Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Day is here and...

The Day has finally arrived! It's Christmas morning and I'm feeling the Joy of the Season now as I put together these thoughts.

Throughout the Fall months we can see the whole Holiday Tableau laid out before us; We know that the crowning jewel of the Winter Holidays for so many -- Christmas -- is not so far away, but are still somehow taken by surprise once it's actually here!

And it is here. And I'm delighted and just a tiny bit surprised that it's here. Here in all its delightful splendor!

It's true that I don't go to a ton of trouble over Christmas these days. I think that there are so many of us who fall into that category. Haven't put up a tree in a good many years. And presents... Well, gift cards are a godsend! And it's not a very long list for this guy at this stage.

But I truly do love the season: the music, the Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Men part, the Stars and Angels adorning the downtown light poles, all of it. Even the gaudy, over-sized tree in every mall and store from Sea to Shining Sea, all of it!

And when I say I love the music, I mean the whole spectrum. Doesn't matter if it's Burl Ives and the Ray Coniff Singers or Andrea Bocelli and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I love all of it and have sung most of it with assorted Choruses and Choirs over the many years.

I don't know what the Christmas Season means to you. But whether it's a highlight of each year for you or something you would like to opt out of, I hope that this auspicious Day finds you well, surrounded by family and friends and filled with some measure of Serenity and Joy!

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 Benjamin Lawrence Basile 

Friday, December 10, 2021

About Wings and Unionized Starbucks

There never seems to be any shortage of jokes about Buffalo, New York. The folks who live there mostly take the teasing good-naturedly. 

Well, now this oft-maligned city -- heretofore best known as the place that originated Buffalo Wings -- has come up with another first: it's the location of the first unionized Starbucks.

The nascent organization is called Starbucks Workers United and was birthed under the auspices of the Service Employees International Union.

As as proud Union member -- and a frequent Starbucks patron -- I'm happy to welcome this first. And I sincerely hope it's the first of many.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

Bulldog is a member of UFCW Local no. 1625

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile  

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Braves blank the Astros in Game 7 and take it all

The Braves just won the World Series, 4 games to 2. They shut out the Astros tonight, besting the American League Champs 7-0. The celebration I'm seeing on my screen right now is pretty wild!

Count me among those who didn't see this coming. I would have put a pretty good chunk of change on the 'Stros if I'd had to place a bet. (We'll ignore for the moment the fact that I prefer to throw money away in more creative ways.) This is only the second time in Major League history that a team with a losing record at the All Star break has gone on to take all the marbles!

Georgia's Brave Boys of Baseball hadn't won the Series since '95 when Bobby Cox was at the helm. That victory and this year's are the only two times they got all the way to the summit since the franchise moved to Atlanta in '66. They tore the trophy from Houston's grasp and did it convincingly.

If you missed all the excitement and would like to take in a good article about tonight's goings on in Houston, follow this link.

"Baseball Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile  

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Carl and Anne Braden and the struggle for Equality

I came across an article about Carl and Anne Braden this week while on Facebook, of all things.

The Bradens' story is pretty extraordinary. They were placed on trial for sedition -- and convicted -- for buying a home in an all-white neighborhood of Louisville with the intent of transferring the title to a black family. Carl spent months in prison on the Sedition conviction before being released on bond.

Carl and Anne worked tirelessly for racial equality in the US for a very long time. After Carl passed in 1975, Anne continued the work until her passing in 2006. I can't do their story justice in this format but there are plenty of resources on the internet. Here's another one that focuses primarily on Anne's work.

And now more than a half-Century later, there are still plenty of hateful white supremacists around. It's just that most of them have gotten pretty good at covering over their hatred with a thin veneer of respectability.

But it's also true that after Hair Hitler assumed power, many of them were/are happily letting their hate flag fly. That's only a little less common now that the former Racist-In-Chief is not squatting in the Oval Office.

So even though they now longer have the force of hateful and evil laws and the advocacy of a openly-racist President and his staffers backing them up, we must counter their machinations and actions at every turn as the Bradens and so many of others have done for so many years.

This we must do until they're compelled to stand down and slink away, discredited and impotent.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile  

Monday, September 27, 2021

Watching with an unflinching eye

Watching, listening and reading the current media coverage of Donald trump is so frustrating. We have an ex-President who plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election -- all of it right out-in-the-open, mind you -- and the MSM is still giving him that same nauseating, fawning coverage we all remember so well.

There are some journos and pundits pointing out how insane and dangerous this is, but they're few and far between.

No one is doing this as clearly and ably as Eric Boehlert, the journalist whose career at Salon and Media Matters and Rolling Stone made him well-known. His commentary on his newest project, Press Run, has been effective in shining a bright light on what the Media is doing with its non-stop, refuse-to-take-a-side coverage of our Insurrectionist-in-Chief: it's helping to normalize him and pretend that what happened on January 6th was no biggie. 

Today's posting on Press Run is very compelling. You can read the piece in its entirety here. 

Mr. Boehlert is one of the few in American Media who, witnessing our slow descent into Authoritarianism, is providing accurate, clear and unflinching commentary at what's going on.

We ignore voices like Eric's at our own peril.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile  

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Of Love, Grief and Death-- of Grief and Constant Change

Here's a post about changes. About changes, the passing of a friend in particular, and the way changes and endings come at you as long as your heart is beating.

Pebbles Bundy crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon. She was a few weeks short of her 12th birthday and had been suffering from a digestive condition for several months.

She was as sweet a cat as you could ever hope to meet. Gentle, sweet with a wonderful, mellow feline disposition. Food in her dish twice a day and some petting and stroking in the evening was all she ever asked of life.

When we went on our two day camping adventures she would watch us pack and go with an unruffled, mellow manner and greet us at the door when we came back home.

I helped Joan get her ready for her final trip to the vet as I was getting ready for work. Joan is a wonderful Cat Mom and it was her sad duty to take her to the good docs and staff at St Charles and be with her as she made that final journey.

I was relieved in a way that I had to get myself in to work while Joan made final arrangements. Being a part of that scenario would have added another layer of deep sadness to what has already been a challenging time for me.

I have been grieving the loss of another cherished relationship: Joan and I had come to a parting about three weeks before Pebble's time with us came to its own end. I'm moving back to Orlando next week.

As I reflected on the last three or four weeks, and what happened today, it occurred to me that Pebble's passing was -- among other things -- the last event where Joan and I would focus together on a matter of great and enduring significance to both of us; The final time we would be fully engaged in something that had the power to move us deeply and to touch a place in our hearts. The final time we would share deeply-felt emotions that no one else shared or could fully understand.

Changes and endings. They're a huge part of life. They keep coming. It's not going to stop. In fact, when we get to a certain stage of life, the changes accelerate, they fly by so quickly that we sometimes are hard-pressed to take in fully their true significance.

Some of those changes involve a death. A death of a friend, a family member. The death of a dream, of a cherished relationship.

It's not going to stop.

Hold on tightly to your friends, your loved ones. The friends who walk on their hind legs and the fur-bearing ones who love you unconditionally, with great ardour and whose love has the power to touch us in the deepest places in our hearts.

Hold tightly to them when the fire of love burns brightest. Love them, return their love and release them to the love, care and wisdom of the Universe when a time of ending comes.

And trust that your love -- mingled with theirs -- and the memories of shared experiences, of your time together will sustain you.

Sustain you and offer a sweet note of consolation. Especially if you must walk life's path alone for a time.

Healing Love to all of you. And all whom you love.

A loving, grieving and hopeful man, I am,

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Joanie Bundy

Monday, September 6, 2021

Happy Labor Day 2021

 I do want to wish a most happy Labor Day 2021 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

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

They've folded the tent in Kabul

 Unless you've been living under a rock, by now you've heard that the American withdrawal from Afghanistan is complete. And it was quite a spectacle, wasn't it?

The sharks who swim through the cesspool of Reich Wing misinformation and propaganda have been circling President Biden in the last few days, waiting for a chance to inflict a fatal bite.

That's been a tough undertaking as the terms and timeline for the US withdrawal were put together by the trump Administration back in February of 2020 in the Doha Agreement. As so many have forgotten, the Afghan Government that we put into place was not allowed to be a part of those negotiations.

The main criticism that's being laid at Biden's feet as the house of cards crumbles is that he should have waited until we were perfectly ready to get out all Americans and our friends and allies before the withdrawal was completed. 

That criticism is warranted in no small measure but it ignores the fact that Biden hit the pause button on trump's withdrawal timeline in order to get a handle on what was needed to get this massive undertaking completed. And that one delay for more deliberation and planning was all he was willing to add.

Airlifting 122,000 troops, citizens and allies from Afghanistan was no small feat. It could and should have been done better. But we are -- at long last -- out of the longest war in the history of the USA.

And for that, we should all be grateful.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy 4th to one and all


Today is the 245th birthday of the US of A and I hope it's a fine day for you and yours.

We're not doing a thing original here, I'll be firing up the grill soon and charring a few hot dogs.

Add the beer and potato salad and you're there. 

Okay, and some baseball! The Dodgers and the Nats will be facing off this afternoon, the Yankees and Mets not long after. I'll be enjoying a relaxing afternoon with my better half and feeling a lot of appreciation for my native land.

I did leave out the part where we have to be at work at 5 O'Clock this evening, but who's gonna turn down time-and-a-half, you know?!

Anyway, I hope your 4th celebration is splendid, with or without the barbecue. It's a great country we live in, isn't it? 

Here's to another 245 years!

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Burning in Seattle

It’s hot in the summertime. It’s always hot in the summertime.

But it’s getting hotter each time Summer comes around.

The Pacific Northwest here in the United States is baking right now and it’s a very serious situation. High Temperature records are being set on an almost-daily basis in that region of our Nation.

This timely and informative article treats this alarming matter in detail but isn’t wonky at all. I recommend it for all who’d like to have a closer look at what’s going on as we get deeper into the Summer of ’21.

If we’re serious about safeguarding the life and well-being of the Planet on which we all depend, we cannot merely sit on the sidelines while Gaia continues to warm.

The consequences of doing THAT are too bleak to contemplate.

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, June 5, 2021

NTD is a perfect day to...

One of my favorite National Days is this one; today is National Trails Day and it truly is a perfect time to get out and walk a trail near you, find a new one or plan your next outing.

If you visit this site, you can find ways to help spread the word about hiking and trail-walking and advocate for this splendid way to build fitness and promote serenity.

Enjoy the day, whether or not you're exploring a new or familiar outdoor trail or simply walking down life’s path.

Joyfully navigating Earth’s lovely terrain, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

100 years ago in Tulsa

The story of the Tulsa Massacre is a very, very ugly one. It’s one that you may have heard about recently, as there is no longer immense pressure to keep the whole sick and brutal event on the down-low.

The effects and the legacy of this shameful attack are almost too great to assess. It’s truly hard to wrap one’s mind around it all.

Because I spent the better part of nine years in the City of Tulsa — including my three semesters in Seminary — it’s something I’ve paid quite a lot of attention to lately. I say lately as I only learned about it approximately five to six years ago. Simply by browsing the content of an internet forum.

There’s no need for me to try to add anything to the work done by so many about this traumatizing, racist event. I merely want to say that I feel — as I look back over my time in Tulsa — that it is remarkable that I never had the slightest clue that Black Americans had been attacked and massacred on the north side of the city where I lived, the city I had grown to love.

Yesterday marked the 100th Anniversary of the massacre which claimed at least 300 lives and burned a 35 square block area to the ground. There were many events to mark that somber event. One was that President Biden traveled to Tulsa and met with community leaders and the last three survivors.

Another event was the prayer service and commemoration at the last standing wall of the Vernon AME Church in the Greenwood District.

There’s not the slightest doubt in my mind that there were active efforts to keep the event under wraps. It’s almost inconceivable that I could have lived and studied in that City for most of the decade of the ’70s and had no idea that I was living about ten miles from the site of what was almost certainly the greatest, most violent paroxysm of racist white violence on black Americans in our — at that time — 200 year history.

I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. But it highlights once again that the perpetrators of racist violence will always go to great lengths to minimize, justify and hide their crimes.

And to avoid any accountability. The last thing that should be noted about this murderous, horrific and traumatizing act of violence is that no white person was ever arrested or put on trial for the rampage.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, May 16, 2021

National Love a Tree Day is here!


Well, the first thing I’m going to do is proclaim it to be National Tree Week! Because a single day just isn’t enough.

This post about one of the coolest days all year was going to come out this morning, but I’m up to my eyeballs in preparations for this week’s celebration. We leave in the morning for two days at Wekiva Springs State Park near Longwood, Florida. And we’ll be surrounded by some majestic and lovely trees like the ones you can see just above the header for this post.

I hope you put together a plan to enjoy this wonderful dayweek, I mean! I’ve got mine, and I’m going to really enjoy carrying it out.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Ghost Forests are haunting our Coasts

I'm willing to bet the farm that you've never heard the term "Ghost Forest". Until last week, I hadn't either.

Rising sea levels all along the Atlantic Sea Basin are wreaking havoc with many forests all up and down the East Coast. The dying forests succumbing to this process are being called Ghost Forests by scientists and environmentalists.

I found an article about this very-troubling phenomenon in my inbox last week. If you'd like to have a look, I'm happy to pass it along here. Although few Americans have heard the term, I have a strong -- and very uneasy -- sense that we're all going to be hearing more about it, and soon.

There are thousands of terrible consequences stemming from our many failures to care for the Earth. This issue is only one. The price we will -- and are -- paying for these failures is high indeed.

Sea levels are rising. And so is the cost for our ongoing failures and continued inaction.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Biden Administration's Vaccination Campaign

There's a lot of buzz on the internet right now about the efforts on the part of the Biden Administration to get Americans to take the vaccine. Often in the context of overcoming the vaccine hesitancy which is -- regrettably -- pretty widespread in the US.

It's true that there’s nothing at all he can do to compel or force Americans to get vaccinated. What he — and his Administration — can do is devise and implement plans and programs to educate citizens in the benefits of getting vaxed, encourage and incentivize them to do so, and enlist the help of health care professionals and community leaders to help spread the message. The Administration can and has encouraged States and employers to offer incentives to get the jab.

My employer is on-board with that last one. They add four hour’s pay to your check if you get vaccinated, whether you actually had to take time off or not.

One of my former employers used to enlist the help of private nurses working on contract to come two days every year to administer flu shots. It was done cooperatively with our Health Insurance carrier and helped to keep illness — and, of course claims — lower. I suspect that some companies are now teaming up with their insurance providers to do something similar now that workers and people of any age are eligible for the COVID shot. I know many hospitals and long-term care facilities have done so.

Another important part of the Administration’s plan is to have competent and highly visible staff craft and put into action serious and sustained PR campaigns to educate and to essentially coax citizens to do it.

As you may know, Dr. Fauci and the current Director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky have been making appearances at all kinds of events and doing interview after interview in all kinds of media to help the cause. And many other staffers in Biden’s Administration are doing that sort of thing, too. It’s a very big effort and it’s helping.

I hate to have to say this, but it’s entirely possible that the vaccine holdouts are going to keep us from achieving herd immunity and thereby keep COVID alive in the US. It’s too early to see if that’s the way it’s going to go, but it will not surprise me if that’s the unfortunate outcome.

On a personal note, I got vaccinated ASAP and was one of the first to get it done by showing up at one of Florida’s four FEMA mass-vax sites. It was the one in Orlando. It seemed kind of special that I got stuck by an active-duty tech in the 101st Airborne Division at a site sponsored by an “arm” of our Government. 

So to sum up, the government can’t do anything to make people get themselves vaccinated. But the Biden Admin is doing absolutely everything possible to educate and encourage Americans to do so. And that’s why there have been over 200 millions shots in arms in the US so far.

The whole thing is a perfect example of the good our Government can — and with President Biden providing real leadership — can and will do! Thank you, FEMA. And thank you, President Biden.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

George Floyd's Killer is Convicted

On Tuesday evening, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted on the three counts he faced for killing George Floyd last May.

Although there actually are Americans who feel he should have been acquitted, the American Public at large was sickened by the spectacle of Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground for nine minutes plus, snuffing out his life while remaining perfectly calm and seeming to use the domination and the killing as a training moment for the novice cops in his charge.

The conviction was exactly what this brutal, heartless bastard deserved. 

The question is where we go from here. It seems clear that the proportion of the American people who realize that we have a serious problem with Police violence against Black and Brown people has increased greatly because of what Chauvin did.

And while that is cold comfort for Floyd's family, it will undoubtedly help us move forward, to begin to get our collective mind around the issues and carry forward the work. The work that so many have been struggling mightily to do for a very, very long time.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Priority One for the GOP Today is...

There was a gathering of the Republican Party faithful and -- more to the point -- a lot of the Party's big-time donors in West Palm Beach last night. The get-together carried a lot of importance with the 2022 mid-term elections starting to heat up.

It goes without saying that trump's speech at this RNC event was the highlight. And although I don't have the stomach to go through this rancid speech in any detail, the main takeaway now that the event's over is clear: the Republican Party's top priority these days -- even with Dear Leader out of power -- is to continue to kiss trump's ass and allow him to steer the ship.

Aren't you surprised?

I wasn't expecting it to go any other way, of course. The QOP will continue to worship and enable this hateful con man. It won't stop -- it can't stop -- as long as getting and holding power is all that the party and the party faithful value.

You can follow this link to read a brief feature about last night's event and trump's rambling, self-serving speech in particular.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Edgar McGregor is the Real Deal

If you've spent any amount of time checking out this blog, you know what a hard-core tree hugger I am. Among family and friends, I'm notorious for diverting from a trail or a walkway in a park to pick up litter and debris. 

I've always known I'm not the only overly-responsible Nature Lover who does such things. And I just read an article about one such person who's gone way above and beyond the call of duty.

That young man is Edgar McGregor and his commitment to coming to the Planet's aid when thoughtless or malevolent humans sully and pollute her is truly inspiring.

For 589 days, Edgar ranged all over Eaton Canyon, one of the most popular hiking trails near Los Angeles, picking up litter, trash and debris of all kinds in order to atone for the sins of his fellow humans and get the canyon as clean as is humanly possible. 

And finally, the day came when he walked the park and couldn't find anything to bag up and carry away.

Reading of Edgar's untiring effort has inspired me. I can hardly tell you how much. Suffice to say, he and I are cut from the same cloth, but his efforts have, of course, easily out-stripped mine. I commend him for his nearly-superhuman work and devotion to Mother Earth.

If you'd like to read more about the Eaton Canyon Trail or what this indefatigable eco warrior did on its behalf, these two links will take you where you want to go.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

DNI Report lays out Russian plan in 2020

A report released Monday from the office of Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence, shines a bright light on a Russian campaign to -- once again -- influence an American Presidential Election.

The campaign -- designed to help keep then-President Donald trump in office -- could be called old school, relying, as it did, on the tried-and-true methods of person to person contacts to put together and execute plans, contrasting with the 2016 approach of polluting the internet and social media platforms with targeted disinformation and lies.

And who do you suppose was the primary American contact who had been targeted to help carry out the Kremlin's campaign to intervene on trump's behalf?

Well, if your guess was Rudy Giuliani, you're 100% correct.

The DNI has authorized the release of the unclassified version of the report. The classified version was put in the hands of President Biden and others authorized to receive such information last week.

You can read the report here if you're feeling up to it. If you'd prefer to read an article summarizing the most important points about this week's timely and headline-generating report, follow this link.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Army's Investigation into Mike Flynn Reopens

There's a new twist in the seemingly-endless story about disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. About Flynn and consequences.

The retired 2-Star General was being investigated for multiple misdeeds by the Army -- relating to his activities as a foreign agent for the Turkish Government, among other things -- before the investigation was shelved pending the resolution of the criminal charges against Flynn.

Those charges became moot when trump pardoned his sycophantic flunky for his crimes -- crimes to which he had already plead guilty, in case you had forgotten.

Well, now that the criminal part of this story has been resolved, the Army is restarting its investigation into Flynn's multiple manglings of Army regulations. Regulations which prohibit -- among other things -- accepting payments from foreign governments if you're a recently-retired Flag-Rank Officer. 

There's an urgent need for the Pentagon to go balls-to-the-wall with this investigation and take the appropriate action once it's completed.

My urgent need is far simpler. I really need to restock my pantry. Popcorn. More popcorn.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Tale of the Two-Faced Turtle

I'm old enough to remember when Mitch McConnell clearly stated that trump was responsible for the attack on our Capitol on Jan 6th.

As you may have heard by now, Turtle Boy is now saying that, of course he'll be supporting trump if the GQP nominates him again for the 2024 Presidential contest.

This perfectly shows what those of us who would not slurp trump's shitty Kool Aid have pointed out again and again: that today's Republican Party is first and last the party of Donald trump and that the number of GOP elected officials who'll stand up to him can be counted -- literally -- on the fingers of your two hands.

All of the rest will submissively drop to their knees and kiss his ring the minute he walks through the door.

This began before the 2016 Primaries were complete and never slackened throughout the four years that the Thug-in-Chief occupied the Oval Office.

Did you really think trump leaving the Presidency in disgrace and taking that last ride to Mar-A-Largo was going to change anything?

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Monday, February 22, 2021

There's Littering and there's Environmental Crime

I came across a story on Wednesday about a Florida man who had just been arrested for the crime of littering. Felony littering, that is. Our Department of Environmental Protection was on the case.

As with any crime, any bad act, sometimes the offender is merely dipping his toe in the water, so to speak. But sometimes they’re way out in that beautiful, deep, blue sea, swimming with the sharks.

That’s a better metaphor to use in trying to describe the seriousness of this miscreant’s very, very serious act of littering. All he did was dump ten 250 gal drums of liquid polymers and paint onto someone else’s private land.

So no, it’s not quite like the low-life who pitches his full, greasy Wendy’s bag out of the driver’s side window while cruising down the freeway. No, this unnamed environmental disaster on two legs needed a rental truck and a forklift — and multiple trips — to carry off this Lollapalooza of litter.

Hearing about crimes like this can leave me so angry and frustrated that I hardly know what to do. In this case, it’s a powerful consolation that Florida’s DEP has the necessary tools to hold accountable the criminals who commit such outrages.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Yes, anyone arrested and/or charged with crimes is innocent until proven guilty.

The banner photo is from another incident and is — I’m pretty sure — covered by Fair Use.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Of course they acquitted him -- again

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week or so, you've no doubt heard by now that the Senate has acquitted trump again.

Even though we who watch such things knew in advance that a conviction was not going to happen, the outcome still provokes outrage and disbelief.

There are two things that offer some measure of consolation to Americans who have never chugged trump's noxious Kool Aid. The first is that the presentation by the House managers in pressing the case against the Insurrectionist-in-Chief was spot-on. Very compelling. And I have no doubt that it helped to open the eyes of more than a few Americans about what a selfish, scheming and totally corrupt shit-sack our Poser Prez truly was.

The other bright spot -- if you could call it that -- is that six more Republicans voted for a conviction this time than did on the first go-around a year ago. There's that.

So in the end, the vote was 57-43. If you'd like a concise run-down of how this all played out, this article would be a good place to start.

Mob Boss trump is no longer stinking up the Peoples' House but trumpism is very much alive and well. And although a conviction wouldn't have closed the door on the possibility that we could find ourselves having to traverse the same terrain again in a few months or years, it would almost certainly have made it harder for him to brew up this kind of a shit-storm again.

Well, we go forward again. With a caring and competent President once again on the job, we have the potential to undo a lot of trump's hateful and sickening legacy over the next four years.

But as we do, we know that Hair Hitler's almost certain to pull a Freddy Krueger on us and pop up again, dead-set on inflicting more mayhem on our Nation. 

Today's failure on the part of the Senate to hold him to account for the January 6th insurrection has greatly increased the chances that we'll one day look around and realize that we're witnessing the opening frames of a sickening sequel to the very shitty movie we were forced to watch on that cold, God-forsaken January afternoon five weeks ago.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Environmental File: another troubling sign

Climate scientists are doing great work, trying to get ahead of some of the many problems we're facing as the damage we've done to the Earth becomes more and more apparent.

The way rainfall is distributed around our planet is changing. And, as you might imagine, those changes will become more pronounced going forward.

It's a bleak situation and the effects are being felt over large portions of the Earth.

The good news -- if there is any -- is that we have climate scientists who have their eyes on this, and so many other urgent issues arising out of our collective failure to care for our Planet. 

The bad news is that there are still many citizens -- and governments, sad to say -- who don't believe any of this is real. Or that it arises from human activity.

To have a look at a CBS News article from last week that shines a light on this bleak situation, just follow this link.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Restoration of American Values

That was quite an inauguration that took place a couple of hours ago. This was not an ordinary ceremony, to be sure.

We are watching the restoration of American values which had been under assault and nearly extinguished in the last four years.

Joe Biden took the oath of office at just a few minutes before noon today. Our democracy will move forward.

This took place today amid many troubling signs. Millions of Americans didn't want this swearing in to happen.

Many -- who had embraced a deceptive and fact-free conspiracy theory -- predicted for months that it wouldn't happen.

But Mr. Biden is the 46th President of the United States. And now -- in spite of facing a myriad of daunting issues -- we move forward.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

It happens tomorrow

Back in the early months of 2019, many folks who observe events in American politics were a little surprised at how many Democrats threw their hats into the ring. I think there were close to 20 candidates running and it created an issue about how to conduct the primary debates.

Joe Biden was not the favored, not the sexiest candidate. Not by a long shot. Until the South Carolina contest, almost no one thought he had a chance to become the nominee. Most folks were betting on Bernie.

I was all-in for Kamala Harris, for what it's worth.

Well, we all know now that Joe -- facing some pretty long odds -- did, in fact, get his party's nomination and went on to face Donald trump in the November 3rd General Election.

It's not the purpose of this post to rehash the story of our recently-concluded Presidential contest. Millions of articles -- to say nothing about network and cable coverage and podcasts and so on -- have been written, uttered, broadcasted and uploaded and no, there was no evidence of widespread fraud, and yes, Biden came out on top.

If you believe otherwise, I wouldn't waste a moment of my time or one iota of my energy trying to persuade you. It would be like pissing in the wind.

Suffice to say that Joe faced a lot of obstacles in 2020. He had run twice before and didn't come close either time to getting his shot. But he got to November 3rd and he won. Won without holding seemingly daily in-person super spreader events, constantly slinging shit and telling lies as did his opponent.

And tomorrow he will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

Lead on, sir. We've got your back.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Inauguration of Joe Biden as our 46th President

The shock arising from the assault on the Citadel of Democracy four days ago is still being felt. That will be the case for a while.

One powerful consolation is that the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States will take place, as scheduled, ten days from now.

The date of January 20th is mandated by the 20th Amendment to our Constitution and the Republic will continue to carry out this imperative, the shocking spectacle of Americans breaching our Capitol notwithstanding.

I can across a feature today from the office of the Architect of the Capitol, the governmental entity that is tasked with all the preparations for this sacred ritual of democracy which comes around every four years. It's a very good way to learn more about the intricate preparations that happen in the weeks leading up to this auspicious, recurring event that is an important part of how our democracy moves forward.

We will move forward, make no mistake. We will witness this ceremony, the first step in the restoration of American dignity and of the practice of our salutary traditions.

And we'll move into the next chapter of the American Experiment, not united, but resolved and begin to heal from the last four dark and disastrous years.

 And nothing will prevent that from taking place.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The trashing of the Capitol -- trump's shameful end

Unless you've been living under a rock, by now you've seen the sad spectacle of MAGA  mobs, rioting and running amuck through the Capitol building.

The one good thing from today: those who defend trump's efforts to kill our democracy and take a second term he didn't earn are finding it harder and harder to conceal how radical and untenable their beliefs and agenda are. 

If you've been on trump's side in all of this, don't you dare come out now and say you're appalled at what MAGA nation did today. Those are your people. They're your fellow worshipers at the altar of trump's hateful cult. Don't go reaching for a fig leaf now.

An article this evening from CNN sums up how today's insurrection is trump's responsibility and how it serves as a fitting end to trump's absurd and destructive Presidency.

It started badly, and ended worse -- in a dark display of hateful and toxic theater. 

And that is Donald trump's shameful legacy.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

trump threatens to sic his violent, Fascist supporters on GOP members of congress

More insanity and threats of violence today from the head of the Trump Crime Family.

What Mango Mussolini said is a thinly-veiled, clear threat to use violence in an attempt to force GOP members of Congress to get on board with his insane and futile attempt to subvert the last election and steal a second term:

“I hope the Democrats, and even more importantly, the weak and ineffective RINO [Republican in name only] section of the Republican Party, are looking at the thousands of people pouring into D.C.,” Trump tweeted. “They won’t stand for a landslide election victory to be stolen.”

Our Thug-in-Chief will never admit that he lost the election. When anyone says -- and it's been said thousands of times -- that trump would stop at nothing to keep his hold on power, it may sound cliché but in this case, it's very true.

Although it's impossible to see what will happen next, anyone who thinks that trump's cult followers will not soon rain down violence on those of us who won't quaff the Kool Aid are only fooling themselves.

They've been talking about their violent plans since way before Twitler became President. There's not one shred of evidence to support the theory that it's all just idle talk.

Two things I know for sure: trump cultists have been itching to start the violent actions they believe will keep Dear Leader in power since before he lost the election.

And I believe it won't be long before we all see that they're dead-set on scratching that itch.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

Late edit: After I finished this post, I tuned to MSNBC to see how the Congressional deliberations were going and discovered that the Reich Wing riot had begun a few minutes before I began writing. By the time I published this post, the rioters had been inside the Capitol Building for about 20 minutes.

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile