Skip to main content

APPLE, BREXIT & TRUMP



APPLE
Unlock the damn phone.

The phone's user was a terrorist. Undisputed. The owner of the phone, the terrorist's unwitting employer, has given permission for the phone to be unlocked. There's a court order that is specific to that one phone and does not require that phone-hacking software be provided to the FBI for their future use.

With a court order, the Feds can get into my bank account. With a court order, they can paw through my underwear drawer. And I'm this side of certain that, with or without a court order, there are a bunch of coders at Apple who already know how to unlock a phone.

Apple's argument seems to be that a search warrant should apply to all the rooms in a house except the loo because what goes on in the loo should remain private forever.

That dog won't hunt.

Unlock the damn phone.

BREXIT
Some time ago, the nervousness over the possibility that the Greeks would be forced out of the EU led to a 20% devaluation of the Euro against the US Dollar. The cost of one Euro went from 1.35 USD to 1.10 USD and has stayed in that neighborhood ever since. Oh, I know that there are other influences and that the devaluation probably cannot be ascribed solely to the problems with Greece...and Italy and Spain and Portugal. But Greece was certainly a convenient place on which to hang a commentator's hat.

Recently, the Euro enjoyed a bit of a comeback, reaching 1.13 USD or better. That may not seem like very much, but 2% or 3% is not an insignificant amount when applied to a fixed pension. No worries, though. We apparently had nothing to fear. The possibility of a Brexit continues in the news. And a big Thank You to Boris for coming down on the side of the Brexiters. We're back at 1.10 USD again.

At this point in time, European uncertainty is an American expat's best friend.

TRUMP

There is a misconception that American electoral politics have been governed by rules of engagement that are relatively benign until just recently. We think of the American Founding Fathers (and Mothers, to be fair) such as Thomas Jefferson as persons of intellect whose Declaration of Independence and Constitution created the framework for a new, progressive style of governance.

Wrong.

Well, they were persons of intellect. But the Founders were also rebels. Traitors to Mother England. It should come as no surprise that they were, in fact, the architects of partisanship. Some believed in a strong federal government. Some abhorred the idea of federalism. Thus were two political parties born. And thus, partisanship.


Broadsheets, the news outlets of the times, were often owned by partisan politicians and were used unashamedly to denigrate their rivals. Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, all were savaged with venom that today only appears on the very fringes of the internet. Washington's Farewell Address, generally considered to be one of the most important speeches ever given by an American politician, was described at the time in the organ of a rival as the "loathings of a sick mind." Washington himself, Thomas Paine implied, was a traitor and perhaps a double agent in the pay of the British. The elder Adams was "old, querulous, bald, blind, crippled and toothless."

Enter Trump. There is no regard for truth. There is only hate combined with lust for power.

An American tradition...

Comments

  1. To me Trump is comedy. You can't take someone seriously with a comb-over! Bald is beautiful. Men should learn to get over it, sport it, and move on. I don't think a man with Trump's crazy hair or a wig has the confidence I would want to run an entire country. I vote for Bruce Willis !

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

GRAND CAFE OCCITAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

  We made our way to a new restaurant the other day, up toward the hills past La Liviniere in the small town of Felines-Minervois. None of our party had been there before, but a friend had visited and said that she'd enjoyed it. She's a vegetarian. First clue. Now don't get me wrong. I have no gripe with those who choose to go meatless. I understand the environmental concerns and I understand the horrors of factory farming. But I also understand that form follows function in the design of tools, in the design of appliances, and in the design of human teeth. Our incisors and canines did not develop over the course of hundreds of thousands of years to rend the flesh of a fresh-caught broccoli. We are omnivores by design, Darwinian design. And I enjoy eating omni. Enough preamble... I never went inside the Grand Cafe Occitan. A young lady who would be our server met us at the front door of the nicely pointed old stone house, leading us to a pebble-covered courtyard on the side

Kreuz Market vs. Smitty’s Market: Texas Barbecue in Lockhart

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I didn’t taste Texas barbecue until I was twenty-two years old. What the hell do I know about barbecue? And what could I add to the millions of words that have been written on the subject? Well, I know a bit about food. I’ve managed to check out a few of the finer joints in Texas – Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas, Joe Cotton’s in Robstown before the fire, the dear departed Williams Smokehouse in Houston, and the incomparable New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville . So I can speak from a reasonably wide experience. This will not be a comprehensive discussion of the relative merits of Texas barbecue as opposed to the fare available in places like Memphis or the Carolinas. It’s simply a take on our recent visits to Lockhart and the relative merits of Smitty’s versus Kreuz from our point of view. I’ll get all over academic in a later post. On our way out to the ranch in Crystal City, we stopped at Smitty’s. You have to look

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t