YOU Do Not Walk Away From This One

Our friend Roger has something to say about yesterday’s mass shooting that apparently was racially motivated and perpetrated by an 18-year-old white male. Roger’s words need no introduction by me except to say that I am in full agreement with him. Thank you, Roger.

One additional note:  There has been yet another mass shooting this morning at a church in California.  That’s three (that we know of) in one weekend.  Welcome to the USofA.

The World As It Is. Not As It Should Be

Buffalo shooting: Ten dead in suspected race attack at New York state store:

Inditement Buffalo

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-61452958

There is next to zero chance of the following becoming an actual legal action. This is not the point of this post. The theme of this post concerns public responsibility, the consequences of polemic actions and the lack of concern to any victims.

I contend the following should be considered for inditement under 18 U.S.Code 373- Solicitation to commit a crime of violence:

Inditement Trump

Donald John Trump

Inditement Cruz

Rafael Edward Cruz

Inditement Majorie Taylor Greene

Marjorie Taylor Greene

Ron DeSantis

Ronald Dion DeSantis

Trump on the grounds of pursuing of a political career by inflammatory rhetoric, Cruz by his recent display on biased hostility to an African American nominee to the Supreme Court; Taylor Greene by sustained, hostile inflammatory rhetoric not suited to the holder of an elected office; De Santis by abuse of his officer as Governor of Florida by direct legislation in…

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Think Smaller — Protect Your Right To Vote!

We place far more emphasis, spend far more energy & time, on the big elections – president and members of Congress – than we typically do on local and state elections, but I read an OpEd article in the New York Times this morning that made me stop and think … made me realize that perhaps we need to shift our focus, or at least widen it.  Heck, I don’t even know who is on the ballot for Secretary of State in my own state … time to do some research!  Ms. Barbara McQuade, teaches law at the University of Michigan, and oversaw voting rights suits as U.S. attorney for Michigan’s Eastern District, so she knows of what she speaks …


The Most Pivotal Elections in 2022 Are Not the Ones You Think

By Barbara McQuade, May 12, 2022

The fate of our democracy doesn’t hinge on the battle for the House or the fight for control of the Senate, but on state elections for a once sleepy office: secretaries of state.

No elected officials will be more pivotal to protecting democracy — or subverting it — than secretaries of state. While their responsibilities vary from state to state, most oversee elections, a role in which they wield a tremendous amount of power. Secretaries of state own the bully pulpit on voting, and they control the machinery of elections.

They also have a platform to spread disinformation, such as false claims that voting by mail is not secure. A Republican secretary of state could reduce the number of ballot boxes or polling places in Democratic areas and limit staffing to create long lines that dissuade potential voters. They can also refuse to certify the results in particular counties or even the entire state. In a close presidential race, if even one secretary of state in a swing state were to put his thumb on the scale, we could see an election that really is stolen.

This has happened before. In 2000, Katherine Harris, Florida’s secretary of state, halted the recount process and certified George W. Bush, for whom she served as a campaign chairwoman, as the winner of Florida’s electoral votes. But our current political moment is even more fraught, as Donald Trump casts doubt on the last election, whipping his supporters into frenzy while Republican field generals quietly maneuver conservative hard-liners into positions of power.

Twenty-seven states will choose a secretary of state this fall, and in 17 of those states, at least one of the Republican candidates for the office actively denies that President Biden won the 2020 election. Fourteen candidates have formed the America First S.O.S. Coalition, which aims to “reverse electoral fraud” by eliminating mail-in ballots, requiring single-day voting and committing to “aggressive voter roll cleanup,” measures that could suppress thousands of Democratic votes. If they win office, Republicans will control the voting process in these five crucial swing states where the 2024 election may be decided:

One closely watched race will be in Georgia, where the Republican incumbent, Brad Raffensperger, is fighting for his political life in the May 24 primary after having refused Mr. Trump’s demands to “find” the 11,780 votes he needed to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory in that state. Although Mr. Raffensperger withstood Mr. Trump’s efforts in 2020, he has now joined the crusade warning against the threat of voter fraud, supporting Georgia’s restrictive new voting laws and citing “voter confidence” as the “No. 1 issue” American voters face.

His main primary opponent goes even further. Representative Jody Hice, a former pastor endorsed by Mr. Trump, is an election denier who has said that “I believe with all my heart” that the will of Georgia voters was subverted in 2020. Republicans have held this office since 2006, so most likely, one of these two men will be in control in 2024.

In Michigan, the Democrats are in a stronger position. The Democratic incumbent, Jocelyn Benson, will face Kristina Karamo, a community college instructor endorsed by Mr. Trump, this fall. Ms. Benson, a former election law professor, literally wrote the book on the role secretaries of state play in protecting the democratic process and resolutely withstood challenges to Michigan’s 2020 election.

Her opponent, on the other hand, has made debunked claims that she witnessed election fraud while observing poll workers in Detroit in 2020 and said that the Capitol riot was conducted by “antifa posing as Trump supporters.” Mr. Trump has been stumping for Ms. Karamo for a reason: “This is not just about 2022,” he said at a recent rally. “This is about making sure Michigan is not rigged and stolen again in 2024.” Recent polling shows Ms. Benson with a 14-point lead over Ms. Karamo, but that margin is small considering Ms. Benson’s greater name recognition.

In Pennsylvania, the secretary of state is appointed, so the tossup governor’s race will decide who ends up overseeing elections. While the Democratic contender for governor, Josh Shapiro, the state attorney general, has made voting rights a cornerstone of his campaign, some of the Republican candidates seem determined to undercut them. Recent polling shows State Senator Doug Mastriano, a retired Army colonel with a Ph.D. in history, leading the rest of the Republican candidates.

Mr. Mastriano has embraced Mr. Trump’s claims of a stolen election; according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, he spoke with the president in the days after the election and pushed for a new slate of electors to be sent to Congress. Videos show him and his wife wandering through the barricades after rioters — some of whom he’d paid to send to Washington — breached the Capitol. His election as governor is a strong possibility in a state that tends to seesaw between Democrats and Republicans.

Other candidates for secretary of state include Mark Finchem in Arizona and Jim Marchant in Nevada. Mr. Finchem, a state representative who attended the Stop the Steal Rally in Washington last year, has introduced a resolution to decertify the results of the 2020 election in three big counties and a bill to empower the Arizona Legislature to reject election results. As of the end of the first quarter, Mr. Finchem led all the other candidates in the race in fund-raising, making him the most likely to win the Republican primary and a strong candidate in the general election.

Mr. Marchant has followed the same campaign playbook in Nevada. A former state legislator, he has not only called it “almost statistically impossible that Joe Biden won” the state, but also said he would not have certified Nevada’s slate of electors had he been secretary of state in 2020; indeed, he pushed for his state to submit an alternative slate. While Nevada has gone to the Democratic candidate in the past four presidential elections, three of its past four secretaries of state have been Republicans, and this race could go either way.

For Democrats to fend off the America First slate, they will need to invest in these races, helping candidates build the name recognition they need to combat the onslaught from the right. That will take time, money and a strategy to raise awareness about the crucial role these offices play in protecting our democracy. A nationwide effort like the “SoS Project,” which was started by a group of Democrats following the 2004 election and folded several years later, could help. Individuals can also help by volunteering for secretary of state candidates and by talking to their neighbors and on social media about the importance of these positions.

Races for other offices may attract bigger names, but elections for secretary of state may bring about the most significant shifts in power in 2022. As Mr. Trump has said, sometimes the “vote counter is more important than the candidate.”

Still Hope …

I came across an OpEd by Pulitzer Prize-winning Bret Stephens in the New York Times this morning that I thought made some excellent points, gave encouragement to not lose hope, even as our nation seems to be falling apart at the seams some days.


Can We Still Be Optimistic About America?

May 10, 2022

By Bret Stephens, Opinion Columnist

This is a season — an age, really — of American pessimism.

The pessimism comes in many flavors. There is progressive pessimism: The country is tilting toward MAGA-hatted fascism or a new version of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” There is conservative pessimism: The institutions, from primary schools to the Pentagon, are all being captured by wokeness. There is Afropessimism: Black people have always been excluded by systemic, ineradicable racism. There is the pessimism of the white middle and working classes: The country and the values they’ve known for generations are being hijacked by smug, self-dealing elites who view them with contempt.

There is also the pessimism of the middle: We are losing the institutional capacity, cultural norms and moral courage needed to strike pragmatic compromises at almost every level of society. Zero-sum is now our default setting.

These various kinds of pessimism may reach contradictory conclusions, but they are based on undeniable realities. In 2012, there were roughly 41,000 overdose deaths in the United States. Last year, the number topped 100,000. In 2012, there were 4.7 murders for every 100,000 people. Last year, the rate hit an estimated 6.9, a 47 percent increase. A decade ago, you rarely heard of carjackings. Now, they are through the roof. Shoplifting? Ditto. The nation’s mental health was in steep decline before the pandemic, with a 60 percent increase of major depressive episodes among adolescents between 2007 and 2019. Everything we know about the effects of lockdowns and school closures suggests it’s gotten much worse.

Economics tell a similar story. “Twenty-first-century America has somehow managed to produce markedly more wealth for its wealthholders even as it provided markedly less work for its workers,” observed Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute in a landmark 2017 Commentary essay. It’s in part from the loss of meaningful work — and the consequent evaporation of pride, purpose and dignity in labor — that we get the startling increase in death rates among white middle-aged Americans, often to suicide or substance abuse.

The list goes on, but you get the point. Even without the daily reminders of Carter-era inflation, this feels like another era of Carter-style malaise, complete with an unpopular president who tends to inspire more sympathy than he does confidence.

So why am I still an optimist when it comes to America? Because while we are bent, our adversaries are brittle. As we find ways to bend, they can only remain static or shatter.

This week brought two powerful reminders of the point. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin gave his customary May 9 Victory Day speech, in which he enlisted nostalgia for a partly mythical past to promote lies about a wholly mythical present, all for the sake of a war that is going badly for him.

Putin is belatedly discovering that the powers to humiliate, subvert and destroy are weaker forces than the powers to attract, inspire and build — powers free nations possess almost as a birthright. The Kremlin might yet be able to bludgeon its way to something it can call victory. But its reward will mainly be the very rubble it has created. The rest of Ukraine will find ways to flourish, ideally as a member of NATO and the European Union.

Meanwhile, in Shanghai, more than 25 million people remain under strict lockdown, a real-world dystopia in which hovering drones warn residents through loudspeakers to “control your soul’s desire for freedom.” Does anyone still think that China’s handling of the pandemic — its deceits, its mediocre vaccines, a zero-Covid policy that manifestly failed and now this cruel lockdown that has brought hunger and medicine shortages to its richest city — is a model to the rest of the world?

Meanwhile, in Shanghai, more than 25 million people remain under strict lockdown, a real-world dystopia in which hovering drones warn residents through loudspeakers to “control your soul’s desire for freedom.” Does anyone still think that China’s handling of the pandemic — its deceits, its mediocre vaccines, a zero-Covid policy that manifestly failed and now this cruel lockdown that has brought hunger and medicine shortages to its richest city — is a model to the rest of the world?

For all its undeniable progress over 45 years, China remains a Potemkin regime obsessed with fostering aggrandizing illusions: about domestic harmony (aided by a vast system of surveillance and prison camps); about technological innovation (aided by unprecedented theft of intellectual property); about unstoppable economic growth (aided by manufactured statistics). The illusions may win status for Beijing. But they come with a heavy price: the systematic denial of truth, even to the regime itself.

Rulers who come to believe their own propaganda will inevitably miscalculate, often catastrophically. Look again at Putin, who really believed he had a competent military.

Which brings me back to the United States. Just as dictatorships advertise their strengths but hide their weaknesses — both to others and to themselves — democracies do the opposite: We obsess over our weaknesses even as we forget our formidable strengths. It is the source of our pessimism. But it is also, paradoxically, our deepest strength: In refusing to look away from our flaws, we not only acknowledge them but also begin fixing them.

We rethink. We adapt. In bending, we find new ways to grow.

We have a demonstrated record of defanging right-wing demagogues, debunking left-wing ideologues, promoting racial justice, reversing crime waves, revitalizing the political center and reinvigorating the American ideal. Our problems may be hard, but they are neither insoluble nor new.

Those without our freedoms will not be so fortunate.

Domestic Infant Supply

The Supreme Court draft of the decision to be handed down on Roe v Wade was heinous enough, but the wording has set my teeth on edge even more. Clay Jones of Claytoonz fame gives us his take and as usual, he is spot on! Thanks, Clay!

claytoonz

What was leaked out of the Supreme Court last week was a draft and not the final written opinion for the majority. Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed its authenticity but has declared this isn’t actually the final vote, though it is. But, I’m sure the draft will change because what we saw from the leak is a rough draft before someone was able to tell Justice Samuel Alito not to say the quiet part out loud.

I’m sure at some point, a law clerk would have suggested they remove the line about women being cattle.

At first, I thought this was some social media meme propaganda. Liberals do that stuff too which really pisses me off because we don’t have to make shit up to fight Republicans. They give us all the facts we need. And it sounded so ridiculous that I immediately smelled bullshit. A Supreme Court Justice…

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Things Flying Under The Radar

Who … me????

I began working on this post yesterday afternoon but had to take a break from it to fold a load of laundry.  I made the mistake of leaving the lid open on my laptop, and when I came back, there was an ‘AZAZx’ typed where I had left off, and a pop-up box asking if I wished to continue using the microphone!  BOO!!! I know it was Boo, for he’s the only one that uses the computer, but I had my microphone disabled, so how the heck did he … that darn CAT!!!  Anyway … on to the business at hand.


For the past week or so, the news has been filled with the leaked Supreme Court draft that will almost certainly overturn Roe v Wade setting women’s rights back at least 50 years, and not much else has been covered.  Even the war in Ukraine took a backseat to Roe.  Now, I am as incensed as any about this decision and plan to speak more on the subject shortly, but there really are some other things of import that we should be aware of.  One such is another Supreme Court decision that was handed down last Monday that, in my view, treads dangerously onto the concept of separation of church and state.

The case was Shurtleff v Boston and the Court ruled that the City of Boston violated the First Amendment by denying Shurtleff’s application to fly a Christian flag over Boston City Hall.  City Hall is a government building that is visited by members of all religions and those of no religion, so why should one single religion be allowed to fly a flag.  To me, the U.S. flag and Massachusetts state flag are the only ones that should be flying over the Boston City Hall.  Not everyone working there or visiting will be Christian.  Does the Court suggest, then, that Muslims, Jews, and Jains should all be able to fly their own flags at the building?  Will it soon resemble the United Nations building?  And then … does this open the door for KKK and Nazi flags, as well?  Religion and government should never mix, and the highest Court in the land, the Court that claims to understand the Constitution so well, should have realized this was a bad decision that will open numerous doors that probably should remain closed.

Already, the Satanic Temple requests Boston to fly their flag for “Satanic Appreciation Week” from July 23-29.  Good luck keeping this from becoming a free-for-all, not only in Boston but around the nation.


In other news, First Lady Jill Biden visited Ukraine over the weekend.  It is extremely rare for a first lady to enter a war zone, but then Ms. Biden, like former First Lady Michelle Obama, has class.  She entered the country from Slovakia on Mother’s Day and met Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, who had not appeared in public since the Russian invasion began February 24th.

“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop, and this war has been brutal, and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”

First lady Jill Biden and Olena Zelenska, spouse of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, join a group of children at School 6 in making tissue-paper bears to give as Mother’s Day gifts in Uzhhorod, Ukraine on May 8. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Quite a change from the last First Lady [sic] who wore a jacket printed with “I really don’t care, do U?” when going to visit migrant children who had been separated from their parents at the U.S. border.


And speaking of Ukraine … on Saturday, the day before First Lady Biden visited, the Russians bombed a village school in eastern Ukraine, killing as many as 60 people.  There were about 90 people sheltering in the school when the bomb hit, setting it ablaze.  More than 170 civilians were evacuated from the Mariupol area on Sunday, bringing the total to around 600 given safe passage during a week-long rescue operation.  More than 3,000 civilians have been murdered by the Russians since the initial invasion on February 24th, and it is far from being over, I fear.  Perhaps it’s time to stop allowing Putin’s thinly-veiled threats hold us hostage, keep us from ending this war before half of the people in Ukraine are dead.


Here is just one example of the reason we MUST learn the lessons of history, that we must NOT whitewash or hide true history from our young people.  In the Philippines, yesterday was election day and the people chose a new president:  Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the infamous Imelda Marcos.  Reading about the rallies and the support he has gotten made me feel ill, was eerily similar to Trump rallies and the fans were similar to Trump’s, chanting and holding up peace signs.

According to an article in the New York Times

Rehabilitating the family name has been a recurring theme. Over the decades, the Marcoses have sought to target young voters with no memory of martial law or the torture and killing of political prisoners. Fifty-six percent of the voting population in the Philippines is aged between 18 and 41, and most did not witness the atrocities of the Marcos regime — ideal circumstances for the spread of disinformation, opponents say.

Several groups have sought to disqualify Mr. Marcos’s candidacy, pointing to a 1995 tax evasion conviction and the $3.9 billion in estate taxes that his family still owes the government. Mr. Marcos, 64, has brushed off the attacks as “fake news,” and refused to participate in nearly all presidential debates. (Sound familiar?)

At a rally in Las Piñas, Ella Mae Alipao, 15, said that she got most of her news about Mr. Marcos from TikTok and Facebook, and that she did not “believe much in books.” After Mr. Marcos’s father was ousted, Ms. Alipao said, “the Filipinos found out how good he was; that’s when they realized that they should have made him president for a longer time.”

Mr. Marcos has made similar comments: “I’m not going to vindicate my father’s name because his name doesn’t need vindication,” he said in 1995. “I am so confident that history will judge him well.”

The current dictator calling himself ‘president’ is Rodrigo Duterte, a cruel person who has been linked to more than 1,400 ‘extrajudicial’ killings, as well as many other acts against humanitarian values.  That young lady’s statement above speaks volumes, shows us what happens when true history is withheld or whitewashed.  Are we headed down that same path?

A Spectre to be Exorcised (Communal Violence)

Once again, as he does so well, Roger is making us think, ponder, question. I find that our friends across the pond sometimes see our situation more clearly than we can … that old maxim about “can’t see the forest for the trees” I suppose. Roger is a history buff, and has a talent for applying the lessons of history to current day situations. Where is our nation to go from this point? Take a look and see. Anyway, thank you Roger for your thought-provoking words!

The World As It Is. Not As It Should Be

Foreword

This post has to be long. Histories have to be considered. Social tides and trends examined. That most troublesome of all factors Human Nature faced. It is hoped you find this grim reading, but not sensationalist. This is a precursor for you to discuss in your homes, your blogs, your meeting places. These words are based on histories of communal violence throughout the world. Including the USA. I have tried to be apolitical, most of the time. It is not always possible. Blame has to be laid in places.

Introduction

The present view that so politically polarised the USA has become, a civil war could take place has moved from blog site discussion onto the mainstream where more sober assessments are. For example:

Brookings in the following assessment of September 2021 concluded there was a sizeable proportion of the USA population who were of this mindset:

Is the US…

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I Thought We Were Better …

In countries like Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and many others, one man or group of men (it’s always men, never women) control the people, their actions & behaviours.  But in a democracy, a true democracy, it is the voice of the majority that determines the laws of the land.  The United States was founded as a Democratic Republic, which is somewhat different than a pure democracy.  In a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected. In a democratic republic, laws are made by representatives chosen by the people and must comply with a constitution that specifically protects the rights of the minority as well as those of the majority.

Today in the United States, it is the will of the minority that is trampling all over the rights of the majority.  The majority of people (60%) in the U.S. are for stricter gun regulations, yet there is no movement in this direction.  The majority of people (54%, with only 28% wishing to overturn it, with 18% who don’t care one way or the other) are in favour of maintaining Roe v Wade, supporting women’s rights, yet the Supreme Court is fully poised to overturn Roe.  The majority of the people (66%) in this country support Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ program to help people who were financially affected by the pandemic, yet Congress trashed it.  70% of all voters were in support of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act last year, yet Congress also trashed both of those.  So … we can only conclude that the minority is dominating the majority and that is NOT in keeping with ANY form of democratic principles!

A few weeks ago, I reblogged Brosephus’ post titled America Is Dead.  At the time, I qualified my view of it, saying that I still had hope for this nation to rebound and that I would continue fighting with renewed resolve to restore the rights and will of the people – the majority of the people.  But yet again, I am discouraged, for it seems that the people in this nation today are so divided that there is no longer a UNITED States of America, but that we should change the name to the DIVIDED States of America.  In truth, it is almost as if there are two completely separate sub-species of humans living here.  We laud Abraham Lincoln for ending the Civil War, for bringing the nation back under one umbrella, but today we are as divided as we were in the 19th century.

Our friend Keith, who is among the most reasonable men I know, suggests we do more to open the lines of communications between the two sides, initiating dialogue, calmly asking those with opinions different from our own why they think as they do, and finding common ground, areas where we can compromise.  I agree with Keith’s premise, but is there so much as a square inch of common ground remaining these days?  It seems to me that the common ground was the first casualty of the great divide.  My concern is that there will be many more casualties of that great divide in the future.

Every day it seems that more and more schools and communities are banning certain books, even classics such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, or To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  WHY?  I first heard the claim that such books made white children ‘feel bad’ about how Blacks were treated back in the day, but of late, it is said that the books are being banned because they make Black children feel bad about themselves.  Either one is naught but an excuse for the reality which is that white supremacists do not want the next generation to be taught about the racism that has been a part of this country since before its founding.  Do they honestly think the children won’t learn about it anyway?  Isn’t it far better to have a compassionate teacher explain what happened, why it was wrong, and how we have worked throughout the past century to rectify it?  How can you simply cut a piece of history out of the history books?  How will they explain what Dr. Martin Luther King, John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Malcom X and others were fighting for when those who are children today reach high school and college?  So, I argue that books cannot be banned in schools and libraries, except perhaps books like Fifty Shades of Grey.

But my voice is not heard, more books are being banned daily, and if I were independently wealthy, I would mail a copy of Maus by Art Spiegelman to every child under the age of 12 in the nation.  Maus is a nonfiction graphic novel that depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, yet the book is banned in a number of places.  Are we also, in addition to trying to erase our racist past, trying to erase the Holocaust, or anti-Semitism, or even World War II???  Are people really so narrow-minded that they believe our children won’t learn these things, one way or another.  And even more to the point, do they seek a return to those things such as extreme racial hatred, anti-Semitism, and violence against any who don’t fit into their own views?  For that is exactly where we are headed if we hide the reality of the past from the next generation.  It’s almost as if some have looked at the steps forward of the past 50-70 years and decided it was too much, that they wanted a ‘reset’ button to take them … take us all … back to the 1950s, the days of Happy Days television show, the days of segregated diners, segregated schools, and school prayer forced upon every child.

America’s claim to fame has been that it was a nation of immigrants, a diverse nation, but today it seems we want to erase that, to become a homogeneous country where everyone thinks, looks, and acts exactly the same.  How terrible, how boring, and how surreal that would be.

Those who wish for more, rather than fewer civil rights, who wish to keep Roe, Obergefell, Brown, and other Court rulings that have given rights to those who were once without, are not trying to force their way on others.  For example, and I’ve said this many times, if you don’t believe that abortion is right, then you are free not to have an abortion!  If you do not like same-sex marriage, then marry someone of the opposite sex!  Nobody, but nobody is forcing anyone to have an abortion or marry someone of their same gender.  But it is those with narrow minds and shallow views who would force the rest of us into their very small, dark box.  I don’t wish to live in that small, dark, terrible box, nor would I wish it on anyone else.

I thought we were better than this.  Obviously, I was wrong.

Happy Mother’s Day … With Humour!

Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S.  I bet you can’t tell me the name of the person who is credited with the idea for a national holiday recognizing mothers?  Well, although Julia Ward Howe inspired the first movement toward a national observance during the Civil War, her idea didn’t quite catch on – perhaps the nation was still reeling from the divisive war, casualties, deprivations and didn’t feel like celebrating anything, even their mothers!  But a half-century later, in 1905, Anna Jarvis successfully introduced the idea for a national holiday recognizing mothers.  The first observance of Mother’s Day came on May 10th, 1908, at Jarvis’ church in Grafton, West Virginia.  By 1911, the celebration was observed in most states until on May 9th, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2020 there were some 85 million mothers in the U.S., and in 2022 it is estimated that $31.7 billion were spent on gifts, flowers, and cards to celebrate mothers.  🙄 Leave it to the marketing industry to convince people they must spend, spend, spend, when a simple hug and an “I love you, Mom” would have sufficed.

But wait … there’s more to the story!  Jarvis’ idea was for a small, intimate occasion—a son or daughter honoring the mother they knew and loved—and not a celebration of all mothers.  But, as people are wont to do, they grabbed the proverbial ball and ran with it, turning it into a multi-billion dollar commercialized fiasco each year.  Anna Jarvis soon became disgusted as Mother’s Day almost immediately became centered on the buying and giving of printed cards, flowers, candies and other gifts.

Seeking to regain control of the holiday she founded, Jarvis began openly campaigning against those who profited from Mother’s Day, including confectioners, florists and other retailers. She launched numerous lawsuits against groups using the name Mother’s Day, and eventually spent much of her sizable inheritance on legal fees.

In 1925, when an organization called the American War Mothers used Mother’s Day as an occasion for fundraising and selling carnations, Jarvis crashed their convention in Philadelphia and was arrested for disturbing the peace. Later, she even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day as an occasion to raise money for charity. By the 1940s, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the calendar.

Her efforts were to no avail, however, as Mother’s Day had taken on a life of its own as a commercial goldmine. Largely destitute, and unable to profit from the massively successful holiday she founded, Jarvis died in 1948 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.

In total, Mother’s Day spending exceeds $20 billion each year, according to the National Retail Foundation. In addition to the more traditional gifts (ranging from cards, flowers and candy to clothing and jewelry), one survey showed that an unprecedented 14.1 percent of gift-givers plan to buy their moms high-tech gadgets like smartphones and tablets. (Some people have more money than they have good sense, eh?)

On a personal note, I made a huge screw-up this year 😖, but I cannot tell you about it just yet, for it involves my gift to my daughter (because she is the mum now, and the best one I know!) and she sometimes reads my blog posts, but I’ll tell you later. 🙄

At any rate, to all the mothers reading this post, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!  And now … the ‘toonists get to have their say about the day …

Serious-minded people

Truth. One of the first casualties of war in politics. Truth and honesty — major components of integrity. We the People deserve the truth, but since our vote matters to the politicos far more than our lives matter, truth in politics has become a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded. Our friend Keith sums it up well … truth matters.

musingsofanoldfart

Let me start out with the following firm belief of mine. I wish others who think winning at any cost gives politicians a free pass, would heed this belief of mine. I am not in favor of name calling, but I would say if people in or running for office want to be taken seriously, they need to be serious-minded with their comments. Saying obvious untrue things is not a step down that path.Full stop.

I am not naive enough to think politicians will stop lying altogether. To get elected, they will continue to overstate or even invent their role when good things happen and understate or blame the other side when bad things happen. And, if things aren’t too bad, many will even tell you it is bad to drum up fear. If things aren’t good enough, they will search for ways to make them even better sounding.

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A Question of Inevitability?

Our friend Roger has started a new blog! This one is a bit different than his others, for its purpose is to connect history to our political world today, to discuss in-depth topics that delve into issues of human nature. His first post is about a topic he and I have ‘agreed to disagree’ on, and we do so without rancor, without angst, but simply as two adults who value our friendship. Take a look for yourself, and let Roger (and me) know your thoughts on this somewhat divisive topic! Thank you, Sir Roger!!! 😊

The World As It Is. Not As It Should Be

These posts will be long. For the simple reason nothing in the history of Humanity can be wrapped up in one simple line. And monumental events should never be subjected to this approach.

Synopsis

Politics, History and in particular Military history have been interests of mine for most of my life. Despite the dislike many folk have for the first and third of these, they have been and are likely to be for a long time fixtures in The Human Condition. And the interactions which lead up to events are complex, with long histories of Cause & Effect. For instance, it would not be flippant to suggest that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary of the 28th June 1914 led by a long route to the dropping of the Atom Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th August 1945 and 9th August 1945 respectively. It would be possible…

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