Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bonus Critter Blogging: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

(Photo by George Grall and published in National Geographic.  Click on link to learn about this critter's sweet tooth.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tanks For The Shame

(Cartoon by Jack Ohman published 8/19/14 in the Sacramento Bee and featured at McClatchy DC.)

(Cartoon by Kevin Siers published 8/15/14 in the Charlotte Observer and featured at McClatchy DC.)

I've slipped back into that bad habit of watching the news on television and reading the news on line.  Unfortunately, the news has been more than a little distressing.  The big stories right now are the crazy Islamic terrorists who are into beheading folks who aren't sufficiently Islamic for them and (closer to home) the news out of Ferguson, Missouri of a police shooting of a young black man who turned out to be unarmed.  It was another case of "Walking While Black."

The latter story really depressed me.  Here we are in the 21st Century and this nation just can't get past its racism.  What makes it even worse is that the police are armed to the teeth with military grade weapons.  The excuse is that the "bad guys" have them, so the police should too.  Or something.  The victim in Missouri was shot six times by the automatic weapon the officer was carrying.

Why do police departments have to have tanks, or armed drones, or even the kind of automatic weapons that can fire off six rounds in quick succession.  Wouldn't one shot by a trained officer be enough to bring "the bad guy" down?  Are our police lousy marksmen?  What?

Wouldn't wearing protective body armor be a better choice if a military arsenal is involved?

I know: too many questions from a loony old broad.  It's just that I'd hoped to see some good kind of changes before I died.  I guess I'm asking for too much.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Cuckoo's Nest: Ain't Dead Yet

So, as I was recently reminded, it's been a while since I've posted something, or even been on line to chat with folks.  Well, I have good excuses, chief of which is that I don't have a reliable on-line system.  One of the other residents has been kind enough to ride on his account, but the signal doesn't always drift down this far.

Still, as noted above, I ain't dead yet.

I had my 68th birthday ten days ago, which kind of surprised me.  I wasn't all that sure I'd be around to celebrate.  I guess whatever's on the other side of this world just isn't ready to cope with yet another weird old broad.

Things haven't changed much, at least my prognosis hasn't.  Oddly enough, I've found some peace in the whole process of living and dying, thanks to this bit of wisdom:

"Listen to your life
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is
In the boredom and pain of it no less than in excitement and gladness.
Touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it
Because in the last analysis, all moments are key moments
And life itself is grace."

(F. Buechner)

That's good enough for me.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

They're Everywhere!

(Cartoon by Jim Morin, published 7/1/14 in the Miami Herald and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge and then please return.)
President Obama has caved in once again.  Rather than lean on Congress to get a reasonable and humane immigration bill passed, he's decided to increase the budget for detention centers.  Wouldn't want those pesky aliens mixing in with the real people, eh?

From McClatchy DC:

President Barack Obama asked Congress on Tuesday for $3.7 billion to help cope with the influx of unaccompanied children illegally crossing the southern border.

The money will pay for additional border patrol agents, more beds at detention centers, an increase in prosecution of smuggling networks and a media campaign to discourage parents from sending their children on what the White House calls a “dangerous journey.”

The administration described its approach as an aggressive and cost effective response across the federal government that will allow the United States to try to prevent and more quickly process the

 cases.  [Emphasis added] 

Now, I can sort of (kind of) understand the concern being expressed by President Obama with this latest influx of "border runners."  They are mostly young kids, being shipped by their parents, often without any family members to accompany them, only hopes and prayers for their children's future.  I share the concern, as I'm certain most people do, that this is no way to provide for those kids' future. 

And , as one of my fellow residents here at the Cuckoo's Nest pointed out, there is more going on here than those kids' future.  He thinks that it's a diversionary move by the drug cartels in Central America and Mexico.  While the US Border Patrol is busy dealing with these bus loads of children, they aren't paying attention to the smugglers both above and below ground. He may be right.

Even so, surely there is a better way to handle the issue.  For one thing, the US government could put some pressure on Mexican and Central American governments to do their parts in clamping down on the drug cartels and their growers. 

Another thing the US government could do is change our ridiculous drug laws, the way many states are beginning to do.  Legalize marijuana and tax it the way alcohol and tobacco are taxed. That would be a good start and might ease not only smuggling problems but also our prison crowding.  As to other drugs, well, I haven't completely made up my mind, but it seems to me that adults should be allowed to pick their poison.

At any rate, I would love to see a more sensible border policy.  Maybe even during my life time.  Know what I mean?

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

Sunday Funnies: A 2-fer

Cartoon by Kevin Siers, published 7/2/14 in the Charlotte Observer and featured at McClatchy DC.

Cartoon by Jack Ohman, published 7/4/14 in the Sacramento Bee and also featured at McClatchy DC.

As always, click on images to enlarge.


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Bonus Critter Blogging

Photograph by Steve Winter and published in National Geographic.  Click on link to learn more about the horrid poaching of these animals in Borneo.