The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago...
had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.
I travel often to Amsterdam, one of my favorite “urban” destinations. This is a city untrammeled by “progress” of modern architecture and commercialism, almost a living museum. Bicycles outnumber cars. Streets are narrow, not straight, and cobbled with stones. Small shops do not suffer from big-box rapaciousness. A lacework of canals add charm and a means of transportation. No fences prevent drunks from falling into the water, as would be erected in Land of the Free and the Home of the NRA.
This closeness to water makes me fear that the charm of this city and its surrounding countryside will disappear. Some point to the danger of rising sea level for Florida and Manhattan, but the Netherlands will be long gone before residents of those places need to wear rubber boots. Parts of the country are already below sea level, and flood tides push waves over dikes.
Folks in Switzerland are surely more relaxed about climate change...
I am a veteran and happy that I do not need medical care from an insensitive and incompetent monster. The VA “scandal” seems to be a metaphor for all that is wrong with the United States Government and the country in general.
Be happy you’re not a parent in England.
News reports claim that the government is planning to pass laws to punish “emotional abuse” of children. It will be interesting to see how broadly that is defined. Will a parent be arrested for not appeasing a screaming child, who has been refuse an armful of candy on display at a grocery store check-out? Children are masters of manipulating parents with screaming tantrums, when they do not get their way. This is often (always?) misinterpreted by the busy-body faction, which is large in England. I can imagine long-suffering parents being fingered by malicious neighbors and “concerned” citizens.
There is too much room for overreach by government in an area where teaching discipline can be seen as abuse. Children need to mind their parents and governments need to mind their own business, which is rife with abuse.
A weak mind is like a microscope,
which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.
Below is one of the more-interesting articles I have ever read on wine, shared for anyone interested in more than snobbery.
I learned some new aspects of the history of wine-making (I had not known that the earliest known finds were in Georgia.) And, I learned about biodynamic cultivation, a term I knew but did not understand.
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society,
they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it
and a moral code that glorifies it.
I got to thinking about how the term VIP has been so mistreated and denigrated to almost meaninglessness.
But, many people still feel significant, if added to some list. Upon observing these poor souls, I tend to substitute different words in the middle. Here are a few examples:
Very Ill-mannered Person
Very Ignorant Person
Very Impertinent Person
Very Impatient Person
Very Insatiable Person
Very Incontinent Person
Very Intemperate Person
Very Insulant Person
Very Infantile Person
Very Ill-tempered Person
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.