Jolly Monday — 🎃Happy Halloween!!!🎃

Good Monday morning, my friends!  How was your weekend?  Mine was a bit more fun than usual this time, for we had a get-together with our friends Maha & Ali yesterday evening.  Today is daughter Chris’ birthday (the BIG 5-0, but I’m not supposed to tell you that!), and Tuesday is Maha’s birthday … about 5 years shy of 50 … so we decided to celebrate both on Sunday.  As always, time spent with them is precious and has been sorely lacking for the past seven months or so.  And now, it’s back to the grind with a cloudy Monday morning, so let’s grab a snack — Joyful started baking at midnight, and has turned out some awesome treats, but sorry bacon-lovers, no bacon today — and find something to start the week out right!


eyes👻 Since Hallowe’en is just 5 days away, I thought I’d make this week’s Jolly Monday post Hallowe’en-themed!  I found some fun things related to Hallowe’en that I think you’ll like.  Let’s start with a couple of Hallowe’en jokes.

Chiseling with Fear

Two men were walking home after a Halloween party and
decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for
laughs. Right in the middle of the cemetery, they were
startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty
shadows.

Trembling with fear, they found an old man with a hammer and
chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones.

“Holy cow, Mister,” one of them said after catching his
breath. “You scared us half to death — we thought you were a
ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?”

“My family are such fools!” the old man grumbled. “They misspelled my
name and here I have to correct it!”

A Bat Story

batA vampire bat came flapping in from the night covered in fresh blood and parked himself on the roof of the cave to get some sleep.  Pretty soon all the other bats smelled the blood and began hassling him about where he got it.  He told them to knock it off and let him get some sleep but they persisted until finally he gave in.  “OK, follow me,” he said and flew out of the cave with hundreds of bats behind him.  Down through a valley they went, across a river and into a forest full of trees.  Finally he slowed down and all the other bats excitedly milled around him.  “Now, do you see that tree over there?” he asked.  “Yes, yes, yes!” the bats all screamed in a frenzy.  “Good,” said the first bat, “Because I DIDN’T!”

Halloween Groaner

A man was walking home alone one night when he heard a “BUMP….BUMP….BUMP…” behind him. Walking faster, he looked back, making out an image of an upright coffin banging its way down the middle of the street towards him….”BUMP…BUMP…BUMP…”

The man began to run toward his home, and the coffin boiunced  after him faster….faster…BUMPBUMPBUMP.

He ran up to his door, fumbled with his keys, opened the door, rushed in, and locked it behind him. The coffin crashed through his door, with the lid of the coffin clapping BUMP…BUMP…BUMP… on the heals of the terrified man. The man rushed upstairs to the bathroom and locked himself in, heart pounding.

With a CRASH, the coffin broke down the door, coming slowly toward  him.  The man while screaming, reached for something, anything….all he can find was a box of cough drops which he hurled at the coffin…and suddenly “the coffin stops.”  ⚰️


eyesOkay, granted that last one was pretty bad, but I bet you at least grinned.  Now here are some riddles that are sure to make you groan and roll your eyes!

What do goblins and ghosts drink when they’re hot and thirsty on Halloween? Ghoul-aid!!!

What is a Mummie’s favorite type of music? Wrap!!!!!

What do you call a witch who lives at the beach? A sand-witch.

Why did the game warden arrest the ghost? He didn’t have a haunting license.

Why didn’t the skeleton dance at the party? He had no body to dance with.

Where did the goblin throw the football? Over the ghoul line.

Why is a ghost such a messy eater?  Because he is always a goblin.

What do you call a goblin who gets too close to a bonfire? A toasty ghosty.


And you know we’ve got to have some ‘toons …

toon-14toon-13toon-12toon-11toon-10toon-9toon-8toon-7toon-6toon-5toon-4toon-3toon-3toon-2toon-1

bat


I found this cool Halloween candy quiz … answers are below … see how many you can get.  I’ll give you a hint, I got 8 out of 28 … but then, I’m not very good at these things, so I’m betting you guys will do better!

  1. A famous swashbuckling trio of old.
  2. Indian burial grounds
  3. Galaxy
  4. What bees make
  5. Round flotation device
  6. Twin letters
  7. Red Planet
  8. Not laughing out loud
  9. Can’t hold on to anything
  10. A famous author
  11. Famous former baseball player
  12. Famous New York Street
  13. A sweet sign of affection
  14. A favorite day of working people
  15. Nut happiness
  16. Pleasantly plumb
  17. Two female pronouns
  18. A feline
  19. Single women look for him
  20. Sun explosion
  21. Bite with a crunch noise
  22. Dry cow
  23. Children of the cane
  24. A lottery amount
  25. Lactic flops
  26. Determines who wins the game
  27. Home of movie stars
  28. Superman’s favorite hangout

Answers …

  1. Three Musketeers
  2. Mounds
  3. Milky Way
  4. Bit O’Honey
  5. Life Savers
  6. M&Ms
  7. Mars Bar
  8. Snickers, Chuckles
  9. Butterfingers
  10. O’Henry
  11. Babe Ruth
  12. 5th Avenue
  13. Candy Kiss
  14. Pay Day
  15. Almond Joy
  16. Cunky
  17. Hershey
  18. Kit Kat
  19. Goodbar, Millionaire, Sugar Daddy
  20. Star Burst
  21. Krackle, Crunch Bar
  22. Milk Duds
  23. Sugar Babies
  24. $100,000 Bar
  25. Milk Duds
  26. Skor
  27. Holywood
  28. Clark Bar

What’s your favourite Hallowe’en candy, by the way?

toon-header


Check out these pooches in their Hallowe’en finery …

dog-12dog-11dog-10dog-9dog-8dog-7dog-6dog-5dog-4dog-3dog-2dog-1


And, as always, we must have a cute critter video.  Typically, I am not a fan of putting clothing on animals … unlike humans, their fur gives them a natural beauty that is not enhanced by human attempts to “dress them up”.  However, Hallowe’en is the exception, and these will definitely make you chuckle … I hope, anyway.


And now, sadly, our Jolly Monday time has come to an end.  I have a birthday cake to bake, homemade spaghetti sauce to get started (the birthday dinner request), laundry to do, and a house to clean.  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and that you’ll share those beautiful smiles I see on your faces.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 10/24

I thought it was time to lighten it up a bit, and while the political cartoons these days often aren’t exactly funny, they are brilliant in the way they can sum up a situation with few or no words.  How I wish I had artistic talent!  So, instead of the post I had planned for this afternoon, I am sharing instead TokyoSand’s weekly collection featuring the ‘best of the best’ cartoons from the past week.  Thank you, TS, for this excellent collection!


saturday-1saturday-2saturday-3

View original post …

What Keeps Us Divided …

A Republican and a Democrat are walking down the street when they see a fight between two young black men.  The Democrat walks over, tries to separate the two young men and asks what the problem is, then he tries to get them both to calm down and discuss this reasonably.  The Republican, on the other hand, says, “Let me get my gun!”

A Republican and a Democrat are walking down the street when they see a group of Black Lives Matter protestors holding signs.  The Democrat walks on by, nods to them and gives them a thumbs-up.  The Republican says, “Let me get my gun!”

There are many philosophical and ideological differences between the two major parties in the U.S. – there always have been – but some of the biggest are exemplified in the examples above:  the gun culture, propensity to violence, and racism.

Republican politicos seem to think that appearing in ads with guns, threatening violence, is the way to win votes and influence people.  A few examples …

  • Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was rarely shown in campaign ads without a firearm, including one of him pointing it at his daughter’s boyfriend.  Notice the arsenal behind him in the first picture, and the guns all around the room in the second.kemp-gunkemp-gun-Jake
  • Also in Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Greene is an avid supporter of QAnon, the conspiracy theorist group, and also an avid proponent of assault weapons.  Her campaign ads include pictures of herself holding a gun, and also one of herself in a threatening pose in front of an image of several democratic members of Congress known as ‘the Squad’.     marjory-taylor-greeneMarjorie-Taylor-Greene
  • Madison Cawthorn is a 24-year-old running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina. Madison, partially paralyzed from a car accident 6 years ago, has already been accused of sexual assault by several young women.  He, too, has posted campaign pictures of himself with an assault weapon and enough ammunition to take out a small city.madison_img_2

I am told that this is to make them appear ‘tough’, but in my book it makes them appear to be cowards, for only a coward, a person afraid of something all the time, feels a need to carry a gun.  I’ve managed for 69 years without ever picking up a firearm, have even faced down a gun twice, and still never felt a need to own one.

Another thing that separates the two parties is the attempt to eliminate the opposition in unsavory ways.  I cannot recall a story about someone plotting to kill a republican candidate or official, but the attempts on democrats of late has been astounding.  It seems that republicans are far more in favour of solving their problems with violence than democrats.

Remember Cesar Sayoc who in 2018 sent pipe bombs through the mail to former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as  Representative Maxine Waters, Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, former Attorney General Eric Holder, two former intelligence chiefs (ex-CIA Director John Brennan and ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper), two billionaire Democratic donors and activists (George Soros and Tom Steyer), and actor Robert De Niro, as well as CNN’s world headquarters?  Each of these individuals are democrats — not a single republican.

And just this month the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered plots to kill the democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and to kidnap the democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.  Funny, but I haven’t heard of any plots to kill Mitch McConnell, or kidnap Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.

And lastly, let’s talk a bit about racism as it is viewed by the two parties.  According to a 2019 PEW Research study, a majority of Americans (56%) say Trump has made race relations worse; just 15% say he has made progress toward improving race relations, while 13% say he has tried but failed to make progress and 14% say he hasn’t addressed this issue.

Not surprisingly, assessments of Trump’s handling of race relations differ considerably along partisan lines. Democrats overwhelmingly say Trump has made race relations worse (84%), including large shares of black (79%) and white (86%) Democrats. Views are more divided among Republicans. About a third of Republicans (34%) say Trump has improved race relations and 25% say he has tried but failed to make progress; 19% of Republicans say he hasn’t addressed the issue, while only 20% say he has made race relations worse.

But what really shines a light on the differences in the way members of the two parties view race and racism is the acceptance or denial that racism even exists in the U.S.  This chart tells the story …

PEW-race

There are many principles and ideas that divide the two parties, and until we find ways to narrow those divisions, to work together, to understand each other and to find common ground, we cannot begin to heal this nation.  We look to the leadership of the nation, our elected officials, to find that common ground, to stop the hating, the violence, and to ensure that every person in this country has an equal opportunity, that guns are regulated in such a way to ensure the public safety, and that violence is strongly discouraged.  For the past four years, the ‘leader’ of our government has encouraged violence, racism, and the gun culture, and this simply must stop, for we are on the brink of becoming a third-rate nation if it doesn’t.

Think about these things when you go to the polls in nine days.  Think about the sort of country you wish to live in, and how best to achieve that.  Donald Trump claimed he would “make America great again” … well, he has done the exact opposite and made this a far less desirable country to live in than it once was.  Again, I ask only that you think about these things.

Post-Debate Grumbles

You surely don’t expect a sweet, complacent post from me after I only just finished watching the final presidential debate, do you?  A couple of times, I had to take off my headphones and step away from the computer lest I throw it or punch it, but I’m pleased to say that I survived.  They should give us buttons or stickers saying, “I survived watching the debate!”, for it is no small task!debate-3

All in all, the debate really wasn’t a debate, but at least we were able to hear and understand most of Biden’s responses without Trump talking over him.  Trump did, however, keep on talking long after the moderator had told him “Okay, we’re moving on to the next topic” repeatedly.  In my book, the only truly relevant question was the final one, when each candidate was asked what, on inauguration day, they would say to the people who didn’t vote for them.  Their responses, in part …

Trump:  “We have to make our country totally successful as it was prior to the plague coming over from China.  We are on the road to success. But I’m cutting taxes and he wants to raise everybody’s taxes, and he wants to put new regulations on everything. He will kill it. If he gets in, you will have a depression the likes of which you’ve never seen. Your 401(k)s will go to hell, and it’ll be a very, very sad day for this country.”

Biden: “I will say, I’m an American president. I represent all of you. Whether you voted for me or against me. And I’m going to make sure that you’re represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear. We’re going to choose to move forward because we have enormous opportunities to make things better.

And I’m going to say, as I said at the beginning, what is on the ballot here is the character of this country, decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance. And I’m going to make sure you get that, what you haven’t been getting in the last four years.”

Notice the difference?  Trump used his 60 seconds to criticize Biden some more, while Biden actually answered the question with what sounded very much like the best possible way to begin the healing process.  A negative answer vs a positive message.

And that’s all I have to say about the debate … another 90 minutes of my life that I can’t get back.


According to a story in yesterday’s New York Times

The Trump campaign has been videotaping Philadelphia voters while they deposit their ballots in drop boxes, leading Pennsylvania’s attorney general to warn this week that the campaign’s actions fall outside of permitted poll watching practices and could amount to illegal voter intimidation.

The campaign made a formal complaint to city officials on Oct. 16, saying a campaign representative had surveilled voters depositing two or three ballots at drop boxes, instead of only their own. The campaign called the conduct “blatant violations of the Pennsylvania election code,” according to a letter from a lawyer representing the Trump campaign that was reviewed by The New York Times. The campaign included photos of three voters who it claimed were dropping off multiple ballots.

Last week daughter Chris, granddaughter Natasha (aka Miss Goose), and I completed our mail-in ballots.  Not trusting the United States Postal Service to deliver them in a timely fashion, we had already decided to use the drop box at the county board of elections.  Since there is only one ballot drop box per county in our state, the nearest drop box is about 15 miles from here … not a long distance, but my van is not reliable outside of a 2-mile radius, and daughter Chris works from 6:00 a.m. ‘til 6:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday.  So, on Saturday she took all three of our ballots to the drop box.  She put all three into the drop box, and yesterday I received notification that all three had been received and accepted.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with her dropping off all three of our ballots!

I find it rather creepy to think that Trump cronies might be filming her, take down her license plate number, and harass us or attempt to negate our ballots.  And are these government employees doing the videotaping?  Are we paying these people to spy on us???

The Trump campaign’s aggressive strategy in Philadelphia suggests its aim is to crack down on people dropping off ballots for family members or anyone else who is not strictly authorized to do so. Ms. Kerns demanded that the names of all voters who had used a drop box in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall on Oct. 14 be turned over to the campaign, and insisted that the city station a staff member around every drop box “at all times.” She also asked for footage from municipal cameras around City Hall.

Bullshit!  “Ms. Kerns” needs to go choke on a turnip!  It is a blatant attempt at voter intimidation and there is no law prohibiting a family member from dropping off a ballot.  What would be the difference if a family member put someone’s ballot in the mailbox for them?  None whatsoever.  This is a step too far in Trump’s attempt to claim that there is voter fraud in voting by mail, where there is none!  First it was fake ballot boxes put up by the GOP in California, and now this!  If by some chance Trump wins this election, it will not have been an honest win, but will have been because he interfered with the right of the people to cast a ballot!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Two Senators — Two Responses

You may remember that on September 21st, I wrote a letter to the republican senator for my state, Rob Portman, regarding Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.   I also sent the letter to the other senator for my state, Sherrod Brown, a democrat.  I posted the response from Senator Portman on September 29th  and today I received a response from Senator Brown.  Compare the two letters and tell me which one seems to you to be more concerned about preserving the Constitution, the rights of We the People.  For the purpose of comparison, I have included both here …

Senator Brown’s response …

Dear Ms. Dennison:

Thank you for contacting me about President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The process of appointing a Supreme Court justice is designed to maintain the separation of powers and ensure that the nominee is highly qualified for a position on the nation’s highest court. The Senate should not be voting on a nominee to fill Justice Ginsburg’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court until after the presidential inauguration in 2021.

As our country faces a pandemic that has already killed 200,000 Americans, my top priority is keeping Americans healthy and safe – not packing the courts with judges that will side with corporations over workers and create a path to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the courts, kicking millions of Americans off of their health insurance. Instead of moving heaven and earth to rush through the confirmation process and install a justice that will put American’s health care and fundamental civil rights in danger, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should do their jobs to help Americans struggling amid a pandemic.

I am already deeply troubled by the recent trend of Supreme Court decisions that strip rights away from Ohioans, including workers, voters, and women, and I have serious concerns over Judge Barrett’s ability to apply the law fairly and impartially. That is why I voted against her confirmation to the United States’ Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2017. During her past three years on the Seventh Circuit, Judge Barrett has issued a number of opinions that have done little to assuage these concerns. Working people need justices who will put their rights first, not justices who will side with insurance companies over cancer survivors, financial scammers over customers, or massive corporations over American workers. The Senate should take the time necessary to explore Judge Barrett’s views on these issues, not adhere to a political timeline in order to confirm a nominee to our nation’s highest court, weeks before a major election.

While the President has the responsibility to select and nominate a justice, the Constitution requires that the Senate provide advice and consent on all Supreme Court nominees. As a result, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate must conduct a comprehensive review of Judge Barrett’s background, record, and qualifications. I am concerned by Senator McConnell’s attempt to ram this nominee through the Senate confirmation process. His compressed timeline, tailored to fit a political agenda, is not adequate to ascertain Judge Barrett’s views or consider the factors relevant to her nomination.

Ohioans and millions of other Americans across the country are already voting, and they deserve to have a say on the court that will decide the fate of their health care, workplace safety, criminal justice reform, and civil rights. In a matter of weeks we will know who Americans have elected to serve as president, and that person, given a mandate by the American people, should have the opportunity to nominate the next Supreme Court justice.

I will not support any justice who would take rights away from Ohioans. Thank you again for reaching out to me.

                                                             Sincerely,

                                                             Sherrod Brown

                                                            United States Senator

It goes without saying that I agree with him.  And Senator Portman’s response …

Dear Jill,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter and the opportunity to respond.

As the second woman in history confirmed to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg served our country in this important role for 27 years. Her death on September 18, 2020 created a vacancy on the Court.  The U.S. Constitution provides that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court.” Considering we are less than two months from a presidential election, there is controversy regarding whether the Senate should take up a nomination before the election.  The Senate’s historical precedent demonstrates that when the same party controls the presidency and the Senate and a vacancy arises during a presidential election year, the Senate almost always confirms a nominee.

In the more than two dozen vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court that have arisen during a presidential election year in our nation’s history, the sitting president made a nomination in every single case.  Leader McConnell has said that he will hold a vote on any nominee President Trump sends to the Senate, and I intend to fulfill my role as a U.S. Senator and judge that nominee based on his or her merits. The president was elected in 2016, in part, based on a commitment to nominate men and women to the judiciary who would fairly and impartially apply the law and protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench.  Likewise, in both 2016 and 2018, the American people have re-elected a Republican Senate majority to help President Trump fulfill that commitment.

In 2016, when the vacancy occurred following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, I said “the president has every right to nominate a Supreme Court justice … But the founders also gave the Senate the exclusive right to decide whether to move forward on that nominee.” Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposing-party president’s Supreme Court choice when the vacancy occurred in a presidential election year.  In contrast, when the presidency and the Senate are controlled by the same party – as it is today –the precedent is for the president’s nominees to get confirmed. In the occasions that a vacancy has occurred when the President and the Senate are of the same party in a presidential election year, the Senate has confirmed the nominee and filled the seat in every instance but one where there was a bipartisan ethics concern. I look forward to seeing who President Trump plans to nominate and thoroughly assessing his or her qualifications for this important role.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. For more information, I encourage you to visit my website at portman.senate.gov . Thank you, and please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

 Rob Portman

U.S. Senator

It also goes without saying that I considered this response to be a pile of crap … the Republican Party line, a load of b.s.  Not relevant, but I did find it interesting that Senator Brown addressed me as ‘Ms. Dennison’, a term of respect, while Portman addressed me as simply ‘Jill’ … more familiarity than he is, perhaps, entitled to under the circumstances.

And now, I shall finish preparing to watch tonight’s bloodbath, otherwise known as a presidential debate.  Wish me luck, please.

A Lot Can Happen In Three Months …

The official death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. is currently at 225,222 (as of 11:04 p.m. on 10/19/2020).  There are over 2.7 million active cases of the coronavirus in the nation at this time.  The most recent unemployment data, from September, shows 12.58 million people are unemployed in the U.S.  And yet, Trump & Co were planning a cut to the food stamp program that would have cut off food stamps to some 700,000 people.

It has long been obvious that neither Trump nor any of his cronies have that thing we call a conscience, that they do not care about anyone but themselves, or anything but wealth.  But, fortunately for the people of this country, despite Trump’s efforts to pack the courts with partisan judges, some fair and honest judges remain on the bench.  One such is U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who on Sunday struck down the Trumpian plan to restrict the federal food safety net.

According to The Washington Post

Beryl-HowellIn a scathing 67-page opinion, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell of D.C. condemned the Agriculture Department for failing to justify or even address the impact of the sweeping change on states, saying its shortcomings had been placed in stark relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, during which unemployment has quadrupled and rosters of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have grown by more than 17 percent, with more than 6 million new enrollees.

The rule “at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” Howell wrote, adding that the Agriculture Department “has been icily silent about how many [adults] would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought . . . been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country.” The judge concluded that the department’s “utter failure to address the issue renders the agency action arbitrary and capricious.”

Funny, isn’t it, that the federal government, comprised of uber-wealthy men … and a few equally wealthy women … is quick to make cuts in funding to programs like food stamps, quick to say “no” when California asks for assistance fighting the worst wildfires in history, but they can seem to find the money to fly Trump, his grown children, his assistants, and a Secret Service crew all over the country … to golf courses, his Mar-a-Lago resort, and his inane rallies where few wear masks and care not a whit about the well-being of their families and friends!  Oh yes, and let us not forget that We the People paid an estimated $40,000+ for him to take a helicopter for the 8.5 mile trip from the White House to Walter Reed hospital earlier this month.   And then, there was the cost of his care for the three-day stay at Walter Reed.  You or I … well, suffice it to say we would have stayed home, drank hot tea, rested, and hoped for the best.

So, we can afford the extravagances of Trump, his family, and his minions, but we cannot afford to feed people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.  In addition, Trump & Co have plans for two more measures that would cap deductions for utility allowance and limit access to food stamps for working poor families.  It is my hope that those, too, will either languish incomplete until Trump leaves office on January 20th, or that they, too, will be struck down in the courts.

Where, I would ask, is the humanity in our federal government?  It damn sure isn’t in the White House or any of the federal agencies tasked with a variety of things from the health and safety of the nation to protecting the environment to the education of our youth!

In recent days, federal agencies have been rushing to enact regulatory changes affecting millions of people in this country, as they are seeing the very real possibility that their time to do so is likely to be limited to another three months.  Some of their rushed proposals include easing limits on how many hours some truckers can spend behind the wheel, giving the government more freedom to collect biometric data and setting federal standards for when workers can be classified as independent contractors rather than employees.  There is also a proposed rule to allow railroads to move highly flammable liquefied natural gas on freight trains … just what we need!

Trump’s team is limiting or sidestepping requirements for public comment on some of the changes and swatting aside critics who say the administration has failed to carry out sufficiently rigorous analysis.  The Trumpites are also working to fill key vacancies on scientific advisory boards with members who will hold their seats far into the next presidential term, committees that play an important role in shaping federal rule making.  Given that, in the middle of a deadly pandemic, Trump selected a man, Scott Atlas, who has absolutely zero experience or knowledge of public health or infectious diseases to lead his coronavirus task force, it’s almost a given that the people who are selected for the scientific advisory boards will be equally unqualified.  A climate change denier in a key position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)?  Oh wait … we already have that in the form of one Andrew Wheeler, head of the EPA and a former lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry.  Until 2017, Wheeler represented Murray Energy, one of the dirtiest, most crooked coal companies in the nation, but a big donor to the 2016 campaign of one Donald Trump.

There are exactly two weeks until election day, but we won’t likely have final results for a week or longer thereafter.  Then another two months until inauguration day when, hopefully, we can say “Goodbye and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out” to Donald Trump.  But in the interim … there is so much damage that could potentially be done.  Let us hope the courts keep on doing their jobs and striking him down, because if they don’t, we will pay the price in spades.

Jolly Monday … OCTOBER!!!

Good morning friends!  Come in out of the cold … it’s been a while since I’ve had to say that, hasn’t it?  Yep, jacket season is back, and soon you’ll be digging out those extra blankets, winter coats, long johns, scarves & mittens!  Brrrrrrrrrrr.  Worse yet, the holidays will soon be upon us and frankly, I wouldn’t mind if we just skipped over them all this year.  But that’s a worry for another day.  Now, there aren’t as many snacks today as usual, for Joyful has been helping Roger build and decorate his new tower, and Jolly … well, Jolly tells me he’s been on an important mission, but won’t give me any details.  Do any of you have any idea what ol’ Jolly has been up to?  Anyway … it’s the start of a new week, so grab a snack from the table and let’s try to find something to start the week off with a smile, okay?


Making mask wearing palatable

Now here is one for the bacon lovers among you – Larry, David, Larry, rawgod, and Emily, sit up and take note!

That’s right … a bacon-scented face mask!  According to Hormel, the Black Label Breathable Bacon mask uses the “the latest in bacon-smell technology” to give the wearer the experience of smelling bacon anytime they don the protection accessory.

You can register to win a bacon-scented mask until October 28 here!  I had to laugh at the warning on the website that cautioned against trying to eat the mask!  Go on, guys … enter the contest … you know you want to!


The BIG pumpkin

Every year around this time, there is a Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off contest held in Half Moon Bay in Northern California.  The prize goes to the entry having the heftiest pumpkin and is paid at $7 per pound.pumpkin-winnerThis year’s grand prize winner was Travis Gienger and his pumpkin weighed a whopping … wait for it … 2,350 pounds!  Wow … just think how many pumpkin pies and loaves of pumpkin bread you could make with that!  But … it wouldn’t even fit in my kitchen, and I surely couldn’t lift the thing!

Travis is now $16,450 richer and now owns the title of 2020 Pumpkin King of Half Moon Bay.


Jokes, jokes, jokes!

How ‘bout a few jokes, courtesy of Reader’s Digest?

  • An exercise for people who are out of shape: Begin with a five-pound potato bag in each hand. Extend your arms straight out from your sides, hold them there for a full minute, and then relax. After a few weeks, move up to ten-pound potato bags. Then try 50-pound potato bags, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. Once you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.
  • My daughter received this e-mail from a prospective student prior to the start of the semester: “Dear Professor, I won’t be able to come to any of your classes or meet for any of the tests. Is this a problem?”
  • Scene: With a patient in my medical exam room Me: How old are your kids? Patient: Forty-four and 39 from my wife who passed away, and from my second wife, 15 and 13. Me: That’s quite the age difference! Patient: Well, the older ones didn’t give me any grandkids, so I made my own.

And now, the moment that you all like best … the ‘toons!

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Well, I don’t suppose it would be quite right to sign off without a cute animal video, now would it?  This one is guaranteed to melt your heart.


Okay, folks … I’ve got a house to clean, laundry to do, and I’ve got to try to figure out what I’m cooking for supper tonight.  You guys have jobs to go to, and other important things that keep your world right-side-up.  Thanks so much for spending a bit of your Monday morning with us, and please remember to share your gorgeous smiles with others you meet this week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Tell me why I ask some more?

Our friend Keith asks a lot of questions … questions we should ALL be asking … and more. Thank you, Keith, for homing in on some of the most relevant questions we must all be asking in the course of the next two weeks.

musingsofanoldfart

I am puzzled with inconsistencies. Using The Beatles’ song “Tell me why?” once again, allow me to ask a few more questions.

Why should we believe someone who said two months ago he did not know who QAnon is, tweeted more QAnon based inane conspiracies. applauded a Georgia Republican Congressional candidate who touts such inanity and then repeats on national TV he still did not know who QAnon is?

Why should we believe the same person whose modus operandi is to create fear, say he did not want to tell Americans the truth about the coronavirus as he did not want to create a panic? Panic is his currency. It seemed OK for him to relay the inane QAnon tweet about Osama Bin Laden.

Why should we believe someone who repeatedly says and does racist things and endorses groups that want to diminish the rights of non-whites, then claims he…

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Filosofa’s Mind Meanderings

I am in a pensive mood tonight, rather saddened and disgusted by what I see people doing.  Y’know … Donald Trump is to blame for a lot … I could spend this entire post pointing out the things for which he should be held to account, but he isn’t responsible for our own behaviour … only we can be held to account for what we say and do, for how we treat others.  It is true that Trump has encouraged much of what is happening, has praised white supremacists, denigrated democrats, Muslims, Jews, women and a whole laundry list of others.  But, at the end of the day, I am responsible for the things I have done … nobody else.

I read an article this evening in The Week

A municipal worker in Michigan required 13 stitches after moving a Trump lawn sign rigged with razor blades.  The sign was closer to the roadway than permitted by local ordinance, town Supervisor Dave Scott said, and when the worker put his hands on it, he initially “thought it was electrified,” and then “realized he was bleeding aggressively.”  The homeowner has denied doing the boobytrapping.

And this isn’t the first time.  The same thing happened in Texas in November 2016, just a few days before the election.  Who does such a thing?  What if a small child or animal had been the one to discover the treachery?  Does the person who did this even have a conscience?

I read John Pavolitz’ post from a few days ago titled Good People Aren’t Voting For Him A Second Time, and I found the following particularly relevant …

I often hear people say, “I’m a good person and I’m proudly voting for Donald Trump again.”

I now consider that an oxymoron.

I don’t believe any good people are voting for this president a second time—or they are in complete rebellion against goodness as they do.

I believe that act is fundamentally antithetical to anything good.

There are things good people simply don’t do:

Good people don’t ignore the assassinations of unarmed black men.

Good people don’t vilify and attack the peaceful protestors of those murders.

Good people don’t create phony ANTIFA conspiracies, just to avoid saying that Black Lives Matter.

Good people don’t incite armed crowds to “liberate” state capitols over protections designed to save lives.

Good people don’t make fun of mask wearers, when life is in the balance.

Good people don’t tear gas citizens for a transparent church door Bible photo op.

Good people don’t defend murderous white vigilantes.

Good people don’t discard people while protecting property.

Good people don’t justify kneeling on a black man’s neck for eight minutes until he expires.

Good people don’t demonize a black woman for being executed in her bedroom in the middle of the night.

Good people don’t repeatedly deny the severity of a murderous virus, knowing people will die while he does.

Good people don’t call veterans losers and suckers.

Good people don’t stammer and deflect when asked to denounce white supremacist organizations live in front of the nation.

Good people don’t take away healthcare from hundreds of millions in the throes of a pandemic.

Good people don’t pounce on the corpse of a Supreme Court Justice after an election has already begun, just to take away a woman’s right to autonomy over her own body and appease religious zealots.

Good people don’t hold unmasked rallies while cases flare wildly, after themselves having a virus they were saved from.

Good people don’t lie as easily as breathing, or make a mockery of a religion they have no interest in, or treat people of color and women as property, or disregard the systems and laws of this land because power and complicit enablers allow it.

And good people, regardless of how good they claim to be—don’t encourage or embrace or support or elevate such people.

They simply don’t.

And yet, pick up a newspaper or look at an online news source and you will find example after example of people who seem intent on putting down or harming others.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???

I have long said that Donald Trump is merely a symptom of a larger, underlying problem, and this is being proven on a daily basis.  When a town’s sheriff says it was okay for a group of people to plot the kidnapping of the state’s governor simply because she implemented safeguards to protect those very people, we’ve got a far bigger problem than we first thought.  And we all know, I think, that the problem will not simply disappear on January 20th when Joe Biden is inaugurated into office.

Every Wednesday, I write about good people who are doing things large and small to help others in some way.  I haven’t run out of those ‘good people’ yet, so we know they’re here, but they are overshadowed by those who commit heinous acts like putting razor blades on yard signs or applaud the killing of Black people or condone putting children in cages simply because they were not born in this country.

Today, I am not proud to be a citizen of this country, I am not proud of the people who, rather than make their voices heard in a peaceful manner, use violence to get their point across.  I am not proud that we have a government that condones what is happening in our society today.  I, like many of you, have tried to use my blog to make changes, to be the voice of reason (most of the time, anyway), to show people why certain things are wrong, even unacceptable in a civil society.  But it seems that the people who most need our message simply aren’t getting it.

We are becoming … or perhaps have become … a nation of selfish, greedy people who put their own interests ahead of the greater good without a thought, without a pang of conscience.  Those who engage in violence or acts of cruelty and  claim they are acting as their religion tells them to are the worst of the lot, for their religion is Hypocrisy.

I think we will have a new president in just over three months, and new leadership in the Senate, and all of that is good.  Joe Biden will do his level best to unite the people of this country.  But, if people continue to hate for little or no reason, he will not be successful.  We the People must look inside ourselves and ask some tough questions.  We the People are the only ones who can change what we have become, and if we don’t do it, then we cannot work together to make this a good place for our children and grandchildren.

I end with more words from John Pavlovitz’ post that reflect my own thoughts …

Goodness is not a matter how good you imagine you are.
It is not a matter of what you claim to believe.
It is not something you possess simply because you desire to possess it.

Goodness is determined by the way you move through this world: a world that is either more or less loving and compassionate and equitable and kind because of your presence and your decisions.