Monday, August 31, 2020

Happy Birthday Jo

 Jo, Happy Birthday!

A Week-End Walk in the Palisades

Across the Hudson River from Nw York is "the Palisades". Yes, I know, for those of us from LA, "The Palisades" is where Arnold lived and is kind of the Hollywood hills for Santa Monica Republicans (which are leftists in any other state). But, in New York, the "Palisades" is the New Jersey area across from The Cloisters (now part of The Met). It is preserved because one of the Rockefellers had a Museum built in Ne York, and didn't want the parklands across the river to develop and spoil his view.

Later, this plaything of the rich and famous was donated to New Jersey as state parkland.* It isn't kept up super well, but it is still available for hiking and barbecuing.

Bloomer Beach (north)

This is "Bloomer Beach". Back before the George Washington Bridge was completed (1931), ferries used to go from New York's North Manhattan and the Bronx across the river to this area. It was part of a string of beaches along the Hudson people swam at. Over 400,000 people a year would bath here.

Bloomer Beach (south)

A view of the hike along the Hudson.

It was a pleasant lunch walk.

*Note: Old rich people were not "better" than current rich people, but we used to tax their fortunes after they died. they often gifted land or infrastructure to offset these taxes. That is how Americans got the Palisades, Acadia National Park, San Simeon, the Frick Museum, Pinnacles National Park and countless other slices of American beauty and history.

Now we call it a "death tax" and Republicans hate it. Public good is trumped by private desire to give generational wealth.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

I Don't Know What To Say

Words fail at this point. Here are the facts as we know them, that led to this child (17) to kill two protesters - and then being welcomed by the police in Wisconsin. And let me start by being clear. He's 17. How did he learn to hate so much and to decry an entire group of humans as not worthy of life?

1. There was a call of a domestic disturbance in Kenosha Wisconsin.

2. When the Police arrived, a Black man was breaking up a fight of 2 white women. He was out of the car where his 3 children were.

3. When the Police tried to detain (and arrest) the good Samaritan that stopped the fight, he went back to his car...

      3a His Family says to check on the children.

      3b. The police say, maybe he had a gun in the car. Which would be legal, Wisconsin is now an open carry state.

4. The Police wanted the Black man to stop and either not (a) check on the children to reassure them or not (b) get a gun in front of the children.

5. So they grabbed the Black Good Samaritan by the back of his shirt. And shot him 7 times in the back, point blank range, paralyzing him.

6. Two days of protests - some with rioting and looting - followed in Kenosha.

7. The third day a facebook group of white nationalist decided to go up and "counter-protest" with Automatic rifles (which none of the protesters had used).

8. The 17 year old drove from Illinois to Wisconsin (a short trip, but still crossing state lines). He took with him his automatic rifle. With a number of armed white nationalists, he wandered into the crowd of protesters and shot multiple Black protesters.

9. After running from the now pissed off crowd, he fell and then shot another Black person who was trying to take the rifle. He shot this Black man point blank in the head, killing that one.

10. With 2 Black people dead and 1 other Black person seriously injured the White man - who was a Police Cadet, walked back to the Police line. Now in the police line the White man (who murdered 2 men in cold blood) was assisted (yes assisted, not arrested) by the police, given water by the police, issued a Thank You from the police over the loud speaker and then sent back home across the state lines.

For a moment, let's just look at the difference. A Black man stops a domestic disturbance between two White women and was shot 7 times point blank by the Police. A White man murders 2 Black men and puts a 3rd in the hospital and he is thanked and welcomed by the police.

So the first, furious, question is, if that is not systemic racism, what the fuck is?

The second, heartbreaking, question is how have we raised a 17 year old and taught him so much hate and that life is so worthless to those that don't look like him?

The final question is, how do we live like this? And if you're okay, which I get, please explain it to me. Because I do not understand.

Covid at College

 NYTimes has a fascinating image/story LINK

Now see, I WASN'T going to call him out. But now...

 Ladies and Gentlemen: Jerry Falwell Jr - Hypocritical Grifter

I was not going to call Jerry Falwell Junior out as a hypocrite.  It is superfluous. Bit then....

For those of you unaware, Jerry Falwell Jr. is was the President of Liberty University (it was founded by his father, Jerry Falwell). He is also a very loud and very ubiquitous Evangelical. He was President Trump's first, and loudest, Evangelical supporter. He also had an interview with the Washington Post Magazine in 2019 where, in addition to a bunch of lies, (Trump did better than predecessors in the mid-term election, Trump is focussed on lower the deficit and budget, etc.) this tidbit was thrown out there. 

"Is there anything President Trump could do that would cost your support?" 


"Well that was the quickest answer we've ever had."

He has protested that Gay Rights are an affront to God - for years! I could list quotes, but why? You known it's true.

But that isn't why he is getting shit from me today. No, today it is the $10,500,000.00 package he is getting for resigning from the Evangelical University. Why did he have to resign?

He has a sexual kink called, "being a cuck". That is where the husband (in this case Jerry) sits in the corner, as his wife has sexual intercourse (although for the kink it is normally called "gets banged") by  a man who is more virile (in this case a 20 year old pool-boy from the Fontainebleau Hotel).

And, even this, his distain for homosexuals as breaking God's law all the while watching his wife have intercourse with their pool-boy - didn't surprise or shock me. Everyone has a kink - whatever. Albeit, his comments make a mockery of that whole "judge not, lest you be judged" line in the Bible.

No, what offends me is that Liberty University, the premier Evangelical Christian University, is paying him off to the tune of $10.5 Million because he got caught watching his wife get banged by the pool-boy (Giancarlo Granda - a name that is unintentionally hilarious - grande means "massive" in spanglish).

Said pool-boy with President Trump

A older and richer pool-boy.

Jerry Falwell sponsored a few businesses with said pool-boy, to the tune of over $5 Million dollars. Jerry (and the missus) now say that, while the wife did have an affair with Granda, AND that Jerry did know about the affair, Jerry definitely did not watch, ever. Also, Jerry and Granda were NOT friends - although the pictures tell a different story.

Anyway, Trump's favorite Evangelical is leaving with $10.5 Million is walking money from his Christian University. 

But, as MasterCard says, the moments - those were - Priceless.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Ladies and Germs: Your Next Representative from the Great State of Georgia

 Read all about it at CNN.

Majorie Taylor Greene. She's a real Georgia Peach.

She believes that the murder at the White Nationalist Rally was an "inside job."

She believes that the student murders at Marjorie Douglas High School was an "inside job."

She believes that Nancy Pelosi is one of the leaders of a child pedophile ring, operating out of a Pizza shop in Washington DC. She believes Nancy Pelosi should be executed for treason.

She's running in a super red district and will be their next Representative in Washington.

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Republicans - What are they FOR right now?

 Politico has a great article called "The Grand Old Meltdown" which tries to answer a question I have wondered about for a while now. What are the Republicans for (as in "promotes as policy" - not what purpose does it serve)?

It may be hard to believe, but I have voted Republican before. The Republicans, in California at least, were once a party of limited government (not none - limited) and social freedom. In fact the "limited government" part extended to laws over your personal life. This was the party of California Governor Ronald Reagan, not to be confused with the follow on party of US President Ronald Reagan.

The Republican Party left me as it moved to more and more ridged social conservatism - anti-gay, anti-women's rights - coupled with it's anti-immigrant stance (none of this was "pro" anything or anyone, just "anti-" people - an ever expanding litany of individuals and groups they hated).

But, even then, there was a core set of Republican principles. Strong against our enemies, unafraid of standing up for our allies. And, at lest, lip service to international democratic norms. They layered on moral outrage towards anyone that didn't fit their conservative social views, but hey at least it was a principal.

I ask anyone now, what are Republicans in favor of? Anything besides "owning the libs?" This is no longer an American Political Party, this is a frat house manifesto versus Animal House. And definately not anything to build a political party on. Where the Republicans work at all, it is as a black hole of observance to the god-head of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump says that life-long Catholic Joe Biden will 'hurt God"; New York Cardinal Dolan will give the invocation for the adulterous, thrice married pussy-grabber in chief.

Donald Trump says face masks are girlie; masks are tossed overboard and Herman Cain is killed by Covid 19 he got at a Trump Rally. And Herman Cain's twitter posts still rail against Democrats from beyond the grave. 

Donald Trump says he loves the troops, but families of servicemen - those that actually died protecting this country - don't love Donald Trump enough; so they are subject to vile attacks from elected Republicans and his twitter masses.

Donald Trump loves Russia; so 90 years of Republican policy is flushed down he shitter and the official platform is more accommodating of Putin than NATO.

Donald Trump thinks the Constitution is constricting; so he ignores its limitations and Republicans protect him from impeachment, And then give him a blank check to break the law since.

Donald Trump thinks mail-in votes are bad; so the Republican establishment purposefully breaks the Post Office, which is written into the fucking Constitution.

Republicans said they hated Clinton because he screwed an intern; but they love a man who paid off playboy bunnies and porn stars to hide affairs he had while he had a new wife and son. (Which is both illegal and on wrong side of Charlton Heston).

What do you support? Aside from Donald Trump and his tantrums? Seriously.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Vibing on Perry Mason right now

 I am enjoying a little Perry Mason time right now. I am reading a bunch of the old pocket books. I bought like 30 of them for $20 on eBay. These are the last 4 I've read. I like physical books when I'm relaxing in the tub.

Here is the thing. In the books, written int he 30s and 40s, Perry Mason isn't a fat old Raymond Burr. Nor is he the attack dog in HBO's Perry Mason. And while I like a Black Paul Drake and a gay Della Street, the book isn't that either.

No, in the books, Perry is a suave, whip smart lawyer. With plenty of money, he likes taking cases that he believes in and enjoys. There are lots of dames, coppers and snitches. They are a blast.

The only Perry Mason representation I've seen that makes sense is William Warren, from the 30s.

And yes, that is a young Mary Astor as the murdered man's wife.

No, thank YOU , Julia - Louis-Dreyfus

I thought J L-D was hilarious. Not just funny, but funny at a time when it was exceptionally hard to pull off. She added a bit of humor to an otherwise serious and (occasionally) dull event. 

Later in the evening, as the proceeds turned closer to Joe's speech, Julia L-D did speak movingly and from the heart about when she had cancer, and Joe Biden called her to help her through. And it was touching.

But the Trump joke about church was funny as hell.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

(I can't leave Q-f*cking-Anon at the Top fo the blog) A Yugoslavian Moment

 Yugoslavian President Tito bound the various southern slav states together in Yugoslavia with a combination of economic growth, opposition to both the Soviet Union & the United States, and an artificial legacy of unity.

Now 6 or 7 independent countries (depending on your definition for  Kosovo), the Former Yugoslavia is still held in high regard by many of the former citizens. One thing Tito did to try to bind the country was to erect monuments (Spomenik in Serbio-Croat) that spoke to a shared history.

These were normally abstract representations dedicated to historical revolt against Fascist enemies in World War 1 and 2 (sometimes against the Ottomans as well).

Many have fallen into disrepair since the end of Yugoslavia. I find them gigantically sad. Products of hopefulness and a shared history and value set. I suppose because I tend to see our country as failing in a shared value set and pulling apart.

Anyway, this is the Necropolis for the Victims of Fascism, remembering the victims of Nazis and local Fascists that murdered Serbians in (what is now) Bosnia. I like this because it is abstract, but definitely echos the feel of the ancient Stecci - Bosnian headstones from the 13th Century. 

Here is the Stecci

Stecci outside of Stolic. You may remember from my pictures of Bosnia

Here are more of the Necropolis

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, Trump Endorses QAnon

 Holy Fucking Smokes. President Trump has endorsed QAnon. A group his own administration has called a "Domestic Terror Threat". QAnon backers had murdered people, stormed a pizza parlor with automatic weapons and lead the demonstrations that closed statehouses and caused riots.

Here are some of the things they believe (from wikipedia - although there are a lot more sources).

According to Travis View, who has studied QAnon and written about it extensively for The Washington Post, the essence of the theory is that:

there is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who rule the world, essentially, and they control everything. They control politicians, and they control the media. They control Hollywood, and they cover up their existence, essentially. And they would have continued ruling the world, were it not for the election of President Donald Trump. Now, Donald Trump in this conspiracy theory knows all about this evil cabal's wrongdoing. But one of the reasons that Donald Trump was elected was to put an end to them, basically. And now we would be ignorant of this behind-the-scenes battle of Donald Trump and the U.S. military—that everyone backs him and the evil cabal—were it not for "Q." And what "Q" is is basically a poster on 4chan, who later moved to 8chan, who reveals details about this secret behind-the-scenes battle, and also secrets about what the cabal is doing and also the mass sort of upcoming arrest events through these posts.[27]

Followers of QAnon also believe that there is an imminent event known as "The Storm", in which thousands of people, members of the cabal, will be arrested, possibly sent to Guantanamo Bay prison or to face military tribunals, and the U.S. military will brutally take over the country.[27] The result of The Storm will be salvation and utopia on earth.[38]

Here are some other QAnon winners:

  • Andrea Merkel is Hitler's Granddaughter
  • Hillary Clinton, George Soros and George Clooney were running a child sex ring from the basement of a Pizza restaurant in Washington DC - a man with an AK-47 entered the Pizza Parlor and threatened to kill people if they didn't take him to the basement to free the children. Unfortunately, the Parlor has no basement.
  • Obama and George Soros are planning a coup
  • Robert Muller was hired by Trump in a reverse sting investigation of Obama.
  • Kim Jong-un is a CIA plant
  • Parkland School shooting was a false flag and not true (the dead and students were all actors)
  • The Rothschild Family runs a Satanic cult with human sacrifice.
There does seem to be an unhealthy obsession with George Soros, which also runs through Republicans. He is accused of planning to kill millions as part of the holocaust, even though the man is a Holocaust survivor. The Soros hatred along with the Rothschild hatred brings out a lot of anti-Semitic tropes.

We will probably have at least 1 and maybe up to 5 QAnon believers in the legislature next time as two very safe Republican districts nominated these crazy asses.

QAnon crossover at the Trump Rally in Arizona

The Economy and Democrats

 I was reading a piece about what Biden has to do, and I read this.

Joe Biden will address the country as the official nominee of the Democratic Party. If the voters decide on Nov. 3 to make him president, he will face a big job on a lot of fronts. One of them is the economy: He will be the third consecutive Democratic president, going back a full three decades, who has had to clean up a mess left for him by a Republican predecessor.
Yes, that’s three Republican economic failures in a row. When will the American people figure out that we have a pattern here?
Well, for starters, when Democrats get around to telling them. For my money, that is Mr. Biden and his party’s No. 1 job between now and Election Day: Make it clear that Democrats have been better stewards of the economy — for decades, and by far.
Many people don’t believe this. The perception that Republicans are better at handling money is hard-wired. In a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, President Trump enjoyed a 10-point margin over Mr. Biden on the question of who would handle the economy better — even as 77 percent of respondents rated the economy today as “only fair” or “poor.”

I was surprised, not because it isn't true, but because it is. 

  1. George WH Bush left a depression and a huge (at the time) deficit from 12 years of Reagan / Bush. Clinton cam in, cleaned it up and in 8 years left us a surplus for the first (and only time) in almost a century.
  2. Then George W Bush used that surplus to give massive tax breaks. It might have worked, EXCEPT then 9/11 came, which hit the economy hard (remember when he told us all to go out and spend money). Then he chose to attack Iraq which ran up the deficit more. At the end of his 8 years, a huge recession hit as the housing bubble burst. Obama inherited a fucked up economy and built the longest economic expansion in history.
  3. Trump rode the end of that expansion well. But, even before Covid, his tax cuts and carefree spending DOUBLED the national debt in three years. Now, with Covid we have a giant deficit and and economy in the shitter. Someone has to fix that and Trump will not.
But conventional wisdom still says Democrats are bad at the economy. I think because Democrats don't give giant tax breaks and spend freely. We believe in a more balanced economy. Just like Republicans say they do, but don't.

Not the Convention

 The Democratic Convention is going on. President Obama's speech was moving. Michelle's was the best so far.

But enough about that. This last week-end, Eddie and I bumbled around the city. We happened to go through Rockefeller Center, when it was pretty empty (at least compared to normal). I was able to take some excellent pictures of the fountains down the English Channel. That is what the little water fountains are called just east of the Rockefeller Center Plaza.

And, after this, I got a shot for my mom.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

What does Rusty, Scott and Scott's Mother have in Common

 Rusty follows a pattern. Normally a pattern I have, and my mother has, and bugs the hell out of Ed. We pee.

A lot. And we have it for the same reason Rusty has it. Rusty drinks a TON of water. And, we can't really cut it off from him because he drinks it as a result of his liver problem. He drinks and pees and pees and drinks.

It is worse because it is hot and humid. So when you take him out to walk and pee, he wants cold water when he comes back in. This is a self-perpetuating cycle. And, he isn't great at holding it. More than once either Ed or I have said, "Alright, let me pee and I'll take you out." Only to find him peeing with you. 

He is in diapers, and probably always will be inside. But he's happy (and so are we).

A Moment

 The Democratic National Convention is going on (virtually) this week. Ed and I watched some last night. I am sure everyone heard how amazing Michelle Obama was. 

But this woman tore my heart. She spoke of her father and covid.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Remember when defunding the Post Office was a WAC (Wild Ass Conspiracy)

Wow, how f*cked up are we here in the USofA?

So about a week and a day ago, there was a conspiracy theory that President trump was planning on screwing with the Post Office to help fix the election. It was a crazy theory because, honestly, who would do that? Turns out, Donald J. Trump would.

He has appointed a new Post Master General - a political ally who has never worked in the Post Office - another corruption first for Trump's administration

This man has cut postal worker hours, ended any overtime and closed post offices. Then, exactly 1 week ago today, he "restructured" the Post Office management: laying people off, placing political appointees in charge of the Post Office, shutting down sorting machines and all without explaining this to the Postal Union or Congress.* It was called the Friday Night Massacre after President Nixon's Friday night dirty tricks. Postal Friday Night Massacre details.

Yesterday president Trump actual said that he doesn't want to fund the Post Office because it will enable mail-in voting during a pandemic where 165,000 Americans are dead (so far).

How will this screw the election?

Okay, imagine election night. Millions of mail-in votes, but Donald's voters go to the polls. The way our elections are set up, the first votes counted are the in person votes. Mail-in votes are counted after that, often taking days, with the delays the post office is making, maybe weeks.

So the first results show Trump leading, because we will report what comes in first. Leading races, but not called because millions of ballots aren't counted yet. Donald goes out and claims victory on early processing. Over the days and weeks, as he loses votes, he claims "FRAUD!" He is already claiming this!

And since we use electoral votes by state, he doesn't have to win the number of total votes cast. In 2016 he won a good majority of electoral votes, even though he lost the popular vote by 3,000,000 votes.

So - if he can make an argument his people believe, there will be a shit storm in the country. And, since 40% of Americans believe him when he said drink bleach and shine a UV light down your throat or up your ass, convincing his people will be pretty easy.

And thus, American Democracy dies. FYI - it's not a conspiracy theory when the orange asshole takes about it on television. The Republicans response to his plan to fuck up our democracy....   (crickets).

Screwing with the Post Office has ALREADY caused problems. Most of our medicines, like Veteran's medical plans, are delivered by mail And Veteran's Groups are now complaining of  late medicines.  Bills that are paid by mail are late, even tough they were mailed on time. This administration will fuck everyone to stay in power.

*I have never been more disgusted by our politics, which is unfortunately, part of this clown's process to make us question government. But neither Democrats nor Republicans are doing shit about our voting. The Democrats passed laws to fund voting, the post office and protect voting rights in the House of Representatives, but the Senate (run by Republicans) has not even voted on any of them.

(Revisit) My Son in Vietnam

 Well, I was going thru some old pictures for something to talk about that wasn't really sad due to Covid or Trump or imperiled voting, and I came across this images of My Son (pronounced  ME-son).  A little about the beautiful place. 

It was a complex of Hindu Temples dated from 300 AD to 1300 AD. They were temples and burial places for the royalty of the "Champa" empire of lower Vietnam.

This museum was actually built INSIDE one of the temples (Ed is standing in doorway above)

And, despite my T-shirt and the attempt to find Bruins - instead Ed and his Wisconsin T-Shirt found a fellow Badger.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

This is Great News (no sarcasm)

 This is great news.

There are a lot of details to be worked out, but expansion of diplomacy versus warfare is always welcome. And any deal that puts off, for an indefinite time, the annexation of the West Bank is even better.

With the UAE, Israel finally has relations with another Arab League country. This small step towards normalization of relations allows room for the region to breath and address some real problems. 

For example, Climate Change is going to screw up the Middle East in ways we cannot forecast. For example, over 7 million people will soon be living in areas that regularly get too hot for humans to survive. Of course air-conditioning could help counter that, but the poverty rate makes that impossible for millions in the region.

Israel is a technical titan in the world. The UAE is rich and trying to use its oil money to build a new foundation for itself as a transportation and technical hub. If they can actually work together, they can solve problems that are endemic to the Middle East - excess heat, lack of fresh water, lack of food - but are becoming more common around the world.

This administration deserves kudos for helping to pull this off.

Seriously. (link)

Good news on the Environmental Front (US and UK)

 Good news today on the environmental front.

One of the migratory birds protected again - the Bald Eagle

In the United States, a judge has overturned the Tump Administration's rule regarding migratory birds. His Administration said that a corporation accidentally hurting an endangered bird was not illegal. This rule sounds plausible, until you realize that during the Deep Water Horizon spill BP "accidentally" killed over 1 million birds. They had to pay conservation groups in the Gulf for this and fix the bird environment. Neither would be required under Trump's rule. So yes, good news. (hat tip Lynn - link)

The now-non-extinct Blue Butterfly

In the UK, a multi-year program to reintroduce the Giant Blue Butterfly has been successfully accomplished in South West England. (LINK) It had been declared extinct in the UK, and reintroduction required work to recultivate the correct plants and supportive areas, and clearing out invasive species. Good for them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Why Kamala Harris is the WAY right pick

 Kamala Harris (COM-a-la) is kind of the perfect pick for Joe Biden. Not my favorite, I would have preferred Susan Rice or Pete Buttigieg, but Kamala is perfect!

  1. She is Black. That goes a long way towards turning out Black voters who came out and voted for Obama, but did not for Hillary.
  2. She is a woman who is Black. That goes a long way towards helping to (hopefully) heal a country tearing itself up over institutional racism and institutional roadblocks towards female politicians.
  3. She is a whip smart debater. She won't let Trump bulldoze her. (The Pence / Harris debate should be a walk-over).
  4. She is an ex-Attorney General of California. The fact she is an exAG will help with the law and order crowd. That fact that she led some reforms in California will mitigate that with the problems Joe Biden has with his old lock 'em up policies.
  5. She is smart and has experience. That will be helpful in Joe's own words when the President has to have help with the policies of government.
  6. She is half Indian - American (Eastern, not Native American). Rumor has it that there are lots of Indian-Americans in the swing states.
  7. She is married to a white guy. That helps dispel the argument that she hates white people.
  8. She has run for office and won. That means that people have tried to dig up dirt on her, and most of it has already been dealt with.
  9. Being from California, a Democratic Governor will appoint her replacement should she win. And he will appoint a Democrat (a problem with Elizabeth Warren)
Tamm Duckworth would have been another great choice. But wouldn't help with number 1. And the Democrats need Black Americans to vote out Trump.

She has some downsides.
  1. She doesn't excite young people who see her as part of the establishment.
  2. She doesn't help bring California to the ticket. California was voting Biden no matter what.
But for me, my back up dream is coming true. This is how it plays out:
2020 - Biden / Harris
2024 - Harris / Buttigieg
2028 - Harris / Buttigieg
2032 - AOC loses to a Republican
2036 - Buttigieg / tbd

I wont be alive to see it, but I hope to see a gay man becoming President via this path at some point.

I'm feeling more confident than I have in a while.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Happy Birthday Mom & Nick

 Yesterday was my mother's birthday. Now I wanted to post yesterday, but I had an attack of labyrinthitis and I spent all freaking day in bed. But I am better now so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND NICK.

Love You

Monday, August 10, 2020

Rusty Is Feeling Better

Rusty is feeling tons better. I would put a video of him jumping or something, but he is so damn cute with his stuffed dog.

Yesterday we took him with us to lunch (since you can only serve outside, NYC restaurants are all pretty much dog friendly now). FYI - he loves eating ice from the dog bowl.

Let Me Help You All Understand

 President Trump issued 4 executive orders this week-end. Here is the actual result (versus pro ported result).

1. Extend Unemployment Payments top up until end of year at $400 per week.

First, because this was done through Executive Action, this is probably NOT legal, but may go forward. The "top-up" payments were $600 per week, this extends the top-up system, but at $400 per week, where the government will kick in $300 IF the states (which are broke and must run a balanced budget) kick in $100 per week.

Second, this might be legal because he is just moving money around, like the Supreme Court said he could do with "The Wall" funds. But in this case he is taking it from the disaster relief funds - like wildfire and hurricane funds. Given the recent disasters this "top-up until the end of the year" might last 5 or 6 weeks (note: for those playing at home - there are 20 more weeks in this year).

2. Extend Evection Protection

This executive action requires the government to investigate extending the evection protection act, not do anything. AND this only applies to Federally funded rentals (section 8), which is so not all rentals!

3. Rescind Payroll Tax

Rescind / Defer  - Tomato / Tomahto

So this doesn't remove the Payroll tax. It only defers it until January when you will have a big bill due! Also, it is illegal to do without an act of Congress (although, again, "legality" not a big priority here).  Finally, this tax is for Social Security and Medicare funds, putting them more at risk.

AND, since the payroll tax only is taken out of workers pay checks, this does nothing to help the 30 Million unemployed. It just deprives the Social Security funds until end of the year for people actually working.

4. Student Loan Relief

It should be relief with a small "r". It extends part of the student loan relief from September 30th to November 30th. That part is the tax payments for loans held by the feds, not private loans which the fed guarantees.  So student loan relief here is federally held student loan tax payments for 2 months.

If these aren't the relief promised, why do them. Because American News is the short attention span theater of the day - and no one looks past the headlines. ("Trumps introduces 4 Executive Orders to help people from his Country Club in Bedminster.")

I don't want to knock a gal while she is down, but....

 I don't want to knock a gal when she is down and just had an election stolen from her, but...

Who told poor Svetlana that this was a good look. "Hey, Svetlana, how about we try to baby-poop brown background. And could you wear the prison jumpsuit with the matching belt."

Reminds me of that old "evening vear" commercial....

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia

One of his 2 modes - Full On or Asleep

So, we've figured it out.

Well, Rusty has something called Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia. that is a long name for a congenitally small liver.

The great news is, we can handle this. He needs food with very little protein - we actually got a special diet from Hills Science Diet - so that is good. (And Sue and all - the chewy you sent is perfect!)

We DID (past tense) accidentally make it worse by giving him treats that were hypoallergenic (fish treats) but over 70% protein. And we gave him beef tendons to chew on, which were 100% protein. Those end up being super hard on him.

The not so great news (but we can deal with it) is that indoors he will have to wear a diaper for a while. Turns out the HMD makes him drink a LOT of water and gives him "very frequent urination".

Today he is back in full on puppy mode for the first time in a week.


Still a puppy (albeit loooong) is Play... Play ... Crash

Friday, August 7, 2020

A New York State of Mind

 We are still pretty damn locked down here in New York City. 

I don't know what it is like in other cities or states, but the reason our numbers are so damn low is because there isn't anything to do. Nothing with a crowd is open. No Museums, not Broadway shows, no bars, no movies, no restaurants seating inside.

The US Open (and the Western and Southern Tennis Tournament before that) are going to be played in New York, but with no fans. They have got a hotel where everyone has to be at if they want to play (in the bubble). This allows them to technically stay in quarantine and then leave to play tennis in France and Italy after.

There are a few people worried players may break quarantine, but what are they going to do. No bars or restaurants are open. If they sneak out of the bubble and into Manhattan, then best they can do is eat on the streets. So the tennis people have set up bars and games and functions at the tennis center - again only open to those players and their trainers.

So there won't be an Adria-type partying for the players. Most players like that idea. A free hotel room and no chance of getting the Covid.

It is boring as hell, but our numbers are still super low. Low enough for the game to take place.

As to how we keep this in place. Wait for it. Everyone flying in from a hot spot has to list where they will be quarantining for 14 days. Failure to fill out your form is punishable by a $2,000 fine. And they check the forms agains the passenger lists!

To get around that, some people have been driving in. Now New York City has set up check points at the bridges and tunnels into Manhattan checking for license plates from hot spot states.

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....