Snarky Snippets, Volume _____?

I’ve got just a couple of small snippets to start out your Sunday …


Many things have been put on hold during this time of pandemic crisis.  Though I may disagree with the way in which they were done (no thinking or planning involved), I can’t argue against the need for these measures such as the shuttering of restaurants and pubs, people working from home or in some cases being laid off from their jobs, the closing of schools.  But, the one thing that should never ever have been put on hold are environmental regulations – the few we have left, that is.  There is no logical justification and it will only lead to further decimation of our environment.

From an article in Friday’s issue of The Guardian

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has suspended its enforcement of environmental laws during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, signaling to companies they will not face any sanction for polluting the air or water of Americans.

In an extraordinary move that has stunned former EPA officials, the Trump administration said it will not expect compliance with the routine monitoring and reporting of pollution and won’t pursue penalties for breaking these rules.

[…]

There is no end date set for this dropping of enforcement.

Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the EPA, said that coronavirus had made it difficult for businesses to protect workers and the public while adhering to clean air and water rules.

According to an article in Reuter’s, this was triggered by a letter sent to Trump by the American Petroleum Institute, using the current pandemic crisis as an excuse to be relieved of regulatory requirements for the foreseeable future.  Here’s the kicker, though … they claim to need to be free of all regulation “in order to ensure steady fuel supplies”.  But … there is currently a market glut because … nobody is going anywhere, a large portion of businesses are shuttered, and therefore we don’t need anywhere near the amount of fuel we needed just a month ago!  Additionally, it is that time of year when households are using neither heat nor air-conditioning in any large quantity.  They could cut the supply in half and still have a surplus!  There is absolutely no justifiable reason that they need relief from environmental regulations, but all they had to do is ask Trump, and Presto Bingo … they got their wish.

Would someone please explain to me just exactly how in hell the coronavirus makes it difficult for businesses to follow the few provisions that remain in the Clean Water and Air Acts???  NO, this is just a sorry excuse by Trump and his cronies, his partners in crime, to further pander to their friends in the fossil fuel and other industries.  The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts have been in effect since 1963 and 1972 respectively and cannot simply be dissed because Trump and/or Wheeler say so!  THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE!

I am not alone in my fury.  Says Cynthia Giles, who was head of EPA enforcement during the Obama administration …

“EPA should never relinquish its right and its obligation to act immediately and decisively when there is threat to public health, no matter what the reason is. I am not aware of any instance when EPA ever relinquished this fundamental authority as it does in this memo. This memo amounts to a nationwide moratorium on enforcing the nation’s environmental laws and is an abdication of EPA’s responsibility to protect the public.”

The sooner we become fully reliant on renewable energy sources and are able to tell the oil companies where to put their oil, the happier and healthier we will all be!  It is simply unconscionable that they are attempting to profit from this crisis!


You know those $1,200 checks that are going out to anybody who filed a tax return in 2018?  Well, it is reported that Donald Trump is insisting his signature be the one on the checks.  What an ego trip!  No, wait, this goes well beyond ego … this is the sign of a truly evil megalomaniac.  Fortunately, I will not have to see a check from him, for a) I was not required to file a tax return in 2018, and b) my daughter’s will be direct-deposited into her account, so I won’t have to face the temptation of wanting to rip that check into a thousand pieces.

My recommendation to those of you who can is if you receive a check with Trump’s signature, transfer it to a charity of your choice, such as a local food pantry or homeless shelter, local hospice or whatever suits your fancy.


Remember that a couple of days ago I mentioned the Trump re-election campaign had issued a “cease and desist” order to networks who were running an ad by a PAC called Priorities USA?  Well, at the time, I couldn’t find an embeddable copy of the ad, but I have one now.  Take a look …


And, for just a bit of humour, J.L. Cauvin of New Jersey is a comedian/satirist and he has done a video that … well, you must see if for yourself!  If you close your eyes, you’d swear it was trumpie.


Alright, friends, that’s all I’ve got for now … be back this afternoon!

Discord & Dissension – Part XI -The Climate

The single most important issue in the 2020 election (apart from unseating Trump, of course) is climate change. We have stepped back 20 years in the last three years under Trump, and quite frankly, time is running out. The earth’s resources are finite and we are using them at an alarming rate. For this, Part XI of our series Discord & Dissension, Jeff discusses where we are, where we need to go, how we can get there, and what happens if we don’t.

On The Fence Voters

While the Republican and Democratic Parties disagree on most things these days, nothing epitomizes the significant divide more than does climate change. And it’s not just those who sit in Congress either. According to a recent Pew Research poll conducted in February of this year, among Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party, 78% said climate change should be a top priority.

However, among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, only 21% felt the same way. To put that in even more stark terms, Democrats view climate as a top priority by nearly three times that of Republicans.

And, it gets even worse when registered voters were asked whether climate change is a problem for the country today. 77% of Democrats/lean Democrat said yes, it was a huge problem, and 17% said it was a moderately big problem—a net of 94%. On the flip side, Republicans/lean Republican answered 13/27% for…

View original post 1,464 more words

Filosofa Is Angry …

Anger can be a good thing, when it motivates and inspires you to do something to change events or circumstances.  If, that is, that which makes you angry is something over which you have at least a modicum of control or influence.  But, when you must simply sit and watch the idiocy around you, anger becomes self-destructive and leads to depression.  I took a break from blogging yesterday, except for my music post, because everything I tried to write was beyond a snarky snippet, was even beyond a rant, but sounded like the ravings of a madman with more expletives than a trucker would use! rantI’m still angry, but I have, hopefully, corralled the worst of it.  Crises bring out the best in some people, the worst in others.  What we see every time we log onto any of the news media are the examples of the very worst of the human species.  And, of course, our own government is making a muckety mess of it all, doing everything exactly wrong, and … we have no control.  It is frustrating, at best, and I won’t say what it is at worst.  So … prepare for a bit of a rant … “Ranty Snippets”?


The bitch …

Gerrity’s Supermarket is a small family-owned chain in northeastern Pennsylvania. Like grocers nationwide, it has been deluged with orders and has struggled to keep basics such as chicken breasts and toilet paper on the shelves. Employees have been working overtime, pausing only for five-second breaks to wipe everything down with disinfectant wipes.

Two days ago, on Wednesday afternoon, a woman entered the store, proceeded to the produce section where she intentionally coughed all over every bit of the produce in the store!!!  ON PURPOSE!!!  Two weeks I tried to buy a damn green pepper and this woman, in a single malicious act, destroyed some $35,000 worth of food … food that we have been struggling to buy!

The store’s co-owner Joe Fasula said that they had no choice but to toss every bit of the produce.

GerritysIt didn’t take long for employees to realize what the woman was doing, and they quickly escorted her out of the store and called police.  Turns out, the woman is known to the local police for having caused problems in the community before.  WHY, in these times of so much grief and trouble, would anybody be so cruel???  But, this isn’t an isolated incident.

  • A New Jersey man was charged with harassment and making terroristic threats after purposely coughing on a Wegmans grocery store employee and saying he had coronavirus.
  • A Carlisle, Pennsylvania man is facing multiple charges after deliberately coughing near an elderly citizen wearing a medical face mask.

There have been hundreds of such reports.  The Carlisle man was 57 years old, and the New Jersey man was 50 … not some teenagers pulling a prank that they thought funny, but full-blown adults!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


First Amendment is still alive, yes?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I understand that for three long years and two long months, Donald Trump has been trampling the U.S. Constitution.  However … we will not allow him to completely remove, destroy, reverse, or otherwise restrict our 1st Amendment rights!!!

The latest …

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent cease-and-desist letters to local television stations on Wednesday, threatening them with legal action and potentially their broadcast licenses if they continue to air an ad from a Democratic group, Priorities USA.  The ad plays audio of Trump downplaying the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic over a chart of the mounting number of cases in the U.S. — now at more than 85,000 — but the Trump campaign objected only to one clip, of Trump saying “this is their new hoax.”

That quote comes from a Feb. 28 rally at which Trump repeatedly called his handling of the epidemic “one of the great jobs” and compared the Democrats “politicizing” of the coronavirus to the Russia investigation and Ukraine scandal.  HE SAID IT!  There’s no denying that it is a fact, it is the truth, it is on tape for all to hear!  The president’s re-election campaign does not have the right to stifle free speech or free press!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


The loons are coming out of the woodwork! 

Rick Wiles is an American far-right conspiracy theorist and non-denominational senior pastor at Flowing Streams Church in Vero Beach, Florida.  Mr. Wiles claims that God is spreading the coronavirus in synagogues because he is “dealing with those who oppose his son, Jesus Christ.” And here is where those epithets really, really want to come out, but I am biting my tongue in the interest of professionalism and of not stepping on any toes.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

While schools and college campuses around the country remain closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Liberty University is set to allow the return this week of up to 5,000 students. The plan was announced by the private evangelical university’s scandal–plagued president, Jerry Falwell Jr., an ally of President Trump.  Falwell’s ‘University’ is located in Virginia, a state that recently closed all schools for the rest of the school year.  Members of the community are not happy with Mr. Falwell, but he claims their concerns are ‘overblown’.  Nevertheless, the campus is said to resemble a ‘ghost town’.


Say WHAT???

On a final note, before I throw my laptop at the nearest wall, as of midnight tonight, Trump’s overall approval rating has reached an all-time high of 45.3%.  His previous high was reached on February 18th at 44.9%. 538 pollWould somebody PLEASE tell me what this jackass has done that people are approving of???  Since we first heard of the coronavirus back in January, Donald Trump has risked our lives every single bloody damn day by taking every single wrong turn he could take!!!  WHAT THE HELL are people approving of???  Oh … is it that whopping $1,200 check?  Well friends, guess what?  You will pay that back in spades.  Oh yeah … YOU the taxpayer will pay it back.  The United States does not have $2 trillion … it is effectively bankrupt.  It is borrowing that money and the day of reckoning will come.  Remember, the wealthy and corporations don’t pay their fair share in taxes, so you, the average taxpayer, will pay that $1,200 back with interestGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


And now, my heart rate has once again traveled into that danger zone, so I shall stop for tonight.  Hope you are all well and safe, my friends.  Stay tuned this afternoon for Part XI of mine and Jeff’s project, Discord & Dissension.

Unconscionable!!!

Jeff-BezosJeff Bezos, the man who co-founded Amazon and today is the CEO and 12% shareholder in the highly profitable company, has a net worth of $118 billion.  Just to make that a bit more visual, that’s $118,000,000,000.  It’s a lot of money, anyway you look at it.  Bezos is said to be the richest individual in the world.  The world.  Perhaps now we understand the source of the “Amazon smile”. Last year (2019) alone, Amazon posted $280 billion in revenue and $11.9 billion in profits.  At least they will actually pay federal income tax for 2019, unlike 2018 when they paid $0 on $11 billion in profits.

Amazon is one of the few companies whose business has surged during this time of coronavirus pandemic.  More and more people are ordering household supplies and even food that they cannot find in their local stores, or just to keep from having to spend much time in the local stores.  Amazon announced last week that they will be hiring up to 100,000 additional workers to cover the increased demand.  And yet …

Amazon maintains one of the stingiest paid sick leave policies among major corporations.  To add insult to injury, Amazon under CEO Bezos is requesting donations from their customers to cover sick leave for their employees!  Think on that one for a minute.

Amazon-donations

The man with more money than anybody deserves or needs, more money than he could possibly ever spend, is too cheap to fully cover his employees sick leave, but expects his customers, many of whom are currently laid off from their jobs, to pitch in.

As if that weren’t enough to make you want to dump a pan of hot berries on his bald pate, he also managed to profit ‘bigly’ by selling $3.4 billion in Amazon shares just before the stock market peaked in mid-February.  Can we say, insider trading?  Had he held onto those shares until this week, he would have lost $317 million … not that he’d even notice, for that’s pocket change for him.

I have been an Amazon customer since 2003, have a monthly standing order for household cleaning supplies, and frequently order other things we need, but … I’m going to start looking for alternatives.  Today!

Good People Doing Good Things — In Times Of Trouble

Wow … I have been writing a lot lately about the dark side of human behaviour in this time of pandemic crisis, but tonight when I pulled up my first resource in search of good people, I realized there is a whole ‘nother side!  Many, many people are doing things to help one another these days.  Some famous people, such as the heads of companies like Lowes and Carnival, and entertainers like Rihanna have done some wonderful things to help others, but for this post I am going only with the everyday people who have stepped up to the plate to help their fellow humans.  I find that I can relate more to the ones who don’t have anything more than you and I, who aren’t billionaires or millionaires, but just people with good hearts.  Now, grab your box of tissues and read on …


Helping seniors ‘stay in touch’ …

Most nursing homes in countries all ‘round the globe have banned visitors, fearing they could bring in the coronavirus and wipe out the entire population of oldsters within a week.  Understandable, but still … imagine you are 80 years old, stuck in a nursing home and nobody comes to visit.  For some, they will not live to see their families ever again. Jill-SarahEnter Jill Ashworth Valadao and Sarah Otis Firth, two young women in Massachusetts who saw a need, rolled up their sleeves and got to work.  Firth was browsing Facebook when she came across a heartbreaking picture of an adult daughter standing outside the window of her mother’s room at a nursing home, holding a white board as her only means of communication.

“I thought these poor people in the nursing homes; they’re so scared and isolated. I wish I could get a bunch of iPads to give to them.”

She talked to her friend Jill about starting a fundraiser together to buy iPads for nursing homes so the residents could use FaceTime to chat with family and friends, and they agreed to see what they could do.  They created the Facebook fundraiser page “FaceTime for Nana” on March 17 with a goal of $300, enough to purchase one iPad.

Four days later, Firth and Valadao had raised nearly $5,000, enough for 16 iPads!  The first three iPads were carefully delivered by Firth and Valadao Friday morning to Autumn Glen’s memory unit in Dartmouth and Alden Court Nursing Care and Royal of Fairhaven Nursing Center in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.Sarah-ipadLater that day Firth got a message from Alden Court activity director Sharon Jensen thanking them on behalf of the residents and staff for the new iPad.

The message read:

“During such a difficult time, these sweet gestures literally make the residents days. Yesterday more than 75 face time calls were made to families at Alden. This process has kept our families connected and reassured that their loved one is safe and content. The residents get a kick out of the technology and share a few laughs/smiles when they see their loved one on the ipad.

Our goal is to find positive things to keep the resident spirits up and this is one of the many good things happening. Today, the residents and the staff will be receiving performances from local young performers donating their time and their talents to present mini concerts for the residents VIA FACE TIME. The Ipad gift was a blessing today. So thank you Sarah for thinking of Alden Court.”

Valadao said she loves to see the positive come out of a negative situation.

“I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Our society needed to slow down and be reminded of what matters. So when you’re feeling angry with the situation stop and look for the good that is coming out of all of this. There’s a lot of good.”

And I think that is a piece of advice that we should all listen to, myself included.


Awesome boss!

Bryan Morin owns a small pizzeria, Federico’s Pizza & Restaurant, in New Jersey.  He does a decent business, but like most small business owners, he isn’t made of money.  When New Jersey governor Phil Murphy ordered that restaurants close their dining rooms, Bryan headed straight to the bank and took out a $50,000 loan.  No, not to tide him over and not to take a vacation …

Bryan wasn’t even thinking of his own lost revenue, but when he returned to the restaurant, Morin announced to his 20 employees that, at least for the next two months, they would receive their regular paychecks.  Morin says he is hoping that by summer, the bans will be lifted and tourists will return to the Jersey shore, but meanwhile, he’s taking care of his employees. Bryan-Morin

“My father told us a long time ago: You’ve got to take care of your employees first, because without those employees, you don’t have a business at all. I definitely owe them a debt — even if it means I might go into debt.”


Awesome landlord!

Nathan Nichols, of South Portland, Maine, owns a couple of rental properties.  Both properties are rented by hourly and service workers who are currently laid off due to the pandemic crisis.  He posted on Facebook about two weeks ago …

“Because I have the good fortune and of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April. I ask any other landlords out there to take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well.”

At least one other landlord has committed to doing the same …

Sarah-Chittick

However, he made a follow-up post a few days later to clarify …

“Every so often, however, there is a comment from a landlord who would like to help their tenants, but simply can’t, or from a tenant who wishes their landlord would help them, but doubts they will. To these people, I say: I don’t know your situation and I don’t want to imply that a landlord who isn’t forgoing rent is somehow a bad person.”


Little Free Libraries … housing toilet paper???

Do you guys remember in October 2018 when I wrote about the death of Todd Bol, the man who created Little Free Libraries?  Yeah, I know … I can’t remember yesterday, either.  Anyway, Mr. Bol created a system of tiny little wooden structures where people can exchange books.  It caught on, and now there are some 75,000 Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 88 countries! Todd BolWell, now with many people struggling to pay the rent and buy food, let alone able to find a roll of toilet paper to buy, some of the Little Free Libraries are being partly converted to Little Free Pantries!  Pantries from Vancouver, Canada to Arlington, Massachusetts are now filled with toilet paper, canned goods, books, hand sanitizer, and toiletries.  Said one lady from Minnesota …

“My kids have invested a lot of time into just making sure there’s stuff up there. The experience for them being able to be a part of something that gives back. That’s really cool.”

And lest you are concerned about germs and safety, local pantry caretakers are reminding visitors to wash their hands and sanitize the pantry door handles before handling its contents.

Little-free-pantry-1little-free-pantry-2Little-free-pantry-3Little-free-pantry-4


Well, folks, I came across many stories like these.  They balance out the ones we’ve been hearing about hoarders, and people stealing others’ packages off their doorsteps. I was lucky last week when on two occasions an opportunity to be a good people, albeit in a very small way presented itself, and I have to tell you, it felt good, made me want to find another such opportunity.  How ‘bout we all try to find just one such in the coming week … help someone load their groceries, offer to pick up a few things at the store for a neighbor, even just a kind smile and a “how are you?” to people you pass in the grocery store.  “Social distancing” doesn’t mean we can’t help one another in some small ways.

On Dead Flowers, Fools, and More

I woke this morning to another dark, dreary, rainy day, as they have all been for the past two weeks.  At least my hallway wasn’t flooded by rain being blown under the door, as it was Saturday.  Our neighborhood looks ugly right now … in fact, I woke thinking the whole world looks ugly, so I opened the front door, hoping to brighten my outlook by seeing my 20 or so crocuses that bloomed last week … only to find them … dead. Must have been the torrential downpours and sub-freezing temperatures over the weekend.  And thus starts another week …

dead-flower


They walk among us …

Last night, in a really rotten mood to begin with, I saw a friend’s post on Facebook …

rob nealeigh

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, my fingers hit the keyboard in response.  I thought about it for just about a half-second before hitting ‘send’, and then thought no more about it.  Needless to say, when I logged onto Facebook this morning, I received a pop-up saying that Rob Nealeigh is no longer my friend.  I really didn’t mind, for he is the son of a man I used to work with, and while I greatly respect his father, I don’t know the son very well.  But I am still scratching my head …

“More open and offers itself to the press more than ever before”???  Does it, then, not matter that everything that is said to the press is 95% certain to be a lie? As long as they say something, it matters not whether we can believe it? Transparency???  It will take a decade after Trump leaves office to find all the things they have done that we knew nothing about, all the lies that have hidden reality, all the monies that have been siphoned from the public coffers.  And there’s that meaningless phrase again: “Trump tells it like it is”NO NO NO … Trump lies!  He lies even when there is no reason to lie!  If you asked him the colour of his tie, he would say it is blue when it was really red, just because he is a pathological liar.  Lying and transparency are two entirely different things!

One time, back before the 2016 election, I asked another friend to be more specific when she said, “Trump tells it like it is”.  What, exactly, do you mean by that … what has he said that was “telling it like it is.”  She told me I was just another ‘libtard’ and by the next morning she, too, had unfriended me on Facebook.  There is no answer to that question … it’s a buzz-phrase they’ve been taught to say, and they have no idea what they’re even talking about, yet we are ignorant for trying to pin them down.

And “… they continue to win for the American people”???  What the Sam Hell have they ‘won’???  We are no longer trusted by our allies, we have become the most racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, homophobic nation in the western world, and we are more internally divided than at any time since 1865.  Funny, but if this is winning, I think I’d rather be a loser!

I think I’d like to propose that all who are so blindly enamoured of Trump be made to wear their maga hats when out in public so that we know to stay away from them.  Else we can imprint a Trump tattoo on their foreheads … anything that identifies them, for these are dangerous people!  Yet further proof that our education system is failing miserably.


The headline on the BBC website reads

Trump to Deploy National Guard to Fight Virus

Seriously???  The National Guard can fight and kill the coronavirus?  Hmmmm 🤔.  Somehow, I don’t think so.  I think what is meant is that Trump plans to use the National Guard against us!  We are told that …

“Troops will be used in New York, California and Washington to deliver medical aid and set up medical stations …”

But, do we believe a word Trump says?  No, sadly we cannot.  I think it is only a matter of time before he declares martial law, at least in some areas.  It is a sad state of affairs that we cannot trust our own government, the very people we elected and whose salaries we pay, but … they are not working in our best interest.  Trust?  Nope … not a crumb.  The one thing, the most important thing right now, is that we must guard and protect our November 3rd election.  I sense it is in grave danger.


And about that bill in Congress …

Even in times of crisis, the United States Senate led by the ignoble Mitch McConnell, cannot get their act together and work in a bi-partisan manner.  The Democrats want the emergency stimulus bill, which is worth almost $1.4 trillion, to include more money for state and local governments and hospitals, while Trump’s Republicans are pushing for quick action to reassure financial markets.

Let’s call a spade a spade.  Trump and the Senate Republicans want the bill to shore up: a) the fossil fuel industry; b) the hotel industry; c) the airline industry; and d) the casino industry.  None of which helps We the People in the least.  Cooks, dishwashers, servers, clerks, cashiers, bartenders … hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of them are now without a paycheck.  They can apply for unemployment, but it takes time and will only be between 50% – 67% of their income.  Still, the rent comes due, the electric bill must be paid, groceries must be bought, and the children will outgrow their shoes.

This bill should be … nay, must be … about helping the people … the average people, not the wealthy CEOs who will fare just fine without help — they won’t miss a meal and I guarantee they can pay their mortgage … and even find toilet paper to buy.  It is interesting to note that the bill failed to pass the Senate on Sunday, getting 47 votes and thus falling short of the 60 needed in the 100-member chamber. So, apparently at least 4 republican senators voted against it.  Hmmmm … veddy interesting.


And I end with more macabre humour, the only kind there is these days …toon

Only In The U.S.

The following snippets came from The Trace, an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to expanding coverage of guns in the United States.


The gun companies defying a stock market shock

Business closures and lockdowns have dealt withering blows to the economy. But after roughly two straight weeks of stock market declines, the nation’s three publicly traded gun companies have posted dramatic gains.

American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Smith & Wesson; Vista Outdoor, which owns several ammunition companies; and Sturm, Ruger & Co. all posted dramatic gains through the past week. As of March 17, American Outdoor Brands showed the strongest weekly change in stock price — a more than 40 percent increase — of any company in the Electronic Technology sector, which includes brands like Texas Instruments and Apple.

“There’s so much money to be made in making the population fearful of its individual security.” – Caroline Light, Harvard professor whose field of study includes “America’s love affair with armed self-defense”


And already …

Police say a man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who armed himself with a shotgun “due to the coronavirus that was going around,” unintentionally killed his 13-year-old cousin, believing it wasn’t loaded.

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a dispute between roommates over coronavirus restrictions led one to shoot and kill the other in self-defense, authorities said.

A man in North Carolina killed his wife and five other family members before turning the gun on himself.

A roving active shooter killed four people, including a police officer, and wounded a civilian and another officer in Missouri.

“They’re guarding their toilet paper, pretty much.” – Marty Patterson, assistant manager of National Armory in Moon, Pennsylvania, on the surge of coronavirus-related gun-buying.


We don’t need a virus to kill us … we’re just going to kill each other.

Sherrod Brown Speaks … Boy Does He Ever Speak!!!

There are very few politicians in Ohio for whom I have the least bit of respect.  Jim Jordan and Warren Davidson are the lowest of low in my book, and after Tuesday’s fiasco, I’d like to take a baseball bat to Governor DeWine’s head.  But Senator Sherrod Brown has always seemed like a good guy who cares about the people he represents.

Earlier today, a friend sent me this video clip and … WOW!  You tell ’em, Sherrod!  Take a look for yourself …

A Heartfelt Plea

Remember when you were 15 or 16 and you’d just gotten your driver’s license?  Remember the first time you took the car out without one of your parents being with you?  You may or may not have been nervous, but your parents were scared half to death!  We knew all the risks, all the things that could happen, but … you had to grow, you needed your autonomy … so we bit our tongues, worried ‘til we saw the headlights when you came home later, and let you fly free (relatively).  We trusted you (mostly) to make wise decisions, to do the right thing.

Now, we are asking the same of you.  We are asking you to respect our autonomy, our ability to make our own wise decisions.  While we know you love us, know you will worry, we need to decide for ourselves during these dangerous times what level of risk is acceptable.  Think about it for a moment … we all risk our lives multiple times every day from the time we get out of bed.  We could fall down the stairs, could have a heart attack or stroke without warning, could get hit by a truck on our way to the grocery, and the list is endless.

Yes, the coronavirus pandemic is dangerous, and I do not minimize that.  But I would like to give you something else to think about.  Older people, especially those who live alone, are prone to loneliness and depression.  We worked hard all our lives, had friends we socialized with, had … purpose.  And now, suddenly, you are telling us that you want us to stay confined to quarters.  Some may be satisfied with this arrangement, but I think most of us are not.

One thing I’d like you to remember is that our emotional health is every bit as important as our physical health, and in fact one almost always affects the other.  We greatly appreciate your offer to do our grocery shopping for us, but … we like to select our own celery and chicken legs.  Some of us thrive on that briefly exchanged smile with the man stocking the apples, and the short, “Hey, how ya doin’?”  We don’t just like that … we need it.

There is a difference between being alive and living.  After all these years of hard work, of raising our families, we feel that if there is no joy in life, then … why bother?  We feel we’ve earned the right to be respected, to be trusted to make our own decisions, and it is deeply disturbing when we are told what we must do, no matter how well-meaning the intent is.

The reality is that nobody knows how long the threat of the coronavirus will last.  I’ve heard that it might be August, I’ve even heard that it could last into next year.  Now, if you tell us that we must stay in our homes for 2-3 weeks, that’s one thing.  But you can’t do that, for you just don’t know how long it may be.  Keep in mind that our days are numbered anyway, that some of us wake every morning and say, “Wow … another one?”  Most of us don’t expect nor desire to live to 100.  Yes, we know you’d like to keep us around that long, but really, once we aren’t living our lives, but merely existing, then … why bother?

My own daughter and I had this conversation many years ago, under similar but different circumstances, and while I’m sure she sometimes bites her tongue, she does understand and respects my autonomy.  But I have seen too many friends these past two weeks having their autonomy, their joy taken from them by those who would wrap them into a plastic bubble to preserve their health … at the cost of their emotional well-being.

We’re not asking to go run a marathon, or snuggle up with a group of 100 people — we’re only asking that you let us live — take a walk, go to the grocery store, maybe even visit the library or bookshop (if they’re even open), or visit a neighbor for a cuppa coffee.  By all means, if you hear me say I’m going to go skydiving, though, please feel free to stop me!  But seriously, we’ve lost so much of our ability already to do things we enjoy — we are hampered by arthritis and other physical limitations — don’t take any more away from us.

Most of us will likely survive this, but I’m not sure what sort of world we’ll step back into at the end of the day.  I just read something a friend sent where scientists are predicting it could last up to 18 months.  Will there be a world left to come out into?  How many decades will it take to rebuild global economies?  I don’t know … nobody knows.  I only know that today I am alive, and I wish to live my life … not as others dictate, but in the manner that I see fit. I’ve earned that right. I know you all have the best of intentions and what you do is done out of love … please love us enough to let us decide how we will live these next days/weeks/months. Thank you.

Hampered by Hubris

I was pondering a post similar to this, but then Grump, aka Jerry over at On the Fence Voters, wrote this one. I’ve long followed that old saying, ‘Why re-invent the wheel’, and so I am sharing Jerry’s thoughts here, as they mirror my own. We cannot, must not become complacent … the future of this nation and the 330 million people in it depend on our actions November 3rd. Thanks Jerry!

On The Fence Voters

He had the almost-perfect con game going. But then his narcissism and ambition took him too far. I’m tempted to refer to it as “The Peter Principle” played out on the world’s most public stage—except that the moment Donald J. Trump stepped out from his wealthy father’s shadow, he already had reached his level of incompetence.

Donald Trump should have known he was not up to the monumental task of leading the world’s most-advanced nation. He should have known his shot at glory would go horribly awry, causing grave damage to his reputation and, worse by far, to the country he claims to love.

But, as is common among self-centered people, Donald Trump is ignorant of his ignorance. He knew more about the military than the military’s generals. He knew more about NATO than NATO’s leaders. He knew how to hire all the right people. He alone could fix the…

View original post 266 more words