Freedom Of Speech Run Amok

Recently, a father of four named Jared Schmeck was on a live televised phone call with the President and First Lady, on a Christmas Eve event supposedly tracking Santa Claus’ progress, (a tradition designed to give children and their families joy in anticipation of the day ahead). After President Biden asked what Schmeck’s children were looking forward to and sweetly wishing him and his family a Merry Christmas, the man inexplicably punctuated his call with “Let’s Go Brandon.”

Jared Schmeck (l); President and First Lady Biden (r)

For those who have heard of the chant/hashtag ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ but may not be aware of its origin or meaning …

The hashtag was born after a sports reporter misheard a racing crowd chanting “F*ck Joe Biden” while interviewing the winning driver named Brandon Brown, thinking they were cheering him on.  It is basically giving a middle finger to President Biden.

Now, ol’ Jared Schmeck was heard complaining to The Oregonian that he’s being unfairly criticized because people have slammed his joke. “Now I am being attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech.”  No, sweet cheeks, you are not being attacked, however if you believe you have the ‘right’ to speak to the President in such a manner, then surely you must acknowledge that the rest of us have a right to criticize your judgment, your foul language, your lack of mental acuity, and for being a grade-A jerk.

Beau of the Fifth Column expresses it well …

I wonder, if the Founding Fathers had realized how ignorant and cruel the people of this nation would become over the centuries, might they have put a few constraints on some of the ‘rights’ included in the Bill of Rights, or Amendments #1-10?  Seems to me we need some, since people are obviously incapable of using their brains, of using a bit of common sense, of showing respect.

Take, for example, this voicemail that was left on U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell’s voicemail …

Is this really how people want to be remembered, by the number of times they can invoke the F-bomb against a fellow human being?  Is this who we are?  More and more it seems so, for until the past ten years or so, I never knew how cruel, disrespectful and downright ignorant so many of the people who call themselves “Americans” could be.  Needless to say, I am deeply ashamed of a large portion of this nation.  Freedom of speech has run amok in a way that would horrify the men who wrote the Bill of Rights in 1791.  ‘Americans’ need to learn to engage the brain before opening the mouth, and there ought to be a price when they intentionally fail to do so.

I Wish I Had Not Been Inspired To Write This

Our friend Roger has put to paper some of his observations and thoughts about the human mind these days and I thought they were well worth sharing! Thank you, Sir Roger!!!

Writing Despite Computers and Programmes

Since the mean-spirited, the fantasists, the intolerant and the selfish are not letting up this season it seemed like a reasonable idea to take a swipe at them…

These are a collection of thoughts which are available to be used as quotes, no copyright laws were invoked. As an alternative you may wish to shake your head sadly and say ‘Poor guy. How did he get that way?’; to this there is an easy answer….. I’ve been around for 70 years. …..

Anyway…..

Apparently only other people are gullible.

Conspiracy Theories are for folk who can’t cope with the concepts that Human Folly and Natural Planetary Activity are two of the biggest influences on Societies.

It’s not Politics, it’s not Religion, it’s not Economics which are the problem. It’s People.

Two ways of avoiding responsibility, not caring about others and being selfish, would be either to going out to a…

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Just A Couple Of Short Snippets … 🥱

Today I managed to fold a load of laundry, rinse a container of raspberries, chop cabbage for coleslaw, and tidy the kitchen.  That said, I might have done more than my body wished, for tonight I am a bit shaky and very tired, so this will be a short post with only a few very short snippets.  Hopefully I can do better tomorrow!


The headline in The Washington Post read: “The demise of BBB comes at a dark moment for Democrats”.  But that is wrong … it is not only a dark moment for Democrats, but rather for every man, woman and child in the U.S. who doesn’t have the benefit of being wealthy.  Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia single-handedly killed a bill that would have helped millions of people in the coming year, many of whom live in his own state, the second poorest state in the U.S. with a poverty rate of nearly 20%.  Not only that, but the bill would have made significant progress in the fight against the forces that are destroying our environment and given future generations the chance to continue living and breathing on Planet Earth!  Manchin is now among the top candidates running for the ‘Asshole of the Year’ award.


In Williamson County, Tennessee, a chapter of Moms For Liberty, a right-wing dark money group, filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Education. The complaint alleges that the language arts curriculum for second graders in Williamson County school violates the law banning Critical Race Theory.

Specifically, Moms For Liberty objected to the inclusion several books, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington, and Ruby Bridges Goes to School, an autobiography of the first Black child to integrate a New Orleans school, adapted for young readers.

Seriously??? 

The group claims that the inclusion of these books “reveals a heavily biased agenda, one that makes children hate their country, each other, and/or themselves.”  Horse hockey!!!  Facts is facts, folks, and maybe these parents actually realize their own guilt in America’s racist past and want to hide it from their children, want to head off any questions their kids might ask about their parent’s views and behaviour during that time.  Facts is facts, whether these lily-white ‘moms’ choose to acknowledge it or not.

If we don’t teach our children the truth about our past, how will they know not to repeat the same mistakes?  If there is hope for this nation to come out of the dark ages of collective ignorance and bigotry we have descended into, it lies in the education of our children.  We cannot lie, re-write history, or cover up the dark parts of the nation’s past, for those dark parts are just as much a part of who and what we are today as the shining parts are.


And I conclude with a short video by Parody Project by Don Caron …

Snarky Snippets Returns!!!

It seems that every time I log onto any of the news media sites, I am driven to gnashing my teeth and muttering expletives under my breath … or sometimes on top of my breath, which explains how my cat learned the “f-word”!  There is just so damn much to be angry about these days, so much pure idiocy in the world.  I often look at friends and wonder how they can simply ignore the world around them and live in their own little nooks, happily focused on what to wear to a party or the new ornament they bought for their holiday tree or what to cook for supper, with never a mention of climate change, coup attempts, corrupt politicians, mass shootings, etc.  Must be nice to be able to tune it all out, but I can’t do it.  Thus, what follows is my first ‘Snarky Snippets’ post in several months.


Thumbs Down to Time’s “Person of the Year”!

Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2021 is the world’s most wealthy human, Elon Musk.  ELON MUSK???  Seriously???  They couldn’t find anyone more worthy for this honour than a man who is more interested in flying into space for no good reason than in providing food and housing for the poor, or helping victims of a natural disaster regain their lives?  On hearing this announcement, I immediately lost any and all respect for Time and vowed never again to subscribe to this publication.

But then, I took a look back at some of their previous “Person of the Year” selections and realized that I should have parted ways with Time long ago.  For example, Adolph Hitler was Time’s “Man of the Year” in 1938, and Joseph Stalin was actually awarded the honour twice, in 1939 and 1942.  Donald Trump was chosen in 2016 and Vladimir Putin in 2007.  To be fair, they have made some good choices, such as Greta Thunberg in 2019, Lech Walesa in 1981, and Dr. Martin Luther King in 1963.

Elon Musk is a nasty man.  For starters, he called quarantine measures “fascist” and demanded that officials return people’s “freedom.” He then kept his Tesla plant open in defiance of public health orders, with the result that over a hundred Tesla workers contracted COVID. They said the company covered up the outbreak. Then he fired workers after telling them they could take unpaid time off if they didn’t feel safe coming to work. He threatened to rescind his employees’ stock options if they unionized. He broke 11 other labor laws by harassing pro-union employees.  Although his net worth is somewhere above $300 billion, he pays relatively little in taxes and has received $1.3 billion in tax breaks over the past two decades.  He is an arrogant s.o.b. who denigrates any who dare to question or criticize him.

Time defines their “Person of the Year” as: “the individual or group who most shaped the previous 12 months, for better or for worse”, so I suppose in that context it makes some sense that they would glorify the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Musk.  Personally, though, I would prefer seeing the honour, such as it is, used to pay tribute to those who have had a positive impact on life here on earth.  Bye-bye Time magazine!


Where are the Adults???

People have always and will always have ideological differences about how our government should function and how society ought to work … that’s nothing new.  Since its inception, Congress has been a venue for those differences to be aired and, at best, a compromise reached, at worst a stalemate that did no good for the people of this nation.  All of this is nothing new, but one thing is new and extremely disturbing.  In the past, we have elected adults with at least a modicum of education, a basic understanding of how the government functions, but today it seems the most immature samples of the human species are occupying a portion of the seats in our lawmaking body and are turning the process of governance into a three-ring circus.

There are numerous examples of this, such as Margie Greene and her QAnon conspiracy theories, her praise and adoration for a juvenile murderer (Kyle Rittenhouse).  Or gun-totin’ Lauren Boebert and her hostile, bigoted speech directed toward one of her fellow representatives simply because Ilhan Omar is a Muslim.  Or Paul Gosar, who posted an anime clip on Twitter that showed him killing another representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

All of the aforementioned incidents were horrifying examples of people who do NOT belong in Congress or any other branch of government, and all of them made my blood boil.  But perhaps the most disturbing were the holiday pictures taken and posted by Representatives Thomas Massey and Lauren Boebert showing their entire family, even young children, holding assault rifles.  Any mature adult with half a brain would NEVER even consider allowing their children to touch such a weapon, let alone take a picture of them with these instruments of death.  And even if they found it humorous, any adult with half a brain who was in a position of great responsibility to a nation of 330 million people would NOT for one minute post that picture on social media!!!

There are at least a dozen members of this Congress who should never, ever have been elected in the first place and should be occupying a prison cell or a mental hospital rather than an office in the United States Capitol!  I can only hope the people who elected these buffoons in 2020 have seen enough to make much wiser decisions next year!

Something To Think About …

Since becoming largely disabled due to a heart condition in early September, one of the things I have been able to do is spend more time reading!  Way back in the day, I used to read 3-4 books of an average 450 pages each, every week.  But then … I began blogging, Donald Trump came on the scene, the clowns took over the country, and my days and nights were suddenly filled with trolling the news and writing 2-3 blog posts every day.  Reading for pleasure took a backseat and I was lucky to read 100 pages a week.  But now, being unable to leave my chair for more than a few minutes at a time, I am once again a voracious reader and have read, on average, 6-7 books every week.

One of the topics that is near and dear to my heart is September 11, 2001.  When I became ill in early September, I had just started working on a 20-year-anniversary post, but never managed to finish it.  I don’t know that I ever will, but among the books I have read over the past three months are a couple of 9/11 books, the most recent being “The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11” by Garrett M. Graff.  This book is composed of thousands of personal accounts of that day, from the North and South towers to the Pentagon to the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where flight 93 was brought down by passengers determined to fight back against the hijackers.

As I read those personal accounts of people … thousands of people … firefighters, police officers, government workers and civilians … risking and often losing their own lives in their attempt to help people, I couldn’t help thinking of this country today, some 20 years later.  What a difference!!!

When I was working on my master’s degree, I worked for a professor of Political Science, the late Dr. Joseph Scolnick, at the University of Virginia.  I well remember one paper I helped him research that proposed the most effective way to bring about cohesion within a divided nation was an external threat.  Throughout history, some countries have even manufactured external threats in order to bring their citizenry together.  We saw a prime example of how an external threat brought people together with our own eyes in the hours and days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 when people went out of their way, out of their comfort zone, even in one case buying a brand-new truck and donating it to the rescue efforts!  Shop owners opened their doors and their hearts to the injured, the displaced, and the traumatized.  There were no strangers on that day.  And I wonder …

With the current level of divisiveness in this country today, largely magnified and enhanced by the former guy and his puppets, if we suffered a similar attack, would we rise to the occasion as we did on September 11, 2001?  Or would we remain so politically divided that each side would point the fingers of blame at the other?  Would racism, religious differences and ideological divides keep us from coming together in the interest of humanity?  Would a Republican risk his life to run into a burning building to carry a Democrat out?  Would we, the average people in this nation, pitch in to help in any way we could, or would we find ways to attack and denigrate one group or another?

I have no answers for those questions.  I like to believe that we would, once again, rally to the cause, come together as humans, setting aside our differences, but I find it difficult to believe most days when I see the pure hatred between ethnicities, religions, and political parties.  A year and a half ago, when COVID first hit the U.S. hard, I thought this would be the thing that brought this nation together, the enemy we could all join hands and fight against.  Instead, the pandemic has further divided us over such things as masks, social distancing, legislation, and vaccines.  Even after more than 818,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, we cannot all agree to do what is necessary to protect both ourselves and others, so why would I think we would rush into a burning building to save a stranger?

As I said, I have no answers, but I ask only that you … think about it.

The Week’s Best Cartoons: The End of Roe v Wade?

Since I’ve largely been absent from the blogging scene for a couple of months, I haven’t shared one of TokyoSand’s political cartoon posts for a while.  Given the events of the past week, I figure there’s no time like the present!  Thank you, TS, for your efforts at finding the best of the best in political cartoons — drawings that say as much as a 1,000 word essay could!


There was a lot of big, shattering news this week, starting with the Supreme Court hearing an abortion case that could bring the end of Roe v. Wade to yet another school shooting. Brace yourselves, as some of these cartoons are pretty tough.

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

The Sanctity of Life Party?

I had every intention of writing a post about Tuesday’s school shooting in Michigan, the 29th school shooting so far this year — a year that had most schools closed until August. However, before I could put fingers to keyboard, I found this post by my writing partner Jeff, and since he said everything I wanted to say and did it even better than I could have, I am sharing Jeff’s post instead of re-inventing the wheel. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

On most days, parents drop their kids off at school, hoping they get a decent day of education and come home at night for supper. However, in the United States of America, that, unfortunately, is not always the case. There are times when some of those children do not come home. Because in this country, we value the right to have a firearm over the right not to be mowed down by a lunatic.

Only in America is this the case. And we have one political party that continues to look the other way and allow it to continue, unabated. This is also the same party that calls itself pro-life. The problem, of course, is that the only lives they consider sacred are the ones that sit in the womb of a mother.

The rest of us? Not so much.

On the day of yet another mass shooting at one…

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Women’s Rights Is Only The Beginning

Today the Supreme Court, once a fair and non-partisan branch of our federal government, is hearing a case to decide whether to uphold the recent Mississippi law banning abortions.  The general consensus is that the Court will, either in this case or the next one, do significant damage to Roe v Wade, if not completely overturn the 1973 decision that gave women the right to control their own bodies.

Make no mistake … this is NOT simply about abortion, about the fate of a fetus that might or might not otherwise become a human.  No, people, this is about women’s rights, about where women stand in the grand scheme of this country.  Make no mistake – the United States is still very much a man’s world where men, regardless of how corrupt, how cruel, how ignorant they are, are revered over women, considered somehow ‘superior’ to women by the majority of people.  Don’t believe me?  Look at the U.S. Congress and tell me how many women you see there?  144 women hold seats in the U.S. Congress, just under 27%, while women comprise more than 50% of the total population of the country.  Also notable is the disparity between parties … 105 of those 144 women are Democrats, while the other 39 are Republicans.  And frankly, among the Republican women in Congress are the likes of Margie Greene and Lauren Boebert … radical conspiracy theorists who are not in any way representative of women in this nation.

What’s next in the fight for women’s rights?  Will they take our right to vote?  To own property?  To divorce our husbands?  Women in this nation have had to fight tooth-and-nail for every single right we have, and now, thanks to the bigotry of the former guy and his court appointees, we stand to lose, stand to be shoved back into the dark ages of the nation’s history.  If the bigots have their way, a young girl raped by her father or an uncle will be forced to give birth to a baby, her life forever changed, forever damaged.  Thousands of unwanted children will be born into households where they stand no chance of a normal life, where food is scarce, where parents are ill-prepared to cope with another mouth to feed.

Given the current structure of the Supreme Court, I no longer hold out any hope for justice, for equality, for human rights to win the day.  The Court today is merely an extension of the Republican Party, the minority party and the radical religious right.  Separation of church and state is destined to become a tenet of the past as the Court supports the bigotry that is ingrained in the evangelical doctrine.  Sadly, women’s rights are not the only ones on the chopping block, but also LGBT rights and voting rights stand to take a knife in the back under today’s Court.

There is only one possible means of overcoming the radical right majority currently in the Supreme Court and possibly salvaging the third branch of the federal government, and that is for President Biden to add seats to the Court.  This is not as simple nor as straightforward as some would have us believe, but it may well be the last best hope this nation has of salvaging its democratic principles.  Without the checks and balances on the power of any one branch of the federal government, we are destined to become a nation ruled by religious bigotry, by men more interested in their own power and wealth than the well-being of the citizens of the nation.  I don’t know about you, but that is not a nation I would be proud to call home.  Think about it.

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Good grief!  Have the Republicans in Congress completely lost their bloody minds?  On Friday, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that has been the source of much haggling for months finally passed in the House.  It would not have passed this time either, had it not been for 13 Republicans who stepped up to the plate and put the best interests of the people ahead of the Republican Party.

  • Don Bacon of Nebraska
  • Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania
  • Andrew Garbarino of New York
  • Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio
  • John Katko of New York
  • Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
  • Nicole Malliotakis of New York
  • David McKinley of West Virginia
  • Tom Reed of New York
  • Chris Smith of New Jersey
  • Fred Upton of Michigan
  • Jeff van Drew of New Jersey
  • Don Young of Alaska

Filosofa gives a huge thumbs-up to these 13 men and women!  👍

But then came the repercussions from the circus show otherwise known as the GOP, or the Republican Party.  A sampling …

  • “I can’t believe Republicans just gave the Democrats their socialism bill” — Matt Gaetz  👎
  • “That 13 House Republicans provided the votes needed to pass this is absurd” — Chip Roy  👎
  • “Vote for this infrastructure bill and I will primary the hell out of you” — Madison Cawthorn  👎
  • Says ol’ Margie Greene … any Republican who voted for the bill would be “a traitor to our party, a traitor to their voters and a traitor to our donors.” After the vote, she accused the 13 of having voted to “pass Joe Biden’s Communist takeover of America” and tweeted the phone numbers to their congressional offices.  👎👎

It becomes obvious that either a) these people have no idea what ‘infrastructure’ is, or b) they don’t care if people are killed on crumbling roadways and bridges, if the people of this nation have clean, safe, drinking water, and more.  My best guess is the latter explanation … the Republican Party no longer gives a damn about their constituents or about the people who pay their salaries … they care only about their own power and wealth.

Six Democrats voted against the bill, but you don’t hear other Democrats deriding them and calling them names.  Just goes to show the difference in the level of maturity, don’t you think?

A number of Republicans are either leaving the party or deciding not to run again next year because they are ashamed of what the party has become and no longer wish to be associated with it.  While I fully understand their logic and cannot argue to the contrary, perhaps it would be better for the country if those few who still have a conscience stayed in the party and tried to make a difference.  We’ll never know.

The Republican Party has become something that would make the Founding Fathers roll over in their graves.  The only way they will change is if the most radical of them are voted out of office.  There was a time when I thought the vast majority of people in this country were too smart to fall for some of the crap the GOP is dishing out, but today I’m not so sure.

Being Awful a Prerequisite for GOP

I have not been up to reading blogs for several weeks now, but lying awake at 4:00 a.m., I decided to read this one of Jeff’s, for the title intrigued me. What Jeff says here is spot on and echoes my own thoughts exactly, only he says it far better than I could. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Growing up in Northeast Ohio in the 1960s and 70s, one thing my mother always taught me was to be polite. Yes, the golden rule is what many call the practice: Treat others as you wish to be treated. I’ve tried my level best to adhere to that mindset my entire life. Maybe I’ve fallen short here and there, but when I depart this earth at some point, I’ll have no regrets that I fulfilled my mom’s hope for her youngest son.

I’m beginning to wonder if the golden rule is slowly slipping away from us as a society. We don’t seem to care for our fellow human beings as we should. When you think about it, we’re not on this earth for a very long time. Why wouldn’t we at least make an honest effort to make it a more hospitable and friendly place?

When it comes to the…

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