Mostly Positive With Just A Bit Of Snark

One of the most devastating things we lost under the previous administration was our standing in the global community.  We lost much ground, lost the respect of the world, became first the laughingstock of the world, and later the least trusted nation among our allies.  President Biden said he would make it one of his top priorities to rejoin agreements we had let lapse, and to work with our allies to become a team player once again, rather than a nation that isolates itself from the rest of the world.  After 30 days in office, progress is already being made.


Coming back into the world …

Today is a red-letter day for the United States, hopefully only the first of many.  The U.S. has officially re-joined the Paris Climate Accord!  Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement saying …

“The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented framework for global action. We know because we helped design it and make it a reality. Its purpose is both simple and expansive: to help us all avoid catastrophic planetary warming and to build resilience around the world to the impacts from climate change we already see.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. promised to reduce its carbon emissions by about 25% by 2025 compared with 2005 levels. But according to analysts, the country is only on track to achieve about a 17% reduction, largely due to the rollback of numerous environmental regulations that took place under the previous administration.  Can we catch up?  Well, the lives of future generations around the globe depend on it, so we damn well better.

No other country has emitted more cumulative carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since the industrial era began in the mid-1800s than the United States. And even though U.S. emissions are falling, the rate of the reduction is far too slow to avoid catastrophic warming, according to climate scientists.

President Biden has also assured world leaders, during a virtual address to the Munich Security Conference this morning, of the U.S. commitment to NATO.

“The United States is fully committed to our NATO alliance, and I welcome your growing investment in the military capabilities that enable our shared defenses. An attack on one is an attack on all. That is our unshakeable vow.”

And earlier, during a virtual G7 meeting, Biden also sought to assure world leaders that he and his administration are committed to once again being an ally, rather than an enemy …

“I know the past few years have strained and tested our transatlantic relationship, but the United States is determined – determined – to re-engage with Europe, to consult with you, to earn back our position of trusted leadership.”

Now, I know that these words must be followed up with actions that prove the intent.  I also know that the damage done over the past four years will not be undone overnight.  There will long be a mistrust among our allies, and for a long time, they will wonder if the people of this nation will be so foolish as to bring back another administration such as the previous one.  It may take decades before the trust is fully restored, but we are on the right path.


And just a bit of snark …

And lest you think that today I have only positive news without a bit of snark …

I strongly suspect that two new members of Congress will be single-term congresswomen, for they are more suited to a position in the circus than in Congress.  The two, of course, are Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.  The latest?

During a virtual House committee hearing yesterday, Ms. Boebert logged in remotely with an arsenal as her backdrop.

boebert

The freshman lawmaker and gun-rights advocate, who owns a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, had two AR-15-style rifles arranged like an X on a shelf behind her head and another large firearm lying across books on the shelf below. There was also a handgun.

Representative Jared Huffman of California rightly took umbrage, saying …

“If somebody wants to have a shrine to their gun fetish as a Zoom backdrop in their private life, they can do that. But this is our hearing room, and at some point we will get past the covid epidemic and we’ll all start showing up in person. It’s necessary that we lay down these ground rules that whatever your fetishes or feelings are about guns, you’re not going to bring them into our committee room.”

Boebert whined that he was infringing on her ‘constitutional rights’.

There has been an ongoing debate recently about whether guns should be allowed into committee rooms.  My question is:  WHY???  Why should guns be brought into committee rooms or anywhere else in Congress?  Don’t we have enough violence in this world?  Ms. Boebert herself further proved my point when she said …

“Who says this is storage? These are ready for use.”

Has sanity left the room?

79 thoughts on “Mostly Positive With Just A Bit Of Snark

  1. Pingback: A Wee Bit Of Snark … | Filosofa's Word

  2. Here is the problem as I see it — President Biden has inherited a bunch of blindly-Trump-loyal cowards who will do their level best to prevent the President from carrying out as much of his agenda as they can by whatever means they can. Sooner or later, I believe that President Biden will encounter a situation much the same as that of former President Obama … a situation where the right wingers in the congress will fight him tooth and nail on everything worthwhile that he proposes.

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      • I appreciate reading your comment but you are going to have to expand a little bit on what you are saying because I am having some difficulty understanding exactly what you are talking about ….All presidents make use of executive orders …. because of the divisions in the congress executive orders is just about the only way a president is going to get anything done.

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        • Well, that is part of what I am saying, but presidents should not have to rely on such executive powers. Democracy was developed to give common folk a chance to participate in how they were governed. By choosing people to represent them in government, this was supposed to stop authoritarian rule. It even might have worked for awhile, though I doubt it. But it’s really all a sham. We can no longer get our representatives to agree on how to represent us to our betterment. Where Congress or Parliament should be working together with senatorial bodies to provide good government, led by presidents, prime ministers, premiers, etc, all working as one, we have strife, disagreement, even refusals to govern. Therefore, at least in the USA, it creates the needs for executive orders which is just a way to hide the fact your presidents must act as dictators in order to accomplish anything.
          What is the use of having over 500 Congress representatives and 100 Senators if they are contributing nothing to the governing process. What you have is over 600 overpaid, overvcompensated fools sitting on their asses pretending to be governers, and that’s only at the federal level. How many such parasites are functioning at state and local levels?
          So what I am suggesting by having leaders shove executive order forms up elected officials’ asses is waking them up to the fact they are being paid to govern, and therefore best to do their jobs or they will lose them. Why pay over 600 people when only 1 can do the job?
          I know, how can we prevent fools like Trump from running roughshod over everything? Well, who of the 600 plus managed to do that? Not one!
          This is what I am talking about.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I agree with everything you hae just said but I am also concerned about the fact that our form of government worked fairly well for a long time and now, suddenly, it isn’t working so well anymore.

            Is it because the country has become too big and too diversified? With all the different races of people with different heritages and backgrounds that are here in the United States, each of them with their own way of thinking about things, about experiencing things, is it even possible for this much-too-big and much-too-diverse country of ours to even be governed anymore?

            I have often wondered if we shouldn’t make a change in the executive level of our government and replace the single individual who serves as president into a committee of perhaps three or more people where decisions would only be valie when two or more of the members of that committee were to agree on something?

            Or, how about dissolving the executive branch altogether and let the Supreme Court run the show?

            You are right about having all those paid governors and represetatives sitting on the asses doing nothing too —– It appears to me that when somebody gets elected to one of those positions, they start enjoying the glitz and glamor of their job and forget all about those they are supposed to be representing …. and then their main focus becomes finding out how to keep their cushy government jobs …. and the idea of actually representing the people goes out the window.,

            Now we have all those rogue Republicans sitting in positions of authority who, I am sure, are dedicated to making sure the sitting democrat president is never able to do anything at all through the congress ….. They seem to have been really satisfied and happy with their idol, their former president, The Trumpster — a person who exhibited many of what I consider to the the traits of a common dictator himself …. The two-party system has now become really the three-party system …. Old order Republicans, Rogue Republicans and Democrats. As long as that is the case I don’t believe America will ever move forward.

            In fact, I think that if the Repukes finally get their way and get themselves into permanent power in this country, The United States is going to look exactly like Texas looks today — or worse.

            Thanks for illuminating your thoughts. I appreciate having you as a commenter.

            Liked by 1 person

    • You are, to a large extent, right. The saving grace, I hope, will be that by the time of the 2022 mid-terms, most people will have tired of the antics of these clowns like Boebert, Greene, and Cawthorn and will be ready to vote for people with common sense and intelligence, people who will get down to the business of legislating, rather than creating a daily circus act. That is my hope, anyway.

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      • The circus act in congress is performed by clowns who have been elected by millions of other clowns who are on the same wavelength as they are. I fear that this mess is like a stagnant pond of water and will take generations to right itself.

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        • I think you are right, John, that it will take decades … and we don’t have that kind of time to waste. I thought the pandemic would bring people closer, help narrow the divide between right and left in this nation, but instead it has driven them even further apart. Thanks, in part, to the former guy calling the pandemic a hoax and convincing some 40% of the people that there was no reason for such things as mask-wearing and social-distancing.

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          • If you consider the intellectual level of that 40% you can readily understand how they got taken in by the Fuherer Figure in the orange3 skin. He is very charismatic if nothing else. He operates from the principle of “If you can’t blind them with brilliance, then baffle them with BS.”

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            • Y’know, that’s what’s funny to me. I have heard ever since he was campaigning back in 2016 that he is charismatic, and yet to me he is the furthest thing from it. I feel ill just listening to him, or seeing his face. I get frustrated when he cannot even seem to string a simple sentence together, and his ego is a big turn off. I guess ‘different strokes for different folks’, eh?

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                  • Dear Jil — I have sensed that for a long time now, The United States has been host to a couple of whole generations of people who have been more or less coddled and cared for to the extent that they might be severely handicapped if ever called on to resort to their own abilities to survive in a crisis or through hard times. We have lost the skill ofcritical thinking and people have started to allow the convenient and ever-present media to do their thinking for them. Am I right about this? I think it is a tragedy!

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                    • Oh, you are absolutely right about this! Add to that the fact that the schools are failing to provide a good, solid education, to teach young people to reason and think for themselves, and it’s a recipe for disaster. I taught college for a couple of years in the late 1980s, and we were ‘encouraged’ not to fail a student who didn’t turn in their work, or didn’t bother to study for tests … it made the school look bad. I decided teaching wasn’t for me, mainly because of that, but in recent years, it has gotten even worse, and is also the case in primary and secondary schools … they are told that they must boost the child’s ego and therefore many kids are passed without having learned a damn thing! Sigh. We are becoming a nation of ignorant people and this really needs to stop … but how? How do we turn it around? I wish I had answers, but I mostly have only questions.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I remember the days when a kid had to actually work to receive any kind of recognition in school. Nowadays, shiny awards and fancy certificates are handed out to anybody just for showing up at an event or a program … or even a class. Everybody gets the reward these days regardless of whether they have earned it or not. Disgusting.

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                    • Yes, I remember those days, too. But today, it is all about “self-esteem”. To me, self-esteem comes from working hard and being able to take pride in a job well-done, but today the adults in charge think it should be given, not earned. I agree with you … it is disgusting and dangerous for our future.

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  3. You’re right that it will be a long road towards the US being trusted again. As you say, the rest of us can’t be sure that the country won’t flip again to the insular lunatics who pander to themselves and their mates. Then again, I live in a country which has voted to separate itself from the best democratic union in the world, so what do I know!

    As for Boebert, she’s playing to that audience of insular morons. Hopefully she will soon be voted out, by people who actually have brain cells.

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    • Completely understandable. Rather like the wife who cheats on her husband … he may take her back, but it will take a long time before he can trust her again. Trust is a funny thing … just takes a short minute to break it, but a lifetime to rebuild it.

      I think Boebert and a few other freshman members of Congress won’t last more than one term. They were a novelty, I think, and hopefully by next year’s election people will once again want intelligent, rational people representing them.

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      • It will happen: time is, as they say, a great healer and we will all welcome the return of sensible government over there. Like you, I hope the novelty of electing clueless idiots wears off soon.

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        • I think that if this nation is stupid enough to ever elect another like the former guy, it will be the end of the United States. It almost was on January 6th. Biden won’t be perfect, and sometimes Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and others will be frustrated with him, but hopefully he will be 110% better than the former guy.

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          • I fear you are right on that, and I hope it doesn’t happen. Voting to be dominated by an autocrat doesn’t seem like a wise move. Two of those other three will welcome working with Biden – Johnson is too stupid to know how to do it, and aligned himself too closely to the ex-guy.

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            • I hope it doesn’t, too, but we must work diligently to try to show the people of this nation that the former guy and his cohorts were never working in the best interests of the people, but only had their own interests at heart. We’ve got 3 years to do it … fingers crossed that they will begin to see how much better things are with responsible people in charge. I dunno … I think Johnson liked the attention the former guy gave him, liked feeling that he had a ‘buddy’ across the pond, but somewhere deep down, I think Johnson is smart enough to see what the former guy was doing. I hope so, anyway. From what I’ve read, it seems that Boris is trying to work with Biden … it’s a start anyway.

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              • I hope that can happen, as your country needs to repair itself, not go down the path to destruction again. As for Johnson, he’s devious underneath the bluster and incompetence. But as one of the ringleaders of Brexit he might find it hard going with a realist like Biden, who will see that it is better to align with the 27 rather than the enfeebled 1 if there are differences. I hope not, though.

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                • Yes, and there is much to repair. And, I fear, a short time in which to repair it. You may be right about Boris … sometimes I think I see a bungling oaf, and other times he actually speaks and it makes sense. I think that Biden will definitely work both with the EU and the UK … in this country, there is a certain sense of kinship with the UK, no matter what has gone before. I cannot imagine a scenario where Biden would simply step away from the UK.

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                  • Nor can I, politically, but I’d guess we’d be much further down the queue for trade deals now that we’ve gone solo. And Biden has a lot on his plate at home to get in the way of international relations: a tricky balancing act.

                    Johnson is a bumbling idiot, but is dogmatic in his jingoism – a dangerous combination.

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    • Imagine having your gun locked away in a safe somewhere when the intruder kicks down your door and comes in shooting. In a situation like that, do you believe you would be able to get us, go to your gun safe, unlock the gun safe, open the door to the gun safe, get the weapon out and into your hand, unlock the safety on the weapon and squeeze off a defensive shot before the intruder’s bullets had shredded your innards?

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      • I have the best solution of all … get rid of guns altogether. If nobody has one, then nobody would need one, right? No other nation on the planet has the lax gun laws we have, or has more guns than people, as we do. The gun culture … is crazy.

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        • The bad guys who do not follow the laws would always find a way to get a gun and then what would the defenseless citizens do? Hard to fight off a gunslinging crazy person with a baseball bat or golf club, wouldn’t you agree? Crooks do not follow laws.

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          • Well … more people are killed by guns that aren’t fired by truly bad guys … accidents, domestic disputes, children finding daddy’s gun, and suicides, than people actually defending themselves in a situation with a bad guy. I can give you statistics, but you already know them. I’ve lived almost 70 years without ever owning or firing a gun. I’ve faced a person with a gun pointed at me twice in those years, and my temper was my weapon … never once got shot! I don’t need a gun … I’ve got my tongue, my temper, and a great left swing if it comes to it. Guns are for those who are scared … I’m not.

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                    • That makes you a kind and generous-hearted person … a compassionate, caring and understanding person. A person of quality. I am thrilled to see you on American Liberal Times.

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                    • Just remember that God created you as a unique and beautiful person and so focus on who you are and the abilities that you have, do your best and forge ahead …never let other people demand your conformity to their expectations –You have every right to be respected for who you are …

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                    • Thank you, John. No, I don’t let others force me to their beliefs or expectations … I am one stubborn ol’ biddie! I listen to people, listen to what they say, to their views, but at the end of the day, my views are my own, based on facts and what I see happening in the world.

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                    • I have always wondered how people determine what a fact is. Is a “Fact” something that the Conservatives believe or is it something the Liberals believe or is it something both of them can believe?

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                    • I can only speak for myself, but for me, I tend to believe something is a fact when 95% of the scientists worldwide say it is. I trust science, I trust research, and I trust what I can see with my own eyes. Anything that is said by a politician of any stripe needs to be taken as simply an opinion until it can be investigated and proven.

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                    • I have always labored under the impression that it is virtually impossible for a person to accept something as “Fact” unless it jibes totally with their individual biases or personal prejudices …Do you see something like that as one of the reasons our country is so divided?

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                    • I think there are those who, as you say, only accept a fact so long as it fits in with their pre-conceived notions, most of which play to what they WANT life to be like. Thus, you have those who deny climate change because to accept it would mean they would have to change their lifestyle — give up their gas-guzzling SUVs, walk the trash to the dumpster rather than driving it, eat less beef, turn the thermostat down and don a sweater. But, there are others of us who are … not necessarily more intelligent, but deeper thinkers, who realize that life is ever-evolving, that new information is available almost daily, that we are constantly learning, and that we must be open to learning … to considering other views, but at the end of the day, evaluation what supports those views. Some of us, like you and I, think for ourselves, do some research, and decide what set of facts seems most logical. Other simply declare that the facts are whatever gives them the most comfort. Am I making any sense? It’s late, so at this hour I’m not sure if I’m making sense, or merely rambling.

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                    • You are definitely not rambling. I love your idea about “Considering other people’s views”. “Considering other people’s views is the primary point at which avid conservatism fails. They consider no views or feelings other than their own– ever … no matter how much they pretend to. Their actions always show them up. They are totally self-absorbed. But I digress.

                      I am wondering still … even when we do our own research and decide which facts seem most logical, are we still at the mercy of some personal biases … no matter how hard we might struggle against bias, isn’t it possible that the biases are ingrained into our DNA and operate from the principle of Survival of The Fittest” as our life history has determined the elements of that struggle?

                      If that is not the case, then are our personal biases acquired all throughout life from authority figures and peers? (Parents at the top of the list.)

                      You mention that some people declare that facts are whatever gives them the most comfort. (The path of least resistance in problem-solving?) — Isn’t seeking the path of least resistance in inherent trait in the Human psyche? Can it be trained out of us? Is training it out of us worth the time and effort it would take to do so?

                      You mention that we must always be open to learning. I agree with that a Hundred Percent and I also agree that is another problem facing the convoluted victims of radical American Conservatism …. they always seem to be able and willing to rise to the height of their own incompetence and be satisfied with it.

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                    • Oh my … you open some deeply philosophical doors here and I wish we could sit down and talk for hours over coffee (or wine … wine is good) and discuss all these things. That not being possible, though … A few of my thoughts on the topics at hand …

                      When I talk about facts, I’m talking mostly about those things that can be seen and proven, such as … it is a fact that it is warmer in the summer than in the winter, that the handle on my coffee cup is broken, etc. It is a fact that there have been numerous incidents of white police officers killing unarmed Black men in recent years. Yes, we all have personal biases to an extent, and to some extent, perhaps it is in the DNA, but I also believe that if we are well educated (and that doesn’t only mean school or college, but education through experience, through reading, through listening) we can overcome those biases.

                      My own thoughts, and I hope I’m not stepping on your toes here, are that religion is the greatest obstacle to people being humanitarians, having a worldview rather than a narrow one. Religion gives people an easy out … whatever happens, they can claim it was god’s will, thereby relieving them of the duty to try to change a situation for the better. I have a friend who refuses to change her lifestyle, such as downsizing from her large gas-guzzling SUV, eating less beef, turning the thermostat down and donning a sweater, because she says that there’s no need … everything is in god’s hands and he isn’t going to let the environment be destroyed. Then she ices the cake by saying, “God wants me to be happy.” This, in my opinion, is a large part of the problem in the world … people don’t take responsibility because they don’t think they have control, that what they might do can make a difference.

                      And yes, American Conservatism in my book has become a joke … it is no longer about smaller government, a balanced budget, but is about profit for the few at the expense of the well-being of the rest of us.

                      I know I didn’t respond to everything you said, and I probably digressed a bit, but … that’s my two cents worth … for what it’s worth! I really do enjoy these discussions, John!

                      Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree! Her entire purpose seems to be to show off her guns … personally, I am not impressed. I would be far more impressed if she had a collection of books behind her, especially if she had actually read them!

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        • I am afraid that we have arrived at a point where the president is not really that efficient anymore because of the great divisions within the congress. My objection to having a Republican in the oval office is that I don’t want The United States to end up like Texas and my objection to having a democrat in the oval office is that they tend to give away the store at taxpayer expense… I wonder if it is even possible to effectively govern this country anymore because of it’s vast and divergent growth and ethnic diversity.

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  4. Yeah, the msc was in need of this virtual address. As i have heard he has Europe also told whats has to be on their agenda. Germany was here very in need, because in one thing DJT was right: Germany in the past has shown less cooperation against terrorists. They forced other to wars, and after the wars had earned money, with restructuring the past war countries. This not for benefits of the citizens, only for the stockholders. Michael

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    • I hope that Biden will be making positive contributions to all the international organizations, such as NATO, the UN, Paris Accords, and hopefully the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Sigh. I have seen positive things from Angela Merkel … what are your thoughts about her?

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  5. Yes, sanity has departed, followed by service before self and most of the other virtues our parents worked hard to instill in us.
    We started the greed generation in
    about 1984 and gave rise to admiration of the Trumps of the world and the ‘I’ve got mine’ value system. Now the ‘greedy folks’ are terrified that they’ll lose their status to the people of color. I’m white, but I love the look of the Biden selections.
    Guns only demonstrate that the holder is terrified.

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    • You are so right! I sometimes say we have become a ‘me-istic’ society where people seem to forget we are all on this planet together and no one person is any better or more deserving than another, but I speak to deaf ears.

      You’re also right that it started to expand in the early 1980s, but Trump completely demolished the idea of helping others, and encouraged greed while mocking those with a conscience. And I completely agree with you about guns … I’ve always thought that if a person needs a gun to feel safe, he/she is truly a coward at heart. Thanks for dropping by and commenting … I hope you’ll drop in again, for I’ve enjoyed your comment (probably because it agrees with my own views 😉 )

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