• author
    • Gary Huerta

    • June 27, 2013 in Columnists

    This just in…

    In National News: The Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), saying the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states is unconstitutional. The vote was 5-4.

    To look at it another way, it seems that granting the right of all people in this country to marry and have the same basic civil liberties was just one vote away from not happening. And for this, people everywhere are saluting the highest court in the land as though they had just cured cancer.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m ecstatic that this happened. I have long believed that marriage is something that should not be exclusive to any group. Making matrimony some sacred vow that only exists between a man and a woman is about as backwards as one can think. Where I have real trouble is with this celebratory orgasm over SCOTUS’ decision. Unlike many people, I’m not ready to nominate any of the justices for sainthood, except maybe Clarence Thomas. After being dead for five years, he rose last week to comment that human genes cannot be patented. That miniscule activity on the bench qualifies as a beatified miracle, at least for him.

    It’s ironic that we get so overwhelmed by emotion when the Supreme Court of the United States actually defends the rights of its citizens. This is the fucking job they are supposed to do! Our toasting their judgment is like giving the mail carrier $100 for delivering a package. To me, it indicates just how starved we’ve become for real justice and rational leadership. Our standards are so low that we run around like freed refugees when our nine cloaked underachievers get something right.

    I, for one, am not ready to settle down and go shopping for wallpaper with SCOTUS. They are going to have to do more than make a “no brainer” ruling by the slimmest of margins to earn my vote of confidence.

    In the obituaries: It looks like Paula Deen has finally committed career suicide after admitting unapologetically that she used that dreaded “N” word. Upon hearing this, the Food Network decided not to renew Deen’s contract.

    Now I know there are a great many fans and racists who believe Deen was batter dipped and deep-fried by her employer for owning up to her linguistic indiscretion. But that assumption is rather basic and doesn’t take into consideration Deen’s previous ethical dishes.

    As far as I can see, Paula Deen has a fairly well-documented habit of doing stupid things and then begging the public to forgive her. Only after it was discovered that Deen had type 2 Diabetes and was actively promoting a brand persona that was downright dangerous to those with the disease, did she drop to her knees and ask the public to forgive her for profiteering instead of putting good judgment first. Sound familiar? Or is all that butter clogging your ears, darlin’?

    Once again, Deen was caught with her good judgment sitting on the back burner until it looked like it was going to scorch her bottom line. As soon as she got a whiff of her career burning to a crisp, she quickly pulled out her “mea culpa” pan and began frying up another apology for the public to choke on. Unfortunately for Deen, this time Food Network didn’t want a third helping of bullshit and called Deen out for what she really is – an opportunist first and a good spokesperson second.

    Personally, I don’t think Deen’s dismissal was inappropriate. She should have been fired for using all that fat when she knew she could use her brand to make a difference. Simmer in that for a while.

    In sports:  ESPN announced last week that it would stop 3D broadcasts by the end of the year. Evidently, after exhaustive research and dwindling ratings, the network discovered that people who could afford decent 3D televisions were most likely at the sporting events. Watching it in 3D.

    And finally, in entertainment:  Earlier this month, the Miss USA pageant was won by, uh… who the hell cares? The real scene stealer was Miss Utah, Marissa Powell, who provided another beauty pageant head scratching moment with her rambling answer during the Q&A round. Her response to a question about equal pay for women, was both awkward and hilarious to watch. I compare her nonsensical diatribe to that of my own incoherent, drunken banter with Burger King drive-thru intercoms after midnight. And while her verbal barf could easily spark a rallying cry to end beauty pageants, I would rather see it as a reminder of why these contests must continue. The world needs to laugh – desperately. And we need to laugh at something other than Congress, because that is frankly getting scary.

    Watching these contestants crash and burn is like being on a ski lift and watching a novice skier barrel out of control down a double black diamond cornice run. One just can’t stop watching in anticipation of the crash and when it happens, gloves and poles and skis and everything flies everywhere and you just laugh uncontrollably, even though you shouldn’t.

    Look, our government is going to hell. Our climate resembles hell. And organized religions are quick to remind us that having a lifestyle that contradicts their thinking will send us to hell. If all we have to put a smile on our face is a little schadenfreude, so be it.

    Oh. One last thing…  despite being unable to form a complete sentence when it mattered, Miss Utah actually finished third, meaning there were 47 contestants dumber or less capable of wearing a crown than her. Holy shit.

    For this week, I’m over and out.

    • Gary, you are the best. Today started my day off with laughter and such a fun read.

    • Thanks. I’m having a ton of fun writing these columns!

      • Patricia Donnellan

      • June 27, 2013 at 10:55 am
      • Reply

      You are absolutely spot on. I have to admit that I was cheering for the SCOTUS decision as well. But you are right – this should not have been a big deal. It shouldn’t even have been on any agenda. Everyone has the right to marry and that’s that. Paula Deen – she certainly was helping to hurt a lot of people with her tons of butter mantra and fry everything including air if that could be done. I still think that if she is going to be persecuted for her use of the N word that there are a lot of other people who should be taken to task for the same offense. But anyhow – you are just an awesome writer and what you write really makes sense. Thank you for helping to open my mind and helping me think better. (I am a terrible writer – but I hope you get what I am saying). Anyhow, looking forward to much more eye and mind opening writing from you.

      • Thanks for the compliment. There are probably a lot of people who could be similarly skewered – you are right. Paula is merely the blue plate special of the day.

      • Grottke

      • June 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm
      • Reply

      Love it!

    • Sorry, I’m an unabashed cheerleader for this decision from the “Supreme” Court. I for one, was amazed that the tree fell in the correct direction, considering who was whittling at the trunk. A 5-4 decision doesn’t inspire confidence, no matter what we think they should and shouldn’t do (defend the rights of its citizens). Apparently, a solid ‘right’eous three of them and the squishy middle two, have other ideas as to their purpose. Until God jumps in to realign this SCOTUS, I will continue to be amazed whenever we pull together a majority ruling that defends the rights of its citizens.

      • Hi, I hope I was clear in saying I am all for the decision. I just can’t place flowers at the feet of SCOTUS for doing what they are supposed to do – and that is protect everyone’s rights. It is amazing it didn’t swing the other way – I agree. To think it was one vote from doing so is frightening to me. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m grateful!

      • Terri Connett

      • June 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm
      • Reply

      Fabulous column! I agree with, and savored, every hilarious word!

      • Carolyn Wyler

      • June 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm
      • Reply

      Awesome column Gary!

    • Today’s holding in Shelby County v. Holder , in Plain English: Today the Court issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. That portion of the Act was designed to prevent discrimination in voting by requiring all state and local governments with a history of voting discrimination to get approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws or procedures, no matter how small. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that was joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, the Court did not invalidate the principle that preclearance can be required. But much more importantly, it held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which sets out the formula that is used to determine which state and local governments must comply with Section 5’s preapproval requirement, is unconstitutional and can no longer be used. Thus, although Section 5 survives, it will have no actual effect unless and until Congress can enact a new statute to determine who should be covered by it.

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