Greta Thunberg — Simply Amazing

I have written before about the young Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, and in fact she was one of my ‘good people’ one Wednesday last December.  Sometimes an activist will start like gangbusters, and then after a few months you hear nothing more about them, but not so Ms. Thunberg.  I see her name in the news at least once a week, and she has been inspirational to many young climate-conscious groups around the world.

Today, she is back in the news, and in a big way! A couple of big ways, actually.


Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and The 1975’s Matty Healy pose for a photo. (Photo: Jordan Hughes)

The first is that she is featured on the first track of the forthcoming album of British pop-rock band The 1975.  In the track, Greta delivers a speech about the global climate emergency, against an instrumental background by the band.  Now, I have never heard of The 1975, but I give them two thumbs up for this effort, as well as the fact that all proceeds from the track will be going to the climate action group Extinction Rebellion.

The full text of Greta’s speech on the track is at the end of this post.

In an interview with The Guardian, Greta said …

“I’m grateful to get the opportunity to get my message out to a broad new audience in a new way. I think it’s great that The 1975 is so strongly engaged in the climate crisis. We quickly need to get people in all branches of society to get involved. And this collaboration I think is something new.”

The second thing is that Greta has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year.  She was nominated by Freddy Andre Oevstegaard, a parliamentary representative in Norway …

“We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict.”

greta-2.pngThe Norwegian Nobel Committee will announce its latest laureates in October, and those selected will receive their prizes in December.  I do so want to see her win it!

And the third thing that has put Greta in the news this week is that she will be coming to the U.S. next month to attend a United Nations summit meeting on global warming in New York!  Now, you may remember from my previous post about Greta that she does not fly on airplanes because of the CO2 emissions, so you may be wondering how she plans to get here.

“Good news! I’ll be joining the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York. I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II.”


Malizia II

Malizia II, is outfitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate electricity. That should make the entire trip possible without burning any fossil fuels.

Boris Herrmann, who will skipper the boat, said the voyage would not be the luxury cruise that a high-tech yacht might conjure in the popular imagination. The Malizia II is built for speed, not comfort. It has no kitchen, refrigeration system, air-conditioning or showers.

Think about this one for a minute, folks.  This young woman is so committed to saving our planet that she is willing to spend two weeks on a small boat, eating mostly freeze-dried and vacuum-packed meals, in order to do her part to save the environment.  Greta is sixteen years old … most kids her age are attached at the hip to their cell phones, ipods, laptops, and wouldn’t dream of missing a shower or a hot meal, let alone spend two weeks in a small boat on choppy seas!

Greta will be accompanied on the trip by a filmmaker; her father, Svante; and Pierre Casiraghi, the head of the Malizia II racing team who is also the grandson of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the American actress Grace Kelly.

Greta is, with her parents’ approval, taking the year off from school to campaign against climate change, also plans to attend the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks in December in Santiago, Chile.

I was impressed by this young woman when I first wrote about her eight months ago, but today … the only word I have is “WOW!!!”  She puts us all to shame, and particularly those who would “deny” climate science in order to justify their own greed.

I would like to end with a quote that was sent to me tonight by a very special friend:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

Ms. Thunberg is doing something that she can do … let’s all try to do just one thing more that we can do to help heal and protect our home, planet Earth.

Full text of Greta’s speech on The 1975 track:

We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis.

And we need to call it what it is. An emergency.

We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet. Unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things.

We admit that we are losing this battle.

We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed.

But homo sapiens have not yet failed.

Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.

But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.

Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.

And either we do that, or we don’t.

You say that nothing in life is black or white.

But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie.

Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t.

Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t.

Either we choose to go on as a civilization or we don’t.

That is as black or white as it gets.

Because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival.

Now we all have a choice.

We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations.

Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.

That is up to you and me.

And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change. But you cannot have one without the other.

If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. People like you and me.

So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.

Today, we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.

So, we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.

Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.

So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.

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Voting By Mail is Not New or Uncommon. Not By a Long Shot.

The coronavirus and economic recession that will certainly follow are two big crises facing this nation today, but there is an even bigger potential crisis looming ahead … the November 3rd election. We simply MUST have no-excuse absentee voting for ALL in EVERY state … it is the only way to ensure a fair and honest election, one where every eligible voter will be able to vote without risking their life and without being turned away at the polls. Our friend TokyoSand has written a post on this subject that is well worth reading, so please do! Thank you, TokyoSand!


vote by mail.png

Oh, the GOP can be so predictable.

They’ve made it very clear that they suppress the vote because lower turnout helps ensure that Republicans win. They have enacted thousands of voter suppression tactics all over the country and then turn right around and say that it is all about keeping elections “safe.” Please.

Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, when being very strict about social distancing is helping to flatten the curve, it makes perfect sense that all voters should be given the opportunity to vote by mail. And suddenly, right on cue, the Republicans are starting to talk about what a “disaster” voting by mail would be. The president went so far as to say voting by mail is “corrupt” with lots of “fraud,” even though–and this will come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention–the president himself just voted by…

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Snarky (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr) Snippets

How many more times must we be embarrassed … nay, humiliated … by the ‘man’ in the Oval Office?  The latest …

Just call on Dr. Trump …

As you likely know, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was hospitalized on Sunday after battling coronavirus in isolation for ten days, when he took a turn for the worse.  Since Monday, he has been on oxygen.  While not a fan of Mr. Johnson, in comparison to our own evil despot he is nearly a genius, so I am certainly hoping for his recovery.  Enter Dr. Trump …

Continuing on his previous myth that he is a “stable genius”, knows more than all the experts in the world, and so forth, he decided to help PM Johnson …

“We’ll see if we can be of help. We’ve contacted all of Boris’ doctors, and we’ll see what is going to take place, but they are ready to go. We’re working with the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] and everybody else, but we are working with London with respect to Boris Johnson.”

More than 435,000 cases in his own country, nearly 15,000 deaths, Trump having not a shred of medical background, and he’s going to help Boris???  Now you’ve got to really feel sorry for Boris!  It would be funny, except this is a person who is supposedly the leader of a nation of 330 million people, and he obviously has the mentality of a four-year-old child!  Please, people, vote this asshole out!  Meanwhile, our apologies to both Prime Minister Johnson and the good people of the UK … we will try to keep him on a shorter leash.

The pot calling the kettle …

On Tuesday, at his dog-and-pony show, Trump criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) for a slow response to the coronavirus (note the hypocrisy here?) and then claimed …

“We’ll be looking into that very carefully. And we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see.”

I do wish he wouldn’t say “We”, for really, most of us are not part of, nor supportive of, those things he says we are doing.  It gives the wrong impression, makes us all look just as ignorant as he is.  Anyway …

16 minutes later he was asked if it was really such a good idea to freeze WHO funding in light of the current pandemic, and he said he didn’t say he was going to.  Challenged, he replied …

“No I didn’t. I said we’re going to look at it.”

No, he didn’t … he plainly said, for all to hear, and captured on tape, that he is going to freeze funding.  How in hell much stupidity can fit into one body?  Well, it is a rather large, flabby body.

Trump isn’t the only idiot …

Ol’ Jerry Falwell Junior seems to be in competition with Trump for Idiot of the Year Award!  According to an article in Politico …

“Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, said on Wednesday that arrest warrants had been issued for journalists from The New York Times and ProPublica after both outlets published articles critical of his decision to partially reopen Liberty’s campus amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Say WHAT???

Since when is it a crime for a reporter to make a critical statement???  YO, Falwell!  Ever hear of the 1st Amendment right to “Freedom of the Press”?

“Falwell and Liberty, one of the most high-profile evangelical schools in the country, have come under fire for welcoming students back to campus after the school’s spring break despite the pandemic, while nearly every other college in the country has ordered students off campus.”

Falwell is an asshole extraordinaire, and not surprisingly a big fan of Donald Trump, one of those idiots who claim “god sent Donald Trump” to fulfill some nefarious mission.  And like most everything else happening today, it would be funny, but … the press is our last bastion against a full-blown dictatorship.

“Both articles by the Times and ProPublica quoted students or professors who suggested that social-distancing guidelines, designed to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible virus, were not being adequately practiced on campus.”

Falwell is risking the lives of people, and risking the very core of our freedoms, our rights.  Somebody seriously needs to remove this bozo from society!  Surely there is a prison cell and an orange jumpsuit with his name on it just waiting?

Need a little something lighter to finish up?  How about Seth Meyers bringing you “the kind of story we need right now”?

Post Coronavirus, What’s the plan?

Once again, our friend Jeff is spot on in his assessment. Our ‘leaders’ are too busy attending to their own self-interest to have anything resembling a ‘plan’. Thanks Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

Hint: There isn’t one. Will Jared save us?

Eventually, the coronavirus crisis we’re currently experiencing will end. People will go back to work, restaurants will open, and the sports world will be back in business.

Isn’t it remarkable that we have a president of the United States whose leadership, competence, and honesty will allow that to happen?

Sorry about that. I couldn’t help myself. I should have warned that biting sarcasm was forthcoming. I wish I didn’t have to resort to such shenanigans, but in the current situation we find ourselves, can you blame me?

The truth is, though, we will eventually get back to normal. How long that’s going to be is anyone’s best guess. But no matter when that day comes, it’s not going to happen with the president merely proclaiming, “I’ve done the greatest job, ever. Thanks to me, the virus is now contained. Everybody, starting tomorrow…

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And So It Begins …

I said in a recent post that the U.S. government needs to be getting off their collective asses and making sure that mail-in voting is available to every voter in every state.  I questioned what, if anything, was being done toward that goal.  Well guess what?  You won’t be surprised to know that the Idiot-in-Chief has spoken out against this very thing!

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to statewide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it.  Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”


The reason it ‘doesn’t work out well for republicans’ is that the only reason they win at the polls is because minority and poor voters are kept away from the polls by such disenfranchising measures as early poll closings, closing of polls in poor and minority neighborhoods, restrictive voter ID laws and other tricks of the trade.  If every eligible voter is allowed to cast a vote on November 3rd, Trump will go down in flames, as he should.

Listen to what he said at his Tuesday circus act …

“Mail ballots, they cheat, people cheat. Mail ballots are very dangerous thing for this country because they’re cheaters. They go and collect them. They’re fraudulent in many cases. The mail ballots are corrupt, in my opinion. You get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room signing ballots all over the place.”

If this jackass is allowed to have his way, we are doomed.  Another four years of Donald Trump will relegate this nation to being called a “once democratic-republic turned autocracy”.  If you don’t vote in November, my guess is that you will never get the chance to vote again.

Let’s take a look at some facts, instead of listening to an un-educated moron, shall we?

Multiple studies over the years have confirmed that there is no widespread voter fraud in this country. Additionally, Democratic and Republican state officials routinely oversee elections where millions of people vote-by-mail without systematic problems.  An expansive study in 2017 from the Brennan Center for Justice, a liberal-leaning think tank, found that the rate of voter fraud in the United States was somewhere between 0.00004% and 0.0009%.votingVoting-by-mail has become increasingly popular in US federal elections, and nearly a quarter of all voters cast mail ballots in 2016, according to the Election Assistance Commission. This year, the solid Republican state of Utah will conduct all-mail elections, which undercuts Trump’s claims.

In fact, the most recent example of absentee ballot fraud involved republican operatives in North Carolina who rigged an election for the House of Representatives in 2018.  And … Trump cast an absentee ballot last month in the Florida Republican primary, per local reports. Asked about this contradiction, Trump said it was okay “because I’m allowed to” vote by mail.  Say WHAT???  So, if he’s allowed to, why not the rest of us???

In Wisconsin yesterday, thousands of voters were not able to vote because of republican game-playing.  Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers had tried to postpone the states primaries and a large number of local elections, as most other states have done, but the state legislature, then the state Supreme Court, and finally the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the action.  Worse yet, mail-in ballots were not sent to voters in time, and the U.S. Supreme Court blocked an action that would have allowed voters who had not yet received their mail-in ballots extra time.  Only 5 polling places were open instead of the usual 180, and the people who did risk their lives to do their civic duty waited for hours in long lines. Milwaukee-votingJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that their ruling …

“… will result in massive disenfranchisement. Either they will have to brave the polls, endangering their own and others’ safety, or they will lose their right to vote, through no fault of their own.”

How many people in Wisconsin were kept from voting by republicans afraid of losing an election?  Thousands at least. Is this what we want to see happen on a national scale in November?  It may well be what the republicans want, but it damn sure is not what the majority of people in this nation desire.  It is not what the Founding Fathers intended in 1787 when they wrote that document called the U.S. Constitution, which has largely been shredded, trampled and burned over the last three years.

Folks, there are just under 7 months, exactly 209 days left until we are to go to the polls to elect a new president.  We must elect a new president, for the current one belongs on the ash heap in the annals of history.  And yet … if our elected representatives don’t get off their collective patooties and ensure that every eligible voter in every state has the ability to cast a vote by mail … we are doomed.  Time for phone calls, emails, letters to the editor in your local paper.  I know, you’re tired of it all and so am I, but this is too important to ignore.  The futures of your children and grandchildren depend on this.

Voting is a privilege that not everybody in the world has.  Appreciate it, please, don’t throw it

♫ Midnight Train To Georgia ♫ (Redux)

I’m sorry for the redux tonight, but the mention of Gladys Knight earlier today placed this song firmly in my head, and I’ve been humming it all day, even whistled a few bars as I was folding towels and washing dishes earlier.  So, it had to be this one tonight, else it would keep me awake!  And you have to admit, it is a damn fine song!

This song, written and first recorded by Jim Weatherly, was originally titled Midnight Plane to Houston.  Who knew?  I’ll let Mr. Weatherly tell you the story …

“The song actually came about after a phone call I had with Farrah Fawcett. Lee Majors was a friend of mine. We’d played in the Flag Football League together in L.A. He had just started dating Farrah. One day I called Lee and Farrah answered the phone. We were just talking and she said she was packing. She was gonna take the midnight plane to Houston to visit her folks. So, it just stayed with me. After I got off the phone, I sat down and wrote the song probably in about 30 to 45 minutes. Something like that. Didn’t take me long at all, ’cause I actually used Farrah and Lee as kind of like characters I guess. A girl that comes to L.A. to make it and doesn’t make it and leaves to go back home. The guy goes back with her. Pretty simple little story, but it felt real to me. It felt honest to me. I played it for them and they loved it. I cut it on my first album as ‘Midnight Plane To Houston.’ And then later on, maybe a year or six months later, a guy in Atlanta wanted to cut the song on Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother. They called and said they would like a more R&B sounding title and asked if we would mind if they changed the title to ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ [so that “Houston” wouldn’t appear in both the title and artist name]. We said ‘change anything but the writer and publisher.’ So, he cut the song on Cissy Houston and it was a nice little cross between an R&B and country record. It got on the R&B charts. That’s the version that Gladys heard. Some of the background vocals you hear on Glady’s records were first on Cissy Houston’s record. It wasn’t as much, but just some of the feel of the background vocals. And of course Gladys’ record was more of a groove-oriented thing. It wasn’t as slow. It just became a monster record.”

Midnight Train To Georgia was not only a #1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B, but also a #10 on the UK Singles chart. It garnered the group the 1974 Grammy Award for “Best R&B Vocal Performance” and was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. It is considered Gladys Knight’s signature song.

The song was featured during a scene in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter, as well as a number of television programs.  Garry Trudeau even did a strip about it in his Doonesbury comic!doonesbury.png

And without further rambling from me … here is Gladys Knight and the Pips …

Midnight Train To Georgia
Gladys Knight

L.a. Proved too much for the man
(Too much for the man, he couldn’t make it)
So he’s leavin’ the life he’s come to know, ooh
(He said he’s goin’)
He said he’s goin’ back to find
(Goin’ back to find)
Ooh ooh ooh, what’s left of his world
The world he left behind
Not so long ago

He’s leavin’ (leavin’)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(Leavin’ on the midnight train)
Yeah, said he’s goin’ back
(Goin’ back to find)
To a simpler place in time
(Whenever he takes that ride) oh yes he is
(Guess who’s gonna be right by his side)

And I’ll be with him (I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(Leavin’ on the midnight train to Georgia)
I’d rather live in his world (live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(Her world is his, his and hers alone)

He kept dreamin’ (dreamin’)
Ooh, that someday he’d be a star
(A superstar, but he didn’t get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don’t always come true
(Dreams don’t always come true) oh no
(Uh uh) uh uh (no, uh uh)
So he pawned all his hopes (ooh ooh ooh)
And he even sold his old car (woo woo woo)
Bought a one way ticket back
To the life he once knew
Oh, yes, he did
He said he would

Oh, oh, he’s leavin’ (leavin’)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(Leavin’ on the midnight train)
Yeah, said he’s goin’ back to find
(Goin’ back to find)
Ooh, a simpler place in time
(Whenever he takes that ride) ooh
(Guess who’s gonna be right by his side)

And I’m gonna be with him (I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(Leavin’ on the midnight train to Georgia)
I’d rather live in his world (live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(Her world is his, his and hers alone)

Oh, he’s leavin’ (leavin’)
On the midnight train to Georgia
(Leavin’ on the midnight train)
Yeah, ooh, y’all
Said he’s goin’ back to find
(Goin’ back to find)
Ooh, a simpler place in time
(Whenever he takes that ride) ooh
(Guess who’s gonna be right by his side)

And I’ve got to be with him (I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(Leavin’ on the midnight train to Georgia, ooh ooh)
I’d rather live in his world (live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(Her world is his, his and hers alone)

gonna board
The midnight train to ride
For love (for love) gonna board (gonna board)
Gotta board the midnight train to go
For love (for love) gonna board (gonna board)
The midnight train to go

My world (for love), his world (gonna board)
Our world (the midnight train to go) now I’m his alone
My world (for love), his world (gonna board)
Our world (the midnight train to go) now I’m his alone
I’ve got to go (for love), I’ve got to go (gonna board)
I’ve got to go (the midnight train to go) hey
I’ve got to go (for love), I’ve got to go (gonna board)
(The midnight train to go)
My world (for love), his world (gonna board)
My man (the midnight train to go) his girl
I’ve got to go (for love), I’ve got to go (gonna board)
(The midnight train to go) I’ve got to go
My world (for love), his world (gonna board)
Our world

Songwriters: James D. Weatherly
Midnight Train To Georgia lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Good People Doing Good Things –The Wealthy

I’m taking a slightly different path today with this ‘good people’ post, for a reason.  I was chatting with a friend, and I said … y’know, the corporations owned by billionaires are asking for government bailout money to help with their losses, and … why should We the Taxpayer bail them out … why can’t they dig into their own massive savings to keep their own businesses afloat.  And that conversation led me to the thought … I keep hearing about all the good things average people are doing, but … what about those billionaires who could do so much more good than most of us could even dream of?  And so, I went on a mission to find whether the rich and famous were helping out in any way, or just sitting in their luxurious mansions stocked with plenty of toilet paper.  Turns out some are doing quite a bit, so I thought it only fair to give them a thumbs up too.

I never cared for the music of Jon Bon Jovi … though I heard enough of it because my daughter was a big fan back in the ’80s.  I still don’t care for the music, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for the man after what I read a few nights ago.  The man washing dishes …bon-jovi… is Jon Bon Jovi, a man with a net worth of approximately $410 million.  Now, it isn’t the fact that he’s washing dishes that makes him a ‘good people’, but the fact that In 2011, Jon Bon Jovi and his wife of 31 years Dorothea, opened up the restaurant Soul Kitchen in his home state of New Jersey with one sole purpose:  to feed those that would otherwise be hungry.  According to Bon Jovi …

“One in six people in America are suffering at night and going to bed hungry, and one in five families live at or below the poverty line.”

There are no prices on the menus and customers pay on a donation basis only.  For those that can’t pay, if they’re disabled, elderly or a family with children, it’s free.  Otherwise you volunteer to work an hour in the kitchen either learning to cook whilst being taught, washing dishes or tending the restaurant’s large vegetable and flower garden.

The restaurant also offers a cooking school so those that are interested can learn the art and a trade, a food bank that distributes food to the local homeless, nurses that provide healthcare, social workers that operate a vocational training center, accountants offering free tax prep and teachers that offer after-school activities for at-risk children.

One year after the restaurant opened, Hurricane Sandy hit Jersey hard, and another Soul Kitchen was opened in late 2012.  Today, obviously, Soul Kitchens are, like all other restaurants, closed to the general public, but this announcement was posted two weeks ago …

Effectively immediately, JBJ Soul Kitchen Red Bank & Toms River locations will be OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT for our IN-NEED COMMUNITY ONLY. See revised hours of operation below. Due to food demand, the menu will be limited.

If you are struggling to feed yourself or your family, we are a resource to you.

Stay healthy and safe!

No volunteering is necessary and in fact at this time is not allowed.

Just take the food back to your home and be nourished.

And then come back again tomorrow.

If you are unsure where your next meal is coming from – we are here for you and your family 💛 We’ll get through this together!

And, since there are no volunteers to help out, even Jon had to roll up his sleeves and help with the dishes.  He gets a thumbs up from me for his good heart.  Y’know, he has far less money than some, and yet he’s giving not only of his money, but of himself, whereas others are not.  That makes him a ‘good people’ in my book.

And a few shorter snippets …

drew-breesNFL start Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, have pledged to donate $5 million to the State of Louisiana in 2020. By partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders, and Waitr, the couple is planning to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need.

Zion Lateef Williamson is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association.  Last month, he made the following promise …

zion-williamsonThe people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was Drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center. These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.

NFL New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft used the Super Bowl team’s Boeing 757 to fetch more than a million N95 masks from China—and a second shipment of 500,000 more will be arriving next week.  Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker posted on Twitter …charlie-baker

And there are others who are sharing their wealth to either help provide medical supplies, help those who are out of work and struggling, or help fund medical research.  You can take a look at a few more over at Bored Panda.

I’d like to finish with a couple of ‘good critter’ stories … I may make this a short part of the good people posts from time-to-time, for it’s sometimes amazing to see the empathy our furry family members can have for us.  These are, to the best of my knowledge, true stories …

“Not me but when I was about 6 we had a Vietnamese pot belly pig named Tyrone. He would follow my mom everywhere she went. She would often pick wildflowers in the field behind our house and he would always come with her. One day she got into a bad argument with my dad and was sitting on the back porch crying. Tyrone pulled a bunch of flowers and grass out by the roots and brought them to her to try to make her feel better. It’s always struck me as the sweetest thing I’ve seen an animal do.”

“My childhood dog saved my dad’s life. She was a big malamute/wolf mix, gorgeous and super smart. She was my parents’ “practice child”, and basically my sister before my other siblings were born. We lived way out in the woods, and our house was wood heated, so a big part of my dad’s work around the house was gathering, splitting, and hauling firewood. I wasn’t there for this story, but he’s told the whole family about it. One day he was out getting firewood by the river. It was winter, everything was frozen over, and he was trying to get a madrone that had fallen on to the frozen river. Normally he’s really careful about stuff like this, but everyone makes mistakes I guess. Anyway, the log slipped, the ice broke, and he went straight in, heavy boots and winter coat and all. He said it was hard to tell where the edge was, the ice kept cracking, and he was sinking fast. Next thing he knew, he felt a yank on the back of his coat, and his head popped above the surface. That dog had run out on the the cracking ice and grabbed him by the collar. She dragged him to safety. He managed to drive home, dripping and shivering, and that dog was eating steak for a week.”

Okay, folks, that’s it for this week … remember, let’s all try to be a ‘good people’ this week … there are plenty of needs out there!

Will I Ever Run Out Of Snark???

As usual, I have plenty of snark built up and as always, I like to share with my friends …

Another useless bimbo in the White House …

Does the name Stephanie Grisham ring a bell?  You’d be forgiven for not remembering that she has been, for the past nine months, the White House Press Secretary, for she has never held so much as a single press briefing, and for those of us who don’t watch Fox ‘News’, she has been largely invisible.  The only times I’ve heard anything from her was when she was telling reporters from legitimate news agencies to “Shut up!” or “Get OUT!”  Well, she’s been relieved of her duties as press secretary and will now become Melania Trump’s “chief of staff”.  Would somebody please tell me why Melania Trump needs a ‘chief of staff’, when she doesn’t do a damn thing???

Grisham has been replaced by Kayleigh McEnany, a former CNN commentator and Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson who has a long history of defending anything Trump says, no matter how brazen the lie may be.  In other words, another useless bimbo in Trump’s circle whose words will be hollow and 99% untrue.  Remember, we are paying for all this … we are paying for Melania to have a ‘chief of staff’ to accompany her while she sits around doing her nails.  We are paying for a mindless sycophant to have the title of ‘press secretary’ and lie, lie, lie … if she even bothers to speak to the press.  Does anybody begin to get the impression that there is absolutely NO oversight of this administration, that they can throw away our money however they please and stab us in the back while they’re doing it?

And if you needed further proof …

A panel of inspectors general had named Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the distribution of that $2.2 trillion that was passed by Congress last week.  But yesterday, Trump removed Fine from his post, instead naming the EPA inspector general to serve as the temporary Pentagon watchdog in addition to his other responsibilities.  There is widespread concern within both the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency, and I’ll no doubt have more to say on this in a future post.  But meanwhile …

Trump has also begun sharply attacking Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm, following a report from her office that described widespread testing delays and supply issues at the nation’s hospitals.

“Another Fake Dossier!” Trump tweeted, mentioning Grimm’s tenure as inspector general during the Obama administration. He didn’t mention, though, that Grimm has been serving as a federal watchdog since 1999, spanning administrations of both parties.  Care to make any bets as to how much longer Ms. Grimm will hold her position?

Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department who also oversees a council of inspectors general, defended Michael Atkinson, the inspector general fired by Trump on Friday night for doing his job in taking seriously the complaint by the whistleblower who exposed Trump’s illegal and immoral actions that led to his impeachment.  Mr. Horowitz said …

“Inspector General Atkinson is known throughout the Inspector General community for his integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law and independent oversight. That includes his actions in handling the Ukraine whistleblower complaint, which the then Acting Director of National Intelligence stated in congressional testimony was done ‘by the book’ and consistent with the law.”

Care to make any bets as to how much longer Mr. Horowitz will be an inspector general?

Meanwhile, the head-nodding bootlickers like Kellyanne Conway, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence and others will find their jobs are safe, just so long as they keep selling their souls downriver and defending the megalomaniac in the Oval Office.

Today, I read two excellent posts by long-time blogging family members Keith & Hugh, and I wanted to re-blog them both, but I try never to put out more than 3-4 posts a day, for I realize people don’t want to be bombarded and overwhelmed.  So, instead, I am adding links here to Keith’s and Hugh’s posts, and I hope that if you haven’t already read them, you’ll take a moment to do so, for both speak to what is important to us as citizens of the world, why we should care about people, about our government, about truth, integrity, values, equality.  Thanks to both Keith Wilson and Hugh Curtler …

Keith’s post:  What I care about – a note received 

Hugh’s post:  Head In The Sand

Trump is Asking for Backlash from Canadians

Donald Trump’s “America First” policies have always been a sore spot for me … this nation is just one part of a bigger picture and we are all in this world together … we must interact and help each other when we can. Trump doesn’t understand that in order to HAVE a friend, you must first BE a friend. Today, I would like to share the viewpoint of one Canadian friend. Thank you, Hindsight, for sharing your thoughts, and for allowing me to share them with my readers.

Hindsight: My Journey

Throughout the Covid-19 fiasco, I’ve kept quiet. Every day I’ve watched Prime Minister Trudeau give his 11:15 press conference, modeling effectivebehavioursof social distancing, self-isolating, and not being tested for the virus because he remains asymptomatic. I’ve thought to myself how his drama background prepared him for this daily exhibition of compassion and sincerity. I have also watched the follow-up conference of a variety of Canada’s national Ministers eloquently offer transparent information and skillfully respond to questions. Regardless of one’s politics, this team has done a good job.

On the other hand, I have also watched the nightmare unfold south of the border. Thank goodness most States seem to have strong leadership in their Governors. They have a tough road ahead and they are seemingly approaching their task with a sense of urgency. Their national leadership, unfortunately, does not serve Americans well. It seems Trump has little sense of ‘team’ and…

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♫ Standing In The Shadows Of Love ♫

As you may have noticed from my morning Very Snarky Snippets, I am in something of a mood tonight.  And when I’m in a mood, I turn to Motown.

While I have played many Four Tops’ songs in the past two years, I haven’t played this one!

The Four Tops released this song as a direct follow-up to their #1 hit Reach Out I’ll Be There and it features a similar musical arrangement. Despite the likeness to its chart-topping predecessor, the record was still a big hit, easily reaching the Top 10 in both the UK and US. Both songs were written by the Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), and while the instrumentation is similar, the lyrics are very different.

This song was recorded by the Four Tops during the first ever session at Berry Gordy’s newly acquired Golden World Detroit studio, later dubbed Studio B.

The song has been covered by everybody and their brother from the Jackson 5 to Barry White to Rod Stewart to Joe Stubbs (the younger brother of The Four Tops’ lead vocalist Levi Stubbs).

Standing In The Shadows Of Love
Four Tops

Standing in the shadows of love
I’m getting ready for the heartaches to come
Can’t you see me standing in the shadows of love
I’m getting ready for the heartaches to come

I want to run but there’s nowhere to go
‘Cause heartaches will follow me, I know
Without your love, the love I need
It’s the beginning of the end for me
‘Cause you’re taking away all my reasons for livin’
When you pushed aside all the love I been givin’
Now wait a minute

Didn’t I treat you right, now baby, didn’t I?
Didn’t I do the best I could now, didn’t I?

So don’t you leave me
Standing in the shadows of love
I’m getting ready for the heartaches to come
Don’t you see me standing in the shadows of love
Trying my best to get ready for the heartaches to come

All alone
I’m destined to be, with misery my only company
It may come today, it might come tomorrow
But it’s for sure I ain’t got nothing but sorrow
Now don’t your conscience kind of bother you
How can you watch me cry after all I done for you
Hold on a minute

Gave you all the love I had now, didn’t I?
When you needed me I was always there now, wasn’t I?

I’m trying hard not to cry out loud
You know crying it ain’t gonna help me now
What did I do to cause all this grief?
Now what’d I say to make you want to leave
Now wait a minute

Gave my heart and soul to you now, didn’t I?
And didn’t I always treat you good, now didn’t I?

I’m standing in the shadows of love
I’m getting ready for the heartaches to come
Don’t you see me standing in the shadows of love
Trying my best to get ready for the heartaches to come
Oh I’m standing in the shadows of love

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jr. / Brian Holland / Edward Holland / Edward / Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Lamont Herbert Dozier
Standing In The Shadows Of Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Very Snarky Snippets

For starters, yes the stock market gained some 7% yesterday … ho hum.  Don’t get too excited, for it’s going back down … maybe today, maybe tomorrow, but there is no foundation for the gain and it is inevitable that it will plunge again.  As I said … ho hum.

Despite the fact that Trump claims to know more about everything under the sun than all the experts, he actually knows very little about anything.  So, early on when Trump visited the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), he claimed that all the scientists and medicos there were astounded that he knew so much about it all.  Funny, though, that we never actually heard any of those experts say they were astounded … no doubt they were astounded when they met him up close and personal to find that the ‘man’ who filled the seat of the highest office in the land was such an egotistical moron.

But now, he has taken his ‘genius’ to a dangerous level.  You may remember that I have referred to him as a snake oil salesman more than a few times.  Well, he is truly selling snake oil now, and lives are in danger, for he has no idea what he’s doing.  He is telling people to take some drug called “hydroxychloroquine” (please do not ask me to pronounce that!) that used to be a treatment for malaria.  He has no idea what it does, only that some country bumpkin doctor wrote to him and told him it would work, and now he is telling the public, on national television, to take this drug.

If you or I did that, we would be sued.  Doctors and people who really do know something are cautioning against it.  One man has already died as a result of taking the drug.  Trump says, with cameras rolling, “What have you got to lose?”  Um … perhaps our lives?  Apparently on Saturday, Trump and the real expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, got into a rather heated “discussion” about Trump touting a drug for which there is no evidence it will work against the current pandemic.  Trump sycophant Peter Navarro said, in response, that “Doctors disagree about things all the time.”  Um … yeah, maybe, but only one of the two in question is a doctor.  Donald Trump isn’t even a human, let alone a bloody doctor!

In Trump’s ego-trip that some are calling a press conference on Sunday, a reporter asked Dr. Fauci for his thoughts about the effectiveness of the anti-malaria drug in treating coronavirus patients, and Trump interrupted before the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases could answer. “He’s answered that question 15 times,” said Trump, which was an outright lie, but what’s new, right?

So, in essence, We the People are not to be allowed to hear the truth from the experts, but will be fed the passel of lies that Trump in his warped mind has made up.  A word to the wise, do not bother to watch his pressers and for Pete’s Sake do not take his medical advice!  He is not a doctor, but a circus clown!  But wait …

A pastor in Fairland, Oklahoma, Curt Landry, told his congregation to listen to Trump’s advice over that of experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, because Trump has “God’s authority.”  SAY WHAT??? 

curt-landry“I am not a scientist, I am not a doctor, and I do respect [Fauci’s] knowledge, I respect where he comes from, and I respect him in his position that God has put him in. But in the order of spiritual alignment, Donald J. Trump is the Cyrus above him … As believers, we need to agree—I believe that God puts kings and leaders in their place, I believe God has put Donald Trump in his place as a Cyrus—and we need to agree with what he’s saying.”

Fool!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

You’ve all heard of the concept of ‘separation of church and state’, right?  Well, for three years now, Trump has been trying to erase that line of separation, largely to appease his evangelical base who want the laws of this nation to align with their own narrow-minded religious beliefs in such areas as women’s rights and the rights of the LGBT community.  But now … guess what?  Part of that $2.2 trillion bill that was passed last week to help people suffering financially because of the coronavirus pandemic is going to be used to … wait for it … help churches pay the salaries of their pastors!

Yep, folks, even if you don’t attend a church, are not religious, are a non-believer, your tax dollars will be used to help support specific churches!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  One more corner of the U.S. Constitution burned to a crisp.

This country, the U.S., is not the country I grew up in.  It is not the country that gave us such great men as Martin Luther King, John and Bobby Kennedy, and so many others.  I no longer recognize nor respect this country.  It is no longer the country where we were told that ‘all men are created equal’.  This is no longer the country that adheres to the words on the base of the Statue of Liberty …

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This is a country filled with bitterness and hate, with racism, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and most any other ‘phobia’ you can think of.  It is no longer a nation that I recognize, or that I can respect.  It is a nation burning itself from within.