Thursday, September 12, 2013

125.5 - Clown Award: Missouri state senator Brian Nieves

Clown Award: Missouri state senator Brian Nieves

Now it's time for the Clown Award, given as always for meritorious stupidity.

By the way, before we get to this week's clown, a quick note to show why I've retired Pat Robertson from competition for the Clown Award.

On his show the “700 Club” two weeks ago, Robertson said in response to a question about HIV/AIDS that there are people in the gay community in San Francisco who wear a special ring so that when you shake hands it will cut your finger and infect you with HIV.

This was so bad that the Christian Broadcasting Network cut it out of the show before it aired, but you can find the full clip on YouTube.

Having Pat around just wasn't fair to the other aspirants. So he's out of the game.

Anyway, this week, the big red nose goes to Missouri state senator Brian Nieves. I've mentioned him once before, in July when he said that abortions done to save the life of the mother are "just a matter of convenience."

And the truth is, there are multiple reasons he could have been dishonored with the Clown Award. One is that back in April, he got into a bizarre email flame war with a constituent named Bart Cohn who originally just wanted to be taken off Nieves' mailing list, which Nieves wouldn't do unless Cohn explained how he got on the list, which itself is doubly weird because the response of a normal person would be to say "okay, you're off the list" and because Nieves later said that anyone who emailed him had their email address captured and put on the list - which is strange itself because it means that you can't email to get off the list because any time you do you get put back on it.

Nieves got creepier and creepier as the exchange progressed, ultimately ending by saying Cohn must be "in love with" him or "obsessed" with him and as a parting shot saying "BTW... You really don't look good with a beard," which while clearly intended as a vague "I know who you are" threat, also raises the question of just who is obsessed with who.

Another reason would be that he is a believer in the Agenda 21 conspiracy theories. Agenda 21 - the 21 refers to the 21st century - is a 20-year old UN document describing a non-binding, voluntarily action plan for the nations of the world to advance sustainable development. For some time now it's been a favorite of right-wing nutcases who argue it's actually a secret plan - a secret plan which is freely and widely available, but don't bother pointing that out, you'll only confuse the poor dears - a secret plan for one-world communist government! I've had this thrown at me in arguments about global warming, invariably from people who are convinced I've never heard of it and will be shocked - shocked - when The Truth is revealed to me.

You want a third reason? I've got one. Nieves is leading the fight in the Missouri legislature to overturn a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon of legislation that declared federal gun laws null and void in the state.

But here's why it comes today. His campaign has announced plans to give away an assault weapon during a clay pigeon shooting fundraiser next month.

That's right, chip in a hundred bucks for a raffle ticket and you could walk away with a brand new Sig Sauer 516 Patrol AR-15, an alternate version of the same sort of weapon that was used in the slaughters at both Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.

To attend the fundraiser will cost you $25. If you want to shoot, it'll cost you $100. But for the big spenders, there are more expensive sponsorships, with levels going right up to one going for $1,500.

Yep, for 1500 bucks, you get "Four Shooter Packages, Six Station Sponsorships and SIX of only Fifty Chances" at the gun with the blood-soaked pedigree.

The name for this level? "Sniper level."

In a remarkable understatement, Sean Soendker Nicholson, executive director of Progress Missouri, called that label "troubling."

It's not troubling. It's sick. And those who celebrate it, including Senator Nieves, are sick as well.

Now, I have to add before I leave this that I can understand the attraction of clay pigeon shooting or skeet shooting: It takes skill and you get to in effect blow stuff apart without actually hurting anyone or anything. But it's done with shotguns, not with semi-automatic firearms that can take down 82 people, 12 of them dead, in a theater in Colorado or kill 26 children and teachers at a school in Connecticut, in each case in less than 15 minutes.

Nieves is not celebrating sport, he's celebrating death. He is a clown of death.


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