Y’All Qaeda Files #3

February 25, 2015

Y’All Qaeda is what we call the fundamentalist right wingers who, hypocritically, pretend there is a (non-existent) attempt to impose a form of sharia law in America and yet are themselves trying to impose their own distorted theocratic views on the majority.  The Y’All Qaeda Files will document their hypocrisy and anti-intellectualism wherever we find it.

 

One of the leading Y’All Qaeda figures is the Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback. Just last week he reinforced this position by removing protections from LGBTQ people being discriminated at work on the basis of their sexual orientation. These rights had been put in place by an Executive Order of the previous Governor. Brownback has rolled the State back to a discriminatory past by cancelling the Executive Order.

In the years since [former Governor] Sibelius’s action, one has to wonder how many gay state workers put a picture of their same-gender spouse on their work desks, believing they had the right and the opportunity to be more open under her executive order. Those workers are now “out” to their work colleagues and bosses. Can the boss or supervisor now fire them for being gay, with impunity? Does the gay worker now have no recourse in the courts because Brownback changed the rules? … It is an astounding and horrifying phenomenon when rights are actually taken away from citizens.

About a month ago, ISIS executed gay men by throwing them from the top of a tall building. We can only guess that Brownback and ISIS share similar beliefs about the value of LGBTQ people’s lives.

The Y’All Qaeda movement also has some very peculiar and dangerous ideas about medicine.  For example, a Nevada legislator recently suggested that cancer was just a fungus and, if only the Government would allow it, cancer could be cured by simply flushing the fungus away.  She added that if Nevada, which is already “the capital of entertainment”,  it could help “make it the medical capital of the world as well.”  Another legislator from Alabama has suggested that the current measles outbreak might be caused by “illegal aliens” crossing the border.  And it is almost too bizarre to note the anti-abortion Idaho lawmaker who suggested women could swallow a camera to check on their pregnancy.

Talking of science, one of the key beliefs of Y’All Qaeda is that the scientific fact of evolution is merely a theory, and a theory moreover that has no more validity than their own creationist myths. I believe that people have a right to believe whatever they want to believe; the problem comes when they want State schools to follow suit. Y’All Qaeda commentators say the question is only posed to “embarrass” Republicans. Surely, they can only be embarrassed if they are embarrassed by their own answers.

And if anyone wants to question the strength of the Y’All Qaeda movement in the United States, they need only look at the results of a recent poll of Republican primary voters.  Fully half say they do not believe in evolution. Even more, 57%, want to cancel the First Amendment and make Christianity the national religion of America. That would be a form of Christian fundamentalist sharia law if ever there was one.

 

Previous Y’All Qaeda Files

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Image: Blue Red Green White

February 25, 2015

Blue Red Green White


Commercial Drive: A View of The Future?

February 24, 2015

In September 2012 the Commercial Drive Business Development Society (aka the Drive BIA) commissioned a report called “Vision + Design Guidelines” to be used as input to the then-proposed Community Plan process for Grandview-Woodland.  The report was drawn up by the well-respected Urban Forum Associates. This Report was made public at a GWAC meeting in early 2013.

Unfortunately, this important document has rarely seen the light of day since then, which is a shame because one doesn’t have to agree with all the conclusions to find a number of interesting ideas within its well thought out pages.

As we are rapidly approaching the Citizens’ Assembly’s consultative walk along the Drive (March 1st) and, presumably a Workshop on the Drive (date tbd), it is necessary that all stakeholders understand the many perspectives on the future of our main street. Therefore, I am making available the BIA’s “Vision + Design Guidelines” document that was given to me back in 2013.  I have scanned the document as well as I can and have excluded a number of blank and heading pages. No substantive content is excluded.

You can read or download the report here:  BIA Report 2012.


Night Music: Blues March

February 24, 2015


Wise Words

February 24, 2015

Wise Words 2_24


Image: Meadow

February 23, 2015

meadow_small


Poem: Alphabetizing Two Worlds

February 23, 2015

 

It was easy to place History before Politics,

Medicine before Physicians; and

Snow Fell on Cedars

had to come after

Escape From Alcatraz”.

But how was he to choose

Literature over Culture

or Astronomy over Alchemy?

And Asimov could go anywhere,

With his reflections about water

On the half-moons of Venus.

With bookcases brushing the ceilings,

And more volumes stacked halfway up walls,

melding the books, shuffling the pages,

was turning out to be the hardest part

of moving in together.

 

Amid the piles of unsorted memoirs he halted,

His unpacking abandoned.

He remembered the dancing, the dinners,

The walking.

It was easy to place Love before Duty.