Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, and it was President Obama’s job to nominate his replacement.
But the GOP decided that they did not want him to make a nomination because it would likely be someone either liberal or reasonable, and they announced they wouldn’t even talk with anyone he nominated.
They claimed a president nominating a Supreme Justice in the last year of his tenure was just not done.
But in reality, in the past it was.
When you have a political party that obstructs anything a president attempts to do for the American people so that he fails, or at least the claim could be made that he failed in spite of the facts, you make up rules when convenient and rewrite history to back that up.
The GOP was hoping one of theirs would be elected president, and with constantly listing the fake crimes of the other party’s nominee, the gerrymandering that had been done, and restrictive voting requirements in Republican run states, they pretty much were able to get what they planned.
President-elect Donald Trump will be able to nominate someone to the Supreme Court after his inauguration next month, something President Obama should have been able to do. He was, after all, elected twice by the American people for two four year terms not a four year term followed by a three year one, or one that could be truncated at the will of the Republicans.
They stole from the American people.
Nine Months ago, while still being president, Obama had nominated Merrick Garland for the empty post, but Mitch McConnell, the majority leader in the senate who said his party’s top priority was to ensure that Obama would be a one term president, and then amended that to making sure he was a complete failure when reelected, and Charles Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee refused to hold any hearings.
They declared the senate would simply just not do its job.
They claimed the people should have a voice in the seating of a justice, conveniently ignoring they had already spoken in two elections. We wanted President Obama to do his job, but the Republicans wanted to prevent that in our name.
This was something new from the crowd who for whatever reason just did not want our first Black president to succeed.
This introduced a new monkey wrench into the machinery of government since with the Republicans justifying an election-year blockade, Democrats or any opposition party could do the same in the future.
What was worse, the Republicans, assuming that Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president, began stating that they would never confirm anyone Hillary nominated while she was president. That could have meant that under certain circumstance the Supreme Court would have had to consist of six Justices instead of nine without a tie breaker.
This was an assault by the legislative branch on the judicial branch to foil the executive branch.
It was that brat taking the ball home after not having been successful in having the rules of the game constantly change during the playing of it so he could win.
The American people have been robbed so that one political party can control the decisions of the court no matter how injurious they may be so they can stick out their tongues and claim some sort of victory.
The future will not be kind to this move if the United States returns to what it was and should have continued to be.
A few millennia ago a group of people moved from one place to another, and along the way killed quite a few people including women and children every time they arrived at a new place.
They eventually found a place they liked and decided to stay, and, of course, since there were already people living there, they had to kill off as many of them as they could so they could live in relative peace in their new place.
No angry survivors, no problems.
They needed to explain the killings not only to the people who lived around them, but to their descendants who might be bothered by this history, so they wrote their story down, as winners do, so that history favored them, and to make sure people wouldn’t be able to really find fault with them.
They added in their story that the reason they moved to where they did and why all the killing should be overlooked was because their God had promised them a place to live, and this was it.
They only killed off all the people and took their land because that is how God wanted it, and how can you argue with what God wanted?
The problem with this is that God supposedly promised land to Abraham and to his descendants, but made the promise before Abraham had any children. According to the law at the time, if a wife was barren, the first born male of the Number One concubine (the original Biblical marriage allowed for multiple wives and concubines) became the heir to any property, promises, or contracts, and in Abraham’s case that was Ishmael born of Hagar, Abe’s Number One concubine.
Things would have been much simpler if that had been it, but then Abraham’s wife, Sarah, got pregnant, they were both like 80 to 90 years old by the way, and she had a son Isaac. So that complicated things on two levels.
First, Ishmael was the first and legally born son of his father, and since God didn’t specify which first born son, that of a concubine or that of the wife, would be the one whose descendants would inherit everything and get the eventual Promised Land, it should have included the descendants of both sons.
Secondly, Sarah did not like Hagar and wanted her own kid to get it all.
To resolve this, Abraham did what was also lawful and sent Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert where they would die and solve the problem. But they didn’t. And Ishmael became the father of the Arabs and Isaac the father of the Hebrews.
For some reason whenever God made a plan, He left some detail out, or didn’t consider any complications.
He created Adam and Eve without the knowledge of good and evil, and when they disobeyed Him and ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, He punished them for doing something they had no idea was wrong because up until then they had no idea there was that division of things. Then to have children and start the human race, their children had to commit multiple instances of cross generational incest, which is considered against His will, and weakened the gene pool really quickly at the very beginning of humanity which could explain why humanity is so messed up.
Here He made a promise without specificity, and allowed for two legally first born sons to happen without clarifying things after the births even though, according to the story of Abraham, He spoke to him at least one time after these events.
He also did not seem to pay any attention to Hagar and Ishmael after they entered the desert, and, thus, did not insure there would be no problem. And we know that He very often killed people or had them killed, so it would not have been out of character to make sure they died.
Maybe He was all wrapped up dealing with some ancient sports event.
So the descendants of the Hebrews claim the promise was made to them and the Arabs claim the same for themselves. And, why not? Both follow the promise as made.
Hence the need for two states in the Middle East, or at least shared land.
We don’t hear about the Arabs in the Bible, but the Hebrews wrote all about themselves and why things should go their way, and we read a lot about other people in the region not being too happy they are there.
Jumping ahead, after World War II and the Holocaust, which was the extreme conclusion to Christian Europe’s centuries old hatred of the Jews, and after a few acts of terrorism to get it done, Israel was established as a political state where other people had been living.
Jews began heading there as it was seen as the Promised Land, and as more people showed up, there was a need to build the houses they needed.
Since God had given them the land, to hear them tell it, well, it simply was theirs and the others just happen to be there and any claim they said they had was trumped by the God plan.
So over the years, settlements were built for the incoming descendants of Isaac which involved bulldozing the homes and farms of the descendants of Ishmael whose share in the original promise is simply ignored.
This has caused quite a bit of trouble, and the rest of the world wants Israel to stop taking the land occupied by the other people there even as it acts like that brat who, along with the other kids in the room, is told no one is to touch the cookies, but then quickly and lightly pokes one of the cookies with a finger while saying “touch”.
The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building.
The resolution was passed by the 15-member council the day before this past Christmas Eve because, rather than diplomatically shielding Israel by using its veto power, the United States chose to abstain.
Israel, which gets a lot of money from the taxpayers of the United States who end up paying for Israel’s defense, as well as the free education and universal healthcare we do not get at home, is not happy, and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu stated,
“I instructed the Foreign Ministry to complete within a month a re-evaluation of all our contacts with the United Nations, including the Israeli funding of U.N. institutions and the presence of U.N. representatives in Israel. I have already instructed to stop about 30 million shekels ($7.8 million) in funding to five U.N. institutions, five bodies, that are especially hostile to Israel … and there is more to come.”
Now think about it. Israel keeps taking the land that people have lived on for centuries and has instituted a form of apartheid, and has known that no matter how bad it behaves, it will be defended by the United States at billions of dollars a year against all the people it is annoying, really annoying.
But finally people are getting to the point that if Israel wants to keep poking the lion with a stick, we aren’t going to pretend it is not doing that and then jumping between it and the lion when it attacks.
Most countries view Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to peace, But Israel keeps citing a biblical connection to the land.
They are taking our tax money that we could use, and, if the United States objects, or even so much as hints we will not be giving them all the money that it wants, Israel usually threatens that it will just switch allegiances, form a relationship with our enemies, and get money from them, and so we give in.
Enough is enough, and the world, including the United States under President Obama, wants Israel to stop being a jerk, and knock it off.
THE BEST CARTOON COLLECTION FOR 2016.
If you went to school in the fifties you have the memory, I’m sure, of those duck and cover drills.
For those who came after them, let me explain.
Apparently to keep us from panicking if it actually were to happen and the United States were attacked by those Godless Communists with an atomic boom, hopefully, of course, just after we had finished the “under God” part of the Pledge of Allegiance, we would practice getting under our desks and below the bottom of the windows if the bomb fell when we were in class, or, in the event we were outside, behind any object even if that meant lying in the gutter hoping no part of our anatomy was higher than the curb.
I assume that the preference was to have us die quietly or at least behaving during the blast so the adults’ last moments on earth would be relatively peaceful. No one wants to be in a classroom filled with kids running around screaming before vaporizing.
We knew that first there would be a flash of light that could blind us, then an extreme heat wave that would melt us, and these could not harm us as we would be below them as they swooped by overhead. Then all would be well enough to get back up and do whatever it was that we were supposed to have been doing without having ever been told that there was more that would happen the moment we took out next breath.
What they never explained was that the room would be filled with radioactivity.
It was called “Duck and Cover”.
There was even a 16mm movie we watched in class, this was in the days before VCRs or DVD players, where a turtle jumped into his shell and a little boy jumped off his bike and got down in the gutter when the bomb alarm went off, after which they would calmly get back up, and all was well.
Dying slowly of the effects of radiation exposure was something the movie skipped over.
In the basement of the schools and in the basements of other buildings around town designated as shelter areas there were a number of sealed barrels that contained survival supplies like blankets and food stored in large army green barrels with the radioactive symbol on them.
This Duck and Cover drill was as common as fire drills, and we took them just as seriously.
Governments began to realize there was no real advantage to blowing each other up as the only thing won would be the ability to say that, although one side got blown away instantly and other side would slowly die horribly over time, we won.
They decided that the number of bombs was a little ridiculous as they were so devastating, and they really did not need a lot of them, and what was called “The Arms Race”, gave way to agreements to limit the number of nuclear weapons anyone had, and that countries that didn’t have them shouldn’t get them.
People began to relax a little, and the underground bomb shelters that were supposed to keep people safe until the danger passed, a rather unrealistic expectation considering how long the radioactive fallout from all the bombs would be around, eventually became storage places for the average person and wine cellars for those a little better off.
Things have remained calmer under the controlled possession and manufacture of atomic bombs, so many people alive today have no real knowledge of how bad things could be especially as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened some 70 years ago.
Since tough talk needs tough action to give it validity, Donald Trump, who never had it rough or saw war, has declared that in order to be tough, the United States had to go back to the days of lots of bombs, claiming that the more we had, the more scared others would be of us.
America, after all, certainly can’t be a nice country that other nations would like if we can be the world’s most feared and hated badass.
He seems to be ignoring that if you bring weapons to a fight, or if the opposition thinks you might since you brag about having them, the other side will also bring weapons, and may very well bring a few that are better.
We could scare other countries into developing their own nuclear weapons that they had been seeing no need for as the countries that had them had been acting irresponsibly.
Such middle of the night or early in the morning tweets like,
“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”,
may give other countries the impression they might need to gear up as it appears the only country that needs to come to its senses is us.
So, kids, it’s time to talk with Nana.
If someone shows up to your house today and you find you need to give them something so they don’t feel left out, here ya go.
TEARING OUT THE CONSTITUTION
The introduction might just be common knowledge to most, but it is always good to establish a base.
The United States Constitution, the law of the land, and its first ten Amendments, the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice.
According to the United States Senate on Constitution day, September 10, 2016:
“The Constitution’s first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, and of the federal and state governments.”
It is this document that the president of the United States takes an oath to protect and defend, and, obviously, that includes the protection of minority rights of liberty and equality.
However, and it is a sad however, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Mike Lee of Utah let it be known they plan to reintroduce the First Amendment Defense Act, which had gotten little traction in 2015. But now that the Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, Cruz and Lee feel it will breeze through to passage if reintroduced in the next few months.
The Act would prohibit the federal government from taking action against any business or person that discriminates against GLBTQ people, referring to such a potential action as “discriminatory”.
It would protect the right of all entities to refuse service to GLBTQ people based on marriage being, or should be recognized, as the union of one man and one woman, and sexual relations being properly reserved to such a marriage.
The Act would make the right to discriminate against one class of Americans a “first amendment” right, while preventing the government from taking any form of action to curb such discrimination. If the government were to take an action against any discriminating entity, individuals and businesses could sue the federal government for interfering in their right to discriminate against GLBTQ people, and the Attorney General would be required to defend the individuals and businesses.
Conn Carroll, Senator Lee’s spokesperson, has pointed out that the election of Trump has provided a cleared a path for the passage of FADA.
“Hopefully November’s results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year. We do plan to reintroduce FADA next Congress and we welcome Trump’s positive words about the bill.”
Discrimination against GLBT people could be devastating, and the assault on one class of citizens’ Constitutional rights would put one set of religious beliefs above all others.
Now, before anyone breathes a sigh of relief that it will only affect “them” and because we are not “them” it will not affect us, according to the language which includes a reference to sexual relations being properly reserved to a marriage between one man and one woman, individuals and businesses would be able to discriminate against unwed heterosexual couples and single mothers.
“We the people” may soon become “ Only people like us”.
Need that last minute electronic stocking stuffer?
Well, here it is.
The Best of 2016
It was 2008 and we had just elected Barak Obama as president.
Those who had not voted for him claimed he was not their president.
People held signs and wore t-shirts reminding us it was the WHITE House.
His place of birth was questioned by the very man that we are being told now needs to be given a chance.
The claim came out that Michelle was a drag Queen and the children adopted to cover that up.
The president elect was hanged in effigy.
There were references to apes.
The president was supposed to be a Muslim but at the same time was being condemned for attending the church, the Christian church, headed by the Rev. Wright.
He ate dogs.
But that was perfectly acceptable because people were just expressing their reaction to their candidate’s loss.
Oh, and the Republicans held a meeting on inauguration day to plan how to have him fail.
But that was okay. It did not constitute a meltdown, nor was it whining.
When I was advocating to have GLBT students openly protected in school district policies on bullying, harassment, and nondiscrimination, part of that advocacy was to educate students about how to protect themselves and bring an end to mistreatment that fell into those categories.
The major bit of advice was that beyond claiming to have been bullied there had to be proof of the bullying that could be evaluated and it had to be more than one instance, otherwise it could just have been a loss of temper or an indiscreet remark that, once uttered, was regretted.
Simply put, the charge was not enough.
If the complaint was to be considered legitimate and worthy of action, student were advised that at the time of the complaint things like names, dates, the number of incidents, a description of the bullying, and the names of any witnesses were necessary, or it was a complaint that could be brushed aside.
With those things presented, there would have to at least be some consideration given along with an idea what actions might need to be taken or address to end the problem.
This is a comment I found on Facebook regarding some people’s experiencing fear because of statements made during the campaign of the president-elect as well as those he has been appointing to his cabinet, federal departments, and advisory positions:
“AHHH the sweet smell of fear. For the last eight years white heterosexuals were a moving target now someone is saying its [sic] ok to admit you don’t agree what is the worse thing they might do? [sic] Might they force the gay communities to admit that Civil Unions may have all the benefits of marriage without the potential conflicts with religious organizations. Right now the courts have spoken and the constitution which gave this control to the states has been trashed so move on and stop crying.”
After requesting it, I still have not received any examples of where white heterosexuals are being targeted.
Without real examples of this targeting, the complaint that white heterosexuals were under assault means that they felt threatened as other people were gaining equal rights.
Their not being thrown out of their apartments just as a matter of personal taste, wrong religion, different political beliefs, falling in love with someone the landlord didn’t like, or their not losing a job for any reason beyond poor job performance was assaulted when others got those same things.
Everything was fine as long as there was an upper-class consisting of white heterosexuals and a lower one consisting of those who weren’t.
One class was comfortable with what they had and knew this was their country regardless of place of birth or how many generations of their family lived here, while for the others, well, they were just lucky they were allowed to be here at the largess of the upper class and happy with what they were allowed to have, even if they had been here for generations and in some cases became those we call “Hero” because they joined the military and fought for the rights the White Heterosexual do not want to share.
One is led to think that others getting the rights with which all equally created men had been “endowed by their creator” is some form of assault.
My equality is a threat to no one. But the fear of my equality seems to be a threat of loss to quite a few.
My rights as a white person were never assaulted.
My rights as a Gay man were finally getting acknowledged.
Some of us have traditionally not been free to be “fully American” and may have just gotten some of those things that make us so, but we stand to lose those things judging from the anti-GLBT make-up of the president elect’s cabinet, one member of which is advocating that all GLBT people be removed from the state department and other federal positions, and to do this they must be ferreted out.
It bothers me that after the many years of threatening behavior and purposely demeaning words and treatment, I am now being told that I have to accept even more because to do otherwise is just not fair and is mean.
In other words, “I have crapped on you for quite some time, and when you objected and told me to stop, you went too far, and that equals an assault”.
Bill O’Reilly even admitted, there is a “White Establishment”, and it sees its supremacy under attack, because non-whites, non-heterosexuals,want to have equal rights that all citizens should have.
“The left wants power taken away from the white establishment, and they want a profound change in the way America is run.”
The United States must be run by the White Guys only.
During that time of advocacy I was called a pervert for no other reason than I belonged to a disliked group. I had to listen to people in authority claim people like me were a danger, a little less human than they were, unloved and unlovable, and that even with all the heterosexual references and events throughout the district, King and Queen of the prom, Homecoming King and Queen, Valentines day couples, best couple in the year book, and no same sex dates to the prom, I was told that a single sign saying “October is Gay History Month” hung once a year in one spot was more than anyone else got, and it was a perversion as it made people think of sex while a teacher bringing her newborn baby to show her students never brought thoughts of that teacher and her husband having sex to the minds of the students.
Their perverted thoughts are not my responsibility, nor is it mine to anticipate anything that could possibly stimulate them when with the right education, they may not automatically jump to them.
Accepting things as they were was as it should be.
When I told a principal that GLBT kids were facing mistreatment because nothing in the school addressed their existence and needs, I was told, “well, that is because that is how it is.”
A teacher with whom I worked and who had students in his class I knew were Gay, once accosted me in a hallway to inform me that there was no room for my kind at the school.
Objecting to this was considered an assault on the white heterosexuals at the school.
I may appear selfish, but being a marginalized person who has had to deal with the language and treatment of Trump supporters long before he ran for president and were so happy they got a champion, I do find it difficult that now I am being told that their feelings are hurt because I object to the possible loss of my hard won rights and those of other marginalized people, and I should just suck it up and expect and accept more of the same.
They are offended that they are being spoken about like they spoke about marginalized people.
If it is wrong for them to be treated that way, even if it is an unsupportable claim, they need to see it is wrong that they treated others that way.
I will not be guilted into accepting mistreatment, so those who mistreat me feel no discomfort.
I am not asking anyone to think as I do. I am asking, however that they understand I think as I do for a reason, and if they want me to stop thinking that way, rather than whine at and about me, they stop doing those things that brought about my thoughts.
I did not approve of the words or treatment before, and I am not going to approve of them now to spare feelings and, therefore, allow those things to remain unchanged and untouched.
Need that last minute electronic stocking stuffer?
Well, here it is.