Open Letter To Every Republican Senator

Dear Republican Senator …

YOU had the unique opportunity to pass legislation that would have protected mine and others’ right to vote for the foreseeable future, and you stupidly passed up that opportunity for reasons that are completely incomprehensible to me and my fellow citizens.

When you took that Oath of Office and swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution, did you think it was a joke?  Did you think you were just saying words that had no meaning, that carried no responsibility?  Why did you even run for office if you had no intention of acting in the best interests of the nation and the people who live here, who work their asses off to survive and pay their taxes so that you can be paid every month?  It appears to me that you did not run for office because you wanted to help this nation or the people, but only so you could take donations from wealthy corporations to feather your own nest.

You, Senator, do not deserve the position you hold, the office you occupy.  The people who you have caused grievous harm to are people like me … the elderly, college students, Black and Hispanic people, and single working mothers.

I sincerely hope that one way or another, you are forced out of the United States Senate and soon, for you have let the people of this country down, you have been derelict in your duties, and you are a greedy, racist person who I have lost any respect I once had for.  I do not respect you or any of your republican cohorts in the United States Congress.  You failed miserably today, and you have no excuse … not a single one of you even voted to debate the bill!  Do you really hate the people you represent that much such that you will not even spend a few hours considering protecting our rights?

I expect a reply to this letter … it is the very least that you can do, since you have robbed me of my constitutional rights and made me wish I lived anywhere but this ‘shithole country.’

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison – citizen, taxpayer, VOTER

R.I.P. Bipartisanship

I think most people see bipartisanship as the ideal way to get things done in our lawmaking branch of government known as Congress.  We’d all like to think that both Democrats and Republicans are acting in the best interest of the people of this nation and that they are taking their oaths to the Constitution seriously.  After all, we elected them and we pay their salaries, benefits and perks from our hard-earned money!  I, for one, have long felt that moderation and bipartisanship, working across the aisle, meeting halfway in the spirit of compromise was the best way to ensure that we are all served well by our elected officials.  Today, however, I honestly believe that bipartisanship is a mirage, that true cooperation between the two parties is dead, a relic of the past.  Whether or not it will ever be resurrected remains to be seen at some point in the future, but today, there is not a single Republican in either chamber of Congress who even understands the meaning of the word “compromise”.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently published an OpEd that addresses this and his thoughts parallel my own.  Sadly, this is the state of affairs in the United States Congress today.


Stop Hoping the G.O.P. Will Play Ball

June 20, 2021

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

I am truly baffled as to why Democrats continue to search for bipartisan support that has not only been illusory, but nonexistent — with the exception of a predictable few and only on a few issues with them.

Democrats: Republicans don’t want you to win. It’s that simple. They want no successes on your watch, and they certainly don’t want to participate in said victories.

And yet the reports keep pouring in of Democrats bending over backward and gutting their bills in a desperate effort to win Republican support.

It seems to me that this has all been a performance, a going through the motions, a checking of the boxes, so that Democrats could say that they tried, that they extended a hand but were rebuffed. Democrats always seem to want to win the moral advantage, to say that they played the game with honor.

But that is meaningless when Republicans no longer care about that form of morality, when they no longer want to play the game by the established rules at all. Democrats are playing an honor game; Republicans are playing an endgame.

Republicans are in win-at-all-costs mode. They don’t really care how they sound today or will be judged by history. The only thing that matters is winning and retaining power, defending the narrative of America that white people created and protecting the power and wealth they accrued because of it.

As The Washington Post reported Sunday, “the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes of the 1964 Civil Rights Act alongside race, color, religion and national origin,” has stalled because of “sharpening Republican rhetoric, one key Democrat’s insistence on bipartisanship, and the Senate’s 60-vote supermajority rule.”

Last week, Senator Joe Manchin offered some changes and reductions to the voter rights bill called the For the People Act, changes that he could support and that he hoped would win some Republican support. His compromised stance was quickly rebuffed by Republicans. Manchin had also offered alterations to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which seeks to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act.

But, as Talking Points Memo wrote, Manchin’s changes would basically gut the bill. As T.P.M. put it, “One of those proposed changes would decrease the attorney general’s ability to deem a voting practice discriminatory without a judicial finding.”

Politico reported on Friday that the White House will lean more on the bully pulpit as its voting rights bills grind to a halt. This includes engaging the public more, partnering with corporations and leaning on the Justice Department to challenge some state laws.

Politico is also reporting that Democrats are preemptively scaling back gun control legislation — pre-emptively taking the compromise position — to avoid a Republican roadblock that will most likely still remain. According to Politico:

“Democrats are preparing to vote on a scaled-down guns bill — most likely a curtailed plan to boost background checks for firearm buyers. The goal is to unite the party and pick up a limited number of Republican votes, even as their effort appears headed towards the same doomed fate as previous proposals to curb gun violence.”

Rather than continuing to peddle a false optimism that bipartisanship on most major legislation is truly possible with this Republican Party, Democrats need to tell their voters some uncomfortable truths.

First, the obvious: Even though Democrats have control of the House and Senate, not everyone in this caucus is fully committed to a liberal policy agenda. That means that the moderates, like Manchin, are the de facto leaders of the Democratic majority. Nothing passes without their approval.

It is these very same moderates who stand in the way of eliminating the filibuster.

And it is precisely for those reasons that very little is likely to get passed through this Senate that liberals will find satisfying. Democrats must brace for massive disappointment.

Furthermore, we are barreling toward midterm elections in which Republicans are optimistic about winning back the House and possibly the Senate.

I say dispense with the phony, wish-driven narrative Democrats are selling. Go down screaming and fighting. Much of the Democratic agenda may be stalled, but never stop reminding voters why it is: not because Democrats haven’t compromised enough, but because they could never compromise enough.

The current status quo is an unwinnable negotiation, because it isn’t a negotiation. This is a war. And in it, all is fair. Republicans have embraced a liar and racist in Donald Trump because their voters embraced him. They have excused and multiplied, in fantastical ways, the insurrection at the Capitol. They are rushing to write voter restrictions that also give them more say over how results are verified.

In the face of all this, Democrats need to stop talking about reaching across the aisle, compromise and common ground.

They need to go on the record and speak plainly: The Republican Party has given up on the idea of a true and full democracy. They are attempting to tear it down and erect in its place a system that reduces voter rolls and skews the will of the American people.

For the Republican Party, the success of democracy — that growing numbers of people could participate — is its failure.

Starting The Week With A Grrrrrrrrrrr

I can tell already that it’s going to be a great week for snarky snippets and mini rants!  This afternoon’s post is one of each …


One man’s ignorance …

I have no idea what Joe Manchin’s game is, but he seems to be trying to be a one-man wrecking ball.  First, he refuses to so much as alter a single hair on the head of the filibuster, let alone kill that toxic animal.  Then he refuses to support the For the People Act that would protect our voting rights.  And now, he has set his sites on climate change … apparently hoping to help hasten the end of human and other lifeforms on Planet Earth.  Way to go, Joe!

You might never guess that Manchin is a member of the Democratic Party, nor that he is the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, given that much of the responsibility of that committee at this point is to find alternate sources of clean energy so that we can break our reliance on fossil fuels.  But then, Manchin does come from a state that is almost completely reliant on the coal industry to support its economy, so perhaps he’s been bought and paid for by the coal barons.

“I know there’s a change coming, OK?  But I’ve always been very, very cautious about this. I’m concerned that they’re setting a very aggressive timetable.”

The “very aggressive timetable” to which he refers is President Biden’s commitment to cut carbon emissions in half from 2005 levels by 2030.  Um … excuse me, Joe Manchin, but that is NOT what I call an aggressive timetable, especially given that we have known the problem for decades while we ignored it, happily driving our gas-guzzling SUVs, keeping our homes the perfect temperature, never bothering to turn off a light.  Rather like that old saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

Those of us who listen to the scientists, who understand that life on earth could very well be in its final stages if we don’t act quickly to start to reverse the damage we humans have done, know that we cannot delay.  Those of us with consciences care about what sort of world we are leaving behind for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  And those of us with an IQ above 50 know that we can no longer dilly dally and play games with this.

Mr. Manchin … if you are so damn concerned about the people in your state and their economic future, then I suggest you get with the program and help them help themselves by promoting renewable energy, retraining coal miners in other jobs, rather than attempting to help the Republicans destroy our lives!  For your stupidity, your perfidy, I award you Filosofa’s double thumbs down!  👎👎


Guess how many?

Guess how many mass shootings occurred in the United States over the weekend?  No, not five … no, not seven … ELEVEN!  Yes, my friends, there were eleven mass shootings in this country from Friday evening thru Sunday night.  And the weekend before?  Ten mass shootings as defined by four or more people being shot.  To date, the U.S. has had 293 mass shootings since January 1st.

This weekend left 8 people dead and 49 injured, with at least 3 children among the victims.  Last weekend left 12 people dead. What the SAM HELL are people thinking???  Let’s take a closer look … make it just a bit more personal …

Friday

5 wounded in Minneapolis Friday night

A shooting in Minneapolis Friday night left five people wounded.

1 killed and three injured in Cincinnati, Ohio

A 16-year-old is dead and three other people were injured in a shooting Thursday night in Walnut Hills.

Saturday

2 dead, 4 injured in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Two people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting early Saturday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1 dead, 4 injured in Anchorage, Alaska

Police in Alaska are investigating an early morning shooting that killed one person and injured four more in Anchorage Saturday.

4 injured in a shooting in Newark, New Jersey

No details

1 dead, at least 6 wounded in Oakland

One person was killed and at least six others were wounded in a shooting Saturday evening near Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.

Sunday

2 children among 8 injured in Dallas shooting

Eight people were shot, including a 15-year-old and 10-year-old, after a gunfight broke out between partygoers at two separate celebrations in Dallas just after midnight Sunday.

4 injured in Richmond, Virginia

Four people were injured in a quadruple shooting in Richmond, Virginia, early Sunday.

1 dead, 4 injured at Indiana Juneteenth celebration

One person was killed and four others were injured during a Juneteenth celebration in Granger, Indiana early Sunday morning.

1 killed, 4 injured at Juneteenth Celebration in Colorado

Police responded to a shopping mall parking lot in the Denver suburb of Aurora after receiving at least 50 calls reporting shots fired at a Juneteenth celebration just after 4 a.m.

1 killed and 3 others injured in Atlantic City, New Jersey

One person was killed and three others were wounded in a shooting Sunday evening in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Am I the only person in this country who sees how utterly stupid it is for guns to be so easily obtained by any Tom, Dick or Harry?  NO, the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution does NOT give fools the right to own an assault rifle, it does NOT guarantee that fools can own an arsenal, and it does NOT give people the right to carry a gun around with them wherever they go!!!  Members of Congress and of the U.S. Supreme Court need to read the damn Constitution!  This is the stupidest interpretation of a part of the Constitution that I have EVER seen!  Get rid of the damn guns, get them out of the hands of people on the street!!!  But no, instead states are making it so easy to get a gun that before long you will see vending machines on street corners and in bars where for a $20 bill you can get a gun, and for another $10 you can get 10 rounds of ammo!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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.

4 Details From Merrick Garland’s Voting Rights Announcement

I was thrilled to read yesterday … or was it the day before? … that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Merrick Garland will be taking on the issue of voting rights, given that the U.S. Senate is almost certain to refuse to uphold and protect our civil rights.  Our friend TokyoSand has written about some of the details of Garland’s plan, and included a short video clip of his speech that I hope you’ll take time to watch.  Thank you, TS, for all your good work!


4 Details From Merrick Garland’s Voting Rights Announcement

It’s been rough on the voting rights front these last few months, but on Friday, a little sun broke through the clouds.

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks about a jurys verdict in the case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, at the Department of Justice on April 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Attorney General Merrick Garland made an important speech outlining some actions the the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice would be taking to combat the attack on voting rights. He specifically mentioned the 14 states that have passed laws that make it harder to vote. He even referenced the SCOTUS decision back in 2013 that invalidated a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that opened to the door to a renewed rush of discriminatory actions.

View entire original post …

Wear Orange Day

I typically make fun of all the ‘national days’ … I mean, there are some thoroughly ridiculous ones like National Lima Bean Respect Day, National Rat Catcher’s Day, and National Talk In An Elevator Day.  However, there are a few of the national days that are worthy of being honoured, and today is one such day:  National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as Wear Orange Day.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate guns and would happily see every last one of them destroyed, so it should come as no surprise that I’m writing about this day.

Until a few days ago when a dear friend emailed me about this day, I was not even aware of it … which likely means that most people are unaware.  Raising awareness is the goal of this day, and I aim to do my part to help raise that awareness.

On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015—what would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Now, it is observed nationally on the first Friday in June and the following weekend each year. In the years since, participation in Wear Orange has increased tenfold.

In 2020, #WearOrange trended nationally on Twitter with over 150,000 Americans taking part along with more than 300 corporate and nonprofit partners such as Viacom, Levi Strauss & Co., Postmates, Amalgamated Bank, the American Academy of Pediatrics, AFT, and HRC, and some of the most impactful thought and culture leaders in the country—including President Obama, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Jason George, Pearl Jam, and 25 individual sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Bruins, and the Washington Mystics. More than 100 buildings and landmarks lit the skyline orange across 40 states + DC, including a record 11 stadiums and arenas, while grassroots volunteers hosted more than 270 virtual events in all 50 states plus DC.

According to the Everytown website:

“In 2021, the 7th National Gun Violence Awareness Day will fall on June 4, the first Friday of the month. That will kick off Wear Orange Weekend on June 5-6, which will feature virtual events across the nation.  From the south side of Chicago, to community organizers in Queens, to students around the country, we will come together to wear orange and demand a change.”

Miss Goose and I were talking and we thought that neither of us owned a piece of orange clothing, but then … I remembered that we both have Hallowe’en t-shirts that are orange with jack-o-lantern pattern on the front, so if you see someone wearing a Hallowe’en shirt this weekend, don’t be surprised!

In case you don’t think that guns are a serious problem in the U.S., here are a few facts to make you stop and think …

  • The U.S. gun suicide rate is 10 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
  • The US firearm homicide rate is 24.9 times higher than in other high-income countries.
  • The US firearm suicide rate was 9.8 times higher than in other high-income countries.
  • 7% of all firearm deaths occurred in the US.
  • 7% of women and 98.1% of all children killed by firearms were in the US.
  • Firearm homicide rates in low-gun states were 13.5 times higher than other countries.
  • On average, eight youth are killed by gun violence in the U.S. every day. Another 32 are shot and injured. Mass shootings are on the rise, averaging 11 each week in 2021.

Oh yeah, my friends, this country has a serious gun problem.  Some who love their killing toys have misinterpreted what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution … NEVER did they intend for people to own weapons not even heard of back in their day that can kill hundreds of people within a minute or two.  NEVER did they intend for every person to carry a gun everywhere they go, even to the grocery store or to church.  And NEVER did the Founders intend us to use those weapons to simply randomly kill people because we did not like the colour of their skin, what they wear on their head, where they came from, or because we were having a bad day.

The United States is literally the laughingstock of the world for our gun policies, or should I say lack of gun policies.  No, wearing an orange shirt today will not change that, but it is one step in raising awareness that guns in America are one of the biggest problems we have, one of the biggest hurdles to our safety, our lives.

To the gun nuts, I say this:  NO, the Constitution does NOT give you the right to own an AR-15 or AK-47, it does NOT give you the right to own an arsenal, and it does NOT give you the right to intimidate innocent people by carrying your gun into schools, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, etc.  You do NOT have a right to leave that gun unsecured where your child may get it and cause heartbreak.  You do NOT have a right to be in my presence with that damn blasted piece of machinery.  Period.  My right to safety and life in this case supersedes your right to have that gun attached at the hip.

No one is immune to gun violence, as proven by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.   So far this year 18,429 people have lost their lives to guns, and last year a total of 43,558 people were killed by guns in the U.S.  So far, I have yet to hear of that “good guy with a gun” that the National Rifle Association claim exists, but every single day I hear of a lot of bad guys with guns … people who should never have been allowed to own a gun.

So, if you own an orange shirt, wear it this weekend to show your support for human life, to demand change in gun laws, to demand action.

Remember These Names!

Yesterday, the following 44 republicans and two democrats flipped us the proverbial bird …

State

Senator

Party Affiliation

Alabama Richard Shelby Republican
Alabama Tommy Tuberville Republican
Alaska Daniel S. Sullivan Republican
Arizona Kyrsten Sinema Democrat
Arkansas John Boozman Republican
Arkansas Tom Cotton Republican
Florida Marco Rubio Republican
Florida Rick Scott Republican
Idaho Mike Crapo Republican
Idaho Jim Risch Republican
Indiana Mike Braun Republican
Indiana Todd C. Young Republican
Iowa Joni Ernst Republican
Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican
Kansas Roger Marshall Republican
Kansas Jerry Moran Republican
Kentucky Mitch McConnell Republican
Kentucky Rand Paul Republican
Louisiana John Neely Kennedy Republican
Mississippi Cindy Hyde-Smith Republican
Mississippi Roger Wicker Republican
Missouri Roy Blunt Republican
Missouri Josh Hawley Republican
Montana Steve Daines Republican
Nebraska Deb Fischer Republican
North Carolina Richard Burr Republican
North Carolina Thom Tillis Republican
North Dakota Kevin Cramer Republican
North Dakota John Hoeven Republican
Oklahoma Jim Inhofe Republican
Oklahoma James Lankford Republican
Pennsylvania Pat Toomey Republican
South Carolina Lindsey Graham Republican
South Carolina Tim Scott Republican
South Dakota Mike Rounds Republican
South Dakota John Thune Republican
Tennessee Marsha Blackburn Republican
Tennessee Bill Hagerty Republican
Texas John Cornyn Republican
Texas Ted Cruz Republican
Utah Mike Lee Republican
Washington Patty Murray Democratic
West Virginia Shelley Moore Capito Republican
Wisconsin Ronald Harold Johnson Republican
Wyoming John Barrasso Republican
Wyoming Cynthia Lummis Republican

These are the people who said to the citizens of this nation:

  • We do not value your lives
  • We do not honour our oaths to protect and defend the Constitution
  • We do not care about democratic processes
  • We care only for our own continuation of power
  • We are loyal lapdogs to the former ‘president’

It should also be noted that six Republicans did find their conscience and voted in favour of the commission.  My thanks go out to …

  • Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
  • Senator Susan Collins of Maine
  • Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
  • Senator Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

On January 6th, a mob of thugs, domestic terrorists, white supremacists attacked the U.S. Capitol.  Five people died that day, and 140 police officers were injured.  They were protesting a fair and honest election, attempting to stop the democratic process of certifying the results of that election.  Why?  Because they had been told by the former guy and by some number of members of Congress that the election was not fair, that President Biden was not the true winner, and that somehow, they should attempt to stop the process of certifying the election.  They were encouraged and instigated by not only the former ‘president’ but also by certain members of Congress who provided them with information about the tunnels under the Capitol, about who would be where, and other vital information.  They were instigated by a member of Congress who gave them a fist-bump to show his support for their criminal activities.

Those who attacked the Capitol must be punished to the fullest extent of the law, however those who operated behind the scenes from a position of trust must be punished even more severely.  Yesterday, members of the Republican Party in Congress and two members of the Democratic Party voted or showed by their lack of vote that they are arrogant assholes, cowards who are more afraid of the former ‘president’ than they are of the people of this nation.  We elected these asses, we pay their salary, and what do we get in return?  Not one damn thing.  They turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to our pleas, to our needs, to our very lives.

Were it in my power, I would expel each and every one of these asses from Congress tomorrow.  Sadly, it isn’t, but what IS in my power is to use my voice, such as it is, to wake up the people of this nation and ensure that these asses are voted OUT of office the very next time they come up for re-election.

The truth will come out … there will be investigations either by a special House committee or by the Department of Justice.  It is my fondest hope that before the 2022 mid-term elections, we have direct evidence of the roles in the attack by such as Matt Gaetz, Margie Greene, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy and others, not to mention the former ‘president’.  These people do NOT deserve their positions, they do NOT represent us, and frankly in my book they are wasting precious resources like air, food, and water by their very existence.

Yesterday was a dark day for the United States, perhaps the darkest in my lifetime, perhaps even darker than 9/11, for yesterday we were told in no uncertain terms that the Constitution is null and void and that our lives do not matter.  This country took a huge step backward in terms of democratic principles, of fairness, honesty and integrity.  Domestic terrorists have been given a green light for future endeavours.  Ultimately, the truth will come out and justice meted out to all guilty parties.  Meanwhile, our elected officials care more about their own fortunes than about our lives.  Remember that, my friends.  Remember the names at the start of this post, for every last one of those senators has something to hide … I’d bet my life on it.

Yet Another Way Republicans Are Squashing Democracy

I was almost finished writing a post for this afternoon when this one by TokyoSand over at Political Charge caught my eye, and it is on a topic that is too important not to share.  Please take a minute or two to read her entire post about another way in which the Republican Party is working to rob us of a voice in our government.  Thank you once again, TS!

Restricting access to voting is one obvious way Republicans are making America less democratic, but they are also working behind the scenes to eliminate another way regular citizens can get their voices heard.

Because we are a representative democracy, the most obvious way to get our values and voices heard in our federal or state government is by electing politicians who hold our same values. But there’s another tool we have that lets us practice direct democracy — yes, a way to get something done that doesn’t require our politicians writing and passing a bill.

It’s the ballot initiative process.

Initiatives are when citizens propose a new law by collecting enough signatures and then putting it on the ballot so voters can make the final decision. Ballot initiatives are how grassroots groups got minimum wage increased in Arkansas and Missouri, and how Arizona and Montana legalized recreational marijuana, despite strong Republican majorities in those state legislatures.

Please read the rest of the post!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/15

As always, our friend TokyoSand has compiled the best editorial/political cartoons from the past week.  Naturally, a great number focus on the Republicans ousting of Representative Liz Cheney from her leadership role in the GOP, but there were other issues as well, such as the renewed fighting between Israel and Palestine, voter suppression by the Republicans, and more.  Thank you so much, TS, for finding the best of the lot for us!  Here are just a few samples, but be sure to check out the full post!

See All The ‘Toons Here!

The Religion Of The Gun — A Guest Post By Roger Jacob Llewellyn

A couple of days ago, I asked if any of my non-U.S. readers would be interested in writing a guest post about how they view our gun culture from outside our borders.  I had a couple of takers, and Roger was first in line with a historic view and an opinion of where we are today.  There is a saying that sometimes we “can’t see the forest for the trees”, and that is why I value the views of those outside this nation, who often see our situation far more clearly than we can.  I’ll let Roger tell you in his own words … Thank you, Roger, for this very thoughtful, honest view!


The Religion of The Gun

A Brief Opening Statement on Humanity

All belief systems have a historical start bred out of a perceived necessity. This is embraced by followers who in turn are part of a population. In time the belief system becomes ingrained into a culture and often forms its own symbiosis with other sympathetic or empathetic beliefs, until it is hard for the outsider to separate one from the other, while to the insider they are all part of the identity.

Within The American Lore

At the start of the American journey there was an idea that in too much central government lay a path to tyranny and that the ideal was in a combination of communities coming together for the common good when the need required this, otherwise independence would be the norm. Being realists of that time it was understood self-defence would be a requisite, for there were perceived hostile European empires ever predatory and natives seen as alien savages. A standing army was viewed with suspicion as this could be the tool of a central government which might see fit to impose its will. In addition in an ever expanding nation local defence was seen as a wise stance against lawless elements. Thus was born the notion that a citizen should have the right to bear arms and be on call to come together with the rest of the community for that common good. It was assumed the community would be the one best to decide what was the common good.

Frailties of All Belief Systems

At this juncture it should be noted all belief systems start out with a set of simplistic ideas as to what is the best solution. All accept that Humans have flaws, some maintain strict adherence to their idea of the belief is the true and only way. This misses the point of an old saw that in one version says ‘The Rule Book is for the guidance of the wise and the adherence of the unfortunate’

In The Beginning Was The Gun

A measure of Brevity requires we move on two centuries and a few decades and consider the current state of the evolution of the right to bear arms and suspicion of central government in the development of the USA as the two are linked in one political symbiosis which has become cancerous.

The growth of the Legal Gun Culture is of course linked to that mis-used part of the Constitution ‘Right to bear arms’. To quote the full sentence “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  does not actually help the Gun Control argument, because the Gun Lobby has enough followers who are willing to subscribe to the ‘Suspicion of Central Government’ belief and that guns are necessary just in case Central Government tries to impose its will on them, ignoring the fact that the said body is imposing its will on a daily basis because that is how government works. The events of January 2021 in Washington is sufficient evidence of effects of the cancer.

The Gun Lobby also are content to see gun ownership as a defence against mob (ie other races) violence coming near their community; the term ‘violence’ being very elastic in their view; such as say a BLM march. It is difficult for the Gun Lobby to argue against this, when most of their own marches are groups composed of ‘White Folk’. It is a nascent racial/cultural aspect prevalent around the world. The problem being in the USA there is a very efficient commercial arms manufacturing and distribution network.

Add to this the tragic entrenchment of sections of the White Communities into the idea that they are under threat, a view fostered and encouraged by extremists, and opportunists with an excess of media outlets and you have a replay of the Cold War mentality. Thus the manufacture and sales of guns is seen as part of an insurance scheme- ‘because you never know’  is in the back of minds fed by all manner of febrile propaganda.  From this breeds another fear, from those in communities who feel they are under threat from the perceived ‘White’ Gun Lobby, that being they had better arm themselves…’because you never know…’ A Cold War without government and diplomatic channels to damp down any heating up.

In this febrile and fractured social situation it becomes a near impossibility for government to impose the required sanctions to limit the gun owners and the amount of weaponry they can legally hold. For the ever opportunistic opposition to such laws need only raise the twin spectres of  ‘Central Government’ and ‘They’ taking our guns away’ and out come the proverbial torches and pitchforks. Never mind that such access allows volatile folk means to a violent solution to their disaffection. Never mind that in even the most disciplined and trained army in a battle zone when shot and shell are flying there will be those struck by their own side, thus forget the ‘good guys’ carrying guns solution.

The View From Outside

Any Gun Lobby supporter reading this will tell me I don’t understand America. Actually I understand their part of America all too well. It is a place of fundamentalist views, of narrow-eyed suspicion, angry that there are still heretics and ‘those people’. It is a place of a fiery unforgiving warped version of core beliefs. It is a place which is willing to accept other people dying needlessly so that it can cling to its obsessive bitterness. A place where as far as it is concerned all ills and woes are down to a corrupt elite and their effete lackies. It is the mirror image of views you would find in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, vast swathes of Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, in areas of South East Asia, all hiding behind religions they claim they follow but never bothered to study in depth; all who see the gun as the final arbiter in any argument.

These so-called Americans, who care nothing for the Nation but only their enclave. They are little different from the chanting mobs in any of the aforementioned locations. I would like to think these fine white folk are offended by being likened to ‘those people’. Because here is the kicker folks. We outside of the USA are inured to the news of suicide bombs and attacks on villages, we lament them and then move onto the next news. And it is now the same on the gun killings in the USA, we shake our heads, we are sorry for the dead and their nearest but then move on, because we can’t get ‘Those Gun Freak types’ to see any sense. ‘Those people’.


Be sure to check out Roger’s blog, Writing Despite Computers and Programmes!