Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Republicans Make It Legal To Starve People To Death In Indiana

Here in St. Louis the word "hoosier" is a derogatory term, applied to one who is uneducated, backwards, intellectually inferior, bigoted, and misinformed. In other words, a hoosier is a racist hillbilly. It comes as no surprise, then, that the official nickname for Indianans is "hoosiers"; at least not after the bill that the Indiana legislature passed and Republican Governor Mike Dense...I mean, Pence, signed into law recently. It is disingenuously called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (a name that only the sneakiest and most hypocritical politicians could dream up), but it's really a license to discriminate. Indiana business owners can now deny service to anyone they choose, or, more specifically, gays, blacks, Latinos, liberals, socialists, Obama voters, or anyone else they hate. Taken to its logical (read illogical) conclusion, this law can be used to starve people to death in Indiana.

Let's say restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, donut shops, Walmarts, and all other places where one can purchase food in Indiana are owned and operated by right-wing nutjobs (we know this is already true in the case of Chick-Fil-A and Papa John's). Theoretically, these food merchants can deny sustenance to anyone whom they suspect of being gay or religiously objectionable. This judgement is made by the proprietor at his or her own discretion, without any objective criteria. (My neighbor, an Indiana native, says the state is really just Mississippi North; he can just hear Republican hoosiers screaming, "I don't want no damn guvmint tellin a me who I kin serve and who I caint.") On this basis, proprietors can refuse to serve blacks, Hispanics, females, old, young, Democrats, etc. Using the RFDA as their cover, merchants can literally starve someone to death. Or deny them clothing in the winter. Or deny them transportation. Or deny them drinking water. Or heat in the winter. Or a home. Or any life-sustaining product or service. It's an extreme scenario, I know, but hypothetically possible when the citizenry has no protection from state-sanctioned discrimination practiced by business owners.

Pence and other Republican bigots claim the law is not meant to discriminate. If that is so, what exactly, then, is the purpose of the law? Republicans are talking out of both sides of their mouths as they, in the face of immense public backlash, try to put lipstick on this pig. Pence says the law is meant to provide Christian business owners with the right to refuse service to anyone they find objectionable. And who would right-wing Christians find objectionable? Let's see...maybe gays, blacks, immigrants, Democrats, feminists, anti-NRA groups, atheists, agnostics, Obamacare recipients, college students with outstanding loans...and all the other usual objects of the right-wing hatred: basically anyone who is peaceful, tolerant, loving, compassionate, sensible, and mentally stable.

Hoosiers are running Indiana; remind me to avoid the state altogether.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Florida’s Republican Governor Is Mute As Climate Change And Rising Oceans Threaten Florida’s Drinking Water

Remember how Nero fiddled while Rome burned? That’s pretty much what Republican climate change denier Rick Scott, Florida’s feckless and stupid governor, is doing as Floridians face imminent danger. You see, just as scientists predicted, the oceans are rising, and coastal areas like Florida are paying the consequences. In Broward County salt water has moved six miles inland. The main drinking water source in south Florida, the Biscayne Aquifer, may soon be contaminated, and as everyone knows, except maybe the idiotic right-wingers, sea water cannot be consumed.

What can be done about this? Well, Gov. Scott should be figuring out a way to increase the fresh water supply to Floridians before a critical shortage precipitates (bad word choice) a crisis. But Scott is not doing anything, because you see that would mean admitting that he and all other Republican climate change deniers have been wrong all along.

Eventually, the Republicans will be exposed for what they really are: self-centered, greedy, near-sighted, corporate apologists. But it might be too late by then, because Scott, and all his sociopathic colleagues, would rather see Florida and all the rest of America sink into the ocean before they would admit being wrong or corrupt or just plain dumb.

As salt water contamination increases, water filter plants, sewer collection systems, and waste water treatment plants will be compromised. I shudder to think what might happen to Scott if his citizens can’t drink, can’t dispose of their waster, and can’t get their sewers drained. They might come after Scott with torches and lanterns. Oops, fire might not be the best thing to carry next to gaseous sewers. Maybe they should just throw Scott onto the beaches that are no longer there, and see if he can swim to shore.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Army General Calls Republican Senator and His Nitwit Friends “Mutinous”

The galling treachery committed by the 47 traitorous Republican U.S. senators who undermined the President’s anti-nuclear negotiations with Iran has now been openly condemned by all with any sense, including high-ranking U.S. military personnel. The most senior of which, Major General Paul D. Eaton, spoke out this week and called the backstabbing gang of 47 mutineers.

Jonathan Capehart wrote this in the Washington Post: “The open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran signed by 47 senators and instigated by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was a stunning breach of protocol. One so outrageous that my former colleagues at the New York Daily News dubbed the signers traitors. So, I turned to retired Major Gen. Paul D. Eaton for perspective. He wouldn’t say Cotton and Co. were ‘traitors.’ He had a better word. ‘While it is indeed a slap in the face of President Obama and an affront to the presidency, I’m not sure I would go that far, especially since Cotton is an Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I would use the word mutinous,’ said Eaton, whose long career includes training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004. He is now a senior adviser to VoteVets.org. ‘I do not believe these senators were trying to sell out America. I do believe they defied the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act.’ Eaton certainly had stern words for Cotton.

“‘What Senator Cotton did is a gross breach of discipline, and especially as a veteran of the Army, he should know better,’ Eaton told me. ‘I have no issue with Senator Cotton, or others, voicing their opinion in opposition to any deal to halt Iran’s nuclear progress. Speaking out on these issues is clearly part of his job. But to directly engage a foreign entity, in this way, undermining the strategy and work of our diplomats and our Commander in Chief, strains the very discipline and structure that our foreign relations depend on, to succeed.’ The consequences of Cotton’s missive were plainly apparent to Eaton. ‘The breach of discipline is extremely dangerous, because undermining our diplomatic efforts, at this moment, brings us another step closer to a very costly and perilous war with Iran,’ he said.”

For historical perspective on all this, imagine if Republicans had interfered with FDR's delicate detente with Winston Churchill prior to our entering World War II. We might all be under the rule of The Third Reich now. (Admittedly Republicans would probably be more comfortable in a fascist regime.) Or what if President Kennedy’s negotiations with Kruschev during the Cuban Missile Crisis had been undercut by treasonous Republican congressmen. We might have all have been incinerated in a nuclear holocaust.

Tom Cotton is your typical Republican flame thrower, who arose to his high public office by serving Obama meat to the wild animals of Arkansas. He somehow made it through Harvard using the government's money; now he votes against student loans. He's fanatically anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-US government, and pro-NRA. He thinks he can gain more notoriety and acclaim with the extreme right by his reckless and childish stunt. It has backfired though; now the country sees him for what he is: just another homophobic, misogynistic, hypocritical narcissist pandering to angry white, middle-aged southerners.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NRA Suggests Assassination of Obama; Promotes Hate and Violence On Its Website

It is important to monitor the right-wing crazies in this country who want to foment sedition, incite treachery, and return America to the Wild West. At the forefront of the fringe movement is the National Rifle Association. I perused one of its websites today, and there is enough hate, treason, and threats of violence to scare the life out of anyone with sense.

To be precise, it was the NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action), the NRA’s legislative lobbying arm, which got my attention. The lead article is headlined, “Obama’s Power Grab To Ban Ammo In Full Swing. Only You Can Stop Him!” What it’s really trying to say to its members is, “Hey, White People, The Black Man Is Trying To Take Away Your Weapons And The Only Way To Stop Him Is To Shoot Him.” Next to the headline is a picture of a rifle bullet aimed directly at the President.

Scroll down the page and the level of crazy gets ramped up. For instance, there’s this, “Wisconsin: Scott Walker signals support for eliminating 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.” What can be more nutty and dangerous than eliminating the two-day wait for a handgun? Walker, an anti-union, anti-teacher, racist, homophobe (i.e., typical Republican) wants to allow a drunken Bubba, mad at Gomer for stealing his cousin away, to walk into a gun store, buy a weapon immediately and shoot Gomer on the spot. The current law allows Bubba to sober up and maybe rethink his options. Walker apparently thinks we are restricting Bubba’s right to blast Gomer to kingdom come. LET FREEDOM RING. Red-state Americans, fearful of everything and everyone that is smarter, more progressive, more compassionate and more sophisticated than they, don’t want anyone to get in the way of the only thing they have to compensate for their inferiorities: the gun. Many live in small towns in the Heartland where their neighbors have been all-white for centuries. They’ve never met an African-American; imagine how appalled they are that one is in the White House.

Another headline reads, “Iowa Lawmakers Want Right-To-Carry Privacy. Two state lawmakers are working behind the scenes at the Iowa Capitol in a bid to block the public from obtaining the names of people who hold permits to carry weapons and purchase handguns.” God forbid if the rest of us should know whom we have to fear. I thought concealed-carry gun owners were proud of their whackiness; I thought they wanted to instill fear in the rest of us. Turns out they’re just cowards, afraid to crawl out from under their rocks into the light of day.

Perhaps the most frightening headline is this: “Arkansas Bill To Allow Guns At Bars, Polling Places, And Capitol.” Makes perfect sense. Now Bubba doesn’t have to even bother with walking down the street to the local gun shop to buy his weapon. He can just bring it with him to the bar, get drunk, and kill Gomer without even leaving his stool. He can also intimidate blacks into staying away from polling places, so that America will never be stuck with an negro president again. Best of all, he can blast away at any legislator who dares to vote for reasonable gun control measures. Because there’s nothing more important than Bubba’s freedom to compensate for his lack of education, intelligence, and tolerance by threatening others, committing treason, and violating the freedom of others to live in a safe, compassionate, reasonable country.