Monthly Archives: July 2022
“On the bright side, this is the first positive news Biden has gotten in months.”
Jimmy Fallon, about President Biden’s recent positive COVID test, “The Tonight Show”, July 20
“You’re a Black man in America. You know you don’t want to be nowhere where cops are. You know you don’t want to be nowhere where cops are cause I know I don’t, and I’m a middle-aged, middle-class Black woman. I don’t want to be around where the cops are because I don’t know if I’m going to walk away alive or not.”
Judge Erika Ballou of Nevada’s 8th Judicial District Court, advising a Black defendant to stay away from law enforcement
A local police union and Nevada Republicans are now calling for Ballou to apologize and resign. In response to the outcry, she declared, “What the record shows, is that I communicate with those who appear before me in a manner that is straightforward and understandable.”
“The way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is to convince your fellow citizens, and if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views. In Obergefell, the court said, ‘No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, must sanction and permit gay marriage.’ I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching.”
He added, “Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage; other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting.”
“Without carbon dioxide, we die. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. The federal government doesn’t even have regulatory authority to regulate it. It’s not a pollutant. What is it? It is oxygen for plants. In essence, plants use carbon dioxide to create oxygen for you and me. Remember, we used to like the Amazon; we used to like trees; we used to like all those things. Well, they suck up our carbon dioxide and push out oxygen.”
Mark Levin, offering his view of the environment, while criticizing President Joe Biden’s energy policies
“There’s nothing more dangerous than professed Christians who have no real interest in Jesus. They’re rather easy to spot if you’re paying attention. They’re usually the ones most loudly claiming things like religious liberty while methodically swallowing up the personal freedoms and elemental rights of other people. They incessantly broadcast their devotion of God on their bumpers and bellies, while living antithetically to the compassionate heart of Jesus actually found in the Scriptures.”
“It is clear that their attempts to roll back the clock on contraception is again another plank on their extreme agenda for American women.”
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, after the House of Representatives passed the Right to Contraception Act
It’s worth noting 195 Republican members of the House voted against the act.
“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.”
We’re still in shock here in the U.S. In just a matter of weeks, the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court undid decade’s worth of progressive social reforms. The reversal of Roe vs. Wade last month garnered the most attention, but they didn’t stop with that.
In Vega vs. Tekoh, the High Court ruled that a violation of Miranda rights doesn’t provide a basis for civil damages. The original Miranda vs. Arizona decision ensured people accused of criminal behavior have the right to legal counsel and to remain silent in the face of police interrogation. Miranda was decided in line with the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which had already established certain guidelines for addressing criminal procedures. The Vega ruling now ensures that law enforcement can act with impunity. I suspect it’s a response to the vitriolic reactions to high-profile police killings over the past…well, several decades; the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests and all that. In Vega, the SCOTUS majority noted that, if the original Miranda court intended to create a constitutional right versus a prophylactic rule, it would have definitively declared that immediately upon deciding Miranda. The 1966 Court knew how to use its words, the current Court essentially declared, and those words used were not “constitutional right.” See how verbiage can be twisted so easily by academics?
In West Virginia vs. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Court undercut the latter’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases. SCOTUS agreed with Republican-led states and energy companies that the 1970 Clean Air Act gave the EPA too much power over carbon emissions. The decision was also a strike back against the 2015 Clean Power Plan – an Obama-era policy that targeted adverse climate change. To environmentalists, it wasn’t surprising that energy conglomerates were adamant in reversing the CPP, as well as the CAA. But the West Virginia ruling falls in line with the belief of conservatives that climate change is a hoax. That’s why energy companies overwhelmingly support Republican candidates. I have to note West Virginia is a top coal producer. It also ranks as one of the poorest states in the union.
In his statement regarding the Dobbs ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the Court should revisit other high-profile rulings, including Griswold vs. Connecticut, which declared the legal usage of contraceptives; Lawrence vs. Texas, which struck down anti-sodomy laws; and Obergefell vs. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage. Curiously, he didn’t call for a review of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education, which declared that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional or Loving vs. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage. I guess this is because overturning these decisions would impact Thomas, a Negro married to a White chick. It’s amazing how some people have no problems enacting laws that wouldn’t affect them personally.
In the 1983 film “The Star Chamber”, Michael Douglas portrays a relatively young judge who becomes engaged with a group of other jurists who find the legal system has gone awry in favor of criminals and decide to enact vigilante justice to right those perceived wrongs. They hire assassins to kill certain criminals who have escaped incarceration. The movie is replete with scenes where highly articulate lawyers help defendants get out of trouble. In one early scene, Hal Holbrook’s character tells Douglas, “Someone has hidden justice inside the law.” It’s an attempt to justify the group’s brutal actions.
That’s how I often view the legal system. Charismatic lawyers prancing around even the most heinous of crimes with carefully-crafted verbiage; a kind of Tolkien-style language only they understand, but something the rest of us have to deal with toiling away in the trenches of reality. I certainly don’t recommend assassination as a viable resolution to our nation’s political ills. That’s where the treasured right of voting comes into play. People need to take their voting rights seriously and understand the significance of not voting. We’ve seen the fruits of voter apathy in my home state of Texas. In recent years, the right to vote has come under fire from conservatives. As with many other rights, this isn’t a surprise. Conservatives have always tried to suppress voting. You know…the way totalitarian regimes like Russia have. I’ve noted more than once that the (fair and legitimate) elections of Barack Obama prompted (mostly White) conservatives to launch their assault on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. During their convention last month, the Texas Republican Party called for repeal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which guarantees the right to vote regardless of race. They did this because…well, because that’s what conservatives do – at least here in the U.S. They were quick to abolish fascism in Europe during World War II, but weren’t so eager to do the same at home.
With this in mind, I wonder if many conservative queers who voted for the likes of George W. Bush and Ted Cruz are satisfied with their decisions. Along with many mainstream right-wingers, some are ecstatic that Roe was overturned. But now, I hate to see their reactions at the thought of reversing Lawrence or Obergefell. But the neo-Nazi clowns who have targeted the so-called “liberal agenda” for years are coming for their faggot asses next! I just hope they’ll be happy sitting in their designer closets polishing their Ronald Reagan Glee Club pins.
If anyone in the U.S. believes democracy is functioning just perfectly and nothing is wrong, they need to consider this: five of the current justices on the Supreme Court were chosen by presidents who did NOT win the popular vote. George W. Bush didn’t really win the 2000 presidential election and he barely won the 2004 election; yet he was able to appoint two justices – Samuel Alito and John Roberts. Donald Trump certainly didn’t win the 2016 presidential election (perhaps the most corrupt in U.S. history), but he was able to appoint three justices to the Court: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney-Barrett. Gorsuch’s selection came because Republicans refused to grant President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, the decency of a hearing upon the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016; claiming it was an election year and the next president should choose the nominee. However, Barrett’s nomination came after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 2020. The same band of Republicans who denied Garland a hearing rammed through Barrett’s confirmation without hesitation.
I don’t know if most Americans fully comprehend the significance of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe. It could lead to much worse. But this is what happens when people don’t bother to vote in even the most mundane of elections. Liberals seem especially reticent to take local races seriously. I can only recommend everyone concerned about our democracy to make that concerted effort to vote. I understand how many people feel their votes don’t count, particularly after the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections and all the corruption involved in both.
Yet, democracy is not a natural form of governing. Humanity is more likely to construct an oligarchy-style system. In worse case settings, totalitarianism can take root, as it almost did with Donald Trump in the White House. People need to be wary of the current U.S. Supreme Court and its fascist leanings, disguised as social conservatism. (Then again, fascism and conservatism are pretty much the same ideology.)
It’s starting with the Roe reversal. Unless we place more moderates into public office, it will only get worse.
Bottom image: Michael de Adder
“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.”
Equal law, or a well-adjusted constitution of government.
This word comes from the ancient Greek “eu-,” meaning “well, good” and “-nomy,” rooted in the Greek “nómos,” meaning “law or custom.” The word “eunomy” can easily be mistaken for “euonym” because they are anagrams for each other. While the former means “equal law,” the latter is “a name well suited to the person, place, or thing named.” Both have the Greek suffix “eu-” that means “good.” The “-onym” in “euonym” is the Greek root for “name.”
Example: After the last few months, I’m no longer certain our government is a true eunomy.