, when the US needed their oil for the war machine.  The US never left, but insured the rulers of those countries were friendly to the US by supporting their corrupt regimes, all the while neglecting the citizens living there who had to live with this brutal policy. 

   Many Christians believed the Second Coming of Jesus, their Armageddon, would occur in response to the conflict between Islam and Christianity.  So they pushed the policy of US involvement over there, despite the obvious anarchy that would ensue. After all, it was part of God’s plan, so they assumed, and they were righteous in helping it come to fruition.

   Some people argued that such a self-fulfilling prophesy was not holy, but part of the Devil’s plan.  After all, who else would enjoy such strife?  The power struggle seemed to fit better with the Devil’s agenda.  But maybe that was the point.  Maybe God would get so frustrated with such selfishness that he would finally say, “Enough is enough!” and reveal His omnipotence.  Would he look kindly on those who pushed such a devilish plan, such divisiveness, even when doing it in the name of Jesus?      God only knows, because it never happened.  Society unraveled, but there was no Second Coming for those left behind, alive in a hell created through supposed devout religious leadership.  What a pity that such faith in the Rapture led to the destruction of the creation kindly bestowed upon the children of God by our curious Creator.

   The irony was that many thought the Rapture did happen.  Perhaps it did, but many supposed Christians believed they were left behind and committed mass suicide, not wanting to be trapped in Hell with those heathens left behind.  That ended the dominant political force of the time, as disillusionment with such religious fervor created too many cynics who did not believe that would be a viable option to solve the very real problems they faced.

   Such religious arguments, though, miss the point and are a distraction.  Most people have religious beliefs, one way or another, but that doesn’t make them real.  When nations posses weapons of mass destruction, having people in command of them, people who have such faith in the supernatural, who believe God wills this or that, who are arrogant enough to think they know the mind of God, is dangerous and counterintuitive to the scientific method that was used to create this deadly technology.  Is it ever too late to learn?




A heart and soul make blood.
Blood can make a mess.
A mess a man can make.
Making for his faith.

In the dusty heat on a Baghdad street a soldier's on patrol
searching for insurgents runnin' down the road.
Up above a bomber comes and fires down below.
The ratio of good to bad killed we will never know.

A suicidal bomber blew up dressed in a Burka,
mingling with the masses in a market in a Kirkut.
The moment came when his last breath was worth less than decay.
The ratio of good to bad killed's disputed to this day.

Blood and water.
Warfare and relief.
A soldier dies in a sandbox
while a fool in the White House plays Commander-in-Chief.

Water and dirt make mud.
Mud can make a mess.
A mess a man can make.
Making for his faith.

Why didn't God tell our Pres. that hurricane was bearing down
like a bomb from Heaven to explode on those towns?
Maybe he knew New Orleans would be flooded on that day.
The ratio of good to bad killed he will never say.

You'd never think Creation would have such little worth
to the God who created it.  I guess that's why we're cursed
to pollute the very elements we need to survive.
The ratio of good to bad killed I hope makes God cry.

Blood and water.
His Highness and the thief.
A child dies on a playground
while a fool in the White House still plays Commander-in-Chief.

Power and greed make fraud.
Fraud can make a mess.
A mess a man can make.
Making for his faith.

The next election you vote in, who will you vote for?
The one who thinks he knows the will of the Lord?
The one who will kill based on his faith?
The ratio of of good to bad killed don't matter if you pray.

Blood and water.
Science and belief.
Their votes were lost in that computer
while a fool in the White House keeps playin' Commander-in-Chief.

Faith and need make God.
God can make a mess.
A mess a man can make.
Making for his faith.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,
                                                                                                     "Blood and Water"


   The struggle between science and religion spans human history.  It was first highlighted when Galileo claimed that planet Earth was not flat, was not the center of the universe, that it was only one of many planets that rotated around the sun.  His scientific pursuit led him to this revolutionary discovery.  He did it at a time when the Catholic Church dominated everything, and from their Holy perspective, Earth was flat and the heavens rotated around God’s only creation.  Galileo’s sin was to dissent from church doctrine and as a result, his heresy led to his persecution and the stifling of science.

   Humans are curious creatures, whether by God’s will or natural selection.  This curiosity compels people to wonder about creation, often times contradicting orthodoxy and the societies that have evolved as a result.  That is generally a productive thing.

   When Darwin observed that species had evolved from a common ancestor through natural selection, he sparked a controversy that has lasted nearly 200 years.  How could he claim that humans are descended from other primates?  How could we all have the same ancestor?  Darwin did not have the benefit of knowing how traits were passed on from one generation to the next.  He couldn’t have known that DNA, our genes, were the biochemical means that creatures evolved under, but he made an observation, wrote his famous “The Origin of Species” and became an icon that symbolizes the gap between scientists and followers of orthodox religion.

   The gap is artificial and based more on a power struggle from the side of religion then from a true conviction that the story of Genesis is verbatim truth.  Though followers may sincerely believe Earth is only 6000 years old, it is those who preach the Word who hold sway over the faithful, and fear contradiction to the Holy Book they use, so they loudly dismiss those contradictions, without necessarily having an argument based on provable fact.  Many religious scientists, however, do believe in the possibility of natural selection.  They see what an intelligent design for God to breathe out the unlimited potential of the universe and let it run its course, constantly changing as it adapts to meet such a dynamic world.  And they use science to study, make observations, predict, philosophize and quantify an objective reality.  That is the polar opposite of faith.  They describe two distinct realities.

   To accept that humans evolved from monkeys threatens people’s perception that only humans have a soul and can have salvation.  It threatens the status quo, for it opens up the possibility that power structures can change.  It forces humans to recognize that all races are the same, that there is no inherent difference between a white and black person that could not be resolved with enough common resources given to each.  It forces humans to accept that our relationships with the natural world are more intimate then some may like.

   Observing humans, though, it is not too much of a stretch to see how much like other animals people are.  Everyone can succumb to the same base emotions of lust, greed, anger, revenge and jealousy, and can be pushed to do horrible things that, in the animal world, are just part of survival.  Kill or be killed, fight or flight, protect your mate and resources from you competitors, and destroy the world without accepting the consequences, are all part of nature’s program and we are linked to this with all life by way of our genes, because we have evolved in an incredibly intelligent way from a common ancestor, the creator, God, which somehow has given humans the ability to reason and use science to better understand that creation, instead of acting like our animal ancestors, destroying our very home in our drive to survive.  That seems like a pretty awesome gift.




Martin Luther King had a dream. (Had a dream!)
Out of the valley we came. (We came!)
Standing together for justice. (For justice!)
Holding one another's hands and singing,
"Rise up, my nation.  Let freedom ring."
March with us into King's Dream.

His voice trembled with passion. (With passion!)
All of us were humbled by his words. (By his words!)
Even God above heard him speak. (Heard him speak!)
Yes, the Lord was also made to weep. (Made to weep!)
"We all our endowed by our Maker.
"We hold these truths to be self evident."

Martin Luther King’s dream will always be
a part of our heart and reality.
Though the road is long, we all know the song.
Our voices pave the way for Love, we pray.

"All people are created equal
"and equality’s for all. (Is for all!)
"Judge not by the color of skin,
"but by content of character. (Of character!)
"With this faith we hew out of the mountain of despair
"the stone of hope to crack the hatred there.

"Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of hate
"to the sunlit path of racial justice for all.
"Now's the time to open up the doors of opportunity to
"all of God's children.  Now is the time to
"lift our nation from the quicksands.

"This will be the day when all of God's children will
"sing with new meaning, (With new meaning!)
"My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,
of thee I sing. (Of thee I sing!)
"Land where our Papas died, land of the pilgrim's pride,
"from the mountainside, let freedom ring.

"Free at last!  Free at last!
"Thank God Almighty, we are free! (We are free!)
"Free at last!  Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free! (Free at last!) "
At last we are free with dignity,
thanks to Martin Luther King's dream.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith, Dr. Martin Luther King
                                                                                                     "Martin Luther King’s Dream"


  Where did morality come from?  Do other animals besides humans distinguish between right and wrong?  Can a monkey feel guilt?

  Morality is subjective and we will never know the feelings of another species we can’t communicate with.  What is wrong for one person may be right for another.  Humans learned to develop a moral and legal code in order to make existing with one another more hospitable.  While someone may be tempted to steal, rape or murder, consequences were established to prevent such immoral acts.  Religion was a great tool to instill in followers this code.  If God commanded a certain morality, it followed that to break God’s law was to face serious retribution, God’s vengeance.  Your soul was damned if you sinned, and those who enforced God’s law became priests, wielding the power to punish these law breakers.  In essence, priests were self-created in the image of God to do God's bidding and seek vengeance upon law-breakers.  These morality enforcers became societal shapers and since every person is fallible, the power given to the priests corrupted them and led to the hypocrisy, contradictions and power struggles between various religious orders.  Since these sects were often kingdoms, states or countries, it is no surprise that warfare between different believers ensued, and led to the destruction of all these societies.  The moral of this story?  Morality tends to be self-serving, and in the end, rigid morality based on self-serving ends, while neglecting moral obligation towards others, can often overall become immoral.

  And now I write this story, to convey my observations after hearing my parents' stories of a time that seemed so awesome, so promising, so full of amazing technology and yet so squandered by petty bickering between self-righteous thinkers, and after seeing for myself how the promise from a great Hero can inspire hope in those so worn down by the reality the Big Change had on all our lives.

  The country experienced mass migrations after the first 2 nuclear bombs exploded and from climate change that had affected most places.  Just finding areas with decent water was a problem.  But that was nothing compared to what followed.  

  The chaos caused by those bombs will never be fully known, but as the retribution from the US grew and the religious drive to extinguish all non-conformers got out of hand, the rights of more and more dissenters was extinguished, until most civil liberties were gone but not forgotten.

  The Roundup started 5 years after those bombs blasted, 2 years before I was born.  The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II paled in comparison to this internment, for it bordered more closely with the nazi concentration camps.  It wasn’t as grotesque as the Holocaust (there weren’t the strange experiments conducted), but people were killed.  And humiliated.  Treated like cattle, or the sheep they had become.

  The government understood the reality of having too many people on the planet competing for the same, limited resources.  They knew that the planet was past its carrying-capacity.  The movers and shapers of society had been coming up with plans to limit that competition, namely, reduce the human population.  They felt it was their moral obligation to insure the survival of those they chose.

  They knew they could either decrease the birth rate, or increase the death rate.  Birth control had become widely available, as did on-demand abortions.  People were encouraged to not have more than 1 child, but that still didn't settle the fact that too many people were living.  So wars outside of the country were fought to kill as many people as possible.  Diseases using engineered viruses that would burn themselves out after several generations were spread to have localized lethal outbreaks that was somewhat contained because of strictly enforced travel restrictions.  Deadly chemicals were placed in community water supplies, leading to toxic exposure to countless people.  Food aid to starving people ceased, and millions who fought over food died in Africa.  Hundreds of millions of people died from all these policies, but that was still a small sliver compared to the overall decline in the human population.

   Many people had consented to having a computer chip implanted in them after the National Identity and Accountability Act passed.  It mandated all living citizens carry a National ID Card that contained all the information about that person and all means of economic transactions.  NIAA also mandated that all newborns receiving Government Sponsored Healthcare be implanted with a computer chip that was a tracking device with biomonitoring capabilities.  When people consented to receive these tools, all but total control over its citizens was established.  Anybody who challenged a State sanctioned power structure was simply barred from being able to purchase items very easily, for the government froze their account.  If they needed to track someone down, they could follow the trail of transactions placed using the NIDC, or in real time track down those with the Chip.

  The first generation to receive the Chip was just starting their college years, and like many young people having their eyes opened at a university where professors enlighten their students about politics, science and the arts, some became active in issues that went counter to the status quo.  They held demonstrations and protests, over any number of critical issues.  What started out as expressions of free speech and peaceful assembly, rights guaranteed under our First Amendment, became means to limit these rights when these gatherings turned violent after police provocation.

  There weren't just "old-fashioned police officers," though.  After the government began privatizing the war effort, by hiring private "security contractors" in leu of soldiers, that process trickled down to domestic law enforcement.  Some compared this new breed of "contracted law-enforcers" as being similar to the SS under nazi Germany.  These people did not face the same accountability as "old-fashioned police officers," though they received a larger salary.  They also seemed to be very ideological, enforcing their particular power structure to the detriment of people's civil liberties.  It wasn't too long before these highly trained private officers were making the rounds at what they termed "troublemaker spots," where they did not hold back their anger toward these "troublemakers" demonstrating.

  When the government began tracking down those dissenting students who had the Chip, they also utilized a feature that was not made public initially: the Chip could stop any implanted person in their tracks by sending out a high-frequency wave that basically incapacitated the person.  The backlash against the Incapacitator was enormous, for many of the incapacitated were seriously injured, and some died as a result.  People who had been feeling the weight of the repressive government snapped.  They felt totally deceived that for the last 20 years, they were not told that the implanted chips had a secret weapon, and a whole generation of kids and their parents were now terrified.

  The government used that fear and backlash to intimidate people even more.  They began rounding up certain families at first, for their own protection.  They rounded up more and more people as more and more "national security" issues were created.

  The ones who were most seen as a threat to the power structures were given special treatment, and were never seen again.  Our country lost many patriots who attempted to set the course right, before the Second Revolution broke through in an attempt to end the Roundup.  By that time, though, tens of millions had been displaced, millions had died, and most of the country was heading for the worst.

  The Second American Revolution occurred 10 years ago, 10 years after the first 2 nuclear bombs exploded in our country.  This Revolution was not organized like the First.  There was no central command.  It was basically independent militias, insurgents, often operating with counter aims.  Things spiraled out of control, and this Revolution became a civil war that made the First Civil War of the 1800’s pale in comparison.  People 10 years ago, despite the government eliminating the Second Amendment, had access to all kinds of terrible weapons and knowhow in deploying them effectively.

  The government had, a year before the Second Revolution began in earnest, declared the people's right to bear arms a national security threat, so they passed a Constitutional Amendment overturning the Second Amendment, and began confiscating weapons.  Many of the ones who should have kept their guns didn't, and most of the remaining gun owners were people who shouldn't have had them.  They began stockpiling them, to arm their local militia, or mafia, as the cases mostly seemed.  This was all going to end with a really nasty fight.  By the peak of the Second Civil War 5 years ago, more than 75% of Americans had perished.

  That, too, could only last so long and eventually the Second Civil War faded away, leaving the survivors to pick up the pieces and see a wholly different country.  My family and I left our camp, where I had grown up essentially, just 2 years before first hearing about Bubble Smith.  I was just about to become a teenager, ready to make something meaningful with my life.





All of us are blue, oh, so blue.
Like a midday clear sky’s hue, where the eagle has a view
of another color comin’ through.

All of us are red, oh, so red.
Like the blood of a soldier dead, bleedin’ so freedom would spread.
Now the USA has bred

Americans, red and blue.
Our blood binds me to you.
Americans, yes, it’s true,
we’ve all bled red, we’ve all been blue.

Washington was first to lead this land
where Americans were never of one brand.
There always were competing demands.

200 years have made us no where near the same,
except we still complain about the country’s aim
and power still corrupts our nation’s name.

As daytime turns to night, we all feel fright.
People black and white.  People left and right.
Our differences sometimes make us fight.

When the light shines through, the eagle’s wings spread, too.
Red will marry blue and bare a purple human
or the red blood spilt will keep us feeling blue.

We all bleed red.  We’ve all been blue.
We’ve all seen red.  We’ve all been blue.
We all are red, black and blue.
We all are red, brown and blue.
We all are red, gray and blue.
We all are red, white and blue.
We all are Americans, too.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,


  Bubble Smith learned to walk really well, though his gait was a bit awkward, over the 30 years since his amputation.  He couldn’t run like he used to, or dodge and make moves as when he was a running back.  His strength was not his dexterity, but his hardened morality.  He knew what was right and wrong, not from religious conviction, but from his experiences through life.  He was a saint in his own way, and had a strong sense of justice and desire to see equality, as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence, become reality.

  He found it ironic that a country founded on the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, and the cultivation of tobacco, could have drafted and enacted the most progressive foundation of any government, the US Constitution with its Bill of Rights, after successfully realizing the Declaration of Independence with its wide view that we all are created equal and deserve all these rights.  Bubbles knew it had never been fully made real, and our rights had been constantly attacked and whittled down, but he felt that the basis for a nation with truly free people was there.  He also knew that to have that would require responsible citizens who understood the power of these founding documents and who respected others living in the society.

  This was the basis of his Presidential campaign.  Educating citizens to allow for the full blossoming of the rights guaranteed to all.  He imagined presiding over a country that finally realized the power bestowed to everybody, not just the elite.

  He knew there would be friction resisting his desire.  Who is to decide what that education is?  Is it to be mandated from the Federal government, or is being free allowing citizens the ability to pursue their knowledge as they see fit?  

  This dichotomy was, in some ways, the root of the problem.  Misinformation was an enemy.  Who was to decide what is the truth?  When every body already has the self-righteous idea that their beliefs are the truth, how could he expect one person to believe another if it contradicted their reality?  How could he prevent one person's beliefs from encroaching on the rights of others, when that person felt his rights were being repressed by those others?  Whose rights are more important and worth defending?  How could he know what was the truth?





How do you know what you know is true?
Did you hear somebody say it, or read it in the news?
Often what's reported, though, does not resemble truth.
Things get distorted into misinformation, blues.

Reality's subjective. What's your point of view?
Emotions make objectiveness lose its focus, too.
Interpretations more than merely matching word for word,
meaning information is never fully learned

by every single person, including me and you
while we're all believing in false things, too.
Rumors and reports and slander to confuse
leave us all alone to sing misinformation, blues.

Now all that's left's to trust's your own consciousness,
but that don't mean it's real to the rest of us.
Just because it's true for you don't make it true for me,
though we all share the same reality.

As we learn what's real 'bout the universe,
let's hope all the false beliefs will also be reversed.
The problem's, though, how do we know from which beliefs to choose
in a world that keeps fillin' up with misinformation, blues.

                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,
                                                                                                     "Misinformation, Blues"


  Misinterpretation leads to misinformation, as does intentional misleading in order to manipulate another.  Since every human is susceptible to immorality, no person could necessarily be trusted to promote what is really the truth.  Things that are reported often get distorted, intentionally or not, leading to a whole lot of misinformation.

  The Founders of the US saw fit to include in the First Amendment the right for a free press.  They understood that by allowing citizens to express the truth as they saw it, that eventually things would get sorted out.  If there were enough people reporting on an issue, then the different glimmers each person saw would fill in the blanks.  If two people had an opposing view, then an educated reader would ideally be able to glean the parts that were true, from the parts that were misinformation.

  A free press, able to report on anything, was extremely important for holding people accountable, particularly those people who are in power.  The Founders knew that human nature was to hold on to power, and often that was done through dirty deeds.  The power of the government was particularly threatening, since that was the legal means to insure people's rights, to tend to economic matters, and to wage war.  The ultimate fear was to have people in power who used that power to increase their power by accumulating wealth.  If they could suppress people enough, keep them uneducated as to the truth and limit their rights, then those people would not know, nor be able to stop, the people in power from using war and law as a means to expand their empire.  How many wars were started based on misinformation?  Probably most, as that had been the norm since people first began dwelling together in societies.

  Pharaohs, Kings, Dictators and Preachers knew their true power lied in being able to have that power given to them by the people who consented to be under their control.  Thus, these leaders claimed they were the Anointed One, descendent from God, God’s voice, and the next in line of a Royal family.  They somehow were given power by the divine to determine the fate of the subjects they led.  They were mostly megalomaniacs, extremely arrogant for believing they were the ones who spoke for God and thus could determine the fate of their kingdom, regardless of the condition the people below were actually living in, but they somehow were the ones in power.  It was in their self-interest, therefore, to manipulate the information accessible to the people, so that they would continue to be granted the authority to lead.

  When truth was gleaned, or if contradictory misinformation came into play, and enough people felt empowered to do something, there would be trouble for the leaders, and many of them were overthrown in revolution, which left a power vacuum and further exploitation of people when new leaders came into power who used the same means to insure their place.  This was no different than what happens in the animal world, where power struggles between various members of a flock or pack happened all the time.  In that case, though, it was the strongest who survived and assumed the lead, for they were the ones most fit to protect the rest of the herd.

  My hope is that humans can do better.  With enough true information, we can be more conscientious and compassionate, aware that we can have leaders who make decisions based not on holding on to power, but on empowering people they represent.  For would not that be extremely beneficial in opening up the full potential that so many spiritual leaders promised we were capable of?  Imagine our resources going towards building, discovering and evolving rather than towards destruction, covering-up and repressing.





Homogenized, homogenized, they want you homogenized.
Just like them, just like them, just like them, homogenized.

Homogenizers after you, want your brain to broadcast through.
Show the rest how it's done, until the whole world's become

Entropy's Creation's fate. Becomin' one constant trait.
Will you succumb to outside force, or in your head set your own course?

Do you think outside the box? Are you a hen fearin' a fox?
Will you step off the line, or are you bound to let them grind?

Everything around's the same, though we may play a different game.
I feel the same pain as you, bein' stuck out in the blue.

Homogenized, homogenized, everyone’s homogenized.
Feel the pain bein’, feel the pain bein’, release the pain bein’ homogenized.

                                                                                                     Bubble Smith


   Bubbles believed there was more misinformation playing in the minds of people then real, true information that had not been subjected to emotion, faith, lies and other distortions.  Was there a way to whittle misinformation away, or at least leave open the possibility that what people believed is truth is actually a figment of their imagination?  Could he challenge people to have an open mind, without threatening them?  He knew no one wants to be told they are or proven to be wrong and he would have a hard time convincing people what he believed was true, even though he knew he really didn't necessarily know what was the truth.  He did not want to be a dictator.  He did not want an homogenized society.  He simply wanted to support education and to allow our freedoms, all our rights, to be understood and encouraged to flourish.  That would insure the minimization of misinformation.

   "What was the purpose of living?" Bubbles often asked his audiences.  "Was it to take as much as you can, procreate and die?  Was it to leave a legacy for future generations to feel inspired toward?  Did it depend on the person?"

   He spoke about his appreciation of diversity, even though there were many people he didn't agree with and was actually annoyed by.  Was it his job to cull them out, as was common under Presidents before him, or was he to encourage people to live as harmoniously as possible in this rich diversity?

   "I understand the rule of law leads to both of these.  By establishing basic civil liberties, under a certain moral code, those who disobey are punished with the intent to reform their antisocial behavior.  Their bad thoughts will hopefully be culled.  Fear of punishment is a motivator, but I hope that harmony will be enhanced by an inherent sense of live and let live, as long as everybody respects others' civil liberties.

   “I have no desire to cull people based on religious beliefs.  The First Amendment is rather clear in stating religion should not be legally established nor endorsed by the government with laws.  People should be allowed to practice their religion, as long as it does not directly limit the rights guaranteed to others.  If a particular religious belief were legally mandated, then the persecution of those who don’t follow that religion is bound to follow, which would violate those people’s civil liberties.  Thus, there should be a separation between church and state.

   “Government should not restrict people from exercising any of their civil liberties, including religious beliefs.  The role of the government is to defend these Constitutional rights, not be an endorser of religion nor an eroder of rights.  The role of government is to insure that citizens are allowed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Government should not promote homogenization.  People do, ironically enough, have the right to chose to be homogenized into their particular way of thinking.  As do people have a choice to give their rights away.

   “I hope you will chose to support my campaign, though, for my goal is to limit any coercive element that will intimidate my fellow citizens into giving their rights away."





Flashback from the future, to a time long ago,
when I was a baby needin' my mama to hold.

Now I'm your Papa holdin' you tight, seein' in your eyes
my reflection and desire to insure you'll have a life

of freedom of expression. I just hope you won't yell at me.
But if I'm doin' somethin' wrong, you'll be the first to see

my hypocrisy and my anger and my will to set you strait,
although sometimes that's pure ego and even based on hate.

There are people who frustrate and I'm scared to speak my mind,
but then the feeling, it just hits me, and I'll spend all my time.

No one pays for my opinion and I may even pay a price,
but there are others who are helpless and those who gave their life.

Speaking truth to power and standin' up for what's right.
The Constitution and Declaration of Independence are worth the fight.

When you grow into and adult, I'm sure you'll see some things
that are disturbing and unjust and make you want to sing:

Oh, let freedom reign
when it's fightin' for what's sane
'cause if hope isn't there, the dream will surely die
and all he blood spilt is in vein.  Was it worth the try?

                             Bubble Smith
                                               "Freedom of Expression"


  Bubbles slowly traveled across the country.  He traveled like most people nowadays, by horse.  Transportation had changed a lot over the history of the nation.  He felt it was ironic that he was back to the way the Founders of the country got around.  Here he was, a black man, campaigning for President in a country that once legalized the enslavement of his forefathers.  And his main theme was to restore the Constitution that should have, from the first day of the first President's term, ensured the freedom of all slaves.

  "Why did it take so long to enforce the Constitution for black people?  For children?  For women?  For the original Native Americans?  For any other person who was subjugated and denied full civil liberties that the elite's enjoyed?"  he spoke, knowing the answer was controversial, would upset people, would make him a target of those he threatened, but he answered to the people who came to his campaign stops his own question, anyways.

  "The power structures established to insure the status quo were designed, though perhaps not intentionally, to take citizens' power away.  The military?  To legitimately join the armed forces to defend the country, as many of us feel a duty to do, soldiers had to obey orders, no matter how treasonous they seemed.  A soldier must follow orders.  The government?  Any politician running who acknowledged the corrupt nature of any power structure was ridiculed and outflanked by money and more misinformation.  That meant no real reform to benefit citizens overall occured.  Religion?  History has shown that to stand up and question any doctrine counterintuitive, whether it be to civil liberties or scientific understanding, would lead to a charge of heresy, excommunication, and the very worst, eternal soul damnation.  Family?  Every child learns that criticizing or questioning your parents and their culture could lead to a quick scolding and a stifling of this dissent," he said, straight-faced.

  "Every child is bombarded with the message that it is best to conform to the existing power structure.  Don't rock the boat.  Don't question authority.  Be a good child, student, soldier, citizen and congregation and accept what you are taught and told as the truth, as being the truth.

  "Everyone has freewill and can chose their destiny, knowing there are consequences for being a nonconformist.   I believe, though, that to be truly empowered and free, one must discover the truth on her own, using the guidance of the power structures, but not depending on it being the sole arbitrator of truth.  For there are many competing viewpoints to contemplate."

  Bubbles spoke freely about his ideas and desires, appreciating his First Amendment right, no matter how outrageous his words may have seen.  He knew he agitated people, made them uncomfortable, and they questioned him to clarify his thoughts.  On his stops at various towns, he would talk for hours.  He didn't believe in sound-bites, or pandering to people to get their votes.  He wanted to challenge them, get them thinking, start a dialog that he knew would continue among his supporters and detractors.  To him, that was a healthy sign of democracy.  Hopefully in that interaction, the truth was gleaned, and the best man won.

  Supporters he did have.  Since he was a celebrity during a better time in the country's history, people knew him as a Hero.  They respected the sacrifice he made 30 years prior, and they were willing to listen to what he had to say.  Since times were bleak, food and water scarce, and little electricity and communication across the country, they welcomed him, feeling uplifted by what he said.  He was making waves, and that excited people who longed for a better outlook, and one that made sense.





I often wonder what will happen when our brains
fill up all the way with lofty things,
like compassion and respect and altruism, too.
Doin' to others as you'd have them do to you.

Imagine the world our children would inherit
if they didn't have to worry about steppin' in our shit,
like crime and greed and all the other things
like war and torture and heartbreak it brings.

It's easy to say things we really don't mean.
We can be very nice or we can be real mean.
Being thoughtful's difficult.  It's hard to know how it felt.
Empathy's a quality not often dealt.

When the goin' gets tough the tough rise to the top.
When they finally fall it'll take longer for them to stop,
and the weaker ones waiting down below
will have a good view of retribution, yo.

We don't always know where we are heading to
but we'll get there somehow until we are all through.
When the flowers have withered down and the seeds fall to the ground,
when they sprout up that's where the "Ol' Man's" found.

One day the reaper will gather what's been grown.
Hopefully the harvest will last 'til the winter has blown
and when springtime comes again to replenish this barren land
we'll be closer to being Utopian.

Like a glass half full and empty we are here,
seldom realizing how incredibly dear
each moment spent upon this planet we're on.
Someday we will break out of Babylon.


                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,
                                                                                                     "Half Full and Empty"


  Word of Bubbles campaign spread faster than the horse he traveled on, so when he would arrive in the next town, people eagerly awaited him.  They had heard recordings of his words.  Often, he didn't have to speak very much, since his ideas were contagious.  The people who he hoped to represent, as President, would passionately discuss the merits of the Constitution and the new world they hoped to shape.  Sometimes, he would clarify an idea or add a story he heard in the town previous, but mostly he served as a source of inspiration.  Before Bubbles would leave for his next location, he would always say these words:

  "Do not vote for me as the man, Bubble Smith, but as the ideas that have lain dormant too long.  I may not survive the campaign, for I speak truth to power who may decide to do me in.  Know when Bubble Smith is gone, the desires to unfold these dreams into reality is still very much here.  I've seen in your eyes and heard in your voices enough to know that I am merely the vehicle with which to propel this dream into the next Presidency of our United States of America.  

   "Honor me with your vote, and I hope, to the best of my ability, to insure we will see the day when all people are guaranteed the liberties guaranteed by our ancestors’ blood and toil.  Together, as free people who have lived through Hell, we will rise from the ashes of a despoiled nation held hostage too long by power structures intended to satisfy elite's who proved their irresponsibility by loosening the reigns of destruction on our civil liberties, environment and infrastructure we would now still enjoy if not for their greed, arrogance and uncompassionate ways.  Like a Phoenix reborn, we will be purified, strengthened and more resolved than ever to insure the full application of our Constitutional rights for all citizens of our once proud Nation.  We will rebuild our country into the ideals it was intended to be."

   Bubbles would spend several days in each location, traveling the countryside, learning how people adapted to a life that was similar to what people experienced in the early 1900's.  There were, though, relics from the early 2000's that proved useful, like plastic containers. 

   What once was one of the most disposable items around, plastic had taken a high value after the Big Change.  People joked, because credit cards, the main source of commercial transactions 20 years earlier, were made of plastic.  No one could have predicted that plastic itself would be one form of actual currency in the 2040's.

   Bubbles learned a lot about his fellow country folk during his campaign.  He also spent a lot of time telling people from differing communities about one another.  Since there wasn't much news between different parts of the country, they were thrilled to hear the stories he shared.

   "News" actually had taken a terrible decline the decades previous.  As the Federal government reigned in more and more of peoples civil liberties, and as the country became more and more fascist with corporations having such a large influence on government, education, military, entertainment and media sources, "news" was not the same as what the First Amendment had intended when guaranteeing a free press.  Instead of there being a vast array of reporters and media outlets, they all pretty much were aligned and designed to insure the American Empire, the most powerful empire to ever exist, continued its domination over the world. 

   After the media became embedded with the military during warfare, it wasn't long until the media was in bed with corporate leaders, bankers, politicians and the other shapers of society who held so much influence over the eons.  The "truth", as they saw fit to print, was biased and insured that people would remain passive sheep, while the dissidents were rounded up, under the auspices of national security, reminiscent of the nazi regime our country proudly defeated 80 years earlier.  That same mentality of totalitarianism infected the leaders of the US, and it doomed us all like it doomed Germany in that terrible war.

   So people during Bubbles campaign understood, 20 years later, how important accurate news was.  They hoped to improve the situation, and they looked at Bubbles as the kind of person they could trust to plow through the flood and save the people who would plow behind him.  And the country would be rebuilt, better than before.




I should do somethin' 'bout it.
I should do somethin' 'bout it.
I should do somethin'
I wanna do somethin'
I will do somethin' 'bout it.

Sometimes the night lasts so long
home all alone singin' songs
knowin' you're home singin' too
I wanna be playin' with you,
hearin' your voice and guitar
knowin' you're not very far.
Oh, I should do somethin' 'bout it.

I hear there's a Hearing tonight.
It's somethin' that I wanna fight.
They wanna abridge our free speech.
The Constitution, I guess, then I'll teach.
There's other things I'd rather do
but I don't wanna lose the truth.
Oh, I should do somethin' 'bout it.

I'm hungry again for some food.
I wanna drink a cold brew.
My house is also a mess.
I'm horny as hell, I confess.
My dog wants to go on a walk.
Someone on my door just knocked.
I'm late again payin' my bills.
I want my fill of cheap thrills.
The President thinks he's a King
Won't you come over and sing?
Oh, I should do somethin' 'bout it.

                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,
                                                                                                     "I Should Do Somethin’ ‘bout It"


  When Bubbles finally arrived in my town, I was dizzy with anticipation.  My heart ached with the passion I felt over his vision for our country.  I wanted so bad, as only a young teenage girl whose ebony color had been the basis of the slave trade could know, to meet my hero, even if, at 14, I could not vote for him.

  My parents and I arrived early to the town square to get a seat up close.  I wanted to be able to see Bubbles eyes, because that is one thing I could not find out about him: what color they were.  If I saw his eyes, I thought, I knew I would forever burn with this passion I felt for him, and his ideas.

  There were lots of people who came to see Bubbles.  The energy was palpable and inspiring and only further enhanced our excitement.  I had heard about rock concerts and church sermons where the anticipation was so intense that it was no wonder fanatics were called fans.  All this passion was uplifting and bordered on spiritual bliss.  We were filled with passion.

  Bubbles finally arrived, though by this point, he had a huge entourage traveling with him.  It took awhile for him to unmount from his horse and hit the stage.  When he did, the roar was so loud, so deafening, it was disorienting.  Bubbles lifted his arms in the air in a gesture to silence people, but those who waited so long to see him were less than responsive.  All kinds of kind words we heard:

  "We love you!"

  "Save us, Bubbles!"

  "Freedom, freedom, for Bubbles and me!"

  I had chills running up and down my back.

  After a few minutes, people began to settle down, then awaited his words.

  "Greetings, my fellow freedom loving citizens!"

  Again another minute long uproar.

  "I've traveled across our great country and met many people, heard many stories, and only become more inspired by this passion you have shown me.  Thank you.

  "I've seen how the travesty we've experienced as a nation has taken a great toll on us.  As you can see, though, and as I feel as a stare out into your faces, Americans are not defeated."

  Another uproar.

  "We have felt overwhelming pain and regret over what happened to our country and in this hurt we have been humbled and made aware of the great responsibility we have as a powerful people.  We were given a great gift by the Founders of our country and it was squandered by those in power left unaccountable for their traitorous actions.

  "We all know they sold out and left us to pay the high cost of nuclear war and environmental collapse.  What once was a pristine nation, full of hope for the American Dream was replaced by horror and ill-health, death and destruction.  We became complacent and did not live up to the standards our Founders expected of us.  We forfeited our rights, for security, and even that was taken away.  And in the sad process, we extended those irresponsible deeds to our fellow humans throughout the globe, where they suffered even worse consequences.

  "I come here, though, not to dwell on the past, but to look forward to a future where our inalienable rights are restored, where hope is given and where everyone of us understands that to achieve harmony with each other we have to accept our differences.  In this openness, we allow for true freedom of expression, doing so to instill thoughtfulness and respect and the creative genius every one of us has potential to achieve."

  I expected another uproar, but I then realized that the lump in my throat had affected my ability to vocalize anything.  I turned to look at my Papa, and saw, for the first time, my Papa shed tears.  He was the first to lift his hands in the air and began the applause that lasted for minutes.  Bubbles turned his head towards us, and looked straight at me and smiled.  I had been crying at that point, too, and that set me off even more.

  When the silence returned, he let it be for half a minute, then continued,

  "I have not chosen a running mate yet, but if I did, it would be the most innocent and deserving person I could think of.  Someone whose thoughts and idealism will help plow through the layers we need to make it through in order to represent true change.  I hope when I make that choice, you will regard her with the same respect you would give to me and my daughter who may have been with us today, if not for her tragic fate.  I hope you trust me in making my decision and will not waver in your support of our cause."

  There had been times in my life when I felt a sense of detachment, as in being in a dream, except very aware and able to be in charge of the outcome.  I had heard stories of people feeling like this, and always imagined this to be a state of mind that drove people to spiritual thinking.  It's a sort of deep reverence, a deep love, a deep feeling of connection to something bigger and so awesome that words are not fit to ever describe what it really is.  I felt that at this moment.  A feeling of something big out there, something I would soon see and understand.




Oh, to be a baby again, before my critics made it in.
Who cares what I'm wearin', when I'm a little baby?
Who cares what I sound like?  Grownups can just take a hike.

Oh, to be innocent, before my guilty trip.
Who cares what the world thinks, when I can't remember past the last few blinks?
Who cares what I'm doin?  Old folk just don't clue in.

Worries Be Gone is the name of this song.
Like a baby growin' strong.

Oh, to be young again, before all my cares began.
Who cares about mortgage, when I'm a young age?
Who cares about a paycheck?  Old people just wouldn't expect.

Oh, to be always fit, before old age sets.
Who cares about worm food?  Even dinosaurs morph into oily crude.
Who cares about anything?  The relics of the past know I'm everything.

                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,
                                                                                                     "Worries Be Gone"


  Bubbles words became a blur to me then, and it was only later that people told me what he said.  During the applause that followed, I saw Bubbles fall to the ground, and realized I had just heard a gunshot.

  There are few ways more efficient to empower someone than to make them a martyr through assassination.  That is, however, for all players in the desire to shape reality, always the risk for standing up and making waves.  Bubbles knew there was a chance, a strong possibility, had heard the threats, that he would be killed, but he didn't waver.  He knew whatever happened, his ideas would live on.

  I was the first person who ran up to him.  He looked at me and sighed.  

  "What's your name, dear one?" he asked.

  "Clare. Clara Wells," I replied through tears, noticing his green eyes staring deep into me.

  He said he hoped it was O.K. with me and shouted his last words.

  "This lady here, Clara Wells, I declare, is my running mate!  Keep her safe!"

  Bubbles died in my arms, and I will never forget the pain I felt as I clenched on to this man, my Hero, our Hero.  He had given to me something to this day that the rest of the country had to accept, if they wished to continue his campaign and vote for him.




Small cracks keep on creepin'
through the concrete on the ground.
A little sprout is poppin' out.
It don't need to make a sound.
The tar is thick in places,
but it will slowly wear away,
back to the place it was taken from.
Nature's Laws it must obey.
Fightin' for survival.
Livin' and diein' just the same.
When it's all been said and done,
the sprouts will once again reclaim.
A casket holds a human body
left when the soul flew away,
filled with formaldehyde,
eventually it all will decay.
The tombstone, too, will crumble.
The dust will be blown in the air.
When it finally settles down,
somethin' else will start to grow there.
The houses and the airplanes,
bridges and miles of highway,
the power plants and super fund sites,
and all the stuff that's been throw away
keeps me dry and well fed.
Let's me travel anywhere.
Since life is such a struggle
we'd all be better off if we'd share.

Fightin' for survival.
Livin' and dyein' just the same.
When it's all been said and done,
the sprouts will once again reclaim.

                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,


  Bubbles' death was another in a long line of Freedom Fighters who understood the animalistic power struggle humans were caught in.  He understood, too, the evolutionary potential and when coupled with sincere morality there would come a time when people would not need a leader to give them hope.  We would find it in community, in nature, in art and sport, in the awe we feel being alive on this dynamic planet.

  He had said, right before he was shot, how important an uncorrupted mind was, how anybody could be President if they had the right mindset.  After all, the system people relied on for hundreds of years to elect leaders had shown that the odds were stacked against electing a responsible leader based on experience and connections.  In fact, it was only reasonable to try something completely different, like letting a child, unadulterated, take the lead using the basis of the Bubble Smith campaign as the political philosophy for this child President.

   My parents came for me, wide-eyed and wary, as I lied there clutching Bubbles, never wanting (I never will!) to let him go.  “How could our little daughter continue this campaign?” they wondered, heavily.  This was just too fantastic to be true.

  Bubbles knew though, that with my parents backing, and the campaign he laid down, we would continue.  Bubbles was unable to finish his travels across the country, but by the time of Election Day, people were ready to elect Bubble Smith, with little young me, Clare Wells, as his running-mate.  I nominated my Papa to become Vice-President after I was sworn in.  The few Senators who convened unanimously voted approval.

  Bubbles rose high and expanded wide during his campaign.  His translucent shell allowed us to see his insides and when it burst, the fragments scattered far and wide and were seeds in every part of our country.  I have been cultivating them for four years and was glad to know, the good people of our country, reelected me and the dream of Bubbles.

  The Republic is in good hands, with my full attention, for at least four more years.

  We must be ever vigilant.





No person's perfect.
No one's not done wrong.
Nobody's guilty
of always being strong.
Even a genius can forget
eventually fools can reflect.
Only the living can breath air.
Only dead don't care

where they're buried,
unlike us.
When we're smothered,
it pays to make a fuss.
Even the heartless can hear
eventually silence of their fear.
Only daytime turns to night.
Only darkness swallows light.

Take away our problems
and you take away my song.
That might be the answer I seek
but that conclusion's not forgone.

The professor's in the classroom.
The pupils are in their chair.
Their textbooks are open.
One hand's raised in the air.
Even teachers have learned
eventually class must adjourn.
Only diehards stick around afterwards.
Only scholars worship words.

Now I'm in the temple
singing my hymn.
The stained glass filters sunshine.
That's why it looks so dim.
Even Jesus was crucified.
even though he was allied.
Only we mortals can feel the pain.
Only God is insane.

                                                                                                     Bubble Smith,
                                                                                                     "No Person’s Perfect"


   This was the last poem Bubbles wrote, before deciding he would run for President.  Who was the crazy one, the person who thought he could or the person who thought he couldn’t win?  The one who thought I would or wouldn't become the first black woman, the youngest person yet, to be elected President of the USA, and be reelected in a landslide???

   Crazier things have happened.


Appendix A



1984, May 1-- Bubble Smith is born to Baptist preacher father and school teacher mother.

2007, Spring-- Bubble Smith joins NFL, starting with the New England Patriots.

2008-- Bubble Smith becomes Most Valuable Player for that year's Super Bowl.

2009-- Bubble Smith joins New Orleans Saints.

2010-- Congress passes National Identification and Accountability Act.  Mandates National ID card and implanted Chip in newborns.

2011-- Bubble Smith's daughter is born.

2013-- Bubble Smith achieves record for most yards gained and most points scored.

2014-- Third flood of New Orleans; Bubble Smith's football career ends.

2016-- Bubble Smith elected to House of Representatives.

2018-- Bubble Smith reelected to House.

2020-- Bubble Smith elected to Senate.

2022-- Bubble Smith's daughter abducted and killed.  Her body is tracked down using her implanted Chip.  Bubbles resigns from Senate.

2024-- First 2 nuclear bombs explode in US.

2029-- Roundup of dissidents begins.

2030, Spring-- Clara Wells is born in internment camp.

2034-- Second American Revolution begins.

2039-- Peak of Second American Civil War.

2042-- Clara Wells family leaves their "camp."

2044, March-- Clara Wells learns about Bubble Smith's campaign.

2044, July-- Bubble Smith is assassinated; Clara Wells is chosen as running mate.

2044, November-- Bubble Smith and Clara Wells elected President and Vice-President.

2048, November-- Clara Wells reelected to President.

2049-- President Clara Wells writes memoirs. 


Appendix B

Founding Documents


The United States Declaration of Independence

CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.



Bill Of Rights

The First 10 Amendments to the
Constitution as Ratified by the States

December 15, 1791



Congress OF THE United States
begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday
the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.:

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.



[Additional Amendments to the Constitution]

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

[Article. XI.]

[Proposed 1794; Ratified 1798]

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

[Article. XII.]

[Proposed 1803; Ratified 1804]

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. — The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

[Contested Article.]

[Proposed 1810; Possibly Ratified 1819, but evidence lacking, and it seems most likely that the number of ratifying states did not reach 3/4 of the states as new states were admitted.]

If any Citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any Title of Nobility or Honour, or shall, without the Consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, Pension, Office or Emolument of any kind whatever, from any Emperor, King, Prince or foreign Power, such Person shall cease to be a Citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any Office of Trust or Profit under them, or either of them.

[Unratified Article.]

[Proposed 1861; Endorsed by Lincoln while president-elect; Unratified][1]

Article Thirteen.

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.

Article. XIII.

[Proposed 1865; Ratified 1865]

Section. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Article. XIV.

[Proposed 1866; Allegedly ratified 1868. See Fourteenth Amendment Law Library for argument it was not ratified.]

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Article. XV.

[Proposed 1869; Ratified 1870]

Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Article. XVI.

[Proposed 1909; Questionably Ratified 1913]

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

[Article. XVII.]

[Proposed 1912; Ratified 1913; Possibly Unconstitutional (See Article V, Clause 3 of the Constitution)]

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Article. [XVIII.]

[Proposed 1917; Ratified 1919; Repealed 1933 (See Amendment XXI, Section 1

Section. 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section. 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Article. [XIX.]

[Proposed 1919; Ratified 1920]

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

[Unratified Article.]

[Proposed 1926; Unratified]

Article —

Section. 1. The Congress shall have power to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age.

Section. 2. The power of the several States is unimpaired by this article except that the operation of State laws shall be suspended to the extent necessary to give effect to legislation enacted by the Congress.

Article. [XX.]

[Proposed 1932; Ratified 1933]

Section. 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section. 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section. 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section. 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section. 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section. 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

Article. [XXI.]

[Proposed 1933; Ratified 1933]

Section. 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section. 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Article. [XXII.]

[Proposed 1947; Ratified 1951]

Section. 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section. 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

Article. [XXIII.]

[Proposed 1960; Ratified 1961]

Section. 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Article. [XXIV.]

[Proposed 1962; Ratified 1964]

Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Article. [XXV.]

[Proposed 1965; Ratified 1967]

Section. 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section. 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section. 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section. 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Article. [XXVI.]

[Proposed 1971; Ratified 1971]

Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

[Inoperative Article.]

[Proposed 1972; Expired Unratified 1982]

Article —

Section. 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section. 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section. 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

[Inoperative Article.]

[Proposed 1978; Expired Unratified 1985]

Article —

Section. 1. For purposes of representation in the Congress, election of the President and Vice President, and article V of this Constitution, the District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall be treated as though it were a State.

Section. 2. The exercise of the rights and powers conferred under this article shall be by the people of the District constituting the seat of government, and as shall be provided by the Congress.

Section. 3. The twenty-third article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section. 4. This article shall be inoperative, unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

Article. [XXVII.]

[Proposed 1789; Ratified 1992; Second of twelve Articles comprising the Bill of Rights]

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.