Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I did get up in the middle of the night and check the skies. The stars were plentiful, but no sign of the Northern Lights. I rather suspect the trees to the north of us block any possibility of seeing any low lights, but there were none high in the sky at this latitude (perhaps the county failed to pay its northern lights bill again). I guess I am going to have to go north in the winter to get a shot of them.
It is interesting to watch the erosion of conservative support for the pestilence in light of the pestilence junior’s successive revelations of meeting with a Russian attorney. The first breach was Friday with Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/14/lie-after-lie-after-lie-fox-news-shepard-smith-has-a-cronkite-moment-on-russia/?utm_term=.93714c482d89 Next, even a few conservative commentators in this morning’s paper are awake to the ‘evidence.’ I don’t expect the pestilence’s base to lose the blinders and certain knowledge that the pestilence is being mistreated by the press. True believers are not going to see reality. Even 50% of Nixon’s base was with him to the end. However, at some point elected Republicans who have to face reelection next year should begin to do the vote counting calculus in their districts and decide if they can afford to hang on to the pestilence’s coat tails or try to build a winning coalition in their districts. That may find some of them becoming less strong in the defense of the indefensible.
Then there is the economy. In September or October when everyone is back from a vacation and the start to look at their portfolios, there will be a market correction. The last time we had a market correction with an inexperienced president at the helm and a Republican controlled Congress was in the Fall of 1929. Unlike, 1929, the Federal Reserve System is headed by non-pestilence appointees. The thing about all the glowing remarks that the pestilence makes/tweets on the health of his agenda moving us toward ‘greatness,’ is that the statistics that are generated by his programs don’t read his tweets/comments. We could be in for interesting times.
I’ll be not publishing until Wednesday, July, 19th. Enjoy the two days of respite from my tirades.
Warmest regards, Ed
028 Dealing with Bureaucrats and Other Fools
Fiction in 1051 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
[In the Other Universe] “Perhaps Amanda and Marcie can go someplace and catch up,” suggested Special Agent Fleishman. “Amanda has an implant and could take her to a little coffee shop I introduced her to which serves the hot chocolate with marshmallows that I introduced you to earlier while you tell me more of the stories that have you up to your neck in bank robberies in our universe.”
Stephen laughed, “Would that we could go there and have more of that ambrosia. But, since bank robbery is a crime, a whole new concept for us, I best stay here where we both can concentrate.”
Special Agent Fleishman turned to Amanda and said, “When you bring Marcie back, bring us two cups, please. Raymond will let you bring it in cups with saucers if you tell him I asked for it.”
Amanda nodded and said to Marcie, “I know this delightful place for us to have a cup of the most delicious drink in the other universe and we can talk undisturbed by these two. You game?”
Marcie nodded and Amanda said, “We are going to move quickly, you will not feel anything but the first time people are often surprised and fall down from the change of scenery. So take my hand and close your eyes.” Amanda and Marcie vanished.
“As I recall, I had explained our need for assistance,” said Stephen. “After sending several people to learn about your universe, we knew we were organized in a vastly different fashion from yours. We have what might be called an open architecture social organization. You seem to have a highly compartmentalized social and to us a new concept, political organization. For instance, you seem to have divided your world into competing entities call nation states. Our world is one society. Then in your nation states, you have compartmentalized yourselves into highly specialized subject matter units. Fortunately, you label those units so that one can figure out who is responsible for what, or so I thought.
“I started with your United States President, thinking he was the person in charge.” Stephen laughed and shrugged his shoulders. “Our exchange went something like this. ‘How in the hell did you get in here?’ Then the man pushed a button on his desk and said, ‘intruder.’ Six men rushed in and dragged me out. Of course, I was able to transport from there back to here. I suspect the men who had a hold of me must have wondered where I went.
“My next visit was to a place you call a university and a department that specialized in government and politics. I found a fellow in a room with a coffee pot drinking the foulest brew I have ever tasted. I explained to him who I was and that I needed to talk to someone in his society about obtaining some rockets to go into space and adjust the orbit of an asteroid. I merely wanted to know how to go about it. Well, the man used a communication device that brought men similar to those I encountered in my visit to your United States President who seized me bodily. Again, I transported back here and left them empty handed.
“I did pick up a book while attempting to get information from the man drinking coffee. Indeed, he suggested it to me. It was entitled A Dummy’s Guide to the US Government. I escaped the clutches of the men he summoned and I still had the book.
“I could see from the book that there was an Agency in charge of space travel. It had quite an extensive list of who was in charge of what area. However, there was no listing for building or manufacturer or rockets. The closest I could come was Launch Control. I thought if they launch rockets they must know where to get one. This time I decided to find a front door and go in and not surprise the Launch Controller. While one was not listed, I had figured out that there has to be a person deciding when and what to launch. So, I went there. I met no one and no one called out the guards, but they grabbed me again.
“So, I decided to try a whole different approach. I went to a city and stood around and watched. A lot of people went in and out of a place so I went in. It was a place that served some kinds of drinks. I asked the fellow serving who the most powerful person in the city was and was directed, through several intermediates to Salvatore Persico. Getting in was an interesting process. I thought the man must be important for he was truly guarded with locks and keys and uniformed guards. The man asked me how he could help me. I told him about our plight and he looked a bit skeptical, but said, ‘It would not surprise me.’ He then told me for $400 Million he could get me a rocket that should do the trick. After some difficulties understanding what he was proposing, I finally understood that dollars were something of value in your universe. When I explained that I had no dollars he looked as if he lost interest. So I transported out back to that place that served drinks. When I asked the server again if there was someone else with the power to make things happen, several men came in came in and walked up to me and said Salvatore Persico wanted me to come back as he had thought of a way for me to get the $400 Million and could help.
“I went back to see Salvatore Persico. He seemed most interested in my ability to move in and out of places and when he learned I could also go back and forward in time he outlined what he called a ‘foolproof wealth transfer model.’ You call it bank robbery. In a nutshell, that is the story of what Salvatore Persico called our working partnership.”
“Bank robbery is your solution to an asteroid extinction strike?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“No, it is merely one of our approaches,” replied Stephen. I promised you stories. This was just one.”