I have to stay quiet today and allow my tooth surgery wound to heal. The dentist removed the stitches, and it's oozing. Blood clots and stuff. Yuck. I stopped my Warfarin, and it's slowed down, but I have to miss a meeting, etc. Luckily I went shopping yesterday and have yogurt and such to eat.
So I'm caught up on Brexit to date. This is a warning to us in the U.S. not to fall for the nativist and anti-immigrant pitch. What's going to happen to all the British ex-pats in the EU countries now? Will they be punished? Will rich foreigners come in and buy up British assets at firesale prices, as the pound loses its value? What will happen to National Health? Pensions? Did these voters really think about the consequences?
There are parts of Spain that are Britain in a better climate. What will happen now?
Turning away from that misery, I thought I would try to figure out Bitcoin. Almost have it. Setting up the system is elaborate, but using it is simple. Not something I want to do but a moderately interesting topic to while away the down time in Laz-i-Boy Central (my ugly, comfortable rocker/recliner).
Sure is a lovely day here, though, and if I can get this bleeding to stop, I'm going swimming at Richardson Beach. (Photo I found on the Internet.) I was there a couple of days ago, and it was perfect!
Brexit wins. I can't believe they did this. If I were living in Britain I would be working on figuring out a way to leave. They just destroyed their future. It's clear to see that from the perspective of the U.S. I guess they were so propagandized with nativist resentment that they fell for this. These are a people who spread all over the earth. The sun never set on them. Now they have turned their backs on the world.
More: Just finished watching the BBC live stream and saw Cameron announce his decision to step down from his office as Prime Minister in October.
I enjoyed this little video about Joyce Carol Oates at home. Unlike me, she hardly relates to her body at all and seems to exist most of the time in an ethereal mental world. I wonder if never having had children makes the difference here, but that is a lot to say without knowing more about her. I do get the feeling from her stories that when it comes to the body, the less the better, as far as she's concerned. She depicts female bodies as a locus of discomfort and embarrassment, or that's the impression I get from her stories. She is tall, and she looks very fit, with upright posture and a good stride.
I confess that it's her early work that interests me the most. For a while, we were leading similar lives, or at any rate had similar interests, and we are about the same age.
On her often whimsical tweets she describes the inner life and behavior of her cat, Cherie. Fred wishes he could meet her, but when I point out that he would have to endure hours of travel in his carrier he decided against it. Besides, she is an aristocat and he is a commoner.
My orchids are very lovely these days. They are such expressive flowers.
Doesn't this look exciting? Those spears stuck in the sand let you know that this is Hawaii and not some other place.
Brandon was asking about where to find out about the rich on the Big Island. Bloomberg News comes through in this fascinating article about the tsuris at Hualalai and the Four Seasons here. Billionaires are trying to keep the millionaire rabble out. As my mother always liked to say, "We forget that the rich have problems too."
A poor soul says,
He had done everything possible to be in a situation where the answer to every question would be yes.
Wow. I want that, too. When I need my teeth fixed, I want the dentist to say, "Yes."
More than anything, perhaps, it’s about humiliation. These are wealthy people unaccustomed to being put in their place by someone even wealthier. “We’re smart, we’re mature, we run hedge funds,” says Karen Witesman, who bought her Hualalai condo in 2013. “And then Dell and this group are telling us what to do. And it goes against the grain of who we are. We’re so big and so wealthy, and we’re still working with that little contract.”
According to me with my math skills, the 1% is one out of 100 people in the U.S. One out of 1% of 320,000,000 is 3.2 million people. They and theirs expect only the best but are annoying the .001%, who believe that the world belongs to them and them alone, because they are so superior to the rabble. It may be that buying an island is getting too expensive for the out of sight billionaires, forcing them to associate with the merely rich. The 1% that are not part of the .001% are very upset about the loss of their freedoms. It's mostly about the money, but not entirely.
Yes. Being treated like the little people. How humiliating indeed. This article is so full of ridiculous quotables to share, but I have to stop somewhere. We personally have known the kind of millionaires who have founded startup companies, had 1/2 hour audiences with Steve Ballmer, maybe rubbed shoulders with the Waltons. They are the ones really feeling the pressure now, as the expenses of leading their fancy lives soar out of sight. God. Next thing they may have to be sharing a beach with the locals.
This resort confines people to a few authorized rich people activities. Chris Hayes said that the rich are boring, and here's the proof. The Big Island is full of delights that over-entitled people shun. They could find themselves in territory that does not belong to them or their kind. Hence their rage when they get treated like "those people."
This banal resort, the ultimate in banal tropical resorts, exists on an island where thousands are doing without basic amenities like sewers, running water and garbage collection. And this is the United States, not some "Third World" country.
We don't go over to Kona much, because we feel it's a waste of money to pay steep prices for hotel rooms there. It's nice to rent a condo at Christmas when the family comes, and we make the occasional Costco run. I just remembered that "Tex," the woman at the voter registration training session yesterday, was indignant that there was no Costco on the east side. What hardship she endures. Maybe she'll go back to Texas, where they know how to do things right.
Rachel Maddow said last night that political wonks think about politics all the time and forget that this is not the primary interest of most. But after Labor Day, everyone is paying attention. I think I'm so fascinated partly because I sat out politics as a non-citizen of Germany and then Switzerland for 14 years, and it was quite thrill to be able to vote again when I came back.
Anyone who believes voter fraud is a big problem should have been at the training I went to today. Our County Clerk, a woman that a covert Tea Party-inspired group ousted a few years ago but who is now back in charge, led us through the intricacies of registering people to vote in Hawaii. Now it's clear enough to me, and I'll be helping out. Hawaii has about 88% of the eligible citizens registered, but the percentage who actually vote is much lower. We now have absentee voting or permanent vote- by -mail for those who want it, and the turnout on those is much higher.
We had a Skeptical Texan in this group, a new arrival here, who wanted to get into how Mexicans (people with Hispanic surnames, as she put it) were claiming to live in houses where they didn't really live in her fancy neighborhood [in Texas] and committing voter fraud. She said maybe they were the maids or something, but she never saw anyone around a lot of the homes in her neighborhood. It hit me that there must be people in her Texas world who talk like that about Mexicans all the time and don't realize how this sounds to those of us who do not share her mindset. So this was to let us know, I suppose, that she was a person of some standing who knew what those people were up to.
I don't remember whether it was that woman or another woman who asked what to do about potentially violent persons trying to register to vote. Forgetting my anti-impulsive remarks rule (again) I suggested that she could bring along a gun, since this is a closed carry state. Cheap laughs, and I'm kind of ashamed of myself.
Withdrawing from the Middle East is not something we can do, no matter how squeamish our government and military are about dealing with things like the Syrian disgrace. I'm counting on Hillary Clinton to use every means, diplomatic and military, to get Assad and the Russians out of Syria. We have large responsibilities there, which we incurred as result of the Bush Wars. Of course by the time Hillary gets into office it may be too late for a lot of people. Diddling around about taking in Syrian refugees is disgraceful!
My candidate for the most offensive drug commercial, ever. A doc prescribed this stuff to my 95 year old MIL . When she started bleeding from her wherever, she went off it. It may be hard for women to get decent health care, but by god, we had better be willing to bleed forever! This commercial has the virtue of honesty, however. My friends always said they were taking estrogen for their bones. Whose bones? Hmm. Better stop right here!
Footnote: Be sure to run it through once without the sound.
As Jeff Sharlett says, neoliberalism wins again. Anything else seems too risky. Nativism, as personified by Trump and his followers, is a worse threat than international capitalism. Progressives lost this round, because they had a weak candidate in Sanders. In particular, they were waving off the concerns of women. They forgot that 82% of women are mothers, most have jobs, and though we may not seem significant except to those close to us, we vote.
What is killing people these days is not having a deep bench. Where's your backup? When we lived in Switzerland our asset was Terry's job. Period. When he lost that we had to leave and come back to the U.S. where we had resources to draw on. The Clinton years were good to us. Later we inherited property and other assets, got several windfalls, and so on. Too many people now are in situations where they may seem to be in good shape, but there is nothing there when they get into trouble. And, as King James says, "... man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward."
Sam Shepard, the chronicler of white loserdom, gets put on the back burner, because he has many unpleasant things to say about American life. I started watching Bloodline, a Netflix Original, and saying to myself, "This is not entertainment." It's real life in these United States and totally unsparing. (Shudder)
But I got the damn League of Women Voters Newsletter done and am receiving accolades for it. It was about 40 hours of work. A small victory, but a real one. A couple of usurpers were trying to take over, and they needed to be put in their place with a show of excellence. I'm pretty easy going, but I won't put up with being pushed around by people who don't understand the situation here.
Got to hustle. Hoping my pots have been fired by now.
If I usually pass over this holiday in silence, it is because I had such a negative relationship with my father. It is one of the happiest things in my life that my daughters have had the kind of father I would have wished for myself.
The young fathers I see today are involved with their families. It was customary for fathers in my parents' generation to remain aloof and even secretive with their wives and children. But what I see now are men who do not claim special status for themselves but simply pitch in and do their part in parenting.
Now there is a "People's Summit" going on in Chicago. I guess there is a lot of desperation among Bernie's supporters, or at least the desire for something exciting to happen at the convention, like in the olden days of the 60s. Sure, it's awful to lose, I understand that, but to vilify and undermine Obama and Clinton at this point is vandalism. John Nichols and Tulsi Gabbard are there, which I can't even get my head around. I really respect John Nichols, but Tulsi Gabbard turns me off. Attendees are practicing "civil disobedience" to use to disrupt the Democratic Convention and getting all fired up, I guess.
I really wish I thought they knew what they were doing. They don't seem to have a clue about what could happen to them, with crazy-ass Sanders egging them on. I mean, it's nuts. It really is.
Why are they so eager to bring down the Democratic Party? Do they want Trump to win? That would be exciting, all right, but they might not enjoy living with the consequences.
What I think is that the left is going to lose, and lose big, because we are not solidly supporting Clinton. Not that she is a leftie, mind you, but Trumpist nativism is the biggest threat to this democracy ever, and what needs to be dealt with NOW!
More: Looking into the People's Summit, it does not seem like much of a threat to Clinton. I would be interested in attending if I lived in the Chicago area. People like Van Jones and Naomi Klein and Jim Hightower still have important things to say. I'm no longer a dewy eyed innocent where they are concerned, that's all.
Several of us politically minded people meet once a month to talk about what we have been reading and to discuss the latest developments and swap information and opinions. Trump has us pretty scared, and the people in the group who have lived in the South, in particular, are very worried, because they say racism is as strong as ever there.
One member relates that she lived in Mississippi and loved it, as a well paid occupational therapist with a circle of professional friends, but she left, she says, because when you are dying people come around and try to get your deathbed conversion.
Another member actually re-read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and then read "Go Set a Watchman." She feels that the South, or at any rate the society that Harper Lee writes about, has not changed very much from the time she describes.
Reading Clive James's mea culpa-ish piece in the Times Literary Supplement led me to these clips from You Tube: One last year and one at the height of his popularity.
An autodidact from Australia, Clive James migrated to Europe in the 60's and made a European out of himself, forcing his way into the popularizing intelligentsia as seen on the telly, with their casual facades and snarky ways. Though not a scholar, as he admits, he picked up a smattering of foreign languages and learned to talk very cleverly about people no one else had heard of, so he was thought of as highly intelligent, and he interviewed all the big cultural icons of the time.
Of course, Europeans were going in great numbers to live in Australia, as he mentions in the TLS article. He says if he had stayed in Australia, he would have made the cultural discoveries he sought, but he would not have "found himself." This is specious, of course, considering what kind of career he pursued as a common denominator cultural ambassador and publicity monger. He gloried in being a snarky bastard and unfaithful husband, and now he wants to be honored as a sweet old guy who loves his granddaughter.
This is the new death. It used to be that people just died. Now it's all a big important phase of life and on and on it goes, from the generation that never gives up.
Here is a fine thought from him:
...culture in itself could have no future without humanist values, even though any high-level creative effort works much more from a passion than from a principle.
Good lord, that is pretentious, even if you didn't consider the source!
And the less said about his poetry the better.
So there. Now I feel much better and can finish the League of Women Voters Newsletter. The longer I do this, the more I like it, as I learn new things about editing and publishing. The LWV National Convention is underway now in D.C., and one of our members is there to represent us.
This is one of those days when the best I can do is slog along. I'll be 77 end of this month, and my word of wisdom is: persist!
It helps to turn off the horrible news, national, international and local, and attend to the things close at hand that can be dealt with. The time is now. That's the thing about old age; it's a kind of perpetual emergency situation, because we old people don't have much time left. No matter how serene we may appear to be, in our minds time is racing and we know it will soon carry us away.
I was past annoyed at a blog that posted about a concert featuring the Rolling Stones, Niel Young, Bob Dylan, etc. complaining about how overpriced the tickets were and how they weren't going to let people in with chairs and blankets and so on. Some wag commented that they ought to call the Rolling Stones the Head Stones. This is the generation that never gives up. Trying to relive the not so glorious days of my youth in the company of others up in years does not entice me.
I went to my last music festival a several years ago, the Vancouver Folk Festival. This is a nice one, reasonably priced and attended by people of all ages, in a big park where people can move around, and something I really enjoyed and got into in the past, but these days I would much rather do other things.
But wait! The Festival does look good this year, and even with my bad ears there would be plenty to do and enjoy, especially if our children and grandchildren came along. Or maybe we could just go for one day. I did have some splendid times there. Highlights: Kate Clinton at her comic best, Michael Franti, Frank Chickens (funniest Japanese ladies ever), Shooglenifty doing a stunning set, Ani di Franco before she was famous and sounding so original then, Buffy St. Marie and her amazing stage show. Yes. We must go after all, I've decided. A foolish consistency, I always say. I might even get up and dance!
So I guess I'm also wandering down memory lane to excess.
Yes, I'm ready for that kind of fun after all! Crowds of Canadians are quite tolerable. The food is good there, too. Really nice. No junk.
So here is a pretty vanda orchid. I've got nine of them in bloom now.
We changed our League of Women Voters organizational setup, because no one could commit to being President. This is actually working very well. In my own case, I'm thinking more about our mission and what my job is, primarily to edit the Newsletter, instead of expecting the President to carry all the ultimate responsibility. I think I'm doing a much better job as a member as a result, and all of us are pitching in more as the need arises. We, in fact, are getting prodigious amounts of work done, even though most of us have a lot of other obligations.
It looks as if we will get some response out of the Congress on gun control, but there are millions of assault rifles out there. If people won't disarm, I don't know what we can do. Let's hope we don't end up like the countries we have invaded.
When we first came here 20 years ago, I could not understand why Cousin Susan's closest friends were the people who worked on her house Now I know why. We could not manage without our friend Jim, Mary's husband, and his work partner, who helped Terry repair the deck. They put the same kind of care into our house that they put into their own houses.
Susan's daughter, son in law and grandson are at our condo in Seattle now, using the hot tub and the barbecue and having a good time. We are pooperoos who mostly just go on walks, so I'm glad they are making use of those extras we pay for. The condo gets quite a bit of use, and that is good.