Another Highly UNqualified Candidate!

When, somewhere in the early years of my political/constitutional education, I learned that there are virtually no requirements to run for and hold most public offices, such as president, senator, representative, I was appalled!  What?  No requirement that they even studied Constitutional Law, or have any combination of education/experience relevant to the job they seek?  The only requirements are related to age, citizenship, and domicile, not to whether they have the necessary knowledge to do the job!

We have seen the results of this oversight lately in such congressional newbies as Margie Greene, and Lauren Boebert.  Greene has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and her only career experience prior to winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives was as a gym owner and trainer.  Boebert dropped out of high school and her career consists of working at McDonald’s and later owning a restaurant called Shooters, where the wait staff all carry guns.  These two do not belong in Congress, but there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prevents it.  And now, we have on the horizon one who is equally unqualified and distasteful, a former athlete named Herschel Walker.

Herschel Walker did go to college, but it appears that his only goal was sports and to pursue a sports career, for he dropped out without graduating and went on to join the United States Football League, and later the NFL.  I gather he was a very good athlete, and I give him kudos for that, but … he has absolutely nothing that would qualify him for a seat in the United States Senate!  Yet that is exactly what he’s vying for, challenging the incumbent senator, Ralph Warnock, for his seat this November.  From everything I’ve read, Walker is an arrogant man, believing that playing football, having a black belt in taekwondo, and having competed in the Olympic bobsled competition somehow mean he should be voted into a senate seat.  This would be akin to me saying that I’m qualified to be the Queen of Poland because I can speak Spanish!  (For the record, they speak Polish, not Spanish, in Poland, and they don’t have a Queen)

Now, not only is Mr. Walker highly unqualified for the senate, but he should be disqualified for some of his antics.  He has been a staunch supporter of the Big Lie, even spreading numerous conspiracy theories about the election.  He also said of the January 6th attempted coup that it was a “well planned” distraction from election fraud.

But Mr. Walker does have one qualification that is requisite for today’s Republican Party, and that is that he is a consummate liar.  He falsely claimed that he had graduated from the University of Georgia, and in the top 1% of his class, when in fact he dropped out a year short of completion.  He has a history of exaggerating the number of people employed by his companies and the assets held by his companies, and the failure of several business enterprises led to creditors bringing lawsuits.  He has claimed that he was once a police officer for the Cobb County Police Department, and also that he was once an FBI agent.  Neither one is true.

He also seems to have a very short fuse.  In 2001, he took a gun to chase a man who was late delivering a car.  Also in 2001 his wife filed for divorce, claiming he had been “physically abusive and extremely threatening.”  She said that Walker pointed a pistol at her head and said, “I’m going to blow your f’ing brains out.” She also said he had used knives to threaten her.  In 2005, a restraining order was imposed on Walker regarding his wife, after her sister stated in an affidavit that Walker told her “unequivocally that he was going to shoot my sister Cindy and her boyfriend in the head.”

Now for the real kicker … Herschel Walker and Senator Ralph Warnock are tied neck-in-neck in the race for the U.S. Senate seat representing Georgia.  TIED!!!  Ralph Warnock is a good man by all accounts, an honest man, a man of integrity.  How can there be any question of who is best qualified?  But then, this is Georgia, the state that also sent us the QAnon supporter, conspiracy theorist Margie Greene.  🙄

C’mon, people … is this really the kind of crap you want sitting in our Senate, making the decisions that will affect the lives of every person in this country???  Surely even the Republicans cannot condone a person like this … can they?  Is this an example of the new Republican Party since they swore their oath of fealty to the former guy?  Conservative columnist Michael Gerson was spot on when he said that the GOP is a party in decay.  Herschel Walker is but one of the many examples that prove it.

A Toothless, Useless, Waste of Time

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

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


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

By Paul Waldman

Columnist

June 14, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday’s gone with the wind – a few more windy remarks

I think that sometimes when we can make our points with humour, they are more likely to be listened to and pondered. Our friend Keith has made a few points today with a bit of ‘windy’ humour and it makes for a fun post! Overall, Keith … like all of us … just doesn’t want to see our nation become “Dust in the Wind” 😉 Thank you, Keith, for a fun and at the same time thoughtful post.

musingsofanoldfart

Using one of my favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, “Tuesday’s gone” one more time, let me offer some more windy remarks. This is in deference to many politicians who tend to be big bags of wind with contrived and exaggerated truths.

  • I know everyone is anticipating the Roe v Wade impacting ruling from the Supreme Court, but another major ruling will affect jurisdiction over corporations, making it easier on these entities to cut corners. I have said before, the primary reason Republicans like conservative judges is not things like Roe v Wade, it is to help companies avoid having to be held liable for their misdeeds. Everything else is window-dressing to that primary purpose.

  • The Wizard of Oz-like actions of the most recent former president is underway to get people not to look behind the January 6 insurrection curtain. If they do, they will see a person pulling everyone’s levers to…

View original post 233 more words

The Capitol Police Gave Their All

Our friend Annie penned this beautiful poem that I thought deserved to be shared. It honours the Capitol Police who gave their all on that fateful day, and specifically Officer Caroline Edwards whose moving testimony last Thursday night brought a tear to many an eye. Thank you, Annie, for sharing your talents and this moving poem with us.

annieasksyou...

Image from Georgia Recorder(*)

In Honor of Caroline Edwards, Witness at the January 6th Committee’s First Public Hearing, and Her Colleagues

T he lovely, nails-tough cop described the
H ell raining down upon them.
E nduring torment, taunts, and trauma, they

C ontributed their very lives to save
A building, institution, lawmakers—all
P rey to a mob of fury-blinded
I nsurrectionists whose Chief insisted
T hat it was they who were in the right.
O nly now do we fully see the brilliant
L ight their heroism shone as trained thugs

P ressed against them,
O verwhelmed them.
L isten to her searing words:
“I t was carnage, it was
C haos…I wasn’t trained for warfare.”
E xcruciatingly, she detailed the horrors,

G raphically told of slipping in her fellows’ blood
A nd wiping clean their spray-pierced eyes til
V eils of spray descended on her own,
E xhausting…

View original post 68 more words

History Repeats Itself … If We Let It

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


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

Steve Phillips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/11

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


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

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

How the Mighty have Fallen

I thought I was finished for the day, but then I saw this moving post from our friend David. David lives in Wales, in the UK, and yet he quite often understands our situation here better than many of the people who call themselves ‘citizens’ and ‘patriots’. Thank you, David … fingers crossed that your hopes for this nation will soon be realized.

The BUTHIDARS

It’s been a week unlike any other in my lifetime(that I can recall).The House Select Committee on Jan 6th have been revealing some of the details of that fateful day and detailing some of the proofs they have of how events unfolded. What an ignoble enterprise it was with the collusion of American Senators and Representatives to bring down the lawful Government. What has sickened me apart from the inclusion of Racist groups as a deliberate act in the venture, so that those responsible can never disassociate themselves from the intent, is the lack of condemnation from much of the mainstream press. Do they really think the man on whose behalf this was done is such a Stalwart American Hero that his actions rate forgiveness?

They Don’t!!! A friend shared on her blog a letter she’s sent to her State representatives and Senators asking whether they meant the oath they…

View original post 299 more words

Open Letter To Four Elected Representatives

This is a letter that could well be sent to nearly every single Republican in Congress, but for today I am sending it to those who have a proven role in the events of January 6th:  Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks.  Note that I do not expect to receive answers to this letter, and I imagine that if they even bother to read my words, they will scoff or laugh.  But I needed to tell them my thoughts, to let them know that there is still a standard for those who represent … or pretend to represent us.


Dear Sir,

I have a couple of questions to ask, and I hope that, whether you respond directly to me or not, you will think long and hard about your answers.  First, do you remember the words you said as you swore an oath and began your position on January 3rd, 2021?  If you cannot remember, please read them again and this time think about what you are saying.

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

The second question is, to whom do you feel you owe your loyalty and dedication?  The Republican Party?  Donald Trump?  The corporations that donate money to your campaign?  Or the hard-working people in your district and throughout the nation who gave you this opportunity to serve your country and who go to work every day to earn money, to pay their taxes that pay for your salary, benefits, and perks?

I and every other thoughtful, concerned citizen in this nation would like sincere and honest answers to those questions.  It often appears, especially given your role in attempting to overthrow our votes, overthrow the entire government on January 6th, 2021, that you are self-serving, that when you took that Oath of Office, you were just mouthing words that had no meaning to you, that you never intended to abide by.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to think … really think … about your position in the government and how everything you do affects some 330 million people.  Ask yourself if you are worthy of your position, if you are honest and trustworthy, if you are dedicated to maintaining the United States Constitution and the democratic principles outlined therein.  We the People have entrusted you with our lives, the futures of our children and grandchildren.  If you betray our trust, then you should for once do the honourable thing and step down, let someone who will work for the nation and its people take your place.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, U.S. citizen, taxpayer, voter

January 6th Hearings And A Snippet

I mostly want to talk a bit about last night’s televised hearings, but also have another snippet … or maybe two … who knows?  🤷


January 6th Committee hearings

I watched the televised hearings of the January 6th committee tonight, and I have to tell you, by the time they took a 10-minute recess after the first hour, I was more than ready for a break!  I was shaking and couldn’t catch my breath after watching some of that footage.  I’ve never wanted to hurt somebody more in my life than I wanted to hurt those ugly people storming the Capitol.

The hearing was interesting … nay, fascinating … but not much new information has been presented as yet.  Still, watching the first-hand account by the police officer, Caroline Edwards, who was wounded, knocked unconscious, then resumed her duties to protect the Capitol upon regaining consciousness, only to be injured yet again, was riveting.  She did not cry as she described the ‘carnage’ and ‘chaos’, but I wanted to cry for her.

Initially, the investigation was going to be held by an independent, non-partisan group of people similar to the 9/11 Commission, but the Republicans, namely Kevin McCarthy, protested that they wanted a partisan, congressional committee.  Presumably, he thought this would give him and his minions a degree of control over what information was sought and revealed. His attempt to put two Republican members of Congress on the committee who were to some extent involved in the events of that day, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, proved his intent, and since then he has made no secret of the fact that if he gets the opportunity after the November elections, he will shut down the committee and destroy its work.  Too late, Kev … we’re seeing it and we cannot … will not unsee it.

That said, I think a non-congressional, non-partisan investigative body would have been a better solution because the Republicans already have and will continue to claim that it’s a “witch hunt” to “get Donald Trump” by “people who don’t like him.”  With a non-congressional, non-partisan committee, it would have been much more difficult for them to make that claim and be believed.  Then again, their followers will believe almost anything, as we saw from the various testimonies tonight by people who honestly (or so they say) believed that Trump had told them to come do their dirty deeds that day.

However, McCarthy forced the hand of Nancy Pelosi and I think she put together a great committee.  Sadly, the two Republicans who voluntarily joined, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, have been bullied and harassed by their peers in the Republican Party.  Ms. Cheney is holding her own, but Mr. Kinzinger announced early on that he will not run for re-election in November.

Just from what we saw tonight, it appears the committee has done good work, despite the fact that numerous people they needed to talk to have foolishly ignored their subpoenas or refused to answer questions, invoking their 5th Amendment right not to incriminate themselves … meaning, of course, that they are guilty to a greater or lesser extent.  The committee is still gathering information, crossing their ‘t’s and dotting their ‘i’s, and their report will live on far past their tenure in Congress.  I hope … I am sure … that there are numerous copies of the entirety of their work stored in secure locations away from the Capitol just in case some disaster should befall the Capitol.


A seditionist for Governor of Michigan???

Ryan Kelley is … or was … running on the Republican ticket for Governor of Michigan, hoping to unseat Gretchen Whitmer.  His campaign may have just sounded the death knell, though, as on Thursday morning, Mr. Kelley was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for his role in the January 6th insurrection/attempted coup.  Kelley is charged with committing violence against a person or property on restricted grounds, damaging federal property, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building or grounds without permission.  All four charges are misdemeanors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office … which I do not understand.  How can these be only misdemeanors?  Violence against a person?  A misdemeanor???  WHY???

Kelley was released after appearing briefly in federal court and was not even required to post bail!  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.  The evidence is incontrovertible that Kelley was at the Capitol on January 6th 2021, but some are already claiming that his arrest was an attempt by the FBI to undermine his campaign for governor.  I said a minute ago that this could be the death knell for his campaign, but on the other hand, seeing how the Republican mentality works, this might just give his campaign a surge!  The nastier they are, the better the Republicans like them.

I Am Woke. You Should Be Too.

I found this post by Diane Ravitch last week and meant to re-blog it then, but … well, you all know how short my memory is! Anyway, like Diane, I am WOKE and wish more people were! Thank you, Diane, for this inspiring post!

Diane Ravitch's blog

I am tired of rightwing politicians distorting our language to suit their bigoted ideology.

They have the nerve, for example, to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he spoke at the March on Washington in 1963 and said he hoped for the day when his children would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Dr. King was projecting a vision of a world without racism, when people would see each other as friends, neighbors, and fellow human beings.

But rightwing politicians twist his words to insist that we should ignore racism right now, stop teaching about it, and pretend it does not exist. They use his words to justify prohibitions on teaching about or discussing the racism in the here and now. They use his appeal for an unrealized future to blind us to a cruel present.

I propose that we make…

View original post 1,258 more words