the last word(tm)
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VANDALISM, THEFT, AND TRESPASSING LEGALIZED IN SACRAMENTO
As if America wasn't Gestapoey enough these days, things are getting a whole lot Gestapoeyer.
KCRA-TV in Sacramento, CA, reports that the local district attorney's office is refusing to file charges in a series of criminal acts in which antiwar signs were destroyed by right-wing vandals trespassing on private property.
And you won't believe the excuse as to why they won't file charges: They said no crime was committed because the conservative thug who stole the display didn't actually damage it.
Seriously. The county DA thinks this so-called logic (I prefer to call it crap) is gonna fly.
That's like if you use a gun to murder a whole bunch of people and the DA fails to file charges because the gun wasn't stolen.
Inexplicably, the DA also won't file trespassing charges, even though the display was stolen from private property.
Why in the fuckity-fuck not?! Oh, I get it now, private property rights only apply to conservatives. If conservatives touch something, it's theirs. If conservatives see something, it's theirs. If conservatives think about something, it's theirs. Just like the villain in Elmo In Grouchland. But these self-styled champions of property rights don't respect the property of others.
The display that was vandalized consisted of a soldier uniform bearing a sign reading "BUSH LIED, I DIED". For some reason, it set off a debate on free speech rights, even though we fail to see what the debate is, because the sign was clearly protected as free speech. Besides that, the message of the sign is truthful - for Bush really did lie to draw America into his illegal war.
According to KXTV-TV, a young man drove up to the house where the sign was, climbed a tree to the roof, threw the display on the ground, and drove off with it. He then told the station that the owners of the display should "go to Iraq and preach that shit."
Go there yourself, fucklog - because you probably like right-wing theocracies, and they're establishing one in Iraq right now.
Vandalism. Theft. Trespassing. All effectively legal in Sacramento, as long as the target is something the GOP thought police disagrees with. But this becomes much to easier to explain when you realize that the local DA is a right-wing Republican crackpot named Jan Scully who was first elected in the dictatorly year 1994. Republicans elected in '94 usually do hate free expression, but until now they've rarely been so open about it with so little opposition.
Granted, this ought to send appliances a-flyin' and mouths a-cussin' here at the office of The Last Word, but nothing surprises us anymore. Every time the antiwar display is destroyed, 2 new displays ought to rise to replace it. It would be satisfying if an electric current was attached to the display to give a mild correction to the next right-wing asshat who tries to damage it.
LAWMAKERS AFRAID OF COLD MEDICINE
Things just keep getting sillier!
Right-wing lawmakers are demanding new laws to restrict or prohibit the sale of certain over-the-counter cold medicines, using the excuse that the ingredients can somehow be extracted to manufacture meth.
This is bullbunk, of course. There's plenty of other sources of these chemicals besides cold medicine, so these new laws won't do a damn thing to stop meth production. Besides that, the government is probably behind a majority of America's illegal meth labs anyway! Fuck, I've known my whole adult life that the government was dealing illicit drugs just so some certain very high-ranking politicians could get rich. We act like it's not a big deal now, just because we've become so used to the fact that America's had some drug-dealing Presidents.
The new laws restrict the most effective over-the-counter cold medicines. The less effective ones, which aren't targeted by the new laws, are worthless for fighting colds, of course. Of course, none of these regular cold medicines are nearly as good for treating colds as a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear, but that's beside the point. Banning cold medicine because legislators think it will be used to make meth is like banning water because it can be used to make moonshine.
A slew of state laws all over America are cracking down on cold medicine. Kentucky's bill unanimously passed both houses of the legislature. So much for the two-party system! Considering every person we've talked to says the law is nutty, you'd think at least one lawmaker would agree. But no.
Why even have more than one political party, when both major parties support the same fascist new laws?
The Kentucky bill is the fault of Sen. Tom Jensen (R-London), and it would require pharmacists to keep records of cold medicine sales, even though it's an over-the-counter drug, and limit how much of the product you may purchase. And don't think you can get around it by ordering the product online, because that's restricted now too.
Even though my home state of Kentucky has been electing some real screw-ups lately, this fascism isn't limited to the Bluegrass State. Republicans in Texas have crafted a similar measure. "We hope the general public will realize that a little inconvenience will go a long way," Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) foamed to news outlets in his state. Typical idiot response. So everyone should be forced to suffer just so this scuzzbag can get his way. This is just like when that one guy on that BBS about 10 years ago who could barely even form a complete sentence kept saying schools should abolish summer vacation because it would be worth getting sick all summer in the name of "competing" in the almighty "global marketplace".
It's creeps like that who should just be laughed off as extremists, except they're too dangerous to just shrug aside unchallenged.
We could speculate more on Estes's spittle-spewing, but we won't. Why, even fair speculation about a public figure's motives has become a thought crime that runs afoul of the self-anointed guardians of order, so we'll just move on.
Some of these bills, such as one introduced in Ohio, would make mere possession of large amounts of cold medicine a felony.
We would have liked to see Congress prohibit the states from passing laws like this. But instead they're trying to do the exact opposite of what they should do. Surprise, surprise (again). A right-wing federal bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Sen. Jim Talent The Talentless Idiot (R-Missouri), and others would make the restrictions against cold medicine national.
Of course these laws violate the Fourth Amendment by creating an unreasonable search by keeping track of cold remedy buyers, but hey, the fact that a law is unconstitutional seldom stops lawmakers these days.
The retail industry doesn't have the guts to stand up to bullshit like this. They'll go along with it. But just think how silly the authorities are going to look when they start prosecuting people for possessing too much cold medicine. Unfortunately, people these days just go along with garbage like this, so we'll never have the chance to watch prosecutors make asses of themselves.
33 LEGISLATORS SUPPORT SCHOOL HARASSMENT
If a lawmaker introduces a long-overdue bill to crack down on school harassment, you'd think nobody would oppose the bill. It's just so clear-cut. What kind of person would oppose such a thing?
We'll tell you who opposes it. Conservatives. That's who.
(Like you couldn't see that coming from a mile away.)
A bill like this passed the Kentucky House last month, but only by 57 to 33 - not by the unanimous margin that you have a right to expect.
The bill by Rep. Mike Cherry (D-Princeton) says school systems must prohibit "harassment, intimidation, or bullying" of students. Schools would be required to have policies to protect students who report harassment from retaliation and to investigate harassment complaints in a timely manner. Sounds like common sense legislation to us.
But you won't believe some of the excuses the Far Right comes up with for opposing it. Rep. Scott Brinkman (R-Louisville) boo-hooed that it's a bad bill because it doesn't exempt students who happen to be involved in sports. Huh? So he's basically saying student athletes shouldn't have to obey the rules like everyone else??? Isn't that just the silliest thing you've ever heard?
Other rightists come up with similarly ridiculous reasons for opposing the bill. Ultraconservative Rep. Danny Ford (R-Mount Vernon) told the media that he worries that school faculty who fail to enforce the anti-harassment policies might be held legally liable. Well, duuuuuh! If they tolerate bullying, then why shouldn't they be held liable?! This is just like how Republicans in Congress cry and holler whenever the Democrats support allowing patients to sue incompetent HMOs for medical malpractice. Conservatives think nobody should be held liable for their own mistakes, and that the right to file legitimate lawsuits must be specifically granted on a case-by-case basis by legislators.
It's kind of surprising they can even find 33 people in the whole state who support school bullying. Actually I thought that when I was in school I met all 33 people who supported it.
Of course, if the anti-harassment bill becomes law, you can bet your bizcream that some right-wing bully or school administrator will cry about how oppressed they are by it, because they think harassing students is their birthright. Expect them to enlist the help of their favorite right-wing activist judges to overturn the law.
HAVE NO FEAR, THE BOOK IS HERE!
For 10 months, I worked on a book describing my experiences as a victim of school harassment. In my book I try to use my plight to find answers for other victims. This book - titled The Fight That Never Ends - has now been published by Lulu, a publishing firm, and you can order it direct from the publisher at:
While you're at it, enjoy what I expect to be an easier-to-read format for The Last Word, with sleeker, narrower formatting, to make it gentler on those peepers.
PROSECUTOR WHO RANTED ABOUT DRUGS GETS CAUGHT WITH DRUGS HIMSELF
We hate laughing at other people's problems, but here's a guy who deserves all the humiliation he gets.
Around Pampa, TX, there's a right-wing Republican named Rick Roach who was narrowly elected district attorney in 2000 following his ranting, raving tirades about how every person in the world except him is a druggie. Once in office Roach began seeking ruinous prison sentences for drug suspects that in some cases far exceeded the crime. He sought to imprison a 30-year-old man for 99 years for first-time drug possession - and shockingly, the jury agreed to much of Roach's demand, recommending that the suspect serve 60 years.
While Roach was willing to ruin others' lives by having them imprisoned forever, he was privately doing the exact same thing he accused everyone else of doing. In January, Roach was arrested for possession of cocaine and meth, and now he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for owning a firearm while using illegal drugs. He got much of his drugs from police raids.
"I've gotten what I deserve," Roach reportedly conceded in a New York Times interview. Tough shit, Rick. Serves you right for having that guy locked up until he's 90 for a first-time offense.
In an AP piece, John Mann, the incumbent DA who was defeated by Roach, said of his successor, "I saw him acting like a fool for a year and a half."
Not long before Roach's arrest, one of his workers found a syringe in a toilet at Roach's office.
It gets worse.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the embattled Roach was also caught with child pornography in his home and his office. It also turns out that in 1988 the now-disgraced Republican dickhead was indicted on charges of stealing natural gas and paid $2,400 in restitution so the indictment could be dropped. When Roach ran for DA in 1996 and lost, he blamed his loss on a weekly newspaper and filed a frivolous lawsuit against the paper.
Some of Mr. Roach's bizarre behavior described in the accounts I've seen reminds me so much of a certain school principal I had, especially the way he allegedly bullied his subordinates. It's fuckin' uncanny!
The 10 years he may face is actually less than it otherwise would be because of a plea bargain - something the people he prosecuted didn't have. Under the plea bargain, Roach faces penalties only for the weapons charge. Heaven forbid someone powerful like him have to be punished as harshly as someone else for the other offenses.
On the other hand, prosecutors aren't looked upon kindly in prison. Especially prosecutors who have been caught with kiddie porn.
What does Rick Roach have to say for himself now? In the Times interview, he says, "If I'm ever a prosecutor again--" BWAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! You're so funny, Rick! Anyway, he goes on to say that if he's ever a prosecutor again, he will be "less Ramboish and more compassionate." Too late for that, I'm afraid.
MISSOURI TOWN BANS BIKES
Recently a man who suffers from multiple sclerosis was charged in Lawson, MO, for the capital offense of pushing a bicycle.
He learned the hard way that a municipal ordinance forbids not only riding but also pushing bikes in much of the town - both on the roadway and on the sidewalk. In other words, most of the town is off limits to anyone who uses a bike.
The man argued that the law violates the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, and we agree with his position. His disability limits other methods of travel.
He had a similar run-in in Lawson last year when the cops informed his group of bicyclists that was conducting a multiple sclerosis ride that they weren't allowed to have bikes in town. (Ooh, an Allowed Cloud!)
There have been reports that the city council is considering repealing the ordinance, but it's too late to stop them from looking incredibly idiotic for having the law in the first place.
QUESTIONS SURROUND ROAD RAGE INCIDENT
The media's had a field day with this story for over a week, so it's our duty to report the part of the news they seem to lose. (That rhymes, Bert!)
A week or two ago, the right-wing media was all over a case of a man in Florida who supposedly chased an SUV because it sported a Bush bumper sticker. This one incident was one of the top stories on Channel 5 in Cincinnati and probably a lot of other stations too. (Of course we usually watch Channel 5 because they have all the hilarious court shows right before the news.)
To hear the media tell it, you'd think the guy was out looking for Bush followers to attack. But it turns out that the woman driving the SUV with the Bush sticker may have started the whole thing by making an obscene gesture at the man. You have to dig deep to find this stuff, because most media outlets conveniently forgot to mention this little factoid. We say she may have started it (instead of did start it) because we weren't there to witness the sordid event. But there's two sides to every story, and after reading about Phil Parlock's hoaxes we have a really tough time believing anything conservatives or the media say. Besides that, nobody else has come forward as a witness to some of things the Bush supporter claims to have seen, even though the incident happened on a crowded urban highway. There's also no evidence that the chaser rammed the SUV (as right-wing blogs claim).
Of course the man who supposedly chased the SUV happens to be strongly anti-Bush - but most other people are too, so his political leanings are nothing unusual. A police spokesman said of the man's actions, "This is taking political views to an extreme." Not really, if it happened the way the reputed chaser claims it did, for he claims he was provoked by the motorist in the SUV. He didn't start with the political stuff until the incident was already under way. Sure he overreacted, but on the other hand, if you go around making crude gestures at people, as he claims the woman in the SUV did, it's bound to get someone mighty peeved sooner or later.
If the man who supposedly chased the SUV is telling the truth - which we believe he is - we have even less sympathy for the SUV driver upon finding that she put her 2 kids at risk by bringing them along in her vehicle when she reportedly started the incident.
The new breed of conservatives likes to bully. You all remember the kid in school who goaded you into fighting them so they could whine to the principal and have you busted for something they started. This is what American conservatism has stooped to. They intentionally provoke people to overreact, which gets the provokees in trouble. The Internet is chock-full of right-wing websites that encourage users to do this very thing. If the SUV driver's motive was to get a dissenter against the Bush order in deep shit for overreacting, she accomplished her goal. The guy who reportedly chased her is now facing 5 years in prison on several different charges (all for the same act), while the Bush cultist in the SUV is not facing charges - because the authorities automatically accepted the Bush supporter's version of the incident.
While the right-wing media can find only one case in which a dissident against Bush displayed such potentially hazardous behavior, supporters of Bush pull stupid shit all the fucking time - and the media never covers it. Maybe I should tell you about those 2 run-ins I had on Oktoberfest day. Or how the other day I found that someone purposely ruined the front brake cable on my bike by detaching it and tangling it around the wheel because the bike bore a Kerry sticker. This is only about the skillionth time my bike has been vandalized because some dickwipe took umbrage at my political views. You know our side doesn't start crap with them, because conservatives are so damn thin-skinned that you'd hear about it for the next 15 years if we did.
Today's conservatives usually see the world through a psychotic fog as they gnash their teeth at all that has embittered them. We'd like to see a website where people can submit stories of how they've been attacked by right-wing weirdoes in road rage incidents, vandalism, and other misbehavior. We suspect the site would fill up mightly quickly.
THERE MAY BE HOPE AFTER ALL FOR FREE SPEECH
At least twice within the past couple weeks, people who were arrested for daring to peacefully disagree with the election-stealing Bush regime have been let off when authorities finally realized, "Hey! There's a First Amendment!"
In Alabama, a woman was handcuffed, arrested, and jailed for displaying an antiwar poster at Auburn University Montgomery during the hated dictator's speech about Social Security.
But a magistrate ordered the woman to be released from jail because the sign is protected as free speech - which it is. Hell, anyone should be able to see that it's free speech. There's no denying it. We'd hate to belabor the point, but free speech means you can express ideas the government disagrees with. That's why they call it free speech, you know. Furthermore, it was ruled that the woman did not have to identify herself to the police, because there was no probable cause to think she had committed any crime.
In 2002, police in Evansville, IN, arrested an environmental activist because of his peaceful protest at an appearance by ol' Slim Cheney. The cops charged him with disorderly conduct but then trumped it up to resisting law enforcement - only to be forced to drop the charges later because they had no case.
Well, now a federal district court has ruled that the protester's rights were violated - and again, we agree.
Apologists for the police's illegal actions claim restrictions on the First Amendment were necessary because this occurred in the "post-9/11" era. Sorry, but that won't wash, because they were using different excuses before 9/11. The terms "post-9/11" and "pre-9/11" are always carefully enunciated by Bush whenever he utters them, as if nobody has ever heard these words before. (He does the same whenever a sentence fragment ends in a word with more than one syllable.) It's a propaganda technique designed to make people think they should surrender more of their basic liberties or that political opponents are soft on terrorism.
Surely, as the long as the one-party Republican rule continues, there will be more instances where dissenters are hauled off to the hoosegow just for having the "wrong" views. Luckily the constitutional system of checks and balances puts a crimp in modern conservatives' egotistical lust for power.
COPS SHOCK MAN WHO REFUSED TO TAKE DRUG TEST
This is the type of malarkey that shows why we have 3,246 articles in our backlog. And those are just the ones on our hard drive.
According to official news reports, police in Orlando, FL, twice used a Taser to give 50,000 volts of Nonstop Pure Power to a suspect because he wouldn't provide a urine (also called pee) sample to be tested for drugs.
Police documents admit that the man was at first hogtied to a hospital bed when he refused to take the drug test. The suspect then refused to allow a catheter to be inserted to obtain the urine sample. It was then - after the man was already hogtied and powerless - that the Taser was used.
This isn't like they used a Taser on a suspect on a violent rampage, because the man in this case was already subdued by the time he got shocked. It appears to us that this is not only a case of excessive force, but also an open-and-shut case of torture. Of course nobody's gonna dare to call it that nowadays, because they'll be accused of being too hard on "fair" government authority.
In today's climate you gotta watch out. Don't always trust the party line.
STINKING GETS MORE ILLEGAL
Stinking is cool.
There's few certainties in life other than the fact that, every once in a while, people will opt to stink. And it will be both cool and funny. And educational. And a great American pastime. And valid in 50 states and around the world.
But once in a while, as we've reported before, some city or county will try to ban stinking. It's actually quite sad, because there's more important things to worry about than people stinking.
A new ordinance in San (It Caused) Luis Obispo County, CA, allows public libraries and the library bookmobile to eject patrons who (among other offenses) emit disagreeable odors.
Isn't this overlegislating just a little bit? Library officials are uncertain about how to enforce the ordinance, because they can't decide on what constitutes stinkiness. Why, many of the books probably stink more than most of the patrons!
DIVISION I MAY CREATE DIVISION IN STUDENTS' BANK ACCOUNTS
Northern Kentucky University is at it again.
We've had our share of grief from this institution of higher book-learnin', perhaps peaking with the illegal arrest in 1995. (The Contract With America flexed its muscle. However, the arrest resulted in an acquittal, because no crime was committed.) This resulted in part from the ass-backward priorities NKU has: The university places a greater emphasis on sports than academics. In 1994 it refused to take disciplinary action against a basketball player for assaulting me and vandalizing a studio, because this would have harmed the athletic program.
The disproportionate attention the athletic program receives is again becoming evident.
Out of 14,000 students, only 181 are athletes. Now, lately NKU has suffered some budget woes that have forced it to raise tuition. But university administrators are now talking about moving the school from the NCAA's Division II up to Division I, which will probably cost about $3,000,000. Guess where these millions of smackeroos are going to come from? That's right. Another tuition increase!
Why should the entire student body pay more to go to school so slightly more than 1% of them can have a more prestigious sports program?
Here's what's probably coming if NKU moves up to Division I: They'll likely rezone the parking lot on any night there's a game. Thus, students who attend night classes will park in a proper space, but return from their classes to find their space was rezoned for the game - and they'll discover their car is towed because of it. This is already happening at one local university, we're told, because they're in Division I.
The Kentucky legislature already voted overpoweringly - during time of statewide financial crisis - to waste $54,000,000 of the taxpayers' hard-earned money on a new arena NKU doesn't need. This wasteful expenditure - sought mostly by Republicans in the Kentucky Senate - siphoned away money needed to build cancer research facilities at other state universities.
In the minds of Republican lawmakers, sports are a higher priority than cancer research. We know it's not just conservatives who love sports - even I've been to Reds games every now and then - but come on! I'm sure that even most diehard sports fans think cancer research is a much wiser use of their tax money than an arena that will probably bring traffic jams and which there's probably no room to build anyway. Apparently, however, right-wing politicians don't share this view.
The more you think about it, the sillier it seems. We've all heard the true stories about schools emphasizing sports more than academics. NKU and most other schools I attended are perfect examples.
EU EXTRADITES ARTISTS FOR "BLASPHEMY"
The Guardian newspaper in Britain reports that Austrian cartoonist Gerhard Haderer is facing jail in Greece on "blasphemy" charges all because of a popular book he wrote, and that the right-wing European Union is more than eager to extradite him there to serve his sentence.
The 40-page volume, titled The Life Of Jesus, is a harmless religious satire. After it was published in Greece, it became the first book banned there in years. Although Haderer didn't know it was published in Greece, and he did not even write the book in Greece, he was given a summons in Austria to appear in a Greek court to face the charges. He thought the summons was a joke, so he ignored it. He was then tried in absentia (to use the legal term) by the Greek court and given a suspended 6-month jail sentence.
Sounds to us like "blasphemy" is just a word the authorities are throwing around as kind of a catch-all, much like the bogus "trespassing" charge against The Last Word, or when Cline Middle School included "insubordination" in its voluminous discipline code. These big words have been broadened by authorities to mean that they can bust someone just because they feel like it.
It's one thing for a country to censor a book. It's another to serve a summons against an author in another country when the author didn't even go to the country serving the summons while writing the tome. It's completely ridiculous for the EU to cooperate with Greece's attempts to extradite Haderer there to stand trial.
This is what the EU has become. It's an undemocratic, heavyhanded system. If a restrictive right-wing law in one member nation is violated by someone in another member nation, the person can be charged by the country whose law was violated, even if they've never been to that country in their life.
This is exactly like if the United States extradited a resident of Canada for violating the CDA by cussing on a website.
If an American resident chews bubble gum in their own home, can Singapore force them to stand trial? That's what this is like.
Because the EU has deputized itself to extend Greece's law into Austria, Haderer must now travel to Athens to appeal his conviction, and his sentence could be extended to 2 years in prison if his appeal fails.
This isn't the only recent foible by the EU. Right-wing EU representatives are stepping up their demands that all displays of the hammer and sickle shall be banned throughout the continent, in violation of free speech protections that exist in some member nations. In Europe, the symbol isn't used exclusively by communist groups, so banning it because of the association with communism is kind of like banning the letter "U" because it appears in the word "communist". The hammer and sickle represents a coalition of industrial and agricultural workers and is used by a variety of groups.
The EU is also making efforts to force member nations to adopt a standardized driver's license that would be likely to contain a microchip to spy on citizens. New EU rules also attempt to override driver's license requirements in member countries. The EU even requires Spain to post stop signs in English instead of Spanish.
It's unclear why the EU insists on getting involved in stuff like this - let alone extraditing people to other member countries on charges of "blasphemy".
FASCIST DRESS CODE WILL BE CHALLENGED IN SUPREME COURT
A few years back we mentioned how the right-wing dress code at Highlands Middle School in Fort Thomas - which is really more of a uniform policy - had resulted in a petition by students and then a lawsuit. We're always impressed when people circulate petitions against school dress codes. My own petition against such weenieistic groupthink in my day helped get me involved in political causes in my youth.
We didn't hear anything else about the 2001 lawsuit until recently when we discovered that a U.S. District Court ruled that the dress code isn't unconstitutional - and that the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati also rejected arguments against the dress code.
The First Amendment is very clear: "Congress shall make no law" that abridges "the freedom of speech".
NO LAW abridging FREEDOM OF SPEECH!
Public schools are an arm of the government (Congress), and attendance at school is compulsory - so it is clearly unconstitutional for public schools to mandate a rigid dress code like the one in Fort Thomas. It's undemocratic to force people to adhere to such restrictive dress standards for a required activity such as school.
The Australian state of Queensland isn't even in the United States, yet education officials there recognized this concept by prohibiting mandatory uniforms. Activist judges in America, however, do not.
So now it's going to the Supremes.
Man, this ought to be interesting: A school system in the same county that hosts what is one of the most reliably anti-uniform publications in North America is involved in a U.S. Supreme Court case on school uniforms. Pass the popcorn!
There's already been a Supreme Court case on something like this: Tinker v. Des Moines makes it crystal clear that public schools can't restrict free expression using rigorous dress standards. Moreover, it's impossible to rule any other way and still be within the confines of constitutional law. When the Constitution says no law against free speech, it means it. We don't see what the debate is.
The Supreme Court can nominally rule in favor of the dress code, but it won't matter to us, because the law is the law. They can rule that 7 plus 7 is 77, but that wouldn't make it true. You can't accurately claim the Constitution doesn't say something that's right there in plain view.
We should be mighty peeved at the school for wasting the taxpayers' money by defending its indefensible dress code. As long as students and their parents challenge this groupthink, the school ought to at least say, "Hey, look, you're right. We'll make most of the dress code optional." Of course then nobody would follow the dress code, but who cares?
RIGHTIST UTAH GOVERNOR VETOES "RITALIN BILL"
Utah legislators wisely passed what is often called a "Ritalin bill" - a bill that would have prevented school personnel from recommending the doping of nonconforming students. The bill would have also prohibited schools from requiring students to take psychotropic poisons as a condition for remaining in school.
Naturally, however, the bill was promptly vetoed by right-wing Gov. John Huntsman - a Republican. Of course.
You really do have to wonder why anyone (other than the monied pharmaceutical racket) would think the bill was a bad idea. On the other hand, good ideas usually don't make it very far these days - especially in America's most conservative state - before being reduced to a wadded pile of paper in the wastebasket in a disapproving politician's office.
The excuses spewed by the bill's opponents for opposing it are silly. The Salt Lake Tribune stated that "there is no evidence of a teacher ever doing such a thing" as pushing a certain drug to control bright students. Oh yeah? They've never read The Fight That Never Ends, I guess.
A regulation by Utah education officials was already supposed to prohibit students from being barred from school for failure to be drugged, but this probably isn't enough. There's been at least one complaint in the past 2 years of a Utah school banning a student on these grounds. Part of the "Ritalin bill" was designed to codify this sensible regulation.
Most school shooters, including the one in Minnesota recently, took psychotropic toxins. The same is true of a South Carolina 12-year-old who shot his own grandparents to death. Schools and psychiatrists that prescribe these drugs should be held at least party responsible for the shootings. In a story that is almost completely ignored by the media, in 2001 the maker of Paxil was forced to pay $6,400,000 after being held liable for a 60-year-old man's fatal shooting of his own family and himself.
America needs less of this dope and a lot more hope.
CONGRESS WASTES YOUR MONEY TO PAY FOR WAL-MART ROAD
Wal-Mart is such a beedledicky corporation - as most corporations are, but that's beside the point.
What Wal-Mart asketh Congress for, Wal-Mart receiveth. The U.S. House has just approved spending $37,000,000 of Americans' hard-earned tax money for improvements to a road in Bentonville, AR, that serves Wal-Fart's worldwide headquarters. A vote by the Senate is pending.
Congress can't find enough money to fund Social Security, but it can find enough to buy Wal-Mart a road? Geez, talk about some ass-backward priorities!
CONGRESS MEMBERS WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT LAWS NOT APPLYING TO CONGRESS NOW THINK LAWS SHOULDN'T APPLY TO THEM AFTER ALL
Remember how when the spittle-spewing fascists of the Contract With America seized power in the 1994 "election" (which had a turnout of about 3 people and was marred by fraud almost as bad any a decade later) they kept bragging that they would make it so laws that apply to everyone else also apply to members of Congress?
You knew they were full of shit, because they were the new breed of conservatives, and rules don't apply to them. They weren't going to make the laws apply to themselves, and we knew it. But it's taken 11 years for anyone else to figure out what was clear to me and you from the get-go.
The Boston Globe says Republicans in the House want a new policy to specifically exempt members of Congress from anti-discrimination laws that govern private companies. They support this despite their pledge in the Contract With America that they would "require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress."
Back in January, right-wing House leaders Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois), Rep. Tom DeLay Who Doesn't Delay Making An Ass Of Himself (R-Texas), and Rep. Roy Blunt Should Smoke A Blunt (R-Missouri) submitted a legal brief in a discrimination lawsuit against another House member saying members of Congress ought to be shielded from such suits. Why? According to them, the Constitution protects their ability to work with staff members who they choose, without regard to anti-discrimination laws.
What the piping hot hell are they talking about?! We don't see anything in the Constitution that applies to that anyway.
This is just one of many aspects of the Contract With America that conservatives refuse to apply to themselves. Kind of like term limits. Remember when the Democrats controlled Congress how term limits was all you ever heard about? After 1994 the Republicans really clammed up about that, didn't they? Oh, to see that issue come back and bite them squarely on the bunker would serve them so fucking right. But it won't come back, because it coincidentally vanished from the media's conscience right when the Republicans seized Congress. (They call it the "liberal" media?)
(Copywrong 2005. Online edition created with Internet Exploder 6.)