FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Welfare Cowboys and Weed

Rep. Stephen Alford speaking at a weekend legislative coffee session with constituents.

Living in a completely red state like Kansas leaves one in a state of constant nervousness when a particularly idiotic politician blurts out something racist like “the character and makeup–their genetics and that” in reference to why marijuana was made illegal in the 1930’s. Stephen Alford, a Kansas representative from Ulysses, a farmer, made this comment to elderly-man-whitesplain how these negros just can’t handle the marijuana. One sees the comment, and you are saying to yourself “please don’t be from Kansas, please don’t be from Kansas…… “Oh shit. He’s of course from Kansas. The state of my birth , Missouri, gives us guys who say things like women can shut down pregnancies in the event of rape (we can also cause crop failure, and sometimes you need to swim witches to make sure this isn’t going on). And next door to Missouri, here in Kansas, this flaming dotard made this comment to an obliging group which didn’t even let out audible sighs (or screams) when he uttered it.

Who is this Stephen Alford? Well, one can access the EWG Farm Subsidy Database and insert that farmer/representative’s name and……well, I”ll be! $1,253,427.28 were received as subsidies to that fellow over the time period of ‘95-’16. I wonder what he did with all that government largesse? I’m relieved that as a white elderly man who knows the evils of weed—that he didn’t partake in that vice with that money from the US taxpayer. If he’s like a whole lot of other white dudes in his demographic……. maybe he indulged in some hillbilly heroin–that vice mired in white tragedy, disproportionately hitting the melanin-lacking community. Or perhaps he used it to indulge in some good old American gun-nuttery. If black individuals can’t handle the availability of legal weed, perhaps the demographic Mr. Alford finds himself in shouldn’t be allowed near guns/bullets, female co-workers…..? These guys seem to have some issues with things like, oh, you know, mass shootings and harassment. Of course, Alford wasn’t citing anything besides 1930’s racists who everyone knows aren’t a good source for anything but ambrosia recipes.

It’s perhaps not so astounding that a white farmer from SW Kansas–an area with perhaps some Hispanic individuals, but probably no black voters, would hold antiquated views, but the fact that there is this smarmy let me explain how the world works to you coming from a guy with his hand in the government till in so many ways…..it’s obscene. The lack of empathy is seen as a weakness in many of these red areas. That’s why buffoons like this get elected. They talk tough about “The Other”. The notion of mutual aid falls on deaf ears, but they are always the exception in times of their own personal need. It’s Ayn Rand on Medicare + steroids. And as if it’s not enough to lack empathy, there’s a general revulsion towards gaining knowledge over the lifetime. These men spring from the womb already knowing all they need to know–that they are, and have been, the recipients of a privilege. It permeates everything about them. It’s a privilege that allows them to denigrate huge swaths of the population who have suffered untold affronts to their humanity. All the while doing this in a state of perpetual ignorance, benefiting from the specific aid their kind put in place to cushion lives like their own.

In a strangely related issue–I’m always confused how in the tech world, it is assumed that your phone will be improved each year, your computer will process more items and quicker–but there is no expectation that we will see similar improvement in the lives of our citizens. No path of progress. We have a sterile technological ability to improve devices, but an improvement in alleviating the suffering of others is considered to be impossible. We’ve seen productivity soar and wages stagnate or diminish. The stories perpetuated even on the so called liberal media, celebrate Dickensian “success” stories–kids who escaped poverty by a magical blend of smarts, and luck. The narrative is never one that questions the very design of a society that allows for childhood poverty, homelessness, medical bankruptcies or even death from not being able to afford life saving items like insulin. We all have Star Trek type devices in our hands, but these problems continue to spiral out of control because we haven’t as a society looked at anything more sublime, more beautiful than a linear pursuit of wealth, consumerism and often simple survival for those in the lowest socioeconomic status.

I watched a documentary about a young man, James Freeman–he was intent on suicide if he couldn’t heal himself from the ravages of upper middle class expectations and depression. He went to another country and immersed himself in traditions otherworldly in comparison to his upbringing. It was a fascinating story, but what left me in awe was his emergence at the end when he said he now “looks at the world and doesn’t see matter devoid of spirit”–he sees life in everything, “and an intelligence through the cosmos greater than humans can comprehend.”Compare that thought with,…..ahem, them negros can’s handle the MJ. What kind of thoughts do we need to be having as a society to propel us towards something other than misery and low level pettiness? Our well being, micro and macro depend on a shift.

The Stephen Alfords of the world need to be discarded to the subsidized grain bins of history. The future, if there is one, can not be led by idiots who achieve a status– not through merit, skill or an abiding concern for others. And we should have legalized marijuana, of course.

More articles by:

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest and can be reached at klwallace@riseup.net

September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail