We don’t need superheroes. What we need are more people to do small things. Ordinary people like you and me.
Even a seemingly small act of kindness can make a difference. Just ask the beneficiary of anyone on the receiving end of a generous act.
No one can lift a ton. But many people in an organized effort can not only lift a ton, but move mountains. It’s the basis of my fundamental belief in cooperation instead of competition.
Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from a grocery store that will remain anonymous because what they are doing isn’t allowed by the company. For about three years, Marieta (she deserves the credit) took “old” produce that was going to be discarded and shared it with some charitable organizations working with the needy. We made more than 100 deliveries, usually 5-10 boxes at a time, about once a week. Unfortunately, the produce manager left that store and we were not able to do anything after September of last year.
Sure enough, yesterday this person called and is now working at another location. In light of the current crisis, he asked if we wanted several boxes of fruits and vegetables. Of course, we jumped at the chance to get back involved. We gave this shipment to a local church group that is doing good work. Just to be clear, I don’t do nearly enough good deeds. Marieta is more involved in charity work and motivates me to get off the sofa and so something.
I have spoken with many people about what’s going on and how it’s going to impact our lives. Not all of us have money, food, transportation, and the means to get to food and things we need. I strongly suggest you find just ONE PERSON, maybe a neighbor or a senior or someone you normally would not reach out to and make the effort to see if they need anything. Just knock on a door and introduce yourself and ask if you can help.
And, if you don’t find a person to help, then — I beg of you — by all means, help an animal. Many animals are desperately in need when there is a crisis. I’ve seen this firsthand at The Animal Foundation, which has way too many cats and dogs that we have homes for. If you hear a dog barking at unusual times and something doesn’t seem right, then please go and check it out. We might be okay. But not all people and animals are able to get what they need in times of shortages. Help those people. And help the animals.
Yeah, nothing says “let’s don’t politicize this” like wearing a USA TRUMP 45 campaign hat during an official White House press conference on the coronavirus while threatening to fire the Federal Reserve chairman.
20 minutes of nauseating self-congratulation.
We’re willing to be rational about this. Note that no one goes after Anthony Fauci and others, because they stay on message and provide (as best they can) accurate information to the American people.
Even though they’re appointed by President Biohazard, we understand the need for bipartisanship. But man, that’s really tough to do when every single mic appearance by Trump is laced with campaign-style narcissism.
Oh, and in the presser that’s continuing as I type this, Ben Carson, who doesn’t believe in evolution, is now talking about how “we’ve gotten away from God,” and praising Trump’s “National Day of Prayer.”
Now, ladies and gentlemen, any more questions about WHO are the instigators of politicizing this crisis?
Fueled by toxic right-wing media, complacency, and in some cases, plain old dirt-dumb willful ignorance — many otherwise intelligent people are succumbing to a dangerous mindset that the COVID-19 pandemic is:
Fill in the blank……
— an exaggeration
— a media-driven panic
— just another type of flu
— a hoax
— a plot to hurt Trump
Virtually all these “opinions” are expressed by people with absolutely no background in science. Certainly, none of the people posting idiotic memes and spewing senseless perspectives on social media tainted by warped political and selfish economic interests have any academic or practical experience in viruses and pandemics whatsoever. Let me put it another way: They don’t know shit.
I have little knowledge or understanding of science and even less ability in viruses. It’s true. I don’t know shit, either. Hence, I chose to rely on the good people who do know this stuff, who are virtually unanimous in their warnings and recommendations that this threat is very, very serious. What knowledge and understanding I do have is in politics and history, and to get a broad picture of what things could be like, all we must do is look at what happened a hundred years ago.
Neither of the possible outcomes is comforting. Either the virus does terrible damage over some unknown period — not just medically, but economically and socially, as well. Or, the alternative is a false confirmation of anti-intellectual bias, a wedge between ignorance from sanity.
There does exist the very real possibility that experts will deliver us from this peril, that the virus will be contained, and the outbreak will not be as bad as it might have been. In this far more palatable scenario, it will inevitably follow that critics and cynics will insist the virus was never a big deal at all, that COVID 19 was — an exaggeration, a media-driven panic, just another type of flu, a hoax, and a plot to hurt Trump.
Science will have won the medical battle but then lost the war of truth. In essence, even if the pandemic gradually subsides thanks to scientists and public health officials, some/many will point to the dissipating storm that inexplicably took a detour and missed destroying the village, and then mock those who warned us.
A crisis brings out the very best in people, and the very worst in people. We may be damned if the virus spreads, but just as damned if it doesn’t.
I urge readers to follow my lead and gum up the Trump campaign machine with a real contribution that will help make America great again.
Today, I’m writing a check to the Trump re-election campaign.
I’m making this check out to “Donald J. Trump for President” and signing my real name.
Then, I’ll stick an envelope in the mail and send it to Trump’s re-election headquarters in New York.
No, I haven’t lost my mind.
No, I haven’t flipped over to the dark side.
No, I’m not supporting Trump.
But I do want to make a contribution, in my own way. I intend to make sure the Trump campaign and countless affiliated Republican political organizations will latch on to my “generosity,” waste vast sums of money mailing me free stuff, sending me bogus political questionnaires, and sapping up their reserves to beg me to donate more.
You see, I’m sending the 2020 Trump re-election campaign a check in the amount of “$.01.” That’s right. One cent.
Let’s Do the Math
This an act of cold calculation, my friends. It’s dubiously designed to invest a tiny amount of money in order to make the evil beast bleed far more in funds.
My investment in this project amounts to 55 cents — the cost of one USPS stamp — plus 1 cent for the donation. Then, there’s the expense of a personal check and a simple envelope.
What do I expect for my 56 cents and an envelope? I know exactly what to expect because — believe it or not — I once worked in Republican Party fundraising, years ago. I know how their game is played. I know the score.
The Name of the Game is “Caging”
It’s called “caging.” What an appropriate term applied to the Trump Administration.
What happens is this — my envelope gets opened by a third-party processor which collects checks and then enters the names of all campaign donors into a computer database. What — you think there are paid staffers on the 15th Floor at Trump Tower doing data entry? Think again. Bulk mail gets trucked someplace much cheaper and then processed. That’s the way it works with large political operations. The checks and information are caged.
So, my name eventually gets recorded, which is required by federal law. Someone working for close to minimum wager for the contractor spends no more than a few seconds adding me to the vast Trump army of deplorables. Then, another office flunky down the assembly line will process my check. Oh, my check will get cashed — for sure.
Bingo! Success. Mission accomplished.
Now, I’m on the inside. I’m officially a Trump donor!
So, What Happens Next?
Sometime later, my name ends up on every Republican hit list. Elections come with postal bombardment. When Trump gets the party nomination — I’ll get mail. During the campaign — I’ll get more mail. Later, every Republican candidate who buys the “Trump donor list” will blow even more money trying to squeeze blood out of this Socialist turnip. They’ll be hounding me for more money until the end of democracy.
This is certain. I know, because I already get bombarded with Trump trash. Why not make them spend even more.
Doing the math, what this means is that in the coming years, Trump and the Republican Party will likely invest 100-times more money than I initially donated to their evil cause. My modest investment-donation will cost them far more than they will ever receive. It’s a simple, but effective means of protest.
It’s death by a thousand paper cuts. It’s playing dirty but legal. It’s how big corporations kill lawsuits by smaller businesses — paperwork them to death. Exhaust their resources. It’s not a pretty way to win, but it’s still a win. And you might not win, but you cause enough damage to the evil system (h/T Patrick Day).
Gumming Up the Trump Works
Now, imagine thousands of good Americans doing the same thing. Sending tiny donations of just a cent or two. Call it “gumming up the works.”
I urge all anti-Trumpers to do exactly the same. Donate a small amount and mail them a check. Even if 1,000 good citizens do this, that means Trump raises perhaps $10. After all, 1,000 pennies is just ten bucks. But the Trump campaign and subsequent Republican candidates who buy the sucker list will blow tens of thousands of dollars on wasted solicitations that will get tossed straight into the wastebasket. There’s another bonus: I find Republican campaign literature to be the perfect cat box liner.
I know, this isn’t the most environmentally-friendly means of protest. It’s wasteful. But the time for scorched-earth activism has arrived. Protest. Resist. By any means necessary. Do something.
Make Your Contribution, Now!
I urge readers to follow my lead and gum up the Trump campaign machine with a real contribution to making America great again. Make them blow both time and money. Sure, they’ve already raised millions in donations. A few dollars might not seem like much. But every single small act leads to an avalanche. Great causes are victorious not by giant events, but by one small act at a time.
For those rightly concerned, note that making a tiny donation will NOT be reported to federal authorities (reporting requirements apply only to donations over $200). However, all the names of those who donate are indeed recorded. Republicans consider these lists worth their weight in gold. Trump and the party will certainly comingle all donors and blow campaign funds on future solicitations. And the best way to fight them is by throwing their garbage away, or better yet, sending a blank donation envelope back in their return postage-paid envelopes (which are often supplied). That really stings. Making them pay — double, triple, and quadruple!
If you’d like to read more about what happens when you make a political donation to a national campaign, here’s a guide.
Make your donation to the Trump campaign now! And write CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION on the outside of the envelope. That way it gets to the right place.
Here’s the mailing address:
Donald J. Trump for President
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022-2519
Note that the online option at the OFFICIAL WEBSITE has a minimum contribution of $25. Why do you think they don’t want to bother with donations less than $25? Answer: Because it ends up costing them money! So, contribute the old fashioned way by check, instead.
Thirty years ago tonight, March 6, 1990, I went on my very first date with Marieta.
I went on a blind date with a Romanian girl named Marieta Petre. She lived across the street from the national soccer stadium in central Bucharest. I picked her up at 6.
The instant I laid eyes on her, I thought I stood no chance. There was no way this was happening. She was too beautiful. I suppose it was that sense of having nothing to lose that made me relax and somehow carry on a dinner conversation that was good enough to keep her interested, leading to a second date.
Our first date was at Pescarus (which is still in business). But, thinking my chances of developing a serious relationship were at best a longshot, our second date wasn’t until after Easter, in late April.
The most interesting thing about our unusual courtship was that it all took place just as Eastern Europe’s Iron curtain was falling and the future was uncertain. Bucharest was in chaos for six months after the revolution, with marches, protests, and sporadic outbreaks of violence.
We “dated” almost every day. I got off work at the Embassy around 5. Marieta, who worked for the nearby office at Manufacturers Hanover, got off about the same time. We met up at the daily protests at University Square, which were filled with 5,000-10,000 people every single day.
One afternoon, the provisional government which was fragile and struggling to hold power, tried to break up the protests and sent in the Army. Thousands of troops tried to clear the streets. That caused the crowd to riot, torching vehicles and breaking lots of windows.
Someone took this photo of us during one of the riots. It’s our first photo together.
After the riots, that just made the protests grow larger. Crowds were so large that it was often difficult to find Marieta. So, we made a pact that we’d meet at the burned-out Army truck each day at 5;30. I think this burned Army truck sat in the streets for three months.
I have lots more fun stories to share and the old photos are fun to go back and look at — and remember. I’ll share a few more over the next few months.
Though Bernie Sanders is correct on virtually all the issues of this election, his presidential aspirations now appear to be fading over the horizon, His ideals are a setting sun of hopes and dreams.
But before Democrats and Biden supporters and Bernie haters in the tens of millions rejoice and pile on about Sanders’ shortcomings (and they are many), it’s worth just a moment — no, make that TWO MINUTES of your time — to remember exactly who has been there for progressive causes for nearly SIXTY FUCKING YEARS.
Yeah, I’m pissed. I’m pissed because piling on about Bernie Sanders is disgraceful.
Evidence: Watch this clip.
Do you think ANY OTHER CANDIDATE would stand up and take on flagrant bigotry like this?
Virtually everyone in political office was a bigot, or a fraud, or a gutless coward 25 to 35 years ago. All of them. Certainly every Republican, and most Democrats, too. NO ONE defended gays or took on unpopular social causes. Not Biden. Not Clinton. No one.
Except for Bernie Sanders, who has been there in the trenches. Since the early 1960s. While other candidates were fellating so-called “traditional values” and cowering to hate, SANDERS has been on the front lines making enemies. Fighting the fight.
When it comes to certain issues of human rights, let me say this as clearly as I can — fuck your mainstream moderate politics.
Now — do I want Sanders to continue battling for the nomination once it’s apparent he can’t win?
But a little FUCKING RESPECT during this primary process would be nice.
I guaran-damn-tee you there are ZERO clips os Biden or others in the race who stood up for things that weren’t popular 30 years ago. ZERO. NONE. NOTHING.
So, think about that next time you tear Sanders from his flesh on social media for being “too ideological” or “too extreme.”
Big B Texas Barbecue is located on the far south side of Las Vegas. It’s adjacent to South Hills Medical Center on Fort Apache. It took over the Chef Jose Andres spot (which I loved) after the french bistro closed down last year. It’s also a few doors down from where Khoury’s (Lebanese) used to be before they relocated to Village Square.
Las Vegas is stacked with several average-to-good barbecue joints. Most are serviceable. Barbecue is either hit or miss, with not much in-between, but can be great comfort food. I’ve tried most of them here in town.
Big B appears to be independently run (I did no research on this, so some things might be incorrect). It’s one of those old-fashioned open-air kitchen places with giant slabs of pork and beef, with a standing line where customers order over the counter. Meals are served on wax paper on plastic trays. The whole place smells like smoke. This is probably ideal for the neighborhood and is a quick take out, though plenty of tables are available for dining in.
The barbecue was very good. I’d rate it 8/10. We enjoyed a platter of smoked ribs, pork, and brisket. Platters come with two sides and are priced around $10-15. Quality was a high thumbs up.
Where I think Big B missed the target was entirely a matter of personal taste. I don’t like hoagie rolls and that’s how sandwiches are served. I much prefer a butter crusted shiny bun, lightly toasted. Hoagies are cold, doughy, and are simply too much bread for the barbecue. I don’t like hoagies. But hey, that’s me.
I was also unimpressed with the sauces. Big B offers sweet, mustard, and spicey. I found out the sauces are all homemade, which I appreciate. Unfortunately, none of the three were the right match for my taste. I’m far more inclined towards a Worcestershire flavor with a thick ketchup-like texture. These house sauces didn’t work for me and given how vital moisture is to a mix of mead and bread, this was a strikeout. I stress, my tastes might be different from yours. Others might like Big B’s hoagies and homemade sauces.
The sweet barbecue beans were also annoying, but this too is a matter of personal taste. I don’t like sweet food, certainly not on my barbecue, but others may disagree.
Big B’s was busy during my lunch visit. It appears to be doing well.
Let me add that I hope Big B’s succeeds. A man I presume was the owner came by and was very attentive. He brought us silverware, re-fills, and genuinely enjoyed his role as host. I like “hands-on” ownership and admire people who pay attention to details. I only wish I could give Big B’s a higher recommendation.
Unfortunately, my criticism of this authentic Texas barbecue joint was entirely based on my own tastes and expectations. Others might have different ideas. So, I don’t want to dissuade anyone from trying this place, at least once.
Final grade: This wasn’t suited to my tastes, but you might think otherwise. The quality of meat and hands-on ownership alone is enough to make at least one visit worthwhile.
I wish I could say I’m amused. But I’m not amused.
I wish I could say I’m shocked. But I’m not shocked.
I wish I could say I’m done writing about ignorance and stupidity in America. But I’m not done writing about ignorance and stupidity in America.
Today marked the 55th anniversary of the Selma civil rights march, which turned into America’s “Bloody Sunday.”
It happened at a bridge named after Edmund W. Pettus — a Confederate general and head of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. Perhaps we can forgive naming a bridge after this traitorous racist scumbag during the 1920s, a time when Dixie was misty-eyed for the Old Confederacy. Perhaps we can overlook that historical blight and simply do the right thing now by taking a couple of gallons of white paint and slapping a fresh new coat over that dead rebel’s disgraced name.
But we can’t. Look! There it is. The decomposed bigot and favorite son of Alabama — he’s still with us today. Every time someone drives on that bridge and passes under that name, he’s remembered, when he should be buried and long ago forgotten.
It’s 2020 folks — tell me why THIS FUCKING BRIDGE hasn’t been renamed? I did some research that renaming a bridge on a state highway requires approval by Alabama State Legislature. So GET OFF YOUR RACIST ASSES, bigots. Do something.
Yeah, I know. You’re White. You’re nice to Black people. You even have a Black friend or two. There’s no way you’re a racist. Heavens, no.
So, you’re sick of hearing about racism in America? Yeah, me too — I’m sick of hearing about it. I’m sick of writing about it.
As long as we see shit like this, it’s pretty hard to say we’ve made enough progress since that sad day in 1965.
MY ADVICE FOR JOE BIDEN, THE CAMPAIGN, AND HIS FOLLOWERS
How We Might Win the Battle but Lose the War / How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Biden
Congratulations to Joe Biden after winning the South Carolina primary.
Just in time for Easter, he’s risen from the dead and is now back in the race. Biden may even deserve to be the favorite to win the Democratic nomination based on this sudden and shocking turnaround combined with his support among the party establishment.
That said, Biden will go only as far as how he, his staff, and supporters treat Bernie Sanders (and progressives). Read that again, but it’s critical to know.
***Biden will go only as far as how he, his staff, and supporters treat Bernie Sanders (and progressives).***
Want to WIN the party nomination then LOSE the general election, in other words, replay a repulsive redux of 2016?
Keep on slinging the shit and doing the Democratic establishment’s dirty deeds and see where we all end up on the morning of Nov. 4, 2020, screaming at our screens with tears and bloodshot eyes wondering how the fucking gawdawful hell Trump ended up winning the ’20 election 309 electoral votes. I know it’s difficult to go back, but try to learn something from history.
Me, condescending? Yeah, you betcha’.
I’m terrified of the political lightweights and losers who couldn’t beat the worst person to run for president in my lifetime now infecting the 2020 Biden campaign and serving another batch of stale leftovers with all the appeal of cold meatloaf. If I see another Hillary hand-me-down spewing political counsel, I’m going to scream in my best Jim Carey voice…..”scoreboard!”
Let’s face it: Biden is far from the ideal candidate we can choose among 65,000,000 Americans who absolutely loathe Donald Trump and would vote for a moldy bologna sandwich if it were the only option to the dumpster that is Trump. Seriously — BIDEN is the best we can do? But hey, if he’s our nominee I’ll work for him like our future depends on it, because it will depend on it.
More thoughts in numerical order, because I like typing in bullet points and using numbers because it makes me look smart:
 If we piss off the Bernie Sanders supporters, and specifically millions of young people, then we can kiss the 2020 election goodbye and the country might just dissolve into disco-era Paraguay. I don’t know why I need to explain this to the mainstream Democrats and independents who despise Trump. Fact: A Democrat WILL NOT win the general election without progressive support. This will not happen. It would be like a one-winged bird trying to fly. Think about that next time you’re all amped up and determined to blast a so-called “Bernie Bro” in a tweet or on Facebook.
 Taking issue on public policy during a campaign is one thing, but if Biden and other mainstream Democrats continue to malign and misrepresent “democratic socialism,” then they’ll not only lose the electoral college but probably lose the popular vote, as well. Millions of working-class Americans, especially those struggling in the rust belt, are sick of insurance companies, banks, and Wall Streeters calling the shots. “Mr. Delaware” will have some ‘splaining to do as that state’s corporate bag boy for decades. Keep on attacking, and progressives will stay home in Nov. I wish this were not the case. Indeed, I wish all progressives would recognize the dangers of a second Trump Administration. But many Sanders people will not vote for Biden if the path to the nomination gets dirty (and it has) And if Biden dispatches the typical party henchmen to do his dirty work as this increasingly turns into a two-candidate primary season (James Carville, Debbie Schultz-Wasserman, and so forth), prepare for an all-out political war. Progressives on the far-Left are sick of these retread establishment lapdogs, and frankly, I agree with them. We don’t need more failed ex-Clinton campaign staffers, corrupt party insiders, and barnacle research teams who failed us four years ago advising the next Democratic nominee.
 After this Tuesday, the Democratic race should come down to Sanders, Biden, and probably Bloomberg. I wish he’d drop out, but there’s something about billionaires (and wannabe faux-billionaires like Trump) that makes them think their shit doesn’t stink. Moderates must consolidate forces into one candidate after Super Tuesday, or chances are, we’ll end up with a brokered convention. And I sure as hell don’t trust Democrats in backrooms to act smart or do the right thing. If possible, this party needs to get a clear nominee on the first ballot, come summertime.
 I have lots more to say about the prospects of a brokered Democratic national convention. Stay tuned.
 Finally, it’s true that many Sanders’ backers are abusive trolls. I ascribe some of this to youthful enthusiasm and growing up in the modern era of vitriolic social media. Many twentysomethings have no knowledge of political civility, cooperation, and coalition-building — which are essential to electing a national candidate. Let me be clear: That’s on them. Some people need to grow up. At the same time, true liberals have been marginalized in the Democratic party for a very long time and there’s justification for mistrust and resentment. How this gets handled going forward may determine our fate.
Finally, the Russian troll factories and the Republican slime machine will do everything in their power to divide Democrats. They will lie, cheat, and steal the election if they can. The moron you are arguing with at midnight on social media might be a bot, or some boiler room zit doing the GOP’s dirty work. Trump’s army of nitwits won’t fact-check anything and will repost every juvenile meme. Don’t be like them.
Forget Mike “Thoughts and Prayers” Pence being placed in charge of a complex viral pandemic threatening to explode into a full-blown public health crisis. Nevermind that jaw-dropper of an executive decision by the Trump Administration.
Let’s examine this purely from a public relations and information management standpoint.
Did anyone watching and listening yesterday gain a better understanding of COVID-19?
Were any of the symptoms of the virus addressed by the speakers?
Were any instructions given on what people should do if they suspect an outbreak of the virus?
Where was the leadership?
Why didn’t a medical professional take a few minutes to talk straight to the American public about what this virus is all about? Sure, I can go to Google on my own and search the word “Coronovirus” and hundreds of articles and videos will pop up — many hits with confusing information and conflicting data. Most of what we see online is written by non-medical people. Some of the things to be found on the Internet with a “Coronavirus” search are flat out lies, tainted by political and financial interests. It’s tantamount to DIS-information.
Instead, what we expect from our government leaders — regardless of party or partisanship — are FACTS and UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION. Is that really too much to ask?
Donald Trump should not be expected to know nor understand the complexities of viruses. I have no issues with him standing on stage and letting people in science handle the matter. That would have been the smart thing to do.
Instead, Trump spent nearly 15 minutes rambling, lying, and even went so far as to claim “We’re Number 1!” in some meaningless health poll, as though fighting a global pandemic is akin to beating the Alabama Crimson Tide in a college football game.
It was embarrassing. But it was also what we’ve come to expect from a President who is a perpetual embarrassment.
Instead of being subject to a labyrinth of lies fabricated to cheerlead the tanking stock market, I, as an American citizen who knows little about science and medicine, would have liked some answers from those in charge. I’d like to have been informed…..
How does the virus spread?
What can we do to prevent it?
What happens if we fear someone we know has it?
How is the government prepared to deal with it?
We didn’t get any answers yesterday. Only more questions.
But gee, it’s sure great to know “We”re Number 1!”