A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste …

Woe the poor high school senior living in the U.S. who, looking forward to graduation in May or June, already accepted to the college of her choice, is now told that the schools are closed for the rest of the year and her plans will have to be scrapped.  She will likely have to repeat her entire senior year next year, or perhaps even the year after, since the U.S. seems intent on scrapping life in general for the rest of this calendar year.

First, let me assure you that I’m not necessarily arguing against the closing of the schools.  We must protect our young people as best we can.  What I’m arguing is that there appears to be absolutely zero amount of planning for the education of our youth … it seems that nobody is considering alternate means for these young people to complete the school year that they have already spent 6 months of their lives on.  Where is the common sense???  Must we keep throwing out the baby with the bathwater?  Does nobody in our government think any more?  Just because we have a fool in the White House shouldn’t preclude other elected officials from using their brains for something other than holding their skulls in place.

Once again, state governors have shown their immense capacity for willful ignorance by closing schools through the end of the school year, despite the fact that it is only March, and with callous disregard for both students and parents.

“The governor told California parents the SAT and other standardized testing would be canceled and the state would help with supplies to homeschool.”

Say WHAT???  The entire SAT is cancelled?  Whose brilliant idea was that?  So, even students who technically completed their course work at mid-term will not be able to take the SAT in order to enter college in the fall?  What would you do if you were a student in that situation?  I think many will say, “Screw this, I’ll just go work for the sanitation department,” else “I’ll just kill myself now.” I don’t suppose it occurred to the dolts in the Department of Education that the SAT could, with appropriate safeguards, be administered online???

And “the state would help with supplies to homeschool”?  So what?  Most parents whose children are beyond about 5th or 6th grade are not going to be able to homeschool their children in many subjects.  Only those with advanced degrees plus the time and patience will be able to do so … likely about 10% of the population.

Common sense is seriously lacking in the United States today.  Now, if the states thought shuttering the schools for the next 6 months was such a brilliant move, then they could have had teachers teach their classes online, from the comfort of their own homes, in their jammies if they wished.  Students without access to a computer, modem or WiFi, could have been provided one at no cost by the Department of Education.  Without the distractions, perhaps they would have learned even better, but noooooo … it would have required thought processes that no government official today seems capable of.

The quality of education in the United States had hit an all-time low, even before this.  We no longer teach young people that wonderful art of thinking, but rather teach them technical skills.  We teach little about history, literature, and how governments function, but rather how to program in C++, or how to build furniture.  And now … we teach … nothing.  For at least the foreseeable future, we teach nothing.  Way. To. Go.

To reiterate, just so nobody misunderstands my point as happened in a post last week:  I am not arguing against the schools being closed if that is what the medical community believe is the best way to save lives.  The medical community, not public officials who are sans common sense in the midst of this pandemic.  My point, however, is you don’t just shutter the schools for the next six months without a backup plan to ensure these young people are able to complete this school year.  I, who am not even an educator, can think of a number of ways this could be done, but nobody … not a single person … in our federal or state governments has even bothered to try.  I want our Department of Education employees to get off their arses and earn the money We the People are paying them!  Yo … Betsy DeVos … are you listening?  It’s your turn to earn your keep!

On Common Sense and Humanity

People, People, People … I want you all to take a deep breath and repeat after me:

“This is not the bubonic plague, nor is it World War III.  It is not the end of the world.  I do not need 430 rolls of toilet paper in my garage, nor do I need 1,982 bottles of water stacked in every corner of my house.  I do not need to believe every dire prediction I hear, nor do I need to stock up on booze.  I do need to take sensible precautions like using hand sanitizer, washing my hands when out in public, and wiping household surfaces with disinfecting wipes.  If I do those things, I will likely be fine.  I will control what I can, but understand that some things are outside my control.”

For Pete’s Sake what is wrong with people???

Okay, I’m not surprised that milk, bread and eggs are in tight demand … if the weather forecast even breathes the “S-word” from November through March, it happens that the fools rush to the grocery and nearly mug other shoppers trying to get that last loaf of bread or gallon of milk.  Fortunately, I bake most of my own bread and we drink very little milk.  But people … toilet paper???  Seriously??? What — do you think that wiping your patootie more often will ward off the virus?  (Hint:  it won’t … you’ll just end up with a sore patootie)

tide-podsTide pods … y’know, laundry detergent?  What — are people going to actually try eating them to disinfect their bodies?  Two small packs of Tide pods were left on the shelves of my local Kroger on Friday.  Amazon just sent me an email to inform me that my monthly subscribe & save order for Clorox wipes would be delayed because … because people bought them all up.  Never mind that I have a standing monthly order because I clean 3 bathrooms 3 times a week, plus have 5 kitties to clean up after.

But it gets worse than the run on commodities.  Yesterday morning, my young neighbor sent me a copy of a text he had received …

Tholfaqar

My friend is a 19-year-old refugee from Iraq who was frightened by this obviously spammy text and didn’t know if it was real or not, wanted to know if he was allowed to leave his home.  Now why the HELL would somebody play on people’s fears at this stressful time?  What is to be gained???  Did somebody think this was funny?

And then there were the brothers Matt and Noah Colvin.  They thought they would rake in a nice little profit off of people’s fears, so one brother, Noah,  took a 1,300-mile road trip across Tennessee and into Kentucky, filling a U-Haul truck with thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and thousands of packs of antibacterial wipes, mostly from “little hole-in-the-wall dollar stores”.  The other brother, Matt, stayed home and ordered scads of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and face masks, while preparing pallets for their arrival.  The goal?  To rob people blind.  They purchased, for example, hand sanitizer for just over $1 per bottle, and sold it for as much as $70 per bottle.  Fortunately, both Amazon and Ebay, where the brothers had accounts and were selling their wares, caught on quickly and pulled their accounts, so now the dastardly duo are left with some 17,700 bottles and nowhere to sell them.  Awwww … what a cryin’ shame, eh?  Seems to me the best thing to do would be give them away to people in need, but nooooo …

Think the Colvin brothers are an anomaly?  Think again.  Amazon said it had recently removed hundreds of thousands of listings and suspended thousands of sellers’ accounts for price gouging related to the coronavirus.  One might hope that these A-holes would, being stuck with a bunch of things they cannot sell, donate them to those in need and chalk it all up to a lesson in humanitarianism, but … don’t hold your breath.  These are the people who think they are somehow better, somehow more deserving than the rest of us.

I also heard that liquor stores and cannabis stores are doing a booming business, a 500% – 800% increase in revenues.  Does this tell us something about our society?

toilet-paperThose who would profit at the expense of others from this global pandemic deserve whatever punishment they get.  Who’s to blame?  All of us.  Yes, you.  Yes, me.  We allow panic to take precedence over common sense.  To be sure, we have had help from the federal government, the ‘president’ who we should be able to trust, but cannot, and from the media with their voices of gloom and doom.  But, at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own actions.  We are adults, capable of thinking, reasoning, and capable … when we so choose … of being humans, of thinking of others.  Instead, some 90% of the population, it would seem, are thinking only of themselves, how to keep themselves safe and to hell with the rest of the world, how to have a few laughs at our expense, or how to profit from our misfortune.  It is times like this that I despise the human race.  Times like this that I am more determined than ever that if someday I must return to earth, it will be as something other than a human.

clorox-wipesI am human, and thus yes, I am concerned about the coronavirus.  My daughter is a nurse who works with sick people every day, so naturally I am concerned for her. I am 68 years old and have health issues, so I am in that “highest risk” group.  But you know what?  There’s a difference between being concerned and panicking.  I’m not stockpiling anything, and while I am taking reasonable precautions, such as washing my hands when in public, I am not locking myself in my home.  I will go out to dinner with the girls this evening, and mid-week I will go to the grocery in hopes that there is still a chicken and a bag of rice left.  I will be responsible for my own fate and help others to the extent that I can.  I will be able to live with my own conscience.  We cannot live in a bubble, friends.

Filosofa Rants

Donald Trump and his administration defy description.  I can use every adjective in my vocabulary and still not have defined the abomination that is not-so-affectionately called “the swamp”.

Let us look back to Tuesday, when Donald Trump gave an impromptu presser outside the Capitol.  When asked by one reporter a question regarding the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Trump answered …

“It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away… Be calm. It’s really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen. The consumer is ready, and the consumer is so powerful in our country with what we’ve done with tax cuts and regulation cuts and all of those things. The consumer has never been in a better position than they are right now. So a lot of good things are going to happen.”

Huh?  Does he think we are four-year-old children looking to our daddy for affirmation that “everything will be okay”?  And “a lot of good things”???  What good things?  People dying, panic in the markets, a NCAA tournament being played sans spectators?  Nearly two thousand cases in the U.S.?  (Yes, Donnie, you must count the cases that were on the ship Diamond Princess … like it or not, the ship is not a nation, and the people aboard it are U.S. citizens)  And since you opened the bloody door, Donnie … those tax cuts and regulation cuts have hurt … HURT … the consumers, the citizens of this nation.  With your tax cuts, you benefited the wealthy, at the cost of the average worker.  And with your ignominious regulation roll-backs, you are killing us slowly as you allow more and more crap to be put into the atmosphere by your rich bitch friends in the fossil fuel and logging industries.  KILLING US!  Killing future generations.  Killing the ecosystem that supports life on Planet Earth.  And for what, pray tell???

How many more lies will the people of this nation put up with?  How much longer will the republicans who support Trump be willing to risk their lives and the lives of their children & grandchildren, to feed the ego of the megalomaniac who sits on his fat derriere in a chair in the Oval Office that Hillary Clinton earned, not him?

Last June, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who had not given a single press briefing for three full months, left her position as White House Press Secretary and was replaced by Melania Trump’s “chief of staff for communications”, though I have not the faintest idea why Melania needs such a person.  Since accepting the position of Press Secretary, Ms. Grisham has not held one single press briefing.  Not one.  The job of White House Press Secretary is to be a liaison between the administration and the public.  WE THE PEOPLE pay this woman $183,000 per year to … what???  Well, let’s see … a few days ago she could be heard screeching at reporters attending a press conference to “Get out .. just GO … GET OUT!” repeatedly.  Very unprofessional.  Oh, and I hear she appears frequently on Fox News shows.

Donald Trump’s “campaign” is suing the three top news outlets in the country:  The Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN.  The lawsuits, according to all legal experts, are frivolous and his campaign stands zero chance of winning any of them.  However, winning them was never the purpose.  The purpose was always to send a warning shot over the bow, so to speak.  To cause media outlets to think twice before printing anything in the least bit critical of Trump.  Now, let’s think about this for a minute …

Since long before he took office, Trump has denigrated the press, has attempted to bully and intimidate them.  The most heinous was the many times he referred to them as “the enemy of the people”, a term for which any other president in our nation’s history would have been censured, but not Trump.  He communicates via Twitter, rather than holding actual press conferences or actually talking to reporters.  He is purging his staff of any who cannot prove they are 100% loyal to him.  The only way the press have often known what was transpiring within the administration has been through leaks by staff … those are likely to dry up in light of his purges.  And now, he is suing any who criticize him.  What do you think all this adds up to?

It adds up to the fact that there is likely to be even less transparency for the next eight months than there has been in the past three years, and that has been little enough.  It means we will have no idea what the truth is, what is being done to within the confines of the government we pay for.  We have been lied to so many times, and now, with an actual crisis facing this nation, the press has been stifled and all he can do is tell us more lies.  No, people, everything is NOT under control, there are NOT good things happening, and Donald Trump is in so far over his head that he is drowning in the muck he has created.

The man who holds the highest office in this nation does not have any leadership skills, lacks intelligence, is more concerned about his image than our lives, and has surrounded himself with buffoons and bozos.  My friends, we are not in a good place.  The things you can do are support the free press, keep calling and writing to your representatives in Congress, send letters to your local newspapers, and most important of all:  Vote this son of a bitch out of office on November 3rd!

Don’t Believe A Single Word …

A few things have crossed my radar in the past day or two involving the disinformation campaign being waged by our federal government that have caused me to growl.

The first …

As the New York Times reported two days ago …

“An official at the Interior Department embarked on a campaign that has inserted misleading language about climate change — including debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial — into the agency’s scientific reports, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.

The misleading language appears in at least nine reports, including environmental studies and impact statements on major watersheds in the American West that could be used to justify allocating increasingly scarce water to farmers at the expense of wildlife conservation and fisheries.”

The man, Indur M. Goklany, is a deputy secretary with responsibility for reviewing the agency’s climate policies.

“He also instructed department scientists to add that rising carbon dioxide — the main force driving global warming — is beneficial because it “may increase plant water use efficiency” and “lengthen the agricultural growing season.” Both assertions misrepresent the scientific consensus that, overall, climate change will result in severe disruptions to global agriculture and significant reductions in crop yields.”

Mr. Goklany recieves funding from the Heartland Instiute for his work on “Climate Change Reconsidered” reports, according to internal budget and strategy documents form the Heartland Institute, a conservative and libertarian public policy think tank.  He has written a variety of articles for the Heartland Institute, such as …

  • CARBON DIOXIDE: The good news
  • UNHEALTHY EXAGGERATION: The WHO report on climate change
  • Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity

And it is on his advice that our government is making decisions that affect our very lives!


The second

This one isn’t new, but further convinces me we cannot believe a word that comes out of this administration or any of its agencies pertains to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This one is about censorship.

Turns out that in 2017, the ‘Trump administration’ gave the CDC a set of words that are forbidden to be used by the agency.  The words?

  • Vulnerable
  • Entitlement
  • Diversity
  • Transgender
  • Fetus
  • Evidence-based
  • Science-based

You see where this one is going, right?  The CDC is under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a misnomer in the Trump regime if ever I heard one.  And HHS is under Alex Azar who, until signing on with the Trumptanic in 2017, was President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company, one of the Big Pharma that is keeping the price of prescription medications exponentially higher in the U.S. than in most other countries.  Mr. Azar is a strong critic of the Affordable Care Act, is staunchly anti-abortion, has claimed that the coronavirus isn’t a significant threat to the U.S. (159 cases, 11 deaths as of this writing), and is a contributor to the re-election campaign of Mitch McConnell.  That last one should tell you everything you need to know about Mr. Azar.  This man is not for the health of the nation, but for his own profit!

HHS has also removed information that outlined federal services that are available for LGBT people and their families, including how they can adopt and receive help if they are the victims of sex trafficking.

And now, Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s director for National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters that the agency stopped sharing data on the number of people tested for coronavirus.


And the third …

The administration has formally revised a proposal that would significantly restrict the type of research that can be used to draft environmental and public health regulations.  What this means is that it would let the federal government dismiss or downplay some of the most important environmental research of the past decades.  If said research relies in part on the medical records of specific individuals whose health problems, or death, were attributable to climate change in some way, then unless the providers of the data are willing to make public those health records, complete with names, and other personal data, the government will disregard the research.

What it means is that the EPA can cherry-pick the scientific data they choose to use, disregarding some for … basically whatever reason they choose.  What it means is that … as in my first example, the government can disregard legitimate science and opt, instead, for the opinion of the man who says that carbon emissions are a good thing for the planet and that the research of other organizations are either exaggerated or false.  What it means is that We the People are being lied to about climate change and other environmental concerns by a group of thugs and yes-men that Trump has hand-picked to do his bidding.

Folks, we cannot have censorship of this sort in our federal agencies.  We cannot tolerate federal agencies changing data to cover the truth with lies. We cannot!  This is not yet a dictatorship, though it surely feels like we are on the brink of it.  This is still, at least in theory, a democratic republic and the people have the right to know the facts, the truth.  We earn that right through our participation in government and by our tax contributions, which seem to be being largely wasted on human scum like Alex Azar, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump and many, many more!

Donald Trump used to tell the masses at his rallies that he was going to “drain the swamp”.  DRAIN THE SWAMP???  There are more nasty creatures in the ‘swamp’ that is the Trump administration than in any other previous administration, bar none, and Donald Trump is the worst of the worst.  Everything I’ve read or researched tells me there is not one single cabinet member who has a shred of integrity.  None.  We are flying blind, because we are being told what the fat ‘man’ in the Oval Office wants us to hear and nothing more.  This must stop!!!

Open Letter To The Three Stooges

Dear Messrs. Donald Trump, John Michael (Mick) Mulvaney, and Michael Huckabee,

There is a time for having fun, a time for jokes and humour.  However, there is also a time to be serious.  I read with horror this morning Mr. Mulvaney’s comments, obviously intended to be funny, claiming that the reason the media was reporting extensively on the spread of the coronavirus was to try to “take down” Donald Trump.

If I took your comments seriously, Mr. Mulvaney, I would have asked you if, then, the entire world was attempting to “take down” Trump, since media outlets worldwide are providing continual coverage and updates on the spread of this illness.  But I realized that nobody with any sense would make such a statement except in jest, so while it annoyed me, I let it ride.

Then later in the day you, Mr. Trump, came along and made the same claim, only embellishing on the story with more jokes … jokes that were, under the circumstances, in very poor taste.  You took it even further and joked that you thought the democrats were behind the media coverage.  Again, if I took you seriously I would ask if you think the democrats control the media (hint:  they don’t), and if their reach extends to such media outlets as der Spiegel in Germany and the BBC in the UK, for those outlets are also providing widespread coverage.  But again, surely you are jesting.

And then, you, Mr. Mike Huckabee, had to try to top the Mulvaney/Trump acts with your own attempt at humour, saying that Trump …

“Could personally suck the virus out of every one of the 60,000 people in the world, suck it out of their lungs, swim to the bottom of the ocean and spit it out, and he would be accused of pollution for messing up the ocean.”

Do you guys all share the same comedy writer?  If so, he really needs to retire.  First of all, there are far more than 60,000 people in the world … at last count, it was up to about 7.8 billion, I believe.  Secondly, there are very few people who would allow Mr. Trump to touch us, let alone “suck the virus … out of our lungs”.  And thirdly, of course, this is a ridiculous, ignorant thing to even say, and far beneath the dignity of a former governor and presidential candidate.

Now that you’ve had your little jokes, let me tell you gentlemen a few things here.

Part of the job of the media, whether in this country, Spain, Germany, or Brazil, is to inform the public of things they need to know.  The coronavirus, or Covid-19 as I believe it has been named, is a very serious threat to people all around the globe.  It is not unique to the United States but has become a serious threat to a number of countries, including Italy, China, Iran, Japan, and others.  It is NOT, gentlemen, something to joke about.  It is NOT something to use as a political tool, nor to use as an excuse to taunt the media.

Your attempts to downplay this widespread threat to human health and safety is a disservice to the people of this nation.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is spreading rapidly and is particularly likely to be lethal to people like myself who have chronic health problems and compromised immune systems.  There are already 60 confirmed cases in the U.S. and while there hasn’t been a fatality here yet, it is only a matter of time.

Your mockery and accusations are most inappropriate at this time and in these circumstances.  Your words would be unthinkable in any other administration, but the entire theme of this administration seems to be spouting ignorance, nonsense, vitriol, and blaming someone else for everything that goes wrong.  Yes, the stock market is plunging, not only in the U.S. but also the European markets, and it is NOT the fault of the media, NOT the fault of the Democrats.  And no, gentlemen, contrary to what you’ve tried to tell us, the United States is NOT well prepared to combat this pandemic.  Since January 2017, funding has been cut to health organizations such as CDC, and millions have lost their health insurance due to the hatchet job that has been done to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  We are every bit as vulnerable as any nation on earth.

In short, those who are not part of the solution, are part of the problem.  You, gentlemen, are definitely NOT doing anything to be a part of the solution, so please step aside and let the adults attempt to safeguard the people of this nation.

Sincerely,

We the People

Bears Ears And Tears

They’re at it again, folks.  The greedy fools running this country (into the ground) have decided that … what the people want matters not.  In essence, they have said, “We will tell you what you want … now sit down and shut up … oh yeah, and don’t forget to pay us your tax money so we can waste more money on utter stupidity!”  Yes, Filosofa is in fight mode once again.  Damn these greedy bastards.

In 2017, Trump announced he would downsize both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, which would be the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.  Now folks … first of all, those aren’t Trump’s lands to do with as he pleases … they are OURS.  After Trump made that announcement in 2017, a public comment period was opened by the administration whereby fully 99% of the respondents opposed the decision.  We spoke … we said, “No, leave our beautiful land alone!” bearsIn addition to the people’s voice, there are numerous legal challenges still pending in the courts that have held up the implementation of the act.  But now, all of a sudden, the Department of Interior has announced that plans have been finalized to open up roughly two million acres of formerly protected land in southern Utah to the fossil fuel industry for mining and drilling.  Mining and drilling for the very things that are decimating our planet, killing wildlife, and ensuring the extinction of the human species.  Without permission from the owners of that land.  Without approval by environmental groups or the courts.

According to the Interior Department’s acting assistant secretary of land, materials and minerals management, Casey Hammond …

“These cooperatively developed and locally driven plans restore a prosperous future to communities too often dismissed and punished by unilateral decisions of those that would not listen to the voices of Utahns.”

bullshit

Wrong, wrong, wrong, and once again wrong.  Those “communities too often dismissed and punished” are the indigenous people of the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and Pueblo of Zuni, and they are in a lawsuit challenging the dismantling of Bears Ears National Monument!  Don’t, Ms. Hammond, pretend you are helping the very people you are hurting!

We need more coal, oil and gas like we need fourteen more holes in our heads!  Oh, but wait … Trump did promise the ignoble oil and coal barons that he would give them carte balance to destroy the natural resources of this nation, didn’t he?  Silly me … how could I forget?

The Department of Interior is headed by none other than David Bernhardt.  Bernhardt’s past, like that of EPA head, Andrew Wheeler, includes serving as a lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry … in other words, his best buddies are in the oil industry, the very industry this asininity is designed to help.  His legal clients included the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents dozens of oil companies, and Halliburton Energy Services, the oil and gas extraction firm that was led by Dick Cheney before he became vice president to George W. Bush.  What a tangled bloody web!

earth-criesThis is yet another example of Trump & Co putting more money into the pockets of the already-wealthy, at the expense of the other 99% of people in this country.  Fossil fuels are on the way out the back door, globally.  Trump brags that the U.S. is now the biggest producer of oil.  Guess what?  That’s nothing to brag about.  It would deserve far more kudos if we could say we were the largest producer of wind or solar energy, that we had decreased our dependence on fossil fuels.  Whether Trump, Bernhardt or their cronies at Exxon-Mobil like it or not, coal and oil are rapidly becoming dinosaurs in the energy market.

Regardless of the pending lawsuits, the Trump administration intends to plow forward with its plans.  When questioned about those lawsuits and how they can move forward before those are resolved, Ms. Hammond replied …

“If we stopped and waited for every piece of litigation to be resolved, we would never be able to do much of anything around here.”

Much of this country has been decimated … skyscrapers rise to the clouds where animals once roamed free.  Oil derricks have replaced beautiful land in the west, and ugly surface mines have replaced what were once beautiful mountains in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky.  Where once there were life-giving trees, there are now ruins, devastation.  Where once streams and rivers ran clear, now they are filled with toxic sludge.

Soon, this …

Bears Ears-1

… will look like this …

oil-wellsIf Donald Trump and his cronies have their way, the entire nation will be covered in buildings, mines, drilling rigs, and waste dumps.  No more beautiful national parks, mountains, hiking trails, clean beaches, green valleys …

Which would you rather have?4k-wallpaper-beautiful-flowers-clouds-1266810

Or

pollution

We Are … WHAT???

It seems that you and I, my friends, have suddenly become the “enemy of the people”!  Just this morning, the invisible White House Press Secretary, what’s-her-name, said in reference to Donald Trump’s impeachment …

“… how horribly he was treated, and maybe people should pay for that. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but they’re being sore losers.”

Maybe people should pay for that???  What, should we all send him sympathy cards, or did she mean something more sinister?  He’s an impeached president, for Pete’s sake!  A criminal!  She went on to say that Mitt Romney’s vote to convict Trump on the ‘abuse of power’ charge was just sour grapes, that he was only jealous because he isn’t president.  This woman seriously needs to stop drinking the Kool-Aid!

Then, Trump spoke at a “national prayer breakfast” in Washington … I’m not clear just what a national prayer breakfast is, since this nation is so diverse that there really is no “national prayer”, and why do they need breakfast for their prayers?  Leaves me scratching my head.  But listen to what Trump, the impeached president, said …

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president has been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.”

Wait just one damn minute here … WHO has been putting themselves ahead of the nation for three years now???  WHO has done everything possible to destroy the nation???  So, we are all ‘very dishonest and corrupt’ people, eh?  Well, funny he doesn’t seem to mind taking our money, does he?  Oh … and he doesn’t like us, either …

“So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on, and I’ll be discussing that a little bit later at the White House.  When they impeach you for nothing, then it’s not easy to like them. It’s not easy, folks.”

Which is perfectly fine with me, because I don’t like him, either!  I’m thinking we should all send a letter to him …

“Dear Donnie … Since you believe I am such a terrible person, then I will no longer burden you by sending you my tax dollars each month.  I’m sure this will greatly relieve you of the burden of having to accept money from a terrible person.”

And then came his “victory lap”, a speech he gave shortly after noon today, whereby he further criticized and name-called democrats in general …

“We’ve been going through this now for almost three years. It was evil, it was corrupt. This is a day of celebration because we went through hell.”

Not a sign of that remorse Susan Collins claimed he felt, but instead he equated his crimes with jaywalking …

“Because if they find that I happen to walk across the street and maybe go against the light or something, let’s impeach him. So, we’ll probably have to do it again, because these people have gone stone cold crazy. But I’ve beaten them all my life, and I’ll beat them again if I have to. But what they’re doing is very unfair, very unfair.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr … I’d like to beat him … with a club!  And then …

“They’re vicious and mean, vicious. These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.  Mitch, he stayed there right from the beginning. He never changed. And Mitch McConnell, I want to tell you, you did a fantastic job. … He understood this was crooked politics. This was crooked politics.”

Crooked politics?  Who is the biggest purveyor of crooked politics???  Have you ever, in all your years, heard a president speak in such a way about his fellow public servants?  I have not.  Not even Nixon, not even G.W. Bush … and certainly not Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama.  Why are we putting up with this?  Why are we paying to be treated this way?  Last year, We the People paid $1.698 trillion … in exchange for which we get to be cursed, called names, cheated, lied to, and our lives endangered by this ‘man’ and his cronies.  Frankly, folks, I don’t feel like we’re getting our money’s worth, do you?

Bastards! R.I.P. United States

The vote began shortly after 4:00 p.m. and by 4:20 this afternoon, the Senate had decided that Donald Trump should be given the keys to the kingdom, should not be held accountable for his crimes, and should be henceforth allowed to run the nation as he pleases, without interference from either the Courts or the U.S. Congress.

I was writing a letter to a friend when the verdicts flashed across my screen.  Sure, I expected it, knew the final outcome would be that the GOP members of the U.S. Senate — those whose salaries and luxurious lifestyle WE support — would have neither conscience nor male-parts enough to do the right thing, to hold the excuse for a man who sits in the Oval Office accountable for his actions.  I was prepared, right?  No surprises.  And yet, when I saw those news briefs cross my screen, I honestly felt as if I had been punched in the stomach.

I gasped for air, but there was none.  I felt tears welling, yet my struggle to breath precluded all else.

This is what the bastards we have elected and whose salaries we pay have done to us.  They have laughed at the idea of holding the “president” of the nation accountable for his actions.  They scoff at the notion of values or ethics.  And, they have decided that the time has come to burn the Constitution that was ratified in 1787, some 233 years ago.  How many of them could even quote from the Constitution they swore to uphold, I wonder?  Few, I think.

We have, in the last few hours, traded in a democratic republic for an autocracy with a cruel dictator who has no conscience, no moral compass, and no compassion for any who are not his equal in wealth and stature.  And now, permit me to blow off just a bit of steam before I screw my head back on straight …

I hope … sincerely hope … that Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and every other republican in Congress, as well as those who put them there, contract the Coronavirus and die a very long, slow, and painful death, equal to the one they have just cast upon this nation.

crying

Another WTF Moment!

A few days ago, my laptop crashed.  I was able to resuscitate it, but the Bluetooth was completely dead, the pinned tabs on my browser were gone, and a few other minor issues.  I’ve been nursing BD (Baby Dell) along for quite a while now, and I’ve known it was inevitable that soon I would need a new one.  So, I bit the bullet and ordered one on Sunday night.  It was delivered today.  Sigh.  I will bond with it eventually, but first off it weighs twice as much as BD, so it has already knocked a cup of coffee and an ashtray to the floor as I tried to pick it up with one hand and couldn’t.  And, of course, I have spent the better part of my day today loading software, connecting to the internet, copying files only to lose them, installing a wireless mouse and disabling the touchpad, and various other things.  Long story short, this is going to be a short post this morning, for I have a myriad of things I must get done before I can go to bed and I’m exhausted.  But, one thing caught my eye today that I simply could not let slide …

In essence, Trump’s team of lawyers argued yesterday in defense of Trump’s phone call on July 25th that sought to trade U.S. aid to the Ukraine for the Ukraine’s public announcement that they were investigating Trump’s nemesis, Joe Biden, in order to help Trump’s bid for re-election.  Their defense?  That anything Trump did to aid in his re-election was in the best interest of the nation and therefore not impeachable.  Mr. Dershowitz’ exact words were …

dershowitz“Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest. And mostly, you’re right. Your election is in the public interest. And if a president does something, which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. . . .

The house managers . . . never allege that it was based on pure financial reasons. It would be a much harder case if a hypothetical president of the United States said to a hypothetical leader of a foreign country, ‘Unless you build a hotel with my name on it and unless you give me a million-dollar kickback, I will withhold the funds.’

That’s an easy case. That’s purely corrupt and in the purely private interest.

But a complex middle case is: ‘I want to be elected. I think I’m a great president. I think I’m the greatest president there ever was. And if I’m not elected, the national interest will suffer greatly.’ That cannot be an impeachable offense.”

SAY WHAT???

Excuse me, Messrs. Philbin and Dershowitz, but may I offer some clarification that you legal beagles apparently lack?

FIRST … Mr. Trump is the worst president, bar none, this nation has ever had.  He is a danger to our Constitutional foundation, he is a danger to the 1st Amendment right to a free press, to free speech, and to freedom of religion.  He poses a danger to the entire planet with his ignorant stance and policies on climate change, wildlife preservation, lethal chemicals and more.  His re-election is in NO WAY in the best interest of this nation!

SECOND … it is up to We the People to decide who should be our next president.  Election tampering is what put us in this terrible situation in the first place, and now you’re saying that it is perfectly fine for Mr. Trump to do whatever he damn well pleases to give him better odds on November 3rd, and that he cannot be held accountable for election tampering, manipulation, etc.

THIRD … You apparently fail to understand the precedent you set with your inane defense!  It is bad enough that somebody along the way said a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, which is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard … or rather, it was until today!  So, from this point forward, whatever a president does to keep his seat in the Oval Office is okay with you jerks?  Well, guess what?  If your supposition is allowed to stand, then you just signed the death warrant for the United States of America, for by 2024, Donald Trump will have declared himself to be the dictator of the nation and you will have handed him the keys to the castle.

Whew … I had to take a short break after that tirade, for I was out of breath from the typing.  Folks, we have heard more ridiculous bullshit in the past six months out of Trump & Co, than I have heard in the entire 68 years before.  We cannot let this creepshow continue … and yet … how do we stop it?  I’m not sure, but I am planning to draft a letter outlining my three points above and send it to each and every republican senator later today.  And then, I think I’ll go out and break the law … since there is no longer any law and justice, why … I can do anything I please, right?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

BAH HUMBUG!

I looked in the mirror this morning … I try to avoid doing that, but this morning I had something in my eye, and I had no choice.  I asked the person I saw there to please move out of my way so that I could see myself to check out my eye.  Then I realized the person I saw there, the person with deep gouges around her mouth, sad downturned eyes with dark circles ‘neath them, and a perpetual scowl on her mouth was, in fact, me.  And I got angry … not that I really look much different than I did three years ago, but … I have a perpetual sadness coupled with intense anger that wasn’t there before.  I growl a lot, even when I’m drifting off to sleep, I hear myself growling.  Every day, there is something new to growl about, so … since I don’t like to growl alone, here are my two for today …


Steven Mnuchin – Bastard of the Year

This isn’t the first time, nor will it likely be the last, that Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s Secretary of Treasury, has come onto my radar and caused my blood to boil.  This time, however, he has crossed a line … has unfairly criticized a 15-year-old girl who is trying her best to wake us up, to save the world, to save us from ourselves.  Obviously, I am speaking of the young environmental activist from Sweden, and Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg.

One of the things Ms. Thunberg has advocated is for investors to take their money out of fossil fuel stocks, invest instead in companies that are working to make renewable energy sources more efficient, more prominent, and less costly.  Apparently, Mr. Mnuchin owns stock in oil and/or coal companies, for he took umbrage and he did so in his usual snide, nasty manner …

“Is she the chief economist or who is she? I’m confused. After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.”

Bastard.

Now interestingly, someone with even higher credentials in economics than Mnuchin disagrees with ol’ Stevie.  That someone is Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with nearly $7 trillion in investments.  In his annual letter to the chief executives of the world’s largest companies, Mr. Fink outlined some of the ways in which climate change is changing our world and then said …

BlackRock announced a number of initiatives to place sustainability at the center of our investment approach, including: making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management; exiting investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, such as thermal coal producers; launching new investment products that screen fossil fuels; [emphasis added] and strengthening our commitment to sustainability and transparency in our investment stewardship activities.

Ms. Thunberg responded to Mnuchin on Twitter …

Thunberg-Time“My gap year ends in August, but it doesn’t take a college degree in economics to realise that our remaining 1,5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don’t add up.  So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments.” 

My suggestion to Mnuchin is that perhaps he is the one who needs to go back to college and study a bit of climate science.  Y’know … people who are squawking about how to do what is needed to help stop the destruction of life on earth would cost too much, would interfere with world economies … they really need to sit in a quiet room and think for a few hours.  THINK, people!  What the hell is the economy going to matter if you cannot breathe the air, find potable water to drink, and sufficient food to eat???  In fact, the economy will be completely irrelevant at that point, but will have already crashed by then anyway.  Damn capitalists have a one-track mind and that includes Mnuchin and his effing boss!

mnuchin-wife-2

Steve Mnuchin and wife (apparently, like Melania, she doesn’t own a bra)

Oh, and by the way … a bit off-topic, but in case you were wondering, poor Mnuchin is practically on the welfare rolls, having a net worth of over $300 million.  His wife, Louise Linton, recently came under criticism for bemoaning the fact that they now have to pay more in taxes, and then bragging about her name-brand designer clothing on social media.  Nice people, those Mnuchins … I have more respect for Greta than Stevie.  Heck, I have more respect for a cockroach than I do for the Mnuchins.  BAH HUMBUG!


And in other environmental news …

On Thursday, Trump signed his long-promised regulation to remove millions of miles of streams and roughly half the country’s wetlands from federal protection, the largest rollback of the Clean Water Act since the modern law was passed in 1972.  Why?  Because the wealthy dudes who own the agriculture, home-building, mining, and oil and gas industries matter more than We the People, matter more than the wildlife that depend on those wetlands for their very survival.

Heretofore, the law required those industries to obtain permits to discharge pollution into waterways or fill in wetlands, and imposed fines for oil spills into protected waterways.  According to Janette Brimmer, Earthjustice attorney who fought for the Clean Water Act after the Cuyahoga River fire in 1969 …

“President Trump’s administration wants to make our waters burn again. This all-out assault on basic safeguards will send our country back to the days when corporate polluters could dump whatever sludge or slime they wished into the streams and wetlands that often connect to the water we drink.”

Even the EPA’s own scientists disapprove of this move, saying that in addition to potentially losing fully half of the nation’s wetlands, as much as 94 percent of Arizona’s waterways could lose Clean Water Act protection under the regulation, as well as 89 percent of Nevada’s.

Environmental groups are already planning lawsuits, and rightly so.  But, do you realize that NO administration in the history of this nation has been embroiled in as many lawsuits as Trump???  And guess who pays for all those lawsuits, my friends?  Not Donald Trump or EPA head Andrew Wheeler.  Not the rich bitches who got a huge tax cut in 2017.  Nope … me and you, the very people who are struggling to pay our rent and buy food, despite Trump’s claims that we are so much better off.  BAH HUMBUG!


Stay tuned this afternoon for Part III of mine and Jeff’s project, Discord & Dissension — Where do we go from here?