Sunday, August 26, 2018

Was John McCain The Last Decent Republican?

John McCain has left this world. He has left the country he loved and fought and suffered for, but at the end it must have been hard for him to see cheap populism take over what once was a sphere of respect and honesty. To watch the degrading of values and division of politics in the United States of America must have been especially hard for John McCain, for his ideals were different from those of Trump and Company. Expressing different opinions is the base of every democracy. Attacking core values of humanity and society is not part of it.

To ask the question whether there are still decent republican politicians seems right at a time when it might be far between them. Is there room for truth and decency when "alternative facts" and "fake news" have become the slogans of the day? When personal gains of wealth and power have become more important than the good of the country? What about calling the press "the enemy of the people"? Or how could it happen that children and babies have been torn from their mothers?

These were not the values of John McCain.

What happened to the international reputation of the United States during those last 18 months?

Americans I speak to every day, are apologizing for the current events in their country. They are ashamed and hurry to express their respect for Canada. So maybe John McCain's values are still shared by the larger part of the American people. 

The truth remains the truth and there is only one honour. Both cannot be altered. It is the foundation of how we people can live together. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Now What Mr. President?

The day when I have to dig out the American Flag again might not be too far off. 

The latest developments in the U.S. could have 2 possible outcomes. Either Trump is going to be impeached, which might be a life saver for the GOP, or he is resigning from office, which would save the country from further political bickering and chaos, but could mean that Trump is going to be locked up for the remainder of his life. 

Either way, it will start the process of rebuilding the international reputation and show the world that criminals have no standing in the government of the United States of America. 

The road from "hiring the best people" and "draining the swamp" to surrounding himself with criminals and flooding the swamp of corruption has been short for Trump. In less than 18 months Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have all pleaded guilty to felonies. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., a political ally, has been indicted on charges related to insider trading. All that in addition of the recent Cohen and Manafort convictions.

Obviously, the loyalty Trump always demands from his associates has its natural limits, namely, when it comes to admitting high crimes and facing federal punishments with jail time. Clearly, their wrongdoings had been committed in hopes that Trump and his corrupt cronies would prevail. 

"The president is clearly guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors," New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, a conservative, wrote on Twitter after the Cohen plea. "He should resign his office or be impeached and removed from office." Stephens has been a frequent critic of Trump but had not previously called for his removal.

The allegation that the president not only knew about but directed criminal activity takes the country back to the Nixon days, when the central questions were what the president knew and when he knew it about the cover-up of the Watergate break-in. And the comparisons are sure to fill airwaves across the country in the coming days and weeks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Having A Puppy

Millions of people  are having dogs. Most are keeping them in the house, but others not. This is for those having their dogs in the house.

You get a dog and most likely it is still a puppy. Congratulations, you have just become a parent for your new family member!
First walk for a pee

Your puppy is 10-12 weeks old when it comes to you. It is a bit scared and needs time to adjust to this life, away from its real mother. So you make sure it feels comfortable. You carry it around, have a nice puppy bed for it and you make sure it gets the right nutritious food. When the first night rolls around you and your puppy stay together in one room, cause your puppy cannot sleep through the night without having to go and pee or even p**p.
If you are consequent, you can potty-train your puppy within 2-3 days.
Finally home and full of expectation

Once that is achieved, you can relax a bit.
Meanwhile, your puppy has received a ton of toys. Squeaky balls and little stuffed animals are strewn all around your place.  Your puppy won't keep the toys all in one place. It carries them around, drops them at will, and picks up others. But most importantly, it wants you to be part of the game. Pretty soon it drops toys at your feet or in your lap. You will be looking into hopeful puppy eyes and you will drop anything you have in your hands to fulfill your puppy's wish.

When you walk through your house, your eyes should be firmly focussed onto the floor. Balls, stuffed animals and other "toys" are perfect obstacles along your way and I'm sure you don't want to trip over them and hit your head at the edge of your dining table.

As your puppy grows, your daily chores grow as well. Now you have to start walking with your pup. You have purchased a tiny collar and a leash and are showing off your puppy to the world. Look here, we got a new family member. There comes your neighbour. As far as you know, she loves dogs, so she screams out her delight of seeing you two. I say "scream", as that it what your dog is hearing. Dogs have great hearing. They can hear a bean rustling in your vegetable garden. So you can calm down your voice when you speak to your dog. And pls. turn down your radio. If you want a quiet content dog, keep a quiet household. Puppies will start copying your behavior. The more you holler around, the more vocal your dog gets.

Your puppy might still be a bit scared of strangers, so the best is asking your friends and neighbours to ignore the puppy for a while. Dixie is still that way! Some puppies are more trusting, but you will find out about that soon. 
Exploring surroundings

Usually their natural curiosity will prevail and they will seek to explore more and more of their world. And "exploring" means also the puppy starts being interested in your furniture. If you are not in favour of damaged table and chair legs and finding stuffing of your couch pillows strewn around on the floor, you must make sure your puppy is not getting bored. You have a lawn around your home? You might find that your puppy is a habitual digger, resulting in new landscaping on your lawn. Playing and walking with the puppy is essential to keep its boundless energies under control. If you don't have the time for it, don't get a puppy.

Napping is vital for puppies

Talking and communicating to your puppy is essential. So are good hand signs. But again, keep the volume down.

As your dog gets older it might start bringing "treasures" home. "Home" means INSIDE your house. Dixie has made it a habit to bring us pieces of wood. This morning I found a tree branch on our couch. And around it plenty of wood chips. Obviously, the nights are growing longer....

Humans and dogs tend to have different ideas about what a good odour is. You can bathe and shampoo your dog until the hair falls out, but if your puppy doesn't like the perfume you prefer, it will soon find some yucky stuff on the ground and roll over it. Dixie's favourite choice is old herring, she finds on the beach. If you transport your puppy in your car you will enjoy the results immediately. Remember there is special dog shampoo available. Get a supply of it!

 The wonders of a beach walk

Most dogs prefer not having a load of water in their fur. So, after a bath, they shake violently with their ears flapping. Get out of the way or you too will enjoy a shower.
Socializing - so important

Besides of learning how to meet your neighbours, your puppy needs to learn how to meet the neighbour's dog. It's called socializing. If you never let your dog meet other dogs, don't be surprised if your dog don't gets along with other dogs once a coincidental meeting along the trail happens. Aggression between dogs is usually rooted in a failed socializing. Watch their tails. If the tail moves between its legs your dog is timid and afraid. If the tail stays up wagging back and forth, your dog enjoys the meeting and wants to play.

Watching out for visitors

Much of what is valid for dog's behaviour is also depending on the breed of your dog. Dixie is a guard dog and as such keenly aware of her surroundings. She watches the street through our living room window and she lets us know in no uncertain ways that something is about to move around there. But she is not an incessant barker. 

If you get a Beagle, be prepared to move to a different place. Even if you should enjoy the constant howling, your neighbours won't. Beagles are "Hounds" and hounds howl. It's also called "baying". They are excellent hunting dogs, but don't belong on your front lawn, where they will enjoy "entertaining" the neighbourhood.

So with all that in mind, enjoy the most wonderful of all relationships. Your dog will love you and all of your family and it deserves to be a full family member. The love your dog offers is unconditional. Treat it the same. They have gentle souls and are very capable of understanding if you are worried, sad or aggressive.
Molly, the calmest and most pleasant dog.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Would You Like To Live In North Korea, China Or Russia?

Moving to the countries mentioned above would be the perfect thing to do for those of you Americans who approve of Trump having the authority to punish and shut down certain news outlets. It has long been known that a free press is the enemy of any dictator. Since the countries mentioned above are all under authoritarian rule they also control the press. It is just so tragic that 48% of Americans got it all wrong, thinking and believing Trump's message that the press is the enemy of the people. Are you getting tired of living in a free country? Then go pack up and leave. Try live in North Korea. Or maybe a south American Banana Republic with its nicer climate would fit your desires.

More than 40 percent of Republicans believe that when President Trump castigates "fake news," he should be allowed to shutter certain outlets as punishment for "bad behavior."

A new poll conducted by Ipsos and published by The Daily Beast on Tuesday found that 43 percent of Republicans think Trump should have that authority, while 36 percent disagreed that he should be able to close news outlets. Smaller proportions of other groups also thought Trump should be the media watchdog-in-chief, with 12 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of independents saying the president should have that authority.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of Republicans agree with the president's assessment that "the news media is the enemy of the American people," with just 28 percent disagreeing. While many agreed that the "mainstream media treats President Trump unfairly," most Republicans did not think that Trump should specifically shut down CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

The general anti-press sentiment was somewhat in conflict with some of the poll's more general questions. When asked about whether the media industry as a whole was valuable, 57 percent of respondents said it's "necessary to keep the Trump administration honest," and 85 percent called freedom of the press "essential for American democracy."

The Ipsos poll was conducted August 3-6, surveying 1,003 adults who responded online. The credibility interval is 3.5 percentage points. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Give Me August

August is here, in fact, we are halfway down to the middle already. If you think July was hot, then August must be named super hot. High temps in the high eighties are over us with high humidity and most homes have no air condition. My days are filled with either driving or hanging out where it is cool, which is either inside the house, on the porch or under the maple tree. Dixie needs to be walked however, but the walking is limited to the beach during early morning and early evening hours. It is way too hot for Dixie to walk along the road in the middle of the day.
 Big washed-up root on Herring Cove Beach

This evening we first walked along Herring Cove Beach where we watched the setting of a herring net from the beach. Returning, we crossed over to Lake Glensevern, which runs parallel along the other side of the beach. The water there has at least 75F and shoes and socks flew off to wade out into the shallow water. 

A log served as a bench and Dixie was not only drinking but also enjoying the water as she walked around. This was truly enjoyable. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Red Hot Days Of Summer

When the mercury is creeping higher and higher and it tops out at around 82F (28C),  then people of Campobello are slowly disappearing off their lawns. They go inside in hopes of finding a cooler place in the house or at least the lawn chairs are moved to a shady place under a big maple tree. The brown sand of Herring Cove Beach is reaching dangerously high temperatures which can cause burns on your feet. That is indeed the reason why we are never going there on a hot summer day. And hot summer days we've got for sure. Never before did we experience a summer this hot out here at the Bay of Fundy.

But of course, all that sunshine is good for tourism, and as visitors flock to the island which still is a lot cooler than the hot inlands, I am getting busier every day. The other day I was driving the van out of the park, when I discovered an old S-Class Mercedes pull out in front of me. It was a 300SDL, a diesel, but the same body style as our Benz. We drove into the same direction, and when the Mercedes stopped in front of our old church, I did as well. I jumped out and approached the driver side where I met Joan and Doris, two lovely older ladies from Maine. I introduced myself and commented on their beautiful golden car, and told them about my own. I mentioned that I had just returned from a tour with guests when I had seen their car. Promptly the ladies wanted to know about our tour. I told them and they made a reservation for Thursday (today) morning.

This morning, I was curious whether they really would meet up. My van was in the shop for a little repair, so I took out the Mercedes. I thought it might be a big surprise for the ladies to take the tour in a similar car as their own. Arriving at the visitor center a few minutes before 10am I saw the golden Mercedes right away - and parked beside of them. Naturally, they were thrilled to see the car and we ended up comparing notes.

The tour grew more than 3 hours long and it was a great experience, not only for Joan and Doris, but also for me.

Campobello Island is currently celebrating "FOGFEST" and there are cars from all over the U.S. Fog is here celebrated with a lot of music in many different venues. It's a great way to keep up the mood when the mornings are starting out with thick fog banks.

Fogfest is going on from August 1 to 5 and all concerts are free of charge. It's an excellent opportunity to take the tour up through Maine and hang out a few days on the island.