Quiet summer

Quiet summer
Nary a ripple

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

“Taxation without representation!” And, the people rose.

Today's Tids Issue 3,627
Tids for Rebounding:

Brexit came along at just about the worst time ever. Wall Street gets spooked easily, and that is exactly what we investors did not need as we are on the cusp of 2nd Q earnings reporting’s season. One of the major problems festering as busy execs try to report their best is what I call accounting exhaustion. There are no tricks left to bolster the appearance of lackluster earnings after months and even years of employing creative accounting to squeeze out acceptable bottom lines for mediocre performances. So with Brexit making us skitterish we have to hope that accounting geniuses have one more trick up their sleeve to get us thought the summer.  

Personally, I believe the Brexit factor will be short lived.

Hillary said: “If you are under investigation by the FBI you should not be able to buy a gun.” So, if you are under investigation by the FBI, does that also mean you should be barred from running for President?

Now we have to wonder how many sleazy politicians will skate using the SC reversal of the Former Va Gov Bob McDonnell bribery case. The esteemed judges may have been talking about justifiable evidence, but the average citizen employing the highly reliable “Walk like a duck, talk like a Duck” standard will throw the bums out every time. Creeps.

The Question:
What was the name of the airline that first gave us regular trans-Atlantic air travel? Bonus: Name the losing Dems and Repubs in the last 15 US Presidential races.

The Headlines:
--Futures Pointed To Strong Market Opening; Dow Up near 190 In Mid Morning.
--SC Strikes Down Texas Abortion Clinic Law 5-3.
--Pope Says Gays And Others Marginalized By Church Deserve Apology.
--Legendary Coach Pat Summit Dies; Outspoken, Defensive Genius Football Coach Buddy Ryan Dies – Was Dad Of NFL Coaches Rex And Rob.
--Kerry Says Putin’s Russia Harassing US Diplomats In Ever Increasing Frequency.
--Trump Dropping “Muslim” From Immigration Ban Strategy.

If you buy a new car and the clock is set to BST (Brexit Summer Time), does that mean it is destined to be a lemon?

I’ve decided two things: 1. To avoid committing to voting until after the conventions. 2. To concentrate on ways to be sure Repubs get the House and Senate. If the Hill sneaks in, Gridlock will be an absolute necessity to preserve the union.

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are looking very good to me right about now.

I’d be a buyer in the British economy that no longer is forced to bail out Greece every couple of years.

If Hillary and Elizabeth Warren continue campaigning together, I may turn into a violent male chauvinist instead of my usual warm and cuddly self. And I think a lot of women would join me!

Every time the national scene seems bleak, somebody in your community steps to do something great; to which everybody can cheer and feel the local pride. Over here in RI we have Elizabeth Biesel, a really nice young woman, a swimmer who just made her third Olympics.

It seems that regularly I read that Tim Teebow is stepping up to do something for somebody else, or saving somebody from something.

Maybe Greece and Puerto Rico could merge. Greece likes islands. Banana Ouzo could be a big seller if they could find anybody to work in the factories.

Duh News Headline of the Week, Department:
“Democrat Benghazi Report Absolves Hillary.” Why would media report things like that, unless it’s a headline for The Onion.

Brexit reminds me of times being in a violent, life threatening storm while sailing, only to find it ending as fast as it arose, becoming a meteorological vacuum and entirely becalmed. Just put a bandade on the scratches and sip some scotch, and wait for a wind that will carry you home.

A reader reminds me that the “problem we have is that 47% of Americans who pay zero federal income tax are voting to on what to charge everybody else.”

In case you are interested, The EU has not been the reason for a peaceful Europe since 1945, The US Led NATO has.

The Parking Lot: Chapter 65.
   Nancy’s heart stopped after receiving the call from Jared about what Fred told the Howland’s giant discourager. The worst news was that he made a call to someone before he and Fred went outside to meet the waiting Jared.
   Nancy ran down the stairs of their Newport safe house two steps at a time, jumped in the car, started the motor which also ignited a blaring radio which had a local station frenetically reporting news of a violent beating in the “quiet” village of Sakonnet. It said the man was near death.
    It took her about 15 minutes shorter than normal to reach the edge of the lake in Northeast section of town. Jared was on the shore, her boat pulled out and ready to roar to that island containing everything about the Hicks family history and land ownership.
   She stood on the water’s edge alert to other noises coming from across the water. Nothing sounded threatening, just normal voices from camps on darkened coves. Morning would be coming shortly, and this pre dawn dark would serve them well. With her panic subsiding a little, she realized that the people Cliff the Monster talked to would probably not be able to react as fast as she and Jared. Until, maybe they heard news reports about their beaten man.
   She took a deep breath and got back to rational thinking. That was interrupted by the vision of Fred’s hopeless eyes staring up from the bottom of the boat. She reached down and grabbed his collar, lifteing him up with a serious jerk. ”I’m not going to hurt you Fred, I’m just going to kill you fast. But if you piss on my boat I’ll make it long and torturous.
   “Sorry, Nance,” came the feeble reply, “I couldn’t stand no more beatings again.” TheNacy realized fred had been through a lot for them.

The Answer:
Pan Am began regular Trans-Atlantic air service with a flight from NYC to Marseille France in 1939 (Note there were many airlines (TWA, Trans Canada, BOAC , Air France, Pan Am) vying for regular flights and many flew earlier on a test run basis, but this flight is acknowledged as signature moment for regular service. Bonus: The losing Presidential candidates in the last 20 races have been Romney, McCain, Kerry, Gore, Dole, GHW Bush, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, Ford, McGovern, Humphrey, Goldwater, Nixon, Stephenson (2), Dewey (2), Wilkie and Landon.

It’s true, in the aftermath of recent events The Queen and fine English ladies everywhere are putting a little something extra in their afternoon tea. Yes, Iceland’s soccer win over UK has dwarfed the English angst over Brexit.

There’s always something.

I’m ready for a little rain.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Free Zantac for all. Or, is that Zoloft?

Today's Tids Issue 3,626
Tids for a Quiet Place:

I like to keep my heart from pounding
So I avoid politicians expounding.
Their untruths are particularly astounding
Their principles significantly confounding
And those words people hear resounding,
Are not what our Fathers were founding.

People have been killing each other since the beginning of time back when they only had rocks to throw. You’d think that by now in this new, supposedly highly civilized world we’d have begun to find a solution to mitigate aberrant human behavior. There are, unfortunately no safe havens from violent aggression – in schools, on sports fields, in offices, and yes, neighborhoods and homes, peaceful fields with daisies waving in soft gentle breezes. Nowhere.. People just seem to like to take opposing sides, and too often we are seeing violence as the only way to victory.

Whenever I have a muscle ache in my back or hips, I just go out to the car and sit in my heated seats.

Lead Zeppelin is a soft metal band.

The Question:
Who are considered the Top 10 Bluegrass bands and artists? Bonus: Name what are considered the top 5 Bluegrass Festivals.

The Headlines:
--Japan, China Markets Up; Brexit May Not Be Disaster Financial Event; US Futures Lower But No In Panic Mode.
--Trump Swoons In June: New NBC/WSJ Poll Has Hill Up by 5 Points; Post/ABC Poll Has Hill Up By 12; Trumperino Adding Negatives On Daily Basis.
--Iraq Proclaims Victory Over ISIS in Fallujah.
--Obama Declares WVa Major Disaster: PGA Cancels Greenbriar Tournament After Devastating Floods.

Sometimes it’s tough being conservative. You feel the hardships of others; you see the struggles, you weep at the setbacks and tragedies. Yet you know that keeping standards high, that reaching up requires reaching down to he depths of personal resources. But it’s there. It is always there. And to take away that challenge is as cruel a thing as you can do to another human.

A young black girl named Patience Adegboyega who came to the USA from Nigeria as a child, just graduated high school as valedictorian and said, “I don’t understand entitlement, If you don’t work for something why are you entitled to anything? Waiting for success just to show up is never going to happen.”

One of the more melodic, soothing orchestral pieces is the tone poem Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss. It means “A Heroes Life. In 1899 German critics said of it – “As Revolting a picture of this revolting young man as one may ever encounter.”; and another “The climax of everything that is ugly, cacophonous, blatant and erratic; the most perverse music I have ever heard in my life.” Hmmm so, what do I know? Well maybe something. In 1900 The NY Times critic wrote: “There are passages that are true, glorious, overwhelming beauty…”. And, at the British premiere in 1902 ,”Wonderfully Beautiful. I guess if isn’t Wagner, Bach or Beethoven the Germans aren’t interested.

I don’t expect that we’ll see Disney execs wearing LaCoste shirts these days.

Maybe athletes are turning to flat brim over curved brim hats so photogs can get better pics of their faces.

With high tech fashion exhibits now at Boston’s MFA and New York’s Met, there is a movement to equate fashion with art like ceramics and painting. I wonder if that includes the amazing eclectic outfits of day tripping tourists? Maybe in the Grafitti category.

When you think about it, politicians and advertising thrive by creating an environment of jealousy and envy, and that is not good for general, all-around harmony. All it does is lead to waste, angst and anger.

Did you hear about Tony Robbins and his latest motivational fiasco. In an effort to help people conquer their fears, he convinced a large group of believers to walk on hot coals. This was not good for the ObamaCare trust fund as many were rushed to the hospital with nasty burns. Well, one thing is for sure, he has made me fear of walking on fire

Let’s see…my mom always said never to touch the stove burner with my hand. But, she didn’t say anything about my feet. I’m with you Tony. Yikes.

Vacuuming the house is great exercise, especially doing stairs with a hand vac. And I generally get some good ideas for the Tids as a bonus. The only negative is that it strengthens my right arm which interferes with my delicately balanced golf swing. Life is all about compromises.

Let’s see…a guy named Sam Bell, who calls himself and followers real Rhode Island democrats, has a movement gaining momentum which he says he will take the legislature back for the people, away from the far right conservative democrats running in now! Yikes! See, it can get worse. USSRI is conservative?

The Parking Lot: The story resumes at Chapter 64 where we see Jared scampering away after nearly being decapitated by his old nemisis. Proor to that in chapte 63 we saw our indomitable heroine Nancy taking control of the State AG
   Jareed swaw Fred running up towards his car. He looked down at the bleeding giant and decided that Fred may be the more important prize. Old Jared’s aging legs were aching badly when he finally caught the older Fred whose legs were about to crumble. Jared lay one hand on the upper back, gripping Fred’s collar and hauling him down to a quick stop stop.
   “What’d ja tell him Freddy,” he shouted just before the old political hack fell to the ground . Fred’s eyes were wide as he looked up at the not so happy Jared. “Nothing”.
  “Bullshit, gimmie your phone.” Jared dialed 911 on Fred’s phone, and told the woman that a large man had run into a tree up by Fred Office. He pushed stop and threw the phone behind the bushes before the woman could ask questions. But she had Fred’s phone number.
   Jared knew he would sleep for a week after tonight but he couldn’t stop and rest now. He reached down and roughly pulled up Fred, the heaved him across the street into the deep shadows where he had his car. He was tired of coddling the local kingmaker.
   “How much do they know, Fred. You can’t make me any angrier than I am now. But, I can guarantee Nancy will be prone to ugly violence when she sees you. And you know Nancy. Fred was silent, but Jared could see he was weighing his odds.
   He started the car, and slowly drove half way up the hill turning into a long driveway of somebody’s home. He rolled to a stop about 190 feet away from the road.
   A police car came down about 2 minutes after they stopped. Jared patted Fred on the head. “Take a short nap, my friend.”

The Answer:
According to “Ranker”, Ricky Skaggs is number one and he is followed by Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, The Stanley Brothers, Earl Sruggs, Doyle Lewis & Quicksilver and Lester Flatt finishes the top Ten. The second Ten are The Osborne Brothers, Rhonda Vincent, The Steeldrivers, Tony Rice, The Seldom Scene, Old Crow Medicine Show, Patty Loveless, The Del McCoury Band, Lonesome River Band and Nickel Creek. The beauty of Blue Grass is that there many unknowns traveling the circuit who are as entertaining as the big names.  Bonus: Get out the maps and fill up the car and head out to Telluride, World of Bluegrass in Raleigh NC, 3 Sisters Bluegrass in Chattanooga Tenn, Merlefest in Wilkesboro NC and Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in Beanblossom Indiana. There’s a bunch more out there like Joe Val Bluegrass in Framingham Mass, Grey Fox in Oak Hill NY, Christmas in the Smokies at Pigeon Forge Tn and Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration in Rosine Ky. Or you can always hop over to Aquidneck Island all winter long for the weekly concerts at the Common Fence Community Center in Portsmouth RI. Did I say, “Get out the maps.”

Pretend you’re tired of political yackin’; you’re sitting on a big rock on grassy hillside far from the sounds of the city and people noise. The sun is bright, not hot at all, just right. You lay back on that rock and your feet dangle a bit; you feel a soft country breeze across your face; the same breeze that’s pushing fluffy clouds across the early summer sky. You close your eyes. Your body melts into the rock. From over the other side of the hill you hear something real nice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSif77IVQdY

Friday, June 24, 2016

Smothered no more.

Today's Tids Issue 3,625
For Sensibility:

About 506 years ago today, Henry the 8th took the throne of England and set in motion events that would lead to the establishment of the Anglican Church, which would divide the country and lead to destabilization. And this morning we find Brexit has passed which could alter the state of England, where Scotland is now more likely to vote for Independence, making England just merely Jolly Old England again.

In a BBC discussion while the vote was being counted, the tenor was that the elite and well educated in London and other similar supposed civilized bastions were voting against leaving. It was in the hinterlands, so the discussion group said, where people tired of their country being pushed around by an unelected global European Central Government, where they felt under assault by being forced to increase immigration; these people rose up to say we want to run our own country. It was the people saying they are tired of politicians setting their destiny and they are going to take charge. Sounds a little like the Trump and Sanders movements around here. Like Arizona being muscled by Washington DC. The Bud, Miller and Coors drinkers in opposition to the Craft beer connoisseurs. Governments get so big that the hardworking people suffocating under it rise up to take a breath. That is the mood of America. And Brexit could be just a preamble to November.

I could probably devote the entire Tids just to Brexit, but you get the picture. Besides, the overkill by the media today and continuously over the weekend will have you running for your local cave.

The British say they are awaiting a break-up song from Adele.

The Question:
For what roles are these actors, actresses best known:  Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Sherry Stringfield, Minka Kelly and Mindy Kayling.

The Headlines:
--British Voters Say Leave EU; Cameron Resigns; Global Stocks In FreeFall; US Dow Opens Down 500, Pare Losses To Under 400 As Morning moves Along.
--Obama Says EU Decision Will Not Change US-UK Relationship Putin Smiling Over Weakening Of EU.
--Boston Celtics With 8 Picks Have Underwhelming NBA Draft; 2017 Draft Should Be Loaded.
--Supreme Court Blocks Obama Immigration Policy.
--Third Freddie Gray Police Officer Found Not Guilty; As Case Against Officer With Most Alleged Serious Offences Fails, Defense Motions To Dismiss Four Remaining Lesser Charged Officers.
--80 Homes Burned, 1,500 Threatened As Huge LA Fire Grows to 5,000 Acres; West Virginia Floods Leave 4 Dead, Thousands Without Power.
--Hillary Clinton Failed To Give Key Email To State Department.

I’m finding that there is little need for things like watches and even Golf GPS devices. Your phone has a clock and we have reached a point where your golf partner will probably have some type of GPS device.

As the markets tumble, traders get clever while wondering which Country will be next – Italeave, Czech-Out, Finnish, Departugal or Oustria!

If you buy a 64 ounce Diet Coke on sale for 88 cents in Philadelphia, you will have to pay $1.52. That would be a 73% sales tax on a drink that isn’t even sugary. Isn’t that cruel and unusual punishment?

I’m not saying central governments are out of control or nothing, but here is a recent proposal from the EU – Robots should pay social security taxes. (US name used here generically to represent the EU “Retirement and disability scheme”), into a fund that would never have to give back to the machines. In Europe the debt of the promise to the people is enormous compared to the US, as they pretty much give away everything. The idea really is telling factory owners, of you employ machines over people you will be paying for it in increased taxes. And obviously it is not because the EU cares about people, but it’s because they need money to stay solvent in their out of control socialist structure.

I wouldn’t be surprised of Obama has discussed this at cabinet meeting.

One of the reasons Brexit could have an effect on November is because global economic woes could significantly detour Obama’s proclaimed “American resurgence”.

It used to be that opportunity in America for millions of immigrants during the last 200 years meant having chance to get a job and work your way to the top in a free society. Today it seems to mean getting everything for free as soon as you cross the border, legally or illegally.

Reading Between the Lines Movie Reviews:
--After their opening scenes, I have always thought the Independent Day movies underwhelming. I think that Critics and audiences are seeing the new version, Independence Day: Resurgence as lack luster and much too predictable. The United countries of the world recover Alien technology and begin the fight to save the world. But nothing can prepare them for the power of the alien forces; and so all seems hopeless until a handful of heroes, regular people save the day, which seems silly to me.
--The Free Sate Of Jones is about a Southern farmer named Newt Knight who during the Civil War organized a mighty band of other farmers and Slaves to launch an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy and operate as a free State. It is not that well done.
--The Shallows is a cool thriller. A woman surfer played by Blake Lively finds herself on the feeding ground of a Great white shark. Though stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival is a precarious test of will requiring incredible creatively and courage. Tense.
--Swiss Army man is difficult to explain other than it’s like a buddy musical video. It is creative and visually interesting, But I have no idea what it is about.
--Neon Demon is a scary weakly plotted horror movie about an aspiring model who moves to LA and will do anything for beauty. Warning, it is heavy “R”.

The Answer:
I suspect most of you knew that ML was Karen Cooper Fairgate MacKenzie on Knot’s Landing. You’ve seen Peter Weller in many films but maybe remember him most as Robocop. Nancy Allen is best known for, yes, Robocop, and also Carrie and Dressed to Kill -- where she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Sherry Stringfield is best known for her role as Dr. Susan Lewis on ER. You might remember Minka Kelley as Jackie Kennedy in The Butler, but she is best known for her roles in TV series Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. Mindy Kaying is the creator and star of the sitcom The Mindy Project, and is also known for her work as Kelly Kapor on The Office. So there you have it. It was all right on the tip of your tongue!

Do you think we have reached a point where the earth needs to unravel itself from the egos of leaders?

Unfortunately for you Brexit has my mind working over time. I’d better start thinking funny, so you will be happy to read the Tids again on Monday!

I was looking for European Jokes, but found that most Europeans say that most people think that the EU is so boring it is impossible to be funny. Actually, they agree, EU is the joke.