Just A Few Of The Ol’ Snarky Snippets

Once again, I have no single topic in mind, but a number of things are bouncing about in my head … have you noticed this seems to be happening a lot lately?  Hmmmm … I wonder if I’m trying to cram too much into my head and bits of this and pieces of that just keep getting embedded.

Fuel prices – no, Republicans can’t ‘fix’ the problem

Republicans point to specific targets they know are personal for many voters, such as fuel prices, and say, “Look how much you’re paying for a gallon of gasoline!  Elect Republicans and we’ll fix the problem.”  Well, sorry, folks, but Republicans cannot ‘fix’ the ‘problem’.  Gas prices are not set by the president nor by Congress, as they would have you believe.  To a large extent, fuel prices are driven by us, the consumers.  You’ve all studied the “law of supply and demand” in school, and as long as demand exceeds supply, the oil producers have the upper hand.  Supply is driven by a number of things but is often manipulated by OPEC to ensure that the bottom doesn’t fall out of the market, that the oil companies will continue to rake in profits.  Anyone, including Kevin McCarthy, who tells you otherwise is lying to you.  If you really want to do your part to help bring down oil prices, drive less, turn your thermostat down and don a sweater, skip the vacation this year and have a ‘staycation’, turn some lights out (candlelight is more romantic anyway, though admittedly it makes it hard to read).  Lower your demand, and the market will respond.  Yes, this is a simplification and there are other factors as well, but We the People don’t have much control over the war in Ukraine, the impending rail strike, or other global issues affecting fuel supplies, while we do have a degree of control in how much fuel we use.  Once again, we have met the enemy and he is us.

Angry at 18???

I’m thinking back to when I was 18 years old … I didn’t hate anybody.  I loved hanging out with friends when I wasn’t either studying or working, was saving up for a newer car (at the time, circa 1969, I drove a ’56 Chevrolet Bel Air that I had paid $50 for), had a boyfriend, learned to hot wire a car and occasionally ‘borrowed’ my dad’s car when my parents were out of town, but I didn’t have an abundance of raw anger, didn’t hate anyone.

On May 14th, an 18-year-old man (boy?) bought a gun, traveled 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo, entered a supermarket and killed 10 people in cold blood simply because they were Black.  18 years old!!!  WHY does a kid that age hate Black people?  Both of his parents are civil engineers, and he was studying engineering science, hoping to follow in their footsteps.  This wasn’t some spur-of-the-moment thing … he had traveled to Buffalo in March and visited the store, and again the day before he went on his killing spree.  He graduated from high school in June 2021, and when a teacher asked him about his plans for the future, he replied, “I want to murder and commit suicide.”  Was that not a red flag???  Why wasn’t it reported and followed up on?

Yesterday, the gunman pleaded guilty to 15 charges, including 10 charges of murder and one charge of domestic terrorism.  While I am thankful that he will likely never walk free again to murder even more, I think this entire situation shows a pathetic negligence to recognize and identify a serious mental health issue.  It also furthers my position that guns are too damned easy to obtain in this country!  Next thing you know, they’ll be packaging derringers (very small, but lethal guns) as the prize in packages of Cracker Jacks!

Some honest Republicans?  Be still my heart …

Maricopa Country in Arizona is home to over half the population of the entire state!  So, what happens there matters … a lot.  I was encouraged last night to read that the Republican-controlled election board voted unanimously to certify the November 8th election, whereby Democrat Katie Hobbs won the governorship.  Hobbs’ Republican opponent, the conspiracy-theorist, Trump-backed Republican Kari Lake, insists that Republican voters were denied the opportunity to vote, that there was some irregularity with voting machines, and … ho hum … same ol’ same ol’ … we’ve heard it before and no doubt we’ll hear it again.  Other counties have put their certification on hold based on Lake’s claims, but I find it very encouraging that the largest county by far has certified the election.

And just a handful of ‘toons to add to the fun!

Tainted Love Ballots

The recount of votes from the 2020 election being done in Arizona is a joke, albeit not a very funny one. It is a sham, an illegitimate attempt to further undermine our voices, our votes. It is being done by conspiracy theorists and at least one person who participated in the January 6th attack on our Congress in order to install an authoritarian regime. What the hell has this nation become? Clay Jones has done a good editorial + cartoon on the subject … far better than I could have done!



“Some very interesting things are happening in Arizona.” That’s the most honest thing Donald Trump has said in a long time.

Saying his goodbyes at Mar-a-Lago to whoever might actually give a flying shit before he leaves his summer compound for his New Jersey compound (the illegal immigrants he’s hired are probably pretty psyched to watch him waddle out of there), Donald Trump spoke as if a biased, partisan, and fraudulent recount conducted by Qanon fucks and MAGA terrorists would somehow reinsert him into the White House.

President Joe Biden won Arizona. Democrat Mark Kelly also won the United States Senate seat in Arizona, joining his party colleague, Kyrsten Sinema. Republicans won a fight to recount ballots in Maricopa County despite it being six months after the election. Republicans can not overturn the results in Arizona and even if they did, it wouldn’t overturn the results of the national election…

View original post 1,258 more words

Mind-Boggling Snarky Snippets

It seems the material for snarky snippets just never ends … it’s like a parade of mind-boggling idiocy these days.  I suppose I should be grateful … I never have to look very far for a topic!

Sheriff Joe’s in the news again!

You all remember the most bigoted, corrupt sheriff of the 21st century, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa Country, Arizona, right?  A blatant racist, he had a history of abusing prisoners, and when the courts told him “you can’t do that”, he went right on doing it anyway.  So, eventually he was convicted on ‘Contempt of Court’ charges, but was pardoned almost immediately by his soulmate, the equally corrupt, equally bigoted Donald Trump. Arpaio-TrumpNow, in my book, despite his pardon, he is still a convicted felon, and some news outlets such as Rolling Stone, Huffington Post, and CNN felt the same, for they continued to refer to Arpaio as a ‘convicted felon’.  Arpaio, rather like somebody else we know of who cannot stand to be criticized or mocked, took umbrage and filed a lawsuit against the three … a lawsuit seeking compensatory damages of $300 million!  Sheesh … he sued claiming defamation, but frankly ain’t nobody’s character worth that kind of money!  And, as I said, he was convicted of a felony.  The pardon kept him from paying a fine and going to jail, but it didn’t, in my book, erase his guilt.

Well, fortunately, a federal judge had some good sense and tossed the case out, saying that Arpaio and his lawyer had failed to prove actual malice.  Score one for justice.  But wait … there’s more!

Arpaio-2In 2016, Arpaio lost his bid for re-election to Paul Penzone by a 13% margin.  Arpaio, by the way, is now 87 years old.  But, guess what?  Arpaio is planning to run again for Sheriff of Maricopa Country in 2020!  I cannot imagine that he stands a snowball’s chance, but the mere fact that he plans to run after having been exposed as a cruel, unjust racist, boggles the mind.  This, folks, is the mind of a megalomaniac, similar to the one sitting in the Oval Office.  Hopefully the people of Maricopa Country laugh him all the way out of the state!

The wall …

We all remember Trump’s utterly ridiculous promise to his base to “build a big, beautiful wall” along the entire U.S.-Mexican border, and his further promise that “Mexico is going to pay for it”.  Well, the battle has been ongoing for the nearly three years Trump has been in office, because the wall he wants is a) cost prohibitive, and b) useless.  Well, by siphoning funds away from other, more worthy humanitarian projects, Trump has succeeded in building some 76 miles of his damnable wall.  That’s 76 miles of the 1,954-mile-long border, and it has thus far come at a cost of over $10 billion!  That much money spent on something so inane that the only people who want it are bigots who wish to keep out people with skin darker than their own.  Anyway …

The relatively short, expensive section of wall seems to not be quite as secure as Trump claimed it would be.  Yesterday, it was reported that gangs of smugglers have breached the wall by sawing through sections with commonly available and relatively inexpensive hand tools!  Now, I realize that having gangs of smugglers sneaking into the country is no laughing matter, but admittedly I had a great chuckle over this.  Trump has pulled out all stops to get his wall built before next year’s election, for it seems to be the one promise he made that really matters to his base.  So, he’s spending money that he has no right to spend and threatening to break the law by telling his people that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get the barriers built quickly, and all for a structure that you or I could saw a human-size hole in!  The wall that Trump claimed was “virtually impenetrable”, that border crossers cannot get over, under or through.  I think We the People should get together and file a class action lawsuit against him for misusing our hard-earned tax dollars on such foolishness!

How many more?

gun-pointingOn Hallowe’en night, five people were shot dead at a party in Orinda, California, east of San Francisco.  Also on Hallowe’en night, a seven-year-old girl who was out trick-or-treating in a bumblebee costume was shot in the neck by a fifteen-year-old boy and critically injured.  Last Sunday, October 27th, two people were shot and killed at an off-campus homecoming party near Greenville, Texas.

In an October 30th interview with Tucker Carlson, Detroit Police Chief James Craig spoke about the importance of owning and carrying a firearm for self-defense. He stressed that “being an armed citizen is about staying alive”.

If Chief Craig is right, if this nation has regressed to the point that our only hope for staying alive is to join the enemy and carry around a loaded weapon, then all I can say is this is not a nation we can be proud to live in, but rather is a nation that thrives on violence, that worships killing.guns-4It is a damn shame that the people we elect to office, the people whose salaries we pay, are more committed to selling their votes to the gun lobby than they are to making this a safer nation.  Yes, I’m speaking to you, Mitch McConnell, and to you Donald Trump, and to every other member of Congress who has taken money from the National Rifle Association in exchange for refusing to vote for a ban on assault weapons, or enhanced background checks, or a gun registry.  Damn each and every one of you.  The eight deaths listed above are on your shoulders, along with other 32,858 so far this year.gun-deaths-nov-3-2019

Okay … I’ve snarked enough for one night.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

An Update … And A New Twist …


Joe Arpaio

On July 2nd I wrote a post about the former Sheriff of Maricopa Country, Arizona, Joe Arpaio.  You may remember that he had lost his bid for re-election in 2016, after serving for 24 years, since 1993.  At the time of my last post, Arpaio was standing trial in federal court on charges of ‘criminal contempt of court’.

In December 2011, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow ordered Arpaio’s office to halt detentions based on nothing more than suspicion that a person might be in violation of federal immigration law. Arpaio’s response?  “I’m still gonna do what I’m doing. I’m still gonna arrest illegal aliens.” And he did keep on doing what he had been:  racial profiling and inhumane treatment of prisoners, refusing to investigate sex crimes, and closing cases without investigation, to name a few.  I meant to write an update to that story when a decision was handed down by the court, but I got sidetracked and failed to do so.  I shall do so now, with another, new interesting twist.

On July 24th, United States District Judge Susan R. Bolton found Mr. Arpaio, age 85, guilty of criminal contempt of court, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. In her decision, Judge Bolton wrote, “Not only did Defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise.”

His lawyers, of course, immediately said they would appeal the verdict.  Some supporters of stricter immigration enforcement rallied behind Mr. Arpaio. Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said the election of President Trump had vindicated Mr. Arpaio’s policies.

“Clearly Joe Arpaio won the war, even though he lost this particular battle. Like any good American citizen, he recognized his obligation and was willing to pay the price for a form of civil disobedience.”

At this point it bears remembering that Arpaio’s tent-city jail required prisoners to wear pink underwear and sleep in tents in the brutal Arizona heat. They were served only two meatless meals per day, often consisting of moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food.  Prisoners were frequently denied care for serious medical and mental health needs.  At one point, Arpaio made the statement that even if he had a billion dollars he wouldn’t change the way he runs his jails.  Now, this is the man who Mr. Stein claims “paid the price”.  No, the prisoners – Arpaio’s victims – paid the price for his racism and inhumanity. It was precisely this that earned Arpaio my Idiot of the Week award last October.

Which brings me to the present. With all the news about last weekend’s horrors in Charlottesville, this tidbit went largely unnoticed:

“President Trump told Fox News he is “seriously considering” issuing a pardon for former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. Trump told the news outlet during a conversation in Bedminster, N.J., that the pardon could come quickly, perhaps in a matter of days.

“I might do it right away, maybe early this week. I am seriously thinking about it,” Trump said, according to Fox News. He said Arpaio was a “great American patriot” who had “done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration.”

“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?” Trump said, according to Fox News. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.” – Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post, 14 August 2017

Arpaio told Fox News, “I would accept the pardon because I am 100 percent not guilty.”

I predicted in my last post about Arpaio that he would never serve a single day of prison time, even if found guilty.  My main reason for believing so at that time was primarily his age.  He is 85 years old, and I thought an appeal was likely, which could drag on for another year or two, and at that point I expected his attorneys to plead for leniency based on Arpaio’s age.  Never in my wildest dreams did I even consider a presidential pardon.

There can be no denying that Arpaio is a racist.  That much is obvious and he doesn’t even bother to deny it.  So … if Trump pardons Arpaio, what message do you think that sends to the very white supremacist groups who perpetuated the violence and death in Charlottesville last weekend?


Walter Shaub

Remember Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) about whom I wrote last month  ?  He resigned his position because the Trump administration was making a sham of the word ‘ethics’ and Shaub felt that he was no longer able to do his job.  Today, Shaub posted a single tweet about Trump’s proposal to pardon Joe Arpaio …

“Scrambling to reassure the white supremacists and nazis that he didn’t really mean what he said to the “normies” today…”

Can anybody disagree?  I said to another fellow blogger earlier that I could picture Trump on the phone with Richard Spencer or David Duke after his speech, saying, “Don’t worry … I didn’t mean a word I said, but you know … my staff told me I had to say all that stuff or else we might have riots here in Washington … but I am in your court, so … no worries.”

Ladies and Gentlemen … the man who is occupying the White House, the man who refers to himself as “president”, is in bed with the worst bunch of people to be found in the United States.  Expect many more weekends like the past one.


America’s Toughest Sheriff — Not So Tough Anymore

Last October I awarded the Idiot of the Week award to Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  Sheriff Joe, as he was ‘affectionately’ known, was a law unto himself.  Blatant racial profiling, inhumane treatment of prisoners and contempt for federal court orders was what defined his tenure, and a long tenure it had been, having first been elected in 1993.  But Sheriff Joe is getting a double dose of comeuppance, well-deserved and long overdue.

In November 2016, for the first time in 24 years, Sheriff Joe lost his bid for re-election to a democrat, former police sergeant Paul Penzone.  Over the years, Arpaio has been accused of various types of misconduct, including abuse of power, misuse of funds, failure to investigate sex crimes, improper clearance of cases, unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, and election law violations. A Federal court monitor was appointed to oversee his office’s operations because of complaints of racial profiling. The U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Arpaio oversaw the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history, and subsequently filed suit against him for unlawful discriminatory police conduct.

But the taxpayers of Maricopa got tired of picking up the the tab for his multitude of lawsuits, and in November they said, “bye-bye” to Sheriff Joe.  In September, Maricopa County agreed to pay $4.5 million in legal fees to the plaintiffs in a case dating back to 2007. That payment was added to some $10.4 million that had already been paid in other cases.  At (then) age 84, let’s face it, it was well past time for the not-so-good sheriff to retire anyway.

But Arpaio’s troubles don’t end there … not by a long shot!

Last Monday, 26 June, marked the beginning of Sheriff Arpaio’s trial in federal court where he stands accused of criminal contempt of court.  In December 2011, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow ordered Arpaio’s office to halt detentions based on nothing more than suspicion that a person might be in violation of federal immigration law. Arpaio’s response?  “I’m still gonna do what I’m doing. I’m still gonna arrest illegal aliens.”

The sheriff’s insolence — an open admission that he would persist in conduct the judge had ruled was discriminatory — translated into open defiance. For at least 18 months, his deputies continued to racially profile motorists for detention. Some 170 people were stopped in that period, most guilty of nothing more than looking Latino. Mr. Arpaio’s defiance didn’t sit well with the judge, who found the sheriff in civil contempt of court and referred the case to the Justice Department, which, having concluded that Mr. Arpaio’s policy was intentional, brought criminal contempt charges against him. But, that was the Justice Department under Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  We now have a new Attorney General, Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, who may be less diligent in his prosecution. If convicted, Arpaio could face up to six months in prison.

arpaio-3The trial wrapped up on Thursday, with closing arguments for both sides scheduled for 06 July.  The first thought I had was I wondered how diligently this case would be prosecuted by the Department of Justice, now that it is led by none other than racist and anti-immigration Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Based on news reports, I may have been right to have concerns.  The trial was apparently rather lackluster.  Prosecutors successfully blocked a motion by the defense that would have prevented them from calling to the stand victims of illegal detention, but they failed to call on a single victim.  Arpaio, though present in the courtroom all four days, did not testify on his own behalf.

One civil rights activist, Lydia Guzman, who has long followed the atrocities committed by Arpaio and his deputies noted that, “I love the DOJ, but I think that they probably could have sent some more experienced lawyers.” She also said she believed the DOJ “held off” on assigning its more seasoned attorneys to the case.

I won’t bore you with the details of the trial, but suffice it to say that the defense team appears to be fairly confident, and it appears the prosecution presented a fairly lackluster case.  If I were a gambler, I would say that he will not see prison time, but … time will tell.  I hope he does, for he is an arrogant and cruel man who has subjected many people to inhumane treatment for relatively minor crimes, sometimes even for no crime other than their ethnicity. But even if he goes free, Sheriff Joe’s wings have been clipped and his reign of terror is finally ended.


More Questions Than Answers In Child’s Shooting Death

The story, as I first heard it, went like this:

A mother and her two-year-old toddler were sitting on the bed, while the nine-year-old was sitting on the floor, playing a video game.  The mother had a loaded gun in her hand, but couldn’t find her holster, so she placed the gun (loaded with a round chambered) on the bed next to the two-year-old while she got up to look for her holster.  The two-year-old then picked up the gun, pulled the trigger, shot and killed his nine-year-old brother.  The mother had, in the past, allowed the toddler to pull the trigger on the gun when it was unloaded.

But since I first heard the story Wednesday afternoon, it has changed some.  Now police say there are more questions than answers, and the mother, 28-year-old Wendy Lavarnia and father, convicted felon in two states, Kansas Lavarnia have both been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.  And what led to this turn of events?  Apparently Mr. & Mrs. Lavarnia went to some great lengths to clean up the scene, wasting precious time while their son, Landen, lay dying from a gunshot wound to the head.  Police, in fact, found blood residue in several rooms in the house, as well as in the family car. And lies … initially Ms. Lavarnia claimed her husband was not at home when the shooting occurred, and it was some three hours later when he returned.  But evidence says otherwise … evidence indicates that he actually assisted in the cleanup efforts.  Additionally, when Mr. Lavarnia did return to the house, he had a fresh gunshot wound to his arm that he had tried to disguise by causing additional injury with a screwdriver.  Interesting?  Curiouser and curiouser, if you ask me.

The investigation continues, and all the facts are obviously not known at this time, so I will refrain from saying more about the actual circumstances surrounding the crime. We will never know for certain if young Landen’s life might have been saved if the parents had immediately called for help, rather than wasting precious time destroying evidence by ‘cleaning up’, but we should assume that it is a possibility, which makes the parents guilty of murder no matter who actually pulled the trigger.

It has not been said in whose name the gun was registered, but Mr. Lavarnia, being a convicted felon in both Arizona and Ohio, was prohibited from owning a gun or even being in a home where he knew there was a gun, yet he admits he knew of the gun.  Ms. Lavarnia had allowed the two-year-old to “practice” pulling the trigger of an unloaded gun.  As most of you know, I am against guns in the hands of civilians, however I will not go down that path at this time.  In this case, the gun was not at fault, but two very selfish and stupid people who never should have had children, let alone a gun.

The couple also have a four-year-old who was also allegedly on the bed with the mother, the gun, and his younger brother, and a one-year-old … no word on where the baby was at the time.  The two youngest children were “substance-exposed” newborns, and at one point all four children had been removed from the home by Arizona Department of Child Safety for a period of time, but were eventually returned to the parents.  This, in my book, makes the Department of Child Safety an accessory to murder.

Today there are more questions than answers, and I will update this story when more information is available, but for today, suffice it to say this is a tragedy that has affected many and that will be forever a dark cloud in the lives of the three remaining Lavarnia children.