19 August 2017

Dog Daze and Chicken Hawks

I am old. I don't do facebook, twitter, snapchat, Google Plus, etc. No, not even texting or sexting. My digital domain is limited to this blog, plus email. Period.

I do subscribe to a daily email called "A Word a Day."  Interesting. Each week they pick a subject and daily list a word and its definition, pronunciation, and derivation. Some words I know, others not.

Last week, the theme was words related to animals, and we had words like "lionize," "dog days," etc.

Now, of course, I, like you, am transfixed by our daily obsession with our president, who has, in the past ten days, threatened North Korea with nuclear war, and threatened to invade Venezuela. So a bell went off this past week when I read Thursday's word, "chicken hawk."  

Definition:

"A person who favors military action, yet has avoided military service."


Hmm, ring any bells for you?


A bientot.



08 August 2017

Breaking News!

BREAKING NEWS
BREAKING NEWS

Ok, children: this is the test.  Trump has now drawn a red line: "Threaten us one more time, and I'll do something very violent." JFK succeeded in a scary nuclear confrontation in the Cuban missile crisis, but it was very close. Can The Donald pull this off?  This is not a reality TV show. This is just plain "Reality."

Sure glad I don't live in Alaska, California, or even Chicago, tho I have relatives in two out of three.

But I have to say, I don't think the Trump/Kushner/Bannon team has many options. The North Korea lunatic is making very specific threats that our experts say he is capable, or almost capable, of executing. And if not today, then tomorrow for sure. So the here's the question: when a person who fails the Anglo-American jurisprudential test of being a "reasonable man,", says "I am going to kill you," and he has the incentive and capacity to do so, does a sentient national leader whose population is the object of those threats, take it seriously, and do something, even if his predecessors did not?

I pose this hypothetical:  

Assume please, you are a peace-loving person, living on a nice tree-lined street, but in a community that has no laws, no police, and just gets along on the assumption that no person would do something so uncivil to a member of the community as to cause his victim, or the victim's friends, to respond with equal incivility, or worse.  Fantasy land? Game of Thrones? No, if you think about it, that's close to basic global politics today.  

Anyway, this is my hypothetical, so get to paint the scenery. Bottom line, that's the community in which you live. Suck it up.

One day, you are out cutting your lawn, and a moving truck pulls up in front of the vacant house next door.  A big shaved-head tattooed guy, with the help of equally scary buddies, gets out of the truck and he and his team proceed to carry boxes and stuff into that house. You make inquiry and discover that the head of the group now living next door did 20 years in the state pen for arson-murder. Further, you learn on Google that after release he was arrested again for another murder, but escaped conviction with a defense of "diminished capacity," and after doing three years at the funny farm, he was discharged, and has moved in next door.

Your new neighbor immediately takes offense at the color of your teenage daughter's dress, and tells you if she leaves the house again, he is going to kill her, and firebomb your house when you and your family are asleep. You try to reason with him, but the several conversations always end with his telling you, "Fuck off, asshole, I mean it. Just try me." He then gives you a tour of his garage which is full of ready-to-use Molotov cocktails.

You are a peaceful person who loves his family.  You have a rifle, that you use only to kill deer during hunting season.

Remember, no laws in this community. At least none that are enforceable. No police. Everybody for himself.  

One day, your new neighbor stands on his front lawn and calls for you to come outside. You go out. You hope you two can talk. But there is no talk, at least no conversation.  In one hand, he holds a gasoline-filled bottle with a cloth wick, and in the other hand, a cigarette lighter. He says, "Watch this, asshole. You are next!" He lights the device and heaves it into the vacant lot on the other side of his house. You blanch from the noise and heat generated by the ensuing explosion and fire that quickly consumes every tree on the lot. He then turns to you with a sneer, and says, "Last warning, shithead, I saw her again. One more time, you and your family are toast!"

You are incensed. Enough is enough. You go into your house, unlock the gun safe, take out the deer rifle, load it, bring it down to the living room, open the living room window and sight the rifle through the living room blinds and put your neighbor in the cross hairs as he stands on his lawn laughing at you, threatening you, telling you he is invulnerable because he knows if you kill him, there will be collateral damage. Decision time. You put your finger on the trigger, and ... .

I'm not sayin' this is exactly parallel to the current situation with North Korea, but ... .

Oh yeah, if I recall correctly, Mr. Trump and his team denigrated his predecessor who drew a "red line" about Assad's use of chemical weapons and then did nothing when Assad crossed that line. Y'think the President remembers that? Or if he doesn't, does Steve Bannon?

I am going fishing tomorrow. The guys tell me the sea bass fishing off Block Island is super. That's 15 miles east of my usual fishing grounds, and "east" may be especially crowded tomorrow, but maybe the family will come fishing with me for the first time in 20 years. Nah, I'm just kidding. Really, but I am glad I don't have any relatives in Alaska.

A bientot.

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29 July 2017

Small Stuff Counts Too!

So I thought I would bring you up to date on some real important news. Was it Tip O'Neill who said "All politics is local?"

The national scene can be dismissed in one paragraph:

Goodbye to Sean Spicer. Melissa McCarthy is out of work.  Newly appointed hit man Scaramucci knocked off "fucking paranoiac" Reince Priebus, and is aiming at Steve Bannon, whom the Mooch accuses of "trying to suck his own cock." (I have no idea what that means on the national level. You'll have to ask the White House Director of Communications.)  Meanwhile, Jeff Sessions is hiding out in El Salvador where the Mooch can't reach him. Sessions now appears to be safe, and so, apparently, is Special Counsel Mueller. The President made a trip to Long Island assuring the faithful he is opposed to crime. And finally, the Congress is now leading Donald around by pulling on the ring they have inserted in his nose, so that he being forced to sign a Russia sanctions bill because of their election interference while the President still insists it was not Putin but a teenager in New Jersey.

Now to the local news:

Doncha love the video of NYC Mayor de Blasio in the subway? Must be a first time for him. And they had to delay the subway trains and get the cops to clear the paying customers off the platform so they could get that shot. How pathetic is the local NYC Republican party that they have NO candidates to run against him? But the video I am waiting for is the one where de B's entire team tries to stuff him into a standard NYC yellow cab. I have trouble getting into and out of those clown cars, and he is 5 inches taller than I. Yet he still fought to obstruct Bloomberg's plan to bring the bigger Nissans into town. De B got a huge contribution of campaign money from the yellow cab industry that hated the more comfortable cars because they cost more. Think that had something to do with His Honor's efforts to keep the bigger cars out of the city?  Maybe I'll put in a call to Mooch, who probably knows the answer. If he doesn't know, Sean Hannity will know for sure.

Now for some East End local news: Our Republican congressman, Lee Zeldin (my spell editor automatically changed his name to Lee Gelding, but I caught that.  Congressman Gelding was mentioned in an earlier post. (He's the guy who bars his constituents from recording their interviews with him because he doesn't want to deprive them of their privacy rights!) Geldong is an avid Trump supporter.  He voted again and again to repeal Obamacare, wants to shut down Planned Parenthood, and when pressed to comment about the President's son meeting with a representative of the Russian government who offered to interfere with our election, Geldeng strained to bring himself to say something negative about Junior: the best Gelding could do was to issue a public statement that "the meeting was a no-no."  I am not kidding, a "no-no." Good thing the founders are dead and cannot see what is happening to their creation: they thought Congress was so important they insisted on making it the first Article of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the locals here in East Hampton are enduring great privation. The latest edition of the East Hampton Star reports that a citizen, after dining at one of the area's invading richie- restaurants, called a cab to take her home. Doubtless inspired by the President's announcement he would give an anti-crime speech on Long Island, the beach-front-dwelling doyenne was so annoyed when her taxi failed to arrive after a one-hour wait, she did just what you would expect a member of her caste to do.  She called the East Hampton Town Police. And they responded! The incident report indicates a successful police action: the officers suggested she call another cab.

More local stuff:  does the local East Hampton Republican party really have a point when they push an anti-government-regulation agenda? The five members of the East Hampton Town Board are Democrats. They are determined to protect the environment. So when a local woman offered to give paddle board lessons at an East Hampton marina, the Town's building inspector barred the activity. Why?  Because the "marina" had a "marina license."  It was a place where one parked floating boats.  But to "launch" a paddleboard, a "boatyard" license was required and the marina did not have one of those, and so the Paddle Diva's small business was mugged by her government. She appealed to the East Hampton Zoning Board of Appeals, which, after pondering the material question of whether a paddleboard was a boat, affirmed the restriction! Hey, ya can't make this stuff up. When the matter was argued to a local court, the judge promptly overruled the Town from the bench. A written opinion will follow. I can hardly wait to read it. I also would like to know how much of my tax money was spent to spike the young woman's entrepreneurial effort to create a new business that does not rely on serving alcohol to invading millennials.  Hmm, maybe we could use some of those legal fees to build a wall on the eastern bank of the Shinnecock Canal? Glass would be nice, so we could sound an alarm when we see them coming.

Gotta go. There is a report of a striped bass swimming in the waters off the Point, and if I don't hurry, the crush of boats rushing to kill that fish will block the channel leading out of Lake Montauk!

A bientot.