Wednesday, September 30, 2015

And Now His Message is Lost

It doesn't particular bug me that the Pope meet with Kim Davis.  Or that he had good things to say about her.   Hell, I don't care if they did the jitterbug to Yani's Greatest Hits.
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But it is a problem is that THIS MEETING is now the message of the Pope.  He wanted to talk about caring for the poor, the effect of man's actions on the world, abortion and the death penalty.  But now we are all talking about Kim Davis.
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Finally, the conservatives (including Catholics who boycotted the speech in Congress) can find something to cheer about with regard to Pope Francis.  And it is a pity that it isn't caring for the poor or the displaced or the planet.  It is celebrating a woman who chooses some parts of the Bible to justify not doing her job, specifically so she can let the world know who she hates.
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I haven't talked about Kim Davies, because it is pointless - who can I convince on either side?  But with this single news item, the Pope joins the conservative / progressive divide and becomes a bit player in the absurdity of American Politics.
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I thought he was smarter.  But perhaps the Catholic Hierarchy in America was smarter than him after all.

Now is the Perfect Time for Me to Live in New York City

Remember civility?
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Civility is "formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech"
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I miss it.
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I don't just miss that it has leeched out of practice in politics, or advertising, or media, or social settings.
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I miss that it has pull an Elvis and left the building - chased out by a goon squad populace unable to feel empathy, think about something two seconds in the future or even to keep their opinions to themselves.
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Civility has joined other traits, once considered desired, that have been discarded as we bulldoze towards the brave new world.
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Honesty is long gone.  In its place is "believability".  Truth was replaced but truthiness, a joke that became a truth that sums up this century so far.  Discourse has been ground down to a screaming match cacophony of which liar can say something the longest and loudest and make people believe it.
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The beauty and awe of new places, from nature to new countries, has been replaced by the race for a selfie and better reception.  Being in awe is so last century.  Caring is for suckers.
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And so New York is the prefect place to be in these times.  Really, how many cities will offer you the chance for perfectly respectable older woman to scream "Fuck You" of infractions of accidentally stepping in front of them?  Where else do the police consider public urination the natural order of things?  When did catcalling women go from a rarity to a ubiquitous part of the daily commute?
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We live in a society dripping with shit and poor manners - and New York was there to prepare me for it.  Thank you assholes, I'm ready.

As they said in Jarhead, "Welcome to the Suck"

Russia is now bombing ISIS in Syria.  Probably the rebels we support as well, but definitely ISIS.
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Come on in, the quicksand is fine.
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Actually, Russia is a much better fit here that the US is.  Russia allies, Iran and Syria (along with Iraq) are either Shite states (Iran) or Shite dictators ruling over Sunnis (Syria and - one could argue - Iraq).  Them bombing the hell out of Sunni resistance makes marginal geo-political sense.
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On the other hand US allies (Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Egypt, Turkey) are mainly Sunni's in some cases ruling over large Shite populations (Bahrain).  So for the US, the fight against ISIS will always be tough.  Not they they are not bad guys - heck really bad guys.  But because they are the most effective fighting force against the Shite forces.  The US tried to solve this by training non-ISIS Sunni freedom fighters.  After bringing over something like 1000 to train, there are 9 left in the field fighting that didn't run away, join ISIS or join Al Queda (those were in descending order of popularity).
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So Russia gets to join the quagmire.  And they politely told the US airplanes to clear the airspace as they bombed ISIS.
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It's nice to note they don't learn either.  They got screwed in Afghanistan and got out of the middle east - and now they are back!  We got screwed in Afghanistan and Iraq and now we are back.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Review of Fondly, Collette Richland

I did not treat it fondly.  ON the other hand Ben Brantley in the NY Times liked it.  But then he hated Newsies (too "musical") and loved Matilda - so I don't listen to him much.  Review Site
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Reason We are in Aghanistan

There has been a lot of handwringing over the story recently that Afghani Warlords (our allies) are pedophiles.  To which one has to say, are you kidding?
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Despite the flagging of this in last week's New York Times as an EXCLUSIVE and today's The Daily Beast as an EXCLUSIVE, this has been know for decades, as well as our military's tactic agreement of the practice.
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It is a practice over 100 years old - WHICH DOESN'T MEAN I APPROVE, but I do think the clutch your pearls response now is embarrassing.
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There was a (non-fiction) book out in 2007 which described the American's acceptance of the Afghani soldiers doing this (link), a documentary out in 2010 (link) and it was part of the Wikileaks expose.  Hell, it was discussed in The Kite Runner.
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So for us to suddenly freak out is, frankly, disgusting to me.  You can't close your eyes for over a decade and then suddenly pretend to be shocked.  It is a vile and sick habit - that the Taliban actually outlawed and put people to death for.
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What is infuriating (aside from the practice and our toleration of it), is some of the letters in the New York Times.  I do love this comment in the New York Times letters section:
Explain to me why we are in Afghanistan if not to protect the innocent.
Protecting the innocent has NOTHING to do with why we are in Afghanistan.  George W Bush wanted to clear out Afghanistan as a safe haven for Al Queda.  The Taliban wouldn't kick them out, so we went in.  President Bush actually told the Taliban that if they gave us Al Queda, we wouldn't support the civil war against them.  It is critical to remember why we went to war, ruin a country, allow old men to rape young boys and young girls.  It was not to protect the innocent.
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If you don't remember why you invaded, you can never "win".  My 2cents - we should have declared victor and got the hell out of Dodge when Bush went all "Mission Accomplished".

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Republicans Can't Decide if They Want to Dis the Pope or are Offended Obama is Dissing the Pope

Oh, the Pope is coming to America and the Republicans are in a tizzy.
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On one side are Conservative Catholics who are going out of their way to say the Pope should shut up about the things they don't like.  This includes some, like catholic Representative Paul Gosar - who is boycotting the Pope because he will advocate for response to Climate Change (link).  Others, like House Leader catholic John Boehner are at odds over the Pope's calling out of unbridled Capitalism.
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The Republicans have repeatedly called on the Pope to stop talking about Climate Change ("Leave it to the scientists"), Capitalism ("The Pope is a Socialist from Argentina and has never seen Capitalism work") and refugees.
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But recently, in Fox News, they have found something that is more objectionable - Fox News-wise, in President Obama's actions.  While boycotting the Pope and telling him to shut up are okay if done by Republicans; President Obama is being disrespectful by inviting a cross section of people to a Pope Reception.  Of particular ire are the Episcopal Bishop Gene Robertson, who is gay, and a nun who has criticized the Vatican on abortion, contraception and euthanasia (link).
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To listen to Mike Huckabee (true - a dwindling group) or Megyn Kelly, one would assume that President Obama and these two would be there to yell at the Pope.  As opposed to these 2 being two of 1,500 people at a reception.  A pope that has embraced people of many faiths and taught tolerance will, no doubt, be able to handle this much diversity.

Russia Moves Into Syria - Good Luck

Putin's Russia has been moving arms, military and aircraft into Syria recently.  Indications are that they are beginning to fight on the ground.
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America's response is typically schizophrenic (link).
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On the one side, we have a politic class - steeped in the Cold War, that automatically assumes every positive for Russia is a negative for us.
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Then there are those who have their panties in a wad because Russia and Iran and working together to save their ally (Syria) from toppling.  Russia plus Iran must equal evil.
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Then we have some people who think, so what.  The US wants boots on the ground against ISIS, and if Russia does it good on this.
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I am definitely in the later camp.  We have been in a defacto alliance with Iran and Iraq against ISIS for over a year.  The US, Iran, Iraq and now Russia, all think it is critical to get rid of ISIS.
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Now, after the hoped for end of ISIS, our desired outcomes diverge.  The US wants Syria's current leadership to step down (always a pie in the sky hope).  We have trained non-ISIS anti-Bashar forces, only to see them melt away.
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Russia and Iran wand to prop up Bashar al-Assad after getting rid of ISIS.
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So, there will be a lot of talk of "losing" Syria in the future, but it was never ours (the US) to win or lose.  And, if you are looking for a strategy against Russian power, there are few better than to have their military drawn into a middle-east civil war.
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What we should NOT do is make the mistake we made in Afghanistan.  That is, after Russia has put down this rebellion, we should NOT supply ISIS with weapons to attack Syria's Bashar al-Assad.  We should, to quote Snagglepuss, "Exit - Stage Left."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Temple of the Pythians - Now a Condo

There is/was a fraternal organization of the "Order of the Knights of Pythias" (link); it is still around but at a much reduced size.  They are based on the idea of peace and fraternal love.
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In New York, they used to be (as Trump would say) YEEOUGE.  They had a Headquarters that is beautiful.  Sometime int he 1980s it was turned into Condos, but the developer kept the external Pythian detail.
Detail above the entry and motto.  I like the capstone to the extreme left as well as the Assyrian Tigers
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Entrance with Tigers, motto and colorful columns

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Very cool.
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Over all image of the condos.
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Detail from the top of the building
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New York has cool architecture.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I am reminded of Carly Foirina

So everyone knows what I mean when I say "Brandolini's Law"
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Carley Fiorina spoke eloquently of an image in the Planned Parenthood doctored tapes.  Let me restate, she lied eloquently and movingly.  She moved me.
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She dared anyone to watch the tapes, and see Planned Parenthood have a live aborted fetus on the table, kicking its legs while people said to keep it alive to harvest the brain.
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That is disgusted, unconscionable and not at all true.  It was stock footage from a mis-carriage, not an abortion.  It was horrible sadness from a hospital, not Planned Parenthood.  The miscarried baby was not moving or kicking its legs and the parents were heart broken.
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It was a disgusting lie.  And, although Brandolini's Law would say to ignore it, ignoring that particular lie is not possible.  Carly Fiorina is a disgusting person who had to lie, twist and mislead in order to make Planned Parenthood - a group that provides women's health care for millions and millions of poor women into a monster.
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LA Times Business Section Calls Her Out on Her Lie (link)
PoliticFact says it is not true (link)
Yahoo fact checks and it is not true (link)
Talking Points Memo calls her out. (link)
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It is fully possible to disagree about abortion - or even agree about abortion - without denigrating work of people who are trying to save lives of women.
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You, Carly Fiorina, are a horrible person and a Liar not above using pain and heartbreak to try to advance your on pathetic cause.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The GOP on Syria - The Good, The Sounds-Good (but isn't) and The Insane

For a moment, let's treat the GOP Debate #2 as a real "debate", not the CNN/ Trump Sideshow that it was.  There were actual moments of questions and occasionally a response that made sense.
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There was a question of what do to with Syria now.  It was directed at Donald Trump (as most questions were) and asked what he would do now - as opposed to his normal answer that he wouldn't have let this happen because he would show Putin who was Boss.
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The Bad...
Donald stumbled.  He wasn't prepared for a question that isn't predicated on an insult or snappy answer.  There was no answer, but at least he didn't lie.
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The Terrible...
In general, answers were that Obama was bad and without him Syria would be fine.  This hot air blew through the podiums like a Santa Ana Wind.  Various takes on this included train Syrians (which has turned out laughable - link), send in our military or attack Iran (Mike Huckabee's answer to everything).
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The Sounds-Good - But Isn't Award...
This goes to Carly Fiorina.  She said that to show Putin she means business she would rebuild the 6th fleet, station more troops in Germany, have war exercises in Eastern Europe and build the missile defense shield.  Sounds smart, right?  But... the 6th Fleet is already in place and we are already adding ships. There are 40,000 troops already in Germany - how many more go into Germany will it take to "prove" to Putin we are serious.  We are already building the missile defense shields in Romania and Poland.  And Obama has already set up a rotating series of war exercises in Eastern Europe AND placed foreign "trip-wire" battalions in Eastern Europe.  So, at first blush it sounds like Carly knows what she is saying - but she is either years out of date OR she lies a good game.
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The Good...
Rand Paul.  He may be crazy, but he was smart on Syria.  He said (I paraphrase, but not too much) that we need to be careful in the Middle East.  It might make us "feel better" to take out al-Assad, but when we take out a secular strong-man in the Middle East, what replaces them is not a democracy, but usually a repressive and anti-US regime.  He continued that getting rid of al-Assad might make us happy for a second, but would probably result in a Syria run by ISIS.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jeb! - You're An Idiot

When Jeb! was asked at the debate last night to defend his brother's record, he said "He kept us safe after 9/11".
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And he reiterated it today with this.
If you pretend his Presidency started on 9/12.
But Bush wasn't magically President on 9/12.  He have been President since January.  And had been warned about this direct threat before 9/11.   So he had... January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August and 10 days in September to get ready.  He didn't really do that great of a job then, did he?:
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So .. yeah, if you discount the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history, he kept us safe.

Birds of Paradise

The world sucks, nature is gorgeous.  Two, very different, Birds of Paradise.
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Greater Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise

A Call to Republicans - A Serious Question

So, I cannot take the Republicans seriously in their debates or much of anything else and wish I had a Republican friend to bounce this off of.  Here is my problem...  And I would love someone who can honestly discuss this.
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The fact that Republicans move as a single herd says, to me, that they aren't independent thinking individuals, but reflexive Obama - haters that one cannot have a conversation with.
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And give me a minute here to explain my frustration with 2 examples.
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Not one (1) Republican at the national level will acknowledge that ObamaCare (actually the Affordable Care Act) is working or voted for it.  Not one.  Now, it is a Republican originated plan (from the Heritage Foundation), but into place first by a Republican Governor (Mitt Romney).  It has added 8.8 Million people to the rolls of the insured AND reduced expenditures.  In Republican states where the Medicate funding was added, it is a huge success - Kentucky and Ohio stand out.  Given all that, why will NOT ONE Republican say it is okay.  Why the herd mentality regarding anti-Affordable Care Act?  On the other side, there are Democratic National Leaders that have, in the past, come out against it.
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Then look at the Deal with Iran regarding nuclear technology.  This deal is supported by Germany, Great Britain, France,  Russia, China, a consortium of generals of Israel, the President of Israel (not the Prime Minister), Generals and ex-Generals in the US and the head of the anti-Treaty forces here who left the group after the final deal was made public (and their objections were addressed).  Some Democrats oppose the deal.  But NOT ONE Republican agrees that the deal is the best possible outcome now?  Not one?  That ideological rigidity says, to me, that the antipathy is not directed at the agreement, but at Obama.
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And, no, it wasn't the same with Democrats and George W Bush (or anyone else).  The Democrats will work with others.  They voted for the war with Iraq.  The Republicans won't even schedule a vote for the war on ISIS - and they demanded Obama submit a War Request.
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Now, yes, I think this is a reasonable response to a crazy primary electorate on the part of the Republicans.  But it is super frustrating that there is no one on the Republican side to compromise with on anything of substance. And what makes it worse, is that they blame Obama for never compromising.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

This, I Do Not Understand

I am generally a smart guy.  But I don't understand the positive polling for Dr. Ben Carson as a candidate for President of the United States.  I just don't.
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He is either a liar or an idiot.  Although he is a great surgeon (or was).  His claims to fame rest on 2 things, 1) an operation (the first) that separated conjoined twins at the head and 2) a 2013 prayer breakfast where he dissed President Obama to his face.
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But how that has turned into a Presidential Campaign is beyond me.  Actually, not really.  The Republicans hate President Obama so much that anyone that maligns him could run for President and get some backing.  But 2nd in the race.
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Here are some of Ben Carson's more odd-ball comments recently...
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Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened to this country since slavery. (link)  What?  Worse than the Depression?  Worse that World Wars I and II?  Worse than race riots?  Worse that Jim Crow laws?  Apparently bringing insurance to hundreds of thousands of people AND lowering the deficit is not only bad, but worse than the 55,000 Americans lost in Vietnam.  PS - Asked specifically if Obamacare was worse than 9/11, he said it was because 9/11 was an isolated incident. (link)
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Being gay is a choice and he knows because... "A lot of people go into prison straight, and when they come out they're gay." (link)  He doesn't have any examples, but he knows...
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When asked to clarify his remarks that America was living in a gestapo age, he said, (link) "I mean, very much like Nazi Germany –and I know you’re not supposed to say Nazi Germany but I don’t care about political correctness – you know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population.”  Nazi Germany - really?
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He called President Obama a psychopath (link) when discussing the President's appearance (discussing the way the President presented himself to the public). "Like most psychopaths. That’s why they’re successful. That’s the way they look. They all look great."
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Somehow he is at number two in the Republican Presidential race.  I really don't get it.

Climate Change Opinions Follow Where It Effects People

There is a website that studies climate change opinions that is fascinating.  They break the opinions down by state, congressional district or county.  The county data is the most informative to me.  (site)
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It seems to me that the more impacted you are by climate change, the more you believe it is real (and, conversely, the more important coal is to your community the less you believe it is real).
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Look at this map of public opinion on "Estimated % of Adults Who Think Climate Change will harm people in the US".
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Then compare that to "Global Warming is Mostly Caused by Human Activities".  People that are effected by it now, believe human activity is the key factor.  People who live where "100-Year" Droughts, Wildfires, Hurricanes, and Flooding" is happening regularly, not ever 100 years.
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It is a cool set of data.
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And most people think Global Warming is happening (see below).  The change in opinion of source depends on if you think is will (or has) harmed people.
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Welcome to Jurba - (Only Diane cared)

So, last night I had an odd dream.  Two in fact, but we shall start with the first.  The picture below calls out most of what was critical about it.
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It started as a National Geographic type short in which this odd bird was pecking fallen logs for bugs.  The bird was like the Heron (far left), but his hair was like the koosh ball (2nd left).  He would walk around pecking fallen logs, looking for bugs, but then started attacking other animals - like anteaters, that were also looking for bugs.  Then it got enraged and started pecking larger animals - like cows and horses. People screamed and fled the koosh-headed heron.
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Cut to the cute Blue-footed Boobies (middle picture), which grew to heights up to 4 and 5 feet tall somehow.  In the middle of their Blue-footed Booby dance, a platypus type animal jumped up and tried to swallow their head.  So the dance continued with this little platypus on top instead of their heads.
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Then, superimposed was a commercial tag line that said...
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Nature Untamed... Visit the Isle of Jurba
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I woke up and thought, that is freakin' weird.  I have never even heard of Jurba (which I pronounced Yerba - assuming it was in Latin America somewhere).  But it turns out I wasn't really awake.  Because the next thing I did was tell all of my friends.
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And no one cared, most people followed Ed's lead and zoned out in the conversation / explanation.  Except for Diane.  Who listened sweetly and then asked what a Blue-Footed Booby was.
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Thank you Diane (picture with me in Mostar - far right).
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ps - there is no Island of Jurba that I can find - although there is a city of Jurba in Yemen.
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pps - the Blue-Footed Booby Mating Dance (for Diane)
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Monday, September 14, 2015

Happy Monday

Okay - You might have seen this on Facebook, but it is happy and I loved it.
Scooter
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video
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This mother duck just stayed near by and quacked and quacked and quacked, until someone understood.  The ducklings had fallen down the well.  Where is Lassie when you need her?

At Finals Week at the US Open - Fun Fun (but alas and alackaday Re: Federer and Serena)

US Open Finals week was great.
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Most are obvious, but on right column: Penetta (the Women's Winner), Federer, Robert Redford, the Hugh Jackman - note in top row. the boater is Sean Conrey and 2 seats in blue baseball hat is Bradley Cooper), Italian Prime Minister (black suit - no tie) and Italian government members who flew in for all Italian Women's Finals), Anna Witanor and David Beckham
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In addition to a great women's and men's finals, I also got to see the Intercollegiate Men's Final where our UCLA Young Man Mackenzie McDonald won the title.  And, as befits a UCLA student, a proud AmerAsian.
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Thank you to my fabulous honey Eddie (in the tie in the bottom) for letting me horn in on his moment to shine.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

This is why we love Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown was governor of California when I was a Bruin at UCLA.  And he is again.  And he is still one of my heroes.
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For reasons like this! link
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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Analogy that Made Me Laugh Outloud

Jonah Goldberg, right wing hack, has engaged the beast.  And the beast, in this particular case, are the legion of Trumpsters.  He wrote a newsletter / article about Donald Trump entitled "No Movement that Embraces Trump Can Call Itself Conservative" (link).
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As a general rule, Mr. Goldberg trains his vitriol at Democrats, and so I ignore it.  But his newsletter has caused a firestorm on the right and I wanted to read it to understand why.  You, yourself, may read it or not, but I had to share this priceless paragraph.
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But this is not an argument for Trump as a serious presidential candidate. It is really no argument at all. It is catharsis masquerading as principle, venting and resentment pretending to be some kind of higher argument. Every principle used to defend Trump is subjective, graded on a curve. Trump is like a cat trained to piss in a human toilet. It’s amazing! It’s remarkable! Yes, yes, it is: for a cat. But we don’t judge humans by the same standard.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423607/donald-trump-conservative-movement-jonah-goldberg

Why This Migrant Crisis is Only the Beginning (or at least the tip of the iceberg)

The migrant crisis is big news right now, as Syrians flow in mass to Germany and Austria via a torturous Greece -> Macedonia -> Serbia - >Hungary route.
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Syrians to Greece
But this isn't new or surprising, it just happens to be the focus of a news media that is constantly looking for a story.
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Early this year, it was Africans making a very similar crossing to Italy in similar boats.
Africans headed to Italy
Over the past few years it has been Afghani refugees making similar crossing from Indonesia to Australia.
Afghanis to Australia
What these refugee crisis' have in common is a conflux of 2 important things, and there will be an extra third driver soon.
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1) The world is now more connected in terms of communication and images.  Not so much that we here in the West suddenly see this, but that those people in poorer nations see us.  They want what we have.  Not literally our things, but they want security, jobs and a peaceful way of life.  Often not specifically for themselves, but for the children and family.  This has been the primary ignition of migration always.
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American's ancestors came here for a better life.  Most of them (English, Irish, Italian, Dutch, East European, German, Scandinavian) didn't come for religious freedom.  Sure a few of the Pilgrims did, but that is about it.  The rest of us all came for a better life for our families.  And we came from the 1600s - the 1900s.
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As the news got out, other migrations came here for the same thing.  The Chinese in the 1800s, the Mexicans in the 1900s and other Central Americans in the 90s and 2000s.
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Well now it isn't just the United States, and those people who are willing to go into the unknown.  Now the Western way of life is known and people want to live in that peacefulness.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Happy Labor Day

My New Tennis Guy

All the photographers are trained
on Rafa (receiving the serve)
With the retirement of Lleyton Hewitt, one must find new people to root for.
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Of course, Rafa will always have a place in my heart (and other places) - but age is fast closing him on Rafa as well.
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What this US Open did was show some real other talent that is whipping up the courts.  I think one of the best youngsters is Nick Krygios.  However he is kind of a dick.  I am very impressed watching him play, but I don't like him.  He is overly dramatic and his antics against Stan The Man were tasteless (during a changeover Krygios asked Stan how it felt to have his girlfriend screwed by Krygios' best friend... - only didn't use the polite term screwed).
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But I watched Bruno Coric, a Croatian living in Dubai, with Barbara.  He gave Rafa all he could handle in the first round.  And, at 18, he should only get better.
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Last year, at 17, he won the US Open Juniors Championship.  And he stepped up to the regular series this year.
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So Bruno is my new guy.
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He was very good Monday night.  Not Krygios good, but not Krygios asshole either, so one makes allowances.  If you google him for pictures you will see kiddie pictures - because he is very young.  He has gotten older.  See below for professional pictures in that same match..
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But I think my favorite are these of Bruno Coric at Rafa Nadal's training camp in 2013 and 2014.  This year a much improved kid played him tough at the US Open in 2015.
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2013 Camp
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2014 Camp
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2015 After Rafa won 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Mascot of the Month: Lleyton Hewitt

It was Lleyton Hewitt's last hurrah at the US Open this year.  He is, after many many good years, retiring.  I love to watch Lleyton.  He is cute as hell - with Eddies' calf muscles and Eddie's determination. But more than than, he never gives up.  He plays and gives an amazing show every time.
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PS - I took that slomo video on Saturday September 5th.  Pretty Good huh?
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Here he is as the Youngest Top Ranked Player Ever as he won his US Open Championship in 2001.  I went to the Open that year with Lauren and Terri, but we couldn't get on his courts (expensive tickets), but I watched him a lot that year.

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Here he is in his last US Open singles match this year.
Still playing well (and getting to 5 sets in the 2nd round) 14 years later.

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In between, here are some pictures I took of him through the years.
I took this on Court 11 in his first round game.
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Last year (2014) - US Open.
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Wimbeldon 2014


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US Open 2013 - Made it to the 4th round

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The Australian Open in 2004


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I have watched him at every major - and some minor tournaments.  And while i will watch of lot of tennis for a cute guy - I wouldn't watch that much unless he was a great player.  Lleyton may not have been the most consistent, but he was one of the most fun to watch.  His style was great, his play was fun, he never gave up and you never mis-understood his emotions...
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Bye Lleyton.  I'll miss you.
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President Trump First 100 Days #1

President Trump's First 100 Days, 50 Days.  I am going to be a Great President, I will only need 50 Days.
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Day 1: January 20th!  What is this?  I was elected in the BEST election EVER over 2 months ago.   I have to wait until January 20th!  Next time, the Inauguration will be the week after the election.  Only losers can't pull together an Inauguration in a week.
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 Yes, I know it took George W Bush a month to win election, but I'm not him, am I?  I would have stolen the election in hours!
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Day 2: New regime.  Worst state gets kicked out.  New state entered.
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Out - Mississippi.  Nothing personal, but you take 3 dollars in taxes for every 1 dollar you put in.  Think of the Headlines, "President Trump saves Hundreds of Millions Day 2"
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In - Quebec / Puerto Rico? - no; speak English.  New Brunswick / Saskatchewan? - no;  dumb names.  Alberta ?- no; sounds like a ugly girl.  Yukon? - no; I said States not Territories.
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Surprise answer... Baja California.  Really, going to be YUGE... I know because there was a Trump BAJA Condo there once.  And YES, I know there is a Baja California Norte and Sud, but it is only going to be one state.  Plus, I have a hotel in Cabo, everyone there speaks English.  AND that is less wall to build.
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Tada - Days 1 and 2, complete!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Why Dystopia so Much?

So there is a lot of Dystopian sci-fi out there.  A ton!
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And I used to wonder why there was so much of this.  But now I think there are two big reasons why this is happening, most of it with connected with the Internet.  Not so much the Internet AS a problem.  But the Internet as a objective of communication, no that has no filter.  And for years, people only saw what was close by or the mass media chose to show.
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But now people see a lot, even if they aren't trying to.
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You can't see this shot of a Syrian child refugee and be unmoved.  It is heart breaking.  It is a signpost that the world is fucked up.  This kid didn't deserve to die like this.  Moreover, his death was driven by action and inaction of our government.  The US has chosen war.  Bush the Younger screwed the pooch in Iraq with a war that drove instability everywhere in the middle east.  Obama dithered for a long time and then went in "jets ablazing".  None of us went in food abalazing or help ablazing.
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And you know why this is even worse, EVEN WORSE.  This headline came out of the region today.  

Syria: Food Support is Reduced

Can you believe it (link)?  The World Food Bank has to reduce support by 200,000 people.  Now?  Are you fucking kidding?  Countries that refuse refugees can't pony up the funds to the World Food Bank.
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Migrants walking from Hungary back to Austria.