Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"As American As Cherry Pie"

Old Rap Brown was right about that, at least...

Violence is as American as cherry pie.

So, it's only natural that we loves us our guns.

Don't you be touchin' our guns!

Maybe it's just that human beings have a strong blood lust.

Not all, of course.

But enough.

And it seems like many have landed here, in the land o' the free...

We Yankee Doodle Dandies have a lot of blood on our hands: Native American, African, Mexican, Phillipine. Each others.

To be fair, it takes a certain amount of violence to build an Empire.

And that kind of behavior gets ingrained in a culture. It also attracts a certain kind of people. Just ask Wayne "A Gun Is A Tool, And So Am I" LaPierre.

So, of course the older brother shoots the younger sister. And the teenager shoots his best friend. And, my personal favorite, the 4 year old shoots his Dad.

Bang Bang--you're dead!

They're just kids after all. They don't understand the consequences of their actions. And they've grown up in a Shoot 'em up society.

Forget that "In God We Trust" nonsense. "I Didn't Know It Was Loaded" should be our national motto.
Anton Chekhov's famous maxim about writing is this: "If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be there."

We Americans, being uncomfortable with metaphors in general, and those coined by foreigners in particular, have taken Chekhov literally:  If there's a gun on the table, someone is going to get shot. Accidentally, of course.

And also, of course, there's nothing we can do about it...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Trent Franks, Defender of the Unborn

Is anyone surprised that Trent Franks said something stupid again? Didn't think so.

Take a good close look at Franks, yet another of Arizona's illustrious Congressmen.

Would you say he's one or two chromosomes shy of completeness? Yep.

Franks keeps getting re-elected for one reason and one reason only: his district includes all of the dried up douche bags, male and female, in Sun City.

These are people who haven't been fertile since the Truman administration. Yet they get all worked up over "the rights of the unborn".

The operative theory goes something like this: Fetuses have rights, old people have rights, everybody else who isn't rich and white can suck it.

And Trent Franks, who isn't as dumb as he looks (it's close though), knows how to pander to their fears with the usual litany of right wing paranoia: immigration, the black man in "our" White House, etc.

Normally, these are the "get the government off our backs!" crowd.  Why won't they just leave us alone!

Except when it comes to a woman's right to control her own reproductive system. Then the government should jump in with both jackbooted feet and punish the bitches!

These folks rely on government assistance of all kinds--but they hate the Federal government with a passion.

Oh, those meddlesome Feds, with their hot lunch programs, and Head Start, and public education, and welfare, and regulations, and taxes! Oh, don't get them started on taxes...

Get rid of all that stuff. It's socialism!

But keep your goddamn hands off our Social Security and our Medicare and our Medicaid!

It's cognitive dissonance like this that keeps the Trent Franks of the world in office.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Rick Renzi, former US Congressman from Arizona's "whatever" district, (my benighted home state has been gerrymandered almost beyond recognition and certainly well beyond any form of common sense, so it's really hard to keep track of which district is which. For instance, Renzi's district included parts of northern Arizona and stretched down to the Straits of Magellan as well), has been found guilty by a federal jury on 17 out of 32 counts, including racketeering, conspiracy and extortion. The Triple Crown of political corruption, as it were.

Seems like he used his elected position to force certain land swaps that generated money so that one of the participants could pay back Renzi a very large sum. Which is, after all, why we have a Congress in the first place.

Naturally Renzi, who is apparently one of those "law and order" Republicans who don't believe that the "law" part of that formulation should apply to them personally, will appeal. To quote one of his defense team, "We are pleased that the jury acquitted Mr. Renzi on 15 counts. We are disappointed by every guilty verdict. We will continue to fight these charges..."

Well, at least as long as the money holds out...

Renzi's new defense should include the time tested "what's the use of having a place at the table if you can't enjoy the buffet?"

He might also want to simply throw himself on the mercy of the court. See, Renzi has 12 children.

That's right, 12. As in a dozen.

So the brother needs every single buck he can get his hands on. Legally or illegally.

Based on the number of little Renzi's running around, his team might also want to explore an insanity defense.