Monday, June 27, 2016

Will Brexit make it hit the fan?

The Alpaca-lips, up close
  • For those preferring to experience the alpaca lips from a distance, here would be a good place to ride out the unpleasantries.
  • I will check my stores of Cognac, and tins of kipper snacks.  Maybe plant some cucumbers for making sammiches.  (OK, for me it's really sardines in mustard, and Libby's potted meat with crackers).

Friday, June 24, 2016

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...

  • Brexit prevailed, despite indications (which I previously relayed) that the UK would remain in the EU.
  • The 'one-worlders' have got to be a little miffed today.
  • When Scotland was considering leaving the UK, I [loosely] followed that for a few weeks prior, but the Brexit vote kind of snuck up on me.  Interestingly, Scotland may have another go at leaving the UK, in favor of joining the EU.
  • Some of the reporting from EU officials suggests to me that they're a bit petulant, and want to punish Britain - maybe also warn other members who might be considering leaving the union.  Clearly, there's no Abraham Lincoln providing leadership to the organization, although the member states have taken in quite a few Ibrahims in recent years.
  • Gloom and doom predictors [correctly] predicted large drops in the stock markets if Brexit passed, but whether this is structural or transient will be figured out in due course.  I expect that it's transient - markets get skittish in times of uncertainty, but settle as the air begins to clear.
  • And, inevitably, there were and are comparisons to the U.S., including the ever-popular Texas Secede movement, now dubbed Texit in the wake of the recent Brit experience.  This kind of talk has been around for as long as I can remember - at least back into the mid '70s when [single cab] pickups sporting a model 94 in the rear window also bearing a 'Texas Secede' sticker were common sights.
  • I've tended to view the notion of Texas singularly separating from the U.S. as more amusing than serious.  What would be serious, as well as entirely viable, would be if Texas with its easterly Gulf Coast neighbors, plus a swath of the heartland, midwest and Rocky Mountain states, including western Canadian provinces similarly disaffected with Ottawa, and Alaska, cobbled together an independent coalition or nation.  Such an assemblage would be entirely self-supporting, with northwest and southeast ports, energy, agriculture, timber, minerals and other resources, good labor forces, financial centers, and few of the drawbacks associated with the decaying socio-political structures and cultures of the Northeast and the contiguous Pacific states.  Almost the reverse of the economic power disparity that existed in the 1860s between North and South during the Civil War.
  • California could maybe supply energy to WA and OR derived from its Santa Barbara channel petroleum reserves, as well as thermal energy in the form of hot air from its congressional delegation.  At least until the Big One shears it into the Pacific at the San Andreas fault.
  • I don't have any opinions yet on how this might affect Decision 2016.
  • Interesting times, indeed.
  • Duh!
  • If the Central States of America ever become reality, I propose a route for homesick Chicagoans and New Yorkers to drive to LA and San Fran: The William J. Le Petomane Tollway. Just think of all the dimes in revenue to be collected.
  • In researching for the preceding bullet point, I learned the origin of the name which I did not know, as well as that Johnny Carson had turned down the role of Hedley Lamarr prior to Harvey Korman's accepting it.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday's Thoughts

  • The judge in the trial of the third officer charged in the Freddie Gray case has declared the police van driver not guilty on all counts in a bench trial.   So far, that's a 0/3 record, with three defendants yet to go.  No word yet whether prosecutor Marilyn Mosby is getting the message that her pandering to the nattering nabobs of the BLM agitators is being seen for the sham that it is.
  • Closer to home, a Collin County grand jury has declined to indict a McKinney police officer on charges of excessive force while dispersing an unruly group of adolescents from an unauthorized pool party last summer. The complainant was not injured, but her feelings were hurt, on account of she was disrespected and stuff.
  • The tragic murder of 49 people in Orlando has unleashed much commentary reminiscent of those six blind dudes, somewhere on the Indian sub-continent, encountering an elephant.  Many see it as another rallying cry for stricter gun control, others view it as Islamic Extremism, and a few cast it as an act of homophobia.  An article this week suggests that it was revenge, not Islamic doctrine, that animated the shooter, alleging he'd learned he'd been exposed to the HIV virus through one of his encounters at the club, though he did declare allegiance to ISIS during his rampage.  I don't have a problem with including 'no-fly' persons to the NICS database (if there's due process for appeal if it's not justified) to make it more difficult to legally purchase firearms, but I'm also not so naïve as to forget that a determined psychopath can wreak as much, or more, death, hurt, and destruction, with other commonly available items, such as automobiles, diesel fuel and fertilizer.
  • '60s counter-culture icon and philosopher George Carlin points the finger at the root cause of political dysfunction (language warning, for those not familiar with Carlin).  I wonder what he would think about the present wholesale sell out of American government - at nearly all levels - by politicians bent on allowing more, not fewer, uninformed or previously ineligible (non-citizen) voters.  If one were to propose some de minimis standards, sort of a 'common core' as it were for voters, the ACLU would have a conniption fit, alleging that certain groups were being disenfranchised.  And so the circus continues.
  • Do ya suppose the middle east has Leanin' Palm Tree drawin's where one goat-tender dude says to the other, about a third dude, "Ya know, he jus' don't jihad..."
  • Less than two years after a referendum about Scotland leaving the U.K. (it stayed), Britain is tonight tallying results of its own vote on whether to leave the E.U..  Early indications are that it will remain associated with its neighbors on the continent.  (EDIT: The early predictions were wrong.)
  • A woman penned this 'open letter' urging Mitt Romney to saddle up again for 2016.  Possibly related, Breitbart has run an article highlighting Sport's Authority's liquidation, connecting it to WMR.  Not until the third paragraph does the author note that Romney left Bain Capital - SA's one time owner - in 1999.
  • Messrs. Page and Plant prevailed today in a California courtroom, against claims they'd lifted the opening strains of STH from Taurus's instrumental Spirit.  While I'm not the huge LZ fan, and there have long been claims they regularly plagiarized other works, I think the verdict was correct.
  •  Boy, this is neat!  In about 1964 or 1965, my Dad bought a '62 Monza model, light blue metallic.  We had that car when we moved to the Metromess - it's the first car I remember learning to steer and shift (at about age 7 or 8) out on North Story Road (north of Northgate) when it was a 1-1/2 lane blacktop running between pastures.  That was a long time ago.  When Dad's younger brother came back from the Air Force (was stationed at Guam) in about '70, he gave the Corvair to him and he put another 100K on the clock.  Despite all of Nader's warnings, it was a good car.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Como mi corazón

Does anyone write a more beautiful song than Jimmy Webb?

Here's another version, by the lovely Linda.

Monday, June 6, 2016

I thought I'd take a chance...

And post this story about ABBA.

My recollection of the band is possibly a bit different from yours.  I first became acquainted with their music closer to their home turf/permafrost, as I was living near Vienna all of 1974.  At the Prater (Vienna's version of Fair Park), one could not miss the overmodulated distortion as Waterloo was played through carnival type horn speakers at various places around the grounds.

And of course, at dance nights in the Villa, the middle school building dating to circa 1894, we were similarly subjected to ABBA, as well as Elton John, Slade, Rod Stewart, and others.

Good memories.  Ja, sehr gutes Gedächtnis.