The Trayvon Martin killing has brought out a lot of ugliness in a lot of people. Liberals have used it to attack Florida’s self-defense laws and have portrayed the killing as racially motivated. In response, conservatives have tried to portray Martin as a thug and miscreant, going so far as to post pictures that are not even of him. It’s been a disgusting display all around. But one aspect in particular is especially frightening.
This aspect is the encouragement of violence and retaliation against George Zimmerman without the benefit of a trial or even a complete investigation. The New Black Panther party has gone as far as offering a bounty on him. And movie maker Spike Lee went to an ever more extreme level, tweeting to his followers the alleged address of Zimmerman, clearly in hopes that someone would go to his house and do him harm.
It would be awful enough if it was in fact Zimmerman’s address. But the address that Lee tweeted (or, to be technically correct, retweeted from a follower) is not even the right address. It is in fact an old address for an entirely different George Zimmerman that is now the home of his mother and her husband. This has led to hate mail, harassment, and death threats to the innocent couple that bear no relation to the crime or its alleged perpetrator.
This kind of blind anger and incitement to violence is thoroughly un-American and simply cannot be tolerated. At the very least Lee should be banned from Twitter for plainly violating its terms of service. Whether or not he could be legally liable for any harm to come to the unrelated Zimmermans is unclear, but at minimum he must be publicly scorned for this despicable act. If George Zimmerman (the right one) is guilty of anything he must be punished. But under no circumstances should that be by an angry mob.
Because, seriously, it appears that government regulators have no idea what they’re doing or talking about.
In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set a quota for a type of biofuel that does not exist outside of laboratories, and gasoline producers are racking up millions of dollars in fines for it. From the New York Times:
When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law.
But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.
“It belies logic,” Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said of the 2011 quota. And raising the quota for 2012 when there is no production makes even less sense, he said.
In 2012, the oil companies expect to pay even higher penalties for failing to blend in the fuel, which is made from wood chips or the inedible parts of plants like corncobs. Refiners were required to blend 6.6 million gallons into gasoline and diesel in 2011 and face a quota of 8.65 million gallons this year.
You betcha, Charlie. It makes absolutely no sense. How can you add in something that does not exist? And then raise the quota for it? Let’s ask the spokesperson:
I don’t usually give into notions like “Our democracy is being destroyed!” and “This administration is going to lead us straight into fascism!” (Or that they already have.) But lately, two events have stood out that really make me question where America is going.
The first is a really asinine comment made by the governor of North Carolina, Beverly Perdue:
As a way to solve the national debt crisis, North Carolina Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue recommends suspending congressional elections for the next couple of years.
“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C., according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”
Perdue said she thinks that temporarily halting elections would allow members of Congress to focus on the economy. “You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things,” Perdue said.
And I thought I was insane.
A few days ago the House Republicans opened a web site called America Speaking Out designed to be yet another one of those opportunities to plow the wisdom of the vast unwashed.
“End Child Labor Laws,” suggests one helpful participant. “We coddle children too much. They need to spend their youth in the factories.”
“How about if Congress actually do thier job and VET or Usurper in Chief, Obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen in any way,” recommends another. “That fake so called birth certificate is useless.”
“A ‘teacher’ told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish!” a third complains. “And the same thing about whales! We need TRADITIONAL VALUES in all areas of education. If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period! End of Story.”
“Build a castle-style wall along the border, there is plenty of stone laying around about there.” That was in the “national security” section of the new site.
“Legalize Marijuana, cause, like, alcohol is legal. Man. Also.” That was in the “traditional values” section.
“I say, repeal all the amendments to the Constitution.” (“American prosperity” section.)
“Don’t let the illegals run out of Arizona and hide… . I think that we should do something to identify them in case they try to come back over. Like maybe tattoo a big scarlet ‘I’ on their chests — for ‘illegal’!!!” (Filed under “job creation.”)
A few more that I noticed: