Grasshopper Soup: Flags and photos fan fears |

Grasshopper Soup: Flags and photos fan fears

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

Would you get married wrapped in your national flag if your spouse objected?

When we give all the loyalty and allegiance of our heart to a piece of land or a flag on a stick, on a T-shirt or executive letterhead, our priorities are completely upside down. Love of one’s country, culture and heritage should not in any way come before love of one’s neighbor, and certainly not one’s spouse.

We are all human, regardless of where, when or how we wear our flag.

Boycotters of the Arizona immigration law say it’s bad because it will hurt Hispanics. So what do they do in protest? They boycott Arizona, which hurts Hispanics. This whole fuss over the Arizona law is like watching the Jerry Springer show.

An Illinois assistant school superintendent won’t allow her girl’s basketball team to play in Arizona. She says she is afraid for the girl’s safety, but she is using the girls as political pawns, and may succeed only in ruining their dreams just so she can be in the spotlight.

The majority of people have fairness and common sense figured out. Fairness and human rights are more likely to prevail in the administration of the new Arizona law than the racial profiling so many fear might happen.

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Attorney General Eric Holder’s precise response, when asked, in a Congressional hearing, if he had read the Arizona law he called unconstitutional was, and#8220; (Pause), I haven’t had a chance to and#8230; but and#8230; uh and#8230; I’ve glanced at it and#8230; b and#8230; but and#8230; I’ve not read it.and#8221; It appeared as if the question took him completely by surprise. A hearing on capitol hill is not a good time to forget to do your homework, unless you’re happy with a failing grade. If I was Mr. Holder’s teacher I would make him stay after school and write 1,000 words on why you don’t have to know what a law says to know if it’s unconstitutional or not.

If the United States Attorney General hasn’t read the law, do you think any of those people protesting it by screaming and throwing things at each other have read it? The popular reaction against the law is based on fear, speculation and hearsay. Fear is freaking out over what you think might happen. Eric Holder is encouraging the delinquency.

Hysteria and obfuscation abound. In another over-reaction, the Wall Street Journal publishes a great photo of the new Supreme court nominee in a killer batting stance ready to swing, and some gay rights activists see sexual discrimination in the photo and cry foul. They claim the photo was intended to portray Ms. Kegan in a negative light, as if she is a lesbian. Anyone who looks at the photo and sees negative sexual innuendo is beyond hope. Ignorance of that magnitude is unstoppable, but hopefully not pandemic.

To accuse the Wall Street Journal of ulterior motives is to believe that, if a woman is shown playing softball it means she is gay. Isn’t that bigotry? The gay rights activists become the very thing they despise.

For most of us, the only reason to question Ms. Kegan’s sexuality is the reaction of the gay rights activists themselves. They are the ones making the connection between sports and sexuality. A photo of a woman holding a baseball bat has nothing whatsoever to do with her sexual identity. If it does, you are not looking at the photograph, you are looking at your own fears, prejudices and biases and impugning others in defense of your own insecurities. Stick a wad of chew in your mouth and play ball. Baseball is fun.

At a time when health is so important to a nation, the photo should have been praised for showing an individual headed for high public office engaged in athletic activity. A fair-minded person would appreciate the photo and never give it another thought.

How anyone could look at that photo and think about sex is beyond me. Softball isn’t even considered a contact sport, although accidents can happen. Whichever sport (or protest) you are engaged in, outdoor or indoor, be safe. Wear a helmet.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.