Category Archives: Blogs' Archive

Moving in Two Directions

I’ve often heard politics described as a pendulum, one side is in, then the other side rises, and back and forth it goes. It doesn’t feel like that today, and I mean literally today, not today in the sense of these days. It feels more like an ever widening chasm, growing bigger from the inside out.
On the good side, on the left side (which is the right side if right is used in the sense of “That’s right,” i.e. correct) a woman named India Walton won the Democratic primary and thus is almost guaranteed to be the next mayor of Buffalo, New York, the first socialist mayor of a major city since Bernie Sanders, and Buffalo is about 5 times the size of Burlington. She does not back away from the socialist label, not even a little bit. In her ideas and a bit in her attitude (O.K., I’d never heard of her before today, but I do get this impression) she reminds me a lot of AOC. AOC was a bartender. India Walton was a nurse, and an officer in the nurse’s union, before she turned to politics. Both ran against entrenched, complacent candidates who underestimated them. And both are very clear on where they stand. I’m very excited about this.
On the bad side, The Intercept has revealed that a U.S. Navy training manual identifies ‘socialists’ as a terrorist group. Seriously. That’s how much they hate us.

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Cuteness

I just totally binge-watched a 10 episode nature documentary on penguins. African penguins, aka Jackass penguins, from the sound of their braying, but there were a lot of scenes of them falling down stairs, or walking right through people’s sand castles, and other jackass behavior.
The narration (Patton Oswalt) was a bit heavy handed and corny, but the focus was on the penguins during their mating season sojourn in the lovely South African seaside town of Simon’s Town. They followed 3 or 4 penguin couples quite closely, and after the first episode it was easy to get into the lives of the Culverts (who were a young couple, their first mating season), the Bougainvilleas, who after about episode somewhere in the middle lost their mom, she swam off looking for fish and never returned, maybe a seal got her, so after that it was the story of a single dad penguin trying to raise two chicks, a very human story of struggle, and tough decisions, and sacrifice, the Wheelbarrows, an extremely prolific couple, and Lord and Lady Courtyard, who lived in the garden behind what seemed to be a quite luxurious home.
What can I say? If you love cute animal stuff, you should check it out, it’s called Penguin Town. If you don’t, then you wouldn’t like it.

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More on Teplice

One of the first signs that somebody is lying is when they change their story. There could be legit reasons, I suppose you always have to judge on a case by case basis, but at the very least one of their versions is untrue, and its still very possible that both of them are, because if they’ll lie once, they’ll lie twice.
Anyway, after the police killed that guy in Teplice yesterday (and would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those danged camera phones) by kneeling on his neck, they said that he died from drugs.
Today, the police released a video, which I guess they believe exonerates them, but it doesn’t. It shows the man, who is clearly not a member of society in good standing, lying on the sidewalk, shirtless and filthy. Some guy standing at a safe distance is saying something to him. He starts flailing around, and gets up, and starts heading toward the guy, who steps aside, and the derelict, homeless (yeah, maybe a Roma, too, but that’s really beside the point) guy goes over and starts pounding on the window of a parked car.
Not exemplary behavior, not a likeable character from what little we know. But that was no excuse for the police to murder him. Yet murder him they did.

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Tragedy in Teplice

I do love my adopted country, the land where I’ve lived for 23 years now, the forests, the parks, the ponds, lakes and rivers, the beautiful old buildings and the highly efficient public transportation. One thing I don’t like about the Czech Republic is how eager they are to be like Americans. Fast food outlets dot the freeways and dominate shopping malls throughout the country, and now the Czech police have taken things to a new and horrible extreme.
Yesterday, in Teplice (tep-lee-tzay), the police murdered a Gypsy man by kneeling on his neck. They say he was on drugs (likely true), but it is clear from the video that the police killed him. He was not in a comatose state, he was not overdosing. The police were called because he was in an argument with another man, who had the good sense to run away. Advice to all people: when you see the police coming, just run like hell. If they can’t catch you, they can’t kill you, and most of them are old and fat and can’t run very far.
I do hope the Czech courts do a better job of disciplining the officers involved than American courts do, but I’m not holding my breath. The racism against the gypsies is one of the ugliest aspects of life in the Czech Republic.
My condolences to the family and friends of the murdered man. Fuck the police.

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Keeping Cool

Human beings, being mammals, are warm blooded, which just means we have the same constant temperature, unlike lobsters, alligators, and such like, who are not bothered by extremes in the natural environment. A hot day like today doesn’t affect them a bit.
All of human history is an attempt to keep warm on cold days (fire, furs, and hot drinks) and to keep cool on hot ones. So, today my daughter suggested a trip to a cave, and never having been there before, and not having any good excuse not to spend time with my family, and also thinking it would be very cool, said sure.
And it was. A pleasant drive up with the AC on, a walk through a shady wood, and then the cave. The cave did have an underwater lake, some cool lighting, and some stalactites and stalagmites but a lot of the presentation was just the guide pointing her flashlight at some rock formations and saying, look, it looks like an eagle, or a German WWI helmet, or the Devil. Above all, though, it was cool, it was cool on a hot day, and that was the point.
Then we had some ice cream, and then we went to the cottage. They have an above ground pool but, the water supply being low, it was nowhere near full. Just a couple inches. We got in anyway and it was nice and cold.
Later on, after we’d dined on some grilled pork chops and sausages, I went to feed the scraps to the chickens, I got attacked by the rooster. Little bastard flew straight at me. I smacked him. He flew at me again, and I kicked him like a football. He backed off a bit and I backed away slowly. Everybody had a great laugh at the story, and apparently, I’m not the first person he has assaulted.
Over all, it was a pretty cool day.

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