I am writing this in a pit of uncertainty, when there’s a whole lot of news on its way I can’t see because I’m stuck in the past. It’s at least Wednesday Jan. 24, 2018, when you read this, but for me writing, it’s Jan. 19, and not even 7 a.m.
The biggest news approaching me I can’t see, but you, in the future, can, is the pending federal government shutdown-or-not. My guess is there will be a shutdown.
The worst thing about the government shutdown, if it happens, will be that the U.S. Postal Service will keep working, so I’ll still get plastic membership cards from AARP every three days. Even though I told them in 2004 I would rather be forced to eat only live spiders and earthworms for the rest of my life than join the organization that endorsed George Bush’s Drug Plan.
I estimate that over almost 14 years AARP has spent some $140 in postage alone trying to get me to be a member. Not to mention the number of trees that had to die. All so they can have the name of one more old person on their rolls to falsely claim to speak for. If only the Postal Service would shut down. Think of the trees that would be saved.
I have done the math and I’ve worked out that my plans to build a time machine that will take me five days into the future and bring me safely back to write about it will not work. The electric bill would be beyond my means to pay, and thanks to Werner Heisenberg and his dopey principle, anything I find out won’t really have would have had happened anyway.
So there’s no way I can know if the Department of Justice is really going to arrest mayors of so-called sanctuary cities.
I’m hoping that such arrests happen, because I would love to see how all those federal judges that get to sit on those cases take to the idea that city and state governments suddenly have an obligation to enforce federal laws. The DOJ is claiming that the sanctuary cities are obstructing federal law enforcement, but actually all they are doing is not taking part in the enforcement, which is the job of the federal government. We don’t have to do their jobs for them.
Gosh, think of it. If it were possible to get away with arresting every mayor and state governor that didn’t see to it that their city or state carried out federal policies, then the federal government would only need to maintain funding for the military, a handful of FBI agents to make arrests, one prison (to put arrested mayors and governors in), and of course, the Postal Service, to send the FBI paychecks and names of bad mayors and governors.
They could shut the rest of the federal government down, because the cities and states would have to do everything else! Genius.
Praise Congress for this one thing: In 1995 Congress relieved the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of its oversight of the Social Security Administration. Thanks to that it’s less likely we will see people being denied Social Security benefits for being gay any time soon.
HHS will now have something called a “Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom” tasked with allowing people to interfere with other people’s exercise of conscience and religion on the basis of their own. It might have better been called the “Division of Resurrected and Buttressed 17th Century Puritanism.” “Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom” is overly Orwellian. Let’s go easy on that, OK?
The new Division will anyway allow any Prudence Pimple or Faythe Merriheart that somehow wound up in the health service industry to deny treatment to anyone who is, in their opinion, doing the work of Satan, in the sway of Satan, or desiring a treatment that is Satanic in nature.
In 2015, in Michigan, a doctor refused to treat a baby because the baby’s parents were lesbians. Legally. The Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom would aim to protect doctors with consciences like that.
I am sitting here in my dark past-time hell hole goose-bumpy and all pins and needles, wondering how this new initiative to keep bigots free might work out.
I’m not too hopeful.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd.
Wait, there's more. Check out the full January 24th issue.