Sunday, August 13, 2017

Attorney General and Kebelr Elf Jeff Sessions Figures OUT Way to Avoid Future Comment on Charolettesville Murder

This is the picture.
This is the "All Side of Hate" Trump lukewarmly condemned.

Now, as Attorney General of the United States and Secretary of the Department of Justice, one would hope Jeff Sessions would condemn the violence of the killer in Charolettesville.

But, instead they have opened not a criminal investigation, but a Civil Rights Investigation of the incident. Why the difference?  The highlighted quote tells you all you need to know.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Face of Poor White Male Oppression

Twitter nails it.

Now imagine what would happen is young 20something black men marched with torches screaming they were going to "take back America".

Or imagine they were American Muslims.

Or imagine they were American Latinos.

This is the face of your "Southern Pride" that we see. Only with the Stars and Bars, the Nazi flags and hoods.

The rally was held originally, by the way, by White Supremacist marching because the city of Charolettesville  is planning on removing a statue of General Lee - the commander of the slaving holding south.  Ya'll lost that mooching war.

OH... I See. In London It Is Terrorism. In the USA It is "HATRED ON MANY SIDES"

Yes, because marching against the Klu Klux Klan (formed to lynch black men by ex-confederate fighters) is the same as getting into a Dodge Challenger and an accelerating into a crowd of demonstrators - killing 1 and injuring at least 14 others.

Because in Trump's America - that isn't terrorism. It is "hatred on many sides."

I honestly do not have the vocabulary to express my anger.  And still, STILL, I wouldn't think of driving a car over innocent people.

Oddly, When Muslim Terrorist Do This Overseas - Trump Is The First To Tweet Terrorism

OK... when this exact same thing happens overseas (a London Van drive ran into a group of pedestrians) - President Tiny Hands gets right on the his little unsecured phone and tweets about terror and how London sucks!

However, when a white terrorist (I am assuming he is white - true) does it to a group protesting against a KKK / "Southern Pride" rally and then kills Americans - he says ... bland words of crap.

In this country he can't even bother to call out the people that did this. 

So this is the problem with "Raise Taxes Always" Liberals (at least in New York)

So this is the problem with "Raise Taxes Always" Liberals (at least in New York).

I don't know if you have heard, but the New York Subway system is a bit of a mess. It handles, well, I will quote the MTA...

Ridership:: In 2016, average weekday subway ridership was 5.7 million, the highest since 1948. Annual ridership was 1.757 billion.

That is a lot of people. And in the late 1940s, the electrical and switching systems were from the 1930s, so about 10 - 15 years old.

Yep, a current picture of NY Subway Technology - Really

Today the electrical and switching systems are... from the 1930s and therefore about 80 - 85 years old.

Now to fix this, the NY Times is proposing to reissue the tax on commuters. Bill DeBlassio is proposing a new tax on individuals making of $500K or couples making over $1 Million.

BUT THE PROBLEM ISN'T MONEY. The New York Subway system has over a $1 Billion dollars in funds designated for infrastructure they haven't spent yet. Sure, if hypothetically then spent all that money tomorrow, then the subway system MIGHT have a shortfall. But they can't spend the money at all. They couldn't find their ass with a map and compass (hat-tip on analogy to Mom).

I think starting an argument about taxes (as Bill DeBlassio has done) is Trumpian-Brilliant. Now, everyone wants to talk about taxes, not the idiot Democrats' (DeBlassio and NY Governor Cuomo share responsibility for the subway system in the city) inability to hire people to do the fucking job (hat-tip on adjective to ex-Presidential spokesman A. Scaramucci).

More pictures of the NY Subway's current systems:

 PS- Do you remember when you had to take those massive transistors to the drugstore to test if you 15 inch black and white TV was working okay? No - NEITHER DOES ANYONE!  WE have to have 100 year old technology transistors made by hand today. Maybe stop that before raising taxes.

In the words of our Presidential Spokesman - Dear MTA Stop trying to suck your own cock!

Friday, August 11, 2017

And This is Why I Love Aaron Tveit

Look at the rehearsal footage from Company, at the Barrington Stages in  Pittsfield.  I loath the show, so I won't be going, but I do love Mr. Tveit.  Hear his pure voice on the clip.  And, I dare you not to cringe at the squeaky ass voice that overpowers the company when he is joined by the full cast.

This is why California Rocks and Beaches Back East Suck Ass

So it was $25 (per person) to enter a public beach on Long Island. $60 per car to park (before paying the access fee) in Oyster Bay.

In California (FYI - with MUCH better beaches) it is a public right!

Talk About Working to Find the Bright Side - thank you Bloomberg

Wow... this is hell of a story from Bloomberg. I will say the title here is better than on my Apple News Feed - which just said:
Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions

But not much better. The real story here is that our national life expectancy has gone DOWN! When this happened to Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) we worried (and felt superior to them - let's admit it) because of rampant alcohol abuse and lose of middle class opportunities.

Well it is happening to may of us Americans now, only with drug abuse instead of alcohol (we prefer Oxycontin and heroin to Vodka).

Now if you read the article, it turns out that this is happening to Canada and Britain as well. Experts aren't sure why. Partially the recession and the cuts to the safety net.

Not cited I guess that it might have also to do with climate change. Both directly (we have had over 100 "thousand year weather events" in the past decade) and - more importantly - indirectly. That is, our bodies have to work harder in the heat or live with more air conditioning - which is great, except we don't get the air cleaned all that much (don't believe me - look at your AC's filter!).

In any case - heigh ho, we're off.

So.. Do Me A (Free ) Favor

Here's the deal. I have a "Show Score" Reviewers page (link). They contacted me. Now their site is in the early stages, but I would like to get in on the ground floor.

So if you would go over, login (you can use facebook and let them share nothing if you want) and select [FOLLOW] for me, I would be like SUPER grateful.  I don't know if it will ever amount to anything, but if I drive traffic I will get invited to some great shows (and take you when you are in New York and it works!).

The way it works is that I put my regular reviews up on (link). They I give Show Score the link for the individual show, a numerical rating from 0-100. And a 500 word quick hit review. Example below (with a couple more at the end).

Example Review:

My Bio on Show Score Page:

Other Examples:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And Finally... Happy Birthday MOM

My mother turns another year older today. As Zela would say (with zero emphasis) "whoo-pee".

And yet I, for one, am happy to see her age. You see my mother has a unique personality. I don't mean it in any way bad, she is just Sheri - and always has been since I can remember.  And toady, she still has that funny, sarcastic, take-no-shit and take-no-prisoners attitude that I love.

And that gives me hope that as I age, despite what my body does, my mind and my "self" will stay the same.

So, Happy Birthday Mom - you give me hope for the future.
From 2003 and my first visit to her home in Montana.

Amelie Joan

My great friends in England had their second little girl. Amelie Joan.  Named, in part, after Nanny Joan.

No idea how to pronounce it yet.

First as Tragedy

Marx said it best, and it as apt now as ever:

In today's case a history we seem determined to repeat is our mistake with North Korea and making it anew with Iran.

The North Korea history...

From 1999 - 2000, President Clinton was turning to peace attempts, as President's are wont to do in their final few years. Finally in October of 2000, we seemed on the verge of settlement with North Korea to guarantee their security (which is a big thing for them), and they would give up their nuclear work on a trial basis and rejoin the "community of nations" with our acknowledgement.

Negotiation we conducted by William Perry (Republican - it was now partisan), once Secretary of Defense and then a Stanford University professor. Listen to the podcast The Daily for a fascinating discussion on what happened - LINK.

But then the administration changed course after the 200 election. The new administration - particularly Vice President Dick Cheney - disapproved of the deal, believing North Korea would cheat despite the validations and inspections. The Bush II Administration abandoned the North Korea deal, in preference of labeling North Korea one of the three "Axis of Evil" nations. Then promptly invaded one of the 3 (Iraq) under false pretenses (whether the administration knew they were false pretenses or were fooled we can ignore for now).

North Korea got the hint that the United States wasn't serious and so they accelerated their Nuclear Weapons program - firing their first Nuclear Fission Weapon test in 2006, their long range missile test in 2012, and their first Nuclear Fusion Weapon (Hydrogen Bomb) in 2015. And now we are in a game of brinkmanship. Now they have an ICBM and miniaturized nuclear bombs.

But North Korea isn't the point here, it is the example.

I am afraid that the 90 day certification cycle of the Iranian Deal will be scuppered by this administration, in particular the President - who doesn't like the deal with the backing of neocon war boosters and Israel's administration. Breaking the Iranian deal will have two problems.

First, Iran will move quickly towards developing a nuclear weapon as that seems the only deterrent that works. They have a well developed pathway to follow that Pakistan, India and North Korea have all used (Israel and France's path depended more on US secret support of their programs).

Second, North Korea will lose any belief that negotiation works, right? We negotiated an end to Iran's nuclear path, only to throw up barriers to their acceptance into the "community of nations" and if we overturn the nuclear deal it shows negotiating with the US is worthless.
Note from last certification
President Trump has promised on the campaign trail to cancel this agreement. Information coming out of the July certification was that President Trump wanted a reason not to certify Iran's compliance. Given that certification must occur every 90 days - that is a lot of push back time and opportunity for disaster.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Delta Keeps Asking For Feedback and Ignoring it

Delta keeps asking me for feedback on flights. And I keep referring to a trip we took a few years ago and the dumb response of the Sky Club "team". Since I keep having to write it down, I said I will include it here so I can just copy it.

Labelled "Delta" and "Delta Feedback". If they ever respond I will remove this.

Here is the question and my response.

Full transcript below (for copying next time the ask me):
So, since you've never responded, I'll say it again.

Once, after a hurricane had the cancellation of our direct flight from St. Martin to NYC, we were put on a trip via ATL. We were in Business/First and went to the Sky Club. At the Sky Club we were told we weren't allowed in because St. Martin is not an international destination. It is international - your Sky Club members are stupid or disingenuous (my guess is that you don't consider Business / First Caribbean flights to allow access to Sky Club - but St. Martin is a Dutch / French territory and therefore the definition of "International"). If the rules are International Business outside the Caribbean - say that.

Since it was a hurricane that cancelled our original flight, AND we were originally booked on a Business / First non-stop, I thought this was petty. I asked for the Sky Club's attendant's name, and she wouldn't give it. I asked for the manager. I explained the situation to him and he also told me that St. Martin is not an International Destination. Again - that is not factually correct! You don't get to choose what "International" means. When I went to ask the supervisor's name, he would not tell me and instructed everyone to cover their name tags. I asked again and said I could just take a picture and forward that on.

Then I was threatened with the police. That is not something I wanted.  Note: I did not curse or yell. I know better than to go off at an airport. I did explain what "International" meant, and asked them if they meant that destination was not covered by the Sky Club International Business First policy. But the refused to talk to me. I have now written you a number of times.

I will put this on my blog - visits to date "Pageviews all time history - 984,618". Not to be difficult or embarrass you, but because you keep asked for my opinion ("We are constantly striving to provide a great customer experience") and I am tired of writing it down over and over. Once you respond I can remove it.  Thank you. LINK

Some General Lisbon Shots

Some general Lisbon shots.

Portugal is very proud of it's explorers. I think our guide was surprised that Americans knew so much about them - because I think other European countries don't know. But we learned about them in school.

So one stop was the monument to explorers above and below. The man at the front is Henry the Navigator. He did not navigate - hah! fooled you. Henry the Navigator was a Prince who started many schools for Navigation and invested in explorations. This is where Portugal got rich, and their colonies (Brazil, Goa, Angola, Mozambique and the Canary Islands).

The fountain below is in front of the Jerpohimas Cathedral. It was lovely inside.

Once inside we found this, Vasgo De Gama's tomb!  It was cool (but our guide was surprised we were excited).

As for the new header (reproduced below). That is from a room in the Sintra Palace that is all tile work.  The walls are ceramic tile from pre-1600!  Still there and pretty.  The roof is painted with coats of arms of royal families.

Update from Miss Dolly

I don't know anything about Lindsey Graham's sexuality, nor do I want to. All I know is when he talks it sounds like Dolly Parton in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

You know, where she tells Ed Earl that it just won't work out, him being a sheriff and her being a madam and all. Or where she says she couldn't be a ballerina 'cuz she'd have two black eyes. And I think Lindsey has embraced his inner Dolly.

You see Miss Lindsey now says Trump has established 2 red lines - 1: attack us (duh!) or 2: Develop an ICBM that can hit the continental USA with a miniaturized nuclear warhead that survives reentry.

“There are two scenarios where we would go to war with North Korea," the South Carolina Republican said "CBS This Morning." "If they attack Guam or some other American interest or our allies, or if they try to keep developing an ICBM with a nuclear weapon. Graham said Trump will "never allow North Korea to have an ICBM missile that can hit America with a nuclear weapon on top.”

Now this second one seems very specific, doesn't it. That is because early this year, President Trump had defined things that North Korea could not do (although he didn't call them red-lines) as (1) develop an ICBM that can hit the continental USA (that's now done), (2) miniaturize a nuclear warhead (that's now done too), (3) keep testing firing missals (also done), (4) test a nuclear bomb (check) and (5) keep issuing threats (yep - done yesterday).

So our red line is something that cannot be demonstrated without an actual attack. Okay. That's some strength there Miss Dolly Lindsey.

Threat from the Country that "Best Not Make Any Threats..."

See this is the problem with threatening decisive action over the words of a leader....

Are we really going to war over North Korea's regular bluster? In the words of the President, are we ready to "rain down fire and fury" and kill at least 200,000 people because of Kim Jong Il's words from yesterday?

If not, then why say it at all. Because today the choice is to look stupid or to star a nuclear war. And we know Mr. Trump hates looking stupid.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

But that is what they do

Our crazy man is crazier than your crazy man - and that is saying something.

I find it odd that our president is threatening to blow up the world over their words, not their actions. It seems silly since we all know North Korea will make more threats. And when Kim Jung Il does, then what?

Castgelo de St. Jorge

Some pics from Portugal.  On our second day we toodled up to the Castle. It is the Castle of St. George, named after the British Saint George by Kind Joao 1, who was married to an English Princess.

It dominates the city and skyline, as it is set on one of the highest hills overlooking the port and river. It was first made a fortification by the Celtics, then the Phoenicians around 400 BC. Later the Romans and then the Moors took the place before the crusaders captured Portugal back.
You can see from the picture of yours truly, above, that it has a great view of the river and the port.

Inside there isn't a lot of stuff. Unlike British castles, people lived outside the walls and only ran in when the area was under attack.

Walking up to the ramparts

Eddie and I in tourist mode.
How long did it take us to walk up in 95 degree heat you ask.  No time at all, as we tuk-tuk'ed up and walked back down.
Our tuk-tuk and driver

BEST Explanation Ever on Why 1 Degree of Change Feels So Freaking Hot

I know some people don't believe the New York Times - so I live with that. But for those that believe science this is BEST Explanation Ever on Why 1 Degree of Change Feels So Freaking Hot.

You should read the entire article, but the key info-graphic is below. New York Times is displaying the data from James Hansen a retired NASA Climate scientist and professor at Colombia University. It shows why some days are so damn hot, even though overall climate hasn't moved much.

The bell has flattened out AND moved so there are a LOT more "Extremely Hot" days.
This is a fascinating set of data I hadn't quite thought of. It also fits in with today's breaking news (link) that the Trump Administration won't sign off on a federal report from 13 agencies that climate change is worse and more rapid than feared. (CBS News Link)