UNCONSCIONABLE!!!

The Republicans have crossed that line in the sand, they have gone too far, and it’s high time to stop them, even if it requires emergency procedures that defy their “constitutional rights”.  They are costing us our lives and I for one am sick and damn tired of it!  Jamelle Bouie writing for the New York Times sums it up in his most recent column … guaranteed to make you growl and stomp your feet.


Do Republicans Actually Want the Pandemic to End?

Aug. 31, 2021

By Jamelle Bouie

Opinion Columnist

President Barack Obama promised unity. In his 2008 campaign, he said he would heal the nation’s political divides and end more than a decade of partisan rancor.

To keep this promise, Obama needed allies, or at least partners, in the Republican Party. But they said no. If they could block Obama — if they could withhold support on anything significant he planned to do — then they could make him break his promise. Republicans would obstruct and Obama would get the blame. Which, you might remember, is what happened. By the 2010 midterm elections, Obama was a divisive president.

Joe Biden, in his 2020 campaign for president, promised to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. With additional aid to working families and free distribution of multiple effective vaccines, he would lead the United States out of its ongoing public health crisis.

I think you can see where this is going.

Rather than work with him to vaccinate the country, Biden’s Republican opposition has, with only a few exceptions, done everything in its power to politicize the vaccine and make refusal to cooperate a test of partisan loyalty. The party is, for all practical purposes, pro-Covid. If it’s sincere, it is monstrous. And if it’s not, it is an unbelievably cynical and nihilistic strategy. Unfortunately for both Biden and the country, it appears to be working.

Naturally, some of the loudest vaccine-skeptical Republicans are in Congress. “Think about what those mechanisms could be used for,” Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina said of the Biden administration’s plan for door-to-door vaccine ambassadors. “They could then go door-to-door to take your guns. They could go door-to-door to take your Bibles.”

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has similarly criticized the president’s effort to reach the unvaccinated. “People have a choice, they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations,” she tweeted. “You can’t force people to be part of the human experiment.”

Cawthorn and Greene are obviously fringe figures. But these days, the fringe is not far from the center of the Republican Party (if it ever was to begin with). Their rhetoric is not too different, in other words, from that of their more mainstream colleagues in the Senate.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has attacked vaccine mandates — “There should be no mandates, zero, concerning Covid,” he said in a recent interview with the Fox News host Sean Hannity — while Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has urged Americans to “resist” efforts to stop the spread of the virus. “It’s time for us to resist,” Paul said in a video posted to Twitter. “They can’t arrest all of us. They can’t keep all of your kids home from school. They can’t keep every government building closed, although I’ve got a long list of ones they might keep closed or ought to keep closed.”

Republican rhetoric in Washington, however, is a sideshow to the real fight over Covid, in states like Florida and Texas.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected vaccine passports and launched an aggressive campaign against mandatory mask-wearing in schools. “It is very important that we say, unequivocally, no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions and no to mandates,” he told a gathering of conservative activists in Utah last month. DeSantis has suspended city and county emergency orders, put limits on future mitigation efforts and signed a law that “shields nursing homes, hospitals and businesses from legal liability if employees and patrons contract the virus on their premises.”

All of this, even as the state has been ravaged by the Delta variant of the virus. Florida has been reporting more than 20,000 new infections a day and has averaged 262 Covid deaths — the most of any state, at least in absolute numbers. More than 16,000 people are hospitalized and thousands have been taken to intensive care units. Who does DeSantis blame for these outcomes? Biden.

“You know, he said he was going to end Covid. He hasn’t done that,” the Florida governor told the Fox News host Jesse Watters last week. “At the end of the day, he is trying to find a way to distract from the failures of his presidency.”

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has banned mask mandates, signed legislation that would deny state contracts or licenses to businesses that require proof of vaccination and — after recovering from a breakthrough Covid infection himself — barred local governments from requiring the vaccine for any public agency or private institution. In a statement, Abbott said that this was to avoid a “patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas.” But in a message to the state legislature, the governor appeared to be asking lawmakers to consider an outright ban on vaccine mandates. On Aug. 25, the day Abbott sent his message, Texas reported more than 23,000 new cases of Covid, along with 14,000 hospitalizations and 245 deaths.

Abbott and DeSantis are not alone. Earlier this month, the Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, created two new grant programs that would give funds to families and school districts that rejected mask mandates. And in South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem once again cheered the Sturgis motorcycle rally, a year after it contributed to a Covid outbreak throughout the region and into the Midwest. This year, health officials have already linked the rally to cases in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The effect of all of this for the country is a pandemic that won’t die. The effect of it for the Republican Party is a substantial part of its base that won’t take the vaccine. According to data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Republicans lag behind most of the rest of the country in vaccine uptake; 54 percent said they had received at least one dose at the time of the survey, compared with 67 percent of all adults. And the effect of this for Biden is a sharp drop in his approval rating; a Reuters poll conducted mid-month found the president down 21 points among all Americans for his handling of the pandemic.

What amounts to a Republican effort to prolong the pandemic shows no sign of abating. It may even get worse, as powerful conservative media personalities spread vaccine skepticism and embrace dubious miracle cures like ivermectin, a drug typically used to treat parasitic worms in livestock, not viruses in humans.

If Biden does not want the kind of backlash that his Democratic predecessor faced, he needs to act aggressively to push the United States off its vaccination plateau. Republicans might be setting him up to break his promise to stop Covid, but the president should understand that he’s not actually at their mercy.

It Should Be Humanitarian, Not Political!

The 24/7 press about the situation in Afghanistan wears on one’s psyche, especially in light of all the finger-pointing, mud-slinging and everyone putting their own coat of varnish on the situation and its political ramifications.  I am a forever supporter of a free press, but … in return, I expect them to be responsible in their reporting.  This responsibility seems to be largely lacking at the moment.

Nobody can sum up a situation quite like New York Times’ Frank Bruni, so I shall leave it to him to unpack the current chaos …


Stop Politicizing the Misery in Afghanistan

By Frank Bruni

Opinion writer

26 August 2021

Democrats are panicked that the debacle in Afghanistan will shake American voters’ confidence in not only President Biden but also the rest of the party, potentially costing it control of the Senate and the House in 2022. They’ve said as much — to me, to other journalists, to anyone who will listen.

I wish they’d stop, because their political fate is nothing next to the fate of Afghans on the wrong side of the Taliban. And every time they communicate as much concern with the party’s near future as with Afghanistan’s, they inch toward the very destiny they dread.

To review: There were explosions today outside the airport in Kabul, underscoring how gravely dangerous the situation there is. Afghans have been crushed to death in stampedes to that area. Many who took considerable risks to help us now justifiably fear brutal reprisals from the Taliban and cannot count on us to get them to safety. Refugees have traded one hell for another: fetid, sweltering, rat-infested camps unfit for even fleeting human habitation. And some of our allies have struggled to rescue their own citizens and lost yet more faith in the United States.

But, sure, let’s talk about domestic politics and the midterms — which, mind you, are more than 14 months away.

I’m not minimizing the stakes of those elections. Given the Republican Party’s capitulation to conspiracy theories, its contempt for democratic norms, the paranoia of Marjorie Taylor Greene, the depravity of Matt Gaetz, the cowardice of Kevin McCarthy and the stubborn pull of their orange overlord, a Republican takeover of Congress would likely be disastrous.

But you know how Democrats and the media can increase the odds of that? By framing too much in those terms. By conspicuously keeping score: This event works to our advantage, that development works in theirs, we drew blood here, they drew blood there. When everyone seems equally political, everything is reduced to politics, and voters have a harder time seeing who’s on their side. They see only a contest with contestants out for themselves.

Republicans are goading Democrats, that’s for sure. Donald Trump is mocking them and Fox News taunting them — by politically weaponizing the misery in Afghanistan and casting it as an illustration of Biden’s and Democrats’ unfitness to govern.

Let them. They look parochial at best, callous at worst and opportunistic through and through. They’re right to demand more of the country and its president than what we’ve seen in regard to Afghanistan, and it’s fine to discuss that, but not in a tone so nakedly partisan and not with a memory so audaciously selective.

Trump would have done us prouder? Hah. The United States was humiliated repeatedly and spectacularly under his, um, leadership, as he gleefully trashed our most cherished ideals. What’s more, there was nothing in his magnitude of ignorance, self-consumption and neglect to suggest that he would have accomplished a withdrawal from Afghanistan — which, mind you, he was insistent about — with more grace. Any assertion otherwise charts the confluence of runaway revisionism and pure fantasy.

But if Democrats want to be sure to beat Republicans, their best bet is to be not like them: to focus on the substance of problems rather than their political implications, to talk about solutions without calculating their political benefit. In these jaded times, a little genuine earnestness could go a long way.

That holds true for the media as well. In an excellent column in The Washington Post recently, Margaret Sullivan rued the fact that reporting on government has become reporting on politics, although the two aren’t — or at least shouldn’t be — the same. Her prompt was the fight between Democrats and Republicans over a congressional investigation into the events of Jan. 6. She implored journalists to “stop asking who the winners and losers were in the latest skirmish. Start asking who is serving the democracy and who is undermining it. Stop being ‘savvy’ and start being patriotic.”

Amen. A similar plea has a place in the coverage of Afghanistan. I’ve pretty much given up on Republicans for the time being, but I’m still rooting for better from Democrats, who should focus on how the United States honors the promises we made in Afghanistan, limits the suffering there and reclaims a place of honor and reliability in global affairs. I don’t want the handicapping of the 2022 horse race, at least not right now.

Profit Over People — The “American” Way

Sure, go ahead, blame President Biden.  Blame George W. Bush, blame President Obama, blame the former guy … there’s plenty of blame to spread around.  Blame the military advisors who advised Bush and Obama (the former guy took advise from nobody, believing he actually had a functional brain).  Blame your Aunt Mabel for all I care.  The bottom line is that there was only one winner in the entire U.S.-Afghanistan fiasco:  private military contractors.

If you purchased $10,000 of stock evenly divided among America’s top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001 — the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295.  Not a bad return on investment, eh?  Defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the Afghanistan War.  Those top five biggest defense contractors?

  • Boeing – $8.2 billion profit in 2017
  • Lockheed Martin – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Raytheon – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Northrop Grumman – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • General Dynamics – $2.9 billion profit in 2017

People’s lives don’t really matter to the CEOs of these companies whose eyes only light up when they see $$$$$$$$$$.  Not Afghani lives, not U.S. or British lives, only profit matters.

It is right and proper that we leave Afghanistan – we never should have gone there in the first place and for damn sure shouldn’t have stayed 20 years, but … all those lovely profits!  How the withdrawal came about and how it was transacted will be questioned for many hears henceforth and fingers will be pointed, blame will be dispersed, and at the end of the day, nothing will have changed.  The U.S. will not have learned a lesson from this, but will continue to display its extreme arrogance in believing that they have all the best solutions and eventually, perhaps sooner than later, there will be another Afghanistan.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing every single defense contractor in bankruptcy by the end of next year and the U.S. defense budget for new military hardware reduced to zero.  I would far rather my tax dollars be spent helping people with such things as education, food, shelter, job training, than spent on killing machines.  However, mine is a humanitarian viewpoint, or one of a snowflake liberal as I’m often told, who cares more about people and animals than I care about profit and power.

The Media and GOP Revel in Botched Afghan Withdrawal

I’m already sick and damn tired of the media and the radical right blaming President Biden for what is happening in Afghanistan. Their own last two presidents are more culpable than Biden … G.W. Bush made the wrong decision to put boots on the ground there in 2001, and the former guy actually played footsies with the Taliban! Put the blame where it belongs if you must ‘blame’ someone. Our friend Jeff has written a post that precisely reflects my own thoughts. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

The daggers are out – sharpened the past seven months by a media devoid of drama, intrigue, lies, and other wrongdoing they’d grown accustomed to the previous four years. The GOP, eager to pounce, now has some chaos they can hang on President Joe Biden.

Why does it seem that certain people seem to be rooting for failure? Because they are. It’s pretty simple. The media and the GOP have specific reasons for loving every minute of the botched exit from Afghanistan.

We’ve heard, anecdotally, that certain media members haven’t been too happy in recent months. They long for those days when all you had to do was head to Twitter early in the morning to find out what crazy mutterings the disgraced former president was typing into his phone. Ah, there’s my story for today! Oh wait, it’s mid-afternoon, and now he’s gone completely off the rails!

Those were…

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Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

I wrote last week regarding my concerns over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, my fear that the Afghani people will be subjected to harsh treatment by cruel, evil men who respect none, and the concern that the Taliban, once back in power, will retaliate once again against the U.S.  Our friend Quentin at We the Commoners blog has written an excellent analysis of the situation as it stands today.  Thank you, Quentin … great work, as always!


Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

By Quentin Choy

The scenes in Afghanistan are chilling. As the Taliban slowly conquered regions over the last few weeks, their march on Kabul was imminent.

President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was the correct decision in the long-term, but the devastating short-term consequences we are seeing are haunting.

Following two decades of war in Afghanistan, the U.S is ending the longest war in its history with very little to show for it.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.”

President Joe Biden

Read the rest of Quentin’s post here

Filosofa’s Thoughts …

I haven’t opined on President Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan because I have very mixed thoughts on the subject.  Our presence in Afghanistan for these past two decades has been very costly, both in terms of money and lives.  However … there has never been any doubt that once U.S. troops left, the Taliban would move in swiftly.  We just didn’t realize, I think, how swiftly.

Now, I know this isn’t a topic that is near and dear to most of you at the moment, as we are dealing with our own crises on multiple fronts at the moment:  the pandemic, political chaos, devastating wildfires, racism, and much more.  However, what happens once we leave Afghanistan IS important to us for, I believe, a number of reasons, not the least of which is humanitarianism.

Displaced people in Afghanistan in a makeshift camp

The Taliban has moved in much more quickly than most foreign policy experts expected, and it is now estimated that they control 65% of the country.  A new U.S. military assessment says the national capital, Kabul, could fall to the Taliban in as quickly as a month.  Why should you care?  Two major reasons:

  • The Taliban are brutal terrorists. Already, tens of thousands of ordinary Afghans have had to flee their homes and- hundreds have been killed or injured in recent weeks.  The Taliban are misogynists who will brutalize women.  Their form of justice … well, let me give you an example straight from the horse’s mouth:
    • “In our Sharia it’s clear, for those who have sex and are unmarried, whether it’s a girl or a boy, the punishment is 100 lashes in public. But for anyone who’s married, they have to be stoned to death… For those who steal: if it’s proved, then his hand should be cut off.” – the words of Taliban Judge Haji Badruddin

We claim to be a humanitarian society, to care about people.  Can we care less, or not care at all, simply because the people being brutalized are half a globe away, have different beliefs, and a different skin tone?

  • The second reason you should care is simple. I want you to close your eyes and remember where you were at around 9:00 a.m. on the 11th of September, twenty years ago.  What happened that day was perpetrated by al-Qaeda, who were taught and backed by none other than the Taliban.  It was, in many ways, their hatred for the United States, it was in part retaliation for us spreading our western ways to their very closed society.

Think it can’t happen again?  Oh yes, it can, and my bet is that it will.  The Taliban has even more reason now to hate the U.S. than they had 20 years ago.  My best guess is they are already discussing and planning their revenge for the 20 years we have kept them out of power in Afghanistan.

Make no mistake, I support President Biden’s decision to pull our troops out of Afghanistan, for we could not stay there forever.  But rather my objection is with the timing and implementation.  I think it was done too quickly, rather like ripping the bandage off of a raw wound, and without thought for the future of the people of Afghanistan.  I think we are leaving a country of 39 million people vulnerable and in grave danger.  I do not pretend to be an expert or to know the best way to withdraw from Afghanistan, but I very much fear that the way we have gone about it will have unintended consequences for the people of Afghanistan and ultimately for the people in the U.S.

Taliban members

I was disappointed yesterday to hear President Biden say …

“I do not regret my decision. Afghan leaders have to come together. They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”

It seemed cold, calloused, unfeeling, uncaring for the fate of humans half a globe away.  Ultimately, he isn’t wrong … the bandage must come off, but there may be a safer way of removing it.

The Rise of the American Left and Nina Turner: What Her Win Would Mean

Today I would like to share another post by our new blogging friend Quentin over at WeTheCommoners.  Quentin talks a bit about some of the up-and-coming new faces in the Democratic Party, or the ‘Left’, and then he posits that the new blood in the party needs to stand firm, that they aren’t being forceful enough and have been afraid to utilize their power.  Now, up to this point, I fully agree with him … the Democratic Party as a whole needs to be more forceful, not allow the ‘other side’ to walk all over them as they are so often doing these days.  But he takes it a step further and there is a point where I’m not quite 100% in agreement with him.  However, I want you to read this post with an open mind, for he makes many excellent points that should be given thought, so I won’t express my reservations just yet … perhaps later on in comments.  Thank you, Quentin, for a very thought-provoking, well-written post!


The Rise of the American Left and Nina Turner: What Her Win Would Mean

The American left has slowly risen in power. Would Nina Turner’s potential win in Ohio give them the energy they need to fight their own party?

By Quentin Choy

July 27, 2021

If you’ve paid any attention to American politics over the last five years, you’ve noticed several upstarts on the political left.

An unknown Senator from Vermont almost defeated Hillary Clinton and the Democratic machine in the 2016 primaries.

A young bartender in the Bronx defeated a 10-term Congressman. Over in the north Bronx, a high school principal defeated the chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee just two years later.

Please read the rest of the post by clicking on the link!

Snarky Snippets Are Baaaaack!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a snarky snippets post, though in truth almost all of my posts contain an element of snark!  Anyway … I have just a couple of short ones for you this afternoon …


Killing us softly with …

The big news yesterday was that the U.S. has seen a significant drop in life expectancy … the biggest decrease since WWII.  My first thought was … “Well duh.  625,000+ people dead in the U.S. from the pandemic – what do you expect?”  And certainly, the pandemic has played a role in the decline in life expectancy, but it isn’t the only culprit.  Turns out that the ever-expanding income disparity is one of the biggest culprits, and it has been bringing down life expectancy rates for a few years now, even before the pandemic.

During the second half of the 2010s, life expectancy fell on a sustained basis for the first time since the fighting of World War II killed several hundred thousand Americans.

It’s hard to imagine a more alarming sign of a society’s well-being than an inability to keep its citizens alive. While some of the reasons are mysterious, others are fairly clear. American society has become far more unequal than it used to be, and the recent increases in mortality are concentrated among working-class Americans, especially those without a four-year college degree.

For many, daily life lacks the structure, status and meaning that it once had, as the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have explained. Many people feel less of a connection to an employer, a labor union, a church or community groups. They are less likely to be married. They are more likely to endure chronic pain and to report being unhappy.

These trends have led to a surge of “deaths of despair” (a phrase that Case and Deaton coined), from drugs, alcohol and suicide. Other health problems, including diabetes and strokes, have also surged among the working class. Notably, the class gaps in life expectancy seem to be starker in the U.S. than in most other rich countries.

Covid has also caused sharp increases in racial inequality. As a Times article on the new report explains:

From 2019 to 2020, Hispanic people experienced the greatest drop in life expectancy — three years — and Black Americans saw a decrease of 2.9 years. White Americans experienced the smallest decline, of 1.2 years.

Covid has also killed more men than women, Case and Deaton pointed out, increasing the mortality gap between the sexes, after years in which it had mostly been shrinking. Life expectancy was 5.7 years longer for women last year, up from 5.1 years in 2019. The gap had fallen to a low of 4.8 years in the early 2010s.

The bottom line: Covid has both worsened and exposed a crisis in health inequality. But that crisis existed before Covid and will continue to exist when the pandemic is over – if it ever is.


Spot on!!!

You all know my feelings on rich bastards wasting their money on not-so-cheap thrills like building a rocket ship and flying to the edge of space for no other reason that they can afford to do it.  The latest was Jeff Bezos, and frankly I’m so disgusted with this ‘man’ and his lack of compassion, lack of humility, that I am seriously considering canceling my Amazon account permanently.  Anyway … talk show host Gayle King got the best of him in my view yesterday when she spoke with Bezos on CBS This Morning and she asked him …

“All of you keep saying this is not a competition, and I find that so hard to believe because you’re all type A personalities. Don’t you want to be first? It really to you isn’t a game of whose is bigger? Honestly, it really isn’t?”

I nearly choked with laughter!  Penis-envy run amok!


Filiwhat?  Filiwho?  Filihow?

President Biden made an appearance here in Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday and at the end of the day he participated in a CNN Town Hall along with Don Lemon.  When asked about the filibuster and whether it should be killed off in the Senate, he was far less forceful than I would have liked.

“There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.”

WTF???  Nothing at all is getting done now!!!  The Senate Republicans have all but killed the For the People Act, the infrastructure bill, and anything else that might be on the table with their damned filibuster!  Joe did say he wouldn’t mind seeing it altered to the ways of yore, when senators actually had to stand on the floor of the Senate and expound for hours, but let’s face it … the Republicans have enough hot air in them to ramble and rant for days without coming up for air!


Moscow Mitch said WHAT???

You may have noticed that a number of Republicans have been urging people in this country to get the Covid vaccine this week … people like Mitch McConnell, Steve Scalise, and even Fox’ Sean Hannity.  I note we haven’t heard the positive take from the absolutely disgusting Tucker Carlson, but then he marches to the beat of a different drummer, so don’t hold your breath.

I’m not sure what triggered the Republicans’ sudden faux concern for people, but hopefully their constituents listen to them, for as long as we continue to have some 30% of the nation refusing to be vaccinated, we are NOT going to end the pandemic.  Period.  One of my favourite late-night comedians has a humorous take on the newly-discovered consciences that I think will give you a chuckle or two. This is, in my opinion, one of the best Colbert has done!

A Gross Miscarriage of Justice

Texas has been much in the news lately.  First you had the winter storms … people dying because of power outages that could have been avoided had it not been for the stubborn resolve of the state to be independent of the rest of the nation.  And off went ol’ Ted Cruz, one of two U.S. Senators representing Texas, to warm, sunny Cancun, Mexico.  Then there were the bills slashing women’s rights, and most recently the attempt to pass bills that would severely restrict about half the state from being able to vote in next year’s election.  It almost seems as if Texas doesn’t consider itself a part of the United States.  Oh wait … they don’t!  In February, State Representative Kyle Biedermann formally filed proposed legislation that would give Texans a chance to explore opting out of the union in a referendum. Biedermann began talking about the potential “Texit” in early December, saying it’s his response to a federal government that is “out of control and does not represent the values of Texans.” 

I say, let ‘em go!  Let the “great” State of Texas opt out of the union, let them figure out how to support their own economy, how to take care of their poor and elderly.  I would predict a mass exodus from Texas into places like Arizona and Oklahoma within a matter of weeks, especially if Texas keeps the ignoble Governor Abbott in charge!

But I’m not here to talk about the secession that isn’t going to happen because it isn’t legal … I’m here to talk about a ruling yesterday by a federal judge in Texas, Andrew S. Hanen of the United States District Court in Houston.  Judge Hanen ruled yesterday that President Barack Obama exceeded his authority when he created the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), by executive order in 2012.  Nearly a decade after the fact, when thousands of young people who were brought to this country as children, some even still babies, have made this their home, have jobs, school, friends, homes … this judge rules that ultimately they must be sent back???

NO!!!!  NO NO NO NO NO, ‘Judge” Hanen!  I will fight you tooth and nail on this one, as will MOST of the rest of the nation … apart from those who are so white that they think their whiteness entitles them!  Take your Texas narrow-minded ego and shove it somewhere!

Under the judge’s ruling, immigrants enrolled in the program will for now retain the ability to stay and work in the country, though those protections could evaporate.  The Department of Homeland Security may continue to accept new applications and renewals for the program known as DACA but is prohibited from approving any of them.

Since its inception, DACA has enabled more than 800,000 immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States or fell into unlawful status when they were children to remain in the country, finish school, go to college, get jobs, buy homes, and start families.  The former guy often threatened to force the Dreamers as they are known to return to their countries of origin, even though most have no family or connections in those countries.  I thought that with the xenophobic former guy out of the White House, the Dreamers were safe from bigoted persecution.  Obviously, I was wrong.

President Biden has expressed an interest in extending a path to citizenship to the Dreamers, but the Texas ruling throws a wrench into that, though the Biden administration is almost certain to appeal the ruling.  The other option would be for Congress to pass federal legislation, but we’ve seen in the past months that the Republicans in Congress have zero intention of working with the Democrats and once any such bill reached the Senate, it would be subject to the filibuster and certain death on the Senate floor.

Texas is not alone in attempting to end the DACA program … it is joined by a number of other states … most in the South, not coincidentally:  Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Currently, about 650,000 immigrants are enrolled in the program. Among them are some 200,000 frontline workers who have performed essential jobs in health care, agriculture, food processing and education, among others, during the coronavirus pandemic.  About 250,000 U.S.-born children have at least one parent who is enrolled in DACA, and about 1.5 million people in the United States live with a beneficiary of the program.  Most of these people do not have family or friends in their country of origin and many do not even speak the language!  How cruel, how inhumane it would be to simply end the program and deport these people!

Ultimately, the case is likely to end up on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court.  I wish I had more confidence in the Court’s sense of justice than I have today.  The words at the base of the Statue of Liberty read, in part …

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

They do NOT say “as long as they are white people of Anglo-Saxon ancestry!!!”

The Catholic Church vs We The People

Karl Marx said of religion that it is the ‘opiate of the masses.’  In other words, it is the thing that keeps people in line, keeps them obeying rules that they are told by their respective churches are the rules of some higher power.  A disclaimer here:  While I am a non-believer, I fully respect the right of others to believe as they will so long as they do no harm and do not impose their beliefs on others.  But this is where the problem comes in.

I’ve railed long and loud about the evangelical Christians who would impose their will on us all if given half a chance.  They have cherry-picked their own religious tome and loudly proclaim those parts that suit their own conveniences, while ignoring other parts, such as “do unto others …”  But today, I am equally disgusted by the Catholic religion that is trying to do the exact same thing as the evangelicals, only on a grander scale.

From an article in The Washington Post

Catholic bishops on Friday voted to create guidelines on the meaning of Communion, a move that could be an early step toward limiting the serving of the Eucharist to President Biden and other politicians who support abortion rights.

The bishops voted 168 to 55 to punish the President and other politicos who support women’s rights. Let me tell you what this means in basic terms.  President Biden is a dedicated Catholic to whom receiving communion on Sundays is important.  This is a personal choice of his, he was raised in the Catholic church and is dedicated to his faith, as he has every right to be.  However, it IS a personal decision and cannot cross into his professional duties as President of the United States.  But this is exactly what the Catholic church is attempting to do … to threaten and bully our president into changing his stance on a critical human rights issue in order to appease the church.  BULLSHIT!

Make no mistake … the issue here and also with the evangelicals is not … I repeat NOT … about abortion per se.  The Catholic bishops and the evangelical leaders couldn’t care less about a fetus.  It is about women’s rights.  Period.  Back in the Dark Ages that ended only a couple of decades ago, women were considered chattel … they were dominated by males, were basically maids, cooks, and baby-making machines.  We finally got sick and tired of that status, rose up and demanded and fought for equal rights, and while we still aren’t quite to the point of being considered the equal of men, we’ve made one hell of a lot of progress, no thanks to most religions or church leaders.

President Biden is now faced with a decision … to obey the tenets of his church (new tenets, as it were, designed only to coerce him and other politicians who defend women’s rights) or to follow the will of We the People.  I have full confidence that President Biden will do the right thing, but sadly his personal religious life may never be the same.  A man (or someday, hopefully, a woman) should not be forced away from their religion in order to do their job!  They should not have to choose between their faith and their job!

The Catholic church, the various evangelical churches … they cannot be allowed to dictate whether or not women have the right to control their own bodies.  And isn’t it interesting that NONE of the churches seem to object to a man having a vasectomy, or conversely, a man asking his doctor for a prescription for Viagra so that he can … er … perform.  Again … women’s rights are on the chopping block if churches have their say.  Ask me again why I eschew religion, why I agree with Karl Marx, that religion is a tool that is used to suppress that which certain elements of society do not wish to allow.

What’s next?  Will the churches next demand that only men be allowed to vote?  Or that Blacks be relegated to the back of the bus once again?  Or that … well, use your imagination.  For every step forward we take, the religious right tries to shove us two steps back.

This nation has people of many different religions:  Muslim, Protestant, Hindu, Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Buddhist, and others, as well as those of us who are agnostics or atheists.  We all pay taxes, we all vote, we all have the same constitutional rights.  The U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, which means that while people have the right to believe as they wish, no religion should define the laws that bind us all.  However, that is exactly what is happening when the U.S. Supreme Court rules discrimination is legal as has happened numerous times recently, the most notable case being the Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.

I rarely condemn a certain religion, but today I am condemning the Catholic church for trying to leverage our President to return women to a state of chattel.  Harsh?  Sure, but also true.  As a woman, I’ll be damned if I’ll sit back and let a bunch of old, white men who wear 10th century garb and funny things on their heads tell me what to do with my body, with my life.  Were I to see a priest at the grocery store today, I would likely aim a head of cabbage at his head!

Ask me again why I think religion sucks.