Early Morning Thoughts …

As I lay awake this morning, unable to return to sleep after having slept a scant 2 hours, I engaged in my frequent activity of pondering.  Today I will share with you some of the results of that mind-bounce sort of pondering …


Taxation without representation …

We declared our independence from Britian in 1776 for a number of reasons, however the main stated reason was ‘taxation without representation’. The British passed many tax laws that impacted the colonists.  The colonists had no representatives in Parliament to vote on or discuss these laws.  In English government, the people had to have representatives who could vote on taxes that would affect them.  The colonists had no such voice in British government. Long story short, the colonists declared their independence, represented by the Declaration of Independence penned by Thomas Jefferson, fought off the British and ultimately became the nation known as the United States. Today, we are in a very similar situation, though there is the appearance that we are properly represented.  Yes, we go to the polls each November and every other year we vote for men and women to represent us, to be our voice in the U.S. Congress.  But are they?  No, they are not our voice, they are the voice, the ‘yes-men’, actually, of only one group of people, the very wealthy.  Our taxes?  They go to those who already hoard the majority of the wealth in the nation, but number less than 1% of the population.  Our taxes are merely donations to those who least need them.  Look at the example of Scott Pruitt, already a wealthy man, who now heads the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   A very important job, and one that he is not bothering to do, as he is keeping busy trying to absorb as much money as he can into his own coffers.  For the complete story, see Gronda’s comprehensive series:  EPA Head Is One Sick Cheap Corrupt Puppy/ Pity His Poor Wife/ Part I, Part II, Part III  

This is but a single example of how our tax money is going to feed the overfed.  Think about the ‘tax cuts’ of last December.  If you saw any increase in your pay, it was minimal and has since been eaten by rising fuel and food costs, the latter thanks to Trump’s tariffs.  But trust me, people like Pruitt, the Trump family, the DeVos family … they gleefully saw a huge decrease in their quarterly taxes last month, and thus a rise in their profits … as if they needed any more.  And no, folks, it isn’t going to “trickle down” to us.


Free Speech, but for whom?

It’s puzzling to me that nearly 600 women were arrested last week during a peaceful protest against family separation and detention, yet people like Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannopoulos and others who preach hate and incite violence are guarded and their free speech protected.  So … if I am understanding correctly, 600 unarmed women marching in DC from Freedom Plaza to the Department of Justice to Congress, then sitting peacefully in the Senate’s Hart Office Building are a bigger threat than white supremacists and neo-Nazis inciting violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman was intentionally murdered and dozens injured by a man driving his car into the crowd – intentionally?  Can anybody explain this one?  I surely cannot.  The 1st Amendment, as I have said numerous times, gives us the right to protest when we feel our government is in the wrong.  If we no longer have the right of peaceful protest, but Nazis have the right to incite violence, what does that say about our nation?  And speaking of abuse of the right to free speech …


Alex Jones rants again …

We haven’t heard a lot from America’s #1 Conspiracy Theorist lately, but he is making up for lost time now.Jones-civil-warSeñor Jones is once again riling the masses, just in time for the nation’s Independence Day celebrations, with his declaration that the democrats are planning to use the July 4th holiday to start a “second Civil War”.  Good grief, what is this man smoking???

I tried to watch the clip from his program, InfoWars, where he expounded on this theory, but frankly after about two minutes, I felt ill, angry, and decided it wasn’t worth putting myself through.  It would, perhaps, be funny if it weren’t so dangerous.  The danger, however, is very real and I will not be surprised to find that tomorrow brings outbreaks of violence in our cities.  If it happens, the blame rests largely on the shoulders of Donald Trump, Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the minions who parrot these ridiculous taunts.  There is a saying among the saner of us, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should”.  It is a lesson that many in this nation need to learn.  Without this sort of incitement, we might be able to work through some of our differences, find common ground and stop the madness that has led to the great divide.  But no, we have people whose entire careers revolve around keeping the pot of hatred filled and stirred.


And now you know how I spent the hour between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., before finally uttering an expletive and getting out of bed.  To my U.S. friends, please have a fun holiday, but most of all keep safe.

I Think …

I quite often say that we seem not to learn from the lessons of history.  Oh sure, we remember for a while – a generation or two – but then the memories dim as the people who lived through that history die off and there is nobody to tell the stories with passion, with first-hand experience.  The immediacy fades and we return to the old ways or settle into new ones. One example is Hitler and the Holocaust.  My grandparents and parents well remembered those lessons, for they lived through them.  I have, perhaps a slightly dimmed sense of it, for I was not yet born, but still a heightened awareness from a childhood spent hearing the stories from one set of grandparents, my mother, and my father who fought in WWII.  And I passed many of those stories to my own children and granddaughter, but by this time they are 3rd and 4th hand stories and are losing some of their authenticity.  Another generation and the stories likely will not be told at all.

Surely there are history books from which we can learn, but again, with few exceptions, written words on a page often fail to bring the story to life, fail to inspire or excite.  And so, we may know the facts, while at the same time forgetting the lessons.  Arrogantly, we believe that those things could never happen in today’s world, never to our generation. Two comments I read yesterday gave rise to this post and an attempt, probably feeble, to find something in the past on which to judge the political and social turmoil the U.S. is experiencing today and find solutions to keep us all from killing one another.

The first comment was by USFMAN, commenting on my post Be Better:

“You cannot outshout a demagogue like Trump so look for similar situations from history that might offer solutions. Gandhi’s idea of mass passive resistance and Martin Luther King’s Freedom Riders come to mind.”

The second was by our friend Roger (Woebegone but Hopeful) commenting on Keith’s post That Jesus Saying:

“The danger lies in the separation of the nation into quarrelling tribes who never listen to each other. This is not good. Does no one look back to the histories of the 1840s to 1860s? Does it take another ‘Bloody Kansas’ for folk to sit up and think, ‘there is something wrong here’”

Interestingly, Roger lives in the UK, Wales to be specific, and yet most often has a better grasp of the history of this nation than we who have lived here all our lives.  And he, as well as many other friends from across the pond, see our situation with clearer eyes than we do.  Perhaps there is something to be said of that expression “can’t see the forest for the trees”?

Anyway, these comments started me thinking.  A very brief bit of historical context for those who may not remember the details.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 gave the territories of Kansas and Nebraska the right to choose, by popular vote, whether to become a slave state or a free state.  Slavery being the most contentious issue of the day, tensions ran high, to say the least, and a lot of dirty politics ensued.  So dirty, in fact, that when a congressional committee investigated a year or so later, they found that 1,729 fraudulent votes had been cast as compared to 1,114 legitimate ones!  Needless to say, violence ensued:  a hotel and two newspaper offices were burned, homes and stores ransacked, and murder & mayhem became the order of the day.

Long story short, a divisive political issue nearly destroyed a society, causing death and destruction.  Now granted,  that was in the days of the ‘Olde West’, and we are more … civilized today.  Or are we?  We have white police officers killing unarmed blacks.  We have white supremacist groups creating chaos on city streets and university campuses.  We have people refusing to serve other people in their place of business because of politics.  We have a ‘president’ who incites violence, encouraging people to hurt others.  Are we more civilized that Kansans in the mid-nineteenth century?  Don’t be too sure.  It would seem that we really haven’t come very far at all.

Which brings me to USFMAN’s comments …

How many times in the last year or two have I said that I wish we had another Martin Luther King?  Too many.  Martin Luther King was only one of the Civil Rights leaders some 50-60 years ago who worked tirelessly to bring about change, but what was unique about him was two things:  his charisma that gave him the ability to lead, and his philosophy of non-violence.  Martin, you may remember, had a dream.  He knew what he wanted to accomplish.  As I read the text of his speech for probably the 100th time, I realize that Martin Luther King’s dream in 1963 was not much different than our own dream today.

“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 the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners 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.

I have a dream today.

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

We have many burning issues today, concerning relationships with our allies, health care, education,  poverty, immigration, guns, environment, abortion, and more.  Most of these issues were  not born under the regime of Trump, but he has fanned the flames of discord and disharmony in every single event. But at the crux of most of it is bigotry, intolerance and discrimination of one group or another.  Discrimination against not only African-Americans, but Muslims, Latinos, LGBT people, non-Christians, the poor and even women.  Rather than being able to say we overcame the discrimination that Martin Luther King was fighting, we have expanded it to include other groups – almost anyone who is not white, Christian, and preferably male.

Now that I have offered my rambling thoughts, you probably wonder where I am going with this, if I have a point.  I do.  It seems to me that, in the absence of a Gandhi or Martin Luther King in our midst to lead the way in peaceful protest, then we must each become those leaders, using our voices to promote ideas of equality, to insist our voices be heard, and to do so without violence.  Colin Kaepernick was one such leader last year.  MLK would have been proud of Mr. Kaepernick, for never was there a more peaceful way of protesting, yet he made his point.  This is the way to win equality … the only way, I think.

An Update and a Question …

Good morning afternoon friends!  I have been meaning to give you this update for a week or so now, and I am also seeking your opinions on a question that has arisen this week …

The Update:

Some of you may have wondered just what became of Lisa Jensen and the project we were planning to engage in civil discourse about issues, starting with guns, gun regulation, etc.  Well, the project is temporarily on hold, but I hope to be able to jump start it soon.  Lisa and her husband are in the process of a major lifestyle change, you see.  They bought a sailboat, and are planning to live on the boat!  So, as she tells me, they are busy from sunup to sundown every day trying to divest themselves of a lifetime of detritus, as well as get their house ready to rent.  They will be sailing around in the Chesapeake Bay, and Lisa will be doing her work from ‘home’ (assuming she can get a WiFi signal).

It is quite a change, and she sounds excited and happy.  I am happy for her, though I don’t think it would be a move I would like, for I am a creature of routine, not very adventurous and am always a bit ‘off’ when my schedule or venue changes, even briefly.  Lisa assures me that she does still want to engage in our discussions and we have the beginnings of one started via email, but I don’t know quite when we will be able to proceed.

 The Question:

You may remember the post I did a few days ago about Jeff Amyx, the man who owns a hardware store and has a sign stating “No Gays Allowed” on his front door.  I have been engaged in a discussion with rawgod, who I can always trust to hold my feet to the fire when they need it, about the necessity or appropriateness of posts like this.  I have always thought it was important to bring people like this into the open, to shine a light on them and their bigotry, to show them to the world as they really are.  Rawgod, however, states his case …

“I am certainly all in favour of fighting bigotry, etc. But, IMO, while you are spreading the word of a bigot, you are also helping that bigot have his 15 minutes of fame. It’s just the other side of looking at the coin.”

I acknowledge that there is some truth to what he says … the ‘other side of the coin’, as it were … and yet I have mixed thoughts.  So, he suggested that I put the question to you all, and that is what I am doing.  What are your thoughts on this?  I know that I sometimes chastise the mainstream media for giving too much attention to people who thrive on that attention, and it seems to legitimize those people.  Am I doing the same?  Or do we need to keep these people out front for all to see?

I look forward to your opinions on this!

Now go forth and have a great rest-of-the-day!

More Snarky Snippets …

Today finds me with an overload of snarkiness and far more to do than time in which to do it, so I thought it a perfect day for some snarky snippets!


He found one!

Mark this day on your calendar, folks, for today, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, stood up for a moment from his never-ending boot-licking and denied one of Donald Trump’s conspiracy illusions!  Well … sort of, anyway.

Paul Ryan“Normally I don’t like to comment on classified briefings. Let me say it this way: I think Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate. I think — but we have some more digging to do. We’re waiting for some more document requests. We have some more documents to review. We still have some unanswered questions. But I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made. But I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions. I’ll leave it at that.”

In case you’ve forgotten what Representative Trey Gowdy said last week, he said that, “the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do” in investigating information alleging certain Trump campaign advisers had suspicious ties to Russia, “and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.”

Ryan also responded to a question about whether Trump would be able to pardon himself, the hot topic of the week, to which he said, “I don’t know the technical answer to that question. But I think obviously the answer is, he shouldn’t and no one is above the law.”

Seeing one of Trump’s sycophants turn, even so slightly, almost brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?  Of course, Ryan has nothing to lose, for he is not running for re-election in November, so one might question why it took him so long to find a cojone.


Throw the bum out!

You all remember the Brock Turner case, right?  Brock was the Stanford University student who, back in 2016 was convicted of three felonies for sexual assault and rape against an unconscious woman on campus.  Despite the seriousness of his crime, and despite three felony convictions, the judge gave Turner a slap on the wrist.  Though the minimum sentence was to have been two years, Judge Aaron Persky gave him a six-month sentence, of which he served only three months.  There was speculation at the time that perhaps some money had exchanged hands between Turner’s wealthy father and the good judge.

perskyWell, yesterday, Judge Persky became the first judge to be recalled in California in more than 80 years!  He had four years left in his term, but voters decided they had enough of him.  A recall campaign began almost immediately after Persky handed down the sentence, and was able to garner enough signatures to put the matter on yesterday’s ballot.  I see this as a win, although I also understand the concerns of some who fear it will send a message to judges who will be more hesitant to grant leniency even where leniency would be appropriate.  Now if only they could find a way to stick Brock Turner back in jail for another year or two …


Like a sausage?

I like President Emmanuel Macron of France.  He is intelligent, charismatic, and has his heart in the right place.  I did not like the way he cozied up to Trump during his last visit here, but I don’t think that will be happening again any time soon!  Macron is none too happy with Trump over the ridiculous tariffs Trump imposed last week on nearly every one of our allies.  In fact, nobody except Trump and his sycophants are finding any joy.  But I do believe that one can safely assume the bromance is over when Macron compared his most recent phone call with Trump to sausages, saying it’s best not to know what’s inside.macron-trump-sausage

“As Bismarck used to say, if we explained to people how sausages were made, it’s unlikely they’d keep eating them.”

It is said that the call was “terrible”.  I do hope somebody puts Trump in his place soon, before we have no friends left.


Trump’s new advisor?

We have seen just how little Trump listens to the few experienced advisors he actually has, preferring instead to listen to the likes of Sean Hannity over at FOX.  But I think he has found a new advisor, one who is similar in nature to his former favourite Hope Hicks, and also to Kellyanne.  Last week, after Trump got on his pardoning rocking horse and started issuing pardons to bigots and bimbos, he was paid a visit by one of those Kardashian people, asking him to commute the life sentence of one Alice Marie Johnson.

Now, if I requested an audience with Trump (which I would never do, for fear of contracting a fatal illness) to discuss, say, making student loans affordable, or protecting wildlife and the environment, I would be laughed off the continent.  But let some entertainer who has acquired wealth not by use of any brain cells, but rather by the shape of his/her body ask for an audience, and the door is always open.

Bottom line is that today, at the behest of the Kardashian person, Trump commuted the life sentence of Ms. Johnson.  I make no judgement as to whether she should have remained in prison or not, for I haven’t time to delve into the details – some of us use our heads for more important matters.  But the point is that Trump did exactly what he was asked by this Kardashian person, whereas he does not take the advice of people with brains who have decades of experience.  If General Mattis had asked him to pardon Ms. Johnson, she would still be sitting in her cell.  It is said that Trump is considering many more pardons … I wonder if the Kardashian people will provide him a list?

I wonder if there is a way to use this knowledge to the advantage of the nation?  Perhaps a Kardashian person could be planted to convince Trump to fire Scott Pruitt?


Oh … and by the way … Melania Trump seems to have been found, if anybody cared.

And thus ends my Snarky Snippets for today.  I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.snarky-toon

Saturday Surprise — The Week in Pictures

When I first came up with the idea for the Saturday Surprise feature last August, I asked for suggestions from my readers.  One of those suggestions was interesting pictures from the week before, and today, being of somewhat diminished energy and creative juices, I went in search of some of the week’s best pictures.  The volcanic eruptions in Hawaii provided some really great shots, and so did … well, you’ll see.


Italy Bosco VerticaleOfficially opened in October 2014, Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) is a pair of award-winning residential towers in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy.  The towers have heights of 110 metres (360 ft) and 76 metres (249 ft) respectively and host 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 meters or 10-30 ft) and over 2,000 plants from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants distributed in relation to the façade’s position towards the sun.  Now guess what an apartment in these buildings costs?  Prices range from $845,000 to $2.6 million!!!  Guess I won’t be moving any time soon.Bosca Verticale-2


polish landfill fire.pngThis fire at a landfill site in the town of Zgierz, central Poland, has been burning for over three days, and at least 250 firefighters have been battling the blaze.  Poland has had a rash of fires at illegal waste dumps in recent weeks, and officials believe the fires were intentionally set.


Canterbury church

In England, an installation at Canterbury Cathedral of 100 baubles for a new exhibition, Under an Equal Sky, that will hang from the nave ceiling. The exhibition reflects on themes of war and remembrance, migration and refugees and marks 100 years since the end of the first world war.


plane on Downing St

Now here’s something you don’t see every day … a plane outside 10 Downing Street!  It is a Royal Air Force red arrow jet and is there to mark the RAF’s centenary.  I do hope they didn’t actually land it right there.


bird on deer

A bird rests on the head of a white-tailed deer roaming free in San Jose Villanueva.


India Elections

A supporter of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party dances to celebrate early leads for the party in the Karnataka state elections in Bangalore, India.


TOPSHOT-SKOREA-RELIGION-BUDDHA-LANTERN

A reveler dances beneath lanterns at the Jogye Buddhist temple following a lantern parade as part of the “Lotus Lantern Festival” celebrating the upcoming Buddha’s birthday, in Seoul, South Korea.


Rare Pink Flamingo Appears On Haulover Beach In Miami

A lone pink flamingo walks along Haulover Beach on May 17, 2018, in Miami Beach, Florida. Lifeguards on the beach said that the flamingo showed up on Saturday and has been hanging around since.


Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has been erupting explosively since May 3, causing widespread evacuations and devastation across Big Island.  Molten lava flows have blocked highways and damaged dozens of buildings, with no sign of the activity slowing down.  Evacuation orders are in effect in certain areas, and police are arresting those who refuse to leave.  It is frightening and tragic … unimaginable and unthinkable.  Here are some pictures of nature at it’s most devastating …

volcano-1volcano-2volcano-3volcano-4

volcano-5volcano-6Hawaii Volcanovolcano-8


Last, but not least, I have a special video clip for my two special little guys … you know who you are … I thought you would find this ninja squirrel to your liking!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!  Ullswater lake in England

 

Snippets, Snippets, I Got Snippets!

Good afternoon, friends!  I am working on a post that involves a great deal of research, and I had hoped to complete it for this afternoon, but have not.  So, instead I am bringing you my take on a few of the snippets in this morning’s news, but I warn you that I am in full-on snarky mode today, so don’t expect much kindness toward certain unsavory elements in Washington at the moment.


Better polish that résumé, Mr. B …

bridenstine-nasaLast month, Jim Bridenstine was confirmed by the Senate to be the new administrator of NASA. Most of us were not thrilled by Trump’s nomination of Bridenstine, for he did not seem to have a single qualification for the job.  He had no science background, and his relevant experience was limited to having managed an Air and Space museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And while he agreed that humans may have played some role in climate change, he did not believe they were the major contributor, which was likely Trump’s main reason for choosing him. Even some members of the Republican Party voiced concerns. But, as we all know, if Trump wants it, the bootlickers will do their best to give it to him, and so Bridenstine was confirmed.

Now, I’m betting that Mr. B will not have his job for long, and I’m almost sad about that.  Why?  Because yesterday he made the following statement:

“The National Climate Assessment, that includes NASA, and it includes the Department of Energy, and it includes NOAA, has clearly stated it is extremely likely, is the language they use, that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming, and I have no reason to doubt the science that comes from that.”

WHOA!!!  A Trump pick has gone against one of Trump’s ten commandments.  Will he survive?  I doubt it.  Too bad, for the man seems to actually have a conscience and some guts.  I wish him luck in his next endeavour.


Ho-hum … more BREAKING NEWS …

trump-kimThe big “BREAKING NEWS” of the day is that Trump has canceled the summit with Kim Jong-un that was allegedly scheduled for next month.  Ho-hum.  No big news there … the summit was never going to happen.  Kim had already indicated that it was unlikely, and Trump, predictably, couldn’t let Kim be the one to cancel, so he did it himself.  There were reasons, or excuses … yada yada yada … but I predicted way back in the beginning that it would never happen.  Frankly, it’s probably for the best, as neither man has the maturity to craft any sort of reasonable compromise.  Unfortunately, it also means we will go back to the name-calling and threat of ‘button-pushing’ from last year, and the world will feel a bit less safe.  Happily, it means Trump can stop envisioning that Nobel Peace prize.


Does he really not understand, or is he deliberately obtuse?

clapper-beharTrump doesn’t seem to understand English.  He certainly doesn’t speak it well, never quite managing to string a sentence together that makes sense, but his comprehension is not good either.  Yesterday, James Clapper appeared on The View, and was asked:

BEHAR: “So I ask you, was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?”

CLAPPER: “No, they were not.”

Okay, that seems a fairly straightforward answer, don’t you think?  So Trump’s response?

“Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign. Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal. Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!” — 8:21 AM – May 24, 2018

I think the problem came in when Clapper went on to explain that the FBI was gathering information about what the Russians were doing.  Perhaps he should have just stopped at “No, they were not”, rather than elaborating.  Trump seems to understand very short, direct sentences, but gets confused if too many words are used.


Trump vs the NFL …NFLI can sum this one up in two words:  they caved.  Yes, the NFL, or at least one team owner, admits that the reason for their ban on player protests of kneeling rather than standing during the anthem was due, at least in part, to pressure from Trump.  According to an article this morning in NBC Sports …

“Asked if Trump came up in their discussion, Packers president Mark Murphy replied with a laugh: “Oh yeah. It was more how [Trump] might react, anticipating that. Also, how the fans will react, how the media will react. That’s what we tried to think through. . . . No matter what we did, [Trump] would probably try to get involved one way or the other—either criticizing us or taking credit for the change.””

Though I’m not a sports enthusiast, I recognize that it is entertainment, intended to be FUN.  When politics enters the arena, it ceases to be fun.  Now for Trump’s response to the NFL announcement yesterday …

“You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, and the NFL owners have done the right thing, if that’s what they’ve done.”

Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country?  Seriously?  Well, maybe I shouldn’t be either, for I would gladly take a knee if I heard the anthem played at this point.  Though, I find it difficult to get back up and might need a hand …


So there you have it, folks … Filosofa’s snippets for the afternoon.  Have a great rest-of-the-day!

You Have Got To Be Kidding!!!

I started my afternoon in fine spirits … I really did.  And then, I sat down to troll the news.  It never fails to wreck my mood, but today’s examples of extreme stupidity sent me from laughter to rage in a short 10 minutes … maybe only 5!  So here are the four stories that led to a progressive declension of humour …


I laughed.  🤣 I couldn’t help myself … I laughed so hard that I scared Ollie off my lap! (They aren’t used to hearing me laugh much these days) And then I got choked and coughed for a while.  And then I returned to the story and started at the very beginning to make certain I hadn’t mis-read it.

House Republican Wants American Taxpayers to Crowdfund Trump’s $20 Billion Border Wall

Turns out that U.S. Representative Diane Black from Tennessee has a really ignorant idea for funding Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexican border … We The People, in addition to paying our taxes for Trump’s other egomaniacal purposes, will then donate whatever monies we have left over to build the bloody wall!!! Diane BlackHa ha ha ha … not a snowball’s chance in Hell!!!!  I would donate to hungry children, I would donate to foodbanks and soup kitchens, homeless shelters and medical research facilities, animal shelters … almost anything but Trump’s infernal wall.

First, it has been proven by experts in the field, time and time again, that, a) it is not needed, and b) it will not stop illegal immigration from the south.

Second, wasn’t Mexico supposed to pay for the wall, Donnie?  What happened?  Did you have to eat some words there, Donnie?

Third, the current administration and Congress have been doing everything in their power to hurt We The People, especially the lower income ones.  So, if I have anything to spare, it will go to help people, not to build a useless and costly wall that almost nobody wants except Donnie.

Ms. Black is the typical boot-licking republican congresswoman who threw her full support behind the donor tax cuts in 2017, is against nearly all EPA regulations, and has glowing endoresements from the likes of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.  But we needn’t worry, for she will not be back in Congress next year, as she is instead running for governor of Tennessee.  They can have her!

But lest you think there is no reward for donating to the ignominious wall, Ms. Black floated the idea of putting up plaques along the wall to commemorate those who donate.  Um … who would want their name on such a hideous display of inhumanity?

Trump & Co currently claim the wall will cost $20 billion, but more realistic estimates run closer to as much as $75 billion.  With that, every single man, woman and child would have to donate $247.52 in order to pay for the abomination.  That is about … oh … $247.52 more than I would be willing to donate.


And then, this next one traded laughter for an eyeroll 🙄

White House Releases Commemorative Coin for North Korea Talkscommemorative coin

FIRST … there has been no summit as yet.

SECOND … it is unlikely now that there will even BE a summit in June, as originally planned, for Trump and Bolton could not keep their mouths shut, and now Kim Jong-un is considering calling it off.

THIRD … they got Kim’s title wrong on the bloomin’ coin!  Kim is not the Supreme Leader – ‘Chairman’ would have worked just fine. And the ‘U’ in ‘un’ is not supposed to be capitalized!  It’s Kim Jong-un … don’t these people know anything???

I have tried to find out how much we, the taxpayers, paid to have 250 of these dud coins minted, and cannot, but whatever the cost, it was yet another egomaniacal waste of our money that could have been used to feed the poor.


Hear that sound, folks?  That is the growl that has started somewhere at the bottom of my throat and is working its way up …

Assault Weapons Manufacturer Is Upset That School Shootings Are Costing It Money

Say what???

“Vista Outdoor, a major manufacturer of assault weapons, is complaining that school shootings, particularly the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, is having an adverse impact on its profits.

The company blames “a substantial increase in the use of social media platforms, including blogs, social media websites, and other forms of Internet-based communications, which allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers.

In the case of the Parkland shooting, Vista Outdoor cites “a campaign…launched on social media seeking the boycott of certain Outdoor Products brands because of their association with the Company and its brands that operate in the shooting sports industry.”” – ThinkProgress, 20 May 2018

Awwww … pobrecitos


And now, folks, with this next one I have gone from laughter to full-scale $%&@#!

NRA President Blames Santa Fe School Shooting On Ritalin

Oliver North“The problem we’ve got is we’re trying like the dickens to treat the symptom without treating the disease. And the disease, in this case, isn’t the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence, they’ve been drugged in many cases. Nearly all of these perpetrators are male and they’re young teenagers in most cases. Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. Now I’m certainly not a doctor, I’m a marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening and endangering those two gals.”

aaurgh

Further, his proposal for a solution … not limiting guns in any reasonable manner, nor limiting who can get their hands on them, or banning assault weapons.  No, ol’ Ollie’s solution is metal detectors in every doorway in every school!  Brilliant, Oliver … we cannot pay our teachers a living wage, cannot afford to upgrade curricula, books and equipment, but we should invest millions, or more likely billions of dollars for bloomin’ metal detectors!!!


And so concludes another episode of America’s Stupidest People.  Thank you for joining us and stay tuned next week …