Pandemic Of Stupidity

I’m not a fan of name-calling and don’t much like applying the term ‘stupid’ to people.  But there are times that no other word will fit, times when you just have to ‘call a spade a bloody shovel’, as my friend Mary says.  Of late, there seems to be a pandemic of stupidity in the United States.  A few examples …


louie-gohmertU.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert, a republican from Texas, has contracted the coronavirus.  Now, it shouldn’t have come as any surprise, for ol’ Louie has steadfastly refused to wear a face mask or observe the precautions that most of us are following.  Louie, though, doesn’t think he contracted the virus from breathing in other people’s germs, or from picking up the germ on some surface he may have touched.  Nope, ol’ Louie thinks he got the virus from … wait for it … wearing a mask!

“It’s really ironic because a lot of people have made a really big deal out of my not wearing a mask a whole lot, but in the last week or two, I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months.  I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, if I might have put some germs, some of the virus on the mask and breathed it in.” 

Well, there’s a new one for the record books, eh?  But Louie’s stupidity doesn’t stop there.  On Wednesday morning, after being informed that he had tested positive for the virus, he returned to his Capitol Hill office and told staff he wanted to inform them ‘in person’ instead of them finding out from news reports.  WHAT … a phone call or an email wouldn’t have worked just as well?  And this man has a Juris Doctor degree from Baylor Law School and has held a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005 – fifteen years!  How did he manage all that with so little intelligence?


vince-ginnThen there’s Vance Ginn, another Texan.  Vance is the chief economist for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.  In Texas, as in most states, minorities make up a disproportionate number of the deaths from the coronavirus, as do the elderly.  Mr. Ginn, citing the demographic data of the coronavirus deaths, tweeted this …

“Why not #openschools, end universal mandates, target vulnerable & check those from #Mexico?”

First of all, while the elderly may be more susceptible to the illness and more likely to die, and while the Hispanic population may not have access to the same level of medical care, therefore more likely to die, the total number of deaths also includes non-Hispanics and young people.  Second of all, is he saying, then, that Hispanics and the elderly are expendable?  And third, of course, is the fact that children bring the virus home to parents and elderly relatives such as grandparents.  Ginn has since taken the tweet down after a hue and cry, but … how do people as utterly stupid as him get into such high-level positions in the first place???


At the North Dakota state GOP convention earlier this month, Republican delegates voted on a package of 53 resolutions that “determine the group’s values and stances on various political and moral issues”.  Among them was Resolution 31 which advances the common Republican position that marriage should only be defined as a union between one man and one woman, but it also includes a rejection of any laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, often referred to as “SOGI.”

  • “SOGI bills grant protection to voyeurs who wish to prey on members of the opposite sex.”
  • “Research has shown that causes of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) compulsions are primarily developmental and not genetic as in color and gender.”
  • “SOGI laws empower those practicing LGBT behaviors to assume positions of mentorships of minors often over objections of parents, influencing their emotions and thereby recruiting for their lifestyles.”
  • “Many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.”

The final line of the resolutions says the party “opposes the passage of legislation which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to our Century code as protected classes.”

Party Chairman Rick Berg said Wednesday, July 22, that the resolution relates to an individual’s religious liberty and protecting business owners from lawsuits such as the Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission suit from 2017.  North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum issued a statement denouncing the resolution last Thursday …

“As I’ve long said, all North Dakotans deserve to be treated equally and live free of discrimination. There’s no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions.”

Y’know, folks … the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and everyone in this nation has the right to choose what to believe, what, if any, religion to follow.  HOWEVERnobody has the right to impose their own religious beliefs on others.  Nobody has the right to insist on discriminatory laws based on their own religious values.  It is the same with abortion.  If you don’t wish to have an abortion or hang out with LGBT people, then fine … don’t.  But don’t shove your bigotry and narrow-mindedness down the throats of the rest of us who believe that everyone has a right to be who they are!

Let Them Eat Cake! (Unless They Are Gay)

An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write – Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, September 2017


The story went largely unnoticed, falling in the shadows of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, relegated to not only below the fold, but five scrolls down.

cake-1The year was 2012.  Charlie Craig and David Mullins were planning their wedding in the State of Colorado.  They went to order their wedding cake from Jack Phillips, a baker.  Bakers … bake … cakes, right?  Phillips said he doesn’t create wedding cakes for same-sex couples because it would violate his religious beliefs.

The government agreed with Phillips that his cakes are a form of expression, and he cannot be compelled to use his talents for something in which he does not believe.  It’s a bloomin’ cake … not the Mona Lisa!!!

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Jack Phillips

“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief. Let me briefly comment on the quote at the beginning of this post.  The true artists that Mr. Wall says cannot be forced to paint, play or write, are not doing so for profit, they are doing so for personal satisfaction first.  They are artists.  Mr. Phillips is a businessman.  The difference is that of night and day and Mr. Wall’s comparison fails the test of logic.

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Charlie Craig & David Mullins

 

Y’know … let me pause here for a moment of introspection and personal comment.  I am a halfway decent cook/baker, and every year around the holidays, my daughter’s various co-workers send special requests … one begs a pound or two of my world famous peanut butter fudge, another my rich caramel apple pie, and still others a hodge-podge of cookies, homemade yeast breads, etc. I go on record here as saying that I always, if I am feeling up to it and time permits, provide these goodies free of charge, AND … I have never once asked any of the requestor’s sexual preference, religion, or ethnicity.  I just felt a need to make that statement … I am an equal opportunity giver.

Those who would say providing services to same-sex weddings would violate their religious beliefs, have really crappy religious beliefs, beliefs that have nothing to do with God, Allah or any other deity, but merely about the greed and bigotry of man.  These are some of the same people who condemn Muslims, saying that theirs is an evil religion.  Well let me tell you something, folks.  The Muslims I know personally are less judgmental, more kind and caring, than Mssr. Jack Phillips and others who have refused to perform the very services they advertise, as they judge the would-be consumers of those services.

Last year, after the shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida, candidate Donald Trump vowed to protect the LGBT community, tweeting, “I will fight for you.” Since taking the oath of office, however, he has done the exact opposite, revoking Obama-era guidance for schools on bathroom and locker room access for transgender students, arguing that current anti-discrimination laws do not protect people on the basis of their sexual orientation in the workplace, and finally banning transgender people from serving in the military.  Wow … what a guy … what a show of support, eh?

In the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Colorado Court of Appeals has already ruled in favor of the couple, Craig and Mullins. The Supreme Court is set to hear the case during the 2017 term.  Last year, I would have bet on the outcome, but with the addition of Neil Gorsuch who Trump nominated to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, I am not so sure.

If I open a business making cute little origami swans and other animals, I have no right to ask my customers about their religion, ethnicity, gender identification, or how many times a day they brush their teeth.  If a customer walks through the door and wishes to purchase a product, he is not a Muslim, not a gay person, not an African-American … he is a customer.  Period.  I have no right to ask questions, nor do I care to.  My only concern is to serve that customer to the best of my ability and then charge him a fair price for the goods or services I provided.  If I am troubled by his religion or sexuality, then I have no right to be in the business of serving the public and should go to work in a factory.

Why is this so hard to understand?  Why is “all men are created equal” a difficult concept?  As one of my former bosses would say, “which word don’t you understand?”