Monday, June 27, 2022

SCROTUS: The Supreme Council Of Toxic Unhinged Sexism

This week, SCOTUS told states they have the power of life and death for pregnant women because only states have the right to determine if abortion is permitted under any circumstance, including saving the life of the mother. (Think ectopic pregnancy here which is now untreatable in those states with full criminalization of abortion, thereby guaranteeing the death of the woman, and no, you cannot retrieve an ectopic pregnancy and replant it in a uterus.)

At the same time, they told New York State it didn't have the power to control how guns are carried. Justice Clarabell Thomas said
The Second Amendment protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” 

I guess that includes the right of self-defense against first and second graders, especially if, as some lawmakers would like, the teachers are armed. Then killing the teachers really is self-defense. 

On a lighter note, SCOTUS says a football coach at a public high school is permitted to pray in the middle of the field because to rule it not permissible would be an infringement on his ability to practice his religion. 

SCOTUS... which now should be called SCROTUS, has taken upon itself the need to force some kind of religion down our throats. I mean, let's call it what it is: New American Christianity. Even with three women on the bench, all of whom will lose their civil rights, including Handmaid Coney Barrett, it has become a chamber of misogynistic horror.

New American Christianity is an entirely new religion, based on hate, greed, and slavish devotion to a cult figure, not Jesus. This is the religion of MAGA. I don't know about you, gentle readers, but my Christian friends appear not to be subscribing to this distortion of their faith. Viewing the January 6th footage should be enough to freeze your blood. Is this how you see Christian America? If it is, you need to put on your red hat and go stand with the other insurrectionists.

You think I'm kidding about the Christianity part, right? Our dear friend and law whore Justice Clarence Thomas pretty much explained that overturning Roe v. Wade is not the end. In his supporting opinion, he wrote:
In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.

And for the record, late Justice Scalia said of Justice Clarabell: "[He] doesn't believe in stare decisis, period."

Know what those cases are? Let me enlighten you.

  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects the liberty of married couples to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction.The case involved a Connecticut "Comstock law" that prohibited any person from using "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception".
  • Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that sanctions of criminal punishment for those who commit sodomy are unconstitutional.The Court reaffirmed the concept of a "right to privacy" that earlier cases, such as Roe v. Wade, had found the U.S. Constitution provides, even though it is not explicitly enumerated.The Court based its ruling on the notions of personal autonomy to define one's own relationships and of American traditions of non-interference with private sexual decisions between consenting adults.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015) is a landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 5–4 ruling requires all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Insular Areas to perform and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples on the same terms and conditions as the marriages of opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities. Prior to Obergefell, same-sex marriage had already been established by law, court ruling, or voter initiative in thirty-six states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.
Wanna know what's missing from that list? Loving v. Virginia. 
  • Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark civil rights decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that laws banning interracial marriage violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Beginning in 2013, it was cited as precedent in U.S. federal court decisions holding restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States unconstitutional, including in the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

Gee; I wonder why. If he wasn't married to Ginni "the Insurrectionist" Thomas, I'm sure it would be. 

Now, I guess all those appointees to SCROTUM can claim they had a change of heart about Roe v. Wade when they voted to overturn. 

Let's look at that for a moment in the light of Stare Decisis:

...a legal principle by which judges are obligated to respect the precedent established by prior decisions. The words originate from the phrasing of the principle in the Latin maxim Stare decisis et non quieta movere: "to stand by decisions and not disturb the undisturbed".[4] In a legal context, this means that courts should abide by precedent and not disturb settled matters. The principle can be divided into two components:

·      A decision made by a superior court, or by the same court in an earlier decision, is binding precedent that the court itself and all its inferior courts must follow.

·      A court may overturn its own precedent, but should do so only if a strong reason exists to do so, and even in that case, should be guided by principles from superior, lateral, and inferior courts.

The question that keeps popping up is: Did Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett all perjure themselves during their confirmation hearings? Let's look at what they actually said:

Neil M. Gorsuch, during his 2017 confirmation hearings, said Roe was a 'a precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court. It was reaffirmed in Casey in 1992 and in several other cases.” Gorsuch was referring to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that affirmed Roe. 'So a good judge will consider it as precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other,” Gorsuch said.

Brett M. Kavanaugh during his 2018 confirmation hearing during his 2018 confirmation hearings, echoed Gorsuch by saying that Roe was an 'important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.'

Barrett said she was committed to obeying “all the rules of stare decisis,” promising that “if a question comes up before me about whether Casey or any other case should be overruled, that I will follow the law of stare decisis, applying it as the court is articulating it, applying all the factors, reliance, workability, being undermined by later facts in law, just all the standard factors.”

In a word, no. They did not necessarily perjure themselves, although none were totally honest about their intentions. They may have all invoked stare decisis, but I guarantee they were vetted with If the occasion arises, will you overturn?  The answer is clearly "yes."

This does not bode well for our nation. SCROTUM is poised to diminish hard won civil rights for citizens of all races, creeds, and economic divisions. Overturning Roe v. Wade means no law is sacred and protected from an activist reactionary court. Suddenly, old amendments aren't so chiseled in stone, are they? SCROTUM cannot just repeal or overturn an amendment, but it can overturn settled law based on the reading of an amendment. 

For the record, I think this one is gonna come up real soon: Engle v. Vitale because it comes up all the time. See above...the coach praying in the middle of a football field...and Justice Clarabell is setting his sights on the next round. Separation of church and state is officially in the crosshairs. 

We stand at a precarious crossroad. The civil rights this court is systematically stripping away will be hard to get back. We, the People, don't want to live in a third world country, but that's where this court is pointing us. If you had any doubts about why the Democrats are doing the January 6th hearings in such a public manner, this is why: it is the antithesis of SCROTUM. The whole country gets to see and hear what happened from the eyes and mouths of people involved both at the front and the back of the insurrection. Even the bozos who refused seats on the committee are backtracking because the Dems are making them look like co-conspirators without having to do a thing. And those who were in the Oval Office are really big about pointing out how they personally warned Feckless Leader this was insane. 

Of course, up close and personal is not gonna be enough, even when coupled with SCROTUM's refusal to recognize the civil rights of women, to ensure the midterms don't go red. As repetitive as this sounds, if you sit on your ass and do nothing, you are just as culpable as the MAGA idiots. As Albert Einstein wrote in 1954,
In long intervals I have expressed an opinion on public issues whenever they appeared to me so bad and unfortunate that silence would have made me feel guilty of complicity.

He was right, y'know. 

But it's so much easier to pretend it will all work itself out.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

Be like Einstein.

Monday, June 20, 2022

To Everything There Is A Season; We Have Two

Living on the tundra in Minnesota, people automatically assume (yeah, I know about assume) that we wear layers all the time, hats with earlaps, and you can always see our breath when we speak. Truth of the matter is we only have two seasons here: winter...when you can see our breath...and road repair. 

Road repair officially begins the day you can see pavement emerging from the black ice covering any given bridge. Immediately after that event, the road sinks into itself and a pothole forms. Some people get crocuses, we get potholes. Not the sinkhole-eat-yer-car kind like they get in Florida; ours will just snap your axles. Road repair is then divided into three categories: 1) road defrost heaving, 2) road flooding, and 3) road buckling. Laugh all you want. This is serious stuff. Today, the temperature at 4:00 p.m. was 100° Fahrenheit. Summer highs are usually 80s and 90s. But at 100°, roads were buckling all over the place. Northbound I-35 was shut down near Forest Lake, just north of the Twin Cities. Going home traffic (we don't call it rush hour here) was totally bollocks up all over the place. Not a great experience when you're stuck in a not-moving car. 

On a positive note, the humidity, amazingly, wasn't all that bad. Okay, this Long Island girl felt right at home. Seriously. I was comfortable. The only thing missing was the smell of salt water. And that, people, made me feel just a tad homesick. On days like this, you'd find me at the beach a kid... or with my kids. But I was home, sitting outside both before and after my visit to the dentist, enjoying the heat...and wishing I was back on the island staring at the ocean. 
But that's not happening any time soon. 

Oh, for simpler times...when one could sit on the trunk of Zayde's beige Versailles eating a Brown Bonnet from Carvel. 

Instead, I'm mostly watching the hearings on Capitol Hill about the attempted coup on January 6th, 2021. Part of me is totally disgusted, part of me is totally angry, and another part of me is totally confused as to why, despite the preponderance of evidence, a significant portion of the population of these here United (for a while anyway) States seriously believes the election was stolen...even when GOP Feckless supporters were elected to high office over the county. 

How do you rig a voting machine to do that? Never mind we hear Feckless on the phone instructing the attorney general of Georgia:
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.”
Listen to the call if you can stand it. The statistics he recites are conspiracy theories from social media. Listening to the call, it reminds me of trying to talk my mother into letting me do something she didn't want me to do: "Ma, but all the kids......"

Need I say more?

Yeah, probably. 

Here's the thing: A significant portion of this country believes everything that pathological narcissist says. No amount of video from the insurrection, or transcripts of his calls, or emails from Ginni Thomas is gonna change that. EVER. 

The best we can hope for is a resurgence of people who run for office will understand the difference between fact and fiction, who put the good and welfare of this nation first, and who believe that it is possible to be one nation with many faiths, ethnicities, orientations, etc, but one made up of people, for the people, by the people. Lincoln didn't say white people or Christian people, or straight people. He said PEOPLE. No label, no exclusion, no nuthin'. 

People. We, the People. We, as an inclusive term. All of us. No qualifiers...except probably for citizenship when it comes to voting. Citizenship. Not color of skin, tenets of faith, or sexual preference. Not one of those things is a barrier to being a citizen in this nation. 

Those people who are preaching hate, insurrection, and the dismantling of our democracy are certainly entitled to their opinions. What they aren't entitled to is shoving it down the rest of our throats. 

But we knew this. 

Or do We, the People?

I used to think I knew the answer to that question. I'm not sure I do any more. 

About the only thing I know is that when I listen to that recording of Feckless reciting garbage stats and pressuring the attorney general of Georgia to overturn that state's presidential election, I am sick to the bottom of my stomach. Listening to him and some of his supporters in the room, I know how the insurrection happened. Anyone who listens knows that, too. 

And someone needs to figure out how to at least recuse Clarence Thomas from any case involving the 2020 election ...and if he refuses to do that, figure out how to impeach him. He needs to go. 

The Wifely Person's Tip/Joke o'the Week

Sent in by a longstanding, loyal ZJOD reader in honor of 
An old man goes to the doctor with his wife.   
The doctor comes out and says to the wife—“your husband is amazing.  He has the heart of a 20 year old, the strength of a weightlifter and the stamina of a long-distance runner.  He says it is due to the fact that he puts on his tefillin each and every day, davens with kavana and has never eaten treyf.  In fact, he says, he is so beloved by God that every night when he gets up to go to the bathroom, God turns the light on for him when he starts and closes the light when he finishes……” 
"Oh no,” she says, “he's pishing in the refrigerator again!”   
                        Thank you, MoJo. Ziggy woulda loved it. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Oh, What A Circus! Oh, What A Show!

For a change of pace, I had an old friend visit from out of town last weekend. He's been in Minneapolis before, but his last foray to Saint Paul happened to coincide with my dad's death. Because he had been close to the folks, he and the junior son stayed with mom so she could live stream the funeral at the family plot in New York while I headed east to the rest of the family. Needless to say, my friend didn't get to do much fun stuff the last time. 

The Quadriga
This time, however, we managed to do some really interesting things, probably the most fun of which was taking a tour of the recently renovated Minnesota State Capitol. It is seriously beautiful. Designed by Cass Gilbert, the same guy who did the U.S. Capitol, it was built in 1905 and even then, was a building of significance. We even climbed a whole lotta stairs to get up close and personal with The Quadriga. Talk about awe inspiring!  

There were two paintings hanging in the governor's office since day one, and they have now been removed to a separate gallery...for very good reason. Both were exceptionally offensive to a large segment of our population...the ones who were here first. 

The first painting, by Stephen A. Volk, is called Father Hennepin Discovering The Falls of St. Anthony (1905.) It looks harmless enough, but is it? The Native Americans are at his feet while he renames something that is part of their world. He no more discovered the falls than he had flown there with winged sandals. Not only that, he and his traveling companions had been captured by a Bdewakantunwan war party and taken to their community where they were detained for a few years. Father Hennepin's account of his time in Minnesota is now largely viewed as rather fictional. 

On the other hand, The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux  is much more sinister. The painting by Francis David Millet was inspired by sketches made at the event by Frank Blackwell Mayer. The short version? The Native American representatives were given a treaty to sign in which 35 million acres of land at 12 cents an acre were exchanged for $3,750,000. They signed reluctantly, signed the second copy of the treaty, then were handed a third copy, but were not told this version was from the traders in the region, and that the monies promised to them were handed over the the traders as reparations for "past debt." They got nothing. 

Like so much questionable art, a decision had to be made. Instead of hiding the paintings in the basement, a gallery was created to display them alongside explanations of why they were removed from the governor's office, along with statements and comments from not only the Indigenous community, but from the descendants of the original settlers who purchased that land for farms. The commentary is not all sweetness and light; not everyone was happy with the decision to move the paintings. 

Too bad.

Minnesota is slowly coming to grips with the injustices of the past. It's a process and one most of the state embraces. That acceptance does not undo the wrongs or change history, it just means we own the behavior and We, the State of Minnesota, must be diligent in efforts to improve the relations between the state and the Indigenous population and to prevent other hardships from happening. 

And we have to keep restoring original place names... Like Bde Maka Ska. 

On a happy side note...we had dinner at OWAMNI by the Sioux Chef, the Native American restaurant in Minneapolis.  I am delighted to report that tonight, they won the James Beard Award for best restaurant in the US. Definitely worth going when you're in town. It was an incredible and very delicious experience.

Getting names changed back is no easy feat. Just like renaming Ziggy and the kids' high school Two Rivers instead of Henry Sibley, a man who was well known to be not nice. I wrote about the name change a while ago, Who Will Speak For The Voiceless? 

Those pictures were part of A Big Lie; the lie that the Indigenous Population was evil, needed to be saved, and their culture wiped out in order for the white settlers to live. People believed for years that Father Hennepin was revered by the "natives," that he "discovered" stuff, and that he was a nice guy. 

We, the People, bought into lots of BIG Black people are shiftless and stupid, that Jews own all the banks, that the Irish are all drunks. Somewhere in this so-called melting pot, there are people who still believe this bull-hockey. They used to be called the Ku Klux Klan, now we call them other things, like Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and, quite frankly, Trump supporters. 

The televised hearings about the January 6th Insurrection are pretty much bad theater. There's a lot of grandstanding and self-aggrandizement going down. There are too many GOP congressclowns saying this is worthless because there aren't enough Republican voices in the room, but hell, they CHOSE not to be there. And Liz Cheney is also scaring the shit outta those dickless wonders. When former White House senior staffers are testifying that Feckless Leader was detached from reality, that they all told him he lost the election and there was no mass wave of voter fraud, one can only hope some of those real Republicans will begin to reconsider their positions on what really happened after the presidential election. Instead of listening to sound bites, read the testimony transcript for June 13, 2022. It's worth the time. 

Former Attorney General Bill Barr's testimony was terrifying. He relayed the number of times he told Feckless Leader his accusations were bullshit. But Barr wraps it all up and ties it with a pretty ribbon in when he talks about his meeting with Feckless Leader on December 14th, 2020. [The highlight is mine.]

When I walked in, sat down, he went off on a monologue saying that there was now definitive evidence involving fraud through the Dominion machines and a report had been prepared by a very reputable cybersecurity firm, which he identified as Allied Security Operations Group. And he held up the report and he had — and then he asked that a copy of it be made for me. And while a copy was being made, he said, you know this is absolute proof that the Dominion machines were rigged.


The report means that I am going to have a second term. And then he gave me a copy of the report. And as he talked more and more about it, I sat there flipping through the poor report and looking through it. And to be frank, it looked very amateurish to me, didn't have the credentials of the people involved, but I didn't see any real qualifications.


And the statements were made very conclusory like this — these machines were designed to, you know, engage in fraud or something to that effect, but I didn't see any supporting information for it.


And I was somewhat demoralized because I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff he has, you know, lost contact with — with it — he's become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.

Barr resigned later that same day, December 14th, 2020.

Why the hell he couldn't have quit or come clean sooner is beyond me. He's cagey, and I do think he's trying to save his sorry butt right now, but I also think he's guilty as hell when it comes to aiding and abetting the perpetration of a fraud on We, the People. At the very least, his participation is sedition. 

In other news of the plausibly deniable, a bi-partisan committee has put together new gun legislation:
      1. Red Flag laws
      2. Mental health and telehealth investment
      3. Closing the boyfriend loophole
      4. Enhanced review process for under-21 buyers
      5. Clarification of Federally Licensed Firearm Dealer
      6. School security resources
There are things in it that are needed, but three major requirements have been removed. Missing from bill are
      1. Expanded background checks
      2. Ban on assault weapons
      3. Higher minimum age of purchase
The missing three items are the ones that have the best chance at stopping mass murder. But they're excluded because some people love their guns more than their kids. 

I have little to no faith that any gun measure will be passed in the senate. 

Patience, grasshoppers; with any luck at all, the generations are rising and will flood the voting booths. Either that, or I hear there's this bridge for sale in Brooklyn. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

Do you mean to tell me.......
Yes, Wednesday is Tell-A-Bad-Joke Day. 

13 years.


Monday, June 6, 2022

Nope, We're Not Dead Yet

22 weeks into the year, America has already 
seen at least 246 mass shootings

Mass shootings across the U.S. leave dozens killed or wounded this weekend

In the event you're wondering why no real gun legislation has happened in this country since the 90's, you can sum it up with 2 words: Dickey Amendment. All things considered, Dickey is probably the appropriate name for this travesty of legislative insertion.

Oh, you've never heard of it. Well, let me tell you about the Dickey Amendment. It would appear that the NRA had a problem with the CDC's studies on the reduction of injuries and death due to violence once the studies began to focus on gun violence. According to the explanation provided by the NCBI: 
Led by Representative Jay Dickey of Arkansas, they added a provision to a 1996 spending bill declaring that “[n]one of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.” 2 Congress also stipulated that $2.6 million of the CDC’s budget, which was the amount spent on firearm injury research during the previous year, would be specifically earmarked for research on traumatic brain injuries.
Repeated efforts to repeal that amendment have failed. According to Wikipedia:

On March 21, 2018, Congressional negotiators reached a deal on an Omnibus continuing resolution. The $1.3 trillion spending agreement also includes language that codified Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's interpretation of the Dickey Rider in testimony on February 18, 2018, before the US House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee. While the amendment itself remains, the language in a report accompanying the Omnibus spending bill clarifies that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can indeed conduct research into gun violence, but cannot use government appropriated funds to specifically advocate for gun control. The bill included no funding earmarked for gun safety and was signed into law by U.S. President Donald J. Trump on March 23, 2018.


The fiscal year 2020 federal budget included $25 million for the CDC and NIH to research reducing gun-related deaths and injuries, the first such funding since 1996.

Gun legislation is a "measurable" event...which means the score given to the congressclown on his gun votes will determine how much funding he gets from the NRA. Thus is the partnership between your congressclowns and the NRA. This begs the question, which has been asked many, many times: who is running this country?

According to last week's CBS poll on guns, most Americans want gun legislation in place. This includes a majority of Americans who believe semi-automatic guns like the AR-15 should be banned. 

If the majority of Americans want that to be the law of the land, what in heaven's name is preventing the GOP from enacting sane legislation? 

Money. Cash. NRA support. More cash. This isn't about what We, the People, want or need. This is about greed and power. Hmmm. No news there. 

If you are tired of reading about kids shot up in their classrooms or people gunned down in crowds, maybe it's time to let your personal congressclown know that YOU are the one who pays his/her salary, not the NRA, and that you will use your voice to make sure We, the People are not gonna tolerate their slavish devotion to an organization that tacitly promotes the murder of children, their teachers, and innocent bystanders while the cops just stand there. 

Not that it will make much of a difference to them, but seeing us unite as a front just might make a difference to the millions of voters who are coming voter eligible. Let THEM know we may be old, but we're not dead yet, and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them to protect their children, our grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

Nope. we certainly are not dead yet. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Yes, I play Wordle and Spelling Bee daily.
No, I never post my results.
If you are posting your results, please stop.
No one cares.