Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hump Day: Trouble With Another Employee in Pyongyang, Sharia Law in Wal-Mart, Twelve Cigars a Day for 91 Years, and the Gun Crowd Loses One at Last

It is Wednesday, or as large numbers of office types refer to it, Hump Day. With two days left to go before the weekend a couple of known humps have made the news. On the upside, however, I've found a new hero and in Oklahoma the right thing finally happened and even if it was for the wrong reason we should all take it.
First, Kim Jong Un is continuing to have problems with his employees. Last year the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had his uncle, Jang Song Thaek executed, for various crimes against the state. Reports out of the DPRK contend Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a pit filled with ravenous attack dogs. Shortly afterwards a North Korea defector claimed Jang's wife, Kim Kyong-Hui was killed because she complained about her late husband's fate.
Now the word is defense minister, Hyon Yong Chol stepped over the line by committing insubordination and falling asleep during a rally led by Kim. The South Koreans are saying Hyon was stood up in front of a line of anti-aircraft guns at a military school in Pyongyang. With a crowd of hundreds reportedly there to witness the event, the gunnery crews opened fire and it was so long Hyon. Obviously the concept of the golden parachute hasn't reached the offices of Kim Jong Un yet, although it would seem a solid case of paranoia has.
Meanwhile in Dallas, former Florida republican congressman Allen West was outraged a cashier with a Muslim sounding name at a local Wal-Mart was able to avoid ringing up alcohol sales because of his religion. West whined that while Wal-Mart was surrendering to Sharia Law, which forbids alcohol, Christian businesses were being forced to serve gay customers, which might be against their religious beliefs.
Actually the only law Wal-Mart was caving into was one passed by the state of Texas. It prohibits people younger than 21 from selling tobacco products, or alcohol. West figured it out a day, or so later, after he had published his blog and had bitterly complained about the crass liberal double standard. When he realized large numbers of people might, with valid reasons, question his intelligence he inserted an, "editor's note," to explain what happened. Even then Mr. West still managed to claim Wal-Mart was catering to Sharia Law by selling Halal meat at a location in Ohio. Actually, knowing Wal-Mart, they are probably paying far more attention to the bottom line than someone's religious code. If there is a market for the product in that area of Ohio, it is safe to assume the Walton family is busy exploiting it.
On a far brighter note, the Houston Chronicle reports Richard Overton of Austin, TX reached 109 years of age the other day. He is thought to be Americas oldest living military veteran. According to Mr. Overton the secret to a long life is, among other things, "staying out of trouble." In addition he has smoked 12 Tampa Sweet cigars a day for the last 91 years. He is also proud to say he avoids medicines while enjoying a shot of whiskey in his morning coffee. He finishes his day with a couple of belts of hooch and soda water. He walks without a cane, trims trees, helps with horses, and never watches TV.
Other than the horses and tree parts, it is hard to argue with any of that.
Finally, here in Oklahoma, a funny thing happened to the tea party/NRA screamers in the state legislature on Monday. The Happiness is a Warm Gun Crowd had shoved through legislation which would stop businesses and organizations from banning weapons at events held in parks, recreational areas, and the state fairgrounds. As usual, when it comes to firearms, it appeared this piece of legislative insanity would sail through and become law.
But, surprise, surprise. The bill hit the desk of Governor Mary Fallin at about the same moment the head honcho of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce reached her on the phone. Roy Williams, the president and chief executive officer of the chamber pointed out to Ms. Fallin that the people who run things like, the women's college softball world series, the NCAA basketball and wrestling tournaments, plus a bunch of other stuff, won't come to a town who won't, or can't let them ban guns at their events. That's because--well--they're sane.
OKC Mayor, Mick Cornett, a republican, even went so far as to question the logic of a state legislature which, while obsessed with federal government over reach, continually sticks their noses into the day to day operations of municipalities.  
Indeed, hypocrisy is a fine art, best left to professionals. Uninformed rubes from places like Midwest City simply don't have the eloquence to pull it off with the panache of someone like Ted Cruz. The truth is, when it comes down to it, the  republican money people might be willing to put up with these crazed hacks on many things--after all--they're better than a bunch of democrats--but when their crude bullshit threatens major sources of income for numerous businesses, ol' Wilbur is going to have to leave his deadly toy at home. Let's face it, sometimes idealism is just too high of a price to pay.  
Representative Kevin Calvey, is another republican, but one who resides on the far right edge of the universe. He is one of the co authors of the bill. Mr. Calvey quickly parroted the NRA party line w've all heard before. He was quoted by The Oklahoman's Richard M. Green as saying, "Oklahoma City already has a significant problem with crime and law abiding citizens have the right constitutionally and morally to defend themselves against these bad people. So disarming the public is not a wise strategy for deterring crime, or being able to promote economic development, or anything else."
Yes, it was the old, the only thing we need to stop gun violence is more guns theory. That certainly has worked out well for the republic hasn't it? 
Of course what Mr. Calvey failed to mention is Oklahoma City's problem with crime is largely because everyone here already has a fucking gun. In this town they're easier to get than bags of popcorn at the movies. He also skipped over a minor truth, which is there hasn't been a single significant criminal act perpetrated at any NCAA event, horse show, rowing competition, or outdoor art show even though guns have never been allowed at any of them.
Perhaps he and the bill's other co author, Representative Jack Fry should participate in a few group therapy sessions with our pal, Kim Jong Un. They all seem, not just enthralled with weaponry, but a tad on the edgy side when it comes to personal safety.
Hey, it's just a thought.


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