Good People Doing Good Things — Youth

If there is hope for a brighter tomorrow, a world where people care about people more than they care about money, a kinder, gentler world, that hope lies in today’s youth.  Today’s post highlights just a few of those kinder, gentler young people doing what they can for others.


Summer Linn is 8 years old and lives in Pearland, Texas.  This year Summer is baking cupcakes … LOTS of cupcakes!  Why?  Because she wanted to do something special for foster children, kids with no real home to call their own, kids who are often bounced from pillar-to-post multiple times in a year.  Summer was afraid that Santa Claus might not be able to find these children, so she’s baking cupcakes, selling them, and using the proceeds to buy Christmas gifts for foster children.

“He’s [Santa] very busy.  They get moved a lot. They’re special no matter what anyone says or does. Seriously. They deserve a good Christmas. They need a good home.”

Thus far Summer has baked over 2,000 cupcakes, selling at $5 per box.


I’m not a big sports fan … these days the level of competitiveness is a distinct turn-off for me.  But a couple of weeks ago, a team of young soccer players in Buenos Aires rose above the all-out competitiveness and reached out for a member of the opposing team with love in their hearts.

Luca Güerci’s mother had died just a few days before the big game and he was so very sad, but nonetheless he showed up and played the best game he could.  Beneath his jersey, Luca wore a shirt that read: “Thanks for everything, Mom. Kisses to you in heaven. I love you.”

But what happened after the game will bring a tear to your eye.  Every single player on the opposing team ran to Luca and engulfed him in a huge group hug!


These are only two of many such stories – stories about young people setting an example we can all learn from!

Jolly Monday — We’re BAAAAAACCCCKKKK!

Hi Everybody!  Me ‘n Joyful talked to Gwammie yesterday and we tol’ her it’s been too long since we saw our fwiends, too long since we did a Jolly Monday post.  Gwammie agweed and said if we’d do the cooking and find the ‘toons, she’d help us put it all together.  So … HERE WE ARE!!!

First, though, we want you all to know how much Gwammie has appreciated your love and support during these past nearly three months that she’s been sick.  She’s getting’ just a little bit of her strength back now, but it’s slow an’ she gets tired weally easily. 

An’ now … let’s see what Joyful has cooked up for us!  We need to feed Gwammie lots, ’cause she’s lost over 30 pounds and looks like a scarecrow! 


Me ‘n Joyful dropped in over at Phil’s Phun and found some fun ‘toons and memes to share with our fwiends …

                                      


Gwammie found this cute critter video that we think will make you smile!


We hope you found somethin’ to smile about this Monday morning!  Have a wunnerful week an’ remember to share your smiles with others this week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly ‘n Joyful!

Filosofa Checks In …

One of the many things I have learned over the past month or so is that once the body hits the 70-year mark, the warranty expires on all its parts.  I should’a read the fine print.  I keep hoping to be able to start my post with … “Filosofa Rides Again!” … or something equally energetic, but I’m not there yet, folks.  They tell me that patience is the key, that at my age, healing takes time, but patience has never been my strong suit and mine has been stretched beyond its limits, driving my mind into a dark and foreboding place.

Another thing I’ve learned is that healthcare in the U.S. is seriously broken.  It has become so compartmentalized, so ‘specialized’, that the patient is no longer given even minimal consideration.  But I’ll have more on that another time.

Anyway, I really miss my blog, miss my blogging family, miss the interactions among us.  And yes, I have been keeping up with what is happening on the U.S. political scene, and it seems that old adage is true:  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  The same issues are at hand today with the same tired cast of characters as when I first became ill a month or more ago.  And the anti-vaxxers are still mistakenly interpreting their ‘rights’ as being whatever they want them to be at a given time.

Though I’m still far from ‘back in the saddle’, I plan to try to write a short post every other day or so … I think it might help me crawl out of the dark, dark place my mind resides in these days.

And finally, thank you all for the well-wishes and heartfelt concern you’ve sent me via comments and email.  I apologize for not having answered each one individually, but know that your thoughts brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart.

A New Short Update

Hello dear friends.

I know David updated you all earlier this week and let you know that I was back in the hospital after being out only 12 hours last Friday. It seems this old body fell apart when it hit 70 and the docs keep finding more things broken. As of now, it looks like I won’t be going home until at least Saturday.

Thank you all for the outpouring of love and well-wishes … you cannot possibly know how much it means to me. For those who have requested my email address it is: dennisonjill@aol.com

I truly hope to be back at my usual snarky self by the end of the month … I already have ideas burning in my head! Thank you again for all your support.

Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa

Lies, Lies, Lies — Is McCarthy’s Nose Growing Yet?

I have to wonder if Kevin McCarthy’s parents read the story of Pinocchio to him as a child.  You remember … Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who became an actual boy, but his nose grew with every lie he told.  If Kevin heard that story as a child, you’d think it might have made a lasting impression and he’d be less inclined to lie glibly on a near-continual basis.  I remember as a child, each time I told a lie, going into the bathroom and actually measuring my nose with my finger!

But Kevin does have a fairly longish nose, come to think of it.

In the past two weeks, he has told at least six blatant lies that I’m aware of, likely many more.  The question becomes, why?  Does he realize that his constituents are largely uncaring and ignorant of facts and only want to hear those things that can give them renewed purpose in hating any who don’t follow the Republican playbook?  But what about the rest of us?  Does it not matter to him that we see the smoke coming out of his mouth, that we DO know the facts, or at least are willing to spend 2 minutes looking them up?  Somehow, this ‘man’ has risen through the GOP ranks to become his party’s leader in the U.S. House of Representatives – a position that commands respect, but that respect must be earned, and he damn sure is not earning it.

Lie #1:  McCarthy claimed that oil prices are now “the highest that we have seen.”  Fact:  Crude prices peaked in 2008 under Republican President George W. Bush – more than double their level at the time McCarthy made this claim.  Crude prices were also higher at various points under Republican President Donald Trump than they were two weeks ago when McCarthy made his false claim or than they are today.

Lie #2:  McCarthy claimed that there is now “inflation at a number we have not seen.”  Fact:  While inflation was at a 13-year high in June and July, at a seasonally adjusted 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, it is not even close to the highest we have ever seen and not even close to the level of the late Carter era. Inflation was more than twice as high in every month of 1980 than it was in June and July of this year; its 1980 peak was 14.6%.

Lie #3:  Speaking about congressional Democrats, McCarthy asked, “Why aren’t they protecting the border from those 5,000 prisoners who have just left Afghanistan and — have the hope of coming across our borders?”  Fact:  There is no basis for McCarthy’s claim that 5,000 former prisoners have “just left Afghanistan” with the hope of coming to the US. And McCarthy neglected to mention that it was President Donald Trump’s own 2020 deal with the Taliban — a deal McCarthy had positive words about at the time — in which the US agreed to let up to 5,000 Afghan prisoners go free.

Lie #4:  McCarthy said, “We have watched state after state where Democrats have left the state.”  Fact:  Texas is the only state whose Democratic legislators left the state under Biden or Trump to deny Republicans the minimum attendance needed to pass elections legislation.

Lie #5:  McCarthy said Democrats’ new elections bill “would ban voter ID in every state.”  Fact:  The Democratic bill would not prohibit states from having voter identification laws and would not prohibit states from checking the IDs of in-person voters. Rather, it would require states to give voters an alternative to showing the ID the states normally demand — specifically, to allow voters who do not show that ID to instead submit signed statements under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and eligibility to vote.

Lie #6:  McCarthy claimed, based on an anonymous report, that the Department of Justice has concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence on January 6th.”  Fact:  The report is anonymous, not an official FBI report, but is suspected to be a report published by Reuters news agency that said merely the FBI has found “scant evidence” that the January 6 riots were coordinated.  No idea where they got their misinformation.

I’m sure there are more lies, but these are enough to spread disinformation far and wide among Republican voters who are already heavily influenced by the conspiracy theories put forth by QAnon and others who seem to have members spread throughout the GOP.

Anybody have a tape measure?  We really ought to measure ol’ Kevin’s nose!!!  Or wait … maybe we should measure the noses of every Republican in Congress, for the GOP motto seems to be “Why tell the truth when a lie will work just as well?”

The Good, The Bad, The Hopeful

A few days ago, my dear friend Ellen sent me Maureen Dowd’s column from the New York Times.  She says so much that the topic of the column rather defies description, but her vision of where this nation is today is spot on.  She also gives us hope in a more positive, yet realistic assessment of President Biden’s policies and actions than we’re used to hearing these days.


Drowning Our Future in the Past

By Maureen Dowd

Opinion Columnist

It isn’t a pretty picture.

One coast is burning. The other is under water. In between, anti-abortion vigilantes may soon rampage across gunslinging territory.

What has happened to this country?

America is reeling backward, strangled by the past, nasty and uncaring, with everyone at one another’s throats.

Post-Trump, we let ourselves hope that the new president could heal and soothe, restore a sense of rationality, decency and sanity. But the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be just a firefly.

We feel the return of dread: We’re rattled by the catastrophic exit from Afghanistan; the coming abortion war sparked by Texas; the Trumpian Supreme Court dragging us into the past; the confounding nature of this plague; the way Mother Nature is throttling us, leaving New Yorkers to drown in their basements. And now comes Donald Trump, tromping toward another presidential run.

It feels as if nothing can be overcome. Everything is being relitigated.

We’re choking on enlightened climate proposals but the disparity between the disasters we see, and what’s being done in Washington, makes it feel as though nothing is happening except climate change. We’re so far from getting a handle on the problem, the discussions around it seem almost theoretical.

Joe Manchin, tied to the energy industry, balks at climate change provisions in the reconciliation bill. He should be looking for ways to get West Virginia in touch with reality rather than living in the past.

“Manchin’s claim that climate pollution would be worsened by the elimination of fossil fuels — or by the resolution’s actual, more incremental climate provisions — is highly dubious, if not outright false,” The Intercept reported, noting that the truth is that Manchin’s personal wealth would “be impacted.” Since he joined the Senate, The Intercept said, he has grossed some $4.5 million from coal companies he founded.

With its new abortion law, sending women back to the back alley and encouraging Stasi-like participation from the citizenry, Texas now becomes the capital of American unreason. The law “essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

There were medieval fiefs more enlightened than the Lone Star G.O.P.

Between putting women in danger by pushing that law and putting children in danger by imposing his anti-mask mania on school districts that want to mask up, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has become a scourge of the first rank.

A cynical slice of the Republican Party — and this includes Trump — privately denigrates anti-abortion activists as wackos, but publicly moves in lock-step with them in order to cling to that base and keep power.

But the anti-abortion forces were somehow clever enough to hijack the Supreme Court and Republicans will have to contend with the backlash when the court tosses Roe v. Wade aside.

As botched as the withdrawal from Afghanistan was, at least Joe Biden was trying to move into the future and do triage on one of America’s worst mistakes.

And unlike other presidents — J.F.K. with the Bay of Pigs, L.B.J. with the Vietnam War and Barack Obama with the Afghanistan surge — Biden did not allow himself to be suckered by the generals, the overweening Ivy Leaguers and the Blob, the expense account monsters who keep this town whirring and always have a seat at the table, no matter how wrong they were, and are.

The Afghanistan tragedy, as James Risen wrote in The Intercept, was just two decades of Americans lying to one another, and it “brought out in Americans the same imperial arrogance that doomed the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.”

Unlike his three predecessors, Biden risked Saudi ire by directing the Justice Department and other agencies on Friday to review and declassify documents related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into 9/11. Families of 9/11 victims had been pushing for the release of the secret files to learn more about the role the Saudis played in the attacks.

The enablers of our misbegotten occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have been shrieking like banshees at Biden, trying to manacle him to their own past mistakes as he attempts to lift off.

With peerless chutzpah, Tony Blair called Biden’s decision to depart cynical and driven by an “imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars.’”

But Biden knew enough not to spend more lives and treasure to prop up a kleptocracy. He oversaw some bad weeks in Afghanistan but George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should be blamed for 20 bad years.

Remarkably, as Jon Allsop pointed out in The Columbia Journalism Review, the word “Bush” was not mentioned once on any of the Sunday news shows the weekend Kabul was falling.

“He looks like the Babe Ruth of presidents when you compare him to Trump,” Harry Reid, the former Democratic Senate majority leader, told The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, for a story this past week on Bush nostalgia.

With a memory like a goldfish, America circles its bowl, returning to where we have been, unable to move forward, condemned to repeat a past we should escape.

Jolly Monday Rides Again!

Good Monday morning, dear friends!  I wasn’t feeling well last night, so I asked Jolly ‘n Joyful to take over and finish up Jolly Monday for me.  Now mind you, I had visited Phil’s Phun earlier in the day and harvested some good ‘toons and such, so all the kids had to do was pull it together, add in some cuteness factor, and find a cute animal video.  Well, long story short, I sat in my lounge chair and read for a few hours, had a bit of a snooze, and when I woke up, I went in search of Jolly ‘n Joyful to see if they had finished.  It sat right where I had left it in the early afternoon, and I found the kids playing ping pong in the basement!  Kids today!!!  But anyway, I’m not complaining … I needed to get up and do something anyway.  So … how was your weekend?  Did you do anything interesting?  We were thankful to see cooler temperatures, finally, with highs only in the upper 70s.  The air quality is still horrible, though.

Joyful tells me it’s pizza week this week and she assures me there are enough pizzas with bacon for our bacon lovers!  So, let’s go find something yummy to feed our bellies, then we’ll find something funny to feed our spirits!

             

And for a special friend …


Since ‘toons is just about all we have today … let’s start out with a few of those …


And some memes …


I really like this ‘chore chart’ I came across!  Why, I think I could live by this one!


And now, the best part of Jolly Monday … a cute animal video!!!  It’s a short one, but oh so cute!


Well, my friends, the time has come for you to go do your things and for me to try to do mine … now where is that chore chart … ???  I hope you’re leaving with a full belly and a smile on your faces, and please, my friends, share those smiles this week.  The world is a scary place these days … we all need a smile.  I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly ‘n Joyful!

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Texas’ Abortion Ban

I haven’t re-blogged TokyoSand’s Saturday cartoon post for the past two weeks, for there is so much deeply wrong in this country today that the cartoons seemed to somehow fall flat with me.  However, given my own malaise and the primary topic of this week’s cartoons — women’s rights, which is near and dear to my own heart — I’ve decided to re-blog this week’s post.  The main topic, of course, is the new Texas law, currently upheld by the white-male-dominant Supreme Court, that has set women’s rights back a hundred years or more.  And then, there’s climate change — no longer is it possible to reject the science of climate change when we’re had uncontrollable wildfires, floods, and mega-storms, not to mention killer heat all summer long.  So, sit back and enjoy the ‘toons … you’ll find the entire collection over at Tokyo’s place (link at end).

Note to readers:  I have been having health issues for some 3 weeks now and my energy levels are on a roller coaster ride, mostly at the bottom of the track.  Therefore, I have not posted much and have not responded to comments at all, nor am I likely to try to catch up at this point.  I have read all comments, and appreciate those of you who have helped out by keeping the conversations going.  I shall pick up here and try not to fall behind again.  I appreciate your patience and apologize for my laziness.


See The Rest Of The ‘Toons Here!

Good People Doing Good Things — In The Wake Of A Storm

On Sunday, exactly sixteen years after the infamous Hurricane Katrina swept up through the Gulf of Mexico along almost the same path, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana.  At least seven are dead and more than one million without electricity.  Sounds like a perfect place for a few good people to step in, doesn’t it?


Back in February when an unexpected snowstorm hit Texas I wrote about Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas, who opened the doors of his showroom to anyone in need of warmth and shelter.  McIngvale’s generosity and kindness dates back 16 years to the time of Hurricane Katrina when he opened his doors to those in need of shelter.  And today, in the wake of Hurricane Ida, McIngvale, age 70, is once again heeding the call of those in need.

But this time, McIngvale is sending dozens of trucks loaded to the brim with the most essential things.  Says McIngvale …

“Our hearts go out for the residents of Louisiana, especially in New Orleans residents are getting hit by this terrible hurricane.  So on Monday at Gallery Furniture from eight to five in the afternoon, we’re gonna have a giant drive. Looking for people to bring non-perishable foods, diapers, all the normal things for hurricanes and we’re gonna get about 30 trucks and take them to Louisiana to help the people out and be doing that as long as the need’s there. And we’re also having Louisiana residents that evacuated to Houston sleep here free.”


And as Hurricane Ida swept through New Orleans causing massive evacuations, the nursing staff at the NICU at Ochsner Health Hospital in New Orleans volunteered to stay through the night with the babies who desperately needed them.  Says Nurse Paula Jean Simon …

“I am so proud. My team pulls together, doesn’t matter what’s happening, they’re going to make sure the babies are taken care of.”


And lastly, wherever there is a disaster, you won’t likely have to look far to find Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen staff setting up shop and providing food and more to the people in need.  This week is no exception … Andrés came to New Orleans straight from Haiti where they have been providing food and assistance to the people displaced by first by an earthquake that killed over 2,000, followed by Hurricane Grace.

Andrés tweeted on August 29th

Hello friends of @WCKitchen! I’m on the ground in New Orleans with @natemook & WCK’s Relief team…Winds are getting bad as Hurricane #Ida makes landfall…We have 3 kitchens ready with supplies already for 100,000+ meals! Now we will shelter until Ida passes…


My apologies for both the lateness and the brevity of this good people post, but I hope to get back up to speed soon!

Jolly {HOT} Monday!!!

Good Monday  morning, my friends!  I know you’re all thankful to see the weekend gone and return to the routine of the work week, yes?  Not that it much matters these days, for with temps hovering at around 100° and air quality at an all-time low, I cannot leave the house anyway, so … Monday, Friday, Saturday … all about the same!  This is one year that I will be happy to see summer end and a return to breathable air, though we must all be aware that this is our new norm.  Anyway, did you guys do anything fun and exciting this weekend?

Jolly ‘n Joyful scouted out a new International Market this weekend, and I think you’ll find some interesting things on the treat table today.  So, grab a bite and a cuppa, and let’s find something to turn our lips upward and start the week with a smile.


Jolly and I took turns seeking this week’s ‘toons ‘n memes, so we hope they’ll bring a chuckle …


And the memes …


And finally, the moment you’ve all waited for … this adorable beaver loves kayaking!


We hope you’ve all found something to bring a smile to your faces this Monday morning, and that you’ll share those smiles with family, friends, and strangers!  If you run out, pop back in, for there’s a basket by the back door!  We hope you have a beautiful week ahead … love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!