Monday, April 3, 2017

Eames Chairs, Aqua Walls, and Shitter-Twitter

Kinda like this, but darker. 
My mother passed away a year ago today....on the secular calendar. I miss her....and I am really sorry I can't tell her about the aqua wall in the kitchen. She would've loved that right into outer space. See, when we moved into the house in North Bellmore in 1958, mom insisted that the ceiling be painted aqua. She was very fashion-forward for her time. We had the aqua ceiling, a white formica round kitchen table, and aqua Eames chairs from Herman Miller. Very chic for 1958.

The aqua wall.
I am loving my new little house. I love lying on the sofa reading, a fire in the fireplace, and Classical MPR on the stereo. I love sitting at my desk in the study in my ratty writing sweatshirt with a cup of tea. I love coming down to a tidy kitchen...or if it's not tidy, well, it's my mess. And for the moment, I love being in my own little happiness bubble.

The reality is that one cannot shut out reality. It's not like I'm closing the curtains on the world. Far from it. I'm acutely aware of what is going on in Washington, DC, in Israel, in Yemen, in Afghanistan, and Korea. I watch the actions of a Toddler-in-Chief, and after having spent a full day with my two-and-a-half year old granddaughter, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Little Miss has more self-control that our sitting president. 

The other, less attractive side of the reality is that for the first time since, oh, probably 5th grade, I'm worried about nuclear attack. Not necessarily an attack on the US, but the US committing one. I'm not so sure we have the right safeguards in place to stop our side from launching a preemptive strike. And I'm not convinced that Kim Jung-Un isn't exactly incapable of launching a nuclear missile. It doesn't have to reach a target to be destructive; it just has to explode in the jet-stream. 

You think I'm being wacko? Guess again. During the age of nuclear-testing-without-too-much-forethought, there was something called the Baneberry Test on December 18th, 1970. This little event was supposed to be 900 feet underground, but managed to shoot up a radioactive plume of 80,000 curies of iodine-131 into the jet stream. Locally, 86 workers were exposed to high levels of radiation, but it was the radioactive snow that fell in California several weeks later that was really unexpected. 

These are not toys, but the people in the West Wing seem to think this is some kind of game of chicken. In an interview with Financial Times released on April 2, 2017 there was a whole lotta sabre rattling:
Q: You are the master of ‘the art of the deal’ . . . can you cut a deal with Xi Jinping when you see him in Mar-a-Lago? 
A: I have great respect for him. I have great respect for China. I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so. 
[Please to be recalling this is the same guy who called China "currency manipulators."]

Q: Are you going to talk about North Korea and a way forward there?

A: Yes, we will talk about North Korea. And China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone. What is the incentive? I think trade is the incentive. It is all about trade.  How do you bring China’s trade surplus down quickly? By telling China that we cannot continue to trade if we are going to have an unfair deal like we have right now. This is an unfair deal. Are you going to equalise tariffs? I don’t want to talk about tariffs yet, perhaps the next time we meet. So I don’t want to talk about tariffs yet. But you used the word equalise. That is a very good word because they are not equalised. If you used a word other than tariff, it is not an equal. You know when you talk about, when you talk about currency manipulation, when you talk about devaluations, they are world champions. And our country hasn’t had a clue, they haven’t had a clue. The past administration hasn’t had and many administrations — I don’t want to say only Obama; this has gone on for many years — they haven’t had a clue. But I do.

Q: How ambitious do you want to be with China? Could we see a grand bargain that solves North Korea, takes American troops off the Korean peninsula and really changes the landscape out there? 

A: Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you. And do you think you can solve it without China’s help? Totally.  One on one? I don’t have to say any more. Totally.  Do you start with North Korea and talk about trade, or pivot around? I’m not going to tell you. You know, I am not the United States of the past where we tell you where we are going to hit in the Middle East. Where they say — I used it in the speeches — ‘We will be attacking Mosul in four months’. A month later, ‘We will be attacking Mosul in three months, in two months, in one month’. And why are they talking? There is no reason to talk. 
And as if the idiocy on China was not enough, praise of Egypt's President Sisi today was unquestionably strange. Our feckless leader said, 
“We agree on so many things, I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt, and the United States has, believe me, backing and we have strong backing.”
Some fantastic job. I guess human rights don't count for much in Dictatorland. 

And that's what scares me. Someone suggested we should prepare for a major terrorist attack here, if for no other reason than the administration needs one to shore up its position on homeland security. On the other hand, the latest shitter-twitter is mostly about Hillary Clinton:


Doesn't he have something better to do, like learning to read or developing his 4th-grade level vocabulary? Does he actually think he sounds intelligent sitting on the can shooting this stuff out along with his flatulence? 

Makes me wanna re-post Charles Durning doing "Sidestep" just one more time. Frankly, I suspect it's their theme song. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Getting ready for Passover? 
No matter what your level of observance,  take a moment to think about 
what you would take if you were forced to leave your home.
This is not a test. 

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