Saturday, July 22, 2023

Diana Ross and Kamala Harris

I've got two things tonight.  First, this is the intro that plays before Diana Ross comes on stage during her current tour.

Love Diana, love the tour.

Second, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about goober Ron DeSantis' efforts to destroy history -- slavery, his new educational syllabus, was a good thing because it trained those of us were Black, he insists.  Here is her powerful speech in full:

July 21, 2023

       Remarks by Vice President Harris on the Florida State Board of Education Curriculum Updates

Ritz Theatre and Museum
Jacksonville, Florida

4:03 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everyone.  Good afternoon.  (Applause.)  Good afternoon.  Good af- — (applause) — (laughs) — to all of you, thank you.

Have a seat.  Have a seat.

Let me, first of all, thank Jennifer.  She and I and the Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick, Ben Crump, Tracie Davis, Representative Angie Nixon, Derrick Johnson from the NAACP, we’re — we had some time, before I came out, to talk with each other.  And I just want to say that there is extraordinary leadership, Jennifer, and everyone else, in this state.  And you are not alone.  (Applause.)  You are not alone.  You are not alone.

I’ll tell you, yesterday, I was traveling to meet with some folks, when I heard the news about what happened here.  And our team and the President, you know, is completely on board with this.  We said we got to remind the folks of Florida that you’re not fighting out here by yourselves.  (Applause.)  We believe in you.  We believe in the people of Florida.

And so, I decided to come and visit with you today.  (Laughs.)

And — well, let me start by saying this.  I am a product of a public school education.  (Applause.)  I was sharing with some of the teachers earlier: My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Frances Wilson, God rest her soul, attended my law school graduation.


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I am a product of teachers and an educational system that believed in providing the children with the full expanse of information that allowed them to then — and encouraged them — to then reach their own conclusions and exercise critical thought in a way that was directly intended to nurture their leadership.

I am fully aware that it is because of that approach that I stand before you as Vice President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

So when I think about where we are today, and who we are as a community of people within the beauty of the diversity that I see in front of me, I know that there are many things we share in common.  And, first and foremost, we share in common a deep love of our country and the responsibility we each have, then, to fight for its ideals.  That is so critically important on the subject, then, that gathers us here today.

Because, you see, when we think about it, part of true patriotism means fighting for a nation that will be better for each generation to come.  (Applause.)  Right?  Believing that our nation is worth the investment in fighting for the children of America, that we will provide them with the information they need to go into the world and lead.  (Applause.)

I will tell you, as Vice President of the United States, I have now met with over 100 world leaders — presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings.  One of the things about who we are as Americans is we can walk in those rooms with the authority earned, for the most part — except recently, sometimes — (laughs) — earned authority to walk in those rooms talking about what it means to uphold democracies, the importance of rule of law, human rights.
And when we walk in those rooms, we do it proud of the fact that we have been held up and held out as a role model. 

Well, the thing about being a role model is this: When you’re a role model, people watch what you do to see if it matches what you say.  (Applause.)

So, understand the impact that this is happeni- — having not only for the children of Florida and our nation, but potentially people around the world.  Because, on a more specific point, in that regard, we want to know that we are sending our children out as role models of a democracy, who, therefore, know the importance of speaking and telling truth, the importance of understanding when you are a leader, you must know history.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, be really clear — be really clear: All the folks that we would go out and send our children to go and meet around the world are clear about our history, and we’re going to send our own children out to not know what it is?  Building in a handicap for our children, that they are going to be the ones in the room who don’t know their own history when the rest of the world does?

Think about this for a moment — the levels of proportion. 

So when I think about where we are, I do believe that our strength as a nation has always been because we are continuously and always invested in fighting to reach our ideals. 

And let’s remember the preamble to the Constitution of the United States.  Ben Crump. 

MR. CRUMP:  Yes, ma’am.  (Laughter.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  “We the People…in order to form a more perfect union” is part of the spirit behind our founding as a democracy.  Implicit in those words is we understood we must strive to form a more perfect union.  Implicit in those words was an understanding we are imperfect.  And we must be honest about that to understand, then, our history, where we’ve been, and then have a North Star in terms of where we must go.  (Applause.)

So when I think about what is happening, then, here in Florida, I am deeply concerned.  Because let’s be clear: I do believe this is not only about the state of Florida; there is a national agenda afoot.  (Applause.)  And what is happening here in Florida?  Extremist so-called leaders for months have dared to ban books.  Book bans in this year of our Lord 2023. 

Extremists here in Florida passed a law, “Don’t Say Gay,” trying to instill fear in our teachers that they should not live their full life and love who they love. (Applause.)

And now, on top of all of that, they want to replace history with lies.  Middle school students in Florida to be told that enslaved people benefited from slavery. 


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  High schoolers may be taught that victims of violence, of massacres were also perpetrators. 

I said it yesterday: They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us — (applause) — and we will not have it.  And we will not have it. 

 And, you know, as parents, we teach our children to tell the truth.  It’s one of the first things we teach our children: love and honor their parents, their God, and tell the truth.  We teach our children not only to tell the truth, but to seek knowledge and truth. 

It’s part of what we know is about putting them on the road for them to grow and develop for the sake of our mutual well-being and prosperity.  These are the things we tell them. 

Well, I think we should model what we say.  (Applause.) These extremist so-called leaders should model what we know to be the correct and right approach, if we really are invested in the well-being of our children.  Instead, they dare to push propaganda to our children. 

 This is the United States of America.  We’re not supposed to do that.  (Applause.)

And here’s the other piece about this.  Now, when adults know what slavery really involved — come on — adults know what slavery really involved.  It involved rape.  It involved torture.  It involved taking a baby from their mother.  It involved some of the worst examples of — of — of depriving people of humanity in our world.  It involved subjecting to people the requirement that they would think of themselves and be thought of as less than human. 

So, in the context of that, how is it that anyone could suggest that in the midst of these atrocities, that there was any benefit to being subjected to this level of dehumanization?  (Applause.)  In the midst of these atrocities, that there was some benefit?  (Applause.)  

So, it is not only misleading; it is false.  And it is pushing propaganda.  People who walk around and want to be praised as leaders, who want to be talked about as American leaders, pushing propaganda on our children.  Pushing propaganda on our children. 

And when we think about it, you know, when we send our children to school, as parents, we want to know that they are be taugh- — they are being taught the truth.  It is a reasonable expectation.  It is a reasonable expectation that our children will not be misled.  And that’s what’s so outrageous about what is happening right now: an abject and purposeful and intentional policy to mislead our children. 

And so, let us be clear: Teachers want to teach the truth.  (Applause.)  Teachers want to teach facts.  And teachers dedicate themselves to some of the most noble work any human being could take on: to teach other people’s children — (applause) — for the sake of the future of our nation.

And so, they should not then be told by politicians that they should be teaching revisit- — revisionist history in order to keep their jobs. 

What is going on?  (Applause.)

Our teachers who fear that if they teach the truth, they may lose their job.  As it is, we don’t pay them enough.  (Applause.)  You know!  I know.

And these are the people — these extremist, so-called leaders — who all the while are also the ones suggesting that teachers strap on a gun in the classroom instead of what real leaders should be doing and be engaged in reasonable gun safety laws.  (Applause.)

These are the same extremist leaders — so-called leaders — who make teachers fear losing their job for having a photograph of their spouse on their desk.  (Applause.)

But let’s be clear: On this issue, as it — with — this is not the first time in history that we’ve come across this kind of approach.  This is not the first time that there are powerful forces that have attempted to distort history for the sake of political ends.

Think about in the past how we have seen attempts to minimize and even deny the Holocaust.  (Applause.)  Think about those who tried to rewrite the history of the Japanese internment camps, erase our nation’s dark and sordid history in how we have treated the Native people and, in particular, through educational systems.  (Applause.)  Those who have tried — and there are states where they have — to ban teaching Latino and Hispanic history.

This is not the first time.

But when we think about it then in the context in which we should — understanding there is a national agenda afoot, understanding that there are many aspects of our history that some would like to overlook, erase, or at least deny — let us think about then what this creates as a moment for us to also then rededicate ourselves to the coalition.  (Applause.)  Our responsibility at moments like this to understand nobody should be made to fight alone.  We are all in this together.  (Applause.) 

And take a look — because, you know, there are a lot of teachers here, I think.  So I’m going to tell — you know, one of the things I love is Venn diagrams.  Any math teachers in the room?  I love Venn diagrams.  And I have — I have done an exercise of — of looking to see from where are we seeing the attacks on things like voting rights, LGBTQ rights, a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, book bans.  And you will not be surprised to know a lot of them revert to the same source.

So, let’s think about this then as an opportunity to build back up the coalition of all people who believe in our foundational and fundamental truths — the truth that we are and will be a more perfect union when we fight for justice — (applause) — when we fight for equality, when we fight for fairness, guided by a belief in who we are as a nation and telling our truths.

And I will — I’ll close with this.  History has shown us that, in our darkest moments, we have the ability to unite — (applause) — and to come out stronger.  We know E Pluribus Unum, “Out of many, one.”

That is who we are in this room.  Out of many, one.

Americans who came here through Ellis Island.  Americans who were kidnapped and brought over on slave ships.  Americans who are native to this land.

Our history as a nation is born out of tragedy and triumph.  That’s who we are.  Part of that is what gives us our grit — knowing from where we came, knowing the struggles that we have come through, and being stronger in our dedication to saying, “No more” and “Not again.”  (Applause.)

It is part of what makes up the character of who we are as America.  So let’s reject the notion that we would deny all of this, in terms of our history.

Let us not be seduced into believing that somehow we will be better if we forget.  We will be better if we remember.  (Applause.)  We will be stronger if we remember.

We fought a war to end the sin of slavery.  A civil war.  People died by the untold numbers in that war, many of whom fought and died because of their belief that slavery was a sin against man — (applause) — that it was inhumane, that it was not reflective of who we believe ourselves to be as a country, and certainly not reflective of who we aspire to be.

So who then would dare deny this history?  Who would dare then deny that these lives were lost and why they were lost and what was the cause that they were fighting for and what were they fighting against?

They weren’t fighting and dying because they thought people were — were going to be okay with this thing.  (Applause.)  It’s because they knew that it had to end because it was so, so criminal.

So, we know the history, and let us not let these politicians, who are trying to divide our country, win. 

Because, you see, what they are doing — what they are doing is they are creating these unnecessary debates.  This is unnecessary to debate whether enslaved people benefited from slavery.  Are you kidding me?  (Applause.)  Are we supposed to debate that?

Let us not be distracted by what they’re trying to do, which is to create unnecessary debates to divide our country.  Let’s not fall in that trap. 

We will stand united as a country.  We know our collective history; it is our shared history.  We are all in this together.  (Applause.)

We know that we rise or fall together as a nation.  And we will not allow them to suggest anything other than what we know: The vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us.

And so, let us stand always for what we know is right.  Let us fight for what is right.  And when we fight, we win.  (Applause.)

God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.
Thank you.  (Applause.)

                                   END                  4:27 P.M. EDT


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, July 21, 2023.  Some crazies in Iraq attack Sweden's embassy, Marjorie Taylor Greene takes her porn addiction public and distributes her favorite photos to Congress, Republicans in Congress support every veteran and service member . . . up until the point they turn out to be gay or transgender or they want to have an abortion or pretty much anything, Jason Aldean's racism continues to find a defender in Jonathan The Turd Turley who refuses to allow his own ignorance to silence him, and much more.

Iraq has expelled Sweden's ambassador and recalled its top diplomatic representative from Sweden over the desecration of the Quran in the Nordic country.

The move came hours after protesters attacked the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad earlier Thursday, setting fire to part of the building.

The tensions between Iraq and Sweden began when an Iraqi national set fire to a copy of the Quran in the Swedish capital of Stockholm last month.

Yes, the Baghdad chapter of Moms For Liberty remains active.  

REUTERS adds, "Seconded staff and operations at the Swedish embassy in Baghdad have been relocated temporarily to Stockholm for security reasons after it was stormed by protesters, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said on Friday."  CNN notes:

 Eyewitnesses told CNN that the protesters withdrew from the perimeter of the Swedish Embassy after setting part of it on fire “after delivering their message of protest against the act of burning the Holy Book of God.”

Several journalists covering the protests were detained by security forces, and at least one was beaten, according to multiple organizations.

“Journalists should be free to report the news without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are,” Reuters Iraq Bureau Chief Timour Azhari tweeted Thursday. Two detained Reuters journalists were released after several hours, the agency said.

Ziyad Al-Ajili, the head of the Iraq-based Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) told CNN that three photojournalists working with international news agencies were arrested and another was beaten by security forces and his camera destroyed.   

These crazed loons deserve no respect and they shouldn't be coddled and 'understood.'  Their behavior is unacceptable and since others are outraged outside of Iraq?  Then those crazies should aim their own anger at Iraq.  Not Sweden.

It's not a Swede that's done this.  AP notes:

Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah also called for a demonstration Friday afternoon. Khamenei and Iran's theocracy serve as Hezbollah's main sponsor.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the events in Sweden. He called on the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation to play a “historic role in expressing the sentiments of Muslims and stopping this demonization.” Meanwhile, Islamists in his country have been pushing Sharif, who faces an upcoming election, to cut diplomatic ties with Sweden. 

So in your poor pathetic minds this is outrageous and must be addressed?  Then turn that anger at Iraq.  It's an Iraqi that's doing it.  Hold Iraq accountable for their own people.

I can't imagine anything more lunatic than the attack on the embassy because a holy book was stepped on.  But if that's your last straw and sends you to crazy land, you damn well better grasp that it was an Iraqi person protesting Iraq in Sweden who's done this.

So Lebanon, Pakistan whomever, take that anger to Iraq. 


Okay.  If that's your feeling, take it to Iraq.  Take it the country where it belongs. It's an Iraqi citizen doing it.  You're attacking the country of Sweden.  They didn't raise the person, Iraq did.  Condemn Iraq. 

Salwan Momika is not a Swede.  He's an Iraqi citizen. 

The US State Dept issued the following:

The United States strongly condemns the attack on the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad in the early hours of July 20.  Freedom of peaceful assembly is an essential hallmark of democracy, but what occurred last night was an unlawful act of violence.  It is unacceptable that Iraqi Security Forces did not act to prevent protestors from breaching the Swedish Embassy compound for a second time and damaging it.  We are in contact with our Swedish partners and have offered our support.  Foreign missions should not be targets of violence.  We call on the Government of Iraq to honor its international obligations to protect all diplomatic missions in Iraq against any intrusion or damage, as required by international law.

Turning to US crazy, what's happened to Congress? You've got members of the House using swear words in hearings and Marjorie Taylor Greene passing around porn during a hearing.  On the latter, here's SECULAR TALK.

And Paul Rudnick notes.

Lindsey Graham really has become the Beverly Leslie of the Senate, have you noticed?

Staying with the ridiculous, the idiot Jonathan Turley took a moment out from flaunting his transphobia to again weigh in on music in his own uninformed manner:

Advocacy groups are now taking credit for CMT canceling Jason Aldean's song. These critics are tone deaf to the implications of such censorship given our long history of protest songs, as I discuss in today's column.

Protest songs have long played a critical part of our political dialogue, from “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to “War.” This controversy only helps highlight how the corporate effort to control what people hear or consume is backfiring.

Again, does this man know the English language?  A protest song?  

Aldean recorded a reactionary song.  That he didn't write.  This is not Bob Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind."  Does Turdley not grasp basic concepts?  It he just culturally illiterate?  We know he's a sexist.  He tried to quote Carly Simon and couldn't get the lyric right but, even worse, didn't give her credit for the song she actually wrote ("Anticipation"), refused to name her because that's just what a piece of filth he is.  

Bob Roberts takes place in Pennsylvania in 1990. It depicts a fictitious senatorial race between a conservative Republican folk singer, Bob Roberts, and the incumbent Democrat, Brickley Paiste. The film is shot through the perspective of Terry Manchester, a British documentary filmmaker who is following the Roberts campaign. Through Manchester's lens we see Roberts travel across the state and sing about drug users, lazy people and the triumph of traditional family values and laissez-faire capitalism over the rebelliousness and social justice causes of the 1960s. Even though the Roberts campaign team officially avoids manifestations of open bigotry, their songs, speech and mannerisms are rife with snobbish dog whistles and racist and sexist innuendos, and Manchester's footage reveals casual use of homophobic slurs.

For those who weren't paying attention in real time, Turd was egging on a boycott of Bud Light the same way he's currently egging on one against CMT with one tweet after another predicting bad things to come. 

I do not have time to educate him on the long history of the lyrics to "Yankee Doodle" -- I don't feel like wasting my time.  This is an idiot who calls the song -- which is the state song of Connecticut   -- "Yankee Doodle Dandy" when its title is "Yankee Doodle."

As we noted here recently, he ends up writing papers -- such as the one for Harvard -- where he later footnotes false claims by citing his own Tweets and blog posts.  So, yes, it does matter.  It also matters because he's supposed to be a learned person and yet he continues to write about things he knows nothing about and never bothers to correct his errors.  

The song is "Yankee Doodle." 

Jonathan Turley is a moron who couldn't pass AP English let alone a law course.  Here are two responses to his online stupidity:

"MAGA academic, Jonathan Turley, is now apparently an expert on country music. Is there nothing this Renaissance man can't do?" -- East Coaster Tweeted that in reply.

"Usually protest the government, not other citizens, but you be you." -- that's Yonko Broman's Tweeted reply.

George Washington University, your raving lunatic is wandering around in traffic.  How about you get him back in the home, in front of the TV for WHEEL OF FORTUNE, and on his meds?

Does anyone else remembering him defending Dylan Mulvaney when her free speech rights were at stake?  Nope.  Because he wasn't interested.  He's a fright-winger -- and, to his credit, as we noted a little while ago, he did inadvertently come out on that in a Tweet.  He's such garbage.  The fright-wing targets Dylan and he's not at all bothered.  But go after his boy singer and he's losing it.  That's all Aldean is a little boy singer.  A fake ass who can't write a song.  A fake ass who isn't allowed to play guitar on his albums -- not real guitar, not lead guitar.  Because he can't write songs and he can't really play an instrument.  He's a fake ass singing the words someone else wrote because he's that inauthentic.  

(For more on racist Aldean, see Ann's ".That racist Jason Aldean and that racist Jonathn Turley")

Jonathan Turley does not believe in free speech.  He believes in all speech spoken by right-wingers.

He's like the hypocrites on the right who try to hide behind US troops and veterans.  They support them, they insist.  But the reality is that they only support them if they follow right-wing edicts. 

You're applauded by the fright wing for serving your country . . . until you need an abortion, for example, or until you're gay or trans.

We all know of the hypocrite Senator Tommy Tuberville who spent his life spewing one homophobic comment at students after another.  Disclosure: There's one that I've encouraged to sue Tuberville.  What would come of it?  Exposure of what a lousy piece of garbage Tuberville is and put current educators on notice that you're not going to get away with this anymore.  You are not there to  harm the children.  Your bigotry is not what you're paid for, it's not academic, it's not acceptable and you will be held accountable.  It's been a year now, I just realized, since this issue was raised when we were speaking.  There are many gay men across the country (and I'm sure many lesbians as well) whose lives were severely harmed and damaged by 'educators' (coaches with no education and no brains but plenty of hate) who set out to destroy kids on campus, who egged on other students to torment students.

And don't say, "Those were different times," because it is never -- NEVER -- acceptable for an adult employed by a school to scapegoat a student or encourage other students to harm a student.  Never.  Full stop.

There's no excuse for that for any reason and "those were different times" is unacceptable.  Tuberville, for example, was not hired by a school system so he could attack a student or to encourage others to attack a student.

If you're not getting how awful and disgusting Tuberville is, look at Lt Jnr Grade Audrey Knutson serves in the US Navy and is a member of the JAG Corps.  Supposedly, that's a great thing to Bubba Tuberville.  Supposedly.  But Knutson is non-binary.  So Tuberville trashes Knutson.  As we noted earlier this week, he's blocking Defense Dept nominees from getting a vote.  Why?  Because he does not want service members or their families to have abortions.  So Tuberville 'respects' service members and veterans . . . as long as they parrot his own beliefs.  Talk about censoring free speech -- which means Jonathan Turd Turley will never speak of it.

Tuberville and Turley -- talk about the double date from hell -- won't defend Brian Femminella either.  At NEWSWEEK, Femminella explains:

"Raise your right hand, and repeat after me," an authoritative voice commanded.

I was 17 years old, in a room beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, and my parents had agreed to support my unwavering commitment to serve as a fresh recruit in the United States Army.

While a gleaming sense of honor enveloped me, there was an undeniable fear lingering in my eyes, stemming from the daunting task of standing tall as a queer soldier.

This fear was not new, but from past trauma from the experiences I had growing up. During my childhood, I was constantly reminded that being queer was not something to be proud of.

Being overcome with feelings of loneliness and abandonment was normal, especially when I heard the quiet whispers behind my back. I didn't feel like a man, but rather a complete outcast for one simple reason: I liked boys. I never could comprehend how something that seemed so small led to so much hate.

That was until I saw hate turn to murder.

I enlisted in the Army in 2017, shortly after the devastating Pulse nightclub shooting. During this moment, I couldn't help but be consumed by its harrowing aftermath. The thought relentlessly played over and over again in my mind.

A profound realization struck me: Love should be inconsequential, for we all wear the same uniform.

As a proud Army Officer, I have dedicated years of my life serving to protect the precious freedoms we hold so dear. But as a gay man, I have been fighting my whole life to enjoy the very privileges I am entitled to as both a beholder and protector of them.

[. . .]

According to CBS News, figures reveal there were 35,801 individuals discharged due to their sexual orientation from 1980 to 2011, and 81 percent of these soldiers were denied honorable discharges.

These soldiers were stripped of support systems that should have helped reintegrate them into society. Instead, these LGBTQ+ veterans have been abandoned by the very institutions they swore to protect.

Tuberville's a member of the US Senate and he's not defending those veterans.  Nor is 'legal' 'expert' Turley.

I've meant to weigh in on the issue of the Texas judge all week.  Let's do it now.  Elurus Nanon (LAW AND CRIME) reports:

The fallout from a Christian web-designer’s victory in the Supreme Court continued as a Texas judge attempted to use the ruling to deny marriage to gay couples.

Dianne Hensley, a justice of the peace in Waco, Texas, refused to perform same-sex marriages in 2019 on the grounds that officiating the ceremonies would conflict with her sincerely-held religious belief as a Christian. Hensley was formally warned by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct that she should recuse herself in such matters if she refused to follow the law.

Hensley responded by suing the commission for burdening her free exercise of religion and asking for $10,000 in damages. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lorrie Smith in late June, Hensley’s lawyer submitted a letter brief that argued his client should prevail just as Smith had.

Hensley’s attorney, Jonathan Mitchell, acknowledged in the letter that the Court’s holding in 303 Creative v. Elenis had been grounded in First Amendment law, but argued that the ruling should still be “instructive,” because it stands for the idea that wedding vendors should not be compelled to participate in “same-sex and opposite-sex marriage ceremonies on equal terms.”

[. . .]

By contrast, Hensley’s objection is more closely analogous to the case of Kim Davis, the former Kentucky county clerk who refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples even after the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was a constitutionally-protected right in 2015.

Like Hensley, Davis cited her personal religious objections to same-sex marriage as grounds for refusing to follow the law. When a federal court ordered Davis to start issuing marriage licenses, Davis appealed, lost, and was ultimately jailed for contempt of court.

You're not being 'creative' -- even by Jonathan Turdley's definition -- you're fulfilling the duties of the public office that you campaigned for.

You don't like it?  Too bad.  Retire.  If it's against your religious beliefs, retire.  And if you're arguing that you can't do your elected duties -- something as basic as marrying two adults -- because of religious beliefs then you really shouldn't be on the bench.  You're confessing to everyone -- including those who might come before your bench -- that you don't believe in equality and that you feel you have a right to discriminate against gay men and lesbians.  I don't understand how this doesn't require you to be removed from the bench.

Your religious freedom allows you to worship where you want.  It does not allow you to discriminate -- not even that idiotic verdict in Liar Lori Smith's case allows public officials to determine what elected job duties that they will and will not carry out.

You ran for office, you got elected, you do your job or you step down. 

It's not that complicated.  And if she's too prejudiced to hear LGBTQ+ issues, then we should also remove from her court any case involving a child who was born out of wedlock or to people in high school since her 'religious' 'beliefs' also include preaching abstinence -- that's why she was a director at the McClennan County Abstinence Project for almost a year in 2004, after all, and a trainer there for the year prior. 

And let's note some comments from her FACEBOOK page:

Jason Tudor
"What is the judge of the peace?
justice of the peace, in Anglo-American legal systems, a local magistrate empowered chiefly to administer criminal or civil justice in minor cases. A justice of the peace may, in some jurisdictions, also administer oaths and perform marriages"

Kathy Asher
She doesn’t have a problem taking the LGBTQ money each month. She’s a hypocrite on the taxpayers dime. Nothing like taxation without representation. Sound familiar you bigot.

She doesn't have a lot of comments on her FACEBOOK page but people don't seem to like her.  Crackpot Don Dyer of Austin with a "classical Christian school" tries to run interference for her but when you spell bigot "boigot," maybe you should stick to cleaning toilets?

According to the Texas judicial commission’s 2019 warning, Hensley referred gay couples who wanted her to preside over their marriage ceremony to other people who would officiate. The state’s judicial code requires judges to conduct “extra-judicial activities” in ways that don’t cast doubt on their impartiality on the bench. The commission issued a public warning, saying she cast doubt “on her capacity to act impartially to persons appearing before her as a judge due to the person’s sexual orientation.”

According to Dale Carpenter, chair of constitutional law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, the U.S. Supreme Court case has little to do with Hensley’s case, since one is dealing with private businesses, and Hensley is a government official acting in an official capacity. 

[. . .]

Johnathan Gooch, a spokesperson for Equality Texas and a University of Texas at Austin School of Law graduate reiterated Carpenter’s points on the differences between the two cases, and pointed to Hensley’s position as a purveyor of the law.

“The law of the land is marriage equality. It’s as simple as that,” Gooch said. “If judges and justices of the peace were empowered to only enforce the laws that they agreed with, we would quickly descend into anarchy.”

[. . .]

“I have nothing to say anymore,” said Verniss McFarland, founder and executive director of the Mahogany Project, which advocates for LGBTQ+ communities of color. “As a Black trans femme person, we are already on the margins. When something like this happens, it’s just like: ‘Oh, this again.’”

With the Supreme Court decision on Creative LLC vs. Elenis, businesses could now be permitted to refuse service to same-sex couples.

In writing that "our Nation's answer" to "ideas we consider 'unattractive'" is "tolerance, not coercion" in the majority opinion, I believe Supreme Court Justice Niel Gorsuch essentially enables and empowers Jim-Crow-era systems of segregation against the LGBTQ+ community on the basis of the First Amendment.

We cannot sit idly as our hard-fought progress erodes and our fundamental rights are trampled upon. While exercising our right to vote holds profound significance, it alone is insufficient.

As a society, if we do not fight back and demand change, we will continue to move backward.

We must boldly challenge our leaders, celebrate queer jobs, and affirm to every American that inclusivity knows no bounds. This belief is what fuels the spirit of our soldiers, including myself, who fight to safeguard this very freedom that is entitled to all.

We'll wind down with this from Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH):

+ Under the Florida Board of Education’s newly approved Black history standards students will be taught that slavery was a kind of apprenticeship for Western Civilization, where enslaved Black people developed life and trade skills that “could be applied for their personal benefit.”

+ Jason Aldean–the country singer who was on-stage during the mass shooting at a 2017 Las Vegas concert that killed 60 people and wounded over 400 more–has recorded a song called “Try That In A Small Town” about how he and his friends will shoot you if you try to take their guns. The video for this tribute to the righteous vigilantism of Sundown towns features Aldean singing in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where in 1927 a lynch mob of 300 white men strung up the body of Henry Coat from the second story window, after dragging his body through the streets of the town behind a car. According to historian Elizabeth Queene, around 20 Black men and boys were lynched, killed by other methods or “disappeared” by White mobs or the Ku Klux Klan in Maury County. In 1946, the town of Columbia was the site of a post-WW II “race riot,” where Thurgood Marshall, who was in town defending two of the black suspects, narrowly escaped being lynched himself.

+ Jason Aldean: “Try That in a Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up.” Aldean grew up in Macon, Georgia population 157,000.

+ This is something a reversal for Aldean, who just a couple of years ago released a song called “Rearview Town” about how he left a small town because it was so dull: “I could tough it out, but what’s the use? / A place that small, it’s hard to do.”

+ South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem: “I am shocked by what I’m seeing in this country, with people attempting to cancel the song and cancel Jason and his beliefs.” Uh, the Coup and the Dixie Chicks would like a word, Governor…

[. . .]

+ Aldean’s lynching “song” is now No. 1 on the charts. I wish someone would “cancel” one of my books.

+ Jason Isbell: “Dare Aldean to write his next single himself. That’s what we try in my small town.”

The following sites updated: