A Child’s Life Forever Shattered

Yesterday, a six-year-old child was arrested in Newport News, Virginia.  Yes, you read that right … six years old and now in police custody.  What did he do?  He shot his teacher.  The child, a first grade student, barely out of diapers, brought a gun to school … and shot his teacher in the chest.  The superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, Dr. George Parker, said at a news conference that “we need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people.”  DUH!  Ya really think so?  We need to keep them out of the hands of ALL people!  That child did not purchase the gun … an adult bought it and left it, loaded, somewhere that was accessible to the child.  THAT is the crime here!

And while this is an anomaly, it is not without precedent.  According to the New York Times

David Riedman, who founded the K-12 School Shooting Database after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in 2018, has compiled data on every school shooting — anytime a firearm has been discharged on school property — dating back to 1970. He found 16 cases involving shooters under the age of 10.

Three of them involved 6-year-old children. Two of those were ruled accidental shootings: One in 2011 at an elementary school in Houston in which a student had a gun that went off, injuring three people; and another in Mississippi in 2021, when a first-grader shot a fellow student with a gun he had brought to school and was playing with. In the third case, which attracted national attention, a 6-year-old boy shot and killed a young girl as the teacher was lining up students in a hallway.

According to Mr. Riedman’s research, there has been only one shooting at a school that involved someone under 6 years old: a kindergartner, aged 5, shot a gun in the cafeteria of his school in Memphis, Tenn., in 2013. No one was injured.

In all these cases, it is not the children who are to blame, but the adults, presumably their parents, who had the guns and failed miserably in their duties as parents to protect their children by keeping their guns unloaded and locked away!  How many lives have been ruined in these instances before they even got off the ground?  And WHY???  Because people care more about their so-called “right” to own a damn gun than they care about the lives of their children.  FOOLS!

The teacher, who was shot in the chest, has “life threatening injuries but has shown improvement,” according to a local news station.  Further details of the Newport News incident will no doubt be forthcoming, and I will do an update when I know more, but as of this writing, my inclination is to say that the parents of this child should be sent to prison for the next twelve years, at least, for they are unfit to live in the same home as a child!

Welcome Ron To The 21st Century!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and all the good people of Florida who voted for him two months ago to the woke world of the 21st century!  DeSantis, who has a 0 rating with the Human Rights Campaign, but an A+ rating with the National Rifle Association (NRA), has a lot to learn about this 21st century and about humanity!

DeSantis throws the word ‘woke’ around as if it were a basketball, but he has weaponized it, he spits it out as if it were the most vile, disgusting thing in the world.  We really need to teach him a bit of humanity … or rather, we need to teach his voters a bit of humanity and then they can teach him humility!

What, you ask, has set me off on this tangent?  Well, mostly everything he’s done over the last two years, but most recently his attention to universities in his state that may be teaching such things as … diversity, equality, and inclusion … GASP!!!  No, he’s not interested in them because he wants to commend them for their efforts to open the eyes of the young people of his state … rather he is most likely considering cutting funding for universities that include such humanitarian lessons in their curriculum.

On December 28th, Chris Spencer, director of DeSantis’ Office of Policy and Budget, sent a memo to the head of the university system requiring colleges and universities to “provide a comprehensive list of all staff, programs and campus activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory.” In addition, they are directed to detail “costs associated with the administration of each program or activity,” including a description of the activities, paid positions and how much of the money is provided by the state.

United Faculty of Florida President Andrew Gothard said yesterday that his union is “deeply concerned” about the memo, which he called a “horrible directive.”

“Attempts such as these by the governor to chill speech and to intimidate those he disagrees with into remaining silent, altering their curriculum, and silencing their students are an affront to democracy and the American way of life. Let those who supported Governor DeSantis in the recent election heed this warning: A man who will silence those whom he disagrees — in the classroom and beyond — will one day find a reason to silence you as well.” [emphasis added]

That last sentence is both profound and chilling.

The memo also states that the purpose of education is to “prepare them for employment.”  Well … that is certainly part of the purpose of education, but by no means the only purpose.  Education has a far higher purpose … to prepare young people for life … all aspects of life.  The goal is to help people choose the path that is right for them, to help them understand how the lessons of history apply to life in the 21st century and beyond, to teach them to adapt and adjust to the ever-changing circumstances in the world.  DeSantis’ narrow views of education will hamstring the next generation of Floridians, will leave them unable to survive outside their own communities, unprepared to meet life’s challenges.

DeSantis would like to shield his entire state from the ugly face of racism by simply pretending it doesn’t exist.  He seems to think that if he simply says, “Don’t say gay,” then the LGBTQ community will simply disappear.  DeSantis and others like him truly have not grown up, never matured beyond their sheltered childhoods protected from the realities of life.  What the people of Florida who elected him two months ago were seeking is beyond my comprehension, but what they got was an ignorant bigot who would like to turn his state into a mythological place where everyone looks alike, acts alike, and thinks alike … one that would never survive in the real world.  If the people open their eyes and realize their mistake, I would strongly advise them to start petitioning their state legislators to impeach Governor DeSantis, for Florida relies heavily on tourism for its survival, and DeSantis is in the process of making Florida the most hated state in the nation.

Only In America

Imagine for a minute that you’re in your local grocery store, perhaps perusing the canned veggies to re-stock your pantry after the holidays, when suddenly you encounter a man wearing body armour and carrying or wearing all of these …

What do you do?  If your heart doesn’t stop, I imagine you abandon your cart of groceries and head for the nearest exit, perhaps stopping to inform a member of the staff that there is a heavily armed terrorist in aisle 8, then when you are safely outside and close to your car, you dial 9-1-1.

It happened in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2021.  A 22-year-old man, Rico Marley, was discovered in the restroom of a Publix supermarket with one of the rifles leaning against the wall, the others on his person or in his hands.  A delivery driver had entered the restroom, quickly assessed the situation, and exited quickly in search of the store manager to report what he had seen.  Quick thinking led to Mr. Marley being arrested moments later as he exited the restroom, clothed in body armour with four loaded handguns in his pockets and a rifle and a shotgun, both loaded, in a guitar bag.

Two days earlier in Boulder, Colorado, a 21-year-old man went on a shooting spree in a King Soopers grocery store, killing ten people.

Common sense and logic would tell you that there is no good reason for Rico Marley to have carried six fully loaded lethal weapons into a grocery store, nor for him to be wearing body armour.  None!  While it is often said that we cannot assume a person’s intent, it seems quite obvious to me that he intended to emulate the actions of the Boulder shooter.  Why else would he have come fully armed and ‘loaded for bear’ into a place where people are doing naught more than trying to buy food to feed their families?

But the law doesn’t always follow the same logical patterns that my mind does.  Prosecutors initially went all in on Mr. Marley’s case, charging him with 11 felonies: five counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony and six counts of possession of a weapon “during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies.”  But alas … the following February all charges were dropped, and Marley was released from jail because, as his attorney, Charles Brant argued, he had not made any threats or fired any shots and had legally purchased his guns. Mr. Marley did not violate Georgia law, Mr. Brant said; he was “just being a person, doing what he had the right to do.”

So … let me get this straight.  The rights of a person to arm themselves to the teeth in public supersede my rights to enter a grocery store and safely buy food for my family?  Only in America do the laws protect gun owners far more than law-abiding people going about their business.  Only in America.

All but three of the fifty states have laws that allow open carry, meaning that everywhere except Illinois, Florida and California, it is perfectly legal to walk the streets, enter a grocery store or church or movie theater with a loaded gun in hand.  Isn’t it ironic that while our voting rights are being drawn tighter, making it more difficult than ever to cast a vote in some states, gun rights are being made ever broader?  While women are being stripped of their rights to make their own medical decisions, people are being given expanded rights to terrorize and intimidate with lethal weapons?

Methinks the people of this country who elect the lawmakers have a skewed set of priorities.

Letter To Incoming Senator J.D. Vance

What follows is the letter I wrote to incoming Senator James David (J.D.) Vance, the man elected to replace outgoing Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.  Feel free to alter and use, if you feel so inclined.


Senator James David Vance

448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

03 January 2023

Dear Mr. Vance,

At noon today, you will take your Oath of Office whereby you will say …

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

I hope that you understand the tremendous responsibility you are taking on with those words.  Your responsibility is not only to the people of Ohio, but to every living being in the United States, and around the globe.  It is a solemn responsibility, not one to be taken lightly, not one to be made a mockery by playing political games.

You are new to government and have no previous experience.  For that reason, as well as some of your more questionable views and associations, I did not vote for you.  However, I believe in democracy and that the results of a free and fair election must be honoured by all, for if they are not, then our democratic foundations will crumble.  And thus, for better or for worse, you will represent the people of Ohio in the United States Senate.  I ask you to consider a few things as you take your seat.

  • Your commitment, your obligation, is to We the People, not to the Republican Party. The GOP as it is otherwise known, has largely set aside such things as values and integrity, opting instead for putting on a show to please a, shall we say less-educated, base.  I hope you will not fall into this trap, for this nation is struggling in several areas and we need serious lawmakers who come to Congress in order to address problems, to look after the best interests of the nation and its people.
  • Please do not be conned into a false set of priorities by others in your party. The things that matter most to this country are such things as the environment, gun violence, education, civil rights, wealth inequality, affordable healthcare, voting rights for all, and more.
  • Remember that your job is to legislate. Some in your party believe that their job is to seek retaliation against those in the opposing party, and to spend the bulk of their time campaigning for their next re-election bid.  This is not a playground and you are not a 6-year old child, so please try to remember that and take your job seriously.  We the People elected you and we work damn hard to pay our taxes that pay your salary.  In return, we expect you to do the work of the people, not the work of your political party, per se.

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and I see both parties clearly, not through a partisan lens.  I have voted for members of both parties throughout my lifetime, but today I see a Republican Party in chaos, a party that has no platform, no ideology, no concern for the people, only for their own wealth and power.  If you follow along those lines, you will be a huge disappointment to the people who hired (elected) you and who pay your salary.  So please, try to take your job seriously.  If you do, you will succeed.  If you fail to, then you will be hearing from me and others and in six years (or less) you will be unemployed.

I wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter

Maybe A Sticky Question?

Parental responsibilities … to what degree are parents responsible for the actions of their children?

You all remember the mass shooting in the Highland Park suburb north of Chicago on July 4th?  Seven people were killed and 48 more injured by a gunman shooting into the crowd from a rooftop.  The shooter used a high-powered rifle and ultimately fired no less than 83 rounds of ammunition.  The shooter was Robert Eugene Crimo III, age 21 at the time, now 22.  When Crimo was captured several hours after the shooting, police seized three rifles, one shotgun, and one handgun from Crimo. Crimo confessed to the shooting the following day, but has since pled ‘not guilty’. He was initially charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, but the charges were upgraded when a Lake County, Illinois, grand jury indicted Crimo on July 27, 2022. Crimo was indicted on 117 felony counts: 21 counts of first-degree murder, three for each deceased victim; along with 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery for each victim struck by a bullet or shrapnel.

This week, Crimo’s father, Robert Bob Crimo Jr., was arrested and charged with seven counts of reckless conduct in connection with the shooting.  Why, you ask?  Because the father had signed the gun application permit for his son to purchase his guns, despite knowing of at least two previous incidents that would indicate that he had some serious mental health issues.  In one incident, police were called when Crimo attempted suicide, and just a few months later police were again called because he was threatening to kill his entire family with knives.  And yet, his father signed for him to purchase guns, and says that he has no regrets for sponsoring his son for an Illinois FOID card that allowed his son to legally purchase weapons even after the aforementioned incidents that raised red flags with police.

According to prosecutor Eric Rinehart …

“People bear responsibility when they recklessly endanger others.  The government is not typically going to know more than a parent about what’s going on with an 18-, 19- or 20-year-old.”

While I fully agree with the charges against the father, others do not.  Mr. Crimo’s lawyer, George M. Gomez, called the charges “baseless and unprecedented” and he went on to say that the decision “should alarm every single parent in the United States of America” who could be held criminally liable for the actions of their adult children.

In my view, the father is being charged not because he should have been a better parent, not because his son has obvious mental health problems, and not even because his son killed seven people.  He is being charged because he enabled his son to do what he did.  Period.  He essentially put the guns in his son’s hands.  Yes, it was the son who made the decision to go out and kill people for reasons that are as yet not understood, and he should pay for his actions.  But the father was an accessory to the crime and he, too, bears a portion of responsibility and should pay a price.

I suspect this case will bring about a bit of controversy and I won’t be surprised if the father wins his case and the charges are dropped, but I still support charging any parent who gives permission for their child to buy a gun, especially when that child has shown a tendency to violence in the past.  Don’t we, as parents, as the people who know our children better than anyone else, have a responsibility to draw a line when it comes to enabling them to destroy their own lives as well as those of others, even when they are legally considered “adults”?

Your thoughts?

Ten Years …

I’ve seen lots of tributes today to those 20 children and 6 teachers who were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School ten years ago.  Some of the tributes were touching, brought tears, but the only real tribute that would have meaning would be serious and massive gun regulation.  Those who don’t support strict gun control measures don’t need to bother to send “thoughts and prayers” to the families who still mourn the loss of their loved ones, for those “thoughts and prayers” are meaningless and their true intentions, to ensure that there will be more lives cut short, are all too clear.  Harsh?  Damn straight it is … I’m angry … we should all be angry.  We may not be able to cure the mental illness that drives people to commit such heinous crimes against humanity, but we CAN and SHOULD eliminate the tools that enable them to kill 26 people in a matter of minutes!

Since the Sandy Hook massacre 10 years ago …

Below is President Biden’s statement marking this 10th anniversary of that horrendous day …


Ten years ago, a lone gunman killed 20 first-graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  Today, those first-graders should be sitting in eleventh-grade classrooms, planning for their high school graduation and all the possibilities ahead.  Those educators should be preparing lessons for new groups of students and enjoying full lives surrounded by their loved ones.  Instead, their desks are forever empty, their families are left with holes in their hearts, and our Nation is missing a piece of its soul.

     As we remember and grieve those victims and their families, we acknowledge the pain that the community of Newtown continues to endure.  That horrific day changed the lives of every survivor, many of whom still carry physical and emotional wounds.  It forced parents across America to wonder whether the goodbye hug they gave their child before school would be the last they ever have, like it was for the Newtown families.  And it has driven all of us to reexamine our core values and whether this can be a country that protects the most innocent.

     I believe it can.  This summer, I signed into law the first major bipartisan gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years, which helps to keep firearms away from people who are a danger to themselves and others.  And I have taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other President by this point in their Administration.  We are cracking down on so-called ghost guns, rogue gun dealers, and gun traffickers; helping States implement laws for extreme risk protection orders; and boosting investments in community interventions to stop violence.  I am also fighting to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.  The memories of the Newtown victims — and all victims of gun violence — demand nothing less.

     I am optimistic because I have seen the courage and resolve of the Sandy Hook families.  They have suffered unimaginable loss but have turned their pain into purpose.  For some, that has meant advocating for gun safety laws to protect other families from experiencing the same grief.  For others, it has meant starting foundations or programs that honor those they lost.  Working alongside other families of gun violence victims across America, they have helped shape a new movement for safety, grounded in love for our children, unwavering resilience in the face of grief, and a deeply held dream for a better future.

     Today and always, we honor the bright lives lost 10 years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School:  Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel D’Avino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, Ana Márquez-Greene, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 14, 2022, a Day of Remembrance:  10 Years After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.  Let us recognize the courage of survivors and families of victims, who continue working to rebuild their lives, and let us commit to eradicating gun violence and helping rebuild communities that have suffered so much.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.

 JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

On The Path To Plutocracy

Everything … literally everything … in the United States is a business.  Healthcare is a business.  Prescription drugs are a business.  Education is a business.  These things are all venues of profit for the already-wealthy, carefully guarded by members of Congress who are beholden to those with the money. This, my friends, is capitalism run amok.  Today’s Congress is afraid to take a single step forward for the people without consulting with the owners of the fossil fuel, pharmaceutical, technology industries and others.  Environmental regulations?  Not if they’re going to cut into the profits of corporate America!  Affordable or universal healthcare?  You’re kidding, right?  Affordable insulin and other life-saving medications?  Not a chance.  Free college?  Who do you think you are?

This is, in part, the result of the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission (FEC) back in 2010 that gave carte blanche to corporations to spend obscene amounts of money to literally buy a politician’s vote on issues important to them. It is also, in part, due to the fact that so many of our legislators are themselves among the millionaires who have various interests that are better served by laws that favour the wealthy.

Plutocracy is a government controlled exclusively by the wealthy, either directly or indirectly. A plutocracy allows, either openly or by circumstance, only the wealthy to rule. This can then result in policies exclusively designed to assist the wealthy, which is reflected in its name—the Greek words “ploutos” and “kratos” translate to wealthy and power or ruling, respectively, in English.

Plutocracy doesn’t have to be a purposeful, overt format for government. Instead, it can be created through the allowance of access to certain programs and educational resources only to the wealthy, thereby making it so that the wealthy hold more sway. The concern of inadvertently creating a plutocracy is that the regulatory focus will be narrow and concentrated on the goals of the wealthy, creating even more income and asset-based inequality.

Plutocracy more often arises informally and is implicitly embodied in constitutional, legal, or regulatory measures that create barriers to participation in politics and political life that can be met only through the possession or expenditure of significant wealth.- https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/plutocracy.asp

Why do you think the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 has not been increased since 2009?  Inflation has increased on average by 2.26% per year since 2009, for a total of 33.74% by 2022.  The purchasing power of that $7.25 today is approximately $5.35, and still Congress refuses to pass legislation to raise it.  Worse yet, the federal minimum wage for restaurant servers and other ‘tipped’ employees is $2.13, the assumption being that they will earn enough in tips to make up the $5.12 difference.  Can you imagine covering your monthly bills on just $7.25 per hour, or less than $1,000 per month after taxes?  Heck, that wouldn’t even pay our rent, let alone utilities, car payment, and food!

Guns … Nobody in their right mind actually thinks it’s a good thing that we have more guns than people in the U.S.  But … the gun manufacturers and their lobby, the NRA, put lots of money into the pockets of our members of Congress to ensure that there will be few, if any, restrictions on gun ownership.

Healthcare … take a look at this map of the countries (in blue) that currently provide universal health care to ALL residents …

Why isn’t the United States one of the ones that cares about the health and well-being of its citizens?  Because of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries who would stand to lose some bit of their profits.  They donate to politicians in exchange for the politicians striking down any ideas of establishing a universal healthcare system.

And yet, while prices rise, people struggle to buy food, pay their rent & utilities, and often go without medical care, corporate profits are zooming!

The wealth disparity today is greater than ever before … I think you can see why. Far too many members of Congress have pledged to their corporate donors that they will protect them against such things as an increase in federal minimum wages, universal healthcare, strict gun regulations, and even environmental regulations.  In 2018, the fossil fuel industry spent $84 million on congressional campaigns to help anti-environmentalists win seats.  Their profits today matter more than the lives of our grandchildren tomorrow.

So, what do We the People do?  Well, first and foremost we VOTE!  Research the candidates, their own wealth and who their donors are, then vote those who are beholden to the fossil fuel, agriculture, insurance, gun manufacturers and other industries OUT of office!  We have literally become a plutocracy, a government largely controlled by the wealthiest 1% of the nation.  But we DO still have the right to vote, even though more and more states are trying their level best to restrict our votes, especially those of the poor and minorities.  You’ve heard the term, “Use it or lose it”?  That applies here … if we shrug our shoulders and say, “Meh, what’s one vote gonna do?”, then we may not get a chance next time around.

Yes, our government is now, by definition, a plutocracy, but we can turn that around … maybe.  If we vote wisely in 2024, if we let our elected officials know loud and clear that we are sick of being trampled by the causes of the wealthy, then maybe we can make a difference.  If we don’t try, we’ll never know if we could have changed the course of the future.

James Ferguson Web

Just A Few Of The Ol’ Snarky Snippets

Once again, I have no single topic in mind, but a number of things are bouncing about in my head … have you noticed this seems to be happening a lot lately?  Hmmmm … I wonder if I’m trying to cram too much into my head and bits of this and pieces of that just keep getting embedded.


Fuel prices – no, Republicans can’t ‘fix’ the problem

Republicans point to specific targets they know are personal for many voters, such as fuel prices, and say, “Look how much you’re paying for a gallon of gasoline!  Elect Republicans and we’ll fix the problem.”  Well, sorry, folks, but Republicans cannot ‘fix’ the ‘problem’.  Gas prices are not set by the president nor by Congress, as they would have you believe.  To a large extent, fuel prices are driven by us, the consumers.  You’ve all studied the “law of supply and demand” in school, and as long as demand exceeds supply, the oil producers have the upper hand.  Supply is driven by a number of things but is often manipulated by OPEC to ensure that the bottom doesn’t fall out of the market, that the oil companies will continue to rake in profits.  Anyone, including Kevin McCarthy, who tells you otherwise is lying to you.  If you really want to do your part to help bring down oil prices, drive less, turn your thermostat down and don a sweater, skip the vacation this year and have a ‘staycation’, turn some lights out (candlelight is more romantic anyway, though admittedly it makes it hard to read).  Lower your demand, and the market will respond.  Yes, this is a simplification and there are other factors as well, but We the People don’t have much control over the war in Ukraine, the impending rail strike, or other global issues affecting fuel supplies, while we do have a degree of control in how much fuel we use.  Once again, we have met the enemy and he is us.


Angry at 18???

I’m thinking back to when I was 18 years old … I didn’t hate anybody.  I loved hanging out with friends when I wasn’t either studying or working, was saving up for a newer car (at the time, circa 1969, I drove a ’56 Chevrolet Bel Air that I had paid $50 for), had a boyfriend, learned to hot wire a car and occasionally ‘borrowed’ my dad’s car when my parents were out of town, but I didn’t have an abundance of raw anger, didn’t hate anyone.

On May 14th, an 18-year-old man (boy?) bought a gun, traveled 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo, entered a supermarket and killed 10 people in cold blood simply because they were Black.  18 years old!!!  WHY does a kid that age hate Black people?  Both of his parents are civil engineers, and he was studying engineering science, hoping to follow in their footsteps.  This wasn’t some spur-of-the-moment thing … he had traveled to Buffalo in March and visited the store, and again the day before he went on his killing spree.  He graduated from high school in June 2021, and when a teacher asked him about his plans for the future, he replied, “I want to murder and commit suicide.”  Was that not a red flag???  Why wasn’t it reported and followed up on?

Yesterday, the gunman pleaded guilty to 15 charges, including 10 charges of murder and one charge of domestic terrorism.  While I am thankful that he will likely never walk free again to murder even more, I think this entire situation shows a pathetic negligence to recognize and identify a serious mental health issue.  It also furthers my position that guns are too damned easy to obtain in this country!  Next thing you know, they’ll be packaging derringers (very small, but lethal guns) as the prize in packages of Cracker Jacks!


Some honest Republicans?  Be still my heart …

Maricopa Country in Arizona is home to over half the population of the entire state!  So, what happens there matters … a lot.  I was encouraged last night to read that the Republican-controlled election board voted unanimously to certify the November 8th election, whereby Democrat Katie Hobbs won the governorship.  Hobbs’ Republican opponent, the conspiracy-theorist, Trump-backed Republican Kari Lake, insists that Republican voters were denied the opportunity to vote, that there was some irregularity with voting machines, and … ho hum … same ol’ same ol’ … we’ve heard it before and no doubt we’ll hear it again.  Other counties have put their certification on hold based on Lake’s claims, but I find it very encouraging that the largest county by far has certified the election.


And just a handful of ‘toons to add to the fun!

Rainy Day Thoughts

Just a few thoughts on this rainy Sunday afternoon …


No longer should we be shocked or even surprised by man’s inhumanity to man, for we have seen enough instances of it to know it exists.  Humans have great capacity for love, but for many there are too many conditions placed on that love, and their capacity for cruelty and hatred is even greater than their capacity for love.


You may not have heard about the teacher in Pflugerville, Texas (yes, there really is a town by that name, but don’t ask me to pronounce it!) who was fired a couple of weeks ago.  Why?  Because of the conversation he had with his class of 6th grade children …

Teacher: “Deep down in my heart, I’m ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one.”

Student: “So White is better than all?”

Teacher: “Let me finish. I think everybody thinks that. They’re just not honest about it.”

Student: “You said you are a racist, right?”

Teacher: “I did, yeah, I’m trying to be honest.”

When a student asked him to repeat what he had just said, he lashed out …

Teacher: “I said, ‘I am a racist.’ That’s what I said. Do you know what that means?”

My jaw dropped when I read that! Those kids were 12-13 years old! This man was never fit to be a teacher, to be alone with a group of children at all!!!  Does this man believe that being a racist is something to be proud of?  Somebody, presumably one of the students, recorded the incident and when parents found out, naturally they were outraged and reported the conversation to the school board, who promptly fired the unnamed teacher the following Monday. How many more teachers are of the same belief, and while perhaps are not as blatant about it, subtly allow their racism to bleed into their interactions with their classes?


On Wednesday, I was at my local Kroger grocery store picking up a few last-minute things for Thanksgiving dinner.  As I was trying to reach something on a high shelf, a man literally pushed me aside to get by me.  Surprisingly, I remained cool, calm and collected, saying only loudly enough for him to hear me, “Oh, that’s okay … just shove me aside, for I’m sure that you are so much more important than I am.”  He glanced back at me and nodded.  Yes, he nodded!  No, I didn’t throw anything at him, but merely rolled my eyes and muttered an obscenity under my breath.


We have so many different ‘hate groups’ in this country that I’ve lost count of them all, media figures and even church pastors are preaching hate and inciting violence.  Pair that with the gun culture that has suddenly run amok and … is it any wonder that we must look over our shoulders in any public venue, and cross our fingers when we send our children to school in hopes that they will return in one piece rather than in a body bag?

There is a saying that “Politics makes strange bedfellows,” but the opposite is also true … it makes enemies of people who would ordinarily be friends, drives a wedge between people whose goals, hopes and dreams are really the same, but they are blinded by the loud voices telling them that the paths to their dreams are different.  Would that we humans were smart enough to realize that we are being manipulated, not for our own good, but for the wealth and power of the already wealthy and powerful.  Would that we realized that we are all – regardless of skin colour, gender identity, religion, or ethnidity – in this world together and it is only when we pull together that we can make progress toward making the world a better place.

“United we stand.  Divided we fall.” – Winston Churchill

Robin Hood Reversal

Hypocrisy abounds in the United States.  Take, for one example, those who call themselves ‘pro-life’.  They will take away women’s rights in order to ensure that a fetus, that may or may not turn into an actual human life, is protected, sometimes at the cost of the woman’s life, yet they will go out and shoot innocent animals, not for food, but simply for the ‘pleasure’ of killing, of taking a life.  Oh … you say it’s only human life they are ‘pro’?  Well, let’s delve a little deeper there.

Many of the very same ones who call themselves ‘pro-life’ support the death penalty, whereby at some point we could take the life of a perfectly innocent human who will later be exonerated … but he cannot be freed, for he is dead.  They rail against tax dollars being used in support of single mothers struggling to buy food to feed those babies that the ‘pro-lifers’ insisted they have.  They also stand firm for unlimited guns in the hands of any who want them, claiming it is a “god-given” right.  Guns, I might remind you, have a singular purpose:  to kill, to take those lives that these people claim to be protecting.  ‘Pro-life’ is really nothing more than anti-women.  Call a spade a bloody shovel, as my friend Mary says.

Perhaps one of the greatest hypocrisies that abound in the U.S. today is the attitude of some toward immigrants.  I would bet money that every single person who wants to ‘build a wall’ or ‘shut down the border’ is the child of immigrant ancestry.  Their grandparents or great-great-great grandparents – someone from their family tree came to this country from another seeking freedoms or opportunities they were deprived of in their ancestral land.  And yet, when people are knocking on the door at our southern border or seeking admission from a Middle Eastern nation, the people of this nation would turn them away.  Too bad the Indigenous People of North America didn’t have the wherewithal to turn away those who came to our shores in the 16th and 17th centuries and beyond!

As a child, I was told that ‘America’ is the land of opportunity, the ‘Land of milk and honey’, the land where you can grow up to be anything you want.  And that’s true for the mostly-white, mostly-male millionaires and billionaires, but for the rest of us … we have an opportunity to try to survive as best we can.  Dodge the bullets, folks, keep your head down and work your ass off and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to afford to pay your rent and buy groceries next week.

And speaking of those wealthy people … here’s a statistic that will blow your mind.  19,000 – The number of Americans who made at least $1 million in 2020 who also collected unemployment assistance that year, according to new IRS data. That included 4,500 people who earned between $5 million and $10 million and 229 people with eight-figure incomes or more.  Think on that one for just a minute … a person whose total salary in 2020, the year of the pandemic when people were in serious danger of going hungry or losing their homes, was over a million dollars, got an additional $13,900 from our taxpayer dollars!!!  Not just one person but 19,000 millionaires got extra money from We the People.  Talk about hypocrisy!!!  That anyone who had already made $1 million or more that year, or had millions in the bank, would even apply for unemployment benefits is the lowest of low.

Certain members of Congress are hoping to be able to cut Social Security and Medicare soon … programs that we working people have paid into every day of our working lives … but there is no mention of cutting their own pensions or salaries or perks.  I call it Robin Hood Reversal … rob from the poor to give to the rich.