It was interesting how the defense attorney for Karl Rittenhouse played the jury. Oh, no, wait. That was the judge the "other" defense attorney for Rittenhouse. What the decision says is that open carry at a protest wrought with unrest is lawful and if you want to exercise your Second Amendment rights go for it. And, if somebody objects just shoot to kill. It's no wonder other nations look at the U.S. and shake their heads. However that rule is only for white folk vigilantes who wish to engage demonstrators with deadly force. You people of color...don't be pickin' up them arms you is likely to be killed first and questions be asked later. Questions like, "What the hell did that boy think bringin' a gun to our insurrection? Well, we ain't gonna know 'cause the somofbitch is dead." Welcome to America....
Meanwhile in Georgia
The trial against the three white men who ran down Ahmaud Aubrey and killed him with a shotgun blast while he was jogging in his neighborhood mirrors what happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It's yet another case of white folks going hunting. That is bad enough but when, in jury selection, perspective jurors were asked if they supported Black Lives Matter or thought the Confederate Flag was a racist symbol. Well, you get a panel of eleven white folks and one African-American. "See we're fair down here in Georgia!" Oh, and please we need "more bubbas" and "less black pastors in the courtroom" says the defense attorney. Welcome to America...Part Two.
It's comforting to know that the three Republicans representing Iowa in congress voted against fixing our dealbated bridges. After all, we need that money for tax breaks for the rich. Same goes for roads, "Roads? No this is a giant government take over of our fair system of states rights." Where have we heard that before? And, as for delivering broadband to rural parts of Iowa the Republicans, Randy Feenstra (R-IA) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Ashley Hinton (R-IA) think it's better to keep Iowa out of the economic opportunities broadband represents. They, it would seem, long for a time when the roads were dirt and the bridges were covered and that pesky internet stuff didn't exist. Back when America was...great.
What insurrection? To give you a glimpse at how far Iowa has slid into the abyss allow me to bring you some of the results from the latest Iowa Poll that was published in the Des Moines Register this morning. I'm doing this for you because I know you don't read the Des Moines Register...hardly anybody does. But, I digress.
The headlines reads, "Half of Iowan's say Jan. 6 riot at U.S. Capitol was 'an insurrection and a threat to democracy". That would indicate that about half of Iowans either don't care or they think it's just fine to storm the capital and kill folks. Sobering? It gets worse.
Twenty-two percent said it was, "...an unfortunate event, but it is in the past and we should move on". Eighteen percent of Iowan's believe it was a "political protest protected by the First Amendment". Another nine percent of Iowan's don't know what to think. So, let's do the math kids. (Remember when Iowa had math?) That would be 49% of the people surveyed are pretty much OK with what happened when a bunch of folks where whipped into a frenzy by Republicans to subvert the free and open election of the President of the United States.
But...it gets better...or worse...if you will.
From the Des Moines Register: Kevin Butters, a 57-year-old poll respondent from Ankeny, is among the Republicans who say the events of Jan. 6 were protected political protest. He concedes that people probably should not have entered the Capitol that day, but he questions who exactly the intruders were. “I want to know who those people are, that were breaking in,” he said. “It could be BLM. It could be antifa. I don’t know who it is. … I don’t think they were (Trump supporters), but I don’t know that.”
Right...those hysteric people carrying flags with the name of the 45th president were from BLM.
Not to worry kids...our educational system is in great hands. Let's move on.
Ban the Books!
As long as we're talking about education, or what is left of it in Iowa, let us turn our attention to the rantings of one state senator by the name of Jake Chapman (R-Adel). Adel, by the way, is best known for its sweet corn feed than its ability to elect competent government officials. Jake was at a Johnston School Board Meeting. Remember, Chapman is from Adel about 27 miles away but Johnston is now fertile ground for "silly talk" given the recent school board elections there. (Photo: Des Moines Register)
Anyway Chapman says he thinks books that raise serious questions about racial division in the United States are obscene and that there should be penalties for teachers who distribute this information. Meanwhile other folks are wringing their hands over books that contain stories about LGBTQ children and parents. They too must be banned from the school library. Chapman says his next stop with his "Ban the Book Bus" will be Waukee.
While Iowa is banning books and throwing teachers in jail we might want to break out the "brown-shirts" and have us a good old book burning.
It's Thanksgiving Week and Polk County, Iowa is trending at an 8% positivity rate for COVID-19. Should make for a nice family gathering with folks that are unvaccinated.
Meanwhile, I was in Mason City this past Sabbath for my work with the Adas Israel the Jewish Congregation of Northern Iowa. Two interesting things from that adventure:
We had a really nice group of people visit the synagogue from a nearby church. Kids and adults sat through the Friday evening service and got a quick overview of what Jews do and believe. I honestly love having folks come to learn and I recently taught a five week class for the North Iowa Area Community College on "Judaism - Faith & Culture" I've been doing things like this for over 35 years or more. Anyway one of the adults asked me this, "Do Jews celebrate Thanksgiving?" I was a bit taken back. My simple answer was, "Well, yes I believe that most Jews in America do celebrate Thanksgiving because it is an American holiday. They unlikely celebrate Thanksgiving in France or Israel." Another person wanted to know why there were no crosses in the sanctuary but there was a Star of David. That too was pretty easy.
The second thing that happened is scary. On the Sabbath (Shabbat or Saturday) we hold a two hour study of the Torah Portion of the week. We've been doing this for years and the people who come consist of Jews and non-Jews. It's a non-threating environment designed to allow people to learn and share their experiences and to point to how the bible impacts our lives today. We were about twenty minutes into the class when a woman joined us who is an outspoken anti-vaxxer in the community. The Board of Adas Israel has said that only those who are vaccinated may come to the study. I asked the woman if she was vaccinated and she said, "No I am not." I shared with her the Board's rule and she stood up and said, "I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will protect me from everything and I do not need a vaccine in my body."
Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday...and may you have a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving.