Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"...Be Afraid, Very Afraid"

Young Colorado man hits girlfriend
with skateboard, bites, and attempts
to strangle her for not buying beer.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that read, “NOBoma, Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.” This was on one of those dual wheeled pickups that travel 99% empty at all times except when there is a dog in the back. I don’t recall if this particular truck had the gun racks or not but it easily could have. It was the kind of rig you would think was owned by someone who would never be afraid of anything. I was rather tempted to ask the driver what it was we were supposed to be very afraid of, but I didn’t want to risk getting shot. This message seems to be related to the slogan, “Take Our Country Back,” and others of a similar ilk. I guess I am pretty dumb, or not up-to-date, or at least out of the loop, because I simply do not understand what the hell these people are so upset and fearful about. Just what is it we are to be very afraid of? The stock market and the banks are making money hand over fist, the recovery seems to be moving along, however slowly, Obama has made no attempt to take away our guns, the Insurance companies continue to make money, Republicans now control the House of Representatives, things, in general, don’t seem to be too bad. I guess if I tuned in to talk radio or watched Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity, perhaps I would understand this fear. I know that Beck, for example, has said that China is going to take over Asia, South Africa, and New Zealand. Is that what we should fear? Russia may take over Holland, too, according to Beck (I only know this because I just saw it on Rachel Maddow). Anyway, if anyone knows who has taken our country away so that we need to take it back, or if they know what it is we should be very afraid of (other than government, socialism, communism, fascism, Muslimism, taxes, unions, decent wages, education, gun control, evolution, immigration, health, the fact that global warming might be true, Iran, and the black helicopters coming for our lawn chairs), I would appreciate it if you would clue me in.

In the meantime, Republicans continue their frantic quest to create the best of all possible worlds for us. We know they want to repeal health care (who needs it?). Several States have nullification lawsuits going and the House itself has already voted to repeal it. I guess health care must be one of those things we should also be very afraid of? And of course they want to get rid of Roe vs Wade in the worst way. Are we to fear they may fail? There are also bills making same-sex marriages illegal. They have other things in mind as well. Governors in Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada and New Jersey, for example, want to do away with tenure in our educational system, because they want to get rid of “bad” teachers. I do not understand what tenure necessarily has to do with this. By their own admission tenure was created to insure that teachers could not be fired because of race, sex, or politics. That is, it was never meant to enshrine bad teachers in permanent jobs. If that has happened in places it is because the people in charge didn’t employ the system as it was meant to be. It can’t be too difficult for a school board or others to decide if a teacher is being fired for incompetence as opposed to political views or because of race. Anyway, still on the educational platform, New Hampshire wants the schools to drop art, language, health, and technology from the curriculums. I mean, why not, what good are things like art and language? I guess we should fear they might also teach evolution, so there is a bill making it mandatory for teachers to challenge that bizarre concept. In South Dakota there is a bill making it mandatory for any person 21 years of age to buy a suitable gun for personal protection. Those behind this acknowledge it will never pass but claim it is merely a challenge to mandatory purchase of health care. I think they’d be delighted if they could get it passed, but it is a particularly dumb idea in any case. They might as well make it mandatory for people to buy bunk beds or Budweiser beer. There is no reason for anyone to have to buy such products, but there are valid and important reasons to mandate health care (if everyone has to buy it, it’s cheaper, it doesn’t allow those who don’t buy it to make those that do pay for their emergency services, and it reduces illness in the population at large. This is particularly important I should think in school, where if one child gets something it quickly spreads to others. Good health for all is far more important than good health for only some). In Arizona they are trying to make it necessary for anyone who wants to run for President to show evidence they are really citizens. This has not been a problem since the beginning of our Republic but, I guess, when a Black man became President that was just too much. Anyway, this is both dumb and unnecessary. I think a couple of states besides Oklahoma are banning Shari’a law (that does not even exist). As I mentioned previously, and as you doubtless know by now, Utah wants to establish an official State gun, a Browning semi-automatic pistol. Just think of it, a State gun, wow! Some Republican in Georgia wants to abolish driver’s licenses. He previously wanted to pass a bill making it mandatory for people there to pay their taxes in either gold or silver (I’m not sure about diamonds or rubies). Finally, for the moment at least, In Maine they want to make it legal for one-armed people to use switch-blade knives. Don’t laugh, there is something to be said for this, unlike most of the above. But why, I wonder, were switchblades made illegal in the first place? It seems to me to make a difference that doesn’t really make a difference. Knives are knives and it only takes one hand to use one.

I should point out that all of the above is the apparently serious work of our current Republicans. I did not set out to merely find Republican as opposed to Democratic nonsense, but I didn’t find any such bills sponsored by Democrats. I am pleased to learn that Republicans are always on the lookout for really important legislation and are keeping their eyes firmly on the economy and job creation, and also, of course, keeping us free of fear.

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.
Mark Twain

A single female oyster can produce up to one million eggs annually.

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