Before I begin what is, in essence, a very short and very silly column, allow me to offer up some sort of explanation. When sitting down to write today, two subjects sprang to mind, but I then realized that with both of them I had previously written pretty much exactly what I intended to say. I considered just posting a "From The Archives" re-run column, but it's a lazy summer day so I decided instead to start by posting the two links to the previous columns, then just jot down some silly daydream, post it, and call it a day.
The two subjects on my mind were the border and immigration situation and the recent videos from Israel and California of excessive force. The border situation deserves further commentary in the days ahead, but today's news was the size of the extra money President Obama is going to ask for from Congress -- almost $4 billion.
I have long maintained that "securing the border" is indeed possible, but that Republicans would balk at the real price tag for doing so. Sure, we could flood the border with federal agents, but it would cost a lot of money to do so -- more money than the public is likely to approve of. I made this case in an earlier article I wrote on the situation in Arizona, which is still mostly valid (with a few updates, perhaps). It lays out the basic realities of the politics of immigration, so check it out for my basic take on things.
The second subject was the two videos from different lands. The first was taken on the side of a California freeway, and shows a cop repeatedly beating a woman in the head. The second was taken in Israel, and shows Israeli forces savagely beating and kicking a Palestinian young man. I have no direct comment on either of these, instead would have re-run my column "Big Brother v. Little Brother" which points out that while camera surveillance in public has (in some places) reached Orwellian levels; while The State spies on us, we are also now spying on The State. Millions of cell phones are in millions of pockets, and they are ready to record video of any police action these days, pretty much anywhere and anytime. As I pointed out, the knife now cuts both ways. The two recent videos are merely the freshest examples.
OK. Now that I've gotten the two links out of the way (which I encourage you to read if you're looking for something non-silly today), let's get on with the silliness, shall we?
What with the recent Supreme Court decisions on the subject of corporations, I was reminded of a bumpersticker which can be seen on the cars of many liberals (at least, where I live): "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."
Short, funny, and to the point. But what with all the religious overtones these days, I thought maybe we could come up with a better ending to that quip. Here are the ones my feverish brain came up with in a few moments' time. Please add any you come up with to the list, in the comments. A fun summer game for the whole family to play!
I'll believe corporations are people...
...when one is baptized.
...when one is called for jury service.
...when one is elected Pope. (or, to tone it down "...when one becomes a minister")
...when one is allowed to vote.
...when I see a banker go to jail. (somewhat tangential, but still...)
...when one takes a selfie.
...when one adopts a pet.
...when one serves in the military.
...when one gets married to a human being.
...when one actually pays some taxes.
...when one climbs Mt. McKinley.
...when one gets bitten by a shark.
...when someone shows me where in the Constitution corporate personhood is mentioned.
...when one becomes a saint.
OK, that's all I've got for now... but I invite all and sundry to join in the silliness today, on a lazy July afternoon. How would you end that bumpersticker? Do tell!
-- Chris Weigant
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant