You’re FIRED!

There was never anything that deemed Kellyanne Conway qualified to sit on the U.S. Air Force’s Board of Visitors.  She has no military experience at all and her appointment to that position by the former guy can only be said to have been a political favour.  Okay, every president has likely meted out such favours, and the next president most often reverses them if they aren’t qualified.

On Wednesday, the White House told 18 officials who had been appointed by the former guy to serve on the boards of U.S. military service academies to resign or be dismissed.  Of the 18, only one that I’m aware of was even remotely qualified for the positions to which he had been appointed:  former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.  Among the least qualified were former Trump advisor and one-time campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  Neither had a shred of qualifying experience for the positions to which they were assigned.

A sample of one of the letters from White House assistant Catherine M. Russell read …

“On behalf of President Biden, I am writing to request your resignation as a Member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy.  Please submit your resignation to me by the close of business today.  Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Board will be terminated effective 6:00 p.m. tonight.  Thank you.”

And the fight was on … naturally it was, for anything that President Biden says or does is food for the Republican gristmill.  And naturally, Kellyanne’s was the loudest voice of dissent, tweeting …

“President Biden, I’m not resigning, but you should.”

Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, whose claim to fame was his ridiculous and disproven claim about the size of the former guy’s inauguration crowd in 2017, is also flapping his wings and crying “Foul!”.  Again, not surprising but also neither mature nor professional.  Spicer, in fact, has threatened to sue current White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for her remarks when asked to comment on the terminations …

“I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer and others were qualified, or not political, to serve on this board.  But the president’s qualification requirements are not your party registration. They are whether you are qualified to serve and whether you’re aligned with the values of this administration.”

And so, while wildfires are raging throughout the West, while floods are crippling the northeast, while more than a thousand people per day are dying in the U.S. alone as a result of COVID, while voting rights and women’s rights are being decimated on a daily basis, this … the removal of highly unqualified individuals from positions they never earned, will be in our faces, cost the government wasted time and money, and give more fuel to the GOP fires already burning out of control.  What’s next, I wonder?  The quality of food served in the U.S. Capitol?  Not up to Republican standards?  🙄

Lies, Lies, Lies — Is McCarthy’s Nose Growing Yet?

I have to wonder if Kevin McCarthy’s parents read the story of Pinocchio to him as a child.  You remember … Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who became an actual boy, but his nose grew with every lie he told.  If Kevin heard that story as a child, you’d think it might have made a lasting impression and he’d be less inclined to lie glibly on a near-continual basis.  I remember as a child, each time I told a lie, going into the bathroom and actually measuring my nose with my finger!

But Kevin does have a fairly longish nose, come to think of it.

In the past two weeks, he has told at least six blatant lies that I’m aware of, likely many more.  The question becomes, why?  Does he realize that his constituents are largely uncaring and ignorant of facts and only want to hear those things that can give them renewed purpose in hating any who don’t follow the Republican playbook?  But what about the rest of us?  Does it not matter to him that we see the smoke coming out of his mouth, that we DO know the facts, or at least are willing to spend 2 minutes looking them up?  Somehow, this ‘man’ has risen through the GOP ranks to become his party’s leader in the U.S. House of Representatives – a position that commands respect, but that respect must be earned, and he damn sure is not earning it.

Lie #1:  McCarthy claimed that oil prices are now “the highest that we have seen.”  Fact:  Crude prices peaked in 2008 under Republican President George W. Bush – more than double their level at the time McCarthy made this claim.  Crude prices were also higher at various points under Republican President Donald Trump than they were two weeks ago when McCarthy made his false claim or than they are today.

Lie #2:  McCarthy claimed that there is now “inflation at a number we have not seen.”  Fact:  While inflation was at a 13-year high in June and July, at a seasonally adjusted 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, it is not even close to the highest we have ever seen and not even close to the level of the late Carter era. Inflation was more than twice as high in every month of 1980 than it was in June and July of this year; its 1980 peak was 14.6%.

Lie #3:  Speaking about congressional Democrats, McCarthy asked, “Why aren’t they protecting the border from those 5,000 prisoners who have just left Afghanistan and — have the hope of coming across our borders?”  Fact:  There is no basis for McCarthy’s claim that 5,000 former prisoners have “just left Afghanistan” with the hope of coming to the US. And McCarthy neglected to mention that it was President Donald Trump’s own 2020 deal with the Taliban — a deal McCarthy had positive words about at the time — in which the US agreed to let up to 5,000 Afghan prisoners go free.

Lie #4:  McCarthy said, “We have watched state after state where Democrats have left the state.”  Fact:  Texas is the only state whose Democratic legislators left the state under Biden or Trump to deny Republicans the minimum attendance needed to pass elections legislation.

Lie #5:  McCarthy said Democrats’ new elections bill “would ban voter ID in every state.”  Fact:  The Democratic bill would not prohibit states from having voter identification laws and would not prohibit states from checking the IDs of in-person voters. Rather, it would require states to give voters an alternative to showing the ID the states normally demand — specifically, to allow voters who do not show that ID to instead submit signed statements under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and eligibility to vote.

Lie #6:  McCarthy claimed, based on an anonymous report, that the Department of Justice has concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence on January 6th.”  Fact:  The report is anonymous, not an official FBI report, but is suspected to be a report published by Reuters news agency that said merely the FBI has found “scant evidence” that the January 6 riots were coordinated.  No idea where they got their misinformation.

I’m sure there are more lies, but these are enough to spread disinformation far and wide among Republican voters who are already heavily influenced by the conspiracy theories put forth by QAnon and others who seem to have members spread throughout the GOP.

Anybody have a tape measure?  We really ought to measure ol’ Kevin’s nose!!!  Or wait … maybe we should measure the noses of every Republican in Congress, for the GOP motto seems to be “Why tell the truth when a lie will work just as well?”

Let There Be Consequences

Y’know … some mornings I wake up and wonder what alternative world I have stumbled into.  Nothing is as it once seemed, norms that I’ve known for some 7 decades have been shattered, replaced by utter stupidity and conspiracy theories, and I am not sure how to cope with this not-so-brave new world.  It’s tempting to simply stay in bed surrounded by books, disconnect from the rest of the world, and never come out of my cocoon.  In the past, I have mocked people for doing just that, but now … I understand.  When it seems we have absolutely zero control over what is happening in the world, when the minority are paving the way to chaos while the majority sit quietly on the sidelines wringing their hands, I wonder just how much longer this nation can survive.

I did manage to find one sign that there is still a bit of sanity left in this country …


Remember in the days and weeks immediately following last year’s election when the former guy refused to acknowledge that he could possibly have lost?  He had countless lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits attempting to get courts to overturn the election results without so much as a single shred of evidence that the results, by which President Biden won by more than 7 million votes, were anything but legitimate.  The court cases dragged on, costing more and more money, each one thrown out for lack of credible evidence.

I wondered at the time why any self-respecting attorney who had worked hard to get to this point in his/her career would associate with the likes of the former guy, a known con artist and liar.  I think the key word there is ‘self-respecting’ … the attorneys who filed these cases were not serious about their career in law, but rather wanted to make a name for themselves, sought to trail in the spotlight that seemed to be constantly on the former guy.  Fame & fortune?

And now, those same attorneys who will never again be trusted by honest people are being sent back to school!  Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker imposed sanctions on Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and seven other pro-Trump lawyers in a strongly worded denouncement of what the court called a frivolous election fraud lawsuit, saying they “filed this lawsuit in bad faith and for improper purpose.” That’s an understatement if ever I’ve heard one, but okay.

As part of the sanctions, the attorneys must take legal education classes and also reimburse attorneys’ fees that the city of Detroit and Michigan state officials paid in seeking the sanctions.  I hope the next step is disbarment, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.  This ruling was over one case in Michigan … dozens of frivolous suits were filed late last year … if every single one comes before a conscionable judge and more sanctions are heaped on, then perhaps we can rid the public of yet another clump of human trash.

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.

Torn To Pieces

This country, the United States, is being torn into pieces.  I have never actually despised as many people as I do today, and I know that I am not alone.  We cannot seem to agree on anything, not even the safety of the nation’s children.  We cannot agree on whether or not to be vaccinated against a deadly disease, or whether to wear a mask for protection against that deadly disease.  We cannot agree on whether money should be spent to repair our crumbling physical infrastructure, and we certainly cannot agree that in this, the time of a massive, wide-spread pandemic, people should be helped.

I laugh when I think of the name of this country:  The UNITED States.  There is no unity left today … and why?  Political posturing.  There are two distinct sides with little in the middle and that’s just how the politicians want it.  It’s a power play that is costing us our lives.

One of the most blatant examples of the divisiveness in this nation is the Big Lie being perpetuated by men of greed, power-hungry men who are very well aware that the former guy did NOT win the 2020 election but will cross their fingers behind their back while spending millions of taxpayer dollars to claim that he did win.  Now, if President Biden had won by only a narrow margin, say 250 or even 1,000 votes, then I could see the rationale in challenging the results.  However, he won by more than 7 million votes … ain’t no way in hell that is not a legitimate win, folks!

President Joseph Biden has been in office for seven months now.  For the entirety of those seven months, and the two-and-a-half months before the inauguration, the former guy and his unconscionable minions have been spending time and our money attempting to prove their guy won.  He didn’t, but here’s the point:  We the People pay these representatives to work … to do the work of the people.  Pandering to Donald Trump is NOT the work of the people, it is a waste of time and money … time and money that belong to US.

After the circus in Arizona which, I understand, is still ongoing but not a legitimate audit by any stretch of the imagination, now Wisconsin is spending beaucoup taxpayer dollars to do an audit … 9 months after the election, after nearly 100 lawsuits that proved nothing, and after countless recounts and audits!  Does the state of Wisconsin really have nothing better on which to waste taxpayer dollars??? Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced that the ‘audit’ would cost several hundred thousand dollars … I wonder how the people of Wisconsin feel about their hard-earned money being thrown away in such an irresponsible manner?

The lead investigator in the Wisconsin ‘audit’ is Michael Gableman, a hardcore Trumpeter who has spoken at Trump rallies and who attended the pillow dude’s laughable cyber-symposium in which, allegedly, proof of widespread election fraud would be presented. (It, um, wasn’t.)  Now, do you really think Gableman is a ‘neutral’ party who will oversee a fair, honest audit of the election results?  Actually back in November, a full recount of the votes was done and there was no evidence whatsoever of any unusual activity or fraud.  Should that not suffice … people, let’s move on with our lives here!  President Joe Biden won the damned election … put it to bed!

I don’t know what hold the former guy has over the GOP, for he is no longer in power, no longer has power except as they choose to allow him to make their decisions for them. We voted Trump OUT of office because we no longer wanted him controlling our government, making piss poor decisions, and destroying our nation, so why would we want our elected representatives to force his ideas on us?  There’s something here I’m not seeing, frankly.  But this slavish devotion to the former guy is a large part of what is tearing this country apart.

If We the People don’t find some common ground soon and hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, I fear for the fate of this Divided States of America.

On Boot-Lickers, Pakistan, and Karen

The snark-o-meter is spinning madly tonight … partly, I think, from being treated to an hour or so of my daughter’s bagpipe practice 🧏 !  But there’s more than that … there is … life.  Reality.  News.  Politics.  People.


Why oh why are they still licking his boots???

I will never understand why the Republican Party has hitched its wagon to the former guy and won’t let go.  NEWS FLASH, Republicans … Donald Trump is NO LONGER the president of this nation, he has absolutely ZERO power, unless you give it to him.  He was, on the whole, the single worst, most corrupt president the United States has ever known, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief on January 20th of this year when the former guy went back to his estate at Mar-a-Lago and President Joe Biden took the oath of office.

The congressional Republicans are digging their own grave, shooting themselves in the foot … pick your analogy.  The former guy has threatened Republicans in Congress who sign on to the current and much overdue infrastructure bill … WTF???  He’s nothing … a nobody … why in hell are they cowering in their tracks at the slightest hint of displeasure from that asshole?  What, specifically, has set me off this time?  A statement by Ohio Senator Rob Portman …

“I have encouraged President Trump to take credit for this. President Trump’s effort to raise the level of awareness about the need for infrastructure improvement should help us get this done. You know, he proposed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.”

No, STUPID … NO NO NO NO NO … he is NOT the damned president and he deserves LESS THAN ZERO credit for a bill that has happened under President Joseph R. Biden!  How low, Rob Portman, are you willing to go.  You’ve licked his boots for years, are you now willing to kiss his posterior as well???  And why, one has to ask … Trump has no power and Portman is retiring from the Senate at the end of 2022.  The only thing I can come up with is that Portman is kissing Trump’s ass in hopes of currying favour and becoming his vice-presidential nominee in 2024.  Either way, I used to think that Rob was one of the better Republicans in Congress … I no longer think that.


Something to ponder …

I often criticize society and life in general here in the United States, and in truth there IS much that is wrong.  Racism, both systemic and societal.  Greed, arrogance, lack of attentiveness to climate change, corruption in our government, an education system that has been in decline in recent years, political chaos, the worst healthcare system in the western world and more.  But, something I read tonight made me thankful to live in a western nation, if not specifically the U.S.

In Pakistan, an 8-year-old boy was arrested and may face the death penalty when he comes to trial.  Yes, you heard me right … 8 years old.  What, you ask, did he do?  He peed in a library.  How many 8-year-old boys have taken a dare by friends, or just decided to show off, and peed in inappropriate places?  Likely most all of them.  Heck, some people on our street have a teenager who routinely pees in our birdseed!  I might yell at him when I catch him doing it, but I’m damn sure not going to call the cops!  And even if I did, he would not even face jail time, let alone the death penalty.

This boy, not named by The Guardian where I saw the story, is the youngest person ever to be charged with blasphemy in the country.  According to the story …

The boy’s family is in hiding and many of the Hindu community in the conservative district of Rahim Yar Khan, in Punjab, have fled their homes after a Muslim crowd attacked a Hindu temple after the boy’s release on bail last week. Troops were deployed to the area to quell any further unrest.

On Saturday, 20 people were arrested in connection with the temple attack.

The boy is accused of intentionally urinating on a carpet in the library of a madrassa, where religious books were kept, last month. Blasphemy charges can carry the death penalty.

Speaking from an undisclosed location, a member of the boy’s family told the Guardian: “He [the boy] is not even aware of such blasphemy issues and he has been falsely indulged in these matters. He still doesn’t understand what his crime was and why he was kept in jail for a week.

“We have left our shops and work, the entire community is scared and we fear backlash. We don’t want to return to this area. We don’t see any concrete and meaningful action will be taken against the culprits or to safeguard the minorities living here.”

Blasphemy laws have been disproportionately used in the past against religious minorities in Pakistan. Although no blasphemy executions have been carried out in the country since the death penalty was introduced for the crime in 1986, suspects are often attacked and sometimes killed by mobs.

I understand and respect that different cultures have different social norms, values and laws, but … pardon me, I think to hold a child such as this accountable for an act that harmed nobody, that is easily enough repaired, is a violation of human rights.  Yeah, sometimes it’s not so bad living in the U.S. … relatively speaking.


But then … are we really so far from similar atrocities?

On a recent Sunday …

“46-year-old real estate agent Eric Brown was showing off a Wyoming, Michigan, home to 45-year-old Roy Thorne and his 15-year-old son Samuel. Thorne, an army veteran, was in the market to buy a home and Eric Brown has worked in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan selling people homes for two decades. At some point during the 30-minute walk around the prospective homeowner was doing, six uniformed Wyoming police officers surrounded the property with their guns drawn. All three men were forced to exit the home with their hands up as officers pointed their guns at and then handcuffed them. The men were then placed in three separate police vehicles.

Eric Brown, Roy Thorne, and Samuel Thorne are all Black. According to the Wyoming Police Department, the officers were responding to a 911 call from a neighbor that claimed the home was being burglarized. It was only after spending around 20 minutes in handcuffs that the three were released. Brown told a reporter that he would be lying if he didn’t believe race played a large part in the 911 call and police response.”

Hell yes race played the entire part in the 911 call AND in the officer’s treatment of the men.  No doubt some Karen made the call, but the police might have bothered to assess the situation before arresting the men … and teen.  Perhaps we’re not as far off from Pakistan as we’d like to think.

Give Him The Boot

First, I would like to start by saying I hope all my Florida friends are safe as Hurricane Elsa made landfall in Florida just a few hours ago.  Keep safe and well, my friends.

I took a day-and-a-half off from my blog, from the news, just mostly read and played games with the family, in order to try to clear my head from the past several years when it seems that I have been on a non-stop rant about one thing or another.  I came back to ye olde blog with renewed energy … well, I had it for Jolly Monday on Tuesday, at least.  And then I read of the gun deaths over the holiday weekend and that pretty much shot any degree of tranquility I had managed to achieve.  And then today, I see this tweet from a U.S. Representative from my own state, a Republican and an asshole, Jim Jordan:

“Democrats made the Fourth of July controversial. Republicans just love America.”

Not wishing to be thrown back in Twitter jail just yet, I tempered my response …

“HA HA HA HA HA … You are soooo funny, Mr. Jordan!  No, you don’t love the country, you don’t even give a royal f*ck about the people here.  You just love money, guns, and power.  I hope you are voted OUT!!!!”

A bit of background for some who may not be as familiar with Mr. Jordan …

He has been in the U.S. Congress since 2007, and is a founding member of the unconscionably conservative House Freedom Caucus.  He was a close buddy of the former guy, which should tell you all you need to know, and the former guy awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a private ceremony just days before leaving office in January.  On what grounds, or for what heroic deed the medal was awarded escapes me, for Jordan … is not a good person.  The only reason I can figure is that Jordan was one of eight House lawmakers who were part of Trump’s defense team in his Senate impeachment trial last year.  Perhaps in Trump’s mind, that qualifies Jordan … in my mind, it just makes him an even bigger jerk than he was before.

But let’s go back a bit in Mr. Jordan’s history.  From 1987 until 1995, Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach with Ohio State University’s wrestling program.  During that time, Dr. Richard Strauss was the team physician.  Turns out that Dr. Strauss was sexually abusing the boys on the team, and … wait for it … Jim Jordan was well aware of it!

Ohio State opened an independent investigation in 2018 … thirteen years after Dr. Strauss had died by his own hand.  During the course of the investigation, at least eight wrestlers/students came forward and said that they had complained to Jordan, but he did nothing.  One of the students, Dunyasha Yetts, said in testimony …

“For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him!”

None of the students accused Jordan of committing sexual assault, however four former wrestlers named him as a defendant in a lawsuit against the university.  Jordan refused to cooperate with investigations into Strauss. He described his accusers as “pawns in a political plot” and said he did not even hear any locker room talk about Strauss or sexual abuse at OSU. In response to Jordan’s denials, one of the students, Mike DiSabato said, “I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

Take it all for what it’s worth, but to me … where there is so much smoke, there is a fire, and eight students claiming they told Jordan of the abuse at the hands of the doctor constitutes a great deal of smoke!

And then … he went to Washington.  A step up from being a wrestling coach, being responsible for making the laws that directly affect some 330 million people, and indirectly affect the entire globe.  One of his first moves was to use the Freedom Caucus to shove then-Speaker of the House John Boehner out of his position.  Another was to bring the equally corrupt and ignoble Warren Davidson into the House.  Thus far, in my book, Jordan is batting 0.  He is not “for the people”, he is for lining his own pockets, for increasing his own power, and will support anything that plays into those two goals.

Jordan is also a consummate liar, for in 2018 when asked by Anderson Cooper if he had ever heard the former guy tell a lie, he replied …

“I have not … nothing comes to mind. I don’t know that Trump has ever said something wrong that he needs to apologize for.”

He was one of the 139 representatives who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Congress, and to this day claims that the election was “stolen”.  He is against environmental regulations and against women’s rights.  I could go on and on, but really … need I say more?

Jordan does not represent my district, but I hope the people in his district have the good sense to give him the boot in the mid-term elections next year.  Meanwhile, I will be working tirelessly to try to convince the people of my own district to give Warren Davidson that same boot!  We do not need right-wing radicals who completely disregard the will of the people sitting in Congress taking up space, time, and money!

Understanding Our Present — CRT: Part II

In Part I, I provided a bit of the history of racism in the U.S., how it started and how it has expanded and morphed through the centuries.  Today, I want to talk a bit more at length about Critical Race Theory, the facts vs the rhetoric we’ve all been hearing from certain politicians and the likes of Fox ‘News’.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) proposes that racism is systemic, that it is built into our very foundations and institutions, for it has been a part of the “American Way” since the first white settlers landed on the Eastern shores of this nation.  Contrary to what you have heard by people such as Tucker Carlson, CRT is NOT taught in elementary nor secondary schools today, though I would argue vehemently that it should be.  If we teach our children only half of the story, then we are painting a picture of a nation that simply does not exist.  If we teach about how the thirteen colonies so bravely fought the British for their independence in the 18th century, if we teach about the heroes from that effort, then we must also teach them about the fact that even 17 of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 owned slaves!  We must also teach them that 8 of the nation’s first 12 presidents were also slave owners.  This, too, is part of our history.

How many times of late have you heard it said that the U.S. is not a racist nation, or is the least racist nation in the world?  I’ve heard it far too many times from those who are either ignorant, are wearing blinders by choice, or have an ulterior motive (politicians).  Think about how many unarmed Black people have been killed by police … with little or no provocation.  And if that doesn’t convince you, look closer to home.  In your own community there likely resides at least one ‘Karen’.  For those who may not know, ‘Karen’ is the latest buzzword for a white female who considers herself privileged, socially superior to others, especially Black people.  She is the one who calls the police demanding the neighbor kids’ lemonade stand be shut down, or demanding Black residents be removed from the apartment complex swimming pool.  She’s the one who calls the police saying a Black man is threatening her, when all he did was ask her nicely to put her dog on a leash in the park.  And Karen is the woman who comes out of her house with a loaded gun threatening to shoot peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters who are simply walking past her house, on the sidewalk, on their way to the mayor’s office.  If there is no racism in the U.S., then how do you explain these Karens?

Patricia McCloskey, St. Louis, Missouri, 28 June 2020

Critical Race Theory was developed by legal scholars in the 1970s as a way to explain the lack of racial progress following the civil rights legislation of the 1960s.  So, it has been around for nearly 50 years, yet today, all of a sudden, it is causing an uproar, primarily led by the Republican Party who has convinced a great many people that this is some evil being perpetrated on white people to … what?  I’ve heard a number of ridiculous claims – that CRT is being taught in schools in order to make schoolchildren hate white people.  This is an outright lie.  There is little to no evidence that critical race theory itself is being taught to K-12 public school students, though some ideas central to it, such as lingering consequences of slavery, have been and should be taught.

Those who rail against CRT are the same ones you’ve heard say that they fear Caucasians becoming a minority in this nation.  WHO CARES???  I don’t care if there are more white people, more Black people, more Hispanic people … I care what’s inside those people, not their skin colour for Pete’s sake!  Personally, I think brown and black skin is much more attractive than white skin anyway!  But, let me tell you something … once you look beneath the skin, everything looks exactly alike no matter what the person’s skin colour was.  The heart is shaped the same, the two kidneys are exactly the same.  The difference is non-existent.

Nobody with an education and a functional mind can deny that this nation does have some very dark areas in its history, and neither can they deny that racism is still very much alive and well in the U.S.  So why all of a sudden has Critical Race Theory become such a controversial topic?  Let’s take a look at that …

You remember last summer, after the brutal murder of George Floyd by then-police officer Derek Chauvin that there were many Black Lives Matter protests around the nation, and even in other nations around the globe, including France and the UK.  Those protests were largely peaceful by the Black community, however agitators were sent in by the likes of the Proud Boys and other white supremacist groups to start trouble, and ultimately BLM protests received much negative press.  At the time, we had a very much racist person in the Oval Office and he began attacking anything that dealt with America’s racist past … or present.  He cancelled diversity training in the various branches of government, he slammed the New York Times’ very worthy 1619 Project, and every other attempt to shine a light on our racist past, including … you guessed it … Critical Race Theory.  He even issued an executive order banning federal contractors from conducting racial sensitivity training, emphasizing his desire to stop “efforts to indoctrinate government employees with divisive and harmful sex- and race-based ideologies.”

Fox “News” jumped on the bandwagon, as did Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal level, and today there are 27 states that are trying to make any form of anti-racist teaching or training against the law!

Y’know … if you spill grease on your carpet, you can cover it up with a rug so nobody sees it, but the grease is still there, the stain is spreading, and someday somebody will trip over that rug and expose your ugly stain.  More importantly, that grease is damaging the foundation, the flooring beneath the carpet.

The Republican Party has turned the term Critical Race Theory into its boogeyman of the year, claiming that schools are teaching children that those with white skin are inherently evil (hmmmm … sounds familiar, only in reverse).  They are telling parents that CRT poses a threat to parental control of the world views of their own children — as “brainwashing” or “indoctrination” rather than as simply encouragement to think critically and independently.  And good ol’ Fox ‘News’ is doing its share to promote the lies, having mentioned CRT no less than 1,300 times since March!

In Nevada, where critical race theory hysteria is only just beginning, a conservative group suggested that teachers wear body cameras to ensure they’re not teaching critical race theory. In Loudoun County, Virginia, a group of conservative parents is attempting to recall school board members after the district required teacher training in “systemic oppression and implicit bias.”

I’ve rambled enough tonight, given you enough to ponder and chew on.  Far too many people simply do not understand that CRT is merely a way of understanding and explaining why racist ideology is still built into our institutions, our laws, schools, and courts.  It is not an evil developed to undermine that which is, or once was, good about this nation, but to try to point out the bad as well, so that we can correct our way of thinking and NOT make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past, to become a better nation.  We do our children a disservice when we teach them only the bright, shining points of the nation’s history, for what we are today is a compilation of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  You cannot simply erase the bad and the ugly.

I don’t plan on a Part III to this series, for I think I’ve said most of what I wanted to say, however … if anybody would like to ask questions or start further discussion on the topic, I would be more than happy to devote another post to it.  Racism … all forms of bigotry … is one of the issues nearest and dearest to my heart, and anytime I can help people better understand, I’m happy to do so.

A Basket Of Deplorables

Remember back in September 2016 when Hillary Clinton, while running for president, was speaking at a fundraiser when she made her world-famous gaffe …

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?  The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Not the smartest thing to say when you want these people to vote for you!  She wasn’t at all wrong, but her comment was likely the very thing that may have cost her the electoral college vote.  (Note to readers … she won the election by more than 2.8 million votes, but lost the electoral college vote, primarily due to gerrymandering.)  The reason her comment was a defining moment in her campaign is simple:  many people saw themselves in what she said and believed she was pointing her finger at them, calling them ‘deplorable’.  And, of course, her opponent had a field day with it, never let it out of people’s minds for a single minute, and at the end of the day, it was likely the single most important thing that cost her the presidency.  Twenty seconds, forty-five words, was all it took to doom her candidacy.  Sure, there was Comey’s October surprise, and the fact that Hillary was … GASP … a woman, but I think those could have been overcome had she not uttered those 45 words.

So, you wonder where I’m going with this, don’t you?  Asking yourselves why I’m digging up nearly 5-year-old news.  Well, several things regarding Republicans in the news these past few days have immediately brought the word ‘deplorable’ to mind, and about the third time this happened, the light bulb came on and I remembered what Hillary had said, and I thought, “Y’know, she was spot on in her assessment, not only of Trump supporters, but today’s Republicans as a whole.”  Here are a couple of examples …


The glaring hypocrisy

Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is considering a run for … wait for it … president in 2024.  Now, I respected Nikki as governor of South Carolina, but once she threw her lot in with the former guy, I lost any respect I had for her.  In my book, she sold her soul to the highest bidder.

Nikki does, however, have a conscience somewhere under all the rot, for after the January 6th attacks on the Capitol and on Congress, she seemed to push away from the former guy, even outright criticizing him the next day …

“He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

She went on to say in an interview a few weeks later that he had “lost any sort of political viability” and that she didn’t think he was “going to be in the picture” any longer, before adding: “He’s fallen so far.”

But, once she figured out that he IS still in the picture as far as the Republican Party and who they support, she changed her tune … not just a little, but by one hell of a lot!  Here’s what she said earlier this week when addressing a crowd at the Iowa Republican Party dinner …

“Thank goodness for Donald Trump, or we never would have gotten Kamala Harris to the border.”

And that statement is so utterly ridiculous that I cannot even dignify it with a response.  She went on to heap undeserved praise on him, saying that she “saw firsthand as ambassador to the United Nations that Donald Trump put America first” and telling a humorous story about Trump’s decision to label North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man,” saying it showed how the former president had “a way of getting people.”

Oh yeah, she’s licking some big boots there, and there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to lick the stench off anytime soon, for the former guy rejected her request to visit him at Mar-a-Lago not long ago.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah … oozing from her pores.  Deplorable.


Rudy, Rudy, Rudy … what have you done?

Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, is another who I used to have tremendous respect for.  In the harrowing days following the 9/11 attacks, Rudy held not only New York City, but the rest of the nation together.  But just like Nikki Haley, he sold out, he threw We the People to the lions when he cast his lot in with the former guy.  Rudy became one of many attorneys defending Trump in numerous legal areas, and he followed Trump’s lead … lie, cheat, and steal, do whatever it takes.

All Rudy’s lies finally came home to roost yesterday when a New York court ruled that he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” while fighting the results of the 2020 election on behalf of Donald J. Trump.  Rudy Giuliani was once the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, was once known as a law-and-order crusader and whose creative courtroom tactics against mob bosses turned him into a fixture on national television.

The New York State appellate court temporarily suspended Mr. Giuliani’s law license on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee after finding he had sought to mislead judges, lawmakers, and the public as he helped shepherd Trump’s legal challenge to the election results.  In part, the 33-page court decision read …

“The seriousness of respondent’s uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated. This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden.”

How low Rudy Giuliani has sunk.  I don’t expect he’ll ever have his law license re-instated, nor should he, for he is naught but a liar, a boot-licker, and a puppet.  Deplorable.


I could go on, for there are many more, such as Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Boebert, Margie Greene, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis … so many deplorables all in one party.  So yes, Hillary Clinton hit the nail on the head when she called them a ‘basket of deplorables’ … she paid the ultimate price for her honesty, but at least she was honest, something that is not to be found anywhere within the Republican Party today.

A Conundrum … No Easy Answers

Yesterday, I wrote with some annoyance about the Department of Justice continuing to support the previous administrations claims that … basically, the former guy could do no wrong and was above the law, no matter how many women he raped and then denigrated publicly.  Today, one of my favourite columnists, Eugene Robinson, has given me pause, caused me to perhaps look at it from a slightly different perspective.  One sentence says it all … “The meaning of the law does not change depending on who is in power.”  While I still do not support We the Taxpayers having to pay to defend a rapist madman, I now have a somewhat better understanding of why the Justice Department is doing what they are doing.  Like Mr. Robinson, I hope Trump, and by extension the U.S. Justice Department, lose the suit to Ms. Carroll, for she is deserving of retribution, but I now understand it better.  And I think it only fair that any restitution to Ms. Carroll come out of the former guy’s pocket, not mine and not yours.


Merrick Garland is right to be cautious about breaking with Trump’s Justice Department

Opinion by 

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

June 10, 2021 at 4:05 p.m. EDT

As frustrating and galling as it may be to see President Biden’s administration make anything less than a clean break with its predecessors, Attorney General Merrick Garland is right not to peremptorily reverse positions taken by the Justice Department during the Trump era. And his caution is appropriate even if those positions, such as continuing to represent a certain Mar-a-Lago resident in a defamation case, are clearly wrong.

The Justice Department never should have tried to defend Donald Trump in a civil lawsuit filed by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says that Trump, back in his real estate mogul days, raped her in a department store dressing room. When Carroll made her rape allegation public, then-President Trump called her a liar. Carroll responded by suing Trump for defamation, seeking damages.

Trump was initially represented by private counsel. But his Justice Department intervened to have the case moved to U.S. District Court and argued that it should have been dismissed, saying that Trump was a government “employee” acting within “the scope of his employment” when he verbally attacked Carroll, and thus enjoyed immunity for his defamatory words.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled against those claims in October and ordered that Carroll’s lawsuit be allowed to proceed. But Garland’s Justice Department is continuing to defend Trump, even though Kaplan determined that the case should be seen as a private matter between two individuals.

I hope the Justice Department ultimately loses the case and Carroll gets her day in court. But Garland, by staying the course, is sending a powerful message: The Justice Department doesn’t “belong” to Trump or Joe Biden or any one president. The meaning of the law does not change depending on who is in power. We should all swallow hard and accept Garland’s general commitment to some measure of continuity, because the alternative can be much worse.

I know that from personal observation. I was The Post’s South America correspondent three decades ago, at a time when most nations on the continent were emerging from long, dark years of military rule and trying to rebuild their democratic institutions. They all found that once faith in those institutions is lost, it is not easy to regain.

I was based in Buenos Aires, and Argentina’s civilian leadership was still finding its bearings. After years of being lied to by the murderous ruling junta, citizens had little faith in what their elected leaders said. And they had even less faith in the ability of the court system to honestly ascertain truth and deliver justice.

One instructive case study was a brutal rape and murder in Catamarca, a province in the Andean foothills. On a Friday night in September 1990, a 17-year-old girl named Maria Soledad Morales went with some friends to a local dance and never came home. Her tortured and mutilated body was found the following Monday in a roadside ditch. The Catamarca police chief initially said only that she had died from cardiac arrest, but it was later found that she had been brutalized and possibly forced to ingest a lethal dose of cocaine.

Suspicion fell on a group of young men with ties to the Saadi family, a powerful dynasty that had been in control of the province since the days of strongman Juan Perón. But none of these men was arrested by local police, whose statements about the case no one trusted.

The Carmelite nun who ran the school Morales had attended began organizing marches calling for justice, and the demonstrations grew so large that the national government had to respond by sending in a strike force of supposedly “untouchable” investigators. But no one trusted anything they said about the case, either.

The problem was that the Saadis had been political allies of then-President Carlos Menem. The universal assumption was that with Menem in power, there would be no honest and thorough investigation that might hold the Saadis or other powerful people accountable.

Finally, eight years later, two men — one of them a well-connected scion — were convicted of involvement in the murder; they each served time in prison and were released. Many Argentines are convinced — as am I — that the justice system never got anywhere near the full truth of the murder. Ramón Eduardo Saadi, who at the time was the provincial governor, was removed from office in 1991 — but only because of how loud the outcry about the case became.

My point is not that Argentina is uniquely flawed, but that we do not want the United States to become a nation where the default assumption is that justice is always political. We don’t want to be a place where culpability and liability depend on who happens to be president.

So if Garland believes there are plausible reasons for the government to keep defending Trump in Carroll’s defamation suit, I’m glad he’s doing so. His job is to follow the law as he sees it — even when I think he’s dead wrong.