Sunday, August 18, 2019

Poetry Sunday

I think this ought to be the official poem of Der Furor's era ...

by Wendell Berry

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

Think well before you answer.

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts coming.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Cartoon Saturday

I don't want to say, "what next?" because some idiot will do it ...

A nuclear contamination scare spread in Europe this week after an apparent nuclear-powered cruise missile being tested by the Russian military exploded, killing several scientists; Israel, egged on by Der Furor, denied entry to two Muslim members of the United States Congress; General Electric shares plunged whistleblower accused GE of using accounting tricks to mask the extent of its financial problems and called it “a bigger fraud than Enron;" a man with an "extensive" criminal history was arrested after shooting and wounding six Philadelphia police officers during an hours-long standoff; and in (where else?) Florida, a woman who pulled a small alligator from her yoga pants during a traffic stop and illegally possessed numerous other wild animals has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to four charges.

We've had at least three recent mass murders committed by people armed with guns, followed by the usual pious invocation of thoughts and prayers and the solemn admonition that "it's too soon to discuss limits on gun purchase and ownership." As well as the insistence on the absolute sanctity of the Second Amendment. This week, a collection of cartoons about guns.

If you go back far enough, you can always find something to blame for violence other than weapons themselves ...

It happens ... frequently enough ...

If you're not quick on the uptake, you can be quick on the draw ...

The next innovation in personal weaponry ...

Some people just feel naked without their penile substitute ...

Does it make sense to impose the same, or greater, ID requirements on over-the-counter drugs as on semiautomatic weapons? ...

It makes sense to carry both, nowadays ...

So riddle me this, Batman ... why does a hunter need a 30-round banana clip (or a hundred round drum magazine), hmm? ...

I've heard the same thing ...

The Founders obviously foresaw the importance of personal ownership of military-grade weaponry, so why question it? ...

I'll quit now because I don't want to be a big bore; nevertheless, you expect me to shell out a certain caliber of humor ... not just bullet points.

Have a good day and a great weekend. Be sure to buy those kevlar backpacks for your school-age children ... it's an essential item of school preparedness in the land of the Almighty Gun.

More thoughts tomorrow, when Poetry Sunday returns.


Friday, August 16, 2019

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for August, 2019

There are so many ass clowns in the political arena nowadays that we often lose sight of the fact that there are plenty of them running loose (and, sadly, breeding) in other realms of endeavor. And so it is with our latest dishonoree - the award for

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for August, 2019

is presented to

Dmitriy Andreychenko 

A few days after a gunman murdered 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, Dmitriy Andreychenco demonstrated staggeringly bad judgment and total idiocy by deciding to test his sacred Second Amendment right to bear arms by donning body armor, carrying a rifle and a handgun, and sauntering into a Wal-Mart store in Springfield, Missouri to "test whether Walmart would honor his constitutional right to bear arms." He filmed his jaunt through the store on his cell phone.

Predictably, the sight of an armed man wearing body armor in a Walmart just days after the El Paso massacre caused consternation among other shoppers, who fled the store in terror. Andreychenco was arrested without incident after being stopped by "an armed off-duty firefighter" in the store and has been charged with "making a terrorist threat in the second degree," a felony offense punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Wal-Mart has also said that Andreychenco is no longer welcome in its stores. Duh. Andreychenco's wife and sister had both told him his proposed armed shopping expedition was a bad idea, and his wife referred to him as an "immature boy."

Since 2017, Missouri has not required persons 19 years of age or older to obtain a permit to carry a firearm, either openly or concealed. Nor, evidently, does it require such persons to demonstrate the maturity and common sense one would hope to be shown by persons who wish to own and openly carry deadly weapons. 

The actions of Dmitriy Andreychenco are a shining example of the worst excesses of the gun culture that makes America an increasingly dangerous place, and earn him a truly righteous designation as this month's Left-Cheek Ass Clown.

I wonder if the NRA will be paying his legal fees, or if they're still working on finding a safe house for Wayne LaPierre.

Have a good day, and come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. More thoughts then.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Musical Sunday

I'd be careful playing this too loudly, especially if you're at work or in the presence of children. The language is ... salty ... but the sentiment is wonderful ...

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend, no matter what you're tired of.

More thoughts coming.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Cartoon Saturday

Agnes and I are enjoying our annual visit to Chincoteague Island, and so the usual bad news summary will not appear this week. You're welcome.

In honor of the way you're able to see Cartoon Saturday each week, how about a collection of cartoons about the Internet?

It's been around longer than you may realize ...

Everything has to start someplace ...

Ah-HAH!! I knew it! ...

The well-dressed Trumpo-American has one of these to go with his bright red MAGA hat ...

We know who rules the electronic jungle ...

The escape ...

Say it isn't so!! ...

Turnabout is fair play ...

Good Gawd! It can't be!! ...

Trolls haven't always lived under bridges or on Twitter ...

Have a good day and a great weekend, online or off. More thoughts tomorrow, on Musical Sunday ... see you then.


Friday, August 09, 2019

Great Moments in Editing and Signage

Our first batch of ya-ha's for August! Read on, if you dare ...

Well, I guess it helps draw in customers when gas prices go up ...

I never had the opportunity to rent a flat with a chicken ...

Make up your mind, why dontcha? ...

I think the designer of this team logo should seek other employment ...

... and so should this one ...

Hmmmmm ...

I wonder what her first clue was ...

It's not working ...

I can see how that would explain it ...

It's an understandable mistake ...

There you go ... off to the races for August!  Have a good day and come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday - more thoughts then.


Sunday, August 04, 2019

Poetry Sunday

The sudden death of a good friend and member of my extended family a few years ago led me to start preparing for the final event we all hope will never come, but which tends to happen when least expected. This poem by Raymond Burns looks at the thinking that goes along with that planning.

Personal Effects
by Raymond Burns

The lawyer told him to write a letter
to accompany the will, to prevent
potential discord over artifacts
valued only for their sentiment.

His wife treasures a watercolor by
her father; grandmama's spoon stirs
their oatmeal every morning. Some
days, he wears his father's favorite tie.

He tries to think of things that
could be tokens of his days:
binoculars that transport
bluebirds through his cataracts

a frayed fishing vest with
pockets full of feathers brightly
tied, the little fly rod he can still
manipulate in forest thickets,

a sharp-tined garden fork,
heft and handle fit for him,
a springy spruce kayak paddle,
a retired leather satchel.

He writes his awkward note,
trying to dispense with grace
some well-worn clutter easily
discarded in another generation.

But what he wishes to bequeath
are items never owned: a Chopin
etude wafting from his wife's piano
on the scent of morning coffee

seedling peas poking into April,
monarch caterpillars infesting
milkweed leaves, a light brown
doe alert in purple asters

a full moon rising in October,
hunting-hat orange in ebony sky,
sunlit autumn afternoons that flutter
through the heart like falling leaves.

But let's not think about that right now.

Have a good day, and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts coming.


Saturday, August 03, 2019

Cartoon Saturday

Well, we thought July would never end ... and then came August ...

The thundering herd of Democratic presidential candidates conducted their second circular firing squad ... uh ... debate this past week; Saudi Arabia took a tentative step into the 20th century* by announcing that women over the age of 21 may now apply for a passport without the approval of a male relative; Der Furor announced that he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods in his latest replacement of statesmanship with misunderstanding of economic reality; the son of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Hamza bin Laden, was reported killed; and the administration is preparing to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in exchange for concessions from the Taliban, including a cease-fire, a renunciation of al-Qaeda, and an agreement that the Taliban will begin negotiating a larger peace deal directly with the Afghan government**.

Climate change isn't really a laughing matter, but since those in a position to do something about it think it is, why not give them something to really laugh at ...

Animals have to learn how to adapt to the changes ...

People are learning to adapt, too ...

Even gangsters are adapting ...

Climate change adaptation in Hell ...

Well, they're making the GOP angry in any case ...

Architecture can be adapted for climate change, too ...

Yeah, that's all it is ... Der Furor says so ...

It's not exactly climate change, but it still requires adaptation ...

The late-21st-century answer to the standard interview question ...

It's even tough on the gods ...

And there you have it - the Climate Change Edition of Cartoon Saturday to welcome the month of August. I hope you enjoyed it ... if you didn't, well, there are a few million other blogs out there you can read instead.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow, when Poetry Sunday returns. See you then.


* Yes, I know we're in the 21st century. I wrote what I meant.

** Of course they will (rolls eyes).

Friday, August 02, 2019

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for August, 2019

It's a new month, and a new horde of ass clowns clamoring for attention. At a time when every news cycle brings new and old candidates to the fore, it's always hard to make a single selection, but here goes ...

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with the usual flatulent blare of trumpets that we announce

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for August, 2019

and the winner - for the eighth time - is

Senator Mitch McConnell (R, KY)

Senator McConnell has won this award seven previous times, most recently in June of this year, usually for his resolutely partisan blockage of Senate action on topics other than GOP judicial nominations or his reliable (if sometimes tepid) support of Der Furor's latest outrage. This time, however, Senator McConnell has earned his award for his complete refusal to advance any legislation to protect our election systems and processes from foreign interference, despite the documentation of Russian interference in the 2016 election in the Mueller Report and in the report recently released by the Senate Intelligence Committee. His refusal to take any action on election security has led to widespread condemnation - including the allegation that he might be a Russian asset - and the trending nickname "Moscow Mitch." 

Senator McConnell defends his lack of action on the issue by citing election administration as the responsibility of the individual states, not the federal government ... in my opinion a weak cop-out, as the security of our elections is a matter of ultimate national security interest.

Oh, and lest we forget ... according to recent reporting, two major manufacturers of voting machines are contributors to Mitch McConnell's senate campaigns. Follow that money, why don't you?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, "Moscow Mitch" McConnell is named as our Right-Cheek Ass Clown for August, 2019. Nothing else needs to be said.

Have a good day and come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. More thoughts then.


Note: because the question has been raised before and someone is sure to ask this time, the criterion for a lifetime award for superior ass-clownery (heretofore awarded only to Donald Trump) is ten total awards, either as an individual or as part of a joint award. Moscow Mitch is getting close.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Musical Sunday

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows...

In today's America, everybody knows. Sadly, few are willing to admit it.

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts on the way.