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(This is Elledark, one of my favorite tumblrs. If you don’t have the attention span to do anything but click through pics then you might not bother but if you want to be have a good laugh and think then you might want to check her out….)

Oh my dear sweet lost followers, what have I done ? In the last week I’ve lost a bunch of you. I know I’ve been unkind about Americas bone-headed foreign wars and questioned the sheep-like US media oil-spill scapegoating and been snarky about hallowed icons of pop like Ga-ga and I’ve even poked…


I know I’m getting on my soap-box again, but thats just me. One day I’ll probably fall off it and anyone who wants can laugh but for now let me just mention the stark fact that six times as many Americans die every year from lack of health care as the number killed on 9/11. Acceptable ? Not in any sane society.

The health care system in the USA is broken. No-one can seriously argue that its not. It does not operate in the best interests of everyone who needs it. The richest country in the world has 46 million people with no health insurance and even more that are dangerously under-insured with high deductibles and co-payments. The cost of essential drugs is obscenely high compared to other countries. The result is that more than 18,000 Americans die needlessly every year from preventable illnesses because they cannot see a doctor when they should. Remember, this is six times the number who died on 9/11 but this avoidable carnage occurs every single year and nobody does anything about it. Thats not even counting the far higher numbers who live in misery with treatable illnesses they can’t get treatment for. This crazy system costs the U.S. far more per capita than any other country and health care costs continue to soar. Its not value for money. Sick people are being ripped off.

Why is it so hideously expensive yet so bad ? Really simple. Greedy individuals and big business interests add to the cost at every stage of the process by gouging out profits and resist any reform or effective regulation. Well maybe you can sell T-shirts or Coca-Cola like that but its sure as hell totally inappropriate for a fundamental human need like health-care. Its an utter disgrace and the whole discredited system needs to be radically and urgently overhauled so that good quality health-care is available to every single citizen, free at the point of delivery and regardless of their ability to pay. No one should have to hesitate about seeing a doctor because of cost. No-one should have to forego the drugs they need because they’re too expensive. No-one should be left crippled by debt because they fall ill. None of that is acceptable in a civilized society. Other countries can manage it so why not the USA ? Its hardly rocket-science after all. It can be done. All it requires is political will and common-sense.

Let me be really blunt. Any unscrupulous politician or self-interested health-care lobbyist who tries to block or sabotage the desperately needed health-care reforms is an enemy of ordinary Americans in a very real way. A worse enemy than Al Quaeda because if they succeed they will be responsible for the deaths of far more people than terrorists are ever likely to kill. This is not some airy-fairy philosophical discussion. Its life and death. If greed and self-interest succeeds thousands more decent people will suffer and die needlessly. Its time to get angry. Its time to get serious. Failure is not an option. A watered down compromise is not enough. Only radical, root-and-branch change that puts people ahead of profit is acceptable. The way things are is a national scandal and it can’t continue.


Thank you Ellie. You put this more succinctly than I ever could.


Pat Robertson says Haiti has been “cursed” by a “pact to the devil.”

The earthquake in Haiti. Colossal devastation, 50,000 dead or injured, unimaginable suffering in a dirt poor and backward country. Nobody needs to tell me how desperately sorry they are. The religious don’t need to tell me they’re saying prayers. Nobody needs to tell me they want to help. If you’re a normal human being faced with suffering on this scale then I take it for granted thats how you feel. If you want to express sympathy then do but you don’t need to because how else would any decent person feel ?

Something else no-one needs to say is that the suffering of the Haitians is self-inflicted because of their ‘pact with the devil’. Seriously. Someone actually said that. It wasn’t, as might think, some lunatic escaped from the local asylum and babbling on a street corner. It was televangelist Pat Robertson on nationwide TV who said on Wednesday that earthquake-ravaged Haiti has been “cursed” by a “pact to the devil.”

Pat Robertson, as you know, is the darling of the USAs far-right, fundamentalist christians, the group that are to America what the Taliban are to Afghanistan. Their support was instrumental in securing Bush’s election victories and they wield frightening power in a country where the legitimate constitutional separation of state and church has become alarmingly blurred in recent years .

Stupidity, arrogance, mean-spiritedness and callousness are among the christian fundamentalists better characteristics and Mr Robertson is no stranger to statements demonstrating all of those traits but for sheer dumb-f*ckery and insensitivity this one ranks right up there with his best. Sorry if I’m being a little outspoken but some people just make my flesh crawl .

I know Ellie, it’s absolutely nauseating….


I’m off to bed. I promised myself I wasn’t going to be last-minute xmas shopping tomorrow but guess what ? Ugh ! Anyway .. ‘night ..:))

Good luck to you ellie.  I’ll be doing the same.  Oh, thanks for the chatty time tonight!


Father Kelly truly felt the lord was on his side tonight ..:)


Somewhere in the twinkle of those eyes I can see a beautiful young girl who danced and laughed without a care in the world because it seemed her golden moment would stretch for eternity. But it didn’t and it won’t for any of us. If youth and beauty are all we have then, ultimately, we have nothing.

Tumblarity - its an in joke


As I stumble .. errm .. I mean ‘tumbl’ (either way its inelegant and kind of undignified) around this place I keep on seeing references to ‘tumblarity’. I wondered about it myself at first but I think I’ve got it sussed now.

Its the way the guys at Tumblr get us to post diligently. They’ve worked out that, left to their own devices to just post what and when we feel like we’d be a pretty lazy bunch. We’d only post for our own pleasure and thats not good enough. So we need either a carrot or a stick, or possibly a sticky carrot, to goad us into activity.

Enter Tumblarity, which tells you graphically each morning what a loser you are and how you’d by god better get cracking and post *stuff* .. doesn’t matter much what .. just get off your fat ass and feed the beast. If you do it might pat you on the head with a higher ‘tumblarity’ number. Woo-hoo ! Its very simple psychology. Of course you and I are *far* to highly evolved to fall for such nonsense but thats how it works for all the rest of the folks.

Ok .. I’m being flippant but however any of us choose to regard it, its *not* intended by Tumblr just as ‘a bit of fun’ or even as any kind of aid to better blogging. Oh no. Never in a million years. It serves a very specific purpose for the company. It reflects a keen understanding of human psychology. Its purely and simply a deliberate device to poke or prod those who are influenced by such things into being more active than they might otherwise be by posting more ‘stuff’

As a newcomer, having registered that Tumblarity exists and having worked out what its for I guess the very best advice to anyone is to absolutely and totally ignore it. It serves no purpose that is of any benefit to you. Anyone who needs an ego boost from ‘Tumblarity’ is probably the same kind of person who lives to rack up as many ‘friends’ as possible on Facebook or followers on Twitter.

I imagine a couple of geeky little computer guys sitting in the Tumblr offices. “So hey Marvin” .. one says .. I’ve got a good one .. we make up this thing we call Tumblarity (‘cos that kind of sounds like ‘popularity’) and we keep randomly messing with the number so the kids feel insecure and post like crazy all the time”. Marvin splutters his soda all over his keyboard and sniggers .. “No way Percy .. nobody’s dumb enough to fall for that” !!

But they are .. and they do …:))



Miss Twitter was surprised that, despite being fresh out of college, she still managed to command the boys undivided attention


Cynthia had developed a novel way of polishing the hand-rail


Sandra was rather hoping she might score after the game


As an amateur photographer, Amy often struggled to get her exposure right

Gawd Ellie, you slay me!