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Whose nanny state?

March 3, 2023

When I was a wee lad, my dad taught me a game of solitaire called Idiot’s delight. Chances of winning were slim — about 1 in 20. But the odds for idiots have changed today.

Robert Kahn

By Robert Kahn

Deputy editor emeritus, Courthouse News

Republican lawmakers and candidates today love to whang on what they refuse to call the Loyal Opposition. They claim Democrats hunger to set up a “nanny state,” to control our every move.

The technical term for this malicious fantasy is psychological projection: projecting your own undesirable emotions onto an imaginary aggressor, rather than dealing with them honestly.

I went in search of a nanny state, and offer you these new laws and proposals, all within the past year, by Republicans.

Smelling the wind from the governor’s office, the Florida High School Athletic Association wanted to require high school athletes to answer the questions: “When was your most recent menstrual period?” and, “How many periods have you had in the past year?” if they want to play on a high school team.

This insane, intrusive proposal springs from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing a law that bans transgender athletes from competing in public schools, from kindergarten through college. It is vomitous on so many levels:

“No menstrual periods from you, hey, Joanna? Lemme see who you really are. Drop ‘em, Johnny.”

“No menstrual periods from you for two months, hey, Joanna? Are you thinking about getting an abortion? Well, we’ve got you on file here, darling.”

Also in Florida, law prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. DeSantis wants to reduce it to 6 weeks — before most women know they’re pregnant.

But let’s not stop at Florida. Idaho is just as bad — except it’s prettier, the climate is better, and the people are nicer and younger, except for the neo-Nazis up in the Panhandle.

In Idaho, state Sen. Tammy Nichols of Middleton and state Rep. Judy Boyle of Midvale introduced a bill that would criminalize doctors who administer mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccines, such as the Covid vaccines discovered by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

“If passed as written, it would also preemptively ban the use of countless other mRNA vaccines that are now in development, such as shots for RSV, a variety of cancers, HIV, flu, Nipah virus, and cystic fibrosis, among others,” according to Ars Technica, a website that, since it studies science and technology, obviously has a nefarious Master Plan: to keep people from dying young.

Why would these allegedly “pro-life” idiot Republicans propose such a law?

“It’s obvious, Dude!” a young skateboarding friend of mine explained. “Young people vote for Democrats! They want young people to die!”

As proof, consider Alaska state Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla), who said that, once a child has been sexually abused, it might be better to just let the kid die, as a “benefit to society,” because treatment "could cost the family and broader society $1.5 million in terms of trauma and what the child could potentially have earned over their lifetime.”

Ahh! Those pro-life Republicans.

And how about those Republican storm troopers in North Dakota, whose Senate Bill 2360 would send librarians to jail and fine them $1,500 if they allow “partially denuded human figures” to appear in books on their shelves.

Like the Venus de Milo? (Man, did you see the tits on that Mona Lisa chick? Wuddaya think she’s smiling at?) Obviously inappropriate for just about everyone.

Or Michelangelo’s David. (What was Mike thinking? A groomer, that’s all he was.)

As for DeSantis’s “education” “reforms,” specifically, Florida House Bill 999? Straight out of Vlad (the Impaler) Putin and Xi Jinping. This bill would prohibit schools from teaching, or mentioning, the history of Reconstruction, perhaps the Civil War itself, the Klan, the civil rights conflicts of the 1960s, George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door shouting, “segregation forever!” I presume it would also prohibit jazz studies.

All this is just a whiff of the fragrant bouquet of bullshit laws today’s Republican Party want to set on our doorsteps and set on fire. Consider the party’s attack on child labor laws. The Iowa bill would also “exempt employers from liability if these young workers are sickened, injured or killed on the job,” according to The Guardian’s U.S. website, which covers the United States way better than most of our homegrown newspapers do, although The New York Times did catch up a bit last week.

Finally, for sheer idiocy, consider Florida’s Senate Bill 932, which would make it illegal for a driver to let a dog stick his head out the window while in motion, punishable by a $5,000 fine, with the possibility of barring “offenders” from owning an animal.

We’ve all heard about the traffic “offense” of driving while Black. This one would criminalize driving while human.

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