Da Snark MUST Be Shared!

Ever notice how in certain weather, your head and chest just seem to fill with ‘stuff’ and you sneeze, wheeze, gasp and cough until you think surely you’ve coughed up a lung?  Well, in certain political climes, my head just fills to the gills with snark, and there’s only one way to alleviate the symptoms … share it!


You could’a knocked me over with a feather …

Yesterday was a red-letter day in the United States Congress!  Why?  Because the Senate … members on both sides of the aisle … actually agreed on something and voted 95 to 1 to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO!  95-1 … can you believe it???  I think this is the most cohesion we’ve seen in the Senate since … since … maybe 1867 or thereabouts!  Granted, there is little reason to object to allowing these two nations to join NATO … it is a win-win, for it adds strength to NATO and provides protections for Sweden and Finland, but these days, there doesn’t seem to be a need for a reason to split the two sides!

Oh … that single ‘nay’ vote?  That was ol’ Josh Hawley, the brunt of many jokes since the January 6th committee aired video showing Josh of fist-pump fame running desperately from the insurrectionists that day!  His reason for naysaying the treaty expansion was, in his words …

“NATO expansion would almost certainly mean more U.S. forces in Europe for the long haul. In the face of this stark reality, we must choose. We must do less in Europe (and elsewhere) in order to prioritize China and Asia.”

No, it made no sense to me, either, but then … it’s Josh ‘fist-pump’ Hawley, so I don’t expect intellect, but merely nonsense.  Rumour has it that he sees himself as a presidential candidate in 2024 🤣 🤣


Religious freedom?  I think not.

It was on June 27th, just over a month ago, that the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the case of Kennedy v Bremerton School District.  In a nutshell, the case was filed by Joseph Kennedy, a public-school football coach, who had taken the practice of praying at the middle of the field immediately after each game. The school board were concerned the practice would be seen as infringing on the Establishment Clause separating church and state. They attempted to negotiate with Kennedy to pray elsewhere or at a later time, but Kennedy continued the practice. His contract was not renewed, leading Kennedy to sue the board.

The Supreme Court ruled that the school’s actions against Kennedy violated his rights under both the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.  This decision has bothered me for over a month now, and last night I had a thought that I would share with you, my friends.

I don’t deny that Mr. Kennedy or anybody else has the right to pray … here, there, or anywhere.  However, public schools are not the place for public displays of religious acts!  They are institutions of learning … learning math, science, literature, history, and more … not religion.  In case the U.S. Supreme Court has not noticed, this is a secular nation.  We have people of every religion here and many of us are non-religious … that is our right, per the U.S. Constitution!  So, the thought I had was this:  Would the United States Supreme Court justices have been so quick to defend the man’s ‘right to prayer’ if he were a Muslim publicly praying to Allah?  I’m betting not.

Some of the boys on the team Mr. Kennedy coached said they were uncomfortable with his habit … some boys joined in, and those who did not believe or did not wish to join in were made to feel left out, felt that to belong, they had to join in.  THIS IS NOT what public education is about, my friends!  I would take umbrage if my child or grandchild were subjected to a teacher or other school employee praying in public during school hours or activities!  Again … if it had been a Muslim … can you just imagine the furor?

The U.S. is a nation founded in part by religious freedom.  That does NOT mean that one religion, ie Christianity, dominates the spirit of the nation.  It doesn’t.  The Court made a grievous error on June 27th, one that some were just waiting for in order to pounce and turn our schools into religious institutions.  We must not allow that to happen.


Say WHAT???

Ryan Kelley was running in the GOP primaries for governor of Michigan.  He lost.  In fact, he lost by a lot, coming in at fourth place with only 15% of the vote, or 165,016 votes as compared to the leader, Tudor Dixon, who received 434,673 votes, or 40.6%.  (I will have more about Tudor Dixon at a later date)  Now, one would think ol’ Ryan Kelley would tuck his tail betwixt his legs and go home to lick his wounds or cry in his beer, yes?  But nope.  He is planning to contest the election!

Kelly made the announcement early Wednesday morning as primary election results began to roll out that he refuses to concede and is contesting the election results.  Oh … and it may not surprise you to know that Kelley was one of the insurrectionists who was arrested for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election on January 6th by breaking into the Capitol, destroying property, attacking Capitol Police, and calling to hang Mike Pence!  And it surely won’t surprise you that he was endorsed by the former guy who incited the attempted coup.

Methinks he can contest until the cows come home, but he ain’t gonna be the one running against Democrat Gretchen Widmer in November!

The Niece Speaks From Experience

I just finished reading Mary L. Trump’s post on Substack and watching her accompanying video that covers multiple topics, and I felt it important to share it with you.  Mary, for those who may be unaware, is the niece of the former guy, and likely knows him and his bunch better than most.


Occam’s Razor

By Mary L. Trump

30 July 2022

I’m trying to remain patient with the pace—even though it does appear to be accelerating—of the investigation into the many crimes committed by so many members of the Trump administration. I know these things take time. It is undoubtedly the largest and most complex investigation in DoJ history. Legal time runs much more slowly than political time—or any other kind of time. If you go for the king you best not miss. Yeah, I get it. The impatience comes from the fact that we, the people, know they all did it.

I’m also following a lot of threads for this coming week including the continuing, horrific fallout from the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood which includes the complete collapse of the Court’s legitimacy; the shocking (but not surprising) cover-up of the January 6th crimes that has spread to the Department of Homeland Security; and the news that a group of Republicans and pseudo-Democrats, led by the execrable Andrew Yang, is starting a third party call “Forward.” I assume that’s short for “Forward toward Destruction.”

And here’s a video you might enjoy about the Right’s masculinity crisis, Alan Dershowitz’s Greek tragedy, and Senate Republicans proving themselves, yet again, to be monsters.

Conservatives??? HAH!!! I Think NOT!

As he so often does, Robert Reich hits the nail spot on the head in his take on the term ‘conservative’ as it is used to describe Republicans.  Read on …


How to handle radical Republicans

Stop calling them conservative. And take steps to genuinely conserve America

Robert Reich

July 11

This morning, I heard a commentator allude to “Mitch McConnell and other conservative senators.” Yesterday, a news report described the upcoming Alaska Republican primary as pitting Trump’s “conservative wing against Murkowski’s more moderate base.” I keep seeing references to the “conservative majority” on the Supreme Court.

Can we get real? There is nothing conservative about these so-called “conservatives.” They don’t want to preserve or protect our governing institutions — the core idea of conservatism extending from Edmund Burke to William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater. They are radicals, intent on wrecking these institutions to impose their ideology on everyone else.

The Supreme Court’s Republican appointees have all but obliterated stare decisis — the conservative principle that the Court must follow its precedents and not change or reverse them unless clearly necessary, and with near unanimity. Recent decisions reversing Roe v. Wade, elevating religious expression over the Constitution’s bar on established religion, questioning Congress’s ability to delegate rule making to the executive branch, and barring states from regulating handguns, all call into question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as an institution.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are abusing the filibuster and undermining the legitimacy of the Senate.

Throughout much of the 20th century, filibusters remained rare. But after Barack Obama moved into the Oval Office in 2009, McConnell and his Republican senate minority blocked virtually every significant piece of legislation. Between 2010 and 2020, there were as many cloture motions as during the entire 60-year period from 1947 to 2006. Now McConnell and his Republicans are stopping almost everything in its tracks. Just 41 Senate Republicans, representing only 21 percent of the country, are blocking laws supported by the vast majority of Americans.

At the same time, Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress and in the states have upended the centerpiece of American democracy, the peaceful transition of power, and undermined the legitimacy of our elections.

They continue to assert without any basis in fact that the 2020 election was stolen. Trump encouraged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and threatened the life of the Vice President. Republican state legislatures are enacting legislation to suppress votes and take over election machinery.

Make no mistake: Republican appointees to the Supreme Court, most Republicans in Congress, and Trump Republican lawmakers across America are not conservative. They are radicals. They have embarked on a radical agenda of repudiating our governing institutions and taking over American democracy.

It is time to stop using the term “conservative” to describe them and their agenda.

And it is time it to fight back: Enlarge the size of the Supreme Court and limit the terms of justices. Abolish the filibuster and then pass laws most Americans want — protecting voting rights and reproductive rights, and controlling guns. Criminally prosecute Trump and his insurgents.

These are conservative measures. They are necessary to conserve and protect our governing institutions from the radicals now bent on destroying them.

“Right” To Dine???

You may have heard that a crowd of peaceful protesters gathered outside a restaurant where Justice Kavanaugh was dining one evening recently.  Now, I don’t approve of threats of violence under any circumstances, but from what I can gather, there were none … this was a peaceful protest.  Actions have consequences, and when you make a decision that is life-altering (not in any good way) for more than half the population, I think you have to expect that people will make their displeasure known in whatever way they can.  In fact, one section of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads …

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In his July 9th newsletter, Robert Hubbell summed it up well, I think …


These two things are not alike.

A troubling aspect of the Dobbs decision is that many people view it as an abstraction rather than a significant change in the status of women under the Constitution. A small example of that occurred in a protest at Morton’s Steakhouse in Washington, D.C. Justice Kavanaugh was eating dinner at Morton’s yesterday. Word quickly spread, protesters gathered outside the restaurant, and someone called Morton’s to express their displeasure at Kavanaugh’s presence in the restaurant. Kavanaugh later left the restaurant through the back entrance to avoid the protesters.

Morton’s (read: a male manager at Morton’s who didn’t have the sense to consult a woman) issued an offensive statement that read, in part:

“Politics . . . should not trample the freedom of the right to congregate and eat dinner. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency.”

Wow! Strong words! Let’s take a look at Morton’s statement and consider the competing injuries of being subjected to free speech and being stalked by bounty hunters seeking a reward for reporting a woman who just had a miscarriage. Spoiler alert: Those two things are not alike.

First, Morton’s asserts there is a “right to eat dinner.” Well, let’s apply the Dobbs analytical framework to that right. The “right to eat dinner” does not appear in the text of the Constitution, nor is there an implied “right to eat dinner” that is a “deeply rooted tradition in our nation’s history.” As explained in Merriam-Webster’s usage note on “dinner” …

“The use of dinner to refer to the main meal of the day, eaten as the last meal of the day, is a relatively recent phenomenon.”

So, sorry, Morton’s, there is no express or implied constitutional “right to eat dinner” under Dobbs.

Second, Morton’s (like Kavanaugh) might be shocked to learn that the Constitution expressly protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Justice Kavanaugh might not like hearing the grievances of the people injured by his decision in Dobbs, but he has no constitutional right to prevent the protesters from expressing those opinions peacefully.

Finally, Kavanaugh knew when he joined the majority in Dobbs that women suffering miscarriages would be reported by bounty hunters to law enforcement in the hope of earning a $10,000 reward. Between 10% to 15% of pregnancies spontaneously miscarry. In Texas, women who suffer miscarriages and seek medical treatment presumptively expose their doctors to criminal prosecution and a $100,000 fine. Thus, the 10% – 15% of women who suffer miscarriages in Texas will likely be denied medical treatment because their doctors fear they will be charged with a felony. Compare that injury to being forced to eat a $75 steak while drinking a $200 bottle of wine as protesters gather peacefully on the street.

Kavanaugh lied his way onto the Court and has engaged in the bad-faith reversal of settled precedents in multiple cases. He should not be surprised that Americans are unhappy with his use of the Court as a raw political weapon. Let’s hope that the peaceful protests cause him to reflect on the fact that his actions have made the lives of American women immensely worse. Perhaps a bit of humility about the real-world consequences of his decisions will temper his thinking in future matters.

As for Morton’s, telling women that protesting their demotion to second-class citizenship is “selfish and void of decency” demonstrates that it is out of touch with what just happened in America. Someone who is not angry at women should take over the PR function at Morton’s.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 7/2

This week, as has been the case for many weeks/months of late, there was plenty for the political cartoonists to choose from.  Recent Supreme Court rulings and Tuesday’s televised hearing of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the January 6th committee are, naturally, the main topics and the cartoonists have done a great job showing us the drama and angst that defines our nation today.  You won’t find much in the way of mirth, but there is a certain dark humour woven into it all.  Please be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this post to see the rest of the cartoons!  Thank you, TokyoSand, for finding some of the best ‘toons from this past dark week.


Click here to see ALL the ‘toons!!!

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls …

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued yet another ruling that is devastating, to say the least.  The news stories reported that this is a “serious blow to Biden’s climate agenda.”  NO, my friends, this is a serious blow to the lives of every single person around the globe, today and forever.  No, that is not hyperbole … that is FACT.  I am left spluttering … not speechless, but so filled with words that I cannot corral them into a coherent post just yet.  Fortunately, Robert Reich has no such problem …


The beginning of the end of regulation

The radical Supreme Court is giving the big business backers of the GOP exactly what they paid for

Robert Reich

June 30

Today the Supreme Court – again, with the 6 Republican appointees on one side and the 3 Democratic appointees on the other — limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. This ruling deals a major blow to America’s (and the world’s) efforts to address climate change. Also — as with its decision reversing Roe v. Wade — today’s ruling has far larger implications than the EPA and the environment.

West Virginia v. EPA is the latest battle pitting America’s big businesses (in this case Big Oil) against the needs of average Americans. In this Supreme Court – containing three Trump appointees, two George W. Bush appointees, and one George H.W. Bush appointee – big business is winning big time. The financial backers of the Republican Party are getting exactly what they paid for.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts admitted that “capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day.’” But then came the kicker: “But it is not plausible,” he wrote, “that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme.”

Not plausible? Congress enacted the Environmental Protection Act in 1970. As with all laws, Congress left it to an administrative agency – in this case, the EPA – to decide how that Act was to be implemented and applied. That’s what regulations do: They implement and apply laws.

For the Supreme Court to give itself the authority to say whether Congress intended to delegate this much regulatory authority to the EPA is a truly radical act – more radical than any Supreme Court in modern history. If Congress has been unhappy with decades of EPA regulation, Congress surely has had the power to pull that authority back. But it has not.

As Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the dissenters, countered: “The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

The implications of the ruling extend to all administrative agencies in the federal government – to the Securities and Exchange Commission implementing the Securities Acts of 1933 and 1934, to the Federal Trade Commission applying the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, to the Department of Labor implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and so on, across the entire range of government – and the entire range of regulations designed to protect consumers, investors, workers, and the environment. (This same Supreme Court has ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was not authorized to impose a moratorium on evictions and that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was powerless to tell large employers  to have their workers be vaccinated or undergo frequent testing.)

In passing laws to protect the public, Congress cannot possibly foresee all ways in which those laws might be implemented and all circumstances in which the public might need the protections such laws accord. Starting today, though, all federal regulations will be under a cloud of uncertainty – and potential litigation.

A final implication of today’s ruling is that the filibuster has to go. If the Supreme Court is going to require that Congress be more active and specific in protecting the environment or anything else, such a goal is implausible when 60 senators are necessary to enact it. Senate Democrats now have it in their power to abolish the filibuster. Today’s case should convince them they must.

A Few Thoughts From My Rambling Mind

I never thought I would see the day that I considered this nation to be anti-humanitarian, a nation that cares more for wealth than for people, but today I believe we have reached that stage in the development … or rather un-development … of the country.  We can no longer hold our heads up proudly and say, “I am a U.S. citizen”, or as some would say, “I am an American.”  Nothing to take pride in there, thanks largely to fanaticism – gun fanatics, religious fanatics, and wealth fanatics for whom billions of dollars is still not enough.

Literally the only thing that matters to Republican members of Congress today is re-election.  When I read that Republicans running for re-election in states or districts where the majority voted for Democrats in 2020 refuse to comment on the outcome of the Dobbs v Jackson decision, then I think it’s obvious they have little interest in anything but their own political future.  How can we vote intelligently if the candidates will not tell us their beliefs, hide what they stand for except when they are amongst those who they know for certain share their beliefs?

Today’s Republican Party is in shambles with its members desperately trying to cling to power.  They vilify their own, but not for genuine reasons – simply because some of their own are straying from the party line, straying from the blind loyalty to the former guy.  They do not care one whit what you or I want our government to do … they care only that they are on the ‘right’ side of Donald Trump.  I would except a few from this, but the number is very few.  Obviously, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney deserve the highest kudos for proving their willingness to put law & order, to put the people of this nation above their own political careers.  Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and a few others occasionally step up to the plate and consider their oaths of office, but they do so far too infrequently.

Now, some reading this will go for the moral equivalency view that the Democrats do the same.  Sometimes that is true, but today … in 2022 … the Republicans are the face of autocracy, the face of – in my book – evil.  Their ‘ideology’ is based on hate, violence, and bigotry in all its forms.  The Democrats I see in Congress are also working toward their re-election, but I don’t see them shirking their duty to We the People in the same way … they are showing up for work, trying to pass legislation that would protect our rights and our very lives … while the Republicans are mostly out on the campaign trail ranting about how the Democrats just want to take away your guns and kill babies.

It’s too damn bad that Republicans don’t work as hard at doing their job as they do at campaigning for re-election … if they did, we might actually have a functional legislative branch.

Certain elements of the U.S. Supreme Court have made it perfectly clear over the past month or so that they would gladly force religion upon us all (their own bigoted religion, that is), that they have zero respect for women, and that they only care about a child up to the point it leaves the mother’s body.  Until very recently, I had tremendous respect for the U.S. Supreme Court … it seemed to truly operate as a non-partisan branch of the government.  Nobody would ever agree with all their decisions, but overall they ruled fairly, in keeping with the U.S. Constitution and to the benefit of the nation and its people.

Today, they said that it’s okay for teachers, coaches, etc., to force religion on school children.  Last week they told women to sit down, shut up, and go make more babies to help further destroy the environment and the economy.  Also last week they indicted that the 19 school children brutally murdered in Uvalde, Texas, were merely collateral damage and no, they will not allow any state to pass gun legislation.  Gun freaks are, after all, more important to our Court than the lives of children.

And to add insult to injury, and I’m sure we will find out more about this soon, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia, has been found to have played an even larger role than was first thought in attempting to overthrow the government of this nation.  Where I come from, we call that treason and Justice Thomas should have immediately been removed from the bench if he refused to leave voluntarily.  But no … he is already plotting to remove rights from LGBTQ people, more rights from women, and who knows what else?  Justice Thomas, like four of his cohorts in the Court, is a clear and present danger to the democratic foundations of this republic.

I no longer have an ounce of respect for the U.S. Supreme Court.  Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Alito, and what’s-her-name have destroyed an institution that has withstood the test of time for more than two centuries.

Respecting and believing in your country is important.  We work hard to support our government and when our elected officials fail to even try to do the job for which we elected them, the job for which we pay them, we lose faith in our nation.  When those elected officials mock and denigrate the very people they are supposed to represent, then I don’t know about you guys, but I have completely lost faith in this nation, not only the government, but the people as well.  It is a bleak feeling, one that makes one wonder … why bother anymore?  The Independence Day/July 4th holiday is just around the corner … I, for one, will NOT be celebrating, for there is little left to celebrate.

Today Is A Dark Day

So, there were no surprises in the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, but nonetheless it was a gut punch for at least half the people in this nation.  We knew this was to be the outcome, for we read Justice Alito’s leaked opinion on May 2nd and our jaws dropped then, just as they did this morning.

What hypocrisy that yesterday the Court ruled it illegal for states to do ANYTHING to restrict the rights of gun owners, and today the same Court ruled that it is perfectly legal to do EVERYTHING possible to restrict the rights of women.  It should be noted that the majority of gun owners are, in fact, males.  Well, my friends, we women know where we stand.

But it isn’t going to stop here, and Justice Clarence Thomas, husband of insurrectionist Virginia Thomas, has already made that perfectly clear …

“We should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. We have a duty to correct the error established in those precedents. After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive due process cases have generated.”

The cases he refers directly to are:

  • Griswold v Connecticut – a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects the liberty of married couples to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction.
  • Lawrence v. Texas – a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that sanctions of criminal punishment for those who commit sodomy are unconstitutional.
  • Obergefell v Hodges – a landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I have lost all respect for the United States Supreme Court, for they have taken this nation into darkness, have shirked their duty to the U.S. Constitution, to the nation, and to We the People.  Today, the Court is but another arm of the right-wing of the Republican Party, doing not what is in the best interest of the people, but what is demanded by the religious fanatics who would control every aspect of our lives.

The majority of people in this country want gun laws that will protect us and our families from such incidents as Uvalde and Buffalo.  The majority of people in this nation believe women should have the right to make their own health decisions.  But the will of the majority matters not on this dark day, for the spate of recent decisions have all gone against what the majority of people in this nation want.  This can only lead me to believe that in some sense, we are already living under an autocratic government if the will of the majority can be completely disregarded while the will of the few wins the day.  Today, it was women’s rights, but tomorrow …

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Poem by Martin Niemöller

U.S. Supreme Court v Common Sense

Ever since the former guy got the chance to nominate a second (Brett Kavanaugh) and then a third (Amy Barrett) Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, I have been skeptical that the Court could manage to remain fair and non-partisan.  When the preliminary decision on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization that could overturn the 1973 ruling on Roe v Wade was leaked back in May, my worst fears were confirmed, and this week they have been confirmed yet again – twice.


Congress Shall Make No Law …

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”  This is the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and is known as the Establishment Clause under which the federal government and all governments under it, cities, states, territories, etc., are prohibited from establishing or sponsoring religion.  In the words of Justice Stephen Breyer …

“The very point of the Establishment Clause is to prevent the government from sponsoring religious activity itself, thereby favoring one religion over another or favoring religion over nonreligion.”

In layman’s terms, since freedom of religion is important … freedom to observe any chosen religion or no religion at all … it is unfair for government funds that come from We the People in the form of taxes be used to support any one religion.  That is the basis for the 16th Amendment.  But on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case of Carson v Makin involving a Maine law that forbade public money to go to religious schools.  Under that law, if a town does not have a secondary school aka high school, parents may get vouchers from the state to pay for their children to attend a private school, but not a religious school.  Certain parents took umbrage, for the school that was available to them allowed LGBTQ students and these parents did not wish their children to attend school with LGBTQ kids and thus they petitioned the state for vouchers to send their children to a religious school whose entrance requirements largely eliminated the possibility of an LGBTQ child enrolling.

On Tuesday, the Court ruled in favour of the parents and in so doing, the Court in essence demolished the 16th Amendment and said that there is no longer a separation between government and religion.  This will no doubt be seen as a red-letter day for the bigots and no doubt many more will follow suit in the near future.  I wonder, though, how loud the furor will be when some parent chooses to obtain the vouchers and use them to send their kids to a Muslim or Hindu school?  Wait for it, for I’m betting money that those religious bigots will have their knickers in a knot when that happens.


That 2nd Amendment … yet again

And then yesterday, the Court made what I consider to be yet another grievous error in judgment in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen.  Quite simply, since the United States Congress has steadfastly been unable or unwilling to pass any meaningful gun legislation, the State of New York passed its own law that prohibited most people, unless they could show need, from carrying a gun in public.  Makes sense, right?  If you claim you need a gun to protect yourself and your family from a home invasion, as most gun nuts claim, then you don’t need to take it to the library, grocery store, or a restaurant.  But, the gun nuts said it violated their 2nd Amendment ‘rights’.  For the record, the Amendment in question here reads …

“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.”

Period.  There is no more.  Nothing that says all people have the right to own killing machines that are capable of killing 20-30 people within a minute or two.  Nothing says the average Joe even has a right to own a gun, let alone carry one in public. I guess that Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Thomas, Barrett, and Chief Justice John Roberts care more about pandering to the gun nuts than protecting our children.


So, to recap the results of these two Supreme Court decisions, we will now be forced to financially support religious education, even those of us who do not believe in or follow any religion, and … we and our families will continue to be in danger any time we leave our home, for we can’t be sure that dude sitting next to us in a restaurant or on the bus isn’t ‘packing heat’.  Way to go, SCOTUS.  Within the next week or so, given that the Court will be in summer recess around the first week in July, there are two more contentious cases that will be ruled on:

  • The aforementioned Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization whereby unless the Court has done a 180° reversal from May’s leaked ruling, women’s rights will be placed in the meat grinder and shredded forevermore (or until 100 years from now when the current Justices have left and some with a conscience have replaced them.)
  • West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agency where the State of West Virginia is claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should not be allowed to set rules and regulations around greenhouse gas emissions. Given their recent rulings, I look for them to rule in favour of West Virginia, and if they do, you will hear me ranting some more, for this is our lives and the lives of future generations that’s at stake here!

Justice John Paul Stevens — Words of Wisdom

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, nominated by President Gerald Ford in 1975, served on the Court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010.  Depending on the composition of the Court at any given time, Justice Stevens was considered a ‘moderate’ or a ‘liberal’, though he considered himself to be a moderate conservative.  But labels don’t matter … actions do, and in my book Justice Stevens was an esteemed Supreme Court Justice, one who strove for doing what was right, not necessarily what was popular.  Though a registered Republican, a 2003 statistical analysis found him to be the most liberal member of the Court, and in 2007 he was dubbed “chief justice of the liberal Supreme Court.”  In 2012, Justice John Paul Stevens received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honour at that time.

What I would like to share with you today is an OpEd written by Justice Stevens in 2018, approximately a year before his death, in the wake of the murder of 17 young people at Marjorie Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida.  Few will agree with Stevens’ position on this matter, most will consider it entirely too radical, but frankly I am 100% in agreement with him … always have been, even before Uvalde, before Parkland, and before Sandy Hook.  Today’s ‘gun rights’ are not even close to what the Founding Fathers intended …


Repeal the Second Amendment

By John Paul Stevens

March 27, 2018

A musket from the 18th century, when the Second Amendment was written, and an assault rifle of today.Credit…Top, MPI, via Getty Images, bottom, Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.

That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “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.” Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.

For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”

During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms. I was among the four dissenters.

That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power. Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.

That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence.