Monday, May 30, 2016

A NYT obit

Frank Modell, Longtime New Yorker Cartoonist, Dies at 98
... Franklyn Bruce Modell was born in Philadelphia on Sept. 6, 1917, the only child of Irving Modell and the former Daisy Simon. His father, an immigrant from Russia, was a traveling furniture salesman.
It's surprising how many NYT Obits feature accomplished folks whose folks were immigrants! ... from Eastern Europe, from Italy,... and, yes, even from Mexico.

Just a reminder: we are a nation of immigrants.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why I am voting for Trump

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Checking up on myself and my forecasting ability

Back in March I wrote:
I'm honest
Just FYI: In a few months the GOP nominating process will have ended.
The Republicans will have a Presidential Candidate for 2016.

As many previous posts have suggested, I'm betting that the GOP candidate will be Mr. Donald Trump.

Unlike many other political commentators & pundits - many of whom get paid for their opinions - I WILL revisit my predictions in July.

If I've been right - HOORAY!
If I've been wrong - oh well, sigh.
Either way, I'll 'fess up.
In light of today's news, seems I don't have to wait till July:
Donald Trump has delegates to clinch GOP nomination
By MJ Lee, CNN National Politics Reporter
Updated 2:30 PM ET, Thu May 26, 2016

(CNN) — Donald Trump has the delegates to clinch the GOP presidential nomination, according to a CNN delegate count Thursday.

While Trump has had the nomination locked down for weeks, he has now reached the threshold of 1,237 delegates with the help of previously uncommitted delegates who now support his candidacy. A handful of states, including the large prizes of California and New Jersey, will hold the final primaries on June 7.
Quoting Dizzy Dean:
It ain't bragging if you can do it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Big-I

I live about 2 miles away from what is locally known as The Big-I. This is the intersection of I-40 & I-25, and is the only place in New Mexico where two interstate highways intersect.

I mention this because it represents what the Federal Government used to be able to accomplish: building useful stuff that lasts!
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, Interstate Freeway System, Interstate System, or simply the Interstate) is a network of controlled-access highways that forms a part of the National Highway System of the United States. The system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower who championed its formation. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and the original portion was completed 35 years later ... The network has since been extended and, as of 2013, it had a total length of 47,856 miles (77,017 km), making it the world's second longest after China's. As of 2013, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system.
[Wikipedia, Interstate Highway System]
Yes, this program was conceived during the Eisenhower Administration - that commie, pinko, fellow-traveler, Dwight Eisenhower!... back when the top marginal income-tax rate was just over 90%!

When JFK assumed the Presidency, he challenged us to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
We did it!

This was back when, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the Federal Government undertook BIG projects - projects that CREATED JOBS! The tax base was expanded - simply by providing well-paying employment to more people.
AND - we created physical infrastructure that is today used by millions of citizens, every day!

We need to maintain all that very useful infrastructure... but "maintain" isn't very sexy.
So... we could couple it with CREATING MORE useful infrastructure, by, say, deciding that access to high-speed internet for every community in the country would be a good thing, and providing the $$$ to provide it.
... or by deciding that every school in the country ought to be up to some minimal standards with respect to plumbing, electricity, and high-speed internet access... and then FUNDING such a national program - BUILDING stuff that will endure for decades, creating JOBS in the process.

Just a reminder: our financial sector - the Wizards of Wall Street - creates NOTHING! It invents paper and virtual-paper that gets traded, but builds NOTHING.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Religious Freedom

So, if I refuse service to Jews because they are Christ-killers:
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Matthew, 27:25
... that's okay - 'cuz it's my religious belief?

... or if I refuse service to Blacks because they are Hamites, cursed by G-d?
And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis, 9:20-27
... that's okay - 'cuz it's my religious belief?

... or if I refuse service to anyone who wears a mixed cotton/polyester blend because G-d proscribes it?
‘You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; and you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together'.
Leviticus, 19:19
... that's okay - 'cuz it's my religious belief?

I note that both of the top two examples above have in fact been used as justifications for discrimination & persecution.
Jews, as Christ-killers, do not deserve to exist.
Blacks, as the descendants of Ham & Canaan, are marked by G-d to be our slaves!

If my religious convictions hold that everyone with red hair is a child of Satan and should be killed on the spot, would "religious freedom" laws protect me from prosecution?

If my religious convictions hold that all Native Americans are sub-human and should be exterminated, would "religious freedom" laws protect me from prosecution? (This is NOT a theoretical case!)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

... and I almost forgot...

Albuquerque Little Theatre
The original building, designed by famed southwestern architect, John Gaw Meem, was the first structure in Albuquerque to be built by the Works Progress Administration as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal.”

Yep - that original building still stands - though it's been expanded.

... AND, Albuquerque Little Theatre is still an active member of the local live-theater scene!

Yep - once-upon-a-time our Government built stuff of lasting value. ... once-upon-a-time.

Back in the day...

Confronted with an economic collapse, known today as the Great Depression, the Federal Government DID SOMETHING... and that something has had lasting value.

Here's the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Oregon:

(By edward stojakovic from chicago, United States - Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood)

This was a WPA project - the Federal Government paying people to build stuff!
You can stay there today. It's a ski resort.

It's not unique.

Nearer to my home, Bandelier National Monument was constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps members.

All the trails, the visitor center... pretty much EVERYTHING at Bandelier National Monument was built by the CCC.

... and the WPA sponsored the "Federal Music Project".
Among other things, this organization presented Gilbert & Sullivan across America.
Here's a pic from a production of "H.M.S. Pinafore" on a lake in a park in Cincinnati, Ohio:

Yep - back in the good old days, OUR government actually did stuff!

... and much of what the Government did still stands, and is used!

Just for fun

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thought for the day

If G-d had meant for us to think, He'd have given us a brain.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Channeling Tom Lehrer

Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Tom Lehrer
Now Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee.
What fun!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ignore the hair...

Me with grandson Hunter & dog Goldie: