Is that Jim Crow I Hear Cawing?

Credit: Steve Benson/The Republic

Credit: Steve Benson/The Republic

I’ve often pondered if people in our country are actually more stupid than they were years ago.  You would think that with all the advances in technology, education, you name it, we would get a bit smarter over time or if nothing else at least a little less ignorant.  When it comes down to it I expect the percentages of smart vs not-smart haven’t necessarily changed a great deal – despite the opportunities for people to learn and experience more given great strides in education and the advances we all experience in technology.  I think part of it is just that there are a lot more people overall and there just seem to be a lot more stupid people walking around.  I think the other thing that has happened is there are many more opportunities for people to demonstrate the breadth and depth of their stupidity and/or ignorance so many who in the past might have gone unnoticed are now out in the open.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. – Abraham Lincoln

And for those of you of more a religious persuasion –

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” – Proverbs 17:28

Arizona Legislators in Session

Arizona Legislators in Session

In the broader sense, the issue of gay rights is one of the opportunities for people to show their stupid and ignorant side.   The latest example is the current legislation that has passed in Arizona that allows business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.  In fairness to Arizona, they are not alone in their efforts to return their state to “better times” when the various Jim Crow laws legitimized discrimination and prejudice and worked very effectively to limit the rights of people in our country whom were not of the same mindset or belief system.  Similar religious protection legislation has been introduced in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma – not really a surprise given not one of these states is ever recognized for progressive thinking.   Here again, under the guise of religion, we have a situation where one works to justify a horrid and what will eventually be recognized as illegal legislation.  The fact that the element of discrimination is entirely ignored by the legislators in Arizona is something I just don’t get although I do believe that religion can be mind-numbing when put in the hands of people who probably don’t think for themselves anyhow.   So it all comes down to Gov. Jan Brewer and her next move.

Someone should have mentioned SPF30...

Someone should have mentioned SPF30…

Do we trust Brewer will do the right thing and veto this law?  Remember this is the same woman who felt it appropriate to derisively wag her bony finger at President Obama on the tarmac during a visit to Arizona and who was too busy to attend a Governor’s dinner at the White House.  This is also the same woman who eliminated the Arizona KidsCare progam which provided healthcare to uninsured children and stopped Medicaid payments for transplants.  She loves guns and hates immigrants. This is the woman who in 2012 signed a law that barred state funding from going to any organization that provides abortion services. This meant that Planned Parenthood, which doesn’t use state money for abortions, was be deprived of funds they would have used to provide all manner of sexual health services, including services used by victims of sexual assault.  Bad enough on its own but when one considers that her son, Ronald, has been a patient at the state mental hospital for the last 20+ years after he was found not guilty of kidnap and sexual assault by reason of insanity.  In 1989, Ronald Brewer allegedly broke into a woman’s apartment, slapped her several times, and committed sex acts on her. After his 1990 indictment, his mother claimed that Ronald had “decompensated,” a psychiatric defense which means that although he’d been functioning normally before the attack, his state deteriorated. His lawyers argued that Ronald didn’t know, at the time, that what he was doing was wrong, and a judge agreed, committing Ronald indefinitely to the state’s hospital, where he still lives although he is free to leave with staff or with his parents.  Even more interesting is that in the days before Jan Brewer was sworn in as the state’s governor in 2009, Ronald’s criminal records were sealed – his case being only four out of 40,000 total criminal cases that were sealed in Maricopa County in Arizona in 2009.   She is the Tin Man – the epitome of a 2014 Tea Party Republican – a self-serving, do as I say not as I do, hate-mongering homophobe.

At least they were able to sit and get service....

At least they were able to sit and get service….

To allow this Arizona legislation to go forward brings us back to a time of which we should all be ashamed – but unfortunately only some of us are.  Religious Freedom my ass.

Advertisements

Mitt as a Leader – not

I’m actually not surprised at the Romney camp (whether they own up to it or not) reaching back into the Republican bag of tricks and resurrecting Reverend Wright as one means to further divide the voters – just in case anyone on the fence who forgot about the rhetoric of an old and out of touch black preacher.  Those voters need reminding of how anti-white Obama really is.  However, I do find it a bit much Arizona’s secretary of state, Ken Bennett, announced last week he had asked officials in Hawaii to verify that Barack Obama was born in their state in order for the president’s name to appear on the November ballot in Arizona.  While we can dismiss (to some extent) Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigation into whether Obama’s birth certificate was real or not since he is 79 years old, lives in Arizona (obviously a state of great thinkers) and has probably taken a few knocks to the head in administering his brand of justice, Bennett is a different story.  As Romney’s campaign co-chairman in Arizona, he has obviously taken a stupid pill even if he gets most to believe he doesn’t really believe Obama wasn’t born in the US and that he made the request on behalf of a constituent.  Is it politically motivated?  Without a doubt.  But the larger issue here is the response (or lack there of) of the Republican leadership, more importantly Mitt.  The lack of any outright repudiation of this action of Bennet’s by Romney again demonstrates his lack of thinking on his own instead chosing to pander to the obvious small but vocal coalition of crazies – aka the Tea Party.  No balls, no independent thinking, no sense of what is right but a honed skill at playing  to the latest or loudest – definitely qualities we want in a President.   We already have weak and ineffective Republican leadership (Boehner) who can’t seem to stand up to the small but loud members of the Tea Party – adding a President that lacks the same backbone will lead us down this path to the past even quicker.  Can you say “Recession 2013”?

The “Master” at re-invention

As for Sheriff Joe – I’d suggest he spend some time investigating those people who continue to hold true that there was a Holocaust, the US did land on the moon and that Elvis is dead.  Hopefully, the fact that U.S. Justice Department are planning to sue Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office over allegations of civil rights violations, including the racial profiling of Latinos, won’t get in the way.