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

DANCING AND SEXISM, JANET JACKSON, HILLARY AND DONALD, AND MORE: #16

   DANCING AND SEXISM Norman and I went to the same high school at the same time, we knew each other, but we had no classes together and weren't really friends. A big, ungainly kid, as a teenager Norman played keyboards for services at a local church. I learned some years after graduation that Norman had gone to a fine arts college and had worked his way up to Resident Organist at a major, big city Protestant congregation. Fast forward to our 25th or 30th high school reunion, I don't remember which. I do remember that when the dancing started, one couple who were obviously into ballroom dancing glided and posed across the floor with serious expressions on their faces. Carefully well rehearsed. Then Norman stepped on the floor, blue suit, white shirt, red tie and all. He stomped. He twirled. His arms and legs flew in every direction. Norman truly danced like no one was watching. I envy Norman's dancing to this day. Sanna Marin wears leather coats, goes to rock concerts, and

MONARCHY, BUTT PATTING, SELF CHECKOUT, AND RANDOM STUFF: #17

  MONARCHY It is not possible to be an English-speaking expat living in Europe without having gained some understanding of how the UK works and how UK policies and politics affect European life. And so, a word about the monarchy is in order today. I'm no monarchist. As an American, I have grown up believing in liberal democracy. Today, I consider myself a democratic socialist. But I have come to appreciate the manner in which British royalty has accommodated itself to the modern world. There is no doubt that accommodation has diminished the role of the monarch. That's probably a good thing. But a diminished monarchy need not necessarily herald the end of the monarchy. Elizabeth's monarchy became simply the personification of her country's flag, to be trotted out to acknowledge community, in good times and in sad times, expressing publicly what was being felt privately. There was a time, during Brexit, when I was furious with Elizabeth. As one of the richest, most well-