Netanyahu Returns

In June 2021, just 18 months ago, I wrote

“Israel’s Prime Minister for the past 12 years, Benjamin Netanyahu, is officially out of power.  In his place is Naftali Bennett who was sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister on Sunday, after winning a confidence vote with the narrowest of margins, just 60 votes to 59.

What this will mean remains to be seen.  Over the past 12 years, Netanyahu has dominated Israeli politics. He’s not only successfully implemented a series of right-wing policies, such as entrenching Israel’s presence in the West Bank, but also consolidated a dangerous amount of power in his own hands. He is currently on trial for corruption charges stemming from, among other things, his attempt to buy off media outlets.”

Given the amount of turmoil and political chaos here in the U.S. over the past several years, it’s no surprise that I have not kept up as much as I would like with events ‘round the globe, so imagine my shock when I read last month that Netanyahu will be returning to power.  According to an article on November 3rd in Al Jazeera …

A coalition led by the right-wing former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a majority of seats in the 120-seat parliament, or Knesset, allowing the controversial figure to return to power.

Final election results announced on Thursday show that Netanyahu and his ultranationalist allies – many of whom were considered beyond the pale in Israeli politics only a few years ago – won 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament, with 32 of those seats going to Netanyahu’s party, Likud.

As prime minister-delegate, Netanyahu is in the process of forming Israel’s most extreme right-wing government to date.  Two groups of people stand to lose the most in the immediate future:  Palestinians and the LGBTQ community.  A moving article by a Palestinian lawyer, Diana Buttu, helps us understand some of the trepidation by Palestinians living in the West Bank, saying that, “The atmosphere of racism is so acute that I hesitate to speak or read Arabic on public transportation. Palestinian rights have been pushed to the back burner.”

I find it amazing that a nation populated by the descendants of the most persecuted people ever in history can be so bigoted against another group of people.  Did the Jewish people learn nothing from the fact that another racist, Adolf Hitler, was directly responsible for murdering some six million of their grandparent’s generation, for trying to eradicate their entire populace?  I’ve said before that Netanyahu is a bigot, and that so many were willing to vote his party back into power, knowing he would be once again elevated to Prime Minister, makes me wonder what the people of Israel are thinking … or are they even thinking?  Are they like some portion of people in this country who don’t think about who would be the best leader, but rather who puts on the best show?

Already Netanyahu’s new coalition allies are pondering laws against the LGBTQ community.  Netanyahu is set to form the most ultranationalist and religious government in Israel’s history between his Likud movement and several openly anti-LGBTQ parties. This has raised fears among Israel’s LGBTQ community that the new government, expected to take office in the coming week, will roll back gains made for LGBTQ rights in Israel in recent years.  Netanyahu insists that there will be no harm to LGBTQ rights in his upcoming government, but already several of his coalition partners are planning to curtail the rights of the LGBTQ community.

One member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, has posited that hospitals should be allowed to refuse to serve LGBTQ people.  Another said that private business owners, such as hotel operators, should be allowed to refuse service to LGBTQ “if it harms their religious feelings.”  Harms their religious feelings???  WTF???

Again, I shake my head at the bigotry coming out of a country peopled by those who suffered the most from the same sort of bigotry 70 years ago.  I see no good to come out of Netanyahu’s return to power and I find it highly puzzling.  Netanyahu is set to be sworn in on Thursday, although I understand there are still some hurdles to be scaled before that can happen.  On an international level, I see this as yet one more right-wing authoritarian regime being added and I find it deeply concerning.

Not A Nice Man

The following is from an email by evangelical Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an ultra-conservative ‘Christian’ hate group …

Earlier this week, President Biden signed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which not only codifies same-sex marriage into federal law but also opens wide the door to endless litigation and persecution of those who hold to a biblical and natural view of marriage.

I won’t mince words. There’s no denying that this is a tremendous blow to religious freedom in America. Countless God-fearing Americans could face the wrath of activist bureaucrats, leftist politicians, and militant LGBTQ activists as they seek to live out their deeply held convictions.

That’s why I’m humbly asking for your support in the final weeks of 2022. We must raise $400,000 by the end of the month to continue pushing back against the Biden agenda in 2023.

Who will stand up to this insidious assault on the children of America? With your help, we will!

I’m betting that enough people will believe his lies, his fear-mongering, and his ‘doomsday’ scenario about the “assault on the children” that he won’t have any trouble getting that $400,000 … most will come from people who work hard every day trying to pay their bills and put food on the table, and Perkins will have no remorse, for he is not a good man.  He is a bigot inside and out, so much so that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has listed Perkins’ group as an “anti-LGBTQ hate group” whose “false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science” in an effort to block LGBTQ civil rights have led to violence.  And what, I wonder, does he think his $400,000 will buy?  Does he think he will reverse the law with it?  Will he pay members of Congress to vote to strike down or reverse the law?  Or perhaps he’ll just pocket the money. Oh, and just as an aside, Mr. Perkins’ personal net worth is around $200 million.  Seems if he needs funding, he could write himself a check.

It will be poetic justice when one day, one of his five children comes to him and says, “Dad, I’ve got something to tell you … I’m gay.”

A Few Thoughts From The Bouncing Mind

I don’t know if it’s the weather, the holidays or what, but I cannot seem to concentrate on any single topic long enough to write a more in-depth post for the past few days.  I need to have a heart-to-heart talk with my brain, I think.  Or would that be a heart-to-brain talk?  Is the brain even available for a chat, or is it out to lunch?  For now, though, I will share with you just a few of the thoughts that bounced around in my brain last night!


Today’s the big day!!!

The runoff election in Georgia will determine whether Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock or Republican challenger Herschel Walker will take their seat in the United States Senate on January 3rd. My fingers are so tightly crossed that they’ve lost all feeling in hopes that the people of Georgia are smarter than the Republican nominee and will vote for a man who has a proven track record in the Senate, a man with integrity and values.  Let Mr. Walker go back to his vampire movies while Senator Warnock helps make the laws that will govern us all.


Will the Court do the right thing?  Don’t hold your breath

Will they rule for or against the LGBTQ community?  It seems to me that if you own a business, you welcome customers … all customers.  What savvy business owner would turn away a paying customer because of the colour of his skin or his religion?  Or his gender identity?  Remember the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in 2018 where a Colorado bakery refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple because the owner of the cakeshop thought same-sex marriage was a sin?  What is it with Colorado, anyway?  The latest case before the Supreme Court is about whether a Colorado web designer, a woman who creates websites for a living, can refuse to create a website for a same-sex couple simply because their life choices go against her narrow-minded religion.  

I have little trust of today’s Supreme Court, which is tragic in itself.  It has been hijacked by rigid right-wing partisans who are more likely to rule in favour of the web designer.  Since the additions of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett, a number of unjust rulings have been issued, not the least of which was the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade and set women’s rights back 50 years or more.  So, I will be shocked … pleasantly so … if the Court tells the web designer that she cannot discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. 

For what it’s worth, here’s my two cents.  If you own a business that is open to the public, it is open to ALL the public, including LGBTQ+ people.  To decide otherwise would be to throw wide open the doors of discrimination in every venue across the U.S.  Imagine, if you will, a nation where Black people are banned from Kroger or Safeway grocery stores, or where Jews are not welcome in certain clothing stores or restaurants.  If you are in business, you serve one and all.  Remember the days, not all that long ago, when in the South there were signs on doors, “Whites Only”?  Do you want to see signs on doors that read, “Straight White Christians Only”?  If your prejudices are so severe that you cannot open your mind and the doors of your business to people who are different, then you have no business being in business.  Full Stop.


It’s all relative

There was a time when Florida’s Ron DeSantis would have been viewed as terrible material for a presidential candidate.  And now … he seems to be garnering support from some in the GOP, as well as the voting public on the right.  What changed?  Did DeSantis become more ‘acceptable’ through some actions of his own?  No.  He became more ‘acceptable’ as an alternative to the madman who once occupied the Oval Office and who is running once again.  If you have no other points of comparison, and you put Trump and DeSantis side-by-side, then yes, DeSantis looks pretty damn good.  But then, compared to Trump, Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie The Shining looks pretty good!

I firmly believe that Donald Trump’s name will not be on the final ballot in November 2024, but even so, I would also hate to see DeSantis as the GOP nominee.  Like Trump, DeSantis is a bigot in most every way, but unlike Trump, he is relatively intelligent and knows how to obtain what he wants.  And, for some reason that escapes me, he has gained a significant amount of popularity, though none of my Floridian friends have any use at all for him.  Fortunately, 2024 is almost two years away and a lot can happen in two years, so I’m not going into panic mode yet, and neither should you.


The price we pay for declining education

I’ve written many times of late about the efforts, primarily by evangelicals and Republicans to whitewash the history of the United States.  I have argued that we need to keep that history — the good, the bad, and the ugly parts — in the forefront of our children’s education so they can ensure we NEVER return to the days of slavery, of Jim Crow, of the KKK.  I’ve also argued against book bans, yet today school districts are banning more and more books, further narrowing the minds of the next generations!  I think the following chart makes my point perfectly …

Need I say more?


And now for just a few ‘toons that highlight the news of the day …

 

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.

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.

No Words Needed

I originally planned to include this cartoon in my Jolly Monday post, but changed my mind for two reasons:  a) it is of a socio-political nature and I try very hard to keep Jolly Monday upbeat and G-rated, and b) I didn’t want it to be just one of 20 other cartoons, but wanted people to take a closer look, to ponder it for a bit.  The ‘toon needs no explanation or commentary from me, so I shall give none.

Snarky Snippets For A Sunday Afternoon

Ahhhhh … nothing like a peaceful, lazy Sunday afternoon, right?  Curl up with a good book, maybe have a little bit of a kip, take a look at the news and BOOM … the peace is shattered, the nerves are jangled, and the snark finds its way into a blog post!


Sorry, no books today!

In the small town of Jamestown, Michigan, population 9,630 as of the 2020 census, the library may soon close.  Lack of interest?  No way!  The people in this town love their library, but the taxpayers voted against funding the library earlier.  Why?  A handful of residents – less than 50 – complained about books in the library written by or about LGBTQ people, saying their intent was to ‘groom’ children.  The library director was harrassed to the point that she finally resigned, as did the next in line for her job.

Larry Walton, the library board’s president, said “We, the board, will not ban the books.”  And thus, the voters voted 62% to 37% against a measure that would have raised property taxes by roughly $24 in order to fund the library.  This is, as I see it, yet another step toward the dummying down of American youth … making it harder for them to learn the truth about the culture of the nation they live in, as well as its history.

And along those same lines, in Florida, Collier County Public Schools added warning labels to more than 100 books, many of which touch on issues related to race or the LGBTQ community.  WTF???

The books carrying this ‘warning’ include ones by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Ibram X. Kendi, and John Updike.  If this trend continues … I don’t hold out much hope for the humanity of future generations.  This, my friends, is what we are up against … if your skin isn’t white, if you don’t attend the right church, if you love someone who ‘society’ deems inappropriate … you don’t belong.  Not only that, but your story will never be told.  Our history … our true history which includes our horrid treatment of the Indigenous People who lived her long before European settlers arrived, Africans who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, and many more atrocities based on race, will never be told to the next generation.  What a sad … nay, tragic … ending for what was once a nation filled with hope for a brighter future.


There may not be books in schools, but there will damned well be guns!

In Ohio, the state legislature passed and governor Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that allows teachers to carry a gun into their classrooms with only 24 total hours of firearms training.  In North Carolina, one school system is putting AR-15 rifles in every school. Nationwide, at least 29 states allow individuals other than police or security officials to carry guns on school grounds.  This, my friends, is the Republican’s response to the Uvalde school shooting in May that killed 19 students and two teachers.  They don’t respond with a ban on assault weapons such as the one that was used in Uvalde, and they don’t respond by calling for stricter gun measures.  Nooooooo … their answer, just as it has always been, is to put more guns in the hands of unqualified people!

What could possibly go wrong with AR-15s in the classrooms?  Surely there would never come a time when a teacher might step out of the classroom for just a moment and a student might get the gun and … well, use your imagination.  Surely that would never happen, right?  Right?

The strategy is fiercely opposed by Democrats, police groups, teachers’ unions and gun control advocates, who say that concealed carry programs in schools — far from solving the problem — will only create more risk. Past polling has shown that the vast majority of teachers do not want to be armed.  But … the Republican Party is so entwined with the gun manufacturers and the NRA that they are bought … lock, stock, and barrel.  Uvalde just gave them the excuse they had been waiting for.  Ban the books but bring on the guns!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …


Just a couple of decent guys … NOT!

I think ol’ Roger Stone just likes attention, so he’s back in the news.  This time, he’s seeking assistance for his buddy, Alex Jones, who has been ordered thus far by the courts to pay a total of $49.3 million for the lies he told about the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre.  Now, Alex Jones doesn’t appear to actually have $49.3 million, as his net worth is only an estimated $40 million, so … enter Roger Stone, he of many crimes who would be in prison today, were it not for the pardon he received from the former guy.

Stone has called for contributions to support Jones, saying that …

“Alex Jones is a good and decent man.  He is a God-fearing Christian…and right now he needs our support.” 

Excuse me a moment while I go throw up my breakfast …

There is not one shred of human decency in either Roger Stone or Alex Jones!  Both are the definition of evil and belong in a prison cell for the duration of their nasty lives!


And on that note, I now return you to your peaceful, lazy Sunday afternoon …

In The Words Of Forrest Gump …

“Stupid is as stupid does”

(My apologies to Keith in advance, but sometimes you just gotta get it out of your system)

Now, I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so before I start criticizing others, I’ll tell you about my latest moment of dumb.  Our electricity went out yesterday afternoon.  I was sitting here writing when the lamp beside me went out, and I thought the bulb had just blown, but at the same time, my granddaughter screeched that her computer had shut down.  Then the neighbor came over to ask if our electricity was out, as was his.  So, I grabbed my laptop to send Duke Energy a text, but … duh … the internet was out!  So, I managed to send them a text via my phone, and they immediately responded, saying that they were aware of the outage, crews were on their way, and they estimated that service would be restored by 6:00 p.m., although they reserved the right to alter their estimate.  Since it was only 2:00 at that time, and since the temperature outside was in the 90s, I told Miss Goose that we better go get the fans out of the storage shed.  Oops … my second ‘duh’ moment, for the fans are powered by … electricity!  Fortunately, the power was back on within about a half-hour, so all was well.

So, now that I’ve fessed up to my own idiocy, I won’t feel so bad about critiquing others’ lack of brain power.  Let’s start with …


Stupid is as stupid does #1 – Ken Paxton

Let me start by saying that I have never known of an Attorney General who was as much a bastard as Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton.  Paxton was the one who sued the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin over the 2020 election results because he claimed they “flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted.”  Mind you, Paxton is the TEXAS AG and thus has no skin in the game in those other states, as was made clear to him by the United States Supreme Court.  Paxton, in fact, was then slapped with a misconduct lawsuit by his own state!

But do you think ol’ Kenny learned his lesson?  No, sadly he is just as obnoxious and nauseating as ever.  What’s the latest, you ask?  Well, he has commandeered the attorneys general of some 20 other states and they are collectively filing a lawsuit against … the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)!  Why, you ask?  The simple answer is because they are all idiots, but the more exhaustive explanation is that they are suing because the USDA does not discriminate against LGBTQ people!  Yes, you heard right!

It all started when Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued a press release in May stating that …

“USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity. A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form — including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

So, I suppose that AG Paxton and his cronies would like to see LGBTQ people starve to death if they find themselves unable to afford food for whatever reason?  Perhaps his philosophy is akin to …

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  This, my friends, is the direction the new GOP is heading … you must be white, straight, Christian, and preferably male in order that the likes of Paxton will consider you human.  Now, I’m not worried that they’ll win their lawsuit, even with the lopsided Supreme Court of the day, but the fact that someone in such a position of trust and power … make that 20+ someones in positions of trust … can be so blatantly and unapologetically bigoted is … mind-blowing!


Stupid is as stupid does #2 – Charlotte Bergmann

Charlotte Bergman is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee’s 9th district.  Either she is related to Alex Jones or took lessons from him somewhere along the line, for she claims that nearly all mass shootings, including the one where 19 children were shot and killed in Uvalde, Texas, in May, are “false flag” operations, are ‘planned events’ designed to ‘take away people’s guns’.

On the day after the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, in which seven people were killed, Bergmann said …

“You cannot tell me that this was not planned. The shooting is not just random. There is an agenda behind the shooting. There is an agenda. And that agenda is to make sure that our guns are taken away.”

It must be tough living in the Twilight Zone!  Ms. Bergmann, just for a bit of background, has run five times before — in every election since 2010, with the exception of 2016 — and has not yet won an election.  She is a documented QAnon supporter and even claimed that the 2018 mail pipe bomb attempts were false flags.  And yet, she is still running for the U.S. House of Representatives … THIS, my friends, is the face of the new GOP, which, by the way, no longer stands for “Grand Old Party”, for there is nothing ‘grand’ about them anymore.


Stupid is as stupid does #3 – Donald Trump

Trump put out a statement through his “Save America” PAC saying he’s “notified CNN” of his “intent to file a lawsuit over their repeated defamatory statements against me.” He also said he does, in fact, plan to go after other media outlets …

“I will also be commencing actions against other media outlets who have defamed me and defrauded the public regarding the overwhelming evidence of fraud throughout the 2020 Election. I will never stop fighting for the truth and for the future of our Country!”

And all I can do is laugh!  🤣  First, he would have to prove that whatever “defamatory statements” the outlet made were false!  It isn’t illegal to call a spade a spade … unless it’s a diamond, and Donald Trump sure as hell ain’t no diamond!

In a 282-page letter that Trump’s lawyers sent to CNN executives on July 21st, they claim that Trump’s …

“… comments are not lies because he subjectively believes that the results of the 2020 presidential election turned on fraudulent voting activity in several key states.”

Bullshit.

Uh-Oh … The Snark Meter Is High Tonight

It does seem that my snark-o-meter is registering on high these days!  Is yours?


Kevin McCarthy … what a guy

By noon yesterday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had tweeted twelve times.  Here is just one of his many tweets …

The rest of his tweets were all about putting down President Biden and House Speaker Pelosi, blaming them for everything from the price of fuel to the border “crisis” as he calls it.  Now, We the People pay Mr. McCarthy some $193,400 per year of our hard-earned tax dollars to work, to legislate, and not to waste half his day tweeting and the other half obstructing to ensure that no real laws come out of our Congress.

And coming back to that tweet … he’s patting himself on the back for introducing a bill that is intended to stop tech companies, such as Google, Facebook and others from marking GOP solicitation emails as “spam” … which, of course, is precisely what ANY solicitation email from a politician is, regardless of party.  In this, a time when we have a gun crisis that has already caused more than 21,000 deaths by guns, some 800 of them children.  In this time when innocent people are living under a dark cloud of violent threats for doing their jobs or expressing their opinions.  In this time when in many places it is hotter in early June than is normal in mid-August due to the effects of climate change as a result of our disregard for the environment.  In this time when our voting rights are being stripped away, women’s rights are becoming a thing of the past, and LGBTQ rights are being shoved out the window.  In this time when our schools are being told they cannot teach the legitimate, factual history of this nation, but must instead teach the fantasy white-washed version of the nation’s past!  In this, the time when wildfires in the west are sure to cause record-breaking damage, when water sources are endangered … and the ONLY thing Mr. McCarthy can be bothered to work on is … whether your email server marks a GOP donation request as ‘spam’ or not???  C’mon, people … fire this asshat in November and vote in somebody who actually understands the issues, understands what matters, is dedicated to his oath and willing to work to actually earn the money we pay him/her!!!

Oh … and just in case you’re wondering if McCarthy is going to step up to the plate on the gun legislation that will be on the docket in the House of Representatives … no.  He and his buddy Steve Scalise (himself a victim of gun crime) have made clear that they will vote against even this milquetoast legislation and will expect and demand that the other House Republicans do the same.  What a guy, eh?


And speaking of intelligence, or a lack thereof …

Herschel Walker, Senate candidate from Georgia, certainly is not on the path to winning any academic awards.  I’ve said before that there should be criteria, qualifications for a person running for public office, and after Walker’s latest, I think those requirements should include an IQ test with a passing score of at least 100, which is approximately the average in the United States.  Mr. Walker’s candidacy is filled with lies, as I pointed out in a previous post, but his latest faux pas takes the cake.

Apparently, Mr. Walker and Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor of Georgia hoping to unseat Brian Kemp, don’t … er … shall we say don’t get along famously, aren’t best buddies.  So, Ms. Abrams had been speaking about some of the problems in the state of Georgia that she hopes to address in the future, such as  mental health treatment, maternal mortality, incarceration rates and wages.  This is what candidates do … or at least ones who are serious about representing the people rather than their own interests … they talk about issues and how they think they can best solve problems.  But … apparently Walker doesn’t understand this and he took umbrage, telling Ms. Abrams to … wait for it …

“If you don’t believe in the country, leave and go somewhere else. If it’s the worst state, why are you here? Why don’t you leave ― go to another? There’s, what, 51 more other states that you can go to?”

This is a man who is running for a seat in the United States Senate and he doesn’t know how many states comprise the United States.  For the record, just in case any Republicans are reading this, there are 50 states.  This would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that this man could well be one of the 100 members of the highest legislative body in the nation, in charge of making decisions that will affect all our lives!


Why Does It Have To Be This Way?

We in this nation, around the globe in fact, are so divided that families have crumbled, friendships dissolved like a candy in hot water, marriages and even parent-child relationships gone in a blink of any eye.  Is this really who we are, or are we being led toward one side or another by those whose self-interest far outweighs their concern for us.

While yes, I know there are ideological differences between people based on their ‘order of values’, but beyond those relatively minor details, it seems that it should all be so simple.  For example … I cannot imagine a single human on this planet who wouldn’t grieve for the 19 children murdered in Texas last month, who wouldn’t do anything in their power to stop such a thing from ever occurring again.  And yet … we are so divided on who can own what types of guns and how many.  Seems pretty simple if you had a child, grandchild, niece or nephew at Robb Elementary School.  What is there to argue about?  And why?  And how many more must die before we lay down our own arms and join hands to preserve the lives of our future?

Or consider the issue of women’s rights as personified by the abortion rights issue.  Now, granted about half of the people in this nation are males and therefore might not have as complete an understanding, but here’s the thing, people.  If Roe v Wade remains the law of the land and we women retain our rights to determine what happens with our own body, when or if we ever have a baby, and more, that does not force anybody who doesn’t believe in abortion to have one!  It would be rather like banning lemon cookies because half the nation doesn’t like the taste of them, when nobody is forcing anybody to eat a damn lemon cookie!  Why must we be so divided on this issue … why can we not agree to just live and let live.  If you don’t choose to have an abortion, then fine … don’t have one.  Have a baby and I hope you are in a position to take the best possible care of that baby.  But remember that not everyone is.

What about the LGBTQ community?  I have many friends who are LGBTQ and they are, without exception, great people.  What’s the big deal?  Again, why can’t we live and let live?  Who I choose to love, to spend the rest of my life with, is frankly nobody else’s business, just as who you choose to love is not my business.  Why is that a divisive issue in this country and so many others?  Are we really so small-minded, so closed-minded that we cannot accept that not everybody looks, acts, and thinks just as we do?

I think two things have propelled us into the divisions that are destroying not only this nation, but much of the world today:  religion and political greed.

On the topic of religion, I understand that some religions do not believe in such things as inter-racial marriage, same-sex marriage, abortion, and more.  And so, here in the U.S. of late, we seek to condemn those things, in some cases to make them against the law.  WHY?  Other religions don’t believe in eating pork or drinking alcohol, yet I haven’t heard of any motions to make pig meat or alcohol illegal, have you?  If you identify with a certain sect or religion, then fine, but … why can’t you accept that not everybody shares your beliefs?  What about that term “freedom of religion” which is one of the founding principles of this nation, one of the reasons the nation came to exist.  Why must we always be trying to mold people into clones of ourselves?  Because church leaders tell us to do so, they tell us that there is only one right way and everybody else is wrong!  Not so, my friends.  The world is made more interesting for the variety of thoughts, cultures, beliefs … and no one religion can or should ever dominate the others.  Go to your church, worship as you wish, but don’t come and try to push your ideas on the rest of us.

And as far as political greed, well … do I even need to say more?  It’s real simple … politicians come in two brands – those who want to change the world for the better and those who want to change their own world for the better.  The politicians who are so heavily invested in their own fortunes that they have forgotten the rest of us are dividing us with intent … the intent to solidify a base of people whose minds they can control.  They tell their base what they should want, what they deserve, and how to get it, and like lambs led to the slaughter, the people largely buy into it.  They tell them that ‘the other side’ is evil, and they believe it.  So, if a person’s son or friend happens to be on that ‘other side’, say a different religion, different beliefs on topics like education, guns, voting, or a host of other issues, they will push those people out of their lives … sometimes forever.

What divides us is not a question that has a simple answer, for there are many things that divide us, and religious leaders and politicians play on those issues every single day to widen the gap of division.  So, the question becomes, how do we fix this problem, for if we fail to do so, we will be hastening our own demise.  We all share this planet and its resources, but we are destroying each other as well as the planet.  How do we learn to talk to each other again instead of fighting, name-calling, and using physical violence to make our points?  Or can we?  Are humanity, compassion, and caring lost causes?

Let’s try to start by remembering the world ‘tolerance’, but accepting that we are all different in so many ways, and reminding ourselves that it’s okay to be different.  It’s okay for me to have an abortion and for you not to.  It’s okay for you to eat pork and me to shun it.  It’s okay for you to own a gun, as long as you are a responsible person, pass the background checks, and keep your gun out of the hands of children, and it’s equally okay for me to declare my home a ‘gun-free zone’.  We don’t have to agree on everything, but we’re going to have to find some areas in which we can at least open non-hostile discussion!  And on that note, I will hush … for now.