From Inside The Bouncing Mind …

I find myself with an excess of angst these days … more than at any other time in my 70 years on this planet.  Yes, much of it is centered around the infamy of Republicans in Congress, but I’m also finding that a relatively large portion of the average Joes in the nation are also angst-inducing.  Some 65 million people are still unvaccinated!  WHO gave them permission to endanger the lives of the rest of us???  I still think we should ship them all off to some island similar to a leper colony until they either die out or decide to do the right thing!  Anyway, here are a few of the issues that are making my poor wee brain bounce around inside my head …


Winner take all … including the bigotry

I haven’t watched Jeopardy in years because I simply don’t watch television … at all.  I do watch one show … Coronation Street, a British soap opera that my daughter got me hooked on a few years ago, but beyond that, I don’t watch television.  Back in the day, however, I was a fan of Jeopardy, though I only came up with the right answers about 50% of the time, not nearly enough to make me think I had what it takes to become a contestant on the show.

Amy Schneider, however, obviously DOES have what it takes, for she recently became the first woman in the history of Jeopardy to win the most consecutive regular season episodes!  Hats off to Ms. Schneider!  Oh, but wait … the bigots of the nation had to speak out against Ms. Schneider because … she is two of the three things they hate the most … a woman and a transgender woman at that.  Imagine if she were Black on top of all else!  On Twitter, transphobic users claimed that transgender women are naturally better at trivia games than cisgender women, so Schneider’s wins aren’t meaningful.  BULLSHIT!  Frankly, I know some straight men who couldn’t compete successfully on any quiz show where education and intelligence are required.

This is just one case of the bigotry that defines an unfortunately large portion of the population in this nation.  What a sad … nay, tragic … state we are in when some people consider themselves more valuable than others because of their skin colour, gender, religion, gender identity, or other so-called criteria.  Wouldn’t you think humans would have learned to be more … human … after centuries of living in communities, living and working side-by-side with people of every race and gender?  Apparently, some people never learn to be human.


Voting Rights???  Did somebody say voting rights?

Two landmark bills have been stalled in the Senate for months: The Freedom to Vote Act would standardize voter ID laws and permanently allow voting by mail, ban partisan gerrymandering, and set national standards for elections. The John Lewis Voting Rights Act would reestablish the Voting Rights Act, which was weakened by two Supreme Court decisions in the past decade, by specifically reinstating antidiscrimination protections for voters.  A no-brainer, right?  Well … yeah, unless you’re a Republican.  Not a single Republican senator is willing to vote to pass these two much-needed laws … not a single one!  I’m sick and damn tired of paying taxes to support these assholes who are trying to take away our right to have a voice in our government!!!

What does this say about the Republicans in Congress?  It says they are a bunch of incompetent cowards, that’s what!  They are scared to death that if every eligible person can actually vote, they won’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the next election.  And why, you might ask, can they only win if people of colour, young people, poor people cannot vote?  Because those of us who have a brain and remember how to use it understand that they have NOT been doing their job, that they are no more qualified for a seat in our legislative body than my cat is!

Surely there are at least some Republicans in Congress who know that the right to vote is not to be taken lightly, is guaranteed to each and every one of us.  Surely there are at least a few who understand that their refusal to pass these two very important bills is WRONG!  But, it seems their loyalty to the Republican Party ranks higher in their mind than the oath of office they took. In my book, it is tantamount to treason against We the People!


Guilty!!!

Y’know, folks, if I were to be issued a summons or a subpoena to appear in court, to testify under oath, and if I were to ignore that summons or subpoena, or worse yet openly defy it, it would be only a matter of hours before I would be sitting in a jail cell.  The same can be said for all of you … it is against the law to ignore or defy a subpoena.  Full stop.  So … can somebody please ‘splain to me why people like Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy, Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and others are still walking around free, not wearing orange jumpsuits and not looking out from behind a set of iron bars?  I thought that in this nation, the laws applied to everyone, even those elected officials whose salaries we work our patooties off to pay?  I thought that there was … what’s that called … “Equal justice for all”?

WHY are these jerks getting by with willfully interfering with a committee that is investigating an event that caused death and damn near caused the downfall of this nation’s foundation?  Obviously, each one who has defied or ignored a subpoena from the committee is guilty of having a distinct role in the attempted coup, for if they had nothing to hide, they would be more than willing to tell what they know … under oath.  In my book, refusal to even testify is an admission of guilt.  They walk among us … and they shouldn’t … they have no right to.

Your Opinions

A few nights ago, our friend David suggested I do a post asking for readers’ opinions on the most current issues and I thought it was a great idea, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Meanwhile, David himself posted a ‘questions’ post that asks six very pertinent questions. I couldn’t have done better, so I am sharing his. David has had some problems with his blog lately and unfortunately, there is no room for comments on his, so I will be asking him to check out comments here and respond where he feels so inclined. Thank you, David, for these thought-provoking questions.

The BUTHIDARS

Before we start, if you are a confirmed Republican who sees no problems confronting your Country at the moment and feels that everything is as it should be with the reduction in voting rights within the states adopting them, and that the Investigation into Jan 6th is wrong, there’s no point in starting an argument with me as you won’t change my views. If you have any constructive suggestions as to how things could change to benefit the United States We want too hear them. Please include any opinions on the current status of gun control too if you have them.

1.Are the current State Changes to voting legislation fair to all? If not, what is wrong with them and how can they be changed to ensure fairness?

2.Why will Republicans not bring forward and vote for the new Bills on Voting Rights, waiting in the wings.

3. Do You…

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Mid-Terms 2022 — Vote Him OUT!!!

Madison Cawthorn is one of the sleaziest Republicans in the House of Representatives, though he does have a lot of competition for that title.  At only 26 years of age, he is the youngest member of Congress, and also among the cockiest.  I have an ever-growing list of those members of Congress who deserve to be ousted, who are not interested in the success of the nation and its people, but only their own quest for power and money, and Mr. Cawthorn is near the top of the list.

Cawthorn is known for indulging in conspiracy theories and for his incendiary rhetoric, but not noted for hard work or seriousness of purpose when it comes to legislating.  He has said he intends to use his position to be a messenger rather than a legislator, writing to his colleagues, “I have built my staff around comms rather than legislation.”  Funny, I thought his job as a member of the House of Representatives was to legislate.

It is his rhetoric that may keep him from returning to Congress next year, however, for he had a documented role in the events of January 6th, 2021 and many North Carolina voters are petitioning to bar him from seeking re-election.  In a complaint filed with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, a group of North Carolina voters—represented by a team of legal experts that includes attorneys from the advocacy group Free Speech For People and former justices of the state Supreme Court—argue that Cawthorn is ineligible for public office under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Disqualification Clause.

“The coordinated and violent January 6 attack on the United States Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the presidential vote was an insurrection against the United States,” Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech For People, said in a statement. “The Constitution disqualifies from public office any elected officials who aided that insurrection.”

“As set forth in our complaint, the publicly available evidence, including Rep. Cawthorn’s own statements and reports that he or his office coordinated with the January 6 organizers, establish reasonable suspicion that Rep. Cawthorn aided the insurrection, thereby disqualifying him from federal office,” Fein added. “We look forward to asking him about his involvement under oath.”

In the short year that Cawthorn has held a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, he has been controversial and has come under fire more than a few times …

  • Before Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021, Cawthorn addressed the crowd and said, “this crowd has some fight.” He voted not to certify the Electoral College results in Congress and called Republicans who voted to certify the results “spineless cowards”. He later attempted to blame the attempted coup on a “Democratic machine of agitators strategically placed inside of this group”, amid intensifying calls for his resignation for his part in stoking the riots.
  • On February 13, 2021, Transportation Security Administration agents at the Asheville Regional Airport discovered an unloaded Glock 9mm handgun and loaded magazine in Cawthorn’s carry-on bag. The gun and ammunition were confiscated and stored by airport police.
  • In late February 2021, Cawthorn and a dozen other Republican House members skipped votes and enlisted others to vote for them, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But he and the other members were actually attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was held at the same time as their absences. In response, the Campaign for Accountability, an ethics watchdog group, filed a complaint with the House Committee on Ethics and requested an investigation into Cawthorn and the other lawmakers.
  • At an August 2021 Macon County, North Carolina Republican Party event, Cawthorn said: “if our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, then it’s going to lead to one place—and it’s bloodshed.”
  • In October 2021, Cawthorn said, “our culture today is trying to completely de-masculate [sic] all of the young men”, because “they don’t want people who are going to stand up”. He issued a call to mothers, who he said are the “most vicious” conservatives: “If you are raising a young man, please raise them to be a monster”. In November 2021, Cawthorn accused politicians of “trying to make everyone genderless, sexless, and just absolutely Godless”, and declared that Americans “want our culture back, and if you want to stand in the way that, we will run you over.”
  • Cawthorn reacted to the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse by offering Rittenhouse an internship, saying, “You have a right to defend yourself, so be armed, be dangerous and be moral”.
  • Over the past two years, at least 20 women have come forward and accused Cawthorn of sexual misconduct and sexual assault … where there is so much smoke, there’s bound to be a fire somewhere.

Seriously, is this the sort of person you want making the laws under which we must all live?  Is this the person whose salary you will spend your hard-earned tax dollars to support?  I think not.  Let us hope that the voters of North Carolina are successful in their case to bar Cawthorn from running for re-election this year, or failing that, that the people in his North Carolina district have enough sense not to return him to the halls of Congress!


Note to Readers:  Between now and the November mid-term elections, I will be occasionally writing a post about various members of Congress who, for one reason or another, I believe should be voted out or voted in, depending on their qualifications for the office.  This is the first of many!

Filosofa Tries Not To Rant … Oops!

I tried really hard last night to write a post that didn’t turn into a rant.  I failed.  The only news I read that didn’t evoke a rant, put me to sleep!  There’s just so darned much to rant about these days …


It appears that the inglorious Republican Party is determined to impeach President Biden.  It started the day after his inauguration when Margie Greene filed articles of impeachment against the President (before he had even settled in, let alone made any policy decisions) claiming that he had ‘abused’ his power.  Nobody took it seriously, knowing that Margie is a conspiracy theorist, follower of QAnon, and not terribly intelligent.

The latest, though, really sent me into rant mode.  Senator Ted Cruz, also not terribly intelligent, has said that the Republican Party will impeach President Biden in 2023 if, in fact, they manage a majority in both chambers of Congress in the mid-term elections this November.  He made it clear that there was really no reason for impeachment, no legitimate cause, other than “just because we can.”

“… whether it’s justified or not … the Democrats weaponized impeachment. They used it for partisan purposes to go after Trump because they disagreed with him. And one of the real disadvantages of doing that . . . is the more you weaponize it and turn it into a partisan cudgel, you know, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

No, you Jackass!  Trump was not impeached because we disagreed with him!  He was impeached … TWICE … because he broke the law, abused the power of his office, and stabbed the people of this nation in the back with his autocratic ways!  Take your head out of your rather large posterior and wake up, Senator Cruz!

Now, I don’t anticipate that the Senate, even if led by a Republican majority, will vote to convict President Biden and remove him from office, because so doing would leave them with … GASP … a president who is both a Woman and Black!  The two things they hate most!

Unfortunately, Cruz is not up for re-election until 2024, at which time I hope the good people of Texas will remember how he abandoned them when a winter storm left them without electricity, leaving the country and heading for Cancún where the temps were in the 80s and electricity was plentiful.


Two of the former guy’s minions seem to have established organizations that are, in addition to other issues, advocating murder.  Okay, I know that’s a bit of a stretch, but I’m angry.  They are actually suing the Biden administration over vaccine mandates, which in my book means they prefer that everybody has the right to remain unvaccinated and thus go about spreading the lethal virus, infecting and killing people.

The first such organization is headed by the man with Nazi ties, former senior adviser and the architect of the former guy’s draconian immigration policies, Stephen Miller.  The organization is America First Legal (AFL), whose goal is to “oppose the radical left’s anti-jobs, anti-freedom, anti-faith, anti-borders, anti-police, and anti-American crusade” and “defend our citizens from unconstitutional executive overreach.”  Also affiliated with the AFL are former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker – a whole bunch of arseholes all under one umbrella.

The group is suing the Biden administration over “tyrannical and unconstitutional vaccine mandates,” claiming, among other things, that OSHA doesn’t have the power to “try and end pandemics.”  Like … ending the pandemic is a bad thing??????????  Sheesh!

The second group is led by former Vice-President Mike Pence and calls itself Advancing American Freedom (AAF).  You notice how these groups toss about that term ‘American’ as if anybody not on their side must not qualify to be an ‘American’?  AAF has joined forces with AFL to attempt to convince the Supreme Court to block the implementation of OSHA’s vaccine-or-testing mandate, arguing it is unconstitutional and poses a burden on workers.  WHAT burden???  The burden to keep safe and also help keep their co-workers, families, friends and neighbors safe?  Is that really such a burden?

My daughter, granddaughter and I have all been fully vaccinated, including the booster, and I can tell you that it did NOT infringe on our personal freedoms nor cause us any ‘burden’ in any way, shape, or form!  We can end this pandemic if every person does their part, but some would obviously prefer to spend massive amounts of time and money ensuring that more and more of us will become ill and many more will die needlessly.


And now, I will stop ranting so I can manage a bit of sleep tonight and so you can find something cheerier to read on a Sunday morn!  Have a great day!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 1/8

This is TokyoSand’s first cartoon post of the year and one that is well worthy of sharing.  Needless to say, the main topic of the week is the one-year anniversary of the attempted coup on January 6th … and some of the ‘toons have brilliantly captured the thoughts and reactions one year later.  As always, TS has culled the best of the lot for us, so enjoy!  Thank you, TokyoSand, for all your hard work on these Saturday posts!


It’s a new year and I’m back with our normal Saturday editorial cartoons feature. This year started off with a bang! New Year By Mike Luckovich By Walt Handlesman By Rob Tornoe January 6 Anniversary By Pat Bagley By Bill Bramhall By Mike Luckovich By Michael Ramirez By Lalo Alcaraz By Kal…

See all the ‘toons at TokyoSand’s Political Charge!

Bits of This, That, and The Other

Today, I promise no posts about January 6 or the former guy.


Yesterday I let out a “WHOOP” when the wheels of justice, after turning very slowly, finally picked up momentum and rendered three sentences that were fair and well-deserved.  The three killers of Ahmaud Arbery were all sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for father and son Greg and Travis McMichael.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.  The other, William “Roddie” Bryan, will be eligible for parole after 30 years because he did cooperate with police and according to his lawyer, showed remorse for his actions on that fateful day.

Some will say this is justice, and it is right and just for the killers, and it is justice in one sense for Arbery’s family but make no mistake … this is still not justice for Ahmaud Arbery.  Mr. Arbery is still dead, so there can be no justice for him.


The good news …

I noted in a prior post that no matter what happens, the media cannot seem to give President Biden credit for anything, however they are fighting in line to blame him for almost everything.  Today is another example of that.

The facts:

Over the past year (2021), 6.4 million jobs were created, a new record, and the unemployment rate dropped from 6.2% to 3.9%.  This was the greatest jobs growth year in modern U.S. history, and it’s not even close.

The headlines:

  • Hiring falters in December as payrolls rise only 199,000 (CNBC)
  • US hiring cools in December as economy adds just 199,000 new jobs (Fox Business)
  • Jobs disappoint in December, but unemployment falls to 3.9% (CNN)
  • U.S. gains scant 199,000 jobs in December as businesses confront labor shortage (MarketWatch)
  • U.S. hiring slowed in December as employers struggled to find workers (New York Times)

Nearly 200,000 jobs added in December, despite the surge in Covid cases, and it’s referred to as “only” or “scant” 199,000, despite the good news overall in the jobs and unemployment numbers at the close of the year.  I wonder just what President Biden must do to earn a positive headline?  Whatever it is, you can rest assured that Congress will keep him from being able to do it.

Granted, the President doesn’t control the economy and doesn’t deserve credit nor blame in its entirety, however he or she (hopefully someday) does play a role with their policies and rhetoric, and throughout history, the press has assigned either blame or praise.  Unfortunately, today’s press seems to be under the spell of the former guy and is steadfastly refusing to give President Biden so much as an inch.


The not-so-good news …

The year 2020 saw the highest number of gun deaths in the U.S. in history.  Ever.  45,222 people died of gunshot wounds — a 14 percent jump from 2019 and the largest year-over-year rise on record.  This record is certainly nothing to be proud of and in my book, it’s well past time to place very restrictive constraints on gun ownership in this nation.

In the past, I have called for “sensible gun legislation”, thinking that the best way would be one step at a time, thus not antagonizing those who believe the 2nd Amendment is the only one that matters.  However, given the current level of violence in this nation, and the fact that there are 120.5 guns for every 100 people in the U.S., or about 400 million guns for a nation with a population of 330 million people, it is time for much more aggressive action.  Do I believe it will happen?  No, certainly not in my lifetime, for the gun nuts care more about their guns than they do about their own families and have fought tooth-and-nail against even background checks or assault rifle bans.

School shootings, mass shootings at malls, religious places, grocery stores, restaurants, etc., have risen over the years and today it is not at all unusual for at least one person to be ‘packing heat’ in your local Kroger store or Applebee’s.  Those who worship their guns won’t step forward to protect our voting rights, our way of life, or system of government, but they will fight to the death for their ‘right’ to own as many guns as their garage can hold.  SIGH.

Words Of Wisdom From Jimmy Carter

Yesterday, I had more than enough of articles about the anniversary of the January 6th attempted coup … I was on overload, most of the articles repeating the dire warnings of the one I had read just before and that I had previously expressed here on Filosofa’s Word.  Mind you, I understand the desire to pontificate on the events of that day and their extended outcomes, potential disasters going forward, for I have indulged in such myself.  However, there comes a point where it’s overload, time to step back and focus elsewhere for a few minutes or a couple of days.  So, today’s post was going to head off in a different direction.  Until … I read this piece in the New York Times by former President Jimmy Carter and … well, Carter is the most humanitarian president I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I respect his views.  So, without further ado, I hope you’ll bear with me for one more piece about that fateful day and its implications for our future …

Jimmy Carter: I Fear for Our Democracy

Jan. 5, 2022

By Jimmy Carter

Mr. Carter was the 39th president of the United States.

One year ago, a violent mob, guided by unscrupulous politicians, stormed the Capitol and almost succeeded in preventing the democratic transfer of power. All four of us former presidents condemned their actions and affirmed the legitimacy of the 2020 election. There followed a brief hope that the insurrection would shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy.

However, one year on, promoters of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems. These forces exert power and influence through relentless disinformation, which continues to turn Americans against Americans. According to the Survey Center on American Life, 36 percent of Americans — almost 100 million adults across the political spectrum — agree that “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.” The Washington Post recently reported that roughly 40 percent of Republicans believe that violent action against the government is sometimes justified.

Politicians in my home state of Georgia, as well as in others, such as Texas and Florida, have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes. They seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed. I now fear that what we have fought so hard to achieve globally — the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by strongman politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power — has become dangerously fragile at home.

I personally encountered this threat in my own backyard in 1962, when a ballot-stuffing county boss tried to steal my election to the Georgia State Senate. This was in the primary, and I challenged the fraud in court. Ultimately, a judge invalidated the results, and I won the general election. Afterward, the protection and advancement of democracy became a priority for me. As president, a major goal was to institute majority rule in southern Africa and elsewhere.

After I left the White House and founded the Carter Center, we worked to promote free, fair and orderly elections across the globe. I led dozens of election observation missions in Africa, Latin America and Asia, starting with Panama in 1989, where I put a simple question to administrators: “Are you honest officials or thieves?” At each election, my wife, Rosalynn, and I were moved by the courage and commitment of thousands of citizens walking miles and waiting in line from dusk to dawn to cast their first ballots in free elections, renewing hope for themselves and their nations and taking their first steps to self-governance. But I have also seen how new democratic systems — and sometimes even established ones — can fall to military juntas or power-hungry despots. Sudan and Myanmar are two recent examples.

For American democracy to endure, we must demand that our leaders and candidates uphold the ideals of freedom and adhere to high standards of conduct.

First, while citizens can disagree on policies, people of all political stripes must agree on fundamental constitutional principles and norms of fairness, civility and respect for the rule of law. Citizens should be able to participate easily in transparent, safe and secure electoral processes. Claims of election irregularities should be submitted in good faith for adjudication by the courts, with all participants agreeing to accept the findings. And the election process should be conducted peacefully, free of intimidation and violence.

Second, we must push for reforms that ensure the security and accessibility of our elections and ensure public confidence in the accuracy of results. Phony claims of illegal voting and pointless multiple audits only detract from democratic ideals.

Third, we must resist the polarization that is reshaping our identities around politics. We must focus on a few core truths: that we are all human, we are all Americans and we have common hopes for our communities and our country to thrive. We must find ways to re-engage across the divide, respectfully and constructively, by holding civil conversations with family, friends and co-workers and standing up collectively to the forces dividing us.

Fourth, violence has no place in our politics, and we must act urgently to pass or strengthen laws to reverse the trends of character assassination, intimidation and the presence of armed militias at events. We must protect our election officials — who are trusted friends and neighbors of many of us — from threats to their safety. Law enforcement must have the power to address these issues and engage in a national effort to come to terms with the past and present of racial injustice.

Lastly, the spread of disinformation, especially on social media, must be addressed. We must reform these platforms and get in the habit of seeking out accurate information. Corporate America and religious communities should encourage respect for democratic norms, participation in elections and efforts to counter disinformation.

Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss. Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late.

January 6th Anniversary — Demand Accountability!

Today is January 6th 2022, exactly one year after the insurrection, riots, attempted coup, or whatever terminology you choose to use, at the U.S. Capitol in an attempt by Trump and his mindless followers to overturn the election that was won, fair and honestly, by President Joseph Biden.

Much has been discovered about who, how, and why the horrific, nightmare-inducing events of that day occurred, but as yet, far too much remains shrouded in mystery as damn near every person subpoenaed to give evidence in front of the committee investigating the day has refused or ignored the subpoena, and as conflicting tales come from the likes of Steve Bannon, Peter Navarro, Mike Pence, and countless others.  Others who have been subpoenaed to testify have appeared before the committee and then pleaded the Fifth Amendment, the right not to incriminate oneself by one’s testimony.  I break here for my thoughts on that …

If you have to plead the Fifth Amendment, the right to ‘remain silent’ rather than to tell the truth and incriminate oneself, then you obviously have something to hide.  It’s not rocket science, folks!  If I say I refuse to answer your question on the grounds that my answer will incriminate me, then I am obviously guilty!  This has got to be just about the dumbest amendment to the U.S. Constitution that exists!

“Did you kill your husband?”

“I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.”

Duh … it really doesn’t take a high-paid lawyer, a judge or jury to know that this person did, indeed, kill her husband!

And so, when the likes of Alex Jones, Mark Meadows and Roger Stone “plead the fifth”, it becomes obvious they have something … more likely many somethings … to hide!  And just in case pleading the fifth isn’t enough to cover their vulnerabilities, several are suing the committee.  Alex Jones, Mike Flynn and eight other major right-wing figures and Trump advisers have sued over the committee’s investigation, including the former guy, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, outside lawyers John Eastman and Cleta Mitchell.  Obstruction, distraction, or both … take your pick.

The goal of those who are doing their level best to slow the investigation is to drag it out beyond the 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans hope they will control both chambers of Congress and will call off the investigative committee.  That CANNOT BE ALLOWED to happen!!!  There MUST be accountability for any and all involvement in the events of and leading up to that day, no matter how minor.

There is plenty of guilt, and the guiltiest are the ones crying the loudest, doing their damndest to delay and obstruct.  But make no mistake, my friends … if there is not harsh punishment for every person even remotely involved, it will open the door to a far more violent, far more successful coup in 2024.  Note, please, that I did not say it “might”, but that it WILL.  The groundwork is already being laid, plans made, and lessons learned from the failure in 2020.

Instead of thoughts and prayers on this one-year anniversary, let’s renew our determination to NOT allow the perpetrators to go unpunished and to consistently demand that Congress support the January 6th Committee in its effort to get to the bottom of the attempted coup and to punish the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.  DO NOT let this fade into the background amidst all the other distractions … it will be either the continuation or the death of the United States as we have known it.  The Republican Party has redefined itself … don’t let them redefine the nation.


Additional Note:  The former guy has cancelled his intended “press conference” that was initially scheduled for today.  It is reported that his ‘advisors’ warned against it, said it could turn on him and on those Republicans running for congressional seats in the mid-terms.  Surprisingly, the former guy heeded their advice.  I’m pleased to know we won’t be seeing his ugly mug or hearing his lies and false accusations, but … it ain’t over yet, folks.

Already In 2022 … Guns And Death

As I write this post, it is just after 10:00 p.m. on January 1st 2022 in the U.S. and already 99 people have lost their lives to gun violence in the first 22 hours of the new year.  One of my New Year’s hopes I wrote about in a previous post was that reasonable gun laws would be enacted by Congress before the end of the year.  Had I taken a moment to write to members of Congress after seeing today’s statistics, my letter would have started with …

Hey, you STUPID Jackass, take your head out of your arse and do something right just for once!!!

But, as our friend Keith reminds me from time to time, that isn’t the right approach. It is certainly the one I felt at that moment in time, though.  There is something wrong with a nation, a society, whose citizens demand to be allowed to kill people, and that is exactly what the gun nuts in this country are doing.  Guns are intended to kill.  Period.  The only reason any fool wants to own a gun is to kill, whether they wish to kill fellow humans or animals.  And they will fight for the right to own an arsenal so that they can kill lots of people, before they will fight for the right for their children to get a good education or be able to live healthy lives.  Their guns mean more than their children, spouses, co-workers, neighbors, or dogs.

When I mention ‘reasonable gun legislation’, it is because I know that the sort of gun laws I would really like to see will never pass muster in this nation.  So, by ‘reasonable’, I am willing to compromise and settle for serious background checks on ALL gun purchases, disallowing anybody with a history of violence from owning a gun, and a cessation of conceal carry laws.  You want to carry a gun into Wal-Mart?  Fine, but make sure it can be seen by us all so we can exit and do our shopping elsewhere.  You’ll have most of the store to yourself … just you and your gun.

Last year, there were 42 school shootings in this country.  FORTY-TWO!!!  Thousands of children’s lives were in danger as they attempted to get an education!  Only in the good ol’ US of A.

In 2021, 44,768 people died as a result of gun violence.  Granted, Covid took more lives in the same time frame, and that is also the fault of the people in this nation who refuse to take precautions, but it is a story for another day.  Also, in 2021 there were 693 mass shootings, 310 children killed, 746 injured, 1,223 teens killed and 3,368 injured!  And yet, people just roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders, and go back to watching their televisions or grilling steaks on the backyard barbeque!

Every single year the number of mass shootings, the number of children and teens killed by guns, increases over the prior year.  EVERY YEAR!  No other nation on earth has such an abysmal record!

Last month in Oxford, Michigan, a father purchased a gun for his 15-year-old son.  The next day, the son, Ethan Crumbley, took the gun to school where, with malice aforethought, he shot and killed four of his classmates and injured seven others.  He is being charged as an adult and will likely spend most of the rest of his life behind bars … as should his parents.  The parents are cowards who ran and hid, leaving their son to shoulder the blame by himself.  What parent in his/her right mind puts a killing machine in the hands of a teen???  A gun nut, that’s who.

No other country turns a blind eye, permits almost anybody to own a gun, as the U.S.  In essence, this nation tells people that it’s okay to kill … just don’t get caught!  In 1994, Congress actually got off their collective arses and passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that prohibited civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms that were defined as assault weapons as well as certain ammunition magazines that were defined as large capacity.  Unfortunately, by the time it expired ten years later in 2004, enough members of Congress were bought and paid-for by the NRA that the law was allowed to expire on September 13, 2004.  Every time that reinstatement has even been mentioned, the gun nuts go berserk and the members of Congress tuck their tails between their legs and slink off to safer turf.

I don’t know about you folks, but I’m sick and damn tired of walking through the grocery store not knowing whether that man perusing the bell peppers is carrying a gun and might just go off on a tangent if somebody accidentally bumps him with their cart.  I’m sick and damn tired of worrying about the children I see walking past my house in the morning on their way to the school bus, not knowing if they will be safe and return home all in one piece in the afternoon.  I’m sick and damn tired of reading about multiple shootings in my city every night, two of which were within a few feet of my front door last year!

DO SOMETHING, Congress!  The gun nuts in this country are destroying our peace of mind, not to mention our safety!  You have a responsibility … a grave responsibility … to every one of the people in this country.  Instead, you are owned, lock stock and barrel, by the wealthy arms industry and cowed by the gun nuts in the nation.  What about the rest of us?  Think about it.

¡Adios 2021, Bienvenida 2022!

With less than 24 hours left in 2021, perhaps it’s time for a few personal reflections.  I’ve had more than plenty of time to just sit and think during the past four months, and often my thoughts have revealed more about my own inner workings than anything. One thing I learned about myself is that I’m really good at ‘talking the talk’, but when it comes to ‘walking the walk’, I fail miserably.  I consoled myself with … “not everyone is able to attend protest marches or donate large sums of money … we all give according to our abilities.”  All of which sounds very nice, but … with a bit more effort, might I have been able to attend a BlackLivesMatter protest near my home?  Probably.  Might I have donated money to the cause?  Absolutely.  Instead, I used my voice to write blog posts criticizing racism, racists, misogynists and other forms of bigotry, as well as the corrupt and evil politicians, but what did that really accomplish?

Lest you think I’m beating up on myself for my shortcomings, I’m not.  I’m simply trying to learn enough from them so that I can do better at some point in the future.  Given my current health issues, my abilities are still very limited, but I can focus on what I need to do differently when I am able to.

As I’ve mentioned in previous ‘New Year’ posts, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, for it is only setting oneself up for failure.  I always, though, have hopes for the upcoming year, and this year is no different.  Here are a few of my hopes for 2022.

On a personal note, I hope to regain my health, or at least most of it, and be able to return to a fairly active life.  I hope my family and friends remain safe, healthy, and financially secure throughout the year.

On a more political note, I have many hopes for the country and the world …

  • I would like to see the January 6th committee submit to the Department of Justice recommendations for criminal prosecutions for the former guy, as well as Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, and all other politicians who played a role in the coup attempt. Then I would like to see Attorney General Garland follow through and prosecute those people to the fullest extent of the law.  They should all be in prison by this time next year.
  • I would like to see the end of Covid, meaning that vaccine mandates will need to be enforced relentlessly and at least 95% of the people in this country fully vaccinated. The naysayers are more than welcome, in my book, to leave the country … perhaps they would enjoy living in Brazil … or Siberia.
  • I hope that in the coming year, leaders and policy-makers in every nation on earth start listening to the scientists and taking climate change more seriously. The Paris Accords are a starting point only, but I think we can realistically say that it’s too little, and possibly even too late.  The climate deniers can join the vaccine deniers in Brazil!
  • I hope, though I’m fairly certain it is a futile hope, that the Republicans and Democrats can learn to live together in peace. In other words, that members of Congress can set aside their party affiliations and actually work to legislate policies that are in the best interests of the people of this nation.  Compromise is possible, but it cannot only benefit the wealthiest, most powerful individuals.
  • I hope that reasonable gun laws will be legislated in the coming year, for the gun culture in the U.S. has gone well past lunacy! No ordinary person needs to own a gun … it is an ego trip for power-hungry, arrogant people.
  • I hope that both President Biden and Vice President Harris remain safe and well throughout the year.
  • I hope that S. 4: John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 and S. 2747: Freedom to Vote Act and S. 2093: For the People Act of 2021 pass in the Senate long before the November elections in order to ensure that every eligible voter is able to vote without undue hardship.  These three bills may well be the most important ones this year, for without them, our democracy will crumble.
  • I wish for, but know we are a long ways from, an end to bigotry in all its many forms.  Racism, religious bigotry, white supremacy, misogyny and other forms of bigotry have no place in today’s world … they should have ended long ago, but greed and arrogance seem built into the human mindset and far too much harm has been done in the name of “supremacy”.

And last, but not least, I wish all of you, my blogging family, a safe, peaceful and joyous 2022.  Cheers, love ‘n hugs to you all!