A Renewed Call For Hate???

I was working on an environmental post when this headline crossed my radar … TWICE!

Editor of Alabama newspaper calls for the Ku Klux Klan to ‘night ride again’

Say WHAT???  And then again …

Alabama newspaper editor calls on KKK to lynch Democrats

Deep breathes … in … out … in … out …

WHAT the Sam HELL is wrong with these damn people???Goodloe SuttonThe editor is Goodloe Sutton and the newspaper is the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Alabama.  He said Democrats were going to raise taxes and that the KKK should hang them and raid Washington DC.  This, my friends, is the depth to which this nation has sunk.

“Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again. Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama… This socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people. Seems like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there.”kkk-article.jpg

Asked to elaborate what he meant by “cleaning up D.C.,” Sutton suggested lynching.

“We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.

When asked if he felt it was appropriate for the publisher of a newspaper to call for the lynching of Americans, Sutton doubled down on his position.

“… It’s not calling for the lynchings of Americans. These are socialist-communists we’re talking about. Do you know what socialism and communism is?”

When asked if he recognized the KKK as a racist and violent organization, Sutton disagreed, comparing the Klan to the NAACP.

“A violent organization? Well, they didn’t kill but a few people. The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”

Say WHAT???  What planet does this man hail from???  Sutton is 79-years-old and surely remembers the dark days before the Civil Rights movement?  But wait … he said they “didn’t kill but a few people” … perhaps he doesn’t consider African-Americans to be ‘people’?

Sutton and his paper haven’t always been on the wrong side …

  • Sutton and the newspaper received national acclaim in the 1990s for their reporting on a corrupt local sheriff. Sutton and his wife, Jane, reported a series of stories of misused funds and abuse of power.
  • The New York Times in 1998 reported Sutton and the Democrat-Reporter lost advertising dollars and subscribers over their reporting.
  • In 2007, Sutton was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Communication Hall of Fame for the couple’s anti-corruption articles and editorials.

After his aforementioned editorial, the University of Southern Mississippi appropriately removed him from the Hall of Fame, saying …

“Within the last few hours, the School of Communication at the University of Southern Mississippi learned of Mr. Goodloe Sutton’s call for violence and the return of the Ku Klux Klan. Mr. Sutton’s subsequent rebuttals and attempts at clarification only reaffirm the misguided and dangerous nature of his comments. The School of Communication strongly condemns Mr. Sutton’s remarks as they are antithetical to all that we value as scholars of journalism, the media, and human communication. Our University’s values of social responsibility and citizenship, inclusion and diversity, and integrity and civility are the foundation upon which we have built our School and its programs.”

A bit late, I think.  A few of the paper’s past headlines …

  • Homosexuals take black spotlight
  • Slavery was a good lesson for Jews
  • Selma black thugs murder Demopolite Saturday night

Some days I wonder if perhaps we should have just let the South secede?

But to the point …

My friends … this is what is happening today in our nation.  Now, some people will say that the United States, or ‘America’, was once the greatest nation on earth.  Not so, but still, it was pretty good.  We overcame many of our stumbling blocks, we were learning to be kind, to be tolerant, to accept people for what they were, the good the bad and the ugly, so to speak.

I could go back to the origins of the hate and divisiveness we see today, but I’ve said it all before and what’s the point?  Better, I think, to look ahead and discuss the damage that is being done today by the likes of Goodloe Sutton, David Duke, Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, and ask ourselves how we fix this.  How do we put paid to this “Us” vs “Them” mentality?  Quite honestly, the combination of this hatred and the open gun culture in this nation is lethal.

Daryl-Davis

Daryl Davis (left) with Klansman

A few people have made inroads, most notably Daryl Davis, the man I wrote about in August 2017 who for the past 30 years has spent time befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan, forming friendships and listening as well as talking. He had, as of my original post, convinced some 200 klansmen to give up their robes.    Two hundred out of approximately 248 million adults in the U.S. may not sound like much, but it’s a start.

Remember back in May/June of last year, when I tried a project involving Lisa Jensen of The Snarky Activist, where we shared opinions, ideas, and tried to find common ground?  It went well for a bit, but then Lisa had some personal issues, needed some time, and it just sort of fizzled.  I think I will get in touch with her this week and see if she has any interest in picking it up again.  And then there was my friend Brian who was willing to participate for a time, but last time I sent him a message, he didn’t respond.  Perhaps I will try again.

We cannot legislate kindness and understanding, so I think it is up to us, the average citizen both republican and democrat, religious and non-religious, black and white, to start the conversation, for the only answer I can see begins with two things:  communication and kindness, being a role model.  I have a short fuse these days, as I’m sure many of you do, but perhaps we need to tamp down our tempers and act more kindly toward other humans, share more smiles, give more hugs.

And with that, I put the ball in your court, dear readers.  Does anybody have any ideas how we can begin to make a difference in our own little corners of the world?  Does anybody have a friend who might be interested in participating in another series of ‘give-and-take’ posts?  February 17th was National Acts of Random Kindness Day.  Maybe the answer starts with making every day a day in which we do a random act of kindness.  I don’t know the answer, but we simply must combat the sort of hate that allows a newspaper editor to call for a resurgence of the KKK night riders to murder democrats!  This cannot go unnoticed or be ignored!


About an hour after I thought I had finished this post, breaking news crossed my radar about a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and white supremacist, Christopher Paul Hasson, who was found with a cache of weapons and ammunition and documents stating …

“I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth.”  

Stay tuned …

Kamala Harris: The 7 Issues Guide

With nearly 21 months until the 2020 presidential election, the democratic candidates and potential candidates are stacking up like pancakes! How to sort through it? Who stands for what? I had been considering doing a series of posts with the platforms, ideologies, pros & cons of each candidate, but as it is an overwhelming task, I kept pushing it to the back burner. And then, last night I discovered that blogger-friend TokyoSand has enlisted a group of volunteers to help and has taken on the very project I had in mind! And she has done a far better job of it than I ever could, so … why re-invent the wheel, right? I asked and received her permission to share with my readers, so please take a few minutes to get to know the first in the series, Kamala Harris! Thank you, TokyoSand, for this excellent work and for allowing me to share with my readers.

Political⚡Charge

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 10.47.01 PM

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope…

View original post 1,709 more words

♫ Sundown ♫

The inspiration for this song, released in 1974, came from Lightfoot worrying about his girlfriend, who was out at bars all day while he was at home writing songs.  Well heck … I’d have a problem if my significant other was hanging out in bars all day too!

“I had this girlfriend one time, and I was at home working, at my desk, working at my songwriting which I had been doing all week since I was on a roll, and my girlfriend was somewhere drinking, drinking somewhere. So I was hoping that no one else would get their hands on her, because she was pretty good lookin’! As a matter of fact, it was written just around Sundown, just as the sun was setting, behind the farm I had rented to use as a place to write the album.”

Turned out the girlfriend he was with at the time was Cathy Smith.  They were together only 3 years, but Ms. Smith was charged in 1986 with administering the fatal dose of heroine that killed actor John Belushi, and spent 15 months in prison.  Methinks he was well shed of her!

Sundown
Gordon Lightfoot

I can see her lyin’ back in her satin dress
In a room where ya do what ya don’t confess
Sundown you better take care
If I find you beenn creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sundown ya better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs

She’s been lookin’ like a queen in a sailor’s dream
And she don’t always say what she really means
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain

I can picture every move that a man could make
Getting lost in her lovin’ is your first mistake
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sometimes I think it’s a sin
When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again

I can see her lookin’ fast in her faded jeans
She’s a hard lovin’ woman, got me feelin’ mean
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sometimes I think it’s a sin
When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again

Songwriters: Gordon Lightfoot
Sundown lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Good People Doing Good Things — Rose

This week’s ‘good people’ post is a little different than usual.  A friend posted this on Facebook a few days ago, and I found it to be so inspiring that I wanted to share it with you.  While Rose wasn’t saving lives or rescuing animals, didn’t donate a million dollars to a worthy cause, she did something for others that I think makes her a ‘good people’.  She shared timeless words of wisdom, and inspired many.  I hope you’ll agree that Rose is worthy of being this week’s good person.

An 87-Year-Old College Student Named Rose.

Rose

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop.

I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.

She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.” She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.

We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

A Tale Of Two Mikes — Part II

World leaders, ministers, diplomats, military officers and policy experts gathered over the weekend for the annual Munich Security Conference, the premier global forum on foreign, defense and security policy.  Luckily, Donald Trump did not attend the conference … he was too busy at home playing golf, criticizing Saturday Night Live, and defending his indefensible declaration of emergency from the week before.  Also unfortunately, Mike Pence did attend, and therein lay the problem.Merkel-MunichAngela Merkel spoke before Pence, and resisted Pence’s earlier calls in Poland for the EU to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, which according to experts and analysts, is achieving its goals.  She also criticized the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Syria. “Is it a good thing to immediately remove American troops from Syria, or will it not strengthen Russia and Iran’s hand?”  At the end of her speech, she received a standing ovation.  Ivanka Trump, who was in the audience for some reason that is beyond my comprehension, refused to stand or even applaud.  The grade-school mentality must run in the family.Pence-MunichAnd then, Mike Pence began his speech by saying …

“I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.”

And he waited for the applause.  But the room remained silent.  Dead silent.  He waited.  Nobody clapped, apparently not even Ivanka.  See for yourself …

But Sarah Huckabee Sanders later found a way to put a spin on the humiliating moment:

“It was out of respect for our President that world leaders observed a moment of silence during Vice President Pence’s speech in Munich.”

I think not, Sarah, but nice try.  Now go rinse your mouth to get that nasty taste of the lie out of it.

But back to Pence’s speech.

“We came here to reaffirm our commitment that ‘America First’ does not mean America alone and tell leaders, allies and countries around the world that America is stronger than ever before and America’s leading on the world stage once again.”

The reality is that we ceded our leadership role early in Trump’s tenure.  We are not even good allies, let alone a good leader.  You cannot be isolationist and also a global leader, for to be all about “America First” means to put the rest of the globe somewhere below your own interests, and that is not how alliances and friendships work.

Pence credited Trump with spurring NATO allies to spend more on defense but insisted that they are still not spending enough. He also reiterated the ‘demand’ he made on Thursday in Poland regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

“The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”

Silence.

As a long-time student of international relations, I cannot think of another time in the history of the United States that we have ‘demanded’ our allies act in accordance with our wishes.  This is being a bully, not an ally and certainly not a friend.

Pence ended his speech with a most inappropriate …

“God Bless the United States of America.”

As Amanda Sloat, a senior fellow at Brookings Institute said …

“It sounded more like he was speaking to a Trump rally than to transatlanticists in Europe.”

Pence’s speech was met with disdain by European officials who say they have no intention of abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and felt his aggressive tone would only stir up more opposition.  For the record, Pence’s speech ended with a smattering of light applause, but no standing ovation, other than Jared and Ivanka.  I ask again, why were they even there?

The Munich Security Conference report said the Trump administration displays an “irritating enthusiasm for strongmen across the globe” and “disdain for international institutions and agreements.”

Several hours after Merkel’s and Pence’s speeches, former Vice President Joe Biden was at the podium, and his message was a ray of light after that of Pence.

“The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world or our closest allies. The America I see cherishes a free press, democracy, the rule of law. It stands up to the aggression of dictators and against strongmen.”

And Biden ended with …

“As my mother would say: This too shall pass. We will be back. We will be back. Don’t have any doubt about that.”

The applause for Biden was significantly more enthusiastic than for Pence.

The Munich Security Report, which is downloadable in .pdf format,  is titled, The Great Puzzle:  Who Will Pick Up The Pieces?  That says it all, doesn’t it?  One of the key points in the report is about a previously unpublished opinion poll by the Pew Research Center showing that traditional allies of the United States perceive America’s power and influence as a major threat to their country, even when compared to China and Russia.

I may write more about the Munich Security Conference and the affiliated report once I finish reading the report, but for now, suffice it to say that the United States is not stepping up to the plate to work with our allies, but rather is becoming more isolationist, more self-serving, and there will be a price to pay for that.  Globalization is the reality, and no country can stand on its own without allies, without friends.  But in order to have a friend in times of trouble, one must first be a friend, and we are not.  As Joe Biden said, “This too shall pass” … but will it pass before the U.S. becomes a true pariah?

♫ You’ve Got A Friend ♫

This song was written by Carole King during the January 1971 recording sessions for her album Tapestry. According to King …

“The song was as close to pure inspiration as I’ve ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside myself, through me.”

She also said that the inspiration for the song was a line from Taylor’s song, Fire and Rain … “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.” When the song was released in 1971, James Taylor was only 23 years old, and the song would go on to be his only #1 U.S. hit.  But now for the really interesting history …

James Taylor sang this after the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo murders in France at a rally in Paris, which Secretary of State John Kerry attended. He explained to Billboard magazine how that performance came about:

“At the time of the attacks, my wife and I were in Switzerland, taking vacation time before I went to Paris to do press for a tour of Europe. John and Teresa Kerry are, I would say, our good friends. Kim was texting him after the attacks and said, ‘John, I think you need to go to Paris.’ They were having a solidarity march two days after the attack. But John had to be in Peshawar, for a secret meeting. He said, ‘I’ll be there as soon as I can.’

When he came to Paris, we had dinner and he said, “I’m giving a speech with the mayor tomorrow. James, will you sing ‘You’ve Got a Friend’?” It was done at the drop of a hat. When I stood up to sing, my guitar wasn’t working. So the mayor [Anne Hidalgo] came over and held her mic in front of my guitar.”

You’ve Got a Friend
James Taylor

When you’re down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you’ve got to do is call
And I’ll be there, ye, ye, ye
You’ve got a friend

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep you head together
And call my name out loud now
Soon you’ll hear me knocking at you door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yes I will, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall, ye
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, ye, ye, yeah

Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend
When people can be so cold
They’ll hurt you, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them, oh yeah, don’t you let ’em now

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again, oh baby, don’t you know
Winter, spring, summer or fall
Hey now, all you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes I will
You’ve got a friend
You’ve got a friend, yeah

Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend

Oh, ye yeah, you’ve got a friend

Songwriters: Carole King
You’ve Got a Friend lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

America In The Eyes Of The World — A Guest Post By rawgod

Last month I started a project called Coexist, and I asked for guest posts from readers outside the United States to give us their view of the U.S. as it stands today, and also how our recent behaviour has affected their own country.  I received and published several excellent contributions from David, Gary, and Colette in the UK, and John in Canada.  At the time, rawgod expressed an interest in writing a post but needed a bit of time.

His words are sobering and remind us that we are indeed a global community, that we are under the microscope and what we do here in the U.S. has far-reaching consequences.  I suspect that most of us are completely unaware of the incidents rawgod tells of, and I think it is important for us to see.  Thank you, rawgod, for your words, as I know how much you struggled to keep it ‘short, sweet and to the point’.

Anonymous Letters, Surreptitious Visits, and Other Events

Edmonton is a metropolitan city of about 1.8 million citizens, capital of the province of Alberta in the nation of Canada. And quite possibly the most hating city in Canada. In 2018 there were two anonymous letters sent to Aboriginal Canadian families telling them their presence was not wanted by white persons in the areas in which they lived. The first letter was sent on condominium board letterhead to owning residents of one of the condos. It basically said that red-skinned Canadians were not wanted by white residents of the condo, and they should go back to whatever reserve they had come from. They were not worthy of living among civilized people. Violence was threatened. A few months later a similar letter, unsigned, was sent to another Aboriginal Canadian family. This time the family had been living in the same house for over 20 years. Violence was not directly threatened, but is was suggested as a possibility if the family did not go back to the reserve. The police are “still investigating” both letters, but no persons have yet been designated as persons of interest.

A few days before the 2nd anniversary of the shooting in a Montreal mosque in which 6 were killed and 19 wounded, four men were discovered infiltrating Edmonton mosques. All four were members of a white racist group called The Clan. The Clan is an offshoot of The Sons of Odin, a member of which committed the shooting in Montreal. Was it any coincidence these 4 persons were snooping around mosques? One man said he went inside to use the washroom. Yeah, sure. Police were notified, and surveillance was increased. Fortunately, nothing further has happened since, but what if these men’s visits had not been discovered?

Meanwhile, in Edmonton, there have been a number of instances on Edmonton Transit buses where people of non-white appearance were harassed by white passengers, told to go back home, threatened with violence, and basically mistreated while trying to go about their own business–this includes teenage school and university students, most of whom were born in Edmonton. White people seem to forget they were not the original inhabitants of this land. They seem to think it belongs to them by divine right, or some religious sin. How dare they forget they are the invaders here!

These are not all the hate crimes that have occurred in Edmonton, they are only samples. These feelings have no doubt been around for over a century, but mostly they were hidden. No one dared to declare themselves as the outright bigots they are … And then Donald J. Trump came along, and gave them permission to voice their opinions aloud, with force, and with open hatred.

And then this:  J.M.-hate-letter.jpgI’ll let you make up your own minds. By the way, it was written on United Conservative Party letterhead. No one has been fired.

This post shook me … it breaks my heart to know there are people with so much hate in their heart, with such a sense of arrogance and entitlement.  Did it start with Donald Trump?  No, it’s been there all along, but it was the rhetoric of Trump and others who unleashed the storm.

Presidents Day ?????

Today is Presidents Day.  I considered ignoring the ‘holiday’ because we currently have no president worth honouring, but then I realized that the holiday is to celebrate all our past presidents.  While I could bore you with the history of the day, you can go to History.com  for a comprehensive history, so I decided to regale you with some presidential trivia instead.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to name a woman to his cabinet: Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins as his secretary of labor in 1933. She was previously a social worker who worked in settlement houses in Chicago and Philadelphia. During her tenure at the department, she established the Labor Standards Bureau and was a principal architect of the Social Security Act.

Warren Harding had the largest shoe size: Size 14. His slippers and golf shoes are still on display at the Smithsonian.

Theodore Roosevelt wore a lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair during his inauguration: The lock of hair was contained in a ring that was gifted to Roosevelt by John Hay, who worked for Lincoln during his presidency. Roosevelt wore the ring at his second inauguration in 1905. A great admirer of his predecessor, Roosevelt had watched Lincoln’s funeral procession pass by his house in New York.

Gerald Ford was a fashion model in his youth (even appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan): He was talked into the job by Phyllis Brown, a woman Smithsonian.com describes as his “first love.” They appeared together in a ski resort spread of Look magazine in 1940, as well as on the Cosmopolitan cover in 1942. Ultimately, however, she wanted to pursue modeling while he wanted to begin his career as a lawyer, which ended their relationship.

Four presidents have received the Nobel Peace Prize: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama. Roosevelt was honored for his work on international peace, including on efforts to broker a peace treaty between Russia and Japan in 1905. Wilson was given the prize in 1919 for his work toward founding the League of Nations after World War I. Carter had already retired from the presidency but won the Nobel prize in 2002 because of his efforts on human rights resolving international conflicts. Mr. Obama was nominated for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said at the time.

George Washington owned a profitable whiskey distillery. Whiskey was one of Washington’s most important business ventures at Mount Vernon. At peak production in 1799, the distillery used five stills and a boiler and produced eleven thousand gallons of whiskey. With sales of $7,500 that year, it was perhaps the country’s largest distillery.

William Howard Taft became a Supreme Court Justice after his retirement. A graduate of Yale and Cincinnati Law School, Taft loved law but was unsure about politics. At the urging of his wife, Nellie, and mentor, Theodore Roosevelt, he reluctantly accepted his party’s nomination for the presidency, calling the presidential campaign “one of the most uncomfortable four months of my life.” After losing the 1912 election to Woodrow Wilson, Taft served as a professor of law at Yale and was later appointed by Warren Harding as chief justice of the United States, a pose he considered his greatest honor.

John Tyler had 15 children. Tyler was married twice. He had eight children with his first wife, Letitia. After she died, the 54-year-old president married the 24-year-old Julia Gardiner, with whom he had seven more children. Tyler wins the prize for being the most prolific of all American presidents.

Abraham Lincoln attended séances at the White House. Lincoln’s wife, Mary Lincoln, became interested in séances after their young son Willie died in 1862. At the White House, she engaged mediums, who conducted “spirit circles” or ceremonies during which those who attended could communicate with their loved ones who had crossed over into the next world. Mary was eager to believe in these mediums as it made her loss somewhat bearable, and she encouraged the president to attend a few séances, which he did. It is not clear if Lincoln participated to appease his wife or out of real interest and belief.

And a few really short tidbits …

George Washington’s false teeth were made from elephant and walrus tusks, gold, and ivory not wood.

John Adams was the first to live in the White House.

Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia.

James Madison was the shortest president at 5-foot-4 inches.

James Monroe was the last founding father to serve as president.

John Quincy Adams skinny dipped in the Potomac every morning.

Andrew Jackson had a pet parrot he taught to curse.

Martin Van Buren coined the word “OK.”

William Henry Harrison had a pet goat.

Franklin Pierce was arrested during his presidency for running over a women with his horse.

James Buchanan was a bachelor and never married.

Abraham Lincoln is honored in the wrestling hall of fame.

Ulysses S. Grant was given a ticket for riding his horse too fast.

Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use a telephone and his number was 1.

James A. Garfield could write with both hands at the same time in different languages. (Pretty impressive when you consider that today’s prez cannot write in a single language with any hand!)

Chester A. Arthur owned 80 pairs of pants.

Grover Cleveland was the first and only to be married in the White House.

Benjamin Harrison never touched light switches because he was afraid he would be electrocuted.

Grover Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Making him the 22nd and 24th president.

William McKinley was the first president to have mass produced campaign buttons.

Theodore Roosevelt was shot while giving a speech and finished his speech with the bullet in his chest.

William H. Taft was the only former president to serve as chief justice on the Supreme Court and swore in presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

Woodrow Wilson is the only president to have a PhD.

Warren G. Harding gambled away a set of White House china.

Herbert Hoover spoke Chinese to his wife to keep their conversations private.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, were fifth cousins once removed.

Harry S. Truman does not have a middle name. His parents gave him the middle initial “S” as a tribute to his relatives whose names started with the letter S.

Dwight D. Eisenhower installed a putting green in the White House and played over 800 games of golf while in office.

John F. Kennedy was awarded a Purple Heart, which he received for his service in WWII.

Lyndon B. Johnson was a teacher before becoming president.

Richard Nixon partly funded his first political campaign with money he won playing poker while in the Navy.

Jimmy Carter filed a UFO sighting in 1973.

Ronald Reagan loved jelly beans and placed a standing order of 720 bags per month to be delivered to the White House and various federal buildings.

George H. W. Bush loves wearing colorful, patterned socks.

Bill Clinton is a two-time Grammy winner.

George W. Bush was the head cheerleader at his high school.

Barack Obama collects comic books.

And now you know enough about Presidents Day!  Oh … and don’t bother to check your mail today, for there is no mail delivery.Presidents Day

♫ Even The Nights Are Better ♫

Air Supply is the winning combination of Graham Russell’s guitar and songwriting, matched to Russell Hitchcock’s distinctive vocals.  This is one of my favourites of their songs, and since I can’t seem to find much (read any) information about the background or origins of the song, you will just have to listen and enjoy …

Even the Nights Are Better
Air Supply

I, I was the lonely one
Wondering what went wrong, why love had gone
And left me lonely
I, I was so confused, feeling like I’d just been used
Then you came to me and my loneliness left me

I used to think I was tied to a heartache
That was the heartbreak, but now that I’ve found you

Even the nights are better
Now that we’re here together
Even the nights are better
Since I found you, oh
Even the days are brighter
When someone you love’s beside ya
Even the nights are better
Since I found you

You, you knew just what to do
‘Cause you had been lonely too
And you showed me how
To ease the pain and
You did more than mend a broken heart
‘Cause now you’ve made a fire start
And I, I can see that you feel the same way

I never dreamed there’d be someone to hold me
Until you told me and now that I’ve found you
Even the nights are better
Now that we’re here together
Even the nights are better
Since I found you, oh
Even the days are brighter
When someone you love’s beside ya
Even the nights are better
Since I found you

I never dreamed there’d be someone to hold me
Until you told me and now that I’ve found you

Even the nights are better
Now that we’re here together
Even the nights are better
Since I found you, oh
Even the days are brighter
When someone you love’s beside ya
Even the nights are better
Since I found you

Songwriters: J. L. Wallace / Kenneth E. Bell / Terry Skinner
Even the Nights Are Better lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Here’s To A Jolly Monday … 🥂

Monday-sleepy-2G’mornin’ friends … welcome {yawn} to Monday.  No, I didn’t have a ‘wild weekend’.  I look like this every morning … I just got up too late to hide the ugly before you got here today.  Jolly helped me whip up a few treats to start the morning out right …

juice box                 coffee              cuppa tea

Now let’s see if we can find something fun to start this week off, shall we?


Cabbage is not my favourite veggie, though I can tolerate it in such things as coleslaw (Miss Goose calls it ‘funny salad’) or in an egg roll.  Otherwise, I leave the cabbage in the produce aisle for someone else.  But Rosemary Norwood and her husband, Sean Cadman, who live in the Tasmanian valley of Jackeys Marsh, Australia, have grown a cabbage that I think would feed the entirety of Australia for a few months, at least!huge cabbage.pngNorwood said she kept hungry wallabies and possums out with a wire fence, and had to place the cabbage under a fine net to stop slugs and butterflies. The toil has been worth it, however — the cabbage ended up large enough to provide almost two weeks’ worth of coleslaw, German rotkohl and salads for their guests.  Personally, I would have let the wallabies have it …


You all remember the Smurfs from Saturday morning television, right?smurfs-toonPer Wikipedia …

The Smurfs is a Belgian comic franchise centered on a fictional colony of small, blue, human-like creatures who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest. The Smurfs was first created and introduced as a series of comic characters by the Belgian comics artist Peyo (the pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958, wherein they were known as Les Schtroumpfs.

And an interesting tidbit …

The word “smurf” is the original Dutch translation of the French “schtroumpf”, which, according to Peyo, is a word he invented during a meal with fellow cartoonist André Franquin when he could not remember the word salt.

smurfsBut I digress.  In the town of Lauchringen, near the German border with Switzerland, an unusual gathering took place on Saturday.  2,762 living human smurfs attended a gathering dressed and painted blue in the regulation smurf attire — curly hats and all.  They set a record previously held by Welsh students who managed to unite 2,510 regulation smurfs in Swansea back in 2009.

The rules of the game are strict: the only people counted as the genuine article are those with any bare skin painted blue and the rest of the body clothed in smurf attire.


I did not watch the Grammy Awards show last week.  I don’t watch television except to catch a few bits and pieces of the British shows my daughter watches on weekends, and even if I watch television, I’m bored by awards-type shows.  But, I keep seeing pictures of some of the … um … costumes?  Get-ups?  I mean, seriously, some of these garbs are cringe-worthy.  They remind me of something out of a bad sci-fi movie.  Take a look for yourselves …

For the record … I would not be caught dead in any of those abominations!


A few fun things I stumbled across on the ‘net last week …

Killing-Mosquitos

Pizza-pals

Pizza Pals

popcorn

bath-time-human.gif

Bath time, Human!!!


This video is proof of that old expression, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” …


I sent Jolly out last night in search of a really cute animal video.  I told him to make it extra special, something guaranteed to make our friends laugh.  I think he did a pretty good job …


And now, my friends, I hope you have a lovely week and that you remember to share those smiles, have a kind word for someone who needs one, and be happy.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!toon-Maxine