Tuesday, March 22, 2005

state of dumbfuckistan

i live in dumbfuckistan. in case you didn't know, that's the big "state" at the bottom of the map where shrub comes from.

the dumbfuckistan legislature meets for 140 days every two years in a flurry of special-interst pork barreling, partisan supidity (remember two years ago when the democrats shut down the session not once but twice by leaving town?), and totally insane shit that just boggles the mind sometimes (like repealing the motorcycle helmet law).

for the following links, use bugmenot to find a username and password that will get you in without their stupid registration shit.

dumbfuckistan has the highest rate of capital punishment of any state, and is either first or second behind everybody in the world except perhaps china. one of the reasons is obviously that texas has no "life without parole" option for juries.

in texas capital cases, "life" means a minimum of 40 years, or the jury can select death. guess which one they pick?

some folks think we should have a life without parole option. some prosecutors don't think so. given the poor record texas has with executions generally, i'd think any option to reduce the number we have would be welcome. instead, some folks want to put in an express lane.

insurance companies have been putting the screws on consumers since 2001 when they faced a couple of losing years. some insurers pulled out of the market completely.

they seem to have reversed that trend, paying out just 35% of premiums in claims. yet insurance premiums remain at record highs (in my case, amounting to over $100/mo), and insurance companies insist that they need to continue rating based on consumer credit reports (notoriously inaccurate anyway), which, in effect, discriminates in housing against both the economically disadvantaged and people who've been victims of identity theft.

house bill 1212 is a parental notification law that is really stupid. it raises the bar for a judicial bypass to "substantial" physical harm -- that is, it's okay to beat the shit out of her just a little. it also makes public the judges who handle judicial bypass claims and what their decisions are, making them marked men. and it makes it a criminal offence to "coerce" a minor into having an abortion.

in news of the texas legislature wierd, breastfeeding nazis want to prohibit health-care providers from giving away baby formula.

it will be legal for texas schoolchildren to bring cupcakes to school for birthday parties. i wasn't aware there was a cupcake crisis.

a bill is pending that would outlaw suggestive cheerleading. then what fun would it be to watch the goody-too-shoes bitches?

people wonder why i live here.

sometimes, so do i.

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