A Bit Of This And A Tad Of That

Thirty-six hours left until we once again have a president, a vice-president, and sanity in the White House.  Just 36 hours until we kick the imposter who has been illegitimately occupying our White House, using our money to buy food, to travel all ’round the globe, and to line his own pockets, while destroying this nation with his ignorance and cruelty.  Still … 36 hours … he could still do a lot of damage.  It is said he plans to issue some 100+ pardons today, and I still don’t trust him any farther than I can throw a feather.  But soon, my friends, we will be shed of him … hopefully forever.  My angst level is at an all-time high tonight, even knowing that 36 hours, only 2,160 minutes, and the source of much of my angst will head to Florida where hopefully he will be eaten by a shark!  The angst I feel I know is shared by  many of you, so feel free to add your own bit of snark here!


Domestic terrorists – some you wouldn’t expect

An Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Klete Keller, was one of those arrested for the January 6th terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol.  His friends and former teammates noticed his picture in the footage of the attack and reported him to the FBI.  After being arrested, Keller spoke with his former coach and according to the coach …

“He kept repeating, ‘You’ve done so much for me, and I let you down.’ He kept saying over and over, ‘I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.’”

Then WHY THE SAM HELL did he go there in the first place?  Every single person who was involved in that mob in any way, shape, or form, was there in an attempt to destroy the government, the Capitol, and some even intended to kill our elected legislators.  No, he isn’t to be pitied, for he is a terrorist, a fool, he is the enemy and I hope they lock his ass up for at least a decade.

Among other terrorists who perpetrated the attack on our government on January 6th were a number of law enforcement officials – people whose salary is paid by We the People, people who are hired for the sole purpose of protecting the people of this nation!  I demand they return the last decade’s worth of their salary, for we damn sure lost out there!  Among them are a New Hampshire police chief, a Philadelphia detective, and two Seattle Police Department officers.  These people wanted to kill those members of Congress who we elected.  They hoped to overthrow the government, overthrow the November elections, and install Donald Trump as a dictator.  And to think … we pay them to stab us in the back!

Also represented on January 6th were that group that call themselves the “Proud Boys”, though from their pictures and behaviour, I would say they’ve got nothing to be ‘proud’ of … they look like what they are … a bunch of bigoted, redneck, jobless, slobs with beer bellies, scruffy faces, and guns.  Lots of big guns.  Turns out they have gotten some portion of their funding for such events as the storming of the Capitol from a so-called ‘Christian’ fund-raising site.  In fact, when Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested in Washington on January 4th, he was given more than $113,000 from 2,359 donors on this ‘Christian’ website to help with his bail and legal fees.

I hope that ultimately, every single person who entered the Capitol is arrested and imprisoned for a very long time, for these are not simply protestors, they are domestic terrorists … every one of them … and need to be treated accordingly.  No bail, no plea deals … just orange jumpsuits and prison bars (no, not the kind that serve Canadian Mist).


In other news …

Donald Trump is throwing himself a going away party at Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday morning.  Attendance is by invitation only and the event starts at 8:00 a.m.  He is planning an ostentatious military parade and an official armed forces farewell as the commander-in-chief, as well as a large crowd of supporters, selected backers and current and former officials in his administration and their guests at a huge red-carpet affair. On our tax dollar. However, senior Pentagon officials say that it ain’t gonna happen like he wants.  Awwww … pobre Donnie.

My immediate concern is … this ‘event’ is to be held just a few miles from the Capitol Building where four hours later Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office to become the president and vice president.  Remember January 6th, where Trump used a speech to rile the masses, to incite violence, to urge them to ‘fight’?  Is a repeat performance part of the plan for his ridiculous ‘ceremony’?  It is said that attendance is by invitation only … who is he inviting?  White supremacist groups like the Proud Boys and others?

Any other president who had just been impeached for the second time, would be tucking his tail between his legs and slinking out of town with as little fanfare as possible, but not Trump.  Nope, he has to leave with a big bang … I’m just concerned that the big bang might happen four hours later and a few miles distant.  Federal security officials should shut his event down … throw him on the plane bodily if necessary (it will take a few of them to lift his 330 pound girth) and send him on his way!  Good riddance to bad rubbish!


And speaking of spreading conspiracy …

Remember how Parler, the website frequented by Trump-fanatic, right-wing domestic terrorists, was virtually dead in the water after being dropped by Amazon, Apple, and Google?  Well … they’re baaaaaaack.  And guess who helped them make a comeback, just in time for the inauguration?  DDos-Guard (no, I didn’t stutter), a Russian-owned technology company.  Put that one in your skillet and let it simmer for a while.


Since this post is mainly a rant, I’ll leave you with a bit of humour … dark humour, as it were, but humour nonetheless …

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Honouring Dr. Martin Luther King …

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the United States.  I first wrote this tribute to Dr. King in 2017, and each year I reprise it, with slight changes or minor additions, for I find that it still says exactly what I wish to say.  Given the increase in racism in the United States over the past four years, and particularly last year with the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and with peaceful Black Lives Matter protests being assaulted by law enforcement and white supremacists, I think the above quote seems more apt today than ever before.  So please, take just a minute to, if nothing else, listen once again to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  In these troubled times, it is good to be reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream.


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” 

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

mlk-3Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on 15 January 1929.  He would have been 92 years old last Wednesday, had he lived. On this day, we celebrate not only his life, but also his legacy. Martin Luther King Day celebrates not only Dr. King, but the movement he inspired and all those who helped move forward the notion of equal rights for ALL people, all those who worked tirelessly during the civil rights era of the 1960s, as well as those who are continuing the good fight even in this, the year 2021.  Dr. King’s fight lives on, for we have moved further away than before from his dream.

Dr. King, along with President John F. Kennedy, was the most moving speaker I have ever heard.  To this day, I cannot listen to his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech without tears filling my eyes.  If you haven’t heard it for a while, take a few minutes to watch/listen … I promise it will be worth your time.

This post is both a commemoration and a plea for us to carry on the work that was only begun, not yet finished, more than five decades ago.  Today we should remember some of the great heroes of the civil rights movement, those who worked tirelessly, some who gave their lives, that we could all live in peace and harmony someday: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Roy Innes, Medgar Evers, Stepen Bantu Biko, Booker T. Washington, John Lewis, Percy Julian, Marcus Garvey, Desmond Tutu, E.D. Nixon, James Meredith, and so many more.  I am willing to bet there are some on this list of whom you’ve never heard, or perhaps recognize the name but not the accomplishments. If you’re interested, you can find brief biographies of each of these and more at Biography.com .

Yet, while we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King and the others, there is still much to be done. Just look around you, read the news each day. Think about these statistics:

  • More than one in five black families live in households that are food insecure, compared to one in ten white families
  • Almost four in ten black children live in a household in poverty, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Among prime-age adults (ages 25 to 54), about one in five black men are not in the labor force, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Although blacks and whites use marijuana at approximately the same rate, blacks are over 3 and a half times more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession
  • For every dollar earned by a white worker, a black worker only makes 74 cents
  • Black families are twice as likely as whites to live in substandard housing conditions
  • Black college graduates now have twice the amount of debt as white college graduates
  • The likelihood of a black woman born in 2001 being imprisoned over the course of her lifetime is one in 18, compared to 1 in 111 for a white woman
  • Similarly, the likelihood of a black man being imprisoned is 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 17 for a white man
  • Of black children born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, about half of them will still be there as adults, compared to less than one-quarter of white children

Data courtesy of the Brookings Institute – for charts and supporting details of above date, please click on link. 

And of course the above data does not even touch upon the recent spate of hate crimes, racial profiling, and police shootings against African-Americans.  There is still much of Dr. King’s work to be accomplished. But who is left to do this work?  Most of the leaders of yore are long since gone. There are still noble and courageous people out there carrying on the programs and works of Dr. King and the others, but their voices are perhaps not as loud, and there are none so charismatic as the late Dr. King.

In the current environment of racial divisiveness, we need more than ever to carry on what Dr. King only started. Instead, the past four years have found our nation backtracking on civil and human rights in a number of areas, ranging from discriminatory travel bans against Muslims to turning a federal blind eye to intentionally racially discriminatory state voter-suppression schemes, to opposing protections for transgender people, to inhumanely separating children from families seeking to enter the country.  I think Dr. King would be appalled if he returned to visit today.

In a speech on April 12th, 1850, then-Senator and future President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis said:

“This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes, but by white men for white men.” [1]

That was wrong then, it is wrong today, and it will always be wrong.  That is what Dr. Martin Luther King fought against, that is what I rail and sometimes rant against, that is why we need activists and groups dedicated to fighting for equality for all people … today, tomorrow, and forever.

Here is a bit of trivia you may not know about Dr. King …

  • King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin.
    The civil rights leader was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his 5-year-old son.

  • King entered college at the age of 15.
    King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. Although he was the son, grandson and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, King did not intend to follow the family vocation until Morehouse president Benjamin E. Mays, a noted theologian, convinced him otherwise. King was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology.


  • King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.
    Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leadership.


  • King was imprisoned nearly 30 times.
    According to the King Center, the civil rights leader went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.


  • King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death.
    On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry. The woman asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. After he said yes, Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade came to rest alongside his aorta, and King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery. Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could have punctured the aorta and killed him. From his hospital bed where he convalesced for weeks, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent principles and saying he felt no ill will toward his mentally ill attacker.


  • King’s mother was also slain by a bullet.
    On June 30, 1974, as 69-year-old Alberta Williams King played the organ at a Sunday service inside Ebenezer Baptist Church, Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. rose from the front pew, drew two pistols and began to fire shots. One of the bullets struck and killed King, who died steps from where her son had preached nonviolence. The deranged gunman said that Christians were his enemy and that although he had received divine instructions to kill King’s father, who was in the congregation, he killed King’s mother instead because she was closer. The shooting also left a church deacon dead. Chenault received a death penalty sentence that was later changed to life imprisonment, in part due to the King family’s opposition to capital punishment.

Dr. King fought and ultimately gave his life for the values I believe in, the values that should define this nation, though they often do not.  Dr. Martin Luther King was a hero of his time … thank you, Dr. King, for all you did, for the values you gave this nation, and for the hope you instilled in us all that your dream will someday come true.

[1] (Kendi, 2016)   stamped

Note:  Our friend TokyoSand has written a post with ideas for how each of us can help carry on Dr. King’s legacy … I hope you’ll pay her a visit!

♫ I’m In A Different World ♫ (Redux)

Tonight’s song by the Four Tops is a redux, but a special one to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend, David.  Now, I won’t tell how old David is today, but suffice it to say that he is 139 days older than I am, and I take great delight in reminding him of that fact!  David loves this song, and when I played it last year, I declared it would be the song of the day on January 18th from then on!

This song, written and produced by the legendary team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Edward Holland Jr., is the final recording they did for the Four Tops before leaving the label due to royalty disputes with Motown.

Feliz cumpleaños … Penblwydd hapus … and Happy Birthday, David!  Here’s to many more! 🥂 Cwtch Mawr

I’m in a Different World
Four Tops

In this world of ups and downs my dreams all fall through
Things just don’t work out, no matter what I do
Disappointment haunts me, through each lonely day
The world around I see, in only shades of gray

But when the love light shines upon my face
I’m in a different world
A world I never knew, I’m in a different world
A world so sweet and true, I’m in a different world

I’m no longer just another face in a crowd
Hey, look into my eyes, you’ll see I’m strong and I’m proud
You are all the sweetness of my life, you see
You have brought heaven right here on earth to me
No man of wealth, I know I’ll ever be
But I’ll be satisfied just knowing you love me

On the stage of life I’ve played a loser’s part
It seems like I’ve been down right from the very start
Every time I lift myself up off the ground
Something always happens to bring the curtain down

But when your love light shines upon my face
I’m in a different world
A world so warm and sweet, I’m in a different world
Now that you’ve been loving me, I’m in a different world

Each time you speak my name or put your hand in mine
The empty life I knew, I leave it far behind
‘Cause you gave me the love that I truly felt
Most of all you made me believe in myself
You’re more than a love to me, you’re my way of life
I’ll forever cherish you, more each day and night

Oh,
I’m in a different world

A world that’s warm, a world that’s sweet
A world that’s every bit complete
A world that’s real, you’ve made me see
All the beauty surrounding me
Oh, look what you’ve done for me
Oh, look what you’ve done for me
I’m in a different world, now that you’ve been loving me
I’m in a different world, and that’s where I want to be
I’m in a different world, now that you’ve been loving me…

Songwriters: Brian Holland / Edward Holland / Edward / Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Lamont Herbert Dozier
I’m in a Different World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Jolly C-c-cold M-m-monday!

Good Monday morn, my friends!  Oops … looks like Joe slipped on the icy sidewalk … I salted it, but I guess I missed a couple of places!  Hope you’re okay, Joe … come in and warm up!  Brrrrrrr … it’s so cold … I’m ready for Spring!  And speaking of which, it is only a short 60 days until Spring arrives!  Well, another weekend has come and gone … why is it they go so fast?  Anyway, to start the new week Joyful and I have baked up a few sweet treats and found a few things to kick the week off with a smile, while Jolly went in search of ‘toons.  So, help yourself to a fresh-baked treat and a cuppa something warm, and let’s start this week off right!


And who doesn’t love Pooh?

yawn-poohToday is National Winnie the Pooh Day, in honour of author A.A. Milne’s birthday in 1882.  Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear, as he was fondly called, is a fictional bear inspired by a black bear named Winnie. Winnie lived at the London Zoo during World War I. The author’s son, Christopher Robin, would visit the bear often and named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh.

Pooh1This friendship inspired a collection of books starting with Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926. E.H. Shepard beautifully illustrated the books.  Their adventures took them and millions of children through the Hundred Acre Woods. Each character played a unique role in the books. Whether the wisdom of Owl or Rabbit leading the group awry, a celebration ensued and the story’s characters became beloved around the world. 

In the 1960s, Disney bought the rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh characters dropping the hyphen from Pooh’s name. The illustrations were a bit different, too.

Pooh-headerMilne’s stories have been translated into over 50 languages and are considered classic children’s stories today.  National Winnie the Pooh Day has been observed since at least 1986, though nobody seems quite sure who the originator of the day was.  Today is also Martin Luther King Day, but I will have a separate post on that later today.


My kind of job!

A U.S. website is offering $500 for an unusual short-term job: a “professional binge watcher” willing to watch Netflix and eat pizza.  BonusFinder, a website dedicated to reviewing and offering deals for legal gambling sites, said the “professional binge watcher” will be called on to watch and review three series on Netflix while eating pizza takeout from various locations.

The selected candidate will be required to review each series based on story and plot lines, “Netflix and Chill” suitability, acting quality and cheesiness, satisfaction of episodes and series endings.  The person will also rate the pizzas they sample for appearance and color, base texture and taste, topping ingredient quality, flavor, cheese gooeyness and value for money.

The “professional binge watcher” will be paid $500 for completing the tasks.

Now, if I watched television, I would certainly apply for this job, for I do eat pizza!  However, I find that television typically bores me and I need to be doing something with my mind … that, coupled with my near deafness make television pretty much taboo for me.  But, if any of you guys are interested, you can apply on BonusFinder’s website.


And now, for some fun & funny ‘toons!

toon-1

"Between you and me, I thought the whoopie cushion on the throne gag was hilarious."

“Between you and me, I thought the whoopie cushion on the throne gag was hilarious.”

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Our friend Hugh has been under the weather, so Maxine brought him a little something to cheer him …

Feel better, dear Hugh!  We love you!!!  💖💖💖


And of course there must be a cute critter video.  Since our friend David likes parrots, and since today is his birthday, but don’t let on that I told you …


I hope you all have a decent week, and that you can keep those smiles all week long.  Hey, how about sharing a few of them, too?  Everybody could use a bit of good cheer these days!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Republican Senator warns against being the party of conspiracy theory and talk show hosts

With no less than two newly-elected Republican members of Congress being followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory group, one wonders what the Republican Party is becoming. Turns out, at least one Republican Senator has an answer and it doesn’t bode well for the future of the GOP. Our friend Keith tells us the story …

musingsofanoldfart

One of the three key reasons I left the Republican Party over twelve years ago is its tendency to make things up. Aided and abetted by radio talk show hosts and the Fox prime time line-up, whose primary mission was misinformation not news, the party became more distasteful to me. I have noted before that the outgoing president did not create this untruthful bent, but he has certainly shown how to use to leverage it more.

Now, with social media allowing less fettered information to proliferate, conspiracy theories have found an accepting home. This is not just my opinion. In an article in Business Insider by T. Porter called “GOP Senator Ben Sasse warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the Republican Party,” he rakes the now-Trump Party over the coals. Here are a few paragraphs, with a link below.

“Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has warned in…

View original post 279 more words

♫ You Are The Sunshine Of My Life ♫

The past ten days news has left me in somewhat of a funk, and concern about the next 4 days has taken a toll.  So, when that happens, when I fall into a rabbit hole and can’t find my way out, I turn to my old favourites, usually Motown, for comfort.  And nobody does comfort quite like Stevie Wonder!  I last played this in 2018, so it’s time for a re-visit, don’t you agree?  The dedication I used in 2018 still stands today … thank you all!


Tonight’s song … You Are The Sunshine Of My Life … goes out to all of you, my blogging buddies, the friends who have become my family.  Thank you all for the love you give me every day, and for truly being … the sunshine of my life.

You Are the Sunshine of My Life
Stevie Wonder

You are the sunshine of my life
That’s why I’ll always be around
You are the apple of my eye
Forever you’ll stay in my heart
I feel like this is the beginning

Though I’ve loved you for a million years
And if I thought our love was ending
I’d find myself drowning in my own tears

You are the sunshine of my life
That’s why I’ll always stay around
You are the apple of my eye
Forever you’ll stay in my heart

You must have known that I was lonely
Because you came to my rescue
And I know that this must be heaven
How could so much love be inside of you?

You are the sunshine of my life, yeah
That’s why I’ll always stay around
You are the apple of my eye
Forever you’ll stay in my heart

Love has joined us
Love has joined us
Let’s think sweet love

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
You Are the Sunshine of My Life lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Unfit For Office — Lauren Boebert

I have a list as long as my arm of people in Congress who are unfit and unqualified for the offices they hold, but one in particular stands out as being the most heinous of the bunch.  Lauren Boebert was elected by the people of Colorado’s 3rd congressional district last November and took her oath of office on January 3rd.

I first wrote about Boebert last July when she crossed my radar after winning the Republican primary in Colorado.  Ms. Boebert has not a single qualification to represent her district in the United States Congress, not even a high school diploma, for she dropped out of high school when she became pregnant in her teens. I sincerely doubt that she has even read the U.S. Constitution – that document she took an oath to protect and defend. But that is not even the worst of it.

Boebert is a supporter of QAnon, the right-wing conspiracy theory group that believes a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles—mainly consisting of what they see as elitist Democrats, politicians, journalists, entertainment moguls and other institutional figures—have long controlled much of the so-called deep state government, which they say seeks to undermine Trump, mostly with aid of media and entertainment outlets.  This, coupled with her lack of education, lack of knowledge of the law, should have been enough to disqualify her from even running for office.  It really is past time this nation set higher requirements for holding public office, but that is a topic for another day.

Lauren-BoebertMs. Boebert is a gun lover who owns a bar called Shooters Grill in the town of Rifle, Colorado.  She encourages her staff to openly carry guns while serving the public!  True to form, Boebert started her tenure with a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking that members of Congress be allowed to carry guns into the Capitol.  The letter was signed by some of the other congressional misfits such as Mo Brooks.  On her 3rd day in office, she set off the metal detectors while entering the Capitol and refused to allow security officers to inspect her bag and the same happened the following day, January 6th, that fateful day of the domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Congress.  Why they even allowed her into the building is beyond my comprehension.

There is speculation, to say the least, that Boebert was involved in the terrorist attack, that at the very least, her rhetoric supporting Trump’s false claims of massive voter fraud had helped fuel the attack.  On January 5th, Boebert said January 6th would be Republicans’ “1776 moment”.  She was one of the republicans who objected to counting Arizona’s ballots, saying …

“The members who stand here today and accept the results of this concentrated, coordinated, partisan effort by Democrats—where every fraudulent vote canceled out the vote of an honest American—have sided with the extremist left.”

So, is she saying that I’m not an ‘honest American’ or that my vote was fraudulent?  She fully intended to vote to illegally cancel the votes of every single voter in Arizona because she didn’t like the results.  And it is said that she revealed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location to rioters during the siege on the 6th by tweeting: “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.”  Now, a group of 68 elected officials in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District have sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi asking for an investigation into Boebert’s actions.  The letter condemned the lawmaker, saying …

“There is deep concern about her actions leading up to and during the protests that turned into a violent and deadly mob.”

On Friday, Boebert’s communications director, Ben Goldey, resigned his position, citing his discomfort with the way Boebert reacted to the insurrection and its aftermath.

The United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, Clause 2) provides that “Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

As I said at the start of this post, there are a number of members of the current Congress who are undeserving of their seats, including Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Ted Cruz, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Tommy Tuberville, and others who either directly or indirectly played a role in the events of January 6th and who must be held accountable for their seditious behaviour.  We the People deserve better than what we are getting from this group of elected officials whose salary we pay.  I most certainly hope that Lauren Boebert is removed from Congress, for this woman does not belong there, does not represent the majority of people in this nation, and is highly unqualified to be a lawmaker at any level.

Two Men Sans Conscience

I fully intended to do a Saturday Surprise post for this morning, knowing that we could all use a break from the news of the moment, but try as I might, I was not able to do one.  Sure, there were some funny cat pics, a few humorous stories, but … sorry, my friends, maybe next Saturday.  For today, I am just not able to switch gears.  I hope you’ll forgive me.


Guess what?  Yet another lie … a BIG one

Alex AzarSecretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, has handed in his resignation, claiming that, “The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power.”  However, lest you think Alex has suddenly found a conscience, he hasn’t … it’s a symbolic move only, for his resignation is effective at noon on January 20th, the moment of Joe Biden’s inauguration, at which time he would be out of a job anyway.  But there’s more here than just Alex Azar’s resignation, for he dropped a bombshell yesterday when, in an interview with NBC News, he said that the ‘stockpile’ of the coronavirus vaccine that Trump has promised exists, actually does not exist at all.

Funny that just three days prior, on Tuesday, Azar himself said that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses that had been held in reserve for second shots.  There was no reserve.  Alex Azar knew there was no such reserve when he said that barefaced lie.  Is there any single member of the Trump administration who isn’t a consummate liar?  Was that one of the job requirements, that candidates must be able to tell whopper lies while keeping a straight face?  Or was there a ‘Trump School of Lying’ where they learned to emulate the Oaf in the Oval?

So, what does this revelation mean?  It means that states, believing the lie of the reserve, expanded the groups eligible to receive the first dose of the vaccine, and now … there is no second dose.  If it weren’t so damn tragic, you’d almost have to laugh at the name of the group responsible for distribution of the vaccine to the states:  Operation Warp Speed.  Warp speed, I thought, meant fast, but like everything else Trump and his cronies have touched, this has been a disaster from day #1, and far fewer people have received the vaccine than should have.  And now, we find they bungled the procurement and there are no second doses to be had.

Way to go, Trump, Kushner, Pence, Azar, and all the rest.  Obviously, our lives are naught more than pieces on a chessboard to you.


And speaking of idiots and the coronavirus …

Tommy Tuberville is a newly elected Senator from the state of Alabama.  Tommy is 66 years of age … most people would be using Tom or Thomas by now, but Tommy is a good ol’ boy and he likes to be called Tommy.

tommy-tuberville-2Now, ol’ Tommy took his seat in the United States Senate on January 3rd, and within days, he joined a group of Republican senators attempting to overturn Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election based on Trump’s outright lies of voter fraud.  Wouldn’t you think he’d try to learn his job before trying to overthrow the government???  And while most of the Republicans who planned to contest the election results in various states on January 6th backed off after the horrific attacks on the Capitol that evening by Trump supporting terrorists, not ol’ Tommy!  He stuck to his guns and contested the election results in both Arizona and Pennsylvania.  He showed us what he is made of – sawdust.

And yesterday, Tommy got himself in the news again.  I should think it would be a requirement that every single member of Congress should have read the U.S. Constitution at least once, for Pete’s sake!  On Friday, Tommy had been touring hospitals in Alabama … supposedly to get updates about the coronavirus, which he could have done from his office, but whatever.  After one of the tours, he gave an interview to an Alabama television station where he said that he thought the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris should be postponed until “a little later on after we got this virus behind us a little bit.”

Say WHAT???  First of all, MR. TUBERVILLE … the United States Constitution, a document that you obviously have NOT read, directs the exact time and date of the inauguration:  noon on the 20th day of January.  Second, MR. TUBERVILLE … Donald Trump has bungled the federal response to the virus so badly that half of our population may be dead by the time the virus is “behind us”!  For the past year, Trump and his cohorts have not done a single damn thing to stem the surge of this virus, and as a result the U.S. has the highest number of cases and the highest death rate on the planet, despite the fact that we have only about 4% of the world’s population!  Donald Trump has no plan, has never had a plan to either control the virus or to distribute the vaccine.  Furthermore … he has begged people to risk their lives by not wearing masks … he has called the pandemic a hoax, has lied so much that nobody even listens to him anymore!  Joe Biden has a plan to help stem the surge and to distribute the vaccine.  He HAS A PLAN, which is far more than Donald Trump has ever had!  Why in hell would you want to delay inaugurating Joe Biden … are you really so stupid?

I honestly believe we need to amend the U.S. Constitution to say that every person elected to or appointed to a federal office MUST pass a test on the U.S. Constitution.  The entire document, including amendments, is just over 8,000 words.  I have read it more times than I can count, and I still have to consult it on occasion to answer a question.  Consider this … an immigrant applying for citizenship to this country knows more about the document that is the foundation of our government than half of our elected representatives, and that includes the ‘man’ who has been calling himself ‘president’ for the last four years!


Since I wasn’t able to give you a nice humorous Saturday Surprise post, I do have a few ‘toons for you that I nabbed from our friend Scottie’s post yesterday

Scottie-1Scottie-3Scottie-4

Scottie-2

Something To Ponder …

Our nation has become a frightening place in the last two weeks since domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol on January 6th with the intention, it is now known, of doing bodily harm or even killing some of our elected officials such as Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence.  And now, only five short days from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, we know that the terrorists have even more mayhem planned for the days before, during, and after the inauguration. 

While I am not an alarmist, this situation has me frightened for the lives of Biden, Harris, and members of Congress, but also for the continuity of our government, for the future of this nation.  Law enforcement dropped the ball last Wednesday and I cannot help but wonder if they will be able to keep our lawmakers and our new President and Vice President safe next week.

Ryan Cooper, writing for The Week, has written a well-researched column outlining some of the threats and possible solutions, both immediate and long-term.  It is well worth spending a few minutes to read …


Do Democrats realize the danger they are in?

ryan-cooperRyan Cooper

Democrats, already rattled by nearly falling into the hands of a violent mob during the attempted putsch at the Capitol on January 6, are facing the possibility of worse happening soon. Democratic members of Congress were briefed on three different additional conspiracies to overthrow the government on Monday, and at least one member has faced harassment by Trump loyalists out in the wild.

One has to wonder: Are Democratic leaders able to face how much danger they and their party are really in, or what it might take to preserve their lives?

As I’ve written previously, the fascist mob was within yards of seizing members of Congress on several occasions during the January 6 putsch. If the guns, pipe bombs, flex cuffs, and literal gallows they carried are any indication, many members would have been hurt or murdered by the putschists — as they did murder one Capitol Police officer, as well as seriously injuring some 15 others. Now the extreme right is plotting new conspiracies to overturn democracy during the Biden inauguration, including by assassinating Democratic members of Congress or President-elect Biden, according to the new leadership of the Capitol Police. One plot “would involve insurrectionists forming a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and then blocking Democrats from entering the Capitol ― perhaps even killing them ― so that Republicans could take control of the government,” writes Matt Fuller at HuffPost. One Chicago man has already been arrested for allegedly threatening violence against President-elect Biden.

What’s more, law enforcement agencies are clearly less than trustworthy. There were many off-duty cops and members of the military involved with the putsch, and already several Capitol Police officers have been suspended for fraternizing with the putschists. Meanwhile, a Secret Service agent is under investigation for unhinged social media posts accusing Democrats of treason and stealing the election. For every member of law enforcement dumb enough to get caught doing that, it’s probably safe to assume there are several more with similar views but who keep such thoughts to themselves.

Even if we think it is comparatively unlikely that the vast security apparatus will fail to protect the new president at least, there is still a major danger to the Democratic rank-and-file. Backbenchers get no Secret Service protection, and a pack of Trump supporters — who have been constantly whipped into a frenzy with inflammatory lies from half the Republican Party elite — were reportedly on the verge of violently attacking Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) at Dulles International Airport before security intervened (though Correa says those same security officers failed to even take down the names of his assailants).

What is most urgently needed right now is for elected Republicans and conservative media to tell their constituents the truth, and deescalate the situation — admitting that Biden won the election fair and square, and telling conservatives to go home and try to win the next election instead of threatening violence. This would be far too little, far too late, but it might avoid major bloodshed. Unfortunately, it is also exceedingly unlikely given that President Trump has gone back to doubling down on his rhetoric that incited the mob in the first place, and many Republicans are now whining about impeachment and the lack of unity they themselves created, so more unilateral options are needed.

Luckily, there are a great many legal and regulatory actions Biden and the incoming Democratic Congress could do to crush right-wing extremism. For instance, the far right runs on a flood tide of oligarch money — the app Parler, on which much of the putsch was organized, was funded by the notorious ultra-wealthy Mercer family — which could be taxed and regulated. As Alex Pareene suggests at The New Republic, “Rigorous audits and reclassification of 501 nonprofits would do more to disrupt right-wing organizing than any new domestic terror law as interpreted and enforced by our current security state.”

Perhaps most effective immediate step would be squelching the spread of extremist propaganda, which genuinely appears to be driving much of the nutcase behavior we see around the country. Look into the history of the putschists, and in virtually every case one finds someone who melted his or her brain watching conservative YouTube, or people who are themselves conservative media personalities. I have argued that rolling back Section 230 (which protects internet companies like Facebook from being held legally liable for the material that is posted on their sites) would expose the social media behemoths to titanic legal liability, and force them to remove all extremist content — probably causing them to shrink drastically in the process, which would be its own benefit.

Finally, Democrats could conduct a purge of all the right-wing extremists in law enforcement and the security apparatus. Rather than passing a new domestic terrorism law, they could excise the fascist sympathizers from the FBI, Secret Service, NSA, and so forth, and use existing legal authorities to smash far-right political structures. The Capitol putsch was already a massive crime spree, all is needed is to enforce the laws that are already on the books.

On the other hand, it is worth noting how the space of possibility shrinks if anti-democratic extremism is allowed to metastasize. Eventually, meeting force with force becomes the only option available. This was the case by 1860, just after the Republican Party had been formed to combat slavery, when a small group of men calling themselves the “Wide-Awakes” took to protecting a Republican campaign in Connecticut. Soon there were copycat organizations springing up across the North, and the Wide-Awakes became a sort of paramilitary wing of the Lincoln campaign — serving as security for Republican events, conducting big marches through towns and cities, and recruiting thousands of young people to the anti-slavery cause. (As historian Matt Karp argues in a big article for Catalyst magazine, the Wide-Awakes were just part of a massive organizing campaign that united the Northern working class under the Republican anti-slavery banner.)

Few historians believe that the Civil War could have been avoided without splitting the U.S. in half. But today, untrammeled violent conflict could still be avoided — if the Democrats are willing to mobilize the vast powers of the American state to protect democracy and freedom from the fascist threat. It seems like a long shot, but let’s hope that being in literal physical peril motivates them to get over their usual timidity.

♫ If ♫

I last played this one in November 2018.  Tonight, I couldn’t find a song in my heart nor in my head … I seem to have only the sound of a lone pebble bouncing from one side of my skull to the other, and only long tears in my heart tonight.  So, I dug around in the archives a bit and came up with this rather melancholy, but somehow pleasing song. 


A couple of weeks ago when I played a Bread tune, Everything I Own, everyone seemed pleased with it, and in the comments, at least two noted that this song is their favourite of the Bread collection.  ‘appens that it is also my favourite, or at least one of them … my music ‘faves’ tend to vary in accordance with my mood of the moment.

David Gates, then and now

Bread keyboardist David Gates says: “I wrote that one night at the dining room table, after my kids and my wife had gone to bed. It took me about an hour and a half, with an extra verse left over. If you look at it, there’s a few bizarre lines in there, like ‘you and I would simply fly away’ – that’s kind of an unusual thought. When I was done, I said, ‘That’s the best song I’ve ever written and probably will be the best song I’ll ever write.’ For me it’s really held up over time, more than any of the others.”

In the U.S., Bread’s version was the shortest song title to become a top ten hit until 1993, when Prince hit No. 7 with “7”, later matched by Britney Spears’ No. 1 hit “3” in 2009.  What … we just number songs now?  (Obviously neither Prince nor Britney are on my top 1,000 list)

If
Bread

If a picture paints a thousand words,
Then why can’t I paint you?
The words will never show the you I’ve come to know.
If a face could launch a thousand ships,
Then where am I to go?
There’s no one home but you,
You’re all that’s left me too.
And when my love for life is running dry,
You come and pour yourself on me.

If a man could be two places at one time,
I’d be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
If the world should stop revolving spinning slowly down to die,
I’d spend the end with you.
And when the world was through,
Then one by one the stars would all go out,
Then you and I would simply fly away

Songwriters: David Gates
If lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC