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

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…

BURGER KING, NARBONNE: RESTAURANT REVIEW (GOD FORGIVE ME)

After 48 years, The Southern Woman That I Married can still surprise me.

We went shopping the other day. You see, we're at the beginning of the French winter sales. Yes, stores here have sales all of the time, but I'm talking about THE SALES. Twice each year, once in winter and once in summer, every store holds sales. It's an official thing. There's a national start date (although it may vary a bit from region to region), a national end date, and stores are not permitted to bring in stock just for THE SALES. So these are true clearances. Discounts can be 70% or more. Serious savings.

Yes, I know. Controlled capitalism. How could it possibly work? Hint: It works because everybody buys into it, even the capitalists.


The day before we hit the shops, Cathey said,"Let's have lunch at Burger King." Be aware that Cathey has been trying to find a decent hamburger ever since we arrived in France. We've tried Buffalo Grill. We've ordered a burger at one o…

ASIA MARKET, BEZIERS: WORTH A VISIT

The Southern Woman That I Married is an accomplished, multi-cultural cook. Over the years, our table has been graced with examples of authentic fare from the world over. If there is one limitation to the diversity of the menus that Cathey can create here in the south of France, it's the availability of proper ingredients. Sometimes, it's the simple things. I've spent my entire life enjoying lox on a bagel smeared with cream cheese for breakfast on a Sunday morning. There's fine smoked salmon on display in just about every supermarket here, but even though the packaging of Philadelphia Cream Cheese looks the same as in the States, the formula is clearly different. It just doesn't taste the same. And a bagel? A real, honest-to-goodness, Brooklyn-style bagel? In the rural south of France? Fuhgeddaboudit.

For Cathey's cookery, more exotic fare than bagels and cream cheese is required. Almost immediately after our move here four years ago, she lamented the difficult…