Filosofa is Snarky … Again

♫ I feel snarky, I feel snarky … ♫  Oh … hi!  In case you didn’t hear, I am feeling a bit snarky this afternoon!  But then, when don’t I feel snarky these days?


What the heck are they doing???

Today marks 173 years since rescuers first reached the Donner party who had been stranded by a snowstorm as they tried to make their way across the Sierra-Nevada Mountains.  The Donner story is a tragic one … of the 89 people that set out from Springfield, Illinois, in the summer of 1846, only 45 would survive.  But what the Donner story is most well-known for is that after they killed and ate their dogs and pack animals to keep from starving, they then began to eat their own, even killing two Native Americans who had joined their party, and roasting them.

Why, you ask, do I bring up the Donner story now?  They ate their own.  There is a parallel between the Donner party in 1846-47 and the Democratic Party in 2020, for the democrats seem to be hellbent and determined to lose the election in November by eating their own.

Bernie Sanders is polling at the head of the pack, a full 16 points ahead of #2 candidate Joe Biden.  So, wouldn’t you think democrats would get behind Bernie, help lift him?  After all, the democrats have stated more than once that the goal is to beat Trump, and much as I hate it, much as I would prefer to see a campaign based on the issues, I agree that the reign of Donald Trump must come to an end.

But, instead of patting Bernie on the back, helping make his candidacy even stronger, the pack is trying to eat Bernie!  Now, what sense does that make?  According to Politico, a democratic group called the Big Tent Project, has launched a million-dollar ad campaign in South Carolina and Nevada intended to bash Senator Sanders.  They are running two ads.  The first accuses Sanders of dumping waste in Latino communities — and profiting from it.

The second ad goes to the heart of some of the more moderate democrats’ concerns, that his plans are too aggressive, and too expensive.  The script …

“Socalist Bernie Sanders promises the world. But at what cost? Sixty trillion in new spending. Losing our private health care. Largest middle-class tax hike ever. The cost? Another four years of Donald Trump.”

Wow … why not just shoot him and be done with it?  The jackals who are stirring this pot are the very ones who will be handing Donald Trump the keys to the kingdom and he will stay in office until his death.  With our luck, he’ll live to be 100.

Come on, democrats … wake up!  Bernie Sanders is NOT the enemy, nor is Elizabeth Warren or Pete Buttigieg or Joe Biden.  The enemy is sitting on his fat ass eating a Big Mac on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office!  STOP the damn infighting, stop supporting groups that put out these ads!  Believe me, the republicans will be running a full-throttle campaign of ads against Sanders and all the others … the democrats don’t need to join forces with them!  I can hear the republicans laughing now, saying, “Hell, boys, we don’t need to waste money on ads … they’re doin’ it for us!”

“United we stand, divided we fall” – John Dickinson

“Divide et impera” (Divide and conquer) – Julius Caesar


In other news …

According to The Guardian …

“Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails, a court in London has been told.

The extraordinary claim was made at Westminster magistrates court before the opening next week of Assange’s legal battle to block attempts to extradite him to the US.

Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald QC, referred to evidence alleging that the former US Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher had been to see Assange, now 48, while he was still in the Ecuadorian embassy in August 2017.

A statement from Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson shows “Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks”, Fitzgerald told Westminster magistrates court.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is hearing the case at Westminster, said the evidence is admissible.

Assange is wanted in America to face 18 charges, including conspiring to commit computer intrusion, over the publication of US cables a decade ago.

He could face up to 175 years in jail if found guilty. He is accused of working with the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak hundreds of thousands of classified documents.”

Can we say … WITNESS TAMPERING?????  Yet another criminal and impeachable offense to add to the ever-growing list.  Yo … republican senators!!!  Wake UP!!!


Okay, my blood pressure is sufficiently high … I’m going to go wash dishes and fold laundry now.

Good People Doing Good Things — We Just Never Know

For some reason, every time I Google “good people doing good”, I’m directed back to Filosofa’s Word.  I realize that’s a good thing … an honour, really, to be among Google’s first picks … but not terribly helpful.  Still, I’ve managed to find some good people.  Today I’m focusing, as I often do, on little things that make a big difference.


Dr-Don-RiceDr. Don Rice is a Urgent Care Medicine Specialist in Lincoln, Nebraska.  On Monday, Dr. Rice decided to do something special for National Random Acts of Kindness Day, so … he helped the 80 patients that came into the clinic that day by paying their co-pay for the visit!  The average co-pay being around $50, Dr. Rice estimates he spent around $4,000 that day.  Says the doc …

“I think that we have a culture that sometimes forgets that we can have a much better world if we start being kinder to each other.”

Rice says the random act was inspired by a kind family friend, who died from cancer.

“Even though she had two types of cancer, was always giving to other people, so we thought it would be fun to do this in her honor.”

A relatively small thing?  Sure … but maybe for some people that extra $50 meant they could have a bit extra with their supper or buy their child a much-needed new pair of shoes.  You just never know, do you?

Thumbs up to Dr. Don Rice!!!


If you lived in Idaho Falls, Idaho, you probably saw a good bit of snow last week.  You might also have looked out your window and seen …shoveling

Yep, those are some of the members of the Idaho Falls fire department out shoveling driveways and sidewalks for the town’s residents.  One resident, Eric Nelson, said …

“I actually thought my wife was the one that did it and she thought I did it. We didn’t realize until I thanked her for it later that night and she said she thought it was me. Totally surprised.”

Again, just a little thing, but … these guys didn’t have to do it … they could have stayed warm and cozy in the firehouse until a call came in, but instead they chose to help people.  And maybe … just maybe, they saved an elderly person from slipping and falling on the ice and breaking a hip.  We’ll never know, will we?


Raj Singh owns his own taxi service in Roseville, California, and one day last week he got a call to pick up an elderly woman – 92 years old, to be exact – for she needed a ride to her bank.  When he started chatting with her, she told him she was about to withdraw $25,000 to settle a debt with the IRS.  Well, as you can imagine, warning bells went off in Raj’s head!

As Singh talked to the woman, trying to find out more, she told him that someone had called her and asked for the money. When he asked if it was a family member, the woman grew silent.  Singh finally got her to agree to let him call the number to the person who was posing as an IRS employee.

“We called this number again and I asked the man, ‘Do you know this lady?’ He said no. I knew something was wrong.”

When Singh pressed the man, saying the woman was 92 years old and she was nervous, the man hung up on him. After repeated calls back, Singh said the number blocked them.  Despite that, Singh said the woman still didn’t believe him, so he came up with another idea.

Raj knew she was being scammed, but … how to convince her?  Finally, he talked her into letting him stop by the police station.  Singh spoke with an officer in the station, who then spoke with the woman, and the officer was finally able to convince her that she was being scammed.

Singh took his passenger home, her bank account saved. A week after the potential scam was thwarted, Singh said he got a call asking him to come back to the station where officers gave Singh a $50 gift card to thank him for what he did.Raj-SinghRoseville police posted on their Facebook page …

“We love this story because several times throughout, Raj could have just taken his customer to her stop and not worried about her wellbeing. He took time from his day and had the great forethought to bring the almost-victim to the police station for an official response.  His quick thinking saved a senior citizen $25,000 and for that, we greatly appreciate his efforts.” 

Another one of those ‘little things’, but this one saved an elderly woman … perhaps her life savings.  We never know, do we?


And lastly, I came across this story on a friend’s blog, Nuggets of Gold and thought it made a great addition to this post.  Thank you, Miss Joy Roses!

Jayme Woolley is 16-years-old and attends Axtell High School, just outside Waco, Texas.  Now, guys buy flowers on Valentine’s Day for their girls, but Jayme … well, he went a step or two further.  Young Jayme bought a flower for every girl in his school between 6th and 12th grade!

Jayme’s mom, Amy Gordon, posted a photo on Facebook showing 170 roses lying across their living room floor.flowers-1On the 14th, Jayme waited by the entrance to Axtell, placed the flowers in silver tins and handed them out to each girl as they walked into school.JaymeNow why did he do that?  Because, he said, he wanted to make every girl at Axtell High School feel special.  Wow, huh?  And maybe, just maybe, one of those girls was very much in need of a bit of love, needed just for a moment to feel special.  We just never know, do we?


Remember, folks, if you see a chance to be a good people, be one!  You just never know what a difference a small act of kindness might make in someone’s life.

Jolly Monday At Last!!!

Good morning, folks and welcome to … Monday.Monday-2So, how was your weekend?  Mind was spent in utter chaos.  I should have taken pictures of my house during the building of the desk.  We bought Miss Goose a new desk from Amazon and it arrived last Thursday.  Now, I could have had them assemble it for an extra $150, but … nah … we can put it together.  How hard can it be, after all?  Probably take 2-3 hours, right?  WRONG!  Six hours on Saturday just to put the desk part together, then about another 5 hours on Sunday to put the hutch together and hoist it atop of it.  Solid wood.  Heavy — 193 pounds worth of heavy.  Meanwhile, all the crappola she had in her old desk was scattered throughout the house and I damn near broke bones more than once trying to get to the washing machine, and at one point it was an obstacle course just to get to the bathroom!  I have bruises and a back that seems not to want to bend, but it is complete now and she is quite happy, so … I told her it has to last her past my death, ‘cause I am never going through this again!  Should have just spend the $150 for the professional installation.  Here’s a look at the finished product …

deskToday is a special Jolly Monday, for our young friend Benjamin is on school break and will be joining us!  So, grab a snack and lets find a few smiles before we have to head off to our various jobs, shall we?

coffee           new-half-and-half                          Seeping-Tea


Matchmaker, Matchmaker …

Jeff Gebhart of Prairie Village, Kansas, is looking for a girlfriend.  Jeff told a local television station, KCTV, that he is tired of the ‘traditional’ methods and also of online dating, so he’s come up with a whole new approach.  Gebhart debuted his own dating site last Sunday, exclusively dedicated to finding himself a new partner, and he’ll give $25,000 to anyone who sends the perfect match his way. He’ll also sweeten the pot by donating $25,000 to a no-kill dog shelter or charity.  He seems a bit desperate to me, but Jeff says …

“I don’t need a person to ‘complete’ me, but I’m looking for a person with qualities that will allow us to complement each other.”

Jeff-GebhartSounds simple, right?  But wait … there are rules.  The person Gebhart is matched up with must date him and him alone for a year before the matchmaker will be paid, and even then, he/she will be paid in installments of five $5,000 payments over a five-year stretch. If Gebhart and the gal split before the final payment, the matchmaker gets only what he or she has earned to that point. There’s also an online quiz that applicants will need to take to see if their personalities sync with his.  So what, exactly is he looking for?  Someone who is …

“… fun, easy to spend time with … confident, driven … and has a zest for life. The main objective of this is to find the right girl for me, wherever she is.”

Okaaaay … well, good luck, Jeff!


Mickey D’s?

This is what the inside of your average McDonald’s restaurant looks like …McD-1Plastic tables and chairs, nothing special … just your average kid-friendly fast food joint.  But, if you happen to be in Rome, Italy, or more specifically the Roma Termini, and have a craving for a Big Mac, this is what you’ll see …McD-2What is it, you ask?  It is a small section of the Servian Wall that was unearthed during the construction of the station’s underground shopping mall, and was thus integrated into the dining area of McDonald’s.

The Servian Wall was constructed around the city of Rome during the 4th century B.C. The outline of the wall possibly dates back to the times of King Servius Tullius, for which it garnered its namesake. The wall stood for generations as the first line of defense against the Gauls and Carthaginians. By the early Imperial age, the wall became unnecessary as the Roman army grew in number and power. Eventually, it was superseded by the Aurelian Wall constructed by Emperor Aurelian in 275.

Definitely not the atmosphere you expect to see while munching on your chicken nuggets, eh?


Whose playlist???

Now, you all know how much I love critters, right?  But even I, the ultimate critter lover, find this just a bit over the top.  The Swedish audio-streaming company Spotify recently announced that it has made playlists and a podcast for dogs to listen to in their owners’ absence.  Why, you ask?  Apparently, it found in a survey that 74% of pet-owners play music for their pets to listen to for company when they are away from home, with 42% of owners saying their pets have a favorite type of music.  A quarter of pet owners said they have even seen their pets dancing to music.

So, what kind of music does Spotify think dogs like to hear?  The podcast features soothing music, “dog-directed praise”, stories, and messages of affirmation and reassurance narrated by actors to alleviate stress for dogs who are home alone.  Meanwhile, the playlists aimed at pets offer tracks selected by algorithms to match pets’ characteristics such as energetic or slow.

Okay, then, but … what about cats, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, birds and other pets?  Won’t they feel left out?  Oh wait!!!

In another article, I found that the company says that if you have a pet rabbit, Spotify may not be able to fulfill her musical needs right now. For now, it can only musically accommodate dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, and iguanas!

Take heart all you iguana families out there … they haven’t forgotten you after all!!!


Tartan sheep …

Get a load of these Tartan sheep found in the Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre in Scotland!Tartan-sheep If you’re wondering about these unique animals, the sign here explains it …Tartan-sheep-signWho knew???  Well … actually … they are spray painted to look like that.  But don’t worry … this is a special, non-toxic spray paint, the same that is used to number them during lambing season, and is perfectly harmless.  It was the idea of the owner of the Wildlife Centre, Maxine Scott, when she first purchased the park ten years ago.Tartan-sheep-2The park had already had a tradition of creating painted sheep, so she kept up this tongue-in-cheek practice. The sheep in these photos are April and Daisy. Of all the tourists that come by, it is the Americans that seem to enjoy the joke the most. She tells people that the Tartan Sheep change color often and encourages people to come back to see her ewes again.


Now, are you ready for some ‘toons, courtesy of Phil’s Phun?

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4toon-5toon-6toon-7toon-8toon-9


While I was mooching around over at Phil’s, I came across this video and it is just so much fun that I had to share it.  It’s a group of guys that have formed a friendship over the years of waiting for their wives shopping at Target!  If you are in the mood for a few laughs, you really must see this!


Well, if it’s Jolly Monday, then it must be time for a cute animal video, mustn’t it? I bet you never thought of these guys as being fun pets, but just watch …


jollyOkay, folks, the clock is ticking and we’ve all got work to do.  I have to clean up the mess from the weekend’s construction project, so … Oh, by the way, before I forget … today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, so … let’s all try to do something nice, no matter how small, for someone.  Buy a stranger a cup of coffee, take a neighbor’s trash out, or whatever opportunity presents itself, okay?  And smile … share those smiles … bring one to somebody else’s face today, okay?  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 2/15

The past two weeks have certainly provided plenty of material for the political cartoonists, haven’t they? Our friend TokyoSand always seems to find the best of the bunch, and this week is no exception. These cartoons pretty well sum up the current situation … thank you, TokyoSand for this post, and for your kind permission to share!

Political⚡Charge

By Marc Murphy, Louisville Courier-Journal

Here are some of the best editorial cartoonists in the country (and a few from abroad) with their visual opinions about this week’s news:

Trump Seeks Revenge

By Morten Morland

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News

By Banx

Barr Interferes with Justice

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

By Pat Chappatte

By Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

By Ann Telnaes, Washington Post

Image

By Mike Peters, Mother Goose and Grimm

By Jeff Darcy, Cleveland.com

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

And Other News

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByJim Morin, Miami Herald

By Christopher Weyant

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Kevin Necessary

By Rod EmmersonNZ Herald

Want to get these political cartoon roundups every…

View original post 20 more words

Saturday Surprise — Critters

koalaCome in and welcome to the weekend, my friends!  This has been a strange and unsettling week both in the U.S. and other places as well … something in the air, perhaps?  But, we’re not here to re-hash the gloomy week, but rather to relieve the angst it has caused us.  And what better way to relieve angst than critters?  It’s my go-to when I want to be cheered!


This week the Natural History Museum in London announced the LUMIX People’s Choice Award for Wildlife Photographer.  With 48,000 entries from 100 countries, obviously I cannot show you all of them, but I thought I’d share some of the top 25!

First place went to Sam Rowley for this one titled “Station Squabble” pic-1Sam discovered the best way to photograph the mice inhabiting London’s Underground was to lie on the platform and wait. He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant. This fight lasted a split second, before one grabbed a crumb and they went their separate ways.

pic-2“Matching Outfits”, Michel Zoghzoghi.  Michel was in the Pantanal, Brazil photographing jaguars. One afternoon, as he was on the Três Irmãos River, a mother and her cub crossed right in front of his boat. He watched mesmerized as they left the water holding an anaconda with a very similar pattern to their own.

pic-3“The Surrogate Mother”, by Martin Buzora.  Elias Mugambi is a ranger at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. He often spends weeks away from his family caring for orphaned black rhinos like Kitui here. The young rhinos are in the sanctuary as a result of poaching or because their mothers are blind and cannot care for them safely in the wild.

pic-4“Spot The Reindeer”, Francis De Andres.  The conditions for photographing at the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard are extreme, but wildlife has adapted to the environment and its freezing temperatures. Francis found this composition of white arctic reindeer, which were observing him, both curious and charming.

pic-5“A Suitable Gift”, Marco Valentini.  Marco was in Hortobágyi National Park, Hungary when he spotted these kestrels displaying typical courtship behaviour. Here the female has just received an offering of a young green lizard from her suitor and in this touching moment she tenderly took hold of his claw.

pic-6“Big Ears”, Valeriy Maleev.  Valeriy was on a summer expedition to the Mongolian part of the Gobi Desert when he happened upon a long-eared jerboa. As blood moves through the ears of these usually nocturnal animals, excess heat dissipates across the skin and so the jerboa is able to stay cool.

pic-7“Bon Appétit”, Lucas Bustamante.  Night hikes through the Ecuadorian jungle are one of Lucas’ favourite activities. With a keen interest in herpetology, he was overjoyed to spot this labiated rainfrog which are abundant in the region. It had just caught a baby tarantula and its comical expression said ‘caught in the act!’

pic-8“Mother Knows Best”, Marion Vollborn.  While on a bear watching trip to the Nakina River in British Columbia, Canada, Marion spotted a grizzly bear and her young cub approach a tree. The mother bear started to rub against the tree trunk and was followed shortly by the cub, imitating its mother.

pic-9“What A Poser”, Clement Mwangi.  In Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, Clement spent time observing this beautiful leopard as she soaked up the last warm rays of the setting sun. Clement is mindful to remember to take pleasure in life’s simple moments – being all too aware that sometimes, as a wildlife photographer, you can miss the exceptional while looking for the unusual.

pic-10“Beak To Beak”, Claudio Contreras Koob.  Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve in the state of Yucatán is home to Mexico’s largest flock of Caribbean flamingos. This chick is less than five days old – it will stay in its nest less than a week before it joins a crèche of other youngsters who wander around the colony searching for food.


Zoo Miami is the oldest and largest zoo in Florida and the fifth-largest in the United States. But despite the fact that it opened 72 years ago, it only recently acquired four meerkats … well, make that six now.

8-year-old meerkat Yam Yam started the year by becoming a new mom. Yam Yam, who came to the zoo from Busch Gardens Tampa, gave birth to two beautiful babies on the 18th of January.  Yam Yam shares her living space with three non-related males: Gizmo, Joe, and Diego. Just one of them is the father and only a DNA test could reveal who’s the biological dad. However, the whole gang is raising the pups together.meerkat-1meerkat-2meerkat-3meerkat-4meerkat-5meerkat-6


It was August 2014. Amber Isaac knew something was amiss when one of her pregnant alpacas started going into labor at 11 months, when alpacas typically remain pregnant for a little over a year. When the baby finally arrived into the world, she was “barely bigger than a fetus.” Sadly, these are the types of health issues that can result from alpaca breeding.

Cody, who lives on an alpaca ranch in Castle Rock, Colorado, only weighed 6.5 pounds when she was born. The average newborn alpaca weighs anywhere between 18 and 20 pounds.  The odds were against Cody from the start, but Isaac refused to give up on her.  She took Cody into her home to look after her and bottle-fed her like clockwork, determined to have her gain weight and become the healthiest she could be. An infection almost took the young alpaca’s life when she was only three weeks old – but she survived, proving that no matter what came her way, Cody had the spirit to tackle it head on.

Take a look at Cody today, as she is about to get a new bedroom!


I hope you’ve found the critters both humorous and relaxing, a break from it all.  Have a fun, safe, and happy weekend, my friends!

Panda

Snarkier Than Usual Snippets

Disclaimer:  Filosofa is in a foul mood tonight.  While doing laundry, I cursed one of my daughter’s shirts, calling it a bitch and threatening to cut it into a thousand pieces, if that gives you any indication.  All day long I’ve tried to write my piece for mine and Jeff’s Discord & Dissension project for tomorrow, and I feel completely dysfunctional, unable to focus.  So, long story short, you can expect the snippets to be even snarkier than usual tonight.


Ay, Pobrecito Barr …

Poor Bill Barr, ultimate boot-licker and sycophant who has sacrificed the integrity of the United States Department of Justice for whatever it was Trump promised him.  Now he is whining that mean ol’ Donnie isn’t being fair to him.  In an interview with ABC News yesterday, Barr said …

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president. I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Say WHAT???Trump-BarrThis from the man that has given the keys to the kingdom to Trump and told him that no matter what he does, as long as he is the sitting president, he cannot be charged with a crime?  This from the man that has changed the laws to suit the president, has opened an investigation into one of Trump’s rivals even though it has already been proven that there was no wrongdoing?  And this from the man who totally and completely misrepresented the results of Robert Mueller’s report?  Are we actually supposed to feel pity for Billy boy?  The man who once had a decent reputation sold his soul downriver to become one of Trump’s toadies, and now we’re supposed to feel sorry for him?  No way, José!

Barr said he was determined to lead the justice department without being influence by outside forces, including the president.

laughing-gif

Too late, Billy Boy!Bill-BarrFormer Justice Department official, Matthew Miller, wrote on Twitter: “Don’t be fooled by this one, people. Barr is telling the president that his impulsiveness is making it politically harder for him to deliver the results he wants. If Trump would just shut up, Barr could take care of him much more effectively.”

No doubt.


Trump’s bloody wall …

Yesterday, the Pentagon informed Congress that it intends to divert some $3.8 billion earmarked for military equipment to Trump’s damn stupid, useless, abominable border wall!  You know what?  If the Pentagon has so much more money than it needs, then let’s cut their budget and leave only enough to take care of the troops – salaries, benefits, medical care, housing, etc.  They are obviously well over-funded, if they can afford to give it away for something so useless.

If Congress intended to fund the bloody wall, they would have allocated monies for it.  They didn’t.  Therefore obviously the representatives of We the People do not see the wall as a priority at this time.  Congress, and We the People, have spoken, MISTER TRUMP.  Even some of Trump’s boot-lickers in Congress were actually upset over this one, saying that Trump had overstepped his constitutional authority by second-guessing congressional spending decisions.

“Once those choices have been made, the Department of Defense cannot change them in pursuit of their own priorities without the approval of Congress. Attempts to do so undermines the principle of civilian control of the military and is in violation of the separation of powers within the Constitution.” – Representative Mac Thornberry, top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee

Frankly, I hope the wall gets blown to bits, section by section, until there is naught left but a brick or two.


John Kelly found them!

Former Chief of Staff John Kelly finally, some 13 months after leaving Trump’s employ, found his cojones!  I wonder where they were hiding all this time?  Kelly, who is also a retired Marine Corps general, was giving a speech at Drew University in Morristown, New Jersey, on Wednesday night when he let off a bit of steam about Trump’s firing of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman last week.  Of Vindman, Kelly says …

“He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave.  He went and told his boss what he just heard. Through the Obama administration up until that phone call, the policy of the U.S. was militarily to support Ukraine in their defensive fight against … the Russians. And so, when the president said that continued support would be based on X, that essentially changed. And that’s what that guy [Vindman] was most interested in. We teach them, ‘Don’t follow an illegal order. And if you’re ever given one, you’ll raise it to whoever gives it to you that this is an illegal order, and then tell your boss.’”

But, once the box was opened, Kelly didn’t stop there.  Kelly laid out his doubts about Trump’s policies regarding North Korea, illegal immigration, military discipline, Ukraine, and the news media.  He said he did not believe the press is “the enemy of the people”, and he sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has steadfastly courted.  He also disapproved of the president’s language about migrants, saying that most migrants are merely looking for jobs …

“In fact, they’re overwhelmingly good people … They’re not all rapists and they’re not all murderers. And it’s wrong to characterize them that way. I disagreed with the president a number of times.”

Kelly faulted Trump for intervening in the case of Eddie Gallagher, the Navy SEAL who was convicted last year of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State fighter, and later pardoned by Trump …

“The idea that the commander in chief intervened there, in my opinion, was exactly the wrong thing to do. Had I been there, I think I could have prevented it.”

Too bad that Kelly didn’t find his conscience when he was still there, as perhaps he might have done some good.  Trump, of course, was quickly informed of Kelly’s words and had to retaliate, for that’s the only thing Trump knows to do …

“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head. Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do. His incredible wife, Karen, who I have a lot of respect for, once pulled me aside & said strongly that “John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you.” Wrong!”

One can only hope that Karen Kelly is undergoing psychiatric care.


One bright spot …

Marie YovanovitchI shall end with a bit of uplifting news.  Former ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who became a central witness in the impeachment inquiry against Trump, received the Trainor Award at Georgetown University this week, in recognition of her 33-year career as a diplomat.  If anybody has earned the award, it is Ms. Yovanovitch who had a difficult and unexpected role during the House investigation into the administration’s shadow diplomacy and the pressure campaign on Ukraine.  She was vilified by Trump and his family, and it was later learned that Trump directly ordered her firing, claiming she had shown ‘disloyalty’ to him – sound familiar?

Thumbs up to Ms. Yovanovitch.  👍


And on that note, I shall leave you and go finish my post for this afternoon, hopefully in time for Jeff to review it before posting.susan-collins

Da Snippets Dey Be Snarky …

I remember the last day I was able to read the news without having to either take ibuprofen or check my blood pressure … it was June 15th, 2015.  The day before Donald Trump pompously rode down the elevator and announced that he was running for president of the United States.  The next day, I laughed.  I’m not laughing now.


A budget written by Abbot & Costello?

Trump’s latest budget was “unveiled” yesterday.  If Congress passes this one, then I shall recommend psychiatric evaluations for every one of them!  Surely, he doesn’t honestly believe he can get this one through!  It must have been written by a team of comedians.  A few of the key points:

  • Expands the 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations
  • Cuts Medicaid by $700 billion over the next 10 years
  • Cuts food stamps
  • Cuts farm subsidies
  • Cuts student loan programs
  • Cuts EPA funding by 27%
  • Cuts Social Security disability benefits and Medicare provider payments
  • Cuts foreign aid by 21%
  • Increases military spending
  • Increases NASA funding for ridiculous “space force” program by 12%
  • Allocates $2 billion for his wasteful, useless, hateful “border wall”

Notice a pattern here?  If it helps the 1% at the top of the wealth scale, he increases it, if it helps the 99% of us who don’t live in mansions and jet set all over the world, he cuts ‘n guts it.  Plain and simple.  Nancy Pelosi should do to this budget exactly what she did to his State of the Union speech.


Punishment for doing the right thing?  Only in the GOP …

More and more these days, I’m concluding that there is an intrinsic cruelty in some republicans.  I offer up as evidence the fact that Mitt Romney, the one lone republican who found the guts to vote to convict Trump of the impeachment charge of abuse of power that was more than proven, has been subjected to terrible treatment by those in his own party.  He has received condemnation, that there have even been calls for him to be expelled from the republican party!  WHOA, republicans!!!  The man did his job, he followed his conscience, he acted in the best interest of this nation, and you want his head on a pike???mitt-romneyThe latest, though, is just beyond ridiculous.  Matt Schlapp, chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference, has “formally uninvited” Mitt to the Conservative Political Action Conference to be held the last four days of this month.

“We won’t credential him as a conservative. I suppose if he wants to come as a nonconservative and debate an issue with us, maybe in the future we would have him come. This year, I would actually be afraid for his physical safety, people are so mad at him.”

Wow … the man is being punished and threatened by his own party for doing his job, for being the only one with even half a conscience, for believing he actually owes something to the people of this nation in exchange for his salary.  See what I mean about some republicans?  They are just not very nice people.


And continuing along the theme that some republicans are not very nice …

Montana State Representative Rodney Garcia has a rather unique interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Rodney-Garcia“So actually in the Constitution of the United States [if] they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot. They’re enemies of the free state. What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, Afghanistan, all those. What did we do? I agree with my Constitution. That’s what makes us free. We’re not a democracy, we’re a Republic Constitution.”

So, where did this guy get his education?  It’s true that the U.S. is not a pure democracy, but until recently was a democratic republic, not a “republic constitution”.  And as for his premise that the Constitution gives people like himself the right to shoot a person who is a socialist … well, I won’t even dignify that with a response.

I did some digging, because I really wanted to know where he went to school … Podunk University?  I didn’t find that out, but I did dig up something interesting.  He admits to having been convicted “years ago” on a domestic violence charge.  And … last year he attacked Children’s Protective Services (CPS) …

“CPS was a ruse…they violate the law. I think that they harm children. Child Protective Services do not protect the children. They kidnap them.”

He went on to say that caseworkers should be fined $1,000 per day for every child they “steal” and should be put in jail.  Then he continued, admitting that CPS had visited his own home when his children were young, investigating a complaint.  And, he further accused Planned Parenthood of “chopping up babies and selling their body parts.”

Now … needless to say, this man’s mental capacity is severely diminished, but what is equally disturbing is that … the people of his district elected this dolt!  The Montana Republican Party has called for his resignation, to which he replied …

“They can ask me to step down, but, no, I don’t think so. I’m going to run for the Senate and I’m going to win. People are going to have to eat their words.  I’m getting my head so big from people saying, ‘Thank you, Rodney, for bringing this up.’ If people don’t want me in the Senate they can say: ‘Well, I’m not going to vote for ya.’ That’s their prerogative.  The only way I would give my resignation is if God asked me to.”

People of Montana … please, vote this joker out, and then see if you can’t have him committed for psychiatric evaluation!


cheaters

Jolly Funday Monday!

Good Monday morning, friends!  Come in and get warm … it’s f-f-freezing out there!  I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready for some sunshine!  I know, I know … a few months from now I’ll be complaining about the heat and wishing for rain … never satisfied, am I?  So, did you guys have a great weekend?  Mine?  Meh … it’s always good to have daughter Chris home, and we did go out yesterday, despite the frigid temps and blustery conditions, but I guess the events of last week just left me in rather a foul humour.  Plus, the battery is dead in my van … again.  But, I’m not complaining … honest I’m not!  I’ve got you guys here and we’re going to go in search of something fun, so grab a snack and a cuppa and let’s get this show on the road!

food-apple-piefood-biscotti

food-caerphilly-cheese

Caerphilly cheese for David


Oopsie, Mr. Postman …

Be thankful you are not Dan and Dee Cain of Twinsburg, Ohio!  Mr. Cain recently went to the post office to collect his mail, and his first clue there was a problem came when the clerk at the post office told him that his mail wouldn’t fit in his box, and he would need to drive around back to collect it.  Hmmmm …

So, he drove his truck around back and … well, it’s a good thing he has a truck instead of a Volkswagon, for he had to make two trips, even in his truck.  The postal workers helped him load 79 plastic mail bins, each packed with around 700 letters into his truck.  You’d think Dan had a huge fan following, but turns out each of the approximately 55,000 pieces of mail were identical!  Yep … 55,000 reminders that the payment on the student loan he and Dee had taken out for their daughter was due!Dan-Cain

“I was shocked. Are you kidding me? Who makes that kind of mistake?”

The student loan carrier apologized to Cain, blaming a glitch in its new outgoing mail system. But, it gets even better … the loan company said they will issue another statement to Dan, for the one(s) they sent used the wrong interest rate!  Dan is concerned, and with good reason, I’d say.  Even if the company used the bulk rate, that mail cost the loan company $11,000 and change.

And now Dan & Dee have a garage filled with useless mail they don’t know how to dispose of.  I know what I’d be tempted to do with it … but, Jolly Monday is a family-friendly feature, so I’ll just keep my ideas to myself for now.


I was thinking … I haven’t done jokes in a while … what say we have a few jokes?

In his late 80s, my father-in-law went to the DMV to renew his driver’s license. At one point during the road test, he approached a four-way stop, looked to his left, and cruised straight through the stop sign. “Sir! You didn’t look to your right,” yelled the frightened inspector.

My father-in-law calmly shook his head. “That’s Mum’s side.”


My 35-year-old son and I had just finished our meal when I realized I’d left my wallet in my truck. As I headed out the door, I told the waitress what had happened. “But don’t worry,” I said with a grin. “I’m leaving my son for collateral.”

She looked at him. He winked at her. She turned back to me. “What else you got?”


I was instructing new recruits when an officer entered my classroom to observe and report on my teaching style. I thought I was on top of my game that day, but he was quite scrupulous, as evidenced by the fact that his written evaluation of me cited this issue: “Instructor loses eye contact with class while writing on blackboard.”


While taking a clinical history from an elderly patient, I asked, “How’s your love life?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll ask my wife.” He got up, walked into the hallway where his wife was sitting, and shouted, “Hey, the doctor wants to know if we still have sex.”

His wife shouted back, “No, the only thing we have is Medicare and Blue Cross.”


Did you hear how they caught the great produce bandit? He stopped to take a leek.


Our manager kept reminding us waitresses to encourage customers to order dessert. At the end of an especially exhausting day, I walked over to a couple who had just sat down, gave them each a menu and a glass of water, and asked, “Would you care for anything else?”


A man goes to the doctor, concerned about his wife’s hearing. The doctor says, “Stand behind her and say something and tell me how close you are when she hears you.”

The man goes home, sees his wife in the kitchen, cutting carrots on the countertop. About 15 feet away he says, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” Nothing. He gets halfway to her and repeats the same question. Nothing. Very concerned, he gets right behind her and asks again “What’s for dinner?”

She turns around and says “For the THIRD time, beef stew!”


A man came in to give his application to the manager. But the manager asked, “Why is there a four-year gap in your application?”

And the man responded, “Yale.”

The manager hired him and the guy said, “Thanks. I needed a yob.”


I especially loved the one about the man and his wife’s hearing!  Ready for some ‘toons and memes?

meme-1meme-2meme-3toon-1toon-2toon-3

meme-4meme-5meme-6toon-4toon-5toon-6


And of course, I cannot wrap up Jolly Monday without a cute animal video!  Sloths get a bum rap, but they are so darned cute!  I want one!


Folks … no matter which side of the big pond you’re on, we have all had some tough times these last few weeks.  Let’s make an extra effort to give somebody an extra smile and a hug this week, shall we?  I hope you all have a great week … keep safe and try to stay warm!  And this one last thing is for our friend Hugh who, last I heard, had a foot or so of snow! 

The Never-Ending Snarky Snippets

It would seem that Filosofa never runs out of something to be snarky about these days.  Gee, I wonder why that is?  Well, tonight is no exception …


Trump’s revenge …

I knew that Trump was likely to escalate his bad behaviour for lack of a better word, once he was acquitted by the Senate.  Even I, the ultimate cynic, didn’t realize how quickly he would act.  Brosephus told us yesterday evening about the data the republicans in the Senate have gathered from federal agencies in just over a day regarding Hunter Biden and his travel.  Then, last night, I learned that Trump is planning to fire Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, for testifying in the House impeachment proceedings.  Yep, you heard right.  Revenge, pure and simple.

VindmanAfter his testimony in November, Vindman and his family received criticism and threats from Trump’s allies, including allegations of political bias and disloyalty to the US because of their refugee status.

There are laws against terminating an employee for testifying against a corrupt boss, but given that Trump has gotten by with breaking hundreds of laws already … well, what’s one more.  Who’s to stop him?  Not Congress, for the Senate doesn’t even have the cojones to censure him.  Not the courts, when all roads lead to Chief Justice John Roberts who didn’t have the courage or integrity to force a fair impeachment trial.

Apparently, Trump also plans to fire other National Security Council officials who he considers were ‘disloyal’ to him, and the White House is expected to say that it is part of a broader effort to clean house and decrease bureaucracy.  If this is the modus operandi of the government of this country, then it’s time we changed the government before we lose the ability to do so.


State of the Environment …

On Tuesday, a coalition of nine conservation groups issued a statement:

“Donald Trump’s administration has unleashed an unprecedented assault on our environment and the health of our communities. His policies threaten our climate, air, water, public lands, wildlife, and oceans; no amount of his greenwashing can change the simple fact: Donald Trump has been the worst president for our environment in history. Unfortunately, our children will pay the costs of this president’s recklessness. Our organizations have repeatedly fought back against these attacks and we will continue to fight to ensure that our kids don’t bear the brunt of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental agenda.”

The statement was offered by Alaska Wilderness League Action, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, EDF Action, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society.

Later that evening, Trump gave his circus-like State of the Union address, but the above statement seems to me far more meaningful.


Midnight in Washington

They are called Eleven Films, and according to their Facebook bio, they are …

Portland/Vancouver based media company founded on 11 November 2011, specializing in creative internet content, documentaries, news, music and film. Since 2018, Eleven Films has amassed over 30 million views across all platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube). Aside from their original films, Eleven Films has created ads for Presidential candidates, Senatorial candidates, PACs, Causes, New York Times best-selling authors and general business. Their ads have aired on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News.

Eleven Films’ content has been shared by celebrities, politicians, insiders and influencers including: Alyssa Milano, Rosie O’Donnell, Don Cheadle, Frances Fisher, Debra Messing, Justine Bateman, Martina Navratilova, Jon Favreau, Judd Appetow, Vincent D’Onofrio, Don Winslow, Adrian McKinty, Alice Evans, Adam Parkhomanko, David Yankovich, Nancy Pelosi, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ted Lieu, Eric Swalwell, Carolyn Maloney, Veronica Escobar, Mike Levin, Maya Wiley, Eddie Glaude, Joy Ried, Abby Finkenauer to name a few.

That’s just about all I know of Eleven Films, but tonight one of their ads crossed my radar and … I was stunned.  This is possibly the most powerful clip of its sort that I have ever seen.  The film, titled Midnight in Washington, is very short, only one minute, 26 seconds, but it packs a punch.  Please take 1:26 to watch this.  You may also want to check out some of their other works on their website.


Stay tuned this afternoon for the next installment in Jeff’s and my project, Discord & Dissension – Part V!