Cry, Beloved Country

The new sign outside the Army-Navy surplus store on South Broadway in Denver says: “We are called to help one another: This could be your opportunity.” That’s a hell of a lot better message than we’ve been hearing from Washington.

In the interesting lead piece in last week’s New York Times Magazine, Carina Chocano wrote of the “values the bulk of Americans usually claim to aspire to: science, democracy, cooperation, responsibility, hygiene, reason and kindness.”

Seven values: How many do you see coming out of the White House? Not one honest county Republican Party chairman in Mississippi could claim even one of them.

But enough about Agent Orange. 

As Courthouse News’ official Covid-19-related lawsuit-counter, I am sad to report that so far as I can see, after reading summaries of 1,448 Covid-19 related lawsuits filed since April 1, all that this worldwide pandemic has done in our country is to make us more selfish than we already were. I’ll tell you about some of them at the tail end of this column.

I know, I know: Once we were the most generous country in the history of the world.

The Marshall Plan helped rebuild Europe after World War II. We helped establish the United Nations — at which right-wing Republicans have sneered for 40 years — but which, so far, has helped to prevent a third world war.

Selfish? A restaurant in Castle Rock, Colorado — a 20-minute drive from my house — opened up on Mother’s Day and packed them in, no face masks, no social distance,no nothing. When the news emerged, Colorado ordered its irresponsible owners to shut it down.

A businessman who attended this gala told The Washington Post: “What’s happening is like Nazi Germany. It’s a totalitarian environment where the government is going to establish their power and through fear enable the rest of the society to help them stay in power.”

Well, Mr. Businessman, whose name I will not mention because he could sue me into destitution, and I’d rather let the Post’s attorneys handle it: Do you understand that Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis is one of the few governors in this great land of ours who is openly gay? And greatly respected in Colorado.

Do you know, Mr. Businessman, that the Nazis tried to exterminate homosexuals, along with Jews, gypsies, political dissenters and disabled people?

Do you understand that the Republican Party is in charge of the federal government today?

And that they are using fear to “enable the rest of the society to help them stay in power”?

Do you know this or even care?

I don’t believe you do, Mr. Businessman. I don’t believe you would recognize a Nazi if one bit you on the ass, with his swastika armband around your throat.

Here is a wonderful article that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote for The Guardian this week. Like the sign outside the Army surplus store, Kareem is far more eloquent, and honest, than anything I’ve heard from the White House, while more than 1,000 of us have been dying every day for months.

Oh, by the way, Agent Orange, is Kareem a “loser”?

OK — Promise kept:

A “Christian hair salon” sued its state this week, claiming it’s an essential business.

The lawsuit itself may not be offensive, but what about the bit about “Christian hair”?

What’s different about Christian hair than any other kind of hair?

Moving along, at least four “adult entertainment” businesses have sued their states or the federal government, for not calling their places an essential business.

Well, a lap dance might be essential to some people even more pathetic than I am, but allow me to doubt it, for a few more weeks.

At least seven shooting ranges and gun shops have sued their local, state or federal government, claiming to be essential businesses.

Oh, please, gun nuts: Who you wanna shoot?

If it’s a virus, I suggest you reduce the size of your ammunition, and increase the size of your brain and the tin cup you use as a heart.

And to all the allegedly Christian churches that have sued their states or the United States this week: Do you really believe that your God will hear your prayers only if you pack a lot of you into an enclosed space?

Who you tryna kid?

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