Profit Over People — The “American” Way

Sure, go ahead, blame President Biden.  Blame George W. Bush, blame President Obama, blame the former guy … there’s plenty of blame to spread around.  Blame the military advisors who advised Bush and Obama (the former guy took advise from nobody, believing he actually had a functional brain).  Blame your Aunt Mabel for all I care.  The bottom line is that there was only one winner in the entire U.S.-Afghanistan fiasco:  private military contractors.

If you purchased $10,000 of stock evenly divided among America’s top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001 — the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295.  Not a bad return on investment, eh?  Defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the Afghanistan War.  Those top five biggest defense contractors?

  • Boeing – $8.2 billion profit in 2017
  • Lockheed Martin – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Raytheon – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Northrop Grumman – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • General Dynamics – $2.9 billion profit in 2017

People’s lives don’t really matter to the CEOs of these companies whose eyes only light up when they see $$$$$$$$$$.  Not Afghani lives, not U.S. or British lives, only profit matters.

It is right and proper that we leave Afghanistan – we never should have gone there in the first place and for damn sure shouldn’t have stayed 20 years, but … all those lovely profits!  How the withdrawal came about and how it was transacted will be questioned for many hears henceforth and fingers will be pointed, blame will be dispersed, and at the end of the day, nothing will have changed.  The U.S. will not have learned a lesson from this, but will continue to display its extreme arrogance in believing that they have all the best solutions and eventually, perhaps sooner than later, there will be another Afghanistan.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing every single defense contractor in bankruptcy by the end of next year and the U.S. defense budget for new military hardware reduced to zero.  I would far rather my tax dollars be spent helping people with such things as education, food, shelter, job training, than spent on killing machines.  However, mine is a humanitarian viewpoint, or one of a snowflake liberal as I’m often told, who cares more about people and animals than I care about profit and power.

Jolly Monday-Tuesday!

Well, good Tuesday morning, my friends!  Come in out of the heat … early morning and already it’s sweltering out there.  So tell me, did you have a wonderful weekend?  Mine?  Meh.  Next weekend will be better, though … I’ll have my energy back and will be ready to run a marathon!  Or at least walk up the street and back.  Joyful has laid out a nice spread this morning, so let’s go see what’s on the feasting table, then we’ll find some things to start this week with a chuckle, a smile, or maybe even a laugh!


Jolly is chomping at the bit to show you the cartoons he picked out, so let’s start there …


I came across a host of humorous signs in my internet travels this past weekend that I think might give you a chuckle …


I also found something that made my jaw drop and I think it will yours, too …


And now, we’re sorry this is a bit shorter than some weeks, but as you can see, we’re running a bit behind here!  So, this animal video is a bit different … I knew absolutely nothing about the sand cat until coming across this video.


And now, sad to say, our time has come to an end for today.  But we’ll be back next week, hopefully on time and in better form!  Remember, my friends, to share those precious smiles … they are worth more than gold.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

The Return Of Snarky!

Snippets, Snippets, have I ever got snippets today!  My body may be feeble, but there’s nothing wrong with my mind!


Today, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval for the Pfizer vaccine against COVID.  This does a number of things.

First, it removes the excuse the anti-vaxxers have been using for not getting the vaccine.  They said, “not without full FDA approval!”  Well, folks, now you’ve got that, so get your fat asses out there and get vaccinated … TODAY!

My granddaughter, astute for her young years, said, “I bet now they’ll say it was too fast.”  And lo and behold, just an hour after she said that I read this headline …

Goalposts Moved: Fox News is Now Complaining That FDA Rushed the Vaccine Approval Process

And if Fox says it, you know the nudniks will believe it.

Second, it allowed the Pentagon today to announce it is making the vaccine mandatory for its 1.3 million active-duty service members.  Bravo!!!

The time for argument and delay is past.  This was the last possible hurdle.  Now it’s time to think of others, put petty whining aside just for once, and do the right thing.  If a large portion of the population continue to resist, then I vote we build something akin to leper colonies and house them there until the threat has passed.


In just a few hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo will fade into oblivion … we hope.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will take her oath of office at one minute after midnight.  I detest the confrontational attitude that Cuomo has adopted in his last weeks in office, for he is only paying the price for his own actions – nobody forced him to sexually harass women.

That said, all people are some combination of good and bad … well, most people anyway.  While Cuomo’s current crimes must be remembered, must serve as a warning to future politicos, he has also done much good during his decade in office and I think that should be remembered as well.  It is a part of his legacy, just as is his sexual misconduct.  When Pete Rose was banned from baseball for betting on the sport, I thought that right and proper, but when he was denied a well-earned place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, I thought that was wrong.  In the same way, I think it is right for Cuomo to step down, but that it would be wrong to paint Cuomo with only a single, dark brush.

Remember the good as well as the bad and take a lesson from both.


When I was trying to catch up on the news earlier today, I felt as if there were a conspiracy to direct our attention in so many directions that no single news item would stand out, would capture our full attention.  Afghanistan, of course, is at the forefront of our minds, as it should be.  Climate change and the terrible climate-related disasters happening all over the globe – floods, hurricanes, droughts, water shortages, wildfires – are critical to our future on this planet.  Getting vaccines into stubborn mules and masks onto their faces seems a never-ending struggle and is critical, for failure to do so affects the health and well-being of every man, woman and child on earth.  But what seems to have fallen through the cracks may be, at least for the people of the United States, the most important issue of them all:  voting rights.

The U.S. Senate under the minority leadership of the ignoble Kevin McCarthy is somehow determined to draw our attention away from the bills S1 and S4 so that, with our attention elsewhere, they can sweep them under the rug and wash their hands of our voting rights.

Interestingly, Maria Bartiromo of Fox ‘News’ interviewed McCarthy the other day and she surprised me.  Here’s a brief snippet from that interview …

Bartiromo:  “You a moment ago mentioned the HR 1 voting bill. I’ve got to tell you there are viewers of this program who have lost faith in the Republican Party leadership, lost faith in Mitch McConnell and in you because we do not know if you have your arms around free and fair elections.  How come there’s no discussion about all of the states that are changing their voting laws right now?  How come there’s no discussion about the audit going on in Arizona right now? What are you going to do? Can you prove to the American people that you are in control here and able to ensure that we will have free and fair elections in 2022 and 2024?”

McCarthy:  “We’re fighting every single day. Now we’re watching Democrats trying to cheat within elections, inflation at a number we have not seen. This is Jimmy Carter on steroids. And this is just eight months into this administration.  We will fight and we will win and the next century will be the American century because we know how to govern.”

That is a non-answer if ever I heard one!  He did not even begin to answer the question, not even to address the fact that some Fox viewers, according to Bartiromo, have lost faith in the Republican Party leadership, but used his answer as yet another opportunity to criticize the Democratic Party!  Get off your fat ass, McCarthy, and do your job!  We the People want the For the People Act (S1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (S4) passed and we want it done before the end of this year!!!

Folks … this one is top priority, even though it seems to have faded out of view in light of the chaos of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal.  Let’s keep it hot, okay?  We cannot allow our politicians to simply shrug their shoulders and let these two all-important bills die in the Senate.  Once again, I’m asking you, contact your Senators and let them know you have not forgotten … you will not forget.

Pride and Shame.

Our friend David has written a short piece that needs no introduction and that, if you are human, will bring a lump to your throat. Thank you, David.

The BUTHIDARS

Many times in my life I’ve been proud of my country. Proud to say I’m from the UK A few times I’ve felt great shame. Today is one of those days where if asked where I’m from, I shall say Wales and hope many people don’t know where that is. For the last few days amid the turmoil that is Kabul, following the departure of the President and the melting away of Afghanistan’s army, I have been watching scenes of Afghanis employed by the various occupying armies trying to get aboard aircraft and head for safety before the Taliban arrived.

President Trump agreed a handover to the Taliban though it’s fallen to Joe Biden to achieve it as peacefully as possible. It’s also been the responsibility of each of the occupying forces to evacuate their men and civilians who have been usdeful to them. The Taliban arrived early and panic…

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The Media and GOP Revel in Botched Afghan Withdrawal

I’m already sick and damn tired of the media and the radical right blaming President Biden for what is happening in Afghanistan. Their own last two presidents are more culpable than Biden … G.W. Bush made the wrong decision to put boots on the ground there in 2001, and the former guy actually played footsies with the Taliban! Put the blame where it belongs if you must ‘blame’ someone. Our friend Jeff has written a post that precisely reflects my own thoughts. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

The daggers are out – sharpened the past seven months by a media devoid of drama, intrigue, lies, and other wrongdoing they’d grown accustomed to the previous four years. The GOP, eager to pounce, now has some chaos they can hang on President Joe Biden.

Why does it seem that certain people seem to be rooting for failure? Because they are. It’s pretty simple. The media and the GOP have specific reasons for loving every minute of the botched exit from Afghanistan.

We’ve heard, anecdotally, that certain media members haven’t been too happy in recent months. They long for those days when all you had to do was head to Twitter early in the morning to find out what crazy mutterings the disgraced former president was typing into his phone. Ah, there’s my story for today! Oh wait, it’s mid-afternoon, and now he’s gone completely off the rails!

Those were…

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Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

I wrote last week regarding my concerns over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, my fear that the Afghani people will be subjected to harsh treatment by cruel, evil men who respect none, and the concern that the Taliban, once back in power, will retaliate once again against the U.S.  Our friend Quentin at We the Commoners blog has written an excellent analysis of the situation as it stands today.  Thank you, Quentin … great work, as always!


Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

By Quentin Choy

The scenes in Afghanistan are chilling. As the Taliban slowly conquered regions over the last few weeks, their march on Kabul was imminent.

President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was the correct decision in the long-term, but the devastating short-term consequences we are seeing are haunting.

Following two decades of war in Afghanistan, the U.S is ending the longest war in its history with very little to show for it.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.”

President Joe Biden

Read the rest of Quentin’s post here

Filosofa’s Thoughts …

I haven’t opined on President Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan because I have very mixed thoughts on the subject.  Our presence in Afghanistan for these past two decades has been very costly, both in terms of money and lives.  However … there has never been any doubt that once U.S. troops left, the Taliban would move in swiftly.  We just didn’t realize, I think, how swiftly.

Now, I know this isn’t a topic that is near and dear to most of you at the moment, as we are dealing with our own crises on multiple fronts at the moment:  the pandemic, political chaos, devastating wildfires, racism, and much more.  However, what happens once we leave Afghanistan IS important to us for, I believe, a number of reasons, not the least of which is humanitarianism.

Displaced people in Afghanistan in a makeshift camp

The Taliban has moved in much more quickly than most foreign policy experts expected, and it is now estimated that they control 65% of the country.  A new U.S. military assessment says the national capital, Kabul, could fall to the Taliban in as quickly as a month.  Why should you care?  Two major reasons:

  • The Taliban are brutal terrorists. Already, tens of thousands of ordinary Afghans have had to flee their homes and- hundreds have been killed or injured in recent weeks.  The Taliban are misogynists who will brutalize women.  Their form of justice … well, let me give you an example straight from the horse’s mouth:
    • “In our Sharia it’s clear, for those who have sex and are unmarried, whether it’s a girl or a boy, the punishment is 100 lashes in public. But for anyone who’s married, they have to be stoned to death… For those who steal: if it’s proved, then his hand should be cut off.” – the words of Taliban Judge Haji Badruddin

We claim to be a humanitarian society, to care about people.  Can we care less, or not care at all, simply because the people being brutalized are half a globe away, have different beliefs, and a different skin tone?

  • The second reason you should care is simple. I want you to close your eyes and remember where you were at around 9:00 a.m. on the 11th of September, twenty years ago.  What happened that day was perpetrated by al-Qaeda, who were taught and backed by none other than the Taliban.  It was, in many ways, their hatred for the United States, it was in part retaliation for us spreading our western ways to their very closed society.

Think it can’t happen again?  Oh yes, it can, and my bet is that it will.  The Taliban has even more reason now to hate the U.S. than they had 20 years ago.  My best guess is they are already discussing and planning their revenge for the 20 years we have kept them out of power in Afghanistan.

Make no mistake, I support President Biden’s decision to pull our troops out of Afghanistan, for we could not stay there forever.  But rather my objection is with the timing and implementation.  I think it was done too quickly, rather like ripping the bandage off of a raw wound, and without thought for the future of the people of Afghanistan.  I think we are leaving a country of 39 million people vulnerable and in grave danger.  I do not pretend to be an expert or to know the best way to withdraw from Afghanistan, but I very much fear that the way we have gone about it will have unintended consequences for the people of Afghanistan and ultimately for the people in the U.S.

Taliban members

I was disappointed yesterday to hear President Biden say …

“I do not regret my decision. Afghan leaders have to come together. They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”

It seemed cold, calloused, unfeeling, uncaring for the fate of humans half a globe away.  Ultimately, he isn’t wrong … the bandage must come off, but there may be a safer way of removing it.

Jolly Monday — 138 Days ‘Til Christmas!

Good Monday morning, my friends … {yawn}.  Yes, you read that right … just 138 days, just over 1/3 of the year left until Christmas.  And I have yet to buy the first Christmas gift, don’t even have a tree yet!  HORRORS!!!!  Seriously, though, the stores are already filled with Hallowe’en stuff, more than two months before Hallowe’en, which may well be largely ignored this year in light of the pandemic.  Ah well, time marches on and doesn’t let such silly things as a pandemic stop it, yes?  Did you all have a wonderful weekend?  Mine was … meh.  Daughter Chris picked up dinner on Saturday from our favourite Chinese place, so that was nice, but otherwise I have been battling the doldrums and a headache that seems resistant to ibuprofen, so nothing too exciting here.  But, today is Monday, the start of a new week, and we should really start it with a smile, maybe even a chuckle or two, don’t you think?  Joyful has made some yummy-looking treats, so let’s hop over to the table and grab a bite, then on to some cartoons, memes, funny signs, and more!


Now that you’ve got something to munch on, let’s see what ‘toons Jolly has in store for us today …


And some of these signs are sure to bring a smile to your face …


I found a few bits of historic trivia over at Phil’s Phun this weekend that I thought you might enjoy …


And lastly, of course we simply must have a cute animal video to make our smiles just a bit wider, yes?  There is no way … NO WAY that you can watch this one and not smile!  And notice how the different species are playing together, snuggling, loving each other without prejudice …


And that’s another Jolly Monday down, my friends.  I hope you all have a great week … let’s keep our friends on the west coast in our hearts as some are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and even their lives to the wildfires that are raging there, as well as in Greece, Turkey, and other areas around the globe.  And remember, my friends, share those beautiful smiles you’re wearing right now … so many people don’t have much to smile about these days.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Revisionist History … Then And Now

There are so many critical issues happening in the country, in the world today, that it should be possible to write two posts a day without ever repeating myself.  But there are a few issues that take precedence over all else:  racism, voting rights, climate change, the corruption of certain legislators, and the assault on the very foundation of our country.  So, please forgive me if I seem to repeat these topics, for they simply cannot be allowed to fade into oblivion as some would like to see happen.

The events of January 6th are being lied about, Republicans are doing everything in their power to make the country forget that but for some very dedicated police officers, we might today be living in an autocratic state, the results of our vote last November having been cast to the wind.  Columnist Dana Milbank has written of the attempts to whitewash the event, comparing this to the Civil War which southerners tried to claim was not about slavery, but about states’ rights, and that the Confederates were the true ‘patriots’, in much the same way that some are calling the terrorists who attacked the Capitol ‘patriots’.  We must never forget what happened on that day, who instigated it, and what the goal of the attack was.  Mr. Milbank explains it far better than I can …


We can’t let the terrorists rewrite the history of Jan. 6

Opinion by

Dana Milbank

Columnist

History, the adage goes, is written by the victors.

Would that it were true.

In the Civil War, the U.S. Army, at a staggering human cost, eventually crushed the traitors who took up arms against their own country. But Lost Cause mythology rewrote the rebellion as a conflict over states’ rights, portrayed Confederates as gallant heroes fighting impossible odds, romanticized plantation life and sanitized slavery. The fictions, taught to generations of southerners, fueled Jim Crow and white supremacy.

In the retelling of Jan. 6, we see an echo of Lost Cause mythology. On that terrible day, terrorists took up arms against the United States, sacking the seat of the U.S. government in a deadly rampage. White supremacists marauded through the Capitol. It was a coup attempt, aimed at overturning the will of the people with brute force, encouraged by a defeated president and his allies. The Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police, badly outnumbered, ultimately prevailed in putting down the insurrection.

But now the losers are trying to rewrite the history of that day. The terrorists were “patriots.” Theirs was a “normal tourist visit.” They weren’t armed. They were “hugging and kissing” the police. A woman, shot as she breached the last barrier keeping elected representatives from the mob, was a martyr shot in cold blood. The Capitol Police were ill-trained. It was Nancy Pelosi’s fault.

The losers, again, are trying to write the history. They must not be allowed to succeed — for if they do, they will certainly try again to attack democracy.

President Biden joined the battle against the revisionists on Thursday as he presented the Congressional Gold Medal to the police who saved democracy on Jan. 6. “We cannot allow history to be rewritten,” he said.

In a speech honoring the heroism of the police, Biden, at one point brushing a tear from his eye, called the attackers what they were. “A mob of extremists and terrorists launched a violent and deadly assault on the People’s House and the sacred ritual to certify a free and fair election,” he said. “It was insurrection … It was unconstitutional. And maybe most important, it was fundamentally un-American.”

To that list of labels, Ty Seidule adds one more: “It was a lynch mob.”

Seidule is qualified to say so. A retired U.S. Army general, he taught history for two decades at West Point. Now at Hamilton College, he’s the author of “Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause,” a disembowelment of Lost Cause lies he learned in his own upbringing as a White southerner.

He told me of the disgust he felt when he saw a photo of an insurrectionist in the Capitol on Jan. 6 carrying the Confederate battle flag — “the Flag of Treason,” he calls it — past a portrait of Charles Sumner, the abolitionist senator nearly caned to death by Preston Brooks, a proslavery congressman from South Carolina. Seidule wanted to suit up in his old uniform and fight the Capitol terrorists. “The people who did that need to be in orange jumpsuits and shackles,” he said.

In his book, Seidule writes of the importance of words in defeating the Lost Cause lies. It wasn’t “Union” against “Confederate,” he argues. It was the “U.S. Army fighting … against a rebel force that would not accept the results of a democratic election and chose armed rebellion.” Confederate generals didn’t fight with “honor”; they abrogated “an oath sworn to God to defend the United States” and “killed more U.S. Army soldiers than any other enemy, ever.” It wasn’t “the War Between the States,” as Lost Cause mythology would have it; the Civil War was, properly, “The War of the Rebellion.” They weren’t “plantations” as glorified by Margaret Mitchell, but “enslaved labor farms.” Writes Seidule: “Accurate language can help us destroy the lies of the Lost Cause.”

So, too, can accurate language destroy the lies now being floated to justify Jan. 6.

These were not tourists. These were not patriots. They were terrorists, as D.C. police officer Daniel Hodges, savagely beaten on Jan. 6, labeled them in congressional testimony. They were armed — with rebar, poles, knives, bear spray, tasers and an untold number of firearms — and they were unspeakably violent in their attack on the duly elected government of the United States.

The revisionist history serves a purpose: Sanitizing sedition so the foes of democracy will be able to attack it again, but successfully. This is why those who still revere our democracy must answer the lies with the true stories of Jan. 6 — again and again. “We’re not going to let them win the narrative,” Seidule said. “History is too important.”

And Speaking of Voting Rights …

I had considered doing a Saturday Surprise post today, but … frankly, my heart wasn’t in it and my mind kept going back to an editorial I read yesterday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.  Perhaps there might be a Sunday Surprise tomorrow, but for today, please read AG Garland’s words, think about them, put them into the context of the post I wrote yesterday about Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964.  Then ask yourself … WHERE are we headed?  WHY should a person’s right to vote be infringed upon because of the colour of their skin?  And WHAT, if anything, can We the People do to stop this runaway train that will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, rob them of their voice in our country’s government?


Merrick Garland: It is time for Congress to act again to protect the right to vote

Opinion by Merrick B. Garland

Friday, 06 August 2021

Merrick B. Garland is attorney general of the United States.

Our society is shaped not only by the rights it declares but also by its willingness to protect and enforce those rights. Nowhere is this clearer than in the area of voting rights.

Fifty-six years ago Friday, the Voting Rights Act became law. At the signing ceremony, President Lyndon B. Johnson rightly called it “one of the most monumental laws in the entire history of American freedom.”

Prior attempts to protect voting rights informed his assessment. The 15th Amendment promised that no American citizen would be denied the right to vote on account of race. Yet for nearly a century following the amendment’s ratification, the right to vote remained illusory for far too many.

The Civil Rights Act of 1957 marked Congress’s first major civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. That law authorized the attorney general to sue to enjoin racially discriminatory denials of the right to vote. Although the Justice Department immediately put the law to use, it quickly learned that bringing case-by-case challenges was no match for systematic voter suppression.

Things would not have changed without the civil rights movement’s persistent call to action. By the time a 25-year-old John Lewis was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the Justice Department had been embroiled in voting rights litigation against the surrounding county for four years. Although the county had approximately 15,000 Black citizens of voting age, the number of Black registered voters had only risen from 156 to 383 during those years.

By 1965, it was clear that protecting the right to vote required stronger tools. The Voting Rights Act provided them. Central to the law was its “preclearance” provision, which prevented jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting practices from adopting new voting rules until they could show the Justice Department or a federal court that the change would have neither a racially discriminatory purpose nor a racially discriminatory result.

By any measure, the preclearance regime was enormously effective. While it was in place, the Justice Department blocked thousands of discriminatory voting changes that would have curtailed the voting rights of millions of citizens in jurisdictions large and small.

One thwarted change involved McComb, Miss. A large group of Black residents in the city had long voted at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, which was close to their homes on the east side of railroad tracks that run through the city. In 1997, the city tried to move that group’s assigned polling place to the American Legion Hut on the west side of the tracks. To cross those tracks, Black voters on the east side — many of whom lacked transportation — would have had to travel substantial distances to find a safe crossing. Recognizing that difficulty, the Justice Department blocked the change.

While the Voting Rights Act gave the Justice Department robust authority, it also imposed checks on that power. Jurisdictions had the option to go to federal court to show that their voting changes were lawful. This ensured fairness and accountability, but without the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness that existed prior to 1965. It was a balance that worked and received broad support: Congressional reauthorizations of the act were signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon in 1970, President Gerald Ford in 1975, President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and President George W. Bush in 2006.

That invaluable framework was upended in 2013, when the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder effectively eliminated the act’s preclearance protections. Without that authority, the Justice Department has been unable to stop discriminatory practices before they occur. Instead, the Justice Department has been left with costly, time-consuming tools that have many of the shortcomings that plagued federal law prior to 1965.

Notwithstanding these setbacks, the Justice Department is using all its current legal authorities to combat a new wave of restrictive voting laws. But if the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance provision were still operative, many of those laws would likely not have taken effect in the first place.

In a column published after his death, Lewis recalled an important lesson taught by Martin Luther King Jr.: “Each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.”

On this anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, we must say again that it is not right to erect barriers that make it harder for millions of eligible Americans to vote. And it is time for Congress to act again to protect that fundamental right.