Saturday Surprise — Avian Humour

I must admit that I nearly forgot that today is Saturday.  There’s a reason for this … no, I’m not losing all my marbles, only a few of them.  See, daughter Chris was off from work yesterday (Friday), which made it feel like Saturday all day, for she’s never home on Friday.  So, since I thought it was Saturday all day long, when I sat down to write this morning’s post, I wasn’t thinking about Saturday Surprise, and I had another post about half completed when a little birdie tapped into my mind and said, “Yo!  It’s Saturday, not Sunday!”  And so, I changed gears, but with some difficulty.  Since it was already midnight and I had no plan, I must settle for some funny bird pictures I found over at Bored Panda.  Hopefully, they will at least make you smile a bit.

birds-1

birds-2

Proud momma bird with newly hatched baby

birds-3

A warm place to be

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birds-6

Eh … not even big enough for a snack

birds-7

Caught one of those alien drone birds!

birds-8

birds-9

Photobombed by an owl!

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birds-11

Bees???  What bees?

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birds-14

Oh that’s gonna hurt!

birds-15birds-16birds-17

Apologies for such a short Saturday Surprise, but I do hope that you enjoyed the birds!  And one last treat … I love owls, and I came across this video of some really adorable owls!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!!!Weekend

Some Republicans Leaving The Trumptanic

Donald Trump is a frustrated ‘man’.  He thinks he should have won a Nobel Peace Prize, mainly because he is jealous that President Obama won one in 2009.  Only four U.S. presidents have ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, and Trump is about as far away from one as anybody I can imagine.

And then, there is the fact that his ugly mug will never be carved into the side of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, though he has long said he would like to see that happen.  He has illusions of grandeur that are just that … illusions.

And, of course, there is the fact that his poll numbers are tanking and the only way he’s going to win in November is “by hook or by crook”.  Even life-long republicans are stepping back from Trump.  The New York Times recently interviewed some republicans in swing states who enthusiastically voted for Trump in 2016 but either aren’t sure if they will this November or else are sure they won’t vote for Trump again.

Take, for example, Judith Goines of Fayetteville, North Carolina …

“I think if he weren’t such an appalling human being, he would make a great president, because I think what this country needs is somebody who isn’t a politician. But obviously with the coronavirus and the social unrest we’re dealing with, that’s where you need a politician, somebody with a little bit more couth. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve voted for him.”

Or Robert Kaplan of Racine, Wisconsin …

“He said he was going to, quote unquote, drain the swamp, and all he’s done is splashed around and rolled around in it.”

It appears that about 14% of those who voted for Trump in 2016 are less certain this time around.  6% say they don’t support Trump but say there’s “some chance” of voting for him again.  Some 2% claim not to support Trump, and don’t know if they will vote for him again.  Then there is the 6% who say there is “not really any chance” of supporting Trump.  The number of defectors is small, yes, and he still has a rabid base who will vote for him no matter what, but it is encouraging to see that some of those who voted for him last time are not so sure this time.

Many of those interviewed said they initially voted for him because he was a businessman, not a politician, and specifically because he was not Hillary Clinton.  But they largely say they have soured on his handling of the presidency. Several mentioned his divisive style and his firing of officials who disagreed with him, and especially his response to the coronavirus and to the unrest in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

The majority of them are not yet willing to commit to backing Joe Biden … that would be a stretch … but would likely just stay home on election day.  Take John Crilly, of Reeders, Pennsylvania, who voted not so much for Trump as against Clinton …

“What changed my mind? 120,000 deaths. He refused to realize, ‘Oh my god, there’s a virus coming our way; shouldn’t we do something, guys?’ Covid was the turning point. It’s the thing that touches home with everybody.”

Crilly says he cannot bring himself to vote for Biden, largely because of his age, but will write-in a local candidate’s name.  Then there’s Ariel Oakley of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who says she will vote for Joe Biden …

“With coronavirus, even just watching the press conferences, having him come out and say it’s all fake. I have family who have unfortunately passed away from it.”

Trump’s blatant racism in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder by police has cost him votes, as well.  Kelvin Pittman II of Jacksonville, Florida, is an African-American who voted for Trump in 2016, because “he was a great businessman.”  Pittman himself owns a small business and thought Trump would be the best option.  But now, in light of Trump’s response to Black Lives Matter protests and calling the movement a “symbol of hate” …

“It was kind of the last straw. It was like, this dude is just in it for himself. I thought he was supposed to be for the people.”

And others say it’s his personality that has turned them off.  I find this one confusing because his personality showed through loud and clear throughout his campaign in 2015-2016 … could they not see then that he was a bully when he told campaign workers to “beat up” protestors, and called his opponent at least 100 different ugly names?

The aforementioned Robert Kaplan, who voted for Trump mainly because he wanted ACA (Obamacare) abolished, says he was disappointed from the start …

“He’s an embarrassment. He’s like a little kid with a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get things to go his way. He’s very punitive — if you disagree, he fires you. He disrespects very good people in Washington trying to do some good. And I think it’s very disrespectful of the office to be tweeting all the time.”

The article in the Times is worth the read and has a number of polling charts showing what people like the least about Trump.  In all, I predict with 90% certainty that Trump will, once again, lose the popular vote.  However, my bigger concern at this point is the bag of tricks the GOP is using and will use to attempt an electoral win, but that is a topic for another day.  I’m just encouraged at the moment to see that some who voted for Trump last time have finally “seen the light”.

♫ Will You Love Me Tomorrow ♫

I played this one over a year ago, January 2019, but at that time I included only the Shirelle’s version.  Tonight I was trolling YouTube for a song to play and I came across another version, this one by Carole King, a co-writer of the song, and my heartthrob, James Taylor, and I was excited, having forgotten that I had played the Shirelles version just about a year-and-a-half ago.  I have to admit that, much as I love James Taylor, I still think there is no comparison and that the Shirelle’s version is far and away the best!  So, tonight I offer both versions … turn the headphones up, sit back, and enjoy!


We’re going waaaaay back tonight … almost 60 years … some of you weren’t even born when this song was first recorded by The Shirelles!  Written by the husband & wife songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song hit #1 in the U.S., the first ever to reach that milestone by a black, all-girl group.  It has since been recorded by many artists over the years, including a 1971 version by co-writer Carole King.

When first presented with the song, lead singer Shirley Owens (later known as Shirley Alston-Reeves) did not want to record it, because she thought it was “too country.” She relented after a string arrangement was added. However, Owens later recalled that some radio stations had banned the record because they had felt the lyrics were too sexually charged.  My how times have changed!!!

Goffin and King were proud of their breakthrough hit and had their New Jersey home’s doorbell “pretentiously and expensively” modified to play it.

Will You Love Me Tomorrow
The Shirelles/Carole King & James Taylor

Tonight you’re mine, completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow

Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure
Can I believe the magic in your sighs
Will you still love me tomorrow

Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I’m the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun

I’d like to know that your love
Is a love I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow

So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow
Will you still love me tomorrow
Will you still love me tomorrow

Songwriters: Carole King / Gerry Goffin
Will Love You Tomorrow lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Snarky Snippets From Da Queen Of Snark

Just a few little tidbits of snark tonight …


Yesterday evening, I saw a tweet by Trump claiming how great the jobs numbers were, per the report issued yesterday morning by the Bureau of Labour Statistics.  Sigh.  Why is he so utterly ignorant that he cannot understand anything?  Why do I keep having to explain the most basic concepts to he and his followers?

According to the report, issued a day early due to the fact that Friday is a federal holiday, 4.8 million jobs were added in June.  Trump took that ball and ran with it, but wait!  Those aren’t new jobs!  Those were a percentage of the jobs that were lost in March, April and May!  Those are simply a result of some businesses re-opening and calling back their staff, or hiring new employees to replace staff who cannot or will not return.  1.4 million jobs were lost in March, and 20.8 million in April, so that 4.8 million jobs added in June is but a drop in the bucket compared to what has been lost.  Annnnnd … with businesses in many states, particularly restaurants and bars, the category where the most jobs were added, now closing again, some of those 4.8 million people are already out of work, once again.

And what credit Trump thinks he deserves is beyond me.  What he does deserve credit for, however, is forcing the country to re-open too soon and thus we are now seeing the highest ever single-day new cases, with the last two days each topping 50,000, yesterday at 57,236 new cases.  Place the onus where it belongs.


As I’m certain you’ve all heard by now, Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, has written a tell-all book about Trump and the Trump family, titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.  The book is due out at the end of this month … maybe … probably.  It has already climbed to the top of the bestseller list, based on preorders.

mary-l-trump-bookTrump claims that his niece and the rest of the family were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements that would prohibit her from publishing the book.  Say what??? Who makes their own family sign an NDA?  And … if a person has nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, why would he want to duct tape the mouths of his family?  All valid questions, yes? 

Three days ago, Judge Hal Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order pending a hearing scheduled for July 10th to decide whether Ms. Trump’s book violated the non-disclosure agreement she signed with other members of the Trump family in connection with a dispute over the estate of Fred Trump Sr., the president’s father.  Then on Wednesday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Alan Scheinkman said Judge Greenwald had erred on Tuesday by issuing a broad restraining order that prohibited publisher Simon & Schuster from printing or distributing copies of the book.

“S&S is not a party to the settlement agreement and this Court perceives no basis for S&S to be specifically enjoined. Unlike Ms. Trump, S&S has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights.”

Judge Scheinkman left in place, however, the order against Mary Trump and “any agent” of hers, leaving some uncertainty about whether Simon & Schuster is still covered by the order or would be risking contempt of court by moving forward with plans to release the book.  Yesterday, Mary L. Trump asked the New York Supreme Court to lift the restraining order against her, saying in an affidavit that she was misled by the family into signing a confidentiality agreement in an inheritance case two decades ago.  I imagine that with the holiday weekend, it will be next week before the next chapter of this saga is decided.  Frankly, an NDA signed twenty years ago should be null and void by now, anyway.  My best guess is that the book will be released on July 28th as scheduled, Trump will fume, fuss, and threaten everybody with every sort of lawsuit, and We the People will have our worst nightmares about the Trump clan confirmed.


Perhaps you remember Hurricane Dorian, the devastating Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, that became the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas, and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.  Well, maybe you don’t remember, unless you lived in an affected area.  But, I bet you remember Trump’s major gaffe and his redrawing of the map with a Sharpie, which quickly became known as ‘Sharpiegate’.

Trump claimed that Alabama was at risk … it wasn’t.  When the National Weather Service (NWS) corrected him, he took a copy of the map showing the hurricane’s anticipated trajectory, and using a Sharpie marker, extended the cone of uncertainty to include Southern Alabama, much as a 5-year-old child would do.sharpiegate

Two days later, on September 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) published an unsigned statement which supported Trump’s initial claim that Alabama was a target of the storm and criticized the Birmingham NWS office for denying it. It was later revealed that NOAA had been ordered to issue such a statement by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Okay, so it’s just another sign of the utterly stupefying ignorance and corruption of the person in the Oval Office and his henchmen, and since it was almost a year ago, most of us have put it out of our mind.  But now it’s back in the news again.  There was an investigation into the meddling of the Commerce Department and Wilbur Ross into the affairs of the National Weather Service.  The investigation is complete, and the final report is ready to be issued, except … Wilbur Ross has halted the release of the report.

The inspector general for the Commerce Department, Peggy Gustafson, sent a memo to Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday evening expressing “deep concern” that the department is infringing on the office’s independence by preventing the release of a final report on the investigation of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement about Hurricane Dorian in 2019.  Not only that, but Ms. Gustafson posted the memo to the Office of the Inspector General’s website, a very rare public airing in a dispute between an agency inspector general and a Cabinet secretary.  How much do you want to bet that Trump fires Ms. Gustafson within a week, as he has so many other inspectors general?

A redacted summary report was issued on June 26th, with promise of a full, unredacted report on Monday, June 29th.  That didn’t happen, however.  In short, the summary concluded that the Commerce Department ran a “flawed process” that did not sufficiently engage NOAA and went against the interests of the agency and the National Weather Service, which it oversees, not to mention the safety of the people.

All this because the megalomaniac in the Oval Office could not simply admit that he made a mistake.  How much has this all cost We the Taxpayer?  Two U.S. senators, one a democrat and one a republican, sent a letter to Secretary Ross Thursday, expressing bipartisan concern about the alleged obstruction.

“We expect you … to immediately rectify the issues outlined by the DOC OIG that are preventing the completion of the Evaluation of NOAA’s September 6, 2019, Statement About Hurricane Dorian Forecasts.”

Stay tuned, folks … we haven’t heard the end of this yet.

The First Amendment …

The First Amendment covers a lot of ground and has been interpreted and re-interpreted ever since its writing.  In the news this week are three things pertaining to the 1st Amendment that worry me in one form or fashion.


Freedom of the Press …

I had heard the name ‘Samantha Bee’, but had no idea who or what she was, nor did I much care … until this morning.  According to Wikipedia, Ms. Bee is …

“… a Canadian-American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, and television host. Bee rose to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she became the longest-serving regular correspondent.”

You guys probably already knew that, though, didn’t you?  So why, you ask, did Ms. Bee buzz across my radar?  On her show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, on Wednesday, she made some very astute statements about freedom of the press …

“Look, I know, it’s not exactly a revelation that the president is always trying to undermine the media, but that’s the problem: We’re all so used to it that we act like it’s normal. And the more that we ignore anti-press sentiment in America, the more it will spread.  When Trump became president, he was crushed to find that the job comes with criticism and that the glowing PR he got from the business media isn’t typical of the political press. Since the media refused to love him back, Trump has chosen to do the mature thing and use his presidential power to destroy them.  The scariest part about Trump’s war on the press is that he’s winning. No one’s been able to stop his attacks, so we just go about our lives while they run constantly in the background like white noise — which is, of course, Trump’s preferred color of noise. … When Trump undermines the free press, he’s not just attacking journalists’ rights to do their jobs, he’s attacking your right to know what’s going on in the world.”

She’s right.  If not for the free press, we would know only what Trump wanted us to know.  We would not know that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers and that Trump knew about this yet failed to act.  We would not have known that he attempted to blackmail the president of the Ukraine to ‘dig up dirt’ on his political rival, Joe Biden.  We would not have known any of the acts that Trump has committed against the people of this nation.  At all costs, we must … must support our free press!  We cannot become complacent and accept the denigration of the press as ‘normal’, for it is anything but normal … at least in this country.


Freedom of Speech …

The 1st Amendment includes many freedoms, including the aforementioned freedom of the press.  It also includes freedom of and from religion, and the one most-oft quoted, freedom of speech.  Over the past two centuries, that ‘freedom of speech has been interpreted by the courts to mean a wide variety of things.  Signs and symbols by hate groups such as white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been ruled acceptable because … freedom of speech.  KKK rallies have been deemed allowable under freedom of speech.  But, in my opinion, there simply must be limits.

This …nazi-flag-shooting… is highly offensive to all but the most ardent anti-Semitic white supremacists.  A woman was shot four times in the back in Garfield County, Oklahoma, for trying to remove one of the flags.

Now, I can tell you for a fact that if anybody in my neighborhood were to sport such a flag, I would not only remove it, but would douse it with lighter fluid then set fire to it.  The Nazi flag is a symbol of anti-Semitism, of hatred, around the globe.

The owner of the house and flags, one Alexander Feaster, was arrested and has been charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and shooting with intent to kill, and is due to appear in court later this month.  A neighbor said that he had been flying the flags for around a year, and they had been snatched from his home a few times in the past. They added that he would occasionally dress up in black uniform with a red swastika armband – an outfit reminiscent of Nazi SS uniforms.  No less than 15 guns were recovered from Feaster’s home upon his arrest.  Who the hell needs that much firepower?

The district attorney says he is considering possible charges against the woman, who is expected to recover from her gunshot wounds.  Why?  Trespassing?  Destruction of private property?  In this case, I don’t see it … it was justified.  However, I know at least two of my readers who will disagree with me, so it is only my opinion.


Freedom of/from Religion …

The 1st Amendment says this about the freedom of religion …

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

That’s all … just 16 words.  However, lengthy tomes have been written in order to interpret how this clause should be applied.  There are those who argue this is a Christian nation … it is not!  It is a secular nation, the foundation of which calls for a distinct separation between church and state.  This includes education.

A portion of our tax dollars is used to fund public schools.  PUBLIC schools, not parochial or religious schools.  If you want to send your children to a religious school, you do have that right … just not at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Montana could not use a provision in its Constitution to exclude religious schools from its private school scholarship program.  Although the ruling was narrow, applying only to the case before them, it is likely that religious groups in other states will be heartened by the decision and file their own cases against states.  By the end of next year, we could easily see a broader ruling stating that any state that issues vouchers or similar programs to help with tuition at private schools must also include religious schools in the process.

In fact, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested just that …

“I’m calling on all states to now seize the extraordinary opportunity to expand all education options at all schools to every single student in America.”

I’m betting that those who championed and cheered this decision will be horrified when some day a family uses their vouchers to send their child to an Islamic school, won’t they?  Meanwhile, though, I am offended and angered by this decision.  As a citizen, as a taxpayer, and as a non-religionist, I absolutely do NOT want my tax dollars supporting a religious school where children are taught every form of bigotry imaginable.  It is a gross miscarriage of justice that people of differing religions and of no religion must pay to send another person’s child to a school that teaches only one religion and teaches that it is the one and only right religion and the rest of us are wrong in our beliefs or non-beliefs.  This is, in part, why there is so much hatred in this country today.

You want to send your child to a religious school, fine, but not on my dime!

♫ Sir Duke ♫ (Redux)

Tonight I am tired, I am discouraged, and I needed me some Stevie Wonder to pick me up.  I played this one in August last year, and I apologize in advance for such a soon redux, but … there just isn’t anything quite like this song to make your heart sing just a little bit.


I am told by several who have reason to know, that I don’t smile enough these days.  They are probably right, but in truth, I find little to smile about.  In the mirror, I see an old hag with a perpetual scowl and sad eyes.  However, there is one person who always brings a smile to my face, and that is Mr. Stevie Wonder!

I could have sworn I had played this one, for it is one of my favourites by Stevie, but a search of my archives found nothing.  I love this one, especially, when I am out walking, for the beat makes me pick up my speed and makes me smile at the same time, such that the people I pass wonder just what the heck I am up to with that sappy grin on my face!

Stevie Wonder wrote this song as a tribute to music, specifically to Duke Ellington, who had died in 1974. Ellington was a jazz bandleader and composer who was a big influence on Wonder.

“I knew the title from the beginning but wanted it to be about the musicians who did something for us. So soon they are forgotten. I wanted to show my appreciation. They gave us something that is supposed to be forever. That’s the basic idea of what we do and how we hook it up.”

In addition to Ellington, musicians referenced in this song are “Satchmo” Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Sodarisa Miller.

This wasn’t the first song Wonder wrote in tribute to one of his musical inspirations: Bye Bye World from his 1968 album Eivets Rednow is about the guitarist Wes Montgomery. Wonder’s second album, released in 1962 when he was just 12 years old, was a tribute to ‘Uncle Ray’, which paid homage to Ray Charles.

Sir Duke
Stevie Wonder

Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter A
When the people start to move

They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people
They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
But here are some of music’s pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget
For there’s Basie, Miller, Sachmo
And the king of all Sir Duke
And with a voice like Ella’s ringing out
There’s no way the band can lose

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over

I can feel it all over-all over now people
Can’t you feel it all over
Come on let’s feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
Everybody-all over people

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Sir Duke lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

She Does NOT Belong In Congress!!!

Has the GOP completely lost its bloomin’ mind???  I am typically happy to see a long-time incumbent of either party replaced by new blood.  Mitch McConnell, for example, age 78, is the current best poster boy for why we need term limits.  Before him, there was Democrat Harry Reid who spent thirty years in the Senate, retiring only in 2017 at the age of 77.  So, typically I think it’s a good thing when a long-term member of Congress steps down or is replaced by the voters.  There are, however, exceptions.

scott-tiptonScott Randall Tipton has been serving as the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district since 2011, nearly a decade.  Long enough, in my book.  He has opposed LGBT rights, opposes abortion, opposes immigration, and in short has been outspokenly opposed to anything with President Obama’s name tied to it.  Other than that, I know little about Mr. Tipton, but ten years in Congress is long enough.  So, at first glance I was pleased when a younger woman won the Colorado Republican primary on Tuesday night.  Until I learned a few things about that woman, that is.

Tipton lost to Lauren Boebert, a 33-year-old mother of four boys.  Boebert is a Trumpian up one side and down the other.

“Colorado deserves a fighter who will stand up for freedom, who believes in America and who is willing to take on all the left-wing lunatics who are trying so hard to ruin our country. We are in a battle for the heart and soul of our country. I’m going to win this November because freedom is a great motivator.”

‘Left-wing lunatics’???  So that’s what I am, eh?  Perhaps I can get a t-shirt made.  But, bad as that little speech sounds, Boebert is even worse.  She not only supports the 2nd Amendment, but is a staunch, outspoken gun-rights activist.  She is also a businesswoman, owner of a restaurant called ‘Shooters Grill’ in Rifle, Colorado, where she encourages servers to openly carry firearms … while serving the public.  What do you expect in a town called “Rifle”, eh?  And in March, when Colorado’s governor ordered bars and restaurants to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Boebert apparently thought he didn’t mean her or her restaurant, and she refused to close.  Even after receiving a ‘cease and desist’ order from the Garfield County Sheriff, she still refused to close her restaurant!

But wait … I still haven’t gotten to quite the worst of it.  Boebert is a supporter of QAnon, the far right wing conspiracy theory group that has made up so many fantasies about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros that I’ve lost count.  They claim that there is some great “deep state” conspiracy to topple Donald Trump and all of his supporters.

Ideologically, Ms. Boebert is to the right of far right.  She claims that she would not have voted for the relief package that helped both individuals and small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic shutdown, and she has said that if she wins in November, she will align herself with the House Freedom Caucus, made up of conservative and Libertarian politicians in the House.  Oh, and she plans to attend a ‘Bikers for Trump’ event near Mount Rushmore over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, where she will ride her motorcycle wearing her maga hat.  Need I say more?Lauren-BoebertLast year, when Beto O’Rourke was considering a run for the Democratic nomination for 2020, he once claimed that he would seize all the assault rifles in the nation.  Personally, I think it’s a great idea, for nobody but fools and idiots have them, and they have proven themselves unfit to own any sort of gun, much less one that can mow down a crowd in under a minute.  However, Ms. Boebert took umbrage, saying …

“I am here to say: Hell, no, you’re not!”

Although Trump had previously endorsed Scott Tipton, he got fairly excited over Boebert’s primary win on Tuesday night, and tweeted his congratulations “on a really great win!”  Oh, my aching head.

If, after all this, you’ve got the stomach for it, watch a bit of this interview with Ms. Boebert, especially the part where she speaks about Trump, which starts at about the 2:40 minute point.

diane-bush

Diane Mitsch Bush

The Democratic candidate, also a woman, is one Diane E. Mitsch Bush, and currently she holds about a 5.5% lead over Boebert.  Come on, Coloradoans … pull your heads out of your asses and vote for Ms. Bush!  I am going on record as saying that Lauren Boebert is a grade-A selfish, pistol-packing bitch who we absolutely do NOT need sitting on Capitol Hill making the decisions that affect our lives and the futures of our children and grandchildren.  More than 58,000 people voted for this abomination of a person!  Is there something toxic in the water in Colorado that has killed off people’s brain cells???  Are guns really so important that they are willing to send this sorry specimen of the human race to Washington, to give her the power of … life and death?

More Tears Of Shame

A drug called remdesivir is the first drug approved by licensing authorities in the US to treat the coronavirus, and has been shown to help people recover faster from the disease.  Production of the drug, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Gilead, will take time, of course.  It will take even longer for the people in the EU, UK, Brazil, Italy, and other countries to get the drug … at least three months.  WHY?  Because Donald Trump has greedily hogged every dose the company will make for July, and 90% of what they will manufacture in August and September, leaving virtually none for any other nation!

Alex Azar, head of the Department of Health and Human Services had this to say …

“… Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19. To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for Covid-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”

BULLSHIT!

The “American people”???  What about the rest of the people in the world???  The people in the U.S. are no better, no more deserving than those in France, Ghana, or Brazil!!!  What Trump has done is to doom people all around the globe in order to gain accolades from the people of this country to boost his own chances at re-election.  Plain and simple … he doesn’t care about people – any people – but is only thinking of himself and his bid for re-election!  And no doubt there are some in this country who will vote for him simply because of this.

The United States, though having just over 4% of the world’s population, has nearly 26% of the total cases worldwide and 25% of the deaths from coronavirus worldwide.  That is largely a result of Trump’s bungling ever since the first cases of the virus hit the U.S. in January, his attempt to pretend that nothing was wrong, that the coronavirus was no more than the common cold, and that it would simply disappear overnight.  It is also a result of the arrogance of the people of this nation who refused to take proper precautions, and who even now are so eager to return to “having fun” that they are putting us all at risk.

However, simply because Trump screwed up, and just because the people of this nation aren’t too bright sometimes, is no reason for us to scoop up every dose of a medication that can help people!!!  We are no better … let me repeat that … WE ARE NO BETTER … than any person in any other country, and we are damn sure no more deserving of this drug than our friends in the UK or Germany!

Donald Trump has done a lot of truly horrible things in his 3+ year tenure, but this is by far the very worst thing he has done.

The drug, remdesivir, is under patent to Gilead, which means no other company can make it.  Experts are alarmed both by the US unilateral action on remdesivir and the wider implications, for instance in the event of a vaccine becoming available. The Trump administration has already shown that it is prepared to outbid and outmaneuver all other countries to secure the medical supplies it needs for the US.  This is all part of Trump’s “America First” ideology, but let me tell you … this is, whether some like it or not, a much larger world than “America”, and the people in this country are no more deserving than the people in any other country!

I can tell you that if by some chance I were to contract the coronavirus, I would refuse the drug remdesivir … I would tell the doctors to send my dose to the UK or Brazil.  I would rather die honestly than know that I had taken a drug, and in so doing deprived someone else of their life.

I am more ashamed today of this nation than I ever have been before.  I feel that each and every one of us owes a huge apology to the people in every other nation on the globe.  I hang my head in shame for what this country has done, for the horrible way in which we have treated our friends and allies.

♫ Just Once ♫

I have found very little background trivia about this song, and tonight that’s fine with me, for I am exhausted and ready to head up the 15 stairs to bed!  However, I will tell you that I simply love Quincy Jones and this song is in my top ten faves.

I do, however, have an interesting bit of trivia about Quincy Jones … he attended his own memorial service!  In 1974 Jones had a pair of brain aneurysms, and the prognosis was pretty grim. Since it looked like he might not have much time left, his family and friends started planning a memorial service. Although Jones was in poor health, he talked his neurologist into letting him attend the service, which was held at the Shrine in Los Angeles. The doctor was worried that Jones’ health would suffer if he got too worked up during the service, so he sat next to Jones throughout the ceremony. Jones later told Newsweek that staying calm “was hard to do with Richard Pryor, Marvin Gaye, Sarah Vaughn and Sidney Poitier singing your praises.”

Just Once is a 1981 single released from Quincy Jones’ album The Dude on A&M Records. The song features James Ingram on vocals, and reached number 17 on the Billboard chart in the summer of 1981.  If the song charted anywhere else, I find no evidence of it, but … I like it, so bear with me on this one, okay?

Just Once
Quincy Jones/James Ingram

I did my best
But I guess, my best wasn’t good enough
‘Cause, here we are back where we were before
Seems nothin’ ever changes
We’re back to bein’ strangers
Wonderin’ if, we ought to stay
Or head on, out the door

Just Once…
Can we figure out, what we keep, doin’ wrong
Why, we never last for very long
What are we doin’ wrong?
Just once…
Can we find a way, to finally make it right
To make the magic last, for more than just one night
If we, could just get to it
I know we could, break through it

Hmm-hmm…
(…)

I gave my all
But I think my all, may have been too much
‘Cause, Lord knows we’re not getting anywhere
Seems, we’re always blowin’
Whatever, we’ve got goin’
And it seems at times, with all we’ve got
We haven’t, got a prayer

Just once…
Can we figure out, what we keep doin’ wrong
Why the good times, never last for long
Where are we goin’ wrong

Just once…
Can’t we find a way, to finally make it right
To make the magic last, for more than just one night
I know, we could break through it
If we could just, get to it

Just once…
I want to understand
Why, it always comes back …to goodbye
Why… can’t we get ourselves in hand
And admit to one another
We’re no good, without each other
Take the best, to make it better
Find a way, to stay together

Just once…
Can we find a way, to finally make it right
(Whoa!)
Make the magic last, for more than just one night
I know we could, break through it
If we could just, get to it
Just Once…

…Whoa-ohh
We can get through it…
Just …Once

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Barry Mann / Cynthia Weill
Just Once lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp., Miss Holly Music, Sony Atv Songs Llc, Mann And Weil Songs Inc

Good People Doing Good Things — Reaching Out

If it’s Wednesday, then it must be time to set aside the politics for just a few moments and focus on some good people, yes?  Well, it just happens that I’ve found a couple …


Lasagna anyone?

Michelle Brenner went to work at her job in a men’s clothing store in Gig Harbour, Washington, one day in March, only to be told that the store would be closing indefinitely, due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Michelle went home and fixed herself a pan of lasagna … comfort food, y’know.

The next day, she knew she couldn’t just sit home and do nothing to help people, so she volunteered to go grocery shopping for some friends and neighbors.  When she noticed that several had included frozen lasagna on their lists, she was horrified!  FROZEN Lasagna???  Surely not!  Now, Michelle is of Italian descent, and has long used the recipe her grandmother handed down for several of her dishes, including lasagna.  So, she had a thought.

She posted on Facebook to her friends and neighbors that she would be happy to make them fresh, homemade lasagna at no cost … all they had to do was ask.  When Michelle received her $1,200 stimulus check, she spent it on ingredients.  A retired neighbor and unemployed friend were the first to take her up on the generous offer. Before long, many strangers who’d heard about her kindness started stopping by. Three months have passed now, and Michelle is still assembling the layers of love—8 hours a day, seven days a week.Michelle-BrennerShe has made over 1,200 pans of lasagna—no questions asked—for anybody who wants one. She even began dropping them off for essential workers at the local police and fire departments, the hospital, and even the prison.

“The world as we know it is falling apart, but my two little hands are capable of making a difference. I can’t change the world, but I can make lasagna.”

Word spread, and strangers began stepping up to support the unique philanthropy. The Gig Harbor Sportsman’s Club offered the use of their huge clubhouse kitchen.  Said the club’s president, Le Rodenberg …

“We saw what a great thing she was doing, and we have this nice commercial kitchen that wasn’t being used because of COVID. I can tell you that she takes extra care with every one of those lasagnas.”

Michelle-Brenner-2And, as word spread even more, people started donating.

“When word got out on social media, people from all over the world started donating to my cause.”

Thus far, she has received more than $22,000 in donations … enough to keep her making lasagna for a long time!  It’s a little thing, sure, but sometimes it’s the little things that can bring a smile to a person’s face.

Now I’m hungry!


Pandemic of Love

Fort Lauderdale, Florida resident and teacher Shelly Tygielski saw people all around her losing their jobs in mid-March, and she worried about them … not only about their finances, but also their health.  She wanted to do something and sensed an opportunity.

“I wanted to turn from this environment of fear to an opportunity for us to create connection, community and strengthen the bonds of love between us.”

It all started out very simply, when Shelly posted a video on her Instagram on March 14. She announced a new program aimed at connecting those with a need due to loss of income with those who are in a position of privilege and able to be of service. When she went to bed that night, she wasn’t sure how much good her efforts would do. By morning, she had received 400 requests for assistance and 500 offers of help.

“I really just thought this would be a community thing for the South Florida community, for the people who come to our meditation group on Sundays, and that’s it—and that would’ve been enough.”

Her posts and links were then shared by celebrities like Debra Messing, Chelsea Handler and Kristin Bell, and the hashtag #PandemicofLove helped spread the word. Tygielski started receiving thousands of forms from people across the country, and there was an outpouring of volunteers who wanted to help build the organization.

“Within the first 24 hours I received an email offering to start a Pandemic of Love community for San Francisco, and within two to three days I got messages to create communities in Portugal and Barcelona.  And now I get at least 20 emails a day from folks who want to create micro-communities from all over the world. We start by going close and then go further out to find the help. It is about matching the need and filling the need, and the more communities we have the more of these connections we can make.”

One example …

Suzi-Israel-and-sonSuzi Israel in Asheville, North Carolina, filled out a form to get help for her adult son Jacob. He lives in Los Angeles and needed to move temporarily because of Covid-19 cases in his building.

“My son, when he found out I did this, he was very skeptical of people and untrusting. So I told my son to have some faith, and within a day or so he was connected with a donor who gave him some financial support.”

Her son saw further proof of goodwill when his mom started volunteering with Pandemic of Love and helped create the volunteer team for the Asheville community.

People in all corners of the world, inspired by Shelly’s compassion, soon set up similar online exchanges in their own communities under her Love Pandemic banner. In addition to the many groups that sprang up around the U.S., people have been using the Pandemic of Love website to offer assistance in 16 countries so far, including Mexico, Iceland, Chile, and Australia.

Shelly says that the majority of people seeking help want to stock up on food and supplies for the children, and that the average request is about $150. But while the coronavirus pandemic has created a large and visible need, Shelly hopes that the Pandemic of Love project will continue to grow even after the days of coronavirus are over.

Reflecting on what the project has meant to her, Shelly said …

“On a personal level, it shows me that a person can make a difference when you aggregate this act of kindness. You know viruses can be scary things, but the word ‘viral’ does not have to be negative. A lot of positive things can go viral like hope and faith and love. And love can be the cure.”

What started out as a small, local effort has, as of June 4th, raised more than $13 million and has connected 132,000 people with the help they need.  It warms the heart to know how many people are out there who want to help those in need.