Starting The Week With A Grrrrrrrrrrr

I can tell already that it’s going to be a great week for snarky snippets and mini rants!  This afternoon’s post is one of each …


One man’s ignorance …

I have no idea what Joe Manchin’s game is, but he seems to be trying to be a one-man wrecking ball.  First, he refuses to so much as alter a single hair on the head of the filibuster, let alone kill that toxic animal.  Then he refuses to support the For the People Act that would protect our voting rights.  And now, he has set his sites on climate change … apparently hoping to help hasten the end of human and other lifeforms on Planet Earth.  Way to go, Joe!

You might never guess that Manchin is a member of the Democratic Party, nor that he is the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, given that much of the responsibility of that committee at this point is to find alternate sources of clean energy so that we can break our reliance on fossil fuels.  But then, Manchin does come from a state that is almost completely reliant on the coal industry to support its economy, so perhaps he’s been bought and paid for by the coal barons.

“I know there’s a change coming, OK?  But I’ve always been very, very cautious about this. I’m concerned that they’re setting a very aggressive timetable.”

The “very aggressive timetable” to which he refers is President Biden’s commitment to cut carbon emissions in half from 2005 levels by 2030.  Um … excuse me, Joe Manchin, but that is NOT what I call an aggressive timetable, especially given that we have known the problem for decades while we ignored it, happily driving our gas-guzzling SUVs, keeping our homes the perfect temperature, never bothering to turn off a light.  Rather like that old saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

Those of us who listen to the scientists, who understand that life on earth could very well be in its final stages if we don’t act quickly to start to reverse the damage we humans have done, know that we cannot delay.  Those of us with consciences care about what sort of world we are leaving behind for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  And those of us with an IQ above 50 know that we can no longer dilly dally and play games with this.

Mr. Manchin … if you are so damn concerned about the people in your state and their economic future, then I suggest you get with the program and help them help themselves by promoting renewable energy, retraining coal miners in other jobs, rather than attempting to help the Republicans destroy our lives!  For your stupidity, your perfidy, I award you Filosofa’s double thumbs down!  👎👎


Guess how many?

Guess how many mass shootings occurred in the United States over the weekend?  No, not five … no, not seven … ELEVEN!  Yes, my friends, there were eleven mass shootings in this country from Friday evening thru Sunday night.  And the weekend before?  Ten mass shootings as defined by four or more people being shot.  To date, the U.S. has had 293 mass shootings since January 1st.

This weekend left 8 people dead and 49 injured, with at least 3 children among the victims.  Last weekend left 12 people dead. What the SAM HELL are people thinking???  Let’s take a closer look … make it just a bit more personal …

Friday

5 wounded in Minneapolis Friday night

A shooting in Minneapolis Friday night left five people wounded.

1 killed and three injured in Cincinnati, Ohio

A 16-year-old is dead and three other people were injured in a shooting Thursday night in Walnut Hills.

Saturday

2 dead, 4 injured in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Two people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting early Saturday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1 dead, 4 injured in Anchorage, Alaska

Police in Alaska are investigating an early morning shooting that killed one person and injured four more in Anchorage Saturday.

4 injured in a shooting in Newark, New Jersey

No details

1 dead, at least 6 wounded in Oakland

One person was killed and at least six others were wounded in a shooting Saturday evening near Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.

Sunday

2 children among 8 injured in Dallas shooting

Eight people were shot, including a 15-year-old and 10-year-old, after a gunfight broke out between partygoers at two separate celebrations in Dallas just after midnight Sunday.

4 injured in Richmond, Virginia

Four people were injured in a quadruple shooting in Richmond, Virginia, early Sunday.

1 dead, 4 injured at Indiana Juneteenth celebration

One person was killed and four others were injured during a Juneteenth celebration in Granger, Indiana early Sunday morning.

1 killed, 4 injured at Juneteenth Celebration in Colorado

Police responded to a shopping mall parking lot in the Denver suburb of Aurora after receiving at least 50 calls reporting shots fired at a Juneteenth celebration just after 4 a.m.

1 killed and 3 others injured in Atlantic City, New Jersey

One person was killed and three others were wounded in a shooting Sunday evening in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Am I the only person in this country who sees how utterly stupid it is for guns to be so easily obtained by any Tom, Dick or Harry?  NO, the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution does NOT give fools the right to own an assault rifle, it does NOT guarantee that fools can own an arsenal, and it does NOT give people the right to carry a gun around with them wherever they go!!!  Members of Congress and of the U.S. Supreme Court need to read the damn Constitution!  This is the stupidest interpretation of a part of the Constitution that I have EVER seen!  Get rid of the damn guns, get them out of the hands of people on the street!!!  But no, instead states are making it so easy to get a gun that before long you will see vending machines on street corners and in bars where for a $20 bill you can get a gun, and for another $10 you can get 10 rounds of ammo!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Jolly Monday Strikes Again!

Good Monday morning, friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend … yesterday was the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere and I get the feeling it’s gonna be a long, hot one in more ways than one.  Today’s Jolly Monday might be a bit shorter than usual, for I am under the weather, Joyful has gone to try to lure Uncle Roger out of his basement with chocolate ice cream, and Jolly … well, Jolly found the ‘toons and such, but as you probably remember, he’s not allowed in the kitchen, so today’s treats are courtesy of a few local fast food places.  So, grab a bite and a drink and let’s see what ‘toons ‘n such Jolly has in store for us.

JOLLY!!!!  Where are the drinks???

Oops … sowwy!  Here dey are …

  

An’ dis one is for Miss Ellen …


Okay, well, let’s move on to some cartoons, shall we?

And, he found some funny memes, too …


Ol’ Maxine seems to have become a regular on Jolly Monday …


And let’s wrap things up with a cute critter video …


I hope you all have a beautiful week ahead … and remember to share those smiles and maybe even a hug or two with those who look like they need one, ‘k?  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly, and the temporarily errant Joyful!

Sunday Afternoon Snark

Somebody said to me once that she thought I should try ignoring the news for a week or more, just think about positive things, and see if my mood wouldn’t improve.  Well, I didn’t bother to try her suggestion, for I’m a news junkie.  I think it’s our responsibility to stay on top of what’s happening, not only in our own country, but in the world.  Y’see … it’s not all about me … happiness and joy aren’t the end goal here, but rather, at least in my book, leaving a positive mark in the world we occupy, making a difference somehow.  And that’s why things like these two snippets make me growl, put a scowl on my face, and why I must share my growls and scowls with you, my friends.  Happy Sunday!


Murder by any other name …

Chris Craven, a 38-year-old NASCAR team worker, was having a mental health crisis last August 2nd and was threatening suicide.  His family called 911 for help.  Big mistake.  ‘Help’ arrived in the form of two police officers, Alexander Arndt and Christopher Novelli, apparently operating, under the philosophy of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’, and after shooting Mr. Craven 15 times with high velocity bullets, Chris Craven was dead.  The officers claim that Mr. Craven pulled a pistol on them, but Craven’s family disputes this and says he was complying with the orders the officers barked.

Last Friday, ten months after the murder of Chris Craven, the prosecutor assigned to the case, District Attorney Andy Gregson, decided not to file criminal charges in connection with the shooting.  He says that the two officers ‘reasonably feared for their lives’ when they opened fire.  Even if that is true, why did they fire their weapons 15 times and why did they shoot to kill?  They already knew that Mr. Craven was suicidal from the content of the 911 call … why did they decide to murder him rather than call for help?

The body cam footage has been kept secret and not released to the public.  Gregson claims that the body cam footage shows Craven pulling the gun, but the family says otherwise and they have not been allowed to see the body cam footage.  Craven’s wife, Amy, said in a statement that the District Attorney’s findings were …

“… a tale of twisted stories where unsubstantiated statements from the officers are mixed into the explanations of the video to create a story that suits the narrative the MPD wishes was the truth.”

The killing is one of more than 900 fatal shootings by U.S. law enforcement over the past year.  Don’t you think it’s time we changed the way law enforcement officers are trained to deal with such situations?  Don’t you think it’s time we hold police officers accountable for their actions?  I damn sure do!


Andrew Clyde once again crosses Filosofa’s radar

Freshman Representative Andrew Clyde from Georgia (the same state that sent Margie Greene to the House) has crossed my radar no less than three times in the past month.  First, he declared that the mob who attacked the Capitol on January 6th were just ‘normal tourists’ and that there was no insurrection.  Then he joined forces with the ignoble Louie Gohmert in filing a federal lawsuit claiming that the requirement to pass through a metal detector in the Capitol was in violation of his civil rights, or some such nonsense.  And third, he was one of the 14 racist members of the U.S. House of Representatives who refused to vote for the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.  These newbies sure do know how to raise our hackles, don’t they?  They come into Congress, still wet behind the ears, and act like they know more than anybody else.

Anyway, Clyde has now set a new record by flying across my radar a fourth time in a period of a month.  This one is just downright disrespectful and as a human being, Mr. Clyde disgusts me.  Clyde voted against awarding police officers the Congressional Gold Medal for their bravery in protecting the U.S. Capitol against violent, pro-Trump rioters on January 6th, but it gets even worse than that.

Alexandria, VA – January 13: Michael Fanone, 40, is an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department that helped fend off rioters at the U.S. Capitol and was captured in a now viral video where he was dragged down stairs and beaten unconscious and suffered a heart attack. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Officer Michael Fanone was one of the more than 140 police officers who were injured that fateful day.  His injuries were severe – he was beaten unconscious and suffered a concussion and a heart attack.  Along with U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Mr. Fanone came to Congress this week in an effort to meet with the 21 members of the House – all Republicans – who voted against awarding the officers the Congressional Gold Medal and tell their story about that day.  One of the first people Fanone ran into in the Capitol was Representative Andrew Clyde.  According to Fanone …

“I simply extended my hand and said, ‘How are you doing today, Congressman.’ I knew immediately he recognized me by the way he reacted. He completely froze. He just stared at me.  I said, ‘I’m sorry, you’re not going to shake my hand?  I’m sorry, sir, my name is Michael Fanone. I’m a D.C. police officer and I fought to defend the Capitol on Jan. 6.’  His response was nothing. He turned away from me, pulled out his cellphone and started thumbing through the apps.” 

What a disgusting piece of human flesh Mr. Clyde is!  Democrat or Republican, male or female, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for such rudeness.  Georgia has sent to Congress at least two of the most disrespectful, horrible representatives that have ever walked the halls of the U.S. Capitol!  DO NOT send them back in 2022, Georgia!  And in the future, teach them some damn manners!

So, Andrew Clyde is now near the top of my list of the ten most horrible people in the Republican Party.

Just Two Short Bits of Snarky

Yes, yes … Filosofa is still snarking and ranting … there is just so much wrong in this world, every bit of which could be so easily fixed with just the three ‘C’s – common sense, compassion, cooperation.  I did have more snippets than just these two short ones, but … I’m out of time, so I shall save them for later or tomorrow!  Gives you something to look forward to, eh?


Cosa Nostra rides again?

William Braddock is a Republican candidate from Florida who is hoping to be elected to fill the seat currently held by Democrat Charlie Crist, who is resigning to run for governor to (hopefully) replace the ignoble Ron DeSantis next year.  William Braddock is short on name recognition, but one thing he has plenty of is audacity.

Also running in that same GOP primary race is Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force veteran who went on to become a conservative activist and won a crowded GOP primary in the state’s 13th Congressional District last year but lost the general election to Crist.

Apparently, Mr. Braddock has a unique plan for winning the Republican nomination next fall … kill off Ms. Luna!  Yes, you heard me right!  During a 30-minute call with a conservative activist, Braddock is heard saying the following …

“I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America. That will break my heart. But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Luna is a f—ing speed bump in the road. She’s a dead squirrel you run over every day when you leave the neighborhood.”

And later in the conversation …

“I have access to a hit squad, too, Ukrainians and Russians. Don’t get caught out in public supporting Luna. … Luna’s gonna go down and I hope it’s by herself.”

And still more …

“My polling people are going to charge me $20,000 to do a poll right before the primary. And if the poll says Luna’s gonna win, she’s gonna be gone. She’s gonna disappear.  For the good of our country, we have to sacrifice the few. … For the better or the good of the majority of the people, we’ve got to sacrifice the few.”

My jaw dropped when I read this.  WHO THE HELL talks like that and hopes to win a seat to the U.S. Congress???  Does he fancy himself Don Corleone?  If so, he’s watched The Godfather a few too many times!  Even the mob don’t talk like that, especially in a phone call where they may be recorded!

This jackass belongs either in a mental institution or a prison cell, but definitely NOT in the U.S. House of Representatives!  Until reading this, I didn’t think it was possible to sink any lower than the likes of Margie Greene and Matt Gaetz, but obviously I was wrong!


DESTROY THE DAMN GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!

We’ve got another mass shooting here in the U.S., this time in Chicago.  I could give you the details, but you likely already know them, and … if you don’t, you can just Google “latest mass shooting”.  But, I will tell you that four human beings, people minding their own business, people who were husbands, wives, parents … are now dead, thanks to the gun culture in the not-so-United States.  Yesterday, I decided to check the local news for my own area, Cincinnati, Ohio.  I don’t often read the local news, but about once a week I try to catch up.

A few days ago, in a suburb a few miles from where I live, a little 6-year-old boy left his bicycle in a neighbor’s yard.  When he went back to retrieve it a while later, the neighbor shot him.  The little boy will be okay, the shot went straight through his arm, but WHO THE HELL SHOOTS A KID for nothing more than leaving his bike in their yard?????????

And on Sunday night, in another subdivision that is just a few miles from where I live, two children – a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old – were shot, as well as two teenagers.  Both of the younger children, last I heard, were in critical condition, while the teens suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Again, the details are irrelevant, but what is relevant is that 4 young lives were nearly snuffed out, two may yet die, and FOR WHAT????

DESTROY THE DAMN GUNS, PEOPLE!!!  I’M SICK AND DAMN TIRED OF PEOPLE DYING BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE THINK THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO OWN A KILLING MACHINE.  THEY DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Justices Have Been Busy!

The Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have been busy little beavers this week.  Their rulings are something of a mixed bag … more to raise my hackles than not, but let’s start with the good news.


ACA survives to save more lives

Once again, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, was on the chopping block, and yet again, for the third time, the Court saved it from the Republican hatchet in the case of California v Texas.  The most interesting vote in my book was that of Justice Clarence Thomas.  Thomas, who voted against ACA the first two times it came before the Court, voted in favour of it this time, saying …

“Whatever the act’s dubious history in this court, we must assess the current suit on its own terms. And, here, there is a fundamental problem with the arguments advanced by the plaintiffs in attacking the act — they have not identified any unlawful action that has injured them. Today’s result is thus not the consequence of the court once again rescuing the act, but rather of us adjudicating the particular claims the plaintiffs chose to bring.”

He’s not exactly the head cheerleader for the Act that has allowed so many to have access to healthcare when they otherwise would not have, but a statement of fairness, at least.  I was also surprised that Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett voted in favour of ACA this time ‘round.  It is estimated that if the Court had struck down ACA, some 21 million people would have lost their access to healthcare.  There are still larger issues related to ACA that the Court has not yet addressed, but for now, it lives to see another day, to help people be able to take their sick children to a doctor.


The Court upholds bigotry

This one, Fulton v City of Philadelphia, involved the city of Philadelphia and a Catholic adoption agency who refused to work with same-sex couples.  Philadelphia had stopped placements with the agency, Catholic Social Services, after a 2018 article in The Philadelphia Inquirer described its policy against placing children with same-sex couples. The agency and several foster parents sued the city, saying the decision violated their First Amendment rights to religious freedom and free speech.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for six members of the court, said that the Catholic agency …

“… seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else.”

I understand his view, but I still think it is wrong to allow any public agency to discriminate on any basis.  It’s a slippery slope … what comes next?  Will they confine their selection of potentially adoptive parents to only those with white skin?  Or perhaps only those who identify as Catholics?  The ‘right’ to freedom of religion is sacrosanct, however it should never infringe on other people’s rights, especially the rights of children to be placed in a loving home.


Human Rights … depends on who’s asking

The third case, Nestlé USA v. Doe, was brought by six citizens of Mali who said they were trafficked into slavery as children. They sued Nestlé USA and Cargill, saying the firms had aided and profited from the practice of forced child labor.  Note that the claim itself was not in dispute … it happened.  What was in dispute was whether the U.S. corporations involved in human rights violations outside the U.S. could be held accountable.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, said the companies’ activities in the United States were not sufficiently tied to the asserted abuses.  And that was the end of that.  So, corporations can operate facilities to manufacture their product outside the U.S. using child labour, paying next to nothing, and the laws of the U.S. will support their activities.  Seems rather odd to me for a nation whose very foundation is built on human rights.  A nation who screams bloody murder when a [white] person is denied any right.  A nation that is a member of the United Nations, an organization dedicated to human rights around the globe.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah.  But then, what would you expect from a nation that is attempting to deny the poor, the elderly, Blacks and other minorities the right to vote?


June is the busiest month for the Supreme Court, the last in its annual term and quite often the most controversial cases are saved for June.  One that is on the docket is Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, a case concerning voting rights.  The Court will decide whether to uphold Arizona’s racist and restrictive voting laws that allow the state to a) discard ballots cast at the wrong precinct, and b) make ‘ballot harvesting’ a crime.

Next year will be especially confusing for some voters, as newly drawn district maps may change the location of their polling place.  So, if John Doe casts his ballot at the same place he did in 2020, not realizing there had been a change in the boundaries of his district, his ballot will be thrown out under the new Arizona law.  And if someone collects the ballots from residents of a senior care facility and takes 20 or 30 ballots to the drop box, that person would be in violation of the law and those ballots not counted.  Discriminatory as hell!

However, the larger question is whether the ruling will be so broad that it will also effectively endorse new voting laws that states have passed this year.  The Court, under Chief Justice John Roberts, has generally sided with Republican state officials when they have restricted voting access.  Keep your eye on this one, folks, for it may be the seed that determines whether We the People will continue to have a voice in our government, or whether our civil rights will be jerked out from under us.

A Handful of Mini-Rants

If we thought that with President Biden’s inauguration our troubles would disappear and peace would reign, we were dead wrong.  It appears to me that every Republican in any position of power, be it local, state, or federal, has taken an oath to make our lives a living hell and to destroy as much as possible of the nation.  If I could afford it, I would file a lawsuit against the Republican Party for costing me sleep, health, appetite and more!  As you read today’s snippets, you might conclude that I’m just a wee bit angry, but you’d be wrong.  I’m not a wee bit angry, I am livid.


I wonder if we could sell Texas to Mexico?

Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas is planning to spend the hard-earned tax dollars of the people of Texas and solicit donations from racists in order to ‘build that wall’ that the former guy kept touting but only actually built a few miles of.  Abbott learned from the earlier fiasco that there is no way in hell Mexico is going to pay for the wall, so instead he is going to commandeer taxpayer dollars to attempt to keep refugees out of his sorry state.  He said he would take $250 million from the state’s general revenue fund for a ‘down payment’ on his wall.  He also plans to coerce landowners on the border to allow the state to begin ‘immediate construction’ on their property.  In addition, he is asking for donations of both land and cash.  There are probably a few fools who will write him a check, but they’ll be throwing their money away, because Abbott’s wall isn’t going to happen (I hope).

Most people in the know say that Abbott’s proposed wall will meet its destiny, likely in the courts.  According to David Donatti, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas …

“If the governor wants to blow hot air on TV, he can do that. I truly don’t think he has thought this through. The governor is not a king. We have checks and balances in the state of Texas.”

As it happens, the governor does not have jurisdiction to enforce immigration laws, which are the sole responsibility of the federal government.  Apparently, Mr. Abbott needs to study the U.S. Constitution and his job description a bit longer.  He is up for re-election next year and … I would like to see him toppled, for he is an ass, but his likely primary opponent, Don Huffines, is just as big of an ass who also supports the idea of a wall, saying …

“The Biden Administration won’t secure our border, so Texas will.”

Sheesh, Republicans … do you not have anybody in your party with at least half a brain and a conscience???


Meanwhile …

Unlike the former guy, President Biden understands the seriousness of climate change and part of his campaign promise was to cut carbon emissions, cut back on fossil fuels, and expand renewable energy sources.  In way of keeping that promise, one of Biden’s first actions, his first week in office, was to issue a series of executive orders, one of which was to put a temporary ban on new oil and gas leasing on federal land.  Thumbs up, I say, for I ascribe to the mantra “Leave it in the ground”, even if it makes life a bit inconvenient for some, or … GASP … reduces the profits of the big oil, gas and coal companies.

But, alas, if something makes sense and is good for the environment, good for the people, you can count on the damn republicans to nix it.  In this case, Jeff Landry, the Republican attorney general of Louisiana and attorneys general from 12 other states, all Republicans, filed suit in March to lift the White House executive order.

Judge Doughty

On Tuesday, Judge Terry Alvin Doughty of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana – a Trump appointee –  granted a preliminary injunction claiming that that the power to pause offshore oil and gas leases “lies solely with Congress” because it was the legislative branch that originally made federal lands and waters available for leasing.

DAMMIT Republicans!!!  The future of the human and many other species depends on switching to renewable energy, on leaving the damn fossil fuels where they belong … in the ground!  I don’t want your damned oil and frankly I don’t care if the CEOs of every fossil fuel corporation, who have been robbing us blind for decades now, all fall off of Wall Street and end up without a penny!  We have, for the first time in over four years, a president who cares about the future of the planet, who cares about We the People, our children and grandchildren, more than you the Rich Bastards!

As for Judge Terry Alvin Doughty … I wonder if he called the former guy to ask his advice on this one, for it reeks of trumpism.


Manchin’s “Compromise”

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia … you know, that state that has no economy and thrives on ignorance … already said he would not support the For the People Act that would ensure our voting rights, among other things.  Our right to vote … our only voice in our lives, our future … and Manchin doesn’t care enough to support it.  But wait …

Just this week, Manchin drafted a memo stating that he would be willing to compromise.  He would support at least two weeks of federally mandated early voting and to eliminate partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts.  Well, that’s a good start, though not nearly enough.  But wait …

Manchin has conditions!  Manchin’s compromise would require an ID requirement for all voters and the ability of local election officials to purge voter rolls using other government records.  NO NO NO NO NO!!!

One thing that keeps many poor people, Blacks and Hispanics away from the polls is that ID requirement and it is grossly unfair!  My granddaughter does not have a photo ID, she does not drive, and I don’t have the means to take her to obtain a state issued ID.  She is 26 years old and has been voting by mail since she was 18.  Under Manchin’s version of this bill, she would not be able to vote.  I know numerous Black people here in my own neighborhood who do not have a photo ID, but they pay taxes, they are citizens, and they have the right to vote, dammit!

And Manchin’s notion of allowing election officials to purge voter rolls is far too vague.  I can understand purging voters who have died or moved out of the state, but to give state and local election officials carte blanche to purge voter rolls at will?  Surely you jest!  Said Manchin …

“I’ve been sharing everything that I support and things I can support and vote with and things that I think is in the bill that doesn’t need to be in the bill, that doesn’t really interact with what we’re doing in West Virginia. We’ll have to see what changes are made.”

West Virginia is only one of fifty states, Manchin!  The rest of us matter too!  The bottom line, though, is it doesn’t make one damn bit of difference if Manchin supports the bill or not, for it will be subjected to the senate filibuster and we all know there are not ten republicans in the United States Senate who have a conscience.  Hell, I’m not sure there are ten republicans in the United States who have a conscience!  As far as I’m concerned, Joe Manchin can stick his ‘compromise’ where the sun doesn’t shine.

Good People (And A Critter) Doing Good Things

Here we are back at Wednesday and guess what?  I found some good people to tell you about!  Surprised, aren’t you?


One heck of a gift …

17-year-old Verda Tetteh is a very smart young woman!  She graduated from Fitchburg High School in Massachusetts with a near-perfect 4.9 GPA and has earned a full scholarship to Harvard University!  Even so, her guidance counselor urged her to apply for a $40,000 merit scholarship her school would be awarding to one male and one female graduating student, saying it would help with expenses.  Verda says she had qualms about applying, but figured she wasn’t likely to win anyway, and her counselor seemed set on it.

So, imagine her surprise when on June 4th, during the graduation ceremony, the school’s assistant principal announced that she was the winner of the $40,000 award!  Stunned, she accepted the award, but then ten minutes later walked back onto the stage, apologized for disrupting the ceremony, and said …

“I am so very grateful for this, but I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most. I would be so very grateful if administration would consider giving the General Excellence scholarship to someone who is going into community college.”

Immediately after her speech, her fellow classmates and the crowd at the ceremony cheered and rose in a standing ovation.

Ms. Tetteh was 8 years old when she moved from Ghana to Fitchburg, a city of about 40,000 people, 50 miles west of Boston, a city where more than 60% of the students in the high school are identified by the State Department of Education as “economically disadvantaged,” and 67% are described as “high needs.”  Some 75% of the roughly 1,300 students are students of color, said Jeremy Roche, the school principal. At least 40% percent of those students go to community college when they graduate.

Ms. Tetteh was chosen by her fellow classmates to be the speaker at their graduation.

“Some of us were born with the odds stacked against us, that we may not make it to today. I have gotten to know so many of you these past four years and there is so much potential in our class. To every immigrant child, you can make it. To every dreamer, you can make it.”

What a remarkably compassionate, generous young woman, don’t you think?  She serves as an inspiration to us all.  I think Verda Tetteh will go far in this world, no doubt helping many people along the way.


One heck of a good deed for veterans

Marty Weber and Jeff Poissant met in the late 1980s while both were in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany.  They became business and life partners for three decades before Poissant died four years ago of cancer at age 56.

“I didn’t even know I was attracted to men. I met him, and we fell in instant love. We did. He knew, but I didn’t. We were two peas in a pod. He was a helicopter crew chief, and I was a truck driver. So, we had land and air.”

Together, they owned a successful landscaping business, a home and an adjacent 36 acres of land that is currently unused, though they had always envisioned somehow using their Ocean County Ponderosa to help fellow veterans.

After Jeff’s death, Marty was offered $3 million for the property, but he held out, still wanting to put it to good use, to use it to help fellow veterans.  And that’s when a fellow veteran Keith Petterson, suggested that Weber get in touch with the head of a local homeless outreach organization looking to create a home for homeless veterans. That person was Paul Hulse, director of Just Believe, a group he founded in 2019 that operates Toms River’s Code Blue warming shelter at Riverwood Park.

Well, Marty made that phone call and that set the ball in motion for development of an 8,000-square-foot building along Route 72, which would be divided between a treatment facility operated by a Marlton-based healthcare provider, New Life Addiction Services and a thrift store run by Just Believe.  Its name? Jeff’s Camp.

Marty Weber turned down $3 million to instead help fellow veterans.

“We thought about a cemetery for the vets. But this is going to keep them alive.”

What a marvelous tribute to his life’s partner and such a great thing for veterans who served their country and now need a bit of help.  Thank you, Marty Weber!


What a way to spend a vacation!

Stefani Shamrowicz is a 24-year-old woman from Fort Collins, Colorado, who had the great fortune of a month off from her job at a campus recreation center.  So what did she do with her time off … a trip to Disneyland?  Hiking the Rockies?  Getting a tan at a beach?  Nope, Stefani spent the entire month … wait for it … picking up trash!

She has now driven over 70 hours through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York—cleaning up everything from pee-filled bottles to lawn ornaments.  Says Ms. Shamrowicz …

“About 80 per cent is drinking bottles and face masks have been pretty common. I’ve found a few fast-food toys and a tire with a pair of cowboy boots in it.”

Stefani said her aim isn’t to shame, but rather encourage people to do what they can.

“When I post it’s never ‘this is disgusting or we’re awful,’ it’s ‘hey I’m cleaning up this city’ and keeping a positive light on it. I’m not going to be able to pick up everything, but if everyone starts picking up some on walks or runs, that’s where the magic is. My monumental day was bag 100 in Ohio on day 16. I dedicated that to my parents because they raised me to be this independent person and have been very supportive on the trip.”

What an awesome young woman!  I haven’t been walking at our local park this year, but in years past I saw water bottles, soda cans, discarded shoes & clothing, food wrappers, and other assorted junk just thrown down on the ground, despite the fact that there are 4 large trashcans in this very small park!  A few times I came home, got a trash bag, and went back to clean up as much as I could.  I don’t know why people are too lazy to carry their trash to a bin or some other appropriate place … to me, it is ignorant and cruel to the environment.  I doubt any of us are going to spend a month picking up other people’s trash, but when you see something thrown down in a parking lot or on a sidewalk … bend down and pick it up!  And a huge thanks from Planet Earth to Ms. Shamrowicz for doing her part to clean up!!!


Give that dog a bone!

Every now and then, I have a story about a good critter doing good things, and this week look what I found!

You know how it is when there’s a toddler in the house, just learning his way around, needing to explore every nook and cranny … and stairs!  Well, Lisa is a Great Dane puppy living in a house with one of those pesky always-on-the-move toddlers, but Lisa has made it her job to keep that little tyke from climbing the stairs!  Watch …

Good job, Lisa!  Make them give you an extra bone for your hard work!

Post-Weekend Snarky Snippets

Jill is the name, snark is the game!


Shoot the monkeys into space!

Hey folks … do you happen to have an extra $28 million lying around somewhere?  If so, guess what … you could be shot into space with none other than the world’s wealthiest man, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos!  Oops … never mind … scratch that, for someone has already paid da price for this … er … opportunity of a lifetime.

That’s right … apparently there was an auction on Saturday hosted by Bezos’ Blue Origin company, and an anonymous bidder topped the bidding at $28 million for the “opportunity” to join Bezos in space.  The fool’s bidder’s name is to be announced soon, according to Blue Origin.  I will only say that … I see this entire thing as a huge waste of time and money.  Mr. Bezos and this ‘anonymous bidder’ could give every dime spent on this useless venture to starving children around the globe and I would have far more respect for them than I have under present circumstances.  Happy space travels and I don’t really care if you return or not.


C’mon man … ride da bike

Now, I’ll grant you that UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks as if he could really use two things:  a haircut and some exercise.  But I had to laugh when I read that President Biden gifted Boris with a bicycle during the G7 summit this past weekend.

And he even threw in a helmet …

And in return, Boris gave President Biden a framed picture of a mural showing the US anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass.

And here we were afraid the two wouldn’t get along!


Bye-Bye Bibi!

Israel’s Prime Minister for the past 12 years, Benjamin Netanyahu, is officially out of power.  In his place is Naftali Bennett who was sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister on Sunday, after winning a confidence vote with the narrowest of margins, just 60 votes to 59.

What this will mean remains to be seen.  Over the past 12 years, Netanyahu has dominated Israeli politics. He’s not only successfully implemented a series of right-wing policies, such as entrenching Israel’s presence in the West Bank, but also consolidated a dangerous amount of power in his own hands. He is currently on trial for corruption charges stemming from, among other things, his attempt to buy off media outlets.

The new government is a coalition of eight parties coming from right, left and center, with the only thing bringing them together being to oust Netanyahu.  I see bumpy roads ahead!

Bennett, of the far-right Yamina Party, will serve as prime minister — a job he’ll keep for two years while Yair Lapid, of the centrist Yesh Atid Party, serves as foreign minister. After two years, they will rotate, with Lapid taking the top position and Bennett in the cabinet. During the whole period, both of them will have veto power over policy — so even while Bennett is nominally Lapid’s boss, the latter will be able to block the former’s moves at will.  If you think the U.S. Senate is a stalemate, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

Perhaps the single most important … nay, crucial issue at the moment is the conflict with the Palestinians.  On this issue, Bennett supports annexing much of the West Bank and opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, while Lapid supports a two-state solution negotiated with the Palestinian leadership.  All of which leads me to believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue for at least the next two years, likely much longer.  More lives, mostly Palestinian, will be lost, more tension will rise in the Middle East, and very little will have changed.  I could be wrong.  I hope I am.


Gonna be a long, hot summer

The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been on edge since the brutal murder of George Floyd by a police officer, Derek Chauvin.  Chauvin was tried and convicted on numerous charges and now awaits sentencing. Then on June 3rd, Minneapolis police shot and killed yet another Black man, Winston Smith.  Last night just after 11:30 p.m., a group of peaceful protestors were holding a vigil against police brutality in Minneapolis when suddenly a man drove a car into the group, killing one woman and injuring three other people.

Recently, the state of Oklahoma passed a bill into law that effectively allows drivers to hit people with a car under certain very vague circumstances.  Florida recently passed a similar bill.  Fortunately, at this time Minnesota does not have one … the driver of the car has been arrested and will likely be charged with, at the very least, vehicular manslaughter.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer, folks, not only in Minneapolis, but across the nation.  The very last thing we need in this country are states telling people that it’s okay to run over people with a car, that there won’t be any repercussions, no price to pay.  Welcome to the new United States, a country where right is wrong, up is down, and the law is only on your side if you’re white, Christian, straight, and a male.

Jolly Monday After … Yesterday?

Good Jolly morning, my friends, and welcome to … um … Jolly … um … Monday!  Yes, that’s it, it’s Monday!  The day we all love because that pesky weekend is over and we can finally get back to the grind of work, right?  Okay, okay … I’m fooling nobody, not even myself.  But, it is within each of us to make this a jolly day if we so choose, and Jolly, Joyful and I are here to help!  So … grab a snack and a warm (or cold) beverage and let’s just see what we can find to start our week off with a smile.

              


That herding instinct …

Linda Oswald and her family were out for a drive one Sunday a couple of weeks ago when their vehicle collided with another and the family dog, a border collie named Tilly, was ejected through the window.  By the time everybody got their bearings and began searching for Tilly, he was nowhere to be found.  Ten hours of searching, but not a sign of Tilly anywhere.

Meanwhile, on a nearby farm owned by Tyler Potter and her brothers Travis and Zane, their border collie Hooey was herding the sheep as usual.  Except, something seemed a bit off.  Zane noticed that the dog’s fur seemed slightly darker than usual.  Zane called Hooey’s name, but rather than come running, he shied away.  Long story short, since you’ve already figured out the punch line, the shepherding dog was actually Tilley!  Says brother Travis …

“Hooey really comes right away when you call him, and this dog put its ears back and started running off.”

The Potters said they soon realized the dog they had thought was Hooey was actually Tilly, the canine their grandmother in California had seen on social media and told them to watch for after the crash, which occurred only 1.5 miles from their property.  The Potters captured Tilly and turned him over to a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was searching for the missing dog in the area.  Tilly was reunited with the Oswald family late Tuesday morning.  Tilly’s mom, Linda, says of Tilly …

“He’ll herd anything. When I go to the dog park, he tries to herd the people into one group.”

All’s well that ends well, but I’m not sure where the real Hooey was!  Perhaps taking a break since he had someone to cover his shift for him!


Man & squirrel bond …

For the past 8 months or so, I have been feeding three local squirrels.  One comes twice daily for the unshelled, unsalted peanuts I buy in bulk to put out on the patio for him, and the other two are less frequent visitors, but generally make a few appearances each week.  The main guy I’ve named Cedric (per David’s suggestion) and I truly delight in watching him in the afternoons as I sit at the kitchen table pounding the keys on my laptop.  So, it should come as no surprise that I found this series of photos delightful, and I hope you will too …


And now, that moment you’ve all waited for … ‘TOONS!!!


And a few funny memes I found while wandering the ‘Net …

Perfectly logical, don’t you think?


Is it a llama or a sheepdog?


How ’bout a few jokes that Jolly found funny the other day?

Girl: Ick! Why does this sandwich have bacon on it? 

Friend: You ordered a BLT. 

Girl: Whaaaat? I thought the B stood for bread.

At an art gallery, a woman and her ten-year-old son were having 
a tough time choosing between one of my paintings and another artist’s work. They finally went with mine. “I guess you decided you prefer an autumn scene to a floral,” I said. “No,” said the boy. “Your painting’s wider, so it’ll cover three holes in 
our wall.”

Scene: A radio newsroom. 

Caller: I just wanted to let you know you’re off the air. 

Host: Yes, we know. The engineers are working on it. 

Caller: It would be nice if you put something on the air that says that.


Well, my friends, that’s just about all we’ve got for this Monday morning, but … we must always have a cute critter video, yes?  Well, we have two for you today!  The first is an adorable baby polar bear born in captivity … watch as he grows and learns about the world.  The second is a bit about sloths.  Now, I generally think that sloths are cute li’l critters, but after seeing this video … I’m not quite as sure!

And last, but not least, a bit of Maxine humour just in case our friend Hugh feels up to dropping in this morning …

We wish you a productive, fun, and peaceful week ahead, dear friends.  Remember to share those smiles and a kind word whenever you can … little things can mean so much.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Ulcer-Inducing Mini Rants

Tonight’s min-rants have me growling, my ulcer flared up, and I will probably need a few hours of winding down before I can sleep.  But, rather than jump straight into a rant, let’s start out with something I found at least mildly humorous …


A bit of humour …

One of my many daily newsletters had this paragraph in talking about the comparison between the former guy and the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, affectionately called BoJo in the UK …

There’s been talk about how Biden and Johnson — whom the President’s predecessor referred to as “Britain Trump” — won’t get on. After all, Johnson, like the 45th US President, is a populist who won power by courting blue-collar grievance, had an itinerant love life, a distant acquaintance with the truth and a blond edifice on his head that defies gravity. 

That last part about the hair especially made me laugh.  At least, though, Boris doesn’t wear ugly orange makeup!  And … he can speak in full sentences … I’ve HEARD HIM!


Where did she get her medical license?

Sherri Tenpenny is allegedly a medical doctor based in Cleveland, Ohio, though if she does, in fact, have a license to practice medicine it should be immediately revoked.  She is known for her anti-vaccination campaigns and conspiracy theories and in May she put out a video claiming that the Covid vaccine would cause infertility in males and birth defects in a fetus if the mother received the vaccine.  She claimed this is all linked to a conspiracy by “the globalists and the de-population eugenicists, the stated Satanists who are out to destroy the world”.  I wonder if she’s been hanging out with ol’ Margie Greene?  Why would a doctor … someone the public is supposed to be able to trust, tell her patients bald-faced lies?   But wait, you haven’t heard the latest.

For some reason that I will never understand, this fruitcake was invited to testify as an “expert” witness Tuesday to a hearing in the Ohio House Health Committee in regards to a bill that would prevent businesses or the government from requiring proof of vaccination.  Her testimony was bizarre, to say the least, as she claimed that the vaccine turns people into magnets …

“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the Internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think that there’s a metal piece to that.”

Gee … I scan the internet 12 hours or so every day and not once have I seen a person with keys or silverware attached to them!  In fact, having recently received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, I decided to try this at home.  Nope, the butcher knife did not stick to me, though it did almost cost me a toe or two as it fell rapidly to the floor!  If you live in or around Cleveland, Ohio, please stay as far away from this quack as possible!  Meanwhile, I am writing to the State Medical Board to request that her license to practice medicine be immediately revoked … she’s a bigger nutcase than even Rand Paul!

Tenpenny also vaguely suggested that somehow the vaccine interfaces with 5G towers (those cellular towers that everyone seems to have some conspiracy theory about).  Now, you and I can blow this woman off, see her for the psycho that she is, but apparently Ohio legislators aren’t as intelligent as we are, for there was almost no pushback against her lunatic ramblings.  In fact, Representative Jennifer L. Gross, a nurse who co-sponsored the bill, told Tenpenny …

“What an honor to have you here.”

Say WHAT???  I’m moving out of this damn state!!!  My daughter’s company has its headquarters in New York … perhaps she can request a transfer!

It should come as no surprise to learn that Tenpenny is an anti-vaxxer who authored a book titled “Saying No to Vaccines” in 2008.  What does come as a surprise is that she’s still allowed to practice medicine.  And you wonder why I have a difficult time trusting the medical community?  Here we are trying to convince people to get the vaccine so that we can all be safer and freer, and this loon is perpetuating all these frightening lies to people who probably believe her and will continue being a walking germ tree.


What are they teaching their children?  What is this nation becoming?

People all across this nation and around the globe have found the brutal murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin to be a horrific crime.  We have all mourned Mr. Floyd’s death, it has led to massive rallies by Black Lives Matter groups, and there has been nothing even remotely humorous about it.  Until three high school boys … racist juveniles … thought it would be funny to re-enact the murder.

It happened at Mead High School in Longmont, Colorado when a trio of male students there published an image of them re-enacting Floyd’s murder in the school’s parking lot last month. Two of them had their knees on their classmate’s neck and back. The teen who was supposed to be Floyd was in blackface and lying motionless on the ground.  “Bye bye senoirs [sic],” the caption read, with a hand-waving emoji to the class of 2021.  They cannot even f*cking spell the word ‘seniors’ and they are in high school doing this disgusting, criminal sort of thing!

What the hell sort of values are we teaching our children?  Apparently in Longmont, Colorado, parents are teaching them to be racist jerks!  Just yesterday morning I wrote about young people seeing a need and reaching out, starting charities to help people, and now THIS!

To their credit, most students were sickened and outraged by the episode, and some claimed there has long been a culture of racism at the school.  The school’s principal of the last 12 years, Rachael Ayers, resigned as a result.

Folks … this story has literally made me ill.  I hold the parents of these three teens responsible for failing to even attempt to teach them values or kindness to others.  If we, as a nation, continue to allow these sort of incidents, then we are signing the death warrant of the nation.  The three students were each suspended from school for five days … big fat deal … they probably enjoyed those five days, rather than seeing them as punishment.  At the risk of sounding radical, I would like to see every parent of these three in jail for 50 days each and then forced to attend parenting classes, for they’ve obviously got it all wrong!


I’ll end as I began, with a bit of (dark) humour …