Senator Rick Scott’s Narrow Mind

Speaking of Republicans … I do seem to do that a lot lately, don’t I?  They just give us so much fuel for the fires!  Republican Senator Rick Scott from Florida crosses my radar at least once a week, but I’ve largely learned to ignore him just as I have so many others.  He does, however, manage to make my antennae twitch when he goes all-out riding the bigot train as he did recently.

Last week, Scott was doing a radio interview (seems to me some members of Congress spend more time on the media circuit than they spend in the Capitol) when the host, Martha Zoller, brought up the topic of immigration.  Now, you might think that Scott, being an ultra-conservative Republican in this, the 21st century, would be completely against immigration, but you’d be wrong.  Oh no … Scott has a proposal:

“Why don’t we have a legal immigration system for the people that want to come and live our dream, that want to live, that believe in our Judeo-Christian values? Alright? Why don’t we want more? If we’re going to have more immigration, alright, let’s do that.”

Wow … I dunno, maybe some people would be happy living in a nation that only welcomes Christians, but … I personally value diversity.  Our closest friends are a family of immigrants from Iraq who came to the U.S. seven years ago and almost immediately we began learning from each other, became best friends, and still today remain so. Last year after my 11 days in the hospital, they cooked dinner for us every night for over a month!   I cherish what I have learned from them and our exchange of cultures.  I have tried and loved some Arabic foods, have picked up a few words of Arabic, though with my failing memory my attempts to say something in Arabic usually end in resounding laughter!  No, their skin is not lily-white, and no, they are not Christians, they are of the Muslim faith, but … so what???  They are wonderful people and my life is richer for knowing them!  And yet Mr. Rick Scott would shun them?

The United States was founded in part on freedom of religion.  That gives me the right to be a non-believer, that gives Rick Scott the right to be a Christian, and it gives my neighbors the right to be Muslim.  If this country tilts toward Rick Scott’s vision, then we are no longer the United States of America that was established by the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.  And if we allow this abominable sort of discrimination, then we are depriving ourselves of a myriad of opportunities to learn more about the world, to open our minds and our hearts. I have zero desire to live in a country of bigoted, narrow-minded people who think everyone must conform to their ways, their beliefs.


One last thing … I came across this a few days ago and found it so apt

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix

Rights And Freedoms — Part I — Freedom of Speech

1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 15 December 1791


Throughout the centuries, very few limitations have been placed on the First Amendment even as people pushed the envelope using it as cover for everything from child pornography to outright threats of violence.  Let’s make something perfectly clear up front here, since today all I hear is people proclaiming their ‘rights’:  Your freedom, your ‘right’ stops where it crosses the line of another person’s freedom or rights.  Period.

You have a right to exercise your freedom of religion by holding a religious ceremony for whatever purpose you see fit, but you cannot hold it on my lawn.  You have a right to tell me what you think of me, but not to threaten me or my family with bodily harm.  And I have a right to set limits in my own home, such as you do NOT have a right to bring a gun into my home. 

Two of my overseas friends last week, David in the UK and Andrea in Australia, both made essentially the same comment, that the United States has too many of the wrong sort of freedoms.  I didn’t have to think about it long … about 15 seconds, I think … to realize that they are both right and that I fully agree.  Our Constitution gives us a number of rights, but we have abused them, for we seem not to remember that with rights come responsibilities.  You have a right to say what you think, but also a responsibility not to cause harm.  You have a right to worship as you please, but also a responsibility to recognize and honour the fact that others have the same right and may not share your same views.

I was a teen during the Vietnam War years when protesting was almost a career for some, and yet I never saw the same sort of hatred, the incitement for violence, the outright lies that I am seeing in our country today.  Sure, young people were angry in the 1960s that our government was sending our young men – brothers, boyfriends, husbands – to fight a war halfway across the world that we knew could not be won.  But we didn’t threaten to kill.  We knew better than to cross certain lines of decency.

Not long ago, the Republican Party issued an edict of sorts claiming that the seditious attempted coup on January 6th 2021 was “Legitimate Political Discourse”.  My jaw still drops when I hear that.  NO, IT WAS NOT!  Police officers died defending the Capitol and democracy on that day. Property belonging to We the People was damaged, there were threats to the lives of Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. And the goal was to overturn the will of the people, to deny our voices, to essentially overturn the United States government and the Constitution. It was not discourse, it was not civil, and it was NOT what the framers of the U.S. Constitution had in mind back in 1787. 

I cannot condone, nor should anyone condone, the use of foul language or threats of bodily harm … that is not ‘freedom of speech’, that is incitement of violence.  When people condemn or threaten those in the LGBTQ+ community, that is NOT freedom of speech … that is robbing someone else of the freedom to live in safety, being who they are.  Again … your freedom STOPS at the point where it infringes on mine or another person’s.  You do NOT have the right to dictate who a person should marry, whether a woman should have a child or not, what religion – if any – a person observes, where they live, or what they believe.

We are a nation of rights and freedoms, but we have historically abused them, never more so than in this, the 21st century.  If we continue to abuse them, we will lose them.  No, that is not hyperbole … at some point, we will lose the freedom to say what’s on our mind if we cannot do so within the confines or decency and respect.  Perhaps James Madison, the chief author of the First Amendment, gave people too much credit for humanity, compassion, and human decency.  Perhaps they did not realize that at some point, destruction and inciting violence would be classified as ‘free speech’, else they might have put some constraints on that ‘right’.  Or, perhaps people then were kinder, more deserving of a nearly unlimited freedom of speech.


We hear a lot these days about individual ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights’ but very little about the responsibilities that accompany those freedoms and rights.  Over the course of the next week or two, I plan to do another post or two on other of our rights such as freedom of the press and the 2nd Amendment, the ‘right’ to bear arms.  Please feel free to make suggestions if there are other ‘rights’ you would like to see discussed.

This, That, and ‘TOONS!

Until the past week, I was generally able to focus on a single issue or topic for an entire post, but my mind seems to be made of rubber these days and just bounces all over the place, hence I have done a number of posts with a variety of ‘mini-thoughts’.  This afternoon’s post is yet another such …


Apparently, some people wish to live in a nation where all people are controlled by a single religious belief set.  To those people I say, “Then please, feel free to relocate to Iran.  I would caution you, though, if you are a woman, you will be controlled, manipulated, and killed if you break the religious laws. If you are a gay person, you will be killed if it is discovered, no questions asked.”  Meanwhile, here in the United States, women are, at least in theory, given equal rights, although only for the past 100 years or so.  We now have the right to divorce our spouse, to own property in {gasp} our own name, receive equal pay for equal work, and even to … VOTE!  Okay, so we’re still working on that ‘bodily autonomy’ thing, but we’ll get there, because it’s important enough for us to fight tooth and nail for.  That’s not quite how it works over in Iran, but hey … if people want religious laws to dominate the people, they’ll just have to … get over the level of bigotry that is the foundation of such a society.  Meanwhile, here in the U.S. the majority of us fully support women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and realize it is nobody’s business whether a woman chooses to have children or who a person chooses to love.

I respect every person’s right to believe as they wish, to adhere to the religion of their choice or no religion, if that is their choice.  But what I cannot tolerate is people trying to force everyone into their own narrow-minded box.  One of the things that the United States is noted for is freedom of religion, freedom to believe as you choose.  You have the right to attend the church, mosque or synagogue of your choice and participate in the various rites & rituals of your religion. BUT … when politicians pander to a religious group that wants to impose their will on the entirety of the nation, they are attempting to rob us of one of our most fundamental constitutional freedoms.  Be a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or a Jain, but don’t tell me that I have to believe as you do.  Freedom OF religion must also include freedom FROM religion as an option.  The United States is not and should not become a ‘Christian nation’ but is founded on the basis of welcoming people of ALL beliefs.


A reader recently commented the following in regard to my concern for the environment:

“Time for the USA to get the message. As far as destruction of the enviro, humans cause somewhere i between 0.00020% and o.00034% of global warming. We’ve seen far bigger periods of gobal warming and ice ages throughout recorded history. Guess why the ice desert Greenland is called Greenland. It was fuxn green when the first settlers arrived there. In late Roman times they made wine in England! And we had periods of unusual warm weather but also mini ice ages and freak storms not too far in the past. Vineta (Atlantis) happened in medieval times, Tenerife will probably split in two during our lifetimes. With or without our ‘help’.”

How does one even converse with someone who is so convinced their ignorant views are correct and who looks down their nose at those of us who believe the science that tells us human activities, particularly continually increasing emissions of CO2 are creating an environment that will no longer be able to sustain human … or most other … life within a relatively few short years?  I have come to the point that I no longer bother to respond to such, for there is no give-and-take, no meaningful dialog, just arrogance and an unwillingness to consider facts.


Lindsey Graham said that if Catherine Cortez Masto beats Adam Laxalt in the race for the senate seat from Nevada, then it was fraud.  So, let me get this straight:  If the candidate Lindsey likes loses, it was fraud, but if his candidate wins, it was a fair and honest election.  Sounds to me like a rather juvenile viewpoint, rather like the ten-year-old child turning over the checkerboard and running in tears to her room and slamming the door because her dad won the game.  “No fair!  You cheated!”  But then, I guess the ten-year-old mentality is in keeping with the Republican modus operandi of late, ever since they decided to make a ‘man’ with a funny creature atop his head, a pocky complexion, a contorted mouth, and lies flowing from his mouth their “Supreme Leader”.  As of 8:49 p.m. last night, Cortez Masto is the projected winner of the race for the senate seat from Nevada, giving the Democrats a majority in the U.S. Senate.  I wonder what ol’ Lindsey will have to say this morning?  Will he have the decency to keep his mouth shut, or will he whine and demand that the election be overturned?


My jaw dropped last night when I logged onto Twitter and found that an off-the-cuff remark I had left on someone’s tweet had gained 1,281 likes, 92 retweets, and 51 comments!!!  I’M A TWITTER CELEBRITY!!!  (just kidding)  I have never had more than 30 or so likes on any tweet or tweet comment I’ve made.  Never!  This is the tweet and my response that gained so much notoriety …


And I conclude with a few political ‘toons I’ve run across over the past few days …

A Wise Man Speaks Words Of Wisdom

I avoid religious discussions here on Filosofa’s Word as much as is possible or feasible, for I am non-religious and feel I don’t have a horse in this race, but every now and then I tread softly into the topic.  There are two ‘men of the cloth’, religious leaders, for whom I have great respect:  Padre Steve Dundas, a recently retired Navy chaplain, and John Pavlovitz, a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina.  These two men are not ‘preachy’, but are fair, open-minded men who actually live their beliefs rather than weaponizing religion as so many today are doing.

I’m sharing a portion of John Pavlovitz’ most recent blog post today because it defines what I see as being wrong with the Christianity that we see today and why people are turning away from their religion, leaving their churches.  This is only an excerpt and I highly recommend you read John’s entire post in which he addresses American churches, but here is a portion of it …


Dear American Church, You’re Dying

October 12, 2022 / John Pavlovitz

You’re dying because of your willful ignorance.

People are tired of your war on Science.
They are sick of your arguing with Biology.
They are exhausted by your attacks on women.
They are horrified by your justifications of racism.
They despise your posturing nationalism.
They know the earth is round.
They know it is billions, not thousands of years old.
They know dinosaurs walked it.
They know that it is warming rapidly.
They know people here don’t choose their sexuality.
They know whoever and whatever God is—doesn’t appoint Presidents or hand out weapons or attack people with tornadoes.

You’re dying because of your devotion to cruelty.

People watch you dig in your heels against others because of their gender identity and sexual orientation; the way you continually exact violence upon them, the way you try and blame God and the Bible for your fearful bigotry and your predatory behavior.
They’ve seen your intolerance to other religious traditions: how you vilify anyone who finds spirituality and meaning outside of your precise expression of Christianity, how you so easily disregard the faith stories of those who don’t reflect your own.
They’ve watched you so revel in being the bully to those you were originally called to protect.

You’re dying because of your complicity in violence.

Good people have seen you so often be a safe haven for misogynists, domestic abusers, sexual predators, and white supremacists—who all receive protection in your antiquated words, in your personality cults, and in your enabling culture.
They’ve heard your explicit silence in the face of a brutal and rising flood of anti-Semitism, of open racism, of hostility toward immigrants,  of attacks on Asian people and Muslims.
They see your pastors and leaders misuse their positions and leverage their influence to victimize the most vulnerable and to serve as scapegoats for discrimination.
They’ve watched you be the last, hateful holdout in matters of gender equality, racial diversity, sexuality, and theological difference; lagging behind almost everyone in the world in the kind of goodness you say you aspire to.

And this from a man who has been a Christian pastor for some 25 years.  Christians would do well to listen more to him and less to the evangelists like Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson, et al.

Da Snark Just Keeps On Coming

Of late, I’ve been trying … well, sort of … to be less snarky than usual, more serious minded if you will.  But, as the late Popeye the Sailor famously said, “I yam what I yam.”  And what I yam seems to be snarky today, so instead of fighting it, I will go with the flow.


Do as I say, not as I do?

The ‘Christian Nationalist’ movement seems to have gained momentum in recent years.  I mean absolutely no disrespect toward those Christians who believe as they do, yet do not attempt to impose their will on everyone else.  The ones I am calling out here are those diehard Christian evangelicals who believe that they and they alone know all the answers and would force their will on us through a series of laws and punishments.  They have had some success already in stripping women of their right to make their own decisions about their health, and now they are targeting others, such as the LGBTQ community and the very history of this nation.  But here’s what’s interesting …

In the past two days, I have seen at least three news stories about Christian pastors sexually abusing children.

  • Gregory Adams, an Alabama pastor, started abusing four young girls when they were around 12 years old. Adams told one of his victims if she didn’t have sex with him, God would strike her down with lightning.
  • Jonathan High, a church deacon in Florida, was recently convicted of using children to produce the “hundreds, if not thousands” of child pornography photos found on his phone.
  • Shane E. Richardson, a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, raped at least one child under the age of 16. A youth pastor!!!

So … a woman who has an abortion or even takes oral contraceptives is a criminal, but those self-righteous Christians who would condemn that woman, support religious ‘leaders’ who abuse children.  Methinks those judgmental Christian sects better be cleaning up their own houses before commenting on ours!


Deserting a sinking ship … but who can blame him?

The Republican Party, formerly known as the “Grand Old Party” (GOP), has recently acquired numerous conspiracy theorists, fools, people who are against democracy, and idiots who can’t even write their own names without help.  So, it is sad and maybe alarming to see the few who were actually intelligent, viable human beings within the party, making a hasty exit.  It also speaks volumes about the credibility of today’s Republican Party.

Over the past two years, we have seen several of the better, more conscionable Republicans jump or be pushed off of the sinking ship.  Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney put the welfare of the nation ahead of their own careers and will be leaving Congress next January.  Justin Amash left the Republican Party in 2019.  Others, mainly those who are not willing to lick the boots of the former guy, who see the decay within the party, are retiring at the end of their term … among these are Senator Rob Portman.

Even so, my jaw dropped yesterday when I read that Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska plans to resign from his seat in the U.S. Senate at the end of this year to accept a position as president of the University of Florida.  Sasse was, in my book, one of the better Republicans, one who had studied and understood the U.S. Constitution, one who still believed in the democratic foundations of this nation, and one who called out the former guy’s corruption, dishonesty and lack of knowledge, and in fact voted to convict him on the impeachment charges in 2021.

To be clear, I have disagreed with most of Sasse’s political positions such as women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, guns, healthcare, and more, however … he wasn’t a cheater.  He played by the rules and if he wasn’t in the majority in a vote, he accepted that and moved on.  THAT is what is lacking in today’s Republicans … they don’t even care about the illusion of playing by the rules … they seem to actually be proud of breaking the rules, of stripping We the People of our right to have a voice.  I understand why Sasse is leaving, and I wish him the best of luck at the University of Florida … and by my count there remain about 4 Republicans in Congress who still possess a conscience and believe that their Oath of Office actually means something.


A lunatic in human’s clothing

You’ve heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  Well, this dude is a lunatic masquerading as a human.  His name is Larry Klayman and while he has crossed my radar a few times in the past, I always just chalked him up as another attention-seeking weirdo.  And he is just that, but he takes lunacy to the nth degree!  His latest is a scheme he has cooked up to convict President Biden of bribery (???) and says he will be asking the military to arrest the president!

Now, I could write an entire series of posts about the lunacy of this ‘man’ dating all the way back to the Clinton administration, but frankly he isn’t worth my time or yours.  Suffice it to say that I seriously believe he has something wrong inside his brain and to date, nobody has figured out how to stop him from his frivolous and ridiculous lawsuits.  The Southern Poverty Law Center described him as “pathologically litigious.”

Klayman has lost far more cases than he won, has been sanctioned and disciplined by the courts more than a few times, and last year had his license to practice law revoked for a period of 18 months, but still he persists in claiming he is going to have Biden arrested.  Good grief … his parents must have had some really strange DNA!!!


And to finish with a bit of humour … just a couple of ‘toons!

The Right To Be You

I think that the ‘wall of separation’ between Church and State is critical to maintaining the democratic foundations of this nation.  If 100% of all people who vote and pay taxes in the nation were of the same religious beliefs, then it might not be critical, then a theocracy might be workable.  But in this nation where there are so many different religions, to form a theocracy would be to enslave a large portion of the populace.  Yes, I said ‘enslave’ and that is precisely what I mean.

Let me start out with an example:  What if I told you that there is a bill before Congress to ban the production and consumption of pork and pork products?  (No, there isn’t really such a bill … this is a hypothetical … bear with me here).  The reason?  Well, two of this nation’s major religions, Islam and Judaism, prohibit the consumption of pork and pork products, so in a nod to those two religions, the government must ban pork products.

“BUT … I’m neither Muslim nor Jewish!!!! I want my bacon!!!”

… you decry.  Well, you may have a point there.  But then … I’m not Christian, so why should I have to live under the laws of that religion?  Why should I be forbidden from having an abortion, or marrying a person of my own gender?  Do you get what I’m saying here?  Are you picking up what I’m laying down?

There is no single religion that is sanctioned by the government or by the United States Constitution, contrary to what some would have us believe.  ‘They’ claim that the U.S. is a Christian nation, but NO, it is NOT.  There are Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, and in addition, some 23%, nearly a quarter of the population, are ‘unaffiliated’ atheists and agnostics.  We may not be Christians, but we work hard, we send our children to public schools, and we pay taxes just like the Christians do!  Why should we be treated as second-class citizens, as strangers in our own land?

There are many issues swirling around in the political maelstrom these days … divisive and controversial issues made more so by the white nationalist and white supremacist movements of the day.  But none, I think, is more important than this one, for the Supreme Court appears to be willing to sacrifice that ‘wall of separation’ in order to appease the right-wing evangelicals, even though said evangelicals comprise only about 25% of the populace.

One of the reason Europeans came to this country some 400+ years ago was to escape religious persecution.  And here we are, in the year 2022, trying to persecute women, Blacks, Muslims, atheists, and LGBTQ people in an effort to turn a democratic republic into a plutocratic theocracy!  Obviously, the lessons of history went straight over our heads.

I find it beyond worrisome when our elected officials make divisive comments like when Lauren Boebert refers to non-Christians as “the enemy”.  So … tell me, Ms. Boebert … if I am ‘the enemy’, why am I still paying taxes?  But she is not alone … numerous politicians and religious leaders are objecting to LGBTQ rights …

  • In response to the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) currently making its way through Congress, Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota says that “In many respects, passing a bill like this really sends a pretty strong message that religious beliefs don’t matter.”
  • Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel, a well-known evangelical group, said that the RFMA “has many far-reaching implications, including pedophile marriage, same-sex, child-bride, incest, polygamy and any other perversion of marriage.”

Lies, lies, and more lies.  But the lies are believed by the vulnerable.  The lies are the seeds that sow hatred and violence, that seek to exclude rather than include, that will lead to a nation forever divided if we allow it.

The biggest thing this country has had going for it is its diversity.  Theoretically, at least, we welcome people from all countries, people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions, but it seems that today, far too many shun that very diversity upon which the nation was founded.  Remember those words at the base of the Statue of Liberty?

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Do those words mean nothing today?  Should they instead read, “Send me only your white-skinned wealthy Christians”?

Separation of church and state is critical to a democracy.  Those who would claim otherwise have a different vision of what this country is, or should be, than the majority of us do.  It’s a shame that we have to pass laws to protect people’s right to be who they are, don’t you think?  I dream of a world where everyone simply accepts others as they are, no condemnation, no forcing people into boxes that all look alike.  But, until we have that world, we need laws … and in this case, we need to maintain that wall of separation between church and state.

Da Snark MUST Be Shared!

Ever notice how in certain weather, your head and chest just seem to fill with ‘stuff’ and you sneeze, wheeze, gasp and cough until you think surely you’ve coughed up a lung?  Well, in certain political climes, my head just fills to the gills with snark, and there’s only one way to alleviate the symptoms … share it!


You could’a knocked me over with a feather …

Yesterday was a red-letter day in the United States Congress!  Why?  Because the Senate … members on both sides of the aisle … actually agreed on something and voted 95 to 1 to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO!  95-1 … can you believe it???  I think this is the most cohesion we’ve seen in the Senate since … since … maybe 1867 or thereabouts!  Granted, there is little reason to object to allowing these two nations to join NATO … it is a win-win, for it adds strength to NATO and provides protections for Sweden and Finland, but these days, there doesn’t seem to be a need for a reason to split the two sides!

Oh … that single ‘nay’ vote?  That was ol’ Josh Hawley, the brunt of many jokes since the January 6th committee aired video showing Josh of fist-pump fame running desperately from the insurrectionists that day!  His reason for naysaying the treaty expansion was, in his words …

“NATO expansion would almost certainly mean more U.S. forces in Europe for the long haul. In the face of this stark reality, we must choose. We must do less in Europe (and elsewhere) in order to prioritize China and Asia.”

No, it made no sense to me, either, but then … it’s Josh ‘fist-pump’ Hawley, so I don’t expect intellect, but merely nonsense.  Rumour has it that he sees himself as a presidential candidate in 2024 🤣 🤣


Religious freedom?  I think not.

It was on June 27th, just over a month ago, that the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the case of Kennedy v Bremerton School District.  In a nutshell, the case was filed by Joseph Kennedy, a public-school football coach, who had taken the practice of praying at the middle of the field immediately after each game. The school board were concerned the practice would be seen as infringing on the Establishment Clause separating church and state. They attempted to negotiate with Kennedy to pray elsewhere or at a later time, but Kennedy continued the practice. His contract was not renewed, leading Kennedy to sue the board.

The Supreme Court ruled that the school’s actions against Kennedy violated his rights under both the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.  This decision has bothered me for over a month now, and last night I had a thought that I would share with you, my friends.

I don’t deny that Mr. Kennedy or anybody else has the right to pray … here, there, or anywhere.  However, public schools are not the place for public displays of religious acts!  They are institutions of learning … learning math, science, literature, history, and more … not religion.  In case the U.S. Supreme Court has not noticed, this is a secular nation.  We have people of every religion here and many of us are non-religious … that is our right, per the U.S. Constitution!  So, the thought I had was this:  Would the United States Supreme Court justices have been so quick to defend the man’s ‘right to prayer’ if he were a Muslim publicly praying to Allah?  I’m betting not.

Some of the boys on the team Mr. Kennedy coached said they were uncomfortable with his habit … some boys joined in, and those who did not believe or did not wish to join in were made to feel left out, felt that to belong, they had to join in.  THIS IS NOT what public education is about, my friends!  I would take umbrage if my child or grandchild were subjected to a teacher or other school employee praying in public during school hours or activities!  Again … if it had been a Muslim … can you just imagine the furor?

The U.S. is a nation founded in part by religious freedom.  That does NOT mean that one religion, ie Christianity, dominates the spirit of the nation.  It doesn’t.  The Court made a grievous error on June 27th, one that some were just waiting for in order to pounce and turn our schools into religious institutions.  We must not allow that to happen.


Say WHAT???

Ryan Kelley was running in the GOP primaries for governor of Michigan.  He lost.  In fact, he lost by a lot, coming in at fourth place with only 15% of the vote, or 165,016 votes as compared to the leader, Tudor Dixon, who received 434,673 votes, or 40.6%.  (I will have more about Tudor Dixon at a later date)  Now, one would think ol’ Ryan Kelley would tuck his tail betwixt his legs and go home to lick his wounds or cry in his beer, yes?  But nope.  He is planning to contest the election!

Kelly made the announcement early Wednesday morning as primary election results began to roll out that he refuses to concede and is contesting the election results.  Oh … and it may not surprise you to know that Kelley was one of the insurrectionists who was arrested for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election on January 6th by breaking into the Capitol, destroying property, attacking Capitol Police, and calling to hang Mike Pence!  And it surely won’t surprise you that he was endorsed by the former guy who incited the attempted coup.

Methinks he can contest until the cows come home, but he ain’t gonna be the one running against Democrat Gretchen Widmer in November!

We Be Snarky Today!

Some days da snark just keeps on comin’ …


Oh da bigotry!!!

Doug Mastriano is hoping to become the next governor of Pennsylvania.  He is a QAnon supporter and was also identified as a key figure by the House Jan. 6 committee in their investigation into the Capitol insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.  He spent over $3,000 to bus more than 100 Trump supporters to Washington on January 6th to be part of the attempted coup, and he himself was photographed crossing police barricades at the Capitol that day.  This alone shows Mastriano is not a very nice dude.  But read on …

Earlier this year, he apparently hired a consultant, a man named Andrew Torba, who is the founder and CEO of “Gab”, a right-wing social media outlet.  Here is what Torba had to say earlier this month to some criticisms of Mastriano by two conservative journalists, Ben Shapiro who is Jewish and Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report …

“We don’t want people who are atheists. We don’t want people who are Jewish. We don’t want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country. Ben Shapiro is not welcome in the movement unless he repents and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.”

I’m gonna say this once again, for obviously some people like Mr. Torba need to hear it.  The United States of America is NOT an “explicitly Christian” country!!!  Never has been, and hopefully never will be!  This is a secular nation where people of ALL religions and people of NO religion are equally welcome!  What the Sam Hell is so difficult to understand about that???  If the good people of Pennsylvania somehow elect this jackass Mastriano to be their next governor, all I can say is they will get what they deserve!

Mastriano is running against Democrat Josh Shapiro.  Currently, Shapiro is ahead in the polls, but only by about a 1% margin … far too close for comfort.


For once, a bit of good sense in the GOP?

Censuring seems to be quite popular these days in the Republican Party.  What does it take to be censured by the GOP?  The clear-cut one seems to be speaking against Donald Trump.  Earlier this year, both Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger were censured by the GOP for their honesty, their willingness to put the country above their political party.  What this means is that both were stripped of any committee assignments they may have held, but that’s okay … it gives them more time to spend working with the January 6th committee toward ultimate justice.

Both have paid a high price in their careers for their place on the committee, their choice to do the right thing.  Adam Kinzinger decided early on that he would not run for re-election in November.  Ms. Cheney remains in the race, but with zero support from her party, she faces an uphill battle.  Also, a year ago Ms. Cheney was censured by the Wisconsin GOP for her vote to impeach Trump in his 2nd impeachment.

However, there might be a bit of common sense or ethical thought processes in the Illinois GOP.  A group of Republican state legislators and trumpists have called on the Illinois GOP to censure Congressman Adam Kinzinger for “incendiary language, wild exaggeration and personal opinions” during the House select committee’s hearings.  But … GOP governor candidate Darren Bailey, who’s backed by Trump, and Illinois Republican Party President Don Tracy are ignoring the request!  Bailey and Tracy issued statements …

“The Illinois GOP is focused on uniting the party to defeat Gov. Pritzker in November and make Illinois a safe and affordable place for people to live. That’s what Republicans are rallying around. That is our priority.”

Did they say, ‘uniting the party’???  Well, whatever their reasons, it’s a sign of hope that perhaps the grip Trump has had on the GOP is being loosened, perhaps they’ve seen that his “my way or the highway” manner is not the way to win friends and influence people?  We can only hope.


Well, folks, I’ve got more snark, but I’m running out of time, so I’ll wrap it up here and save da snark for another day!  Meanwhile … just a few ‘toons …

Could Somebody Please Explain …

You just don’t realize how many bigots there are in the world until something like the Respect For Marriage Act (RFMA) comes up.  Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed this bill that would require the federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages in the U.S.  In my opinion, the bill doesn’t go far enough, but that’s a discussion for another day.  Suffice it to say that I fully support the RFMA and am only saddened by the fact that we need to pass a law to give people the right to be who they are, to love whomever they choose.  Like everything else, there is a political divide on this issue, but nonetheless, 47 Republicans in the House actually voted for the bill, and at least four Republican senators have expressed that they will vote for it when it reaches the Senate floor.

Wouldn’t you know, some people are furious about it?  The ignominious Franklin Graham said …

“I was confused by the 47 Republicans who followed suit. God says that marriage is to be between one man and one woman—not two men, not two women. The GOP used to believe that too. Will you pray for God’s intervention as this bill moves on to the Senate? Only He can save us from our evil and rebellious ways.”

The House Freedom Caucus issued an ‘official statement’ saying …

“The radical Left has launched an all-out campaign on America’s traditional values and sacred institutions. It has weakened the nuclear family, attacked the norms of masculinity and femininity, and now it wants to further erode the sacred institution of marriage.”

Fox ‘News’ host Mark Levin weighed in …

“All 47 Republicans who voted that way are gutless buffoons. That’s the truth.”

And others, including religious ‘leaders’ and journalists had their say.  Now, folks, here’s what I want to say to these people …

Help me to understand your views. If two people of the same sex marry, how does that harm you?  It doesn’t take away any of your rights, it doesn’t make you homeless or take away your job, it doesn’t affect your health or well-being, so … why do you care?  Nobody is telling you that you must marry a person of the same sex … who you marry is up to you, just as who I marry is up to me and who anybody marries should be left up to them.  What, exactly, is your objection?  I am thoroughly confused and need you to explain it to me.

Some people claim objections on religious grounds, but again … nobody is saying that anyone has to marry someone of the same gender!  With thousands of religions and religious variations in the world, it would be impossible to please every one of them, and here in the United States, there is no state-sponsored or mandated religion.  The nation was founded, in part, based on freedom of religion. It’s the same as I’ve long said about abortion … if you don’t like abortion or it goes against your religious values, then fine – don’t have an abortion!  But don’t presume to tell others what they can or cannot do.

I appreciate the 47 courageous Republicans who stood against the ‘party line’ on this issue and voted their conscience.  Unfortunately, they will likely pay a price within their party and perhaps with their constituents.  And all because … what???  Because about half the people in this nation believe they should be able to regulate or control the lives of others?  Because those same people are so close-minded that they cannot accept those who are not their clones?  Frankly, I think that those who are so vocally opposed to same-sex marriage should maybe take a good hard look in the mirror at their own values, for I see something lacking:  humanity and compassion.  If that’s what religion brings about, cruelty and bigotry, then I think perhaps religion is a large part of the problem in the world today.

Conservatives??? HAH!!! I Think NOT!

As he so often does, Robert Reich hits the nail spot on the head in his take on the term ‘conservative’ as it is used to describe Republicans.  Read on …


How to handle radical Republicans

Stop calling them conservative. And take steps to genuinely conserve America

Robert Reich

July 11

This morning, I heard a commentator allude to “Mitch McConnell and other conservative senators.” Yesterday, a news report described the upcoming Alaska Republican primary as pitting Trump’s “conservative wing against Murkowski’s more moderate base.” I keep seeing references to the “conservative majority” on the Supreme Court.

Can we get real? There is nothing conservative about these so-called “conservatives.” They don’t want to preserve or protect our governing institutions — the core idea of conservatism extending from Edmund Burke to William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater. They are radicals, intent on wrecking these institutions to impose their ideology on everyone else.

The Supreme Court’s Republican appointees have all but obliterated stare decisis — the conservative principle that the Court must follow its precedents and not change or reverse them unless clearly necessary, and with near unanimity. Recent decisions reversing Roe v. Wade, elevating religious expression over the Constitution’s bar on established religion, questioning Congress’s ability to delegate rule making to the executive branch, and barring states from regulating handguns, all call into question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as an institution.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are abusing the filibuster and undermining the legitimacy of the Senate.

Throughout much of the 20th century, filibusters remained rare. But after Barack Obama moved into the Oval Office in 2009, McConnell and his Republican senate minority blocked virtually every significant piece of legislation. Between 2010 and 2020, there were as many cloture motions as during the entire 60-year period from 1947 to 2006. Now McConnell and his Republicans are stopping almost everything in its tracks. Just 41 Senate Republicans, representing only 21 percent of the country, are blocking laws supported by the vast majority of Americans.

At the same time, Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress and in the states have upended the centerpiece of American democracy, the peaceful transition of power, and undermined the legitimacy of our elections.

They continue to assert without any basis in fact that the 2020 election was stolen. Trump encouraged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and threatened the life of the Vice President. Republican state legislatures are enacting legislation to suppress votes and take over election machinery.

Make no mistake: Republican appointees to the Supreme Court, most Republicans in Congress, and Trump Republican lawmakers across America are not conservative. They are radicals. They have embarked on a radical agenda of repudiating our governing institutions and taking over American democracy.

It is time to stop using the term “conservative” to describe them and their agenda.

And it is time it to fight back: Enlarge the size of the Supreme Court and limit the terms of justices. Abolish the filibuster and then pass laws most Americans want — protecting voting rights and reproductive rights, and controlling guns. Criminally prosecute Trump and his insurgents.

These are conservative measures. They are necessary to conserve and protect our governing institutions from the radicals now bent on destroying them.