R.I.P. Zacky

Our Beloved Zacky

Linda and I just said our final goodbye to Zacky, our beloved boy of about 14 years. His body was shutting down and we didn’t want him to suffer any longer. We brought him home on Friday in the hope he might improve, but he didn’t, so we took him to the Vet this morning and they recommended saying goodbye.

I know it was the right thing to do, but I’m beside myself with grief. I’ve never known a cat quite as attached to humans as Zacky was, and I have had the good fortune of knowing quite a few of them in my life. He was especially bonded with Linda and frequently slept in her arms or under the blankets, in a little cave she would make for him.

I would have gladly put up with a few more bloody rats on the bedroom floor to have had a couple more years with him. We’ll be grieving for a while, but we’ll move on. Lots of good memories of this guy.

2020 most definitely sucks.


Black Lives Matter, You Asshole!

Until yesterday, I had no reason to worry that my county’s elected Clerk and Recorder, Mark Lunn, might not be as non-partisan as I’d want that office holder to be. That he has chosen to exploit the tragedy of this little boy’s murder in this manner is either deceitful or incredibly disingenuous. I no longer have any faith in this man’s impartiality or his ability to be fair.

As has been pointed out by hundreds of people, the man who shot and killed young Cannon was immediately apprehended and is sitting in jail without bail. OTOH – The three police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor in her sleep five months ago are still walking free. This is just another instance of people minimizing the effects of racism in this country. It’s despicable and I expect we’ll be taking Mr. Lunn to task for it.


GOTV, AND GIVE!!

I have been asked by a dear friend of mine to share the following blog post. Here is what she said about it:

“My friend’s father has become an activist. At age 80+, he is FIRED UP to get the word out and effect positive change in the upcoming election. Can you help him make this message go viral? He doesn’t use social media, but knows about its reach and power. I’m inspired by his activism! And am helping by lending my blog page. Here’s his message:”

Friends & Family, In this November election, more than ever before, we must prevail.  To do this we need to counter “faith based” (1) voting and voting by people who have short attention spans & respond well to rhetorical fear/hate campaign ads. Looking forward, if we let these people win, we could very well look up and find we have “dictatorship,” a bought-and-paid-for senate and an uncontrollable US “oligarchy” (2).  Think Germany in the 1930’s when millions of innocent people died during the rise of the Nazis.

This time, we must stop Trump & we must break the GOP deadlock in the US Senate.  This means electing at least 5 of the below listed senators.

With all the candidates now in place, we are left with making a concerted effort to influence the election outcomes.  And the best tool we have is to contribute to the war chests of the “good people”.

Please consider making contribution to the following campaigns (click on the website, then on “Donate”).

  1. Biden/Harris for president/VP joebiden.com  (vs. Trump)
  2. Candidates for federal (& state) offices in your state
  3. Candidates for US Senate in other states. None of these accept corporate PAC money; any amount would be appreciated-even $5:

MAKE IT REALLY EASY:  When you go to make your first contribution, the website will ask if you want to contribute.  If you click “Donate,” it will ask if you want to sign-up to use Act Blue.  This is really a good idea, because for all contributions thereafter, when you click “donate” & the “amount”, ActBlue sends your contribution to appropriate candidate & bills your credit card.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help to multiply our efforts by sharing this message with your friends and family…. And, ask them to also share it with as many people as they can. Just copy and paste the blog link and share it via email, or post it on Facebook, Twitter, or your platform of choice. The link is https://rickladd.com/2020/08/17/gotv-and-give/

Thank you for your help!

Notes:

(1) Faith based voting:  My grandparents always voted Republican, my parents always voted Republican therefore I must vote Republican.  Or my club president said vote Republican or my minister said vote Republican therefore…  No data or other proof needed.

(2) Oligarchy:  A small group of people having control of a country, organization  (the 1-percenters)


Better Understanding The Franchise

We’ve taken voting a little too much for granted, methinks. That would include yours truly, though I have never missed a vote since June 4, 1968, my 21st birthday. I think I made the mistake of believing all that mattered was that I voted and I encouraged those close to me to vote as well. I’m pretty certain that’s no longer good enough; probably was never good enough, but it took the tender ministrations of the tangerine shitgibbon to make it clear we need to take the franchise a bit more seriously.

What, perzackly, that entails is unclear to me, but I’m sure a lot of us have ideas and many are already working on it. That’s what VR and GOTV are all about, no? But I am thinking a little beyond those two things, which we’ve been doing for a long time. We need to talk more about what it means to be an informed citizen. We need to find ways to present it that aren’t tres wonky. Therein may lie the greatest challenge.


Who’s The Virus?

The number and quality of videos being produced to educate the public about Trump’s many abuses and violations of the law is astounding. Between The Lincoln Project, Meidus Touch, and this one from Indivisible, he’s being hammered regularly. Only time will tell if it’s enough to ensure he is resoundingly repudiated this November 3, but I’m glad to see all the energy working for his political demise. This is my feeble attempt to spread the word as well. Please consider sharing. It doesn’t have to be my post; get the URL from YouTube and share that . . . on Twitter, FB, and wherever else your little ol’ pea-pickin’ heart desires. Thank you kindly.


Dan Mirrors My Feelings

I have to share these few paragraphs written by Dan Rather. They mirror my feelings well. I would like to add that staying home during this time has exacerbated the difficulties we’re experiencing with (mostly) our younger daughter. Things were tough enough when she was actually attending school. Now that she’s home all the time, it’s increased the friction and made my life far more stressful than, perhaps, it’s every been. Now for some Dan:

Dan Rather

I sit locked in a self-imposed isolation as a deadly virus surges outside. Time frames for returning to any hope of a faint echo of normalcy stretch into the many months or years. This distant horizon strikes particularly deep for those of us at a certain age and stage of life. Our nation is adrift amidst rocky shoals with cruel incompetence as our captain and enabling cravenness as the first mate.

What a perilous time to live.

I know I am extremely fortunate. Neither the roof over my head nor the food on my table are in doubt. I have the privilege of protecting myself and my loved ones more than many. We don’t work in meat processing plants, or distribution warehouses, or even in hospitals. I strive to keep habits and schedules, but hours bleed and to-do lists go unchecked.
What a moment to contemplate the future.

The basic tenets of decency, truthfulness, and compassion are torn across our political divide. We see scientists denigrated and charlatans exalted. We see the rule of law and the norms of our democracy debased for personal gain. We see our allies bullied and our adversaries coddled.

What a time to be an American.

But that’s just it. It is a time to be an American, to contemplate our future, and to live. We have had very dark days in the past. We have had deep, systemic injustices. We have faced daunting odds. And women and men of courage, of ingenuity, of resolve have stood up time and time again. They have said some version of, “we will not abide.” It is our duty to not abide either.

From the streets, to newsrooms, to online social and political activism, I see countless millions of Americans who are not abiding. We are living through damage, loss, and sadness that could have been avoided. Much trauma lies ahead. But I know most of my fellow citizens agree that this shall not be us.

I desperately wished this was not our lot. I wish so many things. I wish the hospital wards were empty. I wish kids were having a summer and could go to school safely. I wish small businesses weren’t closing. Heck, I wish I was at a baseball game trying to not have the mustard drip on my pants. That’s not where we are.

We must be true to ourselves to recognize that much of what we are seeing now was not only the product of the last few months or even the last three-plus years. We have big problems, wherever we look. But we see them now. And we must do the hard work to fix them, not only through the ballot box but through the energy of our hearts and power of our imaginations. Whatever despair I might feel is tempered with a hope that is growing within me. I will not abide, and I believe most Americans will not abide either. Courage.

Dan Rather


Secular Religion. WTF?

The United States’ rogue Attorney General, Bill Barr, gave an interview to right wing dick bag, Mark Levin, the other day and I came across this tweet and response that highlights what I think is a deeply troubling reality about religion in today’s United States.

Putting aside Barr’s constant projection, what Soap And Science, PhD says about how much of the religious world views science seems on point. Science is based, above all else, on provable facts and reproducible evidence. Conclusions may be reduced by some to dogma, but they will not be able to withstand the scrutiny of others who can show reality is otherwise. We’re constantly updating our scientific knowledge as we learn more.

Not so with religion. Most all religions, certainly the major religions of the world, are built on dogma. For Judaism it’s the Torah, the Old Testament. For Christians it’s the New Testament with a nod to the Old Testament. For Islam, it’s the Koran with a nod to both the New and the Old Testaments. For Hinduism, it’s the Bhagavad-gita, and for Buddhism it’s the Sutras of Buddha, as well as others. I certainly don’t hold myself out as a religious scholar, so please don’t hold me too strictly to my list. I’ve likely missed quite a few and, perhaps, mis-characterized one or more of the others. All these books might as well have been written in stone, as they are accepted (mostly) as the word of the Almighty. (NB – I don’t think the Buddha was seen as a God, per se, but I think the basic theme here is correct.)

What concerns me most about the point Soap And Science is getting at is the concept that religious nutbags like Barr are, indeed, jealous of how well science works and, in fact, that it serves to explain the world far better than any religion has or is capable of doing.

While it pains me to do so, I don’t see any other conclusion than that the right—representing, in part, fundamental Christianity—will not hesitate to use violence when they realize they’re not getting their way. They are more than capable of perpetrating every vile thing they accuse the left of currently doing. In fact, that it’s in the very nature is proved by their accusations when there’s no evidence to substantiate them. They are hateful and violent; ergo so is everyone else, especially those they fear the most.

As Rachel Maddow is fond of saying, “watch this space.”


Trump Kills Seniors

If you’ve not read anything I’ve written before, you likely don’t know much about me, especially that I’m 73-years-old and, therefore, am most decidedly a senior. When this pandemic first came to our attention, I realized that I was not only well into the age bracket this virus creates the most havoc with, but I also have mild versions of just about all the comorbidities that were listed as problematic. Needless to say, I was (and still am) quite cautious about going out. For the most part, I only go out to grocery shop and for gas, though I occasionally have to take my youngest to school to return or pick things up. I always wear a mask in public and when I get gas, I thoroughly wipe my hands with sanitizer after handling the pump. This is a pretty good ad, among many (all of which I may end up sharing) that are being produced by The Lincoln Project, Don Winslow, and The Meidas Touch.


Why Stuart Stevens Wants to Defeat Donald Trump | The New Yorker

This is a fascinating interview with one of the players in The Lincoln Project. It is satisfying to hear the words of a conservative, a Republican, who at least respects some of the most basic norms of our government and society. I have no doubt I will have numerous differences with these folks in the future, but I welcome them as useful allies in the effort to deny Trump a second term, which would clearly be disastrous for us and the world. It’s not a quick read (not too long, either) but it’s well worth your while to read.

The longtime Republican strategist discusses his opposition to Donald Trump, his involvement in the Lincoln Project ad campaign, and why he thinks Mitt Romney would have made a great President.

Source: Why Stuart Stevens Wants to Defeat Donald Trump | The New Yorker


%d bloggers like this: