icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

 

Iron Filings - 82

 

I ran into a strange notion recently while perusing some TikTok's.  It's called the "sovereign citizen" (along with some other terms). Essentially, it seems to mean that an individual is allowed to divorce himself/herself from the laws of the United States because those laws, as they affect the citizenry, are derived from a misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Thus, such things as taxes, traffic laws, and the bulk of civic legislation don't apply to the sovereign citizen. As an example, a sovereign citizen will tell a police officer they don't need a driver's license because they are not driving, they are "traveling." It sounds like a wacky notion from the far, far Right – and it is – but such individuals have inundated the courts with lawsuits alleging that they have been wrongfully restricted in their freedoms by laws reflective of a bastardized Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Sometimes I just can't figure out what some of these people are drinking.

 

*   *   *

 

Someone should tell the Former Occupant that if you want to have a one-night stand you don't have to pay $130,000 for it. Not even in inflationary times.

 

*   *   *

 

Just Because You Need To Know These Things – Here are the current most popular baby names:  Girls – Olivia, Emma, Charlotte, Amelia, Sophia, Mia, Isabella, Ava, Evelyn, Luna.  Boys – Liam, Noah, Oliver, James, Elijah, Mateo, Theodore, Henry, Lucas, William. I was thinking maybe there'd be a Stormy in there somewhere but I guess not.

 

*   *   *

 

Every now and then I feel a need to dust off my hubris lecture. As you undoubtedly know, hubris means excessive pride, arrogance, insolence. It's a trait most often found among high-achievers, whether celebrities, CEO's, sports figures, entertainers, and so on. It manifests itself in a feeling that I am so damn good, so successful, so amazing that I can say or do anything I want and there is no one worthy enough to hold me to account.  Among this crowd we now have to add Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Harrison Butker. During a commencement address he gave (Really? They asked a football kicker to give such a hallmark speech?) at Benedictine College he said, among many other ghastly things, that the women graduates should be looking forward to their roles as homemaker, wife, and mother. It's just another instance of how these far-right curmudgeons have no sense of where the real world is at these days.

 

*   *   *

 

It's quite pleasing, in a tragic way, to see so many university students engaging with the conflict in Israel and Gaza. What's disappointing, in an equally tragic way, though, is the manner in which so many university administrations have handled the protests.  Calling in the police?  There's the horror, treating their own students (yes, there were some non-student protesters) as trespassing criminals. Those beautiful quads and campuses – generally used only for pretty admission brochure pictures – could have been giant classrooms. What should have been happening is that every faculty member and every administrator and every coach should have been out on those campuses embracing the issues, talking the issues, debating, demonstrating negotiable, rational discussion; in other words, fucking educating their students about things that really matter. Origins of the conflict? A two-state solution? Hamas atrocities? Israeli genocide? The U.S. in the Middle East? Zionism? Death to Israel? Divesting investments? Today's university student is going to have to live with those questions in one way or another for their lifetime and the universities just blew it when they should have provided a sound introduction in handling such controversial issues.

 

*   *   *

 

I think I've Found The Answer – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) smoking in the U.S. has gone from roughly twenty-five percent in 2005 to around eleven percent currently. Now you'd have to have been sleeping under a rock to miss the correlation in that twenty-year period between folks quitting smoking and the massive uptick in our being nasty, divisive, and intolerant toward each other. The solution to our national grumpiness is obvious, though it's not a good one.

 

*   *   *

 

G.K. Wuori ©2024

Photoillustration by the author