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Bullfighter Jose Tomas With some folks, freedom and all that fuzzy patriotic stuff can be, shall we say, relative. Much like fundamentalists and their rather astute manner in taking what they like in the Bible quite literally (even when that is not the actual meaning) and ignoring that which they don’t agree with, it seems that our more loudmouthed extremists on the right do the same thing.

You don’t have to watch it. Suffice it to say that our Hannity of Faux News is busy calling Mayor Bloomberg a nanny for his efforts to help his constituents stop ingesting such awful fake food into their bodies.

Now you can agree or not agree with Bloomberg on this. I tend to agree, but I also recognize that it’s very hard to impose such things on people who are addicted to the high sugar, high fat, no nutrient value of a lot of fast food and drink. And there is this other thing–it is an impingement in a sense on one’s right to kill themselves if they so choose.

Note we are not talking about school lunches and the right of school officials to help children develop good eating habits in the first place. That is a laudable goal, and schools provide the opportunity for some children to get the only decent meal they get all day.

But juxtapose Hannity’s silly outrage at Bloomberg’s behavior with that of Nikki Halley’s attempt to limit food stamp usage in her state to only “healthy” food items, meaning that you can’t use them to buy chips and soda and stuff like that I presume. Is she now to be called “nanny” Halley? I’m sure Republicans support her efforts to reduce “obesity” in her state, or is it just possible there is some other motive involved?

I recently had a conversation with a man who hates government programs like food stamps, precisely because he has “stood behind people in line who had food stamps and they weren’t buying good food, but stuff that was unhealthy, and “stuff I wouldn’t be buying if I was allegedly that poor” The real motive being–I want to control charity to others so I can make sure it goes to the “right” people and is used in the “right” way. He had early objected when he offered some leftover pizza to a man who asked for a couple of bucks. When the man reiterated that he’s just like the two bucks, the guy grew incensed, since “he wanted the money, obviously for something other than hunger relief.”

This raises the ugly specter of folks that think they have the right to control those people who they deign to give help to. I you think I’m assuming a bit too much here, I invite you to the case of Florida and Governor Scott’s attempt to impose drug testing on welfare applicants. 

A federal district court ruled Scott’s attempt blatantly unconstitutional, and a Federal appellate court agreed, finding unanimously that the attempt to monitor citizens in this fashion violated their 4th Amendment rights. Note the assumption made here by Scott and Republicans: that welfare recipients necessarily pose a significantly higher threat of drug usage than other citizens. Such is neither warranted by the facts or commons sense, and bespeaks a racist overtone that is apparent to at least me.

Now, I’m told that the conservative seeks to remove government from interfering in the lives of individuals. These examples, serve I think to suggest that that is nothing but balderdash to use a quaint conservative term. It all depends it seems on whose freedoms are at stake–the tiny minority of fellow-traveling extremists, or all those “others” who we don’t really like simply because they ain’t like us.


What to know the ugly truth of why health care costs are so high? It’s because they charge ten times more for stuff and you get stuck with it. They give you a Tylenol and the charge is more than a whole bottle would be at the drugstore. There is a major exposé in Time this week and you can read it here. Thanks to Squatlo Rant for the link up.


Best news of the day? Oh by far it’s that Tom Latham, (R-IA) has determined not to run for Tom Harkin’s senate seat. Latham is a true conservative, but he’s not insane. This leaves the pathway wide open for the one and only truly insane candidate on the extremity of the Republican Right little toe—-our favorite idiot Steve King.

And that means that Bruce Braley, an excellent Democratic candidate who is already “in” for running, is sure to win this seat.

I cannot wait to watch this one. King, who is so famous for not debating his opponent, won’t get away with it this time. It should be fun.

Dear Karl of course was threatening to send in his money against King, which hopefully only will make him want it all the more, and that is all she wrote, said the spider to the fly.