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“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

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Tweet of the Week – June 18, 2022

Harry Litman

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Gaffe of the Week – May 21, 2022

“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq – I mean of Ukraine.”

Former President George W. Bush, in a speech criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin

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Worst Quotes of the Week – May 7, 2022

“I think we will resurrect that case and challenge this issue again, because the expenses are extraordinary and the times are different than when Plyler versus Doe was issued many decades ago.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, about the 1982 Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas law that had denied state funding to educate children who had not been “legally admitted” to the United States

Abbott wants Texas to challenge the ruling because of its high cost to Texas taxpayers.

“Democrats have convinced themselves that Russia stole the presidency, which rightfully belonged to Hillary Clinton. And they mean it when they say it.  And that’s why they are taking us to war with Russia.  So, that’s not their goal — saving Ukraine, saving human lives.  No, that’s not their goal. Instead, the war in Ukraine is designed to cause regime change in Moscow. They want to topple the Russian government. That would be payback for the 2016 election.  So, this is the logical, maybe the inevitable, end stage of Russiagate.”

Tucker Carlson, describing how he thinks the Democratic Party is somehow responsible for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

“We shall have our theocracy very soon.”

Vincent James, a radical White nationalist celebrating the leaked Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade

James also said he hopes the decision will eventually lead Americans to seeing Justices Alito and Thomas “throwing gay people off of tall buildings”.

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Political Cartoon of the Week – April 16, 2022

Arend van Dam

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Tweets of the Week – April 16, 2022

Marsha Blackburn

Curtis Ingraham

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Tweet of the Week – March 12, 2022

Rep. Liz Cheney reacting to Rep. Madison Cawthorn

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Most Frightening Quote of the Week – March 12, 2022

“If Vladimir Putin comes to the conclusion that he has no future he may well decide nobody else should have a future either.”

BCA Research, a Montreal-based independent research provider, in a report about the potential for Russia to launch nuclear weapons during the Ukraine War

The report also states: “Although there is a huge margin of error around any estimate, subjectively, we would assign an uncomfortably high 10% chance of a civilization-ending global nuclear war over the next 12 months.”

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Worst Quotes of the Week – March 12, 2022

“Remember that Zelensky is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies.”

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a recent gathering of Trump supporters

“The United States of America and the European States must not marginalize Russia but build an alliance with it, not only to restart trade for the prosperity of all, but in lieu of the reconstruction of a Christian Civilization, which will be the only one able to save the world from the transhuman and medical-technical globalist monster.”

Roman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in a March 7 letter about the Ukraine-Russia crisis

A former Vatican envoy and outspoken papal critic, Viganò blamed “deep state” forces in the United States, the European Union and NATO for triggering the current war and demonizing Russia.

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Best Quotes of the Week – March 12, 2022

“Division superintendents disagree with your assumption that discriminatory and divisive concepts have become widespread in Virginia school divisions.”

Howard Kiser, executive director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, in a letter to Jillian Balow, the state superintendent of schools, regarding Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s “tip line” set up to let parents complain about teachers and principals

All 133 Virginia public school division superintendents have urged Youngkin to scrap the “tip line” and have asked him to stop his campaign against the teaching of “divisive” content in schools.

The superintendents were reacting to a report Balow issued last month aimed at fulfilling promises Youngkin made during his campaign last year to end the teaching of critical race theory (CRT), an academic framework for studying systemic racism.  The concept had never been on the Virginia’s curriculum, but the first executive order Youngkin issued within hours of being inaugurated January 15 was aimed at banning CRT.  He later announced the establishment of the tip line for parents to tell the state about teachers or principals exposing students to materials deemed objectionable.

“Republicans are anxious — very anxious indeed — to tell us that Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn doesn’t speak for his fellow Republicans.  Sen. Lindsey Graham rushed to the microphone to assure us that Cawthorn is an outlier ‘in the largest sense possible on our side.’”

Charlie Sykes, regarding Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s denouncement of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a column for The Bulwark

Sykes added, “This is also important to remember: Until about five minutes ago, Cawthorn’s remarks were more or less basic talking points among the MAGA right — and not just talking points, but holy script. His attitude is deeply embedded in the right’s DNA. So, it’s easy to imagine Cawthorn today, looking around at his GOP critics and asking: Dude, what do you mean ‘outlier?’ I’m just saying what we’ve all been saying for years now! He’d have a point.”

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