Monday, January 22, 2018

Ed's Birthday

This week-end, Eddie, Trevor and I went up to Lake Placid for the week-end. It was a lot of fun.  We had great food at Smoke Signals.  In fact some of the best bar-be-que I've had!

We saw dogsleds on the lake.

But the most fun was that we actually took a bobsled ride on the Lake Placid bobsled run (used in 1980 Olympics).  It was a blast.

Eddie at the start if the bobsled run


Afterwards!

The covered portions are the bobsled run.  The coverings are lightweight, but used to keep the snow off the track


Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Reigious and Conscience Protections are hard to understand...

The Trump administration has issued new guidelines for Religious and Conscience protections.  The LGBTQ  community is pretty upset because they were advertised (to Trump's base) as making it safe for people to discriminate.

I read the ACTUAL documents, and the wide interpretation of Section 2 allows for some consequences that aren't immediately obvious, but are damning.  First - the text from HHS.gov.



The section that allows discrimination against LGBTQ personal is section 2.  It could make it legal for a hospital or any health personnel to:
  1. Deny any invitro support to a homosexual couple.
  2. Deny a married homosexual couple a voice in each other's care (so we are back to needed medical power of attorney).
  3. Deny any medical service to a Transsexual American.
  4. Deny HIV care.
  5. Deny HIV prevention drugs.
  6. Deny child care services to the child of a gay couple (this has already happened in Michigan
  7. Deny emergency care to a homosexual (rare now, but widespread during earlier eras of AIDS)
  8. Deny schedule care to a homosexual
For single women - gay or straight - it allows:
  1. Refusal of contraception.
  2. Deny invitro support to a single woman (gay or straight)
  3. Deny pre-natal care to a single woman (gay or straight)

The actual wording is soft enough to be read as not particularly of interest to LBGTQ. But the speakers today at the HHS unveiling were a who's who of anti-gay activists.

UPDATE: HHS’s announcement Thursday morning featured several speakers who spoke out about concerns related to abortion, but who also have long histories of opposing LGBTQ equality, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who helped kill an LGBTQ rights bill in 2016, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who believes it should be legal to fire people for being gay, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), who led the fight to keep transgender people out of the military, Montse Alvarado, head of the anti-LGBTQ Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Everett Piper, who proudly declared that Oklahoma Wesleyan University sought a religious exemption so it could discriminate against transgender people.

Dead Batteries - Trump Ass Kissing....

Between the planned obsolescence software updates and the Trump-sycophantic interview he gave to ABC yesterday I'm thinking about Android phones.

That was a lot of Trump Ass Kissing even for a CEO.

Last Minute Theatrics

The Republicans control the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Presidency.  They have since last year.

And yet, somehow, they cannot make the government work. We have avoided 3 government shutdowns because, at the last minute, the Republicans promised to work with Democrats - who then vote with the Republicans to avoid a shutdown, because too many Republicans themselves vote to shut the government - even though they are the government.  Paul Ryan has needed Democratic votes to get it through the House every time (even though they are a majority of 248 - 186).

Today and tomorrow we are in the theatrics again as we are "36 hours from a government shut-down!!!!".

VSG* President Ting Hands has thrown not 1, but 2 different roadblocks at different times derailing negotiations not once, but twice.

First the President promised to sign a bill (even if it is unpopular) that was bi-partisan fix to DACA and border security.  Last week, after a bi-partisan fix was proposed, but he nixed it because it let people from shithole countries in Africa and Haiti stay in the country - despite the bill containing 3 of his key requirements for the border and wall. That hissy-fit took down the first attempt.

So the Republicans are trying to get a continuing resolution on their own (passing with only Republican votes) and daring the Democrats to hold back 9 votes in the Senate to pass it. To make it harder for the Democrats to vote against it, the House Republicans proposed adding funding for CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program) which has run out of funds.  The idea is that Democrats will have to eat whatever shit is in the resolution to keep letting kids get health insurance. It is a tough one for many republicans because they think the only thing they should support is paying for the military, giving budget busting tax breaks to millionaires and they complaining about the budget.

But before they could even vote on that proposal, VSG P TH tweeted today that the stop gap funding should NOT include CHIP funding (because who gives a shit about kids).

I would be very interested to see the 248 Republicans propose something that would get 218 Republican votes and pass on their own.

*Very Stable Genius

The Case For President Trump By Trump Voters and Supporters

The New York Times today has published their entire opinion page with letters from President Trump supporters outlining WHY the support the President. I can argue with some details, but in the main they are intelligent comments. 

I believe that anyone who is anti-Trump should read these to understand the thoughts of Americans who support the President. And it can only help open our dialog as Americans.

LINK

Header
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/opinion/trump-voters-supporters.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pick Me! Pick Me!

I call bullshit....

Humm.. released during the immigration debate.  This makes a pretty serious case against immigration - unless... You know, it's bullshit.

So, the document includes "some" terrorist attacks overseas.  That might increase the numbers of foreign born terrorists.

So, the document looks at those convicted of "international terrorism-related charges". So the domestic mass shooters are not included. So a terrorist attack on a US target is specifically NOT included.  That might lower the percentage of "American born" vs. "foreign-born", right? I mean a terrorist attack IN America, BY an American is not included...

Sounds like somebody is cooking the books.

NOW It All Makes Sense

I am usually a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, his sensibility and his movies (except the violent  "There Will Be Blood"). But I never really thought about why. They I read the article where he had a Q&A, and I read what he recommended to others. 

He is, so, LA - turns out he was born in Studio City in 1970. 

This link is here, but here are the top LA-centric things he recommends. (Old movie stars, watching great movies on film and LA New Wave Radio / Bands).

Humphrey Bogart
Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77*
Call Me by Your Name
...
Joan Fontaine
Full Metal Jacket
Cary Grant
...
• Hitchcock’s Advice to Shoot Love Scenes Like Murder Scenes and Shoot Murder Scenes Like Love Scenes [This seems to be Fran├žois Truffaut’s description of Hitchcock’s work rather than actual advice from Hitchcock.]
KROQ in the New Wave Era
...
Carole Lombard
...
Charles Laughton
The Los Angeles Dodgers
Myrna Loy
James Mason
The Motels
Nashville
Oingo Boingo
...
Seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark at the La Reina Theatre on Opening Day
The Shining
The Specials
...
Watching Movies on Film
Wild at Heart
John Williams
Wonder Woman
Writing Out Your Characters’ Names Every Time Instead of Using the Autofill Features in Screenwriting Software
X

Respond and You Fall Into His News Cycle: Don't Respond And You Normalize Him

If you don't call shit like this out, then you run the risk of letting his crazy talk become normalized.

News flash : VSG* President Tiny Hands man is not the least racist person you will ever know.

Unless you grew up in a KKK house, and maybe even then, VSG President Tiny Hands is right up there as one of the most racist people you'll ever meet and he has the power to act on it.

*VSG - Very Stable Genius

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

We saw "I Tonya" - We Liked It

I don't know why the Tonya Harding story has such a hold on us.  I mean, there was the knee-capping of Nancy Kerrigan - which ended up making both of them hated figures.

Sebastian Stan, Margo Robbi and Juliette Nichols


But the movie was about a lot more than that.  It was about a dysfunctional lower class American family who found 1 way out of the cycle. Tonya Harding fought against every USA Skating roadblock to do well and get to the Olympics. Her story was sad, empowering, challenging, tough to watch and funny.

And Tonya Harding seems to understand this. It is a movie that definitely has Tonya's point of view in front and center.

Margo Robbi, Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan are all excellent. Janney has the juiciest part, but they are all great.  The coach is Juliette Nichols, who I have reviewed  on and off-broadway for years. The same is true for Sebastian Stan, which is why I probably rooted for his acting as well.

It is an interesting and fun watch - if a little harsh every now and then.
The scene stealer (Allison - not the bird)

In This Case, I Am Very Pro-Death Penalty

You chain up your children, don't feed them or let them go to the bathroom.  Your 17 year old is mistaken by the police for a 10 year old.  You deserve the Death Penalty.  And Yes, I would pull the lever. (link)


Monday, January 15, 2018

How The Hell Did We Get to This Shithole? (Sorry "shithouse")

Let's take a quick look at the way a tale of Trump ineptness rolls out, that screws Americans.

Jan 3 - Leaks emerge about the new book Fire and Fury

Jan 4 - Trumps threatens to sue publishers, writer and anyone close to the book

Jan 5 - Book is released

Jan 6 - Trump tweets that he is not only a "genius",  but a "very stable genius" (VSG)

Jan 8 - To prove that he is a very stable genius, he hosts a meeting on immigration where he lets the cameras in. During this meeting, the VSG changes position on DACA at least twice (DACA refers to children who were brought into the country when they were under 12 - and have been crime free since - they have been free from deportation, until Trump turned that back and gave Congress 6 months to fix it.
Ultimately VSG Trump told the participants that if they can come up with a plan - he'll sign off and take the heat.

Jan 10 - Senators Durbin (D) and Graham (R) present the Senate DACA / Immigration compromise.
Trump is livid. Although he gets some border security fencing, an end to family reconciliation immigration and the visa lottery - the plan includes giving green cards to some people here for humanitarian reasons from Haiti, El Salvador and Nigeria.
Trump asks, repeatedly, why we are letting immigrants in from these "shithole countries"

Jan 11 - White House does not deny comment. Durbin and Graham acknowledge he said this.

Jan 12 - Republican Senators Cotton (R) and Purdue (R) can't remember what they heard

Jan 13 - Preident gets into a twitter war with the Wall Street Journal over whether he said "I probably have" a good relationship with little Rocket Man or "I'd probably have". Petty semantics overblown, because we actually do know what you meant there.

Jan 14th - President golfs for 71st in year 1 (taxpayers paying - as always - to golf at a Trump facility.)

Jan 15 - Senators Cotton (R) and Purdue (R) now say they do remember and the President definately did not say "shithole countries".
- After much pushback, a leaker from the White House informs the press that OUR VSG President Tiny Hands now claims he said "shithouse countries" not "shithole countries" - hence the press and Senators Durbin (D) and Graham (R) are lying.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Late To The Party - But I Was Impressed with Dead Wake

For some reason, most of Erik Larson's books don't resonate with me.  White City and Thunderstruck are good books and he does a great job of mixing history with a salacious story usually, but it just doesn't really float my boat (get it).

On the other hand, I loved Dead Wake. I just finished it (after putting down Mr. Larson's books for a while). It is less breathless, but somehow more immediate for me. You know the Lusitania is going down and it helps push the US into war, but the volume of stories he has found is amazing.

Sure there is a little President Wilson side-story that is Danielle Steele-lite, but I could put up with that. It is a very cool book.

The U-boat story is captivating and the stories of the passengers touching.

THIS is why the best laid plans go astray...

I don't want to respond to every stupid ass comment President tiny hands makes. I KNOW that he is lying or stupid (or gets all his information form Fox News).  But still - things like this make my head explode.



Let's take this ONE TWEET - which the President and his team says are official US Policy - and look at it.

The "Reason I canceled my trip to London..." this isn't true. He cancelled because he didn't want to be protested. I don't call this a lie, because while I can speculate on his reasoning, it is beyond anyone to follow it.

"...Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London..." LIE. The decisions was made by the Bush Administration before Obama was even elected, because of the inability to secure the centrally located embassy in London.

"...for "peanuts",..." LIE.  Actually the cost of the new embassy was very expensive, but it was entirely funded by sales of US properties in London.

"...only to build a new one in an off location..." LIE. The new embassy is closer to the official British government buildings, including walking distance to British intelligence agencies.

"Bad deal" LIE - In fact while the US owned the old embassy building, we did not own the land under it. It could not be secured, it was farther from British working government offices and was in the congestion pricing program, where we racked up $15 million dollars in fines.

And this was 1 of over a dozen tweets including ones where he said:
  • "The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country..."  Yeah, that's what we believe in.
  • "The language used by me in the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used."  Which, despite being an inept sentence seems to indicate he is trying to say he didn't use the words "shithole countries", which would be a LIE.
It's exhausting and painful to not comment on our liar in chief - hand size not withstanding.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

No, "Treason" is actually defined in our constitution

The President said an FBI agent committed "treason" by sending nasty tweets about him.

Actually no. Treason, in the United States, is actually defined in the Constitution (which the President pretends to honor).

It is only in shithole countries where the President gets to call out treason in a temper tantrum designed to move the conversation from his comments about shithole countries.

link (see Article III, Section 3)

Stay Classy America

I think it is stupid when the network news can't report what the President said, because it is too crude for television.  This Pussy-grabber is who we elected!  But his profane rants on the news for everyone to hear.
This guy is the President of the United States! If he is our voice to the world, Norway and shithole countries, then broadcast it so we can all be proud of our racist narcissistic sociopath.