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States' Wrongs

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Memo to Arizona, Florida, and Tennessee: KEEP UP THE AWFUL WORK!

The states, it is often said, are the laboratories of democracy. But not every state can be JPL. Some of them have to be the Muppet Labs of Democracy, only not as funny and without the impressive success rate. There's been a lot of experimentation going on of late in some of the worst states in America, so I thought I'd bring you up to date.

ARIZONA: This one is currently sitting on Jan Brewer's desk, waiting for her signature. And given that governor's track record for clue retention and awesome judgment, Arizona should have one of the most unconstitutional, unenforceable laws on the books soon. Basically, it's taking an existing unconstitutional, unenforceable law on the books, and extending it from just telephones to the entire Internet.

"It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person. It is also unlawful to otherwise disturb by repeated anonymous ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person at the place where the COMMUNICATIONS were received."

Or, to put it bluntly, it is fucking illegal for any cuntbucket to swear on the shitty Internet. At least in Arizona. I presume this bill wouldn't make it illegal for me to swear AT someone in Arizona USING the Internet, but since I don't want to be a test case, I'll just say that the Arizona legislature and Jan Brewer are a bunch of bleeping bleepholes with bleep where their bleeps should be. It's also illegal to annoy people on the Internet, which means the entire Internet will be illegal in Arizona. And Joe Arpaio gets to enforce it, so if I were Google, I wouldn't let employees bring their dogs to any server rooms in case Steven Seagal gets to borrow another tank.

FLORIDA: America's penis! This one's now official law. In Florida, students can now deliver "inspirational messages" at official school events like sports games and assemblies.

We all know what this means, of course. "Inspirational" means "Jesus". In dozens of test cases throughout the Bible Belt, schools have gotten in trouble for asking the Messiah to ensure their lacrosse team makes regionals. Florida thinks that if it calls prayers "inspirational messages" and makes sure they're led by students, not faculty, they'll... basically get to do it for a few years until the ACLU gets around to kicking their asses. Renaming religion is only a delaying tactic. Has Intelligent Design taught you fuckers nothing?

Oh, by the way, if you're trying to pretend this isn't about school prayer, you should probably tell the dipshit who sponsored the bill, Charles "Little Charlie" Van Zant, to stop saying things like this. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"When we took school prayer … out of school, disciplinary cases went up, we had a lot more school vandalism, we had a lot more disrespect for schools."

Correlation does not equal causation, and besides, you may well have pulled that correlation out of your ass.

TENNESSEE: In Arizona it's about digital cussing. In Florida it's about school prayer. But in Tennessee, the dumbest state in the union, it will always, ALWAYS, be about monkeys, and Tennesseeans fervent desire to not be seen as monkeys no matter how many tourists they throw their own shit at. Here's their law, which is likely to be signed.

"The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy . . . The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies."

There actually is an effective way we've found for science curricula to address topics like biological evolution, chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning. It's called TEACHING THE TRUTH. And if the students and parents don't like the truth, then they are free to reject it. We've got an entire society and political system based around rejecting the truth. Truth-rejecters can become solid, productive members of Tennessee society, for a sufficiently loose definition of "productive".

But if this law is to be believed, teaching the truth isn't effective, which means they have to teach something else. And if they're teaching something other than the truth, or in addition to the truth...

But it's OK, because governor Bill Haslam was assured by the legislators that this law was totally not a back-door way of getting creationism into Tennessee schools, so everything's OK. No need to worry! Ook ook!

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