Monday, July 4, 2022

We Are Living In Dystopia Right Now

 The dystopian novel became immensely popular - sometime.

It was not that long ago for some of us.

But it was long ago for others of us.

Depends upon when you got born.

I guess.

But Dystopia is a beguiling concept, and its novel manifestations are big buck media possibilities.

It finally hit me tonight, while watching the PBS Newshour: sometime back, more years than anyone would think, we lapsed without catastrophe of identifiable nature, into being a totally dystopic planet.

"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'”

I know of three cats who think they pretty much run a household.

And they do.

Because they are kind, and intelligent, and perceptive masters.

So that Genesis 1:26 bullshit doesn't play with me.

But the dystopic manifestations of that bullshit reek with every version of the evening news.

Especially as to how "man" treats his fellow "man".

And that's before one even begins to think about and acknowledge what "man" has done to "the fish of the sea and ... the birds of the sky and ... the cattle".

When one adds those beings to the equation, one wonders why Genesis wasn't titled "Dystopia". 



Bail Out As Gravy

 During the Catastrophe of 2008/2009 the federal government sent massive bailout payments to the major banks; they were the ones who got us into the catastrophe, so they must be the ones who can get us out - that must have been the thinking.

The only widely documented result of that massive cash transfer is that the amount of the payments matched up remarkably closely to the massive bonuses those threatened banks paid to the jackals that had brought the system to its knees.

Today those jackals, and the banks that employ them wax fat, and probably, dumb and happy and are poised to pull off a similar scam as opportunity allows.

****************************************************

In the run up to the great pandemic lockdown of 2020/2021 the major airlines waxed fat.

I don't know if they were dumb and happy.

I will let you decide about that.

But they were doing so well that they accumulated about $65 billion in prosperity.

That should have been a nice safety pad against the inevitable rainy day.

That rainy day came in 2020/2021 when nobody could leave their houses, let alone get on a plane.

Those airlines were uniformly replete with economic rue: they had spent their safety pad on stock buybacks, not kept it for a rainy day.

So suddenly they were faced with massive ongoing costs and a massive lack of offsetting revenue.

Most of the hard dollar category of those costs were payroll - people, employees and their troublesome related costs - health insurance, IRAs and the like.

"We don't have any money; we are going to have to fire everybody; we can't keep them unless we get $55 billion" said the airlines to no one in particular.

Luckily the Government, in particular, was listening and it shoveled out $55 billion to the airlines so they could retain their people.

**********************************************************

This 4th of July holiday has brought the airlines to their knees.

The reason they give: "not enough people to serve the demand".

I thought, just as previously with the banks, so recently with the airlines, we the people had disgorged massive amounts of money to the airlines so they could keep their people.

At the point of that payment, as bad as the service was, the airlines were at least functioning and getting through holiday surges in demand with an acceptable, if sometimes painful, service level.

They must have had nearly enough people.

Now they don't.

What did they do with that $55 billion?

Saturday, July 2, 2022

What's In It For The Rabbit?

 I only read three periodicals.

They are The Economist, The Week and Islands' Weekly (the Weekly for the Sherriff's log).

The other two that I read have done a yeoman's job of covering the quivering corpse of Roe v Wade.

They have accurately and mercilessly described the Dark Age Implications of the rabbit and the boys' recent overturn of an instance of stare decisis that, for fifty years, made America a modern nation.

Coney = Rabbit, remember?

I realize that that equation, that I keep proffering, is utterly sexist; but stick with me; I have a question that may alter that viewpoint.

The only over the air/streaming news that I consume comes from NPR and PBS.

I have a Gwen Ifill shrine installed in the corner of my living room; I have always thought of her as my other daughter.

Those video sources have paralleled the coverage I have gotten from my periodicals.

We are so screwed.

So, I have been stewing and bubbling and being brought to a boil ever since 24 June.

But tonight the pot boiled over and then, the flame driving it having been extinguished by the fluid on the flame, I came to "closure" while watching Chelsea Handler do her last - current era - guest monologue on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.


This was the Pro Abortion, Pro Women's Rights, Pro Women's Right To Live, to name a few, icing on their cake.

Chelsea is a woman; the women I have seen in the streets since 24 June are women (nice symmetry there); I think I know that the Rabbit is a woman.

Or is there some weird robotic cloning facility in the basement of the Court?

Just a question.

But then, the question of questions: so, if the Coney is human, not Supreme Court Basement Robotery, what's in it for the Rabbit?

To Be Continued, if I live that long.

Meanwhile, Out In Wyoming

 From The Wall Street Journal:

'Back in the Cowboy State, Ms. Cheney faces a serious challenge to re-election for Wyoming’s sole House seat thanks in part to such comments. Many Republican voters here say they are fiercely loyal to Mr. Trump, and her stance has put her out of step with many constituents headed into the Aug. 16 primary. Mr. Trump took nearly 70% of the state’s vote in 2020, his largest percentage win in any state.

'“She’s kind of a little leech,” said Verna Thatcher, 63 years, of Kemmerer, Wyo., while picking up supplies at a Walmart in Evanston. “Why are we doing Jan. 6? It’s been over a year, who cares?”

'The race serves as the marquee test of whether vocal anti-Trump lawmakers can survive in today’s Republican Party, pitting supporters of the former president against a persistent and unapologetic critic with little patience for Mr. Trump’s false claim the election was stolen.

'State Rep. Landon Brown, a Republican who is backing Ms. Cheney for re-election, said she isn’t someone to back down on her beliefs. It was “not a surprise to me at all that she was willing to burn her political capital” to go after Mr. Trump, he said.'

(British style quotes employed)

 “Why are we doing Jan. 6? It’s been over a year, who cares?”

Actually it's been over since 12 December 2000.

We are so screwed.


Friday, July 1, 2022

It's All Down Hill From Here: That Should Make It All Easy

A friend of mine recently sent me an email reacting to part of one of my recent posts.

That post was as follows:

"Cassidy was such a game changer that the republicans have to negate her.

"Fear, uncertainty and doubts are the first order of the day.

"But after Fox has blanketed nut-land with FUDs for some indeterminate timespan, one fact will remain.

"Ms. Hutchinson's testimony is all under oath.

"The only way to directly attack that is not Fox, no matter how much slime they can conjure.

"The only way to directly attack that is testimony under oath refuting everything Ms. Hutchinson has said.

"Assuming that Cassidy was telling the truth (which seems to me to be a very likely to be true assumption - why would a talented young American with an obviously bright future comit perjury on national television?) that says that donnie and the dildos need to recruit a kamikaze cadre to lie under oath and take the criminal risk that such action entails.

"That all works out, the kamikazes will be, told, because, as soon as donnie has been re-installed, they will all be pardoned.

 "We are so screwed."

My friend replied:

"It’s easy for these cowards to snipe from under rocks rather than under oath."

To which I replied:

"But some of them WILL lie for donnie, under oath, with the promise of full pardon after donnie is back on the throne. 

"So, Cassidy is toast. 

"It looks to me, though, that donnie's chances of re-gaining the throne are not too good.  

"He has a clone with a brain that wants the job.  

"When that happens, of course it will be endgame for the United States of America, but at least the orange moron won't be back to bedevil our lives."

In summary: we are so screwed.

A Chant For A Journey On The Road To Oblivion

From the Boston Globe:

 "Now that the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, more than a dozen states over the next month are expected to begin enforcing partial or near-total bans on abortion within their borders. But some foes of abortion have proposed going even further — stopping women from their states from traveling to another where abortion is legal for the procedure.

"Antiabortion groups and state legislators have discussed ways to restrict interstate travel for abortion, according to a Washington Post report. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, which now bans abortion in almost all cases, said there “will be a debate” about how to handle cases of South Dakota women traveling out of state for the procedure."

From The Week:



From Newsweek:


Lauren Boebert Says the Church Is Supposed 

To Direct the Government


From Margaret Atwood:



From me:


Let's all gather together around the fire and chant: "We are so screwed; we are so screwed".





Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Old Pardon Gambit Looms Large

From NBC News:

" WASHINGTON — Republicans and other sources are rebutting elements of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony before the Jan. 6 committee, handing Donald Trump and his allies ammunition as they seek to discredit her and portray her as an unreliable witness.

Hutchinson’s account Tuesday about a dramatic physical altercation between Trump and his top security official on Jan. 6 has come under intense scrutiny after sources told NBC News that two witnesses were prepared to testify under oath that it never happened."

********************************************************

Cassidy was such a game changer that the republicans have to negate her.

Fear, uncertainty and doubts are the first order of the day.

But after Fox has blanketed nut-land with FUDs for some indeterminate timespan, one fact will remain.

Ms. Hutchinson's testimony is all under oath.

The only way to directly attack that is not Fox, no matter how much slime they can conjure.

The only way to directly attack that is testimony under oath refuting everything Ms. Hutchinson has said.

Assuming that Cassidy was telling the truth (which seems to me to be a very likely to be true assumption - why would a talented young American with an obviously bright future comit perjury on national television?) that says that donnie and the dildos need to recruit a kamikaze cadre to lie under oath and take the criminal risk that such action entails.

That all works out, the kamikazes will be, told, because, as soon as donnie has been re-installed, they will all be pardoned.

 We are so screwed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

What Kind Of Moron ...

 ... thinks that he can drive a limousine from its back seat with one hand?

I doubt that even the divinely anointed Ron DeSantis would be that stupid.

But I have been wrong before.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Bennie And Liz Strike Again

 I have been hearing almost since the January 6 Hearings immediately became must watch TV that the only thing missing was a John Dean Moment.

We got that today.

The smell of skunk is becoming unbearable.

If that assertion makes no sense, click here to find out more: Skunk Talk.

Life After Comcast

 In various forms I was a Comcast customer for over twenty years.

I am, perhaps, an idiot, but I'm not that stupid.

In my personal experience Comcast is the worst company in the world: function, service, price being three key business components in which Comcast consistently is at the barrel's bottom - at least in my twenty year experience.

So I knew that I was being screwed but I couldn't do anything about it.

As bad as Comcast is, from a band width viewpoint, Comcast was the only game in town.

Three years ago, I got a mailer from Century Link.

It had an offer that was too good to be true, so I threw the mailer in the recycling waste basket and moved on.

But I couldn't forget what Century link appeared to be offering.

So I took the mailer back from the recycling bin and called the number.

The offer was real; all of what looked to me like weasel words meant what they appeared to be saying.

I just did a speed test.

Here's what value - $65 a month - looks like.



Monday, June 27, 2022

Image For Today

 




Ol' Mitch And The Boys Just Got Joined By Amy The Rabbit

 Coney = rabbit.

And you know how they - rabbits - must copulate to produce the broods they are well known for.

I can't think of why else the Coney Court would promulgate what it did last Friday.

She must have a deep-seated need to proliferate.

She of course has the economic wherewithal to do that: copulate and proliferate.

But what about the rest of us?

Those of us that are currently cash flow managing our food/gasoline/utilities/etc. budgets on our credit cards (at 15% uplift daily for the privilege).

That, of course, applies to the minority of us that have credit cards.

We are hoping, for example, that universal day care will magically somehow get out of the iron grip of Ol' Mitch and the Boys.

But it can't; and it won't; nor will any of the other things that are in a bill that would move America into the quadrant of real modern countries; Ol' Mitch and the Boys are in control; they own the third branch; they own the saucer in which the coffee was to be cooled.

(The preceding comment is referring to a breakfast conversation between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; the analogy made by Washington was that the Senate was constructed as it was to offer a cooling mechanism to the frenzy of legislating emanating from the "people's branch" of the Legislature, just as Jefferson had poured coffee from his cup into a saucer to cool it.  As I wrote this post the analogy appeared to me to equally apply to the Supreme Court as it once was, and still should be, in these heat-filled days of shouting "what goes around comes around").

It's being cooled no more.

They have decided to boil it.

So where does this lead?

Here is where it leads for those of us that are at the pinnacle of the nadir of the economics of the emerging Feudal States of America: see below.

******************************************************

From Wikipedia

"Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century."

"Unlike slaves, serfs could not be bought, sold, or traded individually though they could, depending on the area, be sold together with land. The kholops in Russia, by contrast, could be traded like regular slaves, could be abused with no rights over their own bodies, could not leave the land they were bound to, and could marry only with their lord's permission.  Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the lord of the manor who owned that land. In return, they were entitled to protection, justice, and the right to cultivate certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were often required not only to work on the lord's fields, but also in his mines and forests and to labour to maintain roads. The manor formed the basic unit of feudal society, and the lord of the manor and the villeins, and to a certain extent the serfs, were bound legally: by taxation in the case of the former, and economically and socially in the latter."

******************************************************

Since enough of us in enough states are being denied the capability (rights be damned; those are foo foo, extremist left wing artifices) to vote, even for the keeper of the gates for election administration in those states, the most of us are pretty much screwed.

Welcome to serfdom, mes amis.



Saturday, June 25, 2022

Quantum Politics

 On the outer edges of all the work and equations that Albert Einstein left behind is an area that has come to be called quantum physics.

That edge of Einstein postulates that things exist in more than one instance simultaneously.

I haven't been able to divine if that is two instances, or infinite instances.

I probably nodded off during that part of the discussion.

But, for the purpose of this post, more than one - two - is enough.

Most, if not all, of the republicans who have been testifying under oath before the Select Committee for the January 6 insurrection, and clearly fingering donnie with crimes, say that they will vote for him again if given the opportunity.

I don't know if any of this is true, but Seth Meyers says that it is, so it must be true.

So, Einstein's equations reach far beyond physics.

We are so screwed.

Giving A Cat A Pill

 My wife sent this to me.

It was saved from a print screen.

I have no idea to whom I need to attribute copyright.

If it's you, and if you see this, let me know; I will attribute.



Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Roseanne Prophesy

 I never watched Roseanne the TV show when it was prime time.

I don't know why.

I just never watched it.

In the intervening years on curated re-play TV channels, I have watched it a lot.

Probably the best TV show in history.

And there are reasons for that.

There isn't a line that she delivered in those years of her TV stardom - that I have seen - that isn't prophesy.

donnie the dildo was the inevitable outcome of the histoires et les travails of her family.

So it is so sad that she had to go down in flames when the monster that she had invoked leaped out of the pentagram and started doing evil and she decided to endorse the evil.

It's too bad she wasn't able to take the brilliance of the first show and transfer it to the second show and become, again, a banner under which most of us could march.

But she didn't; or she couldn't; or she wouldn't; or all of the above.

How sad.

How wasteful.

So Far Is Enough: The Skunk Is Cornered

 The Bennie and Liz Show has been brilliant so far.

And so far is enough.

I hear that they have more, lots more, but so far is enough.

But I'm looking forward to the much more, too.

But so far is enough.

donnie is trapped like a skunk.

We should be smelling that fact soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Images

 I think I have mentioned before that I have my screen saver pointed at a massive file of images that I have taken over time.

When I am sitting idle at my computer, the screen saver starts after five minutes.

What ensues has two functions, both useful to me.

First, it is an on-going dementia test: if I can remember where I took the image, I must still be OK, I tell myself; it's surprising how many I remember - most of them; maybe I just make stuff up,

Second, it's a curating assistant: a quick print screen and a little Photoshop et voila, a new long forgotten image complete with name goes to the archive.

I usually post a few of them every now and then, but recently I have not been doing that.

So, there is quite an unposted backlog.

Here are a few of them.




















Thursday, June 16, 2022

Paris In The Rain

 Gil Pender loved and understood Paris in the rain.

So do I.

I loved rain in Paris several years before Midnight In Paris appeared.

But Gil is so right.



Monday, June 13, 2022

Captain's Log, Stardate 41199.9. Our Destination Is Planet Earth

 After numerous generations away, with no contact, due to the "nuclear troubles of the last days of civilization on Earth" we have returned.

"We" are a multi-species, multi-instance-of-origin group.

"We", since we escaped just before the last great days of planet earth and became cosmic wanderers, have joined with other wanderers, and have interbred where possible, and inter-leaved our consciousnesses in all other cases.

On this date, as noted, "we" are returning to one of the major pseudopods of a formerly great inter-galactic Republic.

"We" have the mission of trying to discover what it was that happened here, so catastrophically, so long ago.

**************************************************************

Captain's Log, Stardate 41200.0

We have excavated - removed eons of dust and detritus - from an area of interest, designated by our Historic Records Officer.

We have found a massive icon:

On the base of the massive icon was a message scribed in an ancient language.

Computer has translated it.

"The only problem with Democracy is the voters: we died because of the voters: we believe they had the best of intentions".

****************************************************************

Captain's Log, Stardate 41200.1

We are vacating this quadrant permanently. 

There is no value left here.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Real Irony: The Great Rehearsal

 In 1948 a scholar named Carl van Doren published a book he titled The Great Rehearsal.

The book is a beguilingly accessible tale of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.

I re-read it every few years: knowing the who, what and why of our - Constitutional - now, is worth refreshing every now and then.

Therefore, the words "great rehearsal" loom large in my life and my way of looking at things: they signify 234 years of orderly transition of power and life within the rule of law.

How ironic that 17 months ago we witnessed another great rehearsal, planned, aided and abetted by our then Constitutional Executive, a handful of co-operating Constitutional Legislators and by all but two of the members of the political descendants of the Federalist Party; that recent rehearsal was designed as a dry run of an exercise ultimately intended to overturn the work product of that first Great Rehearsal. 

17 months and counting.


Friday, June 3, 2022

The Second Amendment Seen From An "Originalist" Point Of View

  • Everyone has assault rifles.
  • Those assault weapons are all equipped with high content "magazines".
  • The biggest magazine found in a Google search:  GEN. II 100 ROUND DRUM MAGAZINE
  • "Open Carry" weapons are de regear.
  • Big magazine assault pistols are almost as prevalent as assault rifles (usually carried as side arms in assault rifle mass killings).
  • No law can be passed controlling individual possession of weapons of mass murder
And on, and on et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Ad infinitum.

Here is the text of the Second Amendment.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed".

I think Madison was at the end of a long day and was ready to hit the local pub for some drink and a porterhouse steak when he wrote that fateful sentence.

For a man who supplied the basis for what came to be the Constitution of the United States of America to write a non sequitur sentence such as that - slapdash journalism, it would be called in these times, must be embarrassing to him when he thinks about it from his cosmic perch.

But even more interesting is the fact that all the "originalists" - those that want to use the Constitution word by word according to whatever those words must have meant in 1787 - rally around those words and have prevailed in their interpretation of what those words "must have meant" in 1787.

There are a number of linguistic sciences, and there are a number of really old dictionaries that show that language is a fluid sort of art form.

So to try to figure out what somebody meant with some word from 200 years ago is a laughable exercise in futility.

Also I wish they could ask Madison what he meant by those words so he could say to those "originalists" "I don't know; I had a date, and I was really hungry" 

As the mass carnages that unfold daily under the "originalist" interpretation of Madison's non sequitur spread blood: blood of children, blood of old people, blood, all, of decent people just trying to be make their daily way, that blood is spread on the floors of hospitals, churches, super markets, hyper markets and just about everywhere, all the time, all across this land one wishes that the "originalists" had never been in the world of the rest of us; but they have been and are in the world of the rest of us;  blood be damned; they don't care about anything - but power and its retention.

So the floors of America continue to flow redder.

Red with the blood of lots of us.

Red with the blood of more and more of us.

And daily flow with the blood of more of us.

Red, to what end, one might ask.

Red to the ends - whatever they could possibly be - of the "originalists".

So, ask Ol' Mitch.

And the boys.

************************************************************

Madison obviously didn't know what those words meant; he wouldn't have written them if he had known; but he wasn't a seer; he was just a thinker; and he put down a lot of thoughts on a lot of paper; and a lot of those thoughts have changed the world for the better; but a few of them - the Second Amendment for example - were just a little shaky; and they have destroyed so many lives that one shudders at the counting.

Warren Burger - quoted from a Jim Lehr Newshour interview with Charlayne Hunter-Gault had some thoughts about the various Supreme Court's rulings on Madison's folly.



Saturday, May 28, 2022

Certainly Not Tweedle Dee vs Tweedle Dumb!?






I assume the clips that I have seen of Mr. Walker do not represent his IQ, ability to think or ability to express articulate thoughts.

I assume that those clips have been cherry picked - and, probably, deep-faked - by the liberal press to pick on Mr. Walker just as they always pick on poor donnie.

There is, however, copious recorded evidence extant of the thinking, and speaking ability, and apparent IQ (high, one would surmise) of Mr. Walker's opponent, Raphael Warnock. 

So, the Georgia Senate race promises to be the most interesting in American history: the race card is either off - or fully on - the table, depending upon who the voter is and whether or not they live in Forsythe County.

Since the possible discrepancy of mental acuity between these men can't help but quickly become apparent under the daily rigors of campaigning, (of course voters will have to deeply discount any video evidence of Mr. Walker on the campaign trail due to the undoubted and totally expected continued deep fake production of the liberal press) if such disparity actually exists, and if Mr. Walker wins, that result is going to clearly document something.

I wish I could figure out what that something might be. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Thoughts On The Most Recent Schoolhouse Massacre

​I’m writing this about today’s Texas schoolhouse massacre. 

I was in the ferry line at Anacortes.

Going to Lopez Island, if the ferry didn't break and if the crew showed up.

I knew that was not a given confluence of factors.

So I was already stressed.

The "Breaking News Posts" were just beginning to flood my iPhone home screen.

Fifteen people dead this time. 

They said.

For those into body counts that was above average. 

I thought to myself: "Any minute now we should be able to begin hearing all the standard post massacre chagrin, dismay, gnashing of teeth and demands for gun control". 

Let's face it.

We keep going through this.

At least weekly.

This for now is pretty much a scripted exercise for the next few days; the script is getting so worn and so torn that somebody will need to make a copy before long. 

But by the time this copy of that script completely disintegrates we won’t need it anymore; we’ll have it memorized; all we’ll have to do after each new massacre is all run in circles and shout in unison “Oh chagrin and dismay, et cetera”.

There is nothing wrong with that script; it says all the right things; it’s just that the majority of anybody with time on their hands and guns in their house, or in their car, or under their bed, or gun lobbyists among their campaign doners, really don’t think a few dozen men women and children being shot to death most weeks of most years is any kind of reason for denying the right to keep and brandish implements of destruction. 

And there are more guns than people. 

And there is more faction-driven hate than guns. 

By the time I got to Lopez the body count was twenty one.

And later President Biden said what needed to be said in the manner in which it needed to be said.

But nobody of consequence - the imminent red wave being imminent - cared; he was just being theatrical, they all said.

And the next morning Ol' Mitch said whatever it was that everybody who cares about ongoing mass murder in America knew Ol' Mitch and the Boys would say until the next massacre, when they will say it all again.

He looked more like a turtle than a crocodile; but the tears were crocodilian. 

So shut up, hunker down and wonder where and when your number is going to come up.


 

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Bernie And Pete Fantasy

 I posted this in February 2019.  

Too bad it didn't happen. 

(I can't accept the idea that it did, except it was Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, not Bernie and Pete.)

Having said what I say in this post, at that time I had no feeling for the depth and breadth of hate that had taken over the land.  

My optimistic belief that Bernie and Pete could have won was obviously ridiculous.

But the last 17 months of the Biden administration seem to indicate that I was spot on about one thing: Biden is just too old.

Here is what I said February 2019.

I have been low on hope relating to the 2020 presidential election for some time now.

The candidates that I think would beat donnie, Joe Biden, Jerry Brown or Bernie Sanders are just too old.

They could win, but could they live – with vigor – for the eight years that are two terms?

That question surrounds those candidates with a pall of gloom.

And gloom is not conducive to hope.

For a couple weeks now, though, I have been feeling hopes descend upon me.

Here is hope one: Bernie wins the nomination.

Here is hope two: Bernie picks Pete Buttigieg as his running mate.  Pete is the most articulate and clear thinking person I can remember ever hearing speak.

A Bernie and Pete – a Democratic Socialist and a brilliant Millennial – can win.

And the age problem is solved.

Having someone like Pete as Vice President puts a completely competent replacement at the ready.

And if Bernie can deliver two terms of competent leadership it puts us in the position to get two more terms with a well seasoned Vice President who would only be 46 years old in 2028.

Those are my hopes.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Street Walk With Bread In Paris

 Later this year I am going to Paris for a month.

In the last twenty years I have lived in Paris for about two of those years.

In 2019 for no apparent reason, I decided not to go.

If I had known about the looming nightmare I would have gone for the entire year of 2019.

But I didn't.

So here we are.

And I'm betting that it will be possible to go to France in 2022.

I know people who went in 2021; I know people who are going this year, imminently, in 2022.

So I must be able to go there and celebrate my 80th birthday with my family in 2022.

Right?

We shall see.

I take my ThinkPad with me so, if it works out, expect, daily blog posts.

Because that is what I do.

In Paris.

In the late afternoon/early evening, before I go to le Départ St-Michel, or la Frégate or le Bonaparte, or, my favorite la Citrouille.

None of these are on the chic de Paris list but I always feel welcome and at home in each of them.

Le Départ has the additional feature that it is at the terminal point where the RER and the Metro disgorge huge segments of the world's population every few minutes; most people coming out of station St Michel are tourists; a table in le Départ is seeing what might be if there weren't nations in the way.

And what might be looks pretty good to me.

Every time.

So I guess it's time to get to the point of this post.

I just sent this text to my friend who is imminently departing for Paris.

I like the story that it tells.

"Re: baguettes, the Parisian thing to do is, while you are walking home, break off the end - Le quignon - and eat it ravenously. It's OK to rip more off after you have consumed the quignon. The downside is that if you have a long walk there may not be a baguette left when you get home. This experience is especially delicious if you get a still warm/hot baguette. If you buy around 16h30 you have a pretty good chance of that happening".

Here is a still life I once shot in my Paris apartment with a baguette as a key feature.


Having nothing to do with anything said above, here is a still life I shot in my apartment on American Thanksgiving day 2018. 

It had taken some time, travel and interesting conversations with the locals before I finally had finally been able to assemble the makings of  Bloody Marys in Paris.

Tomato juice was the biggest problem: "jus de tomate" didn't seem to get me anywhere; it's tomate marmande; how stupid of me not to know that; and how French of them not to tell me that they knew what I was asking for; god, I love the French, especially Parisians.

But to the Bloodies: I was so excited.

When I got all that stuff together.

Isn't the celery a work of art on its own?

I got so drunk.

I think I spent the better part of an hour on Facetime with Ann Claire and Joe.

But I don't remember.

For sure.



Two Story Images From France

 The images have a story.

The image names indicate what the story might be.

First we have "Samaritaine Repurposed"


Then we have "Benjamin Franklin débarqua à Auray"



Another Laugh From Anonymous

 This was the last entry in one of those emails that make the rounds consisting of a never-ending pithy sayings in recognition of some perceived injustice or conspiracy.

It was the last one of a long series.

The series consisted of zingers that were just amusing enough to keep me scrolling rather than hitting delete.

Then I came to the last one.

This one made me laugh.

It was unattributed, but if the author sees this, please let me know your identity so I can attribute.

"I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Afghanistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck".




Thursday, May 19, 2022

'Merican Way Is Best?

 I heard an hour of quality radio analysis today.

On NPR.

"What else, you obvious-stating disciple of redundancy" I heard shrieked from that arena just beyond life, that I can't penetrate, but can't elude.

So it constantly harasses me.

From the void.

The interview was about infant formula.

You, know, the stuff that can't be found any more, and without which, American infants are going to start dropping like flies? 

Net, net: the problem is that that business, infant formula, has been ceded to a monopoly ("lot more efficient; we can cut national contracts; we can control prices; poor people can get the stuff for nothing").

The parenthetical remarks are from our government.

Sounds humanitarian.

Real humanitarian.

But, like the FAA, FDA has produced its own Max 8.

In that monopoly, one big company, a conglomerate, has as one of its LOBs (lines of business) an infant formula company.

Since being a monopoly with an unavoidable product - food for the very young of the human race, especially the very poor of that race - seems to be such a no-brainer that no corporate executive of any consequence would pay any attention to it.

The big company didn't.

Pay any attention to it.

The plant that produced the stuff was a cash-producing cow.

There was something resembling milk coming out the back, after all.

Unfortunately the stuff began to have bacteria that killed infants.

That was a problem.

But problem aside - the FDA and the plant manager had a long-time friendship so little aberrations like lethal bacteria were easily handled - running that thing for shareholder value was like flying an airplane on auto pilot.

Actually I made most of that up for literary emphasis.

It turns out that the software that runs that LOB had been purchased from Boeing Software Services.

I made that up also.


Boeing Starliner

 The first time they tried to launch the thing it had a mission killing software "anomaly".

The second time they had to cancel the attempt due to corroded valves.

I hear they are pretty sure that the third try will probably work.

I guess the same thinkers of great thoughts in tall buildings that brought the world the nose diving 737 Max have been working on space craft as well.

If I were an astronaut I would only fly SpaceX.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Out Of The Corner Of My Eye

 When I was a child, I caught a fleeting glimpse

Out of the corner of my eye

I turned to look, but it was gone

I cannot put my finger on it now

The child is grown, the dream is gone

I have become comfortably numb

Pink Floyd: The Wall

In the last few days, I have been seeing things out of the corner of my eye.

There is movement.

There is bulk.

There is color: dark slate.

I turn to look but it is gone.

Or maybe never was.

But I know I saw it, out of the corner of my eye.

So, what might it be? I heard somebody say.

I not only thought I saw it, out of my eye's corner, but I briefly felt I recognized it, each time I saw it.

But that recognition has been fleeting, out of the corner of my brain; or out of the corner of my conscious.

But I think that it is a version of the shadow that my mother used to see imminently prior to life changing events.

Like Annie's death.

So, what is imminent?

The pressure cooker that is America, described by me recently in another post, comes to mind.


The Question Is

 Globalization has spawned many things, among them an excruciatingly efficient, just-in-time supply chain that has worked to fill Walmart with easily affordable merchandise, geegaws and mandatory marks of modernity.

There are some guns too.

That supply chain, under pressure, has disintegrated.

A century of one-of-a-kind in history growth fueled by unleashing the power of stored carbon has heated the planet such that the answer to why Mars has no atmosphere seems to be pretty obvious; but the beneficiaries of carbon release don't live on earth; they are merely passing through, so any attempt to eliminate carbon release, and with it the vast wealth continually generated, is met with total blockage: the Carbon Releasers own the various governments of the world and governments call the shots - after being advised as to what the shots are.

The industrial structure of the world has been constantly refined over the last 50 years under the banner bearing the words "bigger is best; mergers prevail; monopolies generate the most shareholder value". 

A symptom of the effectiveness of that rush to bigness is the fact that Americans are in imminent risk of having their infant children starve to death.

Another such symptom of the efficiency of the business of big is the fact that the time lapse between the latest bad news about the increasing cost of oil in the ground and the price posted on the pump is less than 24 hours.

Damn that's fast.

And the pickups in the queue at the gas pumps and their owners all have guns; and there are few vehicles other than pickups at those pumps.

Religion reigns supreme in the land.

Politics of extremes reign supreme in the land.

The republican party has wrapped these two things up in a flour tortilla and are serving that product at mass rallies nationwide; the product is called the MAGA Wrap.

Hate lurks, leaps out of dark republican and dark religious quarters, and reigns supreme in the land; an existential fear of white people being replaced by almost everything cohabits all the dark quarters where hate reigns.

A new wrap of hate, replacement fear and virulent white supremacy - called the Non-Replacement/Hate Wrap - is being served up at MAGA events and republican dark dens.

A fusion of wraps appears imminent: Non-Replacement and MAGA are reaching critical mass.

And the rallies have lots of guns.

And the Wraps, with their associated frictions, the disintegrated supply chain with its associated scarcities, the intensity of unwillingness to acknowledge the cooking of the planet with its increasingly violent confrontations between the acolytes of the Carbon Releasers and the "Other Side", the imminent starvation of the babies of the land with the inevitable associated despair in the face of that looming event, and the price of living in a non-competitive economy with its implicit never endingly growing profit margins and bonuses and hyper concentration of wealth, and even cash flow, taken all together, are sources of new frictions.

Luckily there are lots of guns.

Guns are great way to settle things and deplete friction among warring factions.

There is more, a lot more.

And what I have said could have been said much better than I have.

But this is all the time, energy and talent that I have at my disposal; it's all I can offer preparatory to getting back to the title of this post.

The question is "is America still a country or is it a pressure cooker bomb"?


Friday, May 13, 2022

The Turkey In The Straw

 After decades of the desire to remain neutral (big bad wolf being on their border) Finland has faced facts.

The big bad wolf is really bad.

Finland beat the wolf last time, but the Finns are a pragmatic lot: why not get the protection of Article Five?

And I can't think of a people that I would personally be more happy to welcome into that sort of protective envelope.

The Finns punch way above their weight class: they have some of the best educated people in the world and they have endorsed a real democracy as their ruling principal.

NATO would benefit from them being in the alliance.

But the Joe Manchin of the NATO alliance, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of Turkey is going to vote no.

Because that to be inducted into NATO, all 30 members need to vote yes, that kills the deal.

Much like Manchin and most of his republican cronies, Erdoğan is in thrall to Putin.

The only downside I can see to purging Turkey from NATO is that Erdoğan would immediately sign up for a military alliance with Russia.

Since we already have that situation, I don't see any downside to such a purge.

Right now Erdoğan has it both ways: Turkey is in NATO so it has Article Five protection, AND Erdoğan buys Russian weapons systems, which don't mesh with NATO weapons systems, AND he allies with Putin at every fork in the geopolitical road.

Finland is too important to let Erdoğan continue to screw up the Atlantic Alliance.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Silent Thanksgiving

 There is, we are told, a new bird flu.

It only kills birds - so far; eagles are especially vulnerable, we are told.

But nobody - except weirdos - eats eagles.

Or so the story goes.

So, nobody would care, except, turkeys are dying in the millions.

So, I guess, next Thanksgiving, Ol' Uncle Newt is going to be able to pontificate about the election steal of 2020 over the golden-brown carcass of a marmot - the new Thanksgiving Bird.

Or maybe it will be a racoon.

Next Thanksgiving.

A Random Email To A Friend Of Joe's

 I go to Manchester every now and then, so it should be possible.  I was a manager for IBM in Jefferson City from 1981 - 1983 and spent some time in Springfield.  What a great town. And there was a restaurant outside of the city - Joe remembers the name - that had the best frog legs I have ever had; I think it is out of business now.  Speaking of out of business landmarks, Jefferson City had Nick's Homestead: the best fried chicken in the world.  Veit's in JC had really good boiled (bolled) shrimp and good martinis, as I recall.  We lived halfway to Columbia on a lake.  Joe walked across the lake in winter to meet his friend Chris who was kitty corner from us on the lake.  I always wondered if Joe was going to hit a soft spot; I guess he didn't.  Chris died a while back in a mysterious fire. We caught a lot of bluegills in that lake; and skied a lot of water.  Missouri is a favorite stop that I have had in my wanderings.  Too bad it's so bought in to hate driven politics.

We live mostly these days on Lopez Island, a member of the American San Juan's; we are closer to Canada than we are to the United States, which is strangely comforting.

The Goldfinches have returned, en masse, so I guess the world is more OK than it would appear to be.

I realize that the other bird in the first image is a pine siskin.






The Goldfinches Are Back

 





Monday, May 9, 2022

Evangelicals Revisited

 This is a full 19-minute segment of Amanpour and Company.

It is worth every minute of your time - 19 minutes to be exact - but be aware that 19 minutes is a timespan well beyond the attention span of most of us.

Hapless.

Americans.



Victory Day?

 What could better document the total failure of a country, by all measurements, than that it's biggest day of the year is the celebration of a victory in a war, (a victory shared in equal parts with two other countries, by the way) a war that ended 77 years ago?

Has nothing of consequence happened since 1945 to contribute to the greatness of that country?

Maybe a movie made in America with an Egyptian leading man?

But, oh, yes, I forgot; they have purged the Nazis from their "Near Abroad".

Recently.

So they say.

With falsetto bravado.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

I Just Got This Email

 CONGRATULATION ON YOUR COMPENSATION FUND

This is to inform you that the United States Government Authority (USA) in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been alleged to monitor all transaction. I hereby advise you to stop whatever transactions you are having in regards of your fund. This information is reaching you because from our intelligent unit we discovered you have been involved in a transaction with Internet Fraudster. Based on a closed door-meeting held by all stakeholders regarding your bad experience with the Internet Fraudster. However, a sum of (US$1,200,000.00) has been approved to compensate all Scam Victims across the world by the above-mentioned Organizations. We unanimously agreed to pay you Via ATM MASTER CARD for the safety of the said amount as a compensation Scam Victims across the world. You are advised to provide this office with your full details such as Your Name, Cell Phone Number, Occupation and your Current Home Address where your ATM MASTER CARD will be delivered to you for security reasons, get back to us for easy communication's through this (email: s1973.spc@gmail.com) as We have been given the Mandate to get your ATM MASTER CARD delivered to you by all the Stakeholders. Yours in Service, Antonio Guterres Head Of Operation

****************************************************

I am so excited.

I can hardly wait to receive my Master Card so I can get my money.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

More About Boeing

 I pointed out recently that the way Boeing always built great planes was that the engineers and the accountants, the riveters and the welders, the managers and the executives - everybody who worked for Boeing knew everybody who worked for Boeing and they all had the right to wander the floor to see how things were going and, after work they all ended up in a few downtown Renton bars and grills and talked shop into the evening hours.

That was probably a little romanticized, but that's kinda how it was.

And that's how great planes got made.

That worked for most of the Twentieth and into the Twenty First Century.

Then Boeing acquired McDonnel and things changed.

The Missouri crowd didn't like the stench of all those workers either on the shop floor or in the bars and grills.

They felt the need to move off to tall buildings to immaculately conceive the future of Boeing.

So they moved to Chicago.

And that spawned the 737 Max 8, which see, below.


I suggested in a previous post that the Chicago crowd all ought to be fired and Boeing should get back to being and building planes in Renton where history seems to say that Boeing's success has always been.

Yesterday we heard the news.

Boeing is shutting down in Chicago.

And they are moving to Washington DC.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Loyalty Oath

In Catch 22 there was a phase of the story where everyone was compelled - all the time, at every normal daily transaction like standing in the chow line - to sign a loyalty oath.

donnie has endorsed some 50-odd candidates across the country in the upcoming primary elections.

One of them, J.D. Vance has already won.

All of them have signed a loyalty oath.

The oath says, among other things, that the signee agrees that the 2020 election was stolen from donnie.

I find that unsettling.

That's a lot of liars and abject idiots vying for elective office.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Random Night Pictures Of Paris

 I have an amazing number of them.

The quality improved markedly in 2014 when my wife and I had walked back to rue St Honoré from Parc Monceau.

It had gotten dark.

I guess the settings on my camera were the result of some high intensity light need to compensate images I had been taking in the Parc.

So we were in the dark on rue St Honoré; or it could have been le Faubourg, I really don't know.

I started shooting images.

When I saw what had been captured I was dazzled.

How ... I looked at the settings and saw how; those settings were totally counter-intuitive.

Here are some images I have shot since.

The settings work the same on any of my Sony cameras.