Saturday, June 29, 2013

King of the Dill ... ... weeds

SSteve King, Congressional representative from Iowa, really scares me.  Sure, some (many) of his quotes are (unintentionally) funny, but many border on the schizophrenic.  Hell, I’d really like to send him a bottle of Haldol and sixty syringes of Thorazine, but I can’t…so I won’t.  What I can do though, is share his lunacy with you…with commentary, of course (he's in blue, I'm in red, just to flip the accepted and expected colour scheme).

 “But I guess I’m short and fat is what I am. So I’m safe in San Francisco.” …  Dude, you’re safe in the biggest whorehouse in the red-light district of Hamburg.

“If there is a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl. Say a thirteen year old girl; and it happens in America more times than you and I would like to think. That sexual predator could pick that girl up off the playground at the middle school and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to irradiate the evidence of his crime and bring her back and drop her off at the swing set and that’s not against the law in the United States of America.” … Can you say "Mann Act"?  And it’s eradicate you asshole (shame you weren’t in utero).

“Just gigged another mole. Tools: garden hose & gig. Water runs down hill. Moles can’t hold their breath long.”    Hell, I’m surprised you even know how to breathe.

“Unicorns, leprechauns, gay marriages in Iowa — these are all things you will never find because they don’t exist.” … Nor, I’m guessing, could we find an Iowan congressman with a brain.

 “Put newspapers in your car (windows) to get more privacy.”  …  Uh, yeah…uh…I always do that – especially when I’m driving.  WTF????  (Ooh, I'd better wrap my cellphone in aluminum foil to protect me from the NSA -- well, it makes as much sense).

“It turns out to be the best vote that I cast, was my “no” vote to the $51.5 billion to Hurricane Katrina. That probably was my best vote.” Words of advice: stay out of New Orleans, dat dere voodoo be some powerful shit.

“We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would simply be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time.” … Pass me the cattle prod.

 “You cannot take a chance with life anymore than you can shoot a gun into a crowded room and take a chance that you might not kill somebody. You cannot guess about when life begins.”  … I’m guessing both brain cells misfired, right?

“Eskimos got along all these centuries without fruit and vegetables.” WTF???  Fine, fine…pass me the baked seal and seaweed platter next.  Sigh.

“Babies born in America now owe the federal government $44,231 each.” Uh, OK….???  And you get to vote on appropriations?  Oh, hell No!  Nooooooo!!!!!!

“In fact, if you want to argue that you really don’t know – that it might be first, second or third trimester or viability – tell me: If someone were to walk down this hallway and stick a gun in the door, turn their head away from the gun and pull the trigger and run out the door and we catch him out there, did he kill somebody or didn’t he?” … No, there is abso-fucking-lutely no way you are paraphrasing Schroedinger.  (No, not the piano kid from Peanuts.)

“So we just asked them, under oath, “are you a vegetarian?” And they confessed they were vegetarians, all of them. Well there they are with an agenda for our diets…I eat recycled, concentrated, enhanced vegetables in the form of meat.” … Confessed?  Confessed?  Yes, I too have been responsible for the death of plants and their offspring. Mea culpa, domine rex.

“If someone is insulted by that, I don’t know that they belong in this country. Jesus talked about animals and compared people to animals. I’m Catholic, my bishop is my shepherd and we are his sheep.”  … Rrrriiigghhhttt...I’ll bet Rick Santorum liked this one.

And, as if all of the above were not enough, we have this gem:

“Mid day, mid blizzard, 15 degrees, Crazy Raccoon chewing and clawing his way into my house. Desert Eagle 1, Crazy Raccoon zero.”

Now that is scary.  ‘Nuff said?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summertime Blues, Part I

"I'd like to help you, son, but you're too black to vote". -- In essence, this is what those cheering the Supreme Court's declaration that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA)* is unconstitutional are saying in their misguided and ignorant comments, and by their Voter ID actions in Texas . Yes, within a mere two hours of the decision Texas passed a clearly discriminatory disenfranchisement bill, and similar actions are possible in Mississippi in the very near future.

The decision, voted at 5-4 against the VRA, hinged upon the "obsolescence" of the formula and data used to apply Sections 4 (and 5), and the matter was sent back Congress for action -- or more appropriately, inaction (more on that later), and that is where Texas made what will likely turn out to be a major misstep.  The benighted legislators in the state, in moving within two hours to enact their Voter ID law, have provided the very data Congress will need to reinstate the VRA.  Thank you so much, Texas, for your inability to think farther ahead than five minutes from now.

However, having said that,  it is highly unlikely that congressional action will take place before the 114th Congress convenes on January 3, 2015.  Why?  Because House Speaker John "I'm a" Boehner will not let it happen.  It's called obstruction.  (Odd though, that while the Snowden scandal has rivited the attention of America, and while many Americans see his actions as those of a traitor, many of these same Americans cannot see that the obstructionism of the Republicans in Congress is tantamount to treason.  Basically, sabotage is sabotage.)

Now what of the Justices (Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy) who voted to dismantle this key provision of the VRA? Perhaps their own words would best explain their actions.

In equating the VRA to "entitlements, Antonin "I-have-no-stinking-genes**" Scalia opined, "Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements,” it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”

John "I'm da Chief" Roberts wrote, "“Things have changed in the South ... blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare.”

Well, Justice Scalia, no, you are so incredibly wrong: voting is not an entitlement, it's a Constitutional right.  You didn't know that?  Maybe you should retire and take up snail raising.  

And Chief Justice Roberts, yes, things are better than they were fifty years ago, but racism still rears its ugly head and we have a long way to go, and mindless ruminations like yours and Scalia's do not move us forward, they anchor us to the past.

In closing, I's like to share the wise words of Justice Ginsburg, “The sad irony of today’s decision lies in its utter failure to grasp why the VRA has proven effective. The Court appears to believe that the VRA’s success in eliminating the specific devices extant in 1965 means that preclearance is no longer needed. With that belief, and the argument derived from it, history repeats itself.
To quote a friend, "may she live to be 120".

*Note that the decision on Section 4 also renders Section 5, which mandates that the Department of Justice to, via an administrative process that  requires the concurrence of the US District Court in DC to "pre-clear" changes to voting rights in certain states (based on prior history of disenfranchisement), unenforceable.
**In a recent decision, Scalia essentially denied the existence of genes.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


DOMA may not be dead, but it is certainly dying, and I, for one, will offer no more than to help pull the plug.  In decisions this morning on DOMA and Prop 8, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of true marriage equality.  Finally, hope seems to be justified.

Strangely, as of the time of this posting, very little has been said by Congressional Republicans -- save Michelle "I-Have-A-Direct-Line-to-God" Bachman -- other than, perhaps, the palpable gnashing of teeth and the mumbled "Eli, Eli, lema sabbachtani's".  No doubt this will change in the coming days as FOX News and the Tea Party cobble together a seemingly cogent yet utterly vapid Republican response.  This is not completely unexpected, I suppose, as the vanquished are often very, very silent.  Often, this is due to humility, but as humility is in very short supply amongst Congressional Republicans, I should say this relative silence is really a matter of shock, disbelief and a feeling of betrayal by Justice Kennedy*.  In essence, a Red Tide is being overtaken by a Rainbow Tide -- and, I don't know about you, but I'd much rather see a rainbow than a sea of blood any day of the year.

What do these decisions mean to America?  Perhaps they signal that we are slowly, fitfully, and sometimes, painfully growing up.  Perhaps some of our prejudices are fading.  Perhaps one day we can join the rest of the Western Democracies in our level of maturity.

To my gay and lesbian friends, let me say congratulations -- you so deserve this.  To those still harbouring fear of, and hatred, toward the LGBT community, take this time to reflect, talk to friends who have gay and lesbian family members, and maybe think of how the early Christians felt among the Romans and may the dawn slowly break.

And no, Reverends Robertson, Osteen, et alia. God will not destroy America because of these decisions.  America is growing up -- or trying to at least.  Rather than damn us to hell, rejoice that we are defending the underdogs -- just as Jesus did in the Gospels.

*Appointed by President Reagan in 1988

==>Next up: VRA

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blame it on Eve

The increasing, continual and heinous attack on women's rights is clearly led by Republicans -- especially Republican men.  This attack is so juvenile, so driven by biased-outdated religion, and so unabashedly and pathetically visceral that it certainly has begun to seem plausible to think that these misogynistic mental midgets are trying to get even with Eve for "our" ejection from Eden.  Even if that never really happened.  Even though Adam, "as the man" was supposed to keep his woman in check.  Even if Adam was the moron who actually ate the fruit to seal mankind's fate.

Do I sound a bit miffed?  Damn right I am -- and I'm offended.  As a father of three girls and the son of a good mother, I am more deeply offended than I can express in words.  These fools are disrespecting their own daughters, their wives, and their mothers.  I have little doubt that if someone showed a level of disrespect even half this to their daughters, wives and mothers they'd be ready to fight and yet, I know they cannot understand why I'm ready to fight.

Over the course of the coming weeks and months I'll be posting blogs on this issue.  And on the Tea Party.  And on today's VRA debacle.

Yep, I'm a Progressive and damn proud of it.