It’s Time To Burn Bigotry

Just a short update before I delve into my main topic this morning …


Bye-bye DeJoy

In his testimony before Congress yesterday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy arrogantly said that he plans to stay in his current position, despite opposition, “… for a long time.  Get used to me.”  Well, we’ll just see about that, because on the same day that he so cockily said that, President Biden nominated three people to the USPS Board of Governors.  Those three – Ron Stroman, Anton Hajjar and Amber McReynolds – once confirmed by the Senate, would create a Democratic majority on the Board and DeJoy could easily be fired from his position.  Fingers crossed on that one, for while I don’t like to see anyone fired, this arrogant man has all but destroyed the U.S. Postal Service and has unabashedly spoken of his intent to further slow the mail and raise prices.  I shall dance on the day he is told to pack his bags!


Equality Act

The Equality Act has passed its first hurdle … it passed in the House yesterday with a vote of 224-206 and even three Republicans voted for it.  What is the Equality Act?  It is an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act to provide protections for LGBTQ individuals.  The bill would ban discrimination in various areas, including the workplace, housing and education, in addition to federally funded programs. The legislation also would expand the 1964 bill to cover public accommodations to include places like shopping malls, sports arenas, and even websites.  Pretty simple, right?  People should not be punished for being LGBT.  Period.  They are human beings just like me, just like you, and they deserve the same legal protections.

The Republicans in general, however, don’t quite see it that way.  With the exception of the three who crossed the aisle to vote for the bill, they are dead set against it.  Why?  Truth is because they are bigots, homophobes who would disown their own child if he/she told them he/she was gay.  They believe that the only people who deserve the best life has to offer are white, straight, Christian males.  But they have a remarkable excuse for their homophobia … they claim it takes away people’s religious freedom.  Yeah, really … go figure.

One portion of the Republican argument, as well as religious leaders’, is that the bill doesn’t limit “public accommodations” to exclude churches.  Religious leaders want to be able to forbid LGBT people in their churches.  Well, guess what, Mr. Bigot … I doubt any LGBT person would want to enter your “house of worship.”  Keep it filled with racists and homophobes …

Another part of the argument against the bill claims that giving equal rights to the LGBT community would “alter the country’s social fabric by blurring gender lines in women’s sports and other cultural practices.”  Bullshit!  I’ve never heard such a crappy excuse in my life!  Our society, our lives, and our culture are enhanced by the diversity, and any who cannot see that are culturally and socially blind.

The infamous Marjorie Taylor Greene crossed a line when she hung an anti-transgender sign outside her office, claiming “there are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE”.  Bad enough to say under any circumstances, but what made it even worse is that the office across the hall from hers is that of Representative Marie Newman, whose daughter is transgender.  Ms. Greene, as I have said on multiple occasions, does NOT belong in Congress.

One comment I saw to this story stirred my ire …

“This pieces [sic] of legislation is just another way for “the establishment” to keep us divided as a nation. All people are created equal, I certainly don’t need the DC establishment to pass legislation for me to understand this Fact.”

Seriously, buddy?  Don’t you think that if Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, and LGBT were all treated equally, we wouldn’t even have needed the Civil Rights Act?  Don’t you think that if everyone treated everyone equally, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation?  What keeps us divided is not that the government is trying to protect people from discrimination, but rather that there are bigots out there who would lynch a Black man, who would kill a transgender person on sight.  There are landlords who would refuse to rent housing to them, employers who would refuse them a job, and even businesses … oh, say like a bakery that specializes in wedding cakes … that would refuse them service!  Sadly, the bigots have to be forced to do the right thing and treat people right!  And they call themselves “Christians”.  Ask me again why I consider religion the source of most of what’s wrong in the world!

Next stop for the Equality Act is the Senate.  This same bill was passed by the House in 2019, but when it got to the Senate, Mitch McConnell refused to even bring it to the Senate floor, so there it died.  I think it will be different this time, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised that the legislation will get a floor vote “at exactly the right time.” But … it will need 10 Senate Republican votes in order to beat back a GOP filibuster.  Are there 10 Republicans in the Senate with any form of a conscience?  Apparently not, given the outcome of the impeachment trial.  DAMN the filibuster!  I have a brilliant idea … remember how many were calling to ‘defund the police’ last summer?  Let’s start a movement to ‘defund republicans in Congress’ until they start acting like adults!

I will be composing a letter to the republican senator for my own state in the next day or two … not that it will matter or change his mind, but … I have to try.

Two Thumbs Up For Supreme Court Today!

Score one … no wait, score two … for justice today!  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two separate cases this morning that I’ve been watching.


The first is the case brought by District Attorney Cyrus Vance of New York, seeking access to eight years of Donald Trump’s financial and tax records.  This case has been tied up in the courts for years now, often hindered by U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who served as Trump’s lapdog and protector.  But today, the Court denied the motion by Trump’s attorneys to keep his tax records hidden in a one-sentence order with no recorded dissents.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Music to the ears!  What this means is there are no further appeals and the accounting firm Mazar’s will turn over the subpoenaed tax records to Cyrus Vance’s office within a matter of days.  Last year, the New York Times obtained more than two decades of tax return data of Trump and his companies and published a series of articles about them.  Trump, the articles said, sustained significant losses, owes enormous debts that he is personally obligated to repay, has avoided paying federal income taxes in 11 of the 18 years the Times examined and paid just $750 in both 2016 and 2017.

The scope of Mr. Vance’s inquiry is not known. It arose partly from an investigation by his office into hush-money payments to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump, relationships the president has denied. But court filings by prosecutors suggested that they are also investigating potential crimes like tax and insurance fraud.

Vance responded to the court decision with a three-word tweet: “The work continues.”


The second Supreme Court ruling that gets a thumbs-up is in what should be the next-to-last case challenging the 2020 election results.  This one sought to throw out a portion of the postal votes in the state of Pennsylvania, based on the fact that some were received and accepted in the three-day period after election day.  Never mind that this was Trump’s own fault, for placing Louis DeJoy in the position of Postmaster General with the sole goal of slowing the mail to a snail’s pace so that postal votes would be delayed.  The Court basically told Trump to sit down and shut up, and even Justices Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas acknowledged that the number of ballots received after Election Day would not have been enough to threaten President Biden’s victory margin over Trump.

The next and final case challenging election results will be heard on March 5th, challenging the use of ballot drop boxes in the state of Wisconsin.  I have no idea why these cases have not been dropped, for all claims of widespread voter fraud have been disproven time and time again over the past four months, and there is no case that would have changed the outcome of the election.  It’s a complete waste of both time and money when the Court has more important things to concern itself with.


And in upcoming legislation …

You may remember the Equality Act, a bill that would significantly expand LGBTQ protections.  The bill was passed by the House in 2019, but languished in the Senate where then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to even bring the bill to the floor.  Last week, Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island re-introduced the bill, which is expected to pass in the House, but may face an uphill battle in the Senate.

The bill, if passed and signed into law, would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to include LGBTQ Americans, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for housing, education, employment and in other areas.  A no-brainer, right?  But … well, the congressional republicans claim it will interfere with religious freedom!

None other than Marjorie Taylor Greene, a freshman representative who has already stirred up trouble more than a few times since taking her oath of office last month, opposes the bill calling it “an attack on people of faith.”  BULLSHIT!  If “people of faith” are so bigoted that they would deny equal rights to people in the LGBT community, then I suggest they re-evaluate their ‘faith’.  Greene tweeted earlier today …

“Just to make myself clear, I WILL BE VOTING NO TO THE DISGUSTING, IMMORAL, AND EVIL #EqualityAct!!! It has nothing to do with stopping discrimination against the LGBT community, that could be done easily without this. It has everything to do with attacking God & believers.”

My own representative, Warren Davidson, made the same claim on Twitter just this morning.  Are all republicans homophobes, then?  Are they all bigots?  Perhaps they should have a big “B” tattooed on their foreheads, ala The Scarlet Letter.

If the Senate refuses to pass this one (it will require a 60-vote majority to avoid a filibuster), then I suggest that every single senator who votes against it be shown just what discrimination feels like.  Let them be denied service next time they go to a restaurant.  Let them be shunned in public.  Cross to the other side of the street to avoid them.  Give them just a taste of what it’s like to be discriminated against.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

It should be noted that members of Congress represent ALL the people in their district/state, not only straight, white, Christian males!

21st Century … or Dark Ages???

“It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

— Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964

There has been considerable debate about whether Title VII extends protections against discrimination to the LGBT community, and at present, it varies by state and locality, despite the fact that the entire Civil Rights Act is a federal law.  At this time, only 21 states have outlawed discrimination against members of the LGBT community.  A bill, the Equality Act,  was introduced into the House of Representatives in March of this year by Representative David Cicilline. The bill has passed in the House and is now languishing in the Senate committee, but the odds of it becoming the law of the land seem slim at the moment, given the makeup of the current Senate, and the fact that Donald Trump spoke against it after right-wing religious organizations urged the White House to issue an opposition statement to the bill.

There are currently three cases on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court that will be heard on October 8th.  Briefly …

Zarda v Altitude Express:  Donald Zarda was fired from Altitude Express, where he worked as a skydiver. He informed a woman he was gay while they were strapped to each other because he thought it would make her feel more comfortable. She later informed his employer that she wasn’t happy with his sharing his being gay and he was subsequently fired. Zarda died in 2014 but his estate pursued the case.

Bostock v Clayton County:  Gerald Bostock, a child welfare services coordinator, was in a gay recreational softball league. He said his participation in the league and his sexual orientation became a problem with someone at work. Then he was fired for “conduct unbecoming of a county employee,” which he said was tied to his sexuality.

Harris Funeral Homes v EEOC:  Aimee Stephens, a trans woman, was fired from her job at a funeral parlor after she informed the funeral director she worked for that she was transgender. She had worked in funeral services for nearly 20 years and received positive feedback from her employer.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in all three cases on the same day, and according to Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, senior attorney at Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization focused on LGBTQ people …

“This is a momentous occasion. It is a pivotal moment and the public should be paying attention.  These cases will affect the ability of LGBTQ people to be full members of society and to contribute to society by entering the workplace and be free of discrimination.”

Meanwhile, the United States Justice Department under Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General William Barr sent a brief to the Supreme Court two days ago stating that they should find in favour of the employer in the Harris Funeral Homes case, arguing that …

“In 1964, the ordinary public meaning of ‘sex’ was biological sex. It did not encompass transgender status. In the particular context of Title VII — legislation originally designed to eliminate employment discrimination against racial and other minorities — it was especially clear that the prohibition on discrimination because of ‘sex’ referred to unequal treatment of men and women in the workplace.”

Since when is it right and proper for the Department of Justice to tell the Supreme Court how to rule???  The Judiciary is an independent branch that is intended to be apolitical, not influenced by partisan politics.  However, the reality does not always match the intent.  Today, there are 5 justices who lean toward conservative opinions, 4 who are more liberal.  Chief Justice John Roberts is typically the more moderate of the conservative-leaning justices, often casting the deciding vote.  It is likely to come down to his single vote, and there are serious concerns, for he wrote a dissenting opinion in the 2014 case of Obergefell v Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage at the federal level.  And lately he has disappointed us a few times, such as his vote to give state lawmakers virtually unlimited authority to draw district lines (gerrymandering) once every 10 years, pick their voters and entrench their political power.

This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages.  It is time we learn to accept people … ALL people … for who they are.  If the employers in these three cases are allowed to prevail, it will indeed be a dark day in the United States, and no doubt it will then be only a matter of time until we see cases coming before the court dealing with discrimination in housing, in education, in every aspect of life.  I’m convinced that it is only a matter of time until a case comes before the Supreme Court that challenges Obergefell v Hodges.  And then what?  If we strip the LGBT community of their rights, will we soon see cases attempting to strip African-Americans of their rights by challenging other aspects of the Civil Rights Act, or of the Voting Rights Act?

Keep your eyes on this one, folks, for how these three cases are decided will be the best indicator yet whether or not there is still “liberty and justice for all” in this nation.

Another of those WTF Moments …

The Equality Act was introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island on March 13, 2019.  In summary …

This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.

The bill expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.

The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.

Nothing too controversial there, right?  The LGBT people in our world surely deserve the same rights and protections as everyone, right?  It isn’t rocket science, right?  Well …

“Standing with my colleagues in opposition to the so-called “Equality Act” as it undermines human dignity, freedom of speech, religion, and conscience, and puts parental rights at risk.” – U.S. Representative Warren Davidson, Ohio

Say WHAT???

No no no no no Warren!  Human dignity is what it is trying to protect and preserve.  What, do you want separate water coolers, perhaps, for LGBT people?  Or … perhaps they should have segregated schools?  Oh, I know … you don’t want any to be able to buy a house in your neighborhood, or to get a decent job, or even to be able to purchase a wedding cake, perhaps?  Or … perhaps you would like them to have a number tattooed onto their arms and wear a gold star on their clothing?  Dignity, Warren?  How do you define that word?  Seems to me you’re trying to take away the dignity of an entire group of people … yes, Warren … people.

Religion?  How does giving an LGBT person a fair shot at a job or at a slot in college or to get a loan to purchase a car interfere with anybody’s ‘freedom of religion’?  Answers, please?  Freedom of speech?  Um, excuse me, but what … you want to be able to shout from the steps of the Capitol Building “I hate gays!”?  Sure, go ahead … see if anybody votes for you next year.  How in the Sam Heck does ensuring equal rights for people interfere with your or my freedom of speech?  The answer is it doesn’t.

And lastly … “puts parental rights at risk”???  What planet are you on, Warren?  Let me ask you a quick question, if you don’t mind … just how much alcohol do you drink in the course of a 24-hour period?  First, I’m not even sure what you mean when you say, “parental rights”.  I think of parental responsibilities as parents’ duty to keep their children warm, healthy, well-fed, safe and to see to their education, but … what “rights” do you refer to?  And how does giving people equal opportunities in employment, housing, credit, education, and public facilities undermine those “parental rights”?  Answers, please.

Warren Davidson happens to be my representative and I know him to be a fool who is more concerned with preserving bitcoin than human life, so apart from the fact that he represents my district in Congress, it would be easy to write his babbling rhetoric off as foolishness.  But …

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) joined with Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri), Jody Hice (R-Georgia), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Carol Miller (R-West Virginia) to speak out about the Equality Act’s harmful effects on women and girls. Alongside the lawmakers, representatives from CWALAC, Women’s Liberation Front, Alliance Defending Freedom, Susan B. Anthony List and Family Research Council, were clear – the “Equality Act” will do away with women’s sports, safe spaces for women, and jeopardize parents’ jurisdiction over their child’s health care. It is dangerous for our country. This bill is extreme and dangerous. It is not about equality; it is about imposing a new form of discrimination against women and people of faith in our country.” Concerned Women For America

WTF???

Has this entire bloomin’ nation gone loco?

There is not one single legitimate concern voiced by either Davidson or this “women’s” group or anyone else, for that matter.  So … what’s going on here?  Well, folks, it’s called b-i-g-o-t-r-y.  Homophobia.  Fear of that which is not understood.  So, rather than seek to educate, they choose hate.  Rather than accept people as they are, they choose to shun them because they are not just like them.

LGBT people are people.  Humans.  Just like me and you.  Just because some narrow-minded portion of society feels threatened by people who love someone of their own gender is no reason to deny people the right to earn a living, live in a decent neighborhood, shop in their local store, send their children to school, get a loan, or have a wedding cake baked.  People, that’s all.

The Equality Act bill passed in the House of Representatives on Friday by a vote of 236-173, with 23 abstentions.  Eight of the ‘Aye’ votes were by republicans, and all 173 ‘Nay’ votes were by republicans.  The eight republicans who supported the bill are:

  • Susan Brooks (Indiana)
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (Florida)
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania)
  • Will Hurd (Texas)
  • John Katko (New York)
  • Tom Reed (New York)
  • Elise Stefanik (New York)
  • Greg Walden (Oregon)

These eight deserve a thumbs up for voting their conscience instead of toeing the party line.  The rest of the republicans continue to do the bidding of the evangelicals and the person in the Oval Office … shame on them!

Sadly, the bill will die a rapid death when it reaches the Senate, for Mitchell McConnell has made a pledge, it seems, to ensure that no bills that are for the benefit of the people of this nation will pass under his watch.  And, if it passes the Senate by some miracle, Trump will veto it, for his puppeteers like Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress and Pat Robertson are against it and he does their bidding, not ours.  ‘Tis a sad state of affairs when people in this nation no longer have basic civil rights, human rights.

OH FOR PETE’S SAKE!!!

Ever notice how sometimes a headline catches your eye and your jaw immediately drops to the ground?  The lunacy, the utter ignorance and stupidity of the human race never ceases to astound me.  A couple of things brought about this head-shaking, eye-rolling, jaw-dropping reaction from me today.  The first …


Proposed Fur Ban in New York Pits Animal Rights Advocates Against Black Ministers

New York City is currently considering a proposal to ban the sale of animal fur.  For the record, and in case there was any doubt, I fully support this proposal!  If nobody can sell the fur, fewer animals will have to die.  Most of you already know that I like animals better than I like people, for the most part.  So, where’s the controversy?

Black ministers have protested the proposed ban on the steps of City Hall, saying that furs are a treasured part of African-American tradition and culture. Hasidic rabbis point to their own tradition of many Hasidic men wearing fur hats on the Sabbath. And fur shop owners and garment manufacturers have raised alarms over the potential loss of jobs and an attack on an industry that has a centuries-rich tradition in New York.

So, let me get this straight … we should encourage the wanton killing of beautiful animals so that fur shop owners can continue to make a profit, so that Hasidic rabbis can buy new fur hats when they wish (take care of the one you have, or wear faux fur!) and so that African-Americans don’t have to be deprived of cultural frou-frous?  Um … probably half of my friends are African-American and I don’t know a single one who actually owns a fur garment.

I can only imagine what the hunters and the NRA will have to say once they hear about this proposal and respond!  Have I mentioned that people are selfish, arrogant and ignorant?


Pat Robertson: God Will Destroy America if Pro-LGBTQ Rights Bill Passes

Well, Pat, you know what?  That’s fine by me, for I don’t think a nation that discriminates against people on any superficial basis should exist, and I damn sure don’t want to live in such a narrow-minded, bigoted nation.

“They always give good names to these things. This is a devastating blow to religious freedom and to the sanctity of America. If you want to bring the judgment of God on this nation, you just keep this stuff up. I was reading in Leviticus where it says because of these things the land ‘will vomit you out.’ Vomit you out. I think God will say, ‘I’ve had it with America if you do this kind of stuff, I’m going to get rid of you as a nation.'”

Pat RobertsonWhat an arrogant, narrow-minded, nasty prick!  Sorry … I try not to be vulgar here, but this ‘person’ has ruffled my feathers and I’m not biting my tongue on this one.

The Equality Act is a bill that would modify existing civil rights legislation to ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, education, federal programs and credit.  Now would somebody please explain to me just what has Mr. Robertson’s knickers in a wad?  Remember when we had to pass legislation to ensure these very same rights to African-Americans?  It was called the Civil Rights Act.  Why do we keep having to legislate common sense?  Why???  Because of people like Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham who think that their religious beliefs give them the right to take away fair treatment for those of us who do not share their beliefs.

The bill’s sponsor is David Cicilline, a democrat from Rhode Island, who says …

“In most states in this country, a gay couple can be married on Saturday, post their wedding photos to Instagram on Sunday, and lose their jobs or get kicked out of their apartments on Monday just because of who they are.”

Even though the bill is all but guaranteed to pass in the House, it’s fate in the Senate is less certain, and Trump is almost certain to veto it, as he has expressed his opposition already.

Sigh.


Conservative Radio Station Plans To Rebrand As ‘Trump FM’

Yep, you read it right, folks.  And this one isn’t even down in Trump country!  A far-right conservative radio station in Connecticut plans to temporarily rebrand itself as “Trump 103.3” when it converts from an AM station to an FM one.  Like Trump needs his ego stroked even more???

Trump-103The station hosts a number of far-right-wing syndicated programs, including Bill O’Reilly, the NRA’s Dana Loesch, Michael Savage, and the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro.  Full Power Radio, which owns the station, said the goal is to “unite conservatives in Connecticut” and make the state a conservative, Republican-led one.  NOOOOOOOO … we don’t need any more of those!!!  What have these people been smoking???

“There is a real hunger for the truth and ‘Trump 103.3’ will report and uncover statewide waste and corruption that conventional media are afraid to touch.”

Truth???  Oh the irony!


Well, folks, that’s it for now … I’ve got work to do … be back later!