Monday, August 03, 2020

Don't be confused -- Trump's virus response has been brilliant. Here's the explanation

Trump's coronavirus response has been brilliant. Here's what you don't understand.

by Rex Huppke, Chicago Tribune

It seems some Americans are confused about President Donald Trump's extremely strong and very powerful national response to the coronavirus pandemic.

That confusion is understandable, as many Americans are not used to having a president who, by his own expert account, has "a very, very large brain" and also has "the best words." It's not President Trump's fault you're confused. It's your fault.

The coronavirus is nothing to worry about, will likely be gone by April (anyone who says April was last month is a FAKE CALENDARIST!) and the virus is also a Democratic hoax, and a plague.

The number of deaths from the virus are being overblown by Trump-hating death counters, and also more than 90,000 people have died, which is a great success. If the president had done nothing, millions would have died from this nothing-to-worry-about virus. Also, the dead are only a small percentage of the population and it was their fault (the dying, I mean) because they were unhealthy, so they don't really count and technically the COVID-19 death toll is zero. But we salute them — the hardly any — for being warriors in the great fight against this horribly overblown hoax-plague that could've killed millions were it not for President Trump's great leadership.

What's important now is that Americans come together and TRANSITION TO GREATNESS by closely adhering to the federal guidelines established by the coronavirus task force. Americans also need to REOPEN OUR COUNTRY immediately and completely disregard the aforementioned federal guidelines.

Everything's fine, life can return to normal, and also President Trump has launched an initiative called Operation Warp Speed that will create a coronavirus vaccine in record time, because everything's fine but a vaccine is crucial, but also not crucial. As the president said while announcing Operation Warp Speed: "We think we are going to have a vaccine in the pretty near future, and if we do, we are going to really be a big step ahead and if we don't, we are going to be like so many other cases where you had a problem come in, it'll go away at some point, it'll go away."

So the vaccine, which we're traveling at warp speed to create, is vitally important and also no big deal because this coronavirus plague — which is nothing to worry about — will simply go away at some point.

Also important and simultaneously not important is testing. While other countries started widespread testing almost immediately, President Trump made the smart choice of not doing that. What's the point of testing when you don't already have thousands of deaths demonstrating the need for testing? Swift, widespread testing would have shown a large number of coronavirus cases in America, which would have made the president look bad, and the last thing Americans want during a pandemic is to have their president look bad.

So he patiently waited, and now America has ramped up its testing and the president has boasted about how amazing his administration has been at testing, while also pointing out how testing is dumb (probably Obama's idea) and causes more people to get the virus: "Don't forget, we have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn't do any testing, we would have very few cases."

Make sense? It's understandable if it takes you a minute. It's not easy keeping pace with someone who has a very, very large brain.

What's truly remarkable about President Trump's flawless response is how he has managed it while people tried to blame him for the aforementioned very small number of 90,000 deaths. Only a godless liberal would waste time casting blame in the middle of a national not-a-big-deal crisis.

Also, the Obama administration is to blame and Democratic governors are to blame and the people getting sick are to blame and the so-called infectious disease experts who keep saying the nation needs a coordinated federal response are to blame and the media are to blame and hospitals are to blame and China is to blame, though they must have hacked Trump's Twitter account on Jan. 24 and posted this tweet: "China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!"


Lastly, as President Trump has demonstrated by not wearing a mask, you should always wear a mask while around others. It's just the right thing to do. Or not do.

Now get out there! Everything makes sense. Everything's perfect. And anything that's not perfect you're wrong about.

Enjoy your transition to greatness! (Unless you die, in which case it's your fault for transitioning to greatness wrong.)


Friday, July 31, 2020

New Lincoln Proj. ad - Trump voter in coma for 3 1/2 years wakes up in hospital

and his still-Trump-supporting family tells him about all he's missed.  A must-see.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Must-see video: Trump & Company sing as they line their pockets: "WE ARE THE WORST"

You'll have to skip through a couple of youtube ads to see this, but
it's worth that small annoyance.

This video link should be sent to every Trump supporter so they can hear
their MAGA "heroes" sing out the truth about themselves:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Ex-Republican, ex-Christian evangelist Frank Schaeffer speaks truth to power

Fiery, Frustrated and Horrified, just like the rest of us, former dedicated Republican Frank Schaeffer is speaking out with flaming rhetoric against what Trump is doing to our country.  This video ought to be viewed by everyone, including Trump-supporting evangelists (but we know their "Christian" "values" don't match with Schaeffer's).  If you watch this short video, you can make up your own mind as to whose vision you agree with:

Donald Trump: A Threat to American Democracy


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

a better Randy Rainbow link for his newest song

If you're not on Facebook, you won't be able to access it on the link I just sent you.  Here's a youtube one that will work:

Randy Rainbow's Newest and Best: Gee, Anthony Fauci

Randy's back with a new one! (~.~)  His parody on West Side Story's Officer Krupke is Done to Perfection!  A bunch of the White House villains are given their just due in it -- with Dr. Fauci being honored.  Randy speaks/sings for all of us in our desperation at what is happening in our country!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

A cartoon strip dedicated to all Trump voters

If only they can recognize themselves.  The tragedy is they and the Trump party have taken ALL of us over the cliff with them.  It will take the Democrats years to clear the wreckage.  As for the Republican party, it died in the crash.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Window Swap - site dedicated to seeing views from other peoples' windows

Great idea -- good way to take quick vacations around the world, seeing wonderful views while pretending you live in other peoples' homes (~.~)  No money needed, because it's priceless. :-)

Read about it:

Go into it:



Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A song of calmness -- Be Still

Although it has undertones of religion, the message of this song is also deeply spiritual (touching the spirit within).  It can apply to all, no matter whether "religious" or not.  "Be Still" is a powerful message, pointing us to our own inner guidance.  In chaotic, cacophonous times like we are now experiencing in our world, the messages we seek from within, with a sincere heart, are our best guidance.  Whether or not you believe in a personal God or a particular spiritual leader, if you believe there is an energy, a power that is the source of everything, then this song can also be for you. Each person who hears it can put their own interpretation on it -- but the important thing is the inner calmness and clarity it points us to in these troubled times. :-)


Monday, June 22, 2020

Inspiring TED talk by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor

In this time of Trump madness, in order to lift my spirit and remind me of what is really true and good, I returned to a TED talk that inspired me a few years ago when I first saw it.  This neuro-scientist, JIll Bolte Taylor, through experiencing a stroke, discovered the oneness that permeates existence, showing we are not separate beings apart and divided.  We are one magnificent energy of pure consciousness, lighting up the world.  As she said, the beauty and wonderment of that is something she thought is worth sharing.  I can't think of a better time to share JIll's story/discovery once again.  Her story has the power to change the world by changing our understanding of who we really are. 😊

▶ 18:19
Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and ...
Mar 10, 2014


Wednesday, June 03, 2020

A very different kind of instrument: The Chapman Stick

I think you might like the sound of this musical instrument.  Maybe you already know about it, but it's new to me.  The Chapman Stick, first developed in the 1970s, is a stringed instrument, shaped like a long wide stick, looking something like a guitar, but you don't pluck it like a guitar.  Instead, it's more percussive.  Your fingers tap down on the strings and under them, to the fret, to create the unusual sounds that can be made on it. It's kind of a combination of a guitar, piano and drum. Very interesting! I think Holland would have loved it.  Just think of the practice it would take to learn to play it!  Here is a musical genius playing "While my guitar gently weeps" on the Chapman Stick:

We humans are amazing beings, aren't we? With all of our talents that can create art and devise beautiful music and instruments like this, it's a puzzlement why we don't just spend all our time creating beauty together and ignoring tiny differences like skin color, religions and the like.  IF only....:-)


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

I think you'll like this column about teachers Yay! (and Trump Ugh!)

Trump: If You Want to Know Him, Just Listen
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by Jaime O'Neill | May 26, 2020 - 6:36am

When I was in college, I was often really impressed with some of my profs. Some of them seemed to have read just about everything. They were erudite, ready to share an insightful anecdote, a scrap of history, or a spot-on quote in response to most anything that might come up in class, any question raised. Any time a point needed clarifying they seemed to have an illustration or a helpful enlargement to contribute to the discussion or lecture at hand.

I remember one very unimposing little professor of English history, a man who dressed in tailored suits from Saville Row, dapper, but bookish, rather stuffy, and never histrionic. Still, his love of his subject, as dull as It could sometimes be, was contagious. I hung on his every word. Still, it surprised me when he finished the last lecture of the semester and the class broke into spontaneous applause. I hadn't known everyone in that room had been as transfixed as I had been, too focused to notice that they were transfixed, too.

I've lost his name to memory, and don't really remember much about the 18th century parliamentary disputes studied that semester. But I can still draw his image to mind, along with the sure knowledge that I learned a lot that semester, though most of it has been lost.

As I sat in that handful of classes presided over by exceptional teachers, I could only hope to someday be as good as they were. Like most every profession, the percentage of truly gifted people is about equal to the truly bad ones. By my completely unscientific reckoning, I figure 10% of people in most any line of work are truly great at what they do. On the other end of the spectrum, about 10% really suck. Everyone else is somewhere along the scale of acceptable, from not too bad to very, very good. Without undue or false modesty, I'd place myself somewhere closer to the better end of that spectrum. Surely some students wouldn't place me there. 

How we respond to teachers varies, just as there are ways to respond to most anyone else we encounter. Much is subjective. But I've given a lot of thought to this, as old people do as they look back at their lives, and I know I never allowed myself to cheat students, to skimp on the effort, to phone it in, though there were surely days when I wasn't able to bring my best, or to get the best out of them.

But, like so many of those profs I studied to see what kind of teacher I wanted to be, I gradually acquired a storehouse of anecdotes, scraps of info I could make pertinent and apply to discussions, and a whole bunch of quotes--snatches of poetry and profundity I always loved to share, partly because it made me look smarter than I am, but also because that stuff had taught me lessons or ways of seeing I thought might be useful to students, too.

One quote I never completed a semester without repeating is this one by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote: "With his will, or against his will, a man reveals himself with every word." I think I first encountered that notion when I was trying to learn how to write dialogue in ways that would reveal character, realizing that people often don't say what they really mean, but will show who they are, nonetheless, if we only listen carefully.

That quote came to mind, as it often does, when I read some of Trump's daily tweets sent by the POTUS on Memorial Day or in the days before we were doomed to hit the sorry milestone of 100,000 dead, all lost to the coronavirus, many of them who might not have died but for the criminal negligence of the Tweeter-in-Chief.

Here's a few of the recent bird-brained sentiments he chirped to tout his many personal virtues, aptitudes, or accomplishments, to lie, or to launch yet more puerile insults toward any lesser human beings who have annoyed him. Following a holiday observance for those who died in service to this country, at a time when thousands are dying daily of a very scary virus, I'd suggest you read these tweets in the context of that Emerson quote, then add to Emerson this well-known quote from Maya Angelou: "When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time." How much grief might we have been spared if we'd really listened hard to damn near every utterance Trump has offered with those two cautions in mind.

"Great reviews on our handling of Covid 19," Trump tweeted last weekend. "sometimes referred to as the China Virus. Ventilators, Testing, Medical Supply Distribution, we made a lot of Governors look very good - And got no credit for so doing. Most importantly, we helped a lot of great people!"

He chose the word "reviews," as though it was all a reality show performance. And only 100,000 died. How great is that? We're Number 1. Again.

And he tweeted, defensively, about the criticism he got for golfing on a weekend meant to honor fallen heroes. "Some stories about the fact that in order to get outside and perhaps, even a little exercise," he tweeted, "I played golf over the weekend. The Fake & Totally Corrupt News makes it sound like a mortal sin - I knew this would happen! What they don't say is that it was my first golf in almost…"

He also tweeted this: "Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18 years), rebuilding our military and so much more: Nice!"

Oh, those happy dead.

And he just had to get in a few jabs at a woman who stood against him on the subject of mail-in ballots, and who chastised him for not wearing a face mask when he visited a Detroit auto factory. "Do nothing A.G. of the Great State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, should not be taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor - they might get upset with you and leave the state, like so many other companies have - until I came along and brought business back to Michigan. JOBS!"

Then, unsatisfied and still pissed, he tweeted again:

"The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, is viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask. Not their fault, & I did put on a mask. No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!"

So, I repeat Emerson's words: "With his will, or against his will, a man reveals himself with every word." Sometimes so much is revealed that we have to look away in disgust.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Russian/Chinese bots trying to create division in U.S.

I've read warnings like this before, saying that we are going to be bombarded with bots with all kinds of graphic distortions, meant to confuse, mislead and divide our country's population.  Now that graphic programs have become improved/advanced and available to anyone, changes can easily be made in photos and even in videos (changing the faces of the people, like was done in a recent video purporting to be Bill Gates), we are at the mercy of the purveyors of all kinds of online disinformation. Most of them favor right-wing beliefs.  

Looks like it's time to hone our discrimination skills.  I am questioning everything that comes my way and trying it on for size with questions:  Does this, at first glance, sound like nonsense?  Does it go against common sense?  Could it possibly be from Russia?  Is it divisive?  racist?  anti-government?  does it have the flavor of right-wing madness about it?  You can almost taste the poison of right-wing nuttiness -- the kind of thing you hear and see on Fox News every day.  If any conspiracy theory comes my way that has that flavor, I will delete it.  

Regarding Covid-19: We've got enough trouble in our country with the right-wing nutcase in our White House who doesn't believe the virus is dangerous.  Regardless of what he and/or the bots say, I'm going to stay sheltered as much as possible -- and wear a mask whenever I'm out in public. This virus is showing itself to be pervasive and deadly. Common sense tells us a second or even third wave is predictable, when not all of the population has had it.  Anyone urging us to go out without protective masks, as if nothing is happening, is suspicious to me as being either a right winger or a victim of right-wing propaganda ginned up in our country or in foreign countries that want to sow more confusion and division here--especially in this election year.   

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Beautiful to share: Purest voice -- sung as she was dying

What a Wonderful World.  Eva Cassidy's last performance before she died one month later of melanoma. She was very weak and had to be carried on stage to perform this -- but listen to that strong, pure voice -- an angel here on earth, getting ready to depart for her true home. O:-)❤️️


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Fwd: they stand behind the president

very interesting expressions on the faces behind the president tell the full story 


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Newest Randy Rainbow: A Spoonful of Clorox

Hilarious.  Incredible that we have a President who actually makes this nonsense an absolute necessity.  Thankfully, we have Randy to warn against Trump's ridiculousness in a  superbly clever/humorous song.  We need to balance our tears and fears with laughter, and Randy fills the bill.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Magical healing mantra -- dedicated with love to the Earth and al its inhabitants on Earth Day today

Happy Earth Day!   If you take a few minutes out of your day today to hear this divinely-inspired mantra/song of love and healing, you will be glad you did. You and our beautiful Earth deserve it. ❤️


Because we NEED to LAUGH: new version of The Lion (Lyin') King -- best ad ever against Trump

Thank goodness for those clever hero humorists who can keep us laughing through it all...
Yes, the Lyin' King tweets tonight....🎶

Soothing, calming music for Deep Inner Peace

Purely Beautiful... No need to understand the words (I believe they are in Sanskrit -- the word "Shanti" means "Peace."). I love the second one--oh, what incredibly soothing voices... and such a heart-touching, lilting tune... To listen to it is to fall in love with it. 💕💟😇💕❤
This is a heavenly site to send to friends and loved ones to soothe the spirit in these troubled times.  And there are more wonderful sites like this to explore in the sidebar when you call up this link:

Such soft, beautiful voices in these ancient songs/chants- wonderful to listen to at bedtime or any time you just want to feel inner peace. Like hearing songs of angels. As one listener/commenter posted on the youtube site:

Shanti or Inner Peace, that reclusive place within us and still we find it hard to find it. As the daily activities, our aims and to-do lists fill our days.. that continuous running, running after something in future or fixing something in the past takes up our time, energy. we get a little too far away from our peaceful inner self. Not our fault. That's how we all collectively built this world, which has brought the human race to where we are today. We created thousands of comforts for ourselves, but still we are not comfortable inside. We create so many processes, tools, internet to help us, to make our lives easy, but we still feel uneasy inside. Sometimes, we crave for the time when life was easy and simple. We can not go back 1000 years, but we can use the techniques, used by people back then to find that inner peace, which is there inside all of us.


Thursday, April 16, 2020

McConnell is the most dangerous man in America - read Jane Mayer's article in the New Yorker

To read Mayer's excellent New Yorker article, click on the link below in the first sentence of this article.

The Most Dangerous Man In America Right Now Isn't Trump. It's Mitch McConnell

If you've got an hour or so to spare, this deep dive into Sen. "Moscow Mitch" McConnell from investigative reporter Jane Mayer is worth all of it -- because the portrait that emerges is of a power-hungry, principle-free sociopath without a single redeeming quality.
The Most Dangerous Man In America Right Now Isn't Trump. It's Mitch McConnellImage from: DonkeyHotey

If you've got an hour or so to spare, this deep dive into the life and times of Sen. "Moscow Mitch" McConnell from investigative reporter Jane Mayer is worth all of it. It took me an hour, anyway, because I had to keep surfacing for clean air. Because the portrait that emerges is of a power-hungry, principle-free sociopath without a single redeeming quality. Just what you always imagined of McConnell, and so much worse. To distill it all down is near-on impossible; the entire story is most definitely a must-read. But revisiting why he's called Moscow Mitch is probably the most instructive part of the story for the moment we're in now. It lays out the lengths to which he'll sacrifice anything—including the integrity of a presidential election—to grasp more personal power. It illustrates just how incredibly dangerous he is in a crisis, because if he'll sell out our democracy, he'll happily sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives.

After all, he's as responsible as anyone for giving the White House to Trump. Mayer reports that "several members of McConnell's innermost circle" told her that "behind Trump's back McConnell has called the President 'nuts,' and made clear that he considers himself smarter than Trump, and that he 'can't stand him.'" But McConnell is more responsible than anyone for helping him achieve the White House and enabling him there. Remember what we've learned about the summer and fall of 2016, and who knew what when about Russia's interference in the election on Trump's behalf? Throughout the late summer of that year, "for 'four or five weeks,' a former White House national-security official" told Mayer, "McConnell deflected (then-CIA Director John) Brennan's requests to brief him. Susan Rice, Obama's former national security adviser, said, 'It's just crazy.' McConnell had told Brennan that 'he wouldn't be available until Labor Day.'"When he finally did come back for that briefing, "McConnell expressed skepticism about the intelligence. He later warned officials 'not to get involved' in elections, telling them that 'they were touching something very dangerous,'" the former national security official told Mayer. "If Obama spoke out publicly about Russia, McConnell threatened, he would label it a partisan political move, knowing that Obama was determined to avoid that." As the intelligence community became increasingly alarmed at the brazen interference from Russia, President Obama made a direct appeal for a joint statement from the bipartisan leadership of the House and the Senate. Mayer writes that "Denis McDonough, Obama's former chief of staff, Ryan, Pelosi, and Reid agreed to work together, but 'McConnell said nothing,'" according to her source, the former intelligence official. "It took weeks to get the letter.

Mayer obtained a log of private correspondence between the staff of the leaders showing that McConnell edited the draft of the letter and rejected any other leaders proposals. "He was dead set against designating U.S. voting systems as 'critical infrastructure' or urging election officials to seek assistance from the Department of Homeland Security," Mayer concludes. He refused to allow Russia to be mentioned, just saying "malefactors" were attempting to "disrupt the administration of our elections," with no elaboration. Harry Reid told Mayer Reid: "The letter was nothing like what Obama wanted. It was very, very weak." Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, says: "I don't know for sure why he did it. […] But my guess, particularly with the benefit of hindsight, is that he thought [identifying Russia] would be detrimental to Trump—so he delayed and deflected. It's disgraceful."

It's beyond disgraceful—it's nigh on treasonous in retrospect. If McConnell was so anxious to allow a foreign adversary to steal a presidential election, he's more than willing to allow hundreds of thousands of Americans to die in a pandemic if he thinks it can consolidate his power. Kentucky Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, who has known McConnell well for 50 years, tells Mayer: "He was just driven to be powerful. […] He never had any core principles. He just wants to be something. He doesn't want to do anything."

He will sell our very lives for his base—the millionaires and billionaires—because that's how he got power and that's how he's keeping it. We have to stop him.


Friday, April 10, 2020

hi Mjmaceri

Mjmaceri Michael

A view from an Indian doctor

I saw this on my cousin's Facebook page today and want to pass it along as something to contemplate.  I have been thinking this, too, all during our social distancing confinement.  We are fortunate to have homes in which to confine ourselves. As is always the case, the poor suffer the most whenever disaster or disease is visited on the planet.  In my thoughts and prayers for all who are suffering, I am including a prayer of gratitude that all my family members and friends are able to sleep in warm beds and have enough to eat -- and I wish with all my heart that this could be true for everyone on this planet. 

I am praying for a Democratic President and House and Senate to be voted in in November, so we can begin to repair the damage that has been done to our democratic republic and its Constitution by the greed-and-power-driven madmen now in charge in our federal government.  A Biden/Warren ticket would be a good start.


Thursday, April 09, 2020

Refresh your spirit - Listen to ancient Persian poet Hafiz

These ten quotes from 14th-century Hafiz are perfectly applicable to us in today's world. And very uplifting to the heart! 💟

  1. "Laugh because that is the purest sound." 
  2. "The only friends who are free from cares are the goblet of wine and a book. Give me wine…that I may for a time forget the cares of the world." 
  3. "Love is simply creation's greatest joy." 
  4. Run my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings. Run like hell my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart. 
  5. "Remember for just one minute of the day, it would be best to try looking upon yourself more as God does, for She knows your true royal nature." 
  6. "Pulling out the chair beneath your mind and watching you fall upon God What else is there for Hafiz to do that is any fun in this world!" 
  7. "Listen; this world is the lunatic's sphere, Don't always agree it's real, even with my feet upon it and the postman knowing my door. My address is somewhere else." 
  8. "When you can make others laugh with jokes that belittle no one and your words always unite, Hafiz will vote for you to be God." 
  9. "I know you have a hundred complex cases against God in court, but never mind, let's just get out of this mess." 
  10. "Be kind to your sleeping heart. Take it out into the vast fields of light…And let it breathe."


Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Putting things in proper perspective - Eric Idle and the Galaxy Song

To take our minds off of Trump and Covid-19, I think this might be a good time to hear this song again -- it's one of my all-time favorites.❤️  You might say it gives a broader view of things...:-)

Galaxy Song
Monty Python
Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
And you feel that you've had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough,
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour.
It's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned,
The sun that is the source of all our power.
Now the sun, and you and me, and all the stars that we can see,
Are moving at a million miles a day,
In the outer spiral arm, at 40, 000 miles an hour,
Of a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars;
It's a hundred thousand light-years side to side;
It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light-years thick,
But out by us it's just three thousand light-years wide.
We're thirty thousand light-years from Galactic Central Point,
We go 'round every two hundred million years;
And our galaxy itself is one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.
Our universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whiz;
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Brace for an authoritarian nightmare--"normal" is over for the world

This article should be read by everyone to prepare ourselves for the very different world we will all be living in once the pandemic is over.  It tells how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed rampant social inequality and how this version of capitalism has failed the American people and others around the world — and how from this crisis a new and better society can be created.

It also offers a dire warning: The coronavirus pandemic may usher in a global surveillance society and authoritarian nightmare almost beyond comprehension.

The last two paragraphs are very important:

Start building ties with your local neighborhood, get involved in mutual aid. There are so many mutual aid projects springing up around the country. Get involved in some of them. Meet members of your community. Work with them to make this a better place. Maintain those ties once the pandemic passes and build on those ties. And don't let this opportunity pass. We have a chance here.

One way or the other, on the other side of this quarantine, on the other side of this pandemic, every one of our lives is going to be different than it was before. There is no going back to baseline. It is our decision now whether or not what happens after the pandemic will be better or worse. Whether or not the world that emerges from this will be more equitable, one where people are more secure and safe. Or will that new world be one where people are less secure and less safe and less free? The decision we have is whether to be an active participant in making that decision.


Saturday, April 04, 2020

Woman with dementia is lighting up pop charts with a pitch-perfect tune

An uplifting story of how music can penetrate to the depths of our being and be brought forth, even when one can't remember anything else. (~.~)  You can hear the song at this link:

A beautiful documentary, Alive Inside, is available to view on Amazon Prime, telling similar stories of other dementia patients who have been brought back to life (almost literally) with music.  You can view this documentary at:

Jan. 25, 2020 at 4:00 a.m. PST

A few days after Margaret Mackie, who suffers from dementia, moved into a Scottish care center, food server Jamie Lee Morley walked past the lounge one afternoon and heard a lovely refrain.

For a moment, he wondered if somebody had left the radio on. But then he spotted Mackie, 83, singing a pitch-perfect version of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love."

"I was stunned," recalled Morley, 31. "I've loved singing and music since I was a little lad, and I could just tell that Margaret did, too. Her voice is amazing."

Morley, who has worked at the Northcare Suites Care Home in Edinburgh since it opened last fall, began singing regular duets with Mackie in the dining room and hallways. A video of one of their songs has been viewed thousands of times since it was posted online this month.

Margaret Mackie relaxes in the studio after                    recording
Margaret Mackie relaxes in the studio after recording "My Way" with Jamie Lee Morley in Edinburgh this month. (Margaret Mackie relaxes in the studio after recording "My Way" with Jamie Lee Morley in Edinburgh this month. Northcare Suites Care Home)

The video features the pair singing Frank Sinatra's "My Way," which brought them a standing ovation at the care center when they performed it at the residents' Christmas party last month.

After the video of their duet was posted, Morley and Mackie also recorded a single of "My Way," which is lighting up the pop charts in the United Kingdom and beyond, with proceeds benefiting the Alzheimer's Society and Dementia U.K. The track is No. 6 on the U.K.'s Amazon download chart and at one point reached No. 27 on iTunes' Top 40 in the U.K., above stars such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.

"We've been blown away by the incredible response," said Morley, a part-time singer who decided to sing "My Way" with Mackie in honor of his grandfather, who died of complications from Alzheimer's in 2018. The song also was played at his funeral.

"Overnight, things took off and just kept going," he said. "I've had people reach out from all over the world to say that the video has touched them."

Mackie, a former whisky distillery worker who has advanced dementia and rarely remembers one day from the next, moved to the nursing home last October from another care center, according to Jordan Simpson, manager of Northcare Suites. Although she doesn't always remember Morley and other caregivers, she never forgets the words to her favorite songs, Simpson said.

Jamie Lee Morley and Margaret Mackie at the                    recording session of
Jamie Lee Morley and Margaret Mackie at the recording session of "My Way" in an Edinburgh studio earlier this month. (Jamie Lee Morley and Margaret Mackie at the recording session of "My Way" in an Edinburgh studio earlier this month. Northcare Suites Care Home)

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

BEST Humorous Tips for Tamping Down Anger and Self-Pity when Trump is on TV

Jaime O'Neill is becoming my favorite columnist for the times we are in. At least, he can make me laugh through my tears every time I read him.  I guarantee you will, too!  (And you'll even forgive him for the coarse words, because you'll understand him.  We ALL feel like he does these days, and if a swear word or two escapes our lips, we know they are absolutely justified, given the apparent circumstances we are laboring under). 😌😪🙏😧❤

Tips for Tamping Down Anger and Self-Pity
by Jaime O'Neill | April 1, 2020 - 7:39am

If you've read much of what I've written over the course of this century so far, you'd be right to wonder how in the hell it would be possible for me to offer anything useful on the subject of anger management. I've written a couple million words of political opinion during the last two decades. The preponderance of that verbiage has been expressive of anger and frustration with a range of politicians from Dubya to the Donald, with forays into lesser known targets who managed to piss me off despite the fact that I am, without doubt, one of the nicest guys extant. Trust me on this. Still, some of that anger has been pretty unrestrained. I've raged and ranted, sputtered and fumed, pissed and moaned.

So where do I off presuming I can tell you anything helpful about anger management? (We'll get to self-pity in a minute. Just hold on, goddamn it.)

Despite appearances, I'm pretty good at controlling my anger. If you think about all the bullshit we had to put up with from Bush/Cheney/Newtie/Limbaugh/O'Reilly/Mitch McConnell/Ann Coulter/Paul Ryan/Rick Santorum/Alex Jones/D'nesh D'Souza/Sarah Huckabee Sanders/the ever-so-virtuous Bill Bennett/Bill Barr/Betsy de Vos/Sarah Palin/Lindsey Graham/Heckuva Job Brownie/Brett Kavanaugh/Steve Bannon/Corey Lewandowski, and the legion of punk ass pukes, incompetents, nitwits, hucksters, chiselers, sleaze bags, racists, and cretins that have tended to dominate the lunatic asylum of the American right for so long, it's a miracle I haven't run amok. And if you're not reading this in a loony bin at this moment, then it's lucky you haven't run amok, too. A sane person surely would have by now. We were all just crazy enough not to go entirely crazy through all of this madness we've endured.

So, all things considered, I think I'm pretty damn good at keeping my anger under restraint, and you can just go fuck yourself if you think you're so much more likely to be some model for self-control, asshole.

But if you still need convincing about how much I have to offer on the subject of remaining calm and unflustered, let me tell you how well we're managing in our happy home just nearly a full month since my wife and I took the hint and decided to shelter in place. We deal with cabin fever pretty well. There has been no exchange of gunfire between us yet. In fact, we almost never raise our voices except to curse at the motherfucking TV when Trump's image appears or when that Liberty Mutual jingle sounds off before the can mute it. Still, we remain models of domestic bliss despite the daily deluge of bad news about the sick, the dying, and the dead. We're stalwarts.

Do we get on one another's nerves once in awhile? Sure. But we've been married a long time, and we know how to sail our little boat when the waves get a little choppy. It's never long before we emerge once more under sunny skies, on calm seas, with fluffy heart-shaped clouds clustering over our hoary heads.

So, if you think you're better than we are at staying cool under pressure, then aren't you special?

This morning, for instance, still in my bathrobe, going about the house barefoot, I noted that my dear wife had put some laundry on the bed. The suggestion that I fold it was implicit. And though it wasn't something I was particularly keen on doing at that moment, I am even more dutiful than I am self-controlled. So I stepped up to that little mound of towels and underwear, stepping into a very fresh regurgitation of the contents of one of the stomachs of one of the three cats who share close quarters with us. Did I swear? You may be surprised to know I didn't. Did I lash out at either of the two cats sleeping on the bed beside that pile of laundry? No, I didn't.

So, what did I do you ask? I got the stuff needed from under the bathroom sink and cleaned the rug of the puke at the foot of the bed. Quietly, calmly, like a man completely in command of his emotions.

Then I washed my hands thoroughly, like a surgeon. Once I'd sung "Happy birthday to you" under my breath a half dozen times, slowly, as someone had told me was equivalent to the amount of time needed to kill the goddamned Corona virus, I proceeded to the kitchen to make breakfast. I made pancakes with a mix I hadn't tried before, then called my lovely wife to come and eat the first one off the griddle. I wanted her to enjoy it while it was still warm, of course, as one does. I'd melted the butter, and poured warm syrup over the golden brown offering.

But she didn't come right away. I called to her again. Still, she didn't hurry to the table. I knew she was on her computer, no doubt writing an email to someone in her book group. But I was cool, despite the fact that like every fuckin' cook who ever put food I the table, I really want people to eat it before it gets cold. After all, it was made with love, god damn it, and it's only common courtesy to come to the table when called? Boy, I remember how annoyed mom could get when us kids didn't come to the table when dinner was served. So isn't that kind of understood, sort of a rule? Well, isn't it?

So, I called a little louder, thinking that maybe she hadn't heard me (we've both lost a little hearing in the last couple of years). And then she came to the kitchen, saying "you don't have to get mad." Which came fairly close to making me a little mad because I wasn't mad. I only raised my voice because a) I didn't think she heard me the first two times, and b) I wanted her to have a nice warm waffle, not a cold square of formerly hot batter turned into a delectable breakfast by the thoughtful effort of a loving spouse.

But I wasn't mad. I was fine. There she was, settling herself at the table, making little exclamations over the provender I'd made for her. From the other room, I heard the voice of the President of the United States saying to a reporter that he "knew more about South Korea than anyone." This was the same guy who just a day or two ago had said he knew more about insurance than anyone, and had earlier said he knew more about the military than his generals, more about science than the scientists, more than most anyone about anything because of his "great brain." And there he was again, in a recording of comments he made to the nations beleaguered governors, saying he wasn't aware that lack of testing for the virus that was killing so many people was a problem, and praising himself on the "tremendous" job he was doing, and that when it came to testing, he knew a lot about testing, yadayadayada.

So, sure, some profanity issued from my lips, words children shouldn't hear, perhaps, words provoked and inflicted without any provocation from me. And yeah, I suppose my blood pressure rose a little, and my emotions clicked over a notch or two into the red zone. And my wife's voice joined with mine in a little chorus of deep, deep disapproval of the leader of our nation, consternation of a very high order, perturbation at the top of its scale, just two aging people shut up in a house with a killer global virus swirling around among all of suffering humankind, man and wife sharing deep feeling together and as one, united in extreme agitation at the ridiculous, albeit dangerous, son of a bitch on the screen in our living room who was making every imaginable fuckin' thing in the world worst.

So, were we angry? Hell yes. What's it to ya, schmuck? If you'd spent the morning wiping cat puke off the heel of your foot, and then cooked a breakfast that was getting cold, followed by yet another recitation of self-absorbed dipshittery from the damn crook in charge of what needs doing, you might have been a bit annoyed yourself. As anyone should be.

But the TV is intact. I still love my wife. No dishes were broken. No cops had to be called. We ate, two old people in love, dealing with more shit than any kind and loving god should ever visit upon creatures said to be made in His image, albeit half of them more anatomically similar to Him than the other half, if I got the story right.

I turned the TV off, we ate our breakfast. We took a walk. We heard birdies singing, saw squirrels at play. We kept social distance from people we saw, and every time I felt a little sorry for myself having to deal with a lurking virus ready to pounce on me or my wife, a brave woman recovering from cancer, with both of us living with the additional burden of this fat, repulsive, and stupid motherfucker as our leader, I thought of how much harder it would surely be if we were a young couple now, expecting our first child. Or how desperately forlorn my hope would be if I were a pregnant single mom without a supportive mate, trying to keep my fears at bay, my anger down, and my hopes growing ever more forlorn for the future, mine and that unborn child I was about to deliver into this messed-up world. I thought, too, about those poor kids in custody at the border, far from their parents, ill-cared for, in close proximity to one another. "The horror, the horror," to quote Kurtz from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

And that diverts my anger, converts it to sadness, and expunges my self-pity. It doesn't make me whistle a happy tune, but it does provide me with a perspective. So I log the anger, store it for later use, and tell myself that although we may be all one, there is way worse suffering than I've ever known or will likely ever know. Perspective helps.

So, if you have anger issues in these days when many do, and if you have moments when self-pity circles around and then lights on your shoulder, do as I do: Just think a little less about yourself and a little more about people who have it way worse, and with way more to deal with than you do, you selfish prick, ya.

And now this. If you don't like it, isn't that just too bad. Suck it up. As we must.