After Hurricane Laura, Trump Visits Louisiana And Texas, And Solves Flooding Problem!





Trump 1
“Louisiana is a tremendous state for me, and now I’m taking care of you – here’s the Bounty, the quicker picker upper!”
Trump 4
“Mop up the water – and your tears – with these.  Brawny paper towels, for truly tough messes!”
Trump 2
“I hear it’s going to rain this afternoon.  Messes are a part of life!  Soak ‘em up with VIVA!”
Image: President Trump throws rolls of paper towels to residents gathered in a chapel while visiting areas damaged by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico
“Many people told me this was the strongest storm to hit southwest Louisiana!  Here’s Scott, the strongest paper towel, common sense on a roll!”
Trump 5
“Our hearts go out to families who lost loved ones – and so do these paper towels!”


Image: Donald Trump Golf
“Ah, Mar-A-Lago – what a relief, after that shithole in Louisiana!”


I Met My New Neighbor…

The above image is my interpretation of a recent encounter between me and my new neighbor.

Yes, it was a rattlesnake.

And though the heroes who removed it assured me that the snake was “just a baby,” I beg to differ.

That rattlesnake didn’t know it was “just a baby.”  What it did know was that it had fangs, and venom, and knew how to use them.

And “baby” rattlesnakes are even scarier than adults, because they’re born without the rattle.  The rattle grows each time the snake sheds its skin, so a baby rattler may not have shed enough times to give a warning before striking.Rattlesnake (3)

But even if the rattle has developed, there’s no Rattlesnake for Dummies book that tells rattlesnakes there’s a rule that they must shake that rattle before striking.

There are no rules for rattlesnakes, period.

Like that nonsense about “rattlesnake season.”

People around here talk about rattlesnake season as the months of April through October – as though rattlesnakes pay any attention to the human calendar.

Do those who espouse this theory think that rattlesnake in my yard, poised to strike, would suddenly pause and think, “Wait – what month is it?  March?  OK, it’s not my season to bite” and just slither back under its rock?

Not cropped

And please spare me any further blather about how “fatalities from rattlesnake bites are rare if treated in a timely manner.”

You see that key word, “if”?

And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “between 7,000 and 8,000 people per year are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States, but only five of them die each year.”

You see that key word, “only”?

There’s no “only” if you’re one of the five.

And yes, I know rattlesnakes help control the rodent population, and I’m grateful and all that.  There are plenty of rodents out there, so why bite me?  A rattlesnake can swallow a mouse whole…

eating mouse

But what the hell would it do with me?

If, after all this, you still think rattlesnakes are swell, then come on out to Southern California and have a cuddle-up – we have four types, so you can…

Pick your poison:

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Southwestern Speckled


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Southern Pacific

Red Diamond

If Trump Has His Way, Here’s What The Welcoming Committee At Your Polling Place Will Look Like:

According to a recent Washington Post article, in an August 20 interview with Fox News host Sean “Trump Whore” Hannity, Trump described law enforcement officers as part of a phalanx of authorities he hopes will monitor poling places in November:

“We’re going to have everything,” the president said.  “We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement, and we’re going to hopefully have U.S. attorneys and we’re going to have everybody, and attorney generals.”

Of course, that last should be “attorneys general,” but what’s one more display of Trump’s ignorance?

And speaking of Trump’s ignorance, according to the article,

“The president has limited authority to order law enforcement to patrol polling places.  Sheriff’s deputies and police officers are commanded at the local level, and a federal law bars U.S. government officials from sending ‘armed men’ to the vicinity of polling places.”

But why would Trump want sheriffs, etc. at polling places?

For safety reasons, not voter suppression, insisted White House chief of staff/chief toady Mark Meadows, in an August 23 Fox News interview:

“If the judges at those polling places need any kind of security, we’re going to make sure we have the resources to do that.”uh-huhyeah-sure-d cropped fixed

“I think what the president was really addressing was to make sure that if you want to show up and vote in person, we’re going to make sure that that is safe.  Whether you’re voting for him, or you’re voting for Joe Biden, or you’re voting for some other candidate.”

In other words, Trump and his Republican toadies just want safer polling places.

Safer than what? I wondered.

Safer from what? I wondered.

And since when has safety been an issue at polling places?

Have polling places, in the past, been overrun with zombies?


Are vampires sneaking up on unsuspecting voters and…


Or perhaps the boogeyman has been seen slithering from voting booth to voting booth?


Speaking of boogeyman, its definition is “a terrifying or dreaded person or thing.”

The boogeyman is real:


But he won’t be around much longer:

And look how the rats are deserting the sinking ship!


Jeff Flake

Michael Steele cropped

Security People

Oh, Well…What’s One More Dead Woman?

TO:  Manuel Leiva and Frank Salvato, Lawyers

RE:  The death of Karla Dominguez.

HimManuel and Frank, are you feeling proud of yourselves these days?

Are you high-fiving each other for getting your client out of jail?

Not because he’d been tried and found not guilty, but because of the pandemic?

Your client, Ibrahim E. Bouaichi (left).

The story was all over the media…

Headline (2)

For one day.

In these crazy coronavirus times, I suppose it’s amazing the story received any coverage at all.

After all…

karla_01What’s one more dead woman?

Here’s what the media coverage had to say:

We’re going back to last October

On October 10 there was an “incident” in the apartment of Karla Dominguez, 31 (left).  It was violent, and it was not consensual, she testified in Alexandria District Court in December.

The man she accused – your client, Ibrahim E. Bouaichi – was indicted on charges including rape, sodomy, strangulation and abduction, and jailed without bond in Alexandria, VA.

Manuel and Frank, your sympathy for the victim, Dominguez, was clear:

“‘The two individuals involved were boyfriend/girlfriend,’ the lawyers wrote, ‘and there is a substantial defense here.’”

Now, under Virginia law, those charged with certain violent crimes such as rape are presumed to be a danger and are not eligible for bond.

So Bouaichi languished in an Alexandria, VA jail…

Opportunity Knocks croppedAnd then came the pandemic.

Manuel and Frank, talk about opportunity knocking right on your door!

You decided that the virus was a danger to both inmates and to yourselves, and that Bouaichi should be freed awaiting trial.

You put together a motion for bond that asked for Bouiachi’s release because “social distancing and proper disinfecting measures are impossible while incarcerated.… Simply put, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in a jail is exceedingly obvious.”

Whoa!  “Exceedingly obvious”!  Talk about lawyerly language!prisoners

You also noted the risk for yourselves in the jail, saying that lawyers seeking a contact visit would “also expose themselves to contaminated air and surfaces.”

And you claimed that the Alexandria jail had “imposed severe restrictions on visitation since the Covid-19 outbreak,” that all contact visits (meaning no glass or separation between visitor and inmate) were stopped, and that the lawyers could only have video conference sessions lasting 30 minutes maximum.

A trial date had been set for Bouaichi, and you, Manuel and Frank, said he was “being effectively deprived of legal counsel.”

The Alexandria jail officials’ story differed from yours.  They said that they do allow contact visits for attorneys upon request, and have accommodated several requests.

“However,” jail spokeswoman Amy Bertsch added, “we do not have any record of Mr. Leiva or his co-counsel requesting a face-to-face visit with Ibrahim Bouaichi after the protocols went into effect in late March.”

Imagine that.  You, Manuel and Frank, were claiming that you couldn’t get a contact visit how croppedwith Bouaichi, and the spokeswoman said there was no record of your requesting one!

How did this happen, I wonder?

“We have also provided video conferences in excess of 30 minutes,” Bertsch said.

Bertsch also said that the jail implemented increased cleaning and health screening in early March “and there were no cases of COVID-19 at the jail during their client’s incarceration.”

april-9-2020 croppedNevertheless, on April 9, over the objections of an Alexandria prosecutor, Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins released Bouaichi on $25,000 bond, with the condition that he only leave his Maryland home to meet with his lawyers or pretrial services officials.

And on April 9, Bouaichi walked out of jail.

Way to go, guys!

And I’m betting that you, Manuel and Frank, assured the judge that your client would do exactly as he was told.

But…he didn’t.

may-8-2020 croppedShortly before midnight on May 8, Bouaichi was away from home, but not to meet with his lawyers or pretrial services officials.

Instead, he was at a Wendy’s drive-through in Greenbelt, MD.  Someone had reported Bouaichi to police as a possible robber.  Police officers at the scene described him as “acting strangely,” and indeed, he was:

He put his vehicle in drive and rammed a K-9 officer’s vehicle, which an officer and a police dog were sitting in.

The officers eventually took him into custody, at which point Bouaichi reported having a medical issue.  He was taken to a hospital, and then to the Prince George’s jail, where he was served multiple charges:  two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, harming a law enforcement dog, resisting arrest, driving while may-11-2020 croppedintoxicated and multiple traffic charges.

Bouaichi was released on bond from jail on May 11.

Manuel and Frank, the media stories didn’t say that you got Bouaichi released, but who else – but you?

And who else but you would be so caring and clever to not advise the Greenbelt police that your client was an accused rapist out on bond from Alexandria, VA, about 30 minutes away?

Way to cover for your client!

The media coverage doesn’t appear to mention Bouaichi again until the Alexandria july-29-2020 croppedpolice received a report of gunshots on Wednesday, July 29.

At 6:20am they found Dominguez outside her apartment, dead of multiple wounds to the upper body.

Police obtained a murder warrant for Bouaichi on Friday, July 31, but couldn’t find him until the following Wednesday, five days later.

august-5-2020 croppedOn that Wednesday, August 5 morning, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Alexandria officers spotted Bouaichi’s car in Prince George’s County.  As they moved in to arrest him, he shot himself, Alexandria police said.

He died Saturday, August 8 at a local hospital, police said in a news release.

Manuel and Frank, did you know where your client was during those eight days?

You’re not saying.

You’re not saying anything, except this:

“Leiva and Salvato said in a statement they were ‘certainly saddened by the tragedy both families have suffered here.’  The lawyers said they ‘were looking forward to trial.  Unfortunately the pandemic continued the trial date by several months and we didn’t get the chance to put forth our case.’”

What a bummer – you didn’t “get the chance” to put forth your case!

Just think of the website potential here!

Manuel and Frank, you could have jazzed up your ho-hum websites from this:

Manuel (2)

And this:

Frank Website (2)

To this:

Final (2)

And this:

Frank with banner (2)

No need to mention that your client died before he could be tried.

No need to confuse people with the facts.

No need to mention this fact, either:

The Karla Dominguez, who accused your client of rape, is also dead.

Oh, well.

What’s one more dead woman?


Movie Review:  One Of The Most Fascinating Women You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Release date:  2008Movie

Review, short version:  Two thumbs up.

Review, long version:

If you like learning about something about which you know nothing – and I do – then watching Warrior Queen Boudica would be an hour and 40 minutes well spent.

If you think you’ve maybe heard of Boudica but aren’t sure, it may be because she’s also variously referred to as Boudicca, Boadicea, Boudicea, and Buddug.  For the sake of my sanity, I’ll stick with Boudica.

Information about Boudica comes from Roman scholars, primarily Tacitus (56 AD-120 AD) and Cassius Dio (163 AD-c. 235 AD).  The big events in Boudica’s life happened in 60 AD – Tacitus was age four or five, and Cassius Dio wasn’t born until 100+ years later.  So it’s tempting to wonder if Boudica actually existed, or if her story is the stuff of legend.

1200px-Ma CroppedBut, since many scholars accept her story as true, let’s do the same.

Boudica was married to Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, an ancient Celtic tribe that once inhabited Eastern Britain (on map, in red).  The Romans had conquered Britain, but Prasutagus had an arrangement with his rulers – he remained king, but only as an ally of the Romans.

In 60 AD, when Boudica was probably in her 30s, Prasutagus died without a male heir.  The Romans tore up the agreement, annexed his kingdom and confiscated his family’s land and property.  To make sure the message was understood – and perhaps because Queen Boudica objected – the Romans flogged her and raped her two daughters.

What the Romans hadn’t counted on was the loyalty of the Iceni to their queen.  When Boudica decided to rebel against the Romans in 60 AD, the Iceni rallied behind her, and together they started kicking some serious Roman ass:

Boudica’s siege of the temple of Claudius in Camulodunum (Colchester).  Artist unknown, 19th century.
  • They defeated the Ninth Roman Legion, a group of highly trained and heavily armed professional soldiers, an unimaginable feat by “savages” lead by a “mere” woman.
  • They destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), the capital of Roman Britain, and massacred its inhabitants.
  • They did much the same to Londinium (London) and Verulamium (modern St. Albans).

Tacitus claimed that the Britons massacred some 70,000 Romans and pro-Roman Britons before the Roman legions finally defeated Boudica and her army.

The fate of Boudica and her daughters is unknown, though the widely accepted belief is in their suicide to avoid capture.

We don’t know what Boudica looked like, and the one dissonant note in the film was how she was portrayed, or rather – how she was dressed.  I don’t think appearing in a bustier – that showed her tan line! – added to the story:


Otherwise, I learned a lot, and that made me want to learn more, and that’s a good thing.

For example, that perhaps our rebel Queen got the last word.

Now considered a folk hero, this 19th century statue honoring Boudica and her daughters resides near Westminster Pier in London…

One of the cities she burned to the ground:


This Recent Headline Caught My Eye:

The article opens with the statement,

“A growing number of Republican women are sounding the alarm about continuing loss of support for President Trump and the GOP among female voters ahead of the November election, warning that the party is in danger of permanently alienating women if it doesn’t change course.

“Trump’s flailing response to the coronavirus pandemic and his move to inflame nationwide racial tensions are exacerbating an already precarious situation, according to interviews with female Republican lawmakers and GOP pollsters focused on female voters.”

Later on, the article says:

“Once willing to overlook controversies because their families were doing well, the security these voters felt with the booming economy is now gone because of the pandemic, the pollsters say.  Now they are worried about their children, their elderly parents and their livelihoods – and they don’t see Trump as a leader who can protect them.”

Now, isn’t that interesting?

Republican women are turning away from Trump because of how he’s handling the pandemic, economic disaster and social unrest.

Now, and only now, when it’s hitting close to home.

Because the families that “were doing well…”

Aren’t doing so well now.

These Republican women who were “willing to overlook controversies” and gladly voted for Trump in 2016.

Voted for him in November 2016, even though this story got international coverage in October 2016:

2016 Wash Post (2)

Republican women heard Trump say, “I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star, they let you do it.  You can do anything…Grab ‘em by the pussy.  You can do anything.”

Republican women gladly “overlooked” this controversy.

And the many deplorable things that Trump continued to do to, and say about, women, since the election:



Go back to countries they came from

And the many deplorable things Trump continues to do to, and say about, women – these about Kamala Harris, in the hours after the August 11 announcement of Harris as Biden’s running mate:

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the president described Harris’s questioning of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing as “extraordinarily nasty” – “nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing.”

Trump demeaned her as “angry” and “horrible.”

Trump described her as “nasty” or “nastier” four times.

We knew President Trump would come up with a nickname for Kamala D. Harris as soon as Joe Biden named the California senator as his running mate.  “Phony Kamala” is what the president seems to have settled on.

President Trump on Thursday encouraged a racist conspiracy theory that is rampant among some of his followers:  that Senator Kamala Harris, the presumptive Democratic vice-presidential nominee born in California, was not eligible for the vice presidency or presidency because her parents were immigrants.

And this, from Trump’s son:

On Twitter, Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, favorited a tweet, which was later deleted, that referred to Ms. Harris as a “whorendous pick.”

Trump’s insulting remarks about women are easy to find – if you google “Trump hates women” you get about 12,900,000 results.

Not that Republican women – over these past torturous years while Trump has occupied the White House – would ever bother to google “Trump hates women.”

They didn’t care.

They still don’t care.

You, Republican women, don’t even care that Trump refers to you as “suburban housewives”:

Tweet (2)

But now – when some of you Republican women have tragically lost a loved one to COVID-19.

Only now – when some of you Republican women are stuck at home with your kids, trying to ensure (because their schools are closed) that the kids are getting some semblance of a decent education online.

Only now – when some of you Republican women have lost your jobs, or your partners have lost their job.  Or you’ve both lost your jobs.

Only now, when it’s up close and personal, are you Republican women feeling you “don’t see Trump as a leader who can protect” you.

Well, ladies…

real-world cropped

And you are welcome.

If you’re turning away from Trump, regardless of the reason.

And if you vote Biden/Harris, regardless of your party affiliation.

And if, after Trump is gone on January 20, you’re willing to come together and start trying to bring our country out of the darkness…

Economy (2)


covid (2)


These Are A Few Of My (Least) Favorite Things

If you remember the movie The Sound of Music then you’ll remember the song, “My Favorite Things.”

Recently that song got stuck in my head, and it was only a matter of time before my least favorite things also started coming to mind.

Here are some of my least favorite things:

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Hair_05 cropped Hair_02 cropped
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Exec order holding cropped exec order signing_02 cropped
long tie cropped long tie_01 cropped
MAGA hat cropped Maga cropped
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Thumb Up One cropped Thumbs Up Two cropped
trump children_02 trump children
Orange Face cropped Orange cropped
trump angry_02 cropped trump angry_01 cropped
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One of my favorite things:  June 20, 2020, Trump after his Tulsa rally:

Trump after Tulsa cropped

Now Republicans Have Even More Incentive to Suppress Minority Voting:

It’s no secret that “Republicans” and “voter suppression” go hand-in-hand:

Rolling (2)

Guardian (2)

Wash (2)

And I suggest that Republicans got a chance to practice voter suppression in Puerto Rico:

NY (2)

On August 9 Puerto Rico was forced to partially suspend voting in primaries due to a lack of ballots.

A lack of ballots.

A great strategy to have in the voter suppression toolbox.

You may be wondering, why didn’t they just do mail-in ballots in Puerto Rico?

According to an August 10 NPR article,

“…in Puerto Rico, as in a handful of states, absentee voting is still only offered to those with an excuse for why they cannot vote in person, which is why voters there had little choice but to go to the polls in person.”primary_02

So on primary voting day, hundreds of frustrated Puerto Rican voters (who wore the required face masks, braved a spike in COVID-19 cases and the hot-as-hell weather) were turned away from centers across Puerto Rico as officials told them that no ballots were available.

Many people waited, but by early afternoon only a handful of polling places had received their paper ballots.

voters turned away
An official turns away two voters at a voting center lacking ballots.

The lack of ballots meant people were only able to vote in nearly 60 of 110 precincts.

This situation is unexplainable and becomes even more so, since the primary election had already been delayed once, moved from June 7 to August 9, because of the pandemic.

Plenty of time to get ballots printed and ready for delivery in plenty of time for voting day.

Now the ballot shortage means that some precincts – the locations that did not have ballots available to start voting by 1:45 p.m. Sunday – will be open to cast ballots again on Sunday, August 16.

However, lawsuits have been filed and that could change.

Lawsuits – just like what’s predicted for the November election:

Lawsuits (2)

In the meantime, the Blame Game in Puerto Rico went into full swing:

  • Political party officials laid blame with the island’s election commission.
  • The head of the election commission pointed the finger at a printing facility.
  • Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board said it had fully funded the elections commission and a lack of money could not be to blame.

Why do I think the Puerto Rico primary was Republicans practicing voter suppression?

Because though Puerto Ricans are American citizens, they can’t vote in a presidential election.

So why not do a no-ballots practice run now, and see if it flies?

And it flew, all right.  It flew…

Bat cropped

Now Republicans can sit back and do a Puerto Rico primary postmortem:

Republican #1:  Did you see those headlines?  We did it!

NBC Final (2)

Republican #1:  And did you see that figure?  Out of 110 precincts, people could only vote in about 60!

Republican #2:  Yeah!  No ballots!  We really did it!

Republican #3:  Definitely in the toolbox for November.

Republican #1:  Yeah, but only in precincts with lots of minority voters, right?

Republican #3:  Right.  Now let’s get back to how we’ll suppress those damn mail-in ballots.

Republican #2:  Love what Trump’s doing to Nevada!

Nevada (2)

I Don’t Use The Word “Hate” Often, But I Hate…

The pandemic tragedy has brought infections, deaths, millions of people out of work,scammer cropped many in danger of eviction…

And something else:


There was a new surge of scammers as people lost their jobs and filed for unemployment.

There was another surge of scammers when the government stimulus money started going out.

scammer_02 croppedWe began getting phone calls from someone purporting to be a bank or a government official, needing personal information to facilitate our getting that unemployment compensation and/or pandemic relief.

More calls – from scammers saying they were doing coronavirus contact tracing and asking for our personal information to help them follow up with people possibly infected.

Fake websites began making appearances, too.  Some look like legitimate government sites, while other pretend to be selling items we want – face masks, hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies.  The first want your Social Security number; the second, your credit card number.

Other websites offer coronavirus cures and tests – appealing in these desperate times, but all bogus.

There are even what look like real company websites posting fake job openings on online job boards, set up to fool job hunters into handing over personal information or to send money.

“Send money?” you’re thinking.  “How could someone be fooled into sending a prospective employer money?”woman

Answer:  Easy.  The scammer tells the victim that they need to pay upfront for background checks or screenings, job training, or work-from-home equipment or supplies.  Many times, victims are told they’ll be reimbursed for these expenses with their first paycheck.

People are desperate for work, and so…

Then there are – perhaps the most despicable of all – scammers who pretend they represent charities, contacting people by phone, email, texts, letters, and even going door to door.

One example of the latter is operating here in San Diego, according to this recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Union Trib (2)

San Diego Second Chance Program, which provides workforce readiness training, sober-living housing and educational programs to formerly incarcerated youths and adults, is a legitimate non-profit, according to

Charity (2)

And that means these scammers are the worst kind of scammer scum – not only are they ripping off donors, but they’re damaging the reputation of a legitimate organization; people who hear/read about the scam may think, “Second Chance – didn’t I read or hear about them scamming people?”

No, you did not hear/read about Second Chance Program scamming people, but you were busy or distracted or something, and only saw or heard the words “Scam” and “Second Chance” grouped together.

Here’s how these scum operate, according to the Union-Tribune article:older

“The solicitors – sometimes carrying a fake badge or document with the organization’s name – approach a home pretending to be representatives of Second Chance and ask people to donate money, buy candy or a magazine subscription.”

And even though, says the article, Second Chance has this warning on its website:

“Second Chance does not solicit funds door-to-door.  Nor do we send our youth out in the community to sell candy or subscriptions.”

Still, many people make donations of $10 to $20 to the fake solicitors, according to Maureen Polimadei, the donor and volunteer engagement manager for Second Chance.

And that’s too bad.

Scammers, like evil, have been around forever.

So, too, have their victims – people, some with the best of intentions, some too gullible, and some too ill-informed about the bad people out there.

And because of them, Second Chance may get less funding, and have fewer of these:

More than 90% of Second Chance job-readiness training graduates secure full-time employment within 30 days of completing the program.

Does This Crybaby Remind You Of Anyone?


In the now-infamous Axios interview that aired August 3, Trump – unsurprisingly – said a number of execrable things.

But what’s stayed with me were his responses to questions about the highly respected, late civil rights leader and Georgia congressman John Lewis:

Image 1 (2)

Geez, what a crybaby!

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Then he said it again!  A crybaby AND a whiner!

Image 3 (2)

Then he said:

Image 4 (2)

Talk about carrying a grudge!

Well, you just keep carrying those grudges, Baby Donny.

And on January 20, carry them right out the White House door:

Front Door (2)

Our Country’s Health Should Be This…

rude healthIt may be hard to imagine anyone using the word “rude” as a compliment.

“Rude,” meaning “offensively impolite or ill-mannered.”

Yet at one time – you don’t hear it much nowadays – if you told someone they looked “in rude health,” it was, indeed, a compliment.

“Rude” in this case meaning “strong and robust.”

“In rude health” was the phrase recently applied to the art market by Sotheby’s, an international auction house that’s been “uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744,” according to their website.

They did some serious “uniting” at a livestreamed auction in late July that brought in a total of $192.7 million:

Auction July 28 cropped
The Sotheby’s team taking calls from auction bidders.  I guess the folks on the left thought a hand over the mouth was a good substitute for a face mask?

An art market in “rude health,” indeed.

The auction featured 65 artworks, with five selling for more than $10 million:

This 1632 self-portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn, measuring about eight by six inches, for $18.7 million, or about $389,583 per square inch:

Rembrandt larger

Joan Miró’s Peinture (Femme au chapeau rouge) (Woman in a Red Hat) from 1927, which fetched $28.9 million.  The great thing about this painting is the option of hanging it right side up, or upside down, or turn it on its side, and who’s to know?

miro_02 smaller

A 1914 oil-on-burlap painting by Fernand Léger for $15.8 million entitled Still Life, which proves there is a great use for those old burlap rags in your garage:

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Alberto Giacometti’s 28-inch 1958 bronze Anorexic – I mean, Standing Woman, for $13.8 million.  This piece apparently is an example of Giacometti’s “sign of existential struggle for meaning.”  Or, maybe money.  I’m not sure which:

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This oil painting by Gerhard Richter, which sold for $13.6 million, is entitled either Wolken, Fenster, Clouds or Window, and considering what the new owner paid for it, I guess they can call it whatever they want:

richter_02 cropped

People who sell their possessions through auction houses usually choose to remain anonymous, but Ronald Perelman, the billionaire owner of the Revlon cosmetics company, was outed by Bloomberg, which revealed that Perelman was selling not one, but two paintings at Sotheby’s July auction.

It seems, according to the New York Times, that ole Ron’s “profits have slumped in recent years,” and his net worth, according to Forbes, has dwindled to a mere $6.2 billion.

So the poor guy packed up the Miro pictured above, and a painting by Henri Matisse, wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ that they’d sell for the estimate of up to $57 million.


The two paintings sold for only $37.3 million.


I can’t help but think of the juxtaposition between this headline:

NY Times (2)

And this one:

WSJ (2)

I might even point out the use of the word “million” in both headlines.

But that would probably be…

rude cropped larger

As F. Scott Fitzgerald Said…

There are plenty of pandemic-related things to worry about, but here’s one that’s causing me no concern:

Where to get my glam.

A recent TV commercial assured me that I could get my glam at the La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre (LJCSC), about 20 minutes north of San Diego:

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Let’s start with that word “Centre.”

Centre is how they spell center in France.  Most Americans won’t admit it, but we have a notion that the way European countries do and say and spell things is superior to ours, and that using Centre rather than Center gives a name more panache.

More je ne sais quoi, if you get my drift.

More pretentious, if you get my drift.

Then there’s La Jolla.

Pronounced la hoi´ ah.

Emphasis on that second syllable hoi´ as in hoi polloi, which means “masses of common people,” which couldn’t be further from the demographics of La Jolla.

The population of around 40,000 lives in homes averaging a cool $1.8 million, though there are plenty of higher-end places like this one:

La Jolla Farms

This is La Jolla Farms, which sold for $23.5 million awhile back, and if you see any cows or pigs on the Farms’ “five+ oceanfront acres,” would you let me know?

The town’s official website refers to it as “La Jolla by the Sea,” and based on this aerial shot, I’d say that’s accurate:


Which demonstrates my stupidité, referring to it earlier simply as “La Jolla.”

As for jolla, the residents like to tell you that it’s Spanish for “jewel,” but it isn’t.

According to the experts, jolla means “holes or caves,” which La Jolla has along its coast.

But who’d want to live in a town called “The Hole by the Sea”?

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All this sounding totally pretentious, which leads us back to La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre.

Where, we’re assured, we can research glam in their GLAMipedia:

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When I saw their commercial for first time about a month ago, I thought, “Are they kidding me?  Advertising plastic – excuse me – cosmetic surgery during a pandemic?  Elective surgery during a pandemic?  And who’s thinking about their glam during a pandemic, anyway?”

But as Fitzgerald said, “The rich are different” from us hoi polloi, and the rich mostly aren’t concerned about being evicted or putting food on the table.

So LJCSC is running an ad campaign to let the rich know that, when they got to get their glam, here’s the place to get it.

La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Center decided there was a pandemic-proof market for their services, so I decided to delve a bit deeper.

Not to use their services, mind you, but to mock them.

I started with something I’d never seen before:  A “Breast” drop-down menu:

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Wow, look at all those options!

And wow again!  Look at all the options on the “Body” drop-down menu:

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Just when you’d almost given up on EVER getting a Brazilian Butt Lift!

And “Face and Skin” – talk about a full overhaul:

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Who knew there were so many ways to get our glam?

As I continued exploring I realized I was reaching the point of over-glam, though I couldn’t leave the LJCSC website without checking out the prices.  Let’s see…how about plastic surgery:

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These, of course, are “Costs* of San Diego Plastic Surgeries” – that asterisk after Costs* leading us to the advisory that our cost at LJCSC “requires a personal consultation.”

But no worries about price because LJCSC has…

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The GLAMfam VIP Loyalty Club!  So you can save, save, save when you have “Breast Augmentation,” change your mind, and have that pesky stuff taken out via “Breast Implant Removal”!

You can get your face lifted, your chin enlarged, and your earlobes reduced!

You can…you can…


Unless they were actually talking about GLAM…as in…

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In which case…


“Two Heads Are Better Than One” – Except These Two Heads:

To suggest that Trump is losing his mind would be to imply that he has a mind to lose, and as we know all too well…


So it was no surprise that Trump’s July 30 tweet suggesting delaying the election…

Trump Tweet

Brought this immediate reaction:

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Even from Trump’s Republican toadies:

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Except for this toady:

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William Barr, our Attorney General, who, earlier in the week, when asked about that very topic of delaying the election at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, said:

“I’ve never been asked the question before, I’ve never looked into it.”

Which translates into the obvious:

That the Attorney General, who is often referred to as our country’s “chief law enforcement officer…”

Doesn’t know the law.

Specifically, the 1845 federal law that fixed the date of the election as the Tuesday after the first Monday in November:

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It would take a change in federal law to move that date.  That would mean legislation enacted by Congress, signed by the president and subject to challenge in the courts.

Trump’s above tweet is far from the first time he’s sought to undermine mail-in voting, often with unsubstantiated claims.  He’s attacked mail voting nearly 70 times since late March in interviews, remarks and tweets, including at least 17 times in July, according to a tally by The Washington Post.

With Barr supporting him, every step of the way:

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Here are a couple of quotes where Trump claims that Democrats are using the pandemic to support mail-in ballots:

June 21:

“Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history – unless this stupidity is ended. We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!”

June 22:

“The Democrats are also trying to rig the election by sending out tens of millions of mail-in ballots, using the China virus as the excuse for allowing people not to go to the polls.”

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The Trump/Barr tragedy will continue for awhile yet, up to and including Trump losing the election.

And then…:

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