The Radical Minority

pulseFollowing is a portion of Heather’s recent newsletter. While she always seems to have her finger on the pulse of this nation, sometimes her insights are so clear and direct, it’s uncanny.

But as the last ten months have made clear, the right wing does not really intend to let the voters of the states make decisions that contradict right-wing ideology. 

After the Dobbs decision, Republican-dominated legislatures immediately began to restrict the right to abortion, although it remains popular in the country and voters have rejected extreme abortion restrictions in every special election held since the decision. Now Republican legislators in Ohio are trying to head off an abortion rights amendment scheduled for a popular vote in November by requiring 60% of voters, rather than 50%, to amend the state constitution. 

Gun safety shows the same pattern. A new Fox News poll out yesterday shows that 87% of voters favor background checks for gun purchases, 81% favor making 21 the minimum age to buy a gun, 80% want mental health care checks on all gun buyers, 80% want flags for people who are dangerous to themselves or others, 77% want a 30-day waiting period to buy a gun, and 61% want an assault weapons ban.

And yet, Republican majorities in state legislatures are rapidly rolling back gun laws. Republican lawmakers in the Tennessee legislature went so far recently as to expel two young Black representatives when they encouraged protesters after the majority quashed their attempts to introduce gun safety measures after a mass shooting in Nashville. But they were not alone. Last week, when the Nebraska senate passed a  permitless concealed carry law, Melody Vaccaro, executive director of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, shouted “Shame!” multiple times. She has since been “barred and banned” from the Nebraska statehouse. 

The attempt of a radical minority to enforce their will on the rest of us, who constitute a majority, by stealing control of the states and then, through them, control of the federal government is precisely what the Confederates tried to do before the Civil War: it is no accident that one of the insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, carried a replica of a Confederate battle flag.

Although what she has written is not surprising or exceptional to many of us, it is still worrisome. One  can’t help but wonder where things will eventually end up.  I suppose all we can hope for is the Party with the most common sense will be the victor in the end.

Student vs. Teacher

During a recent discussion on Jim’s blog, he shared the following incident …

One can’t help but wonder … what next?

At our local school just recently, a student assaulted a female teacher, broke her tailbone and wrist slamming her to the ground—she is on temporary leave and subject to disciplinary measures because she “laid hands on him” while he was vaping in class and told her to fuck off. He is on 3 day suspension —she will likely lose her job. She is one of the brighter teachers that actually cared about teaching. The whole thing is fucked up, but not a rare occurrence.

Some years back, an event like this would have had a VERY different ending. But today? It seems all semblances of common sense have been replaced with totally irrational thinking … along with plain stupidity.

“Celebrity Guest”

I leave this here without additional comment (from The Guardian: First Thing email newsletter):

Kyle Rittenhouse, the American who shot three people, two fatally, at an anti-racism protest as a teenager and injured another, was the celebrity guest of honor at a Republican party event in Idaho Falls, Idaho, this month. Fundraiser attendees could bid on an AR-15 style rifle signed by Rittenhouse, and buy tickets to Trigger Time: a Rittenhouse-hosted shooting event at a gun range. He was found not guilty of homicide, attempted homicide, and reckless endangerment in November 2021.

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The Value of Ice

An interactive NPR presentation (you have to scroll down to see the changing pictures) that needs to be seen by as many people as possible …

The Melting of Artic Ice

The sad part about this very real presentation is how the moneyed crowd pooh-poohs these FACTS because their bank accounts take precedence over the life of the Earth and the lives of the people who live here.