S-s-snarky S-s-snippets

I am in rather a dark mood tonight … I even yelled at an animated character, a cute li’l octopus, on television and called her a … well, you get the picture.  Two things in particular stirred my angst tonight, and both, I think, are well deserving of venting a bit of snarky steam.


Pathetic

“Suburban women: Will you please like me? Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, okay? The other thing: I don’t have that much time to be that nice. You know, I can do it, but I gotta go quickly. They want me to be politically correct. I got rid of a regulation that was a disaster and it was really unfair, and you’ve been reading about it for a long time and it’s gotten a lot worse under Obama and Biden. We’re going to see that the women really like Trump a lot. Remember four years ago, they said women will never vote, then I got 52 percent. … You damn well better vote for me Pennsylvania, you better vote.”

These are the words of the incumbent in the Oval Office, spoken during a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday night.  First he begs and cajoles, then he threatens.  And this is the person who has ‘led’ this nation into chaos for the past nearly four years and hopes to be given another four years to complete the destruction.

Joe Biden, by the way, is leading in the polls in Pennsylvania by an average of 6 points.


Pointless

I have not paid particular attention to, nor written about, the hearings taking place in the Senate to determine whether or not to confirm Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the U.S. Supreme Court.  It’s not that I’m not interested – I am.  It’s not that I don’t think it’s important – I do.  It’s just that from what I have read it is just another … yawn … Republican dog-and-pony show with the outcome predetermined.  I truly have better things to do with my time than watch the Republicans preen and Ms. Barrett deflect.

To date, apparently Ms. Amy Coney Barrett has refused to answer all relevant questions, so … what is there to write about?  Ms. Barrett is 48 years old, so We the People are likely to be saddled with her religious views becoming the law of the land for the next three decades or so.

The burning questions that she has refused to answer are on the topics of the Affordable Healthcare Act (whether the majority of us will be able to afford medical care when and if we need it), Roe v Wade (whether women will retain control of their own bodies, or be subject to a misogynistic rule), and Obergefell v Hodges (whether a significant portion of the population will be allowed to marry the person they love, or whether that, too, will be dictated by a bigoted Supreme Court).  Ms. Barrett has refused to answer how she would rule on any of these topics.  In my book, that removes her from consideration, for we have a right to know who will be deciding how we must live.  And would somebody please tell me WHY Ms. Barrett’s children are front and center in the hearings???  They have no role in this, they have no place here!  Best I can figure, it’s another ‘photo op’ moment like Trump having citizens forcibly removed from the streets of Washington so he could hold a bloody book in front of a damn church!  Send the children home to do their online learning, Amy!  Better yet … go home with them, since you have proven yourself useless.BarrettIn the Republican’s book however, it is a little different.

Here are some of the questions Ted Cruz, a republican senator from Texas asked of Ms. Barrett:

  • Do you speak any foreign languages? (French)
  • Do you play any musical instruments? (Piano)
  • What was it like staying at home during the pandemic with seven children? (Challenging)
  • Why did she and her husband adopt two children from Haiti? (A long story)

Ooooohhh … what relevant questions for a potential Supreme Court Justice who will be expected to make decisions that may mean life or death for us all!  Way to go, Teddy!

Now, one thing I didn’t mention above was Ms. Barrett’s take on climate change, arguably the single most important issue of the day.

“I’m certainly not a scientist. I have read things about climate change. I would not say I have firm views on it.”

Say WHAT?  You have “read things”???  What things?  Details, woman!  How … HOW can anybody in this, the year 2020 with wildfires consuming much of the West Coast, with devastating hurricanes costing lives and untold property damages, and with the average temperature this past summer 92° in an area that usually has a summertime average of 85° … how can any sane person look at the statistics, step outside and attempt to breathe the air, and still have “no firm views”???  This woman is either very, very stupid, else she is already in the pockets of the corporate donors such as Koch Brothers and the fossil fuel industry!

I’m not a scientist, either, but I still possess some parts that Ms. Barrett may be missing:  a brain, eyes, ears, and lungs … all of which tell me that humans, in their greedy quest for more useless money, have begun and continue the destruction of the environment here on planet Earth.

So, in conclusion, Ms. Barrett refuses to voice an opinion on women’s rights, LGBT rights, the right to medical care, and worst yet, she is stupid about the environment.  GET. HER. OUT.

But no, the boot-lickers in the Senate have a majority, albeit a narrow one, and there doesn’t seem to be a single one with the cojones to “just say ‘no’” to Donald Trump.  On top of that, the unconscionably powerful Koch Brothers have thrown their support behind her nomination.  And thus began the beginning of the end of civilization in what was once known as the United States.


And I shall end on that note, for my temper is about to take me where I ought not to go.  Let me just say, though, that if Donald Trump is elected for and seated for another term, I shall renounce my citizenship from the U.S., if not from the entire world.  I can see nothing good in the future of this nation if the people continue to elect and applaud bloody fools and to put corporate profits ahead of people.

Unhinged!

Remember the 2016 presidential election?  Who could forget, right?  Remember all the hullaballoo about Hillary Clinton’s emails, which as it turned out, was a non-starter, for while she had used poor judgment in using a private server, there was no huge leak of classified information as the Trump campaign had hoped.

Now it is another presidential election year, four years later, and the two candidates are former Vice-President Joe Biden, and once again, Donald Trump.  You may notice that I did not mention Hillary Clinton, for she is not running for president this year.  And yet, according to yesterday’s New York Times

Trump forced the State Department on Friday to commit to releasing at least some of Hillary Clinton’s emails before next month’s election, resurrecting a four-year-old issue in hopes that it would prove as helpful to his political prospects as it was when he defeated her in 2016.

WTF???  What in the Sam Hell is wrong with the bit of grey matter that resides in Donald Trump’s head?  HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT RUNNING FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT IN 2020!  Do I make myself clear?  It isn’t rocket science!  What it is, I strongly suspect, is an attempt to energize his rabid base who, in 2016, took great pleasure in demonizing Hillary Clinton, screeching “Lock her up!” at every rally.

Whatever is or is not in Hillary’s emails is irrelevant at this point, and Trump’s base wouldn’t understand what they were reading if they even bothered to read them.  It’s not about the actual emails, but rather about the perception that Hillary did something wrong.

But it doesn’t even end with that bit of lunacy!  He also attempted to coerce Attorney General William Barr to prosecute his opponent Joe Biden as well as President Barack Obama!  The Times article continues …

He publicly badgered Mr. Barr this week to indict Democrats connected to the original investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any ties to Mr. Trump’s campaign, naming specifically Mr. Biden and former President Barack Obama. But Mr. Barr has told Republicans and others that he planned no major moves in his re-examination of the Russia investigation before Election Day.

Yo Republicans!!!  You folks didn’t elect a president in 2016, you elected … and continue to support … a mentally deranged maniac!  Wake up and take your heads out of your arses before you doom us to a fate worse than death!

Beyond his public comments, the president has also conveyed to Mr. Barr, directly and through surrogates, that he wanted “scalps,” according to two government officials familiar with the conversations.

While Mr. Barr defied the president’s desire for pre-election action, Mr. Pompeo bowed to Mr. Trump’s wishes a day after he publicly chastised the secretary of state for not cooperating. Mr. Pompeo told Fox News that he would release at least some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails from when she was secretary of state and using a private server.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he fires William Barr over this.  Both the release of Hillary’s emails and the attempt to force an indictment of Biden, Obama and others appear to me designed to draw the public attention away from the pandemic, the thing that has brought him to his knees in more ways than one.  An animal caught in a trap will go so far as to chew off its own foot in order to free himself.  Need I say more?

Yesterday, Jeff and I told you how the United States has lost respect in the eyes of the world.  Is it any wonder, given this latest batch of pure, unadulterated bullshit?  The saddest part is that some 40% of the people in this country are genuinely too uneducated, too self-focused (and I’m being kind here) to understand what they have done:  they have created a monster who has neither intelligence nor a conscience, and who would destroy the world if he thought it would boost him in some way.

Filosofa Is A Bit Rant-y

I am rather rant-y tonight, for I am tired of so many things … tired of the divisiveness in this country, tired of the lies that regularly emit from our government, tired of the sheer ignorance of some people and the cruelty of others, and just tired in general, I suppose.  So, bear with me while I let off a bit of steam …

I expect conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones to say ignorant things like he thinks a White House staffer poisoned Trump’s Diet Coke and then told him he had the coronavirus.  Ol’ Alex thinks we aren’t smart enough to see the lunacy in his theory.  But I mistakenly credited the people of this nation, even Trump’s loyal base, with having a bit more intelligence, being a bit more discerning.  Some of Trump’s base who were interviewed had some lovely things to say …

  • “It’s a hoax. There’s no pandemic. As Trump said, how many millions die of flu?”
  • “If he’s sick, then they planted it when they tested him. It’s what they did to me when I went to hospital for my heart beating too fast. Two weeks later I got a cold. It’s political. I don’t trust the US government at all. Who are they to mandate personal safety? I listen to Trump.”
  • “Yes, it’s highly contagious. So are the measles. But I’m a firm believer that if you get it, it’s not a death sentence.” Oh really, ma’am?  Try telling that to the friends and families of the 214,000+ people who have died in this country alone and the more than 2.5 million who are still suffering from the disease!

ClaytoonzOf course, it doesn’t help that the doctor in charge of Trump’s case at Walter Reed hospital, Dr. Sean Conley, can’t give a straight answer to a simple question during a press conference, and is apparently yet another bootlicker telling the public what Trump has told him to tell us, so we cannot believe anything we are told.  It doesn’t give people free license to start stupid rumours that are likely to further divide the people of this nation.

Just to put the conspiracies to bed:  Donald Trump contracted the coronavirus because he thought he knew more than the experts, and so shunned the precautions that most of the rest of us are taking, such as wearing a mask when in public, avoiding crowded venues, and keeping a 6-foot distance from other people when in public.  He broke those rules time and time again, and now he’s paying the price.  There was no poison, no chemical plant, no nothing beyond Trump’s own stupidity.

And, in addition to stupidity, there is the big lie … the one where he claimed to have tested positive late Thursday night or early Friday morning, but in truth had tested positive and displayed symptoms a full day before!  On Wednesday, he attended a rally in Minnesota, and on Thursday, knowing that he had the virus, he attended various public events on a fund-raising trip to New Jersey.  Potentially, he could have infected thousands of people, yet his only concern was his re-election bid.

Due to his inept and intentional bungling of the pandemic, more than 214,000 people in this country have died, and that number is likely to double by early next year.  And now, he willfully exposed others, both within and outside his administration.  So no, I have no empathy for him. No, I don’t wish death on him, however whether he recovers or not is unimportant to me beyond the effect it will have on the upcoming election.  If you think that makes me hard-hearted, think again … I have a great deal of empathy for those who lost a loved one this year due to the pandemic, for Black people who must fear for their lives, for migrant children separated from their parents at the southern border, for the homeless and those barely making ends meet … yes, I have empathy, but not for a narcissistic megalomaniac who is paying the price of his own perfidy.

I also have no empathy for his wife, who on Tuesday night sauntered into the debate venue wearing a mask, then immediately took it off for the rest of the evening in violation of rules that both candidates had agreed to in advance.  The rest of his family also sat maskless throughout the debacle.  As for his trophy wife, I say to her what she said to the world …Melania-jacketAnd I have no compassion for those who are so blindly enamoured of Trump that they will literally follow him off this cliff he has taken us to the brink of.  Those who shun wearing a mask because Trump mocked mask-wearers, who go into crowded venues such as bars, clubs, arenas, and churches, deserve no compassion.  They risk not only their own lives, but the lives of their families, friends, co-workers … every one of us.

Save your sympathy for those who deserve it … the Trump family does not.

From Funk to Fight

Our friend Jeff has produced one heck of a good rant … he’s fighting mad and with good reason! It’s time for us all to jump into the fray and do what needs to be done to salvage what’s left of our country! Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. It could be that the constant chaos surrounding the upcoming election is getting me down. Or, I’m suffering from political fatigue. I’m not quite sure. But over the weekend, as I was out and about in my small town here in Southwest Oregon, my ‘funk’ was instantly replaced with fight. As in, I promise to fight like hell to make sure that on November 3, 2020, our democracy survives its biggest domestic threat in generations.

So what was it that woke me from my slumbered state? A few weeks ago, I noticed a few signs around town announcing that there would be a ‘Freedom Rally’ on September 26. And sure enough, I witnessed what this so-called freedom rally was all about as soon as I got in the car and headed out to the main road.

Pickup trucks, cars, jeeps, and…

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Get Mad!!!!!!!

Much has been said in the past two days about the fact that Trump seems poised to reject the results of the November election and to plant himself in our government as an autocratic leader, ala Adolf Hitler or more recently Vladimir Putin.  Here’s what he told a reporter in response to a question of whether he will commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election …

trump-caricature“You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster. Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very … there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation … the ballots are out of control.”

Now, this isn’t really anything new.  Your blood probably reached a boiling point when you heard this, as did mine, but after a while I realized what this all is.  First and foremost, what his little tirade tells me is that he is scared, that he is fairly certain he will lose the election to Joe Biden.  As well he should be.  But he is a bully.  All his life he has gotten his way by being a big playground bully, by lying, cheating, and making inane threats … by instilling fear.

So, what does he hope to accomplish?  He hopes to make those of us who have a desire for a fair and honest election, those of us who believe in the U.S. Constitution, afraid.  He hopes we will panic, for people in a panic tend to act stupidly.  One thing he hopes to achieve is to reduce the number of people who vote, especially those who plan to vote by mail.  He hopes people will assume their votes, their ballots, won’t be counted, so why bother?  Some may fall into that trap, but frankly I like to think that those of us who stand against authoritarianism are smart enough to see through his rhetoric.

To set the record straight, there is no evidence whatsoever of voter fraud either in 2016 or 2018, and there is zero evidence that any is likely to take place in this election.  Trump makes things up.  He lies.  He is a habitual liar who says whatever he thinks will help whatever his cause-of-the-day is and who wouldn’t recognize the truth if it smacked him in the ass.

Second, I was pleased to see even congressional republicans deny that Trump could seize power in denial of the election results …

“The president says crazy stuff. We’ve always had a peaceful transition of power. It’s not going to change.” –  Senator Ben Sasse (Nebraska)

Even ol’ Mitchie had to weigh in on the side of justice this time …

“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)

“No question that all the people sworn to support the Constitution would assure that there would be a peaceful transition of power.” – Senator Mitt Romney (Utah)

“Well, Republicans believe in the rule of law, we believe in the Constitution, and that’s what dictates what happens.” – Senator John Thune (South Dakota)

“As we have done for over two centuries we will have a legitimate & fair election It may take longer than usual to know the outcome, but it will be a valid one And at noon on Jan 20, 2021 we will peacefully swear in the President.” – Senator Marco Rubio (Florida)

“Throughout America’s history, the peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of our democracy. This year, both candidates must commit to abiding by the results, no matter the outcome.” – Senator Rob Portman (Ohio)

It should be noted that none actually had the cojones to condemn Trump for his seditious rhetoric.  The question arises … will they find a pair in order to do the right thing in the event that Trump actually attempts to deny the election results?  I don’t know, but frankly folks, we’ve got bigger things to worry about for the next five weeks.  We need to work on making sure every eligible voter either votes absentee or gets off their asses on November 3rd and goes out and votes!

This is the key.  Trump’s approval rating is in the 40% range, and is likely to dip again soon, as the number of coronavirus cases rise and the vaccine that he has been promising either doesn’t materialize or is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).  If every person who doesn’t approve of the job Trump has done, who sees the demolition of the nation, who rejects his authoritarian regime, goes out and votes for Joe Biden, there can be no doubt who is the clear winner of the November election.

But if we let his hate speech, his purely delusional rhetoric reduce us to a state of fear and panic, then we will not have the strength left to do what needs to be done.  Forget him!  (I actually wanted to use a different “f-word” there but bit my fingertips – thanks Keith!) Don’t play into his hand!  Laugh at him.  Treat him as he deserves to be treated – like a recalcitrant toddler.  Remember that he is naught but a hired hand, a paid public servant who serves at the pleasure of We the People!  I don’t know about you, but personally I’m ready to fire this bastard (sorry, Keith).

Yes, there is reason to be concerned by this sort of authoritarian talk, but if we let it paralyze us, then all is lost.  Let’s address the situation calmly and rationally, in contrast to Trump’s own demeanor.  Meanwhile, let’s keep our eye on the ball, meaning convincing everyone you know that they simply must vote this time ‘round.  That is the main thing we can do.  The other thing is keep those letters, emails, and phone calls to your members of Congress going, let them know that you expect them to uphold a higher standard and to uphold our right to have our voices heard as per the Constitution.

Briefly, don’t get sad, get mad!  Be angry!  But don’t let it paralyze you, and don’t give up.  Together, we are strong, we can overcome the evil that has overtaken our nation for the past four years.  And if you need something to smile about, picture in your mind the Metro police leading Trump out of the White House in chains on January 20th!trump-prison

Trump’s Campaign Platform: Abortion

In this year, a year of pandemic, global strife, a looming recession, sky-high unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, millions without health insurance, etc., there are any number of things that I would expect to see on the platform of any candidate for the presidency.  Among them, in no particular order, are …

  • Climate change and environmental issues
  • Education
  • Gun policy
  • Immigration
  • International relations
  • Civil rights
  • Election security
  • Health care
  • Affordable housing
  • Income inequality
  • Minimum wage
  • Campaign finance
  • Taxation
  • Consumer finance protection

And the list goes on.  You may notice that nowhere in my list do you see the word “abortion”.  Abortion is not … or at least should not be … a political issue!  As I’ve said at least a hundred times before, if you think abortion is wrong, then don’t have one!  But don’t impose your religious or moral beliefs on the rest of us!

While it should be a personal issue, not a political one, a good chunk of time on Tuesday night was spent by the republicans at the Republican National Convention, dissing and discussing a woman’s right to have autonomy over her own body.  These people call themselves “pro-life”, but in fact they are not that at all, for most of them support the death penalty, and few of them are in favour of their tax dollars going to help support low income families who are struggling to feed their children.  Most of them seem unconcerned about the extremely high number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., relative to every other nation.  Most of them own guns and put their right to do so ahead of the rights of the public, and even their own children, to be safe … that in itself puts paid to the “pro-life” argument!

The religious right in this country has become a strangling, suffocating movement whose foray into the political forum is not welcome by the majority of us!  I very intentionally stay as far away as I can from any discussion or opinion on religion, for I truly believe that everyone has the right to believe as they will, and it is not my place or anyone else’s to attempt to bend others to my own beliefs.  HOWEVER … I also expect the same courtesy in return!  I do not expect to have evangelicals or any other religious group tell me what I can do based on the tenets of their religion … tenets that even they do not follow, except when it suits them!  This is exactly why we have separation of church and state.

Separation of church and state means that no religion or religious group has the right to set public policy.  There is good reason for this.  We are a very diverse nation with hundreds of different religions and a good number of us (23%) who ascribe to no religion, as is our right.  It is our right.  We … most of us … do not wish a specific religion to be taught in our schools.  We do not wish to be held to honour laws that are created by and for a particular religious sect, for they may very well go against our own beliefs.

For the right-wing religious extremists to call for government to interfere with a woman’s rights is beyond unconscionable … it is nearly a return to the days when women were considered second-class citizens, subservient to their menfolk.  For no matter how women view this issue, it is largely men who are making the laws in this country, even today.  In fact, one of the speakers at the RNC on Tuesday was a woman named Abby Johnson who sermonized on the ‘evils’ of abortion.  Ms. Johnson’s anti-women ideology goes much further, however, for back in May she spoke of her support for the idea of “household voting”, where only the “head” of each household would be allowed to vote …

“I would support bringing back household voting.  Each household would get one vote. In a Godly household, the husband would get the final say.”

If you are reading this and are not sputtering or spouting obscenities, then I’d have to question what planet you were born on.  And then, on Tuesday night she yammered about abortion …

“This election is a choice between two radical anti-life activists and the most pro-life president we have ever had. That is something that should compel you to action, go door-to-door, make calls, talk to your neighbors and friends, and vote on November 3.”

Really?  So, the republicans honestly think this election is about … abortion???  What about climate change, what about civil rights, what about education, what about health care, what about our relations with other nations, what about gun violence, what about … all of the things that really matter?  Frankly, if abortion, or rather anti-abortion, anti-women’s rights, is the only issue the republican voters care about, then there is a definite lack of understanding within the Republican Party.  There are far more monumental issues to be concerned about.

To the best of my knowledge, no woman in the United States has ever been forced to have an abortion against her will, and only about 1% of abortions are performed after the fetus becomes viable, those only in extreme cases to save the mother’s life.  Yet Trump claimed back in March …

“Virtually every Democrat candidate has declared their unlimited support for extreme late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother’s womb, right up until the very moment of birth.”

It is this sort of verbiage that seems to fire up Trump’s base, despite being devoid of any facts.  In fact, not one single democrat has advocated for such.  I would remind voters that possibly the biggest, most lethal single issue that should be what they are considering, is that of the environment.  Frankly, if we do not re-implement environmental regulations, if we do not take fairly drastic measures and work with other nations to curb the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that we are emitting every minute of every day, you won’t need to worry a heck of a lot about whether a woman has an abortion or not.  You’ll be too busy fighting for every last breath to be worried about seedlings.

Jacob Blake … SAY HIS NAME, DAMMIT!

A man named Jacob Blake was trying to break up an argument between two women on Sunday.  Someone had called the police, and when they arrived, Blake left the women to the police to sort out and headed back to his vehicle where his three young sons awaited patiently in the back seat.  But, instead of breaking up the fight between the women, police zeroed in on Mr. Blake … and as he opened the door to his SUV and started to get in, they shot him in the back … seven times!!!

Seven times they shot a man … an unarmed man … in front of his children!!!  A man who had committed no crime, had no weapon, wasn’t even acting in any suspicious manner! Jacob-BlakeAsk not why there are protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the shooting took place!  The only reason I’m not calling it a murder is that by some miracle, Mr. Blake survived and is currently in serious condition at a Milwaukee hospital.  If he dies, this will have been a murder … in cold blood.  If he dies, the Kenosha police department will owe those three little boys a debt that they can never repay.  And whether he lives or dies, this is but the latest in a string of unarmed black people being shot by police in just the past few months … just one more incidence of the systemic racism that is rampant in police departments across the U.S.

  • Breonna Taylor – March 13th – murdered by police in her own bed after police used a battering ram to break down the door.  They had a warrant … for someone else who was not, and had never been, in Ms. Taylor’s apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • George Floyd – May 25th – murdered in cold blood by one police officer, while three others looked on in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Rayshard Brooks – June 12th – murdered by police for the crime of having a bit too much to drink and falling asleep in his car at the Wendy’s drive-thru lane in Atlanta, Georgia.

And these are only the high-profile ones, the ones we’ve heard about in the last five months.  So no, don’t you dare respond to someone saying that Black Lives Matter with your pathetic “All lives matter”, for that is a slap in the face to Ms. Taylor, Mr. Floyd, Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Blake, their families, and every one of us who care about these people.  Don’t you dare make excuses for police departments that tolerate racism among their ranks.  Don’t you dare support people who come out of their homes pointing guns at peaceful protestors who are trying to make their voices heard.  And if you support the racist, race-baiting white supremacist who sits in the Oval Office, then don’t you dare speak to me!

Angry???  Hell yes, I’m angry!  I’ve been in tears all evening, I want to tear someone’s head off!  I hate the racism, the bigotry in all forms, that has become the very definition of the United States.

The officers who shot Mr. Blake, by the way, have been placed on “administrative leave” … why were they not fired?  Why are they on “administrative leave”, still receiving their salary, when they are guilty of nothing less than attempted murder?  These officers were not wearing body cameras, however there was a bystander filming the attempted murder with his cell phone, and that video went viral.  If it hadn’t, would we have even heard of the attempted murder of Jacob Blake?  I wonder.  As Eugene Robinson wrote in The Washington Post  …

“The video doesn’t show all of what happened before Blake headed for the car, and it’s shot from a distance. But what it reveals is enough. Without this cellphone clip, I’m guessing the police report would have spoken of “noncompliance” and “resisting arrest” and some sort of “threatening move” — and that, without evidence to the contrary, Blake might have been filed away as just another Black man who got what he undoubtedly deserved.

There’s a pattern here: Floyd was suspected of passing a fake $20 bill, and he paid with his life. Brooks fell asleep in a Wendy’s drive-through, and he paid with his life. Taylor was just sleeping in her own home, and she paid with her life.

Officials in Kenosha County declared a state of emergency Sunday night. But for African Americans, the emergency is permanent — and it threatens our lives.”

My friends … our country is no longer one in which we can or should take pride.  It is a broken country, one that only works for the wealthy and those with white skin.  The rest of us … are expendable.  Tonight at the Republican National Convention, Mike Pence told cheering supporters, “We will always stand with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line of law enforcement. We’re going to back the blue.”  And reading in between the lines … “To hell with the Blacks, the Hispanics, the Native Americans, the Middle-Easterners …”  The biggest crime in our nation, it would seem, is not colluding with a foreign power, is not shooting someone with an AR-15, is not robbing a bank, is not lying to the American people … the biggest crime is simply being Black.

Tonight, I debate whether it is worth staying here and fighting this fight.  I suppose November 3rd will answer that question, but frankly, if I had the chance to put the United States behind me tomorrow and never return, I would gladly say “goodbye”.

183 Days …

183 days.  That’s how many more days Donald Trump has to complete his destruction of the United States.  183 days until January 20th, 2021, the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration.  Can we withstand the onslaught that is increasing in cruelty and utter stupidity?  Can we retain a shred of our sanity for another 183 days?  The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind … the answer is blowing in the wind.

There is so much on which I could opine today, but I’ll keep it to a couple.


Relief for whom?

First … Trump insists that the coronavirus relief bill currently under construction in Congress must have two things, else he will veto it:  a payroll tax cut, and measures tying school funding to the reopening of classrooms.  A payroll tax cut???  Who will that help?  I’ll tell you who it will help … employers!  Large corporations will benefit the most.  You, the average worker, will benefit only slightly, and those who are currently unemployed will not benefit by so much as a single penny!  Additionally, the tax cut would be only a deferral, meaning that taxpayers will ultimately be held responsible for repaying whatever money they save this year.  Think about the unemployed worker who does not benefit but is employed when payback time comes and must repay what he never received!  And, at the end of the day, there’s that pesky little fact that the U.S. is so far in debt that there is no chance in hell of us pulling out of it in our lifetime, and this will further decrease revenue.

As for tying school funding to the reopening of physical classrooms … bullshit!  In essence, Trump is saying point blank that the children of this nation must become the sacrificial lambs in order to boost his re-election chances.  Period.  I sincerely hope that every school district in this nation remains closed for the safety and lives of our children.  Short of that, I hope that every parent gives Trump a middle finger and has the courage to refuse to send their children, that every teacher refuses to teach, and that every bus driver refuses to drive. Already in Florida, one teacher’s union is suing Governor DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran for an order insisting that all schools must be open five days every week.  Florida is in the throes of one of the worst surges of the virus in the nation … in the world … yet the children will be sacrificed so DeSantis can bow to Trump’s demands.

Even the republicans in Congress are against both of these measures, yet I am told that they will likely include them in the bill, just to keep Trump from vetoing it.  There is, of course, another option … write the bill with We the People in mind, leave out Trump’s bloody ‘demands’, and pass it with a veto-proof 2/3 majority in both the House and the Senate.  C’mon, republicans … find your damn cojones and do what’s right for a change, instead of what Trump wants.  Just once, remember your oath of office!  You let us down on February 5th … don’t let us down again!


Resumption of b.s.

Remember those almost completely useless briefings Trump held on a daily basis for a time, ‘til he got bored with the coronavirus and fed up with his experts giving advice he didn’t like?  Surely you remember him saying he thought that injecting household disinfectant into the human body would cure the virus?  Well, I said all along they turned into naught but a campaign rally for him, for he spent much more time patting himself on the back and lying about what a great job he had done than anybody spent actually talking about the virus.  They were basically useless, a waste of time, and most of us were relieved when he stopped them.  Well, they’re coming back starting today.

Why?  Because his poll numbers are dropping … have dropped … Biden is leading him by a fairly healthy margin, and he can’t get out and hold the big rallies that have been his trademark.  Tulsa was proof that people actually care more about surviving than paying homage to Donald Trump, and some states are refusing to allow him to hold rallies at this time.  So, what better way to get his campaign message across than a daily briefing covered ad nauseam by every major news outlet?  He’s already said he doesn’t care about the virus, about the surge in cases … and deaths … that he believes the virus will just disappear on its own someday.  So it isn’t about that … it is only about Trump and his re-election campaign.  I wish there were some hope that the mainstream media would boycott his daily briefings, but they won’t … they are as intimidated by him as his staff are.  You and I may boycott them, but others, notably his fan base, will sit in front of their televisions drooling for the hour or two he spends rambling on about himself.  Bah humbug!

Rumour has it that his staff tried to dissuade him, likely realizing that every time he opens his mouth he digs his own grave a little bit more with the sane people in this nation, but his lead bimbo, Kellyanne Conway, said …

“I just think the people want to hear from the president of the United States.”

WRONG, Kellyanne … dead wrong.  We the People want to hear less from Donald Trump … in fact, if he never opened his mouth again, I’d be happy.


Well … I still haven’t talked about Trump’s threat to essentially declare martial law in cities across the nation … only the ones “run by liberal democrats”, as he tells it.  And I still haven’t covered the de-funding of the CDC and reduction of funding for testing, and the plan for Trump to replace Justice Ginsburg … while she’s still on the bench! But, it’s late and I’ve ranted enough for now, so those will wait until later.

toon

Ignorance Is NOT Bliss!!!

From Columbus, Ohio …maskless

It appears that there is a side effect of the coronavirus that affects only those who do not contract the virus itself … it isn’t a new disease, but rather one that has surged over the past five months: Ignorance.  And note that the leader of the ignorance that has a chokehold on our country is this ‘man’ …

TrumpNow, before I begin my tirade, let me clue you in on something.  When you read that “The White House says …” or “The administration has decided …”, please understand that both “White House” and “administration” mean only one person, Donald Trump.  The White House is actually just a brick and mortar building that has no voice, no opinion, and ‘the administration’ consists of a bunch of mouthpieces who speak only when told by Donald Trump that they may speak, and what they may say.  All orders filter down from Trump himself, for he is the de facto dictator.

The headline in The Washington Post reads …

Trump administration pushing to block new money for testing, tracing and CDC in upcoming coronavirus relief bill

Think about this one, folks.  Trump does not want to spend money … OUR money … for testing or to support methods of controlling the coronavirus.  OUR MONEY … OUR LIVES!!!  He, King Donnie, would prefer to spend OUR money on such things as his golf outings and trips to Mar-a-Lago, Secret Service protection for his grown children as they jet-set ‘round the world on Trump Organization business, than on saving our bloomin’ lives!!!!

A month or so ago, Trump & Pence decided that the threat of the pandemic was over, and it was time to move on with “business as usual”.  After all … there is an election in just over 100 days and … well, let’s face it, the only thing Trump had in his favour was the economy, so he has to do whatever it takes, including taking our lives and the lives of our children, to boost the economy so that he can show his base what a “wonderful job” he is doing.

Trump has said more than once that if we didn’t do so much testing, we wouldn’t have so many new cases of the coronavirus.  In his utter ignorance and inability to comprehend, he seems to honestly believe that theory and is, thus, trying to slow or even halt the testing by cutting off funding.

“Think of this, if we didn’t do testing, instead of testing over 40 million people, if we did half the testing we would have half the cases. If we did another, you cut that in half, we would have, yet again, half of that. But the headlines are always testing.”

This ludicrous thinking is analogous with saying, “If I don’t get on the scale, I won’t have gained any weight.”  Or, “If I don’t take my child who is coughing and has a fever to the doctor, he won’t be sick.”  It is utter stupidity!

That he is trying to cut off funding for testing and the CDC, is an abomination and must be stopped, but even worse is that his followers have contracted his disease and are clamoring for schools to re-open as if nothing were amiss … business as usual … nothing to see here, folks!

maskless-2maskless-4maskless-5maskless-6

The people in the pictures above are perfectly willing to subject not only their own children, but all children in this country, all teachers, parents, grandparents, friends, family members … to sickness and potential death.  WHY???  Because they are in the throes of this disease called ignorance, because Donald Trump, the chief of the Ignorant Brigade, has told them it’ll be fine, and that by sending their kids back to school, they can themselves return to work and the economy will boom almost overnight.  To me, this is criminal negligence.

I’m seriously considering setting up a website to see how many times I can sell the Brooklyn Bridge to these people!!!

I don’t care if you space kids 6 feet apart in the classroom and mandate mask-wearing … kids will be kids and you aren’t going to be able to enforce any of it, especially with younger children.  Plus, they will be touching surfaces that other kids have touched, both contracting and spreading germs.  It isn’t rocket science, folks … it is plain ol’ everyday common sense!!!  Keep the kids home.  If we don’t, I guarantee you that teachers in many areas will strike, and sensible parents who care about their kids will keep them home anyway.

grim-reaper

And not that it matters much to me at this moment, but the damned economy isn’t going to re-bound overnight anyway!  There is absolutely nothing that is going to restore the economy to its pre-pandemic state in short order … it is going to take a long time.  Period.  And it isn’t going to happen while we are seeing between 50,000 – 75,000 new cases of the coronavirus per day and nearly 1,000 people are dying from it on a daily basis.

The question, then, becomes how do we fight this pandemic of ignorance, how do we convince people that their lives and the lives of their children and other family members are, in fact, at risk?  We better find a way soon, for this nation cannot maintain this status quo much longer.  We are in self-destruct mode.  I have no answers, but I sure hope somebody comes up with some soon!

breathless-end-of-rant  End of Rant.

More Tears Of Shame

A drug called remdesivir is the first drug approved by licensing authorities in the US to treat the coronavirus, and has been shown to help people recover faster from the disease.  Production of the drug, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Gilead, will take time, of course.  It will take even longer for the people in the EU, UK, Brazil, Italy, and other countries to get the drug … at least three months.  WHY?  Because Donald Trump has greedily hogged every dose the company will make for July, and 90% of what they will manufacture in August and September, leaving virtually none for any other nation!

Alex Azar, head of the Department of Health and Human Services had this to say …

“… Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19. To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for Covid-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”

BULLSHIT!

The “American people”???  What about the rest of the people in the world???  The people in the U.S. are no better, no more deserving than those in France, Ghana, or Brazil!!!  What Trump has done is to doom people all around the globe in order to gain accolades from the people of this country to boost his own chances at re-election.  Plain and simple … he doesn’t care about people – any people – but is only thinking of himself and his bid for re-election!  And no doubt there are some in this country who will vote for him simply because of this.

The United States, though having just over 4% of the world’s population, has nearly 26% of the total cases worldwide and 25% of the deaths from coronavirus worldwide.  That is largely a result of Trump’s bungling ever since the first cases of the virus hit the U.S. in January, his attempt to pretend that nothing was wrong, that the coronavirus was no more than the common cold, and that it would simply disappear overnight.  It is also a result of the arrogance of the people of this nation who refused to take proper precautions, and who even now are so eager to return to “having fun” that they are putting us all at risk.

However, simply because Trump screwed up, and just because the people of this nation aren’t too bright sometimes, is no reason for us to scoop up every dose of a medication that can help people!!!  We are no better … let me repeat that … WE ARE NO BETTER … than any person in any other country, and we are damn sure no more deserving of this drug than our friends in the UK or Germany!

Donald Trump has done a lot of truly horrible things in his 3+ year tenure, but this is by far the very worst thing he has done.

The drug, remdesivir, is under patent to Gilead, which means no other company can make it.  Experts are alarmed both by the US unilateral action on remdesivir and the wider implications, for instance in the event of a vaccine becoming available. The Trump administration has already shown that it is prepared to outbid and outmaneuver all other countries to secure the medical supplies it needs for the US.  This is all part of Trump’s “America First” ideology, but let me tell you … this is, whether some like it or not, a much larger world than “America”, and the people in this country are no more deserving than the people in any other country!

I can tell you that if by some chance I were to contract the coronavirus, I would refuse the drug remdesivir … I would tell the doctors to send my dose to the UK or Brazil.  I would rather die honestly than know that I had taken a drug, and in so doing deprived someone else of their life.

I am more ashamed today of this nation than I ever have been before.  I feel that each and every one of us owes a huge apology to the people in every other nation on the globe.  I hang my head in shame for what this country has done, for the horrible way in which we have treated our friends and allies.