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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That Noise You Hear Is the 10th Amendment Rolling Over In Its Grave

America is falling to pieces. The Senate hasn't passed a budget in 107 days. You people do understand that without a budget to restrict spending, the buffoons in Washington can spend whatever they want right? That's why there's no budget.

Besides all that, America is going to hell in a very giant handbasket, simply because we -- the clueless American electorate -- continue to vote stupidly so we can hurry back to Facebook to see if that girl who ignored us in high school got fat or something.

The latest example of why America can't seem to get its collective head out of its collective posterior (the reader shall refrain from making New Jersey jokes here) is a little bill introduced by Al Franken (D-MN) last March.

Al Franken: He's good enough. He's smart enough.
And doggone it, Minnesota likes him. 
For those of you who don't know him, Al Franken was a chronically unfunny comedy writer who apparently had some dirt on SNL producer Lorne Michaels, which caused Michaels to force Franken and his unfunny comedy on us for what seemed like 300 years. Now Franken is a chronically insufferable (and humorless) United States Senator.

Last March, Franken introduced Senate Bill S.555 "Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2011." Ostensibly this bill makes it a crime to discriminate against kids in school because of their gender assignment or gender choice. Read the Bill here. You should take the time to read the Bill, but here's a quick definition taken directly from the Bill:
3) HARASSMENT- The term ‘harassment’ means conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from a program or activity of a public school or educational agency, or to create a hostile or abusive educational environment at a program or activity of a public school or educational agency, including acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility, if such conduct is based on--


(A) a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity; or

(B) the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of a person with whom a student associates or has associated.
Even though this Bill is similar in scope and purpose to hate crime laws already on the books, this law specifically focuses on LBGT teens and adolescents.

In short, the Bill makes it a Federal crime, with recourse in Federal court, to harass a public school student because of their sexual identity. There is nothing particularly scary or chilling in the Bill. It's just another example of Washington trying to fix all the social ills in the world while it ignores the really tough problems.

Or is it?

Of course no one in their right mind is going to object to a law that makes harassing and injuring people a crime. Opposing this law on an emotional level is like rooting for cancer.

And this is where the Left owns the Right, because the Right gets indignant about the wrong thing. If you oppose this Bill on moral or religious grounds no one has a right to belittle you or call you names, but there's also a responsiblity to actually read the Bill and know what's in it -- which is why the Left is sponsoring the Bill in the first place. Most people who oppose the Bill will not take the time to read it.

LBGT kids in trouble? Let's sponsor a toothless law to make everyone think we care, when in reality all we want to do is piss off the GOP and the religious crazies.

The Left is trying to make what looks like an honorable stand against a heinous act, knowing all along the Bill is pretty much unenforceable at the Federal level. What they also know is that a vast majority of people on the Right are going to have a knee-jerk conniption fit and start claiming the Left is trying to teach our children to be Gay, or at the very least, swap genders. While the Right does this, the Left sits back and laughs and laughs and laughs because the Right has fallen into their silly little trap once again. If you actually read the Bill it says nothing more than what your standard and fashionable hate crime law says, but, it makes people on the Right twist and tear in the wind of perceived immorality and Big Brotherism. This is a waste of time, for all of us, even the kids the Bill is trying to protect.

I object to the Bill prima fascia because education should never, ever, have become a Federal issue. Education worked perfectly well when it was a local issue, but since the Feds and the NEA took control, education has become nothing more than a laboratory for social experimentation and advanced political hucksterism.

Instead, we should be asking Al Franken and the 29 US Senators who co-sponsored the Bill the following questions:
  1. What makes you qualified to legislate morality when you can't even pass a Federal budget?
  2. Don't you have any other pressing matters, like, oh, I don't know, the deficit, the war in Afghanistan, the defiling of the American manufacturing base, the out-of-control tax code, or the Jabba the Hutting of the Federal government? I know these are hard things to work on, BUT THAT'S WHY WE SENT YOU TO WASHINGTON! 
Just for fun, look and see if your Senator is a co-sponsor. If so, why not give them a call and tell them that while you agree with their flaccid attempt to protect those in need of protection, you'd rather they get their priorities straight and protect the greatest number of people first. After they fix the problems we sent them there to fix, they can get involved in the minutiae of the classroom.

Senate Co-Sponsors of S.555:
  • Mr. FRANKEN
  • Mr. HARKIN
  • Mr. KERRY
  • Mrs. MURRAY
  • Ms. KLOBUCHAR
  • Mr. MERKLEY
  • Mr. DURBIN
  • Mr. LAUTENBERG
  • Mr. BENNET
  • Mr. BLUMENTHAL
  • Mr. UDALL of Colorado
  • Ms. MIKULSKI
  • Mr. LEAHY
  • Mr. SANDERS
  • Mr. BINGAMAN
  • Mr. WHITEHOUSE
  • Mr. CARDIN
  • Mrs. BOXER
  • Mrs. GILLIBRAND
  • Mr. MENENDEZ
  • Mr. AKAKA
  • Mr. SCHUMER
  • Mr. WYDEN
  • Mr. BEGICH
  • Mr. CASEY
  • Ms. CANTWELL
  • Mr. BROWN of Ohio
  • Mrs. SHAHEEN
  • Mr. REED
  • Mr. COONS

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