My Worst Nightmare

Many things bother me at the moment:  Those who are actively rejecting the COVID vaccine; the determined obstruction by the Republican Party in Congress; climate change and those who refuse to so much as lift a finger to help reverse decades of man-made damage; wealthy people not paying their fair share in taxes; the ignorance of those who still believe in the former guy’s Big Lie, and the list goes on … and on.  However, the one thing that is keeping me awake nights, is bothering me more than any other single issue in this nation, that has made me contemplate seeking a new country to call home, is the current push for voter suppression and the fact that Congress and the Courts are doing NOTHING to stop states from attempting to move this nation back to the days of Jim Crow.

If you share my concerns, I hope you’ll take a minute to read Charles Blow’s latest column regarding voting rights … or should I say lack thereof …


Welcome to Jim Crow 2.0

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

In the wake of the Civil War, liberals in the North went about establishing Reconstruction, passing the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, greatly expanding the rights of Black people in America, and putting severe restrictions on Southern states before they could be readmitted to the Union.

But of course, the Northern liberals soon grew impatient with and tired of dealing with Reconstruction and the racial issues in the South. At the same time, racial terror was regaining strength in the region.

After Reconstruction was allowed to fail, the last remaining federal troops — who had helped protect Black people from the terrorists — were withdrawn from the South. Even though there was a large percentage of Black voters in many of these states — and Black voters were the majority in some — the terrorists were able to significantly reduce that voter participation through intimidation and violence.

In Mississippi, where Black voters were the overwhelming majority, this suppression succeeded well enough that in 1890 the state called a constitutional convention to write white supremacy into the DNA of the state and to restrict the Black vote.

Only one Black delegate was invited to the convention.

When Mississippi established its Jim Crow Constitution, it didn’t submit it to the public for a vote. Instead, it simply declared that “This Constitution, adopted by the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, shall be in force and effect from and after this the first day of November, A.D. 1890.”

If it had gone before the people, Black voters would have surely voted it down.

Because the Constitution was not put before the voters, there was some question about its validity, but that was put to rest in 1892, when, as The New York Times reported, “The Supreme Court today settled the point, which was made in a contested election case, holding that the Constitutional Convention was the embodiment of the sovereignty of the people, and that it was competent for it to put into effect the new Constitution without submission to be voted on.”

Without the courts or Congress stepping in to protect voter rights, Mississippi served as the shining beacon of a way forward, and state after state in the South followed, copying the Mississippi example and calling state constitutional conventions of their own, establishing Jim Crow in the South.

The racist South may have fallen in defeat in the Civil War, but it rose in victory in the ballot war.

Once Jim Crow was established, Washington was in no hurry to dismantle it. Liberals simply worked around it. For decades, they simply accommodated Southern racists so as not to offend them and to retain the possibility of earning their votes.

Black voters in the region, disenfranchised and therefore disempowered, were essentially written out of the political calculus.

It would take more than seven decades before Congress would fully restore voting rights for Black people in the South. So, a 30-year-old Black voter in Mississippi who was disenfranchised in 1890 very likely died never having cast another ballot.

These voter suppression efforts were so effective and so emboldening that they even led to a movement — though unsuccessful — to repeal the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed Black men the right to vote.

In 1903, Representative John S. Williams of Mississippi, a proponent of the repeal, called the 15th Amendment “one of the greatest crimes in political history.”

Fast forward to the present, when Donald Trump is calling his election loss “the greatest fraud in the history of our country from an electoral standpoint,” in part because it was made possible by the votes of Black and brown people.

Most of Trump history was a failure and embarrassment, but one of its great ignoble successes is that it is ushering in Jim Crow 2.0.

Just as in the 1890s, the courts and Congress are not doing much to stop the march of voter suppression. In 1890, Benjamin Harrison, a business-minded liberal who believed in Black people’s right to vote, was in office. He endorsed the federal elections bill that would protect Black people from raging voter suppression in the South.

The bill passed in the House but languished and died in the Senate — even though liberals controlled both chambers — in part because those liberals were more focused on other issues.

Then, as The Washington Post reported, around the time of the Mississippi constitutional convention, “African Americans from 40 counties in Mississippi had protested to President Benjamin Harrison, but he declined to intervene.”

President Biden hasn’t declined to intervene, but he has dragged his feet and not used the full force of the bully pulpit and still hasn’t given a full-throated endorsement of ending the filibuster to protect voting rights.

America is having a déjà vu moment, reliving in real time a horrendous history of more than a century ago, and it is impossible to understand how Democrats in Washington don’t see that.

There is no reason to believe that this round of voter suppression is the end of those efforts, and every reason to dread that any successful implementation of them would serve as an accelerant of further suppressive efforts.

Voter suppression is like an invasive weed. Either snatch it up by the root at the first sign of a sprig or it will spread, unchecked, and consume the whole garden.


I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a country that robs half of its people of the right to participate in government, the right to make their voices heard.

The United States: A SECULAR Nation! Let’s Keep It So

The United States of America is, by definition, a democratic republic.  It is also, by definition, a secular nation.  A secular nation, not one ruled by religious dogma, but by laws that are just and that benefit all citizens.  This nation is not a theocracy!  Please allow me to define these terms for you:

  • Secular – not subject to or bound by religious rule.
  • Democratic Republic – A democratic republic is a form of government operating on principles adopted from a republic and a democracy.
    • Republic – A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.
    • Democracy – A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
  • Theocracy – a form of government in which a deity of some type is recognized as the supreme ruling authority, giving divine guidance to human intermediaries that manage the day-to-day affairs of the government.

For the past several years, certain religions, particularly evangelical Christians, have been attempting to change the structure of this nation in such a way that would force the 330 million inhabitants of the U.S. to live by the narrowly defined rules of a single sect.  Now if, say, the evangelicals constituted a vast majority of the people in this nation – at least 98% — then this might be almost acceptable.  But they do not.  They are a minority.  Evangelicals comprise approximately 25.4% of the people in this nation.  By any standard, any way you choose to cut the pie, 25.4% is NOT a majority!  In addition, nearly as many, some 22.9% ascribe to no religion at all.

I try extremely hard to never criticize a person’s religion or religious beliefs, even though I do not share them.  I believe that we each have a right to believe as we wish, as we see fit, and that it is only right to respect others’ beliefs.  None of us know what is or isn’t, what may or may not be our future. That doesn’t mean that I give anybody the right to attempt to convert me or to shove their beliefs down my throat, and in return, I don’t ask them to listen to me expound on why I don’t believe as they do.  Rather a truce … believe as you will, just don’t expect me to believe as you do.  But today, I am seeing a threat to our secularity, a threat to the very principles on which this nation was founded.

What, you may ask, has lit my fuse?  A ‘man’ named Landon Schott, a ‘pastor’ at a church, ‘Mercy Culture Church’ in Fort Worth, Texas.  This church has become a beacon, as it were, for the new Republican Party, the one that is under some spell by the former guy and hopes to demolish the concept of ‘separation of church and state’.  This ‘man’ had the unmitigated gall, on the day after the attack on Congress and the Capitol in January, to stand in front of the Capitol and say, “Father, we declare America is yours.”  WHO THE HELL gave him the keys to the kingdom, the right to hand over our lives???

But it isn’t only Mr. Schott … he is only one of many who happened to cross my radar at the exact wrong moment.  There is an entire network of evangelical churches in this nation, with followings in the hundreds of thousands, who are on a mission not just to transform individual lives but also to turn civilization itself into their version of “God’s Kingdom”: one with two genders, no abortion, a free-market economy, bible-based education, church-based social programs and laws such as the ones curtailing LGBTQ rights now moving through statehouses around the country.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom.  What that means is it guarantees that you can belong to any church you wish, or no church at all.  It means you can believe in any deity you choose to believe in, read any religious tomes you wish, and the United States government will not interfere – unless, of course, you engage in human sacrifices or some other illegal ritual.  What it does not mean is that you can impose your will on others. Period. In this nation there are people of many different religions:  Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Jain, and others.  There are also those of us who do not believe in a deity at all but believe that people control their own destiny.  How, then, can one single religion with very narrow views that would exclude some 75% of us, hope to control the laws of the land?

The simple answer is that they cannot and that the U.S. Constitution prohibits a theocratic government, so that’s that, right?  But is it?  Look at the Supreme Court, the branch of government that is the last best hope for interpreting and applying Constitutional Law.  Look at the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, a blow to LGBTQ rights.  Most people expect the Supreme Court to overturn the previous Roe v Wade decision that was a boost to women’s rights.  How many states have either passed laws or have pending legislation to rob women of the right to make their own decisions regarding their health, their body?

My point is that this nation was founded on principles you will find if you read the Constitution – it’s only just over 8,000 words and easily readable in a couple of hours.  Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution will you find that religion, certainly not a single specific religion, should be the guiding principle for the laws of the land.

Y’know … it’s funny that a few years back the conservatives in this country were all up in arms saying that the Muslims who had migrated to the U.S. were trying to impose Sharia Law on the citizens of the U.S.  Now, not a single one of those people understood what the term even meant, and they had no basis in fact for their claims, but … since when did that ever stop people from making fools of themselves?  But now, they are suggesting essentially the same thing … that we impose ‘Christian Law’ upon the citizens of this nation.  We are NOT all Christians and we don’t all believe the same.  I repeat what I said in the beginning … believe and worship as you will, but this is a SECULAR nation, NOT a Christian nation!!!

If I have offended any with this post, I apologize, for it was not my intention to do so.  I respect your right to believe as you wish, and ask only that you also respect mine.

The Case Of Mr. Hervis Rogers

Texas, like many other states, has been desperately looking for cases of voter fraud in the 2020 election.  Finding none, they seized on a 62-year-old man … a Black man, naturally … to make an example, to plead their case for the latest round of voter suppression laws they are attempting to pass.  Charles M. Blow, writing for the New York Times, sums up the tragic case of Mr. Hervis Rogers … if this story doesn’t make you sick, doesn’t stir your ire, then I don’t know what will.


The Voter Fraud Fraud

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

July 11, 2021

It was March 3, 2020, the day of the Democratic primary in Texas, and Hervis Rogers, a 62-year-old Black man, was intent on making his voice heard at the ballot box. He arrived at the polling place around 7 p.m. and joined the line.

The polling place later closed to new people joining the line, but Rogers remained. Other people trickled away, unable or unwilling to wait, but Rogers remained. He stayed in that line for nearly seven hours until he was finally able to vote at 1:30 a.m.

Rogers also voted in the November 2018 election.

But there was a complication: Rogers was out on parole for a 1995 second-degree felony conviction for burglary. His parole was set to end in a few months, but it hadn’t ended when he voted in the primary.

As The Texan has reported, “According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Rogers’s parole extended to June 13, 2020. In 2016, however, he signed and submitted a voter registration card swearing that he was not finally convicted or on parole at the time.”

This, in Texas, is against the law — and punishable by a severe sentence, at least for those who “knowingly” violate this election law. Rogers claims that he didn’t knowingly do so, but it doesn’t matter: He is a Black man with a criminal history, a perfect boogeyman and scapegoat to help illustrate a virtually nonexistent problem of voter fraud.

On Wednesday, the day before the Texas Legislature was to convene in a special session called by the governor to pass a draconian voter suppression bill that Democrats had blocked in the regular session by walking out, authorities in Texas made a huge splash by arresting Rogers. The New York Times last week interviewed one of Rogers’s lawyers, Tommy Buser-Clancy, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, and reported that Rogers “could face upward of 40 years in prison — 20 years for each charge, according to Mr. Buser-Clancy, who added that Mr. Rogers’s past criminal record meant that the sentence could be even higher.”

This entire case is an abomination. Rogers became the straw man for their special session.

But the history of pursuing Black people for voter fraud is long. It is a form of terror as a deterrent. It is a scare tactic aimed at the Black people who intend to vote and for the benefit of the white electorate nervous that their electoral power and supremacy is in retreat. According to their logic, the determinative white vote and white voice is in danger not because of shifts in values and demographics, but because of deceit and chicanery. As such, they must pass laws to crack down and ensure the purity of the vote. They don’t want to bolster the vote, but to bleach it.

This is not the first time that Texas has targeted a Black person for voter fraud.

As The Times reported in April:

On Election Day 2016, Crystal Mason went to vote after her mother insisted that she make her voice heard in the presidential election. When her name didn’t appear on official voting rolls at her polling place in Tarrant County, Texas, she filled out a provisional ballot, not thinking anything of it.

Ms. Mason’s ballot was never officially counted or tallied because she was ineligible to vote: She was on supervised release after serving five years for tax fraud. Nonetheless, that ballot has wrangled her into a lengthy appeals process after a state district court sentenced her to five years in prison for illegal voting, as she was a felon on probation when she cast her ballot.

The Black vote is targeted for suppression in all sorts of ways: requiring IDs that Black voters are less likely to have, restricting the times and places at which ballots can be cast, purging voter rolls and preventing those convicted of crimes from casting ballots.

As NPR reported Friday, “Those critics also say these laws also disproportionately impact people of color. There were almost 160,000 people in Texas prisons in 2016, according to research from the Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform group. More than 490,000 Texans were on probation or parole in 2017, and Black Texans were four times more likely to be incarcerated than white Texans, the group said.”

Each voter suppression tactic may only shave off a few percentage points from the tally, if that, but in close elections small margins matter. Taken together, these tactics can have an even larger effect.

And this prosecution of Black people who vote after convictions is not limited to Texas. Lanisha Bratcher, a Black woman in North Carolina on probation after being convicted of assault, was arrested three years after she voted in the 2016 presidential election, and faced nearly two years in prison for it.

As Christina Rivers, an associate professor of political science at DePaul University, has written, felon disenfranchisement has a long history: “These laws first appeared in the United States in the early 19th century” and “reinforced precepts of Black inferiority and criminality that pervaded the colonial and antebellum eras, and thus have had a particularly pernicious effect on African-American political power.”

Black people are targeted by the criminal justice system and that is used to target them by the electoral system. Either way, if you are Black in America, you are a target.

What if…

Last night, I read Brosephus’ latest post shortly before going to bed — warning: do NOT make this post your bedtime reading! Brosephus paints a chilling scenario, one that ten years ago I would have laughed off as fiction, but one that today … I’m no longer laughing. We must do everything in our power to ensure that there is no possibility of this happening, and the first step is to protect voting rights … hear that, Congress???

The Mind of Brosephus

Screenshot of the WSBTV app @ 3:21pm 7/11/21

After watching the GOP evolve (devolve depending on your perspective) into a hard right authoritarian party, I’ve convinced myself there are two types of conservatives. There are the puppeteers consisting of groups like the Federalist Society, Fox News and others. Then, there are the puppets which is basically everyone else. This specific grouping is a topic for another post, but kinda relevant to the scenario that just popped into my head.

While sitting on my back deck and enjoying a summer breeze, I logged into the app pictured above, and that’s the image that greeted me. Notice the top 3 stories AND the red banner? Yeah, I did to. That got the gears in my head to spinning at about 12,000rpm, well beyond the redline of 10,000rpm. *(Just glad that I didn’t burn my brain down in the process…)

Anyway, travel with…

View original post 746 more words

Kevin’s Slim Pickens

Clay Jones is, as usual, spot on with this one about the House Committee to investigate the events of January 6th.

claytoonz

Cjones07132021

A friend of mine used to hold a July 4th pool party every year…until one attendee got drunk and pooped in the pool. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence the pool pooper is a Republican. But nevertheless, no more July 4th pool parties. And pooping in the pool is exactly what House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to do in the January 6 Committee.

The first attempt to have a commission to investigate the white nationalist MAGA terrorist insurrection on the Capitol Complex passed the House with very little GOP support, and died in the Senate. Republicans claimed they voted against it because the commission, with equal representation by both parties and each having full subpoena powers, would be too partisan. Before the vote, Democrats gave Republicans EVERYTHING they demanded before they could vote for it…and they still voted against it.

It’s kinda like taking your kids shopping for back-to-school…

View original post 795 more words

Commitment To Ignorance?

More than a few times in the past few months/years, I have thought that the biggest hurdle to sanity in our country was one thing:  ignorance.  I don’t say ‘stupidity’, for that implies an inability to comprehend, but rather ignorance, which is the refusal to comprehend, to consider other options, other ways of doing things.  A few days ago, I came across this OpEd by Paul Krugman writing for the New York Times that I think speaks volumes about our current situation.


What Underlies the G.O.P. Commitment to Ignorance?

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

June 28, 2021

As everyone knows, leftists hate America’s military. Recently, a prominent left-wing media figure attacked Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declaring, “He’s not just a pig, he’s stupid.”

Oh, wait. That was no leftist, that was Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. What set Carlson off was testimony in which Milley told a congressional hearing that he considered it important “for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and widely read.”

The problem is obvious. Closed-mindedness and ignorance have become core conservative values, and those who reject these values are the enemy, no matter what they may have done to serve the country.

The Milley hearing was part of the orchestrated furor over “critical race theory,” which has dominated right-wing media for the past few months, getting close to 2,000 mentions on Fox so far this year. One often sees assertions that those attacking critical race theory have no idea what it’s about, but I disagree; they understand that it has something to do with assertions that America has a history of racism and of policies that explicitly or implicitly widened racial disparities.

And such assertions are unmistakably true. The Tulsa race massacre really happened, and it was only one of many such incidents. The 1938 underwriting manual for the Federal Housing Administration really did declare that “incompatible racial groups should not be permitted to live in the same communities.”

We can argue about the relevance of this history to current policy, but who would argue against acknowledging simple facts?

The modern right, that’s who. The current obsession with critical race theory is a cynical attempt to change the subject away from the Biden administration’s highly popular policy initiatives, while pandering to the white rage that Republicans deny exists. But it’s only one of multiple subjects on which willful ignorance has become a litmus test for anyone hoping to succeed in Republican politics.

Thus, to be a Republican in good standing one must deny the reality of man-made climate change, or at least oppose any meaningful action to limit greenhouse gas emissions. One must reject or at least express skepticism about the theory of evolution. And don’t even get me started on things like the efficacy of tax cuts.

What underlies this cross-disciplinary commitment to ignorance? On each subject, refusing to acknowledge reality serves special interests. Climate denial caters to the fossil fuel industry; evolution denial caters to religious fundamentalists; tax-cut mysticism caters to billionaire donors.

But there’s also, I’d argue, a spillover effect: Accepting evidence and logic is a sort of universal value, and you can’t take it away in one area of inquiry without degrading it across the board. That is, you can’t declare that honesty about America’s racial history is unacceptable and expect to maintain intellectual standards everywhere else. In the modern right-wing universe of ideas, everything is political; there are no safe subjects.

This politicization of everything inevitably creates huge tension between conservatives and institutions that try to respect reality.

There have been many studies documenting the strong Democratic lean of college professors, which is often treated as prima facie evidence of political bias in hiring. A new law in Florida requires that each state university conduct an annual survey “which considers the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented,” which doesn’t specifically mandate the hiring of more Republicans but clearly gestures in that direction.

An obvious counterargument to claims of biased hiring is self-selection: How many conservatives choose to pursue careers in, say, sociology? Is hiring bias the reason police officers seem to have disproportionately supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, or is this simply a reflection of the kind of people who choose careers in law enforcement?

But beyond that, the modern G.O.P. is no home for people who believe in objectivity. One striking feature of surveys of academic partisanship is the overwhelming Democratic lean in hard sciences like biology and chemistry; but is that really hard to understand when Republicans reject science on so many fronts?

One recent study marvels that even finance departments are mainly Democratic. Indeed, you might expect finance professors, some of whom do lucrative consulting for Wall Street, to be pretty conservative. But even they are repelled by a party committed to zombie economics.

Which brings me back to General Milley. The U.S. military has traditionally leaned Republican, but the modern officer corps is highly educated, open-minded and, dare I say it, even a bit intellectual — because those are attributes that help win wars.

Unfortunately, they are also attributes the modern G.O.P. finds intolerable.

So something like the attack on Milley was inevitable. Right-wingers have gone all in on ignorance, so they were bound to come into conflict with every institution — including the U.S. military — that is trying to cultivate knowledge.

I Still Care, Dammit

I’m tired, folks.  I’m sick and tired of fighting to try to make people care about their own lives, their own future.  I’m tempted to say, “To hell with you all!  You want to die of COVID, then go right ahead.  You want to be a racist, a homophobe, to hate people you don’t even know based on a single characteristic – then go ahead, limit your world to a handful of white bigots like yourself.  You want to live in a country where chaos is the norm, where no laws benefitting you or anybody else ever pass, then fine … enjoy your petty, shallow life as a tool in the Republican toolbox!”  I’m tempted to say that, and I can afford to, for my own life is in its twilight hours, but what stops me is that the majority of us have children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren who deserve better than the ignorant among us would subject us to.

With every passing day, there is more and more wrong in this country.  The causes are two-fold:  the greed of our politicians and the ignorance of the voting public.  The majority of us still use our brains, still understand that the current situation is untenable, and are looking for reasonable solutions.  But therein lies the problem … reasonable solutions to unreasonable problems simply don’t work.

The personification of this is a statement by a right-wing shock jock the other day …

“If you tell people you can’t have a Twitter account, you can’t have a Facebook account, well, what else is there to do but actually walk into the Capitol and go all insurrectional? If you can’t talk about it, you can only act.”

Wow … so, next time I get banned from Twitter, I should go into the Capitol with my gun and face-paint and threaten people’s lives?  What rocks do these people come out from under???  Worse yet … how many people agree with his statement?  How many people believe that if you don’t like something, you should simply shoot it, blow it up, or otherwise disable it?

Among my former ‘friends’ are a number of people who are simply giddy … yes, giddy … about the current state of affairs, the chaos and drama perpetuated by politicians on the Republican side of the aisle.  It’s excitement in their boring little lives … to them it is akin to watching an exciting shoot-em up movie.

Folks, this is not a game, this is not a movie, this is not some country in the undeveloped world … this is the United States, once a respected republic, but now … now the laughingstock of the Western world.  We are no longer respected, we are no longer trusted among our allies.  Why?  Need you ask?

While citizens in other nations are still under lockdown, still waiting for the vaccine to become available to them, the people of the United States are stubbornly proclaiming the vaccine to be akin to some nefarious plot by government, comparing it to Naziism, to Apartheid.  Obviously, these people have no sense of history, do not understand either concept, and have no concept of how many innocent people died as a result of both.  Ignorance, again.

I have to wonder … since we are obviously not teaching our children history, such as the history of South Africa or Germany and Europe before and during World War II, and since we have obviously NOT taught them to THINK for themselves, what the Sam Hell are we teaching them in school?  Which leads me to another pet peeve … the Republicans denial of Critical Race Theory, which is not much more than the fact that racism is carefully embedded in our systems as a result of the racist history of this nation.  The Republicans claim none of this is true … or, if it is, they don’t want the next generation to know about it.  Let’s hide slavery, Jim Crow, police killings, the removal and murder of Native Americans, the Japanese internment camps, and more.  Yes, let’s bury the evidence, not let our children know what evil has persisted in this nation ever since well before it was even a nation.

I am, needless to say, disappointed in the people of this nation.  I am disappointed in any who can still believe in the Big Lie, who can support anyone affiliated with the Republican Party.  I am disappointed in friends who are too shallow to even pay attention to what is happening in this nation, but instead focus on “being happy” to the exclusion of all else.  If the people of this nation don’t wake up soon, it will be too late and this nation will find itself in the same situation as other nations under dictatorial regimes.  The ignorance of people in the United States is rapidly driving us into a descent from which there may never be a lifeline.  For my money, I am 70 years of age with likely only another year or two on earth, but I have loved ones who will survive me and for their sake, I still care.  Damn me … I still care.

Governance??? I Think Not!

If you step back for a minute or two … take a few deep breaths and ponder the news stories of the past week … you cannot help but conclude that this nation is in one heck of a mess, thanks almost exclusively to the Republican Party, formerly known as the GOP that once stood for ‘Grand’ Old Party.  Never in my 70 years have I seen so much blatant corruption, so much complete disregard for the well-being of this nation and its people as I’m seeing today.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in a single story, or a few particular stories, that you literally cannot see the forest for the trees, but once you step back and look from a distance, you cannot help being horrified at the bloody mess we are in.

Just a few examples …

  • Republicans have attempted to shift the blame for the January 6th attempted insurrection/coup to such groups as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, neither of which were on the scene, neither of which would be caught dead wearing the maga gear and painted bodies that the insurrectionists wore.
  • One freshman House member, also a follower of the conspiracy theory group QAnon, continually compares the mask mandate and push to get the nation vaccinated with Hitler and the Holocaust!
  • Not one single Republican voted for the American Rescue Plan Act, aka the Coronavirus Relief Bill in March, however they have all been more than willing to take credit when they are among their constituents.
  • The entire Republican Party has defended the filibuster … an outdated act that has been used more often than not to protect white supremacy.
  • The Republicans in Congress have done their level best to attempt to stifle any bipartisan investigation into the events and origins of January 6th, and even members of Congress who were frightened for their lives and condemned the insurrectionists on that day, have now claimed it was nothing more than a few tourists.
  • The majority of Republicans still claim to believe the Big Lie, despite every shred of evidence supporting President Biden’s win in November 2020.

And those are just a few.  But what set me off tonight was a Republican House member Charles Eugene Roy, aka Chip Roy.  This ‘man’ has been in Congress since January 2019 which, in my book, is about 30 months too long!  Roy is a Republican and a Texan who served as chief of staff to Senator Ted Cruz, which should tell you most of what you need to know.  He’s done a number of stupid things since taking office, but the one I focus on today is a statement caught on tape in which he said …

“Nobody knows what anybody’s gonna do right now. That’s the thing, this is the problem. I actually say, ‘Thank the Lord, 18 more months of chaos and the inability to get stuff done.’ That’s what we want.  Honestly, right now, for the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022, and then get in there and lead. I do not apologize one bit for pushing back against the leftist mob that seeks to destroy America from within. I am proud of this country, not embarrassed by it and I will obstruct the agenda of those that are with everything I’ve got.”

There is not a doubt in my mind that Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and a host of other congressional Republicans have said the exact same thing, but just didn’t happen to get caught on tape.  So this, my friends, is the Republican Party platform:  obstruct and obfuscate.  Ensure that President Biden gets no legislation passed.  Ensure that the Democrats’ policies are dead on arrival.  Ensure that the people of this nation get no benefit from such things as an increase in the minimum wage, infrastructure repairs & renovations, lower prescription prices, gun regulations that will save lives, expanded early childhood education, environmental regulations to counter climate change, or any other damn thing that might help We the People, that might make this nation a better place for us all!  This isn’t governance, this is game playing … with our LIVES!

Chip Roy should give back the $435,000 that he has thus far been paid as a member of the House of Representatives, for he represents NONE of us!  Frankly, we should demand a return of his salary and a few hundred others who have done not one damn thing for this country other than stir up trouble, encourage racism, and take bribes in the form of campaign donations from rich corporations.

I’ve noted on more than one occasion that the Republican Party does not appear to have a platform, no policies, no ideology other than to obstruct and criticize the Democrats.  Mr. Roy’s words simply support what I’ve said … there IS NO policy, there is NOTHING of substance within the Republican Party.  They are, as I’ve also said, the party of “NO” and nothing more.  The only thing they seem to stand for is turning this nation from what was once a democratic republic into an autocratic plutocracy, and they’re doing a damn fine job of it!  Voter suppression seems to be at the top of their list, for unless they suppress our votes, the votes of women, of the poor, of Blacks and Hispanics, they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning an election.  So, nearly every single state in the nation is pushing through voter suppression laws and last week the Supreme Court effectively tore down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and gave the ignominious Republican Party a ‘thumbs up’.

Democrats damn well better get their act together and come up with some truly great humanitarian policies and some equally great candidates for office.  Only one seat in the Senate and 5 seats in the House of Representatives must be flipped in order to give the Republicans a majority in both chambers of Congress.  WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN!

Boom 🧨

Just what pleasure do people get from setting off obnoxiously loud fireworks for hours on end?  I’ve never understood it.  I am sitting here at just after midnight, and every few seconds comes another loud BOOM!  This is an apartment complex of 180 townhouses, most occupied by working class families with children and pets.  Some actually go to bed and sleep at night, but obviously not tonight. My own cats are cowering under the sofa.  There are a number of fireworks shows in and around this city with fireworks that are actually pretty, that light up the night sky with colour, so why don’t these fools attend one of those?  No, they would rather set off fireworks that only make loud noise and cause my heart to literally jump with every single one.  I am too old for this crap.

The reason for the fireworks?  Today is the 4th of July 2021.  Here in the United States it is a federal holiday commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.  There was a time when this day meant something to me. Today, I find it difficult to feel any particular loyalty to a nation that is so divided we seem to be two distinctly separate countries, only without geographic boundaries.  There is no middle ground anymore … you are either a liberal or conservative, Democrat of Republican, human or racist, thinker or follower.  There have, of course, always been such divisions, but until about a decade ago, there was a middle ground, some things that we could all agree on.  Today, that middle ground is gone, replaced by a wide chasm, a desolate wasteland where neither side will venture.  Worse yet, civility and respect have also flown the coop such that if one person disagrees with another, they will call each other vulgar names and hurl accusations, maybe even threats.

We are on a path that is taking us far from the ideology that this nation was once based on, that of “all ‘men’ being created equal.”  Racism is on the rise around the nation, promoted by many of our elected officials.  Our right to participate in our government via our vote is on the chopping block and was dealt what may turn out to be a death blow last Thursday by none other than the U.S. Supreme Court.

Inflation is >5% just in the past year, and many families who lost income during the pandemic are struggling to survive while state governments are cutting unemployment benefits.

Gun violence is beyond words … anybody can buy and own a gun … as many of them as they want.  They can buy automatic weapons that can kill everyone in the room within a minute or two.  Shootings at grocery stores, mosques, on the streets, in theaters and bars have become commonplace and one half of the nation would protect their right to own a gun before they would protect their own children.

The U.S. is the #1 per capita emitter of the carbon that is literally killing us all with melting icecaps, rising sea levels, deadly heat, water shortages, ruined crops and more and the people of this nation rebel at any suggestion that they make certain lifestyle changes to try to turn things around.

No, I’m afraid there really isn’t a whole lot to celebrate this holiday.  The one bright spot is that we do, after four long years, finally have a president who is intelligent and compassionate, who cares about the needs of the people, but even that bright light is dimmed by those who would put up obstacles at every turn to slow or halt any progress he might make.

So no, I’m not celebrating this holiday … this is just another Sunday to me and frankly I’ll be glad when this long weekend is over and the fireworks stop so the kitties can come out from under the sofa, we can stop worrying about a fire here in da hood, and my heart can settle back into my chest.

Is the GOP Inherently Corrupt?

Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written a thoughtful, brief analysis of how the GOP went from being “The Party of Lincoln” to being the party of obstruction and conspiracy theories. While we can see how the GOP came to be frequently referred to as the GQP (Goofy QAnon Party), the question now is … will this be the end of the party, or is this only the beginning of a party that prefers fascism over democracy? Thanks, Jeff, for this excellent post!

On The Fence Voters


Inherent — existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute.

No, the disgraced 45th president of the United States was not the cause of the corruption that infects today’s iteration of the GOP. He was merely a cancerous symptom of a deep dive into the throws of corrupt behavior that’s been part of this party for decades now.

If we’re lucky, he’ll be the final nail in the coffin by which the party begins to moderate their views and act like they want to participate in our democracy the way our Founding Fathers expected. If not, we may be looking at an America most of us would never have thought possible — the authoritarian march to fascism. We’re not there yet, but it’s getting pretty damn close.

Again, though, it didn’t start with Trump. This once-proud party, the one that can claim Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower as one of their own…

View original post 1,480 more words