Sunday, October 30, 2016
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
|I heard the wind blowing even before I got out of bed this morning, but yet I had no idea what was about to come. Winds increased over the morning hours and reached full storm by mid-afternoon/early evening. At the same time the wind was driving the rain across and neither Molly nor I were Happy Campers when we had to go outside. This was gonna be an inside-the-house-day. It didn’t take long until I became bored. I had already checked my email umpteen times, read all the Oh-so-funny Facebook posts and had even made it down the blog list when I ventured into the kitchen. Bea had talked about having cherries in the fridge and it was a awfully long time ago we’d had a Black Forest Cake. So pretty soon I was measuring eggs, flour, cocoa and sugar into the mixer. 49 minutes later that cake was all done. After adding whipped cream, cherries and chocolate flakes on top I could hardly contain myself from cutting off a good size slice. |
DANG…that cake could become my favorite. Just delicious.
All the while the wind was howling around the house and something banged against the wall. I think the storm tried to move our bench around. Our garbage container toppled and my tarp cover over the firewood was ripped straight off the wall hook and all following.
The storm was coming out of the east and that triggered my curiosity to drive over to Herring Cove Beach, where the surf would be tremendous. So I grabbed my smart phone and off I went. I was not disappointed.
With a partially open side window towards the beach side I managed to snap a few pics and a short video. The noise…..wow, simply amazing.
The pictures are a bit blurry, as rain was pelting down on the car. But what a show of massive natural power. Amazingly, we had no power outage so far.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
|Today we received the sad news from Betty Graffis that her husband Joe has passed on. Joe and Betty have been keen RVers and enjoyed warm winters in the south-west, where we were lucky enough to meet them in February 2014 at “The Palms at Indian Head” Borrego Springs, CA. |
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The Republicans tried to sink Obama. Instead, the party imploded
by Richard Wolffe
It may seem too early to call, but we already have a winner in the 2016 election.
He’s someone the pundits wrote off long ago. An improbable outsider who rode an insurgent wave to snatch the nomination from the establishment. An unconventional politician whose raucous rallies underscored his appeal to voters far outside his party base.
His name is Barack Obama. And he can thank the freak show that is Donald Trump’s Republican party for restoring his stature as a unifying, national leader with a moderated and mature approach to a complex and unstable world.
Eight years ago, Obama represented an existential threat to the Republican party, and not just because he was going to lead the Democratic party to win the White House and Congress by large margins.
No, Obama’s biggest threat was that he could realign American politics, shifting it fundamentally towards progressives for a generation. He and his campaign aides talked privately of being the Reagan of the left: a transformative figure who would leave an indelible legislative mark at home and restore America’s position on the world stage.
With his appeal to independents and moderate Republicans, Obama could break the Republican party as a national force. With his appeal to minority voters – a rapidly emerging majority across the country – he could lock in the fastest growing demographics that could turn red states blue.
So the GOP leadership chose to make Obama unacceptable, unpalatable and un-American. On the night of his first inauguration, House Republican leaders met at a Washington steakhouse to plot their path back to power. They would not reform their policies or consider the root cause of their defeat. Instead, they would oppose Obama on everything, well before he tried to pass a giant stimulus bill or healthcare reform.
They needed to deny him a reputation for bipartisanship and mainstream politics, and they succeeded. He wasn’t reasonable; he was an ideologue. His vision of healthcare reform wasn’t a free-market system based on Republican plans; it was a socialist takeover that would destroy the American way of life. He was inviting terrorist attacks on the homeland, not hunting down Osama bin Laden. He was acting in unconstitutional ways because he wasn’t really American at all.
The party of Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Roger Ailes had turned him into their own kind of freak.
Before he finished his second year in office, Obama was such an object of Republican loathing that the Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell could say – with impunity – that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
If your political priorities are the total defeat of a single politician – not the advancement of your own policies through debate or legislation – then you are already in pretty desperate shape. You render it impossible to compromise with your opponents, and you fan the flames of extremism that will burn anyone in the center.
You also look weak and foolish when you lose, surrendering the stage to someone who can vilify his opponents better than you. So don’t look dazed and confused at Donald Trump when he runs your playbook more convincingly than your own team. It’s too late to fret about endorsing his kooky positions – like deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, treating all Muslims as enemies and blowing up the deficit – when they are only logical extensions of your own.
After eight years of conservative caricature, you may be forgiven for thinking that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim socialist with terrorist sympathies and job-destroying policies on healthcare and bank regulation.
Of course, if you live inside the echo chamber of Fox News and rightwing talk radio, you have to ignore the pesky fact that unemployment now stands at 4.9%. That’s lower than when Reagan left office in 1988, and it’s lower than when Bill Clinton won re-election in 1996.
The rate stood at 8.3% in Obama’s first full month in office, and not much below that when he won re-election. For a president with a job-killing economic plan, that’s not a shabby performance.
Sure enough, Obama’s approval ratings (52%) are almost identical to Reagan’s in August 1988 (53%) and a dramatic contrast to those of George W Bush (32%) in 2008. One of these Republican presidents was succeeded by his own vice-president; the other was succeeded by Barack Obama.
This should lead to some serious soul-searching inside the Republican party. Not a post-mortem about how to reach out to Latino voters, but a dismantling of the politics of personal destruction, and the creation of a new, hopeful agenda that can appeal to the mainstream.
Instead, the only point of unity inside the GOP is its gleeful hatred of Hillary Clinton, and its thinly veiled disdain for a nominee who has yet to find a politician he can’t insult.
The Republican party did not entirely fail to destroy Barack Obama. For a few years, aided by the great recession, they almost succeeded. But then they contrived to revive him by nominating a man who would destroy everything Obama stood for, along with much of the free world as we know it.
The rise of Trump has led, perversely, to the revival of Obama. Republican candidates are saying they will not vote for their presidential nominee, and the party’s national security officials are lining up to condemn Trump as a reckless danger to the Republic. How could the incumbent not look like a statesman compared to a man who apparently can’t be trusted with the elevator button, never mind a nuclear one?
Inside the White House, Obama’s aides talk about a president liberated from previous constraint. On the trail, and at the podium, he seems to love campaigning against his orange nemesis. His party’s candidates can’t get enough of him, and his potential successor – instead of putting distance between them – believes Obama doesn’t get enough credit for his economic achievements.
This one-term president is having an unusually successful end to his second term, and for that he can thank the Republicans who were so determined to destroy him.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Sunday, October 16, 2016
|Watching “the monster’s” supporters (the Mob) and knowing how split the American people currently are, I predict that we will witness a wave of domestic violence born of anger and a whipped-up mood over the course of recent election campaigning.|
Add to that the numerous “militias” operating in the U.S. and you have the perfect scenario for a wide-spread civil war.
Across America, the number of local militias has exploded since 2008, when there were only 42 such groups. Now there are almost seven times that number. And there is a reason for that development. Most militias are extreme right-wing groups who hate everybody who is different from themselves. Muslims, all kind of colored people, Jews, Mexicans, gays…all potential targets. And common for all militias is they love their guns. The current danger of domestic violence is far greater than any terrorist attack rooted in radical Islamist groups.
Some of the anti-government groups and local citizens’ councils emphasize white, Christian roots. Many vehemently oppose federal environmental restrictions and seek to uphold the Constitution by force. Most oppose what they call the new world order and often fuel Sept. 11 conspiracy theories.
It is no co-incidence that domestic violence and the spread of militias are on the rise. The hate against coloured people has been smoldering ever since civil war, but when the US got a president with African roots, hate exploded. It certainly didn’t get any better after “The Monster” appeared on stage playing the race and hate card whipping up even more anger. Inciting violence through hate speech is a criminal offence is some countries.
The recent example of planned militia violence was discovered in time to avert a bloodbath. Citation:“The only f—— way this country’s ever going to get turned around is it will be a bloodbath and it will be a nasty, messy motherf—–,”
If the monster does not win the election more hate groups will spring up planning vicious attacks to “turn around the country” by force.
Once militias are getting violent against society the federal government will have to use the military to protect and quash riots. That’s when civil war has become a reality.
So, should the monster win the election? Certainly not, but the future doesn’t appear in a rosy light.