ODDBALLS FROM IMPERIAL – Marilyn Armstrong

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge 10/11/18


If ever I run short of oddball photos, remind me to visit my car dealer. The guy who owns it is a collector. He collects a lot of stuff for charity, but he also collects things all kind of car-related stuff. He sells almost everything that could be considered an American car, and a few things that aren’t. He has to have the most entertaining interior of any car dealer anywhere.

The Blues Brother, hanging out

He also collects a lot of movie star life-size period images. Elvis and the Blues Brothers. The Sinatra band. Cars that were made to order and have nearly disappeared.

Plymouth Prowler from below
Plymouth Prowler, up in the air!

The last time I was there for any length of time, we were buying a car, so I was a bit distracted, but this time — back in hopes of getting that all-important second key for the car, I was ready to do a little shooting.

An engine in use as an end table in the lounge
Kammie’s Oddball Challenge

Don’t Make Brett Kavanaugh The Poster Boy For Ignominious Defeat

To keep kicking the Kavanaugh can down the road is just what President Donald Trump’s emerging November election game plan has in mind.

It is doubtful he had a plan before Kavanaugh was nominated. For the first time in Trump’s administration, he seemed flummoxed when brave women came forward to tell their stories. He actually kept his abrasive mouth shut until Kavanaugh’s appointment was assured. You better believe that somebody told him to chill, he really isn’t that bright.

And that’s why it is best to let the Kavanaugh matter go. The Republicans seem to have a functional plan. They know nothing reinforces defeat like crying over spilled milk, especially when it’s a knee-jerk reaction to never having a chance to win in the first place. Kavanaugh’s appointment does just that.

Trump doesn’t know much, but he knows street fighting and the Democrats don’t. The nomination process was like watching a one-legged Democrat at a Republican-sponsored ass kicking contest. Perhaps the Democratic National Committee will pass out some Knife Fighting For Dummies handbooks in time to parry a few thrusts before Election Day.

The real issue fouling the air isn’t whether Sen. Chuck Grassley and the Republican majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee bent the rules so they could purloin the procedure. That is a given. If the Democrats had been in control it would have gone down the same way except a liberal candidate would have been sitting on the hot seat. It is the essence of phony to pretend otherwise. Infighting is what politics is, and wielding the knife better than your opponent is the goal. Julius Ceaser had a good perspective on the process.

What is different about this particular Supreme Court nominee and the nomination process that gave him life is timing. There are 26 days left until the midterm elections as of this writing. The Republicans smacked the Democrats so hard in the face with a poopie pie that their grandbabies will probably be born bruised.

It is time to put a cold steak on the swelling and drive on. Otherwise, everything Kavanaugh does until Election Day will stay in front of the voters. It is a brilliant, insidious Red State plan that already appears to be working. Whining about the Republican victory can and probably will slow down the Blue Wave. For that reason alone, the Kavanaugh debacle needs to be minimized, not maximized. Forgotten would be even better.

The Senate debacle brings to mind Jerry Springer’s Columbus Day tribute to a pathetic loser who lost his love and his pride on national TV. It was a poignant, afternoon television mock fest of what happens when intellect collides with passion during public discourse about family values. Change the players and it could have been a satirical look at Kavanaugh’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. It’s hard to believe it has already been a week since the same thing happened in Congress.

In that show, Grassley played the king of scream-time TV himself, demeaning the vulnerable and impugning the innocent with the kind of hard-nosed obstinacy Iowa farmers are famous for. When Grassley isn’t with the rest of the Republican boys humping the American people for the last of their loose change, he spends a lot of time on his 750-acre farm watching his cows do the same thing.

Grassley, 85, is the senior United States senator from Iowa, a seat he was elected to in 1980. American farmers like him. Judge Brett Kavanaugh adores him. Trump is probably in awe of him. Democrats, women, liberals, independents, libertarians, and people who just don’t like arbitrary people don’t care for him at all.

Grassley did a fine job emulating the famous Springer style during the nominating process, playing the face of harsh Republican reason. His main job — other than refusing every Democratic demand for fairness — was egging on his colleagues so the biased crowd would moan and hiss appropriately. He played them like a banjo. Last Tuesday’s hearing was so special. It sounded like a max volume orgy compilation on Pornhub, and Grassley deserves at least an enema as best supporting actor.

The Democrats, unfortunately, acted more like William, the witless moron who starred on Monday’s episode of Jerry Springer.  He was dull as a newt, inarticulate, and lost, the way the Democrats appeared during the hearing.

Kavanaugh showed up smarter, more verbose, better educated, and better prepared than the collection of Democratic carnival barkers who seemed better prepared for promoting the Yak Woman at a VFW carnival. Democrats need to take a lesson in dirty fighting.

On Springer, William was duped by his paramour because he is a moron. In Washington, the country was duped by Kavanaugh because he is a brilliant lawyer who came into the arena ready for a war.

Instead of fighting the good fight, the Democrats sat transfixed into impotence. Nothing they did should be glorified. The Democrats could never have won, but they didn’t have to lose so badly.

The bottom line is that Republicans won and Democrats lost. It serves nothing to allow Brett Kavanaugh to be the poster boy for ignominious defeat. The why is for the historians to study after the final battle.  Now is time to build enough Democratic momentum to ensure the Blue Wave rolls over the country on Election Day.

via Don’t Make Brett Kavanaugh The Poster Boy For Ignominious Defeat

SO I LOOKED DEATH IN THE EYE AND SAID “SCREW IT” – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Routine


Since November 2016, I’ve developed something of a routine. I open my email and usually spot about 150 new ones added to the older ones I’m planning to get to any day now (right, sure). Mixed in with the advertisements for things I might sometimes actually buy, are dozens of “news flashes” along with politicians begging for money.

First, I delete all the advertisements unless one of them has something I need. Then, I delete all the advertisements for companies I’ve never heard of, unsubscribing and “spamming” them as I go. Sometimes, I stop and actually read an article. Today I read one about the final days (we assume they are final or nearly final because he is 95) of Stan Lee and what a mess his life became in recent years.

This proved to me that no amount of money and fame can perfect your time on earth. It’s his money and fame that’s causing most of the problems — the issues of the will and who took what and when. It was a long interview which would have been easier, but Stan Lee is deaf and won’t wear hearing aids. I can really relate to that.

He’s obviously just a wee bit lost from reality, but I suspect that’s the way he wants it. He does not want to reconnect. There’s nothing for him anymore. When his wife of 70-years passed, that was the end for Stan, if not physically, then psychically.

It got me to thinking about age. Stan Lee is 19 years older than Garry and 24 years older than me. He has it all or at least everything that “the world” can give you — and maybe it made him happy. Before. Now though, it’s just a reason for everyone to fight with everyone else. When large amounts of money are involved, it can get ugly.

When we go, the only things that will be left are paintings, pottery, antique dolls and a ton of clothing that for all I know will have come back into style. And of course, books, DVDs and CDs. There won’t be a dime left for anyone to fight over. The house is more likely to be a burden than a boon, but who knows? The world keeps changing. Maybe 2-1/2 acres in Uxbridge will be worth something by then. You could certainly put a fair number of condos on the property and there’s a lot of water down there for wells.

I realized I really only have one important job left in this world which is making our lives — Garry’s and mine — as good as possible. It isn’t to repair a badly broken world or shine the light of reason on a society gone mad.

Between one thing and another, I’ve had an incredibly hard-luck run of health issues. I’m not going to bother to list them, but it’s remarkable I’m alive … and even more remarkable that, to the best of my knowledge, nothing is trying to kill me at the moment.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

This past couple of years, except for pain and discomfort which sort of comes as part of other issues, I’ve managed to not have to be in the hospital. I haven’t had a near-death experience, gotten pneumonia or any other contagious infection. For me, this is nothing short of remarkable.

Instead, I got trumped. We all got trumped and amazingly, some people seem to think that’s a good thing. Those people make me wonder if we are all living on the same planet. Maybe we aren’t. Have we considered the possibility that there is more than one reality and we live in one and they live in the other?

Maybe where they live, gravity pulls things up and death and destruction is what we are striving for.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

All of this has given me a migraine I can’t get rid of — and the distinct feeling that I should DO something about it. Somehow, crotchety old me has got to fix things. Not alone. I don’t think I’m a force a nature to redress the balance of the world but surely, along with a group of intelligent, right-minded people, we can make things better?

That’s not what’s happening, though. After this past week of watching America puke all over herself, I’ve begun to seriously consider the possibility I’ve got this situation entirely wrong.

I’m turning 72 this year and while I realize as ages go, this is not as old as people get, it’s nothing short of amazing for me. The nightmare of politics is ruining my world. Instead of enjoying being retired, I have nightmares about Republicans. Honest-to-God nightmares populated by people wearing MAGA hats.

It occurred to me I can’t keep going like this. I’m ruining the only thing we have going for us: freedom. Every time the news comes on, I froth at the mouth.

Why? Am I so attached to “the American ideal” — which has always been far from ideal — that I have to battle my way into my coffin? Is all this so that my son and granddaughter, who don’t seem to care all that much about the stuff going on merely shrug and accept what is — while I can’t? If the next generation or two isn’t the issue, what is the issue?

Why aren’t they in an uproar, screaming for a better America, a rational world? Is it possible that this is more important to me than to those who will live long past me? And they are not nearly as troubled by what they see as I am? Mind you I’m not trashing the whole generation. Some people are deeply troubled and trying to do something and I applaud them … but too many people don’t seem to care.

I decided I need to stop my routine and get into a different groove. I’m not giving up watching the news or caring about what happens. I couldn’t if I wanted to. It’s everywhere. Yet I did realize in another 20 years, I’ll be gone — or close enough. This isn’t my battle anymore. I feel like everything I believed my generation got right is being trashed.

It’s horrible. Shameful. Appalling. Humiliating.

And I can’t fix it. If the people who are going to be around in 20 or 30 years aren’t willing to put up a fight, then what’s the point? If they think this is okay, maybe it is. For them. Maybe the world I thought we needed isn’t what they care about. Maybe it’s just what I care about.

Photo Garry Armstrong

So I will not be frothing anymore. I’m sure I’ll occasionally work up a good rant when something particularly toxic is going on, but otherwise? I’ll vote like I’ve always voted: Democrat and Liberal. I will donate tiny bits of what we humorously call money to a cause, but mostly, I’m going to try really hard to take care of me and mine. I’m going to do my best to make Garry happy, to make me happy, to love my dogs and care for my home and remember to clip back the roses every spring.

The prettiest pink shrub

The flowers in the garden bring me joy. Reading a good book makes me happy. Writing something good gives me satisfaction. Garry’s hearing progress is making me feel better about his life as well as mine. So instead of trying to fix the world, I think I’m going to try to enjoy it.

With all the horrors surrounding me, I’m going to do the absolute best I can to enjoy our lives while we have lives to enjoy. I may not entirely succeed, but at least, I’m going to try.

There’s a new demographic, and you better pick a side – REBLOG – SHINBONE STAR

What more is there to say? I wish it weren’t like this, but this really IS where we’ve gone … and I hope I live long enough to see us recover our senses.

THE SHINBONE STAR

Here in the United States of America, we’d grown accustomed to surveys and seeing our beliefs broken down demographically. We would eagerly pore over the results, which usually compared women vs. men; blacks vs. whites; college education vs. none; city vs. rural; and Catholic vs. Protestant.

Well, I’m here to tell you, that none of that matters anymore. Here’s what it comes down to in our modern Disunited States of America:

  • Support for the Mocking of Sexual Assault Victims vs. Those Opposed

Of course for those who have been paying attention, the president’s attack this week on Christine Blasey Ford isn’t our first ride in Donald Trump’s Demolition Derby, it’s just the latest in a series of crashes that have defined our nation’s free fall into hell.

Consider that since Trump’s arrival on the political landscape, you, your friends, your neighbors and your relatives can be divvied up like this:

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The Trump Dump: Trump’s Movie Remakes

As movie mavens, this one simply had to be reblogged. I’m still singing “Somewhere over the beltway” as the rain falls on Massachusetts.

THE SHINBONE STAR

— Illustration by Skye Hunter/The Shinbone Star

I shouldn’t be giving propaganda suggestions to a master manipulator, but I do have one for Donald Trump: Remake Hollywood movies to tell your story.

In Trump’s alternative universe — where lies are facts, allies are enemies, dictators are friends — so much is about show. And what better show for winning the minds of the masses than Hollywood movies? Alas, from the Trump perspective, the movie industry is in the hands of Socialists.

But given his limitless wealth, ego and lack of taste, I think he could still find financing for some of these remakes, while he awaits the arrival of the next Leni Reifenstahl. So try these on for size, POTUS:

“Gone With the Wind”  A handsome devil-may-care carpetbagger falls for a beautiful and haughty woman. She finally succumbs to his seduction (and pre-nup). The movie bypasses the familiar “Frankly, my…

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Kavanaugh Is Not Fit To Be On A Supreme Court Because Of What He Didn’t Do

How could he show such emotion and it not be true? Well gee, have you ever heard of actors?

THE SHINBONE STAR

On Tuesday a pampered, hugely advantaged and once beloved 81-year-old black man went to jail for 3-10 years for a crime he undoubtedly committed 14 years ago, and perhaps 60 or more equally appalling offenses that escaped judgment since he grabbed the golden ring, the prosecutors said.

Former comedian and America’s marvelous TV dad Bill Cosby will spend what is perhaps the balance of his life in a Pennsylvania prison cell paying off his sentence for drugging and sexually abusing women for a hobby.

Thursday morning a privileged, white Maryland federal appeals court judge born with a silver spoon embedded in his psyche goes to a mock trial before the Republican-controlled judiciary committee of the U.S. Senate for committing an alleged high school sexual assault and an alleged prurient exposure offense while at Yale University during periods of acute alcohol inebriation. His character is on trial. Potential Supreme Court justices…

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PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE TODAY! – Marilyn Armstrong


Yesterday was “National Register to Vote” Day. It does NOT mean you can’t register today. If you are reading this, you have a computer and you can do it. It takes a few minutes. You might discover you are already registered, but it doesn’t hurt to check. 

More people didn’t vote in the last presidential election than voted. Everyone seemed to think their individual vote didn’t matter. The thing is, probably one vote didn’t matter but collectively, ALL those votes mattered enough to get Trump elected rather than Clinton who had three million more votes than Trump had.

This election is called “the mid-terms.” It is when we re-elect the entire house of Representatives and part of the Senate. There are a lot of governors up for re-election too as well as many state-level representatives and senators. Everything matters!

Please vote. Regardless of what you believe, I’d prefer you vote “my way,” but most important is that you vote. That all of you care enough about our form of government to make your voices heard. If we do not get out there and vote, we will not have a republic. It is slipping away from us and you are the reason that’s happening.

Maybe it really IS time to get serious about making significant changes to our Constitution. It’s a few hundred years old and there are artifacts in it that need changing, certainly including how the electoral college is created and used.

None of this will happen without YOU. There will be no power-structure changes unless you make it happen. Democracy lasts as long as the people who are governed by it care enough to make it work and if we don’t care, we’ll live in an oligarchy where the rich do whatever they want and we are crunched under their feet. Isn’t that already happening?

We are in real danger of losing the only thing that made this country great: our freedom.

There’s a website – USA.org – which gives the overall explanation of voting in the U.S. Each state has its own rules so you will have to find your state and follow the instructions. It is not complicated.

But please do it. Today. If you want to be a free person in a free country, you will either become part of the solution or you will be the reason it ends.

There is nothing you can do that is more important than voting. No donation, or signs on your lawn, or petitions can be as important as voting  — and getting everyone you know to do the same.

Don’t let your nation slide away so your grandchildren can’t remember this country was ever a democracy. That is exactly what is going to happen. I’ll be gone by then, but how will you feel about it? That you were too self-involved to bother and let your government slide away?


USA.org.


Do it now. There’s nothing more important.