Two Quick Things.

First off, greetings m’lord, how’s the fog and  rain?  Not sure what caused the rather large influx of visitors from the U.K., but I’m not complaining.  Some of my fondest memories occurred on the British Isles.

Of course, that’s not enough to warrant a post, so….

Progressives, liberals, or whatever you prefer to call yourselves.  Can we please get off Ahmed Mohamed‘s underage dick?

He built a clock.  Yeah, the school’s response was idiotic, especially since they knew damn well it wasn’t a bomb (cause if they actually would have any doubts, you can bet the school would have been evacuated and the bomb squad called in to make sure), but it isn’t like this is the first time a school has responded idiotically to a zero threat situation.  Yeah, a lot of the stories the right’s outrage machine cranks out are false.  Kids don’t get suspended for reading the Bible, or praying silently at their desk.  But a girl did get strip searched over an Advil and a kid did get suspended for chewing his Pop Tart into a gun like shape.  I don’t remember either of them getting invitations to the White House, though the right did admittedly try to make the Pop Tart Bandit into a poster child for something or other.  (Which was every bit as ridiculous as the left making the Clock kid into a celebrity.)

Let’s be honest.

Photo provided by the Irvine, Texas, Police Department of the digital clock that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed made from a pencil case.
Photo provided by the Irvine, Texas, Police Department of the digital clock that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed made from a pencil case.

That is awesome.  When I was 14, if I would have built something like that I would have been proud as well, and I would have also wanted to show it off.  But in a post-9/11 America, where people are on edge and taught to report any unattended package, can you kinda understand how someone may look at that and get a bit freaked out?  Hell, first time I saw the picture, with no background information, I thought it was a fake bomb.  I would have still brought it in to show my science teacher, but I first would have explained to him/her what I was bringing in before hand.

Was the school’s response colored by a healthy dose of Islamophobia?  Yeah, probably.  Is it sad that we live in a country where I would urge any young person, no matter their race or religion, not to bring an awesome science project to school if anyone could possibly mistake it for a bomb?  Yep, definitely.  National paranoia doesn’t make us safer, just less free.  Depending on racial/religious profiling to prevent terrorism just increases the likelihood that the people behind the next attack don’t fit into those categories.  Protip: Not every Islamic terrorist looks like the stereotypical Islamic terrorist.  Do you think they can’t read or listen to the news?  That they are unaware that we pay special attention to those who “look terroristy?”That all, or even most terrorists are Islamic?  *cough*OklahomaCity*cough*

Ahmed Mohammed never should have been put in handcuffs.  The school’s reaction was insane.  But all “zero tolerance” policies are insane, just like mandatory minimum sentences are insane.  But he isn’t a “hero,” just another victim of the “zero tolerance” society we are creating.  I’m reluctant to do any victim blaming here, because I am far from convinced the school would have had the same reaction if he would have been Christian and white.

So yeah, feel free to continue bitching about a “zero tolerance” system that routinely treats kids like criminals for nothing.  But get off this kid’s dick already.  He’s underage.

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Pop Quiz: Why Did PA State Rep. Leslie Acosta Get Cut Off?

In a sadly unsurprising breach of House protocol on Monday, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (Guess) cut Rep. Leslie Acosta (D), the only Latina representative in the state House before she was allowed to ask a question during the question and answer period.  Now put your notebooks and smart phones away, because it is time to test your knowledge of Pennsylvanian politics.

  1.  Why did Rep. Metcalfe cut off Rep. Acosta?
  • a) Because Rep. Acosta is a Latina.
  • b) Because Rep. Acosta is a woman.
  • c) Because Rep. Metcalfe is a raging asshole.
  • d) All of the above.

And……pencils down.  I’m sorry, it was a trick question. The correct answer is actually “e) Because the GOP has been taken over by a group of racist, misogynist, nativist trash desperately trying to hold on to the olden days when white men controlled everything, women knew their place (the kitchen), and members of other races stayed in their ghettos unless a garden needed tending, clothing needed laundered, or a mansion needed a butler.”  While each of the given answers is technically correct, the true root cause is “e” so I am arbitrarily failing the lot of you.  Kinda like Rep. Metcalfe arbitrarily cut Rep. Acosta off before she could ask a question.

Anyway, the story.  The Pennsylvania House, seeing as my home state is in no way going through a serious budget crisis caused by the state GOP believing that “compromise” means Gov. Wolfe giving in to all of their demands, has decided that the declaration of English as the official language of Pennsylvania is an appropriate use of tax dollars.  While Pennsylvania’s proximity to the Mexican border definitely makes this an issue constantly on the mind of every Pennsylvanian, your guess is as good as mine as to why the state GOP feels this bill is necessary.  Are they just avoiding discussing AG Kathleen Kane out of fear that she’ll leak embarrassing “sexts” they sent using state accounts?  (Not to change the subject, but damn it, AG Kane, please resign already.  Innocent or guilty, you are just making the whole party look bad now.)  Or is this just another part in the GOP’s masterful Latino Outreach Program?

Monday’s hearing on the bill was, well, let’s just let Think Progress explain it:

The hearing on Pennsylvania’s “English-only” bill was framed as a question and answer session, where lawmakers ask witnesses about different aspects of the bill. These are similar to Congressional hearings, where lawmakers have an allotted time to make statements about what they believe, and then end with a question. On Monday, Acosta was attempting to question witness Robert Vandervoot, a white nationalist testifying in support of the bill.

So there are two things I want to make clear here.  First off, no one just asks a question during these hearings.  That’s why the time limit is two minutes or so and not 15 seconds.  Representatives use the time to make a point, flesh out the question they are going to ask, make a really short speech, whatever, as long as they stay within their allotted time frame House protocol dictates the Representative is allowed to finish.  Second, the state GOP had a white nationalist testify in the House in support of this bill.

A white nationalist.

I have to hand it to the GOP, this Latino Outreach Program is brilliant.

Rep. Acosta, who is once again the only Latina in the PA House, began her time allotment by speaking in Spanish before switching over to English, no doubt giving Chairman Metcalfe a raging anger boner.  Then:

She then talked about how she too believed learning English was necessary for immigrants to succeed, but expressed concerns about the Constitutionality of requiring all government records to be in one language. In 1998, Arizona’s English-only law was ruled unconstitutional because it “unfairly interfered with the access to government by those who did not speak the language.”

In the middle of that point, Metcalfe interrupted. “You’re out of order,” he said. “I asked for a question.” Acosta then said she was “making a point,” and Metcalfe said “You’re not making points.” Acosta responded that she technically had two minutes to ask a question, to which Metcalfe retorted, “You don’t have two minutes.” Acosta said she had “the right to make my statement,” and Metcalfe said he would come back to her at the end “if we have time for you to finish your comment,” before turning her microphone off.

For those keeping score at home, that’s a white nationalist allowed all the time he wants to speak, followed by the one Latina in the room having her microphone cut off after being called “out of order.”  I’m amazed he managed not to use the word “uppity.”  Like me, Rep. Acosta was not amused.

Acosta, however, told ThinkProgress that she was appalled not only by how she was treated at the hearing, but by the fact that a white nationalist was allowed to speak before state government officials.

“This is overt racism in the 21st century. We’ve got to call it like it is,” she said. “It has no place in the House of Representatives. I’m on this and I’m not letting go.”

Why is PA even considering this bill?

Though America does not have an official language, Pennsylvania is vying to be the 32nd state to have their official state language be English. Vandervoot, who heads the advocacy organization ProEnglish, told ThinkProgress earlier this month that “one common language” is necessary for “a common bond of unity.”

“[M]ulticulturalism is actually what’s divisive and taking away from our unity,” he said.

Others, however, decry the push as inherently racist. “English-only is incredibly divisive because it sends the message that the culture of language minorities is inferior and illegal,” reads a statement from the immigrant advocacy group League of United Latin American Citizens. “With a dramatic increase in hate crimes and right wing terrorist attacks in the United States, the last thing we need is a frivolous bill to fuel the fires of racism.”

…..

English-only laws are generally pushed by groups and individuals who take strong conservative stances on illegal immigration in general. Indeed, Metcalfe is the founder of a coalition of state legislators that work to eliminate “all economic attractions and incentives … for illegal aliens” and “secur[e] our borders against unlawful invasion.”

Metcalfe and the English-only bill’s co-sponsors assert that the measure would save government money currently being used to translate documents, though they do not assert how much is being spent, or how much would be saved.

That last paragraph is the main point.  Personally, I believe that immigrants to the United States should make an effort to learn English, not because of any inherent superiority of the language, but  rather to facilitate their acclimation to the nation.  I don’t think it should be mandatory, just encouraged.  If I moved to France, even if I was living in a community of English speakers, I would still make an effort to learn French to make my life easier if for no other reason.  Rep. Metcalfe and crew claim that this bill would save tax payers money and say that is the reason they are sponsoring it, yet the savings is never defined.  Come on, if the money was really the issue, the bills co-sponsors would be on point with exact figures detailing how much money is spent translating documents and hiring interpreters.  Instead we get the abstract concept of “savings” while my dog goes absolutely nuts.

Psst.  Rep. Metcalfe?  It’s not a dog whistle if we all can hear it.  Inviting a white nationalist to testify in support of your bill kinda gives the game away.

The Suspense is Killing the Lions.

At approximately 8 am this morning, September 14th, 2015,  a mere two days before my fortieth birthday, potential lion lunch Kim Davis will return to work at the Rowen County clerk’s office.  What she will chose to do upon re-assuming her clerkly duties is anybody’s guess.  Even her “lawyers” claim not to know what this morning will bring.

Even Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based group that has been representing her, haven’t offered specifics on what she plans to do.

“Kim Davis is the only person that can decide what Kim Davis will do,” said one of her attorneys, Harry Mihet. “She has told the court and everyone else that she will not — under any circumstances — violate her conscience and the core of who she is.”

I find it hard to believe Mrs. Davis has not informed the Liberty Counsel of her plans for this morning.  If I had to guess, I would assume that Kim Davis has told her “lawyers” that she will be violating the court order against her once again this morning and the Liberty Counsel is claiming ignorance in case the threat of returning to jail changes her mind at the last minute.  After all, it wouldn’t be good for their little martyr’s image if they publicly announced her continuing defiance only for her to back down at the last minute.

And that, after all, is what this is all about.  The Liberty Counsel has never had the best interests of Kim Davis in mind at any point of this case.   They are using her to create a martyr for fund raising and rabble rousing.  Even that bastion of liberalism Fox News admits that for her to have a legal leg to stand on would require a leg transplant while questioning the intelligence of her team of “lawyers.”  Any member of the bar that understood the concept of “ethics” would have explained the legal reality to her by now and urged her to either resign or allow her deputy clerks to issue the licenses.  Instead they watch their client go to jail as she ignores orders from the Supreme Court, while staining their briefs at the thought of the bigot bucks rolling into their coffers and the visits from Republican presidential nominees hoping to court the bigot vote.  It plays right into their absurdist narrative of Christians as a persecuted group in the United States, and while an honest examination of the case quickly shows that Kim Davis is in no way being jailed because of her religion, honesty has never been important to the more extreme Christians in their quest to make America a Christian nation.

Perhaps a frightening addition to this story came to light this weekend as well, as the Oath Keepers has offered to provide a security detail for Kim Davis to prevent her future incarceration, should she choose to continue violating the court order.

In a statement on their website, Stewart Rhodes, the group’s founder, said that, “Federal District Court Judge David Bunning grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs Davis’ due process rights.” He continued:

No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention. Under our Constitution, that dictatorial power does not exist. We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again.

Now I do want to point out that neither Kim Davis or the Liberty Counsel apparently want anything to do with these lunatics.

A spokeswoman for Liberty Council, a conservative Christian group that has supported Kim Davis throughout the controversy, condemned Oath Keepers in a statement: “Neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel heard of Oath Keepers before erroneous reports of their involvement in our case. Likewise, neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel supports or condones any form of armed resistance, violence, or force.” Davis’ lawyers have reportedly turned down Oath Keepers’ offer of protection, so that’s a grand total of one thing they’ve done right.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Oath Keepers will listen.  They continued “protecting” military recruitment centers after being asked to stop, so while I doubt they will show up, they are still an armed, insane wildcard to add to this mix.

So what will happen?  We won’t have to wait that long to find out, as the office opens in 20 minutes as I write this sentence.  My prediction?  Kim Davis is going to fire every deputy clerk except her son, who stood by her the whole time, and once again stop issuing marriage licenses.  This will lead to a court date tomorrow, resulting in her ass returning to jail.  While Kim settles down to a dinner of fine jailhouse cuisine, her “lawyers” will be partying like it is 1999, still unable to believe they actually found a rube like Kim Davis who is willing to do jail time for their fund raising campaign.  Of course, thanks to the new reality of crowd sourced bigot jackpots, no one should actually feel bad for Kim Davis and the way she is being used, because she will make out on this deal in the end.  No, the true losers in this case are the Christians living in places where they are actually persecuted, as all this time and energy which could be used to make their reality a bit better is instead wasted defending a person who had to show up and beg to be persecuted.  And Rowen Country tax payers, who will have a nice bill at the end of the day from lawsuits, especially if Kim Davis fires her deputy clerks.  Hell, just any Rowen County resident for that matter, since they now have to drive to a neighboring county for a marriage license because their elected clerk doesn’t feel like doing her job.  Also on the loser list, intelligent members of the GOP, who have to watch their presidential candidates support this idiot.  And participants in any Mike Huckabee related drinking game, who have all died from alcohol poisoning.

And perhaps most of all, the poor hungry lions, who no matter what happens, will never get to eat Kim Davis.

T-minus 4 minutes.

Live-blogging the persecution, 2015!

Excuse Me, Mr. Huckabee? Your Kim Davis Martyr Boner is Visible. Think of the Children.

Okay, there is beating a dead horse and then there is the rapid fire, blister-raising, skin-chafing deceased equine torture that only takes place when Mike Huckabee sees something that would let him use the words “martyr” and “persecution” in a sentence near the word “Christian.”  While it is perhaps the easiest thing in the world today to find a person to compare Kentucky law-breaker-for-Jebus Kim Davis to (Seriously.  Think of anyone you know who sucks at their job.  Got someone in mind?  There’s your comparison for Kim Davis.  You’re welcome.), to say Huckabee is reaching a bit with his latest comparison is kinda like saying that Huckabee mentions his faith every now and then.  Really Mike? Abe fucking Lincoln?

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Huckabee said that’s just like Abraham Lincoln, who was not in favor of the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision which held that African Americans were not full citizens.

“Look, you would have hated Lincoln, because he disregarded the Dred Scott 1857 decision that said black people aren’t fully human,” Huckabee said when host Joe Scarborough questioned him about his support of Davis. “[Lincoln] disregarded [Dred Scott] because he knew it was not operative, that it was not logical.”

No, Mike.  No.  Although it is an easy mistake.  Here, I will help you out.  Abe Lincoln was President of the United States, that position you want but will never ever have.  Sorry.  Before he had the job you will never have, the Supreme Court got really high on some nasty drugs and issued the Dred Scott ruling.   Lincoln was not in favor of what may be the worst Supreme Court ruling in the history of our nation. a ruling that pointed at all the stuff in the Constitution that talked about “all men” and “created equal” and such and so on, then said “oh but not for darky, oh snap!”  At which point the Justices in the majority probably high fived, made a few racist jokes, smacked their secretary on the ass, then ran out the door and jumped in the windows of the General Lee, which they drove out to the farm where they kept the slaves they used for sex.  (Or something like that. ; )  This was in a time of upheaval and change that led to The War to Keep Black People as Property.  (Hey, if southern revisionists can give it names like “The War of Northern Aggression,” then I can name it as I see it as well.)  Now this is important, so pay attention.  While Lincoln disagreed with Dred Scott and spoke against it, he never refused to issue any marriage licenses because of his personal talks with J.C.

Kim Davis, on the other hand, is an elected official who really needs to do her fucking job.  A job that she apparently does not understand.  She is not required to morally approve of the relationship between the people applying for marriage licenses, she is just required to verify the people meet the legal standards to get married.  Thanks to the Supreme Court people can get married now to people who have the same no-no spots, so peens and peens and hoohas with hoohas.  Her job is “paperwork is good?  Check.  Issue license.”  Other than her son, all the deputy clerks in her office are totally down with the law and their job and are all like “Judge type person, we want to do our jobs but crazy Christian lady scares us and will probably fire us, and we like having jobs, so help!?!” Unfortunately, Kim Davis believes that every time she issues a marriage license she is saying, loud and proud, that Jesus H. Christ, acting through his oh so humble vessel Kim Davis, morally approves of this love match between no no spots that are not the same.

Now some of you may be reading along thinking (out-loud cause thinking be hard when done at the same time as reading) well good for Kim, after all, “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!”  If you are thinking that please send me a message and permission to use your real name and likeness.  But your homophobia aside, this is one of those slopes that are like slip and slides, you know, like the homophobes insisted that gay marriage would unleash an unstoppable torrent of increasingly absurd marriages (man marries dog, man marries baby, man marries frog, man marries toaster oven, man marries Fleshlight, man marries right hand, man marries ham sandwich, asks for annulment upon eating said sandwich, man marries both his left and right hands, society has crumbled, cats and dogs living together, seas of blood, checkmate, atheist!  I mean checkmate pro-equality fascist!) except this slope is actually slick and all sorts of things are ready to start slipping on down.  (And no, no gay man is  going to slip anything into any scared straight guys because of the Supreme Court.  Unless the scared straight guy wants something slipped inside, in which case two consenting adults yadayada)   What do I mean?  Well, if this homobigot in Kentucky can refuse to give teh ghays a marriage license cause Jesus, then what exactly is stopping the Clerk in Alabama to stop issuing interracial marriage licenses cause of his Jesus?  Then Clerks all over the nation go crazy, with different marriage requirements in every county, let alone every state.


 

“Hi, we’d like to get a marriage license.”

“Sorry son, but it is against my religious convictions to issue a license to anyone under 33.  If Jesus thought you should get married young, he would have been married before he died.  Now you can’t go to the next county over either, cause Jed believes with all his Jesus loving heart that blonds and brunettes are not allowed to get married to each other.  It is crazy, he makes people prove their natural hair color.  The county down south is pretty much out as well,  I’m afraid, as Clerk Robertl Silma seemingly issues licenses at random.  See he took a vow of silence last year and he never did learn to write, so no one has been able to figure out why he refuses each couple.   Now if your star signs are compatible, Clerk Grisn in Chekard county will issue you a licens….what’s that?  She’s a Scorpio?  Well, that options out the window.  You can’t go to North county cause you’re a lefty, can’t go to Brower county cause she is jewish and you’re Christian, can’t go to Lux county unless you speak in tongues, you can’t speak in tongues can you?  Thought not, let’s see….”

-4 hours later-

“Alright, if you go to Tuscaluna county

“Um, that’s a 5 hour drive….”

“Are you going to keep interrupting me?  As I was saying, if you go to Tuscaluna county and drive towards the state park, you will find a cabin right outside the park.  In the cabin lives a woman who will give you a token that proves your true love.  Once you have the token, then drive out of state, to Misango county.  While the Clerk is only on duty one Tuesday a month, since the county has a population of 272, and he is so conservative that he refuses marriage licenses to women who wear pants, but he does believe in true love and will issue no question asked licenses to anyone who brings the woman’s token.”

“You’re sending me on a fucking quest to get a marriage license?


So yeah.  Kim Davis does not equal Abe Lincoln.  Kim Davis is also not a martyr, unless being locked in jail until you ask to be let out is actually a path to martyrdom.  Which, while personally not a believer in martyrdom, I still get the feeling the actual people who got horribly tortured to death for their faith would tell Kim Davis to eat a bag of dicks.

Right after telling her to do her damn job.

Though on the bright side, at least her office has started to do its damn job.

 

 

Really Rachel? Really?

I have to admit, I was so caught up shopping for a gay wedding present for the totes-legal-now-that-the-Supremes-said-that-everyone-needed-to-stop-kung-fu-fighting-long-enough-to-get-gay-married-everybody-even-puppies-goats-llamas-cable-news-shows-websites-and-straight-men-except-not-Jared-from-Subway-cause-seriously-fuck-that-guy impending nuptials joining The Wonkette and The Rachel Maddow Show in the bonds of holy matrimony, wondering what happens on the honeymoon for a website/cable news show marriage, who would get pregnant, and if they would give birth to little podcasts and oh my god this sentence ran on so long I got lost.

Okay, so I was busy doing that thing mentioned in the above sentence so I almost missed this little comment from Rachel Maddow on her show last night, and that would have been a shame because I so disagree with her for once.

There`s no reason to think that Jeb Bush is a terrible person.

I understand, Rachel.  You are always trying to get Republicans to come on your show, and those that do are always treated fairly.  Perhaps in the not too distant future (na na na), when elected Republicans can once again govern like adults without fear of being primaried for the sin of compromise, more members of the GOP will realize appearing on your show is not like a progressive on The O’Reilly Factor.  Of course, for that possibility to, well, be possible, you can’t exactly go around calling Republican candidates for President “terrible people,” now can you?

But I can.  Especially when the Republican in question actually is a terrible person.  In fact, one of the most pressing questions I hope to answer in my 17 part on-going series, Getting to Know the Trip, is if there is a non-terrible person in the field.  (Preliminary answer?  No.  They’re all pretty terrible.)  Things need to change if we have any hope of reclaiming our democracy and building it back up to something other than a world wide joke.  One thing that really needs to change is that the press needs to live up to the responsibility the Founding Fathers gave it by enshrining Freedom of the Press in the Bill of Rights.  The only bias a news anchor/reporter should have is an overwhelming bias towards reality. Stop covering politics like sports and stop being afraid of offending people if a political party takes a stance in opposition to objective fact.

While I am going to save most points for when I get to Jeb in my Goat Countdown, hearing Rachel last night compelled me to let you all know a few reasons why yes, Jeb Bush is a terrible person.  And we’ll start off with the two words that should immediately disqualify him from the Presidency:

Terry Schiavo

Raise your hand if you remember this ghoul trying to score political points by reinserting the feeding tube into a women in a persistent vegetative state, forcing her to “live,” against the wishes of her husband (and guardian) and, if you believe her husbands word, and I have no reason not to, against her own wishes as well.  Die with dignity? Not with Jeb on duty:

She had left no will. No written instructions. She was 26. To try to determine what she would have wanted, there was a trial, in the Pinellas County courtroom of circuit judge George Greer, in which Michael Schiavo relayed what she had told him in passing about what her wishes would be in this sort of scenario. Others did, too. She also had next to no chance of recovery, according to doctors’ testimony. Greer cited “overwhelming credible evidence” that Terri Schiavo was “totally unresponsive” with “severe structural brain damage” and that “to a large extent her brain has been replaced by spinal fluid.” His judgment was that she would not have wanted to live in her “persistent vegetative state” and that Michael Schiavo, her husband and her legal guardian, was allowed to remove her feeding tube.

But that was before the Jeb signal went up!

So on October 15, 2003, Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube came out. Judge’s orders. She would die within two weeks. This stage of the case looks in retrospect like the start of a test. Just how much power did Jeb Bush have?

HB 35E was filed after 8 at night on October 20. Many lawmakers already were gone for the day. Gelber, the state representative from Miami, put his suit back on at his apartment in Tallahassee and hustled back to the Capitol. Fellow Democrats gathered around as the attorney and former prosecutor began to read the bill one of Bush’s staff attorneys had helped to write.“Authority for the Governor to Issue a One-time Stay …”

Gelber looked up.

“I don’t have to read anymore,” he said. “It’s clearly unconstitutional.”

“The governor can’t just change an order of the court,” Gelber explained this month. “It’s one of the most elemental concepts of democracy: The governor is not a king.”

But the governor is Jeb!  He’s better than a king.  Letters poured into his office, each attempting to suck his dick a little bit better than the previous one.  Oh, it must have been good to be Jeb in those heady days.  Unfortunately, those pesky courts, you know, the ones who had earlier ruled in favor of Terri’s right to die with dignity?  Yeah, those ones.  Well, they were about to meddle around and ruin poor Jeb’s good day.

Back in Florida, though, the courts were focused not so much on what was “morally obligatory” but more on what was legally mandatory.

A circuit judge ruled Bush’s “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional.

Well, that’s only a circuit court.  Wait til it gets to the Florida Supreme Court.  They’ll see it Jeb’s way, I just know it.

The seven state supreme court judges took less than a month to dismiss unanimously “Terri’s Law.”

Oh.  Well, that was embarrassing.  Unanimous?  Damn.  The only thing worse would be if the Chief Justice released a written smackdown that Foster could mark up with bolding and italics on his blog, in this article.

“If the Legislature with the assent of the Governor can do what was attempted here,” chief justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her ruling, “the judicial branch would be subordinated to the final directive of the other branches. Also subordinated would be the rights of individuals, including the well-established privacy right to self-determination. No court judgment could ever be considered truly final and no constitutional right truly secure, because the precedent of this case would hold to the contrary. Vested rights could be stripped away based on popular clamor. The essential core of what the Founding Fathers sought to change from their experience with English rule would be lost …

But that was like, forever ago.  Surely Jeb has learned from his attempt to destroy the system of checks and balances to score cheap pro-life points.  No matter how many letters from supporters he received over the matter, he had to hear the overwhelming outcry in opposition to his privacy and self-determination shredding power grab.  Right?

No, not really.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he had no regrets about fighting to keep Terri Schiavo alive, addressing the mid-2000s controversy on his second trip to New Hampshire this year.

“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he told New Hampshire business leaders at St. Anselm College’s Politics and Eggs breakfast in response to a question about whether he would have handled things differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Speaking of the past, it turns out that Jeb longs for the good old days, back when adulterous women were forced to wear large letter “A’s.”

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red “A” for “adulterer” on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. “Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

Who’s a cute little misogynist?  Come on, Jeb, make that “grrr” noise.  It will go great with this quote from Alternet:

After all, we’re talking about a man who once put the life of a disabled woman who’d been raped at risk by intervening legally to force her to carry her child to term — a move a Florida court later found illegal.

We’re talking about a man who, as governor, signed a controversial abortion ban into law — and praised a similar measure passed by the House on Wednesday as “humane and compassionate.”

We’re talking about a man who likes to defend his anti-choice record by saying “the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected” — even though he’s shown he’s not above playing politics with a child’s body, once going so far as governor as appealing the decision of a court that ruled a 13-year-old girl could have an abortion when her pregnancy posed an extreme risk to her health.

We’re talking about someone who likes to talk a big game about how taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund abortions — even though he slipped millions in taxpayer dollars to Florida “crisis pregnancy centers” notorious for lying to and misleading women about their reproductive health choices. (This, in a state where 73 percent of counties have no abortion providers and crisis centers may be the only places women have to turn for the medical care they desperately need.)

And let’s not forget that Jeb once held $1 million in family planning grants hostage until the programs receiving the money agreed not to discuss birth control at all.

And since I want to save most of the ammo for my 6k or so word introduction of Jeb that is still probably a couple months away, I will leave you with this recent little gaffe.  Wasn’t Jeb supposedly the establishment candidate who wouldn’t make stupid gaffes?  From Correct the Record, though you can find it just about anywhere:

 Jeb Bush: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

I know you were trying to be nice, Ms. Maddow, but he is a terrible person.

Now I’m going to do a knife hit to get the taste of yet another bush out of my mouth.  Have a good weekend, I’ll try to get a few posts up during the weekend.

For those interested, here is the order for the next few parts of Getting to Know the Trip

  1. Bobby Jindal
  2. Lindsey Graham
  3. Rick Perry
  4. Jim Gilmore
  5. George Pataki

I will try to have Gov. Jindal up on Monday, although his is going to be so much fun that it may take til Wednesday.  I mean, this is a Governor who has pissed off just about every single voter in his state in his hopeless attempt to win the presidential nomination.  A legitimate answer to the question “What is wrong with the United State’s method of electing a President?” would be simply pointing at Jindal.  He is a guy who got himself elected Governor of a state solely as a stepping stone to higher office, and every single decision he makes as Governor is informed by his higher goal.  Yes, it will be fun.

After I finish out the under 2% gang I’ll make a schedule for the other candidates.  I’m thinking of going by national poll numbers, which is meaningless, but hell, Fox News thinks they mean something, so why not?  We’ll see.

If you have a few minutes, I urge you to read the whole piece on Jeb and the Terri Schiavo over at Politico, titled “Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’.”  It’s worth checking out, if only to remind you of the situation.

 

 

 

 

In Soviet Russia, Jesus Crucifies You!

I freely admit that was horrible.  Feel free to virtually smack me upside the head.  On to the cause of that horrible joke.

Poor America.  First we lost God’s protection because of “the pagans, the abortions, the feminists and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way.” (Remember that blast from the past?)  Then the US military occupied the southwestern United States, confiscating all firearms and locking up all conservatives in closed Wal-Mart locations, and the Kenyan Usurper called an end to all elections, declared martial law, and named himself “President for life.”  Wait.  Shit.  Those last two didn’t happen yet.  Damn, Jade Helm is just starting.  Ignore everything I just said.  Haha.  It was a joke.

Now I am sad to report that the latest Godslap has been delivered to our nation, as our status as God’s Favorite Nation has been taken away, at least according to person-with-direct-line-to-the-will-of-God, Sam Rohrer. From RightWingWatch:

Sam Rohrer of the American Pastors Network once again appeared on The Dove TV yesterday to warn that the United States has forfeited its role as the leading moral voice in the world because of the Obama administration’s record of speaking out against draconian anti-gay laws in other nations, declaring that Vladimir Putin and Russia are now the “moral leader of the world.”

As an aside, has the sentence “Vladimir Putin <is> now the ‘moral leader of the world'” ever been spoken or written unironically before by anyone other than Vladimir Putin and people under the direct influence of Putin?  How far into single issue wonderland do you have to be to make that statement?  This far:

“The moral position leadership of our country has been forfeited,” the former Pennsylvania Republican legislator said. “Our administration is trying to tie together foreign aid into countries in Africa that have actually passed laws against homosexuality and in favor of traditional marriage. They’re trying to use and force these countries to actually embrace same-sex marriage. Our country, this nation is probably doing more to advance the face of same-sex marriage than anything else.”

Of course he was a former Pennsylvanian legislator.  Ahh, beautiful Pennsyltucky.  Remember, we also gave the world Rick “What is that all over the sheets?” Santorum.

“I look over to Russia, Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church has now lifted themselves up as the moral leader of the world,” Rohrer continued. “Believe it or not, Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church [are] the protectors of moral truth. The west and the United States have become the leaders of moral depravity.”

“To now see that we have become, not a shining city on a hill, but a purveyor of evil” is an incredible thing, Rohrer said.

OMG, OMG!!!  I finally get to use the line people in south central Pennsylvania used to say to be all the time, all through high school, college, working, hell….they still say it to me for that matter.  Let me get ready.

Ahem.

*in my best Appalachian drawl*

“Listen up here son, this here is Ameereka, the best damn country that God ever done founded, so if yinz Christians don love it here, then you can get the hell out and don let the door hit yinz on the ass.”

*in my best bigoted preacher voice*

“Let me tell you something, there are planes leaving every hour, on the hour, to all the other nations.  Get on one, we don’t want you, and we don’t need you!”

*in my best condescending teacher’s voice**made all the better cause it is an actual quote a teacher once said to me*

“You should consider moving to Russia.  I’m sure you could find a job writing propaganda for the state-run newspaper in no time at all.”

Ah, that felt really good.

Anyone else get the feeling ole Sam Rohrer gets that tingly feeling in his pants when he sees Putin on the teevee?  Just saying that his favorite fantasy may be the one where a shirtless Putin, fresh from wrasslin’ a bear, shows up to rescue Sam from the evil gay marrying United States, taking him back to Russia in a submarine, all alone, just the two of them, the whole way to Russia, with no one to see or judge them.  What happens under the ocean stays under the ocean, if you get my drift.

Okay, now someone needs to write Sam Rohrer/Vlad Putin slash fiction.  Get on it, internet!

So Wait… All That Stuff With Mr. T Was Just an Act? Next You’ll Tell Me the Matches are Scripted..

Stay in school kids!  Say your prayers, eat your vitamins, and someday you may have 24 inch pythons as well.

Yeah, its not a direct quote, but it may as well be and it is still seared in my memory evermore.  I am not ashamed to say that I grew up with professional wrestling.  While I was much more interested in NWA (later WCW) wrestling on TBS every Saturday and Sunday night as a kid, I watched the WWF (now WWE) as well (back in those days with no internet and only the new born cable television industry, we watched whatever was on.)  I had the toy ring, which I used so much it was duct taped together, had countless figures, scavenged a Nerf Ping Pong set to build a steel cage, read all the Apter mags (wrestling magazines that treated wrestling as an actual sport, never breaking kayfabe), and even owned a wrestling game that was almost my first pen and paper role playing game.  (Yeah, it be a stretch to actually call it a role playing game, but you got invented wrestler character sheets and played out matches with dice rolls, so it was on the spectrum.)  I abandoned pro wrestling as I moved into my teens, which was probably for the best since wrestling, a business that runs on boom/bust cycles, was definitely on the downside after the huge boom in the 80’s.  I returned to the business with the rise of ECW and the national popularity of the Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWF, with groups from the restaurant I worked at attending every local event and throwing rotating monthly PPV parties for the whole staff.  I had several pieces published at 1wrestlingdotcom, at the time the premier site for “smart” wrestling fans, including one, if I remember correctly (1wrestling went through a lot of changes over the years, which included the apparent destruction of the archives.  I still go looking for those pieces every now and then, because other than a poem for a contest that I believe actually publishes everyone’s poems, they were my first published writings.), dealing with Hulk Hogan and why wrestling needed him to retire immediately.  I even toyed with the idea of trying to become a referee, sending out feelers to several wrestling schools and doing some basic training learning to take bumps.  (Yet another dream I shot into my arm instead of fulfilling.)  To be honest, I would probably still be watching and writing about wrestling, and working to remove its more nationalistic and misogynistic tropes if not for Chris Benoit.  I met him, I met his wife, I spent a good 45 minutes talking to him.  He was my favorite, a wrestler who got famous because of his ability to work a match in the ring, not because he could talk a good game.  Then he killed his wife, his son, and himself.  His brain, which was examined post-mortem by experts in the field, was pretty much swiss cheese from all the concussions.  I couldn’t bring myself to watch after that.  Its bad enough watching American football knowing the risk the athletes are putting themselves in, but the whole point of pro wrestling, in theory,  is making it look real while not actually hurting yourself and your opponent, yet I know it was fans like me, who loved the violence of ECW, who praised wrestlers who worked “stiff,” who exploded over the most dangerously insane moves possible (ever see Mick Foley’s unplanned fall through the top of a Hell in a Cell cage? Or Mick taking 11 steel chair shots to the head with his hands handcuffed behind his back? ) who drove the performers to actually almost kill themselves in the ring night after night.  I can still watch some of the really old 80’s classic matches, but from the mid 90’s on, every time I see someones head hit the mat hard I shudder. That’s wood under the canvas, by the way.  Its not a trampoline.

I think I may have just set a record for my longest tangent introducing a story.  What was I writing about?  “Say your prayers, take your vitamins…” Hulk Hogan!

Yes, well, thanks to the previously released Hulk Hogan sex tape, we found out that all those rumors about the effects of steroids are actually true, and that The Hulkster looked like a pretty awful lay.  Now, thanks to the apparently released audio of the tape, it appears that the proud owner of two 24 inch pythons (which, according to rumors, never surpassed 22 inches.  What is it with us men and exaggerating inch counts? “No, it really is 10 inches!  You just have to stretch it out and measure from the back of my thigh.” or “You say you have 9 inches?  Wait, flip the ruler around and what does it say? 3.5? As I thought. No, no reason why.” <The Scathing Atheist would be so proud, I just made a metric to US Standard dick joke.>) has an unhealthy affection for a certain word that begins with the letter “n.”  (And surprisingly for a pro wrestler, that word is not “narcotics.”)  First off, we had Complex reporting that WWE had mysteriously seemed to cut all ties and scrub most mentions of Hogan from their website.

Late last night, the WWE reportedly distanced itself from one of the biggest stars in the history of the company when it wiped any mention of Hulk Hogan from its website. Hogan’s Hall of Fame page and all of his Hulk-related merchandise appear to have been removed from the site:

Then the other shoe dropped the smackdown all over Hogan’s future career, as Complex once again reported.

The National Enquirer just published an explosive report in conjunction with Radar Online claiming that Hogan was caught using the N-word on numerous occasions during a conversation with Heather Clem, the wife of Hogan’s former friend Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem and the woman that Hogan was caught having sex with in a video that was posted on Gawker back in 2012. The sex tape is part of a $100 million lawsuit at the moment, and transcripts from it have been filed in a court in Florida.

The National Enquirer and Radar Online obtained a handful of quotes from the transcripts and verified them with multiple sources. They reportedly feature Hogan discussing his daughter Brooke Hogan and her music career.

Well, it probably isn’t that bad, right?  I mean, remember Wrestlemania?  Where he teamed up with Mr. T to defend God, the American Flag, Steroids, and everything good about America? It can’t be that bad.  All he wanted was for us to say our prayers and take our vitamins.

Umm.  For those of you who really don’t like seeing racist language, this is an official trigger warning.

Trigger Warning for Offensive Language!  <————— SEE!

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Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

“I don’t know if Brooke was fucking the black guy’s son,” Hogan reportedly said. “I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, fucking niggers. But then, when it comes to nice people and shit, and whatever.”

Later, Hogan allegedly continued by telling Clem that he would prefer for Brooke to be involved with a rich athlete.

“I mean, I’d rather if she was going to fuck some nigger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall nigger worth a hundred million dollars!” he reportedly said. “Like a basketball player! I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking nigger.”

What are you going to do, Hogan, when words you once said come back to run all over you… and your future career?

At least all the money he’s going to win from Gawker will keep him stocked in tissues to wipe up all his tears.

And just wondering, do any of my readers have a problem when I write a 700 word introduction to a story like I did in this post?  I mean, I can’t promise I will change, but for those of you (we both know who you are) who are regular visitors here, if it is an issue I will definitely attempt to keep the tangents to a minimum.