Guns And COVID — Both Murder Weapons

If I owned a retail establishment (a ‘store’, for any Republicans who might be reading), I would be well within my rights to impose and enforce a ban on guns in my business.  I would have a sign on all entrances stating my ‘no gun’ policy and anyone caught bringing a gun into my place would be given a lifetime ban.  No exceptions.  Why?  Because guns kill, because guns are dangerous even in the most well-trained hands.  Because I don’t want to have to hire a crew to clean the blood stains off of my walls.

Murder, by the way, is against the law here in the U.S.  So, if you brought a gun into my establishment, lost your temper with, say somebody who accidentally jostled you, and you shot them … you would go to prison.

Now, the gun rights’ activists will tell me that I’m infringing on their 2nd Amendment rights, but frankly I don’t give a damn and that isn’t how I see it.

So now we have another lethal weapon in the public arsenal, this one less obvious at a glance than a bulky gun:  COVID.  Covid is a lethal killer … to date, 4.5 million people worldwide have died of this disease since its inception and there is no sign that it is slowing down in too many places, most notably parts of the U.S.  So, again, I would be well within my rights to refuse entry to my place of business to anyone not vaccinated and not wearing a mask – the only two tools in our toolbox to fight this killer.

If you wish to visit my store, you will show valid proof of vaccination AND you will wear a mask.  Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Governor DeSantis or Governor Abbott have to say about it … I will ban those who cannot follow the rules of public safety.

Today, the vaccine has been widely available and free for a number of months, and this week received full FDA approval, so there is NO remaining excuse for anybody to continue to shun the vaccine.  But if you do, be advised that you, too, will be shunned by good people of conscience.

It seems to me that, Covid being every bit as lethal, though not as obvious, as a gun, then it should be restricted in the same way … that … oh wait, we don’t restrict guns, either do we?  But seriously, folks … the person who refuses to be vaccinated, who refuses to wear a mask in public, is every bit as much a murderer in my book as the person who pulls a gun in a crowded movie theater.  Consider the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month.  According to NBC News …

Two weeks after the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, reported Covid infections in the state have risen nearly sixfold.

South Dakota counted 3,819 new cases in the past two weeks, including seven deaths, up from 644 cases in the 14 days preceding it. That makes it the state with the largest percent increase in Covid cases in the past two weeks.

Packed in like sardines and in all the pictures I’ve seen, I did not see a single masked face.

Y’know, my friends, if a person wants to commit suicide, that is his or her business and contrary to what I thought, it is not against the law.  But it does seem that there are more reliable and less traumatic ways to do it than to catch Covid intentionally.  But when we start talking about other people’s lives, then … WHOA!  Put the brakes on, stop sipping that Jack Daniels, stop being stubborn just for the sake of showing the world what an asshole you are, and think for a minute.  Murder, as it happens, IS illegal.  If you intentionally place your unvaccinated, unmasked self into a group of people, you are potentially committing murder.  You may be murdering a two-year-old child or an elderly woman like myself.  You may be murdering a schoolteacher or a nurse.  It’s a game of Russian roulette and I’M TIRED OF IT!

Tell me again, Scott Lawlor, how your right to shun the vaccine overrides my right to life!  Tell us all, you stupid bitches holding up signs reading “My body, my choice”, what you would do if your own child caught Covid and died as a result of your “choice”.

It seems to me that there should be a nation-wide mandate for both the vaccine and masks.  Anybody caught not obeying … there is plenty of jail space.  We could whip Covid in this country in a matter of weeks if EVERYONE did their part … a really simple part, actually.  But no, there are 30% – 40% of the people in this nation who aren’t particularly smart, aren’t at all compassionate, but rather are greedy, selfish bastards.  And governors who would rather see a reduction in the population of their state than make an unpopular decision.  Wow, real tough guys, eh?

Have a safe and happy weekend, my friends, and stay away from covidiots.

Snarky Snippets From A Bouncing Mind

Today’s snippets cover a wide … and I do mean wide … range of topics, from making fun of Mike Pompeo to cursing Andrew Cuomo.  So, fasten your seatbelts and come along for the ride!


Thanks a lot, anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers!

Worldwide, the number of new cases of COVID increased last week by 11% over the preceding week.  In the United States, cases increased by 41% … almost four times the worldwide average.  Need I tell you the reason?  Surely you understand that the refusal of some 30% of the people in this nation to be vaccinated plays a role, but perhaps even more importantly is the happy-go-lucky, not-a-care-in-the-world attitude of those who congregate on beaches, at music festivals, in theaters, shops, restaurants and bars, and refuse to wear a damned mask.  Oh yes, the U.S. claims to have a position as a world leader … we’re a world leader, alright … in spreading a lethal virus intentionally!

Canada and Turkey are the only other western nations with increase rates higher than our own … 59% and 71% respectively.

President Biden has done as much as any president could be expected to in encouraging sensible behaviour, encouraging mask-wearing by example, encouraging vaccination, but there is only so much the president can do … he cannot sign an executive order to eradicate stupidity.  I’ll report on the numbers again next week … I wonder how long it will be before we are back to 1,000 or more deaths a day?


I dunno where it {burp} went

Mike Pompeo was Secretary of State under the former guy.  I had many issues with Mike – his ‘diplomacy’, the fact that he was loyal to the madman, the useless trips he made on our dime, his slavish devotion to Benjamin Netanyahu, misuse by both he and his wifey of government resources, his bringing his religion into his job, and more.  So, I am taking this opportunity to have a laugh at his expense.

Turns out that on June 24th, 2019, the Japanese government gave Pompeo a bottle of whiskey valued at $5,800.  Now, I may be but a peon who knows nothing whatsoever about expensive wine & spirits, but I think there’s no bottle of whiskey worth nearly six thousand dollars.  None.  Sheesh, you drink it, it’s gone, and what do you have to show for it but a massive headache the next morning.

Now, allegedly the bottle was given to an aide, since Pompeo was actually in Saudi Arabia, not Japan on that day, and the aide was to give it to Pompeo.  Presumably he or she did just that.  First problem here is that diplomats and other oversees workers are only allowed to keep gifts that are valued at less than $390.  I’m an accountant, so I know that $5,800 is way more than $390!

The second problem is that now the booze has done a runner, it seems.  It’s gone.  Probably gone into Pompeo’s rather massive belly, but … who knows?  At any rate, the State Department is investigating the whereabouts of the missing booze.  Apparently, they have nothing better to do?  Pompeo’s lawyer, William A. Burck, says that “He has no idea what the disposition was of this bottle of whiskey.”  And most likely he doesn’t recall, for he may have been a bit too … um … inebriated … to remember drinking it.

Okay, I’ve had my fun … in the grand scheme of everything happening today, this is such a minor story that it has little relevance, however every major news outlet seems to have carried it, so I couldn’t resist jumping on that bandwagon.  Now, on to other things …


Mexico is suing us … rightly so

The Mexican government is suing several U.S.-based gun manufacturers including Smith & Wesson Brands, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Beretta USA, Glock and Colt’s Manufacturing Co.

The lawsuit maintains that the U.S. arms manufacturers “are conscious of the fact that their products are trafficked and used in illicit activities against the civilian population and authorities of Mexico,” according to a document from the Foreign Ministry. “Nonetheless, they continue to prioritize their economic benefit, and use marketing strategies to promote weapons that are ever more lethal, without mechanisms of security or traceability,” it continued.

In addition to financial damages sought — which Mexican officials estimated could run to $10 billion if the lawsuit is successful — it also seeks tighter controls on sales and better security features on weapons. It calls on the companies to undertake studies and media campaigns to prevent arms trafficking.

In the past, gun manufacturers have denied responsibility for crimes in which their weapons were used, claiming that they try to ensure that guns can be purchased only by those legally allowed to own them.  Bullshit!  As long as they’re making those huge profits from the sale of killing machines, they don’t give a royal hoot who uses them or for what purpose!

And they have profited greatly from the pandemic.  Smith & Wesson, for example, saw net profit of $243.6 million in 2020 as compared to only $27.7 million the prior year.  Profiting from other people’s death and pain.  The ‘American Dream’, eh?

I would like to see Mexico win this suit and the gun manufacturers have to pay until they are twisted in knots!  Unfortunately, a federal law that took effect in 2005 shields gun manufacturers from most civil liability claims, making it difficult for lawsuits like Mexico’s to succeed.  This case should be tried under international law, perhaps by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to be ruled on fairly.  Yeah, I know … not a snowball’s chance in hell.  Sigh.  I can dream, can’t I?


Resign, Andrew! 

I will only briefly touch on the report released on Tuesday saying that Governor Andrew Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women.  Now, as a native New Yorker, I must admit I’ve always liked Cuomo, thought he did a good job and cared, truly cared, about the people of his state.  However, in light of the charges, I have no choice but to join the masses calling for his resignation, for contrary to what our friend Scott believes of me, I am no hypocrite.  Women’s rights … damn, why do we keep having to fight for them???  WHY the hell can’t men just understand that we don’t WANT their uninvited lecherous passes?  We are … listen to me … WE ARE every bit as deserving of respect as you guys are!  WE ARE NOT sex objects for you to toy with as you please, grabbing our boobs or other body parts.  WE ARE PEOPLE TOO!

Whew … I didn’t realize quite how angry I was about this until I started writing! 🤬  I’m a firm believer of that old adage, “Where there’s so much smoke, there’s bound to be a fire somewhere.”  Yes, I firmly believe that Governor Cuomo is an abuser of women and I join in the calls for his resignation.  That said, he’s a stubborn ass and unlikely to resign, thus impeachment is the next likely step.  My heart breaks for the people of New York that have stood behind Governor Cuomo, only to be slapped in the face by him.

It’s Only A Matter Of Time

This, from a press release by the Department of Justice, U.S. District Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California, yesterday, July 16th

According to court documents, Ian Benjamin Rogers, 45, of Napa, and Jarrod Copeland, 37, of Vallejo, began planning to attack targets they associated with Democrats after the 2020 Presidential election and sought support from an anti-government militia group. According to the indictment, the defendants planned to use incendiary devices to attack their targets and hoped their attacks would prompt a movement.

The indictment describes how Copeland and Rogers used multiple messaging applications and discussed the attacks on numerous occasions. For example, in late December 2020, Copeland told Rogers he contacted an anti-government militia group to gather support for the movement and in January 2021, Rogers told Copeland “I want to blow up a democrat building bad.” Copeland agreed, saying, “I agree” “Plan attack”.  The agreed to start with the Democratic Headquarters in Sacramento and to “see what happens.”  In one exchange, Rogers wrote to Copeland, “after the 20th we go to war,” meaning that they would initiate acts of violence after the inauguration on January 20, 2021.

According to court documents, on January 15, just four days after that exchange and five days before the trigger that Rogers and Copeland identified as the start of their campaign of violence, law enforcement officers searched Rogers’s home and business and seized a cache of weapons from Rogers’s home, including 45 to 50 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and five pipe bombs. Copeland allegedly also attempted to destroy evidence of the plan; after Rogers’s arrest, Copeland communicated with a leader of a militia group who advised Copeland to switch to a new communications platform and delete everything he had. Copeland agreed and when law enforcement obtained Copeland’s devices on January 17, Copeland’s communications with Rogers were missing.

Additional documents filed by the government argue that the defendants understood they would be viewed as domestic terrorists and hoped that their violent acts might start a movement to overthrow the government. In November of 2020, Rogers allegedly used encrypted messaging applications to tell Copeland that he would “hit the enemy in the mouth” by using Molotov cocktails and gasoline to attack targets associated with democrats, including the Governor’s Mansion and the Democratic Headquarters Building in Sacramento.

Rogers and Copeland are both charged with conspiracy to destroy by fire or explosive a building used or in affecting interstate commerce.

Rogers & Copeland

Prosecutors, national security officials and politicians have warned that after Trump and his allies ramped up his lies of a stolen election in November and after a mob of hundreds of Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, their inflammatory rhetoric could lead to violence.  Gee, you really think???

I have questions …

  • How in the hell did Ian Benjamin Rogers acquire “40-50 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and five pipe bombs”??? Would you not expect that background checks would have red-flagged this somewhere along the line?  Oh wait … I forgot … you can buy a gun without a background check … apparently you can buy LOTS of guns without a background check.
  • How many more similar plots are out there that the federal authorities aren’t aware of? You know and I know that this was not the sole plan among Trump-supporting lunatics.  You’ll remember that Trump appealed to his supporters and told them to “… fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”  These two got caught … how long until one doesn’t get caught in time?  It’s only a matter of time …
  • WHY isn’t the former guy in jail for inciting to riot with his words? Trust me, if I said the things that the former guy has said, my ass (and the rest of me) would be sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial for inciting violence at the very least.  Is he somehow … more special than you or I?

I sincerely hope that Rogers and Copeland spend the next 20 years, the maximum possible sentence for their crimes, in prison, but the odds are against it.  And one last question … if they had succeeded in their plot, would they be getting a fist bump from the likes of Josh Hawley, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz and Margie Greene, and would they get an “Atta Boy” from the former guy and his cronies?  Think on that one when you go to bed tonight.

What if…

Last night, I read Brosephus’ latest post shortly before going to bed — warning: do NOT make this post your bedtime reading! Brosephus paints a chilling scenario, one that ten years ago I would have laughed off as fiction, but one that today … I’m no longer laughing. We must do everything in our power to ensure that there is no possibility of this happening, and the first step is to protect voting rights … hear that, Congress???

The Mind of Brosephus

Screenshot of the WSBTV app @ 3:21pm 7/11/21

After watching the GOP evolve (devolve depending on your perspective) into a hard right authoritarian party, I’ve convinced myself there are two types of conservatives. There are the puppeteers consisting of groups like the Federalist Society, Fox News and others. Then, there are the puppets which is basically everyone else. This specific grouping is a topic for another post, but kinda relevant to the scenario that just popped into my head.

While sitting on my back deck and enjoying a summer breeze, I logged into the app pictured above, and that’s the image that greeted me. Notice the top 3 stories AND the red banner? Yeah, I did to. That got the gears in my head to spinning at about 12,000rpm, well beyond the redline of 10,000rpm. *(Just glad that I didn’t burn my brain down in the process…)

Anyway, travel with…

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Bang!!! Bang!!!

A few of yesterday’s headlines …

  • At least 150 people fatally shot in more than 400 shootings over the Fourth of July weekendCNN
  • More than 90 shot in Chicago on Fourth of July weekendChicago Tribune
  • Shootings at two Indianapolis shopping malls over July 4 weekendWTHR News
  • Chicago weekend shootings: 92 shot, 16 fatally in Chicago since Friday nightChicago Sun-Times
  • At least 140 people died in shootings across the US over Fourth of July weekendBusiness Insider
  • At least 150 killed in nationwide shootings this July 4th weekend: dataNew York Post

There are more, but … you get the picture, right?  In case you don’t quite get it, let me paint it for you.  In the

Most of the

Think their right to own a

is greater than our right to

I’M SICK AND DAMN TIRED OF THIS, FOLKS!!!  Give the fucking guns up … throw them in the ocean for all I care but get them out of the hands of ordinary people who tend to be fools and idiots from time to time, and as my mother-in-law used to say, “Ain’t got no sense.”

Take your 2nd Amendment and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine!  For that matter, you can put your guns there too!

{Filosofa takes 10 deep breaths}

Okay, let’s talk about this calmly now that I’ve gotten my fury out of my system.

Fact:  guns outnumber people in the United States

Fact:  humans sometimes get angry and act out of emotion rather than coherent thought

Fact:  guns kill people … or rather, people kill people WITH GUNS

Fact:  the 2nd Amendment does NOT guarantee that every person has the right to own a gun and carry it in public, nor does it address such things as automatic weapons that have the capacity to kill hundreds within minutes

Fact:  gun violence in the United States surpasses that of any other nation on earth

We can no longer feel safe going to the grocery store, much less a shopping mall on a holiday weekend.  We cannot feel safe in a movie theater, restaurant or bar.  We are not safe walking down the street, even in broad daylight.  We are not even safe in our own homes.  Something needs to change and it needs to change NOW!

Republican members of Congress, who are largely owned by the National Rifle Association (NRA), have long resisted even the most moderate legislation that would affect gun ownership, such as expanded background checks.  They have absolutely refused to even discuss a ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 and AK-47.  I think the family of every single victim of gun violence from this point forward should file a federal suit against every Republican legislator who has naysaid gun legislation.

A favoured talking point of the NRA is that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  Yes, but to the stupid who buy into that phrase, might I remind you that people kill people WITH GUNS!  Rare in the U.S. is the killing with fisticuffs or Swiss army knives.  Almost every damn murder is committed with … a gun!  Just how damn hard is it to understand that people who don’t have guns generally don’t kill?

Yes, I know I’m spitting in the wind, preaching to the choir, and the gun nuts will go on being just that … NUTS.  But I cannot be silent on this issue!  This is one of the three biggest issues that is threatening to destroy this nation from within, the other two being racism and money in politics.  And yes, I know that I’ve already said all of this before, more than a few times.  But PEOPLE!!!  WAKE UP AND SMELL THE GUNPOWDER!!!  It’s right outside your door!  Two of the fatalities this past weekend happened within a few miles of my home, likely a couple happened near you, too.  Our children are not safe in their classrooms, and we are not safe even in our workplaces.  How can the gun nuts even begin to justify this?  More to the point, how can our elected officials, men and women who are supposed to have our best interests at heart, justify taking bribes from the NRA and refusing to even discuss laws that might save lives?  Does anybody have an answer?  Hell no, for there is no logical answer.  It’s all about profit … profit for the gun industry, corporations such as Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, Remington et al, and profit (money + power) for our not-so-illustrious elected officials whose salaries, I might remind you once again, WE PAY!

The right of a person to own a gun is about as far down on the priority list in my mind as anything could ever be.  And yet, it is the defining ‘right’ of far too many fools in this country.  The next holiday weekend will be the three-day Labour Day weekend, September 4th thru 6th.  Anybody want to make any bets how many of us will end up dead by guns at the end of that one?

Boom 🧨

Just what pleasure do people get from setting off obnoxiously loud fireworks for hours on end?  I’ve never understood it.  I am sitting here at just after midnight, and every few seconds comes another loud BOOM!  This is an apartment complex of 180 townhouses, most occupied by working class families with children and pets.  Some actually go to bed and sleep at night, but obviously not tonight. My own cats are cowering under the sofa.  There are a number of fireworks shows in and around this city with fireworks that are actually pretty, that light up the night sky with colour, so why don’t these fools attend one of those?  No, they would rather set off fireworks that only make loud noise and cause my heart to literally jump with every single one.  I am too old for this crap.

The reason for the fireworks?  Today is the 4th of July 2021.  Here in the United States it is a federal holiday commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.  There was a time when this day meant something to me. Today, I find it difficult to feel any particular loyalty to a nation that is so divided we seem to be two distinctly separate countries, only without geographic boundaries.  There is no middle ground anymore … you are either a liberal or conservative, Democrat of Republican, human or racist, thinker or follower.  There have, of course, always been such divisions, but until about a decade ago, there was a middle ground, some things that we could all agree on.  Today, that middle ground is gone, replaced by a wide chasm, a desolate wasteland where neither side will venture.  Worse yet, civility and respect have also flown the coop such that if one person disagrees with another, they will call each other vulgar names and hurl accusations, maybe even threats.

We are on a path that is taking us far from the ideology that this nation was once based on, that of “all ‘men’ being created equal.”  Racism is on the rise around the nation, promoted by many of our elected officials.  Our right to participate in our government via our vote is on the chopping block and was dealt what may turn out to be a death blow last Thursday by none other than the U.S. Supreme Court.

Inflation is >5% just in the past year, and many families who lost income during the pandemic are struggling to survive while state governments are cutting unemployment benefits.

Gun violence is beyond words … anybody can buy and own a gun … as many of them as they want.  They can buy automatic weapons that can kill everyone in the room within a minute or two.  Shootings at grocery stores, mosques, on the streets, in theaters and bars have become commonplace and one half of the nation would protect their right to own a gun before they would protect their own children.

The U.S. is the #1 per capita emitter of the carbon that is literally killing us all with melting icecaps, rising sea levels, deadly heat, water shortages, ruined crops and more and the people of this nation rebel at any suggestion that they make certain lifestyle changes to try to turn things around.

No, I’m afraid there really isn’t a whole lot to celebrate this holiday.  The one bright spot is that we do, after four long years, finally have a president who is intelligent and compassionate, who cares about the needs of the people, but even that bright light is dimmed by those who would put up obstacles at every turn to slow or halt any progress he might make.

So no, I’m not celebrating this holiday … this is just another Sunday to me and frankly I’ll be glad when this long weekend is over and the fireworks stop so the kitties can come out from under the sofa, we can stop worrying about a fire here in da hood, and my heart can settle back into my chest.

No Buckhead, you’re not a special case

One of the topics I cover frequently is that of the gun culture in the U.S. Here, guns outnumber people and our society seems to have largely become inured to the daily gun violence and death. Outside the U.S., our gun culture is viewed with horror and incredulity, rightly so. Some communities think the answer is to wall themselves off from the rest of the nation, but our friend Brosephus tells us of some much more viable, widespread and comprehensive solutions to the problem, though my own preference would be to take the guns out of the hands of civilians! Thanks, Bro, for this wise post.

The Mind of Brosephus

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/06/14/2021-gun-violence/?itid=orw-hp-2021

Through the first five months of 2021, gunfire killed more than 8,100 people in the United States, about 54 lives lost per day, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research organization. That’s 14 more deaths per day than the average toll during the same period of the previous six years.

Fear does strange things to us. It causes all kinds of responses from the instinctual “fight or flight” impulse to making rash decisions. Instead of making rash and rushed decisions, we sometimes need to take a few seconds to assess the situation facing us. That few seconds allows us to cool our jets and make rational, fact-based decisions as opposed to knee-jerk reactions. We must remember that fear can sometimes be False Energy Appearing Real.

We all watch the news and see the reports on crime increasing. However, it’s…

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R.I.P. Bipartisanship

I think most people see bipartisanship as the ideal way to get things done in our lawmaking branch of government known as Congress.  We’d all like to think that both Democrats and Republicans are acting in the best interest of the people of this nation and that they are taking their oaths to the Constitution seriously.  After all, we elected them and we pay their salaries, benefits and perks from our hard-earned money!  I, for one, have long felt that moderation and bipartisanship, working across the aisle, meeting halfway in the spirit of compromise was the best way to ensure that we are all served well by our elected officials.  Today, however, I honestly believe that bipartisanship is a mirage, that true cooperation between the two parties is dead, a relic of the past.  Whether or not it will ever be resurrected remains to be seen at some point in the future, but today, there is not a single Republican in either chamber of Congress who even understands the meaning of the word “compromise”.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently published an OpEd that addresses this and his thoughts parallel my own.  Sadly, this is the state of affairs in the United States Congress today.


Stop Hoping the G.O.P. Will Play Ball

June 20, 2021

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

I am truly baffled as to why Democrats continue to search for bipartisan support that has not only been illusory, but nonexistent — with the exception of a predictable few and only on a few issues with them.

Democrats: Republicans don’t want you to win. It’s that simple. They want no successes on your watch, and they certainly don’t want to participate in said victories.

And yet the reports keep pouring in of Democrats bending over backward and gutting their bills in a desperate effort to win Republican support.

It seems to me that this has all been a performance, a going through the motions, a checking of the boxes, so that Democrats could say that they tried, that they extended a hand but were rebuffed. Democrats always seem to want to win the moral advantage, to say that they played the game with honor.

But that is meaningless when Republicans no longer care about that form of morality, when they no longer want to play the game by the established rules at all. Democrats are playing an honor game; Republicans are playing an endgame.

Republicans are in win-at-all-costs mode. They don’t really care how they sound today or will be judged by history. The only thing that matters is winning and retaining power, defending the narrative of America that white people created and protecting the power and wealth they accrued because of it.

As The Washington Post reported Sunday, “the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes of the 1964 Civil Rights Act alongside race, color, religion and national origin,” has stalled because of “sharpening Republican rhetoric, one key Democrat’s insistence on bipartisanship, and the Senate’s 60-vote supermajority rule.”

Last week, Senator Joe Manchin offered some changes and reductions to the voter rights bill called the For the People Act, changes that he could support and that he hoped would win some Republican support. His compromised stance was quickly rebuffed by Republicans. Manchin had also offered alterations to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which seeks to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act.

But, as Talking Points Memo wrote, Manchin’s changes would basically gut the bill. As T.P.M. put it, “One of those proposed changes would decrease the attorney general’s ability to deem a voting practice discriminatory without a judicial finding.”

Politico reported on Friday that the White House will lean more on the bully pulpit as its voting rights bills grind to a halt. This includes engaging the public more, partnering with corporations and leaning on the Justice Department to challenge some state laws.

Politico is also reporting that Democrats are preemptively scaling back gun control legislation — pre-emptively taking the compromise position — to avoid a Republican roadblock that will most likely still remain. According to Politico:

“Democrats are preparing to vote on a scaled-down guns bill — most likely a curtailed plan to boost background checks for firearm buyers. The goal is to unite the party and pick up a limited number of Republican votes, even as their effort appears headed towards the same doomed fate as previous proposals to curb gun violence.”

Rather than continuing to peddle a false optimism that bipartisanship on most major legislation is truly possible with this Republican Party, Democrats need to tell their voters some uncomfortable truths.

First, the obvious: Even though Democrats have control of the House and Senate, not everyone in this caucus is fully committed to a liberal policy agenda. That means that the moderates, like Manchin, are the de facto leaders of the Democratic majority. Nothing passes without their approval.

It is these very same moderates who stand in the way of eliminating the filibuster.

And it is precisely for those reasons that very little is likely to get passed through this Senate that liberals will find satisfying. Democrats must brace for massive disappointment.

Furthermore, we are barreling toward midterm elections in which Republicans are optimistic about winning back the House and possibly the Senate.

I say dispense with the phony, wish-driven narrative Democrats are selling. Go down screaming and fighting. Much of the Democratic agenda may be stalled, but never stop reminding voters why it is: not because Democrats haven’t compromised enough, but because they could never compromise enough.

The current status quo is an unwinnable negotiation, because it isn’t a negotiation. This is a war. And in it, all is fair. Republicans have embraced a liar and racist in Donald Trump because their voters embraced him. They have excused and multiplied, in fantastical ways, the insurrection at the Capitol. They are rushing to write voter restrictions that also give them more say over how results are verified.

In the face of all this, Democrats need to stop talking about reaching across the aisle, compromise and common ground.

They need to go on the record and speak plainly: The Republican Party has given up on the idea of a true and full democracy. They are attempting to tear it down and erect in its place a system that reduces voter rolls and skews the will of the American people.

For the Republican Party, the success of democracy — that growing numbers of people could participate — is its failure.

Starting The Week With A Grrrrrrrrrrr

I can tell already that it’s going to be a great week for snarky snippets and mini rants!  This afternoon’s post is one of each …


One man’s ignorance …

I have no idea what Joe Manchin’s game is, but he seems to be trying to be a one-man wrecking ball.  First, he refuses to so much as alter a single hair on the head of the filibuster, let alone kill that toxic animal.  Then he refuses to support the For the People Act that would protect our voting rights.  And now, he has set his sites on climate change … apparently hoping to help hasten the end of human and other lifeforms on Planet Earth.  Way to go, Joe!

You might never guess that Manchin is a member of the Democratic Party, nor that he is the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, given that much of the responsibility of that committee at this point is to find alternate sources of clean energy so that we can break our reliance on fossil fuels.  But then, Manchin does come from a state that is almost completely reliant on the coal industry to support its economy, so perhaps he’s been bought and paid for by the coal barons.

“I know there’s a change coming, OK?  But I’ve always been very, very cautious about this. I’m concerned that they’re setting a very aggressive timetable.”

The “very aggressive timetable” to which he refers is President Biden’s commitment to cut carbon emissions in half from 2005 levels by 2030.  Um … excuse me, Joe Manchin, but that is NOT what I call an aggressive timetable, especially given that we have known the problem for decades while we ignored it, happily driving our gas-guzzling SUVs, keeping our homes the perfect temperature, never bothering to turn off a light.  Rather like that old saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

Those of us who listen to the scientists, who understand that life on earth could very well be in its final stages if we don’t act quickly to start to reverse the damage we humans have done, know that we cannot delay.  Those of us with consciences care about what sort of world we are leaving behind for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  And those of us with an IQ above 50 know that we can no longer dilly dally and play games with this.

Mr. Manchin … if you are so damn concerned about the people in your state and their economic future, then I suggest you get with the program and help them help themselves by promoting renewable energy, retraining coal miners in other jobs, rather than attempting to help the Republicans destroy our lives!  For your stupidity, your perfidy, I award you Filosofa’s double thumbs down!  👎👎


Guess how many?

Guess how many mass shootings occurred in the United States over the weekend?  No, not five … no, not seven … ELEVEN!  Yes, my friends, there were eleven mass shootings in this country from Friday evening thru Sunday night.  And the weekend before?  Ten mass shootings as defined by four or more people being shot.  To date, the U.S. has had 293 mass shootings since January 1st.

This weekend left 8 people dead and 49 injured, with at least 3 children among the victims.  Last weekend left 12 people dead. What the SAM HELL are people thinking???  Let’s take a closer look … make it just a bit more personal …

Friday

5 wounded in Minneapolis Friday night

A shooting in Minneapolis Friday night left five people wounded.

1 killed and three injured in Cincinnati, Ohio

A 16-year-old is dead and three other people were injured in a shooting Thursday night in Walnut Hills.

Saturday

2 dead, 4 injured in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Two people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting early Saturday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1 dead, 4 injured in Anchorage, Alaska

Police in Alaska are investigating an early morning shooting that killed one person and injured four more in Anchorage Saturday.

4 injured in a shooting in Newark, New Jersey

No details

1 dead, at least 6 wounded in Oakland

One person was killed and at least six others were wounded in a shooting Saturday evening near Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.

Sunday

2 children among 8 injured in Dallas shooting

Eight people were shot, including a 15-year-old and 10-year-old, after a gunfight broke out between partygoers at two separate celebrations in Dallas just after midnight Sunday.

4 injured in Richmond, Virginia

Four people were injured in a quadruple shooting in Richmond, Virginia, early Sunday.

1 dead, 4 injured at Indiana Juneteenth celebration

One person was killed and four others were injured during a Juneteenth celebration in Granger, Indiana early Sunday morning.

1 killed, 4 injured at Juneteenth Celebration in Colorado

Police responded to a shopping mall parking lot in the Denver suburb of Aurora after receiving at least 50 calls reporting shots fired at a Juneteenth celebration just after 4 a.m.

1 killed and 3 others injured in Atlantic City, New Jersey

One person was killed and three others were wounded in a shooting Sunday evening in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Am I the only person in this country who sees how utterly stupid it is for guns to be so easily obtained by any Tom, Dick or Harry?  NO, the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution does NOT give fools the right to own an assault rifle, it does NOT guarantee that fools can own an arsenal, and it does NOT give people the right to carry a gun around with them wherever they go!!!  Members of Congress and of the U.S. Supreme Court need to read the damn Constitution!  This is the stupidest interpretation of a part of the Constitution that I have EVER seen!  Get rid of the damn guns, get them out of the hands of people on the street!!!  But no, instead states are making it so easy to get a gun that before long you will see vending machines on street corners and in bars where for a $20 bill you can get a gun, and for another $10 you can get 10 rounds of ammo!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Just Two Short Bits of Snarky

Yes, yes … Filosofa is still snarking and ranting … there is just so much wrong in this world, every bit of which could be so easily fixed with just the three ‘C’s – common sense, compassion, cooperation.  I did have more snippets than just these two short ones, but … I’m out of time, so I shall save them for later or tomorrow!  Gives you something to look forward to, eh?


Cosa Nostra rides again?

William Braddock is a Republican candidate from Florida who is hoping to be elected to fill the seat currently held by Democrat Charlie Crist, who is resigning to run for governor to (hopefully) replace the ignoble Ron DeSantis next year.  William Braddock is short on name recognition, but one thing he has plenty of is audacity.

Also running in that same GOP primary race is Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force veteran who went on to become a conservative activist and won a crowded GOP primary in the state’s 13th Congressional District last year but lost the general election to Crist.

Apparently, Mr. Braddock has a unique plan for winning the Republican nomination next fall … kill off Ms. Luna!  Yes, you heard me right!  During a 30-minute call with a conservative activist, Braddock is heard saying the following …

“I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America. That will break my heart. But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Luna is a f—ing speed bump in the road. She’s a dead squirrel you run over every day when you leave the neighborhood.”

And later in the conversation …

“I have access to a hit squad, too, Ukrainians and Russians. Don’t get caught out in public supporting Luna. … Luna’s gonna go down and I hope it’s by herself.”

And still more …

“My polling people are going to charge me $20,000 to do a poll right before the primary. And if the poll says Luna’s gonna win, she’s gonna be gone. She’s gonna disappear.  For the good of our country, we have to sacrifice the few. … For the better or the good of the majority of the people, we’ve got to sacrifice the few.”

My jaw dropped when I read this.  WHO THE HELL talks like that and hopes to win a seat to the U.S. Congress???  Does he fancy himself Don Corleone?  If so, he’s watched The Godfather a few too many times!  Even the mob don’t talk like that, especially in a phone call where they may be recorded!

This jackass belongs either in a mental institution or a prison cell, but definitely NOT in the U.S. House of Representatives!  Until reading this, I didn’t think it was possible to sink any lower than the likes of Margie Greene and Matt Gaetz, but obviously I was wrong!


DESTROY THE DAMN GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!

We’ve got another mass shooting here in the U.S., this time in Chicago.  I could give you the details, but you likely already know them, and … if you don’t, you can just Google “latest mass shooting”.  But, I will tell you that four human beings, people minding their own business, people who were husbands, wives, parents … are now dead, thanks to the gun culture in the not-so-United States.  Yesterday, I decided to check the local news for my own area, Cincinnati, Ohio.  I don’t often read the local news, but about once a week I try to catch up.

A few days ago, in a suburb a few miles from where I live, a little 6-year-old boy left his bicycle in a neighbor’s yard.  When he went back to retrieve it a while later, the neighbor shot him.  The little boy will be okay, the shot went straight through his arm, but WHO THE HELL SHOOTS A KID for nothing more than leaving his bike in their yard?????????

And on Sunday night, in another subdivision that is just a few miles from where I live, two children – a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old – were shot, as well as two teenagers.  Both of the younger children, last I heard, were in critical condition, while the teens suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Again, the details are irrelevant, but what is relevant is that 4 young lives were nearly snuffed out, two may yet die, and FOR WHAT????

DESTROY THE DAMN GUNS, PEOPLE!!!  I’M SICK AND DAMN TIRED OF PEOPLE DYING BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE THINK THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO OWN A KILLING MACHINE.  THEY DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!