The bushfires and climate action

The Australian bushfires continue to burn. Last I heard, some 14 million acres had burned or were burning. The devastation and loss of wildlife are simply heartbreaking. Our friend Anne Lawson has written a highly informative post about it that I ask you to take a look at. There are several links to additional information, as well. Thank you, Anne, for this excellent post and for all the information. Keep safe, my friend.

Anne Lawson Art

You know that there are mega-fires burning in Australia.

You know that fires have been burning for months now.

You know that lives have been lost, many houses burnt and huge areas of bush land scorched. If you would like to read more depth about the fires, including the background to the extended fire season and the extent of the fires and scary videos, read this article and/or this one. My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones and their worlds. And a huge amount of gratitude to the fire fighters who have done such an incredible job, sometimes sacrificing their lives.

You know too that the generosity of people from around the world has been overwhelming. More about donations later.

So, read elsewhere for the facts and figures; I want to give you my opinions.

There have been horrifying images of injured and dead…

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Saturday in the park (a muddy one to ponder muddy agreements)

Our friend Keith has invited us to join him on his Saturday afternoon muddy stroll as he ponders this ‘n that. Let’s take him up on his offer, shall we?

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The weather report for Saturday is better than our rainy Friday. Even if the sun emerges through the morning clouds, it may leave very muddy walking paths. So, as I take a muddy stroll, join me as I ponder a few muddy things.

Agreements between multiple parties are hard and take work. They are not perfect, but they provide opportunities to improve them. Leaving them when your co-signers ask you not to must be for very important reasons. Under the tutelage of the current US president, previous agreements are “disasters,” primarily because he did not work on them. Another key reason is multiple party agreements require give and take and focus on relationships.

Early on, the US pulled out of an agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership with Asian countries, the US, Australia and Canada. It was an imperfect agreement, but was defined to better enable competition with China. What…

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My Own Hypocrisy

On June 14th 2017 I wrote a post about Michael Bloomberg.   It was actually a ‘good people’ post.  Here are a few of the things I said about Bloomberg, some two-and-a-half years ago …Wed-Bloomberg

  • Many outside the New York area may not be aware of how much good Bloomberg does, but over his lifetime he has given away more than $4.3 billion!
  • I have always had rather a soft spot for Mr. Bloomberg, knew he was a good man, but even I had no idea just how much he has given back to the world.
  • The majority of his contributions are in the fields of Environment, Public Health, the Arts, Government Innovation, Education, Women’s Economic Development in Africa. Mr. Bloomberg has also signed the Giving Pledge started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, vowing to give away at least half of his wealth over the course of his lifetime.

Then I went on to list some of his causes in the fields of the environment, education, public health, women’s economic development, the arts and more.  I wrote …

  • One thing that makes Bloomberg stand out in the crowd of wealthy philanthropists is that he is willing to try new things rather than, like some, wait for what they think will be the perfect organization and miss a lot of opportunities along the way.
  • Bloomberg is human, so I am certain that he wasn’t always right, either, but overall I believe he was a good mayor and is a good human being.
  • Bloomberg, in addition to being a philanthropist, is two things: a politician and a very successful businessman.  In recent months, we have had every reason to trust neither politicians nor businessmen, but Mr. Bloomberg is the exception.

And I concluded, back in 2017, with …

  • He is living proof that politicians and businessmen CAN also be good people. I thought it important for us to remember that, especially now.

And then, in a response to a comment by Roger, I wrote …

“I would love to see him run on a democratic ticket, however … I would surely support him!”

Fast forward to November 12th 2019, nearly a year-and-a-half later, when I wrote a post titled Please Mayor Bloomberg, Don’t Do It where I re-blogged one of Jeff’s posts and in my intro blurb, I said …

“We do NOT need wealthy businessmen running our government … men who have never in their entire lives known what it’s like to have to beg for someone to help you pay the rent, or make a choice between paying the electric bill or taking your sick kid to the doctor!”

Left to my own devices, I would not have remembered what I said about Mr. Bloomberg in June 2017, nor likely what I said just over a month ago.  I am old with a calcified brain, remember?  But, our friend rawgod asked me, a few days ago …

“Today is Jan. 1, 2020. Bloomberg is running for the Dems, as you hoped. But I have not heard his name much on Filosofa’s Word. Has something changed? Or do you still believe he is a good person for the Oval Office?”

And I had to find out what he was talking about, for I had all but forgotten that Michael Bloomberg was once my ‘good people’ and that I had said I would support his candidacy on the democratic ticket.

So, now I ask myself the tough question:  Am I a hypocrite, or has my view changed, and if so … why has it?  What has changed?  Is my reversal valid?

Well, the answer isn’t going to be found in any of my usual sources, such as The Washington Post, the New York Times, The Guardian, or Politico … the answer will have to come from some soul searching, some pondering.  And here are the results of such pondering and musing …

  • I think that when I responded to Roger that I would “love” to see him run on the democratic ticket, I was caught up in the mood of the moment, having just researched all the philanthropic works Mr. Bloomberg has done.
  • I am certain that he would make a better president than Donald Trump could ever think about being.
  • That said, I do not think he is the man I want to see win the nomination to be the democratic candidate. Why?
    • Because for the past three years, we have watched the wealthy take over this nation, make decisions that in no way, shape or form helped the average person.
    • Because the more I see, the more I am convinced that we need in the Oval Office somebody who can honestly understand the plight of the average person, and I find it hard to believe that someone born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth can truly relate to We the People.
    • Because as Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg was responsible for the long-standing “Stop-and-Frisk” policy that was used to discriminate against African-Americans and other minorities, though he has recently apologized for that.

There are still things I like about Mr. Bloomberg’s platform …

  • Gun control – he supports universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and a crackdown on gun trafficking.
  • Climate change – he upholds the Paris Accord and is a proponent of action to combat climate change, though not to the extent I might like.
  • Civil and LGBT rights – he is supportive of both.
  • Women’s rights – he claims to believe that reproductive choice is a fundamental human right.

But, he does not support raising taxes on the wealthy, which I believe is critical to reducing our national debt and deficit.  He is not strong enough on environmental and other issues.  I would not vote for him at this point, though I might have in 2017, as I told Roger.  That said, I would vote for him if he were to become the democratic nominee, but I see the chances of that being slim-to-none, for he is polling at only around 5% and is not even on the ballot in a number of states.

The Democratic Party really needs to pull itself together, to stand behind the strongest candidate and soon, in order to unseat the incumbent, for if they keep backstabbing and eating their own, they are doomed, and will doom the citizens of this nation to an almost-certain autocratic regime.  Michael Bloomberg is not the solution, though through his philanthropy he can continue to make a positive difference in this world.  Not all of us can be president.

So, am I a hypocrite, or have circumstances merely led to an evolution of my thoughts?  I leave it to you to decide.  Jerry?  Roger?  Keith?  David?  Ellen?  Jeff?  Scottie?  Nan?  Padre?  John?  Let me know what you think, for I’m truly not sure.

A royal push for climate change action

What better way to close out one year and begin a new one than with a bit of good news? Our friend Keith has kindly provided us with just the thing to let us believe that perhaps there is hope for humans after all. Thank you, Keith!

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Strong on the heels of Greta Thunberg’s visit to the United States and United Nations climate change conference in Spain, a royal member of the UK family is making a very public statement backed with funds to match. In an article by Simon Perry in People Magazine, of all places, a very important global mission was revealed in an article called: Prince William Unveils Ambitious New Environmental Mission: ‘The Earth Is at a Tipping Point and We Face a Stark Choice’.

The first three paragraphs from the article (see link below) are as follows:

“On Tuesday, the royal unveiled a multimillion-dollar international award to harness the best ideas for tackling the biggest environmental challenges in the world.

William, 37, has set his sights on spending the next decade rewarding visionaries and innovation. Called Earthshot, it will be awarded to five winners a year for the next decade, generating what…

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Two Of The Worst Things …

The end of not only a year, but a decade fraught with troubles lends itself to musings and ponderings.  If I put my mind to it, I could come up with at least 50 things Donald Trump has done in his three-year tenure that are wrong, disgusting, destructive, and pose a threat to either the nation’s internal or external security.  But, there are two that stand out most, that are so incredibly cruel or stupid that my jaw still drops when I think of them.


The first is the policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border, then putting the children in detention centers where even their most basic needs are often not met.  This is, as much as any, a crime against humanity and one that, while the people of this nation were up in arms over for a time, seems to be largely forgotten today.  It has taken a backseat to impeachment and most everything else.  When was the last time you read an article or heard a news story about the children who may never be reunited with their parents? caged-kidI do not know how many children remain separated from their parents and housed in detention centers along the southern border … I’ve read a few estimates, but none seem to be certain … perhaps Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have lost track, just as they’ve lost track of the whereabouts of these kids’ parents.  But, whether it’s 20 or 2,000 … while you and I were enjoying unwrapping presents and later a Christmas feast with friends and family, this is how the innocent children in the detention centers spent Christmas …caged-kids-xmasThe United States of America … land of opportunity, land of milk and honey … but only if your skin is the right colour.caged-kids-drawing.png


The second thing is the damage Trump has done to the environment … damage that, to a large extent, can never be reversed.  Trump, as we all know, has a serious ego problem … his ego is the most bloated part about him, and that’s saying a lot.  Trump’s ego seemingly demanded that Trump do everything he could to erase the legacy of the positive things that were done by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.  Three of the things President Obama was most noted for were environmental regulations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Trump has attempted to demolish all three of those, but the area in which he has been most successful is that of environmental regulations. pollution-2A New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts more than 90 environmental rules and regulations rolled back under Trump.environmental-rollbacksFor a detailed analysis of each, refer to the article in the Times.

Trump’s unconscionable rollback of these regulations benefits the fossil fuel industry and the logging industry barons, but harms this nation, its people and its precious resources, such as breathable air, potable water, safe food, national monuments, and wildlife.  More importantly, his actions are hastening the crisis that scientists are predicting.

The latest United Nations report on climate change issued last month paints a grim picture for the future of life on planet Earth.  In a statement announcing the findings, Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said …

“Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions. We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated.”

Roughly 20 percent of the world has already warmed to troubling levels. Slowing future warming will require monumental changes, such as phasing out gas-powered cars, halting the construction of coal-fired power plants and overhauling how humans grow food and manage land.  And yet, Donald Trump continues to claim that climate change is all a hoax and has convinced a large number of his followers.  I recently (and regrettably) engaged in a conversation with one such person and … let me tell you, it’s a waste of precious breath, for Trump has brainwashed them to believe that he is smarter than all of the scientists in the world.  Quite a feat, eh?


As I said at the beginning, there are many, many things that Trump has done that have, in one way or another, brought harm to this nation and to We the People, but these two stand out as being the most inhumane on a large scale.  These two alone have greatly reduced the respectability of this nation around the world.  And fully 40% of the people in this nation continue to applaud.  Sigh.

About Those Amazon Fires …

The Amazon rainforest plays a significant role in mitigating the effects of climate change, by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.  It is the largest such ‘carbon dioxide sink’ on the globe.  While it is not at all unusual for fires to occur in the Amazon during the dry season, this year’s fires have been particularly intense and have led to international concern, for obvious reasons.

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Jair Bolsonaro

During the summer, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who had previously stated his intention to destroy parts of the rainforest to make way for agriculture, mining, and other business development, mocked the environmental groups who were expressing concern about the fires.  In August, as the fires intensified and photographs of the ongoing fires and impacts caught international attention and became a rising topic among world leaders, suspicions that at least some of the fires had been deliberately set were noted in the press.

The National Institute for Space Research in Brazil (INPE) reported that at least 74,155 fires had been detected in all of Brazil, which represents an 84-percent increase from the same period in 2018.  Bolsonaro mocked the INPE data, and mocked the concerned environmentalists, even going so far as to call himself “Captain Chainsaw”.  This, combined with Bolsonaro’s declared intent to destroy parts of the rainforest, led to speculation that perhaps he was responsible for the setting of some of the fires.

But on Wednesday, August 21, Bolsonaro said he believed non-governmental organizations could be behind the fires as a tactic “to draw attention against me, against the government of Brazil.”

“The fire was started, it seemed, in strategic locations. There are images of the entire Amazon. How can that be? Everything indicates that people went there to film and then to set fires. That is my feeling.”

In August at the G7 summit, a special meeting was called to discuss the Amazon fires.  Trump, by the way, did not attend and lied about his reason for not attending, but what’s new?  At the meeting, the group pledged $22 million to assist with putting out the fires.  The next day, Bolsonaro rejected the offer.

In September, at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, leaders from around the globe offered assistance in fighting the fires, but Bolsonaro rejected the offers of help, and said that he would use the rainforest’s resources as he sees fit. The Amazon isn’t in flames, he told the group, but brimming with riches. And Brazil will decide how to develop it.  Rather like seeing your neighbor’s house afire, offering to assist in putting the fire out, and being told to go home, that there was no fire and he would appreciate you minding your own business.  You can plainly see that it is afire and could easily spread to your own home, thus making it your own business, but … what can you do?

Since the annual rains started last month, though some fires are still burning, for all intents and purposes the majority have been quelled.  So, I hear you wondering why I am bringing all this up now.  Well …

Bolsonaro’s latest round of the blame game is pointing the finger at none other than actor Leonardo DiCaprio!  Now, this would be laughable just in and of itself, but … Leonardo DiCaprio is an environmental activist who, in August pledged $5 million to help save the Amazon!  Bolsonaro has vowed to drive environmental NGOs from Brazil, and so on Friday he told a group of his supporters …

“This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.  Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon.”

It would be bad enough, thinking of the plant and animal life lost, if these fires had only affected Brazil.  The people of Brazil, after all, elected this narcissistic, arrogant, ignorant fool, and it could be said they deserve what they get, just as the people of the U.S. deserve the chaos they invited upon their nation.  But, in this case, it is estimated that the Amazon rainforest is responsible for some 20% of the world’s oxygen.  I said … 20% OF THE WORLD’S OXYGEN!!!  Think about that one for a minute.trump-bolsonaroIf that means that 1 in 5 people are going to have to stop breathing, I vote that Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump should be the first two to stop, and then all the rest of the climate deniers should simply be forced to stop breathing, then perhaps there will be enough oxygen for the rest of us.

It is estimated that it will take between 20 – 40 years for the trees that were burned to be fully replaced.  We don’t have that kind of time, folks.  Did Jair Bolsonaro bankroll the destruction that was caused this summer?  Perhaps we’ll never know, and perhaps at this point it no longer matters, except … he’s still the president of Brazil and he’s shown the world how little he thinks of protecting the environment.  If the human race is determined to extinct itself, as appears to be the case, we have certainly made a good start at it.

Just Two Snarky Snippets …

Well, guys, Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to get down to business here.  Filosofa is back on the job with a dose of snark to start your Friday with a grrrrrrrrrowl!


Donnie goes on the campaign trail … in London!

Guess what, folks?  Trump is going to be visiting the UK again next week.  Yep, he’s going back to embarrass us some more, demean our allies yet again, but that’s not all!  He’s also planning to hold a fundraiser there, whereby he plans to collect $3 million in donations from the Brits.  You can pick up your jaws from the floor now … yes, you heard me right … he’s going on a campaign rally, albeit a high-class campaign rally, in London.  But, more about that in a minute.

The initial reason for his trip is the annual NATO summit.  Trump has bullied and threatened until finally the NATO leadership has given in to at least one of his ‘demands’, and they have reduced the amount the U.S. contributes to the alliance’s central budget.  According to the alliance’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg …

“The U.S. will pay less, Germany will pay more, so now the U.S. and Germany will pay the same.”

The concession was made in hopes that there would be no grandstanding and drama at the summit, but I’m not holding my breath, for no doubt Trump will find something else to bitch about, will find yet another way to humiliate the citizens of the U.S.  To all my UK friends, please accept my sincere apologies in advance.

Now, about that fundraiser …

The invitation lists three tiers of donors:

  • For $125,000, a donor can join a roundtable, get a photo with the president and attend the reception.
  • For $50,000, a donor gets the photo and reception.
  • For $35,000, they can just attend the reception.

First of all, who in their right mind would pose for a picture with him???  But, to pay $125,000, or even $50,000 for it???  What comes to mind, though, is … what would anybody in the UK donating to his campaign have to gain?  Now, your ordinary person like me or you might kick in $25 to a presidential hopeful, and if we did, it would be only to help the candidate we believe best qualified for the job, for we are not in a position to trade favours.  But, when people donate hundreds of thousands of dollars, they do so in exchange for political favours.  Ponder on that one for a bit.

It is said that he is expecting to attract expatriates, and that donors must present a valid U.S. passport in order to attend, but … I guess I just have a suspicious mind.  And … if an expatriate is living in London, it seems unlikely to me that he would have an interest in helping Trump win next year’s election. Trump-State-VisitThe fundraiser will be hosted by Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, co-chair Tommy Hicks Jr., national finance chair Todd Ricketts, and Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale.  I sincerely hope the Brits put on their best display and that the baby Trump balloon is flying high!


Donnie’s twin across the pond?

I have long said that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shared DNA with Donald Trump.  Two peas in a pod.  Granted, Boris is smarter and more literate than Donnie, and even slightly easier on the eyes, but beyond that, they think alike, which is no good thing for either the U.S. or the UK.  As we all know, Donald Trump and his band of thugs have done everything in their power to roll back environmental regulations, putting animals, people and our very planet at risk.  Apparently, Boris isn’t much of a believer in climate change either.

On Thursday, a British television station, Channel 4 News, hosted a climate debate ahead of next month’s election.  Neither Prime Minister Johnson nor Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage bothered to show up.  Nigel’s excuse was that the discussion wouldn’t be about Brexit, apparently the only topic he knows how to talk about, but his absence was no great loss.  One would think, however, that the nation’s leader would be concerned enough to want to attend, to share his own views with those who will be voting in just a couple of weeks.ice-sculpture-2The Brits know how to do things up right, though.  Since Boris and Nigel failed to show up, their places on the debate stage were occupied by ice sculptures with their party’s logos.  Melting ice sculptures.  The network said the ice sculptures “represent the emergency on planet Earth.”  Seems fair enough to me.  Nigel’s absence wasn’t much noted, but Boris’ absence fueled criticism that he has sought to avoid both the public and tough questions from the press during the election campaign. In typical Trump fashion, Boris’ party, the Conservative Party, accused the network of ‘partisan bias’ just as Trump continually claims the U.S. media are biased and ‘out to get him’.  And again, in a Trumpian-style movement, the party has threatened to ‘review the network’s broadcast license’ … but not ‘til after the election.  Boris and Donnie … possibly twins separated at birth?  Both sore losers, both with juvenile temperaments, neither putting the best interests of their nations in the foreground.  Oh yeah, and both with really fake hair that looks like the straw in a horse’s stall.  And apparently, I’m not the only one who sees the resemblance …

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How Have We Lasted This Long?

Remember not long ago, I told you that Popeye’s had come out with a chicken sandwich that was said to be the equal of Chick-Fil-A’s?  I was happy to hear this, for I refuse to set foot in a Chick-Fil-A restaurant because of their overt bigotry, but I did like their chicken sandwiches long ago.  Well, before the girls and I got around to trying Popeye’s new sandwich, it was announced that they were sold out and would have more in the near future, so I rather forgot about it.  Apparently, though, the Popeye’s sandwich is … um … I don’t even know what word to use … controversial?  Worth risking life and limb for?  Just in the past week …

On Monday, the headlines read “Man Is Fatally Stabbed Over Popeyes Chicken Sandwich”, and on Wednesday it was “Driver Damages Own Car Trying To Jump Popeye’s Drive-Thru Line”Popeye-1.jpgThis post is not about those two events specifically, and I won’t waste my time or yours going into detail.  But rather, this post is about the thought that occurred to me upon seeing these two stories:  I wonder how the human species has managed to survive this long?

Ever since humans evolved from their simian cousins, it seems that they have been trying to kill one another, sometimes with cause, but more often for no good reason.  The more laws we make in our effort to establish a ‘civil society’, the more violent we become.  The more we enhance our education systems, the more ignorant we become.  The more we claim to care about others, the less we seem to care.

Part of the problem, of course, is that we don’t know when to stop reproducing.  The population on earth today is roughly 7.7 billion people, which is more than double the number of people on earth in 1972, just 47 years ago.  The amount of land on the planet, however, remains roughly the same, although with rising sea levels it is on the downturn.  The land on the planet is roughly 196.9 million square miles, which translates to .03 square miles per person.  But, of course, some of that is taken up by forests that are critical for the survival of life on earth.  The bottom line is that we cannot continue to double the population on the planet every 50 years and survive!  Maybe China’s ‘one-child’ rule wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

But, there is more to the problem than overpopulation.  I think that technology has a role in the way people treat each other these days, as well.  Mind you, I’m not putting down man-made technology in general … there have been many amazing inventions, as evidenced by the fact that I am sitting in my comfy chair, and within minutes I have discovered the amount of land and the number of people on planet earth without moving more than my fingertips. Then with a few more clicks of the fingertips, I was able to make the calculations I needed.  Now, I am writing words, again with my fingertips, and in a couple of short hours, people across the globe will be reading my words.  Back in 1972, nobody would have believed it possible.

However, in some ways I think that technology has made our lives too easy.  If the Internet died tomorrow, how many high school kids would know how to go to the library and look up the information I just found at my fingertips?  I’m betting very few.  And, technology has put distance between us – not physical distance, but we are emotionally disconnected from others as we text messages on our cell phones, play video games, watch movies, or troll the ‘net.  We have become emotionally isolated, and when we do have the occasion to interact with others, we have little tolerance.

We are easily frustrated by the actions of others.  Going back to the chicken sandwich example … a man was rude and cut in line in front of another, and the other was so frustrated that he pulled out his knife and stabbed the rude man to death.  Is this what we call ‘civilization’?  All species will kill if they feel their lives or the lives of their pack are threatened, but humans are the only species I know that will kill a person because of the colour of his skin, or where his ancestors came from, or because he was in a hurry to buy a sandwich.

At the same time as we are losing more and more of our humanity, we are also failing miserably to take care of the Earth on which our lives, in fact the lives of every living thing, depend.  The human species seems, as it becomes less tolerant toward one another, to either have a death wish or to believe that they are invincible – I’m not sure which it is.

There are those that will say “Well, species come and go, it’s the natural progression of life”.  Not true.  This extinction will be near-total, and it differs from the extinction of other species in the past because this one was completely, entirely avoidable.  Our fate was in our hands all along, yet we chose to take the path of least resistance, the path that gave us the greatest pleasure, but at the highest cost. It is the arrogance of mankind that has led us to the brink of extinction, and as I ponder it, the only real surprise is that humans have survived this long.

Afternoon ‘Toons!

The first thing I saw in the news this morning made my blood boil … the republicans in the House of Representatives are requesting that Hunter Biden and the whistleblower be subpoenaed to testify before the investigative committees.  First, Hunter Biden?  They have no reason to ask Hunter Biden to testify … that is harassment of a private citizen without cause.  But even worse, is their “demand” that the whistleblower testify.  That is akin to painting a big, red target on his or her back.  It would almost certainly be signing his/her death warrant, given the crazies in the Trump camp that are running around fully loaded for bear.  So, I knew that anything I would write at the moment would be a rant.  It’s Saturday, and this afternoon I will be going out for lunch and a bit of shopping with the girls, so I really don’t want to be in a growlie mood.  So, instead I decided to look at some of those brilliant political cartoons and at least maybe have a chuckle or two, at the expense of the idiots in Washington.


Lindsey Graham.  Sigh.  Lindsey seemingly has no conscience, is two-faced, and seemingly goes in whichever direction he perceives the winds of fortune to be blowing, even if it means stabbing a friend in the back, as he once did his ‘best friend’, John McCain.  More recently, ol’ Lindsey, who fully supported Bill Clinton’s impeachment back in 1998-1999, is refusing to even do his job, says he won’t even read the transcripts from the impeachment investigations.  

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Since long before he took office, Trump has called climate change a ‘hoax’.  Since taking office, he has actively done everything in his power to add to the problem, to decimate and destroy our environment.  He has long said that he would take the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, making us the only nation on the planet not committed to doing everything in our power to keep the planet from becoming uninhabitable.  Last week, he kept that “promise”, and took the first step toward pulling out of the Accord.  It was a sad day for the citizens of this nation, and one that will ultimately make us the pariah, the most hated nation on earth.  Climate change is real, folks … it’s Trump who is the hoax!

climateclimate-2climate-3climate-4climate-5Nick Anderson cartoonclimate-7


Trump recently announced that he is changing his state of residence from New York to Florida.  I don’t recall what b.s. excuse he gave, but the reality is it’s naught but a tax dodge.  New Yorkers cheered, while Floridians drowned their sorrows in either a bar or the rising sea tides.

Trump-floridaTrump-florida-2Moving to Florida

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I rather thought this looked more like Boris than Donnie …


There was some good news last Tuesday, as people in states like Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania used their vote to tell the nation that they are fed up with the GOP corruption running rampant in the Era of Trump.

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And, of course, as I mentioned in my opening blurb, there is the whistleblower and the fact that the GOP is basically calling for his/her execution …

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And, of course, there is that proverbial ‘elephant in the room’, the looming impeachment, which I hope succeeds beyond our wildest dreams and that Trump is booted out of the White House before the end of the year!  Yeah, I know, I’m dreaming.

impeachimpeach-2impeach-3Attacking the CIATom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c191103.tif


And, to offset any angst you might be feeling … take a look at this … guaranteed to give you a chuckle.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my friends!

This Cannot Become “Normal”

I came across this OpEd in the New York Times by one of my favourite opinion writers, Nicholas Kristof, earlier today.  It is a prescient warning that I think is worth sharing.


Don’t Let Trump Make You Numb to What’s Unacceptable

Our species has an ability to adapt. Now’s not the time.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

  • Nov. 6, 2019

The problem with being a frog in a beaker is that you may not notice the water temperature rising to a boil.

Humans, too. In New Delhi, people get used to air that is filthy. In Syria, to checkpoints. In Angola, to corruption. In China, to propaganda. And in America, we risk becoming numbed to a political, social and moral breakdown.

Scandal and dysfunction dribble out from Washington day by day, numbing us so that we may forget just how unprecedented and outrageous the trends are. It was only five years ago that Fox News was deploring a “shocking” and “desperate” presidential scandal that Republican Representative Peter King described as inexcusable: Barack Obama wore a tan suit! Now we can’t even keep track of how many countries President Trump has asked to do him political favors.

I’ve been traveling abroad, so I’ve been asking journalists and officials how they see America, and from a distance they offer blunt assessments. “If your president isn’t a Manchurian candidate,” one senior European official said, “he’s doing a pretty good imitation of one.”

In 2016, Obama’s passivity and Republican intransigence may have allowed Russian cyberattacks to swing the presidency to Trump (there’s no way to be sure, but that’s what the forensic work of Kathleen Hall Jamieson suggests). Yet despite improvement, the United States still doesn’t have an adequate strategy to foil Russian or Chinese interference in the 2020 election.

Trump is a hero of many evangelical Christians who previously emphasized the importance of personal values and restoring “honor and dignity” to the White House. Meanwhile, he is on his third wife, has cheated on all three and has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women. And Trump tweeted a supporter’s praise likening him to “the second coming of God.”

Since taking office, Trump has made more than 13,400 false or misleading statements, according to a Washington Post database. The Post found that he has recently accelerated his falsehoods to a rate of 22 per day, more than one per waking hour. (I’ve covered many world leaders, and the only two whom I consider pathological liars are Trump and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.)

Trump has declared “I am the chosen one.” His press secretary last month spoke of “the genius of our great President.”

Trump, who according to a Times investigation is wealthy partly because of fraud, pledged to fight corruption and “drain the swamp.” Since then, he has lost more first-term cabinet members to scandal than any president in history.

 “I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said before his election. In fact, he has visited golf clubs approximately 224 times since taking office, including more than three months in total at Mar-a-Lago. These vacation trips have cost taxpayers more than $100 million.

Trump’s mother was an immigrant, as are two of the women he married (his current wife may have been undocumented). Yet he has ripped children from parents at the border, and his administration has argued that detained immigrant children do not need soap or toothbrushes.

We haven’t even gotten to Trump trying to buy Greenland, marching into women’s changing rooms to admire undressed teenagers, borrowing Stalinist language to denounce the press as the “enemy of the people,” claiming that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, banning Muslims or diverting money to build the wall that Mexico supposedly would pay for.

Oh, and that multibillion-dollar wall is now being cut open by smugglers with $100 saws.

Yet America’s dysfunction goes beyond Trump, and it will outlast Trump, even as it is aggravated by him.

American kids ages 1 through 19 are 57 percent more likely to die than those in other advanced nations, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. That’s partly because the United States is virtually alone in failing to provide universal health coverage: Trump didn’t create that problem, but he did magnify it so that the number of uninsured children is now increasing.

Longstanding economic inequality in the United States, exacerbated by Trump’s tax cuts and other policies, is staggering. A single hedge fund tycoon, James Simons, made $1.6 billion last year, or more than $4 million each day — yet the United States has 100,000 children who on any given night are homeless. Since 2000, 61,000 foster kids have simply gone missing. Girls and boys are sold by pimps for sex in every American city.

America is not, as President Trump once called it, a “hellhole.” It is a nation of enormous strengths and resources, but we need to muster them now. A merit of our species is that we are adaptable and resilient and can get used to almost anything.

But we should never get accustomed to all this. Let’s not let ourselves be numbed by the daily drip into accepting a level of Trumpian dysfunction that should always be unacceptable.

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