This has been such a dismal year, in so many ways…and yet, yesterday, November 12, gave us something to rejoice about: it was the 50th anniversary of The Exploding Whale, Oregon’s legendary contribution to contemporary culture.  And in honor of that most sacred (to Oregonians) event, the infamous news video has been remastered, and I present it below for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.
Turn up the volume and listen carefully: in the background, just after the explosion, you can hear a woman advising her (I assume) husband, “All right, Fred, you can take your hands out of your ears…here comes pieces of – oh – uh – whale…”
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Department Of Nomination For Editorial Cartoon Of The Year
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Moiself is still somewhat in shock. Is our nation’s battle with truth-telling and political constipation is finally over, now that we were able to take a giant tRump dump?
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Department Of I Am Happy/Relieved, But Should Be More Ecstatic-er…
As per the Biden-Harris victory. But I’m not. For reasons I shall get into next week….
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Department Of For Those Still Wondering What The “Defund” Fuss Is About
“Defunding” the police means different things to different people; I think it’s a poorly chosen term for a complex problem. But…consider this recent incident, in a small Oregon town, as yet another reason why So Many Of Us ® have concerns (my emphases):
An off-duty Forest Grove police officer faces a criminal mischief allegation after a resident reported that he stumbled into the family’s driveway early Halloween morning, banged and kicked at their front door and yelled at them to fight.
Forest Grove police quickly caught the alleged intruder about 50 yards away and recognized him as one of their own, even giving Officer Steven Teets a ride to his nearby house, investigators confirmed Monday….
Police also don’t have body camera video of Teets’ escort home because the officer who picked him up and gave him a ride home had a body camera that was not recording, a potential  violation of department policy that’s now under investigation, officials said.
“We feel violated by what he did to me and violated by the way this was handled,” said Mirella Castaneda, 39, who called 911 that night to report the scare. … Castaneda said she and her husband were awakened when an alarm from her husband’s truck, parked in their driveway, was activated around 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 31.
It went off twice, and after the second time, she and her husband saw a man emerge from between their two trucks.
The stranger then banged on their Black Lives Matter flag hanging outside their garage door and a Halloween witch decoration on their front lawn, which activated their outside light.
As Castaneda opened the front door and peeked out, the man charged toward her, she said. She slammed the door and locked it.
“The guy is kicking the door, pounding on the door, trying to get in,” she recalled.
Her husband, Pablo Weimann, was looking out their dining room window, yelling at the man, “What the hell do you want?” Their four children had been asleep inside, but their 13-year-old son was awakened by the commotion.
The stranger, according to Castaneda, balled his fists and responded, “Come on! Come on!”
Castaneda called 911 and remained on the line with an emergency dispatcher for about 15 minutes, she said. During that time, the stranger left and the dispatcher told Castaneda that an officer had stopped someone.
When a Forest Grove officer arrived to the family’s home…the officer didn’t seem that concerned but asked if they could describe the stranger, Castaneda said….
Between 2 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., a Washington County sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home and said his office was taking over the case because Forest Grove police personally knew the suspect, according to Castaneda.
( excerpts from The Oregonian, ” Family says off-duty cop terrorized them on Halloween. Forest Grove officer faces criminal mischief allegation. ” )
Definition of mischief (lexico.com) :
Playful misbehavior or troublemaking, especially in children.
(‘she’ll make sure Danny doesn’t get into mischief’)
1.1 Playfulness that is intended to tease, mock, or create trouble.
(‘her eyes twinkled with irrepressible mischief’)
1.2 Harm or trouble caused by someone or something.
(‘she was bent on making mischief’)
Mischief is, apparently, used differently in a legal sense. Still, I find it…less than adequate, to put it mildly…to have the term applied to this situation, even with the modifier criminal preceding it. A police officer, a person who, even when not on the job, carries the advantage of authority (read: a gun and a badge) and then – surprise! – is treated differently (read: leniently…read: fucking *escorted to his home* instead of arrested) by responding officers than how a civilian suspected of the same crime would be dealt with.…
Golly gee; this is not my idea of Little Officer Stevie gettin’ in some “mischief.” For the family, I imagine it was more like, abject fear-inducing, a crazy man is trying to attack us/call-the-police terror…oh, it’s a cop who is terrifying us….
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Department Of Who Was In Charge of Adjectives For This Article’s Headline?
” What the president of the United States did tonight wasn’t complicated but it was stunning, even after four long years of the politically extraordinary.
In his remarks tonight from the White House, Mr. Trump lied about the vote count, smeared his opponents and attempted to undermine the integrity of our electoral system.”
(NY Times, “Trump’s Stunning News Conference,” 11-5-20)
And this is *stunning* because…? And to whom – some nickel miner in New Caledonia ?
No one who has paid a mosquito’s ass worth of attention these past four years would find this stunning. This is what The Tangerine Toddler does.
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Department Of Why Aren’t You Reading Leonard Pitts Jr.’s Column
On A Regular Basis?
Or, maybe you are.
…”If we don’t seek reconciliation, how can we go forward, together?”
The truth? Maybe we can’t…. All I do know is that if it depends on me to reach out to Trump supporters, it will never come to pass.
Please understand: I view this moment through the prism of an African-American man who is a student of history. And one thing that prism has impressed on me is how often this country has sold out Black people in the name of some supposedly greater good.
It happened at the founding, when a condemnation of slavery was removed from the Declaration of Independence to appease the Southern colonies. It happened in 1877 when Rutherford B. Hayes won the presidency in a disputed election after striking a backroom deal to withdraw from the South federal troops who had been protecting black rights — and lives. It happened in the early 20th century when the Senate refused to pass anti-lynching legislation for fear of angering the South. It happened in 1961 when Attorney General Robert Kennedy agreed to the illegal arrest of the Freedom Riders as Mississippi’s price for protecting them from white-supremacist mobs. It happened in 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson blocked a racially mixed delegation from being seated at the Democratic convention because that would offend the South.
Now in 2020, this great-grandson of slaves is expected, in the name of a supposedly greater good, to seek reconciliation with followers of one of the most flagrantly racist — not to mention misogynistic xenophobic and Islamophobic — presidents in history?….
At some point, this country has to… stop asking Black people to swallow insults to their dignity, their integrity, their very being, for the good of the country.
What about what’s good for us? When does that get addressed? At what point does America stand up for us the way it has always asked and expected us to stand up for it?
Trump and his supporters broke this country, and it will take years to repair, if we ever do. They didn’t care then, and as far as I can tell, they don’t care now. So as an African-American student of history — and frankly, just as an American who loves the ideal of America, the truths held self-evident and more perfect union of America — I ask you not to ask me what I will do to reconcile with those people. Here’s a better question:
What will they do to reconcile with me?
(“Blacks are supposed to reconcile with Trump supporters? Nah, not this time. You first.” By Leonard Pitts, Jr. Miami Herald, 11-7-20 )
The many, many reasons I am not in favor of “reaching across the (proverbial, political) aisle” have been and are being expressed by persons more articulate  than moiself . Some of them were stated in the previous excerpts of Mr. Pitt’s op-ed.
Read, or even skim through these articles, if you have the stomach for it.
“The Victory of ‘No’ – The GOP’s unprecedented anti-Obama obstructionism….”
(Politico Magazine, 12-4-16)
“I can’t ever recall a newly elected president being faced with the leader of the other party’s caucus saying “Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president,”’ says (Ed  ) Rendell citing the remark made by Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, that exemplified the fierce partisanship that has attended Obama’s tenure. ‘That McConnell would say that in the first nine months of Barack Obama’s tenure is absolutely stunning, disgraceful, disgusting — you name the term.”
(Peter J. Boyer, writing in Newsweek, Sept. 10, 2012, quote from WaPo fact checker article “When did McConnell say he wanted to make Obama a ‘one-term president’?”)
“The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama”
( Time magazine, 8-23-12 )
“The GOP’s no-compromise pledge”
( Politico, 10-28-2010 )
“Republicans Keep Admitting Everything
They Said About Obama Was a Lie”
(The New Yorker , 2-11-19)
The behavior of congressional Republicans during the past 12 years have made it plain as to the futility of across-the-aisle-reaching. Democrats can reach all they want; Republicans refuse to do so. They’ve even bragged about their obstructionism.
Joe Biden, the nation’s president-elect and Kindhearted Uncle In Chief, has spouting the rhetoric of working together, going forward, reaching across the aisle. Biden is perhaps the best – and one of the only – politicians capable of such magnanimity…even so, I say, Yeah, good luck with that, Joe. Given that across-the-aisle for the past twelve years perches that monstrous vulture, obstructionist Mitch McConnell and his miserable minions, whose policy has been It-doesn’t-matter-what’s-best-for-the-country-we-have-to-be-sure-that-whatever-happens-THEY-LOSE.
I feel a deep, simmering, hard-to-accurately-describe rage when I hear calls for “reaching across the aisle,” “not treating your opponents as enemies,” and other statements which imply that seeking justice is “looking backwards, not forwards.” These calls are, of course, not coming from those on the Right who most need to beg for reconciliation with those whom they’ve wronged, but from Well-Meaning People ® on the Left.
“Swalwell calls for creation of presidential crimes commission to investigate Trump when he leaves office”
( The Hill, 8-14-20 )
I’ve been surprised by how many Well-Meaning People ® also seem hesitant to hold #45 et all responsible for their crimes, because, they say, they fear doing so may throw “gasoline on the fire” and be viewed by #45’s already volitile supporters as an act of vengeance.
Giving into the loudest/most unreasonable voices does not keep the peace, nor does it snuff the fire. Stop tip-toeing around the feelings of people who would support such a disgraceful, delinquent, despotic politician as #45. Such people Don’t. Care. What. You. Think. Or. Say. About. Them.
A thorough investigation of how #45 and his nepotistic nest of nincompoops and comrades abused and profited from the office of the presidency is not seeking vengeance, it is enacting justice. Prosecuting lawbreakers is what prosecutors do. In particular, a POTUS like #45, who appealed to tribalism via using the law-and-order tag, should be held accountable for breaking the law and fomenting disorder. To do otherwise is to uphold the fundamentally anti-American notion that a POTUS is above the law, and would help write the playbook as to how crimes and corruptions will be excused for the next would-be despot to occupy the Oval Office. 
As my friend and political blogger Spocko put it,
When Biden wins I’m going to be a sore winner.
Sure Democrats can reach across the aisle–if they’re serving subpoenas.
I’ll “look backwards” at the crimes committed by Trump, his family, elected & appointed officials in the GOP.
What will I “look forward” to?
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But…I am trying to concentrate on some good, less stressful things.
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Department Of Nominee For Quote Of The Year
Dateline and context: Tuesday morning, breakfast. MH is standing beside the table, looking over a jigsaw puzzle (“Rosie the Riveter”) which has been on our puzzle board for far too long. He has done the majority of the work; our cats, over the weeks, have done some overnight “rearranging” of the pieces.
MH is talking about completing the puzzle, about how it would probably be best to do “the blue section” next, as there aren’t many pieces in that section, and he’s got them all organized according to color…. He’s not addressing me specifically (he almost sounds as if he’s thinking aloud)…oh, but of course he is – who else is there? And he’s using a very gentle, encouraging voice, as if I’m a novice and/or special needs puzzle-doer. It’s not patronizing, but for some reason his placid encouragement cracks me up. I start giggling to moiself …but it doesn’t stay with moiself, and soon morphs into teary-eyed laughter. It is a full minute before I can collect moiself and answer his “Okay; why are you laughing?” query.
I tell him why.  His mumbled comment, as he sorts through the blue puzzle pieces while feigning indignation:
“This is why people are quiet.”
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Pun For The Day
Why do grizzlies hate this part of my blog? They can’t bear puns.
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May you know that you can pursue justice *and* reach across the aisle;
May you understand what the fuss is all about;
May you remember why people are sometimes quiet;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 Well, that and Tonya Harding.
 Whaddya mean, “potential” violation?
 And less prone to profanity, at least in print.
 Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania.
 This should be footnote #5, don’t you think?
 Did you know that four out of three dentists recommend footnote reading instead of flossing?