Follow Up

I get frustrated that the world does not work the way it should.  When clearly guilty people do not get charged (i.e. police caught on  camera murdering people), when good ideas get  ignored (why aren’t driverless cars all over the roads already?  Why aren’t all  supermarket parking lots covered with solar panels?  Why don’t all schools  have vegetable gardens?) or when news stories of tremendous import just disappear, without any resolution (nobody talks about Guantanamo any more – but it still exists)

There are a couple  of others in that category that I wonder about.  Whatever happened about that list of over 200 stars which were sending out weird signals, which were discovered by two scientists (Bora and Trottier) at a university in Canada?  If it was pigeon poop on  the radio telescopes, I want to know.  If it turns out that’s just a normal signal for a star that  size (about the size  of ours), I want to know.  And if it’s actually TV programming from an alien species which  has already colonized over 200 planets, I sure as hell want to know.
And what ever happened to that guy who walked off with a big box full of money from the back of a truck in New York City.  I don’t remember ever reading about  him getting caught, or turning himself in.  So, if he got away with it, isn’t that a story?  Hell, that would make a good movie.  Any number of them, really, since everything after the incident is just speculation.  In any event, if nothing more is known, then THAT is the story.

Then there is the fraud lawsuit against the DNC, which got almost no press coverage from the beginning, but there’s certainly been  no word for  the last couple  of months, and there’s no excuse for it.  There are obviously no legal grounds to dismiss the case, the  DNC’s argument for that was ridiculous.
So, what I suspect is, the judge is faced with a dilemma.  Rule in  favor of the Becks and  go ahead with a lawsuit that could expose dirty deals on an international scale and possibly murder for hire, destroy the Clintons and many of their sycophants, and change American politics forever, or buckle under to the pressure you know is being put on him (or her) and dismiss the case, with no good reason whatsoever, and leave your judicial reputation forever besmirched.
So, he (or she) is just putting it off as long as possible, hoping everyone will forget.
We’re not forgetting.

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Back in Prague

We’re back in Prague, got home a couple  of hours ago.  It feels good to write  this blog sitting in my regular chair, and I’m happy to get back  to my  regular routine, or  hopefully I can  improve on that a bit, since my regular routine this summer has been, when not  actually traveling, to sit around  the flat and do nothing all  day excepte hang out on facebook and watch TV and maybe smoke a joint or two.

But my list of things to do for the summer is long, including getting the book of poems I  have ready published, getting all of my poetry added  on to  my  website, developing a new  game for  English lessons, printing up some new flashcards, and maybe working out a couple of puppet routines, a couple of other writing projects, and losing some weight.

Action, inaction, the eternal struggle.

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Another Trip Over, Another Trip Done

Tonight is our last night in Krakow,  the mini-vacation comes to an  end.  It has been a  very intense three days of sights and sensations (Poles consider borscht, or barsht as they call  it, to be something you drink, not eat, so, even  though it is soup, they serve it in a cup with no spoon), but today was so bloody hot I am knocked out, woozy, and ready to head home.

The trip highlights  will be  filed  in the memory bank – the park that completely encircles the  Old Town  Square, or rather the 3 squares that make  up the Old Town Square, the Salt Mine, the fruit and  vegetable market, the fire breathing dragon at Wawel castle, my niece asking me “Why do you always speak English with your family?” and the English lesson that followed, the ice cream, the ice cream that makes the heat bearable and the tensions of herding a bunch of little kids around a crowded tourist town fade away, and more.

Tomorrow we’ll leave  here about  10 a.m., should  be in the Czech Republic in just a couple of hours and back  home in Prague by tomorrow night.
But, if anybody reading this  is thinking of visiting Krakow – I totally recommend it, this is an awesome city.

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The Salt Mine and More

I did not know what to expect from the Wieliczka Salt Mine tour, so  I guess my expectations were met and exceeded.  It was my mother-in-law’s idea.  I was kind of thinking ‘eh, this is going to be boring, let’s get it over with.’
What I didn’t expect was what a big deal it was.  The crowd looked like the crowd at JFK airport, except the line moved even slower.  A family ticket was 161 zlotys, which is about 40 bucks, which I would have balked at but, we were there, that was the plan for the day and, like I said, my mother-in-law was looking forward to this part of the trip.

Whether or not it was worth  it depends on  your definition of worth it, but they sure tried to give you your money’s worth, credit where it’s due.  There are different chambers with different salt statues, Nicholas Copernicus in one, Goethe in another, a group of elves in another, some miners in one carrying torches and they did some special effects, 3 chambers with pools of water, a diorama on salt mining 6,000 years ago which had nothing to do with the place at all, a huge Cathedral chamber which rivals actual Cathedral’s in both size and elaborateness of statuary, and a sort of surreal and scary elevator ride at the end.
Three hours, and when we came out it was pouring rain.  We went for lunch at a restaurant not far from there, the prices were much less than last night’s dinner, you just have to get away from the tourist center.  We were home about 4 or 5 and I was ready for a nap, but didn’t get much time for that, as everybody else was ready to go out again.  Saw Wawel (pronounced Vavel) castle, which was seriously impressive.  It reminded me a lot of Prague Castle, the situation and the views, except there was a lot of green in the main courtyard.  Then a bit of a walk along the river, by the fire breathing dragon and the giant bubble makers, then a quick hike back over to Old Town Square, then I went for a walk with Helena to explore the center a bit further (it is an amazing city for impressive old buildings; it is the equal of Prague in that respect and that is saying a lot) while the others got an ice cream, then we went for dinner at a restaurant in our temporarily adopted neighborhood.  The food was great, the atmosphere suitably Polish, with long, wooden tables and bench seating, but the service was comically bad.  The waiter was a nice guy and all, but all I wanted was a piece of apple cake and he had to be reminded of it several times.
That’s my blog for tonight.  I am all touristed out.

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Day 1 – Arrival in Krakow

So far, Krakow is totally living up to its  reputation as being a gorgeous city.  We could  see that as we drove around, lost, trying to find  our Air BnB accomodations.  A river runs through it and there appear to  be  nice riverwalks on both sides, and some interesting buildings.
After finding our place and moving in (parking was kind of a nightmare, it’s a seriously crowded  street, and not entirely  free, as we’d understood, but free evenings and weekends, so no big deal), we went out exploring.  I was a bit surprised to learn that out of our party of 10, no one had been to Krakow before and two of them (my  mother-in-law and my wife’s cousin) are Polish.  So, a new experience for  all  of us.

Found a restaurant pretty  quick and Helena decisively herded  us in, which was smart, because otherwise the ‘where to eat?’ debate could have taken hours.  The food was pretty  good, I thought, and the prices reasonable, and the service friendly.  Then we stopped for an ice cream after and the ‘small’ scoop  was, in the words  of  the dad  character in ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer,’ “friggin huge.”
We made our way to old town square, which impressed me as being bigger than Pragues, and there were some people making giant bubbles to entertain the kids, and there is this long, palatial building with an arcade along the front which I thought was exceptionally beautiful, as beautiful buildings go, and  we walked through it, inside is a long hall  of souvenir shops, and out the other side… to Old Town Square 2!  A bit smaller, but not  much, and a lot going on.   More bubbles, balloon guys, a juggler, a wedding happening up on a terrace of aforesaid long building, statues, and  the horses  and carts, but  that  was 150 zlotys for 15 minutes and we thought that was a bit much.
Tomorrow, we’re off to the Salt Mines.  Seriously, that’s not a figure of speech, we’re going to visit a salt mine.

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Off to Poland

We’re leaving for Krakow tomorrow  early  in  the  morning.  When Helena told  me 5 o’clock I was thinking she meant 5 o’clock in the afternoon and here it’s after midnight she tells me, no, we’ve got to be up in a few  hours.

So, for the next couple of days this  is likely to be more of a travel blog than my  usual political rants, which I know most people prefer.  Those of us who like to  argue politics, like those of us  who are interested in writing poetry, tend to forget that the vast majority  of people care more about the weather, and that’s not  because  they really care about  the  weather, either, they spend all their time indoors.

But, Donna Brazile said something seriously stupid today, and since I really don’t like Donna Brazile (chairman of the DNC between Wasserman – Schultz and Perez, a mere place holder  between placeholders, and the woman who gave Hillary Clinton the debate questions in advance) I’m going to take this opportunity to make fun of her for it.

I don’t  know what the original  question was, undoubtedly something about Russia, because that’s all Donna Brazile and her  friends ever talk about, and in her reply she said ‘the communists.’  When  the questioner pointed out that Russia hasn’t been communist for quite some time, like more than two decades, she said something like “doesn’t matter, they don’t call  it the KGB any more, either.”

Now, there is some reason for those in the West to be alarmed at Russia – their obvious agression against Ukraine, their sneakily moving the Georgia border a little further into Georgia in the middle of the damned night, stuff like that, but being confused about what kind of government they  have, well, that’s just stupid.
If they are still communists, Donna, why do  they have  so many billionaires who keep coming to America to make real estate  deals  with guys like Trump?
It’s not  really a big deal.  Donna Brazile  is not actually  in any  position of  importance at the moment.  And I hope she never is.  That’s why I’m writing this.

 

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People are Stupid

People are stupid.  People are horrible.  We hear it all the time.  People are so stupid!  Why can’t they use their turn signals?  Why don’t they leash their dogs?  Why do they say they’ll be there when they won’t?  Why don’t they vote like me?
It’s really kind of a silly thing to say, since we’re all people.  So, you can’t  say ALL people are stupid.  First of all, that would be including yourself, and second, that would be including people like Noam Chomsky and Stephen Hawking, who very clearly are not.
To say “all people are stupid” is not like saying “all Southerners are stupid” or “all Trump supporters are stupid” where you do have some evidence, but given the numbers involved there are still certain to be some exceptions.

“People are stupid” is just a stupid thing to say.  Compared to who?  The lizard cactus people of planet Xxgloroth?  We don’t know, do we.  Other species on our own planet.  Yes, I know they say dogs are intelligent, and apes, and dolphins, and pigs, but it’s not the same thing, is it?
A pig has no concept of history, or any idea what a star actually is, apes may have primitive tools but they haven’t invented the wheel or the steam engine yet, none of those species have a written alphabet and I know some people say dolphins have language, but I’ll bet it amounts to ‘water, water, water, water, hey, fish!’

Compared to that, humans are smart like crazy.  Compared to some of the beings we’ve seen on Star Trek, we’re thick as two short planks.

We are what we are.  Average IQ 100.  Some people a bit higher, some a bit lower.

It’s a bit like when people say ‘things have never been worse.’  Yes, they have.  We argue about health insurance, but most of us aren’t too worried about the plague.  We’ve got wars in Syria and Afghanistan but back in the early 40s it was half the world.  They’ve been better, though, too.

And will be both better and worse in the future.
And now I’m rambling.  End blog.

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