Apex


If apex means “top”, the world’s apex predator might just be a tiny spider. Meet Euophrys Omnisuperstes, ( Latin for “standing above everything” ) the Himalayan Jumping Spider,  highest known permanent resident life form on Earth. This quarter inch long, eight eyed, claw footed jumping spider capable of leaping distances 50 times its body length, thrives at elevations of 22,000 feet above sea level. Himalayan Jumping Spiders inhabit a realm so improbable, their only food source is insects carried by the wind.

Meet the Spider that Lives On Top of the World: the Himalayan Jumping Spider

For perspective, Mt. Everest south base camp in Nepal sits at 17,598 feet. At this elevation oxygen levels are 50% that of sea level. Worlds above the tree line, far beyond the domain of Snow Leopards, high above clusters of Nepalese Snub Nose Monkeys https://www.newscientist.com/article/2101954-secrets-of-how-primates-can-live-at-extreme-altitude-revealed/ whose only sustenance is lichen or rare thermal pool prisoners of high altitude hot springs, the Bailey’s snake https://reptiles.fandom.com/wiki/Thermophis_baileyi – tiny eight eyed jumping spiders wait for lunch to blow in on the wind. Why spider, why?

Make no mistake, spiders rule. Sure cockroaches survive underwater for half an hour, monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles to a miniscule patch of Mexican forest, but it’s the spider who stands above everything.

Do You Mind If I Play Through?


Well known Canadian political cartoonist Michael de Adder found out the hard way where Canada draws the line. More accurately, where employer Brunswick News butters their toast. Brunswick News is owned by the Irving family, 8th richest Canadian dynasty whose billions are credited to Irving Oil. Their oil, gas, shipping and transportation interests rely heavily on cross border good will.

Canada’s Richest People: The Irving Family

de Adder was “let go”, his contract terminated when social media took flight with this image –

Seems Canadian billionaires are no different than America’s filthy rich. Huffington Post political cartoonist Wes Tyrell tweeted –

Wes Tyrell @tyrell_wes

Whether the powers that be in America would make the connection between de Adder’s cartoon and Brunswick News doesn’t matter.
It seems that the Irving’s don’t want to take that chance. So they cut all ties.

An oil company has no business owning newspapers.

Anyway you slice it, this Canadian agrees with growing public sentiment sparked by actors George Takei and Mark Hamill – de Adder’s cartoon is Pulitzer Prise worthy.

Two Dresses


The first Monday of the month, Quora deposits money earned from views on my content into a PayPal account. A little bit here, little bit there, I never gave it much thought. Truth is, I wouldn’t have a PayPal account but for Quora insistence on opening one to receive deposits. Not much of a online shopper, credit cards secure occasional purchases. PayPal mystifies this middle aged ponderer.

After work today it dawned on me –  in 22 days, 11 hours we’d board a plane for Havana. I needed new dresses. Where to begin? Amazon, eBay? Search by retailer, brand, style? Argh, I loathe online shopping! Pop-ups, flash sales, discounts offered with acceptance of mailing list bombardment. Hour after hour of futile nonsense wore me down. Frayed, disgruntled, on the verge of calling bullshit – I found a acceptable dress. Add it to my cart? Seriously? Okay fine, I’ll play along. Watch me push a virtual cart to check-out! Payment options? What’s this, complete the transaction with PayPal?

Throwing caution to the wind I clicked PayPal. Snap, order on the way! Holy crap, I just bought a dress with virtual money handed to me for posting questions. WTF? Sweet! Can I play again? Yep, seems so – twenty minutes later, repeat performance, another dress on the way. What fun! Steady now, take a deep breath, time to act responsibly.

Are You Insane?


Seriously now, is Donald Trump insane? Ponder Trump’s plan to withdraw deportation protection for families of active troops.

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/27/736362986/trump-wants-to-withdraw-deportation-protections-for-families-of-active-troops?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

Ponder Oscar and Baby Valeria Ramirez


Salvadorian migrant Oscar Ramirez wanted a better life for wife Tania and baby daughter Valeria. Oscar sold his motorcycle, borrowed money from family, travelled over 1,000 miles to the international bridge at Matamoros, Mexico. The bridge was closed, aid workers told them to return the next day. They woke to a line hundreds long. Gazing across the Rio Grande, Brownsville, Texas trumpeted the American dream. Their dream to seek asylum in the “greatest” nation on Earth, their dream to work hard, buy a house, raise their family without fear.

El Salvador, the deadliest place on Earth not in a war zone, boasts a murder rate of 81.2 per 100,000 citizens. For perspective – U.S. murder rate is 5.2 per 100,000, Canada – 1.8 per 100,000. Why is El Salvador so dangerous? Ponder the link below –

http://theconversation.com/why-is-el-salvador-so-dangerous-4-essential-reads-89904

Oscar Ramirez wasn’t a drug dealer, gang member or criminal, all he wanted was a safe place to work hard, buy a home, protect his family. We’ll never know what went through Oscar Ramirez’s mind as he waded into the Rio Grande clutching baby Valeria, witnesses say he made it across, sat Valeria on the riverbank and went back for his wife. Little Valeria tried to follow, was swept away and both perished when Oscar tried to save her. Images of Oscar and Valeria face down in murky water, her tiny arm wrapped around his neck went viral, Homeland Security refused comment, Trump heaped blame on Democrats.

“If we had the right laws that the Democrats are not letting us have, those people, they wouldn’t be coming up, they wouldn’t be trying” – Trump said.

“Those people”? Pardon me Mr. Trump, have you forgotten the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson? How about “all men are created equal”? Let me help you, “those people” have inalienable rights, how dare you blame Democrats for your insanity. Your daddy would be so proud, bet you learned all about “those people” on his knee. Hey Mr. President, see these dead people?

Care to comment with a shred of humanity for victims of your asinine immigration tantrum? Oscar and Valeria whose only crime was hope, optimism and the American dream?

Never mind, it’s not your fault. You’re the greatest president in history, nothing else matters. You warned us, it’s the fault of bleeding heart liberals for not paying attention. Build a wall you said, insulate America from “those people”, let them languish in poverty and fear. The migrant crisis was completely avoidable, why didn’t we listen? Left wing nincompoops ruined everything, Democrats should be apologizing to you for their lack of vision. But for uppity Democrats all of America would play golf in MAGA hats, “those people” would understand “great” nations are reserved for great people. WTF?!!!!

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/26/736177694/a-father-and-daughter-drowned-at-the-border-put-attention-on-immigration

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary…


Never let it be said Donald Trump disappoints his congregation. Last Tuesday Trump nation gathered in Orlando, Florida to hear their pernicious saviour announce his 2020 re-election campaign. Captivated by magnitude of tRump greatness, the faithful unleashed boisterous cheers every time their swami snarled “Hillary”, chanting “Lock her up” with back slapping enthusiasm. In the words of Charles P Pierce, Esquire Magazine –

“By one count, he mentioned her seven times in 30 minutes, including doing a pathetic imitation of HRC during one of their debates, while barely giving Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders a couple of drive-bys. The rest of the speech consisted of one more of the president*’s endless attempts to keep his Velveeta-brained gobshites on fire for him. “-https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a28099381/donald-trump-2020-campaign-rally-florida-hillary-clinton/

image

MAGA attire peppered the crowd of extremists, conspiracy theorists, puffed up red necks, Christian fundamentalists and self proclaimed patriots. Outside, the Proud Boys (see link below) sent megaphone postcards –

“When you come out here, it’s a brotherhood. It’s a family. It’s like being at a revival, man,” Joe Biggs, a Florida-based Proud Boys member, could be heard telling another right-wing activist about the Trump rally.

A short time later, journalists filmed the Proud Boys in much larger numbers as they marched through the streets, chanting, “Pinochet did nothing wrong!” The slogan, popular among white supremacists, is a reference to former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s practice of murdering leftists by throwing them out of helicopters.” – Christopher Matias, HuffPost US

Trump’s 2020 Campaign Kickoff Attracted Extremists To A City That Hates

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/donald-trump-orlando-proud-boys-qanon-infowars-extremists_n_5d0a2f14e4b0f7b7442a11ca

Inside tRump frothed –

“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he said, ripping “radical” and “unhinged” Democrats even as he made only passing mention of any of the men and women running to replace him.”

“And he painted a disturbing picture of what life would look like if he loses in 2020, accusing his critics of “un-American conduct” and telling the crowd that Democrats “want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it.” – https://globalnews.ca/news/5403729/trump-2020-reelection-launch/

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary – mantra of the greatest disaster in American history.