Muted

Account Suspended

It took four years and a day of unimaginable discord, but the Twitter beast has been felled. No more insults, no more self-pitying, no more calls for violence. In the eerie silent afterwards, I raise my head and wonder what took so long? While certainly not the first and hopefully not the greatest punishment to befall him for his high crimes, it does signify a sea change, a change towards accountability. Like an avalanche falling, other social media companies have quickly followed suit, silencing him. Going further they have also moved to cutoff future avenues for communication. He will likely rally his fragile ego and turn to face the public again, but without his megaphone, he will forever look smaller. Sad.

First do no harm and then prevent others from doing further harm, but more needs to be done. Impeachment seems to be the logical next step. He is still unrepentant. Heck, he won’t even acknowledge the harm that he has already done. He needs to be punished and soon. Unfortunately, for the next ten days (really 9½, but who’s counting) he is still president and still dangerous and it is highly unlikely that enough of his Republican enablers will do the right thing to foreshorten that time period. To avoid future catastrophes, he must be distracted, not by new baubles, rewards for unseemly behavior, but pelted with a barrage of constant invectives, disparagements and punishments. 

It is my hope that this steady assault will keep him too busy to do too much further damage. A good example action is the rumored PGA revocation of their 2022 championship from his Bedminster golf course. Seemingly coming from out of left field, this is exactly the kind of insult to cause him to fly off the handle and flail helplessly for a day or so. At this point, every day matters.

Royal Baboon

Tower of London Royal Baboon

In the past, the Tower of London once featured a Royal Zoo of sorts. It was never all that much, but over the years it fell into disrepair and was eventually discontinued. Hastening its dissolution were the baboons, who were always escaping from their cages. One such beast is seen here, rendered using chicken-wire. It is seen symbolically screeching from the rooftops at the gathered throng of tourists below. Nasty, nasty creatures those baboons.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Epiphany or Three King’s Day, the twelfth day of Christmas, when the three wise men paid their respects to the baby Jesus. For us the day started off on a high note when we received the good news from the twin Georgia runoff elections. Next, we enjoyed a pleasant stroll in Tower Grove Park. It was a welcomed relief after the day’s before more arduous trek, slip-sliding through the mud. Amazingly, it was our arms that were sore from all of the heavy hiking pole use. So, it was with a shock when we afterwards learned of the rioting at the Capitol. I turned on the TV, which droned on and on through the afternoon and evening reciting the litany of horrors that had occurred. In the end, in the wee hours of the night, Congress eventually accomplished what it had set out to do and Joe Biden’s victory was certified. At least in that regard the work of the terrorists who had attacked our democracy was thwarted.

There are still thirteen more days until Inauguration Day and I fear what might yet happen in that almost two weeks. The instigator-in-chief has shown zero remorse for his fomenting of yesterday’s chaos. Quite the contrary, reports hold that last night he was still chortling with glee at the halt in the proceedings of his replacement. I’m sure that the only downside he saw to the day was that he lost access to his Twitter account, which prevented him from more public gloating. No need for him to worry though, he still has the nuclear codes by his bedside.

I am not alone in fearing what further damage he might yet wrought. Calls for his immediate removal, either through a second impeachment or the 25th amendment have both been made, but I doubt that Congress or administration officials have the will for either action. We’ll just have to hope for the best. If he gets out of his Twitter timeout, he’ll resume spewing his lies and inflame further outrages. I’m sure he plans on pardoning anyone involved in yesterday’s violence, while thinking, so many more crimes to commit and so little time left.

Black Votes Matter

Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, Jonathan Scott, 2018

There is a deep connection between barbecue and the blues. At Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in Atlanta the performance space is dominated by a mural depicting blues musicians B.B. King (Riley B. King), Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker (Aaron Thibeaux Walker) and Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield). Blues, Bar-B-Que and beer, what more could you ask for? How about a side of two Senators.

Happy Three Kings Day! I awoke to a pleasant surprise this morning. Last night Raphael Warnock won his Georgia senatorial runoff election and Jon Ossoff looks likely to also win his election. These two Democratic victories will flip the Senate. These new wins come on the heels of last year’s Presidential election, where Georgia also went for the Democrats and elected Joe Biden. Here is a big shoutout to Stacy Abrams, the power behind the throne, who orchestrated the victory of these three kings.

After I finish writing this post, I am going to clear my “busy” schedule and devote the rest of the day to reading every article, story or tweet I can find about turmoil in the Republican Party. Can you say Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell? I wasn’t going to watch the circus unfolding today in Congress. I don’t even know if it will be broadcasted. Assuming that it is, I’ll tune in without the sound on, so that every time I see an angry Republican Representative or Senator gestating wildly on the TV, I can jeer back at them. They won’t hear my shouting, but then I won’t hear theirs either. That’s OK, I don’t need to hear what they are saying, because their words like themselves no longer matter to me.

After writing the above, we went for a walk. We were offline for like maybe two hours and after that I was appalled to see that open insurrection has broken out. Trump’s terrorist stormed and breached the US Capitol. The Electoral College certification was suspended and Representatives and Senators evacuated. I’ve watched enough of the wall-to-wall news coverage to see pictures of hundreds of faces, faces belonging to these thugs. They should be caught, arrested, tried and convicted and not just for trespassing. Lock Them All Up!

MAGAts

Million MAGAts March – House Fly Variety

OK, Mister President, just pull the lever. There you go. Orange-Orange-Lemon. Oh, you were so close there. You really could have won your whole reelection roulette. Maybe, if you had tried a little harder. Do you have another quarter? It’s like the slots at one of your casinos, everyone’s a winner, except you. How could you the House manage to go bankrupt twice, running a casino? I guess that the odds were against you. This begs the question of how could you lose your reelection? You really are the biggest loser. Yesterday, when your phone call was leaked and we all heard you doing your mafia crime bossing shticks, I had to wonder how many other phone calls have you made like this. I mean even with your rudimentary grasp of reality, you had to realize that only flipping Georgia would not do the whole job for you. Where are the rest of the tapes?

The above photo of fly larvae is courtesy of the zoo. Can you image going to college, getting your degree in zoology and then landing your dream job at the Saint Louis Zoo. Then on your first day on the job, you learn that instead of giraffes, zebras or lions, you will be raising maggots?

I like to drink my coffee as I have always carried my heart, black and bitter. A new scientific study found that people who take their coffee black are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits though. And people ahead of them in line at Starbucks, who order a quad-shot, non-fat, vanilla soy, extra foam, light whip with caramel drizzle are more likely to be their victims.

Anne watched Elizabeth is Missing on PBS last night and wrote this paragraph. Glenda Jackson plays the role of Maude, who suffers from dementia, and is a handful for her family and friends. Maude’s portrayal by Ms. Jackson was stunning. It was hard for me (Anne) to watch, since there were many similarities between Maude and my mother. Although, I must say that Maude was both more mobile and more advanced in her dementia than my mom. The movie revolves around two mysteries that Maude is trying to figure out with the help of assorted notes and scraps of paper. One is her friend Elizabeth, who goes missing in the present. The other is her older sister, who went missing when Maude was a teen-ager. Since they are mysteries, I won’t reveal any more. When the movie was over, PBS did their usual discussion of how the show was made. An interviewer asked Ms. Jackson, “was it fun getting back on the set after 25 years?” “FUN? Are you kidding me? It is work, just as it always has been!” The look she gave the interviewer was priceless. Now, do I want to read the book?

 

This Was the Week that Will Be

Little House on the Potomac

This photo dates from the last Bush administration. With a pair of Jacksonian cannons in the foreground, this was a view once favored by Garry Trudeau in his comic strip Doonesbury. That started during Nixon. It is also a view that is no longer available. The current occupant’s penchant for walls has obstructed this scene. While highly stylized and photoshopped out the yin-yang, my picture manages to project a certain dark and ominous feeling that I had felt at the time. Sunnier days followed, but then there was that darkness again, sort of a night-day cycle. We find ourselves at the end of those dark days and at the dawning of a bright new day. We just have to make it through the next two weeks.

This week in particular, looks like it will be a doozy. Today starts with the seating of a new Congress. As of now, the Senate still has no leader, although I’m sure that Mitch McConnell will act like he still is. That gets decided on Tuesday, or maybe later. You know how these things go. Finally on Wednesday, we have the counting of the Electoral College votes. Normally, a perfunctory affair, this week it should be a real spectacle. However all this turns out there will be one saving grace. We will be graced by a new Netflix documentary series, available Tuesday. Its timing couldn’t be any more perfect then for its coming out to be this week. Hosted by Nick Cage, the History of Swear Words (NSFW, so please mute your Zoom mikes while watching it.), should help you cope, no matter what side of the political divide you come down on. So, put the kids to bed early or maybe just plug-in your headphones, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Citizens and lexicographers alike should be able to enjoy this profane, funny, vulgar and educational series. Its viewing should serve you well, especially in this week of all weeks. Cheeses Crisis, just watch the dern show!

Staggering Into the New Year

Dumbo

As we barrel pell-mell towards the end of this year, it is wise to take stock of the year that has passed. In a tumultuous year such as this one has been, it is all too easy to succumb to the negative. We’ve made it this far though, far enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s just pray that the light that we see is not the headlight of an oncoming train. This year feels like we’ve been through a war, where in reality we’ve spent most of our time sitting on the couch, a comfy couch at that. In cycling circles the couch is frequently equated with death and we have certainly seen plenty of that this year. Sitting on the couch is such a sedentary act and that it is anathema to an active lifestyle, but this year it has come to symbolize our patriotic duty. No mass storming of beaches, please. Sit on the couch and wear a mask, looking out for your fellows and yourself. 

Oh hell, I can’t help myself—as bad as it has been with the loser-in-chief going on and on and on about how unfair life has been to him this year, Missouri’s junior senator has elected to play Padawan acolyte to this dark Sith lord. Today, Josh Hawley, boy senator, announced that he will create a spectacle of himself next week, when Congress meets to declare Joe Biden our new president. What Hawley neglected to announce, but loomed quite clearly, was his intention to run for president in 2024. Opportunistic aptly describes Hawley. He has slithered from job-to-job throughout his political career. I first became aware of him when he ran for Missouri Attorney General, promising to serve his entire term, but halfway through that term he went and got himself elected senator. Oh my, however did that happen? Now, it looks like he’ll spend the better part of his first term as senator, running for president. Except for the annoyance of having to listen to all of his showboating, I guess that this constant ladder-climbing, leaves him little time to do much damage in his current assignment. When we started this year Trump seemed to be in an unassailable position, but through his own incompetence, he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Now, for a legacy, he has spawned a host of wannabe trumplets. When will it end?