Monday, July 25, 2022

I'm Blowing Town, So I Voted For ELIZABETH LAMIN Today.

So, due to circumstances happily beyond my control, I am being temporarily evicted from my domicile. Happily? Yes. Seems some people I know are having a remodel that includes demolition and they need a place for a couple o'weeks until their temporary quarters are ready. Happily? Deliriously happily. First, I found a really cute little cabin to hide out in over in Wisconsin, but then I figured it was way too close to home. It would be too easy to pop in and out, and I really didn't wanna do that. So I made a couple of calls and voilà! I am going home for something other than a funeral or unveiling. 

This means serious time on my beach and eating way too much kosher pastrami, half-sours, and coleslaw washed down with just a bisseleh Dr. Brown's Cream Soda. There might even be some real Chinese food involved. Yeah, there will be the requisite cemetery visit, but this time, I'll have time to see friends. Maybe even a late night diner run with a French fry (cannot tolerate those any more, but I do love 'em) or a little rice pudding. Everything I don't get to eat here. In moderation, of course. Sure.

So, it also happens that I will be away on Primary Day in Minnesota and that's an important event this year. There are choices to be made on August 9th. One of the most important is for our county attorney. Elizabeth Lamin is running, and while that might seem like a very small race, it's an important one for Dakota County. Although Angie Craig (DFL) is our congressperson, this county is still rather rural and leans right. Elizabeth, an immigrant herself, is a champion for social justice. From her website:
After working in a battered women’s organization helping survivors of domestic violence to navigate the legal system, Elizabeth decided to go to law school and pursue a career in the criminal justice system to ensure victim safety. 
Elizabeth has been a frontline prosecutor for over sixteen years handling thousands of criminal cases and trying complex homicides, shootings, assaults, and other serious felonies, and has come to realize that many aspects of the criminal justice system do not increase community safety and are not economically sustainable. Elizabeth is currently leading a coordinated response with law enforcement, community members, religious community leaders, and youth outreach workers to proactively work with youth involved in committing auto thefts by providing services such as mentoring and mental health resources as well as developing a strong communal moral message against committing crimes. In addition, over the past several years Elizabeth worked with victims and their families who have been victims of crimes to form restorative justice circles to help communities heal.

These are all attributes I want in a county attorney. All politics are truly local. People vote for a candidate because they want to believe that candidate will improve their life. We are a very diverse county; we need someone who recognizes that and sees that diversity as a strength.  

Voting isn't really a right as much as it is a privilege. January 6th, 2021 saw an attack on that privilege, and I'm not talking about the insurrectionists at the Capitol Building that day. I'm talking about the guy who had been elected and certified president in 2016 despite the closeness (much closer than 2016) of that race. The opposition conceded, just like Al Gore did back in 2000 in order to assure the peaceful transfer of power. Both Clinton and Gore undeniably won in actual votes counted, but lost in the electoral college.  But that's how our system works. Or how it's supposed to work.

I take voting seriously. As did Ziggy. Not voting in this family is NOT an option. Our tradition of sticking I VOTED stickers, each tagged with the election year, is a tradition I continue in my house. I like it. It's a daily reminder that I have a civic obligation to voice my opinion even when it's not the most popular opinion out there. 

My personal voting history is heavily influenced by social justice. I believe social justice doesn't just happen; you need advocates and elected officials willing to go to the distance for those who cannot advocate for themselves, no matter what the reason. 

I've written a fair amount about this very issue, as well as the importance of voting. So today's repeat episode is one that I think sorely underestimated the trouble we would ultimately be in. Read it....and some of you will weep:

Depending on where I am next Monday night, you may or may not get much of an episode from me. We shall see. But not to worry, I'll left a trail of breadcrumbs and will find my way back to the keyboard. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Traveling on public/mass transit?
Do everyone a favor: wear a mask.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Hiatus Report #2: I'm trying to keep my revulsion to a minimum.

Last week was the best kinda week spite of blowing up the lap top. Non-stop partying that began Sunday night dinner with cousins and friends, and ended on Friday afternoon with my little canasta group making a luncheon for me. I had more fun than I've had in a very long time. And for the record, the mug was from my much, much older brother. 

This week, however, is shaping up to be almost as horrifying as the last few were in these here United states. The hearings continue, and if I was skeptical about them before, I am a true believer that broadcasting them is the absolute right thing to do. People have to be able to see and hear some of this. 

And if you think for one New York minute I believe those Secret Service texts just happened to get erased in an upgrade, I have a bridge I'd like to show you in Brooklyn. 

Meanwhile, back at the's horror includes Ted Cruz leading the charge which, I suspect, is the ultimate repeal of the 14th Amendment which states: (highlights are mine.)


Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Well, the repeal of Roe v. Wade deprives women of the right to life and liberty, and certain equal protection under the law. But the language is necessarily vague, because what this does is repeals slavery with a very broad stroke. It protects any citizen of the United States  pursuing liberty... and in there is the right to love the person you love.

However, Ted Cruz doesn't see it that way. In his podcast, he states:

Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation's history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting...The way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is [to] convince your fellow citizens that if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views. In Obergefell, the court said, 'No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, must sanction and permit gay marriage. I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching.

Spoken like a true Son of the Confederacy. I guess the courts were overreaching in abolishing slavery as well. 

But that's not the whole 14th Amendment. There's some really great stuff in there that, if repealed, would serve the GOP magnificently:

Section 2.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

 See what I mean? I predict they are gonna go after the whole 14th. Wait for it. 

And while we're on the subject, a couple of months ago, I wrote the following:

An eleven- or twelve-year old girl is raped. She is impregnated by a man involuntarily. That child then must bear a child despite the damage it will do to her body. The man, however, retains his penis and balls.... so theoretically, he can do it again when his 90 days in jail are up. If he even goes to jail at all. 

Well, it happened in Ohio. Except her doctor had the wherewithal to send her to Indiana where an abortion could be performed. And still, some GOP crazies pushed to have her forced to carry the baby to term. A 10-year old.  I am gobsmacked for a response to the brutality directed at that child. 

Here's the link to my original post. In Case You've Not Thought This Through...

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Across the nation, temperatures are going to be brutal. 
Do what you must to stay hydrated and stay safe.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Don't Pour Iced Tea on Your Laptop...and other random thoughts.

David the Geek Guy
Yeah, yeah, I know I'm supposed to be on hiatus for the rest of the month, posting only select episodes and a few pithy comments. 

However....and isn't there always a however?

In a stroke of genius, I knocked over a glass iced tea and hit my kitchen laptop in the process, thereby effectively killing it. Granted, it was slowly shuffling off its e-coils, and I had already been surreptitiously (lest it find out what I was doing, thereby hurting its feelings) looking for a replacement.

I ran over to Best Buy in Eagan. David the Geek Guy was really nice even thought he had to pronounce my beloved box D.O.A. But when I asked about the hard drive, he happily popped it out (yeah, it had a hard drive,) had it checked out, and pronounced the sucker intact (thank G-d.) I picked a new box, decided with the sale price, I would get the extra-special tech support and have them move the old hard drive files onto the new box. I took said new box back to David and he said he would take care of the rest. He did. And instead of having to wait until Thursday to pick up the new machine, he called me four hours later to tell me it was done. I ran over there lickety-split.

Other than wasting way too much time to install Chrome, I am up and running with all my old programs. I am ecstatic. Even Microsoft knew who I was on the first try. I was very impressed.

But I was more impressed with David the Geek Guy. Nice, competent, helpful...a veritable Boy Scout of a kid. Best Buy, if you're listening, keep the guy around if you can. He instills confidence in the process, not something that happens very often these days. Thanks also go to my friend Bill who dropped what he was doing to come over to Best Buy to help me evaluate laptops. Thankfully this is Prime/Anti-Prime week and the Dell 15.6 I liked at $509 was now $399. A clear win all the way around....except now I have to get used to a new keyboard. Feh! Always the worst part. 

So, back to the hiatus part.  For the next few weeks, I'll be posting some old episodes that I think are worth revisiting. The first, The Second Amendment ~ Stuff You Might Not Know, was first published on July 23, 2012. I think it's worth re-reading. 

Did you know there are two versions of the second amendment?

This is the version that was passed by the Congress:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

And this is the one that was ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

A real "eats shoots and leaves" moment, eh? Well, it’s worse than just bad punctuation.

As conceded by the Supreme Court, there is a direct link between the Second Amendment and the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which protects the rights of Protestants from disarmament by the Crown. Their text reads as follows: 
"That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law."

Charleville American Revolutionary War Musket

Lacking the phrase, “as allowed by law,” our version seems to circumvent the ability of Congress (or anyone else for that matter) to make a determination about what the law permits...and by extension, makes the passage of any law restricting guns a matter of constitutionality. So, there is actually no law that can be made (according to the NRA) that can limit the ownership of any gun. 

In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), SCOTUS ruled that it was absolutely okay to own a gun unconnected to a militia, and said gun could be used for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. It was the first SCOTUS ruling that considered the Second Amendment to be protecting an individual right.

Since day one, however, there has been debate over the intent of the Amendment, and whether or not firearm type was limited to the scope of a militia. SCOTUS has never defined the meaning of the word arms, and subsequently any attempt to limit the type of firearms permitted has become a constitutional debate.

What has been omitted from the debate is common sense.

Lots of people have permits for and legally own handguns. Some people feel safer having one in the house, and they are supposed to be trained in the use and storage of such a weapon. One does not leave one’s Glock lying about on the kitchen table for the kids to play with or take to school for show and tell.

Hunting guns are supposed to be used for sport and when not in use, I do believe they are supposed to be kept in locked storage. And lots of people participate in other marksmen-type events like skeet, decathlon and pentathlon safely and without incident.

But show me where in this country one needs to own a couple of Uzis, AK-47s, and a few customized M-16s thrown in for good measure? Does one need to ever stock thousands of rounds of armor piercing ammo for afore mentioned weapons?

         National Priorities       © 2012, Steven G. Artley, ARTLEY CARTOONS 
It’s time to give up our delusions of frontierness; them days are long gone. Even in our most rural communities, there is not a single reason on the planet for ANYONE in the United States to own an assault rifle. Guns and ammo are not the same as laundry detergent and a 12-pack of toilet paper. You cannot point an empty cardboard spindle at someone and shoot them with Charmin'. We put warning labels on everything, but we still let people walk out of gun swap meets without so much as a name verification. How does New York City ban giant sodas and too much salt in your fries....but cannot stop assault weapon ownership?

I am not suggesting all guns be banned….although I wouldn’t exactly be opposed to that idea….but it’s time to stand up to groups like the NRA and demand common sense be allowed back into the conversation. The gun lobby isn’t about hobbyists or hunters or urban dwellers who feel safe with a gun in the flat. That lobby is ultimately about greed, arms dealing, and a willingness to bear hatred toward segments of our population.

It’s time to stop being afraid of the NRA. They are just a group of people who seem to think it’s more important to let anyone own weapons, and by extension, allow a crazy person who owns some of these to shoot up a movie theatre…..or a school…..or a community center….or a Long Island Railroad car…… The list just goes on and on.

We have a big election coming up. Maybe now is the time to demand common sense be restored to the gun debate. There are more of us who want to see assault weapons banned than want to see them protected. We, The People, are the only ones who can demand a halt to the insanity of insufficient gun control.


For shits and giggles, try this list on for size: List of mass shootings in the United States

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week - 2022
Shinzo Abe was assassinated with a homemade gun this week. 
Madmen will always manage to secure a weapon. 
That doesn't mean we have to make it easy.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Amidst the Fireworks: You can't tell the firecrackers from the live rounds.

The blog I started yesterday has been ash-canned. I have no desire to write about the Declaration or the Preamble or the Bill of Rights. 

Highland Park, Illinois parade knocked that idea right outta me. 

Someone, for pity's sake, explain how Bobby Crimo III managed to not only get his hands on a high-powered rifle, but managed to take up a sniper's position on a roof where he shot flag waving parade-goers like so many sitting ducks. He calls himself Awake the Rapper and his stuff is seen as pretty violent. The Daily Beast describes him this way:

The 22-year-old Illinois man identified as a person of interest in Monday’s parade massacre is an amateur rapper who posted disturbing videos on his YouTube channel, including a crude animation depicting a gunman being killed by police.

In addition to videos filled with violent imagery and mass-shooting fantasy, Robert “Bobby” Crimo last year posted a video on his personal blog of Central Avenue in Highland Park—the main street of the parade route.

If this guy was already posting this stuff, didn't anyone notice? Probably not. I still wanna know about the gun. Legal? Illegal? Background check? I'm guessing I'm not the only one. 

As a marching band mom, I've been at way too many parades to count. I've got the requisite folding chair in a bag for when I wasn't shadowing our marchers. I've sat curbside with Ziggy and other marching band folks to cheer our kids on. NEVER did I EVER worry some sniper with a high powered rifle was gonna pick us off. Town parades were supposed to be about showing up, cheering for the kids in their way-too-hot uniforms. Hearing bands from all different schools was exciting and fun and everyone cheered for each other. 

It's not supposed to be about death.

Spectators said at first everyone thought firecrackers were being set off; it took people going down to realize these were bullets being fired. I would've thought the same thing. 

This past week SCROTUS went after the EPA. Now it's going after our elections. Meanwhile, someone I consider sane and rational asked if I thought there was an ultra-rich cabal who meet in secret meetings to actually run the country. If there is, I'm certain the head of the NRA is a part of it. SCROTUS also went after tribal sovereignty rights in Oklahoma, overturning a whole lotta precedent there. Now, they are set to take up election law. As per the NYTimes:
The case has the potential to affect many aspects of the 2024 election, including by giving the justices power to influence the presidential race if disputes arise over how state courts interpret state election laws.
Honestly, I don't know how much more of this I can keep writing about. 

July 19th, 2022 will mark my entry into the blogosphere 12 years ago. What started out as a blog about being a widow quickly morphed into something else entirely. 12 years, once a week is about 625 episodes. I thought I was done, but apparently I am not. The votes were overwhelmingly in favor of continuing. 

HOWEVER...and isn't there always a HOWEVER...I will be taking a brief kinda sorta hiatus for the next few weeks while I put together a pitch stack for THE POMEGRANATE. I'll post some of my favorite episodes, maybe a few jokes....and possibly a guest writer. I'll be back at the beginning of August, so not to worry. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
be of good cheer and all that jazz!