Friday, July 14, 2017

If the Trump family/administration was a 1960s sitcom...

If you were to compare the Trumps or the Trump administration to a 1960s sitcom or cartoon, which sitcom or cartoon characters would they be?

F Troop?

The Beverly Hillbillies?

Hogan's Heroes*?

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show?

The Flintstones?

Leave your answer in the Comments section.


*And I'm not talking about the POWs.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Putting the screw back in corkscrew

This seemed an appropriate post for hump day.

Voila! The Costaud (or "beefy") corkscrew. No bottle can resist his charms!























The spouse and I happened upon this humorous -- yet fully functional -- utensil while in Italy (though M. Costaud appears to be French). And no, I did not buy one (for myself or my friends), though I deeply regret not doing so. But it was the first day of our trip, and I feared M. Costaud, who is rather large, would be too big to fit... in my suitcase.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why Jon Ossoff (and the Democrats) will lose

Why do I think Jon Ossoff, the Democrat seeking to represent Georgia's 6th congressional district, will lose to Republican Karen Handel in today's special election, even though he's raised far more money and seems far more popular? Because Republicans vote and Democrats don't.

Obviously, Democrats vote, but their turnout is typically far lower than Republicans', especially in off-year elections. And the 6th has been a reliably Republican district since the late 1970s, when Newt Gingrich won -- and held onto the seat for 20 years (to be replaced by two more middle-aged white males).

And despite what they may say or write about a Republican candidate, when it comes down to a vote, Republicans almost always vote for the person with an R after his (or occasionally her) name. So it's doubtful that Ossoff will have managed to sway 15 or 10 percent of Republican voters to vote for him, even if they don't like Trump or Trumpcare/The American Health Care Act.

Moreover, Republican campaign strategists are very good at staying on message and getting Republicans to the polls. Their strategy: fear. Vote for the Democrat and you'll be paying higher taxes! (They'll grab your hard-earned money and give it to lazy minorities and illegal immigrants!) Vote for the Democrat and you'll be less safe (cause they'll take away your guns and will let criminals roam the streets)!

And despite plenty of proof to the contrary, the strategy always works. Just tell the people what they want to hear, even -- or especially -- if it's a bunch of lies. Because who's going to fact check? Most voters don't read anymore, let alone check the accuracy of what they're reading, especially on social media, or what they see on TV. And when faced with any facts that contradict their beliefs, they cling even harder to their beliefs. So it's really a no-lose situation for Republicans.

So what can Democrats do? I think part of the solution has to be going back to grass roots, old-fashioned campaigning, like what Ossoff's been doing -- and what Obama did in the 2008 presidential race. Going to lots of events that "real people," not just wealthy donors, attend. Going door to door, and/or to supermarkets, and the local car wash; attending sporting events at local high schools and colleges; holding town halls. And making people feel that you're listening to them.

Democrats also need to come up with some catchy soundbites, because when it comes down to it, people don't read or remember or really care about policy positions anymore. They want something short and pithy that you can put after a hashtag.

And Democrats need to register young people to vote and make sure they go to the polls on election day. Because the only real way to effect change is by voting.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The right to bear arms but not bare breasts

With the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, getting so much coverage in the news this week, you may have missed another big story out of the greater D.C. area. I am, of course, referring to the ban against public nudity that the Ocean City (Maryland) Council passed in an emergency session last Saturday, putting an immediate stop to the threat that topless female sunbathers posed to our nation's, or at least Ocean City's, impressionable citizens.

The Washington Post, did not one but two stories on the ban, including this titillating expose titled "In Ocean City, Hooters, Thongs and Horror Over Topless Women on the Beach."

Yes, in 2017, in a country where there is currently close to a mass shooting per day, the right to bear arms is still considered sacred but the right to bare breasts is still considered sinful.

Except for those fembots in Austin Powers, I'm pretty sure no one, man or woman, has been killed or seriously injured by a female breast. Indeed, unlike guns, mammary glands nurture life, not destroy it.

But hey, I get the whole wanting to ban women (or certain women) from exposing their breasts in public thing. If I could, I would ban guys from wearing thongs at the beach and in public. (Seriously, no one wants to see your pale, flabby -- or tanned and hairy -- ass or your over-oiled beer belly hanging over that limp sack of flesh hanging between your legs.)

Getting back to Ocean City's topless bathing, or nudity, ban, though, it seems a wee bit hypocritical to shout about promoting "family values" when you've got a big ole Hooters on your boardwalk, as well as lewd t-shirts for sale and smoking and drinking in public going on (much of it underage). 

But that's America for you.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Are you + the U.S. better off than you were 4+ months ago (before Trump made America great)?

During the October 28, 1980, presidential debate between President Jimmy Carter and then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, Reagan famously called on Americans to ask themselves:
'Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was?'
It was a thought-provoking question. And the answer, or so it would appear from Reagan's victory, was "no."

I've been thinking a lot about that quote since Donald Trump took office, and promised to make America great again within 100 days.

So how is Trump doing? Are we (or you) better off than we/you were 4+ months ago?

Speaking personally, the answer is no.

Since Trump took office, our health insurance has gone way up. The value of our house has gone way down. I lost my main source of employment -- and have been unable to find a new one (or one that pays anywhere close to what I was earning, which wasn't much).

I worry about whether we and our children and grandchildren will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink and whether the Earth will wind up looking like Venus. I worry about Trump starting a nuclear war. I worry about the rights of women and blacks/African Americans and other minorities. And I worry that if I go see a doctor or mental health professional about my anxiety our insurance premiums will skyrocket -- and mental healthcare isn't covered anyway.

As for Reagan's last question, "Is America as respected throughout the world as it was?" The short answer is, no, not even close. In fact, in just over four months, the United States has become the laughingstock of the world, thanks to Trump, who is a constant embarrassment on the world stage. And countries, including the UK (which has its own problems) and Canada, two of the United States's staunchest allies, are distancing themselves from Trump.

Regarding whether it's "easier for you to go and buy things in the store that it was four years ago," I don't have an answer.

And while technically the unemployment rate is low, and was low before Trump took office, I know a whole lot of people who have given up looking for full-time, or even part-time, work, or who found work but now make less money than they did four or 10 or 15 years ago. And I don't see this changing anytime soon, despite what Trump said or says. In fact, companies are continuing to automate and shift jobs out of the country -- and hiring fewer people to do more. And many people who do have jobs aren't paid a livable wage, which Trump and the Republicans don't see as a problem.

Sure, some people -- namely the very rich -- are better off, at least financially, than they were four months ago (thanks to a surging stock market and the rollback of certain regulations). But is America really better off? Are you?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Meanwhile at Trump's Cabinet meeting yesterday...

For those of you haven't yet seen a clip of yesterday's Trump Cabinet meeting, here's what Trump's Cabinet secretaries had to say about him...



For those too busy or unable to watch the video, here are highlights from the transcript:

Mike Pence: "Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Jeff Sessions: "Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Rick Perry: "Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Tom Price: "Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Mick Mulvaney: "Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Reince Priebus: "Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Oops, I missed this quote from Sean Spicer.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Forget Comey. Trump isn't going anywhere.

To those who think James Comey's testimony before Congress yesterday is going to make any difference -- as in move Congress a step closer to removing Donald Trump from office -- think again.

We are at the point where, as Trump claimed back in January 2016, he (Trump) could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and... wouldn't lose voters."

Indeed, Republicans (assuming they still controlled Congress at the time of the shooting) would no doubt come up with a justification for the shooting and Trump would be made to look the victim.

"He's just new to this," House Speaker Paul Ryan would say. "He probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish how to use a gun."

Yes, this is where we are at in this country. As long as the man sitting in the Oval Office has an "R" (as in Republican -- or Russian agent) after his name -- and his party enjoys a majority in the House and Senate -- he can be a liar, an abuser of women and power, flout the constitution and ethics rules, allow a foreign power to influence foreign policy, and put his own special interests before the interests of the country he was elected to serve, because "when you're a [Republican], they let you do it." As long as you're for reducing taxes on the wealthy and allow Congress to pass laws favorable to wealthy special interests -- or undo regulations that those filling your campaign war chest or holding your debt want you to roll back.

And while no one enjoys paying taxes (except maybe my father, a registered Republican who always used to say to me that if everyone paid their fair share of taxes, we'd all pay a lot less in taxes), cutting taxes -- so-called trickle-down economics -- doesn't create more jobs or make the economy healthier. In fact, it does more harm than good. Just take a look at Kansas.

But that's where we are at here in the land of ME, ME, ME, WHAT ABOUT ME? Screw the sick (until you are sick). Forget about education. Fuck women (literally and figuratively). And to hell with the environment (which will soon resemble Hell if temperatures keep rising.) If you can save me a few thousand, even a few hundred, dollars a year in taxes, you have my blessing to do whatever you like, Donald and Republicans.

Sadly, it will be up to some future president to make America great again.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Because sometimes you need '80s New Wave music

So the other day I'm driving in the car with the spouse and the teenager when I realize we're listening to New Wave music from the 1980s.

'Are we listening to Pandora?' I asked. 'Nope,' they said, 'It's 1st Wave on Sirius XM.'

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I chortled in my joy. FINALLY, a replacement for WLIR!

And since that fateful day, I have had my car radio tuned to Sirius XM Channel 33 -- and have heard many old gems I had forgotten about, like...

"Start!" from The Jam...



And "Cool Places" sung by Sparks and Jane Wiedlin...



Gotta love those '80s New Wave videos.

And "Legal Tender" from the B-52s...



And speaking of legal tender, remember the Pet Shop Boys' song "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"?



Some days I miss the 1980s, at least the music.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Why I can't take the spouse to the supermarket (humor)

The following conversation occurred shortly after leaving a Publix Supermarket the other day, where the spouse and I had gone together to pick up a few things for Memorial Day Weekend. 

As per usual when we go grocery shopping together, I was in charging of bagging while the spouse waited by the register -- and the tabloid magazines -- to pay.

SCENE: The car, pulling away from the Publix

THE SPOUSE: So how long do you think this union between J. Lo and A-Rod will last?

ME: Union? Did they get married?

THE SPOUSE: Well, she's having his baby.

ME: WHAT?! Jennifer Lopez is NOT pregnant. She's like, 50, and has a new show. Where did you hear that?

THE SPOUSE: It's in all the tabloids. And she's 47.

ME: I don't believe it.

THE SPOUSE: Look it up. 

ME (looking it up on my phone): I don't see anything about J. Lo being pregnant. Though she is 47.

THE SPOUSE: See, I told you.

ME: Fine, but she'll be 48 in July. 

THE SPOUSE: Nothing about her being pregnant?

ME: I just see a story about her "romance" with A-Rod. I'll look it up later*. Can we please change the subject?

Of course, I then dreamed -- though it was more of a nightmare -- that I was pregnant with twins. No word regarding who the father was.

*Jennifer Lopez is NOT pregnant -- and neither am I.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Look! New book recommendations!

Yes, folks, it's time, once again, for another J-TWO-O Book Nook post. (Click the link to see previous book recommendations.)

As per usual, I have listed books alphabetically by author. And I've included a few books I didn't love, because I realize not everyone is as picky as I am (and other people I know really liked these books).

Oh, and if you'd like to tell the class about some great books you've read this year, please share the title and author in a Comment. Thanks!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. Fiction. I love a good fairy tale. And this is a good fairy tale. Set in long-ago Russia, in a small village at the edge of a wood, The Bear and the Nightingale is a bewitching coming-of-age story (with some Beauty and the Beast undertones). The story centers on Vasillisa, or Vasya, the youngest child of a Russian nobleman, whose beloved wife dies while giving birth to the girl. Like her mother's mother, who some say was a witch, Vasya seems otherworldly, and, indeed, can see and speak with the spirits that protect their house, animals, and crops. But when her father remarries a religious (and superstitious) woman, and an ambitious young priest comes to preach in the village, the old ways are threatened and crops begin failing and animals begin disappearing, leaving the villagers angry and terrified. And it is up to Vasya to try to save them all.

In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen. Historical fiction. I'm a big fan of Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness mystery series, set in England in the 1930s. So I expected to equally enjoy her latest novel, In Farleigh Field, a mystery set (mainly) in 1940s England and Paris, during World War II. And I did. If you are a fan of British mysteries set in the first half of the twentieth century on English estates, filled with charming characters and plot twists, you will enjoy In Farleigh Field.

The Mistress of Paris: The 19th-Century Courtesan Who Built an Empire on a Secret by Catherine Hewitt. Nonfiction. Maybe it's because growing up Gigi was one of my favorite movies, but I loved this book -- which, like Gigi, is about French courtesans (and the men who adored them). Mainly, it is about one particular French courtesan, the "Comtesse Valtesse de la Bigne," nee Emilie-Louise Delabigne, who was the toast of late nineteenth-century Paris. A fascinating biography of a fascinating woman, as well as a history lesson, The Mistress of Paris reads like a work of fiction, but it's not.

Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine by Sarah Lohman. Nonfiction/Memoir. Loved the idea behind Eight Flavors -- exploring eight different seasonings, or flavors, such as pepper, vanilla, soy sauce, and MSG, that greatly shaped American cuisine (though she purposely leaves out chocolate and coffee); the writing, not so much. (God save me from Millennial food bloggers.) But, if you are not irked by young women (and men) who love to talk about themselves or interject their own personal experience with something, and consider yourself a "foodie," and like books about food, this book is for you. (My college-age daughter loved it. So maybe it's a generational thing. Though I found many parts of the book interesting.)

The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett. Fiction. As stated above, I love a good mystery, especially an English mystery -- as well as books about King Arthur and his knights and quests for mystical objects. So The Lost Book of the Grail was kind of the Holy Trinity of books for me. The story centers on introverted book lover and English professor Arthur Prescott, who harbors a secret obsession with the Holy Grail. Arthur, despite being an atheist, is enamored with the ancient cathedral in his (fictional) small English village, and spends most of his free time in the cathedral's library. However, when a pretty American shows up to digitize all the ancient books (to Arthur's horror), his world and life are turned upside down. A charming, fun book.

Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and Other Misadventures in Gascony – France’s Last Best Place by David McAninch. Memoir. The subtitle pretty much says it all. The gustatory adventures of David McAninch, a former editor at Saveur, in Southwestern France, where he and his wife and young child spent eight seemingly very happy, very delicious months a few years back. If you like tales of good food (especially French food), good drink, and consider yourself a Francophile, I recommend Duck Season. (Just make sure to have a good French restaurant nearby when you do.)

Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller. Nonfiction. A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the manufacture and history of olive oil. However, be warned: After reading Extra Virginity, you will probably never look at olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil, the same way again -- and will probably wonder what it is you've actually been consuming. (I know I did. Indeed, after reading this book, I thought that instead of calling certain olive oil "extra virgin," they should call it "extra slutty," because it seemed like olives really get around.)

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. Historical fiction. The history of electricity. (I just liked typing that.) A great read that examines the question, Who really invented the light bulb? and chronicles the fight over who had the right -- George Westinghouse or Thomas Edison -- to supply electricity to millions of homes and businesses across America. Told from the point of view of a young lawyer named Paul Cravath (the Cravath in what is now Cravath, Swain & Moore), who was hired by Westinghouse to defeat Edison's claims. Highly recommend.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. Memoir. I really did not like this book. Or, rather, I really did not like the people in this book. Noah, whom I'd grown to really like on The Daily Show, came off as a punk. And I found myself constantly yelling (in my head) at his mother, a headstrong, self-centered, wrong-headed woman who repeatedly -- and needlessly -- endangered herself and Noah, starting with her decision to needle a white man to impregnate her (the crime of the title). That all said, Noah's recollections of growing up poor and biracial, or "colored," in South Africa, make for a fascinating read. And my niece and many other people I know loved this book.

Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Ruhlman. Nonfiction/Memoir. I'm still reading this book, but I wanted to include it as I think it's a must read. In short, Grocery is the story of how grocery stores, or really supermarkets, evolved and came to dominate the American food landscape, shaped how and what we eat, and are now fighting for survival in today's on-demand world. It's also a loving memoir about Ruhlman's father -- and an in-depth look at a local, family-run grocery chain in Ohio called Heinen's, where the Ruhlman family often shopped. If you ever wondered why there are grocery stores and how and what food comes to be on their shelves, definitely check out Grocery.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Nonfiction. Definitely one of my new favorite books. Even better than the movie, which I also loved (but was pretty much a work of fiction). The amazing story of a group of smart and talented African American women who worked as "computers" at what would become NASA in the 1940s through 1960s. Shetterly does a great job of fleshing out her subjects and making you feel like a fly on the wall. You don't have to be interested in the space race, or math or engineering, or a woman, to enjoy and appreciate this book, but if you are, you will appreciate Hidden Figures even more.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden

If you happen to be in New York City between now and October 29th, I highly recommend you go to the New York Botanical Garden (in the Bronx) to see the CHIHULY exhibit (as well as the beautiful flowers and plants).

The exhibit includes over 20 stunning glass sculptures, installed throughout the Garden, by renowned glass sculptor/artist Dale Chihuly, whose blown glass creations have been exhibited at museums around the world.

Here are some of the amazing glass works of art featured in the New York Botanical Garden exhibit. (Click on the photo to see a larger view. Then hit the "back" button/arrow to return to the post.)

NB: It is really hard to photograph glass when the sun is shining directly overheard -- and a dozen or so people keep walking into the frame.








Thursday, April 27, 2017

Barbie, keepin' it real

When last we left Barbie, back in December, she was recovering from her failed presidential run.

What has she been up to since then?

Well, as we learned from this just-released new video, Barbie's once again living in New York, commuting to/from work, doing yoga, and getting her Starbucks like the rest of us....



Will Barbie run again for President in 2020?

"I'm just taking things one day at a time," says Barbie. "Right now, I'm focusing on mindfulness, being in the here and now."

FUN ASIDE: Back in the day -- the day being 1959 -- Commuter Barbie went to/from work dressed like this:



















(Wonder where she fit her yoga mat...)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Stop referring to Trump as a billionaire

Dear New York Times and every other media outlet,

Please stop referring to Donald J. Trump as a billionaire or "billionaire Donald J. Trump." You, and we, the public, have no idea if Trump is a billionaire. And considering the amount of debt he has, and the hundreds of millions of dollars he has lost over the years, it is highly likely he is not a billionaire. 

Sure, Trump would like us to believe he is a billionaire.

And I would like people to believe I am really 5'6". 

But we have no way of knowing if Trump is a billionaire as he refuses to release his tax returns. 

So please, news organizations, cable channels, and bloggers, stop referring to Trump as a billionaire. Refer to him as just a businessman or a real estate developer (or President, if you must). And if he complains, say you'd be happy to re-apply the descriptor "billionaire" -- as soon as he provides the last 8 years worth of his Federal tax returns. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Remember when this was the most annoying ad on TV?

Come with me as we return to a time before ads for pharmaceuticals dominated (or were even on) the airwaves, when the most annoying, or overplayed, commercial on television began with strains of classical music and an elegant, mustachioed Englishman uttering these memorable words....

"I'm sure you recognize this lovely melody as 'Stranger in Paradise.' But did you know that the original theme is from the 'Polovetsian Dance No. 2' by Borodin? So many of the tunes of our well-known popular songs were actually written by the great masters—like these familiar themes..."



Although the ad stopped airing in 1984 (13 years after it began running, and a year after actor John Williams' death), I bet most (all?) of you remember it. (The spouse and I do -- and were quoting it while listening to classical music over breakfast this morning. Hence this post -- and the accompanying ear worm(s).)

For those of you who don't remember or have a fuzzy memory of the ad, it was for 120 Music Masterpieces, a four-record set of classical music excerpts from Columbia House (later Vista Marketing), which contained these timeless classical melodies, "performed by Europe's finest musicians." (And if you acted quickly, you could also get an additional 30 piano masterpieces!)

As annoying as the ad was, though, I would rather be bombarded with ads for classical music than with ads for Humira, Xerelto and/or Viagra. Unlike all of the pharmaceuticals advertised on TV, the only negative side effects of classical music are mild sleepiness and boredom.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Trump translator: What Trump really means

Supporters of Donald Trump say people cannot, or should not, take what he says literally. So how can people understand what Trump really means when he speaks?

To assist you, we here at J-TWO-O have carefully analyzed Trump's most frequently spoken words and deciphered, or translated, them for you in this handy chart.

Now when you listen to Trump, or read about something he said or tweeted, you can understand what he really meant.

THE TRUMP TRANSLATOR
When Trump says…
What it really means is…
Amazing
Not so amazing; ordinary; really bad
Bad people
People who call out Trump’s lies
Best
Worst
Big League (often misinterpreted as “Bigly”)
That whatever or whomever Trump is referring to is screwed, big time.
Crooked
That person is smarter than Trump (and less crooked, dishonest). 
Dishonest
Someone said or published the truth about Trump or one of his advisors or businesses and he doesn’t like it. So he’s trying to discredit the person or organization.
Failing
That person or business is succeeding (most likely in debunking something Trump says), or that person or organization said or did something Trump didn’t like, so he’s trying to discredit it.
Fake News
That news organization is printing the (uncomfortable, unflattering) truth about Trump and/or one of his businesses or associates.
Fantastic
Fantastic for Trump and millionaires like him. Bad for everyone else.
Huge
Small, like Trump’s hands
Loser
That person is more popular or smarter than Trump; a winner
Out of control
Out of my, Donald Trump’s, control
Overrated
That person or organization gets (or got) better ratings, won more awards, than Trump; that person or organization said something (probably true) about Trump that Trump didn’t like.
Really smart
Really dumb
Sad
Bad for Trump
Terrible
Terrible for Trump
They
Bad hombres, non-white males, esp. immigrants, and people who either sued Trump or said bad things about him; also news organizations
Tremendous
Small or tiny, soft (like his… hands); bad, poor
We
I, Donald J. Trump
Weak
I can bully that person.
Winning
Losing; a loss for most Americans

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Obama haters vs. Trump haters (chart)

Why do so many people (still) hate President Barack Obama?

Why do so many people hate President Donald Trump?

Instead of droning on about the various reasons, I have created a table, below, titled "Obama Haters vs. Trump Haters."

Obama Haters vs. Trump Haters
Why people hate(d) Obama
Why people hate Trump
He’s black±.
He’s abused (groped) women (against their will) and wants to take away/limit women’s rights.**
He’s a Muslim*.
He’s biased against African Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims; wants to limit their rights.**
He’s not really American (wasn’t born here)*.
He wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States, except the ones he’s doing business or wants to do business with.**
He thinks he’s so smart (like he’s way smarter than me***).
He wants to deport millions of Hispanics. **
He wants to raise my taxes*.
He’s for dismantling environmental regulations, allowing companies to pollute more, threatening the health of millions of Americans.**
He wants to take away my guns*.
He’s for dismantling healthcare protections, making it more expensive/harder for millions of Americans to receive healthcare.**
He’s anti-family* (supports abortion and gay people marrying).
He’s incited anti-Semitism – and death threats against Jewish community centers and houses of worship.**

He doesn’t support education.**

He and his family are personally costing/will cost taxpayers millions (perhaps billions) of dollars, far more than any previous president.**

He and his family are personally profiting from his presidency.**

He refuses to share his tax returns, which could reveal ties with Russia and other foreign powers (most notably China).**

He is threatening America’s security by proposing to decrease funding for the TSA and the Coast Guard in order to pay for multibillion-dollar border wall with Mexico (which experts say won’t stop illegal immigration or make America safer)**

He and many of his advisors have disturbing ties to Russia – and it’s been proven that Russia influenced the election/favored Trump.**
 ±Though technically he’s 50% white.
*Not true, i.e., false.
**True.
***Probably.
He is irrational, unable to distinguish fact from fiction; constantly lies.**

As you will notice, most of the reasons people cite for hating Obama (e.g., his not being born in America or taking away people's guns) were/are false. Whereas the reasons people dislike or hate Trump are true. Also, many of the things people didn't like about Obama didn't directly affect their well being, as in their health or pocket books, whereas many of the reasons people dislike or hate Trump do or will.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What true freedom looks like

You want to know what true freedom looks like? It looks like this: two American bald eagles, perched atop a cell tower on a beautiful, warm, sunny day in Sanibel, Florida, masters of their domain. Able to come and go as they please. Looking down upon us puny, foolish, earthbound humans.

Majestic, aren't they?

[Click on the photo to get a better look.]























And here's a closeup:























Not sure where their nest is, probably close by. (I'm assuming they are a nesting pair.)

I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to gaze upon and photograph these two magnificent creatures -- and have named them Liberty and Freedom.

This concludes another episode of Mutual of J-TWO-O's Wild Kingdom.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Donald Trump's good friend, Gazoo -- I mean "Jim"

What Trump really said at the CPAC conference on Friday.

TRUMP: "I have a friend, Gazoo — I mean Jim. He's a really, really great guy. Actually, he's an alien from the planet Zetox. But he's a great little guy.

"He loves Bedrock, I mean Paris. For years he would go to Bedrock — Paris. It was automatic with him. I hadn't seen him in a while, and I said, "Gazoo -- I mean Jim, how's Bedrock — Paris — doing? And Gazoo— Jim — says to me, 'Bedrock — I mean Paris? I don't go there anymore. Bedrock is no longer Bedrock — Paris — anymore.'

"That was four years — four, five years, hasn't gone there," Trump added. "He wouldn't miss it for anything. Now he doesn't even think in terms of going there. Sad."

And the moral of this story? No, it's not that "Paris" isn't safe anymore. It's that you shouldn't trust a guy with imaginary friends who only he can see and hear. (Though Trump having Gazoo as his "friend" would explain a lot.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy National Brotherhood Week!

As many of you know, I am a big fan of Tom Lehrer, the satirical songwriter and singer (and mathematician) who was active in the 1950s and 1960s. And recently I've been thinking a lot about, and humming, his song titled "National Brotherhood Week*."



And wouldn't you know?! THIS WEEK just happens to be National Brotherhood Week! Or it would be if National Brotherhood Week still existed.

National Brotherhood Week, a celebration of tolerance and respect for all peoples, was created in 1934 by what was then known as the National Council of Christian and Jews (and is now the National Conference for Community and Justice). But it stopped being celebrated in the 1980s, because we had, under Ronald Reagan, totally eradicated bigotry and racism and hate crimes. (That would be sarcasm for all of you suffering from frontotemporal dementia.)

However, as intolerance and racism and hate crimes have been making a big comeback, especially against Jews, it may be time to resurrect National Brotherhood Week.

Now if only someone would resurrect Tom Lehrer's act -- or some younger satirist would take up Lehrer's mantle.


*Here are the lyrics:

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks 
And the black folks hate the white folks 
To hate all but the right folks 
Is an old established rule 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
Lena Horne and Sheriff Clark 
Are dancing cheek to cheek 

It's fun to eulogize 
The people you despise 
As long as you don't let 'em in your school 

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks 
And the rich folks hate the poor folks 
All of my folks hate all of your folks 
It's American as apple pie 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans 
'Cause it's very chic 

Step up and shake the hand 
Of someone you can't stand 
You can tolerate him if you try 

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics 
And the Catholics hate the Protestants 
And the Hindus hate the Moslems 
And everybody hates the Jews 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
It's National Everyone-Smile-At-One-Another-hood Week 

Be nice to people who 
Are inferior to you 
It's only for a week, so have no fear 
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!