Saturday, February 29, 2020

Here is (another) problem with electing a Narcissistic Sociopath President

Once you elect a narcissistic sociopath President, you have to deal with the consequences. IN this particular case, he believes everything revolves around him. And, if it is bad news, it must not be true.

How well do you think the United States is preparing for a possible outbreak here. Very very well, if it is a political problem. Which it is not.


Now, is this a problem?

YES!!!

The Spanish Flu of 1918 showed up first in the late winter / early spring, then died down over the summer.  Then, at the fall / winter flue season killed millions.

Imagine you are President Trump, and this flue does (as he claims) "disappear".  it will be forgotten, and preparations will stop. (He has the attention span of a May Fly.) And, if it comes back, it will do so with a vengeance.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Kevin Costner speaks for Pete Buttigieg



If he flames out Super Tuesday, I feel good for helping someone I think would pull the country together. Even if it doesn't work.

I worked for me. I do love this county.

This is ONE of the Reasons I Do Not Like Bernie

Of course I will vote for him if he is the nominee, but I don't like him.


There is a certain commonality between Bernie's followers and Trump's followers. Both seem a bit like cultists. Both don't discuss they attack. And both sets seem to see SCREAMING as some sort of truth.

We
Are
Fucked.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Look at the detail on this building

Eddie and I walked past this building this week. It’s on 71st and we pass it often, but it never fails to stun me how gorgeous it is.  Just look at the detail





Sunday, February 23, 2020

New York's Mixing of People

I have been thinking about about racism recently, and if there is a way to combat it. I have come to the conclusion that New York City is relatively less racist than most places. Don't get me wrong, this isn't some proclamation that New Yorkers are better. They are not. They are rude, insensitive assholes. But they are assholes to most everyone.



No, I think the deal is that New Yorkers have to mix. There is not as much room to separate as everywhere else. In most of the country, travel is by car, and you can avoid people who aren't like you. In the South and Mid-west people tend to cluster to different parts of town.

But in New York, you are forced to interact with everyone all the time. And you realize there are plenty of good white, brown, black, Asian folks and plenty of bad of each.

New Yorkers are less enjoyable, but are pretty equally bitchy to everyone. It is one of the few bright spots.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Came from Trump's Own Cabinet - NOT Democrats

Hyperbole Does NOT Help

Apparently they don't teach "Chicken Little" in Costa Rica or the London School of Economics and Political Science.  Telling people a line like this (Humanity is at Stake) is harmful.  It is definitely not true.

Humanity is not at stake here. A quality of life is, but not humanity. Here is a quote from her:
It is in this decade that we will either reach a concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that is so dangerous that we will not be able to manage the negative consequences for years to come and the increasingly destructive forces of nature will wreak havoc upon, not just infrastructure and biodiversity, but also on the ability of humans to live on this planet.

Look, the planet we grew up on is fucked. Temperatures are and will continue to grow, making some places uninhabitable - like the Sahara, Desert Southwest of the US and Mexico, Central Asia, Central India and maybe the Tropics of Africa and South America.

Coral reef are and will continue to die. The oceans will become more acidic, support less life and speed their rise to flood Florida and many, many, many coastal zones. Sandy Beaches will be a thing of history books.

But much of the central part of the United States, most of Canada and Russia, much of Europe will be habitable for a long time. BILLIONS of people will die, but there are billions that will live.

And, in fact, if they are heartless, don't care about the death of billions, and can keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the dying, they will be okay. Saying all humanity will die out is hyperbole that just causes people to turn off.

She should have taken at least 1 Pyschology course.

Lies .. Damned Lies .. Statistics .. then .. FOX

For Fuck's Sake!

This is our #1 "News" Network. They do not feel the need to be honest - at all. It reminds me of "Pravda" of the old USSR, which meant "Truth" but never served it.



Just as a reminder. Roger Stone was convicted, unanimously, by a jury of Americans of all political stripes of:

  1. Obstruction of Justice 
  2. Making a False Statement (Perjury before Congress)
  3. Making a False Statement (Perjury before Congress)
  4. Making a False Statement (Perjury before Congress)
  5. Making a False Statement (Perjury before Congress)
  6. Making a False Statement (Perjury before Congress)
  7. Witness Tampering (He threatened a witness who was going to tell the truth)
During the pre-trail he was fined for:
  1. Violating a gag order - repeatedly
  2. Threatening a US Judge
  3. Inciting violence
But Fox News has decided that he as put in jail ONLY because he loves our VSG President.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Melbourne’s KitKatery

In a mall in Melbourne they have covered a street with a mall. And, at one end, there is a large roof towering above an old knife factory.  It was call.
 And there, in a retail stall, is a Kit Kat store making wonderful and odd concoctions.

 They were YUMMY.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Olivet University - In Progress ....still...

As you drive out of New York towards Mass and the covered bridges of Connecticut, if you take 22, you pass a group of fascinating buildings.

There is a small sign that this is Olivet University. This is misleading.



Olivet University is a small Christian College in San Francisco. It is not a traditional “Christian” school, as it is a member of the “Evangelical Presbyterian Churches of America” which is a South Korean ministry unaffiliated with the mainline Presbyterians.

The University is opening regional campuses, and found the closed buildings of Harlem Valley Psychiatric Hospital north of Brewster NY. They purchased them in 2013. They spent a year or so redoing them to remove asbestos and lead paint to make them habitable. (Odd that a Psychiatric Hospital had so much deadly ingredients.)



Then the story goes sideways. Olivet stopped the reconstruction and pulled out. Then they worked with IBT Media (International Business Times), and have been the subject of multiple lawsuits. Most around money laundering and insider trading - mainly revolving around founder Rev David J Jang. It’s all confusing, but the upshot is that these buildings have sat, empty since 1990s, refurbished a bit in 2014 and silent since.

They are quite spooky, if you are into that.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Wear Boots - The Shit is Thick in Here

Yesterday our Attorney General (Chief Prosecutor for those outside the USA) had a TV interview.

Background. As I stated previously AG William Barr has moved on from being Trump's errand boy to full service butt boy, carrying out whim that crosses the mind of our Very Stable Genius.

That mind has been overwhelmed with revenge and patronage lately. He fired the military aides that honored a legal US subpoena and testified to Congress and the State Department actors that also honored legal subpoenas. Bill Barr, Esq., has done some new heavy lifting on this topic, having the Department of Justice (Barr is the head of that) change recommendations on sentence lengths when they effect dear Trump.

Well the AG has come in for some flack for doing this. So yesterday he went on TV and whined that it was hard to maintain the aura of independence when Donald Trump tweets his displeasure before Barr has a chance to act.

THIS IS AN ACT.

We only have to toss our minds back to his "summary" of the Muller Report - which was whitewashing in the extreme. If you forget, Barr summarized it by saying Muller found no wrong doing or evidence of obstruction. When, in fact, he listed 9 specific acts of obstruction, multiple acts of witness tampering (some by Roger Stone, the man in question) and lying to Congress.

Bill Barr is Donald Trump's objectively illegal lawyer covering for a mobster.

Objectively illegal act in question this week is the acceptance of dirt on a domestic candidate from a private lawyer through State Department resources.  We did not used to allow private lawyers a direct line into the Department of Justice.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Trump's Economy - Best in the World or National Economic Emergency

I wonder if he wakes up trying to figure out how to screw people over?

President Trump shouts about the economy being the best ever and the world's best all the time.  Here are some of his tweets recently. (More on twitter, but her a couple)...



On his other hand thought, the President has just said he would limit the pay raises for the Federal Employees to 1% because of "National Economic Emergency".  This is the detail of that (here) and a few key paragraphs...

Title 5, United States Code, authorizes me to implement alternative plans for pay adjustments for civilian Federal employees covered by the General Schedule and certain other pay systems if, because of “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” I view the increases that would otherwise take effect as inappropriate....We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course; Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Welcome to the Banana Republic of America

Our President has been given unlimited powers now. We are in a Banana Republic that may or may not change after the election.

The President was cleared with the majority of Republican Senators saying that:
  • Solicitation of Foreign help in a domestic election is not illegal
  • The President can do whatever he wants if he "truly believes" the net effect is getting himself reelected - and that is in the interest of the country
  • The Presidential branch does not have to participate in oversight by the Legislative Branch
Some Republicans cleared him with the understanding that:
  • He knew what he did was wrong and would behave better
 Since the acquittal the President has:
  1. Set up a direct path so his personal lawyer can investigate any person and turn that directly over to the Department of Justice
  2. Fired 3 people -2 of which testified against him (as per their legal requirement): the Ambassador to Europe Sonderland, Lt. Col. Vidman on the National Security Council and Lt. Col. Vidman's twin brother because he can't tell the two of them apart.
  3. Personally demoted three US military lawyers because they successfully prosecuted a war-crimes case against a marine the President likes.
  4. Intervened in an on-going investigation to give President Trump's friend a lighter sentence over the objections of the Department of Justice and career prosecutors.
It's been a fucking week!

My Complex (and Stupid) Desire

I understand both that I am totally weird and, sometimes, why I am wierd.

Right now, this has developed into this bizarre obsession that I KNOW I couldn't follow thru on, yet it tugs at me. I want to retire, move to Montenegro and take care of a few Spomenik (monuments built by Yugoslavia).



For example, one Spomenik (this one is in Barutana and a tribute to Fallen War Heroes).

Why take care of them? Well, let's start with what I have lost or at least feel like I have lost. In the United States, we used to believe in the rule of the law, and, per our motto, e pluribus unum. The motto means Out of Many, One. That is our diversity is our strength. But right now, hate seems to be our chief industry.

The Spomenik were created by Tito in order to bring a sense of unity for the country. Yugoslavia was made up of multiple independent countries and historical areas after World War One. They are monuments to unity, sadly lost after Tito's death.



They are a monument to a dream of unity. I miss our dream of a country to be better than we have been in the past. It is sad. At least there I could lose myself. And look, plenty of weeding - which is the one thing I can do in a garden pretty well.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Goodbye Sonderland: We Hardle Knew Thee

Well Ambassador Sonderland was shown the door Friday, after President Trump's acquittal. Susan Collins is quite concerned, but that is for another time. Right now I want to review the good-bye Sonderland picture.  It is sad.


That is not how I. will remember him. He will always be the happy go lucky Joe with the handsome smirk in my head. That picture just brings so much to your mind.  The happiness of a man who has Millions of dollars and does not give a fuck.  He paid a million to be an Ambassador, and was a participant in history. Money well spent.


And, unlike the military men also fired on Friday, getting shit-canned from this administration means very little to him. He goes to his multiple homes happy, healthy and with some great stories.  I really want to meet him sometime. I think it would be fascinating.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Iowa Results (?)

For those of you outside the United States, the results of the first Iowa Caucuses should have been in Monday night. Now, it is Wednesday and the results still aren’t complete.



I won’t bore you with why. The good news (amazing news!) is that Pete Buttigieg, my guy, won! There are lots of caveats, his minority support wasn’t tested, it’s not a normal state. But it is rural and pretty conservative, so a married gay guy winning is pretty impressive. It is that his policies are good.

The bad news out of Iowa. If you look at the results, it seems that the 2 VERY progressive candidates got about 45% of the vote and the 3 more centrist candidates got 55% of the vote. This good be a problem with the factions fighting each other until the convention and then being bitter.

We already know Bernie’s voters often sit out or vote for Trump rather than a Democrat.

Monday, February 3, 2020

It’s Iowa Day

It is the Iowa Caucus day tonight. It is the first test of the candidates and we should narrow the field down from 25 to 3 or 4 at the most, plus Bloomberg.


Mike Bloomberg isn’t participating in Iowa, or New Hampshire. Both are “press the flesh” type of states, and Mike is focused almost exclusively on TV ads.

As for my guy, Pete Buttigieg. This is probably the make or break for him. If isn’t going to break through in Iowa, he probably won’t break thru anywhere.

I am okay with (i.e. resigned to) the fact that Pete probably won’t do great. He is too centrist for the progressives, too young for many old people, too gay for many straight people. But he is a great speaker, a intelligent man and it has been an honor to support him.

Truth in that old joke

There is an old joke that the most worn button in a New York elevator is the Door Close button. Because New Yorker’s are impatient.

This is the elevator pad to our Condo building. It is only 2 1/2 years old, but already the bronze is worn off Floor #1 (the lobby) and the Door Close button.

Because we all know that you only have to press the floor button once, but the Close Door button works better the more you hit it.


About sums it up