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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Damaged Beyond Repair. America In Crisis And Mourning.

“I’d like to punch him in the face”.
We all remember Trump’s rhetoric under his campaign rallies and we have not seen any moderation since Trump disgraced the Oval Office with his presence. His riling up white supremacists and nazis has now resulted in a new low in the “Land of the Free”.
The tragic Charlottesville event has led to the death of a young woman.

Is America at the verge of a new civil war?

The role of a president is to unify and lead the country with a cool and calm mind. Trump has failed to do that and his approval ratings are at a record low. Yet, his core base, around one third of the American people, are still supporting this abomination of a president and it is them who are to blame for putting America’s democracy at risk.

Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacists and nazis shows that he is afraid of losing his supporting base. But Mr Trump's failure to unambiguously and repeatedly condemn those far-right, racist groups gives them oxygen and strikes a blow at the heart of American identity. And it becomes crystal clear that one third of the American population is either too stupid to understand or that they are consciously supporting vile racism and violence. The country is so mired in political division that even Nazi symbols have become political symbols some can live with if they feel that condemning them would give succor to their opposition.

Yet, fhe overwhelming majority of Americans are appalled by all that the hideous scenes in Charlottesville represent.

America is in a knee-deep crisis and if this president is allowed to continue to lead the country, America will soon be mired in a civil war and possibly even face a nuclear confrontation with North Korea.

Friday, August 4, 2017

When The Bee Stings Thrice

It was about a most normal morning today, except that I had a little repair job at the lighthouse parking lot, where local vandals had demolished a picnic bench. So I had been out there doing the necessary repairs. With the sun out it was already pretty hot when I was on my way back home riding down the road with an open side window. Suddenly something hit me in my face really hard, an insect, no doubt, and it was big.
Almost expecting a sting, I was surprised when nothing happened so I continued driving thinking that whatever it had been, was knocked unconscious on the floor. When going through the village of Wilsons Beach, I suddenly felt a sting at my throat. I hit it with my hand, and I felt the insect falling down the inside of my T-shirt, where it stung twice. By now, I had my foot heavily on the brakes, coming to a screeching emergency stop right in front of a storefront, where I exited the van banging on my chest and ripping and tearing off my shirt. I was in a panic.
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And there….I saw a huge paper vasp falling to the pavement, where it was crushed by my foot. Indeed, I was stomping on it.
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Ouch, my chest and my throat were hurting, but had somebody seen my involuntary strip-show? 
Looking around I couldn’t see anybody, so I got back behind the wheel.

When approaching the next bend I noticed that my brakes were gone.  The brake pedal was soft like a balloon with half the pressure. Later, I found that a brake line on a rear wheel had ruptured when I did the sudden brake-up.

So, Monday I have an appointment at the local repair shop.

Like I said initially: It was about a normal morning…well, almost.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunny Sunday Thoughts

And again it is Sunday, a sunny day on Campobello. The mugginess of the past days is gone, the wind direction has changed from south to north, making sitting outside pleasant. So here I am, on our delightful porch, reminiscing and pondering. I have just consumed 2 big mugs of coffee and ditto portions of icecream.
Yesterday, I was just about leaving our driveway when I saw Bruce and his dog coming up the street. I waited for him to come up to the vehicle. Bruce lives in Maine and has a house on the island. We have never hung out together, but met in various places around the island. His house is just up the street and it’s for sale.
As he was standing beside the van, our conversation quickly turned to the current events on the political stage in the U.S.  I know that Bruce is disgusted with the Trump administration, so we rehashed what had happened and why there still seems to be a a third of the American people supporting an insane president. Bruce said the folks he had spoken to always brought up that the alternative would have been Hillary and that so many people hate Hillary’s guts. I don’t doubt that Hillary was the wrong choice for the Dems and that her personal bagage was too heavy to lead to victory, even though she in fact got 3 million more votes than “the Donald”. But it should have been more and her support should have been in more states.

But I think history will run its course. At the end of the day, the overall damage will be huge and it will take many years and maybe several presidents and governments to get the political stage repaired again. Both parties will have to change. The GOP must quit their ultra conservative ways and turn towards modern times, and the Dems must relinquish their “eliterian” thinking and actions increasing their appeal towards the lower income population. Meanwhile, the toll to pay will be remarkable, but every country has lived through problematic times. The U.S. has relinquished its role in world leadership and China is ready to take over. It is the analogy to the Roman Empire, and it puzzles me that the same historic mistakes  are being done over and over and over again, without any sign of learning from the past. The mistakes being that a ruling class is guilty of extortion thus creating inequality. It is human nature to revolt against their rulers after decades of being taken advantage of.

Yet, sitting on our porch, I am satisfied that so many Americans have come to me expressing their horrors and disgust with what is going on in their country. It gives me hope that the majority of Americans have the power to change the direction of their social-political fate. America has always been a beacon of freedom in a world of dictatorships. The bi-elections of 2018 will show whether the will to correct the political course is gonna be strong enough.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Why, Just Why Would God Bless This….?

It’s not so long ago that someone commenting on this blog “excused” the election of Trump as the president of the U.S. by saying that it was God’s will. Besides of the fact that God does not interfere in elections, we can today be pretty confident that God would most certainly have a really bad time today, IF he had interfered in the election of Trump. Instead, we are learning that the Russians have interfered in the election and I just can’t imagine that God wanted that to happen. After all, the Russians have lived as Atheists and had banned all churches during the time of the soviet rule.

But read here what a New Yorker has to say about Trump”:

America in Crisis

July 21, 2017

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Nat Levine

I've been to Russia 25 times, I've worked for Trump's partners Alex Schnaider and Sam Kislin. I've met Trump 6 times at his charity events and have known him for 30 years. He lost the primaries in New York by 30% percentage points where we know his cons best, he's absolutely clueless.

He fails at everything he does and then he quits with many bankruptcies and frauds. Personally, I would not let him manage a shoe shine stand. Who borrows money at 18% borrowing junk bonds and expects to make a profit ??? Only a thief and an imbecile.

Putting people of color in the back of the casinos and screwing his contractors and employees was the last straw for me. If you don't think that this administration is the most corrupt in the History of U.S. politics, you are a special kind of Stupid. Remember, crocodiles have no friends and they will all go down!!!!!

Russiagate will make Watergate seem like a tea party. Remember, Trump ran as a ruse and not a serious candidate initially as his closet was filled with skeletons. He truly is a Narcissist, a Sociopath and a Pathological liar. The time to Impeach is now. Put pressure on your representatives!!!!! The TRUMPTANIC is sinking and the Rats all want a deal. Things are pretty bad when your lawyers need lawyers​.

The thing I'm most familiar with is the money laundering by taking dirty Russian blood money and buying Trump properties as Trump knew all along. Not only will no contractor do any business with him as he doesn't pay his bills, he also stiffs his attorneys and no bank in the Western hemisphere will loan him even one dollar.

He also stiffs hotels, bankrupts families​ and tips poorly at restaurants. He is the lowest form of human life. He's even charging the Republican party 3 times the actual rent and stealing from his cancer charities. Think about that as pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. That's only Russia, what about his shady partners in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many more countries. We need to see those taxes or him to resign.

He has accomplished absolutely nothing during his time in office and his approval rating will continue to fall. Putting a well known scam artist in the oval office was unfathomable to us New Yorkers who know him well. If a candidate loses his own state by 30% percentage points, why would anyone vote for such a con artist filled with empty promises and more baggage than United Airlines.

Not only does Bob Mueller have access to Donald Trump Jr.'s incriminating emails, he also has intercepted text messages from Paul Manafort's daughters implicating their Father for taking $10 million USD in blood money where Russians are always winding up dead whenever he's there. I'm not saying I know how this will unfold, but with bank accounts being subpoenaed plus all texts, emails and taxes, more than 70-80 FISA warrants went out.

Trump can be impeached on Amendment 25 which is the Emoluments clause, but with Mueller hiring special prosecutors to go after Trump personally, it's going to be a shit storm of epic proportions. Keep in mind that Putin is worth $85 Billion Dollars and has a piece of everything of value in Russia and nothing goes on without his approval or you wind up dead. Trump owes the Russian owned Blackstone group an awful lot of money and if he can't deliver by lifting the sanctions, it's not going to be a pretty picture for he and his evil spawn.

We have an illegitimate President who was proven to collude with the Russians to steal the election and in my opinion, the blatant skullduggery and complicity should nullify the election making Hillary Clinton our legitimate President. The lies will end up doing them all in like Flynn but the widespread cover up will bring the whole house of cards down as Mueller is gathering enough data for an airtight case that will tie them all together. It's not if they are going down, it's only a matter of when. Trump's own family will eventually lead to his demise.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

100 Years Ago: The Halifax Explosion

A Newly Discovered Diary Tells the Harrowing Story of the Deadly Halifax Explosion

On the eve of the disaster’s centennial, a sailor’s 1917 journal details a rare eyewitness account of the massive harbor blast.

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Halifax aftermath        The aftermath of the explosion. (Library and Archives Canada)

By Marc Wortman

We turn out of our hammocks at 6.30am and lash up and stow in the usual way,” a Royal Navy sailor named Frank Baker wrote in his diary on December 6, 1917. “We fall in on the upper deck at 7am and disperse to cleaning stations, busying ourselves scrubbing decks etc. until 8am when we ‘cease fire’ for breakfast.” Baker was pulling wartime duty as a ship inspector in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the lookout for spies, contraband and saboteurs.

But there were no ships to be inspected that day, so after breakfast he and his crewmates aboard HMCS Acadia went back to their cleaning stations. “We...had just drawn soap and powder and the necessary utensils for cleaning paint work,” he wrote, “when the most awful explosion I ever heard or want to hear again occurred.”

What Frank Baker heard was the biggest explosion of the pre-atomic age, a catastrophe of almost biblical proportions. The 918 words he wrote for December 6 make up the only eyewitness account known to be written on the day of what is now called the Halifax Explosion. After World War I, his diary sat unread for decades. Now, it has been included in an exhibit on the explosion’s centennial at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, across the harbor from Halifax. It is published here for the first time.

“The first thud shook the ship from stem to stern and the second one seemed to spin us all around, landing some [crew members] under the gun carriage and others flying in all directions all over the deck,” Baker wrote. Sailors 150 miles out to sea heard the blast. On land, people felt the jolt 300 miles away. The shock wave demolished almost everything within a half-mile. “Our first impression was that we were being attacked by submarines, and we all rushed for the upper deck, where we saw a veritable mountain of smoke of a yellowish hue and huge pieces of iron were flying all around us.”

Unseen by Baker, two ships had collided in the Narrows, a strait linking a wide basin with the harbor proper, which opens into the Atlantic to the southeast. An outbound Belgian relief ship, the Imo, had strayed off course. An inbound French freighter, the Mont-Blanc, couldn’t get out of its way. The Imo speared the Mont-Blanc at an angle near its bow. The freighter carried 2,925 tons of high explosives, including 246 tons of benzol, a highly flammable motor fuel, in drums lashed to its deck. Some of the drums toppled and ruptured. Spilled benzol caught fire. The Mont-Blanc’s crew, unable to contain the flames, abandoned ship.

The ghost vessel burned and drifted for about 15 minutes, coming to rest against a pier along the Halifax shore. Thousands of people on their way to work, already working at harborside jobs, or at home in Halifax and Dartmouth, stopped in their tracks to watch.

Then the Mont-Blanc blew.

“A shower of shrapnel passed over the Forecastle, shattering the glass in the engine room and chart room to smithereens, which came crashing down into the alleyways,” Baker wrote. “...The fires all burst out on to the floor of the stokehold [the engine room’s coal storage] and it was a marvel that the stokers were not burned to death, but all of them escaped injury as did all the other of the ship’s company.

“A tug was alongside us at the time and part of her side was torn completely out and three of the crew were injured, one of them getting a piece of flesh weighing nearly 2 pounds torn off his leg. A hail of shrapnel descended about 20 yards from the ship, this came with such force that had it struck us we should certainly have all been lost.”

The Mont-Blanc had disintegrated, showering iron fragments and black tar across Halifax; the shaft of its anchor, weighing 1,140 pounds, spiked into the earth more than two miles away. The explosion tore a hole in the harbor bottom, unleashing a tidal wave that tossed ships as if they were bathtub toys and washed away a Mi’kmaq fishing settlement that had been at the northwestern end of the basin for centuries. A volcanic plume of gray smoke, sparkling fragments and flame rose miles into the sky before billowing outward.

“This was the last of the explosion, the whole of which had taken place inside of five minutes,...” Baker wrote. “Then came a lull of a few minutes and when the smoke had cleared sufficiently, we saw clearly what had happened....One ship had been hurled wholesale for a distance of about 400 yards, dashing it close to the shore, a total wreck with dead bodies battered and smashed lying all around in disorder.

“Fires broke out on ships all around and hundreds of small crafts had been blown to hell and the sea presented an awful scene of debris and wreckage. Our doctor attended to the wounded men on the tug as quickly as possible and we laid them on stretchers in a motor boat and took them to hospital. The scene ashore was even worse.

“The N.W. part of Halifax was in total ruins and fires were springing up all over the city. Part of the railway was completely demolished and everywhere were dead and dying among the ruins. When we arrived at the hospital, the windows were all blown out and the wards were two feet deep in water owing to all the pipes having burst. We had to return to our ship as quickly as possible, as we are Guard Ship and responsible for the safety of the other vessels in harbour.”

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Back on the Acadia, Baker beheld a desolate scene: “What a few hours before had been beautiful vessels, were now terrible wrecks, their crews all dead and bodies, arms, etc. were floating around in the water.” That afternoon the Acadia’s crew was called upon to quell a mutiny aboard the Eole, a French ship running relief for the Belgians. After doing so, they returned to their ship. “We quickly got hurried tea and proceeded ashore,” Baker wrote. “Here the scene was absolutely indescribable.

“The town was literally ablaze, the dry dock and dockyard buildings completely demolished and everywhere wounded and dead. The theatres and suitable buildings were all turned into hospitals or shelters for the accommodation of the homeless. Naval and Military pickets were patrolling the streets endeavouring to keep order. Poor little kiddies homeless, their parents having perished, were crying piteously and anxious relatives were inquiring for their dear ones.”

Virtually no family was untouched. By then, most of the nearly 2,000 known fatalities from the blast had occurred—though many bodies were unidentifiable. Some 9,000 were injured, many of them children—wounded in the face and eyes as they gazed out windows at the burning Mont-Blanc. Some 6,000 people were left homeless, and many thousands had to bed down in badly damaged houses. The coming morning would bring a blizzard and deep cold.

Ashore, “we visited the part where the fires were at their worst, and it is beyond me to describe the absolute terror of the situation,” Baker wrote. “For miles around nothing but a flaming inferno, charred bodies being dragged from the debris and those poor devils who were left still lingering were piled into motor wagons and conveyed to one of the improvised hospitals. We returned to our ship at 11pm sick at heart with the appalling misery with which the city abounded. The glare from the fires lighting the harbour up like day, on the other side of the bay, the little town of Dartmouth was also in flames on sea and land nothing but misery, death and destruction....I cannot help but marvel that we escaped.”

But Baker survived, and he served until March 1919. Then he settled in Kettering, about 80 miles north of London, with his diary, October 9, 1917, to January 14, 1918. In 1924, he married Jessie Liddington, from the nearby village of Pytchley; they had four sons. Eventually, he became head of a chain of butcher shops and meat-supply facilities. After retiring, in 1973, he moved to Australia, where two of his sons and many of his grandchildren were living. Two years later, he learned he had cancer.

At that point, he passed the diary and some photographs from his time aboard the Acadia to his son “without any explanation,” the son, Rex, told me. After his father died, in 1977, “I put them away and forgot about them for over 30 years.”

Only after Rex retired—he’s 72 now, and living in Busselton, a seaside town south of Perth—did he pull the diary from the bureau drawer where he’d stowed it. Once he read it, he suspected that it might have historical significance, so in January 2016 he contacted Bonnie Elliott, director of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum. When she read it, she says, “I fell off a log. I knew this diary was really important.”

Rex Baker carried the diary himself to Canada. While there, he boarded the Acadia, which is now a floating museum in Halifax Harbor, for the first time. Elliott met him as he stepped off the ship. “There were tears in his eyes,” she recalls.

Baker says his father “spoke to no one in the family about that experience at all.” After reading the diary, though, he says that as he walked about the Acadia, “I felt almost a presence. Like he was standing behind me.”

                  ------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

He Lost His Life By Saving A Whale

Man killed trying to rescue whale in Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Campobello Island community is mourning Joe Howlett, the man who was killed Monday while trying to rescue a whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

“There’s only 850 people here on Campobello Island now and Joe was a very lively character, he had a great sense of humour. Everybody knew Joe Howlett and everybody respected Joe Howlett,” said Stephen Smart, mayor of Campobello Island, which is located in southwestern New Brunswick near the U.S. border.

“It’s a big blow.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirmed there was a fatal incident on July 10 involving an individual aboard one of its vessels.

“The department is deeply saddened by this incident and sends its thoughts and condolences to the individual’s family,” spokesperson Krista Petersen wrote in an email.

‘He was a very brave man’

Smart said Howlett, a father and husband, had been working to rescue a whale at the time he died.

“He did it for years, he was good at it and had a lot of successes. I’m sure for him, I sure it was just another day at work … he was a very brave man, a very good man and was doing something he believed in,” said Smart.

“If there’s any silver lining, he was helping, right? It’s a very, very steep price to pay.”

CBC News contacted the Canadian Whale Institute, a marine life conservation group that had worked with Howlett in the past, on Monday night. 

Howlett was in the boat when the suddenly liberated whale did something that led to the 59-year-old's death, although the details were not yet clear.

"The whale apparently swam away free from the gear," Jerry Conway, an adviser with the Campobello Whale Rescue Team, said Tuesday.

"The whale responded in a way that ultimately killed Joe."

Typically, a vessel will back off immediately after a rescue because whales do respond in seconds to being set free, Conway said.

Conway said it can take hours to disentangle some of the whales. While they are entangled they can't move very much, which makes it easy to work with them.

Rescuers are faced with all kinds of dangers, he said, including getting entangled in rope themselves, being dragged over the side of the boat, or being tipped into the water if a whale throws itself around and upsets the boat.

But Howlett, who co-founded the Campobello rescue team in 2002, felt a responsibility to save whales and was always thrilled when he could disentangle one from ropes.

"Once he finished the cut, and the rope fell away, you couldn't find a man more excited and happy than Joe for having  accomplished this, and seeing the whale swim away free," said Conway, a friend for 18 years.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4007100/brave-fisherman-killed-by-the-same-70-tonne-whale-he-had-rescued-just-moments-earlier/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/fisherman-killed-rescuing-whale_us_596651e7e4b09b587d642cb1

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/11/canada-fisherman-killed-by-whale-after-rescuing-it

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-suspends-efforts-free-tangled-whales-death-48611077

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/07/13/us/politics/ap-us-tangled-whales.html

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/n-b-island-mourns-loss-of-fisherman-who-freed-dozens-of-entangled-whales-1.3497691

http://www.lessentiel.lu/de/panorama/story/29228163

http://www.bento.de/today/kanadischer-fischermann-rettet-dutzende-wale-nun-wurde-er-von-einem-getoetet-1504112/

British Columbia Is Burning

With the summer came thunderstorms and bone-dry weather conditions to British Columbia. Aggressive wildfires have burned more than 236 square kilometres of B.C. so far this year. Of the more than 550 fires the province has seen since April, nearly half were ignited in the last two weeks.

Fire ecologist Robert Gray says moisture in March in April combined with warmer temperatures to create more vegetation.

In the B.C. Interior, that means mostly shrubs and long grasses that quickly dry into kindling. And then there are all the dead pine trees ravaged by years of pine beetle infestation.

"Now we have the kind of fuel that makes fires grow very, very fast and very, very big," Gray said.

'Nothing really we can offer'

Warmer temperatures in the past two weeks alone were enough to dry the grassland out.

And then came the dry lightning and winds. An estimated 14,000 residents have already been evacuated.

BC burning

Over 10,000 residents of Williams Lake and its surrounding areas are under an evacuation alert late Monday with fires burning up large chunks of B.C.

It is the largest city currently facing such a threat after weeks of hot weather, followed by strong wind and lightning ignited the bone-dry forest of B.C.'s Interior on Friday, leading to a weekend of wildfires, road closures, evacuations and a provincial state of emergency.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

From Fog To Bright Sun (It’s called SUNday For A Reason.

When first looking out the front window this morning, I had a problem seeing my neighbour’s house across the road. It was that foggy. A good day to hang out in the shop. So after a lazy breakfast, I ambled over to my shop starting work by doing a little cleanup after yesterday’s work. I needed 17 more rail boards to complete my project on the balcony. While I was busy inside the shop, the fog lifted off, and the sun peeked out raising the temps to some muggy 23 degrees. I went inside and changed into a thin shirt and shorts again. Now I was glad that I had my work in the cooler shop.  I was almost done with my 17 boards, when the saw blade from my jigsaw fell away. It’s a Bosch and usually that means good quality, and my saw is actually 15 years old. I tried to re-insert the blade tightening the top crew, but the darn thing came off again and again. Finally, I heard something plopping on the floor some where…and gone was the screw. It had been ejected and followed some ballistic route into the chaos of my shop’s rear end.

I had only 3 boards left to be cut out, what to do?  Could I be lucky enough to find a replacement screw with the right thread?
After rummaging around on my work table I found a box with threaded screws of the right diameter, but the head needed to be cut off, ……and off it came. Next I needed to cut a slot into the top end of the screw so I could use a screw driver for tightening. It wasn’t looking pretty but it worked and the screw turned out to have the correct thread. A victory in itself!
Bosch saw                                      My saw..exactly

Another adjustment was to make it slimmer on the low end as otherwise the screw would not get down to the sawblade. My bench grinder was usefull yet again. All this turned out to take a significant part out of my work day to get these boards done. But after going to this trouble, I got the remaining 3 boards done. By 2pm I had even sanded the boards. Meanwhile it had gotten extremely muggy and hot outside. I made myself a lemonade and crept up in the shade of our porch. Later, a cooling breeze sprang up, making the rest of the day really nice.
Bea had been at work at the motel for a while and when she came home she went for a nap. I took the car and headed straight to Herring Cove for a beach stroll.

Gawd, this was nice. A warm summer breeze was coming up the beach, small waves were lapping along the sandy shore and a few visitors with their small children were lounging in the sand. 
Herring-Cove
Life can be so wonderful on a sunny Sunday!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Weekend Blues

OMG…it’s another weekend and soon we are having mid-July. Summer is running away before we have been able to really enjoy it.  Our summer visitors are coming here to enjoy a cooler weather than they have at home -  reverse snowbirds – they are.

And maybe one of the reasons why we always think summer is over so quickly, is that we are all so busy during our summer months.

Chores are lined up for us every day. There is the lawn to be mowed, the plants to be watered, the vehicles to be cleaned, and visitors to be serviced with tours. There is maintenance and construction around the house, and only once in a while we go out, listening to music, meeting neighbours.

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George playing the piano

But would I like it any other way? 

NO!

All these activities make all the difference to the winter. It gives us opportunity to be out and about, to enjoy the sun, the summer breeze and a lot of very friendly people. A prospect of just sitting around scares the heck out of me . It is some thing I know will happen to us, when we get really, really old and the bones refuse to obey the brain – provided there is anything left of the latter. July 08 was a rather “hot” day on the island, and with “hot” I mean really a little too warm. But I stripped my shirt, stalked around in shorts, and painted boards. Not just any boards but the ones I later nailed to the balcony rails.

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The Design is Norwegian

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Those boards have been a lot of work. First the cutting out, the sanding and finally the painting. But I like the final look.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ole Man Dancin’ In The Shop

It was a hot day, and it was July 3rd. To get out of the burnin’ sun I had myself in my shop workin’ at some new project of beautification of our balcony railing.

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Pretty soon I was feelin’ for some music, so I got  one of my ole portable radios out into the shop. Had also grabbed 2 ole music cassettes and dropped one right in. It was Lacy J Dalton and the tune was 16th Avenue. Before I knew it, I was swingin my ole bones around in the sawdust. Holy Moses…. what a mighty fine tune this really was. Why had I never played this tape before?

We don’t have many neighbours around our place and the few we have were not home this afternoon, and if they had been and seen me hoppin’ around in the shop they would probably be thinkin’ “look at that ole fool in there”.

So, Canada Day is over but we have a looong weekend in Canada as everybody is still celebrating 150 years of being a country under the confederation of Canada.

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         Giant Canada-Cake in the Provincial Park on Canada Day

And while Canadians are firing off one firework after the other, our American neighbours are preparing for Independence Day and their own fireworks. We are wishing them Good Luck with their celebrations.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Canada’s 150th Birthday

Canadian flag

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea,
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western Sea,
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day,
We ever stand on guard.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Canada-Day-stickers-with-maple-leaf-and-flags-illustration-Stock-Vector

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lawn Tractor Fixed, Lawn Mowed And Firewood Stacked

When morning came, I had one major thing on my mind. I had to get the lawn mower running. Yesterday’s sputtering engine was only a part success. Armed with a screwdriver I started by removing the air filter. Next I removed the jet valve again. I found a slim nail and started poking through the valve stem. Soon the tiny holes on the side showed some dirt in the opening. I continued this procedure for several minutes until I was convinced that the thing was clean.

1-DSC_0025After remounting the valve I started the engine and it was running low idle. Adjusting the idle and mixture screws brought the RPM up to full speed.

I have never been great to repair engines and machinery, but this time I didn’t do too bad.

Now it was time to check out whether it would hold up for the mowing.

It did in a grand way. 1-20170629_18562890 minutes later I had done the entire property. The lawn tractor had been running like a Mercedes. I was already looking forward to Bea coming home from work, for nothing pleases a man more than showing off to his wife what he has accomplished. lol.

Next “accomplishment” would be to stack firewood in my “under-construction-shed”. But it turned out to be a hot day and there was not even a cooling breeze behind my garage. Pretty soon I was doused in sweat. Time to take a break and change to shorts. I celebrated with an ice cream and a coffee in the shade of our porch. Ahhh….

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The last achievement for the day was building a door for my shed. Some old wood was joined with new wood and I got a door. I put on a hasp and it didn’t look half bad.

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Bea’s garden is also coming along pretty good. We have already harvested the first lettuce heads and radishes.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Greasy Dirty Hands And What Happened To The Jam?

I gave it 2 days to get the dirt dissolved in the carburetor. When I opened the lit of the coffee can I was looking at a black fluid. And I couldn’t even see the carburetor. So, obviously SOME dirt and grease had been dissolved. Eager to remount the carb back to the tractor, I got my tools out, rolled up my shirt sleeves and went about it.

B&S carb

The last bolt went in and I turned the starter key……poff-poff-poff -  nothing. Not even the slightest bit of exhaust appeared. I removed the sparkplug and it was dry. Not a trace of gasoline on it. DARN….something was still plugged up.  I unscrewed the needles – they looked clean, but were they really? Like what about inside the jet valve?  I knew that Bea had some thin steel wire for the garden. She broke out the small roll and I ran the wire through the tiny holes – back and forth, back and forth. Trying to squint through the holes I saw some dirt had appeared in the opening. More poking the wire through the jet valve followed.

After remounting the jet valve it was time to turn the key again. THERE!  It happened, the engine started and I could rev it up. However, after a few minutes it started sputtering again, though it kept running. I had just come a long way towards becoming my own small-engine mechanic. 

I will do more valve cleaning tomorrow and I’ll be darned if we can’t get this oldtimer running again.

Checking on the jam production revealed that the concoction had not stiffened up. It still resembles a thick sauce – probably excellent on ice cream, but quite messy on my toast.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jam And Dirty Grease

Last summer a neighbour asked me whether I would like to try my luck by taking over his old riding lawn mower, a SEARS Craftsman LT11. The beast, as I have started to call it, is well into its 3rd. decade, making it an 85-87 model. It sports a Briggs & Stratton engine with 11hp. Though there has been a lot of clattering from the mower blades, it has done a fine job throughout the last summer. The main problem, being the reverse gear didn’t work, had only once led to me getting stuck in a corner. I had managed to get it in neutral, and manually pushed it down into the open again.

The beast had been put away under cover for the winter and waited there without any gas in the tank, until spring weather had brought out the grass again.

Amazingly, come May month, it had started up right away, once I had poured fresh gas into the tank. However, a few weeks into the grass-growing season I had noticed an increasing sputter in the engine. Once in a while a big bang would scare the hell out of me, but the mowing knives would still clatter up and down our large lawn.

That was until before this last weekend, when the beast’s engine would suddenly rev down and die. To begin with, it would still run on low idle, but as soon as I raised the throttle the thing would stop running.  And now it is not even starting anymore at all. 
It would be stupid to invest a major professional overhaul or incur a +rated service cost on the beast. So instead, I have been perusing topic-related infos on the internet, hoping to find the nugget which would enlighten me as to what kind of disease  has befallen this true servant of generations of lawn owners.
20170626_202748[1] This fine-looking oldtimer being without its carburator for a few days.

A simple test ruled out an ignition problem. The sparkplug was still throwing sparks when I had it placed on top of the metal swing wheel cover.  A compression test revealed a fresh and strong 70psi.  So the patient was not suffering of heart trouble. So what about FUEL?  Fuel is running by gravity from the top-placed tank and a test revealed it did pass the fuel filter easily – on its way to the carburetor. 

CARBURETOR??

That dirty smeary old thing on the side of the engine could very well be the culprit. A vise-grip across the fuel line prevented fuel from escaping the tank, when I removed the jet valve and the bottom fuel cup. OUCH….the fuel cup was indeed showing ……was it algae growth?  Naw…maybe just fuel gunk. But dirty it was. Armed with that knowledge, I decided to pull the carburetor. Where there is gunk in the cup it can very well be in the rest of the carburetor. That internet video I had watched, clearly showed the procedure. After removal, the entire thing with all loose parts would benefit from a full bath in a solvent. So I filled one of my Walmart metal coffee cans with gas and drowned the carburetor. I am giving it a coupla days to dissolve whatever is obstructing the flow of gas to the combustion chamber. And this is the point where I had to leave the beast for starting my other homely occupation – making jam from rhubarb and strawberries.
strawberry-and-rhubarb002
The rhubarb had come to our house from a nice neighbour and I got a pound of strawberries from our grocer.

I kinda know that I am not going to be a world champion with making jam, but I tried to follow the advice from the internet. It’s amazing what one can learn from what other people have posted online.
rhubarb jam001
So after having the rhubarb cut in small bits and soak in cold water to get the pectin into the water, I added the strawberries, some lemon juice, and lots of sugar. What ensued was a never-ending boil, which, unfortunately, did not give the desired result – but rather stayed way too runny. If there is anything I hate for breakfast, it is jam running off my toast.  When finally Bea returned from work, I cowardly turned the responsibility over into her capable hands. She immediately started a roil-broil and finally filled a number of jars with the sweet stuff.  Last time I checked, it was still a bit runny, but experts say that it can take up to 48hrs until it becomes usuable jam.

Maybe, by the time my carburetor is done we will have a rhubarb-strawberry jam.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Native American Woman May Have Made It to Europe 500 Years Before Columbus Was Born

Five hundred years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Native American woman may have voyaged to Europe with Vikings, according to a provocative new DNA study.

The first Native American to arrive in Europe may have been a woman brought to Iceland by the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago, a study by Spanish and Icelandic researchers suggests. .
The findings boost widely-accepted theories, based on Icelandic medieval texts and a reputed Viking settlement in Newfoundland in Canada, that the Vikings reached the American continent several centuries before Christopher Columbus traveled to the "New World.".
Spain's CSIC scientific research institute said genetic analysis of around 80 people from a total of four families in Iceland showed they possess a type of DNA normally only found in Native Americans or East Asians. .
"It was thought at first that (the DNA) came from recently established Asian families in Iceland," CSIC researcher Carles Lalueza-Fox was quoted as saying in a statement by the institute. "But when family genealogy was studied, it was discovered that the four families were descended from ancestors who lived between 1710 and 1740 from the same region of southern Iceland." .
The lineage found, named C1e, is also mitochondrial, which means that the genes were introduced into Iceland by a woman. .
"As the island was virtually isolated from the 10th century, the most likely hypothesis is that these genes corresponded to an Amerindian woman who was brought from America by the Vikings around the year 1000," said Lalueza-Fox.

vikings-zoom

The researchers used data from the Rejkjavik-based genomics company deCODE Genetics. .
He said the research team hopes to find more instances of the same Native American DNA in Iceland's population, starting in the same region in the south of the country near the massive Vatnajokull glacier. .
The report, by scientists from the CSIC and the University of Iceland, was also published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Vikings
The journal said 75 to 80 percent of contemporary Icelanders can trace their lineage to Scandinavia and the rest to Scotland and Ireland.

But the C1e lineage is "one of a handful that was involved in the settlement of the Americas around 14,000 years ago. .
"Contrary to an initial assumption that this lineage was a recent arrival (in Iceland), preliminary genealogical analyses revealed that the C1 lineage was present in the Icelandic mitochondrial DNA pool at least 300 years ago" said the journal. "This raised the intriguing possibility that the Icelandic C1 lineage could be traced to Viking voyages to the Americas that commenced in the 10th century.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Told Ya So: Big Words - Big Lies

Carrier workers facing layoffs feel betrayed by Trump

INDIANAPOLIS -- A promise made before Christmas is fizzling before the Fourth of July.

In December, then-President-elect Trump told hundreds of workers at the Carrier manufacturing plant that he had worked out a deal to save their jobs.

But it's not working out that way. A steady downpour today did little to wash away the fact that the jobs of 600 union employees are going south.

"They're going to Monterrey, Mexico," said Robert James, president of the local union.

Reynolds said he felt betrayed, since Mr. Trump told workers during his December visit to the plant that 1,100 jobs would be saved.

Trump touts Carrier jobs deal in fiery victory rally

Play VIDEO

Trump touts Carrier jobs deal in fiery victory rally

"And by the way, that number is going to go up very substantially as they expand this area, this plant," Mr. Trump said. "So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number."

Blasting companies for moving American jobs abroad was a feature of the Trump campaign, and saving the Carrier jobs was touted as a sign of Mr. Trump's bargaining prowess.

"You're going to have a good Christmas," he said at the plant.

But the truth is that 400 of the 1,100 jobs Mr. Trump mentioned were white-collar positions that were never going away.

Only 700 union jobs were saved. Six hundred others will be lost, and Carrier is not paying a price. The company actually received a $7 million incentive package from Indiana to keep the plant open with a reduced work force.

"That is what he said was not going to happen," James said. "That's what he told all of us."

"And a lot of these people voted for Mr. Trump" with the understanding that he would save their jobs, James added.

Duane Oreskovic voted for the president, and is among those losing their jobs.

"I liked this job. This was a job that I actually wanted to retire from," Oreskovic said. "It's not going to happen any more."

At the White House Friday, press secretary Sean Spicer said the job cuts here were long-planned and nothing new.

The first round of layoffs will take effect next month, and the second in December -- three days before Christmas.

Friday, June 23, 2017

CALIFORNIA Has It’s Own “Travel Ban” ……Against Other US States

RISIST RESIST RESIST RESIST RESIST

California adds 4 states to travel ban for laws it says discriminate against LGBTQ community

CNN)California has issued a ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel to four more states that it says have laws discriminating against LGBTQ people.

The travel ban was first put into effect January 1 when state measure AB 1887 became law. The law says California is "a leader in protecting civil rights and preventing discrimination" and should not support or finance "discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."

The travel ban list also includes states that California believes don't protect religious freedoms and states that it says use religious freedom as a basis of discrimination.

"Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement Thursday.

Why the ban?

Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee were the original states banned by AB 1887, but Becerra added Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas on Thursday, citing what he called new discriminatory legislation enacted against the LGBTQ community in those states.

Alabama, North Dakota, and Texas all recently passed legislation that could prevent LGBT parents from adopting or fostering children and Kentucky passed a religious freedom bill that would allow students to exclude LGBTQ classmates from campus groups.

lt gov dan patrick texas lawmakers bathroom bill sot_00002530

Texas official: Women want to be protected

"While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back," Becerra said. "That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it."

The law bans state-funded or state-sponsored travel by employees of state agencies and departments as well as members of boards, authorities, and commissions.

Support for the list

The ACLU of Northern California and Rick Zbur with Equality California applauded the state's decision to widen the ban.

"These discriminatory laws in Texas, North Carolina, North Dakota, and other states are completely out of step with the values that make California the vibrant economic powerhouse that it is," Zbur said. "It is imperative that California continue to denounce those actions publicly and financially."

There are exceptions to the ban, however. For example, if travel is required to maintain grant funding or licensure, or for auditing and revenue collection purposes.

And of course, anyone can travel to any of the states on the list in a personal capacity.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Playing Peekabo

I did, I did not, I did, I did not…… 

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump finally, grudgingly, had no choice but to come clean.

His admission, on Twitter Thursday that he did not secretly record his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey -- after earlier raising the possibility that he did -- capped a six-week charade that damaged his presidency and cast doubt on his personal credibility.

It was a surreal new twist to a presidency that has often already stretched the limits of credulity, and has challenged conventions on the decorum and gravity expected in the behavior of the person who holds the office itself.

    Trump: I did not make recordings of Comey

    Trump: I did not make recordings of Comey

    After weeks of speculation, the President delivered a mea culpa, a step that he had little choice to make, in a somewhat resentful manner, in keeping with his reluctance to ever publicly admit error.

    "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, “I have no idea ... whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings," Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.

     

    Never ever has there been a more self-destructive President in the United States. Now, of course everybody knows that also all of his other phantastic and creative “inventions” are just that ……phantasy.

    Sunday, June 18, 2017

    It’s All Toast Now

    Semi full of hamburger buns is toast after fire!

    Motorists on the Trans-Canada Highway near Falcon Lake, Manitoba smelled burnt toast Saturday afternoon, but everyone was OK.

    Buns to toast

    However, the smell wasn’t originating from some restaurant or roadside eatery, but  a semi, carrying a load of hamburger buns destined for Costco, had caught fire due to an issue with the brakes.

    Good thing is that nobody was hurt in the accident.

    RCMP were called to the scene, nine kilometres west of the popular Whiteshell beach, at 3:20 p.m.

    The story reminded med of an accident many years ago when a truck loaded with salmon had crashed into the forest. The accident happened during the winter on an icy road in Norway, and we happened to drive along the place where fish were strewn all along the ditch.

    And only a few weeks ago a truck driver tried to swerve out of the way for a deer crossing the road when he lost control over his rig and crashed with a full load of lobster.According to witnesses parts of the area were”carpeted” with lobster. I bet a lot of that lobster disappeared in the kitchens of private homes in the neighbourhood.

    Saturday, June 17, 2017

    His Negotiations Led To The Fall Of The Wall

    A big man has left this world. He always made his counterparts look small, and that quite literally.
    Helmut Kohl, Ex-Chancellor of Germany was a tall figure in life and tall in politics.
    Helmut_Kohl_1989

                                        Helmut Kohl died June 16 2017

    Kohl's 16-year tenure was the longest of any German Chancellor since Otto von Bismarck. He oversaw the end of the Cold War and is widely regarded as the mastermind of German reunification, leading to the fall of the wall. Together with French President Fran├žois Mitterrand, Kohl is considered to be the architect of the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union (EU) and the euro currency.

    Following the breach of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the East German Communist regime in 1989, Kohl's handling of the East German issue would become the turning point of his chancellorship. Kohl, like most West Germans, was initially caught unaware when the East-German Socialist Unity Party (SED) was toppled in late 1989. Well aware of his constitutional mandate to seek German unity, he immediately moved to make it a reality. Taking advantage of the historic political changes occurring in East Germany, Kohl presented a ten-point plan for "Overcoming of the division of Germany and Europe" without consulting his coalition partner, the FDP, or the Western Allies. In February 1990, he visited the Soviet Union seeking a guarantee from Mikhail Gorbachev that the USSR would allow German reunification to proceed. One month later, the Party of Democratic Socialism – the renamed SED – was roundly defeated by a grand coalition headed by the East German counterpart of Kohl's CDU, which ran on a platform of speedy reunification.

    On 18 May 1990, Kohl signed an economic and social union treaty with East Germany.  By then East Germany was in a state of utter collapse.

     

    Helmut Kohl was a politician who favored an open Europe, a Europe with no borders where people could move freely and seek work where ever they liked. Today we know that his idea has met a few difficulties, mostly rooted in huge economic differences between the countries of the European Union. Recent developments in the Middle East and ongoing unrest and starvation in Africa have caused that millions of people are migrating to the most economically favorable areas of Europe. Europe will still have to face the challenge of an unprecedented pressure on immigration and It will finally lead to a change in European culture. But walls and fences are not the answer. The answer is peace and prosperity in the countries of origin, a goal which will be very hard to reach and may take many future generations. It will also teach us patience and will require leaders with the vision to aim for a peaceful co-existence in a multi-cultural society.

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    When Franklin Delano Roosevelt Served Hot Dogs to a King

    A king had never visited a president at home before, but by all accounts they got along fine

    By Kat Eschner
    It was a watershed moment in British-American statesmanship.

    FDR King George

    King George and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King ride in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's car as the president drives them away from church on June 11, 1939.

    A sitting British ruler visited an American president—Franklin Delano Roosevelt—on his home turf. The four-day excursion “featured all the staples of a royal visit: a sight-seeing tour of Washington, a formal State Dinner and a big bash at the British Embassy,” writes Jason English for Mental Floss. But there were more casual moments, too: like the picnic where the king had his first-ever hot dog.

    George visited with Queen Elizabeth (better remembered today as “the Queen Mum”). On June 11, 1939, the royal pair joined FDR and others at his Hyde Park “cottage” (read: mansion) in New York for a less-formal picnic. The menu, as quoted by English, included “Hot Dogs (if weather permits).” Thankfully, the weather held.

    “KING TRIES HOT DOG AND ASKS FOR MORE” was the headline The New York Times ran with the next day. According to reporter Felix Belair Jr., the King enjoyed his two hot dogs with beer, and away from prying eyes: although members of the party had cameras, “no reporters were present and regular photographers were barred.”

    “In the formal language of diplomacy, perhaps, the presentation of a hot dog may say: ‘On behalf of the United States of America, may we offer you this tubular delight of meat, meat byproducts, curing agents and spices?’” writes Dan Barry for the Times. “But what it really says is: ‘How ya doin’? Wanna beer?’”

    The sitting president likely expressed himself in slightly less colloquial terms. But the picnic was an opportunity to meet Americans with their hair down—or at least more casually styled. “It would be difficult to imagine a more representative cross-section of American democracy than was to be found among the relatives, friends and neighbors of the Roosevelts who received invitations to the picnic,” Belair wrote. The royals also met the Roosevelts’ staff, including one employee who brought nine of his ten children.

    But the British pair needed some etiquette advice to navigate this new social setting, Barry writes. While the hot dogs were served on a silver tray, he writes, “the royal guests nevertheless joined everyone else in eating off paper plates.” According to one story, the queen supposedly asked Roosevelt how one ate a hotdog. “Very simple. Push it into your mouth and keep pushing it until it is all gone,” he is said to have told her. She elected to use a knife and fork instead of taking this folksy advice.

    FDR even drove the party up to the cottage in “his own specially equipped automobile,” Belair reported, and after lunch the king and the president went swimming together for the second time. Previously, they’d shared the pool that the paralyzed Roosevelt had installed at the White House to help him get exercise.  

    But the visit wasn’t all charming picnics. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, the trip was a diversion from the royals' Canadian tour undertaken in the shadow of World War II, which broke out in Europe just months later. King George’s notes from the visit reveal that Canada’s Prime Minister Mackenzie King briefly joined the leaders at Hyde Park to talk strategy.

    In his 1938 invitation to the king, Roosevelt also suggested he visit the 1939 World's Fair in New York, and wrote that Hyde Park might be a good place for a visit, as it's "on the direct route between New York City and Canada." "It occurs to me that a Canadian trip would be crowded with formalities and that you both might like three or four days of very simple country life at Hyde Park," he wrote. With war on the way, though, even that diversion had to include some business.

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

    Welcome Pensionist!

    I still cannot believe it, but today it happened. I am officially a pensionist. At least if we go by most countries standards. In Norway I would have a grace period of another 2 years, but I am not in Norway, and Canada is paying me a pension from next month.
    1-DSC_0364                             Chocolate Cake made by Bea
    So does anything change? Are my days gonna be any different than yesterday?  Not likely.

    But thinking back to my days of childhood, …..my grandfather was living in the same house. It was US who lived in HIS house. I was 10 years old and my grandpa was 65 years old. I always thought he was VERY old. My dad was just 37 and mom had just turned 35.
    I shamefully remember that I, at age 24, once called a young beautiful lady  “……are you THAT old?” ….when she was just 36.

    Oh my…

    I was just 43 when I bought a car and asked the salesman who the previous owner had been.
    Looking at me he said: It also was an elderly gentleman. I must have given him a look, cause he apologized to me.

    So, I guess age is relative to our point of view. My dad is 92 this year and to him I am just a spring chicken.

    Maybe that’s the way we should look at ourselves……and eat the cake.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    Doomed to Repeat: Debunking the Conservative Story about the Financial Crisis and Dodd-Frank

    Are conservatives suffering from memory loss? House Republicans passed the Choice Act on Thursday, a sweeping deregulation of the financial sector based off a false narrative about the Dodd-Frank Act and the 2007-2008 financial crisis. In his powerful New York Times op-ed, Roosevelt Fellow Mike Konczal debunks these conservative Dodd-Frank myths.
    Wall-street-1200x600

    In response to the 2007-08 Financial Crisis that cost the United States more than $20 trillion, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on July 21, 2010 with the aim of overhauling the dysfunctional regulatory regime. In the years since, the wide-reaching reforms mandated by Dodd-Frank have provided key protections to consumers and stability to the banking system. Thanks to such reforms, banks and the US capital markets have emerged from the Financial Crisis more resilient than before and regulators are now better equipped to respond to future crises and regulatory challenges.

    Yet, according to conservative narrative, there is simply no need for financial reform. The Trump Administration and conservatives in Congress have actively pursued ways to unravel Dodd-Frank based on an account of the Financial Crisis that differs drastically from the conventional wisdom. The conservative worldview is shaped by a series of arguments generated by conservative think tanks, media, political action groups, and industry lobbyists. This paper provides a broad outline of their arguments and how they differ from what has actually happened.

    Read more here.

    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Thank You Donald For Making It All So Clear!

    At least since the bestseller "World Power USA - An Obituary" by Emmanuel Todd, we know that America is in decline. Only - we just did not want to believe it..

    For most, the US was the nursery of freedom, the Main Street sign of liberal democracy.

    Today we know better. The strive for ownership over the oil resources has led to the Iraq wars. The second war against this Third World country could be justified only with the most daring lies about chemical weapons against the world.

    As a result, the entire Middle East was thrown into absolute chaos.

    From the peace keeper to creator of unrest.

    America has long since mutated from the international force for order and peace(WWII) into a creator of unrest in the world.

    After the World Trade Center attacks, the US moved from injured and sympathetic America, to become a narcissistic, unpredictable and aggressive America that today gives the impression of absolute irresponsibility.

    If we still had the impression that President Bush jr. at least was still guided by his advisors, today, the most powerful man in the world acts completely detached by utilizing Twitter.

    But why should we thank Him?

    Because Donald Trump, the narcissistic psychopath, today also eviscerates the last doubt that the imperial power of the United States desperately struggles for its position in the world.

    Let us hope that America's isolated position will ensure that the nation's move into a position of lesser importance will be largely calm, and that the country will find its place among equals, without  a major shift in world politics.

    North Korea or USA - who is more dangerous?

    The development of shale oil deposits in the interior makes the Middle East increasingly uninteresting for the USA. Imperious threats against weak opponents are actually obsolete, if it wouldn’t be for the old doctrine of Carl von Clausewitz: "Do you have internal political problems - create an external enemy".

    The American struggle for oil and fear of loss of political significance in the United States has pushed the Middle East into chaos and given Europe its results - the great refugee crisis; But also the Islamic terror.

    Although Europe owes this crisis to the US, America is not interested in solving the refugee crisis, but Donald Trump uses ISIS as the much needed external enemy. His irresponsibility does not surface through diplomatical phrases, but openly as "America First" - everything else does not matter.

    Thanks Donald: We owe this to you. Hopefully, you will last four years. Because it is to be feared that after a successful resignation or impeachment procedure everything would go on as before and this episode would be classified as a political slip. But that is not so. Only the results of a catastropic 4 years of Trumpism can make America wake up again of a bad dream and correct its course.

    America must join the equal rights league of the free world if it does not want to lose its influence even more.

    And it is time for European politicians to understand this and to stand up to America accordingly. The analysis of Emmanuel Todd has shown that democracies are weakening where they were strong and grow stronger where they were weak.

    From democracy to oligarchy

    The further development of a formerly strong democracy has already been described by Aristotle 2500 years ago; It is the oligarchy that follows the (strong) democracy. A process that can be seen nicely in the USA.

    Democracy first strengthened through a general and broad education of the population, happening during the years 1950 to 1965 in the USA. It was the American universalism making America loved and admired almost everywhere in the whole world.

    The further developed differentiation of the level of education resulted in an "overclass", which was no longer willing to submit to the democratic rules of the game, because it considers itself to be something better.

    Experts are appalled. The oligarchization tendency is emerging. The European dream is to learn from the mistakes of the USA, especially since the sociology of Europe, with the exception of England, shows that the individualism is not as strongly developed.

    Europe versus the USA

    Europe must ultimately emancipate itself from the paternalism of the USA. 321 million Americans are facing 743 million Europeans with a much more efficient industry, a better functioning health care system and relatively stable old-age provision, as well as a much more modern and intact infrastructure. The US trade deficit against almost every country on earth shows only one thing: the USA are dependent on the rest of the world and not vice versa. The US lives and consumes at the expense of the rest of the world. As a trade deficit simply means that a society imports more than it exports, consumes more than produces. It is the same problem that Greece has, just on a very different scale. Thus, the next financial and economic crisis is pre-programmed.

    "Thanks Donald", that you are making this American problem so clear to us all. Now, despite its own identity crisis, Europe must show the strength it owes to its position in the world. Now Europe must go its own way. Not blindly following the American model and entering the so-called neo-liberal path to the oligarchy but creating a social and free liberal Europe. How is it so apt to say: "The smart one learns from its own faults - the wise one from the faults of the others."

    Can we be wise? It remains exciting.