Sometimes Less Is More

I read an article a few days ago about “America’s Falling Fertility Rate”.  My curiosity was piqued by the title, so I read on.  Turns out that women in the U.S. are having fewer babies than at any time in recorded history.  Okay, so … the earth is overpopulated, there are some 330 million people in the U.S. … what’s the problem?  Fewer people is better, at least in my book.

According to the experts, a replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple is necessary to sustain a country’s population, and at present the U.S. is only achieving 1.705 births per woman while Britain, Canada, France, and Australia all had fertility rates below 1.9.  So?  Again … what’s the problem?

Given the effects of humans on the environment and given that people in some parts of the world are dying of hunger due to the lack of arable land on which to grow food, it seems to me that lowering the rate of population growth could well contribute to saving the planet.  Oh, but wait … silly me, I wasn’t considering the wealthy corporations!

Some experts are calling this phenomenon “a demographic time bomb.” In coming years, lower fertility rates could have profound economic consequences, with employers lacking sufficient workers to grow the economy.  Le GASP!  Oh damn!  Microsoft and Apple won’t have enough workers to invent more useless software and market it for 5,000% of what it’s actually worth, and Wally World (aka Wal-Mart) will have to scale back on some of the junk they sell!  The world’s richest dudes will start losing money instead of languishing in obscene profits!  And they will learn, perhaps, to live a little less extravagantly, to appreciate their employees, maybe even to pay them a living wage.

So, why are women having fewer children today?  According to the article in The Week

A complex set of factors has driven down birth rates for almost all age groups of women — except for those in their late 30s and early 40s. As more women pursue college and advanced degrees and devote their 20s to career building, the mean age at which women have their first birth reached a record high of 26.9 in 2018. The Census Bureau reported that from 2000 to 2019 the number of 25-year-olds who had obtained a master’s degree doubled to 21 million and the number of those pursuing doctorates more than doubled. In a 2020 survey of thousands of women who delayed childbirth, 3 in 5 cited their desire to reach a certain job title or level before starting a family. Many feminists say this is necessary because many employers sideline mothers. Ashley Stahl, a career coach, points to a Princeton University study showing that for every child a woman has, her earnings potential falls 4 percent.

The article goes on to say that housing plays a significant role …

The National Bureau of Economic Research says that the largest component of child-rearing costs is housing. And the cost of housing in America has skyrocketed. The median U.S. home in 1953 cost $18,080, or about $177,000 in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars. Today, the median home price is $301,000. Young people who cannot afford homes or even a two-bedroom apartment are less inclined to marry and to have children.  One 2014 study published in the Journal of Public Economics explicitly linked housing costs to fertility, suggesting that for every $10,000 jump in housing values, fertility among nonowners fell 2.4 percent.

Now, I fail to see the problem.  As a person who is deeply concerned about what humans have done and are continuing to do to the environment, I can only conclude that fewer humans on this earth is a positive thing.  Fewer humans = fewer cars, fewer airplanes, fewer trees being cut down, less pollution.  As a supporter of animal rights and protecting the earth, again I see fewer humans leading to fewer species becoming extinct as a result of human activities.  Perhaps this is Mother Nature’s way of leveling the playing field.  I realize that the majority of people do not likely share my opinion, but rather see the growth of the human species as invaluable and essential.  I also realize that to a degree, my view of this complex issue is somewhat simplistic.

In my view, fewer humans means more trees, healthier animals, cleaner air and water … a healthier planet in general.  It may also mean that the planet can better sustain all the people on earth, that nobody will be without food, water, and fresh air.  Let’s learn to appreciate the truly finer things in life, the things that man, in all his greed and arrogance, is in the process of destroying.

Yes, Mass Shootings are a Uniquely American Phenomenon

Our friend Jeff, like myself, is still reeling from the recent mass shootings. And, as our friend Keith so often reminds us, while the mass shootings get a ton of notice, many more die in other, less publicized shootings and suicides. I want guns gone, but realistically will have to settle for some sweeping gun legislation that reduces the number of incidents, injuries and deaths. Good post, Jeff … thanks!

On The Fence Voters

But so is the cultural and right-wing media obsession with guns

In 2008, during his rough and tumble presidential primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama got into some trouble at a fundraising event when hemade these commentsabout working-class voters:

“They get bitter; they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Clinton, of course, nailed him for the comment, hoping to resurrect her campaign. And Republicans were all over him as well, but that’s no surprise. To them and Clinton at the time, it was a way to further the narrative that Obama was an out-of-touch elitist.

But rather than break down the quote word for word, which by the way is 100% accurate, for purposes of this post and the recent tragedies in the news, let’s…

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What is the correct word usage and definitions? What do you think?

I have long since tired of people using tags and labels for people or movements that they do not understand. The term “socialist” is bandied about by those who haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. Our friend Scottie has taken it upon himself to do some research, to try to understand the differences between “Democratic Socialist” and “Social Democrat”. There are important distinctions that people need to understand if they’re going to use these terms. Thank you, Scottie, for opening this important conversation!

Scotties Toy Box

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I am starting an attempt to stop misinformation and misdirection.     Things like the above is not helping, nor can I say the above meme is true.      I am having a conversation with Dylan over economic systems dealing with governing a country, specifically socialism, communism, and unrestrained capitalism.    I have been using the definitions from online dictionaries.   But it seems that common usage is mingling the meaning of Democratic Socialism and Social Democrat.   I wrote a whole reply to Dylan that was well searched and sourced that  switched the two different terms and changed the entire meaning of my reply.    I thought I had made the mistake of using the wrong terms.   However I am seeing on line that there is no seeming set definitions as I thought, just general ideas.   Thankfully Dylan caught it, pointed it out to me that my reply as written did…

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♫ Earth Song ♫ (Redux)

Sometimes music is just for fun, other times to stir memories, and sometimes it is to make a statement.  In recent years, the environment has been a hot-button topic, with scientists telling us that we are destroying the only planet that is capable of sustaining human life as we know it, and others claiming it’s all a hoax, that we should go on filling the air and seas with toxins and trash.

Michael Jackson, known for his socially-conscious music, released this song, dealing with the environment and animal welfare, on November 27, 1995.  The music video you are about to see was shot in four separate geographical locations, including the Americas, Europe and Africa.  According to Michael Jackson …

“I remember writing ‘Earth Song’ when I was in Austria, in a hotel. And I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth. And for me, this is Earth’s Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth. And with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it’s about some of the joys of the planet as well. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is ‘Earth Song.’ And that’s what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria.”

The song has won numerous awards, perhaps none more important than the Genesis Award: 1995 Doris Day Music Award, given each year for animal sensitivity.

In 2008, a writer for the Nigeria Exchange noted, “Earth Song drew the world’s attention to the degradation and bastardization of the earth as a fall out of various human activities”.  Ten years later and we still haven’t gotten the wake-up call.

The video, directed by fine art photographer Nick Brandt had an environmental theme, showing images of animal cruelty, deforestation, pollution, poaching, poverty and war. Jackson and the world’s people unite in a spiritual chant—”Earth Song”—which summons a force that heals the world. Using special effects, time is reversed so that life returns, war ends and the forests regrow.

Earth Song
Michael Jackson

What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things that you said
We were to gain
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said were yours and mine

Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we’ve shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying Earth, these weeping shores

Aah, ooh

What have we done to the world
Look what we’ve done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son

What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine

Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying earth, these weeping shores

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don’t know where we are
Although I know we’ve drifted far

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

Hey, what about yesterday
(What about us)
What about the seas
(What about us)
The heavens are falling down
(What about us)
I can’t even breathe
(What about us)
What about apathy
(What about us)
Drowning in the seas
(What about us)
What about the promised land
Preachin’ what I believe
(What about us)
What about the holy land
(What about it)
What about the greed
(What about us)
Where did we go wrong
Someone tell me why
(What about us)
What about baby boy
(What about him)
What about the days
(What about us)
What about all their joy
Do we give a damn

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

Songwriters: Michael Jackson
Earth Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Good People Doing Good Things — Communities

I hope you will forgive me, but this week’s ‘good people’ post is a re-post from September 2017.  It was, I think, well worth re-visiting, and frankly between the latest mass shootings and being very worried about a dear friend, I just cannot seem to focus well enough to write a new ‘good people’ post tonight.  I think you’ll find these good people make up for my laziness this week … at least I hope so!


It’s been a rough couple of weeks … 2 hurricanes slammed the continental U.S., another even stronger one devastated the archipelago of Puerto Rico.  Four major earthquakes have hit Mexico so far this month. Political upheaval and controversy reigned, not only here in the U.S. but around the globe.  We all need to look to something positive, look at those people who thumb their noses at trouble and just roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of helping others.  Today’s ‘good people’ are those who take the meaning of the word ‘community’ seriously, who believe that we are all in this together and we need to set aside differences to help one another.


hatley.pngJulius Hatley is 95-years-young, a World War II veteran, and lives alone in Ft. Worth, Texas.  At the beginning of summer, back in June, Mr. Hatley’s central air-conditioning as well as a smaller window unit both went caput, so Mr. Hatley took to sitting out on his porch most of the time, for inside the house was unbearable.  Finally, one day Mr. Hatley knew he had to do something … summer was only beginning and he was already miserable.  But what to do?  So, the only thing he could think of was to call 911, which is what he did.

“This wasn’t a regular 911 call,” according to Fort Worth Police Officer William Margolis. “It was what you’d label ‘low priority’ because we’re not AC techs.” I have to wonder if many police departments would have just written it off as a ‘no-priority’ call?  But not these guys.  Officer Margolis and his partner, Christopher Weir, after responding to a few higher priority calls that morning, went to check on Mr. Hatley. They found that he had no working air-conditioner, and at 8:30 a.m., the temperature inside his house was already 85° (F), 29.4° (C).

Now these guys were under no obligation, but out of the goodness of their hearts, they went to Home Depot to buy Mr. Hatley a window unit to replace his broken one.  And, just as these things so often do, their effort gained momentum when they explained to the staff at Home Depot what they were doing.  Staff and management pooled their available cash and contributed $150 toward the air conditioner!

Later that day, Officer Weir returned to Hatley’s home with another Ft. Worth Officer, Steven Rebrovich, and they installed the unit.  Mr. Hatley was appreciative and excited beyond words, but the story doesn’t stop there.  Once the story hit the news, the community came together in the spirit of … community!  An air conditioning company replaced his central air free of charge, and others took care of replacing his windows and re-painting his house!  Other members of the community check on Mr. Hatley and deliver groceries every week!  This, friends, is what being a community is about.  This is what being a human is all about.  Let us all give two thumbs up to Officers Weir and Margolis, certainly, but to ALL those who have come to help Mr. Hatley!  And a thumbs up to Mr. Hatley himself for his service to our nation all those years ago.


In the small eastern Turkish town of Karakocan, nobody goes hungry.  The Merkez Restaurant is just one of many in town that feeds people who need a meal, free of charge.  Mehmet Ozturk, 55, the owner of Merkez, says he always keeps at least three tables reserved for the needy, even during rush hour when his restaurant is packed.

OzturkOzturk says at least 15 people come to his restaurant every day to receive a free meal. According to residents, around 100 people eat for free each day across the whole town.  The tradition to feed the needy for free first started in the 1940s at the Merkez Restaurant, one of the first eateries in town, when the former owners started offering free meals to those in need every day. The practice was quickly picked up by other restaurants in the area. Ozturk says: “The tradition has always been here, even 70 years ago. For us it was a natural thing to do, something we learned from our elders.”

There are about five large restaurants in the quaint but surprisingly vibrant town centre, and each one honours the philanthropic tradition. Individuals receiving free food tend to be regulars, familiar faces who visit the restaurant to have at least two meals a day. Ozturk says that a large margin of the regular diners suffer from disabilities, such as mental illness, such as regular Galip who says, “The Merkez is my favourite place in town, because the food is great.“

GalipThe generosity goes beyond feeding those in need, as restaurants also offer feasts for free for the whole town on Islamic holidays including Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and throughout the holy month of Ramadan.  Again, we see what community is really about.  Hats off to the restauranteurs of Karakocan, Turkey for taking care of the less fortunate!


GothenburgAnd then there’s Gothenburg, Sweden.  Gothenburg is the 2nd largest city in Sweden, with about 600,000 residents.  The city is one of the most segregated in Europe and is dependent on the fossil industry, and yet it was voted the world’s “most sociable city.” How can that be, you ask?  Through a series of community initiatives that promote sharing and collaboration, the city is turning things around.

Just a few of these initiatives are ,,,

Collaborative Economy Gothenburg, a non-profit promoting the collaborative economy in the city through projects and events like Global Sharing Week.

Bike Kitchen, an open do-it-yourself workshop where people can repair their bikes with access to tools, space, and assistance from others. They also hold workshops where people can learn to repair bikes.

The nonprofit ridesharing movement Skjutsgruppen, where private individuals can bridge both physical distances and distances between each other as human beings by sharing vehicles.

Gothenburg-2These are just three of the twelve initiatives this community has created to overcome the obstacles the city, like any other city, faces, and I strongly urge you to take a look at the entire list … there are some terrific ideas there!  It just goes to show that when people pull together, when they put aside meaningless differences, they can do marvelous things!


Mexico first experienced an earthquake of 8.1 on September 8th, and another of 7.1 on September 19th.   The one in Oaxaca on the 8th was the strongest in living memory and the death toll quickly rose.  Rescuers were on the scene quickly, and one seven-year-old named Frida is responsible for helping find people amid the rubble.  Oh, did I happen to mention that Frida is a Labrador retriever employed by the Mexican Navy?

Frida-1.jpgWhen the second quake hit Mexico City just over a week later, Frida was once again on the job. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto formally recognised the labrador’s determination and bravery on Twitter on Friday morning …

“This is Frida. She belongs to SEMAR and has helped save 52 lives in various natural disasters at national and international levels.”

Yes, I know … the title of this post is Good People Doing Good Things … but this dog gave her all, and I think she deserves a bit of recognition also. And now, Frida has been immortalized as a piñata!

Frida-4


I hope you enjoyed today’s good people (and dog).  Isn’t it great to read about people pulling together, putting aside differences in the true spirit of ‘community’?  I think every city could take a lesson from Gothenburg, don’t you?  Until next Wednesday, my friends, lets all try to do something good for somebody this week.  Love and hugs!

♫ Imagine ♫

Now, I know that I played this song three times during 2018, once during 2019, and twice last year.  And, I know that a couple of my beloved friends/readers do not care much for John Lennon.  But tonight, after the second mass shooting here in the U.S. in just over a week … well, I felt no song in my heart except this one … this one that let’s us dream of a better world.  I have never felt more hopeless than I do tonight … if there is hope for us in this world, it is to live life as John Lennon sings … a world with “nothing to kill or die for”.

And so, I ask you, dear friends, to listen to this song … really listen … even if you don’t like Lennon, or you’re tired of me playing it … just listen.  Let the words of hope wash over you.  If we can’t make a difference, if you truly think we are just doomed … then why do you love the ‘good people’ posts so much?  You love them for the same reasons I do … because they give us hope for the future … for humanity.  Now, don those headphones, sit back and close your eyes, and just absorb the music, okay?  Love ‘n hugs!

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today (ah ah ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management

A Day Late

On October 26th, 1966, the UN General Assembly passed resolution 2142 (XXI), proclaiming March 21st as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966 which signifies the struggle to end the policy of apartheid in South Africa, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

unesco-1I am late with this post, for yesterday was March 21st, but it doesn’t really matter if it’s a day late, for every day should be a day for eliminating racial discrimination.  Recent events here in the U.S. – the brutal murder of George Floyd and countless others by police, and more recently the hate crimes against Asian-Americans – have shown us that we have much to do to end racism.

While it is crucial to end racial prejudice in public agencies such as police, social services, and even at the highest levels of government, the problem starts on a more basic level – with us.  We haven’t been listening for the past 50, 100 years.  Oh sure … we protested in Civil Rights marches in the 1960s, and that led to laws such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and more, but then we clapped our hands, dusted off our knees, went home and said, “Well done!” and moved on without a backward glance.  And now look … 43 states are busily writing laws that would invalidate the Voting Rights Act.

I cannot speak for other countries, but I do know that racism is alive and well today around the globe, more than it was, say, two decades ago.  In part, this is as a result of a surge in migration due to the Arab Spring, nations were unprepared, and it has led to a new level of racial discrimination around the globe.  But more specifically here in the U.S., I have not seen this much blatant racism in the past 50 years.  But it’s been there all along.  Our Black friends knew it, for they lived it.  They tried to tell us, but we weren’t listening.  And now, the racism has spread to Asian-Americans, largely as a result of public figures blaming China for the coronavirus, calling it “China flu” and worse.  Since 11 September 2001, there has been an expansion of racism here against people from Middle Eastern countries … even though the attacks on that day were carried out by only 19 people and directed by one man, not the entire Muslim world.

I don’t have answers to the question of how we end this, but I do know that each one of us has got to look inside ourselves and understand that we are not superior in any way to anybody else … not Blacks, not Muslims, not Asians, not LGBT people … NOBODY!

Here is the text of President Joe Biden’s statement released yesterday (I may be a day late, but Joe was on time!):

One of the core values and beliefs that should bring us together as Americans is standing against hate and racism, even as we acknowledge that systemic racism and white supremacy are ugly poisons that have long plagued the United States. We must change the laws that enable discrimination in our country, and we must change our hearts.

Racism, xenophobia, nativism, and other forms of intolerance are not problems unique to the United States. They are global problems. They are human problems that we all need to recognize, name, and dismantle. Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, all nations and people should recommit to the fundamental truth that every human being has inherent dignity and deserves to be treated with fairness. We must recognize the ways that racism, gender discrimination, and other forms of marginalization intersect with and compound one another. And, we must all strive to eliminate inequities in our policies, remove barriers to full participation in our societies, and push for open and inclusive processes that respect all people everywhere.

Under my Administration, the United States will lead the conversation on these painful issues—at home, in international institutions, and around the world. That is why, on my first day in office, I signed an Order establishing a whole of government approach to equity and racial justice. We will not shy away from engaging in the hard work to take on the damaging legacy of slavery and our treatment of Native Americans, or from doing the daily work of addressing systemic racism and violence against Black, Native, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and other communities of color. Neither will we fail to speak out against the horrific mistreatment of the Rohingya in Burma, the Uyghurs in China, or any racial discrimination we see in the world.

Hate can have no safe harbor in America. It should have no safe harbor anywhere in the world. We must join together to make it stop.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 3/20

As she does every week, TokyoSand has scavenged the ‘Net for the best political cartoons of the past week.  Thank you, TS, for all your efforts to bring us the ‘toons that tell a whole story with a single picture.


On one hand, there was a lot of great news this week: Americans got help thanks to the COVID relief bill, we confirmed more great folks to the Cabinet, and Biden beat his own goal to get 100 million vaccine shots administered in his first 100 days. But, there was also a lot of terrible news, which was covered by editorial cartoonists.

toon-1toon-3toon-2toon-4

See All The ‘Toons!

A Closer Look At Senator Ron Johnson

There are a number of nasty people in the U.S. Senate today, people who willfully obstruct the people’s business, people who are racist, homophobic, misogynists … but one stands out among the crowd, especially for his behaviour over the past 3 months.

ron-johnsonUntil recently, I had not heard of Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin except in passing.  And then came the 2020 election, followed by the Big Lie, followed by the attack on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th as Congress was certifying the election results, and suddenly Ron Johnson got his name in lights.  Mr. Johnson perpetuated the Big Lie, that the former guy had actually won the election and it had been stolen from him.  Mr. Johnson was one of the many Republicans who voted to overturn the election, to throw out our votes … our voices.  Ron Johnson says he wasn’t afraid that day, when Nazis and white supremacists … terrorists … broke into the Capitol, destroying public property, chanting “Kill Mike Pence”, injuring more than 140 police officers and killing more than one person.  Ron Johnson said he wasn’t afraid because …

“I knew those are people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t concerned.”

BULLSHIT.  bullshit

They were destroying property, breaking windows, pooping on the floor, killing people!  They would never break the law???  Their very presence there was in violation of the law, and what they did once they got in was not just illegal, but seditious, treasonous, and their intent was to overturn this country’s government and install a dictator.  But Ron Johnson thinks these … these heathens … are “good people”.  But, it should be noted that Johnson further qualified his remark by saying he would have been concerned if the invaders had been Black.  Get that man out of Congress!!!

So, now that Ron Johnson has shown his proverbial ass, I decided to look back at his past … people don’t just turn into goats overnight, so I was fairly certain he’s been one for a long time.  I was right.

Johnson is everything that is wrong in the Republican Party.  First elected to the Senate in 2010 with no prior experience in government, and no relevant education, having only a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.  He was a businessman, CEO of a plastics company.  He objected to the stimulus plan of 2009 under the Obama administration, yet he applied for stimulus money for an education council he led.  Yeah, scratch your head over that one!

He is not overly popular … in 2010 he won with 52% of the vote, and only 50.2% in 2016.  He is up for re-election next year … PLEASE, people of Wisconsin, vote this asshole OUT!

He is a climate science denier, having called scientists who attribute global warming to manmade causes “crazy,” saying the theory is “lunacy,” and attributed climate change to causes other than human activity.  Hmmmm … I didn’t see any science degrees or experience listed on his CV.

He is a strong advocate of gun rights (but you already figured that, didn’t you?) and has co-sponsored a bill that would prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and cataloging the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns.  In April 2013, Johnson was one of 12 Republican senators to sign a letter threatening to filibuster any newly introduced gun control legislation. That month, Johnson joined 45 other senators in defeating the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would have required background checks on all sales of guns, including between individuals.  Sure … just let anybody and everybody have as many guns as they wish and do with them as they will, right?

Healthcare?  Hah!  He was one of only 8 senators to vote against the $1,200 stimulus checks last year.  He is against the Affordable Care Act, has voted to repeal it, and when John McCain famously turned his thumb down on the effort to repeal ACA, Johnson basically blamed it on McCain’s brain tumour and said he wasn’t in his right mind.

And then there were the conspiracy theories he spread about the FBI and Trump–Ukraine scandal, promoted false claims of fraud in the 2020 election, suggested that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was at fault for the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.  And I could go on, but in the interest of time and sanity, I won’t.

Suffice it to say that Ron Johnson is one of the faces of the new Republican Party – a man without intellect and without conscience.  Let us hope that in November 2022, the people of Wisconsin use their intellect and conscience to get this goat out of the United States Senate.

Government Of, By, And For The People … Going Once, Going Twice …

I have always believed that in order for democratic processes to work properly, we need two viable political parties.  It just makes sense … in theory, it leads to a meshing of ideas and results in compromise that is good for the nation, good for the people.  It also ensures that no one person or party will hijack the power of the federal government, turning it into an autocracy.  Today, those two parties are so polarized that they are destroying the nation and the people are paying the price.  I guess the keyword in my first sentence is ‘viable’.  I don’t believe the Republican Party of today is a viable party, certainly they are not representative of the people of the United States, nor do they any longer even pretend to represent us.  One case in point …

Just over a week ago, on March 11th, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus stimulus bill, but also much more to help people, small businesses, and cities recover from the pandemic that has thrown a wrench into our lives and prosperity for over a year now.  Not one single Republican in Congress voted for the bill, though a few are not above taking credit for it.  But now … Attorneys General around the nation are actually suing President Biden over the bill!  Thus far, 22 states’ Attorneys General have filed lawsuits, the latest being Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

According to The Washington Post …

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued the Biden administration Wednesday over its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, alleging the federal government sought to impose “unconstitutional” limits on states’ ability to access some of the aid.

The lawsuit from Yost, a Republican, follows a day after 21 other GOP attorneys general issued their own veiled legal threat in a move that ratcheted up tensions between states and Democratic policymakers in Washington over one of the largest rescue measures in U.S. history.

Republican attorneys general threaten key element of the $1.9 trillion stimulus

The Ohio lawsuit centers on a $350 billion fund meant to help cities, counties and states cover the costs of responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus law opened the door for cash-strapped local governments to tap federal aid to pay for expenses, including for first responders, although it prohibited states from using the money to directly or indirectly offset new tax cuts.

This is akin to a child suing their own parents for trying to take care of them!  In essence, the argument is that in order to qualify for the federal funding, states cannot pass new tax cuts.  Well, folks, every tax cut that has passed anywhere in the last four years has benefited only the wealthy in our nation, the big corporations and their stockholders.  The tax cuts of 2017 did not benefit the average working class one damn bit, and they did absolutely nothing to help the poor.  As a result, this nation is now in debt to the tune of $28 trillion, which comes to about $223,893 per taxpayer!  Why? Because many corporations and most wealthy people pay relatively no taxes and others pay a lower percentage of their income than you or I do!

It seems unconscionable to me that when we finally, after 4 long, dry years under the former guy, have a president who cares about the people as well as the true economy, not just the damn stock market, the Republican Party is showing its true colours, fighting him at every single turn.  Another case in point …

Mitch McConnell has made threats to “blow up” the Senate if the Democrats attempt to alter the filibuster rule.  McConnell, in a floor speech, called out Senate Democrats who believe eliminating the rule would be a “tidy tradeoff” that would allow them to pass major legislative priorities free of the need for 10 Republican votes.

Nobody in the Senate, McConnell warned, can “imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,” asserting that it would make the partisan gridlock that defined the last three presidencies look like “child’s play.” McConnell warned he could gum up the works in the minority by requiring at least 51 senators be physically present in order to proceed, which would grind the chamber to a halt given that Democrats have 50 seats and Vice President Kamala Harris wouldn’t count.

The minority leader also laid out a laundry list of policies his party would try to ram through if they retook the majority, including “sweeping” abortion restrictions, a “hardening” of the U.S.-Mexico border, nation-wide right to work, defunding Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities and passing concealed carry reciprocity in all 50 states.

In other words, Mr. McConnell would, without so much as a pang of conscience, ensure that not a single piece of meaningful legislation would pass in the Senate for at least the next 21 months, and that if his party wins a majority in the Senate as a result of the 2022 elections, he will pass legislation that would harm every person in this country.  Because to him and his cronies, it’s all a big game … see who can wield the most power.  The 330 million people in this country?  Oh, they’re fine … just as long as they keep paying their taxes, it’s all good.

So, we have the Republican Party suing the president and his administration and making threats against We the People.  If you ever had any doubts before, let me clarify that this is no longer Abraham Lincoln’s government “… of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  That concept has been dead for a while now, largely since we elected a Black man to lead the nation, not once but twice.  If you have any doubt that most of what the Republican’s are attempting has its basis in racism, put those doubts to bed.  Almost everything they support would take this nation back into the Jim Crow era.

I end where I began … this nation, in order to survive as a democratic republic, must have two viable parties, an exchange of ideas, and compromise.  Today, the Republican Party is not working for the people, and therefore is not a viable party.  If they do not clean up their house, come up with a platform that supports the people of this nation, then they must be replaced.  There is entirely too much at stake — voting rights, minimum wage, gun regulation, women’s rights, police reform, civil rights, climate change, immigration and more — to let Mitch and his band of not-so-merry men bring our government to a crashing halt.

Check out what Late Night Comedian Stephen Colbert has to say about McConnell’s threats and other newsworthy events