Oh Da Snark … Try Watching Grass Grow!

It seems I keep finding things to snark about.  I have tried to clear my mind of the detritus, tried lying in the yard watching the grass grow to find some peace of mind, but some of the blades of grass began looking like politicians after a while.  I threw myself into housework … for all of ten minutes … and then I was tired, so I went back to reading the news.  So, letting loose the snark here on ye olde blog seems to be the only way to evict it from my head!


Punished for doing the right thing

Okay, my friends … I’m going there again … ‘there’ being the place I try very hard to stay away from:  religion.  Well, not religion per se, but rather certain religious ‘leaders’ who have flown repeatedly onto my radar, almost as if they are begging me to swat them down.  Sigh.  I really don’t like delving into the realm, for I understand that in this area, I am a minority and my views have little or no value to the majority.  However …

Greg Locke, pastor of the Global Vision Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee, is not a nice man.  He has floated across my radar numerous times, but until recently I swished him away, pooh-poohed him as just another foolish evangelical.  Until recently, that is, when he actually had the unmitigated gall to tell his congregation that if they wore a mask, they would be thrown out of church!

“If you start showing up [with] all these masks and all this nonsense, I will ask you to leave. I am not playing these Democrat games up in this church.”

‘Democrat games???’  Who’s playing games now, Greg?  What’s next for Mr. Locke?  Will he throw out parishioners who have been vaccinated?  What about those who eat healthy and exercise regularly … are they to be given the boot?  Folks, this is not about whether one chooses to believe in a higher being or not … this is about life and death, about personal choices, about our health.  Mr. Locke has just mandated that his congregation must engage in dangerous, life-threatening behaviour in order to have the dubious ‘privilege’ of hearing him opine on that of which he is proven ignorant.

This isn’t Locke’s first foray into the unconscionable.  Previously he insisted President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected and claimed only “crack-smoking” leftists would think he beat Donald Trump to the White House.  He has falsely accused the State of Tennessee of building ‘quarantine camps’ to house the unvaccinated, and last September he published a book titled, This Means War: We Will Not Surrender Through Silence (Pastor Greg Locke: Spiritual Warfare Series).

What a joke he is … I wonder how many people will die because they listened to him?


And on the subject of masks …

Do you ever look around, read the news, and just wonder if the whole damn world has lost its collective marbles???

On Tuesday night, a meeting of the school board was held in Williamson County, Tennessee, the wealthiest in the state and one of the 20 wealthiest counties in the country.  The purpose of the meeting was to decided whether or not there would be a mask mandate in place when children return to school next week.  Unlike some other states, there is no ban on mask mandates in Tennessee and the decision is left up to each school district.

The meeting was so chaotic that it ended up taking four hours to decide that yes, they would mandate masks for teachers and students at the elementary school level.  Masks will be optional at the junior high and high school levels where most students are over 12 years of age and thus eligible for vaccination.  Angry parents showed up, almost none wearing a mask, and frequently disrupted the meeting, expressing their fury that their child might be ordered to wear a mask.  One person became so violent that he had to be escorted out by county deputies.

But it was what came afterward that makes me think our nation is devolving into something cruel and inhumane.  As the meeting broke up, hundreds of protestors were waiting outside.  The meeting had included health care professionals who attested to the value of wearing a mask during this time when the Delta variant of the coronavirus is running rampant.  Upon leaving the building, the health care professionals were surrounded by protestors chanting and issuing threats such as “We know who you are,” and “We will find you.”

If this is what it means to be an American, then I want no part of it!  These people are loons!  Doctors and nurses, trying to keep the children of these loons safe and alive, are threatened for doing so.  PEOPLE!  WAKE UP!  This is not how rational human beings behave!!!  Or is it?  Are people completely losing the ability to disagree in a civilized manner?


Something to ponder

Our friend Jerry, aka Grumpy1180, left a comment on my post about Andrew Cuomo’s resignation that I found very astute …

I’ve had several epiphanies since leaving the Republican Party. Here’s one of them: When a Republican “leader” gets caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar–or his or her pants down, or choose your cliche–Republican followers turn on the accusers, the law enforcers, the court system, the media, and anyone else who would dare to question the integrity of their hero. They side with the person over the principle. When a Democrat leader gets caught violating a law or an important social norm, Democrat voters say, essentially, “Sorry, _____. I liked you, but principles come first. Time for you to move on and be replaced by someone who understands the importance of upholding crucial, society-sustaining principles.”

Think about that for a minute … he’s right!  Did you hear a single Republican call for Trump’s resignation in light of his many proven sexual harassment accusations, his lies, his corruption?  He even admitted to some of them, yet not a whisper was heard from Republicans in or out of Congress.  When confirmation hearings were being held for Brett Kavanaugh to occupy a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, and a highly credible woman accused him of sexual assault, who did Republicans turn on?  The woman, not Kavanaugh.  And more recently … have you heard a single Republican call for Representative Matt Gaetz, who is being investigated on sex trafficking charges, to step down?

Think about it … which party has shown integrity?  Jerry is right … it damn sure ain’t the Republican Party!

Two Monsters In Governor’s Clothing

The state of Florida currently has more hospitalizations due to COVID than any other state in the nation.  Cases in Texas are also surging, sending hospitals scrambling to find ICU beds for all the patients.  Both of these states have Republican governors who are doing everything in their power to reduce the population in their states.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (left) and Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Both Governor DeSantis of Florida and Governor Abbott of Texas have banned mask mandates in their state, meaning that localities cannot legally put a mask mandate into effect in order to protect the people.  Bad enough under any circumstances, but now, with parents preparing to send their children back to school in a week or two, it is critical.

Columnist Greg Sargent has the latest on the battle between the governors, localities, and school boards …


The rebellion against pro-Trump, anti-mask GOP governors is gaining steam

Opinion by

Greg Sargent

Columnist

Yesterday at 11:04 a.m. EDT

Let’s state this up front: GOP governors are not required by some higher Trumpian law to use official powers to actively thwart efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Some are choosing not to do that: In South Dakota, the governor left decisions about mask mandates to local officials, and in Arkansas the governor admitted that an earlier ban on them was an “error.”

But the Republican governors of Texas and Florida — Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis — are in a class by themselves. Their states are seeing some of the worst surges of covid in the nation, yet they are continuing to hamstring local officials from acting to protect their constituents.

Which is why these governors are facing a rebellion of sorts. In both states, ABC News reports, officials are defying limits on mask mandates, setting up direct conflicts with those governors.

This will flush out into the open the truly twisted nature of what DeSantis and Abbott are doing. They piously claim to be defending their constituents’ freedom from government mandates. But they are using their power to prevent local officials from implementing basic public health measures in a highly selective way that is plainly molded around the obsessions of former president Donald Trump and his movement, not anchored in any genuine public interest rationale.

Local officials are rebelling

The derangement of this position is particularly clear in Texas. On Monday, Abbott announced that he is seeking the help of outside medical professionals to deal with the state’s covid surge. He is also asking hospitals to postpone all elective medical procedures as hospitals fill up.

Amid all this, the Dallas schools superintendent has reasonably announced that students, visitors and staff will have to wear masks in schools. He noted that the decision is an “urgent” matter of “protecting” children, teachers and workers.

Yet this directive required him to defy Abbott’s executive order barring mask mandates by government entities. To be clear, Abbott’s own actions amount to a stark admission that the state is in serious trouble — yet he continues to ban localities from taking measures to protect public health.

The absurd result, as the New York Times reports, is that local officials are scouring legal codes to find ways to get around Abbott’s blockade on implementing public health measures. This isn’t how officials should have to spend time and resources during a public health emergency.

In Austin, where cases are surging, local officials have recommended masking, but cannot require it, which has led the mayor of Austin to declare the situation “dire.” The Austin school district just announced a mask requirement, defying Abbott.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools is moving ahead with mandatory masking. This is in defiance of DeSantis’s recent executive order empowering the state to withhold funds to punish school boards who implement mask mandates.

Incredibly, it appears DeSantis may make good on this threat. The superintendent, Carlee Simon, told “Morning Joe” on Tuesday that she’s received a letter from the state demanding justification for her move and essentially indicating that funding is at risk if she continues.

A handful of Florida parents are now suing DeSantis. One mom told CNN that she “never envisioned” that the governor “would actively be trying to harm my child,” and lamented correctly that limits on mask mandates are interfering with her son’s ability to get educated safely.

Anyone who has taken a young child to a camp or gathering this summer has witnessed how children playing together continue to drift inevitably into very close contact. It’s particularly ludicrous and venal to bar local officials from acting to defend these children from spread.

Abbott and DeSantis love to proclaim that they are defending the liberty of their states’ residents to proceed free of public health mandates, and that they should merely exercise “personal responsibility” in dealing with covid. But it’s hard to discern any genuine ideological vision here, since they have no apparent objection to all manner of other public health mandates.

“We have plenty of mandates,” Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told me. “We require elementary school students to get various vaccinations. We require drivers to wear seat belts. We require adults to wear clothes.”

“There are any number of ways in which the laws of every state, including Florida and Texas, impose mandates that are designed to protect individuals,” Vladeck continued.

‘Covid exceptionalism’

All of which suggests that the real working ideology here is something you might call “covid exceptionalism.”

Obviously it would theoretically be possible for DeSantis and Abbott to believe, in good faith, that mandates against covid represent unacceptable incursions on liberty while other mandates do not.

But everyone knows the real reason DeSantis and Abbott are suddenly concerned with protecting people from public health mandates on covid in particular is that government officials eager to battle covid this way have become associated with assorted enemies of Trump and his following.

Because Trump and his movement have required this adherence to covid exceptionalism, local officials are being hamstrung from carrying out their own official responsibilities to act in defense of public health. It’s hard to find the right language to describe the seething contempt for public service and the public good that’s truly on display here.

Covidiots and Maskholes

Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters is angry, and I don’t blame him … I share his angst and anger on this issue. COVID in the U.S. could be but a distant nightmare today, but instead, thanks to politicians, the Republicans, the former guy, and willful ignorance, we are once again seeing surging cases and a rising death toll. We are still … those of us with any sense … confined mainly to our homes. It didn’t have to be this way … Thanks, Jeff, for sharing your thoughts on this, which are the same as my own.

On The Fence Voters

Please know that the derogatory title to this post only refers to those who refuse to do the right thing and help their fellow human beings by getting a shot and wearing a mask when necessary. By no means do I mean to offend anyone. But if I do? I couldn’t care less.

What’s it going to take, folks? How many more deaths? How much suffering must the American people endure? It appears that for a particular segment of society, there is no inflection point. Their minds are already made up, so the carrots our governmental leaders have extended to them are no longer worth continuing. It’s time to use the most oversized sticks we can find to whack them over their heads.

Enough.

I want to submit to you some statistics from the Del Norte County Public Health website that will give you a glimpse of what’s going on…

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So Much Snark, So Little Time

Having had a very rare decent night’s sleep last night, I awoke full of vim and vigor (or piss and vinegar as my grandpa used to say) and ready to snark away …


The long arm of da Fox …

Most people reading this blog don’t watch Fox ‘News’, for it isn’t a news network, doesn’t report news truthfully, and the opinions of their ‘hosts’ are typically far right and stepping into the realm of conspiracy theories.  However, if you think Fox doesn’t have an influence on the people of this country, think again.

Fox hosts have historically denigrated the vaccine, pushed wild conspiracy theories such as that the vaccine contains some sort of microchips that will track your every movement, etc.  Recently, though, the Fox hosts have changed their tune … along with numerous Republicans … and the likes of Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy and others have encouraged their viewers to be vaccinated.  Fox even went as far to show a graphic that “vaccines work” alongside data in order to encourage viewers to get the jab.

The only explanation I have for the about-face is that they noted Republicans, largely comprising the anti-vax crowd, were dying of COVID, while vaccinated people were not so much.  Since Fox changed their tune, there has been a shift in the mindset of its viewers.  According to a Morning Consult poll …

Vaccine “reluctance fell to an all-time low this week among adults who watch Fox News,” wrote the polling company. The reported findings are as follows, “27 percent of viewers now say they probably or definitely won’t get vaccinated, down from 30 percent the week before and a high of 37 percent in mid-March.”

Whatever works, right?  Of course, ol’ Tucker Carlson, America’s #1 Idiot, is still promoting lies about the vaccine and still denigrating it, but perhaps someday Fox viewers will wake up and realize that Carlson is naught but a political plant … one sans intelligence or conscience.


School Boards are telling DeSantis where to put his ‘order’

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis recently issued an order barring schools from implementing mask requirements for kids.  In my book, this is the height of stupidity … and cruelty.  He is finding out, however, just how little weight his ‘order’ carries.  According to Politico …

“Late Tuesday night, school board members in Alachua County in north Florida voted to require all students to wear masks during the first two weeks of school. And Wednesday morning, Leon County, which includes Tallahassee, announced it’s seeking a mandatory mask rule for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

Even the Broward County School District, which just days ago said it would comply with DeSantis’ order, announced Wednesday that it would keep its mask mandate in place for the foreseeable future.

The governor, who has consistently downplayed the threat of the virus, has banned cities and schools from putting in place Covid requirements like masks or vaccine passports.

District leaders are left to choose: Eliminate mask mandates or face the loss of state funding.

“As controversial as it may be, I absolutely believe this is the right thing to do temporarily until we have a better understanding of the Delta variant and the impact it has on school-aged children,” said Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna on Wednesday.”

It has long been rumoured that DeSantis is considering a bid for the presidency in 2024 … let’s hope this latest idiocy of his kills any notion he might have of throwing his hat in the ring.


Elaine Chao finally found a job!

In case you wondered what ol’ Elaine Chao, former Director of Transportation under the former guy, and wife of Senator Mitch McConnell, is doing now that she is out of government, wonder no longer!  This week, grocery giant Kroger named Ms. Chao to its Board of Directors.  Hmmm … looks like I might have to find someplace else to do my grocery shopping!  And I am not alone …


A slap on the wrist

The latest trend for those who participated in the attempted coup, the attack on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th, is to claim that they are ‘political prisoners’.  I say that is complete and total BULLSHIT, and it turns out that one of my favourite judges, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, agrees with me.

The case in which she so ruled was that of Karl Dresch of Michigan.  Dresch, or rather his lawyers, worked out one heck of a plea deal whereby Dresch pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of “parading, picketing or demonstrating in the Capitol”.  But what is more important are the other four charges against him that were dropped in exchange for this single ‘guilty’ plea, including a felony count of obstructing an official proceeding of Congress.  Dresch attempted to claim that he was a ‘political prisoner’, that he was being singled out because of his political beliefs.  Judge Jackson was having none of it …

“He was not a political prisoner. We are not here today because he supported former president Trump . . . He was arrested because he was an enthusiastic participant in an effort to subvert and undo the electoral process.”

Judge Jackson sentenced Dresch to six months, his time in jail since his arrest on January 19th will count as ‘time served’ and he will now be released.  It is beginning to appear that few, if any, of the thousands who attempted to overturn our election, our very foundation of government, will pay much of a price.  I may be considered a hard-liner, but I don’t think a single person who entered the Capitol without legitimate purpose that day should serve anything less than 5 years, and those who caused any damage to property should serve 10 years.  If they assaulted a police officer … 20 years.  Good thing I’m not a judge, eh?

Hell No, They Won’t Go …

Last night I read that a number of House Republicans are protesting the mandate that Congressional aides and visitors must wear masks, as per the U.S. Capitol Police.  Of course they are … that is all they do, is object to anything and everything. They are much like the annoying, obnoxious lawyer who jumps up and dramatically yells “Objection, your Honour” every time the prosecution calls a witness or asks a question.  I have referred to the GOP more than once as “The party of ‘No’” and this just proves my point.

The Republican members of Congress, with few exceptions, are parrots, repeating their chants over and over again, never speaking with intellect, never saying anything of substance.  It’s just a continual chant of “Hell no, we won’t go”Hell no, they won’t support the right of We the People, the taxpayers who pay their bloated salaries, to vote.  Hell no, they won’t support taking care of the people of this nation who have suffered financially and otherwise during this ongoing pandemic.  Hell no, they won’t tell their constituents to get the vaccine so that this nation might someday rise above the ashes of COVID.  Hell no, they won’t encourage people to wear a mask in order to protect themselves and others, for they won’t even wear a mask themselves.  Hell no, they won’t vote for an increase in the minimum wage such that every working person is at the very least above the poverty level.  Hell no, they don’t want an investigation into the attempted coup on January 6th because they are ALL complicit to one extent or another.  Hell no, the Republicans DO NOT CARE ONE WHIT for the people of this country.

I am sick and tired of listening to Kevin McCarthy telling lies that he knows are lies, as he tries to worm his way into the heart of only one person … the former guy.  I am fed up to the gills with Jim Jordan and his rolled up blue sleeves and yellow necktie (does the ‘man’ not own any other clothing?) as he continues to push back, without cause, against every single thing that President Biden and his administration are trying to do for We the People!  I literally feel nauseous every time I see the newbies like Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, and Lauren Boebert pretend to be viable members of our legislative body, while at the same time toting guns into the Capitol, supporting conspiracy theories, and killing their own constituents by lying to them.

And what is being done to stop the madness?  Nothing.  Talk, talk, talk, and more talk on Capitol Hill, and nothing changes.  But it isn’t only the politicians … what the hell are We the People doing?  Nothing.  The anti-vaxxers are in the streets screeching about their ‘god-given’ right to refuse the vaccine, to refuse to wear a mask, but where are the protests about our constitutionally mandated voting rights being taken away?  The 2nd Amendment supporters are vocal enough, but where are the rest of us, those of us who believe that our right to safety is more important than their right to their killing machines?  Understand that I include myself in this conversation, for I’m not out protesting loudly, either, but merely sitting in my kitchen office writing a blog, occasionally writing to members of Congress to express my displeasure, and lying awake nights cursing at the ceiling.  We are, it seems, the silent majority.  Meanwhile, the Republicans are being heard loud and clear, killing whatever is left of this nation.  The Founding Fathers would not be proud of what we have become.

A few nights ago a friend left the following comment on one of my posts:

“And so America ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper. A voice from beneath the rubble, ‘I really didn’t mean to kill America. I just wanted to hear myself talk.’”

And you know what?  He’s not wrong.

A Damn Shame

Margie Greene is among the dumbest people in Congress and, in the grand scheme of things, is largely irrelevant since she sits on no congressional committees and doesn’t even show up for work most days, now that she and sex trafficker Matt Gaetz are taking their two-person show on the road.

Approximately 732,000 people live in Margie’s district in Georgia, most of whom are not vaccinated against COVID.  In fact, her district ranks the 8th lowest vaccination rate in the nation, out of 435 districts nationwide.  And sadly, Margie is largely responsible for this.  She with her wild QAnon theories and denial of mask mandates, social distancing, and vaccines, has convinced the people in her district that the only thing they need to do to stay safe is … wait for it … lose weight.  Yep, folks, Margie used to run a gym, so she knows these things. 🙄

I wonder if the people in her district are starting to doubt Margie … now that a five-year-old child there has died of the coronavirus?  Yes, you heard me right … a little boy just five years old.  His father’s Facebook page is heartbreaking …

“My little buddy. My best friend. My helper.”

A few days ago, Greene’s Twitter account was temporarily locked after she tweeted two claims about coronavirus vaccines that weren’t true. In one, she said that vaccines and masks shouldn’t be mandated but, instead, that the government should “help people protect their health by defeating obesity, which will protect them from covid complications & death, and many other health problems.” In the other, she said that “vaccines should not be forced on our military for a virus that is not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65,” then claimed that there were thousands of “vax related deaths.”  I wonder where Margie got her medical degree???

Earlier this week at a news conference, Greene was asked by a reporter …

“Do you feel any responsibility for keeping people in Georgia safe? There are children, skinny people who have died of the coronavirus. Do you feel any responsibility to the people of Georgia?”

Her response?  She laughed.  I wonder how the parents of that five-year-old feel, hearing their elected representative laughing about the death of their son?  She replied to the reporter …

“You crack me up. You know what? I think people’s responsibility is their own.”

Reminds me of a time when the former guy was asked about his bungling of the pandemic and he said, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”  More than 625,000 people have died of the virus in the U.S., including one little boy only five years old, and nobody takes responsibility at all.  Isn’t that a damn shame?

Trump’s Legacy: The Right to be a First Class Jerk

As always, our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters is spot on … take a look for yourselves! Thanks, Jeff! As always, you da man!

On The Fence Voters


Boorish, idiotic, and rude behavior didn’t begin with the election of the disgraced former 45th president. In my nearly six decades on this earth, I’ve run across several of these types — present company excluded. However, what we see these days when it comes to a lack of basic decency and etiquette, I will lay a considerable, if not primary, blame at the feet of the failed blogger/president. When historians take a look back at his failed presidency, surely this will stand near the top of his already disastrous legacy.

Ever since the infamous ride down the golden escalator, we’ve been subjected to his insults, lies, and politically incorrect behavior. His command of the daily narrative, usually starting early in the morning before most of us had started sipping our coffee, ruled the media throughout his four years in office. They, and many in public, couldn’t wait to hear what he’d…

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A Few Coronavirus Thoughts …

With some 156.2 million people in the U.S. partly or fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, there is much to be pleased about.  That is, after all, nearly half the population of the country.  But wait … it’s not quite time for cheering and bow-taking just yet, for there are still the other half that are not yet vaccinated.  A large number say it infringes on their “rights” and they do not plan on being vaccinated.  Others are still convinced by the conspiracy theories that the pandemic is a hoax, or that the vaccine is the government’s way of implanting a microchip in their body, though for what purpose is anybody’s guess.

The bottom line is that while at one point last month, 100,000 were being vaccinated every day, the number has slowed down significantly, and many states are requesting that the government send them less than originally requested.  I have a couple of points to make about the current status quo.

First, the State of Ohio, a state that is withholding the extra $300 per month in federal unemployment benefits passed by Congress and signed by the President as the American Rescue Plan, is now planning to use those funds to establish a lottery to bribe people to get vaccinated.  Yes, you heard me right.  Rather than use the money for the purpose for which it was intended – helping people buy groceries, pay bills, seek medical treatment – it will be spent to award five $1 million prizes to people who get the vaccine in five weekly drawings beginning on May 26th. Talk about a reverse Robin Hood — taking money away from those in need and giving it to those who will never again struggle to buy food, if they ever did. We have to PAY people to protect their own health???  What the hell is the matter with people???  Meanwhile, struggling families will still be facing unpaid rent and utility bills, and wondering how they will feed their children.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

This is not and never was the purpose of those funds!  Governor Mike DeWine, who I have long considered to be one of the saner, more moderate Republican governors, made the announcement in a speech last Wednesday and seemed quite pleased with himself.  I find it abhorrent that he’s playing a lottery game with people’s lives, and I strongly suspect his decision to redirect funds that were supposed to be used to help the unemployed survive, to providing a financial windfall for just five people is illegal.  Remember folks, this is federal money, so your tax dollars are in play here!  In addition, he has said that he would be lifting all health orders that were enacted during the pandemic on June 2, except for those affecting nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.  That includes the mask mandate, social distancing rules for bars and restaurants, and more.  Which brings me to my second point.

The CDC suddenly reversed course and said that it is no longer necessary for those who are fully vaccinated to wear a mask in public venues.  I think this is the height of stupidity for a number of reasons.  First, how can you tell who has been fully vaccinated at a glance.  You can’t.  Republicans have been running around sans mask whenever they could get by with it since day one, and we all know there are many who will simply shed the mask whether vaccinated or not.  Second, over just the past two days, there have been 65,000 new cases reported in the U.S.  Granted, that number is significantly smaller than it was a few months ago, but 65,000 is nothing to sneeze at, either.  I may not be as bright as the scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but when I hear we’re still averaging over 30,000 new cases each day, then I know the virus is not gone, is not ‘under control’.

So, what happens in the coming few weeks when every Tom, Dick and Harry sheds his mask and goes back to living a ‘normal’ life, frequenting bars, restaurants, amusement parks, sitting within inches of others, nobody wearing a mask?  Take a wild guess?  Yep, the number of cases will rise, the number of deaths will rise, and we’ll be halfway back to square one.

I have as much difficulty wearing a mask as anyone.  Last week, I wore one for 20 minutes and almost passed out for lack of oxygen.  But I will continue to mostly stay home, go only to the grocery store once a week with a mask on my nose and mouth, and a bottle of hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes in one hand.  If I can nearly die of suffocation from wearing a mask but do it anyway, then surely the rest of the fools in this country can wear one too.

I saw a comment on Twitter yesterday where a guy said “I will continue wearing a mask in public, because I don’t want to be mistaken for a Republican.  That would be so embarrassing.”  I have to agree with him.

Look, people, I think President Biden and his team have done one hell of a good job getting the vaccine where it is needed, encouraging the public, but the truth is we are not out of the woods yet.  Let common sense be your guide, please.  Remember that there are a number of new variants out there, and it has not yet been determined whether the current vaccines are fully effective on each of them.  Oh, and yes, I will be getting the vaccine soon, along with my granddaughter, and no, I will not enter that damn illegal lottery!  They can keep their blood money.

Bloomin’ Fools Abound (in the GOP)

Lots of little annoying things to stir my angst bouncing about on the radar tonight …


Taking credit where none is due …

It amazes me how somebody can take credit for what someone else has done, for what they themselves attempted to undo.  But that’s exactly what at least one Republican senator, Roger Wicker from Mississippi has done.  Not a single republican voted for the stimulus bill that, despite them, passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law by President Biden yesterday.  Mr. Wicker had the unmitigated gall to tweet …

“Independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief. This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll.”

Fortunately, people aren’t as stupid as he thinks and he received thousands of negative responses, including my own (I’ll likely get another suspension from Twitter for this one!).  Speaker Nancy Pelosi hit the nail on the head when she said …

“It’s typical that they vote no and take the dough.”


How in the Sam Hell?

Florida governor Ron DeSantis is a bloomin’ fool.  The latest?  Well, when he refused to put in place a statewide mask mandate last year, a number of counties and cities imposed local mask ordinances and fined businesses that failed to follow the law.  Makes sense to me, especially given that Florida has the third highest number of total cases in the country.

Well, apparently some people complained, so yesterday Governor DeSantis signed an executive order forgiving any fines related to local government COVID-19 restrictions on people and business.  The order states any fines imposed between March 1, 2020, and March 10, 2021, fines imposed by any political subdivision of Florida related to local government COVID-19 restrictions are canceled.

Heather Wooding, the owner of Country House Restaurant in Winter Garden, was fined in December after several warnings and several customer complaints that some employees were not wearing masks. Says she …

“I just didn’t feel it was right, so we were going to fight it.”

Wooding says she reqires no one to wear masks as she defies the county order and supports the governor’s new order eliminating fines.

“We have people coming here because we don’t wear masks. They want to be normal. And they are happy to come to a place that does not wear masks.”

Well, Bully!  We all want to be ‘normal’, but first we have to be alive, fool!


Floridians sure do know how to pick ’em …

And another bloomin’ fool in Florida … do they breed them specially down there?  Senator Rick Scott, who also did not vote for the stimulus bill, is beseeching states and cities across America to refuse federal aid and put politics over policy. In a letter sent to governors and mayors in Red states just after the bill was approved on Wednesday, Scott called the widely praised piece of legislation as “massive, wasteful and non-targeted.” He encouraged state and local leaders, by way of sending back the aid, to demand that Congress “quit recklessly spending other people’s money.”

WAIT just a darned minute here!  He doesn’t seem to have a problem spending other people’s money on himself (salary, travel, meals, perks) does he?  But he just doesn’t want people who actually need a boost to get one!

Oh, and by the way … it is reported that Scott is meeting this week with the former guy, if you needed further proof that he’s a fool.  If Scott and DeSantis are the best that the GOP has to offer, then it’s no damn wonder they feel they have to take our right to vote away from us, for anybody with half a brain ain’t gonna vote for these two fools!


Meanwhile, back from Cancún

And another bloomin’ fool, though this one is from Texas … none other than the ignoble Senator Ted Cruz … you remember, the guy who took off for the warm beaches of Cancún last month while the people of his state were freezing to death?  Well, after that little fiasco, I predicted that his political career would be over, but it seems he’s found a way to revive it … not a legal or moral way, but when has that ever mattered to Cruz?

His latest scheme to fundraise for his next campaign is to autograph Dr. Seuss books … for a donation of $60 per book!  Who in their right mind would pay $60 for Ted Cruz scrawl on a book that he didn’t even write???  This strikes me as the worst form of plagiarism!  In an email sent to prospective donors, Cruz says that he will personally autograph a copy of “Green Eggs and Ham” in exchange for a $60 campaign contribution.

“Look at this as your 2021 “cancel culture collectible from Team Cruz … it will be a great conversation piece.”

I suppose it’s not quite as bad as the former guy autographing bibles a few years ago.  Seems there is no low to which these guys won’t stoop.


Give the man a big, fat “F”!

Louis DeJoy is still Postmaster General, though hopefully not for much longer else I’m going to go bash his head in myself.  I’ve written enough times about this conniving man and his attempt to completely destroy the United States Postal Service, so I don’t need to remind you.

Yesterday, testifying before the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial service, DeJoy asked for additional funding … get a load of this … to slow the mail down even more than it already is!  Oh, and he still plans to raise the price to mail a letter or a package.  Hell, I could walk a card to the UK quicker than the USPS can get it there, and a hell of a lot cheaper!

But that’s not even the very worst of it.  When asked by Representative Mark Pocan to assign himself a grade for his 10 months in office, DeJoy awarded himself an “A” for “bringing strategy and planning and effort.”  Seriously???  My damn package took nearly two months to get from here to Wales even after I paid extra for expedited shipping, and he calls that ‘strategy’???

Pocan shot back that service declines, including historically poor on-time delivery rates during the holiday season, were hardly deserving of high marks.  DeJoy must go, and I don’t really care at all how we get rid of him … as long as he goes and somebody competent and honest replaces him!

A Bit Of Un-Masked History

Comparisons have been made more than a few times between today’s coronavirus pandemic and the pandemic of 1918 known as the Spanish Flu.  Turns out that one of the issues we are grappling with today, mask-wearing, was a big issue back then, too.  I thought this bit of history from the New York Times was quite interesting!


The Mask Slackers of 1918

As the influenza pandemic swept across the United States in 1918 and 1919, masks took a role in political and cultural wars.

christine-hauserBy Christine Hauser

Aug. 3, 2020

Updated 12:29 p.m. ET

flu-1The masks were called muzzles, germ shields and dirt traps. They gave people a “pig-like snout.” Some people snipped holes in their masks to smoke cigars. Others fastened them to dogs in mockery. Bandits used them to rob banks.

More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted.

In 1918 and 1919, as bars, saloons, restaurants, theaters and schools were closed, masks became a scapegoat, a symbol of government overreach, inspiring protests, petitions and defiant bare-face gatherings. All the while, thousands of Americans were dying in a deadly pandemic.

1918: The infection spreads.

The first infections were identified in March, at an Army base in Kansas, where 100 soldiers were infected. Within a week, the number of flu cases grew fivefold, and soon the disease was taking hold across the country, prompting some cities to impose quarantines and mask orders to contain it.

By the fall of 1918, seven cities — San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, Sacramento, Denver, Indianapolis and Pasadena, Calif. — had put in effect mandatory face mask laws, said Dr. Howard Markel, a historian of epidemics and the author of “Quarantine!”

Organized resistance to mask wearing was not common, Dr. Markel said, but it was present. “There were flare-ups, there were scuffles and there were occasional groups, like the Anti-Mask League,” he said, “but that is the exception rather than the rule.”

At the forefront of the safety measures was San Francisco, where a man returning from a trip to Chicago apparently carried the virus home, research archives show.

By the end of October, there were more than 60,000 cases statewide, with 7,000 of them in San Francisco. It soon became known as the “masked city.”flu-2“The Mask Ordinance,” signed by Mayor James Rolph on Oct. 22, made San Francisco the first American city to require face coverings, which had to be four layers thick.

A ‘pig-like extension of the snout’

Resisters complained about appearance, comfort and freedom, even after the flu killed an estimated 195,000 Americans in October alone.

Alma Whitaker, writing in The Los Angeles Times on Oct. 22, 1918, reviewed masks’ impact on society and celebrity, saying famous people shunned them because it was “so horrid” to go unrecognized.

“The big restaurants are the funniest sights, with all the waiters and diners masked, the latter just raising their screen to pop in a mouthful of food,” she wrote.

When Ms. Whitaker herself declined to wear one, she was “forcibly taken” to the Red Cross as a “slacker,” and ordered to make one and put it on.flu-3The San Francisco Chronicle said the simplest type of mask was of folded gauze affixed with elastic or tape. The police went for gauze masks, which resembled an unflattering “nine ordinary slabs of ravioli arranged in a square.”

There was room for creativity. Some of the coverings were “fearsome looking machines” that lent a “pig-like aspect” to the wearer’s face.

Mask court

The penalty for violators was $5 to $10, or 10 days’ imprisonment.

On Nov. 9, 1,000 people were arrested, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. City prisons swelled to standing room only; police shifts and court sessions were added to help manage.

“Where is your mask?” Judge Mathew Brady asked offenders at the Hall of Justice, where sessions dragged into night. Some gave fake names, said they just wanted to light a cigar or that they hated following laws.

Jail terms of 8 hours to 10 days were given out. Those who could not pay $5 were jailed for 48 hours.flu-4The ‘mask slacker’ of San Francisco is shot.

On Oct. 28, a blacksmith named James Wisser stood on Powell and Market streets in front of a drugstore, urging a crowd to dispose of their masks, which he described as “bunk.”

A health inspector, Henry D. Miller, led him to the drugstore to buy a mask.

At the door, Mr. Wisser struck Mr. Miller with a sack of silver dollars and knocked him to the ground, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. While being “pummeled,” Mr. Miller, 62, fired four times with a revolver. Passers-by “scurried for cover,” The Associated Press said.

Mr. Wisser was injured, as were two bystanders. He was charged with disturbing the peace, resisting an officer and assault. The inspector was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

In Los Angeles, ‘To Mask or Not to Mask.’

That was the headline for a report published in The Los Angeles Times when city officials met in November to decide whether to require residents to wear “germ scarers” or “flu-scarers.”

Public feedback was invited. Some supported masks so theaters, churches and schools could operate. Opponents said masks were “mere dirt and dust traps and do more harm than good.”

“I have seen some persons wearing their masks for a while hanging about their necks, and then apply them to their faces, forgetting that they might have picked up germs while dangling about their clothes,” Dr. E.W. Fleming said in a Los Angeles Times report.

An ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. John J. Kyle, said: “I saw a woman in a restaurant today with a mask on. She was in ordinary street clothes, and every now and then she raised her hand to her face and fussed with the mask.”

In Illinois, the right to choose, and to reject.

Suffragists fighting for the right to vote made a gesture that rejected covering their mouths at a time when their voices were crucial.

At the annual convention of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, in October 1918, they set chairs four feet apart, closed doors to the public and limited attendance to 100 delegates, the Chicago Daily Tribune reported.flu-5But the women “showed their scorn” for masks, it said. It’s unclear why.

Allison K. Lange, an associate history professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology, said one reason could have been that they wanted to keep a highly visible profile.

“Suffragists wanted to make sure their leaders were familiar political figures,” Dr. Lange said.

‘Four weeks of muzzled misery’

San Francisco’s mask ordinance expired after four weeks at noon on Nov. 21. The city celebrated, and church bells tolled.

A “delinquent” bent on blowing his nose tore his mask off so quickly that it “nearly ruptured his ear,” The San Francisco Chronicle reported. He and others stomped on their masks in the street. As a police officer watched, it dawned on him that “his vigil over the masks was done.”

Waiters, barkeeps and others bared their faces. Drinks were on the house. Ice cream shops handed out treats. The sidewalks were strewn with gauze, the “relics of a torturous month,” The Chronicle said.

The spread had been halted. But a second wave was on the horizon.

By December, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was again proposing a mask requirement, meeting with testy opposition.flu-6Around the end of the year, a bomb was defused outside the office of San Francisco’s chief health officer, Dr. William C. Hassler. “Things were violent and aggressive, but it was because people were losing money,” said Brian Dolan, a medical historian at the University of California, San Francisco. “It wasn’t about a constitutional issue; it was a money issue.”

By the end of 1918, the death toll from influenza had reached at least 244,681, mostly in the last four months, according to government statistics.

1919: A new year

In January, Pasadena’s city commission passed a mask ordinance. The police grudgingly enforced it, cracking down on cigar smokers and passengers in cars. Sixty people were arrested on the first day, The Los Angeles Times reported on Jan. 22, in an article titled “Pasadena Snorts Under Masks.”

“It is the most unpopular law ever placed on the Pasadena records,” W.S. McIntyre, the chief of police, told the paper. “We are cursed from all sides.”

Some mocked the rule by stretching gauze across car vents or dog snouts. Cigar vendors said they lost customers, though enterprising aficionados cut a hole in the cloth. (They were still arrested.) Barbers lost shaving business. Merchants complained traffic dropped as more people stayed home.

Petitions were circulated at cigar stands. Arrests rose, even of the powerful. Ernest May, the president of Security National Bank of Pasadena, and five “prominent” guests were rounded up at the Maryland Hotel one Sunday.

They had masks on, but not covering their faces.

The Anti-Mask League.

As the contagion moved into its second year, so did the skepticism.

On Dec. 17, 1918, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors reinstituted the mask ordinance after deaths started to climb, a trend that spilled over into the new year with 1,800 flu cases and 101 deaths reported there in the first five days of January.

That board’s decision led to the creation of the Anti-Mask League, a sign that resistance to masks was resurfacing as cities tried to reimpose orders to wear them when infections returned.

The league was led by a woman, E.J. Harrington, a lawyer, social activist and political opponent of the mayor. About a half-dozen other women filled its top ranks. Eight men also joined, some of them representing unions, along with two members of the board of supervisors who had voted against masks.

“The masks turned into a political symbol,” Dr. Dolan said.flu-7On Jan. 25, the league held its first organizational meeting, open to the public at the Dreamland Rink, where they united behind demands for the repeal of the mask ordinance and for the resignations of the mayor and health officials.

Their objections included lack of scientific evidence that masks worked and the idea that forcing people to wear the coverings was unconstitutional.

On Jan. 27, the league protested at a Board of Supervisors meeting, but the mayor held his ground. There were hisses and cries of “freedom and liberty,” Dr. Dolan wrote in his paper on the epidemic.

Repeal came a few days later on Feb. 1, when Mayor Rolph cited a downturn in infections.

But a third wave of flu rolled in late that year. The final death toll reached an estimated 675,000 nationwide, or 30 for every 1,000 people in San Francisco, making it one of the worst-hit cities in America.

Dr. Dolan said the story of the Anti-Mask League, which has drawn renewed interest now in 2020, demonstrates the disconnect between individual choice and universal compliance.

That sentiment echoes through the century from the voice of a San Francisco railway worker named Frank Cocciniglia.

Arrested on Kearny Street in January, Mr. Cocciniglia told the judge that he “was not disposed to do anything not in harmony with his feelings,” according to a Los Angeles Times report.

He was sentenced to five days in jail.

“That suits me,” Mr. Cocciniglia said as he left the stand. “I won’t have to wear a mask there.”