Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I Don't Understand This, Either!

Suddenly It's Just Awful that families who are entering the U.S. illegally (note that word, folks) have been separated and put into separate holding facilities.
     Including older children who may have been sent separately in the first place, on purpose, figuring they could slip in when their adult parents could not.  (See further comments on this in a bit.)

Like you, I've heard all sorts of brouhaha from every celebrity on the planet, saying how terrible this is. One even had the temerity to announce that Barron Trump, poor kid, should be 'ripped from his mother's arms' and thrown into a cage of pedophiles.  (To his credit, Peter Fonda did apologize for being such a jerk. But he never should have said it in the first place.)

Even ex-President Obama got into mode, with a long Facebook post on World Refugee Day. Same subject -- how cruel to have families broken apart, we can use our votes to change things (hint, vote Democratic next time!)...and so on. What a noble gesture, right?

Except there's a problem. 

This policy didn't start with Trump -- it began in 2014, during President Obama's administration.

Families were put in detention centers while awaiting trial...in the same 'cages' and under the same conditions that Mr. Obama, and others are decrying now. (This was particularly the case for young migrants who came separately. Thousands of them.)

Trump's 'zero tolerance' policy, separating children from adults, has been going on since April 19. Why has it suddenly exploded into such a brouhaha? Is this a camouflage to keep our attention turned away from something else that's going on?

I know, I know. Way too suspicious for my own good. What about the recent North Korea summit meetings, that seem to have gone well? (God forbid that anyone admits anything the Trump administration did was effective.)

Perhaps the United Nations' frantic stance on Israel?

Hmmm.

At any rate, the outcry has worked. Today, President Trump signed papers reversing the separation part of the 'no tolerance' policy, after bipartisan pressure to do so. "I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated," the president said.

I don't, either, if they really were little kids. That's heartless. This article mentions more than 2,300 children being separated...but then says 'more than 100' were under four years old. Awful....glad that's not happening anymore. 

But what about the other 2,200+ kids? How old, really, were they? (No doubt there were some slightly older, but the photos show an awful lot of teenagers.) See the Border Patrol's statement on this subject, suggesting that some of these kids are showing up because they've largely been 'immune from prosecution.'  In other words, they can slip through and go on to foster care in the U.S. Paid for, of course, by us -- the U.S. taxpayers.

Double hmmmm.

So now we're back to the Obama plan: holding families jointly while they're waiting for trial. (In other words, they're still being prosecuted for attempting to enter the States illegally. Same as other presidents' administrations have been doing for ages.)

And when they're deported, the kids and the adults get sent back. Together.

Let's see ex-President Obama, and his raft of celebrities, blame Trump for that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Yet Even More Things I Don't Understand

Gentle Readers, you know how much I enjoy a good story. Some are stranger than others, though. Here's the latest installment in You Know What. 
      Enjoy.




Anna Sorokin -- or, as we know her better, Anna Delvey -- turns down a plea deal of 3-9 years in prison, because she wanted a 1-3 year deal, instead. Now she gets to go to trial, with a max of 15 years as a possibility. 

     “I see no remorse,” Justice Diane Kiesel told Anna Sorokin, 27, who sauntered into court wearing black-rimmed glasses, a makeshift white headband and a prison-issue sweatsuit.
“She seems more concerned about who is going to play her in the movie than what she’s done to the people she allegedly took advantage of,” said Kiesel in Manhattan Supreme Court... calling the defense lawyer’s request for one to three years “a mere slap on the wrist for a crime this serious.”

Other grifters abound, so much so that one writer calls this "The Summer of Scam," even though the plots go way back to 2015 and before. Like William Baekeland, who said he was an heir to the Bakelite inventor's fortune, and weasled more than $800,000, ostensibly to arrange exotic luxury trips for people. (He wasn't...and he didn't.)

The Fyre Festival promoter comes in for a bow, too. He even managed to scam more people for fake tickets while he was out on bail for the original mess.  (He says it wasn't his fault -- his girlfriend and an employee did the dirty deed.)

Or another interesting entrepreneur -- Elizabeth Holmes, the college student who built a blood testing company, Theranos, into a huge success. (Only it didn't do what it said.) Now she and her co-founder have been indicted for fraud.


In both Holmes' and Delvey's cases: I did not realize, until I'd been researching quite a bit, how often both women resorted to an innocent wide-eyed pose in photos. We saw a similar big starey-eyed look from someone in our circle...whenever, it turned out, she was lying to us.


See what I mean?  Anna Delvey, via a fascinating article in thecut.com

The glamour model who says she was brainwashed by ISIS...via Facebook. "I liked the attention," she explained." That ranks right up there with 'Dr. Love,' the 20-year-old who ran his own medical clinic...and just got sentenced to a year in prison for it.  Turns out he was actually up to more shenanigans, including trying to buy a Jaguar.  Using an elderly relative's credit, which he'd already rifled the day before for two IPads and a cellphone. (His attorney praised his "entrepreneurial spirit." Go figure. His grandpa said at least he had "good intentions.")

The passenger who forced EVERYONE on a Spirit flight to get off...because she refused to.  She was late, but ran past an employee and got on, anyways. She announced that she never used swear words...right after she reeled off a bunch. And, my favorite, showed her lack of bias by racially insulting other passengers as they got off. Because of her.
     Oh yes, and taped it all. (Conveniently stopping just before she, according to the police, kicked the arresting officer in the groin. She says he beat on her, instead.)
      Whoo boy.

A South Korean bitcoin exchange announces that (oops) $32 million of its bitcoins have just plain disappeared over the past few days. But that's ok -- the company will make it up out of 'its own funds.' Sure, it will.



Threw away more salad greens from the wedding than I'd care to admit

 Harvey Weinstein has pled not guilty. What did you expect? (No doubt Oprah will be a no-show as a character witness, in spite of all his hopes.) 

Chicken bullies.  There you go.


...or eat frog's legs. We have a friend, Ben Madrid, who thinks this way.



A caller phones into the Art Bell radio show... a very frantic caller. If he's right -- and Bell certainly thought he was credible -- it has some very scary implications for the government, Area 51 and aliens in general. Listen to the tape, and see what you think.


The Brick once worked at Buckley Air Force Base, known as the location of the 'golf balls' to locals. One man who also worked there alleged that 'we' were communicating with aliens regularly. (From Mars, I believe.) I asked the Brick if he'd seen anything like that. 'You have GOT to be kidding,' he said.


Why not just put a fried egg applique around the kid's head?


And if you're still not satisfied, there's always:


Good 'ol Kathy Griffin, still as obnoxious as ever. Makes you feel proud, don't it?

For more of same, go here. And here.  And here. Here too.  And this one, as well.  It never ends.


Thanks for Pinterest for most of the weird photos and memes...

Monday, June 18, 2018

Yikes!


Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Tunnel Vision

    One of the benefits of writing my book this year was bumping into a great book about the tunnels underneath our cities. The Tunnels Under Our Feet covers a wide range of Colorado spots, including several where I was prowling, as well. I'm looking forward to Tracy Beach's second book-in-progress on the subject. 
     Remarkable.



Meanwhile:

A report on this year's Mile High Mystery Conference, held in May. (Wish I could have been there.)



How a chihuahua broke open a scandal for Native American I.D. cards. 

"What's the biggest scam you've ever seen?" A Quora question with fascinating answers. I'd still nominate the IRS phone call scam -- I've lost count of the times I've been threatened with arrest and worse via phone call. (Btw, the IRS does NOT call you. They send mail, instead.)

Jerry Lewis was a dedicated gun collector! And said to be one of the fastest draws in Hollywood...go figure. His collection is now up for grabs, apparently.

Summer doldrums - how he's dealing with them.  (From Tight-Fisted Miser)

One of the best comeback lines ever -- from Sarah Paulson, about the decades-age difference between herself and partner Holland Taylor:

“If anyone wants to spend any time thinking I’m strange for loving the most spectacular person on the planet, then that’s their problem."

The 30 MILLION DOLLAR ewer. Yow. (It is interesting...but 30 million?? Obviously, at least one appraiser thought so.)

A Banksy painting, taken from a Toronto art exhibit. See if you recognize the thief.

Tiny house, big views. A tour of a Washington state summer retreat.  (From Dwell)



Artifacts stolen from the Chugach Indian tribe in Florida are finally returned -- more than a century later.

30 movie performances that were Plan B.  Or C...or just plain desperation moves. You'll be surprised at some of these...others, not so much.  (From Cracked)

What happens when you don't slow down for a toll plaza? This guy shows it...and it ain't pretty. (Everybody survived, thankfully.)

The three-legged stool: keeping your investments inflation and depression-proof.  (From Coach Carson)

Restaurant-style pasta with three cheese sauce. Oooh.  (From Penniless Parenting)

Kourtney Kardashian's 'detox water.'  Hey, why not...

Six ways to pay off debt -- and keep from falling back into it again. A classic from yours truly. Plus:

15 very cool glowstick hacks -- including a way to recharge them.  (From How Does She)

Fifteen ways to make popsicles!   This might come in handy, considering how hot it's been lately.

Lasagna-stuffed chicken. Perfect for a high-protein, low-pasta diet. (From the Stay At Home Chef)





Where will you pay the most (or least) in retirement taxes?  States you'll want to know about.

Stupid thief fails.  These would almost be funny, if they weren't robbing people and businesses...and sometimes getting away with it, no doubt.



Breaking the 'rules' -- in some very creative ways.

$2.5 mil value in WWII cash -- found under the floorboards of an old tailor's shop Winston Churchill used to patronize!

A Big Mac Salad? Yummm. (From Successful Homemakers)





Ten cases of liberal hypocrisy.  Hey, send me 10 conservative cases, and I'll include them, too!  (From Listverse)
     My personal favorite: Michael Moore, who, during their divorce, made a huge stink over his wife's quilt collection.  For specifics, go here if you're curious. (She used to go to the same Crazy quilting conferences I was teaching at, though I never personally met her.)

Have a great week.





Saturday, June 16, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Free Speech - with Respect

     Well, Gentle Readers...

Yesterday, I posted a bunch of updates on stories I've been mentioning to you.

Deadbeat sons.

Body cam revelations.

People wearing uniforms -- and not.

Dogfights!  (Charley and Ruby do get into it on occasion.)

Stuff like that.

But the biggest bunch of comments, by far, was on the Colorado baker whose decision not to make a wedding cake was upheld by the Supreme Court.  

I haven't been accused of being a paranoid bigot yet, for supporting this guy's decision -- but it's come close.

All memes from Pinterest, by the way


HERE'S THE STRUGGLE.

We live, thank God, in a free country. One where we are allowed to express our opinions and beliefs without fear of arrest or reprisal. We are allowed to worship as Christians, Jews and Muslims -- even Druids -- without the worry that someone will appear in mid-service to drag us off to the slammer, just for going to church.

That's happening now, in other countries. Today. People are dying because they refuse to renounce their faith. Christians have been especially targeted for this...not that American Christians have noticed that much. After all, we don't have to worry about it.






Freedom. The freedom to speak openly. Live openly.

That means that a well-respected actor can shoot his mouth off ABOUT THE PRESIDENT...in a very public place...and still not get arrested when he leaves for the night.

Yep, good for you, Robert DeNiro. Way to publicly act like a jerk. Go ahead and disagree with Trump -- plenty of people do. Couldn't you do it with more class?

(Actually, President Trump could have handled his response to this boorishness with a little more tact, too. Goes both ways.)





That's the blessing -- and curse -- of free speech. As long as it isn't threatening people, you can say what you want. But you're also held responsible for what you say -- esepecially when your actions back those words up.

Tough to handle. 

It means that people in our good 'ol U.S. of A. are allowed to make statements designed to incense and horrify -- and do it openly. I feel this way whenever a white supremacist group sets up shop on the Denver capitol steps for a sunny day of hatemongering.

Not everyone is going to agree with whatever you think -- no matter what it is, or how much you think they should.  (As the Brick sarcastically puts it to the naysayers: "It's only free speech when  I'm the one saying it.")

And you're going to have to live with that.





HERE'S THE KEY: 

Can you listen to what others say, disagree with them...and still show respect?

No insults. Temper tantrums. Curse words. Giving them the finger. Stomping out. Gutting them out on social media...particularly with statements you know aren't true. Filing complaints -- or lawsuits -- because you didn't get what YOU personally wanted. 

Romans 12: 17-18 puts it in a very interesting way:

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.

 Do I do it all the time? Nope -- wish I did. But I try. And we certainly tried to teach our girlies to live it. (Sadly, both the Brick and I got plenty of doses of prejudice, growing up -- but we were fortunate to both have parents who generally refused to act that way.)

AND A CAVEAT:

You can say it. But you'll also be held responsible for whatever you say. 

So please, make it respectful. That's half the battle. The other half: choosing your words carefully, and living by them.

Let's go back to the case of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker. 

Would I have made the wedding cake for the same-sex couple? 

Yes. I have friends I care about who are gay. Cousins, too. Would I have made cakes for them? Sure.

       But I will also defend his right to be able to say, with respect, "no."






Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Updates

Every once in a while, I enjoy giving you updates. Especially on the weird and unusual that I report. There's been a lot of it lately. 

By the way, Father's Day is on the cusp! Here are a bunch of restaurant specials for Dad, in case you're thinking of going out. 

===========================

BAKER, BAKER, CANDLESTICK MAKER:  
Remember the case of the Denver baker who wouldn't make a wedding cake for a gay couple? 

The Supreme Court just ruled... in his favor.  Not only that -- they rebuked Colorado's Civil Rights Commission for trampling all over his religious rights. (More details here, if you're curious.)
      Not that that matters, of course, in terms of getting his lost income and business back. Or his life for the past five years.  (To get a little taste of what he's been through, try this.)

Because he doesn't -- and won't -- get any of that back. 

Was he treated with the same respect the gay couple acknowledged he showed them? Or did they storm out, flipping him off and cursing at him, like he said?

What do you think?

I hope he's making wedding cakes again.
        (Just checked -- he isn't. Yet. But his birthday and specialty cakes are incredible.)



Mike Keefe's 6/6/18 cartoon from the Denver Post on the subject. The answer: yes. Yes, he could.
That's his right-- as long as it's done politely, with respect.  Plenty of other fish in the sea, bakery-wise.

Another case, this one on flower arrangements, is currently on the Supreme Court's doorstep, waiting to see if they agree to hear it.

==========================

THE DEADBEAT SON:

This guy kills me -- the thirty-something son whose longsuffering parents had to go to court to evict him. The judge agreed -- but our hero said he couldn't leave, because he didn't have the money for boxes and tape! Then he said he didn't know how to pack up his stuff.  And his folks were Being Mean, because they tried to talk to him. (I am not making this up. I wish I were.)


   
     He finally left, 2 1/2 hours before the official deadline. (Big of him.). And he's finally got a job deserving of his vast talents: viewing and picking out suitable photos and videos for Mr. Skin, a porn website. Oh boy. Just in time to keep him from going to jail for not supporting his kid. (He says he can't pay, because he has no money. His ex-girlfriend says he's been paying for storage for years -- in an amount far more than the miniscule amount he was required to pay for his child.)  Fortunately, the judge in the child support case doesn't seem inclined to put up with his crap.

This guy enjoys being in the limelight -- I'm guessing we haven't seen the last of him. 


=====================================

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE
            (OR MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT):

Now for my favorite irony of the past month or so: the wonderful Sherita Dixon-Cole, who accused a cop of sexually abusing her -- when nothing happened. Plus Shaun King, the fine 'black' activist who took her side, without bothering to find out whether she spoke the truth.



They've both admitted they were wrong, right? (King did...sort of. Kinda.)
    Given sincere apologies to the police officer they both slandered?

Naaahhhh.

So what does Sherita Dixon-Cole get, for making all those horrible accusations?

Absolutely nothing.

No charges will be filed because, says the DA, she didn't make an 'official' police report. (She just griped to an officer, instead.) Then she marched off to find a lawyer -- who went to find Shaun King.

Now these individuals are trying hard to act like nothing happened. 

But it did.

=====================================

WANT TO GET AWAY? 

How about Europe? 

I am loving this blogger's report on the recent trip she took with her family. Here's the Paris section of the trip.  Just check earlier posts for the rest of the trip. (Thanks for taking us with us, Living Rich on the Cheap.)


(Pinterest-Instagram)

==================================

CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN:

Charlotte Fox found dead -- the indefatiguable climber died recently. If you're wondering who this is, she was one of the people who survived that horrible May 1996 storm on Everest. Jon Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air, was a bestseller on the subject. Some of Charlotte's memories about her experience are here. 



Did you know that the bodies of Scott Fischer and Rob Hall, two of the guides who died, are still on Everest? (I believe they're still in position where the men died...along with a bunch more bodies. Don't click on the link, if you don't want to see them.) If you're curious about this, here's an illuminating article.

Ironically, Fox -- the climber who managed to stagger back to camp, when others didn't -- seems to have died by falling down the stairs at her house.
     Weird.

=========================================

EASING UP ON YOURSELF -- AND OTHERS:

I've been tough on the Frugalwoods, criticizing the Mrs. for being too uptight and controlling. I'm glad to see that she's been considering this, too -- and isn't as rigid as she sometimes comes across. It helps to realize that if she's judging people, they're probably judging her, in return. Good for her.

======================================

COOL STUFF ON THE ROYALS:

Queen Elizabeth's birthday and Prince Harry's wedding have been fun to think about lately. A few things seemed puzzling, though -- and your intrepid correspondent is here to clear them up.

Why did Princess Anne wear a uniform, instead of a dress, to her mom's event at the Trooping of the Colours? 



(Here's the full version, by the way. Grab a cup of tea and a biscuit -- it's going to be a while.)



Because the Guard that did the Trooping was HER guard. In fact, she was echoing what her mother had also done, decades before.

Also:
41 royal wedding details you might have missed   Lots of fun stuff here.


=======================================
WOOF! UPDATE:

Ruby, our new puppy, is starting to learn the ropes. Charley often lets her get away with stuff -- then, with one big woof, her puts her back in her place.
    We've been training her, too. It's going well...but it's not always easy.



'I'll pretend I ddn't hear that, Mom...I'm still in charge. Right?'


====================================
And finally:

THE 'SOCIALITE' -- WHO WASN'T:

Anna Delvey had plenty of money -- friends and influence, while it lasted, too. The only problem: she never had it in the first place.  Sadly, she got away with the charade for years.

Now the Hollywood people who admired her are planning on making a movie about her life. Go figure.

One can only hope that she's forced to cough up ALL the money she gets, to the institutions she cheated. Not to mention the girl who covered a boatload of her debt, and is now stuck with that shortfall:



==========================

See all the exciting stuff you get, for hanging around on this blog...





I Don't Understand This, Either!

Suddenly It's Just Awful that families who are entering the U.S. illegally (note that word, folks) have been separated and put into sep...