Trump is a total madman…

Alright… just finished writing my latest travel blog series. New dog, still named Noizy for now, is doing fine. He’s as sweet as he can be. Someday, he might even leave the living room so we can give him a bath.

Now, back to my usual complaints and rantings. A few days ago, I wrote about the news that our dear “leader”, Donald Trump, was diagnosed with COVID-19. The initial news that he’d “tested positive” was soon followed up with news that he actually has the virus. Many people, including yours truly, wondered if this was yet another line of bullshit designed to distract everyone from Trump’s shortcomings before the election next month.

Then he ended up at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the weekend. Interesting side note– Walter Reed, who discovered that yellow fever is spread by mosquitos– was born in Belroi, Virginia. Belroi is part of Gloucester County, which is where I grew up. I have passed his birthplace many times, and in fact, our hospital in Gloucester was also named after him.

Anyway… Trump was airlifted to WRAMC in Washington, DC, even though the White House itself is pretty well equipped for medical emergencies. He spent the weekend in the “presidential suite”, and doctors said that his respiration rate had dropped dangerously a couple of times. But now, he’s been released and is supposedly “feelin’ great”. He went for a joyride in a hermetically sealed vehicle, masked, but locked up with people transporting and protecting him. He waved at the people, then got released.

Trump tweeted triumphantly (as I knew he would)… from the New York Times:

“Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he wrote. “Don’t let it dominate your life.” When he arrived at the White House a few hours later, Mr. Trump removed his mask before joining several masked people inside. The president was probably still contagious, as many patients can pass on the virus for up to 10 days after symptoms begin.

So… either Trump lied about having COVID-19, or he’s now willingly putting himself and many others at risk by mingling among the masses without any sort of face mask or other personal protection equipment. Doctors have said that days 7 through 10 tend to be the worst/most risky in a COVIF-19 infection. I have a nurse friend who works with COVID patients and confirms that he’s not yet out of the woods… if he was ever sick in the first place. For the record, I believe he was sick, and I believe that COVID-19 may still be his undoing. I don’t particularly relish the idea, nor does it depress me. As Trump says, “It is what it is.” Lots of people are lecturing others about what they should be saying and doing, though. I even got blocked by someone who was upset that I said Trump reminds me of Hitler. He does. Sorry… no, we’re not in a Holocaust, but he acts a lot like Hitler. The truth hurts.

This last month before the election promises to be totally crazy. Trump’s base is ever more riled up by the idea of Trump’s re-election, while those who are “ridin’ with Biden” are also campaigning hard. I just voted a week ago via absentee ballot. I voted Democrat across the board, something I have never done before. I have a feeling I am not the only one. Hopefully, it will make a difference. Like a lot of Americans, I’m pretty fed up with Trump’s circus and his complete disregard for everyone but himself. I am also tired of seeing and hearing gloating from Trump’s base.

Seriously… there are some true jackasses out there. Here are just a couple of links to the winners of the dipshit parade:

Trump Supporter Eyed by Law Enforcement After Viral Video Threatens ‘War’ if Biden Wins Election: ‘Us Rednecks … We Comin’ and Comin’ Strong’

Shocking video shows MAGA supporter punching man who refused to stop playing anti-Trump rap song in Texas parking lot

Not to be outdone, here’s a hilarious and curse heavy video from someone who thinks Trumpers are not the brightest:

My ears are burning!

Anyway… I am really glad to be here instead of there. I think the next month is going to be a total clusterfuck. Either way, I’m sure on the first Wednesday of November, I’ll feel like drinking.


Trump supporters are annoying, exhausting, and non-sensical…

Last night, a college friend of mine posted a negative comment about Donald Trump. He is not a Trump supporter at all, but he has a couple of female friends who love the orange turd. These women, for whatever reason, think Trump is a fuckin’ genius. And they had this to say…

I don’t get it. I really don’t. I posed a question on my own Facebook last night because after reading this exchange, I was just flabbergasted by the nonsense spouted here. People who don’t support Trump don’t deserve government stimulus money that is paid for by their taxes? And GOD sent Donald Trump to us? I’m puzzled. This is a man who lies, cheats, steals, and rapes… and proudly brags about harassing and molesting women. He was sent by God? That just does not compute.

Of course, lots of charismatic leaders hoodwink people into believing in them and following their counsel. God knows, Mormonism is full of such leaders… people like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, who married multiple teenagers. I could definitely fall down the rabbit hole of writing about corrupt religious leaders. They’re all coming out of the woodwork right now, anyway, telling cash strapped Americans that they should donate their “Band-Aid” stimulus money to their churches. The funny thing is, from what I’ve read, it looks like the Mormons are being somewhat sensible right now. It’s the fundie Christians who are really doing crazy things. And sadly, a lot of those fools are also politicians, saying things like “there are more important things than living…” which Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says. Here he is, a pro-life politician, saying that people should risk their lives and health so that the economy doesn’t collapse. What good is a thriving economy to the dead? So much for being pro-life.

This morning, I read another boilerplate status passed around the states by people protesting the lockdowns. Once again, I was left shaking my head at the stupidity…

Once again… the above rant is entirely about money. Sure, the author has thrown in references to church and how important worship is (to those who believe, anyway). And yes, there’s a reference to how evil abortion is, even though the virus is incredibly contagious and has killed hundreds of thousands of people who were already born. Frankly, I would definitely not want to be pregnant right now. It’s too dangerous. But even if I were happily pregnant, there could be an emergency medical situation arising in which having an abortion would be essential. It could certainly be more essential than eating out in a restaurant or buying liquor.

There are many references to “social distancing” in the above post, although if everyone does what the author suggests, social distancing would be a lot harder to accomplish. If everyone goes out and does what the author suggests, there would be a lot of people mingling. And NO, the wait staff wearing masks isn’t helpful in a restaurant. Any human can shed the virus, so even if your waiter or waitress wears a mask, if you’re not wearing one, you can still unwittingly shed the virus to them and make them sick. In fact, you can still spread the virus even if you are wearing a mask. And you wouldn’t be able to eat or drink while you’re wearing one, anyway.

Personally, I think the mask requirement is more about optics than anything else. Viruses are extremely tiny, and they can infect people by accessing their eyes or other open parts of the body that are uncovered. Properly worn masks might help by stopping viruses that are attached to droplets of saliva and mucous, but not all of the virus particles will be. It really takes very little exposure to the virus before a person will get sick, and the viruses can hang in the air for awhile. Many people will not wear the masks properly or keep them clean. What’s more, the homemade masks are made with a variety of different materials, and by people who don’t routinely make them and don’t know what would make them useful. And they will be worn by people who don’t routinely wear them. A lot of those people will be touching the masks, moving them so they can speak, eat, or smoke, and reusing them repeatedly so they can shop without harassment. They won’t wash their hands, either.

I know what the Centers for Disease Control is now saying, even though just a couple of weeks ago, they weren’t encouraging mask usage. I prefer to go by what the World Health Organization says, anyway. That’s an organization that isn’t ultimately led by Donald Trump. I will use a face mask if I have to go in public, which thankfully, I don’t have to do very much at all. But I don’t have much faith that the masks will actually do much to help curtail the spread of disease. They’re more about people looking like they’re taking precautions and avoiding fines and harassment, since a lot of people will not wear, launder, or dispose of them properly. The masks will be inconvenient, unsanitary, and uncomfortable, particularly as the weather gets warmer. And I just don’t think they’re going to do much good, because human nature will win out over common sense.

I think the best thing to do is to stay home as much as possible and practice scrupulous hygiene… but even taking those measures, many of us will probably eventually be exposed, and a lot of people will become disabled or die, whether or not they wear masks. I have to go on our local military reservation soon, because I need to get a vision test and have passport photos taken. Masks are now required on post. I suspect I’ll have to remove the mask, at least for the photos. Then I’m going to come home and resume holing up in the house. It’s boring and depressing, and I don’t want to live my life this way for much longer.

I do realize how lucky Bill and I are. He’s able to do a lot of his work from home. In many ways, it’s been kind of nice having him around. We’re fortunate in that we haven’t experienced financial hardship yet, and we still get along very well. It’s lucky that he isn’t still married to his first wife. And it’s lucky that I don’t have to work with the public anymore to make a living.

Anyway… I guess I’ll go do some housework… maybe walk the dog. At least we have nice weather today.

politicians, politics, stupid people

I’m so sick of stupid politicians who want to make everyone else stupid, too…

Last night, I came across a petition going around the Internet in response to a bill that has just been presented in Missouri. House Bill 2044, presented by Republican state Representative Ben Baker, is supposedly aiming to “prevent inappropriate sexual content from getting into the hands of kids” by requiring all libraries that receive state funding to have five person “parental library review boards”. The boards would be made up of locally elected officials, who would review content available to children and determine whether or not it’s “appropriate”. The bill also bans state funded libraries from allowing minors to access “age inappropriate” materials. And any librarian that willfully violates the law could be subject to a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.

I was pretty disgusted by the bill, especially since, when I was growing up, I read a lot of stuff that would have been deemed “age inappropriate” by some people. I have always been a reader, and I was fortunate enough to have parents who let me read pretty much whatever I wanted without any interference. If I’m honest, my parents mostly didn’t care what I read and would not have wanted to be bothered with giving their permission to read certain books. Under this proposal, I might have been barred from reading certain books, not because my parents objected, but because they weren’t that interested.

I think that ideally, the people who should be determining what is, and what is not, age appropriate reading for their children are parents, not elected officials, who may be pushing their own agendas. In a state like Missouri, my guess is that the boards would consist of a lot of religious right wing types… you know, the ones who say the government needs to butt out of everyone’s private business (unless it involves a uterus and a developing embryo, that is).

Mr. Baker apparently thinks this measure is necessary, even though librarians already go through extensive training to determine what is and what is not “appropriate” for library collections. The five elected officials on a “parental library review board” are unlikely to have any special training regarding reading materials, but they probably will have their own attitudes and agendas to push.

Says Baker,

“The main thing is I want to be able to take my kids to a library and make sure they’re in a safe environment, and that they’re not gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable material,” Baker told local news station KOAM. “Unfortunately, there are some libraries in the state of Missouri that have done this. And that’s a problem.”

Um… Mr. Baker– as a parent, you are ultimately responsible for making sure your kids are not “gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable material.” It’s not for you or anyone else to determine what is objectionable or unsafe reading for other people’s children. Stay in your lane.

Some people have already expressed outrage over this bill, but Mr. Baker stubbornly argues,

“If the adult wanted to, and said I’m okay with my child reading this or looking at this, then they could check that out, and have that available for their child,” Baker argued. “I just think that we need to be careful about funding something with our taxpayer dollars without parental consent.”

So it should be up to you, and your Republican buddies, to make those decisions for everyone, and they alone should determine what books should be in the children’s section? The ones who think gays and lesbians and transgender people are mentally ill and going to Hell? The ones who promote abstinence education, even though it doesn’t work (just check the teen pregnancy and STI statistics in Republican states where sex education consists solely of abstinence education)? The ones who want to push a Christian agenda in public schools by forcing everyone to pray, and eliminating any discussion of evolution over creationism? And what if some of those “elected officials” turn out to be more liberal than the others and “objectionable material” (by your standards) still slips into the children’s section? Yeah… that sounds like a fine plan for the 21st century. NOT.

I can’t wrap my head around this. We have so many other issues that are far more pressing than book banning in a country that is supposed to be all about freedom of expression. Hell… today’s American school children have to worry about whether or not they’ll survive the school day. Reading a book that might be slightly out of their age range or understanding isn’t the end of the world.

But, as Mr. Baker is “a minister, missionary and former dean of students at Ozark Bible Institute and College”, I guess I can see where his limited world view comes from. I’m sure he’s got no problem with children being exposed to guns and would rather see a couple dozen of them mowed down at school in the name of protecting gun rights than he would want to have them learn about different lifestyles, religious beliefs, and alternative sexual preferences through reading. God forbid we actually teach children to be Christ-like– you know, kind, loving, accepting, forgiving, compassionate, understanding and non-judgmental.

Even though Republicans claim to be about saving taxpayers’ money, they don’t seem to have the tiniest issue with throwing people in jail for non-violent offenses, even though it costs a lot of money to warehouse inmates and affects their ability to earn a living for the rest of their lives. Incarceration also affects their families– especially their children— on many levels! Does Mr. Baker really think it’s worth jailing a highly educated librarian, potentially ruining his or her career, over a young person reading a book like Lady Chatterly’s Lover or Slaughterhouse Five against the elected officials’ wishes? Incidentally, it’s been my experience that kids who really want to read something will find a way to do it. Amazon delivers, y’all… straight to the Kindle, even.

I understand that many Americans think that religious people, particularly those who swing to the right of the political spectrum, are the only type of people who should be making our laws. I guess that being outside of the United States for several years, in a place where religion isn’t the end all be all of all things, has shown me that some people in the United States could really use a mental enema and a trip or two abroad. In any case, I’m sure it’s clear what I think of Mr. Baker’s desire to censor things that offend his tender Republican religious sensibilities. I know some people think religion is a wonderful thing, but the older I get, the more I think that many super religious people should be completely barred from politics.

Bottom line– kids should be encouraged to read as much as they can. And they should have the freedom to read whatever interests them, ideally with parental guidance of course. And it should NOT be up to a group of “five elected officials” who have NO TRAINING whatsoever in library science, but plenty of political and religious agendas, to determine what is “acceptable” for children to read. Republicans are always crowing about how child rearing decisions should be “up to the parents”. Well, this issue is no different. Let parents decide what their kids are allowed to read and trained librarians determine which books belong in the children’s section. “Elected officials” with an obvious religious agenda should stay out of that decision.

politicians, stupid people


Yesterday, as I was waking up on my last day in Poland, I read an article a friend of mine shared about Ohio’s relentless push to end abortion. The article, which came from a site called, was based on a news item that was in The Columbus Dispatch. Since I am in Europe, I can’t read the original article without a VPN. Fortunately, I have a VPN, and am now reading the article. I know I have at least one regular reader in Ohio who has commented to me about how frightening the pro-life agenda is in Ohio right now. The article I just read is not very comforting.

House Bill 413 proposes that “a fetus would be legally considered a person, and those performing an abortion could be charged with aggravated murder.” Furthermore, anyone providing an abortion “shall suffer death or be imprisoned for life.” I hasten to add that at least this bill doesn’t subject women who seek abortions to the death penalty, unlike recently proposed legislation in Texas. I guess the lawmakers figure the poor pregnant people are “misguided” and need a firm hand to help them make decisions more in line with their way of thinking.

My first reaction to this? Wow! It seems very strange to want to impose the death penalty on abortion providers when one is arguing for the pro-life movement. After all, every abortion provider was once someone’s unborn fetus, too. Why kill competent healthcare professionals for helping their patients? Why put them in prisons, where their skills will erode and they will cost taxpayers money while potentially enriching shareholders at privately run corrections facilities? It makes no sense to me at all.

I have come to understand that this kind of extreme language is par for the course when it comes to pro-life wingnuts. However, one thing that I cannot wrap my head around is the insistence that ectopic pregnancies can be made viable. In the Columbus Dispatch article dated November 15, 2019, it is stated:

Exceptions for saving the life of the mother are limited — including a requirement to attempt to implant an ectopic pregnancy into the woman’s uterus. Critics say the procedure is not supported by science and puts the woman’s life at even greater risk.

Now… I distinctly remember back in May 2019, writing a post about this very same ludicrous argument that ectopic pregnancies can somehow be salvaged by technology that doesn’t yet exist. At that time, idiot lawmaker John Becker, who apparently has zero knowledge about pregnancy, anatomy, or physiology, proposed House Bill 182, which would prohibit most private insurance coverage for abortion. The bill included language addressing treating ectopic pregnancies (when the fertilized egg attaches outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes). When this was big news, Becker said:

“Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill,”

Back then, I wrote that no ectopic pregnancy I have ever heard of could be salvaged. Indeed, ectopic pregnancies are true medical emergencies, and they almost always end with the termination of the pregnancy and possibly a significant downgrade in the woman’s fertility, since there is a good chance the affected fallopian tube might also have to be removed. More importantly, there does not currently exist any medical procedure that would allow a physician to “re-implant” an embryo into a woman’s uterus. The technology simply isn’t there yet. If it was there, a lot of women who have ectopic pregnancies would be all for getting the procedure done. Contrary to what the pro-lifers in Ohio seem to believe, most pregnant women look forward to being mothers and don’t plan to terminate their pregnancies. I fail to see why ectopic pregnancies need to be addressed by the pro-life crowd.

As I recall, Becker got a pretty good backlash for his ignorant and tone deaf comments on the ectopic pregnancy issue. I thought maybe his fellow lawmakers would get a clue and at least consult someone in the maternal healthcare field who knows more about pregnancy than they do. But no… they’re still discussing requiring physicians to re-implant non-viable embryos resulting from ectopic pregnancies into the uteri of women who surely have enough trauma to deal with. Under this bill, if the physicians don’t try to save the ectopic pregnancies by using currently non-existent technology, they could wind up facing the death penalty.

All I can do is just shake my head at the sheer cruelty and lunacy of the right wing nutjobs in Ohio who keep pushing this UNCONSTITUTIONAL legislation. They really should be ashamed of themselves, not just for trying to deny reproductive freedom to Ohioans, but for being just plain stupid and ignorant on the topic for which they claim to be so passionate. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable and they have nothing to do with abortion. Pro-lifers need to get a clue and stop pushing this nonsense before more innocent people die. Then, they need to take it a step further and realize that there are situations in which an abortion is the appropriate medical decision and sometimes should be allowed for the health of the mother. And then they need to butt the hell out of other people’s private healthcare decisions.

And… just to bring Donald Trump into this– I just read that he’s been trying to push a rule that would allow healthcare professionals to refuse to treat people on religious grounds. The measure, which would have gone into effect yesterday, was struck down a federal judge who, thank GOD, realized the chilling effect that could have on our already horrendous healthcare system. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup was the third judge to reject the measure, writing “When a rule is so saturated with error, as here, there is no point in trying to sever the problematic provisions. The whole rule must go.”

Alsup continues, ” [the Trump administration rule] upsets the balance drawn by Congress between protecting conscientious objections versus protecting the uninterrupted effective flow of health care to Americans.” Then he cites a scary hypothetical scenario, quoted below, in which “ambulance drivers” (who really should be referred to as EMTs or paramedics), could legally abandon a pregnant person en route to the hospital needing an emergency abortion. I would assume an ectopic pregnancy would be one of those situations, although I sure would hope that anyone choosing to work as an EMT or paramedic would know better, and understand that without surgery that will effectively terminate the pregnancy, someone with an ectopic pregnancy will likely DIE without medical intervention. Those who are truly pro-life should recognize that the person who is growing the fetus deserves care and protection, too.

“Under the new rule, to preview just one example, an ambulance driver would be free, on religious or moral grounds, to eject a patient en route to a hospital upon learning that the patient needed an emergency abortion,” wrote Alsup. “Such harsh treatment would be blessed by the new rule.”

I really think we’re seeing a lot of these ridiculous, extreme, church sponsored pro-life rules being proposed because we have an incompetent jackass in the White House who will champion and embolden these people into pushing their sick and intrusive agendas. Extreme Christians have gained too much power and are trying to force their religious views on the entire country. I really hope that people will open their eyes and vote against Trump in the next election. He’s destroying lives, and that will, in turn, destroy the country. We need to get him out of power, pronto, and elect someone decent who will restore humanity to our government before it’s too late. Trump admires dictators, disrespects women, non-whites, and the poor, and cozies up to the ignorant simply to win their votes. This anti-woman legislation that punishes women who are pregnant and threatens healthcare providers with the death penalty is a huge step backwards into the Dark Ages. We simply must elect more competent and compassionate people.

For more on Ohio’s House Bill 413 and all the craziness it proposes in its over 700 pages, have a look at this link.