A Dose of Snark …

I haven’t done any ‘Snarky Snippets’ for a week or so, for the elections and the surrounding detritus have taken up a large portion of my time and energies.  But today, I am settling back in and had a few things to say about this ‘n that.


fires-2California is currently suffering three major wildfires, one of which, the Camp Fire, is now the most destructive recorded in state history. The blaze destroyed the entire town of Paradise, north of Sacramento, and has killed at least nine people. About three dozen more remain missing.

Donald Trump had nary a word to say about the fires until 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning, when he tweeted …trump-tweet-fires.pngWhat a guy, eh?  So caring, kind and compassionate for the people who have lost loved ones, lost their homes and businesses …  But, setting aside his typical inhumanity for the moment, with his words he has, once again, shown his ignorance.  He did not bother to do his homework, to attempt to learn something about the situation before spouting off at the thumbs.fires-1Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has acknowledged that a downed power line is most likely the cause of the Camp Fire, although no official cause has yet been announced.  High winds are the major factor in the rapid spread of the other two fires, and overall, a lack of rainfall contributed to all three.fires-3I’m sure the people of California, not to mention the firefighters who are risking their lives to try to save lives and property, must be heartened by and appreciative of Trump’s words … not!  Think before you tweet should become his new mantra and somebody in his administration should plaster it over all the walls in his office and living quarters!


Either Trump’s handlers have not learned their lesson, or they are not up for the job and we need to hire new handlers, aka babysitters.  I would have thought that by now they would have learned not to let the man leave the country.  He does not play well with others. He does enough damage here at home, but every single time he has traveled abroad, he has further damaged our relations with our allies.  Friday was no exception.Trump-MacronTrump arrived in France Friday to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I and meet with world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron. Moments after landing, Trump tweeted an attack on Macron …trump-tweet-macron.png

Given the level of venom Trump has directed toward European leaders in the past, who can blame members of the EU for feeling a need for protection, even against the U.S.?  Yet another case where “think before you tweet” might have been sound advice.


Remember a week or so ago, right before the mid-term elections, when Trump was so scared of his party losing their majority in the House that he was grasping at straws, trying to inject a new level of fear in voters in hopes of winning their votes?  And remember how, as a part of all that, he sent U.S. troops to the southern border, claiming that the caravan of migrants that was, at that time, some 1,000 miles away, was just filled with ruffians, criminals and even … gasp … Middle-Eastern terrorists!!!  And the whole thing, he claimed, was funded by George Soros and his band of merry democrats!

Well, everything was a huge lie, except that he did send troops to the border.  No reason, really, but he couldn’t very well claim there was an impending “invasion” without looking tough by sending troops, now could he?  Besides which, the ‘man’ has been dying to play with his new toys (the military) for nigh on two years now, and here was the perfect trumped-up (pun intended) excuse!

playing cardsOnly thing is … while there is a migrant caravan, it is not anything but poor, starving migrants fleeing the violence in their own country, trying to protect their innocent children.  And they won’t even arrive at our southern border until sometime in December.  So … what’s going on now with the nearly 6,000 men and women who were ordered to go down there and quell the “invasion”?  Gin rummy.  Poker.  Sitting ‘round a campfire telling dirty jokes.  No electricity.  Won’t be home for Thanksgiving.

Pentagon officials privately derided the deployment as an expensive waste of time and resources, and a morale killer to boot.  ‘Privately’ … I guess they are all afraid to do their jobs and advise their commander of the realities.  But the other thing is … guess who’s paying for all this and guess how much it’s costing?  Yes, my friends, you and I are paying for it, even though we neither need nor want it.  As to the cost … a final cost estimate of the deployment has not been made available. But Defense Department budget officials say that if the number of troops sent to the border does reach the 15,000 Trump has threatened, the price tag could hit $200 million, with no specific budget allocation from which to draw.  Remember those “tax cuts” that only benefited the wealthy 1%?  Do the math.


So concludes today’s batch of snarky snippets … but I still have more in me, so … stay tuned!

And We Thought Trump Was Horrible?

On Sunday, October 7th, Brazilians elected a new president, Jair Bolsonaro.  Until this man was elected, I thought that the U.S. was alone in having lost its collective mind, as evidenced by the election of Donald Trump.  Bolsonaro is every abominable thing Trump is … and much more.  I have to question the sanity of the 55% of Brazilians who voted for this demagogue.  But then, I have long questioned the sanity of those in the U.S. who voted for Donald Trump, also.  Oh, and guess who worked on Bolsonaro’s campaign?  None other than Trump’s former campaign advisor, Steve Bannon!!!Bolsonaro-TrumpFirst let’s look at some similarities …

  • Opposes most all forms of gun control
  • Strongly opposed to same-sex marriage
  • Opposes environmental regulations
  • Opposes women’s right of choice
  • Opposes affirmative action
  • Opposes land reforms
  • Opposes secularism
  • Plans to pull out of Paris climate accord
  • Plans to move Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
  • Is on his third marriage (yes, it’s irrelevant, but still says something, I think)

But then there are those ideas and rhetoric that take him beyond even what Trump dares to say …

He has made statements in defense of the former Brazilian military regime (a dictatorship known for constant human rights violations). He claims that torture is a “legitimate practice” and says that he would try to pass new legislation regarding the introduction of life imprisonment to the Brazilian penal code.

Bolsonaro said that “the error of the dictatorship was that it tortured but did not kill”.

Brazil has the world’s largest tropical rainforest in the Amazon basin. Bolsonaro has chafed at foreign pressure to safeguard the rainforest, and he served notice to international nonprofit groups such as the World Wildlife Fund that he will not tolerate their agendas in Brazil. He has also come out strongly against lands reserved for indigenous tribes. Bolsonaro advisers additionally say that he plans to expand nuclear and hydroelectric power into the Amazon.

In a 2017 speech, Bolsonaro stated, “God above everything. There is no such thing as this secular state. The state is Christian, and the minority will have to change, if they can.”

Bolsonaro argued that men and women should not receive the same salaries, because women get pregnant; adding that he believes federal law mandating paid maternity leave harms work productivity.  Bolsonaro said that he had five children, that the first four were male and that for the fifth he produced a daughter out of “a moment of weakness”.

Bolsonaro said that “I would be incapable of loving a gay son,” and added that he would prefer any gay son of his “to die in an accident…”  Seriously???  Wow, what a dad, huh?  He went on to say that if a gay couple moved in next door to him, it would lower the market value of his house. Bolsonaro linked homosexuality to pedophilia, claiming that “many of the children who are adopted by gay couples will be abused by these couples.”  I have to ask … what rock did this pos slither out from under???  “If I see two men kissing in the street, I will beat them.” He then publicly defended beating gay children by saying: “If your child starts to become like that, a little gay, you take a whip and you change their behavior.”

On October 4, 2018, Bolsonaro said: “A father does not want to come home and see his son playing with a doll by the influence of school. Homosexuals will be happy if I become president”

trump-jr-eduardo-bolsonaro

Don Trump, Jr. (center) with Eduardo Bolsonaro (second from left)

Trump and Bolsonaro both indicate they plan to work together to improve relations between the U.S. and Brazil, and their sons have already met.  Eduardo Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro’s eldest son, met with Don Trump Jr. in Las Vegas. “They went to a shooting range together—not a major meeting but they got to know each other a bit,” according to a member of Bolsonaro’s party.  Following Bolsonaro’s victory, Trump tweeted …

“Had a very good conversation with the newly elected President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who won the race by a substantial margin. We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else!”

Bolsonaro-2Bolsonaro’s election is another feather in the cap of the populist movement.  He won by tapping into a deep well of resentment at the status quo in Brazil — a country whiplashed by rising crime and two years of political and economic turmoil — and by presenting himself as the alternative.  Unlike Donald Trump in 2016, Bolsonaro actually won the popular vote by 55%, but one thing they both said that is striking is that “I alone can fix this”.  And they have in common their loudness, their crassness, their utter contempt for such things as respect, common courtesy and quiet dignity.  They are both loud, ‘in your face’ sorts.  Both countries have a large women’s protest movement … in the U.S. it is “Never Trump” and in Brazil it is “Ele Nao” (Not Him).

Like Trump, Bolsonaro has been a divisive figure in Brazil and those who love him seem to do so mainly for his tough talk.  Having seen what nearly two years of Trump has wrought upon this nation, I can only empathize with the people of Brazil.  Is this, then, the face of things to come, the type of ‘leader’ that people around the world will choose in the future?  Let us hope not.

Score Four For Justice!!!

There are some signs that perhaps judges and the courts are finally getting a bit fed up with the shenanigans of Donald Trump and his fellow GOP bullies.


Yesterday in Georgia, U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross ruled that Georgia’s restrictive voting laws are likely to result in the violation of voting rights for a large group of people and needed to be halted immediately.

As I noted in a previous post the republican candidate running for governor, Brian Kemp, currently holds the position of Secretary of State and as such is the overseer of elections. Kemp has implemented strict “exact match” laws that may disqualify voters based on simple discrepancies, such as a dropped hyphen between the persons voter registration and other identification, such as a driver’s license.  Last month, a coalition of civil rights groups filed suit against Kemp.

In Friday’s ruling, Judge Ross said Kemp’s restrictions raised “grave concerns for the Court about the differential treatment inflicted on a group of individuals who are predominantly minorities.”  The preliminary injunction she issued required the state to change its procedures immediately to allow those flagged, some 3,100 individuals, to prove their citizenship more easily, with a U.S. passport or similar documentation.

Kemp was also ordered to issue a news release explaining how those flagged for potential citizenship issues could still vote by proving their citizenship, as well as offering a phone number for them to call with any questions.  Kemp’s actions as Secretary of State have been scrutinized in the wake of a report from the Associated Press that he had stalled more than 50,000 voter registrations by disproportionately black voters under the state’s exact-match requirements.

Score one for justice!  ⚖️


Did you think that with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court last month, the Court would be naught more than a mouthpiece for Trump and his policies?  Think again.  Yesterday, the Court refused a request by the Trump administration to delay an upcoming trial in which a number of states and civil rights organizations allege there was an improper political motive in Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.  The trial will begin as scheduled on Monday.

Administration lawyers had more than once asked the Supreme Court to disallow challengers from questioning Ross and other administration officials about their motivations in adding the question.  When they were unsuccessful, they then asked that the trial be delayed, presumably until some point after the mid-term elections.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch said they would have granted the Trump administration’s request to delay the trial.  It is unknown how Kavanaugh voted.

Score another for justice!  ⚖️


Also, on Friday evening, the Supreme Court once again ruled against Trump in the case filed by 21 young people who argue that the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment.  The suit is currently pending before a federal judge in Oregon, but the Trump administration sought to halt the lawsuit, claiming that the “suit is based on an assortment of unprecedented legal theories, such as a substantive due process right to certain climate conditions, and an equal protection right to live in the same climate as enjoyed by prior generations.”

The goal of the lawsuit is to compel the government to scale back its support for fossil fuel extraction and production and to support policies aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

This is by no means the end, and the case is almost certain to ultimately land back in the laps of the Supreme Court justices, but for now, Trump did not have his way.

Score yet another for justice!  ⚖️


And finally, also on Friday, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in Greenbelt, Maryland, denied Trump’s request to stay a lawsuit alleging he is violating the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments.  Apart from the ruling against Kemp in Georgia, this is the one that had my heart doing a happy dance.

Additionally, Judge Messitte sharply questioned the president’s position that his business does not improperly accept gifts or payments — called emoluments — as defined by the Constitution.

The plaintiffs in the case, the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, contend that the Trump hotel unfairly competes with convention centers and hotels in their jurisdictions. Among other documents, they are expected to seek records that reveal the identity of hotel guests who visited the White House on official business, as well as how much the president has profited. Ultimately, they could try to go after the president’s tax returns.

The Justice Department asked for the judge’s permission to appeal his rulings and to delay discovery in the meantime. But Judge Messitte said the department could follow the typical legal process and appeal when the case is over.

“If the president is permitted to appeal the court’s decisions in piecemeal fashion, ultimate resolution of the case could be delayed significantly, perhaps for years. That, as a matter of justice, cannot be countenanced.”

The judge also dismissed the president’s argument that discovery would be unduly burdensome, noting that Mr. Trump had threatened to sue his former campaign chief and others. “The president himself appears to have had little reluctance to pursue personal litigation despite the supposed distractions it imposes upon his office,” he wrote.

Score one more for truth and justice! ⚖️


Some of these cases may turn in the coming weeks/months, but for today, the judicial branch has shown Trump that he is not yet a dictator and that there is still a demand for both truth and justice, honesty and integrity in the American system.

On Re-defining Language …

Way back in the first days of Trump’s administration, Kellyanne Conway said that there can be ‘alternative facts’.  Trump and then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer made wild and visually-disputable claims that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was ‘the largest ever’, and even ‘larger than Obama’s’, neither of which were even remotely true.  When questions, Kellyanne said, “Well, you know, there can be alternative facts”.  No, Kellyanne, there cannot, for facts are proven and undisputable.  Nonetheless, alternative facts became the norm in the Trump administration, although most of us have another name for them:  lies.

Not only did Trump and his minions hold tight to the use of alternative facts, but they took it a step further and began to re-define various words.  ‘Good’, for example, when used by a trumpeter, can generally be assumed to have the opposite meaning.  When a republican lawmaker says he supports something, such as healthcare protections, it generally means he voted to gut ACA.  And the list goes on.

Last Monday, Trump took on the definitions of two more words:  globalist and nationalist.

“Radical Democrats want to turn back the clock. Restore the rule of corrupt, power-hungry globalists. You know what a globalist is, right? A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much. And, you know what? We can’t have that.”

“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word,’ You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist. Use that word. Use that word.”

According to Merriam-Webster …

Definition of nationalism

1 : loyalty and devotion to a nation

especially : a sense of national consciousness (see CONSCIOUSNESS sense 1c) exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups

Intense nationalism was one of the causes of the war.

Throughout history, words have evolved, and while there is nothing sinister about the first part of this definition, “loyalty and devotion to a nation”, the rest of the definition brings on images of jackboots on cobblestones.  It dates back to the 17th century and rose into prominence during the uprisings in the 18th century that produced the American and French revolutions. But the word attained even more of a negative connotation during the 20th century as it become associated with the nationalism movements in Europe that helped lead to World War I and World War II. Today the word is often associated with the far-right, racist ideologies of white nationalists.

Nationalism has been on the rise worldwide, as evidenced by the success of nationalist political parties in Europe. And it had a double bang in 2016, as it powered Brexit in the UK and the election of Trump as US President. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former top strategist, said Trump used an “economic nationalist agenda” to win.

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘globalism’ …

A person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world.

Trade, protection, the environment … these are all issues that require global cooperation.  Remember 11 September 2001?  U.S. airspace was shut down, yet there were incoming planes filled with people with nowhere to go.  What happened?  Our friends the Canadians opened their airports, as well as their homes and their hearts, let our planes land, took stranded passengers into their homes, fed them … this is part of what globalism is about … see anything evil in that?

Trump has now declared that he is against globalism and is a nationalist, yet the majority of the people in this nation do not want to be an isolationist nation for we see the very real dangers.  We need our friends around the globe, just as they need us, and Mr. Trump has it all wrong … ALL WRONG … if he thinks that shunning other nations makes us safer, for in every sense of the word, it endangers our lives.

Further, Mr. Trump seems to be playing to the white supremacist arm of nationalists who eschew any who are not white, Christian, and of European descent.  Hence, his desire for a wall to keep Hispanics from Mexico, Central and South America out of our country.  Hence, his stepped-up deportations of even legal immigrants.  Hence, his aversion to immigrants from the Middle East.

The United States will not survive as an independent nation if we shut ourselves off from international affairs.  Technology has made the planet smaller and in today’s world, no nation can thrive without the help of others.  Trump would lead us down a path of certain destruction, given his way.  He is wrong, but sadly there are those who do not understand such things as trade, the environment, national debt, and global cooperation.  Nor do they care to take the time to educate themselves.  It is time to put the brakes on Trump’s out-of-control train, and the only way to do that is to vote the republicans out of Congress, for they have proven for the past two years that they will give him free rein.  Trump and this 115th Congress have done much damage, some that will take decades to repair, but the real nightmare comes with what could be done in another two years of an unchecked madman at that helm.

Meanwhile, Back in Hawaii …

Amid all the news of bombs sent to former leaders yesterday and the surrounding conspiracy theories, you may have missed the fact that the U.S. has shrunk by approximately 11 acres.  More to the point, we have lost one of the Hawaiian Islands.  Yes, folks, it is true.   East Island has vanished after coming into contact with Hurricane Walaka, an intense storm that hit Hawaii earlier this month.  You remember that, right … I mean, all the news outlets were covering it, right?  No?  Hmmmm …

According to a story in The Guardian:

Scientists have confirmed the disappearance of the 11-acre island after comparing satellite images of the surrounding French Frigate Shoals, part of an enormous protected marine area in the north-western Hawaiian Islands.

“I uttered a swear word. I had a ‘holy cow!’ moment, somewhat in disbelief that it had disappeared,” said Chip Fletcher, a professor of earth sciences at the University of Hawaii. Fletcher and his colleagues were in the process of researching East Island through drone videos and taking samples of sand and corals to ascertain the age of the island and gauge its future prospects in the face of climate change.

“The island was probably one to two thousand years old and we were only there in July, so for it to be lost right now is pretty bad luck,” Fletcher said.

“We wanted to monitor the island so we are disappointed it has gone, but on the other hand we have learned these islands are far more at risk than we thought. I thought the island would be around for a decade or two longer, but it’s far more fragile than I appreciated. The top, middle and bottom of it has gone.”

Despite its size, the island played an important role for wildlife, including the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal, a species that numbers just 1,400 individuals, with many of the seals raising their young on East Island. Green sea turtles, which are also threatened, and seabirds such as albatrosses, which often had their young preyed upon by circling tiger sharks, also depended on the island.

And just what, you may ask, does it matter if such a tiny little island is lost?  Nobody lived on it, right?

If conditions align, an atoll would always be at a small risk of being erased by a powerful hurricane. But climate change is causing the ocean and atmosphere to warm, making storms fiercer, while there’s evidence that hurricanes are moving further north into the latitudes where East Island once lay.

Rising sea levels are also eroding away low-lying islands, with several fragments of land in the Pacific vanishing in recent years.

“The take-home message is climate change is real and it’s happening now,” Randy Kosaki, a senior official for the Hawaii monument at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told Honolulu Civil Beat, which first reported the disappearance of East Island. “It’s not a hoax propagated in China as some folks have said.”

And then, just this morning in The Washington Post

Extreme Category 5 typhoon, the worst U.S. storm since 1935, leaves Northern Mariana Islands devastated

The Northern Mariana Islands are yet another U.S. territory to have been pummeled by a strong hurricane in the past two years. The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico suffered calamitous strikes in the 2017 hurricane season, and Guam was recently struck by Typhoon Mangkhut.

Overall, the escalating impacts on U.S. island territories in the Pacific and Caribbean underscore that as seas rise and storms worsen in the face of climate change, small islands face some of the most extreme risks on Earth.

And despite all this, the U.S., the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide (China is #1), not only refuses to acknowledge the cause and effect of carbon dioxide emissions on the environment but refuses to acknowledge climate change altogether!  Worse yet, the government of the United States is actively doing everything in its power to increase the burning of fossil fuels and cancel or impede regulations on industries that are intended to help slow the effects of climate change.

Today, it was an 11-acre uninhabited island.  Tomorrow?

Ambassador WHO??? WHAT??? WHY???

It costs a $200,000 initiation fee to be a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.  Annual dues are $14,000 per year.  I was considering joining, but I came up a bit short … quite a bit short, actually.  Point being, only the rich waste that much money for hedonistic ‘pleasure’, if it can be called such.  Really, I would have to take it a step further and say that only the mindless wealthy who don’t realize how many starving people in the world could eat for a year for the money they throw away just for the ‘privilege’ of eating a steak, swimming in a pool, hob-knobbing with other mindless rich people, and perhaps seeing Donald Trump in person.  It is naught but a tacky status symbol.

One of those mindless wealthy is this woman …Lara Marks.pngWho in the Sam Heck would wear that abominable dress with all those frills and frou-frou???  Her name is Lana Marks.  See all those ugly purses, pocketbooks, handbags … whatever you wish to call them … on the table in front of her?  She ‘designed’ those.  Take a gander at the top of her website .

handbagsYep, folks, for only $20,000 you can own one of these ugly things.  Actually, I am told that some actually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, the most expensive going for $400,000!  To add to the abomination, her products are made of alligator skin … alligators were killed to make this bimbo rich!!!  And people buy these?  While other people go hungry?  Oh, my poor head!

alligator baby

Please don’t turn me into a purse?

But back to Ms. Marks … she is somewhat less than an honest person, as I suspect is the case with most members of Mar-a-Lago.

“I did ballet with the Royal Academy of Ballet’s South African affiliate in East London. I started my tennis career in East London. I have played in Wimbledon, the French, and South African Open.”

Turns out, there is no record of her ever playing in any of those tennis matches, and when questioned, her memory was hazy as to who she had played against, and even the year or years she played.  I am pretty sure that if you played at Wimbledon, you remember the exact date! But her dishonesty doesn’t end there.  According to the Palm Beach Daily News …

“Marks has repeatedly been accused of stiffing her attorneys, accountants, landlords and employees. She is also embroiled in bitter, international legal battles in South Africa and Israel with her siblings over a family trust and the care for their 89-year-old mother.”

Whoa … back up a minute — “… stiffing her attorneys, accountants, landlords and employees.”  Who, I ask you, does this remind us of???  Exactly … none other than the snake in the Oval Office, Donald Trump!

All of which explains why he is reportedly planning to nominate Marks to be the next U.S. ambassador to South Africa!  Granted, Marks was born in South Africa, however she has not returned there for at least 40 years, and if being born in South Africa qualifies her for the ambassadorship, it is the only thing that does!  She does not have a college education, has no experience in foreign policy, no government experience.  All she has ever done is draw purses and live the ‘lifestyle of the rich and famous’.

The ambassadorship to South Africa has been vacant since 2016 after Patrick Gaspard’s resignation. It is not one of the most challenging or demanding ambassadorships, however it is a bit more so since Donald Trump took office and called South Africa one of those “shithole countries”.  Then, he later added insult to injury when he instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study” alleged land seizures from white farmers in South Africa. The issue is racially divisive almost a quarter-century after the end of apartheid, the system of white minority rule, and Trump is woefully ignorant of the politics of South Africa.  It appears his information comes from white nationalist groups and he didn’t bother to look for facts.  Who knows … perhaps Sean Hannity fed him the false information.  Former ambassador Gaspard said of the situation …

“The President of the US needs political distractions to turn our gaze away from his criminal cabal, and so he’s attacking South Africa with the disproven racial myth of ‘large scale killings of farmers.’  This man … has no discernible Africa policy.”

At any rate, while relations between the U.S. and South Africa have not been particularly contentious in the past, they may be becoming more so unless Trump can reign in his ignorance, and it might pay to have a real human being, one who understands the political, cultural, and economic situation in the country, rather than a rich bimbo who lacks honesty and integrity.

ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is said to be considering Marks’ appointment.  He would be justified in declining to have Ms. Marks in his country and demand somebody who at least understands his country.  Likely the position would remain unfilled if that were to happen, but under Trump, perhaps that is for the best.  If President Ramaphosa doesn’t nix the appointment, hopefully the U.S. Senate will have enough savvy to decline to confirm her.  Then again … if she is confirmed, it might save the lives of a few alligators.


under construction**Note to readers:  I will be working over the next few days on adding an archive to this blog.  It seems that I will need to make some changes to the theme, so please bear with me if my posts appear a bit messy while the site is ‘under construction’.  Thank you!

Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

I slept poorly last night, waking about every 20 minutes.  I awoke to a number of unpleasantries, such as a set of dirty sheets in the hallway because Princess Nala had an accident in Miss Goose’s bed, an extra large package weighing about 5,000 pounds being delivered in the rain, and a cat fight.  As such, I am feeling rather snarky this afternoon and so, you know what that means, right?  Snarky Snippets!


heineken-lager-beer-amsterdam-netherlands-10519080A portion of the population in the U.S. and Canada scoff at the notion of climate change.  Rather than believe all of the highly-educated scientists worldwide who have studied the data and done the research, they follow Donald Trump’s lead 🙄 and claim it is a hoax, it is a scam, or that “sure, the weather is changing, but that’s a natural phenomenon – remember the ice age?” No, actually I don’t … it was a bit before my time.  But take heart!  I have found something that is going to make those skeptics sit up and take notice!  Check out this headline from The Guardian

Trouble brewing: climate change to cause ‘dramatic’ beer shortages

Extreme heatwaves and droughts will increasingly damage the global barley crop, meaning a common ingredient of the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage will become scarcer. Key brewing nations are forecast to be among the worst hit, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

The researchers said that compared with life-threatening impacts of global warming such as the floods and storms faced by millions, a beer shortage may seem relatively unimportant. But they said it would affect the quality of life of many people.

“There is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury,” said Prof Dabo Guan at the University of East Anglia, one of the research team. “There is something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer.

“If you still want to still have a couple of pints of beer while you watch the football, then climate change [action] is the only way out. This is the key message.”

This, even more than food and water shortages, even more than un-breathable air, even more than the threat of extinction, will be a wake-up call to Trump’s base!


I typically think that it is wrong for the media to critique a politician’s family.  Wives, husbands, and children ought to be off-limits, for they are not responsible for what their political spouse or parent says or does.  There are exceptions, however, in the case of either grown children or spouses when they act in ways that seem to invite criticism.  Melania Trump is one such exception.Melania-jacketWhen she went to visit the New Hope Children’s Shelter in McAllen, Texas, on 21 June, wearing a jacket (it was hot that day, no need for a jacket at all) that read, “I really don’t care, do U?” she came under fire by the press, and many of us were seeing red, myself included.  Her staff insisted there was no message intended, but nobody fell for that.  The jacket was ugly, and Melania typically dresses like a high-class call girl, so it was quite outside her ‘norm’.

Now we get the real story.  In an interview with ABC News on Saturday morning, she said …

“It was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. I want to show them I don’t care. You could criticize whatever you want to say. But it will not stop me to do what I feel is right. I often asking myself, if I had not worn that jacket, if I will have so much media coverage. I would prefer they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives, than what I wear.”

So, first of all, her ‘initiatives’ amount to nothing.  She is against bullying, but thus far has done next to nothing toward ending bullying, and in truth, she is the exact wrong person to convey that message, for she is married to the biggest bully the world has ever seen.  Secondly, let’s think about something for a minute … she was on her way to visit a detention center where, because of her husband’s actions, 55 immigrant children were being held apart from their parents, and her primary thought is to send a message to the press and by extension, those of us who don’t support her husband.  Okaaaaaayyyy

In the same interview, she claimed that she is the most bullied person in the world.  Back up a minute … Hillary Clinton was slammed by the republicans, most notably Donald Trump, for her husband’s affairs.  It was claimed that she “enabled” him, although I always felt that what was really being said is the same tired old story that if a man cheats, it must surely be because his wife isn’t taking good care of him at home.  But has anybody blamed Melania for Donald’s affairs?  Not that I’ve heard.  Michelle Obama was slammed for wearing a sleeveless dress … a dress that was quite conservative but just happened to be sleeveless.  And yet … Melania, once a nude model, cries because her style of clothing is critiqued?  It sounds to me like somebody has some growing up to do!

As I said, I don’t typically believe in picking on the president’s family, but in this case, Melania is getting exactly what she deserves from the press.


More than once, Donald Trump has belittled Senator Elizabeth Warren for claiming Native American ancestry, even going so far as to routinely refer to her as ‘Pocahontas’.  Nice way for a nation’s leader to behave, right?  He even went so far as to renew his diatribe against her at a November 2017 White House event honoring Navajo code-breakers.Trump-Navajo-code-breakersIn July, Trump again returned to the attack, offering a $1 million personal donation to Warren’s favorite charity if she took a DNA test and it confirmed her Cherokee ancestry.

“I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian [sic].

This morning, Senator Warren called Trump’s bluff and released a genetic analysis done by Stanford University geneticist Carlos Bustamante who stated that the facts support her claim to Native American ancestry.  So, Trump picked up his pen and wrote a check, right?  Surely you jest.  Kellyanne Conway responded …

“I haven’t looked at the test. I know that everybody likes to pick their junk science or sound science depending on the conclusion it seems some days. But I haven’t looked at the DNA test and it really doesn’t interest me…”

And Trump simply denies he ever said it, despite the fact that his statement, made at one of his annoying rallies, was recorded by none other than Fox News!  Senator Warren has requested that he make the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.  Any bets as to whether the check ever gets written?trump-native-Am-toon


Thus concludes another episode of Filosofa’s Snarky Snippets, as I have sheets to wash.  Have a great week!

Cause of Death: Donald Trump

This column by The Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson speaks for itself … in fact, the title says it all …

Our planet is in crisis. We don’t have time for Trump’s foolishness.

Eugene-RobinsonHere is how to interpret the alarming new United Nations-sponsored report on global warming: We are living in a horror movie. The world needs statesmen to lead the way to safety. Instead, we have President Trump, who essentially says, “Hey, let’s all head to the dark, creepy basement where the chain saws and razor-sharp axes are kept. What could go wrong?”

The answer is almost everything, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The impact of human-induced warming is worse than previously feared, the report released Monday says, and only drastic, coordinated action will keep the damage short of catastrophe.

To this point, climate change has been a slow-motion calamity whose impacts, month to month and year to year, have been hard to perceive. Unfortunately, according to the report, that is about to change.

The burning of fossil fuels on an industrial scale has raised global temperatures by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not sound like much, but look at the consequences we’re already seeing: Stronger, slower, wetter tropical storms. Unprecedented heat waves. Devastating floods. Dying coral reefs. A never-before-seen summer shipping lane across the Arctic Ocean.

Meanwhile, humankind continues to pump heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a tragically self-destructive rate. The IPCC calculates that a further temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius — almost inevitable, given our dependence on coal, oil and gas — would be challenging but manageable. An increase of about 2 degrees, however, would be disastrous.

What’s the difference? With a 1.5-degree rise, about 14 percent of the world’s population would be vulnerable to severe and deadly heat waves every five years; with a 2-degree rise, that figure jumps to 37 percent. With a 1.5-degree rise, an additional 350 million city dwellers worldwide will face water shortages; with a 2-degree rise, 411 million people will suffer such drought. With a 1.5-degree rise, coral reefs will experience “very frequent mass mortalities”; with a 2-degree rise, coral reefs will “mostly disappear.”

Small differences can have huge impacts. Under the 1.5-degree scenario, up to 69 million people will be newly exposed to flooding. Under the 2-degree scenario — which the report estimates would boost sea-level rise by as much as 36 inches — the number rises to 80 million.

Please don’t dismiss all of this as just another boring compendium of carefully hedged facts and figures. I have followed the IPCC’s research since covering the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The new report strikes a different tone that combines weary fatalism with hair-on-fire alarm. In dry, just-the-facts language, it predicts declining fisheries, failing crops, more widespread risk from tropical diseases such as malaria, economic dislocation in the most-affected countries — and, by logical extension, greater political instability.

All of these impacts are bad with 1.5 more degrees of temperature rise. With 2 degrees they are much, much worse.

The obvious solution is to dramatically reduce carbon emissions. The IPCC says emissions need to decline by at least 40 percent by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050, if we are to hold warming to 1.5 degrees. Yet last year, according to the International Energy Agency, global emissions hit an all-time high.

Since 2016, representatives of 195 nations — including all the big emitters — signed on to the landmark Paris agreement calling for systematic emissions reductions beginning in 2020. But Trump, who has ignorantly called climate change a “hoax,” decided to withdraw the United States from the pact. Even worse, Trump is aggressively trying to increase reliance on coal, which contributes a disproportionate amount of carbon dioxide emissions compared with other fossil fuels.

U.S. carbon emissions actually fell slightly in 2017, because of the expansion of the renewable energy sector. But Trump administration policies are designed to reverse that trend; and if they fail to do so, it will be because the rest of the world is already moving toward clean energy — a huge economic shift that threatens to leave the United States behind.

When you read the IPCC report, you see that what the world really needs is visionary leadership. As the world’s greatest economic power and its second-largest carbon emitter, the United States is uniquely capable of shepherding a global transition to renewable energy. Instead, the Trump administration rejects the science of climate change and actively favors dirty energy sources over clean ones.

Humanity has no time for such foolishness. “I’m the president of the United States. I’m not the president of the globe,” Trump thundered at a recent rally. On what planet does he think this nation resides?

Nightmare in America

A quick glance at tonight’s headlines prove that our world has gone nuts!

  • Trump takes credit for ending nonexistent violent crime wave

  • Taylor Swift endorses Democrat, enrages Nazis; “Aryan goddess” no more

  • Melania Trump doesn’t really care what U think about her offensive African safari outfit

  • Trump trolls women again, this time over Kavanaugh vote

  • Coal Is Killing the Planet. Trump Loves It

  • Trump Gives Dictators the Green Light

  • Trump uses swearing-in ceremony to apologize to Kavanaugh

Think back two or three years, if you can, to a saner time.  Would any of these stories have seemed ‘normal’ back then?  The ‘president’ of the United States making up a crime wave so he can take credit for fixing a problem that never happened, and then trolling women and applauding the death of the planet and apologizing to a man who deserves no apology?  Can you imagine Michelle Obama offending an entire race of people and thumbing her nose at her critics?  Can you imagine Michelle Obama wearing a coat that said “I don’t really care, do U?” to visit immigrant children who had been taken from their parents for no reason, and were being kept in cages?  The world is going nuts and the Nazis are offended because some young singer endorses a democrat????  Seriously???

No, don’t bother pinching yourself … I have tried that, and every morning when I wake up, I’ve hoped to find this was all a bad, bad nightmare, but the results are always the same, and after nearly two years, I’ve concluded that unless my name is Rip Van Winkle, this is the new ‘real world’.  It is not, as Aldous Huxley envisioned, a Brave New World, but simply a crazy new world, and one that is applauded by some who were apparently bored with sanity, for Trump’s approval ratings have been on the rise for a week and are as high as they have been since the first month he was in office.

What’s to love, you ask?  Well, apparently some growing portion of this nation has decided that they want a ‘leader’ who …

  • Screams and rages instead of engaging in normal speech
  • Treats women as second-class citizens and sex objects without apology
  • Commends white supremacist hate groups
  • Lies, and covers those lies with more lies
  • Ignores real crises and addresses imaginary ones
  • Verbally assaults allies while pandering to enemies
  • Cheats hardworking people, as well as the U.S. government he is the head of
  • Is a bigot and a bully

And I could go on, but you get the picture.  It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago we had a President and First Lady who were dignified, intelligent, kind and cared about the people of this nation, isn’t it?  But some people must have found that too boring, too mundane … or perhaps just too black.  And so, each morning we wake and find ourselves somewhere between the Land of Oz and Dystopia.

The many faces of Donald Trump:

I have read a number of articles today that say Trump’s rants against Dr. Christine Ford, his unsubstantiated conspiracy claims against democrats, and his rants against women in general last week are actually helping the republican candidates running in the mid-terms.  Say WHAT???  Donald Trump … the so-called president of the United States, a nation of some 320 million people … stands on a stage and mocks a woman who is the victim of sexual assault … proudly parades an an alcoholic sexual predator and leads him to the Supreme Court … rants and rages against any and all women simply for being women … and this is HELPING the GOP candidates?  People … somebody has got their heads screwed on backward!  Somebody … lots of somebodies, apparently, have traded their bloomin’ brains for a box of flippin’ Cracker Jacks!

When Trump first took office, and for a while beyond that, I believed that he would be removed from office before he could do lasting damage.  I foresaw impeachment in the cards (remind me to get a new deck of cards!) and thought his ‘executive orders’ could easily enough be reversed by the next president, probably before the end of 2017.  Whew!  I was wrong, wrong, and wrong.  Here we are nearly at the end of 2018 and he has dug in deep.  What I hadn’t foreseen was that the members of Congress who were supposed to be overseeing him, would instead say “Yessir, Mr. Trump, sir … how far you want me to bend over … how high you want me to jump, sir, Mr. Trump, sir.”  Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley … every morning they get on their knees and lick Donald Trump’s filthy dirty boots, and this nation will never be the same, for they have handed him the keys to the kingdom and he has shat all over it.

Meanwhile, we wake every morning with trepidation, wondering what new horrors await us, and we find our ways to cope with life in the Era of Trump.  Some drink too much, some take drugs, some beat their wives or children, some cry a lot, while some of us internalize and simply hope each night when we go to bed that we won’t awaken in the morning, for we know by now that the nightmare is here to stay.  This is the legacy of Donald Trump, folks.