Why Sebastian Vettel is the voice the world needs

Most Americans have never heard of Formula One racer, Sebastian Vettel. I have been following F-1 racing for two and a half years and, from my observation, Vettel is no posuer,.he talks the talk and he walks the walk. For example, he helped clean up trash following the 2021 British Grand Prix., and he does much more. — wfw

By: Luke Smith, Autosport, May 16, 2022

OPINION: The four-time world champion made an appearance on UK TV last week, proving to be more eloquent and honest than certain other guests, while also outlining his value to Formula 1 as a vocal and honest ambassador

As 20 of the finest athletes in the world, racing in the most international of international series, Formula 1 drivers have grown accustomed to a certain way of travelling. First class flights and private jets are the norm for many in F1, a world that is often (rightly) seen as elitist, detached from much of reality and blinkered by its own dramas.

Yet had you been sat on the 1516 South Western Railway service from Feltham last Thursday, you would have seen a man with tousled hair wearing a blue and green check shirt. You’d probably have walked past him without batting an eyelid, and definitely not said hello or attempted any interaction – an unwritten commuting rule in London.

It’s hardly the mode of transport a four-time F1 world champion would be used to but, for Sebastian Vettel, this was an important day. Having made it back to Europe from Miami, where a clash with close friend and protege Mick Schumacher had ended both their hopes of points, Vettel was now embarking on a very different mission. Arguably, a much bigger one as he prepared to speak up on one of his biggest platforms to date.

This had nothing at all to do with Formula 1. Vettel was appearing on the famous BBC political debate show Question Time, in Hackney, becoming the first active F1 driver to do so. Question Time is an institution within both British television and British politics. Since the show began in 1979, all serving British prime ministers, with the exception of Margaret Thatcher, have appeared on the panel, which always features a minister from the serving government, a counterpart from the opposition, and three other public figures.

Vettel has become one of F1’s most important and relevant voices on matters outside of sport in recent years. Along with Lewis Hamilton, he was one of the most vocal members of the grid amid the activism against racism around in the world in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd. He protested against Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law referendum in 2021, calling it “embarrassing” and wearing a rainbow shirt on the grid that landed him a reprimand for breaking FIA protocols. He has been particularly outspoken about climate change, stressing the need for F1 to do more to be conscious of the issues facing the world right now.

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Another problem with white supremacists

Sam Smith – Progressive Review One thing that fascinates me is that white supremacists, who put people like themselves at the top of the social and political chart, are universally those I don’t want anything to do with. They are ignorant, dishonest and cruel. I wouldn’t want a son hanging out with Tucker Carlson or a daughter marrying him.  Their actions and arguments are embarrassing rather than inspiring and, as a white guy who happily lived in a majority black Washington DC for five decades and  who has a Puerto Rican sister-in-law with four sons and daughters,  I can’t think of a single reason why living with a bunch of white supremacists would be preferable.

I mention this because because people like the Buffalo murderer and Tucker Carlson are not only evil they are bizarre.  There is no defensible logic to their arguments.  And it’s not limited to a few. 

As the Washington Post put it, “‘You don’t find this philosophy just on the fringes of the Internet and among the most extreme groups anymore,; said Milan Obaidi, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Oslo who has studied ‘great replacement’ rhetoric and the violence it has provoked. ‘It’s becoming mainstream. You see established politicians in Europe and the U.S. touting similar ideas’….

“Nearly 1 in 3 Americans say they are extremely or very concerned that ‘native-born Americans are losing economic, political, and cultural influence in this country because of the growing population of immigrants,’ according to recent polling from the Associated Press and NORC.”

We treat this as a political issue but it is also a major mental problem. The false assessment of others is a distortion of the mind and, frankly, politicians and journalists are not skilled at fixing this. We need wise mental professionals to help guide us. 

For example, it has long troubled me that the media  has predominantly treated ethnic matters as a problem to be solved rather than an asset to be understood and appreciated. And children are often introduced to multiculturalism in a corrective but non-positive fashion.

The Buffalo disaster is a troubling example of why we need more mental experts to help turn this crisis around. We also need more teachers explaining multiculuralism in a positive manner and more journalists offering examples of how it can work well. 

This was not only a hate crime, it was a late one as well. We need to get on the case and change how people think about others who are different in appearance, culture and views. Just throwing the worst cases in prison won’t do the job.

Related: From Jim Crow to Buffalo, replacement theory’s trail of destruction runs across American history

Elise has blood on her hands

Tom Boggioni reports that Rep. Elise Stefanik has been a proponent of the conspiracy-minded “Great Replacement” belief popular among white supremacists.(Raw Story, May 15, 2022. — wfw

Reacting to the Buffalo, New York mass shooting at a grocery store in a predominately Black neighborhood committed by an admittedly racist 18-year-old white man, Rep Eric Swalwell (D-CA) pointed the finger at the third-ranking Republican in the House for a tweet she made earlier that has received universal condemnation.

As was noted Saturday afternoon following the shooting that claimed ten lives and left three more wounded, Rep. Elise Stefanik has been a proponent of the conspiracy-minded “Great Replacement” belief popular among white supremacists.

Eight months ago, the Time Union took Stefanik to task in an editorial, writing, “That rhetoric has been resonating ever since in the right-wing, repackaged lately in what’s known as ‘replacement theory,’ espoused by conservative media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And it has seeped into the mainstream political discourse in the Capital Region, where Rep. Elise Stefanik has adapted this despicable tactic for campaign ads.”

With that in mind, Swalwell noted that prior to the shooting Stefanik attacked liberals on Twitter where she wrote, “The White House, House Dems, & usual pedo grifters are so out of touch with the American people that rather than present ANY PLAN or urgency to address the nationwide baby formula crisis, they double down on senEAD MOREding pallets of formula to the southern border. Joe Biden has NO PLAN.”

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RELATED: Officials say a gunman’s attack that killed 10 was a racially motivated hate crime

GOP lawmakers scorched for promoting the ‘hateful paranoid nonsense’ that led to the Buffalo mass shooting

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who In a blunt column for the conservative Bulwark, Cato Senior Fellow Cathy Young’ explained, “.. jumped on the bandwagon as well with a Facebook ad claiming that the Democrats were going to use amnesty for illegal immigrants to ‘overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.'”

Elise lies, and lies, and lies…

David Badash, (The New Civil Rights Movement) recent commentary on Raw Story, underscores the fact that GOP Chair, Elise Stefanik, lies as a matter of course. It’s what she does. — wfw

It’s no secret there is a national baby formula shortage, but many in the GOP and on the right are falsely claiming it is the job of the federal government to ensure the supermarket shelves are stocked with food for infants. Ironically and hypocritically these are the same right-wingers who have been charging everyone on the left with their derogatory slur “socialists,” which is exactly what having the federal government manufacture or supply baby formula would be.

The right isn’t bothering to educate Americans about the problem or its causes, so I will: A small number (4) of multinational conglomerates own the baby formula marketthe Trump administration entered into a trade agreement that makes it difficult and expensive to import baby formulaa voluntary recall of reportedly bacteria-contaminated formula after four infants got sick and two of them diedhoarding, and price-gouging.

Instead, they falsely insist, just like the high price of gas, it’s Joe Biden’s fault.

READ THE ENTIRE COMMENTARY

Time to bring out the Tomato Blood

According to Accuweather the moon will turn red during an eye-popping spectacle unlike any other in the night sky in 2022 — as long as it isn’t cloudy.

The moon will plunge into darkness this weekend to create a celestial spectacle that has not been seen in the sky over the entire contiguous United States since the turn of the decade.

Just as the sun sets over North America on Sunday evening, the sun, Earth and moon will begin to align to create a total lunar eclipse.

Folks may have to stay awake later than usual for a chance to see Sunday night’s eclipse as it unfolds throughout the first half of the night. However, losing some sleep will be worth it as the eclipse could be the top astronomy event of 2022.

READ THE FORECAST

Abortion is not murder. Killing a woman’s right to choose is

(AP Photo)

Doug Thompson (Capitol Hill Blue) May 13, 2022 opinion piece nails the fact, to the Bible Thumper’s door, that there is no reference to “God’s Law” in the American judicial system — wfw

The right-wing zealots who proclaim America must follow a non-existent “God’s law” keep trying to return the nation to the dark ages but the progressive light is far too strong

In the late 1960s, a student in what was then called Radford College in Southwestern Virginia was put on “social probation” after she answered the phone in the Pocahantas dorm with “Pokey Abortion Center. Your rape ’em, we scrape ’em.”

The phrase emerged after a student raped at Virginia Tech had to travel to another state to get an abortion to terminate the pregnancy that came from the rape. Nowadays, a student uttering that questionable prose on a front desk phone would probably face expulsion.

Back in the sixties, abortion was against the law in Virginia, but not so in some other states. Young women facing an unwanted pregnancy still found those who would perform the procedure. At the Roanoke Times, I wrote a column about a 16-year-old Patrick Henry High School student who got pregnant from the night she lost her virginity in an encounter that would not be called “date rape.” She sought an abortion but lost her ability to have children in the future at the hands of an illegal, and incompetent, abortionist.

Letters to the editor at the Times declared the unnamed teenager “a Jezebel” or “whore” and claimed her loss of a future ability to have children as “God’s righteous judgment.” Several criticized the Times for publishing the story and called me “a sinner” for writing it.

The Virginia Press Association disagreed. They awarded the column First Place in the features category of their annual news writing competition. It would be the first of several awards in a career of writing and photographing the news.

The high school student later became a high school teacher. She and her husband adopted four kids and now have great-grandchildren.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

Who let the Orcs Out?

The Bush-Cheney regime unlocked the door to bigotry by demonizing muslims, but it was Donald Trump who kicked ithe door open and let the Orcs out. — wfw

In his article, “Trump Emboldened White Supremacists — And Now They Know He Has Their Back, (August 30, 2017) Michael Keegan, president of People For The American Way, stated, “Anyone who has been paying attention remembers that Trump’s presidential campaign was grounded in disgusting, broad-brush smears of racial and religious minorities. The fact that the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website endorsed him less than two weeks after his immigrant-bashing launch did not seem to cause a moment’s pause or reflection. He pushed the racist lie that President Obama was not born in this country. He said an American-born judge could not be trusted because of his Mexican heritage. He retweeted white supremacist Twitter accounts—including content from a user called @WhiteGenocideTM whose profile photo showed the founder of the American Nazi Party—sending their hateful messages to a sprawling audience they could not have otherwise reached. Trump went out of his way to avoid denouncing these figures, like when he infamously failed to condemn David Duke and the KKK during a CNN interview before blaming it on a bad earpiece.”

Note: no amount of objective evidence will influence Trump’s Mob, if a factual story is critical of Trump — it’s FAKE NEWS! For them, it’s so much easier to remain willfully ignorant and act out however they want because Donald told them they were “fine people.” — wfw

Some Of Donald’s Fine People

Buffalo mass shooting – latest: Ten dead in ‘pure evil’ racially motivated attack at supermarket

Pa. man who shot up a Democratic Committee office after Trump’s loss will spend 3 years in prison

Florida teacher told students that ‘Black people are beneath white people’ to justify using the N-word: lawsuit

Trump spokesperson: Babies would have formula if ‘our rightful president’ was in the White House

Slur-spewing man calls cops on ‘Stop Asian Hate’ protesters – then gets hit with hate crime charges

Lauren Boebert trashed by her former employees: ‘Her head blew up’ and she became a ‘monster’

White nationalist ‘America First’ group plunges into chaos after high-ranking official gets a girlfriend

‘Having sex with women is gay’: White nationalist praises involuntary celibacy

Sadly, the above examples are a minuscule sample of lthe lunacy that Trump normalized. — wfw

Snowflake GOP Senator, Susan Collins, alleged victim of sidewalk chalk hate crime

Bints of a feather flock together

Wonkette reports that GOP Senator Susan Collins has been grievously hate-crimed WITH SIDEWALK CHALK.

Wonkers, we are deeply concerned. As the Bangor Daily News was first to report, the Maine Republican called the police to report a threatening message written by an unknown person or persons defacing the sidewalk outside her home, an act of gross vandalism that can only be repaired by an afternoon shower or a garden hose.

“Susie, please, Mainers want WHPA —–> vote yes, clean up your mess,” wrote the dastardly criminal, demanding Collins vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, a federal statute to protect abortion access nationwide before the Supreme Court allows 26 states to ban it altogether. In February Collins voted against allowing the bill to advance for a floor vote.

Presumably the part about her “mess” is a reference to Collins’s votes for Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom assured her they had the greatest respect for precedent, as if they were not being put on the nation’s court as part of the right’s fifty-year campaign to undo every bit of social progress of the past two generations, with women’s rights to bodily autonomy the grand prize.

READ THE ENTIRE STORY

A Collaborator, in the worst sense of the word

In a letter published in the May 10, 2022 edition of the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, NY) Rod Driscoll argues that Elise Stefanik is an unabashed Trump Toady, who has abandoned ant pretense of honoring her oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;” — wfw

A recent fund raising letter to donors makes it clear that Congresswoman Stefanik has turned into an unabashed, MAGA right wing radical who doesn’t accept the result of the last election, fully embraces the disgraced former president, doubles down on her opposition to public health measures and sees any opponents as socialists, communists and Marxists.

Not exactly the bipartisan moderate she’s has always claimed to be.

The mailing features a picture of her with Mr. Trump. In it she touts the creation of a “MAGA-Stefanik National Advisory Board,” her role as “an aggressive pro-Trump fighter,” and her friendship with the former President who helped instigate a violent attack on our Capitol.

The mailing demonstrates her disingenuous assertions of various made up crises. She repeats the silly and strange claim that “…Marxism (like critical race theory)…” is infiltrating the public schools, though there isn’t one school district in the entire country that teaches advocacy of either of those unrelated concepts.

The letter skirts around her legislative failures. Stefanik is one of the least productive members of Congress, authoring only two successful bills over her seven years, for a commemorative coin and renaming a post office.

She opposed all of the infrastructure and economic recovery legislation passed under the Biden Administration, though in recent mailings and press releases she falsely takes credit for the millions of dollars from those bills flowing into upstate New York.

Congresswoman Stefanik seems to believe no one is paying attention. Let’s hope she’s wrong about that.

The Encyclopedic, Often Mavelovent, Machinations of Donald Trump

As compiled by the Progressive Review. How low did he go? Check it out. — wfw

CHINA

Forbes Estimates China Paid Trump At Least $5.4 Million Since He Took Office, Via Mysterious Trump Tower Lease 

GENERAL

The case against Trump

BANKRUPTCIES

Washington Post –  Trump’s Taj Mahal opened in April 1990 in Atlantic City, but six months later, “defaulted on interest payments to bondholders as his finances went into a tailspin,” The Washington Post’s Robert O’Harrow found. In July 1991, Trump’s Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy. He could not keep up with debts on two other Atlantic City casinos, and those two properties declared bankruptcy in 1992. A fourth property, the Plaza Hotel in New York, declared bankruptcy in 1992 after amassing debt. PolitiFact uncovered two more bankruptcies filed after 1992, totaling six. Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for bankruptcy again in 2004, after accruing about $1.8 billion in debt. Trump Entertainment Resorts also declared bankruptcy in 2009, after being hit hard during the 2008 recession.

New York tenants sue Donald Trump for rent fraud scheme affecting up to 14,000 apartments in buildings owned by his father

Donald Trump’s Net Worth Fell by a Third During His Presidency|
Donald Trump Has Stake In Hydroxychloroquine Drugmaker: ReportTrump Has More Than 2,500 Conflicts of Interest and Counting, Watchdog Finds

In 1980s, Trump banned Christmas decorations to harass elderly tenants

Trump hotel price spike explained

The Trump Organization’s Hostile Takeover of the U.S. Government

His first real estate project resulted in a Justice Department accusation of discrimination against blacks. An agreement was reached between Trump and the DOJ.

 How Trump’s businesses are booming with lobbyists, donors and governments

Trump’s Justice Department Says the Emoluments Clause Doesn’t Apply to His Hotels 

Trump involved in 3500 law suits including non payment claims. Of the 3,500 suits, Trump or one of his companies were plaintiffs in 1,900; defendants in 1,450; and bankruptcy, third party, or other in 150. Trump was named in at least 169 suits in federal court.

Trump wanted braille removed from elevators in his building

 Trump Gets $25 Million Tax Write-Off For Trump University Settlement

Donald Trump Has Stake In Hydroxychloroquine Drugmaker: Report

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

COST

ECONOMICS

Trump says he lost billions while in White House

 Donald Trump Has Done Almost Nothing for the Working and Middle Classes

Trump wants to raise your postage rates

Trump’s Trade War Will Cost Average Family $1,277 This Year, Budget Office Reveals

Trump’s tax cuts were an economic bust

GDP Growth Under Trump Was the Worst Since Hoover

 FAMILY

GOLFING

IMMIGRATION

LABOR

LIES ETC

Washington Post counts 30,573 false or misleading claims in four years by Trump30 broken Trump promisesTrump was a fraud on ‘Apprentice,’ too

LIFESTYLE

  • The New York Times reportsthat Trump paid $70,000 in hairstyling while on “The Apprentice.” Nine Trump companies have written off at least $94,000 paid for Ivanka Trump’s hair and makeup stylist. 

 TRUMP MOB

 TRUMP AND THE LAW

19 legal actions against Donald TrumpHow This Attorney General Beat Trump 40 Times in Court11 Trump associates have now been charged with crimesTrump regime losing badly in federal court 

Trump’s 3500 lawsuitsIt’s a crime to threaten witnesses such as Michael CohenTrump’s rotten judicial appointments  Mueller has uncovered $48 million in tax evasionWatchdog groups say Trump and NRA illegally coordinated during campaignWord: Trump and money launderingTrump forced staffers to sign unconstitutional non-disclosure pactsTrump tax return admits self-dealingTrump loses all of his libel suitsTrump’s companies have destroyed thousands of emails in defiance of court orders Trump’s hotel opening was illegal

Trump told chief of staff Hitler ‘did a lot of good things’, book saysTrump used words like ‘invasion’ and ‘killer’ to discuss immigrants at rallies 500 times since 2017Trump’s ex-wife said he had a book of Hitler speeches near his bed

PRESIDENCY  

POLITICS

REAL ESTATE

RUSSIA

 SCIENCE

TRUMP UNIVERSITY

WOMEN  

YOUTH

Move over Jebus!

Trump says he’s done more for ‘religion than anyone, ever. He has also said the same thing about the black community, women and veterans, who he called ‘losers and suckers.’

One thing he hasn’t done is serve in the U.S. military which, apparently, is a family tradition. In the 150-plus years that the Trump family has lived in the U.S., not one of them enlisted or was drafted into military service, not one — ever! – wfw

Back to the future with the Republican Party

In his Raw Story commentary (May 2, 2022) Them Hartmann wrote:

The America I was born into and grew up in as a kid was a very different place from today. In the 1950s the country was firmly under the control of straight white men:

  • Blacks (and other minorities, varying by region) were confined to certain parts of town and were routinely beaten, arrested, or even killed for stepping into whites-only areas.
  • In 1951 only about 15% of Blacks were successful in registering to vote in all of the former Confederate states.
  • With few exceptions, the only minority faces seen in media were those portrayed as either buffoons or criminals.
  • Abortion was illegal, and in many states you could go to jail, even if you were married, for possessing birth control of any sort, including condoms, in your own home. IUD’s and birth control pills did not exist.
  • Schools, restaurants, hotels, and most private businesses were racially segregated.
  • Women (even white women) couldn’t sign a contract, get a credit card or open a bank account in their own names without the signature of a father or husband.
  • Immigration into America was regulated to maintain the country’s racial balance.
  • Gays and lesbians were routinely beaten, imprisoned, raped, and murdered with no consequence to their tormentors
  • Police had carte blanche to terrorize and kill minorities of all types.

They are the good old days that the Republican Party now yearns for, and. It goes without saying that they would prefer it if the country was still predominately populated by white folk, but they will settle for a one party dictatorship headed by Donald Trump or his ilk. Just sayin’ — wfw

READ THE ENTIRE STORY

South Carolina GOP county chairman arrested for alleged child abuse

Benjamin “Ben” Ignatowicz, (note the alleged perp’s shit eating grin and flag pin)

The Chairman of York County, South Carolina Republicans was arrested Monday morning and charged with multiple counts for allegedly causing severe bruising by spanking a child’s bare bottom. 

Benjamin “Ben” Ignatowicz, 33, of York County was taken into custody by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person for allegedly causing a child bodily harm, according to WIS 10 News.

Warrants state that on March 27, 2021, he spanked an unidentified minor child at his residence. The WIS 10 report indicates that during an interview, Ignatowicz said he was frustrated when he spanked the child and told SLED agents that “it had been a day.”

“When shown a picture by SLED of the bruising, Ignatowicz said: ‘based off the picture’ he would agree that it was excessive,” according to the charging documents.

The charge is a felony under South Carolina law and carries up to 10 years in prison for a conviction. The York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson is a Republican and said that because of the political affiliation his office turned over the case to SLED.

Ignatowicz’s biography on the York County Republicans website states that, in addition to his county GOP chairmanship, he has served as chairman of the school board of Riverwalk Academy since 2020. Riverwalk Academy is a private K-10th school in Rock Hill, SC.

It also indicates that he has “two precious daughters” with wife Elizabeth.

Read the original Raw Story article by Timothy Evans

The hypocrisy is mind boggling

The following letter to the editor from Al Muench, Chestertown, NY, was published in the Post Star (Glens Falls, NY) on May 1, 2022. Kudos Al!

To Elise the truth is something like a hot potato. Elise rails against legislation approved by the House that would remove marijuana from the federal list of Schedule 1 drugs. The list that equates marijuana with cocaine and heroin.

Even though marijuana should never reasonably be placed on Schedule 1, Elise says removing it makes us soft on crime. Too bad she didn’t read the bill. Much easier to generate false statements. The bill allows states to continue to regulate marijuana in any way they choose. States’ rights, remember?

Elise says the House has much higher priorities to address such as inflation and crime … and, Elise’s favorite, forcing chocolate milk into all schools.

How Elise loves to incarcerate the poor and minorities! No bail for you! She’s still soft on Deadbeat Donald whose many crimes included fomenting insurrection and extorting foreign countries like Ukraine. “I need you to do me a favor, though.”

Elise says Governor Hochul should resign because her lt. governor lied to her and hid his illegal dealings. What about Elise’s desire to see more women in government? I guess Hochul is not the right kind of woman. Do we really need more like Elise? And who in their right mind would call her buddy, Deadbeat Donald, a truth-teller? Elise’s hypocrisy is simply mind-boggling.

Elise has spent the last few years clawing her way to the top of the GOP cesspool where she swims with the likes of Marjorie “Marshall” Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar and Madison Cawthorn, to name just a few. She kicked a conservative woman out of the way to get to number 3. She has her sights on number 1. Who among you really believes she didn’t help leak the very damaging conversations with Joseph, oops I mean Kevin, McCarthy?

READ THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION

Republican Taliban Alert — May 2, 2022

Tennessee Does Its Part In National School Censorship Crusade — Dr, Zoome, Wonkette April 29, 2022

The Tennessee General Assembly passed an exciting new school censorship bill Wednesday that will give a politically appointed commission the power to decide what books are allowed in every school library in the state. No more worries about local control, because the commission will now be able to dictate what kids all over the state can read. And to sweeten the deal, the bill’s House sponsor, state Rep. Jerry Sexton (R), said that if it were up to him, any books the commission didn’t approve would be burned. Sadly for the more censorious culture warriors in the Lege, actually putting books to the torch didn’t make it into the law. There’s always next year! 

We also feel compelled to point out that Rep. Sexton represents a place called “Bean Station,” which frankly sounds a little too risqué for the good God-fearing people of Tennessee. Wouldn’t want the ladyfolk to get ideas. 

As the Tennessean reports, the bill, with the actual we’re-not-making-this-up bill number HB 2666,had earlier passed in the state Senate as a far less horrifying plan to 

add members to the state’s textbook commission and task the commission with providing guidance for schools when reviewing materials to ensure they are “appropriate for the age and maturity levels” of students.

We sure love it when promoters of moral panic use the Number of the Beast in their culture war bills. Idaho legislators, you’ll recall, set out to jail librarians with HB 666 earlier this year, although the proposal died in the state Senate.

But merely providing guidance and creating general standards was apparently far too liberal and wimpy for Sexton. First, he added an amendment that would have required the commission to issue a list of “approved” instructional materials that could be used in Tennessee schools, thus making sure no teacher could ever pollute kids’ minds with anything that hadn’t been vetted at the state level. Flowers, by state decree, would be red, and teachers would damn sure color only within the lines. 

READ MORE

Trump backed, candidate crazy pants, won’t recognize “illegitimate president” Biden if elected governor of Arizona

Kari Lake, a former TV host who has been endorsed by Donald Trump for Arizona governor, suggested this week that she will not recognize Joe Biden as president if she wins the race.

Note that conspiracy theories alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election have been exhaustively debunked by state and local officials, experts, law enforcement authorities and the courts. — wfw

READ MORE

Eat a burger — kill the rain forest!

The deforestation of the Brazilian rain forest was covered in the course on Brazilian history which I took at SUNY Stony Brook (NY) in 1978. Much has changed since then — and it hasn’t been for the better. Greed, denial, and consumer indifference are destroying the rain forest. — wfw

Devouring the rain forest – By Terrence McCoy and Júlia Ledur, The Washington Post

Cattle ranching, responsible for the great majority of deforestation in the Amazon, is pushing the forest to the edge of what scientists warn could be a vast and irreversible dieback that claims much of the biome. Despite agreement that change is necessary to avert disaster, despite attempts at reform, despite the resources of Brazil’s federal government and powerful beef companies, the destruction continues.

[How deforestation is pushing the Amazon toward a tipping point]

But the ongoing failure to protect the world’s largest rainforest from rapacious cattle ranching is no longer Brazil’s alone, a Washington Post investigation shows. It is now shared by the United States — and the American consumer.

Story continues below advertisement

In the two years since Washington lifted a moratorium that was imposed on raw Brazilian beef over food safety concerns, the United States has grown to become its second-biggest buyer. The country bought more than 320 million pounds of Brazilian beef last year — and is on pace to purchase nearly twice as much this year. The biggest supplier is the beef behemoth JBS, whose fleet of brands stock some of America’s major retail chains and businesses: Kroger, Goya Foods, Albertsons (the parent company of Safeway, Jewel-Osco and Vons).

JBS, the world’s largest beef producer, has repeatedly been accused by environmentalists of buying cattle raised on illegally deforested land. Greenpeace first alleged such ties in a 2009 report. In 2017, Brazil’s environmental law enforcement agency, Ibama, fined the company what was then more than $7.5 million, alleging that two of its Amazon meatpacking plants had purchased nearly 50,000 such animals. In October, federal prosecutors focusing on deforestation alleged widespread “irregularities” in the company’s direct supply chain from January 2018 to June 2019 in Pará state.A truck with JBS signage drives near the company’s beef production facility in Greeley, Colo., in June 2021. JBS is the world’s largest beef producer. (Michael Ciaglo/Bloomberg News)

But in a forest where some beef producers still don’t track cattle origins, and in a country where no law specifically prohibits the purchase of cattle from illegally deforested land, JBS considers itself one of the good guys. It says it has prioritized the environment and blocked more than 14,000 cattle ranches that didn’t comply with company standards. It has signed agreements with environmentalists and federal prosecutors promising not to purchase cattle from ranches that were illegally deforested. It publishes the names of the ranches from which it purchases cattle.

None of it has been enough.

READ MORE

And the beat goes on

You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” John Ehrlichman, Richard Nixon’s domestic policy advisor

Racial disparity in Marijuana Arrests

NORML reports that African Americans are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws at nearly four times the rates of whites, yet both ethnicities consume marijuana at roughly the same rates.

Old White guys in the U.S. Senate oppose legalizing marijuana on a federal level

This has been the same old, same old story for decades, and none of these folks — not one — can cite any credible evidence to support their opposition. wfw

WASHINGTON ― Even though a supermajority of Americans say marijuana should be legal for adults and the House has passed a bill to legalize it, major cannabis reform remains unlikely this year.

Why? Because Republicans and a few Democratic senators don’t want to do it.

“Marijuana? I haven’t even thought about marijuana. Jesus Christ, you smoking?” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) asked HuffPost on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the House passed a bill that would legalize weed at the federal level, expunge cannabis-related criminal records and set the stage for a nationwide legal marijuana industry. But that bill is almost certainly dead on arrival in the Senate.

Instead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have been trying to build consensus for a Senate version of cannabis reform.

The trio collaborated on a discussion draft last year that, like the House bill, would have legalized marijuana by removing it from the list of drugs banned under the Controlled Substances Act, which lists “marihuana” in the same category as heroin. The bill would also have expunged nonviolent federal criminal records and allowed marijuana businesses greater access to financial services.

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Republican Taliban Alert – Update April 27, 2022

Today it’s burning books, tomorrow it’ll be burning dissidents at the stake. Of course, he’s wearing a flag pin so that makes it patriotic. — wfw

A Republican Tennessee state congressman on Wednesday openly advocated for burning books during a debate in the state’s House of Representatives.

As flagged by the Associated Press’s Kimberlee Kruesi, the remark came when Tennessee State Rep. Jerry Sexton was asked by Democratic State Rep. John Ray Clemmons what he planned to do with all the books he’s been pushing to get rid of with his proposed House Bill 2666.

“Let’s say you take these books out of the library — what are you going to with them?” asked Clemmons. “You gonna put ’em on the street? Light ’em on fire? Where are they going.”

“I don’t have a clue, but I would burn ’em,” replied Sexton.

As described by local news station WSMV, House Bill 2666 seeks “to change what materials will be allowed in schools due to the belief that specific materials should not be available for students due to inappropriate content.”

READ THE STORY

What goes around…

Atheist activist Chaz Stevens has sent a delightful letter to Miami-Dade County asking that the Bible and any book mentioning the Bible be banned on the exact same grounds people want to ban all of the other books.

His complaints include: Age Appropriateness, Bestiality and Rape, Wokenness, and Social-Emotional Learning.

Also — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the exact sort of woke, Social Emotional Learning that good, decent Republicans are fighting against all over America. The kind of nonsense that destroys our beautiful American tradition of bullying children who are different badly enough so that they move far, far away as soon as they graduate, leaving small towns blissfully free of adult nonconformists. Children don’t need to learn “empathy” or “how to navigate social situations” from school. They can learn it from their parents and those that don’t will just shoot the school up anyway before they graduate and no one will have to deal with them after that. Just the way God intended.

This Florida Atheist’s Bible Banning Petition Is Goddamn DelightfulRobyn Pennacchia Wonkette April 23, 2022

READ THE ENTIRE STORY

Related: Brooklyn Library Gonna Give Teens All The Banned Books They Want

Stefanik is so hungry for power she needs a drool cup — updated April 29, 2022

Elise Stefanik knows that Trump will do anything to stay in power, including tormenting a civil war, and she’s okay with that — for now — which raises the question: how long will it be until the toad-eater kicks her master to the side of the road? — wfw

Sarah Burris (RawStory) reports that Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is feeling the heat after it was revealed that he wanted former President Donald Trump out after the January 6th MAGA riots. 

According to recordings released to New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, McCarthy was pushing Donald Trump to resign, while also making it clear to the caucus that he opposed Trump’s behavior.

McCarthy previously said reports about his comments were false — until the authors released the tapes.

Speaking to Joy Reid on MSNBC Friday, Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson said that from what he understands the anti-McCarthy attacks are secretly coming from Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)…

It was Jim Jordan for a while who looked like the one who would take down McCarthy. But today, the buzz in D.C. is all about Elise Stefanik, that she’s the one who is behind some of this and she’s putting the knife into this guy. She’s extremely ambitious. She has a very close relationship to Trump. She’s gone full MAGA in every way. So, I think if Kevin is thinking through his immediate future, telling major donors as he has been, that unless they keep him he can’t block the Trump people.I think Kevin should get a food taster at this point.”

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Related: Former RNC official: GOP Trump supporters are ‘power-hungry cowards’ willing to ‘debase’ themselves

Republican leader Elise Stefanik secretly told GOP members Trump was a ‘disaster’ prone to ‘dumb’ decisions

Time to imprison Trump and his coven of conspirators – updated April 23, 2022

Mega-Dittos to Doug Thompson at Capitol Hill Blue

Many in the mob he incited to invade the Capitol, kill police and others and threaten the very existence of our democracy are facing trials. Why aren’t Trump and his mob.

Stop pussyfooting. It’s past the time to charge the disgraced, corrupt former president of our nation and throw the son-of-a-bitch in jail to rot as a reminder that this is a democratic republic and not a fiefdom for a criminal pretend-dictator who spent four years plotting the U.S. treasury and killing people with his failure to act decisively against the pandemic that has killed millions worldwide.

Donald Trump is a toxin that must be excised from the body of an America he continues to try to destroy. Many of the mob he incited to invade the Capitol, kill and injure police officers and threaten to kill elected representatives of our government are facing justice now before the courts, but the man who incited this must also pay the price for his criminal activity and treasonous actions.

Not only should Trump be behind bars, so should corrupt attorney Rudy Giuliani and others who helped Trump try to overturn the legal will of the voters. This wasn’t “free speech,” as they claim. It was, and continues to be, an open rebellion against the Constitution and the American way of life.

It is pathetic that the primary Republican who seems to have more balls than any of her counterparts is Mary Cheney. She stands tall over the traitorous House Minority Leader Keven McCarthy and others of his ilk.

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Related: WATCH: Attorney lays out ‘powerful’ insurrection case against Marjorie Taylor Greene in his opening statement

Former Georgia US Attorney apologizes on behalf of his state for Marjorie Taylor Greene

Digitis Impudicus

The Independent (UK) reported thatThousands of Ukrainians have waited in long queues to buy postage stamps showing a soldier giving the middle finger to Russia’s flagship that sunk earlier this month. 

Some have waited hours in line for the sheets – with eight stamps on each – that say on the perforated margin: “Russian warship, go …!” The implied “f*** yourself” is left out.

Two thirds of Americans say the Feds should legalize pot

Washington, DC: Two-thirds of Americans say that the adult use of marijuana ought to be legal under federal law as well as under the laws of their home states, according to nationwide survey data compiled by CBS News and YouGov.com. 

Support for federal legalization was strongest (73 percent) among those respondents between the ages of 30 and 44; however, majorities in all age groups – including those ages 65 and older – supported a change in federal policy. Democrats (79 percent) and Independents (67 percent) were strong supporters of legalization, but Republicans (49 percent) were not.

Twenty-four percent of respondents acknowledged that they consumed cannabis either regularly or occasionally. Sixty-three percent said that they had never tried marijuana.

Thanks to NORML for the heads up!

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

Joe Biden has told Barack Obama he will run for re-election in 2024, according to a Washington website, the Hill.

Say it ani’t so, Joe! Joe Biden won the presidency in 2020 because he wasn’t Donald Trump! That’s all folks!  The only thing worse than a Biden second run for the president is a reprise featuring Hillary Clinton. It’s way past the time to move on from the same old, same old, anachronistic. Duo. — wfw 

Joe Biden has told Barack Obama he will run for re-election in 2024, according to a Washington website, the Hill.

The site cited two anonymous sources. One was quoted as saying Biden “wants to run and he’s clearly letting everyone know”.

It was not clear when Biden told Obama his plans. But Obama visited the White House earlier this month, to celebrate the Affordable Care Act.

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Dumpster Fire in Progress – updated 4-18-2022

According to a report from the Washington Post on former half-term Alaska gov Sarah Palin’s re-emergence onto the political scene, the former vice presidential candidate/reality show celebrity offered to bring early ’70’s rock star Ted Nugent to the state GOP convention beginning April 21st.

But that shit show was too much, even for the Alaska GOP, who declined the offer.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Related: ‘An embarrassment’: Alaska GOP voters say they don’t take Sarah Palin seriously and don’t back her congressional bid

Republican Taliban Alert

Critical Race Theory is not being aught in American schools, but these folks are going to ban it anyway because their freedom to tell your children what to think — without question — is more important than providing your children with a fact-based education. — wfw

The state of Florida is rejecting 28 mathematics textbooks as a result of Republicans’ purported outrage over Critical Race Theory.

On Friday, Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced that the state had rejected the math textbooks under the state’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) standards…

Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics,” the department announced…

Corcoran has been pushing the moral panic over Critical Race Theory.

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Related: Virginia school board members call for books to be burned