Celebrating Australia

I initially started out to do a fun, positive, upbeat post about Australia Day.  I had even snagged a few fun memes about the day and the country from over at Phil’s Phun (Phil is an Aussie, you know).  But then, I discovered that not everybody in Australia is all that happy to observe a national commemoration on January 26th, and with good reason.  It’s reminiscent of our own Christopher Columbus Day in October that … well, should really be ended.  According to an article I found on VOA (Voice of America) News …

The first fleet of British convicts arrived in Sydney on Jan. 26, 1788, but Aboriginal groups mourn what they call “Invasion Day.”  Australia’s national day is controversial because it is held on a date marking British colonization. Aboriginal Australians have led the charge for it to be commemorated at a different time of the year. 

Cricket bosses have removed the term “Australia Day” from promotional material for matches because they insist it was a time of “mourning” for many Indigenous players. Many Australia Day events this year are being scaled back or postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions, but the clamor for the date to be altered is likely to be undiminished.

Australia’s Indigenous peoples make up about 3% of the national population. They believe that high rates of unemployment, poverty and incarceration are the direct result of the dispossession and marginalization caused by European colonization that began in 1788.

Aus-mapSadly, Australia’s current Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems rather oblivious to the pain the date recalls.  He is angry that the cricket teams will not be touting the day, and says, “When those 12 ships turned up in Sydney all those years ago, it wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either.”  This statement in itself reminds me so much of the person we here in the U.S. just voted out of the Oval Office … no empathy, no consideration for others’ feelings.  And he doesn’t even know the history of his nation, for according to historians there were 11 ships, not 12.

So now, I am torn.  I have a number of Australian blogging friends and I want to honour their country, and yet, I fully understand the reasons that this day should not be one of celebration, for it would be rather like celebrating the arrival of the first slave ships on U.S. soil … not something to be proud of.  So, instead of writing about the day and the tragedies of history, I will share a few of the beautiful areas and wildlife of Australia and drink a toast to all my Aussie friends … Paul, Andrea, Simeon, Anne, and all the rest!  Cheers, my friends — you guys live in a beautiful country!  🥂

Aus-3

Uluru, the iconic monolith, also known as Ayers Rock, is the emblem of Australia. The massive sandstone rock is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru, one of Australia’s World Heritage Sites, is sacred to its indigenous custodians. The monolith is now off-limits for climbers.

Aus-1

Iconic Sydney Opera House

Aus-2

Aus-4

The Great Barrier Reef is located off the east coast of Queensland and is one of Australia’s natural wonders and a World Heritage Site.

Aus-5

The Twelve Apostles, the collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria.

Aus-6

The ‘Totem Pole’ from the last lookout of the Cape Hauy Track, in Tasman National Park, Tasmania.

Aus-7

Weedy Sea Dragon

Lake Hillier, whose pink hue defies scientific explanation. 

I think that Australia has some of the cutest wildlife on the planet!  My two favourites are the Quokka and the Koala, but they are all beautiful!

Aus-echidna-hedgehog

Baby Echidna, aka Hedgehog

Aus-kangaroo

Kangaroo with Joey in the pouch

Aus-koala

Koala

Aus-quokka

Quokka

Aus-Tas-Dev

Tasmanian Devil

Bye Bye Unity

If you don’t have something to growl or curse about today, our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has something to help you find your grumbly growl! Fellow democrats are shooting themselves … AND US … in the foot. Intentionally. Because they sold their brains for a box of Cracker Jacks! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Thanks Jeff — great post!

On The Fence Voters

Unity, huh? I have to admit; I thought President Biden might get at least a few weeks of relative respect from the media as well as Republican politicians. Boy, was I wrong.

I also was hoping the far-left might cut the new president some slack too. You know, maybe see what’s actually in the proposed $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill before criticizing it profusely? Wrong, again.

I wrote several months ago in this space that I thought Biden was the best man to try and unify the country. I still feel that way. But I also acknowledged that I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Frankly, I expected the Republicans to come at him with fierce resistance to everything he tries to do. And, true to form, a myriad of catcalls and complaints already are infecting the airwaves and internet. Here are just a few:

“How are all these…

View original post 1,009 more words

Speaking Of The Minimum Wage …

I have a laundry list of things I hope to see happen under the Biden administration, and one of those at the top of the list is a significant increase in the federal minimum wage rate.  It has been stagnant for 12 years now, despite the fact that the cost of living has increased consistently, year after year.  The article I’m about to share was written a week ago, two days before President Biden’s inauguration, but the premise still stands, and I completely agree with its author, Paul Krugman writing for the New York Times.


Who’s Radical Now? The Case of Minimum Wages

Evidence has a well-known liberal bias.

paul-krugman-thumbLargeBy Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

  • Jan. 18, 2021

Most Americans, myself included, will be deeply relieved when Joe Biden is finally sworn in as president. But almost everyone has a sense of foreboding, not just because of the specific threat of right-wing terrorism, but also because Biden will take office in a political environment polluted by lies.

Most important, of course, is the Big Lie: the claim, based on nothing whatsoever, that the election was stolen. Has there been anything in U.S. history like the demand from leading Republicans that Biden pursue “unity” when they won’t even say publicly that he won fairly? And polls showing that a large majority of rank-and-file Republicans believe that there was major election fraud are deeply scary.

But not far behind in importance is what I think of as the Slightly Smaller Lie — the almost universal insistence on the right that the mildly center-left leaders of the incoming administration and Congress are, or at least are controlled by, radical socialists. This allegation was almost the entire substance of Republican campaigning during the Georgia Senate runoffs.

One response to this bizarre claim — and it’s not a bad response — would be a Bidenesque “C’mon, man. Get real!” But I’d like to do a somewhat deeper dive by focusing on one particular issue: Biden’s call, as part of his economic recovery plan, for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Republicans raising objections to Biden’s plan have singled out the minimum wage hike as a prime reason for their opposition, although we all know that they would have found some excuse for objecting no matter what he proposed. What’s striking about this fight — let’s not dignify it by calling it a debate, as if both sides were making real arguments — is that it shows us who the real radicals are.

For what counts as a radical economic proposal? One possible answer would be a proposal that flies in the face of public opinion.

By that criterion, however, Republican politicians are definitely the radicals here. Raising the minimum wage is immensely popular; it’s supported by around 70 percent of voters, including a substantial majority of self-identified Republicans. Or if you don’t believe polls, look at what happened in Florida back in November: even as Trump carried the state, a referendum on raising the minimum wage to $15 won in a landslide.

So the G.O.P. is very much out of step with the public on this issue — it’s espousing what is almost a fringe position. Oh, and it’s a position that is completely at odds with the claim by many Republicans that they’re the true party of the working class.

What if we define radicalism not by opposition to public opinion but by a refusal to accept the conclusions of mainstream economics? Here, too, Democrats are the moderates and Republicans the radicals.

It’s true that once upon a time there was a near-consensus among economists that minimum wages substantially reduced employment. But that was long ago. These days only a minority of economists think raising the minimum to $15 would have large employment costs, and a strong plurality believe that a significant rise — although maybe not all the way to $15 — would be a good idea.

Why did economists change their minds? No, the profession wasn’t infiltrated by antifa; it was moved by evidence, specifically the results of “natural experiments” that take place when an individual state raises its minimum wage while neighboring states don’t. The lesson from this evidence is that unless minimum wages are raised to levels higher than anything currently being proposed, hiking the minimum won’t have major negative effects on employment — but it will have significant benefits in terms of higher earnings and a reduction in poverty.

But evidence has a well-known liberal bias. Did I mention that on Friday, just days before their eviction, Trump officials released a report claiming that the 2017 tax cut paid for itself?

Voodoo economics may be the most thoroughly debunked doctrine in the history of economic thought, refuted by decades of experience — and voters consistently say that corporations and the wealthy pay too little, not too much, in taxes. Yet tax cuts for the already privileged are central to the Republican agenda, even under a supposedly populist president.

On economic policy, then, Democrats — even though they have moved somewhat to the left in recent years — are moderates by any standard, while Republicans are wild-eyed radicals. So why does the G.O.P. think that it can get away with claiming the opposite?

Part of the answer is the power of the right-wing disinformation machine, which relentlessly portrays anyone left of center as the second coming of Pol Pot. Another part of the answer is that Republicans clearly hope that voters will judge some Democrats by the color of their skin, not the content of their policy proposals.

In any case, let’s be clear: There is indeed a radical party in America, one that, aside from hating democracy, has crazy ideas about how the world works and is at odds with the views of most voters. And it’s not the Democrats.

min-wage

Accountability and unity

Our friend Keith has perfectly echoed my own thoughts, and likely many of yours as well. His words are so very apt … certain members of Congress would do well to listen to Keith … hmmm … perhaps he should run for office! Thanks, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

Republican Senator Mitt Romney said yesterday, we cannot have unity without accountability. Yet, some Republican Senators are still echoing the planned fraud by the former president on the American people claiming unproven voter fraud. Others are saying the former president should not stand trial in the Senate.

As for those who do not want to hold the former president accountable, here is metaphor who uses a crying toddler example with intent.

-The toddler cried to anyone who would listen he was cheated.

-He took all measures he could to say he was cheated, unable to prove such.

-He bullied other toddlers to go along with him or he would be mean to them.

-He invited the tin soldiers to his room having wound them up for two months.

-He revved them up some more. Then he pointed them at the perceived enemy and sicced them to go do harm.

-Then…

View original post 137 more words

♫ I Don’t Like Mondays ♫

My music posts are almost always just for fun, songs that I like or once liked, music that brings back memories, mostly fond, and that we can all remember from … way back when … a time we still had our teeth, our hair, and our eyesight!  Every now and then, though, a song crosses my radar that just begs to be played, that has a message too strong to be ignored, whether I actually like the song or not.  Today’s is one such song.

Our friend Clive from ‘cross the pond sent me this a few weeks ago, saying he thought this might be right up my alley.  He’s right … it is.  One of my pet peeves … probably my strongest pet peeve … is the gun culture in the U.S.  There are more guns in the hands of civilians in this country than there are … civilians!  It’s crazy, it’s insane, and every day … EVERY DAMN DAY … people die because some fool had a gun.  I hate guns, hate the gun culture, and were it in my power, I would erase the 2nd Amendment from the U.S. Constitution.  Were it in my power, I would take every gun in this country and place it on Elon Musk’s next flight into nowhere!

This song is about Brenda Spencer, a 16-year-old high school student who lived across the street from Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California. On Monday, January 29, 1979, she opened fire on the school with a rifle her father had given her for Christmas, killing two adults (including the principal) and injuring nine children before going back to her home. Police surrounded her home and waited for seven hours until she gave herself up. In that time, she spoke with a reporter on the phone. When asked why she did it, she replied …

“I just started shooting, that’s it. I just did it for the fun of it. I just don’t like Mondays. I just did it because it’s a way to cheer the day up. Nobody likes Mondays.”

This was a #1 hit in 32 different countries, but it flopped in the U.S., probably because the subject matter hit too close to home. Gun violence is a big problem in America.

Bob Geldof, the leader of the Boomtown Rats, was in Atlanta touring when he heard the news story about Brenda Spencer.  Geldof composed the song on the spot, originally as a reggae number. Back in Los Angeles after the tour, a studio demo was recorded with grand piano and vocals. By the time I Don’t Like Mondays was introduced onstage in Loch Lomond, Scotland, the song had been transformed dramatically.  Brenda Spencer’s parents tried to have the single banned in the US, without success.  Says Geldof …

“I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with Johnnie Fingers and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out. Not liking Mondays as a reason for doing somebody in is a bit strange. I was thinking about it on the way back to the hotel and I just said ‘silicon chip inside her head had switched to overload’. I wrote that down. And the journalists interviewing her said, ‘Tell me why?’ It was such a senseless act. It was the perfect senseless act and this was the perfect senseless reason for doing it. So perhaps I wrote the perfect senseless song to illustrate it. It wasn’t an attempt to exploit tragedy.”

In 2019 Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers reached an agreement in their dispute over who wrote the song, until then credited solely to Geldof. Fingers received a financial settlement and co-credit.

Now, on a personal note, the song itself, the tune, the singing, does not appeal to me.  I do love the piano, but the rest … I could easily leave it.  But … there is something bigger here … the United States has a gun problem.  The Founding Fathers never intended the 2nd Amendment to mean that we could all carry a gun and shoot people at random.  Think Brenda Spencer, think Sandy Hook, think Trayvon Martin and so many more just in the past few years.  This song … it speaks volumes about what is wrong with America.

My thanks to Clive for turning me onto this song, the story which, if I ever knew it I had long since forgotten.  See, that’s part of the problem … we in the U.S. have become so inured to gun violence that … we forget.  We forget.

I Don’t Like Mondays
The Boomtown Rats

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody’s gonna go to school today
She’s gonna make them stay at home
And daddy doesn’t understand it
He always said she was good as gold
And he can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?

I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoot the whole day down

The Telex machine is kept so clean
And it types to a waiting world
Her mother feels so shocked, father’s world is rocked
And their thoughts turn to their own little girl
Sweet sixteen, ain’t that peachy keen
Now it ain’t so neat to admit defeat
They can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reasons do you need, oh oh oh oh?

I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoot the whole day down
Down, down, shoot it all down

And all the playing’s stopped in the playground now
She wants to play with the toys a while
And school’s out early and soon we be learning
And the lesson today is how to die
And then the bullhorn crackles and the captain tackles
With the problems and the hows and whys
And he can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die, die, oh oh oh?

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody’s gonna go to school today
She’s gonna make them stay at home
And daddy doesn’t understand it
He always said she was good as gold
And he can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?

I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like
I don’t like
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like
I don’t like
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoot the whole day down

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Geldof Bob / Geldof Robert / Geldof Robert Frederick Zenon
I Don’t Like Mondays lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Ltd.

WHAT Does It Matter?

I have to ask this seemingly inane question … why does anybody give a royal f**k what the brand of the watch Joe Biden wears on his arm is???  Rolex, Timex, Elgin … what the f**k business is it of mine or yours???  He wears it so that he can tell what time it is, so that he isn’t late for important meetings and conference calls and the like.

I have seen no less that 15 articles critiquing Joe’s wristwatch, not only the ignoble Fox ‘News’ and New York Post, but reputable sources both in this country and abroad!  For Pete’s sake!  Grow up, kids!  There are more important issues on the table than the brand name of the President’s watch!

I well remember August 28, 2014, when President Barack Obama had the audacity to wear a tan-coloured suit to a live press conference on increasing the U.S. military response against the Islamic State in Syria.  The topic fell into the background as the media and those on social media went into a feeding frenzy over his choice of a suit.  A light-colored suit is considered casual summer wear that was seen by conservative media outlet Fox News as being too casual for a press conference on such a serious matter.

Obama-tan-suit

Seriously???  Yes, seriously … that mattered to the fools and idiots on the other side of the aisle and in the media.

Conservatives disapproved of Obama’s decision to wear the tan suit. Conservative Republican Representative Peter King of New York called Obama’s wearing of the suit unpresidential, and stated that “There’s no way, I don’t think, any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday. I mean, you have the world watching.”

WHOA!  “No way … any of us can excuse …”  The presidency is not … NOT … a fashion contest, for Pete’s sake!

And then there was that … {GASP} … moment in 2009 when First Lady Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress for her official White House photo!

Michelle-Obama-sleeveless

The press jumped on that, and also when she chose a sleeveless purple dress when attending President Obama’s address to Congress.  Oh, the horrors!

And yet … when Trump was in office, Melania was often seen in a sleeveless dress and not a word was said.  Even worse …

Melania-nude

And believe me, there are far more disgusting nude photos of Ms. Trump from her days as a nude model, but I refuse to put such garbage on my blog.  Yet, people were more horrified at seeing Michelle Obama in a rather sedate, black, sleeveless dress and President Obama in a tan suit.  And now, Joe Biden is to be criticized and denigrated for the the timepiece on his arm!

If the biggest thing the media and the fools who spend half their days on social media have to worry about is the brand of Joe Biden’s watch, then this country is in serious trouble, my friends.  To those who care … I say, “Get A LIFE!”

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Bye Trump, Hello Biden

While I always appreciate the talent of the political cartoonists, being able to comprehend a situation and relate it with few or no words, only drawings, of late I have found that rather than lighten my mood or make me smile, the political cartoons have been somewhat dark and depressing.  Well, they do reflect our reality, which has also been dark and depressing, so what should I expect, right?  But this week’s ‘toons are different … I actually smiled and found humour in them!  Gee … I wonder what’s changed?

As she does every Saturday, TokyoSand has searched the world over and found the best selection to bring to us.  Thank you, TS, for your hard work and diligence, and for your permission to share!

pol-toon-2pol-toon-3pol-toon-4pol-toon-5pol-toon-6pol-toon-7

See All The ‘Toons!

Still Plenty Of Material For Snarky Snippets

After the 2020 election, when Joe Biden won the presidency, I wondered if I would have to retire my ‘snarky snippets’ posts, for surely there wouldn’t be much to snark about.  I was delusional … it seems that there will always be something to set off the snarkometer!

snarky-3


Say WHAT???

I was incensed yesterday when I heard that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, asked about who was to blame for the terrorist attacks on the Capitol on January 6th, said …

“I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility.”

Say WHAT???

Oh no, sir, you are dead wrong in that!  The fools who participated are to blame, and the bigger fool who incited them is to blame.  You Republican members of Congress who stood silently by for the last four years, allowing Donald Trump to believe that he could get by with literally anything, including inciting a riot must share the blame.  But, the majority of people in this country have not one iota of blame in this fiasco!

Beau of the Fifth Column, always the voice of reason, gives us his take on Mr. McCarthy’s words and I fully agree with him.


A man without a conscience

Another one of the Republican Party’s bigger fools (so many to choose from) is Rand Paul.  Earlier this week, I told you about Paul’s insidious remark that President Biden, in his inauguration speech, had said that all Republicans were white supremacists. Biden neither said nor implied any such thing, but apparently Paul and some of his cohorts are determined to twist and manipulate Biden’s words so that they have something to bitch about.

Well, that apparently wasn’t enough for Mr. Paul, for now he is criticizing the long-overdue and much-needed plan to raise the federal minimum wage rate incrementally to $15 per hour by 2025.  Criticizing is one thing, but in order to support his critique, Mr. Paul found it necessary to tell a few big lies.

“But also raising the minimum wage to $15, I think, will also — the government estimates are close to 4 million people will lose their jobs. Particularly hurt among this are minorities and black teenagers, particularly with high unemployment.”

“So raising our taxes will cause corporations to flee, but if you mandate what the wages are, if you mandate a minimum wage of $15, it’s not like everybody gets $15. The people who still have a job get $15, but many people will become unemployed. In fact, government statistics say almost 4 million people will lose their jobs if you mandate a $15 an hour job minimum wage.”

Well, Mr. Paul, the truth is that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate, the 4 million jobs was the highest possible, but at the low end of the analysis was that zero jobs would be lost.  Frankly, I don’t see a company making money hand-over-fist shutting down just because they have to spend a bit more to pay their employees.  Mr. Paul’s own base salary of $174,000 per year breaks down to $85.29 per hour! 

H.R. 582, also known as the Raise the Wage Act, was passed by the House in July 2019, with only three republicans voting for it, and then it died in the Senate without even being considered. It would incrementally raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 — where it has been set since 2009 — to $15 by 2025.

Let’s be very clear here … the objections by Mr. Paul and other republicans are lodged only because their big-money corporate donors are against anything that would cut into their profits.  Rand Paul is owned, lock stock & barrel, by corporations such as Koch Industries and others.  He doesn’t speak for We the People, he speaks only on behalf of wealthy corporations and CEOs.  Anything that would reduce their profit by so much as a lousy dollar is going to be fought by the republicans who are slaves to the wealthiest 1% of the people in this nation.

toon-minimum-wageThink about this … the person who is paid minimum wage earns a full-time annual salary of $14,790.  Could you live on that?  Hell, my rent alone comes to $14,640 per year, and I live in a lower-income area!  If I earned minimum wage, it would leave me $150 to pay utilities, car payment, fuel, insurance, and buy food for a full year.  C’mon, Mr. Paul – get real!  Think about the rest of the people in this country, not just your wealthy donors.  Better yet, how ‘bout you just step down from Congress … go home to Kentucky and live happily ever after on your $2.58 million net worth and let those who have both a brain and a conscience govern the nation.

If companies who are making millions of dollars in profit, yet paying almost no taxes, cannot even pay a living wage to their employees, then they do not deserve to be in business.  It is my hope that President Biden and the members of both chambers of Congress will take their hands out of the till long enough to do the right thing for the people of this nation and pass the $15 an hour minimum wage bill.  If they don’t, then perhaps it’s time for a nationwide strike.

Hank Aaron – quiet dignity, quiet strength

I had planned to write a tribute post to baseball’s legendary Henry (Hank) Aaron this afternoon, but as often happens when great minds think alike, Keith was on the same page, only he beat me to the punch and did it every bit as well as I could have. Thank you, Keith, for this lovely tribute to a man who was not only a great baseball player, but also a great human being.

musingsofanoldfart

A great baseball player passed away yesterday. His name was Henry Aaron, but he went by Hank. He was a very quiet man growing up in the south in the middle of the Jim Crow era. But, arguably he is on a very short list of the greatest baseball players ever.

Rather than bore non-baseball fans with endless statistics indicating how great he was, let me focus on how poorly this African-American was treated as he chased records set by white ball players. He received multiple death threats and family kidnapping threats and was openly called the N word both aloud and within the many letters of vicious hate mail.

Like Jackie Robinson before him, he took all of this with quiet dignity and a heavy dose of quiet strength. Racism and bigotry was dumped on this man like garbage. But, he stood strong.

When he chased the greatest of…

View original post 240 more words

Some Positive Signs …

Okay, friends … Joe Biden has been in office for less than 48 hours, and already I see positive signs coming from the White House.  Let’s look at a couple …


Once again, science matters

Joe Biden promised to listen to the scientists and the experts, unlike his predecessor, and he is doing just that.  First off, he offered Dr. Anthony Fauci the position of Chief Medical Advisor, which Fauci gladly accepted.  It is encouraging to hear Dr. Fauci, the nation’s foremost infectious disease specialist, say …

“One of the new things in this administration is, if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess.  Just say you don’t know the answer. The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know and what the science is … it is something of a liberating feeling.”

Yesterday morning, Dr. Fauci spoke to the executive board of the World Health Organization, and was able to tell them that the United States would not be following through with Mr. Trump’s demand to leave the group in the middle of a pandemic.  I, for one, breathe a sigh of relief for that one.

Isn’t it grand to know that our president doesn’t think he’s such a stable genius that he knows everything about … well, everything?  We can trust that President Biden will listen to the scientists, the experts, on such things as the pandemic and climate change.


And speaking of the pandemic …

President Biden unveiled his national strategy to conquer the pandemic, to save our lives.  If this sort of action had been taken a year ago, hundreds of thousands of lives almost certainly would have been saved.

The orders included new requirements for masks on interstate planes, trains and buses, as well as in all federal facilities.  I guess this means you, too, members of Congress!  He also calls for the creation of a national testing board and mandatory quarantines for international travelers arriving in the United States.

But Biden pulled no punches, he was brutally honest (oh isn’t that so refreshing?) when he admitted, “The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated,” and when he said that US deaths from the pandemic will likely reach 500,000 by February.  Honesty.  From the president.  WOW!  Just WOW!


Transparency & truth … FINALLY!

Her name is Jen Psaki, pronounced SOCK-ee, and she is President Biden’s press secretary.  She is more than qualified for the job, having served in a number of communications positions in the Obama administration, including as a spokeswoman at the State Department, where she was comfortable delivering lengthy, policy-heavy briefings in a role often held by career foreign policy officials. And she was popular with Washington reporters.

She has already given her first press briefing, and while I only listened to a brief clip, the first few minutes, one word jumped out:  transparency.

“If the president were standing here with me today, he would say he works for the American people. I work for him, so I also work for the American people, but his objective and his commitment is to bring transparency and truth back to government, to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.”

It brings a tear to my eyes to hear the words ‘transparency’ and ‘truth’ spoken by the press secretary, after four years and five … or was it six? … different press secretaries all telling thousands of lies, accusing reporters of bias, or simply not communicating at all.


A short bit of a rant

I hate to sully an otherwise upbeat post with a min-rant, but I simply must vent a bit on this one …

I understand that ol’ Mitch McConnell has ‘suggested’ that the impeachment trial for Donald Trump be pushed back to February in order to give Trump time to prepare his defense.  I have only one question:  why should we be fair to the ‘man’ who put us through hell and caused us grief every single day for four solid years?  There can be no defense for the impeachment charge, the charge of inciting an attempted overthrow of a legitimate, fair, and honest election.

Oh sure, some high-priced lawyers will try to spin it, to put in in such a light that Trump’s words were not incitement.  But we all know better.  We all know that he had been planning that last-ditch attempt to silence the people of this nation and seize power as an authoritarian dictator for some time, and those people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th were his pawns, they were inspired to do his dirty work for him.  No, there can be no defense against what he did, so why wait?  Hold the trial now, convict him, and ensure that he can never again destroy this nation and our lives.

Donald Trump is guilty of treason, for he betrayed a sacred trust, broke his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, and put this nation in grave jeopardy in more ways than one.  The charge of inciting violence is a mild one compared to what he could have legitimately been charged with.  He must be convicted on that charge, and as soon as possible in order for this nation to fully breathe easily again, in order for us to move on and begin to heal.