Category Archives: angry rant

Forever Fumbling Forward

What do I really think the future holds? That’s a question where, if I answer it truthfully, I will be told, “You should not think that, stupid man! What good does it do to be that negative? Lighten up or we’ll burn you at the stake for evil thinking.”

Okay, okay. I get it. The truth makes you afraid. And it should.

As California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as the aliens working with the military-industrial complex at Area 51, are all burning up with record heat, drought, and wildfires, we are definitely going to need to find a new, cooler place to live.

Maybe a planet in the Tau Ceti system. Tau Ceti is a star system with a solitary G-class Star only 12 light years (3.7 parsecs) away. Do you think the Tau Cetians will mind us colonizing. Or do the Republicans plan on simply invading?

Or there is Mars. But do you really think Elon Musk will be willing to share? And we do have to figure out how to breath mostly carbon dioxide to thrive there. Or do the Republicans plan on just taking a lot of stinky Earth air with them? That’s still a matter of learning to breathe carbon dioxide, along with methane cow farts and whatever chemical crap Dow and Monsanto have been burning and pumping into our atmosphere.

But you know full well the Republicans are not planning to spend any of their vast fortunes earned by all their hard work investing money in stocks and avoiding taxes to take the rest of us along wherever they plan to go. They will leave us behind to enjoy the climate change catastrophe that they have worked so hard to convince us is still not happening.

But all of that doesn’t mean I necessarily believe we are all gonna die a horribly hot death being unable to breathe on the garbage ball that Republican Space Forces will leave us all behind on. Not necessarily… just probably.

But I do have a certain amount of faith in the ability of people who actually have beating hearts in their chests rather than empty spots for installing safes packed with gold bars to use their problem-solving abilities to teach us all about carbon recapture, solar and wind power, carbon sequestration, air scrubbers, vertical farming, and reforestation. Before we get a total grip on weather control, we may have to move into underwater cities and spend some time countering the acidification of the oceans. We will also have to apply conservational farming practices to fish and kelp and shellfish, because if we let the oceans go sterile and lifeless, we’ll all be doomed anyway.

Human beans (of course, I meant to say “beings,” as I would never get that wrong on purpose only for the sake of a bad pun) are better under pressure than you probably believe. We have survived terrible things before. And, I am sorry, T.S. Elliot, but it is more likely to end with a bang rather than a whimper. Beans in the pressure cooker explode rather than deflate or dissolve. We will succeed in becoming successful carbon-dioxide-breathing baked bean-people or go out with an impressive bang while trying.

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Filed under angry rant, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, Paffooney, pessimism

Things that Matter

One of the things that I repeatedly need to do is to reaffirm fundamental beliefs. My son and I were talking this morning about things that might be worth getting fired for because there are lines we won’t cross, not even if someone is trying to push us across.

All People Count as People

Our family is made up of Caucasian, mostly-German-American white guys on one side (my side) and Filipino Hispanic-Polynesian folks on the other side (my wife’s side.) We believe that all kinds of people are equally valuable. As a school teacher I had to learn to love Hispanic and Spanish-speaking kids, loud and mostly happy black kids, Asian kids with tiger moms, and, of course, white kids of a thousand varieties. It upsets me that a former president tried to deport Dreamers who’ve never known any other country than the US. It upsets me that the Texas legislature is trying to cut down on the right to vote for black, Hispanic, and Asian people, as well as any other group who might vote for Democratic candidates. I am directly opposed to any Fox-News comments about any group of people that makes it seem like they are worth less than rich white Americans. Grant us all our human dignity.

Children Deserve to be Protected

I think one of the most important reasons for me to become a teacher was that I was myself sexually assaulted as a ten-year-old. I made a secret pact with myself to do everything in my power to prevent such a thing happening to any other child.

Maybe I never got the chance to confront a sexual predator myself, but I did take steps to help in situations of neglect, suicidal depression, drug problems, and I mentored several fatherless boys.

If you do it right, you can nurture a child into becoming an excellent human being.

Making People Laugh in Tough Times is a Good Thing

I am devoted to the idea that humor is a solution to many problems in this modern world. Of course, my wife (pictured to the left as a Panda from the Pandalore Islands) disagrees with this notion. That is because I am the husband, and husbands are always wrong. It is one of those unwritten rules followed by wives everywhere.

But because of my weird sense of humor I can laugh at anything even if it is actually hurting me. Against the healing power of laughter, nothing truly terrible can stand.

And so, today’s incoherent tirade now comes to an end. Not because I am actually done talking about my myriads of essential beliefs, but because three main points makes a good, teachable essay. And I can’t think of a number four right now because my brain shuts down after three just like everyone else’s. In fact, just like yours.

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The Rat War Rumbles On

We live in a residential area of a Dallas suburb that used to be a large cattle ranch with a couple of mills for grinding grain along a winding tributary of the Trinity River. Our house sits next to a greenbelt park that is the creek where the mill once sat to service the Josey Ranch. We are located on a small hill that would’ve been the bank of the mill pond back then. Hence the swamp fauna that live in our immediate environment.

We are visited yearly by mallard ducks, and sometimes Canadian geese on winter holiday. There are squadrons after squadrons of dragonflies, and the many small insects they search for and prey upon. We have the occasional coyote and families of raccoons residing under the Josey Lane bridge. Frogs and toads and seasonal mayflies… and more than our fair share of mosquitoes.

But by far, the biggest pain in the tuchus are the rats. Especially in the cold of the winter, the heat of the Texas summer, and whenever we get enough rain to wash them out of their nests in the storm drains when the rats move indoors to have sex parties in the attic, squaredances in the walls, and raids on the kitchen, especially the dog’s bowl, for extra snacking and pooping on the floor.

We are not talking about cute rats here. The mice in the Paffooney that leads off this essay are definitely not the ones that caused me to write this anti-rodentia-disgusticas rant. Those mice are actually me and my family portrayed in cartoon form. We are talking about more than fifteen roof rats and one big Norway rat, numbers that reflect only the ones we have slain so far in this pitched battle.

The fight started a couple of years ago when they first moved into the house through a hole in the roof and another one that opened when bricks fell out of the wall above the back patio door, allowing rat access to the insulation and the spaces behind the interior drywall panels. Once they were already inside, I tried to stop them first with rat poison. I had three confirmed kills that way, But then it began to seem that no matter how much poison I set out in poison traps in the attic, their numbers only increased, never diminished. In fact, I discovered they were eating the poison and enjoying it as much as they did the bait. We had created at least two generations of poison-resistant rats. They broke into a sack of poison I had on the patio and ate every morsel of it. Rats started sending me thank-you notes in the mail. (Wait a minute. That sentence may have been an exaggeration for comic effect. The thank-you turds were left in the kitchen, not the mailbox.)

picture from Pinterest

We really didn’t start making headway until we discovered the right kind of trap. Snap-traps didn’t work. Every rat seems to know how to eat the bait on a snap trap without setting off the snapper. Electrocution box traps didn’t work. They simply ignored the peanut butter bait. We never caught a single rat in those traps.

But sticky traps… like flypaper for rats,,, didn’t work either… until we started placing them in the escape routes the rats used to flee from the family dog. Suddenly the traps began to fill up as Jade, our half-corgi half-rat-terrier, learned to chase them towards the traps. In the last three months, twelve more roof rats, and today’s amazingly large, eighteen-inch-from-nose-to-tail Norway rat makes thirteen caught by sticky trap. Ha-ha, Mortimer! Your days are numbered now. Don’t look at me with those skeptical black rat-eyes. I am winning the Rat War. At least for now.

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Filed under angry rant, feeling sorry for myself, Paffooney, rants, Texas

Spitzen Sparkin’ Daze

My old laptop is not happy…

It’s seen much better days,

It growls and grumbles, snorts and fumbles…

And gets revenge in many ways.

Now it thinks a tiny font…

Is funny next to this

And zooms the screen five-hundred percent

To make the next rhyme miss!

And hopefully, I can afford//#%& a new c om pu ter soon

Because this one is veery weiiird

And totally out of tune.

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Mr. Grumpy Holds Forth

(This is an idea that comes from Bruce the Bottle Imp, so, don’t blame me if this humor blog-post isn’t really very funny.)

The thing I am grumpy about today, besides the dog chewing up last night’s pizza box and spreading the shreds all over the kitchen before I had a chance to take it to the trash barrel, is the fact that it seems like the world is ending.

I know, the “How can you say that?” crowd are going to argue with me if I say it’s because we let Adam Sandler get away with making too damn many movies. But in spite of the existence of Jack and Jill, I actually kinda like the cartoons where he plays Dracula and Selena Gomez plays his daughter. So, Sandler doesn’t give me the feelings of existential dread his movies used to provide.

No, I think the reason is because when I went out to walk the dog this morning on a sunshiny and blue-skyed dawn, and took a deep breath of fresh air, I nearly coughed up a lung thanks to that yellow-gray patina delicately painting the horizon.

We are running out of time.

President Grandpa Joe, the mildly confused one, is proposing a huge infrastructure bill that is even larger than the one he rammed through congress without a single Republican vote in order to keep the poor and the middle class from starving and becoming homeless… and potential fuel for the zombie apocalypse. The infrastructure bill will provide a starting point for building green-energy projects, providing thousands of green-energy jobs to an ailing economy, bullet trains and healthcare improvements, and life-changing transformations to rival FDR’s New Deal, which Republicans will also vote against. And he might actually do it if Senator Turtle McConnell doesn’t convince Senator Grumbly-Grampa Joe Manchin to vote against his own party in dismantling the foofy filibuster and then voting down the infrastructure bill both to fully insure the extinction of the human race.

For some reason, probably involving dark money, Republicans want so badly to see all middle class and poor people die a horrible death that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of their own grandchildren and great grandchildren. After all, they will mostly all be undead and undying critters by that time, and they won’t want pesky younger generations to support using money from their treasure hordes that they are planning to swim in like Scrooge McDuck for eternity.

I am also deeply grumpified by the whole Congressman Eddy Munster… er, I mean… Matt Gaetz thing (seen pictured in the Vampyr Paffooney above.) That happy-go-lucky blood-sucker is facing child sex-trafficking charges involving a 17-year-old girl, and the investigation was started under Attorney General Bill Barr, Trump’s Fred-Flintstone-impersonating, Yabba-dabba-doo collusion-denier. Senator Al Franken(berry) of Minnesota, a leading Democrat, had to resign from the Senate over a picture where he wasn’t actually touching the sleeping Republican-lady’s boobs, just making a crude joke-photo the way former Saturday Night Live comedians will often do… er, well… doo doo. But Eddy Matt Gaetz doesn’t have to resign, or even give up his assignment to the Judiciary Committee. And that’s because we’re okay with unindicted criminals running our country, just not Democrats.

I hate to say it, but, now that we have gotten rid of the Orange Prexydent at long last, if we still can’t prevent human extinction, we deserve what’s coming to us. We have work to do…. and things to grumble about… and Republicans have acts of vampire-evil to commit.

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The Secret Meaning of “Donuts”

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I am diabetic. I am not supposed to have donuts for breakfast any more.  Hence the obsession with donuts.  I am only guessing here, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that the very name of donuts tells you what to do.

“What?!” you say.  “What goofiness are you talking about now, Mickey?”

Well, I’ll tell you.  I had a donut for breakfast this morning… with nuts.

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The name “donuts” is literally a command.  It tells you to “Do nuts”.  So I had nuts with my donut this morning.  Peanuts to be precise.  Of course that’s what is wrong with the whole scenario.  It doesn’t mean “peanuts”.  It is commanding you to do something nutty.  Maybe more like eating a donut when you have diabetes.  No matter how good that particular donut tastes when you eat it, an hour later you are going to suffer.

donuts-

So here’s the result of my being nuts this morning.  I have come to the conclusion that the root of all evils in the modern world is “donuts”.  Especially when it is pronounced “doo nutz”.  Yes, eating a donut subjects you to the command, “Do nuts!”

donut-bar-homers

And we all know how bad Trump’s diet is.  Could he be imbibing donuts?  Horrors!  That explains Twitter, cabinet firings, tariffs for the fun of it, random protestations of “No collusion!”, and even “Covfefe”.  Although Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary is an evil beyond even the power of donuts.

And how did Trump even get elected?  Do people in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan glory in eating donuts before voting?  How about disgruntled Bernie Bros?  And one also suspects that middle-aged white women can’t resist a good donut… or an evil one either.

Could it be that I am down on donuts because I ate one and now I am writing this with a pounding high-blood-sugar headache?  Well, yes.  Eating one inspired this post.  It was a chocolate donut with green, mint-flavored frosting.  And it was evil.  It is taking out its evil revenge on the blood vessels in my brain.

So, I implore you if you are reading this… no, I’m not going to tell you not to “Do nuts”… I am going to tell you, “Please, for the love of God, keep donuts away from me!  Eat them yourself if you have to.  But be warned!  They have a secret meaning.”

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Filed under angry rant, conspiracy theory, feeling sorry for myself, goofiness, humor, satire, self pity, wordplay

Pretty Lies That Will Probably Kill Us All

Ludwig Von Drake, the narrator filled with what are probably facts.

Here are some things that are probably true. Although, I know, most of you don’t want to hear them and probably don’t want to believe them if you are forced to read further by what is probably a foolish compelling curiosity.

The word PROBABLY probably means;

adverb

  • 1. almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell: “she would probably never see him again”
  • 2, The narrator probably wishes to leave you with the impression that there are probably doubts and scientifical uncertainties that any dire things predicted here have a chance to not come true… probably.

Here’s lie number one;

Human beings are in control of what happens on this planet and can prevent unforeseen factors from killing us all.

Here’s the reason that lie will probably kill us all;

Yes, our beloved Standard Oil of Ohio have committed to telling the lies, the whole lies, and nothing but the lies since 1977 when their senior scientist, James Black, told them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth… about how burning fossil fuels would lead to too much carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere. He warned that mankind had about a ten year window to get control of their carbon dioxide out-put to keep climate change from happening. That, of course, was 44 years ago. Exxon (formerly Standard Oil) has been lying to us ever since to keep us buying their product and keeping the stock price of their corporation high. My primary (but not only) source follows;

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/

We are already seeing lethal effects from climate change, everything from devastating wild fires in California to the unprepared-for freezing of the Texas power grid in February 2021. Really, Governor Abbott, if the Texas wind-power and the Green New Deal (Which hasn’t yet been implemented anywhere, especially not in Texas) is totally to blame, why didn’t you weather-proof it after the freeze of 2011? Iowa’s windmills didn’t let them down even though they endured colder temperatures than Texas during that same week.

The biosphere of the planet is in grave danger because of the lies we have been believing in. Here again is a primary source;

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/global-warming-effects

So, what possible reason could our wonderful corporate-capitalistic system have for lying to us? Gee, that’s hard to answer. PROFITS!!!

Here, then, is lie number two;

If we just let the wealthy capitalist job-creators and business-creators do whatever they want to make themselves richer, they will boost the economy higher and make life better for everybody.

Here’s a breakdown of that lie quoted from Odyssey;

“Here are the most significant reasons why Reaganomics, a.k.a. “Trickle-down” economics and Trump’s go-to financial plan, is the worst possible solution:

1. It drives up national debt

During the years of Reagan’s presidency, the national deficit almost tripled due to the lack of incoming tax revenue and only partially-decreased spending. When he first entered into office, the debt was around 900 billion dollars. At the end of his terms, it was close to exceeding three trillion.

2. It cuts into funding for government programs

Social programs lose funding when defense programs take precedence and drain limited funds.

3. Most importantly: It DOESN’T trickle down

The wealth that began at the top never made it all the way down. Most of the wealth stayed with the top few percent; the income gap was the highest it had ever been since 1947. Over the ten years it was implemented, the top one percent of the population’s salaries/wages increased over eighty percent while the bottom ninety percent’s only increased three percent and the poorest twenty percent of the population’s family income actually decreased four percent over those ten years.

Ultimately, Reaganomics is NOT the policy to support if you want any benefit from the economic policies of your government. (Unless you are among the richest one percent of Americans… which ninety nine percent of Americans aren’t)”

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/remembering-reaganomics-it-didnt-work

Here’s an additional resource;

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/reaganomics-fail_b_1617851

Of course I will be told that I am a loony liberal and I am obviously wrong because my facts are not believed in by anybody who counts, mainly conservative politicians and their corporate donors, and besides, why do I want to hurt the feelings of conservatives who believe in their version of the truth so hard that it has to be correct?

Okay, I did say these things will probably kill us. That leaves some wiggle-room, right? But I can also say that if you heat the bottom of a propane tank with a blowtorch, it will probably blow up and kill you. It is about the same degree of probably.

?

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Why My Kids Are Always Embarrassed

Yes, I admit it. I am a goofy old coot and an embarrassment to my children.

That’s my role in life now. Eye rolls abound when I am around.

There are several reasons why, which I intend to list here in detail in order to embarrass my children further. But it basically boils down to the fact that I am a writer, and though I write mostly fiction, another way of saying I lie a lot, a real writer tends to reveal more of the naked truth about himself than a child can stand.

Who wants to see their father naked? Especially when he is old… wrinkled, spotty, and mostly fish-belly white.

Speaking of nakedness, one of the things that my children are most embarrassed about is the fact that I know a lot about nudists and naturists, in fact, I know many real nudists, and I have been nude in at least one social situation with other naked nudists. And, even worse, I admit it in writing where my children and their friends can see it. Of course, none of them read this blog anymore for that reason.

I have written novels where there are nudist characters based on some of the real nudists I have known. The novels with nudist characters in them so far are, Recipes for Gingerbread Children, The Baby Werewolf, Superchicken, The Boy… Forever, and A Field Guide to Fauns. And these novels might not embarrass them so much if they read them to discover that the novels have something to say that really isn’t about their father being a crazy naked coot. But they won’t read them because I am embarrassing to them.

And there is the verified fact that I am something of a conspiracy theorist. I firmly believe that the actor/theater owner William Shakespeare only offered his name to the real writer of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward DeVere. There is actual evidence that is so, though it was a secret that DeVere took to his pauper’s grave after spending away his entire family estates and fortune. A pauper’s grave that no interested scholar can find the location of to this very day, although maybe he’s buried in the same place of honor as the actor/theater owner, as there are cryptic clues to that as well.

I also believe that Dwight Eisenhower met with alien civilizations in the 1950s and the Roswell Incident was a real crash of more than one spacecraft from other star systems. There exist real deathbed confessions that confirm those details, and the government has been covering up the facts for decades.

The conspiracy-theory skills I have as a crazy, embarrassing coot have resulted in books like Catch a Falling Star, Stardusters and Space Lizards, and the Bicycle-Wheel Genius.

And lastly, I was a school teacher in middle schools and high schools for thirty-one years, which means I can create kid-characters in fiction that are very realistic and have a good-but-comic qualities that make readers generally like my stories.

So, my children are probably right to be seriously embarrassed by my very existence. Of course, I, like all old coots registered with the Crazy, Embarrassing Coots of America, the CECA, am totally immune to being embarrassed by the embarrassment of my children.

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“Oh, no! Not Dr. Seuss!”

“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “The Cat’s Quizzer,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!” and “Scrambled Eggs Super!”

Apparently, according to conservative-minded friends and cousins on Facebook, evil liberal Democrats are out to cancel and get rid of Dr. Seuss. They are taking seriously the warnings of the good-hearted, common-sense broadcasters at OAN and Fox News and rushing out to buy copies of Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go before the communist-leaning book-burning enemies of the people get ahold of them.

I say to this dire warning, “Okay! Great! Buy every wonderful Dr. Seuss book you can get your hands on! That’s the right thing to do!”

But I would be remiss in my duty not to also say, “Don’t spend a thousand dollars on e-Bay to get a copy of And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

Let me say this, as a teacher who taught reading skills in all of my thirty-one years as a public school teacher, I always made use of Dr. Seuss books whenever and wherever possible, even reading Fox in Sox aloud to gifted students (and reading those tongue-tying tongue-twizzlers as fast as it is possible to read aloud without wrapping my tongue around my eye teeth and crashing into my molars because I couldn’t see what I was saying.) (Which the kids always found profoundly entertaining.) And I celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday every March since that became a thing in 1988.

But I also think that we have to recognize that Theodore Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, is a man from a different time. Some of the tropes and techniques he learned and employed in the 1940s as a political cartoonist and ad illustrator are no longer appropriate in the time of George Floyd and Asians being attacked over the “Wuhan Kung Flu.”

Remember, his cartoon skills were developed back when America was fighting propaganda wars with the Axis powers.

So, in some of his works, he may have been guilty of some outdated thinking and is unintentionally racist in some of the things he cartooned and thought were funny.

And of the books that will no longer be published, I admit that I read and enjoyed If I Ran the Zoo while I was learning to read in the first grade. And I think I read McElligot’s Pool in school in 1965, but I don’t really remember what was down there at the bottom under the protagonist’s fishhook. I looked up a hard-to-find copy of And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street in 2009, and saw that it was not really right for my ESL class at that time. The other three controversial books I haven’t even heard of before this whole thing first outraged Fox News reporters. These six books were not available for purchase from either Barnes and Noble or the Dr. Seuss website before the controversy.

So, I love Dr. Seuss. But I am not worried. Democrats and liberals like me are not trying to do away with Dr. Seuss. In fact, Random House publishers are not even the ones who decided. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy, announced it would cease sales of these books. So, this is purely editorial in nature and certainly within the rights of Dr. Seuss’s family, friends, and promoters to do.

But by all means, buy up more Dr. Seuss books! Give them to kids you care about! I can’t think of anything I would rather have conservatives, Republicans, and Fox News viewers doing than reading about Horton, the Grinch, Sam-I-Am. and Daisy-head Maisy.

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Polly Ticks!!!

Yes, I am really, really tired of politics. The crappiest of crappy people always seem to win. And everything I learn about them in the news makes me more and more disgusted with them. They don’t tell the truth. But I can’t call them liars. I tell lies all the time because I write fiction. My lies are wrapped in creative ideas, perceived underlying truths, and jokes. (Okay, maybe not always good jokes, but I am not guilty of machinational prevarications like they are.) They use propaganda tactics to twist and tear people’s understanding of what is real and what is important. They are actively seeking to take power in order to enrich themselves and let us bear the consequences. They are cutting out and going to Cancun with their daughters and rich neighbors while the rest of Texans are freezing to death and going without electricity and water.

And now that the orange one is no longer Prexidense, I was looking forward to never having to say his name in this blog again.

But even though the monster himself is now exiled to Mar-a-Lago Goolf Courses, we still have to deal with the nuclear fallout from his four-year rampage, and all the other monsters the radioactive ideas have mutated 70-some million Americans into.

You see, the real problem is what the radioactivity has morphed the American experience into. Since the Prexidensity of Ronald Reagan, the shift has been from doing what is right for the nation as a whole into doing what most benefits the privileged and wealthy elite. This they do by convincing the unthinking that they need to fear the “other,” whether that be black people, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Muslims, Jews, or retired school teachers… you know, all them communist badguys. And they dangle policies in front of stupid people’s eyes that say, “Through trickle-down economics you can one day be rich like us and all the people that we hate will be punished and America will be Great Again” And all of those run-on, mangled incentives are prevarications. Snake oil. A con game that leaves the listener broke and exploited.

And in a mean-spirited way, they try to deny us anything that will help everybody, to the point that we will no longer have any air to breathe and the planet will boil itself to death.

Is there a way out? Is there a chance that it will get better now that the orange one is, at least temporarily gone from the main stage? Probably not. But the dance of the rich folks on the radical right (The horse’s rear end in that last cartoon) will stop when they reach the point where they are forced to eat their own feet because all the people that work for them on less than a living wage will have starved to death.

But not everything in politics is bad all the time. Sometimes our better angels do make a difference. And there is hope. At least until the Republicans manage to vote it all down again… with electoral-type votes where somehow you don’t have to have more votes to win.

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