Snarky Snippets From The Bouncing Mind

Good Sunday morning, my friends!  I haven’t unleashed my snarky side for several days now, and it’s bubbling over.  So, what better way to start Sunday than with a few snarky snippets?


Election security?

While Mitch McConnell continues to refuse to even allow the Senate to consider election security bills that have passed the House already for fear it would upset the tender feelings of Trump, there are some positive things happening in the area of election security.  Tentatively.

The intelligence community (IC) is picking up slack where the Senate is falling down on the job.  Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has installed a new czar to oversee election security efforts on a large-scale basis.  His choice is Shelby Pierson, an intelligence veteran.  According to Coats …

“Election security is an enduring challenge and a top priority for the IC. In order to build on our successful approach to the 2018 elections, the IC must properly align its resources to bring the strongest level of support to this critical issue. There is no one more qualified to serve as the very first election threats executive than Shelby Pierson, whose knowledge and experience make her the right person to lead this critical mission.”

It’s good to know that somebody in our federal government ‘has our back’… but wait.  You will note that in the first paragraph, I added “tentatively”.  There’s a reason for that.  See, Donald Trump doesn’t want to talk about election security, doesn’t want to hear about it.  Why?  Because, it was the very lack of adequate election security that enabled him to be placed, albeit not elected, into office.  The proven Russian interference, without which it is highly unlikely he would be sitting in the Oval Office today, is a sore spot, a blow to his ego.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she was told to keep any efforts at election security “below his level”.  Never mind that when it comes to the security of the nation, his personal feelings ought not to matter … everyone in his administration is so scared shitless of him that they will go to great lengths to hide things from him. trump tantrum

Consider this … earlier this month, it was reported that no less than five people in Trump’s administration said (anonymously, of course) that he is eager to tell Dan Coats to “hit the road, Jack!”  If that should happen, then all bets on election security are off.  This wouldn’t be the first time Coats has butted heads with Trump.  He has been critical of Trump’s relationship (bromance?) with Russia’s Vladimir Putin (who hasn’t?) and he told a Senate panel that North Korea is unlikely to be willing to give up their nuclear weapons, contrary to Trump’s claims and his relationship (another bromance?) with Kim Jong-un.  We now know that Coats was right, Trump was wrong, but that does put Coats in an awkward position.

Speculation is that Trump is considering replacing Coats with Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff to National Security Advisor John Bolton.  Fleitz met with Trump recently, and has made no secret that he would like to scale back the Office of the Director of National Security significantly.  If that happens … there can be no doubt that election security will become the lowest of all priorities, if it doesn’t fall off the bottom of the priority list altogether.


Partisan … straws???

You’ve heard, unless you’ve been living on a desert island without communication for the last few years, about the effort among environmentalists to reduce and eventually cease the use of single-use plastics, right?  Plastic straws are one of the worst culprits, for they are so numerous, they do not decompose or biodegrade, therefore they stay in landfills, or worse yet end up in oceans, and unlike some other plastics, there is a relatively simple solution … good old-fashioned paper straws!  But guess what, folks?

Paper straws are ‘liberal’, read democratic, and therefore plastic straws are republicans!  Who decided this?  Well, none other than Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale.

Parscale

Brad Parscale

“I’m so over paper straws, and I’m sure you are too. Much like most liberal ideas, paper straws don’t work and they fall apart instantly. That’s why we just launched our latest product – Official Trump Straws. Now you can finally be free from liberal paper straws that fall apart within minutes and ruin your drink.”

Um … I remember the 1950s, before the advent of plastic straws, when all we had were paper straws and they worked very well, thank you.  However, if there is anyone reading this who really wants to make sure they are getting bona fide republican straws, you can head on over to the Donald Trump campaign store (yes, there really is such a thing … where do you think people get all those ugly red hats?) and pick up a 10-pack of reusable plastic straws, which are red and emblazoned with “TRUMP” in silver, for a mere $15. trump-straw-2What a deal, eh … $1.50 for one lousy straw that … who could put something in their mouth with that word on it???  Oh, and shipping takes two weeks.  Meanwhile, try explaining to your grandchildren why your use of a plastic straw was more important than their life.  Oh, and one other thing … there is yet a third option … you can pick the cup up, bring it to your lips, tilt it a little bit, and drink without any straw!  What a novel idea, yes?


“We will do our best to go on without him …”

Trump was scheduled to attend the 110th annual national convention of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) this weekend.  Historically, presidents of both parties have spoken and attended a Q&A session at the annual meeting of the oldest civil rights organization in the United States.  As a candidate in 2016, he declined an invitation to attend.  Trump declined to attend the convention in 2017 … no reason given.  But this year, he had accepted the invitation … until he found out about the Q&A session.

“I very much wanted to go, but we had a date. The date got changed and unfortunately they wanted to do it in the form of a question and answer.”

The date was set far in advance and did not change.  Nor did the format, but he thought he would just give a speech and leave.  In light of his recent racist tirade that is largely dominating the media these days, he was apparently afraid to face questions by a civil rights group.

Wendell Anthony, the NAACP Detroit Branch President, said …

“He blew an opportunity quite frankly, but we will do our best to go on without him.”

Dripping sarcasm … I love it!  He continued …

“There is a format; every candidate has said that he or she would be glad to participate in. It’s beyond us as to why that would be of some discomfort for the president. We are American citizens. We have a right to question our presidents and ask the leader of the free world what our future will be.”

Absolutely.  If Trump wishes to continue playing ‘president’, then he must play by the rules of the game … oh wait … for him, there are no rules, right?  Take heart, however, for intelligent people who know how to speak and have something of importance to say will be there:  Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Stacey Abrams, Rashida Talib and Bernie Sanders, to name a few.  Who needs Trump anyway?

The interesting thing is that this wasn’t widely published in the media.  I only saw it on BET’s website and a local Detroit station.  Puzzling.  Muzzled?  Chicken?


Well, that’s your daily dose of snark for this Sunday … now go have some fun, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Dying For The Fiction – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

The single most important thing that should be on everyone’s mind today is the environment, for if we don’t take steps to stop the bleeding, none of the other issues will matter before long. Blogger-friend Paul lives in Western Australia and he writes poetry. Most times, I can even understand his poems, which is saying something, for I am often find it difficult to understand the subtle, hidden messages in most poetry. Last night, I visited Paul’s blog, as I try to do a few times a week, and was stunned by his poem of the day. Please take a minute to read it … it’s short but says an awful lot in a few words. Thank you, Paul, for your generous permission to re-blog “Dying for the Fiction”.

parallax

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Climate Crisis

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Cartoon found at sites.duke.edu

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”  Rachel Carson

Dying For The Fiction

They filled in the wetlands and gave me a house
of dreams filled with death,
and we cut down the trees that gave us life
that we might see the views of the city lights,
in a panic we scorched everything in the
belief that we must perpetuate production,
the very poison that kills all,
while giving happiness in spades of plastic that
smothers reality and makes us long for more
fictions that soothe and inspire
how self murder is so healthy for us,
I awoke this morning to find
my limbs removed,
my lungs cut down
and plastic in my gut,
I am Eco,
I…

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Bad People Doing Bad Things …

red circleLook at the circle above.  What colour do you see?  What?  Red?  No, I call that blue … definitely blue.  You still claim it’s red?  Then you will not be allowed to speak about the colour of the circle, for your view does not match my own, and thus is wrong.

Dr. Rod Schoonover was a senior intelligence analyst with the U.S. State Department and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Last week, Dr. Schoonover left the employ of the State Department.  Why?  Because he is a scientist.  Because he looked at that circle and called it red, even though Donald Trump and his administration warned him to say it was blue.  And then, Trump taped his mouth so he couldn’t say it was red.  And Dr. Schoonover decided he had enough and resigned his position.Rod SchoonoverDr. Schoonover was invited to speak before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on June 5th about the security risks the United States faces because of climate change.  The Trump administration, according to leaked internal memos, tried to force Dr. Schoonover to change his prepared speech, but the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research refused and ultimately he was allowed to speak before the committee.  However, when it came time to publish his written testimony, the administration blocked it.

Why? Because it did not match the Trump administration’s views.  According to Myron Ebell, who was once considered to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before Trump settled on Scott Pruitt, Trump’s re-election campaign consultants told him …

“We have polling showing that you need to stress your environmental accomplishments and not start controversial things that will get you bad press, like going after climate science.”

Let that one sink in for a minute, folks.

Policy decisions and governance are now being mandated by Donald Trump’s campaign for next year’s election.  Not the welfare of the country and its people, not our safety and well-being, but what will play well in the rallies, what his ‘base’ wants to hear, what will give him the best chance to spend an additional four years destroying our nation, our lives.

One of the statements White House officials objected to was this observation:

“Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant — possibly catastrophic — harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change.”

On Monday, July 8th, Trump did, in fact, give a speech where he stated that his White House was working “harder than many previous administrations” on the issue of the environment, adding: “Maybe almost all of them.”

Given that he has spent his entire two-and-a-half years in office destroying environmental regulations, pulling out of the Paris climate accord, encouraging the fossil fuel industry, destroying wildlife protections, opening federal lands to drilling and mining, environmentalists’ jaws dropped when they heard his speech.  We shouldn’t be surprised … the man has yet to speak an honest word!

The environment and climate change should not be … should not be an issue of partisan politics!  And yet … it is.  According to a recent survey, 81% of Democrats said climate change was “very important,” compared with more than the 56% of independents and a measly 26% of Republicans.  Yo Republicans!!!  Wake up and remove your head from your arse!!!  You are killing us!

Daniel Q. Greenwood, Trump’s deputy assistant in the White House office of legislative affairs, said that Schoonover’s written testimony was unacceptable because …

“The testimony still has serious concerns with internal components and focuses heavily on the science. Because it doesn’t reflect the coordinated IC position, or the administration’s position, there is no way this can be cleared ahead of the hearing.”

It focuses too heavily on the science???  And it doesn’t reflect the administration’s position. Apparently, Dr. Schoonover didn’t read the republican’s bible that states, “Ye shall put forth no facts, but only whatever fantasy his Trumpship wishes on any given day”.

You can see and download the .pdf file of Dr. Schoonover’s written assessment, with comments and suggested changes written by Trump lackeys.  It is said that most of the comments came from William Happer, a ‘theoretical physicist’ and White House adviser on the National Security Council who denies the established scientific consensus on global warming.  Certainly that makes him uniquely qualified to edit a scientific document on climate change, doesn’t it?

Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, droughts, melting ice caps, algae blooms, a declining bee population … all far in excess of what has been the normal range.  Where I live, we have had “air quality alerts” every day for the past two weeks, and today for the first time ever, I received an “excessive heat warning”.  This coming weekend, I will not be able to leave my house because the temperatures are expected to be around the 100° (F) mark (38° C), and I cannot survive in such.  I have lived in this general area since 1987 and have never once seen temps reach 100°.  In fact, as a rule, I can count on my fingers the number of days the temps are over 90°.

Bottom line — climate science is unpopular with Trump’s base, and there is an election in just over 15 months, so the entire planet must be doomed to the whims and vagaries of an uneducated group of people who like Donald Trump because he says there is no such thing as climate change … and oh yeah, besides that he’s gonna build a damn wall and have Mexico pay for it.

Last Chance

And speaking of climate change, and those who would deny its existence for the sake of their profit and convenience, fellow-blogger justdrivewillyou has written an excellent, hard-hitting post about the topic that I wish I could send to all those who simply shrug their shoulders at the topic. Thank you, justdrive, for an excellent post and your kind permission to re-blog!

just drive, will you?

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CLIMATE CHANGE, IF WE CONTINUE TO IGNORE IT, WILL LEAD TO OUR EXTINCTION.

Did anybody miss that? Let me say it again.

CLIMATE CHANGE, IF WE CONTINUE TO IGNORE IT, WILL LEAD TO OUR EXTINCTION.

There is no greater threat to humanity. Not ISIS. Not illegal immigrants.Not even delusional, despotic Presidents.

None of them are a match for Mother Nature.

If you’re still a Denier, well, pardon me but, pull your head out. This is real, it is urgent, and denying it won’t keep it away.

It’s not a Democratic issue, a Republican issue, or even an American issue. It is a human issue, and it demands all our attention.

If we fail to give it, we’re done for. Period.

Are you all with me? Good, listen up:

Last week, a resolution was introduced to Congress declaring a Climate Change Emergency. The resolution, H.Con.Res.52, sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders…

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An ostrich pulls his head out of the sand

With all the news this week being about Trump’s horrendous behaviour toward certain members of Congress, and his latest attack on asylum seekers, and Kellyanne skipping out on subpoena, you most likely missed a few tidbits. Our friend Keith has dug up one, which brings a bit of positive news, a hope that perhaps the GOP are not quite as united on denying climate change as we’ve been led to believe. Thank you, Keith, for bringing us this news … these are things we need to know that are being missed by the media during this feeding frenzy.

musingsofanoldfart

This story should not be newsworthy as it is long overdue, but unfortunately it is. A headline from a USA Today last week proclaimed “Trump ally Lindsey Graham says president should ‘admit climate change is real’.” Senator Graham went on to say per the article:

“‘I’m tired of playing defense on the environment,’Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday as he and other GOP lawmakers announced the formation of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, which will ’embrace and promote constructive efforts to resolve conservation and environmental problems.'”

I have written often about addressing climate change. Progress in fighting climate change is happening, but it desperately needs the leverage of the US federal government. Plus, we must alter harmful deregulation to our environment.

Rather than belabor these points, let me say I left the Republican Party about a dozen years ago, in part due to its stance on climate change. My thesis…

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‘Toons To Brighten Your Sunday …

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I decided that instead of something dark and depressing, I would give you something to chuckle about … ‘TOONS!  Well … now that I think about it, some of these might be a bit dark and depressing … but at least there’s an element of humour in them.


The most crucial issue facing the nation … the globe … today is the environment, and frankly the U.S. is doing damn little to improve it.  Still, the cartoonists find food for the grist mill …

environmentenvironment-2environment-4Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190708.tifCOLORenvironment-7


Ol’ Jeffrey Epstein, the monster who has committed heinous crimes against women and children, who got off with a slap-on-the-wrist once before, who has long been a close personal friend of another sex abuser who happens to sit in the Oval Office, has once again been arrested for sex-trafficking, and so is back in the news …

epstein-1epstein-2epstein-3


Although Trump claimed this week that he is giving up the fight to have a question about citizenship added to the 2020 Census, I suspect we haven’t heard the end of it.  

census-1census-2Trump Census Policye6f3115c63a069634c132d373fa843cdcensus-5


There was never any doubt that Trump would run for re-election in 2020, especially given that he registered to do so on the day of his inauguration in 2017!  

Trump-2020trump-2020-2trump-2020-3


The thing that I find most frightening about the Trump presidency circus is the fact that he believes himself to be above the law, his hand-picked Attorney-General, William Barr, confirms that he is above the law, the Senate allows him to be above the law, and the republicans both in and out of government see nothing wrong with him being above the law …

above-the-law.jpg


And I end with a few random ‘toons just for kicks …

politicsTrump-cuckooTrump-school


Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

A Fresh Batch Of Snarky Snippets

Some days just seem to be meant for a fresh batch of cookies snarky snippets, and today is such a day.  The stranger times and people get, the snarkier I seem to feel.  So, fasten your seat belts … or leave them off so you can run away quickly if needs be.


Da Book of Trump???

You may want to get your sick-bags for this one.  Remember Miriam Adelson?  She and her husband Sheldon are friends (aka donors) of Donald Trump and during his 2016 campaign they donated millions to assist in the potential destruction of the United States.  It is estimated that the Adelson’s gave more than $110 million to the GOP during the 2016 election campaign, most going to Trump.  In return, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last November, for … well … assisting in the destruction of the nation.Trump-AdelsonBut all of that is water either under the bridge, or over the dam, whichever expression you prefer, for today, Miriam Adelson is back in the news, praising Trump and taking it one step further.  She wrote an OpEd piece that was published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in which she praises Trump …

“We are now at platinum — a miracle of preciousness, radiance, and endurance. And the man who most deserves credit for this is President Donald J. Trump.”

🤢

Adelson cited many reasons why she credited Trump with improving relations with Israel, including formally recognizing Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, and declaring the Golan Heights to be Israeli territory, in his view. The withdrawal by the U.S. from a nuclear agreement with Iran was also brought up by Adelson as to why Trump was the best president for Israel. It should be noted that the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement has every likelihood of leading to World War III, but … oh well, as long as Trump and the Adelson’s are happy, right?  But the crowning absurdity of her piece was …

“Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a ‘Book of Trump,’ much like it has a ‘Book of Esther’ celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from ancient Persia?”

A ‘Book of Trump’ addendum to the bible.  Think about that one.  Now, I don’t know much at all about the bible, and I realize that it is written by many different men at various times, but … a ‘Book of Trump’???  Surely even the evangelicals must be incensed over that one, right?  Right?  Sigh.  It matters not to me who puts what into the bible, but it does matter to me, should matter to all of us, that this would give Trump the acclaim he seeks to call himself ‘Supreme Leader’, and we would be doomed for the rest of our lifetimes, ‘til somebody knocked him off his golden pedestal.

Some people just got no sense!


He lies … and lies … and lies some more

trump-pinocchioYou’d think I would be used to it by now, wouldn’t you?  But no, I’m not, for I still shook my fist at my laptop’s screen as I looked around for something to throw, all the while feeling rather ill.  Yes, of course this has to do with Donald Trump … was there ever any question?  Well, happens that some of his advisors have determined one area he is not polling high in is the environment.  Sooooo … determined to fix that, Trump gave an hour-long speech on … what a wonderful steward of the environment he has been, and what a great job … nobody has ever …

🤢

Trump called himself a protector of public land. Does a ‘protector’, open up public lands to drilling?  Does a protector sign off on the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history?  He repeatedly cited his desire for clean water, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rolling back an Obama-era clean-water regulation of pollution in streams and wetlands.

He described himself as a champion of the oceans.  Does the champion of the oceans open up the entire United States coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling?

Does a protector pull out of the Paris Climate Accords that every single nation on the globe has signed, only so that he can de-regulate industries in the U.S., increase carbon emissions, and be accountable to nobody?  Does a person who gives even a little damn about the environment, threaten punishment to those who are attempting to cut back on fossil fuels and turn to renewable energy sources?

Does this fool on the hill realize that the United States is THE LARGEST EMITTER per capita of CO2, the main pollutant that is destroying the air we breath, causing global temperatures to rise, sea temperatures to rise to the point that the arctic ice is melting, causing extreme weather everywhere, and ultimately causing the planet to no longer be inhabitable by any lifeform that requires clean air and potable water.  Donald Trump did not create the current crisis … and make no mistake, it IS a crisis … but he is singlehandedly working to ensure the destruction of the environment such that the Earth will no longer sustain life.  And he brags about his environmental record?  How. Dare. He???  Noted presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley said …

“It is an utter farce for the president to talk about America’s environmental leadership, when he has been a champion of the polluters.”

Damn straight.


Baby Trump on Amazon?

It came to my attention yesterday afternoon that Amazon carries mini-versions of the baby Trump blimp, so of course I had to check it out, right?  ‘Tis true!  They have a variety of the blimps in sizes ranging from 21 inches and upward.  They even had one filled with catnip, so the furry babes can have fun shredding his face!  They have coffee cups, t-shirts, and all sorts of toys and novelties based on the baby trump blimp!  Here are a couple of my favourites …

baby-blimpbaby-blimp-mugbaby-blimp-shirtbaby-blimp-shirt-2baby-blimp-shirt-3


While that is not all the snarky I have built up, it is all I have time for right now. However, never fear, I shall return!  A promise or a threat?  It’s all in the perception.

Good People Doing Good Things — Little Things Mean A Lot

I started this post early last evening, and I had picked out several good people, the plan being to highlight each with a brief ‘snippet’.  I spent nearly an hour on the first one, as I was having a hard time staying focused, and then something in my head kept saying it seemed familiar.  It was … I had written about the Little Free Library way back in 2018.   😔  So, then I decided that some of the half dozen people I had selected for this morning’s post didn’t really interest me all that much (I told you, my focus is not working well).  Which leaves me with just two for today.  But hey … two good people snippets is still better than nothing, yes?  Annnnnd … there’s a fun bonus at the end!


Divers In, Trash Out

I’m always seeing stories about people trying to set a Guinness World record for one thing or another.  Sometimes I include them in my Jolly Monday posts, for they are so silly that one must laugh.  Today, though, I am including one in my Wednesday ‘good people’ post, for these guys are trying to set a record for doing something to help us all!

It happened down in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where 633 scuba divers got together to clean up a section of the ocean.  The previous record was 614 in a dive organized in the Red Sea in Egypt in 2015.  A Guinness official, Michael Empric, flew in from Florida to verify the count and watch the operation.  Each diver had to stay in the water  for at least 15 minutes to be counted.

One of the divers was 13-year-old Dahlia Bolin.  She and her mother Rebecca came all the way from Mackinaw, Illinois, to help set the record, and pick up debris.  She recovered a white, metal sign with red lettering that warned: Boats Must Not Come Within 100 Yards of Pier.

Dahlia-Bolin

Dahlia Bolin (center) with her mother (left) and another diver

The event was organized by Dixie Divers and the Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach and included divers from across the United States, along with Europe and South America.  The divers retrieved 9,000 items of marine debris, including 3,200 pounds of fishing gear, and 1,600 pounds of lead fishing weights alone, the result of years of anglers cutting bait.Divers.jpgGranted, it is but a drop in the bucket of waste in our oceans, but I have to give two thumbs up to these divers for doing their part to help clean up … and just imagine if this were done on every beach around the world, say once a month?  Great job, divers!  You earned that record!


Learning Respect and Compassion

This one was sent to me last week by our friend Scott Lawlor … thank you Scott!  Leaving Florida and heading over to New Mexico where Gino Perez teaches a wood and metal shop class at Valley High School in Albuquerque.  Mr. Perez teaches a skill, but also a life’s lesson to his young students as they learn to make handcrafted wooden urns adorned with the symbols of all the branches of the military to be used for the cremated remains of homeless and indigent veterans.  Says Perez …

“I wanted to make it real clear the status of these Americans — they’re mostly homeless and they were also veterans with full military honors and nobody claimed their bodies. I’ve never seen a group of students engage in a project like this. Even students that were down on the military for whatever reason — they’ve all got their politics — would say we’re doing a good thing.”

Perez-classPerez, who has been a teacher for four years and is a Navy veteran himself was looking for a way to get his students involved in the community, while learning about metal and woodworking.

The students’ work will be recognized Sept. 20 at an assembly that will include New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Jack Fox, Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley and Joshua McManigal of Daniels Family Funeral Services, who all partner in the Forgotten Heroes Burial Program.  The Forgotten Heroes Burial Program provides a full military funeral at Santa Fe National Cemetery if there are no family members or friends to claim their remains or there is no money to provide for their funeral services.

A good teacher and students who are learning to be good people.  Can’t ask for more than that, can you?


Never Too Old

This one isn’t really about a ‘good people’ helping others, but it’s a fun, uplifting story, and I think this lady deserves a spot here anyway.  Perhaps it’s about perseverance?

Meet Julia Hawkins, who just happens to have been on this earth for some 103 years.  Now, a lot of people slow down when they get older … I know this for a fact, for at 68 I have slowed down considerably!  But not Ms. Hawkins … she sped up considerably!  In fact, just last week, she ran both the 50-meter and the 100-meter dash races in the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Julia-Hawkins.jpgTwo years ago, at the age of 101, Julia Hawkins set a record by running the 100-meter dash in just 39.62 seconds.  They called her the “Hurricane.”  This year, she had actually slowed down some, and was about 6 seconds slower on the 100-meter dash, but as she said …

“I’m two years older, remember?”

Ms. Hawkins got into running late in life, and it has become one of her many passions. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she takes daily walks and cares for trees on her property. She has four children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was married to her late husband, Murray, for 70 years, after they had a wedding by telephone during World War II.  Married 70 years … I told you it was perseverance!

Asked in a New York Times interview about her training regimen, she said …

“I run on the street by my house, occasionally, not often. As I get older, I feel like I only have so many 100-yard dashes left, and I don’t want to waste them in practice. Can you imagine that? I have markers on the street to show me where 50 yards is, and where 100 is, and I go by that. But I don’t practice much. I’m just pretty good at moving around and I do it when I have to, whatever I have to do.”

I like this lady!


Back next week with some more ‘good people’, and hopefully I will be better able to focus then.

The House Is Afire!!!

Donald Trump … he claims to have made only one mistake during his 29 months in office.  Can you guess what it is?

Helsinki?  Charlottesville?  Family separations?  Nope, nope, and nope.

Failure to ‘drain the swamp’?  Nope.

Pulling out of the Paris climate accord and rolling back many important environmental regulations?  No way.

Triggering the longest government shutdown in U.S. history in a futile attempt to get funding for a border wall – or subsequently declaring a national emergency to divert money from the military?  Not a chance.

His quest to expel transgender service members who are willing to die in combat, his mockery of the #MeToo movement or his demonization of African American athletes?  Nay, nay, nay.

Throwing paper towels at Puerto Ricans, and then trying to minimize how much federal funding these U.S. citizens get to rebuild their devastated island?  Hardly.

Firing James Comey as FBI director, or the other nine cases of obstruction of justice outlined in Bob Mueller’s report?  Wrong again.

Trump says his only mistake was … wait for it … hiring Jeff Sessions to serve as U.S. Attorney General, because he hired him fully believing that Sessions would protect him by putting an end to the Russian investigation led by Special Counsel Bob Mueller.  When Sessions recused himself and thus could not protect Trump, he became Trump’s only mistake, at least in Trump’s mind.

When concerns were raised about the high turnover in Trump’s administration, he responded …

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”

sonny-perdue

Sonny Perdue

And it is in this context, the “my opinion is the only one that matters” monologue, that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Trump appointee Sonny Perdue, has decided to bury the results of dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change.  WHY?  Because … climate change is damned inconvenient.  An example …

If a person is watching a really good television program (are there actually any “really good” ones these days?) and suddenly smells smoke, he has two choices:  go investigate, or ignore the odour.  If he ignores the odour, odds are that the house will be on fire before the next commercial break, but hey … don’t want to miss seeing the guy beat his wife, right?

The house is on fire, and our government, led by Bozo Trump, is in favour of ignoring it, for to acknowledge it means having to take action to try to put the fire out, and means missing out on the big love scene where thousands of people chant “lock her up” because they are so happy with Trump.

The studies that the USDA is refusing to make public, range from a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice — to a finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.  All have been peer-reviewed by scientists and cleared through the non-partisan Agricultural Research Service, one of the world’s leading sources of scientific information for farmers and consumers.

Researchers at the University of Washington had collaborated with scientists at USDA, as well as others in Japan, China and Australia, for more than two years to study how rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could affect rice — humanity’s most important crop. They found that it not only loses protein and minerals, but is also likely to lose key vitamins as plants adapt to a changing environment.

The study had undergone intensive review, addressing questions from academic peers and within USDA itself. But after having prepared an announcement of the findings, the department abruptly decided not to publicize the study and urged the University of Washington to hold back its own release on the findings, which two of their researchers had co-authored.

The person sitting in the burning house, watching television, is also admonishing the neighbors not to call the fire department and to simply pretend they don’t see or smell the smoke either!  Let the entire neighborhood burn down, but don’t arouse the man from his bloomin’ television show!

There is an election in less than 17 months that will, hopefully, remove not only Trump, but also most of his boot-lickers from office.  People need to be informed in order to make smart voting choices.  How can the public be well-informed if the government is withholding facts, simply because the facts don’t agree with what Trump wants???  I guess, if we are not to be told the facts, but rather only the falsehoods propagated by Trump & Co., then the best thing is to remember Trump’s own words …

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”

Is that really the person you want at the helm of this ship? Think about it.