Friday, July 7, 2017

Oh, Really?

Apparently Putin is feeling a little smug about creating chaos in The West.  He thinks people will become disillusioned with democracy, taking the edge off the opposition in his country pushing for more democracy.

Well, too bad.  We may have our issues, but Russia has some significant alcohol and drug abuse issues, too.

Russia's economy isn't doing so well.  They have had trouble diversifying beyond natural resources, such as oil.  They have too much corruption and too little structure.

In two years, we may be able to dump some of the senators and congressman in legal, organized elections.  In four years, we may be able to dump the executive.  They'll still be stuck with Putin, in some fashion, although his job titles change occasionally. 

Maybe some of the really unhappy, discontented White supremacists would really like to go to Russia, if we could work it out.  It's pretty monolithic, so maybe they'd like that. Not a lot of multi-culturalism to navigate. And we'd lose one source of our discontent.  Maybe it would just create more happiness for more people.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wizard of Naaaahs

"If only I had a brain "
           (We're going to avoid cruelty naming this one...several would fit)

"If only I had a heart"
           Darth Bannon

"If only I had courage"
            S. Spicey

Toto: undisciplined, runs off, wants to hear he's cute, defines himself by hanging from a woman's arm. Who else?  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Wow! 42-Redux

There's pretty much nothing I agree with Steve Bannon (White House counsel-in-chief; former executive-in-chief of the alt-right Breitbart) about.  His use of the alt-right to stir up racial animosity has been detestable.  I am mystified and repulsed by his simultaneous radical Zionism along with anti-Semitism.  And his harsh anti-Muslim sentiments risk amping up warfare beyond our already stretched limits.

And, yet, there are some better notions of his not being reported much.  He's actually for a tax increase on the wealthy, moving the top 1% into a tax bracket over 40%  See my link,
Believe Me Now? , as well as several others scattered through this site.  He's trying to convince the Prez, apparently, to raise taxes on the rich so that he can create a truly populist tax decrease on the middle and poorer classes.

Apparently, Bannon also pleaded with the Prez not to fire Comey.  It seems he realized how badly this would backfire.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Independent Spirit

For this Fourth of July, an homage to President Theodore Roosevelt and The Flag:

Mt. Rushmore National Monument
Rapid City, SD

Theodore Roosevelt Statue
Outdoor Walking Gallery of Presidential Statues
Rapid City, SD
(that's Theodore Roosevelt Orange Soda)

Cove Neck, Long Island, NY


Thursday, June 29, 2017

More on "Ted, Jr."

If you read this blog much, you'll see I'm fond of many of President Theodore Roosevelt's positions and actions.  But I'm probably more fond of his son, Ted Jr., as an unsung hero.

Here's another nice link, which includes a book I recently read.

The Full-Hearted Life of Ted Roosevelt, Jr.

BTW, Ted counted Harpo Marx, among others, as a friend.

Mad Hatter

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Wonderful Wonderland

The 10th Inning

"Our very public political debate is sadly reducible to the Koch Brothers* vs. Hollywood, with nothing in between."
                                                                       ---Marie Byars 

     The populace has so much more subtle shading.  In ALL regions of the country, there is so much more consensus still than the public debates would have you believe. 
    There has to be a way to bring this forward... and absolutely WITHOUT this inexcusable violence!

* Don't let the Koch's fool you, though. They really don't believe in social conservativism, although they're perfectly glad to "use" social conservatives for their own means.  This is not the time nor place to discuss their agenda in depth.  But, thank goodness people are bringing it to light!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Gotta post this link again on President Theodore Roosevelt's eldest son, a real D-Day hero!

Brigadier General Ted Roosevelt, Jr.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

What's in YOUR Covfefe?

"Covfefe", brought to you by those who believe in further defunding public K-12 and university education*!

"Turkish Covfefe":  When you're the only NATO head of nation congratulating Erdogan for steps towards dictatorship.

"Organic Covfefe": When that fertilizer you're slinging around wasn't made by Monsanto, if you catch my (smelly) drift.

"Covfefe House":  When you abandon your government-provided mansion every weekend and soak it the taxpayers by staying at your private resort.

"Covfefe Liqueur": What Sean Spicer needs a swig of when he comes out to explain things.

"Automatic Drip Covfefe":  Our future when most of us are unemployed or underemployed "drips" because most jobs are automated. 
     Liberal entrepreneurs feel a minimum income will solve this. But consumption without productivity will lead to more drug & alcohol abuse and probably more depression & other mental health issues.  (So, there's the "jab" to the other wing.)

"Truckstop Covfefe":  When you're about to get the shaft again after a decade of suppressed wages because you thought the Head Covfefe-Brewer was a "regular guy" who really cared about you!  Double shaft-- it's going towards "Automatic Drip" Covfefe for you, too!

"Covfefe au Lait":  When you've "milked" your supposed businessman's cred for all it's worth.  ("Some" people would have been better investing in an S & P Index fund than pretending to be real estate moguls.)

"French Roast Covfefe": When the French President addresses the world (and you) from Paris in English, and it's not to express his great admiration.

"Guatemalan Covfefe":  The type of Covfefe we're headed for:  The distribution of income remains highly unequal with the richest 20% of the population accounting for more than 51% of Guatemala's overall consumption. More than half of the population is below the national poverty line, and 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty.

"Ethiopian Covfefe":  A Covfefe we ignore too much. 

"Nicaraguan Covfefe":  When you want to join the ranks of those not in the Paris Accord.

"Venezuelan Covfefe":  When you congratulate your rich cronies at Goldman-Sachs for profiteering from bailing out and propping up a government that impoverishes its people.

"Cuban Covfefe":   When you, like Kennedy, don't really know what to order. [cf. "Bay of Pigs" and "Obama normalizing relations"  A two-fer jab at BOTH wings!]

"Air Force One Covfefe":  "Covfefe, tea or ME, ME, ME, ME, ME?!?!?!?!?!?"

                                                                                      ----Marie Byars

*The Koch Brothers and the President are actually kind of "frenemies."  A lot of people forget that the Koch's aren't terribly fond of the President & haven't given him campaign funds.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Visa Americana

Here are some inspiring quotes which were inscribed in the pages of my new U.S. Passport book:

"Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America."  --Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or sect, a party or a class-- it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity."  -- Anna Julia Cooper

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Another Generic Meme

Again, you're welcome!

(And, yes, the "puke green" is intentional.)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I'll Pass.....

I don't "do" deification of anyone... I don't care WHO they are!!!

Claims to be Russian Orthodox [Christian],
but seems to worship at altar of self


This "cat", Herod Agrippa, shows what can happen when someone gives the impression they're taking the place of God.  Acts 12 talks about how he sat on his throne and spoke to his people.  The Jewish historian Josephus records that he wore a shiny silver cloak that threw of sunlight, increasing the impression of deity. The people cried out that Herod spoke as a "god and not a man."  Herod didn't bother to stop them;  he let them go on thinking he was divine. Herod immediately got some sort of nasty illness that the Bible describes as being eaten by worms.  Josephus says he did 5 days later.

I'd just rather not....

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Welsh Wisdom

"Living well is the best revenge."

"One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters."

"He that is not handsome at 20, not strong at 30, nor rich at 40, nor wise at 50, will never be handsome, strong, rich or wise."

      ---George Herbert, Welsh; Anglican Priest (1593-1633)  

Monday, March 27, 2017

Food for Thought

Italians have "antipasto" and they have "pesto."  But they don't seem to have "anti-pesto."  I wonder if they're overrun?!?!     --Marie Byars

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Confuse a White Supremecist: learn German & speak it properly.  (And read Tacitus's account of the pre-civilized Germans... I'd like to see them wrap their minds around tribal, pre-Christian Germanic times!)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

[posted the St. Valentine in this series a few years ago]

Friday, March 3, 2017

Love-Hate Relationship

Love to hate the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)?  Especially with taxes due next month?

Be careful how much you let the hatin' take over:

The Basic Problem with Slashing the IRS

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wisdom from St. Patrick

"If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me."   

“I pray to God to give me perseverance and to deign that I be a faithful witness to Him to the end of my life for my God.”   [from The Confession of the Saint]

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wisdom from an Unexpected Place

[in reaction to the rightward drift of the GOP and worrisome ideological shifts in both parties, a proposed realignment and division along sharp liberal-conservative ideologies]: 

 “I think it [party realignment] would be a great tragedy.  I think one of the attributes of our political system has been that we have avoided generally violent swings in Administrations from one extreme to the other.  And the reason we have avoided that is that in both parties there has been room for a broad spectrum of opinion… when your Administrations come to power, they represent the whole people, rather than just one segment of the people.”  --Richard Nixon (1959), addressing the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco 

More Presidential Wisdom

Historically, taxing the rich has been supported by both parties across the ideological spectrum. Even Thomas Jefferson, whom many Tea Party members worship, supported higher taxes on the wealthy. In an 1811 letter to Thaddeus Kościuszko, he defended the tariff because it would force the rich to pay more:

“The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. The poor man, who uses nothing but what is made in his own farm or family, or within his own country, pays not a farthing of tax to the General Government.”  --Thomas Jefferson

Friday, February 17, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Double Whammy

For Black History Month and for this month which hosts President's Day, here's artwork showing the time President Theodore Roosevelt hosted Booker T. Washington, a black social leader, to dinner at the White House.  At the time, it was considered quite shocking.

He also entertained George Washington Carver, a Black botanist & inventor (including of peanut butter) who had been born into slavery in 1861.  He was certainly a principled president, ahead of his time!

A Billion Surprises

Here's some of the billionaires (and it's not just Warren Buffet!!!) saying that income inequality is a big problem:

Fortune Magazine

Friday, January 27, 2017

Let's start a movement:  raise the taxes of the top 1% to a 42% tax rate.  This is not really so extreme. The revenue wouldn't be for the pet products of just "one side."  This is a Centrist movement really worth giving birth to.

As a reminder, taxes on the upper echelons were much higher from Eisenhower until Reagan. For most of that time, the economy was really pretty good. The stock market (which used to not be used as the main measure of how the country was doing) grew just fine.  In fact, much of the action-reaction we have in society can be traced back to the 1980s, which spawned this modern extremism.

Other items from this blog, which refer to outside economists' reports, are below:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

House of Cards

If we are honest about it, to some degree, all modern economies are a bit of a Ponzi scheme.  ---Marie Byars

Friday, January 6, 2017

More Wisdom for the New Year

"When opportunity knocks, some people are in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers."  ---Polish Proverb

Wisdom for Facebook

With all the crazy fake news on Facebook and other random, short-sighted spoutings-off on social media, these words of a classic Greek philosopher take on new meaning:

"Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something." 

Dave Barry's 2016 in Review

No one sizes up the previous year like Dave Barry in his annual Miami Herald round-up column.  Once again, his column is this blog's new year's focus: