The Week’s Best Cartoons 7/24

I’m just now getting around to sharing TokyoSand’s cartoon post from Saturday … sorry for the delay!  As always she has scoured the Internet and found the cream of the crop!  The topics this week range from the strange Tokyo Olympics to the Republican’s about-face regarding the COVID vaccine to anti-vaxxers and much more!  Thank you, TS, for pulling these together for us!  Here is a sampling …

Be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons over at Political Charge!

Your Rights Or Mine?

When the pandemic hit the shores of the U.S., when non-essential businesses were ordered to close and mask mandates became widespread around the nation, I rebelled a bit against the restrictions. However at the time, I had no idea of the scope of this pandemic, no idea that some 16 months later we would still be in dire circumstances.  As I saw the new cases skyrocketing, saw the death toll rise to more than a thousand people a day, I made a conscious decision to stay out of public venues to the largest extent possible, and to dutifully wear a mask when I couldn’t avoid being in a public place.  I may be stubborn, but I’m not stupid!  Other folk, however, might just qualify as being a special kind of stupid and it annoys the hell out of me that they have so little regard for anyone, even their own children!


The Catholics vs the lives of children

I thought I had heard every excuse in the book for not wearing a mask.  They are all bullshit, for if I can wear a mask when out in public, I with severe breathing problems, then almost anybody can.  But those who choose not to don’t even claim to have health issues, they simply don’t want to and they view civil rights as basically being … whatever they want to do.  They are disgusting and crude, but I’ve gotten used to it and usually just tune them out or flip them a middle finger.  But it turns out that no, I hadn’t heard the worst of it.

Resurrection School, a Catholic school in Lansing, Michigan, and two parents are suing the State of Michigan for a mask mandate that was in effect for schools last year when they first filed the lawsuit.  The mask mandate, of course, was put in place in order to keep children, their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends safe from the coronavirus.  But the Catholic school and parents argue that Catholic doctrine holds that every person is made in God’s image …

“Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity. And because God created us in His image, we are masking that image.”

OH For Pete’s Sake!!!

The school’s lawsuit argued that in addition to physically blocking God’s image, face coverings make people anti-social and interfere with relationships.  In addition, the school argued, wearing masks “conveys the message that the wearer has surrendered his or her freedom to the government.”

OH FFS!!!

In December, Judge Paul Maloney of the Western District of Michigan denied the school’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have banned enforcement of the state’s mask ordinance for kindergarten through fifth-grade students at religious schools. Resurrection School notified the court of its intention to appeal two days later, court records show.  That appeal was heard last week, but as of yet no verdict has been handed down.  Surely no court in their right mind would put a church’s vanity over the lives of the children!  Stay tuned …


Re-defining ‘Rights’

Humans.  Bah humbug!  Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile.  Tell them they have the right to free speech and they will tell lie after lie after lie under the protective dome of the 1st Amendment.  Tell them they have the right to ‘bear arms’ so long as it is as a part of a well-organized militia, not some ragtag group of uneducated bozos, and they will demand that they be allowed to carry assault rifles, grenade launchers and any weapon known to mankind.  Tell them they have a right to free choice, and they will thumb their nose at you, will demand the right to kill their own children in the name of ‘freedom from being forced to be vaccinated or wear a mask’.

I treasure my constitutional rights, but I am not so stupid or unconscionable to try to assume they give me the right to do whatever the Sam Hell I want to, no matter who it puts in the path of danger.  See … I have this thing in my head called a brain, and some days it even kicks into gear and produces coherent thought processes!  Sadly, my late-ex-husband hit the nail on the head when he said that some people, when they were giving out brains, thought they said, ‘trains’ and answered, “No thank you”.

This seems to be the case with those who seem to believe they are immune to the ravages of the COVID pandemic.  In France, President Emmanuel Macron has put into place a mandate that people must show a “health pass”, similar to a vaccine passport being discussed here in the U.S.  The health pass would be required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus when entering cinemas, theaters, museums, restaurants, long train trips, bars and planes.  The French people are whining that the President is taking on powers with dictatorial overtones that crush basic freedoms.  Bullshit!  Connerie!

Here in the U.S., people are whining over everything everywhere.  They don’t want to have to be vaccinated, don’t want to have to show proof of being vaccinated, don’t want to wear a mask … wah wah wah.  Big bunch ‘o babies!  EVEN people in the healthcare industry!  Wouldn’t you think they would know better???  How the hell are they going to convince the populace to be vaccinated when they themselves are refusing???

Some areas are moving into a region of sanity.  The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and the State of California (CA) have made the vaccine mandatory for healthcare workers in their areas.  It only makes sense!  Do you really want to visit the doctor, knowing that his nurse and maybe even himself are walking covid breeders?

And at a time you might expect churches to take the high road, for the most part they have lowered the bar.  Churches have argued against forced closing back when all but the most essential services were shuttered.  And now, some are arguing against protecting their congregation by the requirement to limit attendance and wear masks.  One pastor, Greg Locke, says that mask-wearing is forbidden in his church and anyone entering wearing a mask will be ‘thrown out’.  He claims to be standing up for people’s ‘rights’.  Wait a minute … doesn’t forbidding the wearing of masks intrude on the rights of those who wish to protect themselves by wearing a mask?  Think on that one a minute!

Rights, folks.  Many people aren’t understanding them.  With rights come the responsibility of ensuring you use those rights wisely.  Your rights end at the point they step on mine or somebody else’s.  Rights.  They are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution … I would suggest it be on the mandatory reading list for every single person over the age of 12 in the U.S.  Read it, think about it, then tell me that you have a right to come into a restaurant, unvaccinated and sans mask with the pandemic once again skyrocketing in certain areas.


And then there is Basilico’s Pasta e Vino restaurant in Huntington Beach, California …

When restaurants across California halted indoor dining as the pandemic took hold in March 2020, Basilico’s Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach continued to welcome patrons.

When officials issued an order for establishments to mandate face coverings to stem the spread of the virus, the Orange County eatery declared itself a mask-free zone and required that diners remove them before entering.

This week, the Italian restaurant issued another decree: Proof of being unvaccinated is required for entry.

We have seen a lot of ignorance, a lot of blatant stupidity, a lot of cruelty since the start of the pandemic, but … this one takes the cake.  I would love to see this restaurant shut down by the Department of Public Health and told never to re-open their doors again.


A Damn Shame

Margie Greene is among the dumbest people in Congress and, in the grand scheme of things, is largely irrelevant since she sits on no congressional committees and doesn’t even show up for work most days, now that she and sex trafficker Matt Gaetz are taking their two-person show on the road.

Approximately 732,000 people live in Margie’s district in Georgia, most of whom are not vaccinated against COVID.  In fact, her district ranks the 8th lowest vaccination rate in the nation, out of 435 districts nationwide.  And sadly, Margie is largely responsible for this.  She with her wild QAnon theories and denial of mask mandates, social distancing, and vaccines, has convinced the people in her district that the only thing they need to do to stay safe is … wait for it … lose weight.  Yep, folks, Margie used to run a gym, so she knows these things. 🙄

I wonder if the people in her district are starting to doubt Margie … now that a five-year-old child there has died of the coronavirus?  Yes, you heard me right … a little boy just five years old.  His father’s Facebook page is heartbreaking …

“My little buddy. My best friend. My helper.”

A few days ago, Greene’s Twitter account was temporarily locked after she tweeted two claims about coronavirus vaccines that weren’t true. In one, she said that vaccines and masks shouldn’t be mandated but, instead, that the government should “help people protect their health by defeating obesity, which will protect them from covid complications & death, and many other health problems.” In the other, she said that “vaccines should not be forced on our military for a virus that is not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65,” then claimed that there were thousands of “vax related deaths.”  I wonder where Margie got her medical degree???

Earlier this week at a news conference, Greene was asked by a reporter …

“Do you feel any responsibility for keeping people in Georgia safe? There are children, skinny people who have died of the coronavirus. Do you feel any responsibility to the people of Georgia?”

Her response?  She laughed.  I wonder how the parents of that five-year-old feel, hearing their elected representative laughing about the death of their son?  She replied to the reporter …

“You crack me up. You know what? I think people’s responsibility is their own.”

Reminds me of a time when the former guy was asked about his bungling of the pandemic and he said, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”  More than 625,000 people have died of the virus in the U.S., including one little boy only five years old, and nobody takes responsibility at all.  Isn’t that a damn shame?

When Conservative became Noservative

Our friend Brosephus shares his thoughts on today’s Republican conservatives, or ‘noservatives’ as he so aptly dubs them. What, he asks, has happened to the Republican Party in the past decade or two? Where is the party that actually DID something instead of simply trying to put roadblocks up for the other party? Brosephus’ post is one well worth reading and pondering. Thank you, Brosephus!

The Mind of Brosephus

Cover of Time Magazine from March 21, 2016

There’s been several topics that have popped up that I haven’t had the time to write about. Most times, these topics usually get discussed in the comment section. I appreciate that because I don’t always have the time to post a new topic to address recent events to allow “on topic” commenting.

That said, I happened to come across the above Time Magazine cover, and I think it asks a very important question that we don’t discuss enough. What happened to the Republican Party? I’m talking beyond the personality cult it’s become with the sole intent on pissing off liberals. What happened to the ideas and guiding principles of conservatism?

For example, let’s discuss immigration for a minute. Conservatives will whine and bitch to no end about how immigration is a problem and there’s a border crisis going on. We’ve been hearing…

View original post 1,024 more words

Saturday Surprise — Pareidolia (?)

Okay, so it’s time for a Saturday Surprise post.  I skipped over it last week … I don’t remember why now, but either I wasn’t inspired or I had something I wanted to get off my chest (like our cat Pandi, who LOVES to lie on our chests!)  At any rate, today I am determined you will start your weekend with a smile … GOT THAT???

I wasn’t quite sure, when I came across the term, what ‘pareidolia’ was, so I looked it up and found that it is:  the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.  The scientific explanation for some people is pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness.  Um … okay.  Probably better that I show you  … in some cases the captions steal the show!

After Stewing In His Emotions, Emo Veg Comes To The Conclusion That The Root Of The World’s Problems Is That People Don’t Seem To Carrot All

This Tomato Looks Like A Duck

Leonardo da Vinci, for example, described seeing characters in natural markings on stone walls, which he believed could help inspire his artworks. And in the 1950s, the Bank of Canada had to withdraw a series of banknotes because people saw a grinning devil leaping from the curls of the Queen’s hair.

The Evolved Radish

Alien Pickle

Going To Have To Eat This Chicken As It Hasn’t Laid A Single Bloody Egg Yet

Sometimes, an abnormal look can make fruits and veggies land in the bin. Of course, food waste exists across the food supply chain due to pests and mold, poor climate control, and household waste, but imperfect produce is often turned away by grocery stores for not meeting strict cosmetic standards as well, making up around 40% of total food waste.

This Incredible Carrot Hand Was Found While Digging Juice Carrots At Our Farm Today

She Thought He Did Not Carrot All, But He Bought Her 21-Carrot Ring

Foot Shaped Radish Goes On Display

Reducing food loss has been identified as one of the most effective ways to improve food security – an increasingly important challenge as the global population continues to grow. Plus, food waste also hugely contributes to global warming and our carbon footprint.

But ugly food is fighting back. More and more companies are selling ugly produce and using it in their products, reversing the fate of discarded monstrosities to delicious, perfectly edible, and nutritious food.

The ugly produce movement also has the potential to pass lower prices onto customers.

So if you stumble upon a radish that resembles a foot — buy it. You’ll be doing your part.

Kawaii Gourd

This Banana Looks Exactly Like My Mom’s Dog

This Onion Looks Like An Angry Bird

That’s A Sweet Beartato

F**k You Too, Broccoli

This Tomato That Grew In Our Garden Is Shaped Like A Butterfly

This Strawberry Looks Like A Butterfly

Best Eggplant Ever

My Wife’s Bell Pepper Looks Like A Big Nosed Grumpy Old Man Smoking A Cig

The Happiest Potato I’ve Ever Seen

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s trip through the funny produce aisles … and maybe even learned a new word!  Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!!!

Now Is The Time … Maybe The Last Chance

There was a time when I would have eschewed the very notion of socialism.  A time I didn’t understand the evil that humans are capable of.  A time I thought that ‘right’ would win out over ‘might’.  Over the years, the decades, the rose-coloured glasses have broken to pieces, and the naiveté eroded from my psyche.  Today, I see the human species clearly as it is, and as such, a true democratic socialist state holds much appeal for me.  Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has, in my view, all the right ideas for what this … or any nation … should be.  Can we get there?  Bernie thinks so.  What follows is the column he wrote for publication in The Guardian on Wednesday … his words make a heck of a lot of sense, at least to me.


The biggest win for the working class in generations is within reach
By Bernie Sanders

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Now is the time.

At a time when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, when two people now own more wealth than the bottom 40% and when some of the wealthiest people and biggest businesses in the world pay nothing in federal income taxes, the billionaire class and large profitable corporations must finally start paying their fair share of taxes.

Now is the time.

At a time when real wages for workers have not gone up in almost 50 years, when over half our people live paycheck to paycheck, when over 90 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, when working families cannot afford childcare or higher education for their kids, when many Americans no longer believe their government represents their interests, the U.S. Congress must finally have the courage to represent the needs of working families and not just the 1% and their lobbyists.

Now is the time.

At a time of unprecedented heatwaves, drought, flooding, extreme weather disturbances and the acidification of the oceans, now is the time for the US government to make certain that the planet we leave our children and future generations is healthy and habitable. We must stand up to the greed of the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and lead the world in combating climate change.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee I fought hard for a $6 trillion budget which would address these and other long-neglected needs. Not everyone in the Democratic caucus agreed with me and, after a lot of discussion and compromise within the budget committee, an agreement was reached on a smaller number. (Needless to say, no Republicans will support legislation which taxes the rich and protects working families.)

While this budget is less than I had wanted, let us be clear. This proposal, if passed, will be the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s. It will also put the U.S. in a global leadership position as we combat climate change. Further, and importantly, this legislation will create millions of good-paying jobs as we address the long-neglected needs of working families and the planet.

Why is this proposal so significant?

We will end the days of billionaires not paying a nickel in federal income taxes by making sure the wealthy and large corporations do not use their accountants and lawyers to avoid paying the massive amounts that they owe. This proposal will also raise the individual tax rate on the wealthiest Americans and the corporate tax rate for the most profitable companies in our country. Under this proposal, no family making under $400,000 a year will pay a nickel more in taxes and will, in fact, receive one of the largest tax cuts in American history.

We will aggressively reduce our childhood poverty rate by expanding the child tax credit so that families continue to receive monthly direct payments of up to $300 per child.

We will address the crisis in childcare by fighting to make sure that no working family pays more than 7% of their income on this basic need. Making childcare more accessible and affordable will also strengthen our economy by allowing millions more Americans (mostly women) to join the workforce.

We will provide universal pre-kindergarten to every three- and four-year-old.

We will end the international disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave as a right.

We will begin to address the crisis in higher education by making community colleges in America tuition-free.

We will address the disgrace of widespread homelessness in the United States and the reality that nearly 18 million households are paying over 50% of their incomes for housing by an unprecedented investment in affordable housing.

We will ensure that people in an aging society can receive the home health care they need and that the workers who provide that care aren’t forced to live on starvation wages.

We will save taxpayers hundreds of billions by having Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and use those savings to cover the dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses that many seniors desperately need.

We will rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater treatment plants, broadband and other aspects of our physical infrastructure.

We will take on the existential threat of climate change by transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

This effort will include a nationwide clean energy standard that moves our transportation system, electrical generation, buildings and housing and agriculture sector toward clean energy.

Through a Civilian Climate Corps we will give hundreds of thousands of young people good-paying jobs and educational benefits as they help us combat climate change.

We will fight to bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

In the midst of the many long-ignored crises that this legislation is attempting to address, we will not have one Republican senator voting for it. Tragically, many Republican leaders in Congress and around the country are just too busy continuing to lie about the 2020 presidential election, undermining democracy by suppressing voting rights, denying the reality of climate change and casting doubts about the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines.

That means that the 50 Democrats in the US Senate, plus the vice-president, will have to pass this most consequential piece of legislation alone. And that’s what we will do. The future of working families is at stake. The future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake.

Now is the time.

Listen to Bernie, my friends … he has the right ideas to take this nation in a positive direction.

Snarky Snippets Are Baaaaack!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a snarky snippets post, though in truth almost all of my posts contain an element of snark!  Anyway … I have just a couple of short ones for you this afternoon …


Killing us softly with …

The big news yesterday was that the U.S. has seen a significant drop in life expectancy … the biggest decrease since WWII.  My first thought was … “Well duh.  625,000+ people dead in the U.S. from the pandemic – what do you expect?”  And certainly, the pandemic has played a role in the decline in life expectancy, but it isn’t the only culprit.  Turns out that the ever-expanding income disparity is one of the biggest culprits, and it has been bringing down life expectancy rates for a few years now, even before the pandemic.

During the second half of the 2010s, life expectancy fell on a sustained basis for the first time since the fighting of World War II killed several hundred thousand Americans.

It’s hard to imagine a more alarming sign of a society’s well-being than an inability to keep its citizens alive. While some of the reasons are mysterious, others are fairly clear. American society has become far more unequal than it used to be, and the recent increases in mortality are concentrated among working-class Americans, especially those without a four-year college degree.

For many, daily life lacks the structure, status and meaning that it once had, as the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have explained. Many people feel less of a connection to an employer, a labor union, a church or community groups. They are less likely to be married. They are more likely to endure chronic pain and to report being unhappy.

These trends have led to a surge of “deaths of despair” (a phrase that Case and Deaton coined), from drugs, alcohol and suicide. Other health problems, including diabetes and strokes, have also surged among the working class. Notably, the class gaps in life expectancy seem to be starker in the U.S. than in most other rich countries.

Covid has also caused sharp increases in racial inequality. As a Times article on the new report explains:

From 2019 to 2020, Hispanic people experienced the greatest drop in life expectancy — three years — and Black Americans saw a decrease of 2.9 years. White Americans experienced the smallest decline, of 1.2 years.

Covid has also killed more men than women, Case and Deaton pointed out, increasing the mortality gap between the sexes, after years in which it had mostly been shrinking. Life expectancy was 5.7 years longer for women last year, up from 5.1 years in 2019. The gap had fallen to a low of 4.8 years in the early 2010s.

The bottom line: Covid has both worsened and exposed a crisis in health inequality. But that crisis existed before Covid and will continue to exist when the pandemic is over – if it ever is.


Spot on!!!

You all know my feelings on rich bastards wasting their money on not-so-cheap thrills like building a rocket ship and flying to the edge of space for no other reason that they can afford to do it.  The latest was Jeff Bezos, and frankly I’m so disgusted with this ‘man’ and his lack of compassion, lack of humility, that I am seriously considering canceling my Amazon account permanently.  Anyway … talk show host Gayle King got the best of him in my view yesterday when she spoke with Bezos on CBS This Morning and she asked him …

“All of you keep saying this is not a competition, and I find that so hard to believe because you’re all type A personalities. Don’t you want to be first? It really to you isn’t a game of whose is bigger? Honestly, it really isn’t?”

I nearly choked with laughter!  Penis-envy run amok!


Filiwhat?  Filiwho?  Filihow?

President Biden made an appearance here in Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday and at the end of the day he participated in a CNN Town Hall along with Don Lemon.  When asked about the filibuster and whether it should be killed off in the Senate, he was far less forceful than I would have liked.

“There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.”

WTF???  Nothing at all is getting done now!!!  The Senate Republicans have all but killed the For the People Act, the infrastructure bill, and anything else that might be on the table with their damned filibuster!  Joe did say he wouldn’t mind seeing it altered to the ways of yore, when senators actually had to stand on the floor of the Senate and expound for hours, but let’s face it … the Republicans have enough hot air in them to ramble and rant for days without coming up for air!


Moscow Mitch said WHAT???

You may have noticed that a number of Republicans have been urging people in this country to get the Covid vaccine this week … people like Mitch McConnell, Steve Scalise, and even Fox’ Sean Hannity.  I note we haven’t heard the positive take from the absolutely disgusting Tucker Carlson, but then he marches to the beat of a different drummer, so don’t hold your breath.

I’m not sure what triggered the Republicans’ sudden faux concern for people, but hopefully their constituents listen to them, for as long as we continue to have some 30% of the nation refusing to be vaccinated, we are NOT going to end the pandemic.  Period.  One of my favourite late-night comedians has a humorous take on the newly-discovered consciences that I think will give you a chuckle or two. This is, in my opinion, one of the best Colbert has done!

What A Tragic Waste!!!

I’ve made no secret of my feelings about millionaires and billionaires who hoard their wealth rather than using it to help people in need.  I’ve also made no secret of my feelings about space travel in this, the 21st century, but in case you missed it, I think it is a complete and total waste of resources.  Combine the two, and you have a very pissed off Filosofa!  Every night, thousands of children around the world go to bed hungry.  Every day, people are dying of diseases that could have been prevented, if only they had access to affordable healthcare.  People are living in their cars, under overpasses on highways.  Some people are working 2-3 jobs just to ensure their children have enough to eat.  And this nation spends millions, billions to play Buzz Lightyear.  NASA’s budget for 2021 is $23.3 billion!  Imagine how many people could eat for a month for that amount of money.

I am equally galled, perhaps even more so, by private citizens playing Star Wars with their billions, rather than using their good fortune to help those less fortunate.  And yes, folks, it is simply good fortune.  No, hard work did not earn those billionaires their billions … most of them were born with silver spoons in their mouths, played their cards right and invested wisely, and now they … literally … own the damn world!  And even if they had slaved in the fields from sunup to sundown to earn their wealth, it is unconscionable to throw it away on ego trips when people ‘round the globe are starving.

I am referring, of course specifically to three people — Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, Richard Branson, an uber-wealthy businessman, and Elon Musk, founder of Tesla … three men whose combined wealth could raise the entire planet out of poverty and who have made their wealth from the blood, sweat and tears of the average Joe!  But rather than use their wealth for such things as helping improve the environment, helping people out of poverty, helping provide medical care in this era of the pandemic, they prefer to build toys and play with them.  What is accomplished by their trip to space?  Not. One. Damned. Thing.

Turns out, I am not alone in my disgust, as several others have similar complaints.

I also saw at least one comment claiming that these men were doing ‘great’ things and opening new frontiers for the human race.  Excuse me, folks, but humans will never life on other planets or in outer space.  Oh sure, they may waste billions more dollars developing controlled-environments in small spaces, but that’s not living.  No other planet besides Earth has the resources … little things like breathable air, potable water, arable soil … to support life as we know it, so all the space exploration is NOT going to provide us a second option when we complete the destruction of Planet Earth!  It is a waste of time, energy, and money … resources that could be used to end hunger, eradicate most diseases, and help repair the damage we have so selfishly done to our environment.  Damn Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk.  These are NOT good men, you will never see them on one of my ‘good people’ posts!

On Fire, Once Again …

Just like last year and the year before, wildfires are raging out of control in the Western states such as California, Oregon, and to a lesser extent, Washington.  One such in Oregon has been named the Bootleg Fire, presumably for the shape of the path of destruction it is leaving.

By now, there can be no doubt … NO DOUBT … that these fires are as a result of humans’ complete disregard of the environment for more than a century, leading to what we now know as ‘climate change’. However, the people in a swath of towns along the fire’s likely trajectory remain deniers of man-made climate change.  Though urged by fire officials to evacuate the area, despite having to spend days and nights under a thick blanket of smoke, water down their yards and watch the wind for signs that the flames may be shifting, they are adamant that their god is protecting them and will continue to do so.  I am reminded of that age-old joke …

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

Says one resident of Sprague River, Oregon, a young pastor named Matt Wolff …

“We prayed a lot, ‘Lord, just keep it away.’ And so far it stayed that way.”

According to an article in The Washington Post

The West has been beset by historic drought and heat waves this year exacerbated by climate change, but among the small towns that have been threatened by the Bootleg Fire — Sprague River, Beatty, Bly — there is little talk of global warming. Instead, residents vent about the federal government’s water policies and forest management. They blame liberal environmentalists for hobbling the logging industry and Mexican marijuana farmers for sucking up the area’s water.

A classic case of “Shoot the messenger”?  Another local, Jim Rahi, opines …

“Now the top end of the Forest Service are a bunch of flower children. That’s what the real problem is. It’s not that much hotter. It’s environmentally caused mismanagement.”

Oh yeah, blame the people trying to fix the problem, trying to save lives.

Scientists agree that climate change driven by the human burning of fossil fuels has raised the Earth’s temperature an average of about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, a warming that has led to more frequent and extreme natural disasters. Some 800 people died in the recent record-breaking heat waves in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

About 70 percent of Klamath Count where the Bootleg Fire is raging voted for the former guy last year, and residents often echo his skepticism on the topic.  The thing that puzzles me is … these aren’t bad people … many have volunteered their days at community centers and fairgrounds packing up produce and canned goods to distribute to those displaced and now sleeping on cots or inside churches.  No, they are not bad people, not evil, but ever so close-minded, unwilling to consider facts that may be beyond what they know of the world thus far.  It is one thing to be ignorant, meaning not to have or know the facts, but quite another to be stupid, to deny the facts even when the evidence is singeing your back door and likely to take the lives of your family while you point fingers at all the wrong people.

With over 220,000 acres burned thus far, the Bootleg Fire is the largest in North America at the moment, though fire season lasts another two months.

On Wednesday evening, a few dozen Sprague River residents gathered at the community center for an update on the situation, as the arrow on the fire meter outside pointed to “extreme.” Men and women openly carried pistols on their belts; one man wore a cutoff T-shirt that read “Protected: The Right to Bear Arms.”  So … WHAT???  Do they think they can shoot the fire out??? Or maybe they will find somebody else to blame and shoot them?  I shake my head in disgust that now, at a time when their homes and livelihood, their very lives are endangered, they’re more concerned about their guns and their “right” to carry them wherever they go, to use them to intimidate others.  Welcome to the United States of America, a nation I once thought I knew but now realize I never did.

My heart goes out to all the people in the areas that are affected or threatened by wildfire this year, and I hope they all keep safe, but I would urge them to use those brains for something other than keeping their skull from caving in and heed the warnings to evacuate.  And for the rest of us … not just in the U.S., but around the world … it’s obviously well past time for us to take the environment seriously, to stop driving gas guzzling cars wherever we go, to turn the thermostat down, to turn off the lights, and to support government policies and politicians who are working to protect and repair the planet rather than those who are still living in a state of denial.  If we don’t, we may live to see the world burn down around us.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 7/17

I haven’t re-blogged TokyoSand’s weekly cartoon posts for the past couple of weeks because the ‘toons seemed just too dark.  Not TS’ fault at all, but just a statement of the way things are these days … it’s hard to find humour in things some days.  However, I found this week’s to be grin-worthy and wanted to share them with you. This is just a sampling, so be sure to head over to TokyoSand’s place to see the rest!  Many thanks, TS, for all you do in always finding us the best and most relevant ‘toons!

See All The ‘Toons Here!