Rainy Day Thoughts

Just a few thoughts on this rainy Sunday afternoon …


No longer should we be shocked or even surprised by man’s inhumanity to man, for we have seen enough instances of it to know it exists.  Humans have great capacity for love, but for many there are too many conditions placed on that love, and their capacity for cruelty and hatred is even greater than their capacity for love.


You may not have heard about the teacher in Pflugerville, Texas (yes, there really is a town by that name, but don’t ask me to pronounce it!) who was fired a couple of weeks ago.  Why?  Because of the conversation he had with his class of 6th grade children …

Teacher: “Deep down in my heart, I’m ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one.”

Student: “So White is better than all?”

Teacher: “Let me finish. I think everybody thinks that. They’re just not honest about it.”

Student: “You said you are a racist, right?”

Teacher: “I did, yeah, I’m trying to be honest.”

When a student asked him to repeat what he had just said, he lashed out …

Teacher: “I said, ‘I am a racist.’ That’s what I said. Do you know what that means?”

My jaw dropped when I read that! Those kids were 12-13 years old! This man was never fit to be a teacher, to be alone with a group of children at all!!!  Does this man believe that being a racist is something to be proud of?  Somebody, presumably one of the students, recorded the incident and when parents found out, naturally they were outraged and reported the conversation to the school board, who promptly fired the unnamed teacher the following Monday. How many more teachers are of the same belief, and while perhaps are not as blatant about it, subtly allow their racism to bleed into their interactions with their classes?


On Wednesday, I was at my local Kroger grocery store picking up a few last-minute things for Thanksgiving dinner.  As I was trying to reach something on a high shelf, a man literally pushed me aside to get by me.  Surprisingly, I remained cool, calm and collected, saying only loudly enough for him to hear me, “Oh, that’s okay … just shove me aside, for I’m sure that you are so much more important than I am.”  He glanced back at me and nodded.  Yes, he nodded!  No, I didn’t throw anything at him, but merely rolled my eyes and muttered an obscenity under my breath.


We have so many different ‘hate groups’ in this country that I’ve lost count of them all, media figures and even church pastors are preaching hate and inciting violence.  Pair that with the gun culture that has suddenly run amok and … is it any wonder that we must look over our shoulders in any public venue, and cross our fingers when we send our children to school in hopes that they will return in one piece rather than in a body bag?

There is a saying that “Politics makes strange bedfellows,” but the opposite is also true … it makes enemies of people who would ordinarily be friends, drives a wedge between people whose goals, hopes and dreams are really the same, but they are blinded by the loud voices telling them that the paths to their dreams are different.  Would that we humans were smart enough to realize that we are being manipulated, not for our own good, but for the wealth and power of the already wealthy and powerful.  Would that we realized that we are all – regardless of skin colour, gender identity, religion, or ethnidity – in this world together and it is only when we pull together that we can make progress toward making the world a better place.

“United we stand.  Divided we fall.” – Winston Churchill

♫ Heat Wave ♫

My daughter, who is playing, along with her band, at a St. Andrew’s night event downtown this evening, texted me to say that the hotel where they are playing is so hot … and immediately this song, despite the fact that it is only 40° F (4° C) outside, popped into my head and, as so often happens, refused to vacate!  Ah well, it is the energy of the song that I love, so even if we aren’t experiencing a heat wave and I am bundled up in my sweat shirt & sweat pants, the song calls out to be played!


Written by the Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, this was the first Top 10 hit for Martha & the Vandellas, whose lead singer, Martha Reeves, started as a secretary at Motown.  

The origins of the song, according to Lamont Dozier …

“It was summertime and hot and sticky in Detroit. I often sat at the piano and played a warm-up riff to get my day started. This one particular day the heat was over the top and I was watching tv and the weatherman said we had a record-breaking five-day heat wave that was not going to let up. So all this funky riff needed was for me to throw a girl into the mix and this song was born.”

Martha & the Vandellas became the first Motown group ever to receive a Grammy Award nomination when this song was nominated in 1964 for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording; it lost to Ray Charles’ hit Busted.

This song charted at #4 in the U.S., and in 1975, Linda Ronstadt put out a version that hit #5 in the U.S. and #12 in Canada.

Heat wave
Martha and the Vandellas

Whenever I’m with him
Something inside
Starts to burning
And I’m filled with desire
Could it be a devil in me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?

It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart

Whenever he calls my name
Soft, low, sweet, and plain
Right then, right there, I feel that burning flame
Has high blood pressure got a hold on me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?

It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, heat wave
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, heat wave

Sometimes I stare in space
Tears all over my face
I can’t explain it, don’t understand it
I ain’t never felt like this before
Now that funny feeling has me amazed
Don’t know what to do, my head’s in a haze
It’s like a heat wave

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(But it’s all right, girl)
Oh
(Go ahead, girl)
Yeah, yeah
(Well, it’s all right, girl)
Oh
(Can’t miss it, that’s love, girl)
I feel it burning
(Don’t pass up this chance)
Right here in my heart
(It sounds like a true romance)
Don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?
Burning right here (Burning, burning, burning)
In my heart (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland / Eddie Holland
(Love is like a) Heat wave lyrics © Stone Agate Music

Robin Hood Reversal

Hypocrisy abounds in the United States.  Take, for one example, those who call themselves ‘pro-life’.  They will take away women’s rights in order to ensure that a fetus, that may or may not turn into an actual human life, is protected, sometimes at the cost of the woman’s life, yet they will go out and shoot innocent animals, not for food, but simply for the ‘pleasure’ of killing, of taking a life.  Oh … you say it’s only human life they are ‘pro’?  Well, let’s delve a little deeper there.

Many of the very same ones who call themselves ‘pro-life’ support the death penalty, whereby at some point we could take the life of a perfectly innocent human who will later be exonerated … but he cannot be freed, for he is dead.  They rail against tax dollars being used in support of single mothers struggling to buy food to feed those babies that the ‘pro-lifers’ insisted they have.  They also stand firm for unlimited guns in the hands of any who want them, claiming it is a “god-given” right.  Guns, I might remind you, have a singular purpose:  to kill, to take those lives that these people claim to be protecting.  ‘Pro-life’ is really nothing more than anti-women.  Call a spade a bloody shovel, as my friend Mary says.

Perhaps one of the greatest hypocrisies that abound in the U.S. today is the attitude of some toward immigrants.  I would bet money that every single person who wants to ‘build a wall’ or ‘shut down the border’ is the child of immigrant ancestry.  Their grandparents or great-great-great grandparents – someone from their family tree came to this country from another seeking freedoms or opportunities they were deprived of in their ancestral land.  And yet, when people are knocking on the door at our southern border or seeking admission from a Middle Eastern nation, the people of this nation would turn them away.  Too bad the Indigenous People of North America didn’t have the wherewithal to turn away those who came to our shores in the 16th and 17th centuries and beyond!

As a child, I was told that ‘America’ is the land of opportunity, the ‘Land of milk and honey’, the land where you can grow up to be anything you want.  And that’s true for the mostly-white, mostly-male millionaires and billionaires, but for the rest of us … we have an opportunity to try to survive as best we can.  Dodge the bullets, folks, keep your head down and work your ass off and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to afford to pay your rent and buy groceries next week.

And speaking of those wealthy people … here’s a statistic that will blow your mind.  19,000 – The number of Americans who made at least $1 million in 2020 who also collected unemployment assistance that year, according to new IRS data. That included 4,500 people who earned between $5 million and $10 million and 229 people with eight-figure incomes or more.  Think on that one for just a minute … a person whose total salary in 2020, the year of the pandemic when people were in serious danger of going hungry or losing their homes, was over a million dollars, got an additional $13,900 from our taxpayer dollars!!!  Not just one person but 19,000 millionaires got extra money from We the People.  Talk about hypocrisy!!!  That anyone who had already made $1 million or more that year, or had millions in the bank, would even apply for unemployment benefits is the lowest of low.

Certain members of Congress are hoping to be able to cut Social Security and Medicare soon … programs that we working people have paid into every day of our working lives … but there is no mention of cutting their own pensions or salaries or perks.  I call it Robin Hood Reversal … rob from the poor to give to the rich.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 11/26

My mind seems not to have yet recovered from the Thanksgiving holiday and I can’t even seem to figure out what day of the week it is, much less put fingers to keyboard to write a reasonably coherent post.  But that’s okay — fortunately the cartoonists have my back and are as sharp as ever!  Our friend TokyoSand is also right on top of things and has searched the world over via the internet to find the best of the best.  Needless to say, Elon Musk heads the list of things that go ‘bump’ in the night, but there are plenty of others, as well.  So, without further ado, heeeeeeeeere’s TokyoSand …


As a heavy Twitter user for the past 6+ years, forgive me for all the cartoons about Twitter. It has been an important place to share news and opinions, and it’s hard to watch it overrun with trolls, especially its CEO. But there was other political news, which you’ll find covered below.…

Be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons!

♫ Tiny Dancer ♫

I told you last night when I played Goodbye Yellow Brick Road that you’d probably see this one soon, but I really didn’t think it would be quite this soon!  Oh well, here we are …

The lyrics, written by Bernie Taupin, were inspired by Taupin’s first visit to the US in 1970, and were intended to capture the spirit of California, where he found the women he met highly contrasted with those who he had known in his home country of England. A common misconception is that the song’s lyrics were about Taupin’s first wife, Maxine Feibelman. Taupin has stated that this wasn’t true, and that the belief came about due to the song being dedicated to Feibelman on the original album.

Due to the song’s lengthy run time and lack of a hook, Tiny Dancer was initially a non-starter as a single in the US, reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop chart, and was not even released as a single in the UK.  Eventually, the song slowly became one of John’s most popular songs even in the territories that initially failed to embrace it.

Tiny Dancer
Elton John

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad

Piano man he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on she sings the songs
The words she knows, the tune she hums

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly, slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly, slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Tiny Dancer lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Saturday Surprise — Uniquely Interesting Critters!

I thought we could all use a short break from the world of news & politics this morning, so I popped over to Bored Panda to see if I could find us some cute critter fun, and LO & BEHOLD!  I found some!!!  Just a few cute critters with some unique traits and habits to, hopefully, bring a smile to your face before you start out on your weekend chores that might include a bit of Christmas shopping this weekend.

Some of these are animals you’re already familiar with, but have unique features or traits you may not have known about, while others are likely new to you!

Here’s Twinzy, A Half-Sider Budgie, Half-Siders Are Budgies With A Condition Called “Chimerism” Which, In Genetics, Means That It’s The Result Of Non-Identical Twins Fusing Together Early In Their Development To Become One!

Although It Takes Newborn Elephants Only A Few Hours To Master Standing And Walking, They Need 1 Year To Figure Out How To Use Their Trunks To Drink Water

The Resplendent Quetzal Is A Sacred Symbol In Mesoamerica And Guatemala’s National Bird, Pictured On The Country’s Flag. They Favor Eating Fruit In The Avocado Family, Eating Them Whole Before Regurgitating The Pits. Essentially Making Them The Avocado “Gardeners” Of Their Forest Habitats

The Maned Wolf Is The One Of Largest Canid In South America. This Species Is The Only Member Of Its Genus. Although Technically, It Is Not A Fox Or A Wolf. Its Long Legs Are Likely An Adaptation To The Tall Grasslands Of Its Native Habitat

The Wild Iberian Lynx Population Has Increased Tenfold In The Last Two Decades, From 94 Individuals In 2002 To 1,111 Lynxes In 2021, A True Success Story Owing To Conservation Efforts And Public Awareness. Listed As “Endangered”, The Lynx Lives In Fragmented Wilderness Areas In Spain And Portugal

The Olinguito (Bassaricyon Neblina) Made Global Headlines When Scientists Announced Its Discovery In 2013, A Notable Event As This Was The First Carnivore Described In The Western Hemisphere Since The 1970s. It Is Native To The Forests Of Colombia And Ecuador. This Is A Photo Of A Baby Olinguito

The Indian Giant Squirrel Can Grow To A Full Length Of Over A Metre

Blue-Footed Boobies Have Bright Blue Feet Due To Their Diet, And The Level Of Brightness Shows How Healthy The Bird Is To Their Mate!

Bat-Eared Foxes Sleep Mostly During The Day In Their Burrows And Emerge At Dusk To Feed Mainly On Termites And Other Insects. As You Can Guess, They Have An Incredible Sense Of Hearing

Gray Wolves Eating Blueberries; Wolves Actually Covet Berries And Other Fruits, During Their Growing Seasons Berries Can Make Up 80% Of Wolf Packs’ Diet

Hey, maybe that explains why I love berries — blueberries, raspberries, blackberries — I always knew the wolf was my spirit animal!!!

The Appaloosa Is An American Horse Breed Known For Its Distinctive And Colorful Leopard Complex-Spotted Coat. Each Horse’s Color Pattern Is Genetically The Result Of Various Overlay Patterns On One Of Several Recognized Base Coat Colors. This Particular Appaloosa Is Sporting A Peacock-Leopard Coat

This Is A Baby Giraffe, Giraffes Are The Tallest Mammals On The Planet. Baby Giraffes Usually Will Be Able To Stand And Walk Within 5 Hours Of Being Born. They Stand Most Of Their Life And Need Very Little Sleep. Plus They Have The Most Adorable Babies

The Tufted Coquette Is A Hummingbird That Breeds In Eastern Venezuela, Trinidad, Guiana, And Northern Brazil. The Male, Pictured Here, Has A Rufous Head Crest And A Coppery Green Back With A Whitish Rump Band That Is Prominent In Flight. Tufted Coquettes Are Known For Being Quite Approachable

The Male Of The Purple-Gold Jumping Spider (Irura Bidenticulata) Is Recognized By Its Striking, Shiny Magenta-Gold Patterned Body. It Was Discovered In 2011 In Southeast Asia. The Purple-Gold Jumping Spider Typically Measures 5–6 Mm. It Is Not Considered Harmful To Humans

Costasiella Kuroshimae (Leaf Sheep) Are Capable Of A Chemical Process Called Kleptoplasty, In Which They Retain The Chloroplasts From The Algae They Feed On. Absorbing The Chloroplasts From Algae Then Enables Them To Indirectly Perform Photosynthesis

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today, folks.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Conservative Millionaire CEOs Are Becoming Their Own Stereotype of the Welfare Queen

In case you were wondering why far too many of our members of Congress do NOT represent us, the answer lies here in this well-spoken post by our friend Gronda. It all boils down to this: The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer. Democracy in action? I think not.

Gronda Morin

Disclaimer: I’m pro-business but I truly do believe in free enterprise, competition in the marketplace where companies win by innovating, creating new widgets, smart cost cutting while paying their employees a living wage and treating them and their consumers with respect.

In short, anyone like Elon Musk buying a company at an inflated price where bills aren’t paid, employees who’ve yet to be fired are treated with disrespect, and management doesn’t deliver on a quality product, shouldn’t be allowed to stay in business. It’s the height of hubris for CEOs to blame workers who don’t want to live 24/7 in the workplace for their owners’ stupidity. This is the definition of lazy management and the antithesis of businessmen taking personal responsibility for their own lack of due diligence and failures. These greedy short-sighted CEOs have become their own stereotype of the “welfare queen.”

These are the same guys who get…

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♫ Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ♫

Last night after we returned from sharing Thanksgiving dinner with our friends, after the girls put away the leftovers and cleaned the kitchen (that’s our standing deal — I make the mess cooking and they clean it up while I take a break!), Chris started watching a biographical film about Elton John’s early years beginning in his childhood and going up through his rehab treatment after years of drug abuse and ultimately a heart attack.  I almost never watch television, but this one caught my interest so I ended up watching most of it, despite not being able to hear the music.  It was well worth the time spent, and now long story short, I’m in the mood to play some Elton John!  I debated between this one and Tiny Dancer … this one won out for today, but I suspect you’ll see Tiny Dancer here before long.


It goes without saying that the “Yellow Brick Road” image comes from the book/movie The Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum.  Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics to this and most of Elton’s other songs often seems to write about Elton, but this one appears to be about himself. The lyrics are about giving up a life of opulence for one of simplicity in a rural setting.

Speaking about the song, Taupin said:

“It’s funny, but there are songs that I recall writing as if it was yesterday. And then there are those I have absolutely no recollection of, whatsoever. In fact, I’d have to say that for the most part, if someone was to say that the entire Yellow Brick Road album was actually written by someone else, I might be inclined to believe them. I remember being there, just not physically creating.

There was a period when I was going through that whole ‘got to get back to my roots’ thing, which spawned a lot of like-minded songs in the early days, this being one of them. I don’t believe I was ever turning my back on success or saying I didn’t want it. I just don’t believe I was ever that naïve. I think I was just hoping that maybe there was a happy medium way to exist successfully in a more tranquil setting. My only naiveté, I guess, was believing I could do it so early on. I had to travel a long road and visit the school of hard knocks before I could come even close to achieving that goal. So, thank God I can say quite categorically that I am home.”

ben-jerrysIn 2008, Ben & Jerry’s created a flavor of ice cream in honor of Elton John called “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road.” Made of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks, it was made to commemorate Elton’s first concert in Vermont (home of the ice cream makers) on July 21, 2008 at the Essex Junction fairgrounds. Elton had played every other state before his Vermont show. He had some of the ice cream before the show.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John

When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing, the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you’ll do then?
I bet that’ll shoot down your plane
It’ll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

My Thoughts On Thanksgiving This Year

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.  The origins of this day mean nothing to me, for they are based on lies, on the whitewashing of the factual history of the nation.  However, I still treasure the day for other reasons.  It is a time to stop for a minute, to remember the things that most of us have to be thankful for, starting with family & friends.  But this year feels different to me.  I am sad.  I feel guilty that I do have so much to be thankful for.  I have my family, small though it is, and wonderful friends, all of you included.  I have electricity and can keep my house reasonably warm or cool, can keep my food cold in the fridge and then cook it in the oven.  I have hot and cold running water and plenty of it.  I have a car that runs.  We have enough money to pay our bills and still have a bit left over at the end of the month.  So yes, I am thankful, but I still feel guilty when I think of all the people, both here and elsewhere, who have none of those things.

In Ukraine, winter is setting in and many residents have no electricity, no water.  Some have lost their homes to Russian bombs.  Some have lost their spouses, their children and grandchildren. Can you imagine living under those conditions?  And apart from donating a few dollars here and there, there is little to nothing that most of us can do to help.

Even here in the U.S., often referred to as a wealthy nation, more than a half-million people are living on the streets or in homeless shelters.  37.9 million people in this country are living in poverty … that’s 11.6% of the population!  6.6 million people worldwide have died of Covid since March 2020.  Imagine how many grieving friends and family members they have left behind.

Then there is the rise in all forms of bigotry … LGBTQ people being shoved back into the proverbial closet, Black people being murdered simply because of the colour of their skin, women being stripped of their rights, and religious extremism threatening to invade the very foundation of human rights.

So yes, I feel guilty.  I am no better than a homeless person, no better than a person in Ukraine, so why should I be enjoying a veritable feast with my family and good friends, while others suffer so much?  It isn’t a perfect world, but frankly … the world could be a whole lot better if governments worked together to solve problems instead of creating them, if those who can afford to shared their wealth with others less fortunate, and if everyone set aside petty differences to work for the collective good.

That said … it is not my intent to be dreary and depressing.  We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our dear friends, the al-Dabbagh family.  They came to this country as refugees from Iraq about 10 years ago, and almost immediately we became close friends.  They are warm and loving people and we do so enjoy sharing cultures, food, and much joy with them.  They have a new baby, Naya, this year who is just 3 months old, so I’ll get to spend time spoiling her!  I don’t suggest that we all shouldn’t have a great holiday, but I just wanted to share with you some of my own thoughts, my feelings that despite our troubles, we all have so much to be thankful for.

And on that note, I wish all my friends in the U.S. a very happy holiday with friends & family (and turkey), and to the rest, I just wish you a happy day.  I will be busy cooking for our two families (9 people in total), so I won’t likely have an afternoon post nor be answering comments today, but I will try to get caught up on Friday.  Love ‘n hugs to you all!

DAMMIT!!! 🤬

Wednesday, 1:30 a.m.

1:30 this morning, I had just finished my music post and was getting ready to put it on the schedule for the usual time, 11:00 a.m.  Suddenly my phone went mad with a knock-knock here and a knock-knock there.  Being nearly deaf, my notification sound is a sharp knock, which I can hear much better than any tone.  Usually, it is silent at 1:30 in the morning, so I knew something was up.  Sure enough … three notifications from The Guardian, The Washington Post, and the New York Times informing me that a gunman had shot and killed multiple people in a Wal-Mart store in Virginia.

GODDAMMIT PEOPLE!!!!  Two days before Thanksgiving and people cannot even go buy a damned turkey or some sweet potatoes without getting killed???  We the People … our damned lives are less important to the members of Congress we pay to protect us than the profits of the damned gun industry?

As I pound the keyboard, hitting as many wrong keys as right ones, my loving cat Oliver, sensing my distress, hops onto my lap and using his paw, gently pulls my left hand away from the keyboard.  Whoever called them ‘dumb animals’ was dead wrong … they’re a hell of a lot smarter than we humans are.

Having spent a few minutes patting Oliver and chatting with him, my tears have dried and I am now somewhat calmer … at least I’m hitting the right keys now!  By the time I resume this post later today, hopefully there will be some details, but already … barely 3 hours after the massacre, Wal-Mart management is sending useless ‘thoughts and prayers’ just as most of our elected officials who cannot be bothered to take guns out of the hands of lunatics will be doing by this afternoon.  The latest from the BBC is that they think it may have been the store manager who opened fire, but … don’t worry, folks, for a Wal-Mart corporate executive said that the company is “shocked by this tragic event.”

On that note, I shall switch gears, pat Oliver a bit longer, have a piece of cheese, try for some sleep (it is now 2:45 a.m.), and return to this story later this morning.

Wednesday afternoon

Well, details remain sketchy but apparently it was the night manager who did the shooting.  He was in the break room with a number of employees planning for today’s deluge of last-minute Thanksgiving shoppers, and just as the meeting was about to break up, the manager pulled out a pistol and opened fire.  Six people were killed and either 4 or 5 were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries.  Given that there were some 20+ employees in that break room and the store was crowded with shoppers, it’s a small wonder that there weren’t more killed.  The gunman then turned the gun on himself and was dead when police arrived.  The name of the shooter (murderer) has not been released and the FBI is involved in the investigation.

Mass shootings … as commonplace as syrup on pancakes.  Someday perhaps we will have lawmakers who see it as their duty to craft restrictive gun laws with teeth, but as long as the gun industry is allowed to put lots of money into the pockets of these men and women, essentially buying their votes against ANY gun restrictions, these shootings will continue to escalate.  People claim the biggest reason for gun ownership is self-defense, but it is rare that a gun is used for self-defense.  The night manager at Wal-Mart certainly wasn’t ‘defending’ himself, nor was the murderer at Club Q last weekend, nor was the man who killed three University of Virginia football players ten days ago.  More often than not, guns are used to murder people for any or no reason, but not self-defense.

In some states today, it is as easy to buy a gun as it is to buy a pack of bananas.  When does it stop?  Does it stop when some crazed gunman kills a large number of members of Congress, or perhaps the President?  I know you’re all tired of hearing me rant about guns, and I’m tired of writing about guns, but until something is done, I WILL KEEP WRITING ABOUT IT!!!