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Friday, October 31, 2014
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    pandering to stupid

    I hate this time of year

    by | Feb 25, 2014

    Deal-visits-the-capitol-Thumb

    I live in Georgia. The General Assembly is in session. It is our annual celebration of stupidity, ignorance, pandering, baiting, and hate. It is open season on history, the Constitution, science, mutual respect, and common sense. It is a loathsome time. 40 days and $20 billion in public cash. One party, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for some.

    This is an election year and our elected officials cannot legally accept campaign contributions while the legislature is in session. The pressure is on in a hurry to protect poor little Georgia from big meanie pants Washington. Blame Obama. Praise Jesus. All hail the NRA and Georgia Carry. Cut taxes, but give give give to bidness.

    Now please don’t misunderstand: Many of our leaders are not stupid. They just lead the stupid. To be elected from most places in Georgia, a candidate has to have a Bible in one pocket, one hand on a gun*, the other in another pocket and both feet on the poor. The more outrageous cruelty they can spew, the more electable they become. But it is too early for the fall campaigns.

    Let’s just talk about today. Here are examples from just this day’s headlines from our daily newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (the link will take you to subscriptions – yes, I subscribe and encourage you to subscribe). I provided links to the stories, but it is virtually impossible to read the AJC and find the identical stories on their website or app because of updating. One caution on following the links, no matter how many times you sign in as a subscriber, it won’t be enough – just buy the paper.

    This bill would make it legal for business owners (corporations are people too so some must be racist, homophobic, misogynistic, nativist, etc. or all of the above) to discriminate based on your religious beliefs. This bill must be intended to appeal to people who are filled with hate for people they have never met. The backers pretend the guv’ment is forcing private businesses to sin by treating everyone equal. Combine this one with stand your ground and it feels just like the old days in Georgia.

    This is another one of those bills that is attempting to fix something that has never been a problem. The bill would prevent people who don’t have legal status — but our government says can be here (deferred action) — from getting a driver’s license. This would include those “who were illegally brought here as children, battered spouses, parents with seriously ill children and crime victims who are serving as witnesses.” Another of those, beat-‘em-while-they-are-down bills. Just mean. Nasty. I know that some pink people are afraid of anyone who is able to learn another language or who has traveled internationally. I suppose it just makes the lawmakers feel small and inferior to encounter such people. A shame, really. Why couldn’t the lawmakers just get a lobbyist to pay for a language class or a fact-finding junket?

    A bill that was withdrawn because almost all the members of the majority party were embarrassed that they would be voting against something that was perceived as libertarian but also would seem to some voters to help child molesters. The bill was intended to fix a problem with existing law, passed by the same people who were being asked to vote this time, which treats registered sex offenders and those loitering around schools the same.

    The idea is simple: make sure there are enough stupid and ignorant voters in Georgia’s future that the party in charge will stay in charge.
    This bill would increase from 58 MILLION DOLLARS to 100 MILLION DOLLARS the amount given to people and businesses (corporations are people, too) as tax deductions for scholarships to private schools for rich white kids. Where does Georgia get that kind of money? By taking it from public education. This governor and this legislature have starved Georgia schools, cutting per-student funding by almost 30% in the past five years. Without a good education, you can’t earn a living wage and desperate people equal cheap labor, and that’s good for business, especially Georgia’s private prison and parole industry.

    I hate this time of year. It brings out the worst in me. Fits of anger only mollified by the absurdity of it all. Nausea followed by swallowing bile. Laughing at the irony when I can find it, always followed by sadness. Most of all, an overwhelming sense of powerlessness.

     


     

    * I’ve got no issue with hunters, sports shooters, varmint killers and those trained to safely own and handle firearms. I just don’t know what other people who need all these pistols and automatic weapons are so afraid of or why they so often shoot themselves or family members or leave their loaded guns around for their kids to find after they have passed out drunk in their chairs. And I don’t know why they are so paranoid. We don’t want their guns. We just don’t want their guns used to shoot our kids or other people’s kids or our grandmas or people playing music too loud or people who look different or bathe more often than they do.  I don’t even care that they can’t read the Constitution and believe their state militia’s rights to keep and bear arms apply to their small little lives even when the current Supreme Court agrees with them and not me. What’s the big deal? Surely there are enough gun people who are sane and wish to be protected from the gun wackos. Figure this out. Make life safer the old fashion way (and the way the rest of the developed world does) by not carrying unlicensed, unregistered guns around and locking them up when they are not needed to play with to make you feel more important and secure about erectile dysfunction. Or are you just too yellow and chicken to stand up for yourselves? Kidding, please don’t shoot.

    ###
    Lee Leslie

    Lee Leslie

    I’m just a plateaued-out plain person with too much time on his hands fighting the never ending lingual battle with windmills for truth, justice and the American way or something like that. Here are some reader comments on my writing: “Enough with the cynicism. One doesn’t have to be Pollyanna to reject the sky is falling fatalism of Lee Leslie’s posts.” “You moron.” “Again, another example of your simple-minded, scare-mongering, label-baiting method of argumentation that supports the angry left’s position.” “Ah, Lee, you traffic in the most predictable, hackneyed leftist rhetoric that brought us to the current state of political leadership.” “You negative SOB! You destroyed all my hope, aspiration, desperation, even.” “Don’t you LIBERALS realize what this COMMIE is talking about is SOCIALISM?!?!?!” “Thank you for wonderful nasty artful toxic antidote to this stupidity in the name of individual rights.” “I trust you meant “bastard” in the truest father-less sense of the word.” “That’s the first time I ran out of breath just from reading!” “You helped me hold my head a little higher today.” “Makes me cry every time I read it.” “Thanks for the article. I needed something to make me laugh this mourning.” “If it weren’t so sad I would laugh.” "... the man who for fun and personal growth (not to mention rage assuagion) can skin a whale of bullshit and rack all the meat (and rot) in the larder replete with charts and graphs and a kindness..."“Amen, brother.”

     

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    • Sophist

      “Or are you just too yellow and chicken to stand up for yourselves?”

      I’d love for you to bring your big, manly fists to a gunfight with a career criminal so we can see just how well they perform against a stolen gun.

      SCOTUS is silent on much of the Second amendment. How about we not take on the role of a Supreme Court justice and leave the interpretation, or lack thereof, of the Second amendment to the people appointed for the job?

      “I just don’t know what other gun people who need all these pistols and automatic weapons”

      Respectfully, I really do mean respectfully, you are ignorant of that which you speak. New automatic weapons have been banned for civilians since 1986. They are legal for civilians to own if they were legally registered as machine guns May 19, 1986 or earlier. Automatic weapons are now relegated to collectors and fetch tens of thousands of dollars. They are fairly rare and are not widely owned by most civilians due to the extreme cost and burdensome paperwork required to [legally] own them. Please Google the “Firearm Owners Protection Act” and educate yourself on the subject matter.
      All that aside, let’s talk about Georgia’s pending legislation strictly pertaining to Georgia Weapons Carry License holders. Show me a criminal who has walked their stolen gun into a police station to obtain a federally mandated background check. Show me a criminal who goes to the courthouse to get fingerprinted and GBI/FBI checked in order to obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License to comply with Georgia state law. Show me a criminal who has gazed upon a “Firearms Prohibited on Premises” sign and said to themselves, “I can’t carry my stolen gun here, that sign told me I can’t.” The fact is criminals carry stolen guns illegally, wherever they like, with no license, no Brady check or regard for the law and use them to ply their craft — crime.
      People who go through all this BS (fingerprints, forms and fees) to get their license seek to act within the law. They simply want to defend themselves with guns from criminals with guns, criminals who illegally carry in spite of what the law says.
      You take a gun to a gunfight, not your fists. If you are accosted by an armed criminal and you have no tool with which to defend yourself, you are literally placing your life in the hands of an armed criminal. People who legally carry guns at least have options in that situation. A person without a gun really can’t do much more than beg for their life.

      • http://likethedew.com Lee Leslie

        Respectfully, I am ignorant of the specific differences of semi-automatic weapons and their accessories available a licensed gun dealers, shows, facebook or the worldwide web and those fully militarized weapons. I was imprecise, regret it and thank your for calling me on it. I am also ignorant as to why these almost automatic weapons are needed in a society given our commitment to law enforcement, national guard and our military.
        Heretofore, I have had no need to bring fists or guns to take on career criminals and hope to keep it that way. Either there are fewer armed criminals than is imagined, our police are doing their job, or I just don’t go looking for someone to label as dangerous and act as judge, jury and executioner.
        Thank you for reading and commenting. I promise, you have nothing to fear from me.

        • hannah

          I expect some people are endemically fearful because their transit through the birth canal was terrifying and that’s also why they are down on the women folk. If they exist in an ineffable present, then having survived the transit is not a boon. That they might not survive persists as a threat. And then, of course, everybody knows there will be an end.

        • Sophist

          “Heretofore, I have had no need to bring fists or guns to take on career criminals and hope to keep it that way.”
          Well, you are fortunate to have not been the victim of a violet attack. You may hope to keep it that way, I think we all do, but one day, by no fault of your own, you may unwittingly and unwillingly be forced into such a situation by a violent person.
          “Either there are fewer armed criminals than is imagined, our police are doing their job”
          Violent crime is not all that common but neither are house fires. The odds of my house burning down are exceptionally low; I still find it prudent to have smoke alarms installed throughout. My smoke alarms may save my life one day. They are an effective means of countering an adverse situation involving a house fire. The odds of me being violently attacked are low too. Even still, like with the smoke alarms, why not utilize a tool which acts as an effective countermeasure to certain life threatening situations like assault, rape and murder?
          “or I just don’t go looking for someone to label as dangerous and act as judge, jury and executioner.”
          This is a very poor characterization of people who lawfully carry firearms for their defense. Firstly, there is not a single law in Georgia which allows anyone with a weapon to act offensively against another. Secondly, people with carry permits do not roam around looking for people to execute. My wife, myself and dozens upon dozens of other people we know who lawfully carry do not go about their lives seeking confrontations with our firearms. I think what you are hinting at is guns cause some sort of blood lust to manifest itself in people who carry — like we turn into werewolves or something every time we pack. Guns do not impart blood lust! Like I said, they simply give you options during the unfortunate and rare event of a violent attack. If I’m being attacked and my life is in grave danger, I want all the options I can get.

          • http://likethedew.com Lee Leslie

            You know, I have actually read about cheap smoke alarms actually causing fires, but I do agree with you that it is a good idea to have smoke alarms in my home. I hadn’t thought about carrying them around with me. But back to the guns, my preference would be for there to be less reason for you to wish to carry a gun. Your argument suggests that as long as others have guns, you’ll carry. But to achieve a more peaceful society, who goes first and leaves their guns at home? I believe there are many aspects of our “civilization” that are faith-based, and I’m not referencing religion -- I act lawfully, because I have faith that others treat me lawfully and I leave justice to the courts.
            Were I attacked, I’m much better off without a gun -- I will be less threatening and run faster.

            • Phil Evans

              Lee, criminals will never go first and leave their guns at home. Isn’t it the nature of evil to do evil? Criminals also can do much damage without guns. They’ve used knives, baseball bats, fists, and outnumbering to assault, rob, rape, and murder. A gun in the hand of a victim in those attacks would have been preferable to innocent lives being harmed or snuffed out.

              Were I to be attacked, I know that I am better off knowing I can effectively defend myself. I cannot run fast enough to get away from a young attacker, much less fast enough to keep from getting a bullet in the back. I’m hoping that when I make it to 90 I can brag that I’ve never shot anyone, but I guarantee I’ll never have to voice any regrets at not having the means to keep myself or my loved ones from having been victimized by violent criminals. It’s that simple.

              It’s a mindset that some may not understand, but some on the opposite side do come to understand it at some point in their lives when faced with danger and are helpless to stop it.

              On the other hand, what could possibly happen to me to make me determine to ever go through life being willing to feel helpless in any dangerous situation with a criminal?

              A gun is just a tool, not a perfect one to be sure, but it does give one more options. I’ve carried mine for over 20 years, and am thankful for the passage of Georgia’s HB 60 which enables me to lawfully carry in more places as I go about my business.

    • Keith Graham

      What’s most horrifying is that people in our state don’t seem to realize how ugly it is to be mean and cruel. It’s one thing to be ill-informed. Even being stupid is forgivable. But being mean and cruel? I don’t get it, and I don’t understand why Georgians or any voters — well, certainly, not more than a few really sick folks — would tolerate the policies our legislators seem determined to enact.

    • Eileen

      This sounds like government by the Mad Hatters’ Tea Party. Am I right to feel nervous?

    • tom ferguson

      whoo! the ol’ gun discussion pushes those buttons. It’s all so abstract, the second amendment. Senators Issickkson & Shameless have “second amendment” on their comments subject options but talk to any Emergency Room Doc & see how abstract, and how much fun it all is on that end. tom ferguson

    • Fallschirmjäger

      Only the government and its employees are trustworthy enough to be armed.

    • Tom

      Most states must suffer elected fools. It’s epidemic. And it crosses borders …. look at that idiot up in Canada.

    • Trevor Irvin

      Great piece Lee. Spot on. And yeah, some folks will just never get it.
      Regards,
      T

    • Patrick Ledford

      Good work Lee. enjoyed

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