Friday, June 7, 2013

Another Week Down the Drain: India's National Pastime, Solitary Confinement in Kansas, Drunk in Massachusetts, and Al Gerhart Revisited

Women should observe stringent security precautions including avoiding use of public transport after dark without the company of known and trustworthy companions.
Travelers advisory issued by the United States Embassy in India.

That is one way to put it. Another is, if you're a female stay the fuck away from India.

Authorities in the state of Himachal Pradesh have reported that an American tourist out on a hike was given a lift by three men in a truck. Instead of taking her to her destination they drove her to a secluded spot and took turns raping her. This comes on the heels of a Swiss tourist who was gang raped, which in turn came on the heels of an Indian woman who was also gang raped and so brutalized she died. In addition Indian police are, at this time, investigating the possible rape of an Irish aid worker.

Apparently rape is the national pastime on the sub continent. The number of reported rapes in 2011 was 24,200, or just less than one every 20 minutes. Large numbers of conservative male politicians in the country blame the victims for the attacks because they were dressed inappropriately and trying to adopt western ways. That would be the old, "the bitch was asking for it" argument. I suppose if you look back with misty eyed nostalgia to the year, oh, 450 A.D. or so, that sort of attitude is to be expected. However, every now and then someone in New Delhi might want to take a peek at a calender just to check in on reality.

Meanwhile in Kansas, Scott Roeder got hit with what amounts to 45 days of solitary confinement for some remarks he made in an interview to an anti-choice writer. Roeder is doing time for gunning down Dr. George Tiller while Tiller was attending church services in Wichita. Tiller's clinic, which provided abortion services, has re-opened with the name, South Wind Women's Center and is now owned and operated by a non-profit group called,Trust Women Foundation. Roeder's thoughts on the subject were fairly clear. He said, "To walk in there and re-open a clinic, a murder mill, where a man was stopped is almost like putting a target on your back, saying well lets see if you can shoot me." Roeder claims he committed the murder because he is pro life. At last glance shooting someone to death, even in Kansas, is not considered a pro life act. That would be why brother Roeder is sitting in a prison.

General Mills, the maker of Cheerios cereal had to shut down the comments portion of its Youtube version of a commercial it is running. The ad depicts a mixed race child, a white mother, and black father. Reports are the ad drew such vile racist responses that the company deleted and blocked all comments because of its commitment to family values. Yes, who needs a white hood and a burning cross when you have the internet? If the last few years have taught us anything it is that the whole fairy tale about racism being a thing of the past in America is just that, a fairy tale.

In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick admitted that the day after police ran accused Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to ground he traveled to the western part of the state and tied one on at a restaurant. He is being congratulated for his candor by some, while large numbers of the public are shrugging their shoulders and wondering why this sort of announcement should have made the news in the first place. After all, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Bay Staters did exactly the same thing in venues far more public than some quaint Berkshire County bistro.

Finally, here in Oklahoma, Special Judge Susan Johnson has set a September 6th date for the preliminary hearing in the charges filed against Al Gerhart. Gerhart, who claims to be the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party, is charged with blackmail and computer crimes. He is a low rent Joe McCarthy wannabe who sent republican senator, Cliff Branan an edgy and threatening email back on March 26th. Branan's committee was sitting on a bill that Gerhart wanted passed. In the email he told Branan, among other things, "Get that bill heard, or I will make sure you regret not doing it. I will make you the laughing stock of the senate if I don't hear this bill will be heard and passed."

Within a couple of days Gerhart was holding a press conference during which he claimed the scuttlebutt was that Branan had been involved in a sexual affair with an aide. He admitted he had no proof of this scuttlebutt and to this day has not offered any. The immediate response to Gerhart's crude bullying and rumor mongering, besides the criminal charges, was that the bill's senate sponsor pulled it from consideration, saying he was appalled by big Al's tactics. At about the same time Branan called it "a fringe conspiracy issue that is quite frankly just bad public policy."

It is unclear whether beer and hot dogs will be sold in the gallery during the hearing, although it is certain that the crowd will be in favor of it.

So there we have it. Another week down the drain.

The best thing that can be said about it is that its over.

Now for that cigar and a moment of Zen.


No comments:

Post a Comment