Jolly Monday

Good Monday morning Friends, Romans, Countrymen … oh wait … forget those last two … I don’t know what got into me … I didn’t come to bury Trump Caesar, honest.  Well, Jolly has returned from his mission … a mission in which he was unsuccessful, so he’s a bit feverish and under the weather today, however he wants to do his part for Jolly Monday.  Just overlook him if he’s a bit … erm … out of sorts.

Jolly

Well, let’s have a little snack to start our visit … don’t worry, I didn’t let Jolly help with the baking this morning … and then lets find us some chuckles!


The value of a banana?

How can you not click on a headline that reads …

Banana artwork that fetched $120,000 is eaten by ‘hungry’ artist

Now, I had no idea what “banana artwork” was before delving into this article in The Guardian, but when I saw it … my jaw hit the floor.  No, I wasn’t amazed in the way that I might be over a Monet or Van Gogh.  I was speechless in the way of … well, take a look for yourself …banana-art.jpg

The piece, titled Comedian, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, was on show at the international gallery Perrotin at Art Basel in Miami.  It was hailed as “a symbol of global trade”.  And somebody paid $120,000 to own … an overripe banana duct-taped to a wall.  Only one question, really, comes to mind:

why

On further investigation, I find that there were actually three of these “limited-edition” pieces, each sold for between $120,000 – $150,000, and each accompanied by a “certificate of authenticity” and instructions for installation.  Just goes to prove what I’ve been saying for years now … some people have more money than good sense!

But back to the story …

Shortly before 2 p.m. on Saturday, a New York City-based performance artist, David Datuna, peeled the taped banana from the wall and devoured it, raising the half-eaten banana as if making a toast.banana-art-eatenGallery officials replaced the banana with another one, saying that the artwork was not destroyed and that the banana was simply an “idea.”  Okay, fine, but what about the poor fool who paid $120,000 for that banana?


And speaking of art …

A Florida city unveiled an unusual beachfront artwork — a life-sized recreation of a traffic jam sculpted from sand.

The City of Miami Beach commissioned Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich to create Order of Importance, an installation consisting of 66 sand sculptures of cars and trucks lined up on South Beach.  According to Erlich …

traffic-jam-sand-artist.jpg

“It’s a poetic version of a traffic jam, and it’s open to the public in a public space. It addresses an issue that is linked to our relationship to the natural order, the environment and how important it is to remain in balance in order to survive.”

Hmmmm … I’m not so sure I would call a traffic jam “natural order”, but I acknowledge both the effort and skill it took to make all those sand sculpture cars!  It took Mr. Erlich two years, and 330 tons of sand to complete this scene, and there are 66 life-sized sculptures of cars and trucks stuck in an imaginary traffic jam on the oceanfront of popular Lincoln Road.traffic-jam-sand-artist-2traffic-jam-sand-artist-3The installation cost over a million dollars, but the city paid only $300,000 thanks to sponsors and donations.


Weary Willie …

Today is Weary Willie Day … this came to my attention as a result of the nightly email I get apprising me of the next day’s ‘National Days’.  Never having heard of Weary Willie Day, I was intrigued and had to go check it out … I did so with some trepidation, figuring there was a chance it was something a bit kinky. Don’t worry – it’s not.

Weary Willie Day on December 9th recognizes the art of clowning and the impact it has on our lives. This holiday was named for the character made famous by Emmett Kelly, who was born on this day in 1898.

Weary-Willie Weary Willie was a unique character in the art of clowning.  Kelly had developed Weary Willy at a time when the white-faced, goofy clown was the norm, and selling the idea for a sad, down-on-his-luck clown did not fit the formula most circuses were seeking.  For the time being, Kelly put back on the white face and the brightly colored costume. 

 Times and attitudes changed when the country was in the depths of the Great Depression.  Downtrodden and world-weary was the face of the nation.  People could identify with Weary Willie like never before. Weary Willie, his frowning, whisker-shadowed face and his dirty, torn and worn costume, went on to become an American icon.Weary-Willie-2His son, Emmett Kelly, Jr. carried on Weary Willie’s persona well into the modern era until his death in 2003, at the age of 83.


Are you in the mood for some ‘toons today (not the political kind, just the make-you-laugh kind)?

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I thought this guy was just too cute to pass up …cute-pic-1


And of course, I cannot wrap up Jolly Monday without a cute animal video, now can I?  Let’s take a look at some adorable baby … elephants!


jollyAnd, that’s about it for another Jolly Monday folks!  I hope you have a wonderful week ahead, and remember … your smile goes such a long way toward bringing joy to others … please remember to share it this week!  Love and hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!!!

You Can Do WHAT Online???

A couple of weeks ago, November 20th to be exact, I received an email from a group called Concealed Online.  The email read …

“It was penned like this in December 1791…’A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

Today, almost 228 years later, The World Has Changed… I am writing to urge you to GET YOUR CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT!

This week we celebrate our nations birthday… 243 years old (using the average human lifespan that’s just over 3 lifespans ago).

In that short period of time we have fought in 5 major wars, elected 45 presidents, and have passedover 20,000 laws…

Unfortunately, many of those laws have moved us further and further from freedom all in the name of order and protection. The truth is protection starts at home and our forefathers knew it… they knew this day of BIG GOVERNMENT would sneak up on us all…

This is why I encourage you fellow patriots exercise your right to bear arms HERE AND NOW!

I just wanted to encourage you that you should Get Your Concealed Carry Permit while it is still legal and easy… California Democrats has already made it nearly impossible to get one there and the Liberals are slowly advancing their agenda in Congress.

This site helps people get their CCW Permit through online certification… They are truly patriots, they are available by phone as well if you just want more information.

There may not be an option for you to legally carry next year. Tomorrow may be too late. Get your permit while its still legal to do so.”

And then they provided a link where I could “Start the online process”.  It wasn’t the first such email I had received, but it was the first one I decided to take note of … for I was curious … is it really so simple for a person to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon as simply logging onto a website?  And so, I did a bit of digging.

When I followed the link, their website begins with an introduction that said all I had to do to obtain a Virginia (note that I don’t live in Virginia, but Virginia has a reciprocal agreement with 28 other states) concealed carry license was to watch a short video, answer 12 multiple choice questions, fill out an application, send them $65 and PRESTO!  I could go around with a gun stuck in my waistband, pocket, or maybe even a holster under my shirt.  Wow, huh?

No, I didn’t watch the video or take the 12-question test, for the simple reason that I don’t want to be on these people’s radar.  I don’t know how they got my email address, but I have no intention of giving them a reason to keep bothering me with such emails.  But, I did do some digging and found that in last year’s election cycle, this organization spent mega bucks … some $2 million … advertising on Facebook.

Its ads warned about the “blue wave.” “MOB RULE IS COMING!” read one series of ads before the midterm elections.  And after: “IT’S ALMOST OVER! The Gun Control Dems are IN.”ConcealedCarryAd-01Concealed Online launched in 2016, three years after Virginia started allowing people to take online courses to qualify for concealed carry permits. Those permits are recognized in states across the country, and even nonresidents of Virginia are eligible. The company’s owner saw a business opportunity in that. So, he developed an online training course, where people can watch a video on gun safety, take a test, and instantly download a certificate of competency with a handgun for a fee. You can take the test as many times as you need, making it nearly impossible to fail.

A writer for WIRED, Issie Lapowsky, says she took the test and intentionally answered a few questions wrong, and still passed – though she had not even watched the ‘safety’ video!

The Better Business Bureau gives Concealed Online an F rating, in part because it has received 25 complaints—primarily from people who paid for the certificate only to find out that Virginia’s permits aren’t recognized in their state.  The company’s owner says Concealed Online sells certificates to people living in states like California and Colorado, which don’t accept Virginia permits, because they can use them when they travel to states that do.

Think about that one, folks.  John Doe can decide to go on a shooting spree and get permission to carry a concealed gun in 28 states within a matter of minutes, and for only $65.  Is it any wonder that the U.S. has the highest rate of deaths by gun in the world?  Is it any wonder that as of November 19th, there have been 45 school shootings in the U.S.?  Is it any wonder that as of October 31st there had been 370 mass shootings, killing 441 people and injuring another 1,466?  And is it any wonder that as of today, December 8th, there have been 36,734 gun deaths in the U.S. this year – 14,162 murder/homicides, and 22,572 suicides.  And those so-called “prolife” people worry about abortion???

Oh, and by the way … you can also buy a gun online.buy-guns-online

crying

The Day That Lives On — December 7, 1941

On this day in 1941, at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appeared out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

Today, I came across a piece on the Jon S. Randall Peace Page about one of the heroines of that day, and I thought it a good thing to share with you …

On December 7, 1941, Japanese dive-bombers and Zero fighters screamed overhead at Pearl Harbor and Army hospitals on the island were overwhelmed with burn victims. At Hickam Air Field Station Hospital, amid the noise and confusion, dealing with shortages of supplies and even beds, one woman stood out, working ceaselessly and calmly despite the enormous loss of life around her.

First Lieutenant Annie G. Fox, Chief Nurse at the hospital, assisted in surgical procedures, administered pain medicine to the injured and prepped some for travel to nearby hospitals when the 30-bed facility was overwhelmed.

She was one of many recognized for their exemplary service on that tragic day in American history, and she would become the first US service woman to receive the Purple Heart, which she received for her actions during the attack.

Even though she was not wounded, at that time, the US military awarded Purple Hearts for “singularly meritorious act of extraordinary fidelity or essential service.”

But, two years after being awarded the Purple Heart, the criteria was changed to only those who received wounds by enemy action. Her Purple Heart was rescinded, and she was instead awarded the Bronze Star medal on October 6th, 1944, using the same citation for the Purple Heart originally awarded to her.

Fox was born on August 4, 1893 in Pubnico, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia.

There is not a lot of information on Fox online, but according to the War Time Heritage Association, “she served during the First World War from July 8, 1918 to July 14, 1920 and in the Second World War. Throughout the 1920’s and 30’s she served in New York, Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Fort Mason in San Diego, California, and Camp John Hay in Benguet and Manila in the Philippines. After sometime back in the Continental US, she was assigned to Honolulu, Hawaii in May of 1940. She was granted an examination for the promotion to Chief Nurse on August 1, 1941, promoted to 1st Lieutenant and transferred to Hickam field in November of 1941.”

After Pearl Harbor, Fox was awarded the Purple Heart on October 26, 1942 for her “outstanding performance of duty.”

The citation read:

“During the attack, Lieutenant Fox in an exemplary manner, performed her duties as head nurse of the Station Hospital . . . [She] worked ceaselessly with coolness and efficiency and her fine example of calmness, courage, and leadership was of great benefit to the morale of all with whom she came in contact.”

Although her Purple Heart was replaced with the Bronze Star, “the United States Armed Forces still recognizes Lt. Annie G. Fox as the first woman to ever have been awarded the Purple Heart medal,” according to the Purple Heart Foundation.

The Foundation states, “At 47 years old, Lt. Fox was for the first time placed in the middle of battle. There was gunfire, bombs detonating, and the sound of airplanes whipping over the hospital. It was not long after the attack began that the Japanese pilots turned their attention near Hickam Field and Station Hospital. While the “hellfire” rained down outside the hospital, Lt. Fox cleared her mind and jumped into action. She assembled her nurses and sought after volunteers from the base community to help her look after the wounded that started to arrive.”

Fox, according to the Wartime Heritage Association, “went on to be promoted to the rank of Captain [on] May 26, 1943 after transferring to Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, California. Annie Fox had a number of posts in the Army Nurse Corps serving as Assistant to the Principal Chief Nurse at Camp Phillips, Kansas. She served at Camp Kansas from 1943 to 1944. While there she was promoted to the rank of Major. Prior to her retirement from active duty December 15, 1945 she also served at Fort Francis E Warren in Wyoming. She eventually settled in San Diego, California where two of her sisters resided. She never married.”

She died on January 20, 1987 in San Francisco, California at the age of 93.

In March 2017, Hawaii Magazine ranked her among a list of the most influential women in Hawaiian history.

According to the Wartime Heritage Association, “regardless of the [Purple Heart’s] evolution over time or what it was decided would be awarded based on the circumstances, it is clear Fox acted with great heroism, courage and service to her fellow servicemen and women.”Annie-Fox

Saturday Surprise — Saving Bees!

bees-toonI almost didn’t do a Saturday Surprise again this week, for as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been unable to corral my mind and it just wasn’t working.  But then, I was going through some notes I had of saved topics and realized I could do Saturday Surprise on a topic I’ve been wanting to do for a while, just never found time … BEES!  Don’t worry … I promise you won’t get stung!

Now, we all know that the bee population in the U.S. and globally has been declining for years.  Most of the reasons are attributable to humans … loss of habitat and bee-killing pesticides being two of the main causes.  And, all living creatures depend on bees for food … one-third of all our food depends on bee pollination, so those little guys are pretty important!

Since this is a Saturday Surprise post, one of the rules is ‘no politics’, so I won’t mention what some governments are doing to exacerbate the decline of the bee population, but instead will focus on some of the good things people are doing to try to save the bees!  Rather a hybrid of Saturday Surprise and Good People!


Let’s start with a trip to the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht, to be specific.  This city has transformed all 316 of its bus stops into bee sanctuaries.  The Netherlands is home to 358 different bee species but more than half of them are already endangered and have been placed on the Dutch Red List of threatened species.utrechtThese bee sanctuaries or rather ‘bee stops’ are essentially standard bus stops with grass and wildflowers planted on the roofs to encourage pollination. Not only do bee stops support the city’s biodiversity by attracting honey bees and bumblebees, they also help capture fine dust and store rainwater.

Bee stops are tended to by workers who drive around the city in electric vehicles. But the scheme requires little maintenance because the roofs are mainly composed of sedum plants, which are a favourite among pollinators and require very little water to survive. To improve facilities for the human visitors, the bus stops have also been fitted with energy-efficient LED lights and bamboo benches.utrecht-2This is just one of the many measures Utrecht has introduced to improve urban biodiversity. It also runs a similar scheme which allows residents to apply for funding to transform their own roofs into bee sanctuaries. And as part of its clean transport goals, the aim is to introduce 55 new electric buses by the end of the year and to have “completely clean public transport” by 2028. The electricity used to power these buses will come from one of the Netherland’s most iconic attractions: windmills.

Now THAT’S what I call an environmentally conscious city!  And one of the most bee-friendly I know of.


You all know actor Morgan Freeman from such movies as Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and others, but I bet you didn’t know that he owns a 124-acre ranch in Mississippi that he has turned into a bee sanctuary! morgan-freemanFreeman’s foray into beekeeping began in 2014, where he discussed his new hobby with Jimmy Fallon during The Tonight Show. Freeman had taken up beekeeping just a couple of weeks before appearing on the show and talked about his experience keeping bees and the need to preserve and save wild bees for healthy environments.

Freeman imported 26 bee hives from Arkansas to his ranch in Mississippi. There, Freeman works to feed the bees sugar and water and has help planting bee-friendly magnolia trees, lavender, clover, etc.

“There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet…We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation…”

bee-thumbs-upTwo thumbs up to Morgan Freeman … and a sincere ‘thank you’ from all of us who care about the future of life on this planet.


Ever hear of the National Pollinator Garden Network?   Neither had I until a few hours ago.  What is it?

The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) is a partnership between conservation organizations, gardening groups, volunteer civic associations and participating federal agencies to inspire people and organizations to create more pollinator habitats. The nine founding organizations launched NPGN in June 2015.

The focus of the NPGN is: to inspire individuals and community groups, institutions and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices, habitat conservation and provide these groups the tools to be successful.

The organization launched an initiative called the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, in hopes of getting one million organizations and individuals to plant and maintain ‘pollinator gardens’, consisting of pollinator-friendly plants and wild grasses that are both native and non-invasive species. Well, they now have more than met their goal with 1,040,000 as of last February.

Since the campaign launched, many gardening centers have also contributed to the challenge by offering more pollinator-friendly plants, services, and education.

Increasing the number of pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes will help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the country.

cute-beeBe sure to check out their website … if you have a garden and can take part, this is certainly a worthy venture to join!  We plant bee-friendly flowers in our tiny 2’ x 4’ postage-stamp ‘garden’ and have for years, but I haven’t got quite enough space to make much of a difference.


It’s encouraging to know that people are becoming more aware of just how crucial the bee population is to life … all life … on earth and are doing something about it, don’t you think?  And now, since I always try to end Saturday Surprise with a cute animal video, I thought this one would be appropriate today!

Have a bee-ootiful weekend, my friends!

Today’s Toons To …

I seem to have that mind bounce thing again, and am unable to focus on any one thing for more than 93 seconds, just over a minute-and-a-half, or even finish a thought.  So … what better time for some ‘toons, eh?  Perhaps a chuckle or two will clear out the cobwebs in my head!


Earlier this week, a law scholar mentioned Melania’s son’s name: Barron.  He did not do any harm, did not criticize or say anything about the child.  His statement was simply that Trump can name his son Barron, but he cannot make him a Baron.  In other words, there is no royalty in the U.S., and Trump is not a monarch.  But, Melania took umbrage.Barron


The economy … it’s the only thing, really, that Trump has going for him, and frankly he had little or nothing to do with it, and in fact his widespread tariffs are taking a toll already.  But, the fact that he touts a low unemployment rate … well, there’s another side to it all.economy-1


But of course, the main topic of the day is the impeachment process that is taking place in Congress, and the republicans’ attempt to denigrate the process and turn it into a carnival atmosphere.  Frankly, I’m surprised they don’t have a popcorn vendor outside the door.

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Have a great weekend!  Hopefully my bouncing mind will settle soon!

Damn … Just Damn

Yesterday I wrote about Devin Nunes suing everybody who offended him, who hurt his tender little feelings.  Shortly after putting that post on the schedule, I came across another very improper lawsuit that made my blood literally boil.

trayvon-martin

Trayvon Martin

You’ll remember that back in 2012, a white security guard named George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman claimed self-defense, using Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, although he weighed at least twice what young Martin weighed and was armed.  I have written about this case a few times, the first in 2013 when George Zimmerman was let off scot-free, though by all rights he should have been convicted, at the very least, of second-degree murder.

Then, in May 2016, Zimmerman popped back onto my radar when he attempted to profit from his misdeeds, from taking the life of a teenager, by selling the gun, the murder weapon, at auction for somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000 — reports vary.  He made as much as a quarter of a million dollars from the murder he committed.  Let that one sink in for a minute.

But yesterday’s news will leave you speechless.  George Zimmerman, who murdered Trayvon Martin for no other reason than he “looked suspicious” as he exited the convenience store where he had purchased a pack of Skittles candy and a beverage, filed a lawsuit in the amount of $100,000 against Trayvon Martin’s parents and others.  That’s right … it’s rather as if Charles Manson had sued the family of Sharon Tate!  Or as if Ted Bundy had sued the parents of his first victim, Karen Sparks!

ben-crump-bookIn addition to filing suit against Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, he is also suing Ben Crump, who wrote a book titled “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People,” publisher Harper Collins, Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, and various members of the prosecution team and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The killer is suing his victim’s family.  WHAT’S WRONG with this picture???

The lawsuit claims all defendants “have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other related legal rights.”  WTF???  He killed an innocent kid, got off scot-free, made a cool quarter of a million selling the murder weapon, and he claims his rights were violated??? zimmerman-2And lest you have any lingering doubts about the character of George Zimmerman, let me tell you a bit about what he has been doing since he murdered Trayvon Martin …

  • In 2013, after being acquitted in the case of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault as well as domestic violence battery and criminal mischief, for pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, smashing her furniture, and shoving her out of their shared residence.

  • In 2015, Zimmerman was arrested by Lake Mary, Florida, police and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon after allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his ex-girlfriend.

  • In 2016, Zimmerman was removed from a bar by law enforcement after yelling at a waitress and using racial slurs.

  • In May 2018, Zimmerman was charged with stalking against a private investigator who had been working with Michael Gasparro and Jay-Z on the documentary series Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. According to the investigator, in December 2017, Zimmerman contacted him with 21 phone calls, 38 text messages and 7 voice mails in two and a half hours.

Really nice guy, huh?  But wait … there’s more …

zimmerman-1In late 2013, after his acquittal, apparently he decided to use his notoriety as a claim to fame, and he took up painting, selling his first one, a U.S. flag, for just over $100,000.  On the auction page for the painting, Zimmerman wrote:

“Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself. I found a creative way to express myself, my emotions, and the symbols that represent my experiences. My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet, and allows me to remain indoors 🙂 I hope you enjoy owning this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it. Your friend, George Zimmerman.”

Trouble was, he didn’t actually paint the picture.  It was later reported that the U.S. flag painting was copied without attribution from a stock image taken from Shutterstock.  And ol’ George made $100 grand off of somebody else’s work.

In addition, he has been involved in numerous scandals on Twitter and elsewhere.  In short, George Zimmerman is what was once known as a ‘menace to society’.  I suspect it is only a matter of time before he kills again, and the people who fell for his plea of ‘self-defense’ and let him walk, will wring their hands and claim they thought he was such a ‘nice man’.

Meanwhile, as if the loss of their son wasn’t enough, Trayvon Martin’s parents now have to face a lawsuit by the man who murdered their son.  Damn.  Just damn.

Little Devin’s Feelings Are Hurt 😭

One of the not-so-illustrious faces of the GOP today, Devin Nunes, is suing media outlet CNN … for $435,350,000.  Yep, folks … you read it right.  $435 million and change!  I would love to know how he came up with that figure … heck, his life isn’t worth that much!  His net worth is estimated at $158,001 (the extra dollar … who knows … maybe the Tooth Fairy?).  He may well be the poorest member of Congress!

So why, you ask, is he suing CNN?  He is suing because last month CNN published what Nunes now claims to be a “demonstrably false hit piece.”  The story reported that in December 2018, while serving as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes traveled to Vienna and met with Ukrainian former prosecutor general Victor Shokin to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.  Funny, isn’t it, that the entire focus of Trump & Co these days is on Joe Biden?

Now, I don’t claim that CNN or any of the other news outlets are above embellishing on a story from time-to-time, but unlike Fox, Breitbart and others, they are not into conspiracy theories.  They report actual news.  Their source for the November 22nd story was an attorney for Lev Parnas, a now-indicted business associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani.  The attorney, Joseph Bondi, says Mr. Parnas would be willing to testify to Congress under oath.  CNN contacted Nunes’ office multiple times before publishing the story, asking for a response from him, but he refused to return their calls.

Nunes’ complaint is 47 pages long … lawyers always manage to write 50 pages for what could easily have been said in 2-3 sentences … and accuses Parnas of manufacturing a narrative that he hoped would help him negotiate a deal with federal prosecutors or obtain immunity from Congress.  So … why isn’t he suing Mr. Parnas?

Records disclosed Tuesday in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry report show phone calls between Nunes and Giuliani as well as between Nunes and Parnas earlier this year.  Nunes says he remembers speaking with Giuliani, but that it was all perfectly innocent, and he doesn’t remember speaking with Mr. Parnas.  I guess he has a ‘convenient memory’ like Trump, eh?

Nunes claims that CNN published the story in order to damage his reputation and ensure his removal from the ongoing impeachment inquiry.  It seems to me that Nunes is trying to catch up to Trump in the number of lawsuits to his name.  Trump has been either plaintiff or defendant in over 6,000 lawsuits during his 73 years, so while Nunes has some catching up to do, he’s certainly trying (in more ways than one).

Devin-Nunes-criesIn March, he filed a lawsuit for $250 million against Twitter, claiming that two parody Twitter accounts (one called “Devin Nunes’ Cow”) and a Republican political consultant defamed him with mean tweets.  Awwww … pobrecito!  In August, he sued McClatchy news organization for another $250 million, alleging defamation.  And in October he sued Ryan Lizza and Hearst Magazines for $77 million, claiming that a story in Esquire about the Nunes family farm in Iowa defamed him.

An interesting aside … the Devin Nunes’ Cow Twitter account had only about 1,000 followers until Mr. Nunes filed the lawsuit, and then it’s readership skyrocketed to 667,000! nunesIt seems to me that Mr. Nunes has very thin skin.  As I was writing this post, the thought occurred to me that perhaps it would be fun to mail him a box of tissues to dry his tears.  Hey, maybe he would then sue me!  That could be fun, for as the old saying goes, “you can’t get blood out of a turnip”!

The irony here is priceless, for in 2017, Devin Nunes co-sponsored HR 1179 – Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act.

Just think, if Nunes were to win all these lawsuits, he would increase his net worth from his present $158,001 to $1,012,508,001.  That’s it, folks!  I’ve got it now!  He wants to become a billionaire like so many of his peers!  All these lawsuits could put him just over the billion-dollar mark!  Except … one small problem … I don’t think he’s likely to win a single one of them!Devin-Nunes

♫ Wonderful World ♫

I’ve been behind on everything since two days before Thanksgiving, when I began grocery shopping, planning, baking, etc., and I’m still not caught back up, but … getting there.  I have missed reading friends’ blogs, and tonight I was trying to make a dent in the backlog when I came across a poem written by fellow-blogger and friend, Paul, aka Parallax.  As I commented on his post, a song came to mind … this song … What a Wonderful World, by Sam Cooke.

Released on April 14, 1960, this song was mainly composed by songwriting team Lou Adler and Herb Alpert, but Cooke revised the lyrics to mention the subject of education more.

According to Craig Werner, a professor of African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the song may have a more politically charged meaning than at first glance. In his book, A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race and the Soul of America, Werner writes that “Wonderful World” may be one of the first examples of Cooke’s crossover into politics, where he informs white listeners that he “don’t know much about history” and “don’t know much biology” as a comment that these are the things to forget about African-Americans, and all they need to remember is love.

Wonderful World
Sam Cooke

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don’t know much about geography
Don’t know much trigonometry
Don’t know much about algebra
Don’t know what a slide rule is for

But I do know one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don’t claim to be an A student
But I’m trying to be
For maybe by being an A student, baby
I can win your love for me

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

La ta ta ta ta ta ta (history)
Hmm-mm-mm (biology)
La ta ta ta ta ta ta (science book)
Hmm-mm-mm (French I took)

Yeah, but I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Songwriters: Herb Alpert / Lou Adler / Sam Cooke
Wonderful World lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc

A Few Mini-Rants … Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

It was going to be just another mildly Snarky Snippets piece, but suddenly I discovered I really felt a rant building up.  And so …


Another unqualified candidate on the bench …

Her name is Sarah Elizabeth Pitlyk, she is 42 years of age, her only judiciary experience was clerking for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, she has never tried a case as a lead or co-counsel, has never examined a witness, and yet now she is a federal judge for the U.S. District Court in St. Louis!  The American Bar Association (ABA) gave her a “not qualified” rating … you can read their letter if you wish.

So, what has she done?  What, exactly, made Trump think she was a good candidate for the federal court?  Did she bat her eyes just right, or swing her hips just so?  Oh no … here it is … “Sarah Pitlyk has spent most of her career defending our most fundamental freedoms, including religious liberty.”

Vanita Gupta, a former head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said of Pitlyk’s confirmation …

“She is exactly the type of judicial nominee that Trump promised to fill the courts with: an individual who threatens reproductive rights and access to abortion. With Pitlyk’s confirmation, the administration is betting on her to carry out their agenda for decades to come.”

Another setback to women’s rights!  One lousy republican, Senator Susan Collins, found enough compunction to vote against this woman’s confirmation.  To the rest of you damn republicans … go soak your heads in a vat of boiling oil, please!!!   Hear that low growl emitting from my throat?


Let them eat cake!  Oh wait … they cannot afford that, either

Scrooge McTrump is at it again!

The Agriculture Department gave its final approval to the first of three rules that are ultimately expected to cut more than three million from the food stamp rolls.  According to the Department of Agriculture, the economy has improved under the Trump administration, and assistance to unemployed, able-bodied adults was no longer necessary in a strong job market.

sonny-perdueSonny Perdue, head of the Department of Agriculture and one of Trump’s many yes-men, aka boot lickers, is a millionaire.  Not one night in his worthless life has he gone to bed hungry!  This is the problem with too damn many rich people in this administration … they have no concept … NONE … of what the average person deals with.

Cut food stamps, cut other social service programs, but increase military spending.  Oh yeah … let’s not forget … cut taxes on the wealthy.  Is this any way to run a government?  No, it is not.  Again, as I have said so many times before … this is a government of, by and for the wealthy and to hell with the rest of us.  The growl gets louder …


Jim Jordan …

jim-jordanI think it speaks volumes when one of the Republican Party’s loudest mouthpieces is a man who is implicated in a sex scandal at Ohio State University (OSU).  It says much about the values – or should I say lack of values – of the GOP.

Mind you, Representative Jim Jordan is not accused of sexual abuse himself, but when he served as Assistant Coach from 1986 – 1994, numerous students went to him with complaints that the campus doctor, Dr. Richard Strauss, had abused them.  Strauss has been found to have abused at least 177 male students during his tenure at the university.  Jim Jordan did nothing when students took their concerns to him, but simply blew them off.

Jordan claims that he did not know, but numerous students and even a referee have come forward to say that they went to Jordan, hoping he would help them, but instead he blew them off, saying, “Yeah, that’s Strauss.”  Where there is so much smoke, there is a fire somewhere.

And this is one of the faces of the GOP today.  How low they have sunk since the days when GOP stood for ‘Grand Old Party’.


The laughingstock of the world …

All throughout Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, when nobody thought he could possibly win the election (and for the record, he didn’t), he was the laughingstock of both the nation and our allies.  Here in the U.S., we stopped laughing in the wee hours of November 9th, 2016.  The rest of the world kept laughing until probably mid-March 2017, when they saw that he was not only a threat to the U.S. and its people, but to the entire world.

Now, he is seen abroad as a fool, but a dangerous fool, and world leaders spend a bit of time in the days leading up to a summit or conference he will attend, trying to head off any dramatics, any crisis.

It was reported on December 2nd that NATO leaders had done everything in their power ahead of this week’s NATO summit to ensure that there would be no disruptive incidents.  But, wherever Trump goes, he insists on being the center of attention, and if he isn’t, then he will find a way to make it so.nato-trump.jpgYesterday, he stormed out of the summit in London after seeing a video of a group of leaders, including Boris Johnson, ridiculing him at Buckingham Palace for staging lengthy press conferences.  I suppose it hurt his itty-bitty feelings, punctured that thin skin of his, and he took his toys and went home.  He fully deserved the ridicule, and those who dished it out … Princess Anne, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French president Emmanuel Macron, and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte … were not aware they were being recorded, nor that the recording would be shown to Trump.  But, let’s face it folks … the bully got just exactly what he deserved.  As one commentor noted, the conversation wasn’t even newsworthy until Trump made it newsworthy.

And, I laugh, but at the same time I wonder, for Trump is a bully, he retaliates against those who would mock him.  Perhaps cooler heads will convince him to drop it.  Wait … are there any cooler heads left in the White House???

And Putin smiles …


Okay, well, it’s getting late and what started as a low growl is now a full-throttle roar, so it’s time for me to stop ranting and get a few hours of nice, peaceful sleep.  And I leave you with a bit of chuckle-inducing humour from our friend Jimmy Kimmel …

House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment

Today marks the next stage in the Trump impeachment process. Fellow-blogger Brosephus has some thoughts on the process thus far, the evidence, and the fiasco that is certain to ensue as the republicans continue to attempt to defend the indefensible. He also provides a link to the live coverage and other valuable information. Thank you, Brosephus, for all this valuable information!

The Mind of Brosephus

Today marks the first day of impeachment hearings being held by the House Judiciary Committee.  This committee would be the one responsible for drafting any articles of impeachment that would ultimately be voted on by the entire House of Representatives.  Since impeachment is typically a once in a lifetime event, today’s hearing is basically going to be a history lesson on impeachment.  There will be historians and scholars who will testify about the aspects of impeachment.  It will likely be a drab hearing, but I still expect Republicans to do what they do best, which is try to muddy the waters while defending Trump.

As I did for the Intelligence Committee, I’m providing a live-stream of the hearings for those who can’t access it otherwise.  This is a historical event regardless of where your politics reside.  I agree with Democratic members of Congress that these allegations need to be investigated. …

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