Saturday Surprise — International Cat Day!

Hello dear friends and welcome to the …weekendBig plans for the weekend?  Relative to the last 20 or so weekends, we do actually have ‘big’ plans, for this evening.  We are having a cookout with our friends/neighbors Maha, Ali, and their three sons.  We haven’t gotten together to share a meal and an evening for quite a while, largely due to the pandemic, but it should be fun.  They are from Iraq and grill a number of interesting dishes, while we will provide such mundane things as potato salad, pasta salad, homemade cranberry sauce, and a dessert or two.  The best part, though, is just spending an evening in their company, lots of love ‘n laughter!

Today, August 8th, just happens to be International Cat Day!!!  As one who shares a residence with five cats, I dare not ignore this day, else I could end up in shreds!  International Cat Day was created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 2002. The IFAW has existed since 1969 and was founded in Canada.

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A few interesting and fun facts about cats to kick off the day …

  • Over 30% of U.S. households are shared with at least one feline family member. We don’t refer to ours as pets, and don’t consider ourselves ‘owners’, for really, they are furry family members, not an object to be ‘owned’.
  • Mary Todd Lincoln was once asked if Abe Lincoln had any hobbies? And her reply was “cats.”
  • Charles Dickens once said, “What greater gift than the love of a cat?”
  • John Lennon was also a big fan of cats. Over the years, he had cats named Salt and Pepper, Major and Minor, Tim, Sam, Mimi, Bernard, Sally, Elvis, and Jesus.
  • The British Government employs over 100,000 cats to keep mice away—that’s almost double the population of Greenland.
  • The mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, is a cat named Stubbs. He is now responsible for the town’s steady stream of around 30-40 tourists daily, which is pretty good, for a town of just 900 people.
  • In the 1870s, a Belgian village trained 37 mail cats to deliver letters. Conceived by the esteemed Belgian Society for the Elevation of the Domestic Cat, the plan was to wrap waterproof mail bags around each feline’s neck. The plan failed.
  • Tom, of the Tom and Jerry cartoons, was originally named Jasper.
  • The wealthiest cat in the world is Blackie, a feline who inherited its owners’ near $13 million estate after their death.

toon-2While all our kitties, past and present, have been average tabbies or tuxedos, there are a number of rather unique cat breeds in the world.  Rather than me telling you about them, this video presents an array of ten of the most unique ones in the world …

The purpose of International Cat Day, besides giving me an excuse to post some fun cat pictures, is to encourage people to adopt a cat from their local shelter, and also to help educate those who live with cats about such things as feline health, grooming, care & feeding.  With that said, how about some cute & fun kitty pics?

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basket of kittieskitty-8kitty-9

black-catYou’ve all heard the myth that black cats are bad luck, but did you know that in the UK and Japan, black cats are considered good luck!  In the English Midlands, new brides are given black cats to bless their marriage, and the Japanese believe that black cats are good luck—particularly for single women. Meanwhile, the Germans believe that a black cat crossing your path from left to right is ominous, but if the feline switches directions and goes right to left, it’s fortuitous.  Who knew?

Let’s finish our celebration of the cat with a cute kitty video, yes?

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s short ‘International Cat Day’ celebration!  Remember … cats are people too!  If you are lucky enough to share your domicile with a cat … be sure to hug him/her today, and maybe splurge and give them a bit of catnip, or just a tiny bit of tuna … or tuma as our own Miss Izzie calls it!  I hope you have a fun weekend, whatever you do!toon-3

We’re Better Than This … Or Are We?

More and more these days I am disgusted by the behaviour of some of my fellow humans in this country.  Okay, so we have fools in our government who believe it is okay to denigrate people, to tell lies and issue meaningless threats, but do we really need to emulate them?  I realize there have always been people for whom violence, or the threat of violence, was a way of life, an answer to all their problems, but today I’m seeing more and more of it.  How many times have we read in the past 7 months about someone threatening a store employee for merely doing his or her job, enforcing a store policy to wear a mask while inside the store?  So many that I’ve lost count.

Just last week, a man in Pennsylvania shot a clerk at a cigar store for being told he must wear a mask inside the store.  Then when police went to the man’s home to arrest him, he pulled an AK-47 automatic rifle and fired at police.  The man’s attorney, attempting to justify his actions, said he was “just not handling the pandemic well.”  And this is just one of many such incidents.  Is this, then, to become our new ‘norm’?  Come on, people … surely we’re better than this???


Kill the messenger?

The cruelty of humans never ceases to amaze me.  Dr. Anthony Fauci … you all know the name by now … is probably the most reliable source for information about the coronavirus pandemic.  He is, as I recently noted in another post, highly qualified and a top expert in the field of such things as infectious diseases and pandemics.  Those who respect science and the opinions of experts, listen to him.  Others listen to Donald Trump and his minions who have repeatedly and consistently denied that the pandemic is a big problem … nothing to see here folks, it’s all going away soon … and turned their backs on the recommendations of the experts, much to our detriment.  Okay, fine, but …

fauci“Getting death threats for me and my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security is just amazing. I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that people who object to things that are purely public health principles are so set against it and don’t like what you and I say, namely in the word of science, that they actually threaten you. That to me is just strange… I wish we did not have to go through that.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci

Yes, my friends, people are actually threatening not only Fauci, but his family as well … threatening to kill them!  WHY???  Apparently because they don’t like his recommendations and/or predictions.  He recommends wearing masks, recommends certain areas of the country need to remain shut down, recommends schools stay closed, and predicts that the virus isn’t going to magically disappear as Trump claims it will.  So … if you don’t like what someone says, the answer is to threaten to kill them?  This is a sad, sad statement about the values, or lack thereof, of some people in this nation.  No, I don’t believe the majority, or even a significant number of people would do such a thing, but the fact that there are some people who would is appalling.


He didn’t like masks, so …

A Florida man, James Copenhaver, was dining at Ricky T’s Bar and Grille in Treasure Island, Florida, when he spotted a young boy wearing a mask, sitting at a nearby table.  Copenhaver himself was not wearing a mask, and apparently took umbrage at the young boy wearing one.  He walked over to the boy and told him to remove his mask.  He then asked the child to shake his hand, and the boy refused.  What he did next is yet another example of the cruelty of which humans are capable.  He grabbed the boy’s arm, leaned in close to his face and spat in the boy’s face, saying, “You now have the coronavirus.”

He wasn’t, however, content with that, but walked over to the nearest restaurant employee and attempted twice to punch the man … for what reason remains a mystery, other than that Mr. Copenhaver had apparently had a few too many drinks.

CopenhaverThe employee Mr. Copenhaver tried to punch managed to get Mr. Copenhaver outside, wrestle him to the ground and hold him until the police arrived, at which time he was arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct.

Who does this to a child???  Frankly, if somebody did what he did to my child, he would likely be lying in a hospital bed or a morgue right now.  Again, no I don’t think this is representative behaviour for the vast majority of people in this country, but … I do see it happening more and more frequently and I find it highly disturbing.


I repeat what I said in the beginning … this is no way to solve the many problems facing the people in this nation.  I really want to believe that we are better than this, but it gets harder by the day.

Let’s Do the One Thing Trump Is Incapable Of: FOCUS

We are bombarded with so much ‘news’ on a daily basis, much of it designed to raise our hackles, to speak to our worst nightmares, to instill either fear or a sense of hopelessness. Our friend TokyoSand reminds us that in order to win in November, in order to defeat the current regime and begin to restore some semblance of democratic principles, we must maintain our focus. She makes some excellent points that we all need to keep in mind. Thank you once again for your clear thinking and sound advice!

Political⚡Charge

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

How did you feel when you heard that Trump had suggested delaying the election last week?

Outraged? Scared? Angry?

I certainly saw all of these things in articles, opinion pieces, on social media, and in conversations. And people talked and talked and talked. I found it hard to be online, with so much fear and panic in the air.

It didn’t seem to matter when folks–including constitutional professors and scholars–pointed out that Trump can’t delay the election. That the only body that has that authority is Congress, and Pelosi and McConnell would have to agree to a new date. That just is never going to happen.

No, what I saw was people who WANTED to wallow in the fear and “what if” scenarios and dive deeper into the darkness.

Not to be mean, but I just don’t have time for that. I will respond…

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Jolly Monday … IT’S AUGUST ALREADY!!!

dino-3Good Monday morn, friends!  Yes, it’s Monday again already, but even worse … do you realize it’s already AUGUST???  The year is 58% over and Hallowe’en 🎃 is just around the corner!  Where … just where did the first seven months of this year go???  The only upside to this is that autumn and cooler temperatures will soon be here.  Normally, I’m sad to see summer go, but this one hasn’t been particularly pleasurable between the pandemic, the heat, and the political angst, so I’m happy enough to say ‘goodbye’ to it.  But enough of that … it’s Monday, the start of a new week, so let’s try to find some humour, something to put a smile on our faces as we brave the new week, shall we?  Grab a snack and a cuppa, and let’s see what awaits us …


Oopsie!

If you live in Rhode Island and were expecting a tax refund check, you might be in for a surprise.  Some of the refund checks, mailed last week, bore the signature of Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney, instead of the usual Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and State Controller Peter Keenan!  No, you cannot cash them if you receive one of these … I’d hang onto it, though … it might be worth something someday!

RI-tax-check

According to Jade Borgeson, chief of staff for the Rhode Island Department of Revenue …

“As a result of a technical error in the Division of Taxation’s automated refund check printing system, approximately 176 checks with invalid signature lines were printed and mailed to taxpayers on Monday. The invalid signature lines were incorrectly sourced from the Division’s test print files. Corrected checks will be reissued to impacted taxpayers within one week.”


Just bein’ helpful …

Brett Longo of Mary Esther, Florida, had taken his trash container to the curb for pickup a few days ago.  A bit later, he got an activity alert from his home security camera telling him the camera had picked up movement.  When he checked the camera, this is what he saw …

dino-1On first glance, it appears one of the two black bears was being nice, bringing his trash container back up to the top of the drive, but then the bear tipped it over and … turns out it hadn’t been emptied by the binmen yet, ‘cause the bear spilled the trash all over the drive!  Longo was forgiving, though …

“He was just bringing it up to the house. He was polite enough to move it out of the driveway.”


Barred from da bar …

A pair of emus were once a staple in the pub in the Yaraka Hotel in Yaraka, Queensland, Australia, but today they are no longer welcome.  Turns out the emus, named Kevin and Carol, have been a bit naughty within the confines of the pub, stealing food from patrons and leaving little ‘gifts’ behind on the floor!

Yaraka-hotelGerry Gimblett, who owns the Yaraka Hotel with her husband Chris, said they were left with no other option after the birds’ recent “bad behaviour”.

“They’ve been stealing things from the guests, especially their food. They’d stick their heads in and pinch toast out of the toaster. But the main reason we’ve banned them is their droppings.”

emudino-4The emus had become a tourist attraction after several eggs were hatched at the end of 2018, and while at one point there were nine emus in town, most had wandered away, leaving only Kevin & Carol.

“We love them as part of the Yaraka community, but they’re not welcome inside anymore.”

emus-banned

Now, I’m not sure how many customers the pub can have in a day, for the entire human population of Yaraka is only 18!


Okay, folks … it’s cartoon time!!!

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And two cute critter videos, because the first one is super-short, but ohhhhh so cute!

 


jollyI see those gorgeous smiles on your faces … be sure to remember to share them today and throughout the week, for times are tough and we all need someone to just smile at us every now and then!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly (Joyful is taking an interior decorating class … she became inspired after re-decorating Roger’s dark tower!)

Oh, and just for you, Hugh …

The Week’s Best Cartoons 8/1

As usual these days, the cartoonists have been kept on their toes. Our friend TokyoSand has been busy scouting out the best of the bunch for us. Thank you, TS, for our weekly dose of humour!

Political⚡Charge

ByNick Anderson

Did this seem like a long week to you? It sure did to me. Looking at all of the many topics editorial cartoonists covered this week, I think I better understand why. As always, I hope you enjoy this collection of my favorite cartoons from the week. If you have a favorite, do let me know by commenting!

Election 2020

ByJack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee

ByMike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ByEd Hall

ByPat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByAnn Telnaes, Washington Post

BySteve Breen, San Diego Union Tribune

ByPat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByMike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Trump’s Goons

By Marian Kamensky

ByClay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

By Mark Fiore, KQED News

ByGraeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator

By Walt Handelsman,The Advocate

ByClay Jones

ByMike Luckovich

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A View From The ‘Other Side’

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was planning to sneak into republican territory to try to gain a better understanding of their ideology … and why they still support Trump after all the death and destruction he has wrought.  So far, I’ve been a bit slow in doing that, for I find I have a low tolerance for much of what I find on the Republican’s turf.  Today, however, an opinion piece by conservative writer Hugh Hewitt, a Washington Post columnist, raised my hackles sufficiently that I had to address it.  I won’t replay the entire piece, but you can find it over at The Washington Post if you feel so inclined.  What I will do is address a few of his more ludicrous statements.

The title of Mr. Hewitt’s piece was telling in itself: The case for Trump will come down to his record. It’s a strong one.”

I knew right then it was likely to make me growl, and I wasn’t disappointed.  A few snippets from his column, with my responses in blue

“With huge help from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Trump has put two justices on the Supreme Court, 53 judges on the federal courts of appeals, 144 and counting on the District courts, and more than 20 on the specialty courts. The Constitution has been buttressed.”  Change the word “buttressed” to “battered”.  I’m glad to see he assigns blame for this mess to McConnell, as well.  No wonder ol’ Mitchie has an ever-expanding ego!

“Trump’s tax cuts, along with the massive deregulation he orchestrated, led to 3.5 percent unemployment until the regime in Beijing acted with criminal recklessness toward a virus that has devastated the world.”  Trump’s tax cuts mostly went to the wealthy, and the unemployment was already low before Trump took office.  He does not get credit for that.  But more to the point … to blame China for “criminal recklessness” is the most ridiculous thing.  China did not, contrary to the conspiracy theorists, manufacture the virus intentionally in a lab!  The only ‘criminal recklessness’ that has led to more than 156,000 deaths in the U.S. was Trump’s horrific mishandling from day #1!  And that ‘massive deregulation’ has contributed to the further destruction of our air, water, and wildlife on planet Earth.

“Trump took a military operating in President Barack Obama’s last years at about $600 billion and moved that budget by his third year to $738 billion, with more in the budget coming soon. The Navy necessary to meet China on the high seas, all 355 ships of it, is being planned and built.”  Oh goodie … while people are homeless, going to bed hungry, and cannot afford health care, even more of our tax dollars are going to support an already over-bloated military so that we can start a war with China!  I sure feel better, don’t you?  The U.S. already has the largest military on the globe, and now we have a warmonger in the White House … what could possibly go wrong?

“Trump took the United States out of the unbalanced, absurd, doomed-to-fail Paris Climate Agreement and has instead focused on and delivered American energy independence. People have real job security in Pennsylvania as a result, if not in jetting off to Paris for follow-up seminars.”  One commenter to Hewitt’s piece said she’d like to have some of what he’s been smoking … I agree.  The environment is in real trouble and the Paris Accords were the last best hope for getting all nations to work together to try to preserve life on the planet, yet Mr. Hewitt is applauding Trump’s decisions that have made the extinction of most living species almost a certainty?  Are you growling yet?  And as for the coal industry in Pennsylvania … coal is on its way out, and nothing … nothing Trump can do is going to change that.  Retraining the miners in another industry, such as renewable energy, would have been much kinder.

“Trump’s border wall, proceeding apace, makes obvious sense. More than 200 miles completed, with Trump tweeting Thursday the length with [sic] be 300 miles by September.”  Of the 200 miles, only 3 miles is new, and the other 197 miles replaced existing border barriers.  The funds to build this ‘wall’ have been hijacked from budgets earmarked for other, more important things.  And the cost thus far has been over $15 billion.  Further … the experts have shown that such a structure will not stop illegal immigration.  More of our tax dollars wasted while children go to bed hungry at night!

“Trump has also stripped off the veneer of objectivity from the “fake news.” “Blue Bubble” journalists are the last to know the contempt in which they are held beyond the Acela corridor and outside Silicon Valley and Hollywood. They mistake their small audience share for success.”  Seriously?  ‘Small audience’???  The New York Times had, as of the 4th quarter last year, 3.43 million paid subscribers, and The Washington Post is estimated to have more than 2 million. 

I read around 30 comments responding to Mr. Hewitt, and of those, only one was favourable to Mr. Hewitt, the rest calling his words ‘a spoof’, ‘laughable’, and more.  The one positive comment simply said, “What a wonderful man.”  Not a single comment that I saw supported Hewitt’s premises, and several pointed out a few of Trump’s worst blunders, including his handling of the pandemic that has led to so much unnecessary loss of life.

I went into this in hopes of gaining understanding, but with such views as Mr. Hewitt’s, I am left to wonder how right and left can move closer to understanding each other and finding common ground.  How do we unite two sides that are so very far apart in their views and ideologies?  Is it a lost cause, and are we doomed to be a nation so divided forever?  If so, we will not remain a single nation for long, for the chasm in which we live today is untenable.  The United States of America is not by any stretch of the imagination ‘united’ today.

Snarky … Yes Again … Snippets

After a day off from snarking, I find the snark buildup is bubbling, threatening to overflow.  And so … here we go again …


Remember yesterday when I told you about Representative Louie Gohmert who had contracted the coronavirus and tried to claim he got it from wearing a mask?  Well, I knew Gohmert had been on my radar before, and right after I wrote that, another instance of his apparent insanity hit my inbox.

Last week, Gohmert introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives that calls on the U.S. House to bar all Democrats from the chamber because of the party’s historical ties to slavery and racism unless the party is renamed.  Say WHAT???

Said Gohmert in a Breitbart (go figure) article …

“Efforts by Democrats to destroy all public traces of their own history of supporting slavery, the Confederacy, and segregation in an attempt to shift blame onto Republicans must no longer go unchallenged. It is time for Democrats to play by their own rules, and accept the standards they have forced onto everyone else. They must divest themselves of their name that has denied so many the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Now, we all know that this ‘resolution’ is going nowhere and is naught but Mr. Gohmert’s childish attempt to counter the removal of the confederate statues that he apparently loved from the Capitol building.  But for PETE’S SAKE, people of Texas!!!  Keep this arsehole in Texas!  Please, do NOT send him back to Washington, or I might just go bash his head in myself!

Congress cannot seem to come up with a single meaningful piece of legislation (thank you, Mitch McConnell), they are allowing critical safeguards for people in dire need to lapse at midnight tonight because they are too damn divided by partisanship and driven by egos to uphold their oaths of office, yet we have representatives … people whose salary WE THE PEOPLE are paying, playing these childish games, wasting both time and money … OUR money!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …


The purpose of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to oversee missions involving anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cyber security, and disaster prevention and management.  It was created in November 2002 in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and began operations the following year.  And yet, yesterday The Washington Post reported that DHS has compiled “intelligence reports” about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Oregon.  Please take a moment to let that one sink in, my friends.  Journalists are NOT the nation’s enemy, but rather the free press is the one thing that stands between us and a dictatorship!

The DHS intelligence reports, which are unclassified, are traditionally used for sharing the department’s analysis with federal law enforcement agencies, state and local officials and some foreign governments. They are not intended to disseminate information about American citizens who have no connection to terrorists or other violent actors and who are engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment, such as a free press!  Said John Sandweg, who previously served as the department’s acting general counsel …

“This has no operational value whatsoever.  This will just damage the intelligence office’s reputation.”

The two journalists were New York Times reporter Mike Baker and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the editor in chief of Lawfare.  Baker co-wrote an article on July 28 that revealed an internal DHS memo indicating that the camouflaged federal agents sent to put down the unrest in Portland didn’t understand the nature of the protests they were facing.  Wittes posted, among other information, a DHS memo admonishing department personnel not to give information to reporters.

Once again, my friends, we are being treated as the enemy … our constitutional rights are being trampled!  The Department of Homeland Security is there to keep us safe, but instead they are endangering our very lives by attempting to harm our free press.


On Tuesday, Donald Trump showed us what he is made of.  With, as of this writing, more than 155,000 deaths in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump held a press briefing, the main purpose of which seemed to be to whine that Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx had higher approval ratings than he does.

“And yet, they’re highly thought of — but nobody likes me.”

Has it occurred to him that … he has cost this nation so much in terms of our democratic foundation, our human rights, our health, and our very lives that he is not at all ‘likeable’?  Apparently not.  Has it occurred to him that the presidency is not a popularity contest, but a serious responsibility — one that he has failed in over and over again?  Has it occurred to him that his constant criticism of all who disagree with him, his constant bragging about things he has no claim to brag about, and his continual shirking of his responsibility makes him an abomination rather than a ‘man’ worthy of respect?

Please take a moment … well, a few moments, actually, to watch Chris Cuomo explain to “Mr. President” [sic] why the people of this nation trust Drs. Fauci & Birx more than they trust Donald Trump … he makes his case well.

Pandemic Of Stupidity

I’m not a fan of name-calling and don’t much like applying the term ‘stupid’ to people.  But there are times that no other word will fit, times when you just have to ‘call a spade a bloody shovel’, as my friend Mary says.  Of late, there seems to be a pandemic of stupidity in the United States.  A few examples …


louie-gohmertU.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert, a republican from Texas, has contracted the coronavirus.  Now, it shouldn’t have come as any surprise, for ol’ Louie has steadfastly refused to wear a face mask or observe the precautions that most of us are following.  Louie, though, doesn’t think he contracted the virus from breathing in other people’s germs, or from picking up the germ on some surface he may have touched.  Nope, ol’ Louie thinks he got the virus from … wait for it … wearing a mask!

“It’s really ironic because a lot of people have made a really big deal out of my not wearing a mask a whole lot, but in the last week or two, I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months.  I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, if I might have put some germs, some of the virus on the mask and breathed it in.” 

Well, there’s a new one for the record books, eh?  But Louie’s stupidity doesn’t stop there.  On Wednesday morning, after being informed that he had tested positive for the virus, he returned to his Capitol Hill office and told staff he wanted to inform them ‘in person’ instead of them finding out from news reports.  WHAT … a phone call or an email wouldn’t have worked just as well?  And this man has a Juris Doctor degree from Baylor Law School and has held a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005 – fifteen years!  How did he manage all that with so little intelligence?


vince-ginnThen there’s Vance Ginn, another Texan.  Vance is the chief economist for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.  In Texas, as in most states, minorities make up a disproportionate number of the deaths from the coronavirus, as do the elderly.  Mr. Ginn, citing the demographic data of the coronavirus deaths, tweeted this …

“Why not #openschools, end universal mandates, target vulnerable & check those from #Mexico?”

First of all, while the elderly may be more susceptible to the illness and more likely to die, and while the Hispanic population may not have access to the same level of medical care, therefore more likely to die, the total number of deaths also includes non-Hispanics and young people.  Second of all, is he saying, then, that Hispanics and the elderly are expendable?  And third, of course, is the fact that children bring the virus home to parents and elderly relatives such as grandparents.  Ginn has since taken the tweet down after a hue and cry, but … how do people as utterly stupid as him get into such high-level positions in the first place???


At the North Dakota state GOP convention earlier this month, Republican delegates voted on a package of 53 resolutions that “determine the group’s values and stances on various political and moral issues”.  Among them was Resolution 31 which advances the common Republican position that marriage should only be defined as a union between one man and one woman, but it also includes a rejection of any laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, often referred to as “SOGI.”

  • “SOGI bills grant protection to voyeurs who wish to prey on members of the opposite sex.”
  • “Research has shown that causes of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) compulsions are primarily developmental and not genetic as in color and gender.”
  • “SOGI laws empower those practicing LGBT behaviors to assume positions of mentorships of minors often over objections of parents, influencing their emotions and thereby recruiting for their lifestyles.”
  • “Many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.”

The final line of the resolutions says the party “opposes the passage of legislation which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to our Century code as protected classes.”

Party Chairman Rick Berg said Wednesday, July 22, that the resolution relates to an individual’s religious liberty and protecting business owners from lawsuits such as the Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission suit from 2017.  North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum issued a statement denouncing the resolution last Thursday …

“As I’ve long said, all North Dakotans deserve to be treated equally and live free of discrimination. There’s no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions.”

Y’know, folks … the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and everyone in this nation has the right to choose what to believe, what, if any, religion to follow.  HOWEVERnobody has the right to impose their own religious beliefs on others.  Nobody has the right to insist on discriminatory laws based on their own religious values.  It is the same with abortion.  If you don’t wish to have an abortion or hang out with LGBT people, then fine … don’t.  But don’t shove your bigotry and narrow-mindedness down the throats of the rest of us who believe that everyone has a right to be who they are!

Good People Doing Good Things … This ‘N That

I hope you’re in the mood for a few ‘good people’ this morning, for it just so happens that I’ve found a few!  Most of what I write for this blog is on the dark side, but we need balance in our diets … our emotional diets as well as our nutritional diets.  Good people serve to remind us that there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.


A win-win

In March, when restaurants in most every state in the U.S. closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, farmers immediately lost their restaurant contracts and many ended up having to plow their crops under, taking a huge loss for the year.  On the other side of the coin were people who had lost their jobs due to the shutdown and were unable to earn the money to buy food.  But in the State of Washington, there was George Ahearn …

When George Ahearn heard that farmers in Washington state were giving away onions and potatoes they suddenly couldn’t sell, his instinct for goodwill kicked in and George went to work.  Thinking of the food banks in Seattle that were overwhelmed, George asked on Facebook to borrow someone’s truck or trailer for the day, to haul around 2,000 pounds of restaurant-grade onions and potatoes. The response to his altruistic post was dramatic, and soon 4 trucks and 2 trailers had hauled 9.3 tons of crops grown in the east to feed hungry people in the west.

On that first inaugural run, Ahearn learned that food banks originally couldn’t accept a semi-truck load of ‘loose’ potatoes.  Enter Zsofia Pasztor, a farmer and fellow nonprofiteur who began donating crates and boxes for transporting the crops.  As these things tend to do, the movement grew and became a nonprofit organization called EastWest Food Rescue. Ahearn-1One person who donated a truck on that first day, Nancy Balin, is now one of the program’s directors, as is Zsofia Pasztor.  Says Balin …

“The whole thing was extremely organic and took on a life of its own almost immediately.”

Thus far, EastWest Food Rescue has saved over 2.4 million pounds of food from fields and brought it to those who really needed it, while also amassing enough donations to help compensate farmers for their loss.  The goal is to rescue 10 million pounds of food, for which Ahearn is trying to raise $250,000. Ahearn says one of the most important priorities is to get refrigeration capacity for fruit and other produce, as well as for milk and eggs.  Ahearn had originally planned to shut down the operation after they reached 70 tons, so he could spend more time with his family, but that was long ago, and he accepts that in this moment he “can’t stop.”Ahearn-2What a good man … and so many others … yes?


Kind hearts start young

Bike Planet of Memphis donated a bike to celebrate the grand opening of Covington Parks and Recreation Bike Park.  A young boy named Chase was the winner of the bike.  Only one thing, though … Chase already has a bike.

His neighbor and friend Daniel, however, didn’t have a bike, so … you can guess what’s coming, right?  Yep … Chase gave the brand-new bike to Daniel! chase-danielMethinks he’s been taught well!  Good job, Chase!

And then there’s 11-year-old Cartier Carey, a young entrepreneur.  Cartier has a lemonade/snack stand, like so many kids his age, but his is just a little bit different.  You see, rather than trying to earn money for that new toy or a puppy, Cartier is raising money for single moms to buy such things as diapers and other essentials.  So far, he has raised close to $5,000 through the stand and donations and all proceeds go directly to the single moms.

cartier-carey

“I wanted to help mothers who were struggling.”

And this isn’t Cartier’s first foray into altruism.  Earlier this year, Cartier created care packages called “Carti packs,” filled with deodorant, soap and tissues to give to the homeless population.cartier-carey-2He founded his own non-profit organization called Kids 4 Change 757 about a year ago. Cartier says he was motivated to create the movement so he “could help the community and make the community better.”

Chase and Cartier are our reason to hope for a brighter future, my friends!


Welcome to Ontario …

Maurice Ellis, his wife Caroline Leslie-Ellis, and their daughter, Amara, immigrated to Ontario, Canada from Jamaica to create a better life for their family.  Maurice works two jobs to support his family and put his wife through college. Caroline has earned top marks in the hospitality and tourism management program at Fanshawe College, but the expenses are tough for the family to manage.

Shortly after they moved to Ontario, in an effort to become a part of their new community, Maurice joined Dad Club London, a club for fathers and pending fathers, where they can network with other like-minded dads, give and receive help, and become more involved in their community.  One day, Dad Club London founder and president, Jeremy McCall, posted a Black Lives Matter message on the group’s Facebook page that started a conversation, and Maurice admitted that he was the target of a number of racial slurs at his second workplace.

McCall didn’t just commiserate or offer words of sympathy … he leapt into action to show the Ellis family that those who directed racial comments at Maurice were not representative of their community.  He organized a secret fundraiser to show Ellis and his family how much the community supported them.

Contributions came in from the local police union, 70 families, and numerous businesses. The group was able to raise nearly $7,000, and McCall arranged a get-together last month to surprise the family.

First, their daughter Amara was given a gift—the biggest LEGO set the club could find, and then Maurice was given a prepaid Mastercard to help with family living expenses. Finally, smiles turned to disbelief when Caroline unfolded the check for her college tuition.  Said McCall to the gathered ensemble …

“What happened to you doesn’t represent this community. We don’t stand for that. When you said, ‘I guess that’s the way the world is,’ it broke our hearts because it can’t be that way, and we won’t let it … We, together, stand as a community against racism.”

maurice-caroline-ellisNeedless to say, there was no shortage of tears all around.  What good people, yes?


good-people

Short, Not-So-Sweet, And To The Point

Tonight’s post is short … I have a single rant and a poem, and then I am going to bed, for I am tired, angry, sad, and my left eye is swollen shut (no, I didn’t get punched — I petted the cat, then rubbed my eye).  I’ll be back later with renewed energy (I hope).


Gross misuse of OUR MONEY!!!

In the United States today, we have a rising national debt that is currently at $24.95 trillion.  We have a raging pandemic taking a thousand lives a day.  We have high levels of unemployment unequaled since WWII.  We have people being evicted from their homes.  We have people who cannot afford to buy food to feed their families.  We have so many needs in this nation right this very minute.  Meanwhile, Melania Trump is planning to spend OUR money to … wait for it … remodel the f**king Rose Garden!  With only 100 days left until the election, odds are she won’t be there to ‘enjoy’ it for long, and what is this going to cost us?

According to the New York Times

The project, which includes electrical upgrades for television appearances, a new walkway and new flowers and shrubs, is meant to be an “act of expressing hope and optimism for the future,” according to a set of prepared remarks Mrs. Trump will deliver to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House later Monday morning.

“Our country has seen difficult times before, but the White House and the Rose Garden have always stood as a symbol of our strength, resilience and continuity.”

Bullshit!  ‘Hope and optimism for the future’???  If Trump gets re-elected, there will be NO hope and NO optimism and NO future for this nation!

If Trump wants the Rose Garden renovated for the purpose of enhancing his campaign for re-election, let him pay for it!  The people of this nation cannot eat the flowers and new electrical system in the Rose Garden!!!  It will not provide much-needed equipment to hospitals to help with the overflow caused by the coronavirus!!!  It will not pay the rent, so a family won’t be thrown out on the streets!!!  Get your priorities straight, Donald and Melania, else get the hell out of the White House altogether!  Go back to Mar-a-Lago and redecorate as much as you like on your own dime and your own time!


First Trump Came …

You’ve all heard the famous Martin Niemöller poem, “First They Came …” many, many times, right?  The following poem is a modern version of that, written by Gideon Lichfield, MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief.  This is Niemöller’s poem rewritten for Donald Trump’s America, and published in Quartz in June 2016, even before the election that ushered Mr. Trump into the White House.  I think it speaks volumes today, more than four years later.

First Trump came for the women
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a woman.

Then Trump came for the people with disabilities
And I did not speak out
Because I did not have a disability.

Then Trump came for the African Americans
And I did not speak out
Because I was not African American.

Then Trump came for the Mexicans
And I did not speak out
Because I was not Mexican.

Then Trump came for the Muslims
And I did not speak out
Because I was not Muslim.

Then Trump came for the gay, bi, and trans people
And I did not speak out
Because I was not gay, bi or trans.*

Then Trump came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.**

Then Trump came for the journalists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a journalist.***

Then Trump came for the judges
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a judge.

And now Trump is coming for the Constitution of the United States
And if I do not speak out, what am I?

* Actually I am one of those, and I didn’t speak out about that.
** And one of those, and didn’t speak out about that either.
*** Ditto.

I think he summed it up fairly well, don’t you?  Think about it.