Friday, July 22, 2016

One Might Argue with the Term "Perceived" - but otherwise Amazing News

I would argue that "perceived" is a misapplication of the English language.

The law is directly and demonstrably hostile to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The law rolled back anti-discrimination laws in multiple North Carolina cities.  The law required lawsuits be filled in Federal Court, not State Court to make it harder to fill suit.

And, it tacked on an unnecessary bathroom law to make the whole thing seem moral.

So, New York Times, no false equivalency.

And NBA - YAY!

Credit to the Daily Beast for this Image

Ala Napoleon.
Donald Trump is the Republican Nominee for the Presidency of the United States.

He doesn't have an plans beyond the mantra, "I'll make America Great." And "Hillary Clinton is a crook." But, no worries, apparently plans are for pussies and Democrats.  Real men rule by their gut - like Donald Trump and lesser real men like Putin and Erdogan and Netanyahu.

Republicans pop a woodie for Ronald Reagan. By they tend to forget that Ronald Reagan was an optimist.  He chided Jimmy Carter for not being upbeat enough.  He thought everything would work out because Americans were good people.

It wasn't all that painful to vote for Ronald Reagan, because even if you hated his policies, you know that he believed in the good of the country and it's people.  Even those that disagreed with him (like me at the time).

Donald Trump, on the other hand, doesn't believe that Americans are good people.  Immigrants (even second or third generation immigrants) can't have positions of power because they can't be trusted.  Women are either beautiful and bangable or shrill harpies. All people who support addressing racism in the police when it occurs need a quick kick in the ass and an enema or Law And Order! If you say #BlackLivesMatter then you are a racist thug who should be put down. All Mexicans are rapists or Murders.  All Muslims are suspects.*

Every trade agreement made by everyone (Republican or Democrat) before Donald came along was terrible.  The worst ever.  The people that made them were idiots or worse.  Warriors that were captured were stupid. Presidents that faced complex issues and didn't do what he will do (not what he said at the time) were either liars and incompetent (the Bushes) or secret Muslims (Obama).

The fact of him being the nominee doesn't scare me.  The fact that 13 million people voted in primaries for him scares me.  The Nuremberg / Cleveland rally that calls for locking up or executing his opponents scares me. The screaming face of hatred that his supports showed from both the floor and the podium scares me.

*Hard as it is to believe, as a gay white male - I come out of Trump's world view as a good guy.  While the Republicans and their Party Platform are very anti-gay - Trump doesn't mind us queers.  As long as we are white men or hot lesbians.

A Bit of A Philosophical Post (and maybe self-involved)

A lot of our "things" are in storage right now.  This is one of those periods where you see what you can do and do without.  And I collected (for years) maps and atlases.
My favorite map in storage is a bit like this, only cooler.  It is a shipping route map, but with more of the world and in French.  It is from the late 1800s.
I suppose people have figured this out about me long ago, but self-reflection isn't my strong pint (or perhaps too much my strong point).  In any case, maps are my thing.

Like many of "my things", maps are now an anachronism.  They are out of time.

Maps aren't needed now.  The computer will show you where to go.  Flying takes you past the things you don't want to understand and gets you directly to the end result.  You used to have to get a street map of the city you were visiting, but now you often don't even need that to hit the high points or the clubs, just google where it is.

When I was younger, I liked maps and didn't think about it.  Upon reflection, I had a father who, while always charming and usually good natured, was a bit of a mystery.  He would change plans on a dime.  He would marry and divorce on whim.  We would move in the night or I would come home from school to an empty apartment and sit on the curb until he picked me up so I could go to our next place we lived.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Scott at the United Nations

As you might remember if you are a regular reader here at Nincompoopery, I am a volunteer Project Manager for Project 1948 (project1948.ngo).

Olivia Dufur and I at the meetings
So on Monday, I attended a UN Partnership workshop in support of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.  It was very cool. I learned a lot, but hear are some pictures from Monday.
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Mr. Wu HOngbo, UnderSecretary- General for Economic and Social Affairs Opens the Meeting
Of course it wouldn't be a day if I didn't have problems.  In fact, it was very very hot and I took the Subway and walked.  I entered dripping with sweat!  I took a selfie before I sat quietly for 20 minutes trying to get it under control.

Today's Great News

Today is a fucking great day.  GREAT!
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For example, today a black man - unarmed and a group home manager was trying to help one his autistic residents.  The police came and he laid on the ground, explained neither he nor the autistic man had any weapons.  He laid down with his hands in the air.
LINK to video
You can guess what happened next, the police shot him.  Three times.  Video and link
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Then there is The Donald.

Yesterday in an interview he explained that the United States is not bound by NATO treaties.

If Russia - who has attacked and taken land from the independent nation of Ukraine, land which it had (by treaty) promised to respect as Ukrainian - were to attack the Baltic countries, then Donald would see if they have contributed enough to NATO before deciding whether to support them.

The deciding opinion on "if" they had contributed enough would be his, of course.  Mr. I Got A Great Brain.

You may agree that defending the Baltic Countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) is not a good use of America's might.  There is a reasonable argument to be made they should not have been included into NATO.

But they were.

You see we are allies in NATO with these countries.

We have guaranteed with our Laws and Treaties (and our reputation) to come to their aid.  The fact that Donald thinks America should be able to simple say - Ha Ha, just kidding is crazy.

And it is crazy that anyone, ANYONE!, can call Hillary Clinton crooked or a liar and still support this insane lying ass megalomaniac.

And he is going to win.

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And then there is the weather.

- June was the hottest June on record.

- June 2016 was the 14th Month in the Row where the month had been the hottest that month had been in history.

- This string of new records (14 in a row) is, in itself, a new record in history of record keeping

Now this is the normal picture about climate change.  You know, the cute Polar Bear family with less ice. And, while cute, most people won't walk an extra block to save some damn bear.

So forget the bear.  These were a very few "other" effects of the hottest June in history.

Flooding in Texas, the South and (here) West Virginia caused destruction and death (like the young boy that was washed away and died in this flood).
Wildfires after -record heat after a record drought.  This one tore through the wilderness and cities (like here above Lake Isabella where my Uncle and Aunt once lived)
Four people died in Phoenix on this day due to record heat.

And, this cannot be fixed.  We waited too long to fix Climate Change.  It is just going to conintue to bring death and destruction. Besides, our new Dear Leader Donald believes all that is a hoax anyway.



Nice Driving Ace

We have a large forecourt to the Church in between our two complexes here at the Enclave.  There is a sidewalk, then a forecourt.  Because of the way the land tilts, the forecourt goes down hill.  To correct any possible problems with rain, the sidewalk turns to raised pavers over this area.

These pavers do not hold a transport truck that was stupid enough to ignore warnings not to make a U-Turn in the forecourt.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meanwhile at the Dumpster Fire

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Yesterday (like Monday) was all Hillary, All Hate, All The Time.
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ABC fact checked most of them (guess the answer...).
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Benghazi got brought up again, and although 8 Republican Congressional Reviews have found no wrong doing - yesterday one attendee said she should be executed.
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Some of the Prime Time Speakers broke the pattern.

Donald Trump Junior gave what I thought was a pretty good speech.  Really, I though he did well and presented a reasonable face to the clan.  I am sure Ivanka will do the same, she is intelligent and smart.

But then they let Dr. Ben Carson loose.  My oh my.

Ben Carson brought the whole Hillary as the Anti-Christ thing around. (Last time it was "Obama as the Anti-Christ",  this time it is "Hillary as the Anti-Christ."  Apparently a sub-set of evangelicals who actually believed this about Obama and there are quotable people know who believe it about Hillary.  I find that very confusing.  I think you are stretching to come up with either of them as the literal Anti-Christ. Not just anti-Christian, but the guy (although with Hillary she has broken that glass ceiling) who will lead the minions of Satan against the second coming of Jesus when the Temple of Solomon is rebuilt.)

Carson tied Hillary to the Devil in an interesting way.  I will quote the NY Times who did a better job than I.

Ben Carson got a prime speaking slot at the convention on Tuesday evening, and he took a different approach at questioning Mrs. Clinton’s integrity. Digging into her college thesis about Saul Alinksy, the left-wing community organizer and radical, Mr. Carson suggested that Mrs. Clinton admired him. Then he pointed out that Mr. Alinsky had acknowledged Lucifer on the dedication page of one of his books, suggesting that such an association was somehow damning for Mrs. Clinton.
“Are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model someone who acknowledges Lucifer?” Mr. Carson asked. “Think about that.”
Two Things:

1. In quoting the Bible doesn't Donald also "acknowledge" Lucifer?  I mean "acknowledge" doesn't mean "to give props to", but means to "recognizes the existence of"?  Okay maybe ("maybe" - ha ha) Dr. Carson got caught in a Verbal Word Jumble - and he meant that she someone "liked" Lucifer.

2. Now, I can also tie Hillary to Lucifer.  And not just any old Fire and Brimstone Lucifer, but Prime Time Lucifer.  And I will do it as they do in the liberal hell hole of Hollywood - Via Six Degrees of (Kevin) Bacon

Watch..
1-Tom Ellis Plays Lucifer on the Show Lucifer

2 - Tom Ellis played Robin Hood on an episode of One Upon A Time with Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan)

3 - Jennifer Morrison was in Mr. and Mrs. Smith (as Jade) with Brad Pitt

4 - Brad Pitt was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon

5 - Kevin Bacon was at Hillary's New York fund raiser (Kevin Bacon for the Win!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

RNC Madness (Be Afraid - Be Vewy Vewy Afraid!)

The Slate header is as good a place as anywhere to start with a review of the Republican National Convention.  It was a sight.  I am sure it made many afraid (which was the over-riding theme), and many hate Hillary (although everyone int he room already did Hate Hillary).

Let us start, for the moment with poor Melania Trump and her speech.
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So clearly, public speaking and speech writing in a foreign language is not her strong suit.  I thought she did a fine job of delivering the speech - for someone who doesn't do this all the time.  I do feel bad for her that they passed it off as hers, and it turns out someone cribbed it from Michelle Obama's speech in 2008.  Then, the response team, which is kinda of Keystone Kops-esque, couldn't decide on what to say.

They said she wrote it.  They said her English wasn't good.  It was notes from other speeches and they lost the original origin and just threw it in. Chris Christie said it was only a phrase.. when pressed okay 3 phrases and 68 words - but nothing anyway.  (And he should know, he closed the George Washington Bridge and screwed an entire town in New Jersey just because the mayor didn't endorse him.) They said the dog ate her homework.  And they said it was Hillary's fault for making Melania talk at all.

Gentlemen do not throw their wife under the bus.

Speaking of poor Melania - you do a speech and give your background, people are going to fact check.  She does not have an Art and Architecture degree.  She left after 1 year and failing multiple classes.  Now, I don't think that is a big deal - lots of people don't have a college degree that are smart and successful.  And look at her, she has done well, even before marring CarrotTop.  But don't lie about her degrees.  Now she looks bad.  And, from what I read, she never started saying that until she and Trump were dating and he didn't want to be dating a bimbo.

Most of the rest of the night was a parade of people preaching whom and what to fear and hate.  Mexicans, immigrants in general, Muslims, Syrians and, of course, Hillary.

I thought that putting up a mother to blame Hillary for her sone's death was morbid and gross. She was not factually accurate, but who cares!?  She has suffered a horrible loss and having her parade it up there was sad (and not very "positive" message-wise).

Rudy Giuliani is un-hindged.  Now, I know this because he is a former New York Mayor - and, as such, I have to listen to him bloviate all the time.  But to watch him foam at the mouth from the podium was a little sad (not mother of dead warrior sad, but more pull Grandpa out of the front yard in his underwear sad).

My favorite however was Antonio Sabato Jr., noted actor and underwear model (really - that is his claim to fame and my reason to post a picture).  He told us that Obama was a Muslim.  He could not be Christian with a name like Obama.  Now Antonio is from Rome, and he came here "the right way"*.  To model and act - then became a citizen.  And he knows that you cannot have a name like Obama and be a Christian.  Which says to me, they might want to update the citizenship test.

Still, if he dressed like this for the interview in the 1990s, I might have let him in too.

* Actually, according to Antoni himself (link) his mother was an illegal immigrant to Italy who then married an actor and they moved to California when we was 13.  So he was, you know, a "Dreamer" before becoming a citizen ("the right way") in 1996.

The Colombia River Gorge

The Gorgee from the Vista House
While up in Portland, Eddie and I took a trip up the Colombia River Gorge.  It was a beautiful drive up the river.  It was a nice drive.  And there were a ton of fun waterfalls to see.
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First up is the Vista House.  It was built and opened in 1918.  It is very cool. The road wraps around it.  It sits on the cliffs above the swampy part of the gorge.  We can built freeways there now, but in the early part of last century, the swampy bit was too much for them.
The Vista House on the cliff
A Close Up of the Vista House.  Very cool!

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Then there were quite a few waterfalls, and we stopped at four.

The Latourell falls. From the first vista - and then much closer.
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Bridal Veil Falls.  It was very cooling.
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Finally the very famous Multnomah Falls.
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Lan Su Garden in Portland


Eddie and I were in Portland for the US Davis Cup (they won the 2 games while we were there - only to drop three the next 2 days :-(.

While there we went to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens.  They were quite peaceful and beautiful.

I have included some pictures here.
This is the "Knowing The Fish" Pavilion and looking towards "Reflections in Clear Ripples" art pavilion.
The Water Lotus Blooms were very lovely.

The Garden taught TaiChi to people.
My honey!

The View from the Floating Pavilion

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Some Last Views of the Cabin and Middlebury

Well, here are some last pictures that I loved of our trip.


First, the cabin, you can see the water is right outside our cabin.

And you can see Trevor had a hard time snuggling with us on a double bed (we brought his dog bed and that is where he slept all night.

Me and Eddie outside of the Art Museum entrance

The Museum Garden
 Then there is the Art Museum.  Its a great little Museum for the college with a eclectic collection.

Most of the college buildings looked like this, made with local stone.

Finally the village.  Middlebury city banners (and the College's pics) use the same artists as Ben and Jerry's (right up the road).  That is why they seem familiar.
Downtown


They built a little park so you could eat lunch and listen to the falls.
And guess who  apprenticed here!!!