Wearing a Mask in Public-Liberal Snowflake?

Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters ponders about our society, how we are responding to the current crisis, and how Trump is further stretching the Great Divide that led to his unconscionable election three+ years ago. I can especially relate to his last sentence … I no longer recognize the country I once respected. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

These days everything is up for grabs. In today’s hyper-sensitive political climate, it doesn’t seem to matter. One would think that if you’re told to wear a mask in public to protect you and the people around you from possibly contracting a dangerous virus, it would be a no brainer to wear the mask.

But these are not normal times if you didn’t know that already. We have an abnormal president with a group of followers whose main goal in life now is to “own the libs” at all costs–no matter the consequences.

And it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the mask issue is only the beginning. What we’re seeing is the political strategy of the current president becoming more evident by the day. And if the Democrats aren’t up to the task to counter-punch, we may be in for a sad day on November 3, 2020.

As we all know…

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Jolly Monday … We Hope

Good Monday morning, my friends!  Come in, come in … isn’t it grand that we haven’t had to curtail our Monday morning get-togethers, despite the restrictions due to the coronavirus?  We are still having just as much fun on Monday mornings as ever!  I shan’t ask how your weekend was, nor need you ask about mine.  Suffice it to say that I am now a week older than when you last saw me … but then, so are most of you.  So, grab a bit of a snack and let’s see what Jolly and I have found to bring a smile to your gorgeous mugs today, shall we?

Lamborghini follow-up

Last Monday, as you may recall, I told you about a 5-year-old boy in Utah who, angry that his mother refused to buy him a Lamborghini sports car (they retail for between $265,000 and $382,000, by the way), ‘borrowed’ the family car and went out planning to buy his own … with all of $3 in his pocket.  An observant state trooper pulled him over and that was the end of that story.  Except, there is a follow up …

Jeremy Neves, a local businessman, heard of the young man’s disappointment and, as Jeremy happens to own a Lamborghini (apparently a quite successful businessman), decided to treat the boy to a ride.

“I’m absolutely inspired by the principles that he displayed of success ― knowing what he wants, going after it. I thought it would be really cool to say, ‘Your dreams aren’t as far away as you think they are.’”

Now, I thought it was a pretty cool thing for Mr. Neves to do, but apparently the general consensus is that it wasn’t.  He was trounced on Twitter and elsewhere by people saying he had just given the lad the wrong lesson, rewarding him for bad behaviour.  And, on re-thinking it, he was rewarding him for all the wrong things, and encouraging that uber-capitalistic spirit that I so often complain about.  I was only thinking of the joy the young boy must have experienced.  Ah well … I’m rarely right, but still … that’s ‘the rest of the story’ as I know it.

Reclaiming their turf!

Ever since March, when a number of countries put into place strict lockdown orders, and others a lesser version, a stay-at-home order, or recommendation, businesses closed, and nations ground to a halt, there have been stories of animals turning up where you wouldn’t normally expect to find them.  The first, and most well-known, was the story of a herd of goats running through the streets of the town of Llandudno, Wales …

Since then, there have been many such stories from all over the world, including the U.S.  I find them heartwarming … after all, the critters were all here long before humans evolved from the great apes, and we took over, driving them into selected areas, in some cases driving their entire species off the earth.  The latest one, though, I found great humour in.

In an area of Brandon, Florida, residents are complaining about a group of … peacocks!  They say they have taken over the neighborhood and are messy, noisy, and are keeping them up at nights!  County officials said the peacocks aren’t regulated as pets because no one has claimed ownership of them, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the birds also aren’t considered wildlife, so the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction over them.  In other words … get over it, people!  I imagine that soon, now that states are allowing businesses to re-open, people will be out and about more, cars polluting the air and airwaves, and the peacocks will find their way to greener pastures, but for now … it’s funny.  (Especially since I don’t live there!)

Da bull had an itch!

In the Scottish town of Chapelton, Hazel Laughton’s 4-year-old bull, Ron, had an itch.  When my cats get an itch, they use the corner of my laptop, or whatever is handy, to rub the area, usually the side of their face, until the itch is gone.  Ron decided to scratch his itch against a utility pole, and that must have been some powerful itch, for in the process he knocked the transformer completely off the pole, knocking out electricity to some 700 homes!Ron-bullFortunately, the transformer went straight to the ground, missing Ron, else this might not have been a humorous story after all.  Hazel posted an apology to all her neighbors on Facebook …

“Our bull Ron would like to apologize to everyone in Chapelton and Strathaven for causing last night’s power cut to over 700 homes. He had  itchy bum so  scratched it on the electricity pole and knocked the transformer box off.”

Not something you hear every day!

Time for a few cartoons, don’t you think?  Let’s see what Phil has in store for us over at Phil’s Phun


I don’t know about you, but I sense that my humour is a bit tired tonight, but I hope something brought a bit of a smile to your face.  Jolly informs me that we forgot the cute animal video last week, and I almost forgot it this week!  Thanks for reminding me, Jolly!

jollyWell, folks, I hope you have a good week ahead, and please keep safe out there!  Love ‘n big hugs from Filosofa & Jolly!

Saturday’s Snarky Snippets

As I sit at the kitchen table, looking out on the cloudy day and the one lone dandelion that remains in the yard, I ponder a few things.  Our nation supposedly has a government ‘Of the people, By the people, and For the people’, and yet those words ring hollow today.  The majority of the people in this nation would not choose, did not choose, the person at the top of the chain, and are horrified by what he has done and is doing to this nation, to US.  And yet, where is our voice?  We can, and do, write to our representatives and senators, sometimes even to Trump himself, but … what response do we get?  Typically a “Thank you for reaching out … blah blah blah”.  Our only voice, it would seem, is at the voting booth, where more and more it is diluted by the games played by political parties, mainly the Republican Party.  I do not approve of Trump or his many wrongful actions such as bullying those who don’t agree with him, filling our government with those whose only qualification for their job is that they promise to lick Trump’s boots.  Yet … my opinion goes unheard and unheeded.  Democracy?  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  I feel much like that one lone dandelion … alone, unprotected, waiting.  And thus, I am once again driven by angst to write another Snarky Snippets post.

The purge continues …

Nixon had his Saturday Night Massacre, but Trump has a series of Friday Night Firings that, when added up, are just as bad.  Last night was yet another …

On Friday night, Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, the latest in a series of dismissals of independent government watchdogs that have come in the wake of the President’s acquittal on articles of impeachment earlier this year.  Trump has long been fixated on ridding his administration of government watchdogs he views as Obama loyalists, and his purge began in earnest on February 5th when the Senate shirked their duty and handed Trump the keys to the kingdom, near authoritarian power.

So, why was Steve Linick fired?  One theory is because he had opened an investigation into the actions of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who may have been misusing the time of staff at the State Department to run personal errands for himself and his wife.  In other words, Linick was doing his job, for which he was fired, just like so many others in recent months.  Unless you are completely without conscience, like Kellyanne Conway, Kayleigh McEnany and so many others, it must be sheer hell to work in this administration, knowing that if you serve the people as you are tasked with doing, your head may be on the chopping block any Friday night.

The Washington Post refers to it as “Trump’s slow-motion Friday night massacre of inspectors general”.  Soon there will be nobody left in our government to look out for the interests of the people of this nation.  Remember the poem …


Stern speaks …

howard-sternI am not a fan of media personality Howard Stern, I think he is an attention-seeker and a bit of a voyeur, so throughout the years I have almost completely ignored him … harmless, but rather disgusting.  Knowing that he is a longtime personal friend of Donald Trump’s does nothing, in my book, to improve his image.  However, while presumably he still likes Trump, he doesn’t much admire Trump nor his supporters.  On Tuesday, he mentioned Trump and those who slavishly follow him on his radio show …

“The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most. The people who are voting for Trump, for the most part … He wouldn’t even let them in a f*cking hotel. He’d be disgusted by them. Go to Mar-a-Lago, see if there’s any people who look like you. I’m talking to you in the audience.  One thing Donald loves is celebrities, he loves the famous. He loves it. He loves to be in the mix.  I do think it would be extremely patriotic of Donald to say, ‘I’m in over my head, and I don’t want to be president anymore.’  It’d be so patriotic that I’d hug him, and then I’d go back to Mar-a-Lago and have a meal with him and feel good about him because it would be such an easy thing to do.”

Listen up, Trump supporters … you’re being played like a fiddle by a ‘man’ who doesn’t care whether you live or die.

Daddy Dearest …

Three of Donald Trump’s four grown children are arrogant, nasty samples of the human species, just like their sire.  If you ever wondered how they got to be that way, consider these snippets from a 2004 article in New York magazine … Trump-kids-2004

“We were sort of bred to be competitive. Dad encourages it. I remember skiing with him, and we were racing. I was ahead, and he reached his ski pole out and pulled me back.” – Ivanka

“He would try to push me over, just so he could beat his 10-year-old son down the mountain.” – Eric

What a wonderful example he set for his kids, eh?  No wonder they have all turned out to be just like him, with the exception of daughter Tiffany, who has had far less contact, is largely (thankfully) ignored by Trump, and is nearing completion of a law degree.  Wouldn’t the irony be delightful if someday she were hired by someone to file a lawsuit against her own sire?

Well, thanks for letting me share some of my snarkiness with you this afternoon.  I hope the rest of your weekend is spent doing something you enjoy …

Where’s The Common Sense???

I’ve been under the weather for a few days, still not quite up to snuff, but it surely didn’t take much to get me growling with anger again …

Elon-Musk-1Elon Musk is an engineer, industrial designer and technology entrepreneur. He is a citizen of South Africa, the United States (where he has lived most of his life and currently resides), and Canada. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc., and other lesser-known companies.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2018. In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People, and was ranked joint-first on the Forbes list of the Most Innovative Leaders of 2019. As of May 2020, he has a net worth of $36.5 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 31st-richest person in the world. He is the longest tenured CEO of any automotive manufacturer globally.

Now let me tell you a few more things about Elon Musk.  He is a spoiled brat, a fool, and he doesn’t care if you or I live or die … all he cares about is making more and more and more money.  All of the above accolades do not impress me after his behaviour of this past week.

Mr. Musk has a Tesla manufacturing company located in Fremont, California.  In March, under shutdown orders due to the wildfire spread of the coronavirus, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all non-essential businesses, which included auto manufacturers, to close temporarily.  Those orders still remain in most counties, but Mr. Musk, having decided that since he is such a wealthy and important man, first threatened to relocate his plant to another state.  He filed a suit against Alameda County where his factory is located. When that little temper tantrum got him nowhere, he defied the law and opened his plant in Fremont anyway.

Since January, Mr. Musk has pooh-poohed the idea that the coronavirus was anything more than the common cold, citing “research” that said there would be no new cases by the end of April.  Well, we can see how well that worked out, when we have 85,000+ deaths in the United States alone, with over 1,000 deaths per day.  Musk is willing to risk the lives of his employees, their families, and anyone else they might come into contact with … just so that he can make more electric cars that, frankly, right now nobody has any interest in buying.

In a recent phone call, Musk called the stay-at-home orders “fascist”, saying …

“They’re breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are wrong and are not why people came here or built this country.”

Trump, of course, had to get in on the act, tweeting, “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!”  And just what does HE know???  He is largely responsible for some of those 85,000+ lives that we’ve already lost!

For the time being, Musk seems to have won the battle, but perhaps not the war.  Country officials implemented strict safety regulations for the plant and if any are not followed, they are prepared to force Musk to shut it down.  Personally, I think he is evil, a spoiled brat, and wish we could send him back to South Africa where he was born, for if the making of a damn car is more important than human lives, then he is the exact sort of inhumane jackass that we do not need in this country.

My friend Brian, aka Equinoxio21 on WordPress, made a comment today that I think covers most everything I write about lately: “Common sense has just been listed on the WWF list of endangered species …”

The latest in the demise of common sense annals in the U.S. …

The Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton (a republican, of course) moved to enforce restrictions on mail-in ballots, insisting that people who fear getting infected with the coronavirus must still vote in person.  Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court to order election officials in five Democratic-led counties to follow state law on mail-in ballots. Mr. Paxton argued that Texas law requires in-person voting.  Perhaps Mr. Paxton has not heard that in Wisconsin last month, 67 people caught the coronavirus after being forced to vote in person?  Oh … and speaking of Wisconsin …

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the extension of a stay-at-home order by Governor Tony Evers, siding with Republicans in one of most high-profile challenges of its kind to the emergency authority of a statewide official during the coronavirus pandemic.  Governor Evers had extended the prohibition on most travel and operations of nonessential businesses until May 26.  Less than two more weeks.

There have been legal challenges to stay-at-home orders in Michigan, California, Kentucky and Illinois, but none of those were successful in persuading a court to fully strike down the order, as the plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case were.

And what would a circus of fools be without the biggest fool of them all?

Donald Trump pushed Wednesday to reopen the country’s schools and criticized the testimony delivered on Tuesday by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who had cautioned the Senate about the unknown effects that the coronavirus has on children.  Said Trump …

“I was surprised by his answer. To me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.”

Translation: “I don’t care if your kids die … kids don’t support the economy and I want businesses back up and running.  Open the schools so parents can go back to work and get the economy back on its feet before election day so I can take credit and win the election.”

Perhaps he fails to realize that the coronavirus is non-partisan and will kill as many republicans as democrats.  And perhaps he doesn’t realize that no parent who loses a child due to his lack of due diligence and stewardship will ever vote for him.  And perhaps he fails to realize that the majority of people in this nation aren’t going to go rushing out and spend money on things we’ve managed just fine without for two months now.  I’m in no hurry to go out to restaurants or shops, nor is anyone I’ve talked to lately.  Capitalism only works if people buy the stuff that producers produce.

That’s all I’ve got time for tonight … I’m sure I’ll be back later today with something else.  Keep safe out there, remember your hand sanitizer and … your common sense!

Snarky Snippets Is Baaaaack …

A few things are on my radar this afternoon … several actually, but three that are jumping up and down screaming, “Pick me!  Pick ME!”  And so, the choice has been made for me, it would seem.

Who could’a seen it coming?

This in this morning’s The Guardian

Despite Donald Trump’s claims that the spread of coronavirus is dropping around the US, new infection hotspots are cropping up across Republican heartlands, including in Texas and Alabama. Many of the new hotspots are in states where governors refused to instruct residents to stay at home, or are following Trump’s advice to relax lockdown restrictions.

These figures could be seen as the realisation of a warning from Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the president’s long-suffering right-hand man on coronavirus, on Tuesday.

In his latest contradiction of the president, Fauci warned the virus would not go away on its own, and that reopening the country too quickly could result in a surge in “little spikes that might turn into outbreaks”.

I wonder how those gun-totin’ fools who stormed statehouses brandishing their big guns and displaying their Nazi insignia feel now that they’ve gotten their way?  I wonder how many more have to die because of fools like them?

Will justice prevail?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments from Trump’s lawyers concerning the release of his tax and other financial records, as subpoenaed by Congress.  Trump’s lawyers contend that he should not be so constrained by Congress and cannot be prosecuted while in office.  However, at least four on the Supreme Court feel differently …

  • “There is a long, long history of Congress seeking records and getting them” from occupants of the Oval Office. – Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer brought up requests for documents during the Watergate and Whitewater scandals, which occurred under Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton and were decided unanimously against the president concerned.
  • Elena Kagan told Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow a “fundamental precept of our constitutional order is that the president is not above the law”.

The case in a nutshell:

Every president since Nixon, who was elected in 1968, had released tax information. But there is no legal compunction to do so.

Democrats in Congress are attempting to establish whether Trump is breaking ethics laws and constitutional safeguards against profiting from the presidency.

The New York prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr wants to find out if hush money payments to women who claimed affairs with Trump involved illegal business practices.

Trump is asking the justices to put an end to subpoenas for tax, bank and other financial records which seek information from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the Mazars USA accounting firm.

Trump’s lawyers, supported by the justice department, contend that he should not be so constrained by Congress and cannot be prosecuted while in office.

Opponents of the president say he is simply not above the law.

Appellate courts in Washington and New York have ruled that the documents should be turned over. Those courts brushed aside the president’s broad arguments, focusing on the fact that the subpoenas were addressed to third parties asking for records of Trump’s business and financial dealings as a private citizen, not as president.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked Trump lawyer Patrick Strawbridge: “Do you concede any power in the House to subpoena personal papers of the president?”

The Trump attorney said it was “difficult to imagine” a situation in which that would be justified.

However, in 1974 the justices acted unanimously in requiring Nixon to turn over White House tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor. And in 1997, another unanimous decision allowed a sexual harassment lawsuit to proceed against Clinton.

What makes Trump different than Nixon or Clinton?  What is it that makes Attorney General Barr proclaim him to be ‘above the law’ in all things?  Trump is only a flawed human, just as were Nixon and Clinton.  He has already been proven to be more corrupt than even Nixon.  Per the U.S. Constitution, Congress is tasked with the oversight of the Executive Branch of government.  So why … why should he be given carte blanche to hide his possible misdeeds, to keep his dirty secrets from the people of this nation?  If he had nothing to hide, he wouldn’t be hiding behind Bill Barr’s very wide coat, now would he?

I hope that Chief Justice Roberts finds that he still has a conscience when it comes time for a vote on this case.  There is far more at stake here than whether Trump is allowed to keep his dirty little secrets, for this case will set a precedent for all future presidents.  A ruling is expected within a matter of weeks.

Not so fast, Billy Barr …

Remember last week when the Department of Justice under William Barr announced that it would be dropping the charges against Michael Flynn?  Most non-trumpies were incensed, as was I.

Bill Barr auditioned for the role of Attorney General by writing a lengthy memo arguing in favor of a fringe legal theory that a President could not obstruct justice, no matter what he did. From the very beginning, Barr has made it clear that he would be Trump’s man in the Department of Justice, and that his loyalty would always be to the President — not the rule of law, not the people of this nation.

But this time Barr may have to answer to a higher authority … the federal courts.  Judge Emmet Sullivan has put the Justice Department’s decision on hold – opening the door for legal experts and other outside parties to oppose the administration’s motion to exonerate Flynn of lying to the FBI.

Critics, including Barack Obama and hundreds of former FBI and justice department officials, have questioned whether William Barr was orchestrating favors for Trump. Flynn, guilty of far greater crimes, pleaded guilty to the single charge of lying to the FBI as part of a plea deal arranged in exchange for testimony to Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russia’s interference on behalf of Trump in 2016.  Conspiracy theorists will tell you that Flynn did nothing wrong, that he was set up, but the hard evidence says differently and in fact, had he not agreed to the plea deal, he would have been charged with far more crimes, possibly up to and including treason.

It is interesting to note that within the Justice Department, only Barr argued in favour of dropping the charges against Flynn.  None of the line prosecutors supervising the case signed the motion and one withdrew from the case.  That, to me, speaks volumes.

When Flynn was forced from the White House, Vice-President Mike Pence said he was disappointed the national security adviser had misled him about his talks with the Russian ambassador. Donald Trump called the deception unacceptable.

Now Pence says he would welcome Flynn back to the administration, calling him a “patriot”, as Trump pronounces him exonerated.  Ask yourself … ‘Why?’  There’s a reason, and I suspect it pertains to the role Flynn could play as a liaison between Trump and Russia in the upcoming election.  Just an educated guess on my part, of course.

I cannot begin to guess at this point how this will end, but it’s good to know the judge isn’t taking his responsibility to truth and justice lightly.  This one will keep me on the edge of my seat!

Good People Doing Good Things – Teens

Teenagers mostly get a bad rap … it has always been so.  Granted, sometimes it is deserved, for they are at that awkward age where they’re no longer a child, yet not an adult, either.  And then there are the hormones, but we’ll leave that alone.  Anyway, every now and then a number of teens who have been doing good things for others come onto my radar and I like to shine a spotlight on them.  This week is one of those times …

Two high school sophomores in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Kylee Kruse and Aidan Martin were shopping for groceries at Harps when they stumbled across six hundred dollars folded in half on the floor.

Instead of pocketing the cash, they decided to turn it over to a store employee.

“Obviously it wasn’t like an easy, simple, ‘okay let’s just turn it in’, but we knew we had to do the right thing. It felt really good. We knew it belonged to somebody and that we needed to get it back to who it belonged to.”

It turns out the cash belonged to an elderly man who returned to the store minutes after the teens left.  The store manager also gets kudos for making sure the community knew about the teens’ actions.


Hita Gupta of Paoli, Pennsylvania, used to pay weekly visits to seniors in local nursing homes, and when, due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, she was told she could no longer visit, she was heartbroken.  She used to organize activities on her visits, such as games of trivia and bingo, but now she could not even visit.

“The seniors aren’t able to see their families, so that’s causing loneliness, boredom and anxiety.”

Hita-GuptaBut, Ms. Gupta came up with the idea to deliver care packages to all of the nursing homes in her area stuffed with puzzles, coloring books, and handwritten notes, many of which are written by her 9-year-old brother, Divit.

“My brother helps me a lot. It’s a lot of work.”

Thus far, Hita has sent 23 packages to people in nursing homes in the Philadelphia area.

“I call them and say I’m going to leave the boxes outside the front door. They usually leave it out for a few days to make sure there aren’t any germs before passing it out to the residents. Loneliness is now a bigger problem than ever with our pandemic and social distancing guidelines. We need to let nursing home residents know that they are not being forgotten, and that they are not alone. As a community, we need to work together to make seniors feel loved and valued.”

What an awesome young lady!!!

Here’s one for the record books!  Jose Nuñez Romaniz of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was on a mission to buy socks for his grandfather (see, he’s already a good people and I haven’t even told you the story yet). Before he could make the purchase, he stopped at an ATM outside a Wells Fargo bank to deposit money.  As he pulled his truck alongside the machine, he spotted a clear plastic bag on the ground, filled with $50 and $20 bills.

“I didn’t know what to do. I was, like, dreaming. I was just in shock. I was looking at myself and just thinking, ‘What should I do?’ My parents always taught me to work for my own. Stolen money would never last you any time.”

So, what young Jose did was called the Albuquerque police and handed the bag of money to them. The cash totaled … wait for it … $135,000!!!  Turns out the money was mistakenly left outside the ATM by a bank subcontractor that was meant to supply the machine with cash.  My best guess is that subcontractor is now unemployed! Jose-RomanizHis act of honesty didn’t go completely unrewarded …

  • Albuquerque ESPN Radio presented him with signed sports memorabilia — including a football autographed by former NFL and University of New Mexico linebacker Brian Urlacher.
  • The radio station also threw in six season tickets for UNM football, said station president Joe O’Neill, who had heard about Nuñez’s story from a police acquaintance.
  • At least three local businesses presented Nuñez with $500 each, with one of them — a restaurant — adding a $100 gift card.
  • The Albuquerque police department presented Nuñez with a plaque and offered him a job as he plans to major in Criminal Justice.
  • Several officers went to Nuñez’s home before he returned and praised him to his parents.

His mom was proud of him.

“She told me I did the right thing and that she was proud of me. She called me and almost started crying.”

And in West Yorkshire, UK, fifteen-year-old Ryley Ferguson was walking his two dogs when he spotted a 15-month-old falling into the water while out of adult eyes.  Ryley immediately threw off his shoes and coat and dove into the canal.

“It all happened in a split second and suddenly I was at the bottom of the canal and managed to grab him. I was pretty calm I think but I was flustered as the water was so cold and my heart was racing. If I wasn’t there, if I walked by just thirty seconds later, he could have died.”

Ferguson struggled to get out of the canal as he was holding the toddler, but after shouting for help two men pulled them out of the water.

Reggie began to cry but Ferguson said he calmed down after he reassured him, saying, “don’t worry, I got you”.Ryley-FergusonReggie’s mother Rebecca Hampton said she was working in the garden when Reggie had wandered into the canal on his own.

“Ryley is our guardian angel, he saved my boy and saved my life. Reggie will grow up knowing who Ryley is and what he’s done. He’s our superhero.”

A neighbor set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Ferguson but the teenager has refused to take any money and asked people to donate it to the NHS instead.

Now THAT’S a good people, my friends!

There are at least as many good people among teens as there are among adults.  In part, they adopt our values, we teach them to be compassionate, to care for others, and even in their weird teen years, the lessons are learned and followed.  Remember, we were all once teenagers!

Jolly Monday — A Surprise Announcement!

I can’t believe it’s Monday already and we have to do this all over again.  Sigh.  At least we have a bit of extra help with Jolly Monday today, as Jolly’s girlfriend Joyful has spent the weekend with us and she volunteered to whip up some treats today.  Luckily, she is a better cook than Jolly!  So, how was your weekend?  Do anything exciting, like … mow the lawn or clean the bathtub grout?  Yeah … me either.  Well, grab a treat … Joyful made some fancy things it looks like … and let’s try to start this week out with a chuckle or two, shall we?

Banksy’s back!

You remember one Saturday last month when I did a Saturday Surprise post about Banksy, the British street artist who has done some amazing work?  Well, he has done another and this time he pays tribute to health care workers that are at the frontlines of battling the coronavirus pandemic.BanksyThis one is called “Painting for Saints”, referring to the fact that the boy in the painting has ditched the traditional superheroes (such as Batman and Spiderman) in exchange for a new hero – a nurse.

The piece is currently being showcased in Southampton General Hospital on the south coast of England and honors all healthcare workers that are currently battling the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world. The painting will remain on display in the hospital until autumn when it will be auctioned off to raise money for the NHS.

Better late than never?

Paul Willis is a hog farmer in Thornton, Iowa.  Now, it wasn’t particularly unusual that he received a postcard from his sister, Annie, a few days ago, but he was puzzled, for the picture on the card was of her on a hike in the Grand Canyon, looking much younger than she currently looks.  So, he checked the postmark and saw it had been posted in San Francisco in December 1987.  There was also a more recent postmark, April 29th of this year, from Des Moines, Iowa.

Paul called the post office and was told that all the post offices are undergoing a deep cleaning and disinfecting due to the threat of coronavirus, and most likely his postcard had been stuck in some small place, unnoticed for the past 32+ years.  Wow … who knows what we might be getting in the mail these days … could be a check for a million dollars was misplaced and will arrive in your mailbox this week!

Just a wee bit short …

An unnamed Utah Highway Patrol trooper was cruising along Interstate-15, looking for speeders or anything out of the ordinary, when he saw a driver who was obviously impaired, so … he hit the lights and siren and pulled the car over on the 25th Street southbound egress ramp.

However, the trooper was in for a shock when he went to the door of the car to ask for “license and registration, please”.  He may have first noticed that the driver was a wee bit short, but imagine his surprise to find a 5-year-old child behind the wheel!!!

kid-utahThe boy told the trooper he had taken his parents’ car after getting into an argument with his mother, who told him she would not buy him a Lamborghini.  Imagine that … why, it’s almost criminal!  The child told the trooper he had intended to drive to California to buy a luxury vehicle for himself.  The kid’s got chutzpah, you’ve got to give him that!

Said the trooper …

“He might have been short on the purchase amount, as he only had $3 dollars in his wallet.”

So, we’ve got just a few ‘toons and a couple of funny memes for you this morning …



Now, Jolly has something he wants to tell you, so I’ll bid you adieu and hope that you have a wonderful week!  Jolly … the floor is all yours …

jollyWell, see, me ‘n Joyful … well, we’ve been spending lots of time together … picnics, playin’ games, ‘n other stuff, an’ … well … we has decided we’re gonna get … {gulp} … mawwied!  Y’know, like bwide ‘n gwoom, throwin’ wice, and all dat stuff, ‘n den we’re both gonna live here with gwammie!  You don’t have to buy us pwesents, but we hope you’ll be happy for us!

Saturday Surprise — Socks ‘n Critters!

I keep hearing people say they’re having trouble keeping up with what day it is, since they all rather run together anymore.  So, as a public service, I would like to inform you that today is Saturday, the 9th of May, in the year 2020.  But that’s not all!  Today is also … {drumroll} … {‘nother drumroll} …

National Lost Sock Memorial Day!!!  No, I’m not kidding … it really is!  According to the National Day Calendar people, National Lost Sock Memorial Day is time to say “good-bye” to all of the single socks, the ones where their mates have been lost to the unknown. Where do all the missing socks go? Is there a washing machine heaven? This is a question people have been trying to solve for many centuries.  An answer may never be found to this problem, and life will go on.  How sad to have lost such a close-knit friend!SockAnd they have some suggestions for how to celebrate this special day …

  • making sock puppets
  • turn them into dust rags
  • chose to never wear matched socks again
  • turn them into chew toys for pets
  • make wrist warmers
  • make sock monkeys
  • fill them with beans and use them for your corn hole game
  • fill with rice and make a door stop
  • open up both ends of a long sock and make a plastic bag holder

You know how I love critters and I’m always on the lookout for unique critters we may not have ever seen or heard of.  I’ve done a couple of posts highlighting the strange and unique specimens from the animal world, and I thought I had just about covered most of the really unique ones, but last night I came across a few that were new to me!

This guy is a Shoebill Stork, known for his bill that resembles … a shoe, though in my 68 years, I don’t believe I’ve ever had a shoe that looked quite like that! shoebill-storkShoebills are abnormally tall, with some individuals reaching heights of over 4 feet. And, unlike many others birds who inhabit similar marsh environments, shoebills are highly effective predators. Their long legs are perfect for traversing shallow waters, where they prey on reptiles, rodents and fish. They are even known to strike against juvenile crocodiles!

Shoebills use their powerful beaks to grasp and strangle just about anything they encounter, but don’t worry – they don’t prey on humans. Find one in East Africa, where their habitat is concentrated.

Now, bears in and of themselves are not necessarily all that unique, though I find them to be beautiful animals and enjoy seeing them.  But the Sun Bear is a bit different than your average bear. sun-bearSun bears are the smallest bears in the world, with many adults weighing under 100 pounds. But what really makes them stand out is their unusually long tongues, which can measure up to nine inches. Also known as “honey bears,” sun bears climb trees to find honeycomb, and their tongues come in handy when they lick out their loot.

Unfortunately, deforestation is contributing to population declines. But you can still find sun bears in southeast Asia where, unlike their North American cousins, they thrive in tropical forest environments. The Islands of Sumatra and Borneo are particularly good places to access their habitat.

This guy is a Lyrebird …lyrebirdLyrebirds could easily win a talent show for their ability to mimic sounds in their environment.

True, this trait exists in other birds, but lyrebirds take things to a whole new level. They can imitate just about any sound, including industrial equipment and power tools.

Found in Australia, the birds are also known for their flamboyant mating displays; the males show off their long tail feathers while dancing and using their superb vocal abilities to attract mates.

Stick to the rainforest zones of Queensland and New South Wales to find them, or head to Tasmania, where they were introduced artificially but have since repropogated and established populations.

Why is it that when it comes to birds, the male gets all the bright colours and unique characteristics, while the females are comparatively drab?  Seems rather sexist to me, but at any rate … the Long-Wattled Umbrella Bird is no exception.  The female is rather ho-hum, but the male has long wattles – flabby hunks of skin, also seen on turkeys – extending from their necks. More amazing still, they can control their wattles, retracting or extending them as desired during flight or while sitting stationary.umbrella-birdThe wattles are especially odd considering they have no official purpose outside of potential courtship displays.

The birds have protected habitat areas where numbers are strong, but deforestation in unprotected areas serves as a threat to their habitat and population density. Spot them in parts of Ecuador and throughout southwest Colombia, where they are heavily concentrated.

I bet you can’t guess what this one is …sea-penIt’s called a Sea Pen and it is an invertebrate that anchors on the seafloor.  That in itself is not all that uncommon, but what makes the Sea Pen unique is that they look like an old-fashioned quill pen. For another, they behave in a completely remarkable way.

Sea pens colonize in groups and, when stimulated, light up, displaying a bright green light on the seafloor. It looks like someone flipped on a light switch, especially when groups emit light in sequence.

You can find these light displays in the Pacific Ocean, from the Gulf of Alaska to California. Sea pens live at depths of over 40 feet but often under 250 feet. When diving, look for mud and sandy-bottom sections of the ocean floor to spot them.

I hope you enjoyed the unique critters, and now I shall end with a cute animal video … cutest hedgehog I’ve seen!

Now, you guys know what you need to do, right?  What???  You’ve forgotten already?  You need to go through your sock drawer and deal with those lonely unmatched socks!  Then proceed to have a great weekend!socks

I Smell A Rat …

What in the Sam Heck is going on here?  Three stories from yesterday should make your blood boil, for all three show just how big a bully Trump has become and how the safeguards to keep a president from acquiring too much power are crumbling under his bluster.

For those who may be unfamiliar or have forgotten about the Bridgegate scandal in 2013, a very brief synopsis:

Two of Governor Chris Christie’s associates, Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, ordered the closure of two of three lanes on the very busy George Washington Bridge at the point of access/egress to Fort Lee, New Jersey.  The closures were proven beyond a doubt to have been politically motivated as retaliation against Fort Lee’s Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who had not supported Christie as a candidate in the 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial election.  They caused massive rush-hour traffic tie-ups for a full week for no reason at all.  Also involved, or at least in the loop, was Bridget Kelly, deputy chief of staff in Christie’s office.  All three were tried and found guilty on all counts in November 2016.

Yesterday, however, nearly four years after their conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously to overturn the convictions.  The Court held that Baroni and Kelly for no reason other than political payback reshuffled the lanes on the George Washington Bridge.  Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the move jeopardized the residents of Fort Lee but concluded that “not every corrupt act by state or local officials is a federal crime.”

ratI smell a rat.  The Court admits that it was a politically motivated move and that it had negative consequences for the residents of a town, yet … no harm done, nothing to see here, folks?  Christie has become quite a bootlicker to Donald Trump, and just yesterday he came onto my radar for claiming that there was really no point to saving lives, that it was more important to get the economy up and running.  Perhaps this is his reward?

Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017 about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.  He confessed, pled guilty … and yet yesterday, the Department of Justice under the ignoble William Barr dropped all charges against him.  Yep, you heard me right … dropped all charges … free to go, nothing to see here, folks, and have a nice day Mr. Flynn.

Right before the charges were dropped, however, an interesting thing happened.  The lead prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, withdrew from the case without giving a reason, only a terse single sentence to Judge Emmet Sullivan that he would be quitting the case.  Almost immediately thereafter, the Justice Department announced the charges were being dropped.

Again, I smell a rat … a big, fat rat named Donald Trump.rat-trump

And last, but certainly not least, there’s this …

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in March cleared the way for Congress to access secret evidence from Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in one of a set of separation-of-powers lawsuits between House Democrats and Trump.  If there is nothing to hide, after all, then why shouldn’t Congress and ultimately, We the People have access to everything?

But noooooo … Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block the ruling!  Again … what are you hiding, Mr. Trump???  And once again, I smell a rat.ratWill the Supreme Court capitulate?  Well, they seem to be on a roll of supporting Trump and whatever he asks for these days, don’t they?  The only time they decided against him of late was on April 27th when they ruled that the federal government owes health insurers massive payments from prior ACA (Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare) funding commitments that Trump & Co attempted to renege on.  While I applaud that decision, it is literally the only one in which Trump has not had his way.  Checks and balances???  Hah!

There are six months left until the election, my friends.  Every week, the abominations multiply almost exponentially.  How much more damage can he do before then?  Perhaps by November he and his family will have claimed ownership of the United States, renamed it “The Divided States of Trump”.  How much longer will Congress … and We the People … put up with this b.s.?  Or, will we sit back like good little citizens and trust the wheels of justice to work for us until one morning we wake and realize we are subjects, not citizens?Time-to-go


Okay, folks … these are not snarky snippets … these are full-blown, out-and-out rants.  I’m fed up with certain members of our government and …

I strongly object to corporate bailouts during this pandemic crisis.  People who don’t have millions stashed in overseas accounts or investment portfolios ought to be the sole focus of any and all bailouts that use our tax dollars.  Last month, numerous industries including the dying coal industry received stipends from our government, using our money, so that the CEOs wouldn’t have to dig into their own deep pockets.  Now, the auto industry comes crying to us with their hands held out.

Auto sales are down.  Duh … gee, really?  There’s no place to go, so why buy a new car.  Besides, nobody has money for non-essentials at the moment … we’re all trying to figure out how to pay the rent and buy food to feed our families, not how to afford a new overpriced Chevrolet.  So, why is it our problem that the Big Three aren’t making money right now?  We’ve got enough problems of our own without having to spend our money to put money in the pockets of rich dudes!

The argument is that massive losses could leave workers unemployed and stall any economic recovery.  No, those automakers aren’t going to close their factories permanently just because they’re losing money now, and if we bail them out now so that their CEOs can still take their summer vacations, what happens then?  Do they keep making more cars that they can’t sell?  Shut the damn factories down until people can afford to and have a desire to buy cars, stupid!  It isn’t rocket science!

And meanwhile, on the other side of town …

Democrats in Congress want to increase food stamps by 15% in an effort to help families who are running out of food.  They claim that a similar move during the Great Recession reduced hunger and helped the economy.  But, of course, the republicans would prefer to spend our money to bail out the auto industry, airlines, hotel industry and fossil fuel industry than to actually help people who need help.

scrooge-1Bah Humbug to you, too, Scrooge McConnell & Co.  

The United States Postal Service (USPS) that Trump has refused to help out unless they raise their rates, which would hurt every single person in this nation, now has a new Postmaster General.  The former Postmaster General, David Williams, resigned last week due to the meddling by Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, that led to the loan Congress had already approved for the USPS being held up.  The newly appointed Louis DeJoy is a North Carolina businessman who is currently in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He just happens to be a top donor to Trump and the Republican National Committee.  What a surprise, eh?

Trump’s ongoing feud with the USPS is largely tied to his hatred of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post, a newspaper that calls Trump on his lies and pulls no punches when it comes to reporting on the madman at the helm of this ship.  So, let me sum this up for you.  Because Donald Trump is a lousy president, and certain media outlets call a spade a spade, hold his feet to the fire when he screws up (daily), and because one of those outlets is owned by a man who also owns a company that mails millions of packages to We the People via the USPS, Trump has installed a sycophant to raise postal rates which will cost us all.  Amazon will pay more to ship our packages, and they will pass that cost right on to We the Consumer.  This, friends, is not about the best interests of this nation, this is greed and revenge of the sorry excuse for a human being that resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

scrooge-2Bah Humbug to you, Donald Trump and Steve Mnuchin, you greedy little weasel!

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie … once given kudos by members of both parties and the people of New Jersey for his wise and humane responses to the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, gets no kudos today!  It seems that his view on the value of a human life has changed since he threw his lot in with Donald Trump.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, da Gov had this to say …

“Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can ― but the question is, towards what end, ultimately?”

To what end, indeed?  To what end does the Secret Service continue to protect Donald Trump and his family?  Why bother … just accept the inevitable.

And then … then he had the unmitigated gall to compare the coronavirus pandemic to World War II …

“We sacrificed those lives. We sent our young men during WWII over to Europe, out to the Pacific, knowing, knowing that many of them would not come home alive. And we decided to make that sacrifice because what we were standing up for was the American way of life. In the very same way now, we have to stand up for the American way of life.”

Not even close to an apples-to-apples comparison!  More like a coconut-to-lasagne comparison.  scrooge-3Bah Humbug to you, Bridgegate Christie!

Does everybody who comes into contact with Donald Trump just lose both their brains and their humanity?  It sure seems like it.  Okay, I’m done ranting for the moment … be thankful you don’t have to live with me!