Saturday Surprise — Bang

Hello friends!  Whew … been a heck of a week, hasn’t it?  Yeah, me too … and that’s why I figured we ought to start the weekend with a bang …bangThere now … wasn’t that fun?  Oh, okay fine … let’s see if I can do better.


Ducks in their finery …

Normally I am against dressing critters in clothes, but I have to admit that these ducks all decked out in their Easter finery are pretty darn cool.duck-1It’s called the Pied Piper Duck Show and it’s an annual event in Sydney, Australia.  Behatted ducks in pink, green and yellow outfits waddle down the catwalk in the Pied Piper Duck Show at one of Australia’s most famous annual country festivals. The show is a part of the 14-day Sydney Royal Easter Show which is the largest annual event staged in Australia, attracting an average of 900,000 visitors.duck-2Brian Harrington, who runs the duck show, believes his feathered models are just as talented as their human counterparts, and completely under-appreciated. The 60-year old Harrington has run the show for some 30 years and dresses his ducks according to the latest fashion trends for each event. A farmer from New South Wales, Brian Harrington also trains pigs which, this year, reportedly played a chaotic version of musical chairs.duck-3Aside from fashion parades, the Pied Piper Duck Show also showcase Racing Ducks, which have the crowds roaring in laughter as they cheer on their favorite duck. And of course, there are food stalls that offer everything from steak sandwiches, souvlakis, baked potatoes, strawberries, ice-cream, milkshakes, and duck roast too.duck-4duck-5duck-6


Eggs artistry?

In teaching my granddaughter to cook, I have always stressed that cooking is an art, not a science.  These creations are far beyond my food-art ability, though …

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The woman who created these edible arts is known as Etoni Mama. She is raising three girls—ages 7, 9, and 11—who are lucky enough to eat colorful, cartoon character-inspired meals almost every day. The talented mother who has no prior training in making food is definitely a master of kyaraben, also known as character bento. Kyaraben is a Japanese lunchbox food style that features numerous meals decorated to look like people and various pop culture characters, including plants and animals. While making character bento is not easy, Etoni does it so well that you can’t help but love her meals.

food-art-6food-art-7food-art-9food-art-10food-art-11


This next one is courtesy of Scott Lawlor who send it to me a few days ago …

Sleeping it off …

It is said that the village of  Xishuangbana in Yunnan Province in China was deserted of humans who were largely staying in their homes, when a herd of 14 elephants came into the village looking for food & drink.  Well, the local pubs and saki bars were closed, so the elephants helped themselves to some corn in a field, and to wash it down, they found 30kg of corn whiskey that the farmers must have left out.  Well, here is the end result of that … they fell asleep in a tea garden!

elephants

I am told that the story was mostly made up to fit the picture, but … it’s a fun story anyway.


SaturdayThat’s all I’ve got for today, folks … sorry for such a short one, but I’m all out tonight.  Now go try to have a fun weekend … go for a nice walk in the woods or along the lake, depending where you live, or just around the local high school track!  Take a picnic lunch with you and make a day of it! Those activities are not forbidden … not yet, anyway.  Either way, have a great weekend.

 

You won’t see this on Fox News

We all remember back when Trump said the coronavirus was naught more than a ‘cold’, and when he claimed it was a democratic ‘hoax’ perpetrated with the intent of bringing him down. Seeing his progression of comments, though, all in one place over the course of about a month-and-a-half, shows that without a doubt he is … at best, a moron, at worst, an evil megalomaniac. This post by endsandbeginnings, gives rise to the question: Is he insane or evil? I think a little of both.

Ends and Beginnings

Just as a reminder:

Feb. 7 (tweet): “…… as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”

Feb. 10: “I think the virus is going to be — it’s going to be fine.”

Feb. 14: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.”

Feb. 19: “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.”

Feb. 24 (tweet): “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Feb…

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Isn’t It Time For Some … Snarky Snippets?

snarky-4Whew … the news cycle these days is nuts.  Much of what’s found on the news is repetitive, but one must sift through it to find the nuggets.  Then, when you find the nuggets, they just make you growl.  Well-meaning friends suggest from time-to-time that I tune out for a few days or even … gasp … a week!  But, I cannot.  I am who I am, and I am very concerned these days about what is happening behind the scenes in Washington, what are they doing that is not being reported because the media is so wrapped up in the coronavirus and the stock market?


Keeping secrets from us …

Predictably, unemployment claims are overwhelming the system in some states where restaurants, bars, indoor malls and entertainment centers have closed down.  In Connecticut, for example, 30,000 claims were filed between Friday evening and Tuesday, compared with a total of 2,500 all last week. This week, Illinois received over 41,000 claims on Monday and Tuesday compared with 4,445 in those two days last year. And in Michigan, 5,419 claims were filed in February’s final week; so far this week, the state is fielding five-and-a-half times as many.  None of this is unexpected.

And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Trump & Co is asking state labor officials to delay releasing the precise number of unemployment claims they are fielding.  Most every month, the employment numbers have been positive, although in recent months they have been tracking below the predictions, but the numbers for March are, needless to say, going to reflect a sharp drop in employment over the course of the month.  We have a right to know just how many jobs have been lost, in part due to the bungling of Trump & Co.  This is not something they should be able to hide from us, as they have so many other things.  Yet another sign that we have a wanna-be dictator in office.  Who will stop him?


Get out of jail free

michael-cohenMichael Cohen … remember him?  He was Trump’s personal attorney and ‘fixer’ who pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate (Trump).  He’s currently serving a three-year sentence at a federal prison camp in Otisville, New York.  A cushy sort of place, with better than average food and other amenities including bocce ball, horseshoes, handball and tennis.

bernie-madoffBernie Madoff … remember him?  He is a former market maker, investment advisor and financier who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to the largest Ponzi scheme in history.  It is estimated that he bilked investors out of some $64.8 billion and his actions were in part responsible for the 2007-2008 financial crisis.  He was sentenced in 2009 to 150 years in prison and is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex, Butner, North Carolina.

get-out-of-jail-freeThe attorneys for these two men are now pleading for their release from prison, saying it is only a matter of time before the coronavirus strikes the prisons and their clients, such pure, good people, should not be subjected to a life-threatening illness.  It makes me wonder … the notorious #MeToo abuser of women, Harvey Weinstein was just sentenced to 23 years in prison, and just yesterday checked in at Elmira Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.  I wonder if his attorney will plead for his release based on the possibility of coronavirus finding its way into the prison?

If you or I were in prison for so much as being caught with a half-ounce of weed, do you think they would even consider letting us out under these circumstances?  No way, José!


Anything to win …

Now, we all know that Donald Trump will do anything to win … win what?  Anything.  Doesn’t matter what, he just takes pride in being a ‘winner’ and calling out all ‘losers’.  He broke numerous laws, had others break laws for him, in order to ‘win’ the 2016 election which, in truth he did not win, but lost by nearly 3 million votes.  Still, it got him what he wanted … a ticket to four years in the Oval Office.

Tell me … if Trump got his hands, say shortly before election day, on a supply of a vaccine that would prevent coronavirus, and offered it exclusively to U.S. citizens, would it make you appreciative enough that you would vote for him?  No, of course not, but … what about his 40% base?  They might be getting pretty disillusioned these days, many of them losing their jobs, many losing the bulk of their pension plans and 401(k)s due to the current pandemic and related financial meltdown, but … would that vaccine maybe change their minds?  Remember, these are the same people who are okay with migrant children being separated from their parents and put in cages at the southern border.

German pharmaceutical firm CureVac since January has been researching a potential vaccine for countering the novel coronavirus. Over the weekend, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported US President Donald Trump offered CureVac about $1 billion to obtain the vaccine “only for the United States.”

In other words … “I got mine, to hell with everybody else”.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

This, folks, is what Trump’s “America First” policy looks like.  Trump and CureVac both publicly denied that such an offer had been made, but … I think it was.  Why?  First, because … it’s Trump.  But, more prudently, because the world leaders of the G7 took it seriously enough to rebuke Trump in a video summit, telling Trump that new vaccines must not be monopolized and that medical firms must share and coordinate research on coronavirus vaccines rather than provide products exclusively to one country.

German ministers also reacted angrily, saying “Germany is not for sale!”

Another interesting aspect of this is that the chief executive of the German firm CureVac, Daniel Menichella, who attended the March 2nd meeting where Trump is said to have made the offer, is suddenly leaving the company he has headed for two years.  CureVac made the announcement on March 13th.  Curious, don’t you think?

Let’s be very clear here, folks … if a viable vaccine for coronavirus is developed, it must be made available to as many people as possible in every nation where people are suffering from the disease.  And NOT to the wealthy first, but rather to those most at risk first!


I have one more snippet, but it’s late, I’m tired, and I’m at the max of my self-imposed word count, so … expect more snarking and growling this afternoon!  Oh no … wait … this afternoon is Part X of mine and Jeff’s project!  Well, soon you can expect to see more snarkiness from the Queen of Snark! Stay tuned!

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.

A Rare “G”-Rated Post

I seem to be unable to write anything news-worthy without a rant that includes a large number of four-letter words.  And yet, today is National Let’s Laugh Day, so it hardly seems proper to start the day with my usual grousing fare.  And so instead of an X-rated rant, I’ve decided to eschew the socio-political scene just for this post (don’t get used to it!), and go with a few things that might make you smile in this #$%@-ed up world of today.


Another good people …

Most of my readers on ‘the other side of the pond’ are likely familiar with the name Gary Neville.  Neville, for the rest of us, is an English football coach and former football player.  Now, remember that when the Brits refer to ‘football’, what they mean is what we call soccer, played with a round ball that is black & white, rather than a brown ovoid pigskin.

soccer-football

Anyway, back to Gary Neville … he also happens to be the co-owner of two hotels … hotels that he is closing during the coronavirus pandemic in order to give the rooms to health workers fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  In addition, he has promised that the staff will retain their incomes, with no layoffs on the horizon and no one being asked to take unpaid leave.

Another of many good people who care more about humanity than their own profit.  Thumbs up, Mr. Neville!


Tree of the Year!!!

This lonesome little pine tree …lonely-pine… believed by superstitious locals to act as sentinel over a flooded Czech village has been chosen as Europe’s tree of the year, beating stiff competition from a Croatian gingko tree, a Portuguese chestnut and an English oak.

The Guardian of the Flooded Village has grown for 350 years on a rocky height near the village of Chudobin, said locally to play host to a devil that sat under it at night, playing the violin and warding off intruders – though in reality the eerie sounds are more likely to have come from the strong winds blowing over the valley.

Supernatural powers attributed to trees ranked multiple times in this year’s competition: another guardian tree, from Romania, took fifth place and two witch trees – in the Netherlands and Ireland – also scored highly.

The UK’s entry, the Allerton Oak, came in seventh place. Growing in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, the oak tree was where judges would meet to hold trials in medieval times, instead of a courthouse. A large crack in the tree is said to date from 1864 when a ship carrying gunpowder exploded on the Mersey – the explosion was heard 30 miles away and shattered thousands of windows.

Who knew there was even such a thing as a “Tree of the Year” contest?  Rather a cool idea, though … honouring trees instead of chopping them down!


Watch da penguins!

Many entertainment centers and places of business around the globe have closed their doors (temporarily, we hope) in the past month.  Our local Barnes & Noble sent out an email today saying they are, for the time being, still open, but that they have removed all the chairs.  🤷

One such business is the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  But, not to waste a rare opportunity, they allowed the penguins free run of the place …

And another aquarium, Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, did the same …


national-laugh-dayAnd in honour of National Let’s Laugh Day, I give you a couple of quotes:

“Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.” — Elsa Maxwell

“We don’t laugh because we’re happy — we’re happy because we laugh.” — William James

Try it and let me know how it feels, okay?


Okay, friends, that’s as much ‘fun’ as I can handle for one day, so I will now return to being my usual snarky, curmudgeonly self.  Until later …

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…

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Good People Doing Good Things — Helpers In These Trying Times

We’ve heard a lot in the past few weeks about human swine who are hoarding large amounts of commodities such as toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and even foodstuffs such as chicken, fresh fruits & veggies, etc.  And then there are the scammers … people who are finding unique ways to profit from other people’s troubles.  But today I want to focus on people who are finding ways to be good people in the midst of the pandemic crisis.


A tip that will be remembered …

On Sunday afternoon, the governor of Ohio announced that all restaurants and bars would close at 9:00 p.m. and remain closed indefinitely … another casualty of the pandemic coronavirus.  We were eating at TGI Fridays when the announcement was made, and our server broke into tears.  I was chuffed to see that a few minutes later, the family dining across the aisle from us gave her a $100 tip … she broke into tears again.  We gave her a $50 tip … and she broke into tears yet again!  But none of that compares to what a diner in Columbus, Ohio, did.

An anonymous man dining at The Coaches Bar and Grill in Columbus, received his bill shortly after the governor’s announcement … the bill totaled $29.75.  To that check, he added a gratuity of … $2,500!  On the check, he wrote a note requesting that the tip be split equally among the five servers who were working that night. tipNeedless to say, the tears were flowing in The Coaches on Sunday night.  Thumbs up to that anonymous man!


Helping the neighbors …

Becky Hoeffler lives in Durham, North Carolina and works for Duke University.  These days, she’s working from home, and when she spoke by phone with her grandfather in New Jersey, she was concerned when he mentioned that he was going out grocery shopping.  She wished she could do it for him to lessen his risk, but obviously she couldn’t.  However, it gave her the idea to make grocery runs for her senior neighbors, in lieu of helping her grandpa.

She started with her next-door neighbor, an elderly lady who only asked her to pick up paper towels, fresh fruit, and flour.  The neighbor then returned the favour in the form of fresh-baked banana bread!

Next, she walked down to the housing community for senior living at the end of her cul-de-sac. She talked to people on their porches and introduced herself—and the offer of kindness.

“They told me I could post the sign with my information near the mailbox station, so all members of the community would be able to see it!”

Becky-HoefflerBecky has posted on a local Facebook group to try to get the word out and to see if anyone needs help.

“In these situations, when the community steps up, you really lessen the pressure on first responders and medical personnel,” she said in an email. “If you’re able to decrease, even by a little bit, the number of patients that have to seek care because they’ve been exposed to something, it’s good for the community as a whole.”

Thumbs up to Becky Hoeffler for caring about her senior neighbors!


Chef Andrés is at it again …

I have written before about Chef José Andrés before.  He and his charity have been praised time and again for helping feed those in need during hurricanes, fires and other disasters.  This time, he is turning his 5-star restaurants into food kitchens for families who may be having trouble making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.

The makeshift soup kitchens will begin serving takeout meals starting today between noon and 5:00 p.m. Furthermore, all of his employees will be getting paid time off for the first two weeks.

chef-andresAndrés’s charity, World Central Kitchen, has also been serving up meals to people affected by the coronavirus, including the quarantined cruise ship passengers and staffers aboard the Grand Princess.  And from Little Rock, Arkansas to San Francisco, the charity has already served up several thousand meals to students and families amidst school closures.


Caremongering in Canada

The first “caremongering” group was set up by Mita Hans with the help of Valentina Harper and others. Valentina explained the meaning behind the name.

“Scaremongering is a big problem. We wanted to switch that around and get people to connect on a positive level, to connect with each other. It’s spread the opposite of panic in people, brought out community and camaraderie, and allowed us to tackle the needs of those who are at-risk all the time – now more than ever.”

Valentina said the rapid growth of the trend was far beyond her expectations, with the Toronto group itself now having more than 9,000 members.

“We thought we’d have a couple dozen people. It’s grown to thousands. But the most positive thing is the local groups that have started, geared to specific neighbourhoods. It’s really shown us the need that people have to have some level of reassurance and hope.  Anxiety, isolation and lack of hope affects you. In providing this virtual community which allows people to help each other, I think it is really showing people there is still hope for humanity. We haven’t lost our hope.”

But they do more than just offer moral support or a kind voice to break up the loneliness.  These include a single mother in Ottawa receiving food for her baby, a group of people in Toronto offering to cook meals for those who are unable, and a community in Prince Edward Island who gave grocery store gift cards to a woman who was laid off because of closures related to coronavirus.

One of the most popular acts is to go to the supermarket for those who are unable – though depending on luck this can prove to be an act of extreme patience as one Hamilton woman discovered when going to a Walmart at 5:30 am on Saturday – the queue was a long one.

These people aren’t rich, don’t have a lot to give, but they are giving of themselves to help others in small ways.  Thumbs up to them all.


In memory of …

The family of 88-year-old Darrell Blakeley, who died at North Manchester General Hospital on Friday after testing positive for coronavirus, have asked people to carry out acts of kindness in his memory.

Darrell-Blakeley“We invite you to forget flowers and cards. Instead we would like you to give acts of kindness. Help someone who is lonely or struggling during this time, who needs shopping, childcare or a chat. Post tiny acts of kindness given and received and share. Build something beautiful in Darrell’s memory.”


These are just a few examples of the many, many people who, instead of seeing this crisis as an opportunity to make a buck at someone’s expense, are seeing it as an opportunity to do something good for others.  I think we can all find some things to do to help people out in these trying times, don’t you?

It’s Not My Fault

Our friend Jeff sums up the present situation with our lack of leadership and the ‘man’ from whom we can expect nothing. Thank you, Jeff … your thoughts on this mirror my own.

On The Fence Voters

When a nation is in a moment of crisis, we expect our leaders to have a bare minimum of two traits: honesty and credibility. Unfortunately, as we wade through the ongoing worldwide pandemic of Covid-19, the United States of America is left wanting of such virtues in the current president.

As we all know, Donald Trump has an aversion to the truth like no other. I’ve called it pathological in this space more than a few times, and he’s done nothing to counteract that assessment. But it’s not just honesty and credibility we should expect of our leaders. We should also expect him or her to have humility. When things go wrong, as they always do in any presidential administration, at times, there needs to be a comeuppance. An acknowledgment, however painful it might be, that maybe I could have done things better, quickly followed by an “I promise to…

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Da Snarky Snippets Keep On Coming

I bet you guys thought I had relieved all the angst and snark yesterday afternoon, didn’t you?  Well, think again.  I had hopes of posting something less acerbic this morning, but as fate would have it, the idiots in this nation just keep getting more and more ridiculous and … that low growl has started up in my throat once again.  So … more snippets of snark are in order.


Only in the U.S.

Okay, we’ve all seen the results of the hoarding swine who bought up all the toilet paper and bottled water the first day the word ‘coronavirus’ hit the U.S. news.  Last weekend, it was widely reported that the sales of spirits and cannabis was doing a booming business with revenue 500% to 800% higher than normal.  But guess what the latest item to be snatched up in a surge of panic buying is?  Guns and ammunition.  WTF???????????

guns-lineDo these nutcases honestly think they’re going to have to take to shooting people over a roll of toilet paper?  They cite the potential for ‘social unrest’ as the reason for their fear, and the ‘need to protect themselves and their families’.  Bullshit.

Sales were especially pronounced in North Carolina and Georgia, which experienced a leap of 179% and 169% respectively. Other states with large increases included Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Illinois and New York.  And guess what kind of guns they’re buying?  They’re not buying hunting rifles, or 6-shooters … noooooo … they’re buying mostly AR-15s and other semi-automatic assault-type rifles.  So apparently, they plan to be able to take out their entire neighborhood if they feel justified in doing so.

Some people (not the gun buyers, obviously) expressed concerns for the safety of children. A sudden increase in guns and rifles in domestic homes could put children at risk through lack of safe storage. Firearms are already the second most prevalent killer of children in the US after car crashes.

Surely the Founding Fathers are now kicking themselves for writing that damn 2nd Amendment into the Constitution.founding-fathers-eyeroll


Ohio’s Dictator DeWine

The governor of the State of Ohio has decided to strip U.S. citizens living in this state of their right to a representative government by postponing the Democratic primary scheduled for today.  Governor Mike DeWine announced yesterday afternoon that he would postpone the primary until June, but he was struck down by Ohio Judge Richard Frye, who said that DeWine waited too late … less than 24 hours before the polls would open. The judge also said that DeWine’s postponement until June was arbitrary at best, as there is no reliable evidence that the coronavirus crisis will have ended by June.

DeWine, however, apparently believes he has some sort of dictatorial executive privilege (perhaps he listened to Trump brag that he can do anything he wants to do) and has decided that the polls will not open today after all.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And like his role model, he made the announcement via tweet …

“During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus.  As such, @DrAmyActon will order the polls closed as a health emergency. While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State @FrankLaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity.”

This is unacceptable!!!  It’s our choice, Mikey, not yours!!!  If I’m willing to risk sickness and possibly even death to preserve the few democratic principles left in this nation, and I am, then it isn’t your place to rob me of that right!!!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Yes, folks, I know this pandemic is serious, but so is our right to a representative government!  If people cannot be bothered to carry hand sanitizer with them and use it as they leave the polling place … if we are thought to be so effing stupid that we cannot take responsibility for taking precautions in order to exercise our RIGHT to cast a vote, then we have lost our nation.  We no longer have any semblance of a democratic republic, at least not in Ohio.

The three other states with primaries today are, sensibly, going ahead, trusting people to look out for themselves.  How many other states are going to usurp our Constitutional rights?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Department of Injustice strikes again …

Concord Management and Consulting is a Russian-owned company charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S. government by orchestrating a social media campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  The evidence against the company was meticulously detailed in Robert Mueller’s report about Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.  However, yesterday the Department of (In)Justice under Attorney General William Barr dropped all charges.  WHY???

Because … wait for it, you’re gonna love this one … the company failed to comply with trial subpoenas and the submission of a “misleading, at best” affidavit by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a co-defendant and the company’s founder.  The company refused to provide the information requested in the subpoenas, so the prosecutors dropped the charges!

Now let me tell you the real reason the charges were dropped.  Because Vladimir Putin, Trump’s soul brother, told Trump to make it happen, Trump told William Barr to make it happen, and it happened.  Next time you are subpoenaed to testify in any trial, just don’t bother to show up, and all the charges will be dropped, right?  No, folks, there are two sets of laws in this country … the ones that apply to Donald Trump and his cronies, and the ones that apply to all the rest of us.

In a somewhat related story, Trump is “strongly considering” a presidential pardon for Michael Flynn, who has twice pled guilty to lying to the FBI in the case of Russia’s meddling with our election.  Recently, Flynn asked the judge if he could rescind his guilty plea.  If Trump pardon’s Flynn, he will come into a great deal of criticism, but … when has that ever stopped him from doing precisely whatever he wishes?


Okay, folks, I’ve shared my angst with you for now, but I’m betting there will be more by this afternoon.  If not, perhaps I can share something nicer, but … don’t hold your breath.