A Sundry Assortment: Reminded.

Protesting.

While reading this op-ed on “Why do whites oppose the NFL protests?“, I’m reminded of the scene in Arrested Development where Lindsay is herded into exercising her 1st Amendment Rights in the Free Press Zone:

“To many whites, the only good black protest is no black protest.”

-Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune Op-Ed, September 26, 2017

Stay inside the box.

Remain on your feet. We don’t want to have to address systemic racism. Explicit or implicit bias. Remember when Barack Obama was elected? That was the end of racism. A bunch of OWGs said so.

Don’t upset the status quo.

Ugh.

Where did all the neo-Nazis come from?

I am reminded of Max Von Sydow’s monologue delivered as Frederick in Woody Allen’s movie “Hannah and Her Sisters.”

“It’s the wrong question.”

“The question is, why doesn’t it happen more often?”

The video starts and 0:20 and by 1:31 we have:

“If Jesus came back and saw what’s going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.”

Brilliant. And I’m reminded that the movie, Hannah and Her Sisters, is 32 years old. I am the one waking up to the gradations of, and the degradation in the society around me.

Speaking of Which, Woody Allen and #MeToo

I reminded that in the 32 years since Hannah and Her Sisters was filmed, well, Woody Allen is not all that. Woody had an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, essentially his step-daughter who is 35 years his junior, (she was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Andre Previn). There were Polaroids.

And he’s been accused by Dylan Farrow of sexual abuse that occurred when she was 7 years old.

Ugh, Woody. Just ugh.

Sandals. Scandals.

While speeding through some headlines recently, I saw that President Barack Obama was quoted saying, “I didn’t have sandals.”

And I wondered at what event President Obama was footwear deficient.

So I backed up, slowed down and read “I didn’t have scandals.”

I was pained at the thought he would be denied participation somewhere, probably really fun, due to lack of sandals.

And I am reminded that once not long ago, the White House was lacking in sandals scandals.

Puerto Rico

Low hum hmmmm. Thinking of Puerto Rico as Hurricane season rolls around. Again.


Aquí vive una escritora! Here lives a writer. When Ann, my friend retrieved this decorative tile from the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico for me as a gift a couple of years ago, it became my inspiration for the pseudonym ‘Viva Escritora’! Live writer. A verb! Pronounced either live or live. Remain alive or make one’s home in a particular place.¹

And so Viva I am!

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And then Project Runway featured a home tour in Puerto Rico pre-hurricane Maria with Margarita Alvares. A colorful mosquito-free paradise. Project Runway in Puerto Rico, PR in PR, it was gorgeous. (I wanted to celebrate the beauty and embed a video or link here, but the PR video with the mini-tour of PR remains Google elusive. Find Old San Juan at 20:16 if you have time, full episode: Season 16, Episode 13.)

And now a Harvard report estimates the actual death toll in Puerto Rico is 4,645 deaths due to Hurricane Maria and it’s wake. Not ~70. I guess the paper towels didn’t go far enough.

Remain alive or make one’s home in a particular place.¹

Live or live.


Although my politics and opinions drift center-left, I appreciate this center-right perspective on Puerto Rico from Jennifer Rubin because she acknowledges “If we had a responsible Congress that took oversight seriously there would be a top-to-bottom review of the response.” My bold. And oversight and grading the response is a start, Ms. Rubin, but it appears you’re concerned about rigorous oversight of deaths rather than preservation of life (remaining alive) or restoration efforts (make one’s “home”). But hey! it’s a start. You kinda, almost … have a heart … drag the GOP a*s*es … well, again, good job. It’s a start.

Puerto Rico’s debt is approximately $123B ($74B + $49B pension). Or, about 8.2% of the increase in the national debt this year ( $1.3X10¹² USD). Perhaps with all those fancy zeroes and debt added in scientific notation, the US government could find a way to … restructure Puerto Rico’s debt? refinance the debt? stop punishing Puerto Rico? I mean, cryin’ out loud, Puerto Rico literally translates to ‘Rich Port.’ For the three (3) branches of government the GOP controls, and the focus on the almighty dollar, it’s probably worth $omething $ub$tantial.

Hello? Jeff Bezos? Rich Rico? They could still use some help. Puerto Rico? Fixer upper? Flip as the 51st state?


¹ Definitions of ‘live’ from the Googles.

For future reference: Wiki List of Hurricanes that have affected Puerto Rico.

Everybody Lies!*

Much has been made of Prescedense Trump’s propensity, proclivity* to state “demonstrable falsehoods” or flat-out lie.

We, the disillusioned, search for the reason the 2016 election swung the way it did to a non-truther. And further, we look for a reason that 30-some-percent of the populace still supports the deranged lying cantaloupe.* We blame Russians that ran interference on multiple fronts —  meetings with campaign representatives, FaceBook advertising, the NRA, et al ad nauseum— all the way to boots-on-the-ground-US-citizens who turned up for events.¹

And soul-searching continues. In previous posts, I’ve blamed the 2016 election results on the misogyny of women in my demographic. Or my favorite and always front-runner, the GOP and Reince Priebus who really kicked things off by playing along with the ruse that the Teflon Cheeto was qualified to run for office, any office, even POTUS.

But recent evidence offered up in a Cheeto Tweet from the “nation’s most prestigious unit of public housing”² –“The Failing @nytimes quotes “a senior White House official” who doesn’t exist, as saying “even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.” WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.”

And then The New York Times followed up with information that the “phony source” was a “senior White House official.”³

The source was not phony. The source was a White House official at a press briefing.

Prescedense Cheeto lied! And he knows that. And we know that.

And his minions are polished at the lie — Kellyanne, Sarah, et al. And we know that, too.

Politicians lie. All the time. Examples exist on both sides – Democrats and Republicans*.

And therein lies truth.

Everybody lies.

And I’m reminded of “Love the Way You Lie,” the Eminem (featuring Rihanna) anthem to the complexity of abusive relationships:

“Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie.”

-Eminem

-Skylar Grey

The Trump Regime: Love the Way You Lie — abusiveness writ large on the all of us. We burn. We cry. We hurt. We were sucked into and are stuck in this moment with an abusive Prescedense.

And his support? I contend that they love the way he lies. They’ve been lied to over and over, and now? They prefer bald, orange comb-over straight up lies to deceit dressed up as truth. After all, packaged and polished, lies are lies are lies.

Ugh. I stop now.


Below this line: thought and prayers comments, resources, and links I viewed while writing this post.

*BookEverybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. I’m currently reading this page-turner on analysis and interpretation of the voluminous amounts of data we’re willing to share anonymously-but-not with the faceless internet. Frood — not her real name, and friends are Big Data enthusiasts. Graduates even. <smile>

* Propensity and proclivity imply tendencies and choice and I’m convinced that The Donald’s lying is embedded in his DNA. But then we’re back full circle to everyone has DNA and everyone lies.

*No fault of cantaloupes.

¹ Read Baratunde conclusions and full break-down of Mueller’s indictment here.

² Description of the White House from The New Hampshire Gazette. I’ve tripped across this verbiage in their paper more than once. A note, however. Early news reports today indicate that Melanie Melania Trump is moving back to the Trump Tower in New York City.  We could make the argument that perhaps the Trump Tower is the most prestigious unit of public housing.

³ My mind boggles that NYTimes continues to give quarter white-washing uncontested ink to a congenitally disposed liar: “It is not clear whether the president was simply unaware of the actions of his own senior staff or if he knowingly ignored the truth.” He lies. He’s a liar. How do you know? His lips were moving. His fingers were twitching Tweeting. This isn’t that hard.

* For consideration: a list of truths the Republicans have been wrong about from Soapboxie, Jeff61b  published May 5, 2018.

* How to Break the Cycle of Verbal and Emotional Abuse, by Beth Cone Kramer. IMO, although written for personal relationships, it would help if the media would recognize the abuse of power for what it is and if they would change their response. They are legitimizing illegal behavior.

How times change: Rocket Arugula

Me, a child looking at some green salady thing Mom was dishing up: “What’s this?”

Mom: Rocket.

Mom goes on to explain she found it growing wild between the garden and the cornfield and washed up, it will be delicious.

Me: Ugh.

Fast-forward umpty-dumpty dump and a few more dump years.

Mr. Viva: Do I need to pick anything up from the store?

Me: Rocket. Only now we call it arugula.

And it comes to us by way of a plastic container, all 6 oz. and triple-washed and ready to go.

Delicious.


Remember our veterans & a Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Know s*it Sherlock! The 3.5 % solution!

For love of wordplay, the phrase “no s*it¹ Sherlock” recently resolved itself into “know s*it Sherlock.” Know s*it.  ‘Know’ the homonym of ‘no’ turns the snarky phrase “no s*it Sherlock” into a cheer for furthering one’s education — “know s*it Sherlock.” Know, know, know!

Sherlock Holmes required a 7% solution.

And as an information junkie, I am happy to report that 3.5% of a solution is required to shake this current s*itstorm of an administration apart.  From my new favorite periodical — The New Hampshire Gazette A Non-Fiction Newspaper, Grab Me, I’m Free! Vol. CCLXII, No. 16, April 27, 2018, page 2:

“If enough people stand up to the status quo, eventually it will cave.

“The question is, how many people would that take? According to researchers Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, not as many as one might think.

“They found that ‘no campaigns failed once they’d achieved the active and sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population — and lots of them succeeded with far less than that.’ “²

Whoa! What!? If we throw the 3.5% solution at the 2016 election turnout, an additional 4.8M resisters need to participate and march their feet to the polls to effect change.  And though we may not participate for the same reasons —  a metaphorical herd of cats — pick your protest issue(s), make your voice heard, and at election time, make your vote count for change you believe in. Shoot, if you look at the number of votes Jill Stein and Gary Johnson peeled off in 2016, we’re there!

And like it or not, I offer the contemporary Tea Party as a recent example of effective civil resistance. The Tea Party formed in January 2009 after the election of President Obama. Although never a formal political third-party, the Tea Party organized, endorsed, and elected Senators and Representatives that formed a coalition within the current GOP.  And while verifying this assertion, I tripped across this nice essay obituary for the Tea Party by Matt Kibbe, one of the original Tea Party organizers.

The rise and fall of the Tea Party happened within a decade more or less. Horrified as we were, they affected real political change.  And treated us with Ted Cruz. And now their adjunct-cum-Emporer Prescedense Trump. And the damage done by the Trump Prescedensey internationally just this week and the week’s not even over, will persist longer than a decade.

Participate. Encourage others. The 3.5% solution is within our reach.

Know shit hope, Sherlock.


¹ s*it: I recently blogged that s*it looks French and sounds French if pronounced ess-EEE.

² Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan authored the book Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, Columbia University Press, December 2012.

³ The following are links to lists of issues and a gentle reminder, issues persist regardless of administration:

Pick one or two issues from the lists. Get involved. Be involved. Stay involved. And above all, be kind.

 

 

 

 

 

Time-lapse: Happy Mother’s Day!

Well, I am a people watcher reporting from the bleacher seats! And last weekend I watched a crowd of graduates which included Frood,¹ process their way into an auditorium, receive their diplomas, and process their way back out.

I recorded time-lapse videos of the event — the crowd is in place, the chairs fill; the chairs empty, the crowd pours out. The view from the bleacher seats. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, the all of us smooshed into a ceremony in celebration of a major milestone and achievement!

Enjoy! Or not …

I was interrupted during the filming of the procession out, but smacks! Look at that crowd in the bleachers on the other side of the auditorium MOVING on OUT, that yellow of the empty seats pops!


¹ Frood is still not her real name.

At wealth’s end …

Monday morning over coffee and I am waving goodbye to Jeff Bezos who has walked so far out on the pier of net worth that he is crossing his own ocean and did I mention I’m all in for mixed metaphor?

Jeff Bezos net worth today is approximately $130B. Stratospheric net worth. Net worth expressly worthy of expression in scientific notation¹:

Jeff Bezos’ net.worth ≅ $1.3 X 10¹¹

And it has been reported that Mr. Bezos doesn’t know what to do with all that net worth which disappoints me.  At the end of the pier in which his peers lag behind him by ∼$40B, at the pinnacle of wealth, at wealth’s end, Jeff Bezos doesn’t know what to do with all that net. Worth.  Casting about with rockets and a 500′ clock that operates off the earth’s thermal cycles, Jeff Bezos with more money than God Warren Buffett, appears to be searching for some sentimental hygiene

And aside: A clock that works off the earth’s thermal cycles?

Hmmm. Seems that will be short lived as we burn this muffin cycle to hot, hot, hot.

And time is a man-made construct. What’s up with that Mr. Bezos?

Evidently, on that long walk on a long pier, Mr. Bezos bypassed the reason for the walk. He accumulates steps on his financial FitBit but hasn’t expanded the view past his own wrist. Or casting rockets into the sea. Or a 500′ thermal clock buried in a West Texas mountain tracking time in units of what? What for?

So if Mr. Bezos is fishing for some ideas to spend at wealth’s end, some ways to cast a bit of net.worth for more immediate tangible results, well, here we go:

  • Purchase a country. Or two. Or maybe fix buy Puerto Rico. Instead of Puerto Rico, (Rich Port), we could call it Bezos Rico. Afterall, buy low, put in a little work and flip it as the 51st state, why not? It could be the grandest episode of Fixer Upper.
  • From Twitterer Matthew Chapman: Buy every homeless person in the US a median price home.  This could be an epic Oprah-chart-chanting moment: “And YOU GET a house, and YOU GET a house, and … ad nauseam, you get the idea … ” Mr. Bezos would still have a net.worth of $1.9 X 10¹º (USD)!

  And he would still qualify for the TOP 25 list of Ricos.

Aside: Being a homeowner myself, I am not a fan of this idea on account of the cost of ownership – insurance, utilities, maintenance, it’s a long list and gifting houses, in the end, may just be cruel. So … 

  • Economic experiment! Give each one of your employees a $192,000 bonus and watch what happens! Kill those nasty stories about corporate welfare and Amazon employees on public assistance. And then the stories about Jeff Bezos is one Rich Rico on account of social welfare can stop.
  • My personal favorite: Get creative and start a new currency! Call it the Bezos. Index the Bezos to a combination of US, Chinese, and Euro exchange rates. Seed the new exchange by awarding Bezos with every purchase made on Amazon. It’s a win-win.

Based on the reach of Amazon into our pockets, the Bezos will become currency quicker than you can say ‘mining for Bitcoins!’ Economies thrive on a healthy exchange of goods and services and we’re dying here in the wait for the trickle down of USD.  We can trade up in Bezos.

And another win! Competitively, Alibaba/Jack Ma will be put on what-for-what-just-happened-catch-up-already notice. Jack Jeff it up!

Ah, poor Jeff Bezos. He can’t make a financial move without moving markets, influencing outcomes, turning the tide. It looks lonely out at wits the end of wealth’s end¹

You’re an economic whale, Mr. Bezos.  Go ahead. Make a difference. Jump.

Make a splash.


¹ I love English. Words can be used and repurposed within a geometrically proximate distance of instance — “… net worth expressly worthy of expression … ” Mmmm. Low hum yummy.

² Sentimental Hygiene by Warren Zevon. Totally singable.

10¹¹: 10 raised to the 11th power. Written out = 100,000,000,000