Tyre Nichols Should be Alive Today

The purpose of law enforcement is to serve and protect, not to attack community members who are just going about their business.

Last Friday in Memphis, Tyre Nichols was on the way home when he was stopped by police. Instead of just being ticketed or taken in for questioning, he was beaten by five officers. By the time Sunday night rolled around, he was dead.

Now there is another son without a father, another mother without her child, and another town struggling to understand how and why another black man was killed by law enforcement.

After the murder of George Floyd, I would have hoped that logic would have dictated that everything would have been done to make sure that it never happened again. But I have been proved wrong too many times.

The only upshot is that the police officers who stopped him have been fired and charged with his murder. What makes it more complicated is that the men accused of his murder are also black.

I don’t know what it will take to get the message across on how to treat a potential suspect. But I do know that an innocent man is dead and there are too many unanswered questions hanging in the air.

May his memory be a blessing. Z”l.

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The Lunar New Year Starts With a Mass Shooting

The new year, regardless of whether is secular, religious, or cultural, is supposed to represent the opportunity to turn the figurative page. Our future is supposed to be bright and filled with possibilities.

Over the past few weeks, millions of people celebrated the Lunar New Year. On Sunday, at least 10 people were killed and many others were injured when a gunman fired into a dance studio in a Los Angeles suburb. As of this writing, his motives are a mystery.

Yesterday, another 7 people were murdered and one gravely injured in another part of California.

So far, we are 24 days into 2023. There have been 38 mass shootings since January 1st. I would love for someone to explain why we don’t need gun control laws given that there have been nearly twice as many mass murders in less than a month?

May their memories be a blessing? Z”l.

Republican Fuckery Part VII: Losing GOP Candidate Shoots at Democrats, George Santos’s Continual Lies, and the Debt Ceiling

To say that the American government is in a state of chaos these days is an understatement. It is thanks to one party and one party only. While the Democrats are doing the job of the people, the other side is all about power and nothing more.

The latest fuckery is as follows:

In what only be described as the love child of Kari Lake‘s extended tantrum and January 6th, a GOP candidate who lost his election for the state house in New Mexico was accused of shooting at the homes of state and local Democrats. Beyond the obvious issue of gun control, what I find disturbing is that these people think that violence is the answer. What the voters want does not matter to them.

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Meanwhile, George Santos continues with his lies. While the questions continue to pile up, he acts as if he did nothing wrong. Adding insult to injury is the right has taken him into the fold. BTW, he was the subject of SNL‘s cold open last night. It was brilliant and Bowen Yang was hilarious. When someone is being parodied on the show, they have become a national figure.

And finally, the debt ceiling became a major headline last week. It is as follows:

The debt limit, which is set by Congress, represents the maximum amount the federal government is allowed to borrow to pay its debts. 

If the amount of government debt reaches that threshold and lawmakers fail to lift the borrowing limit, the U.S. would be unable to pay what it owes and could default. 

It goes without saying that decisions have to be made. The question is, what will be sacrificed? As usual, Kevin McCarthy is putting the country last. He would rather hold onto the gavel than prevent another recession. If I don’t pay my bills, my credit score will go down the toilet and I will eventually be evicted from my apartment. What makes the Republicans think that they can play with our financial future?

Just another day in the United States.

Today Should Have Been the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

For most of American history, women have been second citizens. It was only with the passing of Roe V. Wade 50 years ago that we were fully enfranchised.

Today should have been a momentous day in the United States. We should have been celebrating that we are truly free. Our fate and our decisions were of our own making. Instead, we have regressed back to a time in which our future was dependent on where we lived and who was in the halls of power.

The fact is that abortion is healthcare. It ensures that the patient can make the best decision for both her physical and mental health. Without both of those intact, the level of difficulty to fully take care of the youngster(s) rises exponentially.

If for any reason, she is unprepared or unable to take care of the child once it is born, she should not be forced to bring it into the world. Should she be forced to give birth, at best, her ability to parent will be severely diminished. At worst, the minor will be at the mercy of social services and its numerous failings. The last thing any of us should want is for a young person to suffer because of residual issues of the adult in their life.

As much as we want to mourn, it will not get us anywhere. The only thing to do is to stand up, speak up, and fight. Only then, we will be heard and hopefully, in the near future, will our rights be returned to us.

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There are marches across the country today in support of the pro-choice movement. If you cannot march, please donate to one (or more) of the many organizations that are standing up for our freedom.

Apples to Apples or Oranges to Oranges? The Case of the Biden Documents

Within the world of politics, there are certain rules, both written and unwritten. One of them is in regard to Presidential documents and what is to be done with them during and after a Presidential administration. The official name of this regulation is The Presidential Records Act.

It is defined as follows:

The Presidential Records Act (PRA) changed the legal status of Presidential and Vice Presidential materials. Under the PRA, the official records of the President and his staff are owned by the United States, not by the President.

One of the major headlines at the end of last year was that at the end of the former guys’ administration, he took multiple boxes of classified paperwork with him.

Last week, the firestorm coming from the White House was the discovery of additional records from when President Biden was Vice President.

It goes without saying that the right is eating this up. But before we go any further, we need to go over the facts.

The right has argued that the unearthing happened last fall and was kept secret in order to influence the results of the midterms. Obviously, I don’t know the reasons for keeping it under wraps, but I don’t think that it is the conspiracy they are making it out to be.

If there is an upside to this, is that Merrick Garland has created a special council to take a deep dive into the information. If nothing else, it shows that he is impartial and nonpartisan (unlike some of his recent predecessors).

As cliche as it sounds, only time will tell what the final results are. But, if nothing else, Biden has again proven that he is a stand-up guy who puts the country and the voters before his personal and political needs. After the last person (who shall remain nameless), it is refreshing and gives me hope that we can rise above the shit from the last few years.

Thoughts On the Second Anniversary of 1/6

When a historical event is known by its date alone, it represents a moment in time that will never be forgotten.

First, there was 12/7. Then there was 9/11. The newest date on this list is 1/6.

Two years ago today, “protestors” charged into the Capital building, believing the lie that the former President had fraudulently lost the 2020 Presidential election.

Some days it feels like a lifetime ago. On other days, it feels like it was yesterday. Before January 6th, 2021, I was still hoping that there was still a semblance of American democracy. These days, it looks like a cracked mirror that is barely held together by masking tape.

The feeling I have about that day is similar to the one I had after 9/11. There is a sense of innocence lost and a cynical feeling that is unnatural. Despite this country’s flaws (however numerous they may be), I still believe in its ideals.

The question is, are we bold to strive for those ideals, or are we forever lost to partisanship and infighting?

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Kevin McCarthy’s 10th Loss for the Speaker Race is Embarassing

Politics is complicated. Politics are messy. But to get anything done in politics, compromise and an understanding of who one is representing are paramount.

For the last three days, members of the Senate have been voting on who will be the next Speaker of the House. As of earlier today, there have been 10 rounds of voting. Kevin McCarthy has yet to receive the necessary 218 votes.

In a post earlier this week, I was more than happy to mock McCarthy’s loss. But after two days, the back and forth has become embarrassing and ridiculous. The Republican Senators who are refusing to budge on McCarthy seem to be more interested in power than governing.

If a Speaker is not chosen, the government cannot function. My fear is the concessions McCarthy will make to win and the effects of those concessions. The question is, if and when he is victorious, will he be able to use the gavel and everything that comes with it wisely? Or will he be the puppet and someone else be the puppet master?

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The only way out of this is for Hakeem Jeffries to be named Speaker. Unfortunately, that seems to be a pipe dream.

Only time will tell who takes the role. Either way, I can only hope that those in the halls of power will do right by the American people.

Thoughts On the Former Guy’s Tax Returns

The only thing that is guaranteed in life (as we all know) is death and taxes. Everything else is up in the air.

Last week, after multiple years of BS, the former guy’s tax returns were finally made public. In a nutshell, he lied. He cheated and told numerous untruths. This, as expected, was for his benefit, and not for the voters. For more details, I highly recommend a recent episode of the MeidasTouch podcast.

What gets me angry is that there are millions of Americans who pay their taxes on time and whose income is far beneath what he claimed it was. Who does he think he is that he does not have to pay his taxes?

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This money that we all pay in is not for nothing. It pays for schools, libraries, hospitals, the upkeep of infrastructure, and other important public works. I can only imagine how much better this nation would be if we all paid our fair share.

P.S. Did you hear that Kevin McCarthy was not voted in as Speaker of the House earlier today? I saw that coming a mile away. The way the Republicans are acting these days, it’s no wonder that they are infighting. Let them, the Democrats will actually do the job the voters hired them to do.

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Did You Hear the Story of the Texas Grinch Who Sent Asylum Seekers to the VP’s House on Christmas Eve?

During the holiday season, there is a lot of talk about goodwill toward others and giving a helping hand to someone who has less than you.

On Christmas Eve, several busloads of asylum seekers stopped in front of Vice President Kamala Harris‘s residence in Washington D.C. They were a “gift” from Texas Governor Greg Abbott. It was 18 degrees outside that night. Many of them were underdressed and unprepared for the freezing temperatures.

It takes a person with a cold heart to use human beings to score political points. It takes a person with no heart to use human beings to score political points on a day that is supposed to represent peace and understanding. These people, by the way, did not travel for thousands of miles just for shits and giggles. They wanted (like all previous generations of immigrants) a better life for themselves and their families.

I don’t believe in Santa Claus (for obvious reasons) and never have. Come next Christmas, I hope that Santa gives him the biggest lump of coal that he can find. It would be a fitting response for someone who is more concerned with keeping his job than being his sibling’s keeper.

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P.S. In contrast, the President and First Lady spent the 23rd visiting sick children who were not able to come for the holidays. That is what the season is about.

Republican Fuckery Part VI: Florida Grand Jury Investigation on Covid 19 and Texas Lists of Transgender Americans

I would love to say that those in power have their priorities in order. Some do, while others think that their job is to police those who they deem as “different”.

As usual, the fuckery comes from Florida and Texas. Instead of using taxpayer money to fund schools, roads, or hospitals, Governor DeSantis has decided to convene a grand jury. The purpose is to investigate so-called “misconduct” in regard to the Covid 19 vaccine.

Given the rapidity of the vaccine’s release, I am guessing that there was a mistake or two along the way. However, given that it has saved countless lives, I think that is nothing more than another stunt to rile up the base.

In another potential waste of taxpayer funds (which was thankfully averted), Texas AG Ken Paxton asked state employees to put together a list of transgender citizens. This record was supposed to come from requests to change the listed gender on driver’s licenses.

This is not the action of a democratically elected government official. This is what happens in countries run by authoritarian leaders. Though the specific details change, the tactics are the same. A minority is blamed for the nation’s problems to distract from the lack of rights and freedoms. By singling one group out, it is easy to point the finger and state they are the problem.

I don’t know when or how this is going to end. But it has to, for the sake of our country, our children, and our future.

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