Monday, February 28, 2011

Week of 02/28/2011

– by David Matthews 2

Isn’t it funny how politicians can whine and moan about spending except when it comes to THEIR pet projects?

Politicians will nickel-and-dime a project and complain endlessly about how much is being spent on it and ask why it is being spent and why some private group (preferably one of their campaign sponsors) can’t pick up the tab on it. They will make it their mission in life to defund, deprive, and destroy that project by any and all means necessary, but they will just as passionately cry bloody murder when THEIR OWN pet projects are not given the budgetary blank check that they feel that project is ENTITLED to have.

Yes, in the corrupt minds of the politician, money is tight, and sacrifices have to be made, unless it involves one of THEIR projects, at which point there’s always money to burn.

That brings us to Georgia’s own certifiable political flake, state representative Bobby Franklin of Marietta.

Mister Franklin is a man of simple beliefs. He believes that…

* All the money minted in the United States is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and therefore all commerce needs to be done in silver and gold.

* Drivers licenses are an intrusion on privacy.

* The state has no jurisdiction to educate children… at all.

* Rape victims should be prohibited from calling themselves victims and should instead be referred to as “accusers”. (Mind you, all other victims of crime would still be called “victims”.)

* That America’s greatest threat isn’t Islam, but God, because we supposedly “turned away from God”.

* That former President George W. Bush “praised pagan religions”.

* That both Georgia’s Roads and Tollways Authority and Georgia’s Health and Human Services need to be abolished.

Which brings us to his latest idea…

It should come as to no surprise that Mister Franklin is a fervent opponent of abortion. But he just doesn’t want to stop with outlawing the procedure. He wants all miscarriages (defined as “spontaneous fetal death”) to be investigated by the “proper investigating official” and make what he deems “human miscarriages” punishable by either life in prison or death.

No, this is NOT a joke.

No, I am NOT exaggerating this.

Yes, he IS serious about this.

The media and the Internets are already having a ball with this idea, dubbing Franklin’s “proper investigating official” as the “Uterus Police”. Women’s groups are in a tizzy over the very idea that some state would come up with a police force dedicated to do nothing but criminally investigate miscarriages, ready to lock some woman away for life, or else plug her into the electric chair if they don’t like how it happened.

Now I’m not going to debate this on the basis of freedom or liberty, because there isn’t enough dandruff shampoo in the world that can wash the flakiness out of Franklin’s idea. The whole idea of a “Uterus Police” investigating miscarriages makes Margaret Atwood’s theo-conservative dystopia in “The Handmaid’s Tale” look like Sesame Street in comparison.

But putting the question of freedom aside for this article… in the midst of the biggest recession that NOBODY in politics is willing to admit is still going on, with governments large and small being strapped for taxable revenue just to keep basic services going, how would this “Uterus Police” unit be paid to do their job of investigating miscarriages?

Where will these new “CSI OB/GYN” agents be recruited from? Are you actually going to take seasoned officers off of going after drunk drivers, violent street gangs, drug dealers, child predators, delinquent students, traffic violators, and have them start harassing women that suffered through a miscarriage? Or are you going to spend more money to recruit new officers so you won’t have to pull the current officers off the other various “social epidemics” that ALREADY get oodles of tax money and media attention?

How would they KNOW a miscarriage happened, much less determine it was by “human factors”? Yes, these new gyno-cops would need specialized training. That’s the kind of training that doesn’t come cheap. That means even more money.

Of course I haven’t even gotten around to the costs associated with the prosecution, conviction, and punishment of this new hypothetical “capital offense”. That first prosecution would be a financial doozy, with appeals and injunctions and appeals on top of appeals. And then there’s the cost of interning that first death-penalty offender until she can get strapped up to “Old Sparky”. Death penalty cases take about ten years worth of appeals and incarceration before the sentence is carried out. That’s a lot of money, especially when state and local governments don’t have the money to keep cops on the streets.

Let’s get brutally honest here… even IF Franklin was able to get enough political clout together to force this jingoistic wet dream of his into law, local governments would not have the money to afford the resources to put it into effect. Even if every agency was stripped to the bare-bones minimum or otherwise cut altogether, it would not be enough to survive the long-term legal costs just to appease Franklin’s frosted flakes delusions.

Now while it’s easy to dismiss the state rep as being just a flake, you need to bear in mind that he’s been representing that part of Georgia since 1996. That means that he’s been re-elected by his constituents, and they obviously don’t have a problem with his flaky ideas, otherwise they would have gotten rid of him fifteen years ago. A rather scary thought.

Sadly, though, even when you turn the focus on the finances of such a plan, it really doesn’t matter to someone like Rep. Franklin. Politicians will ALWAYS insist that THEIR projects get the blank check, and often at the expense of everything else in the world. After all, it’s not coming out THEIR personal pockets. It makes you wonder why they even call themselves “representatives” instead of the more honest title of “self-servants”.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another factor is that doesn't this miscarriage law also go against the republican ideal of "less government"?

The Driver's License: Why is it that we got this political atmosphere of "I want to do what I want to do!"? You have the right to drive, but I don't want to worry about someone who is not qualified on the road. You should have to learn and earn it. Same goes for people who whine about being allowed to drive drunk. It doesn't matter to them that they could hurt/kill someone else, they can throw some money at it because their rights are more important than anyone else's.

Rape Accusers: Some people argue that it will not stack the deck against the accused, but twisting those words can be played against the raped.

Gold and Silver: One thing I worry about is that the value of both can fluctuate depending on the amount available.