A simple question

Accountability. Responsibility. Truth. Our friend Keith reminds us why we should demand these three things from the people we elect to represent us, and points out that we are being let down in all three areas, particularly by those in the Republican Party. Thank you, Keith, for your wisdom and ability to see beyond the rhetoric, beyond the lies and chaos.

musingsofanoldfart

A simple question for elected officials in my old party – the Republican Party. What will you have to defend tomorrow, next week, next month…next year? And, will it be from an old, alleged crime or a new one. I have been asking this question of GOP officials for over four years now. There is always a new or newly discovered Trump alleged crime or some form of deceit that surfaces.

Accountability. Responsibility. Truth. These are words that are lacking these days to define the Republican party. Democrats are not perfect, but they are at least talking and doing something about issues of import. Yes, Dems stretch the truth, but it is not even close to the level of mainstream deceit that is required by the GOP. Seeing Sarah Palin claim election fraud yesterday was as predictable as the nose on my face. I told my wife…

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Unprecedented

The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used more in the past week than at any other time, I do believe.  Yes, a search warrant served on a former president was without precedent until last Monday, but then … the entirety of Donald Trump’s ‘presidency’ was without precedent!

No other president had been involved in more than 5,000 lawsuits before taking office.  No other president had been elected despite some 25 sexual harassment claims against him.  No other president would have or could have been elected after having said that “when you’re famous, you can do anything … you can grab them by the #####.”  No other president fired a top level bureaucrat (FBI Director James Comey) for refusing to swear an oath of fealty to him … not the nation, but him.  No other president denigrated our allies while cozying up to authoritarians and dictators.  And the list goes on, but you get the picture … the entire four years was jaw-dropping and unprecedented.

And then the year and a half of his post-presidency has been entirely unprecedented.  Most presidents after either terming out or being defeated in election go quietly and with dignity, moving on to the next stage of their lives.  Trump, however, continues to claim he won the election, continues to hold rallies and call himself “president”, continues to endorse conspiracy theorists and only those people who still, after a year-and-a-half, go along with his ‘big lie’ that he won the 2020 election.  Now seriously, folks, does this sound like a normal person?  I could go on and on about the ‘unprecedented’ things he did, like threatening to withhold military aid that had already been approved by Congress unless Ukraine agreed to make up lies about a private citizen.  Or the time, just a few months after his inauguration, that he met with Russian diplomats (Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak) and relayed highly classified information to them.  And no president in the history of the United States has told so many lies that they were tracked on a daily basis (he averaged 14.8 lies per day).

And let’s not forget the big one:  No other president has plotted and incited an attempted coup to overturn a fair and honest election, to overthrow the duly elected government.  NONE.  EVER.

There has, in short, been absolutely nothing ‘normal’ about the Trump era, and the fact that he removed highly classified documents from the White House upon his exit is just one more in a string of abnormalities, or unprecedented behaviour over the past 6 years or so.  It is, perhaps, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the last straw.  When anyone … a politician or private citizen … puts the entire nation, indeed the entire world at risk by his own stupidity, it may well require ‘unprecedented’ actions to mitigate the damage.  The search warrant and removal of highly classified documents was fully right and proper, was completely justified.  My only question is … how did he manage to get out with some 27 or more boxes of documents to which he had no right in the first place?  Was his keeper asleep on the job?  And … perhaps most important of all … has our national security been breached beyond repair?

Keep in mind that literally everything was unprecedented once upon a time.  This is how societies and nations grow.  Once upon a time, it was unprecedented for Black people or women to be allowed to vote in this country.  Once upon a time, it was unprecedented to have a Black president.  Once upon a time, automobiles, planes, cruise ships, electric appliances, computers and more were unprecedented, but today they are a part of everyday life.  ‘Unprecedented’ need not necessarily have a bad connotation!  In this case, it simply means we are moving forward to remedy a potentially dangerous situation.  Period.

I would hope that adults on both sides of the political spectrum would act like adults, drop the hyperbole, and look at the facts, rather than calling for and engaging in violent activities.  Donald Trump is no longer the president, he is a civilian just like you and I, subject to the same laws we are.  He has gotten by with far too much, in part because of his bluster and in part because he instills fear of retaliation into the members of his party.  It’s time for it to stop.  It’s time for justice to be served, for his nearly-unfettered romp through our political systems to come to its logical end.  Unprecedented?  Every single thing about him and his ‘presidency’ has been unprecedented, and now it’s time to finish the job, to ensure that he steps back, steps down, and is relegated to the annals of history … a history which, unless I miss my guess, will view him as the most horrible, unprecedented of all the presidents we have had.

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.

Similar, But With Critical Differences

I have often noted the similarities between Boris Johnson of the UK and Donald Trump, starting with the creepy things each wear upon their heads, the mysterious way in which each has garnered an almost cultist following, the way each seems to think their office is created for their own personal gain, and more.  In all my comparisons, though, I have felt that Johnson was the less dangerous of the two, that he lacked the utter cruelty and vileness of Trump.  And now, I have been proven right.  While Trump has spent more than two years railing that his defeat was illegitimate, calling for violence by his followers, throwing the nation under the bus, and is by all accounts planning further demolition by throwing his hat in the ring yet again in 2024, Johnson did finally resign.  Max Boot, writing for The Washington Post takes the comparison further, looking at the difference in the systems as well as the two players.


Tories awaken to the cost of being led by an entertainer. The GOP still hasn’t.

Max Boot, Columnist

July 8, 2022

Every stage of Boris Johnson’s political progression has been utterly ludicrous and farcical — and that extended to his downfall, or “clownfall,” as the Economist dubbed it. Suddenly, in the past few days, there was a mass exodus from the British government among cabinet ministers who professed themselves to be shocked by the prime minister’s duplicity. “A decent and responsible Government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect,” thundered Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis in his letter of resignation.

Well, yes. But it’s hardly news that Johnson possesses none of those qualities. Dishonesty wasn’t a bug in the BoJo operating system, it was the system itself. “People have known that Boris Johnson lies for 30 years,” says Rory Stewart, a former Conservative member of Parliament. “He’s probably the best liar we’ve ever had as a prime minister.”

In this respect, Johnson was very much like former president Donald Trump. The difference, of course, is that while Trump continues to exercise an inexplicable hold on his political party, Johnson’s grip has finally been broken. The questions are: How could Conservatives have ignored for so long what was so blindingly obvious? And how can Republicans still stay in denial?

Until this week, the Conservative Party chose to overlook Johnson’s pathological mendacity because he was so popular. The secret of his popularity was that he was terrifically entertaining. Like a certain orange-tinted former U.S. president, he did not present as a normal politician. He made a virtue of his lack of seriousness to make it seem as if he was just a regular bloke despite his posh background. He bumbled his way to the top.

But the joke wore thin when Johnson actually had to govern. He promised to miraculously make Britain stronger and wealthier by exiting the European Union; he’s achieved just the opposite. Johnson’s management of the covid pandemic was no more successful. A House of Commons committee found that Johnson “made a serious early error” by flirting with the crackpot theory that allowing people to be infected would lead to “herd immunity.” The result was “many thousands” of avoidable deaths.

Eventually, Johnson instituted a strict lockdown, but he failed to abide by it. The result was the “Partygate” scandal, as evidence emerged of Johnson and his aides illegally partying at 10 Downing Street. Johnson was finally felled by one scandal too many. His chief deputy whip, Chris Pincher (a name straight out of Dickens), had to resign after being caught groping men in a bar. Johnson professed shock, until it emerged that he had been informed of similar misbehavior in the past when he had brought Pincher into the Foreign Office.

The lessons of Johnson’s rise and fall are simple and old-fashioned: Don’t treat politics as a branch of the entertainment industry; it’s too serious for that. Knowledge and competence are important in leaders; their lack is not a virtue. And character counts above all: Someone who can’t be trusted to tell the truth can’t be trusted to govern. It’s staggering that it’s taken the Tories this long to accept those basic home truths.

What’s even more staggering is that Republicans in the United States still have not, even though Trump’s political sins are far more serious. Johnson did not, after all, incite a mob to ransack Parliament in order to stay in power. His offenses are political misdemeanors compared to Trump’s major felonies.

Why, then, is the BoJo show closing while the Trump show rolls on? In part it’s because British politics is less populist and Tories are less radicalized than Republicans; there are Murdoch-owned newspapers but no Fox “News” Channel in the U.K. It’s also because British political parties are more powerful. While Tory parliamentarians don’t choose their leader, they do winnow the field down to two candidates for a vote by the party rank and file. Even if the winner becomes prime minister, that person can be, and often is, toppled by colleagues in the cabinet and the House of Commons.

If the United States had a similar system, with the Republican establishment in control of the primaries, the likely GOP nominee in 2016 would have been Jeb Bush, not Donald Trump. And if it were routine for Congress and the Cabinet to evict underperforming presidents, Trump might not have lasted long in office.

But our political parties are too weak and our standards for evicting an incumbent are too high: The president has to commit either “high crimes and misdemeanors” or be unable to discharge “the duties of his office.” Of course, Trump did commit high crimes and he was unable to discharge his duties. But Republicans feared the wrath of their rabid base if they were to make him the first president ever removed under either the Constitution’s impeachment clause or the 25th Amendment. (Richard M. Nixon resigned before being impeached.)

Now, despite everything, Trump could still make a comeback, because he retains a Svengali-like hold on the Republican base. It’s a tribute to the British political system that Boris Johnson is finally being removed from office, and a terrible indictment of the U.S. political system that Trump — who has done far worse — could still return to it.

The Lies Are Deadly

My jaw dropped when I read the variety of reasons (or rather excuses, excuses, excuses) Republicans have come up with for mass shootings in the U.S.  Hint:  not a single one of them blames the problem on easy access to guns.  Among their reasons are:

  • Abortion (Fox ‘News’ host Mark Levin)
  • ‘Lecturing women’ (Fox ‘News’ host Tucker Carlson)
  • ‘Regular pot use’ (Fox ‘News’ host Laura Ingraham)

And yet another Fox host, Greg Gutfeld, claims that the way to stop mass shootings is to simply ignore them.  Yep, you heard right … he claims that if the media refuse to cover mass shootings, they will “decrease by 30%, 40%, 50%”.  Oh, to live in such a world of abject ignorance.

The tragedy is that some 30% of the people in this country actually watch Fox as their main new source, sometimes their only news source.  Those same people tend not to be college-educated, not to be deep thinkers, and to be easily swayed by rhetoric that plays on their emotions.  I know it’s not possible to simply shut Fox ‘News’ down, for that would be an infringement on the 1st Amendment, but I do wonder, if Fox went away tomorrow, how many minds could be awakened between now and November?  Enough, possibly, to make a real difference in the upcoming election and future elections, perhaps even enough to convince people to THINK on occasion.

The lies and conspiracy theories floating throughout the air waves pose a direct, distinct threat to the security of the nation and its people.  In April, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the formation of a board to monitor national security threats caused by the spread of dangerous disinformation.  But alas, the Republicans went ape-shit crazy, calling it Orwellian and even some Democrats made the valid point questioning the powers that such an office might wield in the hands of future Republican administrations.  And so, the board has been ‘paused’, likely never to see the light of day again in this administration.

So, how DO we counter the lies and falsehoods, the conspiracy theories that have already led to violence and death?  If we cannot demand truth from all media outlets who call themselves ‘news’ outlets, and we cannot regulate the lies from within the government, what is left?  Education.  But we currently have too many states where the lies are infiltrating even our schools with the sanction and blessing of state governments.  Florida, for example, refuses to allow the teaching of concepts that could make students, “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any form of psychological distress” for actions “committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex or national origin.”

So how in hell are we to educate the next generation if the current generation is too cowardly to face the truth.  Yes, slaves – people from the African continent, people with Black skin – were brought here in the 17th century and sold … yes, SOLD like property … to white men who used them to perform backbreaking labour and paid them nothing, but beat them half to death if they underperformed.  Yes, we turned away a ship, the MS St. Louis, filled with Jews seeking asylum from an evil anti-Semitic dictator and sent many of them to their subsequent deaths.  And yes, this nation’s white government stole both property and freedom from Japanese-American citizens during World War II simply because they were of Japanese ethnicity.  And the very worst was the first … when white people first arrived on this land, they murdered and stole the land of the Indigenous People who were here long before white men came here seeking asylum from tyranny.  Isn’t it ironic that they inflicted the same treatment, only worse, on people that they themselves were fleeing?

Do you see a trend here?  Black people, Jews, Japanese, Indigenous … BIGOTRYRACISM!  But yet, we are not to teach our children of these events and many, many more because it might “make them feel guilt.”  Let them feel guilt!  Let them at least try to put things to right, to make up for the crimes of their ancestors, to strive for a better nation, one where EVERYONE is welcome and treated equally! A world where justice doesn’t mean something entirely different for Black people than it means for white people. But instead, we are to allow them to grow up as ignorant as their parents are … more so, actually, for the parents know the truth but choose willful ignorance over intelligent thought.

I know what the ultimate solution to the dangerous lies and conspiracy theories will ultimately have to be, and so do you if you think about it, but it is not the one I would have chosen.  It is a battle I once thought we had already won.

Another Highly UNqualified Candidate!

When, somewhere in the early years of my political/constitutional education, I learned that there are virtually no requirements to run for and hold most public offices, such as president, senator, representative, I was appalled!  What?  No requirement that they even studied Constitutional Law, or have any combination of education/experience relevant to the job they seek?  The only requirements are related to age, citizenship, and domicile, not to whether they have the necessary knowledge to do the job!

We have seen the results of this oversight lately in such congressional newbies as Margie Greene, and Lauren Boebert.  Greene has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and her only career experience prior to winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives was as a gym owner and trainer.  Boebert dropped out of high school and her career consists of working at McDonald’s and later owning a restaurant called Shooters, where the wait staff all carry guns.  These two do not belong in Congress, but there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prevents it.  And now, we have on the horizon one who is equally unqualified and distasteful, a former athlete named Herschel Walker.

Herschel Walker did go to college, but it appears that his only goal was sports and to pursue a sports career, for he dropped out without graduating and went on to join the United States Football League, and later the NFL.  I gather he was a very good athlete, and I give him kudos for that, but … he has absolutely nothing that would qualify him for a seat in the United States Senate!  Yet that is exactly what he’s vying for, challenging the incumbent senator, Ralph Warnock, for his seat this November.  From everything I’ve read, Walker is an arrogant man, believing that playing football, having a black belt in taekwondo, and having competed in the Olympic bobsled competition somehow mean he should be voted into a senate seat.  This would be akin to me saying that I’m qualified to be the Queen of Poland because I can speak Spanish!  (For the record, they speak Polish, not Spanish, in Poland, and they don’t have a Queen)

Now, not only is Mr. Walker highly unqualified for the senate, but he should be disqualified for some of his antics.  He has been a staunch supporter of the Big Lie, even spreading numerous conspiracy theories about the election.  He also said of the January 6th attempted coup that it was a “well planned” distraction from election fraud.

But Mr. Walker does have one qualification that is requisite for today’s Republican Party, and that is that he is a consummate liar.  He falsely claimed that he had graduated from the University of Georgia, and in the top 1% of his class, when in fact he dropped out a year short of completion.  He has a history of exaggerating the number of people employed by his companies and the assets held by his companies, and the failure of several business enterprises led to creditors bringing lawsuits.  He has claimed that he was once a police officer for the Cobb County Police Department, and also that he was once an FBI agent.  Neither one is true.

He also seems to have a very short fuse.  In 2001, he took a gun to chase a man who was late delivering a car.  Also in 2001 his wife filed for divorce, claiming he had been “physically abusive and extremely threatening.”  She said that Walker pointed a pistol at her head and said, “I’m going to blow your f’ing brains out.” She also said he had used knives to threaten her.  In 2005, a restraining order was imposed on Walker regarding his wife, after her sister stated in an affidavit that Walker told her “unequivocally that he was going to shoot my sister Cindy and her boyfriend in the head.”

Now for the real kicker … Herschel Walker and Senator Ralph Warnock are tied neck-in-neck in the race for the U.S. Senate seat representing Georgia.  TIED!!!  Ralph Warnock is a good man by all accounts, an honest man, a man of integrity.  How can there be any question of who is best qualified?  But then, this is Georgia, the state that also sent us the QAnon supporter, conspiracy theorist Margie Greene.  🙄

C’mon, people … is this really the kind of crap you want sitting in our Senate, making the decisions that will affect the lives of every person in this country???  Surely even the Republicans cannot condone a person like this … can they?  Is this an example of the new Republican Party since they swore their oath of fealty to the former guy?  Conservative columnist Michael Gerson was spot on when he said that the GOP is a party in decay.  Herschel Walker is but one of the many examples that prove it.

Serious-minded people

Truth. One of the first casualties of war in politics. Truth and honesty — major components of integrity. We the People deserve the truth, but since our vote matters to the politicos far more than our lives matter, truth in politics has become a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded. Our friend Keith sums it up well … truth matters.

musingsofanoldfart

Let me start out with the following firm belief of mine. I wish others who think winning at any cost gives politicians a free pass, would heed this belief of mine. I am not in favor of name calling, but I would say if people in or running for office want to be taken seriously, they need to be serious-minded with their comments. Saying obvious untrue things is not a step down that path.Full stop.

I am not naive enough to think politicians will stop lying altogether. To get elected, they will continue to overstate or even invent their role when good things happen and understate or blame the other side when bad things happen. And, if things aren’t too bad, many will even tell you it is bad to drum up fear. If things aren’t good enough, they will search for ways to make them even better sounding.

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Rewriting History

So, considering history … if we determine to no longer teach about slavery, about Jim Crow … what will we replace it with? We cannot simply ignore the fact that Black people existed. Young people aren’t stupid … don’t you think they will ask questions? And what about books and movies like “Gone with the Wind” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”??? Will we destroy all copies of those? What do we replace the now-illegal facts of history with? Our friend Michael Seidel has written an excellent, thought-provoking post … thank you, Michael!!!

Michael Seidel, writer

In the Smithsonian Magazine’s excerpt of Narrative Tension, Inc.. From the forthcoming book Making History: The Storytellers Who Shaped the Past by Richard Cohen to be published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Printed by permission, Richard Cohen writes this:

‘Around the same time, between 1934 and 1936, the Politburo, or policy-making body, of the Russian Communist Party focused on national history textbooks, and Stalin set scholars to writing a new standard history. The state became the nation’s only publisher. Orwell had it right in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Records Department is charged with rewriting the past to fit whomever Oceania is currently fighting. The ruling party of Big Brother “could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”’

He is writing about the old U.S.S.R., the Soviet Union, and how…

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What IS a ‘Divisive Concept’???

Just what constitutes a “divisive concept”?  No, seriously … for some people, pineapple on pizza is a divisive concept, so I think if states are going to ban the teaching of ‘divisive concepts’, there must be some agreement, some definition as to what, exactly, a ‘divisive concept’ is!

Last week the Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill that would ban the teaching of “divisive concepts” in K-12 history.  Alabama is not the first, nor will it likely be the last state in the Union to pass such an open-ended law, so it’s imperative that we understand exactly what it is they are even talking about.  And further, once ‘divisive concepts’ are defined, that definition needs to be in writing for every single person in the state to understand, lest teachers and even parents go to prison for simply trying to be honest, to ensure children are getting an actual education!  Most teachers at this point are throwing their hands up, not knowing what they are or aren’t allowed to say in the classroom.

According to Law Insider …

Divisive concepts means the concepts that

  • one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
  • the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;
  • an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
  • an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
  • members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
  • an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;
  • an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
  • any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or
  • meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.

The term “divisive concepts” also includes any other form of race or sex stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating.

So, look at #2 … it is not to be taught that the U.S. has and has always had a racist, homophobic element?  We cannot teach about the KKK or the murders of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Emmett Till, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many, many others?  We cannot teach that for four centuries, certain white people held the belief that they were somehow superior to Black people?  We cannot teach how people from Europe came to this continent, took advantage of the civilization of Indigenous People who were already here, then drove them off their land and murdered many of them?  We cannot, I suppose, even teach about Hitler’s execution of some six million Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and others?  Is Dr. Martin Luther King’s name and his contributions to our society to be kept a secret?

It seems to me that this push to stop the teaching of the past is naught but a ploy to further demean Black people, to erase the past history that helps us understand why BlackLivesMatter is so important, so relevant.  If the next generation grows up not understanding about the KKK and how many Black families were destroyed by them, then how can they understand our outrage when a white cop kills an unarmed Black man?  Are they to be taught that Blacks, whites, and even Indigenous People have all had the same opportunities and been treated equally throughout the history of the United States?  That, my friends, is naught but one damned BIG LIE!  Do people in Texas, Virginia, Alabama and other states really want their children to grow up on a foundation of lies?  Do they want them to repeat the past because they are ignorant of it?  We do have some pretty ugly things in our history but hiding them and pretending they never happened will only lead to more ugly things … things that will result in death and devastation.

I know I have written on this topic before, and please forgive me if I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but this is so damn important and every time I hear of another state embracing stupidity while whitewashing our past, I feel a white-hot rage run through me.  We cannot … CANNOT … afford to simply let this one slip to the back of our minds … we MUST continue to fight for the proper, fact-based teaching of ALL history … not just that which makes white Christian males look like the guys in white hats!    

In the past few months, residents in Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania have found KKK fliers in their driveways and yards.  The fliers read, in part …

The lack of White pride is truly a sad and strange thing, because no group has more to be rightfully proud of than the White people of the world. The glories and greatness that the men and women of our race have won over the centuries should serve as a source of eternal pride and inspiration to White people everywhere.

Since the dawn of history, we have been a mighty race of builders, explorers, artists, warriors, inventors, philosophers and cultivators.

We are the race of Shakespeare, Leonardo, Beethoven and Homer. We are the sons and daughters of Leif Ericsson, Columbus, Magellan, and Lindbergh. We are the folk of Alexander, Caesar, Arminius, Roland, Frederick, Napoleon, Washington, Franklin and Lee. We are the heirs of Sophocles; Heraclitus and Plato, of Rembrandt; Rubens and Durer, of Dante; Goethe and Gutenberg; of Vivaldi, Back, Mozart, and Wagner. We are the descendants of Pythagoras, Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, and Nietzsche.

Just to list the great achieves [sic] of our race would require the work of a lifetime.

No one has more to be proud of that [sic] we do!

Ignorance is bliss … for the ignorant.  For the rest of us, it is pure hell.  Teach the children the truth … let them grow up with actual spines and functional brains so that they might make the world a better place, might finally set aside contests of race, gender, religion, skin colour and just become one people trying to do good in the world.

And by the way … personally, I like pineapple on pizza!

In The Name Of Responsible Journalism …

I fully support a free press, but in return I expect the press to report facts.  Label opinions as such, but when I read the news, I expect it to be honest, factual reporting.  The actual press (I do NOT include the likes of Fox and OANN in this) has been letting us down for some time now on a daily basis.  The former guy is front and center nearly every day, when he should have been reduced to irrelevance long ago.  No other former president has occupied as much media space as he, and frankly I find it sickening and disgusting.

The latest is his plan to hold a “news conference” from Mar-a-Lago on January 6th, the one-year anniversary of the violent attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on the date of the certification of the 2020 election results.  In light of his announcement, it becomes painfully obvious that he intends to use his voice, such as it is, to rehash his old and false lie about the election having been ‘rigged’ or ‘stolen’.

“I will be having a news conference on January 6th at Mar-a-Lago to discuss all of these points, and more. Until then, remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd, it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th.” 

According to Forbes, the former guy said the primary goal of his event will be to attack Republicans who haven’t bought into his fraud claims, deriding them as “RINOs”—Republicans in name only.

Now, none of us can stop the former guy from saying what he will, but … we can call on the legitimate press to boycott the speech.  And that is exactly what they should do … no legitimate news source should be anywhere near Mar-a-Lago on January 6th.  Let him speak until he is hoarse, heard only by the likes of Fox ‘News’, OANN, and other radical right-wing outlets.  Let this serve as notice to The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and others that they MUST stay away at all costs!  To attend and report on this childish display of lies and tempers would be a gross disservice to their readers and viewers and would cut into their reputations significantly. We the People have absolutely ZERO interest in anything the former guy (what’s his name again … I forget) has to say.  We’ve heard it all before and we know from past experience that it will be a rant filled with a pack of lies.  I do not wish to see his ugly mug nor to hear the filth that spews from his twisted, contorted mouth!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced plans for a solemn commemoration in Washington on January 6th. Pelosi said the events, which will include “a discussion among historians about the narrative of that day; an opportunity for Members (of Congress) to share their experiences and reflections from that day; and a prayerful vigil in the evening” will be live-streamed.  The press would do much better to cover this commemoration than to cover the former guy doing more ranting, cursing, and lying.  No doubt there will be numerous other events to commemorate the day that will be of far more value than the one at Mar-a-Lago.  Let’s all hope that in the name of responsible journalism, the press can turn their focus to those events and boycott the other one.  If they do not, then I will strongly consider cancelling my online subscriptions to those outlets that waste their time and our money on the former guy.