Today is the anniversary of Passchendale, the site of stupidity and slaughter. German and English forces fired cannons at each other, with defenseless soldiers mired in the mud. Officers sitting at safe distances sent occasional orders to charge, which resulted in senseless deaths in a rain of machine gun fire.
No lessons were learned, except how to make bigger and more-effective means of killing. While the weapons makers thrive, politicians ensure that commemorative events remind people of the unnecessary sacrifices that must be repeatedly made. Of course, the English roll out a cast of “royal” characters, resplendent in phony medals, to read speeches and pretend to be moved.
So, humans are really stupid. They learn nothing from the carnage, but kill and commemorate over and over again.
A saying, allegedly emanating from the Gold Rush, goes “there’s gold in them thar hills” applies to war and the weapons industry.
A headline from the Daily Mail, which also has an article on the ceremony at Passchendale proves my point:
ATTENTION, Our army is bigger than YOURS! China, Russia, US and Nato forces flex their military muscles amid melting pot of global tensions with a huge show of strength at parades and training drills
Vacation on a mountain lake is more relaxing than by the sea. The water is calmer; the mountains give perspective lacking on an endless horizon. And, vacation on an Italian lake is hard to top.
Italian dolce vita and Italian cuisine combine to make life pleasant for the discerning visitor. Even less discerning clods should be able to take pleasure from summer life on one of the many lakes of northern Italy.
The weather is mostly warm and sunny, but thunderstorms have been known to dampen easily dampened spirits. Wiser souls know that this merely clears the air and lowers the temperature for a few hours, making life bearable for those without air-conditioning.
The waters of the lakes are clear and clean. Swimming is far more pleasant than in a salty ocean or chlorinated pool.
Fish from the lake is a local delicacy, something long lost in many parts of the world less willing to throttle industrial waste. This morning I spotted a lake trout swimming past, which must have been 18 inches long. Someday, the poor thing will end up on a plate of a local restaurant.
Trump Supporters Furious That They Still Have Health Care
By Andy Borowitz
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—With a fury that could spell political trouble for Republicans in the midterm elections, Trump voters across the country on Friday expressed their outrage and anger that they still have health coverage.
“I went to bed Thursday night and slept like a baby, assuming that when I woke up I would have zero health insurance,” Carol Foyler, a Trump voter, said. “Instead, this nightmare.”
Harland Dorrinson, who voted for Trump “because he promised that he would take my health care away from me on Day 1,” said that he was “very upset” that he will still receive that benefit.
“I woke up this morning, and my family and I could still see a doctor,” he said. “This is a betrayal.”
Many Trump supporters said that congressional Republicans “gave up too soon” in their efforts to deprive ordinary Americans like them of their health care.
“They should not take August off,” Calvin Denoit, a Trump supporter, said. “They should stay in Washington and keep working until I totally lose my coverage.”
For Trump voters like Benoit, the abject disappointment of continuing to have health care raises fears about which other campaign promises might soon be broken.
“Now I don’t know what to believe,” he said. “Are we still going to get to pay billions of dollars in taxes for that wall?”
Every country on this planet (and, maybe, other planets) has its advantages and disadvantages, With many, that disadvantage are pre ponderous, but I avoid those. Italy seems to have more advantages. They have great food, great fashion with the best fabrics, outstanding design and workmanship, and (mostly) friendly people. But, internet speed here is the Stone Age variety. These means, of course, that this worthless blog is more difficult to fill with drivel. So, it's not my fault if posts are sporadic or incomplete.
That said, Italy is a great destination for a vacation, with the lake district topping the list. And, perched at the pinnacle is Lake Como. This is beautiful, which might explain with George Clooney choses to spend time here. I would post photos, but see above!
The city of Como is fantastic. The shops are wonderful, with each having a unique design and products found nowhere else. The ubiquitous brands are not ubiquitous, which is a relief for someone having spent time in shopping malls around the world. I would provide visual evidence, but see above.
The Italians can cook and design and sew, but they lag in technology. This might explain with the Italian army was unable to succeed in Ethiopia!
Jeff Sessions Urges Melania to Work Harder on Campaign to Stop Cyberbullying
By Andy Borowitz
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that the problem “is far worse than I imagined,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday urged First Lady Melania Trump to intensify her campaign against cyberbullying.
Speaking to reporters from his office at the Justice Department, Sessions said that, whatever Mrs. Trump had done to eliminate the scourge of cyberbullying, “It clearly has not been enough.”
“From my perspective, cyberbullying is very much a growing problem,” he said. “And with every passing day it gets worse and worse.”
Sessions said that, while he understands that Mrs. Trump has many other responsibilities as First Lady, “anything you can do to get cyberbullying to stop will be very much personally appreciated by me.”
“Please help,” he said, his voice quavering.
In an official statement released later in the day, the First Lady said that she had “kind of forgotten” about her campaign to stop cyberbullying but that she would “get right on it.”
Climate change deniers would have a field day, if they were in Switzerland or Germany today. The calendar says "summer", but the weather says cold and rainy. This is not a good time for anyone on vacation, seeking to hike the many well-marked trails through the Alps or enjoy the many lakes. There are museums, where one can keep dry or a hotel offers a place to read a book.
One can only hope that the clouds, which have tanked up over the North Atlantic, move on to regions needing rain....
Girl Scouts Obtain Restraining Order Against Trump
By Andy Borowitz
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In an extraordinary rebuke of the President of the United States, the Girl Scouts of America have obtained a restraining order against Donald J. Trump.
The order, which the Girls Scouts were granted on Monday night, prevents Trump from coming within three hundred feet of any gathering of the Scouts’ organization.
Carol Foyler, a Girl Scouts spokesperson, said that while the G.S.A. sought the restraining order “out of an abundance of caution,” the girls themselves were “in no way, shape or form” afraid of President Trump.
“They’re prepared to deal with bobcats and bears,” she said. “They can handle a malignant narcissist.”
Trump wasted little time responding to the Girl Scouts’ action, lashing out at the organization in a blistering early-morning tweet storm.
“Failing Girl Scouts bad (or sick) guys,” Trump wrote. “Mints, cookies terrible. Sad!”
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.