I finally cancelled my TIME magazine subscription, and got the last issue in the mail today.
Just as well, I thought: I do not need to see Trump on any magazine cover even one more time. Besides, I go to the library to read all kinds of newspapers and magazines.
It was South Carolina’s turn on Saturday to host the 2020 Democratic hopefuls in the state’s annual ‘World Famous Fish Fry’, originally started by SC House Rep. Jim Clyburn in 1992.
South Carolina hosts one of the early primary elections in Feb. 2020 (to determine who the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate is). It’s considered a key state in the primaries. Black voters make up 61% of the electorate.
It’s the official start of summer here in the North today.
We have had mild temperatures (68°F/ 20°C) and not much rain in June, tracking at about 50% of the month’s average.
Sunset tonight was at its latest for the year, at 9.11 pm here in Seattle.
Wow .. that drone shot down by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was not a garden-variety drone.
It was a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Here are some of its attributes: Wingspan: 130.9 ft / 39.9 m (wider than that of the Boeing 737) Range: 14,000 miles / 22 500 km Speed: 357 mph/ 574 kph Ceiling: 60,000 ft/ 18 288 m Endurance: 34 hrs Cost: $200 million
So what will Trump do now?
He talks tough, but on Thursday called the incident ‘a big mistake’, meaning the Corps made a miscalculation and was not following orders from President Hassan Rouhani.
At this perilous time the United States has no Secretary of Defense (has not had one for more than 6 months, for the first time ever).
And now Trump seems to be the one that has to push back against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Both seem to be itching to start a war with Iran.
Facebook revealed the details of its cryptocurrency, called Libra (symbol ≋), today. Its planned launch is in early 2020. The digital wallet will reside in Messenger, in WhatsApp or in a stand-alone app.
Libra currency will let people buy things or send money anywhere in the world, with nearly zero fees.
Facebook will not have full control – they are recruiting founding members for the Libra Foundation and have signed up the likes of MasterCard, Visa, EBay, Uber and Vodafone.
Facebook’s subsidiary company called Calibra will handle its crypto transactions, and they promise to not combine payment data with Facebook social media data (so that transactions cannot be used for ad targeting). Hahaha. Tell you what, Facebook. Twenty bucks at a time is all I will ever use of your Libra. MAYBE. To buy beer and burgers with on Wednesday nights.
From this article on techcrunch.com:
A Libra is a unit of the Libra cryptocurrency that’s represented by a three wavy horizontal line unicode character ≋ like the dollar is represented by $. The value of a Libra is meant to stay largely stable, so it’s a good medium of exchange, as merchants can be confident they won’t be paid a Libra today that’s then worth less tomorrow.
The Libra’s value is tied to a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities for a slew of historically stable international currencies, including the dollar, pound, euro, Swiss franc and yen. The Libra Association maintains this basket of assets and can change the balance of its composition if necessary to offset major price fluctuations in any one foreign currency so that the value of a Libra stays consistent.
An incredible two million people flooded the streets in Hong Kong this weekend, to continue to protest their government’s proposed extradition law (that will allow extradition of Hong Kongers to mainland China and other countries).
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam was essentially selected by Beijing, and Hong Kong residents do not trust her. She has ‘postponed’ the legislation, but it has not been cancelled.
Whoah .. is this a giant weed? It looks like one, I thought, as I walked by it tonight.
I looked it up and it’s the great mullein or common mullein. Mullein itself derives from the French word for soft, and yes, it’s a weed – kind of.
The stock market here in the States does not seem too freaked out yet by the Trump Administration’s tariff wars and threats of starting a real war in Iran, but we will have to see where we end up at the end of 2019.
Today an online pet food purveyor called Chewy, had its IPO, and ended the day 60% higher.
Just for fun, I wondered if chewy.com would have food for say, a pet chinchilla that I might have. Well, it turns out 1. that they do, and 2. that chinchillas love Timothy hay. I did not know that! Washington State is known worldwide for the quality of its Timothy hay.
Johannesburg in South Africa is sometimes said to be the real ‘El Dorado’: the city that was built on the discovery of gold*. Seattle, for its part, was a pioneer outpost in the late 1800s, and was lifted out of an economic slump and prospered by 1900, due to the discovery of gold.
Here is a brief timeline of Seattle at the end of the 1800s: 1889 Seattle’s Great Fire reduces 50 blocks of downtown to rubble. 1893 The financial Panic of 1893 causes a national recession. 1897 On July 17, the Portland Steamer docks in Seattle, carrying half a ton of gold from the Klondike region in Canada.
Some 10,000 men and boys leave for the Alaskan and Canadian goldfields. 1898 Canada creates the Yukon territory. 1900 By the time the decade and the century ended, Seattle’s population had doubled to 81,000.
*The Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a gold rush in 1886 that led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa. There was once a massive inland lake, and its silt and gold deposits from alluvial gold that had settled there, formed the gold-rich deposits that South Africa is famous for.
It’s nice to see that the City of Seattle has applied new paint on some of the rainbow pedestrian crossings here on Capitol Hill.
I guess it’s too bad we cannot stop pedestrians and traffic from dirtying them up all over again, right?
We have warm weather on the way for the city: we will touch 90 (32 °C) on Wednesday.
Time to let cool air in at night and in the morning, and keep the shades on the windows down in the day! (I don’t have central air-conditioning in the house).
There was a carnival of politics in the state of Iowa today, with 19 of the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates taking the stage at the Iowa Democratic Party’s 2019 Hall of Fame event in Cedar Rapids.
Each candidate had only 5 minutes to speak, though. Sigh. I just hope that the Democrats will pull out all the stops, hit up all their rich donors, and deploy social media campaigns and whatever else they can, to get Trump out of the White House.
If we are to believe Trump (I am not), his threat to slap a 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico, unless they do better at stopping migrants trying to reach the US border, had the desired effect. (Trump tweeted Friday night that tariffs are now off the table, and that a last minute agreement with Mexico was reached).
Well, it turns out that much, or all of the terms of the ‘agreement’, were actually reached months ago between Mexican officials and the White House, says the New York Times (see below).
Should a city such as Seattle with really expensive housing costs, adopt rent control* measures? Maybe, but probably not.
It usually turns out that rent control creates a whole new set of problems. Renowned economist Paul Krugman writes that rent control inhibits construction of new housing, creates bitter tenant–landlord relations, and in markets with not all apartments under rent control, causes an increase in rents for uncontrolled units.
A better approach for city councils could be to provide housing subsidies or tax credits to renters.
*Rent control or rent regulation is a system of laws, administered by a court or a public authority, which aim to ensure the affordability of housing and tenancies on the rental market for dwellings. [Source: Wikipedia]
Time marches on, and here we are, 75 years from the day in World War II, on which the Allied Forces had landed on the beaches in Normandy.
After sunset on June 5th, an enormous fleet of some 6,900 Allied vessels made their way to the French coastline. The first Allied soldiers set foot on the five beaches at about 6.30 am. (The five beach-heads would only be connected by June 12th, much later than planned, though). An estimated 4,400 Allied soldiers died on D-day, and an equal number or more German soldiers.
By the end of June 1944, some one million Allied soldiers were on the ground on French soil. The casualties for both sides during Operation Overlord that lasted until Aug. 30, 1944, would come to some 450,000 dead.
I read once that Americans have somewhat of an obsession with super white teeth – so that must be why so many toothpastes are ‘whitening’ or ‘extra whitening’.
Well, says my dentist: 1. if you are using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, whitening ingredients detract from the effect of the potassium nitrate (which helps with tooth sensitivity); and 2. the amount of whitening actually achieved with toothpaste is minimal.
So I’m ditching my Sensodyne Extra Whitening toothpaste, and will go with one that only has the potassium nitrate.