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Skipped Back 10

February 2nd, 2017

"Back in October 2016, women began boycotting Ivanka Trump's clothing line...The protest seems to have worked, causing Nordstrom to cut ties with the brand due to declining sales... [It] was available on Nordstrom's website as recently as Wednesday. However, all items have now disappeared from Nordstrom's website, and is no longer listed on the site[']s master lists of brands."

Read more at ONTD: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/104934698.html#ixzz4Xaq8iABG

January 30th, 2017

[I just commented to a good LJ friend about what The Donald did this past week to damage our vital relationship with Mexico. It occurs to me that the comment might be of interest to others among you longtime readers. So here it is.]

I know a good deal about our sensitive southern neighbor, having worked in Mexico City for three years at the beginning of my career -- and then lately as a consultant to a large corporation operating there. The Mexico-US relationship is fraught with historical dangers: to treat them cavalierly, as The Don (and both his son Erik and his son-in-law Jared) have done goes against everything that thoughtful Americans have sought to do to mollify them over many years.

I'll note another historical fact, namely the longstanding Russian interest in that neighbor. Their Mexico City embassy is substantial, long dedicated to fomenting anti-US sentiment there. I suspect that one of Putin's aims, in foisting Trumpsky* onto the American people, is to undercut US-Mexican relations.

Why else did Jared and Erik conspire to get that meeting -- in the middle of the campaign -- with President Peña Nieto? (The September meeting, incldentally, damaged Peña Nieto's Finance Minister Luis Videgaray** -- who had set it up and was forced out of the government a week afterward.)
* It was fairly prescient of me to nickname him thusly; I began using it in mid-campaign. At that point, before the Russian hacking/hijacking of our election had been fully substantiated by the US intelligence community, the Russia connection was only dimly recognized.
** I see that Videgaray may be brought BACK by Peña Nieto -- http://www.businessinsider.com/r-mexico-president-to-name-fallen-finance-minister-as-foreign-minister-sources-2017-1

January 29th, 2017


We have now seen just how awful the Trumpsky Administration is likely to be. He's only upset our relations with Mexico, the UK, Germany, and China -- and that only six days in office. (Uniquely among world "leaders," he takes weekends off -- well, except for Tweeting, but that hardly counts as work!)

If I were in any doubt of the man's terrible impact on this nation, a brief encounter in a local bar would have erased it. I was enjoying a beer, watching MSNBC (with closed captions), and a couple sits next to me -- and the guy immediately disparages MSNBC. I say mildly that it's "real" about the new administration. He yawps about preferring Fox "News." I cite a few of the issues we face, and he counters with undiluted Trumpsky crapola. I point to daily examples of "alternate truth" out of Carrie Anne & Co. He says I'm wrong, wrong, wrong. I pay for my beer, tell him to go fuck himself, and leave.

This is going downhill fast!

January 22nd, 2017

Weird computer!

Hello to my sadly neglected friends on LJ!

I've been traveling in the past month -- a cruise from FL to CA, then several weeks by rental car all over southern Calif. and Arizona. It meant a LOT of "together" time with Joanne. (I trust most of you recall my sometimes-rocky relationship with her, my Significant Other.)

Whilst in AZ, she provoked a nasty quarrel over my blogging, of all things! She's long chosen to ignore it since, deep down, she knows I come here for relief from the limitations of our relationship. And, no surprise to my good pals here, that includes sex -- ever since, several years ago, she blithely decided she "doesn't like sex." (Not just with ME; she has simply stopped thinking about it with ANYONE, including herself!)

But enough about that. I'm happily back in my favorite place in the Universe, Vero Beach. (Needless to remind that Joanne "doesn't like" Florida -- mainly because I DO...) And I'm back on-line after a month of deprivation. Well, two weeks without it on shipboard, then two weeks with only my cellphone...I left this laptop here, trying to travel light.

Before I departed, I reinstalled my "Ubuntu" open-source operating system. I'd resisted their drastically revised OS, since I'm pretty marginal as a tech person. Anyway, I finally caved because the old OS wasn't performing too well (after several years of wonderful support for my blogging, etc.). Sure enough, I got into trouble on various levels, including the most elemental: getting on line! It wasn't keeping that little "windshield-wiper" symbol on the upper right of my screen, indicating access to my wi-fi.

So now I'm trying my best (which is none too good, as I wrote) to get it to function, and I resolved the wi-fi access, and was able to pull up this LJ blog -- my lifeline to the world, in many respects.

Ubuntu is a valiant little engine, even correcting its own flaws -- most of them, anyway. The new OS seems specially decent, though I haven't yet figured WHERE various devices ARE! So, please bear with me as I get the system more fully functional.

January 20th, 2017

Malia Obama's adventure

Yesterday's NYTimes had a fascinating note confirming that the President's elder dsughter traveled secretly in Bolivia for almost three months, as part of her year off before starting next fall at Harvard. (The Germans traditionally take a year off before college, calling it a "Wanderjshr" -- a year to wander, often abroad.)

Anyhow, the Times found out from the Bolivian press that she'd stayed with a family there in an 83-day program of a Colorado compsny that arranges educational travel.

And everyone concerned successfully kept the visit a secret intil she returned to Washington. (Her safety was evidently protected by Secret Service: Bolivian locals thought a blond eoman with Malia was "the important one" guarded by private security.)

Is that not the coolest thing you ever heard?

January 14th, 2017

Trumpsky! WTF?


This is a scary piece from New Yorker's Web site about Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), and his ongoing efforts to vet the new Cabinet -- and Trumpsky his own self. Good news: all the new officials have worked with OGE to divest themsrlves of questionable holdings. But the BAD news is that DJT has stiff-armed Shaub and OGE, REFUSING any cooperation whatsoever.

Shaub also confirmed this week that Trumpsky's vaunted plan to avoid his well-known conflicts in NO way satisfies the ethics requirements -- which have now been met by his OWN nominees and all recent presidents.

January 4th, 2017

Just a quick note to say Joanne and I've reached California -- our ship reaching San Diego this morning. (Stops in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico were made -- all quite pleasant,)

We disembarked with a minimum of fuss, picked up our rental car, and made our way northeaat to my brother's home, not far from Palm Springs. And, predictably, celebrating ensued.

I've now made it to bed, and will hopefully be able to fill in the (no doubt lurid) details in the morning.

December 20th, 2016

I have written before about not much enjoying cruising. Joanne adores it, though, so I found myself capitulating fairly gracefully and we booked another one -- leaving tomorrow. Both Christmas and New Year's afloat...

First, we sail southwest (via the Panama Canal), then northwest along Central America, then the Mexican coast (including La Paz, at the tip of Baja -- someplace I've never been), and ending up in San Diego.

Then it's off via rental car to see what remains of the relatives, notably several in declining health (one of my brothers as well as several of Joanne's kinfolk).

The land portion is pretty routine -- been doing it for nearly thirty years, every year or two... I'm not real enthusiastic, I'm araid -- it is the classic "been there, done that!"

December 19th, 2016

I'd like to welcome a new friend here, Ella Ford (http://ellaford.livejournal.com/), whom I just got to know over on Tumblr. There, she's "ellafordbooks.tumblr.com" -- she is a prolific erotic novelist, of the lesbian persuasion.

I coaxed her to try LJ, since on Tumblr I find myself frustrated by the rigid format, which permits no editing of one's posts. (Offsetting that Tumblr drawback, one gets to access gazillions* of sexy photos. It IS an egregious competitive advantage!)

Welcome, sweetie!

* Longtime readers will recall that I used to post lots of photos from Flickr -- until they high-handedly terminated the function. Readers new and old can see examples of my work by clicking the "tags" I put on many posts here. (LJ used to let us tag for free, but decided to charge for that -- but THEN failed to close out my hundreds of existing tags. It became a "game" for me: putting up a few tags for a new post, as a kind of accidental comment on that post.)

BTW -- Not paying for my blogging isn't because I'm a cheapskate. Rather, my SigOther, Joanne, keeps a close watch on our finances -- and a single unexplained charge on the monthly bill could draw her attention to what I do on-line.

December 18th, 2016

(no subject)

An Aussie doctor, Lisa Pryor, wrote an op-ed in today's NYTimes, very sad for what Trumpsky has been up to:

"...befriending President Putin, disregarding climate change and refusing daily intelligence briefings --because he’s 'a smart person.' None of this, we fear, will end well for any of us.

"And here we Australians are on the edge of Asia, a small and loyal ally...

"We feel worried, lucky -- and alone.

[Recently] Australia’s Department of Defense [ADOD] outlined the long-term outlook for our defense and security, emphasizing that the relationship between the United States and China.
When [ADOD's] Lowy Institute for International Policy surveyed Australians two years ago about whether the US or China was the more important partner, the US led by 11 percentage points. This year there was a tie. The drift was more marked among Australians under 45, most [sic!] of whom named China.

"...This distancing is already being discussed. While Australia’s right-wing politicians have taken the most disheartening lesson from the election -- Mr. Trump won, so be like Mr. Trump -- former prime minister Paul Keating, questioned Australia’s deference to the United States: 'This society of ours is a better society than the US,' he said. 'It’s more even, it’s more fair. We’ve had a 50-percent increase in real incomes in the last 20 years...' [The US lags!]

"Whatever happens, it will not dull my affection for the American people and the best of American culture. I was not raised in America, but I was raised in the American century. I am not yet ready to say goodbye."

Lisa Pryor, a medical doctor, is the author, most recently, of “A Small Book About Drugs.”
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