The Good, The Bad, The Hopeful

A few days ago, my dear friend Ellen sent me Maureen Dowd’s column from the New York Times.  She says so much that the topic of the column rather defies description, but her vision of where this nation is today is spot on.  She also gives us hope in a more positive, yet realistic assessment of President Biden’s policies and actions than we’re used to hearing these days.


Drowning Our Future in the Past

By Maureen Dowd

Opinion Columnist

It isn’t a pretty picture.

One coast is burning. The other is under water. In between, anti-abortion vigilantes may soon rampage across gunslinging territory.

What has happened to this country?

America is reeling backward, strangled by the past, nasty and uncaring, with everyone at one another’s throats.

Post-Trump, we let ourselves hope that the new president could heal and soothe, restore a sense of rationality, decency and sanity. But the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be just a firefly.

We feel the return of dread: We’re rattled by the catastrophic exit from Afghanistan; the coming abortion war sparked by Texas; the Trumpian Supreme Court dragging us into the past; the confounding nature of this plague; the way Mother Nature is throttling us, leaving New Yorkers to drown in their basements. And now comes Donald Trump, tromping toward another presidential run.

It feels as if nothing can be overcome. Everything is being relitigated.

We’re choking on enlightened climate proposals but the disparity between the disasters we see, and what’s being done in Washington, makes it feel as though nothing is happening except climate change. We’re so far from getting a handle on the problem, the discussions around it seem almost theoretical.

Joe Manchin, tied to the energy industry, balks at climate change provisions in the reconciliation bill. He should be looking for ways to get West Virginia in touch with reality rather than living in the past.

“Manchin’s claim that climate pollution would be worsened by the elimination of fossil fuels — or by the resolution’s actual, more incremental climate provisions — is highly dubious, if not outright false,” The Intercept reported, noting that the truth is that Manchin’s personal wealth would “be impacted.” Since he joined the Senate, The Intercept said, he has grossed some $4.5 million from coal companies he founded.

With its new abortion law, sending women back to the back alley and encouraging Stasi-like participation from the citizenry, Texas now becomes the capital of American unreason. The law “essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

There were medieval fiefs more enlightened than the Lone Star G.O.P.

Between putting women in danger by pushing that law and putting children in danger by imposing his anti-mask mania on school districts that want to mask up, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has become a scourge of the first rank.

A cynical slice of the Republican Party — and this includes Trump — privately denigrates anti-abortion activists as wackos, but publicly moves in lock-step with them in order to cling to that base and keep power.

But the anti-abortion forces were somehow clever enough to hijack the Supreme Court and Republicans will have to contend with the backlash when the court tosses Roe v. Wade aside.

As botched as the withdrawal from Afghanistan was, at least Joe Biden was trying to move into the future and do triage on one of America’s worst mistakes.

And unlike other presidents — J.F.K. with the Bay of Pigs, L.B.J. with the Vietnam War and Barack Obama with the Afghanistan surge — Biden did not allow himself to be suckered by the generals, the overweening Ivy Leaguers and the Blob, the expense account monsters who keep this town whirring and always have a seat at the table, no matter how wrong they were, and are.

The Afghanistan tragedy, as James Risen wrote in The Intercept, was just two decades of Americans lying to one another, and it “brought out in Americans the same imperial arrogance that doomed the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.”

Unlike his three predecessors, Biden risked Saudi ire by directing the Justice Department and other agencies on Friday to review and declassify documents related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into 9/11. Families of 9/11 victims had been pushing for the release of the secret files to learn more about the role the Saudis played in the attacks.

The enablers of our misbegotten occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have been shrieking like banshees at Biden, trying to manacle him to their own past mistakes as he attempts to lift off.

With peerless chutzpah, Tony Blair called Biden’s decision to depart cynical and driven by an “imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars.’”

But Biden knew enough not to spend more lives and treasure to prop up a kleptocracy. He oversaw some bad weeks in Afghanistan but George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should be blamed for 20 bad years.

Remarkably, as Jon Allsop pointed out in The Columbia Journalism Review, the word “Bush” was not mentioned once on any of the Sunday news shows the weekend Kabul was falling.

“He looks like the Babe Ruth of presidents when you compare him to Trump,” Harry Reid, the former Democratic Senate majority leader, told The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, for a story this past week on Bush nostalgia.

With a memory like a goldfish, America circles its bowl, returning to where we have been, unable to move forward, condemned to repeat a past we should escape.

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Texas’ Abortion Ban

I haven’t re-blogged TokyoSand’s Saturday cartoon post for the past two weeks, for there is so much deeply wrong in this country today that the cartoons seemed to somehow fall flat with me.  However, given my own malaise and the primary topic of this week’s cartoons — women’s rights, which is near and dear to my own heart — I’ve decided to re-blog this week’s post.  The main topic, of course, is the new Texas law, currently upheld by the white-male-dominant Supreme Court, that has set women’s rights back a hundred years or more.  And then, there’s climate change — no longer is it possible to reject the science of climate change when we’re had uncontrollable wildfires, floods, and mega-storms, not to mention killer heat all summer long.  So, sit back and enjoy the ‘toons … you’ll find the entire collection over at Tokyo’s place (link at end).

Note to readers:  I have been having health issues for some 3 weeks now and my energy levels are on a roller coaster ride, mostly at the bottom of the track.  Therefore, I have not posted much and have not responded to comments at all, nor am I likely to try to catch up at this point.  I have read all comments, and appreciate those of you who have helped out by keeping the conversations going.  I shall pick up here and try not to fall behind again.  I appreciate your patience and apologize for my laziness.


See The Rest Of The ‘Toons Here!

Thoughts

What I’m about to say may earn me no brownie points, but … I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em.  I have been criticized and called on the carpet by one reader for not addressing the 13 U.S. military men and women who were killed last week during a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.  The attack was perpetrated by a branch of daesh, ISIS-K.

Yes, I am deeply saddened by the deaths of these 13 men and women, all of whom were loved and important to many people.  However, another 100+ (numbers are uncertain at this time) or more Afghanis were also killed in the same attack, some of them young children.  How can I write a tribute to the U.S. military dead without also memorializing those innocent Afghani civilians?  Can anyone reading this tell me that the military staff were somehow more important, more valuable people than those Afghanis?  If you can, I would very much like to hear your reasoning.

A life.  No, not all lives are equal in what they produce during their time here on earth.  You have people like Dr. Martin Luther King who did so much good in his short 39 years here on earth, then you have the average John Doe who makes many friends over a lifetime, but his contributions are mainly small, local ones.  Does that make John Doe’s life worth less than MLK’s?  Certainly not to his spouse, children, grandchildren, and the friends he made over the course of his life.  Yes, there is a day set aside every year to honour Dr. King but not John Doe.  But you know John’s family has a special day of remembrance for him.  He was important, too.

When the evacuation from Afghanistan is complete, when final tally is in, I will likely write about all those who died this month, including the 13 soldiers.  But folks, it ain’t over yet.  The Taliban, the U.S., and some 96 other nations have agreed to allow the evacuations to continue past the August 31st deadline.  At least twice in recent days, additional attacks, presumably by ISIS-K, have been thwarted by U.S. drone attacks, the most recent of which killed Afghan children.  As of today, we have no idea what the final tally will be.  The end of the story has yet to be written.

And while I’m on that topic, I will also not point fingers of blame at either President Biden, or any of the former presidents who made mistakes that cost lives in Afghanistan.  There will be a time to assess what we might have done better starting back in 2001, how we might have prevented the deaths of 2,400 U.S. military and countless Afghanis who have been killed over the past 20 years as a result of our occupation of Afghanistan. But first we must finish the task at hand.  There will be plenty of blame to go around, I’m sure, and it must be analyzed, and the entire story told.  In time.  But the blame is far less important that the lessons for the future we must learn from the mistakes of the past. Today, we get as many people out of Afghanistan as we possibly can, bring them to safety, then figure out how best to help them assimilate into our country, our culture.

I am not being heartless.  My heart aches for the families of the men and women who are coming home in body bags, but it also aches for the mother who just lost her child in Kabul, the father who lost his entire family.  A human life is important no matter what clothing covers it, no matter what skin colour, no matter what religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Guns And COVID — Both Murder Weapons

If I owned a retail establishment (a ‘store’, for any Republicans who might be reading), I would be well within my rights to impose and enforce a ban on guns in my business.  I would have a sign on all entrances stating my ‘no gun’ policy and anyone caught bringing a gun into my place would be given a lifetime ban.  No exceptions.  Why?  Because guns kill, because guns are dangerous even in the most well-trained hands.  Because I don’t want to have to hire a crew to clean the blood stains off of my walls.

Murder, by the way, is against the law here in the U.S.  So, if you brought a gun into my establishment, lost your temper with, say somebody who accidentally jostled you, and you shot them … you would go to prison.

Now, the gun rights’ activists will tell me that I’m infringing on their 2nd Amendment rights, but frankly I don’t give a damn and that isn’t how I see it.

So now we have another lethal weapon in the public arsenal, this one less obvious at a glance than a bulky gun:  COVID.  Covid is a lethal killer … to date, 4.5 million people worldwide have died of this disease since its inception and there is no sign that it is slowing down in too many places, most notably parts of the U.S.  So, again, I would be well within my rights to refuse entry to my place of business to anyone not vaccinated and not wearing a mask – the only two tools in our toolbox to fight this killer.

If you wish to visit my store, you will show valid proof of vaccination AND you will wear a mask.  Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Governor DeSantis or Governor Abbott have to say about it … I will ban those who cannot follow the rules of public safety.

Today, the vaccine has been widely available and free for a number of months, and this week received full FDA approval, so there is NO remaining excuse for anybody to continue to shun the vaccine.  But if you do, be advised that you, too, will be shunned by good people of conscience.

It seems to me that, Covid being every bit as lethal, though not as obvious, as a gun, then it should be restricted in the same way … that … oh wait, we don’t restrict guns, either do we?  But seriously, folks … the person who refuses to be vaccinated, who refuses to wear a mask in public, is every bit as much a murderer in my book as the person who pulls a gun in a crowded movie theater.  Consider the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month.  According to NBC News …

Two weeks after the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, reported Covid infections in the state have risen nearly sixfold.

South Dakota counted 3,819 new cases in the past two weeks, including seven deaths, up from 644 cases in the 14 days preceding it. That makes it the state with the largest percent increase in Covid cases in the past two weeks.

Packed in like sardines and in all the pictures I’ve seen, I did not see a single masked face.

Y’know, my friends, if a person wants to commit suicide, that is his or her business and contrary to what I thought, it is not against the law.  But it does seem that there are more reliable and less traumatic ways to do it than to catch Covid intentionally.  But when we start talking about other people’s lives, then … WHOA!  Put the brakes on, stop sipping that Jack Daniels, stop being stubborn just for the sake of showing the world what an asshole you are, and think for a minute.  Murder, as it happens, IS illegal.  If you intentionally place your unvaccinated, unmasked self into a group of people, you are potentially committing murder.  You may be murdering a two-year-old child or an elderly woman like myself.  You may be murdering a schoolteacher or a nurse.  It’s a game of Russian roulette and I’M TIRED OF IT!

Tell me again, Scott Lawlor, how your right to shun the vaccine overrides my right to life!  Tell us all, you stupid bitches holding up signs reading “My body, my choice”, what you would do if your own child caught Covid and died as a result of your “choice”.

It seems to me that there should be a nation-wide mandate for both the vaccine and masks.  Anybody caught not obeying … there is plenty of jail space.  We could whip Covid in this country in a matter of weeks if EVERYONE did their part … a really simple part, actually.  But no, there are 30% – 40% of the people in this nation who aren’t particularly smart, aren’t at all compassionate, but rather are greedy, selfish bastards.  And governors who would rather see a reduction in the population of their state than make an unpopular decision.  Wow, real tough guys, eh?

Have a safe and happy weekend, my friends, and stay away from covidiots.

It Should Be Humanitarian, Not Political!

The 24/7 press about the situation in Afghanistan wears on one’s psyche, especially in light of all the finger-pointing, mud-slinging and everyone putting their own coat of varnish on the situation and its political ramifications.  I am a forever supporter of a free press, but … in return, I expect them to be responsible in their reporting.  This responsibility seems to be largely lacking at the moment.

Nobody can sum up a situation quite like New York Times’ Frank Bruni, so I shall leave it to him to unpack the current chaos …


Stop Politicizing the Misery in Afghanistan

By Frank Bruni

Opinion writer

26 August 2021

Democrats are panicked that the debacle in Afghanistan will shake American voters’ confidence in not only President Biden but also the rest of the party, potentially costing it control of the Senate and the House in 2022. They’ve said as much — to me, to other journalists, to anyone who will listen.

I wish they’d stop, because their political fate is nothing next to the fate of Afghans on the wrong side of the Taliban. And every time they communicate as much concern with the party’s near future as with Afghanistan’s, they inch toward the very destiny they dread.

To review: There were explosions today outside the airport in Kabul, underscoring how gravely dangerous the situation there is. Afghans have been crushed to death in stampedes to that area. Many who took considerable risks to help us now justifiably fear brutal reprisals from the Taliban and cannot count on us to get them to safety. Refugees have traded one hell for another: fetid, sweltering, rat-infested camps unfit for even fleeting human habitation. And some of our allies have struggled to rescue their own citizens and lost yet more faith in the United States.

But, sure, let’s talk about domestic politics and the midterms — which, mind you, are more than 14 months away.

I’m not minimizing the stakes of those elections. Given the Republican Party’s capitulation to conspiracy theories, its contempt for democratic norms, the paranoia of Marjorie Taylor Greene, the depravity of Matt Gaetz, the cowardice of Kevin McCarthy and the stubborn pull of their orange overlord, a Republican takeover of Congress would likely be disastrous.

But you know how Democrats and the media can increase the odds of that? By framing too much in those terms. By conspicuously keeping score: This event works to our advantage, that development works in theirs, we drew blood here, they drew blood there. When everyone seems equally political, everything is reduced to politics, and voters have a harder time seeing who’s on their side. They see only a contest with contestants out for themselves.

Republicans are goading Democrats, that’s for sure. Donald Trump is mocking them and Fox News taunting them — by politically weaponizing the misery in Afghanistan and casting it as an illustration of Biden’s and Democrats’ unfitness to govern.

Let them. They look parochial at best, callous at worst and opportunistic through and through. They’re right to demand more of the country and its president than what we’ve seen in regard to Afghanistan, and it’s fine to discuss that, but not in a tone so nakedly partisan and not with a memory so audaciously selective.

Trump would have done us prouder? Hah. The United States was humiliated repeatedly and spectacularly under his, um, leadership, as he gleefully trashed our most cherished ideals. What’s more, there was nothing in his magnitude of ignorance, self-consumption and neglect to suggest that he would have accomplished a withdrawal from Afghanistan — which, mind you, he was insistent about — with more grace. Any assertion otherwise charts the confluence of runaway revisionism and pure fantasy.

But if Democrats want to be sure to beat Republicans, their best bet is to be not like them: to focus on the substance of problems rather than their political implications, to talk about solutions without calculating their political benefit. In these jaded times, a little genuine earnestness could go a long way.

That holds true for the media as well. In an excellent column in The Washington Post recently, Margaret Sullivan rued the fact that reporting on government has become reporting on politics, although the two aren’t — or at least shouldn’t be — the same. Her prompt was the fight between Democrats and Republicans over a congressional investigation into the events of Jan. 6. She implored journalists to “stop asking who the winners and losers were in the latest skirmish. Start asking who is serving the democracy and who is undermining it. Stop being ‘savvy’ and start being patriotic.”

Amen. A similar plea has a place in the coverage of Afghanistan. I’ve pretty much given up on Republicans for the time being, but I’m still rooting for better from Democrats, who should focus on how the United States honors the promises we made in Afghanistan, limits the suffering there and reclaims a place of honor and reliability in global affairs. I don’t want the handicapping of the 2022 horse race, at least not right now.

Profit Over People — The “American” Way

Sure, go ahead, blame President Biden.  Blame George W. Bush, blame President Obama, blame the former guy … there’s plenty of blame to spread around.  Blame the military advisors who advised Bush and Obama (the former guy took advise from nobody, believing he actually had a functional brain).  Blame your Aunt Mabel for all I care.  The bottom line is that there was only one winner in the entire U.S.-Afghanistan fiasco:  private military contractors.

If you purchased $10,000 of stock evenly divided among America’s top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001 — the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295.  Not a bad return on investment, eh?  Defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the Afghanistan War.  Those top five biggest defense contractors?

  • Boeing – $8.2 billion profit in 2017
  • Lockheed Martin – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Raytheon – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Northrop Grumman – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • General Dynamics – $2.9 billion profit in 2017

People’s lives don’t really matter to the CEOs of these companies whose eyes only light up when they see $$$$$$$$$$.  Not Afghani lives, not U.S. or British lives, only profit matters.

It is right and proper that we leave Afghanistan – we never should have gone there in the first place and for damn sure shouldn’t have stayed 20 years, but … all those lovely profits!  How the withdrawal came about and how it was transacted will be questioned for many hears henceforth and fingers will be pointed, blame will be dispersed, and at the end of the day, nothing will have changed.  The U.S. will not have learned a lesson from this, but will continue to display its extreme arrogance in believing that they have all the best solutions and eventually, perhaps sooner than later, there will be another Afghanistan.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing every single defense contractor in bankruptcy by the end of next year and the U.S. defense budget for new military hardware reduced to zero.  I would far rather my tax dollars be spent helping people with such things as education, food, shelter, job training, than spent on killing machines.  However, mine is a humanitarian viewpoint, or one of a snowflake liberal as I’m often told, who cares more about people and animals than I care about profit and power.

The Return Of Snarky!

Snippets, Snippets, have I ever got snippets today!  My body may be feeble, but there’s nothing wrong with my mind!


Today, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval for the Pfizer vaccine against COVID.  This does a number of things.

First, it removes the excuse the anti-vaxxers have been using for not getting the vaccine.  They said, “not without full FDA approval!”  Well, folks, now you’ve got that, so get your fat asses out there and get vaccinated … TODAY!

My granddaughter, astute for her young years, said, “I bet now they’ll say it was too fast.”  And lo and behold, just an hour after she said that I read this headline …

Goalposts Moved: Fox News is Now Complaining That FDA Rushed the Vaccine Approval Process

And if Fox says it, you know the nudniks will believe it.

Second, it allowed the Pentagon today to announce it is making the vaccine mandatory for its 1.3 million active-duty service members.  Bravo!!!

The time for argument and delay is past.  This was the last possible hurdle.  Now it’s time to think of others, put petty whining aside just for once, and do the right thing.  If a large portion of the population continue to resist, then I vote we build something akin to leper colonies and house them there until the threat has passed.


In just a few hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo will fade into oblivion … we hope.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will take her oath of office at one minute after midnight.  I detest the confrontational attitude that Cuomo has adopted in his last weeks in office, for he is only paying the price for his own actions – nobody forced him to sexually harass women.

That said, all people are some combination of good and bad … well, most people anyway.  While Cuomo’s current crimes must be remembered, must serve as a warning to future politicos, he has also done much good during his decade in office and I think that should be remembered as well.  It is a part of his legacy, just as is his sexual misconduct.  When Pete Rose was banned from baseball for betting on the sport, I thought that right and proper, but when he was denied a well-earned place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, I thought that was wrong.  In the same way, I think it is right for Cuomo to step down, but that it would be wrong to paint Cuomo with only a single, dark brush.

Remember the good as well as the bad and take a lesson from both.


When I was trying to catch up on the news earlier today, I felt as if there were a conspiracy to direct our attention in so many directions that no single news item would stand out, would capture our full attention.  Afghanistan, of course, is at the forefront of our minds, as it should be.  Climate change and the terrible climate-related disasters happening all over the globe – floods, hurricanes, droughts, water shortages, wildfires – are critical to our future on this planet.  Getting vaccines into stubborn mules and masks onto their faces seems a never-ending struggle and is critical, for failure to do so affects the health and well-being of every man, woman and child on earth.  But what seems to have fallen through the cracks may be, at least for the people of the United States, the most important issue of them all:  voting rights.

The U.S. Senate under the minority leadership of the ignoble Kevin McCarthy is somehow determined to draw our attention away from the bills S1 and S4 so that, with our attention elsewhere, they can sweep them under the rug and wash their hands of our voting rights.

Interestingly, Maria Bartiromo of Fox ‘News’ interviewed McCarthy the other day and she surprised me.  Here’s a brief snippet from that interview …

Bartiromo:  “You a moment ago mentioned the HR 1 voting bill. I’ve got to tell you there are viewers of this program who have lost faith in the Republican Party leadership, lost faith in Mitch McConnell and in you because we do not know if you have your arms around free and fair elections.  How come there’s no discussion about all of the states that are changing their voting laws right now?  How come there’s no discussion about the audit going on in Arizona right now? What are you going to do? Can you prove to the American people that you are in control here and able to ensure that we will have free and fair elections in 2022 and 2024?”

McCarthy:  “We’re fighting every single day. Now we’re watching Democrats trying to cheat within elections, inflation at a number we have not seen. This is Jimmy Carter on steroids. And this is just eight months into this administration.  We will fight and we will win and the next century will be the American century because we know how to govern.”

That is a non-answer if ever I heard one!  He did not even begin to answer the question, not even to address the fact that some Fox viewers, according to Bartiromo, have lost faith in the Republican Party leadership, but used his answer as yet another opportunity to criticize the Democratic Party!  Get off your fat ass, McCarthy, and do your job!  We the People want the For the People Act (S1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (S4) passed and we want it done before the end of this year!!!

Folks … this one is top priority, even though it seems to have faded out of view in light of the chaos of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal.  Let’s keep it hot, okay?  We cannot allow our politicians to simply shrug their shoulders and let these two all-important bills die in the Senate.  Once again, I’m asking you, contact your Senators and let them know you have not forgotten … you will not forget.

Pride and Shame.

Our friend David has written a short piece that needs no introduction and that, if you are human, will bring a lump to your throat. Thank you, David.

The BUTHIDARS

Many times in my life I’ve been proud of my country. Proud to say I’m from the UK A few times I’ve felt great shame. Today is one of those days where if asked where I’m from, I shall say Wales and hope many people don’t know where that is. For the last few days amid the turmoil that is Kabul, following the departure of the President and the melting away of Afghanistan’s army, I have been watching scenes of Afghanis employed by the various occupying armies trying to get aboard aircraft and head for safety before the Taliban arrived.

President Trump agreed a handover to the Taliban though it’s fallen to Joe Biden to achieve it as peacefully as possible. It’s also been the responsibility of each of the occupying forces to evacuate their men and civilians who have been usdeful to them. The Taliban arrived early and panic…

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We Don’t Need More Babies!!!!

I saw an article headline in the New York Times this morning …

Who Has the Cure for America’s Declining Birthrate? Canada.

A number of things went spinning through my mind, but the dominating thought was – why does our declining birth rate need or deserve a cure???  All things considered, this world does not need any more humans hellbent on destroying our precious resources!  It seems, especially of late, that there is a taint in the gene pool here in the U.S. that more and more of our population are affected with TS – Terminal Stupidity.

Rather than trying to increase an already hefty population, let’s focus on educating the ones we have!  In fact, I would advocate sterilization for every single individual who blatantly refuses to be vaccinated or to wear a mask.  They are the breeders of TS.

And then there’s the environment.  At the current rate which we are ignoring the dire warnings of the scientific community and the IPCC, human life on this planet cannot possibly last past the end of the century, likely not even that long.  So … WHY does anybody think it’s a good idea to bring more lives onto the planet to suffer the devastating effects that are going to take place in the coming years???  What a cruel thing to do!  Over the next generation or two, there will be food and water scarcity, devastating fires, droughts, floods.

Rather than try to boost the birthrate, I say we make birth control free and widely available, same with abortions.  It is unconscionable to keep piling people on top of people who have no future.  We, humans, have no future and we have only ourselves to blame.  Don’t subject even more people to a slow, painful, drawn-out death.

Now, some of you may argue that one of those new lives could be the very person who grows up to find a way to save the planet.  And there was a time that would have been my view as well.  However, as I watch those with TS parading around doing far more harm than good, even to their own loved ones, I realize that if we were handed a solution on a silver platter today, there are far too many affected by TS who would rebel, who would refuse to make whatever sacrifices were needed on their part, for it would, in their book, “infringe on their freedoms”.  They would sooner see this planet crash and burn than to make some small effort to help save it, so no matter how brilliant the plan to save the planet might be, the TS bunch will stomp on it.

Sorry, folks, but my faith in the goodness of human nature is gone.  Done.  When I see a parent ripping the mask off of a teacher, see hordes of people cheering a madman who has done more than his share to add to the destruction of not only this nation, but the world, and see a motorcycle rally where not one lousy person of the thousands in attendance is wearing a mask, despite the surge in both new cases and deaths, despite the new Lambda variant on the horizon, then I know there isn’t much hope for rallying the crowd in a huge effort to save the planet.  Let the birth rate continue to decline.  It’s for the best.

And for those of you who haven’t yet had the joy of grandchildren … buy a puppy.  They’re cuter, much more low-maintenance, cheaper to feed, and loyal.

A Powerful Voice … The Voice Of The Future

Dear friends …

I haven’t been blogging much this week, and likely won’t for the next few days, for my “little bit under the weather” has worsened and I just don’t feel up to doing much besides sleeping.  But no worries … I will bounce back … soon, I hope.  Meanwhile young Greta Thunberg is back with a powerful piece that we should all take note of …


This Is the World Being Left to Us by Adults

Greta Thunberg, Adriana Calderón, Farzana Faruk Jhumu and 

The authors are youth climate activists from Sweden, Mexico, Bangladesh and Kenya, working with the international youth-led Fridays For Future movement.

Last week, some of the world’s leading climate change scientists confirmed that humans are making irreversible changes to our planet and extreme weather will only become more severe. This news is a “code red for humanity,” said the United Nations secretary general.

It is — but young people like us have been sounding this alarm for years. You just haven’t listened.

On Aug. 20, 2018, one child staged a lone protest outside the Swedish Parliament, expecting to stay for three weeks. Tomorrow we will mark three years since Greta Thunberg’s strike. Even earlier, brave young people from around the world spoke out about the climate crisis in their communities. And today, millions of children and young people have united in a movement with one voice, demanding that decision makers do the work necessary to save our planet from the unprecedented heat waves, massive floods and vast wildfires we are increasingly witnessing. Our protest will not end until the inaction does.

For children and young people, climate change is the single greatest threat to our futures. We are the ones who will have to clean up the mess you adults have made, and we are the ones who are more likely to suffer now. Children are more vulnerable than adults to the dangerous weather events, diseases and other harms caused by climate change, which is why a new analysis released Friday by UNICEF is so important.

The Children’s Climate Risk Indexprovides the first comprehensive view of where and how this crisis affects children. It ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks, as well as their underlying vulnerability to those shocks.

It finds that virtually every child on the planet is exposed to at least one climate or environmental hazard right now. A staggering 850 million, about a third of all the world’s children, are exposed to four or more climate or environmental hazards, including heat waves, cyclones, air pollution, flooding or water scarcity. A billion children, nearly half the children in the world, live in “extremely high risk” countries, the UNICEF researchers report.

This is the world being left to us. But there is still time to change our climate future. Around the world, our movement of young activists continues to grow.

In Bangladesh, Tahsin Uddin, 23, saw the impacts of climate change in his village and other coastal areas and was moved to action. He is passionate about climate education and has created a network of young journalists and educators to spread awareness, all while organizing cleanups of waterways teeming with plastic waste pollution.

In the Philippines, Mitzi Jonelle Tan, 23, has had to complete her homework by candlelight as typhoons raged outside and wiped out her community’s electricity. She told us there were times she was afraid of drowning in her own bedroom as water flooded in. Now she is leading youth in her country to respond to the aftermath of those typhoons and other hazards through sharing food, water, clothes and support with the most affected communities.

In Zimbabwe, Nkosi Nyathi, 18, is worried about a potential food crisis if weather patterns continue. Heat waves made school a challenging experience for him and his peers. Now he speaks to leaders from around the world to demand the inclusion of young people in decisions that affect their future.

The fundamental goal of the adults in any society is to protect their young and do everything they can to leave a better world than the one they inherited. The current generation of adults, and those that came before, are failing at a global scale.

The Children’s Climate Risk Index reveals a disturbing global inequity when it comes to the worst effects of climate change. Thirty-three countriesincluding the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria and Guinea, are considered extremely high-risk for children, but those countries collectively emit just 9 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. The 10 countries with the highest emissions, including China, the United States, Russia and Japan, collectively account for nearly 70 percent of global emissions. And children in those higher-emitting states face lower risks: Only one of these countries, India, is ranked as extremely high-risk in the UNICEF report.

Many higher-risk countries are poorer nations from the global south, and it’s there that people will be most impacted, despite contributing the least to the problem. We will not allow industrialized countries to duck responsibility for the suffering of children in other parts of the world. Governments, industry and the rest of the international community must work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as 195 nations committed to do in the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

We have less than 100 days until the U.N. Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, in Glasgow. The world’s climate scientists have made it clear that the time is now — we must act urgently to avoid the worst possible consequences. The world’s young people stand with the scientists and will continue to sound the alarm.

We are in a crisis of crises. A pollution crisis. A climate crisis. A children’s rights crisis. We will not allow the world to look away.