Sunday, September 15, 2019

Poetry Sunday


As you know if you've been reading my blog for long I am fascinated by many things, among them history and language. And, in the case of this poem by Joan McIntosh, the curious things you learn when reading all the things that happened in a single year ...

Reading History a Year at a Time 
by Joan McIntosh 

Lord Byron died the very year
that sperm were proved,
beyond all doubt, to be
essential to fertilization.
No more virgin births. That year
Beethoven’s Choral Symphony
astounded the air. He was guided
gently to face the audience
that rose in an ovation
he couldn’t hear. Tears
were everywhere. Who remembers
J.L. Prevost or J.B. Dumas
or knows how they unraveled
the mystery of sperm? That same year
workers finished the Erie Canal
and Simon Bolivar was proclaimed
Emperor of Peru. The canal workers
didn’t know or care about Peru
nor did they hear the “Ode to Joy.”
My great-great grandmother was born
that year, to later travel the length
of the canal. Three hundred million
sperm swim up the birth canal.
A few thousand reach the oviduct.
The ovum chooses one (on rare
occasions more). Then, as usual,
life went on. Joseph Aspdin developed
Portland Cement while the U.S.
House elected John Quincy Adams when
the voters couldn’t make up their minds.

Have a good day, and read a little history. It can't hurt ... especially if you're interested in the damage currently being done to our country by those who don't learn from it.

More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cartoon Saturday


We're still on the road, but you still need your weekly cartoon fix from ol' Bilbo ... no theme this time, just a potpourri of random cartoons from my general collection ...

Yes, I can see how that would be intriguing ...


It's not as much fun as it used to be when you could slam down that indestructable bakelite desktop phone ...


Good highway planning ...


That's a more realistic approach to diversified banking nowadays ...


You know that's how it works ...


Dollhouse play, updated ...


Most appointees in Der Furor's administration don't ...


When nature catches up to technology ...


I can verify, based on personal experience, that this is how it works ...


At my age, it's always good to have one of these available ...


Have a good day and a great weekend. Poetry Sunday is tomorrow, along with more thoughts. See you then.

Bilbo

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for September, 2019


We are on vacation and with limited Internet connectivity, and so it's not possible for me to keep up to the minute on the most immediately-deserving Ass Clowns; therefore, I'm reaching back to the end of August for one of the most incredible examples of boundless ass-clownery I've seen in ages.

I am presenting the award for

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown of the Month


to

Texas State Representative Matt Schaefer
(R, District 6)


Here's the background: On August 31st, a murderer cruised the highways around Midland-Odessa, Texas, firing randomly at other persons after shooting his way out of a routine traffic stop. Over a period of a few hours, he murdered seven people and wounded 22 others before being shot and killed by police. Among those wounded was a 17-month old toddler who was shot in the face. 

The incident generated the usual useless blather of "thoughts and prayers" from spineless politicians and calls for controls on guns - generally a non-starter in Texas, where on the following day a series of new laws went into effect which loosened the already-minimal gun restrictions in the state.

In response to the traditional calls for action on guns, Rep. Schaefer on the night of the murders unleashed an unhinged six-part tweetstorm that is worth reproducing in its entirety (capitalizations are in the original):

QUOTE:

“Do something!” is the statement we keep hearing. As an elected official with a vote in Austin, let me tell you what I am NOT going to do. 1/6

I am NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans. Period. None of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent. 2/6

I say NO to “red flag” pre-crime laws. NO to universal background checks. NO to bans on AR-15s, or high capacity magazines. NO to mandatory gun buybacks. 3/6

What can we do? YES to praying for victims. YES to praying for protection. YES to praying that God would transform the hearts of people with evil intent. YES to fathers not leaving their wives and children. YES to discipline in the homes. 4/6

YES to supporting our public schools. YES to giving every law-abiding single mom the right to carry a handgun to protect her and her kids without permission from the state, and the same for all other law-abiding Texans of age. 5/6

YES to your God-given, constitutionally protected rights. YES to God, and NO to more government intrusions. 6/6

END QUOTE

Well.

It's hard to know where to begin, so I'll start with the Bible ... which you will search in vain for the chapter and verse in which God gives humans - even Texans - the right to own guns.

Let's continue with the part about how well prayers have worked in stopping the scourge of mass murder  in this country.

Then let's go on about how easy it is to identify "all other law-abiding Texans of age."

And then the flat rejection of "red flag" laws, which are a rational, law-based approach to minimizing potential violence, and which appear to be effective (at least based on initial evidence).

I could go on, but it's no use. An individual like Representative Schaefer will never listen to reason or rational argument, as this series of tweets clearly shows. One hopes that the citizens of Texas will eventually wake up and realize that the days of totin' yer shootin' iron on the lawless frontier are long over ... but I'm not holding my breath, and neither should you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the Right-Cheek Ass Clown for September, 2019, is Texas State Representative Matt Schaefer and his "God-given" right to own unlimited and uncontrolled weaponry.

He thinks of himself as a big shot, after all.

Have a good day. See you tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. More thoughts then.

Bilbo

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Musical Sunday


You can have your rap, your hip-hop, and your hard rock ... this is the kind of music I grew up loving ...



Of course, Der Furor wants to build a world of his own, too, but I think this one's better.

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

Bilbo

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Cartoon Saturday


Agnes and I are on the road, so you'll need to find the bad news on your own. Don't worry, there's plenty. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy this collection of cartoons featuring really awful puns ...

They're looking for a story with an interesting wrinkle ...


I have it on good authority that they don't cause cancer ...


Oy, vey ...


I think Q needs a new job ...


I hope they get over it ...


They must be pretty strict around there ...


He'll waltz right down to the garage and bring it back ...


It's about the only reform we're likely to see ...


The unacknowledged downside of Der Furor's replacement for NAFTA ...


If you get this one, you're probably at least as old as I am ...


Thanks for coming by to share the groaners. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Musical Sunday ... more thoughts then.

Bilbo

Friday, September 06, 2019

Great Moments in Editing and Signage


It's a new month, but it's always time for a new collection of gems ...

I think that as sales go, this one isn't that great ...


I wonder about those free samples ...


They might have picked a better picture for the article ...


Self-portrait of a cat. That's a talented feline ...


Sounds about right for the Trump era ...


Looks like a pretty rough crowd ... no wonder they're being expelled ...


I wonder who is deciding on those age ranges ...


Ummm ... okay ...


It was probably a new restriction imposed by the Trump administration ...


Car 54, report to Lee's Famous Recipe ... suspected assault with chicken ...


And that's it for today ... hope you enjoyed the little trip into the land of odd things in print. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday - more thoughts then.

Bilbo

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Poetry Sunday


We're coasting out of summer as we greet today, the first day of September and a good day to contemplate this short poem ...

September Visitors

I'm glad to see our friends come:
talk, laughter, food, wine.
I'm glad to see our friends go:
solitude, emptiness, gardens,
autumn wind.


Actually, every month is a good month for friends, even though - as has been said - some of them bring joy when they come, and others when they go.

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

More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Cartoon Saturday


It's about time we ended this &$#@! month ...

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ignited a storm of controversy when he asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament, limiting time for debate on his efforts to carry out his Brexit plans; the US launched a cyber attack against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in order to cripple its efforts to attack shipping in the Persian Gulf; the Justice Department Inspector General issued a report stating that former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with Der Furor; the Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change - a move actually opposed by many industries; and hurricane Dorian continued its march toward Florida after largely sparing already-battered Puerto Rico.

As Agnes and I get ready to leave for our vacation, I thought some cartoons about vacation and travel might be appropriate for today ...

It's a good plan for a long flight ...


Try to look on the bright side ...


You get what you pay for ...


This way, yes ...


You never know what the trade-offs are for the low fare ...


Been there, done that ...


At this point it hardly matters, does it? ... 

We don't need those just on airplanes ...


Redneck carry-on ...


It's a matter of degree, and I don't know there are many ...


Have a good day and enjoy your weekend! More thoughts tomorrow, on Poetry Sunday.

Bilbo

Friday, August 30, 2019

The On-Crack Ass Clown for August, 2019


August is one of those months in which, because of the structure of the calendar, there are three available Fridays for the presentation of ass clown awards. This is a good thing, because in this particular August, the number of potential ass clown dishonorees is larger than usual*, from Der Furor (for suggesting the use of nuclear weapons for hurricane prevention**) to ... well ... lots of others, including the person we selected as

The On-Crack Ass Clown for August, 2019



and the award goes to

James Denardo


Mr Denardo, a resident of Stamford, Connecticut, was arrested by local police earlier this month after he tested his newly-purchased guns by shooting into a park where children were playing softball. According to Stamford Police Captain Richard Conklin, Denardo told the arresting officers that “he wanted to see how they [his new two-shot Derringer and 9mm Beretta] worked.” In the aftermath of the incident, a police representative said that Mr Denardo's pistol permit had been revoked and his guns and ammunition confiscated.

Although able to afford the two weapons, Mr Denardo was unable to post bond and remains in jail.

It should be noted that Mr Denardo purchased his new toys legally, exercising his Second Amendment right to pack heat with the smallest possible number of restrictions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the On-Crack Ass Clown for August, 2019, is Mr James Denardo, truly a high-caliber individual.

Have a good day. See you tomorrow for the final Cartoon Saturday of August ... more thoughts then.

Bilbo 

* Although, with the presidential campaign season picking up steam, we can expect a steady increase in the number.

** It really is a shame that he's no longer eligible for the award, because this would have made him a hands-down winner.


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Musical Sunday


One of my musical heroes is Jimmy Buffett, whose songs tend to talk directly to me ... especially this one ...



"I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead." Sing it, Jimmy!

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

Bilbo

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Cartoon Saturday


If ever there was a week we needed Cartoon Saturday, this is it.

Der Furor cancelled a planned trip to Denmark after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called his proposal to purchase Greenland, a self-governing Danish territory, "absurd;" uncontrolled wildfires, apparently deliberately set, are ravaging huge areas of the Brazilian rain forest; the Department of Justice office sent its employees, including immigration judges, a daily news briefing that included a link to a blog featuring racial and anti-Semitic slurs; the administration is considering a new project that would identify links between mental health and violent behavior, as an attempt to focus responses to gun violence on mental health rather than the availability and power of guns; and in Louisiana, a US citizen of Latin descent was arrested and held on suspicion of immigration violations despite having a drivers license, US passport, and valid social security card because, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies told him, every Hispanic person was automatically held for a immigration review.

Since everyone in the country nowadays from Der Furor on down seems to exist in a state ranging from simmering anger to towering rage, I thought a collection of cartoons about anger would be appropriate ...

It's one way to measure progress ...


Somebody needs some additional sessions ...


I'm not sure I'd want anything cooked by a chef that angry ...


Those phones are expensive; perhaps that's another reason to control one's temper ...


Remember the scene in the movie "Alien" in which the alien's blood nearly ate through the hull of the Nostromo? I think some people nowadays have blood like that ...


Well, yes, that would do it ...


As an anger control measure, it can't hurt ...


And in this corner ...


Uh, oh ...


Well, WHAT?? ...


And that's it for this week's collection of topical cartoons. Don't get mad at me ... I just find them and share them.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow, when we mellow out on Musical Sunday with Jimmy Buffett. 

Bilbo