Thursday, June 28, 2018

Putting Away The Histrionics For a Moment...

Yesterday Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retired (I think the capitalization is correct in that sentence, but that's a lot of caps).

This news will freak out any (American) homosexual who follows the news. If they are political aware at all, then they are worried about their freedoms. If they are not, you have my permission to call them out.

Anthony Kennedy was a Republican appointed (Ronald Reagan) justice that was conservative, but ideologically libertarian in many ways.

He often voted on non-ideological lines. That is, he sometimes voted with the court "liberals". His was the decisive voted that struck sodomy off the books (legalizing gay and lesbian sex as well as straight sexual practices like oral sex in many states).

He was the swing vote in Obergerfel that legalized gay marriage. Now, without his vote, I believe that the Supreme Court will allow a lot of discrimination against gays and possibly overturn Obergerfell at a national level. This court has already shown it does not respect precedent.

That same disregard for precedent and animosity towards rights of women to terminate their pregnacies forecast a significant roll back of women's rights as well. The two swing votes in protecting a woman's right to choose were Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy. O'Connor was replaced with a women's rights supporter, but with the retirement of Kennedy the court is equally divided on abortion rights. All 24 people on Trump's short list are anti-women's rights.

The new Supreme Court won't outlaw abortion or gay marriage country wide, but they will roll both of these back to the state level.


But hey, this is what happens when you don't vote. All you non-voting gays in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Thanks. All you women who support the rights of your own body, but were too busy to vote in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Thanks. Susan Sarandon - whom I love as an actress and a person - thank you for saying the vote didn't matter and to support Jill Stein. That was the margin in some states.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It's Just a Phase (but it will be a looooooong one) - UPDATED

Updated below in blue.

The Supreme Court this year handed down rulings on a number of very political cases, and all were decided in favor the Republican side.

Worse they were decided by a 5 - 4 vote margin.

This is both predictable and hideously sad.

The Supreme Court is the arbiter of which laws or actions are Constitutional and which fall outside the bounds of our Constitution. Normally this occurs with the veneer (and sometimes actuality) of non-partisan decisions. And important decisions were rarely close.

Brown v. Board of Education (which outlawed segregation in schools) was 9 - 0. Roe v. Wade (which allowed abortion) was decided 7 - 2. Plessy v. Ferguson (interracial marriage) was decided 7 - 2.

But this year the most contentious decisions this year were all decided 5 - 4. And the 5th judge was Neil Gorsuch, a jurist whose seat was attained only after a Republican Senate threw out all the precedence of the country to date and refused a debate of the appointment of Merrick Garland by President Obama for almost a year.

That these decision were decided towards the conservative side was not a huge surprise. But in some cases the court had to tie itself into knots to justify itself.

For instance, (1) yesterday the court decided that anti-abortion institutions (crisis centers) that pretend to offer counseling for pregnancy do NOT have to read a script that says the state does provide free pregnancy screening and support for women that choose to terminate their pregnancy. In the same decision it said that places that supply termination support MUST read a statement about other options (free birth or adoption). The Court's ruling was based on the fact that abortion is a medical procedure and giving birth is not (although more women die in childbirth than during abortion).

For instance, (2) this session saw the court dismiss egregious gerrymandering charges because the ACLU didn't present evidence that the named plaintiffs were harmed, just that it harmed the entire state. They sent the decisions back to circuit courts - which makes the arguments moot because now the old districts will be used in the 2018 elections.

For instance, (3) the court just upheld the Muslim travel ban. This was the third iteration of the ban, the first 2 clearly unconstitutional. The court agreed that the President's comments were horrible and prejudicial, but the ban could stand. The court agreed that the underlying arguments were probably fabricated in order to create a ban that would stand up. The court agreed that the ban has not followed up as it states it must be (the ban promised a complete review within 90 days - time that expired months ago but the review not happened). The court agreed that it contains window dressing language in order to seems reasonable (case by case decisions were suppose to be made, yet only 2 of 65,000 applicants were approved). And yet, they still upheld the President's power to make this ban.

Each of these decisions can be supported. But that every decision that was difficult came down 5 - 4 on the Republican side shows a process that is out of control*.

Today another vote was decided on a 5-4 decision. A decision that was, in fact, one of the reasons the Senate held to slot open. The Supreme Court today overturned a decision made 41 years ago. It has to do with public sector Unions (but logically applies to private sector unions) that they cannot collect agency fees if the members don't want to pay them. Agency fees may ONLY be used in contract negotiations not in political advocacy, but that didn't make any difference. The Supreme Court said that people had a right to free speech and Agency Fees overruled that right by making members pay for more benefits.  

How will this effect people? Well 22 states have "right to work" laws that mean people can opt of the union altogether. The people in the other states usually have better benefits and salaries (example). So it's a way to squeeze public workers. 

Our neighbor in California objected to these fees and her union dues because the Teachers Union there worked for gay marriage and the rights of undocumented children to go to school.  

Now, back to our regularly scheduled rant. 

An independent judiciary is critical to the country. Having a one party system judiciary is a bad thing. Getting a one party judiciary based on the Republicans stealing a nomination is a horrible thing. Having a one party judiciary with a Executive branch that is testing the limits of the law and Congress is providing no checks on its power is a scary thing.

*Out of control see chart after jump

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Ed Brought Back a Picture

He flew home today and flew right over the house - well right enough that he took a picture.  OUr condo is int he red circle toward the bottom left.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Log Cabin: Wide to the Right

 Published on Reviews Off-Broadway
The time of the gay stereotype is thankfully over. Theater no longer has to show gays as a tragic sideshow or sassy gay friend, now gays can be anything. Log Cabin chooses to show them as confused defenders of the status quo against the trans community. Such is progress.
Log Cabin is set over 7 years of rapid political and societal advancement in the gay and lesbian community – from 2012 to 2017. And we view these changes through the well-meaning eyes of one gay and one lesbian couple, who are longtime friends. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Philip James Brannon play Ezra and Chris, an interracial couple who seem pretty well suited to each other. Pam and Jules, the lesbian couple, are played by Cindy Cheung and Dolly Wells respectively. They seem easy and at ease with each other, full of easy tender moments instead ravishing desire.
Cindy Cheung, Dolly Wells, Jessie Tyler Ferguson, Phillip James Brannon
The play opens with Ezra and Chris telling the women about Ezra’s father’s unacceptance of them as a couple, which astonishes Ezra. This discussion is followed quickly by Ezra’s uncomfortableness about the status of his oldest friend, then Helen, now Henry. The juxtaposition is Spielbergian in it’s painful obviousness. Ezra also gets to flail about uncomfortably as Pam and Jules discuss having a baby: you see Chris wants a child and Ezra does not. Not only does Ezra not want a child, he does not want to talk about it.
Time flies by and soon the baby has arrived. Since he doesn’t speak, various characters get to have imagined conversations with the child to explore their insecurities. Henry (nĂ© Helen) also drops by for dinner. He brings Myna, a free spirit  andlove interest, along. Henry and Myna are played by Ian Harvie and Talene Monahon. What follows is why one should never decide to have a long-postponed conversation with your transsexual ex-prom date in front of strangers. Mitchell Ezra manages to offend everyone even as he is admitting to his own insecurities.  Jules disappears into the baby’s room, only to be joined later by Henry who then flirts / berates Jules into masturbating in some bizarre self-misogynistic way. Perhaps the underlying erotic tension of the moment only eluded me, but the moment seemed forced and artificial.
After spending the evening fighting, Ezra decides to accede to Chris’ desire to have a child, because that is one of the top reasons to bring a new person into the world, to make up after a fight. Then Ezra and Chris make this magic moment even sweeter by going to Henry and asking him to go off testosterone in order to get pregnant and partner with them in forming a family. Remember, when we last saw Henry - only moments earlier - he was being an asshole to the boys and cheating with a lesbian mom, but such are how happy homes are made. For a moment I wondered if Log Cabin was actually written by a member of the moral majority to show how disgusting the homosexuals really are, I am still not convinced it wasn’t.
Ian Harvie, Talene Monahon, Dolly Wells, Jessie Tyler Furgeson & Phillip James Brannon
When another year has passed and we next we see the company, Henry is pregnant (looking remarkably like the first pregnant man spread in Time a few years ago), Jules and Pam don’t discuss that evening and Ezra and Chris are broken up over an infidelity. In one of the few moments that felt real to me, Cindy Cheung gives a heartfelt speech on the meaning of relationships and forgiveness that almost made me forgive this show. Almost.
Log Cabin was written with incredible wit and verve by Jordan Harrison, but I could have used some real emotion. I don’t enjoy saying this, I though Mr. Harrison’s piece Marjorie Prime was a fantastic show and was looking forward to Log Cabin. Pam MacKinnon does an excellent job of direction, helping ground the piece as much as possible. Log Cabin is very good when it isn’t frustrating or overly showy. But those moments don’t come often enough for me to recommend this.
Log Cabin
Playwright: Jordan Harrison
Director: Pam MacKinnon
Cast: Phillip James Brannon, Cindy Cheung, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ian Harvie, Talene Monahon, Dolly Wells

I'm Going to ReTry

Studies have shown that the more incendiary our President is, the more he pisses off liberals and makes his supporters happy, no matter what horseshit he spouts and tweets.

And so, no more.  I give it 23 days - but we'll see. 

So This Story Is Fascinating As Eddie and I Have Been There

Ed and I visited a site in Wisconsin a few years ago that we found really interesting.  I loved the place and the story and now it is a play.  Here is the information...

New drama examines closeted life of pioneering LGBT preservationist, begins July 13 at HERE

The Pattern at Pendarvis begins performances July 13 at HERE.
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For Immediate Release
Contact: Ron Lasko at 212-505-1700 or

New Drama Examines Closeted Life of Pioneering LGBT Preservationist
Previews begin July 13 at HERE

New Dog | StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance will present the World Premiere of THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS by Dean Gray. Directed by Joseph Megel, previews begin July 13 at HERE. Opening is slated for Friday, July 20.

In 1935, Robert Neal and Edgar Hellum began restoring dilapidated Cornish-built limestone houses in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Their efforts saved this 19th century lead mining town from certain extinction. Upon their retirement in 1970, the Wisconsin Historical Society began operating the restoration as a historic site interpreting the history of Cornish settlement in the US.

THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS is a fictionalized look at the quiet life of Edgar Hellum, a man in his nineties who did pioneering work in historic preservation in a small, mid-western town. A man who just happened to be gay in an era long before Stonewall and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The play deals with contemporary gay identity issues through the eyes of a man who spent his life in the closet.

The play is adapted and fictionalized from interviews conducted in Mineral Point in 1997 by Will Fellows as part of the research for his book A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture.

“There is a deep satisfaction in the opportunity to present this particular story, right now,” says StreetSigns artistic director Joseph Megel, who also directs. “Dean has done a masterful job crafting a nuanced piece of work for the stage that offers an intimate look at often overlooked movements in cultural history in ‘flyover country.’ It is a relief to enter this quieter world where the issues are not battled out by outrage junkies screaming for and against political correctness and identity politics. We need this conversation.”

THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS stars Lawrence Merritt (Pippin, Applause, Dear World and more on Broadway) as the nonagenarian Edgar, with David Murray Jaffe, and Gregory Jensen. The production team includes Daniel Ettinger (sets), Joseph Amodei (lighting and video design); Gail Cooper-Hecht (costumes), and Ruth Gersh (stage manager).  It is presented at HERE as part of SubletSeries@HERE, a curated rental program providing artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.

THE PATTERN AT PENDARVIS runs July 13 – August 5, Wednesday – Saturday at 7pm with matinees on Sundays July 29 & August 5 at 2pm. HERE is located at 145 6th Avenue (enter on Dominic Street, one block south of Spring Street – accessible from the C/E trains to Spring Street or 1 train to Canal).  Tickets are $25, available at 212-352-3101 or

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Maybe They Thought She Was A Lesbian

Maybe they didn't ask Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave because she is the lying spokesperson for President Trump. Maybe they thought she was gay.

You people at Fox think that is a perfectly acceptable reason to refuse someone service.

Think You're Scard Now

So I think Donald Trump is the epitome of a horrible President, tearing down institutions, selling lies and snake-oil, and turning Americans against one another on purpose.

But what I fear more is the NEXT President.

Because, let's face it, no President since before FDR has ever taking fewer liberties and powers than his predecessor. What was shocking under Clinton became normal under Bush. Same with Bush and then Obama. And President Trump's backers consistently bring up President Obama's actions to justify Trump's forays into the land of giant lies.

George W Bush couldn't get Congress to work, he used a few Executive Orders to pass items he felt critically important.

President Obama  frustrated in his second term, expanded those Executive Orders when Congress seemed critically deadlocked.

President Trump walked in with Executive Orders pre-filled in.

Lying, sexual assault, race-baiting using the office for making yourself richer will not end with Trump. And, most of these, didn't start with Trump. But he has made them more acceptable than ever. And his voters still love him.

I am worried about Trump, but I am petrified for our country since things will only get worse from here.

Skintight Wears Its Beautiful Skin Lightly

 (published on Reviews Off-Broadway link)
It takes a moment for your mind to adjust to Idina Menzel in a non-musical, but only a moment. She steps onto the Laura Pels’ stage and takes command, her character demanding supportive noises from her father.  Playing Jodi Issacs, a mother in her mid-forties whose husband left her for a 24 year hottie, Idina blazes with self-righteous pity and a small amount of anger that comes off more as serious annoyance. Jodi is about to get a lot more annoyed.
Jodi has flown in from LA to surprise her father on his 70th birthday and to bask in a little parental comfort. Her father, Elliot (Jack Weatherall), doesn’t want to celebrate his birthday, hates surprises and doesn’t do parental comfort well. Elliot is gay fashion designer that sells sex and the clothes that support it. It is impossible not to think of Calvin Klein, since the backstory of the poor Hungarian Jew that makes good mimics Mr. Klein (although the home borough of Bronx has been replaced by the trendier Brooklyn) and because Mr. Weatherall projects exactly what one would expect Mr. Klein to be like.
Jack WEtherall, Will Brittain, Idina Menzel and Eli Gleb
Worse, for Jodi, is that Elliot has a much younger boyfriend, Oklahoma boy Trey (Will Brittain) chosen mainly for handsome looks. Trey is the same age as Jodi’s son Benjamin (Eli Gleb). The fact her ex-husband and her father are now both involved with sexy creatures in their 20s, means that Jodi’s escape to New York is very little escape after all.
And this house was never her home. It is a steel and grey showplace that, at first, doesn’t really look like anyone’s home, but Elliot and Trey fit the place well. Jodi walks right up to the point of demanding her father choose her or Trey, but pulls back when the answer becomes obvious.
Skintight is very funny, occasionally titillating and a lovely chance for every actor to show off in a few great scenes. On the other hand, it rarely connects to the audience. Everyone stays in their lane when I would have expected a little more chaos.
Eli Gleb and Will Brittain
Will Brittain has moments that stand out, because his character is often charged with being more than an attractive cardboard cutout of a character. I would like to have seen more chances taken with the excellent cast.
Playwright Joshua Harman uses Skintight to ask if beauty is as critically important as our society has made it. His answer is that – yes, it is. And the answer is dispatched with very little irony. Director Daniel Aukin moves the pieces of the play excellently, but I was left somehow wanting more.
Playwright: Joshua Harmon
Director: Daniel Aukin
Cast: Will Brittain, Eli Gleb, Indina Menzel, Jack Wetherall, Stephen Carrasco, Cynthia Mace

Found The Worst Seats in the Hlouse

At yesterday's play, Log Cabin, I found the worst seat at Playwrights' Horizon - a new theater.

I was between 2 older Jewish women, neither reticent in their opinions.

As the time ticket past when the play should have started, they began to "discuss" the media. One was of the opinion that MSNBC was a haven in times like now, and the other - who started Fox News Legal division -  was of the opinion that all media was corrupt, MSNBC as corrupt as all the others.

The discussion began more animated and heated until I felt less like the man seated in between two ladies and more like the referee at a fight beginning to turn quite ugly. 

Blackout, FADE IN could not come soon enough.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Conflict Points a Way Forward

The Mint Theater team somehow seems to find perfect shows for our time by scrounging around old and forgotten pieces of theater. Conflict is no exception, in fact, it might be one of the Mint’s best shows. Even with the Mint’s transformative eye to detail and period, it doesn’t take long for Conflict to register with our current political situation. 

Conflict is a love story layered onto a discussion about politics and class (this is a British play, after all), all of this played out during an election. The handsome young Conservative in this soon to be triangle is Major Sir Ronald Clive (Henry Clarke). The young woman who is the object of his affections is Lady Dare (Jessie Shelton). The Labour candidate is an old friend of Clive’s, Tom Smith (Jeremy Beck). 

Jeremy Beck, Jessie Shelton and Henry Clarke
 The story starts with Clive and Dare coming from an evening out at that woozy hour where the edge of night transforms into morning. Sparkling conversation and flirtation ensues, but their manner and interaction indicate the fizz has been drained from their relationship. Dare goes to bed as her father, Lord Bellingdon (Graeme Malcolm) enters. Lord Bellingdon and Clive find a man lurking on the grounds and capture young Tom Smith. But it turns out Tom Smith is no theif, but an old chum of Clive’s from Cambridge, albeit fallen on hard times.

Moving forward a year, an election comes up and Clive stands as the Conservative candidate and, a rehabilitated Tom,s tands as the Labour candidate. Lady Dare is fascinated, first by Tom, then by the ideas he has about politics, then by Tom again.

What makes Conflict rather brilliant is the way that the discussion about politics is front and center, but not central to the story. Both men are sure they are right, but they are willing to listen to one another. They are moved by a sense of duty and civility to participate in politics. Similarly, both men care passionately about Lady Dare, but are willing to listen to her. 
Here, Lord Bellingdon is, unfortunately, the embodiment of the status quo just as the young voters (not seen but referenced) are the embodiment of struggle. His stand for convention against the future is the unmovable object which is thwarted by Lady Dare’s unstoppable train.

Conflict is also the story of physical and emotional love that was probably quite daring in 1925, and would still be in many parts of the country. In the country so recently wrapped in Victorian morals, change in the social rules occurs at a blistering pace.

All four major actors are moving and impressive in their performances. If Jeremy Beck and Jessie Shelton stand out, it is because it is their story of transformation and honesty.

Directed with a light touch by Jenn Thompson, Conflict was written by Miles Malleson who also wrote Unfaithfully Yours, recently done by the Mint. The audience at the Mint Theater often skews older, which is a shame. Young theater goers are missing out on an excellent and timely play. Conflict is proof that ideas, principals and entertainment can age and become even more relevant.

Director: Jenn Thompson | Playwright: Miles Malleson
Cast: Jeremy Beck, Henry Clarke, Graeme Malcolm, James Pendergast, Jessie Shelton, Jasmin Walker, Amelia White

Friday, June 22, 2018

A Day At The United Nations

I spoke today at the United Nations. The topic was a consultation with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council).  I spoke on the need for better working relations with member states and economies in transition (UN-speak for developing countries). In particular, no surprise, with an emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina since that is where our NGO operates and why I was invited.

Some pictures of me, then some of the UN as I wandered around after the meeting.
The room before the whole thing started.
The USA Representative (2nd from end), she was very supportive.

The Security Council Room (no meetings today)

Part of the mural outside the Security Council


A Theme I Will Come BackTo...

Immigration is not a problem in this country. It just isn't. I can give lots of facts and figures (and have, after the jump) Our crime statistics have never been lower.

Area with high immigrant populations (legal and illegal) have lower crime rates. I'll get to those later.  So what is immigration?

A Red Herring.

If you don't believe me? Think back to the last thing Republicans said would destroy the country, the debt.

After falling during the last 4 years of the Obama administration, it was still touted as going to destroy our economy.

And yet, the Republicans came in and the ONLY major piece of legislation tripled the country's debt.

Now immigration. The Republicans will beat this horse until it staggers over the finish line in November. The only question is how many gullible voters will fall for it.  Don't believe me?

Well, first, understand there is NO immigration problem relative to the last 35 years. Second, look at the President's own tweet.

The President blames the Democrats, but the Republicans hold both houses of Congress and failed to pass any legislation because they won't compromise. The President WANTS a deadlock to get his voters to the pools. The fear of the great brown hoards is the only thing he can think of to motivate them.

Stats on crime after the Jump

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sometimes a Predetermined Outcome is Nice

I just got back from visiting my mom and Nick in Montana. We talked and laughed and everything else.  But....

Their TV already had a lot of Senate race ads. At least a couple every hour.  In June!

That's a lot of ads they have to live with in Montana. Sometimes it's nice living somewhere where your vote doesn't count.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Chaos Central (too many balls in the air)

President Trump likes chaos, his advisors say. And so chaos there shall be. Here is a short list of the things he is disrupting right now:

  1. Families asking for asylum. After separating kids and parents, the President signed an order to keep them together (which he said he could not sign for the past week). Now he will lock the families up together and hold them indefinitely, in violation of the Flores court order.
  2. Chinese trade war
  3. Support for Chinese company ZTE (after a loan to Trump Indonesia properties)
  4. Trade War with Europe
  5. War of words with Justin Trudeau and Canada - our chief ally.
  6. Iran Nuclear Agreement has been torn up - no talks to replace it (remember it will be replaced with a big beautiful new treaty).
  7. Possible mid-east war with Iran - being pushed by Israel and Saudi Arabia.
  8. Non-reality based investigation into FBI by Justice Department re:debunked rumor of a spy in his campaign
  9. Non-reality claim that FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's EMail investigation cleared him of Russian Collusion probes.
  10. Dropped out of Paris Climate Accords (remember it will be replaced by a big beautiful new treaty).
  11. Attack on the Independent investigation of Robert Muller. Slandering it as a witch hunt. It has produced multiple arrests and guilty convictions so, not a with hunt.
  12. North Korean Photo Op and new claim that he fixed the problem of North Korea, with no agreements or progress.

I Have Avoided the Child Seperation Issue - But Add Abuse, Sexual and Other - And I Must Say Something

President Trump has said that a zero tolerance policy is due to Democrats.  It's not, but that is our Dear Leader just lying, so I am used to it. He is holding children hostage to his whims, again, I am used to him being cavalier with people's lives.

But now a Texas paper (link) has found pretty rampant abuse, physical and sexual over years of operation and we aren't doing anything about it. A policy in Syria or Hungary of the government taking away children from asylum seekers and then physically and sexual abusing them would raise Americans anger. When we do it, the response is muted.

You may wonder why nothing is changing.  Well... Republicans like the policy (LINK to data).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

But the Republicans Control Government???

President Trump's constant tweeting convinces his followers that up is down (I was going to say black is white, but he really insists that black is evil).  Take this....

But Republicans control all of government right now. The House of Representatives, The Senate, the Presidency and the Supreme Court. How could those evil Democrats being doing anything? The laws he bitches about were passed and signed into law by George W. Bush, and his party could change them anytime, by themselves.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Just got back from visiting Mom and Nick in Montana. There I meet this bundle of fun.  This is Cody a 12 week old golden lab.  He's adorable.  There is also a weird ass cat, which I blurred in my picture, so I don't have one.

The cat is about the same color and two years old.  He and Cody play slap and tickle and it is a crack up.

Mom and Nick are pretty good.  It was a nice trip.

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.