If Men Could Get Pregnant

I’m torn between taunting “nanny, nanny, boo-boo” or shrinking into an overwhelming sadness. The “nanny, nanny, boo-boo” is for any woman that has given aid to, comforted, or voted for, a Republican candidate for the last sixty years. From Nixon forward I’ve told anyone that was listening, this is where the Republican party is going. The inner philosophy of the Supreme Court has revealed what many of us have seen coming for decades. “Future Back to the Past” is coming to fruition. Get ready for barefoot and pregnant girls. We’re headed back to the fifties. Not the 1950’s, the 1850’s.

I hold particular disdain for female congress people like Susan Collins who held the allegiance to her party closer than her sense of self. True, when Collins gave Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett the green light to proceed she was well past child bearing age. No skin off of her nose, right? In truth, Collins probably never had to worry one moment about childbearing altering her career path. The fact that the same was not true for 99.99 percent of all other women did not resonate with Collins. But that’s how it is with Republicans, male and female alike. They’ve been altered genetically. Their empathy gene has been removed. How can people presume to represent others when they can’t identify with their constituent’s life situations?

Imagine if you will, that men could get pregnant. Star quarterback, Ben Dover has just been drafted number one in the NFL draft. Six weeks after his draft celebration party, Ben finds himself in a family way. What to do, what to do? Put off child bearing until he’s completed his career or prepare himself for his body and his pocketbook to take a big hit? Everybody knows the answer to this one, we learned about it in Catechism. Ben would take the hit for the Republican party, have the baby and turn it over to a Catholic orphanage to raise. I forgot to mention in the setup that Ben is a Catholic Republican just like five of the Supreme Court Justices.

We all know that if men could get pregnant and the number one draft pick turned up pregnant, a host of “fixers” would see to it that Ben would not lose one minute of his career, or bear any stigma for his decision. Heck, they’d probably provide a signing bonus along with grief counseling for as long as Ben needed to get over his mixed feelings. If he had any. Therein lies the contradiction and the hypocrisy.

George Carlin used to say that Republicans are not Pro Life, they’re Pro Birth. If you think about all of the social improvement bills, education, health care, etc., that have been shot down in Congress by the Republicans it’s easy to conclude that the actual life of the fetus after birth is not a concern for the Republicans. They just want to grab the knee-jerk visceral reaction from their voters over abortion and use it to further their headlong plunge back to the Victorian age. Do as I say, not do as I do.

From a strictly anthropological point of view, if we wanted to curtail unwanted pregnancies we would eliminate the seed sower not the fertile ground. Pregnant females are out of commission for at least nine months while the male could impregnate 5-6 women a day. That’s 1800+ potential births from adopting the wrongheaded assumption that the female bears all of the responsibility for the pregnancy.

The protesters carrying signs “Vasectomies not Abortions” have got a valid point. If our bodies truly belong to the state and none of us has any say with what can and can not be done to us, let’s give all males a vasectomy when they register for the draft. Eighteen might be too late in certain circumstances, but the significance of signing up to go to war at the same time relinquishing your ability to father indiscriminately might just be the wake up call this country needs.

Nip it in the bud I say, or get real about a woman’s right to choose.

Fantasyland

Once upon a time there was a book entitled, “The Mouse That Roared”. The book was adapted to a hilarious movie starring Peter Sellers. The premise is that a small country has its livelihood destroyed by an American company. The little country sees no other way out but to declare war on the U.S. hoping that the U.S. will rebuild its economy like we did for Germany and Japan after WWII. I won’t spoil the plot any further but to say that “The Mouse” was far more successful than its leaders ever dreamed. It is a riotous case study for the law of unintended consequences.

A little closer to home we find another war being waged by a kingdom represented by a mouse. Vying the Donald for the most regressive low life pond scum elected official, Florida governor Ron DeSantis is working furiously to prove to the Republican party that it is he that is better equipped to bring America back to horse and buggy days. The Donald makes a racist, misogynistic, homophobic statement and DeSantis says, “Here, hold my beer.” Honest!

DeSantis just banned fifty-four math text books for the publisher’s attempt at “indoctrinating” children. Apparently one of the book burners read about the transitive property and decided that Florida’s school children would have none of that. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Sadly, ignorance is self-perpetuating as well as its own reward.

In an attempt to protect the children of Florida from being exposed to any discussion about sexuality, DeSatan has signed into law Florida House Bill 1557. The bill, also now forever known as the “Don’t say gay bill”, attempts to keep any discussion out of the classroom about sexual orientation. If a teacher is asked, they can’t tell.

According to the Governor in a Faux News interview, “In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten.” Not content to let one stupid statement die on its own, the future of the Republican party opined, “First graders should not have woke gender ideology imposed in their curriculum, and that is what we are standing for.” That kind of deep analysis puts “if x=y and y=z , then x=z” to shame, doesn’t it?

Enter the mouse that roared. Disney World is known throughout the world as the most plain vanilla wholesome environment that can be imagined. There are princes and princesses and animals that talk and sing. In addition to being one of the largest employers in the state, they also bring in BILLIONS of dollars into the Florida economy. Say “Florida” to anyone in the U.S., particularly the ones under eighteen, and they will say “Disney World.”

As a rule, Disney avoids controversy and attempts to stay in the lane of “Mom and apple pie.” All well and good until their employees decided that HB1557 was nothing more than a hate bill and protested. Back and forth, back and forth and then Disney and all of their family (ABC, ESPN, A&E, Lifetime, The History Channel, and more) decided to support their LGBTQ employees.

Verbal salvos have been launched on both sides and the tiny country that is Disney World has declared war on ignorance and intolerance in Florida. Not to be upstaged, righteous Ron says, “Hold my beer.” In an act of retribution, DeSatan has lifted many of the special considerations given to Disney when they offered to take 25,000 acres of Florida swamp and palmetto palms and turn it into a wonderland.

At this point it is easy to say that Mickey Mouse is more responsive to the needs of his constituents than the Florida legislature. Of course, the Florida legislature and Governor are much more insulated from their customer base than Disney World. While workers at Disney are carrying signs and holding rallies to protect their basic rights, the Republican party in Florida are nudging each other in the ribs and saying, “Hold my beer.”

Makes you wonder which entity is actually living in Fantasyland doesn’t it?

The Russian Doll

I think the most interesting story I’ve read recently is how our former directors of the CIA are referring to the Donald as a “Russian Doll”. It seems that the former directors, both of whom worked for Republican presidents, think that the Donald’s desperate need for flattery made him susceptible to being turned by Putin. Putin, who the directors point out never left the KGB, would be adept at exploiting the vanity of a megalomaniac.

The phrase has come up again when describing the unmasking of the Donald’s various business entanglements by the Attorney General of New York. Comparing the insidious business affairs of a gangster like hierarchy to those cute little egg shaped caricatures that hide one inside the other is some high irony. When unpacking Russian dolls one expects to find a similar benign character like the outer shell at the inner layer. It seems that the deeper the A.G. in New York goes the more sinister the next level is. Imagine getting to the last doll and worrying if Beelzebub is waiting there for you. I wish her Godspeed and good luck.

The Donald is not the only Russian asset that’s been unmasked over the past few years. The stalwart bastion of truth and decency, former minority house leader Kevin McCarthy once called out two people for being on the Russian payroll. It was interesting that he didn’t call out the congressional contingent that went to Russia on America’s Independence day. I guess it was more important to line up campaign financing for their next run. Let’s not overlook the influence of the evangelicals attempting to bring religion to the Godless infidels at events sponsored by Russian oil companies. A little covert technical support could be hidden inside the next doll, if you please.

Some of the Russian influence is a bit more subtle. Take Mitch McConnell’s aluminum plant. If you remember the story there once was an aging, befuddled tortoise look alike running for re-election in Kentucky. The state was leaning more and more to the Democrat persuasion. Some of the population had grasped the idea that the website that gave them health care was actually a result of a Democrat president. Was the state ready to turn blue? Not if Moscow Mitch had anything to do with it.

Enter a Russian Oligarch promising to bring an aluminum plant to an impoverished part of Kentucky.(redundant) All Moscow Mitch had to do was to see that the sanctions imposed on Russia for assorted misdeeds could be lifted. Mitch did his part, but in a rare instance of Divine Intervention, he was replaced as speaker of the house. Surprising no one with half of a brain, the Russian money has backed out. The voters of Kentucky are still stuck with a hundred-year-old tortoise for Senator and no job producing aluminum plant.

Picking up the Russian standard, Kentucky’s other Senator, Rand Paul chose to spout support for Russia’s attempt to take Ukraine back to the stone age. In some sort of twisted empathy for bullies everywhere, the diminutive Senator rationalizes that since Russia once occupied Ukraine, they should be allowed to go back in and smash it to bits. Conceptualize the abusive husband kicked out of the house returning to kill its occupants and burn the house to the ground. In Rand Paul country, “them’s the rules.” You once owned it, you’re free to go back and smash it to bits if the notion strikes you. Holy Cow! What’s in the water in Kentucky? I guess now we’ve got watch to our flanks for a British invasion.

Fascinating stuff if the future of the world didn’t hang in the balance. I haven’t even started on the Russian TV stars on the Faux News. So many Russian dolls, so little time.

Alligators in the Subways

Alligators in the subways has been a folk tale, legend, irrational fear for almost a century in New York city. As scary as confronting a prehistoric animal that is mostly teeth and claws in an enclosed space is, there is something even scarier and more likely to occur to the average commuter. It occurred again recently.

On March 14, 2024 a man entered the New York subway armed with a knife and a shotgun. This is probably not a unique case, but one that had unique consequences. In a verbal disagreement with another passenger, the perpetrator pulled his weapon and attempted to threaten/harass/kill another passenger. The potential victim relieved the aggressor of his weapon and shot him four times. The assailant became the victim and is expected to survive. The victim/shooter is not being charged.

From the ABC story, “Terrified commuters who were on the train and the station platform ducked for cover during the shooting. No one else was injured, police said.” “There were multiple police officers in this station just feet away from when the train pulled in, who heard the shots and moved in right way,” NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper said.”

A man that had multiple run-ins with the law, who clearly has a mental health issue and by the accounts of his social media was primed to act out, was allowed to enter a public area. What compelling interest did he have that he needed a gun to resolve? Were the voices in his head yelling too loud?

Fighting tooth and nail against a Republican controlled congress that will broker no attempts to curb the avarice of American arms manufacturers, President Biden has attempted to do what he can to stem the proliferation of weapons in our society. Signing the ghost gun bill into law is one example. Hoping to do something to stem the tide of violence in our country, the President gathered enough support for putting an end to the industry that’s business model is to put untraceable weapons in the hands of those who would want to have an untraceable weapon. Let that marinate for a second.

The Universal background check hopes to put an end to all of the loopholes that gun purchasers are happily skipping through now. The House passed the bill last year and it is currently languishing in the Senate. A Gallup poll in 2018 proved that 92% of us want stronger gun laws. I will ask the question somewhat rhetorically because we all know why. “Why won’t the Senate Republicans vote for stronger control laws when their constituency clearly wants them to?”

If only every American parent had the ability to buy a Senator instead of a bulletproof backpack. Unfortunately buying a Senator takes big money and that factor alone allows the carnage to continue year after year after year. Guns are the leading cause of death for children under 19 in America. Every year 2100 children are killed and 1300 commit suicide by gun. How can these numbers be acceptable? How can our elected leaders continue to ignore the facts of our loose gun laws and not at least vote to keep guns out of the hands of the crazies?

Sadly, we all know that finding a Republican that would vote in favor of gun control legislation would be like finding an alligator in the subway. Possible, but…..

Congressional Sit In

Many of us of a certain age remember the time in our history that brave people from all walks of life took it upon themselves to make a change, even if their action posed a great peril to their well-being. The sit-ins of the 1960’s are an example of where otherwise powerless people took on the establishment hoping to effect a change in the status quo. The status quo at the time was that people of color were unable to sit at a public lunch counter and be served. Sixty years later we can marvel at how far we’ve come in some respects and be stupefied that we have so far to go.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a huge step in the right direction. It didn’t go far enough, but President Johnson and the members of Congress voting for the legislation should be commended for their effort. Unfortunately, racism still existed and there were plenty of congress critters that were willing to represent their constituency by enabling their hood-wearing voters to enact policies on the state level that disenfranchised people that didn’t see the world through their pure white prism.

The Dixiecrats were a group of right wing Democrats that eventually found that the Republican party was more to their liking. Sad to say that the people who so warmly embraced the progressive changes of FDR, who benefited the most from the Democrat party’s policies, decided to switch parties if black people were going to benefit from the same policies. “Cutting off your nose to spite your face comes to mind”, but that’s how racism works. It’s illogical, it’s un-American and definitely not Christian. It becomes crucial for the people who take an oath to “support and defend” the Constitution and all of it’s amendments to do their jobs.

Somebody in Congress has to do something besides throw their hands up in the air and say they’re powerless to make a change. These people are salaried at $174,000 a year, and for some reason they can’t seem to get something done as simple as a voting rights bill. A bill whose main feature is that it ensures all eligible voters the right to vote. Imagine going to your boss, in this case the American public, and telling your boss you can’t do your job. Your boss would probably say, “Well then I just can’t pay you the $174,000 a year”. Seems fair right? Cut off the pay until they start passing some legislation.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act was passed by the House in August of 2021. For some reason two “Democrat” Senators can’t seem to get behind allowing all eligible voters to vote. Looks like not all of the Dixiecrats left the party. Apparently the Dixiecrats left behind a couple of stragglers to gum up the works. Sadly there is not one Republican that is willing to cross party lines and do the right thing. Like lemmings they follow the lead of their intrepid czar, the Donald, who actually told the truth about voting once.

My goodness, we overturned prohibition, which was a law close to the hearts and minds of all of the right wing religious nuts of the day. Can’t we rally behind a basic American principle, that we all get a say in how we’re governed, and ensure the passage of the voting rights bills? Can we change the paradigm of “Some people don’t want some people to vote”?

While Congress is performing their own version of a sit-in with regard to action on voting rights we can only pray that some of them will be reminded of the struggle that took place to get us to where we are today.

If he was still with us, John Lewis could show them his scars.

Lyin’ Ted

On a morning when we’re already finding the list of “What’s Wrong With America” way too long, we get an update from Ted Cruz.

Seems the Cruz was feeling the blues for having to deal with doing ordinary things like ordinary people do. Lyin’ Ted has introduced an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill that would keep Ted and his fellow Congress critters special.

In an article in “View from the Wing:

Members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries, and federal judges who have received any threats (and they almost all receive threats at some point) are to receive an escort for their entire journey through commercial airports and won’t be required to go through normal screening – instead receiving private screening.

TSA has estimated the cost of letting politicians, their families, and two accompanying staff members opt out is public security and providing them VIP secure escort throughout their airport experience.”

The Donald gave Cruz the Lyin’ Ted moniker in the 2016 Republican debates and the Cruz has done absolutely nothing to distance himself from the label. Professional prevaricator pundits will long argue whether Lyin’ Ted was lying at the Republican convention, or lying on 01/07/2021. It seems to me that you can’t have it both ways. Does the pot call the kettle black?

In the Cruz’s own words: “I’m going to do something I haven’t done the entire campaign. I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology text book, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”

Doubling down, the Cruz added: “Donald Trump is a serial philanderer and he boasts about it. This is not a secret, he’s proud of being a serial philander. I want everyone to think about your teenage kids. The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery. How proud he is, describes his battle with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam. That’s a quote from the Howard Stern show. Do you want to spend the next five years with your kids bragging about infidelity?”

This quote becomes more interesting when we learn that the National Enquirer had accused the Cruz of having at least five different affairs while married to current wife Heidi.

Anyway, I am not aghast that the Cruz would feel like his staff members were supposed to handle every job he handed them, no matter how odious. I am aghast that there were five members of the female sex willing to allow his advances, six if you count his wife. Honestly, if you put the Cruz on one pedestal and Jabba the Hut on another pedestal, I could see women flocking to Jabba as their first choice.

There is something so slimy and smarmy about the Cruz that I can’t imagine that the more sensitive sex doesn’t pick up on it at first sight. I can only imagine that the five alleged trysts had a high dollar amount attached to them. I’m not putting the women down for charging, it’s the right thing to do. After all, I don’t expect the fellow that cleans septic tanks to do it for free, and the Cruz is less charming than a septic tank.

Where the story has a bit of a twist is that the head honcho at the Enquirer is supposed to be an old buddy of the Donald. Would the Donald have a friend print a salacious story about an opponent to gain an advantage? Of course. What’s weird is that after someone trys to damage you in the most horrible way possible, the Cruz is not only able to turn the other cheek but has been tripping over himself to give aid and comfort to the Donald ever since.

To be honest, I worry less about the Cruz’s frailties as a human than I do his belief that he is the anointed one from God. I knew he was a big Bible thumper, but when I heard his speech after the Iowa caucus stating that the polls weren’t going to determine who the next President was going to be, that God was, I started taking notice of his words more.

It’s one thing for the Donald to say every mean, hateful xenophobic thing he can to gin up his base, it’s another to think that God is talking directly to you. The fact that Cruz’s dad was out on the Evangelical circuit preaching that his son was the “anointed one” and that the righteous are poised to take back the wealth of the country to give to the priests is past scary to me. It is almost a call to revolution……

Which brings us to the revelation that the Cruz was up to his armpits in the 01/06 attempted coup. How a man can go from defending his wife’s ugliness to becoming a fawning sycophant is a serious deep dive into pathological behavior. I don’t have the tools to plumb those depths, but I can deep dive on the allegations that Biden started the Ukraine war. He didn’t .

Lyin’ Ted Cruz.

Uncle Clarence

Those of us of a certain age will remember the confirmation hearings of one Clarence Thomas back in 1991. Many of us of a liberal persuasion perceived the scrutiny to be so extreme as to be another example of subtle racism. Offseting the outrage of watching a black man having to be judged by a group of white guys was the scandalous testimony of some of the witnesses. It was absolutely must see TV.

The testimony of Anita Hill was as compelling as any soap opera. You didn’t dare change the channel or you would miss some other salacious fact about Thomas’ abusive treatment of women in the workplace. In addition to Anita Hill other women offered to testify in support of Ms. Hill but were not called. Republicans were hot to push through the candidate that would be the anti-Thurgood Marshall. Too much scrutiny would undoubtedly disqualify their candidate. Clarence Thomas has now worked diligently on the court for 32 years to repudiate the social justice of his predecessor and to reward the Republican party for their faith in him.

How did a poor boy from Georgia whose ancestors were slaves become a stalwart for the privileged? A cheeky answer might be that he looked around and saw who held the lash. It’s easy to be the Judas goat when you realize that you have been spared while the others that look like you suffer. I think Thomas’ pathology goes deeper.

Raised as a Catholic, attending Catholic schools until graduate school baked in a conservative mindset that was not tempered by family. Nuns and priests have a very narrow worldview and it was this environment that framed Thomas’ formative years. I’m sure he learned early as many of us did, if you don’t want to get whacked with a ruler, or worse, you get on the program. Get on the program he did.

Denying his roots, he once ruled that slavery didn’t create any loss of dignity. I guess we’ll just have to take his word for it and ignore the billions of words written to the contrary.

Giving opinions that seem to fly in the face of common sense has been Thomas’ trademark. Even his most conservative peers have referred to him as a nut. Perhaps it’s been this type of rebuke that has led to his moniker as the “silent justice“. Early in his tenure Thomas decided it was better “to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Though silent, Thomas never lost sight of who had allowed him the privilege of dispensing justice as they saw fit. Rulings like convicted domestic abusers should be able to own guns and that states can gerrymander districts to the detriment of his people are but two in a long list of Thomas opinions kowtowing to the man. His acceptance of the stay indicating that he would let Trump maintain control of all of his records in direct conflict with the Presidential Records Act is but another example of the man who identifies with his oppressor.

Of course, Thomas is not oppressed. He leads a very good life married to a very successful lobbyist. So successful that she dares to call on the ouster of Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinziger from Congress for their work on the 01/06 committee. Thomas’ wife is so inside that she was invited to a meeting that included the Oath Keepers.

Her interest in the coup has tainted Thomas in an untenable way. What happens if there is a case brought before the court that Thomas knows will lead to jail time for his wife? Can we count on him to recuse? I think we’ve got 30 years of examples to know he won’t do the correct thing. He may do the “right” thing, but it won’t be the moral thing.

A man that can deny his own benefit from the affirmative action that he received but wants to deny others, has no sense of self. Retirement for Uncle Clarence can’t come too soon.

Being Right

Christian teachings command that “we turn the other cheek” when struck. Rather than strike back with as much vigor as we can muster, we should forgive the injustice and move ahead. I pretty much adhere to that philosophy until I’m confronted with the reality that some people will just continue to strike you because they are “right” and you are “wrong”, “different” or “just don’t know the facts”.

A while back I posted a piece on the Kenosha shootings, and got quite a bit of negative feedback from my Facebook friends. I use the word “Friends” because that’s what Facebook calls them. I’ve never met them, never broken bread with them, never shared stories about my children or theirs, we are just people that have some shared link that Facebook thinks we can explore, or Facebook can exploit.

I liken the feedback from my Kenosha article as akin to stepping on a yellow jacket’s nest. Suddenly you’re being attacked by a swarm of drones that only know to lash out when they are confronted with something that threatens their world. In this case, their world is the belief that society at large is empowered to walk into crowds with military weapons and provoke others with their presence.

They argue that Kyle Rittenhouse had the “right” to be there. He had the “right” to be armed. He had the “right” to defend himself from the crowd that was trying to detain what they saw as an active shooter. He had the “right” to not render aid, even though he purported to be a medic. He had the “right” to not turn himself in to any of the police scattered about the area.

The judge in the case had the “right” to withhold the evidence of Kyle beating a girl a couple of weeks before Kenosha. The judge had the “right” to withhold the tape of Kyle telling a friend he would shoot looters. The judge had the “right” to instruct the attorneys to not refer to the victims as victims, but they could be described as looters or arsonists although none of the victims had been arrested for a crime.He even had the “right” to throw out the weapons charge which was clearly a reach of jurisprudence.

The jury had the “right” to set Kyle free if they didn’t believe in his guilt, in fact they had the obligation to do so. I just wonder how some of the jurors feel after seeing this:

If the link is still working you’re seeing a paste up that Kyle did on his Twitter feed of his crocodile tears over gas prices. These are the same crocodile tears that he used to convince America that he was just a poor little misunderstood do-gooder who was trying to do “right” and help the fair people of Kenosha maintain control of their town.

I don’t know what shocks me more, his temerity or his lack of judgement. Clearly his lack of judgement has been documented, but it would seem like some sort of primal survival instinct would take hold that would flash red when Kyle attempted to act in a manner inconsistent with what all of the “right” people believe him to be. Maybe his handlers gave him some free time to be creative and this is what he came up with. The video certainly shatters the idea that he is remorseful for taking two innocent lives and maiming another.

Marjorie Taylor Green nominating Kyle for a Congressional Gold Medal, joining the ranks of other honorees like Mother Teresa, George Washington, and Nelson Mandela does not absolve him of his crimes. It is just another example of the insane running the asylum. We’ve got to do better than this.

Kyle’s lack of judgement puts me in mind of a quote from Nicole James, “You finally figuring out that being right isn’t nearly as important as knowing when to shut up.” I think the quote could fall into the category of “words to live by” for a lot of folks. Looking at you Facebook friends.

The Devil Called Him Home

 Gone but not forgotten, his ideological decisions destined to keep the “right” people feeling safe in their homes and on Rodeo Drive, we just celebrated the 8th year of Antonin Scalia’s passing a couple of weeks ago. I remember when I heard the news that he had died in Marfa, Texas I wondered if he was another victim of Dick Cheney’s friendly fire. Being reminded of his passing, I used commercial breaks to Google items of interest on Scalia. I figured that there had to be more to the man than my own lowly opinion of him. In fairness, if I was going to write about him, I should at least try to bring up his good features. You know, like he didn’t kick dogs, stuff like that.

At the time of his passing, I’m sure that all of the smart money was on his best friend on the court Justice Ginsberg being the first to go. Justice Ginsberg was 83 and barely able to keep herself awake during the first few minutes of the State of The Union address that year. Not that being put to sleep by a State of the Union address is any indicator of vitality, it’s just that Justice Ginsberg looked so weak at the time that it was a shock that Scalia preceded her. Her frailty and Scalia’s passing underscores the proposition that appointing people to life time positions is a bad idea. People are not like wine, we don’t improve with age. We get cranky, close minded, uncompromising and generally just hard to deal with.

Justice Scalia was the first Italian-American Justice, appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986. He was part of the Reagan Revolution, in which Reagan elevated Justices to the court that were far more conservative than even his own views. Scalia cloaked his bigotry and misogyny under the guise of Federalism. By turning back every challenge brought to the court that impinged on human liberties as being a matter for the individual states to decide, Scalia reinforced his disdain for the Declaration of Independence. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” were just words to be determined by the state where you reside, unless you are a corporation. Corporations are given special powers in a Scalia court, like unlimited campaign spending and ignoring provision of the Affordable Health Care Act.

Scalia was exactly what every Republican talks about when they use the phrase “legislating from the bench”. The Republicans never complained about Scalia’s legislating, though. Scalia made law or struck down laws, without benefit of Congress or the President. He was the “decider” and he bullied all of the other Justices to support his view. In fact, Justice Clarence Thomas gave up long ago having an opinion. Uncle Clarence would just point at Scalia and say, “what he said”.

Thomas has since aligned with the other really right wing Catholic on the court, Justice Alito. Since we know “birds of a feather, flock together”, maybe it’s time to stop nominating Catholics to the court. Prior to Scalia’s death, they were a 6 to 3 majority, they are now a 7-2 advantage. Not that all of Scalia’s bad decision’s were based on morality issues. Just the ones involving, race, sexual orientation and women’s rights.

Scalia could also wreck havoc in areas other than human rights. He was instrumental in the Supreme Court forcing George Bush in as President, over Al Gore. Scalia didn’t even have enough of a conscience to recuse himself from the Bush suit, which was brought by the law firm where Scalia’s son worked. Scalia was convinced that his “moral majority” on the court had the right to decide who was going to be President, over the millions of us ignorant voters.

Scalia also refused to recuse himself from a Supreme Court case involving Dick Cheney, even though he and Cheney were hunting buddies. It was Scalia’s belief that the Constitution was not a living growing document, but could only be interpreted through the eyes of someone like Scalia who saw the world as how it was in 1776. To that end, Scalia could make determinations favorable to friends, political parties, corporations or others that were based on his insight to the founding fathers minds, not any sort of legal precedence.

Scalia believed in the devil, and I’m sure Scalia is with him today. While Scalia is arranging the chairs in Hell to his liking, I’m sure he’ll be looking in on how we mere mortals will handle his departure. Battle lines are being drawn, and it looks like it’s Scalia’s favorite battle, good versus evil.

Sadly, my research didn’t uncover whether Scalia kicked puppies or not, so the jury is still out on that one.

Implied Liability

You listen to the news every day hoping to hear that one kernel of good news that will restore your faith in humanity. These are sad times, desperate times, and a lot of times it doesn’t seem like the good guys are winning.

A blurb about Alex Jones reminded me about the little sliver of good news that poked through when the Sandy Hook families were awarded $73 million for their loss on December 14th 2012. That news was compounded when the courts awarded the families $1.5 billion from the mendacious broadcaster for defamation. I can say for a certainty that each one of those parents would gladly refuse the money to have their child back. I think we can all agree that there are some things that money can’t compensate. Society’s only hope is that the punishment is strong enough to deter the guilty from repeating their behavior.

The manufacturer of the AR-15-style weapon that killed the children, Remington, has come out of bankruptcy and reformed as two companies, one of which is located in LaGrange, Georgia. We Georgians love our guns so much that we even give the manufacturers tax abatements as well as utility and infrastructure improvements to locate here. According to our Governor, “Georgia’s firearms industry is responsible for thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our communities”, which I guess is the only consideration for encouraging a new business. The Peach State is also the “proud” home to Glock, another dispenser of indiscriminate death.

What makes the Sandy Hook settlement a big deal is that gun manufacturers have hidden behind a federal law since 2005 that protected them from lawsuits based off of liability. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act basically insulates the arms manufacturers from any suit other than outright manufacturing malfeasance. It is like Congress conspired to say what is the bare minimum these manufacturers can be held accountable for, and we’ll lower that bar a little. Fortunately, the Connecticut Attorney General opened a legal path to holding the arm manufacturers accountable for some of the carnage their products cause.

I hear a “hold on there little cowboy” in the audience. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” True enough, but guns make it way too easy to kill people, especially children. Every day, 22 children and teens (1-17) are shot in the United States”. That can’t be acceptable, not for one second. In my mind, the wounded children are the result of bad policy coupled with the insatiable greed of the armaments people. Even the association founded to promote gun safety bears a tremendous amount of liability for their part in the slaughter.

There are many things that can be done to make gun ownership safer. Sadly, in this article the NRA is promoting the idea that a lighter trigger pull is always a good thing. Ironically, in this article we can see that the necessary strength to pull a trigger exists in a four year old. I recall the story about a three year old that shot his mother to death in a parked car. Clearly gun manufacturers should be held responsible for making their products child safe. My God, even the pill bottle manufacturers can do that and their products cost pennies. It’s ridiculous to think that the manufacturers of weapons that cost thousands of dollars can’t make their products child proof.

One area that the Sandy Hook settlement did seem to provide a way forward is a way to hold gun manufacturers liable for their advertising. Romancing the idea of gun ownership is morally repugnant. I hope that going forward we can be spared any more tragedies committed by wannabe Rambos. Teenagers have enough to sort through without a gun manufacturer telling them that they have the solution to all of their problems.

Hopefully the Sandy Hook settlement will provide a way for everyone touched by a gun tragedy to get some some vengeance on the death dealers. Maybe there will be a class action suit. I can’t wait. The lawsuit / settlement would be enormous. It seems to me that if we can put a man on the moon we should be able to prevent a toddler from shooting his Momma.