♫ Snoopy’s Christmas ♫

As I said this morning, I plan to set aside my political snark through Christmas, so this is another favourite holiday tune that I have played a few years before.  I’m not a huge fan of Christmas music, for most of it has a religious theme, but there are a few songs that stick in my head this time of year, and this is one of them!  Anybody have suggestions for others?


Last night, when I played Snoopy Vs The Red Baron, I noted that I was a bit confused about which song rawgod had requested, that one, or Snoopy’s Christmas.  Turns out, I got it wrong the first time, and it was actually this one, Snoopy’s Christmas, that he was asking for!

This song is a follow-up to Snoopy Vs The Red Baron, in which Snoopy is a fighter pilot. In Snoopy’s Christmas, The Red Baron decides not to shoot Snoopy down, but forces him to land and gives him a Christmas gift.

Although fictitious, the song is set against the backdrop of a legitimate historical event. During World War I, in 1914, “The Christmas Truce” was initiated not by German and British commanders, but by the soldiers themselves. The length of the cease-fire varied by location, and was reported to have been as brief as Christmas Day or as long as the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Trench-bound combatants exchanged small gifts across the lines, with Germans giving beer to the British, who sent tobacco and tinned meat back in return. No Man’s Land was cleared of dead bodies, trenches were repaired and drained, and troops from both sides shared pictures of their families and, in some places, used No Man’s Land for friendly games of football.  There is a song about this event that I will be playing later this week.xmas-SnoopySnoopy’s Christmas reached the No. 1 position in the New Zealand and Australia singles charts in 1967, and remains a popular Christmas song in those countries. The song was the fastest-selling single at the time it was originally released and is estimated to be the biggest selling overseas single sold in New Zealand in the 20th century.  Snoopy’s Christmas was also voted “the worst Christmas song of all time” by readers of the New Zealand Herald in 2007.

Snoopy’s Christmas
The Royal Guardsmen

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Do kannst mir sehr gefallen!

The news had come out in the First World War
The bloody Red Baron was flying once more
The Allied command ignored all of its men
And called on Snoopy to do it again

Was the night before Christmas, 40 below
When Snoopy went up in search of his foe
He spied the Red Baron, fiercely they fought
With ice on his wings Snoopy knew he was caught

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ring out from the land
Asking peace of all the world
And good will to man

The Baron had Snoopy dead in his sights
He reached for the trigger to pull it up tight
Why he didn’t shoot, well, we’ll never know
Or was it the bells from the village below?

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man

The Baron made Snoopy fly to the Rhine
And forced him to land behind the enemy lines
Snoopy was certain that this was the end
When the Baron cried out, “Merry Christmas, mein friend!”

The Baron then offered a holiday toast
And Snoopy, our hero, saluted his host
And then with a roar they were both on their way
Each knowing they’d meet on some other day

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land

Songwriters: Luigi Creatore / Hugo Peretti / George David Weiss
Snoopy’s Christmas lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group, Concord Music Publishing LLC, Music Sales Corporation, Barbara Schwartz Music

♫ Christmas 1914 ♫ (Annual Redux)

Since Christmas is tomorrow, I am putting my political snark and opinions on hold for two days in the spirit of the season, trying to set aside my natural snark and grumpiness.  Come Sunday, however, all bets are off and I shall continue to opine as I see fit!  This post is one I have published for the past two years and it was first suggested to me by our friend David.  It is a heartwarming story that never fails to bring a tear or two to my eyes and I hope you will enjoy it again this year!


On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused to create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce.

Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British troops fighting in World War I sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. Some Germans lit Christmas trees around their trenches, and there was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer. German Lieutenant Kurt Zehmisch recalled …

“How marvelously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.”

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.

CHRISTMAS 1914
Mike Harding

Christmas Eve in 1914
Stars were burning, burning bright
And all along the Western Front
Guns were lying still and quiet.
Men lay dozing in the trenches,
In the cold and in the dark,
And far away behind the lines
A village dog began to bark.

Some lay thinking of their families,
Some sang songs while others were quiet
Rolling fags and playing brag
To while away that Christmas night.
But as they watched the German trenches
Something moved in No Man’s Land
And through the dark came a soldier
Carrying a white flag in his hand.

Then from both sides men came running,
Crossing into No Man’s Land,
Through the barbed-wire, mud and shell holes,
Shyly stood there shaking hands.
Fritz brought out cigars and brandy,
Tommy brought corned beef and fags,
Stood there talking, singing, laughing,
As the moon shone on No Man’s Land.

Christmas Day we all played football
In the mud of No Man’s Land;
Tommy brought some Christmas pudding,
Fritz brought out a German band.
When they beat us at football
We shared out all the grub and drink
And Fritz showed me a faded photo
Of a dark-haired girl back in Berlin.

For four days after no one fired,
Not one shot disturbed the night,
For old Fritz and Tommy Atkins
Both had lost the will to fight.
So they withdrew us from the trenches,
Sent us far behind the lines,
Sent fresh troops to take our places
And told the guns “Prepare to fire”.

And next night in 1914
Flares were burning, burning bright;
The message came along the trenches
Over the top we’re going tonight.
And the men stood waiting in the trenches,
Looking out across our football park,
And all along the Western Front
The Christmas guns began to bark.

I Wish I Had Not Been Inspired To Write This

Our friend Roger has put to paper some of his observations and thoughts about the human mind these days and I thought they were well worth sharing! Thank you, Sir Roger!!!

Writing Despite Computers and Programmes

Since the mean-spirited, the fantasists, the intolerant and the selfish are not letting up this season it seemed like a reasonable idea to take a swipe at them…

These are a collection of thoughts which are available to be used as quotes, no copyright laws were invoked. As an alternative you may wish to shake your head sadly and say ‘Poor guy. How did he get that way?’; to this there is an easy answer….. I’ve been around for 70 years. …..

Anyway…..

Apparently only other people are gullible.

Conspiracy Theories are for folk who can’t cope with the concepts that Human Folly and Natural Planetary Activity are two of the biggest influences on Societies.

It’s not Politics, it’s not Religion, it’s not Economics which are the problem. It’s People.

Two ways of avoiding responsibility, not caring about others and being selfish, would be either to going out to a…

View original post 511 more words

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.