Saturday 27 March 2021

Somewhere Over the American Rainbow

The Dreams That You Care To Dream Really Don't Come True

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that was once so free before the Big Lie.
It was served by two parties, red and blue,
And the dreams that they all did dream now will not come true.

Won't waste my wish upon a star 
Up where ideals and truth are far behind me. 
Where honor melts and pledges drop
And lies are broadcast from the top
That's where I find me.

There's a Statue of Freedom, way up high
And The Statue of Liberty both now wear a sigh.

They once stood tall and made us strong
Now there's no rainbow, what_the_hell_went_wrong??



Friday 26 March 2021

Georgia on my Mind - and Everyone Else's

Georgia Not So Sweet After All

There is no logical or reasonable explanation for Georgia and its governor signing SB202. He says it will make it easier to vote and hard to cheat - RIGHT (extreme right)! If you believe that I am not parking my sleigh on YOUR roof next year.

Replacing the secretary of state as chair of the state election board? Remove and replace ANY election official for poor performance? Photo ID in order to vote is reasonable except you can bet your bottom dollar that if you are black or not white enough, hell will freeze over before you get that ID for the next election. What is next? Even with a valid ID your name is conveniently not present on the local voting list when you do show up to cast your ballot? That would be easy to do - clerical error naturally but still delay your vote until it is too late.

Since it is now published, just read the first page. If an election is not going the way they want it to go, the government can effectively replace, terminate, introduce, restrict etc., etc. anything and anyone they want. They say that they are fixing problems. The word is correct - FIX. The FIX is now in for sure.

Amazing! After spreading the Big Lie about the last election being rigged, they are now trying to publicly rig all future elections in Georgia. This is like all of the umpires calling a time out, and meeting in center field during a ball game to change the rules themselves in favour of the home team.

As some have already said, this is the GOP choosing the electorate it wants to vote instead of the citizens choosing who they want to run their government. It must be overturned.

It is time to call in world bodies to monitor and oversee American Presidential elections. Perhaps it should be Russia, China, or The Philippines.


Tuesday 23 March 2021

I Love You - is it Overused?

I Love You, a Much Diluted Phrase

Many people will disagree with me on this but that is what writing opinions is all about. Take "I love you". Love in its true sense is not yet taxable or forbidden (but who knows what the future holds?) and that is to be celebrated for sure. But what does LOVE really mean? THAT is the question.

Is it really just me and my generation - baby boomers - or has the phrase "I love you" or the more common "Love you" become just an automatic and almost compulsory utterance? In my family none of us felt unloved (2 brothers and a sister) while at home. The hard work and sacrifice on the part of my parents to give us a decent life - the best they could - went hand in hand with family love. I don't recall any frequent "I love yous"  but also didn't feel deprived since my friends' families were similar.

Today I hear the phrase everywhere and every day from almost everyone. People can't leave home or hang up the phone without saying it. Preponderance of phones is probably a factor here adding to the frequency but it seems now like nothing more than "See you"; "Bye". Just like "How's it going?" and "How are you?" - you don't really want to hear someone tell you how they are for ten minutes. It is simply a traditional greeting. In the same way "I love you" has become both traditional and expected.

I am not criticizing here - if those who follow the practice feel that their family is better off for it so be it. Good for them.

To me however, it begs the question what is left for expressing special feelings for that very special person - often your physical partner - if you say the same thing to everybody else? Do they merit "I really love you?" "Double love you?" As well the word is used in everyday language way too often. My wife watches many designer / renovation shows. Every day I overhear "I just love that colour!"; "I love that lampshade!"; "I just love that toilet!"

In the heat of passion with the speaker if I were to hear "I love you" or "I love it when you do that" I would have to wonder "Yeah but more than the toilet" I heard you admiring this morning?

I think we need new expressions for those moments. Keep the "I love you" for departures and hang-ups but let's have something better for the warm glow of cuddling after lovemaking. Any suggestions?

Maybe you should just say "Oh by the way, I bought you that lamp!" and hand it over while you are both still in the mood! Save the toilet for something REALLY special!


Monday 22 March 2021

Children and the Mexican Border

 Child Immigration - What Do You Do?

This is a tough one. We all remember pictures of children who were kept in cages after crossing the Mexican Border, during Trump's years. Some were without their parents; some were taken from their parents. It was easy to do the Dump on Trump thing but now the same thing is happening by the hundreds every day. What is the Biden administration going to do?

They can't keep building temporary shelters but that seems to be what is happening. Are there enough volunteers to adapt or find foster care for them? That too is an administrative nightmare since the true parents might show up some day. Pressed as they are, how do those responsible for the kids prevent possible abuse of the children by those foster parents? It happens too often already in foster care with American born kids.

Whatever means are taken, who is going to pay for this? Most Americans are already strapped for cash and the government is up to its neck in COVID debt on top of everything else. There is no magic bullet. However like a sinking lifeboat you have to stop the leak. In this case the flow is the stream of desperate kids.

With news coverage and social media these days those who have not yet left their country of origin will see that hundreds of kids are still being accepted daily despite the "rules" saying not to come.

One thing could be done in the meantime - teach them English while they wait - it can only help with their futures. Maybe the U.S. government needs to appeal to the public for ideas. Awards could be given to those with the most novel and promising ones. This would not be politically attractive and would take guts. Perhaps tax incentives to existing reasonably well off families would be an incentive to offer foster care until real parents are located.

I have to wonder if those opposed to Biden are surreptitiously encouraging more families to come north knowing it is now Biden's Achilles heel rather than Trump's. If the current administration does solve the problem reasonably they will be heroes. If they keep placing it on the back burner it will sink them along with the kids, just like that lifeboat.

Get after it Joe. Delegate it to Kamala the way Obama handed things to you. Your future depends on it.


Sunday 21 March 2021

Ranting Rand Paul vs the ever cool Anthony Faucci

 Forget the mask Rand. Get a muzzle.

What a mouthpiece! Ophthalmologists are one of the higher paying professions. Why is he now a Senator? It seems apparent that he can't see straight when it comes to issues - maybe it goes beyond that.

Ophthalmologists and Optometrists deal in daily routine for the most part - only what they have been taught UNTIL scientists discover new things and pass them on to the practitioners. Dr. Faucci deals with the unknown and the undiscovered and has been doing so most of his working life. I would trust Faucci over Paul any day of my life.

Rand Paul is also a professional politician. Faucci is not. What more of an explanation do you need as to which one to trust? Rand deals in hindsight and destructive criticism. There is nothing easier and more worthless. It has now become the disease of the GOP.

Take a bow Anthony. Take a hike Rand.


Friday 19 March 2021

Has Human Evolution Reversed?

Human Beings - Still Acting Like Animals

When I learned about the Theory of Evolution, I was sold. It was simply a more logical explanation than any religious one. I probably just lost half of my audience but there it is.

So what distinguishes us from our evolutionary forefathers? I came up with the following and your list would likely be similar:

- Humans have complex spoken languages. Ditto for written communication
- Humans can theorize, postulate, test theories and solve complex problems
- Humans can reason - I think some of that happens in animals also
- Humans can self-criticize, albeit reluctantly
- Humans laugh and cry. Perhaps animals do but we fail to recognize it
- Humans only possess 2 legs but our other 2 appendages are more dexterous

If we are so advanced over animals then why do we often revert to acting like them - some of the dumbest and the most vicious? Given the opportunity I suspect many animals would love to trade places - or would they? Permit me to point out some of the more admirable traits of animals. I will leave you to use your advanced brain to infer whatever you wish from them.

Animals do not:

- Eat more than they need to survive
- Kill for pleasure or fashion
- Stab each other in the back - only in The Lion King (a human creation)
- Plan and conduct wars on their peers as a power grab
- Create any waste that is not organic
- Breed humans to slaughter and eat
- Practice polygamy for sheer pleasure based on "religious" justification
- Keep humans as pets or for deadly sport
- Lie
- Expand their habitat beyond their needs at the expense of their peers
- Create weapons and poisonous substances to eradicate their peers 

Animals do:

- Kill for survival alone
- Practice polygamy but without knowing they do so
- Grow to be the largest living creatures on earth as complete vegetarians
- Remain totally loyal to their human friends and keepers
- Die horrible deaths from products created by humans
- Manage to live and coexist without religious or political leaders
- Rely on the female to maintain the home and do the child rearing
- Keep fit enough to exist through their daily routines

Here is one more I could have included in both. Animals are not knowingly condemning the earth to an early destruction. Animals would - if they could - do something about that immediately.

Isn't Evolution great?


Thursday 18 March 2021

OPINION: Public Profanity, Potty Mouth, F Bomb, Swearing

 Can You Control Your Swearing?

In my last post I discussed my belief that some people show their true colours when they lose their temper. This is likely true for all of us to some degree. Do you make an effort to use discretion before dropping the popular "F" bomb in public in any of its popular forms?

I do but sometimes it seems that I am in the minority. To me you leave that behind in the school yard or at least at high school or college/university. There is a time and a place but I would prefer they are not anytime and anyplace. It is a matter of self-discipline and there is the problem. That is tough for many people as it applies to swearing, dieting, saving for the future, exercise and many other things. It is as though once they escaped any parental influence or "rules" they have to rebel and take pleasure in doing all things which were forbidden in the past. Personally I don't get it. Grow up. We all know that as adults we CAN swear - I just choose not to do so.

In my youth we were chastised for even saying "hell'' or "damn". Only once or twice did I ever hear my father drop the F-bomb and he was alone at the time - probably thought he was out of earshot. Not once did my mother ever use it.

The problem (OK, to some it is NOT a problem) is that unless you look around, you never know who is within earshot when speaking or shouting in public. Also public figures in modern media have no idea who their audience might include. Such language is offensive to many seniors and inappropriate for young kids to hear in my opinion. It makes me wonder whether people who don't seem to share my concern use such language at home in front of their kids and permit them do the same regardless of age.

It is one thing when I am with friends in a small group drinking beer, playing golf or whatever. It is quite another however, every morning at a favourite coffee shop when I hear it in every other sentence or in public places like stores and buses. I find it to be completely out of place for leaders in our government especially when being broadcast.

Think of some of the funniest people on TV over the years both male and female. Not once did they rely on swearing to try to get laughs. Perhaps they might have relaxed the discipline a bit at a private club but not in front of the world stage. Also their networks would not have allowed it. Today even that has changed.

If this makes me a prude or an elitist, so be it. I slip but rarely in public. There again I do use religious references in vain more frequently and that probably offends some people. When I am alone I use the word all the time in self-anger: stub my toe, break a dish etc. My spouse hears it unfortunately and even more rarely she might say it in anger herself - never in public.

I recognize this is a personal choice but like all morals and standards, this is yet another area of decorum that is disappearing.

Please comment below.


Tuesday 16 March 2021

Sharon Osbourne etc.

Temper often brings out true colours

So The View is off the air for a while. My spouse watches this every day and often I overhear the content. I heard about the latest hissy fit on another network.

I wrote a separate post about Meghan, Oprah and Piers (see "Harry and Meghan with Oprah" in this Blog) and expressed my views on Piers. But apparently he is a friend of Sharon and that gives her a much different perspective than his own viewers. I have seen clips now of the "incident" and I really didn't see what all the fuss was about from either Sharon or Sheryl. I did think that Sharon over-reacted and it did sound like "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." She was almost saying "How could I possibly be racist - after all I am here with you every day" - that's how it came across without being stated.

If I have a friend who is in trouble over comments made or views expressed, that does not make me guilty of anything. I should also be permitted a "no comment" approach. For example I sympathize with Chris Cuomo not weighing in on his brother Andrew even though they often shared opinions and their brotherhood on air in the past.

I worked in London for almost three years in the early '70s and for sure there was a sometimes not so subtle racial attitude. They had their own derogatory slang for non-whites. Let's face it, British Colonialism fostered racism everywhere once upon a time. It was not as blatant and violent as racism in America has been but it was systematic. Black people practically ran public transportation and held a lot of servant/charwoman/cleaner types of roles. Entire cities were predominantly black.

Where it really became unacceptable however is just before the break when Sharon started to drop the "F" bomb. That is when one's true nature shows itself. She is a very smart woman and can speak properly with the best of the educated British class. She has no doubt put up with more than most women could with Ozzie over the years but stayed for the most part. Good for her. I never watched an entire episode of their show, however,  nor any of the "reality" type shows. They were all staged with cameras and crew on site - no more "reality" than Judge Judy or the OJ trial. Everyone was performing for ratings - literally. Once again Sharon in particular dropped the "F" bomb every chance she could and so did her family. For me that defined their true audience.

It is tough to play hurt feelings and insult when you react with instinctive vulgarity. One's true colours come out in those moments. You didn't hear Sheryl use such language - not on camera at least.

Many of us left that behind in the school yard or at least know there is a time and a place for it. Public TV and its unknown audience is neither.


Sunday 14 March 2021

Maybe Mother Nature will have sympathy this year

Take Precautions - We are Facing a Spike

Here we are at the end of spring. Daylight Saving Time has kicked in again. COVID numbers are going in the right direction. Soon we will be outside enjoying our yards - even later on in the evening once the weather turns.

But still we have to be cautious. Once again we can't ignore all previous recommendations to protect ourselves - that could result in serious illness. Some will indeed get infected. It is always that way - even in good times this world still throws curve balls at us to keep us sharp. 

In truth this particular threat has been at the pandemic stage for decades. Maybe with advanced genetics we can come up with a way to tweak their own genes so they can do no physical harm to us. Then we could declare victory.

I have been lucky so far. I have tried to think of ways to protect myself and my spouse with something above and beyond what is available commercially but so far - nothing. In the meantime, I will try to enjoy myself until I have been exposed once too often and recognize the tell-tale symptoms.

Happens every year. This time I have to replace my netting and buy more spray - with DEET.

Damned mosquitoes - still cause disease. Still ruin it every year!


Wednesday 10 March 2021

Piers Morgan Walks

Don't Hurry Back Piers!     

What kind of highly paid panellist on a talk show walks off his own set in a huff just because the going gets tough? I guess we just found out.

Remember when he landed a spot on CNN after Larry King retired? His last question of each guest was to ask how many times the person had truly been in love. I wonder about him? Maybe it was Meghan!

At the time I thought he was pompous, arrogant, and had an over-inflated opinion of himself. He once interviewed Chelsey Handler and acted like a young teenager on a first date. She put him down ROYALLY and called him a terrible interviewer to his face! I loved it! He seems to fancy himself as a flatterer and flirt extraordinaire! NOT!! I also remember once when he had Ted Turner on - I think Ted was still the big kahuna of CNN, and he obsequiously asked Ted how he - Piers - was doing!

I do think it took guts to take on the gun issue on American television but I believe it is one of the things that got him fired - poor judgement. His recent actions also show poor judgement and poor sportsmanship.

Meghan just was not interested Piers. Who could blame her? Maybe The Donald will find a spot for you and you can sound off all you want - with Trump's approval.

This sticky wicket is of your own making old chap! Oh well. Keep your pecker up!


Monday 8 March 2021

Harry and Meghan with Oprah

Harry / Meghan Interview Changed my First Impression

How many watched the big interview last night? I must say I was hooked from the outset and I am not usually big on celebrity chatter. Kudos to Oprah for landing the big one and for the way she handled it.

I have to admit that I had pre-judged the entire thing and was negative on Meghan. This had nothing to do with race or any of that but just a negative feeling about the manner in which many Americans - Nancy Reagan for example - tend to behave towards the Brits and Royalty in particular. I was also influenced by the entire King Edward / Mrs. Simpson scandal decades ago.

I was totally wrong and found Meghan to be an utterly charming and poised young woman. Harry was also on his best behaviour. One had to admire the way he quickly shut down any probing into who discussed skin color with him and also what was said. I would go so far as to say that if either one of them was acting someone has to define a new Oscar category and they should each receive one. I did not see a moment of insincerity in the entire two hours.

It was very notable that both went out of their way to exonerate The Queen - their grandmother. She was apparently warm and welcoming to Meghan - hard to imagine but great to hear. It was very interesting to hear them distinguish between The Family, and The Firm. Both have treated them badly.

I was left with only two closely related questions. Since both protection and title were extended to other great grandchildren, why were both denied to this particular grandchild?

THAT one deserves an answer.

Here is wishing them and their present and future family a prosperous, happy, and safe life.


Saturday 6 March 2021

Rotator Cuff Problems? Read on ...

 Listen to the experts then listen to your body

Change of topic today - no CNN, Trump, Biden. This is personal - hopefully for many of you also. I suffer from sore shoulders that keep me awake at night. I have also overindulged in analysis of the problem - analysis paralysis - worse than the injury.

Many people who are north of the equator in years suffer from this - many from activity and many from lack of same - others from age. With the net, social media, Google etc. there is a ton of information out there - just look. Amateurs immediately say "Rotator Cuff" - not always the case. The people I have researched acknowledge that this is a very general term and the pain I feel could be one of many things, all part of the shoulder.

I printed out PDF's from Chiropractors, medical groups and associations and other places. I now have more exercises and therapy to try than there are hours in the day. There is a set of 18 I did religiously for about two weeks which took a good 1 1/2 hours to complete - made things worse. I even went to my GP who has worked with pro sports teams.

Here is one thing I am passing on today. I heard from several people who were where I am now but have recovered - I am overdoing things. The first reaction if you normally work out at a gym is that using no weight or working up to 3-5 pounds seems ridiculous when you might normally lift 25-35 lbs. with your arms. It is not.

Many of the legitimate websites say the same thing - for a long time light weights only , if you use any at all. We tend to forget that over-lifting probably hurt us in the first place. So here is an unprofessional list of 10 conclusions:

1. At all times if it hurts - STOP. Use less weight or no weight. If it still hurts ignore this exercise until you start to feel stronger and there is no pain...

2. From the many exercises you will collect choose only a dozen or so that did feel good. Maybe they relaxed things or let you know there are muscles you have NOT been including before.

3. No more than 30-40 minutes per session.

4. Include any stretches first.

5. Vary them up a bit each session.

6. Do not lift any heavy weights even if you think your shoulder is not involved. For almost anything above the waist or involving lifting with the hands, your shoulders are involved.

7. Many gym rats develop the large shoulder muscles for appearance but are not even aware of the others or how to strengthen them. This ADDS to the problem and might be what hurt you. It is like driving a car with one tire way over-inflated. It will lead to trouble.

8. It will take weeks to get better, if you ever do.

9. Go to a professional to see if you are trying to fix the wrong problem. It could just be arthritis for example.

10. Posture is important. Many years ago I focused on walking tall - shoulders back and not slouching. Since I have retired and am at a PC many hours daily, I am not as focused on this.

Lastly none of this will work without the willpower to do them regularly.

Here are a few of the sites I visited:


Monday 1 March 2021

Class Action Suit against Trump and the GOP

 Why not Sue Trump and Co.? Lots of others are.

After the CPAC puppet show how about a class action lawsuit against Trump and his party for The Big Lie? Millions of Americans and the reputation of the country have been damaged by this fabrication.

Lots of others have filed against The Donald - what is one more? Since he has not been able to prove a stolen victory why not turn the tide against him? It should be easier to prove his lies than for his puppets to prove the opposite - he and his lawyers have failed time after time.

It could be worth hundreds of millions. Even Mitch McConnell said he is liable for legal action now that he is a private citizen. Maybe THAT'S why he wants to run again - four more years of protection.