More than a month ago, I caught a cold. Eventually it squatted in my lungs and sat there tickling the tiny bronchioles and the alveoli, causing uncontrollable coughing, which was magnified at night when I’d try to sleep. I’d lie there, picturing the virus holding onto feathers, brushing my lungs’ inner workings every time I tried to doze off. Sleep left me for at least a week. Worse than that, the coughing was so violent, I pulled a muscle in my groin and my backside. Right now, weeks later, I still have a little cough. And, I can barely walk, what with the sharp twinge I feel each time I take a step on the right.
I’ve never been to see a chiropractor. But, with gardening season coming up, I need the full use of my back and legs. That’s my next doc appointment.
Here in Idaho, politics are just as crazy and misguided as ever. The legislators came to town and immediately began Satan’s work. They passed a bill to allow concealed guns on college campuses—in spite of the pleas against it from college administrators and presidents, the police force and students. In spite of the fact that there have been no instances of college students being shot on campus. But let’s be proactive, eh? Somewhere, the supporters of this insane law have located in the Constitution, the right of all Idahoans to tote guns wherever they want to. The proponents quote these words in defense: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Of course, in order to achieve these things, they must be able to kill someone else and rob them of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Happiness is a warm gun, I guess.
A must read is this from an Idaho professor: When May I Shoot a Student?
The looney legislators also passed the Ag-Gag bill in spite of vocal opposition. But, in the end, the Dairy Industry dragged the legislators along by the rings in their noses and the bill passed.
Ag-gag bills are anti-whistleblower bills that criminalize whistleblowing on factory farms. Never mind that whistleblowing employees have played a vital role in exposing animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on industrial farms.
The agribusiness industry wants to prevent people from finding out about animal cruelty, food-safety issues, poor working conditions, among other things in factory farms.
In Idaho, last year, workers at an Idaho dairy farm were filmed viciously beating cows with canes, jumping on their backs as they moaned in distress, kicking them in the face, and even dragging sick and injured animals across concrete flooring with chains attached to their necks.
But the Dairy Industry here prevailed. And now, I will no longer support Idaho’s dairy or meat industry. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s has come to Boise—their meat and dairy products aren’t produced in Idaho.
And no way will Idaho allow silly, inconvenient regulations by the EPA to get in its way to pollute the environment. Rep. Paul Shepherd’s bill, HB 473, to nullify the EPA because of concerns from suction dredge miners about regulations is quickly making its way into the toxic waste of other “care-less-about-the-environment” bills.
Here in Idaho, our legislators are easily swayed by nonsensical testimony, like this that spews forth out of the mouth of one of our craziest legislators: “EPA just wants control, they want power,” Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, told the committee. She said veterans are “precious to us,” and many veterans find it “soothing” to do recreational suction dredge mining. “They’re trying to control us, and they’re trying to control our vets also,” she said.
And Rep. Lenore Barrett continues to introduce bills to repeal the state health insurance exchange, in spite of the fact that almost 44,000 Idahoans have signed up so far.
And HB 480 could be the law of the land soon. This bill will make all city design review rules voluntary, under legislation being pushed by Rep. Ed Morse, which means that developers in Idaho couldn’t be told to make structural changes in buildings they’re proposing just for esthetic reasons. So, by all means, sprinkle the beautiful Idaho landscape with monstrosities and pavement.
And, then we’ve got a bill proposed by Sen. Luker, sponsor of the “Free Exercise of Religion Act,” or what Bill Cope from the Boise Weekly calls the “Hall Pass to Be a Bigoted Bastard Bill.” Bigoted bastards will be allowed to refuse service to gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgendered individuals if these people violate someone’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
I wish I had Bill Cope’s job so that I could get paid to call people like Luker, “despicable, paltry, unfit, dumbshit cowards.”
But the one bill that will never get passed here, that won’t even get a hearing, is the one that supporters have been trying to pass for almost 8 years, in spite of the fact that 81% of Idahoans support it. This bill would amend the existing Idaho Human Rights Act (IHRA) to include workplace, housing, public accommodation, transportation, and education rights based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Each day, Add the Words proponents have shown up at the legislature, hands over their mouths, silently protesting the refusal of this government body to even hear the bill. Police have arrested protesters for unlawful assembly, for trespassing, and for resisting and obstructing. That includes former Idaho State Senator Nicole LeFavour.
Well, that’s life in a state dominated by crazy Republicans and Tea Party folks.
It’s a sunny day. I’m going to hobble over to the nursery with my mom and buy a bunch of flowers. I will gaze upon them, hoping that their loveliness will distract my thoughts from the crazy that goes on here every year from January till about April.