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Annoyances

Invest 90L is becoming more organized and is forecast to be a sub-tropical or tropical depression over the weekend.

After spending more than $200 over the course of several months I was finally able to satisfy all of the absurd requirements of obtaining my Florida driver’s license that complies with the requirements of the RealID law. I have located my original “Certificate of Birth Registration” that is so fragile that it is subject to actually breaking if you aren’t careful and my original Social Security card, but the Certificate doesn’t have an impressed seal and the design of the Social Security card has changed, so I had to get new ones – a process that cost over $100 and took 2½ months (much of the expense was for ‘expedited handling’ and ‘next day shipping’).

Republicans don’t raise taxes, unless they call them fees so that they are free to double or triple them. 😈

Drumpf cancelled his summit after the North Koreans took umbrage over the threats from John Bolton and Mike Pence. Apparently the current administration isn’t aware of the diplomatic custom of not threatening to nuke people you are attempting to negotiate with. We are still waiting for Drumpf to actually sign a deal with anybody over anything… [Note: it is highly unlikely that the Trump-Kim ‘challenge coins’ will be delivered, or that there will be refunds for those who ordered them.]

May 24, 2018   7 Comments

Invest 90L

While the Hurricane Season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, there is a low pressure area off the East coast of the Yucatan that may develop into a tropical system early next week.

May 23, 2018   Comments Off on Invest 90L

Cohen Partner Pleads

NBC reports that Michael Cohen’s business partner takes a plea deal:

Evgeny Freidman, 47, who is known as the Taxi King, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a low-level felony in Albany County Court, in upstate New York, for stealing nearly $5 million in state taxes and has agreed to cooperate in state or federal investigations. The deal, in which he will pay the state $5 million but avoid jail time, was first reported in The New York Times.

For years, Freidman, a Russian immigrant, has managed Cohen’s taxi medallions, which give owners the right to operate New York City yellow cabs. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, referred an ongoing investigation of Michael Cohen to federal prosecutors in New York.

These are state charges, so the Presidential pardon doesn’t apply, and Michael Cohen has state and Federal targets on him. If he wants to see his kids grow up, he is going to have to cop a plea.

Meanwhile Drumpf is abusing his power trying to force the Postal Service to double Amazon’s shipping rates because the Washington Post writes negative stories about him; he is obstructing the Mueller investigation by forcing the Justice Department to reveal confidential sources; and he is waffling on the meeting with Kim Jong-un as it doesn’t look like a deal is going to happen.

May 22, 2018   6 Comments

Enough Is Enough

When the notification appeared that there was an update for Windows 10, there was no warning that after installing this update your stable, reliable in-house network would no longer function as you are accustomed to using it, and make it worthless to you.

The latest update for Windows 10 eliminates the HomeGroup. You have to have the complete name [computer\directory\file name] of any file you are looking for to access it. You can no longer browse your shared directories.

The last reason I had for continuing with the Windows 10 “experiment”, connectivity, is now gone, and I will be removing everything of interest on the disk and installing Ubuntu Mate. I don’t know why they did it, and don’t care. When the support for Windows 7 ends, so does Windows on my machines.

I’m dealing with a number of other issues at the moment and this was one aggravation too many…

May 22, 2018   6 Comments

In Other News

So the Israel Defense Force killed 60 Palestinians and wonded almost 3,000 others. When Israel was hauled before the Security Council US UN ambassador Nikki Haley said that there was a double standard for Israel. That is true – every time the Security Council attempts to sanction Israel, the US vetoes the action.

Israel works under a variation of Roger Taney’s opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford: “Palestinians have no rights which the government of Israel is bound to respect…”

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Possibly related to the “For Sale” sign he wears around his neck, it is now being reported that Don Jr. met with a Gulf emissary who offered help with the election. Erik Prince, an Israeli, and a representative of the the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE – why doesn’t Junior just see if he can get a plea deal, because anything his soon-to-be ex-wife doesn’t get, the courts will.

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There has been a Las Vegas Police witness statement dump about the mass shooting at the country music concert. Buried in it are statements from people who encountered the shooter. He talked about Ruby Ridge, Waco and other alt-reality sore points. Kelly Conway’s “alternate facts” and “unique content” have real world consequences. Some people believe and act on conspiracy “theories”.

May 20, 2018   2 Comments

Amateurs & Professionals

The problem with hiring media personalities for important positions is that they express opinions in public:

In a statement published late Tuesday by the state-run Korea Central News Agency, Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s first vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called Bolton’s comments indicative of “an awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers.”

“It is absolutely absurd to dare compare (North Korea), a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development,” Kim said. “(The) world knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq which have met miserable fate.”

Singling out the national security adviser for personal criticism, Kim said that North Korea had “shed light on the quality of (John) Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him.”

Replacing General McMaster with John Bolton prior to opening negotiations with North Korea was an amateur move. Bolton has been bad-mouthing North Korea for years, and the Kims take notes . Kim Jong-un is not going to give up his nuclear weapons. They are his only guarantee that he won’t get wiped out like Qaddafi and Saddam.

May 16, 2018   2 Comments

Clueless

You have to understand the rules of the game before you step onto the pitch.

Kim Jong-un met with new South Korean President Moon Jae-in because Moon asked and was willing to talk to Kim, unlike former Presidents Park [father and daughter].

Kim agreed to set up a meeting with Trump because Mike Pompeo made trips to North Korea as both the head of the CIA and current Secretary of State.

Kim released three Korean Americans [Kim Dong-chul, Kim Hak-song, and Kim Sang-duk] and announced he was shutting down the North Korean nuclear test facility as a ‘good will gestures’. This produced effusive praise from Trump.

Today Kim cancelled talks with President Moon, and said the meeting with Trump might be cancelled because the US and South Koreans held their long scheduled military exercises.

North Korea ‘arrests’ foreigners to use as bargaining chips and the nuclear test facility had been rendered useless by the last test that resulted in collapsed tunnels underground. Despite that, he expected something from Trump beyond words and didn’t get it. Now he is going to test both Moon and Trump to see how badly they want agreements.

Trump doesn’t know what the ‘ball’ looks like or how you use it to score.

Note: Kim is the most common surname/family name in Korea.

May 15, 2018   Comments Off on Clueless

I’m Too Old For This Crap

Drumpf and Sarah Sanders are having a hissy fit that someone leaked the crude comments about John McCain in a staff meeting. They aren’t apparently upset about the comments, just the fact that they were leaked. There has been no apology and no known action taken against the individual who made the comments. As a matter of fact the crude low-life who made the comment is being portrayed as a ‘victim’ of the leak.

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MCGA (Make China Great Again)

US President Donald Trump has said he wants to help save ZTE, one of China’s biggest telecoms companies.

The firm has suspended operations after the commerce department last month banned US companies from selling it components for seven years.

ZTE pleaded guilty to making illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea.

Mr Trump tweeted that he was working with President Xi to ensure ZTE would get back into business fast, saying too many jobs in China were at risk.

ZTE violated US export laws designed to protect US national security, which Drumpf apparently feels is less important than a possible trade deal with China with his name on it. 👿

May 14, 2018   13 Comments

He Has A Point

James Corden of The Late Late Show on CBS framed Michael Cohen’s side hustle with Essential Consultants as a math word problem: If the Russians give Michael Cohen $500,000 and he gives $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, how many years in jail does Michael Cohen get?

People who have known Cohen and Trump for a long time say that Cohen would have to give Trump a cut of his ‘fees’. Trump complained during the campaign that the networks should have paid him for his appearances on the debates.

May 11, 2018   2 Comments

I’m Back

I can’t avoid the disaster that is Drumpf any longer. He has violated the treaty with Iran that had stopped their possible nuclear weapons program. Like the ACA/Obamacare repeal attempt he dumped something that was working without having anything to replace it. He says that he will negotiate a “better deal”. I want to see some evidence that he has ever negotiated an adequate deal. A half dozen bankruptcies doesn’t fill me with confidence that he can successfully negotiate a Dollar Store checkout line.

For all of the clowns complaining about the money given to Iran after the deal was signed: if you knew what you were talking about, you would know that those funds belonged to Iran and had been frozen by the US.

Naturally the price of gas has jumped up as it always does when there is increased tension in the Persian Gulf. The Trump administration should have prepared for that. Rex Tillerson would have known that, but it wouldn’t occur to a real estate developer.

Unilaterally refusing to honor an agreement on nuclear weapons with Iran will certainly make North Korea decide to go for the ‘photo op’ with the “President of the United States”, but no further. Actions have consequences.

May 9, 2018   2 Comments

Cinco de Mayo

Mexico

Wikipedia usually has to “lock” its Cinco de Mayo page. I suspect it may be related to the sudden appearance of sites opposing the celebration of this semi-holiday and others who have a hissy fit about any Mexican holiday being celebrated in the US.

In Mexico Cinco de Mayo or Batalla de Puebla, is only a really big celebration in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place.

The Mexican army won the Batalla de Puebla on May the 5th, 1862, but the French went on to Mexico City in 1863 after receiving reinforcements and installed Emperor Maximilian.

It has the status of St. Patrick’s Day in the US, an excuse to eat different food, and drink different booze, and be obnoxious show an interest in other cultures.

Margaritas, tacos, and the destruction of piñatas, that’s what it is really about.

May 5, 2018   4 Comments

Status Report

The apartment was finished and I’m now enjoying the company of relatives who escaped the vicissitudes of a never ending winter in upstate New York.

I will be checking in, but most of the time I will be engaging in conversations with real people in ‘meat space’ AKA ‘real life’.

May 2, 2018   18 Comments

May Day

The May Day association with labor is all American, and just as controversial as everything of any consequence in history. The day is tied to a strike for the eight-hour day and the so-called “Haymarket Riot” of 1886. When it comes to “riots” and the Chicago police are involved, you are not going to find a single truth.

The dynamic duo that mucked up the Pledge of Allegiance, Dwight Eisenhower and his Republican Congress, made May 1st both Law Day and Loyalty Day so those Commie working people wouldn’t get any ideas about having rights.

May 1, 2018   Comments Off on May Day

Hexennacht

It’s Hexennacht, but there is no Blocksberg available for dancing down here and it is so soggy that bonfires are out of the question.

Of course the Church grabbed this holiday too and called it Walpurgisnacht in honor of one of their Anglo-Saxon saints, rather than good German witches [Hexen]. The Celts celebrate Beltaine at this time of the year. It is considered the beginning of summer in much of Europe.

Archæoastronomy

April 30, 2018   Comments Off on Hexennacht