Robert Jones, Imperial Wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was asked in an interview with Al Jazeera America what he would do about the Central American children coming across the Mexico border and turning themselves in? “If we can’t turn them back, I think if we pop a couple of them off and leave their corpses laying at the border maybe they’ll see we’re serious about stopping immigration,” the Wizard said from behind the pillowcase he was wearing on his head. In the same interview, he claimed that the only “real Americans” are white Europeans. “If the Wizard thinks white men are so much better,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller wanted to know, “why does he dress like a Muslim woman?”
Jon Stewart, watching the same interview, noticed that the Imperial Wizard was wearing flip-flops under his sheet. “No one is going to believe you are the master race if you don’t know how to tie your shoelaces.”
Speaking of people who dress funny, I saw a headline over an Associated Press story about a “clown car crash.” It seemed too early for the Republican presidential primary and, sure enough, it was about a 68 year old woman in Westwood, NJ, who had just given a clown performance at an elementary school when she crashed into a utility pole. She was not seriously injured, and the story did not mention the clown’s political affiliation.
The Wall Street Journal reported on current and prospective uses of 3-D printing technology. Recently, a new beak was printed for an injured penguin at the Warsaw Zoo. In the future, packing for a trip will get lighter if your clothes can be e-mailed to your destination as digital information and printed out when you arrive. “Does that mean,” Cousin Ray asked, “fewer airline baggage fees or more e-mail fees?”
KLTV reported that Van Zandt County, Texas is hoping to recover the $30-$40 per day it paid to relocate jail inmates after an Illinois manufacturer sold the county defective locks. Cousin Ray wanted to know if they could just print some new locks for the jail?
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for Governor, is stuck by his own choice trying to explain to a US Court of Appeals a rational basis for Texas’ ban on gay marriage. The centerpiece of his argument in his words: “The primary purpose of legal marriage in Texas is to generate positive externalities (and avoid negative externalities) for society by encouraging responsible behavior among naturally procreative couples, not to publicly recognize the love and commitment of two people.”
The guy who claims to support heterosexual marriages just heaped disrespect on mine. When we married, my wife was past menopause and I had had a vasectomy. Even if his central argument were correct, it does not explain why a marriage that does not serve that purpose should be banned. “Didn’t you know,” Cousin Ray snickered, “that every time they issue a marriage license to a gay couple, they have to revoke one from a straight couple? They only have so many of them. Do you think marriage licenses are like Federal Reserve Notes?”
The Week reported that when a Frontier Airlines flight from Washington, DC to Denver was diverted to Wyoming, the captain came on the PA system: “Frontier Airlines is known for being one of the cheapest airlines in the US, but your captain is not cheap. I just ordered pizza for the entire plane.” For 35 pies, Captain Gerhard Bradner earned his place in customer relations history.
The Daily Mail reported that Malia Obama received a car for her 16th birthday. “Lemme get this straight,” said Cousin Ray, “the Secret Service won’t let the POTUS or the VP drive but it’s OK for the First Daughter? But it’s got to be true…” Ray started humming.
The Waco Tribune-Herald reported on August 1 that Sgt. Heath Vanek, 35, of the Hewitt, Texas Police Department would be off duty for about two months recovering from injuries he sustained when he shot himself in the hand while teaching his family how to clear a jam in a semi-automatic pistol. Sgt. Vanek is an 11-year veteran of the department and has been a firearms instructor for the past five years. Cousin Ray asked “How did The Daily Mail miss that?”
An NBC/Marist Poll released on August 3 showed that 74 percent of voters say this Congress has been “unproductive.” The poll did not ask how many voters know the original “do-nothing Congress,” dubbed such by President Harry Truman, resulting in the famous upset immortalized in the headline “Dewey Beats Truman.”
Truman’s do-nothing 98th Congress passed 906 bills; the current 113th Congress passed 142 bills so far, with five months to go, having been in session only 69 per cent of workdays. Congress has found time to vote 56 times to repeal Obamacare, while 10.3 million people have gained health insurance coverage and health care cost increases have dropped under the rate of inflation for the first time since the fifties.
Gail Collins called this “The Week When Irony Died” in honor of the House members who spent $79 million voting 56 times to repeal Obamacare, and then voted to sue Obama for not implementing it quickly enough.
Truman’s do-nothing Congress came before President Eisenhower’s interstate highway system, on which the country has come to depend, and now 65 per cent of US roads need repair. The Highway Trust Fund will run dry on September 30 unless Congress acts, putting people working on current repairs out of work.
My Republican Cousin Ray Sixkiller pointed out that in the same poll, the voters claim the solution is to turn the Senate over to the GOP, which already runs the House, 43 percent to 41 per cent—within the poll’s margin of error. Ray is nobody’s fool, and he predicted that if his party gets the Senate, “the next election will make President Dewey proud.”
In addition to Cousin Ray, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) and conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer could not stomach the House’s hypocrisy on another issue, voting to sue President Obama for acting without Congress on one day and suggesting he do exactly that the next day, when they were unable to deal with the immigration crisis.
Speaking of the do-nothing Congress, the Senate has been unable to overcome a Republican filibuster to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which would create an obligation for the rest of the world to catch up with the US law, the Americans With Disabilities Act. Former Kansas Senator and GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, who is disabled from injuries he received fighting Hitler in WWII, has taken on the task of finding 12 Republicans who will vote with the Democrats to break the filibuster.
In a TV interview, Dole, 91, expressed amazement at the Tea Party objection that the disabilities treaty would surrender US sovereignty. From his wheelchair, Dole pointed out that any treaty gives up sovereignty, but this treaty is just a statement to the world that the US stands behind laws that started in the US. Cousin Ray just shook his head.
The Guardian reported Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç touched off a social media brushfire of ridicule when he lectured women not to laugh in public. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan refers to women as "my little headscarved sisters" and admits that he does not believe in women’s equality. A Turkish court ruled on July 31 that a woman who was wounded with a knife by her ex-husband had "provoked" him by wearing leggings. Cousin Ray said Turkish women had little to laugh about, but suggested, “Indian women would laugh those guys off the rez of their choice.”
USA Today reported that the National Institute of Health is about to begin human trials on a vaccine for the Ebola virus. In the latest Ebola outbreak, about 1,440 people have been diagnosed and 826 of them have died so far. Drug companies have shown little interest because Ebola virus only travels in bodily fluids and outbreaks tend to burn out quickly. Still, the Center for Disease Control is facing criticism for allowing two American health care workers infected in Africa to be treated in their home country. Cousin Ray, remembering Indian history with foreign disease, had to bite his tongue.
Loyola history professor Jeffrey Glover published a comment for History News Network on America’s first interracial marriage, between Pocahontas and John Rolfe, who had to plead his case to the bosses of The Virginia Company, since interracial marriage was banned informally before and legally after Pocahontas, who Glover pointed out “did not live happily ever after.” Explaining the Keystone XL backdrop of President Obama’s recent visit to Standing Rock, Glover speculated, “Confronted with today’s neglect of Indian country, (Pocahontas) would not have taken refuge in happily ever after stories. She would have spoken up and insisted on a real dialogue, and not just when oil is at stake.”