Short, Random Snippets

I don’t have any profound thoughts today, but just a few things caught my eye that I wanted to share with you.

Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, calls herself “pro-life”.  She has signed numerous bills restricting a woman’s right to an abortion … under any and every circumstance, even when the mother’s life is in danger.  She calls herself “pro-life” and yet …

This bear did not have a rifle or any weapon other than his claws and teeth, but she shot him dead before he ever got close enough to use them.  This beautiful animal had as much of a right to live as does a human fetus, as does Ms. Noem for that matter, but Ms. Noem robbed him of that right.  And why???  She didn’t need him to feed her family, so WHY kill him?  Not surprisingly, Noem was recently awarded the National Rifle Association’s “Distinguished Hunter’s Leadership Award.”

This bear was far from the first animal she killed …

A murderer by any other name is still a murderer.  Kristi Noem has murdered innocent animals, and if you remember that she bragged about having purchased a rifle for her two-year-old granddaughter, apparently she plans to indoctrinate the next generation into the world of killing, as well.

Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Arizona, a 15-year-old showed up at school on Friday with an AR-15 assault rifle and ammunition.  He was arrested around 1:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and police found even more ammunition in his school locker.  Apparently a student or students reported to the school administration that the boy had a gun, and the school administration then called the police.  Beyond that, there seem to be more questions than answers.  According to NBC News …

It was not immediately clear who reported the student to police, how the student obtained the gun and ammunition, how much prison time he could face if convicted or if his guardians could face any charges. Representatives for police and the school district did not respond to those questions.

Point being … HOW the Sam Hell did this punk kid get his hands on an assault weapon to begin with, WHAT did he intend to do with it, and WHERE were his parents???

Welcome to the United States, where guns are more important than our children!

And on that same topic, there is a new children’s book out …

I wonder how long it will take Ron DeSantis to ban this one?

The book was written by Patricia Oliver whose 17-year-old son Joaquin was one of 17 children killed in the Parkland school shooting in 2018.  Says Ms. Oliver …

“This is a specific way to raise to politicians and let them know in a very simple, childish way how important it is for them to take action. It’s very powerful in the sense that the illustrations that you can see inside the book, the vocabulary that we use, the narrative that we use, it’s very simple and very hurtful. We believe that in this way, politicians will be touched by the need of doing something.”

The book’s title is meant to convey that school shootings have become normal for kids — like their first steps, first word or first vacation.  And isn’t that a damn sad state of affairs?

Please take a minute to listen to Representative Katherine M. Clark reading the book to her colleagues on the House floor.  The actual reading of the book starts at 1:35 if you wish to start there rather than hear Ms. Clark’s lead-in commentary …

It’s Time To Say ‘Goodbye’, Senator Feinstein

We’ve heard a lot of opinions about Senator Dianne Feinstein lately – her health is an ongoing concern, even more so now that we know her health issues are even more serious than we were first told.  For the record, while it is heartbreaking to see her struggling just to get around, I do think the time has come for her to step down.

But before I say more about that, I’d like to tell you a few things about Senator Feinstein that you may or may not already know.

Ms. Feinstein started her political career in 1960, at the age of 27, when she was appointed by California Governor Pat Brown to the California Women’s Parole Board.  From there, she moved up to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where she served for nine years.  In 1978, tragedy struck in San Francisco when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated, and Ms. Feinstein became the acting mayor, becoming San Francisco’s first female mayor.  And then, in 1992, she won the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated a year earlier when Pete Wilson resigned to take office as governor.  And she has been in the U.S. Senate ever since!  Nearly 31 years!

Happier times: celebrating her primary victory in her bid to become U.S. Senator

I have long advocated for congressional term limits, often citing Mitch McConnell who has been in the Senate since 1985, almost 38 years, or Chuck Grassley who has been in the Senate since 1980, 43 years!  McConnell is 81 and Grassley is 89, like Ms. Feinstein.  There are a number of reasons that I am in favour of term limits, but I also have somewhat mixed feelings, for if a member of Congress is doing a great job, why re-invent the wheel?  But, on the flip side, they tend to get too comfortable, form alliances that may obligate them in some way, and frankly we need new blood every so often to bring new ideas.

But that said, I would not necessarily advocate Ms. Feinstein stepping down merely because she’s been in the Senate for 30 years.  My reason for saying that I think she should is that she is obviously very unwell, and I was deeply concerned when, in an interview a day or two ago, she said she hadn’t been absent from the Senate (she returned to Congress just this week, after more than two months away), but that she had been right there working the entire time.  She is 89 years old and has been very ill for months … so no, I really don’t think she should continue to occupy a very important Senate seat.

Senator Feinstein has had an illustrious career and I have long admired her courage, her humanitarianism, and would like to see her to leave with that legacy intact, rather than push past the limits and tarnish all the good she has done.  She has long been an advocate for a ban on assault weapons and was instrumental in getting the first one passed in 1994 … sadly, it expired in 2004 and since then … well, you know what has happened since then.  She helped get the Affordable Care Act passed, and she has shown the ability to work across the aisle in the spirit of bipartisanship. Her achievements are way too many for me to list here.

There is one argument for her remaining in Congress, which is that if a vacancy arises in the U.S. Supreme Court, her vote would be crucial in approving or rejecting President Biden’s nominee.  However, the odds of a vacancy coming up anytime soon are slim-to-none, since most of the justices are still relatively youthful, with Clarence Thomas being the oldest at 75 years of age.  And you know that ol’ Clarence is going to hang in for a while yet.  I don’t think we can afford the risk of Ms. Feinstein remaining in the Senate simply for the slim contingency that a Supreme Court vacancy could arise.

As long as someone is in good health, both mentally and physically, I don’t really care how old they are.  But it is quite obvious that Senator Feinstein is in very poor health, and frankly I don’t know why she isn’t actually eager to step down at this point … I sure as hell would be!  All living creatures have an expiry date, so to speak, and Ms. Feinstein is nearing hers.  She must now do as she has done most of her life – put the best interests of the country ahead of her own ego.  Please, Senator, step down and make way for some new blood … retire and enjoy whatever time you have left on planet Earth.

‘Toons, ‘Toons, ‘Toons!!!

As always, the politics of the day are keeping the cartoonists busy, busy, busy!!!  While the situations may be dark and dreary, the cartoonists know how to brighten them up, to explain a situation with just a drip of humour.  So, without further ado, I give you some of the best political cartoons I’ve seen over the past week or so.

This last one isn’t a cartoon, but I still thought it fit in well!

Keeping Our Eyes On The Ball

Of late, our attention has been turned toward the New York indictment of Trump, inflation, the sexual assault and defamation case of E. Jean Carroll vs Trump, the charges against liar extraordinaire George Santos, immigration, and CNN’s really bad decision to give Trump a voice in their “town hall” on Wednesday.  Each is important in its own way and for obvious reasons, but in aggregate, it is a major distraction from other things that we really need to be focused on …

  • Climate change
  • Guns
  • Education
  • Voting rights

Naturally, I don’t mean to imply that these are the only four important issues at the moment, for that is far from true, but they are the most critical long-term issues facing the United States and We the People today.

Climate change is not only NOT being addressed nearly as much as it needs to be, but there seems to be a demand for rolling back the regulations that are in place, in order to help big business profit more!  The future of all life on Planet Earth is at stake, but all we can worry about is profit?  Something wrong here.

The gun culture in the U.S. has gone completely off the rails!  Nearly every week I read about one state or a court lowering the age to buy a gun or removing the requirement for background checks or licensing of guns.  Just yesterday, a judge in Virginia struck down federal laws blocking handgun sales to buyers under 21 but over the age of 18.  Meanwhile, there are daily mass shootings, children are afraid to go to school, and even the local grocery store can turn into a death trap in a heartbeat.

Our system of education is under attack by those who would bar the teaching of history, civics, or even math, as in Florida numerous math textbooks were banned!  The number of banned books is jaw-dropping.  More and more states are following bigoted Florida’s lead, and just yesterday the Louisiana state House of Representatives passed a “Don’t Say Gay” bill similar to Florida’s.  We are denying the children of this nation the right to a comprehensive education, denying them the right to understand the world they live in, sheltering them from the things their parents don’t like or don’t understand.

Which brings me to voting rights.  Partly based on Trump’s ranting lies about corruption in the 2020 election, almost every state in the nation has passed new laws that will further restrict the ability to vote for numerous people.  Congress had the opportunity just last year to pass two voting rights bills that would have overridden state laws and provided the right to vote to everyone over the age of 18, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act , and the Freedom to Vote Act  .  But the Senate Republicans blocked both bills and now, between the restrictive state laws and intense gerrymandering, far too many people will find it difficult, or in many cases impossible to vote next year.  The 2024 election is 543 days away as of this writing, and many who are poor, disabled, college students, or senior citizens, will be disenfranchised, will have no voice in the government they are forced to support.

The 2024 election may well prove to be the most important in our lifetime, and it is crucial that we do not allow ourselves to be distracted and forget that we may have to take extra steps and help others, too, in order to ensure We the People do not lose our voice next year.  The 2020 federal election drew the United States’ highest voter turnout in more than a century, breaking records despite the Covid-19 pandemic.  The political party with no platform, the one whose entire structure is built around the lies, greed, and bigotry of one ‘man’, is determined not to allow that to happen again, for if everyone votes, they stand zero chance of re-taking the Oval Office.

We have many balls in the air that we must keep our eyes on these days, but please don’t lose sight of the most long-term critical ones.  If we do, then all the rest will not matter in a few short years.

One Tidbit And A Bunch O’ Toons

I have just one little tidbit of news, and some of the better political cartoons I’ve saved over the past week or so for your viewing pleasure!

Has the law finally caught up with Georgie-boy?

Yep, Representative George Santos, the Republican’s head liar, is in federal custody as I write this!  Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.  He has been charged by federal prosecutors with 13 counts of financial crimes including wire fraud (7 counts), money laundering (3 counts), stealing public funds (1 count) and lying in federal disclosure forms (2 counts).

But lest you think this is the end of his career in Congress … guess again!  Ol’ Kevin McCarthy says he can continue to hold his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives!  He says he obviously cannot serve on any committees but will still have a vote and retain his seat.  Stay tuned, for I’m sure this will get interesting.

And now for the ‘toons …

Some Questions – and some Answers

If you are a political writer, no matter which side of the political divide you stand on, sooner or later you will pick up a few haters … people who not only vehemently disagree with every word you write, but also feel a need to make it personal, to get in your face, to be rude and disrespectful. I’ve had a few, and with one exception they all gave up when I stopped posting their comments. One even threatened to find me and kill me. Our friend Ben Berwick has a long-time hater-follower who goes by the name of Asher Slade, and ol’ Asher, even in light of the latest surge in mass shootings, believes the answer is more guns … in the hands of more people everywhere. I found Ben’s response to him to be both well-written and far less toxic than I probably would have been! Oh, and as you read Ben’s response, keep in mind that Ben lives in the UK, not the United States, and it seems to me that he understands both our Constitution and our current gun situation better than most U.S. citizens do! Thanks, Ben!

Coalition of the Brave

In a rare display of reason, Asher Slade (the MGTOW with whom I have had a number of strong disagreements) asked some questions. His post is below:

You can feel free to post what your arguments and positions actually are and how you would while still respecting our consitution you would try to solve the mass shooting issue.Remember all free people have a right to self defense. Mine are clear more gun ownership not less next to no gun free zones protect schools with either willingly armed teachers or security staff . Make fewer soft targets and watch how much the issue self corects. Mentally unwell person tries to shoot a place up a gun owner around them or security put the threat down as fast and as safe as posible . Bad people exist we do not want to create more victims by making it so only criminals will…

View original post 775 more words


I’ve been writing a lot lately, it seems, about gun violence, school shootings, mass shootings, et al.  Violence in America seems to be the overriding theme of late.  On Sunday, I reported on three mass shootings that took place on Saturday.  Today, I’m sad to tell you that there were three more on Sunday, taking another 5 lives and injuring 7 more people.

  • St. Louis, Missouri – 2 killed, 2 injured
  • Newark, New Jersey – 1 killed, 3 injured
  • Frostburg, Maryland – 2 killed, 2 injured

I’m sure many useless ‘thoughts and prayers’ have been conveyed by legislators around the nation.

But it isn’t only gun violence, though that is the sort that gets the most attention, for an AR-15 assault rifle can mow down hundreds of people within a minute or two, and guns are the scourge of this nation, but other forms of violence have been duly noted this past weekend.

There was the case of the homeless man, Jordan Neely, murdered on the subway in New York City by a complete stranger who thought choking him to death was the answer to the homeless man’s mental health crisis.  And then, there was Brownsville, Texas, where the driver of an SUV plowed into a group of migrants at a bus stop, killing eight people and injuring at least 10 others.  Why?

The details are irrelevant to this conversation, but the why question is the point.  Whether guns, a chokehold, a vehicular attack, or just a verbal confrontation in a store … WHY is the United States plagued by violence?  WHY do we feel unsafe going into a grocery store, a church or mosque, a mall, or a movie theater?  I only go about once a month to our local Barnes & Noble bookstore, and I feel relatively safe there, for most gun nuts have less than zero interest in reading books, but even there I once saw a man bend over to get a better look at a magazine and the gun sticking out of his waistband terrified me to the point I set my books down and left the store … after informing the manager.

WHY do some in this nation think it is okay to take the life of another?  WHY do we resolve our differences through violence rather than trying to find a middle ground?  Let me ask you to ponder something … is your life worth more than, say, a homeless person living on the streets, begging for a bite of food?  If so … WHY?  Because you earn more money in your job?  Because you own (or rent) a home?  Because you know you won’t starve to death tomorrow?  Does that really increase your value?  How?  Do you know for a fact that if that homeless person had been given the opportunity, he might not have gone on to … oh, I dunno … maybe find the cure for lung cancer, or a way to take the CO2 out of the atmosphere, or … become president of the United States?

Just think, my friends, what might have been if … if circumstances had been different for you.  What if … your parents had died when you were young, leaving you to figure out how to survive on your own.  What if … you couldn’t afford to even finish high school, let alone get a college degree?  What if … you were struggling with a drug dependency, or other mental health issue?  Would you want someone to take a moment out of their life to help you, or would you deserve to simply be shot, choked, or run over?

My late mother-in-law, one of the kindest people I ever knew, used to often say, “There, but for the grace of god, go I.”  We would roll our eyes and tease her, but of late I’ve come to better understand.  No, I don’t believe in the “grace of god” but … were it not for some set of circumstances, there we might all have ended up, with ‘there’ being homeless, a stranger in another country, poor, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The level of everyday violence in the United States is more what I would expect in a third-world nation, not an industrialized, wealthy, and supposedly civilized one.  It seems the first response to some insult, real or imagined, is to react violently.  WHY???  Have we lost our humanity?  Do we no longer see others as worthy of respect, but rather an object on which to take out our own frustrations?  Has the easy access to guns contributed to making us more violent in general?  Has the political turmoil and divisiveness turned us into barbaric people?  Are people like Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump, Greg Abbott and more, constantly putting down migrants and LGBTQ people, telling people to “fear other”, having an effect on our low level of tolerance for those who are somehow different than us?   Rather than embracing diversity, are we simply killing it?

Most importantly, how can we regain our humanity as a nation, as a people?  How do we learn to try to understand other viewpoints that may not agree with our own, or to have empathy for those less fortunate than we are?  If we fail to do so, we are dooming ourselves and our future generations, for this cannot continue without serious consequences.

How many will die today because of fear and intolerance?

Guns And Religion Do NOT Belong In Public Schools!!! Books DO!

Apologies in advance, for this post is in part a continuation of my earlier rant prompted by yesterday’s mass shootings and certain lawmakers response to them …

Fact:  The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that the country shall have no official religion.  Those who call this a “Christian nation” are wrong, they are liars, and their views pose a clear and present threat to the people of this nation.  I’ve written on this topic until my fingers have calluses, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it, but here we are once again.  After the tragic mass shooting in Texas yesterday, instead of calling for gun regulations, some are calling for more religion in schools, such as posters of the 10 commandments or teachers leading students in Christian prayers.

Two bills in Texas would not make children any safer, would violate the rights of more than half the children in schools, and would be in direct violation of the Constitution:

“Senate Bill 1515 would require a poster of the Ten Commandments to be in every public-school classroom in the state. Under Senate Bill 1396, public school districts would be able to adopt policies allowing for a moment of prayer and a reading from the Bible or other religious text during the school day. Senate Bill 763 is a measure that would allow school districts to employ chaplains to serve as school counselors.” – per Courthouse News report dated 05 May 2023

One man, Texas State Senator Mayes Middleton, initiated both bills.  Be you can’t guess his political party affiliation, can you?

So, let me get this straight … they (Republicans) don’t mind kids getting shot up in schools, as long as they were able to say prayers and read their bible first.  And they refuse to teach the factual history of this nation, for they say it might make white children “feel bad”, but they will happily teach a mythological religion that is subject to interpretation and is only one religion out of hundreds that are practiced in this country.

Imagine what a child from a Muslim family feels like in a school where he is forced to say Christian prayers and read Christian tomes daily.  Put yourself in his shoes … how would you like your little white Christian kid to be forced to read from the Quran and recite Muslim prayers in school every day?  LEAVE ALL DAMN RELIGION OUT OF THE SCHOOLS!!!

The majority of people in this country do NOT want Christianity … or ANY religion … shoved down their throats:

Only about 40% of all the people in this nation are Protestant Christians, only 60% any sort of Christian.  The rest are a variety of other religions or no religion at all.  If you want your children exposed to Christianity at school, then send them to a parochial school … on your own dime!  Don’t expect me to foot the bill for your nonsensical whims.  If you want your kids to get a religious education, teach them at home … which is where religion belongs … in churches or homes, NOT in schools or government buildings!  Forcing one religion on all is the utmost form of bigotry I can imagine!

And if you really want to somehow make a difference in children’s lives, reduce the number of guns and gun owners in the nation, implement strict gun regulations, and for Pete’s sake TEACH the children everything … the good, the bad, and the ugly … so that they are better prepared to face this world as adults and hopefully fix some of the mess our own generation has made!!!  Stop banning books, and instead ban guns and religion!


I was working on a post sharing my concerns about the future of A.I. – Artificial Intelligence – for this morning when the first news out of Allen, Texas came that “nine people have been injured and several killed at a shopping mall.”  Few details were available yet at that time, so I found out what little I could, and moved on, knowing I would come back in search of further details every few minutes.

But WAIT!!!  It didn’t end there!  There were at least two other mass shootings yesterday, Saturday, one in California and one in Columbus, Ohio, about 90 miles up the road from where I currently reside.  I saw something as my daughter flipped through cable news channels about a fourth mass shooting, but haven’t been able to verify yet, so we’ll stick with the number three for now.  I like to deal with facts, not conjecture.

As of this writing, just after midnight, the Texas shooting has resulted in 8 deaths, including at least one child, and 7 injured including a 5-year-old child.  The gunman was killed by police but his death is not included in the above figures.  In the Columbus shooting, one person was killed, three were injured, and the gunman committed suicide.  And in Chico, California, one teenage girl was killed, three other teens were injured near the campus of California State University.  Details are subject to change, but that’s what I have for the moment.

Needless to say, three damned mass shootings in one day was enough to send me into a state of extreme anger, but the words of the U.S. Representative Keith Self, who represents the district in which the Texas shooting took place, made me immediately shut down my post about A.I. and sent my fingers pounding the keyboard of my laptop!  Mr. Self says that those who are calling for stricter gun laws rather than just ‘thoughts and prayers’ …

“… don’t believe in an almighty God … who is absolutely in control of our lives. People want to make this political, but prayers are important.”

Take your thoughts (if you are capable of having any) and your damned prayers, and shove them up your backside, Mr. Self!  That was the most inane, cruel, and unconscionable response you could have possibly made!

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott send their thoughts and prayers.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

Counting yesterday’s three mass shootings, the United States has so far this year had at least 199 mass shootings in 126 days, or approximately 1.6 per day … every single damn day!!!  WHEN is Congress going to get off their damned arses and GET THE GUNS OUT OF THE HANDS OF CIVILIANS???  The last time I communicated with my own Representative, Warren Davidson, his response was basically to tell me that the lives of our children and grandchildren do not matter, as he will never do anything that would infringe on people’s 2nd Amendment “rights”.  Translation:  he will never do anything that might cost him a few votes by the gun-loving nutcases!  BULLSHIT!  Ol’ Warren will be hearing from me again next week.

I’m sure I’ll have more in the coming days, but for tonight … rant over … I need to catch my breath and try to calm down just a bit.

When Da Mind Bounces, Ya Gotta Let It Bounce

Those who have been with Filosofa’s Word for a few years already know that every so often I get what I call “mind bounce”, defined as a state where there are just too many marbles loose in my mind to focus exclusively on any one topic.  When that happens, it’s usually best to just let the mind loose to bounce from one thing to another for a bit, so that is what I’ve done here today … BOUNCE ON, MIND!

Don’t ban guns – BAN BACKPACKS!!!

A public school district in Flint, Michigan, has banned backpacks because … well, y’know … guns.  A gun can be concealed in a backpack as was the one carried by a six-year-old child and used to shoot his teacher in Newport News, Virginia in January.  So, let’s ban children from carrying backpacks and there will be no more school shootings, right?  Um … well, y’see, most school shootings are not carried out by students, so … it’s rather like barking up the wrong tree.  However, 100% of all school shootings were carried out with people wielding guns … not backpacks, but guns.  Oh, and whaddabout pockets!!!  Perhaps next, schools can outlaw pants, coats and jackets with pockets!!!

Another strikeout for Justice Thomas

Once again Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has found his way into the news.  This time, it turns out, Harlan Crow … the same collector of all things Nazi who funded many extravagant vacations and trips for ol’ Clarence and his traitorous wife Virginia … funded a private school education to the tune of $6,000 per month, for Thomas’ grandnephew, Mark Martin, who Thomas was “raising as a son.”  According to ProPublica’s exposè, Crow footed this bill for “about a year.”  But then, there was another private boarding school that Crow may have also subsidized for the grandnephew, and it is estimated that if he paid for the entire four years at both schools, the total would have been around $150,000.  Ol’ Clarence and his family have been living the “lifestyle of the rich and famous” without actually being rich … or famous, until recently.

Rolling in dough …

Just during that one single terrible pandemic year of 2020, the Institute for Policy Studies documents, the world’s 2,365 billionaires saw their wealth increase by a full 54%, as U.S. billionaires saw their net worth surge 62 percent by $1.8 trillion. Average billionaire wealth worldwide increased 27% in that one year alone.  Elon Musk (532% increase in wealth during the single year of 2020), Mark Zuckerberg (86% increase), or Jeff Bezos (65% increase).  And yet, Republicans literally howled with indignation that President Biden wanted to help the average Joe recover from the financial trauma of the pandemic era.

Quick!  Hide your children!

The Florida legislature passed a bill Thursday that will let the state take transgender minors away from their families if they are receiving gender-affirming care.  Think about that one for just a minute … the state can take your child away from you because they are transgender and are receiving medical care.  WHAT’S NEXT, FLORIDA???  Okay, so let me get this straight.  Today, in Florida, you cannot explain even to college students that some people love a person of their own biological gender, you cannot teach about the history of this nation, your retirement plan cannot include investment in industries that support green initiatives to save the planet, and you cannot seek medical help for your transgender child.  Way. To. Go. Florida.  NOT!!!!!!!!

Filosofa ponders

Just a short bit of filosophy from Filosofa …

I don’t understand this thing called “freedom” anymore, at least as defined by Republicans.  I don’t have the freedom to make my own healthcare decisions, simply because I am a woman.  My grandchildren don’t have the freedom to learn the true history of their nation, including the genocide of the Indigenous People, the enslavement for centuries of Black people and the continued racism against them even today.  Today’s schoolchildren don’t have the freedom to learn about different cultures, but instead are lied to about their own. And the child who is being raised by two dads or two moms isn’t allowed to talk about it in school.  How is this “freedom”?