A Lone Mini Snark

I just have one very short mini-snark today …

It is sad that we do not believe anything that we are told by our federal government.  It is beyond sad, frightening in fact, during this time of crisis when we our very lives depend on having accurate information, but we know we cannot trust that information.  For the past two years, when monthly employment data was released, I’ve just rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah, right”.  No way we added 225,000 jobs in January, a month that typically sees a decline as companies lay off seasonal workers, winter sets in and there is less activity.

But the release of employment data for March earlier today by the Department of Labour is a slap in the face … do they really believe we are so stupid as to believe that only 701,000 jobs were lost, when 6.6 million people filed claims for unemployment in one single week ending March 28th???  I realize that the jobs lost won’t precisely match the unemployment claims, for a number of reasons, one being timing, another being that some companies like Amazon and grocery companies actually hired large numbers.  But this disparity is an outright lie.  I, for one, don’t like paying people to lie to me.  It undermines our safety and our ability to plan accordingly.


Our friend Keith’s timing was prescient with his post today, speaking of the lies we are being told, and I urge you to wander over and check out his post.


Note to Readers:

Part XII of mine and Jeff’s project, Discord & Dissension, was initially planned for this afternoon, but due to unforeseen circumstances, must be delayed until next week.  It was our initial intent to publish once a week, every Friday, but obviously when we planned this project last December, we could not have foreseen the nightmare that would usher in the year.  Both Jeff and I see this as our mission, our goal for the rest of the year, to bring you the most accurate assessments of candidates and issues, to keep you informed and also to motivate and inspire our readers to make this election count.  We will return next Friday with Part XII, and that is a promise.  Thank you all for your patience.

Snarky … grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr … Snippets

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

Tonight I have enough snark to fill an entire shelf, nay, an entire room!  So, hold onto your hats and maybe open a window to let the heat out.


Save the masks for the docs & nurses!

Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have said that surgical masks should only be worn by healthcare workers, infected people or those who are taking care of someone who is infected.  These are the experts in the field.  And, the fact is that healthcare workers in hospitals are desperate for masks to protect them when they are working with infectious patients, but there is a severe shortage of the personal protective equipment they need.

So, along comes Donald Trump and his wrecking crew who are expected to announce sometime today that everybody should be wearing a mask when out in public.  Brilliant … the front-line doctors and nurses cannot get masks, but the government suggests that every Tom, Dick and Harry should be snatching them up for their own personal use, even though washing their hands is the far better option.

I think doctors and hospitals all across the nation should sue the federal government for putting their lives in danger.  In fact, I hope they do.  And no, I won’t wear a mask … I cannot, for I would choke to death with something covering my mouth.  Take your mask, Trump, and put it where the sun don’t shine.


Impeachment caused WHAT???

The U.S. is now the hardest-hit nation on the globe by the coronavirus, thanks in large part to the bungling responses of Trump and his wrecking crew throughout January, February and March.  Within the U.S. the State of New York has seen the most cases and deaths.  There are a number of reasons for that, but Trump has his own idea … he blames it on his own impeachment!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

In a letter to Senator Chuck Schumer …

Trump-SchumerTrump-Schumer-2

The letter was in response to one from Schumer requesting Trump to appoint a logistical expert from the military to use the Defense Production Act to properly allocate resources to the states.  The utter bombast of Trump’s letter is enough to make one growl, but for him to refer to his impeachment as a hoax and then make the assumption that the coronavirus would not have become a problem had it not been for his well-deserved impeachment deserves a full-throated banshee scream!


Mail-in ballots?  Why not???

The U.S. elections are exactly seven months from today.  Given that we are told by experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci that we cannot even begin to predict when it will be safe for the nation to come to life again, many of us are deeply concerned about that November 3rd election and are in favour of going to a Universal Vote by Mail system.  Already, there are 27 states, including my own, that have no-excuse absentee voting, and in three states, all voting is done by mail.  It isn’t rocket science.

Yet Trump and his wrecking crew are sitting on their fat arses on this one, debating, saying it may be too risky.  I champion 100% mail-in voting this year for a number of reasons.  First, it would ensure that we have an election.  Second, I believe it would increase voter turnout significantly.  Third, it would put an end to many of the voter disenfranchisement tactics used by republicans in numerous states, such as moving polling places, closing polls early, requiring voter I.D., etc.

One of their arguments against universal mail-in voting is that it would take time to get the systems in place.  Only six states have no current accommodation for mail-in ballots … all other states already have the systems in place to provide and count mail-in ballots.  But more to the point … time’s a-wasting!  Okay, if it’s going to take time and effort, get off your arses and get busy doing it!  Stop talking and balking, stop looking for excuses to take away our right to a fair and honest election and start developing the damn system!  What the hell do you think we’re paying you for???

But I smell a rat …

The headline in Fortune reads …

USPS warns it might have to shutter by June as $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package provides no funding

And in Business Insider

Lawmakers are sounding the alarm on the coronavirus shuttering the USPS by June

Now … how would mail-in ballots work if there is no mail?  Now do you smell the rat?

rat

To another issue, though, if the USPS were to shut down … nearly one million people in this country would not be able to receive their life-saving medication by mail.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Golf, anyone?

Looks like the ‘person’ in the Oval Office is planning a bit of golf this weekend, while the nation literally burns.  The Secret Service this week signed a $45,000 contract (our money) to rent a fleet of golf carts in Northern Virginia, saying it needed them quickly to protect a “dignitary” in the town of Sterling, home to one of Trump’s golf clubs.

Trump-golfAll of Virginia is under a stay-at-home order from Governor Ralph Northam, lasting until June 10. But that order allows golf courses to remain open … I suppose like churches in Florida, golf courses in Virginia are considered “essential”.  Funny how words can have different meanings, depending on who’s using them, isn’t it?

Filosofa Ponders …

If anybody had asked me late last year what effect a global crisis such as … oh, say a pandemic that spread at the speed of lightning … would have on the people of this nation, I would have answered that it would bring people closer together, cause them to set aside their differences and care about each other much as we did in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  And I would have been oh so very wrong.  I would have been giving the people of this nation far too much undeserved credit.

While I am no fan of George W. Bush, I must give credit where it is due.  In the days following 9/11, he was a leader in every sense of the word, and it was in part his leadership that brought people together.  He made it clear that we were all in this together, and that together we would survive.  He grieved with us and gave us strength and hope to carry on.  In the current crisis, we have no such leader, but rather a bungling oaf whose own desires will always be a higher priority for him than the needs of this nation.

Unlike 2001, today we have no real leader and rather than bring the nation together, Donald Trump has fanned the flames of discord.  I won’t even delve into his very poor handling of this crisis from day one, for that has been covered everywhere ad nauseam.  But it is beyond disturbing that he continues to operate under a philosophy of “divide and conquer”, even as the nation burns.  What I find even more disturbing, however, is that some 46% of the people in this nation believe he is doing a fantastic job, when in fact he has let us down in the worst way possible.  Rather than encouraging us all to help one another, to set aside our differences for the moment and work together for the good of all, he stands in front of the nation and casts blame.  Blame the democrats, he says.  Blame Obama, blame the governors of states who are trying to keep their people safe … blame anybody, he tells us, except him.  He says, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”

But wait … isn’t leadership all about responsibility?  Is that not what he was hired to do, to be responsible for the well-being of the country and its 330 million inhabitants?  I’m confused … how can the “president” not take responsibility?

How is it possible that nearly half the people in this country approve of the job he is doing?  What does this say about We the People?  Does it say that those 46% are so determined to fulfill their goal of making the U.S. a white, Christian, and largely male-dominated country that they are willing to sacrifice decency, sacrifice the future of the nation?  Are the people of this country so blind that they cannot see how he is putting his own self-interest ahead of the people of this nation?  Or is it simply that in times of crisis, people take comfort in continuity, rejecting change altogether?  Whatever it is, I am frankly disgusted and fed up with those who applaud him at this point in time.  I’ve tried and failed to understand their motives.

Donald Trump will never be anything different than what he is today, a greedy, arrogant, narcissistic excuse for a man who cares for nobody and nothing other than himself.  I might have expected that, given the circumstances we are facing today, some 90% of the people in this nation would be calling for his resignation, if not his head on a platter.  But instead, more people than ever are gravitating toward him, hypnotized perhaps by his promises … promises that he cannot keep.

My biggest fear, something I fear far more than catching the coronavirus and dying, is that this newfound approval will carry forward into the election and hand Donald Trump another four years at the helm.  That, my friends, would be the most disastrous thing that this nation would have ever faced.  We cannot, must not let that happen.

The Good, The Bad, And … The Fun!

I was writing a somewhat in-depth post that I had planned for this morning, but ‘things’ kept distracting me – a small family crisis, a catfight, and the flotsam & jetsam of news stories that kept floating across my screen.  So, I finally set it aside and decided to write about a bit of that flotsam & jetsam, for my snark-o-meter is quivering somewhere around the high end.


The Good …

maxine-waters-1Let’s start on a positive note:  Maxine Waters.  Ms. Waters has served in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Southern California, including much of Los Angeles, since 1991.  She is the most senior of the twelve black women currently serving in Congress, and she chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 1997 to 1999. She is currently the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.  What I most like about Ms. Waters is that she does not pull any punches … she “calls ‘em like she sees ‘em”.

Donald Trump managed to get on her wrong side early on, and in the early days of his term, she referred to him as “a bully, an egotistical maniac, a liar and someone who did not need to be President”, and “the most deplorable person I’ve ever met in my life”.  On Monday, when Trump was once again congratulating himself for his “perfect” response to the pandemic crisis, Ms. Waters let loose with both barrels on … where else but Twitter …

  • Trump, since you destroyed the WH unit designed to plan for pandemics like #COVID19, you need to stop being duplicitous about the DPA & get more corps to develop masks, respirators, & everything needed to protect hospital workers trying to save lives. Get your act together!
  • Trump, weren’t you taught at an early age that self congratulations are improper? When you’re doing a good job, you will be commended. When you have to congratulate yourself it’s b/c of incompetence & insecurity. No one values hubris. A lesson you should’ve learned long ago.
  • Trump, stop congratulating yourself! You’re a failure & you’ve mishandled this #COVID19 disaster! You’re not knowledgeable & you don’t know more than experts & generals. Your ignorance & incompetence are appalling & you continue to demonstrate that every time you open your mouth!
  • Trump, Gov Whitmer, the governor you called “that woman”, is what you think of ALL women, period! We women are all “that woman”! We are mothers & working professionals; we’re doctors & lawyers; & we’re elected officials, even governors, & you will show us the respect we deserve!
  • Trump, you incompetent idiot! You sent 18 tons of PPE to China early but ignored warnings & called COVID19 concerns a hoax. You’ve endangered doctors, nurses, aids, orderlies, & janitors – all risking their lives to save ours. Pray 4 forgiveness for the harm that you’re causing!

maxine-waters-2A woman after my own heart!  Now THAT is what I call “telling it like it is”!  Every word is true, and every word deserved.


The Bad …

Howard-BrownePastor Rodney Howard-Browne runs Revival Ministries International and serves as resident pastor of Alex Jones’ Infowars, which should tell you something in itself.  Browne is also the pastor at River at Tampa Bay Church in Tampa, Florida.  At this time when all non-essential businesses are shuttered and schools nationwide are closed, most not expected to re-open until the beginning of next school year, most all churches have also shut down.  Florida was, unconscionably, among the last states to issue a statewide “shelter-in-place” order, but Hillsborough Country, where Howard-Browne’s church is located, has had such an order for “social-distancing” guidelines since last Friday.

However, Mr. Howard-Browne knows better than all the experts, and he was not about to close his church!  He insisted that his church was an essential business (say WHAT???), and that such things as ‘social distancing’ was “for pansies”.  So, when he spoke to a packed church last Sunday, he told the crowd that he had purchased a $100,000 ‘air purification system’ …

“The Lord has helped us secure our congregation. We have brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place. If someone walks through the door, it kills everything on them. If they sneeze it shoots it down at a 100 mph. It’ll neutralize it in split-seconds. So we have the most sterile building, I don’t know, in all of North America.”

I try very hard to be respectful of people’s religions, though I follow none myself, but this guy … seriously???

So, on Sunday, despite a warning from the Sheriff’s Department, he held not one, but two church services, both filled with hundreds of people, some of whom Howard-Browne had bused in.  And, by the end of the day on Sunday, Mr. Howard-Browne had been arrested on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency.

Howard-Browne has rather a history of being a conspiracy theorist (remember, he is the ‘resident pastor’ of Infowars), and as recently as March 22 said that the coronavirus was a “phantom plague” created by the Chinese but also somehow planned at a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation event.

His attorney, the notorious Mat Staver of anti-LGBTQ fame, claims …

“Contrary to Sheriff Chronister’s allegation that Pastor Howard-Browne was ‘reckless,’ the actions of Hillsborough Country and the Hernando County Sheriff are discriminatory against religion and church gatherings.”

And these are the people who try to tell the world that their values are so superior to the rest of us, that they and only they know that such things as same-sex marriage and abortion are so wrong?  Freakin’ nutcases!!!!


And The Fun …

Today is {drumroll 🥁} … National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day!!! PB-JDid you know that the average American will have eaten over 2000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school?  A bit of trivia …

Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.”  That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”

It is thought that Julia Davis Chandler issued the first reference to peanut butter (or paste) paired with jelly on bread in the United States in 1901. Her article is found in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became very popular with children.

According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers’ military ration list.

In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product that combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.

What’s your favourite PB&J sandwich?  Mine is, I think, Jif Peanut Butter with Blackberry jam.  However, I wouldn’t turn down one with Strawberry jam or Wimberry either!  Now, you’ve put up with enough of Filosofa’s snark for this morning … get thee to the kitchen and have a PB&J sandwich … go on … you know you want to!

Taking Sides against Dictators

Sometimes we are so mired in the muck of our own troubles that we cannot, as the old saying goes, “see the forest for the trees”. Our friend David in the UK, however, has a quite clear view of the state of our nation today, and I’d like to share it with you this afternoon. Thank you, David, for your clarity and also for caring.

The BUTHIDARS

image

I  quite openly admit to having pinched the piece above from my friend Scottie of  https://scottiestoybox.com/, when I read it in the context of the elections due in the U.S.A in November 2020 I thought to myself surely most of these are basic human rights that should be granted rather than fought for these days..Surely we have enlightened Government if not enlightened management over our major businesses.

Not so here. Following the end of the Obama era Government, one of enlightenment and the attempt to establish a National Health Service for everyone which was bitterly rejected as being Socialism, the election was won by the joke.There was a groundswell of reaction against his opponent  for having the temerity to be a woman but in the end Hillary Clinton still polled 3,000.000 more votes than Trump but lost on Electoral  College votes.

Trump himself has a base of Evangelists who see…

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The Expendable Elderly

Our friend Jerry over at On the Fence Voters shows us yet another way in which our so-called leaders are failing us during this time of crisis. Thanks Jerry — good post!

On The Fence Voters

 

In my semi-retirement years I work part-time at an assisted-living senior center. Almost all the residents there are past the driving age, so I drive them to their appointments. Before the COVID-19 era I also drove groups of them to outings in the residence’s bus. But we do, in fact, live in a new, dramatically different era. Now, I rarely drive any of them anywhere. Instead, my workdays now consist primarily of helping the housekeeping crew daily disinfect the premises. Everyone at the facility is dedicated to keeping our precious seniors as safe and healthy as possible at their age.

That sentiment seems not to be shared by our president and many of his followers. Many, such as Texas’ Republican Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, have suggested that for the sake of the economy, Americans need to get back to work; social-distancing needs to end sooner rather than later. If…

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Coronavirus Kills Its 1st Democracy

Want to take your mind off the coronavirus, shortages of food and cleaning supplies, being imprisoned in your home and isolated from your friends & family?  Well, I’ve got just the thing for you … here’s something even bigger to worry about …

On Monday, Hungary’s parliament passed a controversial bill that gave Orbán sweeping emergency powers for an indefinite period of time. Parliament is closed, future elections were called off, existing laws can be suspended and the prime minister is now entitled to rule by decree. Opposition lawmakers had tried to set a time limit on the legislation but failed. Orbán’s commanding two-thirds parliamentary majority made his new powers a fait accompli. – Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post

Granted, Hungary isn’t the U.S. and Viktor Orbán isn’t Donald Trump.  Orbán had already corroded the state’s checks and balances, cowed the judiciary, encroached on civil society and the free press … much as Donald Trump has done to the United States.

Orbán has his supporters, too. He has been lionized as a nationalist hero for the West’s anti-immigrant populists and welcomed to the White House by Trump.orban-trump-2It should be noted that congressional democrats initially included election reforms such as vote-by-mail, same-day registration and early voting in the $2.2 trillion ‘stimulus bill’ … measures that were struck down by their republican colleagues.  Now, make sure you’re sitting down when you read what Trump had to say about those stricken measures that would have ensured we could all vote in the November 3rd election …

“The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again. They had things in there about election days and what you do and all sorts of clawbacks. They had things that were just totally crazy and had nothing to do with workers that lost their jobs and companies that we have to save.”

And now, my friends, I suggest you start to do some serious worrying about the November elections, for it becomes obvious that Trump and the republicans have little or no concern for our right to elect new leadership in November, and that they see voter suppression as their only path to power.  I’ve been concerned all along that Trump would find some way to cancel or postpone indefinitely our elections, and nothing I’m seeing is alleviating those concerns.  I believe that Mr. Trump is seeing the coronavirus pandemic as a very fortuitous event for him and his cronies.

In 1980, Paul Weyrich, an influential conservative activist, said …

“I don’t want everybody to vote. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

Chilling.

We are running out of time to put in place policies and processes that would enable every eligible voter to cast a ballot, even in the event that the coronavirus remains a threat into November.  The republicans are playing a game … a game with our lives, with our freedoms, with our rights to participate in our government.

Look again at what the Hungarian Parliament has handed to Viktor Orbán.  The only thing stopping our own Congress from doing the same is the democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

orban-parliament

It must also be noted that the emergency law also stipulates five-year prison sentences for Hungarians found to be spreading “false” information.  Think on that one a minute.  Who determines what is “false” information?  Think how many times Trump has declared stories published by The Washington Post or the New York Times to be “fake news”.  Or what about us bloggers?  In such circumstances, historically information is considered ‘false’ if it contradicts what the dictator says.  Facts and reality become secondary and eventually are suppressed.

orban-trumpThere are checks and balances to keep what has happened in Hungary from happening in the U.S.  But, many of those have been destroyed in the last three years.  The Supreme Court tends to rule in favour of Trump, even when that ruling is in blatant disregard of the U.S. Constitution.  The Attorney General has decreed that Trump is ‘above the law’ and can operate in whatever manner he sees fit.  And the U.S. Senate basically affirmed Barr’s opinion when they refused to do their job and convict Trump of what were obvious abuses of power and obstruction of justice.

The U.S. Constitution, or any set of laws for that matter, is only as good as the people who enforce it.  This is why the most important thing this year in the U.S. is that we have fair and honest elections on November 3rd as scheduled, no matter what.

Profiting From A Crisis

Thus far, eight states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont) have banned single-use plastic bags in the U.S.  Fourteen others, including Florida, have moved in the opposite direction, adopting laws to tie the hands of local officials.  In January, New Jersey attempted to pass a law banning single-use plastics, but the bill failed.  Why?  Why aren’t all 50 states on-board with this legislation?  Take a look at what plastic bags and bottles are doing …bags-1bags-2

bags-3

bags-4And the answer to the question why all 50 states aren’t doing their part is simple … the GOP motto is: profit over all else.  Profit is more important in this nation than people, than wildlife, than the environment … in fact, today’s profit is more important than life on earth tomorrow for far too many of our so-called ‘leaders’.  I could expound at some length about this concept, but for today I have a single focus:  those damn plastic bags that they shove down our throats at the grocery store.

Even though only eight states thus far have banned plastic bags, it’s a start, it’s progress.  Environmental groups like the Sierra Club have raised public awareness and many of us now bring our own reusable canvas bags to the grocery and use reusable mesh bags for produce.  Even with that, the stores have been very slow in finding packaging alternatives, so we still end up with unwanted plastic in our rubbish.  Single use plastics account for around 20% of solid rubbish in the U.S., and only about 10% of that is recycled, so 90% ends up in landfills, rivers and ultimately the ocean.

Never let it be said that big industries, focused solely on profit, miss an opportunity to increase their profit, even at the cost of earth’s future.  Enter the coronavirus.  By March 18th, the plastic industry in the U.S. had kicked into high gear.  The trade group Plastics Industry Association requested that the US Department of Health endorse the idea that “single-use plastic products are the most sanitary choice when it comes to many applications.”  A conservative nonprofit called the Independent Women’s Forum started running ads pressuring Washington state, New York, and California to reverse their bag bans. IWF’s ad’s claim: “Researchers say COVID-19 can survive on reusable tote bags for nine days. However, some state legislators are enforcing draconian bans on plastic bags, which might contribute to the spread of the virus and other harmful microorganisms.” 

Many of the groups that have picked up these claims, including the Manhattan Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute, receive support from the Kochs, the infamous family of moguls who made their fortune in the petrochemical industry.  Now are you starting to smell a rat?  The plastic industry’s tactics seem to be working: Maine’s plastic bag ban was supposed to go into effect on April 22, but it’s been postponed till January 2021. New Hampshire’s governor Christopher Sununu, who has misrepresented climate science, has gone further to use the state of emergency to temporarily ban reusable bags. Republicans in Washington state, New York, and New Jersey have been waging campaigns to reverse or delay the blue states’ bans because of coronavirus.

On Sunday, when I had access to daughter Chris’ car and could go to a grocery store a bit farther afield than the Kroger that is only a half-mile from my home (my van is not reliable and I go no further in it than I could walk home), I went to the Meijer store, a midwestern chain, hoping to find some of those rare items such as toilet paper and Clorox wipes that had been impossible to find at Kroger.  A sign on the door warned that re-usable bags were prohibited, but I entered anyway, figuring to argue the point when I got to the check out.  But a young manager stopped me almost before my posterior had cleared the automatic doors and informed me that I could not bring “those bags” into the store.  I rarely give away pieces of my mind, as I have so few left, but he got a rather large piece.  Enraged, I accused him of personally killing every fish in the ocean and also told him that the lives of his own grandchildren (he was only about 25) were on his shoulders, as he was ensuring they would die from lack of water to drink and air to breathe.  I then indignantly stormed out and returned to my own Kroger, hoping against all hope that they had not implemented a similar rule.  They hadn’t, but I was informed I would have to bag my own groceries, for they wouldn’t touch my bags.

Now, there are two things to argue here.  First of all, my bags are a few million times less likely to have any form of germ, let alone a corona-bug, on them than that can of peas you see in aisle #12, or even the tomatoes you picked up in produce.  My bags were wiped down with disinfecting wipes after their last use, and have resided in my locked van ever since.  They are sterile!  Every item in the store is germier than my bags!

The other thing, and the whole point of this post, is that the coronavirus pandemic is a short-term problem.  Yes, a very serious problem at this time, but nonetheless one with a limited lifespan.  Destruction of the environment is an ongoing problem that is shortening the hope for the continuation of life … any life … on earth every single day.  Just because we have a serious problem with this pandemic does not mean we can ignore all the other problems in the world!  The coronavirus has resulted in thousands of deaths and may even rise into the millions.  I’m not making light of that, but there are 7.8 billion human inhabitants on this planet, and exponentially more other life forms that rely on us turning around the damage that has been done over the past 150-200 years.  Plastics in all forms are part of that destruction, and single use plastic bottles and bags are one of the biggest culprits.

The re-usable bags aren’t the problem, but rather the excuse that is being used as the plastic industry seeks to profit from this human crisis.  Once again, We the People are being lied to and tricked, and I for one am damned sick and tired of it.  And for the record, I will never shop at Meijer again, nor any other store that attempts to force me to use their plastic bags!  Excuse me … I need to breathe now.

YOU’RE FIRED!!!

 

We the People
Sea to Shining Sea
United State

Mr. Donald F. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

29 March 2020

Dear Mr. Trump,

We the People regret to inform you that your services will no longer be needed.  We understood in the beginning, more than three years ago, that you were inexperienced and new to this type of work, and we decided after your first big mistakes that you would need time to grow into the job.  We have given you that time … more than three years of time … but instead of growing into the job, you have become increasingly inept and incompetent.

It would take more than this letter to list all the many mistakes you have made, but let us clarify a few of the worst:

  • Constantly demeaning citizens of this nation who are, technically, your employers. This has included lying about them and name-calling reminiscent of a junior high student.
  • Unprecedented racism and bigotry that is far beneath the dignity of your position and damaging to the continuity of this nation.
  • The terrible things you have allowed to happen to immigrants who came here seeking asylum, seeking to make a better life for their families. You tore their children out of their very arms, threw them in cages, and thus far six of those children have died as a result.  Not only was this in violation of the laws of this country, but it qualifies as international ‘crimes against humanity’.
  • When you were hired, it was made clear to you that you must step away from your own businesses for the duration of your employment with us, but instead, you have used our money to fund your own businesses, with nearly-every-weekend visits to your Florida resort, requiring your staff and Secret Service protection to pay you for the “privilege” of traveling with you.
  • A man is judged by the company he keeps, and to date a number of your companions and associates are in prison, or soon will be. This speaks volumes to us about your character, or rather lack thereof.
  • On at least eight occasions you have directly incited violence, calling on people to attack those who criticized you. In addition, you have made utterly ridiculous videos of yourself that you posted on Twitter … again, something we would expect of a 13-year-old boy, not a public office-holder.
  • One of the most important aspects of your job is honesty and integrity, and you have failed miserably in both. It would take a book to enumerate every instance, but suffice it to say that your employers no longer trust or believe a word you say.
  • Your negligence cost nearly 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico in 2017-2018 after Hurricane Maria. In addition, your bungling and mishandling of the situation with the coronavirus pandemic has already cost thousands of lives and we cannot even begin to estimate what the ultimate death toll will be.  Many of those lives would have been saved if you had not allowed your greed and ego to get in the way of taking appropriate action.
  • Your predecessor implemented some excellent regulations to, along with every other nation on the planet, work toward reversing the damages caused by years of burning carbon-based fossil fuels. Within a matter of weeks after accepting your job, you destroyed almost every one of those regulations and have contributed significantly to the decline of the air we breathe, water we drink, and the safety of the food we eat.  It is almost as if you are willfully attempting to kill your employers.
  • You have acted without dignity or compunction toward our friends and allies, and as a result we no longer have the respect or trust of the very friends who we may someday need to be able to call on for help. Meanwhile, you have cozied up to our enemies and acted without the oversight of Congress, which we mandated when we hired you.

All in all, Mr. Trump, you have been given more than ample time to prove yourself up to the task, and in every single instance, you have failed.  You have abused your power, and devalued the office you hold. As a result of your failures, we are left with a debt of more than $25 trillion and a large number of terrible messes that will take decades to clean up.  Therefore, we are requesting your resignation, effective immediately, to be submitted in writing to We the People in care of The Washington Post.

You will have exactly one week, until Sunday, April 5th, to remove your family and personal belongings from the residence we provided you at the above address.  Your possessions will be closely checked by White House security to ensure that you take only that which belongs to you and your family.  Any damages found after you have left will be billed to you through your attorney.

You will receive one month’s severance pay, but we cannot provide Secret Service protection once you are gone, as we have done for all of your predecessors, as you have bankrupted the country and we simply cannot afford it.

Best wishes for your future endeavours,

We-the-People

Snarky Snippets, Volume _____?

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


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

From an article in Friday’s issue of The Guardian

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

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

[…]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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