Snippets … I’ve Got Snippets!

Since it is cold, snowing, and my morning was taken up by other things, today I have just a few snippets that caught my eye in my daily ambling through muck and mire that we call news.


It’s not my fault …

Remember a few days ago when I wrote about U.S. representative from Pennsylvania, Patrick Meehan, who was on the House Ethics Committee, but who had sexually harassed an aide, settled with her for an undisclosed amount of money, and then paid her from his congressional fund?  Well, today he is back in the news, and guess what?  It isn’t his fault that he sexually harassed the aide!  Not his fault at all, folks.

MeehanMeehan admitted to having attempted a relationship with the aide, and admitted that when he found out she was in a relationship after rebuffing his advances,  he acted ‘selfishly’, but he doesn’t see it as sexual misconduct, and he has an excuse … Obamacare!  He says his behaviour was due to the stress he was under from constituents during the height of the debate over a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare).

“Sometimes I have the tendency to lash out to others on the staff. And you go hardest on the ones that you care the most about.”

Meehan also confirmed that he plans to run in November.  Again, let’s hope Pennsylvanians have better sense than to vote for this jerk.


Trump can do no wrong …

Tony Perkins, president of the right-wing religious organization Family Research Council, was recently asked his opinion of the reports about Trump’s affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, and his payout of $130,000 to her.  Perkins response?

tony perkins“I would not say it’s not a problem, again, this election… evangelicals did not vote for Donald Trump based on his moral qualifications, but based upon what he said he was going to do, and who he surrounded himself with. We kind of gave him — ‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here”

Wow … how tolerant of him.  I wonder what he had to say back when Bill Clinton had a liason with Monica Lewinsky? There really does seem to be a partisan double standard here, don’t you think?


Monsters lurking in every … text?

spy vs spyAnother republican member of Congress makes his way onto my radar today.  This time, it is Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who, I do believe, has either had too much to drink or has been spending too many late nights reading Vince Flynn novels.

If you recall, a month or so ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller re-assigned an FBI employee who had been assisting in his investigation into ties between the Russian election hacking and Donald Trump’s campaign staff.  The FBI employee, Peter Strzok, had sent texts to his girlfriend that were critical of Trump.  Mueller’s main reason for taking Strzok off the investigation was to preserve the integrity, so that nobody could claim Mueller’s team to be biased.

ron johnsonNow, however, not only is Senator Johnson claiming bias, but he has come up with an outright conspiracy theory and says that the FBI is plotting to overthrow Trump.  Offering no evidence to support his claim, Johnson said …

“What this is all about is further evidence of corruption — more than bias — but corruption of the highest levels of the FBI. Listen, the term secret society comes from Strzok and Page. I had heard of a group of people within the F.B.I. Holding secret offsite meetings. I was connecting the dots. And that secret society… we have an informant talking about a group that was holding secret meetings off-site. There is so much smoke here. There’s so much suspicion.”

Oh please, Mr. Johnson, go back to your vodka and your book.


The camels … they used botox???

Saudi Arabia holds an annual camel beauty contest.  Okay, a bit odd, but hey … I like camels, so I’m all for it.  But this year there is scandal among the contestants!  Twelve camels have been disqualified for using botox!!! Apparently the camel’s owners, lured by the prize money, decided to cheat and injected the camels with botulinum toxin injections to make their pouts look more alluring.

The key attributes in camel beauty are considered to be delicate ears and big nose. “They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” Ali al-Mazrouei, the son of an Emirati camel breeder.

And just how much was this prize?  Pretty big, actually … £3.7 million, or $5.3 million USD.  Fawzan al-Madi, the show’s lead judge, said, “The camel is a symbol of Saudi Arabia. We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime.”

Poor camels … injections in the face, and all for nothing, not even a bit of a treat.


And so ends Filosofa’s Snippets for today.   You are now up-to-date and can return to cooking supper, shoveling snow, or playing ping-pong.

Still More Bits ‘N Pieces …

Last week, when I was experiencing a bouncy brain and couldn’t seem to stay focused on any one topic for more than 4.3 minutes, I did one of my Bits ‘n Pieces posts with short snippets better suited to my mental state at that moment.  A reader commented that he prefers a compilation of shor bits anyway.  While some topics are more in-depth and require a longer post, there are always a number of things floating across my radar that aren’t suited to a full post in themselves.  So today, though I don’t have mind bounce, I am working on a few projects, none of which are yet complete, and thus I bring you a new installment of my random Bits ‘n Pieces.


A Grave Mistake???

Most of you have probably never heard of Casey Fisher, but republicans in Utah are familiar with the name.  Casey is a GOP official for Davis County, Utah, and oversees the republican caucuses in his district.  Last week, he posted this on his Facebook page:

“The more I study history, the more I think giving voting rights to others not head of household has been a grave mistake.”

Seriously?  Does the word ‘misogynist’ pop into anybody’s mind?  But wait, for it only gets more bizarre.  Davis County GOP chairwoman Teena Horlacher, a woman, rushed to defend Casey Fisher …

“The sentiment was along the lines of what our Founding Fathers believed in. Not necessarily that men only have the vote, that was not necessarily what he was saying. I certainly don’t agree with that sentiment. He’s not trying to say that only men should vote, that’s not what he’s saying. And that’s as far as I’m going to go.”

Fisher began receiving so many angry messages that he deleted not only the post, but his entire Facebook account!  But Horlacher apparently felt sorry for him and chimed back in …

“Casey has been completely harassed today. He has been inundated with mean emails, mean comments, mean phone calls. I mean, seriously. He’s quite astounded [by] the repercussions of all of this. I know Casey. He’s a really good guy. I think he just put something out there without thinking about what it looked like.”

I need add nothing more to this one, do I?

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Out of the Mouths of Babes …

Those Trump boys aren’t exactly the brightest bulbs in the pack, are they?  I personally think Eric is the dumber of the two, and he may have proven that this morning when he appeared on Fox & Friends.  Asked about his sire’s highly inappropriate comment referring to certain nations as ‘shithole countries’, Eric had this to say …

“My father sees one color — green. That is all he cares about. He cares about the economy. He does not see race. He is the least racist person I ever met in my entire life.”

EricBack in November, when Trump made another racist slur referring, once again, to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocohantas”, Eric once again attempted to come to daddy’s rescue with …

“The irony of an ABC reporter (whose parent company Disney has profited nearly half a billion dollars on the movie “Pocahontas”) inferring that the name is “offensive” is truly staggering to me.”

Did I mention those Trump boys aren’t too bright?


I Think Not …

Sarah Huckabee Sanders seems to like being Trump’s fool.  Her latest statement of fantasy …

“Look, I have said it before, I will say it again: I think it is disgraceful the way this president is treated. If he was anybody else the media would be going on and on trumpeting his successes. Hopefully, over the course of this year, we’ll have a change of heart of some of the media as they get more money in their pockets due to massive tax cuts…. Maybe they will have a change in their heart too.”

If she seriously thinks that journalists who may receive a few extra dollars in their monthly pay are going to stop doing their jobs and become Trump’s pawns, she is seriously delusional.  Most journalists do what they do because they believe in the goal of an informed public, an open door to truth.  And, most journalists are also smart enough to realize that every extra dollar they bring home throughout the year will likely be eaten up when they file their annual return, for many deductions are no longer available to them.  Dream on, Sarah!


Women’s Event … ???

For some reason that I cannot understand, the White House held  “A Conversation with the Women of America”, an event hosted, as best I can figure, by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (yes, her again).  As best I can figure, the event was set up to give Trump a platform to a) toot his own horn, and b) show women how very much he loves and respects them.

SandersThere are videos online of the event, if you’re interested.  I did not have the stomach for it today.  Ms. Sanders told all the women to be sure to ask their boyfriends and husbands to buy them jewelry, and then came the main event: Donald Trump.

One might think that at such an event, the speech would have centered around women, how far they have come, how the administration is taking steps to empower women, blah, blah, blah.  But nope, not this time.  Trump rambled about the black unemployment rate, his November 2016 electoral college victory, tax cuts, and the “very tough measures” other countries are taking to crack down on drug abuse. And then, he returned to one of his favourite topics, Hillary Clinton.

“Arkansas, great state. How did I win Arkansas by so much when she came from Arkansas? Had the other side gotten in, the market would have gone down 50% from where it was. Fifty percent from where it was. Remember that. It was stagnant and it was going down. “

Let us take up a collection to buy a case of duct tape to send to the White House for his mouth, okay?


Well, folks … that’s enough for today, yes?  Stay tuned, for there is sure to be more!

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Roger’s Book Launch — CONGRATULATIONS!

Our friend Roger Llewellyn (woebegonebuthopeful) has just published a new book available on Amazon, Of Patchwork Warriors: (Being Vol.1 of the Precipice Dominions).  While I would love to be able to write a review to include in this post, I cannot, for while I have read a few chapters here and there, as Roger posted them on his blog, my own schedule was such that I missed more than I read.  So, here is the introduction from the Amazon page:

Patchwork Warriors

“There came an era when the threat of incursion from the infernal other world realm of the Zerstorung was strong, placing the survival of entire unsettled Oakhostian Empire at risk and thus disparate forces began to marshal, to take up any cause or seize any opportunity.

There in the background The Ethereal, The Stommigheid or The Astatheia just a few names for the force which had arrived upon The World in Ages faded from record. Viewed either as a pernicious creature seeking to control, a power for good, an aspect of Nature to be treated with caution or a means to an end, it remained a constant. With an oft forgotten tendency to engage with the unwilling, the unassuming and the unruly from the ranks of lesser folk whose consequential and various struggles would unsettle many a careful plan.

This is the tale of three such, an innocent housemaid, a dutiful soldier and a self-appointed scourge of evil quite unaware the safety of an Empire would soon be resting on them.

They did not take uniformly or conventionally to the task, for that was the way of things, when involved with The Ethereal, The Stommigheid or The Astatheia.”

Though I cannot review the book as yet, I can tell you from the bits I have read that this tale is fun and the characters whimsical and delightful.  I found one who reminds me much of me … I will not tell you who … you can figure it out as you read the book.

Roger likes to make up words … he sometimes makes up words for me to use in lieu of others in my somewhat … colourful vocabulary.  For this book, he has almost invented a whole new vocabulary, words for which he helpfully provides brief explanations at the beginning.  Some are so much fun that I may take to using them on occasion, for example “Twonk – Elidian term of insult.  Means ‘fool’” (Surely I can think of a few people to call twonks!).  Or one of my very favourites “Kerfluffeg – A Karlyn word for confusion or confused” (I can use that one on myself most often!)

Roger also designed his own cover for this one, and I think he deserves kudos for both a book well-written and a charming cover.  Now, obviously, I wish all my readers would hop straight over to Amazon  and buy this book.  It is only $0.99 USD … c’mon guys, that’s less than a bottle of water!  But if you prefer, at least download the free sample and read that … at which time you will know that you must buy the book!  Or at the very least, pop over to Roger’s blog, heroicallybadwriter,  and congratulate him, for I know that he has worked long and hard on this book.

Congratulations, Roger … beautiful cover, beautiful book, and a job well done!  I will read and review as soon as humanly possible.  And thank you, my friend, for the mention on the dedication page … you brought a huge smile to my face with that!

Now readers … go check out the book!!!

Ahhhh … Those Good Ol’ Days …

Tonight I have two posts started, but suddenly I had an aversion to writing about either politics, racism or Equifax, so instead I am taking somewhat of a detour from my usual fare.

old-phoneThere was a time, long ago and far away, that when the phone rang, I answered it.  I was nearly certain it would be someone I knew, either a friend or family member, and if it weren’t, it would be a genuinely remorseful caller who had simply dialed the wrong number.  Ahhhhh … those were the good ol’ days, weren’t they?

Then came the days of the ‘800’ numbers.  If the area code was 800, it might be for me, if I had, say, an overdue account or some other pending business outside of my state, but more than likely it was somebody trying to sell me insurance, a burial plot, or convince me to sign up for a credit card.  I’m no dummy, so I quickly learned, with the assistance of caller I.D., to disregard calls from numbers that started with 800.  Annoying, yes, but minimally so, especially since it only happened once or twice a week.

But then … then came the damn robocalls.  Calls from Florida, Michigan, California, Las Vegas … all over the country.  It didn’t take me long to develop a system to deal with these.  I simply stopped using the ‘landline’ altogether and quit taking any calls on my cell phone from callers outside my own area code unless I recognized the number.  I have voice-mail, and if it were, in fact, important, then I could call the person back.  Problem solved.

And then … those who would prefer to make their living by using technology to steal from others rather than earn their money honestly, became truly sophisticated and found ways to make their ‘robocalls’ appear to be from my own area code.  Not only that, but they are frequently very close … just a digit or two off … from my daughter’s phone number.  Now, fortunately I, too, have technology at my fingertips and I have now adopted a policy of not answering any call unless it comes from somebody on my contact list.  This means that if a little picture of somebody I know and their name does not pop up, I simply either hit ‘decline call’ or ignore it.

phone-GalaxyI also have a program that shows incoming calls on my computer, as I often do not hear my phone, and I am able to decline the call with a single mouse click. And, I have visual voice mail so that I can read any message I receive, although the robo callers rarely leave a message.  I wonder, though, what their next move to foil me will be, for I have no doubt that there will be one.

Mind you, it is all annoying and some days frustrating, but I stay one step ahead of them, and if I do on occasion absent-mindedly answer a call, I simply hang up, so I am not complaining … at least not much.  But what does concern me is the people who fall for these scams.  And let’s face it, a heck of a lot of people are falling for them, else the scammers wouldn’t still be using these tactics.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, one such scam, where the scammer claims to be with the Internal Revenue Service and demands fees and fines, has already cost consumers $54 million!  According to the article …

“If anything, robo-calls are becoming more prevalent and more sophisticated. In their latest devilish innovation, robo-callers have been spoofing numbers in your own area code and prefix, which prompts far more people to pick up. They are also experimenting with artificial intelligence that allows the robot to hold a convincing conversation with you, as you can hear in a sample robo-call posted by Consumers Union in which the recipient tries to get the caller to admit she’s a robot.”

And they offer some good advice … some of which I was not aware of …

  • Don’t answer.
  • Don’t press buttons. Don’t try to opt out of robo-calls by using the call’s phone tree. “If you engage with the robo-caller in any way . . . it lets them know they’ve reached a live phone number. Your number is then added to a hot list.”
  • Don’t speak. If a robo-call asks you questions, don’t answer. Some robo-callers ask, “Can you hear me?” When you say yes, the scammers may use that to claim that you said yes to their product or service.
  • If you receive a robo-call, the FTC asks that you file a complaint online or by calling 888-382-1222. The agency chooses which robo-callers to go after partly based on these complaints.

There are others, and you can read the article, but these four were, I felt, the most relevant.  I was not aware of the third one, “don’t speak”.  I have, on occasion said some choice words to a robocall, but I’m pretty sure that ‘yes’ was not one of those choice words 😉.  And as  for contacting the FTC, I don’t know about you, but despite being on the ‘no call list’, I receive on average three of these calls a day, so it would be impractical for me to contact the FTC each time.

Technology … ain’t it grand?  I close with a funny story from long ago.  One day, probably in the early 1970s, I answered the phone and a female voice that sounded very familiar said, “Hi … whatch’a doing?”  Thinking it might be my friend Patsy, or some other friend, I told her whatever I was doing at the time, and we chatted amiably for about five minutes.  I was still trying to figure out who it was, and didn’t want to embarrass either of us by having to ask, when she said, “you been working out in the garden this morning?”  BAM … I knew she had the wrong number, for I not only did not have a garden, but I am known nationwide for my ‘black thumb’.  I can kill the unkillable, and plants simply commit suicide when they see me coming.  So, we ended the conversation and both agreed it had been a pleasure talking to each other.  Again … ahhhh, the good ol’ days.old-phone-2

 

Your Tax Dollars At Work …

It has been good enough for more than sixty years, since 1948.  It was good enough for the Bushes, Senior and Junior, it was good enough for Presidents Obama, Clinton, Ford, Nixon, Carter, Johnson, Reagan.  But it is not good enough for Donald Trump, who is used to his accommodations in Trump Towers where he has gold bathroom fixtures!

It is reported that a few weeks ago, Trump was at his golf club in New Jersey chatting with other members when he explained his reason for coming to the New Jersey club every weekend is that “the White House is a dump”.  He later denied having said it, and since I was not privy to the conversation, I cannot say for sure, but it was reported by several people, including staff members who were present, so I am inclined to believe he said it.

So, during Trump’s 17-day vacation, while we are paying for him to play golf and eat steak every night, the White House is undergoing a renovation.  To be fair, some of the repairs are necessary, such as repair of a leak in the ceiling, HVAC repairs, etc.  And those repairs were approved before Trump took office.  Other renovations, however, seem unnecessary and a bit frivolous in these troubled times, for example new carpeting throughout the West Wing.

WH-oval-office

Empty Oval Office – 816.2 sq. ft.

The renovations will also include fresh landscaping and a granite curb … now, who needs a granite curb?  Isn’t concrete good enough?

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Workers installing granite curb

Apparently there has been a problem with house flies in the West Wing, and last month Business Insider reported that Trump called Reince Priebus to the Oval Office to kill a fly that was buzzing about. Flies … this is what happens when you fill a space with trash.

WH-trash.jpg

So, you may wonder how much all this is costing us.  The renovations will amount to $3.4 million: $1.965 million for upgrading the HVAC systems, $1.17 million for carpet replacements. and a fresh coat of paint will amount to $275,000.  I hesitate to mention that my carpet is 19 years old, and my home has not been painted since then, either.  My home needs plumbing repairs, and my 25-year-old stove/oven is on its last legs.

Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said the cost of the renovations is less than what the past three administrations have spent.  Perhaps, but consider the past three administrations’ costs were over a period of eight years each, not 7 months!  And if the past three administrations have each spent more than $3 million, should not the White House already be in pretty damn good condition?

Since the Trumps are not quite the personification of class, grace and dignity that the Obamas were, I had concerns that Trump’s idea of “Making the White House Great Again” might involve such tackiness as gold-plated fixtures, nude paintings, or hot-pink walls.  But my research reveals that any renovations must be approved by the Office of the Curator.

WH-renovation-2“The White House Office of the Curator is charged with the conservation and study of the collection of fine art, furniture and decorative objects used to furnish both the public and private rooms of the White House as an official residence and as an accredited historic house museum.” – Wikipedia

Phew!  That is a load off my mind, for in Trump Towers, Trump has a three-level penthouse  designed to look like the interior of Versailles, complete with gold and diamond accents, and miles of marble and hand-painted ceiling murals. Can we say “hedonistic”?  “Tacky”?

trump-tower-3trump-tower-2trump-tower-1

In my opinion, and mind you this is just my opinion, the thing that most needs to be replaced in the White House are its occupants.

WH-occupants.jpg

 

A Peek Inside Of Filosofa’s Mind-Bounce

Well, I cannot seem to settle into a topic tonight.  There is too much to write about, too many ‘goings-on’, and my mind seems to be on overload.  So, forgive me if I indulge in a bit of mind-bounce, but that may be my only hope for regaining a degree of focus.

I try very hard to avoid commenting on ignorant political opinions and ridiculous memes on social media.  I try, I tell you … I really do.  And usually I am successful, for I have too much to do to waste my time on it.  However, as I mentioned, tonight my mind is all askew, and I was just cruising around on Facebook, hoping a bit of a break might stop the mind-bounce.  And I came across an extremely bigoted rant against the religion of Islam and its followers.  The writer claimed that Islam is “pure evil” and that we needed to get rid of Sharia Law in the U.S.  Well, as you can imagine, that set me off (mind bounce is often accompanied by enhanced irascibility) and I, against my better judgment, took off my shoes and jumped into the fray.

You would have been proud of me … I responded with intellect and quiet dignity, even when asked what planet I had come from and if I had been asleep all my life.  I stayed only a short time, enough for two or three well-placed comments, and then I left the conversation and turned off notifications so that I would not be tempted again.  But it made me start thinking about the bigotry and hate we are seeing, most of which is based on sheer ignorance.  A few of the comments that stood out, that spoke volumes about the mentality we are dealing with here:

“Outlaw all Muslim activities and people from our country,they have millions of acres of land in their own part of the world ,send them back ,declare this a Christian country”

“it’s not right ,it’s a mental illness that should be treated as such, all these types of people will eventually implode ,they will poison the minds of innocent children and most likely at some point molest someone ,and/or kill themselves or others”

“Harry too many liberals that don’t understand something when they read it ,or what it was supposed to convey ,they just steer away from it to their liberalism”

All comments reproduced “as is” without corrections.

To be sure, there were others who, like myself, tried to educate, to enlighten, to make the haters at least stop and think, but a handful insisted that they were right, everybody else was wrong, and just as I exited, it was becoming a vulgar free-for-all.  There is no value in such an exchange, and this is not a conversation or even a dialogue … it is simply sport.  Blood-sport, at that.

Which led me to thinking about red hair.  (I told you … mind-bounce)  Well, I was wondering if perhaps there is something in the lack of skin pigmentation, or in something in the water they drank, that gave them this tendency toward bigotry.  Are there certain physical traits that indicate mental traits?  And that brings us to the red hair connection.  It is said that people with red hair have shorter tempers.  Is it true? Well, I didn’t find any definitive answer, but I did discover that redheads get cold quicker and feel pain more acutely.  Okay … a snack is needed … something without sugar …

AHA  ….

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Coffee-nut m&ms … no sugar here, right?

Do you know what Kellyanne Conway, America’s #1 Bimbo, makes per year in salary alone?  $179,700.  Nearly a quarter of a million dollars per year.  For … being a mouthpiece, and a bad one at that.  For making up lies to cover Trump’s exposed posterior. For being obnoxious and mostly wrong.  $179,700!!!!!!! More than three times what I made in my highest earnings year!

So, Senator Ron Johnson, a republican (of course) from Wisconsin intimated on a radio show on Wednesday that Senator John McCain’s “nay” vote on the proposed healthcare bill before the Senate last month, may have been a result of his brain tumour.  The radio show host was notably taken aback and asked Johnson if, in fact, he really believed what he was saying.  His reply: “I-I-I don’t know exactly what — we really thought — and again I don’t want speak for any senator. I really thought he was going to vote yes to send that to conference at 10:30 at night. By about 1, 1:30 (a.m.), he voted no.”  Stuttering … genuine embarrassment?  I was looking a bit into Johnson’s background to see if there are enough of these moments to qualify him as Idiot of the Week.  Maybe …

And here is another …

Lindsey Graham … from time to time I have actually had reason to respect Senator Graham, but not today.  Last Tuesday (August 1st) Lindsey appeared on NBC’s Today show with Matt Lauer.  Here is what he said that set my teeth on edge:

“If there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong-un], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And [Trump] told me that to my face. That may be provocative, but not really. When you’re president of the United States, where does your allegiance lie? To the people of the United States.”

Somebody PLEASE tell me he didn’t really say that!  Lindsey Graham is now, in my book, a bloomin’ DOLT.  People.  They are people.  We are people.  Trump and Graham are thinking it’s okay if hundreds of thousands of innocent people die, just so long as it isn’t on U.S. soil?  Think about that one for a few minutes, friends.

Earlier today, dear Roger told me to seek my ‘soft and quiet corner’ and rest there.  I told him my soft and quiet corner was filled with nails and shards of glass.  I now understand where those nails and glass shards are coming from.  And now, dear friends, I believe I shall go give my corner a good cleaning and spend a few hours there, away from the madness and mayhem. And in my next life, I am going to be a wolf, for I do not much care for the human race any more.

 

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A Great Bunch of Ideas and Many Thanks!

Thanks to all who responded to my plea for some fresh ideas for a weekly feature!  Many cautioned that perhaps I am trying to do too much, and to remember to take time for myself lest I burn out, and these are certainly things I sometimes fail to consider.  But overall, I am happy with what I do, and the weekly features that let me step back from politics into a brighter arena are, in part, what keeps me sane (if it can be said that I AM sane, which some might argue against). If I do a new Saturday feature, it wouldn’t be an addition, but would replace whatever socio-political article I would otherwise write, so really, no extra work involved!

You guys all had some really great ideas!  Music was mentioned at least twice, from JB’s thought of ”videos of different music, maybe some new bands/artist or some old favorites,” to Kertsen’s thoughts of “commenting on some famous song lyrics especially those protest songs that are always around.”  Colette suggested more of a collaborative effort, combining guest blogs with theme weeks, and she suggested some really fun themes!  Emily had the idea of “Snapshot Saturday where you post the most unusual thing you read or saw during the week.”  All great ideas, so I was pondering when …

My friend Bushka came up with the winning idea that lets me combine all of the above!  “How about… ‘Saturday Surprise’! This will give you a tremendous opportunity to respond to ‘occurrences’ that so often slip through your daily life…Opens you up to plenty of options….. ONE PROVISO…… NO POLITICS!!!!  Don’t you love it?  I do!  It gives me unlimited lattitude, yet keeps me out of the rabbit hole on Saturday mornings … or afternoons – I haven’t yet decided which.  And I can have tons of fun using the ideas that ALL of you have given me!

So, Saturday Surprise it will be!  It will not begin this Saturday, but likely next Saturday, as I need to do some thinking yet.  I hope this one will be fun for us all.  And many, many thanks to you all for your help and really great suggestions!

Hugh and Colette also expressed interest in posts about things that are being done to protect the environment, and I DO plan to do more along those lines, just probably not as a scheduled feature, since anything that pertains to the environment will almost certainly lead into the political arena.  But stay tuned … in fact I am working on one now for tomorrow morning!

On another note, I am working with an old friend on a piece that I will probably publish next Tuesday or Wednesday. The friend, to whom I promised anonymity, is a republican.  He is also an extremely intelligent man whom I have known for about 20 years and worked with for more than 10 of those 20.  Although he and I disagree on political ideology, we are both mature and respectful in our disagreement, and most importantly, we listen to one another.

My idea started when I asked him if he would be willing to answer a set of questions I compiled, in order to explain his reason for supporting Donald Trump and his policies, in light of everything that Trump has done or said.  I explained that my goal … my only goal … was to try to gain an understanding, to find some common ground, and that I trusted him to give me actual answers, rather than the standard “because he’s a great businessman” or “because he’s going to ‘make America great’ again”.  My friend agreed readily and said he had been thinking about asking me to do the same.  Which expanded my idea for the post, and I think it will be interesting to get an honest view from both sides of the proverbial aisle.  He is on vacation at the moment, but we plan to collaborate this weekend and I hope to have this post ready to go by the middle of next week.

So, thank you all once again, and I hope we will all have fun with Saturday Surprise!

Filosofa Seeks Your Ideas!

I am simply too exhausted to write a post tonight, but I have been considering something and would like your input.  My “Jolly Monday” feature and “Good People Doing Good Things” feature on Wednesday seem to be a hit.  And I enjoy doing them also … it gets me away from politics, from the gloom and doom of my rabbit hole for a bit.  So, I’ve been considering adding a third weekly feature, perhaps for Saturdays.  But I am not exactly full of ideas.

The one idea I did toy with was an ‘Environmental’ feature, sometimes featuring people, organizations, states or even nations doing things to protect the environment, and sometimes featuring notable abuses to the environment, which would likely take it into a somewhat political nature.

idea-1.jpgSo I’m asking for some input from my cherished readers.  First, are you interested in another “off my beaten path” feature, and if so, what are some of your ideas?  What sorts of things would you like to see?  I also gave some thought to an animal feature … I come across hordes of funny animal stories every weekend when I am digging for “Jolly Monday” stories.

I hope you’ll send some ideas my way, for my weary brain seems to be fresh out!  And while I’m just writing randomly … I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for being such great friends!  Your support and comments mean so very much to me! You guys are more than just fellow-bloggers … you are family and I always look forward to reading your comments and catching your posts as often as I can.  Thanks for being my cherished friends.  Here’s to many more years together!

And now … I shall … zzzzzz … go to bed!  G’night all!

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Olde England, carrying on

Most often these days my posts tend to be dark and depressing. I think it is time we all have a breath of fresh air!!! My dear friend Mary, writing as memoirsofahusk, has written one of the most uplifting posts I have read in a long time. Mary lives in the UK, and as we all know, they have had their share of troubles lately. She was in need of some time spent in nature to re-gain her perspective, and she shared the experience with her readers in both beautifully crafted words and gorgeous pictures (she is both a writer and a photographer). Please do yourself a favour and spend a few minutes reading Mary’s beautiful post … I promise you will smile and feel a bit of peace. Many thanks to Mary for permission to share this with my readers!

MEMOIRS OF A HUSK

It wasn’t a dawn chorus, it was a cacophony. And it went on, and on, and on.

Barney

The lambs joined in.

Then the donkey.

Then we heard the clippety-clop.

Clutching my camera, I leaned through the tiny window, in the thick stone wall, of the old farmhouse that’s now an inn. An unusual inn…

‘Good morning,’ I called.

‘Good morning to you,’ replied the passing stranger, ‘how are you?’

‘Fine,’ I replied, ‘how are you?’

’I’m very fine,’ he responded with the biggest, sunniest smile you’ve ever seen, ‘I’m on holiday.’

A flat cap on his head, greying moustache on his upper lip. A spring in his step and a twinkle in his eyes, the gypsy was walking beside a horse pulling an old-fashioned, brightly-decorated gypsy caravan. Looking barely big enough for a man his size.

But I doubt he lives in it year round. For this is a…

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The Trump Legacy … Potties!

Okay, folks … you all know by now how I feel about Donald Trump, right?  And you know that, in my ever-so-humble opinion, the man has not done one single thing right … perhaps in his entire life, but certainly since January 20th, 2017.  But … Filosofa must give credit where credit is due, and it turns out there is one industry that he has boosted over the top.  What is this, you ask.  The porta-potty industry!

President Trump vowed on the campaign trail to boost economic growth and be the “greatest jobs producer that God ever created.”

His economic legacy is far from sealed, but it’s safe to say he has made at least one industry flush: the Washington region’s portable toilet industry. – The Washington Post, 20 May 2017

Doesn’t it make perfect sense that Trump’s legacy will be that he boosted the toilet industry?

Turns out that the connection is all the protests that have taken place, are taking place, as a result of his policies and behaviour since entering the Oval Office.  The Women’s March on 21 January, for example, required some 600 port-a-potties, which was still insufficient, I am told.  Rob Weghorst, chief operating officer of Virginia-based portable toilet rental company Don’s Johns (don’t you just love the name?  🙂  ), said the increase in political advocacy — typically among protesters with left-leaning political affinities — has translated to boom times. His company provided toilets for the Women’s March, the People’s Climate March and others on the Mall this year.

pottie-2Weghorst isn’t complaining. “All I’m going to say is that we love the activism. I’ll leave it at that. It’s been good. It’s made for an interesting and lucrative spring.”

The National Park Service (NPS), which oversees the Mall, requires demonstration permit holders to provide one portable toilet for every 300 participants, 20 percent of which must be wheelchair-accessible. NPS said it has seen more than a 30 percent increase in permitted protests compared with this time last year, with some attracting tens of thousands of people.

Frederick Hill III, owner of the District-based Gotta Go Now (another catchy name!), says his port-a-potty company has seen about a 40 percent increase in revenue each month of 2017 compared with a year earlier. So far in May, business is running 50 percent ahead of last year. Depending on the bulk of the order, Gotta Go Now charges between $85 and $125 per toilet, including delivery and pickup.

Jordan Uhl, who is planning the June 3rd March For Truth, said that the potties will be his single largest expense, around $5,000.  Most who have contributed to the online funding campaign for this event probably had no idea that their money was going to rent toilets!

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Given the current state of the Trump administration, there is every reason to believe that protests will continue and draw increasingly huge (or is it yuge?) crowds, as more and more people are affected and become cognizant of the chaos Trump & Co. has made of our nation.  Thus … the demand for port-a-potties is not likely to diminish any time soon!  My advice?  Buy stock in Don’s Johns!  And as for Trump … well, never let it be said that he didn’t fill Washington D.C. with a bunch of … er … poop.

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One-way glass porta-pottie

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