The Week’s Best Cartoons 7/24

I’m just now getting around to sharing TokyoSand’s cartoon post from Saturday … sorry for the delay!  As always she has scoured the Internet and found the cream of the crop!  The topics this week range from the strange Tokyo Olympics to the Republican’s about-face regarding the COVID vaccine to anti-vaxxers and much more!  Thank you, TS, for pulling these together for us!  Here is a sampling …

Be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons over at Political Charge!

Your Rights Or Mine?

When the pandemic hit the shores of the U.S., when non-essential businesses were ordered to close and mask mandates became widespread around the nation, I rebelled a bit against the restrictions. However at the time, I had no idea of the scope of this pandemic, no idea that some 16 months later we would still be in dire circumstances.  As I saw the new cases skyrocketing, saw the death toll rise to more than a thousand people a day, I made a conscious decision to stay out of public venues to the largest extent possible, and to dutifully wear a mask when I couldn’t avoid being in a public place.  I may be stubborn, but I’m not stupid!  Other folk, however, might just qualify as being a special kind of stupid and it annoys the hell out of me that they have so little regard for anyone, even their own children!


The Catholics vs the lives of children

I thought I had heard every excuse in the book for not wearing a mask.  They are all bullshit, for if I can wear a mask when out in public, I with severe breathing problems, then almost anybody can.  But those who choose not to don’t even claim to have health issues, they simply don’t want to and they view civil rights as basically being … whatever they want to do.  They are disgusting and crude, but I’ve gotten used to it and usually just tune them out or flip them a middle finger.  But it turns out that no, I hadn’t heard the worst of it.

Resurrection School, a Catholic school in Lansing, Michigan, and two parents are suing the State of Michigan for a mask mandate that was in effect for schools last year when they first filed the lawsuit.  The mask mandate, of course, was put in place in order to keep children, their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends safe from the coronavirus.  But the Catholic school and parents argue that Catholic doctrine holds that every person is made in God’s image …

“Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity. And because God created us in His image, we are masking that image.”

OH For Pete’s Sake!!!

The school’s lawsuit argued that in addition to physically blocking God’s image, face coverings make people anti-social and interfere with relationships.  In addition, the school argued, wearing masks “conveys the message that the wearer has surrendered his or her freedom to the government.”

OH FFS!!!

In December, Judge Paul Maloney of the Western District of Michigan denied the school’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have banned enforcement of the state’s mask ordinance for kindergarten through fifth-grade students at religious schools. Resurrection School notified the court of its intention to appeal two days later, court records show.  That appeal was heard last week, but as of yet no verdict has been handed down.  Surely no court in their right mind would put a church’s vanity over the lives of the children!  Stay tuned …


Re-defining ‘Rights’

Humans.  Bah humbug!  Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile.  Tell them they have the right to free speech and they will tell lie after lie after lie under the protective dome of the 1st Amendment.  Tell them they have the right to ‘bear arms’ so long as it is as a part of a well-organized militia, not some ragtag group of uneducated bozos, and they will demand that they be allowed to carry assault rifles, grenade launchers and any weapon known to mankind.  Tell them they have a right to free choice, and they will thumb their nose at you, will demand the right to kill their own children in the name of ‘freedom from being forced to be vaccinated or wear a mask’.

I treasure my constitutional rights, but I am not so stupid or unconscionable to try to assume they give me the right to do whatever the Sam Hell I want to, no matter who it puts in the path of danger.  See … I have this thing in my head called a brain, and some days it even kicks into gear and produces coherent thought processes!  Sadly, my late-ex-husband hit the nail on the head when he said that some people, when they were giving out brains, thought they said, ‘trains’ and answered, “No thank you”.

This seems to be the case with those who seem to believe they are immune to the ravages of the COVID pandemic.  In France, President Emmanuel Macron has put into place a mandate that people must show a “health pass”, similar to a vaccine passport being discussed here in the U.S.  The health pass would be required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus when entering cinemas, theaters, museums, restaurants, long train trips, bars and planes.  The French people are whining that the President is taking on powers with dictatorial overtones that crush basic freedoms.  Bullshit!  Connerie!

Here in the U.S., people are whining over everything everywhere.  They don’t want to have to be vaccinated, don’t want to have to show proof of being vaccinated, don’t want to wear a mask … wah wah wah.  Big bunch ‘o babies!  EVEN people in the healthcare industry!  Wouldn’t you think they would know better???  How the hell are they going to convince the populace to be vaccinated when they themselves are refusing???

Some areas are moving into a region of sanity.  The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and the State of California (CA) have made the vaccine mandatory for healthcare workers in their areas.  It only makes sense!  Do you really want to visit the doctor, knowing that his nurse and maybe even himself are walking covid breeders?

And at a time you might expect churches to take the high road, for the most part they have lowered the bar.  Churches have argued against forced closing back when all but the most essential services were shuttered.  And now, some are arguing against protecting their congregation by the requirement to limit attendance and wear masks.  One pastor, Greg Locke, says that mask-wearing is forbidden in his church and anyone entering wearing a mask will be ‘thrown out’.  He claims to be standing up for people’s ‘rights’.  Wait a minute … doesn’t forbidding the wearing of masks intrude on the rights of those who wish to protect themselves by wearing a mask?  Think on that one a minute!

Rights, folks.  Many people aren’t understanding them.  With rights come the responsibility of ensuring you use those rights wisely.  Your rights end at the point they step on mine or somebody else’s.  Rights.  They are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution … I would suggest it be on the mandatory reading list for every single person over the age of 12 in the U.S.  Read it, think about it, then tell me that you have a right to come into a restaurant, unvaccinated and sans mask with the pandemic once again skyrocketing in certain areas.


And then there is Basilico’s Pasta e Vino restaurant in Huntington Beach, California …

When restaurants across California halted indoor dining as the pandemic took hold in March 2020, Basilico’s Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach continued to welcome patrons.

When officials issued an order for establishments to mandate face coverings to stem the spread of the virus, the Orange County eatery declared itself a mask-free zone and required that diners remove them before entering.

This week, the Italian restaurant issued another decree: Proof of being unvaccinated is required for entry.

We have seen a lot of ignorance, a lot of blatant stupidity, a lot of cruelty since the start of the pandemic, but … this one takes the cake.  I would love to see this restaurant shut down by the Department of Public Health and told never to re-open their doors again.


An Exciting New Blog …

Today, I would like to introduce you all to a new blogging friend, Quentin Choy, who has recently started the blog WeTheCommoners.  His blog, per his ‘About’ page …

“ … Aims to create a place where a multitude of political and non-political ideas are shared and challenged.

WeTheCommoners comes from the phrase “We the People,” found in the Constitution. The word commoner is used instead of people because a clear divide has been established between ordinary, working-class Americans and those who are meant to represent them in Washington. Many in Washington view normal people like you and I as “commoners,” or as people who come second to political parties, lobbyists, and campaigns.

In a polarized America, many are afraid to discuss things that are even slightly political, and WeTheCommoners hopes to change that. With blog posts from ordinary people with a wide range of political beliefs, your personal beliefs will be challenged. Bloggers on WeTheCommoners are upfront about their opinions and political stances and come from all walks of life.

I hope this blog inspires you to share your political opinions, normalize having political conversations, and maybe even become actively involved in the political world!”

I don’t often promote new blogs, but when I see a blogger’s work as exceptional, beyond the pale, then I like to do my small part to help them grow their blog.  I think Quentin’s blog is worth that effort.  He first caught my eye when he commented on my post about Jeff Bezos’ space excursion and how much money was simply burned up while people go hungry every day in this country.  Curiosity piqued, I paid a visit to Quentin’s blog, liked what I saw, and I want to help him if I can.  I well remember my early blogging days when, after a year, I had 30 followers and thought I was in the big time!

Quentin’s latest post is one that I think is well worth reading … he traces the recent … last 70 years or so … history of the relationship between the U.S. and Iran.  He reminds us of some things we may have forgotten, and answers the question:  How did we get where we are today?

Sometimes it’s easy to think that the country we live in is the entire world.  Oh sure, we all know there are other countries out there, and that our government, no matter what country you live in, interacts with the governments of all these other countries, but … we live in the moment.  And the moment, for many of us, perhaps most of us, is what’s happening outside our back door.  Here in the U.S., it is the rampant toll of the coronavirus pandemic with all its variants, having taken more than 625,000 lives thus far.  It is far right radical politicians turning our government into a three-ring circus.  It is the threat of one of our political parties shredding our Constitution and turning this nation into an autocracy worthy of third-world status.

But … the internal problems can become somewhat less relevant in a heartbeat if a global threat should occur.  I once worked for a professor of International Relations and did some of the research for his academic paper about how some nations use an external threat, real or designed, to ease bring about internal cohesion.  The examples are many.  Think on that one for a minute, my friends.

I hope you’ll take a look at Quentin’s blog, give him a word of encouragement, and stay tuned for more!  A brief sampling of his latest post …


How We Got Here: An Illustrated Timeline of U.S.-Iranian Relations

By Quentin Choy

I remember being afraid that an actual hot war would take place between the United States and Iran a few years ago. Being at the prime age for the military draft, I was greatly concerned. I wrote to my Congressman Ed Case, trying to figure out what Congress was doing to get the situation under control.

I clearly remember thinking to myself, how did we get to this point? In this post, we’ll explore a timeline of events that deteriorated the U.S.-Iran relationship to a breaking point.

1953: The C.I.A. launches a coup in Iran, overthrowing democratically elected PM Mohammad Mosaddegh following plans to nationalize Iranian oil. The Shah takes power and is friendlier to the West.

To see the rest of this timeline, please visit Quentin’s post at WeTheCommoners

Jolly Pizza Monday!

Good Monday morning, my friends!  Come in out of the heat … it’s brutal out there, isn’t it?  And, in the usual way of humans, it won’t be long before we’re cursing the cold!  So tell me … how was your weekend?  Did you do anything special or fun?  Daughter Chris’ band had two outdoor performances on Saturday and they were all miserable in their wool kilts and knee-length thick wool socks, so she was pretty much tuckered out by the time she got home around 7:00 that night.

Today is … pizza day here on Jolly Monday, so Joyful and I have put together a few concoctions that we think you’ll like.  So, grab a slice or two, then let’s see what we can find to start this week with a smile!


This past weekend was the 38th anniversary of the New Jersey balloon festival, and I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the unique balloons that took part in the festival.  The festival is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America.


And now for the ‘toons you’ve been waiting for all week!


Throw in a few memes for a few chuckles …


While Joyful and I were baking pizzas, we sent Jolly in search of a cute animal video to round out Jolly Monday … I think he did a great job with this one …


Well, my friends, it’s time for us to be productive in some way.  We hope we helped you start the week with a smile and that you’ll share those smiles throughout the week!  I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

When Conservative became Noservative

Our friend Brosephus shares his thoughts on today’s Republican conservatives, or ‘noservatives’ as he so aptly dubs them. What, he asks, has happened to the Republican Party in the past decade or two? Where is the party that actually DID something instead of simply trying to put roadblocks up for the other party? Brosephus’ post is one well worth reading and pondering. Thank you, Brosephus!

The Mind of Brosephus

Cover of Time Magazine from March 21, 2016

There’s been several topics that have popped up that I haven’t had the time to write about. Most times, these topics usually get discussed in the comment section. I appreciate that because I don’t always have the time to post a new topic to address recent events to allow “on topic” commenting.

That said, I happened to come across the above Time Magazine cover, and I think it asks a very important question that we don’t discuss enough. What happened to the Republican Party? I’m talking beyond the personality cult it’s become with the sole intent on pissing off liberals. What happened to the ideas and guiding principles of conservatism?

For example, let’s discuss immigration for a minute. Conservatives will whine and bitch to no end about how immigration is a problem and there’s a border crisis going on. We’ve been hearing…

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Saturday Surprise — Pareidolia (?)

Okay, so it’s time for a Saturday Surprise post.  I skipped over it last week … I don’t remember why now, but either I wasn’t inspired or I had something I wanted to get off my chest (like our cat Pandi, who LOVES to lie on our chests!)  At any rate, today I am determined you will start your weekend with a smile … GOT THAT???

I wasn’t quite sure, when I came across the term, what ‘pareidolia’ was, so I looked it up and found that it is:  the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.  The scientific explanation for some people is pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness.  Um … okay.  Probably better that I show you  … in some cases the captions steal the show!

After Stewing In His Emotions, Emo Veg Comes To The Conclusion That The Root Of The World’s Problems Is That People Don’t Seem To Carrot All

This Tomato Looks Like A Duck

Leonardo da Vinci, for example, described seeing characters in natural markings on stone walls, which he believed could help inspire his artworks. And in the 1950s, the Bank of Canada had to withdraw a series of banknotes because people saw a grinning devil leaping from the curls of the Queen’s hair.

The Evolved Radish

Alien Pickle

Going To Have To Eat This Chicken As It Hasn’t Laid A Single Bloody Egg Yet

Sometimes, an abnormal look can make fruits and veggies land in the bin. Of course, food waste exists across the food supply chain due to pests and mold, poor climate control, and household waste, but imperfect produce is often turned away by grocery stores for not meeting strict cosmetic standards as well, making up around 40% of total food waste.

This Incredible Carrot Hand Was Found While Digging Juice Carrots At Our Farm Today

She Thought He Did Not Carrot All, But He Bought Her 21-Carrot Ring

Foot Shaped Radish Goes On Display

Reducing food loss has been identified as one of the most effective ways to improve food security – an increasingly important challenge as the global population continues to grow. Plus, food waste also hugely contributes to global warming and our carbon footprint.

But ugly food is fighting back. More and more companies are selling ugly produce and using it in their products, reversing the fate of discarded monstrosities to delicious, perfectly edible, and nutritious food.

The ugly produce movement also has the potential to pass lower prices onto customers.

So if you stumble upon a radish that resembles a foot — buy it. You’ll be doing your part.

Kawaii Gourd

This Banana Looks Exactly Like My Mom’s Dog

This Onion Looks Like An Angry Bird

That’s A Sweet Beartato

F**k You Too, Broccoli

This Tomato That Grew In Our Garden Is Shaped Like A Butterfly

This Strawberry Looks Like A Butterfly

Best Eggplant Ever

My Wife’s Bell Pepper Looks Like A Big Nosed Grumpy Old Man Smoking A Cig

The Happiest Potato I’ve Ever Seen

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s trip through the funny produce aisles … and maybe even learned a new word!  Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!!!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Was there ever a day when my head wasn’t about to explode from all the injustice and lunacy that we live with on a continual basis?  Was there ever a day when people just treated others right, when our government wasn’t being ripped apart by radicals?  Sigh.  I do remember a day when things were better than today in many ways, but let’s face it … there has never been a time that people were completely kind and compassionate toward all, never been a time when there weren’t arguments within the government – and among people – about how things ought to be done.  So, I suppose it’s what keeps me going, gives me the will to fight injustice and ignorance yet another day.


Selling children …

The headline that made my jaw drop read:

New York becomes sixth state in U.S. to ban child marriages

You mean to tell me that 44 states in this union still allow and/or support child marriages???

Last month, Rhode Island’s Democratic governor signed legislation barring minors from being married. Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware have enacted similar laws, as have the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.  It stands out like a sore thumb that not a single one of these states are south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The legality of child marriages varies widely across the other 44 states. In Wyoming, the minimum age of consent for marriage is 16, but a child of any age can be married with parental and judicial consent. In Virginia, the minimum age is 18 — but there is an exception for minors who have been legally emancipated.

Nearly 5,000 children were married in New York between 2000 and 2018, according to a study published in April by Unchained at Last, a nonprofit that advocates against child marriage in the United States.

Nationally over that period, nearly 300,000 children were legally married, the study found. Of that figure, 86 percent were girls, and most were married to adult men.  I’m sorry, but this isn’t marriage, this is child abuse, it is sex trafficking, it is … it is just WRONG!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Overstepping their bounds — the House Freedom Caucus

The House “Freedom Caucus” is a group of Republican representatives who claim to be representing We the People, but in truth they are a bigoted, homophobic lot.  It was formed in 2015 by members of the ‘Tea Party’ movement and its members are those conservatives who take conservativism so far to the right that it strains the definition of democratic principles.  The utterly despicable Jim Jordan is one of the founding members, which tells you just about all you need to know about the group.  The group was largely to blame for the resignation from Congress of then-House Speaker John Boehner in October 2015, a fellow Republican, though you’d never know it from the treatment he received from the radical right in his own party.

Today, the House Freedom Caucus is urging Kevin McCarthy to ‘do something’ to remove Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.  Mind you, the Speaker of the House is selected by the majority party, which as of today happens to be the Democratic, not the Republican Party, and thus it is not the Republican’s place nor their responsibility to determine the leadership role.  But, when has the Republican Party in the past ten years ever played by the rules?

In a letter Friday, the far-right group asked McCarthy to file and bring up a privileged motion by July 31 “to vacate the chair and end Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian reign as Speaker of the House.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s tenure is destroying the House of Representatives and our ability to faithfully represent the people we are here to serve. Republicans, under your leadership, must show the American people that we will act to protect our ability to represent their interests.”

Bullshit!  They are annoyed that Pelosi rejected Jim Jordan and Jim Banks for seats on the select committee to investigate the January 6th insurrection, plain and simple.  McCarthy knew damn well that those two buffoons wouldn’t pass muster … he likely selected them for that very reason, setting the stage for his little temper tantrum saying he wouldn’t put any Republicans on the committee if he couldn’t have the two Jims on the committee for the purpose of turning it into a circus act.

It is a near certainty that their request will fail, but what it serves to do is further divide not only the House of Representatives, but the nation.  Remember Abraham Lincoln’s speech in 1858 where he spoke the now famous words … “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  It’s a fact, and when I hear Republicans utter such inanities as “our ability to faithfully represent the people we are here to serve,” I want to punch somebody or something.  The current representatives in the Republican Party, with very few exceptions, don’t give a damn about the people they are supposed to represent!

Cut the bullshit, Republicans!  We’re not stupid and we can see right through you, especially since you are unburdened by such things as a heart, a conscience, and a functional brain!  You’re as transparent as a glass bottle.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Now Is The Time … Maybe The Last Chance

There was a time when I would have eschewed the very notion of socialism.  A time I didn’t understand the evil that humans are capable of.  A time I thought that ‘right’ would win out over ‘might’.  Over the years, the decades, the rose-coloured glasses have broken to pieces, and the naiveté eroded from my psyche.  Today, I see the human species clearly as it is, and as such, a true democratic socialist state holds much appeal for me.  Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has, in my view, all the right ideas for what this … or any nation … should be.  Can we get there?  Bernie thinks so.  What follows is the column he wrote for publication in The Guardian on Wednesday … his words make a heck of a lot of sense, at least to me.


The biggest win for the working class in generations is within reach
By Bernie Sanders

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Now is the time.

At a time when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, when two people now own more wealth than the bottom 40% and when some of the wealthiest people and biggest businesses in the world pay nothing in federal income taxes, the billionaire class and large profitable corporations must finally start paying their fair share of taxes.

Now is the time.

At a time when real wages for workers have not gone up in almost 50 years, when over half our people live paycheck to paycheck, when over 90 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, when working families cannot afford childcare or higher education for their kids, when many Americans no longer believe their government represents their interests, the U.S. Congress must finally have the courage to represent the needs of working families and not just the 1% and their lobbyists.

Now is the time.

At a time of unprecedented heatwaves, drought, flooding, extreme weather disturbances and the acidification of the oceans, now is the time for the US government to make certain that the planet we leave our children and future generations is healthy and habitable. We must stand up to the greed of the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and lead the world in combating climate change.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee I fought hard for a $6 trillion budget which would address these and other long-neglected needs. Not everyone in the Democratic caucus agreed with me and, after a lot of discussion and compromise within the budget committee, an agreement was reached on a smaller number. (Needless to say, no Republicans will support legislation which taxes the rich and protects working families.)

While this budget is less than I had wanted, let us be clear. This proposal, if passed, will be the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s. It will also put the U.S. in a global leadership position as we combat climate change. Further, and importantly, this legislation will create millions of good-paying jobs as we address the long-neglected needs of working families and the planet.

Why is this proposal so significant?

We will end the days of billionaires not paying a nickel in federal income taxes by making sure the wealthy and large corporations do not use their accountants and lawyers to avoid paying the massive amounts that they owe. This proposal will also raise the individual tax rate on the wealthiest Americans and the corporate tax rate for the most profitable companies in our country. Under this proposal, no family making under $400,000 a year will pay a nickel more in taxes and will, in fact, receive one of the largest tax cuts in American history.

We will aggressively reduce our childhood poverty rate by expanding the child tax credit so that families continue to receive monthly direct payments of up to $300 per child.

We will address the crisis in childcare by fighting to make sure that no working family pays more than 7% of their income on this basic need. Making childcare more accessible and affordable will also strengthen our economy by allowing millions more Americans (mostly women) to join the workforce.

We will provide universal pre-kindergarten to every three- and four-year-old.

We will end the international disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave as a right.

We will begin to address the crisis in higher education by making community colleges in America tuition-free.

We will address the disgrace of widespread homelessness in the United States and the reality that nearly 18 million households are paying over 50% of their incomes for housing by an unprecedented investment in affordable housing.

We will ensure that people in an aging society can receive the home health care they need and that the workers who provide that care aren’t forced to live on starvation wages.

We will save taxpayers hundreds of billions by having Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and use those savings to cover the dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses that many seniors desperately need.

We will rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater treatment plants, broadband and other aspects of our physical infrastructure.

We will take on the existential threat of climate change by transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

This effort will include a nationwide clean energy standard that moves our transportation system, electrical generation, buildings and housing and agriculture sector toward clean energy.

Through a Civilian Climate Corps we will give hundreds of thousands of young people good-paying jobs and educational benefits as they help us combat climate change.

We will fight to bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

In the midst of the many long-ignored crises that this legislation is attempting to address, we will not have one Republican senator voting for it. Tragically, many Republican leaders in Congress and around the country are just too busy continuing to lie about the 2020 presidential election, undermining democracy by suppressing voting rights, denying the reality of climate change and casting doubts about the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines.

That means that the 50 Democrats in the US Senate, plus the vice-president, will have to pass this most consequential piece of legislation alone. And that’s what we will do. The future of working families is at stake. The future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake.

Now is the time.

Listen to Bernie, my friends … he has the right ideas to take this nation in a positive direction.

Tribal troubles

Ever since a few years ago when a reader informed me that the reason for racism in the U.S. … or anywhere, for that matter … was ‘tribalism’, I have despised that term. I consider myself to be a part of NO tribe, but rather an individual thinker who agrees with some things, disagrees with others. But, I am not a part of any tribe that seeks to put their own religion, ethnicity, skin colour, gender or gender identity, above others. To me, that is the height of stupidity and arrogance. Anyway, I found fellow blogger and author Kevin Brennan’s views on Amy Chua’s book about political tribes to be thought-provoking and interesting. You might, too!

WHAT THE HELL

By now it’s pretty obvious that our politics are marked in this era by rampant tribalism. That’s why I wanted to read Amy Chua’s important book, Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations.

Chua aptly identifies the tribalism that’s currently ripping America to shreds, though her conclusion that all we need to do is really talk to each other and really, like, listen, isn’t a viable option to my mind. When you have half the country denying that the ocean is full of saltwater, it’s hard to listen to those people and not break down in tears. They believe conspiracy theories that have zero chance of being true, but the bottom line is that believing these theories is the signal (to one another) that you’re in the Trump Tribe. It’s like a hand stamp that lets you back inside the disco.

Where this book comes through most…

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Snarky Snippets Are Baaaaack!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a snarky snippets post, though in truth almost all of my posts contain an element of snark!  Anyway … I have just a couple of short ones for you this afternoon …


Killing us softly with …

The big news yesterday was that the U.S. has seen a significant drop in life expectancy … the biggest decrease since WWII.  My first thought was … “Well duh.  625,000+ people dead in the U.S. from the pandemic – what do you expect?”  And certainly, the pandemic has played a role in the decline in life expectancy, but it isn’t the only culprit.  Turns out that the ever-expanding income disparity is one of the biggest culprits, and it has been bringing down life expectancy rates for a few years now, even before the pandemic.

During the second half of the 2010s, life expectancy fell on a sustained basis for the first time since the fighting of World War II killed several hundred thousand Americans.

It’s hard to imagine a more alarming sign of a society’s well-being than an inability to keep its citizens alive. While some of the reasons are mysterious, others are fairly clear. American society has become far more unequal than it used to be, and the recent increases in mortality are concentrated among working-class Americans, especially those without a four-year college degree.

For many, daily life lacks the structure, status and meaning that it once had, as the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have explained. Many people feel less of a connection to an employer, a labor union, a church or community groups. They are less likely to be married. They are more likely to endure chronic pain and to report being unhappy.

These trends have led to a surge of “deaths of despair” (a phrase that Case and Deaton coined), from drugs, alcohol and suicide. Other health problems, including diabetes and strokes, have also surged among the working class. Notably, the class gaps in life expectancy seem to be starker in the U.S. than in most other rich countries.

Covid has also caused sharp increases in racial inequality. As a Times article on the new report explains:

From 2019 to 2020, Hispanic people experienced the greatest drop in life expectancy — three years — and Black Americans saw a decrease of 2.9 years. White Americans experienced the smallest decline, of 1.2 years.

Covid has also killed more men than women, Case and Deaton pointed out, increasing the mortality gap between the sexes, after years in which it had mostly been shrinking. Life expectancy was 5.7 years longer for women last year, up from 5.1 years in 2019. The gap had fallen to a low of 4.8 years in the early 2010s.

The bottom line: Covid has both worsened and exposed a crisis in health inequality. But that crisis existed before Covid and will continue to exist when the pandemic is over – if it ever is.


Spot on!!!

You all know my feelings on rich bastards wasting their money on not-so-cheap thrills like building a rocket ship and flying to the edge of space for no other reason that they can afford to do it.  The latest was Jeff Bezos, and frankly I’m so disgusted with this ‘man’ and his lack of compassion, lack of humility, that I am seriously considering canceling my Amazon account permanently.  Anyway … talk show host Gayle King got the best of him in my view yesterday when she spoke with Bezos on CBS This Morning and she asked him …

“All of you keep saying this is not a competition, and I find that so hard to believe because you’re all type A personalities. Don’t you want to be first? It really to you isn’t a game of whose is bigger? Honestly, it really isn’t?”

I nearly choked with laughter!  Penis-envy run amok!


Filiwhat?  Filiwho?  Filihow?

President Biden made an appearance here in Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday and at the end of the day he participated in a CNN Town Hall along with Don Lemon.  When asked about the filibuster and whether it should be killed off in the Senate, he was far less forceful than I would have liked.

“There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.”

WTF???  Nothing at all is getting done now!!!  The Senate Republicans have all but killed the For the People Act, the infrastructure bill, and anything else that might be on the table with their damned filibuster!  Joe did say he wouldn’t mind seeing it altered to the ways of yore, when senators actually had to stand on the floor of the Senate and expound for hours, but let’s face it … the Republicans have enough hot air in them to ramble and rant for days without coming up for air!


Moscow Mitch said WHAT???

You may have noticed that a number of Republicans have been urging people in this country to get the Covid vaccine this week … people like Mitch McConnell, Steve Scalise, and even Fox’ Sean Hannity.  I note we haven’t heard the positive take from the absolutely disgusting Tucker Carlson, but then he marches to the beat of a different drummer, so don’t hold your breath.

I’m not sure what triggered the Republicans’ sudden faux concern for people, but hopefully their constituents listen to them, for as long as we continue to have some 30% of the nation refusing to be vaccinated, we are NOT going to end the pandemic.  Period.  One of my favourite late-night comedians has a humorous take on the newly-discovered consciences that I think will give you a chuckle or two. This is, in my opinion, one of the best Colbert has done!