Saturday, January 6, 2024

Jan.6 - The Day Democracy Almost Died - Has Become a Day for MAGA Celebration

       Three years ago, Trump attempted to overthrow our electoral system by summoning his cult followers to the Capitol in an attempt to subvert the 2020 election results. 

It was one of the darkest days in American history. Over 1,300 rioters have been charged and convicted for their parts in the coup attempt.

As President Biden said yesterday at Valley Forge, "Democracy is at stake" referring to Trump's attempt to get re-elected president.

But Jan. 6 has become a time for celebration for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the Osceola Republican Party.

A Florida resort scheduled to host Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for what organizers claimed would be a small book signing abruptly cancelled it Thursday after learning the gathering was actually meant to commemorate the third anniversary of the deadly Jan 6 assault on the Capitol.

Westgate Resorts' Kissimmee, Florida, location said the Osceola Republican Party made no mention of Jan. 6 when they pitched the event as a mere book signing for Greene.

It's just another example of how underhanded Trump's cult members are. They've been trying to re-write history for the past three years. The really disgusting part is there are numerous cult supporters in Congress who follow Trump like lemmings with rabies.

Nothing can change the reality of what happened on Jan.6.

Trump's treasonous followers left five people dead and about 140 police officers injured. On top of that the attack traumatized Americans who watched the horror unfold on live TV. Suddenly our republic was at stake. Domestic terrorists were threatening one of the core tenants of democracy - the peaceful transfer of power.

As Republicans go about the day trying to deny reality, the majority of Americans know what they saw on TV that day - an insurrection.

There were no guided tours and peaceful tourists weren't just walking along causing no harm. The corridors of the Capitol were full of zealous Trump supporters willing to be part of an effort to overthrow a legal election.

As it stands, as much as I don't like talking about Trump, I couldn't let the anniversary of his attempt to overthrow a lawful election go by without commenting. I assure you that I'll avoid mention of him as much as possible in future posts.

Friday, January 5, 2024

They Had to Laundry Their Cash Because Their Dog Ate It, Another Mass Shooting, and More Raw Politics

The good news today is that a Pittsburgh couple whose dog ate an envelope filled with $4,000 cash were able to recover $3,550 - but it was dirty work!

Clayton Law said he and his wife, Carrie, were having a fence installed at their home in the Point Breeze neighborhood, and the workers requested to be paid in cash, so he left an envelope filled with $4,000 in one hundred- and $50-dollar bills on the kitchen counter.

When Clayton returned to the kitchen 30 minutes later, he found Cecil, the couple's 7-year-old goldendoodle, making a meal out of the cash. The couple set about trying to reassemble the shredded bills and came up with $1,500 worth of bills with serial numbers that were intact enough to have them replaced by the bank.

A couple of more $100 bills were retrieved in the evening when Cecil vomited, but the rest of the money involved a lot of waiting - and a whole lot of very dirty work.


New Year, Same Horror

A 17-year-old gunman killed a sixth grader and wounded five people before shooting himself at an Iowa school yesterday. Perry High School. 

The attack erupted on the first scheduled day of classes of the new semester. The attack was one of at least four mass shootings that unfolded in the United States in 2024. As usual, Republicans called for prayers while Democrats called for gun safety legislation. In the end nothing will be done about the fact that America leads the world in mass shootings.


Raw Politics

** Expert: "Treasure trove" of Documents Debunks Trump Claim That President isn't an "Officer" of US - Trump asked the Supreme Court to reverse the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to exclude him from the state's ballot based on the "insurrectionist clause" of the 14th Amendment.

Legal experts remain divided on how quickly the justices will rule on if the president is not an officer of the United States and can't be tried under the 14th Amendment. Their decision will have a major impact on several of Trump's court cases.

** Fear of MAGA "Backlash" is no Reason to Let Donald Trump Make an Illegal Run for President - Giving into MAGA threats by keeping Trump on the ballot just emboldens fascists to get more violent. There's no use in pretending Trump didn't engage in insurrection in his two-month campaign to overthrow an election.


News Headlines

** Mayor Eric Adams Sues 17 Charter Bus Companies for $700 million for Transporting Asylum Seekers to NYC - In a stunning and unexpected move to stop Texas Gov. Greg Abbott from shipping busloads of asylum seekers to New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has filed a lawsuit against 17 charter bus companies used by the Lone Star State.

** Terminally ill Connecticut woman ends her life in Vermont - The State of Vermont agreed to a settlement last March that allowed Lynda Bluestein, who is not a Vermont resident, to use the law to die in Vermont. 

** Israel's Supreme Court Deals Netanyahu a Political Blow as Israeli military starts moving troops out of Gaza - Israel's Supreme Court struck down part of Prime Minister Benjamine Netanyahu's controversial judicial overhaul, a move that could exacerbate political tension in the country as it changes its footing in the war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. 


Weird History

During World War II, a Great Dane named Juliana was awarded the Blue Cross Medal. She extinguished an incendiary bomb by peeing on it!


As it stands, "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." - Helen Keller

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Let There Be Power! 1st Large-Scale Offshore Wind Project Delivers and More

      The good news for today is a first for American energy sources - a large-scale offshore wind project began delivering power to the New England grid yesterday.

Energy company Avangrid announced that power for the Vineyard Wind project had delivered about 5 megawatts around noon on Tuesday.

According to the developers, the project is estimated to save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.


Interspecies Communication?

As artificial intelligence (AI) applications increase there doesn't seem to be anything AI can't do.

The latest AI technology is helping researchers decode animal communication and even begin to talk back to nonhumans.

I highly recommend going to Science, Quickly (you'll find them on Apple and Spotify) and tune into their podcasts for more AI news. Their looking back at last year's favorite episodes this week.


Today's Top Stories

** Ford recalls thousands of F-150s due to a rear axle hub bolt that could break. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Ford is recalling 112,965 F-150 trucks built between 2021 and 2023. Owners of recalled trucks can call the NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

** House committee to begin impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The Republican controlled House Homeland Security Committee said it will hold an impeachment hearing Jan. 10 against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for allegedly refusing to enforce laws passed by Congress.


Looking for love in all the wrong places!

A capuchin monkey named Charlie who escaped from a sanctuary in Ireland is likely on the hunt for a mate, the sanctuary's owner Willie Heffernan told reporters.

Heffernan asked local hunters to be aware that Charlie could be hiding in the trees and asked that they take extra caution to avoid shooting him.



** Trump Blocking Iowa Newspaper from rally raises questions. Lisa Grouette, a journalist for Iowa's Globe Gazette said she had been denied media entry to Trump's event being held in Mason City. 

This is nothing new for Trump rallies where the media has been demonized from the start. 

** Supreme Court put on notice by legal expert that slow-walking Trump case hurts Americans

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance recently wrote that ignorance of the law isn't an excuse to ignore it. In fact, personal opinion isn't either. Still, it's what is being used by Trump as he mounts a political defense for his indictments.

Vance explained that the case before Judge Tanya Chutkin is on hold while Trump fights for absolute immunity in the appeals court and, presumably at the Supreme Court.

At some point in time, we're going to find out how far right the Supreme Court currently is.


A few fun facts about Oregon

(Where my beautiful wife Shirley and I live)

1. A quarter of the country's IIama population lives in Oregon.

2. Oregon's State Flower is the Oregon Grape.

3. The smallest park in the world is in Portland.


As it stands, Seneca once said, "Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing."

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

'Mo Money!' Americans Getting Wage Hikes and a Lot of Other Interesting Stuff

The good news today is average Americans are getting a financial boost. 

The minimum wage is increasing in 22 states this year. 

That means about 10 million workers will benefit from the wage hike according to a report by the Economic Policy Institution.


West Coast Weather

Here in Oregon, we're bracing for powerful storms and snow in the next week. Forecasters are predicting the same for Washington and California. I'm not eagerly awaiting the snow like so many other people are here in the Rogue Valley (I'm in Medford). 


Star Bound

An orange tabby cat named Taters was the star in the first video transmitted by laser from deep space. 

He stole the show chasing a red laser light around. The 15-second video was beamed from Earth from NASA's Psyche spacecraft, 19 million miles away.

Whoever gets this video in a galaxy far, far, away will probably wonder if humans look like cats.


Action Needed!

More than
302,000 illegal migrants crossed into the US in December.

That's the highest amount ever recorded crossing the border in one month. Democrats and Republicans need to unite on this issue and come up with a game plan. 

As it is the immigration issue is being used as a cudgel by Republicans trying to make the Biden Administration look bad. For once I'd like to see Congress really take action and come up with a solution to regain control of our southern border.


Opinion Piece from The Guardian

You have one life. Do you really want to spend it looking at your phone?

The apps on our phones are designed to be addictive, but if we recognize what is happening, we can claw back our free time.

Author Catherine Price says "There are many reasons we're tethered to our phones, but the one that I find most infuriating is that our most time-sucking apps are deliberating designed to hook us - because that' s how their creators make money.

"In this economy, we are not the customers of these apps; advertisers are.

"Look up your daily screen time and do the math to figure out how many days it adds up to in a year. For example, four hours a day - which is pretty typical - adds up to just more than 60 full days every year."

Price advises the reader to break the cycle of checking your phone and to minimize exposure to dopamine triggers by turning off most of your notifications, deleting your most time-sucking apps (email news for example), and to turn the phones screen to black and white.

Price also suggests creating physical boundaries, like banning it from the bedroom and the dining room table and charging it in a closet at night.

"This is your life," Price tells the reader. "What do you want to pay attention to?"

(Condensed version)


Odds & Ends...

Q - When did humans first start wearing clothes?

A - 90,000 years ago (give or take a millennium)

Suffice to say it was a long, long, time ago.



** Florida's CFO shared a proposed plan for taxpayers to foot Trump's legal bills. This is for real. I seriously doubt this MAGA-loving clown will see his idea come to fruition. There are some sane people in the state.

** Efforts to control anti-MAGA renegades has resulted in a massive surge of death threats. No one, or institution, is exempt from Trump's crazed followers. I expect it'll get worse this year. Our republic is being threatened from within by a cult.


As it stands, if you like my new format and content don't be shy to comment at the end of the post. Any (constructive) suggestions or stories you'd like to see are fine by me.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Underpants Race, Price of Insulin Cut, and Climate News

The good news today is major drug companies have cut the price of insulin after years of raising prices. Drug companies have agreed to cap the price of insulin at $35. That's going to save a lot of lives.

Just when you thought you'd heard it all when it comes to breaking records an Australian man set a world record for the fastest time to put on 10 pairs of underpants. He said it took six months of practice to record his winning time of 13.03 seconds as verified by the Guinness World Record experts.


Take a tour of the 10 worst states to live in according to Americans. You may be surprised at some of the selections. I know I was. Especially when I found California on the list!


                      News Headlines

Walmart  Product sparks mass recall after leaving 7 dead and thousands injured.

* Israel-Gaza Live Updates: IDF Says it Expects War to Last All of 2024

Mom wakes up after kidney stone procedure with her legs amputated


Climate News

** Multiple Dead in Powerful Japan Earthquake

* 4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Rancho Palos Verdes in California

* Interactive map shows United States areas under the sea in 2050 due to climate change

A Yellowstone super volcano could cause a 'nuclear winter' and kill 90,000


Here's the most controversial laws that are now in effect across America this year 


Scientists make VR goggles for mice so they can feel what it is like to be attacked by a bird!

As it stands, "The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow." -H.G. Wells

Monday, January 1, 2024

You Made It! Welcome to 2024

I'm starting this new year off motivated by an epiphany that has more teeth than a normal New Year's resolution.

It's time for a blog make over with a much more positive approach to life in general. More smiles and less frowns. Not exactly a Socrates moment, but certainly an enlightened approach to life. 

I confess that politics took me down dark paths last year where I've set aside my own journalistic standards in favor of spewing anger about what I see happening to our democracy. I let Trump live rent free in my head as I opinionated daily about his latest attacks against our judicial system and every other government agency and the laws of the land.


Lesson one: I'm not going to solve the problem about what to do to with that traitor Trump by raging against him daily. That's up to the voters this November.

Lesson two: There's a lot of good things happening daily, and I need to highlight them along with other observations of what's happening in the news worldwide. 

After analyzing my readership last year, the results were somewhat predictable; my American audience was the largest. But it was seriously challenged by my international viewership! 

Here's the Top 10 countries whose viewership challenged my American audiences throughout the year.

*1. Singapore

2. Germany

3. United Kingdom

4. Canada

5. Italy

6. India

7. Russia

8. China

9. France

10. Poland

My accumulated readership for 2023 was 739 thousand, four hundred and 56 views.

I'm wondering if I have a fan club in Singapore because it led its closest competitor - Germany - by 48,000 views!

Many thanks to all of you international readers, and I look forward to entertaining you again this year.

As for my American readers I think you need a break from all the hate that's spreading across our country, and I'll do my best to provide you with lighter fare and neutral news coverage on all the events in our society. Look for more parodies and humor in the days ahead.

It goes without saying that this presidential election year is the most meaningful presidential election in our history because democracy is on the line. No hyperbole here. It's a fact.

But life has to go on. We all must make the decision to look for what's good in our personal lives and not be prisoners of the stress that's strangling our society.

I know. It sounds kind of Pollyannaish. All I'm saying is it's harder to smile than frown, but the reward is your own happiness.

This is going to be a big year for my wife Shirley and me. We'll be celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary on August 31st.

As it stands, as one of my favorite actresses Mae West once said, "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...