Thoughts From The Mind of Filosofa

I seem to have a real knack for getting ‘punished’ by the great Tweety god, aka Twitter aka Jack Dorsey and his robocrew.  I find it hilarious that Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz, Don Junior, Lindsey Graham and the rest can say pretty much whatever they wish, but when I make what I consider an innocuous reply to a post, I am suspended.  Here’s what happened …

The two-faced toadie Lindsey Graham made a really stupid comment whereby he said that …

“If Trump was right about the lab leak, it would change the image the public had of President Trump regarding the Coronavirus …”

I nearly choked on my laughter when I saw that one, and immediately just had to respond with …

No, Stupid, Trump is still single-handedly responsible for the more than 600,000 U.S. deaths, as he kept telling us it was “no big deal” and would be gone, and to just drink bleach. Your ‘hero’ is a madman who deserves the death penalty that he gave to this nation.

Had I not been limited to the 270 character limit, I could have done even better!  Now, you’ll note that nowhere did I call for violence or for an insurrection as some have done.  However, in less than 20 seconds, I received the following notice …

Hi Jill Dennison,

Your account, @GrannieJ has been locked for violating the Twitter Rules.

Specifically for:

Violating our rules against promoting or encouraging suicide or self-harm.

You may not promote or encourage suicide or self-harm. When we receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, we may take a number of steps to assist them, such as reaching out to that person and providing resources such as contact information for our mental health partners.

If you are having thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or depression, we encourage you to please reach out to someone and request help. Our Safety Center has a list of resources you can consult for a variety of reasons, including depression, loneliness, substance abuse, illness, relationship problems, and economic problems. You can find those resources here: https://about.twitter.com/safety/safety-partners.html#mental-health/us.

Please know that there are people out there who care about you, and that you are not alone.   

avatar                 

Jill Dennison

@GrannieJ

No, Stupid, Trump is still single-handedly responsible for the more than 600,000 U.S. deaths, as he kept telling us it was “no big deal” and would be gone, and to just drink bleach. Your ‘hero’ is a madman who deserves the death penalty that he gave to this nation.         

Please note that repeated violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account. Proceed to Twitter now to fix the issue with your account.

Where in the Sam Hell did they get the idea that I was suicidal???  They didn’t even have time to read the f*cking message, let alone to ponder its meaning!  I took my comment down, but then when I tried to simply ‘like’ a post by Bro, it popped up the same message, saying that my account is suspended for 12 hours!  I don’t care, I think it’s funny and I was soon headed to bed anyway, but I DO care in the sense that many people have said much worse than I and not been ‘punished’.  This is my third suspension from these jackals … Jack Dorsey is now on my shit list … and as soon as my suspension is lifted, I shall let him know it!  Stay tuned!


Y’know, folks … I’ve said to more than one person of late that this nation has let me down, that I am so disappointed in the people of this nation, that it is no longer a country that I recognize.  Racism, guns, the Big Lie, and more have darkened my view of the country I’ve spent 70 years in.  My dilemma is whether to try to escape to either Canada or the UK, likely saving my life, or to stay and fight, to keep trying to wake the ignorant masses and inject just a spot of remorse into the politicos.  And then I remember the words of the late, great Maya Angelou.  I would like to share those words with you today, ask you to think about them, decide whether you will rise …

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou – 1928-2014

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

 

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

 

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

 

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

 

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

 

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

 

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Jolly Monday … P.W. Edition!

Good {yawn} Monday morning, my friends!  Sometimes it’s hard {yawn} to get back into the groove after a {yawn} long weekend, isn’t it?  What’s that you say?  It wasn’t a long weekend?  Maybe not for you, but for me it was.  First, on Friday afternoon a water main at the top of our street burst and we were without water for about 12 years hours.  Then on Saturday, granddaughter Natasha and I had to go for the first jab of our coronavirus vaccine.  That turned out to be no big deal at all, but I had spent days and sleepless nights dreading it.  And then Sunday was the day I’ve dreaded for the last 20 years … my 70th birthday.  My gorgeous girls and a two very special friends across the pond, David & Yvonne, went all out to make it a special day and indeed it was!  However, no matter how much fun, how much delicious food and absolutely delightful gifts, ultimately enough celebrating is enough and it’s time to return to the daily grind.  Hence, after these past three days, I am exhausted and feel like I could sleep for at least a week!  Now that I’ve told you about mine … how was your weekend?

But now it is time for us to begin a brand new week, so let’s see if we can kick it off with a smile, shall we?  Grab a snack and a cuppa something from the table and we’ll go in search of a laugh or two.

 


I put Jolly in charge of finding the ‘toons this week, so let’s see what he’s come up with …


And we have just a few funny signs …


And a few memes to make you laugh, or at least chuckle …


And of course we cannot let you go out into that cold, cruel world without first warming your heart with a cute animal video!  This is one I stumbled across a week or so ago and I’ve been saving it to share with you today … it’s guaranteed to make you laugh!  You’re going to just love Moya!


Well, my friends, the time has come … I have a load of Goose’s clothes in the washer and a basket full of dirty towels waiting in the wings, so I really must get to it!  I hope you all have a wonderful (or at least tolerable) week ahead and remember … share those smiles, and if you run out, there’s a basketful by the door!!!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Filosofa’s Pet Peeves

A few things annoy the bloody heck out of me these days.  We all have our pet peeves, things that for whatever reason grate on our nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Mine used to be confined to such things as drivers who don’t move when the traffic light turns green because they are too busy playing or talking on their cell phone, but lately there is a whole new crop of things to annoy us.

One is that any time I visit a news website such as the New York Times or The Washington Post, they have some video that loops the first few seconds repeatedly.  I find this so distracting, having something moving in my field of vision while I’m trying to read that I cannot help but wonder how many people with epilepsy have been sent to the hospital for seizures from these annoying videos.  Sometimes I can use ‘block element’ to get rid of them, other times I can’t.  I have my browser settings set such that videos will not automatically start playing, but these are just clippets similar to gif files and don’t technically qualify as a video, so they fly under the radar of my browser settings.

There are a number of politicians or hopefuls that I follow because I’m interested in what they have to say.  A few are Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Nan Whaley who hopes to become governor of Ohio next year.  I appreciate hearing what they are doing, what battles they are fighting, etc.  What I do NOT appreciate is the begging that accompanies each and every email I receive!  I am not made of money … I am retired, live on a fixed income of about $1,500 per month, more than half of which pays for my insulin and other meds.  I cannot afford to donate to every politician every day and wouldn’t even if I could!  Recently I have opted out of most of their emails because I’m sick and damn tired of being asked for money … money that if I can spare it, I will donate to people who are in need of food, clothing, and shelter, not politicians whose net worth is already over six figures!

Photos on every news site and every social media site of people receiving their Covid vaccine.  I’ve seen more bare arms in the past three months than in the 70 years prior to that!  I know what a needle going into skin looks like, for I poke one into my belly or leg six times every damn day, okay?  I really don’t care to see a needle poised to enter someone’s bare arm!  It’s not bad enough, but certain friends on Facebook have to share the picture of them getting their vaccine.  Just get the vaccine, don’t make it a social media advertisement, and then shut up!  Sheesh … I don’t post pictures every time I shoot myself with insulin, now do I?

People who post pictures of every meal they cook/eat on social media.  Seriously, my friends, we have much bigger problems in this country than what crappola you ate for lunch!  Are people really so obsessed with food that they think their salad and grilled sausages are more important than the fact that people are being murdered daily, our government is under constant threat, climate change is killing us, people are homeless and starving all over the world?  Yes, I know we cannot constantly worry, that we need to sometimes step back and give ourselves a break, but … posting food pictures???  Really???

Scammers and hackers trying to infiltrate our lives.  It used to be just robocalls on the cell phone, so I now have an excellent call blocker that only allows calls from known contacts whose calls I choose to accept.  Now, however, the scammers have infiltrated text messaging with things like “Your order is being held up because we need more information … please click this link,”  or “Your PayPal account has been suspended … please click the link.” Now, I know better than to click that link, but how many people don’t think, just click the link?  Doing so could put a virus on your phone or computer, could ask for something like bank information or social security number and then use that information to clean your bank account out.  Apparently, there are a lot of people who would rather steal our money than go out and earn their own!

Software, websites and browsers that make sudden unwanted changes.  Most of you here on WordPress can relate, for WordPress has made numerous changes over the past six months that most of us hate, but they seem not to care about the opinions of their customers.  Microsoft Office continually makes small changes, or what they call ‘improvements’ that require us to do something differently, generally requiring extra time.  And the two browsers I use, FireFox and Opera, have recently made changes that, at least in my view, are not welcome!  It seems we just get used to something, figure out how to work with it, and then it’s changed for no apparent reason.

I have more pet peeves, but these are the ones that are bugging me most at the moment.  What are some of yours?

The World I Dream Of

On August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington.  An excerpt … perhaps the most memorable lines …

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

That was in 1963, nearly 58 years ago, and today we are no closer to realizing Dr. King’s dream than we were then.  I once thought we were headed in the right direction, but I no longer believe that.  I have my own dream …

I dream of a world without guns, where people are well enough educated to be able to use words instead of weapons to resolve their differences.  I dream of a world where nuclear weapons have been destroyed forever, where armies and navies have been disbanded due to lack of need, and where instead of building warships and bombs, we are building housing for people in need, hospitals and schools in poor areas.

I dream of a world where national boundaries don’t exist.  This is not to say people cannot take pride in the history of their geographical region, but rather where people respect and cherish everyone, not just those who have a shared background or ethnicity.  I dream of a world where we are building bridges instead of walls.

I dream of a world where everyone pulls together to ensure that nobody anywhere on the globe goes to bed hungry, where medical care is available to all without charge.  I dream of a world where the environment is more important to everyone than technical gadgetry, air travel, expensive cars, fancy clothes, etc.

I dream of a world where people think more about planting trees than about a vacation to the beach.

But most of all, I dream of a world where people are humans, not hateful warriors, not bigots, not violent, just human.  In my dream world, people fall in love and it doesn’t matter to anybody else who they choose to love.  Same sex, different skin colour … no matter.  It’s nobody’s business.

I’ve lived in this world for nearly 70 years now, and frankly I’m tired of it all.  I’m tired of seeing people accumulate wealth for no reason other than to be on the Forbes list of richest people in the world.  I’m tired of seeing the arrogance of people with paler skin who believe they are somehow ‘better’ or ‘entitled’.  I’m tired of seeing religious leaders lie to their followers, telling them to shun others because they think or act differently, giving them a false sense of superiority.  I’m tired of police gunning down unarmed Black men because … just because they know they can get away with it.

I’m sick and tired of people who hunt wild animals for sport, for bragging rights.  I’m equally sick and tired of people who kill other people just because they had a bad day, or didn’t like the other person’s skin colour, hair style, or … whatever excuse they make.

I’m tired of men who abuse women, who still somehow believe they are entitled to dominance over women.  And I’m equally tired of women who allow men to do this, for we have the power to put a stop to it.

There are many good people in this world … I write about them every Wednesday.  But there is more wrong with the world than there is right at the moment, and I’m tired of living in a world where each day brings new abominations around the globe created by human greed.  It doesn’t have to be this way!  Humans in all their arrogance and greed are on the brink of bringing about the extinction of their own species if they don’t get serious about protecting the environment.  Some days I think maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Just A Few Thoughts …

I frequently write about the income disparity in this nation.  I’m not a fan of great wealth, see it as unnecessary hoarding while others do without, and I do support government-funded programs that help people in need.  One person often comments on these posts with his opposing view, saying the wealthy earned it, let them keep it … all of it.  Of course, there is a fallacy in that the majority of very wealthy people actually inherited most of their wealth and have not done much to earn it at all, apart from hiring wise people to advise them in their investment strategies to increase their wealth.  Recently this person, whose comments I largely ignore, said that if people simply learned to “invest more wisely”, there wouldn’t be poverty.

Wisely, I did not respond to his comment, for at that moment my answer would not have been calm and reasoned.  Obviously, this person has zero understanding of poverty.  WHAT is there to invest, if you cannot even afford to pay the rent, utilities, and have some left over to buy food???  Even for the average mid-range earner, investment opportunities are largely limited to an employer’s 401(k) plan, for at the end of the month there is little left over.

It is the ignorance born of wealth and entitlement that bothers me the most.  The wealthy don’t even attempt to understand the other 99% of the world … they live in ivory towers, sheltered and shielded from poverty, from the homeless, and even from the very people who are, by their labours, helping the rich get richer.  They oppose a substantial increase in the minimum wage rate, for that might cut into their own profits just a bit.  They oppose helping the poor, falsely claiming that they are poor because they are too lazy to work.  They oppose such healthcare programs as Medicare for All because they have access to the finest medical care available and don’t understand what it’s like for the family who cannot afford to take their sick child to a doctor this week.

Yesterday, I read that President Biden will soon unveil his promised infrastructure plan, the first part based on repairing roads, bridges and railways, and the second part focused on families and children.  Already, however, Republicans are calling it useless and a waste of money.  Why?  Because they don’t live in Flint, Michigan where the water is still not safe to drink.  Because they don’t, as a rule, drive over the unsafe bridges and on the highways filled with potholes … instead they travel by private jet or helicopter.  There can be no mistake … the Republican Party, once called the “Party of Lincoln”, is a party that exists solely for the wealthy and that is largely funded by the wealthy.  Lincoln would be appalled by what the party has become today … a bigoted, corrupt organization that is doing everything in its power to keep the poor “in their place” and to return Blacks to the days of Jim Crow.

The Republican Party claims to be in favour of ‘smaller government’, but this is a nation of 330 million people … just how small do they think the government can be, and yet serve those people?  Given that most every Republican in Congress is either well on their way to being a millionaire, or is already one, is it really any surprise that they have no comprehension how the rest of us live?  What does it take?  We pay their salaries out of our meager incomes, and in return we get … NOTHING.  They do not represent us, they represent the heads of corporations like Exxon-Mobil, Kraft Foods, AT&T, and so many others.  They represent people who have more money than you or I can even imagine, who have never struggled to pay the bills, buy food, or seek medical attention a single day in their lives.  And now, as they see their ship may soon run aground, they are doing everything in their power to take away our voice, our right to vote them out of office.  Rather than consider altering the party’s platform, becoming more humanitarian, supporting policies that help people and the environment, they cling to their old ways, cling to the plutocracy, and rob us of our right to participate in the government that we fund.

Rather than pay taxes that could fund such things as infrastructure, feeding the poor, building renewable energy facilities and more, the wealthy spend their money to buy politicians who will do their best to ensure none of these things that would help people can happen.  “Whatever it takes” to keep the poor from rising out of the ashes, to keep the working people from seeing a brighter future, the wealthy and the Republican Party will support it.  There are notable exceptions such as those who have signed on to the Giving Pledge, but they are the exception, not the rule.  Those born into wealth cannot understand what they have never known and it is easier to turn a blind eye than to see how the rest of us struggle.

I am against great wealth … it is the hoarding of money that could ultimately make so many lives so much better.  I make no apologies for my views, for I have experienced that which almost no wealthy person ever has … I have been without a home, I have had my electricity turned off because I couldn’t pay the bill, and I have been denied medical care when I hadn’t the money to pay.  Perhaps the Republican Party should have to live that way for a while and perhaps they would find a bit of humanity within their shriveled little hearts.  Until something changes, this nation cannot realistically be called the “United” States because we are not.

There Can Be No Compromise On Voting Rights!

Every person 18 years of age or older has the right to vote in the United States.  Per the Fourteenth Amendment, states will lose their congressional representation …

“… When the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime.”

Since 1787 when the Constitution was first amended, we have passed laws to include women “inhabitants” and to lower the legal voting age to 18 instead of 21.

In the Fifteenth Amendment, the right to vote is not to be …

 “… denied or abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

So, what part of this do the legislatures in 43 states not understand?  What part of this do the Republicans in Congress not understand?  They have allegedly read the damn Constitution … with the exception of some like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Greene, who cannot read!  It’s as plain as the noses on their pocky faces!  Everybody over the age of 18 has the right to vote!  Read that again!  Better yet, perhaps Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia needs to read the Constitution before he opens his mouth again!

There are two bills that have passed the House of Representatives and are now awaiting consideration in the Senate.  S1 and S4 are about voting rights.  We should not need new federal laws to give us the right to vote … WE ALREADY HAVE THAT RIGHT!!!  But, sadly, the states, particularly those in the South and those run by Republican governments, are passing bills willy nilly that would rob us of those rights.

Manchin says that any legislation on voting rights must have the support of the Republican senators … WHY???  They aren’t about to support our right to vote because they know damn well, they have even stated, that if everybody can vote, they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning another election.  They aren’t going to compromise, they want to dominate the discussion, the landscape.  They want only white, Christian male voters, if the truth be known.  They don’t want Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, or really even women voting.  They don’t want college kids voting.  The majority of people in this nation would not vote for a Republican today if they offered … a Krispy Kreme Donut!

The State of Georgia just shoved through demonic voter suppression legislation.  The bill passed both chambers of the legislature in the span of a few hours before Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed it into law yesterday evening.  The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.  WTF???  You’re going to make is such that they will be forced to stand in lines for HOURS to vote, yet they cannot be provided with life-sustaining WATER???  What a bastard!

Voting rights advocates say the state’s rapid-fire action — and plans in other Republican-controlled states to pass restrictions of their own — underscores the need for federal legislation to set a national baseline for voting rules.  In my book, the only ‘rules’ should be that the person be 18 or older.  Nothing else matters!  I may not have two forms of photo ID … in fact, I don’t.  It doesn’t matter!  I pay taxes, I’ve lived here all my life … I have the right to cast my vote.  If I don’t, then I no longer wish to live in this hellhole!  If my Black friends Rob & Aundrea or my Muslim friends Ali & Maha don’t have the right to vote, then why are they bothering to pay taxes to support a government that has robbed them of their voice?

I am fortunate to live in a state where it is relatively easy to vote by mail and where voting laws are not being altered, but for the majority of people in this country, it will be harder to vote in the next election unless S1 & S4 are passed by the Senate.  That is the goal of the Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures around the nation.  Are we going to let them get by with it?  I certainly hope not, for the sake of this nation that has already seen far too many of our rights go down the tubes.

Funny, isn’t it, that the fools on the hill will go ballistic over “protecting gun rights”, but they don’t give a royal f*ck about our voices, our rights to participate in our own government – the one that we fund!!!

Joe Manchin calls for ‘compromise’.  Well, we’ve been compromising for ages now … on healthcare, on education, on wasteful military spending, on foreign affairs, on just about everything.  There is no room for compromise on voting rights … there is no wiggle room at all.  We all get to vote!  Understand that, Republicans???

Tidbits From A Snarky Mind

As I said in yesterday’s Snarky Snippets post, it is getting easier to find positive things to snark about, but today I’ve got a bit of snark rolling out of my ears in the form of steam, so … I shall share it all with you!


Has Grassley’s time come?

Grassley-1Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa is still debating whether to run again in 2022 for another 6-year term.  Grassley is 87 years old and has been in the U.S. Senate for 41 years.  He is currently serving his 7th term.  While he may not have made up his mind, it seems that the people of Iowa have decided it’s time for him to retire.

According to the latest Des Moines Register poll, 55% of Iowans want Grassley to end his political career next year as compared to just 28% who said they would like to see him run for another term. More than one-third of Iowa republicans say the time has come for him to retire.  I would agree. He, like Mitch McConnell, is a poster boy for term limits.

At 87, he is the second-oldest member of the chamber — only California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is older — and if he did run and win an 8th term, Grassley would be 95 by the time it ended.  Grassley has consistently been popular among Iowans, and it is widely believed that he is the best bet for the Republican Party to hold on to that senate seat, but it seems the people aren’t too keen on voting for a man 89 years old, as he will be by election day.

If Grassley decides not to run, he will be the 6th Republican senator to decide not to seek re-election in 2022.  Let us hope there aren’t even worse ones waiting in the wings.


Lunacy in Ohio

I am sickened and disgusted that two Ohio state legislators, Jon Cross and Reggie Stoltzfus, have proposed legislation to make June 14th a state holiday in honour of the former guy.  To date there are 11 cosponsors for the bill.  People have lost their bloomin’ marbles!!!  If they succeed, I will do everything in my power to move myself and my family out of this state of numpties!  But wait … there’s more!

In North Eastern Ohio there is a park named Mosquito Lake State Park.  Another Ohio state representative, Mike Loychik, wants to rename the park after the former guy!  I swear I don’t know why I live in this state with this bunch of loons!


Filibuster mania

President Biden has been quiet on the subject of the filibuster, but yesterday during an interview with ABC News he opined …

“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster; you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days. You had to stand up and command the floor, and you had to keep talking. It’s getting to the point where, you know, democracy is having a hard time functioning.”

And that is the truth, my friends.  For years now more bills have failed in the senate largely because of the filibuster than I can count.  There are some critical bills coming up in the Senate, covering voting rights, gun laws, police reform, etc.  To have them all fail simply because the Republicans in the Senate are determined to play games with our lives is unconscionable.  Mitch McConnell, however, is throwing threats around, should the rules for the filibuster be changed to make it more difficult to obstruct legislation.

“Everything that Democratic Senates did to Presidents Bush and Trump, everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama, would be child’s play compared to the disaster that Democrats would create for their own priorities if — if — they break the Senate. Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues. Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin — can even begin — to imagine what a completely scorched earth Senate would look like — none. None of us have served one minute in a Senate that was completely drained of comity, and this is an institution that requires unanimous consent to turn the lights on before noon.”

As I said before, McConnell is a poster boy for why we need term limits … his power has gone straight to his head and he no longer believes that good governance is important or that he has a responsibility to the people of this nation!  Sadly, McConnell’s term doesn’t end until 2026, so there are only two ways he will be leaving the senate:  voluntary retirement or death.  He’s just stubborn enough to refuse to do either.

**Note to readers:  It is now 1:00 a.m., and I put this post on the schedule two hours ago.  Just this minute did I realize that … OH SHOOT … this is Wednesday … Good People Doing Good Things day!!!  My sincerest apologies … this is the result of a cluttered and aging mind.  Good People will be on Thursday morning this week … thank you for your understanding and patience!

I Want My Mail!!!!

On December 12th, my daughter mailed a package to my friend in the United Kingdom for me.  The postal clerk informed her that it would not likely arrive before Christmas, but that if she were willing to pay an extra $30, she could get guaranteed delivery within 10 business days.  That would have put the package arriving on or before December 24th, Christmas Eve.  Perfect!  Except, the package did not arrive until January 20th.  Such is the state of affairs at the U.S. Postal Service today, under the management of one Louis DeJoy.  Only 38% of non-local first-class mail arrived on time in late December, compared with 92% in the prior year.

postal-service

Trump appointed DeJoy to the position of Postmaster General to head the USPS in June for one reason only – to attempt to slow or halt mail-in ballots for the November election.  DeJoy immediately cut hours, forbade extra trips to deliver excess mail, removed & dismantled hundreds of mail sorting machines, and removed many collection boxes from the streets.  Again, the only goal was to interfere with our votes, to keep our ballots from reaching their destination in time during the year of the pandemic when mail-in voting would be at an all-time high.

When President Joe Biden took his oath of office on January 20th, he almost immediately fired a number of high-level Trump appointees, with more certain to go in the coming weeks, but guess what?  Biden cannot fire Louis DeJoy … only the Board of Governors can do that.  Unfortunately, many of the members of the Board of Governors were appointed by … Donald Trump.

DeJoy was not qualified to take on the position of Postmaster General, his previous experience being the CEO of a for-profit logistics company, but qualifications never bothered Donald Trump overly much, since he himself had zero qualifications for his own job.  DeJoy also had some conflicts of interest in that he did not fully divest himself of his interests in certain companies that are considered competitive with the USPS.  DeJoy, by the way, has a net worth of $110 million.

But wait, it gets even worse.  DeJoy is reportedly preparing to unveil plans for another round of service cuts and operational changes as soon as this week.  The new plan will include more service cuts, higher and region-specific pricing, and lower delivery expectations.  Postal workers are up in arms and want President Biden to do something.  According to Mark Dimondstein of the American Postal Workers Union …

“We want a Board of Governors that understands fundamentally this is not called the United States Postal Business. It’s not a profit-making business. It’s here to serve the people.”

Here to serve the people.  Such a simple concept, isn’t it?  But over the last four years, ‘serving the people’ has become a thing of the past.  Donald Trump’s government was here to serve only one person:  Donald Trump.  Joe Biden is working hard to turn that around, to ensure that government does serve the people – all the people.  But, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Biden’s efforts will no doubt be stymied by the ignorance of a certain party in Congress.

Yesterday, I received a phone call and an email from the Canadian pharmacy where I order my insulin.  They informed me that I should order now, because deliveries to the United States are taking anywhere from 4-8 weeks!  I used to order my insulin and have it within 5-7 business days, but now it could take up to two months!  Bullshit!

Biden cannot fire DeJoy directly, but what he can do is fire the entire Board of Governors and replace them with men and women who care about doing the right thing, who have a conscience, who care about the people of this nation.  Congressional democrats are urging President Biden to do just that …

“My solution starts at the top: firing the whole board who presided over Trump and DeJoy’s wrecking of USPS. Clean house.” – Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey

The current Board of Governors consists of one democrat and four republicans.  Isn’t it a damn shame that our ability to send & receive mail, our ability to receive life-sustaining medication is controlled by partisanship?  Republicans are paid out of our tax dollars the same as democrats … so why are they not attuned to the needs of We the People?  Donald Trump exacerbated this, but he did not create it … it’s been building for a long time.  According to The Washington Post …

“DeJoy has told mail industry officials he intends to remain in office to roll out an agency reorganization… The plan, parts of which were outlined to a Senate panel in August, includes geographic pricing and longer delivery windows. He’s entertained leasing out Postal Service properties and offering non-mailing services, such as private financial services.”

usps-3‘Private financial services’???  WHY???  It is the Postal Service, not the Banking Service!  So, does Biden fire the entire damn Board of Governors and send DeJoy packing?  Seems a simple solution, but this may be a case where Occam’s Razor* does not apply.  There would, no doubt, be a hue and cry from the congressional republicans if he took this path.  However, there are three vacant seats on the Board, and if Biden appoints people of conscience to those seats, then it is likely the Board would be willing to give DeJoy the boot.  In a statement issued by the White House yesterday …

“Only the Board of Governors of the US Postal Service has the power to replace the Postmaster General. The President can, however, nominate governors to fill vacancies on the board pending Senate confirmation.  President Biden’s focus is on filling these vacancies, nominating officials who reflect his commitment to the workers of the US Postal Service — who can deliver on the post office’s vital universal service obligation.”

I hope, for all our sakes, that Biden moves swiftly on this for in some cases, our very lives depend on it.  Meanwhile, I recommend that if you send holiday cards or packages via the USPS, you start your shopping immediately and have them in the mail at least three months before you want them to arrive!

*Occam’s Razor states that the simplest explanation/solution is usually the right one.

A Letter to a Republican Senator

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will begin on Tuesday.  Currently, it does not appear that the requisite 2/3 supermajority will vote to convict Trump, despite overwhelming evidence that he inspired and incited the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.  If this be the case, if he is acquitted and therefore allowed to run for office again, then justice will not have been served.  More importantly, it would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents and at some point, perhaps sooner than later, the people of the United States will lose their freedoms to a power-hungry dictator.

It was with this dark thought in mind that I composed the following letter to the Republican senator from my state, Rob Portman.  I know that a single letter from me will not change his mind, but I’m hoping he hears many voices telling him to please vote to convict, and that at the end of the day, he will follow his conscience.  Feel free to copy, alter, and use this letter if you feel so inclined.


Dear Senator Portman,

I write to you today regarding the upcoming impeachment trial of Donald Trump.  You are one of 100 people who will decide the ultimate fate of this nation, and I want to be sure you understand the seriousness of your role next week. 

While I have not seen the evidence that will be presented to the full Senate next week, I have read enough to know that there is sufficient evidence that many of Donald Trump’s actions over the two months after the November 6th election were the run-up, setting the stage for what happened on January 6th.  He claimed voter fraud before the first vote was cast, he filed hundreds of lawsuits sans evidence, he riled his base with claims that he “won bigly” and that there was “massive voter fraud”.  When lawsuits were thrown out of court, recounts taken, and the election certified for Joe Biden, he claimed the election had been ‘stolen’ from him.

I know, and you know, that Joe Biden is the rightful President of the United States.  While Trump received more votes than I would have expected, 81 million of us rejected his erratic, inept, and incompetent ‘leadership’, especially in light of his bungling response to the pandemic that has taken so many lives of our loved ones.  More to the point, there is sufficient evidence that he replaced Pentagon personnel in order to slow the response to the attack on the Capitol that he knew was coming, for he had incited it.  He called on his followers to ‘fight’, and then watched from the safety of the White House, with a grin on his face and his son’s girlfriend dancing in the background, as our voices were very nearly snuffed out. 

The events of January 6th were not only an attack on you, Senator, and on all your fellow members of Congress, but on We the People, the voters, the citizens, the taxpayers who support your policies and pay your salaries. 

I realize you will not run for re-election in 2022, so perhaps the fate of the nation does not matter much to you.  But for ten years now, we have paid your salary out of our own hard-earned income, and in return, we ask that you support those things that are in our best interest, such as ensuring that no future president can ever act as unconscionably as Donald Trump has and expect to go unpunished.

Although I often disagree with your views, I know that you are a decent man with a conscience.  You have two choices … you can follow your conscience and vote to convict Donald Trump on the charge of inciting a coup to overthrow a fair and honest election, or you can play to the party line, even though in your heart you know it is wrong.  Which will it be, Senator?  Will you do the right thing and sleep with a clear conscience at night, or will you put the Republican Party’s interests above those of the people you represent?

If you and your fellow senators vote to acquit Donald Trump, he will have the opportunity to rise from the ashes and destroy this nation as we know it.  He is not a president, never was, and is not a believer in democratic principles, but rather would install himself as king given the chance.  If that happens, the responsibility will fall squarely on your shoulders and those of your fellow senators.  The choice is yours, Senator Portman … please think long and hard, and choose wisely.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, independent voter, taxpayer