The Crimes Of The Century

Ed Raymond

The Grand Jury of the State of Reason and Logic in the United States, after more than a decade of gathering evidence, finds there is sufficient evidence to bring an indictment against the Republican Party for the attempted murder of science, history, and ethics in the 21st century. As prosecutor I submit the following into evidence:

Whereas frogs have almost disappeared from Minnesota swamps and lakes, I want to know what has happened to the frogs I used to use as walleye bait. Twenty years ago one could go for a walk on the lakeshore and the frogs would be jumping all over the place. Quick grabs netted a few for casts from shore for the wily walleye. But then the herbicide atrazine came along and made an awful mess of frogs, particularly in their growing extra legs and heads. It also turned males into females. The battle between big chemical corporations such as Monsanto and Syngenta, the maker of atrazine, and the environmentalists was on. Used on corn and other crops, about 80 million pounds are applied on the earth each year. It’s second to Roundup, a killer herbicide made by Monsanto. Syngenta made $2.3 billion off herbicides last year. Research has shown that atrazine also shrinks the gonads of frogs, thus destroying reproductive capabilities (I wonder what it does to ours). Where are all the frogs? Atrazine has killed them off. Republicans support the use of these herbicides and say to hell with the frogs. We have no idea how much damage the lack of frogs is doing to the lake environment. Therefore, I charge Republicans with the attempted murder of the Environmental Protection Agency in the field of environmental science.

Whereas the incandescent light bulb invented by that genius of the thousand patents Thomas Alva Edison wastes 90 percent of its energy on heat instead of light, the Best Congress Money Can Buy in 2007 during the reign of the compassionate Yale cheerleader George W. Bush  passed a law requiring light bulbs to use at least 25 percent less electricity by 2014 for the amount of lumens, or light, produced. Make sense? Not to dim-bulb Republicans such as Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann or Oklahoma senator James Inhofe and that ilk! These Republicans are not real conservatives after all. They represent the know-nothing “freedom” faction that goes without helmets and espouses the freedom to choose their own damn light bulb. Would Prozac help these people? I doubt it. Some science and math classes might. A 100-watt incandescent costs $12.05 annually to use. A 72-watt halogen incandescent creates the same light and is slightly more money but costs only $8.67 a year and lasts an average of 10,000 hours, about triple the old incandescent. The power to operate an average American home now powers an entire Chinese village. Therefore, I charge Republicans with the attempted murder of the Department of Energy, which is responsible for the development of energy science.

Whereas Republican legislators in 23 states have submitted legislation to require that persons seeking welfare and food stamps take drug tests and possess photo ID before receiving such benefits, I endorse such legislation as long as all recipients of corporate and tax loophole welfare are included. This would mean that all middle-class, upper-middle-class, millionaires, and billionaires would be required to take public drug tests because they all receive welfare checks of one kind or another from the best Congress Money Can Buy. Any who fail the drug tests would forfeit all federal and state grants, tax cuts, and tax loopholes. If this financial requirement is removed, then I will charge Republicans with the attempted murder of civil rights, equality under the law, and ethics.
Whereas genetic scientists have determined that the male-specific Y chromosome has degenerated from 1,400 genes over 200 million years ago to only 45 today, there is some urgency in determining how long males will be successful in reproduction. Humans may become like the Komodo dragons and the whiptail lizards who can reproduce without males. With the severe cutting of research funds to federal health institutes and genetic research facilities, we may not be able to predict when the Y chromosome will completely disappear. Therefore, I charge the Republican Party with the murder of science because of severe cuts to scientific research and development.

Whereas 98 percent of the world’s climatologists have determined that global warming, climate change, and whatever else you want to call it is caused by humanity’s increasing consumption of oil and coal, famous Republican climatologists such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have come to the conclusion that climate change is a big hoax. The Koch brothers, who have spent about $200 million just this last year creating “grass roots” groups such as the Heartland Institute (also supported by ExxonMobil and Richard Mellon Scaife) to support the idea that such climate change is a hoax, want to eliminate the EPA. Therefore I add another attempted murder charge that the Republican Party attempted to murder climate science.

Whereas the Southern half of Greenland lost an extra 100 million tons of ice in 2011, which caused the island’s bedrock to rise an additional quarter of an inch, such a loss of ice indicates that global warming is real. This finding comes from 50 GPS monitors placed around the coast that monitor bedrock and ice shifting. The GPS stations have measured how much the Greenland ice sheet is moving toward the sea. NASA scientists say that melting ice is trickling through the 4,000-foot thick ice sheet and lubricating the slide toward the sea. Greenland contains enough ice to raise the oceans by 20 feet if it all melts. Therefore, I charge the Republican Party with attempted murder of all science connected with global warming, now known as climate change, and in the future as “Why in hell is it so hot?”

Whereas the extreme melting of the Arctic ice cap due to global warming has increased the importance of providing adequate patrol ships and icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard to protect our national interests in the Arctic Ocean, it is important to recognize that House Republicans want to decommission two remaining Coast Guard icebreakers—and then lease icebreakers from foreign countries such as Russia. The Coast Guard has testified it needs three modern heavy-duty icebreakers costing about $895 million each to maintain our military and political strategic position in the Arctic. In order to transport a late shipment of fuel oil and gas through ice to Nome, Alaska, this year, we had to hire a Russian icebreaker to finish the job!  Therefore I charge the Republican Party with attempted murder of science related to global warming.

Whereas the big flap over the Keystone XL Pipeline is politically inspired and has little basis in science, the decision to build it should be based on our need for that kind of oil and the effect it will have on our environment. In the first place, if tar-sand oil is so necessary to our national interest, why not build a refinery on the northern border? Why build a pipeline to Houston over the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies water to as many as twelve states in the Midwest? Why are we building a pipeline to the port of Houston? Is it for domestic consumption or so the oil can be shipped to China and other Asian buyers? Do pipelines ever rupture? With the quality of the crude so sour and poor from tar sands, why don’t we route a pipeline, if necessary at all, away from the aquifer? The plains Indians in Nebraska who live close to the original proposed pipeline route have a saying that our politicians are totally unfamiliar with: How will the decisions that we make today affect the seventh generation? Our politicians have a very difficult time looking beyond the next fiscal quarter. In fact, most of our politicians have been bought by the Petroleum Marketers Association. The main spokesman, Republican Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska, has received $365,798 from them. Koch Industries and ExxonMobil are the main supporters of the Association. Therefore I charge the Republican Party with attempted murder of not only the science and regulations associated with such an energy and environmental decision, but also of common sense.

Whereas the average headwinds for passenger jets flying from Europe to the U.S. have increased from an average of 30 knots in 2001 to 47 knots in 2012 due to global warming and have caused the diverting of 14 flights to Gander and Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador in the last month, therefore I charge the Republican Party with another attempted murder of science. Boeing 757s have been used for many years on routes across the Atlantic, but now do not have the range. Airlines have had to switch to the larger Boeing 777 because of fuel capacity to cover the extra 45 minutes needed to complete flights against the wind.

Whereas the United States is the only developed economy in the world without guaranteed paid maternity leave, it ranks only with Lesotho, Swaziland, and New Guinea for unpaid leave.  U.S. mothers are often forced to choose between jobs or parenting, or as one mother said, “A woman’s options are to leave her baby before she feels ready to rescue an unattended career or to leave her career before it is secure in order to care for unattended children.” Therefore, I charge the Republican Party with neglect of the family and the complete erosion of their so-called “family values” position in their political platform.

Whereas unpasteurized milk, touted by some know-nothings as the ultimate health food, often causes belly-distressing food-borne illnesses and has a hospitalization rate 13 times higher than those with pasteurized product, the sale should be banned. No more than 1 percent that consume raw milk have as much sickness as those that consume 99 percent of pasteurized products. Therefore, I charge the Republican Party with another attempted murder charge of the various sciences that have determined that raw milk will not only give you the runs, it might run you six feet under.

Whereas research at the University of California at Berkeley has indicated that the One Percent are more likely to cheat, lie, and break the law than those in the 99 Percent, therefore I charge the Republican Party with supporting the tiny group that is committing murder on science, ethics, and history. This has happened many time before, from Rome to the Gilded Age to the 1920s and the Jazz Age. The rich see greed and self-interest as good pursuits. The research revealed that those who drove very expensive cars were more likely to cut off other cars and pedestrians at busy intersections. In another test, researchers found the One Percent were more likely to cheat in an online game to win a $50 prize.

Whereas the Republican Legislature in Minnesota has passed a “shoot first” and “castle doctrine” bill as ordered to by the National Rifle Association, therefore I charge the Party with attempted murder of science, history, ethics, and Minnesota humans who will die if Governor Mark Dayton does not veto the bill. Guns do kill people. Ask the Florida family of the girl who was shot to death by “accident” in her father’s church. Be sure to read the history of Virginia’s gun laws. The Republican governor just signed a bill removing any limits on gun purchases. They did have one that limited purchases to one a month. I guess 12 firearms a year per buyer was too confining for the National Rifle Association.

Whereas on March 2 there were 311 severe weather reports that included 48 tornadoes (97 over two days) where 162 million people live, with a current death toll of 31, shouldn’t we be making some decisions about global warming? The 150 mph jet stream brought cold air from Canada down to mix with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. And this is winter. Wait until summer. Therefore I add another charge to the attempted murder of climate science by the Republican Party because of connections to the oil, gas, and coal industries and their anti-climate change organizations. Last year we had 14 $1 billion disasters. How many will we have this year?