Thursday, December 31, 2020

Reflections on the New Year

December 31, 2020

I think there is nearly universal agreement, here in the US and everywhere, that 2020 was — on the whole — a very challenging year.

As we sit perched on the threshold of a new year, I am hopeful that 2021 will be better. Much better. It could scarcely be worse.

Exactly how things go from here… well, we just can’t say. If I may be allowed to prognosticate just a bit, I’m thinking that the first half of this nascent year will be rough. Very rough, in all likelihood. And then, it will get better.

How’s that for a prophetic look into our shared future?

Well, Nostradamus I am not. But I am a hopeful human, a hopeful citizen and I stand ready to do what I can to pull in the same direction as my fellows who want to help. To help to get us pointed in a positive direction and to begin to make some progress.

I am hopeful — cautiously hopeful — that we’ll be in a better place 12 months from now as we compose our thoughts about what kind of year 2021 will have been.

And I’m content with being able to say that tonight.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Electoral College makes it official

 Joe's Biden's victory in the Electoral College became official yesterday evening a few minutes after 7 o'clock. Hawaii's votes were the last to be recorded. That pushed the total to 306 votes for the Biden/Harris ticket to 232 for Trump/Pence.

There will be a joint session of Congress on Jan 6th where the results will be counted. There is a strong possibility that the results in some battleground states will be challenged by butt hurt Republicans but because the results in 49 of 50 states were certified by the Safe Harbor Day, it will not be possible to overturn the final results.

There is a considerable number of Republican members in both chambers who have made public statements accepting the Biden win. In addition, there are at least four Senators who are on the record as plainly saying that they would not go along with any stupid and seditious scheme to flip the election in trump's favor, so getting a majority in either house to flip the results in even one state is not possible.

The odds that any ill-fated legal stratagem to get a second term for Mango Mussolini could ever have succeeded were very, very slim; the odds that one could succeed on Jan 6th are exactly zero.

Joe Biden will be inaugurated on the 6th of January. That's 35 days from today. 

Undoing the damage done to our Nation by four years of trump's venality, incompetence and hateful behavior will be a long and arduous process. And it begins, officially, on January 6th.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Post-election madness, who's to blame?

Reich Wing whiners are out in force, still saying that Dear Leader and his supporters are the virtuous Patriots, upholding our Constitution and struggling mightily to safeguard our Republic, yada, yada, yada...

The way the Trumpkins explain it, those lying, cheating, conniving Dems are the real culprits in the story of the 2020 Election and there's no justification for trying to blame those virtuous and patriotic trump supporters for any issues, any bad stuff happening in the aftermath of the Presidential race.

The truth is that trump supporters -- both elected officials who should know better, and ordinary citizens who are true believers -- have put extraordinary time and energy into their futile and seditious campaign to overturn the results of the Nov 3rd Election. All of this even though the Electoral College met today and trump's fate was decisively sealed after California's votes were tallied. 

The evidence of their treachery is crystal-clear.  Yet they deny that their deliberate, well-planed actions have been harmful to the United States in any way.

They call the evidence we cite "fake news" and maintain they've done nothing wrong. Well, they've got some explaining to do. Let's go down a partial, very incomplete list of some of the sins committed by the President's supporters:

The threats of violence directed at elected officials would a good place to start. The Secretary of State in Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, is a life-long Republican and supports trump 100%. And yet, trump turned on him and said things that have prompted his supporters to repeatedly make death threats to Mr. Raffensperger and other election officials and workers. Raffensperger and several others have had to get Security details to keep them from being harmed.

Trump's attacks on Michigan's elections led to the same thing happening to Michigan's Gov and Sec of State. The fact that they're Democrats made it no surprise but he's giving the same treatment to supporters of his if they won't enable his corrupt and democracy-killing schemes!

So I ask you, what legit reason is there for trump to do that to his own ardent supporters? To Republican officials who merely refuse to back up his baseless and never-ending claims of election fraud.

Can it be denied or explained away that trump and his lackey Louis DeJoy, sabotaged the USPS for five solid months in hopes of keeping Democrats' ballots from getting in in time to be counted? They didn't even try to hide what they were doing.

Can it be denied that trump and Moscow Mitch moved heaven and earth to get Amy Coney Barrett approved so that she could rule in trump's favor when their pitiful court cases and appeals came before the Supreme Court to be adjudicated? Their campaign to game the election and steal it if they did, in fact, lose was in place way before Nov 4th. It had been planned many months in advance.

But, as we all now know, his hand-picked, nakedly partisan Justices refused to sing his tune; they didn't, they did the right thing. They upheld Justice and quashed his ridiculous gambit. And three of them were put on the Court by trump!

Why did the Republican Sec of State and State Supervisors of Elections in Georgia not give him what he wanted? They were trump supporters and said so in public multiple times! Why didn't they go along?

Because they wouldn't corrupt themselves, that's why. They upheld the laws of their State, rather than help the candidate they liked and supported blow up our democracy just to keep his grip on power.

Why did multiple attorneys working on those absurd cases answer "no, your honor" when judges asked them, point-blank, if they were alleging fraud in the cases they brought? Because they had not been able to find any evidence of fraud, and they knew that lying to a Judge could cost them dearly and blow up their careers.

Lying in a court proceeding is a little more serious than lying to the public in a surreal, hastily-called press conference in a dingy Pennsylvania office park. 

Why did AG William Barr -- who was chosen for the top job in our DOJ by trump himself -- refuse to play along? Why did he look into trump's ridiculous claims of fraud and then publicly say that there was no fraud? Why did he do that when he's spent the last two years kissing trump's ass and doing his dirty work for him?

He refused to go along with trump's corrupt game because he was smart and experienced enough to know that he'd end up disgraced, disbarred, convicted of a crime and locked up.

Why have State, Federal and Appeals court judges in four different states -- many of whom were appointed by trump -- throw out his lame suits more than 50 times?

The bad things done in this election were done by trump and the GOP. The voter suppression, the right-out-in-the-open operation to hamstring our Postal Service, the lawsuit to throw out ballots from our troops overseas because they arrived after election day... it just goes on and on.

The dirty tricks and the futile, false-on-their-face, evidence-free lawsuits are all because trump and the GOP know they can't win free and fair elections. They know that as the number of voters goes up, their chances of winning go down. That's why they planned to do all this crazy shit well before election day and told the press and the whole country exactly what they were doing.

Is all of that fake? Why do life-long Republican trump supporters and the people he personally put in their positions consistently quash his silly and corrupt schemes? Why does that happen?

Yeah, I know what they're saying. They're throwing out that "C Word"! 

It must be one hell of a big conspiracy there, right?

Late breaking development: it has just been revealed in the last 60 minutes that trump's hand-picked Attorney General, William Barr is leaving his post, 36 days before Dear Leader's term is over. 

It's not clear at this time whether he resigned of his own free will or was forced out by the Thug-in-Chief.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, December 12, 2020

We're not going to do it anymore

Yeah, the ship of state has sailed. Joe Biden is going to be the 46th President. The post-election shit show made no difference. None at all.

Don the Con and his band of loyal trumpkins are embarrassing themselves by pretending otherwise.

Trump is not merely trying to "have his day in court". He's waging a conscious and deliberate campaign to overturn a legitimate election. He's admitted that in a tweet.

There are many reasons why he's doing this. One is that he's raising shitloads of money from this, about 1/4 of a billion so far. Only a fraction of that is actually going to the legal maneuvering happening now. He has the discretion to spend this windfall in almost any way he wants as long as he declares any withdrawals as income or applies it to his considerable campaign debt.

Another reason is that he's a hateful, spiteful prick and he wants to make his cult followers believe that Biden's election was not legitimate. All in an attempt to sabotage Biden's administration before he's even inaugurated.

Trump and trumpkins will not be forgiven for waging a deliberate campaign to subvert democracy. It's disgusting, it's unamerican and it puts all of us and the Nation as a whole in peril.

Trump is a demagogue, a con man, a rank opportunist with no principles, a man who doesn't have the slightest inclination to safeguard the interests of the country he's supposed to be leading.

With him -- and his followers as a whole -- it's all about getting and keeping political power.

Add to that the fact that he spends most of his time watching TV and golfing, spending very little time actually doing his job and you've got to wonder how he got elected in the first place. His stunning, thorough incompetence is on full display. He has no idea how to actually do his job and has no interest in learning.

The fact that he wants to act as a dictator and stay in office at any cost is right out there for anyone to see. He's said so in plain English on more than one occasion.

Yet he still has rock-solid support from the vast majority of his followers. We can all plainly see that he feels he should continue as President even though he can't get reelected. Why do his followers still support him?

For him to rule as a dictator and stay in office indefinitely -- like his man-crush, Putin -- is fine with the faithful because he'd be THEIR KIND of dictator? What?

Trump and the rest of his followers want to overturn an election and snuff out our democracy just so someone will be carrying out their divisive, right wing agenda?

So he can "own the libs" and make the majority of the country -- who do not support his hateful, extremist agenda -- bend to his every whim?

Well, it's not going to happen. We resisted this unqualified, uncaring con artist, we beat him in a fair election and we're done coddling him and his followers.

It's over. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President on January 20th and trump will be a private citizen again.

We know that trump and trumpkins will be hateful after the Biden Presidency begins. We're expecting it. We know that trump, Mitch McConnell and the majority of elected officials in the GOP will lie, sling shit endlessly and do everything they possibly can to keep Biden from being able to actually govern.

We know that they've consistently chosen to elevate the needs of the Rethuglican Party and the needs and whims of one man over the needs of the country as a whole.

They can go ahead; the rest of us are expecting it.

It's causing unthinkable and possibly irreparable damage to our Republic. But we know they're not going to stop.

Of course, they could choose to stop believing outlandish conspiracy theories, take in news from sources other than Fox, Newsmax, OAN, QAnon message boards, Breitbart and conspiracy peddlers like Alex Jones, get their heads on straight and actually try to do things that make our Country better.

They could do something to try to repair -- or at least mitigate -- the damage done to the US by trump's petty, hateful and mendacious actions. And his utter, complete failure to discharge the duties of his office.

But we know they won't do that. They're too busy joining in with Dear Leader in his efforts to keep the wanna-be dictator in power, give the finger to all of our closest allies and hand Comrade Vlad everything on his wish list.

They can go ahead. But they need to know this: we're done coddling trump supporters who're actively trying to harm our Nation.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, December 11, 2020

SCOTUS Thwarts trump's Last Gambit

It's over. The Supreme Court has put the last nail in the coffin of the movement to overturn the results of our election.

To Americans -- including some of my friends -- who wanted to see that ill-fated suit be successful, I say that I hope at some time they'll realize that they've been lied to. 

Lied to by QAnon believers, assorted conspiracy freaks and other extremists who have consistently chosen fruitless and destructive efforts to hold onto political power even though it meant letting go of or actually destroying our democratic institutions.

The Nation as a whole has been manipulated, gaslighted and lied to by people who made deliberate, conscious and on-going choices to elevate their own interests and the interests of their political party over the Nation's interests.

We've been lied to by a party and a cadre of power-hungry Americans who use gerrymandering and voter suppression techniques to nullify the votes and the political aspirations of well over 50% of the citizenry.

They tried -- and tried hard -- to strangle American democracy and impose minority rule. One party rule. And we thwarted that campaign to snuff out democracy's sacred flame.

Our democracy is safe. For now, at least. Trump is turned out of office and will have to face American Justice now that he will no longer have the protective cloak of the presidency to shield him from accountability.

It's over. True patriots who love their country more than they desire political power and domination over their fellow citizens can rest easily at night.

Lead on, Mr. Biden. You'll be scorned, vilified and resisted by a lot of Americans, obsessed as they are with setting aside the will of the majority and thereby propping up a would-be dictator. 

You'll be subjected to a constant stream of lies and threatened with violence on a regular basis by people who want to impose their dark vision of America on the country as a whole.

Nevertheless, you do, in fact, have the majority of the Country behind you.

Lead on, Sir.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Solving life's little mysteries

Sometimes in life, you find yourself trying to make sense of something and yet the mystery defies your attempts to explain it. I’m always putting together theories to explain such things, and sometimes those theories are spectacularly wrong. Or very incomplete.

I was in a situation like that a few years ago. The unusual thing that had been happening, that had defied all my attempts at explanation was that almost every time I entered — or left — a store, I would set off the security alarm.

It didn’t happen every time, but it happened a lot. It kind of humored me that it was just as likely to happen while entering as while exiting; in fact, that gave me an opening to try to inject some humor into this mysterious and mildly-stressful occurrence.

“There I go again–trying to smuggle merchandise into the store!” I would quip. But the not-so-funny thing of it was that I still wanted to figure out why it happened and the solution had been eluding me for a good long while.

Then one day while entering a store, the alarm kicked in, fulfilling its purpose by signaling that the gentleman entering the store and sporting a sheepish grin was up to no good.

As it happened, there was a clerk just a step or two away from the entrance. He gave a smile as I launched into my usual explanation about how that had been happening to me a lot and that I had no earthly idea why.

A light seemed to come on for this helpful crew member. He looked at me, a glint of hope shining in his eyes, and he said, “take off your right shoe and give it to me”.

I did as he requested. He took it with him behind the sales counter. Reaching into a drawer, he grabbed some kind of a tool I had never seen. It somehow looked like a pair of pliers and a small pry bar had had a baby.

Well, there on the sole of my right shoe – just forward of the heel – was a peanut-sized gizmo I had never seen.

With my inverted shoe in his left hand, and the plier-thingy in his right, the clerk deftly removed the gizmo from my now-relieved shoe and looked at me with a smile.

I can best describe my mood at that moment as a strange mixture of confusion and relief. The relief part was simply that I knew I had triggered a store alarm for the last time. The confusion part was that it was quite clear that my feeble theories about what had been happening were now all shot-to-hell.

I loved those shoes, I had bought them in my favorite thrift store about two years before this strange scenario played itself out. I love brown shoes as they matched a couple of leather jackets I wore a lot in cooler weather. They were genuine leather, incredibly comfy and had given me two years of hard use in spite of the fact that they were used when I found them in that second-hand store.

As I strode happily out of the store — with two beloved shoes on my feet and without the sound of a shrieking alarm in my ears — the gears in my over-worked brain were turning…

Although I had plainly never put together successfully a theory that explained the robust ringing of alarms, a new question popped up, seemingly begging to be answered. A question that was wrapped around the first question, which had been the focus of prodigious amounts of my time and mental energy.

That foundational question concerned how such a fabulous and functional pair of shoes had come to sit, forlornly, on a dusty shelf in a second-hand store. And in that moment, my top-shelf, methodical mind framed a theory to address that burning question, to solve the larger mystery!

To this day, years later, I’m totally convinced that the reason I was able to steal those gorgeous, hand-crafted, Italian leather shoes in a thrift store for $6.95 was that… that the first owner got sick and tired of setting off alarms every time he entered a retail establishment!

Pure genius!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit shock Fotolia

Monday, November 9, 2020

GA Sec of State tips his hand

Some may read this afternoon's press release from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and think that he's courageously pushing back at this morning's statement from Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. 

Those two corrupt GOP Georgia Senators issued this statement earlier today, calling on Raffensperger to resign. For not giving them enough of that good home cookin' for which the Peach State is so well known, apparently.

But folks who think that's the main take-away are missing the point. The honorable Secretary is saying -- straight up -- that he's upset that trump lost and that Loeffler and Perdue could lose, too.

As Georgia's Secretary of State, he's the one who's tasked with overseeing elections in Georgia and he openly acknowledges that he's upset with the Biden win?

This hack, this trump sycophant, just said the quiet part out loud. It's crystal-clear that he's pulling for trump at the top of the ticket even while that race appears to be heading for a recount! 

He goes on to say that Senators Loeffler and Perdue are in danger of losing their races too, if they don't bear down and focus a little more.

In which Banana Republic is this acceptable? To plainly say that although you're the man in charge, you're pulling for the candidates from your party?!

This is just one more outrage from the criminal GOP.  And it's not going to stop.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Election is Finally Called

 Note: this feature is a follow up to Tuesday's Election Day posting.

The call came from the AP and NBC News this morning that the Biden/Harris ticket did prevail in Tuesday’s election. In spite of the plainly-excessive caution with which the networks had handled the 2020 election results, the time had come to state the obvious.

I know that many Americans see the election very differently, but I’m feeling a lot of relief today. Relief and joy. The last four years under the “leadership” of donald trump have resulted in a thousand disasters, large and small. It’s pure joy to know that we won’t have to endure four more years of trump’s venality, incompetence and crass, hateful behavior.

There are many daunting challenges ahead for Joe Biden and his nascent administration. I don’t have the slightest doubt that trump, McConnell and the GOP will do everything they can to undercut team Biden and thwart their efforts to move us past the myriad of trump-induced woes that have afflicted our beloved country for the last four years.

But I’m still hopeful that we’ll make progress and move -- if even at a painfully slow pace -- toward better times for all Americans.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

It really is Nov 3rd

The 3rd of November is here and people are standing in lines to vote as I write this. As stunning as this may seem, 100 Million Americans have already cast their ballot. Absentee voting is up. Voting by mail is way, way up. A good bit of that is simply because some states and counties think that's a good way to go. But a lot of it -- as you might imagine -- is because of the pandemic.

The Biden/Harris ticket is poised to turn out trump and his inept administration. Biden's lead nationally is substantial; he is also leading in all but two of the swing states where the contest will actually be decided.

I'll leave the discussion about how accurate polls are -- or are not -- to others who're better versed on that subject. Suffice to say that Mr. Biden's leads just about everywhere are outside the margin of error. In 2016, that was not the case in many of the battleground states.

If you've followed this blog at all, you know I'm all in for the Biden/Harris ticket. I don't have the slightest doubt that Joe will prevail and that many other Democratic candidates will carry the day.

While that's a happy thought -- especially in light of how much havoc trump has wreaked in the last four years -- it's also true that we're very likely to sail through some rough seas between the time the polls close tonight until our lying, loser prez accepts the results, particularly in his race.

We know what he's going to do. We know he intends to declare victory before all the votes are counted. We know he'll do anything -- anything at all -- to keep from relinquishing power.

We're in for a wild ride in the days and weeks ahead. There will be violence from some of trump's cult followers. It quite possible that Americans will die because the squatter in the White House has gone to great lengths to stir up the blind rage that has been percolating just below the surface for years among many of his followers.

But in the end, his gambit will fail. And we'll have a new leader. One who's willing and able to lead the United States out of the chaotic mess into which we've descended in the last four years and back into our rightful role as a beacon of democracy and the leader of the free world.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, October 16, 2020

No Disaster funding for California

The trump administration has just turned down California's request for Federal Disaster dollars while forests in every corner of the state are burning.

If this seems surprising to you, just remember this: donald trump's primary motivation in life is to fuck with people he hates. This was obvious long before he ran for President but it's even easier to see now that he's stinking up our Oval Office.

He has a special hatred for Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom and any and all Democrats, especially if they're from California. Screwing with Federal Disaster Aid dollars because of trump's hatreds is not new. 

Previously, he said that officials in the Golden State should have raked all their forests.

If you think my last statement is some kind of urban legend, something made up by lefties like me, check this out.

There's no end to this madness. The only consolation is that this hateful moron will have his ass handed to him by the American People 18 days from right now.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

Update after publication: the trump Administration reversed itself and the funds will be forthcoming. Someone must have talked some sense into the Poser Prez.

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, October 4, 2020

2020: A Good Strategy for a Bad Year

I think I could speak for about 90% of us when I say that 2020 has been an awful year.

Yeah, I see you nodding your head over there. Thanks for the affirmation.

But for me, I hasten to add that this year has has some pretty damn good moments. Enjoying the beauty of nature and getting outdoors a lot helps to keep me sane.

The banner photo is of a serene spot overlooking Lake Carlton in NW Orange County. Trimble Park is the gem of the Orange County Park System and lies mere yards from the line that separates Orange and  Lake Counties in Central Florida.

Trips to the park -- and so many others -- help to rejuvenate me. On this trip back in late January, we camped for a couple of days and enjoyed every minute of it. We were blessed with nearly-ideal weather on this outing and that made a good thing even better. (If you camp much, you know that you can't take favorable weather for granted!)

I hope you've put together a workable strategy for staying safe and sane as we go through this vexing, challenging year. If you're wanting to add something to that strategy, I must say that you'll never go wrong by retreating into Mother Nature's domain.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, September 25, 2020

Folks on Team trump are getting ready

 By now millions of Americans have heard about trump's remarks that he might or might not respect the results of the upcoming Presidential Election.

Like many others, it's not at all difficult to imagine a scenario where trump has to be removed -- I mean physically removed -- from the Oval Office. So hearing his remarks didn't surprise me in the least.

One of the most heartening things I've read in a while is the article in  Politico where their reporting has found that members of his administration do see the handwriting on the wall and are preparing to make the transition even if Dear Leader has other plans.

Good to know.

So many of the boot-licking sycophants on Team trump have gone along with any and everything the Poser Prez has wanted to do that it didn't seem at all far-fetched that his underlings would go right on doing that sort of thing to the bitter end.

I'm delighted now to know that the seemingly never-ending enabling of our Thug-in-Chief may, indeed, have a limit.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, September 10, 2020

So Dear Leader wants to be buried at Arlington?

A Facebook friend posted a few minutes ago and wrote that Dear Leader had said something to the effect that he'd like to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This was news to me.

And the friend asked everyone to comment with their reactions to hearing this unusual and unexpected news.

Here's what I had to say about it:

Sorry, but I'm not sure I understand the idea here. Will this be this week? I can't break free right now, schedule-wise, so that I could attend the burial.

All the same, I will clear my schedule if we're gonna have a big ceremony AND we can get it done before the vacation I've got scheduled beginning on the 16th.

Since this will be such an auspicious and joy-filled day, I'm more than willing to buy a new suit! I know a burial is sometimes a somber occasion, but it doesn't HAVE to be black, does it?

Let me know, there's a lot of planning that would have to go into this.

Oh yes, and if you need someone to do the eulogy, I'm all over it. I've got a lot of "nice" things to say about our beloved, beneficent, all-seeing, all-knowing, compassionate, majestic and supremely big-brained Leader but haven't quite found a suitable occasion; you know what I mean?

Be sure and let me know.

A patriotic American veteran

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

If you want to use this humble post anywhere, go for it but please attribute it properly.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Happy Labor Day 2020

I do want to wish a most happy Labor Day 2020 to all of you who work for a paycheck.

I'm happy to say that I'm in that proud group of people and I always look forward to this day as it comes around each year. I'm a proud member of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and have been a Teamster as well.

The UFCW represents workers in retail, breweries and restaurants. Folks in the budding cannabis industry, too. The UFCW also rep's many of the workers in the meat packing plants that were on the front lines when COVID-19 was devastating that industry back in the Spring.

It's a very good thing, indeed, to be represented by a union and bargain collectively.

If you'd like to brush up on your Labor Day history, just follow this link.

Working folks, thanks for all you do. I wish all of you a happy--and relaxed--Labor Day.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

(c) 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, September 4, 2020

No, Donnie! You DID say it!

If you're not living under a rock, you've most likely read the story about how our Thug-in-Chief said some very, very bad things about our war dead--and wounded--in front of staff while in France for a scheduled visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery back in 2018.

He didn't actually make the appearance, of course. The fact that he pussied out was widely reported at the time, though the remarks he made with staff within earshot on that occasion have only now come to light.

The Atlantic broke the story yesterday and today the Associated Press confirmed it, citing not one, but two supporting sources.

Ruh roh, Donnie. Your aides and staff--most likely former staff--very much want the American public to know what an asshole you are and how very much you loathe our veterans who fought for the country we love if they were KIA, were wounded or fell into enemy hands.

You suck, you lying loser. It's becoming more clear each day that you're going to go down on November 3rd.

And when that happens, this disgusting chapter of your accursed presidency will have played a significant role.

There are thousands of veterans who supported you in 2016 who finally see you for the loathsome, soulless and craven loser that you are.

Thanks for making it so clear that even folks who chugged a bucket or three of your shitty Kool Aid are beginning to wake up.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Yes, Biden's DNC Speech was masterful

There was quite a buzz about Joe Biden's address which wrapped up the Democratic National Convention on Friday night.

It's not an exaggeration to say that it would be tough to find someone who wasn't impressed with the speech.

In fact, even Fox News talking heads had to give Mr. Biden props for the effort.

By the time some of you have read this, we will all have had a taste of what the RNC is all about. No, I won't be watching. Just don't have the stomach for it. A Who's Who of GOP sycophants fawning all over Dear Leader? Just not my cup of tea.

Having said that, I will be checking in on cable news and social media to get a sense of how the GOP's big show is going over.

But as far as Team Blue's historic, virtual Convention is concerned, it went quite well, exceeding just about everyone's expectations.

It helped considerably to keep the Democrats in a strong position with November 3rd coming just around the bend.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

(c) 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Glaciers of Greenland are

The glaciers of Greenland are retreating at a frightening pace.

One of the sad illusions to which many of us cling tightly is that humanity will eventually “get it” and we’ll get off our collective ass and finally act.

That may or may not happen.

What I know for certain is that a lot of the damage that’s been done can never be reversed.

Scientists who are keeping an eye on the loss of ice on Greenland’s continent are now saying that the losses will not stop even if the planet stopped warming today.

And we all know it won’t.

So the signs keep coming. If you understand the gravity of the situation, you don’t need any more evidence.

There are, of course, many who don’t believe the evidence. The evidence that gets clearer every day.

The sad truth is that in so many cases, those are the people who could do something about it.

So we keep slouching toward that day of reckoning. The day when it becomes actually impossible to deny the reality of what’s happening.

And then we get to see what judgement humanity will impose on those who were actively engaged in the campaign to conceal the truth about the inevitable consequences of treating our Planet like an inexhaustible vending machine.

Like a playground.

Like that dark, dead end on that obscure county road where we all go to dump our old, tattered mattresses.

That reckoning is coming.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The pushback from 45's meddling with the Post Office

Hair Hitler is working his plan to slowly throttle the U.S. Postal Service in order to keep millions of votes from being counted.

It's not that it wasn't a good plan--as trump's seventh grade-level plans go--but it's backfiring.

Who'da thunk it?

Although what the Poser Prez is doing here is a very serious matter, it's also true that it's a bit comical that he didn't foresee--or simply blew off--those unintended consequences which inevitably follow the unleashing of one of his schemes.

The blow-back is coming from lots of ordinary Americans, those of us who knew from the jump what a hateful and incompetent con artist he is and even from some of his supporters.

Major newspapers are sounding the alarm. The concern from ordinary Americans who depend on the Post Office is growing, and trump--as always--has no option but to carry on until the gambit-of-the-day becomes completely untenable.

It's hard to see where we're going to go next on this one.

Meanwhile, protesters camped out in front of Postmater General Louis DeJoy's DC apartment to give him hell for being trump's point man on this cynical scheme.

He'll continue to catch hell for this. And he'll keep right on until he's stopped.

Watch this space.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

(c) 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Sabotaging the USPS is a part of the plan

Back on August 2nd, I wrote about trump's infamous tweet where he suggested that the 2020 Election might have to be postponed until it was safe to hold one.

Millions of Americans saw that for what it was, a transparent attempt to set the stage for his deliberate and well-planned op to steal the 2020 Presidential Election and stay in office.

And now it's obvious that a part of that plan is to cripple the U.S. Postal Service.

This will be an issue right up until the Election is over and all the votes are counted.

People who love democracy and are not going to sit idly by while Adolph Twitler strangles Lady Liberty and our cherished way of life can see exactly where this is leading.

And now it's quite clear that hamstringing the Post Office is an integral part of the plan.

The plan is as ingenious as Donald trump is evil.

We will make sure it doesn't succeed.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The MLB file: they've juiced the ball again

If you follow sports, you most likely know that the baseball season did get underway. That was on July 23rd, so about two weeks ago.

Because of COVID-19, it's an abbreviated season. It will be 60 games for each team and will wrap up on September 27th.

There have been some changes in the game. Some are not too big a deal and don't raise any alarms for me.

Let the record show that I think it's a good thing now that both leagues have the DH. I'm not a purist and I think this good for the game.

And yes, I like the expanded play off format. There have been way too many times that a team has a bang-up year but just missed their division championship and couldn't quite grab one of the two wild card slots, either. Very glad to see that eight teams from each league will keep playing after the end of the regular season now.

Here's what's gotten under my skin: the ball has most definitely been juiced this year. Again.

I just watched the DBacks beat up on the Astros. The final was 14-7 and there were... wait for it...

There were nine (9) home runs hit!

Even though--as I said a moment ago--I'm not a purist, this juiced ball thing is out-of-control.

And don't you dare say it's all because of the launch angle thing. Or that hitters are getting better at their craft and so on. I'm not buyin' it.

I still love the game and am watching a ton of baseball in this surreal, virus-shortened year. Just as I always do.

But wrapping that ball even tighter for this year is a bad thing for the sport. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the days of a thousand 3-1 games each season are gone. I truly am.

But every team breaking all-time season home run records every year? Games with 9 freaking home runs?

That's a bridge too far.

Bulldog Ben

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

They couldn't care less

As just about everyone knows, there are very serious problems with the Unemployment Insurance system in Florida. Much has been written about this in the last five months or so. 

Here's what's begging to be said while we go through all of this: the problems and snafus we're dealing with right now serve as a perfect example of why, if you're supporting Republicans, you're harming yourself.

I've told you before that former Gov Rick Scott and his crew deliberately designed the Florida State Unemployment System to frustrate unemployed Floridians so that the fewest possible number of applicants could successfully complete their applications and thereby draw benefits. 

Now our current Governor, Ron DeSantis, has let the cat out of the bag. He said the quiet part out loud yesterday and admitted in an interview with Miami's CBS Affiliate that that's how the system was designed to work. (This is actually the second time DeSantis has acknowledged this.)

This is what happens when you vote for Republicans. They will look out for their well-heeled friends. They'll kiss up to major corporations, giving them every incentive and tax break you can think of.

They'll look out of everyone but you. Everyone but Floridians who work for a paycheck.

They could not care less about ordinary Floridians. If you keep voting for Republicans, you're enabling this strategy. Big business and the politicians' wealthy cronies will keep getting all the consideration, all the breaks, all the access.

And working people like you and I will get the crumbs. An ever-increasing share of the tax burden, systems that are designed to keep us from ever receiving any benefit that comes from those taxes we pay and the certain knowledge that our elected officials are completely indifferent to our financial and personal well-being.

Here's the kicker: The system is also designed to give access to the corporations and rich friends and to shut you out.

The donors, the shakers-and-movers, can easily arrange a lunch or an office sit-down with their bought-and-paid for elected officials--or senior staff, at the very least--by just making a call or two. 

And there's always those fabulous $10,000 a plate fundraisers where you can hob-nob with your Congressperson.

But if you or I want to get the ear of our elected reps, a polite-sounding, generic word-processed email from a junior staffer or intern is what we'll get.

And when we band together to advocate for the common good--in an org like Common Cause, for instance--the end result will usually be the same.

A few ordinary citizens and taxpayers like you or I will get our five minutes at a town hall or meeting of the county commission to beg our elected officials to take into account the needs of ordinary people, to stop giving all the priority and all the consideration to those who need it the least and to occasionally think about the other 98% of us, but it will change nothing.

We'll get a polite nod or two from the commissioner in whose district we may live but we'll still be shut out. The system was designed to safeguard the interests of corporations and the donor class, keeping taxes and state or municipal services as low as possible, while dishing out just enough handshakes and polite smiles to keep rank-and-file taxpayers and citizens from seeing how thoroughly we've been taken for granted and pushed to the margins.

That's how the game is played. If working people keep on pretending this is not so, and keep sending Republicans to rep us in Tallahassee and Washington, it will never change.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, August 2, 2020

No, we're not going back

In an on-line forum earlier today, one of my friends said that she had really gotten used to having a lot of things delivered since lock downs began. She went on to say that she was really hoping that delivery will still be offered by many businesses once we can have something approaching "normal" life again.

I think that there's a good chance that we'll still see plenty of merchants offering delivery post-pandemic. Many prognosticators and folks in media have said that a lot of the changes that have been and are happening won't be undone. I think they're right.

Brick-and-mortar stores were already struggling before COVID-19 and many have--or soon will--go belly up. So one of those predicted changes is that most of them will not be able to come back at all.

Amazon was huge before the pandemic, has gotten much bigger and they're saying that trend will keep on going no matter what. Not that it's only amazon; the trend is helping on-line merchants across the board.

Not too sure if I'm typical here but it's truly insane how much stuff I've ordered from Amazon in the last four months!

Having lots of food, merchandise and what-not dropped right on your doorstep is pretty cool. I'm thinking that delivery services will still be offered by many if not most businesses even after we get the pandemic under control.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

45 talking about postponing the election

Yeah, Shitler suggested that it would be a good thing if the upcoming election was postponed. Until it was safe to hold an election, of course.

Ain't irony ironic?

Did he mean it? Was it a distraction? What are we to make of this?

And on and on it goes.

It's simple, really. Trump knows he has zero say over whether the election is held on November 3rd or not.

He knows he has no chance of winning.

He's just trying to create more chaos. Trying to set us all up for his last-grasp gambit to steal the election and thereby keep the power-stick from being torn out of his teenie little hands.

Clearly seeing what he's up to is not that hard.

It will be harder to keep him from getting away with it.

Shitler, we see you.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Herman Cain dead at 78

Former Presidential candidate and conservative icon Herman Cain has passed.

He died today after battling COVID-19 for the last month.

I'm not in any way gloating about this. It's tragic when anyone is laid low by this horrible disease. Anyone here in the US; anyone, anywhere.

But it's also true that Herman was in firmly, clearly in the denialist camp. When he attended Donald trump's Tulsa rally, he and his party sat proudly in the Bank of Oklahoma Center with no masks.

I certainly understand that it's possible that Mr Cain became infected in some other way. That's certainly true.

However, I seriously doubt whether he and his family did anything that would put him at greater risk than attending that rally back on June 20th.

There have been and continue to be large gatherings where attendees take few-to-no precautions to mitigate the risks associated with putting on such events.

Herman Cain--and many, many others--are paying a steep price for their stubborn and plain-to-see rejection of clear facts about this pandemic. About the pandemic and ways to lower your risk.

This is a sad, tragic thing. Having said that, it's not too late to put the politics around all of this aside, embrace the science and protect yourself.

Do it for your loved ones. Do it because you have something to live for.

Do it even if your family and everyone around you might think you're stupid. Or that you're a snowflake.

So many have died because of this accursed virus. Please take the precautions you can to make it less likely that you'll be one of them.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Follow this link to see guidance from the CDC on how to lower your risk.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Floridians are dying while DeSantis is channeling his inner trump

If you're like me and you live here in the Sunshine State, I'm quite sure you know that COVID-19 is absolutely exploding in our corner of the US.

I've been screaming about this for almost a month now. Our governor is a political hack, a completely sold out sycophant for trump, our Denialist-in-Chief. 

He's following Dear Leader's cynical and clueless strategy, putting political expediency and the keeping up of appearances over science. Over science and the health and well-being of Floridians.

If you've been wondering why the virus has exploded in Florida, I can help. Read this article and it will be abundantly clear.

Bulldog Ben

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Coronavirus relief bill, part 2

Our elected officials in Washington are negotiating right now, trying to put together legislation for a second Coronavirus relief bill.

But here's the funny thing: the White House is trying to strip the bill of the provisions to release more money to improve testing and contact tracing.

Let that sink in.

Yeah, it's Shitler. Again. Doing something so incredible, so over-the-top that it takes a moment to wrap your head around it.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Never in Siberia

Here in the US, most of us are very much focused on the upcoming election and all the unprecedented, insane drama coming from Washington.

It's hard to imagine it being any other way.

But while we're dealing with a never-ending stream of outrages and crises, all that other stuff that was going on in our world is still going on.

One of those things is the welfare of our  Earth. There are so many indicators that our planet is in a bad way. Well, that's putting it mildly.

One of those signs is that it's been unusually warm in Siberia this year. Scientists are now seeing temperatures that have never before been recorded north of the Arctic Circle.

It's just one more piece of evidence. As though more were needed.

Stay engaged. Don't let yourself slip into hopelessness and despair.

We've got to keep shining a bright light on the crises we're facing on the environmental front.

We've got to learn all we can, stay engaged and put our hands to the work. 

There are so many on the front lines--volunteers, laymen and professionals--engaged in this work, giving their all to make a difference.

We can support them by contributing our time, contributing financially and by refusing to let other priorities--as urgent as they are--keep us from addressing the singular problem that can render all of the others insignificant.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, July 10, 2020

Florida takes the lead

As a long-time resident of the Sunshine State, the headline for this article featured below caught my attention.

Yeah, we are the new epicenter of this dreadful, mind-numbing coronavirus pandemic.

It pains me to say it, but this is what happens when you have a science-denying, do-nothing president and a sycophantic Governor following his lead down to the last detail.

Floridians are dying--in very large numbers--because Gov. Ron DeSantis is prioritizing the PR and political aspects of this epidemic over the health and well-being of our citizens.

It's to Florida's shame. And it's not going to change.

Well, I hasten to add that Ron could take his lips off trump's ass long enough to follow the advice of experts in the fields of epidemiology and public heath and actually take some hard actions that could help.

But don't bet that he will.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Rallies, riots and coronavirus

Two huge issues happening on the National scene in the last two months are the resumption of trump's political rallies -- the Tulsa rally late last month in particular -- and the protests over the killing of George Floyd.

In an internet forum, one subscriber asked why people were concerned about the possible spread of the coronavirus at trump's event, but seemed unconcerned about it spreading at the recent protests and riots.

Well, political rallies on the one hand and protests and riots on the other are very different things.

Let’s drill down a bit deeper.

The decision on whether to stage a rally is made in a purposeful, deliberate way. Someone — or some committee or whatever — decides the rally will happen, other folks have to plan, make arrangements, hire crews for catering, security or whatever the event may require.

A protest may be planned to some degree but there’s nothing like that same level of planning and arrangement-making. Protests often kick off spontaneously, catalyzed by an event over which no one has much control.

This round of protests are a great example of that. The killing of George Floyd was such an egregious and completely unjustifiable act of brutality that it's a surprise, honestly, that the protests and all that came after weren’t even more explosive.

So back to the subject of trump’s rallies: many people feel — and I’m certainly one of them — that it’s the height of irresponsibility to put on a rally right now while COVID-19 is ravaging our Country. 

There’s not the slightest shred of doubt that trump’s Tulsa rally back on June 20th crammed attendees together in a way that made transmitting Coronavirus a virtual certainty.

Here’s something that makes all of this even more insane, more deplorable: some of trump's campaign staffers went through the Bank of Oklahoma Center before the pumped-up crowd began to take their seats, removing the stickers placed on alternating seats by the Center’s staff to encourage social distancing.

The stickers were a last-gasp attempt to keep trump’s adoring fans from sitting on top of one another, thereby greatly increasing peoples’ chances of getting infected.

Can you imagine a better way to make sure the true believers would pass the virus all around the arena?

Especially in light of the fact that in an event like that, it’s customary to yell, holler and scream about how awesome Dear Leader is, or how badly those radical, socialist lefties suck, or how those lying, traitorous “enemies of the people” need to be put in their place, blah, blah, blah…

I’ve never seen a photo taken at a trump rally where a huge chunk of the attendees weren’t on their feet, faces all red, screaming at the tops of their lungs! That’s the whole purpose of going, right?

Honestly, how can anyone defend putting on a rally where everyone knew that the conditions to spread the virus were damn near perfect?

And now — to the shock and surprise of absolutely no one — the City of Tulsa is having a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus.

Having said all that, I have no doubt that the virus found many new hosts in the protests and riots that we’ve seen since George Floyd’s killing. That is almost certain to become a serious issue.

But those events weren’t conceived, planned and carried out by our leaders, by people who should know better, and who should be putting citizens’ well-being over their personal and political considerations.

It was all to further Donald trump’s political fortunes. And to stroke his insatiable ego.

Does anybody really think our poser prez is feeling even one shred of sadness or regret over a few hundred of his supporters getting sick?

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

PS: I forgot to mention that all those issues around the Tulsa rally matter to me as I spent nine years living in that fine city. And I was 100% positive that trump’s event would become a public health disaster.

You may have heard that several Secret Service agents are still in quarantine because of the rally.

The kicker to the story is that, although the main thing here is the disastrous effects for the people of Oklahoma, it’s also proven to be a disaster for trump politically.

Ain’t irony ironic?

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July to all

There's no way I would pass on an opportunity to observe a 4th of July. No way.

But it's also true that it feels different this year.

It's felt different for me and a whole lot of other patriots for the last three times the 4th has come around. And it certainly does now in 2020.

It's not the same joyful celebration while our poser prez is trying as hard as he can to strangle Lady Liberty.

And that's made worse by the fact that he's been engaged in this hateful and dark undertaking for almost four years now. And our democracy is hanging by a thread.

I am hopeful that our Republic will see better days. I'm cautiously optimistic that the pall that has been cast over our Country will be lifted by the next time we celebrate.

I'm praying and working and contributing to increase the chances that it will.

Happy 4th to everyone.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Basile

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Priorities, the use of time, and donald trump

In an internet forum I read regularly, someone asked why our President cares about monuments to dead Confederates but has basically been MIA in our fight against the coronavirus.

Well, here's my reply to that question:

Everything trump does is done to pander to his base and enhance his chances to get reelected. Everything.

He wants to keep his tiny little hands on the power stick so very badly and so catering to his cult followers and telling them the kinds of myths, tropes and lies they like to hear is priority number one for Dear Leader.

Thinking of ways to throw red meat to the true believers and raise the odds that he can occupy the White House for four more years is his constant obsession. It’s what ties up all his time and energy.

Well, that and watching OAN, his buddy Sean Hannity on Fox and constantly checking the polls. That’s how he spends the lion’s share of his time.

You can certainly see what matters to someone by observing their actions, looking at how they spend their time.

He’s all about keeping protesters from pulling down those Confederate monuments because his supporters love it and it helps him burnish his image as a patriot and a tough guy.

His image is a very, very big deal for donald and it most definitely ties in with the whole reelection thing.

And the pandemic? He cares nothing about anything relating to that. Not for the health of ordinary Americans — that means nothing at all. In fact, his lackeys are in front of the Supreme Court this week, trying their hardest to finally kill Obamacare! All while millions of Americans are facing financial ruin and death because of COVID-19 and plenty of other ailments.

Let’s widen the focus a bit: our hospitals and the entire healthcare Industry were struggling mightily before the coronavirus came along and it’s made all of those vexing problems much worse. None of that has affected the way 45 does his job at all.

He’s still taking “Executive time” for the first four or five hours of each day, watching cable news obsessively, screaming at his staff because they can’t vanquish all of his enemies — real or imagined — and stop his spectacular slide in the polls.

Oh, I mustn’t forget this huge priority for trump: dreaming up ways to punish all the people he hates.

Or people who simply don’t fawn over him sufficiently. Those tasks take up a lot of his time.

Oh yes, and golf. I forgot to say that he spends quite a bit of his free time playing golf.

Oh, silly me! It’s all free time. No, let’s call it Executive time. I think that’s the term his staff uses for the time the boss spends doing everything but tending to the needs of the Country and her citizens.

So yes, the squatter in the Oval Office spends lots of time defending dead Confederates, modern-day white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and anyone who enables him, praises him or supports him.

But he cares nothing at all for the welfare of our Country, her Constitution or the health and lives of ordinary Americans. Especially if they didn’t vote for him.

Our health, our well-being and our very lives mean absolutely nothing to this incompetent poser.

If you keep all of this firmly in mind, everything makes perfect sense.

Bulldog Ben

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, June 27, 2020

trump and Russia's secret bounty for American scalps

I've known for over four years that our #LyingLoserPrez is a piece of human garbage. He showed us what he was like way before the 2016 Presidential election.

This affair about the Russians offering a bounty for killing American troops is just the latest outrage. The latest clear betrayal of the country I love and served.

This hateful and totally incompetent poser will NEVER cross Putin. If your reaction to this is to scream "Fake News" don't you dare put it into a reply here. I will not be civil if you do.

We are way past the point where we should be polite about this. This man has caused great harm to the USA. I hate, loathe and despise this serial traitor with the intensity of ten thousand white-hot suns.

#DonTheConRussianPawn #trumpTraitor

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The word is out about 45's boring Tulsa rally

The eyes of the country -- of the whole world, truth be told -- were on Tulsa tonight.

The thuggish poser who's now occupying the White House threw his first rally since America went into semi-lockdown and just about everything started being cancelled.

Herr Twitler just didn't have his mojo workin' tonight.

What a pity.

Many have pointed out that the attendance sucked.

Others have opined that the Thug-in-Chief was off his usual game. That he was... well, boring!

So sad.

As more and more Americans are getting a closer look at this pitiful, would-be tyrant, it's getting harder and harder for him to keep the faithful in his thrall.

All but his most hard-core cultists are looking for those metaphorical exits now. And tonight's lame rally will only speed up the process.

We're getting pretty damn close to November 3rd.

If this sad little man and the minions who're laboring mightily to get him another term think it's going to get better, I'm thinking they're in for a major let-down.


"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Trump the Bible Poser

Because this insane, dystopian scene played itself out on Monday, I'm thinking that many of you are well-aware of what happened. And here -- for what it's worth -- is my take on this wretched and disturbing event.

It's clear now that the Divider-in-Chief who occupies our White House thinks he can use faith for his own dark purposes. Just like he uses everything he comes into contact with.

He uses people and things to enhance his ugly image; he uses things and events to sow confusion and deflect blame; he uses people and things -- most vile of all -- to punish and wreck revenge on his political enemies or merely on people he hates.

All of this is sick. Sick and evil. So now we can add Faith to the things this disgusting piece of human garbage has used to further his own evil ends.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

Postscript: for a deeper dive into the reactions of faith leaders to this stunt, follow this link. 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Florida's Gov is playing games with the stats

Have you wondered how it is that the State of Florida has reported lots and lots of cases of coronavirus infection but the Sunshine State's death count --  proportionally speaking -- is much lower than many other States?

I've been living in Florida since 1961 and I've been wondering. Our death count is relatively low -- in proportion to our reported cases -- because the death count is phony.

The sad truth is that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis the ringleader in Florida's efforts to manipulate the statistics in order to keep the count of COVID-19 related deaths artificially low.

This is a well-orchestrated campaign to deceive the citizens of Florida. It's deeply dishonest, it's politically-motivated and it should be a crime.

But the trump-loving political hack who holds the highest office in the State will just keep on doing it.

He's doing it because he can.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Of Birds and Zoos in Florida

I love the Ibis. Fascinating bird. You see them everywhere you go in Florida.

I love zoos. Here is a photo of an Ibis at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida. It features an Ibis with unusual color seeming to be trying to adjust a string of lights. 

Well, that’s the way it looks to me, anyway.

Regardless of what this bird might be doing — or not be doing — I think it’s a pretty good photo. Hope you like it.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2016 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Green Energy Up, Nuclear Down

The trend of renewable energy accounting for an ever-increasing share among the many ways we get power has been going on for years.

And now we see that this process of green energy displacing other forms of power generation — nuclear, in particular — is picking up speed because of the drop in consumption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This afternoon, I came across a story from Yahoo Finance that details this trend in considerable detail. I recommend it highly for anyone who’s environmentally conscious and/or is trying to pay attention to some of the larger trends happening in the US and on the Planet in general.

Hope you’re all doing well and staying safe as we go through this ordeal. I’m still on furlough and somewhat stressed about how all of this will work out.

One silver lining in the cloud is that I do have more time for blogging. More is coming soon; about issues on the political scene and environmental affairs, as well.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit ssuaphotos/shutterstock

Monday, May 4, 2020

The COVIDIOTS are killing people now

There are people in Flint, Michigan who really hate being told to put on masks to enter places of business.

A couple of them murdered a security guard hired by a Family Dollar store on Fifth Avenue in Flint last Friday.

He had committed the unpardonable sin of not letting a customer enter the store until she put on a mask.

Yeah, he's dead. The Flint P.D. is looking for two people.

The store had hired him to screen customers and turn away any who couldn't or wouldn't don a mask.

And it cost him his life.

Sure, wearing a mask can be an inconvenience. But you'd still think bullets wouldn't start flying because of it.

But here we are.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Arrogance, Incompetence and Resistance

This post picks up where the previous one left off. That one is titled Trump, Clorox and that Straw Man.

The plain truth is that trump is clueless about how to do his job but somehow keeps coming up with harebrained or politically-expedient ideas about how others in his administration should do theirs. Think chloroquine for a moment.

Here's the worst part: in spite of his obvious ignorance and incompetence, he thinks he has the answer to every problem, that he alone can fix whatever may be broken. Those of us who clearly see what a huckster and fraud he is see this behavior as straight-up arrogance.

Trump has a decades-long history of ignoring any and all advice as he stumbles through life causing one train-wreck after another.

In fact, the way this scenario about possible treatments for COVID-19 has played out is quite similar to other controversies and problems he's caused.

This is why it illustrates clearly how stupid and arrogant trump is and helps to explain why those of us who won't drink the Kool Aid oppose him the way we do.

When he made the decision to take our troops out of Syria -- thereby abandoning our Kurdish allies -- trump claimed that he knew more than all his military advisors. They were, of course, very able, competent and experienced in military matters and special operations in particular.

Trump claimed -- as he has over and over -- that he didn't need to consult any of them.

When he was trying his best to ignore the Coronavirus calamity which was bearing down on us -- especially in the month of February when he took NO action to protect the country or to at least mitigate the damage -- he again said that he understood the situation just fine and didn't need any input or advice from the experts. All of whom had dedicated their entire careers to studying infectious diseases and epidemics.

This is trump's M.O. and has been since before he even ran for office. And it's a big part of why we have zero respect for him and are resisting all the self-serving and destructive things he does.

We will go on resisting. We are borrowing a page from the right-wing playbook.

We're giving him all the respect and co-operation that right wingers gave President Obama.

Which is, of course, none at all.

The difference is that Obama was intelligent, compassionate, well-informed and consistently put well-qualified people on his team and then trusted them and followed their wise, expert advice.

And right wingers hated his guts, obstructed him at every turn, called him every name in the book and spread constant lies about him.

What's happening now is different. We oppose the Moron-in-Chief for very good reasons.

He's ignorant, lazy and hateful to everyone in the country who doesn't support or fawn all over him.

He consistently makes bad decisions, speaks hatefully of those he doesn't like and thinks he's so smart -- and what a sad, sick joke THAT is -- thinks he's so smart that he doesn't need to listen to anyone or ever take anyone's advice.

Because he thinks -- and says straight up -- that he's smarter than all the experts. Whom he hates and ridicules over and over.

So, of course, we oppose him. Of course, we don't respect him.

And every time any trump supporters try to suggest that there's something wrong with that, we laugh and think back over all the shit right-wing haters threw at President Obama for eight years -- non-stop -- when he cared, was knowledgeable and engaged and consistently worked hard to make sure that his administration's policies took into account the welfare of ALL Americans. Whether they liked him or voted for him or not.

Trump is monumentally stupid, ignorant and uncaring, and spends about four or five hours a day doing his job. He bases all of his decisions on what would benefit him personally. What would benefit him, his family, and other upper-income people and large corporations who support him and write the big checks for his re-election campaign.

It's so vexing that he thinks he knows everything and that he's handling the president's job well and that he doesn't need even one shred of advice or expertise from the scientists and experts who are there to help him make sound, well-informed decisions and discharge the duties of his office in a sound way.

His arrogance is astonishing. He can't do his job and his greatest priority in life is to poke his stubby little fingers in the eyes of people he hates.

It's hard to decide which of his many character defects suck the worst. The two that always stand out to me are his ignorance and his arrogance.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Trump, Clorox and that Straw Man

Many trump supporters have been taking to social media in the last couple of days to defend their Moron-in-Chief.

They're saying that those of us who're reacting to the president's remarks in last Friday's press conference -- those of us who can't stop laughing at trump's stupidity, in particular -- believe he expressly told Americans to chug, inject or bathe in Clorox.

It's pretty funny stuff.

They are, of course, missing the point entirely. None of us who don't like the president are saying he told people to ingest or shoot up disinfectant.

But we are 100% certain that he asked Dr Birx if she and the other scientists who are advising the country while the pandemic is raging would look into it because he thought it might work.

Anyone who sees the video of exactly what he said and still thinks he didn't do that are simply too partisan to acknowledge the truth.

Here is exactly what trump said:

"And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful."

Trump supporters need to stop knocking down a straw man with their "you're claiming trump told people to drink or shoot up Clorox" assertion.

We are not saying that. No one in the media has said that. We're saying that trump thought the disinfectant angle could work and that he wanted the scientists who study such things to look into it. That is extremely clear in the video, which I've seen three times.

And yes, it's entirely appropriate that we talk and post and blog about how very, very stupid trump is to have thought that such a thing could work and that competent scientists should investigate it.

It's way past time for the right wing talking heads and trump supporters in general to stop spreading the lie that we're claiming trump told people to drink or shoot up disinfectant or squirt Lysol up their asses.

Our mind-numbingly stupid president really, truly did think getting disinfectant into the bodies of people who're sick with the virus might be a good treatment and his lying, sycophantic supporters need to set aside their feeble defenses of this moron and start putting together a workable plan to get off the trump train.

More on how this incident is very similar to other insane things trump has said in other situations is coming in the next post. That post will also lay out in some detail why so many Americans -- including Yours Truly -- oppose trump with such vehemence.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Earth lovers are smiling today

A huge victory today, especially for those of us who care about our Planet. The Supreme Court has ruled that a Utility Co. providing water to Maui County must stop injecting contaminated wastewater into the ground where it eventually reaches the Pacific Ocean.

Because we’re living in the trump era, our EPA had sided with the polluters in this important case. No surprise there. But they’ve now been stopped by the SCOTUS and the utility company must now comply with the law and clean up the water before they inject it into the ground.

The real shocker for me was that Justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch sided with the four progressive justices and against the polluters on this important case.

The Hawaii-based environmental groups that brought the suit, nature lovers and clean water advocates everywhere are smiling today.

The trump-appointed industry lackeys that now run our EPA are pissed today, no doubt. And that makes my day.

For the details on this important story, follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, April 24, 2020

National Arbor Day 2020

Yes, it's National Arbor Day today. But with most of America — and the world, for that matter — staying close to home, celebrating this auspicious day is just a bit different this time.

My celebration of the day this year includes two things. Small things, but things which nevertheless help the cause.

I just made a donation to the National Arbor Day Foundation. This is something I look forward to doing each year.

If you would also like to do that, follow this link.

I’m also going to use today’s hashtag on my twitter account. And that is: #ArborDayAtHome. When you use that tag, the Foundation will plant a tree for your gesture of support and good will. Up to 50,000 trees.

That’s a wonderful thing.

One more thought: if you’d like to take a look at the blog for the National A.D. Foundation, go here.

A certified, hard-core tree-hugger, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

What next? Bill Gates has some thoughts

Like so many of us, I've been spending a lot of time in the last few weeks wondering how our current devastating health crisis is going to affect our lives going forward.

Our lives and our collective life, together, on this planet.

I just came across an article laying out some of  Bill Gate's thoughts about where we might be heading and it sounded very plausible to me.

I've always respected Bill Gates for his obvious business acumen and the visionary way he led Microsoft in its formative period.  

And I certainly laud Bill and Melinda for taking a wide world view and for their extraordinary philanthropy.

I think his thoughts about the COVID-19 crisis here deserve a very wide reading and I recommend this article for anyone who'd like to read some cogent and well-informed thoughts on where we might be heading.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Ready to shoot up some bleach?

Just about everybody on the Planet right now is wondering what we might be able to do to prevent infection or treat folks once they've become ill from COVID-19.

It is, no doubt, very much on the minds of many Americans; our death toll here just passed the  50,000 mark.

The very, very smart and stable genius who now occupies the Oval Office is very hopeful that injecting folks with disinfectants after they've become infected will help.

Yeah, no doubt the clinical trials will crank up soon.

What will it take for trump's cult followers to stop supporting this madman?

America wants to know.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile