Sunday, March 31, 2019

These Morons Are What Trump Listens Too


Look at that headline....

Okay, Mexico is a Mexican country. And only Mexico.

The 3 countries in question are Central American countries that speak Spanish. And 3 countries we (the United States) has invaded multiple times.

El Salvador is not a "Mexican" country.

I'm Thrilled Trump Didn't Coordiante or Collude with Russia

The Muller Report is (kind of out) and I am thrilled that President Trump did not collude with Russia to swing an US election. That is amazing news. And we should all be happy about it.

However, two things regarding the report.  First we haven't seen it all and Second, it wasn't a Democratic witch hunt.

There were 39 indictments, multiple arrests, guilt pleas and convictions in court.  That isn't a witch hunt.

Second, the "Democratic" action was started after the President fired a Republican FBI Director, by a Republican appointed Department of Justice official and run by a Republican when the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Presidency and the Supreme Court was run by Republicans.

Expand this pic

This was cool....

Thursday, March 28, 2019

This sheep was not impressed with me

As I said on instagram, this sheep side-eyed me and gave me the same attitude I gave my 60th birthday: faintly annoyed I had to acknowledge it.  I would much rather ignore my birthday and the sheep would rather ignore me.

Koks - Amazing Food

Last night Lynn and I ate at Koks, the fancy restaurant in the Faroes.  You take a cab to this cabin (below) where they give you a welcome drink before driving you in the Landrover around the lake to the restaurant.

As you can see below, the restaurant is pretty unassuming from the outside. A traditional house. I can’t really update any lower (iPad limitations with blogger) but the courses were fantastic
  I’ll update after I get home.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Glorious Statue of the Spanish American War

Right off Columbus Circle is a statue to celebrate our victory in the Spanish-American War. It is the most beautiful statue for the most unjust wars we ever started.

Winged Victory high atop the Monument (they weren't subtle back then)

In case you don't know, there was no reason for the Spanish-American war except that we wanted an empire and were fairly powerful, and Spain was losing her empire and was pretty week.

We used an attack on the Maine as an excuse. It was an accident and Spain all but begged us not to attack, but attack we did. In order to "gain freedom for the people of Cuba", which then became a US vassal state for the next 60 years or so.

We won the war in moments; we took Puerto Rica, Philippines, Guam and a few other islands in the Pacific. And we built this beautiful monument. We still have Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Marianas islands and this monument.

With water, in all but winter, this side represents the Atlantic fights.

Here is American setting forth on the High Seas!

He sits on the Pacific (west) side of the monument. Names of those lost are chiseled above him.

The inscription calls out "The Free Men that Died in this War with Spain so We Could Remain Free" which really does sound better than "Those Free Men that Died so We Could Have Our Own Empire"

I Always Find These Types of Pieces a Little Silly

I always find these types of articles a bit silly.

Now don't get me wrong, I think the sentiment behind it is great. But, really, what is the point? The author explains (rather well) the WHY behind the electoral college. She also does a could job of explaining why it will never change (but she does that quite late in the piece).

Complaining about the electoral college is personally fulfilling and sociologically useless. It would need a Constitutional Amendment to pass. Even if you could get a 2/3s passage in the house, there is no way 3/4s of the states would choose to dilute their citizen's votes for equity (only 3 or 4 states would gain in this, California, New York and Florida).

Articles like this should be reserved for a couple of high under-grads arguing into the wee hours on how life would be better if they were in charge.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Soon -- Breatheeeeeee

More Proof Ben Carson is an Idiot

I don't know how Ben Carson became a doctor. I know that ass-kissing got him to be HUD Secretary, but past that, it's all incomprehensible to me.  Yesterday on Tucker Carlon's show he was attacking immigrants. I get there are plenty of reasons to attack them, but his line of reasoning was idiotic.

“More than ten million illegal aliens are believed to be working in this country under the table. And that is part of the reason that between 2012 and 2016 an estimated 39 million Social Security numbers were stolen from Americans for fraudulent use, a fact that’s rarely reported. But legal or not immigrants send their earnings abroad and they pay nothing when they do it because remittances are untaxed. It’s a pretty good deal for Mexico and Guatemala.
“When is the last time you made a financial transaction that wasn’t taxed? Can you even remember? At one point the Trump administration proposed a remittance tax, lobbyists from Mexico didn’t like the idea, the idea went nowhere. We can’t fix that on this show.

Okay, let's talk about this. First "When was the last time you made a financial transaction that wasn't taxed?" ANY deposit to your account. Any withdrawal from your account made at the bank. Writing a check to someone. Paying a bill electronically. NONE OF THOSE ARE TAXED, you dope.

Also, regarding Social Security numbers. They are not usually stolen from people, but bogus numbers. And that means THEY PAY Social Security taxes, but never get the benefits. That money goes into our system for Americans to use.

The Travesty of "Not Our Core Values"

The Travesty of "Not Our Core Values".

This quote from the Miami Police (after attacking a black woman who called the police for help) says too much about "Core Values", from the Police or not.

“I find the actions depicted on the video deeply troubling and in no way reflective of our core values of integrity, respect, service, and fairness,” Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez tweeted last Wednesday in the first official response.

I find that many all too many organizations, including Citibank, Thompson Reuters, most large corporations and too many police departments give the minimal response of "these aren't our core values". Where is the officer now? On desk duty with full pay.

But way too many organizations, especially for profit ones, simple say, this isn't our core values to defend themselves from actually doing anything. Of course they are your core values!!! If you keep hiring and promoting these people it DEFINITELY is your core values. You value money, the person, the income more that your "core value". Just fucking own it.

I had a British SVP at Thompson from England on a conference call and he called one young lady, on the call, a "fucking asshole". I ended the conference call, then he called me up to call me a fucking asshole. I hung again and sent him a note to talk to my boss or HR. A little while later I got HR up to my desk to say it wasn't a Thompson Core Value to curse at people. But, yeah, it was. He was a Senior VP and HR apologized that it was "just how he is." After the 3rd or 4th time, and he needed something from me, he was (surprise) able to be civil to everyone on the phone conference.

I left me last gig at Citibank for a similar reason. They person I worked for had lost her entire team before because she was difficult to work with (she berated people in front of others, ignored mail & phone messages and told people on conference calls they were failures). When I did not reup my contract and Citibank wanted to, they asked me why. I explained what happened, and they said it wasn't a core value of Citibank. Of course it is. HR knows how she is, and you reward that behavior. Don't lie to me, I'm not stupid.

We teach children actions matter more than words so we don't raise little psychopaths. We should be able to teach adults that same thing.

Not to Sound too Prissy....

Donald Trump looks headed to a big re-election, providing the economy stays on track. In many ways this is totally understandable. But in one big way, it isn't so understandable to me.

I don't really have a lot of faith in many things. Lets be honest, in a world where Priests rape kids, rich people bride their children into school, people kill others randomly - all in the name of God, and government officials regularly support neo-Nazis and Nazis, there isn't a lot of faith to be had.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Surprising Results

So the Supreme Court yesterday issued a ruling that says you can pick up an immigrant, illegal OR LEGAL, like one with a green card, years after a conviction for some offenses and hold them indefinitely. LINK

This isn't just illegal immigrants. In fact the two people centered in the case are:

The plaintiffs included two legal US residents involved in separate lawsuits filed in 2013, a Cambodian immigrant named Mony Preap convicted of marijuana possession and a Palestinian immigrant named Bassam Yusuf Khoury convicted of attempting to manufacture a controlled substance.

I think it is weird.  They are legal immigrants, and Monty Preap was convicted of marijuana possession, which isn't even a crime now. But the government can forget about it for years, then a new President comes in and they can round up anyone they want and hold them without trial or recourse for years.

So watch your ass Alex, you Irish green-card holder. You too Joc, don't run any red lights. You're next!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

For Fuck’s Sake

Good grief. This is why liberals think the right wing echo-chamber is so crazy.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Poor Trevor

So the pup ran out of food this week. I usually order as soon as he runs low, but I blew it. So I had to go to a local store. He’s allergic to most everything and o got some Salmon food with no grain or filler.

Fine, but as it turns out, he can’t get enough of it. He likes it, but he craps through it like water. Seriously he is pooping 7 times a day instead of his usual twice.

We had to buy something else to add. His food won’t come until Wednesday,  he has specific food.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Big Brother Says "Good Night"

Eddie and I got a Google Home Hub. There are many reasons we wanted it in general and one reason in specific - if has a button to turn off the microphone.

Because we all know that Siri, Alexa, Google, they all hear everything and send it to the big database in the sky (or Iceland).  But once you actually have the piece of hardware in your house, you forget it is there and don't always turn the mike off.

So then last Sunday night we were getting ready for bed and Ed was picking up Trevor from his bed.  He said, as you do when you have a dog, "Come on Buddy, it's bedtime."

And the google home hub says, "Good Night". And it freaked both Ed and I out. Trevor didn't mind and I wonder if he and google speak when we are out.

MY Reivew of Kiss Me Kate is up

I was skeptical about a revival of Kiss Me Kate. It is a fairly sexist show based on a very sexist play. It probably did not seem sexist or questionable when first performed. Both Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and Porter’s Kiss Me Kate are classics, but they are problematic in their treatment of women. Somehow director Scott Ellis has put together a fun, massively entertaining, high spirited show that manages to avoid the stereotypes that inhabit both pieces. This Kiss Me Kate glides effortlessly through and around the problems, while preserving the energy and excitement of the original. 
The company gets Too Darn Hot
The plot of the show is a device to hang some magical Cole Porter songs on. A theater is putting on Taming of the Shrew. The show within a show stars Lilli Vanessi (Kelli O’Hara) and Fred Graham (Will Chase) a formerly married couple. They are still in love - which is obvious to the audience, if not the couple involved. The secondary couple in Shrew, Bianca and Lucentino are played by Lois (Stephanie Styles) and Bill (Corbin Blue), a couple who are dating and still in the discovery phase.
Kelli O’Hara’s voice is enthralling, and she is given full voice in most of the numbers. This brings new heartbreak to So In Love and an adult’s hesitancy to I Hate Men. Will Chase is no match for her voice-wise, no one is, and instead brings an adult perspective and weariness to his numbers Where Is The Life That Late I Led and So In Love.
If that were all that was great here, I could highly recommend Kiss Me Kate, but this revival shines far beyond these two. The ensemble numbers stand out with amazing voices and dancing. Adrienne Walker steals Another Op’nin’, Another Show and James T. Lane leads the ensemble in bringing the audience to their feet in Too Darn Hot.
Corbin Blue, more mature than you might remember, tears up the floor, the stairs, the railings and a ceiling dancing and tapping through Bianca. And Stephanie Styles blazes through Always True to You in My Fashion with a lot of stage business to cover the rather mercurial morals of the song. Only Brush Up on Your Shakespeare falls a little flat, and only due to repeated repetition. 
Corbin Blue tears it up
Amanda Green is credited with the additional material, and her material turns the show from a relic that one is a bit embarrassed to enjoy, into a flat out fun study of the growth of love in both sexes. Admirably directed by Scott Ellis, who has experience with revivals like She Loves me and You Can’t Take It With You, this production playfully pulls you in.
Kiss Me Kate
Music and Lyrics: Cole Porter | Book: Sam and Bella Spewack | Additional Material: Amada Green | Director: Scott Ellis | Cast: Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase, Corbin Blue, Stephanie Styles, Adrienne Walker, James T. Lane, John Pankow, Terence Archie, Mel Johnson Jr., Lance Coadie Williams
Kelli O'Hara and Will Chase ignoring each other

Thursday, March 14, 2019

I love him (I won't go overboard here)....

Meet Pete....

Perhaps You're Confused by Brexit....

You would not be the first, second or last to be confused.  Simple answers here

What is Brexit?
The people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland voted narrowly to leave the European Union. Of the four areas, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay, but that isn't how it works. The vote was muddied by lies, disinformation and foreign corruption (a bit like our 2016 election). However the Parliament (their Congress) has agreed to move forward on leaving.

My 60th Birthday (March 29th). However, the date might move.

How are the preparations going?
Poorly. There was a proposed treaty on how to exit and keep some of the basic business arrangements in place. But the people that want to leave said it gave too much away to the EU, and the people that wanted to stay said it didn't keep enough ties to the EU. It was voted down spectacularly last month and slightly less spectacularly two days ago.

So they are leaving without a treaty?
No. Although they voted that the treaty was not acceptable, they also voted that leaving without a treaty was not acceptable. AND, they voted they CANNOT leave without some treaty.

Wait, Don't those cancel each other out?
Welcome to Brexit.

Next Steps?
Who the fuck knows. They are going to vote on the same treaty a third time next week again (PS - at the present rate they are picking up votes, it might pass in 8 years).
Parliament is also going to vote on asking for more time to leave.

So take more time?
Well... now that is a conundrum. All other members of the EU have to agree to give them more time. AND the "more time" has to be before May (2 months away) because of a pan-European election that they don't want Britain to participate in since they are leaving. So the other might not agree.

If they can't leave and can't extend and can't stay, then WTF?
Turns out they can stay actually. Now this would overturn the "vote of the people", but the European Courts have ruled that although they can't extend without agreements, they can stay without any other country in the EU being able to stop them.

Can they vote again?
Maybe. But when? If they are going to have another referendum, two problems exist.
1) When? Pulling a national election together will take at least 8 weeks (per their estimation) and they don't have that much time.
2) What would the new referendum say? [Stay] or [Go with not treaty] or [Go with current treaty]. That might mean that Stay (or 1 of the others) might win with less than 50% of the vote. And that is a huge decision to to without a majority.

So.... stay tuned.  Or don't, que sera sera.

The tale of Chiselborough

 Our second dog sit in England this past month was in Chiselborough. Which is a village of about 100 - 125. It was in the middle of nowhere....