The Right Has Blood on Their Hands: 8 People Killed in Texas Mall Massacre Yesterday

Going to the mall on a lazy Saturday afternoon is a perfectly acceptable way to get out of the house for a few hours. Whether it is to meet with friends and get a bite to eat or to do some shopping, there is nothing out of the ordinary about it. There is also nothing out of the ordinary for innocent lives to be taken in a mass shooting.

Yesterday, at least 8 people were killed by a gunman at a mall in Texas.

The Republicans have blood on their hands. While they make excuses and kiss the asses of their NRA backers, Americans continue to die for no reason.

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How much is enough? How many more will die before something is done? When will our lives be worth more than the deep-pocketed donors?

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America Has Become a Vigilante Country

There was a time in this country in which adults dealt with conflict (hopefully) like adults. Whatever the issue was, it was resolved in a mature and reasonable manner. These days, resolution comes via a gun and killing innocent people.

Last Friday, a man in Cleveland, Texas was asked to stop shooting his rifle outside because his neighbors were trying to get their baby to go to sleep. He could have done the decent thing by waiting until Saturday morning. Instead, he knocked on their door and killed 5 people. Among the dead is an eight-year-old boy.

Instead of consoling the family and using his power to find the accused killer, Governor Greg Abbott accused the victims of being “illegal immigrants“. Regardless of whether they are citizens or crossed the border yesterday, his comments were insensitive, hurtful, and racist. The sad irony is that the suspect is himself in the country illegally.

Then, on Sunday, police were called to a house party in Bay St. Louis, Mississipi. A young man has been charged with murdering two of his peers and injuring four others. Those in attendance were there for a post-prom party. Instead of enjoying their last few weeks of high school, the lives of all affected have been forever changed.

And finally, authorities in Atlanta captured a suspected shooter who opened fire in a medical facility earlier today. One woman was killed and four were injured. His reason was that he was unhappy with the treatment he was receiving. He could have gone through the proper channels. Instead, he chose to resolve the problem with a firearm.

I don’t know what it is going to take for us to enact sensible gun control laws. This is not about removing or devaluing the 2nd Amendment. It is meant to save lives. But until some politicians decide that American lives are just as important as freedom, these senseless deaths will continue.

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The Republican Stance on Abortion is Going to Kill Someone

The debate over abortion, in a nutshell, can be boiled down to two perspectives: pro-life and pro-choice. One claims they are protecting the life of the fetus and the parent. The other is putting its money where its mouth is.

Last week, 2024 Presidential nominee Nikki Haley stated the following on the procedure:

“I do believe there is a federal role on abortion. Whether we can save more lives nationally depends entirely on doing what no one has done to date: finding consensus,” she said. “That’s what I will strive to do.”

“Abortion is a deeply personal topic for both women and men,” she said. “I understand why. Someone’s body and someone else’s life are not things to be taken lightly, and they should not be politicized. The issue should be addressed with sensitivity and respect, not judgment and hate.”

She talks a good game, but underneath the “consensus” is the same old bs. If they were truly pro-life, they would leave the decision in the hands of the pregnant person and their doctor. They would support the national programs that help the children who are here. When push comes to shove they will (as they have done in the past), make it illegal and eventually kill someone.

Speaking of, Amanda Zurawski from Texas addressed the Senate about her death due to the abortion ban. Conveniently her Senators, Ted Cruz, and John Cornyn, were not in the room.

“I wanted to address my senators, Cruz and Cornyn, neither of whom, regrettably, are in the room right now. But I would like for them to know that what happened to me … it’s a direct result of the policies that they support,” Zurawski said. “I nearly died on their watch and furthermore, as a result of what happened to me, I may have been robbed of the opportunity to have children in the future.”

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Ms. Zurawski’s story is one of many. She was one of the lucky ones. Someone else might not be so lucky.

My great fear is that things will change only after the needless death of the mother/pregnant person and their fetus. Unfortunately, it may be the only way to stop this madness.

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P.S. Haley took a swipe at Biden due to his age. I would rather him be competent at 86 than talking out of both sides of their mouth in their 50s.

It Wouldn’t Be the US Without Guns Being Prioritized Over People

Today is April 21st, 2023. We are 111 days into the new year. In that short amount of time, 88 lives have been unnecessarily lost in 17 mass shootings. The US is the only country in the world in which firearms have more value than the lives and safety of the average citizen.

In addition to Ralph Yarl (who is thankfully recovering at home), there have been others who have been shot (and some killed) for innocent errors.

In upstate New York, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was out, driving with her friends. After making the wrong turn, she pulled into a driveway to correct course and reach her final destination. Gillis was shot and killed by the homeowner.

In Texas, 18-year-old cheerleader Payton Washington was shot because she got into the wrong car at a local supermarket. The driver could have simply told them that they were in the wrong car and let that be that. Thankfully, she survived and is on the way back to her normal life.

And finally, in North Carolina, 6-year-old Kinsley White was outside with her parents while neighborhood kids were shooting hoops. As sometimes happens, the ball accidentally rolled into a neighbor’s yard. Instead of ignoring the ball or returning to the child, he aimed his gun at them. Kinsley’s father put himself in between the gun and the children. Kinsley and her mother’s injuries were minor. But her father is still hospitalized.

When is this madness going to stop? When are our politicians going to start listening to the citizens and stop listening to the 1% NRA donors that are lining their pockets? I don’t know about you, but I am this headline has become exhausting.

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The Latest in Abortion News: Confused Guidelines and Janet Protasiewicz Wins the WI SC Election

Bodily autonomy for women is a relatively new concept. For most of our time on Earth, we (and our uteruses by extension) have been seen as the property of our husbands, fathers, or another male relative.

In Texas, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) must suspend approval of mifepristone, one of the drugs included in the abortion pill. Meanwhile, in Washington State, Judge Thomas O. Rice ruled in the opposite direction. The FDA cannot make changes to access to the drugs in a handful of states that sued to keep them available.

While I am grateful to Judge Rice, I cannot help but be concerned. Judge Kacsmaryk basically stated that he, a lone judge in a red state, can decide for a woman in a blue state on what to do with her body. And as usual, these decisions are made by someone whose only likely experience in the medical field is as a patient.

The main problem is that the unclear guidelines put lives in danger and confuse both doctors and insurance companies. The last thing we need is more muck thrown into our unnecessarily convoluted health system.

However, there is a bright spot. Janet Protasiewicz won her election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Though it is just one state, potential deliberations made can make or break the future of abortion rights in this country.

My hope is that one day, women in this country and around will truly be free of the confines that held previous generations back. While we have come very far, there is still a long way to go.

Republican Fuckery XIIII: Randy McNally (TN Republican Hypocrite), TX Sued for Abortion Law, & SVB Woke Accusation

No one is perfect. We all have our flaws and mistakes to recover from. But there is a difference between knowing your imperfections and pretending that they don’t exist when it is convenient.

In Tennessee, Lt. Governor Randy McNally was accused of making adult comments on the Instagram page of a younger man who is in various stages of undress (otherwise known as a thirst trap). The young man whose images he responded to is gay. These Republican hypocrites claim to be for “traditional family values“. They talk a good game, but never walk the walk.

In Texas, five women have sued the state over its abortion ban. They are suing because they believe that the ban puts their life and the lives of their fetuses at risk. These women are my heroes. They are not just standing up for themselves and their families. They are speaking for all of us who are affected by arbitrary legislation that has more to do with the beliefs of a few than reality.

And finally, one of the major headlines of the last seven days is the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank. The most disconcerting offshoots of the story are the accusations that “wokeness” was the cause of the bank’s downfall. Instead of zeroing in on the real problems that were the cause, the right once again chooses to pick the answer that suits them.

Two major points have been part of the discourse around the bank. The first is the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act by the former guy. Like the accident in East Palestine, all of this might have been prevented had the regulations remained as is. The second is the irony that the organization received financial assistance from the federal government. However, when they wanted the government to be hands-off, they got what they wanted. They can’t have it both ways. Either there are structures in place to head off a collapse or it is the wild wild west.

Just another day in America.

American Brush-Off Book Review

Eighty-plus years after World War II, the stories of both civilians and soldiers continue to captivate us.

American Brush Off, by Max Willi Fischer, was published in 2020. In 1942, Lud Mueller is 17 and an average teenage boy. The son of German American immigrants family, he is as American as apple pie and baseball. Due to his lineage, Lud, his family, and thousands of others are labeled as “enemy aliens”. Forced out of their homes and sent to the Texas desert, they secretly become a collective pawn by the government.

Forced to deal with Nazi wannabes and a romance that goes south, Lud changes in ways that are unforeseen and life-altering. When the war finally ends, he is not the young man he was previously, but those at the top remain the same.

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We all know about the Japanese internment camps. Up until this book, I had no idea that German Americans were treated in the same manner. As the protagonist, Lud is a compelling character. But I could not get into the story.

Do I recommend it? No

American Brush-Off is available wherever books are sold.

Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy.

Republican Fuckery XI: FL Bloggers Register with the State, DeSantis Bookstore Protest, and Crystal Mason Should Not Have Been in Jail

Am I the only one who is tired of the Republican‘s endless shtick? They seem to be unaware or unconcerned that the country is going down the drain.

In Florida, State Senator Jason Brodeur proposed a bill that would require bloggers who publish political pieces to register with the state. Though it was initially tied to Governor Ron DeSantis, that was quickly refuted. While it is heartening that the Governor was not behind it, this denial of freedom of speech is very concerning and a warning sign that should not be ignored.

Also in the sunshine state, DeSantis was at a book signing (and keeping his 2024 Presidential hopes alive). He was confronted by supporters of the former guy. Instead of ignoring them and focusing on the attendees, he had the protestors forced out of the store. While security escorted them out, they cried for freedom of speech. Though DeSantis has yet to formalize his campaign, this speaks to the division on the right. It also reveals that the Governor is not as much of a badass as he claims he is.

And finally, in Texas, Crystal Mason was doing her civic duty by voting in the 2016 Presidential election. Instead of doing her business and walking out, she was accused of illegally casting a provisional ballot and was sentenced to five years in prison. At the time, she was on supervised release for a previous conviction. The law in Texas bars convicted felons from voting if their sentence has not been completed.

According to her legal team, she was unaware that her sentence had not reached its end. What strikes me is that this sentence goes well beyond what it should have been. It reeks of racism and denies this woman her right as a citizen. Though the conviction has been overturned, the message is clear. Because she is a woman of color, her voice and vote is not wanted or needed.

Just another day in America.

If This Isn’t Climate Change, What Is?: Snow in California and NYC Gets First Snowfall at the End of February

There is nothing so predictable as the change of the seasons. We know when it is time to switch out our wardrobes, take out the appropriate holiday decorations, etc. That is, until climate change.

Those of us who live in New York City (and the surrounding areas) know when it is time to take out our winter jackets and snow boots. It is a yearly ritual that is just a part of everyday life. Except for this year. 2023 broke a decades-long record. The first major snowfall of the year was on February 28th.

On the other side of the country, California has had several feet of the white stuff. Thousands are without power, homes have collapsed, and there is a shortage of both food and gas. Los Angeles, a city that is known for its warm weather, experienced an extremely rare blizzard.

This is no joke. Nor it is for political gain. The signs are there for a reason. Tornadoes struck both Texas and Louisiana earlier this week. While we cannot undo what has been done, there is still time to save the planet and all living creatures. But we must act fast and we must work together. The problem is that there are too many who put profit and their needs above all else.

I can only hope that they wake up before humanity destroys itself.

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Republican Fuckery Part X: The Mall Shooting in TX, the Train Accident in East Palestine, The Lies That Fox News Tell & Nikki Haley is Running for President

The purpose of a democracy is to allow differing opinions to exist in one space. The point is to allow everyone to speak without fear of retribution. But once all is said and done, the hopeful end is sort of agreement.

Last week, the sound of gunfire was heard in a mall in Texas. One person was killed and three were injured. Where is Greg Abbott? I know it is foolish to ask, but it has to be said. Is so concerned about his base and his donors that the lives of ordinary Texans are secondary?

One of the major headlines of the past week was the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The long-term environmental impact of the hazardous chemicals that have seeped into the ground and the town’s water supply is unknown at this moment.

While other politicians immediately stepped forward, the state’s newest Senator, J.D. Vance took his sweet time to speak up. This makes me wonder where his priorities are. Is his focus on the voters and making sure that the regulations are in place to keep them safe and healthy? Or is he prioritizing the lies and half-truths of the Republican party?

The big revelation coming from the right over the last few days is that the good people at Fox News knew that the claim that the 2020 Presidential election was rigged is a lie. Instead of admitting to the public what they knew, they went ahead with it. Their ratings are more important than anything else.

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And finally, the opening bell of the 2024 Presidential election has been rung. Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley have announced that she is running for President. While on paper, she comes off as reasonable and closer to the political center than others in her party.

The problem is that the paper is far from opaque. Specifically, when she called out the 1619 Project while confusing Danielle Moodie with the project’s creator, Nikole Hannah Jones. Anyone with a brain can see that they look nothing alike.

G-d help this country if the right gets their way.

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