BREAKING NEWS (OR MAYBE NOT)
So much to choose from in today’s front page headlines: follow-ups to yesterday’s heroics on the Amsterdam to Paris train ("Train Suspect Known To Be A Risk"), the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that nearly destroyed New Orleans and proved that to the Bush Administration Black Lives Really Didn’t Matter, (“A Bittersweet Influx”), an article about The Donald, naturally, (“2011 Trump-Style Immigration Law In Alabama Was A Failure, Critics Say”), the deaths of 45 journalists in Afghanistan since 2001, (“A Nascent Press In Peril”) and the spike in murders here in the Nation’s Capital (“Violent Surge Is Dictating Agenda of D.C.’s Mayor”). (101 murders thus far this year which is only a couple shy of all 2014). About this last article, apparently there is a nationwide surge in murders across the country and no one seems to be able to figure out why.
But first a slight diversion from the news. Received a notice from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue that I owe D.C. an additional $469.00 in penalties for underpayment of 2104 taxes. Now, I’m not exactly certain why this is the case and the notice doesn’t really specify. But I went ahead and paid it knowing that even if it’s wrong – and I suspect that it is since I already paid one penalty this year – it will be duly recorded in the city’s tally of my tax payment account. But the fun and interesting part of the notice was the second page. First page told me that I owed the $469 and included a payment form, but the second page contained the following notice:
“Below are instructions for individuals with limited English proficiency who need assistance. All others please turn to the next page for important information from the Office of Tax and Revenue.” (I’m not sure what “next page” they are referring to since there wasn’t one.)
Like my pasta machine instruction booklet, the “assistance” instructions come in your typical Spanish and French translations but also in Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and two languages that are a mystery to me. The script is quite interesting but I have not a clue what language they represent. As I said, I was very impressed that my Imperia Pasta maker instructions came in five languages but the D.C. Government? I mean who-da-thunk-it? It’s no secret that the Washington Region is America’s most diverse when it comes to ethnic communities. And you can slice this fact any way you choose – country of origin, continent of origin, religion, skin color, language, driving ability, immigration status – but D.C. is the proverbial, one-world, melting pot we liberals are aiming for. It’s also why the conservative members of American polity hate D.C. We’ve shown them the way to the future but they want to drag the country back to the past. Then, too, there is that Kenyan-Muslim-Non-American-Black Man occupying the White House that they aren’t all that happy about either.
But back to the news. There was apparently a nation-wide protest mounted by the cadre of “Right-To-Life-Bereft-Of-Facts” contingent of the American populace who believe that facts are something that don’t make any sense and have no impact on their fantasy world. I have to admit that I missed this vital explosion of Free Speech and The American Way probably because I was too busy sanitizing our two bathrooms and rotating my composting bin yesterday. According to today’s Washington Post there were demonstrations at 320 abortion clinics around the country that commenced at 9:00 AM yesterday morning replete with colorful placards that proclaimed “Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts” neglecting the most important part of the sale of baby parts, that, according to these dimwits, are sold “For Profit.” Now not to be overly logical, here, but since the corporatization of American society over the past decades and our abject willingness to be fucked over by every corporate entity known to man (Comcast? AT&T? All Four of Our Major Airlines? ) I would think that the right wingers would applaud Planned Parenthood’s alleged profit making enterprise of selling baby parts. I mean, isn’t that what Unfettered Free Market Capitalism is all about?
But there’s no logic to these folks. And they don’t cotton with irony either, at least in my experience. Like, for example, newly re-imagined Republican Presidential Hopeful Dr. Ben Carson who, at Johns Hopkins, headed up a research team that actually used “baby-parts” for experiments that somehow is now okay since he and the right wingers ignore this little inconvenient historical factoid today. While this may be a pretty obvious demonstration of how the lack of irony fails to inform the “Right-To-Life-Bereft-Of-Fact” crew, I could cite a hundred such ironies.
But that would be futile since these folks much prefer to take their facts from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and other Bereft of Facts media outlets since they confirm the right wing’s view of how awful Planned Parenthood, and, indeed, liberals and the entirety of America are. At least those of us whose views lay to the left of Adolph Hitler’s.
Anyway, D.C. had a record number of visitors last year – over 20 million – to not only Forbes and Lonely Planet’s favorite vaca destination in the world, but also to the gayest city in the country. Apparently the 100’s of the Berefters who protested Planned Parenthood here in DC didn’t stay very long. I think they were probably afraid that our gay-one-world-multi-cultural-tolerant-human-being-loving atmosphere might prove toxic to them if they were immersed in it for too long.
And there you have it. And whether you are Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red or Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, (anyone and anything other than right wing crusader) you are welcome here. Spread The Love! Visit DC! Take Care.