Two More Crawling From Under The Rocks

Unfortunately, Tuesday’s primaries across the nation yielded some deeply disturbing results.  I want to take a look at two, in particular – Lauren Boebert and Mary Miller.

Lauren Boebert has been a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives for a year-and-a-half now and has been nothing but trouble since day #1.  I had sincerely hoped that the Republicans in Colorado’s District 3 would see the horror they had voted for in 2020 and oust her this time ‘round, but apparently they’ve been drinking their fair share of Kool-Aid at Boebert’s Shooters Restaurant and weren’t able to see clearly when they went to the polls on Tuesday.  We all know of Boebert’s gun fetish.  During the pandemic, she sat in on a congressional Zoom meeting with a wall of many guns as her background, and she has caused trouble more than a few times demanding that she be allowed to carry a loaded pistol into places in the Capitol where guns are forbidden.

But it is her latest little tirade that has left me growling …

“The reason we had so many overreaching regulations in our nation is because the church complied. The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it. And I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter and it means nothing like what they say it does.”

GOOD GRIEF!!!  She took an oath swearing to uphold the Constitution, and she hasn’t even read the damned thing!  The concept of separation of church and state comes from the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment … which quite obviously Ms. Boebert either never read, or didn’t understand.  And just WHICH religion does she think should be ‘directing’ the government?  There are roughly 4,200 religions, churches, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, etc. worldwide today!  Would she advocate for … say … Islam to be the official religion of the nation?  Or Judaism?  And if she answered ‘Christianity’, then which sect or cult, for there are three main branches of Christianity:  Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox.  Among those three branches are more than 200 separate denominations in the United States alone, more than 45,000 worldwide!  So, pick a religion, and no matter which one you pick, you’re going to be excluding the vast majority of the people in the nation!  And this doesn’t even bring into account folk like me who are non-religious!  We pay taxes and have rights, too, y’know Lauren!

Representative Adam Kinzinger refers to Boebert’s ideology as the “Christian Taliban” and I cannot help but agree with him!  A woman this stupid has absolutely ZERO business sitting in the United States Congress … or any lawmaking body, for that matter … and can only be considered a laughingstock, albeit a very dangerous laughingstock.  I would like to be able to say I’m hopeful that the Democratic candidate for the 3rd District in Colorado can wipe the pavement with her on election day in November, but sadly … it’s doubtful because of the 184,794 votes cast for both parties in yesterday’s primary, Boebert scored 83,217 of the votes and her Democratic opponent, Adam Frisch, only received 24,961 votes.  Republicans scored 68% of the total votes, so it looks like the 3rd District in Colorado is populated by people who care more about their guns than their future.

And then there’s Mary Miller, another newbie in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Illinois’ 15th District who also won her primary yesterday.  I had not heard of Ms. Miller until she flew onto my radar last week with this comment after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v Wade decision …

“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR … 🤬

First of all, there is NO “president trump” and second of all … a victory for ‘white’ life???  What a (cover your ears, Keith!) ignorant, ugly, racist pig she is!!!  She later claimed that she meant to say “the right to life”, but I don’t believe that for a minute, for she would have caught and corrected herself immediately had that been the case, not waited until she was confronted about her comment.

Miller has done a number of troublesome things in her 18-month tenure in Congress, from quoting Hitler to introducing anti-trans legislation to passing along anti-Semitic and white supremacist propaganda, but the “white life” comment is the first time she floated onto my radar and frankly I wish she had stayed off!


So, my friends, it looks like certain parts of this nation are seeking some serious change … change that, if they are successful, is likely to drive us directly from a democratic republic into a fascist dictatorship, a nation where only white males have any value and the rest of us will be dominated by them.  Surely we’re not going to sit still for this?  Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and now Mary Miller … where does it end?  Is this to be our future, or are these just momentary blips on the radar?

A Few Thoughts From My Rambling Mind

I never thought I would see the day that I considered this nation to be anti-humanitarian, a nation that cares more for wealth than for people, but today I believe we have reached that stage in the development … or rather un-development … of the country.  We can no longer hold our heads up proudly and say, “I am a U.S. citizen”, or as some would say, “I am an American.”  Nothing to take pride in there, thanks largely to fanaticism – gun fanatics, religious fanatics, and wealth fanatics for whom billions of dollars is still not enough.

Literally the only thing that matters to Republican members of Congress today is re-election.  When I read that Republicans running for re-election in states or districts where the majority voted for Democrats in 2020 refuse to comment on the outcome of the Dobbs v Jackson decision, then I think it’s obvious they have little interest in anything but their own political future.  How can we vote intelligently if the candidates will not tell us their beliefs, hide what they stand for except when they are amongst those who they know for certain share their beliefs?

Today’s Republican Party is in shambles with its members desperately trying to cling to power.  They vilify their own, but not for genuine reasons – simply because some of their own are straying from the party line, straying from the blind loyalty to the former guy.  They do not care one whit what you or I want our government to do … they care only that they are on the ‘right’ side of Donald Trump.  I would except a few from this, but the number is very few.  Obviously, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney deserve the highest kudos for proving their willingness to put law & order, to put the people of this nation above their own political careers.  Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and a few others occasionally step up to the plate and consider their oaths of office, but they do so far too infrequently.

Now, some reading this will go for the moral equivalency view that the Democrats do the same.  Sometimes that is true, but today … in 2022 … the Republicans are the face of autocracy, the face of – in my book – evil.  Their ‘ideology’ is based on hate, violence, and bigotry in all its forms.  The Democrats I see in Congress are also working toward their re-election, but I don’t see them shirking their duty to We the People in the same way … they are showing up for work, trying to pass legislation that would protect our rights and our very lives … while the Republicans are mostly out on the campaign trail ranting about how the Democrats just want to take away your guns and kill babies.

It’s too damn bad that Republicans don’t work as hard at doing their job as they do at campaigning for re-election … if they did, we might actually have a functional legislative branch.

Certain elements of the U.S. Supreme Court have made it perfectly clear over the past month or so that they would gladly force religion upon us all (their own bigoted religion, that is), that they have zero respect for women, and that they only care about a child up to the point it leaves the mother’s body.  Until very recently, I had tremendous respect for the U.S. Supreme Court … it seemed to truly operate as a non-partisan branch of the government.  Nobody would ever agree with all their decisions, but overall they ruled fairly, in keeping with the U.S. Constitution and to the benefit of the nation and its people.

Today, they said that it’s okay for teachers, coaches, etc., to force religion on school children.  Last week they told women to sit down, shut up, and go make more babies to help further destroy the environment and the economy.  Also last week they indicted that the 19 school children brutally murdered in Uvalde, Texas, were merely collateral damage and no, they will not allow any state to pass gun legislation.  Gun freaks are, after all, more important to our Court than the lives of children.

And to add insult to injury, and I’m sure we will find out more about this soon, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia, has been found to have played an even larger role than was first thought in attempting to overthrow the government of this nation.  Where I come from, we call that treason and Justice Thomas should have immediately been removed from the bench if he refused to leave voluntarily.  But no … he is already plotting to remove rights from LGBTQ people, more rights from women, and who knows what else?  Justice Thomas, like four of his cohorts in the Court, is a clear and present danger to the democratic foundations of this republic.

I no longer have an ounce of respect for the U.S. Supreme Court.  Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Alito, and what’s-her-name have destroyed an institution that has withstood the test of time for more than two centuries.

Respecting and believing in your country is important.  We work hard to support our government and when our elected officials fail to even try to do the job for which we elected them, the job for which we pay them, we lose faith in our nation.  When those elected officials mock and denigrate the very people they are supposed to represent, then I don’t know about you guys, but I have completely lost faith in this nation, not only the government, but the people as well.  It is a bleak feeling, one that makes one wonder … why bother anymore?  The Independence Day/July 4th holiday is just around the corner … I, for one, will NOT be celebrating, for there is little left to celebrate.

A several hours worth of cartoon roundup. An interesting mix. Hugs

I’m still growling over this morning’s news, so I thought rather than writing an angst-filled post for this afternoon, we could all use a bit of humour, thanks to our friend Scottie! Thank you, Scottie!!!

Scottie's Playtime

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 20, 2022

Jen Sorensen Comic Strip for June 14, 2022

Political cartoon.Political cartoonStuart Carlson Comic Strip for May 06, 2022

M2Bulls Comic Strip for May 12, 2022

Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for May 04, 2022

Gary Markstein Comic Strip for May 05, 2022

Gary Markstein Comic Strip for May 04, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 13, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 09, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 05, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 04, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for May 05, 2022

Steve Kelley Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

fox lifeguardaford to drink gassM2Bulls Comic Strip for June 09, 2022

Are you a good shotBurn the witchFamly picturelook under the rugMember of congresshttps://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/81/d81b63b2-dc49-11ec-9b63-ebc746eb1bbd/628e5cf5e1daa.image.jpg?resize=750%2C519Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for May 26, 2022

Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for May 25, 2022

Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for May 24, 2022

Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for May 20, 2022

new gun lawsDrew Sheneman Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Gary Markstein Comic Strip for June 07, 2022

Gary Markstein Comic Strip for May 31, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for June 01, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 26, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 25, 2022

Political cartoonPolitical cartoonTim Campbell Comic Strip for May 31, 2022

Tim Campbell Comic Strip for May 27, 2022

Jen Sorensen Comic Strip for May 31, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for June 14, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for June 03, 2022

Political cartoon.Tim Campbell Comic Strip for June 08, 2022

Marshall Ramsey Comic Strip for May 28, 2022

Nick Anderson Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for June 01, 2022

Tim Campbell Comic Strip for June 06, 2022

Marshall Ramsey Comic Strip for May 26, 2022

Marshall Ramsey Comic Strip for May 25, 2022

Reacurring heatthe rest of ustrump defense fundtwo facedPolitical cartoonSteve Breen Comic Strip for June 18, 2022

Political cartoonPolitical cartoonPolitical cartoon.Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for April 29, 2022

Jeff Stahler Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Jeff Stahler Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Jen Sorensen Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Jeff Stahler Comic Strip for June 16, 2022

Clay Jones Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Clay Jones Comic Strip for June 20, 2022

Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for April 25, 2022

Political cartoonNick Anderson Comic Strip for June 22, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for May 22, 2022

Mike Luckovich Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for June 20, 2022

Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for June 22, 2022

Jack Ohman Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Steve Breen Comic Strip for June 17, 2022

Gary Markstein Comic Strip for June 19, 2022

Gary Markstein Comic Strip for June 18, 2022

Steve Benson Comic Strip for June 18, 2022

Clay Jones Comic Strip for June 22, 2022

Nick Anderson Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Nick Anderson Comic Strip for June 10, 2022

Nick Anderson Comic Strip for June 01, 2022

Nick Anderson Comic Strip for May 31, 2022

M2Bulls Comic Strip for May 19, 2022

M2Bulls Comic Strip for April 28, 2022

Political cartoonPolitical cartoonLalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 19, 2022

Lalo Alcaraz Comic Strip for May 17, 2022

M2Bulls Comic Strip for May 26, 2022

Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for May 18, 2022

Phil Hands Comic Strip for May 20, 2022

Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for May 16, 2022

Clay Jones Comic Strip for June 19, 2022

Joe Heller Comic Strip for June 17, 2022

Political cartoonStuart Carlson Comic Strip for May 09, 2022

Matt Wuerker Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

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And now some for fun.

Zits comic strip for Thursday, June 23, 2022 by Jerry Scott & Jim BorgmanAndy Capp Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Andy Capp Comic Strip for June 22, 2022

Andy Capp Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Andy Capp Comic Strip for June 20, 2022

Andy Capp Comic Strip for June 19, 2022

Speed Bump Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Speed Bump Comic Strip for June 20, 2022

Speed Bump Comic Strip for June 19, 2022

Off the Mark Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Off the Mark Comic Strip for June 20, 2022

Off the Mark Comic Strip for June 19, 2022

Off the Mark Comic Strip for June 17, 2022

Free Range Comic Strip for June 18, 2022

Eek! Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Eek! Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Reality Check Comic Strip for June 18, 2022

Reality Check Comic Strip for June 17, 2022

Farcus Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Herman Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

The Flying McCoys Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

The Flying McCoys Comic Strip for June 22, 2022

The Flying McCoys Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 17, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 16, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 15, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 14, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 10, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 07, 2022

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for June 06, 2022

Baldo Comic Strip for June 19, 2022

Baldo Comic Strip for June 16, 2022

Baldo Comic Strip for June 13, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 23, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 22, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 21, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 19, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 17, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 13, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 11, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 10, 2022

Aunty Acid Comic Strip for June 07, 2022

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U.S. Supreme Court v Common Sense

Ever since the former guy got the chance to nominate a second (Brett Kavanaugh) and then a third (Amy Barrett) Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, I have been skeptical that the Court could manage to remain fair and non-partisan.  When the preliminary decision on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization that could overturn the 1973 ruling on Roe v Wade was leaked back in May, my worst fears were confirmed, and this week they have been confirmed yet again – twice.


Congress Shall Make No Law …

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”  This is the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and is known as the Establishment Clause under which the federal government and all governments under it, cities, states, territories, etc., are prohibited from establishing or sponsoring religion.  In the words of Justice Stephen Breyer …

“The very point of the Establishment Clause is to prevent the government from sponsoring religious activity itself, thereby favoring one religion over another or favoring religion over nonreligion.”

In layman’s terms, since freedom of religion is important … freedom to observe any chosen religion or no religion at all … it is unfair for government funds that come from We the People in the form of taxes be used to support any one religion.  That is the basis for the 16th Amendment.  But on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case of Carson v Makin involving a Maine law that forbade public money to go to religious schools.  Under that law, if a town does not have a secondary school aka high school, parents may get vouchers from the state to pay for their children to attend a private school, but not a religious school.  Certain parents took umbrage, for the school that was available to them allowed LGBTQ students and these parents did not wish their children to attend school with LGBTQ kids and thus they petitioned the state for vouchers to send their children to a religious school whose entrance requirements largely eliminated the possibility of an LGBTQ child enrolling.

On Tuesday, the Court ruled in favour of the parents and in so doing, the Court in essence demolished the 16th Amendment and said that there is no longer a separation between government and religion.  This will no doubt be seen as a red-letter day for the bigots and no doubt many more will follow suit in the near future.  I wonder, though, how loud the furor will be when some parent chooses to obtain the vouchers and use them to send their kids to a Muslim or Hindu school?  Wait for it, for I’m betting money that those religious bigots will have their knickers in a knot when that happens.


That 2nd Amendment … yet again

And then yesterday, the Court made what I consider to be yet another grievous error in judgment in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen.  Quite simply, since the United States Congress has steadfastly been unable or unwilling to pass any meaningful gun legislation, the State of New York passed its own law that prohibited most people, unless they could show need, from carrying a gun in public.  Makes sense, right?  If you claim you need a gun to protect yourself and your family from a home invasion, as most gun nuts claim, then you don’t need to take it to the library, grocery store, or a restaurant.  But, the gun nuts said it violated their 2nd Amendment ‘rights’.  For the record, the Amendment in question here reads …

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Period.  There is no more.  Nothing that says all people have the right to own killing machines that are capable of killing 20-30 people within a minute or two.  Nothing says the average Joe even has a right to own a gun, let alone carry one in public. I guess that Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Thomas, Barrett, and Chief Justice John Roberts care more about pandering to the gun nuts than protecting our children.


So, to recap the results of these two Supreme Court decisions, we will now be forced to financially support religious education, even those of us who do not believe in or follow any religion, and … we and our families will continue to be in danger any time we leave our home, for we can’t be sure that dude sitting next to us in a restaurant or on the bus isn’t ‘packing heat’.  Way to go, SCOTUS.  Within the next week or so, given that the Court will be in summer recess around the first week in July, there are two more contentious cases that will be ruled on:

  • The aforementioned Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization whereby unless the Court has done a 180° reversal from May’s leaked ruling, women’s rights will be placed in the meat grinder and shredded forevermore (or until 100 years from now when the current Justices have left and some with a conscience have replaced them.)
  • West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agency where the State of West Virginia is claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should not be allowed to set rules and regulations around greenhouse gas emissions. Given their recent rulings, I look for them to rule in favour of West Virginia, and if they do, you will hear me ranting some more, for this is our lives and the lives of future generations that’s at stake here!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/18

Yet another week and more of the best political ‘toons from our friend TokyoSand over at Political Charge.  Time was that these would make me laugh … and I still take my hat off to the great talents of these cartoonists … but today they make me want to cry more than laugh.  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work!

Below is a small sample … be sure to head over to TokyoSand’s place to see … the rest of the story!

See all the ‘toons at Political Charge!!!

Ahhhhh … The Snarky Snippets Keep On Rolling

Sometimes I am focused on one particular topic or news story, but many times snippets of news draw my attention in many different directions.  Today is one of those days …


WHY???

Yesterday I signed up to follow a blogger I was only recently introduced to.  Why?  Not because I find any beauty or humour in his writing, and not because I find his words to be particularly intelligent or witty.  I disagree strongly with most of what he says and find myself growling by the time I’ve gotten halfway through one of his very wordy posts (4,000 words).  So … why did I sign up to follow him?  Is it because I went looking for an argument?  Do I not have enough angst in my life?  Or is it something more?  Is it that of late I seem to only read those opinions that are in sync with my own?  Do I read this man’s words seeking to find some common ground, a shred of humanity, or am I simply spoiling for a fight.  In truth, I do not know.


A ‘platform’ made from rotten wood

Every now and then, when they want to prove to the world just how stupid their political leaders are, the state of Texas threatens to ‘secede from the United States’.  The Republican Party currently has no platform, no set of goals and ideologies, but the Texas GOP settled on a ‘platform’ at the state party convention over the weekend.  Their platform is essentially, from all I can decipher, nothing more or less than the former guy’s Big Lie.  I plan to write more about this later, but the basis seems to be that they declare Biden did not win the 2020 election and they even refer to him as the “acting President”.  Their platform also includes statements about abortion (they intend to teach schoolchildren about “about the Humanity of the Preborn Child”), and the LGBTQ community (referring to homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”)

Senator John Cornyn, who had worked on the milquetoast ‘bipartisan’ gun legislation that passed in the Senate last week, was actually booed and “rebuked” by the party for his work on that bill!  I told you in a post a few weeks ago that they “eat their own”! The platform, such as it is, dismisses all gun regulations as a violation of “God given rights.” Wait, I thought it was the Constitution that gave “a well-regulated militia” the “right to bear arms”???  Now, I haven’t read the bible, but … does it even mention guns?  As I said, I plan to write more on this later, but for today, suffice it to say that I agree with columnist Michael Gerson that the Republican Party is in decay!


A boycott is in order

After the January 6th attempted coup, some 249 companies promised not to fund the 147 senators and representatives who voted against any of the results.  It didn’t take some of them long to break that promise, and today more than half are now back to funding those who played a role in attempting to undermine the election that day.  Among those companies are Toyota, AT&T, UPS, FedEx, Visa, Home Depot, GM, and Exxonmobil.  I don’t know about you guys, but I will boycott these companies to whatever extent is possible.  Our lives, the very foundation of our democratic republic, were on the line that day, but for these companies, obviously their profit is more important than our lives.


A bright side

More than 5,000 flights were canceled this weekend.  GOOD!  That much less CO2 being put into the environment, killing trees, killing us.  No, I don’t feel one bit sorry for the couple who was planning a vacation trip to Italy.  Yes, I do feel sorry for the woman who missed her mother’s funeral due to a canceled flight.  But for the most part, I would like to see all air travel limited to ‘emergency’ use only for the foreseeable future.  Just because we can fly doesn’t necessarily mean we should, especially in this time of severe climate change that is having a negative effect on most of the world.  People complaining about the price of gasoline and lettuce … well, think how much gasoline and lettuce you can buy for the price of that airline ticket!!!


A Toothless, Useless, Waste of Time

There are so damn many issues to claim our attention and concern today that it seems something important is always falling by the wayside.  There are some things, though, that we simply cannot afford to lose sight of – climate change, the threats to democracy, the ‘dumbing-down’ of education, the pandemic that is still a pandemic, and our massive gun problem.  Speaking of the gun crisis … I have looked at the ‘bi-partisan’ agreement in Congress and said, “pbthhhh … it has no teeth.”  In my book, it is even less than the very minimum I would expect or demand, were I in a position to make demands.  It is the Republican’s attempt to placate us, to shut us up, to brag that they took our concerns seriously, when they don’t at all.  Did you know that according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 59% favor curbing gun violence, while 35% do not. That includes 92% of Democrats in favor, along with 54% of independents. However, “70% of Republicans say it’s more important to protect gun rights.” 

Yesterday, Paul Waldman published an OpEd in The Washington Post that echoes my own sentiments on the topic …


More guns in schools, and everywhere else? Have we gone mad?

By Paul Waldman

Columnist

June 14, 2022

There’s nothing like a massacre of elementary school children to get the attention of lawmakers, who will be eager to show they’re at least willing to pretend to do something about the gun carnage we Americans endure. But while Democratic states often respond to mass shootings by passing new gun restrictions, Republican states tend to pass laws loosening regulations, driven by the psychotic idea that protecting us from gun violence requires getting more guns in more places.

While there are some glimmers of hope — senators might soon agree on a few worthwhile things on guns — we might emerge from this moment realizing that the flurry of lawmaking after the latest mass shootings took us to an even darker place.

If you want a hint of the dystopian future that might await us, look no further than a bill Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed into law Monday.

The new law’s guiding principle seems to be that we should turn every school into an armed camp as quickly as possible. The law lowers the amount of training required for a teacher to go armed in Ohio from around 700 hours down to 24 hours. According to its text, teacher training must include “at least four hours of training in scenario-based or simulated training exercises.” Four whole hours!

Think for a moment about your schoolteachers, or your children’s teachers. Maybe a few were past their prime and not as enthusiastic as they used to be. Some were young and idealistic, devoted to the well being of children. Some were brilliant; all had a difficult and stressful job.

But I’ll bet none of them were Jason Bourne, were they?

This is the world Republicans want us to live in, where every spasm of deadly violence is met with what is essentially a military response. If we face a threat from guns, we should get more guns and put them in more people’s hands. If there’s a school shooting, it means schools are “soft targets” that we must harden. Then we’ll do the same to stores and parks and synagogues and churches and mosques — and everywhere else we gather.

It’s a tribute to the GOP’s political and communication skills that it can take any idea, no matter how deranged — we have mass shootings because schools have too many doors! — and push it right to the heart of the discussion. Yes, we could theoretically turn your neighborhood elementary school into something like a supermax prison, but what would that do to the children inside?

We already have a clue from the proliferation of active-shooter lockdown drills in recent years. Meant to tell students that “this will keep you safe,” instead it told them that “this is the nightmare you live in now.” Over and over, they were told to live in fear, that a violent death was their possible future. In some cases, officials have organized simulated attacks where murders were acted out; as one teacher said, “I felt more traumatized than trained.”

We simply don’t know what kind of effects members of this lockdown generation will carry with them. But we’re apparently going to keep subjecting more and more kids to it — better that than force anyone to suffer any minor inconvenience when purchasing their arsenal of deadly weapons.

That’s certainly how the Republicans who control the state legislature in Ohio feel. On the same day DeWine signed that bill, another one he signed took effect. This one enacts “permitless carry,” meaning almost anyone is allowed to carry a gun almost anywhere in the state — no license or training required.

If almost anyone in Ohio could be carrying a gun, shouldn’t the teachers have guns? And if the teachers have guns, shouldn’t the students have guns? Perhaps we should discuss whether a 5-year-old’s constitutional right to bear arms is being infringed if they can’t pack a Glock in their lunchbox.

What we have here is a profound disagreement about what it means for a place to feel, and to be, “safe.” You can weld shut the doors and windows, fill the school with armed personnel and make the kids think every day about their deaths, and you will have achieved a kind of “safety.” But it’s a poisonous kind, one that will terrorize every child who enters there.

Unfortunately, we’re going to see a lot of that in the near future, because “hardening” schools is one of the only ideas Republicans will agree to in response to mass shootings. Money for “school safety” will be in the bipartisan gun bill (if it passes), and states will offer the same, so Republicans can say they responded to the endless wave of mass shootings.

Heaven forbid we should say someone has to be 21 years old to buy a military-style rifle designed to kill as many human beings as possible in the shortest amount of time. But if your school wants a grant to install more metal detectors? Step right up.

And Mrs. O’Neill, the kindly librarian at the elementary school? Put a gun in her hand. That’ll make everyone safe, won’t it?

Kevin McCarthy Is NOT A Good Man

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is a real piece of work, as they say.  If the ‘man’ has a compassionate bone in his body, I have yet to find it.  He whines incessantly and his values, such as they are, are so skewed that it’s impossible to determine what they are, for they may vary from one day to the next.  He had one single moment of dignity on the 6th of January, 2021, when he said …

“Let me be clear to you, and I have been very clear to the president. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if, ands or buts. I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, if he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that.”

Just a few weeks later, McCarthy visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago and pandered to him in order to get back in his good graces and likely apologized for his earlier comment — a comment which he now tries to deny having said, though it was recorded and has been verified more than a few times.

So, we know he is not an honest man, not a principled man, and cares more for his own political future than for our lives.  But of late he is outdoing himself in the ‘whine-and-blame’ department.

Yesterday, he tweeted multiple times about gas prices having hit $5.  I finally responded to him asking him if he had a point to make, and also whether he had checked fuel prices in other countries, for it is the same around the globe.  The rise in fuel prices is caused by a combination of the war in Ukraine, an excess of demand over supply as people begin traveling more in these ‘post-Covid’1 summer months, and the blatant greed of the oil companies who are seeing remarkably high profits of late (profits on which they pay relatively little taxes).  Canada, Australia, the UK … all report high fuel prices just as ours are.  But ol’ McCarthy wants to point the finger at President Biden and tell the maga crowd that it’s all Biden’s fault.

The thing that got me the most about McCarthy in the past week or two, though, is illustrated by this tweet he made yesterday …

“For the 3rd time in a week, I’m calling for a vote for stronger security for Supreme Court Justices—ALL of them. This isn’t partisan. The threat is real. Why is Speaker Pelosi blocking something that the Senate has already passed unanimously?”

This is a result of the arrest of a man last Wednesday who, while he didn’t actually attempt it, considered murdering Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  He thought better of it and called the police, acknowledging that he was having suicidal thoughts and wanted to kill Kavanaugh because of the pending Roe v Wade decision.  Okay, one man with a mental health issue who didn’t even follow through with his threat, and ol’ McCarthy has tried to pass bills three times within a week to protect the nine Supreme Court Justices.  Don’t get me wrong here … I do not deny that we need to put in place some additional security for the justices if they’re going to keep making anti-humanitarian decisions, and I do NOT wish to see any of them murdered.  However …

On May 24th, a teenager with an assault rifle brutally massacred 19 school children – 4th graders – and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.  In addition to that horrific event, there were a number of other mass shootings including one ten days before Uvalde, where 10 people were killed by yet another teenager with a military-style assault rifle at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.  The rise in mass shootings is the stuff nightmares are made of, and so once again the members of Congress who are people of conscience proposed new gun legislation.  The proposal passed the House (but with much watering down when it finally passed in the Senate, to the point that it is not much of a help at all).  But to my point … guess who voted AGAINST that bill in the House?  You guessed it – good ol’ Kevin McCarthy.

So, let’s get this straight … he is driven to devote all his time, day and night, to getting a bill to protect the nine members of the Supreme Court passed and is downright nasty when he doesn’t get his way, but he cannot be bothered to vote for gun laws, milquetoast though they are, when thousands of people are dying from senseless gun violence, hundreds of them children, every damn year?  Hmmmm … the only conclusion I can draw here is that Kevin McCarthy does not care about the people of this nation, nor does he care about our children.  I think that Kevin McCarthy is NOT a nice man, not a man with a conscience or the capability for humanity, for empathy.  I hope the good people of California think long and hard about his skewed priorities and vote to replace him in the U.S. House of Representatives in the November election.


1 Although mask mandates, vaccine mandates, social distancing requirements and other Covid restrictions have largely been lifted, we are NOT “post-Covid” by any stretch, with the nation still seeing hundreds of deaths daily, but some large portion of people have convinced themselves that Covid is gone and it’s time to PAR-TAY!

History Repeats Itself … If We Let It

As I so often say, and as many with better minds than mine have long said before me, if we fail to learn the lessons of history, then we are destined to repeat our mistakes.  In an article in The Guardian, Steve Philips writes about the lessons we need to have learned from the post-Civil War era and what our future holds if we fail to heed those lessons …


If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror

Steve Phillips

We must not repeat the mistakes of the years after the 1860s war for white supremacy that we call the civil war

The last time the United States failed to properly punish insurrectionists, they went on to form the Ku Klux Klan, unleash a reign of murderous domestic terrorism, and re-establish formal white supremacy in much of the country for more than 100 years. As the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack begins televised hearings this week, the lessons from the post-civil war period offer an ominous warning for this moment and where we go from here.

It is often difficult to sustain the requisite sense of urgency about past events, however dramatic and shocking they may have been at the time. Memories fade, new challenges arise and the temptation to put it all behind us and move on is strong. On top of all that, Republicans quickly and disingenuously called for “unity”, mere days after failing to block the peaceful transfer of power. If we want to preserve our fragile democracy, however, Congress and the president must learn from history and not make the same mistakes their predecessors did in the years after the 1860s war for white supremacy that we call the civil war.

In 1860, many people believed that America should be a white nation where Black people could be bought and sold and held in slavery. The civil war began when many of the people who held that view refused to accept the results of that year’s presidential election. They first plotted to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln (five years later, they would succeed). Then they seceded from the Union, and shortly thereafter started shooting and killing people who disagreed with them. By the end of the war, 2% of the entire country’s population had been killed, the equivalent of 7 million people being killed based on today’s US population.

Despite the rampant treason and extraordinary carnage of the war, the country’s political leaders had little appetite for punishing their white counterparts who had done their level best to destroy the United States of America. After Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth successfully assassinated Lincoln in 1865, Andrew Johnson ascended to the highest office in the land. Johnson, a southerner who “openly espoused white supremacy”, “handed out pardons indiscriminately” to Confederate leaders and removed from the south the federal troops protecting newly freed African Americans.

The historian Lerone Bennett Jr captured the tragedy of the moment in his book Black Power USA: The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867-1877, writing: “Most Confederate leaders expected imprisonment, confiscation, perhaps even banishment. Expecting the worst, they were willing to give up many things in order to keep some. If there was ever a moment for imposing a lasting solution to the American racial problem, this was it. But the North dawdled and the moment passed. When the Confederates realized that the North was divided and unsure, hope returned. And with hope came a revival of the spirit of rebellion … this was one of the greatest political blunders in American history.”

With that revival of white supremacist hope came ropes and robes and widespread domestic terrorism. Mere months after the ostensible end of the civil war in April 1865, half a dozen southern young white Confederate war veterans gathered in Pulaski, Tennessee, in December 1865 to discuss what to do with their lives, and they decided to form a new organization called the Ku Klux Klan. The first Grand Wizard of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was a Confederate general who had been pardoned by Johnson. In less than one year, Forrest would go on to orchestrate “336 cases of murder or assault with intent to kill on freedmen across the state [of Georgia] from January 1 through November 15 of 1868”.

The effectiveness of the domestic terrorism in crushing the country’s nascent multiracial democracy was unsurprising and undeniable. In Columbia county, Georgia, 1,222 votes had been cast for the anti-slavery party in April 1868, and after the reign of terror that year, the party received just one vote in November .

Lest we think this was all a long time ago, the House committee hearings are about to remind us all that we had an insurrection just last year. Not only did a violent mob attack the country’s elected leaders and attempt to block the peaceful transfer of power, but even after the assault was repelled, 147 Republicans – the majority of the Republican members in Congress – refused to accept the votes of the American people and attempted to overthrow the elected government of the United States of America.

And far from being chastened, the enemies of democracy in the Republican party have only become emboldened, like their Confederate counterparts of the last century. Just as happened in the years after the civil war when the prospect of large-scale Black voting threatened white power and privilege, the defenders of white nationalism have engaged in a legislative orgy of passing pro-white public policies – from trying to erase evidence of racism and white supremacy from public school instruction to laws making it increasingly difficult for people of color to cast ballots. As journalist Ron Brownstein has warned, “The two-pronged fight captures how aggressively Republicans are moving to entrench their current advantages in red states, even as many areas grow significantly more racially and culturally diverse. Voting laws are intended to reconfigure the composition of today’s electorate; the teaching bans aim to shape the attitudes of tomorrow’s.”

All of this is happening because the insurrectionists have not and believe they will not be punished. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Democrats control Congress and the White House, and they can take strong and decisive action to ensure appropriate consequences for people who seek to undermine democracy. The House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump in 2021 for incitement of insurrection, and Congress can still invoke the 14th amendment’s provision banning from office any person who has “engaged in insurrection”. All those who aided and abetted Trump’s insurrection should face the full force of the laws that are designed to protect the multiracial democracy that the majority of Americans want. The fate of democracy in America is quite literally at stake.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/11

There always seems to be one topic at the forefront that gets the most attention from the political cartoonists, and this week it is no surprise that it’s the televised hearings of the House Committee that has been tasked with investigating the events leading up to and during the attempted coup on January 6, 2021.  And the second most popular topic, again understandably, is the gun insanity that has swept this nation.  As she does so brilliantly every week, TokyoSand has gone through them and selected the ‘pick of the litter’ for our cartoon viewing pleasure.  Please do click on the link at the end of this post to see all the cartoons, for what I have here is but a small sampling.  Thank you once again, TS!


Here’s how editorial cartoonists covered the start of the January 6th Committee hearings.

be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons!