Tag Archives: civil rights

Worst Quotes of the Week – July 23, 2022

“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.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, on the 2015 Obergefell vs. Hodges Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage

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

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Next!

“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.”

Martin Niemöller

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

3 Comments

Filed under Essays

Tweet of the Week – July 2, 2022

Kenneth Paxton

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Political Cartoon of the Week – July 2, 2022

John Darkow

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Worst Quotes of the Week – July 2, 2022

“The reason we had so many overreaching regulations in our nation is because the church complied.  The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church.  That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it.  And I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution.  It was in a stinking letter and it means nothing like what they say it does.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, in a speech to parishioners at a Colorado church, referring to an 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut

The letter declared, in part, that the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established a “wall of separation between church and state”.

“I do care. I actually do care to address that and I’m really shocked. I’m actually appalled that Fox News would take a defamatory story like that and we are pursuing legal action against this drag queen, I’m appalled that you would bring that up when you have not talked about our stolen election.”

Kari Lake, a former journalist and current Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, responding to comments she allegedly had made about drag queens

The subject came up during an interview Lake granted to FOX News’ Bret Baier, when Baier inquired about a “Washington Post” story stating that stated: ‘Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake who has attacked drag queens as dangerous to children attended the shows of drag queen Richard Stephens for 20 years and once hired him to perform at her home.’

“My job is to defend state law and I’ll continue to do that. That is my job under the Constitution and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”

Kenneth Paxton, Texas Attorney General, about Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 Supreme Court ruling that overturned a state anti-sodomy law and made all such laws invalid nationwide

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Best Quotes of the Week – July 2, 2022

“We will not live in a world, not in my city, where our rights are taken from us or rolled back. Fuck Clarence Thomas!”

Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago, reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision and Justice Clarence Thomas’ statement that other rulings should be considered, including same-sex marriage

Lightfoot is Chicago’s first openly-queer mayor.

“Mr. Justice Thomas had much to say today about my loving marriage.  Oddly he didn’t have much to say about his ‘Loving’ marriage.”

Andrew McDonald, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice, about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

McDonald, who is openly queer and married his husband Charles Gray in 2009, was referring to the 1967 Loving vs. Virginia ruling that legalized interracial marriage.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar with his family. Bexar County Sheriff’s office

“I’m the Sheriff of Bexar County, but also a Dad of two beautiful and intelligent young women. As their Dad I will defend my daughters’ ability to do what they feel is right with their own bodies and to love whomever they choose.  My job is chasing predators, rapists, and human traffickers, not someone exercising a right… If it’s truly about protecting children, how about starting with the ones in our schools?”

Javier Salazar, Sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, announcing he won’t prosecute women seeking abortion

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Best Quotes of the Week – May 7, 2022

“We need more mechanics, not MBA’s.”

Paul Begala, former presidential advisor and current political commentator, on “Real Time With Bill Maher” 05/06/2022 (min. 38:20)

The panel was discussing the possibility President Joe Biden may cancel trillions in student debt.

“As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion — they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on which includes gay marriage and civil rights.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, regarding the possibility the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision

“As “Gilded Glamour and White Tie” pays homage to the period of rapid prosperity, industrialization and growth in the US from 1870 to 1890, some have called it ‘out of touch’.”

Maya Yang, about the annual gala that raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, in The Guardian

The event regularly attracts the wealthy and powerful, mostly from the entertainment community.  While figures for the 2022 affair are unavailable, seats for the 2021 gala started at $35,000, although those on a highly selective guest list aren’t charged anything.  Last year’s event raised more than $16 million.  The MMA’s Costume Institute is the only department at the museum that is required to raise its own funds.  A smattering of the night’s excess can be found here.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Tweet of the Week – January 22, 2022

Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker responding to a Tweet by Sen. Rand Paul

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Best Quotes of the Week – January 22, 2022

“The best thing to do when faced with voter suppression – and my friends, this is what voter suppression looks like – the best thing to defeat it is to go vote. The best thing to do is fight back.”

Dana DeBeauvoir, Travis County, Texas District Clerk, offering advice to voters

“Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump have all been closely involved in the transactions in question, so we won’t tolerate their attempts to evade testifying in this investigation.”

Letitia James, New York State Attorney General, in a statement released January 18 in which she alleges former President Donald Trump and his family inflated the value of his properties and misstated his personal worth in representations to lenders, insurance brokers and other players in his real estate empire

“History will not remember them kindly.”

Martin Luther King III, the son of the late civil rights leader, comparing Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to the White moderates his father wrote about during the civil rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s – who declared support for the goals of Black voting rights but not the direct actions or demonstrations that ultimately led to passage of landmark legislation

“COVID is real; COVID is a threat. But even more serious than COVID, as real and scary as it is, is to see thousands and thousands of thousands of voters not being able to vote, and it was on our watch. We refuse to stop. We refuse to turn around.”

Rev. Adolphus Lacey, a pastor in New York’s Brooklyn borough, announcing ongoing voter registration efforts despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies.  I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee.  I dissent.”

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Supreme Court Justice, condemning severe abortion restrictions established by the state of Texas

5 Comments

Filed under News

Martin Luther King Day 2022

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image: Paul Daniels

Leave a comment

Filed under News