You know, I haven't posted anything about Jesse Helms, because I generally do believe in not speaking ill of the dead. But I think you have to make exceptions for people who were outright evil, and Helms was. I did a happy little jig when I learned that he had died, it was finally a counterbalance to the deaths of Rory Root, Michael Turner, George Carlin... people who helped make the world a better place with intelligence, kindness, talent, etc.
Helms was a racist, homophobic, tobacco-pushing piece of shit. That he represented North Carolina in the Senate for so many years tells you a lot about the Senate, and about a lot of North Carolinians (not all of them, if we're judging folks based on who their state sends to office, well, then us liberal Texans have to take blame for G.W. Bush, too). The world is better for his removal from it. I don't believe in Heaven or Hell, but I kind of like the idea of Helms getting up to the pearly gates, and the doors open, and George Carlin and Bill Hicks step up, punch him in the face and the groin and send him screaming down to Hell where he belongs.
Want to see a little bit more on Helms, and why his death is not a cause for mourning? Roland Martin on CNN.com reminds folks not to sanitize Helms' racist beliefs just because he's dead. No, I'm more with a 51-year-old manager at a lab in North Carolina went into forced retirement for taking a stand against lowering the flag in respect to Helms (that he didn't deserve).