Friday, January 31, 2020

Yesterday's Mind Fuck From the US "Department of Justice"

Yesterday, the Trump Department of Justice, in a court filing, claimed that the House of Representatives cannot sue to have subpoenas enforced. The DOJ argued, the House has other options, like Impeachment. (LINK)

At the same time, over in the Impeachment's Senate Trial, the Department of Justice claims that Impeachment shouldn't happen and cannot have witnesses because the House of Representatives did not sue to enforce their subpoenas, they went to Impeachment.

Quite the Catch 22, as it were..


Also in the Senate Trial, Trump Lawyer and Jeffery Epstein pal (although he claims to have kept his underwear on as underage girls were forced to give him massages) Alan Dershowitz claimed that, well, let's just cut to the USA Today explanation.
In response to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, about whether it mattered if Trump engaged in a "quid pro quo," Dershowitz said motive was what mattered and if an act was in the public interest, it was not impeachable. And he said it was reasonable for a public official to equate what is in their own political interest with the public good. 
"Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest," he said. "And if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment."
But now, poor Alan claims that his answer is being willfully distorted, by reporting EXACTLY WHAT HE FUCKING SAID! (USA Today Link)

I could post a pic of Dershowitz the (alleged) statutory rapist, but instead I will post some pictures from Hulu's excellent Catch 22 mini-series - because it has much cuter men and they are all of legal age.

Yossarian is bedeviled by an Institution he cannot fight

Historical accuracy means some unfortunate clothing choices
Just as an aside, while some of these men are handsome, the answer is no. No, as a gay man, the use of khaki colored short shorts is not working for me.

Plus a stray testicle falling out of these seems both imminent and unappealing.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

THIS - THIS is what is breaking my spirit and heart

David Rothkopf is a smart man. His background is in International Relations (at least that is where I first started reading him a decade ago). This tweet thread encapsulates my current freak out about the country.

I don't, of course agree with him on everything in life (he is a Warren Fan), but the state of the country we agree on. And I don't like it.


Review of "Dcotors Jane And Alexander" is up


Doctors Jane And Alexander is a beautifully acted story of a family of overachievers. A true play based on conversations and published works, it is the story of the daughter of a very famous Doctor, as told to her son after she suffers a stroke.

It is touching, retrospective and carrying, without every verging into schamltz territory.  It is great.  Full review here.

LINK

Max Wolkowitz, Maxwell Zener and Alyssa Simon in Doctors Jane and Alexander

The USA is a Mind Fuck Right Now

Listening to the shit show that is our senate right now is massively depressing.

So instead, here is a shot of a little village in the Faroe Islands, Gjógv.



There isn't much here. Old small homes. A short dock for fishing boats. an old house that is now (apparently) a Yoga Retreat. I didn't see any stores or shops, but it was winter when Lynn and I were there.

Gjógv is at the end of beautiful road. But you don't get there unless you're trying. There is no "happening" upon a small village at the end of everywhere.  I do know, of course, I would be bored there as soon as my books ran out. I'd hate the weather and the remoteness and everything.

But...

But... It would be lovely to be mentally checked out instead of watching our country shit the very idea of consequences to play the tarted up whore to our Administration's Sugar Daddy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Animals in Australia

While we were in Australia, we did take a trip to a wildlife sanctuary.  It was great fun. 
This is a wombat. They did okay in the fires because they have large deep burrows. However, very little food was there after the . fire, so now they are in trouble.


Big Pelicans


Kookaburra


Koala!

Eddie took this picture of a Kangaroo and her Joey


Monday, January 27, 2020

I Wish I Understood More about Hell

Last night I watched Paradise Lost at a theater. It was a adaptation (in about 100 minutes) of John Milton's 10 volume epic poem of Lucifer's fall from Heaven AND Adam and Eve's fall from the Garden of Eden. (So I am not really interested in trashing religion here, I am trying to understand.)

What is hard to understand is what the Bible really has to say about Hell. There are minimal references to Hell in the bible, and most seem to be tied back to a translation of the name for a ravine near Jerusalem. Translating this place name, Valley of Hinnom (in Hebrew, gē-hinnom); the Greeks called it Gehenna, into the word "Hell".

If that is true (as it seems to be) then where does our idea of Hell come from? Mainly, one finds, from Dante's Inferno and John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost.

Now the show was well acted, and well paced. AND, it is my issue that I totally hated it.

Lucifer was a great actor, and I enjoyed him for a while, but his hellish cohorts were just odd. Beelzebub (his assistant in making hell more organized) had a bizarre old Jewish man accent and wore no pants. His wife / daughter (Sin who sprang, fully formed, out of his forehead) was played as a wizened beauty with syphilitic sores and the temperament of a Fish Wife.

But the biggest problem, plot-wise, is Eve. And I mean in the whole religion thing, not just the show I saw last night. Eve is created from Adam's rib and Adam loves her. They are souls completed by each other. He teaches her things, how the Garden works, the names of things and he explains God says don't eat of the Tree of Knowledge. In the play, and Milton's poem - at least, God never talks to Eve himself. And then the first Angle she meets, Lucifer, isn't at all like how he is described by Gabriel, she just has to take it on faith that God doesn't want her to eat the fruit, and God wants her to hate an Angel that is nice to her.

She dies eat the fruit, and then convinces Adam to do so as well, introducing pain and guilt into the world.

Okay, bear with me here, wouldn't an Omnipotent God already know she was going to do this? Why does God only talk to men? Yes, the Angelic cohort is supposedly neither male nor female, but Lucifer and Gabriel are always portrayed as men.

Doesn't it seem like God was setting up Eve for the fall even before he made her. Since God only speaks to Adam, Eve is consigned to be something that Adam as dominion over. In fact, Adam's fall is made all the more heroic by choosing to bite the fruit to stay with Eve.

It isn't a grand start to the human experiment.

Now, since the Bible has been translated a ton AND maybe some of this has been lost in the retelling. But it seems like God has the same affinity for women that he does for birds, creatures of the sea and insects. They are there to please Adam.

It kind of confuses me.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie...Oy, Oy, Oy

It's an Aussie cheer. We heard a fair amount of it during the Australia Open. After we left Vietnam, we took a flight to Melbourne and watched a bit of the Australian Open. Eddie met with his counter-part and I got to see a lot of the stadium and some matches.

It was great fun.

Djokovic on Rod laver Court




Ash Barty (hometown fav and #1) on Rod Laver Court

Sam Warinka and Dumar Dzuhmar on the "Melbourne Court"

Dominic Thiem on Margaret Court Court

Saturday, January 18, 2020

So Long Vietnam

We are off from Vietnam now.  It is has been a fascinating visit, very different from what I expected. Having been to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, I have to say Vietnam is by far the most western and easy country to navigate.  The people were great, the food was different and the weather for us was perfect.

And old gate between two temples. The temples are gone, but they have preserved the gate.

Vietnam has amazing large bonsai plants everywhere.  I dug them.

Ancient My Son statue of power. Head of Elephant (intelligence) and body of Lion (strength)

An example of the French Colonial Architecture

Eddie and I outside the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An


This is the dragon guarding the entrance of the Buddhist temple.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Hoi An at Night

Hoi An is a great city.  The city of later said.

And it is being dressed up for Lunar New Year.









Wednesday, January 15, 2020

About sums it up