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Mar-31-2011 15:31printcomments

Buy Cable TV, Get a Free Gun

Meanwhile GOP presidential contenders support a moral crusade to save America.

Steve Strand's RadioShack store in Hamilton, Montana
Steve Strand's RadioShack store in Hamilton, Montana.
Courtesy: Guardian UK

(APTOS, Calif.) - Guns in churches, schools and bars. Immigrants expelled to solve financial problems. Morality praised as the key national issue.

American politics are getting more bizarre and in some cases, borders on the nutty. Current politics include Republican legislatures in Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Minnesota fighting for their "rights" to reject energy efficiency light bulbs, while South Carolina will manufacture their own state's rights incandescent bulbs.

Alaska wants to eliminate Federal protection of salmon, polar bears, seals and wolves in favor of "state sovereignty." Dozens of states pledge to roll back "Obamacare," and protect their citizens' right to high-priced monopoly healthcare. A GOP legislator in New Hampshire recommends sending the disabled and homeless to Siberia where it's cheaper to live.

Americans have always relished smears, scandals, and partisan struggles that appeal to the lowest common denominator. A fierce national anti-intellectualism, fear of losing social position, and an economy run into the ditch by greedy bankers are driving the public to look for answers. The Tea Party and their Republican sycophants used this by making the Federal government the enemy to win recent elections: They are having a field day.

Important issues they've tackled include expanding the rights of gun owners, portrayed by the National Rifle Association as oppressed victims of government regulation. These oppressed victims bought 200,000 more guns than usual in 2010, to make a total of 200 million to 350 million guns in the U.S. Despite 30,000 deaths a year and 70,000 injuries caused by these guns, the NRA insists, "guns save lives."

In Florida, NRA supporters seek to impose a fine of $5 million on any doctor who asks patients if they own guns. In South Dakota, NRA supporters want to require every adult citizen to purchase a gun. Georgia is about to allow guns in bars, churches and political events; Arizona allows anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit; and Utah has named an official state firearm, soon to be followed by Texas.

NRA supporters in nine states seek to legalize guns on school campuses. In Montana, Radio Shack is giving away a gun with every purchase of Dish Network, and in Missouri a car dealer is offering a free AK-47 with the purchase of a new vehicle.

Congressional Republicans forced "gun rights" into the healthcare bill to prevent the collection of "any information relating to gun ownership." Congress refuses to ban ammunition clips that hold 40 bullets and fire two shots a second, and the NRA refuses to meet with President Obama because he has "spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment."

In another effort to "save the country," GOP legislatures are attacking illegal immigration. Georgia wants to charge any undocumented resident caught driving drunk with a felony, condemn immigrants for stealing "job opportunities" from citizens, and make it a crime to "transport" or "harbor" illegal immigrants. Several states seek to bar illegals from college and prevent them from marrying U.S. citizens. Alabama would make it illegal to rent to an illegal immigrant, and several states want to pass laws requiring employers to check with a Federal citizenship database before hiring anyone. One GOP legislator says he wants to "make South Carolina a very hostile place for those who are in this country illegally."

Meanwhile GOP presidential contenders support a moral crusade to save America:

  • Mike Huckabee of Arkansas blames the economic downturn, crime and high school drop out rates on our "morality." He wants America to "rediscover God" and worship evangelical Christianity.
  • Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi lauds the White Citizens Councils of the Civil Rights days and pledges that we should do "everything that we can do to stop abortion."
  • Newt Gingrich claims, "religious belief is being challenged by a cultural elite" that wants God "driven out of public life." He places moral values at the top of the U.S. agenda, as important as the economy and national defense.
  • Michele Bachmann promises to increase the importance of social moral issues and says, "Social conservatism is fiscal conservatism."

Working people are not faring well in the business-supported GOP push to dominate politics. In Nevada, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is seeking to repeal the state's $8.25 minimum wage. Darrell Issa, Republican from California, wants to outlaw any states minimum wage higher than the Federal minimum wage. Wisconsin overturned the rights of state workers to collective bargaining, and Republican governors around the country are laying off thousands of workers, privatizing government jobs and firing schoolteachers.

Republican Congressional leaders abolished committees on global warming and ended recycling programs in the House cafeteria, claiming "green" initiatives are too expensive and compostable utensils melt in hot soup and break in salads. The GOP wants to end cheap government mortgages by abolishing Fannie Mae because it competes with for-profit banks. They also seek to abolish the EPA, along with government support of Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio; and Republican Ron Paul wants to abolish almost all government agencies.

Is the GOP creating a new role for America as a laughing stock of the world, or is American simply becoming one giant loony bin?

______________________________

Don Monkerud is an Aptos, California-based writer who follows cultural issues and politics and writes occasional satire.




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Anonymous April 1, 2011 6:40 pm (Pacific time)

I agree with Bill. And its not that I disagree with the author of this story, but its obvious, the author is not well learned in national and world events. Or history. Or economics...or..etc.
Anyone, who actually thinks there is a two party system, is completely, and totally ignorant.

Editor: Come on, you know what they say about opinions, right?  You are not earning medals as a judge of character, and damn if there isn't a two party system, you are only looking at a distinct part of it to reach your conclusion, and that is exactly what religious extremists do, and I have no role in that.


libertyrules April 1, 2011 3:16 pm (Pacific time)

No Don, you are the joke. Don't like state's rights? Fights for individual freedom make you swoon? Poor little thing.


Bill April 1, 2011 7:37 am (Pacific time)

This writer has spun several issues and made outright lies in order to promote his ridiculous agenda. No mention that the CFL's, while energy efficient, have a huge environmental impact, far exceeding any benefit over incandescent bulbs. If he were so concerned about this issue, he would argue for LED bulbs instead. He also twists the gun statistics to suit his agenda. 30,000 killed, includes justifiable homicides by police and citizens. He fails to mention the break down of the 70,000 injuries. How many were criminals wounded in the commission of crimes? How many were negligent discharges? He also fails to mention that anywhere from 250,000 to 2,000,000+ times per year private citizens use firearms to save themselves from criminal attack. 99% of the time, without a shot being fired. A net benefit to society. He is so befuddled, he doesn't even know how this country was founded. THe States are supposed to have supremacy over the Fed, the issues he squawks about are clearly State issues, not federal. The federal government has a narrow, clearly defined role as to what its responsibilities are, and it doesn't include regulated salmon in Alaska. This article is obviously total nonsense for anyone who has a basic understanding of the US system.


Douglas Benson April 1, 2011 6:20 am (Pacific time)

The only thing good about the Rs politics is their stance on weapons and immigration in my book . Weapons are the teeth of liberty ,what part of the right to bear arms shall not be infringed do you not understand? What part of ILLEGAL immigrant do do people not understand ? It should be a felony crime to hire ,house,or provide government services to illegals . I have watched for years as they have ruined the wages in the construction industry ,now more than ever with every scam in the book . Peace


Bill Griffith March 31, 2011 6:35 pm (Pacific time)

Funny article, but it appears that several actual laws on the books are being written about. It is true that gun sales hit a record high beginning in late 2008. An according to the FBI with all these new guns, crime has dropped over 10%, go figure. I'm from Oregon and people with concealed handgun licenses can carry their guns in bars and churches, and the CHL owner crime rate is lower than that for police and even judges in a percentage ratio. Over 100,000 CHL's in Oregon and how often do you hear the mass media reporting any criminal behavior by these folks? It's pretty rare, as it is all over the country for CHL owners (millions of CHL's), and believe me the media would make it front page/and or lead stories of any CHL gun crimes. In Utah they have allowed guns on campuses for several years, and not even one gun crime. Then in Vermont, well you don't need a license to carry, and look at their gun crime rate. Actually where gun crime is high, is where people are not allowed to carry, or it's coming from the criminal element, and they ignore all laws anyway. The writer wrote: "...and make it a crime to "transport" or "harbor" illegal immigrants..." Guess what, that is a crime, it's in the federal statutes. Also many employers are using E-verify to check on employees ID. It is a felony to have a fake SS number. Should we just enforce that law on citizens and not illegals? It appears to me that since the 2009 elections in Massachussettes, Virginia and New Jersey, voters in those liberal states (as per 2008 election) have made it clear that they want spending to be done with what revenue we have. Also nearly 7 out of 10 Americans want immigration laws enforced. So whose making a joke out of those reasonable concerns?

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