Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Trump / Kim Summit Was A Good Thing

The Trump / Kim Summit was less impressive than Fox news portrays, and much more impressive than anti-Fox news portrayed.

In the end, not much was completed. Fox tended to overstate was was completed. On the other hand, very little was given away at almost zero cost. Had Obama come to the same result, MSNBC would be talking it up.

In the end, I think it is better to talk than lob bombs. So good for President Trump on this.

Generally: Well Done

Monday, June 11, 2018

"Special Placer in Hell" might be a bit over the top.

Trumps appalling asshole-ishness is now rubbing on on his advisors.  This was Peter Navaro's comments on the Sunday shows after the Canadian Minister rather innocuously answered a reporter's question.

The answer that got under Trump and Navaro's skin was this: (full context in link)

Trudeau: "I highlighted directly to the president that Canadians did not take it lightly that the United States has moved forward with significant tariffs on our steel and aluminum industry, particularly did not take lightly the fact that it’s based on a national security reason that for Canadians, who either themselves or whose parents or community members have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers in far off lands and conflicts from the First World War onwards, that it’s kind of insulting. And highlighted that it was not helping in our renegotiation of NAFTA and that it would be with regret, but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us.
I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do, because Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.

Old and new buildings in New York

Friday, June 08, 2018

The Sutjeska National Park in Bosnia

So, in going through some pictures, I saw these from Sutjeska National Park.

It is a National Park in Bosnia with some of the last old growth forest (as in never cut) in all of Europe. Of course, I didn't see that cuz you have to hike a long way to see it. But I did try through the gorgeous park.

One of the most interesting things is a monument created by Tito, celebrating the victory of the partisans over the Nazi's in WWII.  There are a few left through old Yugoslavia and they are a fascinating mix of communist brutalism and celebratory sculpture.

I like it. In leaving I also ran across goats and cows that wouldn't get out of the road!

No people with these cows, just the bells.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Banchory Scotland

On our Balmoral drive day we started going through the hills of Cairngorms National Park.  I was rugged and beautiful.  It looked like it was going to rain (or snow!) on us, but by the time we left the hills it turned beautiful.

After traveling through the mountains, we visited Banchory Castle. We didn't go in (no one was there). It was interesting because it was purchased by the locals after it fell into disrepair.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Our Tour of Edinbugh

We took a tour of Edinburgh from the "tour by locals" folks when we first got there and we loved it.  Some highlights.

The gang (I was taking the picture) and out tour guide in the cemetery.

Headstones by people back wall.

The detail from the National Library
The Royal Bank of Scotland

An old church on the main street - now an arts center.

I liked the stylized unicorn.

On this site the rules of gold were laid out.

So I Think I Have Finally Figured It Out

There is something insidious about President Donald Trump that is unique in our history. I thought it was his lack of regard for our institutions or the truth, but it's not.  What I have finally figured out is that Donald Trump is the first President that I have ever known that doesn't attempt to be the President of ALL Americans.

That rhetoric, that all previous Presidents have used, is lacking in our current President. Other Presidents have divided us politically or even internally, but this is the first President who actively states that there are real Americans that he favors and "others".

Every other President has served the idea of All Americans. President Trump doesn't even honor that idea in spirit.  Look at today, he cancelled the visit to the White House by the Philadelphia Eagles.  His tweet implied that the Eagles didn't stand during the National Anthem. IN fact, the Eagles were one of the 7 teams where no member took a knee last year.

He divides to rev up his supporters at the detriment of all Americans.  I might now have liked Bush, and my mother may have hated Clinton and lots of people didn't like Obama, but each of them believed they were the President of ALL Americans - not just those that voted for him.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Donnottar Castle

In Scotland we visited Donnottar Castle with the gang.  It is an old castle out on a headland that played a large part in the wars between Scotland and England after James the 1st.

It was a hike down then up, but well worth it.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Our visit to Blair House

 Blair House / Castle was another gorgeous old residence right near Pitlochry - where we stayed.

Jane and Lynn in the Ballroom. It was rent-able for parties and Weddings

The castle gardens.