Honouring Dr. Martin Luther King …

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the United States to honour one of the greatest men who ever lived in this country.  I first wrote this tribute to Dr. King in 2017, and each year I reprise it, with slight changes or minor additions, for I find that it still says exactly what I wish to say.  Given the increase in racism in the United States in recent years, I think the above quote seems more apt today than ever before.  So please, take just a minute to, if nothing else, listen once again to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  In these troubled times, it is good to be reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream.  More than ever, I wish we had a few Dr. Martin Luther Kings fighting for equality and justice for all today.


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” 

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

mlk-3Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on 15 January 1929.  He would have been 93 years old last Wednesday, had he lived. On this day, we celebrate not only his life, but also his legacy. Martin Luther King Day celebrates not only Dr. King, but the movement he inspired and all those who helped move forward the notion of equal rights for ALL people, all those who worked tirelessly during the civil rights era of the 1960s, as well as those who are continuing the good fight even in this, the year 2022.  Dr. King’s fight lives on, for we have moved further away than before from his dream.

Dr. King, along with President John F. Kennedy, was the most moving speaker I have ever heard.  To this day, I cannot listen to his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech without tears filling my eyes.  If you haven’t heard it for a while, take a few minutes to watch/listen … I promise it will be worth your time.

This post is both a commemoration and a plea for us to carry on the work that was only begun, not yet finished, more than five decades ago.  Today we should remember some of the great heroes of the civil rights movement, those who worked tirelessly, some who gave their lives, that we could all live in peace and harmony someday: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Roy Innes, Medgar Evers, Stepen Bantu Biko, Booker T. Washington, John Lewis, Percy Julian, Marcus Garvey, Desmond Tutu, E.D. Nixon, James Meredith, and so many more.  I am willing to bet there are some on this list of whom you’ve never heard, or perhaps recognize the name but not the accomplishments. If you’re interested, you can find brief biographies of each of these and more at Biography.com .

Yet, while we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King and the others, there is still much to be done. Just look around you, read the news each day. Think about these statistics:

  • More than one in five black families live in households that are food insecure, compared to one in ten white families
  • Almost four in ten black children live in a household in poverty, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Among prime-age adults (ages 25 to 54), about one in five black men are not in the labor force, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Although blacks and whites use marijuana at approximately the same rate, blacks are over 3 and a half times more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession
  • For every dollar earned by a white worker, a black worker only makes 74 cents
  • Black families are twice as likely as whites to live in substandard housing conditions
  • Black college graduates now have twice the amount of debt as white college graduates
  • The likelihood of a black woman born in 2001 being imprisoned over the course of her lifetime is one in 18, compared to 1 in 111 for a white woman
  • Similarly, the likelihood of a black man being imprisoned is 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 17 for a white man
  • Of black children born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, about half of them will still be there as adults, compared to less than one-quarter of white children

Data courtesy of the Brookings Institute – for charts and supporting details of above date, please click on link. 

And of course the above data does not even touch upon the recent spate of hate crimes, racial profiling, and police shootings against African-Americans.  There is still much of Dr. King’s work to be accomplished. But who is left to do this work?  Most of the leaders of yore are long since gone. There are still noble and courageous people out there carrying on the programs and works of Dr. King and the others, but their voices are perhaps not as loud, and there are none so charismatic as the late Dr. King.

In the current environment of racial divisiveness, we need more than ever to carry on what Dr. King only started. Instead, the past several years have found our nation backtracking on civil and human rights in a number of areas, ranging from discriminatory travel bans against Muslims to turning a federal blind eye to intentionally racially discriminatory state voter-suppression schemes, to opposing protections for transgender people, to parents demanding a re-write of our history to salve their own consciences.  I think Dr. King would be appalled if he returned to visit today.

In a speech on April 12th, 1850, then-Senator and future President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis said:

“This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes, but by white men for white men.” [1]

That was wrong then, it is wrong today, and it will always be wrong.  That is what Dr. Martin Luther King fought against, that is what I rail and sometimes rant against, that is why we need activists and groups dedicated to fighting for equality for all people … today, tomorrow, and forever.

Here is a bit of trivia you may not know about Dr. King …

  • King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin.
    The civil rights leader was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his 5-year-old son.

  • King entered college at the age of 15.
    King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. Although he was the son, grandson and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, King did not intend to follow the family vocation until Morehouse president Benjamin E. Mays, a noted theologian, convinced him otherwise. King was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology.


  • King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.
    Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leadership.


  • King was imprisoned nearly 30 times.
    According to the King Center, the civil rights leader went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.


  • King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death.
    On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry. The woman asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. After he said yes, Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade came to rest alongside his aorta, and King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery. Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could have punctured the aorta and killed him. From his hospital bed where he convalesced for weeks, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent principles and saying he felt no ill will toward his mentally ill attacker.


  • King’s mother was also slain by a bullet.
    On June 30, 1974, as 69-year-old Alberta Williams King played the organ at a Sunday service inside Ebenezer Baptist Church, Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. rose from the front pew, drew two pistols and began to fire shots. One of the bullets struck and killed King, who died steps from where her son had preached nonviolence. The deranged gunman said that Christians were his enemy and that although he had received divine instructions to kill King’s father, who was in the congregation, he killed King’s mother instead because she was closer. The shooting also left a church deacon dead. Chenault received a death penalty sentence that was later changed to life imprisonment, in part due to the King family’s opposition to capital punishment.

Dr. King fought and ultimately gave his life for the values I believe in, the values that should define this nation, though they often do not.  Dr. Martin Luther King was a hero of his time … thank you, Dr. King, for all you did, for the values you gave this nation, and for the hope you instilled in us all that your dream will someday come true.

[1] (Kendi, 2016)   stamped

Note:  Our friend TokyoSand has written a post with ideas for how each of us can help carry on Dr. King’s legacy … I hope you’ll pay her a visit!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 1/15

These days there is so much material for the political cartoonists to work with that I’m surprised any of them are finding time to eat or sleep!  It also makes it hard for us to choose, for there are so many good ‘toons out there that sum up a story in a nutshell.  As she does every week, our friend TokyoSand over at Political Charge has culled the cream of the crop from last week’s offerings.  Here is just a sampling, but be sure to visit TS (link at end) for the full line-up!  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work!


After a bit of a holiday lull, editorial cartoonists were churning out one great cartoon after another this week. Here are some of my favorites. Voting Rights & the Filibuster By Kevin Siers By Clay Jones By Marc Murphy By Lalo Alcaraz By Matt Davies By Walt Handelsman By Nick Anderson Republicans…

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

Why Would Anyone Ever Vote for a Republican?

I have voted for a Republican a few times in the past, but I would have to be out of my mind to do so today. The Republican Party, by its own admission, now has no ideology, no platform, and only seek dominance at whatever cost to We the People. Our friend Jeff has written an excellent post that perfectly reflects my own views of today’s GOP and I am sharing it with you this afternoon. Thank you, Jeff, for both your words and implied permission to share them!

On The Fence Voters

From time to time, I like to pose a question to those out there who vote, at least those who do so fairly reliably every two years: Why in the hell would you ever vote for a Republican?

Because, quite frankly, the evidence is overwhelming that the GOP, as it is presently constituted, represents a clear and present danger to the American people. Do you think that sounds a little harsh? Too bad. I write and speak as someone who’s seen enough of this party to know we’re in deep trouble if they’re ever able to get power back. How much more evidence do we need?

Voting for a Republican president these days will get you the possibility of more crackpots and extremists who will sit on the Supreme Court for years into the future. Look no further than the current iteration of radical judges occupying that body, brought to…

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We The People Are Losing Our Voice

When I read this newsletter from Robert Reich this morning, my jaw dropped.  Sure, I knew that capitalism has run amok in recent years and that We the People seem to have no value to many of our elected officials, but … even I wasn’t aware to what degree our best interests have been subjugated.  I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to read and ponder Mr. Reich’s words …


Why isn’t corporate America behind the pro-democracy movement?

Time for the biggest companies to step up and protect what’s left of it

Robert Reich, 14 January 2022

Capitalism and democracy are compatible only if democracy is in the driver’s seat.

That’s why I took some comfort just after the attack on the Capitol when many big corporations solemnly pledged they’d no longer finance the campaigns of the 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn the election results.

Well, those days are over. Turns out they were over the moment the public stopped paying attention.

A report published last week by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington shows that over the last year, 717 companies and industry groups have donated more than $18 million to 143 of those seditious lawmakers. Businesses that pledged to stop or pause their donations have given nearly $2.4 million directly to their campaigns or leadership political action committees.

But there’s a deeper issue here. The whole question of whether corporations do or don’t bankroll the seditionist caucus is a distraction from a much larger problem.

The tsunami of money now flowing from corporations into the swamp of American politics is larger than ever. And this money – bankrolling almost all politicians and financing attacks on their opponents – is undermining American democracy as much as did the 147 seditionist members of Congress. Maybe more.

Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema — whose vocal opposition to any change in the filibuster is on the verge of dooming voting rights — received almost $2 million in campaign donations in 2021 despite not being up for re-election until 2024. Most of it came from corporate donors outside Arizona, some of which have a history of donating largely to Republicans.

Has the money influenced Sinema? You decide: Besides sandbagging voting rights, she voted down the $15 minimum wage increase, opposed tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, and stalled on drug price reform — policies supported by a majority of Democratic Senators as well as a majority of Arizonans. 

Over the last four decades, corporate PAC spending on congressional elections has more than quadrupled, even adjusting for inflation.

Labor unions no longer provide a counterweight. Forty years ago, union PACs contributed about as much as corporate PACs. Now, corporations are outspending labor by more than three to one

According to a landmark study published in 2014 by Princeton professor Martin Gilens and Northwestern professor Benjamin Page, the preferences of the typical American have no influence at all on legislation emerging from Congress.

Gilens and Page analyzed 1,799 policy issues in detail, determining the relative influence on them of economic elites, business groups, mass-based interest groups, and average citizens. Their conclusion: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Lawmakers mainly listen to the policy demands of big business and wealthy individuals – those with the most lobbying prowess and deepest pockets to bankroll campaigns and promote their views.

It’s likely far worse now. Gilens and Page’s data came from the period 1981 to 2002 – before the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to big money in the Citizens United case, prior to SuperPACs, before “dark money,” and before the Wall Street bailout.

The corporate return on this mountain of money has been significant. Over the last forty years, corporate tax rates have plunged. Regulatory protections for consumers, workers, and the environment have been defanged. Antitrust has become so ineffectual that many big corporations face little or no competition.

Corporations have fought off safety nets and public investments that are common in other advanced nations (most recently, “Build Back Better”). They’ve attacked labor laws — reducing the portion of private-sector workers belonging to a union from a third forty years ago, to just over 6 percent now.  

They’ve collected hundreds of billions in federal subsidies, bailouts, loan guarantees, and sole-source contracts. Corporate welfare for Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Tech, Big Ag, the largest military contractors and biggest banks now dwarfs the amount of welfare for people.

The profits of big corporations just reached a 70-year high, even during a pandemic. The ratio of CEO pay in large companies to average workers has ballooned from 20-to-1 in the 1960s, to 320-to-1 now.

Meanwhile, most Americans are going nowhere. The typical worker’s wage is only a bit higher today than it was forty years ago, when adjusted for inflation.

But the biggest casualty is the public’s trust in democracy.

In 1964, just 29 percent of voters believed that government was “run by a few big interests looking out for themselves.” By 2013, 79 percent of Americans believed it.

Corporate donations to seditious lawmakers are nothing compared to this forty-year record of corporate sedition.

A large portion of the American public has become so frustrated and cynical about democracy they are willing to believe blatant lies of a self-described strongman, and willing to support a political party that no longer believes in democracy.

As I said at the outset, capitalism is compatible with democracy only if democracy is in the driver’s seat. But the absence of democracy doesn’t strengthen capitalism. It fuels despotism.

Despotism is bad for capitalism. Despots don’t respect property rights. They don’t honor the rule of law. They are arbitrary and unpredictable. All of this harms the owners of capital. Despotism also invites civil strife and conflict, which destabilize a society and an economy.

My message to every CEO in America: You need democracy, but you’re actively undermining it.

It’s time for you to join the pro-democracy movement. Get solidly behind voting rights. Actively lobby for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Use your lopsidedly large power in American democracy to protect American democracy — and do it soon. Otherwise, we may lose what’s left of it.

@#$%&

The United States Supreme Court is no longer interested in We the People and our well-being, but instead have an ‘agenda’ that has NOTHING to do with you or me or John Doe down the street!  Yesterday, the so-called ‘Supreme’ Court struck down a vaccine mandate that would have required employees of companies with more than 100 employees to either be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.  IT’S A NO-BRAINER!!!  Every person who deals with the public in any form or fashion should be required to be vaccinated!!!  With this decision, the Court basically said that We the People do not matter, that our lives are without value.  🤬

We should all file a class action suit against the Supreme Court claiming that our rights to live in peace without fear from our neighbor’s breath have been violated!  It isn’t bad enough that some 65 million people in this nation are too selfish and too stupid to do the right thing and get the vaccine.  It isn’t bad enough that if everyone had been vaccinated at the earliest possible date, this nation would now be Covid-free, but instead we are experiencing on average 2,000 deaths from Covid per day!  2,000 human lives that could have been saved if only people hadn’t been such damn fools.  And now, the United States Supreme Court has given these fools carte blanche to continue killing us all!  Many thanks to Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Barrett, and to Chief Justice John Roberts for showing us just how little our lives are valued.

On the other hand, three other Justices, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomeyer, and Stephen Breyer issued a scathing and appropriate dissent …

“When we are wise, we know not to displace the judgments of experts, acting within the sphere Congress marked out and under Presidential control, to deal with emergency conditions. Today, we are not wise. In the face of a still-raging pandemic, this Court tells the agency charged with protecting worker safety that it may not do so in all the workplaces needed. As disease and death continue to mount, this Court tells the agency that it cannot respond in the most effective way possible.”

I have officially now lost all faith in the branch of our government that was originally intended to be non-partisan and fair.  I think it doubtful that another fair ruling will ever come out of this body, at least until there is a significant turnover of Justices, perhaps in 50 years or so.

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!

Some Food For Thought

Late last night, I was trying to clean up my inbox before heading up to bed when I came across Robert Reich’s latest newsletter.  I found it both thoughtful and thought-provoking, so I am sharing it with you today.


Is there still a common good?

Yes. And I’ll tell you where to find it, and how to preserve it

By Robert Reich

We’ve gone through the shameful first anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol and of the refusal of 147 members of Congress (all Republicans) to certify all the electors from states that voted for Biden, on the basis of no evidence of fraud. So far, no political figure has been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. We’ve seen 34 voter-suppression bills enacted by 19 Republican state legislatures; at least 8 give state legislatures the power to disregard election outcomes. More than 400 additional voter suppression measures are now being prepared. And we are now witnessing a struggle in the Senate to reform the filibuster so that voting rights legislation can be enacted. All of which raises a basic question: Is there still a common good?

I was at the impressionable age of fourteen when I heard John F. Kennedy urge us not to ask what America can do for us but what we can do for America. Seven years later I took a job as a summer intern in the Senate office of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy. It was not a glamorous job, to say the least. I felt lucky when I was asked to run his signature machine. But I told myself that in a very tiny way I was doing something for the good of the country.

That was more than a half century ago. I wish I could say America is a better place now than it was then. Surely our lives are more convenient. Fifty years ago there were no cash machines or smart phones, and I wrote my first book on a typewriter. As individuals, we are as kind and generous as ever. We volunteer in our communities, donate, and help one another. We pitch in during natural disasters and emergencies. We come to the aid of individuals in need. We are a more inclusive society, in that Black people, LGBTQ people, and women have legal rights they didn’t have a half century ago.

Yet our civic life—as citizens in our democracy, participants in our economy, managers or employees of companies, and members or leaders of organizations—seems to have sharply deteriorated. What we have lost is a sense of our connectedness to each other and to our ideals—the America that John F. Kennedy asked that we contribute to.

Starting in the late 1970s, Americans began talking less about the common good and more about self-aggrandizement. The shift is the hallmark of modern America: From the “Greatest Generation” to the “Me Generation,” from “we’re all in it together” to “you’re on your own.” In 1977, motivational speaker Robert Ringer wrote a book that reached the top of The New York Times bestseller list entitled Looking Out for # 1. It extolled the virtues of selfishness to a wide and enthusiastic audience. The 1987 film Wall Street epitomized the new ethos in the character Gordon Gekko and his signature line, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”

The last five decades have also been marked by growing cynicism and distrust toward all of the basic institutions of American society. There is a wide and pervasive sense that the system as a whole is no longer working as it should. Racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance are on the rise.

A growing number of Americans feel neglected and powerless. Some are poor, or Black or Latino. Others are white and have been on a downward economic escalator for years. Some have been seduced by demagogues and conspiracy theorists.

Is there a common good that still binds us together as Americans? Yes, and it’s not the whiteness of our skin, or our adherence to Christianity, or the fact that we were born in the United States. We’re bound together by the ideals and principles we share, and the mutual obligations those principles entail.

After all, the U.S. Constitution was designed for “We the people” seeking to “promote the general welfare”—not for “me the selfish jerk seeking as much wealth and power as possible.” During the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II, Americans faced common perils that required us to work together for the common good. That good was echoed in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms”—freedom of speech, of worship, from want, and from fear. The common good animated many of us – both white and Black Americans—to fight for civil rights and voting rights in the 1960s. It inspired America to create the largest and most comprehensive system of public education the world had ever seen. And it moved many of us to act against the injustice of the Vietnam War, and others of us to serve bravely in that besotted conflict.

Americans sharply disagree about exactly what we want for America or for the world. But if we are to participate in the same society we must agree on how we deal with our disagreements, our obligations under the law, and our commitment to democracy.

It’s our agreement to these principles that connects us, not agreement about where these principles lead. Some of us may want to prohibit abortions because we believe life begins at birth; others of us believe individuals should have the right to determine what happens to their bodies. Some of us want stricter environmental protections; others, more lenient. We are free to take any particular position on these and any other issues. But as political equals in this democracy, we are bound to accept the outcomes even if we dislike them.

Our central obligation as citizens is to preserve, fortify, and protect our democratic form of government. We must defend the right to vote and ensure that more citizens are heard, not fewer. We must require that presidents be elected by the will of the people, and prevent political parties and state legislatures from disregarding the popular vote. We must get big money out of politics so the moneyed interests don’t have more political power than the rest of us.

Democracy doesn’t require us to agree. It requires us to agree only on preserving and protecting democracy. This meta-agreement is the essence of the common good.

Those now attacking American democracy are attacking the common good that binds us together. They are attacking America.

We must join together — progressives and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, inhabitants of blue states and of red states, business leaders as well as leaders of nonprofits and of the public sector — to rescue American democracy from those who now seek to destroy it. There is no time to waste.

Your thoughts?

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!