From The Mind Of Filosofa

Today I have so many thoughts on a variety of topics rattling around in my old head that I thought I’d share some of them with you.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still reeling from all the shootings last week and over the weekend.  So many things have gone wrong in this country over the past 4+ years, some I fear will never be reparable, such as the gun culture, but not only that.  I was watching a clip a few days ago of Congressman Jim Jordan literally browbeating Dr. Anthony Fauci, accusing him of “robbing Americans of their civil liberties”, yelling at him, interrupting him, gesticulating wildly, and demanding an exact date when people could stop wearing masks, stop social distancing, etc.  My thoughts were that this is not the way a professional lawmaker behaves!  Finally, Representative Maxine Waters told Jordan to “shut your mouth”, which I found very appropriate under the circumstances, but now the most unqualified member of Congress, Marjorie Greene, has made a motion to have Ms. Waters expelled from Congress for what she said to Jordan.  This, my friends, is just one example of the lack of intelligence and professionalism in certain of today’s members of Congress.

Then, I saw a question posed by a friend on Twitter:  Why do people who refuse the vaccine because they believe their god will protect them, think they must own a gun?  Think about that one for a few minutes.

This country has many problems today, perhaps more than at any other time in its history, and the gun culture is in the top five.  Worse yet, as long as a vast majority of congressional republicans are in the pockets of the gun lobby, ie NRA, this isn’t going to change.  They will obfuscate even policies that 80% of the people in this country support, in order to keep their donors happy.  This is not what we elect and pay these people for, and we are being cheated on a daily basis.  I have readers from all over the world, and those who are outside the U.S. are appalled by our gun culture.  Remember when the former guy called certain countries “shithole countries”?  Well, that’s how the U.S. is coming to be viewed around the globe.

There are those who would say that immigration and the economy are our biggest challenges today, but in my book, we have far greater problems.

Also in my top five is racism … and other forms of bigotry such as those who are intolerant of the LGBT community, those who believe men are superior to women, those who would demand that everyone follow their religion and that laws reflect their own beliefs and biases.  The blatant racism we see in police departments across the country is intolerable!  What’s worse is that it’s always been like this … we just didn’t see it.  The internet has placed such things under a large microscope, and we are just now awakening to the horrors that Black people have been living with … forever.

Then there’s our response … or lack thereof … to climate change in recent years.  Sure, there are many of us here who do our best to respect the environment, planting bee-friendly flowers, turning our thermostats down, driving less and driving fuel-efficient vehicles, but there are those who selfishly refuse to be inconvenienced.  Just yesterday I read an article by a woman who said we should support the fossil fuel industry, should not have re-joined the Paris Climate Accords, and basically argued that climate change is a hoax.  It seems to me that half the people in this country believe that way, are unwilling to make lifestyle changes in order to preserve this planet for their own grandchildren.

The majority of Republicans still believe the Big Lie, that the former guy won the 2020 election, despite all evidence to the contrary.  As long as that many people are that ignorant, they will continue voting for people like Marjorie Greene, Mitch McConnell, Jim Jordan and others who are intent on destroying what few democratic principles are left in this nation today.  And the votes of the few will outnumber the votes of the majority if the states are allowed to continue creating legislation that disenfranchises Blacks, Hispanics, the poor, the elderly, and the young.  If they have their way, our government will be elected only by white people of privilege.  The rest of us will become second-class citizens without a voice.

It is obvious to me that this nation is on a downhill path and the only hope for the future is for people to become educated about reality, to stop believing the myths and conspiracy theories that fill the airwaves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on such places as Fox ‘News’, Twitter and Facebook.  Unless people wake up and learn to separate fact from fantasy, I don’t even want to think about what the U.S. will be twenty years from now.  Fortunately, I won’t be here to see it, but my daughter and granddaughter will, and millions of other people will have to live with the ‘legacy’ we are leaving them.

BANG … BANG … BANG

Another mass shooting overnight, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin at the Somers House Tavern … 3 people dead, 2 injured.  Preliminary reports say the suspect wasn’t “cooperating with management” and was asked to leave but returned a short time later and opened fire.  The suspect is still at large as of this writing.  That makes 151 mass shootings so far this year, with 12,635 people dead by guns in just 108 days in the so-called ‘United’ States.  If we’re so damned united, then why are we killing each other at an astronomical rate???

The 2nd Amendment is the single worst mistake the framers of the Constitution made back in 1787.  I understand the rationale back then, but times have changed, technology has made guns far more lethal than the Founding Fathers could have imagined even in their wildest dreams, and it’s time to remove the 2nd Amendment.  In my opinion, there is NO REASON for any law-abiding civilian to own or carry a gun.  Period.  Full stop.

I’ve heard all the excuses and they all ring false in my ears.  Self-defense?  Bullshit.  Hunting?  The killing of animals for sport should be a felony that carries a life sentence.  There are a lot of good people in this nation … they don’t own guns.  There are a lot of lunatics in this nation … they own arsenals.

I’m past the point of arguing for ‘sensible gun legislation’.  The gun nuts in this country have turned me into a fire-breathing dragon and I will settle for nothing less than the complete and total repeal of the 2nd Amendment.  The gun nuts had an opportunity to act reasonably, to support sensible legislation such as a ban on assault weapons, more stringent background checks, testing and licensing … but instead they put their desire to own bigger and better killing machines ahead of our lives.  So now, they should lose their privileges.  How many more people will die with a bullet in their body this year?  Will I be one of them … will you?  It’s not even safe to go to the grocery store in this country anymore, let alone to a restaurant or bar.

Care to argue with me?  I wouldn’t advise it at this moment, else you may walk away with singed hair, for I am a fire-breathing dragon at this moment.

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Where Are The Good Apples?

Where are the good apples?  A good question to ask after this past week, isn’t it?  As TokyoSand says in her opening remarks to this post, this was a very bad week for this nation and while this week’s batch of ‘toons may reflect a rather dark humour, they are a reflection of this country today.  Sadly.  Still, the talent, the ability to say so much with a single drawing, is amazing as always.  Thank you, TS, for finding the best cartoons for us, as you always do!

See All The ‘Toons!

Absolut Biden

Today’s Claytoonz is just too spot-on not to share! Isn’t it interesting that a political cartoonist understands the scope and sequence of the U.S. Constitution better than those who have taken an oath to defend the document?

claytoonz

Cjones04162021

I love that people who identify themselves as Constitutionalists don’t know shit fuck about the Constitution.

Usually, when a “Constitutionalist” screams about the Constitution and the rights it guarantees, it is really only talking about one Amendment, and that’s the Second. In case you don’t know what that Amendment guarantees, ask a “Constitutionalist.” The other thing I love about “Constitutionalists” is that they’ll tell you only part of what’s in the Second Amendment. Not only will they NOT tell you what the entire Amendment says, but when they tell you the part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” they won’t even tell you the entire sentence.

What does the rest of that sentence say? It says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” and then it gives you, ” the right of the people to keep…

View original post 1,369 more words

An International Embarrassment

Most people reading this blog likely drive a car.  In order to do so, you must have a license issued by your state, and in order to obtain said license, you had to pass a written test to prove that you understand the laws that govern all drivers in order to make the roadways as safe as possible.  You also had to pass a road test to prove that you have the skills needed to drive safely.  And after doing all that, you want to know that the other drivers out there are also competent.  Even under the best of circumstances, accidents will sometimes happen, but we all … well, most of us anyway … do our best to avoid them.   A car or truck can be a lethal weapon in the wrong hands.

So, why is it that there is no testing required to own a firearm, another lethal weapon?   Why is there such an uproar among gun owners (likely prodded by the NRA) whenever any form of regulation on guns is proposed?  They don’t want a person stoned on drugs or drunk behind the wheel of a car, yet they are happy for that same person to be behind the trigger of an AR-15?  I’m sorry, folks, but I honestly just don’t get this!

I know that to some I sound like a broken record, but … are we no longer horrified by mass shootings?  Do we no longer care that it’s as safe to walk across an eight-lane expressway as it is to enter a bar or restaurant where somebody almost certainly has a gun in his possession?

This is the 11th day in April, and already there have been 16 mass shootings that caused the deaths of 21 people and injured another 64.  But the mass shootings aren’t even the worst of it.  Thus far this year, 101 days into 2021, there have been 11,671 people killed by guns in the U.S.  Do gun owners, NRA members and congressional Republicans honestly think this is what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the 2nd Amendment into the U.S. Constitution?

On Thursday, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to curb gun violence, and he pledged to push for sweeping change to the country’s firearms laws — his first substantive response to a pair of mass shootings last month that left 18 dead.  He was spot on when he said …

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment.  The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as nation.”

Unfortunately, there is very little that the president can do on his own in this case, but here are the four measures his executive orders call for:

  • Serial numbers for guns made at home from kits. Biden called the homemade weapons “ghost guns” because they’re hard to trace and because kit buyers don’t have to submit to a background check.
  • A new annual report from the Justice Department about gun trafficking. There had previously been a report done by Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, which dated back to 2000.
  • Stricter treatment of handgun stabilizing braces, like the one used recently in a mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store. The change would require the modification be reported to the Justice Department, just like a silencer. There would be a $200 reporting fee.
  • Finally, Biden said he wanted to make it easier for states to enact “red flag laws,” allowing the police or family members to petition for the temporary removal weapons when a person in crisis is a danger to himself or others.

These are a start, but much more is needed and only Congress has the power to enact legislation such as a ban on assault weapons, expanded background checks, competency & skills testing – all things that the NRA and those lovers of their 2nd Amendment “rights” will fight tooth and nail.  And because they fight it, Congress won’t pass it and thousands more people will die needlessly this year … and the next … and the next.

What does it take?  Will Mitch McConnell change his tune when his own grandchild is killed by a man with a gun?  Will Lauren Boebert suddenly become an advocate for gun laws when the life of one of her own children is taken at gunpoint?  I doubt it, for remember Representative Steve Scalise, who was shot and nearly died in 2017 during a congressional baseball practice?  A year later he said …

“I was a strong supporter of the second amendment before the shooting, and frankly, as ardent as ever after the shooting …”

What a guy, eh?

Every year, the number of guns in the hands of civilians increases and predictably, every year the number of people in this country killed by guns also increases.  Even the smallest steps taken toward reducing the number of guns that will, potentially, be used to kill is met with rage and indignation from those who believe their ‘right’ to own a gun is more important than your ‘right’ to live.  President Biden is right … we are an international embarrassment.

Filosofa’s “Ask Me Again” Snarky Snippets

Filosofa is full of snark these days.  Sure, I’m pleased with most of what President Biden is doing, but the reality is that the damn fools in the Republican Party, aka the Party of Trump, are attempting to block every single good thing such as infrastructure, voting rights, education and more.


Why build a library if you can’t even read?

Every president, it seems, has a presidential library built after leaving office, but the former guy may not be getting a library dedicated to him.  According to Bloomberg News …

Planning for a library would suggest he’s done being president and that’s not something he’s ready to concede. Trump has publicly dangled the possibility that he will seek the Republican nomination in 2024. Once he says, ‘I am going to be raising money for my library,’ he’s given up even the pretense of trying to run again,” said Anthony Clark, who has written about the politics and history of presidential libraries.  Clark said he doubts that Trump will ever have a presidential library because of how expensive and complicated they are to build, how difficult it is to secure a location and because he didn’t start raising money and planning before leaving office as other presidents did.

One must ask the question … since the former guy does not read, has likely never read an entire book in his lifetime, why the hell would he even want a library?


Cheers to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki!

Fox ‘News’ reporters and personalities just put themselves on the front lines for being mocked.  Most recently …

The day after President Joe Biden’s first press conference last month, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy arrived at the White House press briefing feeling unloved. Having not been called on at the formal Q&A with Biden, and dwelling on his oversized sense of importance, Doocy raised his hand and asked if there is an official White House policy of not calling on him — he wanted to know if there was a coordinated campaign to ignore the Fox staffer constantly in search of a partisan fight.

Looking slightly bemused while giving her patented third-grade-teacher head tilt that conveys a willing patience, but also an unspoken and stinging, “really?”, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki patiently addressed the grievance:

PSAKI:  We’re here having a conversation, aren’t we?

DOOCY: Yes, but.

PSAKI: And do I take questions from you every time you come to the briefing room?

DOOCY: Yes, but…

She soon concluded the back-and-forth by complimenting the reporter on his “awesome socks.” And in another exchange a few weeks ago, Psaki again made her point …

REPORTER: Americans are saying immigrant surges are happening under President Biden’s watch.

PSAKI: Who are the Americans?

REPORTER: The former president.

PSAKI: Former President Trump?

REPORTER: Yes.

PSAKI: We don’t take our advice or counsel from former President Trump.

Ooooohhhhh … good one!  I like this lady!


Fools got more money than sense …

Auto sales were down by, on average, 10% in 2020 as compared to the prior year.  Not surprising with the pandemic that has so many people struggling just to pay the rent and put food on the table.  A new car is probably the last thing on most of our minds.  But, there are a few notable exceptions … luxury cars costing more than $100,000 are selling like hotcakes!

From an article in CNN Business

In the United States, overall passenger car sales were down 10% last year compared to 2019. Even as auto sales recovered strongly in the fourth quarter, they only just matched the pace seen in the fourth quarter of 2019, said Tyson Jominy, vice president for data analytics at J.D. Power.

But sales of cars costing more than $80,000 were almost double in the fourth quarter what they had been the year before. And for cars costing more than $100,000, sales in the US were up 63% that quarter, said Tyson Jominy, vice president for data analytics at J.D. Power.

“There’s a fairly fantastic wealth effect going on,” Jominy added.

“I’ve been in this business 40 years and I’ve never seen it like this,” said Brian Miller, president of Manhattan Motors, a high-end dealership that sells Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Bugattis, among other ultra-luxury brands.

Miller credits the boom, in part, to people sitting around with not much else to do but look at expensive cars on the Internet.

And yet, in January luxury automakers Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lamborghini were asking the federal government to reduce taxes on luxury autos, saying the premium segment of the auto industry has not been able to grow due to high taxation besides being hit hard by coronavirus.  Hmmmm … something wrong with this picture!

Fools!  Ask me again why I’m not a fan of people with great wealth.


And in Iowa …

It is now legal to own and carry a gun without a permit, without a background check.  Yep, you heard me right.  The Des Moines Register reports:

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a law allowing people to buy and carry handguns in Iowa without a permit, fulfilling a longtime goal of gun rights advocates. The law, which some advocates call “constitutional carry,” will take effect July 1.

Democrats and gun violence prevention groups say the law will roll back background checks on handgun sales between private citizens.

That’s because, under current law, Iowans must pass a background check to obtain a permit to carry or acquire a handgun before they can legally buy one in a private sale.

Welcome to the United States where killing is a popular hobby supported in full by the Republican Party.  Ask me again why I’m in a funk these days.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 3/27

As she does each week, TokyoSand scoured the internet for the best of last week’s political cartoons.  Needless to say, mass shootings and guns led the way, followed by the attempts to overthrow the right of We the People to vote, to have a say in our government, who runs it and how.  These days I wish I had some shred of artistic talent, for I would love to be able to opine in a ‘toon!  But alas, a cracked egg shell is about the extent of my talents!

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-5

See All The ‘Toons!

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…

View original post 973 more words