Saturday, November 19, 2022

Hug a Turkey Instead of Eating it this Thanksgiving

Well, why not?

Hug a turkey this year instead of eating it.

I must admit it's a fascinating concept. Theoretically the same idea could save thousands of pigs, cows (they do have some at Gentle Farms), and other assorted living things we eat if it catches on which I wouldn't bet on.

Power to the turkeys! Host a turkey cuddling event at your home this year. Where did this crazy idea come from in the first place? 

There's a farm in California (Gentle Farms) that's having an event to display their "reverence for all life" this year and it's featuring turkey hugs (for $50 visitors can spend 90 minutes getting to know a turkey better by hugging it, feeding it treats and making small talk).

If you ask me the biggest turkeys are the people paying $50 a pop to pet and hug a big bird!

But the owners of the Santa Clarita-based farm (The Gentle Barn) believe turkeys are affectionate and are really helping people in therapeutic sessions.

There are two other farms associated with the Santa Clarita farm that also charge for turkey hugs. One in Nashville, Tennessee, and the other in St. Louis, Missouri.

Needless to say, this new humane concept of celebrating Thanksgiving without eating a turkey, has spread far and wide among turkeys in America who are seeking to enlist at one of the three farms.

Personally, I had no idea that turkeys have been cherished throughout history for their intelligence, affection, and dynamic personalities. At least according to the folks at Gentle Barn.

It's probably a good time to correct some gobble gossip. Turkeys looking up at the sky during a rain fall don't drown. It's an old wives tale that needs to be shot down.

So, I guess we can agree that turkeys aren't dummies and they have a soothing effect on humans.

As it stands, the word has been getting out to other animals we eat during the holidays, to organize hugging events if they want to live longer!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Festive Weekend in Washington DC: Hunter Biden's Daughter to Marry in the White House and Joe Biden Marks Historic Birthday

Photo - President Joe Biden, Naomi Biden, granddaughter Naomi Biden and fiancĂ© Peter Neal walk to the White House from Marine One in Washington D.C. 

Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images

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What a weekend!

Hunter Biden's daughter Naomi is getting married on the White House South Lawn (a first by the way) on Saturday, and Sunday is Joe Biden's 80th birthday making him the oldest sitting president ever.

I can't help but think about the crazed members of the so-called Freedom Caucus who are probably incensed at seeing their #1 enemy enjoy a day of celebrations at the White House.

I think the marriage between Naomi and Peter Neal symbolically kicks off a fresh life chapter by putting a youthful spin on Joe's 80th birthday on Sunday.

Insiders say the wedding date was no coincidence with the president's day - noting the "age issue" is never something Joe wants to highlight.

Be that as it may the White House will be filled with music this weekend in a rare show of dancing and fun.

Political pundits are gushing that the wedding will be the social event of the White House this year, perhaps of the entire Biden administration.

Wedding watchers are babbling about who's putting on the gala event. It's Bryan Rafanelli if that means anything to you. They're also speculating on other such important issues as,

-- what flavor the cake will be and who made it?

-- who designed Naomi's wedding gown?

-- who'll be the official photographer?

-- and a host of other ridiculous details that the media eats up like pot brownies.

The word among reporters covering Joe Biden is that he'll be going back to his house after this weekend and will hold a family meeting on the subject of running for a second term. I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall during that conversation!

As it stands, the bottom line is it's great to see such a positive event during these stressful times. Even if you're not an avid wedding watcher (like me) you can appreciate a weekend of hilarity!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Back to the Moon but Why?

Here's a quick historical fact; the first American spaceflight that landed humans on the moon was in 1969.

Yeah. That long ago. 

It made heroes out of Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin when they landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20.

I remember watching them on live TV as they bounced around on the moon's surface and planted an American flag (which probably turned to dust decades ago).

Flash forward to 2022.

NASA sent (what they call) an historic Artemis I mission to the moon a couple of days ago. To be clear, this mission is ultimately about returning astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in 50 years.

But the Artemis I is an uncrewed (if you don't count the crash dummies inside) spacecraft that will just be circling the moon. 

Wait a moment! Circling the moon doesn't sound like we've advanced very far in the last 50 years. What happened? Did NASA lose all their notes about safely landing the Apollo Lunar Module?

The whole mission is an embarrassment.

One of the Artemis I mannequins riding in the capsule is named Commander Moonikin Campos. Need I say more?

When the landing capsule splashes down it's going to provide some great photos (taken by 16 cameras) of the moon's surface. Again. Did NASA lose the photos they've been taking for the last five decades since we landed there?

This ground-breaking (lol!) lunar flyby is going to come the closest to the moon on November 21. Somehow that doesn't sound thrilling or impressive to me.

That's it in a nutshell. This vaunted effort by NASA is a pathetic rerun without even landing on the moon, a feat NASA accomplished a half century ago. And here we are, spending billions to do it.

As it stands, I can think of better places for taxpayers' money to go where it'll really help them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Will the Temperature Eventually Turn Down with More Women in Political Offices?

I've always considered women more reasonable than men. 

There's a boatload of scientific data showing women are better at bargaining and controlling their temper. Men on the other hand generally start beating their chests when conversations don't go their way.

With more and more women entering politics I'm hoping they can cool the fires down in congress and the state houses. I've heard other men disparage women and say they are too emotional to lead anyone.

That's bullshit.

All you have to do is look around the country at women politicians to see the positive impact they've already had in political discourse and organization. Take Nancy Pelosi or Liz Cheney for example.

Single women voted for Democrats, adding to their winning margins in the surprising midterms. Young people's votes were huge in the contest. My point is that a solid democratic base has to include (at least) equal numbers of women to win contests.

It's an historical fact that men have always underestimated women. The reasons are myriad, but the underlining problem is men are afraid of women.

This country is full of misogynists who devote their time to restricting women's rights in the workplace and society. 

The good news is the glass ceiling has been broken in American politics allowing women to hold important government offices and positions in congress.

But we still haven't elected a woman president yet. Maybe 2024 will be the year we get a democratic woman in the Oval Office. It's a thought. 

Frankly I don't know who a good woman candidate would be... yet. Give it time. Maybe midyear of 2023 we'll have a clearer picture of democratic candidates for the next election.

I should add that I also don't have any men on my list of potential candidates either. 

Before you say there's too many crazy women in politics already let me state the obvious; the majority of crazies in politics are men. Go ahead and count them.

Being somewhat of an expert on women - I've been married to the same one for 48 years - I can tell you their clever and canny in ways men will never be. It's kind of like their superpower.

As it stands, underestimate a woman at your own risk!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Trump's Re-Election Announcement Spells Doom for Republicans in 2024

Finally, after a year of teasing his MAGA faithful Trump dumped his load and declared he's running for president... again.

Democrats were ecstatic to hear the news yesterday.

Champagne corks were popping as Trump ranted and raved about how great he was as a president. The 200 guests in the Mar-a-Lago ballroom looked like club members forced to show up for his big announcement. The tepid applause every now and then didn't reflect any true enthusiasm. 

The goal of keeping a democrat in the Oval Office in 2024 got that much closer. Think about it. How is a three-time election loser going to take the GOP to the promised land after another ridiculously bad showing in the midterms?

It gets better.

The Republican party (the Mitch McConnell wing) wanted Trump to wait until the Dec. 6 runoff in Georgia between Hershel Walker and Rev. Warnock was over. They had a slim hope of winning but if Trump steals the thunder and donations, Walker's chances of winning are greatly reduced. 

The gift of announcing his presidency now is going to keep on giving the democrats ammunition and motivation for the 2024 presidential election.

Meanwhile the Republican party is squabbling about why there was no Red Wave and Trump is getting backlash for losing the senate and nearly losing the House.

McCarthy won the leadership nomination against his challenger Andy Biggs. McConnell may face a challenge to his leadership but in the end, he's going to keep his roost. The backbiting against him is coming from Ted Cruz who's desperately looking for someone to blame for the historic losses.

Let's consider a few more things that are going to be beneficial for democrats in the next two years.

-- It's likely the crazies in the GOP caucus will get their way and they'll try to impeach President Biden. I can't think of a better motivation for democrats to turn out in record numbers in the next election.

-- It's really unlikely that Republicans will pass any meaningful legislation. Voters notice things like that.

-- If these midterms taught us anything Americans are tired of the eternal warfare and conspiracies the GOP has polluted our political system with in the last six years.

-- A new Trump campaign will set up a test between the growing skepticism of his ambitions among the upper echelons of his party and the adoration millions of his base voters still feel for the twice-impeached ex-president.

I could go on with more examples, but I think I made my point here. Americans are weary. We have enough challenges with climate change, the economy, and a lingering COVID-19 that keeps mutating.

I'd like to believe that some maggots will desert Trump's decreasing tent and move on to someone else who isn't a loser. I don't expect a significant amount of his supporters will stop idolizing him, so we can expect a three-ring circus for the next two years.

The new House committees plan on conducting a revenge tour by investigating everyone they don't like. These mini-theatrical events will only motivate democrats, independents, and even some republicans to vote against extremism.

So, yeah... do your worst Donny! Your days are numbered.

P.S. What a pathetic performance!

As it stands, Trump and minions won't go gently into the night. That's what democrats are counting on. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Don't Worry About it - America's Always Had Enemies

From Day One America has had to fight enemies abroad and at home.

You'd think we're used to it by now in 2022. But to hear the pundits put it democracy is on the ropes and our future only holds bad things in store.

Worse yet, they say we're just a hair trigger away from a nuclear war with Russia, China, or North Korea. Take your pick.

Hold on!

Worrying about what could happen doesn't help anyone. It's one thing to be informed, and it's another to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.

I'm going to break it to you gently, you are not going to solve the climate crisis or the war in Ukraine. You are a tiny cog existing on this planet for some supreme being's amusement.

Our democracy has always had challenges from within. There's nothing, we can do about it. We are a continuous people still dealing with the great experiment that says immigrants from around the world add to our culture and greatness.

As I'm sure you're aware worrying doesn't solve anything. But being human sometimes we can't help ourselves. That doesn't mean we should embrace uncertainty like a deer in the headlights of a truck.

I recommend studying American (and world) history to center your thinking. It helps to know that nothing is new under the sun. Wars and famine. Disease and droughts. This country has survived it all.

On worrying

"A day of worrying is more exhausting than a week of work." - John Lubbock

"I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution." - Shaquille O'Neal

"Worry is the stomach's worst poison." - Alfred Nobel

As it stands, like the immortal Alfred E. Neuman says, "What Me Worry?"

Sunday, November 13, 2022

I Wonder How Long People Are Going to Continue to Underestimate Joe Biden?

He might as well be Charlie Brown for all the respect President Joe Biden gets from all quarters.

As the midterms wind down Biden's party discovered he was a much stronger president than they thought. He's been unfairly underestimated and criticized despite having a formidable first two years.

Let's face it. Biden's a great guy and very empathetic, but he's no John F. Kennedy. His rallies are milder that the theatrical performances the GOP has been putting on for the MAGA crowd.

Biden is the kind of guy you might bump into at your local grocery store. There's nothing remarkable in his appearance and he's soft-spoken. His blue eyes are warm with a sense of humor lurking behind them.

I believe that despite the House going back to the Republicans (at least that's what's projected as of this writing with a three-seat majority) it doesn't mean no legislation will get passed in the next two years.

If anyone can put together a coalition of lawmakers from both sides, it's Biden. With the Senate staying Democrat, he's got a strong ally providing him with bargaining options. 

All of that said, I don't think it's a good idea for Biden to run for re-election in 2024. There's the age thing for starters. It's obvious this term is taking a toll on him. His own party, when recently polled, thinks he should not run again (a 70% majority).

What I hope to see is the Democrats come up with some strong young candidates for president by mid-2023. As pundits will point out after these midterms, those young voters (with their expanding numbers) were pivotal in the Democrats successes and keeping the Senate blue.

When the time comes, I want to see Biden back the popular candidate with his bully pulpit for the good of the whole party.

I'm sure Republicans are counting on harassing Biden and his family for the next two years, trying to prevent him from getting any legislation passed. Sadly, that's their whole warped Revenge Tour agenda.

But I think Republicans are underestimating the old war horse. And who says the Republicans are going to stay united over every issue for the next two years? 

This particular group with its wacked out minority Freedom Caucus is going to see a lot of backbiting. It won't be pretty.

As it stands, I think as long as people continue to underestimate Biden, they do so at their own expense.

Who's Stalking Zoos and Stealing/Killing Their Animals?

For some odd reason monkeys have become a prime target f or thieves who have broken into two zoos recently. Zoosiana, a zoo in Broussard, ...