5 Things I Don’t Want to See in 2022

Dr. Tanya asks us to list 5 things we don’t want to see in 2022.

1. I don’t want to see Donald Trump get away with having almost destroyed the American democracy.

What I do want to see is Donald Trump being arrested, tried, convicted, and incarcerated. Along with all of the others who schemed, planned, and participated (and are still participating) in the Big Lie and the attempt to overturn the election of Joe Biden in 2021.

2. I don’t want to see Republicans taking back control of Congress in the midterm elections in November.

What I do want to see is American voters recognizing that, should Republicans gain control of Congress, that could be the last nail in the coffin of our democracy.

3. I don’t want to see COVID-19 and its variants continue to plague humanity.

What I do want to see is people willing to get vaccinated and to mask up so that we might finally put this pandemic behind us.

4. I don’t want to see continued complacency around climate change.

What I do want to see are definitive actions by governments around the world to abate the devastation that continuing on the path we’re on with respect to climate change will lead to.

5. I don’t want to see a decision by the Supreme Court that would, for all intents and purposes, overturn Roe v Wade and make abortions illegal in the United States.

What I do want to see is a recognition that women have equal rights, especially when it comes to managing their own reproductive health, and that the ultimate decision a woman makes about her pregnancy is a personal and private one.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — December 17th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 17th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on December 17, 2017.

Alice B. Toklas Brownies

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Back in the day, I used to be something of a pothead. In my twenties and early thirties I spent many a weekend in a cannabis haze, mesmerized by nature programs on TV or by zoning out on rock albums.

But after a while (like when my wife and I had our first kid), I decided that being in a haze while raising children was not such a good idea. My wife and I went cold turkey and stopped smoking weed pretty much altogether.

By the way, our experience negates the argument that marijuana is addictive. It was harder to quit smoking cigarettes than it was to quit smoking pot. It also demonstrates that marijuana is not a gateway drug, since neither of us has ever done any “hard” drugs like heroin, cocaine, or meth.

Okay, yes, I did drop acid a few times, but that was a whole nuther trip, so to speak.

My wife and I are getting up there in years, and like many aging Baby Boomers, we have our share of aches and pains. And sometimes getting a really solid sleep at night eludes us.

We have a friend who has some medical issues and his doctor prescribed medical marijuana, which is legal in California. When I was telling him about my trouble falling and staying asleep, he brought over some Alice B. Toklas brownies (brownies baked with marijuana in them). “Eat a brownie about an hour before bedtime,” he said. “I promise you’ll sleep like a baby.”

So I did eat a brownie and I did get a great night’s sleep. It was bliss. I fell asleep almost instantly and didn’t wake up until after seven!

I don’t have a prescription from my doctor for medical marijuana, but the good news is that in November 2016, the good citizens of California voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Starting January 5th, I will be able to legally purchase cannabis from my local dispensary.

And I’m looking forward to getting my bliss on. Maybe it will make hearing about how Donald Trump is destroying my country a little more tolerable.


Written for today’s one-word prompt,”bliss.”

Share Your World — 11/15/2021

For this week’s edition of Share Your World, Melanie is going deep. I think she’s trying to steal my Provocative Question thunder, because he questions this week are quite provocative.

In your opinion, what should be humanity’s goal?

Like all other living creatures, the most fundamental goal is to survive, but unless we get our act together and take decisive, definitive action to combat climate change, secondary goals, like food shelter, health, and happiness, will be moot.

Are you hesitant to speak your opinions?

One of the reasons I started blogging was to freely express my honest thoughts, opinions, and perspectives. At the time, I worked at a very conservative firm and I quickly learned that discussing my views on politics, religion, or anything that diverged from their deeply ingrained conservatism, was neither welcomed nor appreciated. So I stopped “speaking” my opinions and started blogging them.

In what ways has society changed during your lifetime? What do you think caused these changes?

Society — at least segments of American society — has become much more intolerant, much more divided and divisive, and much more willing to embrace partisan politics and conspiracy theories over science, facts, and truth. Most of you are going to disagree with — and possibly be offended by — my position on what has caused these changes, but I blame it on organized religion, which teaches people to behave like sheep rather than individuals and to cling to those who share common beliefs rather than to be open to critical, rational thinking. Oh, also the reverence most of these conservative, religious people have for Donald Trump.

Now do you see why I am hesitant to “speak” my opinions?

If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?

I would appreciate having a friend who was open, honest, and forthright with me. So yeah, I’d want such a person to be my friend indefinitely.

GRATITUDE SECTION

I am grateful to all of you who have passed on your positive thoughts and well wishes after I posted that I might have cancer of the prostate. Thanks to each of you.

Mind the Gap

An article from the New York Times showed up on my newsfeed this morning. The headline of the article was…

Gee, what a shocker. Vaccines to protect people from getting COVID-19 or from getting as severely sick from the disease if they do get it, arrived in early 2020. But with the partisan attitudes toward them so different, a gap in Covid’s death toll quickly emerged. In brief, the gap in Covid’s death toll between red (Republican) and blue (Democratic) states in America has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point.

In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from Covid, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened.

Counties where Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote have an even higher average Covid death toll than counties where Trump won at least 60 percent. As a result, Covid deaths have been concentrated in counties outside of major metropolitan areas. Many of these are in red states, while others are in red parts of blue or purple states, like Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Virginia, and even California.

The explanation for that growing gap is simple: the vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe Covid, and yet almost 40 percent of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10 percent of Democratic adults.

As the Times article points out, irrational fears about vaccine side effects have overwhelmed rational fears about a deadly virus. It stems from disinformation — promoted by right-wing media outlets, like Fox News, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, One America News Network, and online sources — that prey on distrust and fear mongering from those on the right, including Republican politicians.

The bottom line is that conservative Americans (Republicans) will probably continue to suffer an outsized amount of unnecessary illness and death.

Shouldn’t Donald Trump be held accountable?

SoCS — Close Eyes and Point

For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has challenged us to grab the nearest printed material to us when we sit down to write our post, open it up (if it’s a book, flyer, etc.), close our eyes, and point. Whatever our finger lands on, use that as our prompt.

I closed my eyes, opened up a recent issue of The Week magazine to a random page, and pointed my finger on that page. What my finger landed on was the photo above of actor Alec Baldwin.

On the set of a movie that was being filmed in New Mexico, Baldwin was practicing drawing a prop gun that should have been empty. Unfortunately, and inexplicably, it was loaded with a live round that shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza.

I’ll be honest. When I heard about this, the first thing that came to my mind was that some Trump supporter surreptitiously loaded the prop gun with a live round in order to set up and discredit Baldwin, who portrayed Trump in a demeaning manner on Saturday Night Live over the past two seasons. But when I thought about it, I realized that it was unlikely that anyone would really do that to Baldwin and that the shooting was a tragic accident.

And then I just read where Trump insinuated that Baldwin purposely shot Halyna Hutchins. Trump said on a radio show on Thursday, “In my opinion, he had something to do with it, but if nothing else, how do you take a gun, whether it’s loaded or not loaded, how do you take a gun, point it at somebody that’s not even in the movie, and just point it at this person and pull the trigger, and now she’s dead?”

Trump criticized the way Baldwin handled the gun on set and suggested that the actor might have loaded it with the live round. Trump added that while he doesn’t personally know Baldwin, his behavior toward reporters suggests that “there’s something wrong” with the actor.

Now I’m starting to wonder if the first thing that came to my mind after learning about this shooting might have been accurate.