Ranting … Again

I am disappointed and angry at a large portion of the people in this nation.  I really thought we were better than this, but the number of people who simply have zero concern for others is … overwhelming.  Those who still, five months after the election, have their heads stuck up their rears is astounding, but worse yet … compassion among those same people is dead.  I hope … I sincerely hope … that this nation can mend its broken fences, that people can learn to live together without hatred and bigotry, but each and every day the news makes that hope seem less and less possible.  I have three snarky snippets tonight … the first one is just for laughs, but the other two have sent me even deeper into the rabbit hole.


Still good for a few laughs

You just have to laugh when you read that former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says that liars should be held accountable.  When McEnany took over the job of press secretary, the very first words out of her mouth were her first public lie … she said she would never lie to the press, and then she proceeded to tell lie after lie after lie.  So … should she be held accountable?  McEnany now works for … wait for it … Fox ‘News’, and as such she appeared on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss the controversy surrounding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis …

“It’s just really important to point out that the standard is so high to hold any of these news organizations accountable. You have to prove intentional malice. It is extremely hard to prove. It’s why 60 Minutes — It’s why the left, MSNBC, CNN, they get away with murder each and every day. They can say whatever they want because you can’t hold them accountable. It’s a travesty.”

Right, Kayleigh, and can we now hold you accountable for the hundreds of lies you told in your relatively brief tenure as press secretary?  How many lies did you attempt to feed the public, using the press as your bullhorn?  What a hypocrite!


Where did they leave their brains?

Yes, I know that rage and fury are self-defeating, that they don’t help anything.  But I made the mistake of looking at comments on one of President Biden’s tweets this afternoon and … I am furious at the ignorance, the stupidity, the blindness of some in this ‘country’.

The comments were on President Biden’s tweet reading …

Not one damn thing that should stir controversy there, right?  Not like the tweets of the former guy who cursed, lied, denigrated others, incited violence, and ranted in nearly every one of the tens of thousands of tweets he posted.  But yet, leave it to the fools and idiots to find a way to bitch …

And it went on and on and on.  You’ll note that not a single one of these actually addresses the topic of Biden’s tweet, but rather go off on their own agenda.  Yes, there were some positive comments, but at the time I saw the post, the negative outweighed the positive by about 2-to-1.  Is this really the nation we’ve become???  If it is, I want out … NOW!

Do these freaks not understand that they drive over those unsafe bridges, they ride the unsafe railways, they drink the damn tap water that is contaminated with lead?  Are they really so damned stupid?  Yes, the answer is obvious … it was, after all, a rhetorical question. 

As I see it, there is no longer a “United States”, only a conglomeration of states peopled with both intelligent people of good conscience, fools like those above, and the majority of us somewhere in between.  I cannot be united with someone who, despite overwhelming proof and evidence, still claims last year’s election was “rigged”.  I cannot be a citizen of the same country as a person who is so ignorant that they are shooting themselves and their children in the foot by fighting against policies that will help them, their families, and future generations.  I cannot … I will not.

Naturally, I responded with my own snarky brand of vitriol … thus far, I haven’t been suspended from Twitter … yet.  Don’t really care if I am, if they are given over to the fools who haven’t got brains in their heads!


They’re CHILDREN, for Pete’s sake!

A child is a child, whether it’s your child or mine, whether it’s a John or a Jill, whether it is dark-skinned or light, whether it wears its hair in braids or has a buzz cut.  A child is a child and they are, each and every one, precious.  They are the future of this world, if in fact the world as we know it has a future.  And yet … the folks over at Fox ‘News’ seem to think otherwise.

Last month, the San Diego County Office of Education put out a completely voluntary call asking teachers in the region for their time. The reason: the city’s convention center will be holding as many as 1,450 unaccompanied children, all girls, as sponsors (usually a relative already here) are sought out for them. “We want to instill hope, instill joy, and show care for our students while they are with us, no matter if that’s for a few days or a few months,” San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold said according to Border Report.

By the end of the month, about a dozen teachers had signed up to volunteer their time, some of it likely after day hours, for these children.  A dozen???  That’s all?  Only a dozen out of how many thousands in the area?  But to the point … Fox ‘News’ seems to have a problem with this and decided to make it a target of their never-ending bigotry.  Their headline read …

“San Diego public school teachers to give migrant kids in-person instruction before their own students.”

The article included a quote from a parent in San Diego, who said that “what is happening right now is immoral” and asked, “Why are taxpaying students put last?” The article also quoted Rep. Darrell Issa, a U.S. Representative from California, who said, “The decision to provide in-person instruction to illegal migrants is outrageous and parents have every right to be angry.” 

Fox anchors Shannon Bream and Bill Hemmer both treated the story as if they had uncovered some mass criminal investigation … the education of children.  Wow, way to show compassion, Fox!  But it didn’t end there, and to date Fox has covered this story some 30 times!  For additional details, check out the full story on Media Matters

Mitch McConnell Likes Falling Bridges!

Throughout President Obama’s eight year tenure, one man stood out as the biggest hurdle to anything and everything Obama and his team proposed.  That man, of course, is the ignoble Mitch McConnell … the poster boy for why we need term limits.  McConnell’s power is far greater than it should be and when he pledges obstruction, you can count on him destroying everything in his path … even our lives.

Most recently, McConnell has pledged to do everything in his power to keep the infrastructure bill from seeing the light of day in the Senate.  Frank Bruni, writing for the New York Times, addresses the infrastructure bill and McConnell’s self-serving intended obstruction in his latest newsletter …


Mitch McConnell, Fickle Fiscal Prude

By Frank Bruni

Opinion Columnist

The numbers stagger me too.

President Biden is promoting more than $2 trillion for infrastructure (loosely defined). He signed legislation for $1.9 trillion for pandemic relief, economic stimulus and anti-poverty initiatives.

All of this comes after the Trump administration’s mammoth relief-and-stimulus spending in 2020, and all of this precedes what will almost certainly be yet more requests for additional trillions from the Biden administration.

We’re in uncharted waters. Experts offering assurances that all will be well — or even better than well — are giving us their best educated guesses. No one — not the cheerleaders, not the naysayers — truly knows how this will all turn out.

But here’s the thing: At some point you have to pick a path, choose a side, place your bet. In many instances the potential price of a flawed wager is almost certainly less steep than the cost of inaction. This instance, I think, is one of those. Maybe America will go too big in the end. But too small hasn’t worked for us.

Too small led to the economic dispossession and pessimism exploited by a junior-league demagogue and would-be despot who hurt this country gravely. Too small factored into our shameful and unsustainable degree of income inequality.

Too small was a culprit in America’s world-leading number of coronavirus infections and Covid-related deaths last year. By contrast, too big — or rather, big — was a partner in the speedy development and distribution of vaccines.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, has pledged to fight Biden’s infrastructure package “every step of the way,” as a sudden defender of fiscal discipline. I say “sudden” because his attachment to it over the past few years, before Biden took office, was as steady as a Slinky.

He was perfectly happy to run up the federal debt to stay in good with President Donald Trump, who wanted tax cuts and more gleaming military hardware. Now? We mustn’t leave crippling bills to our children and grandchildren! How horridly gluttonous! How downright immoral!

How utterly laughable. The truth about most politicians and spending is that they’re for it if the outlays bolster their electoral fortunes and against it if the other side may have more to gain. They’re not in thrall to some fixed economic ideology. They’re bound to partisan rivalries and enamored of ideological fashions of the moment.

Remember all of those fiscally principled Tea Party candidates who rocked the Republican Party and swarmed to Washington in 2010? That didn’t turn out to be any kind of revolution. Many of those candidates, along with most other Republicans, exiled their thriftiness when President Barack Obama exited the White House, then embraced Trump in all of his profligacy.

But back to infrastructure and Biden’s big-ticket legislation. Over recent decades of congressional sclerosis, America has fallen behind and imperiled its future prosperity. We’ve no choice but to catch up, and catching up, I believe, will cost more than McConnell is willing to agree to. It may cost even more than Biden is pitching.

Or not. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that the choice is between overdoing and underdoing. That it’s that clear, that stark. I’d vote for overdoing. We haven’t tried that in a while.

And my read of the American mood right now is that people are frustrated with the status quo and the timidity of politicians too focused on one another to focus on everyone else. There’s a hankering for movement of some kind — of any kind. There’s an appetite for boldness. Let’s feed it.

♫ Man In The Mirror ♫ (Redux)

I don’t know if it is a product of my dark mood of late, or of everything happening in the world at the moment, but it seems that recently my songs have been ones that carry a message rather than upbeat, fun songs.  Tonight’s song is no exception.  I first played this one nearly two years ago, June 2019, and today it speaks to me just as much as it did then.  At that time, we were seeing human rights crimes against humanity on our southern border ordered and directed by the then-president.  Today, we are seeing mass shootings, hate crimes against Asian-Americans and Blacks, and massive attempts to undermine our democratic foundation by taking away our right to voteDOES IT NEVER END????  Can we humans never just learn to live in peace and accept each other as we are???  Imagine what we could accomplish if we all pulled together instead of engaging in hatred and bigotry …


Say what you will about Michael Jackson … love him or hate him … he had a voice and he often used it to try to open our eyes to the social injustices he saw around him.

Released in January 1988, this song is about making a change and realizing that it has to start with you.  The song was written by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard; Garrett also sang backup on the track.  According to Garrett …

“The song was deeper than just the visual of a man looking at himself in the mirror. It was that, juxtaposed with the idea of a man going deeper inside himself to change from within. To make a difference on the outside, you have to first start from within. So I think that Michael just got it… he got the meaning of the song right away.”

The single sleeve for Man in the Mirror contains a dedication to Yoshiaki Ogiwara, a five-year-old boy from Takasaki, Gunma, Japan who was kidnapped and murdered in September 1987. Jackson was touring Japan at the time and dedicated concerts in Osaka and Yokohama to Yoshiaki’s memory.

Pay attention to the lyrics … think about what they say.  WE are the winds of change, but only if we choose to be.  I want to be that ‘man in the mirror’ … well, okay, perhaps that ‘woman in the mirror’.  Music should entertain … most often I think it should take us away from our troubles.  But sometimes, maybe music should prick our consciences, remind us of our duty to humanity, to ourselves.  Sometimes maybe it should open our eyes … our ears … our hearts.

Man in the Mirror
Michael Jackson

I’m gonna make a change,
For once I’m my life
It’s gonna feel real good,
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

As I, turn up the collar on
My favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard, a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go
That’s why I want you to know

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways, ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that
(Take a look at yourself and then make that)
Change!

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you want to make the world a better place)

You can’t close your, your mind!
(Then you close your, mind!)
That man, that man, that man, that man
With the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
That man, that man, that man,
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
You know, that man
No message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself and then make the change
(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah
(Ooh)
Oh no, no no

I’m gonna make a change
It’s gonna feel real good!
Come on!
(Change)
Just lift yourself
You know
You’ve got to stop it,
Yourself!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
I’ve got to make that change, today!
Hoo!
(Man in the mirror)
You got to
You got to not let yourself
Brother
Hoo!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
You know I’ve got to get
That man, that man

You’ve got to
You’ve got to move! Come on!
Come on!
You got to

Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!
(Yeah! Make that change)
Stand up and lift yourself, now!
(Man in the mirror)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Aw!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
Gonna make that change

Come on!
You know it!
You know it!
You know it!
You know it
(Change)
Make that change.

Songwriters: Glen Ballard / Siedah Garrett
Man in the Mirror lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management, Songtrust Ave

Good People Doing Good Things … Overflowing Love

Some weeks putting together the good people post is a challenge, but this week … I have so many good people they are overflowing the bucket!  So, let’s jump right in …


A young man gives back …

Ashis Dhakal immigrated to the U.S., Salt Lake City, Utah, to be exact, at the age of 18 after spending years in a refugee camp in Nepal.  His first experiences were trying, being bullied at school because of both his ethnicity and his Hinduism, but Ashis dealt with it and still wanted to ‘give back’ to the community that was now his.

“I got bullied in school … they called me a terrorist and stuff like that. I practice Hinduism, and in Hinduism, service is very, very important, because, you know, we’re taught to give, and even if you don’t have anything, we try to give as much as we can.”

A few years ago, while working at a local KFC, he met a man who was homeless. While cleaning tables, Dhakal and the man connected, and the man shared his story about how he became homeless.  And all at once, an idea was born.

“One of the necessities he needed was clothes, and so that’s where I got the idea.”

Ashis Collects Clothes hosted its first clothing drive in 2019. Dhakal collected everything, including socks, hats, jackets, coats and shoes.

“With that project, I was able to bring so many people together and change so many lives. My biggest ‘why’ in my life is that as a young child, going through poverty, I was in the same shoes as they were in right now. I have a house. I have a computer now. I have a phone. But think about it. Those kids are still suffering. What I can do is better others so that, you know, they can give back to their community.”

For Dhakal, Ashis Collects Clothes is just a start: In the future, he wants to own a multimillion-dollar business that focuses on giving its money away to help others.  There is more to Ashis’ story and I encourage you to check out his Facebook page (link above) and his story as reported on MSN.


New parents … again!

I’d like to introduce you to Pam and Gary Willis.

Pam and Gary recently became new parents … to a family of seven children, ranging in age from four to fifteen.  Pam and Gary had already raised one family and were what is known as ‘empty nesters’, with their five children grown and gone from the nest, when one day Pam read an article about seven siblings from San Diego who had lost both their parents in a car crash. They needed a home, but even if they found one, they would likely be separated.  Says Pam …

“In that instant, their sweet smiling faces jumped off of the screen and into my heart. That evening I asked my husband if he’d seen the post. ‘Yes’, he said. ‘We should adopt them’. My heart stopped. ‘We should’, I said. We knew deep inside that this mission was being placed before us. If not us, then who?

They had been in foster care for a year since their parents had been killed in the car accident that they all had miraculously survived.

Who would keep them all together? Who would have the space for them? Who would have the time, and the love, and the patience for their trauma? The answer was clear… we would. Why else did we have a six bedroom house that was about to have it’s last child’s bedroom vacated? Why else would our nest that had raised our first five babies be empty just in time? It was only to make room for our new babies. They were ours from the minute we saw their faces on the news story.”

It took time and patience to go through the process, jump through the hoops, and maneuver through the mounds of red tape, but last June Pam and Gary brought the children home.

“We have never looked back since the day we met them and never doubted what we’re doing is the right thing to do. I have noticed how incredibly happy they are and that makes me so happy too, because that’s all we ask for. The oldest of the seven, Adelino, said to me recently, ‘Thank you for giving us this life,’ and there is no other feeling like that.”

Two thumbs up to these two caring, wonderful people for their courage and their love to these 7 young children.


Joshua Morris is a Delaware State Trooper … one with a huge heart!  Periodically, Trooper Morris drops by the local basketball court where the kids hang out and shoots a few baskets with them.  Recently, one of the kids on the court, 9-year-old Ra’kir Allen, shot a video of Morris and the kids having a bit of fun and the video went viral, as they say.

In the video, young Allen can be heard cheering for Trooper Morris …

“Oh that’s Curry, that’s Curry, that’s Curry!” yells Allen, comparing the officer to NBA Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry.

And it was that enthusiasm, coupled with the comparison to Curry, that inspired Trooper Morris to do what he did.  After speaking with Ra’kir’s mother, he went out and bought Ra’kir a pair of Curry sneakers (trainers for my Brit friends).  You have to see the video to feel the love, the joy, the excitement …

But that wasn’t all … he included a $50 bill in the left shoe.  Now, before joining the force, Trooper Morris earned his Master’s degree in Education, so … he understand kids and says he believes that police should never be strangers in the communities they serve.

“When he laces up those sneakers, he has somebody who believes in him. He has somebody who loves him. He has somebody that will be kind to him.”

THIS, my friends, is what police officers around the country should be doing.  They could earn so much trust and respect if only they gave some, showed they care.  My hat is off to Trooper Joshua Morris!


I had more, but I will save the rest for next week, for it’s late and I’m very tired.  I hope you enjoyed this week’s good people … I certainly did.

♫ For What It’s Worth ♫ (Redux)

A few days ago, someone mentioned this song and it has stuck in my head ever since.  I didn’t think I had already played it, but it turns out I did … just over a year ago in March 2020.  I think this is especially relevant and timely since there is currently a bill before Parliament in the United Kingdom that would, among other things, give police the right to bar unauthorized encampments and detain protesters if gatherings are deemed a “public nuisance.” The new legislation, pending in Parliament, could also impose noise limits and set start and finish times on demonstrations.  There have been numerous protests against this bill, and last weekend at least 26 protestors were detained by police.  Seems this song never loses its relevance, eh?


meme-1

Written by Buffalo Springfield guitarist Stephen Stills, later of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, this song was not about anti-war gatherings, but rather youth gatherings protesting anti-loitering laws, and the closing of the West Hollywood nightclub Pandora’s Box. Stills was not there when they closed the club, but had heard about it from his bandmates.

In the book Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History, Stephen Stills tells the story of this song’s origin:

“I had had something kicking around in my head. I wanted to write something about the kids that were on the line over in Southeast Asia that didn’t have anything to do with the device of this mission, which was unraveling before our eyes. Then we came down to Sunset from my place on Topanga with a guy – I can’t remember his name – and there’s a funeral for a bar, one of the favorite spots for high school and UCLA kids to go and dance and listen to music.

[Officials] decided to call out the official riot police because there’s three thousand kids sort of standing out in the street; there’s no looting, there’s no nothing. It’s everybody having a hang to close this bar. A whole company of black and white LAPD in full Macedonian battle array in shields and helmets and all that, and they’re lined up across the street, and I just went ‘Whoa! Why are they doing this?’ There was no reason for it. I went back to Topanga, and that other song turned into ‘For What It’s Worth,’ and it took as long to write as it took me to settle on the changes and write the lyrics down. It all came as a piece, and it took about fifteen minutes.”

Buffalo Springfield was the band’s first album, and this song was not originally included on it. After For What It’s Worth became a hit single, it replaced Baby Don’t Scold Me on re-issues of the album.

For What It’s Worth
Buffalo Springfield

There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking’ their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

We better stop
Now, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

We better stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

Writer/s: Stephen Stills
Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Still More Never-Ending Snarky

The snark-o-meter is still running high and needs a release … fasten your seat belts!


Does free speech cover incitement to violence?

Justice Clarence Thomas is apparently upset about social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook banning the former guy from their platforms.  Oh REALLY, Clarence???  He, along with your nasty wife Ginny set a marvelous example for the youth in this country, teaching them that violence is the way to solve the problems of the world!  For any who may not be aware, Thomas’ wife endorsed the attacks on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  She later, no doubt as the Justice was coming under some fire as a result of her actions, apologized to the Court saying she had no right to “impose [her] passions” on them.  So, her ‘passion’ is to overthrow the government, killing police officers and others in the process?  Where the hell did he find this ‘wife’ and why isn’t she in jail with the rest of them?

Justice Thomas (whose salary we pay) had nothing better to do with his time than to write a 12-page diatribe about the power of social media firms like Twitter.  Thomas’ opinion amounts to an invitation to Congress to declare Twitter, Facebook and similar companies “common carriers,” essentially requiring them to host all customers regardless of their views.  Note, please, that it wasn’t the former asshole’s views that got him in trouble, but his inciting a riot, inciting a takeover of the legitimate, elected government by white supremacist madmen for his own nefarious purposes!

While I don’t always agree with nor appreciate the lax and uneven attitude these social media sites take toward hate speech and destructive verbiage, I do see that they are at least making an effort.  If Thomas has his way, then we will also have to make it legal for a person to scream “BOMB” on an airplane or “FIRE” in a crowded theater … both currently crimes under the law.  Justice Thomas apparently believes there should be absolutely zero limits on free speech.  So, if I call for somebody to please shoot the former guy, then that’s okay, right Clarence?

Funny, isn’t it, that Justice Thomas supported the Masterpiece Cake Shop’s right to refuse service to a LGBT person, but he doesn’t support Twitter’s right to refuse ‘service’ to a person who is inciting violence.  Methinks the Justice has his priorities skewed a bit.


A brief pet peeve …

We all use acronyms … a set of letters that stand for something, such as EPA for Environmental Protection Agency, FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation.  In common vernacular, there is WTF for What the F**k, SOB for Son of a Bitch, etc.  I get it, I grew up with most of those, and the ones for governmental agencies are so well-known that we rarely think twice about them.  But people!  Draw a line somewhere!!!

I popped into Twitter tonight and saw a post about the recent ruling of the Senate Parliamentarian that will give more leeway in the Senate to avoid a filibuster, but the tweeter said it was BFD.  So, I was confused as to whether he was pro or con … what the Sam Hell is a BFD???  Pretty soon, our speech is going to consist of nothing more than acronyms!  HhaymniJ (Hi how are you my name is Jill).  BFD … Balanced Feeding Development?  Bored Fireman’s Dance?  Bring Food Down?  I commented on the man’s post that while I am grateful for the fact that more legislation will be able to pass through the Senate sans filibuster, I am nearly 70 years old and for the sake of the people in my generation, might he possibly use whole words.


Infrastructure, anyone?

Everyone, even congressional Republicans, agree that the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and badly in need of an overhaul.  Yes, even Republicans such as Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and Senator Roger Wicker also of Mississippi have expressed their state’s dire need for money to repair roadways, bridges, water supply lines and more.  But, of course, anything that is proposed by President Biden will get a red light from these same people.  I’m tempted to say, “Fine, let the whole damn thing fall down around our ears and then see what happens to that damned economy you’re all so worried about.”  But of course, the people who would suffer if that were to happen are not those rich dudes in Washington but the poorest among us out here in the field.  Which is at least part of the reason they can sit on their fat posteriors and do nothing about anything – it doesn’t affect them.

So, do you know why the Republicans claim not to like President Biden’s infrastructure bill?  C’mon … take a wild guess.  Yep, you got it … because it would mean a tax increase on their big corporate donors, and probably hit their own pocketbook as well.  If you spend money to repair an Interstate highway or run new water lines to Flint, Michigan, then that money has to come from somewhere, right?  Right now, corporations and rich assholes are paying almost nothing … some actually pay nothing … in federal income taxes.  President Biden seeks to change that and let the rich pay their way for a change.  The Republicans in Congress have no doubt been warned by their big-money donors not to vote for this.

Biden’s proposal actually leaves them with nearly half of the tax cuts they received in 2017, raising their effective tax rate to only 28%, rather than the 39% it was in 2016 and years prior.  The current federal tax rate for corporations is only 8.84% … far less than most middle-income earners pay!

Despite corporations receiving huge tax cuts in 2017, I did some quick and dirty calculations on a per-item basis the other day and the price of food has increased between 25% and 40% since 2017.  Now … ‘splain that one, Lucy!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Filosofa’s “Ask Me Again” Snarky Snippets

Filosofa is full of snark these days.  Sure, I’m pleased with most of what President Biden is doing, but the reality is that the damn fools in the Republican Party, aka the Party of Trump, are attempting to block every single good thing such as infrastructure, voting rights, education and more.


Why build a library if you can’t even read?

Every president, it seems, has a presidential library built after leaving office, but the former guy may not be getting a library dedicated to him.  According to Bloomberg News …

Planning for a library would suggest he’s done being president and that’s not something he’s ready to concede. Trump has publicly dangled the possibility that he will seek the Republican nomination in 2024. Once he says, ‘I am going to be raising money for my library,’ he’s given up even the pretense of trying to run again,” said Anthony Clark, who has written about the politics and history of presidential libraries.  Clark said he doubts that Trump will ever have a presidential library because of how expensive and complicated they are to build, how difficult it is to secure a location and because he didn’t start raising money and planning before leaving office as other presidents did.

One must ask the question … since the former guy does not read, has likely never read an entire book in his lifetime, why the hell would he even want a library?


Cheers to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki!

Fox ‘News’ reporters and personalities just put themselves on the front lines for being mocked.  Most recently …

The day after President Joe Biden’s first press conference last month, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy arrived at the White House press briefing feeling unloved. Having not been called on at the formal Q&A with Biden, and dwelling on his oversized sense of importance, Doocy raised his hand and asked if there is an official White House policy of not calling on him — he wanted to know if there was a coordinated campaign to ignore the Fox staffer constantly in search of a partisan fight.

Looking slightly bemused while giving her patented third-grade-teacher head tilt that conveys a willing patience, but also an unspoken and stinging, “really?”, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki patiently addressed the grievance:

PSAKI:  We’re here having a conversation, aren’t we?

DOOCY: Yes, but.

PSAKI: And do I take questions from you every time you come to the briefing room?

DOOCY: Yes, but…

She soon concluded the back-and-forth by complimenting the reporter on his “awesome socks.” And in another exchange a few weeks ago, Psaki again made her point …

REPORTER: Americans are saying immigrant surges are happening under President Biden’s watch.

PSAKI: Who are the Americans?

REPORTER: The former president.

PSAKI: Former President Trump?

REPORTER: Yes.

PSAKI: We don’t take our advice or counsel from former President Trump.

Ooooohhhhh … good one!  I like this lady!


Fools got more money than sense …

Auto sales were down by, on average, 10% in 2020 as compared to the prior year.  Not surprising with the pandemic that has so many people struggling just to pay the rent and put food on the table.  A new car is probably the last thing on most of our minds.  But, there are a few notable exceptions … luxury cars costing more than $100,000 are selling like hotcakes!

From an article in CNN Business

In the United States, overall passenger car sales were down 10% last year compared to 2019. Even as auto sales recovered strongly in the fourth quarter, they only just matched the pace seen in the fourth quarter of 2019, said Tyson Jominy, vice president for data analytics at J.D. Power.

But sales of cars costing more than $80,000 were almost double in the fourth quarter what they had been the year before. And for cars costing more than $100,000, sales in the US were up 63% that quarter, said Tyson Jominy, vice president for data analytics at J.D. Power.

“There’s a fairly fantastic wealth effect going on,” Jominy added.

“I’ve been in this business 40 years and I’ve never seen it like this,” said Brian Miller, president of Manhattan Motors, a high-end dealership that sells Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Bugattis, among other ultra-luxury brands.

Miller credits the boom, in part, to people sitting around with not much else to do but look at expensive cars on the Internet.

And yet, in January luxury automakers Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lamborghini were asking the federal government to reduce taxes on luxury autos, saying the premium segment of the auto industry has not been able to grow due to high taxation besides being hit hard by coronavirus.  Hmmmm … something wrong with this picture!

Fools!  Ask me again why I’m not a fan of people with great wealth.


And in Iowa …

It is now legal to own and carry a gun without a permit, without a background check.  Yep, you heard me right.  The Des Moines Register reports:

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a law allowing people to buy and carry handguns in Iowa without a permit, fulfilling a longtime goal of gun rights advocates. The law, which some advocates call “constitutional carry,” will take effect July 1.

Democrats and gun violence prevention groups say the law will roll back background checks on handgun sales between private citizens.

That’s because, under current law, Iowans must pass a background check to obtain a permit to carry or acquire a handgun before they can legally buy one in a private sale.

Welcome to the United States where killing is a popular hobby supported in full by the Republican Party.  Ask me again why I’m in a funk these days.

♫ Get Together ♫ (Redux)

Tonight, after reading Keith’s post, I really wanted to play Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train”, but I just played it 4 months ago and that’s a little soon for a redux.  Still, I wanted a song that carried the message of peace, of ‘live and let live’, of caring about our fellow humans, of acceptance for who we are.  The United States today is a depressing place to live — so much hatred that you can almost feel it in the air.  They say that ‘music hath charms to soothe the savage beast’, so if that’s the case, then maybe songs like this one can help.  I don’t know, but … I have to try.


The idea for tonight’s song was planted in my brain by our friend rawgod … he mentioned the song in a comment, and as soon as I read it, I knew this was to be my song of the day.  I had been searching for something meaningful, something that spoke to the times we are all, both in and out of the U.S., going through.  Racism, intolerance, autocratic leaders, populism, white supremacy, social discord and unrest.  This song came from the 1960s … Vietnam War protests, the ‘Summer of Love’, cries for Peace.

The song has quite a history and seems to have been covered by every musician for a decade or two, but the history is so long that I am disinclined to put it on this post.  However, if you’re interested, check it out on SongFacts.  The version that most remember, and the one I like best, is by the Youngbloods.  I was torn between two very different videos … one a compilation of scenes from the 60s, and the other a studio version.  Since I couldn’t decide, I am posting both for you to choose or watch both if you wish.  The message is the same, either way:  peace and brotherhood, love over fear & hate.

Get Together
The Youngbloods

Love is but a song to sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

I said, come on people now

Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Right now
Right now

Songwriters: Chester Powers / Chester William Jr. Powers
Get Together lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

A Bit Of This … ‘N That

I receive a number of emails each week alerting me to newly-published, or about-to-be-published books of all genres.  Most I simply skim, usually find one or two that I look more closely at, but only rarely buy one, for I have a backlog of books on my TBR (to-be-read) list already and little time for reading these days.  This week, however, there was one that caught my eye, in the least likely genre:  children’s picture books!

Curiosity stirred, I read the brief description …

From an award-winning team, a tale about a cat and a dog who discover that even though they don’t look at things the same way, they can still be friends.

In today’s divisive climate … isn’t this just brilliant?  Teaching children at a young age to work through their differences, to overcome them and move on, remaining friends.

The author, Anna Kang, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize! A slightly longer description on Amazon …

Hudson and Tallulah may be neighbors, but the fence between their yards isn’t the only thing that divides them. They can’t see eye to eye on anything. One day they venture out, and after nonstop disagreement, they realize something surprising: they don’t always have to agree to be on each other’s side.

Inspired by a story their daughter Lily wrote in the second grade, the author and illustrator of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small have created a tale of finding common ground when you least expect it—and using it as a stepping-stone to friendship.

This book is a must-read for every child … heck, I think it should be required reading in schools, and maybe every member of Congress should be forced to read it and report on it!  In fact, you and I should read it!  I downloaded a free copy to my Kindle that I will be reading tonight … how ‘bout you?


Yesterday, the Capitol was under lockdown for over two hours after a person attempted to ram his car through a barrier in front of the Capitol, hitting two Capitol Police officers, killing one.  Officer William F. Evans was an 18-year veteran of the force who was part of the First Responder’s Unit.  The other officer, who has not as of this writing been named, is in serious but stable condition.  The attacker was shot dead by police.

Not for one solitary minute did I believe that the attacks on January 6th were to be the last, and especially after they were applauded and excused by so many after-the-fact.  Yesterday’s attack was … well, obviously there was no planning and it was a single perpetrator, not a well-planned action by the likes of “Proud Boys,” “Oath Keepers” or other domestic terrorist groups.  Thankfully, else far worse damage and loss of life might have occurred.

Is this to become our new ‘norm’ then?  Has the door been opened and the dogs let out to kill and maim those whose job it is to protect our elected officials?  Is it likely that at some point, there will be another serious breach and our lawmakers themselves will be killed or injured by people whose rage against our government has been fueled by the likes of Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, congressional newbies Boebert/Greene/Cawthorn/Hawley, and the former guy, to name only a few?

Is this the nation you want to live in?  A nation where our legislators’ lives are in danger every single day, where our very government is being threatened by freaks like this one …

How do we end this madness?  There is a continued threat from many of the major white supremacist groups to attack the Capitol again when President Biden addresses a joint session of Congress.  Must we hold our collective breaths, not knowing for sure that we will still have a government at the end of that day?

I don’t know about you folks, but I’m sick and damn tired of what’s happening in this country.  I don’t see an end in sight but see only more chaos and madness.  If We the People are stupid enough to elect fools and idiots like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Greene, then how … HOW can we ever hope to end the chaos?  I have no answers … if I did, perhaps I wouldn’t lie awake nights worrying, pondering, wondering where we go from here.  But we damn well better be finding a way out of this mess, for many of us won’t survive this decade, perhaps not this year, if we don’t.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

I have only two snippets tonight … one is great news, the other a horrid example of man’s inhumanity to man.  One warms my heart, the other breaks it.


Let me begin with the good …

While Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was signing a bill into law that would effectively disenfranchise over half the population of Georgia so that they will find it almost impossible to vote in next year’s election, just two states to the north, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was preparing to sign into law a bill that does the exact opposite … ensures that every person over the age of 18 is able to vote.

The Voting Rights Act of Virginia aims to eliminate voter suppression and intimidation in the state. Virginia is the first state to enact its own version of the federal Voting Rights Act, while 43 other states are working diligently to keep minorities and the poor away from the polls.  Says the governor …

“At a time when voting rights are under attack across our country, Virginia is expanding access to the ballot box, not restricting it. With the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, our Commonwealth is creating a model for how states can provide comprehensive voter protections that strengthen democracy and the integrity of our elections. I am proud to support this historic legislation, and I urge Congress to follow Virginia’s example.”

The legislation would require local election officials to get feedback through public comment or pre-approval from the attorney general’s office in order to make any changes in voting regulations, according to a release from Northam’s office.

It also requires that local election officials provide voting materials in foreign languages as needed. Individuals who experience voter suppression will also be allowed to sue, where any civil penalties awarded will go toward a newly established Voter Education and Outreach Fund.

The bill comes after Northam restored voting rights to 69,000 former felons through executive action earlier this month.  I realize this is a controversial topic, but in my view, the former felon has paid his dues with a prison sentence, and once he gets out, he is a taxpayer and a citizen just like you or me.  If he’s going to pay taxes in this country, then he must have a voice, a vote.

My hat is off to the Virginia State Legislature and to Governor Ralph Northam for doing everything they can to protect the U.S. Constitution and the people of Virginia.  THIS is a fine example of democratic principles at work.


Now for the bad and the ugly …

Byong Choi died on February 24th at the age of 83 as a result of bone marrow tuberculosis.  He had been a hard-working accountant and restauranteur in Orange Country, California for most of his life.  Due to coronavirus restrictions, his funeral was delayed until March 19th.

The following Monday, Byong Choi’s wife, Yong, 82, received a handwritten, cursive letter at her Leisure World Seal Beach retirement community home postmarked the same date as the funeral …

Read that letter again, please … go ahead, I’ll wait.  What do you feel when you read those hate-filled words?  Broken-hearted?  Enraged?  I felt both, as I’m sure most people with an ounce of human kindness did.

The Seal Beach Police Department in the county has launched an investigation into what it calls an anti-Asian hate crime, but I have doubts the letter-writer will be caught, and if he or she is, they’ll get naught more than a slap on the wrist.  I have no doubt that this was written by one of those white people with a false sense of entitlement who believes their ugly white skin makes them somehow superior, more deserving.

This letter came just days after the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, where 8 people were murdered, six of them women of Asian descent.  And why … why all of a sudden have fat white people taken a dislike to those of Asian heritage?  Because one person called the coronavirus the “China virus” and the “Kung Flu”, thinking he was being cute or funny.  What he did with those words were to set off a chain of events that has targeted Asian-Americans such as the Choi family, the women in Atlanta, and many others.  What he did was criminal.

People … read the damn words on the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty …

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

And yet today, hate crimes against those of Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern descent are at an all-time high.  Those people are vilified by a portion of the country’s white population.  Why?  What the hell makes them think they are better than the rest of us?  I regret to inform you that the United States is no longer the nation it once was, is no longer a port in the stormy sea for those seeking asylum or refuge.  It is time we send the Statue of Liberty back to France, for we no longer deserve it.