About greg

Just another bozo on the bus.

uncomfortable confessional crap

You know, you get so used to your life that sometimes you fail to recognize how odd it is. Or how odd it seems to other people.

I was reminded of this recently. It was a pretty ordinary situation; I was with a friend in a dimly-lit hallway and there was a bit of light peeking out from beneath a closed door. I must have hesitated a bit before opening the door. Well, no, I know I hesitated a moment. I always do.

“What was that about?” my friend asked.

“What was what about?”

“That pause before you opened the door.”

pause a moment

I don’t talk about myself very often. I don’t really spend much time thinking about myself. I’m not very self-reflective. I’ve lived with myself my entire life, so there’s nothing really new there for me to learn. I’m aware that other people don’t hesitate before opening a door that has a light shining underneath it — but it doesn’t occur to me that it’s odd that I do it.

But when somebody else notices it, you sort of have to explain. And how do you do that? How do you tell somebody that when you approach a door in a dimly-lit hallway — a door with a light shining underneath it — that you hesitate because you always remember opening a similar door with a similar light and finding a dead guy hanging from a pipe? How do you do that without sounding all dramatic?

Because it’s really not dramatic. There’s just a moment — and seriously, it’s just a very brief moment — when you have to suppress an old spark of fear. I know I’m not going to open that door and see a dead guy hanging from a pipe. But my brain always says “Okay, prepare yourself for something horrible, then open the door.” And I open it and everything is okay.

I was a medic in the military. For most of my military career I was assigned to a large medical center, in a unit called Special Functions. I was part of a team that responded primarily to respiratory and cardiac emergencies. Most of what we did took place within the medical center; cardiac arrests, respiratory arrests, that sort of thing. But sometimes we’d be sent out on ambulance runs.

I don’t recall what sparked this particular run; somebody must have assumed there was a living person in some sort of respiratory distress. But there wasn’t. We responded to a hotel where somebody from the base worked part-time on a maintenance crew. The hotel staff directed us to the basement. Some sort of heating and air-conditioning facility.

So…dimly-lit hallway, light shining out from under the door.

The guy had been dead for a few days. All the bodily fluids had drained to his extremities, so his arms and legs were bloated and dark purple. His neck had stretched about a foot, so his feet were almost touching the floor. We were afraid that if we cut him down, the impact would cause his bloated feet to explode, so another medic and I had to support him while a third cut the — I don’t recall if it was a rope or a belt or a cord. Whatever he’d hung himself with. And, of course, there was the stink of putrefaction.

The whole event was pretty ghastly, but really it was just one of a number of ghastly things I’ve seen or done. I won’t say you get used to ghastly stuff, but you do become sort of inured to it. There have been other experiences that gave me nightmares for years, but that wasn’t one of them.

And yet I still flash on the image when I’m in a dimly-lit hallway and I see light under a doorway. To me, it’s not a big deal. Explaining it to somebody, though, is sort of embarrassing. Not because of what happened, but because of the way they look at you.

My friend said “You should talk about that stuff. You should write about it. Maybe you’ll get over it. Put it behind you.” So I said I would, because that was the easiest thing to say.

But here’s the thing: why would I want to put it behind me? Ugly things happen. They happen to everybody. I don’t want to forget them. I don’t mind that the memory of ugly things sometimes cause some minor disruption in my life. Ugly things are supposed to cause some disruption.

I know now what I should have said to my friend: “I still open the door. I always open the door. I’ll keep opening the door.” Because as long as you can open the door, that’s really all that matters.

my morning, interrupted

So I’m sitting here, right? It’s 9:30 on a Saturday morning, I’m drinking a cup of cold brew, looking out the window at drizzly-cloudy day, getting ready to read my students’ work. And the doorbell rings.

Guy in a suit. Young guy, white, earnest glasses, unsmiling. Right, Jehovah’s Witness. I open the door, he mutters something, hands me a pamphlet, and turns away. I didn’t even get a chance to say ‘Good morning.’ Not much of a witness — but hey, it’s 9:30 on a Saturday morning and it’s drizzly-cloudy. Who can blame him for wanting to finish his chores and go find a dry place where he can get a cup of…do Jehovah’s Witnesses drink coffee?

JW

Where can we find answers to life’s big questions? The pamphlet seems to suggest we can find them on our smartphone. Android phone, by the looks of it. Sorry, Siri. But what ARE life’s big questions? They’re listed on the back. Which of these big questions concerns you most? They’re not the questions I would have asked. Which is maybe one of the many reasons I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness.

What is the meaning of life?

Is God to blame for our suffering?

What happens when you die?

I’m a tad disturbed by the way the last two questions are phrased. Is God to blame for OUR suffering, and what happens when YOU die. Our suffering, your death. They don’t want to come right out and say ‘Dude, we know what’s going to happen when WE die, but you? Different story, bud.’

I don’t know…all I wanted was a cup of cold brew coffee, a few minutes to scan the news, then get my homework out of the way. Now I’m faced with these three questions. Fucking doorbell. Never should have answered the door. Never get out of the boat (no idea why Apocalypse Now popped into my brain).

Okay…meaning of life. I don’t know. Not very concerned about it. Eat well, get to know some interesting people, be curious, help other folks when you can. That ought to do it.

Is God to blame for our suffering? I don’t know. I don’t believe in god. But sure, why not? If you’re going to go to all the fuss and bother of believing in god, you might as well give him something to do. Shoulder the blame–that ought to keep him busy. And everybody who claims to speak for god, let’s hand them a share of the blame too. And let’s give a portion to all those young guys who ring doorbells at 9:30 on a Saturday morning — they sure as hell added to my suffering.

Right, what’s next? Oh…what happens when you die? I don’t know. Does it matter? I mean, regardless of what happens you’re still going to do it. It’s not like it’s optional. I totally get the idea that a lot of folks believe that if you live your life a certain way, then after you’re dead you get to join god’s special club. Like if you practice the clarinet, maybe you’ll get to play with the marching band. Or maybe you’ll just piss away a lot of time playing the clarinet. I don’t know. Can’t get very concerned about it.

By the way, I did a Google image search of ‘god clarinet’ to find a visual to include in this post. So okay, I don’t know the meaning of life and I don’t know what happens when you die, but I think this has to figure into it somehow:

clarinet cries for mercy

Seriously, you ought to do that image search. Brilliant. And that earnest young man who rang my doorbell this morning? If not for him, I’d have never seen this. Maybe there really is a god and this is his plan.

Her plan.

One of those. Praise Jeebus.

a complicated densely-packed clusterfuck

A friend asked me why I hadn’t written anything about the clusterfuck taking place in Ferguson, Missouri. I’m a criminologist, after all — or used to be. I’ve taught undergrad courses in policing, in deviance, in criminological theory, and all that other criminal justice and sociological stuff. Surely, my friend said, I had to have thoughts and opinions about what’s going on in Ferguson.

Ferguson confrontation

And he’s right, I do have opinions and thoughts. But here’s the reason I haven’t written about them: it’s complicated. I don’t mean the reason is complicated; I mean the clusterfuck itself is complicated. In fact, it’s not one clusterfuck. It’s an entire cascade of clusterfucks, each of which is also complicated. Not complex, complicated.

Complexity is intrinsic; a system is complex if it involves a lot of moving parts, even at its most basic level. There’s nothing wrong with complexity. Complication, though, is extrinsic; a system is made complicated by external factors, by stuff that’s non-essential to the system. Complication is always fucked up. And what we have in Ferguson is a collision of several different complicated social systems.

ferguson looter

If you want to understand what’s happened in Ferguson — and I mean actually understand it, not just be outraged by it — then there’s a whole buttload of other related stuff you need to understand first. You need to understand police culture, and the notion of the operative assumption of guilt (which isn’t, in itself, a bad thing). You need to understand how three or four hundred years of legitimized violence by white folks against black folks has shaped the perspectives of both groups. You need to understand how gender shapes the police response to confrontation. You need to understand how four decades of federal grants to local law enforcement agencies militarized policing — accidentally at first, and then more deliberately. You need to understand how ‘fair housing’ laws essentially forced black families into working class ghetto neighborhoods, then routinely undermined actual attempts at home ownership — which perpetuated a semi-rootless culture more attached to a community than to home and family. You need to understand how television helped turn policing from an occupation grounded in community service and job security into one grounded in car chases and kicking ass. And you need to understand the terrible pleasure that comes from releasing fear through an act of violence.

ferguson tear gas

And after you begin to understand all that, you need to understand that each of these issues is related to all the other issues. All of them. This is a densely-packed clusterfuck. We’d like to believe it can be fixed. It can’t.

It can’t be fixed because it’s not a problem that’s reducible to its component parts. You can’t ‘fix’ any of these issues without fixing them all. It’s not a problem that can be solved; it can only be unraveled.

ferguson hands up

We may have seen the beginning of that unraveling last night. Missouri State Police took control of security in Ferguson. They got rid of the riot gear, got rid of the gas masks, got rid of the helmets, got rid of the fucking military vehicles. They wore their regular uniforms, they met the angry but peaceful demonstrators in the streets, and they stepped aside.

Will it last? Maybe. In Ferguson, probably. For a while. For a while. But don’t expect much. Because it’s complicated. It’s complicated and, obviously, not localized. The conditions that created the densely-packed clusterfuck of Ferguson exist all over this nation. It’s complicated. Complicated and self-perpetuating.

war on white folks

I have to say, I’m a little irritated about this. There’s a war on white folks taking place, and nobody even bothered to tell me about it. Nobody. As a white folk myself (I have photographs to prove it), this is pretty discouraging. I mean, c’mon…I’m white, for Pete’s sake. People are supposed to tell me these things.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) being all thoughtful about issues of race and stuff.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) being all thoughtful about issues of race and stuff.

Seriously, if it wasn’t for the courage of whistleblower Congressman Mo Brooks, I’d have gone about my daily white activities (getting my shoes polished, buying various foodstuffs I can eat with mayonnaise, lobbying Congress, etc.) totally unaware that Democrats were waging war against me (and other white folks too). Brooks (who, coincidentally, is white) revealed this information in an interview with white radio host Laura Ingraham:

“[T]he war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”

Oh man, that Obama. I should’ve known it was his fault. He’s not a white folk, by the way, even though he’s the president (how did that happen, anyway; seems pretty suspicious to me). But it’s pretty clear (to white folks at least)  Obama couldn’t possibly understand the plight of white folks in America. He can’t understand the pressure we’re under, trying to maintain some reasonable (and by ‘reasonable’ I mean ‘white’) standards of decency. I mean, sure, Obama plays at golf…but does anybody check his scorecard when he’s finished?

President Barack Obama (I think...maybe...close enough).

President Barack Obama (I think…maybe…close enough).

Congressman Brooks, he understands us. Us being the white folks the Democrats are making war against. Brooks isn’t just white, he’s also a lifelong Republican. And he’s from Alabama. You can’t get much whiter than that. Unless you’re from Idaho. Or maybe Alaska. Those places are pretty white, so like Brooks says, they don’t have any problems with race. Or sex, or greed, or envy. Or class either. None of those things that Obama is using to divide America. Also, Nebraska. And Kansas, I guess. They seem pretty normal too. And by ‘normal’ I mean…well, you know.

Anyway, white Congressman Brooks went on to say this:

“Democrats, they have to demagogue on this and try and turn it into a racial issue, which is an emotional issue, rather than a thoughtful issue. If it becomes a thoughtful issue, then we win and we win big. And they lose and they lose big.”

I’m not really sure what demagogue means, but it’s not English so I suspect it’s something perverse. The point being that those pesky Democrats ruin everything. Because they’re emotional and not thoughtful (even though many of them are white). If people would just be more thoughtful about race and less emotional about it, Republicans would win! In other words, if people (and by ‘people’ you know who I mean, right?) would just learn to be as thoughtful as white folks, then everything would be okay. You know, for white folks. Like it’s supposed to be. You know…before the war. Which Republicans didn’t start. Because they’re white.

Congressman Mo Brooks (left) watches a negro.

Congressman Mo Brooks (left) watches a negro.

But now there’s a war. So I guess I should get me a gun. Just in case an emotional Democrat tries to make me approve of gay people having buttsex in church. A church where they perform abortions.

 

2+2 = trout

Here they are. Steve King, Michele Bachmann, and Louis Gohmert. Dumb and Dumber and Oh my god so fucking dumb you wouldn’t believe.

Their names and addresses are stitched into their collars.

Their names and addresses are stitched into their collars.

These are seriously ignorant people. Putting these three members of Congress together in one room creates an intelligence vacuum powerful enough to put others at risk of second hand stupidity. The collective ignorance of these three would displace more water than a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. They are so dense their brains are impervious to neutrinos.

And yeah, they have ‘opinions’ about the border crisis in Texas. You know…the border crisis? The one in which nearly sixty thousand children unaccompanied by adults have arrived at the border of Mexico and the United States–not to sneak into the U.S., but to turn themselves in to border agents in the hope of asylum? That border crisis. The kids are mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Until recently, they were mostly boys around 15 years old. Now they’re mostly girls, many of them as young as 13 years old.

Why are these kids (and let me just say that again, kids) coming to the United States? To escape the poverty and violence of their native lands.

Rep. Steve King (Iowa), unable to operate garden tools.

Rep. Steve King (R–Iowa), unable to operate garden tools.

Steve King, Republican from I’m-so-ashamed Iowa, who is so stupid he has trouble with a four piece jigsaw puzzle, recently said this about those kids at the border:

This is a man-caused disaster, and the man that caused it is Barack Obama with his DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy, with his Morton Memos and the advertisement that has been such a huge magnet that have caused these families to give their daughters birth control pills and send them down a rape path all the way through Mexico, and it’s a death path on the death train.

A death path on the death train. What the fuck does that even mean? A death path on a dea…Jeebus, it hurts even to write it, it’s that fucking stupid. And parents giving their daughters birth control pills and sending them down a rape path? King is apparently unable to conceive of how terribly desperate these parents must be to send their kids north, or how hopeless the kids must be to willingly undertake that sort of trek.

But hey, it must be President Obama’s fault. Obviously these kids and their parents are familiar with Obama’s DOCA policy (which, tell the truth now, you probably haven’t even heard about). So what does this good Jeebus-loving Congressman want to do with those kids? Send them back, of course. To those same parents who gave them birth control pills and put them on that death train path thing.

Stupid stupid stupid. Speaking of which….

Representative Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Incredibly Stupid

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R–Texas), has his shoes labeled Right and Left, and his boots labeled Boots.

Louis Gohmert, Republican from Texas. The guy who thinks shoelaces are a commie conspiracy. Gohmert is the legislator who didn’t want the U.S. to provide funds to China to help preserve the habitat of certain rare species of wild cats and dogs because (and I swear, I’m not making this up) “[T]here is no assurance that if we did that, we wouldn’t end up with moo goo dog pan or moo goo cat pan. There is no way to assure that money will not be wasted.” That’s right, he didn’t want to save these rare animals because he thought Chinese folks might serve them with rice.

Gohmert has a long history of distrusting folks south of the Texas border. He’s the idiot who came up with the notion of ‘terror babies.’ You know…pregnant women being snuck into the U.S. by terrorists so their babies would be granted citizenship, after which they’d return to their terrorist home base where those babies would be “raised and coddled as future terrorists,” then “twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life.” That’s some weapons grade stupidity, right there.

Louis Gohmert just ain’t buying that ‘escaping from violence’ line those thousands of kids are handing out. He knows those kids are totally lying their brown little asses off. He says those kids have been coached by their parents (remember those parents–the ones who gave them birth control pills before sending them down that rape path on the train). Here’s what Gohmert had to say about the situation:

Texas and the United States is being invaded, and we’re in danger, and I know you’ve heard a lot of people say ‘Well, they’re fleeing gang violence,’ Well, I guess it was Friday night, in the middle of the night, I’m talking to border patrol out there along the dirt road by the river–by the way, the same dirt road where I saw my first tarantula that wasn’t in captivity. But anyway, a Hispanic border patrolman was telling me that, you know, over ninety percent of the people they questioned in Spanish immediately say ‘We’re fleeing gang violence’ and he said ‘Man, I push back hard when they say that, I say ‘You may want to lie like that to somebody else, but you and I both know that it’s the gangs that are getting paid to bring you up here, so don’t tell me you’re fleeing gang violence when you’re being transported up here to the U.S. by gangs.’ And he said over ninety percent of the time they’ll say ‘Well, that’s true, but we were told to say that we were fleeing gang violence.’

So there you have it. Gohmert believes that if gangs transport children to the U.S. border, then obviously those kids can’t be escaping gang violence in their home country. I guess because he thinks it must be the same gang? Or else he’s so fucking stupid he can’t count to two. Seriously, who would you believe? Sixty thousand kids who’ve risked their lives to reach the U.S. border, and whose reports of gang violence are supported by news sources? Or an unnamed border patrol agent you met on the same dirt road where you saw a free-range tarantula?

Lawdy, so very very very stupid. Speaking of which….

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R--Minnesota), eats paste.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R–Minnesota), eats paste.

Michele Bachmann, Republican from Minnesota. She has a special bubbly kind of stupid. A stupid that initially seems perky, but on closer observation is a barely contained manic stupidity. It’s stupidity laced with paranoia. Her take on those kids at the border? Obviously, President Obama is bringing them here for medical experiments.

President Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, those illegal aliens to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system. That’s more kids that you can see how – we can’t imagine doing this, but if you have a hospital and they are going to get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody, and a Ward of the state can’t say ‘no,’ a little kid can’t say ‘no’ if they’re a Ward of the state; so here you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can’t even say ‘no.’ It’s sick.

You may have heard this line: That’s not only not right, it’s not even wrong. It was said by a physicist named Wolfgang Pauli after reading a paper that was so fundamentally flawed that it couldn’t be evaluated on a right-wrong metric.

Bachmann’s claim doesn’t just lead to a wrong conclusion. The premise of her claim aren’t even related to any possible conclusion. If 2+2=4 is correct, and 2+2=7 is wrong, then Bachmann is claiming 2+2=trout.

The problem with these three members of Congress isn’t just that they’re stupid; it’s that they combine their stupidity with mean-spiritedness. They see these kids as representing an existential threat to America–to their understanding of America. And so they want them sent away as quickly as possible. They don’t really care where the kids go, or what might happen to them when they get there–they just want them gone.

Each of these three idiots claim to be Christians. I’m not a Christian, but I’ve read the Bible and there’s some good stuff in there. Like this:

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

And he took them up in his arms and blessed them. I like that. These guys keep saying the U.S. should base policy on biblical principles. Most of the time I think that’s a really bad idea. But I could get behind a policy that embraces the little children.

 

color photography is vulgar

You know whose birthday it is? Today, the 27th day of July–whose birthday? It’s okay if you don’t know, on account of I’m going to tell you.

It’s the birthday of William Joseph Eggleston. You know, the photographer? The guy who took black-and-white art photography by the neck, wrestled it to the ground, and rubbed its face in bright, bright color. Lurid color. William Eggleston. Bill. Born in that fine Southern city of Memphis, Tennessee. 1939. Seventy-five years old today.

Yeah, he’s still alive. His son, Winston, told The New Yorker magazine that Eggleston will likely spend the day “playing Bach sonatas on his recently installed Bösendorfer piano.” Yeah. Maybe. Or maybe that’s just the sort of thing a son would tell The New Yorker magazine, because he didn’t want to say his dad might just spend the day slowly sipping bourbon and looking out the window at Overton Park in Memphis, wondering how the hell he could possibly be seventy-five years old;

He pissed off a lot of important photography folks, Bill Eggleston. Folks like Walker Evans, who didn’t like color photography. Walker Evans, whose quest was to make photographs that were “literate, authoritative, transcendent” (which he did, by the way, nobody can say Evans was anything less than literate and authoritative). But the man just didn’t like color.

“There are four simple words on the matter, which must be whispered: Color photography is vulgar.”

He was authoritative on that, no mistake. Eggleston, though, liked vulgar color. And he didn’t give a rat’s ass about being authoritative or transcendent. He had–and probably still has–a subversive eye. “I am at war with the obvious,” Eggleston once said. Which, given the vivid color of his photography, sounds an awful lot like bullshit. But it’s not.

I wrote about Eggleston’s war with the obvious half a decade ago, and I’m just too lazy to spend the time trying to find a way to repeat it using different words. You can read it if you’re interested. Or just trust me–when Eggleston said he was at war with the obvious, he was straight up telling the truth.

Eggleston at a piano (photo by Juergen Teller)

Eggleston at a piano (photo by Juergen Teller)

I’m hoping Eggleston has himself a happy birthday. I’m hoping he really does play some Bach on his fancy piano. And sips some bourbon. And maybe spends some time outside. It would be cool if he shot some photos today, but if he doesn’t…well, he’s taken his share. It’s okay if he leaves the camera at home.

(By the way, that photo above–the one by Juergen Teller? It’s a damned fine photo. I like it a lot. But it’s pretty obvious. Teller does good work, but he’s no William Joseph Eggleston, is he.)

these fucking idjits

Okay, I’ll admit, I don’t credit the Open Carry Texas folks with an abundance of common sense. I mean, openly toting firearms in a store called ‘Target’ seems pretty stupid on a fundamental level. Sure, it could be interpreted as an ironic statement on the way the Second Goddamn Amendment is interpreted by some folks these days. Except the OCT folks are as lacking in irony as they are in common sense.

If openly walking around with a firearm in a big box store is stupid (it is really stupid), then approximately how stupid would it be to do the same thing in Dealey Plaza in Dallas? Here’s the answer: incredibly fucking stupid. We’re talking about Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy had a big chunk of his head explosively removed by a high-powered rifle.

Open Carry Texas promoting the Second Amendment in Dealey Plaza

Open Carry Texas promoting the Second Amendment in Dealey Plaza

Here’s one of the problems: these guys are fucking idjits. In Texas, they have the legal right to carry rifles and shotguns in public. I may not like it, but they absolutely have that right, just as they have the right to be fucking idjits. But here’s a true thing: being a fucking idjit in support of a cause isn’t the best way to promote that cause. People aren’t seeing these fucking idjits and thinking ‘Hey, cool, guns in Dealey Plaza, I want to get in on that.’ They’re thinking ‘Who are these fucking idjits toting guns in Dealey Plaza?’

Here’s another problem: The already blemished record of Texas in regard to powerful weaponry and U.S. presidents that are unpopular with conservatives is made even worse by Open Carry idjits. Like this one:

ArmedMom.png (550×614)

Where is an assasin [sic] when you need one? Oh, I don’t know…maybe in Texas. When people say shit like this, even in jest, it actually has the effect of increasing the climate of hate. A small effect, sure — but you put enough small effects together and you get a big effect. It increases the climate of hate and fear, and lowers the threshold for acting on that fear and hate.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that in 1963, a couple of hours before his motorcade took him to Dealey Plaza, President Kennedy told his wife, “We’re heading into nut country today.” He said that after seeing this poster:

kennedy wanted for treason

I’ve said this before: I’m pretty much a free speech absolutist. I may find this sort of shit hateful and offensive, but I support the right of hateful people to express their hate in this manner. I may abhor the law that allows Texans to carry their long weapons in public, but it’s the law. Even in Dealey Plaza.

But it’s important that we don’t ignore the toxic effect of this stuff. Especially when we start seeing this sort of shit:

Obama wanted for treason

Does that look at all familiar? Now keep that poster in mind while considering the jackass in the following video — the jackass who says crap like this:

“[Y]ou worry about foreigners coming over the border, we got a foreigner as president! We got a foreigner that was born in Kenya, that has an illegal birth certificate, as president — and you guys are worried about foreigners coming over the border!”

Where is an assassin when you need one? You’re growing them in Texas. And in Arizona, and Nevada, and New Hampshire, and yeah, we’re growing them right here in Iowa. We’re growing them everywhere these fucking idjits gather to talk about ‘Second Amendment remedies’ for dealing with politicians and policies they dislike.

The odds are none of these hateful fucking idjits in Open Carry Texas will ever shoot anybody. But they’re making it easier for other fucking idjits to do it.

chortling curtailed

You guys, today I totally sorta kinda feel bad for Republicans (okay, no, not really). I mean the day started out SO well for them. A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare, or the Kenyan Usurper’s Completely Socialist Plot to Destroy These United States by Giving Health Care to Poor People) was “a plate of absolute bullshit with special bullshit sauce, served with a side of bullshit salad” (actual quote from the ruling, as interpreted by me).

Basically, the court said the Federal gubmint can’t pay subsidies to help poor and working class folks get health insurance. Why? Because there was an editing error in the final draft. It said the subsidies would be paid through exchanges “established by the State”, which two of the three judges decided meant the individual state instead of the federal state. And no, I’m not making that up. That’s actually the basis of their decision. I think. Or something equally absurd.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Potterville) chortling

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Potterville) chortling

Republicans were all “Yay! Millions of poor folks will be denied health care! Democracy works!” House Speaker John Boehner (Hapless Orange-faced Republican Windbag from Ohio) celebrated the decision. He said: “Today’s ruling is also further proof that President Obama’s health care law is completely unworkable. It cannot be fixed.” Senator Ted Cruz (Batshit Crazy Republican from Where Else?) issued a mildly lunatic statement commending the appeals court.

“The D.C. Circuit’s decision today in Halbig v. Burwell is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it…. This is a significant victory for the American people and the rule of law.”

Completely unworkable, you guys! Lawlessness! A significant victory! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Boehner and Cruz chortled in their joy. For like maybe five minutes. Then…blammo! (Actual sound made by appeals court rulings.) The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on the same issue, saying “Are you fucking kidding me? Jeebus, it’s pretty clear from every other goddam word in the Act that they’re talking about the Feds, you morons. Are you guys off your meds?” (Actual quote from the ruling, as interpreted by me.)

Senator Cruz, post-chortle

Senator Cruz, post-chortle

The Fourth Circuit ruling included an analogy:

If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that I want ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order. That is this case.

Seriously, you guys. That’s actually from the decision. Not interpreted by me or any of my personalities. Honest, no shit, directly verbatim from the ruling. Boehner and Cruz did not chortle.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, chortle-free

Speaker of the House John Boehner, chortle-free

I really truly almost sorta kinda (not really) feel bad for those guys. The DC Circuit gave them a piece of candy and the Fourth Circuit took it away. Jill Greenberg could make a photo series out of these guys.

President Obama, on the other hand…